Arsenal Avoid Sticky Situation With Toffees And Head To Top Three

Everton 0 – 1 Arsenal

0 – 1 Vermaelen (8)

As Tottenham’s capitulation continued unabated, Arsenal emerged victorious from Goodison Park and catapulted themselves into third place. It was almost the perfect night as Stoke came within ninety seconds of giving Arsenal a two point advantage; it was not to be but with six points now the gap to fifth place, ambitions of Champions League football are not so fanciful as was claimed two months ago.

It was not a pretty and overwhelming victory. Arsenal started the brighter of the two sides and were in charge for the opening twenty minutes or so. Ramsey should have done considerably better from van Persie’s knockdown. Tomas Rosicky’s continued good form provided prompting, the Czech gliding across the turf like the notes of a long-lost Danube waltz in the Prague air.

Ramsey’s next effort fared no better, a crucial deflection sending the ball out of harm’s way. It proved vital. van Persie’s corner was excellently curled in and Vermaelen timed his run to perfection, guiding his header powerfully home.

Fully deserved, Arsenal set about improving their lead. van Persie and the ebullient Ramsey both had efforts blocked; the visitors were in the ascendency and Evertonian concerns manifested in the increased tetchiness of their manager.

Leon Osman offered the first spark to bring colour back to blue shirts, heading wide before the first contentious decision from the officials was made. Royston Drenthe burst through from midfield and slotted home a perfectly good equaliser. The Grand Old Lady rocked, it’s facade hiding contempt for the Assistant whose archaic interpretation of the offside rule meant that Jelavic’s harmless amble behind the Arsenal centre-backs was deemed to be interfering with play. Drenthe gained the benefit of the doubt when Rosicky tumbled in the area later on; guilt or objective refereeing? Everton sought to wrestle the ascendency from Arsenal but almost paid the price as Howard fumbled a save from Rosicky.

The interval came at the right moment for the visitors, allowing them to regroup before the second half. Everton had not lost any of the momentum of the final stages of the first half, Laurent Koscielny made an important interception as Pienaar threatened whilst Szczesny was not deceived by Fellaini’s shot.

In truth there was precious little accuracy in anyone’s shooting, mainly due to intelligent and desperate defending. As much as Everton threatened, the imperious partnership of Koscielny and Vermaelen strangled their attacking threat. The opposite Evertonian numbers  threw bodies in the way and shackled Robin van Persie as best they could. The change in fortunes from January could not be more marked; if the Dutchman did not score then Arsenal were in trouble. Now he has a rival for his goalscoring crown.

Neither side really came close to changing the final score, Drenthe and van Persie held a private competition to see who could clear the bar by the biggest margin; neither wanted to claim that honour.

Post match, Arsène played heavily on the mental attitude of his charges,

We were resilient, focused and with a great desire to defend. Our defence played very well tonight. I felt it was a bit psychological – we refused to play because we just wanted to keep the score. Credit to Everton they played very well in the second half.

This was not an easy fixture for Arsenal. Everton had obtained wins against three of the top five which indicates the impressive nature of the result. The performance was pleasing; it was a ‘bits and pieces’ win. It was at once flowing and attritional. Everton were subservient in the first half, matched by their later belligerence.

It did however prove that this squad is determined to keep the good form going. In that they are showing more character than last season even though they are further from the top than at a comparable stage.  Yet no two seasons are the same which renders judgement about performance more difficult.

All we can do is applaud the team for their recovery from a desperate start to the season and a similar trough in January. They have continued to plough their furrow in the Premier League irrespective of the wayward distractions of other tournaments. That single-mindedness will stand them in good stead for the final stages of the season.

’til Tomorrow.

 

Posted on March 22, 2012, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Soccer and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 216 Comments.

  1. third 🙂

  2. weird .. I sware to God I didn’t write that “first” probably traveled back in time to post that comment. 😐

  3. 2nd…Morning YW.. An inspiring win….

  4. So let me get this right. Third is the new first whilst first is the new second and second is the new fourth. Confused? You will be after today’s episode of A Cultured Left Foot

  5. Can anyone explain why Big Brovar’s post reads better in the accent of a hysterical woman from Alabama?

  6. Great win at a difficult ground to get a result. Spuds are tanking at the moment, hopefully clear daylight can be opened up between us and them and Chelsea at the weekend, I would expect that they’ll get a point maximum at Stamford Bridge.

  7. 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)

  8. looking forward, i think they have an easier run-in

    we both play chelsea. they go to sunderland while we go to stoke.

    the difference is that we still have to host shitty.

  9. Morning all. Another good review YW.

    Well done to the guys last night in a really hard game. Also well done to the Arsenal Ladies for reaching the semi-finals of the Women’s Champions League

  10. I think we are seeing the benefits of last summers departures of the ‘nearly men’, those who, despite very considerable talent, didn’t have what it takes and blinked in adversity. Arsene saw that and the clear out followed and stronger characters brought in who have, in their way, bolstered the squad spirit.

    BB is revealed as the fat maid in Tom and Jerry. Must be getting on a bit now.

  11. I like to read his post’s in vocal stylings of the woman from Tom & Jerry.

    This season is fucking rubbish BTW.

    I’m off to invest in a bin bag company.

    Sack the medical team.

    Send Pat Rice to the farm.

    Wenger out.

  12. Anyway, enough trivia.

    Consolsle back today so must catch up on the housework.

    Vacuum, dust, clean fireplace, get rid of empty bottles behind sofa.

    A man’s work is never done.

  13. consolslel’s been to the Big City.

  14. Last nights formation really was so fluid. We had fullbacks in Sagna and Gibbs who often became wingers and the furthest forward players. We had 2 dominant centrehalves in Kos and Verm who carried the ball into midfield and made maurading runs forward for a potshot or 2. We had 2 ‘holding’ midfielders in Song and Arteta who for large spells dominated the midfield and push us forward but also filled in as emergency centrehalves. We had 2 ‘central’ midfielders in Ramsey and Rosicky who at times made it a narrowish midfield 4 while also adopting an inside forward role or the no10 role behind RVP. We had Theo starting in a wide right role but with licence to go beyond RVP centrally, while also backing up Sagna at right back. Then we had a No9 RVP leading the line and a No10 pulling some strings a little deeper. Add to that the assurance of Szcz between the sticks. And not to mention some great grafting when needed during some pressure spells from Everton.

  15. @WhoScored

    Everton 0-1 Arsenal: Everton managed just 1 shot on target last night – their only shot on target in 2 matches against Arsenal this season

  16. Consols – I don’t envy you at all. I think men should be given a ‘Return of the Missus’ check list to make sure they cover all their basis.

    The one that really gets me is “why didn’t you scrub the bathroom while I was away”.

    Professional performance last night. Isn’t that what they say it’s stuff that makes champions? What I like most about yesterday’s performance is the maturity the team showed in knowing when it was time to shut shop, button down the hatches and secure the 3 points because it was time to stop the jiggery pokery and fanciful football and time for a nonsense “we’ll be damned if we’re not leaving here with these 3 points”.

    And as you say Consols, getting rid of that talented lot that had issues digging in when we needed a performance in the trenches might just have been the blessing in disguise needed to change our fortunes.

  17. “ebullient” today, eh Yogi?

    I like Ramsey out wide, said last week I think he has the tools to play there and I didn’t want to see Rosicky dropped so glad we started both of them.

    Stoke surprised the hell outta me last night. They have nothing really to play for in the league, but it was one of the most ambitious lineups I’ve seen from Pulis. And they had a real go bless ’em. Away from home too!

  18. “the Czech gliding across the turf like the notes of a long-lost Danube waltz in the Prague air.” – Poetic and true, YW!

    This is the kind of game we’d lost last season, the pressure prompting some unfortunate gaffe, be it defenders bumbling into each other and leaving the stiker to score, or a last minute handball in the penalty area or any one of a thouand misfortunes that beset us last season. For all of Everton’s endeavor last night, we never looked like conceding, did we?

