WBA Preview: Grey Day Or Brave New World

The last day of the season is upon us, do you remember this:

Perhaps you are too young? What of this one (albeit a different take):

Thanks to AFCGuildford for these

This is slightly more recent:

Title wins, moments when the champion mentality shone through. In 1996, the same situation was faced as now; win and European football beckoned in the following campaign. Dennis Bergkamp stepped up and unleashed the thunderbolt that saw Arsenal participate in the 1996-97 Uefa Cup.

Many will tell you that the current Arsenal squad is just not capable of producing the equivalent moment this afternoon at The Hawthorns. I do not subscribe to that theory. All of the above have one thing in common; there was a sheer professionalism about the above three performances that meant Arsenal controlled their own destiny. If Arsenal emulate that, the required result will emerge and Champions League football will once more be seen at The Emirates.

There are parallels with 1989; the end result is being achieved the hard way.

Third place this season could have been secured but it wasn’t, the season still has something to play for. No point in bemoaning performances or mistakes; the end product wasn’t there and now we find ourselves looking at West Bromwich, wondering which Arsenal will turn up this afternoon.

As the media turn their eyes to Mancunian battles higher up the Premier League, the tussle for the Champions League football is no less absorbing. It doesn’t end this afternoon with Munich the final resolution of the matter. Finishing fourth may not be good enough and if that is not sufficient motivation for a win, I do not know what is.

Whatever doubts the manager has privately, they are not being aired in any public forum. This squad, he believes, is one of the toughest mentally that he has managed. They have had to be, recovery from 17th to 3rd even over the course of a season underlines that there is a quality currently at the club that is underestimated. By no means are they the finished article – twenty points away from it – but right now the hope that they can produce one more big performance is not misplaced.

The team news was brighter than last weekend although the white of the clouds is tinged with grey. Lukasz Fabianski has made no secret of his desire to play first team football; he may get his chance today if Wojciech Szczesny does not recover from whichever ailment besets him. At least there is a reason why his distribution last weekend was so woeful. A better one than just an off-day, at least.

Bacary Sagna has not been able to find any miraculous cure for a broken leg so the energetic Francis Coquelin will presumably take his place; his performance against Norwich surely warranted that. With Andre Santos a doubt, the same back four which finished last weekend is probably going to start; let’s hope that the concentration which was so noticeable in its absence has been rediscovered. One final big performance from Laurent Koscielny is required.

Otherwise, I do not envisage many changes. Theo Walcott’s recovery would see Gervinho revert to the bench, I think, with Yossi Benayoun on the left. That said the hamstring problem might best be served with a gentle reintroduction to the side, an impact substitute rather than a restrained started, inhibited by the knowledge that a twinge or a tweak might see the end of his afternoon. With so much at stake, I wonder if Arsène can afford to be conservative in his selection?

The alternative is to include Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain from the start. The youngster certainly brought life to the torpor which engulfed Arsenal last weekend although I suspect that the wily Israeli would get the nod because of his experience. But I would make one change to accommodate them both.

Aaron Ramsey has been dogged by indifference and the summer break might be the best thing for him, a chance to free the chains of this season from his mental cage. The young Welshman has been inhibited by seemingly trying too hard; his game always had a natural flow prior to his injury and this time it has been too stilted, ponderous of reaction at time. That said, I thought his deep-lying performance last weekend was as good as has been seen this season.

Arsenal need a balance of attack and defence but I think that Oxlade-Chamberlain can offer more of that the axis of Song and Ramsey. With that in mind, Benayoun could pair with the youngster on the left, leaving Song to defend, to provide the barrier to the threat of the Albion midfield. It leaves the line-up as:

Szczesny (Fabianski) ; Coquellin, Koscielny, Vermaelen, Gibbs; Rosicky, Song, Benayoun; Walcott (Gervinho), van Persie, Oxlade-Chamberlain

Three points Gentlemen. Three points. Don’t rely on Tottenham and Newcastle failing, don’t give them the chance to offer the view that Arsenal only qualified for the Champions League through someone else blowing their chances. But then does that really matter? No, the outcome is all. Third is the aim; fourth is not a failure yet.

If your nerves are strong, visit Arsenal On This Day to find what this day in 1989 held in store.

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

Posted on May 13, 2012, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Soccer and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 444 Comments.

  1. Bloody well put Yogi.

    !971? I should cocoa.

  2. First??

  3. On this day, 4th September 1963, Arsenal played West Bromwich Albion at the Hawthorns.

    The ‘Official News and Programme’ tells us in ‘Our Visitors’;

    ‘Without a doubt Arsenal have one of the most outstanding records of success amongst the Football league Clubs.

    In their golden days they built up a following throughout the whole world, and branches of the Arsenal Supporters Club can be found in many a foreign land.

    These supporters, loud and long in their praise of Arsenal to others, are just as fiercely critical to themselves when they feel their side falls short of it’s splendid standards.

    It has not helped their pride to see Tottenham Hotspur strutting the stage in the limelight that once was Arsenal’s! The fans demand success. If it can be made, alright: but if not, it must be bought at any cost. Inside forward George Eastham and Centre Forward Joe Baker are two who joined the gunners for a “Train Robbers’ Reward” and now the Dundee centre half, Ian Ure has become the man on whose shoulders is to rest the Arsenal reputation.’

    Very interesting. The past informs the present. Again.

    Of course, we would also soon sign the WBA right back Don Howe.

    Elsewhere in the notes on the Arsenal players, Ian Ure, it states, has been called ‘the best centre half in the world’. I do remember John Radford saying that he was the toughest player he ever came up against.

    However, despite this, after three matches in that season, Arsenal were third from bottom with two points having conceded twelve goals in three matches.

    In what seems odd, WBA had already played that season in one of those three matches at Highbury, losing 3-2, so this was the return fixture. I can’t remember any other instances of playing both league games against a club in the first four matches of the season.

    The sides that day.

    Arsenal: McClelland, Magill, McCullough, Barnwell, Ure, Brown, Macleod, Strrong, Baker, Eastham, |Skirton.

    WBA: Potter, Howe, Williams, Cram. Jones, Gram, Simpson, Foggo, Jackson, Kaye, Fenton, Clark.

    Fancy a new suit, which, judging from the pictures, most men still wore to matches? Then try ‘Foster Brothers’, Suits start from £7. 7s rising to £10. 10s. Elsewhere we are told, in a full page on the back of the programme,:

    ‘It Must Be Memmex Snuff’

    Surely a last ditch , and desperate, attempt to push that particular product.

    Here is yesterday football result:

    WBA 4 Arsenal 0

  4. COYG!!!!!!!!!!!

  5. I believe Ramsey’s poor form is down to the other centre mid he played with, what I’m saying is If Song would stay and do his job infront of the defense Ramsey would have more opportunity to play where he plays best behind the striker or supporting Rosicky. Against Norwich Song caused so many problems for Ramsey and Rosicky by pushing forward and not getting back. Every goal they scored Song was never in defensive midfield he was allways wandering around marking no one or not tracking back. I would rather Ramsey and Rosicky were left to playmake whilst Song sweeps up everything behind them and the pass the ball back as quickly. Song has made some great assists this season no doubt but at what cost how many of the 47 goals would have been prevented if we had a defensive mid who was disciplined to his position. How many miss placed, overhit passes have there been, how many times has Song dallied on the ball and lost it befor he makes one good pass. The evidence is there take a look a the games against QPR, Fulham, Swansea, AC Milan and Norwich just to name a few games we have lost because of defensive frailty or lack of attackung sharpness alot cause by our link man from defense to midfield. Song’s not good enough to be our playmaker and if he thinks he is he needs to be moved on because he’s causing us more problems than he solves the Song of last season needs to come back because the 14 goals he’s created in 50 odd games does not out way the 47 teams have scored against us.

  6. Sorry for some of the spelling typing on my phone is hard work

  7. The Real Stew Black

    Fantastic stuff YW – what unbelievable memories those clips evoked. Shame James had to come and try to spoil the mood.
    I remember during a game some numpty coming here trying to say that Alex Song’s ‘job’ was top sit in front of the back four. Really? I mean it’s like these people have never watched us play. Moments later the trademark breathtaking Song assist happened. How we laughed.
    I am looking forward to today. Strangely calm, just content that our season has kept us entertained right to the last match.

  8. mattgoonerknight

    So is Song responsible for all 47 against us?

    If not (obviously the case), then to use his assists, which are directly of his own making, as a comparative figure, is not just.

    It’s like saying TV5’s 7 goals (?) doesn’t make up for the 47 conceded – the comparison just does not work so is therefore best not used in such basic terms.

    Song has been excellent for most of the last 3 seasons. For me he is 1 of only 4 or 5 nailed on starters in our first 11. Can he improve and learn to better balance his attacking forays with his defensive duties? Of course. But this level of scapegoating, even in a admirable if not perverse defence of Rambo, is misdirected at best.

    Ps

    If indeed he has got 14 assists in 50 (I haven’t checked) then this excellent, regardless of what position he’s supposed to be operating in.

    http://soccernet.espn.go.com/stats/assists/_/league/eng.1/barclays-premier-league?cc=5739

  9. YW,

    I do hope Arsene is able to select your suggested starting eleven – health and circumstance permitting.

    Had a hard time sleeping last night and my appetite’s disappeared. Only six hours before the cure to my ills can be unleashed. Everything crossed that we give of our best (team and supporters) today!

    COYG

  10. lord peter of hillwood

    I hope they win today but a counter argument about their mental strength is that they would have sorted 3rd by now instead they continue to be mentally all over the place and that is hard to argue against . I honestly don’t know what they will do today despite whats at stake

  11. James,

    I have no problems with how (typos etc) you expressed yourself, it is more a concern of what you express. Ramsey’s struggle to find top form this season comes down to Song offering more than your notion of his role within our squad. This is simply silly. For example, without his noted assists we would not now be fighting for third.

    Have a word… ffs

  12. pedantic george

    I am glad Song is responsible for our 47 goals against.That Mean I was right ,and Andrei was responsible for none.
    I love simpletons.

  13. James,

    PS, strange that our captain (see his column in The Sun) clearly values Alex’s contribution more than an expert such as yourself!!

  14. good day i have to go play football in half an hour 11 x 11 and i just woke up ….my breakfast is….an espresso and a spliff….very healthy ..very arsene-like..i think ill play cb today ..not run too much…cant say im ready yet….. should have said no really…im doing it for the team … im of for some stretching …..ahhh this sucks ..its too early…

  15. Well that’s the team that I selected in yesterday’s comment YW, albeit with Benayoun wide and Chamberlain coming from the attacking midfield position. Glad you agree 😉

    While blaming Song for the defence’s woes this season is plainly wrong, today will be a day where we need to be calm and take our time. If the goal doesn’t come early then we need to make sure we are tight at at the back and not giving anything silly away. To this end, I would like to see Song, and indeed Vermaelen, take a slightly more conservative approach to today’s game than last week’s. There’s no need to get carried away, sustained, controlled pressure on the West Brom defence will be the way we break them down. I’d much rather see a controlled 1-0 than a helter-skelter 4-3 today, as I’m sure most Arsenal fans would.

