Over Reliance On Robin Must Continue For Two More Games And Then Be Solved

Chelsea’s demolition of QPR was expected but their encounter with Newcastle is tricky. Everything seems rosey for the Ant Hill Mob Stamford Bridge outfit with even Fernando Torres scoring, albeit ably assisted by the absentee defence employed by Mark Hughes. As much as I would find solace in Alex McLeish dropping two Birmingham clubs into the Championship in consecutive seasons, the thought of a Premier League without Mark Hughes and Joey Barton is just too glorious to resist.

For Arsenal the formula is simple; six points and third place is secured. Had they beaten Wigan, that might have been less pressurised but they did not and that is that. The three points could equally be applied to Blackburn or any other side which should have been put to the sword but were not. It is too simplistic to see the season’s end as down to one result when others have contributed no more.

The goal by Robin van Persie at Stoke was his first in seven from open play apparently. Our results in that spell have not been bad, perhaps could have been better but as the manager succinctly noted,

He can push us over the line. There are two games to go. We have been a bit over-reliant on him, I concede that. But it is difficult to change that before the end of the season.

The feeling of being reliant upon a single striker is nothing new. When Ian Wright joined, the emphasis shifted to him away from the more egalitarian phase of George Graham’s managerial reign. Wright was followed by Henry – we’ll ignore Anelka – and so on. It is not that Arsenal need to change the strike balance in the forward, more shift the mentalities of others to accept their responsibilities in goalscoring.

In particular, the midfielders do not contribute enough goals. Arguably, if Arshavin had scored ten goals he might not be winning league titles with Zenit. A look at the scoring records indicates the point; van Persie stands proudly at the top with 35. The next top scorer is Walcott on 11, 46 between the two. The remaining twelve goalscorers manage 40 goals between them. It is not a healthy balance behind the Dutchman.

Previous seasons have seen a much more even spread, partly out of the Dutchman being missing through injury but also with midfielders who have possessed more of an eye for goal. It is this aspect that has been noticeable by its absence this campaign and one that the manager will seek to redress this summer.

Unintentionally, the dominance of van Persie was emphasised by Yossi Benayoun. Comparing the Dutchman to a pre-Chelsea Fernando Torres merely serves to underline the mental approach of the players; look for van Persie first when in the final third. That inhibits some players, stopping nascent runs when they know that the teammate in possession is not looking in their direction immediately. I don’t know if it happens (frequently) but there seems some logic in it.

That van Persie continues to score is testament to his abilities; it also highlights how much of his career has been blighted by injury, certainly in the ‘mature’ years. The failings of the midfield in this sense is nothing new though. Other campaigns have faltered since The Invincibles on similar grounds; this time I sense more of a will from the manager to identify recruits who can solve that problem.

Equally he needs to enhance Theo Walcott’s improvements. Too many of his detractors highlight his inconsistent performances without recognising his improved productivity. That would increase with consistency but Walcott is often underappreciated. A balance to me, would be three or four players hitting double figures as well as Theo and van Persie.

Saturday’s match against Norwich brings back memories of the first Premier League game at Highbury, one Arsenal were expected to win but ended up on the wrong end of a 2 – 4 scoreline. Their aim that day was as wayward as the parachutist who ended up in the North Bank building site. That sprang to mind because of the Arsenal On This Day posts which are upcoming. Today too is about beginnings and endings of an era, this time in 1974.

Why relevant? This squad is the beginning; last summer was a watershed moment, the squad assembled now feels like an important corner is being turned. One where a strong foundation exists, with experience at the club mixing well with the youth. Not wasting the opportunity to finish third is as important as a strong summer for the manager, pruning and reinforcing. Secateurs allowing more subtle adjustments.

’til Tomorrow.

Posted on April 30, 2012, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Soccer and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 296 Comments.

  1. i think everyone knows the equation now. everything is in our own hands. 6 points, and we are third.

    much as i think the results on wednesday will ease some pressure on us, i think we shouldnt be thinking about that, lest we take the proverbial foot off the pedal.

  2. Morning YW…Great article as per norm..

  3. I would urge all Arsenal fans to complain to the BBC about this . . .
    http://anotherarsenalblog.blogspot.co.uk/2012/04/bbc-and-lineker-sink-to-new-lows.html

  4. The Real Stew Black

    Thank you Mr Warrior, a fine summation of the current state of play vis a vis The Arsenal.
    I think Theo has had a very good season, Robin outstanding, Kosser and Szezzer have had that kind of ‘cementing their place in the side’ season which any developing young player needs.
    Alex song needs no plaudits from me. He is the complete footballer.
    Best buy? Mikel. With Benny looking like a shrewd move too.
    My personal favourite this season has been our very own Li’l Mozart. because of his breathtaking twists turns and instant passing, his interceptions and tackles, his vision and industry. But also because he exemplifies what is wonderful about our club. The patience to wait for him, the courage to stand by him the belief to let him play himself back to his best.
    Special mention to Rambo for putting in so much work in what must be a tough season for the young man. TR7 has the experience, he knew he’d get there Rambo is still so young and he has had to fight back after not just an injury but an horrific assault. I think there is steel as well as silk in that young man and those who are so low as to criticise him will eat their words.

  5. Eat their words, Stew?

    Like they normally do?

  6. Spot on about our lack of goalscorers Yogi, i was saying this last week, after we lost fabregas and nasri no player in our team gives me confidence in terms of scoring – apart from rvp of course. Alex chamberlain looks like he could get a goal when on the pitch and thats about it, but i think it’s something u can work on e.g ramsey, he has a lampard feel about him, but someone like gervinho is not a good finisher, so i guess what am trying to say is, i can’t wait for podolski.

  7. i thought ramsey did well in that game. if only that shot had gone in. would have banished all ghosts.

    JD, i have made the complaint to BBC.

  8. There was a time during our match against stoke that benayoun was free on the left in stoke city’s final third while v.persie was on the right with two players surrounding him – guess who rosicky passed the ball to, El capitan of course, that just sums up the player’s mindset right now.

  9. Well if the rumours about Podolski are true then he will hopefully lighten the load on van Persie. Having backup strikers on the bench who have obviously lost the trust of the manager doesn’t help in this regard, you only need to loook at the backup strikers on other of the “top” teams like Berbatov, Defoe, Dzeko etc. to see how they can either come on and get a goal or stand in for the main forward(s) from the start of matches to relieve the pressure. This is an obvious position where a bit of depth is needed in the Summer whether through purchases and/or letting someone like Afobe step up to the first team squad.

    I’d say Ramsey is fairly certain to play on the Olympic team, who knows, maybe playing in that tournament will enable him to find his goalscoring mojo again and we can reap the benefits next season. A goal against Norwich on Saturday would be nice too though!

  10. Ah, Lineker. Biased, xenophobic and, true to form, painfully awkward and unfunny. Complaint registered.

  11. So now we finally get to the root of Arsenal,s goalscoring frailties with to much reliance on
    van Persie,is Gervinho,the answer or Walcott,definitely not as both players don,t have what
    it takes to compete,week in and out in a physical league that is the EPL ,scoring ten or more
    goals per season to relieve Robin of this burden,who will step up next season,from the mid
    field and score a dozen a more goals ,whilst not succumbing to petty injuries,Abou Diaby
    style ,hopefully Yossi Ben-Ayoun will stick around for at least another season at Arsenal and
    get way more playing time than Arsene Wenger allows him currently?

  12. Agree with JDG @ 9.56. Lineker needs to be called to account. Would encourage all on here to join us in complaining. It only takes 5 minutes.

  13. “The remaining twelve goalscorers manage 40 goals between them. It is not a healthy balance behind the Dutchman”. Too true and TV probably has an unhealthy balance of them!

    The thing is – and one could argue this as either a good or a bad thing – our midfielders DO get into goalscoring positions. Perhaps none better so than Ramsey.

    Ramsey I feel has just lost his touch in front of goal – a confidence trick, if you will. The Ox will certainly contribute as he becomes more embedded. Theo’s best seasons are to come. Then we have Podolski who I strongly suspect will become first choice on the left and will certainly offer more in terms of end product than our chaotic Ivorian friend.

  14. I see Sammy the wise has given us another insight. Knob

  15. i think the era of thiery henry, wilthord,kanu,bergkamp,+ van persie will be very exciting…

  16. Miserable bastard – he really just doesn’t sound as though he enjoys following his team at all.

    I feel sorry for him – being Samuel is his crime, but it’s also his punishment.

  17. . . . . . . interesting attempt at blank verse, though . . . . .

  18. How’s Roy Hodgsen leaving going to affect our ge with west brom? Hope we get podolski! and a creative midfielder!

  19. Walcotts well capable of 10 league goals a season! Van persie didnt say this can will score goals for no reason! Discrediting Walcott with the assists for van persie I feel us awful harsh aswell! Him and the dutchman are conpletely on re Same wavelenght!

  20. pedantic george

    Samuel,what about a better right back than Sagna?
    And FFS do something about your posting style ,you fucking dimwit.

  21. Spelling due to iPod touch!

  22. Yogi your post is brillant yet again I must say. Walcott for me is still learning thus his performances but an eye for goal he does have and I believe that as he continues to mature and develop we will see even more goals come. The thought of a front 3 of Podolski Walcott and RVP warms my heart like warm sweat potatoe pie and ice cream and should strike the fear of God in defences around the league. From our midfield i do wish that we would produce more goals which i think Rosicky definetly could have given were he fit and given a longer run but the thing about our midfield that i have noticed this season is their goals are always at the perfect time, whether it be Arteta’s winner against City or Lil Mozarts against the Spuds i just wish they would come more frequently. Lastly it brings me to Ramsey, I think he and Gervinho are very similar with their finishing in the fact that they get in the right positions just dont finish.

