Arsène, Use The Fourth As A Springboard For Better Things

Sunderland 1 – 2 Arsenal

1 – 0 McClean (70)
1 – 1 Ramsey (75)
1 – 2 Henry (90)

Had the Brothers Grimm written a football tale – Hansen and Gretel, anyone – the hero would return and score a last-minute winner in his final Premier League appearance. It would be too far-fetched to be taken seriously; it just could not happen, could it? It did, courtesy of a superb Andrey Arshavin cross, wonderful technique which Henry took advantage of to guide home. The maligned Russian rose to the occasion, providing an object lesson in delivering when it mattered as the clock ran down at The Stadium of Light. It was not, Mr O’Neill, “kind of lobbed” into the area; the player’s eyes and body focussed on making the cross count.

The match itself would have passed into the pantheon of undistinguished wins were it not for the significance of the scorer. In truth, Henry had done little since being introduced for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain with twenty-five minutes remaining. When you score the winner, that matters little; Henry has been at the club for moments such as this and the one at The Emirates against Leeds. It is that quality that will be sorely missed when he departs later this week unless there has been a miraculous recovery of Marouane Chamakh’s confidence.

Before kick-off, the defeat of Liverpool had helped in the League; sixth place protected and with Newcastle visiting White Hart Lane, fifth was eminently achievable. Arsène would have probably settled for being level with Chelsea at the final whistle. Their continued implosion has given a psychological boost to the club with fourth place achieved this morning. That, according to the detractors, was an impossible dream for the club to aim at. This stage of the season means nothing; Arsenal can use the League position to push on though, consolidating that which they have whilst whittling away at the larger gap to third. Small steps.

Whilst Arsenal started brightly, Sunderland were not overwhelmed. Neither side created any chances of note although Vermaelen did have a header blocked from van Persie’s corner. Szczesny was untroubled even when Campbell robbed Koscielny of possession, the shot deflected wide. Walcott was then released on the right by van Persie, drilling his shot across the face of goal and wide. Mertesacker might have conceded a penalty were the official of less strong will, the ball bouncing into his arm rather than deliberately controlled by the German as the interval cast its shadow on proceedings.

As the hour mark approached, the game sprang to life. Gardner brought a save from Szczesny with a rasping drive. The Pole fumbled the initial block, grateful that the ball span into the air and away from the goal with Campbell arriving to pounce. There was a mistake for the original save but Szczesny’s reactions were quick and vitally decisive. The earlier save from the same player was more confident, even if it was eventually negated by the offside flag. The inconsistencies of youth encapsulated in those two moments.

The Sunderland goal came with fifteen minutes left and summed Arsenal’s luck this season. Mertesacker was dealing with a routine interception from Sagna, corralling the ball back to the safety of Szczesny when he collapsed as a spent Jack In The Box. McClean saw the opportunity and seized it, driving his shot across the Arsenal goal into the far corner. Post match, Arsène was not optimistic in his prognosis,

Mertesacker told me that he got a shot in his ankle and couldn’t move at all anymore. We are a bit worried about his ankle I must say because he goes home on crutches. He has done some ligament damage, but how big that is we will have to check tomorrow. For sure he is out for Wednesday

It negates the positive reports over Jack Wilshere’s injury. Kieran Gibbs return though frees Thomas Vermaelen to partner Koscielny in the Italian Alps this week.

For some time the manager has been extolling the virtues of his squad’s mental strength. Yesterday they provided strong evidence of it. The ball broke to Aaron Ramsey on the edge of the area and his shot, with a touch of slice, left Mignolet stranded. The ball struck in the inner post, travelled the width of the goal before hitting its opposite upright and spinning into the net. A sign for the young Welshman that his luck is perhaps changing?

As Arsenal turned the pressure onto the hosts, van Persie could only guide a header at the Sunderland goalkeeper. It set the denouement that left the club in good health for the coming fortnight’s fixtures.

’til Tomorrow.

Posted on February 12, 2012, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Soccer and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 416 Comments.

  1. Thierry Henry for President of Everything

  2. “Touch of Slice”..YW??

    Great post..

    Nice to see the gloom and doom brigade absent en mass yesterday, unsurprisingly absent it must be said..I do not know how they define being a “fan”..but the only thing I am sure of is its vastly different to my definition

  3. may the 4th be with you..

  4. brilliant brilliant cross from arshavin. he was just sort of dancing around with two defenders in front of him, then he squeezed that cross in between them. it looked almost like a delicate chip.

    the funny thing is that i thought arshavin or benayoun should have come on, because obviously we needed some spark, some magic to unlock the space because walcott and the ox’s pace has been neutralised with sunderland sitting so deep. den i looked at the pitch and thought that arshavin would struggle if he tried to run with the ball on that pitch.

    turns out he didnt need to run with the ball. he just stayed stationary and put the ball through.

  5. i think arshavin will start against milan. and then chambo to come on when milan are tired to really wreak havoc.

  6. there was a time when we would have had our heads in our hands over an injury to someone as important as the big man..

    but TV kozzer and JD still to choose from..

  7. Well I have been overwhelmed by the job and a project at home but the ACLF crew must be glowing with pride as our team justifies our continuing support. Most of all the boys have provided the perfect antidote to the parasites like Muga and jabba.

    P.S. Patrice Evra beng the symbol of anti-racism must be the biggest joke in 2012. Suarez and Daglish deserve each other as they are joined in a deadly embrace. Anyboy at ACLF would have predicted that taking on the posterboys of the EPL was a kiss of death.

  8. I think Wenger is to blame for Mertesaker’s injury. He should never have played the big German….It was clear he needed a rest….You are all a bunch of mugs….believing the greatest spin doctor in football. And another thing he should not have played the OX because the pitch at the Stadium of Light is so bad it could not bring the best out of him….bad decision….it’s time for Wenger to go…Where’s Suga and Jabba?

  9. How come someone dies whenever Ramsey scores??

  10. great comeback and fighting spirit by our boy,someone yesterday mentioned the fact that Rambo scored and wondered which famous person would die,unfortunately whitney houston died.i dont really know what meaning to read into this coincidence…

  11. I see most gooners are still in bed…………….

  12. Excellent write up, YW – as usual.

    Just watched a BBC highlights video of the game. Every chance Sunderland had, was in it. Lots of replays of their penalty shout, not a single one of ours. Commentators biased, to say the least. They even got the statistics wrong: possession 47 % vs 53 %. Shots 9 vs 10. Sure happy my taxes ain’t paying for this. Sheesh.

  13. is suga famous? hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm 😉

  14. We iz fankful for ze futball god Henry. We woz smokin some of me finest afghan snow when de goal in and we’ze have a serious high dat shoot me to the ceiling. Bump on me ead. Dig ?. Before ze match, me changed me pants az woz not confident of ze win. So respekt to the mainest man Wenger for ze coolest substitutions on ze planet. ze russian midge man Arshavin, eze da geeza who been in de doghouse, innit, crossed the wickedest ball for ze king.

    We iz now smokin in anticipation for ze war with ze mafia. We ave our own consigliere – Song, who iz the geeze dat will deal with the italian bandits. Like ze movie innit, we need to take dem by surprise and carve them up on ze toll road. Me iz of the opinion dat Ramsey needs to start coz he is the man. But still, weze will be wotchin the match from behind ze sofa.

    But ze thing us now, we iz in the top 4. Who wud have thought this was a pissblity ? Me ead go giddy when looking at ze table. Is dis true ? We iz going to be in the league of the main men next year ? If dis the case, me is going to order a wickedly big consignment of the ze purest snow from Kandahar. It will be a beautiful summer. Mebbe sign one of the main geezas from Germany or France. Mebbe Gazidis will take ze wagon to Kensington for ze shopping trip… dig? Hope he dos, cos he will see me and ze brothas on the corna. We cud impart some of ze finest negotiatin and math skills carefully honed from gettin ze commodoties.

    We iz now chillin on Sunday. Hope ze crew on ACLF doin same. Booyakasha !!

  15. Nice one Arshavin. If you have little respect for the man at least you will give him the fact that he made the Henry legend what it was.

    What a legend too. Henry is officially the greatest player of all time.

  16. Great first post that Bobby. I’d vote.

  17. I really hate wasting my breath on the anti arsenal campaign that the media has but yes, again yesterday was another inexcusable sleight on our team.

  18. So Ramsey killed Whitney Housten!!

  19. Terrible news expected for Merty. I’m not expecting him back this season. That’s what happens when you try to run on a fucking farmers field..

    Let’s hope Gibbs is ready to play soon and isn’t rushed back. Please don’t let Gibbs be rushed back. Gibbs returning to the squad will give us Koscielny and Vermaelen with Djourou as back-up. That is still pretty tasty.

  20. i think gibbs will not be ready for milan. i am not sure if i want him on that sunderland pitch next saturday.

  21. Great ball from Arshavin, he did more in 5 minutes than Walcott did in the entire game. That lad needs to up his game or he’ll be warming the bench once Gervinho returns. He can forget about £100k a week as well. If he holds us to ransom, just flog him to Liverpool.

    For Arshavin, let’s hope that he can kick on and give a couple of seasons good service.

    Think Gibbs will play in the week as he was on the bench yesterday. Great to have Sagna back as well

  22. don’t think arshavin is staying. not after the slag he has received from ‘fans’. he will leave in the summer.

    i want him to stay, because you know he is capable of that moment of magic in tight situations. as he showed yesterday.

    and wenger wants him to stay, because he knows.

    but sadly, our ‘fans’ didnt want him.

  23. Finally, we have real full backs. What’s the latest on santos and jenks?

  24. Bloody hilarious Muppet.

    Absolutely bloody hilarious.

  25. jamesM, robbie fowler said that yesterday..try saying something different maybe.

  26. the media led walcott bullying that is.

  27. Thats all i can think of…bullying. every fukin puntit or commontater feels its open season to have a fukin pop at theo. and the not so bright gooners just follow suit. tell me then name me better wide right players who produce more goals and assists in the league that you would rather have?? downing..no, lennon…not unless your a spud as how many goals and assists does he get compared to walcott, but of course the media never say a bad word about lemmon so he must be better.

  28. Walcott and Shava have a lot of quality but their major problem is consistency, great one game, anonymous the next few. If they can just perform at the same level in every game I don’t think anyone would have a bad word for them

  29. jamesM

    Sick of your constant bitchin.

    Were you at the game? I was and to say Theo did fuck all shows your complete lack of intelligence, you thick cunt. Fuck off to another blog.

  30. duke

    3 assists last week, yet this week, in a tough away game on a bog, the thick cunts jump back on the band wagon.

    Wankers the lot of em.

  31. Some twat called Dpwning world class yesterday apparantly!!! Hahahahaha!

  32. really fanboy?? so name me other players who “perform in every game”….er…Messi…..now im at a loss..do help me out here..

    .

  33. fanboy

    No ,mate thats bollocks, because there would still be those who think they arent good enough. No matter what

  34. van Persie didnt score yesterday, he did fuck all, what a shite player, while Henry didnt touch the ball until he scored. I bet his loan would have been called a waste of time if he hadnt have scored the winner too.

