Aston Villa Preview: Win And Take It From There

A key weekend in the chase for the Premier League placings for many reasons, not least of which is the meeting between Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur at Stamford Bridge. From an Arsenal perspective, it is hard to work out the best outcome. Presuming an Arsenal victory, their points total is 58 this evening which could leave them 8 / 1, 7 / 3 or 5 / 4 points ahead of Chelsea / Tottenham. To be honest, the result that leaves both clubs more than a victory in Arsenal’s wake seems best, especially with Chelsea still involved in the Champions League. They may not be favourites to win the trophy but a seductive lick of Lady Luck’s lip combined with refereeing incompetence could see that happen, no matter how unlikely. That means that fourth is not quite the achievement believed.

Those matters are irrelevant unless Arsenal win. According to the media this morning, Villa have gained more points at The Emirates than any other club. Whether they can continue that run is open to debate with Arsenal’s six wins on the bounce; Villa though are obdurate away opponents, suffering only three defeats in their fourteen matches. Those defeats have been at the hands of Tottenham, Manchester City and Newcastle United which signals that the gap in quality is a problem which is before they contend with Robin van Persie.

Attracting attention from Spain is not surprising. That it is Real Madrid making the noises is given his commercial representative’s relationship with a certain Catalan club. The Dutchman’s importance is underlined by Alex McLeish in his pre-match build-up and it is good to read his views on van Persie’s leadership. Forget the use of the word ‘gamesmanship‘, that is simply the Villa manager seeking to plant ideas in the minds of the officials. For a long time, Arsenal lacked leadership; now we have not one but several. That comes with growing maturity of other players as well Sagna and Vermaelen being fit for sustained spells. But this is the Arsenal captain we are talking of and with due respect to his predecessors, there is more overt leadership now and that is what the club has needed.

Arsène spoke yesterday of finishing the season well, aside from the Champions League aspirations. Any future title challenge is dependent on the squad. Talk centres around the contracts of Walcott and van Persie with links being made between Dzeko’s desire for first team football and the Dutchman so far not committing to Arsenal beyond the end of his current contract. The manager believes that additions to the squad will stretch beyond the much-rumoured signing of Podolski in the next week or twenty,

We will not be a lot on the market, quantity-wise I mean. Quality-wise, certainly. But the [maximum] number of the squad is 25. We have many players out on loan and we will take a gamble if we find top, top quality of course. But don’t forget we have many players out on loan and we have not had Jack Wilshere or Abou Diaby for the whole season.

These players will be back and it means that number and quality-wise we are strong because we are in the position we are in without these players.

The signing of Podolski is against the Arsenal grain if it happens, particularly in terms of the timing. Not the speed mind,

You want to make me say that last year was bad and I agree with you – last year was terrible for us because we finished on August 31 at 11.55pm and we do not want to repeat that, of course.

Back to this afternoon. I am not sure of any changes today. The only changes would be out of reaction to Wednesday, perhaps Ramsey or Rosicky is a touch fatigued and will make way for Oxlade-Chamberlain or Gervinho. I would disappointed if it is Rosicky, particularly on the back of the preceding ten days off. However with most of the squad back to fitness, it would be a touch derelict to over-use players now. However, Rosicky is in such scintillating form it feels inconceivable that he would not start at least. With that in mind, I expect to see the following line-up,

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

Before they kick-off, the result at Stamford Bridge will be known. It is not irrelevant but the players must focus on their requirement for three points. And let’s be honest, they have not had a problem focussing on winning. Long may that continue.

Enjoy the match wherever you are watching it. ’til Tomorrow.

Posted on March 24, 2012, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Soccer, Transfer Gossip and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 293 Comments.

  1. Excellent!

  2. morning all lets hope for grfeat win today in the sunshine

  3. LoveTheWayYouPlay

    Aye. Long may that continue

  4. Which result would be fine….spurs win or chelsea win. Or would a draw be ok

  5. Limestone – a big day for you today. Across the large pond straight into the glowing hearth of purest football.
    I imagine you’re as excited as a man who, having just bought a rather marvellous new suit, was leaving the tailors, caparisoned in his finery, whence upon he suddenly found a crisp £100 note in the breast pocket and, in this moment of distraction, accidentally fell face first into the cleavage of a goddess of breathtaking beauty.
    Or some similar long-winded analogy that involves happiness.
    Football in the sun.
    How resplendent.
    Sing it loud fella!

  6. Really a chelsea win would be ok for me…if we win ours today it still leaves us six ahead of chelsea and four ahead of spurs..

  7. jonny

    ‘found a crisp £100 note in the breast pocket’

    In this day and age, not only would the note be false, in all likelihood so would the cleavage.

  8. Notoverthehill

    Yogi, I assume Jonny “come lately ?”, is on his way to Newmarket???

    To compare a fellow blogger to a horse, really?

  9. pedantic george

    I like Yogi’s team,but I think 3G’s will start instead of AOC

  10. ARSENAL have to win today thats most important after that I cant decide the best result for the spud chelski game I think a draw would probably be best although chelski win wouldnt be bad either although if they had a big fight on the pitch with suspensions and both teams deducted points that i would also take

  11. pedantic george

    arse or brain

    That’s ok but they play first.

  12. I want a Chelsea win.

    In fact I want them to deflower the Tottenwats in a way that leaves them feeling bullied, buggered and bereft.

    As they trudge from the pitch I want them to feel the naked panic of pretty boy in a death-row penitentiary.

    6-0 would be ideal.

  13. pedantic george

    Your hatred surprises me.

  14. YW – boob and boobs accepted.

  15. Much as I loathe the Chavs, another defeat for the tottering Tots will see heads drop and hearts turn to thoughts of the sunshine that will pour through the transfer window when it opens …

    Limestone will be happy as a dog with two dicks (as my former 80 something boss used to say).

