One Of Us Speaks: Give Youth A Chance

Do you see what us bloggers go through. Big Al has been critically ill all week and he has still summoned the energy to write this week’s epistle. Oh, and ladies, no mocking the Man Flu bit. No, seriously, it’s a medically recognised condition. It is. Honest.

I’ve been pretty ropey this week, laid up in bed with the sniffles. I missed the buildup to Wednesday’s match, but watched all 90 minutes on my laptop, first in full screen with sound and then on small screen, on mute. By the end I was a little grateful to be ill – the game passed by in a gluey haze and, feeling numb already, I was too tired to worry or feel the need to vent. I checked the reaction on Twitter, considered closing my account again until I saw an interesting tweet by Daniel Abrahams, a “Football Psychology Consultant”.

Take away victory and a footballer still has the pleasure of small improvements. He must always find small things to maintain confidence.”

I quite liked this idea. Generally players seem to hit their physical peak around their mid-20s. The whole time they’re playing first team football they’ll pick up pointers – everything from reading the game to responding to high-pressure situations. It says to me that as long as they’re below their mid-30s, when there’s a physical decline, they can learn from every match and take that improvement with them.

Maybe it’s why the old back five got so much out of Wenger’s arrival at the club – they had the benefit of years of experience and in terms of recovery and stamina were given a new lease of life through the manager’s off-field regimes. It meant they could continue to learn for a couple more years.

I thought Wenger struck exactly the right tone in his post-match comments. They were smart and calculated for the most part, but were spiced with anger as well. He called it a night “never to forget”. And if a player can learn something from every match then I imagine last night’s might be the equivalent of a vocational qualification of some kind. Surely a source of confidence for everyone involved, provided they’re honest enough to heed it.

Thinking over the games leading up to the match, it looks like Ramsey was being saved, to be unleashed against a midfield would be unable to cope with such exuberance. Like pretty much everything else on the night it didn’t work out that way. I know why the manager picks him; it’s his spirit, work-rate and selfless contribution to the collective. There’s also the sense that for all the untidiness in his game and inconsistent finishing he’s on the cusp of blossoming into a great player.

His potential is still undoubted. It could the case that the manager is handling him as you might an acoustic guitar or pair of leather boots. With time and use his quality should shine through, and all the bum notes and blisters will have been worth it.

I think it’s fair to compare him to Szczesny – they’re at the same age and are having to find their way as established professionals. I think many youngsters get by at first on the novelty of first team football, but when that wears off they need to find new sources of confidence to continue to improve. This will be the making of them as pros.

I would like to see Coquelin given a start alongside Song tomorrow; his performances this season have earned him a place in the manager’s plans. If the team is going to suffer after Wednesday then his energy might be the necessary tonic. And I think Gervinho’s return will make a difference. Say what you like about his finishing – our record with him in side this season bears out his contribution to our attack. He creates space with his movement and turn of pace, and draws defenders with his inimitable dribbling style.

Still, the players in the team last night need the opportunity to prove that they’re capable of better. If it was our worst night in Europe then their sense of pride should kick in.

It’s really only obliquely related to some of the stuff above, but there’s something interesting at the end of the highlights from the reserve match on Tuesday. Neil Banfield reflected on a good performance – one in which the youngsters harried an experienced Wolves lineup off the park. He said that Arsène had spoken to the staff recently and asked them to encourage sides to work harder at closing down higher up the pitch.

I’ve long given up the game of predicting which young players will make it. I think you can derive satisfaction from watching a reserve or youth side win matches without having to worry about how many will play for Arsenal in the future. But it bodes well that the club is trying to instill a culture of hard-work to complement the touch football.

Like it or not young players will get chances, especially in the fair play era, so it’s reassuring that all our midfielders and attackers will have defensive sensibilities ingrained in their make-up.

There’s a tangent explored on today’s Arsenal On This Day. ’til Tomorrow.

Posted on February 17, 2012, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Soccer and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 324 Comments.

  1. Ramsey is shit period. He might become good in the future but right now he’s costing the team. Even denilson had potential. And the manager is playing him because he promises them playing time when he signs them young and he’s a man who honours his word. Work rate? Give me a break. Players from non league have it too. We need skill (which he lacks). I bet riquelme with the worst work rate ever would have done a million times playing off van persie. MANU PETIT hit the nail on the head when he described ramsey and theo. Not many blogers will link to or voice it because its critical of their favourite son rambo work rate king. Simply put Denilson 2.0

  2. Just thinking of the return leg at the Emirates. What is there to loose in Unleashing the Ox and Gervinho against Milan? Hold Theo in Reserve till around the 70th Minute when they are tired. Our Problem at Milan was that we were so predictable. These two are the most unpredictable players that we have. Unleash the two.

  3. Arsene playing the “boys” a couple of years ago attracted a lot of new supporters after the “Invincibles” era.So he should start again even if he was dissipointed by their later choices as in cesc or that not so known weasel

  4. @Gooner. I wonder if you would have said the same when he scored the Equalizer against Sunderland.

  5. @gooner Rambo is so shit that he is the only Arsenal player scoring from outside the area.Rambo is so shit fir a youngster who’s got huge pressure to step up.

  6. Arsenal is set up nicely to have the Best night ever in the history of the Emirates. Forget Barca. Think of the pandemonium that will ensue when we overturn the 4 – 0 deficit. Plus we have nothing to loose, so bring it on!

  7. Hope you are feeling. Much better BIG AL. Both from the man flu and residuals from the game. Nice write up. Does any other club in EPL have a better youth project than ARSENAL/?? I can’t think of any. Long live the club and AW.
    Gooner on. Go bury yourself.

  8. Morning YW, did you ever post the answers to the questions asked of. MR.DIXON?
    just wondering.

  9. Disn’t plays his youth team in the autumn of 2007?he then said when the players had amtured and got the experience they will this and that. frankly it has been one false dawn after another .I think Arsenal would be better off getting the experienced players. It’s less of a gamble.

  10. Nice one Al. I agree with everything you say about Rambo he has all that’s needed to become a club legend.
    Your post makes me think of your own position here at ACLF. You burst on to the scene a massive talent, full of youthful exuberance trying things other more experienced bloggers might think twice about. Yogi using you sparingly at first as you find your feet. now you need to find the same consistent form week in week out just like the big man himself.
    it’s all about pressure at the top.

  11. @nicolae | February 17, 2012 at 7:05 am

    Ramsey is not what we need at the moment, he has had a good tun of games under his belt and his performances have been going downhill rather that being on the up. we basically create less with him on the team.

    Cesc was player that knew how to get the best out of eve getting passes to them when they were in the right spots, it is the reason as to why Theo Walcott was infinitely better last season when compared to this season. Giving youth a chance is always welcome, but if they are not yet up to it they pull the whole team down. We could afford to have passengers on the team when we had Cesc around, this team cannot afford to have a passenger, and when we have two or more any given night, we are likely to lose rather than get a draw let alone a win.

  12. Wenger played his youth team in the CCof 2007.Great things were expected. Since then it has been one false dawn after another. It has been so frustrating.I believe getting the experienced players of proven quality is less of a gamble. Wenger may disagree but the latest mauling suggests he better have serious thought about his project y.

  13. Nice ‘post-trauma’ post OOU,

    You recognised our flaws, give sensible and considered criticism, and very importantly reflect measured optimism for the future. I got exactly the same vibes from Yogi’s post yesterday.

    Its a funny world where AKB’s, who have the highest expectations for the team, are way more forgiving of mistakes and poor performances. On the other hand, doomers who by definition should have the lowest expectations, froth at the mouth at every loss.

  14. OOU – Good write up as always mate.

  15. What cruel sons of bi•••••. He had. His foot snapped. In two. These are human beings. And Aaron. Is just fine ,thank you.

  16. @goonerkam | February 17, 2012 at 8:08 am

    He had a broken leg, everyone gets that. but he isnt lighting the world with his play, it is hardly inspired. he doesnt seem to anticipate, doesnt make the right decisions at the right time, and at the biggest issue is that he doesnt know what to do with the ball most times before he actually receives it. i love arsenal, and i will always support our players and the manager, but i will not shy away from speaking my mind as to whether or not they are delivering or not. At current moment, Ramsey is not delivering, hasnt been for months.

  17. Ramsey is an interesting one. Firstly I like the guy, he seems a genuinly nice bloke and always without fail gives 100% in ever match. How good he will be I honestly don’t know, and i change my opinion on a regular basis.

    OOU desribed him well as telented but untidy I think. he obvisouly has the talent but sometimes looks out of his depth. That said, it is easy to forget his age at times.

    For me I think his best position will be in central midfield (not the advanced midfielder) as his engine will be best used as a box to box player. My main gripe with him I suppose is when recieving the ball he often seems unaware of opposition players around him and gets robbed. As a midfielder taking the ball off the back 4 is integral and I do think this is why Arsene plays him further forward. That should come with experience though.

    On a positive note he has already showed signs that he could well be a players which gets his fair share of goals. For a central midfielder this is invaluable. I hope he manages to iron our some of the flaws in his game as he really could be a good player for us.

  18. GA, i often believe that if someone is not up to it, the bench will make them style up by making them earn the spot. he can pick out a pass, he was did it at some games at the start of the season, but it looks like there is some complacency creeping into his game and that is what gets me.

    He was miles ahead of Wilshere before he broke his leg, and he ran that carling cup midfield superbly. so what has changed other than the fact that he now seems to be a starter with limited competition? people used to complain about Denilson, but frankly, i will take him any day over Ramsey, he had better ball retention and that put the defense better at ease.

  19. AA – Heh, I am not going to mention the Denilson/Ramsey comparrison. I always end up in some sort of argument op the topic of the Brazilian.

    It is true that Ramsey was ahead of Wilshere, but that was simply as he had exposure to first team football earlier. I think when fit Wilshere will be one of our 1st choice players. Maybe you are right, the compitition will be good for Ramsey.

  20. It’s a transition season. That’s becoming obvious. Partly due to players returning from injury, partly due to all the new faces and partly due the unbelievable, ludicrous, ridiculous, beyond human comprehension scale and nature of injuries.
    Topsy turvy springs to mind. Very harsh to single out one player and put him under the microscope when he’s playing in a side going through all that.

  21. Could someone PLEASE come up with a schedule for all this mindless slagging off of individual players?

    I don’t understand how, at the drop of the hat we can go from mindlessly slagging off Walcott to mindlessly slagging off Ramsey.

    This endless mindlessness is mindlessness gone mad; there is no structure, no decent content, no-one has any idea whether we are coming or going.

    A lot like the comments themselves, really.

  22. Steww – “It’s a transition season

    I agree.

    But how many times have we said that in the past few season? Plenty. As long as we keep losing important members of the starting 11 season after season we will constantly be in a state of transition. We need to be able to keep out main players and suplement them, that is building. Rather than build we often end up replacing, thus mataining our state of transitition.

  23. have we not been in transition for the past 5 years?

    @arsenal andrew, some players performances have not bee good enough, i certainly dont see a problem in highlighting that. that is unless you are okay with the said performances.

  24. Chew them and then spit them out. Yah , let force the club to erase some more. Soul.out of the ARSENAL. let s be like the. Other guys who will do ANYTHING for a win or trophy. That’s the ticket. Brilliant.

  25. @goonerkam | February 17, 2012 at 8:50 am,

    We have been giving these young players a chance for 6 seasons going to seven. As with any program, some have been a perfect fit, others on the other hand have not. had we invested in players like Arteta or Alonso when Liverpool wanted to sell him on the cheap to get Gareth Barry, had we bought a defender and a keeper over at different points over the last four seasons, we would have been back something like 20-30 million. more importantly, it would give the younger players the time needed for them to develop while increasing our competitive edge. but we decided to renew contracts and overpay players that we now seem to have a hard time selling. the wage bill is at its highest while the comparative talent at its lowest ever since Arsene took over.

    No one is asking Arsene to do anything to win a trophy, just that he spends and betters the squad. The transfer window, should always be looked as a medium offered to teams to better themselves, not as an opportunity to make a profit. We have basically not spent any transfer funds provided for how many seasons now?

    I love this team, but at times, some of the decisions we make have me scratching my head.

  26. The thing is Acrylic, time was when a guy or a girl could get up in the morning, make a good stiff coffee – one so strong that it would make you go dizzy and all swivel-eyed – and sit down and really concentrate on the business of the day mindlessly slagging off Andre Arshavin.

    All it took was one world-class cross against Sunderland which luckily somehow made its way to Henry who basically collided the ball into the back of the net.

