Walcott Provides The Answers But Leaves A Few Questions

A bit of a shock this morning, Theo Walcott is what looks suspiciously like a top recently touted as the new third strip. Minus the confectioners logo, of course.  Amongst the platitudes – what title race Theo, it’s over – was some searing honesty on his performances. Whilst he specifically refers to the Tottenham match, his observations about this season show a mature inner reflection,

This is the first season I’ve been injury-free, touch wood. So, hopefully, I can continue to play at a consistent level. I know people have been slightly frustrated. But I’m not going to have anyone tell me what to do. I’m the best judge of myself and if I’m not performing I know that and I’ll beat myself up about it!

But you can’t play well every game. No one can – apart from Messi! But you wouldn’t be human. There is always going to be ­pressure. The best reaction is playing well and putting it in the back of the net.

His return in terms of goals / assists is better in total than previous years and he has played but three games more to date. Consistency is still elusive and I understand his point about not playing well in every match. There are minimum standards though and against Spurs, it would have been easy for Arsène to replace him. That he did not underlines why Theo made the right decision to join Arsenal; the weight of expectation is there from the supporters and everyone else but he has a manager who possesses the patience to allow it come naturally.

This is key. I do not expect him to play well every game, just to be effective every game; there is a world of difference between the two. He does not have to score every time he walks onto the pitch, nobody should expect it although too many look for more goals than he is capable of contributing to the team from the wide position. Around 10 – 12 a season is that which you would expect from a wide player, with an equal or higher number of assists. He is there this campaign so why is there still a sense of unfulfilled promise.

Part of it is his age and the trajectory of his career. A big fee; Arsenal winning a bunfight for his signature; World Cup at 16; this boy must be special. Talk of wanting a central striking role tends to raise expectations and although that has quietened down recently, the seeds have been planted in minds and this is the benchmark.

It is however not just his own consistencies which troubles him. The team’s performance at the weekend is destroyed in two sentences,

With QPR, we probably underestimated them. But it’s always going to be a tough game. I felt that we didn’t really want it as much as QPR did, but that will change on Sunday.

What more can you say? It is incredible that they underestimated a team which is fighting for its Premier League survival yet that is the way of football. Every team in the game is culpable on that score. Arsène’s post-match comments left me thinking that there was a strong likelihood of stern words delivered in a measured tone that will have more impact than any excoration from a blog site ever will. His closing sentence in that passage suggest that the manager and others have bitten deep with their comments about performances.

Walcott is not taking anything for granted but by the same token is aware that strengthening the squad will happen in the summer. He is probably more receptive to the idea than many supporters despite most accepting that this has to happen. Personally I have always believed that this should be an organic process, something that happens every year. Arguably it is one of Arsène’s blind spots in recent years probably more to do with players in whom he had invested a great deal of personal time, not responding as favourably to his overtures to stay as he had believed,

Any new additions will boost the strength of the team and that is only going to help us with our next target – getting that monkey off our back about winning trophies. That will come in time. But we need to be patient. We are still learning the game. We’re a young team, but there’s a lot of experience too – ­especially in big games.

Talk of signing such as M’Vila raises uncomfortable questions for some; why sign someone when a perfectly good player is already at the club. A multitude of reasons can answer that but ultimately it comes to the manager’s judgement; is a new signing going to be better than that which he already has. If a player is signed, the answer is “yes”. If not – and there are no financial issues to cloud matters – then the answer is “no” but we should never presume that any player is irreplaceable. At some point, they will be. That though is a matter for the summer. Right now, the weekend approaches and thoughts turn to Manchester City’s visit.

’til Tomorrow.

Posted on April 5, 2012, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Soccer, Transfer Gossip and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 86 Comments.

  1. good morning all

  2. Cheers

  3. SV. AND. PG.. with you all the way regarding yesterdays conspiracy debate. Keep up the good work. Also agree with YW that AW should learn from past experience and leave protests. To someone else in the club hierarchy. Also that that the emirates crowd need to be up for it in every game and pressure the refs. That way.