  19. That brought a tear to my eyes dups. Thinking of all those poor children in rags because ‘Marie’ Pulis, of blessed fame, couldn’t pass around the bucket at half time.

    As for those poor investors in the mega business that is Stoke City and obviously he couldn’r employ a local chauffeur because they are all crooks. This is the midlands after all.

    That judge makes Solomon a run for his money. A very, very wise man indeed.

  20. Well, unlike Yogi, who, after only ten years in harness, is barely broken in, I am fully responsive to the whip.

    I just clean everything. Plus with the polytunnel up I have a few brownie points in the bank.

  21. 1-0 to the Arsenal that’s good enough for me anyday. Regarding Evertons disallowed goal if the linesman’s interpretation of this offside was wrong the Ref could have consulted with him and overruled? he was well sighted. Jelavic was standing on the edge of six yard box in front of goal not out on the wing to me that’s interfering with play. I don’t need an explanation of the offside rule, Jelavic didn’t get the ball and all that,

  22. It’s definitely no coincidence that having a few more experienced heads in the side is enabling us to close out games like this. Over and above the experience signed in the Summer, having the likes of van Persie, Vermaelen and Rosciky fit and playing regularly helps hugely in this regard.

  23. I’ve found this gem of a quote from Suga3, written on January 31st in response to my statement that we will finish 3rd or 4th:

    “3rd?

    ‘scuse me

    bwahahahahahahaha, hahahahahahahahaha, hahahahahahahahhahahaha!

    *cough*

    mwahahahahahahaha!”

    And another one from him:

    “Evil,

    there is no chance we will finish 3rd, we are 10 points off the third placed Sp*ds, no way they will drop 11 more points between now and the end of May!”

    Can anyone explain me how one can be an Arsenal fan while at the same time having more faith and belief in Sp*rs? This somehow just does not add up for me.

    I do hope Yogi is not going to mind my gloating, but I can’t help myself when my team is doing so well!

  24. Yesterday’s formation was what Arsene tried to do against Milan, closing all the spaces and try to get a result. Unfortunately not successful at Milan (fuck that pitch, and offside goal and non penalty)

    Excellent result yesterday

    Gibbs is starting to look really impressive again, not so sure Santos is going to be first choice LB anymore. Healthy competition for both of them

  25. consolsbob at 9:43 am
    Agreed. Great fighting performance by our boys last night in contrast to last year’s whimpering, dispirited implosion. Shows up the gutless, spineless qualities of the departed Cesc and Nasri in particular. However we would be guilty of rewriting history by implying that Wenger deliberately targeted the two as part of the clear out. I suspect the selling of Clichy and moving on of Bendtner, Denilson and Eboue (must admit the latter two were among my faves) count as part of a deliberate strategy.

  26. Evil, I don’t think anyone can hold that gloating against you. Every single one of us should repost that comment the next time SUGA3 turns up.

  27. Evil at 10:40 am
    No you are not gloating. Damned by their own words. Remember Suga is among the key ideologues and propagandists at that sewer pit blog, le grave. Unfortunately, there is/was a minority willing to give these extremists the benefit of the doubt..

  28. 1-0 to the Arsenal!!

  29. Why am I in moderation?

  30. Reading a few Arsenal blogs today, I wonder if we actually won last night! Many are urging caution against complacency which is understandable. But as fans, if we are not going to be enjoy a hard-fought win, what exactly is the point, anyway?

  31. we do have a much harder run in, however if your playing well games become easier if your playing badly games become harder keeping momentem and players fit is key like they say one game at a time with each win creating more pressure for the spuds and chelski

  32. Yes, I was going to add that caveat shotta but couldn’r make up my mind.

    Yes, Arsene made public statements about them staying but I wonder.

    I think he hoped Fabregas could be talked around although he must have known that he wanted to go. As for Nasri, perhaps he was always going to sell him. After all he got the top price.

    Whatever. It’s working out alright now. We’ll probably never know the full story.

  33. Don’t know shotta, looking into it.

  34. Which big city would that be Bob – Exeter? Presume that is one big sofa you’ve got down there?!

    Good write up YW, thanks, didn’t see the game – about to watch highlights on MotD (assuming I can stomach Alan ‘no footballing brain’ Hansen).

    Still a long long way to go but the biggest difference between AFC this and last season is we now have momentum whilst our nearest and un-dearest are losing or have already lost theirs.

    At this stage in recent seasons I think the side has been losing traction, faith and belief but the current squad seem light years ahead of their predecessors. It’s not just the physical side, but, as AW rightly says, the mental toughness and resilience is present – and in bucket loads.

    Very impressive – and will only improve as the absentees return to the fold.

    BTW, am I the only one who can not now log in to the site and make comments via my iPhone – no great loss to anybody if it is just me but just wondering? Even on my laptop I have to log in each time whereas previously it was automatic.I wonder if this is having an impact on the number of people able to make comments?

  35. meerkats ghost

    Darius, the prison has allowed my 1 hour internet time

    For all the Nasri kicking that has gonr on over the last 2 days ,he has dished up his own humble pie last night,no?

    BTW Dennis Bergkamp is the greatest player of all time,pffft Messi.

  36. gibbs showed some skills when he dribbled up the pitch, didnt he? always thought hes a more natural attacker than sagna.

  37. meerkats ghost

    Darius, the prison has allowed my 1 hour internet time

    For all the Nasri kicking that has gonr on over the last 2 days ,he has dished up his own humble pie last night,no?

    BTW Dennis Bergkamp is the greatest player of all time,pffft Messi.

    PS sorry Yogi.multi posts and that!

  38. dupps

    i watched the ladies game. gritty result as well. want to give a shoutout to the fans who were in sweden. heard them clearly in the livestream.

    fantastic night for the Arsenal family!

  39. meerkats ghost

    “Yeah but they have been telling us for last few years that we have plenty of money for any transfer (short of insane money) and Ivan threw out a figure of 50M available for transfers before we sold Cesc and Nasri. Interesting times these are. Trying to figure out what is really going on is a full time job these days.

    Bill,how the hell did you get away with posting that crap the other day?
    I will be back tomorrow with time to take you to task on it.
    Bad Bill.

  40. Exeter? I’m a Plymouth boy. Exeter is where all the people who fancy themselves live, only a small town really.

    No, she was actually in London, Andrew. Well, visiting an aunt on her way to her cousin in Broxbourne anyway. God forsaken dump that it is.

  41. Good spot Evil!

    Lets see how the SUGA man explains that away…

  42. After our struggles, there is much to be proud about this group of players.

    Still hoping for either City or United to struggle down the stretch and give us a tease at 2nd.

    Clean sheet against Everton, great effort from our MIDFIELD and DEFENDERS.

    The front line proved to be the weak link in our attack last night. What should have been a comfortable lead after the first 20 minutes, Arsenal manager, staff, and fans were kept, well doing what we’ve been accustomed to doing over the past 4 seasons, sweating out the final whistle.

    Personally, I would have liked to have seen Gervinho and Chamberlain come on at the hour mark. I feel their presence would have made the last 30 minutes much less demanding for our defense and certainly more relaxing for myself.

    9 matches remaining and with a healthy squad brimming with confidence, 25 or 27 points is not out of the question.

  43. So the Momentum issue was not a problem last night. We looked focused, resilliant and up for it. I think having our sites set on 3rd is helping the team gel even further. It’s certainly a major contributing factor in our consistent run of great results recently. I always thought the tiny totts would fade. At their peak this season, when admittedly, they were playing some pretty decent football, Hansen and co were going on about the incredible speed of their play. Which was true….but also the clue to their current demise. They couldn’t possibly keep up that level over the course of the season. They may come good again, but I suspect not. Our current winning streak is based on our full-on committed performances…because we have to. We’ve got no choice. But the question I am posing is, can we play with similar intensity throughout a season? (including the CL games etc) Because, that’s what is needed for us to get closer to the Manc clubs and further from the two other London clubs. Which has got to be the aim for next season I would have thought.