    And then there’s chaos – no-one knows who we are supposed to be mindlessly slagging off and everyone just loses focus and start lashing out all over the place.

    I for one think we should all mindlessly slag off the whole side after Wednesday, starting with that RVP – he’s a piece of work isn’t he?

    Mind you, my coffee was particularly strong this morning.

    Shame I have to get my swivel eyes into gear and go do some work now; I could quite happily lash out mindlessly all day long.

    I mean, it takes no effort, does it?

    Or thought.

  27. You don’t love this team. You have no idea what kind of brave young men chose to sign and play for us. Every one had been a target at different. Times. If anything you should have emance respect for each and everyone of them. So of yous have no shame.

  28. Lord, this is like standing in a pub having a quiet chat with several blokes with megaphones shouting their opinions, over and over and over again. I wonder if the club could have soapboxes installed on the podium. Then all the fucking nutters can stand and gas to their hearts content. We can see who they are, and I personally will sell rotten fruit and make a fortune.

  29. Or maybe install a hanging nooses apparatus. And let them use it on each other.

  30. arsenal andrew,

    Its all well and good when these players step up and get us the result as they did at Sunderland. problem comes when there is no consistency in their play (the one thing that differentiates the best from the rest). my point s that we have had way too many inconsistent players the past six year e.g.

    Diaby (can put in some mind blowing performances, less than 10 in my eyes since he came), Almunia (could win us games, but how many did he cost us?),

    Ramsey (when was the last time he had a great 90 minutes?),

    Chamakh (will we ever see the striker that carried us with Cesc and RvP out?),

    Djourou (will he find the form he had at some point last year),

    Arshavin (will we ever see consistent performances from him from one game to the next),

    Walcott (will he ever live up to the potential so many are yet to see),

    NB52 (will he ever work hard towards being the best striker in the world he believes he is while getting his off field issues together?)

    Squillaci (where do i start?)

    Nope, you are right, it takes no effort, and it takes extremely little thought.

  31. That credible journal The Sun, upholder of all things virtuous, has been quoting their friendly Groaners again. Two peas. Pod.

  32. goonerkam | February 17, 2012 at 9:08 am,

    Signing for Arsenal should not be seen as a favour to the fans. United have had guys like Obertan and Gibson, Mame Biram Diouf and Manucho, all players that could not cut it and were disposed off. the idiocy behind the thought that one cannot critique when some constantly fall short is beyond me, that AW fumed after an insipid performance sums it well.

    Loving something without ever seeing the negative isnt love, its infatuation.

  33. Speaking of The Groaners…

  34. …Voila!

  35. AA, so it looks like we have the worst collection of s#*t players in whole EPL, eh?

  36. gooners. we shouldn’t unleash it all on one player or two since the all players did not perform (or turn up) in Milan. we were outplayed. support the team -all players and move on

  37. Anyway, enough of this crap. Onto more important things like a huge game tomorrow. A win is important for 2 reasons. Firstly, the FA Cup is our only realistic chance of silverware this season. Secondly, in the past we had made a nasty habit of going out of compeitions in a realtivly space period of time. this normally leads to a bit of a collapse, so tomorro is a good opportunity to stop the rot and get back to winning ways.


    Djourou (Kos if fit)

    Le Coq (Song could do with a break)

    RvP (can’t afford to rest him)

    Sub: Fabianski/Song/Theo/Ramsey/AA/Chamakh/Benayoun/

  38. @Dhruv | February 17, 2012 at 9:34 am,

    Not the worst, we simply seem to reward them with more chances the more their performances go down.

  39. Five things we know about koscielny,
    1.he is our best defender
    2.frontally,his face is like a profile
    3.he is small for a central defender
    4.he is very fast
    5.he goes about his business quietly

  40. Rambo isnt shit but he does look tired. Young players tend to go through the odd bad patch and as they mature they get more consistent. We have basically played the same 3 in midfield all season of Song Arteta and Rambo, all 3 are looking jaded and maybe teams have worked them out a bit. The problem is lack of depth so we can change things when they are going wrong. Also any team in the world would suffer the lose of cesc nasri and wilshire from the midfield . My biggest gripe is lack of investment in the team if over the last 4 years 1 player of top quality ie.£20m+ had been bought we wouldnt be in this trouble and the younger players that were of the highest quality would have been able to slowly intergrate into the team and those young players who are not quite top level ie. Bentner, diaby, denilson , walcott, eastmond, flappy. manone, djourou could have been let go and there wages spent on quality signings. We have spent to much in wages and transfers on players that are not quite top quality too many squad players on good money instead of saying to the likes of Walcott “when you score 15 goals a season and create another 15 you can have £80 K a week but for now your on £20 K with good bonus for winning and scoring, that way you can afford £150 K a week for top quality.

  41. Frank

    Perhaps they could hire out some pitches at Speakers Corner. Then we could watch the match without listening to their incessant drivel.

  42. Andy, Arteta and Rosicky playing again? This could be a good time to give Arshavin a shot down the middle. RVP to be flogged again! why is Chamakh there for?

    In the end it will be Wenger’s call but I am sure that team your described will not play.

  43. You say give youth a chance.How long has Theo had?6 years that how long.
    There comes a time when you say enough is enough
    Move on and give Chamberlain his chance.Start him for every game till the end of the season

  44. @Martin | February 17, 2012 at 9:48 am

    Exactly. at some point in time, you cut your losses……..some of the players we have have not got it done for years despite the multitude of chances handed down to them. at some point in time, one says enough is enough and makes the changes required.

    Why have we not doe the same?

  45. Ace – Heh at No2. And true, I had never noticed that before.

  46. Dhruv – I agree about AA, I would love to see him play down the middle. Arsne has given no indication in any game so far that he would do this though. I put RvP in the side simply becuase we don’t really look like scoring without him.

    Rosicky for Benyoun maybe? Arteta must play. We can’t make too many changes, Sunderland will be very hard to beat. If we treat the game as a CC game we will go out.

  47. GA, he is creative, but what happens if he isnt playing well and his workrate is dismal?

  48. AA – Oh, I agree with that. But there is no point in having in the squad if we are not going to use him. I would like to see it as there is no doubt that would be his best position. Lets see what he can do.

    It won’t happen either way mind; Arsene always plays a midfielder in that role. AOC perhaps?

  49. You guys nEed to cut Rambo some slack. This guy was very close to not playing football again.

    His present ability might not be up to scratch but you can’t doubt the effort he puts in every game.

    When he scored Sunderland, I’m pretty sure all these Gooners sang his praises.

    Oh well

  50. just play the best team you can…….this trophy is our best chance of winning anything this season, so have a go at it. if we fall short, let us fall short……but it shouldn’t be for the lack of trying or because we rotated and had guys come in and not deliver. MON’s teams always pack the defence and look to counter. turning the ball over might make or break the tie.

  51. Andy

    Oh I agree, this is surely going to be one tough matche, accentuated by the midweek exertion. Sunderland are a reformed side under MON.


    What if Arshavin helps score couple of goals? you wouldn’t say that Wenger did not try!

  52. Dhruv | February 17, 2012 at 10:09 am

    There is a reason as to why he lost his place in the starting XI. with him, i think its always going to be a gamble, and we could afford that in previous seasons. sometimes he starts and he plays well, most times he doesnt, and therein lies the issue. plus even when he plays well, he does minimal backtracking, and for a team with greater insistence on defence this season he is somewhat a weak spot.

  53. Acryllic you want the same team to play 3 matches in a week. I am not Wenger but this sounds illogical. A little freshning up is definitely needed. Even bring on Afobe on bench if he has recovered.

  54. Dhruv | February 17, 2012 at 10:16 am

    Id give benayoun a shot over AA23.

  55. Fuck the haters, you’re a bunch of spineless wankers.

    Andy, no more telegraph links, I beg you.

  56. Markus – Fair one 🙂 I do apologise.

  57. Andy

    I would defo start chamakh…Get wide, throw some crosses in, and we might just have some joy on that mud-heap of a pitch..

    Front 3..


  58. Acryllic Altair | February 17, 2012 at 8:14 am

    trully pathetic comment and indicative of the mess in your head as well as your poor upbringing and poor education. you are classless.

  59. Anirudh, isn’t Gervinho back? If he has, then he should be starting, I cannot believe AOC ahead of Gervinho tomorrow because he could unlock the defence. He is the one surprise element over last time we played Sunderland.

  60. Dhruv..

    He is just back after reaching the final of the ANC..I would rather have a fresh and raring to go Gervinho to face spurs, rather than risking a tired Gervinho on that pitch at the Stadium of Light…

  61. Anirudh

    Isn’t Gervinho back? If he is, then it is a no brainer. Gervinho is the surprise element and he should be involved in the match, preferably in place of AOC.

  62. Sorry some problem with my connection. The comment did not publish so I reedited and posted it again

  63. But how many times have we said that in the past few season? Plenty

    come on sargeant, until the stadium is repaid ..arsenal will always be in a transition…is it that hard to understand? the move itself is the biggest transition in our history…isnt it?

    doesnt the club have to wait till it repays it? in the meantime doesnt the club have to wait for its youngsters to mature?

    yes to both.

    is it impossible that problems will appear down the road that will require mini-transition within the massive transition we are already in?

    no its not impossible,…in fact its normal.

  64. I can’t wait for Diaby to return. Then we can all start having a go at him and relieve the pressure on Ramsey and the others.

    OK, Ramsey has had a rough spell but young players go through that as they develop. However, he has been played too much in my opinion and anyone who played knows that you can not play your best if you are knackered. Denilson, I believe, is a different case. He played nowhere near as much and looked to be short of pace and stamina from the kick-off.

    Some of our best home-grown players have looked the part straight away -Charlie George, Liam Brady, Tony Adams for example whereas others have looked very iffy but made it eventually – John Radford, Graham Rix, Ashley Cole.

    We, of course only see their public performances whereas the managers see much more of them. This is one reason why some players get more opportunity than others in the first team squad. The trick is knowing who will make it eventually. AW has got a few of these wrong, as have others before him, but it is always easier for a young player to settle into to a side that is playing well than one that is as erratic as we have been the last few seasons.

  65. Pole sana, OOU. Hope you get a quick recovery.

  66. Been some time since I last posted here. In my opinion Arsene Wenger needs to take a bit of blame for the flop show at San Siro. There is no doubt that it’s a transitional season. But that should not be an excuse for such a low performance. I saw th match till the third goal and what was surprising was that Milan never played that good to be 3-0 up. Looking at the way the team played, it looked like there was no particular strategy. In a transition season, I would have expected Arsene to line-up a 4-5-1 defensive formation away from home and look for a goalless draw. No idea what was he trying to do?

  67. OOU, I agree on your assessment of Ramsey. For me he’s a Frank Lampard short of player – like Lansbury is a Steven Gerrard sort. Wilshere is more difficult to compare to someone else. He’s a cross between Xavi and ???. ??? is for the “hardness” that Xavi lacks. Wilshere is one tough character!

  68. You guys nEed to cut Rambo some slack. This guy was very close to not playing football again.

    no thats unacceptable…that short cunt…we paid 6million for him and he is failing us..i dont care he broke his leg…he aint delivering the pirlo/cesc/xavi performances we expect from him…


  69. Having been rightly ridiculed by my obnoxiously ignorant Spud-fan of a neighbour ever since I came home on Wednesday night, can I just say that if we lose against Sunderland I think I may end up moving apartment!!

    I deleted the game without watching it as I just could not stomach watching another shambolic display. A few fellow Gooners tried to tell me there were positives to be taken from the game. Like FUCK!!!! Screw positives!!! Give me negative wins!!! And when we start winning again, then we can start to concentrate on our pretty side of the game but until then fuck it I say. I have to admit to being really disappointed in the team overall this season. And spare me the defending of them from on high as I am doing that constantly when I go out with friends who support other teams. At times it really is all I do, you would think the team itself would do some defending for once!!

    One ANGRY and very Frustrated Arsenal fan!!

  70. Rambo will eventually pan out. Can’t wait for the day we’ll be able to play Ramsey + Wilshere + Le Coq. A midfield strong enough to dominate anyone.

  71. Ramsey is a good player has skill and ball control but he just needs to be more direct & know when to release the ball sometimes he hangs on for too long before passing though he is still developing and i think this year would be the first he has had to come into the team full time and almost play an entire season so far.
    As for theo, although he has improved in areas such as his trapping, a little in finishing but for a winger you need to have the trait of beating your opponents, creating space for yourself and knowing when its ideal to pull out a cross. If he has this then he could go on to be a great player but for now he is just good but it is up to him to do better.