  4. If Theo wants to know what winning that first trophy is about

    http://afchistory.wordpress.com/

    Provides the answer.

  5. The Theo interview is a cliché ridden piece( we didn’t want it as much as QPR why the fuck is that Theo? or we underestimated QPR please spare me) of bullshit which makes my blood boil and therefore I seldom read this type of crap interview.
    Great post YW.

  6. A typical load of absolute tripe from Walcott.To say that QPR wanted it more is an absolute disgrace and sums up everything that is wrong with our squad.A few arguably fortunate wins{Liverpool,Everton,Newcastle} and they immediately start believing that they only have to turn up to win.Until we get some real leaders and winners either on or off the pitch we will remain a potential soft touch particularly away from home.

  7. bilal_whereru@hotmail.com

    I wouldn’t worry my poor little head too much about what Theo Walcott has to say. After all, he doesn’t have a football brian. And he refers to himself as a ‘Winger’, the crazy fool.
    (A nice attempt by Henristic at a snide comment the other day, how unlike him! We should applaud such fine efforts. Anyway, the poor blighter forgot to notice that not only does the gaffer refer to Theo as a ‘Winger’, so does the player himself!)

    This photo below was from the match review over at Zonal Marking.
    Before anyone makes any obtuse observations there’s no reason to post link this other then then the odd smile or two that it may provoke.

  8. I wouldn’t worry too much about what Theo Walcott has to say. After all, he doesn’t have a football brian. And he refers to himself as a ‘Winger’, the crazy fool.
    (A nice attempt by Henristic at a snide comment the other day, how unlike him! Anyway, the poor blighter forgot to notice that not only does the gaffer refer to Theo as a ‘Winger’, so does the player himself!)

    This photo below was from the match review over at Zonal Marking.
    Before anyone makes any obtuse observations there’s no reason to post link this other then then the odd smile or two that it may provoke.

  9. What like those ‘winners’ they bought in at Man City, Brian?

  10. brian | April 5, 2012 at 10:51 am

    “A few arguably fortunate wins{Liverpool,Everton,Newcastle} and they immediately start believing that they only have to turn up to win.Until we get some real leaders and winners either on or off the pitch we will remain a potential soft touch particularly away from home.” –

    – Those wins weren’t fortunate. The team worked their arse’s off to win those games. Against Liverpool – Hah. Against them though it looked like we were being torn into shreds, I don’t think any of our players panicked at all. Kos’s own goal happened, not because he panicked at all, but as YW said in his one of his blogs – “Shit Happens”.

    To hit the volley at the 90th minute isn’t fortunate. It shows the difference in class.

    And speaking of “Leaders and Winner’s” – Boy, you sure don’t know much, do you??

    Fickle-headed twat!!

    NB: I apologize in advance for my outburst YW and fellow ACLF’s. 🙂

  11. A reminder from the little altercation between Dilshan and Pietersen this morning that umpires in cricket can award a team with runs that they haven’t actually scored.

    Perhaps we could have a similar rule in football. It must be a distraction for Champions League refs to have to look for incidents where they can favour Barca whenever they’re in trouble. If they could simply award them a goal when it’s needed, they could concentrate for the rest of the match on applying the rules equitably.

  12. Speaking of football corruption and conspiracies, did anyone see the special report on Channel 4 news last night. It was about the way the Junta in Argentina absolutely ensured that Argentina won the 78 world cup.

    Players and officials are now coming out with bonafinde accounts of what happened when the Junta offered Peru, an arguably strong team that could have beaten Argentina in the semis, an offer they couldn’t refuse.

    Argentina offered to torture Peruvian political prisoners for the Peruvian government with an option to “disappear” those same prisoners if Peru threw the match to let Argentina through.