  23. I love ‘The Arsenal’

  24. Limestonegunner

    Very good post on these issues. Opponents might be focusing on cutting off supply for RvP more, esp. with Theo out.

    Our last run isn’t that great–QPR loss, ManCity win, Wolves Win, Wigan loss, Chelsea draw, Stoke draw. 2 wins, 2 draws, 2 losses. 8 from 18. It would be great to finish strong and on a high note. That means the other players trying to make things happen with good team play if RvP is being suffocated by their defense.

  25. “sweat potaoe pie”? Ewwwww!

    Keep your sweaty potatoes away! MD Gunner will have them for his pasties though, I imagine.

  26. Limestone,
    An alternative view would be:
    an excellent performance and result vs Citeh; A deserved victory vs down and out Wolves; Surprise defeat vs Wigan who have recently also beaten United and Newcastle; a draw vs a Chelsea side focusing on rehearsing for their Mourinho style defensive performance against Barcelona and a draw vs Stoke who have not lost at home against the rest of the top 6 or so this season. In the light of that its actually not too bad a string of results.
    Now if that extends to less than 4 points from our remaining 6, it’s poor. As it stands I think its acceptable.

  27. I always assume people like Samuel are not Arsenal supporters….just on here to rile folk…ignore…..I cannot understand the Stoke supporters booing Ramsey…..It’s simply sick and cowardly….

  28. jdgooner@ 9:56 ive just followed your link and complained, oncesubmitted it says the complaint goes to all bbc staff and so i strongly recommed everyone should complain just get lineker a kick up the arse if nothing else

  29. Just harking back to yesterday’s thought’s on the International appt shenanigans –

    I already, feel very sorry for Roy – he deserves the job but he does not deserve the treatment that will go with it. This is an ordinary England team filled with a few too many inflated egos and (excepting Roon-pig) not a decent striker in sight.

    Expectations should be firmly in check from the start but I await the deluge of meaningless articles usually headlined with “[Insert England player] say’s we can do it!”.

    Someone stating that something, not completely unimaginable, ‘is possible’ is not now, never has nor will be NEWS! And yet, for the bulk of the tournament (or for as long as England are participating in it), it is how the back pages will be filled.

    Already, The Guardian has rolled out a badly argued and poorly written blog piece – deriding Roy as the wrong choice.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/2012/apr/30/roy-hodgson-england

    There are some decent ripostes beneath the article, but perhaps this is the simplest and most worthwhile –

    At some point the Football Association is going to have to offer a plausible explanation about why it has decided Roy Hodgson has better credentials than Harry Redknapp to lift and invigorate this England squad, and then at least it should become easier to make sense of its thinking and understand the processes involved.

    Here’s some

    Harry Redknapp: 1 FA Cup in 29 years of management, 1 Division One and 1 Division 3.
    Roy Hodgson: 10 league titles in Norway and Sweden, twice runner up in the UEFA Cup/Europa League. Turned unfancied Switzerland to the 3rd ranked team in the world.

    Oh – and, AND along with Danny Baker, Hodgson was the only South Africa 2010 pundit who didn’t talk 100% ‘weapons-grade’ bollocks.

    He speaks six languages, unlike Beckham, who speaks none. Unlike Tony Pulis he has never been photographed in a baseball cap and he’s never killed a man, unlike David Moyes.

    What? :0P

  30. @Jonny

    Hence why i said warms my heart like. Sweat potatoe pie is fantastic, i’ll have my mom whip up 1 for you then your view will change completely

  31. Amazing. As I do most lunch breaks I scan my Arsenal Newsnow RSS feed. It’s sad to see so many negative Arsenal blogs e.g., Le Grove, On line Gooner, Arsenal News Review, Arsenal Truth…..Am I wearing rose tinted glasses?

  32. also just mentioned this to @leedixon2 on twitter his reaction should be interesting

  33. Over reliance on RvP or player selection by our manager?

    In the ’10-’11 season, fall in particular, Chamakh started, RvP was injured and the “team distribution of scoring was excellent” and the club was very successful. In that October, there was wide conversation that Chamakh was heading to a 15 – 20 goal season at the club.

    As I recall, when RvP returned in late November and began his scoring run in January (and this is with Cesc, Nasri, Wilshere in the line up ) our attack, goal scoring balance literally dried up.

    Check out Theo’s goal production in the fall (’10-’11) then see how it evaporated in the spring and ditto for Nasri as RvP started his scoring run.

    This season Park and Chamakh have been wasted on the roster. I can not even make the statement that they have performed poorly, because Arsene has not given them a chance to perform poorly.

    This season, I believe Song, Rosicky, and Arteta have tried their best to find other up front players, but there has been only one upfront target that shows any consistency.

    Gervinho lost his confidence even b4 the ACN while Chamberlain, Theo, and Ramsey, its just a speculative guess when, or if they will find consistency.

    I believe RvP is happy at Arsenal, that he will settle for a smaller pay check than what he can gain in the open market…….BUT I believe he will demand a stronger supporting cast from the Club.

  34. @ jonnyneale
    Roy knows what to expect from media and pundits and won’t be intimidated. Pool was a test run.

    Roy will stick to his principles that brought him widespread European success. Remember he took Fulham to UEFA finals and has exceeded expectations at WBA.

    There is no substance to Harry.

  35. I am really excited about our youth prospect serge gnarby, am going to put my neck on the line and predict he will be in our carling cup team next season, watch out for lil jack 2.0

  36. personally i think england arent one of the top teams anymore.. (sorry, english lads) despite what the english media want us to believe.

    THAT is why i think roy hodgson is the perfect candidate for england. this is a man who has the ability to make an average team punch above its weight.

  37. I have also complained to the BBC, hope it helps.What happened to the petition limestone?

  38. and he will do it, if the players listen, and not think they are too good for him, like a certain team from merseyside.

  39. i think when chamakh came on against stoke, he did well. wenger gave him a specific job, and he did it.

  40. pedantic george

    Podolski is confirmed

  41. Nice piece YW
    Arsene is actually working to stop d over-reliance on RVP as Poldi confirms he’ll b an Arsenal player next season via his facebook page.
    Good times ahead

  42. I entered my complaint yesterday – I started it with “I am not an Arsenal fan but even I…”

    I am more than happy to lie to add some weight and credence to the cause.

    If it just sounds like a load of whining Arsenal fans then decent points are rather diluted or more likely completely lost.

  43. C – if you mean ‘sweet’ rather than ‘sweat’ – then I am sure you mum’s pie will be delicious. But that’s a very big IF! ;-P

  44. Podolski’s verified Twitter account says that he will play for Arsenal in the coming season (via @Podolski10)

  45. Not sure if the facebook account is real but

  46. Fascinating comments on that Grauniad article.

    It seems that, despite the perception that football fans are all spoonfed their views by the media, there are many who see through the whole business.

    You would think that somebody, somewhere in the media might recognise this and start tapping into that potential sudience.

    Are you listening BBC?

  47. Perhaps profligacy is one of the key reasons for Podolski signing?

    29% – Lukas Podolski has scored with 29% of his shots in the league this season, higher than the 21% converted by Robin van Persie.

    18 goals and 6 assists this season

  48. Well it looks real to me.

  49. that was his most recent strike – not sure it needed 2 minutes worth of adulation but ….

  50. I’m just glad to see that the Boss is willing to play Chamakh. How about starting him against Norwich with VP on the right? Might offer more of a threat than Gervinho…

  51. The post reminds me of the exploits of Pires and Ljungberg. Not forgetting Wiltord and Kanu. And the superb due of Bergkamp and Henry. Goals weren’t in short supply then!

  52. Very nice, but is that the only goal that was on the tele?

  53. Apparently FC koln have confirmed us signing Podolski,any truth in the news circulation on FB?

  54. @Jonny

    Sorry Jonny was focused on spelling had to turn in my work real quick and didn’t want to lose my train of thought.

    @korihikage | April 30, 2012 at 1:14 pm
    I completely agree about Chamakh, i thing he did a very good job winning balls, holding up play, linking up with players.

    Great news Poldoski is confirmed!!!!! Potential lineup if everybody is healthy could be:

    SCZNY
    Sagna—Kos—-Verm—-Santos
    ——–Song——
    —–Wilshire—Diaby/Arteta—
    Theo—-RVP——-Podolski

    Subs: Le Coq, Gibbs, Ramsey, Lil Mozart, Campbell and Goalkeeper

  55. Limestonegunner

    Firstlady, I don’t know; I asked Mattgooner to send the link and access info to the club. I don’t know if he has done it.

    The merit of complaints about Robson is that the club hired him and can easily make a decision not to in the future.

  56. Yogi great post.

    It sounds like Podolski is a definite. . Very happy that arsene and Ivan have started early. Great start to a very important summer for the club Now let’s hope they add one more attacking midfielder with an eye for goal and maybe vertonghen just in case we get a couple of injuries in the back line, and we need a good backup GK. MVilla would also be nice but that is a lower priority IMO .

    We have to win our last 2 games and we should easily do that if we play up to our capabilities. If we draw even one game then any of 3 teams could pass us. Choking not acceptable this season.

  57. I’m just glad to see that the Boss is willing to play Chamakh. How about starting him against Norwich with VP on the right? Might offer more of a threat than Gervinho…

  58. Limestonegunner

    Chamakh gad a decent spell at Stoke, being physical, linking, winning freekicks. Vunfortunately he didn’t look likely to score, but at least he was active and decisive in his play. Was glad to see it.

  59. Firstlady, apparently Darius should be in Nairobi on Saturday. Any idea on suitable joints to watch the match?

  60. Limestonegunner

    Frank brought up an interesting issue yesterday evening about throw ins and the lack of any offside rule governing them. I don’t see why you couldn’t have an offside rule for throw ins crossing or starting past the 18 yard line. A small adjustment like this would improve matters and make them more like freekicks deep in the territory. The ball going out of bounds shouldn’t be rewarded more than a foul unless it is past the end line.

