Rosicky & Walcott Lead Arsenal’s Night Out On The Toon

Arsenal 2 – 1 Newcastle United

0 – 1 Ben Arfa (14)
1 – 1 van Persie (15)
2 – 1 Vermaelen (90)

I believe that shows we have quality, we have spirit, which I have never questioned. It was a relentless effort again tonight from the first to the last minute. The tempo was absolutely top level tonight. We kept going until the last second and just managed to win the game. 

Arsène Wenger‘s words post-match encapsulate the victory perfectly. This was one of those nights where every character trait vituporatively levelled at the squad came to the fore. Determination, desire, mental strength; call it what you will the players displayed it last night in pursuing the victory that brought third place to within a point.

Yet the win came the hard way. Once again, Arsenal had to retrieve a deficit in achieving three Premier League points. That is a flaw that the players and coaching staff will no doubt work hard at eradicating, particularly as the Newcastle goal came about as a result of sloppy play at the back.

Arteta won the ball in midfield, passing at pace to Vermaelen who was under pressure from Ba. His hurried clearance went comfortably to Tiote. The midfielder strode into the Arsenal half, passes exchanged between Obertan and Ba before Ben Arfa cut in from the right and drilled the ball home at the near post. The old adage is that a goalkeeper should never be beaten there but in fairness to Szczesny, had he covered that a sizeable gap would have opened on the other side of the goal such was the angle of attack.

The lead lasted less than a minute. Straight from kick-off, Arsenal attacked and before the Newcastle bench had time to resume their seats. Tomas Rosicky sent Theo Walcott marauding down the right. van Persie slipped Williamson’s grasp, recovered his balance and coolly beat compatriot Krul to score. As responses go, that was as perfect as could be demanded.

Parity allowed Arsenal breathing space if they wanted it. Tomas Rosicky had other ideas, a virtuoso performance from the Czech no doubt boosted by his contract extension. Rosicky pulled strings with verve, his energy shaming many of the younger Newcastle opponents. As much as his physical speed of movement was crucial in providing Arsenal with industry and spark, his mental agility in the pass and opportunity was astonishing. If ever a performance deserved a goal as its reward, this was it.

It never came. As much as Newcastle tried to prompt, they were hemmed back by Arsenal for substantial periods. In these moments, Krul would hold onto the ball for longer than needed; it was a policy that would haunt him in the final seconds of the five minutes added time.  Photographic reminders of the mocking smile following Robin van Persie’s taunts are posted as a permanent momento of the failure of his timewasting antics.

Newcastle held firm in the aftermath of the equaliser. Arsenal’s possession came to nought, van Persie twice had sight of goal, only forcing Krul into action the once.

Half-time allowed Arsenal to regroup. If Alan Pardew felt that replacing Santon would give the visitors more defensive strength, Theo Walcott took it upon himself to prove Perch no better as replacement. He and the outstandingly consistent Bacary Sagna simply dominated the right flank, ensuring that what little attacking spark was shown by Newcastle was swiftly snuffed out.

The first real opening came as a result of Arsenal’s two best attacking threats; Walcott’s cross was met by Rosicky, his header deflected away by Krul.  Midway through the half, the two once more carved Newcastle open; this time the Czech’s shot was wide.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain on the left had been relatively subdued by his recent standards and was understandably substituted with just over twenty minutes to go. His clearest chance came not long before that with a volley that rose over the bar; goal of the season it might have been if the trajectory had been a little lower.

Gervinho replaced him and with minutes remaining the Ivorian scented glory but contrived to stab his effort wide from a corner. It seemed that a point would be all Arsenal’s dominance garnered before  the previously inept Howard Webb almost redeemed himself by punishing Newcastle with five additional minutes.

The winner came as the embers of the match flickered one last time. Newcastle ceded possession cheaply and Arsenal move the ball quickly to van Persie. Under pressure, the Dutchman shielded until Song swiftly strode through the centre circle, feeding Walcott. The right flank disappeared under his pace and the required cross was delivered. Deflected into the air, the ball fell as Thomas Vermaelen re-adjusted his balance to slide the ball under Krul. The Belgian had devoured the Emirates turf to arrive for the cross, epitomising the desire for victory.

Having started with the manager’s words, we’ll end with them:

We feel now at the moment in the team we just have that complete and total commitment to do as well as we can and give absolutely everything.

With that, anything is possible.

’til Tomorrow.

Posted on March 13, 2012, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Soccer and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 267 Comments.

  1. Big brovars little brovar

    First

  2. Fantastic spirit, and yet again great to see Rosicky and Walcott – for so long the target of fans’ ire – playing so well. Spurs fans must be getting a crick in their necks now … 🙂

    http://thearmchairsportsfan.com/2012/03/12/thomas-the-verminator-terminates-toon/

  3. Great if nerve-racking performance. Love the fact that poetic justice was done after Kruhl, time-wasting from the 29th minute, was beaten by a goal in the time added on for his annoying play.

  4. i like TV..
    hes one of those players who will fight tooth and nail and he seems to find god like qualities when hes made a mistake earlier in the game..

    he made a mistake that let ben arfa in..and he sprinted 100 yards to catch up with theos cross to try win the game..win it he did..

    the same happened a few week back..i remember not the opponent but i remember TV scoring from a corner or cross….and keown was commenting that hes got warrior like qualities becuase he wanted to make up for it and win the game and he was winning that header and hes a credit to the shirt..

  5. rosicky’s arsenal career has just begun

  6. James Brown the God Father of soul once defined funky music as having a beat which begins on the ‘one’. Well lads, let it begin because we are on the ‘one’ and the spuds really need to dance to a new tune now…..

  7. Does the winner count as an assist for Theo??

  8. Just Another Luke

    Was Gibbs culpable for the Toons’ goal? Blame perhaps to be shared with the hurried clearance of Vermaelen.

    But otherwise, Gibbs did well in supporting the comparatively quieter attack down the left. One memorable instance was when he freed Song at the byeline to cross for a Vermaelen header that Krul saved. Can’t wait for the return of Santos though.

  9. when you look at how we just threw everyone forward in the 94th minute… i think i f i were krul, i might have peed in my pants. it was truly a glorious and terrifying sight..like the Golden Hordes

  10. i think gibbs has been playing really well
    i dont think we can blame gibbs for the goal..he got caught out by ben arfa but to be fair it was TV who gave the ball straight to tiote and they immediately had us on the back foot..
    he got the better of gibbs but he should have never been in that position to begin with if possession is not conceeded in our half of the pitchj…

  11. keep going the gunners, lets remind spurs about the gap they boasted about prior to arsernal /tottenham game. Automatic Champions League qualification within reach.

  12. Just Another Luke

    Jonjon

    there was a recent game when TV scored an own goal as well as our equalising goal. Another player typifying the same spirit is Kos who won us a late penalty when he charged into the box late in the game. Can’t remember the respective opponents though..

  13. Kori i think we had like 6 players waiting in the box for the cross and whats remarkable about it is that one of them was TV and yet he was miles behind theo when the attack was started..

    94th minute and you find the speed and desire to catch up with theo for the match winner

    what a player…

  14. Some of the descriptions of last night make me tingle; “complete and total commitment”, “relentless”. There has never been much doubt about the quality of this side, only the attitude. Something, somewhere has changed drastically in this group of players and they now have the hunger that seemed to have previously been lacking. And it shows.

    A noticable thing for me is how many men we are getting into the box now. people are gambling and getting into dangerous positions where in the past people have always been attracted to the ball. And we look more more effective for it.

    Rosicky, Arteta, and Theo were all excellent last night. They really were. Our defence coped well with Ba who is a real handful. I thought it was going to be one of those nights as we did miss quite a few good chances. Last minute winners really are the best feeling though eh?

  15. Just Another Luke

    Wilshere let on that van Persie had a temper not to be messed with in his “Krul crying” tweet. An interesting revelation indeed. The fire written all over van Persie was refreshing!

  16. when we got that equaliser.. i was thinking to myself that you can feel a certain aura about this team.. that feeling of ‘you can score one, we will just get two back’..

  17. It would be good for my heart if we didn’t concede first every game though!

  18. JJ

    its a bit like that theo goal against the spuds when he ran all the way from the back!

  19. Just Another Luke

    Howard Webb is forgiven for his slowness in punishing Tiote with a yellow. That 5 add’l minutes were invaluable. Ba’s studs on Kos also when unpunished; not even a foul was called.

  20. YW this

    “his mental agility in the pass and opportunity was astonishing”

    is a beautiful summation of TR7’s contribution last night.

  21. Great win, yet again!

  22. rosicky played tiote for a fool yesterday. how he twisted and turned. the mental guile was too much for tiote to handle

  23. Just Another Luke

    I hope Moyes’ Everton punish Dalglish’s toothless Liverpool tonight. Dalglish needs to be taught a lesson in honesty and humility.

  24. JAL
    i remember that one, to be honest i think thats the game i was on about now you mention it and put the pieces together..yeah he scored an own goal and then he smashed one in up the other end and keown went nuts..

    kori..
    it seems we have found the eye of the tiger..

  25. I remember saying how much I loved the never say die attitude of this side when they played (and lost) against Blackburn. I was met with howls of derision because as one (oh so clever) poster here pointed out ‘But they did die didn’t they Steww’.
    I stand by what I said that day, I love that this team refuses to accept that they are beaten or will not win. The results may not always go our way but we never stop trying.
    They players have more belief even than me, I thought last night that it would be ‘one of those nights’ so many near misses so much possession.

  26. This message is awaiting moderation.

    And damned it should do. Look out number 3 your time is @$*king up!

  27. We’re gonna win the league!

  28. From what i have been reading on the internet, its like a lot of people lost faith or have forgotten Rosicky’s abilities. have they forgotten him from Dortmund or his form in the 07/08 season??

    Well i can’t blame their ignorance, I put that basically on the fact that he was injured for 18 months. The annoying part was that we he recovered, he had all these niggles and knocks, he could play a match and get a knock for 2 weeks. As a result of that, he could never string enough performances to get back the his best.

