Manchester City Preview: Know Your Points, All Three Of ‘Em

Sorry Joe, couldn’t resist it. Rat Patrol From Fort Bragg is on in the background whilst typing this.

Manchester City arrive at The Emirates for a crucial game for both teams. No matter how they may like to paint it, anything other than a win for the visitors this afternoon and their already dim title hopes will be entirely extinguished. It is too late to make up the points difference despite hosting United at Eastlands at the end of the month. I am sure that they would like to keep the race going beyond that fixture to avoid the humiliation of providing a guard of honour to their more illustrious neighbours.

Arsenal’s need is more focussed. Too many are writing off Chelsea’s Champions League aspirations and even with Messi, Xavi and Uefa against them, it only takes one fluke for them to make the final. Finishing third negates any question of Chelsea’s continued involvement in that tournament. With the noisy neighbours from the extremities telling us continually that the pressure is on Arsenal, a win over a Mancunian team that put five past them on their own ground would be a powerful message to send.

And it would also very quickly expel doubts which resurfaced after the defeat at Loftus Road. It was a lacklustre performance which fully deserved the result that happened. The players and manager have spoken publicly of their desire and confidence that there will be a positive response. It will be hard work this afternoon. In their desire to avoid defeat, a workmanlike City performance can be expected with the midfield more likely to contain the assiduous Milner, Toure and Barry than all of their flamboyant peers. City will look to stifle, strike and stifle; it is not going to be pretty.

For that reason it is hard to see the luckless Aaron Ramsey retain his place on the left. On the comfort of their own pitch, Arsenal do not need to counter the relative narrowness of Loftus Road or Goodison Park. They need their own expansive players to stretch City, to pull their players out of the safety zones they inhabit and to exploit weakneses. Ramsey for all of his talent is not the player to carry out that function. Nor is he deserving of being made a scapegoat. Ramsey was brought into the side for those matches with a specific role to play; we won at Everton – often overlooked – whilst last weekend’s defeat was not purely as a result of his inclusion or of his performance. His was part of the collective failure; the desire to find a scapegoat for last weekend underlines how shallow the waters of Premier League football have become, off and on the pitch.

Patience is going to be a virtue that the players will need on Sunday; City are not going to sit back and let Arsenal pass the ball through them. The experienced players that Arsène took time to praise earlier this week will need to take more responsibility today if a win is to be achieved. The youthful exuberance of some needs to be harnessed, unleashed to maximum effect with the obvious strength of character of Vermaelen and van Persie combined with the understated Arteta and Sagna, are formidable commanders. Gradually more asides from the manager emerge about others he previously controlled, the contrast of now to then acidicly observed,

I never question the attitude of this team, which I may have done in some previous years. But this season, never. I’ve always returned home thinking this team will never give up, they are always ready for a fight…the senior players have played a big part in setting the tone in the squad.

Tacit admission that his choices of captain were dubious and the trust put in others was misplaced, that diminution tinged with hurt at departures last summer. I wonder which hurt him more; the one he has been preparing for over several summers, a return to home or money rearing its head? I suspect it was the latter myself.

To this afternoon. The team I expect to take the field will be just one different to last weekend and that is the above-mentioned change involving Aaron Ramsey. Whilst Andre Santos might be close to full fitness, to replace Kieran Gibbs would be harsh especially as he has played reasonably well. The question is who replaces the Welshman? The clamour is for Oxlade-Chamberlain with the manager’s apparent loss of trust in Gervinho mirroring – or mirrored in – the stands. It is curious how the African Cup of Nations had a detrimental impact on his form; perhaps Kolo Toure can advise him how to avoid losing the manager’s trust completely. Yet I do not think Wenger will choose the populist course; the Ivorian will probably start ahead of the England youngster leaving the line-up,

Szczesny; Sagna, Koscielny, Vermaelen, Gibbs; Arteta, Song, Rosicky; Walcott, van Persie, Gervinho

Whatever team takes the pitch, a big performance will be needed to take the necessary three points. This preview has, by necessity, been written before Spurs visit to Sunderland concludes even the first half so I assume that to my chagrin, the visitors will have won. Anything else will have been a bonus not quite beyond contemplation although all Martin O’Neill would need to do for Bendtner to be entirely wound up is pin ‘Arry’s motivational words onto the wall. Whilst they may be true, surely the Dane requires no greater reason to shove a goal or two down Tottenham throats?

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

Posted on April 8, 2012, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Soccer, Transfer Gossip and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 322 Comments.

  1. Well, apparently he did yogi.

  2. Mine is to make nasri ,clichy n other lust inspired players that winning trophies isnt like buying a piece of cake in a supermarket.how big i wish we flutter their dreams at emirates with a huge beating.

  3. the boy need the fans to be their 12th man today….give d lads all ur support….hope the beench warmer cries off the pitch

  4. On this day….. 6th February 1971, Arsenal played Manchester City at Highbury.

    As per the programme, ‘Topics of the Week’ is bullish on the chances of Arsenal overhauling Leeds Utd at the top of the table despite the five point deficit that needed to be closed. The previous weekend had seen us lose at Anfield while Leeds won at Maine Rd. This was at a time remember when a win only garnered two points. That hope was, as we now know, realised on a glorious night at White Hart Lane.

    Intriguingly, there is a reference to a match on the previous Monday, a cup tie, ending in unpleasant incidents. This being 1971, no detail is gone into. I can’t remember the incidents or the game but we scored through Simpson, Storey and George.

    In ‘The World of our Captain, Frank McLintock’ we see pictures of him at home with his wife Barbara and children, Neil, Iain, Jamie and Scot. A nice cup of tea with the wife, boxing lessons with the boys, putting the golf clubs in the back of the Jag and to complete our image of the lifestyle of a successful, professional footballer, Frank helping himself to a large glass of Martell brandy. No shisha then for our captain.

    Elsewhere the ‘Letters to the Editor’ contains a plea from a supporter against Sunday League soccer. Mr J. Platts from Sheffield writes, “ I would not like you to know that the British Public would not want to swop the Saturday afternoon match tradition for a continental type South American version of a rowdy Sunday, where peace and quiet are destroyed. Let us keep that restful Sunday for re-charging of both body and spirit!” Here, here! Another victory for fan power. What, it wasn’t?

    This week’s ‘Guest Writer’ was Victor Railton of the London Evening News who wrote about the ‘…money troubles in soccer with many clubs limping from crisis to crisis….the fact remains that running a soccer club is now more of a financial battle than at any time in the League’s long history’. He points to a recent decision by Stockport who recently pushed up their minimum entrance fee to 50p. ‘…ten bob to watch Fourth Division soccer. Surely there can be no stronger test of their fans loyalty!. Tell me about it. Taking No 1 Grandson to Argyle a couple of weeks ago cost me £28. Plus pasties, programme and beer.

    Even more pertinently he goes on to write; ‘All this may seem a long way from the marble halls of Highbury, but it all comes to mind when you reflect on the recent behind the scenes battle that has been raging in the boardroom of today’s visitors.’

    ‘Since Joe Mercer and Malcolm Allison took over the reins at Manchester City the club have enjoyed success like they have not known for many years.’

    ‘They have emerged from the shadows of their mighty neighbours, Manchester Utd., to be among the front runners in soccer in this country and in Europe. And with players of international calibre of Francis Lee, Colin Bell and Mike Summerbee around, you would think that City would have everything going for them.’

    ‘ We are used to hearing about Directors dipping deep into their pockets to keep clubs going, but when this switches to a take-over battle for a successful team it’s certainly a novelty to say the least’

    Innocent, simpler times it would seem.

    Railton ends his piece with a eulogy for returning ex Arsenal hero, Joe Mercer but ends his piece in a way seemingly unlikely for modern journalists when he says, ‘So, excuse me Joe when I, as a Londoner, say.. .“Come on the Gunners”!’

    The Arsenal side that day was: Wilson, Rice, McNab, Storey, McLintock, Simpson, Armstrong, Sammels, Radford, Kennedy, George

    For Manchester City, it was: Corrigan, Book, Mann, Doyle, Booth, Oakes, Heslop, Bell, Lee, Jeffries, Bowyer

    The programme of Music? Well that, of course, was provided by the Metropolitan Police Band conducted by Major W. Williams MBE, ARCM. And included “Souvenirs de France”, “Man of La Mancha” and for the younger listeners “THE POP PARADE SELECTION” including “Under Freedom‘s Flag” (Vocalist: Constable Alex. Morgan).

    And here are yesterdays’ football results: Arsenal 1 (Radford), Manchester City 0..

  5. I’ve been very disappointed in Gervinho this term.
    YW, you mention the adverse affect on him of the ACN. But was he any better before that tourney?
    I hope to see an improvement next season.

  6. Gunner From Nigeria

    Consolsbob,

    Your blast from the past is very interesting.
    We have to win today or at least avoid defeat because that table looks scary as we could easily be sixth.

    Gosh, i had a breakdown after Chelsea scored their winner yesterday. Wigan deserved better but, we have to face our game.

  7. I would take a draw right now.

    I do not think Mancini will attack. He’ll go for score an odd set piece goal and then defend, defend, and counter (see the last year’s game at Arsenal).

    For me the key will be concentration in our defence. Keep the clean sheet as long as possible and we’ll have a chance.

    To have two pacy players on the flanks would oh so refreshing.

  8. I would go with Chamberlain on the left, he gives a bit more control to proceedings. Gervinho can be hit and miss, when he’s good he can be very hard to shut down, when he’s bad he just gives the ball away too much. I think it would be better to start with more control and then go to the imponderables if necessary later in the game.

  9. Paulie Walnuts

    Nice stuff as always YW,

    Tough game today & a real test. Can`t see either team taking Complete Control for long periods & one goal could be decisive.

    The fans can make a difference getting behind the team & on the ref`s back.

