Spirit, Belief, Confidence – Arsenal Have It But Is It Enough?

A free lunch is not the only thing that does not exist, according to Arsène yesterday it is accompanied in the imagination by an easy run-in. I can vouch for the first so I will take the manager’s word for the other. Although I wonder if he should have qualified his comments with ‘although some are easier than others‘?

Headline grabbing scorelines give the impression of a competitive league; it is a myth of course with the title still destined for one of two places and as usual, one of them is Manchester United. That scenario has been the case since the inception of the Premier League. Similarly, the number and names of the teams at the bottom changes only with promotion and relegation from the previous season. This time I would suggest that the title and all relegation berths are likely to be known before the FA Cup Final kicks off.

That suggests that the Premier League is not more competitive. Or to put it another way, it has become rather more average. Seasons such as this with more teams competing for European spots are not unusual, the only difference is that the order of the teams in third to fifth place is not clear. Which is where Arsène’s comments are prescient.

Arsenal have the clearer run in. There are no cup distractions or reactions to contemplate; no cluttering of the midweeks between now and May. There are midweek games – Everton (A) and Wolves (H) – but that is it; Saturday / Sunday / Monday on a regular basis. Of course that is also a signal of the failure to progress in the knockout tournaments; silver linings, clouds and all that.

Even so at January’s end, challenging Tottenham this closely so quickly after the worst start to the new year in Arsène’s reign is a testament to the players character, a point not lost on Perry Groves yesterday,

I have been impressed with their spirit. They are the first team in Premier League history to come back in four games to win, and that shows the spirit is there.  The resilience is back after the disappointing results against AC Milan [in the first leg] and Sunderland. They are playing the Arsenal way and they have that bit of belief.

The target right now is to finish in front of Spurs. If you had said that three or four weeks ago, when they were 10 points behind them, it looked unlikely. Now I think it is very likely if you look at our fixtures.

Is it spirit, Perry, or has Lady Luck’s saccharine smile melted all negativity?  Sol Campbell thinks there is an element of that,

The lads have shown a lot of spirit. You have to get a bit of the rub of the green, but that tends to come when you start being bolder on the pitch. Gamble on your skill, gamble in the box, gamble in thinking: ‘I am going to try this’. Start gambling your talent, basically.

The more you bust a gut to win, the more you are going to see the crowd feed off that. You make your own luck, and against Newcastle there was a little deflection for the winning goal and the ball came to Vermaelen, but he was there because he busted a gut to get into the box.

The manager is somewhere between the two,

The only thing we know is what is needed from us: to be at our best no matter what people say about the situation. [It is important] to keep your squad available and keep your spirit, togetherness and teamwork at a very high level. Also you must maintain belief and not tighten up. Be relaxed, focused and determined.

We have created the momentum, so let’s take care of it. Keep the urgency high, the level of commitment high, then momentum can be an advantage for you.

I think we have reached a crucial phase of the chase for the third place, culminating in Tottenham’s visit to Chelsea the same day we entertain Aston Villa. Next Wednesday’s match at Goodison Park is not straightforward yet a win is vital. That would put tremendous pressure on those noisy neighbours, knowing that anything other than a victory at Stamford Bridge may well see them drop out of the top three. Presuming of course they beat Stoke in midweek. If that is the case, they might be fighting for a place in the top four but the required Chelsea victory at Eastlands seems unlikely.

It is now about confidence, belief, trust. If the players are confident enough to believe in themselves then I trust them to deliver third place. And that, with Chelsea still being in Europe is vital. If they win the Champions League – unlikely but possible – fourth place means Thursday night football.

Elsewhere, Park Chu Young‘s shooting is so bad that the Korean Army don’t want him. Yes, it was a cheap shot…Anyway, numerous other clubs do seem to be interested with Fulham, Anderlecht and former employers Monaco all interested. Of course the latter would not normallly be linked with anyone bar administrators but a Russian oligarch owner means that if it moves, they will be linked with any player.

