Arsenal Have To Keep On Keepin’ On

Football returns with a trip to Goodison Park for Arsenal. Ten days have lapsed since victory over Newcastle propelled the club to within one point of Tottenham in third place and it is vital that momentum is maintained.

The manner in which last season corroded is a concern but Arsène is keen to point out the different circumstances,

It is different from last year because we had a lot of negative experiences then. We were in four different competitions and we were knocked out in three in the space of two weeks, and you are only human beings. 

And with all due respect, there was a distinct lack of desire in the squad. Failure at Wembley – and the manner of the performance – raised awkward questions within themselves, the answers to which were not forthcoming. This season is different in a crucial aspect; the squad have been written off already, just not good enough. They have a point to prove to their detractors, voluble critics who refer to the start of the season without referring to the subsequent recovery.

Another lapse of form in January means that the point is not yet proven and it is this desire which is driving them on. Ironically, despite losing two key players in the summer Arsenal are on course to finish higher in the Premier League than last season.

A key factor has been the form and continued fitness of Robin van Persie. Still uncommitted on his Arsenal future, he is committed to the team and that is all that anyone can demand of the captain until the summer. In the event that he should leave, I think his final Arsenal season will viewed with a lot more positivity than that of his immediate predecessor as captain,

If you look at the last couple of weeks, we showed we have a lot of character in our side. After the two defeats to Milan and Sunderland, everyone was like ‘this is going to be a tough couple of weeks’ because we had games against Spurs, Liverpool, Milan and an international week and then Newcastle. Yet we won every game, so we showed lots of character. We can be proud of that. 

Now we need to show that over a period of a whole year.

I am not going to enter into the debate about whether these are the words of a man who will or will not be staying. From the Cesc saga, we know that footballers at the highest level today are arch-politicians, capable of offering platitudes when the time requires. They do however underline that the Dutchman is a leader, capable of inspiring with words and actions rather than dolefully patrolling the midfield seeking the inspiration to inspire.

And tonight Arsenal will need van Persie firing on all cylinders. City, Chelsea and Spurs have all left Goodison Park with no points and no goals to their names this season whilst United emerged somewhat fortuitously with a single goal victory. Yet I am not sure whether that signals a resurgence for Everton or the inconsistency which has beset the top of the table this season. Perhaps a bit of both with tonight’s hosts able to rouse themselves for the big occasions but faltering when normality occurs. That is nothing unusual; it is the human condition.

For the match, it is hard to see the need or find any justification for changing the starting line-up. Santos is a week further into his recovery and rehabilitation but not in match fitness which is before we assess whether Gibbs has done anything to merit being removed from the side. The manager noted that Squillaci is back fit; I am not sure he will even be on the bench.

Perhaps Gervinho might add some directness but Oxlade-Chamberlain performed well against The Magpies. Indeed I venture that the youngster offers more defensively than the Ivorian.

It is midfield that will tax the manager’s mind more. Tomas Rosicky’s fecundity in recent matches has been pivotal to the attacking drive displayed; goals have been plentiful as the Czech has rolled back the years with his form, surely enough to warrant inclusion ahead of Aaron Ramsey.

Underpinning this is the manager’s reluctance to rotate for the short-term; Wenger’s changes tend to be for the longer stretch, not prone to worrying about the opposition domestically at least.

I would expect the line-up to be,

Szczesny; Sagna, Koscielny, Vermaelen, Gibbs; Rosicky, Song, Arteta; Walcott, van Persie, Oxlade-Chamberlain

Three points is all that matters tonight, a win to keep up the pressure on Tottenham especially with their visit to Stamford Bridge at the weekend.

Enjoy the match wherever you are watching it.

’til Tomorrow.

Posted on March 21, 2012, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Soccer and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 274 Comments.

  1. i will take 3 points, thank you very much!

  2. i wonder which team everton will put out, and what the effects of the draw on saturday might have on them, after all, their squad rotation for the derby massively backfired. and they got a proper walloping in the derby as well.

    i like everton as a team, but we have to pile even more misery on them now.

  3. LoveTheWayYouPlay

    come on Arsenal!

    I didnt really read the comments yesterday. It is a coincidence that the article I read today also talked about messi. For anyone interested, this is an interesting read, making points, i think should not be ignored.

  4. Chelsea have a very tough game at City tonight, so there’s a good chance to put more distance between them and ourselves if we do the business at Everton. I don’t see any reason at all to change the team, let’s just hope we can get the win without falling behind, a few clean sheets inthe next games would be most welcome.

    I’ll be at Spurs (A freebie in a box from a supplier), so I’ll be heaping negative thoughts onto the Spurs team. It seems Adebayor’s not going to play, see, it’s working already 🙂

  5. LoveTheWayYouPlay

    sorry if that takes attention from the build up for toay. Not my intention. Hope everyone comes back to the prospect of Arsenal playing today.

  6. “fecundity?” – Jeez. And I thought I went to school.

  7. haha! when the interviewer was talking abt the loss of fabregas, nasri and wilshere, arsene was so quick to point out ‘and diaby as well.’

  8. I just wana say that for the first time in a long time I feel like we can beat any1 and do anything it’s defo going to be a hard match but I honestly believe we can’t loose!!!!!
    Oh and if we do loose RVP then it will break my heart, I would be less gutted if the misses left me for the post man hahaha LOOL

  9. Morning YW.. Qui a point if not 3 is what is needed

  10. I’d rather see Gervinho start. It’s a make or break time for him. Needs to recapture some form to ensure he keeps his place. If Rosicky gets dropped I’ll be very annoyed. That is not sending out a good message.

  11. YW, I feel the use of the word ‘fecundity’ in a football blog a little out of place, forgive me for saying so haha.

  12. DelBoyEssex

    But it sums him up so well. My original choice was divinical but I am not sure that’s a word. I thought of ethereal which conjures an image of him floating into space but feels somewhat brittle. In Rosicky’s case that might well be true in terms of his injuries but it would be construed negatively. So fecundity it is.

    Above all else, this is surely a blog where you would expect such words to surface 😉

  13. Markus, I can’t see Rosicky being dropped. I think that Chamberlain and Gervinho will rotate a bit, maybe one starts tonight and one on Saturday, whichever way the boss thinks it should go. Personally I would go with Chamberlain tonight as he’s the man in form and it’s a tougher game, Villa at home is easier on paper at least.

  14. Limestonegunner

    Big game tonight and our away form has been still a bit wobbly though we have had a good run of results at Sunderland and Liverpool to bolster confidence. I think Everton away must be one of the toughest fixtures in our run in–certainly it’s in contention with Chelsea and Manchester City at home.

    Things are coming together and if we can maintain our intensity despite the long layoff, the benefits of the rest and positive confidence from our amazing run of come from behind victories should give us a boost for a good performance.

    I hope we can keep this good run going and even if we draw or lose that we keep up the confidence in the team and the good energy in the support. Right now our support rivals anyone. The away support is legendary and the Emirates is getting loud and intimidating. I am looking so much forward to attending the Villa home match now. Depending on how things shape up midweek, the Villa home match might already see us ahead of Spurs. If not, we’ll be willing Arsenal on to do it hopefully after that match.

    You couldn’t ask for more for your one Arsenal game a season at the stadium. Last time I was there (last season), the ground was so quiet it was appalling. I think it will be very different this time. We’ve been down in the depths, recovered, fallen back and leapt up again. At this point, there is nothing to lose. Enthusiastic support is the only option that makes sense in this extraordinary season.