    Now he is playing regularly, put his injuries behind him and has got back to the Mozart we all know. With a reported 2 year contract extension, he could just be the player and old head that would lead our younger midfielders. He could even play on for the next 4 years at a top level.

    All hail Little Mozart.

    Hope to see Diaby exorcise his own injury demons and become the player we all knew he could be

  29. Markus | March 13, 2012 at 10:05 am

    We’re gonna win the league!

    this ^ !

    why are you so cruel? do you want the rest of england to commit mass suicide ?

    🙂

  30. Gibbs has impressed me, big time!

  31. To be honest when Rosicky had his first duel with Tiote yesterday, he was brushed off by Tiote in what was probably a borderline foul but still fair under Webb’s interpretation of football rules. I was afraid that this would dictate much of how the midfield battle would unfold from there on but thankfully Rosicky managed to prove me wrong. The way he charges with the ball is incredible, he is probably one of the biggest fighters in the squad and I can only imagine how valuable it will be for the youngsters to have someone like him in the team to look up to. He’d probably be a deserving Vice-Captain together with Vermaelen!

  32. Steww – I didn’t see this attitude earlier in the season if I am being honest. One of my main gripes with the side for he past few years was that quite often they played at 95% against “lesser” teams. The past few games we have given 100% and it is great to see, you can’t afford less at this level. Maybe the penny has dropped with thie group of players.

  33. Wat more need to be said that YW hasn’t. YW is truly a legend in his own right.
    I’ve heard AW talk abt the mental strength of this team but I think I nw firmly believe that indeed Arsene knows!
    TR7 is a beast. Hw I wish we’ve had him all ds while.
    TW14 is an asset that needs to b kept. New 5 year contract pls.
    MA8 is the metronome in our midfield. He keeps things ticking.
    TV5 TV5 TV5……… Dunno wat to say. He epitomises mental strength and win at all cost mentality.
    VP10 is d captain we’ve missed all ds while. Love d way he taunted KRUL all night though Newcastle fans aint hapi wit it.
    Overall, all the guys did us proud. Happy to b a gooner always.
    When we win, I’m cheerful, wen we don’t, I’m optimistic.

  34. rosicky should have got MoTM..he was awesome…
    but i know why Theo got it..

    Theo was that good that he made the opposition manager change his backs at half time..and even that didnt stop him..
    Theo was really good..really really good..

    Im off to go find his goals and assists stats for this season..

  35. Theo finally found the key to the box of tricks that Waddle said he didn’t have. His performance was terrific. Some of the technical moves were awesome! Now we know he has it in his locker, I hope we get to see it more. I am sure that a lot of it comes down to confidence.

  36. It was against Fulham at home, where TV scored the equalizer.

  37. i agree paul
    i think gibbs has been fantastic the last few games..

  38. I agree with Steww, we have a team that fights until the very end and have been doing so all season. We has a small lull that to me was more about injuries than anything else, but the team never quits.

  39. Just Another Luke

    Ace, the Theo-hater has rightly slunk away in shame from this blog.

  40. JJ, Not only is he defending well but he is good gong forward. Gibbs turned on a defender in the match and I thought it was the OX.

    Our team is really looking good!

  41. JAL,

    We all knew RVP had a fury temper. I remember when he was younger, whenever he attempted a dribble and lost the ball, he would chase his man down and intentionally foul him or win the ball.
    He grew up on the streets of Rotterdam and wont shy away from a fight.

    Many great men Ive known have such temper, as a christian one of the greatest prophets in the bible in Elijah had such a temper

  42. YW – Great write up mate 🙂 I have to say I loved the tempo we held throughout the match, was very impressive. Does anyone have any idea of what our passing completion rate was last night? It just seemed to me that we were extremely accurate but more than just that, we were rapid fire with our passing. Not just in how quickly we made the pass but the speed we seemed to put on the ball. The only negative as usual last night was the commentating! I was stuck with Darke and Macca, bleh! Not even going to give an example of how inept they are, I am sure you are all sadly used to them by now. As for Hunter 13, I seriously doubt he will change his tune YW but maybe it shall serve as a warning to others of his ilk.

    A nice write-up by our very own FunGunner – http://ibelieveinarsenal.arseblog.com/

  43. “going” even

  44. Jeff, I think earlier in the season Rosicky had some troubles off the pitch. Just needed time. That and I reckon the things he was hearing during his contract negotiations regarding how the club value him so much and want to keep him around long-term definitely helped.

    Been an absolute joy to watch him over the last few weeks. Love how he can beat his man without touching the ball, just lets it run on by him and shields it then he’s off after it gaining about ten yards in the process. And he has mastered the slide tackle.

    I just hope he continues to start games now that Ramsey is fit again. As much as I like Ramsey, the midfield of Arteta Song and Rosicky is our strongest.

  45. Just Another Luke

    Jeff

    I remember RvP’s red cards in his early Arsenal years. He has matured over the years and has learnt to curb from crossing the line since. It is hard to imagine him leaving the Emirates based on the passion he exhibited last night.

  46. Today I want to revisit an older article on this very blog for the sake of a few chosen individuals (although some of them are not allowed to post here anymore).

    https://aculturedleftfoot.wordpress.com/2012/02/02/arsenal-denied-in-chance-to-take-advantage-of-others-failings/

    Yet this morning should have been an altogether happier affair. A point is not the disaster it is painted; the slide has been halted and with upcoming games, there is the chance to rebuild the confidence which went missing. Amidst the despondency raging across the plains of Arsenal-land, benefits are overwhelmed by the darkness.

    How the mob jeered the above sentiment. Hope your humble pie has been delivered.

  47. Can I also just point out that the crowd was BRILLIANT from beginning to end last night. The roar that came from them when Theo dummied gathering the ball on the right and instead let it run past him, was almost deafening!! He really was MOTM for me. Yes Rosicky and Sagna ran him close for it but I thought that was probably his best performance this season. It deserved a goal in and of itself. There left-back must be exhausted, poor bastard!!

  48. I thoght Ramsey was excellent when he came on too. Not too long ago he looked exhausted in some games as he will run himself into the ground for the team week in and week out but now with some healthy competition for his position, he seems to have not just raised his game but also regained the pace to his game. Apparently a rest is all that was needed.

  49. A mixture of injuries and a simple lack of form have seen Rosicky in the footballing wilderness for a few years IMO. We all know he is a good player, that much is easy to see, but rarely did he really impact on games. The player we saw before his wierd and prolonged injury seemed gone. When we have seen him coming off the bench I always hoped he would change the game, but I did not really ecpect him too.

    I must admit, I hoped we was going to keep hold of him as his experience around the squad would be worthwhile, but I didn’t really expect him to regain this type of form. I thought he had lost his best years to injury if I am being honest. Long may this continue though, it seems he is determined to make up for lost time. He is one of the best midfielders in the lge on this type of form and compliments Song and Arteta perfectly.

  50. Excellent comeback performance from the team again last night, Walcott left both full-backs he faced floundering and van Persie keeps on scoring. Rosicky is really enjoying a great run of form, hopefully he can keep it going until the end of the season and we can overhaul Spurs.

    The desire from several players to run the length of the pitch to get into the opposition box in the 95th minute and grab the winner was great to see, that kind of commitment and hunger is all any fan can ask.

    I thought Chamberlain was a bit unlucky to be taken off last night, he had a quiet first half, but I thought he was growing into the game as the second half went on.

    A few more performances like this one, along with hopefully not haviong to go behind in every game and third place in the final league table is verymuch on.

  51. Just let this team stay together for a couple of years with the odd addition here and there, self and media proclaimed all around the world will get really hot under the collar.

  52. Notoverthehill

    Yogi, you are so right about Howard Webb and his interpretation of the rules of the game.

    There was a certain person who blamed the Rosicky original injury on a dalliance with 2 “escort” girls. FACT??? Mr Wenger’s faith in the Czech player is now being rewarded by a return to Rosicky’s performance in the last European Cup Final tournament. This of course is the tournament where AA23 displayed his talents to the full, the main man in the Russian team! FACT!!!

    Yogi, on reflection I would suggest that the death of Mr Danny Fitzman and the sale of the majority holdings in The Arsenal to “Silent” Stan, was the root cause of the 2011 summer transfer debacle. As an illustration of how impeccable my sources are I will quote from “Elmundodeportivo,.es” if I may: 23rd July 2010 – oferta al Everton por Mikel Arteta, un jugador muy similar a Cesc – which I do not need to translate!

  53. NOO

    Thanks for the laugh. The Spanish media & impeccable sources are normally interspersed with the words “are not”…

  54. Thanks Yogi for the info on why Swansea is in Wales but plays in the premier league. Also thank you for the good work day in day out to keep your posts interesting, only Bill takes the time to thank you on a daily basis , 😀 makes the rest of us look like we take you for granted but we appreciate even though we don’t say it as often as we should.

    About the game yesterday, this team leaves me speechless. As others I also thought after all the missed chances (Van captain I’m looking at you) it would end up as one of those days and we would draw. Glad to see the team went for it until the last minute of the game. Are we comeback kings or are we COMEBACK KINGS!!!Yes baby we are and may it long continue. Quite a delicious goal that the captain served us to equalize, don’t even think Newcastle had time to let it sink they were leading at emirates before we hit them. And that last minute goal was poetic justice considering how much time the keeper wasted, good to see VP call him on it. A very sweet win ,a very sweet win indeed!!

    The whole team really put a shift in although I thought Arteta was abit rusty but looking at his stats he did alright. MOTM for me was Rosicky, the missed goal chance would have sealed it but it is good to see Walcott have an excellent performance. Ace eat that, too bad you aren’t here so the rest of us can gloat, Gibbs also did very well, he grows every game.
    I hate Howard Webb, the manc loving cretin did just about everything in Newcastle’s favour, kept missing fouls on us but called everything for the other side. He even played on when even a blind man could see Koscielny was fouled, it was that blantant! Rosicky’s disgusted look said it all on the night.

    Irishgray March 13, 2012 at 5:03 am: You must be a comedian in your spare time, that was quite hilarious.

  55. Thanks Yogi, great write up. It was one of those mornings when you wake up with a smile on your face. Like you Jon Jon, I thought Rosicky should have been named MOTM, however Theos performance was excellent as well. Did anyone else notice that their keeper’s booking last night was his 4th of the season, unusually high for a keeper I thought.