  35. korihikage | February 12, 2012 at 11:34 am great post

  36. I’m in agreement with Dex.

  37. dukeG

    And I am in agreement woth you. It is sad how some weak minded sheep get their opinions from the constant drip drip of the hacks and pundits. They have those negative views in their heads and then when ever a player doesnt do something good, score, assist, save a goal whatever, that is proof of the fact they are shite. Instead of watching them with an open mind, or from a supporters perspective. If all you look for is the negatives, you wont acknowledge the good a player does.

    I have seen more than enough from Theo, over the years to see he is a top player. THis season may not be his bestm, but his stats are still good enough for a wide player, one who is 22 as well FFS.

    Pathetic, I expect this kinda shite from opposition fans and the meeja, but from so called Gooners???

    Sad

  38. To be fair to Chesney the ball bounced just before he got it.

  39. Duke

    Fair enough, ‘every game’ was a poor choice of words, even Ronaldo and Rvp aren’t the same in all games. What I meant is most games; we get to see shavas ‘magic’ not too often and theo has more below par games than excellent ones.
    Take a player like Song for example, he makes a lot of mistakes but the good he does in each match outwieghs those mistakes. I hope you understand

  40. Dexter

    Some people have totally made up their minds about some players, so they can’t acknowledge any development in said players. You know what I say about them? F*ck them

  41. er..no i dont understand as im a thick cunt fanboy!

  42. Comparing Song and THeo is like comparing a ferrari and a range rover dude!

  43. That was the kind of game we would have not got a result from last season. I could give a fuck on how we came a way with three (great AA cross I could see George fisting the air) into 4th and Chelsea looked execrable.
    The only downer was Spurs looking effervescent – ah well good luck to them lets focus on our job.
    Woop! Woop!

  44. Booyakasha! 🙂

  45. goonermichael

    I was thinking that man, was a good save and he saw it very late.

    Shit! Even Yogi is bitching about the players!

  46. Duke, if you say so

    Dexter, the point I’m trying to make is if your good games outweigh your bad ones then no one has a right slag you. everybody has off days but the question is how frequent are they.

  47. on messi

    i was at the pub for barca-valencia on wednesday, and one barca fan was saying to the other: cambia messi

    messi had missed quite a few glorious opportunities you normally would expect him to put away, especially with the valencia team seemingly bent on giving barca the goals on a silver platter with their passing at the back.

  48. Jonny

    as someone pointed out, newcastle had no cabaye and tiote.

    anyway, if this turns out to be the spuds’ last win of the season, i will gladly take it.

  49. lol@jamesM….

  50. FANBOY

    I dont think you know what you are trying to say. Maybe you are trying to dig yourself out of that hole. Keep digging!

  51. *sigh

    If you have 20 good games and 5 poor ones, you are a good player in my books.

    If you have 5 good games and 20 poor ones, you are not a good player.

    Is that simple enough?

  52. Anyway, enough of this shit, we won a tough away game, cae from behind and the winner was scored by our bestest ever player (IMO)….. Anyone wanting to find fault really is need of a shag.

  53. Fanboy

    YOu are hardly espousing complicated points I am interested to know why you feel the need to keep going on with yourself? So Theo has 20 bad games and 5 good does he?

    You are dull and boring. *Yawns*

  54. Anyway to cap it off. Theo and Arshavin need to be more consistent

  55. right i’m going statto on you bitches!!

    Theo is in 21st place this season for combined goals and assists with 11( 3 gls, 8 ast)
    only Nani & Bale has more from a wide midfield position.

    http://www.myfootballfacts.com/Premier_League_Combined_2011-12.html

    last season theo was 21st place with 16 (9 gls, 7 ast) with monkey boy on 8 (7 gls 1 ast)

    http://www.myfootballfacts.com/Premier_League_Combined_2010-11.html

  56. YOu thought it was a difficult concept for someone to grasp, you really thought it needed explanation what constitiutes a bad player in terms of your remedial definitions?

    Hahahahahahahaha! Funniest thing you’ve ever said, pity it was completely unintentional.

  57. BY your reckoning we need to fuck you off seeing as you havent posted anything worth reading as yet.

  58. right i’m going statto.

    Theo is in 21st place this season for combined goals and assists with 11( 3 gls, 8 ast)
    only Nani & Bale has more from a wide midfield position.

    http://www.myfootballfacts.com/Premier_League_Combined_2011-12.html

    last season theo was 21st place with 16 (9 gls, 7 ast) with monkey boy on 8 (7 gls 1 ast)

    http://www.myfootballfacts.com/Premier_League_Combined_2010-11.html

  59. To cap it off, you showed me what I originally thought; you havent got a fucking clue.

  60. On to the next one. I saw Milan play and they’ll be a really tough side to beat. They really go into tackles, hope they dnt Mess up Rvp as Henry is signing off soon.

  61. i’m trying to put some stats up but theo has 11 combined assists and goals this season with only Bale and Nani as wide players having more…he is in 21st place on the schindlers.

    last season he had 16 combined with bale only getting 8.

    so over the sat two seasons theo has 27 and bale 25!!

    so theo actually has better stats then bale! ha ha…but theo is shit though isnt he and a right pain fo us gooner and so fukin annoying. fukin jokers.

  62. Whatever Dexter,

    It will be wonderful if we now see more of Kozzer and Verm at CB now that Gibbs is fit, for me they are two of the best in the league

  63. Gains re my comments on your homophobia I have so far seen you repeatedly call someone a spunk taster, told me to fuck off with my boyfriend and more than once to go suck a dick. There are other examples which I forget. You are clearly a bright and articulate individual and if you are not homophobic I’ll accept that at your word (though you have yet to actually deny it). Perhaps you can accept that the repeated casual use of language such as this might paint a different picture, and that anyone who is gay might have had cause to take offence at these words?
    In spite of being on the receiving end of pretty much every insult under the sun from you, I’ve never once retaliated in kind – in fact the only time I’ve name called on here was towards the Suga, Acryllic and Jabba and to be honest I rather regret that I did.
    Anyway I’d far rather we buried the axe – I don’t see that I merit this level of vitriol. It’s not that I care particularly but I’m damn confident that it’s very boring for everyone else.
    We support the same team – we don’t have to agree on the minutiae – and God knows we don’t have to be friends but disagreements don’t have to deteriorate into insults either.
    If I wanted the be called a cunt I’d hang out a Le grove… ;0)

  64. Theo is joint 3rd for assists this season! only valencia and silva have more with mata on par. not bad for someone who is inconsistent. so does he warrant the vile witchhunt from the media??

  65. its coming up its coming up its ..dare

  66. Hey duke !!! fuck the media…the media manipulate the weak in mind .. 😉

  67. korikhage – they certainly miss Tiote but those spud bastards are brimming with confidence. They’ll drop points yet but I fancy that won’t be their last win of the season – though i have to admit that’s a delightful thought.

  68. First time this year we have capitalized on those around us losing points.Where is George? He should be here singing Arsha praises for that assist.

  69. duke

    I dont get it either, perhaps notmuchofafanboy can explain to us simpletons?

  70. Jonny

    Did you want to jump on the argue bus too then??? 🙂

  71. For the FA cup tie, I actually believe we should definitely start with Chamakh..Yesterday was one of the rare occasions in recent times, where the game was made for Chamakh..get the ball wide, and cross into the box..I think he could bag a couple if he starts next week…

  72. but those spud bastards are brimming with confidence.

    i know but that is our fault…we have allowed them to have them big mouths…

    when they come here we need to destroy them and put things at their place. this is up to the players.

  73. muppet –
    Amazing how you always make such good sense of things.

    Szcz – I thought made 2 excellent saves from both of Gardner’s shots. I thought he could have done better on McClean’s goal……the angle at which the shot was taken was to Szcz’s advantage – at least to deflect wide of the post.

    Darius’s comment yesterday was about the deaths of high profile individuals “the day after Ramsey scores”…..not the same day.

  74. Jonny,
    Gains can’t seem to help using such er.. ‘flowery’ language, often without provocation. I have called him up on it many times before, and his reaction has always been to try to make it look like I’m being too sensitive to that sort of talk.
    If he doesn’t change behaviour after that very sensible appeal you’ve just made, then one has to imagine there is definitely something wrong somewhere.

  75. duke

    On a similar note, Im sure if we look at the minutes to assists/goals stats for both Arshavin and to a lesser extent Chamakh, they dont make such awful reading either..

    But calling AA lazy, and Chamakh useless is way easier than trying to exercise those non-existent brain cells is it not?? 😀

  76. fanboy on February 12, 2012 at
    11:47 am said:
    Walcott and Shava HAVE A LOT OF QUALITY but
    their major problem is consistency, great one
    game, anonymous the next few. If they can
    just perform at the same level in every (most) game(s) I
    don’t think anyone would have a bad word for
    them

    ——————————————-

    Just to clarify my position on things, I don’t think Walcott is a bad player, I just wish we could see Theo in the Chelsea/Marseille/Blackburn mode more often

  77. Dex – sorry if it looks out of the blue! I was out all day yesterday and this was in defence to a comment Gains wrote yesterday.
    Lets move on. 😀

  78. Hunter not sure it’s entirely our fault – but yeah – that’s going be a massive match.
    Destruction would be ace but I’ll settle for 3 points in any form that’s going.

  79. Jonny

    Well, when you explain it like that, I will allow it this once! 🙂

    Anirudh

    I think you are on to something there man; play Chamkh on the plowed field next week, rest RvP. Or at least stick him on the bench, works for me.

  80. fanboy

    I am sure you arent as bad as some of the mindless sheep man, you just happened to post right after a doomer. Now, you need to show me you aint one dude! 🙂

    Lets move on.

  81. Duke, Dexter, you forgot to mention SWP as well as Lennon and Downing.

    http://arsenalcolumn.co.uk/2012/02/09/theo-walcott-deserves-credit-for-being-a-key-player-for-arsenal/

    Nice post from the (football) Brain. I’d trust his judgement over those who’ve spent seasons spewing bile at players from the team they ‘support’.

  82. fanboy

    I think the issue is – by this binary definition to judge consistency (good/bad games, which I assume roughly translates to good >= 6/10, bad < 6/10) most wide forwards in the 4-3-3 will be classified as bad or not good players..This season in the EPL, I guess only Nani can then be classified as good (although I do not watch every united game, only from the ones I have seen)

    Nani, Walcott, Bale, and Gervinho are the 4 best wide forwards IMO in the PL,..Silva, and Mata are not true wide forwards but more trequartistas in the way they play, which is why I have not included them..

    The point being that to expect song-like consistency from any of those wide players i have mentioned or from Arshavin, its is just not the right way to judge these players..

    They really should be judged by match-winning moments, and both Walcott and AA have given no cause for complain in that sense..

  83. Dex

    A pitch like that demands keeping the ball in the air than on the pitch, a type of game where Chamakhs aerial prowess and tireless work rate is well suited to.