  61. @Markus

    That isn’t a bad idea but i wouldn’t mind seeing RVP on the left and maybe the Ox on the right or Benny

  62. Clerkenwell Gooner

    Goldi Poldi hallelujah! Bienvenu, wilkommen in der FC Arsenal! (Although arsenal.com hasn’t got around to mentioning it yet, wtf?)

    Also, re: Roy H as England’s latest Ron Knee – my auntie will be dead chuffed! She used to wash the shirts at Fulham.

  63. pedantic george

    SCZNY
    Sagna—Kos—-Verm—-Santos
    ——–Song——Arteta
    ——-Arshavin——-
    Theo—-RVP——-Podolski

  64. C, so many things wrong with your lineup – how can you pick santos over gibbs?, and chamberlain isn’t even on the bench.
    On summer transfers, kagawa anyone? He has refused to sign a new contract with borussia dortmund and is around our price range – he is an attacking midfieder by the way, just what the doctor ordered.

  65. pedantic george

    Or ever more creative

    SCZNY
    Sagna—Kos—-Verm—-Santos
    ——–Arteta—–Rosicky
    ——-Arshavin——-
    Theo—-RVP——-Podolski

    That team could score 150 goals .
    Of course it might also let in 150.

  66. On the Arsenal site: Podolski signing
    http://www.arsenal.com/home

  67. finally!

    Polanski has made his move…

  68. pedantic george

    khalifha.Because Santos is better?

  69. Either side C, But with defenders instructed to mark him out of the game moving VP out wider might pull them out of position and allow others to take advantage.

  70. Pedantic george, do you have a problem with wilshere, our most talented midfielder not in the starting eleven, well tickle my testicles and call me silly but you sir is confused.

  71. Clerkenwell Gooner

    Re: our lack of variety on the goal-scoring front, a big, big, huge, vast miss has been Wilshere. And he is coming back shortly.

    We are 18 goals behind Red Mancs at this point. Theo has 11, Arteta 6, Ramsey & Arshavin 2 each, (while Titi has 3!!!) so we need to be looking at midfielders getting 10 a piece at least.

    (Poldi finally announced on club website: http://www.arsenal.com/news/news-archive/arsenal-agree-deal-for-podolski)

  72. Limestonegunner

    Ausgezeichnet!! Wunderbar!! Wir sind die Fc Arsenal London, die Grosste Club die Welt ja Gesehen hat! Wilkommen, Herr Podolski!!

  73. Clerkenwell Gooner

    Poldi scored 18 goals in 28 appearances this season! That’s exactly the amount we are missing!

    The Polish-born attacker will team up with the Gunners in the summer ahead of the 2012/13 season from Bundesliga side FC Cologne, where he has been in fine form this season, netting 18 times in 28 league appearances.

    http://www.arsenal.com/news/news-archive/arsenal-agree-deal-for-podolski

  74. cologne confirm podolski signing for ARSENAL

  75. personally i won’t mind kagawa joining. i like him as a player. because when u look at him, he isnt the biggest, the fastest nor the most skilful of players. but he has lots of intelligence.

    he is the perfect example of the kind of player wenger said he admires the most: namely the kind who achieve more than their talent warranted.

    we haven’t really been linked with him at all, and i wonder if that is a sign of something…

  76. pedantic george

    “Pedantic george, do you have a problem with wilshere, our most talented midfielder”
    You missed the word “potentially” out.
    Jack is our 6th best midfielder as I see it.

  77. blazon at 2:01 pm.

    It aint easy for Polanski to move around freely. I mean the guy still has a warrant out on him in the US…

  78. pedantic george

    I hope he has not made his move on someones daughter.

  79. @khalifha

    Santos is a better player than Gibbs when both are fit and offers more. Chamberlin would make my bench i was just going off the top of my head in regards to injuries, so relax because the point was to focus on the starting XI with the bench being able to be flexable because depending on whether Diaby or Arteta start somebody else I had on teh bench wont be there as well

  80. Wenger said: “We are delighted to secure the deal for Lukas and see him as an important part of our future. He is a top-class player, a very good finisher and a proven performer at club and international level. He is a very strong player and will provide us with good attacking options.

    “We are happy to have made this signing early and we are looking forward to watching Lukas contribute at the European Championships over the summer, a level where he has already made 95 caps at the age of 26. That is a phenomenal record and just shows his quality as a player.”

    Podolski said: “I’m so happy to be joining Arsenal Football Club and to play in the Premier League. Arsenal is one of the top clubs in Europe with a huge history. There are many top quality players at Arsenal and the style of football which the team plays is fantastic. I’m proud to become an Arsenal player and am looking forward to playing my first match at Emirates Stadium and doing my best for all the Arsenal fans.

    “I am looking forward to becoming an Arsenal player, but at the moment, my focus is with my current club Cologne. I will give everything I have until the end of season to make sure the team finish as high as possible in the Bundesliga. There will always be a place in my heart for FC Köln.”

  81. its not a creative midfielder that we need it is one who can score goals. league goals arteta 6 goals in 29 apps, ramsey 2 goals in 32, song 1 goal in 32, rosicky 1 goal in 26, coquelin 0 goals in 8, frimpong 0 goals in 6, diaby 0 goals in 4, lansbury 0 goals in 2.

    arteta has 2 more than the other 7 put together

    i think wilshire and arteta playing in the hole would be a great improvement. podolski playing on the left should also be better than this lot gervinho 4 goals in 26, arshavin 1 goal in 19, benayoun 2 goals in 17, chamberlain 2 in 15. Walcott with 8 goals has scored only 1 less than the other 4 put together.

    its not just rvp carrying this team walcott and arteta between them have scored more league goals than the other 11 midfielders.

    perhaps if we go on to sign mvila we might only play with one DM allowing JW and Arteta to push further forward.

    szcesney
    sagna koscielny vertonghen vermaelen
    mvila
    wilshire arteta
    walcott rvp podolski

  82. atid

    That was the point of the article…you know, goals from elsewhere in the team.

  83. pedantic george

    Article ? What fucking article?
    I just want to be heard.Dont want to read no fucking article.

  84. Great news about Podolski signing, partly because he will strengthen the squad himself, partly because the announcement coming so early shows AFC’s intent for next season and will undoubtedly have an influence on other players considering their options. I don’t think it alone will influence RvP because he must surely have known about this for some time now. He may be looking for more arrivals before he puts pen to paper. There was an interesting interview with his parents at the weekend (Telegraph?) where his Dad said he thought he’d stay because “he’s a real Gunner”. Apparently Robin was running around in an Arsenal shirt when he was just a kid.

  85. Thanks goes out to Arsene and Arsenal for this early signing.

    The manager seems to be slowly assembling more experience as the team’s core.

    Finger’s crossed we finish third and RvP re-signs in May.

  86. Woo-hoo – great to have Podolski signing confirmed. It’s taken over a year but our persistence has paid off. Welcome, Poldi and congratulation – you’ve made a great move. Really looking to seeing him and Captain Vantastic tear up the PL next season.

  87. atid, you seem to have left Song out of that team there. Very disturbing.

    Regarding goals from midfield, Diaby always looks like he could bag one. Also an aerial threat from set pieces. Hopefully he’ll chip in with a good few next season. In fact if he can make a mark in the last two games it may just influence Wengers thinking on whether we need another attacking midfielder.

  88. pedantic george

    Hey, hang on a minute here. Doesn’t he play on the left of a 3? That’s Andrei’s position.
    He can fuck right off back to Germany for me.

  89. atid

    Jack played in 50 matches last season and by your own standards, Jack’s stats wouldn’t justify his automatic start, as his stats mirror Ramsey’s for this season.

    Obviously when you evaluate a player’s contribution, you must evaluate how his play influences our performances.

  90. pedantic george

    Markus.
    He is out injured again(Diaby) ,you will be shocked to learn.

  91. pedantic george

    Atid has TV at LB.
    End of discussion .He is thick.

  92. Yogi: I copied and pasted a couple of sentences from your post that I hope are true.

    “The failings of the midfield in this sense is nothing new though. Other campaigns have faltered since The Invincibles on similar grounds; this time I sense more of a will from the manager to identify recruits who can solve that problem.”

    Podolski is a good start and hopefully portends an active summer. Lots of potential changes in the squad. Building good goal scorers from the academy has been a struggle over the years. We have had lots of good midfielders come thru the ranks and I guess you can call RVP a youth project but he took many years of seasoning. All of our double digit goal scorers other then RVP have come from the transfer market. Same with our defenders. Unfortunately goal scorers don’t fly under the radar and usually are not inexpensive, at least not the ones who are better then the players already we have. Our recent attempts to get goal scorers on the cheap have not been highly successful. The scouting networks of the other clubs have been improved and the chance of nicking an Henry or Anelka or even an Adebyor are not as good as in the past. Hopefully Arsene and Ivan will be willing to move a bit outside their spending comfort zone this summer.

  93. We’ve got the highest number of different goal scorers as it is. If some of them can hone their finishing, we’re good.

    On our current strikers, Jamie Sanderson of Young Guns (and one of the journalists who has appeared recently on fans’ forum says Park is very highly rated by AW. So make of that what you will as the match commentators like to say.

    One unforeseen (except by AW) consequence of the rule prescribing a 25-man limit with guaranteed places in the squad for homegrown players is that it has given even more power to players in the transfer market. A club can release a player at the end of his contract, but can’t transfer him without his consent. Most players will take a paycut to go to a bigger or better club, but very few can stomach the drop in status of going to a smaller or lesser club. And such is their belief in themselves, they will remain optimistic and determined to regain their place in the side for long after the manager has decided they should be moved on. So takign players off the payroll in order to add new players has got a lot harder.

