Jack & The Olympics: Time For That Chapter To Be Closed

Having seen a key player miss a large portion of a season through injury, the last thing that Arsène will want to do is trust Stuart Pearce with another. The friction caused by the wrangling over Theo Walcott is in danger of being repeated over Jack Wilshere. That the youngster has missed this season is not down entirely to England; Wenger pursued his policy of including him even when his own GPS statistics urged caution. Capello and Pearce continued to utilise him even also. There is a collective responsibility for this that shows little chance of underpinning any commonsense approach for the future.

Pearce has too much power in the national game at the moment. His role as England caretaker should preclude his role with TeamGB for the coming Olympic Games. Any words he speaks now in the latter capacity carry an undercurrent of the former. With Spurs demise and fall from Grace, there is no guarantee that Redknapp will now be named for the England role permanently, despite the desire of David Bernstein that this should happen. With Roy Hodgson and perhaps Alan Pardew, as the only real English contenders for the role in the Premier League, Pearce being appointed to the national team on a full-time basis cannot be ruled out.

As such, his observations yesterday carry an unspoken threat; annoy me over this and your international career may be impacted. Even worse, he misjudges the mood of the nation over the Olympic Football Tournament; I have seen little enthusiasm for TeamGB. To most people, it is a contrived entity, created to save face in front of the world. The unseemly bickering between the Home FAs has done nothing to enhance the reputation of TeamGB FC.

Equally telling players that this is ‘the chance of a lifetime‘ is utterly ludicrous. The Olympics mean nothing in footballing terms; TeamGB even less. Unless of course, Pearce is advocating the dissolution of the Home FAs to be replaced by Team GB on the world stage which marks a betrayal of his employers that would make a Shakespearian villain blanche.

Pearce is antagonising matters further with public utterances. Speaking of his inclusion of Jack Wilshere in his nominal squad, the caretaker incumbent noted,

We’re in constant contact with Arsenal and we’ll see how this one rides. But, will any manager get a veto over who I select? Of course not. 

We would obviously let them know if their players are in contention and the dates they would need to be made available.

This is the fundamental flaw in the process. Fifa bought into Olympic football on the basis of it being an Under-23 tournament and in that sense it is fulfilling its obligations. There are several flaws, most notably in the timing coinciding with continental competitions. Add into that the younger age of internationals and the feasibility becomes more strained.

In ordering clubs to release players, Fifa underline why they are at continual loggerheads with the clubs. They have not dropped the August international friendlies from the calendar once more undermining their arguments that they care about players. In that they are no different from the clubs; money is king and the players count for nothing. Until they are injured.

And this is where Wilshere has his responsibility. Would he be so enamoured at the prospect of the Olympics if it were not being held in England? Which it essentially is. No, he would not; the issue would not even be arising since Team GB FC‘s existence is that contrived. In my eyes, David Seaman hit the nail squarely on the head; the Olympics are not for professional footballers.

Further, having been absent for over a season through injury, Wilshere has a duty of care to his employers that demands he think very long and hard about what is good for his long-term career. Is being carried on a wave of jingoism really that important? Does he really care what the readers letters in The Daily Mail say? Or would he be better to declare himself unavailable for the tournament? Personally I believe he must remain at the club for his return to fitness to be properly monitored.

Time for Jack to put a stop to this farce and put Pearce politely but firmly, in his place. He owes that much to the club.

’til Tomorrow.

Posted on April 25, 2012, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Soccer and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 177 Comments.

  1. Gunner From Nigeria

    In Nigeria there is always national support for any club representing the country on the continent irrespective of fan base. This year it has been so for Wolves of Warri, Dolphins of Port Harcourt, Heartland of Owerri and Sunshine Stars of Akure.

    On this basis, i do not know if support for chelsea cuts across all clubs. But, personally, as an Arsenal fan, i really wanted Chelsea to lose yesterday based on principle and Champions league spot. But, with 30minutes to go, i knew they would win as Barca were clueless in the second half.

    The prophet Wenger was correct afterall: Barcelona of last year is different from this year.

    It is absolutely necessary now for us to finish third.

  2. first!

  3. Gunner From Nigeria

    Stuart Pearce is deluded. He talks as if he was never a club manager or a player. Total lack of respect for Wenger and Arsenal FC.

  4. Comment of last night from Gary Neville after John Terry denied “kneeing” his Barcelona opponent.
    “I think JT will have to revisit that statement after he views the video evidence.”
    Classic!!

  5. This is all about Pearce and his attempt to build some kind of a career as a manager. This is a man who built a career on the good old English footballing virtues of physically bullying opponents and running around a lot. As a club manager he was an abject failure. Unfortunately as we witnessed yesterday, English football has not moved on from Pearce’s heyday in the late 80’s and early nineties and is still happy to adhere to the Charles Hughes/John Beck school of thought – few passes, little attempt to play attractive football, reliance on long balls and physical superiority. Much as I despise Barcelona and their DNA, it was a victory for anti-football and further backs up the claims of those of limited managerial, coaching and playing talent that we in England ought to continue to play the game as before.
    As such, we should expect continued emotional appeals, ridiculous Henry V rhetoric and blatant dissimulation such as presenting the Olympic football tournament as being of any value whatsoever to anyone other than Pearce and the BOC.
    As the writer urges, it should really be down to Wilshire to show some loyalty to us who pay his wages and Arsenal FC who developed him. At the end of the day, Pearce’s veiled threats ring hollow; If Wilshire doesn’t play at the Olympics, which England manager will really take it out on him by not picking him for a tournament which does matter?
    When the choice is the likes of Parker or Milner or Garry Barry, only a moron like Pearce could believe his threat carries any weight.

