Grandmaster Ivan & Arsenal At Euro2012: It’s Quackers As RvP & Bendtner Break Ducks

Group A

Denmark 2 – 3 Portugal
Germany 2 – 1 Netherlands

The media do a love a good crisis, God bless ’em and the Dutch are determined to hand it to them on a plate. Deservedly beaten last night, they drew hope from Robin van Persie’s late strike although they need to beat Portugal by two goals and hope that Denmark lose to Germany. In both cases, history is not in their favour with the Germans never having beaten the Danes in a competitive match. Portugal hold something of a jinx over Holland with the solitary Dutch win in competitive matches coming eleven years ago, having lost the other four encounters.

van Persie took his goal well and missed from the sort of chance that he has buried for fun this past season. Maybe Alex Song is able to deliver the ball with the perfect combination of spin and pace that enables the accuracy in van Persie’s finishing. Once again the Dutch were undone by their own tactics, coming to life in the second half following the withdrawal of van Bommel.

That and appalling defending. The received wisdom is never to buy a player on the basis of one good international tournament; few if any managers ever obey that. Surely the opposite must be true, ruling out Afellay, Stekelenburg and Willens for starters.

And what of Lukas Podolski? He was well marshalled by van der Wiel although he showed his Arsenal potential early in the second half. Striding purposefully down the left, he came across several Dutch defenders. Wisely turning away from trouble, he lost momentum and the ball; a surprisingly familiar outcome. His two performances in the tournament have not yielded goals or assists but have displayed an excellent team ethic, willing to work hard and pressure opponents when they have possession. Whilst his goals will have drawn attention, you feel that the Arsenal scouts will not have missed this aspect of his game.

Earlier, Nicklas Bendtner had for once lived up to his own ego. Despite being defeated, the Dane will have been pleased with his performance in leading the attack and in fairness to him, having the best of his battle with the Portuguese defence. His two goals reminded me why he was a good substitute for Arsenal to have; the alternative to a passing game when something more rudimentary was needed, particularly the second which was headed in off the top of his head with surprising accuracy.

Elsewhere Ivan Gazidis kept himself from going under in the transfer jungle. Christening the new Chinese website, he waxed lyrical about good times ahead,

Don’t push me ‘cuz I’m close to the edge, I’m trying not to lose my head. Uh huh ha ha ha. We are also talking to people in this summer’s transfer market, Uh huh ha ha ha. It’s like a jungle sometimes it makes me wonder how I keep from goin’ under, Uh huh ha ha ha. I think there will be something exciting for our fans to be happy about. Uh huh ha ha ha.

It was said before the Q&A recently held at The Emirates that Ivan was the consumate politico; he is also a very capable CEO, delivering a consistent message on what is happening. You sense a not dislikeable smugness in his words, born of negotiations which have or are, progressing well. We can only hope that it is not misplaced and that the targets materialise.

The praise for his manager is something that Harry Redknapp could only dream of,

We want to do business carefully. We don’t have to add many players, but we have to be very selective. The players we add must bring something to the team. That’s what Wenger is doing and he’s done a good job over the year to identify special talent. I am sure he will do it again.

Which is all that as supporters, we can ask: the right players are signed, not just a big fee signing but one who has the personality to adapt quickly to the English game and life off the pitch. Too often The Next Big Thing turns out to be less than the sum of the anticipation and previous record.

Redknapp’s dismissal at Tottenham is disappointing. Whilst he was there, I always felt that they were a squad who lacked resilience, who could be pressurised into submission. Bringing in someone who is an astute coach may actually make Tottenham more of a threat. We shall see but such shenanigans are always welcome as an Arsenal supporter since it deflects attention away from the club and allows them to go out about their business out of the media glare. I wonder how long it will be until a newspaper publishes the Tottenham equivalent of a broken cannon: the chicken in a basket on a basketball.

’til Tomorrow.

Posted on June 14, 2012, in Arsenal, Euro2012, Football, Premier League, Soccer and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 236 Comments.

  1. really funny headline YW,Good morning ACLF world.

  2. ‘the chichen in a basket on a basketball’excuse me but hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

  3. Cannons of Rhetoric

    Ding, Dong,
    The Twitch is Dead,
    The Twitch is Dead,
    The Twitch is Dead…

  4. Sorry YW, I have read your post although I must have skimmed the part that clearly states

    “Redknapp’s dismissal at Tottenham is disappointing”, hence my posting of the BBC link.