  15. Good point, Block4. McLeish’s Villa is far from an easy game, home or away. They will look to frustrate no matter where they’re playing us. Gervinho trickery and experience may be a better shout against a stubborn Villa defence. They’ve only conceeded 2 goals in the last 4!

    And as Yogi said the Ox might offer more defensively. Okay, pace and power tonight for Everton!

  16. To play devil’s advocate for a bit as I think I know the general opinion: Flamini’s available on a free in the Summer, any takers?

  17. YW
    you should let Hunter13 back, if only to see what he makes of fecundity.
    Fecundity from the Latin (fecundus) adj. fertile. intellectually productive. Maybe his agent used this word when negotiating his new contract Arsene loves a bit of intellectualism.
    I will take three points tonight, anyway they come and sleep happy. Come on Arsenal

  18. Matchday finally.

    Seems like forever we played The barcodes

    Come on you Gooners.

  19. COYG!!!!!!!,…… lets go get em

  20. Agreed Markus, Villa will look upon a point as a great result at ours. We should have enough to open them up though, especially if we can get the confidence generated from three points tonight!

  21. Hey YW, great post, love the Redskins reference. I saw them with Billy Bragg doing a benefit for the miners way back.
    Let’s hop tired legs are refreshed and everyone is focused, eyes on the prize.

  22. Vince – I’d take him back. Why not?

  23. Three points tonight would be fecundtastic!!!

  24. Flamini? Yeah, we’ll have him. At half his current wage.

  25. Take who back – Hunter13 or Flamini?!

    As my own vocabulary is so tragically limited, I take great delight in seeing words such as fecundity and divinical in an unexpected environment – a football blog, for example.

    Contrafibularity would also be a lesser spotted choice of vocabulary and another possibility to be laid at the door of Hunter13 (or Flamini, for that matter), being a word invented for the classic episode of Black Adder, from the 1980s. Our hero (played by the inimitable Rowan Atkinson) is trying, hilariously, to trip up Samuel Johnson, the compiler the first dictionary of the English language, with words he may have missed out of his life’s work.

    No doubt the flawed but strangely missed Hunter13 would have found a way to use this word to libel the entire English race, as was his wont.

    And Divinical could surely have found a place in that particular episode had it not already been a real word (believe it or not).

  26. Yogi – well said.

    “compositions” over fecundity; anyway, you make an excellent point that reminds us of his influence on our overall play.

    good performance
    clean sheet
    no injuries

    COYG

  27. I don’t think Flamini coming back is a good idea. He’s not going to exactly pull down trees, is he?

    As Tony Soprano would often say about his uncle Junior, “he’s dead to me”. A mercenary like fellow mercenary Samir Nasri who also rationalizes sitting on the bench as justification that they made the right move to a bigger club to win trophies. Ironic really considering that if they actually did their jobs at Arsenal, we had a chance of winning the very trophy they went elsewhere for.

  28. I note with amusement that King Kenny of Merseyside proclaims that he doesn’t see how he can improve his magnificent Liverpool squad put together with such awesomeness that the only way to improve would be to perhaps get in Lionel Messi or Christiano Ronaldo (well, he didn’t exactly name any players), but he suggested only adding a genius would improve his wonderfully assembled squad.

    I’m really beginning to question whether King Kenny has been sniffing the carpet again.

  29. Flamini?

    Is he any better than what we have? I suppose his usefulness as cover for left-back is an advantage, but It all depends on his attitude really. I’ll take him if he can add to the ‘can-do’ spirit in the squad.

  30. hmm so what exactly has flamini achieved since he left us? won a serie a title but how many games did he actually play?

  31. I suspect if Le Coq got the same stretch of games as Flamini did we really wouldn’t be talking about ‘bringing him back’.

    What’s sad is that we had a really solid and powerful midfield in the 2007-08 season. We lost 75% of that midfield and had to start from scratch, a factor that really hamstrung us in the next 2 seasons. We lost Rosicky to injury, Hlebb and Flamini to the greener pastures.

    Flamini only got a look-in that season because Gilberto Silva was delayed by his participation at Copa America and Abou Diaby was injured.

  32. Flamini? I would much rather have Eboue back, if only so I could shake my head and laugh every time he fell over, oops I meant fouled. COYG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  33. buckagh

    Fecundity also means, “Productive or creative power”.

    Oh, and no, I won’t let him back.

    Ciao

  34. le coq can play both right back and leftback.

  35. I don’t think anyone seriously wants him back Darius. Our bench is full. He’ll run down his contract and go to a cash-rich team with more money than sense.

  36. Good article, but only if you delete this paragraph:

    “Perhaps Gervinho might add some directness but Oxlade-Chamberlain performed well against The Magpies. Indeed I venture that the youngster offers more defensively than the Ivorian.”

    That’s just crazy talk. Gervinho is a fantastic two way player, and the Ox has shown a youthful tendency to give the ball away in dangerous areas; he’s very much a work in progress defensively. And on the flip side, Gervinho does not really offer more directness than the Ox, as we saw when he busted through two Milan players to draw a penalty.

  37. And we’ve got more than money and sense my friend…

    Anyone? Damn it’s only Wednesday.

  38. Steww

    Saw them with Bragg and The Smiths at a GLC festival when all hell broke loose in their set.

  39. Interesting little stat this. Wojciech Szczesny, Bacary Sagna, Laurent Koscielny, Thomas Vermaelen and Kieran Gibbs are unbeaten when they’ve started together this season, with six wins from seven games, conceding just four goals. Makes you wonder what if doesn’t it? But then you would imagine we Arsenal fans would be used to what ifs!?

  40. YW,

    Can’t argue on either count.

  41. Looking at that back five I’d say it’s either Szczesny or Koscielny who are due a long spell out due to injury next season. I hope we do buy an experienced back up keeper in the Summer.

  42. “Wojciech Szczesny, Bacary Sagna, Laurent Koscielny, Thomas Vermaelen and Kieran Gibbs are unbeaten when they’ve started together this season”

    Sure but what sides did they start against? Any quality teams?

  43. Flamini is not coming back. I bet he does not regret his choice. He is young, well paid amd living la dolce vida. I too would prefer to live a millionaire’s life in Italy than north London….

  44. Philmar

    Newcastle home and away, Spurs home, Bolton home, Swansea home, Liverpool away, Udinese home.

    Opinion is divided as to what level of quality it is in that list…

  45. Great preview Yogi. I hate these 10 days breaks without proper football. I am happy the squad gets to rest but as a fan I would rather us play twice a week because thats a lot more fun. Hopefully we can carry thru with the momentum we had when we won that cracking game against Newcastle. I agree completely with your starting lineup and I think it would be daft to make any changes. I love Santos but lets not try to fix something that is not broken.

    I agree with everything you say about RVP. Great player and great leader. Everything he says indicates that he will give the club every chance to resign him. The fact that he is waiting until the summer to even negotiate seriously indicates that he and his representatives will be weighing all of their options and I suspect the club will have to break its weekly wage record by some distance. RVP certainly deserves to be paid somewhere in the ball park of other top players in the world and I hope he and the club can find an acceptable middle ground. No matter what happens RVP will always be top class in my book.

  46. So we have one of our players, who is regularly labeled as lazy, leaving on loan to get more play time, while another, who was hailed as a saviour and is still held in somewhat high regard by a small amount of posters on here, left to get more bench time. Funny world this is.

  47. Well, we know what to expect from Philmar…..sounds very familiar….

  48. I’ve had enough of this “Arsenal is a one man team”. For fuck’s sake. It’s tired, lazy hackery that has no bearing on how Arsenal play as a team.