  56. Can’t wait to go down one or two in the next match to see how we break their hearts.

    Not! (as in American sarcasm)

    Actually I think a good old fashioned ‘put a couple in each half’ is about all our nerves can take.

    Poor Steww, his are shot………its tough at the top mate.

    You only have to ask Aunty Arry…his lot have a serious case of end of season, shit its high up here, teetering on the edge, one loss away from completely ‘bottling it’ …..blues.

  57. turned my head away from the telly when gervinho missed that sitter and said to myself arsenal need a miracle to win this match!

    what a come back.

    arsenal forever.

  58. Anyone notice that yesterdays posts have reached 606 in number. Ironic

    Mine was the last, but now I can see why it was awaiting moderation!

    Although if Suga was about he would come along and turn it into 666 I am sure.

  59. Steve of Chiang Mai

    Hard to put too much fault on Szcz for the goal – it was almost a perfect shot that came like a rocket and kicked off the turf just before the keepers hand. Saying the keeper should never be beaten at the near post is like saying RvP should never miss a goal – it happens occasionally. Very amusing scanning some of the bogs how some fans are suggesting Szcz is not quite up to being the number 1 keeper. Short memory some of the fans….Liverpool was only just over a week ago!!!

  60. Steve, there are plenty who sit near me who moan on and on about Szceszny’s kicking. While I think there’s room for improvement there, it’s something that can be fixed fairly easily. Apart from that I don’t really see what anyone can possibly be complaining about.

  61. This batch of games since January and early February blues leaves me, and much of Arsenal fanhood, with expectation and supreme admiration. This is a good group of players after all. All games have been different and show the different qualities of the team and players. The skill and movement last night were exceptional. The consistency has been in the spirit that Wenger talks of. Overall, four players have stood out: sagna, robin, song and chewie. But then Rosicky has stolen the show. And quietly the amazing duo TV5 and Kos have defended and sometimes created exceptionally. Ox has captured the imagination. So, the whole team stands out. It’s a fantastic run, not quite for the record books, but breathtaking all the same. I blame Robin more than any other, not for goals, but for the attitude. Wonderful captain.

  62. The only issue I have with Szczesny’s kicking is that he has a “right bias”. He always kicks it down the right flank. Trust me, always. If he hits Sagna, it’s usually good as Bac is decent in the air. But if his kick goes to Theo … well. I’d just rather have him kick it down the middle more often or even try to place one down the left flank!

  63. can anyone explain why rvp ‘could have been sent off’ ?

    what did he do? he was speaking the truth. and krul was the one who ran up to him at the end.

  64. sczeszny’s kicking has improved from last season.

    regarding our right sided bias, it is simply because sagna knows when to do what when he gets the ball out wide on the right. it is the experience. when you look at gibbs and sagna, gibbs is the more natural attacker. but sagna is wiser and uses that effectively, helping theo play. hence our tendency to go down the right..

  65. sagna controls the play better than gibbs, hence he gets more of the ball.

    gibbs is just coming back, so i would give him time. and at the moment, his partner is always changing. theo and sagna benefit from having a stable partnership. but to be honest, i think sagna can play with anyone.

  66. “I believe in Arsenal..Wenger knows…you sexy thaaang!”

    Proud I am.
    Squad was absolutely spartan
    TR7’s in another dimension right now
    (i believe about a month ago he said something about our oppponents smelling blood..)
    Theo, Verm, Song, Kos, Sag….whole team was @ full mast
    ’twas such a sight to behold.
    Is this what rest can do?
    Long may it continue
    Man, i loooooooove ARSENAL!

    “10 games left, emptying all closets, things are too tight to be civilized!”

    …@ this rate we might as well go for 2nd!

  67. As good as Rosicky was for us at times before the injury that so cruelly robbed him and us i think this is the best I have seen him play. The long range screamers have yet to return.
    Delighted for Theo – who had one of his best games in the red and white shirt – but I thought TR7 was astounding last night. A mastiff amongst puppies.
    The clueless fuckwit commentator expressing surprise at his deftness in the tackle, ‘he’s not noted for that’, had me shouting expletives. Yeah not noted for it – IF you watch the game with your eyes closed and talk through your sphincter.
    Sagna’s flick on’s for Theo were as brilliant as they were effective. Goodness how we missed him this season.
    So proud. So happy for Arsene and so happy for the players.
    Like the end of the Matrix – they’re ‘…starting to believe’.
    And as Yogi said with that “anything is possible”.

  68. can anyone explain why rvp ‘could have been sent off’ ?

    they are afraid of him ……

  69. I have come to expect superman saving abilities from Chezz as he makes some exquisite saves at times so going by that I think he should have done better on their goal 😀

    Obviously his ball distribution is not one of his strongest points but he will get there as he keeps on learning.

  70. The long range screamers have yet to return *but that was as complete a performance as one could ask for.*

  71. Just Another Luke | March 13, 2012 at 10:18 am
    Ace, the Theo-hater has rightly slunk away in shame from this blog.

    I think Yogi has binned him.His absence is enforced. Happily.

    Some people are still interpreting our lack of fullbacks as lack of fighting spirit.
    When the team plays badly it does not follow that the players have not given 100%.
    I cant think of a single player who has not tried in every game(Even the much maligned Arshavin) .Even the ones we lost badly.

  72. @korihikage “can anyone explain why rvp ‘could have been sent off’ ? what did he do? he was speaking the truth. and krul was the one who ran up to him at the end.”

    In the laws of the game it states that “using offensive, insulting or abusive language and/or gestures” is a sending off offence. I think we can safely say that some of what van Persie and Krul wer eat could come under this definition. Referees obviously don’t apply this law at all and suffer all manner of abuse because of it. If it were applied strictly then I think the game would be all the better for it.

  73. Ditto First Lady’s comment.

    Irish at 5.03am yesterday – worth seeking out.

    *wipes tear*

  74. Jonny – The long range screamers are a bit of a red herring. He has never really scored that many in his career. The tacking however is a differnt matter. Whilst he is a creative player, he has alwys been very tenacious. The pundits just like to pidgeon hole players. And creativity and tacking don’t go hand in hand according to their warped logic.

  75. Yogi
    Notoverthehill has a file of clippings from Spanish newspapers the prove as “FACT” that Cesc was blameless in the summer shenanigans and is in fact the Archangel Gabriel in human form.

  76. “If it were applied strictly then I think the game would be all the better for it.”

    All be it that we would be watching 5 aside for a while

  77. I think it would sort itself out pretty quickly George. And I like a bit of five-a-side anyway.

  78. Yes did you here the commentator last night when TR7 slide in and won the ball say”he is not known for that”.
    He is by enlightened people like us.

  79. What a great comeback – AGAIN. 4 in a row baby. Really great team performance but hats off to Sagna, Theo and Rosicky. They were almost telepathic all night down the right hand side.

    I do however have one complaint regarding Rosicky!
    Where the hell are the 25 yarders, Tom? 😉

  80. I agree Block4.
    It could only be a good thing

  81. Does anyone know why that goal was ruled out at 1-1? Looked like Webb stopped us taking a quick free kick because he wanted to book the newcastle player?

    If things hadn’t worked out as they did, i’d be pissed about this.

  82. great post YW. Before I get to the players i want to say, having to watch the game on TV here in the States, The Emirates was absolutely brillant last night singing and cheering and giving Krul all sorts of hell. Brillantly done and even had Macker saying how brillant it was to hear Arsenal fans sing and cheer and make the Emirates a place where other teams wouldn’t want to play.

    On to the players, Walcott for me(one of my favorite behind only RVP, Song, Sagna) was simply unstoppable last night. Tortured the FB so much he got subbed off only for teh next one to recieve the same treatment. His crosses were spot on all night finding only Arsenal shirts and in dangerous positions. Rosicky, what more can we say that hasnt been said, Lil Mozart is playing his piano called the midfield so beautifully that time and time again last night after Tiote’s 1st challenge he had him spinning like a top confused and extremely baffled. His touch, quickness and burst is quite exceptional but his heart and spirit is what makes him such a joy to watch, I mean you can see the passion for Arsenal ooze out of everything he does. Song if not already then is in the discussion for best DM in the PL. All night he was breaking up attack after attack and spreading the ball everywere so accurately. Song Walcott, Mozart and RVP must be from teh same brain because its like they always know what the other is thinking, simply remarkable. Arteta was simply Arteta, held everything together and truly a joy to watch with your fearlessness in taking on everybody and spreadig the ball.

    Kos and Verm are showing that they are the best CB pairing in the PL. Just a quick list of strikers that they have nullified(along with Song) over the past couple weeks that others have great struggled with: Ba, Ibra, Robinho, Adewhore, Suarez, Saha. Not only are they dominant in the back but going foward they have provided not only great goals but timely important goals. Sagna is by far the best RB in the league in top 3 in the world. Lung busting offensive runs and simply dominant defensive work. He and Walcott form the best right flank in the Pl with pace, heart, desire and work rate. Gibbs o injury riddled Gibbs, you have earned your place and as you mature it will truly be a joy to watch you on the left closing down space and creating offensively(while i still prefer Santos and have criticized Gibbs, he is making a fool of me at the moment).

    RVP my Captain of Captains the man who is, bleeds and will always be Arsenal through and through it is truly an honor to watch you play. The way you moved and toyed with their defenders is something truly unexplainable. They went right you went left they went left you crept behind them, moving like a ghost they couldn’t see. Our fiery Captain putting Krul in his place and showing why you are a Legend in the making. A dominant, graceful, powerful Captain not seen since the likes of Viera roaming the middle of the park dominating their like you dominate the final 3rd.

    All cannons away the Spuds are sinking time to bury them!

  83. Yeah, I know Andy – I remember when we signed him and he immediately scored two international belters in one game. It’s not so much his tenacity in the tackle – which IS evident – but that his tackles are often nearly immaculate. To say he is not noted for it is technically true perhaps but it’s a damning indictment of our ovine media that things like this are overlooked and then expressed as surprise.