    Enjoy the last day of the season (in the sunshine it seems!) and COYG!!!

  16. mattgoonerknight

    The fact we haven’t won a game in the league without Arteta is also very telling, and more so when you look at the number of assists he has made: a whopping three!

    We all know about his amazing ball retention but the above for me shows a number of other things; one being that his defensive work has been sorely missed and two being that if we hadn’t of had these assists from Song, we are not regularly getting them from Arteta, or indeed from the other centre-mid operators.

    Song’s role has changed, he is now a midfielder, not just a DM, and therefore he needs another midfielder who is capable of defending well next to him, perhaps even ideally a specialised DM next to him.

    Anyway, we’re hopefully going to finish the season in 3rd today – so the midfield aren’t doing too badly are they!

  17. pedantic george

    Dgob.he would ,he feeds him ,just like Theo does.
    Song’s forays are a problem ,when Arteta is not in the team.I think that is plane to see.
    Looking at the debacle last week,it seems to me that the discipline and shape of the team is a problem.Song,TV and Gibbs ,all look a bit cavalier to me.

  18. pedantic george

    A worrying development this season has been I find myself agreeing more and more with Block4.

  19. For ANYONE to say, let alone think, that the present available Arsenal squad is “incapable” of producing the required result this afternoon, is the height of doom and gloom.
    These are the players who have generated the most delightful football at times…as well as a few schoolboy errors in equal measure. This has always been the Arsenal Way, I’m afraid, from time immemorial.
    Wenger has prepared us for the near unthinkable, namely, the Europa competition. If we ARE destined for that, remember that 99% of professional teams in the UK would give their eye-teeth to be in that position.

  20. George,

    That might be fine except that Alex was behind the ball (between them and our goal) when the final and sickening Nowich attack started!? An initial misplaced pass, yes but NOT cavalier I think.

  21. Clerkenwell Gooner

    nervesofsteelnervesofsteelnervesofsteelnervesofsteelnervesofsteelnervesofsteelnervesofsteelnervesofsteelnervesofsteelnervesofsteelnervesofsteelnervesofsteelnervesofsteelnervesofsteelnervesofsteelnervesofsteelnervesofsteelnervesofsteelnervesofsteelnervesofsteelnervesof

  22. Block4 @ 9:26am,

    Here’s the rub: if we play with the hand-brakes on, we are more likely to concede and to wind up seeing a nerve-wracking scoreline. Our movement and covering of space places us at our best and also leaves us open to counter attack. So, I’d say discipline should not take the form of limiting the movement of our players today.

    It’s difficult to get the balance right but well within our capabilities

  23. this is it..judgement day today lads and ladettes/ladies.

  24. George,

    Sorry, I overlooked your point about Robin on Alex: “he would, he feeds him, just like Theo does.”

    Surely this only gives further support to his role and its importance!?

  25. Today is going to be a rough one. My nerves aren’t going to be able to take another “handbrake” performance. Surely with the massive incentive on offer the boys will raise their game to the seldom seen heights we know the team have been capable of at times this season? Shouldn’t they.

    Haven’t posted enough for quite a while but my opinion of this squad is the same as seemingly any Wenger assembled squad. Stunningly good on their day and capable of the finest football. Any bashers of any squad member need to know that if they play for Arsenal they are of superior quality. The fact that Ramsey and Song (SONG!) of all people need to be defended is a sad state of affairs. Let’s not under estimate that supporting the squad today, letting them hear our load vocal support will have a strong effect. The extra man so to speak.

    Let’s hope that at the end of the 90 we are where we belong. Let’s hope that the players we have, have the highest stage set to show their skills next season.

    Great write up again Yogi, thanks for keeping us all well in the loop in your eloquent, informed and level best this season.

    Come on you gunners!

  26. OK Gooners,

    Tension is getting the better of me and so I am off to chill and prepare for what the Duke identifies as judgement day!

    Happy viewing and, of course…

    COYG

  27. right off out down the beach with the little one to take my mind off today, fukin ell we an arf all going to be a bunch of nervous neris’s later..

  28. mattgoonerknight

    Right, off to dog school then to work : (

    OTOTBOTBAG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    COYG!!

  29. All the shouts for Song to be reigned in are ludicrous to me. We must know by now the importance of total attacking football to Wenger. Meaning the guy on the pitch capable of this…

    must be given the opportunity to do so. He is practically the best on the pitch to do it. I’m not surprised that we are being linked to certain defensive midfielders. This is one rumour I could see happening. Let’s just say that if we had 2 songs to cover each end’s box then we would be champions. So why slag off the player that does the above. He is after all only trying to give us these moments again and again. Yes the players around him need to cover for him, but I think you’ll find that in the last game Ramsey was attempting this and not doing such a bad job. Next season we may see a lot more of Song knocking balls into the box. I also think we’ll have the right man identified to cover behind him too. Keep the faith and enjoy the stunning football.

  30. pedantic george

    Els,no one is slagging Song off .But he must revise his role in the absence of Arteta.As does everyone else ,but him and Gibbs in particular.

  31. pedantic george

    “but I think you’ll find that in the last game Ramsey was attempting this and not doing such a bad job”

    Really Els? You thought the first hour with Ramsey and Song in those rolls was “not a bad job”?

  32. Just something to make us more nervous – you know any time and it ruins our week until the next arsenal match, well there is no ‘next arsenal match’, just two months of torment, but hey, its just football right, or is it?

  33. pedantic george

    khalifha ,Well done ,now I am feeling even worse.

  34. Anytime we lose – correction.

  35. Pedantic, hahaha, then job done for me.

  36. remember who you are, what you are and who you represent

  37. pedantic george

    fuck you

  38. songs not a playmaker, but hes certainly not responsible for our defensive woes this season..
    he could have done better the month around xmas, his form was off to say the least and i feel hes switched off again in the last few games but other than that hes been class for us and theres been periods this season where if song doesnt play we dont win..

    i hope hes on form today..everyone else is injured hes the one who needs to anchor that midfield and win the battle..hes our general, if he plays well this ones in the bag..

  39. Hahaha, fuck a duck pedantic *and yes, i stole that line from you*

  40. pedantic george

    both lines now”.Fuck a duck” is patented.

  41. Grrrrr….

  42. Mattgooner @9:26, spot on mate. This season we have been able to establish that song can no longer the Dm role on his own, he has much more to his game. But, i have watched song grow up in arsenal as a Dm, so anytime i see him venture forward i start to get a little uneasy, he must add a little intelligence to his game, keeping a clean sheet is as good as an assist or a goal – it is also obvious that this season song’s defensive game has regressed but offensively he is up there with the most creative players in the league.

  43. Reasons to be optimistic: Song played against Stoke, and dilly D**M’d about the the place to everyone’s satisfaction. Well, I enjoyed his game. Sorry.
    And thanks to Tasos from A.N. Other blogs comment section for this: ‘A hat-trick for RVP would equal Arsenal’s post-war record for goals in a season, set by Ronnie Rooke back in 1947-48.’ C’mon!

    I like YW’s team. Plenty of pace! There were a couple of games earlier in the season where BTG played in the mid, when I think he was still on the journey back to full fitness and sharpness.

    In other news Dortmund (Gotze and Dortmund remember Song!) just demolished Munchen to complete a double. Udinese finish third(?).
    Win the (cl) group, they said. Get the easier draw, they said. Meh.
    I enjoyed how Pat Rice’s many critics didn’t ever mention the classic performance Away to Marseille earlier in the season. Not sure if my heart could cope with a late winner but 1-0 to The Arsenal will do me fine. This Arsenal team, the worst team in fifteen years, have had some good games!

  44. Dgob @9:44 am,

    It’s not necessarily about restricting movement, it’s doing the right thing at the right time. Example, at 1-0 up, you have a choice between playing a difficult forward pass with a high chance of losing the ball or a simple 5 yard ball, retain possession and be patient. The conservative thing to do is to retain possession and wait for gaps to appear which it surely will as the opposition press in search of an equaliser. It is something we are eminently capable of given the players at our disposal. Even at 0-0, there’s no reason to get excited unless we need a goal in the last 15 minutes. If I were manager and saw my centre-half bombing up the field every five minutes at 0-0 I’d give him a kick in the bollocks. If everyone remembers their personal responsibilities then the team performance will take care of itself.

  45. pedantic george

    “If I were manager and saw my centre-half bombing up the field every five minutes at 0-0 I’d give him a kick in the bollocks.”

    And I would hold him for you

  46. Honestly speaking i can’t feel anything – its almost as if there is a vacuum inside me today, i know all the permutations and ramifications of results today but yet nothing – but am sure this will change if west brom score first and i tell the nearest person next to me to get the fcuk out of my face or i get reported for disturbance of peace when rvp scores – ahhh the joys of football.

  47. Dean Williams

    It is difficult to see a substantial downside to any combination of results this afternoon. Third gets us the income from CL football next season, fourth may yet do the same; however, from the perspective of doing well in a cup competition, finishing in a Europa place is surely the most attractive option. Arsenal do not have a CL challenging squad (that’s okay, not many teams in Europe do), nor do we hunt for signings amongst players who insist on CL football to make a move. The only real problem will be in retaining RvP’s services, and there is every chance he will leave in search of title and CL challenges whatever happens today. Another season of CL football might sustain the illusion that we are one of Europe’s elite; but the Europa taken seriously might present a realistic shot at winning something next season.

  48. we wont see that today guys..
    wenger was furious after the norwich game..

    scoring three goals at home and still not winning..

    that wont happen today..

  49. pedantic george

    “Arsenal do not have a CL challenging squad”
    Really Dean?And Chelsea do I take it?

  50. pedantic george

    “Another season of CL football might sustain the illusion that we are one of Europe’s elite”
    Oh fuck off.

  51. Paulie Walnuts

    Nice preview & brilliant links YW,

    Arsenal OTD marked the lowest point in football for me. Walking out of Highbury that day was like leaving a funeral. The way we rose from the grave at Anfield proves anything is possible.

    As for this afternoon I think we`ll learn quite a bit about our lads in what will be something of a Cup Final for them.

    The Song discussion is interesting, particularly as with no Arteta the defensive side of his game has to be switched on. I`d like to know what (if any) instructions he`s given , especially when we play against teams who allow us possession.

    I`m not sure if I go with the big send off for Roy Hodgson either. He`s only been there 5 minutes & it`s not like he`s given them great success. Hopefully their players will already be on a beach somewhere.

    I believe a draw will see us in the CL as I just can`t see Chelsea beating Bayern , but I`d have a far more relaxing week if we can get the win today.

    COYG !!!

  52. no illusion about being in the CL elite for over a decade on the spin..if chelsea can get to finals we fucking can..we have before..

    if EL is where we end up then thats where we end up
    we take a financial hit but nothing else..

    but i think we’ll make it to CL though..
    cos this is what we do..
    this is what we are good at..
    wenger might have not got us the silverware recently but when it comes to CL this manager doesnt fuck about..
    that records important to him , its one of the things on his CV that makes him a world class manager
    this team wont fail today wenger will have them playing for their futures its that important to him…
    they will produce

    come on you gunners..

