Hooray Henry – A Legend Returns

Arsenal 1 – 0 Leeds United

1 – 0 Henry (78)

Arsenal progressed to a fourth round tie against Aston Villa with a blast from the past, history relived and a million headlines written. Proclamations of inevitability about the goal were too much but let us not kid ourselves, it was wonderful for a forward to come onto the pitch with some sort of hope or expectation of a goal.

The joy of the moment, the release of nervous energy and unbridled elation of the moment erupted in any heart carved of red and white; the years rolled away as Song slid the ball through the line of defenders, the left edge of the penalty melted as Henry’s body shape dictated where the shot was going and inevitably ended. This was Arsenal’s Sex Pistols at Manchester Free Trade Hall moment.

Yet it need not have been the defining moment of the night, simply the crowning glory. Arsène was true to his word and fielded a strong side. The defence was makeshift and even the inclusion of two callow full backs and Sebastian Squillaci could not cause the shipping of goals. Arsenal were simply too strong for Leeds.

Aaron Ramsey dominated the proceedings from the kick-off but Andrey Arshavin threatened to take the headlines, shooting wide inside five minutes and high shortly after; his accuracy was improving. Such was Arsenal’s dominance that Sebastien Squillaci provided a goal threat of more potency than anything Samir Nasri could manage yet still the ball evaded the back of the net.

Twice midway through the half, Arsenal might have taken the lead. Crisp passing across the baize allowed Ramsey a sight of goal, his effort looping over following a deflection before Arteta clipped the post. Leeds offered precious little before Becchio shot over and not much after.

A procession of chances went begging as Coquelin retired injured, the curse of the left back position etching a route across the defence. The clamour to dispense with Squillaci’s services this Winter may be quelled knowing that he is one of the few fit defenders at the club.

The second half started with a renewed vigour from the home side. Deliberacy in his effort almost rewarded Oxlade-Chamberlain, his effort fizzing into the sidenetting. He was not the only one who relished the second period. Having gone close as the first half drew to a close, the interval revived Arshavin but still the end product was missing as he volleyed and shot wide on separate occasions.

For all of Arsenal’s efforts, few had forced Lonergan to do anything other than scramble across his goal to make sure that shots missedthe target. That changed as the hour mark approached, Oxlade-Chamberlain’s drive blocked by The Peacocks ‘keeper.

And then Henry arrived, Theo Walcott providing a cameo in the same spell, Rupert Grint accompanied Harry Potter into the fray. The goal arrived and briefly brought Leeds attack to life, McCormack spurning the best chance for another late and unlikely equaliser in a cup-tie between the two sides.

 Chamakh’s departure for the African Cup of Nations came on a relative high. He worked hard, perhaps relishing the opportunity to get some match fitness before the tournament. If the interruption provides a spark of confidence, Arsenal will benefit. His contribution was more evident than others. Park’s absence from action has been explained, his acute narcolepsy meant that he could not be roused for a substitute appearance.

Much of the post-match focussed on Henry. Wenger’s enthusiasm for the subject shows that his admiration for the player has not been dimmed through absence. A weight has been lifted with Henry’s “debut” and replaced by the millstone of expectation. Wenger suggests why the player is capable of reacting positively to that,

Thierry is a proud guy, he does not want to disappoint people. He knows he will be compared to what he has done before. That is what champions are about. They always say ‘I have no pressure’, but they want to be seen as people who do well. It is a kind of a comeback and you know you want that to be a success as a player.

Talk of starting places is surely premature and robs Wenger of options in future matches. And in any case, who wants to talk of the what might be, just enjoy the moment.

All that remains is to point you in the direction of the newest addition to the ACLF blog family, Arsenal On This Day. From one legend to another.

’til Tomorrow.

Posted on January 10, 2012, in Arsenal, FA Cup, Football, Soccer and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 299 Comments.

  1. Stuff of fairytales last night. For a moment I was starting to get nervous as the possibility of a replay at Eland road loomed. Until Song made that telling pass Capped by the most Henryesque of finishes. The king is back!
    My only concern is our inability to close up a game. It’s still a problem. One goal up and 10 minutes to go and the play was still so open.
    And this was playing against a side who had rarely forayed beyond the halfway line for most of the game.Fossell could have equalised and the story could have been very different this morning.

  2. A great moment for Henry and all the Gooners at the ground. Chamakh worked hard, but wouldn’t have even thought about moving into theat space, there’s the difference between Chamakh and Henry or van Persie. Arshavin looked perky last night, hopefully he can turn his form around, he has a chance to cement his place with Gervinho away for a few weeks.

    Henry’s second coming also throws the real problem into sharp focus, what do we do in six weeks time?

  3. Nice write up YW.

    I thought AOC looked pretty good. I would prefer to see him on the bench than one of Rosicky/Benayoun. He is direct and you can see him getting a fair few goals. Rosicky and Benayoun are very simlar in their play, we only one of them on th bench.

  4. YW summed it up when he said “it was wonderful for a forward to come onto the pitch with some sort of hope or expectation of a goal.

  5. arshavin Played well. he Played so well that he’s earned the right to be a starter in all our mstches against very poor teams.chamack too.as for park, i think wenger should admit he’d made a mistake.a 5million dollar mistake.but is not as bad as the 7million dollar bebe mistake by ferguson.

  6. i think it will be interesting to see ox on one flank, theo on the other.

    but personally i thought chamakh played well last night. put in effort, held the ball well.

  7. Thought AA had his best game in a while, not everything came off but looked busy and keen to run at the defence to try to make things happen

    Who writes Henry`s scripts?

  8. 20 mins of Henry really showed up how much of a non threat Chamakh has become….

    ‘He may be cast in bronze but hes still capable of truly golden moments’

  9. All has been said. All hail the return of the King. Was I the only one watching Henry giving Theo a shooting lesson when Arshavin screwed a shot high n wide. That’s one of the things we’ll benefit from as a team wit Henry being around. I’ll always live and relive the goal always. HENRY is d real definition of a LEGEND

  10. I thought Chamakh played well also. He was not really a goal threat though.

  11. henry just had to do that..didnt he?…… i love that man

  12. Agree on Chamakh’s performance (absurdly described by the Times as atrocious and abysmal!). He worked hard and held the ball well, but seems obsessed with providing assists rather than turning towards goal and scoring himself – and with Arsh, Arteta and Ramsey, most notably, spurning efforts he wasnt going to get one last night…

    Yennaris settled in pretty well (too well in fact – a injury must be imminent)

  13. The moment the Emirates has been waiting for.In 20 years time you will be able to say to your grandkids you were there when the legend returned

    His body shape when he recieved the ball from Song showed the difference between a run of a mill striker and a world class finisher.His first touch was superb and there was never a doubt he would score
    The great thing about Henry is he lifts the club to that higher level just by his presence on the pitch
    He wont start any games no way but what an option from the bench
    I heard some say he could teach Gervinho and Theo about finishing but can you teach a god given talent

    Last night even in his brief cameo Henry’s legendary status increased.Just a wonderful moment

    What a player but most of all what a man

  14. Pinch me, I’m dreaming.

    Despite the obvious talking points I’d like to mention that Chamakh did indeed play well and was unlucky not to have at least one assist. Our finishing was poor, and with the notable exception of the Ox’s rocket we struggled to find the target.

    One thing I was sure of was that if Henry did score it would be one of Song’s killer through balls that did the damage.

  15. I though Chamakh played well, worked his socks off closing down and holding the ball up. Was one move in the 1st half where we put together 25 – 30 passes, during that passage the ball went wide 3 times and each time he made a run into the box for a cross that didn`t arrive, as the ball went back and out other side again – no lack of effort on his part. He was also close to getting on the end of a couple of the few crosses that did come in and layed off some excellent balls in and around the box

  16. Wow. I’m not dreaming, am I? What a night!

    Great write-up YW!

    Henry will (rightly) pick up all the headlines, but there was a lot else that happened before his introduction. Arshavin, although a little off with his shooting, looked confident and worked his arse off. Pretty much every chance we fashioned involved Chamakh – look at those replays and see how many lay-offs he provided. Arteta proving (with the armband) why he was such a good signing. Very good games for Coquelin (until injury, sadly) and Miquel, with Yennaris proving a very good player when called upon, clearing pretty much everything that came his way. Squillaci kept it simple, and looked okay – unlucky not to score. Kos was the boss at the back, as usual. Song and Ramsey prodded and probed, and the assist was perfectly weighted and timed. Oxlade-Chamberlain looked dangerous. Lovely one-two with Ramsey and a rasping drive.
    We played well. We tired their defence, but we weren’t able to capitalise until we were graced with the genius of Henry.

  17. WRITTEN IN THE STARS
    •With 12 minutes remaining, Henry scores his 12th goal against Leeds in 12 appearances wearing the number 12 shirt in 2012
    –Via John Riley on Twitter

  18. Chamakh with back to goal does alright. But turn him to face the opposition goal and he is clueless. He is really static and doesnt even try get in behind the defense. Hes now scared of missing. When a striker becomes scared of missing he just doesnt do the things a striker should do.

  19. Tea Airy On Reee!

  20. His first touch was superb and there was never a doubt he would score

    This, all day long. As soon as the ball went in between the defenders you knew it was a goal.

  21. Still no sign of a signing. Typical that we procrastinate when it comes to spending money. Its not like we have a defensive injury crisis or desperately need a forward now.

  22. nice to see some people here giving chamakh credit.

    i think there was only one cross where you felt he should have done better to get to it. aside from that, his service to the others hasnt been reciprocated. i think he would enjoy sagna’s delivery.

    nice that arshavin, ramsey, ox and arteta werent shy to take shots. that was the plan, no? chamakh to hold off the two centrebacks so the rest could shoot. he did his job.

  23. i think this was a very big win. psychologically. it was the first game after the fulham one where we ran out of steam. a test of character if you will. not the emphatic win, but very good for the morale. the players’ tweets after the game showed they were just buzzing. henry’ return can have a more massive impact than you think.

  24. Lenny @10:13
    I undastd that Henry’s first touch n accuracy is a god give talent bt it can b imparted into some of our players esp Theo who idolise him as I think he’ll be ready to learn n listen. #justsaying.