To be honest, I feel sorry for Park; there has to be more than panic buying behind the refusal of the manager to play him. The minutes that we have seen play give the opinion that he is not that bad; certainly not bad enough to warrant exclusion from the first team. He is though likely to be remembered as Arsène’s worst buy. Which given Igor Stepanov’s existence is not a good recommendation.

’til Tomorrow.

Posted on March 17, 2012, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Soccer and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 124 Comments.

  1. Morning BB, quick even by your standards!

  2. Hehe, cl spot. Last automatic. Good omen.

  3. Thanks YW for the daily dose. You are the best!
    The Park issue is a confusing one. He wasn’t bad for both Monaco and S/korea bt I find it difficult to know why he couldn’t even get on to the pitch at arsenal. With the lil I knw abt him, he is a decent player.

  4. Interesting thoughts on spirit and mental strength YW. The one thing that pleases me most about this team is that they want it and they play for each other.

    Loved it when Koscielny was asked how the players felt after busting a gut against Milan but falling short: “Everybody’s dead” he so eloquently replied to the Sly Sports interviewer.

    The way I think of it is this. This season, we have a very good chance of finishing 3rd, which is a place above what we managed last season. That surely sounds like a better and more improved season than last year. Even if we end up 4th, we’re still no worse than last season after the prodigal son and the mercenary faded out with the rest of our season.

    Sure is a stark contrast to the funny farm on the other side of Seven Sisters Road. The comedy in N17 can be succinctly summarized by this excerpt from the news: “…And the Tottenham manager has warned his chairman that
    spending heavily must become the norm.”

    Gone are the days where working hard on the training ground was the norm and you bought players based on what you could afford to supplement your squad. It’s not like the same attitude from Twitchie didn’t lead to West ham, Southampton and Portsmouth going into financial ruin, for a guy who can’t read or write and has a dog with a bank account in Monaco – he sure does know how to run a club into the ground.

  5. I think it is clear why Arsene bought Park. He didn’t believe that Van Persie would go through the season without serious injury and, with Afobe picking up a long-term injury early on, he was only left with Chamakh, which wasn’t enough.

  6. ankylorde

    Park (and Chamakh for that matter) can’t get into the team because Van Persie is having the season of his life. It’s hard to make a case to give them more game time as long as RVP continuous playing the way he is.

    I’m sure if either of them was a fullback or midfielder, they’d already have had more game time.

    Speaking of game time, it’ll be great to see Brazil back on the pitch. There’s just something about him – maybe his marauding runs up the flank and his ability to provide a menace that other teams don’t know how to cope with; or maybe his “lateral” type of play that sees Arteta and/or Song default to left back when Brazil goes walkabout. There’s just something about Andre.

  7. Paulie Walnuts

    The force appears to be with us right now but there can be no let up as there will be little margin for error. Sol is right in the main. He who dares & all that.

    Park`s problem has been the form of one of he best strikers on the planet. I hope we don`t see much of him at all this season as it will mean we`ll have had a fit & firing RVP for a full term.

  8. “…And the Tottenham manager has warned his chairman that
    spending heavily must become the norm.” Fascinating Darius.

    There seems to be no expectation that if you buy quality players and instil them with belief and play sound tactically then a team can be built to last. Does he mean that a side must always look to endlessly recylce expensive players, using new players, perhaps even mpre expensive, as quick fixes?

    I suspect he does, given the fact that his spurs side have been worked out. He’s not able to change tactics so he must have different players

    Good luck with England ‘arry!

  9. Top six.
    1) shitty
    2). Manure scum
    3) ARSENAL. GUNNERS
    4)SPUDNIKS,, dah
    5)peyool
    6)bara- codas

  10. Consols – that sounds to me like a pretty inept manager who realises that he can’t build, motivate or inspire a team developed through the ranks or supplemented by affordable purchases.