  10. C’bob

    Is it very common to have a second team (usually in the lower divisions)??

    Mine is definitely Ipswich town with their rich history..

  11. Nicky

    Calling your statement harsh would be the understatement of the year by far…

  12. I believe AW will start with AOC for this one..

  13. Nice blast from the past. We might see a bit of BENNY D GOON today. Maybe even as a starter on the left and to be replaced by 3Gs around the middle of second half. I hope we put the fear of god in them the first twenty minutes. RVP TO SCORE the go ahead goal..
    COME ON YOU GUNNERS……..
    UP THE GUNS!!!!!!!!!!

  14. A win for the Arsenal will surely dent Citeh’s title hopes. And it would be nice to bitch slap Nasri!

  15. The pressure is more on citeh. Though a great opportunity for Petro Citeh to feel the might of the Emirates crowd and RVP’s chocolate leg. The eastlands game was a corker and we lost by a whisker when they were really blitzing all before them vermaelen playing the game of his life. Citeh may have more of the ball but I think this game will be won on swift counter attacks. And with the crowd behind us a win will keep the spuds in check. We seem to save our best performances for the big games. The secret is keeping their wingbacks busy. Who are we…north londons finest. COYG.!

  16. god i hope walcott tears clichy a new fukin arse, thats all i want for easter. oh and a big fukin win to end shitty citys title tilt.

  17. Just about to leave for the game, we have to win this, nothing less is good enough…. And I think we can win this. I hope if picked Gervinho has a good game, god knows he needs one. I am afraid he hasnt really done it for me this season, here’s hoping he will come good. Or he could find himself behind the Oxo kid and Ryo next season.

    I’m going for a 3-1 win for the Arse. Vermealen, Theo and Song.

    Up the Guns!!!

  18. Have a good one dex and give sammy a fukin boo from me.

  19. I hope no one is too shocked or offended by people having a chitter chatter about this or that upon ACLF, as usual, but Dex I’ve enjoyed watching Gervais this season. Especially against the reallyt defensive line ups. I wrote here, sometiome around transfer D-Day in September that I didn’t expect the ‘gelling’ to be working, for the team to be settled till, oh, about sometime in the middle of that seven game unbeaten run. A lucky guess or just common sense? I don’t know.
    Anyway, I was hoping to see a Gervinho growing in confidence and settling into the league, but I’d forgotton about the ACN and stuff. He’s done fine for a first season, I think he’s added a lot in certain games.
    And I’m with Chamberlain senior, I’d love to see the Ox lad playing in that tennish role if possible. But that ruthless and inflexible manager says that he’ll play him where he’s needed. Pffffft, as long as that doesn’t mean another loan for Ryo next season, I’ll forgive him.
    Right, time to walk on down to that fair stadium.

  20. Limestonegunner

    I’d go with Santos and the Ox on the left. Bench of Ramsey, Gervinho, Djourou, Fabianski, Gibbs, Chamakh.

  21. Well well well.

    Fucking disgrace. And we’re still talking about incompetence as an excuse and explanation of what is clearly corruption and disgusting match fixing by any means necessary. Yesterday, Chelsea givfted 2 goals. Today, in the 13th minute, Man United get awarded the Premier league.

    Was the ref Mike Jones yesterday really incompetent? Is Lee Mason incompetent? It wasn’t even a fucking penalty let alone a red card. Ashley Young was so offside there was daylight between him and the defenders.

    This makes me sick – and we continue to provide excuse after excuse after excuse that we shouldn’t be disappointed because the match officials are simply incompetent and having a bad day at the office.

    There’s millions and hundreds of millions at stake here and “incompetence” and “bad decisions” is not good enough as an excuse. Fuck that – this is corruption and there’s no other way of calling it.

  22. Limestonegunner

    Gervinho is going to be a great player for us and had a very good first season. Stretches defenses and works hard to cover his flank. A truly disorienting dribble, speed, and cleverness. If he can gain some composure he’ll be deadly, 12 goals and 10 assists easy, probably more, and he’s already fairly close to these levels. His big problem is ACN again next year.

  23. Gervs has lost confidence but I thought he was excellent (Apart from his finishing) prior to the ACN.

    Watching the QPR match, the ref has is a joke.

  24. Something is up, DS! If that was a pen, there should be fouls called by the second.

  25. Darius,

    its shocking…but how fitting for a ref to hand utd the title….an offside dive results in a pen and sending off. now we see why utd are unbeaten with mason in charge. and we got mike dean last week who we hardly win with while he officiates, now who is it that decides the refs again??

    i might have to start believing the believers now.

  26. Limestonegunner

    Hard to argue, Darius. But have a look at the disputed decisions table posted yesterday. We are bottom but the top is neither of those two teams; the real beneficiaries are Stokes of this world, it seems!

  27. And Rooney has not been booked once this season, not to mention he put in a horrible tackle today.

  28. I am beginning to believe dt there is more to ds poor referees performances than incompetence. Hw on earth is dt a penalty against QPR? It’s time for some explanations. Dt is d 9th penalty or so for Manure @ oldtrafford ds season!!!

  29. Another Old Traffordish title in Red Nose’s pocket. Why bother?

  30. I had to question that table, United always get help.

  31. COYG!

  32. OLD TURDFORD

  33. BULL SHEVIK..
    ….

  34. Arsene Wenger after the 2:1 defeat at Old Trafford in April 2008:
    – We understand everything. We are not stupid.

  35. Yes we are SV. Every year it is a different scenario but the same final. Ending.
    HOOK ,LINE AND SINKER.
    or else these scum bags wouldn’t be. Able to get away with it..

  36. hoksilatowitko

    Hope at least this will discourage the City players…think they got the message loud and clear: YOU WILL NOT WIN THE PL… capito ?

  37. United have earned the right to preferential treatment though the jury is still out on OT time and ref decisions at OT as media darlings and having the great white pele rooney amongst their number any team is on a hiding to winning against them. This season represents Citehs best chance at the title. Arsenal and Chelsea will be stronger next season.We are going to have to quite literrally rip the title from Uniteds grubby hands next season. We are the Arsenal.F@$k United. COYG.

  38. come on u gooners .ending city”s title challenge today will be great . fergie will be thanking the ref after the game again i see.

  39. GFL – pray tell. How the fuck has United “earned” the right to preferential treatement? What are you actually saying? That its OK to favour them because they’re United?

  40. Gooner4Life:
    Why should united be given preferential treatment?

  41. Nice to have The Clash in front of the clash. I’ve enjoyed The Clash Blog after discovering it here, Yogi, especially the link to Joe’s BBC broadcasts. I still distinctly remember buying my first Clash record–Give’em Enough Rope–when I was about 14, and I still regularly spin the vinyl here in SE TN. Who did Joe support?

    I’m also happy to hear more regular praise here lately for Sagna. I defy anyone to point a player who more consistently goes out and does his damn job. I’m hoping for a key contribution from him today to raise us above the spoiled rich kids.

  42. Tennessee Arsenal

    WordPress changed my name, but that last one was from Tennessee Arsenal.

  43. Yah, fuck united. I second that.
    And while you are at it, fuck. Triple F

  44. BACARY is the best.
    possibly ,in top five in Europe. Consistently good from the first day.

  45. Arsenal: Szczesny, Sagna, Vermaelen, Koscielny, Gibbs, Song, Arteta, Rosicky, Benayoun, Walcott, Van Persie;
    Subs: Fabianski, Djourou, Santos, Jenkinson, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Ramsey, Chamakh

  46. Sensational Arsenal

    The doomers and gloomers have started posting even before the match has started!! I guess they are anticipating an Arsenal defeat or even want one so that they can berate how Wenger is an old fool who doesnt listen to them. If Arsenal win they would unashamedly say how great Arsenal are and gloat like Manure fans.

    I would say these guys are sharpening their knives, but they themselves arent the sharpest knives in the drawer. How else can they be so blind to the impact of Gervinho. So a more appropriate phrase would be, these guys are knocking in their bludgeons.

  47. Another handout to blow wow!

  48. I don’t expect any less from EPL referees at this stage of the league…Who decides titles?

  49. The lineup looks to me the exact copy of the North Lindon derby. Wenger goes for experience in a big game.

    The bench looks strong.

    I think the main thing today is concentration at the back.

  50. Clerkenwell Gooner

    This is public service announcement – with guitars! Different times, man. Seems like a world away.

    Silva is crocked. We can win this.

    Sagna is not only a bloody brilliant footballer, he is passing good at ballet. Who knew? That car ad is hilarious. The lads look kind of shocked – those women dancers are probably stronger and tougher than they are. (There’s a lot of blood apparently involved in the struggle to dance on the point of the toe – why anyone want to do that is a mystery to me, but if you do, it’s somewhat an effing painful process, learning how.)

  51. Kenyan in the house!

  52. the Ladies have just won their opening match of the WSL season 3-2 against a team in blue. Good omen.

    Come on you Gunners!

  53. Good luck, Benayoun – I’ve been rooting for you all season, so make me proud!

  54. Darius when did you get out of jail? I thought you were arrested for swimming between the oxford and Cambridge boats!

  55. Top class refereeing. Who’s the ref??

  56. Limestonegunner

    Stewart Robson on my feed already giving me an ulcer, “arsenal will complain for every decision and try to get players booked. Unfortunate to see that at the Emirates”–this bastard gets a paycheck from Arsenal!!!??!!!

  57. Also fantastic to see Robin track back and play as a right back after the corner. The boys are up for it. We are so gonna win this one.

  58. Disgusting dive from Toure after what happened with Muamba.

  59. There is a f*cking difference between tugging back a player who’s already past you like what Yaya did to Rosicky and a 50/50 challenge like Song on Toure. First one is a yellow, second one only in certain cases.