    I note with some small irritation that the tide of media opinion is slowly turning, like a belaboured oil tanker, in favour of Kos who, even halfway through this season, was being collectively parroted ‘as mixed success of a signing’ in spite of the fact that he had been phenomenal all of this season and brilliant half of last.

    The collective jizz-fest over Gary ‘Just for Men, Hint of Grey’ Neville is overcooked because he seems so complex and talented in contrast to the plankton he swims amongst.
    It’s easy but oh so apparent to note that cricket comment, punditry and writing scarcely suffers the same malaise at all.

  84. Great write up yogi

    Another epic game. TR7 was brilliant as was theo. the energy and effort and the mental strength the team has found is wonderful to see. The spuds are in our sights right now and I am confident we can finish 3rd. Keep this group together and add a couple of players this summer and we could give the Manchester clubs a run for the top next season if we can maintain this mentality over a full season.

    Really delighted about TR7 getting a new contract. An all around great day yesterday and a great weekend. Newcastle and Liverpool out of the race for CL spots. Spurs and Chelsea both struggling.

    We got some “fergie time” from the evil Howard Webb. I think Newcastle will probably start calling it arsene time from now on. They got what they deserved for their time wasting. Got a huge smile when I heard what RVP said to Krul. Hopefully a little of Jens Lehmann’s spirit is still with the club.

  85. Can I just give a shout out to Arteta? Not just for being the the ball controlling wizard pivoting from offense to defense, but for basically launching himself like a rocket to get in between Krul and RvP. As Jack said about “RVP’s temper. Don’t mess with the captain!” He seriously could have got red carded if Krul had got to him, given that Webb was the one with the cards.

  86. George – come on sweetheart, put the Cesc thing away – today is not the day for getting caught up in such yesteryear things!

    Anyway isn’t about time we had another binbag protest or something?

  87. Thanks YW
    Great win. I can watch Vermaelen’s “lung-busting” run and finish, over and over again. It’s def worth repeat viewing. (Almost as much as AA’s goal against Barcelona, who can ever tire of that?!).
    Van Persie, what an absolute legend. Not just the way he plays, but the fiercely competitive but fair way he conducts himself, his selflessness in lauding his assisters (?), his leadership, and his uncomplicatedness. This team togetherness that is now so evident, (and by implication, so absent under Fabregas) has to be down to him. We can praise Theo. We can praise Tomas. And deservedly so; we are so not a one man team. But Van Persie is on another level. (Come to think of it, I’ve not heard that “one-man team” epithet in quite a while). What van Persie has done is keep his own level as high as ever, while the others have raised their game to get as close to his level as possible. For the captain. For the club.

  88. When TR7 was given his previous contract extension ,we were told Arsene had lost it for giving the useless deadwood another chance to fleece us.
    I wonder what Luke and Jabba are saying now?

  89. JAL @10.18 / PG @12.19

    Indeed.

  90. Jonny,now you know that is not going to happen while that tit ,notoverthehill, is posting.FACT(I cant help it,its in my nature.You know that)

  91. “…..We got some “fergie time” from the evil Howard Webb. I think Newcastle will probably start calling it arsene time from now on….”

    Webb was right to give the extra 5 minutes…but I suspect he did it in the vain hope that Newcastle would score the winner and not us!

  92. Webb was right to give the extra 5 minutes…but I suspect he did it in the vain hope that Newcastle would score the winner and not us!

    Lol.You could be right you know.That is what used to happen

  93. @mingus

    Agreed!

  94. YW – terrific stuff this morning.

    Still feeling the joy from yesterday’s performance.

    Rosicky, Arteta, and Song dominated mid-field play against a very good Newcastle side.

    Kos, Ver, Sagna are combatants.

    A few weeks back b4 the Spuds match, I recall the media blather raised the idea how only RvP would make the Spuds starting XI.

    I believe that subject has been put to bed.

    Has this Arsenal squad found ‘belief’ that has been missing from the team’s DNA for the past few seasons?

    Marcus & hunter13 – “win the league”
    I’m in your camp.

  95. Not much love for Howard Webb then? I actually think he is one of the more consistently balanced refs as far as Arsenal are concerned. Not a name that would cause me worry have to say.

  96. George:

    Howard was hoping Newcastle would get a winner? Yeah right. Once you delude yourself long enough it becomes impossible to change. 🙂

  97. A tippy top post YW

  98. Bill, Markus. it was just a throw-away quip!

  99. The practised flick ons from bacary to theo took the toon players by surprise I thought. No tactical variations, no plan B from the Arsenal?
    Improved passing from the ‘keeper too. Those training ground cones are proving to be useful!

  100. After the game and even this morning(remember i’m in the states) me and my friend(doesn’t have a PL team he follows but huge fan of Lyon) where debating who is the best DM in the PL between Song, Tiote, Yaya Toure, and he threw in Parker(who to me isn’t much of a player just a hair piece). I naturally biased but not completely bias said Song simply because of his body of work through the season.

    any thoughts

  101. Theo is a different proposition,a different animal with Sagna in behind him – completely freed up. To those who could not see, accept or appreciate the shifts he had to put in to help out defensively – perhaps it is now apparent? I won’t hold my breath and who cares? Many posters on here were at pains to illuminate it in the face of moronic impatience and a lack of understanding of the wing back’s contribution to his game.

    In the long run, looking at the bigger picture, this challenging stint of responsibility will benefit the player and the club. His pace can be a vital asset defensively and he is more complete now than we have ever seen previously.

  102. Tiote is a pretty good ‘destroyer’. Parker is a decent enough ‘sitter’. Yaya has been pushed forward at City and is more of a ‘link’ player than he was at Barca. Song has been all these this season.

  103. song has made essien look amateur the last 3 seasons , albeit essien has injuries but i dont care….

    ok yaya toure is a little bit better when on form …just a little bit….but song has wenger teaching him and whoever learns under wenger becomes a world beater … sooner or later….even the edus and laurens and the walcotts 😉

  104. C – Song offers something the others don’t – the killer through pass – at least one a game.

    Yaya is a box-to-box beast of a player – I wouldn’t choose him over Song but I’d just as happily have him in the side.

    I think the other two are decent but not worth mentioning in the same breath.

  105. Exactly right, Jonny.

  106. re: Theo

  107. Jonny .Stop chewing that dictionary.

  108. Song is a central midfielder who covers. It’s insulting to label him a defensive midfielder 🙂

  109. @jonny

    I completely agree and that is part of the reason why he is 1 of my favorite players in the PL. He is alot more skillful than people give him credit for and if you watch in a game how many quality crosses he puts in and the way he runs himself into the ground for the team constantly getting bumped and beaten but always fighting. Not only is he 2nd on the team in goals (for those who say he can’t shoot, if he’s 2nd in can’t shoot then what does that say about everybody else yet we are still 1 point behind 3rd) and his assits are constantly piling up with him getting 1 last night and possibly a 2nd on Verm’s goal.

    You can see the talent is there and now the self confidence is oozing from him, Walcott 2 seasons ago or even parts of last season would have struggled while many booed his 1st half performance against Spuds but now that its all clicked and ever since then he has been virtually unstoppable.

  110. Mingus:

    Perhaps a throw away for you but I am sure a lot of people believe it.

    I think giving us 5 minutes was the right thing to do. Newcastle was not even trying to be subtle with their time wasting. Unfortunately the amount of time that is given can vary from one game to the next and one ref to the next. He could have given 2 or 3 minutes if his feet hurt and he didn’t feel like running anymore. There is no real standardization and the more random it is the more everyone thinks they are getting a bad deal and just leads to more anger and suspicion about the refs. I wish they would stop the official stadium clock instead of adding time. The game would end when the clock hit 90 minutes If the clock stopped everyone in the stadium could see what’s happening and the process would be a lot more open. Newcastle probably would not have been wasting time if they saw that the clock stopped whenever Krul stood around picking the lint out of his navel.

  111. It’s now clear, for the first time this season, that we are actually a team and not a disparate bunch of individuals.

    Compare this performance with the abject one in Milan and everything has changed: belief, energy and commitment.

    It’s fantastic to see.

  112. Kos, TV5, Sagna, Per, Gibbs, Toure, Campbell, Lauren, Clichy not a bad bunch from a manager who doesn’t know how to buy a defender eh?

  113. Van Persie ‘won’ us those 2 extra mins on the regulation 3 simply because he brought attention to Kruls time wasting – the crowd will always do that but its only when a player (and captain too) stands up to it will the ref actually add it on

  114. @DeiseGooner
    I completely agree with you and hence why i choose Song because he is everything you want in any midfielder but in a DM’s body.

    @Jonny
    His killer passes set him aside from many box-to-box and AM. He expects perfection from his passing. Last night perfect example, when he hit that through ball to Ox a touch to hard he fell to his knees like he let the team down because he makes those passes routinely.
    And the “other 2” were only mentioned because 1 is captain of Ingland(what a joke of a choice) and the other seems to be the “hot” player at the moment(except Lil Mozart played him like Mozart played the piano, brillantly and beautifully).

    @Markus
    I think he is a DM by trade but is a true footballer. What he does in breaking up play and defensively was what he was known for and now his all around game is blossoming. I think he is ultimately going to be a great box-to-box midfielder but at the moment he is our DM.

  115. The Arsefans equally keen to have Vertonghen!

  116. Is it the ref or the 4th official who adds on the (wasted) time? If it’s the 4th official I bet he was hoping that Newcastle would score the winner and not us!

  117. DeiseGooner | March 13, 2012 at 1:56 pm
    The Arsefans equally keen to have Vertonghen!

    Dont see the need for him.
    I honestly believe just a top goalscorer who can play across the front three will do nicely

  118. George we both know that’s never going to happen.

    A couple of other points available for discussion from yesterday – twice we took corners from outside the quadrant – careless stuff from Arteta.

    I think we have to accept that Gervinho’s ability to miss incredibly easy chances is just part of his charm – that’s what 4 or 5 this season?! Amazing. I still think hypnotherapy might be the best hope of a solution.

