Is This A False Dawn Or The Start Of Something New?

Chelsea’s inability to defend means that the gap to fifth has closed this weekend; OK United had help from their friends but frankly that is of no consequence to Arsenal save that it prevented three points going to West London. It is hard to decide which is the best result in tonight’s match; a win for Liverpool is the least favoured option in that it pushes Arsenal down into seventh once although it means that third place is a small step closer.

The win over Blackburn was excellent; almost cathartic in the first win this year in the League. Almost as cleansing for the soul were the three other goalscorers for Arsenal, the first time that has happened since the drubbing of Wigan at the DW Stadium.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has been revelatory in his mini-run in the side over the past fortnight. With plaudits showered on him, hype will no doubt build if he maintains his standard of performance. His manager almost got the ball rolling recently by comparing him to Wayne Rooney at that age. Such matters, I believe, are best left to the gentlemen of the Fourth Estate; hyperbole is never in short supply and with the England squad crying out of youthful zest, perhaps Oxlade-Chamberlain deserves the chance.

However, the cautionary tale of Jack Wilshere is rightly brought to the fore. Arsène noted after Blackburn that Jack had been intended to play 20-25 games, ending up playing 45 plus internationals instead. We reaped what was sown and the manager takes his share of that blame.

Yet that is too simple. Had experienced players been in better form or avoided (dubious) injuries, Jack Wilshere might not have played so many games. Injuries are sometimes unavoidable; form is something that is the responsibility of the player.

It is not hard to envisage a similar situation with Oxlade-Chamberlain. I don’t thinkt that comparisons to other Golden Generation players will particularly faze him; he seems level-headed with a good support network around him. But playing him too much? That is a hard one to judge, especially with each player’s physique being so different. It is a harsh lesson to learn but Arsène no doubt regrets playing Wilshere when the stats told him otherwise.

Players form is transient; a good game rapidly followed by indifferent is not unusual. At this moment, Arsenal can ill-afford prolonged bouts of the latter with points to be made up. However, we must avoid the temptation to rest all hopes onto the youngsters shoulders. His arrival in the summer was met with derision, the manager ridiculed for the signing. Those same are fervent in demands for the player to be an automatic starter.

They will also be top of the queue to deride the manager for any injury that in their worthy opinion, could have been avoided.

There is a sense that the corner has been turned in 2012. The coming weeks hold some tough fixtures starting at in-form Sunderland this weekend. Whilst there is a temptation – unavoidable – to look at the games Chelsea and Tottenham have, it is more important that Arsenal win theirs. Then we can look at others, including Newcastle and Liverpool.

Stringing together a run of wins is all that matters now. Failure to win must be met with failure to lose. A draw is better than nothing. But the situation is such that the team with the strongest form between now and mid-April is likely to put themselves in a position where their destiny is in their own hands. Arsenal have the players who can step up to the plate; time for them to do so.

Today’s Arsenal On This Day is the second and final day of Sir Henry Norris’ legal action against the FA.

’til Tomorrow.

Posted on February 6, 2012, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Soccer, Transfer Gossip and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 285 Comments.

  1. Well unquestionably a draw tonight would be best If so that would be a massive 8 points gained on our opponents over the weekend.

  2. Banana btw

  3. Have to say I thoroughly enjoyed the chat to Charlie George on the Ground level after the game. Got a great picture of him with his arm round my nephew. Charlie thinks that anyone who doesn’t think that AW is the only man for the job is utterly insane. His favourite player is RvP and he reckons that this squad will go on to be very successful. He loathes Chavski and the Little Mancs for what they have done to the EPL.

  4. Frank – good stuff on empty seats (end of yesterday comments) – there certainly is a waiting list, though it is also getting shorter.
    I think there should be more pressure to encourage people to ‘fanshare’ their tickets. It should be in everyone’s interests and carrots and sticks should be explored to get it working better.

  5. Per Mertesacker kindly posed for a picture with my nephew too.

  6. hopefully a draw with lots of red cards and injuries.

  7. I agree with that, Jonny, though I suspect that some of the people who don’t turn up don’t want anyone sitting in their seats. Bloody disgrace. Lord when I remember the Borussia Dortmund supporters in their stadium. Marvellous way to support your club.

  8. Was there a bit of Canterbury memorialisationess going on earlier?

  9. I’m still unsure of what I’m hoping for tonight: a Liverpool win could put doubt in the spuds minds and. Liverpool play the Mancs at the weekend so you’d imagine they’d drop points then while spuds play Newcastle, so perhaps a draw there would be best?

    Maybe kori’s right, 0-0 with all the trimmings.

    Either way, it’s just great to know that our destiny is back in our own hands – that’s the most important thing – if we do our bit we needn’t rely on anyone!

    OTBAG

  10. I think a Liverpool win tonight is not a particularly bad things, Spurs play Newcastle next and then come to the Ems, so we can quite possibly be within 3-4 points of spurs by the end of Feb, Newcastle and Liverpool will drop loads of points anyway, if we can catch spurs then it can become a 3-way (maybe 4-way with Liverpool) tussle for 2 CL spots instead of the one…

  11. Thing* not things

  12. Excellent, positive stuff.

  13. Yeah 0-0 is best i think and i dont want to hex a player but id like to see spuds player Bale injured for a few weeks as theyll not be the same side.

  14. Brief segue but last night’s Superbowl was the mutt’s nuts.

    Manningham’s catch was one of those sporting moments that stays with you. Giants fans will still be gushing about this in weeks to come. And why not? A ludicrously risky, insanely accurate 38yd over-the-shoulder pass thrown into double coverage and plucked from the air by the very tips of fingers. That Manningham retained control and his tenuous grip whilst getting mullered by the safety Patrick Chung and had the presence to get two feet on the ground, thus making the catch legal, made it even better. It was a play that got more exciting with each replay.

    Have a few for me Irish.

    Now, if England can sculpt a deeply improbable victory from the debris of this test match my sporting weekend would be truly peerless.

  15. “Segue”…Could not resist eh??? 😀

  16. Anirdh,stop jumping the gun will you. we have to beat sunderland first. lets just stay behind the gun,one match at a time.

  17. I want the bindippers to smash the spuds. Then we can chase them both down.

  18. Frank – The Dortumnd supporters were mental eh? There were points in the game were I though I was going deaf they were that loud.

    Great result at the weekend; a much needed shot in the arm for the club. We really were on our game from start to finish and it was noticable how much quicker we moved the ball than in recent weeks. Some of the passes which led to goals were jaw dropping. Song’s ball to Theo for RvP’s goal was sublimes, and RvP’s ball to AOC was simply amazing.

    All of our midfield and front 3 had great games and our defence didn’t give Blackburn a sniff. Onwards and upwards hopefully.

  19. @ YW
    My answer to your question – the start of something new. We’ve been coming close to a performance like this for six weeks but bad luck/bad refereeing/bad finishing has denied us our just desserts. Saturday was a freak result in a way but the performance wasn’t.
    And in fairness to AW, he does spend most of the time playing down the hype around The Ox, especially with regard to England and Euro 2012. Your observations about JW highlight the complexity of the decisions a manager has to make. Every decision has ramifications and will displease some.

    I think a Liverpool win is best at this stage. We’ve got 14 games to go, squad members returning every couple of weeks and we could be at the start of a winning run. Bearing in mind that third is much better than fourth, a Liverpool win stops the Spuds breaking away further and only gives Liverpool one more point than us, with a worse goal difference. I feel confident that we can overhaul Newcastle, Pool and Chelsea in the medium term and thus put pressure on Spurs, and hopefully overtake them in the last six games or so.

    So a home team win is what i’d like, but I think the most likely result tonight is a draw.

    ****

    Yep, some fans moan about the cost of their season ticket every chance they get, yet it would appear that they can afford to waste the money.
    It may be that on occasions they can’t sell on the ticket for any one particular game, but some claim to deliberately leave their seat empty.

    I think the club do market the ticket exchange scheme very strongly to season ticket holders, but less so to non-season ticket holders. You actually have to navigate to the box office page before ticket exchange shows up. It should be on the bar on the LHS in the home page.

    Coercion is a thorny subject. If it was up to me, I’d be tempted to go along with Frank’s scheme, but this subject came up a few years ago on another blog and a couple of points would give me pause. Some ST who can’t get to every game say they don’t know in advance that they can’t make it. Others feel that they have a right not to take up their seat, and measures to force them either to do so or to pass it on would be draconian – and these are NOT the people who are trying to make a protest or statement by staying away.