  60. Rosicky is a beast in this match.

  61. @ LSG
    Debatable Decisions examines decisions which were made when compiling their table. It doesn’t factor in decisions which should have been made, eg the times when a team should have been awarded a penalty, for example, which is the main difference between DD and the UA ref reviews.

  62. What a save from Vermaelen on the line. Unfortunately the City line.

  63. Keep going close.

  64. Come on you Gunners!

  65. Potential leg breaker. Should be a red.

  66. Is Song OK?

    Or times when a player gets away with a red-card challenge.

  67. Limestonegunner

    No penalty, no red card??? Clearly make up for the correct yellow on Yaya and his injury.

  68. That was knee high and studs showing. Balotelli is a proper c*nt. I hope he f*cks off back to Italy in the summer. Don’t need players like him in the league.

  69. Why is that not a red for ballotelli? On Song.

  70. Expect nothing less…

  71. What a warrior our Alex is. Coming back on. Other players would’ve decided to call it a day after suffering such a challenge. And that was an elbow on RVP. I take back the “top class refereeing” I said earlier.

  72. Just Another Luke

    Red

  73. How on earth was dt not a red card for Mario. The ref even didn’t blow for a free kick.

  74. The Real Stew Black

    So far shameful display from the ref. Elbow to RVP face, Balotelli completely ott on Song. Should be 11 v 9 right now.

  75. The Real Stew Black

    25 minutes of scintillating football from a real team and one training ground routine corner from an embarrassing Mancunian shopping list.

  76. Limestonegunner

    Not disputing, FG; only saying Stoke has probably benefited even more, possibly. It’s obvious ManU get an easier ride; it just isn’t the whole story. Moreover, I don’t care so much as we aten’t in the title picture this season. I’m more concerned with the fact that all measures, including other websites, seem to indicate we get the worst of it among top teams quite consistently.

  77. The Real Stew Black

    Gibbs tackled when he was off the pitch, the list goes on and on. Still we are sticking to our guns and trying to play football.

  78. Limestonegunner

    Danger here is 30 mins of domination but no goal and a ref very happy to keep ManCity in it with two very bad decisions that were crucial so far.

    Just have to be better all the way. COYG!!!

  79. So basically Balotelli can kick whoever he wants and will just not get punished?

  80. The Real Stew Black

    Really all those who say ‘Man up’ and ‘Stop whining’ and ‘It evens out in the end’ just look at what we are up against playing directly against some appalling refereeing decisions. As far as I am concerned we deserve more respect not abuse for carrying on with dignity trying to do things the right way in the face of corrupt/incompetent (delete according to your prejudice) officialdom.
    Any so called Arsenal fans who moan about this being pointed out are pretty odd humans too.

  81. And the one good challenge by a City player in the game is getting us a free kick? Ridiculous refereeing.

  82. The Real Stew Black

    Great stuff from sweeper szezz. It’s good to have a fast confident alert keeper against these kick and rush teams.

  83. We deserve a goal.

  84. The Real Stew Black

    Finally. He gets booked for high foot, studs up dangerous play.

  85. Balotelli is just playing football to injure people, huh? That boy has got some serious aggression issues. He should think about taking up UFC. I would definitely love to see him fight in one of their funny cages.

  86. The Real Stew Black

    Small point but that closing down on whoever plays in goal for them was excellent. Just what we need and ensured he messed up his clearance.

  87. Dominance but no goal. I’m on edge!

  88. Limestonegunner

    Home support has been excellent today.

  89. The Real Stew Black

    Watching TR7 is like three dimensional Haiku.

  90. Come on boys, goal before half time

  91. The Real Stew Black

    kenya – not easy under those circumstances I know, but just try and enjoy the football. The benefit of supporting Arsenal is we produce more mouth watering football in ten minutes than most others manage in a match.

  92. Limestonegunner

    We’ve been quick to the ball and quick to close down; deserve to be a goal or two up. But recently chances have been fewer despite our control of the pitch.

    Need to get something better in the box. Hopefully we play as well in the second half; if we do, this will be ours.

  93. Tough half!

  94. Isn’t an intentional handball also a yellow?

  95. We have made them look like a Conference North team at times, but unfortunately Vermaelen denied us a goal. Overall, I am still very confident that we will win. This is a proper gap in class we are seeing. I just hope that in the end the atrocious refereeing is not going to cost us. I don’t care about all the small decisions, but Balotelli should’ve been off and if that’s what makes the difference in the end, then I will be properly pissed.

  96. Ballotelli looks like a tragedy waiting to happen!

  97. @LIMESTONE
    they can’t have the beneficiary of most calls in the league at the very top of debatable decisions table. That would be too obvious. No?
    Just give it to stoke and a few other non threatening mid to lower table teams to make it look more legit. What should concern us is that the ARSENAL consistently end up at the bottom of such tables.
    @FUNGUNNER
    the ladies had a scare from Everton today. A good omen that they came up on top, like you said.

  98. I love that Citroen ad. The boys are really getting into it. Someone should choregraph a football ballet.

  99. Robson should be fired ASAP.
    Can’t stand this basterd any more.

  100. sounds like one way or the other, Balotelli should have been sent off about three times!

    @ goonerkam
    did you see the Ladies game?

  101. I like Song today. A real warrior.

    Balotelli is there just to kick opposition players.

    We may need to shoot more.

    Their midfield without Toure will screw up I hope.

  102. Robson should be fired ASAP.
    Can’t stand this basterd any more.
    Come on. You GUNNERS. STUFF THESE MERCENARIES.

  103. Just to put things into context:

    ManU are getting a pen and an opposition player sent off for 1. a dive and 2. that was offside anway.

    We on the other hand are getting kicked off the f*cking pitch by the one man wrecking crew Balotelli and after he comits his 4th or so dangerous challenge (inlcuding his leg break attempt on Song) the ref finally has mercy and decides to show him a card.

  104. Retroacive punishments for the day: Ashley Young’s Greg Luganis style dive in the box, and Bolatelli’s attempt at breaking Song’s leg.

    Prediction: Bolatelli 3 match ban…The Manc mr. Young…gets away with it completely. If his name were Eduardo from Croatia, you could expect a media/fa witch hunt however…this shit is just making the league look like an embarrassing, pro-wresling-esque charade. The outcomes are all decided, but the magic lies in making everyone think it is genuine competition.

  105. And, that was a pen where RVP was bundled over going for that ball from Rosicky, but hey, we are just the diving, cheating, soft Arsenal, no such calls for us…fuckin joke

  106. There is enough evidence in the last 2 days alone for video replay and retroactive punishments…will the FA react…highly doubtful.

  107. I have a bold proposal: We need more female referees. Sian Massey is the only ref in the country that gets big decisions right more often than not and I think it’s all down to her gender. She isn’t part of the old boys club that refereeing in this country inevitably has become, she doesn’t have to answer to no one and her being female means she is untouchable.

  108. I think that’s a good point, Evil. If you look at the English police force, good comparison with Sue Akers who has been picked as an officer of integrity to lead one of the inquiries into phone hacking. As a woman in a male-dominated sphere, she got to the top on her own merit, owes nobody anything and nobody owns her.

  109. The Real Stew Black

    No nasri – you have to do much more than that if you want to get booked.
    Must try harder.

  110. Limestonegunner

    Hear, hear, evil!

  111. Crowd singing up. come on you gunners!

  112. The Real Stew Black

    Benny has put in another good shift.

  113. @FUNGUNNER,
    no, unfortunately not. Just read the match report. Good start to the campaign.
    @EVIL. & VICEOLOGIST
    this is what I mean when I say AGAINST. ALL ODDS.
    Hughes is a joke. Pathetic fool that he is he pulled out Barton the butcher and Zammora from the game. Conceding even before the start.

  114. Phew!

  115. The Real Stew Black

    Here comes the samba

  116. Robson is just a f*cking ass whole, I don’t know what Arsenal FC or Arsenal fans like about him?

  117. The Real Stew Black

    Good decision by Szezzer not to come. Great cover from Benny

  118. The Real Stew Black

    That’s never a booking. Surely. After what this chimp of a ref has let go. Absolutely unbelievable.

  119. If there is a way to get RObson fired, count me in. I can’t stand anymore of this.

  120. The Real Stew Black

    My comms are, I think, Spanish. not sure but they use a word that sounds a lot like Ninja. I like it. Van Persie Ninja, Arteta. Sounds cool.

  121. Aaargh! So close.

  122. The Real Stew Black

    Hit the fucking post as well now. Unreal. That was Song’s assist for the day.

  123. Van post.

  124. I’m listening to David Hillier and Dan Roebuck on Arsenal Player.

  125. The Real Stew Black

    Is David Hillier the one who says ‘Very much so’ in answer to every single question he’s asked?

  126. @ stew
    ha ha! yes, he does.

  127. The Real Stew Black

    Moment of the match. Was that TR7? The backheel/tackle/interception/pass. Stunning.

  128. The Real Stew Black

    FG – If I was D Roebuck I’d have a dart in my hand and stick it in his thigh every time he said it. That’d stop him eventually.

  129. The Real Stew Black

    Great finish from the master.

  130. Ooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooh!

  131. Sooo close!

  132. Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaargh!

  133. The Real Stew Black

    This is literally unbelievable. I don’t believe what I just saw.

  134. Why?

  135. Is there a forcefield aroudn their goal or something?

  136. The Real Stew Black

    In fact i refuse to believe it. We are now one up as far as I’m concerned. That must have gone in.

  137. This is last season’s game at our place all over again …

  138. The Real Stew Black

    Fuck me – look at their substitute about to come on. Last time I saw someone that ugly Jim Cronin had just rescued them.

  139. Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay!

  140. The Real Stew Black

    It was coming. What a beauty.

  141. YEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  142. Fucking tears in my eyes!

  143. Clerkenwell Gooner

    Nasri’s replacement scores!!!