  84. fukin el tel…Stewart drownings stats this season.

    plyd 24 assts 0 goals 0 crosses 334

    now that deserves some harsh criticism ..

  85. Jonny

    I agree with 3 points any which way…but would asking for a 93rd minute Arsenal winner coming off Ade’s arse be a bit much??

  86. Duke

    But he has got them footballing brains, however you need to be a pundit to see that 😀

  87. finsbury; true man.

    THis idea about how good a playeris, is not an easy one to make and if you are basing it purely on TV, pundit, then you are not getting the complete picture, especially if that pundit, hack has an axe to grind or agenda to put out.

    I remember being completed dumbfounded when I saw Arsenal in 98, I hadnt been to any games for a while as I was living away and saw Arsenal at Bolton; The movement was fucking awesome and something I just didnt see when watching on TV.

    Same applies with indivual players, I have seen Theo tons of times in the flesh and he works his arse off, constantly making runs yet all we hear is how incon-fucking-sistent he is?

    Utter rubbish

    His season hasnt been his best, so far, yet that doesnt mean he is either inconsistent, or crap.

  88. YW
    I find your analysis consistently refreshing and insightful.

    Maybe Chamakh is not the player you (or others) wanted Arsene to bring to the club.

    When Chamakh was playing regularly…..he proved many of his early skeptics wrong with his unorthodox style; holding the ball up well, high work rate, ability to create penalty opportunities, aerial play, goals – assists, and his quick adaption to the physicality of league play.

    Arsenal were successful and for me that is the priority for most supporters.

    When RvP returned, Chamakh was dropped to the bench but not because of poor performances.

    In the past 12+ months Chamakh has not see enough playing time to justify criticism. It is Arsene’s decision or policy on ‘not rotating’ players that should be questioned.

    Things are never perfect. All of us need to accept what is now and do what is a priority for fans, supporting their team and every player.

  89. duke

    But Drowining is world class!!!

    Those are some terrible stats!!

  90. Thanks Dex – your blessing is important to me. ;0)

    Well, this whole Henry thing turned out rather nice hey? Reputation not so much tarnished but buffed to a greater shine. I do hope he will return to the club in some capacity in the future – he an inspirational character.

    Can’t wait for the Milan game – my gut feeling is, unusually, one of confidence. Italian teams tend to allow us to play and our midfield is showing signs of recognition as regards putting the round thing in the onion bag.

    I’d start AA that marvellous cross will have lifted his spirits and he’s certainly needed that.

  91. Obviously everyone has their own different measuring sticks. Believe it or not Walcott happens to be my second favourite Arsenal player after Kozzer so maybe that make me more critical of him.
    All in all, i just want the best for my team and the best from the team players

  92. Anirudh – that’d be just bloody marvellous. We could release a DVD of the game. 😉

  93. Jonny

    Henry’s legendary status was never in question for me, but his 2nd spell would have been castigated in certain quarters, as it had been since the decision was announced.

    BUT, after that winner yesterday, even the most jaundiced hack will have to eat a bit of humble crumble! Beautiful!

    As for the Milan game, yeah, AA starting works for me. I wonder if Rosicky will be deemed fit enough to start another game? He is playing excellently ATM.

    Fanboy

    WE all want the bast for our team and criticism isnt banned, or frowned upon, its just the needless negativity and hating that is. Trust me, I have been very critical this season and last dude.

  94. Jonny, I may be a foul mouthed idiot, but I don’t try to play peace maker while spewing some vile homophobic shit like you do.

    Henristic, I’m not the only one who uses flowery language, you prude.

    Dex, it was McMannaman who called Downing world class. The same Steve McMannaman who slates Arsenal for not spending money even-though his beloved club is sitting in seventh place after having spent more than 70 million pounds on three players.

  95. Cheers Gains, that’s not a surprise then is it? Ha! I spuppose it should be expected of an ex-Pool player, wish more of our ex-pros were as deluded!

  96. Jonny

    Nah a DVD for that would be too much on the level of spurs DVD’s, our DVD will need something truly spectacular-

    Like Bale setting of on a run, accidently getting tackled by gallas who tries to clear the ball, but it strikes Ade’s arse and trickles in agonizingly, as the last piece of action in the game, and at the whistle Ade and Gallas get involved in an enormous bust up in front of 50,000 Arsenal fans..now that would be an ARSENAL DVD!!!

  97. I know we have a game in mid-week, but looking further ahead to the FA cup match, I think AW will need to seriously rotate. That pitch will play heavy on his decisions as to who plays, or not, IMO. That is why I would definitely rest RvP, even though a win is hugely important in terms of momentum and hopes of getting a trophy. Its certainly a very difficult dilemna for the boss.

  98. Dex

    Doubt if Rosicky would start, probably Ramsey, Arshavin, and Gibbs, instead of Rosicky, AOC, and Per

  99. Anirudh

    Yeah, you are probably right man, but I just feel it would be the perfect game for some Rosicky class. Perhaps Tomas to start vs Milan, and Ramsey next Saturday?

  100. gains, i reckon you’d get on well with saurez!!

  101. Hahahahahahahahahahahahaaaaaa…..aaaaaaargh. Oh dearie me, Brilliant, Moopay

  102. Any news on Jenkinson???

  103. Dex

    Yep I agree, would be great if he could start, but wenger usually does not start him at the weekend and in midweek, its understandable too looking at the intesity in his play

  104. The only reason why Theo Walcott gets slated all the time is because the people who do the slating just don’t understand his role on the pitch. That’s why I don’t bother discussing Theo with some people any more.

  105. I have never ONCE said anything homophobic on here – this is not the first time you have accused me of things that are completely untrue and this is why I referred to you recently as a liar, as I had successfully proved another of your frequent accusations was without basis. You did not respond and then did not post for the next 5 days. Coincidental I’m sure.

    ‘vile homophobic shit’ – an outrageous and completely untrue slur in a pathetic attempt to deflect from your own words.

    Back it up or retract it. Here is betting you manage neither.

  106. The turning point was when Ramsey came on and Song went into the back four

  107. Fuck off, Duke. I don’t have to shake your hand.

  108. Starting line up in Milan: Szczesny Sagna Gibbs TV Kos Song Arteta Ramsey Arshavin The Ox and RVP

  109. And you are quite clearly not an idiot which is why I find your deliberately unpleasant choice of words so unnecessary.

  110. “Fanboy
    WE all want the bast for our team and
    criticism isnt banned, or frowned upon, its
    just the needless negativity and hating that is.
    Trust me, I have been very critical this season
    and last dude.”

    ————————————————-

    If that is true then I don’t get why saying some players were inconsistent caused any fuss. Anyway, water under the bridge and such.

    How long was Jenks supposed to be out for?

  111. Jonny, I don’t give a shit about your homophobia as long as you don’t try to come off as ACLF’s altar boy. Now fuck off and put some cones out on a practice pitch or something, you prick.

  112. You guys ate complaining about the pitch at Sunderland, but the pitch at the San Siro is just as crap. Whether we like it or not, the team will have to deal with shit pitches for the next few weeks.

  113. Yogi:

    Wonderful post again. Your the best.

    Great game yesterday. In my mind the best game of the season by a country mile. Winning in the cold north on a poor pitch against a mid table team that was playing well. The fact that all the other teams in contention for 4th place lost and the winner was a fairy tale goal just made it better. This sort of game has always been a trap in the past and winning yesterday took immense mental strength. Great way to take us into the mid week CL game and great spring board for the rest of the season.

    Gutted about Mert. I love our lump and hope he isn’t out for too long.

    I would be interested to hear from George or may be Passenal or Steww to explain how the referees giving us favorable calls in this game and the Bolton game fits into the great referee conspiracy theory. The only thing I can think of is the FA has told the refs to be sure to give us a few calls just to keep down the level of suspicion. 🙂

  114. So you managed neither. Got to say I am like totally shocked. God knows I’m a very long way from perfect and I’m not seeking to be an ‘altar boy’. Akll i did was point out that Andy is not comparable to Jabba. I think most would agree with that.
    You said it was rich me saying we don’t have to agree, to get along – Jesus – if that’s being an ‘altar boy’ in your eyes then you have a very distorted view of the world.
    I’m a big enough man to try and bury the hatchet but this is obviously of no interest, you’d rather dismiss your own homophobic language as idiocy and invent an offensive character slur – to make out that I am a vile homophobe – speaking as one who has marched for gay rights and had a bisexual wife I find that a disgusting accusation. A total pack lies which you cannot possibly back up (because it never happened) and you refuse to retract it and then, as a final throw of the dice, you resort to telling me to fuck off. Oo how articulate.
    Call me a cunt again, you know you want to, it say more about you than it does me anyway.

  115. What is it with you G69?

    Why the abuse? Save it for someone who really deserves it.

    It’s true Jonny talks a lot but most of it is sense.

  116. It looked like Per was having a really good game until he went off.

    At that point I was thinking if we didn’t have any bad luck we wouldn’t have any luck at all.

    But maybe Rambo’s shot going in and not bouncing out is the turning point.

    Great ball from Andrey too, I have said before that despite being horribly out of form he has kept trying the killer passes, which takes massive cajones, and it was inevitable that his quality would shine through at some point – what a great cross.

  117. Plus he’s bought me a pint so he’s a good man in my book.

  118. What favorable calls? Does not giving two possible pens one to each team work out as favourable? It does for Arsenal!
    Statiscally predictable given the referees in question, that’s the interesting F.A.C.T.

  119. We can still catch the spuds!

  120. If Andrei’s cross had failed to make it past the first man(as it could easily have done so) He would be pilloried for trying it and losing possession.
    There is not one other player in the squad who would have tried that.It is what he does and when it works he is a magician,when it doesn’t he is a fat useless lazy Russian.
    People don’t understand his game.Because they don’t understand “the” game.
    I hope Zenit come in for him this month and he goes home.Our fans who boo him are worse than Luis Suarez in the humanity stakes.
    Cunts to a man they are.

  121. Bill,don’t be silly.
    Correct decisions are not favorable in my book.They are simply fair and just.

  122. Moving on from the wisdom of such defensive expertise above:

    Dex, did you go to Sunderland? Must’ve been a good trip!

  123. PG
    Your last comment is far too logical for me. Does not…compute.
    Especially when you are addressing someone who comes from a land where the officials are given every possible imaginable assistance in sports. Can’t imagine why!

  124. It’s so easy to accept at face value the “seven years of failure” rhetoric wrapped around our not winning a trophy for seven seasons. So let’s look at the figures.

    If we take our present league position as a proxy for the end of this season, our average end-of-season position over the past seven seasons (2005/6 to 2011/12) – between 3rd and 4th – is higher than over any other seven year period between the Second World War and AW joining the club in 1996.

    The most successful seven years during that period was the end of Howe/beginning of Graham era (1985/6 to 1991/2) when the average position was a little lower, but also between 3rd and 4th.

    In fact, there have only been two seven year periods in the club’s history when we have done better. In the Chapman/Allison era between 1930/31 and 1936/37 we averaged between 2nd and 3rd.