  16. george, ah at your pedantic best but that shows my quandary just want bad things to happen to both, what i didnt say very well is as long as we win thats all the matters .

  17. Ramsey will start, no doubt about that, Arsene always plays him if he is fit enough,… who will give way? Rosicky or Ox…. well as long as we get em points it all good 😀 COYG!!!

  18. Not an ounce of hatred in there George just a desire to see them thrashed and spiralling in to insecurity. I’ve never hated Tottenham – I just think this would be best for our club and would be damn funny to boot.

  19. My predictions for the game.

    Santos will come in for Gibbs on the 70th.

    Gerv may start, but if he does not, he will also sit out 70 with the Ox being used in his place.

    If they start with Rosicky then the Ram could also be a replacement and there is your much needed ‘rest’ YW

    One thing for sure, they have to start these hard games with the best squad available.

  20. Hard not to hope for a draw and want the Chav-not win. Lol

  21. I think the job of breaking down a McLeish team will mean all the players mentioned will get run out. Rosicky should start tho.

    Loving our defence lately. The way they celebrated keeping that clean sheet on wednesday was great to see. Another one today would be a huge boost.

  22. The other benefit to us if/when the Spuds end the season without European qualification is the feeding frenzy that will follow as Barca, Real et al pick over the rotting carcass of a side that briefly over-performed before running out of steam and losing their manager to pastures international.

    It may further act to reduce the pressure they exert on AFC in trying to prise RvP and Song away from us.

    Not sure how anyone can be in favour of anything other than a Chav win, to be honest.

  23. Chelsea for me. Makes for a healthy gap between us and 4th if we win and that’s all that matters. Though I won’t mind to see the Totts on the end of a proper pasting.

  24. A or B @ 10:49

    When does Arsenal not have to win?. 3 points is always the target. Well, I hope for a dull 0-0 draw @ stamford bridge with lots of yellows and reds to both sides.

    I think Gerv will replace TR7 and Santos for Gibbs today.

    Here’s to a comfortable victory at the Ems

  25. pedantic george

    If we win today will there be any need for moderation ?

    Surely the “realists”will have gone to ground

  26. No, PG; they’ll come on here and say that it was only Villa and we should do it against the likes of Tottenham, Liverpool, Newcastle or Chelsea …. oh.

  27. southafricanscot

    Not to steal PG`s pedantry, but lots of yellows and reds, hardly suggests dull. However, the first couple of sentences ring true! A win, of any description! 3 points Please!!

  28. Yogi – good points

    Each match is a must. When the dust settles, I’m still hoping to see Newcastle leap Chelsea and Spuds for the 4th position.

    I’d prefer to see a comfortable Arsenal win, while keeping a clean sheet, which would allow Diaby and Santo to see playing time.

  29. Difficult game today, Villa may be a bit shit, but they can be a tough cookie to break down. They will play deep as they can so I would play Gervinho and AOC in the wide berths as they are better at attacking their full back that Theo. Once we score they will have to push further up leaving space at the back for Theo to come on in the final 20mins.

    2-0 to The Arsenal.

  30. The shower of cunts drawing with us winning seems the best result. Make ground on them both.

  31. pedantic george

    That’s the one Andy

  32. Ah, well, same old GA.

  33. Spuds looking second best in the first five minutes …

  34. ‘Arry’s going mad on the touch line, obviously not liking what he’s seeing …

  35. I can’t believe that none of you buggers is buying Limestone a pint on his pildrimage to the Arsenal. A bons fide US professor too. Come on!

  36. On this day, 4th December 1965, Arsenal faced West Ham Utd at Highbury.

    The ‘Voice of Arsenal’ tells us that this would be our fourth home tie on the trot and a win today would ‘give us four successive wins over Brazilian, Russian and British opposition’. A victory over Moscow Dynamo on the previous Tuesday being hailed by ‘The Times’ as ‘yet another face-lift to British football’. (I always loved the name Moscow Dynamo, it seemed properly exotic and glamorous. What did I know?)

    Arsenal are the first club in the country to have ‘World Cup Willie ties’ in stock and they could be obtained from the Arsenal Megastore, no, sorry, from the Secretary of the Supporters Club. They were available in Club Quality at 15/6 or Executive quality (super finish with embroidered emblem) at £1.

    Elsewhere the problem of foul language raised it’s head with a ‘clique of so-called supporters on the North Terrace who regularly congregated on the East Side and indulged in foul language to the embarrassment of decent people’. Apparently, it had got so bad that a ‘number of old supporters now refuse to come to the stadium and bring their women-folk (wives and daughters) because they are not only embarrassed but shocked that men can conduct themselves in such a disgusting manner’. Club action is promised against them as Arsenal is ‘determined to have fair minded and clean minded supporters’. Quite right. Clearly a battle the club won.

    We are also told that many supporters have suggested that the old Arsenal song to the tune of ‘Anchors aweigh’ was not quite what they wanted and a new song was suggested for the future, ‘with simple words to the tune of ‘Roll out the Barrel’.

    Roll on the Arsenal
    Let’s have a barrel of fun,
    Roll on the Arsenal
    We’ve got them all on the run.

    Win all our matches
    Then we’ll have nothing to fear
    One, two, three, four, five, six, seven
    And the gang’s all here.

    I can’t remember this catching on and the ‘Anchor’s Away’ song also eludes me.

    The Arsenal side that day was: Burns, Howe, Storey, McLintock, Neill, Court, Skirton, Radford, Baker, Eastham, Armstrong.

    The Villa team included, for our American friends, Phil Woosnam, who became head coach of the US National team in 1968, and was later appointed commissioner of the NASL , Tony Hateley and old Arsenal player, John Mcleod.