    Let’s not worry about the Spuds; them at their best and us at our worst perennially still leaves them a point or a place behind us. I predict a small improvement from us and some regression from them, which should make the North London divide slightly more visible again.

  5. YW

    “I wonder how long it will be until a newspaper publishes the Tottenham equivalent of a broken cannon: ”

    Don’t hold your breath waiting for that to appear. The hacks are in meltdown, the poor souls.

  6. Maybe I’m alone, but now Robin is off the mark I wouldn’t be surprised to see Holland beat Portugal by a couple as Portugal don’t look like a particularly good side to me. Denmark don’t look up to much either, I can see the big two going through from that group. Holland could do with dropping Robben though, he’s been playing poorly and his strop at being substituted last night was pathetic.

    Ivan coming out and saying there will be “exciting” news in the transfer market in the near future is good, er, news. It sounds like the Giroud deal is all but done. How about a (potential) lineup for next year like:

    Walcott——–Van Persie——–Podolski

    Subs: New keeper, Santos, Mertesacker, Wilshere, Rosicky, Gervinho, Oxlade-Chamberlain

    Not even making the bench: Djourou, Jenkinson, Ryo, Coquelin, Chamakh (will probably leave), Park (will probably leave), Ramsey, Diaby, Frimpong, Squillaci (will probably leave), Campbell.

    I purposely haven’t included more senior players out on loan (Arshavin, Bendtner, Denilson, Vela) as I don’t think any of them will be back in the squad nest year and will be moved on permanently if possible.

  7. My guess is that it will be when Modric is sold.

  8. It is a statement of the obvious, I suppose, but the Totts will either give the new manager big bucks to buy big, or there will be an exodus from the club by Modric, Bale and others.

    Could not care really. Bollix to them.

  9. Don’t forget the chimp

  10. Cannons of Rhetoric

    We’ll never see a broken Sp*rs crest in a major newspaper. All of the media are either Manure or lily white scum fans!

  11. Upper Street Gooner

    Block 4

    Completely agree, delighted for RVP and can def see them beating port. Will be a great game though with dutch forcing it and port hitting them on the break.

    Exciting news from Ivan. Obvioulsy don’t know to much about Giroud other than watching Euro goals and youtube but the quality of his finishing looks exceptional. He looks powerful as well something which i think Chamack lacked a bit. His strength advantage over there couldn’t be translated over here, giroud looks like a beast.

    That starting 11 and bench with m’vila and a quality reserve keeper is as good as any in the league.

  12. Surprisingly few of them are genuine Spurs fans – a lot support the ‘Appy ‘Ammers. Most of them are moist when it comes to ‘Arry.

  13. Upper Street Gooner

    Amazing how many of them in the office think Levy is on the phone to Guidiola as we speak.

    Surley this is Moyes big chance

  14. The term, “rats leaving a sinking ship”, is rather apt I think.

  15. I heard that ‘Arry is particularly upset because Levy wanted his dog Rosie to take over.

    Apparently, unlike ‘Arry, she can read and write better than a 5 year old.

  16. Totts…….who cares?

    Don’t see the Dutch advancing. Total futbol…..not with this group.

    The last match for Germany has no significance (for them)….they are very likely to rest 4 or 5 starters and go thru the motions of play with Denmark, satisfied with a draw.

    Excellent commentary this morning, YW.

  17. Arsesession,

    You may be right, the Germans slacking a bit in the last match might close the door on Holland. Although looking at some of the players who could come into the German team should they rest some players, the likes of Mertesacker, Kroos, Goetze and Klose might be expected to do a job as well.

  18. Upper Street Gooner


    Thing is though in groups who have a winning attitude the bench players are going to come in and have just as much to prove.

    Kroos for Ozil
    Gundagon for bastien
    Goetze for Muller
    Reus for Podolski
    Klose for Gomez

    They can still put out an oustanding team.

  19. I think by next week we should be able to sort out RVPs contract, or not. I reckon the Dutch will be out, so we can get down to celebrating a new deal for RVP or losing another captain but having a replacement already in place and perhaps Giroud on the books too.

    Podolski didnt do much in attack but he was always backing up Lahm in defence. The dutch wingers did fuck all really and that was down to both Muller and Podolski supporting their fullbacks all night.