    If only Pompey fans knew how profiligacy was the norm during Redknapp’s reign, they’d go livid. He didn’t give a fuck where the money came from, he literally run the club into the ground. he knew in September that Pompey would run out of money, and guess what – he was at Tottenscum in October having bolted leaving debris behind him. Ask Southampton fans how bad it was after Appy Arry left them and the club systematically went downhill straight into administration.

    Unfortunately for Redknapp, as the England manager, he can’t buy any players and he wouldn’t know what to do when his crop of players don’t perform. Funnily enough, he’s already mentioned in passing that one of the difficulties of managing England is that you can’t buy new players.

  11. Good point AJ, DARIUS. And Paulie. With RVP on full throttle and effective chances will be at a minimum for chamake and park. They should have tried harder to keep us alive in the. FA AND CC CUPS.

  12. Park is a really quality player unfortanitly he’s an easy target to drop from the team and I don’t mean this in a racist way but if he was black or White he would be in the first team!! Players from Asia aren’t big profit makers in shirt sales and marketing the same with the other park at united all the players at united say how good he is and fergy plays him him all the big champions league matches however he’s not good enough for prem games????? Think about it peeps

  13. Way off the mark. Have some more coffee.

  14. While i feel sorry for Park i would gladly see him move on if it means a player who will at least has the confidence of the boss. I may be wrong here but it does seem to me that le Boss doesnt actually have much faith that he can offer anything to the first team. A last minute signing but on whos recommendation and by who ??? All evidence points to it not being Wenger, no?

  15. @lankylorde, are you saying Park should play and RVP on bench? Impossible! As far as RVP is injury free, Park should get a wedding ring with the bench.

  16. @goonermark… You have to look at the bigger picture mate footballs a business and that’s how we run our club, business first and football second park is good for football but bad for business

  17. I don’t believe for one second that Arsene has ever ‘panic’ bought anybody. It would be utterly against everything we know about the man and his methods and indulging in such tabloidery is surely beneath a writer of your high calibre YW.
    There are two very straightforward reasons we haven’t seen the South Korean captain. A poor run in the Carling cup and the quite astonishing form and freedom from injury of our captain.

  18. What a tool? Paul that is.

  19. My only concern at too much down time between matches is the risk of losing that intensity and momentum that comes from playing regularly. Everton away is always a tough game, so let’s hope the players are able to pick up where they left off.

  20. Shottagunna????? Explain u dildo

  21. Passenal

    i share your concern. the good news is that i think everton are messing with their own rhythm with that squad rotation for their derby. would be really interesting to see what happens this weekend.

    but we have to really show up and not be like our last visit to merseyside. that wasnt really good for my heart.

  22. Have u guys notice nearly every taem/player/manager is in the paper praising wenger and the taem lol funny though some fans still think he must go lol

  23. Stew, I wouldn’t call the Carling Cup run poor, but had we not drawn the blue mancs so early or beat them as we were close to doing, Park and Chamakh could have played a bit more. But too many injuries in midfield and defence meant that we could not really put out a strong enough team to get past the billionaires on the day.

  24. To be honest, I feel sorry for Park; there has to be more than panic buying behind the refusal of the manager to play him.

    Steww,

    From the post – as you can see, I said that “there has to be more than panic buying” which is not indulging in tabloidery, simply pointing out that I think he was not a panic buy.

  25. YW – don’t know how you do it everyday.

    For those that are keeping one eye on Ryo’s loan spell at Bolton…..here is an extremely complementary article.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/teams/tottenham-hotspur/9149388/Bolton-winger-Ryo-Miyaichi-on-loan-from-Arsenal-has-the-talent-to-topple-their-arch-rivals-Tottenham.html

  26. i just hope before park leaves we get a chance to see what he is really made of….. Arsene doesnt get it wrong with players often…

  27. Paul

    Thats nonsense man, baseless bollocks. Park doesnt play because he isnt good for shirt sales??? You are clueless, if it was a purely business decision, he would play all the time as we’d be massive in Asia with him in the side.

    But I imagine you arent interested in pogic as you are here to chat shite.