    The referee was Mr Fussey. Really, he was.

    Elsewhere, congratulations are offered to Joe Baker and George Eastham for their selection by England for the match in Spain. Neither featured in the World Cup at the end of the season.

    A scan through the Football Combination, Metropolitan League and South East Counties sides turns up very few future First Teamers. Only Wilson, Simpson and Radford featured for the reserves, no one made it from the Met. League team and only Pat Rice From the SE Counties side.

    The Programme of Music, played by the Metropolitan Police Band, included the perennial ‘Voice of the Guns’ and ‘Canadian Patrol’ While in the ‘Pop Parade Selection’, Constable Alex Morgan, sang ‘Santa Lucia’.

    Here is yesterdays football result: Arsenal 3 Aston Villa 3

  37. Sorry, forgetting my manners there, Bob – I’ll buy Limestone a beer at half time; I’ll be at the bar, on the left hand side by the bins.

    Interesting write up Bob – interesting how many player names I recognised; I’m obviously much older than I realised!

    Rapidly losing the little interest I had in the Chav:Spuds game; possession is shared at 51:49 but Chelsea are shading it I’d say; Spurs have the look of a side that dares not lose.

  38. We’re all older than we realise.

  39. Nearly half an hour gone and not a single attempt on goal from either side … yawn.

  40. This game is making me feel older, for sure!

    Spurs just avoided a decent penalty claim by the Chavs …

  41. Tottenham rather lucky to not concede a pen there.

  42. Was that wayward shot by Chimpo the first attempt on target tonight?

  43. Evil – yes, but at the risk of sounding like PG, it wasn’t on target (Row Z by my estimate).

    Dogba looks injured, surprised he’s not been replaced by Torrid.

  44. Adebayor gets away with a two footed challenge (not even a free-kick given) just before the Diving Bale reminds Row Z why they are there.

    A really scrappy game but Spurs look much as they did in the second half of their drubbing by us a few weeks ago …

  45. Tottenham with a good chance to steal a goal but it’s all level after 45 minutes. Really,really boring match.

  46. Desperate, isn’t it Evil – enough, I’m off to the Emirates, see if I can find Limestone and buy him a beer from Bob. Any messages for him?

    Looking forward to watching a proper team play – go Gunners, good luck everyone.

  47. Enjoy the match, arsenalandrew! And make sure you cheer the team on good! While I’ll be left here hoping for the 22 red cards wonder to happen in the second half.

  48. Cheers Evil. Fingers crossed for the 22!

  49. Arsenal Team
    Szczesny, Sagna, Vermaelen, Koscielny, Gibbs, Song, Arteta, Rosicky, Gervinho, Walcott, Van Persie.

    SUBS: Fabianski, Santos, Djourou, Ramsey, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Benayoun, Chamakh.

  50. Limestonegunner

    Jonny, you’ve got it spot on! Thanks for the well-wishes. Pleased as punch, beautiful day and a lovely walk from Tufnell Park where a chastened Spud friend is putting me up.

    At the holy shrine early.

    AA, it would just be lovely to meet a fellow ACLFer. I’m section 24 ita the Clock End, row 2, 740, so it’s fantastic and my wife and son ate watching on Telly back home hoping to get a glimpse of me going absolutely crazy with joy when we score at this end.

    It won’t be easy but if you do try to meet during the half, black hair and goatee with some silver and black framed specs!

    Cheers all, enjoy the match; I certainly shall!

  51. Team news anyone?

    Looks like the Chavs and scum are settling for a draw.

  52. pedantic george

    1st time I ever picked the starting eleven correctly.

  53. A miss and a half from Adebayor. Empty goal and he didn’t get enough power on it.

  54. pedantic george

    Evil,he might want to move to the Bridge?

  55. Limestone – have a great day and congrats for making the pilgrimage. It really is an experience being at the Emirates. I think after the game, quite a few Gooners will be drinking in the pubs around like the Tollington, though I don’t know if ACLFers will be there per se.

  56. This Chelsea defence is really dodgy. They’re being pelted and look shaky.

    If that was the Arsenal defence, commentators will be abusing our defenders.

  57. Darius – how right you are. Chelsea defense is non-existent; in fact their overall play is boring.

  58. Lime…..I’m envious; hoping one day to make it to the Emirates.

  59. chavs 0 spuds 0 – good start to the days play for us. Now 3 points please guys so we can go 3 clear of that lot

  60. Laurent Koscielny has failed a late fitness test and has been replaced by Djourou. The Jenks has taken Djourou’s place on the bench.

    I hope this knee problem doesn’t cause a long term absence.

  61. pedantic george

    Koscielny knee injury flared up in the warm up. Djourou in, Jenkinson promoted to bench.


  62. Darius … noooooooooooooooo

  63. hope his alright for next week!!!!!

  64. Spurs and Chelsea have done us a great favour…I say favour in the loosest terms.The Emirates crowd will spurs us on to an epic home win. I feel it in my bones.McCliesh is due a spanking from us. Onwards and upwards. COYG!!!

  65. Deise – I’m afraid so.

    I’m not apprehensive for some reason, just accepting that needs must and we have to use the squad. Djourou should be fine, especially with the team ethic we now have.

    I do like the fact that Rosicky is the midfield don again.

    And I also feel sorry for Limestone who has travelled all the way from Canada, but won’t get to see the best defender in the league play for the Arsenal today.

  66. Bollocks.

  67. pedantic george

    Arsenal Player still think Koscielny is playing

  68. Even worse than Koscielny not playing is Dowd being the ref.

  69. George – Dan Roebuck and Nigel Winterburn are talking like they know Djourou is in…

  70. My Liverpool supporting mate said the other day he wasn’t surprised by our good run because we’d kept the same defence for once. Bugger.