    Argentina had to beat Peru by 4 goals or more – and lo and behold, it happend with strange events leading to and also during the game. Crazy stuff like the Argentinian military ruler accompanied by his friend Henry Kissinger (not for conspiracy, but being seen with the US Secretary of State was a PR coup) visiting the Peruvian changing room before the match to run interference by being extra nice. This they did knowing full well that some political prisoners were being tortured in return for direct orders from the Peruvian government to the national team to throw the match.

    FIFA of course said they have no intention of revisiting the 1978 world cup.

  13. finsbury | April 5, 2012 at 11:10 am
    Absolutely brilliant link to that photobucket “poster”. I assume the 4th official was Phil Dowd.

  14. Lol finsbury,

    Snide? Pot and kettle my man, pot and kettle.
    Unlike you, I’m rather upfront when I disagree with someone’s view.

    Have to say though that a lot of what you write is simply beyond me. Something about the way you connect strings of thought together….are you a poet perhaps? I never really get poetry, but I’m sure your ramblings make sense to you, and other very smart people out there.

    Nice pic you posted, btw. Do you know if its real or doctored? Won’t be particularly surprised either way but the game plan looks plausible enough. I would imagine many teams have similar tactics when playing us.

  15. Q: What’s the difference between a circus and UEFA?
    A: A circus has a cunning array of stunts.

    Priceless.

  16. Henristic.

    Yes. There’s plenty of evidence of me disagreeing with people like Irishgray or Paul N. No problem. Antime. I love to disagree with my Arsenal supporting brothers and sisters. I might learn something (Like how worthless the diddly cup is! Congratulations Paul N btw. A wiser father I could not imagine). A trawl through the archives will reveal that one amongst us spends most of their time making snide comments about other posters on ACLF. And it isn’t me.

  17. Darius

    More relevant was the financial and food aid given to the Peruvians during the weeks after, around $10m which is not a trifling amount now but had more power then.

    Crucially, Cruyff refused to travel to Argentina because of a well-founded fear of kidnap whilst the tournament was taking place. http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/2008/apr/17/newsstory.sport explains the backdrop with the political situation in Spain at the time. Just before this attempt on his family, a Spanish footballer had been kidnapped for a few months and held to ransom.

    Now this is a proper conspiracy theory!

  18. I agree with Zimpaul’s yesterday’s post

  19. Yogi, I was aware that some pressure was applied but I always thought it was to the Argentine players. Some players have since come out to speak about the unbearable pressure to win the world cup, but the recent revelations of the role the Junta played is mind boggling.

    Clearly, they saw the world cup and particularly the need to win it on home soil as a process of redemption for their unsavoury rule of the 70s.

    $10 million in 1978 value is a hell of a lot of money if you think about it. And the way things went with Holland being the finalists, Cryuff would have probably never made it out of an Argentine prison.

  20. longblackcloud

    didn`t Cryuff recent say that he refused to travel to Argentina due to fears for his families safety in Spain and a foiled kidnap plot of his wife and child, rather than any direct threat to himself?

  21. longblackcloud,

    Which is what the article I linked to said!

  22. longblackcloud

    so it does!

  23. longblackcloud

    With the (unlikey to happen due to price) link to M`Villa, any thoughts on Sog moving to CB permanently, to take up a role of defensive play-maker ala Baresi and in his latter stages of his career Matthaus? (sort of a Beckenbauer-lite)
    Always been impressed by his stints at CB and often a change Wenger has made when we are chasing the game.

  24. Yogi:

    Great post as always.

    Theo has been much better as has the whole team during the 7 game win streak. Overall he has had a good season. Still some inconsistency but hopefully he will get over that as he matures. I certainly hope we are able to resign him and keep him for the long term. Absolutely no reason why he can’t be very effective as a wide forward in our set up and having him out wide allows us to put someone centrally who has more variety in his skill set. Hopefully next season we can rotate Theo, Ox, Podolski and a sprinkling of Gervinho in the wide positions and Podolski can spell RVP occasionally in the central slot. May be even throw Ox in the central attack MF role. Ox is not the creative hub type of midfielder that Cesc was or TR7 can be but I would love to see us get away from depending on our creativity and killer passes from that position and make it an attacking player. Wilshere, Arteta or TR7 can lie deeper and have more of a play maker role. We have very few goals this season from our forward central midfielder and that should be one of our prime scoring positions.

