Arsenal At Euro2012: Group A

Our distraction arrives, Euro2012 allows us to complete our own scouting mission on the great and good of the transfer rumour flea market. Ten Arsenal players are participating and the club is linked with all bar Portuguese or Greek players. Actually, the Swedes as well. But there we go.

Group A sees Tomas Rosicky and Andrey Arshavin try to breach Wojciech Szczesny’s defence. For the Russian, it is a chance to shine at successive Euros, his performances four years ago were scintillating until the semi-final collapse against Spain. The Poles have some good results in the past year but nothing spectacular. Hints of wins against both of the better sides in the group but nothing concrete to go on. Much will depend on Lewandowski’s goals as well as Szczesny continuing the run of five consecutive games without conceding a goal. Winning against Greece is imperative if the co-hosts want to progress, as well alleviating some of the pressure on them.

As co-hosts, Poland have that pressure to contend with as well as being in a group which they could qualify from. Any aims of progression depend on them beating Greece in the opening fixture. They will be looking for an improvement on Euro2008 where they took a solitary point from co-hosts Austria in the middle of defeats to Russia and Germany. The former pose a threat once more in the group stage and if Wojciech Szczesny’s recent run of clean sheets in matches for his country will be tested.

The Poles results over the past twelve months suggest they may qualify from the group. Despite being friendlies, Szczesny has kept five consecutive clean sheets which suggests the organisation in front of him is working. Draws against Portugal and Germany offer the hint that results against the stronger nations can be achieved yet it is still hard to see them progressing beyond the quarter-finals. If they do well, it may be that Robert Lewandowski provides the goals; no doubt that will increase calls for Arsène to sign him.

Tomas Rosicky faces Andrey Arshavin in the second match; an appetiser ahead of tomorrow’s match between Germany and Netherlands, van Persie versus Podolski / Mertesacker (injury-willing). No doubt Arsène will be watching, a sense of déjà vu engulfing them from four years ago when having been suspended for the opening games, Arshavin dazzled as the Russians tore apart all that laid before them. That is until the Spaniards repeated their earlier thrashing of the Russians – the two had met in the opening group game, Spain winning 4 – 1.

Arshavin was scintillating, livewire performances that enhanced his reputation. Whilst Arsenal did not sign him purely on the basis of that tournament, it played a big part in focussing their attention. What happens next for him will largely depend on this tournament. Zenit will be hoping for him to perform poorly, driving down any fee. Arsenal want the reverse, for the opposite reasons but you wonder if Arshavin turns in a series of outstanding matches, will he be back at Colney for next season? I doubt it although much will depend on what happens with Robin van Persie.

The Russians cruised through qualifying, their solitary defeat was to Slovakia. In truth that was the minimum expected considering the opposition faced; none were particularly good sides. The Irish offered a vision of what happens when you let the Russians play as they want; they can be excellent. Typically they failed to score.

Rosicky meanwhile has shaken off his injury concerns and goes into the match on the back of his best club form for a few seasons. Like van Persie, we are seeing an injury-free player performing at the level we know they are capable of. Captaining the Czech national team is an obvious source of pride for the midfielder and whilst the current crop of players are not quite to the standard of previous generations, they are technically proficient.

Qualifying was tougher for the Czech’s than it ought to have been; losing twice to Spain was not unexpected but at home to Lithuania was. A 2-2 draw with Scotland put them into the play-offs where they eased past Montenegro.

The group is tough to call and Greece cannot be ignored. They are not as well-drilled as under Rehhagel but nonetheless are still difficult to break down. They were undefeated in qualifying which included taking four points from Croatia. Home advantage though will I think help the Poles and they will push to move into the knockout phase.


1. Russia

2. Greece

3. Poland

4. Czech Republic

’til Tomorrow.

Posted on June 8, 2012, in Arsenal, Euro2012, Football, Soccer, Transfer Gossip. Bookmark the permalink. 269 Comments.

  1. Bambam

  2. Im never up this early…

  3. Clerkenwell Gooner

    It’s going to be a fucking disaster by the look of it:

    Van Bommel, however, responded angrily when it was put to him not everyone had heard monkey noises. “You need to open your ears,” he said. “If you did hear it, and don’t want to hear it, that is even worse.”

    Either UEFA decides what the rules are they want applied, for example, if referees get to stop games when players are abused, or else UEFA is seen, very publicly and humiliatingly, to capitulate to the thug element of the game, which in a severely economically distressed eastern Europe, unfortunately appears to be alive and, er, kicking.

    The BBC, with its timely doc, has turned up the heat on UEFA more than somewhat.

    Balotelli has expressed, in uncompromising and forthright terms, his displeasure at the prospect of having to ply his trade in an environment where racism will likely be overt and unabashed. He has put up with lots of the same shit already in Italy, and the stress of having to deal with it is undoubtedly cumulative. Young and temperamental he may be, but I’m actually with him on this one, and hope SuperMario and all those participating get the protection from abuse all of us are entitled to at work.

    Also, if you invite guests to bring their starry talents to your country for a tournament such as this, it’s just plain rude to abuse them when they arrive.

  4. I expect the Russians and Poles to go through from Group A. Greece have hardly any goal threat and the Czechs just look a bit fragile from what I’ve seen of them. I expect Poland and Russia to win their opening games thus setting the tone for the group.

  5. My only hope is for a great spectical and for none of our guys suffering a major injury. Go on you GUNNERS. Mother Russia and the Czech republic advancing in this group.

  6. Upper Street Gooner

    Would be wonderful to see our Russian tearing up the competition. Despite allot of numbers there is no outstanding player who fits our most attacking midfielder position. An in form and motivated Andrei and we look potentially terrifying

  7. C G ,I can see that you are very.concerned and believe me so am I. But these guys are professionals and they shouldn’t let a few racist Basterds get under their skin. That said ,I hope the tournament is clean and free of any incidents of the kind you are worried about.

  8. Does anyone know off the top of their heads how many players from the other teams in top six of EPL are at this tournament. Are ARSENAL the top team with ten players??

  9. Goonerkam (or something like that) has the squads and analysis by club.

  10. Clerkenwell

    Agree with what you’re saying but where do you draw the line, is it racist abuse only that should be unacceptable?

    It’s a no win situation for UEFA. Is it really fair to stop a game and deny 59,500 attendees for the sake of 500 ignorant attendees?

    Players cannot walk off. I doubt a player like Balotelli would have very nice things shouted at him when he plays at certain away grounds, perhaps not racist but perhaps equally as insulting. Can he then walk off there?

    Does Ramsey walk off when playing at the Brittania. Bale walks off when playing at our place. I am Irish and have stood in our place while lads behind me have piled terrible abuse on Keane on the basis of him being a caravan dwelling itinerant etc. To be fair I may have joined in that one.

  11. It’s

  12. tmx. YW.

  13. Sorry Steve, but racist abuse goes beyond any insults about players mum’s etc.

    Racism is brushed under the carpet by everyone STILL. They act like it doesnt happen. It has taken a long and well organised effort in the UK (Kick it out) tosignificantly address the situation, although it isnt wiped out completely.

    There is no comparison with players like Aaron or monkey boy bale (see what I did there?). UEFA have allowed the racists to win by giving them paltrt fines and showing a complete disdain and laisee faire attitude towards such a heinous crime.

    The thing is, if they were actually serious about it, they would have to severly punish the national associations of Spain and Italy as well as the likes of Poland, Ukraine, Russia, Bulgaria. And they just refuse to try and stamp it out.

    Its not all UEFA’s doing of course, national leaders and politicians obviously think there is no problems, judging by the recent comments.

  14. I mean, just look at the response to the dutch players getting abused. Oh it wasnt racist. Isnt it common for everyone to go arpound masking monkey noises when out and about?

  15. Original. Lead guitarist for one of my favorite Bands , FLEET WOOD MAC, dead of self inflicted gun shot wound. Aged. 66. .. GIP

  16. Clerkenwell Gooner

    Steve – it’s clear when there are monkey chants what’s going on.

    If UEFA and the tournament hosts won’t act to eject the perps from the ground, then players are entitled to reserve the right to walk.

    It’s only a booking, after all.

    Then see how fast UEFA act once their multi-€€€ tournament is going down the drain.

  17. I think George will have a thing or two to say to the booing pricks who do a U-Turn over Arshavin when he completely owns this tournament.

    Think Russia could go all the way. Hope so anyway since I got them in the sweepstakes.

  18. Dec, the racisms issue should not be ignored but tackled on individual basis by the authorities. I wouldn’t stop any of the games and also wouldn’t punish the respective national team. The low lives that act up in these stadiums could care less about the collective punishment levied on their national teams.

  19. Come on Poland!!!!! The dark horse, I expect to see them in the semis. Watch out for Dortmund’s Lewandowski.

  20. i agree with Clerkenwell Gooner

  21. Arshavin will play really well and come back to Arsenal and play that central attacking midifelder role that is currently vacant. If he is not deemed suitable for that position, then we do need to sign one. We have a lot of versatile midfielders, but, just with our interest in a specialist DM, we should be looking at the AM position too.

    That is IF Andrey doesn’t come home! 🙂

  22. Not a booking, if the whole team go the match is forfeit. Unless the referee says they walk and I doubt any of them have the cojones to do that

  23. Dec– Dexter

  24. Dexter

    Stop creeping round PG

  25. Kam

    Sorry dude, but it needs a bigger statement than we see currently.

    A national team needs to be banned from playing, or at the very least, play infront of an empty stadium.

    It is scandalous that here we are in 2012 and discussing how the victims should behave, not the perpetrators!

  26. I think ARSHAVIN could do the job for us at AM. I really do. I hope he wants to come back and make that position his. And TOMAS.