  71. The Heski punk has just elbowed Djourou and Phil Daud, who in my view is a cunt hair away from being the scum of the earth does nothing.

  72. Heskey with his first contribution: an elbow to Djourou’s face. Come one, get back up, Johan!

  73. Chelsea and Tottenham tied nil-nil. Lets make it six wins in a row. This will give the guys a three point lead over Spurs. There is still hope that we can catch Man City and Man U. Nothing is ever in the bag.

  74. What’s happened? I’m struggling to get my stream working

  75. I thought we already had 6 wins in a row? Come on you gunners.

  76. @Stew
    Both going for a header and Heskey smashing his elbow into Djourou’s face, who was down for a bit but now can continue.

  77. OK I’m in. Looks like a bright start, could (maybe should) have scored.

  78. Steww – we’re applying good pressure but Villa had a break away run that they wasted. Heskey is obviously there for good measure.

    Great play by Sagna, Van Persie and Walcott, saved by Given….

    Good pressure.

  79. Evil – thanks I heard a snatch of commentary which made it sound like Johan had been sent off so I was worried.

  80. Flint McCullough

    Stream anyone please?

  81. ooooh, glorious chance.Sagna a bit too egoistical, though.

  82. @FLint
    Have your pick! I am using the one called “M1 and M6” complete without commentary, just the crowd!

  83. Evil – sopcast has all gone to shitrags for me, just bright pinks and reds or I’d be on the same one.

  84. Ah – playing it through VLC working a treat. NO COMMS = Heaven

  85. Petrov booked – damn right Mr Cuntface ref

  86. Damn, I love that we have not one but TWO free-scoring left backs!

  87. Oh yes – couldn’t have happened to a nicer boy

  88. I guess that makes us the team with the highest amount of different goal scorers this season. One man team, huh?

  89. This Aston Villa team team have been primed to park an aircraft carrier in front of goal with the hope that they’ll counter attack with pace.

  90. I remember seeing young Keiron in a pre season game, I think he played on the wing, came on as a sub. So much more satisfying seeing our own come through than just buying someone.
    ps I do love Santa too mind.

  91. Nice one by Walcott to make Warnock look ordinary

  92. Fantastic TV5 pass and great ball control from Theo, but well done to the Villa defender for the last ditch tackle.

  93. Excellent covering back by Gervihno.
    What’s the chances of Heskey lasting the 90? Who’s the ref? Oh.

  94. Tommy V going to have to put in a shift today without the speed and genius anticipation of kosser.

  95. Great tackle by our captain to prevent the counter attack and win the ball back!

  96. How about that for defending from the front by RVP?

  97. Don’t anyone dare say Gerv doesn’t track back. twice now he’s burned them for pace.

  98. Oh Theo you fucking beauty.

  99. And Song with another one of those masterpiece passes! He just knows how to pick one, huh? Calm finish by Theo, too.

  100. Brilliant touch and goal by walcott

  101. With Songaldinho, who the fuck needs Fabregas.

    8 assists and all of them sublime….

  102. Who’s that man again with the unbelievable pass over the top? Cesc ? Nasri? Nope. it’s the man who should stick to his job protecting the back four – the man not fit to wear the shirt.

  103. Oh my what a team. This is poetry.

  104. What an attempt from Arteta! Given is not going to have a good evening…

  105. It should also be noted that Rosicky is working a lot, always putting pressure on their defenders, therefore forcing them to commit mistakes and give the ball away cheaply

  106. See TR7 win that back? On The edge of their box. Remember those fucking wankers who said get rid? Called him names. Arsene knows.

  107. Evil – you and me having similar thoughts.

  108. Liverpool 0 Wigan 1.

    King Kenny my left buttock.

  109. Need a third to help relax those nervous ninnies among our support 😉

  110. Loving hearing the crowd cheering the tracking and closing.

  111. Szxexxzzzer to Bac’s head to Theo’s feet seems to be a rather successful tactic these days

  112. Couldn’t score with my sister, darius

  113. Van Persie could have had a hatrick….Jeez.

  114. Fuck me – that was some heroic last ditch shit from them.

  115. Speed of thought from RVP. Our players just seem more intelligent than others don’t they?

  116. Like to see Gerv getting more into the game. He started very well.

  117. You can hear every word Given says on my stream. Potty mouth.

  118. We’ve had 10 corners so far in the first half – I’m actually getting disappointed at our conversion rate for corners. We’re better off taking them short and playing oout the game while retaining possession.

  119. Your a doomer Darius. Nothings good enough for you is it.

  120. I like the way we’re hunting the ball in packs.

  121. Must be terrifying trying to pick a pass with TR7, RVP and Theo snapping at you from all sides.

  122. Steww…LOL.

    The law of averages would suggest that at least 1 out of the 10 corners would result in a goal. Gervinho seems to have a calf problem.

    Unleash the Ox on Villa I say.

  123. Pat Rice “Come on Theo, come on, up to the ball, up to the ball” they never relent, no matter how well you’re playing Arsene’s staff are on their backs pushing them to do more.

  124. Sheer quality. What a team.

  125. Get RVP off and try the Moroccan geezer. We can’t rely on everyone else to score all the team. Honestly we look like a ten man team out there.

  126. What a First Half…As good as barca…u better believe it..

    I wonder what the “pundits” can find to say about Theo now…

  127. Cruising, the game should be more than over all ready. Superb goal by Theo. Our midfield are completely bossing the game. The only time Villa look anywhere near approaching dangerous are the few times they have managed to break from our corners.

  128. Flint McCullough

    Many thanks, Evil, good one.

  129. Limestonegunner

    Fantastic half. Gibbs struck that right in front of me. So many corners and RvP could have several with the chances. Villa lucky to be only 2 down. Hoping not to see any more goals at close range!! COG!!! Brilliant!!!