  25. Korihikage,

    Agreed. Glad to see him getting the credit he deserves. Definitely the best performance he’s had in a while. Would be good to see him getting amongst the goals though. Will be keeping a keen eye on him at the ACN. We’ve got good support for him at full back. Sagna, Gibbs and Jenkinson all good crossers of the ball, as is Oxlade-Chamberlain. He’s not all about the heading, but he’s a threat, and it’s a threat we need to try and utilise a little more.

    Of course, that assumes that ANY of those players are actually fit…

  26. Pure nostalgia! warmed the cockles of the heart.

    Beyond that stark reality, I am afraid. However, hoping the good days to return with King Henry.

  27. Sorry to divert the discussion away from our great win but I’ve just now seen the Kompany red card. Never in a million years is that a red card offence. His right leg stretches out to perfectly disposes Nani and there is no contact whatsoever with the player. It wasn’t a reckless challenge. A cynical mind might worry about the effect this will have on the title race if the FA upholds the decision. Are the refs making things right with Fergie after the audacity of awarding Blackburn a stone-cold penalty and other perceived injustices?

  28. Chamack has been playing a back to goal striker, he would thrive from that if the wingers and midfield understand his lay offs and holding of ball.
    I think the fact he plays that way now is partly due to lack of confidence and he is desperate not to make a mistake. If we don’t buy any striker(ill rather we do), he could come in useful as he showed good link up play last night

  29. I read an interesting article last night which pointed out that a tackle with 2 feet does not automatically mean a sending off. The rules say something like “if a tackle with either one or two feet is reckless or dangerous…blah, blah blah.” It was never a red.

  30. Henry is back and Refused have reformed, 2012 is the greatest.

    Markus you’re completely wrong mate, damage doesn’t have to be done for a tackle to be reckless and dangerous. Ironically these things have been tightened up as a result of what happened to our beloved Eduardo, and if Kompany had made contact there then Nani would have been out for months. If neither of your feet are on the floor and you’re lunging, then you’re an idiot and it’s a bad challenge.

  31. The rule is “Any player who lunges at an opponent in challenging for the ball from the front, from the side or from behind using one or both legs with excessive force and endangering the safety of an opponent is guilty of serious foul play”. You only have to look at Rooney’s reaction to see how the players nearest felt about it, the fact he took the ball’s irrelevant. If neither of your feet are on the ground then you’re not in control of where your body’s ending up and someone could get seriously injured.

  32. Kompany was indeed an idiot for giving the ref a decision to make, but the 2nd leg is almost an afterthought. Even Nani did not complain and he is the the player most likely to complain in the whole lge. Rooney did simply because he saw an opportunity to put pressure on the ref. Stupid challenge by Kompany, but in reality it was not even a foul, let alone a red card.

  33. Sorry to rain on your parade GA and Markus but the tackle was reckless because Kompany tackled with (a) studs up and (b) in a scissor movement. It doesn’t matter if he took the ball cleanly because that is entirely irrelevant, the manner of the tackle meant there was a higher likelihood of injury than might normally be expected. My guess is that the minute he left the ground, the referee quite rightly decided to send him off. He interpreted the law correctly.

  34. It is a goal even if you dink it into the net. Our players could learn shooting technique by watching the perfect touch displayed by Henry on his goal versus Leeds. Arshavin, Ramsey, and Ox all tried to KILL the ball instead of aiming their shots. Juvenile soccer, brainless shooting.

  35. I relaise there is a distinction between contact and intent, but I honestly don’t think the intent was even there. The first two angles are dodgy looking but the second two clearly show it to be a decent tackle. UNfortunately for City the refs view was the first two angles. And having a screaming Shrek in your face won’t help.

  36. YW – I don’t agree. Any sliding tackle is “studs up” by definition. And any sliding tackle could be deemed dangerous if you try to be pedantic. One of the Leeds players fouled Chamakh near the touchline last night. I launched from 5 yards away and Chamkh was simply too quick for him. Why was that not a red? His studs “were up”, but was moving pretty fast so not really in control. Why not? Yet not one person appealed (rightly so).

    Kompanys tackle was a bit, well, unconventional. But no more dangerous than plenty of other sliding tackles. Certainly no where near as bad as Fat Franks in their last game.

  37. Vince you can’t mention that tackle in the same breath as the Eduardo or Ramsey incidents. They were defenders caught out of position and looking to stop the play by any means necessary.

  38. But you’re still dwelling on the result of this particular tackle and not the many outcomes that thankfully didn’t happen! It doesn’t matter what DID happen, what matters is that something far worse COULD have done and that tackling like that is outdated and dangerous. I wasn’t in any way comparing it to the situations surrounding what Shawcross and Taylor did, I’m saying that the reason tackles like the Kompany one are punished more harshly now is because of what’s happened in the recent past.

  39. Markus, they were also sprinting/running and had a proper lunge. Kompany checks his stride, tries to get his balance right etc…

    Might still have been a sending off (difficult to perform a triple somersault off the fence based upon a youtube replay) but was not even remotely comparable to the two ‘tackles’ you mention. Hell, Walton wasn’t even going to give a yellow to Shawcross till he noticed the player with limbs pointing in the wrong direction!

  40. Keown didn’t think it was a red, and that is good enough for me. He knows a thing or two about tackling.

  41. And if you watch the ref, he does not even blow for a foul until Rooney starts in his ear. I can understand him having a few seconds to think about the punishment, but if he eventually came to the conclusion it was a red card why did he not blow for a foul immidiately?

  42. Andy, even Nicky Butt, a former United player thought the tackle was fine.

    The left leg is the reason the ref saw it as a red. In the last angle it looks like a perfect tackle because you can’t see the left leg, just him taking the ball with his right. Ideally your trailing leg should end up under your own body, but if you’re not set right it won’t. So for me that looks more like an imperfect sliding tackle than a scissor tackle. A scissor tackle implies intent to harm. I still think it was very harsh.

  43. To be fair to the ref though it has taken me a nuber of watches to come to that conclusion. Initially I was suprised it was even given as a foul, after the replays I started to think that maybe it was a red. It was certainly a weird way to make the tackle. The angle from behind was the one that made my mind up though. Clean tackle.

  44. Can’t help but think Rooney played a part in the red. Still a booking though, he was out of control – it only looks innocuous because Nani got out of the way so quickly. Say he’d tried to duck inside, that left boot would have caught him about shin height. Maybe that doesn’t matter.

    Weird though, we’ve had worse tackles against us not even blown up as fouls.

  45. It is a fine line, but you could argue that any sliding tackle is a leg breaker should the other player not get out of the way.

  46. But clean sliding tackles don’t entail studs up and body off the ground at the moment of the challenge. Freeze at 19 – if he catches him with that he f*cks him up.

  47. Has it occurred that Chamakh may be playing to instructions, that suit his role and strengths, and a plan being executed is to overcome crowded defences via the layoff, and get some goals from the midfield players, and otherwise from the useful head of Chamakh, plus his odd poached goal (very tasty)? It seems obvious to me that if a player of that type is selected and playing so obviously like that, the manager has planned and told the player in what way he needs him to perform.

    I mention this because it is noticeable that Adebayor also played the lay-off holding role, more so at Arsenal than his later clubs, and that Wenger may see this strategy as useful in a certain type of striker.

    Of course I make the ridiculous assumption here that managers including ours have a plan, and tell players what they want to see on the pitch, and what we see reflects what the manager and his staff have told players, rather than “good luck lads, go for it, see you laters”.

    Anyone seen the movie Moneyball by the way?

  48. Andy @ 11-40.
    This is the main point I believe. The ref was certainly influenced by Rooneys “appeal”. If he thought it was such a bad tackle deserving a red why did he not blow immediately?

  49. First up the fact that half the people agree with the decision and half do not show how hard the ref had it. There is no clear right or wrong to this – if he had given no red card there would have been as large an outcry from just as many fans as there who are currently are claiming it was ‘no foul’ at all.

    Rooney’s input is a unprovable distraction to the real issues. Largely, I think the ref hesitated because the Man Utd player was no where near the tackle and the ball was taken cleanly this gave rise to two conflicting thoughts.

    1. He’s won the ball cleanly and it wasn’t dangerous because there was no risk to an opponent

    2. He’s gone in with both feet and that’s a dangerous action which referees have been decreed to stamp out of the game – this is universally known by players and fans.

    The only point for make is that he, whilst he did not endanger a player specifically, he cannot justify going in with 2 feet – all of the people who say ‘no foul’ need to give a reason for him doing that – none have. It was stupid to give a the referee a headache and a difficult decision to make. Sometimes stupidity deserves punishment if it sends the right message for this reason I think the ref got it right – punish ALL examples of this type of tackle (two-feet) and we send the right message and hopefully, as a longer term result, minimise serious injuries.

    As Arsenal fans we should be more understanding of this and keener than any others to ensure we minimise the number of stupid challenges. Full stop.

  50. The only way you can go into a sliding tackle without studs showing is if you approach the ball from behind the player (a full back chasing a winger for example). The tackle then sort of hooks the ball away. If it is anything approaching a 50/50 then studs are invariably doing to be “up”. Or you would break you own ankle with catching you studs in the turf. If the tackle is “over the ball” then fair enough, a red card. But I don’t think that was the case here.

    Meh, either way I am arguing a point I am not 100% convinced of myself (The Kompany tackle). It is certaily not cut and dried.

  51. He was correctly sent off.

    Reckless and dependant ob the oppponent turning, or jumping, the right way not to get injured.

    Read Jonny’s last paragraph. Spot on.

  52. Spot on Jonny. As you say, even with multiple replays from different angles, the jury is still split. It’s a case of setting an example. There really isn’t a need for tackles like that. He may have won the ball, but as many have already stated, you can still severely injure somebody like that.

    What I don’t understand is that he probably could have won the ball just by staying on his feet. It’s not as if he was a hundred million miles away.

  53. zimpaul,

    my point exactly.

    but most people seem to think you don’t score, youa re shit.

    hell, barcelona arent even playing with strikers nowadays. it just shows that as long as you have players who can get into scoring positions, you can score, regardless of what your position actually is. ramsey, arshavin, walcott will get goals soon. they just need to work on the composure. but they are getting into the positions. and thats the first step

  54. Consols – But I take you back to my point ref Chamakh/dirty Leeds player last night. If Chamakh had not rode that particular challenge on the wing he could have well suffered a break. The guys was studs up and had launched himself. Where is the difference? I reckon it is the strange way which Kompany executed the challenge. Most sliding tackles involve somebody “moving out of the way”.