  20. Anirudh – it’s a moral obligation – I have to keep George on his toes.
    I just like words.
    All of the above.
    😉

  21. @ ace

    Bet you were really proud of Theo on Saturday, huh?

  22. 5 things we know about the ox
    1.he is better than arshavii
    2.he is as skillfull as diaby
    3.pace is not his primary weapon
    4.he dribbles whoever;whenever
    5.he’d get better, scary

  23. FG – agreed. Even as I typed the words I could feel that I wasn’t quite comfortable with it. I strongly want to change the situation but as to how to do this without draconian measures is the question.
    It’s just saddening to see so many empty seats whilst the lads have a 7 goal romper hey?

  24. On the subject of crap fans; did anybody see the Chelsea fans leaving when Manure came back to 3-3? Who leaves a game with 5 mins left at 3-3? Madness.

  25. I’ve always thought anyone not turning up half an hour before kick-off should have their seat sold to Red Members queuing outside with a match day credit on their card!

    Draconian yes, but the empty seat doesn’t just hurt the club through a reduction in atmosphere but there’s also the loss of match-day revenue in the form of all those scalding cups of Bovril and hotdogs that don’t get sold.

    Any club fortunate enough to have a waiting list of fans should leverage that list as a resource. It’s not as if the technology’s not there.

    If they were really smart they’d find a way of replicating Wimbledon’s Henman Hill (or Murray Mound, whatever it’s called these days) with a video screen outside the ground and food & drinks kiosks etc.

    Yes Frank, much Canterburyness going on yesterday, not to mention Whitstablitis – such a small world!

    Cricket looking a bit grim JonnyStatto – for a moment there I thought Broad was going to do a Botham and pull off an unlikely victory …

  26. FG,
    bet you i was!that was the theo i see in my dreams.awesome!!last time he played like that was against wigan at dw stadium.we won 4-0.

  27. Grimmer than a scabby tramp’s todger Andrew.

    Someone just poured stale urine over my perfect weekend.

    Ah well how can you not still be in seventh heaven? Retreats to happy place.

  28. @ ace
    In that case i’m also sure you are giving TW some credit for playing his way back into form?

    ***
    @ arsenalandrew
    The question is, would it be worth it, if it created bad feeling? I was taken aback (in the discussion from years ago) about how strongly some people felt about coercion, even those who weren’t ST holders themselves.
    But your solution: I’ve always thought anyone not turning up half an hour before kick-off should have their seat sold to Red Members queuing outside with a match day credit on their card! could definitely work. The ST holder could have the option to text/message/email the box office at the ground to “block” their seat if they are on their way to the stadium.

    As to the justice of losing your ST, maybe the crux of it is picking *number* of matches missed before any sanctions kicked in?

  29. FG,
    i give him praise for this one match. sadly,he gets a lot of stick for lack of consitency from people like me.

  30. Le Coq’s ball to theo for our first goal was excellent. Intelligent movement y Walcott as well.

  31. Robin van Persie has leapt to the defence of Theo Walcott – and insisted he is worth 20 goals a season.

    Walcott has gone through a lean spell of form but was back with a bang as he provided three assists in the thumping win over Blackburn.

    But Van Persie said: “I honestly love him. I don’t understand the ­criticism.

    “He was sharp against ­Blackburn, he was playing fantastically and, like anyone, he misses chances.

    “But I miss chances. Ronaldo does, Messi does. It’s life.

    “Sometimes I feel that people are a bit harsh on him. I don’t know why. If you look at his assists rate then it is unbelievable.

    “And he will score. Trust me, he will score. He will get 20 goals at least every season. You will see. He will, have faith in him.

    “He has given me so many assists. And for me, if you give an assist then it is worth a goal, especially if you give a great assist.

    “It is as important as scoring a goal.

    “He gave me two simple tap-ins. That makes it more his goal than my goal and he has given me many assists”

    You simply reek of class Robin.

  32. FunGunner – I do see that coercion is rarely popular but equally if the objective is not to punish (the absentee) for the sake of bureaucracy but to purely benefit the club through enhanced revenues and improved atmosphere, then really, that should be another matter.

    I have only ever missed one game due to late running work commitments – I hated missing the game but equally I hated the idea of an empty seat just as much. On other occasions I’ve happily given my seat away to a pal if I’ve been unable to attend. Would love to know how much the club shops would benefit over the course of a season.

    Speaking for myself, I’d be delighted if the club could resell my ticket if I couldn’t make it and only found out late in the day when it was too late to pass my seat on.

    The club would have to work in conjunction with Transport for London and Network Rail and be prepared to suspend the scheme anytime there were delays on the network – and aside from planned closures (as per the Victoria Line last weekend), public transport is surprisingly reliable in London for the most part; when it DOES go wrong we all suffer.

    Simply having the option to text the club to release my seat would work for me if you were looking for a non-coercive option!

    But I do think it’s a pity that all around me in the Clock End there were empty seats – I know loads of people that would have given anything to see what we saw v Blackburn …

    ***

    Jonny – as someone said recently – it’s not over, it’s not over!

  33. Hardly any surprise:

    http://www.sportinglife.com/football/news/story_get.cgi?STORY_NAME=soccer/12/02/06/manual_103514.html&TEAMHD=soccer&BID=165

    If we don’t play him when we are chasing a goal, but also don’t play him when the opportunity comes to rest RvP once a game is won, what is the point of him being at the club. Honestly?

  34. Jonny – And you simply reek of breaking the internet 😉

  35. SCAPEGOATS OF THE WEEK – Top 5

    1. Arshavin
    2. Park
    3. Almunia
    4. Chamakh
    5. Denilson

  36. You can’t include Park in there; he has not played enough to be a scapegoat. At least the rest of them have all had long runs of woeful form. 😉

  37. It (the cricket) is nearly over now, Jonny.

  38. hmm .. goonerandy.. man behind me was moaning about Park…saying that if he couldn’t come on in a game like this, then he was a waste of money…maybe I need a “target of moaners” list instead.

  39. Think Gervinho has great potential for future SOTW (Scapegoat of the Week); the parallel universe of the Doomer is a weird and wondrous place, after all.

    Agree with goonerandy – Diaby’s name is surely ahead of Park in the swivel-eyed view of the mouth-foaming Whiners.

    Jonny – you HAVE broken the internet!

  40. I am still in 7th heaven after our 7-1 drubbing of blackburn. May our good sarturday’s form continue.

  41. YW – thanks for post.

    Don’t think this is a false dawn. Merely that run of recent defeats was a bit harsh on us.

    I think we are now in a better position with injuries, and as a result we can rotate a bit more and will have fresher players.

    Midfield – Ramsey was rested on Saturday and Coquelin can be used there + Diaby may even come back.

    Defence – Sagna back and Gibbs/Jenkinson will come in at some point.

    Up front – Gervinho will come back from ACN at the end of the month, with Chamberlain already bedded in.

    I’m inclined to be optimistic. As always 🙂

  42. @ ace
    * thumbs up*

    @ Muppet
    ha ha!
    good one – glad to see Denilson holding his position despite not being at the club.

    And not having played is almost de riguer for scapegoats,I always thought.

    @ arsenalandrew
    “Simply having the option to text the club to release my seat would work for me if you were looking for a non-coercive option!”
    I meant that that would operate in conjuction with your idea for releasing seats to Red Members – the presumption would be that the empty seat would be sold and the ST holder would have to block that sale, rather than release it.

    Who forgot to close their italics? tut tut.

  43. Muppet – Well, the bloke behind you may have had a point. Hardly’s Park fault though I suppose.

  44. Freaking italics.Yogi where are you? this is hurting my eyes!

  45. @ ace
    * thumbs up* – for the first bit, that should have been!

  46. I quite like italics. Elegant.

  47. I am sure Park will surprise us all by scoring a hattrick in the CL final.

  48. My apologies y’all.

    Mea culpa, mea culpa. Mea maxima culpa.