  44. YW – Why do we have to log in to WordPress now to be able to post a comment?

    Great to grind out a 1-0 win away from home, I must admit, I was a little suprised by the inclusion of Ramsey.

    Not due to his place in the side, but due to moving TR7 wide – as he had been brilliant in his previous games centrally.

    But having won, I now see the error in my way’s of doubting the Boss’ line up.

    Yes, yes, I know – I should know better.

  45. I was not sure if Rosicky was playing that much wide. To be honest, even having watched the game, I don’t know what shape we were having.

  46. The Blue Danube waltz heh, Yogi. My favourite classical. Credit to everyone involved with the arsenal, most especially Wenger and to you Yogi, thanks.
    Good day @all.

  47. I would like to give a special mention to Gibbs, who was outstanding going forward and solid defensively. At times yesterday, especially in the first 30 minutes or so when we were battering them, he was playing more akin to a wing-back and that very effectively. Once again doubters have been proven wrong by a player finally getting a good run in the side. At present I am not sure who’d make a better first choice, him or Brazil. Good headache to have!

  48. As for having both Rosicky and Ramsey in the XI … I am not too sure if Rosicky was actually playing out wide, but at the same time I also saw Ramsey going through the middle several times. Maybe they rotated on the flank? Despite watching the match I still don’t know exactly which shape the team had on the pitch.

  49. meerkats ghost

    “Despite watching the match I still don’t know exactly which shape the team had on the pitch”

    Yes Evil,it must be a problem for the other team then?

  50. At the risk of YW’s ire, one person who should be gloating loud and shamelessly is G69. He long predicted the demise of the Spuds (and Chelsea for that matter). Pity he took his differences with some weak-kneed supporters too personally.
    Now I know we are not home and dried and I just hope our boys don’t become complacent.

  51. I thought Ramsey tended to cut in from the left.

  52. i think the last games we have won.. we have won them in all the ways possible

    liverpool. never quite in the game, and then a last-minute winner to grab all 3 points.

    blackburn. one way traffic from start to end, with the goals to show for.

    newcastle. had all the game, but had to wait till the last kick to get 3 points.

    spuds. derby. come back from behind thrashing.

    and last night, blistering start, but in the end, professional display to see off the game.

    would be nice to see more of the blackburn-type wins though 🙂

  53. Didn’t get to see the match last night but from what i keep hearing damn proud of them. Most important thing, WE ARE IN 3RD PLACE!!!! I’m not really fond of having both Rosicky and Ramsey in the same side with Arteta when we have a healthy Ox or Gervinho but again that doesn’t matter because last year we wouldn’t have won this match and last year we weren’t playing this well at this time of year but its a different year a different Captain leading the troops and most importantly, WE ARE IN 3RD PLACE!!! Honestly i was at work and when i got the score here in the States I jumped on my desk and started dancing and waving the 1st red and white thing(a piece of paper i was drawing on while my boss was boring us in another meeting) and shouted to whoever heard me that Arsenal have risen from the dead with their Guns aimed and firing taking on and taking down all competition. This season more than any has made me even prouder to be a Gooner from relegation zone to 3rd place who would of thought, ONLY THE TRUE GOONERS!!!!!

  54. ramsey will get the goals.. he is getting into the position. our midfielders are getting into scoring positions. that’s the positive thing.

    if you dont even get into those positions, you have no chance.

    there was once when gervinho found his way into the box but chose to pass. i wished he had gone for it. a goal would do his confidence wonders.

    am i imagining things or are our defenders scoring quite a few goals lately?

  55. meerkats ghost

    Hello Northbank1969

  56. @Korihikage

    You aren’t imagining things and what makes it even better is there scoring goals off of corners!!! remember when part of our problem was we couldn’t even get a shot on goal from a corner and now look at us!!!!! we rounded into form at just the right time and its truly a beautiful thing to witness!

  57. korihikage

    Stop being greedy. Expecting a Blackburn type win every game is like expecting that your wife will be beautiful every morning that she wakes up next to you. Even though you know she’s drop dead gorgeous, that feeling doesn’t cut every morning.

  58. Still mighty impressed what five Evertonians can’t stop one Verminator from scoring.

  59. Fantastic game yesterday. The type of game we have to be able to win to ever really want to challenge for 1st place again. The biggest difference between this season and seasons past is that I never really was worried about us conceding that late goal that had killed us so many times in the past. Despite the stats, this team is a much better defensive team.

    I have to admit that I would never have believed we would be in 3rd place by now. The last several games have seen us overcome some bad luck with undeserved penalties, most notably Suarez’s dive and the last two games we took advantage of some better luck. Thats what good teams do. I wish we could bottle whatever mental strength and belief is sitting somewhere between our players ears right now. Great stuff, and lets hope we can finish the season this way.

  60. Darius

    oh dear.. i was hoping we could sneak 2nd.

    dont worry, i am not under any illusions. we have finally reached a position where we want to be. now all the pressure will be on us to keep it. so lets make sure we do that.

  61. C

    i think it was noticed from a couple of weeks ago the movement at the setpieces. we were getting close, but still not scoring. and now we are.

    so same thing about our midfielders. i think they will get some goals soon.

  62. Darius

    anyway, i said ‘more’.. not ‘every’.

    no game is easy in the premiership. i don’t expect to win 5-0 every game. in fact i would rather take 5 1-0s than one 5-0 and 4 0-0s.

    but just saying it would be great if we win big again at one of the upcoming home games.

  63. Bill

    indeed, it came early. i thought the best chance would be at the weekend when the spuds play the chavs. but as it turns out, the weekend would be the perfect opportunity to consolidate our position.

  64. Shotta @ 12:15:

    “one person who should be gloating loud and shamelessly is G69. He long predicted the demise of the Spuds (and Chelsea for that matter)”.

    G69 has been predicting the demise of every team above us in the table and our ascending to total dominance for more then 4 years. If you keep predicting the same thing forever you will eventually get 1 right. Hopefully his prediction about us will come true some time during our lifetime and then he can take credit for that one too. 🙂

  65. @korihikage

    I completely agree and when they do get one(even though slowly they’ve gotten a couple) they will start to flow.

  66. Another thing that I like about this team that i have been on record as saying is that we can now win if RVP doesn’t score(not that i want him to stop). We now have players scoring goals whether it be Rosicky, Theo, Ox, our back 4; we are becoming less overly reliant on our Captain for scoring but it is making our team even that more dangerous. I mean is Gervinho and Ramsey and Arteta can start finding the back of the net consistenly or atleast getting them on target thus leading to more rebound goals and with poulchers like RVP, Ox and with the likes of Theo and Gervinho getting there we should be able to cleanup nicely.

    I feel like Arsenal should put a phoenix somewhere in our logo because we were left for dead and buried in relegation zone and like a true Phoenix we rose from the ashes better and stronger and taking revenge on all those that doubted us and bashed and thrashed us at our lowest!!!

  67. korihikage @12.37

    bucket loads of sweets in your mouth if our midfield starts to score again

  68. Bill 12.33 “I have to admit that I would never have believed we would be in 3rd place by now. The last several games have seen us overcome some bad luck with undeserved penalties…etc..”

    I thought Jelavic’s awesome attempt at diving for a pen, (across the path of an aware T. Vermaelen) was going to be one of those too, Bill. It was worthy of a booking but didn’t get one..

  69. ‘Arry’ to his missus “..eeh honey, tell Rosie to make that bank transfer by noon please”. Missus: “but you have told her like a thousand times already!” ‘Arry’: “Just remind her, you know how dogs easily forget when they are on heat”

  70. Kori @ 12:41:

    Not sure what to hope for this weekend. Chavs win or a draw both acceptable. Spuds win probably the least favorable result. Either way it consolidates our top 4 position.

  71. Did I hear on MotD that the Szcz-Sagna-Kos-Verm-Gibbs back 5 is currently undefeated in the league?

  72. One thing this season has convinced me of is a long held suspicion I’ve had that you shouldn’t put unsettled individuals above team chemistry. When a player wants to go, get rid and move the hell on with as little drama as possible.