  55. GA, by “studs up” I think we’re talking about significant daylight between foot and ground – ankle height or above. He’s also flying through the air at the point of impact (had Nani not jumped).

  56. Tackling is an art that is being slowly lost, because in reality players are scared that even like in the case of Kompany there is no place for a well timed tackle, lets be fair Viera used to make these kind of tackles in his heyday. Referees have to use some common sense its clear to most that there was no malice in the tackle.

  57. OOU – Argh, I don’t know mate. And in the long run I don’t really care as it does not involve an Arsenal player. The only way a Kompany tackle would hold any interest for me is if he decapitated John Terry with a mega high tackle. I may just even break out a golf clap at that point.

  58. I was about to post the very same thing, Vince! Beat me to it.

  59. Apart from the film’s parallels to the Arsenal financial story, which is well told, it presents a realistic portrait of – in principle, not detail (since it takes place in a different sport and country) – how and why players are selected in top flight sports structures, by whom, how many are being considered and the risks involved in selecting and matching a team to a strategy given all the permutations involved.

    I may be taking this too far, but what it suggests is that with so many millions involved, strategy comes first, then players; not players then conceive a strategy around them. It seems to suggest that buying players is both very thorough and very specific, and sometimes fails.

    I am thinking of Chamakh, and to some extent Park. Chamakh was not guesswork, his game and strengths and what kind of weaknesses would be known in great detail, and he was secured for a purpose amongst similar players (ie we need precisely this type of player to do this job).

  60. It took fernando Torres 903 minutes to score his first Chelsea goal.
    It took Thierry Henry 10 minutes to score upon his return to the Arsenal!

  61. ZimPaul, I think your analysis of Chamakh’s play is a pure case of an attempt to justify a pitiful goal return. Relating back to your post: Chamakh at Arsenal, 58 games, 12 goals, Adebayor at Arsenal, 143 games, 62 goals. If you say they play pretty much the same role for Arsenal, can you explain a twice as good strike ratio? He may be doing some good things out the field, but scoring around once every five games isn’t good enough to play centre forward for Arsenal.

  62. Block4 – That pretty much sums it up. He does bring stuff to the team, and if we had wingers and midfielder who were scoring plently you would have to say that he would be a vauluable asset with his hold up play. But, that is not the case, and there is no reason to think it will dramatically change. Put simply, whoever plays as our lone striker needs to be scoring on a regular basis.

  63. So, does Arsene’s team talk/instructions to Chamakh go something like this;

    AW; “Look Chammy, I have every faith in you and your abilities, you are a marvelous player. So, I want you to go onto te pitch, work really hard for the team, mainly with your back to goal, win headers, harahnge defenders but for fuck sake whatever you do, for the love of christ DO NOT FUCKIN SCORE!!!” 🙂

  64. This Arsenal side are a lot more solid and hard to beat. As a result the free flowing attacking play has changed and therefore we do not create, or score as many goals as before.

    Add to that the fact we have been missing our main fullbacks for weeks and its not wonder goals are at a premium.

  65. Forget the specifics of the tackle……if the match had been played at the Etihad stadium…..

    would Kompany have seen red?

    yellow?

  66. From a Leeds Fan – A good goal from a true legend – well done Arsenal, you were better than us by a country mile.
    And this time, you did not resort to cheating like last year (Walcott’s admission to diving to win the penalty)
    Marching on Together

  67. I thought Coquelin had signed a new deal already? SSN saying he’s just signed a new long term deal. Cool! Now hopefully we will have some good news on his inju….. Hahahahahahaa!

  68. It was at the Etihad Arsesesh. 🙂

    Andy

    Good luck for the season dude, although I was at Elland Rd last year for the replay and some of your fellow fans are a bunch of cunts!

  69. Woah there Dexter, we don’t create as many as before? We definitely don’t score as many as before, but we create plenty of chances. The consensus among people I know is that we should have been out of sight against Fulham, for instance, apart from some piss-poor finishing. Yes, we should have had a penalty, but we still should have won that game at a canter. Some hard work needs to be done on the training ground about the finishing of the players who occupy the front three positions especially, apart from van Persie the goal returns of the team in general haven’t been up to scratch this season.

  70. Arsession – It was at their dump.

  71. Block4

    Not a surpise you see things differently, considering how much moaning you do! We definitely do NOT create as many chances as in previous seasons, that doesnt mean the finishing is in great shape either though. Against Fulham we should have gone in 2-0 at HT at least. Then again, the piss poor 2nd half didnt help matters.

  72. Coqeulin is here to stay.

    http://www.arsenal.com/news/news-archive/coquelin-signs-new-long-term-contract

    Excellent job – another young player blossoms into becoming a proper member of the Arsenal squad. It really is at about a rate of one every season off the conveyor belt now.

    Song, Wilshere, Chezz, Coquelin plus, arguably, Frimpong, Miquel who I would say are nearly there but not yet established. Who will be next? Yennaris, Afobe, Ozzy, Bartley?

    Also what has happened with Wellington? Still not making the bench. Been a disastrous start to his Arsenal preparations. I’d not be surprised if he slips back to South America and we don’t hear much of him ever again – but lets hope not.

  73. arsession…that game WAS played at the etihad.

  74. Beat you all to itl, so stop giving it the big un 🙂

  75. It would be just so “Wenger” – I think – to figure out that since top (game changing) strikers are so expensive, so rare, and in many ways so vulnerable (to injury), and we have one of the best already, that a team needs to work alternative systems that produce goals from various patterns of play, the effectiveness of which can be proven, tested and expressed in terms of various ratios.

    Of course it does finally depend on getting the ball into the net.

    In the film, I am extending my boundaries here, the team manager discovers something similar (from a young economist): that big “game changers” are statistically less effective, and more expensive by far, than little game changers able to do specific jobs to a strategy.

    Our main strategy, put very crudely is to keep and control the ball longer, and create chances statistically by a far higher level of team-passing according, I assume, to various patterns of play. And hey presto, we buy a striker able to keep the ball in a specific situation, and “present” it to follow up players in a specific way.

  76. Arsesession – I really don’t get your point but given that you don’t know which stadium it was being played in maybe I’m stretching it to think you have one! 😉

    Don’t understand why we are still discussing it. Until any of the apologists come up with anything that excuses a two footed scissor tackle there is nothing left to discuss. The ref is entitled to view that as dangerous by the laws of the game.

    Never use 2 feet unless you are a fucking idiot.

    No sympathy for the stupid.

  77. I always thought Arsenal acquired Chamakh to give the club a plan B in attack. It is quite obvious that his style of play is distinct from RvP.

    Chamakh played very well last night……the same style of play that made him effective when he joined Arsenal.

    Set aside the joy of last night…….as fans we are still confronted with a frustrating attack.

    Other than Henry…….did any of our players have a “shot on target”? I can only recall – ONE.

  78. Sorry mates….got my venues crossed.

  79. It’s just conjecture, and it doesn’t take into account that Chamakh may also be failing in certain specifics (well let’s include that, because it seems to be the case), just that it is not as simple as we might assume, and that Chamakh – shorn of goal-scoring form, which happens to the best – is playing precisely to his strengths and instructions.

  80. Where’s the moaning Dexter? It seems the manager and players themselves agree with me:

    http://www.arsenal.com/news/news-archive/walcott-i-need-to-get-among-the-goals
    http://www.arsenal.com/news/news-archive/wenger-fantastic-gervinho-only-lacks-goals

    Slaggiong me off doesn’t change the fact that we create plenty of chances to win games, but our finishing is letting us down.

  81. AOC isn’t afriad to shoot, and he does it pretty well. I reckon he will chip in with quite a few goals once he gets playing time.

  82. Didn’t see the tackle as a sending off Jonny.

    Only another example of the inconsistency in the officiating.

    Anyway, the FA will have the final say.

  83. We had the same number of shots on target last season against Fulham (9) as this season. We scored twice as many goals last season (and van Persie was only a sub). 😉

  84. Jonny, I gave a reason at 11:47. If you aren’t set right for the sliding tackle your trailing leg can go anywhere. I don;t even think this tackle was a yellow, but if that is a red card then defenders shouldn’t ever go to ground.

  85. As I said last night, some of the defence and praise for Chamakhs ‘excellent’ performancen is a bit desperate.

    Good work rate, held the ball up well at times, but a centre forward (who is supposed to be unstoppable in the air), who doesnt shot, attack the ball, attack the near post, or do anything apart from jog in a straight line into the box is not an Arsenal standard striker.

    We don’t have to make every glove fit.

    There is no criminal harm in thinking players arn’t suited to our club. If Chamakh is suited to a 4-4-2, or playing with a partner, why do we never show any flexibility at all in our set up to accomdate this?

    Chamakh gone, and Park’s signing looking ominious, I still fully expect us to sign a striker, not to sit on the bench, but a player who believes he should start.

  86. For me, AOC needs to be included in EPL squads.

    4 home games on the trot we have laboured to score, we need options and alternatives off the bench.

    The fearless AOC will certainly offer that.

    I’d have much more confidence in the young Englishman providing a matchwinning spark than Park, Rosicky, Chamakh and Arshavin.

    We need to pick a side on form. Not reputation and favouritism.

  87. Thank god neither Rosicky nor Arshavin have ever provided that “spark”. But I fully agree, we need to pick on form, not on reputation, favouritism or and I feel you have forgotten this in your list, hope or potential.

  88. @Markus – that is not a reason. It’s not even close. In all the years I played, I never once made a sliding tackle like that. If you can’t make a tackle without adhering to the rules (which are extremely clear regarding the use of two feet) then don’t make the tackle. To suggest this is a moratorium on players ever going to ground, is an extraordinary conclusion because it is a simplistic overreaction.

    @Arsesession “Didn’t see the tackle as a sending off Jonny” Yes, I think we already established that! However simply stating your opinion is not a convincing engagement in this non-existent debate. Might as well just sit here saying

    “Did”!

    “Didn’t”!

    In perpetuity.

    As Mark Pascall put it, rather succinctly –

    “…even with multiple replays from different angles, the jury is still split. It’s a case of setting an example. There really isn’t a need for tackles like that. He may have won the ball, but as many have already stated, you can still severely injure somebody like that”

  89. Luke – “I still fully expect us to sign a striker, not to sit on the bench, but a player who believes he should start.