    *Hangs head in shame*

  49. The blokes at work who lost their money betting me Arsene would be gone by Christmas were wide eyed in amazement this morning. Just shows that if you only look at results rather than the way the team plays and believe the utter nonsense repeated daily in the media you will end up with a skewed sense of what is going on. I don’t comment on the situation at say Sheffield Wednesday because I know naff all about the club but others think they know us.
    I do comment on Swansea as I believe they were excellent against us and I’m happy to tell people I liked what I saw, likewise Dortmund. Otherwise, keep schtum I say.
    We all could see this result was coming. The scorelines may have said otherwise but we have not played badly.

  50. Ace

    7-1 mate..Residual super-positivity 😀

    Jonny

    I quite enjoy the Lexiphanicism too 😀

  51. Got to agree with FG that italics can indeed be elegant. Used properly, they accentuate the text encased in their inner beauty. Left to Jonny, however, they are a carbuncle on the English language. Gah.

  52. Flint McCullough

    Good write up as usual.

    Let’s be positive & look for a L’pool win tonight. The Spuds are still high on confidence & need that shaken a bit.

    I had missed a few games recently but have always made sure the seat was used. The truth is that it is a free world & there are a large number of season tickets holders, who simply just don’t care as much as most of us.

    Still think we are now in proper transition, which will mean further highs & lows but we are capable of very good football. Our final position could be anything.

    Just have to say Le Coq really looks a player to me. Nutty Boy mentality with no little skill, just what we need & a regular starter in the near future.

  53. I don’t understand this obsession with Park? He was clearly bought as a cheap short-term option once we knew Bendtner was going out on loan, we could not get a work permit for Campbell and Afobe got injured. He has not played more because he has not been needed. It’s a shame for him personally that he has not played more, but had we gone further in the Carling Cup he might have got a couple more games. He is only a stop-gap insurance policy as he will not be here long and therefore will not ‘kill’ any youngsters coming up. And if anyone needs to know why he did not come on as a substitute on Saturday read the manager’s comments on Arsenal.com after the game and his reasoning for his substitutions is there for all to see. Plus the fact that it was TH’s last home game so not in the least surprising that he came on and everyone was trying to set him up for one last goal.

  54. Sunderland under O neill will put the gunners under pressure.The gunners will find time and space hard to come by.Expect robust tackles.
    Btw after taking the lead,the defence and and the whole team must know how to protect it. Failure to do will bring the gunners back to square one and the cl berth more elusive.

  55. Wish I had workmates like Steww’s! Wise words, mind.

    I think most of us were expecting Arsenal to hand out a walloping sooner or later – I half wondered if it would come at Bolton (shows how little I know).

    I’m going up to the Sunderland game and I expect that to be anything but a stroll in the park. Even when the Black Cats are playing poorly they almost always give us a run for our money up there; don’t have the stats to hand (over to Jonny Statto) but if someone said Sunderland are the most improved side of the division (excluding the promoted sides) I wouldn’t argue with you; O’Neil’s really got into them and they have some genuine talent. That away win v Stoke was in no way a fluke, so take nothing for granted.

    One of my all-time favourite footballing memories was at Sunderland some years ago and they were being trounced by an Arsenal side – quite possibly the Invincibles – and ended up losing by a huge margin. Henry, who had scored and ‘assisted’ with impunity was substituted towards the end of the match and the stadium – which was a packed sell out – rose to every man, woman and child to applaud the great man. Classy. Don’t recall seeing too many of their fans leaving early, either and there was certainly no booing …

  56. Good to see Rosicky playing the full 90. To my mind that midfield is our best.

  57. Markus – Whilst Wilsere is injured I agree. I thought Rosicky and Arteta ran the game from start to finish.

  58. andrew, I think I heard the other day that taking only the PL results from when O’Neill took over Sunderland are top of the league. Not sure if that is still true after the weekend.

  59. Another thing to consider is that Sunderland play have a big derby game in midweek away to boro..a cup replay which should be quite an intense tie..

    Hopefully that one goes into extra time..but regardless, I think our relative “freshness” will be an advantage come saturday

    It is imperative that we do not concede early,and take our chances, as they will tire in the last 30 minutes and we should be able to pick up a vital 3 points..

  60. Anyone hear what Fergie had to say about the lino yesterday? Fucking cheek of the old fucker. United have had 4 penalties in the last two games and he is still bitching out the officials.

  61. Nice post, YW.

    Muppet, sorry I missed you (and Jonny and Consolsbob) on Saturday. Is your list open to non-players? If so, I would think AW would have to be on there given that so many of the moaners hold him responsible for the five who are (takes care with italics) on there.

    @ goonerandy | February 6, 2012 at 11:16 am

    Re the passing, agreed. In the build-up to our second goal, the first-time ball from Arteta from Mertesacker out to the wing was truly a thing of beauty, perfectly into the stride of Coquelin. A few passes later, then Song does his best to top that with another inch-perfect through-ball. Fantastic.

    RVP seems to have been practicing “quick feet” – it’s like he is playing the game at a different speed to the defenders. When he turns with the ball and slaloms around them, they are just left chasing shadows. What odds on him finally scoring with a deft chip in the next match – third time lucky?

  62. Nice post yogi:

    Have not had a chance to comment on the game on Sat. AWESOME is the word that came to mind. Where in the world was that team we saw on Sat during most of Dec and Jan. We had the same injury issues with lack of proper fullbacks and lack of width, I guess the problem in the other games was we just didn’t play as well as we could have. Oh Well, I guess better late then never and hopefully we can keep that up for the rest of the season. Next 2 games will be very tough. We have to get at least 4 points I think or all the momentum will be gone. I think Rosicky needs to play the forward midfield spot as much as his body will reasonably allow.

    I heard this strange choking sound coming from Stamford Bridge on Sunday. It was about 7.0 on the Richter Scale here in Texas. Chelsea are there for the taking.

    I feel a bit silly that I was banging on about sending the Ox on loan in the 2nd half of the season. Will be interesting to see what happens when Gerv comes back.

  63. BB’s – “RVP seems to have been practicing “quick feet” – it’s like he is playing the game at a different speed to the defenders.

    Heh, that is a good way to describe it.

  64. Passenal – I disagree with this contention that Park has ‘not been needed’ it’s a convenient spin on the fact that he has patently not been deemed good enough (thus far). I’m delighted RVP has been so superb but would it not be better if there was competition for his place and for us to have the option of resting him?
    We currently do not have a trusted alternative to RVP who is playing every minute of every game as a direct result. I think it’s too easy to suggest it’s the other way round – that RVP is keeping the rest of the strike force on the bench.
    Whilst Park is clearly a stopgap signing, Wenger must have hoped he would play more of a part in this season when he signed him.
    It’s a horrible idea to think that he was only signed because Campbell could not get a work permit – even though I suspect you might be right.

  65. Hope you are feeling better, Flint

  66. I’d have agreed with sending Ox on loan earlier in the season, Bill – worked wonders for Wilshire after all!

    Hindsight such a wonderful gift.

    Yeah, Markus – they (Sunderland) must be there or thereabouts the most improved; certainly they are benefiting from New Manager Syndrome, regardless of who the manager is but M O’N seems to be bringing the best out of most of them.

    Re: Sirralex – and further to recent comments regarding refereeing bias; I found his attack on the lino after yesterday’s game and his refusal to blame Webb EXTREMELY telling … (removes capitals – are you watching Jonny?).

  67. Where are Jabba and Acryllic now?

    It really is a delightful bonus that when things are going well, they vanish into the ether.

  68. Watching I am. Your mastery of the vagaries of typeface leaves me in total awe Andrew.

    Truly, you’re a legend amongst mortals.

    😉

  69. I met Charlie George once on the stadium tour. He asked in the ‘mock’ press conference who Arsenals best ever signing was.

    Without hesitation I put my hand up and said: “Arsene Wenger.”

    He replied like an encouraging school teacher: “Thats correct”

    I was so proud 🙂

  70. I have to say that it was great to see Sagna out there running and going for jump balls and i think he won 1 or 2(can’t remember off the top of my head). With Sagna back, Gervinho coming back and Song, Arteta, Rosicky bossing the midfield like they did this is definetly something new. For me it was something that we could all see coming though with the abundance of chances that we were getting it only takes 1 match like this for the confidence to ooze.

    Just hope AW tells dem to put back on their boots they were on Saturday for the rest of the season.