  73. Mingus @ 1:05:

    In real time (especially from the camera angle behind the play where the ref is positioned) it looked like Suarez was tripped and the penalty deserved. It wasn’t until we saw a couple replays that it became obvious what a flop it was. Jelavic’s dive was no where near as convincing.

  74. I don’t know how many follow American football. I have never been a fan mostly because I love baseball and futbol and don’t have time or energy for american football. It a gross overgeneralization but I have always thought that football players are a bunch of steroid crazed lunatics who take great joy in hurting someone. I was very pleased with the NFL’s decision regarding bounty-gate. I wish FIFA, EUFA and the English FA would grow those size cajones and start dishing out heavy punishing bad fouls both at the time of the incident and retrospectively when appropriate.

  75. nola,

    i think in fact it is 7 wins, 1 draw so far.

  76. Bill, Mingus

    that is why there should be retrospective punishment for diving.

  77. @Bill

    Living in the states and following American Football closely, i tend to agree with it as well outside of the Owner getting the least of the sentencing since he was the one that was signing the checks for the “cash prizes”. Yea the problem with FIFA, UEFA and English FA is that the same people that run those are the same people who are stuck in their ways and are more worried about other stupid stuff like protecting the powerful.

  78. Clerkenwell Gooner

    http://www.arsenal.com/news/news-archive/ramsey-as-a-team-we-kept-our-composure:


    Ramsey started his first game since mid-February following his recovery from an ankle injury

    I had forgotten that Aaron got re-injured. He’s come on quite a lot since then as a sub, no?

    I hope he gets his scoring mojo back soon, but early days, obviously.

  79. Ok. It’s lunchtime. I’m at work. I cannot contain myself. I need to release this pressure. I need to make a statement to all those numbskulls out there, TV pundits and journos in particular….only one Spurs player might get into the Arsenal team….Bale…just maybe….mmmmm…maybe….

  80. Georgaki,

    if there were indeed even one player.. i would go for van der vaart. i really don’t rate bale highly.

  81. Agreed. Jelavic’s dive was no where near as convincing as Suarez’s. It was equally as committed though, and you can’t ask for more than that! He just needs to improve the timing and accuracy of his trailing leg, or other appropriate part of body.
    In related matters, Thomas’s reaction was more evidence of our new-found “don’t f**k with us” Keown-esque fighting spirit. The same one shown by our captain against Newcastle. All good.

  82. Who would you leave out for van der Vaart?

  83. The NFLs decision on bountygate was entirely unjust. Almost every defense in the league has some sort of bounty system, and of course, the bounties were collected on plays which were completely clean hits (no penalty flag thrown, let alone fine levied). The ridiculous scapegoating of one team is meant to deflect attention away from the fact that NFL players try to hurt each other on every single play.

  84. 86th! Big Brovar

    I have a black disc with a whole in the middle.

    Is it a record?

  85. Georgaki @1:46 pm

    ‘Who would you leave out for van der Vaart?’

    From yesterday’s squad? – Djourou

  86. Chris Hoddle, whom I like, even suggested that Spurs have a stronger squad than Arsenal. I think he said so as a pundit for Sky before the 5-2 caning. I have never believed this. I remain adamant that we would be challenging for the title were it not for losing 4 specialist, right and left backs. I summarise this by reminding people that against Man United we finished the game with our 4th choice right back and 4th choice left back, who happens to be our 1st choice central defender. Not Man City, Man United, Chelsea or any other top team could cope….I am convinced of this…

  87. SA Gooner

    Give it some thought. Djourou is a central defender not an attacking midfielder…

  88. Chris Hoddle? Is that some horrific mix up in the laboratory when operating on Chris Waddle and Glen Hoddle?

  89. After the game last night I listened to Martin Hayes in the post match show on Arsenal TV online. Even if he is a gooner, I was disappointed that he thinks we need to spend to make up the 15 point gap on the the Manc clubs. This is clearly not our problem….given our luck, the two or three marquee signings the dipsticks clamour for would all be out injured for 3 months at the same time…We would be challeging for the title had it not been for injuries to all four specialist defenders….

  90. Still laughing at the link dupsffokcuf posted at 10:02 am

    The funniest part for me is: “Pulis, of Poole, Dorset, also claimed that he could not use a chauffeur – for fear that the driver would leak secret details of transfer deals that he discussed on his mobile phone!”

    I can’t believe Tony Pulis got away with this on the basis that Charities and small kids will be affected and Stoke will be relegated if he’s banned from driving.

  91. Sorry – I will correct myself from my earlier post – I hadn’t seen the highlights and assumed TR7 went wide to accomodate Ramsey.

    Having now seen the highlights it seems Ramsey played out wide more.

    On another note – How did Cahill stay on the pitch? Just from the highlights I saw him make about 4 challenges worthy of yellow card’s in today’s climate.

    Oh, and that was a 100% penalty on TR7, so Moyes can forget his ‘bad decisions throughout the game’.

  92. Well spotted Mingus. I did mean good ol’ Glen….

  93. Eugh – Imagine the haircut on that Mingus!

  94. Not to mention the singing!

  95. georgaki

    wait. are we talking about starting 11 or matchday squad. cos i saw a place for him on the bench.. would be a useful player to bring on..

  96. korihikage

    I suppose I must specify my thinking. I wouldn’t swap any Spurs defenders for ours, no Spurs Midfielders for ours, and no Spurs strikers for any of ours. I don’t compare defenders with midfielders or strikers…

  97. Oh, not to mention goal keepers….

  98. Georgaki

    i wouldnt either..

    but i am not really talking about swapping players. more about which player i could see having a role in our team.. and that player is vdv. i think he is a useful player to have, a player with enough quality to do something in our squad..

    that is all i meant.

  99. Matt @11.46am

    The reason behind it is that a bigwig at Google had their identity stolen and false comments posted in his name on some forums. As he did not become an ex-Google exec for laxity with his personal details, he whinged on Twitter to WordPress whose knees jerked faster than a bad case of St Vitus Dance, the outcome of which is pile of old bollocks that we’re left with now.

  100. PG @11.11

    No problems, think it was something to do with the first post or something.

  101. Assuming we win our weekend match, what is your wish for the Spuds-Chelski game?
    a) Spuds win? Consolidates 3rd place for us. OR
    b) Chelski win? Almost assures us a Top 4-Champions League spot OR
    c) Draw? – This pushes us 2 points more ahead of both teams

  102. I’ll be the first to admit, that I am very happy and satisfied with the squad as it is. There will have to be transfers in the summer, especially if our goal keeper exodus starts, but when I think about our team at present, I feel that we are stocked very well in almost all positions. I really don’t see room for any defensive addition to be made while our midfield is looking really good, and that is even without Jack and Diaby, who will boost us even further. An embarrassment of riches awaits on the wings,as it’s not only Theo, Oxo and Gervinho, but also Ryo and hopefully Arshavin coming back from loan. And when it’s finally confirmed that Podolski is a Gunner, we will not only have added a good back-up for Van Persie, but also a player who can slot in on the flank or in offensive midfield.
    If Wenger sees a player out there that can truly improve us, I believe he will go for him — and I wouldn’t want it any other way but right now I just don’t see a pressing need for fresh blood.

  103. @Georgaki

    I wouldn’t fancy any of them to be honest. Is Bale better than any of Gervinho, Ox, Walcott; ill answer that for any that have to think about it, HELL NO!!! Would i take Van der Vart over Rosicky, Ramsey or Ox; again HELL NO!!!! Shit i dont rate Bale as high as everybody else but what I always found hilarious is that Walcott does what Bale does and gets more assists works harder tracking back and even goal rate is similar(Bale this year i think 10 goals Walcott 8 goals but has more assists) yet Bale is thought of but pundits and people alike as a great player and Walcott is thought of as a inconsistent pacer. Interestingly enough, when we played Walcott tortured them from about the 35th min on and Bale took a dive and then we made him disappear. I wouldn’t take any of them because honestly and I’m not being biased at all man for man we are a better squad. Say Diaby, Song, Jack are all healthy and playing together are they not miles ahead of VDV, Modric, Parker? again if you have to think about it I’ll answer it for you HELL YEA!!!!!