  72. Why is there a need to blame anyone?

    No one can deny the whole team had a stinker on Wednesday night, AW has pretty much said so himself, so let’s move on.

    Ramsey isn’t ‘shit’, neither is Theo, Chamakh, AA or anyone else who certain element’s choose to continually scapegoat.

    The players themselves surely have enough intelligence to know that they underperformed, and will know that they need to put together a strong performance on Saturday.

    O’Neil will have the Sunderland player’s believeing we are there for the taking, so it is now up to the player’s to prove they have the mental strength that AW tell’s them they have.

    They owe AW a big performance for having so much faith in them all, and giving them the opportunity to wear the cannon, not us.

  73. Agree on Coquelin, Big Al. (I had assumed he was injured) – he will be our season’s revelation (others than to those who have followed him for several years)

    I would also play my protege at CB (assuming Kozzer is out) – the penalty Ibra played him for was clumsy, but the rest of his play was OK – like all our defenders he seems to make one key mistake per game – this one was punished, as was Vermaelen’s slip unfortunately

  74. Irish – “A few fellow Gooners tried to tell me there were positives to be taken from the game

    I am over the game now, but just out of interest what did they say the positives were? Even the most ardent positive type blokey would have struggled to get any from Wed. Gibbs got some game time under his belt….errr…., that was about it.

  75. Irishgray,

    I am afraid I agree with you! Give me a negative win against spurs, cheating, kicking, fouling, ugly win but just want to be on the winning side.

    FA tie against Sunderland is looks difficult with most of the players exhausted.

    But dont mess your personal life man, dont change apartments for this…

    You are lucky, at least you go to stadium.

  76. I’m struggling to see! Walcott’s future with Arsena with Ox, Miyachi n Gervinho all looking good in their wing play. Maybe time to move Theo centrally.

  77. was scrolling through the comments (cos frankly, its all the same thing over and over again)

    someone called the result on wednesday ‘the latest mauling’

    it was the second one this season. the only other one was at united.

    just to clarify.

  78. my advice to you guys:

    stay off the media. stick only to

  79. Matt

    you are right, the players owe Wenger big big performances till the end of the season.

    they owe themselves that as well.


    here, read this for a change, instead of the usual vitriol from the media.

    this is thierry henry speaking. so surely he has more credibility than the journalists/managers who have won nothing/ex players who have won nothing whose shit some of you eagerly lap up?

    ‘If you don’t believe then you might as well go home.’

    i am never going home.


    stick together. the team let us down, let themselves down badly on wednesday. but there are many more games to go. so stand up for your team.

    we have got many bad memories this season. that is a fact. but we still have a chance to make sure we will remember this season for the right reasons. why give up that chance now simply because things went horribly wrong?

  82. one of the biggest problems the club faces is the fans, along with beautiful football, a new stadium and many trophies wenger also brought a new wave of fans with a new attitude. some have only known ARSENAL under wenger some have rediscovered football under the tutorige of a great leader.many of these fans think the club has a divine right to buy the best players in the world ,win every piece of silverware and replace any player who is struggling or out of form. at this present time I honestly believe we have the some of the worst fans in the land.We dont sing at home, we constantly slag our own players from the first whistle and boo them whenever we see fit.I have followed this great club for a long time and although seen some poor teams in my time I have never seen or heard the amount of negative cohesion against the team.It seems as though we dont support the team anymore we just critique.Ihave been to games when it feels like i am surrounded by spuds dressed in red and white.when ive talked to supporters some of them are season ticket holders and ast members and follow the team away.ive experienced the same negativety at away games myself remarkably towards youth players coming through.The problem it seems, is not about time or financial effort/ passion but just about the attitude to support.I can only assume that many of our followers are too influenced by talkshit, the general media and the pompus tarts who claim to represent the masses.I hope ACLF,untold and the like continue to educate and fight the enemy within.

  83. I remember Tony was actually slated early in his career.

  84. to the people who claim they are hurting, that wenger is destroying arsenal…

    no you arent.

    you are just embarrassed, because you can’t brag to your friends and colleagues about arsenal, and you have to take their taunts.

    you can see on wenger’s face that this hurt him much more than you.

  85. Well said, Arse or Brain (and some Heart/Loyalty, based on your comments)

  86. arse or brain | February 17, 2012 at 12:23 pm

    Which clubs fans you think is better then? Spurs, Liverpool, Newcastle, or even Blackburn?

  87. GA

    Keown is right we do lack a leader.RVP great player but captain? Just like Henry and Cesc he is not a leader.
    You can trace a lot back to the moment PV4 left.We havent had a good captain since him.
    Wenger seems to give tha captaincy to the best player

  88. The current leading pack of young uns seems to be Chewie, Theo, Jack, Ramsey, Le Coq, Ox, Jenks and Gibbs (more or less regulars) with Miquel, Frimpong (sadly injured again I hear), Yennaris, Miyachi, Ignasi and Campbell (to come I hope) as some of the emerging lads. Denilson and Bartley are on loan, and we await outcomes there. Vito is somewhere I suppose, as are Aneke and Afobe.

    The first 8 have a bit of experience by now. The other 6 have first team games under their belt. Having seen something of them all except Cambell (except the clips), and Ignasi, I find it truly exhilirating.

    Talk of Ramsey as poor is so idiotic it doesn’t bear response. Considering that a large part of this season has been carried by this youth contingent presents fascinating prospects. We lie 4th in EPL. Eight youngsters are regulars, and we are comparing them already to the best in the EPL, unfavourably sometimes, or favourably, but usually forgetting what is actually being accomplished at Arsenal.

    Having abandoned project youth as we hear from knowledgeable pundits, Wenger and Rice have apparently, by means of cunning subterfuge, been building a solid team around youth. What! This can’t be true, can it?

    Here is my line-up anyway.

    Jenks Bartley Miquel Gibbs
    Le Coq
    Ramsey Wilshere
    Theo Campbell Ox

    Bench: Don Vito, Yennaris, Miyachi, Frimpong, Aneke, Ignasi.

    Tell me you’re not excited. Weak points seem to be striker and CBs, the rest could play in the EPL night and day and would challenge. They already do.

  89. henristic, the arguement is not about trying to find supporters worse than ours or trying to prove a club has better support than ours, the whole point of my post was generally(as a whole) we are not suporting the club well. we have forgoten to support when things are not going well, when players are out of form.Our level used to be with aston villa , everton and the spuds but we have been lifted from that and now is the time to support ,this is the time to pay your dues not when the club is destroying everything before them

  90. Jabba's Delights

    I thing people need to lay off rambo. Not only is this his first complete season as a starter but our manager in all his wisdom has asked him to play the same role as cesc fabregas. Rather than trying to be neat and tidy and get himself late into box to score some goals its as if the he is trying to be our conductor, maybe he will be in time but not now. I love the guys work rate and if you watch carefully he is the one who gets most frustrated by our useless pressing. He charges up to put pressure on the ball carrier or num 1 option only to see that the ball has been shipped to an easy number 1 or num 2 option. The whole point of pressing high up the pitch is to eliminate high % passes in order for that to happen the pressyre must be collective.

  91. Re Robin’s captaincy, a few days ago the second half comeback v Villa was attributed to his rousing halftime team talk and he was a brilliant leader….now he isnt captiancy material!

    In my view he is miles better than the two previous incumbents

  92. zimpaul you appear to have miguel in twice but good side anyway oh and id include meade and henderson on the bench aswell

  93. arse or brain

    Do you mean to say that it would not really matter if there was no European football, no trophies, or even no PL. You dont need the money that comes into Arsenal by being a global club. Leave alone fans, even some of the Arsenal players need the above benefits, they want the chance to play at the highest level, they want the recognition for their talent.

    Slating players and undermining the manager is one thing, I dont agree to that. But accountability is another matter altogether.

    Arsene did spend close to 50m in the Summer after couple of shockers, so money was always there but decision making was not good. I am ready to support the players and boss but it is logical that if the results are not up to mark, the fans are going to ask questions.

  94. Correction of course. Campbell has not played, we await his arrival. Has Ignasi? Can’t recall.

    Theo and Ramsey’s careers are moving forward very nicely, both internationals already. The odd patches of off-form play are quite normal for young players, especially with this workload; it takes a its time to learn the art of consistency, as anyone with kids in early 20s knows.

  95. Jabba's Delights

    ”this is thierry henry speaking. so surely he has more credibility than the journalists/managers who have won nothing/ex players who have won nothing whose shit some of you eagerly lap up?”

    The same issue with Yogi yesterday, allot of these pundits and managers have one stuff some of them an incredible amount of stuff. They know what its liek to be part of team and they can see what makes an unsuccesful team.

    Everyuone in the world is an idiot unless they say amazing things about arsenal…………did you watch the game on wednesday have you seen how many games we’ve lost this year did you see our run from feb to may last year……………shhh maybe what they are saying might be right?

  96. arse or brain | February 17, 2012 at 12:23 pm

    hats off.


  97. Jabba's Delights


    How do you not knwo whether Miquel has played for arsenal or not yet? Are you an arsenal fan?

  98. Everyuone in the world is an idiot unless they say amazing things about arsenal…………

    excuse me , but only an ungrateful moron or a spitefull little englander would not admire a manager playing his own brand of football in the new stadium he has helped pay for with his business acumen and transfer logic with his own players and coming short only to teams who can spend ten times what he can.

    if you cant see what a magnificent club we have then you are a disgrace to the term supporter and an embarassment to this great club.

    yes…only a hater or a deeply complexic moron would have something negative to say about arsenal…

  99. that if the results are not up to mark, the fans are going to ask questions.

    up to what mark?

    what are the results that will keep you happy ? only victories ?

    so if the result is not what you expected you will throw your toys out? ….is that what men do in england ?

    and what kind of results do you expect from a team/club that is focusing on repaying its stadium?

  100. I tend to think That Ramsey is a very talented footballer, his problem is that he is trying to do to much. If you watch a game you see him trying to be the creative pivot in the team, it is a role he is not suited to at this time. I wonder where the real Arsenal fans are sometimes, many here seem so blinkered and entitled that I just shake my head.

    The team played poorly on the night, in fact they played horribly it is a fact we all saw it for the most part. It is football, it happens. If you feel the need to complain so much and believe that every other team excites you more then take the opportunity to find another ticket more suited to your views.

  101. dhruv, no pl ,no trophies ,no ef . been there done that and still bought several t shirts support is something you do whatever even if your sitting on the steps of the north bank and cant reach the bloke next to you the crowds so thin. I didnt say there would never be a correct time or place to criticise but ou need to put it in perspective some fans have never really lost or wernt near the club when we did this i can tell by there remarks we are still a fantastic club in a fantastic position with a fantastic manger and fans need to remember this when booing. ask not what your club can do for you but what you can do for your club SUPPORT

  102. I like Miquel so much, I named him twice.

  103. There is absolutely nothing wronf with asking questions as a fan, it is the constant spouting of this player is shit and this one and this one… that drives me to despair with some of the comments

  104. Zim, I think Miquel is a very nice tidy player. I think he’d benefit from more games just not to many at this point in his career.

  105. There is absolutely nothing wronf with asking questions as a fan

    there is …especially when the fan doesnt know what he is watching or how to interpret it or what to ask…..

    not all fans know football

  106. I have many times on here said that Ramsey is playing out of position and tis is what is hurting our play. He is a CM by nature not a creative attacking midfielder. His biggest assest is his work rate running from here to there (sometimes like a chicken with his head cut off) trying to make and win tackles. This is what he is a Gareth Barry type player, solid with a good work rate that takes 3-4-5-6 touches when only 1-2 are needed doesnt make that killer pass and the problem that we are facing now is that AW bought Arteta and he is a better more experienced version of Ramsey thus forcing Ramsey into another spot but i believe that he is best suited for coming on in the 70th min and running and working and going against tired legs.

    Walcott i think is mroe of a threat than people give him credit for(even so-called Arsenal fans). Yes his greatest asset is his unrivaled pace and many times he does cross is into the box with only RVP in there but that is the way our system is. You look at his contributions and yes his shooting is erratic at best but it is his assists and creating chances with his pace. I doubt he will ever be a 15-20 goal scorer but he will be somebody who can get 15-20 assist which is just as important as the goals themselves. He was burden with a monkey so heavy on his shoulders as a teen that he still now caries this burden of being great while still only 22. Pair him with the likes of Rosicky playing balls to him and watch him flourish. I find him to be 1 of my favorite players because unlike so many (even though it works against him when he does get mugged regularly) he plays through the contact and doesnt go down or dive everytime somebody puts a leg out .