    @Bill, I agree that chocking sound was quite loud and will only get louder

  71. Where are Jabba and Acryllic now?

    It really is a delightful bonus that when things are going well, they vanish into the ether.

    lol yogi must have banned them but in the process he banned me too for disgracing them….haha!

    yogi…not me man…lol…i want wenger to stay for life … and if possible…clone him

  72. Frank, is Canterbury one of your places then?

  73. I think wishing injuries on any player or team is as low as rocking up with bin bags to be honest. it’s a sport and beating a team on sporting values can only make victories against great rivals sweeter.

  74. Good stuff YW. Let’s hope this is a revival of confidence in some of our players. They are good enough, just need to keep believing.

    Jonny – I always type open & closing HTML tags together, then place sentence or paragraph in side.

  75. Remonstrate

    I agree with that. A few red cards would be fine though.

  76. What a great match and thanks to the boys to put in a performance like this when I bring my wife to the game for the first time! She loved it and wants to go back! That’s the sort of things I love to hear out of my beautiful wife!!

    Goonerandy, i agree the coqulin pass to walcott on the first goal was beautiful! And he was great all match, I really see him having a great impact on the team, a bit like Flamini before as he can play at both full back spots and in midfield, I just hope he won’t fuck off on the first occasion like his compatriot!

    Consolbob, I could not make it to the george as I arrived just 30 min before kick off but will try next time probably the villa game!

  77. At Barcelona, and ST holders who cannot attend a game let the club know on the morning of the game, and then 1 specific turnstile sells the tickets 2 Hours (I think, might be 3) before Kick Off.

    That seemed to work when I attended a game there, so might be a good idea.

    Great performance on Saturday, I think it was our 5th goal that started from Sez, but was a great team goal, didn’t get mentioned anywhere near enough on MOTD.

  78. * out of my beautiful wife’s mouth! It sounded pretty wrong! lol

  79. Ha, Jonny, capitals is sadly as far as it goes; I have no idea how to put italics (or smiley faces) on posts!

    Am I suddenly sounding like ‘Arry …?

  80. Dups thanks mate! You just made me feel like a proper buffoon. Lol.

  81. Matt – interesting that Barca have got it working for them …

  82. Well you had to queue up for about an hour, but I got a ticket to a sold out game at the Nou Camp on the day doing it, so seemed to work OK….

    And I definately couldn’t see an empty seat when I was in there….

  83. Frimpong’s knackered and coming back to Arsenal – out for rest of season. V sad.

  84. arsenalandrew

    If you want one of these 😆

    Type a colon followed by lol then another colon

  85. That’s the main point isn’t it Matt – no empty seats?

    Can’t be rocket science.

  86. Sorry Jonny 😦

    Poor Frimpong

  87. Oh dear Dups – what have you done?!

    They’ll be no stopping me now, ha ha!

    😆

  88. Some people might say Frimpong coming back to Arsenal for treatment is not the best idea.

  89. Type a colon followed by lol then another colon</strike

    It's ok Andrew i've deleted it now

  90. Sorry YW

    I cocked up after telly Jonny.

    OOPS

  91. Putting a bin bag over your seat. The more I think about it, the more laughable it becomes. What a fucking ridiculous idea!

    The Barcelona turnstile idea sounds good. I would happily queue up. Wouldn’t it be great to just go down to the stadium on a whim and get in. I don’t remeber such days, but i’m sure they existed!

    Bring back standing areas while we are at it. It seems strange that as fans, we can’t be trusted to stand up at a football match.

  92. In truth it’s not the forgetting of the closing html brackets but the mistyping of one of them that’s the problem.

    I struggle with plain text – it’s a handicap which sacrifices nuance and emphasis and causes arguments through loss of meaning.

    That Mata is definitely not shit – but scroll down for the gen on just how important ‘Our Teta’ is.
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/blog/2012/feb/06/juan-mata-chelsea-football-tactics?newsfeed=true

  93. Don’t think I’ll be there for that one gunnerluc.

  94. Wondered why Frimpong came off early for Wolves. What’s the damage?

  95. Didn’t it turn out that the guy behind the bin bag thing was based in Pakistan? And had about 18 followers???

    Just typical of the british press to pick up on that.

  96. Billy’s boots,

    Thanks for the thought and sorry we missed you. I don’t know if there is going to be another meeting, perhaps one in April would be good.

    Yes – Wenger does invariably get the blame anyway, so I don’t include him in the top 5 list !

  97. I think Frimpong’s injury is a repeat of his original – ruptured cruciate? Keeping an eye out for an update …

    At least the whole protest gave us the gift of an unflattering descriptor – Doomers can forever be told to get back in their bins, be referred to as black baggers, you name it …

  98. Mattyboy – fucking truth.

    Does anyone know which arseclown came up with the binbag idiocy to start with (now recognised officially as the worst-timed protest in history)?

    I plan to stand next to him all week, pointing and laughing.

  99. I think the Head Bag should be celebrated Jonny; he single-handedly turned the Doomers into an international laughing stock.

  100. @Frimpong26AFC

    I also wanna ask you to pray for my cruciate injury as I will be taking all the punishment it deserves as he or she have been very naughty:)

    He seems to be keeping his spirits up.

  101. Passenal /Jonny

    If that is the case with Park I must ask is that not a very unfair thing to do to a player ? Buy him just to have him sat on the bench, ? Put a stop on his playing time. Remember if park plays well, goes to Olympics or something like that he could get out of his military service, extend his career a little.
    The way he was poached from who ever it was we poached him from Im sure he was told he would play football otherwise why in the world would he come here.
    To say we never brought him to play in the team does not make sense and seems like a very unjust thing to do to a professional sportsman.

  102. I’m actually looking forward to taking the rubbish out later. It will bring a smile to my face as I think of the 3-4 fools in the stadium on Saturday with bin bags in their pockets. Waiting for a sign. Waiting for some fool to make the first move.

    They went home with that same bin-bag in their pocket; unused. Slyly putting it back in the cupbaord. Wondering what the fuck it was all about.

  103. i am very high on Park’s talent and his goal scoring record internationally but dont understand why we couldn’t have given RVP a rest and brought on Park to get him some playing time and maybe a goal during out slaughtering. I completely understand about Henry’s last home game as it was true pleasure to watch him again do what he does so well and thats score but could he have no also brought on Park. I hope he does get a run before his military service and his career is cut short

  104. I have no problem with bringing Park on board. We took a flyer on him hoping he could help out. I didn’t cost much. (few million is no big deal to us). I suspect the boss thought it would work out better for the player and the club. With Chamakh coming back he isn’t likely to make the bench. Best thing for club and player is to cut losses on both sides and hopefully he can resume his career somewhere else.

  105. Frimpongs been Frimponged!!!!

    DEEEENCH

  106. YW – sound commentary (again).

    Marcus/ Andrew……Sunderland have taken 22 points out of 30…..since arrival of O’Neil.
    Saturday will be a good test for us.

    Most have been following Arsenal for decades, I can understand the emotions tied to competitions with other clubs.

    Finishing above Spuds…….is not essential…..and for that matter, neither is finishing ahead of Pool, Newcastle, or Chelsea.

    Dealt the loss of Cesc and Nasri and our struggles to start this campaign….our focus (NOW) is the war to qualify for CL……these other battles are just that.

    If our play for the remainder of the season, mirrors that of Saturday, Arsenal will be fine.
    Consistency has been an issue……lets hope we’ve turned the corner.

  107. GJ – my guess is that he was signed with the best of intentions but he has failed to live up to Wenger’s exacting standards. That can happen but yeah, it’s tough on the player.

  108. IMO i think we should just let him out of contract so that he is free to sign with another team. I hate seeing players with potential unable to meet our standards and then just rot. He may work out for another club.

  109. I was driving home yesterday and had to listen to the Chav/Manc game on satellite radio and they had the Manc broadcasters on. Those guys thought that Cahill should have been sent off it the first 1/2 and Howard Webb missed a third penalty late in the game. Greedy bastards, thought they got cheated out of 2 points.

  110. Oh dear, I think I miss Suga and Jabba. Perhaps Yogi has put them in the sin bin?

  111. @Bill

    Greedy bastards they are but I was watching the game live and I’ll tell you if Cahill woulda had on a Arsenal shirt(wouldn’t trade Mert, Kos or Verm for him just my opinion) it would have been a straight red and a penalty. Even though he didnt get any of the ball and cleared Welbeck, it was still hilarious to see the expression on SAF face when Howard Webb said play on.

  112. Regrets for Park, but its Arsene’s to sort out.

    Frimpong……wishing a complete and early recovery.