    Heh. “Expect”, or hope?

  90. Thierry Henry, the ultimate Christmas present albiet a couple weeks late. It think TH stands for thank heavens (for the bearded savior.) Great game, could not have written a better script in Hollywood. Really excited to see what happens with TH or the left and RVP in the middle. Hope thats the way we line up for all the games TH has with us.

    1 – 0 to the Arsenal. Credit to Arsene and the our much maligned coaching staff for getting the team organized and concentrating for a full 90 minutes at the back. Keeping a clean sheet with a make shift defense like yesterday is the more evidence that we may have finally conquered the demons of the last 5 years. I am very happy we played a strong team for the FA cup and I hope we can lift that trophy at the end of this season. It would certainly be a big boost for next season.

  91. On the topic of tackling and cards, it really pisses me off that pundits and the media go on and on about “no intent” and “not malicious”.

    Nowhere in the rule book do the words “intent” or “malicious” appear.

    The relevant words in the rule book refer to recklessness, lack of control, and refer to actions in a manner in which an opponent or the player himself could be injured.

    Intent, malicious or otherwise, has absolutely f-all to do with it.

  92. I think we are dwelling far too much on Kompanys card.

    He loses his appeal, its a 5? match ban.

    No Toures’, No Kompany and they could drop points.

    Also, if he committed that foul against one of our charges, there would be wild uproar about the desire to kick us out the game.

  93. Jonny, I suppose the difference then lies in your interpretation of ‘using two feet’. Using them for what? If both feet are involved in going for the ball then yes, it’s two-footed.

    Luke, any striker we may or may not sign will sit on the bench next to Chamakh and Park. Money well spent…

  94. They way the ball zipped off Henry’s foot, just out of reach of the diving keeper and into the goal in a split second was a sight. I think it is all down to technique and spatial awareness, Thierry simply knew when to strike the ball and at what angle to get maximum return. To be very honest, only RVP has that similar ability in our team at the moment, and probably why goalkeepers have the game of their lives against us too often for our liking.

  95. Still not sure what to think about the Kompany tackle. Its just another example of how difficult it is to ref football games and again point out how ref inconsistency is an unaviodable fact of life in the football. Best to stop concerning ourselves with something we can’t control.

    Fergie must be behind on his hush money payments to the FA and they are punishing him by rigging the FA cup draws against him and knocking him out of the CC with an off side goal.

    Now would be the perfect time to add a really good goal scorer on a permanent basis. TH gives whomever comes in some extra time to adjust and he will be ready to lead the line next season if RVP’s contract negotiations don’t go the way we hope this summer.

  96. So now we have Pires training with us as well? Must be good for the younger players learning curve,

  97. Kompany was a red card. Brave and correct decision by Foy there. More of the same please.

  98. Why so Markus? Why are we not trying to sign a player who will make our first team better?

    Why are we not signing a player who will look at Walcott, Gervinho and heck even RVP, and believe he should be starting? And if he doesnt start, the players who are will have to be playing at thier peak.

    Case in point is Kalou. If true, could be we dont know. Why are we looking to sign a Chelsea reserve, to come be our reserve?

    Now before some original genius asks me who we should buy, save your time, I’m not privee to a multi million pound, top of the range scouting network.

    One thing I am certain of – there is 100% available players, in our price range, who are better than what we have.

    Demba Ba has a £10 million release fee apparently. I’d much much rather him rotating on the flanks or starting up front instead of our current options.

    NOt saying we should do it (personally, we should aim higher) but he is a ready made, available striker better than what we currently turn to.

  99. I think it is good to have people like Henry around to show scamps like Nasri their place.

  100. Pires back ?

    I was delighted with Lehman, Campbell, Henry coming back, same for Bobby.

    True Arsenal legends and winners being in the mix can only be positive

  101. Jonny……
    gave specifics to the tackle on Sunday:

    ” how do you execute a sliding tackle and keep your studs down?”

    I did not see his feet above the ball, which is the usual case for studs up.

    He took the ball cleanly with the inside of the right ankle….and the lead foot was ball level.
    I did not see his trailing foot make any contact nor be elevated upward.

  102. F**k what Nasri thinks of Henry!

    What happened the uncommitted cretin still residing in our squad / payroll!!!!

  103. *what about

  104. Luke

    We have signed Matias Suarez. Joins in the summer so no one else will be coming in up ftont.

  105. Sounding as though there may be truth to the rumour on Suarez Mk II – if it IS true that he’s joining in the summer then we would have him, possibly Joel Campbell as well, plus Afobe coming through…(maybe another loan for Benik)

    I suspect Arshavin will be sold on – Ryo & Gervinho will vie for that berth.

    The big question is will RVP stay? I think the temp signing of Henry can only help us in this respect. What better example of the utter joy that the true love of fans and a club can bring, than watching Henry’s reaction and bond to this special club??? Up to him decide what he wants from the remainder of his football career. I think he has enough heart and class to wish to see it through with us but then what would we be prepared to sanction as a salary? £130K a week? More?

    There has to be an upper limit – especially if we were to be offered £50M or more…

    Also will he want a symbol of intent – a marquee signing..?

  106. The technique can be dangerous when used improperly.

  107. Happy Birthday to Frimpong, have a Dench of a time lad. 🙂

  108. patrick vieira = scrutinised and victimised by english refs …..why? cause he could rip united apart.

    arsenal post invincibles = they dont like it up em (alex ferguson on neville/reyes) a nation of neanderthals lead by a peasant with his chewing gum turn against the most innocent team in epl , a team of 17-22 year old kids trying to develop and start their careers. they called us soft, they called us cheats, they called us moaners…

    the above treatment results in eduardo , ramsey , diabby to leave the pitch with broken legs, other players decided there is no point fighting a lost battle.

    a few weeks ago a provacateur who was kissing badghes and trying everything he could to psyche out his opponent went after the end of the game to cry to the cameras about being racially abused…the player belongs to manchester united..the player with the ban belongs to liverpool.

    a few days ago another united player with his “non influence” gets an opponent sent off and banned for 3-4 matches. co0incidentally this defender belongs to the team united is chasing for the title.

    i dont want to be abusive,as i note my comments dont get posted when i abuse manchester united, BUT i expect our fans to make life a living hell for that chewing gum freak and his cheating players. hostile even. i expect the same with liverpool from the kop. cancers like united need drastic measures

  109. @piresrobert7

    And of course i am training just to maintain my fitness level! But thanks I appreciate you all want me back at Arsenal!

  110. Thats a big shame then Dups.

    Will bite us in the backside I feel

  111. Arsession – are you actually suggesting it wasn’t two footed?

    Contact is utterly irrelevant BTW.

  112. the real issue is that again ramsey while putting in a good work can’t put shots on target AT ALL…yes Arshavin put played very well and was showing man of the match potential( until Henry did what Henry does)

    Arsene either needs to play a midfield of Arshavin(until Jack comes back), Arteta and Song and put Theo and Ox(until Gervinho comes back from ACN) out wide and then bring on Henry and Ramsey or have Rosciky replace Ramsey

    But I still fill that we need a striker or a wide man or Arsene to give Park a run and see if he shows true because clearly the match last night showed that we need another striker that isnt Chamakh(only because he doesn’t fit the system in place) and we need 1 very soon

  113. Any news on the extent of Coquelin’s injury and what was wong with Mertesacker yesterday? Not keen on facing Man Utd with yesterday’s backline.

  114. Two footed, airborne, studs showing and most importantly not in control. When you go airborne like that you cannot control the impact. And getting the ball is completely irrelevant.

  115. The two footed thing is a bit of a red herring to be honest.

    Any player who lunges at an opponent in challenging for the ball from the front, from the side or from behind using one or both legs, with excessive force and endangering the safety of an opponent is guilty of serious foul play

    Excessive force is the deciding factor, and that of course is all down to opinion.

  116. Keysersoze

    Monstersacker & Rosicky were ill

  117. And some cheek from Mancini to complain about opposition influencing the referee after flashing imaginary card just the other day.

  118. Ill is very vague dupsffokcuf. I mean both a flu and Fletcher’s condition can be termed as being ill. I am waiting to hear the best on both of them.

  119. The danger now, of course, is that everyone reads too much into Thierry’s heroic return with an early goal, as the media hype goes into hyper-gush drive. My guess is that TH12 will be the model team player, in every respect, and not want to raise the roof on expectations. He will try his best, work hard, make some mistakes, not always score but play some part; and with luck bag a few more.

  120. ARSENAL just signed matius suarez on a pre contract agreement so he wont arrive until the summer which also means we wont get a striker in this window i would imagine, good signing though

  121. CI

    Some won’t admit it, but everyone knows we need another goal scorer. Its just a matter of us going out of our comfort zone with the finances. The way the market works its just probably close to impossible find a goal scorer who is a “good value”. Good defenders can still fly under the radar and there is probably value in that market, but its much more difficult to find good goal scorers that are value priced.

  122. Keysersoze

    It was supposed to be similar to Walcott’s illness

  123. Where is the news on Matias Duarez? Couldn’t find anything on google.

  124. report by javier perez

  125. Keysersoze, airborne, really?

    Second last word I’ll say, if Koscielny or Vermaelen were sent off for that tackle I’d be livid.

    Last word I’ll say, when refs decide to make an example of someone invariably United benefit.

  126. Andy – yes but forget the letter of the law which is ambiguous and open to interpretation, ‘two footed tackles’ have, for some time now, been synonymous with equalling excessive force. It’s the added momentum. There isn’t a fan, player or referee that does not know this and is not aware of how seriously it is taken.
    2 footed tackles are a premiership taboo and have been for years – if Kompany is too dumb to have somehow not noticed this, then at least he’ll remember for next time and as a bonus for the safety of others it might raise awareness amongst others too.

  127. ‘some won’t admit it but everyone knows we need another striker’

    So what’s that then? Two strikers signed ten days into the window? Ok, one is a rumour for a summer signing, but well, how could I resist the allure of a summer signing made in the winter.

  128. Ah.
    You’ve got to love the gr*t.
    Amazing, I couldn’t sleep last night.

    RVP’s 100th, goal for the 125th anniversary, last night. What a club, what a team!

    Arsenal.

  129. Markus – I bet if it’d been the same tackle, but on Ramsey, I bet you’d have been spitting obscenities. I’m pretty certain you’d see things differently.