  25. Hopefully mentally taking the game the way we did against QPR will not be repeated. That stuff happens to every team occasionally and it would not be something to worry about in most cases. Unfortunately Arsenal clubs have been guilty of that far too often and to a greater degree then most big teams and it seems like that is a significant part of our 7 year trophy drought that Theo talks about. I could easily understand taking a game off in game 16 after a tough mid week CL game. However, in game 31 with so much on the line and with no reason to be fatigued, it seems like a strange time for that to happen. Although not as talented in the top 15 players as previous seasons, this squad seems to be made of much stronger stuff between their ears which is why I was surprised by QPR. Hopefully that game will be a one off and we will power thru the rest of the season and we can put the mental struggles of our past teams in the rear view mirror.

  26. Well then, I have just about returned to some form of normality after my 4 day birthday bender!!! 🙂

    Cannot believe the boys couldnt do me the favour of actually winning on my birthday! Bastards!!! I know its old news now, but from the 1st whistle it was clear Arsenal werent up for the game and could not be bothered to put in a shift. Not one of em was any good, ALL had stinkers, particularly Song, who played the worst I have seen him for ages.

    Any way thats all gone now, time to push on and beat the northern chavs. Maybe I will get a late birthday present.

    Laters

    Up the Guns!!

  27. I cringe when one of our lads wheels out that “we’re still a young team” excuse. In terms of experience we aren’t. In fact in terms of top-flight experience we’re bloody ancient. Arsene needs to make that clear. We can’t be held back by that any more.

  28. bilal

    Great post mate, agree 100%

    brian

    Do you read the daily mail by any chance? Just asking.

  29. brian

    You plum, let me explain something to you; the team has just won 7 games on the trot, some very hard fought ones at that, so I think allowing them one game where the performance levels dip is OK, you hear, me? I will repeat that; IT IS OK, we can get over it, its not a major issue.

  30. Ok finsbury, believe what you will.

    Interesting stuff about the ’78 world cup. I heard wisps before now but I’ll read up more on it, thanks for link Yogi.

  31. It is ok isn’t it. Those archives can sure be useful.

  32. Happy birthday Dex.

  33. And for fear of getting shot down by another realistic one I agree with longblackcloud.
    A long time ago I described Song as a ‘defensive play-maker’, I even dared a comparison to Beckenbauer whilst chatting away with Darius. This provoked some attempts at ridicule from the usual ‘occasional posters’. I was deeply offended.

  34. good piece yogi i’ve never understood that comment they wanted it more than us.

  35. Thanks Fins!

    I agree with all that too BTW.

  36. Dex

    Is Brian the Samantha Brick of blogging?

  37. He’s far too beautiful to be that YW.

    It explains why I had to avert my eyes from his post.

  38. M’Villa? Arteta, Wilshere, Diaby, Ramsey, Rosicky, Song, Coquelin and the reserve kid. 8 players for 3 positions? Maybe. Don’t see Arsene spending too much. And I wouldn’t disagree much either.

  39. Samantha Brick surely bit more than she could chew right there.

    As for the debate on Song and M’Vila, I think it may be wrong to label song a defensive midfielder, a job description the establishment seems to be ready to cling on like a nonsense.

    He has so much more in his ‘arsenal’ (the pun, huh!) than most others as his ball playing skills are much more superior and add to his already seasoned defensive nous. For me, it was a specific game against Man United that really made me believe in Song. We were under so much pressure and while playing as a makeshift centre half, he literally dribbled the ball out of our 18 yard box. It was so assured, so silky and so smooth, Song had to be absolutely brilliant, or absolutely stupid to pull a stunt like that. We retained the ball and were able to relieve that pressure.