  27. Yogi

    Georger is on a self imposed ACLF hunger strike man. Just thought he might need a pick-me-up!

    However, I really do think AA23’s best and only position for him now at AFC is in the ‘hole’ behind RvP/Posolski. It is a real head scratcher why he hasn’t played there for us on a regular basis.

    Then again, his loan back to Zenit was a bit off IMO. We could have done with his craft and guile for the run in.

  28. Dex, you are absolutely right. It is pathetic that in this day and age we are still talking about this shit. But it is also very wrong to collectively punish infractions like these by punishing the players. They work too hard to get here and as I said before, the morons that do these things could care less who gets punished ,as long as it is not them. Cowards.

  29. Clerkenwell / Dex

    Note I said in my original post that I agree with what you are saying, I simply don’t know the answer and don’t believe stopping games is the answer. Nor is levying pathetic fines on national footballing bodies.

    p.s. Dexter – Arshavin won’t be back. By virtue of allowing a player of his experience to leave at such a crucial point of the season Wenger was basically ending his employment with the club. You loan out kids, not top dollar earning international footballers.

  30. mattgoonerknight

    Morning all,

    Been reading everyday, but had nothing to add given recent discussions.


    Where to start?

    I think you’ve, inadvertently perhaps, massively trivialised racism; the comparison you’ve made between the white-supremacist, monkey chanting, racist abuse and general abuse shouted at players is both lazy and ill-considered.

    Is it worse? Yes.

    Uefa in a no win situation? Diddums. Stable door and horse spring to mind.

    Players cannot walk off? Not only can they, I would advocate that they did.

    Does Ramsey walk off when playing at the Brittania? Poor form.

    If your post was purposely provocative, it was a good one.

  31. agree Dex,
    my best wishes go to AA…we need him back @ the Emirates with his confidence sky high.

    for some reason I think Defoe’s going to have a fantastic Euros. Underplayed, pissed and he just lost his dad. Quite an explosive mix

  32. mattgoonerknight


    Just gone back and read your earlier post – I agree.

  33. How ANYONE in Poland can behave in a racist way is beyond me. A country that was ravaged by Germany and then by the USSR (via Communism) within the lifetime of many Poles, should be the perfect example of tolerance of all people, regardless of colour.
    Those people who practice racism there, have conveniently short memories.

  34. Tnx AMAN.
    Dex ,I think AW felt AA had the speed and the pace to hack it as a winger. But now I think the hole is perfect for him and TOMAS. who better to take on defenders and open them up. Create. Space and thread precision surgical passes to our strikers and speedy wingers. Like taking candy from a kid.

  35. mattgoonerknight

    I give up, why woud I be deliberately provocative?

    I have been the recipient of racist abuse, not on the basis of skin colour but nationality, in normal life and also on a football pitch. Personally it didn’t bother me but equally I probably would have reacted had for example certain comments been made about my mother.

    You will note that one of the specific examples I gave was the abuse Robbie Keane received at our place (Block 5) on the basis of being from Ireland. Does that abhor you in equal measure to colour based racism? It is after all the same thing.

    Racist abuse, unacceptable, can of worms. All boils down to respect.

  36. Nicky,
    Unfortunately it is true. My friends who live and travel through Poland and eastern Europe tell me that anti Semitism is alive a well in these parts. Short memories indeed.

  37. Anyone with better knowledge of Geography, History and/or Polictics want to explain why Russia is allowed to enter the EUROs?

  38. Steve:
    “p.s. Dexter – Arshavin won’t be back. By virtue of allowing a player of his experience to leave at such a crucial point of the season Wenger was basically ending his employment with the club. You loan out kids, not top dollar earning international footballers”.

    Steve, I think otherwise concerning AA. U generalize. AW is too intelligent to just let go of a top talent like AA.

    Lets see:
    he’s Russia’s captain PR-icon & role model, he was not playing well enough on LW to start, the Euros were around the corner, he absolutely needed game time, we could save money PLUS we started terribly and things were too tight to spend extra energy managing a superstar’s frustration…….loaned to Zenith… situation for both parties.
    He even won their league trophy.

    They say kissing silverware lifts a footballer’s spirits
    I wager that if he has a great Euros he’ll be back in the r&w next season.

  39. Upper Street Gooner

    Dexter hits the nail on the head. How on earth are these people meant to be deterred from doing such things if the punishments amount to a kid not being given their pocket money for a weekend.

    Its pathetic the fines being levied on these intolerant twats. Make no mistake about it you can say its the 500 in the stadium but it shows where the baseline of your nation is if these guys are even allowed in the stadium.

    The same thing with this italian match fixing scandel . Fifa have said they view this as footballs most serious threat. So why when the italians who have a terrible issue with racism as well not been kicked out of europe.

    Lets see if Juventus takes drastic measures to route out their cancer if they have to pay for their stadium without cl revenue

  40. Upper Street Gooner

    I think a massive issue is that tournoments like these are an incredible opportunity for the sport to grow in other markets such as asia or the states.

    If you go on any popular sports website in america espn, si, yahoo, fox huge segments and articles are devoted to racism its even on the opening screen cnn. Its a terrible advert for football.

    The fact is that even one incident is one to many and we’ve already had it. Lest hope the polish government understands that instructing the police to have a free reign on supporters isnt a good way to combat it. They should have done their homework beofre hand

  41. also
    … his responsibilities as captain & national team player morale…Advocaat’s arm would have been really twisted if AA remained on the bench @ the Arse

  42. MARKUS , Russia is within Asia of course. And my guess is the Russians probably applied to play in Europe due to the low quality of football in ASIA many years ago.
    Israel also made a similar application and were granted entry due to physical threats and assaults on the national team coaches and players whenever they played tournaments and/or qualifiers within countries with political and religious bad blood for the Israelis. That is what I remember happening in mid seventies. The Russians made their appeal even before that.

  43. I suppose there is a similar story regarding turkey and why they play in Europe.

  44. Upper Street Gooner

    Aman | June 8, 2012 at 11:16 am

    As my first posted suggest today i would love andrei to stay at to be played in his proper position.

    As you stated though aw is very intelligent and there must have been a reason for never once starting him in his best position. He will be in the last year of his contract next year as well so realistically if he has a good tourn this will be the last time we can get some decent cash for him, we know how important resale value is to us as a club.

    I also dont think that we can afford to have his wages if he isnt going to be a serious contributor. That efficency that Ivan spoke of isnt about having 4 players who can play in one position the most expensive of which gets the least game time.

  45. That’s an incredibly generous act by AW to put so much thought into PR requirements of the Russian FA and also Arshavin’s responsibilities as captain to allow him to leave and get fit for the Euros.

    Would you not think Arshavin had a responsibility to Arsenal Football Club as his employer, a responsibility to train his bollocks off and do everything he could to get the necessary game time in advance of the tournament. Similar to how a player like Chamberlain who by performance forced his way into his manager’s thoughts and was ultimately rewarded by Hodgson.

    This is a player who was allowed to leave after the closure of the January transfer window thus meaning we could not take in new cover for that position in the squad. It was also I am sure you will recall a precarious time in our season. Perhaps the development of AOC was that replacement.

    Either way you look at it he was deemed dispensable.

    Pity as he is an astounding talent but we’ve seen many astounding talents leave the club over the years.

  46. AMAN ,I think you are right regarding AA. also don’t forget, he was getting alot of disrespect from the fans in the stadium. Booing and what not. Even though we could have used his skills and experience in the run in, unfortunately hide position was becoming unattainable and a loan move was the right thing to do for him and the team. Hope he has a great tournament and comes us full of confidence.

  47. Russia is both Asian and European – the divide being separated by the Ural mountains.

  48. Maybe the idiots who booed their own players at a home game will have learned their lesson and stop with their stupidity.

  49. Russia is obviously EurAsian, crossing 11 time zones or whatever, but the greater part of its population and historic urban populations lies in the European part. Culturally and historically, it is predominantly North European Slavic. Mostly, Europe became defined (as Europe) by its christian history and identity, which equally defines most of Russia as European, not Asian. The old Soviet Union included the Southern Near East states, now independent, defined as Middle or Near East/Asian conversely by their Moslem heritage and historic linkages, via ancient overland trading routes to Asia, with Arabic-speaking peoples. The East two-thirds of Russia is ethnically and culturally Asian, but relatively sparsely populated due to environmental factors. all the above is guess work, but I suppose roughly accurate.

  50. mattgoonerknight


    “why woud I be deliberately provocative?”

    Because provocation creates conflict, which in turn demands and receives attention. Most of us like to think that our posts are read and in turn deemed interesting or thought provoking, but I think you have forced it a bit too much on this one.

    A personal insult is what it is: personal. Indiscriminately reducing the entire non-white world to the level of animals is quite another. The abuse of an Irishman for being Irish is wrong, idiotic and in a sense denigrating, but does it degrade the man to a sub-human level? No, it’s more of a question of discrimination against nationality. It’s wrong but I’m sure he won’t have to step-over any potatoes that have rained down from the top tiers any time soon.

    Out of interest, what was the “racist abuse” aimed at you?

    The notion that you were none too bothered is indicative of the discourse of your post and your apparent lack of empathy towards my protestations.

    Can of worms? Not really, if saying stupid things is avoided, of course.

  51. Turkey is also Eurasian – which we know as Istanbul is famously the only city in the world bridging two continents.

    Prize for guessing which ones! 😛

  52. good points USG….we’ll see what happens…

    my truth is,
    AW opted to play AA on the wings because we had Cesc. Hleb,TR, Diaby & Samri went thru the same thing. AA started with a bang so AW felt justified to keep him there. 3 seasons later it’s obvious AA @ 31 (like say Giggs) cannot give u the same energy as 25 year old Gervinho.