    Gibbs was out of position for the first goal and then let Arfa cut inside onto his stronger foot – Immediately after the goal his shoulders slumped and his head dropped but he did not let it affect his game from there. Stuck to the task – the mistakes he will undoubtedly learn from and that excepted overall he was pretty solid.

    On another day we would have won this game by a big margin – whilst we must stop giving our opposition a head start, it’s great for the team to have the unshakeable belief we can overturn anything.

    Had Man Utd been 8-2 up – but the game was being played next week – they’d be looking over their shoulders thinking shit this game isn’t nearly safe.

    Pathetic fucking sharks indeed.

    😉

  119. Mingus

    It’s the ref. Not too sure there’s much of a case for changing it to be honest. Whomever does it, there is going to be inconsistency. Interestingly, the guidance for referees a year or so back was that the average match is likely to have four minutes of added time which is why that is so frequently the number of minutes played at the end of the second half.

  120. Jonny

    >A couple of other points available for discussion from yesterday – twice we took corners >from outside the quadrant – careless stuff from Arteta

    The ball doesn’t have to be inside the quadrant, merely touching the line. Therefore as long as part of the ball is over the line, it can be placed anywhere outside of the quadrant.

  121. Jonny

    For the first goal Gibbs was one on one with Ben Arfa who also had some space to run at him, it was not like Gibbs was tight on him from the beginning…showing a tricky player like that the outside is not nearly as easy, much easier said than done..just ask the 100 or so defenders who try that with Messi or RVP (not saying Ben Arfa is the same, but one on one he has got plenty to completely get past a player)

  122. @Jonny
    I think the thing with Gervinho even watching some of Lille play last year is that his goal return isn’t that great honestly but its his assist, movement, footballing IQ, pace adn work rate that make him such a excellent player. If you watch he more often then not he seems to get into the box and make an intelligent pass or put the ball right where its suppose to be. His tracking back and then carrying the ball foward with just as much pace is something I truly do enjoy watching.

    Gibbs like Santos is more of a natural wing back thus his defensive errors that we see happen but he has the potential to be very good.

  123. Yogi @ 2:21

    Is there any reason that you can think off besides tradition to keep the current system. Why not make it more open and transparent and hopefully a lot less inconsistent by stopping the stadium clock instead of adding time at the end? Can’t see any downside to changing, and there are certainly a lot of theoretical upsides. Fergie time might be one of the few myths about refs that actually hold up to scrutiny so why not make it harder to give any team an advantage.

  124. gibbs wasnt out of position for the goal..
    TV was, he gave the ball away and he lost Ba..Gibbs came inside to get Ba and ben arfa had the space to run into..

    gibbs tried to make it back but got wrongfooted by some french trickery…

  125. From the mouth of Arsene himself on Walcott’s performance:

    “He was outstanding from the first to the last minute. It’s one of the best, best games I’ve seen of Theo because I felt he had absolutely everything in his game – combined well, crossed well, was always in the game.

    “He’s making good progress; he’s an intelligent boy. People forget he is very young – 22 year’s old.

    “Newcastle gave the impression of a strong team and to come back quickly was important.

    “The equaliser was provided by Walcott. We speak many times of many other players and he deserves great credit this time because he was exceptional.”

  126. Was driving and listening to the game on the radio last night. Not good for my heart or for the security of fellow road-users, especially when TV scored.

    For the stats buffs amongst you, we now have 4 more points than we gained from the 28 corresponding fixtures last season (and a goal difference 3 better).

    Although the end of last season was pretty disastrous, throughout the season the fixtures corresponding to the 10 we have remaining this year yielded a further 20 points.

    Hope we can at least match that. It would have been enough to win 3rd place last year – and should be again this year.

  127. @Yogi on both occasions the ball was not even NEARLY touching the line. Honestly a very clear gap on both occasions – that’s the only reason I mentioned it.

    @Anirudh – heh, I’m not having a go at Gibbs or saying his job was easy but the messiah Gary Neville called it in his analysis and he does know a thing about defending. Gibb’s own reaction spoke volumes – he made a small but costly mistake against a very talented player – it happens.

    @C – yes I agree with all of that I’m on repeated record as saying he bring so many other things to the party but I also cannot think of a player who has missed so many chances of that type. The type where it would almost have been easier to score than miss. Can you?

    I don’t disagree with your assessment of his numerous qualities – this is just an honest observation of a recurring and very prominent error.

    I also think whilst his passing is generally good the final ball is often not.

    For me this is not a skill problem but a psychological one but as long as he contributes so much otherwise, it’s more a point of curiosity rather than an outright problem and yet in a tight game, where chances are few and far, those types of misses could see you out of a cup very quickly.

    It could so easily have cost us 2 points last night.

    At risk of going over old ground my French friends had warned me he was famed for missing sitters before he arrived, so it may not be the ‘settling in thing’ that many believe.

  128. Bill @ 2.31 and before – I have often said the same thing.

    It works in NFL – a ‘game clock’ would be both fairer and more transparent.

  129. C:

    Theo was magnificent. Most players really come into their best in the mid 20’s and hopefully theo’s youthful inconsistency will fade away. Yesterday’s theo with RVP and Podolski would be a completely lethal front 3. Throw in the Ox as a direct attacking mid fielder and jack distributing from a little deeper and that could be an historically good attack.

  130. Yep. And I so want Diaby in there somewhere, Bill.

  131. Jonny

    As a point, it relates to the circumference of the ball. In that respect, an imaginary line needs to be drawn vertically up from the quadrant to establish in the officials mind whether the ball is correctly placed.

    Given that most officials can’t spot a foul how can we expect them to spot the ball properly.

  132. Mingus – me too but therein lies a problem.

    Part of Mozart’s renaissance has been being allowed to operate in the middle – he rarely had this opportunity because of Fabregas. I’d argue that Jack, Diaby, Ramsey all prefer the middle of the park – of course they can each play wider but I’d say given the choice they covet the centre.

    On current form it’s his to lose but it’s also true that he’ll need some coddling which I guess allows for natural rotation.

    It’ll be a nice headache for Wenger and if we ever see all of them fit simultaneously the wealth of options from the bench will be embarrassing.

  133. Agreed YW – though if it had been on the other side, the linesman would have spotted it immediately and blown for a foul kick.

    I only mentioned it because on both occasions it was so obvious and apparent to the viewers and commentators. It wasn’t deliberate and it matters not a jot but it was strangely careless – a bit like overstepping for a no ball by a foot and a half (Pakistani bowlers, I’m looking at you). 🙂

  134. And it’s interesting that Tomáš Rosický…..(just wanted to see if I could get all the accents in)… is talking about getting into the rhythm of a game. Which is not surprising. So yeah, it would be hard to leave him out too. I’d love to see Diaby similarly getting into the rhythm of his game. Who to leave out and when. Ultimately what it all means is…..there’s unlikely to be any room for Lansbury!

  135. @Jonny

    like i said Gervinho’s goal record isn’t that great at all but its all teh other qualities that he brings. The sitters that he does miss i think is part to technique more than anything, like last night instead of just putting it in with his right he tried to put it in with the outside of the left making it mroe difficult on himself. I do feel that his final ball can still become more consistent but more often then not he is pulling a ball back right infront of the 6 right where you want it to be. While his misses can cost us points, his tracking back, pace, work rate and assists can also win us those same matches or cup ties. His direct style of play causes alot of problems it seems and is a dynamic that is needed opposite Walcott IMHO.

    @Bill

    I completely agree with you(I must say he is 1 of my favorite players in teh PL) and the problem with many Arsenal fans and everybody else is that he is so young and had so much pressure on him since he was at Southhampton and we signed him. I do enjoy watching his maturation because he has gone from a player with incredible pace to a footballer with unrivaled pace. As he has grown in self confidence he seems to be showing his brillance. Not only the pace but watch his movement off the ball and now with Rosicky and Ox playing in the AM role the balls are being played to him and he is destroying all comers. I do agree with you and just imagine what are first choice XI could be if healthy:

    Scnzy
    Sagna—Kos/Mert/Verm—-Santo
    ———–Song—————
    ——-Jack——Ox——–
    Theo——RVP——-Podolski

    Your talking about truly no weaknesses in that starting XI at all. could be like you said “historically good attack”

  136. @Jonny at 2:50 pm

    “yes I agree with all of that I’m on repeated record as saying he bring so many other things to the party but I also cannot think of a player who has missed so many chances of that type. The type where it would almost have been easier to score than miss. Can you?”

    The one and only – 50mil striker – Fernando Torres.

  137. Does anyone know which of our youth keepers is the real deal:

    James Shea
    Damian Martinez
    Sean McDermott

    which one are we most likely to keep if we let go of Don Vito?

  138. Topovcha – no Torres has not missed many from 3-6 yards out – his problem is he is now not even brave enough to get into the right positions to have the type of scoring opportunities that Gerv does! Gerv does not let it affect him and keeps doing the right things.

    C – yeah that’s at least the third time this season he has gone with the ‘wrong foot’ and it’s contributed to the miss. It’s crazy though – my chocolate leg is woeful but I can definitely still score with it from the 6 yard box! Anywho for the record, I agree with all of what you just wrote in response. I’m not picking holes in the man – as I said it’s part of his unique charm, along with his planetoid sized heeed.

  139. methinks Torres just needs to be hypnotized or start feeding him red meat rare!
    lol..
    wonder if Chelski’d sell him to us for like 7m?

  140. @Jonny

    I agree with you hell even our own RVP has scored with his chocolate in years past. I think once he sees it go in they start to flow i mean like you said and i completely agree with he gets himself into the positions to score and many strikers can’t even do that so. I do completely agree with what you said though.

  141. @Aman – Martinez is now the front runner I believe.

    McDermott has left for Leeds on loan and I doubt will return. He never displaced Shea who is still a prospect but has not yet pushed on.

    I have heard that Charles-Cook is one for the future too but so difficult to tell with keepers at such a young age as they mature much later – with the exception of Sir Chez who is a bit of a freak on that front.

  142. CORR: methinks Torres needs to be hypnotized or fed red meat rare!…

  143. Hi Aman – don’t want to put the other two down, but it’s most likely Damian Martinez. He’s looked pretty special every time I’ve seen him. Of the other two, Shea’s good, but a bit on the small side for a ‘keeper, and hasn’t done too much on loan. McDermott I know less about. Indications were he’d been a bit disappointing after arriving with such a big reputation. Not sure how he’s performed recently.