  104. @Philmar
    Chelsea will win, I am convinced. I mentioned it several times that Sp*rs just don’t have the strength to perform well over a whole season and I don’t think they have it in them to perform strongly enough against the Chavs to salvage a result. They’ll play on Thursdays next year, I’d almost wager a bet on that!

  105. @C
    The thing with Bale is that I’ve never ever seen him do well against Sagna. People were raving about how Bale tortured Maicon last year, but, as a matter of fact, Bale never had a good game against Sagna and they’ve been playing each other on a regular basis for several years now. Either he was ineffectual or ‘arry made him switch flanks or play behind the striker because he just couldn’t do sh*t against Bac. And if Bale was as good as people claim, he should’ve surely found a way by now to outsmart our number 3. He just isn’t. He has talent, is a decent player, but nowhere near the best in the Prem or even “world class”.

  106. C’mon guys. This is “Bale of Nazereth” you know, the one that Harry said was unstoppable? 😉

  107. @Evil
    I agree with you 100%. I am also interested in seeing how the likes of Miquel continues to progress in the event that Mert’s injury takes a little longer than expected.

  108. C

    I agree with you. Anyway, I’m a die-hard Diaby fan. I desperately want him to rescue his career. I believe his injury problems all stem from that assault by Dan Smith the thug cum- milkman. I am convinced he is a world-class attacking midfielder that would be first-choice in our team should he stay fit…..

  109. Ol’ monkey ears does have a pretty good shot with his left boot though.

  110. @C
    Miquel is a very exciting prospect. He has always looked good and had even some decent performances at left back when he came in. Even if Squillaci leaves, I feel that in Miquel we have a top quality 5th CB.

  111. Spot on remarks YW. specially the last paragraph. HAT OFF ARSENAL. WELL DONE.
    CONGRATULATIONS. AW. you have finally got a good group of winners competing. Keep them together and hungry and we are looking at the beginning of a period. Of DOMINANCE starting with next season. The pride of ENGLAND and LONDON. and well done, again.
    Up the. GUNS!!!!!!

  112. Evil- “….He has talent, is a decent player, but nowhere near the best in the Prem or even “world class”.
    No but Sagna is.

  113. Further evidence of Gibbs excellence yesterday: he won the most offsides in our team

  114. @mingus
    Can’t add anything to that.

  115. Ah OK – Cheers for letting me know YW.

  116. It was funny watching Everton yesterday target Sagna after he got booked. The number of times Pienaar and Felaini tried to pressurise Sagna to fumble was so obvious a strategy it was just funny.

    Teams really need to lose the mantra that Arsenal don’t like it up them and are weak. Tehre was even one incident that I think Pienaar went for the ball that was so low with his head, looking for at least a foul in a dangerous position. Vermealen too a no-nonsense approach and cleared the fucker including Pienaar’s head for good measure. I mean, what did the punk expect, that Vermaelen was going to go all soft and not do his job?

  117. and well done to FABRICE . that is one strong individual with a lions heart.
    Well done. To. ALFC ON MAKING THE SEMIS.

  118. Ok back to work…..must try and salvage the last few hours at least…..this season is affecting me in ways it should really not….

  119. Also, anyone on here genuinely believing that even if Everton’s goal would’ve stood that the team wouldn’t have found the mental strength to win nevertheless?

  120. MOTD tried to do their usual Bale love-in last night in the highlights. When it came to show his contribution to the match the only highlight they had was his cross for the equaliser. It was almost pathetic how they just moved on after it.

    Theo does more in his so-called bad games.

  121. i think as long as we win on saturday, any result from the spuds chavs game would be a good result. no preference really. maybe a draw. to kill off chelsea and put space between us and the spuds

  122. @Evil

    While he did torture Maicon, Maicon isn’t nearly the player he was 3 years ago and the writing was on the wall for him way before he met up with Bale. To add to your point, its not just Sagna he can’t beat but I have even watched a Manshiteh and Manure game against Bale were he had maybe 1 brillant run of pace but other than that was shut down. He is a player that feeds on weaker competition(outside of Maicon) and when up against better players i.e. one Sagna he struggles and disappears. While our Walcott seems to feast on the elite.

  123. jens lehmann ‏ @LehmannOfficial Antwort Retweeten Favorisieren · Öffnen
    I see a Tony Adams in Laurent Koscielny,what do you #gunners think?? #arsenal #legend

  124. Bale looks world class ONLY when he uses his speed to blast by slow plodding subaverage Premier League pylon midfielders….the same ones that made Nasri look good when he ran pointless circles around them.

  125. @Evil

    Yea i have always rated Miquel highly and thought that his performances at LB were of some quality and not to mention that i actually wouldn’t mind him being 4th CB and learning directly for our brillant CBs.

    @Darius
    Yea i think it is hilarious and i agree with you about our so called “softness”. You think of Song, Sagna, Verm, Kos, Santos, Arteta, Rosicky, RVP, Ox and even Theo(I mean is it me or does the kid ALWAYS get kicked or tripped or pushed and rarely ever goes flailing) we are pretty physical

  126. Georgaki @ 1:59:

    Haven’t we been down this road enough times in the last 5 years. The last 5 – 6 games has been a good run of form but we have had great runs of varying length every season since 07/08. 15 points is far to big of a difference to blame it all on losing our fullbacks for a couple months. There will be injuries again next season. Man City and ManU should also get better. ManU has had a terrible year with injuries. the biggest loss being Vidic, Valencia was recovering from a broken leg and had a slow start. They also have several young players who will probably get better and De Gea looks like he is adjusting and their early season GK woes will probably not happen next year. Man City certainly won’t stand pat and the players they have will have had another year of playing together. Chelsea is a wild card and could reload. Looking forward, the most positive thing about this season for us is the improved defending and that bodes well for the future especially if we continue to improve. If we hold on to the players we have and add a couple of good attacking players then we will be alot closer to the Manc clubs. We have been fooled many times before by runs of good form within a season but standing pat if we have a chance to add a couple of good players would be ignoring the lessons of the last 5 years.

  127. I’ve compiled a list of important transfer business that Wenger needs to get done in the summer. This takes priority over spending any money on signings. Get it done, Arsène!

    Resign the following players as their contracts run out in 2013:
    Theo Walcott
    Robin Van Persie

    Resign the following players as their contracts run out in 2014:
    Wojciech Szczesny
    Bacary Sagna
    Laurent Koscielny
    Kieran Gibbs
    Alex Song

  128. What a fucking horrible experience

  129. Everyone on that pitch last night (while very capable of flair) have also got it in them to put a good nights graft in. And playing away to Everton, with the way they have been playing lately (derby game aside) it was a night for 90 mins work. I reckon we will see Gervinho and Ox start in the Villa game with a couple from Ramsey/Rosicky/Theo dropping to the bench

  130. My gosh Bill.

    “Haven’t we been down this road enough times in the last 5 years.”

    We’ve also been down the road of hearing your “realism” time and time again. Have some fun dude. The team is whooping ass right now and our form has to be the best in the league….

    Respecting those Mancunian clubs is something that I can’t pull myself to do. Aside from their point totals, what is it about either of those clubs that you envy?

  131. Yes those are the priorities Evil. Definitely.

    Thanks to the transfer chaos of last summer, The Arsenal started the campaign taking just 7 points from a possible 21.

    Then, thanks to the vicissitudes of cruel, cunty fate, they had to play for nearly two months without ANY wing-backs and again topped the injured player lists for most of the season.

    Crucially they were also deprived of one of their best players all season (Wilshere) and of course Diaby – though this was somewhat more expected and mitigated for, given his past problems.