    And of course far and away best of all, between 1997/98 and 2003/04 under AW we averaged between 1st and 2nd.

    Perhaps one day we will be able to acclaim a manager more successful than AW. But I doubt if I will live to see it.

    (And now I think I’d better go out for a long walk.)

  125. Gains in absolute seriousness I’d really rather the hostilities just ended – we don’t need kiss and make up (oo-er!) but this is SO silly. I am sure will continue to disagree but I’m NOT after a fight – my life has enough horrible things going on as is and I see this a place of escape at times. I’m sure I rub a few people up the wrong way now and then (though I fancy you’re even better at this than me!) and I do love a ruck and good banter but not hostility. I have no need or like for it.
    As Bob says there MUST be more worthy targets we can point our vitriol at?
    Where’s the SPECTRUM twat when ya need him?
    Oh yeah we won.
    Speaking of which we’re in fourth – I’m finding this faintly surreal. The challenge is to keep the position and aim to peel the spuds but I didn’t think we’d get here so soon. Feels comfy.

  126. George it was a delightful cross – it had an air of cheek about it. Why Henry didn’t head it I don’t know, but he sure knows what he’s doing.

  127. Jonny,I agree whit Gains.You are a lily livered cunt with no stomach for a fight.

    Gains ,I agree with Jonny,you are an obnoxious prick who does not know who his real enemies are.

    Actually I really agree with Bob.
    Move on boys .

  128. George @ 2:38.

    I doubt the home fans would have thought either of those we fair calls.

  129. Also ,we should stop obsessing about Spurs.
    If they finish 3rd and we 4th.Happy days.They will get their comeuppance next season.The world will realign .

  130. Fuck what the home fans think Bill.
    If we gave decisions on what the home fans thought there would never be an away win anywhere,ever.
    What a stupid thing for you to say.(“even you” I might add) 🙂

  131. Yes, let’s move on. I think it has gotten to a point that it is detracting from the site and the great dialogue that goes on here.

    Jonny and Gains are both intelligent and have a lot to offer. So yeh, lets move on.

    Have a blessed day, all!

  132. Bill, your point is that if Arsenal gets one or two favorable call’s, that means there can be no corruption?

  133. PG

    We’ve got Andrei Arshavin, We’ve got Andrei Arshavin, We’ve got Andrei Arshavin, We’ve got Andrei Arshavin !!!!! 😀

  134. What a cross by Arshavin. I don’t remember a better cross, to place the ball between two defender’s and out of the reach of the goalie is amazing. Brilliant!

  135. Btw..If I am right none of our resident “after-defeat” specialists posted after yesterdays game (thank heavens), however its something to keep in mind the next time one of them say they do not post only after defeats…

  136. PG

    But I really really hope we do finish above spurs 😀

  137. Wolves thumped at home and the boo boys come out.

    I detest that at any club. Venom and ahte written large on men’s faces. Over a defeat.

    Awful.

  138. CBob, nothing wrong with me. I don’t like Jonny and he doesn’t like me. Simple.

    Jonny, as long as you don’t take cheap shots at our players and don’t try to play the sensible peace maker, which you aren’t, then you won’t hear a peep from me.

  139. Just ignore each other then, The abuse really isn’t welcome.

    Save it.

  140. Bill, there were no questionable calls against Bolton. Szczesny cleared the ball before the Bolton player got to it. The ref not calling it a penalty is him doing his job and not some sort of favorable call.

    Well said, Merlot.

    Anirudh, that they don’t post after a victory Should be taken into account when people start responding to them. If people like Jabba, Suga and the rest of the morons are just ignored they’ll leave by themselves.

  141. @ G69

    I feel I have to say this, for what it’s worth – I agree with you. But it really is best to rise above it. You’re never going to meet each other, so what does it all really matter? And as a last resort, remember the scroll button is your friend.

  142. FG,I thought you agreed with me.

  143. I was so proud of the team, yesterday, and I had the feeling all along that we would somehow pull a rabbit out of a hat.

    YW, you’re right. If someone presented the Return of The King as a script, it would be rejected as too cheesy. I am sad to be losing him after Wednesday but it reflects well on TH that he is not prepared to impair the pre-season of the club of which he is captain.

  144. Got it, CBob.

  145. Cbob

    Would you say this is a modern phenomenon??

  146. @ PG
    Me? Never!!! 🙂

  147. gains

    I do that to a large extent, but their flood of comments makes it hard to do..

  148. I will, Fun. Thanks.

  149. Wel Anirudh, there have also been people who moan at matches. Highbury had it’s share but the level of abuse aimed at your own team seems new to me. It doesn’t take much to start it either and it spreads from club to club like a virus. TV is the carrier.

    It’s the ‘me’ generation. A chance to be part of a gang, to take out all your ignorant grievances on the world. Plus you get to go on TV in all your spittle faced glory.

  150. I’m watching the Inter game and the pitch seems very slippery. Especially in the penalty area.

  151. And a goal from Ramsey – for two months or more, those shots have been going just wide. AW said that once Aaron starts scoring, he won’t stop. So what with Titi departing, now would be a really good time for that prediction to come good.

  152. How do they look Gains?

  153. Blimey! West Brom 5, Wolves 1 !

  154. Cbob

    Hmmm..I guess…criticism sells better than praise and all that…the increase in footballing blogs and fora in general also play a part…

    Whatever be the reason, I just cannot fathom how somebody can boo their own club

  155. FG

    Hopefully he is as good a soothsayer as he is a footballer 😀

  156. Jonny, for what it’s worth, hope you get over the “horrible things”. Hang in there.

  157. My perfect/dream end of the season would be

    1. We somehow finish 3rd above spurs

    2. We win the FA cup and CL

    3. Man city and Nasri win nothing

    4. Barca and cesc win nothing (nothing major)

    5. AW and RVP do a “Haha” a la Nelson from the Simpsons to both of them in the end 😀

  158. Now everyone is saying we could start AA at Milan, which I argued for last week. The tide turns. Unlike PG, I don’t want AA to leave before the end of the season; I’d much rather he get some chances away to show what he can do so that the atmosphere at home improves. We are going to need the guile and technical quality of a cagey veteran like AA. If making several good crosses including a winning assist can improve his confidence, he will prove very valuable in the remainder of this season. If we can get a trophy (FA cup), capture 3rd or 4th in the league, and get to the quarters or better in the CL, it would be a wonderful season and AA can depart on a high if that is the right thing for the club and the player. Escaping back to Russia just to get out of this situation isn’t befitting a proud footballer like AA. He has more to do and glory to achieve this season in England with Arsenal. Last year he gave us the best moment of the season with his delicious finish against Barcelona. He may yet do something like this in the CL or FA cup this season.

  159. @fanboy why bother? you know that those with the power to sack AW dont give a shit about your opinions anyway. They care about ours. They listen to the fans that support the team. not the moaners.
    So why do you bother? All you do is bring misery onto yourself. The rest of us know facts from fiction. The senior management at Arsenal knows who to listen to. They piss on you… all you achive is us telling you you are wrong.
    Why we bother i dunno, its clear to me you never came here intending on a debate. You came here intending to tell us how it is, and that we are all wrong to belive in AW and the players. And nothing we ever say or do will make you change your mind.
    So conclusion mus be discussing football with you is a waste of time.
    Trading insults with you can be entertaining at times i guess…

  160. Milan beat Udinese 1-2 yesterday (to go top I think).

    Should add Adam Johnson to that list of outstanding right forwards/wingers who are light years ahead of Theo: A couple of shocking first touches followed by a shot against the post.
    Consistent? Not yet.

  161. same goes for suga and aic and jabba tbh.. trading insults is entertaning at times but they just do not know footy. so pointness to discuss with them…

  162. Bob the Sheriff?

  163. FG – agree with what exactly?

    I have already tried the ignoring route and the olive branch but Gains repeatedly spoils for a fight and it’s not as though it is just with me. See Henristic’s comments earlier to name one of many regulars.

    For my part, the personal abuse has only come in one direction – endorsing it because I dare to criticise a player is a curious legitimisation.

    I have never said anything insulting towards any of our players – criticise yes (and even then rarely) but never insulted. Is it right I should be called a cunt amongst other things for that? The usual line at this point is that one is being sensitive or thin-skinned, but I’d just prefer to exercise civility towards our fellow fans. Hence why I said I regret being abusive on a couple of occasions towards Jabba, and co.

    I apologise for dragging this further but I think it’s absolute rubbish that I have to tolerate a completely baseless and deeply offensive slur that I have made vile homophobic insults on this site. Its a subject that I feel very strongly about (hence why I noticed and felt uncomfortable in the past, when Gains has said things that could be construed as offensive towards homosexuals) so to be labelled as a homophobe is really quite appalling to me.

    It’s clear, and completely understandable, that no one wants to see petty bickering or get involved (we’d all rather be talking football surely?) BUT when people start using libellous statements such as that, I can’t help feel compelled to defend myself and to state unequivocally that it’s an outright fucking lie. It’s surely not escaped your notice that he has not even tried to back it up?

    I imagine anyone would want to do the same if someone said such lies about them – mud sticks.

  164. @Anirudh everything except no 1 would make my season to! Not that i dont wanna finish above Spus, that would be awesome, just that we got bigger fish to fry this season. Spurs can do what they want, aslog as we achieve your other bulletpoints there 🙂

  165. I think the FA cup match v. Villa was a real turning point. Bolton, well we were unlucky and still coming out of the funk. Maybe some tired legs and minds, plus no Arteta, which has become very key for our team, I think. Blackburn gave us something we needed and haven’t had–a goal fest for the players to enjoy and gain not only confidence but pleasure, not just from victory but from playing with one another. Yesterday was a lot like the Villa game and showed again that we may be down but are not out. We are getting back to something we have often lacked–being a strong second half team where our fitness gives us a late advantage in games. OK Sunderland played many games and 120 minutes mid-week, but Villa shows the pattern.

    These are good signs. If Jack were back I’d say 4th was in the bag, but if Rosicky can play well to rotate with Arteta and Ramsey and keep our midfield fresh and firing, we can get through this incredible set of fixtures ahead and stay in all three competitions into March and April, including the 4th Place League Cup and perhaps challenge for the 3rd Place League Cup and avoid qualifiers next summer. Looking good Arsenal!

    2 away goals at the San Siro would just about do it for me even if we draw or lose 3-2.

  166. C’bob – Rest assured we will be up against a very good team playing very good football when we go to Milan. They are top of the Italian Serie A (although Juve have 2 games in hand and are only behind by 2 points) but I did watch the Udinese game and believe they were lucky to take the win. Surprisingly, Liverpool flop Aquilani is having a very good season, as is our old friend Ibrahimovich, but for me their dangerman would be Nocerino. Midfield player who has really come into his own after moving to Milan from Palermo lastt year. He is averaging a goal every 3 games and loves to have a pop from the edge of the area. Another old friend of ours, Robinho, is aso enjoying a new lease on life at the San Siro and is one to keep an eye on. Tends to go missing during games only to pop up with a vital assist or goal from nowhere. Somewhat like our little Russian, although I think AA is a better player all-round 🙂

  167. Jonny – I for one do not give any credence to anything Gains says with regard to you, so I think you should do the same. I have also been on the receiving end of one of his insulting tirades, which I freely admit I lashed back at but at the end of the day he seems to simply get a kick out of insulting certain peolpe on here. Whatever. I just do not think he is worth the effort.