    I love you, Mikel Arteta and your plastic hair.

  144. @kenyan
    Same for me. Justice has been served.

  145. @ stew
    my secret fear for the last few years has been that AW would act on his admiration of Tevez and buy him, because that face is one I would really struggle to love.

    Anyway, let’s keep it together for the next five mins.

  146. FINALLY! Sod off you nasty piece of work.

  147. Finally that C*nt is off. Wasn’t the worst of challenges, but considering that he has welcome his overstay for at least 60 minutes, it’s only what he deserves.

  148. What a goal!!! Dts d least we deserve. N f**k Balotelli

  149. The Real Stew Black

    Prick isn’t even running off as his team chase a vital point. What a twat.

  150. Oh Micky yo so fine. You so fine Micky. Come on Micky. Hahaha

  151. Ooooooooooooh. How is Santos?

  152. The Real Stew Black

    Played Aaron. Sensible, wasted time. Could’ve scored but kept his head.

  153. Oh you wonderful, wonderful brave lads. fantastic result.

  154. The Real Stew Black

    *ahem

  155. Finally!!! So deserved.

  156. YYYYEEEEEEESSSS!!!

  157. Just Another Luke

    Yay!

  158. Was Zabaleta booked, by the way?

  159. Take that home with you Nasri….how many trophies you got now?

  160. The Real Stew Black

    Joy to be a Gunner.

  161. WHAT. A. RESULT.

  162. The Real Stew Black

    FG – yes

  163. thanks, steww

  164. True Gr*t.

  165. Nasri..Whats the score?? Nasri Nasri Whats the Score???

  166. Fucking Yessssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssss

  167. Great fuckin win! I knew when Arteta got that space he was going to have a crack and score…I started yelling YYYYYYEEEEEESSSSSS before it left his boot…lol. Rosicky was immense…RVP incredibly unlucky not to get a goal, solid defensively…back ahead of the Spuds….Great Sunday!

  168. Alex Song MOTM…he was brilliant and almost omnipresent..

  169. there s nobody better that mikel arteta he’s the best looking basque that I know……..

  170. Hit the woodwork thrice and Ramsey missed a sitter in the end. I guess he is missing a bit of confidence or RVP’s presence confused him whether to shoot or pass. Nevertheless, a great performance! So Song can make those great passes on a consistent basis? And Arteta can shoot from distance? Great performance in the midfield.

  171. Clerkenwell Gooner

    City in crisis!!

    Only 10 points between us and them, and six games to go – let’s win all of those and overhaul them.

    God, I would love to finish in second place after the truly shit start to the season we had, and it would scare the pants off everyone else for next term. COYG!

    (PS I would say something taunting about UnSuperMario, but I think under the glare of all the press attention, the guy is actually developing mental health problems, which aren’t funny for anyone. His grip on reality, that is, on what is acceptable and not acceptable on a football pitch, seems to be slipping. Go home, Mario, to your family and friends, and get the help you need. City is not the best place for your talents, it would appear.)

  172. Anirudh,

    So true…Song is immense so often that I almost don’t even notice it anymore because it is so expected.

  173. ALEX SONG BELONG THE. WARRIOR…..
    CONGRADULATIONS. ARSENAL… WELL DONE.
    Told you city would implode before the end of the season…
    Much to my chagrin, fucking red Basterds in Manchester the recipients of our hard work.. Fucking united.

  174. Such a difficult choice whose name to get on my shirt. Arteta, Koscielny, Rosicky? I might have to flip a coin! Does anyone know of any three-sided coins?

  175. Just Another Luke

    We have 11 MOTM today. 🙂

  176. mumbai gooner

    DELIRIOUS!!!!

  177. Wonderful win. Showed real class and desire and were dreadfully unlucky not to be a couple up before Arteta produced that sensual drive.

    Can’t help but feel a petty bit of satisfaction over our defectees finishing the season with nothing having jumped ship. Nasri’s ” you will see why i left at the end of the season” makes him look even more ridiculous than his face already does.

    Also listening to Robson is agony. I dont think its an over reaction to say that he sounds as if he has a great dislike for Arsenal football club, well, from what I could hear through his insecent gargling of Kompanys man fat anyway. What is wrong with the man?

    COYG!!!

  178. If he could live with reduced wages and obviously limited playing opportunities, I would be really happy if we would sign up Benayoun. Players like him are always good to have around.

  179. Did someone on this Arsenal squad kill Robson’s dog or something? Every single statement out of his mouth was negative towards Arsenal.

  180. Limestonegunner

    I’m thoroughly enjoying how we have become the assassins of this league: killing Spuds faint title hopes, dashing Liverpool’s top 4 dreams, throwing Newcastle down the table, destroying Man City’s title hopes. Next, we need to end Chelsea’s tilt for fourth by steaming forward with a series of wins and crushing them at home later this month.

    Great determination to keep from getting frustrated despite the few chances we were creating despite our total dominance and the misses close to goal we did create. Everyone just kept fighting and believing that we could score at any time any passage of play. Terrifici stuff!

  181. We are blessed with former players who can only get tough when criticizing Arsenal (the club that made them) but they’re always chicken-shit when it comes to other clubs.

  182. Vice

    Alex Song has well and truly become “the man” 😀

  183. Seen the celebrations of “The Arsenal” fans after Arteta scored???

    Priceless!! 🙂

  184. Limestonegunner

    My main problem was watching the match with Stewart Robson pouring poison into my ears.

    I am absolutely irate. I’ve been complaining about him on here for two or so years but I have never been so disgusted and angry with this insane megalomaniacal idiot.

    I would very much like everyone who has been annoyed by him to make a collective concerted effort to get this guy thrown out of the club, ending his commentary for Arsenal Player and his ridiculous tactics series.

    I’m serious. I am writing in a few minutes to Arsenal.com and would like to encourage everyone else to do the same. Please, it really has got to stop. Let him spew his filth on the TV commentary but he must not be collecting a wage from the club he routinely and incredibly viciously and unfairly soils.

  185. Limestonegunner

    Song had a tremendous game as did Sagna dealing with the violent impunity of Balotelli’s “play”.

  186. To a man Arsenal were head and shoulders above the rest. The look on the Citeh fans faces at the end of the game…priceless!!!!!!.Sorry Samir…you are going to win f@$k all and be sold to PSG, I guess thats a wrap then.I love this team’

  187. The Real Stew Black

    +1 Limestone.

    Oh but although I’m gutted for the boy, I don’t think Ramsay’s late effort showed a lack of confidence. Actually the way he took his time and went for a curler to the top corner showed phenomenal poise and confidence.
    A player lacking the c word would’ve smashed it first time and hoped.

  188. Limestonegunner

    I’d love to see that as well, Clerk. How sweet that would be to finish second ahead of them. I hope Nasri enjoyed being substituted in front of the Emirates crowd–off for Kolarov!! Humiliating! Not “top of the league” anymore are you? How does it feel to have your unrealistic title hopes ended by Arsenal? I can tell you it feels pretty good to me!

  189. Agree Albert The Arsenal fans mocking the citeh Poznan celebration was a classic

  190. It would show pure impotence on part of AFC. management if they can’t replace this jerk soon. He obviously has a chimp on his shoulder.
    @EVIL.
    Shane messy UNTOUCHABLE ‘. from what I see she is far from. 🙂

  191. Limestonegunner

    Ramsey did well to take his time. Maybe he just overthought it. I think RvP shouldn’t have been telling him off for taking the shot–it was there for him. RvP had his chances and just couldn’t get the luck again. 4 games without scoring seems like an eternity, but he’ll have his chances next game to fatten his wonderful tally. Oddly very few chances for him on the ground but he showed real excellence in the air, hitting Vermaelen on the line and the post, but he was up above Kompany all day.

  192. Interesting…Wenger opted for the narrow midfield…was Gervinho injured?…considering that he was not even on the bench

  193. City paid 300 millions to create a team that can win the league, Arsenal paid 10 million for a player who ruined their chances of winning the league.

    Many people questioned Arsene for paying 10 Mil for old Arteta, Arteta was a good buy Wenger, you know better.

  194. Limestonegunner

    65-35 possession, 13 shots to 5, 5 on goal to 0. A penalty not given, an early red card not given, some clear chances fluffed. This could have been a 3-0 drubbing–as it was, ManCity was soundly beaten and never genuinely in this game. We didn’t deserve to lose away to them either. I’m deeply unimpressed with this gang of mercenaries and their ridiculous manager.

  195. Limestonegunner

    I’m wondering why Gibbs came off for Santos? I would like to have started Santos and the Ox on the right, but wasn’t sure if Gibbs injured himself–hopefully not. If not, why do we think he was subbed for Santos?

  196. Limestonegunner

    subbed off for Santos, that is.

  197. Clerkenwell Gooner

    Also, not that I want to give more oxygen to the Balotelli cause, it is important that players who are exhibiting dangerous play be removed from the contest at first sight of it. Otherwise, we are going to see more legs broken.

    Interesting (in a negative way) that the two on our side, Sagna and Song, who came in for the roughest treatment have been among our best players this season. Trying to win a contest by inflicting injury on the opposition’s finest is not the way to go.

    Oh, and Mario – they’ve both got far better hair than you.

  198. Limestonegunner

    Mancini got things all wrong too. He will hopefully go down and we can watch ManCity doing the Chelsea manager shuffle.

  199. The Real Stew Black

    Limestone. I can only see it as an attacking substitution. As quick and skilful as Jethro is, Santos has that bit more guile in and around their box.

  200. I expect some player departures as well…Tevez…Dzeko…

  201. Such a deceptive player that Santos…I can remember an instance where he produced a dangerous cross out of nothing…

  202. Clerkenwell Gooner

    Mancini is dealing with two car crashes, Limestone, Balotelli AND Tevez.