    Also against Standard Liege in the CL a couple of years ago, Song was challenged and as he went to ground, he retained the ball while rolling away from the challenge, got up and nonchalantly passed the ball to another red shirt to mount a new attack.

    I think the way I would describe Song’s play is that there is more control of where the ball goes next as opposed to what happens when your typical defensive spoiler of the “sit back – I laugh at this sit back thing as if someone had a deck chair in the midfield – and protect the back 4 while breaking up play and stopping anything that moves towards you.

    Song has also become better at the dark arts which are a necessary part of his trade. Occasionally, he will get booked but that’s an occupational hazard of indulging in the dark arts. Nothing wrong with taking one for the team.

  40. I really doubt we would buy M’Vila. Song could easily move further forward in our 433 set up and make room for another defensive minded player but I don’t see that happening. Not to mention that we also have Le Coq and Frimpong who could play behind Song if the boss felt the need. I think we have greater needs at other positions and limited money.

  41. M’Villa or Song? A very easy choice. The latter is a world class player, very few in the world, who can play as defensive creative midfielders as Finbusry pointed out. M’VIlla plays like Arteta, albeit the latter has done a tremendous job for us and perhaps is a better player as well. We can’t improve on that position. I think our defensive midfield fulcrum is quite strong. Especially when Song is playing.

    Podolski though makes a lot of sense.

  42. will the thrill

    “he literally dribbled the ball out of our 18 yard box. It was so assured, so silky and so smooth, Song had to be absolutely brilliant, or absolutely stupid to pull a stunt like that. We retained the ball and were able to relieve that pressure.”

    My guess is that he is the good kind of crazy. The kind of crazy that realizes the advantages of keeping possession. The prototype EPL defender will hoof the ball away, hoping that the 50/50 challenge goes in their favor. Songinho on the other hand realizes that by dribbling out of the defensive third, 3 or 4 of the opposition players are now out of the picture and an efficient counter attack can be engaged. That is why I like the Arsenal.

  43. Hey Ateeb. Watch it now, don’t you go throwing terms like “world class” when it comes to Arsenal. We’re not supposed to have any world class players – well, Van Persie at a push they’ll admit through gritted teeth – but Song? Hell no – a player that cost £1 million only?

  44. We look absolutely amazing for next season if we manage to keep Robin. I think we will keep him and others whose contracts need to be extended. The team spirit is different now. It’s about playing together and winning no matter what. I think they will stick together. Robin can set a great example by signing the contract this summers which would be a key for our long term prospects of building a strong team spirit which can deal with the ocassional drop outs. I am glad we got rid of Nasri this summers, we didn’t need players like that in our team. Wasn’t working for us. We’re much stronger now despite the loss of Cesc and Nasri which speaks volumes about the squad. Sure, Cesc is the best midfielder in the world but regardless we’ve brought good players and built a modified team that seems to rely less on one player for creativity but everyone feels responsible to win and score. You see Vermalaen scoring fantastic goals, so has Theo been. Song has been good at providing assists as well. But perhaps still, we lack some creative or attacking thrust, which is why Podolski seems like a likely buy. He can be very instrumental for our title challenge next season. Judging from the talent and team spirit, I think they can match the manchester clubs, despite the formers strong squads. In the end only 11 players get on the pitch. We have a good squad to keep a good starting 11 even despite injuries. Good team for side cups as well. I would like to see Vela playing again for us. If he’s improved on his performances that can match his talents. Eduardo-esque!

  45. bilal_whereru@hotmail.com

    Ateeb85, twas Longblackcloud who brought up creative DMs today.
    Did someone mention Song’s contract? Uh-oh. Song leaving? No. Never. Not on my watch.

    YW, honest question here: If you were playing a game of top trumps (only whilst looking after the kids of course) which card would you prefer to hold: Sergio B or Alexander Dimitri Song Billong? No explanation required!