  6. I don’t really have a problem with Great Britain having a team in the Olympics, but it should be a strictly U-23 tournament (no over-age players) and the coach must be made to see sense. Surely someone at the club must have contacts in the FA who could tell Pearce to cool it over Wilshere’s inclusion, the boy hasn’t played for a year and I agree that he would be much better off getting a full pre-season with Arsenal. I would assume, all being well once the season starts, that he will be in the England squads for the August friendly and the September and Octiber World Cup qualifiers, Pearce should be told his remit is also to take the longer term view with these players.

    YW, The August friendlies will be ditched as part of the agreement between the European clubs andf UEFA. I suppose the ones this year were already scheduled and couldn’t be cancelled due to whatever contracts are in place. I thought the March ones were going as well, but it seems not from the following link.
    http://www.ecaeurope.com/news/european-club-association-reaches-agreement-with-uefa/

    Chelsea getting through last night was horrible, but I think they may have used up whatever luck was coming their way over those two matches. I fully expect them to be beaten in the final which is made especially hard for them due to the players they will have suspended.

  7. Pearce IS momentarily too powerful and briefly dangerous.

    There is every chance he’ll be without ANY job come the autumn so the odds are could that he will adopt a gung-ho approach to his current duties and pay little heed to his players’s well-being and even less to the clubs.

    Team GB is an abomination that cuts across all our footballing traditions.

    The less damage it does, the better; we can but hope but Pearce’s approach and evident attitude does not auger well.

  8. I firmly believe Jack should play his first five matches after a long layoff with the gunners.Injured in an international friendly and coming back for an international tournament could be costly.

    What’s it with the crossbar for chelsea lately?

    Arsenal last 2 home games…1 loss 1 draw
    Barca last 2 home games..1 loss 1 draw
    Numerous attempts,crossbar,keeper saves,lack of initiative,and very big luck

    Whoever parks the bus should get a ticket(bookings)

  9. Block 4

    The ECA are a dangerous animal. Ruminegge preaches about cutting fixture lists with everyone behaving more responsibly towards player fitness. Rosell shows the real agenda. Cut the top flights in terms of games, ditch internationals and allow the clubs to play more lucrative friendlies in the gaps.

    The ECA are no better than the fools running football now.

  10. Yogi, pearce is a buffoon, i feel it is a case of him stroking his ego and not wanting to look bullied into leaving wilshere out of the GB team, he has an on going feud with wenger on the inclusion of players that has stopped him from using his half baked excuse for a brain to make the right decision.

  11. Am definately going on a media blackout for this week, its nice to having a quite jo int like aclf to ease the pain from yesterday.

  12. The expression is “if he had brains he would be dangerous’. this doesn’t apply to Pearce though. he is a half wit, a moronic T**D

  13. ClockEndRider: ” At the end of the day, Pearce’s veiled threats ring hollow; If Wilshire doesn’t play at the Olympics, which England manager will really take it out on him by not picking him for a tournament which does matter? When the choice is the likes of Parker or Milner or Garry Barry, only a moron like Pearce could believe his threat carries any weight.”

    Well said that person.

  14. Good post YW.
    As you say Jack Wilshire should put an end to this farce and declare himself unavailable for the Olympics sooner rather than later, but I am not confident that will happen. Wilshire will have an England career and Pearce won’t be anywhere near future England setups.
    Well done to Chelsea despite John Terrys antics, not the best football over the two legs, but its the result that counts.
    I am glad to see Barcelona the institution beaten by whatever means necessary.
    Don’t agree with yellow cards carrying forward to final as fans spend enormous sums of money to see these events.

  15. Jack Wilshere had a duty of care as you put it to his employers last summer but instead of having treatment for an injury went on holiday with his mates. You can excuse the player based on age and inexperience but as much as we like to blame international football for what happened it was also one of many incidents of mis-management by the club last summer.

    For all his talent and promise I don’t think JW is the brightest spark, not sure you would want him on your pub quiz team, witness his recent tweets about Chelsea in the Champions League. I wouldn’t be surprised that if he was fit he would want to play, the Olympics are a major global sporting event after all.

    David Seaman saying he would not have played is bollocks, this is the man who would smile and sell pictures of himself to OK magazine, he would do anything to be in the public limelight.

  16. I’m not too worried about Wilshere and international duty this summer…….apart of course wishing for his eventual return to Arsenal in full fitness mode.
    Regardless of what is being said (or not said) Pearce will never include a player who is not 100% fit and if Wilshere doesn’t meet that criteria, he simply won’t be selected. Pearce may be a lot of things bur he isn’t a fool.

  17. I’m glad Chelsea beat Barca because I hate their faces, but I still want Bayern to win the CL. And I think they can get past Madrid if they are as positive in their approach at the Bernabeu as they were in Germany. Plus, I hate Madrid too. And Jose rain maker.

    Come on Bayern, put an end to this Spanish love-in.

  18. Limestonegunner

    Absolutely, YW. Excellent post.