    Why bring a proven match-winner like Tevez on for less than ten minutes? Is it a compromise agreed with City’s lawyers? Put Tevez on the bench, as if you were going to use him, but just give a few minutes in the last-chance saloon now and then? Craaaaazzzy.

    Who from among this bunch are City going to want to retain on their payroll after this summer? Turns out they are the one-man team, and that man is Silva, who has ankle problems dating back to his time at Valencia. Bummer.

  203. The Real Stew Black

    Peacefrog – the hard low cross? Totally bewildered everyone?

  204. I like this comment:

    “arsenalprime:

    SENSE 1-0 MONEY”

  205. My advise to Mancini,

    Don’t have to many players with “Fat Egos” in one squad, it doesn’t work, you can’t handle it, ask a few Chel$ki managers.

  206. Simply superb. To a man we were better in every area of the pitch. If we had taken the chances we we somehow managed to fuck up it would have been 3-0 which would have been a much more accurate reflection.

  207. Stew…yeah that one…

  208. Good point Clerkenwell Gooner,
    I fear that Mario is suffering from deeper issues than just been a spoilt brat, and hope he can get help before its too late.

    What a win eh? I was yelling ‘shoot’ when that opportunity fell to Arteta and he duly obliged, and what a strike it was!

    Royally pissed off about the mancs being handed another league title. That really, really, really sucks. I know its pointless but I still retain some hope that they somehow manage to collapse. Fucking bastard mancs.

  209. Good stuff from the guys today. Only ever going to be one winner.

    24 points from last 9 PL games. Keep it going boys/

  210. Their worst side for years and they look like they are still going to win the lge at a canter. Pretty amazing really.

    If we can keep this group of players I really really think we will mount a serious challenge next season though. Especially if we can add one or two extra quality players. Getting Song/RvP/Theo to resign should be the priority though.

    We are a forward and a left back away from being a championship winning side IMO.

  211. Well well well.

    Samir Nasri promised that at the end of the season, we’ll see why he jumped ship and moved to Oil City. Thankfully, we’ve seen enough you greedy cunt. “I moved to win trophies” – my entire ass. Carma is a bitch.

    I can’t wait for the game to go up on player and to watch MOTD.

    I have 2 men of the match today and that’s Sagna and Song. How the hell folks can think Kyle Walker is a better player than Bacary Sagna, I really don’t know.

    Koscielny is due a rest anyway, let Djourou stand in for the Wolves and Wigan games and Koscielny can stay fresh for Chelsea in a couple of weeks.

    I’m making a prediction today. Because of Arteta’s move to Arsenal and the chance to play with better players, Mikel Arteta will get a call up for the Spanish team for the Euros. He has earned his place and I totally respect David Moyes for letting him go when he could have stalled on the move and let the deadline pass forcing Arteta to stay at Everton.

    As Moyes said, when a player like Arteta comes to you in honesty and asks for your blessing to move to a club of Arsenal’s magnitude – you can’t deny such a great servant that opportunity.

  212. My brother in law is an Everton fan. He was gutted when Arteta left, but also said he understood why he did and wished him well.

    I must admit, when Nasri left I was gutted. I really thought we had lost a player who could go onto to be one of Europe’s top players. But losing Nasri and adding AOC and still making £15M profit is really looking like a master stroke by Arsene.

  213. Limestonegunner

    Unfortunately, even if ManU lose all their games and we win all ours, we would have to make up a very big goal difference of 29. So we would need an average of 5 goals difference per game. So we win 3-0 and they lose 2-0; that sort of thing.

    Too bad. ManU aren’t that great of a team, by my lights. Neither this year nor last. Frankly, the last three seasons the league really has been there for the taking. We haven’t been in a position in the last 10 games to do anything serious during those seasons. Even this year, during which I expected ManCity to have a real challenge after a couple of years of acquisition and opportunity for Mancini to develop a way to knit his mercenaries together into a team unit of some sort, if we hadn’t had carry over of last seasons’s late collapse and malaise compounded by the summer sagas and late business that made for such a disastrous start it was there again for the taking.

    Our task has to be to finish strong and do whatever business we can early–hopefully holding onto RvP, Walcott, and Song and strengthening our team by one or two choice acquisitions while trimming wages of players who aren’t making a strong contribution or have less committed attitudes–wantaways like Bendtner for example. If we manage this, who wouldn’t back us to challenge strongly next season? I’d feel confident we could win one competition and challenge in the two or three others.

    Next year our balance will be very good between solid veteran players and leaders like Vermaelen and Arteta and young talents like Jack, the Ox, Ryo, Ramsey who all will improve. We’ll have a strong spine with the best striker in the league, either Rosicky or JW ahead of Arteta and Song with Kos, Verm, and Merts rotating in front of a strong young GK who will also be even better. On the wings we’ll have speed and guile with fullbacks who can defend and attack. It looks like a solid and top quality team, and if the Ox develops and we bring in a creative attacker while keeping RvP, we’d have the talent and fantasy to turn on the style as well.

  214. @ | April 8, 2012 at 7:10 pm

    “arsenalprime:

    SENSE 1-0 MONEY”

    ha ha! sums it up, perfectly.

  215. @ lsg
    if you start that Robson petition I will definitely sign it.

  216. “Next year our balance will be very good between solid veteran players and leaders like Vermaelen and Arteta and young talents like Jack, the Ox, Ryo, Ramsey who all will improve. We’ll have a strong spine with the best striker in the league, either Rosicky or JW ahead of Arteta and Song with Kos, Verm, and Merts rotating in front of a strong young GK who will also be even better. On the wings we’ll have speed and guile with fullbacks who can defend and attack. It looks like a solid and top quality team, and if the Ox develops and we bring in a creative attacker while keeping RvP, we’d have the talent and fantasy to turn on the style as well.”

    Agree with every word.

    And something really has to be done about the refereeing. Way past a joke.

  217. Limestonegunner

    GA, Santos is an excellent left back. If you study his stats, you’d see he is actually very strong in tackles and exceptional in the aerial defence. Moreover, his gifts in attack should already be obvious. He’s really and outstanding player who adapted well to the physicality of the PL since he is so big and strong himself. Without the injury, his quality would have been more obvious and I seriously doubt you’d even be considering that a weak position.

    I think there are more questions in attacking midfield. Ramsey might come on, but Rosicky has been better but just hasn’t been fit and in form consistently through a season and we haven’t seen Jack play there at this level. He’ll be in the same position as Ramsey was, coming back after a season lost in his development. So there are several players who can and will play there but I don’t know if we have a consistent starter for next season whom we can depend on to run the attack the fast and efficient way that works best for us. It is also an extremely important position for our side. I wish Arshavin had had a chance to play there a few times this season or that Arteta had shown the ability to play further forward; as good as he has been, it has been in more of a possession, defending and linking role.

  218. i agree with most of what andy says.

    we are now the best team in this division and next year we are gunner win the league(if we keep our players). dont agree about a lefty though!!

  219. I can understand why Wenger substituted Jethro and brought on Brazil. I don’t think it had to do with an injury or anything to Jethro or that he played badly. I just felt that like Sagna provided solidity and a penetrative attack down the right flank, Brazil was more experienced in providing the same attacking wing play from the left.

    We needed to do something different and Brazil provided that option. Was thoroughly enjoying his stepovers and the fact that Zabaleta didn’t know what to do with such a skilled “lateral” as they say. I think the team has learnt to cover for Brazil being on the pitch. Next time he attacks, watch what either Song or Arteta do – one of them will fall into the left back position to cover Brazil going walkabout.

    Either way, we don’t lose shape, we just switch personnel and shift the play on the left flank with a very experienced wingback.

  220. Aaron and Jack will be something to savor and remember once they’ve settled in.

  221. Limestonegunner

    FG, I’m writing a message to Arsenal.com. I’d love it if others joined me. If you think a petition is better, perhaps there is a way to start one online and spread the word–but I am not great at these old interwebs–took me a long time to get a nice little gravatar going and got to enjoy it a couple of weeks only before wordpress killed the party!

  222. Limestone – I mentioned left back as I am still not convinced by Gibbs. Goos player, but not quite good enough for our No1 I think. Santos baffles me; he is great going forward but take huge risks defensively. And when we have the ball he does not seem to play any sort of position. He just wanders all over the place. I do like him, but I also think he will cost us points at times.

    Not desperate for a left back, but I do think it is a position we could maybe improve on.

  223. @GA
    But Wenger is convinced by Gibbs. He wouldn’t have let Clichy go otherwise. Shouldn’t that be enough?

  224. Gibbs has it.

  225. Evil – Enough? I don’t get your point. I am just saying that personally I think we could have better.

  226. Quite enjoyed doing the Poznan earlier, another great atmosphere at the ground, much improved since 5pur2.

    Great goal from Mikel, and it still didn’t even result in a strand being out of place on his exquisite hair.

  227. Heh, the Poznan was great to watch.

  228. @ lsg
    I misunderstood then. An email it is.

  229. But who? Who’d be better? In the league itself, I can only see three or four left backs better than Gibbs. Clichy, obviously, as well as Evra and Baines. And maybe Cole as well, though he has been in decline for quite some time now. But two of those players are the wrong side of 30 and I don’t think it’s unreasonable to expect that Gibbs will reach their ability levels or at least get close (or maybe even surpass them?) as he develops as a player.

  230. Calm down. I just mentioned that by adding a forward and a top quality left back I think we would be set for a challenge. I am not throwing names around or anything, just saying that if we are to improve the squad, it is a position I think could be up for grabs.

    You don’t agree we could perhaps improve at left back? All good 🙂

  231. Matt, the atmosphere was outstanding – I didn’t know about ‘the Poznan’ so I was a bit bemused when the guy in the row in front turned around towards me to celebrate! I’ll know better next time!