    But for these issues, they would arguably currently be competing for the Premiership title, if not leading it outright.

    In the summer my prediction is that we will sign Podolski, a reserve keeper and some more youngsters of whom we have never heard.

    I strongly think we will sell Arshavin. He is not an automatic starter and he is at an age where I suspect Wenger will put on his ruthless hat, which we have seen before. We sell him now and we get decent money. A year from now and his value will have dropped significantly. One has to suspect both Fabster and Chamster will be sold too, effectively funding the Podolski purchase.

    This is my guess – but second guessing Wenger is a mug’s game – I’ll be happy and calm to watching it unfold. I have no worries about this summer – a remarkable contrast to this time last season.

  132. I really hope that Robin will sign the contract extension. I need one player to show me that there’s reason to have faith in football, that it’s not all about money in the sport, that there exists loyality.

  133. Form Guide

    Utd – D W W W W W
    City- W W W W L W
    The Arsenal – W W W W W W

    RVP has scored + created at least 11 more goals than any player in the league.

  134. Couldn’t agree more Jonny,

    To hear Spurs fan’s bemoaning injuries and squad depth is especially galling when you consider the trouble’s we have had this season.

    Based on the player’s leaving and the injury problem’s we have had, if we do finish in the top 3 then AW should be getting Manager of the Season.

    If you look at the summer, if Podolski does sign then letting Andrey go does seem to be a logical move.

    The priority really need’s to be getting RVP, Theo and Songinho on to new deals.

    I don’t really see where else we need to strengthen – perhaps M’Vila if Song doesn’t re-new?

  135. The goal differentials for this year are pretty whack. Utd +46, City +50. The next closest team??? The Arsenal of course at a whopping +19. Up the Guns.

    Interestingly enough, The Arsenal have conceded less goals than the cowardly parked bus known as Stoke City.

  136. For all the number nuts out there. If we take at least 16 points from our final 9 games, this team will in fact have improved on the results of what the squad with Cesc and Na$ri in it did.

  137. Bill, we haven’t won 6 in a row during Feb-Mar in any of the last 5 years. We’re as healthy as you can reasonably expect to be (but still with 3 potential starters out) and we’re winning. This year, we’ve won consistently when healthy. This is nothing like any of the last 5 years, where we’ve been in the title hunt at Christmas and faded down the stretch. Our momentum is precisely the opposite.

    Were we to finish the season 8W 1D 0L, we would match the points total that won the league last year. We could go 4W 1D 4L and match our points from last year. Given the start we had + the fullback fiasco, that is completely astonishing.

  138. We only need 14, not 16, to do that Evil.

  139. The difference this season is the strength in depth as some of the youngsters have started filling their boots, plus, most crucially, a fully fit RVP.

    Next season I believe we will have better support to occasionally allow RVP some time off the pitch.

    Matt, as said, the other thing we need, is a new back up keeper.

    Fabianski won’t re-sign and personally, whilst Almunia could do a job, I think we can do better. His reported 60K a week wages could be better reassigned too.

  140. As for Sp*rs players, the one Sp*rs player I’d take with open arms would be Friedel as a back-up keeper.

  141. @nola
    Even better! And I think it’s not unrealistic to expect us to gain those points! So we have improved despite losing Fabregas and not replacing him with Mata or whoever else is the current flavour of the month.

  142. Will:

    “Aside from their point totals, what is it about either of those clubs that you envy?”

    How can you put the point totals aside? I doubt our players and manager will ever get the respect they deserve until we can match or beat their point totals. We have had this discussion about what is really important many times in the past but before ACLF I had never met a group of sports fan who doesn’t put point totals and table position at the top of their list. A very unique group, but to each their own.

    I love the way we are playing now and long may it continue but our current form was not the main point of Georgeaki’s post.

  143. For me the most important thing about Arsenal is not a set of numbers, it’s what this club stands for.

  144. Looking forward to Saturday and seeing the Chavs beat the Tiny Tots who will then go on to collapse out of the top 4, losing the likes of Bale, Modric and VderV over the summer and getting a 2nd class manager to replace the England bound ‘Arry.

    Their 5-2 calamity against AFC will be seen as the moment their spirit was broken.

    Form is temporary, class …

  145. Great post YW you never fail to deliver. well ground out result yesterday, on the spud debate my shout would be for modric only player that would make our squad, perhaps bale last season.

  146. I don’t see how an Arsenal fan can fail to root for a Chav/Tott draw. Lots of football left to play, and being 3 and 8 points clear of them solidifies our hold on Champs league play. Either of the two teams could go on a tear, and a stumble by us is possible. But it’s unlikely that they *both* will go on a tear while we stumble.

  147. Nolagunner @ 3:44:

    Good points. Again I think the most encouraging thing for next year is the defensive solidarity so if we continue this form the rest of the season it would certainly be the most encouraging finish we have had since the invincibles. Still I think that maintaining a bit of skepticism is the best thing for the club. Hopefully strengthening the club as much as we can afford would consolidate any momentum we have left over from this season. Say all you want but we have had some really good runs of form in the past and for whatever reason we never been able to maintain that over a season. Our current level of health is not the norm and adding more fluff certainly is a good thing.

  148. Hilarious. Our favourite radio presenter is spitting fire and brimstone about the fact that Arsenal are nailed on for Champions league football next season. He say’s he’s gutted that we’re going to make it at the cost of Tottnscum or Chelsea.

    Priceless. It really is right up there with Tony Pulis and his excuses for why he needs to keep driving so that kids in Stoke will not lose out when Stoke City is relegated if he gets banned from driving.

    The venom, hate, disdain, absolute hatred and bile being spewed about Arsenal is so palpable, Arsenal could have a case on hate crimes against the presenter and the station.

  149. Bill— think of it this way. Campaign begins (point A). 38 games are the means of attaining the goal, which is to have the most points by the time we reach the end. (point B)

    Do the ends justify the means? Or is there something in between the start of the campaign and the end of it that is satisfying in their own right?

    Things like not being a squad of f**king diving cheaters who are giving football a bad name. Things like contributing to the astonishing divide between rich and poor.
    100’s of millions being spent on players.
    I can go on Senior Billbo, but I am off now to try and find a summer job. Laters yall.

  150. I had always imagined Google executives to be a jolly decent bunch of coves. However I now no longer hold them in such high regard….fucking cunts

  151. Limestonegunner

    I think a win on Saturday, (COYG!), and a draw between Chavs/Spuds suits us best. We get clear by 3points and ahead on goal difference. Worst result is Spud victory, I’d say.

    If I could have my druthers, I would love us to have a clear victory v. Villa–a dominating home performance and a clean sheet. How about, 3-0? That would be lovely. I want to see RvP and others scoring on the Clock End side, as I have never sat behind the goal. Looking forward to it!

    However, I expect it to be tighter as Villa have played us tough. Villa are only 5 points clear of relegation, so I imagine they will be motivated and as usual McLeish’s team will try to rough us up and play for the point. I don’t think that will work this time if we play as we did v. Newcastle and Everton.

    I hope Santos and the Ox were rested and will play Saturday. I think Santos is ready for action now and he is imposing physically and a great header; we know Villa will pump balls into the box as there are few ideas there. Gibbs has been playing very well, though so AW may just keep him in the side for consistency given the excellent run of this back 5.

  152. Notoverthehill

    Well typed, well said and well done, Yogi!!

    It can be pointed out in the most tedious and uncomfortable way that the £50 millions that Ivan Gazidis states is available for transfers is not CASH repeat NOT CASH, at this point in time!!!

    Arsenal Holdings Plc Annual Financial Report 2010/2011, Page 50, Intangible Fixed Assets, Cost of Player Registrations was £138,322 millions; Amortisation of player registrations was £55,717 millions. This is where the money Mr Gazidis refers to, is hidden.