    Bin bags belong on the heads of those that brought them.

  113. Poor Manu Frimpong. Thankfully his injury is to his right knee and not a recurrence of the injury he suffered last season on his left one.

    I would like Liverpool to beat the Spuds. If Liverpool beats them they’ll be one point ahead of us, but they’ll be facing us and Manure in the coming games. I would rather Spuds be reeled in than shoot off ahead.

  114. C:

    Consistent inconsistency by the refs means that everyone thinks they are getting the worst deal. I know the Red Manc fans think they have been cheated out of at least 4 points and the Carling Cup game. I’m sure if you ask them they can come up with a dozen other times they think they got screwed. Bolton fans are probably still fuming about not getting a penalty in the dying minutes of our recent game at the Reebok and costing them 2 points and perhaps getting them relegated. Those damn big team get all the breaks.

    Its time for video replay.

  115. The Kent & Canterbury, QEQM and the poor of Dover are my experiences of East Kent, Cb.Oh and the odd meal in Sandwich. Fields of cabbages and Pfizer. My old Citroën.died a horrible death on the layby of the M20 outside of Ashford, the best part of Ashford, one freezing cold Christmas Eve. Would have cost me a ton to get back to London in the early hours of Christmas day if this bloke in a red and white suit hadn’t turned up.

  116. Arsesession . . . agree with all that.

  117. Thought you might have been a hop picker Frank.

    You know, horse drawn caravan, holiday in the fields and a sing song around the campfire.

    I used to cut the grass outside the Kent and Canterbury.

  118. @Bill

    Yea i know the ref suck terribly and honestly I couldn’t stop laughing when it happened because it was pure comedy at its finest. Here you have SAF crying for a penalty and then (while they are both justified) they get 2 in the second half and now Chelsea is crying fowl. Lessons of the day, Always stay classy; and SAF and the Mancs will always get a penalty.

  119. Used to have an old nag called Givenny in those days, Bob.

  120. …my horse was called George.

  121. If you can imagine Arkle crossed with a Suffolk Punch. That was George.

  122. Only time they ever saw a painted wagon in the overtaking lanes in those parts.

  123. We all laugh at De Gea but these stats from twitter make you wonder.

    @Orbinho

    Szczesny v De Gea Saves 55-62 Conceded 34-20 Save% 62%-76% Pen Saves 0-1, Saves from free kick 2-4 Conceded free kick 4-1, Catch 98%-94%

  124. Until we were involved in a terrible accident after a police chase.

  125. Some say around that area that on moonlit nights in the wee hours you can sometimes here the sound galloping hooves and see the glimmer of sparks on the northbound carriageway of what now is the M20.

  126. @dupsffokcuf

    I actually liked De Gea and think he’s getting criticized to much because his defense is letting him down horribly and I think i read somewhere they have conceded the most shots on goal

  127. C:

    I actually looked it up sometime mid last season and in the prior 10 years which included the invincibles era the Red manc’s were awarded a lot fewer penalties then arsenal. However, they had also conceded far fewer penalties. If you subtracted total penalties awarded minus penalties conceded for those 10 years the Red Mancs were about +30 and Arsenal was about + 21. (Don’t remember the exact numbers, Liverpool actually came out the worst of the big 4.)

    I dont’ remember the exact numbers but the bottom line is the Red Mancs got less then 1 extra goal per season from penalties compared with arsenal during that 10 year time period. In reality they did not any significant “measurable” benefit from penalties compared with the other “big 4” clubs.

  128. @Bill

    thank you for the useful information. I was saying it mainly as pure sarcasim and humor for the people that consistently say that the Mancs get every penalty and every foul going there way and that Arsenal and AW always get a nice stiff one of the ass

  129. Afobe back in training today and allegedly looking sharp.

    I’d love him to play a part in our season but I suspect that’s fanciful.

    Just so great to be getting players back again. :0)

  130. @Dups
    Just you wait until Suga reads that. You’ll get in trouble!

  131. Nice post. The size of the ox’s chest is a talking point in my joint. And they don’t like the comparison to Rooney who lacks a deft touch and who they think is particularly ugly!

  132. It’s also interesting that his save percentage is the third lowest in the league. I think last year his save % was in the high 70’s.

  133. Earnie or the Highwayman…

  134. I think you have to take a goalie at face value. There are so many variables that go into goals and saves. I do think that our youngster hasn’t been at his best lately though.

  135. Flint McCullough

    Where would you rank Lady Nina amongst your steeds past & present, Frank?

    Goalkeeping stats in particular are very problematic. The only 1 that really matters is how many they throw in. WS is not perfect but exceptional for his age, his brilliant penalty save v Udinese kept us in the CL, & there have been very few goals conceded that should have been saved. Certainly far more saves made with a goal the likely outcome. Well remember Pat Jennings 1st season at Sp#ds- he had a few calamities I can tell you.

    De Gea is also class & that will show too. Some very good young ‘keepers about at the moment.

  136. I was jumped all over by some for saying that our passing was getting back to it’s best, but it was on display once more Saturday and no one could deny it.

    For those who claim to know football. Though the scoreline is the most important stat, it does not always’s say whether a team player well or not. Our last FA Cup win is a fine example.

    So, we should learn to enjoy the game as far as skill and not just score. I remember Arshavin beating a few players this season, only for his shot to go a little wide. He did not score but it was no less a thing of beauty.

    It does hurt to lose or draw when obviously we need wins, but we should still be able to see the obvious about this team. We are excellent.

    As Steww said earlier, it is no suprise that our team put on such a show. It was coming!

    ARSENAL!!

  137. So are we suggesting we make Chesney our First Reserve on Muppet’s Scapegoat of the Week? 😆

  138. oh joy of joys .a new toy

  139. Dray, Bob. George was always happier pulling pints if you see what I mean.

    Lady Neena has always been my favourite, Flint. Though she let herself down with that Plod Donkey. As you can imagine, Peter just can’t be trusted. George was always a real favourite, brilliant he was, though I reckon it was the beer got to him in the end.

  140. I thought we established a few years back that these fucking winking things should be banned.

  141. Reminds me of Harry Redknapp that does, dupsffokcuf

  142. Good point Frank. haha

    😈

  143. Paul:

    “I was jumped all over by some for saying that our passing was getting back to it’s best, but it was on display once more Saturday and no one could deny it.”

    Can’t believe anyone would ever accuse you of wearing rose colored glasses. How dare them. 😆

  144. It is only when you watch a game that you truly know who you support. It was interesting watching myself deflate when the Chavs took the lead and then willing Man Ure back into that match after they were awarded the penalty. Only Man Ure like to see Manure win, but it was uncompromisingly about Arsenal and I was willing that arsehole Evra’s team on.

    What a relief to be able to watch the saturday match and just enjoy the football as everyone and their dog got in on the goal fest. AW wants to rest the Ox at 70 mins, having TH12 as that replacement option means that the decision is not booed – even when the Ox is on a hat trick. This says a lot about the respect these two have, but leaves our Russian out in Siberia. Shame.

    Arteta looked good and Arsenal looked devastating. This matched showed that if you don’t attack them they will walk over your face.

    Come on Jack and Santos. I am looking forward to what you have got to bring back.

  145. Post post note.

    Should we always support anyone against the spuds and get 4th place because we win and deserve it or can I resist supporting them tonight. Ok I am going to wash my mouth out.

  146. I’m not sure why Arsenal bother to have an official website as it seems a lot of people don’t bother to check it out for Arsenal news. They’d rather read uninformed media speculation or make it up to suit their own agenda

    “on why he didn’t take Van Persie off…
    Alex Chamberlain played three games for the first time in his career. He had a stiff neck at half-time, so I did not want to take a gamble with him. Then we had a problem with Koscielny, and I wanted to give some playing time to Benayoun.”

    And here’s the link to the article in case you think I made it up

    http://www.arsenal.com/news/news-archive/-we-got-the-performance-and-the-result-

  147. Paul, I said that after the Manure game. The way we’re touching the ball is getting better and better every week. I think it has to do with the Ox becoming increasingly dangerous down the left.

  148. Tottenham Subs: Cudicini, Saha, Rose, Nelsen, Khumalo, Luongo, Lancaster.

    Now that’s what I call strength in depth.

  149. Dupps @ 7:27:

    chuckle chuckle. Best result would be a draw.