  19. Steve what a load of bollocks regarding Seamen – yes he’s been in OK (SFW?) and Dancing on Ice and other programmes but if you knew anything of him you would know that he is largely a very private man.

    To lazily assert he would do “anything to be in the limelight”, is so far wide of the mark it’s a ludicrous and stupid accusation.

    The fact is he’s also one of the nicest men in the game, which makes your accusations unnecessary and offensive to boot.

  20. I’m not to worried about Wilshere either – I imagine the club will do their best to keep his treatment at a cautious pace – in the process ensuring he is nowhere near selectable, due to lack of match fitness.

    At least that’s what I would do.

  21. Markus

    Anyone who wants Chelsea to win and get to the CL final is not a Gooner.Anything can happen in a one off game,Greece in 2004.We wanted the Chavs out last night

  22. Martin, did we? Speak for yourself, I wanted Barca out. Next I want Madrid out. Then I want Bayern to win the final so Chelsea don’t get an automatic CL spot.

  23. YW, I saw Rosell’s comments on playing friendlies on the vacated international dates. Obviously the ECA have their own agenda, but the difference is that even if the clubs do arrange friendlies on these dates they are not obliged to play players who are unfit or just in need of a rest. While we have a sensible manager ourselves I doubt that any friendlies would be arranged for these dates anyway, but if they were in the future you would hope that the then manager would take all things into account when selecting a team to play them. At the moment the only way to not play an international friendly is to have your leg hanging off.

    Anyway, I was only making the point that the August international friendly date has indeed been abolished by UEFA (I guess players from countries in other confederations could still be called up), just not in time for this year.

  24. Block 4

    Uefa’s decision has yet to be ratified by Fifa re August / March although Fifa do rightly point out that there is no obligation on FAs to play matches in these weeks. Whilst it helps with the European based countries, other federations are not obliged to follow suit.

    As for clubs, they may not play players but Wilshere’s injury was as much due to overplaying as the actual contact which caused it. That is not going to be eased by friendlies played by clubs in what should be mid-season breaks.

  25. After the game last night the barcelona fans were cheering their team like they had won.It made sense considering the fact they had missed a penalty,maybe the feeiling of luck not being on your side.Talking tactics, how many clubs genuinely have a plan B?

    I believe the best plan B would be how to break a team that has parked the bus

  26. Anyone who wanted Chelsea to win isn’t a gooner? What utter nonsense. I’ll admit I wanted them to win a whole lot more once Terry departed, but the thought of the Tots finishing 4th but still not getting into the CL fills me with so much joy. Obviously if Newcastle finish 4th then I want Chelsea to get an absolute pasting in the final.

  27. Gunner From Nigeria

    The implication of Chelsea’s victory yesterday is now becoming apparent with the Arsenal official website posting the likely permutations.
    http://www.arsenal.com/news/news-archive/champions-league-2012/13-permutations?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+arsenal-news+%28News+Feed%29

    I am very uncomfortable at the moment. We just have to finish third.

  28. Gunner From Nigeria

    I do not get this talk of fans saying that if Totteham finishes fourth and Chelsea wins the cup it would fill them with joy. And not discounting Newcastle from the picture either.

    My question and concern is assuming Arsenal ends up finishing 4th and Chelsea wins the cup?

    This is a possibility that should not be over looked and we should not get way over ourselves because we all know our form is erratic. Call me paranoia but, i do not want Chelsea to win just in case. . .

  29. Third place is in Arsenal players hands if we are good enough we will finish third, if not then we only have ourselves to blame.

  30. Good post today YW.

    The Olympics has become a capitalist tool, driven by big companies, in order to make money. We should not be surprised if it affects us negatively. How much coverage would it give sponsors if their players are at the Olympics? I appreciate that is only one viewpoint, but it should not be overlooked.

    On another point, I think the possibility Chelsea winning the CL will sharpen our focus on finishing third.

  31. Wolves could have got a result against this current barca incarnation! 🙂

  32. Barca goin out was hilarious man. As long as we get 3rd the thought of the chavs winning the CL finally under Roman is also very interesting. That was the holy grail, apparantly for the oligarch, so he might consider his options if they manage to win ol big ears. Hmmmmm

  33. i am sure arsene wenger will tell jack wilshere what to do. given the injuries and pre-season this season, i can’t believe wenger will let our pre-season be disrupted again.

    as for whether chelsea should win the CL, the following scenario is the simplest:

    we finish 3rd.
    newcastle finish 4th.
    spuds and chelsea finish 5th and 6th.

    no idea why some of u guys are arguing about how to make spuds feel the pain, when the simplest is actually that they DONT even get a spot in the top4.

  34. Dexter

    to be honest, it can work the other way as well. remember hitler?

  35. hitler? Yes I remember him, he was in my dictatoring class at school.

  36. Dexter – you have this ass-about-face (as korihikage alludes).

    The best outcome for The Arsenal is SURELY that Chel$kum fall out of the CL. Not only would it be deeply humorous – and be yet another pile of heartbreak for the club & Roman – but I think the financial ramifications are potentially very severe.

    By winning it, they automatically qualify for the damn thing next season, meaning that – if we were to slip to 4th – The Arsenal would not qualify.