    GA, I agree we should have scored at least 3 as we totally dominated the mercenaries and I wish the scoreline demonstrated more emphatically just how much better we were than them. I’ve seen a couple of headlines on newsnow trying to suggest we won because of the Ballotelli sending off. The blue mancs were already well beaten by then. What is amazing is that he managed to stay on the pitch for 90 mins – he should have walked after kicking out at Song. I don’t agree that we need a left-back. Santos and Gibbs are 2 excellent players and they add a lot to Arsenal defensively and offensively. There may be good left-backs out there for more defensively minded teams, but as far as players with the qualities to play the Arsenal style, there are not that many names that immediately leap to mind. If we are going to spend money, another goal scoring forward and another midfielder with an eye for a pass and an eye for goal would be a better use of funds. Even better would be a fit Diaby and Wilshere.

    Limestone/FG – I would gladly sign that petition too! I have complained to Arsenal.com about 3 times and just got fobbed off, but I’m happy to complain again if more people will also do it – we need numbers so they can’t dismiss it as just some mad woman with an axe to grind! I’m tempted to write directly to Ivan Gazidis, I’m so pissed off with that man getting paid by the club while adding to the negativity around the club. There are many supporters who get their view of the club from the punditocracy and having the same thing being peddled in house is just reinforcing that crap that we could do without. Maybe the AST should raise that when they meet with Mr Gazidis, rather than trying to tell the board how to run the club and the manager, which players to buy!

  232. @GA
    Then what exactly about Gibbs play is making you think that his is a position we should actively try to improve on this summer? I understand your criticism of Santos, though for me personally the aspects you are criticising are exactly what I love about him, but with Gibbs, I just don’t see what he has done wrong in the past 10 games or so to justify thinking about replacing him. His crossing is decent, he is speedy, good enough in playing the offside trap and does well in his tackles.

    We could obviously improve. If we are going down that route, apart from maybe RVP and Koscielny, we could “theoretically” improve on every position in the team.

  233. Add Song and Sagna to that. Mea culpa.

  234. Song and Sagna were both amazing today – interesting that they seemed to be the players targetted for the rough-stuff by the opposition

  235. @Passenal
    And both are classy gentlemen. Several times they had their arms around Balotelli, trying to calm him down though ultimately all their talking didn’t prevent Mario from doing something stupid.
    Other players would’ve tried to wind him up (and in fact our own Santos did!) but that despite being on the end of atrocious challenges from him they still manage to keep their head and do what they did only increases my respect for both of them.

  236. @ lsg/Passenal
    you’d certainly get bigger numbers with a petition because less effort is required to click on a link than to compose an email. People being the way they are, and all. Could do both? Or circulate a “model” email for people to copy and just fill in their name?

    And incidentally we are fabulous. I love Santos. He has flair and flamboyance and he’s a good defender to boot. And the man just lerves to play football. That zest for the game is so endearing.

  237. The Real Stew Black

    LB is one of the strongest areas of our squad. No question. Two first choice players vying for the same spot. RB is superb but slightly weaker in fact with the best RB you’ll see anywhere but an unproven cover (although with massive promise).

  238. Limestonegunner

    It’s too long but here is my email to AFC. I’ve taken the civil approach in the belief that club officials are more likely to pay attention, but I have no idea if that is the case. I encourage everyone to express themselves as they see fit, but seriously I call everyone who has been annoyed by Robson to join me in making their complaint known to the club.

    Dear Arsenal FC,
    I am a red member living abroad in Canada. As a result, I often have to hear Stewart Robson’s commentary on the television broadcast I receive in addition to his regular commentary on Arsenal matches for Arsenal Player.

    I am dismayed by his unfair and desperately negative comments about Arsenal during his commentary. This has been a consistent source of annoyance to me for more than two years; however, his commentary on the ManCity match has driven me to make a specific complaint about him to request that the club stop employing him at the earliest opportunity as a commentator and for his post-match tactical analysis.

    Anyone who harbours such obvious ill will toward Arsenal doesn’t deserve to work for the club. This is not a matter of a pundit or commentator needing to have a sense of objectivity and finding a balance by including genuine criticism in his analysis. He goes way beyond seeking balance and finds opportunities to criticize unfairly, unduly, disproportionately and with some malicious consequence. Perhaps on non-Arsenal broadcasts he exaggerates his ill will to insure no one mistakes him for being supportive or biased in favour of Arsenal because of his past association with and current employment at the club. In that case, Arsenal should relieve him of the quandary and allow him to resolve any apparent conflicts of interest by ending his work for Arsenal.

    From the opening minutes, his disproportionate, even wild, negative criticism of Arsenal was clear. Practically the first words out of his mouth was a comment on Rosicky’s response to being pulled to the ground by the arm from behind, for which Toure received an early deserved yellow for a cynical foul. Robson immediately focused on Rosicky’s angry gesture in response by claiming Arsenal players would systematically appeal in order to get players carded in a poor show of sportsmanship. This is at the start of the game! It continued in this vein, and he harped on the theme of Arsenal players going down easily and feigning injury when it was clear that Balotelli had embedded his studs into Song’s knee and all over Sagna’s leg. He gave a negative twist to nearly every incident which contributed to a very poor image of Arsenal’s team to viewers, quite out of step with our standard of positive and relative fair play, while downplaying our team’s total domination in every facet of the game. It was a remarkable performance in twisted and hostile commentary.

    He is doing active damage to Arsenal FC in the footballing public. The sort of perspective he offers contributes to the media atmosphere that seems to insure referees routinely wave off penalties for us or overlook terrible fouls, which are casually overlooked in media portrayals of our games. If Robson wants to proffer these views in media beyond Arsenal’s control, that is his prerogative. There is no doubt that his approach will be richly rewarded in the football media. What I and so many Arsenal supporters object to is that he collects a wage to offer similar, if somewhat less vicious, remarks on Arsenal Player.

    I am sure you have heard these complaints before, because all across the blogosphere I see comments of annoyed and frustrated Arsenal supporters disgusted with his consistent denigration of our players, our manager, and our team.

    I hope you will act this time. We are used to the way the media portray Arsenal, but it is galling to be supporting someone to damage our image. If you aren’t moved by the sensibilities and feelings of your loyal supporters, at least consider that it is terrible business. There are a host of excellent Arsenal player commentators who are on Arsenal Player as well as others like Martin Keown who could be engaged in this role who will give honest insight, even when critical, which I don’t mind when it is fair and moderately balanced. The hostility and anti-Arsenal bias on display from Stewart Robson is really intolerable and unjust.

    Thank you for your consideration.

  239. Limestonegunner

    Passenal, good call on having AST take this up. I have recently joined, so I will certainly email them as well. I am just sick of his milk-curdling comments. But even that joker can’t take the shine off of a terrific victory. Much as he seemed like he was trying to do the whole game from start to finish. And that’s fine. If he wants to be a sour lemon, he can. I just don’t want the club paying him to spread his bile on our own media or subsidizing him and giving him a platform to advance his career. I don’t know what he was doing before Arsenal commentary, but I am sure that doing tv commentary for games for Arsenal has enhanced his career because we have a huge following and it is a prestigious gig.

  240. @ FunGunner

    and following on from arsenalprime’s remark:

    Nice one and of course true

  241. Limestonegunner

    Evil, I didn’t hear Robson pointing out the good sportsmanship there. I noticed the same thing you pointed out there quite astutely, but Robson wanted to peddle the idea very strongly that Arsenal players were rolling about trying to get poor Balotelli and the Man City players carded or sent off in a systematic and dastardly manner. What a joke!

  242. Limestonegunner

    FG, do you know how to start an online petition? Passenal? I agree with FG that perhaps that would have wider effect. Even if Arsenal don’t get rid of him, the negative publicity surrounding his remarks might have a moderating effect on him.

    George, you should take it up the next time you are on the Fans’ Forum. Great comments last time, btw.

  243. Well put, Limestonegunner. As a side note, one irony is that we don’t appeal nearly enough, I don’t think.

    How about doing an edited version of your email for circulation as a model complaint?

  244. could just put in a search for “start a petition” and see what comes up?

  245. @LG
    Exactly. And I never once heard him talk in that fashion about City players.

  246. Limestonegunner

    Agreed, FG. I think we don’t do it enough either. ManU and Chelsea players are constantly haranguing the ref, surrounding him and so on.

    I’ll post a more stream-lined version, if I get a chance, in tomorrow morning’s comments. Traffic is low tonight.

    Also, surprisingly, the comments have been fairly few the last couple of weeks. That’s with our good run and a recent loss as well. I wonder why. Perhaps one game a week actually makes it feel like there is less to talk about?

  247. @ G4E
    yes, good article. This bit hits the nail on the head.

    “A feature of Arsenal’s improvement has been the combination play of the three midfield men and here Alex Song, the most powerful of midfield bases, led the charge. The understanding and movement of Arsenal’s midfield trio is a joy to watch and a masterclass in coaching. They are always on the move: one makes a forward run, one peels off at an angle and between them they make the space for the deepest man to move forward with the ball (see diagram). This continual movement off the ball gives the opponents marking problems. … Song, one of the Premier League’s most underrated players, hit all the right notes while his team-mates have proved conclusively to City that money cannot buy you love. There is a feeling about Arsenal that translates into tenacious harmony.”

  248. Limestonegunner

    Anyway, let’s get back to praising our courageous team of football assassins! The scalps of Spuds, Pool, Newcastle, and ManCity look quite impressive at the moment. Plus the Everton victory was greatly to our credit as they are tough at home in the latter part of the season. Newcastle has recovered, but Pool and Spuds have really suffered a loss of form after our defeat of them. Hopefully City’s collapse just accelerates now and we do the same to Chelsea.