    ———Le Coq———

    subs:Fabanski, RVP, Ox, Song, Arteta, Ramsey

  107. C, I agree with much of what you have stated. I still am not convinced that the current formation is the best fit for the current team.

  108. Slip of the mind JD. But at least I have one.

    Hunt them down Hunter. One by one. They’ll squeal. Pay no heed.

  109. On another subject, if the pitch is in the same shitshape as the last game ,someone other than AW should bring it up . Safety. First I say. Have it played on a pitch that is less dangerous. To both sets of players. Shit, hypothetically there is a good chance another player there might go out injured. I don’t know about the black cats but we sure as heck can’t afford. To lose another long termed. Heck ,it could be one of our main players. I say play it elsewhere if the pitch is same or worse condition. its basically. Gone neutralize our speed . I know I play more cautiously on some pitches just to avoid getting hurt.

  110. ZimPaul | February 17, 2012 at 1:25 pm

    ..taking sculps… 😉

  111. @miami arsenal

    i have said many times that our current formation doesnt work for the players that we have and we would benefit from a type of 442 formation and IMO would be best as such:

    Sagna—Kos/Mert/Verm—Gibbs(Santos 1st choice if fit)
    Theo—-Rosicky(Wilshire when fit)——Ramsey

    or with Chamakh uptop and RVP playing in “the hole”

  112. Good stuff Big Al

    The rest: Same shite different day

  113. what is it with this blog, its just a constant clash of personalities. No one actually discusses football. Ive never heard so much nonsence from certain people who think that a fan has to smile and say yes or some abusing players and fans and manager. lost the plot. when is the club scarf out, do you have a strip lol lol lol

  114. @C, I tend agree once again with the your observation on the need for a second striker. I am not sure that Cham is the man, but we need the ability to shift the defenses through the middle as much as the wings. I think RVP has demonstrated he is an electric striker, but his assist tally is not bad either which further demonstrates his individual abilities. I could see a 4-4-1-1 or 4-4-2 as still being viable options.

  115. Hunter 13

    You really are out of touch, aren’t you. Blaming the so called “Englanders” and throwing cheesy lines “Not all fans know football.”

    Do u really know what you are talking about? dont cry about repaying the same damn loan all the time, Wenger does have money to spend which Ivan admitted. Didnt Arsene get desperate and spent money in Summer on Arteta and Mert.

    It was Wenger’s decision not to replace outgoing players. I dont have problems with his ideology but then the manager has to take care that club does not go into decline. He has to be sure that he is evaluating things correctly and will be able to perform with the players he has.

    If I am not wrong Arsenal do have one of the highest wage bills in EPL and by no means short of money which you seem to imply.

  116. C, Walcott is one of your favourite players? Are you for real?

    Walcott is just pace and nothing else.

    We need to get rid of the dead wood.

  117. Nice one OOU, another beauty.

    I agree with, and laugh at, dups’ posts respectively 🙂

  118. boomer

    sure, we will gladly talk about football. but whenever arsenal doesnt win, some people start coming here, calling the manager shit, calling this player shit, that player shit, we are headed for hell.

    obviously, the rest have to respond.

    we would gladly talk about the footballing aspect..but i hope you understand how difficult it is, because some people’s knowledge of football is restricted to fantasy football and football manager.

  119. Kos back next week & Jenkinson back in full training from Monday. Now that is good news

  120. ‘Everyuone in the world is an idiot unless they say amazing things about arsenal…………did you watch the game on wednesday have you seen how many games we’ve lost this year did you see our run from feb to may last year……………shhh maybe what they are saying might be right?’

    Jabba, i didnt say everyone is an idiot. you said that yourself.

    i watched the game on wednesday, i have watched every single game this season and last season.

    oh..i am sorry. what was your point?

  121. i think for tomorrow, i would go for a tight set-up. i won’t mind if we are forced to a replay.

    i am contemplating starting chamakh and arshavin. it could be their kind of games.

    sunderland will once again sit back and be tight, so if our midfield can stop the counterattacks (somethng arteta pointed out), then we can let arshavin take the risks up front.

    gervinho would also be a good option because he is so unpredictable.

  122. goonerkam

    i agree with you on the pitch. i also felt that on wednesday, the pitch had a psychological effect on the players. it’s like you subconciously tell yourself to stay away from the flanks. that was what i was thinking whenever we got the ball in the flank.

    we can argue that they are professionals etc, but i am sure it played on their minds a little.

    people often like to point out that the other team plays on the same pitch. well, that’s true. but they play there 19 games a season at least. we don’t.

    maybe we are pampered by our training facilities and pitch.

    but then again, given our fragile players, would we want to have a pitch at colney that simulates those kind of condition?

    hopefully such teams will do something about their pitches when their key players fall victim to it.

  123. @miamiArsenal

    I agree with what you are saying ecspecially about playing through the middle and wings. Chamakh may not be the best option but with our current crop I think he has the potential to hold up play which he has shown and link with RVP who i believe is like you said an electric striker but would be virtually unstoppable playing in “the hole” with his vision and touch. I think RVP could play in the Bergkamp role and would excel.

    I’m being very real pace is something that can’t be taught and when unleashed can be absolutely devasting and Walcott has that. While STILL ONLY 22 he has so much to still learn, yes but he also has loads of experience and does deliver teh assists to RVP. Play him with a true attacking midfielder like say Cesc last year(Walcott played very well) or Rosicky(i.e 2nd half against Villa and our 7-1 mauling where he had 2 beautiful assists to RVP and the 1 to Ox were he used pace and techinque dribbling through teh 18 and then finding Ox for the easy finish)getting him the ball in space or swinging it out wide quickly so he can 1 touch it past a defender and then go get it. He is 2nd on the team in goals and always provides plenty of assist.

  124. for people slagging walcott off, i actually think his final ball has been good this season. the problem is that no one was arriving in the box to attack the ball. rvp started to, and hes scoring ‘easy goals’

  125. DUPS @154
    THANKS. for the good news on KOSHER & CARL.

  126. @Korihikage
    I completely agree with you. Walcott is putting balls into the front of the goal for easy tap ins but only RVP is attacking them. Say we were to play with 2 striker up top, imagine how many more goals we could score if we had a striker attacking the box everytime Walcott went pacing foward and put the ball were strikers want it, in the 6

  127. OOU:

    Nice post, well written and well thought out.

    The whole young player thing is a real conundrum. The last generation of youth had so much talent. I honestly believed that by now we would be dominating the PL. The idea of building a young talented squad and letting them mature together seemed so logical. It just has not worked out that way. I don’t think any of us really understands what happened. Somehow the culture and mentality of the club and the whole organization has gotten off kilter. The inconsistency and the bouts of complacency that we have seen over the last several years are incredibly frustrating from such a talented group of players and coaches. I hope we don’t just reload with a whole new generation of young players and try the same thing again.

    I really hope we can regain some form and confidence this saturday. One of the things that may help with the mentality issue I mentioned in the first paragraph would be to win a trophy. It couldn’t hurt. t agree with Andy’s line up in his post at 9:37. We have a full week before the Spurs game so no need to rest players in anticipation of that game.

  128. Acryllic Altair:

    “Arshavin (will we ever see consistent performances from him from one game to the next),”

    You won’t, because every time this season when Arshavin scored or assisted, next game Wenger immediately put him to the bench – every single time.

  129. Jabba's Delights


    ”manager playing his own brand of football ”

    Last time i checked the manager actually tried to emulate Barcelona own brand of football. Not a big point but just another correction.

    The debt has been paid off very well we are down to 100m at a fixed rate over 25 years the business men at the club remeber them have actually said its very managable. They also said at the begining of the summer that we had more money to spend on transfers than we’ve ever had before we then went on to sell over 60m worth plus about 10 off the wage bill. 75% of that MUST let me repeat that you idiot MUST be spent on either briniging in new players or spent on contract extension (what we did with toure and ade money). Thats allot of money. Our manager choose not to spend it so stop with your pathetic excuses. The manager is to be judged on his recent form he takes 6m a year out of this club lets not start feeling sorry for him. The players didnt play for him the for the final 3 months of last year and let him down hugely again on wed.

    Your wrong 9 times out of 10 with everything that you say

    AGREED. A club like AC using tricks to give themselves an edge by relaying. Specific parts of the pitch. That would effect mostly the opponents(us). Playing formation and tactics. Truly low. But the result from Wednesday was more confounding and dependent. Of other issues. After the first goal, we looked like deer caught in headlights. All the fight just drained out of the crew and we chased shadows. Milan had a good game by their standards but what happened to our crew is confusing as heck. I know we are better than that. Must have been the formation and tactics. Nothing. Was working..

  131. Dhruv | February 17, 2012 at 1:48 pm

    Hunter 13

    You really are out of touch, aren’t you.
    – No mate …out of touch are the countless mugs who expect a club in its biggest transition to be winning trophies in a modern climate where to win trophies you need to spend a LOT.

    Blaming the so called “Englanders” and throwing cheesy lines “Not all fans know football.”
    – Yes i will blame the gloryhunting english culture for being pathetic in its support for its own club and manager and players, I will also blame the countless spitefull little engladers like pardew allerdyce and many others in uk’s media who distort facrts and present arsenal and wenger as underachieveing when in fact the opposite is happening

    Do u really know what you are talking about?
    – Yes i do.
    dont cry about repaying the same damn loan all the time?
    – I iant crying, im making it crystal clear to those who refuse to accept it. The ones who are crying are theones who expect trophies.

    Wenger does have money to spend which Ivan admitted.
    – Both are employees and both will reply to the public diplomatically

    Didnt Arsene get desperate and spent money in Summer on Arteta and Mert.
    – No, these were the available options from his scoutlist that could be obtained in such short notice.

    It was Wenger’s decision not to replace outgoing players.
    – No it was the policy of the club

    I dont have problems with his ideology but then the manager has to take care that club does not go into decline.
    – You aint got a clue what real decline really means. Try finnishing 7th and 12th, or getting relegated with 1,200 fans and no youth, no prospect of europe and your highlight being games with everton and sunderland, with an overaged squad.

    He has to be sure that he is evaluating things correctly and will be able to perform with the players he has.
    -None better than valuing potential and extracting profits form his transfer activities. In fact in points won/money spent he is second to none.

    If I am not wrong Arsenal do have one of the highest wage bills in EPL and by no means short of money which you seem to imply.
    -Arsenal has the 4th or 5th highest wage bill in epl so getting 4th is exactly where they should be. The club will use the money it makes on players when the burden of the stadium is out of their way.


    scalp #6553676478

    keep em coming…

  132. Last time i checked the manager actually tried to emulate Barcelona own brand of football. Not a big point but just another correction.

    last time i checked barcelona was playing ronaldinho larsson deco giully marquez motta etc etc…and pep chose youth like wenger pioneered 3 years before pep became manager of barca a


  133. jabba….lol ….go correct the circuits in your brains mate….lol…you wanting to correct me? …lol sit down you classless cretin…

  134. only a mug would call a club sitting in the 5th place of world football clubs in terms of wealth as being in decline.

  135. @hunter 13
    I truly do love and admire your passion for everything Arsenal. Its refreshing to watch and read you take people out in various forms whether it be poetic, strategic, or just plain straight to point slit your throat and watch the life bleed out of you type post like your post @2:28

  136. Jabba's Delights

    ”present arsenal and wenger as underachieveing when in fact the opposite is happening ”

    Once again your factually incorrect. There is a huge correlation between wage and final position. Our wage has consistently been the third or 4th highest since the emirates move and our manager only once has finshed above 4th in that time. That would suggest that our miracvle worker is actually doing exactly what a club of our size should be doing but without cup success. Factor in the fact that he has continuity that other managers dont have and supposedly the best youth system this side of barca he should be doing better point wise. Nobody is asking for the league, people are asking for an improvement year on year.

    Just seen your 2.31……………do you not fancy taking my points to task rather than calling me a cretin. Same type of stuff from george….he swears at people when he cant challenge their points……………you cretin

  137. lol without winning anything the club is 5th in the world in terms of wealth and some little engladers want to convince us that the club is doing bad?

    good luck trolls…. the stage is yours…… 🙂

    next time remind me to put bells on your necks so you dont get lost in the herd of sheep the uk media manipulate ……..

    ahaha 🙂

  138. mugga delights take your anti-arsenal talk and go hang in shame ….you dont serve arsenal nor wenger.

    fuck your points..your points have been anihlated like 100 times yet on and on you bang like a parrot about things which are out of your control authority knowledge and expertise.

    so far im being kind to you ……..


    u shithead..wanting to talk about arsenal subjects ? ….lol ……

  139. take your black bin bag and off to another cave to find your alike minded gloryhunting neanderthals were you can talk about what a great football club cockenham is and how much better they are doing than arsenal….. 🙂

  140. relentless !

    scalp # 875875785

  141. Jabba's Delights


    answer the points or you lose big boy. Afraid thats what they call a debate. Every bit of shite that comes out of you is factually incorrect thats your problem.