    Perhaps most importantly I do not buy into this bizarre mindset that winning the CL will mean that Roman will suddenly lose interest in his toy. In fact, I do not even understand where this ‘oft quoted’ speculation comes from. It seems baseless and, to my mind, unlikely. I would say he is far more likely to be determined to rebuild and defend it next season.

    And therein lies the rub: Chelsea’s progress has covered over some large cracks – this is a squad in need of significant overhaul and with nothing in the way of youth coming through.

    As FFP looms into view, the loss of CL income (which, unlike The Arsenal, they take for granted) is a far more significant threat, and headache, for Roman.

    They cannot continue to spend with such feckless abandon as they have in the past anyway BUT to lose the income from the CL and the ability to attract top names would, I believe, represent a massive headache for them.

    Leaving aside the fact that it makes it harder to buy top players, there are many differing valuations of how much CL qualifications is worth. But I think Swiss Rambler’s detailed evaluation of how much it would mean to Arsenal is a valid starting point.

    http://bleacherreport.com/articles/390575-what-is-the-champions-league-worth-to-arsenal#

    His detailed analysis came to c£43Million. Add in the fact that it was written in May 2010 and we can probably safely up this total to c£50M.

    Chelsea need to clear out a few players and they need to attract big names and (maybe) a new manager. Some of the players they might wish to offload are on prohibitive salaries. As a result they may face the ignominy of paying for them to play for other clubs. [As an example I learnt recently that Ade’s salary is paid 100K a week by Man City, to 70K a week by Tottenham].

    Add it all together and the only outcome that’s good for us is for them to lose (horrendously) in the final. Hopefully it will be the start of a beautiful, downward spiralling, cluster-fuck of monolithic proportions.

  37. No jonny I do not. I have long ago espoused the merits and humourous consquences of the chavs missing out for on the CL windfall and subsequent carrot to entice players to the west london shit hole. For one season.

    What I am doing , is thinking outside the box, blue sky thinking if you will. For if the chavs somehow manage to win the CL, then there is a strong possibility of the russian crook fucking off and leaving.

    As per usual, your pea like brain is no match for my room sized super computer like noggin. 🙂

  38. pedantic george

    Its my birthday today,and you present to me should be lots of posts saying how wonderful Andrei Arshavin is.
    Thank you in anticipation.
    George XXXX

  39. Dexter

    Are you saying you’ve got a big head? 🙂

  40. Its large Dupsff! Not as big as George’s bust though.

    The bust he has of his beloved Andrei that is. Who I might add, is a fantastic footballer and great character and we should 100% definitely have him back at the club next season.

  41. Happy birtday George. You are in illustrious company. It’s Gilberto’s birthday to.

  42. Who I might add, is a fantastic footballer and great character and we should 100% definitely have him back at the club next season.

    I agree 😆

  43. Clerkenwell Gooner

    Henry Winter in the Torygraph (no link cos I hate the Barclay Bros) says Abramovich wasn’t even in Barcelona for the match. Truly strange. Perhaps his court case vs Berezhovsky needed attention.

    There is clearly something afoot chez Barça. Maybe Pep is actually going to leave this time round? The players seem exhausted and unsettled, and weird shit is happening: Piqué knocked out cold, Cesc wins a penalty, which Messi misses, and they don’t manage to overturn a ten-man team down two central defenders even with a two-nil lead on the night? I do not think this concatenation of circumstances could happen again in the next billion years. Beyond flukey.

    And if this is the standard to get to the CL final now, there’s no reason why we won’t win it next season.

    Vulcan death-grip on third required.

  44. Great points there ClerkenwellGooner

    If only George could post such good quality high grade shizzle man.

  45. Happy birthday George – for your birthday I am making a wish that Andrei rediscovers his form scoring a record number of goals in his remaining time in Russia and comes home to Arsenal a new man.

    Arsene will again profess his love for the wee Russian dynamo and awarding him a free role – thenceforth he will spearhead the the Arsenal into a record-breaking 2013 season – pledging his love for the club and Arsene and will play out his days with the club before retiring to Blackburn and taking up the study martial arts and extreme pedantry.

    http://fourfivetwo.com/2012/03/01/from-russia-with-love-a-gooners-farewell-to-andrey-arshavin/

  46. Dexter – [Noggin Extremus Giganticus] define ‘strong possibility’. My pea-like brain simply cannot comprehend the evidence, or lack thereof, on which this likelihood is based.

    😛

  47. jonny

    I was simply exploring the possible outcomes of a chav victory, which, in my humble opinion are of a far reaching and longer term nature potentially then them missing out on CL football for one season.

    As per usual, you refuse to countenance any idea that wasn’t your own. In short, fuck off! 🙂

  48. Nonsense my friend, I countenance all sorts of ideas and frequently supported others in theirs. Just not yours. 😉

    Seriously it is merely that the example you have given, is based on a proviso – this proviso seems to be based on the flimsy, but frequently espoused, notion that Roman *might* get fed-up if Chelsea wins the CL.

    It seems reasonable to me to question this proviso (because it’s bollocks) – and by extension your blue-sky thinking.

    It’s not that I have not even considered the idea – I’d already heard others suggest similar.

    I don’t think it’s worth the risk [them winning the CL] because I see no evidence to support the supposition that Roman would likely do as you say.