    Now, tell me more about this bisexual wife of yours!? 🙂

  168. Stop playing the victim, Jonny. I already agreed to ignore you, but you don’t have to drag me through the mud to make yourself look better. You made homophobic comments so just man up and admit that you made a mistake. I am not homosexual, so your comments really didn’t concern me, but if there are gay readers I’m sure they wouldve found your comments simply vile.

  169. Thanks for the update Irish.

    OK Jonny. Let’s assume that you both ignore one another from now on and leave it.

    I assume that YW’s policy on personal abuse would come into play if anybody became a serial time waster.

    Ateeb.’ Drink your milk, get on your horse and get out of town.’

  170. Hahahaha!!!!! Nice one, Irish. I remember that conversation about you abstaining from voting. Your friends take the piss out of you about that, but when I take the piss I’m being insulting? Fick you too, buddy.

  171. CBob, Milan is always solid. I don’t think they’ll be able to keep up with our pace, though.

  172. In case anyone is interested in the ‘Greek Revolution’, which the mainstream media is unwilling to cover, unlike the Egyptian revolution last year.

    http://www.zougla.gr/page.ashx?pid=85&type=&mid=110

    The above is the live link.

    http://greekleftreview.wordpress.com/

  173. @ Anirudh
    That’s my wishlist, too.

    @ Limestonegunner | February 12, 2012 at 4:34 pm

    Agree with that, except that I’m still hoping Diaby will be back in time to give us a fillip. TH has been an inspiration, the effects will last for a while, I think, but Diaby or Jack coming back in another month to six weeks could be a really significant boost in the run-in. Either player would have made yesterday’s match a little easier, because they both run at players and make space that way. And of course both incisive and inventive passers.

  174. @ Poodle

    Its my dream ending to the season, so of course it cannot end without us finishing about spurs, oh and consequently point no 6

    6. Telling spurs fans –
    Even after our worst recent seasons and your best: Forever in Our Shadow 😀

  175. * above not about sorry..

  176. That’s my only point Gains – I didn’t – if you could give example of what I said or when then at least I could defend myself. As it is I cannot and I genuinely do not understand why you think I did. Vile homophobic shit are some strong words and deserve qualification.

    Sorry, sorry, sorry Bob but this matters to me – hopefully you can understand why.

    Irish – soon to be ex-wife sadly. Not much to tell other than one of the joys was we could freely chat about which women we fancied. 😉

  177. Jonny, it was a few weeks back. I wasn’t bothered enough to bring it up as I saw it as piss take. I only brought it up because you wanted to paint me and Steww as extremists while you tried to seem like a moderate. Anyway, I don’t even know why you care. It’s obvious that you’re not a homophobe. You even walked for gay rights that one time. It’s just that you are a bit of a hypocrite, that’s all. Next time just keep quiet and stay out of things that don’t concern you.

  178. Fin, I wouldnt mind snapping up Adam Johnson when City get rid of him. He plays a bit like Arjen Roben.

  179. Okay wait I think I have just figured out to what you’re referring. You’ve misunderstood me.

    A while back I accused you of perhaps being gay – this was because you kept making the remarks of the kind I alluded to before. It’s a commonly understood assertion that homophobia frequently stems from homosexuals, who wrestle with what they are. That coupled with the fact that you seemed determined to take a pop at everything I wrote, led me to say it. Cheap jibe definitely but there I doubt there is a gay person in the world who would find that offensive, let alone vile. I’m sorry you misunderstood what I wrote and I’m sure you cannot be bothered to go back and check but I am 100% confident that I explained this at the time (although not in such detail). For the record I don’t doubt you are not a homophobe – but you could certainly choose your words more carefully.

    Well I doubt that will convince you but it’s the honest truth.

    I will retire now – sorry to y’all for this playing out so publicly. Must seem like a fucking Jeremy Kyle show.

    Lets bury this – I apologise for my part.

    Irish – re the unbeaten run in the NFL as a past Dolphins fan I was pleased to see that quashed also. And yes the hail mary was heart in mouth stuff. Great, great Superbowl though. I won 7 whole pounds. :0)

  180. Gains – when were these comments made, I don’t recall them.

  181. They were made a few weeks back, Yogi.

  182. fanboy

    THe differencve is, and I am really bored you keep dredging it up man, is that you didnt just criticise, you attempted to claim that Theo has 20 bad games for every 5 good uns, which is neither fair, or accurate. Nowe, for the love of Gawd, move the fuck on.

    Same goes for Jonny and Gains!!! 🙂

  183. Calm down, calm down!

  184. Not a good enough answer Gains. You’ve made an accusation; I’m not trawling through the comments section to look for them. You need to find time and dates.

  185. “remember the scroll button is your friend.”

    I learnt this one a long time ago Fungunner!

  186. Heh you do represent the extreme end of the spectrum! I’m fairly sure Steww is happy and proud of it. And why not. 😉

  187. Thanks for those links Ateeb.

  188. Yogi

    Jonny seems to know what Gains refers to, so there’s your answer. They are both poofs.

  189. That was me beong ironic, just in case anyone fancies an argument! 🙂

  190. Paul N @ 3:14:

    “Bill, your point is that if Arsenal gets one or two favorable call’s, that means there can be no corruption?”

    The point is that crappy calls happen to everyone.The fact that we have been hurt by some bad calls does not mean that there is corruption. I am confident that if there is such a thing as Bolton or Sunderland blogs, they are screaming bloody murder today about corrupt refs. Same as every team in the league. There is almost never a game goes by without a controversial penalty or handball call. The way the handball rule is interpreted is nebulous and the calls that are made seem random. It goes all the way back as far as Maradonna’s hand of God goal that decided a world cup.

    I think the football refs have the most difficult job of all the sports officials. Trying to make those calls in real time is quite frankly impossible and its leads to unavoidable inconsistency. My theory is that the same thing has been happening forever, we just know about it now because of the replays. Look at American football and baseball. Lots of calls overturned in football and some are complete game changers. Baseball umpires make several mistakes every game and we didn’t know about it until we were able to see the TV replays. Its long past the time when they should use replays to help the refs.. Hopefully soon.

  191. Yes Gains, you are in moderation; you need to take time to lessen your reactions – reading your comments you are more than capable of handing offensive comments about individuals. Consider this your equivalent of ten minutes in the sin bin. Don’t worry, you’re not alone in there. You might not like the company though…

  192. THE HACKS

    Hack: What story you want me to work on now ed ?

    Ed: Well, we have the Suarez story, the Capello resignation, Harry is in the frame. We have AVB and the “don’t know what you are doing” chant…

    Hack: What about the Arsenal story ed ?

    Ed: Sorry, what Arsenal story ?

    Hack: Well, the win at Sunderland, breaking into the top 4, and the goal by Henry ?

    Ed: didn’t hear anything about that, and, we’ve got more important issues this week.

    Hack: Well, I’ve got the one about RVP going to Madrid

    Ed: Print it.

  193. interesting stats.

    mertesacker and song both won 100% of their ground duels.

    koscielny has a passing rate of 97%.

    he is also the player who touched the ball most often behind arteta and song.

    mertesacker and sagna never pass left, while arteta and kos’ passes to the left are also quite non-existent.

  194. Jonny – Sad to hear about the pending divorce. I am divorced myself and it was a hell of a thing to go through. I will say it was for the best as if I didn’t, then I would not be with The Girlfriend now 🙂 So in as much as it sucks now, in time you will be able to start fresh and with the benefit of lessons learned, never a bad thing. And yes the Siuperbowl was excellent, I won $600 which paid for dinner the following night for me and The Girlfriend and 2 other close friends, including a few cocktails afterwards. Go Giants!

  195. Mind registers image of a scene from a Bosch paining where the souls condemned by Yogi to damnation struggle furiously to escape from the endless screamimg of the doomers and other fallen ACLF posters.

    I wonder who is in there…

  196. Bob,

    It is astounding how the mainstream media is not covering this movement. But of course one can understand why they’re not covering this. It’s not the middle east, it’s in Europe. And it is not just a clash against masses and dictatorship (as the Middle Eastern movements were depicted as), but much more than that. The type of reforms and policies that the Greek government (backed by the banking capital as well as Germany and France as a whole) are being made to swallow is disgraceful. The Greek government us nothing short of a dictatorship of sorts. The masses have spoken their view regarding austerity measures but they’re being beaten down at the moment. But they’re showing their resilience, still got a long way to go.

  197. YW – Any chance of having a list we can see who is in the “Sin-bin” at any one time?

  198. Jonny’s already started Irish. He’s got two girlfiends, or so he tells me.

    Oops! I hope they don’t read this.

  199. Ateeb, it is shocking that what is happening in Greece is getting so little coverage. I guess the prospect of an economic melt-down in a Western European country and attacks on ‘democracy’ are not good for global capitalism’s image!

  200. Irish, that’d be telling!

  201. Bill – Sunderland actually have their own TV channel!! I kid you not mate, as funny as that sounds it is true. Makes you wonder what they are watching? Is it in Black & White? Do they just show the same show over and over and over again?

  202. Well its Jabba, Suga and now Gainsa

  203. YW – Well so long as there was no kissing involved why can’t you tell!?

    Jonny – The answer to women trouble is most definitely not to double the number of women in your life!!

  204. Irish:

    Sunderland has there own tv network???? I have never struggled with insomnia but that sounds like the perfect cure for anyone who does.

  205. Spy – I see you are living up to your name 🙂

  206. SCAPEGOATS OF THE WEEK TOP 5

    1. Mertesacker

    2. Song

    3. Walcott

    4. Rosicky

    5. Denilson

  207. Finsbury, thank you for posting the excellent column on Walcott. Although his goals are down from last year, his assists appear dramatically increased. This suggests that Walcotts ability to cross has an improved accuracy. He is not a David Becham but few players are with respect to the accuracy of their crosses. should his dribbling improve at speed, Walcott will be hard for anyone to ignore. His game is definitely maturing in a myrad of ways.

  208. You left out Diaby!!!!! Silly Lil Muppet!

  209. Passenal,

    Exactly. But they’re not just afraid of the image, they’re more afraid of these forms of social movements seeping into other European country. Which is what they’re most afraid of. Nothing more threatening than that.

    As for the coverage issue, it is predictable that they would do this. There was a protest and a solidarity walk for the Greeks today at Trafalgar Square. The police asked the people to return.

    On us to cover it then. Share it. Tweet it. Whatever you can in your position.

  210. hope i dont join the list

  211. Bill – In as much as you would think that would be true I am afraid to see it is not as once the giggles kick in mate, you’re up all night!!!