    As for ‘Arry and spurs – ‘Bringing in someone who is an astute coach may actually make Tottenham more of a threat’ – Thats the 13th time in Wengers tenure at Arsenal that i have heard that. Tottenham always implode. Their cycle seems to be, get a new manager, splurge some cash, build a decent team, do well for 2 seasons and get into 4th spot, then sack the manager and start again………rince and repeat! – But dont kid yourself and think the media will show this in any other light other than ‘Arry hard done by! – Sorry ‘Arry but you blew it and spurs dont have any real backbone to stick by you and see if you can turn it around

  20. Upper Street Gooner | June 14, 2012 at 10:06 am

    It’s a good point. With the Germans likely to take the foot off the pedal a bit it would be sound logic to give a few of the hungry squad players a run out against Denmark, keep them and the team fresh.

  21. Also been hugely impressed with Podolski’s workrate. In the first game he just missed connecting with a header in the box. Portugal broke quicky against them and Podolski still manmaged to get back and support his full-back. That has been pretty typical of him so far in the tournament.

  22. I actually think the train wreck that is Holland, and the criticism of VP among the Dutch fans, will only help in keeping VP.

    I hate to say it but I’ve almost been hoping for a bad Dutch performance. Wenger always said that a player’s performance is 70% down to his team, and watching VP you can understand why – on Arsenal VP is the focal point of the attack. Balls get slid into hid for him to finish. In Holland, all those very talented players are more playing for themselves. Certainly they do not view him as a must pass-to.

    Could this happen on a new team for VP? Absolutely. At Man City? Certainly.

    VP can guarantee himself more money – but a move is a risky proposition for his career and his legacy, and the performance of the Dutch team highlights that…..

  23. Upper Street Gooner


    I agree in part but it does need to be said RVP was his own worst enemy in the first game. He was presented 2-3 clear opportnities to score and missed. I thought the rest of his play particularly first half was class. The dutch lost to a very very very average denamrk team becuase they missed a host of quality chances, no more no less.

    I think your spot on with regards to him being number one in our side and how that affects him mentally. With us he has a team, coaching staff and fanbase who completely adore him, signing a new contract with us will elavate him to legandary status certainly in my book.

    Most importantly the club looks like its doing everything within its power to be competative, which is all anyone can ask for.

    With the business we’ve done and look like doing we look like formidable opposition next year and that must have a huge affect on our captain

  24. It’s not so different from recent Dutch history. Yes, they did fine at the WC but hardly without tension, words and back-biting, especially RvP whose individuality the Dutch team is unable to accommodate. This is the main point; AW has used RvP like an virtuoso in a band and allowed him space to express himself, the Dutch have attempted to limit him within a system, and it hasn’t worked at all (for their team).

  25. Upper,

    VP missed a few chances, it’s true, but all strikers do. The point is that at Arsenal of the 30 shots holland had, he would have taken 15 of them. Against Denmark, Robben and Affelay had as many shots as VP did…or more I would wager (Especially robben). Can you imagine robben behaving that way at arsenal?

    Imagine VP at Bayern Munich – think he would be happy there? He would strangle Robben after 3 matches.

  26. steww | June 13, 2012 at 3:52 pm Well I’m watching the game against spurs and we’re already two down. .Fucking Wenger is clueless I’ve never seen such rubbish should have bought Parker not Benayoun

    I love Stew.
    Seems I was right about some others though,who I love less.?

  27. While I don’t expect Holland to advance, the problems of the team are no way centered around RvP as the press would love to scapegoat any Arsenal player. (imho)

    As stated previously (here)…..too many alpha types to find the chemistry. Sneijder….Robben,….VdV…..

    don’t believe de Jong and van Bommel have been effective in mid-field, nor have their 2 CB’s looked dominating.

    USG and Block4
    don’t disagree with your point that Germany can still field a talented and motivated team.

    Just saying, I wouldn’t be surprised to see some drop in execution and maybe enough for the Danes to come away with something.

  28. Clerkenwell Gooner

    What on earth is up with Niklas Bendtner? Busted for having an advert on his underwear – seriously?

    Is he short of a few bob all of a sudden? (Certainly seems to be short of a few brain cells.)

  29. Upper Street Gooner

    Nando / zim

    AW has the benefit of only really having 1 world class player at his disposal up front now so its easier to base an attackign game plan around him. Not that i dont think that aw could do a much better job in creating a much more balanced and happy attack with sneijder, robben, huntellar, vdv at his disposal as he quite clearly could.