    In the mini league we are square with Spuds but ahead via goal difference, three points to the good v. Newcastle, square with Pool but down a goal, square with ManCity, down 6 points and lots of goals to ManU, and with a win 6 points from Chelsea. That would be a pretty fine record, particularly given our troubled start when we played Liverpool, ManU and Newcastle.

  249. pedantic george

    How was that?

  250. Excellent letter Limestone.

    Robson pisses me off beyond belief, totally negative comments about players and the manager at every opportunity.

    Constantly deriding our players for, in his mind, ” trying to get opposition players booked”, and his fatuous comment about Arsenal supporters being biased after a dive by a citeh player was truly beyond the pale.

    He was also quick to comment after a brief period of about 3 minutes of play from citeh that citeh were now “dominating the midfield”.

    I also recall a comment after a game we lost at the start of the year that “Wenger will blame anyone but himself” before Wenger had made any comment whatsoever.

    The man is a steaming pile of shit. For my 50th birthday present coming up very shortly I would like nothing more than to be given immunity from prosecution, provided with a pick-axe handle, and be placed in a room with Stuart “twat” Robson.

    Nothing would give me greater pleasure than beating that sniveling little pissant into a gooey pile of jello.

  251. get the fuck in there…
    i love miki arteta..what a fucking player..
    i cant remember the last time we scored so many long range efforts and they all seem to be coming from one man..
    we’re going to do it..
    pride of london…

  252. Limestonegunner

    MikeSA, he does get my goat something fierce too. Please write to AFC.

    Passenal and Matt, I’d like to hear more about the atmosphere at the game.

    Quite apart from the Poznan and the “he plays when he wants, Carlos Tevez, he plays when he wants!” chant, it seems we had quite a banner day in terms of the home support. Apparently Mancs really didn’t like that chant.

    I saw a very fine banner about how class can’t be bought as well.

  253. Limestonegunner

    How was what, PG?

  254. stoke and westbrom away are probably our hardest fixtures now..
    i’ll take a draw in both
    we’ll win the rest..

    come on

  255. haha, love it. A fan based revolution is born.
    First get this jerk off the airways and off our payroll and then. ………… . The next issues to be addressed. They must listen to us. It is only COMMON SENSE.
    how about that crazy polish goalkeeper. He must have been thirsty. Then again I have never known a pole to pass up a beer.
    Our left back depth is fine. All we needed was a versatile back up to RVP and with PODI on his way here that need is taken care of. Now to get SONG,THEO. AND RVP TO EXTEND.

    UP THE GUNS OF ARSENAL..!!!!
    there you go DEXTER. a nice birthday. Gift for you. Belated. But. Priceless……

  256. Limestonegunner

    One point of concern out of this match is Kos’ suspension for the next two games. Djourou was quite good his last time out but it isn’t wonderful to have your best CB out this time of the season. We saw how mistakes by good players can be costly against relegation threatened teams last weekend, so we’ll have to be sharp and have good games from Song and Arteta. If they play like they did today, we should have no problems! They were both solid.

  257. pedantic george

    that performance by our boys LG

  258. Limestonegunner

    Song must be made of reinforced steel. I don’t know how his leg stayed in one piece or how his knee wasn’t snapped. I hope he actually is okay and doesn’t have a strain or damage of some kind–that was something vicious.

  259. Limestonegunner

    Yes, pretty damn fine, PG. Damn fine!

  260. @MIKE SA
    you axe-murdering gooner you. haha
    @LIMESTONE
    nice letter to AFC. I think you are very close to asking for a transfer to London. From. Canada. Haha.

  261. I think little doggy had been binned and banned. No?? a good move..

  262. LG, that is an excellent letter – If you don’t mind, I wont copy and paste, but I might use some of the same talking points.

    Re the atmosphere – I was really impressed that most stayed to the end of the game and as well as good singing ‘one Song, we’ve only got one Song’, ‘we love you Arsenal’ ‘ by far the greatest team’ etc and only once did I hear ‘we hate Tottenham’ – I think that’s always a sign that there is more important stuff going on on the pitch! Whistling and jeering the opposition (helps when Na$ri is on the pitch, Gael Clichy to be fair only got a little half-hearted booing not the booing, jeering and singing reserved for Na$ri ‘Na$ri is a c___’, ‘Na$ri, Na$ri, what’s the score’ etc. The fans did a great job of putting pressure on the referee. Imagine if we hadn’t, he would have bottled the big decisions even more than he did!

    I didn’t see how bad that tackle on Song was until I’ve just seen a clip of it online. It was horrendous, and the fact he could come back on and play as well as he did is very fortunate indeed. Mario is probably a case of too much too young – 21 years old and if things aren’t going his way, his only option is to lash out. Not good. I just hope Song and Sagna are fine and fully recovered for Wednesday.

  263. Limestonegunner

    I think I have finally adjusted and overcome the jet lag, though I do feel a bit short of breath from the late night shisha just before departure–but I didn’t see Chamakh. He must have gone out elsewhere–I wonder what flavour he prefers? Double apple? Melon? He must drink sugary tea with mint.

    AW had a good laugh about it at the presser, but was pretty cagey about whether he would be with us past the summer.

  264. Limestonegunner

    Passenal, feel free to write as you like. I just posted that to encourage others to do the same. FG suggested I pare it down for others who aren’t as literarily inclined as yourself!

    Thanks for the report on the atmosphere. I have to say it really came across on the tv as very passionate and loud. Even better, we showed some cleverness and creativity. Made me miss London very acutely, first game back watching from afar. I also don’t like the Tottenham chants–seems small minded in the midst of a match to even think about the lesser rivals in North London.

    Kam, I would if I could! Alas the universities in UK are even more strapped than those in Canada and I’d hardly afford the Emirates tickets living in London on an academic salary even if there were jobs! Fiercely expensive city, maybe more costly than NYC, though it has been several years since I moved from Manhattan. I don’t know how Londoners make ends meet.

  265. The Real Stew Black

    Mike SA @ 9.46
    No, go on, tell us what you really think
    🙂

  266. MOTD commentator talking some pile of shite about the man utd ‘penalty’ – had to be a penalty after the offside was missed because you cant put your hand on a players back in the box as its an invitation to go down!!

    Farkin hell it was a god damn dive, just call it lit it is please……

  267. Can’t we just find out where Robson has his daily pint of bitter and jump him stick him in the boot of a car and drive the c*nt off a short pier.

  268. Guys what a performance today Kos and Ros were the kinks IMO.

  269. Limestonegunner

    Really classy of Mancini to hang Balotelli out to dry. Last match for City? Yeah, Tevez can tell him all about how that goes. As if his antics had anything to do with the perilous state of ManCity’s title vanities! Aguero was totally anonymous. Nasri was a joke. Their team was comprehensively outclassed by Arsenal and are very, very lucky not to have been embarrassed by a 3-0 pasting. And Mancini is to blame for poor selection, poorer tactics and substitutions, and classless harping on about needing 2-3 players and carping about Balotelli, who was left on the pitch by the ref’s ridiculous failure to call a flagrantly red card tackle and Mancini’s incomprehensible decision not to remove him on a yellow. In fact, Mancini showed how callous he is–Balotelli was like a loaded gun. He didn’t get more careful as his final sending off demonstrated.

  270. Diese,

    The english dont dive what you on about!

  271. yeah limestone, Mancini hasnt shown one ounce of loyalty to Mario but then again neither have the man city fans – Mario was even blamed for not beating sunderland, this after he scored 2 goals. Many Citys problems go way beyond Mario

  272. Deise.

  273. Limestonegunner

    I’ve always like Balotelli but he has a lot of growing up still to do. Mancini is the dope for continuing to play him despite all the signs that he was recklessly out of control today. He says he will sell him.

    How about a cut-rate punt on him? If anyone can sort him out it would be AW. Probably too much bad blood now though with Song and Sagna rightfully aggrieved. But then again, RvP and Vermaelen had a dust up and now are best of friends!

  274. I get you limestone. Still, I would vote for you to take over. Robsons gig. You could do hundreds times better. 🙂
    Fucking hell, this year even the refs. Can’t. Touch us . Even though they are trying their best. Luckily, both SONG &. SAGNA escaped serious injury. That makes me so proud of our. WARRIORS. ONE AND ALL.

  275. “The english dont dive what you on about!”

    @oilysailor on twitter
    Players from England, Scotland & Wales make up 46% of the PL this season but have 57% of bookings for simulation

  276. no to balotelli..

  277. @LG
    Agreed. If there is a man who can get Balotelli on the right track, it’s Wenger. And despite what I’ve said during the match, he has obvious talent and if he would show willingness to work on his behaviour I would not say no to him.

  278. not Mario but id take Dzeko

  279. At one.point in the game we had 75% of the football game and the fucking. BBC is making out to be that we won strictly because of Balotelis fucked up behavior. Basterds will never give up the script. Limestone, I would take that terrier Tevez over Mario. Better yet ,let’s make. Benny a permanent. Gunner. He has done very well. He should have scored.one today. I couldn’t believe my eyes
    TV should have scored. One too. This could have been 4•0. Or 5-0. well done boys.

  280. At one.point in the game we had 75% of the football game and the fucking. BBC is making out to be that we won strictly because of Balotelis fucked up behavior. Basterds will never give up the script. Limestone, I would take that terrier Tevez over Mario. Better yet ,let’s make. Benny a permanent. Gunner. He has done very well. He should have scored.one today. I couldn’t believe my eyes
    TV should have scored. One too. This could have been 4•0. Or 5-0. well done boys.

    Where are IRISH & DEXter when you need them
    dereliction of duty ,I say.

  281. And whats Dixon saying about their squad not being big/good enough, come on Lee have you seen their squad sheet? Where was this excuse when they were the goal machine earlier in the season

  282. Spot on . I would take. EDEN off their hands. They don’t know how to get the best out of him. He is super talented.

  283. “I can let people think what they want. Me, I know my choice and my choice is about football. “We will see at the end of the season when we will lift a trophy, we will talk about my choice again and we will show everyone who was thinking about money that they were wrong.”