    Great writeup, YW. To me, Newcastle chased well for most of the first 45, but this meant they just wilted as the second half ticked by. Rosicky again was unbelievably good, but the rest of the team was excellent – I don’t think anyone had a bad game. When Rosicky, Arteta and Song are combining there’s nothing that anyone can do about it – they think too far ahead.

    And I’m starting to think that Gibbs might be a late shout for an England place this summer – whether he’s got time or is getting pressured by a couple of players he makes really smart decisions. In that respect he’s probably superior to England’s other options.

  144. graci Jonny

    on the subject of Gerv’s chocolat limb…l’d blame it on him not being in the groove yet (re: TR7’s words about rhythm).
    It might take 3Gs a while to resync.

    Hope its not too long cause AD2 shimmied in instantly 2 weeks ago.
    “We are a squad of freaks here Gervais, step ya groove up!”

    “10 games to go, emptying all closets, things are too tight to be missing the beat!”

  145. Ta Big Al….smells like it’ll be Damian then…..RASERS!

  146. personally I hope Gibbs does not make the Euros.
    Really need him fit & ready for pre-season
    He still has much to learn about defensive incisiveness & daring.
    Not yet good enough to be a full international representing Arsenal.

  147. Al – do you think Cashley ‘Tithole’ Cole has faded that much?

    I don’t like the man but I’d have to think he would be the obvious first choice…no?

  148. @Aman

    Not only Gibbs but RVP, Lil Mozart, AA23, and the whole lot

  149. Aman and Jonny,

    I doubt there’s another English left-back available who’s as calm on the ball. Of course, that’s not all there is to being a full-back.

    I don’t think he’d get a game even if he were called up. Still, a major international tournament might be a good experience. Say one of Baines or Cashley get injured, he’d probably gain something even if he doesn’t play.

  150. Well Gervinho can certainly finish alright – he did that last night to score what should of been an amazing goal.

    Great result, but boy, it is not good for the heart watching us sometimes!

    Momentum is a wonderful thing though, the feeling you get when you go to games feeling that you are going to win, no matter what happens.

    TR7 was superb again, as he has been for much of the season, a good, injury free run in the team is all he needed to show the form we have seen (08-09) and know he is capable of – and the 4-3-3 we now play suits him much more too.

    Koscielny has been immense all season, arguably the best CH in the division, and you watch the Xenophobic media and PFA not even mention him in the team’s of the season.

    TV5 and Kos were brilliant last night – for me, their best performance of the season.

    And AW summed it up perfectly on Theo – when confident he is a really dangerous player, and still only 23 – plenty of time to improve even more.

    I personally couldn’t give a fuck about Hazard or Goetze – we don’t need them – this squad is going places.

  151. Several people today have mentioned something about Szczesny’s distribution and about how it can improve. It may be worth remembering that only a few years ago, he broke both arms in the gym and that has definitely affected his distribution.

    Saying that, he is slowly improving on it and can only get better. He’s only a wee lad as the Scots would say.

  152. I know many don’t believe this, but we are on par with any squad in the league. I do agree that with additions we can take the league next season. These are the players I propose will put us over the top – Wilshere, Diaby, Coquelan, Ryo, Campbell, Frimpong for starters.

  153. Szez’s distribution looked just fine last night Darius – you could see we targeted Sagna to win in the air against the NFC full back a few times, and he picked him out OK.

    He always look’s to play the ball out from the back which is admirable, but can sometimes cause a little pressure, once he get’s the balance right his distribution will be more than fine.

    Someone pointed out to me that one of the regulars over at LeTwat has stated in the comments today that we need a GK as good as Hart – quite funny really seeing as we already have one who is better.

  154. I believe you Paul – with a little more luck with injuries we have a very, very good, and fast improving squad.

  155. Just thought I give you all a laugh and post this comment from a ‘respected’ journo.

    @OllieHoltMirror

    My top four for this season has not changed after yesterday. Still think PL will finish: 1. MUFC 2. MCFC 3. Chelsea 4. LFC

  156. He’s learning all the time as well, DS. In the Poland game vs Portugal a couple of weeks ago his defence was cut open via one of the channels – left or right I can’t remember – in a similar way to us against Swansea and Sunderland for the Graham and McLean goals. The forward was one on one from the angle – this time though Szczesny started to come out again, BUT made the decision to stay back much earlier, got his position right, and pulled off a good save.

  157. dups

    He won the Sports Journalist Association Columnist of the Year award the other day. Make your jokes out of that one…

  158. To be honest Darius, it isn’t Szczesny’s throwing that’s the problem it’s his kicking. More to the point, he is inconsistent which I suggest is down to his relative inexperience more than anything else.

  159. YW

    Who were the voters? If it was other sports journalists then I think that is an even bigger joke.

  160. Columnist of the year?

    Wow… With the standard of writing and writer’s available on the web (and I include you in this YW) it is staggering that newspapers still employ the usual tired, cliched, xenophobic and downright lazy journo’s such as Holt.

    Mind boggling.

  161. What, no controversies on ACLF today? Whatever is the world of Arsenal coming to? Except for those NOTH “Cesc Diaries” (3 languages) and the “birthday attendance registers”. Does that pass? Nope.

    If this is what a little run of wins does, lord knows what will happen when we land that nice, fat fish we’ve been eyeing all these years.

  162. Yes Matt, we have a fine squad.

    What we are seeing is the continuation of our play pre full back injuries. It is no surprise that we get healthy in that position and we start flying again.

    This team is the real deal!

  163. There’s a Sports Journalists Association? Too funny. These guys actually have a trade union to ferment the shit they right? You know YW, the sad thing is that these punks actually get paid to write all this nonsense and profess themselves as ‘experts’ in the game.

    If this so called journalist made such a prediction or insisted on such an incompetent judgement even with emerging evidence and he worked in medicine or the financial sector, he’d be put in front of a firing squad alongside Piles the Farmer and Piers Morgan.

  164. Paul @ 4:33 :

    Talent wise on paper we had far and away the best squad in the league last yr. In the form we are seeing right now this squad could beat either Manc team. No one doubts that. The problem is the game is not played on paper. To really be on par with any team in the league you have to be able to do it over 38 games. Hopefully this group will somehow figure out how to be consistent and avoid the bad runs that have killed us for the last several seasons.

  165. I agree and believe it Paul N.

  166. read the comment made by ‘davspurs’ on this talksport pictures page – http://www.talksport.co.uk/magazine/big-picture/2012-03-13/amazing-arsenal-pictures-look-away-spurs-fans?p=1

    WTF!

  167. PaulN – I agree with the one caveat that we don’t have a trusted alternative to RVP (who obviously we HAVE to retain).

    Still, with Podolski arriving, and if Campbell & Afobe can fulfil their abundant promise the sky is the limit.

    Obviously I’d still love a exceptional talent like a ‘Hazard’ but if it goes as I have outlined above, we have no necessity to buy. None at all.

  168. Darius

    Can’t we put them in front of a firing squad anyway? Do we need an excuse?

  169. Bill – arguably we would be ahead of everyone if –

    a) we’d had players in place from the season’s start
    b) we had not lost all of our fullbacks at once

    But then luck has not been our strong suit for a while now!

    Lets take third and go into the summer on a high – next season I truly feel we will have the depth and stability. I have not felt that way deep down in many a season.

  170. dupsffokcuf

    Clearly, some people are only alive because its illegal to kill. Top of that list would be Durham.

  171. DeiseGooner

    The mind boggles. I didn’t think even a spud fan was so mad.

    I liked the 2nd comment – “You need help”

  172. Bill, I am really dealing with this team, there is a fight and oneness that we have not had in recent season’s. I am not basing this on talent alone. It takes a special team to come back to win against the teams we have won against. It is exceptional. What we are seeing is a team that is ascending and that has the potential to be great.

    We are on par, it was the injuries to the Fullbacks that made us wobble a bit.

    Jonny, the great thing is that we are now sharing the goal load. We have been asking for that and it is here. I had faith that it would happen.

    I think a top class player (maybe Hazard) will come in next season but I just don’t want us to forget that we may have players better than those who we believe are so great.

  173. Taken from ‘Arsenal Insider’ – RVP said: “During that period our fans have been incredible. I really mean that – the atmosphere in the stadium has reached unbelievable levels and that makes me feel very proud.

    “I sometimes hear people saying the Emirates can be quiet, but I am completely certain that those people will adjust their opinions now.

    “Our bond with the supporters is special and has been there a long time, but in the last few games I feel that it has reached a new level.

    “As I have said before it is down to us to give them that energy, to show them that energy, to show them that we are ready for the fight, and then they will respond. That’s what has happened recently – the fans and the players have worked together and made a really good team!”

    To me, it doesn’t sound as if he is about to leave the club…

  174. what a wonderful top 4 u have their Ollie……..
    ………………………., …………………..very………….
    …….. pretty………..no, pervy……….pretty pervy, Oillie.

  175. Even When Van Persie signs a new deal to continue with his destiny to become an Arsenal legend, the anti-Arsenal media and punditocracy will keep banging on about how RVP will leave Arsenal next summer and the summer after that and even the one next to the one after the second summer. They will remain relentless and they will look for any reason to destabilize the Arsenal.

    Next on their radar is questioning whether Alex Song, Theo Walcott and Thomas Vermaelen will stay at Arsenal. Luckily, they’ll leave Koscielny for a while for according to them, Koscielny doesn’t belong.

    I’ve already heard several references being made to Duncan Castles article in the National as absolute proof that Van Persie has already signed a pre-contract with Man City. What is a pre-contract anyway? Is it like foreplay and then you tell the girl – “sorry love, just keep playing with yourself and keep it warm for me, I’ll be back in the summer to lay down my pipe?”

    Fucking bastards.

  176. Excellent synopsis YW, well done . The funny thing is , as opposed to games last year, the hope and desire and belief. Was with me also. Till the end of the game. This shit is contagious. I see a very strong finish to the finish line. We might even eat up a bit of distance between. Us and the eventual winners of the league. up the GUNS!!!!!!!!