    Mr Robin Van Persie was NIL value, Mr K Gibbs was NIL value, etc. etc. Selling Mr Van Persie for even a £1 gold sovereign, is ALL CASH IN THE HAND! SO, Mr Gazidis is correct that there is, subject to willing seller and willing buyer, and of course Mr Arsene Wenger’s approval above all. and subject to the valuations, oodles and oodles of “intangible Fixed Assets monoploy” money.

  153. Limestonegunner

    Hopefully, the players don’t think it is nailed on. I doubt they do, because if anything this season has taught us not to count on anything other than full commitment and effort are the only recipe for results because it is very easy to drop points even when you are playing fluidly.

  154. @LG
    I also hope that fans won’t expect the same. We need a fantastic atmosphere on Saturday to cheer the team on.

  155. Limestonegunner

    I can’t be bothered now in the midst of the run-in to get excited over or involved in the summer debates. We’ll have acres of time to wrangle over matters then when we wish there were games to watch. But I do think it will be a busy summer of business no matter how our finish turns out. Partly because so much has yet to be completed from last summer with players being trimmed but only out on loan, several contracts to be negotiated and if not agreed there might be sales and replacements, plus some recruitment that was planned for last summer to add creativity might still be contemplated. The re-shaping of the post-Cesc team is taking place and developing well but it would be too early to claim that it has been entirely completed, I think.

    But that just means there will be lots to talk about then–right now we have plenty to occupy ourselves with. A weekly feast of football is being served to us these days!

  156. Limestonegunner

    Exactly, Evil. For once I will be there and I promise to do my part!

  157. Limestonegunner

    In fact, Evil, I would say that the support has been part of this renaissance of form and results–a mutually reinforcing cycle. It was very helpful that we faced Spuds actually after the cup defeats. There was no way our support could buckle in the derby–it was a matter of historically embedded defiance, a well-spring of deep emotional waters to draw upon that prevented the stadium from losing it when we went down 2-0. It is also what has rocketed us all into the celestial heights that have buoyed team, support, and club as a whole.

    Now to keep this dynamic from losing its energy, we need the crowd up for it and a determined performance v. Villa. Winning may become a habit hard to break if we can move clear with 8 games left!

  158. I fully agree that the fans have been absolutely fantastic over the past few weeks and that surely helped the team. Both, the players and the fans have to keep it up though until the end of the season!

  159. We certainly have a trickier run in than the Spuds, but you cannot underestimate momentum.

    Having players coming back will help us no end as well, as whilst the Spuds do have a decent 11, they have been lucky with minimal injuries until now, where their squad is starting to show some strain.

    Chelsea are a bit of a conundrum, prior to tonight you may of felt that removing AVB has had a positive effect, but the number of games may well take a toll there too.

    It is by no means a done deal, City & Chelsea at home will be tough games, and Stoke away will test our defence without a doubt, but with the momentum we have and player’s coming back from injury things are looking very positive.

  160. Jeez – Darius, You made me turn on TalkShite to hear what these fool’s are saying and I don’t think I can stomach it – what a pair of Moron’s.

  161. Evil | March 22, 2012 at 4:02 pm

    For me the most important thing about Arsenal is not a set of numbers, it’s what this club stands for.

    BRAVO.

  162. I know i keep reading all this stuff about points and having more points than last years team and all this otheR stuff. Heres what i know about our current team and situation and why for me we are having a better campaign and are a better team than last year:

    We lost 3 of our best player(Cesc, Nasri and Clichy) in a short term at the beginning of the season and also dealt with injuries and we were in the relegation zone and now we are in 3rd place.

    We also dealt with teh fact that we were fighting to get into the group stage of CL with a extremely thin squad and we made it to teh knock out round and almost won pulled off the impossible.

    We at 1 point were missing 4 FB’s plus Verm and were still fighting and winning points after the disastoriuos start.

    We have a bunch of players that are willing and have fought and played a shit load of minutes with the fighting spirit and togetheriness that hasn’t been seen since Viera donned the armband.

    Now healthy we are destroying teams and winning matches that we would never have won the past 5-6 and part of it is due to the growth of our core players(RVP, Song, Kos, Theo, Sczny, Sagna) plus the additions of (Santos, Mert, Arteta, Gervinho, Ox).

    That is why we are having a better season than last year because we have dealt with more adversity and more injuries and have fought with the Arsenal spirit and the fans have cheered and fought the doomers and everybody else! This is why are season is better than last year!!!

  163. A Spurs-Chelsea draw would be ideal, the more distance we can put between us and both of them at the same time the better. Chelsea have a European Cup game next Tuesday though, I wonder will that affect team selection for Saturday’s game?

  164. we just need stability going into the next season.. difficult because of the euros. players don’t come back ready.

    we have the trickier run-in, but we have the momentum. but we also know that things can change very quickly in football (just ask the poor spuds. almost feel sorry for them). what i have learnt from the past year is not to take anything for granted, so lets keep fighting until the end of the season. the job isnt finished yet. but we are definitely in a strong position to finish it.

  165. A draw between Spurs and Chelsea would be best, the more distance we can put between ourselves and both of them the better. Chelsea have a European Cup game coming up next Tuesday though, it might affect their team selection on Saturday and hand the intiative to Spurs?

  166. I’m actually more worried about the trip to the Britannia than hosting City or Chavs. Both teams’ away form is brutal (City 8pts, 4goals in last 8 away; Chelsea 7 pts, 6 goals in last 8 away).

  167. LOL Matt – jumping off the cliff I see.

  168. Darren Gough (the former cricketer) just said we shouldn’t be spending £1M on player’s from Charlton – by this I assume he means Carl Jenkinson, our back up right back (to the best RB in the Prem) who is 18-19 and full of potential.

    He think’s we should be spending £10-12M in every position to improve the team to help us compete in the Champion’s League as we don’t take it seriously and don’t try to win it – forgetting that we nearly did not so long ago.

    What is it with these absolute fucktard’s?

    Do they not see the Emirates when we play? The stadium that cost us £500M?

    Where do they think we got that money from?

  169. Matt

    what does an ex cricketeer know? sorry if i offended any cricketeers out there..

  170. Adrian Durrum is a tragic excuse for a radio presenter who makes himself look naive and ignorant on a daily basis. He’s just been whupped by Darren Gough and reduced to shouting at his co-presenter as his flimsy ‘points’ get shot down. Class.

    And now Kevin Peterson (a former South African cricketer who plays for England) has advised RvP directly through Twitter to leave AFC and join a decent club. Twat.

    ***

    Ordinarily I’d be hoping for a Chav:Tot draw but I think another defeat for the Spuds will break them, It’ll also give encouragement to Newcastle who with one more win will be breathing right down their necks.

    ‘Arry ‘as gone and so ‘as their spirit. One more defeat …

  171. https://twitter.com/#!/kevinpp24

    lowlife that is a chelsea fan.

    sad. absolutely no self-respect.

  172. Thinking of the Chelsea v Tottenscum game, considering that we’re 6 points ahead of Chelsea, I’m leaning towards a Chelsea win as opposed to a draw.

    We have a chance to beat Chelsea ourselves so its an opportunity to maintain or increase that gap, but them beating Spurs may be more fun than we were expecting. Arry really doesn’t look good as a shoe-in for the England job now. 4 wins in 11 games? or was it 4 wins in 14.

  173. Afobe and Aneke both gone on loan for the rest of the season.

  174. Dups that is precious… my precious?

  175. Darius

    maybe you are right.

    i think Arry’s claim that ‘Arsenal can think they have won the race for third but it isnt over’ is a weak call to arms.. they are really there for the taking, and i see chelsea picking them off.

    imagine fernando torres getting a hattrick against them.. HMMM. that would be embarrassing.

  176. Limestone:

    Enjoy your trip to the Emirates. I plan to make the trip sometime in the next couple of years. This is a great time to go. Right now the team is playing with more energy, enthusiam and intensity then we have seen in several years and the results show that. The fans are feeding off the players enthusiam and that gets the players even more wound up. A very good positive feedback loop for everyone. Should be a great time for you. Hope you can meet up with a few ACLF companions. I would love to meet everyone. My mental image of you is Basil Rathbone from the old Sherlock Holmes TV series and I picture you sitting in your library reading a book smoking a pipe. I am sure thats no where close to reality.