  130. Yet another chipped over the defense assist for Song….

  131. “Yet another chipped over the defense assist for Song…”

    He really does have that down to a tee eh?

  132. pedantic george

    two quick goals now and Park,Santos and Ramsey for 40 minutes please

  133. The team looks so balanced and I can confirm that a whole load of doomer gooners have recently seen the light and it’s nice to hear.

    Hopefully keep a clean today and the concentration levels are right up so I’m hoping for a bag full of goals and clean sheets!

  134. JET put Ipswich up too! I know but, still love him.

  135. Haha..the king is losing another one at Anfield…hahahhaaha..

  136. And was that Henry sidefooting it in? ;0 Some finish by Theo

  137. Park is not on the bench PG. I hope we get another and then bring on AOC and Santos. Maybe Chamakh can get some game time as well. Once this game is out of reach we should take RvP off.

  138. Damn good shout for Park. Really want to see him get given a fair chance.

  139. Usually I’d already be pretty happy because it means more misery for Liverpool, but that Wigan are leading is even better. I want them to stay up!

  140. btw. Ryo with an assist for Bolton from a corner. That boy knows a thing or two about taking them!

  141. Evil – that should make Darius happy. We’ll have a corner specialist next season.

  142. People – this game ain’t over. We need to be professional and remember that’s its Phil ‘The cunt’ Daud reffing the game.

    Zero tolerance to complaicency and secure the 3 points.

  143. Wasn’t Arteta just a brilliant bit of business?
    Arsene knows.

  144. This side look complacent to you Darius? They are fighters.

  145. Hutton very lucky there. Just threw himself at Gerv and down to the ground.

  146. Steww. I’m not worried about this side, we’re brilliant and determined.

    It’s the referee I’m worried about. I don’t want us to give him any wiggle room to fuck this up. We need to put the game way beyond the fucker’s reach.

  147. You see. I fucking detest that kind of foul.

  148. Dowd is a psycho, but he made me laugh. Wanted to book Warnock, accidentally picked out the red card and made a “Did I scare you?” face to Warnock before getting the yellow one out.

  149. I know what you mean Darius, I do.

  150. Mikel, Robin and Theo chatting about where to go for supper.

  151. That Gardner fella is a bit of a cunt like his brother. Yello card within a minute and gets the ball in his balls.

  152. Jibril Cisse has been sent off and will miss QPR’s game against Arsenal.

    For a minute there, I forgot we even had a goal keeper. You do forget he’s a damn good keeper too, just for good measure.

  153. I love that we have the confidence to knock to about at the back. even when that confidence outstrips the players’ ability. A man’s reach should always be longer than his grasp.

  154. Villa much better this half. Not good. Better.

  155. What did Robin just do????

  156. Am I the only one who saw a handball from TR7’s shot just then?

  157. i love that Walcott has the confidence to beat Villa plaeyrs inside the box. on headers(!)

  158. no stew but you aint the ref so you dont count 😉

  159. Heskey, whose only contribution to the game was the elbow in the 2nd minute, is off.

  160. Steww, the Arsenal commentary boys picked up that handball.

    Look’s like the team is happy with the tempo and if they need to up gears they will.

    Liverpool 1 Wigan 2

    Again, KIng Kenny my left buttock.

  161. LOL at Rosicky and Arteta looking at each other as if to ask “which of us old fuckers is being substituted?” Hilarious.

  162. Cannot say who I prefer at LB. An embarrassment of riches.

  163. Brazil a bit rusty?? Get the cobwebs out my son.

  164. Chuks Aneke scores for Preston on his loan debut

    WTF Santos

  165. Dreadful start by Santos but unbelievable recovery.

  166. Santos still a bit rusty. I think he’ll make up for that on the other end with a goal!

  167. Daud is a cunt. He went to remove a card and realised he’s just booked Ireland and bottled it.

  168. Ireland a lucky boy I thinks

  169. I love the way Darius spells Dowd as if he was a baddie in a Tolkien story.

  170. Unlucky Rambo, great skill.

  171. Li’l Jack can only sit and watch and wonder how he gets into this team.

  172. Listen to that for Theo. Music.

  173. Dowd missed his chance to give them a nothing free kick. Surprised?

  174. pedantic george

    no silly free kicks please

  175. Ah he just made up for it.

  176. wow whata tackle by Ireland

  177. George I don’t think Phil is listening to you. See? He won’t give us any kind of free kick silly or otherwise.

  178. We need to up the tempo for the rest of the game.

  179. Diese – you are kidding right?

  180. he got the ball you could see it change direction
    great run by the Ox though

  181. Is Santos trying to outshine Jethro?

  182. I think Johan has done well after a long time without much footy.

  183. Deise you can get as much ball as you like but you aren’t allowed to make contact with the player to do so. He flattened him, getting the ball is neither here nor there.

  184. well Johan was decent for a long period last year. Then he was injured and a bit inconcistent. Im sure if he gets another period he will be decent again. Hes a good 4th choice imo…

  185. Steww – it may be because he’s also playing in a good team and even if he was rusty like Santos, the team will carry him.

    3 points it is then. And what was it about a one man team who can’t win a game without Van Persie.

  186. These cunts want to injure our players. Fucking bastards.

  187. he cut across him, got the ball and took Ox afterwards – thats what you call last ditch and desperate but he pulled it off

  188. Villa think they’ll win this game by getting a yellow card each.

  189. This is a masterclass in rotational fouling. How do they remember who’s turn it is?

  190. wooozaaaa whata goal Arteta

  191. What a screamer!

  192. Mikel Arteta – you beauty. Shay Given didn’t have a chance.

    Arsenal have literllly worn Villa down and licked them into submission.