  94. Excellent news

  95. 18 goals in 28 appearances is a great strike rate.

  96. @Atid

    Are you mental for leaving out Song and moving TV5 to LB? Song is clearly the best DM in the EPL and growing if not already one fo the best all around and yet you leave him out. Shame on you!

  97. George, you’re getting that Diaby news from a false source. He shall be unleashed against Norwich and bag all 3 points for us.

  98. pedantic george

    Markus.tut tut,when will you ever learn.
    The pedant is the pedant for good reason.

  99. Is it just me but podolski looks like a carbon copy of rvp – they both have amazing technique and power in their left leg, both played can play on the wing and in the centre forward position – only difference is podolski is faster than rvp.
    @Pedantic George and C, gibbs is a way better leftback than santos, if am not mistaken gibbs played in all the matches in our 7game winning streak, he is also faster and covers ground than andre – i feel santos will be more effective further up the pitch with his skills and flair rather than trying fancy tricks in our DEFENCE, No?

  100. So fucking estatic right now, podolski GET IN.

  101. pedantic george

    khalifha ,No,
    Santos is better at everything bar running fast.

  102. George

    I liked your line up man, the first one. Arshavin will also like it too as it would give him the licence to roam he prefers.

    Atid;

    Your one was shite.

  103. Here’s to some Lukas aid for next season’s trophy quest.

  104. Another 20 minutes of playing time and another muscle injury for Diaby if that report is true. Hard to imagine him ever being a significant contributor. Is he taking one of our 25 slots or is he considered home grown? I hope the latter.

  105. @khalifha | April 30, 2012 at 3:49 pm
    Yes he did play during that streak but that was due to Santos being injured. Bar running faster Santos is the better all around LB ecspecially for the system we play where the LB/RB must both attack and defend. But dont get me wrong I Gibbs has changed my mind about him this season but Santos is still the better player.

  106. pedantic george

    Home grown still count in the 25 don’t they?
    Don’t lets do the Diaby thing today FFS Bill.

  107. George:

    I should understand how the home grown thing works but I don’t. I thought you could have more home grown players so they were not as much of any issue with the 25 man limit. I know this has been explained many times but its one of those things that I have struggled to commit to memory. Hard drive only has so much capacity.

  108. Pah, physioroom.com, what do they know. It’s a ruse. He’ll be fine for a run out. 20 minutes, brace, third place all but secure.

  109. Great news about Podolski. Have we signed anyone this early before? Can’t recall. Is it a sign that we getting bolder in the transfer market, or was there some rule change that allowed signings before season ends?

    I don’t see Vela returning anymore now. Ryo, Ox, Chamakh, and Park will find it even harder to get games if Podolski lives up to his billing. Gerv and Theo’s position is not much more certain. Great for competition though.

  110. @C and Pedantic George – really surprised you guys don’t rate gibbs as high as i do, the boy is superb both in his defensive and offensive game, he was about to displace clichy from the leftback spot before he started suffering from injuries, i guarantee you gibbs will be our first choice – enjoy the humble pie in advance.

  111. Podolski signing is not simply about the starting 11 – it is about the squad.

    Yes, Podolski and VP may both start sometimes, but what having another proven striker gives you is the ability to rest VP once every 4-5 matches, without sacrificing the match itself.

    Frankly, I don’t see much other movement occurring for us – this was our one hole. Certainly we are not getting any other attackers.

    A 25 man squad of

    Strikers – VP, Podolski, Chamach
    Wingers – Theo, Ox, Gervinho, Ryo
    Mid (attack) – Wilshire, Rosicky
    Mid (box to box) – Arteta, Ramsey, Diaby
    Mid (defence) – Song, Frimpong, Coq
    Left back – Santos, Gibbs
    Right Back – Sagna, Jenkinson
    Center Backs – Kos, Verm, Pers, Djourou
    Keeper – Szesny, and ??

    Still leaves, Vela, Bendtner, Arshavin, Denilson, Park, Cambell, Bartley, Miquel, Afobe

    These 9 players are all legitimate EPL players (except maybe Afobe, about whom we are not sure). Even the more derided ones would probably start for bottom EPL teams. Even if the first 4 (Vela, Bendtner, Arshavin, Denilson) are sold, that still leaves three attackers and two defenders to provide cover.

    Can this team challenge??????

    I would say the attack is about as solid as can be. Solid and Varied – goal scoring in the middle, speed on the flanks, creativity right behind.

    The midfield (box to box and defense) is solid, but uninspiring. They will do a job, not nec win games.

    The defense – is fast. Could be fantastic if organized, though a little undersized.

    This team could challenge if healthy, particularly up top and in central defense….

  112. @khalifha

    Its not that i don’t rate Gibbs high i just rate Santos higher. For me he brings more to the table not only with the defensive work and his offensive games is more advanced than young Gibbs but also the physicality, instincts and then headers

  113. Btw – I’m trying to be as objective as I can in that list. When I describe our midfield as solid but uninspiring, I do not mean it as an insult – just an observation. Song has been immense for us, as has Arteta this year. Coq has shown glimpses of real talent. Ramsey has had a little slump but shows promise obviously.

    But none of those are a Viera or Makele or Roy Keane in the making. At least not yet. Still I think o team has exceptional talent at EVERY position. Even Barca have a less than stellar keeper, and Real a less than stellar center back….

  114. Limestonegunner

    Apparently Harry says he’s not the kind of person who puahes for new contracts!! See last, hilarious para of this article. Does this man ever stop talking complete and utterly laughable b.s.??!!!
    http://m.guardian.co.uk/ms/p/gnm/op/s2Dq5CY2dDlf5iLRAfqL-dQ/view.m?id=15&gid=football/2012/apr/30/harry-redknapp-roy-hodgson-england&cat=football

  115. Anyone else get a response to their complaint from the BBC? I have….

    ‘Thank you for contacting us about the edition of ‘Match of the Day’ broadcast on Saturday 28 April.

    Gary Lineker’s closing line was a light-hearted reference to shots of Stoke fans behind the dugouts imitating Arsene Wenger’s mannerisms. A clear differentiation was made between this and the booing of Aaron Ramsey which Gary Lineker and Alan Hansen strongly condemned.

    In addition, Gary was not being xenophobic nor was he unfairly singling out a manager who has the admiration and respect of the whole ‘Match of the Day’ team and who has been the subject of praise on the show on many occasions.

    Shots of football managers and their behaviour on the touchline have long been a source of good-natured humour across our output and elsewhere. However, we are sorry if we have inadvertently offended you.

    I’d like to assure you I’ve registered your complaint on our audience log. This is an internal report of audience feedback which we compile daily and is available for viewing by all our staff. This includes all programme makers and presenters, along with our senior management. It ensures that your points, along with all other comments we receive, are considered across the BBC.

    Thanks again for taking the time to contact us.

    Kind Regards

    BBC Complaints’

  116. Nando:

    If Podolski is only going to start “some of the time” and his main job is to be a squad player and back up RVP then we still have the issue that Yogi discussed in his post. No goals from midfield and over reliance on RVP. Hopefully Podolski will be good but its unlikely he will score like RVP so we have an even bigger problem when RVP does sit out unless we add some more goals to the mix especially from the midfield. Jack only scored 1 goal all last year and he played more minutes then anyone else on the team, not to mention he will be coming back from a completely lost season.

  117. Nando

    Problems with your 25 man squad,

    1. Wilshere, Coquelin, Afobe, Frimpong, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Ryo, Campbell and Jenkinson won’t appear in the 25 as they are not old enough yet to be a concern.
    2. You presume that Chamakh will stay – I don’t think he will.
    3. Almost certainly there will be three goalkeepers.

    So as you can see, Arsenal have not got 25 players if they have concerns about space: there are 8 who definitely don’t need to be in the A Squad and potentially 2 more, who as they are 21 or under on a certain date, do not have to be nominated.

    The only issue comes if there are insufficient homegrown players which I believe is covered.

  118. That black scarf mob could suck the joy out of anything. New signing of a proven player done in decent time for good money??

    Bitch. Moan. Bitch. Whine.

  119. pedantic george

    “Mid (box to box) – Arteta, Ramsey, Diaby are solid, but uninspiring. They will do a job, not nec win games.”

    Are you looking for a fight?

  120. Limestonegunner

    No, unlimited under 21’s and a restricted number of non-homegrown players (I forget the number). The rest of the over 21 squad has to be homegrown which is defined as something like spending four of your pre 21yrs old professional training in England. I’m sure I could look up the precise numbers, but you get the idea. When players turn 21, the next full season they are counted in the 25 man squad. If there isn’t room because you have other players ( a full complement of the allowable foreign players plus homegrowns who are better) you have to sell them or pay them to sit intelligibly in the league. Can’t remember if this includes domestic cups. Then there are some rules for Europe on squads as well. Makes for an accounting headache and doesn’t accomplish the goals intended, really.

    It means you have to get a player at 17 at the latest to turn them into a homegrown player, like Cesc or Denilson.

  121. Matt

    In short, it was a crap joke that had all the comic timing of a syphilitic elephant. Did you see the light-hearted reference to Gary Lineker’s mannerisms and not to be too blunt, jug ears?

  122. Bill

    He is not going to be a squad player. Podolski is going to be a starter. Whether it is 4-3-3 or AW thinks LP and RvP can work as a 4-4-2 remains to be seen.

  123. Limestonegunner

    Intelligibly= ineligible; thank you autocorrect!!

    Though I think it is helpful to sit intelligibly as well so that your mates in reserved seats for undressed players can enjoy your witty comments and such!

  124. And more to the point, when have they ever taken the piss out of a manager who is British? Genuine question.
    Plus the “joke” was bolted onto a totally unconnected reference to Wigan’s chances of staying up, thus making it seem gratuitously offensive.