  212. Irish – People are always interested in the scapegoats of the week ! Ok – Diaby will be under consideration for next week’s top 5.

  213. Muppet – And not even a mention for Big Almunia!? Pfft…..now you’re making the Sun look good!!!

  214. SO CALLED ARSENAL SUPPORTERS TOP 5

    1. Geoff from Le Groan.

    2. Piers Morgan.

    3. Myles Palmer

    4. Boris Mellor (Arsenal Times blog)

    5. Muga3

  215. Ateeb, the same way they tried to characterize last summer’s riots in the UK as a feckless youth thing. It was much more complex than that, but just like in football, simple answers and lack of analysis is the modern disease.

  216. Down to one now Bob – I have to say I was clear with both of them though!

    Irish – it’s been a heartbreaker and no mistake but I’ve long since come to realise you can never truly know another person. I’ve started afresh but the bitch is I still love the bitch. She’s in NZ but returning this summer which I’m quietly dreading. She liked watching football and hated Ronaldo so much she would leave the room rather than look at his face – what’s not to like about that?

    I’ve followed NFL since I was 10. In contrast to football I have a few teams that I follow. Followed the Dolpins because of Marino, Clayton and Duper. Also Cincinnati (Ickey Woods and his shuffle, Boomer Esiason – what a name). And then Elway came along and that was what cemented it for me. So Denver ever since – still struggling with this whole Tebow thing though. Religion and sport/politics should not mix.

  217. Muppet @ 6.00 pm – you need a much longer list than that! You forgot the guy from Arsenal Action for one and that’s without even thinking hard!

  218. Muppet you missed Sinbad – the scummiest excrement ever to come near the club.

    We have a cannon and we should start using it.

  219. Passenal – It is not shocking at all I am afraid to say. The media will not cover it because they do not want the same spotlight in their own countries. As for the “Arab Spring”, I would imagine when we look back in 10 -15 years (if not sooner) we will realise what a load of bollocks it all was. I have to roll my eyes when I see the likes of Hillary decrying the military bombardment of Syrian towns, yet the same woman was eerily quiet when towns and cities in Afghanistan and Iraq were being reduced to rubble. The fact is if Assad was not so close to Iran, we would hear almost nothing about what goes on in Syria. I am all for the spreading of democracy and civil rights but the double standard of many western countries sickens me. Greece is a perfect example.

  220. Jonny/Passenal,

    Point taken. Forgot about that nefarious tool.

  221. two owls

    i don’t think it is more theo’s accuracy having improved, but the other players finally attackning the ball. he has served up quite a few sumptuous crosses that no one has gotten onto the end of last season and this season.

  222. Jonny – Not to get all melancholy but a big part of me will also always love my ex-wife. However, that being said, with time and distance I have been able to see her for the c%^t she is and believe me, there are times when I simply cannot believe I ever managed the bitch in the first place!! Like anyone she has her vices and her virtues but was not the one for me. Incidentally, she hated ‘soccer’ with a passion and would leave the apartment whenever I put on a game. I must confess to putting on games I had no interest in watching towards the end of our marriage, in the hope she would leave! The Girlfriend also has no interest but when she was in London last year, she made her way to the Arsenal giftshop and bought a whole load of goodies for me. RVP jersey, blanket, hat, scarf, keyring you name it, she got it!

    As far as NFL goes, I have been an avid fan since I was 10 years old. Notre Dame played the Navy (college I know) in Dublin and I had front row seats, was hooked immediately!! Loved the Raiders in the late 80’s early 90’s. Denver were an amazing team in the 90’s also. Tebow needs to just shut up and play football, I find it insulting that he plays the game with pieces of scripture taped to his helmet. Still, after living in NYC for 15 years the Giants have become my team.

  223. I was heartbroken when I found out Elway was a right wing republican tit-monkey – still what an incredible, exciting unique player he was. ‘The Drive’ still gives me shivers.

    Best NFL player name has to be Chuck Long – Detroit QB.

    Re the wife stuff – we could almost be reading off the same page.

  224. Thank you Yogi that was getting old.

  225. I just cannot Belive Huston died hour after Ramsey scored. It’s spookey!

  226. It just explains why Ramsey is not a 10 goal a season player yet. It would be far too devastating.

  227. Muppet

    You have got into quite a pickle with your second list…the aspirants for the top 5 are dime a dozen..

    And Denilson is always number 1, you should consider retiring that position 😀

  228. Fight! Fight!….oh dear missed it.

  229. Jonny – thanks for the link. Miyiachi looks promising. I hope to god that he doesn’t flatter to deceive in the same way as Vela. I guess we won’t know for a while. But from the clips, which can sometimes make nobodies look good, you have to say – Speed (check), two footed (check), teamwork (check), awareness (check), skill (check). I am a bit confused that he is playing on the left wing, as although he seemed two footed, his favoured foot was his right, as he kept cutting inside to deliver the ball, save one or two occasions. Dunno if this is the Wenger recommendation or just where Bolton are short of players.

  230. Anirudh,

    Yep, I’ll create an emeritus position for Denilson !

  231. I tried that position once, Moopay. Couldn’t walk properly for days after.

  232. …very nearly got divorced as a result of it.

  233. poodle on February 12, 2012 at
    4:29 pm said:
    @fanboy why bother? you know that those
    with the power to sack AW dont give a shit
    about your opinions anyway. They care about
    ours. They listen to the fans that support the
    team. not the moaners.
    So why do you bother? All you do is bring
    misery onto yourself. The rest of us know facts
    from fiction. The senior management at
    Arsenal knows who to listen to. They piss on
    you… all you achive is us telling you you are
    wrong.
    Why we bother i dunno, its clear to me you
    never came here intending on a debate. You
    came here intending to tell us how it is, and
    that we are all wrong to belive in AW and the
    players. And nothing we ever say or do will
    make you change your mind.
    So conclusion mus be discussing football with
    you is a waste of time.
    Trading insults with you can be entertaining
    at times i guess…

    ———————————————

    Did you actually read my posts? Because I have no idea what you are talking about. Who said anything about Wenger? who insulted who? Who said don’t believe in the players?

  234. Johnny at 5.35 “Heh you do represent the extreme end of the spectrum! I’m fairly sure Steww is happy and proud of it. And why not. ;-)”

    um – I’ve said nothing all day, just basked in yesterday and read the comments and here I am being defamed like a sidekick in someone else’s argument. If you intend to suggest I’m the most pro Arsenal Arsenal fan here then I am extremely sensible of the compliment you pay me but I am not half the fan Frank is so I reject the suggestion.

  235. Muppet Feyenord played him the left as well I believe.

  236. Jonny – I was never a huge Elway fan. Just like I am not a Brady fan, although for different reasons I admit. I always liked the Giants and remember when Simms led them to victory over Denver. 1987? Bill Parcells still says it was the greatest QB display in a superbowl.

  237. ahh.. thanks Steww. Interesting.

  238. Dexter

    I didn’t state for a fact that Theo had so and so bad games and good ones, I just tried to simplify my point for you about consistency. And that is all I have said, for me Theo and Arshavin are not consistent enough (i.e the are absolute geniuses in one game and more or less mediocre in others)

  239. Steww – Correctamundo mate, he did play left at Feyenoord. AW has a habit of doing that with players. NB52 is a prime example.

  240. Thanks for the link Ateeb, not that I understand it all, but it was interesting to know the background.

    Yogi, it seems unfair to me that only one party in the earlier fracas has been moderated, when the other party is not without fault and admitted his comment that created the bad feeling, which escalated today. But since it’s your blog, so you are free to do as you please.

  241. Irish

    I think Ryo is a bit more of a winger than NB 52 😀

  242. fanboy – AA’s slump has coincided with the fact that Santos and Gibbs have been out injured. He has almost no support on the left wing. He is also not the type of player to track back on a regular basis, therefore he needs an attacking FB. A similar story has happened with Theo on the right. He has had to adapt to a series of different RB’s. Sagna, Jenks, Yennaris, Djourou, and I am sure I am forgetting at least 1 more. Considering Theo still has an excellent assist return, plus a few goals himself, I think this says quite the opposite to what you are suggesting. Now that Sagna is back I think we will see Theo scoring more often as he will have Sagna supporting him in attack on the right which he has not had for some time, hence all his ‘assists’ to RVP. With Sagna supporting him and playing some 1-2’s with him, we should see him freed up to take more shooting opportunities of his own.

  243. Anirudh – I agree but my point is he is being played on the left, when he is in fact a more natural right winger. AW likes to play younger players out of position as he believes this teaches them more about the game and makes them a better all round player.

  244. Irish..

    I got the point you were trying to make, just that NB 52 was a strange choice 😀

    But except for Reyes, Wenger never really played with a left footed, left winger did he?? or am I forgetting someone???

  245. @steww “If you intend to suggest I’m the most pro Arsenal Arsenal fan here” not really but close, I just meant that you are amongst the most. If you want to defer to Frank by all means. I just meant you guys are of a feather and proud of it. And nothing more than that – defamation?! Most certainly not.
    It’s not my bag but you’re unswerving and devoted and I do get that.
    Horses for courses.

    Irish, best QB display at a Superbowl – Montana’s demolition of Denver was up there. God I hated SF in those days.

  246. Jonny – I still hate them!!!

    Anirudh – Maybe but it was just off the top of my head 🙂

    Anyone think it is worth a bet backing Bayer Leverkeusen to beat Barca? I know Barca rested some of their pre-madonnas yesterday with their eyes firmly on this game but still, German teams are not that easy to break down.

  247. Greek riots covered by BBC, CNN etc. They are broke and now they are facing some tough cuts – it’s hard, but how can the protests change anything for the better?

  248. Irish he also played Diaby wide. Back when I read Arseblog I remember him whining on about how Diaby might be many things but he ain’t a winger.
    The great man moveth in mythteriouth wayth I thay.
    Diaby and Big Nic would both have learned a lot from playing wide. Anyway look how all our forwards are encouraged to move around the pitch. Total football. That’s where it’s at.

  249. Jonny I just play by simple rules. I don’t believe an Arsenal supporter can use the word to describe him or herself if they publicly insult our players. It matters not if that player is on loan. I will call anyone out on it.
    Only exception is YW as I’m in his house. If I choose to come here I accept what he says in his own place. It’s his prerogative.

  250. Bill, bad calls happening to every team does not mean that there cannot be corruption. As a matter of fact, it would not fly if it was all one way. Your basis for saying what you have said is weak.

    Jonny, what should Tebow do?

  251. ACN final has just kicked off – it’s started very brightly. Zambia have already given the favourites an early scare from an obviously well-rehearsed corner routine. Hopefully a win for his team will bring Gervinho back with bags of confidence for the last part of the season.

  252. Saw these articles on goonerholic – this is about Ghana at ACN, talks about teams graduating from being defensive and counterattacking to being attacking as they become an established force:
    http://www.zonalmarking.net/2011/10/13/ghana-counter-attacking/

    And this is AVB talking about 4-3-3 and dealing with teams who park the bus:
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/teams/chelsea/8699902/Chelsea-manager-Andre-Villas-Boass-footballing-philosophy.html
    I particularly like the bit about the team with possession “provoking” the bus parkers to come out, or make a mistake and using the ball like a carrot.