    Poor little Hunter cant make up some more drivel to present his case………….IDIOT

  142. and yes mugga delights…i prefer to call you a cretin because only a cretin would have complaints from Arsene Wenger

    if im wrong and you aint a cretin then youre a rival fan

    it doesnt make a difference to me what you are , i can tell you are clueless by what you type 🙂

  143. fuck you and your points..they have been answered the last month extensively ..better try and keep up and read them

  144. im the idiot who fucks your nonsensical points up though ….. 🙂

    dont see anyone supporting you

    maybe they dont like you???? lol

    maybe they have realised youre a cretin?

    just saying……lol…

  145. Jabba's Delights


    Why to you tell me again then. The way it looks big boy is that yoru running around scalping people having just shouted complete and utter drivel to them. Your a complete waste of space as when somebody who knows more than you challenges you on your stats you have nothing to say bar insults in short your PATHETIC

  146. Good stuff again Big AL.

    Yes, give youth a chance. What we need is for the youth to stick around for the long haul. We will get back to the top again.

    So now Arsenal lack leadership? what of the Arsenal team that could not recover after losing to United, the Invincibles that is. Not sure what season, but I remember Arsenal giving away the PL title with all the experienced players in the team. It was the season that a 17 year old Rooney did us in.

    Any team that can come back from such a horrible start of the season is not lacking leadership. Common sense should tell us that.

  147. oh well where words dont apply the stick does mugga delights


    get lost know shit.

    ok ..i will be pathetic and support the 5th richest club in the world with the second best manager of the century and you go cover yourslef in that black bin bag of yours and jump in a trashcan ..where you belong.


  148. Grow up guys, it sounds like a few 10 years bickering over who Dad is the hardest.

  149. Geo – That is a real shame. We could have done with his experience in the final leg of the season.

  150. Very true. He’s going to be a massive loss. Hopefully TV5 will get back into the swing of playing at CB sharpish..! Better news on Kos though, back in a week apparently…

  151. Wow

    10 in a row and 16 out of the last 20 posts by 2 people doing nothing but flinging ridiculous insults back and forth and saying almost nothing. That must be a record. Great stuff guys.

  152. Sadly JD you appear to be squealing.
    Just saying.

  153. Pretty boring eh Bill? I’ve just skipped past their ‘debate’. I find it pretty hard to keep track of the crazy ramblings coming from Hunter’s brain (heart in the right place, not sure about his mental state though), and Jabba, well…

  154. Geo.

    Really sad about losing BFG. He has not been as dominant in the air as I had expected from a lump but he is a great anchor in the back of defense. Having him allows kos to take more chances and be more aggresive and free wheeling and kos has been superb in that role. With TV5 as a partner, kos will have to change roles I suspect. Hope it works.

  155. @Bill

    I am hoping that Kos and TV5 can form a quick understanding to the point where its almost a feel for when 1 is going to go bombarding foward. but i completely agree with you on the loss of the BFG and feel people will really start to appreciate his worth now that he is gone

  156. Completely agree with that Bill. I was actually quite shocked at how many times he is beaten to headers. Against manure at home, Rooney out jumped/muscled him almost every time. But he makes up for all of that with immense positional sense, anticipation, tackling and communication. Some of those qualities have been hankered for by many for some time now. It’s a real shame this has happened, again, at such a crucial time of the season. I’m sure Kos and TV5 can adapt to compliment each other, both very intelligent. It might just take a couple of games to get it shored up back there.

  157. It would be generally a nice thing, can we agree, if certain people put in a happy frame of mind after a decent result from time to time rather than, say, make 37 posts over 2 days after a poor result. The feeding frenzy aside, trolls must eat after all, we all have high hopes with at least some good reason for this side. We were 17th.

    For the hoplessly optimistic realists, like moi, we might temper our good humour with some grit. But then, we do after all have Bill.

    I expect the real Arsenal, the other one, will put in an appearance this weekend, a little bashful like someone who can’t account for what the hell happened the other night, and about to arrive home.

    Importantly, we must keep Jack’s bet in mind.

  158. Jabba's Delights

    hunter13 | February 17, 2012 at 2:55 pm

    the fact that you use the 5th richest club in the world as source of inspiration is the really sad bit. It means absolutely nothing. Its a means of being succesful on the pitch no more no less.

  159. Per isn’t really a communicator so to speak, he exudes calmness.

  160. mattgoonerknight

    Posted this an hour or so ago, on yesterday write up:oops:

    Great news!!! (sorry if this is already common knowledge, I’ve been out so it’s news to me.)

    “bonne nouvelle de laurent aucune lésion ligamentaire avec quelques jours de repos le boss va revenir”

    Which I’ve read roughly translates as:

    ““good news from laurent no ligament injury with a few days of rest the boss will return”

    Source – Kocielny’s official Facebook page!

    Then this:

    More good news (just ignore the bit about Per)

  161. Really finsbury? Do you have to be stressed to be a communicator?

  162. Jabba's Delights

    i think the biggest thing that we will miss about bfg is his calmness. We have quite excitable charchters at the back which can be good at times but also lead to us getting pulled out of position. Per seems very calm and intelligent

  163. Geo and c:

    I really like the concept of having a stable anchor. We tried the whole thing with taking turns bombing forward and forming an understanding with gallas and tv and that was not a huge success. Hopefully kos and tv will work out better. I suspect kos will be the one who has to stay at home most of the time.


    Not sure how to take that one but cheers anyway

  164. mattgoonerknight

    Posted this an hour or so ago, on yesterday’s write up 😳

    Great news!!! (sorry if this is already common knowledge, I’ve been out so it’s news to me.)

    “bonne nouvelle de laurent aucune lésion ligamentaire avec quelques jours de repos le boss va revenir”

    Which I’ve read roughly translates as:

    ““good news from laurent no ligament injury with a few days of rest the boss will return”

    Source – Kocielny’s official Facebook page!

    Then this:

    More good news (just ignore the bit about Per)

  165. Jabba's Delights

    ZimPaul | February 17, 2012 at 3:20 pm

    all very good and well but to those of us who like to look at things in a little more detail than hope, arsenal have an applaing record at recovering from massive setbacks. In fact for 3 years one bad result or event has led to catastrophic drop in form. Just a point to take on board

  166. Geo, whilst listening to some Ravi Shanker I would say no.

    You won’t see Per shouting much on the pitch. Off the pitch, he’s said to have had some words, as befitting a player of 75 caps with one of the biggest footballing nations around.
    We nearly signed him last season, didn’t, he picked up that bad injury, came this season, played well, and he still picks a related injury. Tis unfortunate, but I never expected the injury gods to return any FBs without demanding a sacrifice.

    A shame he’ll be out for the Euro’s, but hopefully he’ll return fresh for next season.

  167. @Bill
    i would expect it would be Kos staying back but it will be interesting to see because both of them have the skill to bombard foward and help make something positive happen, the problem is that many times we get caught on the counter because while you would expect 1 fo our midfielders to drop a little deeper(Song or Arteta which ever one doesn’t push foward at the time) they dont hence leaving us exposed in the back but everything will work itself out and we will be ok in the back

  168. Jabba's Delights

    Its his third major problem with his ankles must come with being so tall. Ralf Hogenstein says it was a major reason as to why Bayern who were looking for a cb in the summer didnt go for him.

  169. “Geo, whilst listening to some Ravi Shanker I would say no.” haha! nice one.

    True about the injury gods, seeing Kos going off too confirmed that thought… Luckily he’s not completely fucked.

    Bill – I reckon either could do either job, but as you say they need to define those roles in advance, unless their communication is impeccable…

  170. @Jabba 3:33

    I dont mean to test your all knowing sense of knowledge but there was a catastrophy at the beginning of the season maybe:8-2 United us being almost if not in the relegation zone, the absolutely ridiculous massive unlucky spell of injuries that we had, you know that catastrophy and well look at how that turned out for us. Were in 4th place in a good spot in the FA cup and players are returning from injuries just in time for the business end of the season. But like the all knowing DOOMER that is Jabba said, we dont come back from catastrophies

  171. Chel$ki sacked AVB according to slysports

  172. mattgoonerknight

    Any reason why my comments are awaiting moderation?

  173. Does Per sit back all the time?

  174. cos you’re a cunt matt 😉

  175. only joking of course!

  176. It does seem like Kos is the player who intercepts the most passes though. He is also the player who makes those goal saving tackles. A brilliant player.

  177. Jabba's Delights


    you see this is where we dither. All you guys were saying we were good enough to challenge this year that was the stated aim. That 8-2 which was the third game of the year has led to us being a utterly dismal 17 points behind the prem leaders and an incredible 10 behind our poorer neighbours. So C that to me is a pretty rubbish run of form over the next 22 games.

    Dont forget that march, april, may are traditionally our worst months

  178. Got a link dups? can’t find it anywhere obvious…

  179. mattgoonerknight

    That’s the first time I’ve been called a cunt on here, well in such a concise and direct way anyway!

    Cunt and moderation in the same day, what have I done to deserve this? ; )

  180. Geo

    I’ve been looking for a link to. Seems the rumour comes from a fake Skysports twitter account.

  181. @YoungGunsBlog

    Great stat for @OptaJoe’s look at Walcott: Theo has set up more goals for van Persie (13), than Bergkamp for Henry (11).

  182. mgk – haha, sorry mate, don’t know where that came from tbh…! my tourettes just popped out to say hello it seems.

    Twitter gets a lot of hacking doesn’t it? It would be such a huge mistake to get rid of him. He’s trying to turn them into an attacking team after the legacy of the Mourinho years is still lingering in their play.. It’s going to take a couple of years surely?

  183. C

    Thats the problem the ambition of the manager and the board IS a 4th place finish.And there are some Gooners who celebrate a 4th place finish like we have won the league.If we finish 4th this season it will be for the FIFTH time out of the last 7 seasons.Thats what you call progress is it?

  184. mattgoonerknight

    ZimPaul | February 17, 2012 at 12:47 pm

    Good post, but funny how Miguel makes the future starting 11 and the bench – he’s a promising talent but that’s kind of asking a lot from the boy! 😉

  185. Paul N

    Sagna is a brillant player,so is Kos,so is TV and Szczesny is a great keeper.So why is our goals against column so fucking shit? I know blame Arshavin

  186. Martin

    If you follow Arsenal you will know that all our full backs have been out injured as well as TV for a while.

  187. Martin, you lack perspective. The plan is to have a self sustaining team that will be at the top for years. The plan is to pay off the stadium, get better endorsements and be able to have more money available for players. The plan is to grow a bunch of world class players that will play the Arsenal way, be faithful and dominate world football.

    If you believe that 4th is the ambition for the long team, you don’t know Arsenal at all.

  188. @Jabba
    1st i didnt say we were good enough to challenge this year and if you can find were i said that i would love to read it. So starting the season were we started in now being in 4th, in the knockout stages of the CL(granted it doesn’t look good but stranger things have happened) being in this stage of the FA cup to were we can actually win it isnt bouncing back ecspecially after losing 2 of our most important players from last year and losing many of the rotation players we were counting on this year to long term injuries and now just getting them back. Do i want Arsenal to win the EPL,CL,and FA cup, HELL YEA. am i realistic that this year with everything that went on in the summer in the 1st month of the season that we are currently in a good position with the possibility to win something and finish atleast 4th if not 3rd, HELL YEA.

    You speak of us being 17 points behind the EPL leaders, they got off to a tremendous start and everybody since the 1st month is looking up at them, you speak of us being 10 points behind Arry and Shitenham but all 3 of them arent in the CL so they didnt have to worry about managing that(Manchester clubs since group stages, Shittenham since last season) and Manchester clubs dont have to worry about FA cup because there both at home knocked out watching us.

    You say our best 3 months are not March, April, May but i say Chelsea is in shambles, Liverpool are even worse and Shittenham there days are coming and are 1 injury away from crumbling.

  189. mattgoonerknight

    Can’t find anything on the AVB rumour but the quotes in this report are pretty damning (pinch of salt need be applied, perhaps, but still):,,19494_7525317,00.html

    “The former Porto coach, who only took charge at Stamford Bridge last summer, has denied “strong words” had been exchanged but acknowledged he did not enjoy the backing of all his players.