  125. Limestonegunner

    YW, it seems in advisable to declare definitively how Podolski will play and that he will start. Hadb’t we better wait for AW to show us what he intends? There are many players for the front three, and whoever impresses the manager in preseason most on the left will start. It could be Podolski, but what if Gervinho recovers his form after a year of adaptation to the PL which both he and the Ox will have had that Podolski won’t have. Btw, four of these contenders for wide positions seem to have cost the club (reportedly) more money: Theo, Arshavin Gervinho and the Ox. Maybe AA will depart, but there is a long way yet to go before we can declare the manager’s plans for this acquisition, I think.

  126. pedantic george

    I have bought my last packet of Walkers crisps.That is for sure

  127. What’s up Limestone, don’t you want to play Championship manager…

  128. I think Arsene wanted Podolski in the January transfer window but Lukas wasn’t prepared to bale out on his existing club.

    Fair play to the guy, I say.

    Very interesting how AW is moving towards experience. I’m certain he’s not abandoned ‘youth’ but how many caps, for example, has Mertsacker and Podolski got for Germany between them – 150+? And whilst I don’t see Per playing every game he will be an absolute asset in those games where height (eg Stoke), aerial bombardment (Stoke, again), and physical assault (er, Stoke) could cause us problems. So definitely two games, nailed on but I’m sure they’ll be many more.

    I’m also wondering if the signing of Podolski will trigger other signings for us AHEAD of the Euros; getting him, finishing 3rd and qualified for Europe combined with re-signing Robin will be a powerful ‘come and join us, we’re really going places’ message to our remaining targets.

  129. Limestonegunner

    My answer, Bill, is that off the Ben h even, Podolski helps as he is a clinical finisher above the likes of Chamakh.

    Plus, Gervinho, will have adapted, the Ox is improving, and Ramsey was always a scorer and should find better form in his second full season. But I wouldn’t also be opposed to Podolski on the left if he beats putGervs and the Ox. Not would I be unhappy with an experienced or talented attacking midfielder who creates assists and scores goals, with Rosicky as backup and competitor.

  130. Yogi:

    I agree Podolski should certainly be earmarked to start with RVP, probably on the left of the 433. I really am stoked about getting him especially this early. I also agree about Chamakh and we probably should have another realistic option at back up striker if either Podolski or RVP have any injury issues. Lots of spaces to fill in the squad, plenty of room to add another goal scorer this summer.

  131. pedantic george

    LG ,he will have to be some fucking player to take TR7’s place .I cant think of a better player in the league right now.

  132. pedantic george

    @khalifha

    Its not that i don’t rate Gibbs high i just rate Santos higher. For me he brings more to the table not only with the defensive work and his offensive games is more advanced than young Gibbs but also the physicality, instincts and then headers

    Is what I would have said .Exactly.

  133. Limestonegunner

    Haha, YW!!-yes, it’s fun, and I’ll wade into the speculative waters; after all we have signings like this relatively infrequently. We’ve actually heard of Pidolski and, what’s more, we’ve seen him play for years in major tournaments!!

    I just mean rhetorically, doesn’t it sound off kilter to be that definitive as yet? We are talking about interesting possibilities, and I for one don’t think it is nailed on that he starts ahead of one of the other three who can play on the left. Moreover, the idea of changing the formation has been mooted by many of us so many times– that seems highly speculative at the moment, though I’d enjoy it if we were a bit more tactically flexible in formations. More for us to talk about!

  134. pedantic george

    4 4 2 is dead.

  135. There is clearly a disconnect between Linekar on the one hand condemning Stoke fans for their odious booing of a player criminally injured by one of their own and, on the other hand, the supposedly senior presenter joining in with those self-same Stoke fans in disrespecting Arsene Wenger, a visitor to their (hole in the) ground.

    Surely the BBC can see this, even if Big Ears can’t?

    FFS.

  136. If AW’s paid what is alleged for him, agreed to pay him the rumoured wage and announced the signing so promptly, I think it’s a safe bet that Poldi will be a starter. Unless his first season goes the way of Torres’.

    @ arsenalandrew
    We’ve got more money. He’s always going to buy kids to educated and rough diamonds to polish, but now he doesn’t have to put them straight into the first team. Kids will still break through but it will be harder.

    ****
    On the England manager appointment, I am having a laugh at the media backtracking concerning the “surprise” of the FA not going with Redknapp, who had been “heavily linked” with the job. And of course all these amnesiac meeja dipsticks are all mystified as to who it was who “heavily linked” ‘Arry with the job.

    @ LG
    I kind of agree with pg about Rosicky. I think a new player would be more likely to be backup for him, not the other way around. I wonder if persuading Chelsea and YB to extend the loan might not solve quite a few problems, given the situation with Jack and Abou, and AOC’s inexperience?

    Anyway, there I go speculating on next season when we haven’t finished with this one, yet!

  137. Limestonegunner

    Possibly George. I love Rosicky’s game. However, he’s older now and had one half season back at this level. Now would be the time to prepare for the future in case TR can’t play twice a week in the Fall or get’s injured, jaded by February and so on. Right now we have AR and JW possibly playing there. Are either of them meant to play AM reliably–maybe Ramsey can at this point, but is that his or JW’s best position long term? We have no way really of knowing and being able to count on that. Both might be better deeper, neither is scoring goals their first season at this level, but perhaps those will come.

  138. The best thing to do surely is to pick a player based on form and fitness at any given time.

    If RVP does stay, and M’Vila comes in, it will be a nice problem to have to fit so many great players in to the team.

    Fingers crossed that RVP, Theo and Song all stay, as if they do and we can be a bit luckier on the injury front, we will have a hell of a squad for next season.

  139. definitely need more of a contribution from other players goal wise maybe podolski and a couple more signings can solve the problem.

  140. Limestonegunner

    You know me, George. I’d be happy to bring back AA and play him behind RvP. Put Arteta/Coquelin/M’Vila and Song behind him in a 4231 and away we go.

    It is a question of likelihoods and possibilities to make the best combo of first 11 players with sufficient competition and depth to deal with many many games and the inevitable injuries in order to challenge for the league and get to a semi or final in the CL. That’s what we are about.

    I am not saying we are woeful without a bright new AM–I’m saying I could see that as a very useful move given the need for more goals and a relative problem in that position we’ve had all year except for the three months Rosicky has been playing very well and been fit. He is fit now when we have only one game a week. During the fall we typically have 2 a week or 3 in 8 days. Plus, he hasn’t been lighting up the charts with goals during this great run of form. So the question, posed by the post, is where to get the goals?

    I have some hopes for Gervs, Ramsey, and the Ox improving on this year’s tally. But is that enough? Podolski will help off the bench as well as on the left on occasion too. Where else might we get more goals or more goals created than from attacking midfield?

  141. Welcome To The Arsenal Lukas Podolski

  142. Great link Jonny – his running at defences reminds me of a certain Thiery Henry.

  143. Great video Jonny – The boy has A Cultured Left Foot….

    (See what I did there YW!)

  144. Limestonegunner

    The question is priorities. Here are positions that I think might be considered:
    back up GK
    back up centre forward
    back up right back
    wide attackers
    attacking/creative midfielder
    defensive and/or holding midfielder
    centre back

    If there is a player currently in the position who is above 30 or below 21 and isn’t so supremely talented that they are a nailed on starter, it is worth considering whether there is the opportunity to strengthen in some fashion or if a young player is really ready to step up and compete and so on. It is a position under review and fair to think about.

    GK is still young but is the clear starter with the trust of the manager and team, but a backup might be needed if Fabianski or Mannone depart. Otherwise I am fine with this, but I think a very experienced GK would be helpful to WC’s development.

    RB is in his prime and the best in the PL. Jenks is coming along so it’s not a priority but losing Sagna was very difficult for Theo and his goal scoring, even with Jenkinson playing behind, and he isn’t that much more experienced because of his injury this season. Possible action would help but probably not a big priority.

    backup centre forward is a need, in my opinion. AW is either getting Podolski for this or to have a replacement for RvP, if he should leave (God forbid!)

    2 CB’s are in their prime, Merts is adjusting to the PL but the injury means questions on his return and Djourou is a capable back up with Miquel proving a valuable young player. We could find another CB, but I wouldn’t argue that it is a major priority.

    Wide attackers: we have plenty in a decent mix now of experience and talented youth. Theo, Podolski, Gervinho, the Ox, AA, Ryo. Perhaps AA will move.

    Attacking/creative midfielder. Rosicky is over thirty, had an excellent half season, hasn’t found goal scoring form but is a great player in moving the ball forward, keeping possession and playing one two’s. Health over a full season and durability during the heaviest part of our schedule is a question. Ramsey is coming along but is young, has a lot to learn, had a good first full season from injury but also might be better in a deeper position. JW has not played in the PL in this position and is coming back from an injury and right now is not even guaranteed to be fit for preseason. Neither has scored many goals at this level. Diaby might be able to play here but usually is a bit deeper and his fitness is a genuine question even now.

    Defensive or holding midfielder: Song is a rock. Hopefully he extends his contract. If he doesn’t, we will need a major, established international in mid 20’s to try to do what he does. His backup is coming along but not well established at this level. Coquelin has the spirit and the qualities to play here–I think we saw flashes of his talent and combative character. Frimpong impressed but his development is certainly set back again by injury and not being able to get many games while on loan due to it. Arteta might be able to play here along side JW, Diaby or Ramsey. But I don’t think Diaby, when fit is quite cut out for these defensive duties. Some questions, but I am going to count on Coquelin developing into a solid understudy to Song next season, if Song extends.

  145. Limestonegunner

    Actually, I’d just as soon table this team/squad discussion for after the season concludes. Podolski and how he fits in is great as he is a new signing. But for the rest, our concentration ought to be on Norwich whom we want to give a convincing beating to in our final home match.