  193. We can agree on that Deise.

  194. One man team eh????

  195. Champagne football is back 😀

  196. Well, they say there are no easy games, but this was probably the easiest one of the season. Villa where just there to make up the numbers.

  197. its all they have left stew they have been outclassed all day

  198. So Robin hasn’t scored for two league games running now. Are we already in crisis?

  199. Limestonegunner

    Red Army!!!! I wanted 3-0, and I got it! Ooh to be a Gooner!!

    One man team? Ha!

  200. This is like a blend of free flowing improvisational Wengerball and bloody minded defending a la George Graham.
    Not a bad mix I say.

  201. Sell RVP…he didn’t score in 180 minutes…another Arsene Wenger flop.

    A R S E N A L

  202. 8 points to Chelsea..3 points to spurs…16 points to Liverpool…Mind that Fucking Gap

  203. Limestonegunner

    Got to see Brazil and the Ox too!! The Ox was devastating!

    Theo my man of the match but outstanding display from all. Special recognition for Djourou, fantastic performance!

  204. Great win.

    What a fucking free kick by Arteta. Won’t see a better one this season. I thought we should have had a pen (AOC) at first, but it was a great tackle by Ireland.

  205. Theo has this year so far assisted 11 and scored 8 goals in all competitions.You do not get those numbers by luck. Two more goals and hes up in doubles in both assists and goals this season. Last year he had 13 goals and 9 assists.
    Not that bad for a youngster like him. By the age of 25 he could produce Lampard numbers every season. Which would be an asset to any club.

  206. i think we saw that rosicky had a good shot saved today, ramsey a nice move to create space for himself to shoot.

    arteta got one from a freekick. but if you want to talk about open play.. i think the goals are going to start coming from midfield. very crucial especially if teams think all they have to do to stop us scoring is to stop rvp. will make them pay dearly. dont forget we have 17 goalscorers in the league. more than anyone else.

  207. Liverpool are equidistant in terms of points to Arsenal in 3rd and Bolton in 17th…

  208. arteta is my MOTM. the stream i was watching showed the distance covered stats at half-tme which tells the whole story really.

    in the top 10 (from both teams) he ran the most. and much of the list was filled by villa players.

    what did this stat tell us? that we as a team let the ball do the work, and villa were chasing shadows. but more importantly, arteta was the one shuttling to and fro to help the ball along. connecting everyone.

  209. just realise chelsea have to go to liverpool, and fulham. and host newcastle as well. that game might become interesting, because newcastle are just 3 behind them now.

  210. I’m going to watch those cunts at Soccer Saturday and see what they say, especially Phil Thompson.

    And for crying out loud, get rid of that Van Persie, fucking waste of space, hasn’t scored in i don’t know how long.

  211. I would agree with Arteta as MotM. Even without his goal. He was instrumental in the way we ran the game. Rosicky excellent as well though, he really does move at speed with the ball.

  212. Kori..

    3 behind with a game in hand..

  213. We were slick, we were smooth… OTBAG

  214. Really not sure who to give the vote for Man of the Match. Everyone was just so great. Special mentions to Theo, who’ll probably be the reason why Warnock won’t be able to sleep at night, Djourou, who was a rock at the back and made a vital block in the second half and Arteta, who was just himself, but that’s what we’ve come to expect from him!

  215. I also understand now why GA asked for Theo to be benched earlier today. Nice reverse jinx, GA!

  216. Apparently..Liverpool have 13 points in the last 13 games or something like that..

  217. Spurs..defo have the easier run-in..but hopefully our momentum can get us 6 out of 6 against city and chelsea at home..

  218. all played well today but my motm today would be gerv he was all over the place including chasing back as last man but everyone worked hard and good to see serveral candidates for motm

  219. Haven’t seen the match yet, but I love the score!

  220. @Anirudh we did have an easy run in last year. That never helped us…

  221. Poodle

    True mate..its all about momentum and form I guess, an injury free end to the season will also be a massive boost..

  222. where was the much-vaunted villa solid defence anyway?

    this game showed why milan ploughed up the widths of their pitch.

  223. Comprehensive. Everyone played well, but I vote 3G’s MoTM for an assist and 2 outstanding defensive interventions at a crucial point in the game. Villa are a dirty team -I just hope they have not injured any of our players

  224. Theo my MOTM again
    When Theo is in confident, he is unplayable.

  225. Thanks again, for the well wishes and congrats about my new baby girl!

    IG, If you get to read this. I believe both name spellings of the names have the same meaning and are related.

    Yes Yogi, another girl. Texas is a gun toting state though, so I should be ok. ha!

    Great great win!

    What a strike by Arteta and my boy, Walcott! I am so glad that I was right about him all along. I really don’t gloat but I feel I need to since so many blasted him, day in and day out!

    I told that guy Suga that we would get into the top 4 and he kept asking me at whose expense, as Chelsea and The Spuds were far too superior. Take a look at the table dude!

  226. What a brilliant performance. Disagree that Villa’s defence were poor – we were simply in a different class. Like the fact that so many of us have different MOTM’s – it shows what a unit we have become lately. Theo for me [watching on a stream] because he his whole game was 100 %. Great win; nice draw earlier… it’s looking good.

  227. Gooooooooooooooolllllllaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaazzzzzzzzzzzoooooooooooooooooooo!

  228. Clerkenwell Gooner

    Last time I was at a game vs Villa, it was 3-0 too, and with a magnificent free kick from a Spanish chap:

    I’m jumping up and down in that heaving mass somewhere near the corner flag. (Yes, Limestone, it’s fun when they score them right in front of you.)

    Pleased for Gibbs, that he got a goal. He’s kind of come back into the team under the radar, so to speak, since we were waiting for the return of more established players, Sagna, Santos, Diaby, Jack even.