  177. Goonerkam.

    Biggest difference between years past is that you don’t expect this squad to give up the late goal. Even though statistically we are not much different, the defensive solidarity of this team and the defensive IQ seems much higher throughout the whole season. The belief that we will get the late goal and win is a new to the last few games and hopefully we can carry thru with that confidence thru the last 10 games and then bring it into next season.

  178. “If this is what a little run of wins does, lord knows what will happen when we land that nice, fat fish we’ve been eyeing all these years”

    ……we’ll be feeding each other grapes, ZimPaul

    DeiseG,
    to me it sounds like a very proud captain.
    Getting the Emirates to rock out like that in your first year @ the helm after so many lows gives him another reason to remain in the red & white.

    Robin is a gooner…
    A very special & appreciatively-determined one at that.
    He wants what we all want…
    Fat fish & a statue.

  179. @Darius Stone

    HAHAHAHHAHAHA and i completely agree with you. The funny thing is they are already saying that Alex Song is off to Juventas and Walcott is off to fucking Barca or Chav Land or PSG. Its gunna be even funnier when they all sign new deals and then destroy everybody.

  180. mattgoonerknight

    Went to the game last night but watching the highlights now – the reaction of Santos and Rosicky to the winner from TV5 is just brilliant!!!!!!

    it’s only 1, it’s only 1!!!!!

    it could have been 13 but its only 1!!

    COYG!!!!!!!!

  181. Rosicky is on 71% in that poll Modric is on 29% ,And rightly so.

  182. It really is amazing how ignorance is peddled as fact on radio. And millions of people listen to it.

    Apparently, there’s folks on the Talk Spite production team who are regularly briefed by the Arsenal board and told for a fact that Wenger is always given £50 million to spend, but the stubborn French bastard won’t spend it because he’s such a tight arse, you couldn’t pull a nail out of his arse with a Massey Ferguson tractor.

    Incredulous.

  183. The thing is, Rosicky has shown that he can play on that level long before people knew who Modric was. He had a bad injury that took a couple of years away from him, but in the end, true quality prevails and that is what we are seeing right now. The mere suggestion that Modric is as good as or even better than Rosicky should be punishable by law.

  184. George, that poll has clearly screwed the pooch for the instigators…LOL

    Right then – Dinner time.

  185. the reaction of Santos and Rosicky to the winner from TV5 is just brilliant!!!!!!

    goosebumps

  186. Tom Watt said on the Fans Forum 3 years ago that Rosicky would get his time missed back at the end of his career.He know a thing or two does our Tom.

  187. Randy Bumgardener – now that is one hell of a name.

  188. OoooooOOOOoooo exciting stuff: Afobe, Eisfield, Miquel AND Santos could all play against Villa Reserves tomorrow night.

    Eisfield has been out injured for a month.

  189. on top forn both rosicky and modric are world class..
    i think rosicky edges it on paper though..on reputation..

    formwise rosickys way in front..
    no question..

    i hope he keeps it up..not only will we finish 3rd but it also means we can give jack the time he needs to recover and we can ease rambo in with cameo roles..

    as for gibbs hes a very good player..hes got blistering speed and a good first touch and a good cross..i was one of those calling for him to replace clichy about 18months before clichy left.the problem was he could never stay fit long enough to nail down the place..

    if he can stay fit then its going to be one hell of a tussle now santos is back for that lb spot..

    i think after the tournament in the summer it will be a three way shoot out for the lefty spot between cole baines and gibbs and if he can stay fit he will edge them both out due to his age..

  190. JonJon | March 13, 2012 at 6:32 pm

    heheh…. love the dots 😉

  191. I think we may have minimized how much we have missed Rosicky over the past few season.. A player that could have helped to push us over the line. A straight up fighter!

  192. Jonny

    Not saying you were harsh on him, just saying that Ben Arfa had a run on Gibbs, so if he had shown him the outside he might have just run past him…but yeah all in all a poor goal to concede…

  193. Paul

    Absolutely…loved the way he stopped 2 or 3 counter attacks..just incredible to watch

  194. Jonny

    having a pop at gervinho again? Tsk tsk…. If you are referring to the chance last night, then, well, that isnt really on now. I doubt he could even see the ball to it was almost past him.

    Up yer game ya doomer! 🙂

  195. Clerkenwell Gooner

    Our “they think it’s all over moment” for this week, absolutely thrilling:

    Song for van Persie.

    Is there still one more twist in the tale here?

    Song takes over again.

    Out for Theo Walcott.

    Van Persie, Ramsey, Gervinho in the box.

    It might fall for Vermaelen. It HAS FALLEN FOR VERMAELEN!!!!

    We seem finally to have got hold of the voodoo that saw us conceding late in games far too often (CC final versus Brum, Eboué versus Liverpool and so on), and are learning how to turn it to our advantage.

    In fact, both last night and against Liverpool last week I wondered if the team was almost leaving it as late as possible to score – so we couldn’t get caught out again!

    And the sheer, unbending will of RVP to grab a goal back just after we’d conceded – well, phenomenal doesn’t really cover it. Props to Theo, as well. Shame his one-two with Tomas didn’t come off. That would have been phenomenal too.

  196. @BILL
    hearhear my man. If we can keep this core of defenders, midfielders and front line, I see a JUGGERNAUT in the coming years. I really think we have one of the best ,if not the best, crew that has been assembled together.
    It took some time but the combination of desire, experience, hunger, discipline ,technical ability, and mental metal. Are all. There for us to start a period of dominance both domestically and in Europe. It might make some of you laugh but I can really see it happening. All want ways are home and what is left is pure cream of the crop. Add to that the wonderful youth coming through which will sustain us for years to come.
    We must overcome other factors such as the media, fa and its refs. Who seem to not protect our players, hence the massive amount of injuries we keep suffering. But we will overcome in spite. Of all this. if I was ferret. Face Ferguson I would pick this year to retire and quit while ahead. Manure is a sinking ship anyways unless they find a new sucker, ala Liverpool, to bale their ass out. Hope to see them in administration soon. Fucking scum.
    By the way, love NORMA JEAN. what a beautiful horse. Regale. God bless you for saving them. If not us ,who.if not now ,when. God bless your wife also.

  197. I really do not see Gibbs as that much competition for Santos right now
    He look like he’s got what it takes to be very good, even better than Brazil
    but not at the moment
    he needs experience.

    as for TR7,
    his body’s taken 2 years to realign itself correctly with its prior abilities
    back in sync, back to being the magician we used to know
    No one turns & changes direction like Mozart
    we are so lucky for AW

  198. JJ not if Pearce has anything to do with it

  199. I can’t wait for the Shitty game……. I pray both teams are at full fitness.

  200. Aman ,wont that be sweet.

    I honestly believe our first eleven is better that theirs.Despite it costing £billion less.

  201. i agree that santos is better at the moment but gibbs aint far behind..
    just like hes not far behind in the chase for the england place…

  202. Oh come off it Dex! If that counts as having a pop were all in trouble – ya great big lummoxing twatspanner.

    Anirudh – I’ll bow to the wisdom of our imperial galactic majesty ‘Lord Garyface of Neville Neville’ on this one.

  203. goonerkam | March 13, 2012 at 6:58 pm

    😉

  204. CG – I think we’ve all fallen for Vermaelen haven’t we? He had me at ‘hello’.

  205. I’d love to see Gibbs after a season or two’s worth of games.
    No rushing the lad, barring injury he will have a long international career…
    methinks.

    right now though
    Cashley & Baines are the right choice

  206. Kos is 1 yellow away from a 2 match ban I think. I hope it does not stop our momentum when he gets it.

  207. When is the amnesty point Dups?

  208. Jonny

    Obviously I bow tyo your greater understanding of the beautiful game because you used to play subuteo for the Hampstead Cub Scouts!

    Dupssff

    Isnt there a time limt for the bans? Isnt it end of the month? Jonny will know. 🙂

  209. PG,
    oh yes we are.
    I’m drooling imagining what TR7’d do to Messrs. Yaya, Barry & De Jong
    They might require ankle surgery after, trying to keep up

  210. Jonny – Good to see Eisfield has embraced the Arsenal way pretty quickly eh? 😉

  211. “If a Player receives a 10th caution after the second Sunday in April they will be severely censured and warned as to their future conduct and no suspension shall be imposed.”

  212. Goonerkam @ 6:58

    I am not quite ready to get my hopes that high just yet but I hope you are right. Hopefully we can keep this group together and i hope we will not be reticent to add a couple of pieces here and there to supplement any holes that develop if some of the young players struggle more then we expect or have troubles with recurring injuries.

    Cheers for your thoughts. Our goal is to find good homes for the horses after they get healthy. I have tried not to get too attached to any one but there is something special about norma jean. She has been thru a lot and maintained an incredible disposition, sort of like a giant puppy dog. It won’t be much longer before she is ready to go and I will be sad when that happens, but she will be a great first horse for someone learning to ride.

  213. Andy – I like the way they have implemented this practice right through the youth and reserve set up so it’s seamless by the time they get to the first team. 😉

    Dex – good that you’re finally getting a handle on how things work – I knew if you kept straining you’d come good in the end.

  214. awh they press did not manage to flogg off RvP so now they try to flogg of Walcott. aparantly we sweat on his future.. and on songs.. and on oh all of our first team players that are not put up for sale..
    we are a selling team and our players wanna be anywhere but arsenal… thats what the press says…ooooh time to panick people!

  215. Modric is good but i never seen him on pair with say Cesc. Rosicky has even score more than Modric this year. So modric got to score more to become world class.
    A worldclass player in that position boasts stats like Cesc just as a worldclass striker boast stats like RvP. That is the benchmark for worldclass.
    Neither Rosicky or Modric is there yet, however im sure Rosicky may just do that if he gets an entire season injury free. Modric has a way to go though to get to cescs level….

  216. “Uruguayans start playing football when we are very young and we die for the team because we care so much.

    “Then I came to England, and Nayim said to me, ‘ Don’t go down, don’t score a goal with your hand.’ I am thinking, ‘Where I am going to, another planet?!’