  28. pogic= logic! 🙂

  29. Well, I’m interested in pogic. Sounds interesting.

    Just bought some young millefleur poonts and a laced golden hamburg if anybody’s interested. Lovely little things.

  30. I might have known you’d be interested in pogic Bob!

  31. goodmorning

    ahhhh bilbao you legends !!!!

  32. On an Arsenalless saturday Dex, who wouldn’t be?

  33. Morning ARSESESION, nice article on RYO in the telegraph. I specially liked Bales comparison to a Lowry going up the hill compared to our dive bomber. Here’s hoping he comes back to ARSENAL a more complete player with loads of confidence and no major injures. I still don’t understand why we send out our youth for game time to teams I truly. Dislike. Bolton? Wolves?
    Why not help out teams that stand out for playing good proper football?
    Say like WIGEN OR SWANSEA?? OR BLACKPOOL?
    WHY does AW always loan out to teams I want to see relegated?

  34. Hahay DEXTER, morning. I say, if the spuds go out due in part to RYO’S efforts, it will be like a dagger in their hearts.. hehe
    And then to drop out off of top four, priceless…..

  35. Kam

    Its about game time, if the team can promise alot of relgular football, then I imagine that will be a big factor. perhaps other teams couldnt promise that? And Bolton under Coyle are a far more attractive proposition than when managed by the dious Alladyce (although we have sent players to his west ham this season too!)

    Frimpong was a cult hero at Wolves, real shame about his injury.

  36. Pudgy +. Logic. =. POGIC
    and a word is born. I like it.

  37. Mornin Kam my friend! I ryolly hope Ryo tears the spuds apart today, that would compound their poor run wouldnt it! Shame they’re at home.

  38. podgy logic = pogic. Where is George today by the way, or a completely unrelated matter!

  39. Good points mate. Although I wasn’t. Too thrilled with FRIMPONGS loan to wolves ,per say. And both MICK AND COYLE have had some derogatory statements made regarding. AW and ARSENAL.
    The latter didn’t help us at all in the CAHILL saga.. Not that I was too upset at not landing the soon to be chavski..

  40. DEXTER…
    We are big in Asia u simpleton as we was over there for pre season b4 tge strt of this 1 and we Will be touring there again for our pre season so where is ur POGIC in what ur trying to say?? My statement is true if he was black or White he would defo be in the 1st team squad and so would park for united

  41. Poor PG is distraught. His meerkat seems to have been kidnapped by a Google geek and now there is ransom demand. Be nice to him today. I mean more than usual. His comments today may not be very pogical.

  42. Paul,I have noticed when people talk shit ,they get told about it .
    Calling Shotta rude names is hardly going to prove your baseless piont,Now is it?
    Its is clear that you are indeed a “tool”

  43. The game in WHL would probably draw a few gooners in just to see the little dive bomber. No?

  44. I know we were in Asia numbnuts. Your statement is bollocks and you sound even more like an idiot with every post. He doesnt play because he aint black or white? Erm, yeah that makes loads of sense doesnt it? Have you forgotten to take your medication today? What time does the home help usually turn up on a saturday?

  45. myachi…what a find …fuck messi

  46. George

    Paul isnt a tool. A tool has a use man.

  47. So “coffee coloured people by the score” are not good for shirt sales?
    Paul.You have come through the wrong door pal.

  48. George

    I have given it some considerable thought now. It makes perfect sense….. By NOT playing park, we are increasing our shirt sales hugely and that afterall is all the club are interested in. Football is just a side issue for AFC PLC.

  49. I think “Andrei” my Meerkat has fallen in with the “whispers gang”.He will fine for a few days ,hopefully.

  50. Our shirt sales would rocket if Park player regularly.
    Not only is he a tool .But also a very stupid one.

  51. George

    That makes no sense at all…. Playing Park would make him an even bigger star, his profile would be massive, with endorsements, image right deals and all that other shizzle. How on earth would that equate to bigger shirt sales and even more popularity in Asia? It just doesnt make sense! 🙂

  52. google is EVIL. that geek is probably the head of the whispers gang.
    On a completely unrelated topic, some basterd in the neighborhood has gone and shot my cat frevay with his pellet gun. Do you fucking believe that?