    I think the fans have been great this year. Its hard for fans to get fired up when the team is struggling and they were fantastic early in the season despite the poor start. They let down in late Dec/Jan because the squad lost its focus and intensity but they have shown their true colors recently and for the most part for the whole season.

  177. we did what we needed to do last night didnt we?
    it was a solid performance against a good team…professional performance..

    we played a team in form on their patch and it seemed we went for it early, decided after 30 minutes of missing chances we’d be better off just protecting a 1-0 lead against a team with one of the worst scoring records in the league..

    we won ugly..it was a tough game and they got a bad call..the linesmen were shit for both teams but drenthes goal was legit…to be honest i think it was that incident that made the team start to sit a little deeper..

    but we won..and we pretty much deserved it.. the attacking masterclass we opened the game up with was matched by the defensive one that we closed it with..

  178. Hey folks!

    My new beautiful baby girl was born yesterday!

    GA…I gotta say it, Thank You Jesus!

  179. Steady on, Paul-N……congratulations all the same

  180. Many congrats Paul – must be a sign!

    What are you calling little baby Paul-N – Robina?

  181. CONGRATULATIONS PAUL!!!!!!

  182. CONGRATULATIONS PAUL!!!!!! WHATS HER NAME?

  183. Paul:

    Congrats. I have 3 and they are all truly blessings from God. You have much to be thankful for. btw. I know from experience just how cute the Arsenal kits for babies are. Look on the website if you want.

  184. i think the sooner chelsea are out of the picture the better..
    i want a draw between those two to be honest..
    if we win against villa and chelsea fall 8 points behind, even if they beat us when we play at the grove, i cant see them going any further than catching spurs..

    spurs arses have fallen out..so im not worried about them at all…they’ll keep dropping points everywhere..
    a three point advantage with a superior GD is practically 4 points when you get to this stage of the season anyway..

    draw.. 🙂

  185. congrats, Paul!

    what are their names?

  186. congrats paul..

  187. sorry i mean her name..

    oh dear thinking too much of 3Gs

  188. Paulie Walnuts

    Yes, a really excellent result last night. The clean sheet was especially pleasing.

    I agree with Marcus (I think) that Ramsey can do a good job in wide areas. Coming inside onto his right foot is a strength of his & he`s got a healthy work rate to help our full back. I could be wrong but I think he played wide at Cardiff before he joined us.

    Villa are up next & we need to be as professional as we were last night. Just get the job done.

    As for Twitter , Kevin Pieterson has shown he knows as much about football as he does left arm spinners. Knob.

    Oh, & many congrats Paul N !

  189. Thanks all!!

    Her name is Anayah.

    Going back to the hospital now, holla at you guys later!

  190. Ive read on a few other blogs that it seems like word has come from on high at the Grove for the stewards to chillax where it comes to fans standing throughout the game. Wouildnt it be great to have an all standing section just like Dortmund has? Man that place rocks on matchdays…….

  191. Deise

    only problem is if you arent the tallest of persons.

  192. Well just move down the front korihikage or befriend a big chap who will let you sit on his shoulders 😉

  193. Deise..

    not sure if it’s safe. imagine when rvp scores..

    anyway, i thought stadiums have to be all-seaters? are u sure dortmund has a standing section?

  194. “My new beautiful baby girl was born yesterday!”

    Congratulations Paul N.

  195. P.S. Pretty name BTW.

  196. Congrats Paul!

  197. paul@6:45 congrats
    blessing now but wait till shes older considerally more difficult good luck and enjoy for now

  198. DeiseGunner – that’s very interesting; we’ve been standing without any harassment from stewards for a few weeks now, maybe since around early February? Admittedly we are at the back but the Stewards always used to be pretty hot about being seated.

  199. Congratulations Paul-N….many happy cheers!

  200. CONGRADULATIONS PAUL.N
    AND GOD BLESS.
    MAY ANAYA BE A SOURCE OF PRIDE AND HAPPINESS FOR YOUR FAMILY FOR LIFE.
    CIGARS ALL. AROUND…… 🙂

  201. @Paul-N
    Delighted for you! I hope she grows up to be a fantastic person and I really have to commend you on the choice of name. Uncommon, but really beautiful sounding. All the best for you, her and obviously the missus!

  202. Georgaki

    There were already two central defenders on the pitch when Djourou came on and I personally think that playing a great attacking player is a much better defensive move than playing defensive player who struggles with football.

  203. Paul-N

    Congratulations. A daughter, eh? Sleepless nights for the next 50 years then…

  204. Hehehe, YW. you are such a doomer gloomer. Let him enjoy the blessings. He will deal with sleepless nights in due time.
    You speek from personal experience??

  205. Bradys right foot

    Paul N congratulations on your beautiful daughter, conceived during desperate times but born into a much more hopeful goonerverse ;).

  206. Paul N – Awesome news buddy! 🙂 Anayah is a beautiful name. I believe it means ‘One who looks up to God’, is that correct? I know the Hebrew variant, Anaiah, from which it may be derived means ‘Jehovah has answered’. Are they related I wonder? Either way a very powerful name and I do hope that God will be looking down on her as well. Again congrats mate!

    And now it is time to pack, the only part of a vacation I truly detest!! Please keep up the positivity on the blog guys as it has been awesome these last few weeks. YW as always thank you and I will do my best to drop in when and where I can, I need my daily dose of ACLF otherwise I get a bit snarky 🙂 COYG!!!!!

  207. Excellent Irish, your Hebrew. Is better than mine. And you always do your part for the positivism of aclf. I have always believed in that. Just that some of your jokes are getting some of the most respected posters here in martial trouble with their misuse. Kindly tone them down or put the warning disclaimer on them as you post.
    Where are you, anyhow? How are you?.

  208. G’kam – I am in NYC, Harlem to be exact. I have just finished packing up and am off on what I hope is an awesome roadtrip tomorrow. Have to put in a few hours on site tomorrow but then it’s the open road for me and The Girlfriend for 2 weeks 🙂

    Where abouts are you specifically anyways? West coast right?

  209. And as for C’bob getting into trouble with his Mrs because of my jokes, don’t believe a word of it mate! That old codger knows exactly what he is doing. It’s not just his cider that is spicey, if you know what I mean? 🙂

  210. sounds exciting mate. Two weeks on the where the road takes you. Awesome. Enjoy.
    As for me, here in LA , getting ready to enjoy the festive holiday season. Hectic. Persian new year ‘ NOOROOZ’ which means new day. Then comes the festival of Freedom which is PASSOVER. then on the second day of this festival I will have my forty ninth b-day. And the season run in which is bound to sprinkle more joy and happiness over everything, I’m sure. All looking good and on the up, thanks God.
    As far as Bob, I thought the poor dude almost had an egg smashed on his head. Thank goodness his better half was hungry and instead eat the egg. He dodged a bullet that time. Hehehe. Or didn’t you hear. ?

  211. GK

    Nah, I’ve got 2 boys.

    Anyway, today’s post is here courtesy of Big Al

    @1_of_Us Speaks – Keep Looking Forward https://aculturedleftfoot.wordpress.com/2012/03/23/one-of-us-speaks-keep-looking-forward/

  212. G’kam – Well then ‘Happy New Year’ to you then and a Happy Birthday to go with it 🙂

    As for C’ bob, in as much as I have never met the man, he strikes me as someone who can hold his own. I am sure the egg tasted all the better for him wanting it. Serves him right anyways, I mean who tells their wife a joke that relates marriage to jail and expects them to find it funny? Old dogs and new tricks if you ask me.

  213. god bless your boys. YW. I guess they are going to be the ones keeping Paul. Up all night with stress and anxiety. And the phone calls too.
    Poor guy, I feel for him.

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