    “But I had to start re-adapting to the situation because you know it is not acceptable here.

    that is a comment form Poyet, this style of play is a part of Suarez culture and still people claim he does not do this?

  217. I think Rosicky is world class.
    My definition would be that they could play for any team in the world .Thomas at his best could .Modric ? not for me.

  218. I gather that poll engineered by Adrian Durham to shame Arsenal and once and for all show that Tottenscum players are superior to Arsenal backfired spectacularly. I doubt he ever believed 70% of his listeners would be happy to insist that Rosicky was a far superior player than Modric. Oh the disappointment for the “Arsenal is shit” cause.

    First, only Van Persie can enter the Tottenspunk team, and then the crap by folks like Darren Lewis talking about a revolution in North London with the Tottenspunk taking over and Arry being the best manager that ever lived. It’s amusing that only 30% of his listeners think Modric is better than Rosicky.

    I still shake my head at the suggestion that Kyle Walker is a better player and right back than Bacary Sagna. Next they’ll say Scott Parker is better than Alex Song and Tomás Rosicky combined and Captain Ingerland is the bestest ever midfielder on the planet.

  219. Thanks Dupsff. Well, the way Refs love giving our players yellow cards, i can’t see him lasting till April 8th. I think he might have to get a tactical caution in the game at Goodison. I think we should be able to cope without him vs QPR and Villa.

  220. Darius

    Those twats suggesting only RvP would get in the Arsenal team was just too much man. Typical blinkered, lazy as fuck hackery and in Durham’s case, a remedial version of shock jockery!

    I wouldn’t mind Friedel, as back up to Szczesny! 🙂

  221. Not the Arsenal team, obviously I meant the spuds team.

  222. The question is would any Spurs player get in our team.
    Perhaps Bale ?
    I am serious.
    I know I am as bias as it gets,but I just don’t see anyone else making it.

  223. Or Kos could just not get booked

  224. Against a speedy attack like Villa’s I’d preferto see the Kobra play. They do have Heskey. But these days the son of Slurgus has hit upon the genius concept of instructing the older ‘targetman’ to chug up and down the LW.

  225. To be fair I imagine that a video of some blue faced hacks proclaiming that only RVP would get into the tiny totts team was playing on a loop in the Arsenal dressing room before during and after the recent game against the unfortunate ones.

  226. George – I think Bale of Nazareth would struggle with Wengerball.

  227. George

    Yes, not getting booked. Why didnt I think of that. You have obviously been to the same football college as Jonny!

    As for your Bale the only spud in the Arsenal team comment, I agree.

  228. Yes and he only gets in because Andrei is on holiday in Russia.Arshavin at his best is considerably better than monkey boy.

  229. You are a bitter old queen Dexter.
    Poor Jonny

  230. Darius.No more than Theo.And he is doing just fine.

  231. Oh, did you see Arshavin’s comments about how he expects to return to Arsenal George? He was quite unequivocal about it too.

  232. I actually think Modric would be better at Arsenal. He could play Wengerball with the good players we’d have around him. Trouble is both players (Modric or Bale) would spend a lot of time polishing the bench.

  233. Did I just see Suarez dive? Surely he would never do that?

  234. Earlier in the year I thought VDV would make the team .But that was before Thomas was given a run in hid favored position.
    I did see that Dexter.I still wonder how Andrei might have done a Rosicky ,if he had been played centrally.But Thomas cant half make some tackles.In fact he is incredibly tenacious.

    .

  235. i think moyes’ gamble has backfired spectacularly. how can you rest players for your derby?

  236. Baines played well for Everton, but nobody else really turned up.

  237. Think Moyes got a bit carried away with all the gushing praise and sky love in. Well, it must have been a nice day for him, till the match kicked off anyway. I hope he is as accomodating next wednesday. I hope they beat Sunderland in the cup.

  238. @OfficialLFC

    GERRARD IS WORLD’S BEST: King Kenny says that Stevie G is better than Lionel Messi.

    You just got to laugh. 😆

  239. Kenny has lost the fucking plot altogether.

  240. He looks like an old woman. Fuck him.

  241. I don’t rate Kenny as a manager and have never really thought much of him as a man either.

    His latest incarnation as King Kenny and his lack of personality, honesty and skill has only served to ossify my opinion.

    He won’t be missed when his tenure ends in the predictable mess it is headed towards.

  242. Clerkenwell Gooner

    Jonny, it’s true. Everyone falls for Vermaelen:

    Thomas Vermaelen

  243. Every time a new name in management opens his mouth he seems to have another Scots accent. It’s very noticeable to a non-english how many Scots manage EPL teams, extraordinary really. Two questions (1) is it the same then in championship? and (2) why, do the Scots have a history in football management, or is there some other reason?

  244. Clown Kenny..

  245. Dexter @ 9:23 pm,

    ““Of course,” replied Arshavin when asked if he’d return to London. “Yes,” he confirmed when asked if this is something he wanted to do.

    “Every player wants to play and not sit on the bench and sit in the stands watching the action. I always wanted to play and not sit on the sidelines watching everything unfold.

    “I’m used to living in London and while I’m on loan at Zenit my family has stayed there because my children go to school there and everybody feels comfortable there.”

    As quoted on Arseblog. It seems he has not given up on proving himself among our flock. I hope next season sees him used and performing to his best. It does make me wonder however what sort of impact his return will have regarding the mooted acquisition of a M’Villa or Goetze?

  246. Good question ZIMPAUL. I don’t know exactly. The are certainly not that extraordinary. My be its because they work for cheap. Orrrrrr they can operate a team on tight budgets.. 🙂
    What do you think. Also out of all EPL managers only one is a Blackman. While at least fifty percent of the players. Are. Another guess would be the old boy NETWORK. who you know is as important or more even. Than what you know.
    .

  247. Bigbrovars littlebrovar??????
    Must be joking. He is bring in his whole family over one by one. First bobby and now little tiger. When will this stop. ?? We have. To take a stand..
    …………………….

    ….

  248. Have a look at this.

    ………………………………………..Chesney/Manone/Flaps

    Sagna/Jenks/Yen ………………..Kos/Meat…………Meat/Tommy………….Santos/Gibbs/Miguel

    ……………………………………..Song/Coquelin/Frimpong

    Walcott/The Ox……Rambo/Rosicky/Diaby…..Arteta/Wilshere…….Gerv/Ryo

    ………………………………………………vP/Park/Chamakh

    Is this our top team and/or replacements?

    Never mind the exact formation it is done for simplicity, do you want to change anything in our top players? Do you want to replace any of the 2nd level players?

    3 or 4 are arguably the best in the premier league in their positions. 2 or 3 are the next level down, with potential. That is despite being regularly raped by $hiite-y

    Certainly when they play like they have been it is hard to say we want change. Is there enough depth? It only took a couple of wide defensive players to come back to shore up the back from the defeat to Sunderland and Milan, but their is definitely fragility there and something that destroyed us in January.

    Gerv is currently not having a good time of it, but we hope he picks up soon and we have not seen Ryo so who knows there.

    Rambo has not had the best time but Rosicky’s form has been dynamite. Diaby looked excellent for the 20 mins we saw him. Wilshere is yet to grow into the very big shoes he’s been given, but I will enjoy watching that.

    One more central defender? (serious defender)

    One more top class striker? Can vP have two consecutive injury free seasons?- he has not finished this one yet.

    The centre is stuffed, who would roll over if they were all fit?

    It is a good squad with lots of young coming in, lots of cover. Maybe a couple of really quality players needed to push on, but if we stay fit for the Man-Sour game and have a good run in we will see whether we have what it takes to make a title run next year.

    You can bet that the northern Chavs will be buying over summer.

    Not to be mentioned here, but there are a few who can be sold to make way for the new ones.

    These are probably the issues facing Le Boss after this season. Fortunately we do not have to discuss Samba or Cahill any more, or 4,4,2.

  249. Zim

    The question is a no-brainer.

    Intelligent people are involved in football in Scotland.

  250. PG

    Bale might get in on skill, but never on looks.

    Pugg from the Bash street kids…he looks too much like a spud.

  251. AA’s bigger problem will be competing for his place ahead of Gerv and Ryo.

  252. SA Gooner | March 14, 2012 at 9:03 am

    😉

    1)
    ………………………………………………chesney………………………………………
    …..sagna………………..mertesarker……………..vermaelen……….santos….
    …………………………………song……………………..arteta………………………..
    …..arshavin……………………………..rosicky…………………………..podoslki.
    ……………………………………………van persie…………………………………….

    this team will win the epl and the champions league

    2)
    ……………………………………………fabianski………………………………………
    ….jenkinson……………..miquel………………….konscielny…………gibbs…..
    ……………………………….coquelin………………ramsey…………………………
    ….miyachi………………………………wilshere………………………….gervinho
    ……………………………………………..theo………………………………………….

    ths team will win the f.a cup and the other thing so that we shut them all up

    3) and we still got yennaris , diabby, frimpong, eisfeld, benayun park chammak ..we will get a few others too… unload a few perhaps …mix it in general.

    im happy

  253. Jonny @ 9:34am,

    I agree. Yet competition might be of benefit to all three and certainly the club

  254. Goonerkam @ 7:46am,

    Although our playing staff are multicultural and multiracial, you only have to look at the composition of our other staff to see the depth of such challenges.

  255. PREMIER LEAGUE ASSISTS SINCE START OF 2010-2011 SEASON

    Player Assists

    Nani 22

    David Silva 19

    Ashley Young 17

    Theo Walcott 15

    Robin van Persie 15

    Ryan Giggs 14

    Chris Brunt 14

    Didier Drogba 14

    Andrey Arshavin 14

    Charlie Adam 14

    Wayne Rooney 14

    Jonny,he played almost no football this season and is still as productive as star performers from other teams. That is because he is better than the likes of Gervinho.
    I maintain his goals and assists would be staggering if he was playing centrally.However the teams goals against might also take a dip.
    And thoughts of a pressing game would go out the window as he slipped seamlessly into the space created by his pressing team mates.

  256. My reference to “our other staff” @ 9:51am refers to our “entire coaching staff”, of course.

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