  53. Kam

    Thats disgusting man, sorry to hear that.

  54. We are all have our opinions guys no need to be rude.. And yes dexter I havnt taken my medication bcos ur mum 4got to give it to me, I work for fulham in there under sixteen side I’m not the coach but second scout, and b4 that at dag&red.. And I know 100% that it’s harder for asians, Indians, somalians etc to make it to top flight football this is for marketing reasons alone… How many players in the premiership are Asain or Indian??? Is this a coincidence??? I think not

  55. It Frevay going to be ok Kam? I do hope so.
    If someone had shot Dennis Purrcat I would have found them and done despicable act of torture on them .Really I would.

  56. Paul

    If you want to debate the institutional racism that still besets football in general then we can. But you stated categorically that Park doesnt play for Arsenal for business reasons. he has already climbed the professional ladder and is at the top level (give or take), which is a compoletely different issue altogether. A completely bollocks issue and a different one nonetheless.

  57. No need to be rude ? Fuck off ,Read what you said to Shotta and Dexter you dimwit.
    Jeez,what is It with dumb ass posters?

  58. I will have to see if I can catch her since sh has been spooked and take her in for a check at the vets. Just as well I’m not sure who’s responsible or I would be in trouble with the law. What a scumbag….

  59. Oh and the mum comment really gets to me as I have paper thin skin, boo hoo. You have left yourself open to ridicule by your stupid as fuck posts man.

  60. I think there is racism in football, as there is in society in general. Players might not get the same chances as others and BME ex-players rarely become managers too. However, saying all that the money involved with unearthing talent seems to act as a great leveller!

  61. YW

    A wordpress FUBAR…
    I always thought FUBAR stood for;
    Fucked Up Beyond All Recognition.

  62. Everton drawing with Sunderland is great news for us I think. It won’t be easy at Goodison, it never is, but with a replay to look forward to, they might lack a bit of focus and want to concentrate on the Cup as they are safe in the league and the defeat vs their local rivals has propbably dented their hopes of a top 6 finish.

  63. Dexter

    Take out the “ed”.

  64. YW

    In my world it was always f*cked up man, as in wasted, smashed, off yer head raving type shizzle!

  65. Parks lack of game time has not just been down to RvP’s form. There has been a few times where we have been chasing a game, he has been on the bench, but not once once has Arsene turned to him (a striker) for a goal. Tis very peculiar.

  66. Paul – “How many players in the premiership are Asain or Indian??? Is this a coincidence??? I think not

    Technically Indians are Asian’s 😉

    Could it not be that they are simply not very good at football?

  67. anders

    I think its probably down to him not being rated by the manager man. It’s a real shame Afobe had that bad injury because he could have seen some game time this season I reckon.

  68. Adebayor has done his usual disapearing act after initial great start routine again for the spuds.

  69. I think Brendan Rogers could be a viable option as Arsene’s replacement in a few years IF he can continue doing so well at Swansea. Its a bit early to be sure, but he has done a great job this season. But then again, so did George Burley at Ipswich for one season, then got them relegated the next.

  70. @kycee,

    I neva implied dt RVP shd be benched. All I’m saying is dt there seem to be sometimes when we’ll expect an extra striker to be brought on n yet, Park often wouldn’t be the player. Is it as a result of lack of faith in him or he’s getting certain things wrong on d training ground

  71. Player of the year scores a fantastic goal!

  72. Bolton one up vs the spuds!

  73. The twats have equalised, dam my bad. Shaudenfreuder (sure thats not how its spelt!)

  74. Have the Spuds broken Muamba? Oh dear.

  75. bad news on muamba
    come on lad pull thru…

  76. get up son..