  46. Outfoxed by wordpress. That’s me.

  47. Sorry for the double post if the Blogmaster has released the above.

    Ateeb85, twas Longblackcloud who brought up creative DMs today.
    Did someone mention Song’s contract? Uh-oh. Song leaving? No. Never. Not on my watch.

    YW, honest question here: If you were playing a game of top trumps (only whilst looking after the kids of course) which card would you prefer to hold: Sergio B or Alexander Dimitri Song Billong? No explanation required!

  48. Darius:

    I think I have probably told you this but my son thinks Arsenal have turned into a dirty team and we went on a hunting spree injuring Nani and Wayne Rooney late in the game in January. Song apparantly has a bit of a reputation as a dark artist among non Arsenal fans. Diaby was always supposed to be the next Patrick Vieira but I think Song is really more Vieira-like player. Midfielder player who is also a good passer and defender but has a bite to his game.

  49. Song better than Basquets? By miles. And doesn’t need to fall all the time either. Can Song make assists like Pirlo? 8 so far?

  50. Ateeb, I agree with you. Sergio has spent far too much time perfecting his Andy Carroll impersonation for me.

  51. I don’t think “Song” as a dark artist or dirty player – Infact he’s an intelligent player.

    Unlike like Basquets or Pepe – who falls to the ground ,whilst the tackles being made, holding their “crotch” as if they’re going to be impotent for the rest of their life’s – Dirtiest player this two. Makes me sick.

  52. We don’t like to see us getting tactically fouled all the time. It is good to see our players giving it back to all the cunts out there. What dark arts? We’re adapting to how the world plays football. Who other team practice this so well? Barcelona! A bit differently of course. Falling all over the ground, all over the time. So be it.

  53. Oops.. Unlike ( like).. Had too much of beer I suppose. 🙂

  54. Ateeb @ 6:27:

    Damn right!!!

  55. song getting some serious love..
    vieira and beckenbuar…

  56. hes up in that bracket though
    hes our most complete midfeilder..and one of the best in this league..him and yaya on form is clash of the titans..

  57. Albert. Those who are good at the dark arts rarely get caught. I’ll be disappointed if Arsenal players can’t apply the dark arts when required. Fuck playing fair when your opponents are punks hell bent on making life difficult for you.

    I expect Arsenal players to mix the rough with the smooth, the brawn with the finesse, the beautiful with the downright ugly if the job dictates that the said treatment is warranted for players to stand up for themselves and to stand up for their team-mates.

    Now – if a team is counter attacking and it makes business sense to stop that counter attack in its tracks, then I expect Arsenal players to do what it takes and take one for the team. Believe it or not, any other team will do it – though they tend to call it a tactical foul.

    Bill – I remember you told me about your son’s lament of Song’s dark arts against Nani in particular. I do hope he’s recovered from the trauma.

  58. my non supporting arsenal friends will tell me songs dirty
    doesnt stop them from having him in their dream team though…

  59. I don’t really think what Song does is “dark”. It is a logical weighing of consequences. A certain yellow card versus a good opportunity for the opposition. And I am happy that we have players willing to make the right choice in those cases. We might not be topping the fair play table anymore but if doing these “dark” things just prevents one goal I am all fine with it.

    On the other hand the true dark arts: elbows to the faces of unsuspecting players, rolling around on the ground after being barely touched (or sometimes not touched at all) pretending to have had every single bone in your body broken to goad the referee into producing a card as well as rotational and systematic fouling. I am rather happy and proud that that’s something not usually seen at our club and I would be saddened if we would let ourselves down to the level of the clubs that employ those means on a regular basis.