  49. I don’t think Robin is coming back. I can’t see Arsenal breaking the wage structure for him or anybody. Unlike the rest of the football world this team is run like a proper business. They have been a selling club the last decade making huge profits selling players: Hleb, Henri, Nasri, Toure, Adebayor and Fabregas all sold for much less than they were purchased. Funds financed a huge stadium that was always packed. They have a manager that consistently delivers Champions League lucre while still selling his best players.
    I don’t see them planning to play Robin with Podolski. I see Podolski as a replacement. They’ll TRY to sign Robin but not at astronomical wages. They have debt they need to repay and responsible people that they are, THAT will be the corporate objective.
    I think Robin might stay at reduced wages of there were some sign that the team was more concerned about trophies than paying off debt, which they aren’t. They’d need to sign a Hazard or Goetze to show Robin that there is a chance of silverware in his Arsenal future. But Arsene was too cheap – err frugal and prudent, to buy Mata on the cheap when the opportunity existed.
    Why do you expect this summer to be any different that any other post Highbury summer? Arsenal can’t compete with Barca, Real, Bayern, Man U, City, Inter or Chelsea for Hazard or Goetze.
    Arsene has gambled heavily with Robin’s health this year and luckily he hasn’t been crocked. We have dodged a bullet as Robin’s injury would have ended our season. My fingers are crossed.

  50. Philmar, you are nothing but a wind-up merchant. You have a host of innaccuracies in your last post. Arsenal sold all those players at more than they were purchased….go away…do some homework…then come back and be sensible…

  51. I think many fans need to read this article on Theo Walcott, to be completely honest me included. I have doubted Theo’s consistency alot of the time.But fair play to him, now he is starting to put together a run of good form.

    http://www.sabotagetimes.com/football-sport/why-arsenal-fans-must-keep-faith-in-theo-walcott/

  52. Moe, I think Walcott just needs to keep playing to his strengths and the assists will continue to flow and the goals will come. His pace is his main asset so running in behind defences should constitute the bulk of his threat and with the players round him in the Arsenal side they will get the ball to him if he keeps making the runs.

    Of course he’s still about five years from his peak, so there’s plenty more to come from his all-round game I’m sure.

  53. Theo is sooooooo inconsistent. He only gets goals and assists every other game. Tut.

  54. Markus – If only he can be like that Bale of Nazareth fellow instead? Eh….

  55. Hay guys don’t know if this is old news but arsenal Representatives have been seen at the signal iduna park ( home of Dortmund)

    I wonder why that is LOOL

  56. I remember saying several weeks ago how our wingers would magically find their form once they had real fullbacks behind them. Theo wasn’t in bad form; he was a) protecting Coq/Djourou, and b) getting no overlaps from them to create space for his pace.

  57. Regarding Theo – I have been as frustrated with him as anyone. We have to recognize though that, as Wenger said, part of every player’s performance is the team he is on. Put theo on a counterattacking team that plays 442, he will probably shine. Put him on a ball control team that forces defenses back and creates a 10 man defense and he will probably not.

    I feel in a more direct style of play, Theo gets more opportunities to run, has fewer men between himself and the goal, and has less thinking to do. That is why our new team shape suits him – speed of foot on either flank, vertical ball movement. A more dedicated and dangerous front man he can cross to when he reaches the end line (which he ALWAYS does)…

  58. Men lie, women lie, numbers don’t lie.

    Look at Theo’s stat, he is sure class

  59. It is a wonder how the Ox has won our hearts. The young – old – man that he seems to be.

    Our first team has hardly been beaten this season and we are pretty much all happy with Sag or Jenks or Gibbs or Santos. Long may at least one of each stay fit.

    We have waited for this and the team has had plenty of time to prepare.’ Milan I’ is a million miles from this team (even if the difference is only 2 or 3 players)

    ……and I imagine the result will follow.

    Go on the B.F.Gs (Quake)

  60. Paul

    They are on a pie-tasting factfinding tour so that the culinary fare on offer at The Emirates improves for next season.

  61. “Philmar, you are nothing but a wind-up merchant. You have a host of innaccuracies in your last post. Arsenal sold all those players at more than they were purchased….go away…do some homework…then come back and be sensible…”

    Sorry – it was a typo, not an innacurracy. They WERE sold for much more than they were bought. Everyone knows that – I just didn’t proof read it. OOOOPS. How else could they have made such large profits?

  62. I dont think i have seen philmar earlier in this blog…whats your objective buddy?

  63. Philmar, it’s commendable that you admit the typo. However, you must still go back and do loads of homework. There is no way Arsenal could pay for the stadium by selling players. A good read is “Arsenal: The Making of a Modern Super Club” by Alex Fynn and Kevin Whitcher”…This blogg is mature and most contributers have enough knowledge of Arsenal which makes us tired of having to go over old ground again and again….Anyway, I often suspect that comments like yours are made by spud fans just wanting to provoke a response…..

  64. I rest my case…thanks mumbai gooner!

  65. I had a mini argument with some of my Gooner pals the other day. The discussion was about which Arsenal winger helped the defense most. i was rooting for Theo but my one mates said it was Benny the other said the OX.

    So ACLFers, who you guys think helps the defense most??

  66. Hope we attack from both wings today. As against Newcastle all our attack came from the Right wing, ill like for the attack to be distributed.

    I have a sneaky feeling Benny might start today

  67. Jeff,

    that question has 2-3 pieces.

    1. Holding up the ball – so not losing it immediately and having it come back with the winger out of position.

    2. Tracking back

    3. Adding to defense on set plays.

    For 1, obviously players like Rosicky or Benayoun hold onto it better. After that, Ghervino.

    For 2, Ox has not yet developed the ego to stay up all the time…though again, Ghervino drops a lot

    for 3, Ghervino obviously, though OX gets an honerable mention….

    So all in all I would say Ghervino

  68. Three points is all I ask for tonight and obviously for Mancity to beat Chelsea. As much as I loathe mancity’s spending the thought of manure winning a trophy this year makes me nauseous (Kenyangunner understands) us leaving chelsea behind with 6 points is the ultimate bonus as they seem to have found their feet with their new manager.

  69. Nando, Gerv???

    Didn’t see that answer coming from a long shot

  70. Great post Yogi and i do agree about playing Gervinho but disagree about his ability to be a 2 way player. Often times you seem him working back to help Gibbs or Santos and then carrying the ball with great pace up the flanks from box to box. I think Ox is starting to understand the defensive part but still gets caught in possession at the wrong times in our defensive 3rd.

    @Philmar
    I have major problems with your post. Another point is the whole not seeing Podolski playing along side RVP, that is just stupid and I don’t mean to be blunt but it is. RVP’s main thing is that he wants the club to show ambition and buying a player whose preferred position is on the left flank and scores goals for both club and country at a high level seems pretty ambitious to me but hey what do i know I’m just posting like you. Along with that, yes we have a debt but from what we are being told there is money not only to be spent but to spend on resigning players. Yes You and I can only go by what we are being told by these same sensible people that you say are running ACF. How can you say that the club is not after trophies but more about paying off their debt? are you an insider but then doesn’t that just seem unlikely for a football club not to want to win. Now your saying they are responsible people running this club thus meaning they wouldn’t make a irresponsible investment or purchase like give Nasri 150000 or whatever a week he is making at Manshiteh correct or spend say $60M on a player like Tim Cahill or for that matter spend $60M on any player or try adn outbid somebody only to go into debt the same debt that your talking about we dont need.