  77. Oh dear Oh dear Oh dear – Fabrice is in trouble. Oh dear.

  78. Howard Webb you bastard – send the players into the dressing room.

  79. Not watching it, whats happened?

  80. What happend to him?? just got tuned in and seeing everybody waiting for some news. Looks like the game would be called off

  81. ive had to turn it off..
    i cant watch that…

    the cameras should be turned off..

    if there is a god..i pray that young man gets up..

  82. The game has been called off. Oh dear oh dear. Please Muamba, please.

  83. Fabrice Muamba is fighting for his life. The rest is irrelevant.

  84. A weekend without The Arsenal is not usually a weekend at all but of course this weekend is a bit different as this weekend we Irish officially have to go out and drown the shamrock!!

    Which is exactly what I am going to do now 🙂 Happy St. Pat’s to all and may we soon be celebrating that other great Saint’s day, St. Totteringham’s!!!

    🍀🍀🍀 🍻 🍻 🍃 <——— 🚬 😚 🍺 = 😃

  85. Doesn’t look good, he just seemed to collapse for no reason. The ref needs to call off the game.

    Can’t imagine what it must be like for his family who are watching.

    Fingers crossed all turns out ok.

  86. My prayers to Fabrice and his family – Pull through kid!!

  87. I don’t see how the game can go on, especially with the Bolton players having seen what happened. Today is a day when football becomes irrelevant.

    His family will have watched that. Oh dear. The cameras and commentary should have been cut immediately out of respect.

    It’s official now, the match has been abandoned. Oh dear.

  88. Muamba is on his way to hospital.

  89. Darius you’d hope that someone would be on the phone to the family quickly to stop any speculation but can you expect clubs to plan for such a tragic and thankfully rare event?

  90. Marc. Some things you just react to, you can’t plan. Hopefully, the paramedics have a protocol for identifying next of kin, blood type, et al while in transit. The Bolton medics will also be familiar with Muamba’s specific medical situation and will also have the sense to call his family.

    I think more of the chaos will be around the live TV production team because those images go around the world in seconds. The Paparazzi were also in full force snapping photos of the moment it happened and the response – waiting of course to sell them to the highest bidder.

  91. Jeez – ESPN are so classless about this. Get those fuckers off the screen and show something else.

  92. Here’s hoping he pulls through. Its too early to speculate and pretty distasteful to anyway. Just praying he’s OK.

  93. Some people are incredible. Why even invoke
    scott Parker’s name. So according to Matt Law, it was Parker’s idea to approach Howard Webb and advise the ref to abandon the game. Tut tut!

  94. Paulie Walnuts

    Despite what Shankly said it`s just a game

    My thoughts & prayers are with Fabrice Muamba

  95. John Barnes showed a bit of class. All the other commentators were comparing notes on players they had seen / heard about collapsing and dying on the pitch when Barnes interrupted and talked about the times players collapse and pull through, ones that don’t make the news headlines.

  96. How horrible 😦

  97. Dear Lord, I ask you to turn this weakness into strength, suffering into compassion, sorrow into joy, and pain into comfort for others. May your servant trust in your goodness and hope in your faithfulness, even in the middle of this suffering. Let him be filled with patience and joy in your presence as he waits for your healing touch.

    Please restore your servant to full health, dear Father. Remove all fear and doubt from his heart by the power of your Holy Spirit, and may you, Lord, be glorified through his life.

    As you heal and renew your servant, Lord, may he bless and praise you.

    All of this I pray in the name of Jesus Christ.

    Amen.

  98. Hopefully the docs will pull it round. Poor Fab.

  99. Wow, just effin wow. I hope its nothing too serious and he pulls through. I really hate this. Puts things in perspective. Ex.gunner too. Doubly concerned.

  100. I am afraid things like this make me less inclined to pray.

  101. Ahmen to that Paul.

  102. George – Indeed. Topic for another day though eh?

  103. Thank you kam.. If every1 could take a minute to read that religious or not we can send our thoughts to muamba at this time.. And hopefully god can give him the strength needed to pull thru

    Thanks guys
    We GOONERS really do have class

  104. fabrices condition is now stable

  105. I really hope he pulls through. Muamba’s age is no age to die at. He always seemed a nice person and I onl wish him the best. I also hope that the media etc. will do the right thing and keep their distancce. We don’t need 24/7 updates on a matter like this. Everyone should try their best to stay respectful in times like these. Take care, Fabrice and please get well.