    ****
    @ YW
    I agree with Passenal | February 12, 2012 at 7:09 pm

  253. Whoops, two links in the first effort – here they are one at a time:
    Saw these articles on goonerholic – this is about Ghana at ACN, talks about teams graduating from being defensive and counterattacking to being attacking as they become an established force:
    http://www.zonalmarking.net/2011/10/13/ghana-counter-attacking/

  254. Number 2:
    And this is AVB talking about 4-3-3 and dealing with teams who park the bus:
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/teams/chelsea/8699902/Chelsea-manager-Andre-Villas-Boass-footballing-philosophy.html
    I particularly like the bit about the team with possession “provoking” the bus parkers to come out, or make a mistake and using the ball like a carrot.

    ****
    @ YW
    I agree with Passenal | February 12, 2012 at 7:09 pm

  255. Where can I see ACN final?

  256. ITV4, in answer to my own question.

  257. Or Eurosport FG – they had le boss on as ‘Eurosport expert’ before the match. I don’t know if they will talk to him again later. Unfortunately, Stewart Robson is co-commentator!

  258. http://coolsport.tv/stream4.html

    This is working for me FunGun.

  259. @ Passenal
    Oh, God! I’ll stick to ITV4, then.
    ****
    Thanks anyway, Paul N

    Hope CIV win and handsomely.

  260. I don’t mind him at all on Talking Tactics, he’s very enlightening sometimes. It’s just as a match commentator that he gets on my tits.
    ***
    Ooh, so close!

  261. A big miss by Yaya Toure, but all stems from Gervinho’s decisive running

  262. Gains,

    Johnson is a good player, interesed to hear your thoughts on players as always. At 24 he’s a year and half older then Walcott. Again this highlights how much of the critisim Walcott receives is way OTT and beyond any rational proportion.

    Ohhh. Close for the Côte d’Ivoire. Good game so far.

  263. Pressure getting to CIV a bit, perhaps. Be great if 3Gs scores a spectacular winner.

  264. FG, he has actually been quite complimentary about Gervinho today!

    Who are the commentators on ITV4? I usually avoid that channel since the Eduardo incident, which they instigated. I don’t forgive or forget in a hurry, when it comes to Arsenal – I’m firmly in the extremist camp!

  265. Can I just say that in the dark days following our mini slump in January Jonny was as positive and supportive as any of us.And I do mean any of us.
    It is disappointing that people should be trying to get him put in moderation.
    I spent a while in moderation ,and it is no fun at all,I can tell you.
    I also hope Gains is released in no time.
    It is very disappointing that two such good men should be at loggerheads.I just don’t get it.

  266. FG @8.03 pm agree on both counts! It’s often hard to be favourites as all the pressure is on you, plus Zambia are pretty deadly on the counter-attack and have taken some big scalps in this competition. They are also driven by the desire to win for their fallen comrades and the neutrals in the crowd are favouring them for that reason as well as their under-dog status.

  267. @ Passenal
    Maybe it is just when he is commentating on Arsenal, then.
    Sorry haven’t got the commentators’ names – I know their voices but I can’t remember who they are.

  268. Ivory Coast and Zambia really having a go at each other in The Afcon final. Really exciting game there.

  269. Who we supporting? Underdogs? Or the team with Arsenal connections? Is it possible to support a team with Dogbreath in it?

  270. Yeah i was in moderation earlier(under false pretences) and i must say its a cold dark place, like falling down grotbags trapdoor…shame on you passenal for trying to get jonny sin binned, gains is the one that needs to calm the fuck down..i bet he drives a honda bloody civic!

  271. Duke.how are you tonight?

  272. PG @ 8.05 pm, I am not trying to get anyone moderated, and 1 swallow does not make a summer.

  273. What pretence did Yogi use to sin bin you Duke?

  274. Steww, it’s a struggle, but I’m going for CIV purely because I hope the good vibes and winning-ness will come back to Arsenal with Gervinho. I’ll just have to conveniently ignore the chelski, man c and barcodes players also on his team while I’m at it!

  275. george,

    i’m good thanks.

  276. @ Passenal
    The ITV commentators are right behind Zambia too. In the studio as well.

    @ PG
    Both or neither, is all I’m saying. I think G69 should be out, too.

    @ steww
    For me, it’s the team with Arsenal connections. One Gerv more than cancels out a Dogbreath. And Toure is a good bloke despite being at Man Shitty. And I always prefer the team to win who is more like us. But if Gerv wasn’t in the side I’d probably go for Zambia out of sympathy.
    *****
    This is Spinal Tap is on at 11pm on ITV4. fyi

  277. Nearly. All about Gerv again. All by himself.

  278. Great ball by Gervinho! RVP would have scored that!

  279. Seems like it has been a barrel of laughs in here today 😉

    All I would say is to Jonny who I find to be a fair and constantly level headed poster; don’t sink to the depths of others mate. Some people are more than happy to make accusations without any grounds whatsoever and the hope that the label sticks. Says more about them than you and anybody worth their salt can see the games people are trying to play.

    On a lighter note it was interesting to hear Bobby’s Browns take on his ex-wife’s demise. He said that she lived her life to the full which was her prerogative and she just did what she wanted to do. Heartfelt words indeed.

  280. Don’t care who wins as long as Gervihno does not get injured.

    Fun – Cheers for the spinal tap heads up, I have not seen that for years.

  281. Oh god, another fence sitter like Jonny tips up.

  282. All we need now is Dexter and his bipolar support

  283. Zambia are getting closer, come on Gervinho!

  284. George – Just popping in mate. Stuff to do so I won’t be around irritating you for long.

  285. Andy,You may disagree with me ,but I can honestly say you never irritate me.
    You know I was kidding.Right?

  286. Penalty!

  287. George – Of course bud. I get your sense of humor. 🙂

  288. Won by our boy of course.

  289. Gervinho wins a penalty for CIV

  290. At least somebody does a!

    ha ha ha ha ha …just dropped my ice tea!!

  291. Dogbreath taking it. And skies it. Unbelievable. Stuart Pearce style.

  292. Gervinho just won a penalty………… and Drogba just missed

  293. Why did they let Drogba take the penalty? That was terrible!

  294. The keeper is just telling everyone to calm down. Absolutely right.

  295. Exciting stuff , Bet Wenger is watching this at home

  296. Gervinho is on fire! He just needs to score one.

  297. This is turning into an exciting game. Zambia must be full of confidence after that penalty miss.

  298. @ jeff
    yup
    Is there ever a football match going on anywhere in the world that AW is NOT watching?

  299. arshavin will score the winner in munich , may 2012

    ars-havin + ars-ene = arsenal history

  300. Hunter,
    you know I will hold you personally responsible if that now does not come to pass.

  301. Munich? Is that where the CL final is?

    Didn’t realise that, I hope we get there even more now as it is only a few hours drive for me.

  302. The Africa cup final is boring!

  303. If RvP had been playing, Gervino would probably have had two assists.

  304. has to be said though …terrible away shirt…turqoise?? arsene has lost it…

  305. They can’t keep missing chances like this, time is running out!

  306. Kenyan,
    i am sure you are not watching the same game as i am or you could just be jealous Kenya didn’t qualify, which is it??

  307. i take full responsibility george, no problem, He will bring us the Cup.

    with a diving header …. 😉

    assist from ?

    …sagna….

  308. Very rare to get a good game in a big final – at least one team is always too nervous.

    Nearly a winner there! These last couple of minutes are heartbreak time.

    I may be biased but I think Toure (K) is playing rather well.

  309. the jacket though rocks..i want one…

    http://arsenaldirect.arsenal.com/invt/423997o/

  310. Kenyan, I think it has been quite exciting compared to some of the games and now Zambia have missed a great chance with Kolo Toure rolling back the years!

  311. FG / Passenal

    Unfortunately for the individual in question, I went back and looked at their track history which was not entirely blameless. And then they decided to make it personal…

  312. It’s like the world cup final!

  313. FG – Kolo has been MoTM – that last interception to take the ball off the toe of the Zambian forward in the box was amazing. Hope Gervinho is okay after that clash with the goal keeper.

  314. Extra time.

    Very tense.

  315. Jeff, it’s 00:30 hours in Nairobi and I am watching the match. Have to agree with Wenger that the quality has been lower than usual. I only enjoyed watching the flair of Gabon!

  316. Duke, I missed your 8.13 pm comment earlier, but the fact you choose to take sides and take that particular side does not surprise me in the least.

  317. Phew! That was close.

  318. Unbelievable near miss!

  319. Passenal – I explained that – I was drawing attention to comments I found increasingly troubling. If asking if someone is gay/a homophobe after they have used terms like spunk taster as an insult is wrong then we are all in very deep trouble.
    It was not meant as insult I was drawing attention to his words and that I felt they were on the edge. You can question my methods – I’m not sure it was my best moment either but it’s not an offensive question and it had basis. He could have just said no and explained his side hey?

  320. Kenyan,
    imo, Zambia have probably played the best footy in the AFCON,

  321. But pendulum swinging towards CIV now, I think. Hope. Pray.

  322. Did someone say they represent Spectrums extreme end?

    Surely that warrants permanent exclusion from the site YW?

  323. Jeff, I wouldn’t grudge Zambia the win. Cote D’Ivoire haven’t been that good!

  324. I would like to kick Spectrum’s extreme end,all the way to Le Grove.

  325. No brainer really, I’ll 100% back Jonny over Gains every day of the week. There is a big gap in class there. Insults and personal attacks are for pricks.

  326. Dearie me. This is going to penalties. I must say I am impressed by their fitness. Must be really hot as well.

  327. Goal for Gervinho for confidence/vibes and win for Zambia for sentiment solves the conflict. Or if it goes to penalties as it looks, Gervinho scores his while Yaya and Drogba miss theirs.

  328. LG,
    I want Andrei gone for his well being.
    I would love it if he was allowed to turn things around .And be given an extension.

  329. passenal you take gains side i’ll take jonnys then, i also have andy on my side!!

    seriously though pas..jonny was man enough to try to make peace with gains after their bitter agressive handbags at dawn arguing and gains threw it in his face! now tell me are you more concerned about how people conduct themselves or the level of optimism they show???

    yogi can you let gains out so he can tell me to eff off.

  330. The game is petering out to the inevitable. I feel for CIV, because if this goes to penalties, I don’t see them winning it

  331. Duke .I will do it for him mate.
    eff off.

    Never let it be said………………

  332. Penalties.

    I do see CIV winning a penalty shootout, actually – as individuals they are probably more confident. I think…

  333. Well, penalties it is. Why wouldn’t CIV do ok in pens? Too much pressure as they are expected to win or the Zambia GK too good (he might be a bit injured after battering our Gervinho)?