  146. Welcome to Arsenal Lukas. It’s great that he has now been confirmed and hopefully he will do well for us. But I hope some people currently getting over-excited remember that he may not settle right away and that they show some patience if that is the case. And even better, he comes with his own song!

  147. get in there

    the post set today up nicely..
    top player comes in..
    top international player..

    good timing..gives us a lift before the norwich match as well..good PR
    it would be shit hot if we could have unveiled him before the game..

    anyhoo, this is the top striker weve been asking the club to get..

  148. Limestonegunner

    FG, fair enough, call it backup/competition for Rosicky. But I don’t think Benayoun has been at his best playing the AM/Rosicky role. He’s had his best games as a wide forward on the left. I can’t think of too many games where he played AM or CM where he really stood out. He is a clever player around the box and gets back on defence, but I don’t see him having the ball carrying drive or passing of Rosicky. And we have lots of players now in those places.

    He’d be useful and is PL experienced, but perhaps you can remind me of when he made a big impression in the centre of the pitch playing where Rosicky does? Rosicky, by comparison, just doesn’t shine when playing in the front three.

  149. Back up Striker for next season – Afobe???

  150. Limestonegunner

    Sorry to be linking again from 7amkickoff, but this is a very useful analysis, including relevant statistics, of Podolski’s season with Koln and what he might bring to the Arsenal.

    http://www.7amkickoff.com/2012/running-the-rule-over-arsenal-signing-lukas-podolski/#comments

  151. Limestone @ 5:28 5:37 and 5:57:

    Excellent summary and I agree with basically everything you said. The only thing I disagree with is your assessment in the 5:37 post about Podolski helping from the bench and occasionally on the left. Perhaps I misunderstood your meaning and there is no way to know what the boss is really thinking at this point but my guess is that Yogi and Fun are correct and Podolski is currently pencilled in as a regular starter. I can’t imagine him coming here if there was any idea that he might start out as a squad player and RVP backup.

  152. That third goal is obscenely good. Such composure.

    I think we’ll all keep our feet on the ground whilst hoping for the best. The notable thing amongst that collection, is the quality and variety of goal he is capable of.

    Clearly that’s a cherry pick of his best but plenty of decent strikers score goals like that only a handful of times in their career and there’s 13 of them that are more than good enough to be included in a goal of the month comp.

    It gives a serious nod to the ability ‘under the hood’ and if any manager can fine tune a quality engine it’s the one we have at the helm.

  153. Limestonegunner

    Also, George, the piece suggests that if he struggles, folks will say AW is playing him out of position just like AA. You might have another Arshavin to hold close to your heart. The difference is he is pretty big and maybe not so enigmatic, mysterious and unique a personality. Oh well, no one can match Arshavin in one’s affections. It is precisely because of those qualities, his diminutive size, and his sublime skill. Scratch that!

  154. I have watched Podolski even play for Germany and he is simply devasting the way he runs at players and beats them whether it be with pure speed or power or skill but i’m also excited about his passing which rarely gets talked about but anybody who watches him for Germany will tell you he has set up some beautiful goals with pinpoint passing. Ill take RVP Theo and Podolski over any other 3 in the EPL, hopefully Arsene gives them the freedom to change positions freely

  155. i think podolski will be a starter..
    and it will stay 433..
    theo and robin are a good duo,but left wing has seen everyone play there and nobody has really nailed it…

    we’ll go with him on the left and see if he can knock a few goals and assists in to complete the trilogy

    ive been impressed with him when ive seen him play for germany..hes been among the top scorers in euro and world cups

  156. Lululu….lukas podolski…lululu…lukas podolski….

    Excellent, Passenal, thank you. I would have preferred a background of marching drummers with a woodwind and brass accompaniment but I can see this ‘song working in the Arsenal Stadium.

  157. Thank you for the links, Jonny.

  158. No probs, Frank – the pleasure is mine in fact.

    The sun has just come belting through my living room window.

    The first of my new chili plants have poked their heads through.

    Some vaguely interesting match on the telly tonight.

    And Arsene has set a few pulses racing.

    Enjoy the good days. 😉

  159. Frank @ 6.29 pm – I should have posted this one as it contains some of the lyrics! At least with this early signing Arsene has given us time to brush up our German and learn the words!

  160. Bradys right foot

    pedantic george | April 30, 2012 at 2:13 pm

    PG I think were in a minority but Jack is a great player but for me doesn’t start in front of Rozzer, Arteta and Song are undroppable. But lets be honest its not going to be a problem as im sure our injurys will take care of that.

  161. It would be nice if all Arsenal player specific songs were sung in the players native language. That would really fuck with Stoke fans heads.

  162. Limestonegunner

    Frank, do they understand English? Who knew!?!

  163. Can’t see Podolski signing a long term deal just to keep the bench warm, not at his age, not with his experience and fire-power and certainly not at his likely cost.

    ***

    When Arsenal went to Anfield in ’89 and wrenched the league from Liverpool in one of the biggest games in the country’s club history, it marked the beginning of a decline for a club that had dominated the league for many years and is, even now, still trying, with only patchy success, to reclaim those former peaks.

    All day long I’ve heard radio pundits talking about tonight’s Manc derby as being the biggest game in the EPL for many years.

    I just wonder what would be the impact on Manure if Citeh win tonight and go on to win the league this year?

    Will tonight be seen as the start of a giant’s decline – a decline in relative stature last seen on Merseyside?

    If so much of Manure’s allure has been about being the biggest game in town – both for fans around the world as much as prospective new players – what happens when City take over that particular crown? What happens to it’s finances? It’s management? The ownership?

    Whilst Arsenal were unable to maintain the peaks we hit in recent years, the financial stability that the genius of Wenger has bestowed upon the club has allowed us to regroup both on and off the pitch so that 2012-13 could, conceivably – and realistically – see a genuine challenge for the top prizes for London’s biggest club.

    But can the same be said for the northern reds?

    What do people think – I think it’s a massive question but not one I’ve heard much discussed elsewhere?

    Running parallel to the United Question is what happens to Chelski if (and when) they fail to win the European Cup and finish outside the top 4; will they seriously be able to attract the top talent to rebuild on the scale they clearly need to? Can they even get an experienced manager worth his salt whilst Roman’s still the owner? Will they not be ensnared in the Financial Fair Play trap, unable to make the investment of scale required when you could once upon a time simply buy the league?

    The conclusion of the 2011 season could potentially be more than just a ‘normal’ close of season; it could be the end of an era in many otherwise unexpected ways.

    Timing is everything and I just think this could be the start of great things for Arsenal – and a new long-term adversary in the form of the blue Mancs …

    Though I loathe Citeh, I know who I want to win tonight.

  164. @ C
    He looks great. Podolski is a solid unit and fast with it. I just read that his is 1.82 m tall (6 foot) but he looks shorter than that, because he is so powerfully built. That’s a good quality which we could do with.

  165. Hope Podolski isn’t RVP’s replacement. Stranger things have happened at our club!

  166. OK. Well let’s go for the other universal ‘language’. All songs next season should be sung in Latin.

    Each song in the Arsenal canon, a cantata…

  167. @Fungunner

    Yea he’s very powerfully built and when watching his runs you can see the power. I think with his power and speed as well as his finishing and passing I do think teams wont be able to focus on our right side adn will have to balance out thus freeing even more lanes for him and Theo and RVP to play through not to mention with Jack, Lil Mozart Arteta and Song(sorry PG doubt Arshavin comes back) playing with vision and speed of play our counter attacking when we need to will be that of chances and goals galore.

    Now on to the last 2 games and lets get 6 points and keep the guns firing. The Podolski signing was a great booster for the last 2 games after the last 2 draws that we have had along with the loss to the ever mysterious Wigan.

  168. Naaaah. Not a chance, kg

  169. i haven’t seen so many twats converge in one place before – earlier when the whole world was criticizing wenger for not signing players, these twats would come up with weapons assaulting anyone who dares question OGL, now he signs a player, these same guys are the most excited – do you guys even have an opinion for yourselves or do you just follow
    blindly what ever OGL does.

  170. …finish your drink,boozy, then fuck off

  171. @ arsenalandrew | April 30, 2012 at 6:57 pm

    Very good questions.
    In the excitement about Poldi I’d totally forgotten about the Manky derby.

    I don’t think the Red Mancs would be as hard hit by failing to win the league as Citeh would be because ManUre have had a lot of recent success. Not winning this year would not in itself be that big a blow. They have a huge global presence, so it would take a few years of Citeh winning to dent ManUre’s position and earning power, and for this to be seen as retrospectively as the beginning of the end, I would suggest. Anyway, academic, as we’re going to wrest the title away from Manchester next season. 🙂

    Money City have spent obscenely and it would be for nothing. However there is an endless pit of money sustaining them and they would just try again – they come from such a low base that coming in the top three seems like a very good return for them. They would certainly be in a better position than Chelsea, who I really hope (in a double reverse jinx with triple twist and one-footed landing kind of way) win the CL or come fourth. They and their owner would be humiliated if their worst case scenario transpired and unlike ManUre, they don’t have such a big global reputation to fall back on.

  172. Limestonegunner

    George, you ready to set everyone straight on the forum or are you watching the Manchester Derby, the super duper most important game in the history of the PL!?!?! Talk about exaggeration. At least ManCity is starting with a more attacking lineup than I thought.

  173. @ C

    “Now on to the last 2 games and lets get 6 points and keep the guns firing. The Podolski signing was a great booster for the last 2 games after the last 2 draws that we have had along with the loss to the ever mysterious Wigan.”

    that’s what I’m hoping too – that it gives everyone a fillip and a surge of energy for the last few strides across the finish line.

  174. City cannot be allowed to win the league, united failing to win would not unudely affect them, imo. Its happened to fergie before and he has bounced back. City have no such experience. They mustn’t be allowed to succeed for the good of the game.

    boozy

    That almost made sense, almost. Now do as Frank says and fuck off.