    On to Walcott(one of my favorite players in the PL), I’m glad to see that people are finally starting to come around to the fact that he is more consistent than what people think. I mean teh kid is 2nd on the team in goals with 8 and has 11+ assists which means that he has accounted for atleast 19 goals this year. I love his work rate and even better him and Sagna are easily the best right flank in the EPL.

    Guns armed, ready to fire, we have Goodison Park in our sites, Cannons Blast away, total destruction of Everton and Goodison Park!!!! I feel another thrashing by our hands today

  71. i think we tried to sign mata.. then chelsea came in, and he went there for the money.

  72. Paul

    only thing is that götze is out injured at the moment.. so i guess the reps arent there to watch, but to talk?

  73. Jeff,

    i think if you look at the statistics of ground covered you find he covered a lot more than theo….but like I said, it’s not only about tracking back…it’s about not losing the ball in the midfield, and helping out on set plays…..

  74. Maybe its been a while i have see Gerv play a lot of minutes, ill pay more attention to his game next time he plays.

  75. Sun shining, all work done for the day, birds singing, cider in hand.

    Consolslel away, sausage sandwiches, a bottle of red and the Arsenal to come.

    What a day.

  76. C – agree wholeheartedly re your comments about Theo. The idea the guy is some kind of liability is little short of scandalous when you take into account his stats, his age and his injury interrupted development – a development hallmarked by his having to learn from his mistakes in front of the largest of audiences and on the biggest stages.

    Looking forward to a good win for our boys tonight – think Everton will be a tad jaded from the weekend and we’ve had a good break.

    One often looks for turning points in the season and tonight really could be one of those – if results go against the Spuds, the Chavs and/or the Mancs people may end up pointing to tonight as being the beginning of the end for their respective challenges. Liverpool may get the result against Stoke but to my eye they are unconvincing, to say the least.

    I’m impressed with those cider swigging birds you’ve got down there Bob!

  77. last years squad was full of baggage..

    we had an ever growing group of players that werent good enough, this was as a result of the stockpiling of players from the ranks as well as having an obsession with stop gap and very young signings..

    it started to rot the squad and the exodus was massive…we lost a few players from the first team..we had imploded and we needed to rebuild..

    this years squad is different..we could still do with a couple of signings but the new batch of project youth are looking more pplentiful as well as more skillful than previous batches..and the experienced players we signed last summer have settled in well in the main..
    we have balls now, the last lot couldnt give a shit, they knew what they were doing long before they were doing it and its like half the squad got a case of fuckits..this one has something to prove, alot of them have only just got here and they have the chance to exercise some demons from the club and i think they’ll do it..

    theres still abit of baggage but in the main we have a strong squad..

    finish third, keep the key players together, add to them and we’ll be challenging for titles again..

    i dont think rvp will leave..i knew cesc and nasri would leave before easter but i dont feel that way with van persie..he wants to stay at the club..hes leading this club tooth and nail, theres no doubts about that..he does not resemble a man who has secured CL football somewhere else..he wants to do it with us..

    Hes stalling..but i feel he wants to take the club into europe next season and then see a couple of players to come in to go for more than third..A nice little payday and hes a gooner for life..

    if we win at everton, i dont think chelsea will catch us..

    which just leaves spurs, but i dont think they have the balls for the fight..

    big fixtures, so excited..

  78. i caught a glimpse of a you tube clip of diaby..
    and then i watched a few more..

    i then watched jack a few times..

    i thought ‘fuck me. is that what weve been missing?’..

    id still write jack off this season but if we can introduce diaby slowly around rosicky and get a few weeks out of him in the run in….?? we look in good shape already..

    a sub for tonight??

  79. They are seriously impressive andrew, particularly my new lemon millefleur sablepoots.

    Pissed as newts of course.

  80. JJ

    I’d be surprised to see Diaby tonight after he played 60 min for the reserves yesterday.

  81. i thought that dups
    but maybe the hour yesterday was to get him upto speed for a little 10min cameo today?

    i dont expect him to start but if he got through yesterday then he could be on the bench..

  82. Ten games to go and we all know that the table is decided in thes last 10 games of the season and is exactly the same time when our season went the opposite way. What heart and spirit the team has shown really digging deep. I am so proud of this team and although we are not in the hunt for trophies as a fan this has felt like the best season ever since we moved to the emirates. it all about staying in the top four and nicking third from spurs. All the players know what is at stake. Anyaway hope the team doesnt get complacent. It feels good to know that one of the manchester teams who have both spent gazillions have been dumped out of the same competitions as ourselves and will end the season without a trophy. Now that epic…… it is sure to be a corker with Arteta returning to goodison. i think he will have a point to prove. Onwards abd upwards

  83. Arsenal: Szczesny, Sagna, Koscielny, Vermaelen, Gibbs, Song, Arteta, Ramsey, Rosicky, Walcott, Van Persie.

  84. Seems Rosicky pushed out left again after the great work he has done in the middle.

  85. don’t like the inclusion of both rosicky and ramsey, i think the manager is trying to accomodate Ramsey in his plans. It might backfire, especially after Rosicky’s good work so far.

    I remember the last game these two started together and it didnt exactly go according to plan, Rosicky kept trying to drift from the left and it wasn’t working, and Ramsey isn’t the creative force that Rosicky is.

    But i am not the manager and wenger knows best, so i cross my fingers and hope fro the best

    COYGs

  86. theres a good reason why rosicky and rambo are in..

    i know not the reason..it does seem strange but a ball hasnt been kicked yet..

    lets see

  87. Looking west tonight, into the fading sunset, there are two bright lights in the sky, one above the other.

    Any ideas?

    Satrurn and Venus would be a guess. Beautiful.

  88. Rennes and France midfielder Yann M’Vila suffers suspected broken leg (!) tonight. Set to miss Euro 2012

  89. the bench aint bad
    fab, santos, jd, benny, le ox, gervinho, chamakh…

  90. @Moe
    Exactly, that was the first leg against Milan, if I remember correctly. I still don’t know how we will line up, but Rosicky is someone who is just so used to playing through the middle that if he is out on the wing, we can almost be guaranteed that he won’t provide the width we need. But obviously I don’t know what Wenger knows, maybe he has found a way to play them both together? Anyway, let’s win this! COYG!

  91. As always, I’m hoping for the best, but prepared for the worst.

    Looks like Everton are going for it this time. A tricky game ahead.

    Rosicky on the left? Hmm.. We’ll see..

  92. @arsenalandrew
    I think the problem is the amount of expectations and while i do feel that he has lived up to those expectations many dont because of his goal return but he gives a lot of assists and last time i checked most of the time there is an assist before a GOAL!!!1

  93. Is that right dups? Thank you.

    Bright lights, bright future.

  94. Yea not really a fan of Ramsey playing in a role other than the role occupied by Arteta. I think Wenger must feel something for Ramsey but only he truly knows. Either way Walcott is in the lineup and with him and Sagna terrorizing Baines all night should still get the 3 points needed.

  95. I think the whole problem here is in my opinion Wenger may be trying to keep players happy, maybe he feels that after his horrendous injury Ramsey deserves more of a chance to prove himself. I think Wenger plays players sometimes to show his utmost belief in them, he is a very sentimental man i think. Or i may be wrong and this might be for tactical reasons, i do not know and i cannot guess, but i’ll be honest and say we are not going to get the same performances as we have been the last few weeks, not because of Ramsey but the balance and chemistry has changed. It is dangerous as well to tinker with the Wings of all positions because it has the potential to backfire.

    But i believe in Wenger and his decisions, so whatever my thoughts or opinions i will support him through and through

    Come on you GUNNERS!!