    “That is normal,” he said.

    “They don’t have to back my project. It’s the owner who backs my project.”

    Imagine the boss making such a statement, that’s it’s normal that not all the players back him. Fucking crazy.

    He’s on death row, just a matter of how long.

  190. Hope i haven’t offended you matt 😦 I only call cunts cunts, and you are certainly not at the level of cuntiness that would warrant being counted at the cunt end of the cunt-o-meter sp*ctrum. If you get me. I’m eternally sorry my dear chappie, t’was merely in jest.

  191. Take it as a compliment Bill. I admire your posts (or reminders as I privately like to call them), and your level headed good sense.

    Wouldn’t I have have loved to have been a fly on a wall, a tea lady, an orange pealer, a towel cleaner at the Arsenal training ground this week. I wonder, as manager and assistant, is it better to throw a tantrum, make dire threats (undoubtedly SAF’s game), or firmly remind the players of the respect due to the game, and club. I suspect both. First one then the other? How to get into young people’s heads? (All players are in fact young…ish, even old timer Arshavin).

    The most effective atonement is self-imposed. You get busy, you work, make unspoken promises as you roll sleeves up and regain confidence.

  192. Geo

    Stop fannying about

  193. You fucking want some too do ya dups? Eh? EH?! Don’t make me say it…


  194. Paul-N | February 17, 2012 at 4:06 pm

    😉 … thank god there are still arsenal fans i can agree with..i was starting to lose hope…

  195. Indeed, MGK, I removed my foot from my mouth a while back. My excuse: I like Miquel so much I named him twice. He’s a delight, quite unlike Jabba’s. He’s that good, he can play and be reserve simultaneously.

  196. @Martin 3:59

    I have been vocal and said that we need mroe firepower and we need to show ambition and have been vocal about it and will continue to say we need more and have lobied for the likes of Hazard Podolski and players of such. I do feel that winning trophies should be our ultimate goal every season but i am also realistic in the fact that we lost Cesc and Nasri at the beginning of the season and had a abudance of injuries and our manager bought solid players to stabilize what was going on and didnt replace quality for quality. I as a Arsenal supporter want trophies no doubt about it but i also understand we build teams from youth not buying teams and when that youth doesnt pan out or leaves we are left to scramble thats what has happened.

  197. Zim

    So now we have 2 x Miquel as well as 3g

  198. Martin, say what you want but somehow we have clawed back to 4th. Sure we had a torrid start to the season but is no doubt that better defending played a part in being in 4th. Again, a lack of perspective on your part.

  199. Hunter/ What Culture are you from then?

  200. Last comment on bloody Wednesday. Although one could say he didn’t have much option, I admired Wenger’s aftermatch comments, especially the word “disaster”. He said everything for us.

  201. Hunter, I thought those points were obvious. I cannot believe that anyone would believe that Arsenal’s ambition is 4th. Sure, at this point, that is the goal for this season but we are after bigger things than that!

    C | February 17, 2012 at 4:06 pm
    Good stuff!

  202. mattgoonerknight

    Can I just remind some people that at present, albeit on goals scored, we are ABOVE Chelsea.

    Now look at the following statement and tell me if you wouldn’t of “taken it” at the beginning of the season (before or after the wretched start, your choice).

    – After 25 games Arsenal will be in 4th place in the league and level on points with Chelsea.

    If you would have, now be honest, then perhaps the moaning needs to be brought into line.

    Now admittedly, I wouldn’t have been so keen to accept being 10 points behind the spuds at this stage, I wouldn’t have “taken it” shall we say, but this serves to show that a) the sp*ds are having an unprecedentedly good PL season b) You can’t have it all – ask Chelsea

    4th place and level on points with Chelsea after 25 games – would have definitely taken it!!!


  203. spy .. the kind of culture that appreciates professionals who set foundations so that my club exists another 100 years competing for trophies …and certainly not from the culture that holds people like allerdyce hansen and pardew as respectable figures to talk about football. let alone arsenal.

    Basically my culture on football is 100% in agreement to wenger;s ideals and continental styles of play and have nothing to do with little england;s kick and rush or the headless chickens running around amok bashing eachothers and getting stuck in …thats for barbarians.

    i also do not appreciate the culture of gloryhunting cretins that i see infesting the stadium where my wonderful team plays.


  204. C

    but if we play with 2 up front.. maybe it will compromise walcott getting to that position..because if the two forwards stay at the same level, they will inevitably kill some space behind and out wide for theo. (draw out the 4-4-2 and 4-3-3 and i think you will see what i mean. of course that is saying, one of the forwards doesnt drop deep, which is unlikely considering how rvp plays. )

    i think our 4-3-3 at the moment suits theo. that means the guy on the other wing must come in too. and one of the midfield trio must come into the box as well.

  205. I agree MGK, I mean it!


  206. mattgoonerknight

    “I only call cunts cunts, and you are certainly not at the level of cuntiness that would warrant being counted at the cunt end of the cunt-o-meter sp*ctrum.”

    With compliments like these… ; )

    The wink meant that all was cool and forgiven, you dickhead!

  207. Yes Dups, it’s I teach my little boy to count you see. There’s only RvP, 2 Miquels, 3Gs, 4 defenders, 5 if you want to count the keeper. 1 2 3 4 5. Talking of which, time I said goodnight to him.

  208. hunter

    i appreciate your views, your passion etc. but i think you should cut down on the ‘englander’ rhetoric.

    it isnt really relevant. nor is it necessarily true.

  209. spy!

    this is my culture

    and this

    and this

    not this

    not this

    not this

  210. mattgoonerknight

    Now that is genuine shock horror Paul-N!

    Think I might go for a lay down ; )

  211. mattgoonerknight

    Hunter 13

    Come on dude, think that’s a bit OTT to make a point, no?

  212. korihk ..hi and keep the faith..youre one of the good 🙂

    dont bite … 😉

    my description of little engladers goes to those who attack wenger. those who think they can question him . and those who doubt his committment to arsenal.

    if they dont like to be called that then maybe they should show more respect to the manager who civilsed their club and consequently the whole of english football.

    i mean it is really getting ridiculous..people who dont even know what 2+2 makes want to pass judgement on a manager like wenger..its wrong.

    i know you dont fall in the same pot as them …but maybe its time for the good english arsenal fans to stand up and make us proud by bashing the heads of all them inconsiderate tw@ts poisoning our team ….

    do the right thing…next time some idiot starts booing…place him on the floor make him bite the pavement and stamp on the back of his neck. no point arguing with people who refuse to understand simple things.

  213. korihikage
    I do see what your saying about the space provided to Theo hence while i said that if we do want to continue to play this system Rosicky or Arteta must stay in the attacking midfield position and have Ramsey playing the CM role. I just hate when i hear people constantly talking about Walcott is horrible and this and that when you look at it, the kid provides RVP with constant chances and many assists.

  214. @hunter Ok but like Kori I think you should cut out the ‘Little Englander’ smacks of racism .

  215. over the top?

    lol…some native arsenal fans (not foreign, they appreciate and love arsenal and what we stand for) who could be trolls, could be rivals, could be under the influence of usmanov and dein “enthusiasm” or plain common stupid people distort facts, attack our manager, boo our players and in general behave like spoilt bratts.

    how long will the good and proper arsenal fan accept this?

    how long will the civilised , cultured, educated will let the uneducated uncivilised and cultureless to slag their team off and manager ?

    how much longer ffs….lol….

  216. its not racism spy please dont show ignorance…do not confuse it…i speak about the villager;s mentality…..its social….not ethnic nor racial..

    every country has culture and sub-culture

    look at it this way ..the people who complain about wenger are as thick as the americans in kansas who think their country went to iraq for freedom…

    i talk about intelligence and culture….not colour, religion, ethnicity etc etc.

    please lets at least seperate and know what were saying and under which context.

    thank you.

  217. Hunter

    A lot of us stopped reading their posts a long time ago. They have nothing of interest to say so I just scroll past their stuff.

  218. mattgoonerknight

    Hunter 13,

    Also, when Arsenal were a team made of pretty much of just English/ British and Irish players who arguably employed kick and rush tactics and loved to get stuck in, did you support them then?

    If you didn’t, that’s cool as many have come to love Arsenal under Arsene, but the “barbarian” reference especially is hyperbolic and a massive generalisation.

    Injuring players maliciously is one thing; getting “stuck in” i.e. adopting a more physical approach to the game is quite another. We could have perhaps done with getting a bit more stuck in on that rugby pitch on Wednesday.

    You don’t always have to shit on a different style or “culture” in order to celebrate your own. There are terms for shit like that and they ‘aint cool so maybe you should curb it a little.

  219. hunter

    i can’t stand the english media any more than you can. nor can i stand the likes of you know who here.

    and i know many people in england are xenophobic.

    but it doesnt mean we should stoop down to their level.

    i know sometimes it is difficult. but just give it a try.

  220. and to be honest ..i think you understand perfectly what i mean 😉

  221. Hunter 13

    I was away for a while. I read your answers but I am not convinced.

    I think you are just fixated with “biggest transition” You should know and read what is true and not just believe what you think is the truth. You follow what you have been schooled. The debt is well under control. Arsenal is world fifth richest club, they can buy at least a few quality players. Besides biggest spenders do not always get the trophy rightaway, they need to get the balance right. Besides Stan takeover and costliest stadium ticket prices did free up some cash.

    One joke you tried to crack was that Ivan and Wenger are employees and will be diplomatic. Do you have someone who tells you what is really happening? Are Ivan and Wenger fooling fans.

    This one takes the cake: Arteta, Mert (Santos, Park) were the available options from his scoutlist that could be obtained in such short notice. What short notice? time between that ManU mauling and closure of transfer window.

    Am I talking to a grownup here? Or you are a disgrunted old man.

    scalp #6553676478
    Ha ha scalp infection? you need to see a doc

  222. mattgoonerknight

    “lol…some native arsenal fans (not foreign, they appreciate and love arsenal and what we stand for)”

    Like I said, this is a bit much.

  223. C

    i think we need arteta behind, because he has that calming influence..

    at the moment, i feel that ramsey is more suited for the most advanced position because of his energy..

    rosicky needs a goal to get his instinct back. at the moment, you can see he is trying, and getting off some good shots, but they are always being blocked because quite often, there are too many bodies in the box. but i believe he will get one soon, and hopefully they will keep coming.

    same goes for ramsey.

  224. ferguson..numero uno cunt in world football has already regretted rallying a whole nation to assault arsenal …do not foget it was him who first said ” in order to beat arsenal you have to kick them”

    ever since he saw what his influence to the nation did to arsenal and wenger ( taylor/eduardo, robinso-barton/diabby…shawcross/ramsey….madia withc hunts…etc ) he has softened his animocity towards wenger greatly and in fact he can even be found supporting wenger….could you believe that? its ferguson were talking about here….a megalomaniac who has no good words to say about anybody…lol…

    besides the refereeing fiasco at brimingham in the eduardo case ( non existant penalty on clichy in the 92nd minute) we had more fiascos in the same season ( middleboro, legitmate goal cancelled, sunderland another legitmiate goal cancelled, manchester ronaldo takes penalty twice, “ball to hand” from distance of less than 2 meters and after ricochet is given as “hand to ball” on gilberto.)

    but yeah…why talk about that……its not like these decissions influence results do they?….no god forbid..these “incidents” even themselves out over the course of a season, right? 🙂

  225. Quick unrelated question,

    I was discussing the FFP rules with a friend just now, and how it might benefit clubs like Arsenal, and he raised the oft mentioned criticism that FFP will only entrench the status quo among already big clubs.

    What do ACLFers think about that argument?

  226. Like I said, this is a bit much.

    oh and the things said on wenger and arsenal arent ?

    i beg to differ…

  227. I haven’t been here for a minute and don’t want to the already well made points with regard to wednesdays dissapointment. Instead that we should focus all our support for the sunderland game because make no mistake this game could have massive impact on our season. A loss here could really derail us as the Birmingham loss did last season. finally I wanted to congratulate vela on the good season he is having in the Spanish top flight just goes to show that given a run of game starting he can be the player we all know he is capable of being.