  130. Yennaris was unlucky not to start against Olympiakos I thought, what with Greece being a potential land of his forfathers or even his formothers. Maybe it isn’t? But he was still unlucky to miss out.

    Not bad for a 6th choice RB. Not bad at all.

  131. Blimey Jack Wilshire has just tweeted that Robert Pires is currently back in training with Arsenal…..all we need know is Bergkamp, Vieria, Sol, Freddie and Lauren and we will be top of the league by February! 🙂

  132. the sending off just masked an awful display by hoy who got a hundred decisions wrong on the day and in the last minute when utd were panicking and had a chance to clear hoy tackled a utd player giving city one more chance to score.on the sending off if anybody starts by saying “by the letter of the law” you know their wrong,so this and the fact that hoy thinks it was sending off means it cant possibly be.

  133. now not ‘know’ – poor spelling! (must do better)

  134. Henry will also help the supply of balls to Walcott as you could see him time adn time again telling his midfield players to send feed him balls and play him foward. That i think will be 1 of the biggest assests to having him on the field and in training is that he will help Walcott and the midfield understand how best to use Walcott and understand that his pace on the flanks is only rivaled by an extremely few LB and RB(last night he was drifting and interchanging) and that will also help to create even more chances for late runs into the box (for f***s sake anybody but Ramsey)

  135. < Olympiacos F.C.

  136. i also think that with all of our injuries I think that Miquel is gaining valiable experience and played very well last night and showed his potential and with Yennaris we have the makings of something special and hopefully just get Gibbs off the books because all he does is collect a paycheck and then get injured again

  137. Look at this from our missing Muppet

    MuppetGooner Muppet
    Imagine this team: Szczesny,Sagna, Kos, Verm, Santos, Song, Diaby, Wilshere,Gervinho,The King, RVP
    and subs – Fab,Mertesacker,Ramsey,Arshavin,Arteta,Gibbs,Jenkinson,Walcott

    See,There is a man who knows a thing or two about football.

    My I would swap AA for 3G’s .but you all know that.

  138. I think it was a red and if all ref’s would apply the same standards we would see a better game and Arsenal winning more matches.

  139. Was thinking the same last night, Finsbury. The fullback production line just keeps on giving. I imagine Pat Rice is a big part of the whole fullback process; selection, coaching, managing. He was one of the best.

  140. Good luck, Luke Freeman.

  141. If there was an outside chance of referees applying the laws of the game consistently, we should now anticipate a rash of red cards for similar Kompany-esque tackles, regardless of whether the ball was won or not.

    However, consistency is not their strongest card so I suspect Kompany will consider his collection of the Rooney-sponsored red one was somewhat unfortunate in the overall scheme of things. The richness of the irony that Mancini lived and died by the imaginary red card in more or less the same week was not lost on me or others; I’d love to see that gesture outlawed. Would have been great to see the shrieking Shrek despatched for ungentlemanly conduct …

    Me, I’m truly torn between wanting to see genuinely committed football and not wanting ever again to see the Diaby/Ramsey/Eduardo horrors. And I don’t really know the answer but in fairness to Kompany, the precedent has been well and truly set and anyone thinking of re-enacting his actions should, in even a vaguely ‘just’ world, now know what to expect.

    Great write up on the game YW – I can only recall one other Emirates occasion when the stadium was SO electrified and that was last season’s Barca match.

    Not sure if Henry’s movement off the ball was well picked up by the tv cameras but from pitch side at least, it was a sight to behold. And the goal? Just poetry in motion. Couldn’t believe he’d got himself in that position to be able to place it; for him to finish was the script no-one would have dared write and still expect to be taken seriously …

    Another irony – Arshavin being repeatedly blocked and fouled throughout the match, winning next to nothing from the referee other than a yellow card on the one single occasion he joined in with the spirit of the Leeds game.

    Seemed like one rule for Leeds … but no, that wouldn’t be consistent, would it?

  142. George:

    I did not think it was a red at the time but the more I hear today the more convinced I am that it was a correct call..

    Football is a strange game. Even with all the replays how many times is there still debate about how a play should be called. The other sports I follow, American baseball, American football, Basketball almost never have calls that get debated after all the replays. Its quite clear which way the call should have gone. Many times the officials make a mistake but usually which way the decision should have gone is clear cut. Unfortunately that is often not the case in football. Before the days of multi angle slow motion replays we were blissfully ignorant of all this potential controversy.

  143. P.George

    Diaby in front of Arteta in the starting line up.Are you mentally retarded

    Henry has said it himself he cant start games just come on like he did last night.Dont you listen to any of the interviews?

  144. I would like more game time for the Ox
    His shots are consistently on target( works the keeper) I know he is a bit raw, but certainly never dull

  145. Arse or brain –
    “on the sending off if anybody starts by saying “by the letter of the law” you know their wrong,so this and the fact that hoy thinks it was sending off means it cant possibly be”

    That’s about the least intelligent input so far today. Let’s conveniently overlook the fact that Hoy made mistakes in both directions, including the bona fide penalty he denied the scum, and deride the referee as clearly biased. Then we can use that as the basis of a conclusion that supports our argument.

    You may as well have put “The referee is obviously a Man Utd supporting cunt, and that is why he gave the decision to send off Kompany.

    Lets ignore the evidence including the important fact that at least 50% (and probably more) of the people who watched it agree with the decision, and instead draw conclusions based on speculative bullshit and prejudiced opinion.

    I know some Man Utd fans and even they were split by the decision. FFS.

  146. Defenders? meh. Who needs them.

    Am distraught that Coquelin’s injury meant that I did not get to see Ryo play last night.

    *sobs*

  147. Someone who thinks Diaby is an automatic starter in our side with everyone fit is beyond deluded.

    I doubt he’d make the bench.

    Where is he? Whats happened to him now? Another minor muscle twang keeping him out for months?

    How do we even know that he is a decent footballer anymore when he cant play for 20 minutes in consecutive matches?

  148. Arsenal Andrew – very interesting post there, mate. I feel your anguish with regards not wanting to take commitment & physicality out of football altogether. It’s a tricky line to tread.

    However, you seem to think that this is a watershed moment, which implies that lots of players have, in the recent past, got away with very similar challenges. I don’t see it this way. To my mind all challenges involving two feet coming forwards have been taboo for quite a few years now. There are also plenty of previous examples of bookings and ‘sending offs’, where no contact was made.

    This should certainly serve as a reminder of how seriously it is taken, but Kompany had to have known what he was doing was both wrong and unnecessary.

    You CAN be committed and go with one foot – frankly, these days you should be ‘committed’ if you don’t

  149. Jonny:

    When the calls are inconsistent which is inevitable then everyone thinks they are getting the the worst of the calls. Human nature and selective memory help us to modify the evidence to support the conclusion rather then the other way around.

  150. Bill – I have to say I am struggling with the latest set of rule changes in the NFL. I follow less avidly than I used to but there seems to be a lot of new rules about where and how you are allowed to tackle (use of the helmet) etc. It’s hard to keep up!

  151. C, Good point re Thierry pointing out balls that should be played to Theo. Much of the disappointment with Theo stems from the fact that we dont play the ball to him quick enough – and in front of him for him to run onto rather than when he is static and tightly marked. It was also clear from Theo’s embrace of Thierry at the end of the game that he worships him.

  152. Big Johan, you could see Walcotts confidence playing with Henry. Walcott also was willing and got back to being more direct and getting into the box when he did get the ball played to him and infront of him. If Henry help his confidence and Walcott can completely believe in himself again we could see the potential that we all know is there mixed with his pace become an even more dangerous weapon for us and 1 that other teams will truly fear even more.

  153. jonny you clearly didnt read my post at no point did i say hoy was bias just incompitant i said his whole performance was bad e.g he got a hundred decisons wrong i even gave the example of him tackling a utd player and nearly letting city back in ,so you clearly got the wrong end of the stick. i suggest not reading post would be a better example of lack of intelligence so well done

  154. Why is Kompany getting so much traction? The (arguably) favourites are out, he is suspended for a min of 4 domestic games (second straight red of the season), and what could have been a terrible challenge has been punished at the maximum of the laws of the game.

    Its something that we should embrace. There was no need for him to leave the ground, show 12 studs, and scissor whilst in the air.

    In realtime, always a red card.

  155. Bill agreed – but most of the people on here should not give much of a rat’s arse and yet a small minority are so blinkered they are actually choosing to ignore the blatant penalty that wasn’t given just so it fits their “the ref was a Man Utd, as usual, narrative”. It’s not a question of who got the worst call but outright revisionism and selective viewing – so the referee can unfairly labelled as a cheat

    Imagine these people being selected for jury duty – just horrifying.

    For me, in this instance it isn’t mild bias, it’s outright idiocy. Regardless of whether you agree with that, it’s surely completely the wrong platform to use for a discussion about the legality and dangers of Kompany’s challenge?

  156. Pires training at Arsenal
    Could it?

  157. Just to point out Chris Hoy is a track cyclist. Chris Foy is the referee.

    The spuds abused the former on twitter after the latter refused them 2 pelanty clams

  158. doh

  159. Arse or brain – I did read it, but it was difficult to discern that as your meaning – you only cited the actions that seemed to favour Man Utd. Regardless, if I now understand you correctly, you’re saying that Hoy was so incompetent that, ergo sum, he MUST have got the Kompany decision wrong?

    The logic in that is spectacularly flawed. If we assume he got that wrong then that would also mean we could equally assume he got every other decision wrong. He did not make ‘a hundred bad decisions’, though he did make quite a few. It matters not it should not stop us from taking every decision on individual merit.

    You also assume he deliberately tackled a Man Utd player – a startling allegation. Why would he do that deliberately? Do you think he had an agenda and if so what was it – to risk his reputation and career by deliberately, physically interfering in the game.

  160. http://www1.skysports.com/football/news/11661/7421960/

    I suppose all arguments are irrelevant now

  161. Dups – Heh, quite.

  162. So he misses the one against the Totts. Sure hope our neighbours don’t capitalise.

  163. Thanks Dups – annoyingly I picked that up along the way this afternoon. Damn memes.

    In other, less contentious, news – Arsenal are reputedly targeting £8m rated defender Cissokho from Lyon. I’d say that’s less than likely. It’s a loan deal or nothing one suspects.