  96. I wonder if Wenger is pulling the reigns back some with the inclusion of Ramsey because we are playing away from the Emirates. With the likes of Ox and Gervinho on the wing we are all guns ablaze but with the likes of Ramsey and Rosicky on the pitch together we are playing for possession. I hope it doesn’t back fire because our front 4 had a rhythm and belief and more importantly an understanding of where the other 3 are and where they want to be like it was 4 different players playing as 1. Should be interesting but i’m still saying we will get the 3 points.

  97. “Anyway, I often suspect that comments like yours are made by spud fans just wanting to provoke a response…..”

    Then clearly YOU are a windup merchant

  98. How many Everton players where there, who couldn’t stop the Verminator?

  99. Away fans really making themselves heard

  100. Gibbs, so f*cking good!

  101. Who’s this redsteve bloke posting on my gravatar?

  102. Hey, moderation?

  103. OK try again (hate WordPress YW) Who’s this redsteve bloke posting on my account?

  104. Distin don’t like it, no Sirree 🙂

  105. can’t stream either, damn US government computers

  106. That’ll pay for Saha’s goal last season.

  107. Lucky us! So last year Moyes gave an incorrect goal to Everton, now he took a perfectly valid one away. Karma!

  108. And by Moyes I mean Mason.

  109. Thabts the sort of slice of luxk weve been owed ..perfectly good goal wrongly judged offside…karma for sure.. intensity dropping a bit. We need to up the tempo and put Moyes and everton out there misery

  110. whats the score of the match?

  111. whats the score?

  112. The Real Stew Black

    I think Gibbs has had a good half.
    For the most we seem content to just keep working to the body, wearing them down waiting for the guard to start to drop. Calm, controlled and professional I’d say.

  113. Any live streams, please? I mean working streams. Can’t seem to find even one.

  114. The Real Stew Black

    Nah that wasn’t luck – Szezz would have saved that if the flag hadn’t gone up. He stopped.
    1 – 0 to the Arsenal

  115. frustrating how we let them back into the game..

    and that was really a silly pass from song. how many times has he done that this season? for every brilliant assist he has made, he has also made a stupid pass right in front of our defence..

    we got lucky with the assistant’s ref flag there. having been on the wrong end of so many refereeing decisions, i am not taking delight in that, i am not saying ‘it’s karma’.. because i know you make a deal with the devil, you pay back double.

    i want us to win fair and square, without any help at all. because i dun want to owe the refs and their ilk anything.

  116. we need to wake up for the second half. kill the game off, then take the foot off.

  117. No goals in the other games. 1 – 0 to the Arsenal.

  118. The Real Stew Black

    Come on guys – we’ve hardly let them back in the game. They’re at home, they’ve had a go but are spending a lot of energy chasing shadows. We’re one up and could easily have had three and likely to get increasingly dangerous as they tire.

  119. Thierry Henry is pure class.

    Apparently, after playing for Redbull in Salt Lake City on Sunday, he got on a plane, connected in I don’t know how many cities, and burnt 5000 miles to get to London and straight to Fabrice Muamba’s bedside to see his former Arsenal colleague.

    This guy is a Gooner for life.

  120. Header from a corner. Blast from the past.

    Hope Wenger knocks some sense into the boys. Verbally, of course.

  121. the real stew

    well, you don’t want to give them a whiff of hope. they are going to go into half-time feeling optimistic, encouraged. you don’t want that. it’s all about the little things. a little wobble, and suddenly.. you get what i mean.

    so we have to wake up, keep the intensity and focus.

  122. who scored? From what it sounds like they are having a go at us since they are at home. Offsides are not given by the ref most time but are earned through the cohesiveness of the back 4. Thus we have not been giving a break but have earned it, is this fair to say since i can’t watch the game?

  123. yh that whiff of hope is gonna come biting us in the ass soon.

    This game looking very edgy now

  124. Atrocious performance. I can’t remember we had referees like that the last time. Usually it’s always the other way round.

  125. The game has come back to life!

  126. i have a bad feeling about this game

  127. The Real Stew Black

    I just found a stream with English comms – obviously switched almost immediately – but the brief bit I suffered gave me a hint as to why some of you may think Everton are playing so well.
    With those goons constantly saying how badly we’re playing and how well Everton are fighting it’s understandable after a while your perceptions will become warped.

  128. So Jelavic steps on Song and it#s a foul for Everton.

  129. The Real Stew Black

    Oh and Cahill should be off by now.

  130. Okay, well, I’ll take it back. Mason has been sh*t for both teams.

  131. The Real Stew Black

    And if we were lucky with an offside how on earth did the foul on TR7 go unnoticed?

  132. The Real Stew Black

    we are not playing badly, but everton are extremely dangerous and their pressing rivals ours

  133. The Real Stew Black

    Kosser will be black and blue by tomorrow.

  134. song taking risks here……he needs to watch out

  135. The Real Stew Black

    Rambo has been so unlucky tonight not to score.

  136. The Real Stew Black

    Did you see that cunt kick TR7?? W, and further more, TF

  137. Get in………………COYG!!!!!!!!!!

  138. The Real Stew Black

    Another great interception from Song. Reads the game so well.

  139. we are so gonna pay for that wrong decision there by Gervinho

  140. The Real Stew Black

    Yet another foul on TR7 goes unmarked by the officials. Quite simply unbelievable.

  141. disaster is coming on

  142. Rosicky off…Djorou on.I guess its baton down the hatches time. COYG!

  143. Spuds get a late draw, QPR pull back 2 goals

  144. The Real Stew Black

    Tony Adams would’ve been proud of our offside trap tonight.

  145. The Real Stew Black

    Gutsy, controlled, professional, tough, disciplined – everything you expect from this team.

  146. yes yes yes yes yes

  147. and the spuds , sputter

  148. Read back through the comments, it’s like some of you were watching a different match. We were so in control.

  149. What a great night – almost perfect results everywhere.

    The night the season flipped over …

  150. Oh What A Perfect Peach Of A Night.

  151. lady luck favours the brave

  152. and the Chavs chafe….

  153. Third place! Amazing Hahahah

  154. The Real Stew Black

    errr no, Everton were extremely dangerous and people need to realise this game was not comfortable by any stretch of the imagination. The only reason we won was because of our defence who were excellent tonight.

  155. the real stew,

    i haven been watching with english commentary..

    i have analysed my emotions and can come up with an explanation now.

    when you see how the first 20 minutes went, you can be disappointed with how the last 70 minutes went, because everton had quite a bit of the ball, and spent quite a while in our half, whether or not they actually produced anything.

    the irony is that i would have taken 3 points any style right at the start of the game.

    right now i am just relieved..

    i don’t like it that all the talk is going to focus on that offside goal. maybe sczesny would have saved it (the flag really went up immediately) but i dun like us to win due to a ref decision.

  156. Hahaha……yessssssssssssssssssssssssssssss

    Mind the Gap Spurs….of course they have plenty of experience doing it 😀

  157. oh the irony the fans still love tevez. its incredible, they got no self respect up there. aslong as he delivers trophies nobody cares what he does or how he is…

  158. This was going to be a perfect night. A perfect one I tell you. And Stoke go fuck it up at the last minute. Tony Pulis – get your shit together. How dare you throw a lead away with just a few minutes to go. You miserable piece of fuck.

    Ah Well! Chelsea and Liverpool lost, We’re closer to St. Totteringham day and Liverpool are just lost out in the tall grass of mid table mediocrity.

    On a different note, I mentioned this earlier but was moderated.

    Thierry Henry travelled over 5000 miles with crazy connections from his MLS game in Utah just to visit his former colleague Fabrice Muamba at the London Chest Hospital. Titi is a Gooner for life.