  334. A bit of both Limestonegunner

  335. Zambia GK really put it in Drogba’s face didn’t he? Drogba couldn’t believe the guy was mocking him, haha! Drogba will probably want to take one.

  336. Maybe–certainly less pressure on Zambia players.

  337. I am so nervous. Totally ridiculous. I didn’t even know the match was on until I turned on the telly!

  338. Four excellent penalties so far.

  339. tough call on the GK in favour of Bamba.

  340. Is Gervinho going to take one?

  341. What’s the record for the longest shoot out? No hint of nerves when either team is shooting. Superb penalties.

  342. Unbelievable, Mweena takes a penalty and coolly rolls it in!!!

  343. these guys are excellent penalty takers.

  344. I hate penalties even when it’s not Arsenal, it’s so tense!

  345. These guys are wheeling their balls in barrows. Big big balls. I would have collapsed making the walk from the centre circle.

  346. Let’s pray Gervinho makes his.

  347. I only ever saw one pen shoot out live. Bristol rovers Walsall in some tiny cup Freight Rover or something and that was tense as. But this … wow.

  348. Poor Kolo.

  349. too big of a run up from Kolo. Feel bad for him.

  350. King Kolo … oh dear

  351. Poor Kolo, I had a bad feeling

  352. Oh my goodness!

  353. So did I…but at least it hasn’t been decisive. Gerv now.

  354. I knew it!

  355. Gervinho! Fuck!

  356. Poor Gervinho.

  357. fukin knew he would miss.

  358. Oh dear, you could see he was going to miss by the way he ran. Please let his not be the decisive one, evenif they lose in the end.

  359. Seeing Drogba so depressed eases the pain.

  360. Oh poor guy.

  361. I certainly didn’t want him coming back with that in his mind. It’s all Drogba’s fault for missing that penalty in normal time.

  362. football can be cruel……

  363. well at least lets have a close up of drogba crying then.

  364. It seemed strange to me that he wasn’t one of the takers of the first five.

  365. well wenger knows to sub gervinho if we ever get to a pen shoot out.

  366. euro sport should do more footy….unlike itv who cant get to the ads quick enough they let you get a feel of the event.

  367. Gervais to score the winner next weekend against Sunderland.

  368. Zambia deserved it. Heart of lions do those boys have. Played without fear the whole tournament.

    For those of you suprised at the balls of these guys, ACN is famous for its brilliant penalty takers. I remember a semifinal between Cameroun and CIV in 2004 I think, were each side scored over 10 penalties each before someone missed. Nut cracking stuff.

  369. You see what Arsene bought at the local store. Ridiculous. If Arsene had bought David Villla we would be celebrating right now. I demand to have some good players!

  370. Andy 8.03 thanks mate but this is all your fault! You fence sitting bastard.

    I’m coming over to Germany to annoy you with splinters. ;0)

    Bollocks – poor Gerv. Look forward to having him and his giant bonce back.

    Happy for Zambia though.

  371. It was all over Gerv’s face before he took it. Drogba had to talk to him before he stood forward and he looked so scared.

    Such a shame and that is the last thing he needs coming back to the club. He needs some wise words from Arsene. Get on the phone Arsene.

  372. You have hit the nail on the head there Duke.
    RVP’s job is safe

  373. Jonny – Heh, seemingly I already have enough of them.

  374. G’night ACLFers I’m off to read my book.

  375. @ Mean Lean | February 12, 2012 at 10:33 pm
    spot on.

    Oh well.

  376. Yes, it was Drogba who missed during the game not Gervinho. He’s a striker/forward and CIV had midfielders and defenders taking them ahead of him. No reason he shouldn’t have been picked in the first set. The longer it went on without him taking one, the more I started to get a bad feeling if he was going to have to take one.

  377. Well, the best way to make up for it, Gervais is to score and make goals aplenty for Arsenal on your return and maybe get us into the final of the CL. Then you and CIV can win it next year without Drogba in the team.

  378. that trophy looks remarkably like the world cup trophy!! has that not got no patent on it???

  379. And well done Zambia.

  380. Last comment on this subject to Dukegoonem @9.55pm, asking why there is not equal treatment for both parties is not taking sides in the real world.

  381. Perhaps it predates the Jules Rimet and the WC designer copied the ACN trophy?

  382. you can have the last comment pass!! i know you women love to have the last word!!

  383. yes true fun. i might have to look it up now.

  384. “Seeing Drogba so depressed eases the pain.”
    haha .
    Poor Gerv, really wanted him to get that trophy

  385. Gerv will be fine. He was never the most confident in front of goal. Drogba is supposed to be the clinical one, yet look what happened.
    He’ll chew on the pain for a few days but the return back to England, excitement of the PL and competition for his place will get him back into previous form in no time.

  386. I demand Duke be put in moderation for being sexist.
    What a cad

  387. Passenal,

    Why should there be equal treatment for both parties when only one committed an offence worthy of sanction?

    That said, I hope Gains is let out of mod, and that doesn’t leave the blog in a strop. Foul mouthed he may well be, but his contributions are frequently insightful and interesting.

  388. Just cause Gains backs Arsenal to the hilt, does not make him a good bloke,
    Jonny is!

  389. …And that he doesn’t leave…

  390. Right – I’m going to take a note from the book of consolbob and try talking less or more exactly take a leave of absence.
    Nothing should overshadow the core element of the blog and I’m disappointed to have been part of this argument today.
    I do not dislike Gains and I didn’t want him in moderation – I am a bit sensitive about issues close to my heart and human rights (gay/lesbian etc) is a bugbear of mine.
    I honestly do not mean to come across as sanctimonious peace-keeper. I guess I prefer if Arsenal fans would get more upset at the things we say they to each other rather than the overblown aggressive insults that sometimes occur when someone deems to criticise a player/manager/tactics.
    Lets face it, what we say counts for shit – the players and the club are largely unaffected from what is written here by a bunch of ignorant, yet passionate and opinionated fans.
    I just detest the polarisation that stems from painting fans in binary terms.
    Not everyone feels the same clearly. I have said this before but to repeat to those who have been annoyed by my outpouring I can honestly say it was not my intention and I freely apologise – I’m aware I can be overtly opinionated and as Bob says ‘I talk too much’.
    I love this site and I love this club and manager, I can honestly say ACLF been a useful crutch and escape through a tough period of my life.
    Looking forward to Wednesday but dropping out for a while – I’ll come back refreshed.
    Peace and out!

  391. Jonny your previous post related to ‘the Tebow effect’ and the NFL. There have been many players in the PL who cross themselves and kiss the turf as they are entering the field of play. In my mind it is nice to know that players are paying respect to a diety other than their bank account.

  392. Someone wise once said ” never to mix politics and religion ” . I’m no where as wise as that person but I would like to add,” never to mix religion. And. Sport “. This is coming from a person who firmly believes in the almighty and attends services fairly regularly. I have no problem with a private moment. Alone with oneself and his maker before stepping onto the field or arena, not even if it is a group in private. I guess I’m saying I’m not in favor of exahitionism.
    while we are at it why not never mix sport with politics.
    Enjoying the hard fought win against the blackcats all day today. Hope we are refreshed for tomorrow. I wish more gooners where. Enjoying it as much as me but not everyone was feeling in the mode of being happy. With all the results more or less this weekend not least our own results. Hope for both these nice young men who are knowledgeable about the club and love it to bury the hatchet. And fulfill us with their informative and passionate. Posts. WE ALL LOVE THE RED AND WHITE. have a little empathy as far as the others point of view and most of all respect others sensitivities.
    VICTORY. THROUGH HARMONY.
    Club,coach,players and fans alike. We expect so much of the coach and the players week in week out. The least we can do is showing them we are harmonious as well and behind them till the last ball is kicked and well after.
    UP. THE GUNS.!!

  393. Gutted for Gervinho. Semi final hero and again putting in a really good shift over the whole 120 minutes, even winning a penalty and for him to miss the decisive penalty … that just sucks. I hope that we won’t be forced to rush him back into action and he can get a week or so to sort his thoughts after that. Drogba however surely must know it’s down to him but the way he took his penalty during normal time, well, I think he might’ve outdone Rosicky’s against Sunderland last season. I do hope that it will break his confidence and ensure that when he returns to Chelsea he won’t be able to contribute much.

    As for the situation at ACLF towers, I do enjoy reading posts from both Gains and Jonny, though for different reasons. Gains is always quick to remind people in his own way that we do not tolerate slating and baseless criticism of our players on here, while he is at the same time one of the most optimistic and positive guys.
    Jonny on the other hand might be moderate at times, but with the way he is writing it’s always obvious that he is 100% Arsenal. With some of the other moderates you could think at times that they do not fully support the club, it’s philosophy, manager and players, but there is none of that with Jonny.
    Any way, long story short, I do hope that those two manage to make up and both continue posting on here, because I think that they both do make good contributions to the comments section that will otherwise be sorely missed.

  394. Jonny – Everyone needs a break now and then, even YW takes some time off once and a while. (Actually, come to think of it, I seem to remember he was off on holidays every second week not too long ago!!) So take your new lady friend out on the town and recharge those batteries mate 🙂 You are officially off until Wednesday. In fact, YW should put you in Moderation until Wednesday morning so that you do not have to fight temptation!!

    On another note, is there any chance of starting some kind of competition YW based on who will be the next famous person to drop dead when Rambo scores his next goal? You know, maybe some free t-shirts or sumfink?

  395. fantastic result over at the weekend, and as YW as said, use it as a building block. Chelsea look like they are going to be dropping points, pool dont look that great either……..consistency is what is going to determine who goes to the champions league next season. i hope we use the last two results as a spark and go on a run.

  396. Spy – this isn’t a good blokiness forum it’s an Arsenal forum.

  397. Great result for Arsenal and Zambia. Coquelin needs a place in the team against AC Milan

  398. I wonder if Gibbs will be thrown straight back into the first team. It would be a big ask having not played for a while, but with mertescker missing we need TV5 back in the midle now. Le Coq is a possibility at left back I suppose.

  399. Just doing a bit of bottom feeding to find out what morsels can be uncovered and for all you guys out there who 99.9% love everything about the club.

    JD has played just 21 out of the 37 matches this season so cannot be regarded as exactly first choice despite his age and experience. Many of these are not even full games.

    Out of those matches he has played in 10 wins – which surprised me and I cannot now honestly now say we lose every time he plays.

    The other statistics are not so helpful to dredge his numbers off the bottom.

    He has played in 8 of Arsenal’s 9 losses this season and in 3 out of Arsenal’s 4 draws.

    So if you have a desire to hang out at the bottom with me (which is rhetoric) you are correct if you say that nearly every time we draw or lose he is playing, even though he does not often play.

    Those damned statistics, not only can you prove anything, but it points to a miserable next four years if we continue to ‘depend’ on his services.

  400. SA – To be fair, stats are often misleading and do not paint the whole picture. Djourou is a decent enough player and is our 4th choice CB. Not many clubs have a 4th choice CB at his standard. If everybody was fit (heh, i know) he probably would not even make the match day squad some weeks. We are hardly relying on him.

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