    But he’s a fine prospect, very assured.

    I love our back five these days, whoever plays.

  229. arse or brain

    quite right about gerv. i know a mate who says gervinho doesnt show any heart, commitment. guess gerv has proven him wrong today.

  230. It was really nice to see a Bolton win today..

  231. I hope bolton stay up so we can loan them a couple of players next season. Our players seem to do well there dont they? First Jack and now Ryo. Aneke & Eisfeld might also do well there…

  232. Another dominating performance at home. Great formula win comfortably at home and grind out wins on the road. Another clean sheet and 3 goals from someone not named RVP. Could not ask for any more

  233. I just had a look at the fixture list on and it seems we are playing coldplay at home 3 times this june!!

  234. Bradys right foot

    Kozzer, whats the word on his injury?

  235. Limestonegunner

    The other really nice thing about being in London for the game is walking back to Tufnell Park and getting lots of shouts from people–up the gunners! and so on. Lovely.

    You’re a lucky lot, you Londoners.

  236. I also always believed that others would start scoring;we are getting goal’s from the every position now.

    Arsenal, the best team in the PL,

  237. i think the week before we go to stoke, we should just have one day where we get some people to just launch balls for our players to head. they really love putting the balls in the air dont they.

    crouchs goal was a great goal, but either of rvps volleys are still more worthy goal of the season for me.. simply because of the pass, the movement and the technique.

    to be honest, i think crouch’s goal isnt THAT difficult. one touch to control, one touch to lob it. the volley is more difficult because you are receiving the ball from someone else, you are moving and you only get one touch on it and it has to be right..

  238. Aah Limestone – gutted I didn’t get your message post until now; it take me about 45 mins to get to the Emirates but don’t normally get any internet coverage once in the stadium (thanks Vodafone). Would have been great to touch base – hope you have a good evening. Yes, you’re right, we are so lucky to be in London and oh, to be a Gooner, just a wonderful atmosphere on days like these.

    Thought Theo was IMMENSE today although hard to single out any one player to be honest, they all played their part. Most interesting thing to my eye was the feeling that we never really got out of second gear – I say that not as criticism but simply because we didn’t need to. Villa came to park a bus but couldn’t even manage that properly; once they’d gone one and then two down it never occurred to them to ramp up their game to try to match us. No wonder their supporters were leaving at the first opportunity to do so without appearing rude.

    Some great results everywhere today – Citeh and Liverpool providing entertainment to rival the Spuds & Chavs.

    Happy days.

  239. sigh the lack of activity here is a reminder of how i need to get a life. hanging around on the internet on a sat night hoping to talk about arsenal.

  240. pedantic george


  241. pedantic george

    That was the first time I have ever felt that at 2.nil the game was safe.
    Changed days indeed.
    Djourou was excellent I felt

    I CALLED THE SCORE LAST NIGHT. 3-0. To the. Goons.
    Champagne. And. Caviar. Is back. Gentlemen and ladies.
    Enjoy. The. Ride…..
    UP. THE. GUNS. OF. ARSENAL!!!!!!!!
    PS. JD is one tough. Son of a gun. Hehe..

    I CALLED THE SCORE LAST NIGHT. 3-0. To the. Goons.
    Champagne. And. Caviar. Is back. Gentlemen and ladies.
    Enjoy. The. Ride…..

    We want our little. Ruski. Back. Too. Plz.
    UP. THE. GUNS. OF. ARSENAL!!!!!!!!
    PS. JD is one tough. Son of a gun. Hehe..

  244. party hardy. GUNNERS.
    I hope they don’t find LIMESTONE tomorrow on the tube ,passed out ,with his pants around the ankles. I really worry about these things. 🙂
    butt spanking. Promised and delivered. Mr. Mac leash. I think today he wished he was still with Birmingham in the championship.
    Enjoy the PL. dumbass. 😉

  245. watch out shitty. Lookout manure.

  246. did i mention that arteta is my favourite spaniard?

  247. i was thinking of getting a hair cut. not sure if i should.. because my last one coincided with our current 8 game unbeaten run and 7 game winning streak.

  248. Get one after we lose our next game, kori! Though that obviously means there’s a decent chance that you’ll have to wait until next season for your hair cut.

  249. Evil, i would gladly never ever cut my hair if it means we keep winning.

  250. Me, too! But I think they team will continue to win, without us having to sacrifice all the hair cutting equipment in the world. QPR await next week, but I have to say that I am already very much looking forward to the game against City. I just can’t shake this feeling that we might do to them what we already did to our neighbours and Chelsea. Would be nice if we were the ones to properly crush Nasri’s title hopes, too.

  251. hehehe, shagadelick Kori..

  252. Just popping in to say well done The Arsenal!! 3-0 and the spuds-chavs (Ihave decided they are undeserving of capital letters 🙂 ) draw and Liverpool lose HAHAHA! Well done Bolton, nice way to bounce back.

    LSG – Very happy for you mate 🙂 Glad you experienced a win and hope you have a great time in London

    Paul-N – I thought they might be related 🙂 and you were right about Suga, he is an idiot of the highest order.

    Now off for some Southern-style BBQ followed by some moonshine 🙂

  253. Some of the slick one touch passing today was absolutely breathtaking. I love to see Arsenal in full flight – it is a sight to behold. Villa did not know what had hit them and resorted to what they do best – kicking everything that moves. The early leavers will be gutted that they missed Arteta’s first successful free kick for Arsenal after countless balls hitting the wall. I hope they’ll be like buses now!

  254. 2nd anyone?

  255. I doubt it. But 1st is as close as 2nd if you are thinking that way.

  256. Hey, GA, can I guess that your preferred starting line-up for next weeks match against QPR won’t include Theo?

  257. Team effort.

    Happy to see Djourou put in a solid shift. Can’t remember the last time I saw him put in a full 90 and see Arsenal with a clean sheet. Hesky is a handful.