  159. What a DISASTER for ‘King’ Kenny. Maybe just a pretender tonight?

    Tots continue to totter.

    Chelsea looking very ordinary.

    A very, very good win for our boys, just brilliant.

  160. This was always going to be a lovely night. Sunset, sausages and red, red wine.

    Oh, and Jupiter and Saturn.

  161. St Totts on the cards…

  162. @Stew – That must have been a record for off sides against an opponent. A real masterclass on 1 nil to the Arsenal

  163. And now for another look at the table..

  164. and it would indeed be interesting if we nab 3rd this year, as last year we had a “much better team” with “quality like Cesc, Nasri and Clichy” that is threee first team players that would always be in the lineup out. That was three of our most important players infact.
    Its insane how shipping them out has made us a stronger team(or so it seems at this time).
    How is that even possible??
    Kinda cool though hehe

  165. Wow…this team is the best. A professional performance. The cream always rises to the top. Chelsea and spurs drop points and play each other at the weekend. You couldnt write this script. The cream always rises to the top. COYG. 3rdddddddddddddddddd!!!!!!!!!!!!!!. Thomas rosicky and Ramsey MOTM dominated the midifield and kept running endlessly.

  166. Fantastic sunset here in London tonight Bob – one of the great benefits of loads of pollution!

    From where I was it looked like it was setting on Tottenham’s season …

  167. Ha, great night of football.

    From worrying about other teams results, we are now in the driving seat. Our results are the only ones that matter now.

  168. Darius

    stoke can make it up for us by letting us roll over them at their rugby pitch. 😉

  169. The second half was all Everton but without them having any real chances. Given that I spent the entire time on the edge of my seat, it feels weird that on reflection Szczesny barely had a thing to do.

  170. and they call him King Kenny…………….. bla bla

  171. i think we ground out a result tonight. wasnt the prettiest, but hey, 3 points is 3 points

  172. Another huge night. I almost can’t believe it.

    Still a lot of work to do left mind you.

    We love you Arsenal we do.

  173. Good boy Nasri, we still love you!

    You cunt! 😛

  174. luckily liverpool won the carling cup.. they might not qualify for europe through the right way otherwise!

  175. God Arsene……………………………. we trust in you

  176. A Chelsea win on Saturday would do just fine with me! I think we’d win at home against Villa

  177. I only caught the last 20 mins. In that time, it looked like just a very good team performance with TV and LK in particular, solid as you like. And as much as I was impressed by our gritty win, I just love it when Liverpool lose. How sh*t is the King!!

  178. Oliver Holt’s prediction last week of LFC being in the top 4 seems a little off target now.

    Table starting to look better.

  179. They played superbly tonoght, and interestingly, when in the last few minutes, when they only needed to keep possesssion, they still went for goal……….. fucking quality

  180. King Kenny sounded more like Princess Barbie the perfect bitch for a Sparky Mark Hughes.

    Football first it is, and MOTD at 10:45. I can’t wait to see what that soiled tea bag Hansen and his side kick Lowro will say.

  181. I had both games on tonight, Nasri started and finished really well for City but went missing for a bit in the middle. Sums up his career with us really, glad he scored though. Nice gap starting to open up between the top 4 and the rest, although with Spurs and Chelsea playing each other at the weekend that could soon get narrower. Here’s hoping for a 22 man brawl and points deductions.

  182. Heh, “soiled tea bag” 🙂

  183. As impressive a performance as last year up at Goodison when The Arsenal held on for 1-2.
    Rosicky tick tocking along.
    He’s already signed his contract, right? What’s going on?

  184. Great night, great result, great team, great manager

    Good god I’m happy

    COYG

  185. So long Spuds….See ya next season

  186. Arsenal arise

  187. Crap. ‘Held on’ doesn’t mean they played poorly. You know what I mean, I hope.

  188. All said & done, our finishing looked poor today, & not to happy to point out, it coincided with the return of Aaron..

  189. “IF” we end above Liverpool and Spuds, Chelsea, it might be a good time to reflect on the money the manager of each of these clubs spent over the summer and before. I’d hope we can all reflect on this positively at the end of the season.

  190. Some of you guys should quit commenting during the game cause it is embarassing reading the triumphalism when we win. Obviously Stew is an exception. Just a word of advice.

  191. i am quite impressed that song went for the corner flag.. made up for that earlier stupid pass. 😀

  192. I was almost reminded of the FUlham away game today, We were sensational for the first 30 mins but could not finish. The defence would have learnt from that defeat, solid performance today at the back!

  193. One Song!

  194. Great game tonight. I like to see goals scored but I really am happy when we win scrappy 1 – 0 games. Winning away games against a tough opponent like this is really what separates teams. The good ones can do it and the others can’t. It would be great to score 3 or 4 every game but thats never going to happen. Great day for the team and 3rd is now ours and I really believe we will keep it. The mental strength of this team is such a contrast to last years squad.

  195. dupsffokcuf, That pic at 10:14 is just effing great!

  196. WELL WELL WELL……
    LOOK WHO’S ON THIRD.
    CONGRADULATIONS. ARSENAL….
    HATS OFF. TO THE PLAYERS, AW. AND TRUE SUPPORTERS…
    CONGRADULATIONS……
    ONWARDS. AND. FORWARDS…….. ……..

  197. korihikage the very very occasional missed pass from Alex Song hardly merits one mention never mind repeating it. All players misplace a pass now and then – big deal. Alex was immense tonight. Again.

  198. Mingus

    I remember Thompson saying (couple of seasons ago) about there being, a big 3 of Man U, Chelsea & Liverpool. How some of the so called ‘mighty’ have fallen.

  199. Moe @9.56 – we will never ever agree on that so we better just leave it there.

  200. And that’s it in a nutshell. Liverpool’s devine right to seeing themselves as a big club with a heroic history. They are living in the past. On faded memories. They have fallen, so gradually they haven’t even spotted it yet.

  201. Incredible that on a night like tonight there are still some who prefer to home in on the negatives …

    Glass half full?

    Or just permanently chipped?

  202. dupsffokcuf

    I’ve just heard some Tottenscum apologist refer to the top as the “Top 5” – of course accepting for the fact that one of Spurs oor the Chavs will bite the dust .

    A draw between Spurs and Chelsea is the best result for us on Saturday. Of course, with it being imperative that we take 3 points.

    As for our defence, that’s 7 unbeaten on the run with 4 goals conceded when they’ve played together.

    It really is the first long stretch koscielny and Vermaelen have had together and I make it that they’re currently the best central defensive pairing in the league. Both are 26 and have at least 6 years of top flight defending together. That’s before even considering Mertesacker, Djourou, Miquel and Bartley.

  203. @Orbinho

    Chelsea have only won four of their last 14 Premier League matches. Tottenham have won just two of their last nine Premier League games

  204. Mental strength?
    So if RVP and TV5 picked up injuries for the rest of the season how would the teams strength compare to last seasons? Aw no. ‘They’ need to sign some quality squad players, not deadwood unscouted panic buys the club had never approached before like Arteta and Per.

  205. DS

    Add to that the best RB in the league and one of the best LBs.

  206. congrats to the team. Non-congrats to the officials. That was a really poor performance.
    That penalty incident with Rosicky and the Denthe chap had more contact that both Suarez and Bale of Nazareth’s combined.

    I was concerned with how easily we were conceded possession, but the defense was rock solid. Props to Kos and TV (another goal for the man. has he doubled Torres’ total yet? :))

    Everton played very well too. The pressing was fast and very high up the pitch. Their passing was crisp and they broke down our defense pretty easily, but the back 4 was solid.