  60. Darius Stone (@DStoneArsenal) | April 5, 2012 at 7:26 pm

    “Those who are good at the dark arts rarely get caught. I’ll be disappointed if Arsenal players can’t apply the dark arts when required. Fuck playing fair when your opponents are punks hell bent on making life difficult for you. – ”

    “Now – if a team is counter attacking and it makes business sense to stop that counter attack in its tracks, then I expect Arsenal players to do what it takes and take one for the team. Believe it or not, any other team will do it – though they tend to call it a tactical foul.” –

    And that is why I still call Song an “Intelligent Player, mate!! 😉

  61. Evil – I look at and define dark arts as your first example. Elbows in the face and simulations are a no no. I’m more into tactical decisions that create advantage even if at a cost. Slowing down players and general play, subtle obstructions, running interference – all possible without taking out an opponents teeth. However, if the opponent is not following the principles of fair play, it would be stupid and naive to think that we’ll make it to the finishing line by playing fair. I think they call it “earning the right to play your game” when you leave your opponent no choice but to understand that you will meet fire with fire to restore a bit of order if the ref isn’t interested in doing it.

    Patrick Vieira was a very good practitioner of these dark arts, occasionally even starting the drama in the tunnel for good measure. The kind of “see if I give a fuck” attitute that our players would be well served with in some games.

  62. JJ @ 7:32

    “my non supporting arsenal friends will tell me songs dirty
    doesnt stop them from having him in their dream team though”

    I have heard the exact same thing. Song is not a dirty player but I agree with Darius that he is our best practitioner of the dark arts and I for one am really glad he plays for us. I think I told this once to George but I remember very well a game against ManU that C Ronaldo was beating our midfield for pace time and again and PV4 would commit a very well executed professional foul whenever he looked like he was going to be in trouble. I would love to see that sort of thing stopped because it would make the game better to watch and allow the skillful players to weave their magic but as long as it is allowed we have to do what is needed. I think this squad has a lot more grit then previous teams and hopefully we can continue to develop those “skills”.

    I sometimes think Song would be more effective moving further forward. Occasionally the idea of him as a CB gets floated around but I think that we could not take advantage of his passing. His combination of grit and passing skill make for a perfect center midfielder.

  63. Darius @ 8:01:

    Virtual standing ovation for that one. Its not about going ankle hunting or taking out cheekbones with flying elbows, its about doing what is need to gain a tactical advantage within reason and within what is consider the usual standard of practice. I doubt that many of us go speeding down the road at 200 km/hr weaving in and out of traffic but I suspect most of us will go 10km/hr over the speed limit when all the traffic around us is doing the same.

  64. Thank you finsbury!

    Humbled.

  65. YW – Very nice write up as always 🙂 Theo has played very well this season overall but I agree he needs to show more consistancy rather than (although this too would be appreciated) scoring/assisting more goals. I still believe he needs 3-4 more years before we will see anything close to the finished article.

    Dexter – Happy (belated) Birthday mate!! 🍻 Cheers!!

    Finsbury – Personally I have always enjoyed any debate you and I have had. In fact I will freely admit that many a time you have changed my psoition on certain points. Look forward to having many more in the future 🙂 Really do not understand the accusations of a ‘snide’ manner but what the hey, to each their own.

    Just pulled into Richmond, Virginia for a few days fine dining and even finer drinking! 🙂 Our friends are putting us up in their ‘cottage’ or as us common folk would call it, a fucking mansion!! Can’t wait for the City game, have a good feeling towards it. Wouldn’t it be funny if QPR beat Manure? Now off for some dinner and booze 🙂

  66. Paul-N – I saw your invite the other day and I unfortunately will be nowhere near Texas for some time. Have never been in fact! However, next year’s roadtrip is already in the planning stages so you never know, although the northwest is definitely ‘winning’ so far as a destination.

  67. Just saw this – http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-2125539/Fabrice-Muamba-feet-Owen-Coyle.html

    Well done lad, there really is nothing like a fighter! 🙂

  68. Hopefully one day Irish!

    If I didn’t have young children, I would have taken a drive to n’orleans; its not that far from Houston. Hopefully we can make it happen one day!!!
    Heck, I would even like to link up with Bill!! as long as he promises not to talk about Arsenal’s defending! hee hee!