  53. if i were a player i’d be fired up for this one..

  54. JJ…

    Team prediction..so that we can get it wrong again 😀

    ———–SCZ——————

    Coq—Kos——TV——Gibbs

    ———-Yossi—Song——–

    Theo/Gerv–Ros———-AOC

    ———RVP—————–

  55. arse or brain

    right really crapping myself now, no wins without art, injuries piling up to the extent of our earlier in the season bad form , wb picking up home form recently is everything going against us just when it matters most . however we know any ARSENAL team is capable of a special performance and martin jols unfinished business with fulham at the spuds I not brave enough to make a predition but……..

  56. arse or brain

    sorry prediction

  57. Yeah, I vote going smart and conservative in this game. No more than 5 attacking at any one time, the others positioned to snuff out counters. Our front three+ 1 full back+ 1 midfielder are good enough to open up West Brom, surely?

  58. We’re gonna do this, no doubt about it.

  59. so, the fat lady is entering the stage, the gauntlet has been thrown and we are a bout to cross rubicon.
    its now or never, damn this is not good for my heart that is for sure. I wont even be able to watch the game tonite and tbh i will be a bit scared for when i get home and switch on the telly for the result.

    I think we wil will though, because everyone knows how importrant this is. they are 100% focused and we usually do win when we are 100% focused. Its only when we underestimate the oponent or think this will be a stroll in the park that we loose.
    The real arsenal will stand up tonite. The real arsenal will be counted and they will win and they will get that all important 3rd spot. There is no doubt in my mind.

    WBA is a decent team and we know it. We have to win to get 3rd and we know that too.
    There has not been a more important match the entire year and the players know it, They will come good.
    Its a massive massive game. we have played well in most massive massive games this year. steamrolled both Cheslea and Tottenham when it mattered.

    Im sure we will do that again toda.
    We have to. Simple as.

  60. George I’m all at 6’s and 7’s now. We disagree? That’s not going to stop me battling my corner like the keyboard warrior that I am…

    “no one is slagging Song off.” Per haps not you but there has been a fair amount oh shit thrown his way over the last couple of games. Song is just the next scape goat. I am shocked as for me he is one of our top 3 players.

    Regarding Ramsey, yes I truly think all things considered Ramsey coped with the hand he had been dealt. In my eyes Wenger has asked Song to push forward as he is posing more of a threat recently. In turn Ramsey covered. Not his natural position but a necessity. I think (IMO) Wenger values experience over particular skills sometimes and chose Ramsey as he would be less likely to crumble in an unknown position than say… coq or gibbs. Add with that the fact he is more robust than other players and admittedly not in-expendable to the attacking options.

  61. Flint McCullough

    Thanks for another great season of masterpieces, YW.

    It has been a strange one in many ways. ‘Mental strength’ is what it is about & that is what concerns me – we have been as inconsistent at that as much as any other aspect of our game. Song is the barometer for me, if he gets the balance & 90 min concentration right then the team is very competitive. Having said that he has played a lot of games, generally very well & like a few others been running near empty recently. Can they rise to the occasion for one last time? – I don’t have a clue!!!

  62. Limestonegunner

    Great post and great lineup, YW. I hope we go with it. I think the Ox will play with freedom.

    Calm right now, trying to be detached. Come kickoff, I doubt it will work.

    Happy Mother’s Day and COYG!!

  63. pedantic george

    Yes Els ,but we were shit for that first hour with Song doing his Cesc impersonation and Aaron doing his Song impersonation.
    Song does a really good Song when he has a mind too.So why no just do that is Arteta’s absence?.

  64. COME ON ARSENAL!!!

  65. anirudh
    id go with theo if hes fit over gervinho and id tinker with your system but thats how id line it up pretty much..

    i think theres a few others with that one in mind as well..

  66. @James i am shocked that after such a long season of watching this squad u could be able to point on song & say he has been the weak link @ th heart of the AFC midfield & more shocking is the fact that u call all song’s assist as inconsequential to our season. Pls go back through the season & watch d matches again liverpool (2nd leg), borussia dortmond (uefa champions league- 2nd leg) etc and u’ll find out that song’s assist have actually been an influential part of this season. Then go through all AFC matches where we’ve actually been unlucky to have ramsey at our midfield (mostly those without Arteta), how many have we won? How many has really performed up to standard? He’s always holding the ball too long, giving away possession far too easilly(which is the most annoying thing) & worst of all he’s cost us goals we should have scored because his shots are inaccurate & he is selfish in front of goal.

  67. Yogi
    thanks so much for another season of insightful perspectives.
    Loved the video clips today.

    Don’t understand all the negativism, but I can relate to the nervousness.

    COYG

  68. BREAKING NEWS: R.v.p and szescney have failed a late fitness test and won’t be available for the match.

    Hahaha, go wash the skidmarks off your pants, its all good. No injury.

  69. els, I think you’re guilty of over-thinking the thing. Why would Wenger ask Song to push forward when 1, he’s the best midfielder we have at sitting and covering the back four and 2, Ramsey is much more of a threat in around the opposition box? For what it’s worth, I think that Song has been looking too much at highlight reels where he’s made or scored a goal and is trying to do that too often and Ramsey is doing his best to cover him and having his more natural attacking instincts blunted as a result. As I was saying earlier, it’s about doing the right thing at the right time and the vast majority of the time, especially in the central midfield area, the right thing is the simple pass and holding your position.

  70. Song’s development into a CM was largely helped in transition by the presence of a Mr Arteta, i knew how important he was becoming to our over all play. His time at Everton has given him an appreciation for the defensive side of football. But now that he is not there, the dynamics of our midfield has changed, someone needs to cover for Song if he does not stay back at most times. There needs to be another player in there who will be told to help the defence. Frimpong would have been a good choice, no matter how rash and immature his tackles are at times. Anyway this is the reason i think we are finding it harder to control the midfield. I actually genuinely think that Coquelin can be that missing link, that boy has world class written all over him.Give him more games in the middle and i would go as far as to say he can become one of the best midfielder in the world, he is that good. So for me, i think it is more important to control the midfield, so i would play coquelin there and Jenkinson at right back.

    Anyway, Good Luck to the boys today, we must be Solid first then look to score. COYGs

  71. Can we please leave the analysis of play X or player Y’s perceived deficiencies till the long boring summer of no football?

    Now is neither the time or place to be hand wringing about misplaced passes, poor tackling, or tracking back etc.

    GET BEHIND THE TEAM!!!

    Up the Guns of Arsenal!!!!

  72. I’m looking at you in particular, George the Doomer!! 🙂

  73. Long time since I posted. Been busy going around for work.

    I am sure that we will win today. No slip ups now as our captain ordered. Wherever you are, enjoy the match, that is the essence of football.

    Third is ours for the taking! Go Gunners!

    P.S. Yogi you are the best in the business,I don’t know how you do it day in day out and still come up with such quality. You are the injury free Van Persie of blogging.

  74. pedantic george

    Dexter,I am really showing my yellow streak today.
    Even arguing with my man Els.

  75. the way i see it is that songs not an attacking playmaker..
    you need more than one key to be one of those bad boys and although that lob pass is a thing of beauty its the only thing hes got really..

    but how many defensive attributes does he have?
    shit loads..

    so instead of talking about this new playmaker weve discovered why cant he still be the player he was before but with a lob pass? dont you do them from deep anyway??

    since artetas out, as well as everyone else, songs kinda forgot his role and had everyone creaming over his assists whilest teams have been driving planes through our midfield and weve been dropping points..it was topped off with the norwich performance and his performance was negatively dissected…
    but there wasnt much scapegoating..everyone on this blog pretty much, has had a song love in more times than not

    we all know what song can do and song will turn up today..
    if he does WBA are in trouble..

  76. The team has to come out determined and discipline today, that is the key

  77. Ha! It’s understandable today George.

    Dean, fuck off you lilly (white) livered pussy.

  78. No time for whingers, or psuedo ‘realists’ today. Not before the game, or during the game either..
    Man up, stand up and sing up for your team.

    Come on Arsenal!! Come on Arsenal!! Come on Arsenal!! Come on Arsenal!! Come on Arsenal!! Come on Arsenal!! Come on Arsenal!! Come on Arsenal!!

  79. Hello George/Dex/JJ

    How have u been? Big day for us!

  80. pedantic george

    indeed it is amos

  81. Hey GA!

    All good my end man, ta. Been up and down more times than the spuds players undies during ol lasagne gate though this season!

    Hope the spuds are having lasgane again today for their pre-match meal!

  82. Clerkenwell Gooner @ 9.43am

    I really hope the players and manager have nerves of steel today. There is absolutely no way that I will though.

  83. been a nervous wreck this season amos
    massive day for us..

  84. your right yogi we have to show professionalism and concentration throughout it doesn’t matter how we play three points is all that matters.

  85. pedantic george

    Arsenal: Szczesny, Jenkinson, Koscielny, Vermaelen, Santos, Rosicky, Song, Coquelin, Benayoun, Gervinho, Van Persie.

    Is the very ream I picked 3 days ago .Well done Arsene for listening .
    PS not my fault if we dont play well

  86. Gooneramos @ 1:39pm,

    “Hello George/Dex/JJ”

    Add Henristic and one or two others and you have the “collective” with whom I frequently feel forced to disagree. However, on one thing on this one day we can all agree:

    Every Gooner and every gunner must give of their best today. Again, I close

    COYG

  87. arse or brain

    so with coq in midfield sdong will be attacking today COYG

  88. George,

    I love that line up. Specialists in every department. And Coquelin would be perfect foil for our Cavalier Song 😛

  89. Dexter,

    Apologies, I thought amos had hailed Block4 not you.

  90. arse or brain

    sorry song ,im so nervous I havnt be able to type anything all day

  91. Goerge, Block4 and indeed Dexter.

    I agree with all of you to varying different degrees.

    Yes I am almost defo over thinking. I just can not see how the Song problem in it’s regularity is not a part of the plan. If he kept doing it against the plan then Wenger would stop it. I still think he is trying to mix it up with Song’s break through runs. But yes admittedly I know fuck all and the problem/solution is probably way way over my head.

    Dexter agreed, I’m shutting up now. I think this little side show is just to keep my mind off kick-off.

    George all I’ll say is that in an ideal world Song would be Song, Artie would be Artie and Ramsey would be Messi (only kidding, I love the guy). Thing is though Artie is injured and we aren’t making the same inroads. Ramsey isn’t getting through at the moment, confidence probably. Only people getting good balls to RvP are Theo, who was injured and Song. Therefore Song made more of a conscious effort to do just that. Maybe to the detriment of defence, but hey ho when has that ever stopped us. Pah defence, worry about that later. I’m not too proud to admit I’m usually wrong.

    Anyway I’m stopping now I’m off rambling again. Sorry Dex.

  92. Dgob,

    I agree with you, I will add every ACLF’er plus those who don’t blog/ blog elsewhere, we need every gunners’ best today!