  207. hope george gets the news north of the border..

  208. *anti-jinx software applied* Did I ever mention how much I’m loving having Van Persie & Vermealan playing in the same team at the same time. It, it feels like it’s been years!

  209. The thing that makes a great team is the ability to take advantage of good luck and overcome bad luck. We were lucky to have a good goal against us over ruled. I believe the mental strength of this team is such that we would have figured out a way to score a second goal even if the everton goal had been rightfully allowed. Darius, if your on the circumstantial evidence against a conspiracy continues to grow. Why would they ever give us the benefit of the doubt on a borderline call if they really wanted to hurt us?

  210. will the thrill

    apparently vermaelen has got 3 more than torres. i am not sure, just saw it on twitter.

  211. Next two fixtures

    Arsenal
    Villa (H)
    QPR (A)

    Chelsea
    Spurs (H)
    Villa (A)

    Spurs
    Chelsea (A)
    Swansea (H)

    6 points before our game with city..one or both of chelsea and spurs will drop points for sure..this will give us a decent cushion going into the last 7 games of the season..

    We have 3 more tricky ties..City (H), Chelsea (H), and Stoke (A)..

  212. liverpool made oliver holt look like the biggest fool

  213. shottagunna

    So we can’t commentate on whats happening even if it is true that the game was edgy and could have gone either way sometimes? So then we win and we can’t celebrate and be happy because we were stating what was happening in the game even if it was negative?

    Get off your high horse man!
    Jeez

  214. < in the same team at the same team *in their proper positions. RVP: where he wants. Tommy: in defence, none of this full backing around the place.*

  215. Dups – that must be close to relegation form (for Spuds and the Chavs)? They won’t actually get relegated but their form must be close(ish) to those about to fall out of the league?

    Will be interesting to see who will be the next manager to leave. I can’t quite see LIverpool sacking Daglish but they clearly need to and ‘Arry is fast becoming a liability what with the England nonsense following on from the court nonsense following on ….

  216. dupsffokcuf

    I really do like the way Jethro is slowly but surely growing into that left back position. In fact, I’m happy for Brazil to wait his turn and for there to be healthy competition.

    All that’s left for us this season is to slowly re-introduce Diaby and Li’l Jack Willy. I’m desperate to see a midfield of Song, diaby and Li’l Jack – especially against rugby teams like Stoke. But even with battling teams like Everton, that trio will own that midfield. They all can attack with gusto, go into the *onaldino play making mode, defend their turf while starting up new attacks, get into the “fuck you” mode by grabbing the game by the scruff of the neck, individually they can caress and seduce the ball with panache and stickability and driving from deep, are an unknown quantity for bus parking motherfuckers.

    Did I mention Li’l Mozart and Rambo can slot in seamlessly into that midfield or provide the necessary releif? Or try Le Coq for a bit of nous and finess wrapped around a dogged determination, or the brute force and “in your face” attitude of a no-nonsense Gooner in Frimpong? And then Wenger still threatens to bring in Goetze or Martin.

    Can’t wait for the next Arsenal game.

  217. great win tonight, not all eleven will play well every but its important that they all work hard and at least one unit def,mid,attack stays strong . forwards nor prolific tonight and should have scored more from chances created , midfield tired and were struggling second half , defence so good i cant even make a comment on szecz

  218. Can’t wait either Darius.

    What a team we’ve got.

  219. If this Chelsea team make it past Benfica in the Champions league and Barcelona beat Milan as expected, Lionel the Messiah is going to orchestrate a proper ass fucking of Chelsea without the courtesy of any lubrication.

  220. Darius

    i hope benfica will do them.

  221. Fabrics moving and talking?? couldn’t be happier. This is nothing short of a MIRACLE. thank GOD. THANK YOU for all your positive thoughts and prayers. Truly. Amazing. So happy we didn’t lose this young man.

  222. hope george gets the news north of the border..”

    I’m afraid he’ll have to wait until tomorrow at 10.00 am. The library is the only place in the prison where there’s internet access on one 28.8K analogue modem attached to an old pentium machine donated by the Sisters of Guayando. It closes everyday at 4.00 pm.

  223. poor george. if iw ere him, i would be tossing about in bed, wondering whats the score.

  224. liverpool made oliver holt look like the biggest fool”

    Ollie Holt is just a cunt hair away from mediocrity.

  225. heh 28.8k modem…i didn’t know there was a precursor to the 56k!

  226. will the thrill

    Good god man! Can you even load text? 😀

  227. Hahaha, there’s always time for lube. Hahaha
    And ARSENAL FUTURE LOOKS ABSOLUTELY SUMPTUOUS…
    LETS FINISH THIS YEAR AS STRONGLY AS WE POSSIBLY CAN.
    against all odds and back from the abyss….
    UP. THE. GUNS!!!!!!!!!!

  228. @Will – I’ve even used a 14.4K modem in 1994 with my first internet computer using a Compuserve account. I wonder what happened to them…LOL.

  229. mattgoonerknight

    If only some of players were good enough to get into the super spuds team – we could be behind ourselves in the league like the rest of the previous 15 seasons ; )

    MIND THE GAP!!!!!!

    Buzzing.

    OTBAG!!!

  230. mattgoonerknight

    some of our players

  231. Mark Hughes is grinning like a Cheshire cat on MOTD’s post match interview.

  232. get in there..

  233. I’ve still got a 2100 baud modem from my CPC days. 😆

  234. I am currently crying, crying tears of joy. TV and Kos are mental,

    Arsene knows

  235. Anyone see Moyes screaming at his players to, “get stuck into them”. Typical dinosaur.

  236. Just watched the game. 3rd and the Spuds sneak a draw, Chavs lose. 🙂 welcome back Tevez you nutter!!! Vermaelen and Koscielny were amazing, Gibbs and Sagna were also rampant down the wings. Loved seeing Vermaelen score but seriously, what the hell was he doing around the 75′ hovering aound the edge of their box on the left wing? Sure he put in 2 great crosses but WTF? Who does he think he is, Andre Santos?

    That table does look good though, doesn’t it? 😀

  237. Speaking of tables, I just had a quick look at the Eredivise standings in Holland and wow is it close! Check it out:

    1) AZ Alkmaar 53pts
    2) Ajax 52pts
    3) Twente Enschede 51pts
    4) PSV Eindhoven 51pts
    5) Feyenoord 48pts
    6) Heerenveen 48pts

  238. Limestonegunner

    The table looks gorgeous, Irish! Perfect set up for the home Villa match. I am going to sing my heart, lungs–the whole Cairo-pulmonary system–out!! Second row behind the goal in the clock end–the players are going to hear me!

    What determination this team is showing. But no time for overconfidence. Villa is no banker–it will be a hard fight, I suspect. We had a tough game away in the league and had to come back to win in the FA cup. Hopefully the Ox and Santos play, as they are two new favorites this season behind the legend that is RvP.

  239. Limestonegunner

    I feel obliged to pull for Feyenoord because of RvP and young Ryo.

  240. LSG – Nah, screw Feyenoord! I used to follow Dutch football like a madman in the eighties and loved PSV, especially when Hiddink was their manager and to a lesser extent Robson. Ronald Koeman was brilliant back then, long before he became a big lazy fat bastard. And they also had the great Romario too, such a joy to watch 🙂

  241. Limestonegunner

    True, PSV had those glory days with the exciting Brazilians. Ronaldo played there too, didn’t he?