  228. mattgoonerknight

    What did YW say about curbing the train of thought style posting…

  229. mattgoonerknight

    stream of consciousness rather

  230. korihikage

    I to prefer Arteta in that role with Rosicky playing the advanced position because with them we tend to play quicker and more 1-2 touch passing that leads to balls outwide and into space that gives the likes of Gervinho, Walcott, and Ox the space and unleashes the pace that they all have as well as Rosicky and RVP seem to play well together(granted there arent to many ppl RVP can’t play well with). Ramsey has to take 5-6 touches and the space and run that was made is no longer there to be played. I like Ramsey’s energy and work rate thats why i feel he would be better suited winning balls in the midfield. he has that type of Gareth Barry game to him at this stage in his career and dont ge me wrong i do feel that he has that final pass in his skillset, its just for me atelast Rosicky and Arteta are better at it due to experience

  231. ok matt 😉 ….

    but still…i am right ..its just the strong expressions that might bother some…but not the jist of it…for sure…

  232. lord peter of hillwood

    the root of our decline is wenger and how many chances by the way do most ot wenger’s choice 2nd raters want, why does anyone still think he has anything to offer? bad team selection bad or no tactics bad coaching (none at all in defence) bad training methods hence sooooo many injuries neglect of on field matters for the all inportant business model, wenger and the board are fleecing the club big time he got lucky a few times but most of our crap players will always be just that.Yet still some fans think he can do no wrong take a long hard look at the last six years of slow painful decline the footballs not that good now either,the yank needs no must go along with gazidis and our once great manager

  233. mattgoonerknight

    Henristic | February 17, 2012 at 5:11 pm

    Yep, it would suggest that no “smaller” could hope to be bought by some multi million / billionaire and be developed in triple quick time. If anything, the middle / upper middle tier (make the distinction as you will) might get closer to the top leaving a greater gap behind them – a two tiered Premier League?

    QPR must be sailing close to the wind as I can’t imagine their gate receipts, merchandising etc amount to all that much in relation to what their ambitions are.

    Will FFP have any effect at all? Will it be enforced in any way? I’m dubious.

  234. mattgoonerknight

    “smaller club”

  235. mattgoonerknight


    Right, I got this slightly wrong.

    FFP only applies to teams who believe they can qualify for European competition.Those clubs who do, apply for a licence which ties them into the financial fair play rules – the sanctions of which, would not be enforced until the 2013/14 season.

    So QPR for example could spend whatever they like until they feel that Europe may be on the agenda, then they would have to reconsider their financial outlay over a 3 year period to ensure that it met the FFP criteria: if it didn’t, no European action.

    This breakdown looks fairly easy to digest (I’m not going to read the whole 20 page Uefa document:

  236. Per Mertersacker out long term….right thats it… i give up!

  237. @Acrillyc Can we please stop comparing every midfielder to Cesc. Cesc was special. Ramsey might get special. Did we ripped into Cesc in his first games?

  238. should hire Djourou as an Arsenal TV star and just take him out of the squad.

  239. Fans Unite, Counter Kroenke

  240. one way to bring the argument about the managerial qualities of a certain Frenchman to a close, y’know?

  241. Brady right foot

    Doomer jizz everyehere on ACLF, jibber is positively glowing lol. Whats the word on Kozzer.

  242. C

    i agree that rosicky is at the moment the better choice. he is also the closest player we have now to someone who can run with the ball at his feet and pick out the passes (the other one is wilshere)

    the advanced role is where he thrives..

    ramsey is probably a more lampard kind of player. i think in games where we expect things to be stretched, he might be a better option because of his engine..

  243. Korihikag

    I agree with you except the lampard thing. I must see more from him than just energy and 5-6 touches but i do feel he does have value and ecspecially in games were its stretched but i think in a game like that I would even then play Rosicky because he can make that pass thus freeing our pace and then say the 60 min when legs start to get heavy bring in Ramsey and let his energy go for the last 30+ mins

  244. so how many lttle englanders compared to johnny foriegners are on ere then???

  245. BRF

    Kos back next week

  246. on Laurent Koscielny’s knee problem…
    He had a scan yesterday and the news is quite good. He will be out for hopefully around a week. He will miss the Sunderland game. But he should be back for next week.

  247. C

    you are right about that. if i am not wrong, i think fabregas once mentioned that the player he admired most in the team was rosicky. i think they were really good friends, despite their age difference. when you see rosicky in full flight, it is not difficult to see the admiration, because rosicky can really make the ball stick to his feet.

    i think the wide players need to have the guts to make diagonal runs behind the defence, between the fullback and the centreback, so that rosicky can slip those passes in..

  248. i think kos and tv need to get some game time together.. the milan game was their first time together since i don’t know when. and it shows…

    i think vermaelen is by nature the more aggressive one, so he should go and attack the attacker and the ball, while kos is good at reading the game and should act as a sweeper of some sort, shuttling out wide to cover the attacker..

  249. Korihikage

    I honestly see Arteta as being the perfect mentor for Ramsey as Rosicky and Cesc were for Wilshire. You can see The difference even now with the team when Rosicky plays and when Ramsey is played outta position.

    You are completely right about making the diagonal runs and I think that is something that Gervinho does very well and something that we missed while he was gone. The thing i can’t wait to see is who starts Ox, Theo, Gervinho but i also like bringing 1 of them off the bench to bring their pace on with tired legs and if we are up and play on the counter how quickly the counter would be.

    What do you think about if we did play a 442 or 4411 with maybe the Ox playing in “the hole” behind RVP and AW giving Theo Ox and Gervinho the ability to change positions as they deem fit throughout the course of the match?

  250. I also think that Mert has made a tremendous impact on Kos game positionally, he was always pacey adn quick but now you can see his positional game catching up and I think alot of that has to do with Mert

  251. I think the Ramsey/Rosicky discussion (which I agree with) brings up an interesting point about Arteta. Did AW expect him to play so deep or expect him to provide more creativity? Because, as it has turned out, Rosicky is the only player who is naturally suited to the creative attacking midfielder role at present. Ramsey has been playing there, more often than is probably good for him, but Arteta has not played in an advanced role. He has been tremendously solid but we could use more creativity from him and Song. Rosicky was in and out of the squad early on but I would prefer him in most circumstances.

    As others have said, we need really to lay off Ramsey. He is coming back from a horrible injury, had half a season last year split between the championship and Arsenal just to get back to playing games. He lost a year or more of development and might not be quite the same physically in terms of touch. Perhaps that is coming back. But comparing him to Jack really isn’t fair since Jack played behind Cesc in a deeper role where Arteta is playing. This suggests to me that Arteta is essentially a replacement for Jack at this point. Ramsey has had to play a very demanding position as midfield creator, which might not even or ever be his best position. So it is very, very harsh on Ramsey, which isn’t to say that there are flaws right now in his game in that position. He’s done a tremendous job and will keep improving. I hope we don’t overuse him.

    The final point on this is that we are lacking creativity in midfield. There is no doubt about that. We don’t keep possession as well or create the kind of through balls that split defences as regularly or quick diagonal balls through or over the back line for Theo to run onto as frequently. To me Theo didn’t have a great game but because we were poor in midfield we also didn’t create plays that allow him to be as dangerous as he can be. Perhaps JW will be able to provide this but he hasn’t yet proven that in the PL, despite his outstanding season last year in a different midfield role and will only have a couple months to contribute to this season.

    It may be an area we will need to address this summer.

  252. C

    it certainly is interesting: theo, ox or gervinho?

    plus arshavin.

    i really want to see more goals from the wing players. can you imagine the wide player coming in to finish the cross from the other wide player? that is how football should be played.

    4-4-1-1 or 4-4-2.. who will be the two side midfielders?

    if you really want someone other than rvp to play in the hole, i think i would play ox, but not the current one.. as wenger said, he is a more central attacking midfielder, whereas walcott is more a forward. that’s the difference between them. i think the ox has the qualities to play in the hole, and that is why we brought him in. but at the moment, i think he is not ready to carry the responsibility of playing there.

    but personally, i don’t like 4-4-2 or 4-4-1-1… puts too much pressure on the two side midfielders, and we don’t really have players capable of playing there..

    i like 4-3-3 because it has natural triangles.. with 4-4-2 your players need to really know how to move between the lines. 4-2-3-1 always runs the risk of becoming too rigid.. but it is a great formation at lower levels, because it is easy to understand..

  253. Versus Sunderland, I would consider playing Chamakh. Possibly with RvP behind. Arteta and Song/Coquelin are strong enough to be the anchor for a front four, either as a 4231 or 442. Sunderland are going to come out a bit stronger as it is a knockout cup tie but still I am not so worried about dominating in midfield with an extra player because they don’t play much through the middle. I might not start RvP and Chamakh together but would be happy to see this in the second half early on if we need a goal.

    It’ll be interesting to see what team AW picks. I would have played Arshavin mid week as this might not be his sort of game, except in the later stages. But the Ox, Gervinho, and Theo are all in contention. Maybe the Ox and Theo to start since they didn’t play too much midweek with Gervinho able to come on early in the second half. He must be knackered–5 games in 15 days, plus the travel, plus the disappointment. But we need him to get some minutes to feel his way back into the team as we will need him v. Spuds and need him to be very good.

  254. korihikage.I agree,with everything you say.Good work.
    Hunter13 /Cesc era don’t weaken my friend.Even if you post the same thing over and over ;0
    You are worth a million Jibbers.

    Duke ,when did you change your script writer? They are an improvement ,that is for sure.

  255. C

    i think mertesacker has been underrated. yes, he has made a few mistakes due to his naivete, and more ruthless finishing at our corners would have seen him get a few goals and us a few more points, but i think now when he is not available, we see that we miss him.

    my gripe with some people here is that they are quick to condemn, slow to give credit.

    i remember a quote from michael criechton’s lost world: all your life, people will be waiting to take credit away from you. don’t do it yourself.

  256. Limestone

    i agree that at the moment, we lack creativity. partly because in fabregas, we have one of the most creative midfielders in the world. and partly because wilshere is injured.

    i would like to see benayoun more, actually. i think he can be a creative force on the flank. dropping a little inside.

    oh and C,

    i think if we had a passer like fabregas, theo, gerv and ox will have field days making those diagonal runs.

    but if we think about it: aside from Silva and mata, are there any other ‘creative’ midfielders around?

  257. yes Jack was playing deeper last year but he also would push foward and i think he was on the field to not only gain game time but to also watch and play with Cesc(enough about Cesc). AW is now IMO banking on Jack to be teh attacking creative midfielder that we need unless he goes out in buys somebody like a Hazard to play in that role with Jack and Song with Ramsey coming off the bench. I would venture to say that Arteta was brought in to mentor Ramsey in playing that deep CM role that Arteta is playing now.

    I would enjoy seeing Song and Arteta push foward more as i view those 2 as able to make that defense splitting pass that we have seen them make at various points throughout the season i.e Song’s pass over the top when RVP hit it 1st time leftfooted far post and we won 1-0. Ramsey’s energy and work rate can’t be uqestioned but we just have players in the midfield that are better than him in Rosicky, Song, Arteta, Jack(when he comes back).

    What do you think about Ox playing in that attacking midfield role that both he and Wenger have said he could play.

  258. i think theo should be rested for tomorrow, because the pitch doesnt suit his play. and i think he has played quite a bit. ox and arshavin might be starting. with gervinho to come on.

    i would liek to see chamakh play. could be his kind of game.

  259. I fully agree with the praise of Mertesacker. He certainly has some flaws and is adapting to a new league–Kos made some uncharacteristic mistakes last year before coming on strong this season after having a year in the league. It is, however, surprising how he isn’t that accomplished in the air for us. But he’s extremely intelligent, positions himself well, reads the game well and is a calm and an assured player. He doesn’t seem to panic or not know how to react. He’s a big miss. But Kos and Verm should be able to sort things out soon and form a good combination. Unfortunately, we won’t be seeing this right away but fortunately Kos’ injury isn’t so bad. That is a huge relief.

    We’ll see how Gibbs comes on. He has hardly played this season and it was a huge challenge to come back away to Milan. I thought he was ok if undistinguished in his play.

  260. C

    i always believed that Jack should be playing in a more advanced position.. even with cesc around (sorry i mentioned it!) because cesc had a longer range of passing, and jack can dribble better. i think he was playing deeper last season to improve his discipline and reading of the game.. i think he will play in a more advanced role when he comes back.

    i think ox can play there as well. it is his natural position, i think. but not at premiership level yet (refer previous post)

    i think if we do bring in hazard, he will be playing on the flank. i see him more as a winger anyway.

  261. C, I think the Ox could play there but I wouldn’t try it right now. He is young and is devastating on the flanks coming inside when the opportunity is there. If you want someone there centrally behind the striker at the tip of midfield, I do think we could have Rosicky, AA, or RvP there. Honestly, against some teams Arteta/Ramsey and Song/Coquelin are a strong 2 behind the attackers which would allow playing two further up. If we had our normal back line, I really would have no qualms with 4231 or 442.