    Cesc’s long gone, Ramsey’s not sharp enough yet, Jack & Abou are down. Share the position between AA & TR with Rambo as 3rd choice so RvP need not apply and Song & Arteta can concentrate more on providing stability.

    Plain to see we cannot afford to experiment with a brand new buy with such a backlog of CMs who know the system. Why sell him when we can’t afford the ones we want?

    Summary….time to move AA back to his natural position.

  53. MGK @ 10.59 – spot on sir – exactly how I feel about it. I’d advocate that’s the best attitude for any right thinking person.

    Right as in correct – not right of centre obviously!

  54. Steve,
    As an Irishman why in gods name would you take part in abusing a player from your country on the base of his nationality. I can’t understand that at all.

  55. “It is scandalous that here we are in 2012 and discussing how the victims should behave, not the perpetrators!” spot on!

    We live in a world where there are few if any leaders. No one wants to be accountable for their decisions. (especially the empty suits at UEFA and FIFA)

  56. Steve;

    I know posts can be misinterpretted, or appear inciteful, when not meant. But i read your original post as suggesting racism was on a par with the general (usually obscene) football banter. it is anything but, IMO.

    As for Arshavin; It is more hope than expectation that he will return TBH. However, I think the fact he wanted regular football before a major tournament might have swayed the manager intom giving him his wish, especially as he wasnt getting much game time with us. He could return, but it does seem remote. As I stated, that means we need to address this in the transder market.

  57. Steve,
    Arsene sees the bigger picture for the most part.
    Really why keep him on the bench?
    Change was necessary
    Worked for both parties
    The Euros will assist the final decision.

    Also I am biased
    I love Andrei Arshavin in R&W!

  58. MGK;

    You make some excellent and valid points dude. As does my old mukka USG, worryingly! 🙂

  59. Because my man as I mentioned earlier it is a can of worms.

    Colour based racism is unacceptable and mattgoonerknight has detailed above why in a brilliant manner and for the record mate I am not in the slightest showing an “apparent lack of empathy towards my protestations”. On the contrary.

    Abusing Keane (as an example) isn’t viewed by most as racism, it’s simply abuse. But whatever spin you want to put on it is still racist abuse. Good natured though, Paddy doesn’t mind. Nor does the sheep shagging native from the valleys of Wales etc.

    Quite often the perpetrator doesn’t in any way hate or dislike the Irish but the abuse still spills from their mouth.

    Racist abuse is what it is, one cannot distinguish between it when it suits or decide that it is unacceptable because it “degrades the man to a sub-human level”.

  60. arse or brain

    bad news about oz going i was hoping for big things from him very stylish player

  61. In response to Dexter above I will just say one more thing.

    I was not in any way being inciteful and would apologise to any person that in any way took offence to anything I have said today.

    It’s called debate. Internet posts can be misinterpretted, often are infact.

  62. This lineup looks good to me and it’s without any new signings (apart from the one we have actually made to date);

    Sagna – Per Mert – Koscielny – Gibbs
    Arteta – Song
    Theo – Arshavin – Podolski

    Obviously there are a few players who are missing from that 11 and that’s a good sign of our squad. However, what I feel we need to happen next season, is more goals and creativity from midfield and out wide. Theo did his bit, while Arteta probably surpassed his goal tally given his deep lying position, Song had a lot of assists but very few goals. Podolski (and moat probably Gervinho after an up and down 1st season) should be exremely effective. However, the key position that needs to improve the most, is that one where the mercurial Russian is in my line up. We need 10+ goals and similar assists from whoever plays there. That’s all just my own opinion, obvs.

  63. Steve

    You dont have to apologise to me mate. Sometimes these things need a bit of explaining and elaboration before we get there!

  64. pedantic george

    I am tempted to join in and talk endlessly about the little Russian fellow but…………..
    pedantic george | June 7, 2012 at 8:42 pm
    pedantic george | June 7, 2012 at 7:37 pm
    pedantic george | June 7, 2012 at 5:11 pm
    My beloved ACLF is fucked .
    Give me Hunter any day .
    Well played Dexter and khalifha
    And Big Al .thank you for the article .

    Just going to post the same shit over and over and over and over………….seems to be the way forward.
    And over and over and over…………………..And over and over

  65. pedantic george

    Fucking Hell,Luke is back as well.Pfft.

  66. A or B;

    Yeah, I blame myself as I had bigged him up about 2 days before it was announced he was off! I intend on keeping my mouth shut about any other players being ones to watch from now on! Although, I will say this. Sebastian Squillaci is an awesome defender and he is definitely one to watch next season.

  67. I think there is a lot of rose-tinted wishful thinking regarding AA.

    He has been playing poorly enough for Arsenal for a lengthy period (albeit whilst showing flashes of excellence) that Wenger omitted him from the team and then eventually lost faith/patience to the extent that he sent him back to Russia.

    We can only guess as to whether he was loaned to recapture form or with a view to sell though the former seems more likely. It is not common practice to make this decision with such an established international and the fact that Wenger did not even see value in having him on the bench during the run-in speaks volumes to me.

    As I said its guesswork – but we do know his loan to Zenit has so far been something of a flop.

    YW – your assertion that Zenit will be hoping he performs poorly may not be true – they might equally be looking for signs that this is a player who still has much to offer them. It’s not as though the quality in the Russian league should be taxing a player of his class unduly and yet in his loan period he offered little.

    Here is my prediction – not only will he not ‘own’ this tournament (as some have ridiculously suggested) but he will be somewhat anonymous. Sorry if you don’t like that.

    I’d happily be proven wrong, but it IS a distinct possibility and it might knock a little realism into the numerous voices who still think he is ‘hard done to’ world-beater who was never utilised properly.

    I’ve always liked Andrei but I am not sure he was ever as good as some think he was and, even if he was, I don’t think he has ever really fulfilled that potential – at least not with any consistency.

    My suspicion is that he is in slow decline from his peak 4 years ago, that Wenger has spotted that and has moved on.

    I don’t think he has anything to prove to some of you – but having read interviews about his time in England I am confident he does not feel remotely the same about himself. What he does next will go a long way to determining his future.

  68. PG – my last post will cheer you up. 😉

  69. Question am I a racist the only criteria to join my group is you love arsenal although I refuse to sing anti Semitic songs I will openly sing the word scum. Call our friends from Liverpool bin dippers and when we play any team that resembles Germany the dam busters tune comes to mind ( pre. Merts poldy of course). when I travel to stoke inbread comes to mind when I go to Manchester it always reminds me of my nan being out on the town sometimes I visit towns and remind the inhabitants they live in a public convenience I have even referred to a guy lets just call him chav so not to give his name away a team mate shaging mum thieving dad coke selling racist not very nice I know ARSENAL ONE NATION

  70. Ha haha DEX. very funny. So oz is gone and not on a loan??

  71. If we sell AA what options are out there?

    …how about Stephen Ireland ?

  72. Aman you have the r.a.c. Green flag

  73. Good write up Yogi as I have the fighting Arshavin’s and the interesting Mozart’s making it out of the group.

    I have seen a couple pictures of Arshavin near the end of the season and he looks absolutely fit like when he 1st arrived @ Arsenal. Not only that but he seems to have refound his tremendous form and I was reading some online reports out of Russia and he was constantly being described as the “most hard working player on the pitch, dominant and arguably the best midfielder in all of Europe”. If he plays like that during the Euro’s then I would imagine that he would be back and him and Mozart would be pulling the strings as our AM sending the likes of RVP, Podolski, Theo, Ox, and Gervinho off to score bags of goals a match.

    I believe that Arsene did loan Arshavin to maybe see if he could get his confidence back and to also allow him to be fit for basically his last Euro’s.

  74. Upper Street Gooner


    Really solid looking attacking side that look like it would have a tremendous amount of goals in it.

    My worry would be that in order to bring about a reduction in the conceded column and to score more we need to press much better and whether Andrei is that man to help spearhead that who knows.

    He is captain of his nation though and if Arsene can reinvigorate him maybe he could do it.

    I still think its essential that we sign a dm who just loves defending and has an intense animal like charchter.

    Song is laid back which is no harm but i want the person he rotates with to be an animal who would rather ripp the opposition hand off beofre the game rather than hug them

  75. jonny,
    “I’ve always liked Andrei but I am not sure he was ever as good as some think he was and, even if he was, I don’t think he has ever really fulfilled that potential – at least not with any consistency.”

    I beg to differ,
    you are only as good as the position you are played in, with the players you play with, on the team you play for, the manager…at what age… at what specific period in history.

    Messi for Argentina vs Barca
    Cesc for the Arse vs Barca
    Henry for Juve vs the Arse…endless list

    ..just play the man in his fave position for a season then u can judge him all u want, get rid of him or extend his contract!

  76. jonny

    I thought his performances for Zenit improved after an indifferent start. He hardly set the league alight for us in the last season and a half he was with us, why that was is an question I would love to know the answer to.

    However, playing wide left when he clearly didnt fancy the tracking back/defensive side must have worn his little legs down even further.

    I still maintain though, if he were played in the AM slot, we would see a different player. But just like your post, it’s all just guess work and hypothesis. I do think he’s a bit young to be in decline though man. Plus, he has stated his desire to return to London (maybe to open up a clothes boutique a la George Best?)

  77. Kam; Its a permanent deal man.


    I think with Arteta beside him, the team IS more solid and I think the stats prove it (where is khalifha with thiose stats FFS! 🙂 ) What I also feel will hewlp us defensively, will be if we can create more and take our chances more efficiently. Sounds upside down, I know, but by being more dangerous and clinical we help out the defence.

    Does that make sense?

  78. The font,
    oh I’m a huge Stephen Ireland fan.
    I’d gladly welcome him to Arsenal
    @ only 26..peaking…just got thru 2 yrs of injury & Shitty…..super player

  79. CORR: @ only 26..peaking…back in form after 2 yrs of injury & Shitty…..super player

  80. You are only as good as the position you are played in? It sounds sensible and hold some water but it’s not cast iron like you make it sound.

    He did plenty well enough in the position he was played for a while at Arsenal – just seemed to lose his confidence and then with that dip in form used that as an excuse. Who knows how much difference it would have made?

    He’s been deployed centrally for Zenit and has still failed to convince.

    Furthermore he is certainly never going to be deployed there by Arsenal so there is, according to your logic, no pint in having him back.

  81. jonny

    You keep saying he failed at Zenit, yet others say differently. have tou seen C’s post man? 🙂

  82. Dex – his loan period was viewed poorly overall. Whatever improvement there was 9or was not) has not convinced Zenit –

    “Everything depends on Arshavin. If Andrey is ready to stay in the team and go on the field as a player, we are ready to discuss it,” said Zenit chief executive Maxim Mitrofanov.

    “Arshavin is part of our club but, with all due respect to him, he will only stay in the event that he proves himself useful as an active player. Not as a man making up the numbers.”

  83. Upper Street Gooner

    Completly agree on the being more clinical .

    I think the biggest area we can improve with in terms of consitency is pressing. By winning the ball back further up the pitch we create huge match up difficulties. so rather than being 6 vs 9 its 4 vs 5 or 3 vs 4 or even better. This creates match up difficulties and one on ones whereby we can exploit them.

    We arent ever goign to be a great crossing team which is why we struggle more than we should against sides who park the bus. If we could cross consistently well and get numbers in the box this wouldnt matter. This wont be needed if we press.

    The key is having a squad that is capable of playing a pressing game in 4 different comps. Without that energy upfront or midfield it makes us incredibly predictable or reliant on greatness. With the plethora of options we should have for next year this wont be the case

  84. Upper Street Gooner

    Aman | June 8, 2012 at 12:51 pm

    Allegedly he has quite a difficult charchter to fit in with the collective. Is he also any better than ramsey or rosicky…not in my book. The guy who comes in needs to offer something completely different.

    We must start getting more assists and goals from this position so that Song can concentrate on tightening us up at the back

  85. Dexter

    If you played the wee Russian in the AM slot you refer to would it then exclude him from the tracking back/defensive side of the job which you’ve stated he doesn’t fancy?

    One of the things that endeared Rosicky to support last season was not just his creative side but his overall workrate. On evidence to date you’re not going to get that from AA.

    There is a bigger issue with the lad which none of us know but we can all guess at.

    I would have to agree 100% with Johnny “I think there is a lot of rose-tinted wishful thinking regarding AA”.

    That is not to take away from his obvious talent.

  86. I have a major problem with any and all racism any. As somebody who has had to deal with racism both throughout my life as well as on the pitch it is purely inexcusable to me and I do think that UEFA and FIFA need to figure out what and how they are going to put a stop to this immediately for the honestly the sake of not only the tournament but futbol in general. I not only am a believer that somebody should stand up and do something whether it be in protest or not staying on the pitch.

  87. johnny, apparently there are 4 transcontinental cities.

    “There are actually a total of 4 transcontinental cities. The largest and most known would of course be Istanbul, Turkey located in Europe and Asia. The others include Atyrau, Kazakhstan (Europe/Asia), Orenburg, Russia (Europe/Asia), and Suez, Egypt (Africa/Asia).”

  88. mattgoonerknight

    “Racist abuse is what it is, one cannot distinguish between it when it suits or decide that it is unacceptable because it “degrades the man to a sub-human level”

    Yes one can.

    If I am called an English twat by a Scot or a Pomme by an Australian, I would not feel the same as I have done when I’ve been a paki, a blacky a nigger etc by my apparently fellow Englishmen; thankfully I’ve not had monkey howls, fascist salutes or bananas aimed at me, but I have had “go back to your own country” directed at me (about twenty years ago, admittedly).

    In the Caribbean (my dad’s from the St.Kitts), there’s a lot of inter-island rivalry, and many Jamaicans are known especially to be disparaging against the “small islanders”: those from the small island are considered inferior.


    An analogy with sexism and misogyny springs to mind.

    Insulting, hurtful and stupid comments about women as a gender are sexist, yes, but a misogynist they maketh?

  89. As an aside, when I visited my beloved Arsenal in 1977, having been a distant supporter since 1971, we were playing Coventry and a section of the crowd sang, alarmingly for me “Liam Brady is white, is white”. Racism needs to be fought without a single compromise as far as I’m concerned, the non-racial banner raised every time an abusive incident is witnessed, and far more importantly when a social pattern emerges. I subscribe to the view that racism arises from imperialist economic plunder always accompanied by its twin, national chauvinism. Most former colonizing societies bask in a murky multi-cultural do-goodiness but are in reality swimming in a deep pool of centuries of latent racism. In Africa, the Chinese would be regarded as racist, but never colonised us. But, they are plundering our minerals right now. Eastern european racism I suspect arises from its own history of imperialist plunder of its Asian backyard. Anything brown is fair game. Russians should know better. Pushkin’s ancestry is Ethiopian.

  90. jonny,
    deploy Scholes, Giggs or Xavi centrally for Wolves and see if they convince..

    c’mon man…how many times did u see AA cut into CM and lay a sweet pass to Theo, Rambo or Gerv w/o success?
    Enough times to know they’re not used to his genius but would gain so much if he were deployed more as AM. That must be very frustrating for any player. U don’t think over time he’d get tired playing out of position?

    Geniuses don’t come a dime a dozen jonny…why do u think AW’s kept with RvP & TR given their injury records?
    They’ve justified his faith and I think AA’d do the same..easily.

    ps: if Hleb wasn’t such a pussy he’d still be @ Arsenal today…pity.

  91. Steve

    I think Arshavin would be able to cope with the demands of that AM position as it is less demanding, defensively than when he is out wide, basically covering the LB. There’s a lot more (in my opinion) work to be done out wide than behind the striker as in my formation, at least, he’d have 2 CMs directly behind him.

    Of course, I would expect him to put in a shift, but not the relentless amount (to him it seems!) over on the left wing.

    It’s all pie in the sky, the omens look, well, ominous and the signs aint good about his future Arsenal prospects. I think we should keep him (doubt we’d recoup much for him TBH) AND sign a new AM.

    Whio that could be, I have no idea? An suggestions?

    Anyone? 🙂

  92. Must have been Arsenal supporters, ZimPaul, because people from Coventry don’t speak. I was sent there once. No-one said a word. Peeping Tom remains one of my heroes to this day though.

  93. …..I like to think that Lady Godiva had red hair.

  94. USG,
    i rate Ireland higher than Rambo but not TR. Assists & goals are a given in our system. He is that good. The difficult character bit though decreases the possibility by much.

    I’d not bother this summer
    add the DM, keeper & maybe 3rd striker (if Campbell’s not up to scratch)
    next summer’ll be clearer

  95. mattgoonerknight

    Completely changing all subjects…

    ….if Gibbs steps up in the manner I hope he will, we could in the near future have the prospect of 4 gooners on the pitch for England at the same time!

    It would be great to be able to support England with just a fraction of the fervency I do the Arsenal; I just find supporting a unified club of Chavs, Spuds and Mancs nauseating.

    England for Brazil 2014; )

  96. All this talk of Arshavin reminds me of when I was a youth and Eric Cantona playing for Manure. I remember talk about him never tracking back or anything like that defensively in the AM/”hole” position. I vaguely remember and for the elder posters please tell me if I’m wrong, but Fergie use to tell him don’t worry about tracking back defensively but press high if you can and just worry about getting and assisting on goals and helping us win that way. Say we do sign M’villa or Biglia, 2 players that pride themselves on being a true DM 1st, 2nd and 3rd then a passer would it not be a good idea say with which ever one we signed plus Song and Arshavin(only if he returns which I doubt) and Arsene tell him something similar to what Fergie told Cantona. Just a thought.

  97. Good old Bob van Persie

  98. Markus – yes my bad – I meant capital city.

  99. Dex,

    Sagna/Jenks/Coq – Verm/Per/Miquel – Kos/Djou/Bartl – Gibbs/Santos
    Arteta/Jack/Abou – Song/DM?/Frimp
    Theo/Ox – AA/TR/Rambo – Gerv/Ryo

    we’d rock!

  100. Ramsey is a much better player than Ireland, who is also a ballbag.

  101. @ mattgoonerknight | June 8, 2012 at 1:10 pm

    I completely agree with you. As is known around here I live in the states and as recently as last year I have had to deal with racist remarks i.e bananas thrown at me, monkey noises, nigger, blackie and others both here in the states and when me and my wife have traveled abroad to Europe and I will be the 1st to say that racism in any for is racism.

    We all view futbol as something beautiful that brings joy and passion to our hearts whether it be pride in player, club our country and for their even to be the threat of racism in ruining this should be met with the most severe punishment. We all scould Suarez for saying a commonly used term in South America for black people(I’m black and view all of you as nonracist), we call Terry a cunt for what was said to Anton but don’t feel the players should be protected by the fans. Yes I hugely agree that the lot shouldn’t be punished for the few but am a firm believer and would actually applaud any player that stood up for his beliefs. You walk off the pitch fine your taking a stand and saying that this should not be allowed and you get booked. But if the cunts that made the racist remarks are jailed then I personally would be the 1st if I could to go over there and have a few words with local government FIFA and UEFA.

    Here in the states if you are caught speaking, posting or anything dealing with racist activity in a public venue or publically you are met with strict public arrests if you are provoking violence or throw something at another. Yes the KKK, black groups, Hispanic and all other have walked the streets but they also know the law and many times it leads to many of their supporters being arrested during the march or walk or whatever.

  102. The Wail is being a little disingenuous, Matt. He also said that there is no way he would play in La Liga, money is not everything and neither is winning at any cost. The Wail missed out those bits because they want to leave the door open to more speculation and spite.

    See you next season, Robin

  103. @Frank

    You know Bob Van Persie is in the “dog house” with the wife because she said Robin stays at Arsenal.

  104. Fucking arsewipe of a rag. Forgot to add that.

  105. Now on arshavin
    The wee russian was a world class player when we signed him, he had a certain spark about his game, whenever he got the ball in the final third you felt something was going to happen, he would either get a shot on target or put someone through on goal. To quote Fergie ‘that is the sign of a top class player’

    Arshavin set the bar so high both in the Euro’s and the 2nd half of the season at arsenal that there was no way he could maintain such performance.
    But if anyone is to blame for his dip in form it should be andrey, if he had applied himself more on the left hand side(he is lazy) and stayed off the pies i doubt we would be contemplating his arsenal future at this moment.
    Yea also, moving him to the center/free role will effectively turn our formation into a two man midfield. Can we all remember how cesc/ramsey/rosicky work their arse off in that position? Defending starts from the front, it is hard imagining AA chasing down a player or tracking back.

    Am glad someone mentioned pressing as a team, i think this will come as a shock to some of us but it seems ‘pressing’ also leads to our defensive problems.
    The reason our midfielders are always high up the pitch and defenders pushing up results in a high line(yea the one that makes us concede a goal every match) is a very risky defensive tactic.
    Arsenal has made the most last man/ditch tackles than anyone in the league, and guess which defender saved our arse the most …. Koscielny with about 10 or so, vermaelean wandering forward doesn’t help either.

    This is what carrick had to say on pressing …. ‘when a player commits to putting pressure on the opposition, he leaves gaps and spaces behind him for the opposition to exploit, the secret is not pressing the opponent head on but reading the game and moving into the space the player is likely to pass the ball’ …. Now a comment from carrick might not mean much to you but i think he is one of the best readers of the game thus his high number of interceptions in a season which is on par with our own arterta, unsung hero type player.

  106. MGK – you didn’t tell me you were black! I feel so betrayed! 😉

    Another cogent argument @ 1.10 BTW.

    Aman – the difference is I just don’t AA is the balls on the floor genius you do. I think he is a decent player who has flashes of inspiration. It’s fascinating how he is forgiven all of his flaws/mistakes as though he is a godlike genius suffering the inadequacies of the mortal fools whom he is forced to walk among.

    You can’t cite RVP and TR7 and the fact AW stuck with them whilst overlooking the fact AW has seemingly given up on AA.

    You also ignore the comments that have come from Zenit.

    Dex – did you not think those comments paint an interesting picture of AA’s time in Zenit..? Certainly doesn’t sound as though they are ready to throw money at us.

  107. Upper Street Gooner

    Aman | June 8, 2012 at 1:27 pm

    You see i think Ramsey pre his injury was starting to look a bit like a 2 footed gerrard.

    He hasen’t got Rosikcy burst nor his dribbling but is just much better at finding himself in dangerous positions. He needs to get his confidence back in fornt of goal and the rest will come.

    It was a tough season for him last year but one he will learn from. I think its starnge that Arsene didn’t give andrei a go in the middle considering rosicky and ramsey collective struggles unitl feb.

    Ramsey ceiling is huge and i’ve not forgotten that and fully expect him to have an excellent olympics and great start to the season

  108. I know i just quoted to manure affiliates, i have shamed this blog, i will never return *whistles and looks at watch* …. Al Be back later for the match today.

  109. to … Two.

  110. @Khalifha

    You make a great point about pressing but an ever greater point in the need for the BFG aka Per Mertsacker. Great reader of the game and for all those that don’t think he is 1st choice material over Verm think about this: he hasn’t played for almost half a season for us YET he is 1st choice for Germany slotting in immediately the day he is deemed fit, that would be a German side that many believe will be crowned Euro Champs!

    A back 5 or Sagn/Mert/Kos/Santos with Song or M’villa/Biglia(hopefully but wont say for sure until pen put to paper) would be not only able to account for the pressing of our strikers and AM but also be able to play out of the back.

  111. Nice post yogi:

    Glad the tournament is started, great distraction.

    I think we all love Ashavin but the reality of the situation is that he was never once deployed behind the main striker in 4 seasons. For a club that watches its money like Arsenal I am sure it did not escape notice that he was on one of the highest wages of any player and not playing. I am sure no one really believes that the boss would weaken the team just to give AA23 a better chance to excel at his last Euro tournament. If Arsene did that then someone needs to sit down with him and explain who pays his wages. I suspect we will want to free up as much money as possible to restructure the top of our wage ladder which does not bode well for an AA23 return next season. Hopefully his wages will helps us keep RVP.

  112. Reports from Poland Manager is that Lewandowski is off to Manure: “Lewy is going to Manchester United, Jakub also somewhere in England, Lukasz Piszczek to Real Madrid,” he said. “They have a goal and they want to grow.”

  113. jonny,
    my opinion of AA is based strictly on what I’ve seen of him. At the Arse, a few preArse Zenit & Euro ’08.
    I’ve not watched any Zenit games this season either.

    You don’t need to watch every game to recognize genius.
    AA is the truth.
    AA is older, more fixed in his ways, maximize his gifts and stop undermining his abilities
    sell him!

    Q: is Rambo better than AA @ AM?

  114. pedantic george

    Shut up Jonny.
    Those quote you posted are Zenit trying to push the price down,He was MOTM in 4 of their last 5 games.
    He is the 2nd best player on our books if allowed to play his game ,rather than trying to please people by doing a poor impersonation of Scot Parker.
    He was a better player and man than either Cesc or Nasri.

  115. Good points about pressing until you quoted Michael ‘Static’ Carrick.

    Pressing works well so long as it is applied judiciously and collectively but only in bursts – knowing when to press and when to drop into space is and reading when others are doing it is an acquired skill.

    It’s not something Carrick has ever tried – preferring, as he does, to offer as little movement as possible.

  116. pedantic george

    Bill,little Dennis Purrcat left us 12 months ago today .And in his honour he is back for one day only.

  117. Excellent ’bout time you bit.

    AA is not, never has been nor will be a better player than Cesc. A better man certainly.

  118. pedantic george

    Is too

  119. @Bill

    I remember several FA Cup matches(dont remember who we were playing) and a couple CC matches where he was deployed centrally and was absolutely masterful. But I do completely agree with you that if he does leave his wages will help us keep RVP.

  120. I agree with George. Zenit are hardly going to eulogise about AA when they are trying to sign him.

  121. jonny,
    loved how you skipped PG’s main points and latched on the Cesc bit.

  122. C,
    having lost Kagawa as well I just wonder if young Goetze would not do a rethink next summer. Oh, and Hummels too

  123. Indeed Frank it was Arsenal supporters in the stand to my left. I was in a stand behind the goal. It was packed. I really should mention what then happened as I best recall after 35 years. A group of fans immediately behind me passed me a bottle of rum and coke wrapped in a brown paper bag (smuggled in they laughed) with lots of banter, much of which I could barely understand, about “keep warm me old sunshine”. There was friendly back slapping. As I was stoned, with my friends (building site workers) who had taken me as a treat (my first ever Arsenal game) and bought tickets, the match was a rip-roaring party.

    We won, 1-0 and my sole recollections were (a) a single Brady longish-range left footed curling pass of such beauty and precision (from which we scored), it remains the pass of the century for me, I have never forgotten it, and proceeded to name my second born son “Liam” 5 years later (b) Graham Rix dribbling, jinxing through the middle, magic.

  124. pedantic george

    c ,it was a cup match against Bolton.He was superb.
    Also he came on and played in the centre away at Spurs .The score was 1,1, when he was introduced and he ran amok.I think we won 4 1 in the end,Jack played well that day also.

  125. C,
    who would u rather have Lewandowski or Papiss?

  126. pedantic george

    Ok ,perhaps he is not better than Fabregas.Not much in it though.

  127. Upper Street Gooner


    They have a tremendous amount of money behind them from Gazprom and Andrei price even with a good euro behind him would hardly be huge.

    I think they are trying to send a message to him and manage the fans expectations who love him.

    His stats look fantatsic from his 11 games with them 4 goals 3 assists. Thats the type of production we need from that position to be succesful

  128. Aman there is no point tackling George on AA – even if anything I said was true there is precisely zero chance George would hear it – unless it fit the ‘AA is GOD paradigm’.

    I think you’re on a similar page.

    BTW comparing Ramsey at this stage and after his injuries – really??!

    Dex – yes that is a fair point – I had read other reports of his time at Zenit and that it was far from successful. I guess truth is none of us saw for ourselves.

    Still, it’s far from a high quality league.

    Let’s hope he plays a blinder at The Euros.

  129. @PG

    I knew if anybody could tell me which matches it would be you mate!

    I doubt Gotze leaves because Reus is coming who is from the couple of matches I saw and from everything I read better than Kagawa not to mention was just left off the German team for the Euros. They also have some tremendous talent there, I have watched them and ecspecially when they played Bayern, FFS the players they have leaving and staying are tremendous.

    Personally Papis, I mean dont get me wrong I would take either but Papis has come to Newcastle and set the EPL alight like very few before him and only in a half season where others have struggled terribly. Not to mention he seems to be able to pick a pass and his bursts along with the touch are world class. He is a polcher too which is something I love in a striker. From what I have seen of Lewandowski, he is a polcher and extremely gifted and techinical but I’ll take Papis Cisse anyday of the week. I was calling for him the whole 1st half of the season before we sign Henry and Newcastle got him.

  130. Why do people think Arshavin will defy recent history and all of a sudden be in match shape? He han’t been match fit for over a year. Even his Zenit coach Spalletti publicly criticised him as only playing to his potential in 20% of the games he played in since his loan spell. Lord knows what Spalletti says in private. It looks to me like Andrei’s move and home cooking didn’t revitalise him. Would a return to London?
    And how thick are the rose coloured glasses required to be to think he’ll be the central starting attacking midfielder that some claim we need? Wenger didn’t play him there last year when the position was vacant. Even when we were in 17th place he didn’t put him there.
    When I place on the Arsenal blinker glasses I see it more likely that Bergkamp come out of retirement a la Scholes- LOL.

  131. A talented player doesn’t lose his talent when played out of his preferred position.

    Futbol is a team sport, not every one plays their preferred position.

    Arsene is held accountable for system of play, player selections, and results. He certainly is in the best position to evaluate which starting XI is likely to produce the best result.

    I hope all our players in the Euro’s have top performances and bring that form back to the club.

  132. you’re not on your own Philmar
    I love AA and I bet more of u would if he was played in CM
    Its in AW’s hands
    He knows

    Me too C, Papiss is a beast!
    I forgot Dortmund’s retooled. No Goetze fa we den.

    I just saw Cesc the pass masteron youtube and realized how easily a genius can lose trust in his fellow players when they waste so many potential assists.
    Great players love to play with great players.
    Selling AA does not help re-signing RvP
    Better to demote Rambo
    he’s young with a “huge ceiling”

  133. George @ 2:17:

    Thanks for reminding me. I did not know the exact day he passed. I know you miss him but he is in better place now.

  134. pedantic george

    Arsesession,you would have fancied Henry as a left back then?

  135. pedantic george

    Thank you Bill.
    I do miss him terribly.Not so sure about the better place though.

  136. C @ 2:21:

    I reread my original post and it comes across sounding a bit more harsh then it should. I don’t believe anyone can doubt the need to remodel our wage scale and upgrade the top end. AA has to be one of our top 1 -2 weekly wage earners and was not playing, thats untenable in a club like ours.

  137. @Aman
    Yea Dortmund is for all accounts becoming a major player and spending money. Yesterday there was discussion about Dortmund not spending money but they resigned Gotze, brought in Reus, resigned Hummels and for me personally people keep making such a massive deal about Lewandowski leaving but lest we not forget that Lucas Barrios lit up the German league and led them to the title the previous year and then got hurt or something. So its not like they are potentially losing Lewandowski and not having a proven poacher that already led their title winning line, they do.

    Honestly we all would love to see Arshavin back because we have seen his capabilities but unless he lights up the Euro’s I doubt he comes back. I know I previously said that I would like to see him come back but I really and truly do doubt he does come back. I wouldn’t mind though seeing us go after Christian Eriksen the AM from Ajax.

  138. Arsesession,
    “A talented player doesn’t lose his talent when played out of his preferred position”.

    true but his morale can wane over time as he ages.
    Personally think because AW likes to collect CMs, it forces a positional flexibility onto the team (especially in attack) that requires harder management.

    TR, Diaby, Samri, Rambo, Hleb have all had to play on the wings but not as much.
    “Time to adjust Andrei’s, AW”
    See what it did for Giggs.

  139. George:

    For what its worth, that thought always made it a bit easier for me. Can’t think of much else to say. Give your dog a little extra love tonight and that might help.

  140. Lot’s a wild speculation. AA will not return to a play a central position. If he returns, it will be to play any position, probably wide, as a mainly part-time or occassional impact-maestro. There is zero possibility, or need, or rationale in down-grading Ramsey who’s role if anything is likely to increase rapidly.

  141. Arsesession, how excited would u be about blogging if ACLF went down and u were left with the Le Groves?

    C, its been said that Eriksen lusts after La Liga.

  142. For Khalifha and all the stats nuts out there, I found this number to be quite astonshing. The dutch strike force of RVP, Huntelaar, Luuk de Jong combined to score 117 goals this past season between just the 3 of them. What’s even more interesting is that young de Jong had the least scored of the 3 with 32.

    That means that between those 3 they outscored EVERY TEAM IN THE PREMIER LEAGUE THIS SEASON. You talking about a coach that knows that no matter what striker he puts out their they will mroe than likely get a goal.

  143. @Aman

    Interesting but wouldn’t mind Arsene trying anyways. Could see Marvin Martin but I still prefer Yann M’villa or Lucas Biglia.

  144. “Robin van Persie’s father, Bob, has reportedly told a Spanish news outlet that his son won’t join Barcelona, Real Madrid or another English club”

    With all these close sources feeling moved to make statements I still think RVP is going to stay.

  145. @jonny

    I think RVP stays and signs an extension and retires here ala Bergkamp

  146. If, of course, he made them. And if he did make them, made them in the last week or so. The comments from his mother published a week or so ago, were apparently made some months ago.

  147. @Yogi

    Thanks for feeding a a massive taste of reality pie!

  148. PG – If the manager saw fit to have Henry at LB, I can complain all day long, but that is where he plays. If he starts him there for 3 seasons, then I’m missing something OR the
    manager is clueless.

    I believe Andrei has the technical and tactical nous to play anywhere.

  149. pedantic george

    Kill joy

  150. @Arsession

    I know its a sore spot but it does make your point. I was watching a replay of the Manure asswhooping when Arshavin played on the left and he was unplayable at times out there, I remember one chance where the ball was played over the top, he controlled it and out paced the defense and got a shot off right outside the 6yd box that was missed terribly. That for me somes up Arshavin at Arsenal: he can play anywhere and show flashes and skill that very few have but then can have that moment to where it makes you want to drink a whole bottle of Stoily immediately.

  151. pedantic george

    I believe you are right Arsession.
    But that does not mean he is playing his best stuff ,That would be when he played in the position that best suits his skill set.
    Dennis could have played in any position but would he have been a world class CB? I dont see how you can argue against playing someone in there most favoured position will get the best from them.

  152. Aman –
    I appreciate your positive posts, you are one of my favorites.

    Maybe I posted hastily. Without clarity you can be beheaded.

    I have no clear cut choices for a starting XI…..just that the club succeed.

    “true but his morale can wane over time as he ages.”
    I don’t disagree with this statement, but quick to point out that Rosicky joined the club and played out on the wing, not his preferred position; …..then 2 years of injury……..his morale could easily have waned…..RIGHT? A life lesson right before our eyes.

    Personally think because AW likes to collect CMs, it forces a positional flexibility onto the team (especially in attack) that requires harder management.”

    good point…..but almost every player that Arsenal sign, the player has the talent to play in multi positions. I’m just saying that second guessing the manager, there must be something that the manager knows and perceives that fans are not privy too. It may not even be related to futbol.

  153. Yogi:

    As usually occurs, you are correct, it could also be a negotiating ploy to get Man City to sweeten the offer. That said, its the best thing we have seen in a while and for those who do waste their time (myself included) trying to find the real meaning in every word that is written, it is a positive development.

  154. PG
    I never argue with someone who I find ‘so entertaining’.

  155. Upper Street Gooner

    I would just be utterly amazed if RVP were to leave to go to Italy.

    I just dont get it with that league. Watched there cup final the other week between Juve and Napoli and the stadium was half empty. Basically like a Utd vs spurs game and they couldnt fill it.

    The league is tainted with match fixing and racism i just cant see why he would go there but these Juve rumors dont appear to go away.

  156. PG
    I don’t disagree with all the commentary about Arshavin playing at AM or your point @ 3:45

    just saying I have to believe the manager knows why and has more fuel for his decision……and leave it at that.

  157. pedantic george

    Thanks Arsesession,I think!
    I am doing a little song and dance routine for your entertainment as we speak.

  158. Arsene we trust then I guess.
    Not a bad position to defer to.

    oh, and in Bob & Mom too!

  159. pedantic george

    “just saying I have to believe the manager knows why and has more fuel for his decision…”

    Ah, unfortunately that is “the” big gun answer.Blows my argument clean out of the water.I know,because it is the answer I resort too when I want to put an end to someone’s nonsense.

  160. pedantic george

    Hey Aman .quit posting my posts quicker than I can!

  161. The comparisons you are making are unfair – playing wide forward and AM are hardly the same as comparing the difference between striker and a defensive position.

    The fact is AW has a history of playing players out of position – as his whim – and a habit of getting it right. He even had to convince RVP he could play lead striker.

    Furthermore AA started in that role brightly he just faded and lost confidence.

    In addition to that he frequently had goal scoring opportunities even when playing less well than he had before and he fluffed 90% of them. That speaks not of a player struggling because he is out of position but of a player who lost his belief in front of goal.

    I think the players we have been talking about would have flourished in any attacking role given time. AA had plenty of time to regain his confidence but he failed.

    The whole being played out of position is a bit of a smokescreen – he played it pretty wel to start with – all he had to do was work hard and improve but when the going got tough he dropped his head.

    In fact he let his head drop frequently in matches – I think that lack of fight might have been his true enemy in the larger scheme.

  162. @Arsession

    I dont disagree with you about Rosicky but not all players are capable of mentally dealing with it. Some players just like people, it might not be only a physical thing but also a mental thing.

  163. USG

    Juventus are a huge club and Serie A is a league which over the years has produced top sides on a European stage. With the Agnelli family behind them they could spend a lot and have a decent run at the CL next season, won’t win it but if we’re honest nor will we (probably).

    You could argue as a league it is relatively in decline compared with England & Spain but referencing their cup is a bit misleading as in a few of the major European leagues the domestic cup is a very very poor second relation to the league.

    I’ve watched some games on ESPN this year and when the top sides meet the quality is still very obvious, less so when you go down the table. But like England.

    The basic decision with RvP may be that he wants a change, a new challenge. He wants to win things is the cliché the media will use. He certainly appears to be considering his options but if his father is to be believed it does not include either Spanish giant (if they are actually in for him in the 1st place) nor City so it doesn’t really leave a lot of options other than Italy.

  164. @Steve

    Interesting about Juve not possibly winning the CL. I have watched them and Buffon is still a world class keeper they play an unorthodox 3-5-2 with 2 very talented strikers not to mention Pirlo pulling the strings with 2 very good wide men. I could see them challenge if the draw goes right. Lets be honest did anybody see the Chavs winning it, if you say yes I’ll personally call you a lying cunt! We could win it if we stop get the right quarterfinal draw TBH.

  165. Quite the pre-season ahead: China-Malaysia-Nigeria-Germany

    24/7 Kuala Lumpur: vs Malaysia XI
    27/7 Beijing: vs Man Shitty
    29/7 Hong Kong: vs Kitchee FC
    5/8 Abuja: vs ?
    5/12 Cologne: vs FC Cologne

  166. I think RvP and Arsenal have agreed a one year extension to 2014, and potentially a rolling one year extension thereafter, with a flexible exit clause next summer 2013 if needed (gentleman’s agreement, so that if RvP wants he may leave and Arsenal may sell, not on a free) and some wage issues for the coming year that Ivan promised to get back on.

    This would totally explain the odd combination of all round feel-good but not yet announced/signed off. What if RvP’s side posed the question; I have no intention of leaving this season, assuming agreement on some good wages, but might want to leave next summer. Hence negotiate a year on year rolling extension.

  167. C

    Simply a prediction as opposed to statement of fact.

    It’s a cup competition after all, a very hyped up glorified one, so anyone from the quarter finals on can win it with all the requisite luck. If pushed at this point I would suggest Madrid though who knows will be signed by various clubs in the next 2 months.

    Juve are a very good team, you do not go unbeaten in one of the major European leagues without being very good, the signing of Pirlo from Milan being a masterstroke. They tried unsuccessfully last summer to get Aguero so they’re clearly ambitious in that respect.

  168. pedantic george

    Paul.Not sure he would want a rolling contract at 29 when he could secure a 4 year deal on top wages right now.

  169. @Steve

    I know you weren’t stating fact and sorry if I came off as if you were, I was just stating how interesting you point was.

    regarding RVP, has this thought crossed anybody’s mind other than mine. Maybe just maybe RVP says to Arsene and the others in there, “how long Arsene do you plan to keep managing Arsenal FC because I don’t want to play for another manager?” I wouldn’t necessarily be surprised if those 2 talked about that, as I imagine like many others even players that Arsene didn’t seem like himself after the one that shall not be named left for a little bit there until RVP decided he was going to not only carry Arsenal but Arsene as well until both got back to normal following the departure of the one that shall not be named. Maybe just maybe Arsene said to RVP, “Hey look your Captain of Arsenal FC and leader of this team please let me know now so that I can get my bearings during and immediately after the Euro’s so I can figure out my personal next step?” This could really be a real possibility or am I just crazy>?

  170. I think in his ideal world, RVP finishes his career at Arsenal and I would be very surprised if he wants to leave just for a new challenge or for a change of scenery. I think the trophy thing is a part of the equation but the bottom line is I think he will stay if our wage offer is somewhere in the ball park of the market value of a top 5 in the world goal scorer. Offering him that sort of contract would be a huge consession and break our tradition just for him. I can’t believe he would turn us down if we did that. I would hope the club has been talking to his agent for months and already made several offers and the lack of movement to this point is a most likely an indication that he is probably not willing to take a smaller offer that would fit with our clubs traditional wage scale.

  171. Maybe – but I imagine it was more like –

    RVP “I want to stay. How much will you pay me?”

    AW “How much do you want?”

    RVP “£200M and a 50 camels a week”.

    AW (whilst rummaging down the sofa) “We can stretch to £6.80 an hour two bits of fluff and a packet of camel cigarettes. But if we can sell Nicklas Bendtner’s ego, we might be able to get nearer your request. Give us some time, and try not to talk to the papers – there’s a good fella”.

    RVP “Rightey-dokey me ole matey-skip. I expect good news when I get back from the Euros. We’ll talk then”

  172. Do you think B52 suffers from the Dunning–Kruger effect?

  173. pedantic george

    Perhaps Jonny ,But I am more concerned with your ailments.

  174. C @ 4:09

    “not all players are capable of mentally dealing with it. Some players just like people, it might not be only a physical thing but also a mental thing.”

    absolutely…….I was just using Tomas’s situation as an example but certainly not the usual; have patience, work hard for team and manager and wait for your moment.

    Something rare in society.

  175. Oh Scz!

  176. @Arsession

    I think this is what has come to define one Andrei Arshavin!

  177. “I think the players we have been talking about would have flourished in any attacking role given time. AA had plenty of time to regain his confidence but he failed.”

    He’s had plenty of time to show a commitment to the team by playing good defense when his offensive confidence has gone. He failed.
    He had plenty of time to show commitment to the team by doing what is the minimum requirement of a squad player: get fit. He failed that.
    He has let himself and the team down the past few years. He is exceptionally gifted but I think he lacks the fitness, power and pace to blow past defenders that he once had…maybe some of that would return if he were 100% fit again. But his on field body language didn’t suggest he cared either way. Arsene knows better what his attitude was on the training pitch.
    All I know is Arsene didn’t see fit to play him in the center even when we were languishing in mid-table. His last great contribution to my mind was a brilliant lazy scoop pass for Henry’s final goal to win the Sunderland game. I’ve spent 2 years wanting and wishing for the Arshavin we saw destroy Liverpool. But the belief he’d come true ended last autumn. His heart didn’t seem in it enough, and when the heart was willing the body fitness wasn’t. I hope he can set the Euros ablaze but realistically this is unliekly – you really need to be fit because the recovery time in between games in these tournaments is relatively short.
    At his age he has the ability to be a super sub that could have a great impact on a game: similar to what Henry did last year. Maybe the Euros will help him come to that realization and decide that committing to Arsenal even at this limited role is the best for him.

  178. Whats the score guys?

  179. last I checked Poland 1-0 with Lewandowski scoring 17′ in

  180. Chesney sent off! DISASTROUS game.

  181. 1 – 1 Szczesny at fault for the Greek goal

  182. Fuck me Ches has had a shocker tonight.

    At fault for the first and a clear sending off for the second.

    1-1 and penalty to Greece…

  183. SAVED!

  184. pedantic george

    Philmar .you consistently chat shit.But at least you are consistent.

  185. @Jonny

    Was it justified? I only watched up until the 17′ cause again these fucking gov’t computers dont let you do shit!

  186. Ches will come back stronger for this.

  187. Philmar, nail on head man.
    Arshavin had the ability to be the best in the league, that is the most annoying part. anyone remember his goal against man utd and Liverpool, he only needs a very short back-lift to add power to his shots.
    Technique, vision, upper body strength, skill, he had it all but ……

  188. Totally justified.

    Came out – got nowhere near the ball and brought the striker down with his leg (clear contact).

  189. I’m only checking the score so I didn’t realise Szczesny had been sent off. What was that for? Once again unlucky Lucasz is not in a position to take his spot back for his Country as for his club!

  190. Just bad decision making in coming off his line. Both occasions he was nowhere near.

    Seen it a few times for The Arsenal but never as bad as he did tonight. Nerves I guess.

    I feel awful for him but he will learn a lot from this.

    3mins to go – looking like anyone’s game.

    BTW – I was watching on delay. Ches sent off earlier in the game c 70mins.

  191. @Jonny

    Maybe he was doing it on purpose, take a red for your country try and save yourself for club. Maybe RVP, Theo, Ox, Mert, Podolski should all get a red wait Hodgson wont play Theo so were good there but the rest go get a red for country adn save yourself for club!

  192. Thank God am not watching that match, sounds like a horror show.
    Definitely counting on rosicky and arshavin to improve the mood.

  193. you would have been watching if fabianski was playing though, eh pas!!

    surely sczesney is better looking then fabianski??

  194. Szescney comes off the line for arsenal to act as a sweeper when we play a high line, probably the reason for his mistakes today.

  195. Very generous Khalifha – regarding the sending off – he actually goes to trip the striker with his leg on purpose and then tries to pull out, too late.

    No excusing it – he just made two bad decisions.

    It happens.

  196. pedantic george

    Some of our player seem to be beyond criticism.
    Szczesny and Tommy V for instance.

  197. @Philmar

    I think he has already played in their friendly if I’m not mistaken leading up to the tournament

  198. Still think we should make a run at Schwarzer this summer as the back up and cup GK and just may his role would increase the season goes on. Lots of evidence that Wojo still has some things to learn.

  199. “Philmar .you consistently chat shit.But at least you are consistent.”

    Feel free to give examples and correct me where I am wrong.

  200. szezcney and tv have been fukin utter shit these past few months.

    hows that george.

  201. Who ended up winning?

  202. dukegoonem | June 8, 2012 at 6:51 pm

    I don’t watch football to look at players faces or bodies unlike you clearly. I wasn’t watching because it’s on the BBC and I suspected it would be a dull game. It’s reasonable to mention that Fabianski will miss a chance to play for his Country due to injury. Last time I checked he is still an Arsenal player.

  203. That’s absolute bollocks George. In fact its become parroted so many times it has a ring of truth but truthfully both of those players mistakes have been well acknowledged (anbd not just by Duke).

    That’s partly why no one put them in the top 5.

    The thing is they give 100% and wear their love of the club and their hearts on their sleeves at all times.

    They engender a lot of respect and in spite of shortcomings are still rightly, to my mind at least, considered by the majority of fans as first team choices.

  204. I think Duke was being light-hearted Pass! 😀

  205. “No excusing it – he just made two bad decisions.

    It happens.”

    Unless you happen to be one of the unpopular Arsenal players and then every mistake is magnified beyond what is reasonable and you are forever labelled as ‘shit’. You get no support from the ‘fans’, and end up railroaded out of the club with smart alecs offering to pay your taxi fare to the airport.

  206. No he wasn’t jonny – he has previous

  207. George @ 7:01:

    “Some of our player seem to be beyond criticism.
    Szczesny and Tommy V for instance.”

    Same might also be said of a certain manager. 😉

  208. The Poland Greek Match was good. Both sides escaped with a tie Wojciech did good. He made a good stop but it was a red card. My only fear is that one of our guys could get hurt. That’s the rub. ESPN used the guys like Ian Darke and Steve McMananamin. These guys are really good. I hope the second match the anouncers will be good. The in studio at ESPN is bad. I am looking fowa

  209. Fave boy not doing so well in the opening game, good thing the second keeper kept them in it after saving the penalty. What was your take on the referee guys? I only watched the last 20mins of the game and the highlights but the comments from the stupid commentators think the ref made too many howlers, not that I can take their words seriously as their record to fit things to their agenda are very high.

  210. pedantic george

    there are some favorites and you saying”The thing is they give 100% and wear their love of the club and their hearts on their sleeves at all times.” explains it.There popularity is based more on their personalities than their on field performances.
    And Duke is a sly un.Passenal has him right.

  211. Pass,

    i know you dont. ..i was on a wind up and have been on that certain wind up for ages., i thought you knew i was always on a wind up about the poles……i mean you know more about football then everyone bar george on here.

  212. “surely sczesney is better looking then fabianski??’ Duke no way hosea, he may be taller but better looking?naah

  213. oi george put your claws away!

  214. shit man. do ihave to learn how to do those smiley fukin faces so people know i am never ever serious…apart from…

  215. Firstlady:

    You are a much better judge then I but I thought that I read in some silly tabloid type article that Fabianski was rated drop dead gorgeous and the number #1 Arsenal hunk a couple of seasons ago.

  216. A righto Pass – I’ll stay well out of that then!

    As I said though there is no excusing Chez’s game tonight. He had a howler.

    I suppose he has built up more of a bank of good will then Fab ever did – who started more shakily and had built up doubt/fear in his temprament as a result.

    I do know what you mean (I think!) but then some players win over more support through their character and the way they carry themselves. It’s not always right but people are swayed by such things. However I am totally against any slagging off or rail-roading of our players.

    God knows – I am aware that we have a cycle of players being targeted one after the other – I have fought the corners of various players over the years from lunatic, senseless criticism.

    But then I am aware I have also been attacked for, to my mind, not being as partisan as some fans are….it’s a difficult balance and we’ll never all agree.

    The way I see it careful criticism is valid – outright abuse is appalling. The problems is the small space in between, the patriotic fervour and favouritism and the way people express themselves.

  217. pedantic george

    Duke.What would be the fun in letting people know you were not being serious?
    You don’t see me using them do you?
    You will never get any bites.

  218. Duke – if it helps, I’ve never once taken you remotely seriously.

  219. ha ha cheers jonny . you freak.

  220. George you undervalue effort, passion and commitment – most fans love to see those in buckets because these players can lift teams by putting themselves on the line by never saying die.

    The exact opposite of the sulking Russian.

    Yeah I said it.

  221. @Jonny

    george is going to get on you.

  222. It’s alright C it’s not like he is handy in a fight or anything eh?


  223. @jonny

    Are you saying he has as much fight as his Russian?

  224. Hows Andrei looking tonight?? been on the yeast diet hasn’t he, well the dead distilled yeast diet.

  225. PG, put down the claws.

  226. yeah jonny there is something about that tune…fuck knows what but something..

  227. Jonny @ 7:50:

    That song is just as weird now as it was yesterday. 🙂

  228. Duke @ 7:54:

    Another tip of the cap to the true master of the one liner.

  229. I just figured if Duke was calling me a freak he must like me a lot.

    Right I’m off to see a girl for the evening. Madness, I know.

    Have a nice night you wonderful people.

  230. No one here makes excuses for certain players, if szezcney or vermaelean get off easier than other players then he has earnt it.
    Vermaelean scored 6 goals last season with 2 winners against everton and newcastle, the man is a real leader on the pitch. Szescney – penalty save against udinese in the champions league qualifier? nuff said.

    Am not making excuses for them but they give me reasons to show unreserved support, that doesn’t mean people don’t get pissed off when they make mistakes tho.

  231. Jonny:

    Have fun.

    Just because it fits in with the banter does not make that song any better.

  232. they have earnt it ……

  233. arsenalandrew

    Russians look terrible.

    Clearly being held back that slouch Arshavin.

    Rus 2-0 Cze

  234. pedantic george

    Am not making excuses for them but

    Yes you are.

  235. arsenalandrew

    Old habits …?

    Arshavin clearly bundled over in the box – ANY other ref would have given a penalty.

    Old habits die hard, Mr Webb.

  236. pedantic george

    Some ball that was from my little hero.Eh Andrew?

  237. arsenalandrew


    No way could he possibly make a contribution in North London.

    Pity really.

    Boo boys always know best.

  238. My favourite Arshavin pass this/last season was the lazy looking pre-assist to Song for Henry’s goal against Leeds. Larvly jubbly.
    Ohhhh wait, there was the deceptive genius cross/pass for Henry’s winner against Sunderland. That was nice.

  239. Arshavin’s playing like fucking Messi at the moment.

    Yes, the sulky, anonymous Andrei.

    “Just give the ball to Arshavin” said the ITV commentator (64th minute).

    What a waste of space, eh?

  240. Upper Street Gooner

    andrei is playing like a dream. give him the keys to the porsche please arsene. great tourn so far

  241. pedantic george

    Gadget just showed up on Twitter.
    He was a good poster.

  242. Ashavin playing in his RIGHTFUL position

  243. Imagine how many Russia would have put past a defence with John Terry at it’s heart. Makes you shudder. Brilliant game. Lovely if Russia met Barca again and got their revenge.

  244. Well done johnT trying to put an anti-Arsene slant on everything.

  245. Arshavin does look a lot fitter and more motivated than he has for a while.

  246. pedantic george

    Yes Stew,
    Andrei’s brilliance is nothing when compared to that of Arsene.
    We had Fabregas in his position.Arsene did right by the little fellow at every turn.

  247. Some things best left uncalculated, Steww.

  248. pedantic george

    Passenal .Regular games in his preferred position would have done him no harm.

  249. … class is permanent, PG.

  250. correct me if I’m wrong, but doesn’t Arshavin play in the exact same position for arsenal?

  251. No, I’m sure they wouldn’t PG, but it is noticeable how much better he looks. He was looking a bit lost before he went back to Zenit.

  252. billturner90

    Parvath- yes I think he does. It looked like the same Arshavin that we have seen. I recall one play when he was dispossessed by the Czech RB (who looked great btw, Gebre Salasy or something) and Arshavin just stood out of bounds watching. There was also a few plays where Andrei clearly wasn’t tracking back, you could see some of the Russian players pointing at the space where (any standard, defensive minded) left winger would be to defend. Not our Andrei though. SIGN HIM UP. There are 8 other guys on the pitch who can run around and play defense. Let RVP and Andrei hang around the midfield and be ready to attack

  253. Sensational Arsenal

    I understand the argument that Fabregas was in his position. I am wondering why Wenger didnt put him there at the start of the previous season after Fabregas and Nasri left. Maybe Arshavin cannot fit in a fluid 4-3-3 as well as other players. Maybe players like Rosicky are a better fit in that role? I would love Arshavin to fit as a vital smooth cog in the Arsenal machine. I am not sure where though. Also, i didnt see the Russia game. What formation did they play in?

  254. pedantic george

    Sensational Arsenal.
    Arsene said the balance of the team would be lost .It would be too attacking with Andrei in there.
    It would require the other two MF to be less free,and Arsene likes them to be more interchangeable.

  255. pedantic george

    billturner90 | June 8, 2012 at 9:55 pm

    Is the correct answer.Take a bow.

  256. Sensational Arsenal

    Yeah, thought so. Thats why Rosicky would be a better fit for that role. The way our Mid-fielders interchange gives us an attacking potency that many teams dont have and struggle to cope with.

  257. pedantic george

    I would play Andrei at home and Thomas away.
    But I cant even win a game on Champ man

  258. AA would not be the first person to be ‘excused’ defensive duties under AW …

    He was tremendous tonight and no reason why he couldn’t be again for Arsenal, none at all.

    My only doubts about him in recent months were fitness related – I thought maybe his legs had ‘gone’ but that is clearly not the case on tonight’s showing.

    Talk about pulling the strings …

  259. Sensational Arsenal

    Hope some rotation like that happens.

    Recently I played a few games on fifa11 after many years away from games and i played him at the top of our midfield. He didnt play many of those killer passes, but that was because of me. Also, strangely, I scored a lot more goals with Theo than with Gervinho.

  260. well AA is clearly missing great english food like fish and chips, indians and chinese.

  261. Ha ha, the poor lad, what chance does he have against those dastardly English ladies?

    Not to mention Duke’s takeaways.

    It’s a miracle he played long enough to get sent off.

  262. I’ll say it – AA looked excellent.

    I wish I knew why he looked so motivated. It was not the position – maybe the nationalistic pride..?

    TBH it only confuses me more – if he played with that heart all the time he would suffer less criticism.

    Whatever a real delight to see him show real class.

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