    But who couldn’t love Ajax’s tradition and the fact that Bergkamp became a legend there? So much to like about the Dutch football tradition.

  242. Limestonegunner

    Cairo-pulmonary should read cardio-pulmonary! auto-correct comes up with some extraordinary combinations–it’s creating a new form of free verse poetry!

  243. I have to say it does feel much better looking down on the Spuds 🙂

    1 Man Utd 29 46 70
    2 Man City 29 50 69
    3 Arsenal 29 19 55
    4 Tottenha 29 18 54
    5 Chelsea 29 15 49
    6 Newcastle 29 0 47
    7 Liverpool 29 6 42
    8 Swansea 29 0 39
    9 Sunderland 29 3 37
    10 Everton 29 -4 37
    11 Stoke 29 -12 37
    12 Fulham 29 -3 36
    13 West Brom 29 -3 36
    14 Norwich 29 -7 36
    15 Aston Villa 28 -4 33
    16 Blackburn 29 -18 28
    17 QPR 29 -18 25
    18 Bolton 28 -26 23
    19 Wigan 29 -29 22
    20 Wolves 29 -33 22

    And can I just say well done to QPR for coming back from 2-0 down with 14 minutes to go, to beat Liverpool 3-2 and once again show the world what a tool King Kenny really is!!

    And now that you have served your purpose and beaten Liverpool. piss off back to the Championship where you belong and take Joey Barton and Mark Hughes with you please. Oh yea and tell Big Sham Allardyce that The Arsenal say: ” @^&# you! You *&^#^@ *!! ” Trust me, he will know what it means 🙂

  244. LSG – “Cairo pulmonary” – at least it sounds exotic 🙂 Yea they had Ronaldo too, and who can forget Ruud Gullit. Some cracking players. Ajax of course are the more famous club but I was just of an age that I got hooked on PSV and would watch them with as much zeal as I did The Arsenal. Very similar time period for both clubs with respect to success in the late 80’s, early 90’s.

    Jusr re-read your earlier post, are you going to the match LSG?

  245. It is hard not to feel that Fabrice Muamba is not somehow eternally linked to Arsenal. After all we have both been precipitously declared dead this season and then visited by Thierry Henry as part of our resurrection.

    Maybe what that ‘Buddha’ of the game shared with them both is something that, given his own heart problems earlier this year, Aunty ‘Arry should have been able to impart to the Spuds.

    As Edwin Shneidman put it:

    ” Dying is the one thing – perhaps the only thing – in life that you don’t have to do”

    It would be a Lol moment if it wasn’t so sad!

  246. Surely the talk now has got to be: How do we bridge the gap between us and the Mancs before the beginning of next season?

    Bring on the Man-Sour game, let’s measure it now and see if we need Podolski or Goetze.

    One thing you can almost guarantee about that game is that Nasri will choke. Choker.

    If they play him. Lol

  247. I’m so looking forward to the game against City. With our momentum and our renewed determination, they will be wary of the fact that Arsenal are going to have a say as to where the league title will end.

    It’s really great to have a consistent back 5 (including Tech 9). Solid, unbeaten and a joy to watch when they go into “I’ll be damned if you think we’re losing this game” mode. Koscielny and Vermaelen were excellent last night and so were Sagna and Jethro on the flanks.

  248. I missed why he is called Jethro?

    As stated yesterday. We are ‘all’ happy with the back line as it stands and love Jenks and the Saint too. It is behind Mertersacker that makes me queasy.

    That match is more than about the momentum. It is a real opportunity to show us where we have got to and how much work is needed to be done.

    I say more strength to the squad, but we have Jack and Diaby to come back. Both of whom i like.

  249. SA Gooner

    Gibb’s nickname of Jethro comes from the character Leeroy Jethro Gibbs of NCIS

  250. To see Arsenal edging into third knowing Spurs and Chelsea Daves fight it out in a few days is like a very decent coffee and whisky, late in the afternoon as the sun dips, after an extremely satisfying 5 course meal (Newcastle ribs, Liverpool fried fish, Milanese pasta with butter artichoke hearts etc), washed down with endless bottles of shiraz.

    Still we are only as secure as our next game and we ought to know how quickly it all changes in football, one game and you’re back in grey being chased down by man-killing wolves. Two and you’re fighting for your survival. There’s still very little in it until we put 4 points between ourselves and Spurs, 7 over Chelsea Daves. Come on Muamba!

    We have a three very, very tricky fixtures coming our way, in two of which facing what the opposition will consider must-win games but points can be dropped unexpectedly in the non-tricky fixtures. The key, I hope Bill has noted – he should – is this current back four, and their extraordinary little run within a run. Check the GD for the top two guys to see the real benchmark +46 and +50. We are on +19.

  251. Suga 3

    “I fart in your general direction!”

  252. Zim

    Sold. I will have that banquet on the patio tonight.

    But you seem to be suggesting that somehow we were going to make it to this stage, but will struggle from here on in.

    Look at these last two fixtures. Everton were one place higher than Stoke and Stoke was the only home advantage that the Spuds have on their fixture list (we play them away). Their ‘easier’ run in is being whittled away with each fixture. While we win.

    For every team, every win at this stage in the season is a prize. Remember the end of the unbeaten season – the banana skins that lay ahead – the trials they overcame.

    It is the skill, management, drive and dogged perseverance that Sol Campell was talking about the other day that wins.

    …and what are we without that anyway? It was the main complaint (from me) with team Cesc.

  253. So Tevez is a HERO now! and the title race is blown wide open by him is it?
    Jesus…!

    Great 1 nil win last night. A back 5 in top form

  254. Spot on Irish. Spot on. Hahaha

  255. Enjoy the match Limestone. Hope it stays fine.

  256. Zimpaul ,you forgot mashedspuds. I like the cooked in butter. Nice and tasty. And then fart in the general direction of. Le grove. Yes, mashed potatoes. Gooooood

  257. We deserve these good times. Cheers. They put us through hell only a few months ago. And we stuck by the team and AW. with each and everyone. Congratulations to us too and enjoy the ride kids. I see us closing the gap on the mancs too. Shoot, football is a crazy game. Strange things can happen between. Now and end of season. And next year with this core and add on a Polanski, well I see us challenging on all fronts and establishing dominance. Hearhear. Ahmen.

  258. Somehow, I can’t see LIMESTONE getting too crazy and losing it during the game against VILLA. He is after all a professor. HUNTER on the other hand is totally capable of taking it to the limit. Hahaha. Enjoy the game limmy .im so envious.

  259. i was reading Arrys comments that their last 3 games werent exactly 9 points ‘you were looking at’

    and all the talk about run-ins made me decide to look at the past few games we and the spuds played.

    we played: everton away, newcastle at home, liverpool away, spuds at home, sunderland away, blackburn at home, bolton away, united at home

    they played: stoke at home, everton away, united at home, us, newcastle at home, liverpool away, wigan at home, city away

    basically we played the same 5 ties. the result? we got 12 points, they got 4

    bolton away is akin to stoke at home. we both got 1 points

    blackburn at home is akin to wigan at home. we both won.

    so teh difference is that we went to sunderland, while they went to city. of course city is more difficult, but going to that pitch wasnt easy. we got 3 points, they got none.

    so in the last 8 games, we have had a similar run-in. they only had one game which was tougher than ours (their game against city). judging by that, we should have gained only 6 points on them (plus the derby)

    the damage was done when they couldnt match our results at mersey side. that blew them 5 points.

    so i don’t think anyone could really argue that we were able to make up so much ground because we had an easier run-in. the fact is that we basically played the same teams in the same circumstance (ie home or away)

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