  164. @spy, have we lost so much hope in Arsene signing players because well he’s Arsene that we hope he signs Pires, Henry and well for that matter just sign the whole lot of The Invincibles

  165. i wish Wenger would just dump Gibbs and sign Cissokho who would be a great cover for Santos or Sagna

  166. Jonny @ 3:30:

    I forgot about the new rules regarding using the helmet to tackle in american football. Those decisions can be nebulous. The intent of the laws to prevent serious injuries is good and similar to the rules regarding tackling in futbol. I also like to see that American football is doing as much as possible to protect quarterbacks. I like the idea that the laws are strictly enforced because anything that gives the advantage to the attacking player and prevents injury is good. The game is a lot less interesting if RVP or Leo Messi goes off with a sprained ankle. When you watch the replays of sliding tackles in football games its absolutely amazing that anyone could play the game professionally and still have ankle ligaments.

  167. I hate comments like these. They offer no insight apart from numbers.

    Block4 said
    “ZimPaul, I think your analysis of Chamakh’s play is a pure case of an attempt to justify a pitiful goal return. Relating back to your post: Chamakh at Arsenal, 58 games, 12 goals, Adebayor at Arsenal, 143 games, 62 goals.”

    RVP was injured regularly and was not on fire like he is now, that was more time for Ade to be the main striker. We used to play with 2 upfront and Ade was one of our main strikers in that formation, Chamakh comes off the Bench. Ade also played in a team that had more creative players feeding him the ball. He did score some good individual goals though.

    When Chamakh started every match due to RVP being injured, how was his scoring record? Would he score more if we played with 2 upfront?

  168. Chamakh, didn’t need to score last night. His brilliant passes found wide open players, players in better positions to score then he was. Their lack of finishing is not his fault.

  169. jonny although my writing is not that of the bard i have read my post again and i started by saying the decison masked an awful display, when he disrupted the play in the last minute I wasnt suggesting he was bias just commical, if city had scored from it it would have finished a woeful performance.If you forget the major incidents and look at the amount of smaller things he got wrong which can have a big impact on the game. The sending off shouldnt be the talking point but how can we let refs of such poor standard be in the game. I thought we played poorly last night but again the ref was poor!

  170. C@
    Apart from our defensive worries
    Just hope he looks at a striker to come in

  171. Well Paul-N, he may well score more if he played with two up front. The point is moot though, we don’t play that way so we need someone who can slot into the system we do play when required. It’s been about a year now that Chamakh has been in poor form, if we give him last season as one of adaptation, if he can’t do the business when necessary now then I don’t think it’s unfair to be seeking someone who can.

  172. Agreed he was awful – seems, by and large, they all are these days! Still don’t think that this means he got that particular decision wrong.

    The penalty he denied was a far ‘clearer cut’ decision and, for that, probably the worst of the lot.

    The ‘tackle’ I just thought was accidental – sometimes the ref is just in the wrong place and he had no motive to do that deliberately.

    But yes – another shocker from Foy – to go with the hilarious, but woefully unfair, calamity he inflicted on Spurs.

  173. Block4, we play three up front. As I said the other day Chamakh would play best in a 4-3-3 where the front three consists of him in the middle and two tricksters on either side with the freedom and cover from midfield to get forward at will.

    Look at the Ox’s goal against Olympiakos. Chamakh made the chance without even touching the ball.

  174. Markus, I’m not saying that he doesn’t do good work off the ball, but we need someone who will make an impact when van Persie is rested and Chamakh seems to do his best work when given a run of games. Those two things are incompatible as van Persie is the undisputed first choice centre forward at the club and his backup is only likely to feature sporadically. For his good work to set up the goal against Olympiacos (not that I remember what he did there, but I’ll take your word for it) the counter-argument is that we didn’t score last night until he went off.

  175. ah on something we can joyfully agree

  176. C @ 4:11:

    “i wish Wenger would just dump Gibbs and sign Cissokho who would be a great cover for Santos or Sagna”

    No need to dump Gibbs. Some players do eventually get thru their muscle injury prone stage. He certainly has potential to be a very good LB. Why not send him on loan and bring in an experienced player. If Gibbs gets healthy and becomes as good a LB as we hoped then he can come back in as first choice. Right now he takes a roster slot and we don’t get a more stable long term solution. He also gains valuable experience. Loaning him out is a win/win. Problem with that strategy is that it’s more expensive.

  177. Block4, the point is what you said is quite misleading.

  178. bill we still have to consider pedro from next season as well another reason wenger just wants to get through this season

  179. mattgoonerknight

    Sorry, probably really obvious but why is Gervinho referred to as 3Gs?

  180. From the way he spoke about himself in the 3rd person.

  181. Paul-N, ZP was the one who brought Adebayor into it, not me, I refer you to his previous post which said they play the same role.

  182. Jonny (3.27) – No, I don’t actually think for one second it actually IS a watershed moment; in my usual clumsy way I was attempting to make a comment regarding referees and the issue of consistency (or inconsistency, as it seems is so often the case).

    In other words, one week Kompany will be off, the next he’ll be allowed to play on …

    Just had the chronic misfortune to catch a few words of Adrian Durham on TalkShite Radio. He is the principal reason I don’t normally listen to the station but this afternoon he’s really taken the biscuit even by his tawdry, lamentable, standards, spending the five minutes I could stand to listen to the cretin slandering Thierry Henry and belittling everything Arsenal. Apparently Tel’s goal last night was the equivalent of a tap in and he only scored thanks to the fatigue of the Leeds defence.

    A miserable little creep if ever there was one; Darren Gough (his co-host and former England cricketing star bowler) demeans himself by continuing to broadcast at his side.

  183. @bill, the problem with loaning him is that he’s never fit enough for us to loan him. yes he has potential but he like you said “Some players do eventually get thru their muscle injury prone stage.” but the question is when and are we willing to wait for that to happen while having him take a roster spot.

    Even more you made my point for me: “Right now he takes a roster slot and we don’t get a more stable long term solution.” that is why if Arsene signs Cissokho it would thus make Gibbs expendable

  184. That doesn’t change anything Block4 (I did read what was said). The numbers you used, lacked information apart from the numbers. If Chamakh was in the same situation as Ade was, I dare say his number would be better than they are now. Possibly not as good, but also possibly better, who knows.

    Also, how long was Ade at Arsenal before he really started scoring? Chamakh started scoring straight away.

  185. arsenalandrew

    You deserve to be roundly whipped for listening to that idiot anyway. 🙂

  186. Chamakh’s lack of scoring is straight in line with his lack of play. To me, due to an on fire RVP and our early season issues. The manager is trying to ensure wins as much as possible.

  187. mattgoonerknight

    Thanks dups

    so – “Gervino did this” ; “Gervinho did that”?

    Right, 3rd person Gervinho = 3Gs

    No wonder I’ve not seen it used elsewhere ; )

  188. Paul-N, does that not mean Adebayor had a settling in period (which is only to be expected) and then started scoring regularly? Chamakh seems to have doen the reverse which is a much sorrier state of affairs. Once again, I take your point that in the same situation, he may or may not have done better. If I take ZP’s point about playing the same role then the numbers are very relevant, in fact they are the only statistic that tells the difference. If I don’t take that on board then the argument is still moot, we play the way we play and Chamakh doesn’t seem to be able to score int he system and/or given the amount of games he will get with van Persie as first choice. In that case I think it only prudent for the manager to look for alternatives who can increase the goal output over what Chamakh gives us. I don’t really get why that is the least bit controversial.

  189. ACLF speak is a language all of it’s own. 😀

  190. Arse or Brain @ 4:47:

    Pedro has been on loan for several years. Traore also had great potential but he washed out. There is always a reason to “get through this season”. I think it has cost us points in the past. This year the penalty for dropped points could be missing 4th which is a much bigger problem then dropping from 1st or 2nd down to 3rd or 4th. Frustrating, there are always rationalizations for not giving ourselves the best chance.

  191. dups – agree.

    Momentary lapse of concentration.

    Paid the price.

  192. Block4, numbers are as good as the facts behind them.

    Overall, you gave numbers that lacked depth, trying to undermine the point that ZP made. The issue is, they are misleading for they don’t tell the whole story. I am not sure why you cannot see that.

  193. Again, I am not sure what is so difficult with this. Ade started and RVP being injured gave him time to get going, plus we played with 2 strikers. Once RVP was fit, Chamakh was benched. The situations are not the same, apart from what ZP spoke about, them both holding up the ball and looking the lay the ball off.
    I feel for the guy, work so hard, your team mates don’t score and then you are the one being talked about. What a joke.

  194. Mmmmmmm.
    So Luke thinks Muppet is beyond deluded.
    Let me mull this over.Who’s opinion to I value the most????
    Muppet or Luke?????
    Sorry Luke,you lost.

  195. i want to give him a cuddle..
    last night was amazing..the feeling i got when he scored was one that is up there with the win at anfield in 89.

    it was great when he came on…agree with the post…you instantly had the feeling that a goal was coming…when he made that run and song found him as soon as he shaped his body you just knew he was going to control it and curl it in,….

  196. Paul N I disagree with your earlier comment, Chamakh didnt need to score last night. ? We desperately needed some one to score! He is our main striker when RVP is not on the pitch. So why does he not need to score? It took a 34 year old who was acording to some on here not fit to come any where our team a few weeks ago to get the goal that didnt seem to be coming from any where else. Our strikers of all people need to score. I dont think Chamakh is as shit as he is made out to be but he is not doing what needs to be done. Yes its not his fault others could not put his set ups away but if he is just in the team to lay it off to others we need to get some others that can feed off him.
    To break it down, he is a striker and should be scoring goals. Not trying to set up our other goal shy players.

  197. It took a 34 year old who was acording to some on here not fit to come any where our team a few weeks ago

    “some on here”GJ????
    Really???
    Can you name names???
    Happy NY btw.

  198. George there were many who said they didn’t want him near our team. I really cant be arsed to go back back see who it was.
    Happy new years to you to Mate. Im still stuck in the festive spirit, got a x mas party tonight to go to to follow up the 2 i had to attend on the week end. Cant take much more.

  199. 1. Song is proving to be a tremendous player and i feel if he would have had to go off to the ACN we would have issues like Shiteh are having without Yaya.

    2. Chamakh played good last nite and his layoffs just happen to be for shitty shooters like Ramsey who couldn’t hit the Ocean if he was swimming in it.