  175. It would be better if the Little Mancs win tonight. More chance of the Little Mancs having to really go for it in the last game of the season against the Magpies. If the Big Mancs win tonight it is moreorless all over.

  176. Ah Boozy you always have been amongst the most juvenile and pathetic of the cunt brigade.

    Taking time out on a day like today to pick fights with your fellow fans?!!

    Arsenal could win everything in sight and you’d still be a fucking loser.]

    As Frank said – Fuck Off.

  177. We won’t need city to get a result for us Frank. A draw is on the cards I think anyway.

  178. Quite right, Dexter.

  179. Fergie must be playing for a draw. Can’t believe he left out Valencia. Starting the most defensive line up possible. Disappointing but not surprising.

  180. @Boozy

    I’m going to respond to you because I enjoying making idiots look like well idiots. The twats that you say would defend Wenger for not signing players was down to believing and seeing that with a healthy squad brimming with confidence we could challenge and win the league which is true. But with Wenger signing somebody its like if you havent noticed on many of these posts saying our team is strong as it was and signing a worldclass striker is something to be excited about. Look at any strong team and their supports that are vying and fighting for trophies every year, they believe and know that their team can challenge for trophies but its NEVER and i repeat for fucking TWATS LIKE YOU, NEVER a bad thing and should be celebrated by the signing of a world class player to bolster the team.

    I’m going to assume your a Spud fan hence why you call us twats and tried to down our joy, because well Arry signed the likes of Saha and yall got excited.

  181. Limestonegunner

    I predict a drab draw.

  182. Personally i would prefer Manure to win the title because of all the cash Manshiteh splashed but would also enjoy the fact that Nasri(yes I’m going to be a little__________) said he could win trophies their and not with Arsenal and would love to see that dumb look on his face.

  183. Limestonegunner

    Richard from Blackheath brings up Lineker issue on the Forum in the strongest terms, and asks everyone to complain to the BBC. What does John Cross have to say: wants to look at it again.

    Has he stolen your thunder, George?

  184. I Have Matt. Guess what it says.

    “Thank you for contacting us about the edition of ‘Match of the Day’ broadcast on Saturday 28 April.

    Gary Lineker’s closing line was a light-hearted reference to shots of Stoke fans behind the dugouts imitating Arsene Wenger’s mannerisms. A clear differentiation was made between this and the booing of Aaron Ramsey which Gary Lineker and Alan Hansen strongly condemned.

    In addition, Gary was not being xenophobic nor was he unfairly singling out a manager who has the admiration and respect of the whole ‘Match of the Day’ team and who has been the subject of praise on the show on many occasions.

    Shots of football managers and their behaviour on the touchline have long been a source of good-natured humour across our output and elsewhere. However, we are sorry if we have inadvertently offended you.

    I’d like to assure you I’ve registered your complaint on our audience log. This is an internal report of audience feedback which we compile daily and is available for viewing by all our staff. This includes all programme makers and presenters, along with our senior management. It ensures that your points, along with all other comments we receive, are considered across the BBC.

    Thanks again for taking the time to contact us.”

    Kind Regards

    BBC Complaints

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/complaints

    Much the same as I received when i complained about Savage last year.

    Twats and dinosaurs, They are doomed.

  185. Limestonegunner

    Either one winning makes me sick, but there you have it. Old enemy or new oiligarchs. What helps Arsenal? Whatever that is is what I want. Maybe winning allows Fergie to retire? Maybe it delays the rise of ManCity and causes some bloodletting over there.

    Man City win so they play Newcastle strongly and get a draw, leaving ManU to win the title and us to get 3rd?

  186. FunGunner – I was more interested in possible parallels with Liverpool’s decline which looked unimaginable 20 odd years ago. They weren’t exactly short of a few £s either.

    But you are quite right, Citeh will just keep trying!

  187. CBob

    Mine was exactly the same and looking at other sites, like Another Arsenal blog, seems everyone got the same pat response.

  188. Limestone:

    I agree. Drab 0 – 0 draw the most likely outcome.

  189. Limestonegunner

    George is on. His worry is Jack as he might not be fit for start of the next season and isn’t first choice in midfield even when back. He’s going to have to be brought along slowly and supporters will have all sorts of unrealistic ideas and complaints about him. But he’ll have been out for a year. It will take time.

  190. Moved to Salford and employed Robbie Savage…and I got the same response to my complaint too. Twats, dinosaurs and buffoons.

    If one more of the fuckers refers to Harry Redknapp as the ‘peoples choice’ I am going to hitch up the wagon head up north and have a ‘chat’.

  191. Limestonegunner

    John Cross and Tom Watt engage the genuine issue George has put on the table. What’s the first choice three for George?: Diaby, Song, Rosicky and possibly Arteta ahead of Jack for Song and Diaby positions. Watt thinks that will help him get ready at the right speed for Arsenal and not on some artificial England timetable and what happened to Ramsey this season won’t happen to Jack. JC thinks Jack gets into the first 11 once he is fit.

    Good stuff, George.

  192. Thanks for the updates Limey

  193. Not good enough Dex, was it? I am ‘re-complaining’. I never mentiuoed zenophobia, therefor it is just a universal response.

    Just what century do they think they are living in?

    A crude insult, on air, cannot be left to stand that easily.

  194. Cbob

    Yep, I wasn;t goin to bother responding, but I will now. Lazy half arsed response shows real contempt for the viewer.

    Yours

    Disgusted of Guildford!

  195. Lukas Podolski.

    His father played for Poland and apparently Lukas was overlooked at a young age for the Poland team so went to Germany..

    great signing.

    Woy Hodgers for England…does this mean we will start to play gritty long ball football……

  196. ‘Shots of football managers and their behaviour on the touchline have long been a source of good-natured humour across our output and elsewhere. However, we are sorry if we have inadvertently offended you.’

    should write back and say herelies the issue

    Shots of arsene wenger and his behaviour on the touchline have long been a source of good-natured humour across our output and elsewhere. However, we are sorry if we have inadvertently offended you.

  197. DukeG

    I think you do Hodgson a disservice sir. He is a decent manager and coach, tactically aware with bags of experience, particuarly abroad and international football. Looking at CVs, he is the number one candidate. Only the hacks and lazy media have been bangin on about old Twitchy McBung as the only choice.

  198. @ arsenalandrew
    ok – see what you mean.
    Would be nice for us to bring the Red Manc era to an end, rather than City, though, wouldn’t it?

    @ consolsbob
    Standard form letter, appearing to take on your concerns but not in fact doing so, availign themselves of the refuge of supposed humour….a typical fobbing off letter, I’d say.

    @ JonJon | April 30, 2012 at 8:09 pm
    spot on.

  199. agree with dex..team woy..

    if we want an english manager then his cv is pretty good..
    hes the one..
    speaks 5 languages and the lot..

    arry gets teams bankrupt and relegated and opens accounts in pets names..

    i think if woy gets it then credit where credit is due
    to both woy and the fa for appointing him and not falling for the redknapp love in..

  200. Theres 1 thing that I am sure of in our midfield no matter who plays around him and that is Alex Song is 1st choice no if’s and’s or but’s about it. Now who plays around him mite be up for debate but there is only 1 Alex Song and he is our 1st choice point blank period

  201. Agree Dexter – Hodgson massively more qualified for the post than ‘Arry.

    And now Modric will leave the Tottering Tots and the whole thing will unravel for the Spuds.

    And ‘Arry.

  202. rooneys just won a fucking oscar

  203. Limestonegunner

    I see a big banner on the front of the upper tier hoarding: Manchester thanks you, Sheikh Mansoor!

    Talk about losing all self-respect and dignity! Pathetic stuff.

  204. Rooney dives to get Kompany booked.

    Mr Cynical.

  205. It has all worked out quite beautifully. The spuds season collapsed once Arry flashed his knickers at the FA (even though to suggest the players lost form due to it is quite laighable). Still if he ultimately doesnt even get the England job, i predict the dodgy barra boy will be hounded out by the spuds before the end of next season.

  206. Citeh have 61% of the possession, 25 odd mins gone …

  207. Citeh definitely look the stronger of the two.

    Obviously Manure playing with 12 men …

  208. Rooney has not had a single booking in the PL all season.

    Look at that statement and ask yourself, how the flaming fuck can that be true???

  209. And then ask yourself, how many bookings would he have if he was a Gooner?

  210. That’s largely down to the power of the 12th man, Dex.

  211. Limestonegunner

    Rooney’s antics and poor behavior on early evidence. ManU time-wasting has been going on since the 5th minute.

  212. At away games Andrew? Or did you mean the refs as the 12th man?

  213. Phil Jones looks like a younger john Terry. I am glad we didnt sign him!

  214. The refs as the 12th man. One of their most consistent players.

  215. If Citeh keep this up Manure won’t be able to live with this.

  216. hes a street footballer..
    and he takes it into the game..

    robins similar but ouzes class with it..competitive sportsman

    rooney just cheats and hes got cheating perfected and he does it that slyly its like hes robbing you

    its what you expect though, hes a scouser..
    bartons the fucking same..

  217. and thats how you make him look a cunt..

  218. Limestonegunner

    Finally ManU will have to play.

  219. Good Kompany!

  220. Thanks to Rooney, Kompany was even more motivated. Stupid boy!

  221. Smalling at fault for the goal by the looks of it.

  222. kompany looked like winning that header even if he was being marked by godzilla..

    sometimes theres not alot you can do..
    it looks like he lost him but even if he stayed with him im not too sure he was stopping kompany..