    The back four and midfield of Arteta – Song – Rosicky are showing increasing understanding which for me attributes our control of this match and our current run of wins.

  258. I didn’t think today would suit Theo. Wrong; he had a good game I thought and managed to find plenty of space behind the Villa defence. Great to see.

  259. Limestonegunner

    Don’t worry, Goonerkam; I won’t pull a Bendtner 🙂

    No worries, AA–it was a nice suggestions, but with 50000 people at the Emirates, you don’t expect it to happen, but is was a lovely gesture to make an out of town Gooner feel welcome.

    Mostly happy like all of us that we didn’t stumble with short rest and little rotation, an injury to Koscielny and a physical Villa side. In the past, we might have overlooked this tie, but while we weren’t completely ruthless, as you say–second gear (but what a second gear!!)–with so many chances created we were humming along in fluid fashion.

    I completely second the point about Theo. He was dangerous all game and had an excellent first touch, showed real ability to take people on with the ball at his feet, and his goal was delightful–real striker class play. He is starting to come one with new elements to his game. Wonderful!

    I sat near two Dutch guys who like to see quality sides–not exactly Gooners but with lots of insight. Apparently in the Netherlands, everyone says he should stay at Arsenal and it is well known that the recent interview he gave to the Dutch football magazine says that he has Arsenal in his heart.

  260. Limestonegunner

    Anyone have an extra away ticket for QPR? I’m in town through next weekend and would love another chance to watch the boys!

  261. Limestonegunner

    Thanks, IG, did you get to the Pig for the match?

  262. I had to pass on the opportinity to go to the game and found myself working whilst the game was on in N17 *sobs*

  263. 2nd??
    Why the hell not. Stranger things have happened before. Why not the front two to drop some points and we take care our end. The very least, they will shit their pants. We owe them that much. Specially red scum. Kick a team in the guts when they are down.???? Yours is waiting mofos. Maybe this year, probably next. But it is coming. Count on it. retire FFF ,WHILE YOU STILL CAN.

  264. We had a n 11-match run of clean sheets last season when JD played at CB. So if Kosmaelen The Destroyer is out of commission, I’m happy with JDTV.

    And for anyone who’s worried about The Kos:
    “London-based French journalist Julien Laurens reports that he’s spoken with defender Laurent Koscielny, who says that the knee problem that kept him out of today’s 3-0 win against Aston Villa is not serious, and he should be able to be in the team next weekend when the team faces Queens Park Rangers.”

  265. What great match to pick for your first one at the Ems, LSG. Sounds like you had a fantastic day.

  266. its a shame ace has succumbed to yogi’s now strict as shit draconian dictatorship policies coz i’d have loved to tell him he is a c*nt for slagging of the great Theo.

  267. Good news on KOSHER. ,FUN.
    LIMESTONE ,you sound hooked. Or is it stoked
    Ad dictated. To the RED & WHITE.

  268. pedantic george

    Duke.I think he knows what you think of him.Cunt that he is.

  269. evening george.

  270. Evil,

    just superstitious. honestly i wont be able to forgive myself if something untoward happens should i get my hair cut.

  271. They all know DUKE. specially that rectum fellow..

  272. the funny thing is that the last time round, it was a spontaneous decision. i thought i needed a breath of fresh air, new luck (both my personal life and arsenal’s fortunes were in a mess at that time)

  273. pedantic george

    Hope your personal life has bucked up as well

  274. pedantic george

    Evening Duke

  275. we keep rvp (and the squad) we win ze title next year.(injury permitting)

  276. george

    thanks.. it has picked up a little.. my life kind of mirrors arsenal’s fortunes..

  277. anyone else think David Weater looks like the predator when he takes his mask off?? its uncanny.

  278. I’m just thankfull we’re talking about a haircut and not a shower. Good night leftists. Headed out to dinner and hard rock. Oh yah.

  279. Limestonegunner

    I did FG, I did. I’ve been there before, but only for the Emirates cup. This was much better. And I have to say that although the view isn’t as good for appreciating the movement of the play as it is in the upper tier, I really enjoyed the atmosphere in the lower tier.

    Plus, being close to the away support during such a dominant performance allowed us the clear upper hand in the “banta”. I especially enjoyed clapping off Heskey to their chants that he scores when he wants–I had forgotten that he was even playing, and he must have lost all desire to score, it would seem!

  280. Limestonegunner

    Such depth of knowledge and keen analysis AW tosses around so spontaneously and casually in his press conference. He puts the ability to play out from the back as a key component to our form. He tells us that a person Arteta’s stature and foot size is better off taking a free kick on the laces.

    Is there an area of the game he hasn’t thought about and made minute observations on with such acute and perspicacious insight?

    Amazing stuff. I started a “One Arsene Wenger” chant right about the time Arteta took his free kick. Little did I know how specifically appropriate was the tribute.

  281. What are the chances.

    If Man City draw 3 of the remaining games, and they lose to Arsenal at home and to United, we will finish the league on the same number of points. We have to win all our games of course.

    I’ll be damned if that happens.

  282. I’m sorry that Koscielny didn’t get to enjoy our second clean sheet in row, but I’m glad we had big Johan to take his place.

  283. I’ve downloaded the full match to watch because i missed it, and i’ve noticed something, since the game was on the Arsenal player, are these two cunts the Arsenal Player commentators, are you fucking serious? They are the most cuntish piece of turd i have ever heard speak. Its like they make it their job to dig into Arsenal at every opportunity.

    It makes me sick, and it begs the question, why do Arsenal still have these brain dead morons as commentators? its ridiculous.

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