    COYG!

  93. Arsene Baggins

    Does any one have a good p2p stream for this game?

  94. pedantic george

    Dgob,we don’t often disagree.Don’t lump me in with that shower of scoundrels.

  95. Ahem! Just like to point out that I erm predicted a more advance role for Song. Maybe not so soon though.

  96. arse or brain

    ab goto Lshunter loads os streams

  97. loveable scroundrels george

    loveable..

    well done with the team by the way..le coq and song should be a pretty solid midfield.
    heres hoping it works.

  98. yep, i called that line at 1.31pm.

    Think it Is a really good idea to play Le coq and song in the midfield.

    COYG

  99. oh santos is playing, good luck to him. looks like wenger is going for his cavalier attitude but its risky however he is arsenal so Come on! Andre! we will try to play through the middle, cos we dont have that much width. Anyway, i would have been much more comfartable with Gibbs but oh well.

  100. I am so nervous and excited at the same time,deep down i know we will win but i cant help being a nervous wreck.meeting kenyan gunner and darius in afew minutes.here is to hoping we win with afew goals to spare,

  101. I am so pleased the Corporal’s at right back. Can you imagine a finer luxury than having both Theo AND the Ox ready to come on as subs? What a season, what a team, what a final day. West Brom should be terrified.

  102. i think le coq will be covering for both song and santos.

  103. Dgob I disagree with that shower of shite all the time too!!! 🙂

    Nice lineup and no way did George predict it, or if he did, it was probably his 1000th attempt at a lineup!!

    I would only rather have Theo playing, but he mustn’t be 100%. All good.

    Come on!!!!

  104. The Real Stew Black

    As George said just now everyone is playing in their proper position – what is there to worry about. I agree with Moe (hilarious tongue in cheek post there Moe) great to have the Brazilian left back in place for us he’s a monster defender and a genius going forward.

  105. Coquelin’s such a disciplined midfielder, he’s going to fill in gaps we don’t even notice are there with his positional sense. So many of my favourite players out there today, Poldi and M’Vila on the way…I LOVE THIS CLUB.

  106. The Real Stew Black

    Um, just been on Wiziwig can’t see any streams for the match. At all. Not one. WTF??

  107. Steww

    Think you’re being very hopeful that Moe was being sarcastic dude! 🙂

    Where’s khalifha BTW? Has he notived who Arsene has picked at LB? 😉

  108. The Real Stew Black

    Relax I found them sorry everyone. You nervous ninnies must be infecting me.

  109. Coquelin’s progress and rapid development may see us not even bother trying to sign M’Villa. Not saying it won’t happen, I just think Frank can be top top notch.

  110. The Real Stew Black

    Seriously Dex? I just assumed it was a classic ACLF parody. He’s talking about a world class left back after all.

  111. so we’ll have tv and kozz defending chezzer
    jenks and brazil bombing forward
    le coq and song keeping it real..
    lil mozart running thru the middle
    gerv and benny working hard on the wings..
    MVP leading the line

    with all the speedsters on the bench ready to come on if needed..

    sounds like an arsenal win to me..

  112. I havent been this nervous about an arsenal game since the CL final.

  113. Dexter doesn’t even agree with himself – never mind the rest of us!

    Afternoon all. 🙂

    Time to step up to the plate – no room for nervous hearts today.

    COYG!

  114. Great clips to stiffen our resolve, YW.

    Coquelin gets a start – yay!

  115. The Real Stew Black

    Be honest what makes you want to win most today? Champs league footy guaranteed or finishing above the tiny totts?

  116. Good afternoon to you Jonny boy! 🙂

    Seeya at HT fellow Gooners.

    Up the Arsenal!!!

  117. Haha, Dex and The Real Stew Black

    It was sarcasm of the highest quality, dont give up on me just yet 😀

  118. finishing above the totts
    cl is the reward

  119. The Real Stew Black

    Well said JJ

  120. Yossi does it again!

  121. Any links to the game guys?

  122. Commentator said: “Benayoun, he doesn’t give up anything.” That’s why I love the guy.

    Please can we keep it tight for a bit now, boys.

  123. Fantastic from Ben The Goon.

  124. Thanks Stew

  125. firstrowsports.eu……..always does it for me.

    focus is what we need after taking the lead

  126. @ dups and dgob
    Thanks for the link and info as to how to use it.

  127. pedantic george

    yes any link please?

  128. Sign him now!

  129. keep it tight…….off to a great start

  130. Oh bollocks. Offside?

    Come on Gunners!

  131. 1-1 bollox!! And the spuds are up 1-0, it was offside too by the way.game on now.

  132. Don’t worry guys. This mistake by the referee means nothing. Have you all forgotten? It all evens out at the end!

  133. The Real Stew Black

    Offside goal – what can you do? Heads up everyone.

  134. Spuds 1-0 up…

  135. still a lot of time, COYG

  136. We aren’t going to do this the easy way…

  137. The Real Stew Black

    Blimey! Game on. That was a hell of a finish.

  138. Referees influence on games is getting ridiculous, just ridiculous some of the decisions these days. And now we’re 2-1 down. Sighs…………

  139. Ref doing his level best to disrupt our game.

    Not blowing for WBA fouls unless we would have had an advantage if we played on, blowing for anything even resembling a sneeze.

    Time for the lads to blow this shower and the ref into irelevance.

  140. Clerkenwell Gooner

    Come on, Robin, now’s the time for a hat-trick and that post-war Arsenal seasonal goals record. You know you can do it.

  141. Santos doesn’t just deliver at Christmas!

  142. pedantic george

    will someone please give me a link

  143. Brazil shows why he is such a good central midfielder!

  144. The Real Stew Black

    Santos is just pure class isn’t he.

  145. Brazilliant…Santos magic again! Game on.

  146. if fulham could only get something from their game

  147. arsenal needs to sure up this cavalier defending

  148. why cant they even things up?

  149. @PG
    If you have Sopcast, a decent stream is on Channel 122909

  150. Ref letting a lot of WBA fouling go.

    We are way, way better than these cloggers.

    We just need to make our superiority count and hit them hard.

    Come on Arsenal!

  151. pedantic george

    first row not working for me

  152. What did Robin do? Late/bad challenge?

  153. The Real Stew Black

    Nasty one from RVP.

  154. Yes, bad challenge from Robin.
    That said, not a huge amount worse than some of the WBA barges and hacks from behind that the ref ignored

  155. Too static our play, faster movement come on!

  156. The Real Stew Black

    George I’m watching on the socapst. It’s a bit twitchy but it’s ok. Has the appalling Trevor Francis co-commentating but hey beggars and choosers

  157. Funny, ball of the ref there.

    Correct call for play to continue, except I recall a ref stopping the game once when we got an advantage like that……..

    I have tv signal but no sound, bliss!

  158. The Real Stew Black

    You noticed Alex has to over hit his first two lofted assists before he nails one?

  159. Surprised the ref didn’t give a pen against us there.

  160. Scrappy game so far. Rosicky has to get more involved and take control of midfield, we are losing way too many tackles. Yes a couple could have been free kicks but we need to keep the ball in that area as they are counter-attacking like madmen every time they get the ball in midfield.

  161. The Real Stew Black

    Worried more about the linesman than our defence to be honest. Some glaring offside mistakes. Only one counted but could have been more.
    Anyhoo all square at the break. Their goalie looks flakey as fuck, the big oaf with the hairband should be on a yellow for persistent fouling, if he carries on he won’t last 90 minutes, which might help.

  162. What i noticed is that whenever one of our players gets the ball, everyone is content to stay where there are, and so we either go back to defence or lose the ball trying to take it on by ourselves. The movement needs to improve, players need to show for the pass or make more runs to be picked out. Its just something i noticed we tend to do, just walk around and stick to where we are rather than make runs or show for the pass.

  163. 50970 stable and fast but has language issues

  164. Moe – i do agree but I think it is more our midfield players not making runs. Yossi, Gervinho and RVP are popping up with the ball every few minutes and taking on players. Same goes for Santos and Jenks on the right. But our midfield is static. It is one thing holding Song back but surely that means the other 2 midfielders are free to roam around and make whatever runs they feel they can? With regards Song, why does he not take the odd shot when he does get posession on the edge of their box as they are backing off him, expecting his typically brilliant chip over the top for RVP?

  165. Trust us to concede when we shouldn’t. I won’t complain if we win though, and we will.

    We HAVE to be tighter at the back though.

  166. COYG!!! 45min to save the season!

  167. The Real Stew Black

    Right then 45 minutes to confirm our rightful place.

  168. Half-time scores:

    Chelsea 2 – 0 Blackburn
    HT
    Everton 2 – 0 Newcastle
    HT
    Man City 1 – 0 QPR
    HT
    Norwich 2 – 0 Aston Villa
    HT
    Stoke 1 – 2 Bolton
    HT
    Sunderland 0 – 1 Man Utd
    HT
    Swansea 0 – 0 Liverpool
    HT
    Tottenham 1 – 0 Fulham
    HT
    West Brom 2 – 2 Arsenal
    HT
    Wigan 2 – 1 Wolves
    HT

    Theo coming on, not sure who is off as yet.

  169. Limestonegunner

    Is Rosicky injured?

  170. Theo on, Rosicky off.

  171. Theo on for Rosicky

  172. Irishgray

    Yes, that’s what i meant, the midfield just watch the player with the ball and don’t make any runs or show for the pass in an advanced position. I think that there is too much thought in the actions he is doing at the moment, his usual brilliant passes are instinctive, now he made one pass like that in the hope Van Persie was making the run and not because the pass was on. The funny thing is we are always in an advanced position, but we don’t do anything once we get there, and the West Brom players don’t feel any need to track our runners, cos we dont have any!

  173. Considering how well Gervinho did on the right in the first half, I think it makes sense to swap Theo for Rosicky as Theo has better finishing/pace than Gervinho. Gervinho prefers the left anyways and Yossi can drop back to midfield to cover for Tomas.

  174. Moe – Pretty much bang on. Unless we are moving forward with the ball, we tend to look a bit static and run out of ideas. I always find it very frustrating.

  175. Come on Fulham!! You bunch of tossers score one goal FFS!!!!

  176. 3-2 Arsenal!!! Laurent!!!!!

  177. Fantastic! Koscielny!

  178. Now please shut the back door, lads.

  179. Love it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    More please!!!!!!!

  180. The Real Stew Black

    Told you their keeper was flakey.

  181. Let us see ” If” WE can hold on to this lead now…..COYG

  182. Did we pay Fulop? He surely can’t be that bad?

  183. Absolutely the worst GK howler of the season!! Instead of catching it, he tries to punch it clear. Ends up punching back towards goal and Laurent sticks out his foot and scores. LMFAO!!!

    QPR equalise 1-1 with Man City

  184. Love that Andre Santos takes no sh!t

  185. The Real Stew Black

    Attack attack attack. No nervous attempts to shut up shop, let’s put them to the sword.