    Pass:

    Would have been a great chance to see TW14 in the center for 20 min(or even TH12). Yossi could have gotten playing time on the wing, or move TR7 to a wing and Yossi in the center of MF

  150. Just another one of those games that has its compensations whatever the result …

    Obviously the icing on any one of three possible cakes would be bookings and dismissals galore but that’s not really in the spirit of the game, is it?

    Amused that ‘Arry, despite getting out of court an hour early STILL couldn’t get to the game on time (think he’s abandoned the attempt). That’s what happens when you start mixing in judicial circles; can’t imagine it’s going down all that well down The Drain.

    What odds Maureen to the Spuds?

  151. Bill, nothing to do with being rose tinted. If one could not see that we were getting into form, they don’t really know football.

    Yeh G69. I also think Wenger has told them team to up the tempo. We are much more instinctive when we push the ball. With saying that, Rosicky, I believe that Rosicky has also had something to do with it.

  152. hmmmmmm..

    good post…

    id like to think it was the start of something new…even if we lose next week..

    since the departure of cesc we have struggled to adapt to a new system under the 433..
    weve stumbled and faultered our way through the season…even when we were on our winning run our game was based on grit and fight…

    the last few weeks hasnt only seen the emergance of the ox but i think weve finally found wengerball 4…

    the tippy tappy passing in the final third hasnt been there recently…i think weve been looking for someone to step up and replace cesc in the middle but it hasnt happened and to be honest it was never going to..

    ball retention has still been key and retain the ball we have done and done well recently but the main thing for me is that we have totally blitzed the wings..even without proper wingbacks..

    we look so much more dangerous when we arent trying to play our way through the middle we can become easily contained but how the fuck do you contain theo and alex??

    in oxo and theo we have two of the most dangerous wingers in the league..the pace on either flank is too much.. and im going to make a huge call here but the ox looks as good as hazard in terms of footballing ability…..theos inconsistency is fucking frustrating cos we know he can play like he did yesterday and then we dont see it again for 5-6 games..this is basically because his talents dont come natural to a certain extent in my opinion but when he uses his strengths he cannot be contained..

    gervinho provides good rotation opportunity to both so theres no need to fear burnout..

    i feel sorry for rambo hes really tried this year and hes ran his bollox off but i feel rosicky is slowly working his way back into contention..

    we dont really need a midfield playmaker goalscorer and assist machine if we keep using this system..just keep the ball…lure the oppo in..and then hit the flanks…with robin in the centre it makes it more dangerous..wengerball 4 is finally born..

    villa suffered for 20 mins…utd and bolton got lucky…blackburn just got fucked..and so will sunderland if we employ it again..

    this season was always going to be a transitional one…5 years of hard work down the drain in one summer…a long battle through the season with new young stars emmerging and a new system to go with it..

    its taken a while but i think wengers found it..

    pace pace pace attack attack attack..

  153. jonny

    in response to your 2pm, i was on yesterday gushing with praise for thecside. it is however only one result and needs to be backed up with a consistent run of form for it tp mean anything. crucial to keep the momentum going at a place hre we always fing it hard against a side on a great run

  154. Paul:

    I know just kidding.

    Liverpool vs Spurs. Good stuff will happen no matter what the result. Can you really cheer for a tepid 0 – 0 draw?

  155. Another big part of Saturday’s win was Alex Song not only got back to being a very good DM but his all around game: passing, shielding, touch has greatly improved and showed again that he is growing and can hopefully keep improving and become 1 of teh best all around midfielders in teh EPL. His pass to Walcott was a beautiful sight to see

  156. Bill, I know. That wasn’t really directed at you. Its for those who were running me down.

  157. c

    i often think song hits the passes too hard..alot of his attempts are too long although at some point he does finds his range… but i do think that pass to theo would have been too hard if it wasnt theo chasing it.. 🙂

    alot of the praise should go to theo for that imo…he almost ended up in the crowd afterwards.. he did really well to get there and find robin with the pass..

  158. Jonjon

    I think he’s actually playing theo ox and rvp into space. There arent many lb/rb that will out run them to balls. IMO i think he understand that and thus unleashing 1 of there greatest asssests, pace.

    Theo did make a brillant play and set up rvp with 2 delicious crosses and ox’s 2nd. If we keep using our pace we will devastate any and everybody on the flanks

  159. agreed..

  160. JJ,:

    Everyone played well. Fantastic game to watch. Even the Blackburn goal was an excellent free kick. I agree with your post at 7:51. When you lose a player like CF4 you have to adapt your tactics and its taken a while but it sure looked like we found something in that game. Rosicky was excellent but we can’t count on one person to be the focal point of the attack anymore. Our finishing was superb in that game because more of our chances were easy chances and that was set up by attacking at pace and getting the ball into dangerous areas before the defense can set up.

  161. Adebayor really is shit

  162. jonjon

    i suppose Swansea got lucky with 64% of the ball and 600+ passes.Sometimes you have to hold your hands up and say we were outplayed

  163. bill

    i said in my posts yesterday that i thought the key was our pressuring of them high up the pitch. it resulted in us winning it back with our forwards in better positions one on one with opponents. it created higher percentage chances pn goal for us. everything comes from defending from the front. teams arent brilliant whilst in possesion in the most cases especially from the back. if you prsuure hem and take away there 1 and 2 options they will more often than ot give it away. for 10 mins vs villa we did this nd looked excelent. it sts the tone for our hole game and hides our weanknesses with organization further back

  164. gooner ted..
    thats why i didnt mention swansea..

    we did get outplayed..but i never said we didnt

    bill…i agree..everyone had a good game..but you gotta admit the front three were phenominal..the chemistry between them was great to watch and you never know..if robin loves being the meat in the pace sandwich he might just commit…

  165. What a poor game. Hope it’s 0-0 at the final whistle

  166. Most exciting thing in the 1st half was a cat walking across the pitch

  167. Jabba:

    Agree for the most part. Pressure up top is difficult to maintain consistently.

    I think the key is to get to ball up the pitch into attacking 1/3 quickly before the other team has time to get set up and you can create easier chances before the other team is organized. Thats why I think our finishing was so much better. Pace certainly helps but you don’t need blistering pace to attack at speed. Other then TH14 the invincibles didn’t have that much pace but they could attack the goal as quickly as any team in history. Chelsea 2 seasons ago had almost no pace but they could attack quickly and they scored tons of goals. We have seen many many times that pace is neutered once the bus is parked.

    JJ:

    I hope you are right but I suspect the bottom line will depend on how close our offer is the the wages he could get at other “big teams”

  168. bale getting clobbered into the boards was kinda exciting as well

    until he got back up that is…selfish fucker could have stayed down with ankle and knee cruciate ligament ruptures..

  169. Dull, isn’t it? Seen better in the Championship … Spuds missing Van der Vaart; not sure what the Scouser’s excuse is.

  170. Agger winding up Monkey Boy for his dive. Loving it. Yellow card for him, too!

  171. Gotta love Daniel Agger, giving that diving cunt Bale a piece of his mind (and Bale subsequently getting a yellow)

  172. @Evil

    Haha, hivemind

  173. Only yellow…

    I bet Bale thinks he is Ronaldo mark two. He even walks and dives in a similar way. He must seriously believe his manager’s rubbish that real or Barca will be after him. A kind of funny this one.

  174. Nice dive from Bale; even the cat would have been proud of that one …

  175. And now monkey boy totally miskicks a great chance. Serves him right.

  176. A seriously dull game. The Tots are going for a draw.

    Andy C must score today from a Suarez assist.

  177. money shouldnt be the obstacle bill..
    i would think that we make enough dosh to offer robin a competitive rate…

    besides..if we got shut of some of the players we dont actually use in the summer window i would think theres room to give robin a super deal without having to raise the actuall wage ceiling…lose squilaci almunia and park and give it to robin..easy…

    i know gazidis likes to think that we should pay everyone the same cos its a team game and its an inspiration to everyone in the universe but when you have a player whos up there with the worlds best and hes just overtaken dennis bergkamp in the record books then its a fucking stupid policy and if the others dont like the fact robin earns alot of money its tough..

    when they start appearing in the top 10 all time goalscorers then they deserve the right to earn the same…

  178. JJ, what would you say are the competitive rates??

  179. Only meant to put one question mark.

  180. Bradys right foot

    I love Rambo he’s a great kid but TR7 moves the ball quicker and is a better passer. TR7s playing very well of late and is linking the midfield to the front three cleanly, accurately but most inportantly quickly. That injection of zip in the middle of the park added to the sheer 7.5 awesomeness across all measurable stats aka “the Arteta minimum” and Alex Songs jekyl/hyde of destruction and creativity looks a formidable three at the moment.