    We actually don’t have the players for a 433 with Fabregas/Nasri gone.

  262. Kori, I think that is right except that Jack hasn’t proved it at this level yet and hasn’t started scoring prolifically the way Cesc had begun to do in his last 3 years with us. The problem is the transition. JW and Ramsey both needed Cesc around for another year.

  263. Korihikage

    I understand what you are saying about the simplicity that is the 442 ro 4411. I do prefer the 433 but we lack the 1 position at the moment that makes the 433 work, that creative genius in teh attacking midfield role. Rosicky is finding his genius form but it is taking longer than expected.

    Ive said from day 1 Mert is an excellent defender because of his football IQ and i mean you dont become captain of Germany with 76 caps for nothing. He gets a lot negativity due to his being tall and not looking fast but watch how much ground he covers because of his long legs. He is the calming influence that we have been waiting and needing for some time now. Yes he could be more aggressive in the air but he is starting to show signs of that but his passing from the back is excellent.

    Finally if Rosicky is allowed to boss the game i do think that he can make those passes into teh feet adn over the top of the diagonal runners, just wait and watch when Gervinho comes back and Rosicky is picking him out adn were creating chances.

    No but i do think that is Rosicky or even AA23 find form they can be just as devasting as those to players.

  264. If Ramsey had not lost a year and a half essentially to the injury, he might be more ready for the role though I do agree that he might best be suited in CM.

  265. PG, you don’t seem to be. Welcome!

  266. Thanks for the vote of confidence LG .

  267. Lime and Kori,

    I agree Ox isnt ready to fill that spot yet but i think thats why he was most definetly brought in once he is ready i think AW has visions(atleast I do) of Ox, Jack, Song bossing midfields with the likes of RVP(if he signs and ready to captain for the long haul, i think he will and is) Theo and another attack(Gervinho for now). Hazard i think can play both positions and would be intersting to see where he would play but would also give us the ability to move players in the middle of the match.

  268. I think maybe players got complacent of keeping their position in the team, knowing that Mr wenger will ALWAYS have faith in their ability and play every match. I think some players are not hitting the heights they should because they know they will always have a place in the team.

    And Arsenal dont make players earn their new contracts, always giving new contracts with ease after a good performance.

    What i’m trying to say is that there is an air of being laid back.

  269. C and Limes

    make no mistake, the Ox will play inthe middle one day. but right now, no.

    you can never replace fabregas directly. and nasri brought something to the attack that many are loathe to admit. but i think we are more suited to a 4-3-3 than you think.

    i think song, arteta are both capable of playing killer passes. so if they do more of that, with jack back in teh side, with rosicky filling in, we can have a really dynamic trio that can make up for what we lack without fabregas. and i think we have been trying to do that. (so who says we can’t adapt?)

    i think if gervinho can finish more of the chances that come his way, he will be such a devastating player. that guy needs some confidence in himself! i never figure out why a player like nani can be so confident in himself while our players, not necessarily worse, arent.

    if our two wing players start putting away chances, the opponents will sit up and take notice. and rvp can drop into space, knowing that he can put those reverse balls in (remember the one for the Ox against blackburn. that isnt the first time he tried it. i know against someone else he played a ball like that to ramsey running in from deep. ramsey didnt quite get the ball, if i rmb correctly)

    that will be even more devastating than rvp in the hole in a 4-4-1-1. simply because of all the movement and link up play.

    bottom line: the two wing players have to get into the box and score some goals.

    i think this is how we replace the two players we lost.

  270. Moe,

    i think after wednesday, no one is complacent. i think that was a wake up call.

    the team needs to bounce back, to regain confidence. i think it would be more productive if we show some belief in them.

    we know, they know, they have let us down massively on wednesday.

    but lets give them a chance tomorrow to make things right.

  271. And also there is an old quote by a certain Mr Einstein who said that insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results.

    I AM NOT saying mr wenger is insane, but i think that the fans seeing the same thing over and over again is driving some mad. Im not talking about a drastic change or an overhaul as some idiots seem to want.

    What im suggesting is that fans just want evidence that Mr wenger is taking actions, that anything, any little change is being made to the team. Because when something is going horribly wrong, thats what people want, they want proof that something is being done by the manager.

    Maybe the manager IS doing something, but the supporters (the ones whose faith is not as strong as others) want to SEE the change, once upon a time faith in Mr wenger was so high that fans could take his word for it. But when that faith is tested and broken down, then even Mr Wenger cannot be naive enough to think that he will continue to get full backing from EVERY FAN. The majority of fans are not as faithful as the few who are, and to be completely honest they are the ones that matter the most to the club as they pay for season tickets and other club products. Not to say the faithful dont, but seeing as their numbers are declining its fair to say financial wise they are not as profitable as the other majority fans.

    And thats the ticket to getting out of this problem, fans want to SEE change however small to reassure themselves thats oemthing is being done.

  272. korihikage

    I agree, but some competittion for places would be welcomed in the team, to get some players worried a little bit abotu losing their place.

    But lets hope they prove to us they care by beating sunderland or putting in a performance we can be proud of.


    another reason why journalists are not to be believed.

    and why knowing more languages so you can read for yourself will be useful.

  274. Oh, quit the damn moening already.


  275. Moe

    you have already seen one change on wednesday: wenger making a substitution at half-time!

    jokes aside, i understand your concern, where you are coming from.

    it frustrates me as well for example, that we get 10 corners but don’t score from them.

    but i do think the team has been working on things. maybe a little late, but better late than never. for example, i think our corner delivery has improved. we are not scoring as many, because of brave defending etc, but i noticed that we have come closer. hopefully that will change into goals soon.

    i think since october, we have come a long way. we had to get a new team to gel together. we suffered serious setbacks in january. and now again on wednesday. but overall, i think we are getting there.

    right now, it is all about getting our heads down, working on to tweak the system to perfection. and hoping we don’t lose anybody else.

    because if you don’t have a team that plays together week in week out, you are never going to have stability

  276. Paul-N

    oh i see what u did there 😀

  277. looking forward to tomorrow!\

    Arsenal all the way!

  278. Paul,And if we lose I wil still love this team ,manager and club.And expect nothing for me,from them.

  279. PG: Well done you. Win or lose I’ll still support them. But I want to see a performance we didn’t get against Milan, and if we don’t then I reckon there’s something not quite right. Simples.

  280. likewise George, likewise.

    I could not love or appreciate this team and our esteemed manager any more.

    Sure we hurt but supporting the Arsenal is something that I think you take pride in.

  281. Paul “My Arsenal” is much more than a set of results

  282. bollocks i demand a win.. i’ve had ze piss taken out of me from all quarters all week. we are a laughing stock. every one is mocking us so we have to win to make me feel like i can come out of my house with my chest up and not walk around looking at the pavement/sidewalk.

  283. Duke, you have to big up your chest before the win mi bredrin.

  284. good post..

    im all for giving youth a chance..whats the point in having a shit hot academy if we aint going to use it..and weve got a good batch of lads coming through..

    le ox, le coq, jack, rambo, etc are still young men who look very very good players..

    theres a few others worthy of a shout as well..

  285. Hay GEORGE, been to puffins lately
    I’m having fun with SC and a dim-witted SPUDNIK. load o laughs. They is. Out there man.
    Hay PAUL, how’s the baby??

  286. but it would be better if they didnt have the pressure of playing so many games..

    there were a few outbursts from former players after the milan result..keown, vieira, petit, winterburn all had something to say,the general consensus is that we lack leadership..

    petit pretty much said it loudest and clearest when he said that the older players are not stepping up..although i enjoyed reading keowns take on the situation more…

    i think the amount of young exceptional players we have is impressive but i feel they are getting thrown in at the deep end because some of the senior members of the squad are going missing…

  287. PG @10:54: Uranus references would be just cheap, but what the heck …

  288. JJ
    Wednesday was an aberration. AC IS NOT THAT GOOD AND THE ARSENAL ISNT THAT BAD. I’m still at a lose to explain why we looked so intimidated. Tiredness?the pitch?tactics?metal? I don’t know. Think I might have to sit and watch it again to get a better idea.

  289. goonerkam..
    ive watched the game 7 times..

    like you i dont really know how to exlpain what happened but we looked a pub team..we must have made over 100 mistakes in that game..

    milan are a good team but they are not a top top team, they beat us hard but we just aided their cause..if this was horse racing or cricket or seria A, then anybody would think someone took a ‘a dive’, as they say in boxing..

    im sure we did no such thing but we were terrible..

  290. I agree jj. we made them look alot better then they are coz we were so fukin awful, for me that was the worst performance i have ever seen in 25 years. there was nothing, zilch, fuckall, nowt, not a bloody titter. totally shit for 90 mins.

    no wonder wenger is bollocking them and they deserve it too. hoprfully we see a reaction tommorow.

  291. its all about the reaction..

    we can semi consolidate 4th spot and quarter finals of fa cup in the upcoming fixtures.

    id accept a dry humping in milan and being booted out of the cl in an exchange for beating sunderland and then spurs, lverpool and newcastle…

  292. beating sunderland and then spurs, lverpool and newcastle…

    Best of luck then 🙂

  293. hahaha, seven times JJ. That one time was excruciatingly painful for me ,can’t imagine watching it that many times. I think we just lost the battle in the midfield. Couldn’t press ,couldn’t pass, couldn’t help cover the back line and we starved our front line of good service. And we don’t go into damage control mode to be able to live to fight another day. If this was 2-1 or even 2-0 ,I would still fancy us at home. But at four nil , its almost crazy to give us a chance to advance.
    Hi DUKE, you planning to move out your neighborhood like Irish gray. Poor guy is being tormented by his spudnik next door neighbor..

  294. I’m still waiting for the story that the team were woken up at 3am by a fire drill.

  295. i just wanted to know why we were so i watched it over and over, counted the mistakes..

    we hardly had a phase of play where we were in control of the game..we couldnt break them down in attack and we let them run straight at our goal in defence..

    one thing i do know is that sagnas not fit..

    robinhos header?? sagna made ibra look quick..he turned like a tanker and got left in a cloud of dust..

  296. Yes Sagna is the problem JJ.

  297. I would be concerned with the Liverpool away game and that’s not much of a concern. I think four wins is not undoable. We will get our shit together with the Sunderland. Game and go from there. One game at a time. Hell, number four is ours yo loss and number three in EPL WITHIN REACH. anything can happen. Come on lady luck. Smile on the gooner nation.JUST Do it.

  298. He is just coming back from a broken ankle courtesy of the A.holes up the road. He won’t be at his best for another two to three games. I don’t doubt his drive. For a second. weds. Game was just one of those things. That happen. Stars all aligned. And all that shit.

  299. lol Kam are you reading my posts at Scot’s?

  300. Yah GEORGE, thanks for the help. It is the same as here. Round and round it goes .where. It stopps, nobody knows. Same old arguments with the ADD ,give me generation. Its like spinning your wheels in mud or snow. With this crowd.

  301. How’s everything???

  302. Watching that game seven times must be some weird sadistic ritual for you JJ. I could barely make it through one viewing. In all my years of watching the Arsenal, I have never seen such a horrible display. It really was strange, and I have given up trying to come up with an explanation for it.

    All we can do is turn our attention to what is in front of us and push on. The overreaction from the media and former Arsenal players was entirely predictable. We need to insulate ourselves from the madness and hold true to the ideals of this club. The foundations are in place for special years to come. Anything worth a damn has to be worked for and takes time to build.

    And to all of the conspicuously absent posters who show up during the bad times…Fuck off to whatever shit hole you crawled out off!

  303. Spot on VICE. ITS HUNKER DOWN TIME. just focus and give it your best . We shall overcome.


    ‘What has happened we cannot change, but for the rest we have an influence on it.”

    so what i don’t understand is, why do those posters come when we don’t win? it is almost as if they take delight in us not winning.

  305. well said vice.

  306. well, I can only speak for myself, but first of all, I was kinda banned for a while and secondly, some of the posters on here become insufferable when we happen to clock up a win against a relegation fodder like Blackburn…

  307. Yes, imagine celebrating a 7-1 win. Ridiculous.

  308. cbob,

    it’s not that, it’s the manner of celebration I am talking about, yes, I am happy with a win, but it somehow does not make me forget that we are currently having the worst season for years…

    but some on here should be dizzy from all this ‘turning corners’ by now 😆

  309. 5-1



    “Oh ffs, another goal.




  310. if you think I did not cheer each and every of these goals, then I don’t know what else there is to say…

  311. Hahaha, glad you are feeling better. BIG AL.
    we shall skin them blackcats today.. :-]

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