  186. Get in kozzer. One more should do it!

  187. Must. Not. Concede.Now

    Come on GUnners!!

  188. Oh dear.

  189. Barton has lost the plot.

  190. And right on cue, Joey Barton gets a red card. What a maroon!!

  191. Clerkenwell Gooner

    In other news, Barton off – needs therapeutic treatment in my view.

    COYG

  192. Barton for England? No? Ok then

  193. ha ha ha ha ha ha fukin ha..

  194. Gibbs on for Gervinho. I presume Santos will push up on the left.

  195. Don’t trust this or his “assistants”, we need more goals please lads!

  196. QPR 2-1 LMFAO!!

  197. qpr leading at shitty , unbeleivable.

  198. Sorry: this ref or his assistants

  199. Hahaha Manc city 1-2 Qpr, choke! CHOKE!

  200. Everton 3-0 Newcastle

  201. Feel bad for Bolton, i like them.

  202. Billy's Boots

    Does anyone have a decent stream? The one I’m watching seems to be showing last week’s match, except Norwich are wearing blue and white.

  203. lol BB

  204. Barton was hit first – clever work from Tevez. Technically, both of them should have been sent off.

    Balotelli on…!

  205. Ramsey on for Santos

  206. Clerkenwell Gooner

    Oh, Aaron. Please score.

  207. This is going to be the longest 10 minutes

  208. In all fairness, Manure are having one of those days. They should be 5-0 up at least but are hanging on with a 1-0 lead. Will it be enough?

  209. Bloody hell, if that’s a foul what the hell has the ref been doing all game when WBA do that and far worse?!?!?!!!

  210. Starting to wonder why Theo was brought on. The Ox may have been a better choice. i love himdsight, don’t you?

  211. Mikesa – Apparently nothing mate

  212. 5 mins ET

  213. I think Gibbs just saved our season there

  214. Clerkenwell Gooner

    Come on!

  215. The Real Stew Black

    Great tackle. Well played Kieron.

  216. Yes,yes,yes!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  217. well well.

  218. We’ve done it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Well done you brilliant boys!

  219. The Real Stew Black

    Never seen Arsene so hands on with Pat Rice before. No wonder he’s retiring.

  220. Aguero scores in the last minute of extra time to win the league!!! Champions league for us, have a good one guys and gals!!

  221. WOW….They dont do it the easy way…..Fuck the Spuds…..

  222. Let us all take a moment to commemorate St. Totteringham, who bequeathed upon this day our sovereign right to piss on sp&rs yet again

  223. Clerkenwell Gooner

    THANK GOD FOR THAT!

    Well done, lads. A lot of inexperienced young players out there today handed a man’s task.

    Can’t wait for next season, frankly.

    Euros will provide a welcome distraction.

  224. I am weak with relief.

  225. well i dunno about you guys but, I’ve aged by 5 years in the past 90 minutes

  226. and relax..
    we did it people..
    well done to everyone
    what a fuckin season…

  227. The Real Stew Black

    Never in doubt. Well done those of you who never wavered. 15 years at Europe’s top table without breaking the bank. What a manager.

  228. Billy's Boots

    I’m over the moon. Incredible result for City – Utd will be sick as a parrot!

  229. Limestonegunner

    Relief, exhaustion. Happy St. Day to all Gooners.

  230. Happy St Totteringham’s Day

  231. All hail St Totteringham.

    I am so wobbly I can hardly type! And let’s not forget that the “real” score was 3-1 to us.

  232. haha
    yes a very happy st tott day..

  233. Billy's Boots

    Happy St Totteringham’s Day, everyone! Well done, The Arsenal!

  234. Lovely.

    Well done lads.

  235. It’s over, finally. Bring on Next season. And some signings to convince our dear Mr Van Persie to stay. He was always gonna stay, but he probably wanted to make Arsenal and Arsene sweat abit so that they prove their ambition.

    Have to admit tho, was almost shitting myself last ten minutes.

  236. This is my best day of this season!!!

    We clinch 3rd and fergie loses the title in the worst way possible. Haahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

  237. Under Wenger, we sometimes teeter on the brink but we never actually fall into the abyss.

  238. Happy St Totteringham’s day to all at ACLF.

    What a season it’s been.

  239. Hahaha
    You can’t write this shit.
    CONGRADULATIONS ARSENAL
    FUCK. MANURE

    UP. THE GUNS. !!!!!!;
    happy st.totteringham

  240. Phew!

  241. oh lovely sight, the man utd fans pipped… lets see some gutted spuds now please.

  242. And Robin didn’t have to score.

  243. pride of london…

  244. so we ARE better without cesc then..

  245. Sensational Arsenal

    What a comeback by Arsenal despite everything! This team can win the title next season.

  246. I’ve always thought its our (and Arsene’s) destiny to qualify for the CL. I never for a moment thought we wouldn’t.

    Well done to the boys!!

  247. @ dukegoonem | May 13, 2012 at 5:01 pm

    “so we ARE better without cesc then..”

    I was thinking, this is our best finish for a few seasons, isn’t it?

    No bloody qualifiers, thank goodness.

  248. Now i want Chelsea to win the champions league, so that the tots get nothing but Europa League football hahahahahahaha

    Congrats to city, but with the amount they spent, the league title is the least they should get.

    Hope Nasri drops the trophy.

  249. @ Moe | May 13, 2012 at 5:03 pm

    “Now i want Chelsea to win the champions league, so that the tots get nothing but Europa League football hahahahahahaha”

    I can’t bear us not to be the first London team to win it, Moe! Happy for Spuds to get knocked out in the qualifiers.

  250. A R S E N A L….Fuck Off Totts.

    Although I’m not happy for Money Football and Nasri to win a title, but to be honest on play alone, Oil City deserve it. Now Alex Ferguson has to dig deep into some “bank’s” pocket and get into more debt.

    Apart from that, I’m happy that Arsenal turned it around this season and didn’t fall even after losing a fantastic player (Fabregas) and a good player (Nasri). We can still keep building on what we have and hopefully not lose any other players.

    Once again, and with great pleasure: FUCK OFF Totts.

    We may fuck up some games, but you always manage to fuck up whole seasons…long may it continue.

  251. And the best thing is that everything will even itself out. I am sure that in the next game of this season we are going to get all the calls that went against us. Oh…

  252. Santos scored & Gibbs with the campaign saving tackle. That settles the debate; both are as good!

  253. The Real Stew Black

    Shit Moe I just realised that means we do want Chelsea to win the champs league. No I can’t face that. Fuck ’em we’ll have to put up with tiny totts losing in the qualifiers.

  254. @FG
    I am with you. Don’t want to see no London club that’s not Arsenal lifting the CL.

  255. Hells yeah!!!!!!

  256. thank you Marton Fulop…for giving us 3rd..

  257. Mazel tov to you all and a very merry St. Totteringham day.

    I could not believe how nervous the players were in the 2nd half, and especially towards the end.

    They seemed to be unable to string a few passes together or to attack.

    It has been a difficult choice, Manshitty winning, but that meant that Na$ri and Clichy win something, or Manure winning, which meant they did not.

    I still would have preferred the latter, but it also gives me great pleasure that Manure finish the season with nothing.

    Let us look forward to next season, with a proper pre-season and a settled squad/team before the season starts, with all our walking wounded back in good nick.

  258. Limestonegunner

    Only thing better would have been a QPR draw. Sadly, Man City can now feel it was a heroic victory and moment of history that they will build on next season. How wonderful if they had choked and United only lucked into it? Chance for Arsenal to take the initiative.

    We still have our chance now to build. CL football, good argument to keep our players. But boy did we limp across the line. Their keeper was working as a double agent. Never seen AW so nervous! But we’ve done it–time to savour a good final result in a crazy, trying, exhausting season. Well fought for and hopefully we can look forward to the future.

  259. On this day…

  260. What a relief. Big result, and finishing 3-rd after the last confusing summer and such an uneven season is huge.

  261. i wonder if robin signs tonight..

  262. arse or brain

    happy st totts day, koscielny he scores when we want, I love everybody even the doomers at the moment

  263. What a fuckin season! Well done Arsenal…after the start to the season we had this feels like winning a damn trophy…great things to look forward to in the season ahead…Wilshere back…Podolski in…sign RVP Theo and Song and roll on towards glory!

  264. More points than last year, finishing with a win and best finish for four seasons. What a great foundation for next season.

  265. @ viceologist | May 13, 2012 at 5:14 pm

    “What a fuckin season! Well done Arsenal…after the start to the season we had this feels like winning a damn trophy”

    I agree – third place isn’t a trophy, but god knows it feels like one at the moment.

  266. Limestonegunner

    Yes, still rooting against Chelsea in the CL Final. First London club should, must, be Arsenal FC. Can hope for Spuds to play Udinese in the qualifier and go out before the group stages!

  267. All that money and they win the title on goal difference….still congrats to city.

    Exciting times to come, Poldi, Bouldy and the like.

    Gervinho is 20% off becoming a world beater.

  268. @ JonJon | May 13, 2012 at 5:14 pm

    “i wonder if robin signs tonight..”

    ha ha
    You want the moon on a stick, JonJon! As long as he signs, that’s all….

  269. aguero…thank effin god for that …after securing our 3rd …the prospect of fergie winning another one by default made me very very sick …. thank god for aguero and i wont begrudge nasri and clichy and vieira and toure bros and platt their success ..they stuck it up fergies butthole ! they can be enemies next season 🙂 but for now i wish i were in manchester taunting the united scum …hahah evra …ahahahahaa ….” when the music plays ohhhhh wanna nah nah anha”

  270. Limestonegunner

    So we beat Dortmund the repeat Bundesliga champions, Udinese who finished 3rd in Serie A, and had a group with Marseille who made it to the quarterfinals. Hopefully we have an even better season in Europe.

  271. arse or brain

    never in doubt even after two players leaving at the last minute in the summer and the incredable amount of injuries all season after all our problems levi must sack twitchnapp now

  272. did i miss citys ring o ring o roses! oh. damn.

  273. The Real Stew Black

    Well, I’m signing off for the summer. On a high note. ACLF and the web in general is full of tedious transfer speculation from now on so I’ll look in to make sure you’re all ok from time to time, otherwise have a good summer boys and girls.

  274. Jesus, that was fucking horrible.

  275. Limestonegunner

    True, the celebrations of Nasri and Clichy are somewhat balanced by seeing SlurAlex’s sad red face.

    Why is Mancini carrying around an Italian flag? Makes no sense–this isn’t Italy or a national team. This is a team of expensively bought mercenaries from all over the world. Some other players are wearing national flags too–this isn’t the Olympics lads!

  276. it is nice not to see man utd or chelea lift the premiership.

  277. and who says money can’t buy happiness.

  278. Limestonegunner

    Have a great summer, Stew. We’ll see you back in mid August when we’ve got RvP, Theo, Song signed up, welcome Podolski, M’Vila, Vertonghen and a creative attacking midfielder, who all have a good and full preseason with Arsenal, and say good bye to lots of players who are on loan or haven’t made the bench. No sweat!

  279. Bye-bye steww – it’s been an absolute, unadulterated pleasure blogging with ya! Have a lovely summer. I wish I could be as sensible as you, but there’s no point me swearing off blogging till July because I will only break my word.

  280. @ 13hunter13 | May 13, 2012 at 5:18 pm
    Agree – City have bought this title, so big deal. And Nasri winning is not that important in the scheme of things. Well done to the good guys – Toure and Clichy.

  281. Limestonegunner

    Wonderful to see Sheikh Mansour so happy. All that money on its own was bringing no joy, but after a couple of billion and some good luck, he can see the sunny side of life again.

  282. Limestonegunner

    Well, FG, the problem is that they were vulnerable despite all that money. You have to hope that now the egos surface and they feel like they don’t have to work for it anymore; otherwise, thye have taste for winning and will be quite confident.

    Oh great, here’s Nasri, being interviewed. I knew that I made the right decision. Joy.

  283. agree with hunter, how can all our hate for man utd be outdone by one man.

  284. I think that if Chelsea win we will have to qualify – come on Bayern…..

  285. Limestonegunner

    Got a couple digs in there, Na$ri. Classy as ever. I’m sure the Arsenal players really want to hear from you now.

    Enjoy your bought title because the Gunners are going to shoot you down next season. And that title will be based on the actual quality of our club not a doped up supersizing–may the cancer set in right away.

  286. How the f*ck does Kyle Walker gets PFA young player of the year ahead of Aguero is beyond belief..

  287. WOW!this is wonderful,we got third and mancity screwed manu after manu thoght they had won it.i am with daris and kenyan gunner and we are having a wonderful time.tottering day

  288. Supercod – you’re not a Spud are you?

  289. arse or brain

    supercod , whatever happens we dont have to qualify all four teams would go straight through if the unthinkable happened

  290. Whoo Hah! We did it, the hard way, yes, but we did. I feel not one ounce of envy for Man City and their oil moneyed success. A 3-2 come froim behind winis emblematic of our entire season; 17th in October and 3rd in May. Give me that kind of mental strength and determination can overcome the betrayal of Cesc and Nasri and the treachery of those AAA supporters who wanted Wenger’s head on a picket. My only regret is the toll on my ticker. Please Arsenal I don’t think I can take another season like this.
    Come On You Mighty Gooners!

  291. pedantic george

    Earlier in the season journalists were saying that if Arsenal get a top 4 finish it willl be Arsene’s greatest ever achievement as manager.Well lets see if they are still saying that now.
    3rd,Fucking 3rd,after that start,and no fullbacks for 3 months is a monumental achievement.
    FUCK’IN THIRD GUYS

  292. @ Firstlady | May 13, 2012 at 5:37 pm

    Happy St Totteringham’s day to you! Please say hi and give a big gooner-style hug to Darius and Kenyangunner from me.

  293. Limestonegunner

    Do we hate Chelsea? Is that just a London derby? I think it is because they have been successful through ill-gotten money that has distorted the quality of the club. Now ManCity are doing it even more egregiously so it is not hate of one man. It is hate for what is destroying Arsenal’s ability to compete for the league despite doing everything the right way and growing our club through sound management and a philosophy that respects the game and football competition.

  294. Limestonegunner

    Indeed, PG–monumental! We’re moving on up. Next season is ours!

  295. Well tomorrow’s post is easier to write than it was an hour ago…

  296. @ mj_gunner | May 13, 2012 at 5:39 pm

    lovely picture, thank you.

  297. limestone do chill out …these guys come from all over the world to win the title..the title here has significance not because it is the english title but because it is the most expensive and difficult to win … and it has become the most expensive and difficult not because of the high native english football standards but because of foreign INVESTMENT, PLAYERS AND KNOW HOW …why the hell not should he not fly his italian flag ? why be angry to clichy and nasri ?

    why dont you think about all the abuse these foriegn players and managers have expereinced here from english media refs and english managers or scots ganging up together to single out the foreign “cheats” and how the “foreigners” are ruining the english game …lol what english game ? the bartons keannes and fergusons? …get serious please …

    if you dont like it complain to tony blair for changing the owenrship laws and then complain to all the english managers at ages between 10-19 who never set their foot in brasil or ajax to learn how this spherical object called the football should be treated.

    are you bitter cause nasri jumped ship to a club that was investing to do exactly that? win the title?

    i am over the moon that ferguson and his establishment got knocked off their perch a little bit…. and here you are throwing digs at city for “buying” it? lol…why how else has united and chelsea won it ? didnt they buy it as well with all their heavy first team investements ?

  298. Awesome awesome finish. So we had to do it the hard way as usual today. But we did it. We got our 3rd place, we are in the Champions league for the 15th straight year, that is amazing!
    That is pretty consistent.

    Now Arsene has to sign up Robin, Theo and Song and welcome a rejuvenated Wilshere, Prinz Poldi and a few others. With some others like Mertersacker, Sagna and Arteta coming back from injury and coming back stronger, we shall be having quite a good season next term.

    Come on you Gunners!

  299. The BBC: “Arsenal third, Tottenham fourth in that coveted fourth spot for the Champions League”.

    ha ha ha ha ha!

  300. Just went on the official side to vote for MOTM, was left totally confused. None of the boys covered themselves with glory today but then I am not complaining!

    Yossi Benayoun is the MOTM for me today..

  301. Harder for some other “Arsenal” bloggers to write, though, YW.

  302. Well done Man City!!! Just look on the bright side….it could’ve been a different dictator investing billions…..take your pick…someone like Mugabe perhaps? Or would that have been a bit too obvious?

  303. Genuinely MJ, it was a game where performance meant nothing, it was simply the result which mattered. And that was achieved.

  304. Limestonegunner

    Huge credit to AW. Fantastic work to get us back into guaranteed CL and even an improved final points total and table position over last season. Unbelievable despite every possible adversity from all and sundry.

    All hail Arsene Wenger!

  305. pedantic george | May 13, 2012 at 5:39 pm

    damn right ! i want to join in the next forum speak website thingy you got going on there..i want to abuse the Arsenal Sulking Twats and their leader …that tosspot who wants wenger out …he is mine !!!

  306. Cheers, FG. Here’s another one for you!

  307. Limestonegunner

    Hunter, you don’t seem to understand. It is about the mercenaries. I’m not English and love the international players. It doesn’t make sense why they are wearing national flag’s for a club competition.

    As far as ManCity–as I said above, it is the threat they pose now that they have won. If they had lost or drawn that game, don’t you think that choking would have stalled their rise, would have played on their minds next year? If ManU had fallen into it, would it have brought them great glory or helped paper over the cracks? All of that advantages Arsenal which is the only thing I care about.

    In any case, we’ll stuff them next year and take the league. We have a platform from which to build.

  308. Just when our game ended and I was thanking the lord for getting us third, another surprise gift I find in my basket in the form of MANURE being denied their title. Praised be thy name.
    Ferret face Ferguson must be having an aneurysm just about now.
    What a season. well done gunners. Come back strong next year.. WE BELIEVE.
    UP THE GUNS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  309. @ mj_gunner | May 13, 2012 at 5:52 pm

    huh? that links back to today’s blog post.

  310. Another interesting appeared on my facebook wall:

    “Wenger has confirmed Szczesny hasn’t trained for five weeks because of a shoulder injury and has needed pain killing injections”

    I wonder if Luksaz’s time at The Arsenal is up..

  311. Sorry FG, pretty messed up here..

  312. Limestonegunner

    I knocked Chelsea for being the first to really buy the title, Hunter. Now there are two who are buying the title. ManU spends big but not money they don’t have. So when they buy the title, it is a reflection of the size of their club and its support. If you are in favour of what ManCity and Chelsea does, why don’t you advocate for Usmanov to buy the club so that he can replicate that path?

    It’s a philosophical question. No one can do what AW does.

  313. ok lime osrry if i misunderstood..its just that it came out as a bit of a nationalistic comment to make …in the end of the day all footballers are mercenaries if you think about it….. it is their profession, they have managed to earn their living by applying their favourite hobby. in 99% of times the player will go where they pay him the most for his services….and even the tottis and giggs and casillas and buffons dont saty for peanuts… of course there is still loyalty but if lioverpool paid gerrard 3k per week he would have left long time ago… between say 70 and 100 you can say you can live with it…but between 4k and 100k you will never find any loyalty … 🙂

  314. Limestonegunner

    On my Setanta feed, the studio is giving AW proper credit for getting Arsenal back in 3rd, saying the lesson is to stick to your principles.

  315. True shotta, don’t care a hoot about nasri winning. Who’s he anyway?

    I would have been gutted if Fergie won another title though, especially with that team.

    Not too happpy about Bolton going down, but I wonder what those who think Coyle was better than Wengere think now?

    What. A. Season.

  316. Limestonegunner

    RvP golden boot winner to boot.

  317. ManU spends big but not money they don’t have

    hmmmm well to release funds to purchase players they had to create schemes for the club;s purchase which put the clubs most valuable assets in jeopardy …

    so in fairness, they may not do it as shamelessly as roman or the shiekhs, but they also do it.

  318. Spot on Hunter;most league titles have been “bought ” over the years.People didn’t complain when United were paying 30 mill for Ferdinand nearly ten yrs ago.

  319. Limestonegunner

    Actually even better than Fergie losing, you have to say they had a really awful season. No trophy, out of Europe in the group stage and no progress in the Europa league with a terrible loss to Bilboa. That’s worse than any season we have had in the last 7 years. HAHA, Red Nose–time to hang it up.

  320. @ mj_gunner
    Wow! that photo says so much about their relationship.

  321. Limestonegunner

    Basil, of course we complained. The difference is that the money was theirs to spend from their turnover. It wasn’t spend by taking out loans or getting money from a sugar daddy.

    AW isn’t against spending money as long as it is money generated by the football club and he’d rather not waste it or spend inefficiently in the transfer market when wages are a more efficient way of spending your money.

  322. Limestonegunner

    Red Devils have been hoisted on their own pitchforks…

  323. FunGunner – “Santos doesn’t just deliver at Christmas”

    Best quote of the day!!!! 🙂

    Happy Saint Tot’s everyone!

    And now to watch the Chavez lose to Bayern, which will mean the spuds have to play 2 extra games and hopefully will lose both and give is all a good laugh 🙂

  324. ..essentially united has remortgaged their training ground and stadium in order to compete in the transfer market ..its like when the sh?*t hits the fan at monopoly and you start giving back yur hotels and land to the bank for half the price so that you pay rent to the street you landed on….. lol .

    i will also say this :

    when united won the league and reached the final of the champions league in ronaldos last year. was that not a highly succesful season for the organisation manchester united in terms of pitch success/money generated from said success ? of course it was. So why the 60 million end of year loss?

    in a season where they hit the maximum almost they were still losing as a company 60 million..hence selling ronaldo for 80m …from that money they spent 60 to cover that hole and then 17 to valencia, 3 to obertan and owen on a free…….

    lol even when they win the title their financial year ends at a loss unless they sell shirts in asia or give friendlies to africa americas china middle east etc etc….

    in a matter of years, (maybe even months after city;s emergence now) the one factor that brings united success ( fergie) will be gone….. lets see them how they fare then …. 🙂

  325. Tennessee Arsenal

    If Chelsea win the CL, do we have to play in the qualification round?