  200. Rumours emerging that Balotelli told everyone to fill their cars up whilst he was at the petrol station and he would pay for them. I hope this is true – he is a godsend for the premiership and anyone who loves a good character.

    GJ – happy new year, mister.

    I’d say, overall, Chamakh played very well yesterday. He created chances at, least one of which was badly squandered by Arshavin. Had AA not fluffed his lines a few times, Chamakh’s lack of goals would have seemed less material.

  201. songs been off colour last few games…for 89 mins last night he might as well been wearing a leeds shirt with the amount of possession and needless fouls he gave away..the assist was the saving grace…

    chamakh worrked hard but still wasnt a goal threat…he drops too deep..he plays as a midfielder most of the time and what the point when weve got three midfielders to do the spraying of passes…hes shit scared to get in the box and as a lead striker thats his job and that why he scores fuck all…

    for 70 mins we didnt have a striker on the pitch last night…and when we put one on we scored..

  202. arshavin upped his game last night..very direct running and alot of it, very good to see…
    but that final product still eludes him…but signs last night hes coming back..which is good cos if he comes back then gervinho dont get back in the team..

  203. Happy New year Jonny..
    Chamakh had his best game for some time. Was good to see, I am a fan of his and would love for him to come good. Just dont like having our season riding on it, because if RVP does go down we are essentially doing that.
    The real highlight for me yesterday was Arshavins performance, I know he missed a few but he really looked up for it yesterday. With a run in the side he is gonna come good for us.

  204. Twenty two full backs out injured. Do Arsenal have a ‘first eleven’?
    When was the last time Arsenal had a ‘first eleven’ on the pitch this season?

    They start by form and fitness. When one drops, or fly’s off, another will have to step up (on to the pitch!)

  205. I dont think we have had a starting eleven for a few years no to be honest.

  206. Yes – I’d agree with that entirely GJ. I do not understand why we have so many players in one team who have a collective fear of shooting on target. It seems to have spread like a virus. They are all WAY more capable than this in front of goal and yet they all seem to be gripped with disbelief.
    Maybe hypnosis is the answer?!

  207. Gerv RVP Theo
    Arteta Wilshere
    Song
    Santos Kos TV Sagna
    Scz

    That would be my guess at a ‘first team’ if everyone was fit. I wonder if they will ever start a game together?

  208. @ Bill and C

    As a home-grown player, Gibbs isn’t really denying anyone a roster place (unless we go on a spending spree). We have only five home-grown players in our Premier League squad – we’re allowed up to eight, so three available places. We’re at our quota for non-home-grown players – his departure wouldn’t affect that. I hope we keep him.

  209. Fuck me this Neymar lad looks a bit handy should sign him up before word gets out – http://www.fifa.com/ballondor/puskasaward/index.html

  210. yea Song had a couple of bad one’s but outside of those he’s part of the long term and continually shows that. yea he takes some shit fouls but also his tireless work and physicality is what we need in our midfield.

    I think some of the players can score because we’ve seen it but i also think part of teh problem is that like @jonny said its a virus and i mean FFS atleast get close like Ramsey’s blast last nite, were trying to score goals not kick field goals.

    @Billy’s Boots, I understand but FFS somebody give that boy something, between him and Diaby idk whose injured more. We will call a tie because I’m sure they’ll both come back as subs then in the same match or even practice get hurt again and then what

  211. @Jonny, Arsene wouldnt’ sign him he cost more than 6 mill

  212. Billys boots:

    I think we should keep Gibbs too but I would like to see him go on loan to a PL team for a season. No matter what the rule, if we don’t bring in another player because we still have Gibbs, then the reality is that he takes a roster spot and denies us the chance to bring someone who could contribute. Same for Park of any other player, homegrown or not.

    Jonny:

    When was the last time any team had is entire first 22 on the field for any length of time? I like TV5 too, but I would start Mert instead, either way we are in great shape at CB. Kos has become the automatic first choice of the 3 for me. The LB crisis has prevented us from finding out who will be the preferred pairing.

  213. I think the lad will be some where around the 60 mill mark bye the time he moves. Cant see him going anywhere other than Real or Barca, unless man City make a stupid offer wich will probably happen.

  214. Jonny:

    Sorry meant first 11 not first 22. Not sure where that one came from.

  215. Jonny – That is the team I would go with if everybody was fit as well. What about the bench though? Some big hitters won’t even make it as sub.

    Fabianski/Mertesacker/Gibbs/Ramsey/AA/Diaby/Chamakh

    (I have discounted loan players).

  216. Great minds, Andy.

    Maybe –

    Fabianski/Mertesacker/Gibbs/Ramsey/Rosicky/Coquelin/Chamakh

    Bloody hell! It’s damn hard work, restricting yourself to just 7!

  217. Its rather cool how when you see the interwiev at atv from Henry he praises the younger kids. Yennaris, Ox and Miqel. Telling how great they did. A great leader does that.

  218. Poodle,he was not such a “great leader” when he was captain.Lets not make him out to be more than he is.

  219. but he was young and stupid then, or atlest a bit more nasri like. I guess it comes with age…He seemed alot nicer than i remembered anyway…

  220. besides hes here now, we got to deal with him for 6 weeks, might aswell use him for what hes worth, if he gives a boost to the younger playes than nothing is better. If he praises them then nothing is better, if its genuin the nothing is better. However only those who speak to him everyday will know that.. but if a legend praises you and is genuine it must feel cool.
    its like Angelina Jolie telling you you are sexy and hot and that if she was not married to brad pit she would eat you right now.
    surly every man in the would would feel flattered and gain confidence from that…

  221. George:

    Love TH12 but DB10 will always be the greatest.

    Jonny:

    If completely healthy Diaby has to be at least on the subs bench, probably ahead of Coquelin. Diaby plays in the Song position in a pinch.

  222. Gunnerjones, Jonny’s response is what I was trying to say.

  223. Poodle .I could not help but feel Angelina was taking the piss though.

  224. Nyc Henry

  225. @Bill
    I love Diaby, but he’s never adequately filled the Song role for me – in fact he is better in a more advanced role. He is not one for holding his position and his defensive skills are, at best, mercurial. Asking him to be the anchor is a waste of his talents IMO.

    Difficulty is, for me, he is in some ways fighting with Arteta, Jack, Rambo and others for the no DM berths.

  226. Jonny ,If they were alll to play at their best,Diaby is first among them.
    Although I expect Jack will overtake him in a couple of years.

  227. ouch..thats abit harsh george..

    i wouldnt exactly describe henry as a great leader but he lead our strike force perfectly well for nearly a decade..

    the time he was captain was a time of us selling everyone off and changing our direction in what we wanted to achieve…henry was a winner and a leader…but we had started a transitional period and it made him look worse than what he actually was..besides, wenger has had a thing over the years for giving the armband to the clubs best players and not the best leaders but who else was there to chose from after everyone else had gone???
    henrys captaincy was a time of frustration.

    hes a fucking legend..what more does he have to be??

  228. So you keep telling me George, but I’ve already seen Wilshere have many, many more great games for The Arsenal than Diaby has.

    Let’s face it this is another divisive issue…

  229. I think Nasri was watcing the game cos deep deep down in his conciosness he knows he made a mistake when he left. He never realized how great Arsenal was before it was to late.. silly boy..
    i see him tweet to old arsenal mates all the time and he always tweets about the club. Never seen him tweet to City mates..

  230. dont pity Nasri, its his fault, Arsene wanted him to stay but he was chasing money and now his form and playing time for Shiteh isn’t very good at all. If he would have stayed would Arsene have spent money though?

  231. Great outcome and perfect return,

    On the Mancs/Kompany issue: who gives a fig? Certainly not me or any of the gooners I know.

    Weird

  232. @poodle

    Nasri once said in the Sun in November of 2010 when asked about William Gallas joining the Spuds: “There are always ups and downs in life but I have a lot of respect for the way a player stays loyal to his club,” “I cannot see myself going and joining the sworn enemy.” and then summer of 2011 comes and what does he do.

  233. jonny..yes two footed tackles with studs showing can easily be described as too violent and punishable with a straight red. even if the intention is to play the ball you cant go for the tackle like that. no way. i dont know what kompany;s intent was..if it was ball or player…but he seems to be making challenge on ball and making sure nani has no other options than to lose ball and jump over to avoid clash. in this respect i can not call kompany’s intentions evil. however i have no problem with the red. BUT if kompany is gonna see a red let him see it because the ref identified the tackle and intention as violent. not because rooney is screaming at him. there is a fine line of interpretation here. did the ref give red cause he himself thought so or did that short cheating slaphead influence the ref decission. and also….if we accept that two footed challenges as immediate reds on the basis of evil intention then i take it that every foul on player and not ball is also a yellow. well my friend for the last 7 years i see our opponents tackling our players and not the ball, i see two footed lunges against ours, i see violent play against our players and nothing is being done. in fact the refs promote violent play against arsenal. so even if ethically speaking kompany was wrong, the fact that the one who benefits is united makes me so sick and the manner in which rooneh influenced it infuriates me. evra did same to suarez. that club is the cancer of football. and their filthy players and ridiculous manager can go die in another plane crash for all i care. when fletcher did it to arshavin i dont remember anyone favouring us…instead they placed our manager in front of 70,000 neanderthals abusing him as a peadophile. a true gooner will never forget what that scum has done to us………a true gooner waits the united bus to arrive outside emirates and burns it with molotovs.. our name is arsenal ffs..the canon…guns!!!! arson!! but you see we have too corporate fans these days……yappies with complaints…fags and moaners or some college kids…. with numero uno college boy that south african who hasnt even got the gutts to protect wenger and the squad from the f.a … whent he hell is someone from arsenal gonna come out and put them muppets at their places? whats taking them so long? is it like arsenal have to go through test periods ? is the englsih football establishment one big effing masonry to share the titles between themselves ? and then the f.a has audacity to complain to fifa/uefa for promoting th ebarcas and milans ….like the masonry here , the msonry of uefa would rather keep the cup with th ebig ears within the family..for perez, silvio becke..the people they know. the same happens here!!! they give it to that drunken scottish bas_tard and his “english spine ” of players…….

  234. Goerge @ 7:41,

    Agree about Diaby (fitness permitting). He and Jack have more potential than I feel many recognise (well at least concerning the former).