    The more often I read it, the better this quote gets. Contrary to the man himself, Nasri’s quotes are priceless.

  284. LG,
    You’re an academic? Can’t say that I’m surprised. What field are you in?

    Re Robson: I generally don’t pay much attention to commentators but I heard similar crap about our players tendency to get opposing players booked from the commentators on the Sky Sports feed I was watching. Makes me wonder if its the same Robson guy, and if it is, how can he be paid by Arsenal to commentate (is that the right word?) on a Sky feed? It could of course be two different muppets slagging of our players in the same way for the same game, but what are the odds?

    My MOTM is Sagna and our CBs. Unlike most it seems, I didn’t think Song had one of his better games. Neither did RvP, although he did hit the post and even put the ball in the net at one point. It was a very good team performance though. The payers covered well for each other such that individual mistakes didn’t turn out to be costly.

  285. City is perfectly set up for Jose now.

  286. i agree goonerkam
    we the scoreline could easily have been 6-0 today
    rvp penalty shout
    rvp offside
    rvp/tv cockup
    rvp post
    theo/benny
    rambo

    on another day thats not a 1-0
    city got battered..

    they were creating chances but when you consider the chances we were creating they were getting dominated..
    a matter of inches stopped them being embarrasd by a big score..
    apart from rambos crack..poor lad..that one came back with ice caps on it.. 😉

  287. Limestonegunner

    Henristic, history, Medieval Mediterranean. I think you were in some sort of mechanical engineering or materials science–I know it was the sort of thing that would boggle my mind.

  288. Limestonegunner

    It is such a common line that it might not have been Robson; but he does some matches for either sky or ITV and used to be with Setanta, I think. He also has a regular gig doing Arsenal matches on Arsenal Player.

  289. Limestonegunner

    Duke, if he does, he can forget about taking over ManU–that wouldn’t work out when Red Face retires in a couple years.

  290. Limestonegunner

    Yes, where are the late crew of Dex and Irish? Usually PG is more active too.

  291. Limestonegunner

    Maybe they’ve turned in early so they can be fresh in the morning for Easter services?! 🙂

  292. Does Kozzers yellow today, making 10 in total, mean a 2 game ban then??

  293. Guys it was an arsenal team from yesteryear. Arsenal now must give the best for Wolves!

    This one is for Yogi!

  294. dex was at the game so no doubt he is now indulging in some shish smoking shit man.

  295. All right, I’m a mechanical engr. Too. HVAC
    YOU know what they say, ‘ engineers do it with precision ‘. Hehe
    Glad you enjoyed it as much as I did. JONJON.
    Only a few fucking black spots that really pissed me off. Good thing our players are ok. Very lucky. I get so angry when I see shit like that. Better to win or lose with honor and integrity. Better to win it fair and square. You hear that fucking red devils. Those are things you have no clue about. No wonder, with a dickbreath like Ferguson in charge.
    I think JOSE should be barred from entering UK again period. Can’t tolerate seeing his face week in week out.

  296. All right, I’m a mechanical engr. Too. HVAC
    YOU know what they say, ‘ engineers do it with precision ‘. Hehe
    Glad you enjoyed it as much as I did. JONJON.
    Only a few fucking black spots that really pissed me off. Good thing our players are ok. Very lucky. I get so angry when I see shit like that. Better to win or lose with honor and integrity. Better to win it fair and square. You hear that fucking red devils. Those are things you have no clue about. No wonder, with a dickbreath like Ferguson in charge.
    I think JOSE should be barred from entering UK again period. Can’t tolerate seeing his face week in week out.
    So nonono to. Maureenwhore

  297. And. PG changed teams I heard. He is a Barka now having dinner with cesc. 🙂

  298. yeah
    song seemed to take yaya out early and balotelli decided he was going to be judge jury and executioner..
    it turned nasty but songs tackle was just a clash of knees..
    balotelli was going in to break legs

    mancinis complaining but he should have taken him off once he saw he had the crazys..

  299. Bradys right foot

    What a performance took city apart in every department of the game, if it had ‘ve fiinished 4-0 nobody would have batted an eyelid. Remember gooners the cnuts at Le Grave who lambasted Wenger for signing Arteta, remember gooners all the cnuts at Le Grave who told you Kozzer was shit, remember gooners all the cnuts at Le Grave who hope Wenger gets sacked, remember this when the mealy mouthed faux praise that Pete Wood will dish out tommorow appears online. I’m as proud of this team as I was the invincibles, born out of a summer of turmoil this is a proper team.

  300. Bradys right foot

    Yogi, moderation? You sure lol.

  301. Chemical engineering, LG. Medieval history sounds way more impressive though.

    Any thoughts on the Robson issue I raised? Do you or anyone else know of its the same guy commentating on the Sky Sports feed?

  302. This one is for Yogi

  303. Clerkenwell Gooner

    Recycling! Best thing I’ve seen all year, frankly:

    Also, the stylish Santos “tackles” the national dish (no, not Chicken Tikka Masala, fish ‘n’ chips). The grub obviously doesn’t do it for him, though. Look at how much he leaves on his plate:

  304. Clerkenwell Gooner

    Oops, that went wrong, sorry. Time of night.

    Here is the recycling pic:

    http://twitpic.com/97edsi

    Also, I am now wondering if Balotelli is actively agitating for a way back to Italy, and Mancini is in on it?

    Otherwise, why would Mancini leave him on after those horrendous tackles, when he had Tevez on the bench?

    Let Mario get sent off, and banned, and the club will sell him, possibly back to Inter? (Mario turned up at the Inter presser recently, as they announced their new manager.)

  305. Well, Roadtrip 2012 is officially over 🙂 The Girlfriend is in bed passed out, in 20 minutes FSC will show a repeat of today’s game which I have yet to see and I have all sorts of munchies waiting to be washed down by some ice-cold Brooklyn Lager. GIGGITY!!

    3,728 miles all told. Visited my cousin and met her 3 kids for the first time. Caught up with some old friends and made countless new ones. (Although The Girlfriend was not too impressed about the barmaid in Nashville but I swear I was just being friendly!!) No speeding tickets, not for lack of trying I must admit. Moonshine of 5 States tried and tested, with the ‘Jesus! This Stuff Is Lethal!!’ Award going to Mississippi. Unfortunately, as nice as the people who shared the Moonshine with us were, anybody who lives in a swamp and makes a living catching fish with their bare hands all whilst never having seen or heard of a dentist also wins the ‘Christ That Was Fucking Weird’ Award. And the ‘Jesus, Fuck You! You Racist C*nt!’ Award also goes to Mississippi, but because this is a blog full of good people I shall refrain from repeating the ugly scene that the story revolves around. Suffice to say that an Irishman (yours truly), a Mexican (my cousins husband), an Islandboy from Trinidad ( my friend Henry) and a Jew (The Girlfriend’s cousin’s husband) showed four Good Ol’Boys (racist rednecks) that talking shit IS sometimes followed by an ass kicking, just not the one they were expecting. 🙂 And yes we did sit down and have a beer and then some afterwards, thank you very much.

    It is nice to come home and watch The Arsenal win 🙂

  306. Limestonegunner

    I know who gets the award for most exciting stories, Irish! Welcome home! Long live the Arsenal!

  307. LSG – Cheers mate!! Now would you do me a favor and shoot Stewart Robson as he has actually gotten worse at commentating since I have been away!!

  308. Hahaha Irish, super funny if it wasn’t true. Well, its still a bit funny. I mean, at least you didn’t get loaded on the lethal stuff and then jump in the bayous rasteling Ali -gators. Hope the girlfriends appreciate the roundtrip and the driving you did hopefully not on the lethal stuff. Hope you enjoyed the game too. We sure did. RVP & TV are probably screaming at each other and slapping around. Next road trip? Skipp tejas altogether mate. Drive all the way to the pacific. You ,me ,vice and northbank…. hehehe.. I shutter…..

  309. G’kam – Next years Roadtrip will most likely start in San Francisco and end up in Seattle. Well at least the first leg, as I would then like to drive cross-country to NYC. I could easily see myself spending 3 weeks on the road 🙂 However, I was also hoping that next year The Arsenal would still be involved in the Cups/Champions League and I could meet up with different Arsenal supporters off the blog for different games. The Girlfriend could always go shopping, I am sure she would agree!!

  310. Sounds like a great plan man. And don’t worry the ARSENAL will give you a cause to party hardy. Speaking of which YW started the whole party started this wonderful day with that clash tune.
    And make you girl a gooner ,problem solved. She will be your shadow. Hehe

  311. I have tried dude but I am afraid it is a lost cause trying to get her to actually watch a match, let alone making her a Gooner.

  312. Ahhh. Well ask me later if you want. I might come up with a few ideas for the conversion.
    Good to be home. No?

  313. Very good mate 🙂 I missed my sofa!!

  314. Cool. You need it ,a relaxation.have a super week.

  315. Great story Irish. I lived that trip with you.

    Me, I’ll be digging more beds for vegetables this morning!

    Mind you, consolslel and I spent last night in a wine bar followed by an excellent Indian takeaway on our 22nd anniversary. No shisha but an excellent bottle of Chilean Carmenere.

  316. Irishgray, 4:07, Way To Go!

  317. We’ve played exquisitely at times, but I would place yesterday as the “strongest” and most mature performance of this season. It was measured, fast through the middle with many excellent moves, positionally astute and dominant in a way that exceeded most other matches I recall. Interesting to start Ben, he was a bit quiet in the first period, but overall his movement and positioning was excellent. The play of our twin CBs was some of the finest by any Arsenal players in any game this season, magnificent; they actually set it all up.

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