  326. Limestonegunner

    Sorry for Bolton going down to a penalty and goal that shouldn’t have been allowed as it was a foul on their keeper. Typical Stoke victory. They lead the table for wrong decisions in their favour. Would probably have preferred to see QPR relegated.

  327. Limestonegunner

    Tennessee, now we are in the group stages.

  328. True FG, & that was when RVP blazed one from the left towards the end of the game.

  329. RvP’s comments after the game don’t sound encouraging. Hopefully he is just been cagey as it is contract negotiation time.

  330. hunter

    Half your problems come from nationalistic comments – probably best to avoid making or responding to them. Saves a lot of problems youngster, a lot of problems.

  331. And I just won 340 odd pounds!

    Judicious betting on my part – it’s done much more than wipe off all of my entire life’s gambling debts in one stroke.

    😀

  332. Tennessee Arsenal

    Happy St. Totteringham’s day BTW. Nice to know Wilshere won’t have to pay up!

  333. Limestonegunner

    If Chelsea win, I gather they will also be in the group stages. I don’t agree with that–if they finish outside the CL places they should probably have to play a qualifier to get into the group stage.

  334. Tennessee Arsenal

    Thanks, Limestone.

  335. for the rest of summer i suggest we go crashing all them negative muppets and their blogs of doom …they should be embarassed to walk out their houses …if they have any bollocks they will close down their sites !!!!!!!!

  336. Limestonegunner

    Congrats, Jonny. What was your bet? Straight win for Arsenal?

  337. Is it too much to expect at least ONE positive comment from you today, Goonerandy?

  338. Happy St Totts…was lucky to be in a pub where everyone stood up everytime they showed Pat Rice on the telly..it was wonderful…

    Waaannnnnnn team in London…theres only wannnnnnnnnnnn team in London…

    Forever in our shadow….Oooooooooooohhhhhhhhhhhh to be a gooooooooooooooner

  339. Limestonegunner | May 13, 2012 at 6:02 pm

    Actually even better than Fergie losing, you have to say they had a really awful season. No trophy, out of Europe in the group stage and no progress in the Europa league with a terrible loss to Bilboa. That’s worse than any season we have had in the last 7 years. HAHA, Red Nose–time to hang it up.

    heheh NOW YOURE TALKING ! …thats right !!!!!! 🙂

  340. Tennessee Arsenal

    As for QPR or Bolton: I’m happy for Mick Jones.

  341. Limestonegunner

    Don’t care to defend hated Manure–all I can say is since it isn’t Arsenal winning or a deserving club that does it the right way, I don’t congratulate the winners. Hopefully despite the oiligarchs winning, Arsenal will destroy them next season.

  342. Limestonegunner

    Hunter at 5:58, no worries, man. It’s a day to celebrate, so let’s concentrate on the happy news!

  343. Tennessee Arsenal

    Yeah Limestone, in addition to having to run into the odd United fan in Chattanooga, now I’m gonna have to put up with the odd City fan.

  344. Did you guys see how hard it was for Wenger to rein in his emotions during the 2nd half and us going up 3-2. Hugging onto Pat Rice after 2 attempts to hold it down. They looked like two old codgers who need each other for support. Too many battles together. Way to go boss.At least you had Pat. Many of us, like yours truly, had nothing but the tv to shout at.

  345. Limestonegunner

    Goonerandy, where did you see RvP’s postmatch comments?

  346. Limestonegunner

    After our equalizer, shotta, he was pumping his fist and urging the team, “come on!, come on!” He was fired up. Boy does he deserve this. He deserves even better and hopefully he’ll get it next season with a European and league double. Come on Arsenal!

  347. Tennessee Arsenal

    The shots of Pat and AW were endearing. It seems the cameras usually pick up on AW only in moments of frustration. I was glad for the footage today.

  348. On a BBC feed. Says they will sit down next week, but loves AFC no matter what happens.

  349. Limestonegunner

    Tennessee, ain’t that a shame… Streets of Memphis, Knoxville and Nashville filled with pale blue shirts?! Can’t quite see it, but it is more likely now unless we stop them.

  350. Limestonegunner

    He said similar at the FWA dinner apparently. I suppose that’s his line now. As long as they do sit down right away and resolve what will be happening quickly for next season. Hopefully we offer him a respectable rise, signing bonus, and assure him that we will have an even better team next season with him in it and leading it. Hopefully he decides that as long as all that is there and CL football that there is value in some loyalty for all those injury ridden seasons, for the way we play, and for life as captain and future legend of a big club rather than being a cog in the wheel.

  351. and a ocntract for benayun please ..i dont like him ..but he deserves it ..he worked his socks off for arsenal …reward him wenger even if its for a year ..yossi will aprreciate it 4sure.

  352. I am not sure but those are pre match comments, GA

  353. ARSENAL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!RASERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!GOONERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!ACLF!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    “NO more games left, we emptied all closets, things are so bright we can be civilized!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

  354. Limestone – I placed about about 5 or 6 bets at the start of the season.

    RVP getting the golden boot (first time I have ever bet on gb) was one of the winning bets.

    I had bets on us finishing first, in top two, in top three and top four. I then made a second bet of finishing in the top four in the aftermath of the 8-2 on greatly improved odds to the start of the season!

  355. Am sitting outside a restaurant in New Jersey with The Girlfriend and her Mom and sisters, grinning like an idiot and they all want to know why? I refuse to try and explain Saint Totteringham’s Day, it simply is 🙂

  356. And let us never again call Jonny a fence sitter.
    Who else bet after OT?

  357. All I can say is
    Lil Jack won his bet!!

    Kudos to all RASERS, true gooners
    We NEVER wavered!
    In Arsene we trust.
    In Arsenal we believe

    I expect Robin to stay..Song & Theo as well.
    With this team, Podolski & a possible 2 more (M’villa & Vertonghen would be great), we do look a lot stronger, especially after as many as 10 others are let go of.
    Oh but I’d bring back Yossi.
    MOTM today….MR YOSSI BENAYOOOOOOOUUUNNN!

  358. Limestonegunner

    Who called him a fence sitter? Was that you, George?!

  359. cheers, IrishG

    When was the last time you can remember being this happy at the end of a season?

  360. A-R-S-E-N-A-L!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    A-R-S-E-N-A-L!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  361. pedantic george

    Most likely it was LG

  362. Ha! Who indeed George? If such scurrilous words were spoken of me I was blissfully unaware till now! 😛

    If we had finished first I would have won c £1K but my bets were geared such that I would have covered all of my stakes if we had finished in 4th and RVP had not won the GB.

  363. pedantic george

    scurrilous

    lovely word that is

  364. Limestonegunner

    Today looked like it was going to be a replay of last weekend. Quick goal from Benayoun, go down 2-1 in minutes to soft/improbable goals, fight our way back even and then ahead 3-2. The difference is last weekend we couldn’t hold onto it for 10 minutes, whereas today we did for 40 minutes. Well done, Arsenal.

    Jonny, George just must have been thinking it all along! Now he wishes he had bet on us too. Honestly, it looked pretty dark. Darker still after the Blackburn loss when we were 17th having played 7 and lost 4 with just one victory (I think–just the Swansea 1-0 on a flukey mistake and bit of brilliance from AA). To think that we made it into a better league and points position than last year. It is amazing.

    In that context it is wonderful and remarkable. The fact that we are 19 points behind both teams ahead is a problem we have the summer and next season to redress. I certainly wouldn’t be betting against us!

  365. Erm… come on Chelsea?

  366. @LG
    But no matter how dark it was, I just couldn’t give up faith. I don’t know, for me, when Wenger says we have the quality to finish in the Top 4, I take it as gospel. Even those results early in the season couldn’t change that for me. He said at the beginning of the season that we are a top 4 team, so I really didn’t see a way we’d finish outside the Top 4. But in between finishing 3rd now there was certainly a lot of nail-biting involved!

  367. Today, I won’t worry about the score or our performance.

    We prevailed for 3rd and I’ll enjoy the moment.

  368. So these (so called) experts had some fine predictions for the season.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/14388154

  369. pedantic george

    Didn’t they just Steve,Almost to a man they had Liverpool and Chelsea in and us out.

  370. mattgoonerknight

    Haven’t had time or the inclination to read through every comment but most of what I fEel and would like to say is both obvious and has been echoed by most: so to summarise.

    JonJon | May 13, 2012 at 4:56 pm
    and relax..
    we did it people..
    well done to everyone
    what a fuckin season…

    Amen

    Jonny,

    I made similar bets when back in early September when we were 17th.

    One bet was that we would come top four; another was that we would finish above sp*rs.

    Shame they were £10 bets against a red manc and a spud, (un)respectively!

    Buzzing!!!!!!!!!!!!

    OTOTBOTBAG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

  371. George

    Mark (not so) Bright predicted a Liverfool title win. Muppets

  372. So no one even dared to tip us for a finish higher than 4th. Though fair play to them, the majority didn’t think much of Sp*rs either. But they all had it in their minds that Liverpool under KK will somehow be the best thing since sliced bread. I just don’t understand that Liverpool obsession at all.

  373. I can understand why people expected Chelsea to finish somewhat highly, but Liverpool? Ever since Liverpool got close to winning the league a couple of years ago it’s the same story every year. Pool will challenge, Pool will do this, Pool will do that. In the end it’S the worst finish in decades for them and deservedly so.

  374. pedantic george

    Yes Mark not so bright at all is one hell of a pundit.

  375. today doesn’t belong to man shitty. it belongs to Arsenal. because today shows Arsenal are more alive than ever.

  376. I bet Fergie won’t be ringing Mark Hughes to congratulate him on keeping QPR up. 🙂

    Barton the thug needs to be banned from football. He has serious mental issues.

  377. Limestonegunner

    Amen, korihikage. Amen.

  378. sports journalism is the new form of social welfare. these people can’t do anything else, so they get paid doing what everyone else does.

  379. Limestonegunner

    The thing is those predictions were made at the start of the season when we were losing Cesc and Nasri and no one knew if/whom we would bring in. Probably there wouldn’t have been much change but still–how could anyone judge our squad when it was in such great flux? They routinely predict us falling out of the top 4. Hasn’t happened for 15 years!!

    The overvaluation of Chelsea and Liverpool was more amazing as was the lack of confidence in Spurs. That’s why Spuds have been so lauded much of this season because everyone thought they had a plucky little run in the CL last season but wouldn’t get back there. When they started so strongly all the journos got so enthusiastic about them and their favourite English manager–Harry. But they never believed in them to start with. They were bamboozled by Liverpool spending lots of money and the usual overhyping of English players. As far as Chelsea, clearly AVB was very good for Spuds, Newcastle and us. Since dumping him they are back to being a 3rd/4th level team–the question is if they will spend big again in the summer poaching players scouted by Arsenal by offering massive wages and doubling our transfer fee bids, and will they have a decent manager with genuine authority over the senior players?