  235. Jonny abou Diaby has played in 160 games for Arsenal
    Jack Wilshere 64
    So young Jonny ,why have you already seen Wilshere have many, many more great games for The Arsenal than Diaby has?

    Do you not watch all the games?
    Or perhaps you are better at English than you are at Maths?

  236. wilshire ahead of diaby

    diaby off the bench to change the game when we need a goal..we start with diaby and we lose the work ethic and solid midfield displays weve developed using song, jack, arteta and rambo..

    song and arteta to keep anchoring, use jack like dortmund use gotze..attacking the middle and drifting to the flanks and taking people on and helping song and arteta when we dont have the ball..

    id even put rambo over diaby to start..rambos very industrious, runs his bollox off for 90mins..we are very solid with these 4.. jack and diaby are the most creative but jacks levels above diaby in terms of overall abilities..hes more an all rounder.

    diabys very much one way, going forward….diaby from the bench though would be very helpful when we need someone to spark a game into life…but he has to get off the physios table first

  237. Or perhaps you are doing a me.Just loving your favorite player.
    I have seen Jack play well many times.I cant think of one game I would call great.

  238. Szczesny, told Ramsey he looked like a rapist on Twitter earlier today.

    After looking at a photo of his Gunners team-mate dressed in golf clothing and tweeted: “@aaronjramsey I don’t wanna be rude mate but you look like a rapist on that picture! Lol.”

    Before going onto tweet: “@aaronjramsey Looking like a rapist/pedofile isn’t a good thing either ;)”

    Chortle. Twitter is a nightmare for managers eh.

  239. Ok I will just join in then.

    I love Jack ,he is the best ,I loved the goal he scored for us and all 3 assists he got last year .

  240. I would say that Wilshere was great against Barcelona. That was some game.

  241. I really like Diaby, but would trust Wilshere in the side more. Even at his young age he is more consistent than Abou. Plus it will be easier to integrate and build around him. Diaby is injured far too often to build a side around him unfortunately.

  242. jack was man of the match against barca when we wiped the floor with them…thats one of the many great games ive seen him play..

  243. Diaby has not had the chance to be consistent. Thats the main problem.

  244. When did we wipe the floor with them JJ?

    Did I miss that game?

  245. But Yes He was great against Barca.
    I will apologise unreservedly.

  246. @NorthernGooner on twitter

    Question: Why did the chicken cross the road?
    Answer: Because it was stuffed inside Antony Worrall Thompson’s pocket!

  247. Alright George quit the attitude. 😉

    As ever it’s all a matter of opinion.

    Diaby may have appeared in many more games but I, for the most part, have seen a mercurial player who, whilst capable of moments of brilliance, is also capable terrible inconsistency. Personally I have seen Diaby play brilliantly in but a handful of games.

    Wilshere was damn consistent for pretty much a full season. Diaby, even in the rare moments when he stays fit, has not yet achieved close to that for me – and that is in spite of the fact I very much want him to.

  248. obviously goerge

    not as many as what diabys missed though eh??

  249. Did yesterday really happen?

  250. yes it really happened
    but arguing over players who dont contribute anything is more important.. 😉

  251. “but arguing over players who dont contribute anything is more important.. 😉 ”

    Just the arguing JJ. Subject is not important

  252. If we use the disclaimer that each player is healthy and has been healthy for long enough to be sharp then Diaby probably goes into the first team ahead of either Rambo or Jack. As long as our wide forwards are not scoring regularly, we neeed goals from that position. I really thought Rambo would be scoring quite a bit this season. He had shown a nose for goal in his limited starts before this season. Unfortunately that has not worked out with him as a regular starter. Jack only had 1 goal all of last season despite playing the most minutes on the team in an attacking position. If Theo and Gerv start scoring regualarly then you don’t need goals from that position as much and may be Jack is the most consistent of the 3.

  253. So lets get this straight Diaby has played nearly 100 games more than Wilshere but has never had the chance to be consistent…

  254. i wonder if henrys presence in training will help the others learn how to shoot and if he chips in with a few goals in the next few weeks i wonder if wenger will contemplate keeping him..

    to be honest id like him to stay, i dont want to see him leave again as far as in concerned hes home but this is the problem we were all saying about the 2 month loan..

    he comes in , lifts the atmosphere, does a job for a few games and then it all returns to normal with all but one player slicing it wide, kicking drop goals and smashing wormburners straight at the keeper..

  255. very true dups..

  256. Oh I see Jack is beyond question.
    1goal and 3 assists in his ,how did Jonny put it ?
    “Wilshere was damn consistent for pretty much a full season”
    Now I like Jack but come on.Its hardly numbers that shout out “I am first choice” Or does he get special “English and cockney” dispensation?

  257. George you dismiss ‘numbers’ when it suits you but use them when they suit you. Are you really suggesting Wilshere was not one of our best players last season?
    I think part of the problem here is that some fans get almost evangelical about certain players – and you’re, more than most, one of those types of fans.

  258. why is it whenever a players good enough we have to start using the english thing

    is diaby better because hes french??

    nationality doesnt matter, talent does and wenger used jack as a midfeild anchor last year even though hes an attacking player..

    hes that good…we had nobody else, denilson wasnt good enough and lost his place instanly.. diabys always in and out of the team with brittle bone disease or whatever hes got, wenger put jack there and the lad come good..adapted his game, learned the role…became key in the title challenge last year until everyone faded at the end..

    artetas here now..so jack can go back to what he was doing in the reserves, the youth team and in friendlies at the emirates cup and thats playing as an attacker who beats his man, drifts from flank to flank and creates havoc around the pen box…only this time hes got a couple of years of defensive teamwork under his belt so he fits the role that wenger asks of his modern day 10..

    this is why i want to see jack..he could be from the moon for all i care..

  259. Diaby is an awesome player. He has been consistent, so fuck you jonny 🙂
    The obvious problem is injury, not consistency. Seen Diaby in the flesh many many times have brilliant games. Its so fucked up he is always injured though.

    He is a far more potent force than Jack at present, Jack hasnt really contributed this season has he… Fucking injury prone bolsa wood made up waste of space that he is!

  260. Block4

    This is why I dont bother debating shit with you.

    YOu are too fucking thick man. Pulling up a stat about our games with Fulham and then the Gervinho article as proof?

    Go back to school and get sum ejjamayshun. No offence 🙂

  261. No Jonny ,you critisise players who you want and get upset if someone does the same too your little darling.

    He was a good player last year.Over hyped if you ask me though.

  262. “but arguing over players who dont contribute anything is more important.. 😉 ”

    Just the arguing JJ. Subject is not important

    ” hi im here for an argument” – “sorry thats room 3, this room here is for abuse|”

  263. Jack needs to add golas to his games. Diaby just needs to add games.

  264. Dex.do you like tonight’s bait?
    Mmm, yum yum.

  265. Tasty, but a bit over done for my liking though.

  266. I say, where is the information regarding this supposed signing this summer? Matias Suares?

    Thanks

  267. dex did you go last night??

  268. This is my point George – who is my favourite player??

    You cant tell me because I actually, really don’t have ‘a little darling’.

    Well apart from Dex, that is. 😉

  269. I thought I might have overcooked it ,but no,still got some bites.

  270. JJ

    Nah man, didnt. Would’ve been nice obviously.

  271. Jonny ,I think it is Jack.

  272. have you stopped going to the games this year dex?

    yeah mate it would have been a special night

  273. Well you might think that George, but I think you’ll find that you’re suggesting that primarily because it suits you to think that’s the reason. I actually prefer Diaby in most ways to Jack – and I hope he becomes the player that some are convinced he already is.

    I just think Jack is ahead of him.

    Lets hope they are both back and can fight for the berth on equal footing.

  274. Well Jonny for the record Andrei Arshavin is my favorite, then Jack.
    So where does that leave your theory about me?

  275. PG, do you know anything about this?

    “arshavin.eu: Let’s wait a while and see 🙂 … and one more question: after the victorious match against QPR, you underwent a surgery, how do you feel now?
    AA: Victorious.”

    Could that explain a few things?

  276. I still think you let your heart rule your head. 😛

  277. It’s possible to like a player without over-hyping them and being able to see where they could improve. It’s also possible to not rate a player without being abusive and failing to see the things they do well. But you rarely see that in reality.

  278. Of course I do Jonny.And I would recommend that heart over head stuff to everyone.

    Passenal,I am confused by that

  279. Passenal I would agree 100% if not for my little Andrei who just about makes me blind to any common sense,in his case.

    But I never abuse any of our players,ever.

  280. Jonny

    Aww shucks! Thanks man.

    JJ

    Nah man, still going to games, although have had an extended Xmas break this year due to, ahem personal matters! Going Sunday though.

  281. George:

    I agree with you, but I am surprised to hear that Jack only had 3 assists last season. He is an eye catching player and he looked so good doing the things he did that I would have guessed he had double figures in assists. I’m sure he will start to score and pick out the final pass better as he gets older. Time will tell what happens. I have to admit I have always been a big Diaby fan so I am somewhat biased in saying I think he would be ahead of Jack if healthy.

  282. Madrid 1-0 up after Willy did a Manuel in goal.

  283. Willy’s cock-up against Madrid.

  284. Just Another Luke

    Rooney, are you sure? In all likelihood, you should have more years to your career remaining than Sir Red Nose’s career.

    “Sir Alex is the greatest manager of all time. Of course I would like to play under him for the rest of my career.

    “He’s a great manager and is a big reason why I joined Manchester United. If I could finish my career playing under Sir Alex then I won’t have gone far wrong.

  285. What is up with AA?

    Lovely work rate, quick feet, why isn’t it quite happening.

    Having had the chance to see what the manager is seeing week in week out, I think he is Rushin’. No I mean Rushing his passes, Rushing his shots. He just looks like he could do with what a commentator refers to here as ‘composure’ with his last ball.

    A classic case of his mind being ahead of his feet, and then they have to rush to keep up. I think it is psychological. Messi should be the guide there: the quickest feet on the planet combined with a clinical desire to complete.

  286. AA never was a consistent striker of the ball, whether you like it or not. I dont know the numbers but his shots to goals ratio must be pretty bad. Please dont compare him to Messi.

    In Russia, he was a second striker and considered an intelligent man by the Russian coach Guus Hiddink. His intelligence is making good passes and finding the main striker. Occasionally, AA can finish as seen against Liverpool and Barcelona but dont depend on him to do it consistently.

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