  181. paul

    alot more than what we currently pay..

  182. I was hoping for some number’s actually.

  183. bales getting fucked..
    spurs dont like it up em..

  184. JJ @ 9:20:

    preaching to the choir with me in that regard. Athletes in general are grossly overpaid I think but thats the world we live in and we can’t avoid paying our top players close to market rates if we want to stay competitive. Robin is one of the best in the world and I completely understand why he would want to make similar amounts of money to other players like him.

  185. How is Skrtel still on the pitch?

  186. providing numbers would be pointless..

    nobody actually knows what anyone gets paid but i would assume its safe to say robin at the minute aint earning all that much more than the likes of diaby and bendtner..

    which poses 2 questions..
    do we pay certain players too much and do we pay our best players not enough..

    the answer is most probably yes to both and i would have no quarrels if robins salary was nearer to messis than what it was bendtners…

    none at all…

  187. Ok, we know that some chew a gum while managing a team (the red nose). But to chew a gum and play the game?

  188. This spectacle just needs a red card to be complete.

  189. Even Bale can’t get ‘Arry out of jail – terrible miss …

  190. Monkey boy misses the best chance in the history of football.

  191. Bale missing this chance was funny.

  192. Even Theo’s misses over the past couple of weeks have nothing on that beauty by Bale. Loads of space, all alone, could’ve tried about twenty different things but in the end decides to roll it nice and slow right towards Friedel.

  193. Bradys right foot

    Evil, c’mon lad Theo agains Bolton one on one was every bit as bad as Bales.

  194. BRF

    Ramsey will be an immense player for us, no worry, but yep, Rosicky deserves to keep his place and ramsey deserves a break too I reckon. He’s done really well since his injury lay off and we shouldnt expect too much of him and we also dont want him burning out, a bit like Wilshere I suppose.

  195. @BRF
    Against Bolton? The one that was just barely saved by their keeper, who knew nothing about it? Can’t agree.

  196. Bale is a funny looking dude isn’t he.

  197. Got my wish. A tepid 0 – 0 draw.

  198. Absol-fucking-lutely GUTTED for Frimpong. How fucked up is that shit man?

  199. Probably the best result for us.

  200. A draw was what we wanted, could never ever back the spuds to win man!

  201. Bizarre that Adebayor got taken off in favour of the singularly ineffective Saha.

    I guess it was a like for a like.

    Good result for us, I’d say but torture to watch.

  202. dex

    i agree..

    rosickys presence is better for the now..probably worth another year on the contract..
    rambos a great player and defo one for the future

    ive been daydreaming all day about a future midfield of jack le coq and rambo with oxo and theo on the wings..

  203. arsenalandrew

    Didnt watch it mate! Knew it’d be turgid!

  204. Bradys right foot

    Get in, weve done well out of the weekends results. Going to be a tough game against Sunderland if we can squeeze a win i’ll be delighted.

  205. What a crap advert for the PL that was. Two overrated teams with the right result for us.

  206. Seen Theo miss more than one of those…Every one does at some point , in no way does it make them a bad player… Ive seen Henry in his prime screw those up.

  207. You are very wise Dexter – and I should have known better!

    Can’t wait for Saturday, see some proper football!

  208. JJ

    Ha! Last night I kept imagining lineups for next season (it’s always NEXT season man!) And yeah, my lineup was pretty similar man. In fact the 3 behind Robin were; Theo; Jack; Alex.

    Tomas deserves that extension too, IMO, felt that since the summer. Having him around can only be good for the younger players.

  209. BRF

    We really need a win man, and yep, it will be hard, not impossible. I think it is the right time now, the fervour must’ve died down now up there and O’Neill’s enthusiasm and Mr Motivator/zero tactics approach can’t last forever, surely.

  210. JJ, I thought it was all about numbers? If you don’t know numbers then how do you know that should be paid the going rate?

    My issue is that you cannot look at clubs who spend money like it is going out of style and then say, that is the competitive rate. That is skewed and if that’s what players want (RVP or otherwise), they may have to leave Arsenal and go to one of those teams.

  211. Bradys right foot

    Dex yeah I think we can go there and win, MON has done really well and unearthed a gem in young McClean but weve just scored 7, Theo, the Ox, RVP and the rest of team must be absolutely buzzing. Any type of win will be a great result but if we can match their work rate we should be okay.

  212. I cannot believe that the Spurs actually sat back and played for the draw. That is shameful.

  213. …then how do you know that RVP should be paid the going rate?

  214. Don’t know Dexter – the two Sunderland fans I know are still in shock they have Mo’N; when you look at what’s gone before (and they HATED Bruce by the end – who was a Geordie, wasn’t he?) it’s not surprising.

    I have no doubt whatsoever they will occupy the berth Villa and Everton sat in for many years – always just outside the top 4, always difficult games. Not impossible to win, sure, but defo not a gimme.

    A win would be a great result.

    ***

    Interesting isn’t it – no-one’s saying a word about Carroll’s (non)contribution tonight; all those crying out for expensive signings …

  215. RvP should be offered a big (for us) new deal, clearly. If that isnt good enough for him (or his advisers) then the options are the same as they were for that greedy git who had that top song!

  216. Chamakh is way better than Carroll.

  217. So hope RvP stays – as someone said earlier – Walcott, Ox, RvP; who they hell do they mark?

    They can’t put three players on each …

  218. arsenalandrew

    Chuck in Jack in there too and we are seriously cooking with gas!! 🙂

  219. I must say im really looking forward to the Milan game now. Hoping Rosicky and Ox together with RvP and Theo play a huge role 🙂

  220. i dont understand what you mean paul..

    with or without the numbers rvp deserves to be the highest paid player at this club by a mile..
    top ten finisher
    overtaken bergkamp
    overtaken titi’s calender year record
    set to be golden boot this year possibly another record in the bag
    club captain..

    like i said…think messi..not bendtner..

    the only thing that is skewed is the fact that our wage bill doesnt get any lower yet we dont buy any star players and we dont keep any either..

    totally flawed policy highlighted to the max over the last few years..

    it needs correcting starting with rvp contract..couldnt care less what we pay him..

  221. @arsenalandrew according to the papes Carroll was back in form starting to show why he was a 35m player after he scored one goal was it last week?

  222. poodle

    Well, for some players, all they need t do is score a goal and they are worth £50m! Whereas Theo has to prove his worth every fucking week and thats to Gooners, never mind the effin media!

  223. henrys better than chamakh and carrol. 🙂

    if we take the points at sunderland, milan are in trouble..

    totally agree with andrew…

    if they are in form then how the fuck do you mark them??

  224. JonJon – you’re right to list RvP’s achievements but when you factor in the years of injury it’s actually quite frightening what he (and we) could have achieved.

    And if the Carrolls and the Torres of the world are averaging £40+ million each then RvP could easily top £100 mill.

    Serious cooking with serious gas …

    (The really scary part is Citeh could come up with that kind of cash …)

  225. Team for Saturday;

    Szczesny
    Sagna Koz Vermealen Coquelin
    Song Arteta
    Theo Rosicky Oxo
    RvP
    ————-

    Not too shabby.

  226. That is a strong, strong line up.

    Must remember to pack my black bag …

    Night all.

  227. Haha! Me too Andrew! Lets hope we clean up at el estadio de Luz, or whatever its called? Night

    Lights out! 🙂

  228. Might be too much for his first game back george

  229. Yes, but not to start George, you got any more tips PG? 🙂

  230. Just a short observation: I think we might see Sagna start on the left, as opposed to the right. Coquelin is now fairly settled on the right side, so I am not sure if the boss would want to move him to the left, while Sagna has already shown that he can play on both sides easily. Didn’t we see Sagna on the left just a week or two ago?

  231. Why wouldn’t we play Sagna right and Vermaelen left?

  232. seeya andrew

    george, good shout about evils good shout on dexters good shout…

    id maybe prefer sagna on the left but im perfectly happy with le coq and sagna as the backs..whichever side..