    The genuine surprise team is Newcastle nearly getting 3rd/4th, spending relatively little in transfer and wages, and being predicted among the relegation fighters at the start of the season. They have have seriously over performed, whilst we have simply over performed. Will their owner sell off players and hope for more scouting miracles? Let’s hope so.

    With good business in the summer, we are in the hunt.

  380. A little late to the party but what a fuckin day, first off – glad gibbs showed today that he was the better defender, santos did all his fancy moves and shit but the quality shined through from gibbs, the undisputed No 1.

  381. Limestonegunner

    Yeah, that’s why AW started him! Debate remains alive. But do notice that the goals didn’t come down from Santos’ side btw. And not that we needed his goal or anything to get the three points!

    Nice that your first instinct is to slag off Santos. At least you are consistent in being churlish.

  382. Shone through

  383. mattgoonerknight

    Khalifha

    I can tell by your style that you’re young, but seriously, grow up!!!

  384. Congrats to everyone – what a season. The ACLF hardcore were unwavering throughout – you know who you were and I thank you all sincerely for the support group that you are.

    George – in spite of the fence sitting jibe – I still proudly recall you as citing me as being good as any of the gang when the dark section of the season was upon us. I said it wasn’t fucking over then – and I backed it with cash – faith is it’s own reward but it’s better when it is sealed with monetary kiss also.

    Thank you Arsene – only fools underestimate you.

    The doomers are strangely absent today.

    Looking forward to MOTD2.

    Raaa!

    This could be the start of something beautiful. A few things to be tied off and few ton be addressed but I feel better about next season than I have in years. I think the word in my head that is resonating is ‘CUSP’. As in ‘on’ and ‘the’.

  385. pedantic george

    ha ha ,Khalifha.Take your defeat graciously.
    By your own measure ,Arsene told you who is No.1 LB .You called it.Arsene showed you the answer.

  386. pedantic george

    Jonny ,you know I have always stood by you in serious moments.
    The rest is but banter and jest

  387. santos was solid defensively. he made quite a few solid tackles. and gibbs came up with a massive block at the end. so i don’t know what’s the complaining about. we have two good leftbacks.

  388. LSG – “The overvaluation of Chelsea and Liverpool was more amazing as was the lack of confidence in Spurs. That’s why Spuds have been so lauded much of this season because everyone thought they had a plucky little run in the CL last season but wouldn’t get back there. When they started so strongly all the journos got so enthusiastic about them and their favourite English manager–Harry.”

    Yes – too fucking right. I still fondly recall the most biased idiocy of Hansen predicting a top 4 finish for Liverpool in January – in full denial of the obvious truth.

    The Spud love in was skin-crawlingly horrific at the time but is a source of interminable pleasure now.

    This was typical of the vp at the time.

    http://www.goal.com/en/news/9/england/2012/02/01/2880238/harry-redknapps-transfer-dealings-for-tottenham-mean-premier

    Ah Iain Dowie – ‘Football Genius’.

  389. Ah Limestone, ma man, the debate as to who is the better leftback rages on in the aclf blogosphere, but i and the manager have long decided who deserves to be No 1, am sorry but samba will remain rooted to the bench, it was a nice ‘arguement’ tho.

    Do Real madrid know how to celebrate a trophy or what? Lights, music, performers, the lot.

  390. You know I know George – and I’m all for it too. 😉

  391. @ dupsffokcuf | May 13, 2012 at 8:22 pm
    ha ha ha ha!

  392. Too early for posstive projections of how next season will pan out?….

    I just pray, very much like I seem to have been doing for the last four or so seasons for some luck on the long term injury front.

    What is very frustrating is the fact that we always seem to have an 8-10 game spell in the middle of every season where we have a settled and fit ‘1st choice’ team out and we proceed to steam roll everyone.

  393. Mattgooner, take it easy man, pedantic and limestone know that am just having a laugh, no need for the unfriendly banter you fuckin kill joy.

  394. Damn, that didn’t look good, sorry about the f word, only pedantic george deserves that. 😉

  395. Well, you wouldn’t want to play poker against AW, would you? Clearly, he is a master at calling the odds, but what’s impossible to figure is how often he beats the odds.

    Of course, there’s always variance. You don’t always win even when you have the best cards. So, at the extremes, you might lose the occasional Carling Cup final against Birmingham City. But, taken over time, the record is unbelievably impressive.

    It’s a night for serious celebration.

  396. Fuck off Khalifha! :-).

  397. O johnny, fuck a duck 🙂 – see what you made me say.

  398. http://www.arse2mouse.com/post/22977533459?

    Some really great, celebratory blog posts around and this one is a cracker – well worth sharing if you haven’t already seen it!

  399. Well now that the season is over, let me say a few words.
    I love this blog, mainly because of the bloggers and their high level of intelligence when discussing the game we all love, with a few exceptions of people that get on my last nerves cough*pedantic* cough. I must admit, after the summer transfer debacle where we lost two of our most influential players with the defeat that must not be mentioned could easily have made an ardent wenger fan like myself lean towards the le grave side, i almost gave up on wenger – not because of media or their constant rants about lack of trophies but because there was no one to remind me what the man has done for our club both in good and bad times. So i guess what am trying to say is go fuck yourself johnny, no seriously, yogi, dexter, stew, aa, george, hunter, jon jon, limestone,johnny you guys are real supporters and i wish more fans could be like you all – if pigs could fly right, so kudos.
    Ah shit, that was a weak moment 🙂

  400. Yogi, you got me in moderation?

  401. Passenal

    😆 I wonder who thinks of these things.

  402. I don’t know dup, but I can’t stop singing it – it’s really catchy!

  403. Well now that the season is over, let me say a few words.
    I love this blog, mainly because of the bloggers and their high level of intelligence when discussing the game we all love, with a few exceptions of people that get on my last nerves cough*pedantic* cough. I must admit, after the summer transfer debacle where we lost two of our most influential players with the defeat that must not be mentioned could easily have made an ardent wenger fan like myself lean towards the le grave side, i almost gave up on wenger – not because of media or their constant rants about lack of trophies but because there was no one to remind me what the man has done for our club both in good and bad times. So i guess what am trying to say is go fuck yourself johnny, no seriously, yogi, dexter, stew, aa, george, hunter, jon jon, limestone,johnny you guys are real supporters and i wish more fans could be like you all – if pigs could fly right, so kudos.

  404. mattgoonerknight

    Khalifha

    I’m sorry.

    Football first just started. Buzzing!!!!

  405. Whoops! Just checked the link, that wasn’t what I meant to post

    http://www.arse2mouse.com/post/22977533459?

  406. Well now that the season is over, let me say a few words.
    I love this blog, mainly because of the bloggers and their high level of intelligence when discussing the game we all love, with a few exceptions of people that get on my last nerves cough*pedantic* cough. I must admit, after the summer transfer debacle where we lost two of our most influential players with the defeat that must not be mentioned could easily have made an ardent wenger fan like myself lean towards the le grave side, i almost gave up on wenger – not because of media or their constant rants about lack of trophies but because there was no one to remind me what the man has done for our club both in good and bad times. So i guess what am trying to say is go fcuk off johnny lol – no seriously, yogi, dexter, stew, aa, george, hunter, jon jon, limestone,johnny you guys are real supporters and i wish more fans could be like you all – if pigs could fly right, so kudos.

  407. Sorry, right first time! That’s what too much celebrating does to you!

  408. City’s title win was still not as glorious or epic or dramatic as our 89 win i’m affraid.

  409. Gary Lineker to Alan Hansen ” have you in your life ever witnessed anything quite like that” er……

  410. LOL Duke – was just ranting about that at top volume! He would have had a good perspective if he hadn’t erased the memory conveniently like the biased cunt he is.

  411. Seeing Stoke v Bolton on MOTD, I can see why Stoke are top of the debatable decisions table every week. First “goal” for Stoke was a barge by a Stoke player on Bogdan, knocking the ball he was already holding out of his hands and into the goal. Second “goal” was from a penalty for Crouch tangling with Bogdan as he got up. Bolton actually won that game 2-0. Terrible to be relegated because of two shocking decisions.

  412. Here we go. Our match now.

  413. FG

    That is not the 1st time Chris Foy has given dodgy decisions in favour of Stoke. He did it to us and Spuds. Denied both teams definite pelantys in favour of Stoke.

  414. Hola – can’t be upset with third place behind the biggest brand in world football and a team with unlimited funds. It’s not a very romantic way to look at things, but in terms of wage bills I think we’ve actually overachieved – think ours is fifth highest.

    Third is a great foundation for next season, when we’ll have a more settled team and will hopefully be able to punch above our financial weight even more.

    Hope to be around to shoot to natter a little more often as well – not sure if that’s a good thing for anyone else!

  415. Never a doubt!

    Best team in the PL and we will prove it next season!

  416. Limestonegunner

    1989 is and will always be the greatest and most dramatic title win. True title deciding final game, post-Hillsborough, last minute and more dramatic goal.

  417. Interesting commentary by BBC MOTD guy. Says that the goal by Shane Long was not offside! Are these people really competent to do commentaries. The Football First on Sky was spot on about the offside. This season we have seen the worst of refereeing decisions. Bolton got the short end of stick- their first goal should not have stood and second was because of dive by Crouch. You can feel that the commentators and ‘experts’ are biting their lips and are careful to not to utter the word ‘Dive’ if it happens to be an English player! This must be the most unregulated and unsupervised profession in the world. Anyway, a reasonably good end to the season and I am already getting panicky: how am I going to spend my evenings till August.

  418. This was posted on twitter.

    Rick ‏ @RickLee14AFC

    13/may/12 the death of Arsenal FC. Nothing will change fighting for 4th again next year. Spose we could get lucky+ Wenger get hit by a car

    What a piece of shit.

  419. pedantic george

    haha Dups I have crossed swords with him on twitter.
    He is properly thick

  420. Limestonegunner

    Disgusting.

  421. Absolutely agree, disgusting!!

    On a much better note, a very nice article on Pat Rice. His own words too. God’s speed PR 🙂

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-2143573/Pat-Rices-Arsenal-moments.html

  422. Ahhh Spurts…the memories…

  423. I still hope Munich win the CL. Although it would mean the Spuds qualified for the CL they would no doubt cock up the qualifying round. If it is not Arsenal winning the CL, I certainly don’t want any other English club winning it.

  424. yogi goodmoring on a fine morining, i was studying ML’s masterpiece and i was thinking….could you possibly…could you create a photomontage off a bunch of penguins ( black bin bag protesters) outside the emirates ,all slipping down a slippery slope ending in a pool of chicken shit ? 🙂

  425. Glass half empty: either BM win, so we have to witness Robben and Ribery competing to star as Prima Donna – or Chelsea win, so we suffer a media fawn-fest.

    Glass half full: either BM win, so Chelsea get their comeuppance – or Chelsea win, so our friends from N17 get theirs.

    Looks like a win-win for everybody with a sunny disposition.

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