    I’ll do you a deal – I’ll ‘fuck off’ when your head fits through the doors again or if you fuind evidence to support your supposition – whichever happens sooner. 😛 😀

  49. Limestonegunner

    This Pearce character is really starting to get ambitious–a small man with a bit of authority and it starts going directly to his head as he tries to expand it. Now he is picking the squads far earlier than necessary, sensing his opportunity, as the FA dither and Redknapp flails about, to make his stewardship of England continue through the Euros.

    How the FA tolerates this ridiculous figure with an undistinguished playing career and hopeless managerial record in the centre of everything says it all about their own vacuity and how bankrupt the coaching ranks are right now.

    Disn’t Peace admit to racially abusing Paul Ince? Isn’t his brother a major figure in the BNP? Somehow this is all acceptable despite the recent brouhaha over Suarez? Doesn’t the FA think this might be unseemly with Terry’s case still hanging over proceedings and is the reason there is a vacancy for England manager to begin with?

  50. Look ya douche! I am trying to paint a win/win scenario here, stop pissing on my chips! If you really have to do that, do it on george’s, he likes his chips with gravy on em. 🙂

    I bid you all a fond farewell, laters

  51. Limestonegunner

    Many happy returns, George. Enjoyed your cooments on the forum. Can you share the stat again about our points relative to City and United again?

  52. Limestonegunner

    I’ve been going on about AA enthusiastically for so long that it might not mean so much from me, PG. I do hope he will be back and we could certainly use his creativity right now. He’d make some very fine chances for RvP, especially now that Theo’s out.

  53. great post again and for what its worth i think Jack should go tell Pearce to fuck off, while the Olympics is a massive global sporting event his long term fitness would be the issue.

    Honestly i was hoping last night would be a slaughter for Chavs which would have destroyed their confidence and instead it was a park the bus and actually ended up giving them more confidence because of all people to score it had to be Torres FFS. But here is something to ponder for all those that are concerned about the Chavs winning it all: They will be without the service of Terry, Ramires and Miereles for booking along with but only time will tell Luiz and Cahill with injuries. The reason why Barca couldn’t break down their defence is because they lacked a striker and players who will attack and not just pass around the box which Bayern(Gomez, Ribery, Robben, Mueller, Krose, Basten, Ollic) and Real Madrid(Benzema, Higuin, Ronaldo, Kaka, Di Maria, Ozil) have. This will be the Chavs downfall.

    Finally Happy birthday George, Arshavin is a great player and one that has a futbol IQ that is purely genius and we Arsenal faithful enjoyed watching his magic and would enjoy it again if given teh opportunity. Also I know your hatred for Cesc and Barca runs deep so I do hope you enjoyed Cesc after saying how unjust futbol is as they lost last night

  54. George is Gilberto. He only puts on the Lancashire accent for Fans Forum.

    Many happy returns Gergeberto.

  55. Limestonegunner

    Besides who could outdo Jonny’s witty post on the subject (top blogging btw, in fine form, plus I thoroughly enjoyed the RvP vid!).

    AW taking up martial arts in Blackburn! I dare say George would be willing to travel down a couple days a week for such a special client! Am I right, George? AW is one of the people with whom I would most enjoy the chance for a good conversation, and not only about Arsenal and football–though there would be heavy interest on these topics for my part, naturally. I’d start there, work over to wider football issues and economics, and then politics, global affairs and history. I wonder if he has any cultural interests beyond sport? You don’t hear about that sort of thing much. What does he like to read, for instance?

  56. Happy Birthday George!

  57. And also from me, happy birthday George and may your meerkat soon return!

  58. Happy Birthday George, our pedant. May your meerkat return and make you ifinitely pedantic.

  59. A very happy birthday to you George. Andre is definitely coming home and dont ask me who is the source of that info coz i am. There is no way winning the cl is good,i do really hope they get humiliated.

  60. Absolutely right yogi pearce has to much power and full of self inportance only thinking about his own career jack owes it to arsenal to be fully fit for next season so lets hope he takes your advice and tells pearce where to go.

  61. Happy Birthday George!

    I hope you got a freshly pressed latest edition boxed set of a dictionary and thesaurus, a gleaming vintage poster of shhh(avin), you know who, and long overdue recognition for services to online pedantry.

    Chel$ki will NOT win the CL NOR make Top 4.

    I don’t even think Spuds will make 4th.

    And I wonder if the FA will even end up appointing ‘Arry …

  62. Limestonegunner

    AA, without several players it will be harder for them to pull another big upset. But it is only one game and Bayern or Real could also be weakened by suspensions and/or injuries as well.

    I wish I felt as confident as you do. Their spirit is up, Torres is gaining confidence, and their run in, while difficult, isn’t unmanageable. They have four games to make up the points on the sinking Spurs and Newcastle facing a tough run including a meeting with Chelsea. 3rd and 4th spots are genuinely up for grabs. The best thing is to reverse recent history and get a win at the Brittania.

  63. pedantic george

    Chelsea did the equivalent of winning the lottery last night.
    And that was on top of their lottery win at the Bridge.
    Surely they cant be that lucky a 3rd time/Can they?

  64. Happy birthday George,

    Arshavin seems to have caught fire over there and will hopefully bring the heat for our oppenents in the coming years. Oh yes, he’s great.

  65. Limestonegunner

    It already has. How about their lottery win over Napoli despite being nearly out of that tie? They were very lucky to go through, frankly. Then there was the helpful refereeing in the FA cup semifinal. So you’d have to say there has been some serious luck following them since AVB was exorcised.

    Can lightning strike thrice? It would appear so.

    What was that stat on our form George that you offered on the Forum. How many games, from what point in the season were you comparing us to United and City?

  66. The Real Stew Black

    Thanks johnnyneale for that interview. i particularly agreed with this:

    Who can guarantee that if Arsenal buy an experienced player will win a title? The media just creates an expectation because Arsenal is a club that so many athletes. They say that is a team of boys, young. If you look at the Arsenal team will see that everyone is selection, all have their responsibilities. Has no child who is starting. Each is responsible for his acts, and did not win was not for lack of maturity.

    The Fabregas gave his statement, but in my opinion Wenger did what he had to do. It was a super man honest, clear and correct in all. Gave the opportunity for us, unfortunately we were unable to take advantage. If you have any guilty players that we are there we are running within the field. I will never put the blame on Arsene Wenger.

  67. I agree Steww – he has been unfairly maligned and words put in his mouth. From the interview he recognised that he had not been at his best and hoped that a change of scene would reinvigorate him and allow him to make a fresh start. I would not begrudge him that. Thanks for the link Johnny.

  68. Limestone – I do ‘get’ your concerns and of course nothing is certain in football but sometimes one just gets a feel for things and I really do believe Chel$ki played their final last night.

    I think they will struggle to pick themselves up for the remaining league games – the sheet mundanity of playing big-standard league games will almost certainly fail to thrill too many of them. And Real Madrid are most definitely on a roll, they have genuine momentum, look like winning well again tonight.

    Even if the Chavs had a full first team available to them – and they are a LONG way short of that – at best their chances in the final could only be 50:50; as it stands it would be some upset for them to overturn the actual odds and I just don’t see it happening.

    We will see.

    But AFC winning at Stoke could turn out to be one of our more important victories this season; no doubt Pulis & Co will see it as some kind of cup final …

  69. * sheer mundanity.

    Would like to blame iPhone but it may have been Real’s 2nd goal ….!

  70. This semi is even better than last night’s.

    Benzema looks class. Like the look of Alaba – very harsh penalty given against him.

  71. @jonny

    I agree about that penalty given against Alaba but it happens. interestingly enough I dont believe the Chavs have enough ecspecially losing CB’s the way they are to deal with the likes of Benzema and Gomez and the lot from both Bayern and Real

  72. C – largely I agree but no one gave them a chance against Barca.

    Over 90 mins anything can happen – it’s part of why we watch football.

  73. This is fantastic to watch. Both teams diving a bit too much for my taste, but other than that this has been spectacular. Would be a deserving match in a final but unfortunately we will have to watch the Chavs instead.

  74. @Jonny

    Yea i do agree but the thing that i noticed against Barca and what they were missing was a target man for all those crosses that were being played and with no CB’s plus Ivanovich gone too it will be interesting because if Bayern or Real come out playing like they did tonight and in teh 1st leg, i doubt even parking the bus would save them from humilation. Atleast in the case of Bayern they would be playing a home game and I’ve watched a couple of their home games and they are devasting at home ecspecially when Schwensteiger is pulling the strings showing his world class talent

  75. @Jonny

    The 2nd half though we will see the best of both teams as the score is tied on aggregate and both teams are playing to win.

  76. The Real Stew Black

    So guys and gals, you recommend I watch this game do you? If so I shall be rooting for Bayern. I don’t usually watch anything other than Arsenal, sometimes Ajax or Dortmund but that’s it.
    Your comments make this sound like a hell of a match though.,

  77. It’s certainly an intriguing match Stew – next goal causes chaos whoever scores it!!

  78. Ribery is wasted in this match.

    He should be on a film set somewhere playing a stereotypical villain.

    Preferably with a limp. And maybe a dog of some menacing description.

  79. The Real Stew Black

    arsenalandrew – I see what you mean! Real are certainly frightened of him.

  80. Real are very aware that one quick Bayern goal will give them a mountain to climb.

  81. Ribery would certainly fit very well into the Barca team.

  82. Not watching,can somebody update me please?

  83. The Real Stew Black

    Firstlady they seem to be playing next goal wins in a jumpers for goalposts type style. 3 – 3 on aggregate both teams attacking both diving at the least contact.
    Exciting stuff though.

  84. The Real Stew Black

    Robben providing the main threat for BM, Benzema and the lesser Ronaldo for RM.

  85. The Real Stew Black

    RM player seems to have been felled by what I can only assume was a sniper rifle from the stands.

  86. @Evil

    Ribery is the type of player that would fit well with any team. I dare only to dream him doning the Arsenal red and white and causing mass destruction down the left flank

  87. The Real Stew Black

    Cronaldo is a powerfully unpleasant looking young man.

  88. The Real Stew Black

    I suspect Evil meant the way he is falling and rolling everywhere. I could be wrong.

  89. Thanks steww I am rooting for beyern in spirit.,

  90. The Real Stew Black

    FL – 15 minutes to go no let up. Not quite end to end stuff but almost. I suspect it’ll start to tighten as the clock runs down. Real will become increasingly nervous as a goal from Bayern would be an away goals double and little time left to retrieve things..

  91. The Real Stew Black

    Good chance for Rael as BM fullback slipped. Blocked for corner. real seem more likely to score, their defence holding firm but benzema a threat.

  92. @Stew
    Yea i kinda figured that but i was talking about his class. Hell even if he was talking about diving again he could fit well with any team.

  93. The Real Stew Black

    FL 10 to go. Still 3 – 3. A little bit more pressure from BM. But very solid defence from RM who look to hit them on the break each time the stop an attack.

  94. The Real Stew Black

    RM bus pretty well parked now.

  95. Oooh, what’s Gomez doing there?

  96. The Real Stew Black

    Bayern should have scored Guy unmarked on the pen spot. Fluffed his lines.

  97. The Real Stew Black

    RM player appears to have been bitten by poisonous snake.

  98. The Real Stew Black

    2 mins to go. RM free kick.

  99. The Real Stew Black

    Robben booked for once playing for Chelsea, not passing to RVP in the world cup and falling over.

  100. The Real Stew Black

    LB for Rael looks like a good player.
    Anyhoo extra time.

  101. That Pepe is an odious little c*nt isn’t he? Pepe le pew. Bounce. Bounce. Bounce.

    Should have been sent off for the first Bayern pen too.

  102. But in all honesty, they both have their diving cheating c*nts. Real have Pepe and Di Maria was also flying all over the pitch, while Bayern should be nicknamed the Swans for their two wingers Ribery and Robben who seem to try and outdive each other every single game they play in.

  103. Sounds like a really interesting game,am reading your comments so dont stop.

  104. The Real Stew Black

    ET starts with RM on the front foot, BM trying hard to break out.
    Ronaldo just trod on an anti personnel mine.

  105. The Real Stew Black

    Ribery off Muller on.

  106. The Real Stew Black

    BM need to attack more down the left. That geezer at LB for RM hasn’t let much get past him.

  107. The Real Stew Black

    Bayern playing more patient keep ball, trying to get some control. RM hitting harder and faster. interesting contest.

  108. Yeah that Robben has always been a world leader on the springboard. Ribery not much better.

    Plenty of players missing the final.

  109. The Real Stew Black

    Gustavo booked for looking a bit like Nani. Misses final.

  110. That was Gustavo’s ninth foul of the night and he finally got carded. He can have no complaints about missing the final if Bayern progress.

  111. The Real Stew Black

    Pressure from BM. Corner after corner but RM break. Game held up as RM player has been trodden on. This one probably hurt.

  112. The Real Stew Black

    End of first half ET. Penalties beckon.

  113. The Real Stew Black

    Benzema off some bloke on.

  114. The Real Stew Black

    Cheeky Koscielny style interception from BM centre back. Firstlady, you’d be better off getting someone else to commentate. Someone who knew who the hell half these blokes are for example.

  115. The Real Stew Black

    cronaldo nearly hits corner flag with sliced shot so pretends leg hurts #prat

  116. Stew your commentary is better than 99% of the commentary i hear

  117. The Real Stew Black

    @C
    heh! Thanks

  118. The Real Stew Black

    109 minutes 18 seconds played

  119. Might be better if RM go through – Bayern have scarcely any players available for the final!

  120. The Real Stew Black

    Blatant handball missed by ref. RM having more of the play right now. However BM just need that one break and you feel it’d be all up for Maureens formation dive team.

  121. The Real Stew Black

    Last ditch defending from Bayern. Looking a little bit ragged around the edges now.

  122. I am loving your commentary Steww, and I am watching the game. Cracking me the heck up.

    “Benzema off some bloke on”.

    Thats good!

  123. for Bayern what Gustavo and who else would be missing?

  124. The Real Stew Black

    Maureen persists in standing out of his box. Already nearly run over once by sliding player.

  125. I think its going to penalties but great game nonetheless

  126. Clerkenwell Gooner

    Limestone, I have vague recollection of Independent interview with AW yonks ago in which he said his then-current reading matter was a history of the Mossad. Hilarious to me, since it brought to mind images of Arsène as Karla to Sir Ferg’s George Smiley, waging secret war over signings eg over Cristiano Ronaldo, which Sir Ferg apparently sabotaged at the 11th hour. In this world, Bébé signing was also down to successfully waged “information operation” on AW’s part.

    But I suspect the reality is more mundane, and he simply does spend every waking hour watching footage of Ethiopian third division searching out some undiscovered jewel.

    His (?former) partner apparently paints. Perhaps he takes an interest in that?

  127. The Real Stew Black

    Lamest ever dive for a penalty when turning around and scoring would have been easier . Should be yellow for stimulation. And a BAFTA.

  128. Lovely chest down in the box from Kaka but then no real conviction. It’s a messy end to end game with no real chances now.

    Alaba has looked a livewire all game.

    Wow – strong refereeing as RM get a weak penalty claim denied. Keeper did grab his shirt briefly but he went down like he’d been shot and got booked for his troubles.

  129. The Real Stew Black

    Cheers Paul-N

  130. The Real Stew Black

    117 minutes played.

  131. The Real Stew Black

    I think the one who has impressed me might be called Marcello.

  132. The Real Stew Black

    Unless it’s Peter Marinello.
    He still playing?

  133. did real just score, i’m watching on my fone and just lost service

  134. The Real Stew Black

    Players on their backs having cramp stretched out of legs by guys in track suits. People wandering about with drinks. Ref tossing a coin. Either it’s penalties or they’re starting the whole thing again.