  223. And to think ciddy only bought Kompany because we nicked Silvestre from em!

  224. Limestonegunner

    The Harry and Spud story is told all wrong. After his court case and Capello’s resignation, Spurs stuffed Newcastle 5-0. Their season took a dive when we crushed the life out of them and broke their spirit co
    Ong from two goals down to make it a 5-2 laugher. We aren’t getting the credit we deserve. Arsenal destroyed Tottenham and killed Harry’s feeble chances.

  225. nah JJ, he was ball watching, lost his man.

  226. I saw that Limestone. Dignity? No. Embarrasing? Certainly.

    Manu deserve to lose this. A team of journeymen, has beens and never will be’s. Plus one absolute disgrace.

    If it takes another team rather than us to expose them for the’emperor with no clothes’, so be it.

  227. True Limes

  228. Fergie’s gonna make a substitution.

    Webb is coming on to replace Mariner.

  229. Spot on Bob.

  230. And then Dexter hits the target!

  231. As much as I agree with you CBob, the thought of another artificially doped team winning the title a la the orignal and still the vilest chavs, is really a worse case scenario than manu winning it again for me.

  232. Cheeky backheel there, Dexter at 9:02pm. Nice.

  233. Ha! Thanks FG!

  234. Limestonegunner

    MN City’s stadium is terribly muted. Should be singing loudly, probably saying their thank yous to Sheikh Mansoor like rosary prayers.

  235. Toure gets booked for his reaction to a Manure player’s simulation – why make it easy for the twats?

    Finally the stadium bursts into life …

  236. Welback back on, Park parked.

  237. Ronney’s been shite. Giggs the only one looking sharp for united.

  238. Manure starting to show their frustration – and panic …

    Long way to go but so hard to see a United victory.

  239. if it was not for Nasri would not mind CIty winning tbh. But i really cant stand the guy. so i dont think he deserves any trophies. Which means i do hope United will win…

  240. Limestonegunner

    Pathetic from Mancini. De Jong for Tevez. Craven and may just backfire.

  241. Agree LimestoneG – odd really …

  242. Manure now able to commit more to attack …

  243. Ref doing a BRILLIANT job holding the ball up for Manure by awarding free kicks to Citeh rather than playing the utterly obvious advantages …

  244. Don’t get Mancini at all. It’s only one goal and a draw is as bad as a loss for them.

  245. Outrageous booking for de Jong – ref’s playing an absolute BLINDER!!!

  246. I have liked Podolski since his first world cup, an excellent player with a vicious strike. I have wanted him Klose to join Arsenal ever since that time.

  247. I smell a goal for City, a counter attack.

  248. @ arsenalandrew

    Marriner can see Webb warming up so has raised his game.

    To carry on Dexter’s joke.

  249. A joke well worth carrying on IMO.

    Manure starting to look a bit desperate; you can tell as their diving rates start to soar …

  250. The Prince of Diving takes the field; good evening Mr Young.

  251. Nasri could have finished it – and Manure – then.

  252. Limestonegunner

    Fergie time even away from OT.

  253. Yes, yes Paul – Five Minutes of Fergie Time; it’s perfectly normal.

    The fact the trainer’s not been on once in the entire match is neither here nor there …

  254. Although I don’t want either team to win because they represent what ails football today, one with bags of money and the other with referees on their side. But, United doesn’t deserve anything from this game, they’ve been CRAP most of the season.

    Either way, football still losing…

  255. Manure deserved what they got – fuck all.

    So what next for them …?

  256. AA, I am confused. Maybe the time stopped when the managers were about to fight.

    Why is Darke calling this “arguably the biggest game in PL history”? silly!

    City made United look 2nd rate. Hopefully some people will start seeing just how good our team is.

  257. Paul – I think a few people think a line has been crossed with Citeh now in the driving seat, not just for this season but beyond.

    Man U were and are 2nd rate – I don’t think they have the money to buy in the quality they clearly need for next season. They need to win loads, they are going to win nothing, like the Chavs.

  258. Man U without a single shot on target. The dross are beginning to show how bad they are without the customary penalty to help them get in front.

  259. They were poor Dups – and beaten by a side we beat very recently.

    Just can’t wait for next season to start!

  260. ManU has totally collapsed. Lost an 8 point lead. Good game from City they were clearly the better team. Will be interesting to see if they can win their last 2. The game away at Newcastle is going to be tough. Excellent job by the ref today.

  261. I have just received my cut and paste response from the BBC and advised them I would be complaining to Ofcom, which I have just done. It’s surprisingly much easier to complain to them. Link below for anyone who is interested

    http://consumers.ofcom.org.uk/tell-us/

  262. ManU’s business model is the most fragile. If they stop winning, they’ll collapse louder and faster than Liverpool. Will be fun to watch it.

  263. More Leeds than Liverpool, SV?

  264. Und herzlich wilkommen im Haus des Fussballs, Poldi.

  265. AA, Maybe (a line has been crossed), City seem to have United’s number.

  266. I think so, Paul.

    Don’t get me wrong – I HATE that Citeh have just piled in with money but my loathing of Manure goes back decades!

    I’d love to see their house of cards collapse.

  267. Wouldn’t it be great to see Slur Alex retire without ever winning another league championship?

  268. I was really looking for one of the United players to take a tumble in the pen area, I am shocked that they didn’t.

    Yep, without the complimentary dive and pen, United have not done anything of late.

  269. The scoreline does the game no justice to be honest. At the very least it should have been 3-0.

    AA, I agree with you. I too can’t stand City but seeing United humbled is all good for me.

    Arsenal next season, will take the league by storm. City would never play as open as this against Arsenal. They took it to United from the word go.

  270. As far as over relianice on RVP. The goals have been shared quite nicely of late, ever since the Spurs game. May that continue into next season.

  271. That was a woeful performance fron Yawnited, even mancini could not stand rednose.
    Am starting to think some arsenal fans have multiple personalities, first support for chelsea now citeh, na$ri’s man citeh!? *scratches head in confusion*

  272. Limestonegunner

    Poor, miserable, weak, and pathetic display from Manure. It is such a shame that they or City will win this title. If we could get through the summer positively, we should be challengers.

  273. United have been out of form for weeks. If it wasnt for Young’s dives and friendly refs they’d have lost the title already.

    Shit game, hyped up into something it never was to begin with.

  274. There used to be a fear factor with Manure – those days are long gone now.

    I wonder how much longer for Ferguson?

    Would make sense for him to go this summer especially with Maureen and others available …

  275. pedantic george

    Credit to Paul n ,he steadfastly refused to talk about anything other than Arsenal.
    They were both shit.
    We are better than them both.
    And I am convinced that next year we will prove it.

  276. Khalifa, no one has supported City or Chelsea. We just want to see the other team get a spanking for various reason’s. We cannot win either the PL or the CL, but atleast we can take a little joy out of seeing the big head teams that get all the help from the refs get a beating.

    You are overthinking this thing.

  277. Dead right Paul.

    Yes, George, we are definitely better than them – especially Manure.

    Night all!

  278. Paul N, nah man, i have a special place in my heart reserved for chelsea and man city, just suprised there’s more hate for barca and united, the former two are clubs that try to bully arsenal with their money in the epl.

  279. George, exactly!
    Yes, we have had our struggles but I don’t think one can say these teams are “better” than us, currently. We can call what happened to us this season “excuses” but calling them excuses does not mean thay didn’t happen and have a terrible effect.
    Our current team is better than last season’s and better than our no 3 spot.

    Roll on next season!

  280. Barca are the dumps for me. I have no love for that team. When Eto was there yes, but this bunch is as disrespectful as they come.

  281. pedantic george

    Excuses are alright as long as they are real.
    And what happened last summer and the injuries to all of our fullbacks were as real as it gets.

  282. Guys steady there, next season won’t be a bed of roses so lets not get our hopes up 2 high, citeh will spend more money and more money on top of that they will also spend more money – you get where am going with this. Its going to be hard to win the league.

  283. And I thought Balotelli was the daftest c*nt at Citeh.

  284. pedantic george

    Dups,You have to feel sorry for Noel.Imagine him as your brother

  285. Clerkenwell Gooner

    Frank, love the idea of serenading players in their own languages.

    GoogleTranslate suggests the following:

    He scores when he wants
    He scores when he wants
    Robin van Persie
    He scores when he wants =
    Hij scoort wanneer hij wil
    Hij scoort wanneer hij wil
    Robin van Persie
    Hij scoort wanneer hij wil

    One Song, we’ve only got one Song = Un Chanson, on n’a qu’un Chanson

    He’s 5’4″, he’s 5’4″
    We’ve got Arshavin
    Fuck Adebayor =
    он пять футов четыре
    он пять футов четыре
    у нас есть Аршавин
    ебут Адебайора

    Big, fucking German
    We’ve got a big fucking German =
    Ein großes verdammtes Deutsch
    Wir haben ein großes verdammtes Deutsch

    And just in case they ever turn out again in Arsenal colors:

    Thierry Henry, you’re having a laugh = Thierry Henry, tu plaisantes

    Oh, Cesc Fåbregas, you are the love of my life = Oh, Cesc Fàbregas, ets l’amor de la meva vida (Catalan, not Castillian)

  286. CMON YOU GOOONEERSSS – great stuff getting mr podolski… i think it’s time for chamakh to move on…

    http://www.footballfortheday.com for some more analysis.

  287. Sorry for the delayed response.

    Pedantic – I am certainly not trying to pick a fight – I am about as pro wenger and gunners as you get. I’m just trying to be objective – our strength is our attackers, the speed of our defense, and our style of play. our midfield adds to that, but outside of Song, and Wilshire if he was fit, one of our midfielders are candidates for EPL team of the year. Ox, Wolcott, our backs all have more potential – that’s all i’m saying.

    Yogi – I agree with you – many of our players are homegrown, or undder age. My 25 man team was not meant to reflect the strict limits set by the epl or eufa. rather – those are the players that will play. Do we really need more than 25 top notch players? How many of them will get playing time of any sort?

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