  106. Fabrice Muamba is stable.
    Source: Sky News.

  107. Brilliant news!! Big well done to all the medical staff….

    And on a personal level thank you jesus Christ for saving a life tonight,
    please carry on to watch over your son fabrice and see he makes a full recovery

  108. Well done medical staff at WHL!

  109. I’ve been out all day and just got home to the shocking news about Fabrice Muamba. I really hope and pray he will be okay.

  110. Thank GOD. thanks a countless times. Go on FAB. May god watch over you during recovery.
    Once a gunner always a gooner. Those paramedics probably saved his life.. <3. Go out to him and his family. STAY STRONG.

  111. I’m so happy to hear the news that Fabrice is now stable. I hope he has a speedy recovery and is able to return to doing what he loves.

  112. I know this does not matter now ,but the lad was playing a blinder .I really hope he makes a full recovery and can continue his career.

  113. I’ve been out since so didn’t know anythg abt the Muamba incident. I’m happy to hear dt he’s nw in a stable condition though critically ill. My toughts is with him n his family
    May the Almighty God restore him.

  114. Genuinely happy about the good news. I hope that the reason for his collapse can be found and that it is something that can be fixed so that he can continue playing the sport he loves. I also hope that he won’t have any lasting damage.

  115. First and foremost, pull through Fabrice Muamba.

    Secondly read the first thing I wrote.

    Thirdly he was an Arsenal player at one point, so deserves our support and our prayers.

    Fourthly, and big PROPS to Goonerandy, well done the medical staff at WHL!! Football, our passion, takes a back seat sometimes and now is one of those times.

    FB – may I see you again on an EPL piitch, hopefully not scoring against The Arsenal but if you must I for one will be cheering you 🙂

  116. I do not know if anyone did this already but:

    Fabrice Ndala Muamba (born 6 April 1988) is a footballer who plays for Bolton Wanderers as a midfielder in the Premier League. He previously played for Arsenal and Birmingham City. Though born in Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of the Congo), Muamba has represented England at under-21 level.
    Muamba began his career in 2002, joining Arsenal’s youth academy. After three years, he turned professional in 2005. He made his debut for Arsenal in the league cup, but played only one other match for the club. Following a loan spell with Birmingham City, he made the move permanent in 2007. He stayed with Birmingham for one additional year, and left after making more than 70 appearances and making his England under-21 debut while with the team. He joined his present club Bolton Wanderers in 2008, where he has played almost 150 times.

  117. He made his debut for The Arsenal against Sunderland. He signed his first professional contract in October 2005, and made his debut on October 25 against Sunderland at the ‘Stadium of Light’ in the League Cup.

    Arsenal news – http://www.arsenal.com/news/news-archive/club-statement-fabrice-muamba

  118. Would like to apologise for my frivolity earlier, it was very bad timing on my part. I wish nothing but the best for the young man. He is living the dream I had personally but which never quite worked out 🙂 23 is way too young. For any walk of life but especially so for an athlete. It is a very physically demanding game ( just ask NIKE!!) and we take a lot for granted but this (sadly) should unite us in one thing. And that is we never want to see a player suffer for the simple fact he is bringing us the beautiful game, live in our living room, no matter what the team.

    Fabrice Muamba – I for one will be watching your career with added interest son, make it a good one 🙂

  119. And yes as always as an ex-Arsenal player, he too has scored against us!

    But for once watch and enjoy (besides we win):

  120. I join all here and elsewhere in wishig the very best of outcomes for Fabrice Muamba and his family.

    It should be noted that (despite his history) the Spuds fans showed real class yesterday in their responses and support. Shankley was obviously wrong and there are indeed some things more important than football.

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