  135. The Real Stew Black

    @C
    No they’ve stopped playing and no one is jumping up and down so it must have ended 3 – 3

  136. Limestonegunner

    Me too, Marcelo been best in latter stages.

    Badstuber, Alaba and Gustavo will also miss the final. Definitely better if RM win this, IMO.

  137. The Real Stew Black

    Bayern players in huddle. All eyes on Lev Yashin in the Russian goal.
    oh wait

  138. The Real Stew Black

    1 – 0 Bayern

  139. The Real Stew Black

    JOY TO THE WORLD most hateful; player on pitch misses.
    1 – 0 bayern after 1 each

  140. Limestonegunner

    Ronaldo tried to be deceptive and makes a poor effort. RM in trouble as Kaka is saved. Meuer the hero!

  141. The Real Stew Black

    Limestone you are ahead of me I’ll leave you to it!!

  142. The Real Stew Black

    Bollocks Bayern miss one. he never looked confident.

  143. Limestonegunner

    Unbelievable, 2 misses each!

  144. The Real Stew Black

    Oh bloody hell. Bayern hit the keeper.

  145. Ramos has Chris Waddled that towards the moon.

  146. The Real Stew Black

    Hope you’re right johnny …….. YES

  147. The Real Stew Black

    Excellent.

  148. Clerkenwell Gooner

    Wow, just wow.

    Chel$ki to win it now.

    The universe has turned inside out.

  149. Limestonegunner

    These guys need to watch the ACN to learn how to take penalties.

  150. The Real Stew Black

    Right, early start so I’m off. Well done Bayern. Goodnight y’all.

  151. What a strange set of penalties.

    Congrats to Bayern though, well deserved. They will win it.

  152. Penalty shoot-outs don’t get more tense than this, huh? Quite a match! I just hope that Bayern don’t f*ck it up against Chelsea. They are playing at home, they just have to win.

  153. Chelsea with four suspensions in the final, Bayern with three.

    Stan Collymore says Chelsea WILL win in the final and London will never be the same.

  154. Limestonegunner

    If only we had made it past Milan. We could have made it just as far and now Chelsea face a weakened Bayern. They really could win it this year. Come on Bayern!!!

  155. Hope Bayern win it. Although they will also have some players missing the final, the home advantage must play its role. Or am I deluded, and it’s Chelsea’s now?

  156. When that daft cunt gives his opinion you know the opposite must come true. I actually tweeted that to him. Twat.

  157. Thanks for the commentary Steww, it was very entertaining! Bayern had better not mess up the final like they did against manure!

  158. Never Chel$kis, no way.

    Enjoyed StewCommentary as much as watching Ronnie screw his penalty – well done both!

    Night all.

  159. @Jonny

    The thing with Bayern is that while Badstuber, Alaba and Gustavo will miss. I’m thinking the would drop Kroos or Schwensteiger into Gustavo’s position like they were playing at the beginning of the season with Mueller moving back into his natural AM position and Breno is more athletic than Badstuber. Should be a great final and hopefully the Chavs get humilated!

  160. Alaba, Badstuber and Gustavo to miss it for Bayern, and they do not seem to me as important as Chelsea’s missing. But again, I may be deluded, and may be set to be Chelsea’s year (throws up)

  161. Limestonegunner

    Bayern’s three missing are all young defensive players. Chelsea’s are experienced players like Terry, Meireles, and Ivanovic, plus Ramires. On balance harder for Chelsea but I think their squad is actually bigger/deeper than Bayern’s. Will be interesting for sure.

  162. No one knows. It is a large part of why we watch football.

    So many people on Twitter arguing about who will in finite, absolute terms. Yaaawn.

  163. The Chavs suspensions are more drastic because of the injuries as well. Think about it but they are going to be without: Terry, Ramires, Miereles, Ivanovich plus unless they return from injury Cahill and David Luiz, thats NO CB’s. Thats more devasting than the Bayern suspensions IMO but its just my opinion

  164. Limestonegunner

    C, the final isn’t until the 3rd week of May, so there is quite some time for Cahill and Luiz to come back fit. There is a very good chance they’ll be available. But I hope you are right that these are serious enough that they will be out.

  165. Limestonegunner

    Cahill’s injury didn’t look so bad–maybe pulled his groin or strained it while slipping. I don’t know what happened to Luiz but he’s been out already for a week.

  166. Limestonegunner

    Stew should watch more games–very entertaining comments!

  167. @LG

    I think Luiz’s injury was a hamstring but not quite sure but either way can’t wait to see how it plays out.

  168. @LG

    True but you never know and hopefully they aren’t fit but either way Bayern should beat them.

  169. thats nice…
    everyone get your pennies on bayern..
    fuck chelsea
    bayern are a different beast than an over tappy barca team..
    bayern are balanced and disciplined and can adapt to any game plan
    if chelsea go on the attack, bayern will defend like gods and then hit them on the counter..
    if chelsea park the bus then bayern will just go round the back and get it on someones bonce.. or shoot from outside the box..

    chelsea with half a team missing against a solid german machine

    on their ground..

    im very much looking forward to this final..

  170. we still need to get third though just to make sure.. 😉

    and happy birthday mr george..

  171. Happy Birthday, pedantic george.
    Here’s your massive birthday cake with Arshavin ready to jump out, dressed as a meerkat with a big red ribbon around his neck.

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