  233. Pass because Sagna and Le Coq overlap rather more than TV.

  234. good shout by passenal
    theres no reason not to do that either..

    although i think it would be nice to give the big german a rest..

    but at least its good to know we can debate the options again..

  235. John Cross bending the truth again

    http://www.mirrorfootball.co.uk/transfer-news/Arsenal-boss-Arsene-Wenger-I-like-Eden-Hazard-but-I-need-to-make-a-20m-profit-EVERY-season-on-transfers-article862355.html

    Wenger’s actual words

    “You should know that each season, it is imperative to show a profit of between fifteen and twenty million pounds. I would add that the purpose of a coach is to always buy at a price he sees fit.”

    It does not say he needs to make the £20 mil from transfers.

  236. Having said that Passenal,You are likely correct.

  237. Passenal

    Because Vermealen is a centre back. Where the hell have you been? 🙂

    Coquelin and Sagna offer us more offensively and can back up the forward players and as JJ says ( good shout by the way there JonJon) resting Per merts makes all kindsa sense.

  238. Dups ,that is a poor as it gets from John Cross.
    I will make a come back to the Fans Forum next time he is on,

  239. Then again, maybe cold see Koscielny or Vermealen rested.

  240. TV wouldnt really need to overlap on the left if oxo’s there..

    the kids fast as fuck and he can dribble he dont need anyone to over lap…he causes problems by himself..

    the over lapping thing has something thats developed cos weve played everyone on the wing but wingers in recent years..so weve needed the backs to be wingers..

    you dont really need them to do that if you have an actual winger who can dribble..

    its helps if they do overlap i suppose..but its not essential…

  241. Fuck me .I though you had gone.
    You speak with false tongue Dexter

  242. Who said anything about overlapping JJ? More like round pegs in round holes dude.

  243. When I say me go George?

  244. i dont normally comment on the media thing but that article by cross is ridiculous twisting..

    id like to know though why its imperitive to make 15-20mil profit every year..

    what happens when you make 60? like we did in 2010..

    does that mean we have 40-45mil lying around somewhere?? 🙂

  245. i was talking to george, dex..
    about the overlap thingy..

  246. JJ .I disagree.
    Theo had a great game aided by Le Coq and his willingness to overlap.
    Dont get carried away with what OX can do.

  247. JJ you can pay the debt down.

  248. i agree george

    le coq was fantastic on theos side..but TV wasnt really making the headlines on the the left of the attack…
    le ox was pretty much doing it on his jack..

    i see no problem with using TV again on the left if thats the option but i do prefer le coq or sagna cos i do think its time we pushed TV inside again and gave someone a rest..

  249. My bad JJ (good shout)

    Yeah, if we have Sagna and Coquelin available then I think we should play em and it gives us a chance to rest one CB.

    Now, I am off, night most.

  250. A tough away game, might call for a bit more solidity in defence. Vermaelen plays LB for Belgium, so filling in there for another game would not be that difficult. Unless Kos or Per need a breather, I would not be surprised to see a Sagna/Per/Kos/Vermaelen line up at the weekend.

  251. consolsbob | February 6, 2012 at 4:29 pm
    “I used to cut the grass outside the Kent and Canterbury.”
    ****
    See, I said CBob was Pop Larkin from the Darling Buds of May. If he has another “Mariette” could he send her over, the last one has gone bonkers.

  252. I think you are right Passenal.
    It seems the most likely line up with a weeks rest in the bag.

  253. One for the Canterbury Uni boys and girls then (went to Leicester myself):

  254. I’m here – I’ll sort it out.

  255. Hmmmm, borderline. Nearly had to put a hippy alert on that one MD….

  256. Arsenal must watch out for Sunderland players who will look for a penalty kick. It’s easy. if they are in the box,thye will look to connect with a defener’s feet like Welbeck did in the Chelsea game. The Chelsea defender made no contac with the attacker but it was the other way r round.So Webb gave akick to help red faced or red nosed.
    You never. Some of these guys in black cannot be trusted. These feelas are out to help rf to win . Having said that if the gunners play like in the Villa game there in reason why they can’t win provided every player, repeat every player, helps to defend.
    Btw expect Martin to go full throttle.Expect bone crunchin or breaking tackles.

  257. Andy wept over the Spuds buying Saha. He should be delighted that they bought an over the hill striker to replace an underused but very good player like Roman Pavlyuchenko.

  258. spurs got bullied tonight..
    bale got beat up..lol

    they stopped playing because kennys main target was to stop them..liverpool are shit… they cant even score… they play for draws at home..shit cunts.,

    spurs are just fucking soft..bales a fairy..i’ll tell you why he missed that chance..its because he wasnt even thinking of scoring he was too busy expecting to get frimponged…he was mentally fucked..

    i still think its either us or chelsea still.. but if the spurs have been found out then it could be us and chelsea..lol..

    not looking forward to anfield though..be prepared to get kicked in the air and bored the life out of for 90mins…

  259. Yogi is a hero!

    Yogi’s Warrior | February 7, 2012 at 12:20 am
    Hmmmm, borderline. Nearly had to put a hippy alert on that one MD….
    ****

    Hey I resemble that remark.

  260. Jonny – I heard that it was Suga3 that started the binbag protest. Which explains both the awful timing and the sheer stupidity of it 🙂

    Had a quick chat with a friend of mine who has put a few Euro’s on Sunderland snatching 5th. At first I just sat there smiling away and nodding, all the while thinking he never was the sharpest knife in the drawer. Needless to say when I came home and had a look at their recent form under O’Neill, I think he may be onto something. I wonder if I should put my Superbowl winnings on it?

  261. Good news with the L’pool Spurs draw there, time to make it count next saturday.

  262. The Spuds have got a few matches ahead that will be hard. If they only get two from the next three it could put us in with a chance towards the end of the season to pip them. Two or three out of the top eight will fall and two or three will falter so we can’t win, but we can still easily finish top 4.

    We also have big matches coming up, but not just in the EPL. If I had to choose one to loose I would struggle. Milan x2, the Spuds at home, the two other teams vying for the 4th spot, plus staying in the FA cup. This really makes you ask: Silverware or 4th position?

    …..and it does not stop there, the schedule is packed. This is a make it 4 weeks and even though I don’t think we can break it, I am glad that we are coming off the back of a good win.

    The team looks set to do it and the bank owed us those goals, which we have paid for already, so I am not even upset about our account – there is still plenty there owed to us.

    In the last few years we have lost it at this point and a good test of whether a strengthened squad is better than team Cesc will be whether we can handle this pressure.

  263. Why leave it to the SUN!

    UnBale-nced Spurs

    No Bale-out

    Beyond the Bale

    Bale into insignificance

    ImBaled on the fencing

    Caught with Hay-Baler

  264. SA – just shows that even if we’re out of the title race it’s still a really exciting season. As indeed is every season. I agree with the wiser heads who pointed out that we are still in transition, adapting to the post Cesc era as it were. So many new faces this year and so very very many injuries in similar positions have meant disruption.
    Could be an up down run in.

  265. Baleful Bale Fails To Make Bail While ‘Arry Sews Bags for Mail

  266. dupsffokcuf | February 6, 2012 at 11:23 pm

    thank you mate !!!

    i came here a week ago telling same thing to them cretins who ask where our money goes…the kolo/ade transfers ..the wages …all them stupid complaints …

    few have realised all these years that wenger has to generate 20-25m surpluss per year !!!!!

    i know ffs …!!

  267. yogi lol…wtf man? still moderation? for me?????????????? lol …

  268. I used to live in the same street as ‘Caravan’ as it happens. The Album title, ‘In the Land of Grwy and Pink’ was, apparently, named after the view of the sunset from Whitstable towards Sheppey.

    It’s true that the sunset in Whitstable was fantactic. All the home grown was called ‘Whitstable Sunset’.

    As for the song, I always preferred ‘Golf Girl’.

    Still I’m impressed that MD actually went to University, although wasn’t Leicester actually a ‘Polytechnic’. You know where those not bright enough for University used to go?

    Often did cooking courses, that sort of thing.

  269. ‘No Bail for ‘Arry’.

    ‘Bale goes down, so does ‘Arry”

  270. When ‘Arry met Bale-y?

    A tale of unrequited shit.

  271. @dupsffokcuf,
    Thanks for the smiley formula for my comments. Now how do I intro it into my emails?

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