  69. As far as finsbury and “snide” comments, say what you want but he cracks me the heck up! There is nothing like when he spots a silly comment and tears it apart.

    I am laughing just thinking about it!

    More please!

  70. Paul @ 9:47:

    I would love to meet you someday. I suspect your children and my grandkids would love each other. No talking about Arsenal allowed. I don’t know if your a fan but we can talk baseball or talk about our kids and grandkids. I am absolutely stoked about the baseball season starting on Friday. YUUUUUUUUUU Darvish!!!!!

  71. Irish:

    i don’t know how anyone who seems as likable as you do could really be a Yankee fan. There is just no logic to that.

  72. Limestonegunner

    I think that reputation would help explain why Song gets called so frequently for fouls and yellows; to my mind disproportionately.

    Will Song re-sign? The M’Vila talk might be because there is genuine uncertainty about Song’s status heading this summer into a final year of his contract. I think we need to hang onto him.

    If there are additions, I’d prefer we get a good backup GK if Fabianski departs, a versatile attacker who can play centrally upfront when needed (assuming we keep RvP and sign him to a contract extension)… beyond that I don’t think there is much we can do. I’d like a versatile player like Vertonghen, but am wondering if we need him now that we have given an extension to Djourou.

    Will Jack play the attacking midfield role. That is a big question mark. Ramsey is still developing in that role as well. Rosicky has looked good there but we have not had a full season from him in a while. We have players here but no one nailed on and dependable in the role, yet it is one of the most important for the way we like to play.

  73. Limestonegunner

    Irish is definitely the most palatable Yankee fan I know!

  74. Limestone:

    I said this earlier. I would like to see how it worked to have a goal scorer in the front attacking midfield slot and let our “playmaker” like Jack or TR7 play deeper. What do you think. The free Arshavin movement that unfortunately never gained any purchase other then with George was worth a try, me thinks.

  75. Limestone:

    You can find the words palatable and Yankee fan together in the dictionary under the word oxymoron.

  76. That would be great Bill. I don’t know much about baseball, but I do get interested when the playoffs come around. I think we could have a little talk at the very least I could learn something.

    My favorite world series were when the Mets beat The Sox (I lived in Brooklyn at the time) and when the Marlins beat the Yankees (Sorry Irish!). That Mets team had some excellent players on it – Gooden, Strawberry, Dykstra, Hernandez. etc. If I am not mistaken, I remember Wade Boggs crying.

  77. Bill, what makes you a Rangers fans?

  78. Paul:

    May get together some day.

    The Mets Red Sox series had the Bill Buckner game in 1986 I think. Still a classic

  79. Yes, that was the one Bill. Poor Buckner!

  80. Paul

    Long story about the Rangers. Wife and I are going to a family gathering for Easter and 4 hour drive, but I would love nothing better then to talk about it some other time.

    You and your family have a very blessed Easter.

  81. same to my friend. Be safe!

  82. This made me laugh

  83. Hahay, happy b- day DEXTER you RASER.
    AND MANY MORE. how old are you now?? Hehe
    As far as Argentina and 1978 world cup, isn’t it the norm with all these conspiracy theories. When they talked about it then ,no one gave it any credence. When the truth comes out thirty years later they all act surprised and there it is. You expecting a court of law with lawyers and proof you will wait thirty more years for your PROPER proof. Some of us are just slower and more lawyerish than the rest. Just enjoy the games and don’t act indignant. And/or surprised when another of ARSENAL players, fringe or not, is down on the pitch with a broken limb. Maybe the next one will wake you folks up, or the one after that. Cheers to all. And a very happy. Passover to everyone. My favorite. The FESTIVAL OF FREEDOM.
    UP. THE. GUNS. OF. ARSENAL!!!!!!!!!;

  84. BATTEBATTEBATTER. SHWING. BATTER………
    GO. ANGELS……
    and a happy Easter.

%d bloggers like this: