Arsenal At Euro2012: Ox In The Box, Bacary And Robin & Giroud Gossip

Group D

France 1 – 1 England
Ukraine 2 – 1 Sweden

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain was the Arsenal interest in yesterday’s match, England replicating the ability of Chelsea to grind out a draw in the face of technically superior opponents. For all of France’s possession and opportunities, the England defence held firm and restricted them to shots from long range. As a tactical plan, it worked; Nasri’s goal, whilst deserved overall, was from range and Joe Hart will be disappointed with being beaten at that post.

Neither side can claim to have done enough to win the game and as a spectacle, it was not the beautiful game. Parts of it were quite ugly with the French guilty of niggling fouls and Franck Ribery producing the worst play-acting seen that side of the Christendom. The Italian referee may have missed several blatant fouls – lenient toward both sides – but Serie A is one of the best leagues in the world in training officials to identify Oscar nominations.

Personally, I was disappointed that Walcott did not play; the French defence was nowhere near as impregnable as the media made out and a pacey forward would have enjoyed the space afforded to the England right. However, tournaments are about immediate results; defeats in opening games make it hard to recover to qualify and England will be pleased with the point against the other major nation in the group, particularly in light of Sweden’s defeat.

And what of young Oxlade-Chamberlain. I thought he played well, diligent in defensive duties and an attacking threat. Yes, he made mistakes through the callowness of youth and also an eagerness to please but he was not afraid to put himself in the position to make the mistake. More importantly, he worked hard to recover possession when he had been at fault. It is hard to see him not making the left-hand berth of midfield his own for the rest of the tournament as his performances are improving with each international appearance.

Sweden’s defeat puts them in a difficult position. They would have been looking to win that game and then take points from England to give themselves a reasonable chance of qualifying. As it is, Ukraine are in the better position with Sweden having to beat England to have any hope of qualifying; it is not a tall order by any means but the pressure is on them to produce the result. Ukraine will have been bouyed by their performance and Andrei Shevchenko his goals. The technical ability of the co-hosts will make for an interesting encounter with the French on Friday.

Elsewhere, Bacary Sagna has observed that he thinks Robin van Persie will be at Arsenal next season:

I expect him to stay at Arsenal. I’m looking forward to starting the season with him. I know there is a lot of speculation about his future but he’ll just want to focus on the European Championship and then afterwards he’ll focus on Arsenal.

He was our best player [last year] and the best player in the Premier League. He was magnificent and it was his best season for Arsenal so far. I hope he’s going to score even more goals next year.

Indeed we all hope for more goals from everyone next year with less being conceded.  As for van Persie, well, we will see. So much rumour abounds these days, ill-informed opinion passing itself of as fact, that when a player for the club – a senior one at that – offers a definite opinion, it is worth listening to. Not taking to heart, mind, since none aside from the Dutchman and you suspect his inner sanctum of friends, family and advisor(s) actually know his true intentions. Perhaps he has not fully decided himself.

In case he does, never fear that Arsenal have already identified another of the top-notch players (or his replacement). Olivier Giroud is apparently set to join with the club having activated his release clause according to French media. Gunnerblog goes into more depth about it. The only fly (or one of them) is that Giroud is not available for talks although Laurent Blanc was one of the few coaches who has said that if there is a need to resolve a transfer, he has no issue with talks taking place once training for the day is over. His theory seems practical; quell the speculation and distractions by allowing players to resolve their club futures.

The other big fly in the ointment is that there were reports over the weekend that the release clause was activated and these were immediately poo-pooed. This one seems to have more legs given comments attributed to Rene Girard by French radio station RMC that suggest the French champions are resigned to losing the player who apparently wants to join an English club. What made it more interesting was the apparent willingness to take Chamakh on loan. Wowser, everybody’s happy nowadays.

At which point we’ll call time on today. ’til Tomorrow.

Posted on June 12, 2012, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Soccer, Transfer Gossip and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 250 Comments.

  1. Good, balanced write up however the ref seemed determinedly one-sided last night. We must brush up on our acting skills.

    I doubt we are interested in Giroud at all tbh.

  2. have a positive feel about next season. If we got Giroud, held on to RvP and got M’vila we would have great depth and quality. the only other place that would somewhat be a concern would be at Goalkeeper seeing how many of our keepers are out of contract

  3. well the source looks half decent.. but its so difficult to tell whats BS and whats many sites angling for traffic

  4. Amazed that a fair proportion of Oranje fans want to drop Robin for their next game. What an abundance of talent they must think they have to suggest such a thing. Spoilt little brats.

    As it happens it would suit us perfectly if he just came home.

  5. Oxo did very well indeed, and I agree about Theo. Should have been on the pitch for longer. James Milner seems such a lumpkin to me.

  6. Clerkenwell Gooner

    Robbie Savage getting it in the neck for his dismal BBC output – compared unfavourably with chimpanzee AND 13-year-old schoolboy:

    On the tournament’s opening night the BBC’s infantile highlights programme featured the punditry of Robbie Savage and David James, who sat next to each other sniggering like 13‑year‑olds leafing through a vintage glamour magazine at the back of the bus. At one point Savage forgot which country he had just been asked to offer an opinion on. …

    Only spirit-sapping lines such as Clive Tyldesley’s “Agincourt, Waterloo and now Donetsk!” can queer the patch for ITV now. Unless the Beeb decides to raise its game and take a more studious, adult approach than the one offered by the likes of Savage. A chimp sitting at a table holding a teapot should do it.

    A little light leverage applied by licence fee payers to ease him out of the job at this point? (Please, god, please.)

    And Bacary is a sweetheart for trying to reassure us (and himself?) about Robin.

  7. Yes, the guys played t safe but still if it wasn’t for the woodwork and Joe Hart in goal it could have been a big fat “L” instead of a tie. Chamberlain did well. Wenger was doing Colour for the French TV. Look I wasn’t please that England didn’t attack more and sat back too much. I have seen this and it can be a killer. Instead of playing to not win you play to not lose and you wind up losing. Theo did play and I wonder why? Yet, three City guys had their hands in the result. Ironic- Hart Lescott and former Gunner not City guy Nasri.

  8. i don’t think we would sign giroud when we have podolski and rvp…

  9. Upper Street Gooner

    Frank | June 12, 2012 at 10:41 am

    ”What an abundance of talent they must think they have to suggest such a thing”

    Like you said its probably a good thing if he doesn’t play for them. Luckily for the Dutch they have a striker on the bench who scored 48 in 47 domestically last year and has a better strike rate for the national team. His overall strike rate probably betters everyone in europe bar messi or ronaldo 377 games 248 goals

  10. too many egos in the dutch team, and they dont know how to play for rvp. your two best players dont see eye to eye. think they are going out in the group phase.

  11. Italian refs are conditioned to only see a foul where it looks like the victim has been murdered. England lads too hardy for their own good. If you’re up and protesting the Italian ref will assume it wasn’t a foul.

  12. Upper Street Gooner

    Nonosense the Dutch lost the game as they didnt have their shooting boots on. You create that many good chances for players of that claibre then you expect to win the game.

    They are poor defensivly so are always liable to potentially concede.

  13. Reports suggest that the transfer of Yann M’vila has been reported to the French Stock Exchange. Not sure of the truth in that.

    To update: seems that the owners of the club are listed on the stock exchange, hence selling a major asset would need to be reflected to stop share price volatility

  14. Upper Street Gooner


    Is that common do clubs have to do such things even if they are privatly owned?

    I mean M’vila and Giroud would be exceptional business fromt he club.

  15. USG

    Rennes are owned by Francois Pinault whose company PPR own Gucci and Puma amongst others. PPR are listed.

    FWIW, he is estimated to be worth $1.5bn more than Usmanov.

  16. The bus was parked in front of the goal and there it stayed for much of the game. A rather typical Hogdson game. A rather boring way to grind out a result but we are very much used to teams doing this to Arsenal. Frankly, I detest this style of play and tend to think of it as Anti Football and not a wonderful organization of defensive play as the English media hooted. Parking the bus is a technique that hides the lack of technical development in the England side!!

  17. Yea, am doing my lil samba/santos dance *hope no one is looking*, M’villa?.

  18. Upper Street Gooner


    Okay, well that would be oustanding news. What was the source that told you that that was the case?

    Exciting times!!

  19. England did pretty much whatever everyone thought and got a decent result. I don’t think anyone could have asked much more of them. The Swedes didn’t look particularly impressive and a win against them would set up a quarter-final place nicely. Wouldn’t it be nice if Ukraine could beat France at the same time and we then play out a nice draw to send them home. 🙂 Nice to see Chamberlain play and acquit himself fairly well. I was surprised Walcott only got a couple of minutes at the end, the French left side looked ripe to be breached and that bit of extra pace may have done it. I see Theo having more of a role to play as the tournament progresses and England need more of a goal threat than a plodder like Milner will ever provide.

    The Dutch fans are mad for wanting van Persie dropped, by all means ditch Robben and move van Persie out there with Huntelaar playing through the middle, but dropping Robin would be the worst thing they could do. Robben looked jaded and out of ideas, not van Persie.

    If Giroud and M’Vila are really as good as people say they are and we could get both for less than £30m as is being reported then it sounds like good business. Even with Podolski signed we had two strikers who contributed very little last season (whatever the reasons) and with Gervinho off to another Africa Cup of Nations next season I think Podolski will be needed plenty on the left of the attack anyway. Giroud to rotate with Robin up front and M’Vila to do the same with Song (who should be off the his continental tournament this time I suppose if Cameroon have qualified??), we could do with some extra depth in those positions.


    The Dutch are making strides to ensure that they never suffer a repeat of the Denmark defeat.

  21. Excitement? Err am doing my santos dance here.

  22. It was being reported by a particular website who apparently are quite accurate. On this occasion, not so.

  23. Upper Street Gooner

    Two Owls

    Its a different way of playing.

    England 2 most accomplished technical midfielders are injured.

    I’m amazed at the snobery. The fact is its about getting the results. Would have i preferred a vailaint 4-2 loss by playing attackign football or an excellent 1-1 draw against a side unbeaten in 21 where they are restricted to long range efforts.

    Do england sit there and cry about not being technical enough or do they develop a team that has tactics suited to their strengths.

    Did the spanish cry about not having great physically blessed players..nope they got on with it.

    As i’ve said before some fans like different things, i know of many fans who find the spanish horribly boring to watch

  24. giroud, sounds like ill informed opinion to me, anyway i want quality not that crap, average players make average teams, and yes of course your right, Arsenal would never sell a prized asset without having a replacement would they. I think england will go out in the group stages, we will draw our remaining matches and it wont be good enough,

  25. It’s hard to know what to think of the RvP vs Huntelaar situation. RvP is clearly the more talented player, and would always be the better choice as a kind of deep-lying link-up thingy, if it weren’t for the appalling relationship he seems to have with his teammates bar Afellay.

    RvP wasn’t comfortable in front of goal the other day, but he did play Robben in a couple of times and helped to keep the play alive in crowded situations with his usual tuns etc.

    Huntelaar offers little apart from goals, so it shouldn’t be impossible, say, to shift RvP out to the right with freedom to go where he wants, drop Robben who’s ridiculously limited anyway, and put Huntelaar in the middle. A bit like Spain, maybe they need someone who’s happier “getting on the end of things” anyway.

  26. of course a 1-1 draw is better than a 4-2 loss, but whats even better is a 3-0 win un fact any win, we were boring and predictable, and if anyone thinks that world cup winners spain are boring then they are stuck in the middle ages along with half the so called experts on football in this country, and if anyone thinks there is any pride in winning with boring football then they are as insecure and fearfull as that type of football promotes. lets get winning not drawing, no prizes there, i wouldnt want us to win anything with that type of football, or Arsenal come to that, I believe in Wenger football and his way of approaching a game, roys a nice guy but he hasnt had time and he is too cautious for my liking, france were always going to score, i think we were lucky not have lost it in the first half as we dropped to two lines of four, it was like watching barca as we could not keep possession in the last 20 mins first half, just hoofing it up to the opposition, 4333 and all out attack, we have nothing to lose but fear, do it the Arsenal way roy

  27. Huntelaar missed two chances too in that game. However even if he has a better scoring record as an international, he is not a goal creator. But the real point is that the Netherlands are doomed if they cannot accommodate players of that calibre. No team can afford to cast aside players like Huntelaar or Robin.

    All in all though it is clearly a very unhappy set up. The tension in the squad is palpable. RvP is best out of there. Come home, Robin

  28. While I feel Huntelaar deserves a crack, its incredible that RVP should be the one to take the chop. Robben should be dropped. I know he’s probably one of their most dangerous attackers but sometimes, for a reputed world-class player, he seems to forget the rudiments of attacking play that truly define the greats. The man is just too self-centered and selfish.

    Whatever they choose to do to themselves is frankly their cup of tea, I’m enjoying the prospect this Italian team have. The whole world seemed to have slept on them. For me, they matched Spain and with Pirlo in such top form, De Rossi who is an absolute beast, the attacking talents of Di Natale, Balotelli and Cassano plus the experience of Chiellini and Buffon at the back, I think they could go all the way.

    I’m also excited for England. I thought they would get slaughtered yesterday but alas, it was a great result for them. The conservatism paid off and I agree with USG; You just have to make the best use of your tools. I expect OPxlade-Chamberlain to retain his place in subsequent games as the kid can only get better with more minutes under his belt. Also, now that they have gotten the strongest team in their group (at least on paper) out of the way, I expect Woy to start using Walcott surely, no? Otherwise, that would be conservatism taken too far and England may not make it out of the group. Milner and Parker while full of endeavour are simply not players for this level. Young also needs to step up his game. He barely touched the ball in attack though this could be as a result of playing in an unfamiliar role perhaps.

  29. boomer

    You can only play the Arsenal way if you have players of sufficient technical ability. England don’t, so there is little point in berating them for not playing that way.

  30. I was pleasantly surprised by England. Bit short up front though.

  31. Upper Street Gooner


    ”we were boring and predictable”

    Despite knowing how we were going to set up, the most in form team coming into the competition couldn’t open us up all they had were shots from long range.

    Defending is just as important as attacking.

    England themselves created 3-4 decent opportunities with its best striker, 2 of its best attacking midfielders not playing.

    With regards to spain i know lots of people who are bored by tikka tika,type football. Were you enthralled by spain 1-0 wins at the world cup???

    ”if anyone thinks there is any pride in winning with boring football then they are as insecure and fearfull as that type of football promotes.”

    With statements like this you have shown yourself to be someone who 100% doesn’t understand what football is. Football is facinating as it as a plethora of different styles and teams playing in it. It would be a much sadder place if everyone tried to play the same way.

    Teams have gone on to win this tourn by drawing their first game not many have after losing it.

  32. Upper Street Gooner

    Frank | June 12, 2012 at 12:06 pm

    I agree completely if you cant mould a team aroudn such talents there appears to be issues.

    Hopefully it just makes him understand how cherrished he is with us

  33. Well thought out post Yogi but I don’t expect anything less. I’m not sure what to make of the Giroud thing as I wouldn’t mind him coming in ecspecially if we were to swap Chamakh. Even though I throughly believe that Chamakh was turning the corner near the end of the season and was starting to slowly regain form, I can’t honestly see the downside in having either of the 2. The most interesting thing for me is the M’villa thing, as more often then not their is truth to transfers when placed on a stock exchange but then the question that arises is ‘Who did he get transfered 2?’. If it is to Arsenal then for me that would confirm even more that Arshavin and a couple others might be on their collective way out.

    The Dutch are arguably the most gifted offensive attack in the world but they are also the most selfish, stubborn and arrognant lot outside of Affelay, RVP, Van Bommel, Stekleberg but I do think that part of the problem is that the manager doesn’t know how to best utilize all of his assets. You have Robben who loves playing on the right and cutting in and causing loads of problems, you have Sneijder who is arguably 1 of the best passers in the world able to pick any pass he wants whenever he wants, you have RVP who can play outwide and is their most complete player and you have Huntelaar who is the best poacher in all of futbol yet you rarely see all 4 of them playing together. I would start those 4 up top and let the goals fly because they maybe selfish but they also want to win ecspecially at this point in their careers.

  34. Upper Street Gooner

    If we go into next season with

    Podolski/Gervinho………….RVP/ Giroud………….AOC/ Walcott

    ……………………………….. Rasmey / Rosicky/arshavin……………………….

    …………………………..Arteta/ Wilshere.. Song/M’vila/diaby

    Santos/ Gibbs …. Mert/TV5/KOS/DJOU……..Sagna/ Coq……………………..

    That to me can compete with any other squad or side in europe

  35. @Koye

    i agree with you about the form of the Italians and they along with France were my darkhorses. Something about Pirlo, Motta, De Rossi, Buffon, Balotelli, Di Natali just inspire confidence and calm. I mean watching De Rossi who is one of the best CM in the world time and time again tell Spain to fuck themselves was an absolute joy to watch.

    Another player for me that is off to a great start but I should have expect was Shevchenko. He has the weight of a nation on his shoulders and yesterday he should the world that class is permanent and like Henry did during the season, a world class striker will always be a world class striker. As I was watching the match, I mean everytime he touched the ball the crowd went crazy and it seemed like when he put that 1st one in the crowd went absolute crazy in joy and for me that made me remember that this is the reason I love futbol not for all that other bullshit but because 1 player can lift a nation and bring joy to his teammates and all their supporters.

  36. draper-corleone

    Zurou going, Zirou coming.

  37. The Real Stew Black

    Yogi, nice post, thanks to you and your parting shot I am now listening to Singles Going Steady, current track Orgasm Addict.

  38. @USG

    I agree with you except I don’t think Arshavin will be back personally.

  39. I was pleasantly surprised by England’s performance but dat doesn’t mean it was pleasant to the eyes…Am not against teams adapting different styles but how many of us were mightilly proud of Chelsea wen dey won d ucl?

  40. Upper Street Gooner


    Yer nor do i, but if he continues the Tourn as he started off, its goign to give aw some very pleasent selection headaches.

    The idea should eb to go into the new season with to big a squad rather than 2 small. If that hurts some players feelings, good work harder to get back into the side.

    The idea that song could underestimate the opposition like he has done on occasions beofre with M’vila competing for his position is futile.

  41. Can we say then that Ox has “arrived”? Sounds like it, almost. One season away from the big step up? He’ll be knocking on the first team (regular) door next season. What a stunning player signing this looks to turn out. Everyone and their dog begging AW to sign Parker, who signs a kid. A season on the bench and some notable starts and he’s an international. It’s big news. If he was a ManU player, you know this, there would need to be a special public media sign “Mind the drooling”.

    I say well done AW and Arsenal. You done good.

    I would take what Bacary says very seriously. What does it mean? It means RvP has given no hint of any intended departure, rather the opposite in fact, to fellow players with whom he has played for years.

    As for England, yes they are good at defending and set-pieces. They draw important matches. Ultimately, if 2 or 3 decades of history are anything to go by, it will get them nowhere. Even good at defending (like Italy or Argentina, or Denmark with those fabulous brothers), you need “threat” to make it to the top. The Dutch at WC were dreadfully heroically dull, but as and when they needed it they had “threat”.

  42. The Giroud move makes perfect sense.

  43. draper-corleone

    Someone suggested we we buy Debuchy Sagna’s cover. On top of Poldi, Zirou and M’Vila it will surely be considered a vulgar debuchery?

  44. @USG

    I think Arshavin’s performance will only drive and make his departure even more of a reality personally. IHVMO I think the Giroud signing offially puts the AM position on Bergkamp/RVP status. What I mean is that for years both RVP and Arsene have said that RVP is Bergkamp with more goals and I think this point in his career he moves their at times for major stretches of matches if any of this Giroud for essentially Chamakh mess is true.

    I completely agree with you though(am I going mental or are you making complete and utter sense today. I like this USG) on working and fighting for your place. Watching Song and M’villa battle for the DM role will be interesting(hopefully he puts pen to paper) but watching them side by side against the Mancs, Spuds, Pool, Chavs and all of Europe will be even better. Add in a sprinkle of Diaby, Jack, Arteta, Mozart and Ramsey and our midfield could very well be the best in the PL and arguably in the world.

  45. USG
    Arshavin ain’t coming back brotherman…

  46. Upper Street Gooner


    Hold your horses, lets see him produce consistently well for arsenal before we start saying he has arrived.

    I thought his defensive work last night was excellent but lets be honest from an attacking sense did he influence the game that much more than Milner, who made one great run and decent cross.

    I think he is a great talent but that is it at the moment. Next step is to become a consistent part of our 1st team, wont be easy.

  47. Whoooaaa boy! Hold , hold! Now, stay quite still while I … just … put one foot in this here stirrup … no, no … stop that, and just heave myself up … gently like … and up and swing the old war wound leg over … and whoooaah, I said whoooooooaaahh, stop I command you.

    Gotcha USG. Let’s give it time. It’s just kinda exciting.

  48. Upper Street Gooner


    I agree playing RVP behind is an awfully excting prospect. It creates matchup nightmares for defenders. Do you go with or do you stay, who picks up theo, podolski and giroud all of whom finish like strikers. Would be tremendously excting.

    Giroud and M’vila in terms of price it appears your looking at 30m in fee plus a frurther 28m in wages if we pay m’vila 85k over 4 years and Giroud 60k over 4 years

    Add in the money we’ve already got to the fee generated from sales plaud the wage space and we woudl be in an incredible position

  49. Upper Street Gooner


    I agree, lets hope Roy persists with him against the swedes. Having him and theo competing for one place is outstanding as well.

    I just dont want to et to excited about someone until they perfomr consistently.

    Vela was the biggest let down of my life. My god did i not stop going on about carlos frickign vela!!!

  50. The Arse in the Gamb

    Ukraine look set to use the crowd to boost them to the semis. They are in the mood and are in the dominant position.

    The French are capable of anything – including self annihilation – but their form looks as good as any in the group.

    The Swedes looked the poorest side, but England will need to beat them for only the 3rd time in 50 years, as well as probably having to beat the same rampant Ukrainians.

    This group has all the makings of a heart breaker. Like Group B, an important team ain’t going to make it.

    More Ox, more Theo.

  51. Please dont mention Carlos Vela as he even to this day makes me sad but hopefully that 1 day he will return(I’ll take him over Giroud) and light up the PL as a Ole Gunnar Solskjaer type were he comes off the bench and scores.

  52. Might as well re-post this seeing as every Arsenal fan and their dog (Rosie) were experts on what should have been done with AOC this past season:
    1) Spend a little money to sign him up. Will that satisfy the Mob. Will it fwuck.
    2) Train him up so he is a starter for the national team by the end of the season. Although he was not big or gr*tty enuff to make last years U21 squad. Er, yeah. I know. What can I say? Pearce.

    So, is it safe to say that when the Arsenal coaches spent the winter forcing the Ox to spend his time with some D-Fensive drilling, and not games in he first team, that they knew what they were doing? Bit like they did with theo in-between his shoulder injuries, and not as some jibbering wrecks would have you believe last season. In case you are wondering, no matter how much it pretends to agree with others, I do not agree with Jibber.

    Will the Arsenal coaches get any credit from our resident experts? Will they fwuck.

  53. I do declare today as ACLF Reasonable Day or ARD. USG is making devilishly common sense points. Acryllic Altair (sounds like a dodgy airline flying into Brazzaville) has a positive feeling about next season. Luke seems perky and makes short comments. And Frank, always rational, was pleasantly surprised by England. Now if Bill, could say something about attack as one important aspect of the game?

    The best post of the week was I believe yesterday when someone commented how ugly both England and France teams are, aesthetically. And this, I remind you, was without Shrek, so it can only get uglier!

  54. The Real Stew Black

    Zim Paul you missed it yesterday Bill agreed with me about the inclusion of Theo in the Engerland team. How they needed attacking threat.

  55. The Real Stew Black

    Theo is being nursed back because of his injury I’m convinced. Roy will have Rooney Ox Theo behind Wellbeck for the 1/4 finals which England will win 3 – 0.

  56. Upper Street Gooner


    I think the issue arrises that some arsenal fans wanted us to try and improve on the 12 point differentual we had to make up with utd. When they saw Young helping to murder us in game 3 of the year who is a life long gooner whilst our aoc wasn’t deemed ready to salvage a goal in either of our first 2 games despite desperatly needing one

    Spending a signifcant proportion of our fee’s on a player who wasn’t ready for our first team was seen as a poor move in terms of catching the teams better than us.

    On the otherside to that he is a huge talent and can be a star for us for years. However we are in danger of losing a huge talent with a very similar history to aoc this summer.

    Thats why its very important look after the prsent as well as keeping an eye on the future.

    It looks liek we have learnt from our mistakes

  57. @Stew

    They have to make it out the group 1st. Ukraine looked very good ecspecially Mr. Shevchenko and the French and the are both capable. I’m as nuetral as Switzerland but I’m also a realist. Wouldn’t mind you being right about England making it to the quarters though.

  58. The Real Stew Black

    That’ll be a 4 2 3 1 by the way

  59. The Real Stew Black

    I did call for the nurse.

  60. Upper Street Gooner


    Thats the thing as england grow in confidence if we can defend with the same organization as before but then add rooney to the mix we will actually look very dangerous.

    Say what you will about some of our players but our defenders were excelelnt yesterday particulalry Lescott.

    Add that to


    Thats a good side in my book. Defend deep and in numbers and then break exceptionally quickly.

  61. Well, well … history. YW, I think a national holiday might be in order. Call the queen (she announces this sort thing I assumes?). Reasonable Day 12 June is upon us. Everyone else you can either go home or ask for overtime; it’s normally treble on a public holiday?

  62. The present and future looked good when in the recent past an Arsenal team on a low, as PG would say ‘spanked’ Jibbers new favourite pressing team over two games.
    Anyone who didn’t enjoy the great turnaround must have head their heads firmly wedged up there Arsenal holes as they ignored the football amidst the bile.

  63. @Stew

    I hope so mate

  64. Read this on twitter

    “An Arsenal player, past or present, has featured in every match so far at Euro 2012.”

    How clever is AW

  65. Good point, FP. And I’m sure AOC would be quick to acknowledge that we’ve made it possible for him to be in this position just a year after he was playing in League One.

    And that entailed giving him a breather when he needed it, and clearly coaching him on defensive positioning, and deciding when to dribble or when to pass. What’s also great is that because he was used sparingly last season, this competition can only be a good thing for him – he’s playing at the biggest stage and he’s in top condition.

    I hope we (England) stick with him. Debuchy’s the toughest opponent he’ll face at this stage, so you kind of get the sense that the France game has set him up nicely for the rest of the group.

    I know it’s boring, but I quite like this England team all the same. I only wish we could play it out from the back a bit better when we’re under pressure. Johnson (probably the worst player in that team yesterday) and Terry are especially poor at finding teammates when they’re closed down. We’ve got decent defenders, but if the rest of the matches are played in that kind of heat then we’re not going to have the stamina to get too far if we can’t keep the ball for a while. The pressure was starting to build towards the end yesterday. Could have done with Rio perhaps.

  66. Another superb post Yogi. Thanks again.

    Robin had a bad game against Denmark. Sneijder made some great passes to give him opportunities that was not able to convert. Agree the Robben should be the one that is sacrificed, not RVP. Hopefully Robin will get a couple of goals in the next game to settle the nerves and have a great tournament. .

    I thought England did exactly what they had to do yesterday. A draw a against a team that was better they are is a good result for them and if they play reasonably well the next 2 games they should move on. Ox did well. Hopefully he will retain his spot although if I had to choose one or the other to play I would have rather seen Theo.

    Much as I love transfer rumours, I can’t help but be nervous about the Giroud and M’Villa rumours. With Podolski that would mean we will have already spent more then 40M with no money coming back our way. It may mean that the club is finally going to open the spigot. The alternative is that there is a big money player sale or 2 in the future which would help to bring the books closer to being balanced. Hope for the former and not the latter.

  67. The Real Stew Black

    What spigot Bill? What bloody spigot? You sometimes seem quite with it and other times I picture you on a big cushion smoking an opium pipe.

  68. Upper Street Gooner


    Unfortunately for you your points just get made to look stupid by such comments.

    That 1-1 draw in Dortmund was daylight robbery they should have won by 4 or 5 but your right it was a tough point for us so well done to the boys for hanging on in there.

    The second issue was that Dortmund started their league appaling badly. They like many teams struggled to balance domestic and european commitments. If you supported arsenal in the early part of arsene reign you would be only to aware of this. However they turned it round and won back to back titles somethign which our great club hasen’t done since the 30s

    The reason why i like dortmund is becuase they are young and fearless and have overcome much stronger opposition tio win their league titles. It should be somethign for you to be happy about rather than bring your poorly researched debate to the table. Dortmund depite tiny resources have ateam that plays our system very very well

  69. err dups, what Arsenal player past or present played during the Croatia-Ireland game?

  70. Stew

    “What spigot Bill?

    You know exactly what I mean.

    “You sometimes seem quite with it and other times I picture you on a big cushion smoking an opium pipe.”

    I also scratch my head and wonder where some of the things you post come from. Great minds think alike I guess.

  71. @Aman


  72. He came on in teh 89′ but still played and was supposably a last min decision not to start him next to Jelavic

  73. Oou
    I hope England progress, we will have more chances of seeing the arsenal players combine. I’m not going to call Milner a poor player, but he didn’t impress at RM in his recent trip to TNHOF. As Roy and even Rosie must know, Theo is not really a RM so we all understand the selection. Hopefully in a knock out game he’ll be prepared to have more wide attackers at some point. Interesting that Theo went ‘up top’. Roy likes his versatility.

  74. Ingerlund, Ingerlund, Ingerlund……Ingerlund, Ingerlund, Ingerluuuuund

    Ingerlund swings like a pendulum do. Bobbies on barsickles two bar two.

    What the fuck does it all actually mean?

  75. Do people in America actually say ‘turn the spigot on’ or ‘turn the faucet on’ instead of ‘turn the tap on’. Do they?

  76. @Frank

    We actually say all 3

  77. ah, good call dups..C

  78. Arshavin is coming back.He is I tell you.He is!He is a better player than any we are being linked with.

    “.My prediction is England hold firm at the back with france falling into the trap of playing too narrow, ribery and nasri will cut inside and try to play little triangles with benzema(we know how that always ends) instead of utilising the wings.

    Terry and co defend deep, clean up the left overs, eat up the crumbs and england leave france with a sour taste in their mouths with a sucker punch counter attack goal or set piece goal, wham, bam, thank you ma’am”

    That boy khalifha is determined to make me look stupid.

  79. @12:59

    “Watching Song and M’villa battle for the DM role will be interesting(hopefully he puts pen to paper) but watching them side by side against the Mancs, Spuds, Pool, Chavs and all of Europe will be even better. Add in a sprinkle of Diaby, Jack, Arteta, Mozart and Ramsey and our midfield could very well be the best in the PL and arguably in the world”

    Calm down now.

  80. Yeah, yeah, yeah and when I ask where the faucet or spigot is everyone in the room falls around laughing…not falling for that one. No flies on me I can tell you.

  81. @Steve

    Don’t be a killjoy!

  82. Limestonegunner

    PG, he is better than anyone we are currently being linked with but not been at his best in our system or not out of his homeland, it seems. I’d love to see him back and playing well with us next year, but if he is going to be stuck out there on the left and expected to defend all the way down the line–well, I don’t see that old story working again.

    Looking forward to Russia-Poland tonight. Hopefully Arshavin runs absolutely riot. WC is out so I don’t feel bad about many goals against Poland.

    This will be good for WC. Some humility and some perspective on how much he has to work on. He got away with some of those rash runs forward last season, so I am glad he was punished for it with Poland–maybe he’ll improve his decision making and Arsenal will benefit.

  83. My apologies. I appreciate the summer boredom can do bizarre things to a man’s thought processes but I suggest you relax and just enjoy what has been so far an excellent Euros.

    We would potentially have a very good midfield, let’s just leave it at that. All I am urging is a sense of perspective.

  84. Yeah, FP – I get the feeling Milner’s there to stay for defensive reasons; because he works hard and reads the game well. It was a bit disheartening though seeing a lot of England’s attacks move down the right and watching AOC stay deep on the left, clearly under RH’s orders. I get that we want to keep it tight, but I find putting the shackles on one of the best attackers a bit strange. Then again it finished 1-1.

  85. Limestonegunner

    If he is going to be started, I’d play the Ox right behind the striker and push Young out wide. Milner back to the bench and start Theo. That was fine against the talent of France but England need to score more than the odd set piece and offer some threat. Walcott would have put away Milner’s chance and the Ox has more to his game than Young.

  86. I know I have thoroughly enjoyed watching the Euro’s no doubt about that.

    I’m just longing for the days Arsenal futbol return.

    I would imagine that Russia will be up for the match ecspecially since Poland looked quite organized and Lewandowski seems like he can make something out over every chance he gets.

  87. I had no idea Benzema had such a powerful shot. Luckily for England he wasn’t able to thread it through the parked bus windows. De buchy looked like he is a great player. Do Nasri and Benzema have some history of antipathy. To me it looks like Nasri was reluctant to pass the ball to him.
    Don’t agree that the Dutch are saddled with too many egos. Their biggest problem is that Robben tries to do it in predictable fashion by himself too often. Sneijder is capable of making incredible accurate long leading passes at the same time he is barreling forward. He and Robin are team players. I read that van der Vaert has a bit of a chip on his shoulder because Sneijder has always been seen as the better player throughout their careers. For that reason they don’t exist well on the pitch the same time.

  88. @LG

    or even if Hodgson does want to keep Ox outwide play Theo behind the striker. For me Ashley Young is cut from that cloth but I could be completely wrong.

  89. Limestonegunner

    As far as RvP and the Dutch. The Oranje fans don’t seem to understand that Sneijder and Robben don’t feed RvP. Ok, Sneijder did give him a couple decent passes this last game, but that’s rare. And Robben–so predictable, selfish, and arrogant. He needs to be benched. Huntelaar can play up top with RvP out right, if that’s needed, but frankly Sneijder is also a big part of the problem. I’d say they could equally replace him with RvP in that creator role.

    I sat at the Aston Villa home 3-0 victory next to two Dutchmen (a Feyenoord and Ajax supporter) and they reflected the view that RvP just doesn’t do it for the national team. I challenged them to consider that in South Africa Sneijder and Robben never passed to him when he was in a good position but only when he came deeper to bail them out and keep possession. The only time he got good balls played into him or into space in the penalty box was from van der Vaart, Afellay, and their right back–Van der Wiel. Sneijder and Robben like playing with Huntelaar (perhaps its the Ajax connection) because he is a poacher and more predictable–I don’t think they understand RvP’s game or are team players enough to involve him.

    RvP deserves better but van Marwijk has never impressed me as a far sighted manager. He’ll probably buckle and start Huntelaar with RvP on the bench.

  90. The Real Stew Black

    Bloody spigot. I ask you. There is no untapped well of money to match man City and Chelsea, therefore no pipe running from that well and ultimately no bloody spigot. Now pass the pipe and go score us a lid of weed.

  91. @Philmar

    That was part of the reason that Van Der Vaert didn’t play alot during the last World Cup. The issue that I see is that VDV likes to play in “the hole” as a 2nd striker but not as a true AM so when he does play there is a hole created to were a player should be. But Sneidjer on the other hand is a true AM so he fills that hole thus allowing the front 3 to move freely and make the necessary passes to them. I for 1 have never been completely sold on VDV as a playmaker.

  92. Limestonegunner

    Philmar, RvP and Sneijder don’t really get along either–they have a rivalry from RvP’s Feyenoord and Sneijder’s Ajax days when they were in the Dutch youth set up. Maybe they’ve patched things up, but Sneijder iced RvP out during the World Cup.

  93. Limestonegunner

    C, I don’t know about Theo behind the striker because there is too much creative responsibility. Theo is a finisher and his cross is much improved and can stretch the defence.

  94. @LG

    I have also read that part of the issue with Robben and Sneidjer is that they feel superior to RVP. Even if you watch Robben at Bayern he only passes to Ribery, Schweinsteiger and Mueller because he views them as equal talents. Sneidjer is the same way, having watched a couple of Serie A matches of Inter, Sneidjer at times will look off teammates it seems that he deems less talented but have formed a tremendous bound with Forlan(of equal talent).

  95. De Telegraaf is reporting that both Huntelaar and our Robin will start in the next game. Which is probably de Dutch equivalent of de Star but hey.

  96. ” Arshavin is coming back.He is I tell you.He is!He is a better player than any we are being linked with. ”

    WAS a better player. Now his fitness and attitude are not good enough for an Arsenal starter. He has the potential to be the world’s best killer sub but instead he longs to be the #10 man in the middle. His fitness and age don’t allow that.

  97. @LG

    I agree but I think that his pace alongside that of Welbeck would be a comfortable fit because Welbeck is more facilitator it seems then finisher IMHO. Having Theo play off of Welbeck with his pace would thus create chances for the both of them since Theo’s passing has vastly improved thus allowing Milner to play on the right defensively.

    The funny thing is, is that Hodgson will have everything figured out and then who goes to the bench when Rooney gets back, Young or Ox. I hope Ox only not to risk him being fatigued going into preseason thus not even risking injury concerns.

  98. Van onze redactie
    Klaas-Jan Huntelaar in de spits, Robin van Persie daar vlak achter en Mark van Bommel uit de basiself. Dat is de conclusie uit de stemming – welke elf spelers moeten woensdag tegen Duitsland opdraven – die De Telegraaf/Telesport onder haar lezers hield.

    Een harde ingreep is volgens de Oranjevolgers noodzakelijk om op het EK voetbal nog kans te maken en daarom moet aanvoerder Van Bommel ten koste van Wesley Sneijder – die een linie terugzakt – het veld ruimen na het beschamende verlies tegen de Denen.
    Volgens de ruim 15.000 zelfbenoemde bondscoaches is in het elftal verder een hoofdrol weggelegd voor Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, de topscorer van de Duitse competitie. De meest succesvolle spits van de Bundesliga moet in de basis de plek van Robin van Persie innemen. Bijna onomstreden is de keuze voor de Schalke ’04-speler in de spits (95%) en van de deelnemers vindt 44% dat de topschutter van de Engelse competitie daarachter het best tot zijn recht komt.

    So you see, there it is, in a nutshell. couldn’t be clearer

  99. c,In that case Sneidjer and Robben are deluded .RVP is their better.
    Dennis should have a word in their shell like.

  100. @Frank

    If true I bet Affelay not Robben will lose his spot

  101. Philmar,rubbish.He just proved you wrong .Were you not watching?

  102. Thanks Limestone.

    Robben is immensely talented but he is too selfish to play on a top title winning team. He’d be perfect on a Bolton Sam Allardtyce team in the JJ Okocha role: where he can play up front by himself and try to score a wonder goal against 5 defenders.

  103. C @ 12:59:

    Last season we had 50M to start and we made about 20M in the transfer window so in theory we should now have a 70M war chest. If we don’t sell any significant players and we get Podolski, Giroud and M’Villa we will have spent about 40M and still have 30M left over. I say we blow it all on one really good AM like Sneijder. Then we would have one of the best mid fields in Europe. That would be really cool. 🙂

  104. For those who don’t speak Dutch it says that Huntelaar and RvP hate each other and have taken to spitting at each other a lot. Wesley Sneijder has a large arse for a small man and has just about had enough of the in fighting but he is of the firm belief that Rafel Van der Vaart is a complete tosser. In order to keep the peace Bert Van Marjwijijcik has picked everyone but they will play without a goalkeeper.

  105. Yes George I was watching. He was gassed by the 40th minute and he was playing against a piss poor Czech defence. Gebre Selaisse was forever out of position. After one Russian goal I notice he was to tired even to participate in the team celebration.

  106. @pedanticgeorge

    I completely agree but I think part of it has to be due to RVP’s injury history I would imagine and those to be at the forefront of Dutch futbol in his absense but I still agree with you 100% both deluded. The only thing I need for Bergkamp to do is tell RVP “stay at the Arsenal follow my lead and become a legend!”

  107. Upper Street Gooner


    Dont forget about those little thing called wages.

    Unlike some clubs we make sure we can afford the player over 4 years rather than just the first year of their contract.

    Clearing the decks of the unwanted will bring in some nice fees but nothign amazing unless an auction develops fro vela i would imagine but the key point will be clearing wages.

    If we can clear 20m worth of wages we will be in a great position

  108. The Real Stew Black

    Frank I’, not so sure of your translation. Depending on dialect it may have been ‘great’ arse rather than ‘large’ which changes the whole emphasis and editorial slant.

  109. Stew @ 3:27:

    Good one.

    See my post to C @ 3:40. Could you imagine what might happen if we went crazy just this one transfer window. We could all throw our pipes and weed into the garbage can and still walk around with big sh*t eating grins on our faces. How much fun that would be!!! 🙂

  110. A. Arshavin getting pumped for a Euro game for his country is easy. Getting him roused on a proverbial cold Wednesday in Stoke is quite another. We’ve seen him do well in the Euros before. Then for a 6 month period after he was purchased. Then for the next 4 years it got progressively worse. Too many gooner fans remember his good early performances and dream that he’ll replicate them. Can he? Hell yes. But will he?

  111. Oh lord you may be right their, Stew. It does fit better with the Sneijder ‘love-in’. ‘He has a great arse…yes of course that will be it’.

    I would like to add though that in my completely and utterly unbiased opinion RvP’s passing game was as good as Sneijder Golden Bum’s passing game.

  112. Upper Street Gooner

    Philmar | June 12, 2012 at 3:43 pm

    I pointed this out the other day. Look at his reaction to any missed oppostunity or goal in the game………….zero, absolutley nothing.

    Its utterly bizare that a player wouldnt even react in any shape or form as a teammate slides to get on the end of a cross but pokes it inches wide…..andrei didnt move finger.

    I also saw the goal you mean where he threads the pass, the player scores then rund to the corner wherer he is mobbed by teammates arshavin not even in the distance even though he was one of 3 further forward russions.

    We’ve always known he was barking mad though. what matters is his quality.

    Although from watching rvp struggles with sneijder would a dominant hole play suit rvp. No point bringing someone back if is affects our best player

  113. @Bill

    I agree about M’villa and even Giroud but give me somebody other than Sneidjer. If he doesn’t give RVP the ball for country their is no way in hell he would do it for club. Give me Ganso from Brazil for 15M and you have a world class talent that is not even close to his prime but is a master at the AM position. I swear if anybody doubts me, watch the Olympics(if he is fit as he just sprained his knee after embarcing a defender they decided to retaliate 2 footed style).

  114. Upper Street Gooner

    C | June 12, 2012 at 3:58 pm

    I think arsenal football club has a few to many players especially in midfield with questionable fitnness backgrounds. Despite Ganso undoubted ability he has chronic knee problems.

    Its fine as players get better but dont go complain about our luck when their injury strikes again…(mertasacker)

  115. @ Bill | June 12, 2012 at 3:53 pm

    It wouldn’t be fun at all because then I wouldnt have my weed or my pipe. Can’t we just keep the weed and the pipe and still be happy that the players we wanted put pen to paper!!!!!!

  116. Spigot? Spitoon? I can only think a spigot is a term of abuse, as in, “what a f*** spigot”. I imagine it means an arrogant, know-it-all and snide type, but also of means, with money and it shows, maybe a jag outside; not unlike a type of doomer who arrives in our midst after a poor result, all-knowing and full of spite. “Opening the spigot” probably refers to some ghastly medieval punishment, but might also be slang that pick-pockets refer to when stealing from a spigot.

    Spitoon is obviously a military term, as in “he’s now a corporal in the spitoon guards, just like his Grandad”. Faucet seems to me a typical name of pubs in Wales; “OK, see you down the The Faucet” then, “how about a pint at The Dog and Faucet”, or “where’s The Ugly Faucet”.

  117. The Real Stew Black

    Bill we had our crazy transfer window last year – quite enough for me.
    Frank RVP’s bum is just too small. that’s the problem for the Dutch. It should be a ying yang thing with The Golden Bum but they are just incompatible in the rear trouser department. Huntlaar has quite spotty cheeks and Golden Bum is less threatened by this it seems. Robben’s bum is actually a prosthetic and controlled from implants in the lower arm which is why his wrists look so damn odd when he runs.

  118. @USG

    I wouldn’t say chronic mate. Early in his career(2009) he had surgery on his left knee and then just now because of a tackle during the Santos match. So 1 caused by “freak injury” then 3 years later by a 2 footed tackle.

  119. C:

    Just kidding about all of that. The mind wanders sometimes in the off season.

    @ C: @Limestone:

    Do you really believe that during the heat of the game especially with a world cup on the line that someone like Robben or Sniejder would actually see a chance for a pass to RVP that might lead to a score and not make that pass just because they don’t like him and don’t want him to score?? Seems a bit far fetched to me.

  120. The Real Stew Black

    Zimpaul you have turned on an interesting linguistic tap. We could have a game of ACLF ‘Call My Bluff’
    A Spigot is in fact an archaic term for an elderly lady who used to perform medical operations on all the village’s male cats. “Oh no, I think we’ll have to take poor Timmy to see the Spigot. He’s never been right since the horse kicked him”
    Spittoon is an unworthy fellow who makes money by performing card tricks in bus queues.
    Faucet is the act of gay love when practised by two consenting church officials. From an outtake of Dad’s Army:”Oh please Verger faucet me now, faucet me till I fart” “I can’t not now Vicar – Mr Hodges is just coming up the path”

  121. Faucet me till i fart.

  122. @ steww and ZP and Frank from earlier
    ha ha ha!

  123. @Bill

    Watch a match with Robben ecspecially you will see RVP make a run and get open and instead of playing it to him Robben will shoot often or all the time. RVP is handling it the best way possible, “Kill him with kindness”

  124. I have always found Robben to be a greedy player, one who will always take the chance of personal glory over and above the chance to create a chance for a team mate who may be in a better position or often to continue working the ball to create that chance.

    He did it at Chelsea, he did it at Real and still does it now in Munich.

    It is nothing specific to do with van Persie, we just notice it more because he is (currently) one of ours.

  125. C:

    I think Robben has the same problem with his neck that my long passed grandmother had because he can’t lift his head up long enough to look around when he has the ball. Doubt he has a clue where any of his teammates are when he is trying to cut in and get off a shot.

  126. Wonderful reading today. Thanks to all.

  127. Upper Street Gooner

    C | June 12, 2012 at 4:14 pm

    Fair enough and one needs look at our own rvp to see the turn around that players can have but still the guy is 22-23 and has had 2 cruciate operations.

    Speaking with experience as my own sporting career was stopped by knee injuries believe me its not good.

    Look at Essien. It breaks you both physically but more importantly mentally!

  128. @Bill



    I agree but it also depends on the level at which the surgeries are as well. He was never a player that was based on pace but more on his touch and dribbling.

    As somebody who has 2 creaky ankles from years of breaking them him being 22-23 will actually work in his favor as they will recover faster and stronger. Not to mention they seem not to want to rush him back at all.

  129. A “ballcock” is course from the original Dutch and means Arjen Robben.

  130. Upper Street Gooner

    C | June 12, 2012 at 4:20 pm

    Is that not Robben natural game though?

    He is a maverick he shoots from everwhere sometimes it works sometimes it doesn’t.

    Would suggest that rvp adapts his role when playign for the dutch into goal scorer. Allow Snijder to create through the middle and allow robben to either draw players out of position and cross. RVP job is to bang them in in this dutch side and he was presented some glorious opportunities to do that and missed them.

  131. @ ZP
    Isn’t that Sp*rs’ emblem?

  132. Upper Street Gooner


    Your right in terms of surguries.

    Where it worries me though is in the physicallity of our league. You need to be brave to be an attackign player in our league. i would suggest 2 of the bravest i’ve seen in recent years are walcott and Ronaldo. It takes guts to get smashed by oaths and get back up.

    Can Ganso take it and will his mind let him take it. Thats one thing that really impressed me with Ramsey this year. As the season went on you saw him beocme more and more confident challenging for the ball. Now look at Essien challenge for the ball he hesitates now.

    Dont get me wrong he is a wonderful [player ganso and im sure he will have a wonderful career in the right club and league. Arsenal in our position cant really afford to have another question mark

  133. Notoverthehill

    To overlook the covenants and constraints of the Bond Holders, shows an immature knowledge of the finances of Arsenal Holdings Plc. There are too many of them, I say.

    Too completely ignore what AW said about profit before thinking about buying a player, completes the “Simple Idiots Guide to The Arsenal World”.

    IMVHO anybody who claims there is a £50 millions transfer budget at this moment in time, should be ignored!

    On the 1st June 2012, a sum of about £8 millions will have been paid out to the Bond Holders, for a Half-Yearly interest due. There is another £3 to £4 millions ringfenced for the Newton Housing Association. Payments for the 2012-2013 Season Tickets are in the Clients’ Banking Account and the V.A.T. account, are of course ringfenced. Need I go on to prove the stupidity of certain individuals?.

  134. I can just see Spurs using Arjen Robben as their emblem, I really can.

  135. @USG

    Yes it is his game and I haven’t said that RVP shouldn’t have finsihed them as he should have. The point and even discussed throughout futbol is that they tend to forget he is even on the pitch. This is why I have never truly been a fan of international futbol(even though I grew up watchign Brazil and cheer for them with only a little less passion then I do Arsenal) because like you say shouldn’t RVP adapt his role but the same could be said for Sneidjer and Robben. Sneidjer for Inter plays in a deep lying playmaker role who tends to drift wide so why can’t they adapt to RVP.

    To solve all this why don’t they get a coach with some cojones and say this is the way we are going to play. But he seems to be more interested in making sure that all his coaches wear those damn silver suits.

  136. ” ballcock – Isn’t that Sp*rs’ emblem? ”

    No. Their symbol is a ball CAPON. A bird with NO Cajones.

  137. @USG

    To be honest I really don’t see him leaving Brazil as they seem to now be able to pay their top players massive wages not on the level of Europe but close when you think about all the other perks. They aired a documentary a little while back(I’ll have to find the title) and even recent interviews with long time futbol sponsors and such and alot of the young Brazilian players are opting to stay in Brazil and return the leagues to the glory days of Zico and Pele while returning the glory of clubs like Fluminense, Internacional and Flamengo.

    But I think he would fit in nicely given a year to work his way through and players like Podolski, Theo and Ox would benefit just ask Neymar.

  138. Well said USG. Our gooner tinted blinkers have lead us to pillor Robben and ignore the fact Robin missed a few sitters.

  139. Jibber at 2-something.

    The time does not matter as you keep on having trouble with Arsenal’s victory over Dortmund. Why is that?
    I’m sure they appreciate you’re explanations for their early season troubles. What about arsenal? A shame you never praise your own team. Why is that?
    If dortmund couldn’t beat arsenal then, when? For you the unpalatable FACT is that the genius of Di Natale was far more trouble for Arsenal then the german double winners. I won’t wait up for an answer, no need for you to chocke and try to rattle that chain with which the bikini clad Dexter likes to use. I’m sure you’ll get your desserts.

  140. Smart phones do not help with the old typos. Nope.

  141. @ Notoverthehill – thanks for the insightful comment. Things do seem to get carried away here with all the biased opinions. We forget that the club is really an in debted stadium/property management company run based on business decisions by bean counters rather than football fanatics being frivolous with transfer kitties.

  142. Notoverthehill @ 4:46:

    Not one of us has any idea how much really could be in the tranfer kitty if the club chose to put it there, much to my own displeasure.
    What fun would the summer be if we didn’t speculate and make wild unprovable assumptions???

  143. @ notoverthehill
    I keep telling you you should do a blog post to explain all this stuff.

    @ Bill
    If you accepted they were a) assumptions and b) “wild and unprovable”, that would be ok – but you don’t.

  144. I feel like a complete fool, Notoverthehill. My eyes have been opened. Thanks

  145. FunGunner @ 5:26:

    Good point!! I will try to keep that in mind.

  146. We won’t hear from Notoverthehill for a bit now. He’s a hit-and-run commenter.

  147. Anybody have the latest on the Czech-Greece match?

  148. C- it has been a fast paced match. Czech scored twice early on and the Greeks were forced to come out and play. Greece had one goal disallowed for offsides, it was very tight though. Seemed like the striker was in line with the shoulder of his marker…anyways, this is how exciting football can be when one team doesn’t play like fucking crabs and decides to try and attack. 2-0 at half time.

  149. @billturner90

    Thanks for the update. How is our Mozart playing? Now you wouldn’t be taking shots at anybody would you lol

  150. The Czech’s are spanking the melodramatic Greeks. 2-0 within 10 mins.
    2nd half just began…TR subbed @ the break

  151. @Aman

    YYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY?????????? was he playing that good or that bad or just precaution?

  152. bonjour
    good post..
    roy of the england rovers keeps on marching..the game plans obvious with the players we have available but i think once the likes of rooney returns it will be interesting to see how we do, being hard to beat is never a bad thing but goals win you games so rooney coming into a solid unit should make us quite competitive..we shall see although i dont see us getting much further than the second round/quarter finals..
    we wont be able to stop all the top teams from scoring and even if we do weve never been any good at pens so its pointless playing for the draw..

    anyhoo…france were lucky..they didnt have a clue how to break us down, relying on long pops and for all the talk over the years that england are a bunch of neandrathals, dont even get me started on the french because what i saw yesterday was a bunch of the dirtiest cunts with a free pass from an italian who’d probably been paid off…shocking..

    taking off my england shirt and putting my arsenal one on, the situation regarding robin is interesting..
    from what i can gather and from the very few bits of info ive been told is that robin doesnt want to go anywhere in my opinion
    hes aked to double his wages to around 150 a week there or there abouts and the club have agreed…BUT…becuase the wage is so high and we like our wage structure weve only offered him a 2 year extention..
    hes stalling cos he wants a 3 year extention but we wont do that for such a high wage a week..we wont break our structure, we’ll tweak it and offer him alot more than we normally do but the money we lose in offering him a wage hike will be made up by offering a medium term deal and not a long one and this is what all the stalling is over..

    so its upto robin..lets hope hes another bergkamp.
    but i think the club will stand firm on this and in the end he will accept it and sign..

  153. Jon Jon.

    If thats all true about Robin its great news because the 2 sides are at least in the same postal code. That and his dad saying he does not want to go to City are both positive news. We need to get the deal done ASAP before someone else blows him away with a big offer.

  154. @JonJon

    You damn well better be right about Robin!

  155. last year at this time Cesc was taken out of all comercial campaigns the club had. This year RvP is fronting the new kit. That is a huge indication towards the fact that the club will keep him.
    Last year with the cesc case, he was basically take out of all the team things. and we got “the new generation” launch for the second kit with all the up and coming star in the team.

    That fact alone is the bigest hint from the club atlest that he will feautere for us next year too.
    Neither Nasri nor Cesc was used in any campaings by the club last summer…

  156. arse or brain

    i know you shouldnt belioeve all from twitter but there are reports the twitcher has gone !

  157. @ JonJon
    Where’s your info from?

    @ Poodle | June 12, 2012 at 6:32 pm

    “last year at this time Cesc was taken out of all comercial campaigns the club had. This year RvP is fronting the new kit. That is a huge indication towards the fact that the club will keep him.”
    I noticed that too and it gives me hope. I hope he stays but more than that I want him to make that decision whole-heartedly and without reservation.

  158. So while his teammate is fighting racism for being black what does Antonio Cassano do, takes a jab at homosexuals. He says in response to reports in the Italian paper that their are 2 players in the Italian national team that are homosexual:

    “Poofs in the national team? That’s their problem. But I hope not,” he said.

    “Are there any? I don’t know.”

    He added: “You’re not going to translate that to the Polish press, are you? Because if not, you know I’ll be attacked from every direction.”

    and this was after his manager said: “Homophobia is racism and it is indispensable that we make further steps to look after all aspects of individuals living their own lives, including sporting figures,” he wrote in the foreword of a book on homosexuality and sport.

    “We must all work for a sporting culture that respects the individual in every manifestation of his truth and freedom. Hopefully soon some players will come out.”

    So if in futbol ecspecally with all the outrage over Ukraine/Poland racism, I personally can’t see why Cassano shouldn’t be fined at the minimum? What do my fellow ACLF posters think?

  159. @Arse or brain

    Who is the twitcher? HAHAHA

  160. bill
    asap not really needed..
    he doesnt want to leave..

    this could well go on into next year..
    but if he doesnt want to leave then it aint a problem and he may end up with his 3 years at the end of this contract 😉

    nobody important..i wouldnt take it as gospel, its just an observation really..but i though it an observation worth mentioning..

  161. Czech R. 2 – Greece 1 FT
    They held out.
    Petr Cech gifted the greeks a freebie…
    Don’t know why TR was subbed
    He is fragile u know

  162. @Aman

    Interesting for as good as Cech is, he sure does give up alot of freebies.

  163. @JonJon
    ok – I’ll take it with a pinch of salt, then. Though it sounds plausible. I can’t rid myself of a feeling of foreboding so I shall go back to trying not to fret about the whole thing.

  164. Clerkenwell Gooner

    It’s long overdue, C, that top players who are gay – and there must be some – come out. It’s happened in other sports – rugby, f’r instance. But here in England, the long shadow of Justin Fashanu’s suicide still seems to prevent it.

    I did wonder if the stuff going on in the French squad at the World Cup 2010 over Gourcuff was somehow related to this very issue. But who knows?

    Cassano should have the book thrown at him, to learn him how to keep his horribly divisive opinions to himself.

  165. @ C
    And people call footballers thick… What a creep.

  166. as for the rumours about giroud, it could well be true..

    wenger said hes after strikers, weve got all but one of ours up for sale this summer, they need replacing so it wouldnt suprise me if robin stays and we sign another two in podolski and giroud

    why not?

    bendnter, park, vela, chamakh..
    we dont use em, they need i wouldnt get too worried everytime we are linked to a new striker..
    chances are they are coming to play with robin..
    and if they are good enough, they will, and not be left to rot on the bench like rest of them have..

  167. is it just me or is Jamie Carragher unintelligible?

  168. @Clerkenwell

    I completely agree about Cassano and that is an interesting take on the French but does make some sense. Cassano has long been in trouble for his volatile attitude on the pitch(people think Balotelli is a wacko atleast he is still only 20, Cassano is 29-30 and does and acts WAY WORSE) but this is just over the top ecspecially with all the stuff going on about racism.

    My mom use to say all the time “You don’t have to be smart or a good person to become an athlete and the one’s who are smart dont say stupid shit” at times my mother hits it right on the head.

  169. Theo—-RVP—-Podolski
    with Ox, Gervinho still on the bench and that could be at the end of a match when say we are chasing a goal. That could be absolutely unplayable. But not until pen is put to paper!!!!!

  170. Interesting test of the integrity of the manager – if he meant the words he wrote in that forward he should do the honourable thing and drop Cassano entirely – as a matter of moral principle.

    It would be fascinating to watch the fallout if he did so.

    In order for evil to prosper it is enough that good men do nothing.

  171. Twitter is alive with rumours that the Spuds are now managerless!

  172. @jonny

    I completely agree with you but I doubt that he does and this is on top of everything else that the Italians are going through. The one thing that I can say about the Italian team is that they have an extradionary amount of focus giving yet another scandal by the Serie A winner Juventas which comprises 6 of their 1st chioce XI!

  173. Oops … now followed by a denial from ‘Arry on ESPN. David Pleat was on standby.

  174. Geez your acting like British media!

  175. Clerkenwell – I honestly don’t think JF’s suicide has much to do with the reticence – it’s been a slow process in all sports but football’s antiquated attitudes and thuggish, uneducated culture is the big barrier.

    Yes it has happened in rugby but only very recently.

    Cricket’s first openly gay player came out only last year.

    I would not be surprised if we have a footballer come out in the next 2-3 years – there is clear evidence that the weight of attitude towards homosexuals is undergoing significant progressive change.

    Talking to the teenagers of today and their understanding, in every sense of the word, is hugely different to when I was a youngster.

  176. As a matter of interest – they conducted the first UK survey of sexuality by the Office For National Statistics a couple if years ago and it showed c1% described themselves as gay and a further 0.5 per cent as bisexual.

    If we accept the ONS survey is a reasonable indicator for professional footballers – we should expect there to be around seven gay Premier League and a further three bisexual.

  177. The Real Stew Black

    Interesting listening to Russian comms on my stream no audible ‘v’; in Arsha’s name, didn’t know that.

  178. George will be happy with that from AA.

    Meerkat Special Delivery.

  179. The Real Stew Black

    Lovely free kick and header.

  180. russia looking good and that young striker they have looks decent enough

  181. Has there been a better player so far in the Euro’s than AA23?

  182. Regarding out gays…
    Fashanu’s niece recently put together a documentary about homophobia in football. The conclusion of it seemed to be that the problem was not amongst the troops but with the club hierarchy – the boards and owners. The players interviewed said that they had gay teammates and friends but there was a sort of “don’t ask don’t tell” policy with the old school boards. The fans didn’t seem that bothered, either.

  183. Fun – that sort of makes sense if you consider that most boards and owners will be from an earlier, less ‘forgiving’ age.

    Fundamentally depressing that this, alongside all the racist crap seems to have become an over-arching theme of the tournament – indeed, of 2012.


    Arsha’in still looking dangerous …

  184. Czech’s #8 was exceptional today
    Sheva yesterday
    ..AA’s been good not great

  185. TR’s summer might just have kicked in early

  186. what a goal..

  187. i hear that JJ. Perfectly shot. power and accuracy defined.

  188. nothing the keeper could do..
    he had it covered, the shot bent round him..
    with pace as well..
    dont see those goals all that often..

    good stuff..
    best goal so far..

  189. When we see Robin struggling with his team mates in the Oranje set up, it is probably not surprising when you look at the make up of the team and compare it to some of the more cohesive units so far….

    Russia (7 Zenit SP players, 3 CSKA players)
    Spain (5 Barcelona players, 4 Real Madrid players)
    Italy (6 Juventus)
    Germany (7 Bayern Munich players, 2 Real Madrid players)

    Netherlands in the last game (11 players all from different clubs)

  190. How the Poles would LOVE to win this; like us v the Chav$.

    They literally DID once have Russian tanks …

  191. Biggest problem the Dutch seem to have these days is Robben who clearly thinks he’s an island …

  192. Come on Poland! Bit worried that they’ll get done on the counterattack now.

  193. @ arsenalandrew
    boom boom

  194. Both sides look a bit tired now.

    If only Poland had someone like Theo to bring on … in the 90th minute …

  195. Great stuff, Poland.

  196. Am going to try being careful in order not to offend anyone here.

    From what i read, cassano did not say anything controversial, if any footballer is gay who cares? , they can keep it to themselves cause nobody wants to know.
    All this talk about coming out in the open is over rated, i don’t see rooney telling the media he likes to shag someone’s granny once in a while.

    Also, racism cannot be compared to homophobia, i mean comeon! Lets keep a sense of perspective here.

  197. The Real Stew Black

    khalifa with this “Also, racism cannot be compared to homophobia, i mean comeon! Lets keep a sense of perspective here.” you have outed yourself as a nob. Complete and utter nob. You are only here for a reaction be honest. Now fuck off and go play on your own somewhere.

  198. That’s what I was thinking Stew.

    Racism- fear/judgement of differing races.

    Homophobia-fear/judgement of different sexual orientation.


  199. khalifha

    Pretty much time to pack in talking to people and trying to live in the modern world if you can’t see anything wrong in what Cassano said. Best stick to the Beano or Dandy. About your level.

  200. I see three pretty horrid phrases in the first sentence alone…

    Poofs in the national team? That’s their problem. But I hope not

  201. Jè managed to watch the russia/poland match today, from what i saw arshavin performed in the same manner he does for arsenal.

    He attacked with menace, skipped past a couple of players but looked unperturbed and hardly tracked back.
    The only reason the defensive side of his game or lack of is highlighted is because of the level of competiveness in the premier league.

    Even if one player gives less than 100% on the pitch it leads to mistakes which could cost the team. In arsenal’s case, we have so many attacking minded player that everyone has to put in a shift and for this reason i don’t see arshavin improving in an arsenal shirt no matter how good he is, maybe as a super-sub cause his game is not suited to the Epl (put down the knife George). Hopefully we get good money for him from zenit or anzhi machalkalakah(damn,its a mouthful).

  202. Khalifha – Cassano’s comments are utterly shameful.

    Racism and homophobia may be very different but the crucial commonality is that they are predicated on hatred and as such should be abhorrent to any right thinking person.

    It’s a pity you have allied yourself to them and that you are seemingly unable to see just how badly that paints you, as a result.

  203. Khalifha – On reflection what worries me most of all is that, that was you supposedly choosing your words ‘carefully’ so as not to offend.

    Sounds to me as though you have slightly more of an issue with sexual-orientation than you would like to admit.

  204. There you go, i said i was going to try not to offend anyone in my first paragraph, but still some people are getting worked up.

    First off i remember what my grand father went through cause he was black so anyone comparing racism to homophobia to doesn’t know what he/she is talking about.
    Please just drop it, this shit is a very sensitive topic to me, i don’t want to get worked up over nothing.

  205. Clerkenwell Gooner

    @Jonny – re: Fashanu, maybe you’re right, but I’ve seen some fairly recent quotes from Max Clifford who still seems to say, “Don’t do it [come out]” to footballers.

    And in the context of the Church of England today threatening to stop marrying ANYONE in church in protest at teh gay having the same option as the straight, well, attitudes in certain quarters continue to be less than progressive, unfortunately.

    It’s interesting to see how the younger Arsenal players are via Twatter – some of them seem to use “gay” as an insult to rag one another with, which kind of makes me wince (Rio Ferdinard I think has also been less than stellar in this regard).

    But then some of them are openly sweet about the not-so-latent homoeroticism of their calling – which after all is about supreme physical skill allied with super-fit bodies – such as when Conor Henderson tweets a pic of a billboard at H&M Oxford Circus showing a giant b&w photo of an oiled-up, pouting David Beckham in his kecks, and tags it “#mancrush” – well, you’ve got to laugh.

    Socially, we have made huge strides on racism and sexism – think the whole Sian Massey row – in football in the UK, even if there is still work to be done, of course, but the dominoes on this one seem reluctant to fall.

    But as you point out, they will fall, because in the end, they always do.

  206. Jonny, My feeling towards homophobia is who gives a shit, its nobody’s problem.

    But stew and yogi have forgotten that words can get lost in translation. If any footballer is gay, fine and good, its their choice.
    My only beef is with people comparing it to racism, i don’t need to go through history to tell you what people of a certain race have been subjected to, so lets leave it at that.

  207. Tomas Rosicky has picked up an achilles injury and is doubtful for the final group game

    Hope it’s not to bad

  208. Gad zooks! We;ve gone from discussing the England game (I rhought we played well, not fantastic, but neither did france and we should beat sweden) to commenting on the dutch squad (RvP AND Huntelaar have to start together and even though I do think Robben is a greedy selfish player, its Affelay who should be dropped) and now its same sex marriages and disgusting comments from an italian twat!


  209. Ha! Clifford is falling out of touch himself if that’s true!

    CofE can fuck off – I am tired of this supposition that the relationship between The Church of England and The State is important or even relevant – especially in today’s multi-faith and yet predominantly secular society.

    The latest poll shows 70% of people are pro-gay marriage which shows how vastly the tide has turned and in such a short time too.

    You are right- the use of gay, especially amongst the young, is contradictory. I have seen teenagers use it as an insult but I know they are in no way actually homophobic. Many of my friends are the same in fact – “gaylord” still provokes many a snigger. Somehow there is a disconnect between etymology and use – but then the word originally meant happy to start with. Indeed it’s considered one of the most interesting words in the English language, given the speed in which it’s meaning has repeatedly changed.

    Conor Hendersen is an unusually bright and lovable young gentleman as a footballer’s go.

  210. khali

    You’ve shot yourself in the foot there man. I think any sort of hate, prejudice that is based purely on an antipathy towards a group or section of society is abhorrent. And no, i dont think homophobia is the same as racism, but they are both disgusting dude.

    There has been a real dumbing down of this, and its brushed over way too much by the meeja, with as Clerkenwell suggests, the common usage of ‘gay’ as a slur and slight

  211. I think gay marriage is an affront to humanity and modern civilised society, its abnormal and disgusting and should be banned.

    I mean, who the f**k would want to associate themselves with such an outdated concept as marriage FFS? 🙂

  212. This from today’s guardian seemed rather relevant –

    The fuss broke out last weekend when the Seinfeld star [Jason Alexander], in an interview on Scottish comedian Craig Ferguson’s The Late Late Show on CBS, joked about cricket being “a bit gay”. This didn’t go down tremendously well in LGBT quarters – nor, I suspect, among cricket fans – but before the backlash gained momentum, Alexander issued both an apology, and a masterclass in how to take the heat out of a mounting controversy.

    Future scholars of the art of the celebrity mea culpa will pore over this core text, in which Alexander takes himself minutely to task for “[adding] to the pejorative stereotype that [some people] are forced to deal with every day”, and for “[making] anyone feel even more isolated or misunderstood or just plain hurt – please know that was not my intention”. In doing so, he succeeded in redeeming his wobbling reputation, and averting the fate (which must have been looming in his mind) of Seinfeld co-star Michael Roberts, aka Kramer. Roberts’s rant against two black audience members at his standup show in 2006 killed his comedy career stone dead. Alexander, by contrast, comes out of his brush with controversy seeming like a thoroughly decent (if rather naive) man.

  213. I am so gay today, I cant stand it.

  214. “Rev. Pat Robertson says that if more states legalize gay marriage, God will destroy America. He did say that afterwards, gays will come in and do a beautiful renovation.” –Conan O’Brien

  215. Clerkenwell Gooner

    Lol Dex – my thoughts exactly!

  216. Yogi, the least you can do is release my comments from moderation, i have not said anything offensive whatsoever.

  217. I’m not sure if you’re showing a complete lack of awareness or whether you’re taking the piss, khalifha. Try reading the comments section before you post.

  218. If this comment gets through moderation, good.

    A word of advice to some people on here *am looking at you stew and yw*, do not be quick to judge people over the internet.
    My first comment on homophobia was taken out of context and i am in no way homophobic. My opinion is MY opinion, there is nothing wrong in reading cassano’s comments and thinking meh, who cares because i don’t.
    Thats just what it is, i won’t start scolding cassano but i won’t condone it either, i choose to let it slide, thats how i choose to live.

    So have a break guys, have a kit kat.

  219. Oh – please let it be a nightmare. “Racism cannot be compared to homophobia” ~ yes it can, and often is; in certain countries, being gay is sometimes considered, and punished, far more than being of a different skin colour, man. (Most of Africa, Asia and the Carribean)
    Seems that “racism” is the new “peadophilia” and everyone is running scared. Truth is, very few humans are truly liberal [free] and inviting towards ‘others’ – this ‘holier-than-thou’ my best friend is chinese crap is far more disturbed(sic) than an honest distrust of a strange skin in an inland country. Let it be and stop yapping your credentials and protesting too much. AW – the exemplar.

  220. Yogi, did i tell you how much i love you :-). I was dying in moderation.

    Guys, amigos, johnny, dex, stew #Grouphug.

  221. Clerkenwell Gooner

    Cassano apologises:

    Cassano later issued an apology through the Italian state news agency ANSA. “I am sincerely sorry that my comments have caused controversy and protests among gay groups. Homophobia is not a point of view that I share. I didn’t want to offend anyone and I absolutely don’t want to put a person’s sexual freedom under discussion.

    “I only said that it was a problem which was nothing to do with me and I don’t let myself express judgments on other people’s choices, which should all be respected.”

    By contrast, here’s Spain hardman Sergio Ramos on the cover of a gay lifestyle magazine back in 2009 (same-sex marriage was legalised in Spain in 2005):

    No idea (or interest in) what Ramos’s sexual preferences are, but he gives excellent smoulder.

  222. Has anyone here been in moderation before? Trust me it is a dark empty vacuum.

    Yogi, don’t do that to me again man, lol.
    I think i saw hunter and jabba in the quantum of moderation, they looked terrible, luckily for jabba i told him his evil twin was still talking shit once in a while, that gave him hope.

  223. Dexter, yea maybe i did.
    I knew this topic was a sensitive one so i tried giving my opinion in the best way i could.

    Apparently i still managed to offend some people.
    Honestly speaking i tried posting that comment in a nonchalant way, you know, Like who cares, not me. But unfortunately it didn’t come out right *sigh*.

    It’s all good tho, i hope i cleared that up.

  224. I would like to believe you feel like that man.

    But just replace the word ‘poofs’ in cassano’s nasty quotes with a racist word, I think you can think of one and see how that sentence looks to you then dude.

    Nighty night!

  225. I think the sensible thing, if you did not want to scold Cassano, would have been to keep quiet – rather than make comments which seemed perilously close to defending/justifying them.

    Your comments were not taken out of context and you must know what a ‘blue touch paper issue’ this is – which means you have a greater ‘duty of care’ when you post. It’s just common bloody sense not to be flippant about subjects like this.

    Overall I’m afraid I don’t think casual indifference to hatred espoused by others is a particularly admirable stance but I’m happier that you have at least tried to distance yourself from the uglier concerns your careless remarks raised.

    As for Cassano – he’s not fooling me with that lame recantation. I’ll bet it was typed out for him!


  226. “Poofs in the national team? That’s their problem. But I hope not,”

    “My opinion is MY opinion, there is nothing wrong in reading cassano’s comments and thinking meh, who cares because i don’t.”

    Kahlifa – I can’t tell you how disappointed I was to read this from an otherwise reasonably bright poster. That you are attempting to strike a ‘nonchalent’ tone and holding that up as some kind of badge of honour doesn’t really help matters.

    How anyone can be nonchalent about an issue which, for some people in certain countries carries the death penalty is frankly bizarre.

    It’s not that I think you are homophobic but the fact that you are so prepared to tolerate those who are intolerant of others on the grounds of their sexuality that is so puzzling.

    That some of our greatest scientists and artists – let alone otherwise ‘ordinary’ individuals have been persecuted for this and it doesn’t appear to concern you – this I find very concerning.

    Let me ask you this:

    Did you think Suarez was hard done by?

    Have you ever heard of Cyril Regis:

    “The racism was quite abhorrent but I turned a negative into a positive. I chased harder and played harder, I wanted to score goals and win points.”

    “”Back then, you’d have thousands of people screaming “nigger, nigger lick my boots” at you. And the authorities just said “disgraceful” and did nothing. Nothing happened for years, until the late 1980s with the Kick Racism campaigns.”

    In other words, “back then”, many people – those in authority and beyond – who SHOULD have known better about racism didn’t. Nothing done until the late EIGHTIES.

    Because they were nonchalent instead.

    I have to ask you – how can anyone ever be nonchalent about hate?

    There is nothing to be proud of in sitting on the fence of tolerance, in the face of intolerance and you would do well to think on, young man.

    I’ve little doubt you are not racist and I suspect you’re not sexist.

    But racism, sexism, homophobia – these are all just different sides of the coins in the currency of prejudice.

    If you, and others like you, choose not to understand this then, ultimately, being in moderation will be the least of your worries.

    It’s worth thinking about.

    Or don’t you truly think?

  227. Well said, as usual, Andrew.

    Reading Cassano’s ‘recantation’ – I hate these so-called apologies which are truthfully nothing of the sort –

    The ‘I am sorry if anyone was offended by what I said’ apology crops up frequently (I think Suarez used it too) and it’s just a cowardly thing which means I’m not sorry but I don’t want to be on the receiving end of condemnation so maybe this will suffice and sound close enough to actual contrition to get me in the clear.

  228. Agree Jonny – in some peculiar way the ‘so-called apologies’ are almost as offensive as the original remarks.

    Cowardly is exactly the right word.

    Insincere is another.


    Interesting quotes in the Independent re: Montpelier’s Manager:

    I obviously have my puzzled head on tonight – I’m puzzled Giroud didn’t play against England given his league record. Any ideas?

  229. I think it’s largely to do with the fact he has never played much for them in the past – he only has a handful of caps, many of those as sub and most of them in the last year and based on recent form for Montpellier. He’s considered a decent striker but I don’t think he is rated as much more than that by French football fans.

    For that reason, I am really rather surprised we are after him – but if the man from Montpellier say ‘Yes’ then maybe it is so and if Wenger says yes then I’ll defer to the unequalled judgement of ‘the wise one’.

    He’d undoubtedly offer more as support than our current options – but does he really want to play second fiddle to RVP or are we going to start living in fear of the more ominous conclusion that the papers will undoubtedly agree upon..?!

  230. Woah Johnny, there was no way i was going to let that topic slide without getting my opinion across infact i was itching to comment on it, just came out wrong.

    As for cassano, his PR team might be attempting damage limitation.

    OMpaz ….. ‘Let it be and stop yapping your credentials and protesting too much’.
    Am guessing you must have changed your name to post this comment, the word coward doesn’t begin to describe you.

    Arsenalandrew, am speechless man.
    I posted that comment because people were so quick to judge.
    The words ‘who cares’ has been taken out of context and am sorry if am not as passionate about the topic as people here but different strokes for different folks.

    This is why i tend to stick to football when posting comments here, you never know what can be termed as offensive.
    Can we please move on, am glad you know that i am not homophobic, havn’t i mentioned the man crush i have for Rvp? Jeez!

  231. The Arse in the Gamb

    vP will probably always be hated by the Dutch. As I remember he was pretty much banned from the Dutch team for telling them all to go to blazes, or some such thing, before he came to Arsenal. He would have to set the tournament alight in order for them to see through that kind of smoke.

  232. Interesting when ‘home’ fans don’t rate their own players – obvious example being some of the Dutch not being that bothered about RvP (as suggested earlier on here).

    I don’t know the guy at all but he was obviously quite a key player for his club this year.

    You’d think if an English player had done what he’s done there’d be a big clamour for him. We’re all shouting for the Ox even though it’s obviously still VERY early days for him …

    Interestingly the French appear keen to take Chamak (on loan, at least) as part of any deal.

    Have to say I fear the worst over RvP as I can’t see any earthly reason for the media blackout; the longer it goes on, the more puzzling it is.

    I told you I had my puzzled head on tonight … hmmm.

  233. Rvp is an angel on the pitch, against denmark his finishing was woeful but as jabber highlighted the rest of his game(passing,link up) was a joy to watch.

    My favourite players to watch were dribblers, guys like rivaldo, ronaldinho, gascoigne, kanu, okocha made football look so damn good.

    I have seen the error in my ways. Watching Rvp is like art, every stroke of ball is not wasted, i mean it.
    Never knew what all the fuss was about when it comes to fabregas, rvp was always the real genius. And yes am just bitter.

  234. If its true his grandfather was indeed of African descent then that’s even more alarming. You’d think someone with close ties to someone who’s been discriminated against would be against such behavior. Apparently not. But we see that stuff all the time here in the States. Religious zealots of Latino and African descent who you’d think would know firsthand what its like to be treated unfairly are some of the worst offenders here. Very odd. Down with religion.

  235. Arsenalandrew

    In terms of the media blackout, i am loving every minute of it.
    When the season was going on with Rvp answering questions on his future was just like a baby that crys through the night which makes it unable for me to get some sleep. Since the media blackout only two stories concerning rvp have been printed, the juventus link and the comments from rvp’s dad, am telling you i can now get show shut eye, media blackout for everyone!

  236. Loomer, you don’t know what you are talking about, if you are not a christian or whatever then that is your own cup of tea.


  237. ? Fuck off would ya? You’re not fit to post here and are ruining the vibe.

  238. Kind of late in the day, but I couldn’t help but comment on the Holland situation and Van Persie’s role in their team. As far as I’m concerned the only player which needs to be sacrificed is Van Bommel. He’s not as defensive as De Jong and he is nowhere near as good as either Van der Vaart or Sneijder creatively. If I were Van Marwijck I’d stop being a coward and play only one defensive midfielder. Also, Van Persie should not be sat down regardless of how good Huntelaar is. Van Persie is the sharpest attacker at the Euros at the momen, it would be insane to play him out wide or put him on the bench in favor of someone less prolific.

    As far as England and AOC are concerned, I thought he did awesome. If England didn’t cause France any problems it was because Roy played that shit Ashley Young behind Welbeck even though that position is tailor made for Gerrard. If Hodgson persists with Young in his formation England may make it past the group stage, but will get clobbered the minute they play someone half decent. Oh, and as much as I hate Kyle Walker I think that he should start I front of Glenn Johnson. theo and Walker on the wing would’ve made France shit itself.

  239. WOW!!! Having finally recovered from the world’s worst hangover, I pop in to talk football and instead stumble upon one of the most ignorant postings ever on this blog. Khalifa stick to football mate as I think you are entirely out of your depth (as I think you yourself eventually admitted) when it comes to discussing such a sensitive issue as sexual orientation and the prejudices that exist towards those who are courageous enough to be open and honest about their sexuality. My uncle ‘came out’ at 42, after years of hiding his true self from the world and many, many years of unhappiness and loneliness. He now counsels both young men and young women who have the courage to take that step in their own lives. Not a very easy thing to do in good old Catholic Ireland. Or anywhere for that matter. You claim it does not bother you and that you are non-chalant with regards to the issue but it is that very same non-chalance that emboldens those who voice nothing but hatred towards anyone who is different than their own narrow-minded, bigotted, racist mindset. Living in NYC I have had the good fortune to mak many gay friends, several of whom have been ostracised from their All-American Christian families because they came out. You stated your grandfather(?) was of African decent and suffered from racist abuse, yet you claim to be ‘non-chalant’ with regards to issues concerning homosexuality. I am afraid you cannot pick and choose which form of discrimination you wish to stand up against. It is an all-or-nothing issue.

    @LSG – On a much different note, a big thank you to you for your excellent recommendation of The Turkish Kitchen on 3rd Ave for dinner. It was The Girlfriend’s birthday and I took her and her Mom and 2 sisters there and I have to say it was very, very good. A tip of the hat to you sir! 🙂

  240. The Nazis gassed a lot of homosexuals. Yes, homophobia is comparable to racism.

    Didn’t see Rosicky’s substitution. Did it look as if he was injured?

  241. Finngun – He injured his Achilles and is doubtful for the next game. A pity as he just got back to fitness but let us hope it is simply a small injury, we need him fit.

  242. This has been an interesting exchange. One of the bravest people I ever knew, which I later tried to explain to my (older) kids as an example of exceptional bravery, was the (now late) founder of the gays and lesbians of Zimbabwe or GALZ. To be a gay organiser in a society like ours is to court actual dire physical abuse or injury. This guy had a severe physical handicap (hunch-back and a bent spine), so he could hardly go around incognito; he was extremely visible.

    That said, it is hypocrisy for first world societies to tell us (Africa, Asia, Caribbean) what the “standards” are for liberal democracies, but then not listen. A generation ago, gays in your developed countries did not have many legal rights; the act of homosexuality was mostly still illegal until the 70s. It took your societies a century (in the industrial age of liberal democracy) to reach the point of open tolerance and legal rights, but somehow ours must get there in a few years. It is only 50 years since the first African country, Ghana, won its independence, ground zero for us. Just to indicate the difficulties, Zambia achieved independence in 1964 with just 40 university graduates in total in the country. Mozambique barely had 5-10 high schools in the whole country for blacks. This after 300+ years of colonialism and racism which is not “discrimination” but somewhat closer to “extermination”. In this way, Khalifa has a point. If we say racism, which is bound up with slavery and colonialism, is regarded as a bigger evil, we have a point. Listen.

  243. Loomer, and whats the criteria to post here, act like a coward and be stupid like you?

    Its enough guys, irishgray i came from a christian home so if i don’t feel the same way about homophobia as some of you do, theres nothing i can do about it.
    But believe me,am one of the most laid back and open minded person you can ever meet, there is no way i am prejudiced and after reading what people have encountered cause of this issue i won’t bring it up, so drop it gee.
    I was ignorant of the fact that other people feel differently, do you want a letter of apology?

    Am very sensitive about certain issues so i know what it feels like to have someone disrespect it. Take for example religion (in this case christian) when people like Loomer paint all christians with the same brush and post a comment like ‘down with religion’ there is no angst here, if i didn’t take it on the chin i woulda said he is a good for nothing rat bastard that would have two black eyes if we met in person, but i won’t. If anyone was offended i am sorry, but don’t expect anything other than that.

    Jeeeez, talk about angry mob, i can almost feel the disgust and hate with every comment aimed at me. I am going to wear a tottenham jersey with ‘better dead than red’ written on it for 2 weeks, will that make you guys feel better or maybe watch all stoke matches for the last 4 years without food and water.

  244. Zimpaul, you eloquent beautiful man. Please don’t bother yourself with people like OMpaz, he can never understand racism. It is something is so deep rooted that it hurts to even think about it. Sexism, homophobia and racism all bring prejudice and discrimination but i doubt any of them were subjected to 300 years to slavery.

  245. I suggest we all stop feeding this nasty attention seeking little troll right now.

  246. khalifha

    I am going to make a suggestion that you would do well to heed. When the conversation moves away from football, stay out of it; you might think you articulate your points well but it is very apparent you do not.

  247. Them meaning the former 2.

    Again, these are all sensitive topics in a football blog. Feelings have been hurt, yadi yadi yada. I may not be passionate about the topic but no one has to suffer discrimination for being gay, its their business.

  248. Stew fuck off, am sick and tired of you yapping about.

    Yogi, you don’t need to tell me, I have said it times without number i was non chalant and it wasn’t the right way to go about things.

    I swear i won’t bring this up again if it will make stew shut the hell up. Sorry guys.

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