    The fact is that the team hasen’t meshed well so far. Which is strange as you would think with a captain like van bommel he may have demanded more from his stars in terms of personel sacrifice for the greater good.

    I think in terms of likely destinations the field is 2 for rvp.

    Now that his father has said he wont go to another epl club i believe that is only real destinations could be Paris or Juventus.

    Whilst PSG can offer outstanding money they offer a tier 2 league and a fanbase that ranks amongst the most pathetic and spiteful in the world,. They fight and they dont turn up even with millions invested last year. Their opening gate was like 22,000 first game last year……….jog on!

    I just cant see the attraction in moving to Italy. The league is struggling again and do juvenos offer a better cl potential than us, not for me anyway.

  30. Upper Street Gooner

    What were you right about georgie boy.

    You do realize people are discussing football again and you are still talking about your internet ”friends” and enemies

  31. Upper Street Gooner


    What was the advert?

  32. Dennis Bergkamp is the most “substituted” player in Premiership history(fact)and the best player(not quite fact but near enough).So why does Andrei have to play for 90 minutes?
    Why cant he start(as Dennis usualy did)and come off after 60?

  33. Well I was right about you for a start,but I was not talking about you in this instance.
    But you do seem very unpopular USG.

  34. Well, controversially I suppose, I don’t like the term “world class” player/striker, it’s used without any real criteria, there are very few real “world class” players around at any one time; and I don’t think RvP is one (yet), but he is close to being universally acknowledged as such in 2012/13. “World class” players currently? I can think loosely of 4, maybe 5; none English, although Rooney comes closest, potentially Hart in a few years.

  35. In answer to my own question
    “because he is not as good as Bergkamp you idiot Meekat,now fuck off”

    Just thought I would move things along

  36. RVP could play for any team in the world and is perhaps the best player in his position in the world.
    That makes him “world class” in my book.

  37. Upper Street Gooner


    I take it as a compliment. Come on get involved in some football debate big guy you never know you might enjoy it.

    With regards to your chat about Andrei, the difference is we play different systems now. Also look at the debates we are having about our best player rvp. Do you think putting a me first charchter into AMC would add to his game. RVP needs to be the man to flourish and quite clearly the same is true of Andrei

    The biggest issue is our pesky defense though. It must improve if we are to have any chance next year. Now i think we actually have some pretty good defenders in our side and whilst i think song and szcezesny could improve considerably with aspects to their game they are both hugely talented individuals. That leads me to believe that our pressing game in forward areas is the achillies heel to our defense. As ive pointed out before watch a dortmund or Barcelona game and watch how their attacking players try to win the ball back and then go watch one of our games. The difference is remarkable in terms of effort, obviously im talking about applying this pressure on a consistent basis. This leads to them conceding roughly 25 goals less a season just in league games.

    Would playing Andri do anything or a pressure game?? I dont think so. Can we affrod to pay someone so well who wont be a crucial aspect to the team…i dont think so.

  38. @pedantic george | June 14, 2012 at 11:47 am

    Well done, you nailed the answer 🙂

  39. Upper Street Gooner


    I completely agree. RVP needs to do the same again this year to really move up a level.

    How can one say with any clarity that rvp is better than Gomez, Falcao, Ibra, Rooney, Benzema (same position as rvp for me but 5 years younger) until he achieves like them consistenly. Personally i wouldnt swap rvp for any of them but in reality there fans would probably say the same about their guys.

    World class gets thrown around but in reality i think it should mean you are in the top 2-3 players in your position in the world and show that level on a consistent basis.

  40. Block4

    Just so you understand I am not a complete idiot.

  41. Even when Bendtner was playing well yesterday he managed to enrage me from an Arsenal point of view. With the Danes still trailing 2-1 he managed to cut inside from the right, strike the ball with his left foot and send it marginally wild. A shake of the head and a lot of cursing by Bendtner followed, he looked properly disgusted with himself. Unfortunately I’ve never ever seen him react like that when he missed while playing for us. Not even after his miss for Barca. All he had to offer in situations like that while wearing our colours was usually a snide grin as a show of his over confidence.

  42. Sensational Arsenal

    I am not sure about playing the pressing game week in week out in the premier league. It could lead to the energy and performance levels of the players dropping. Isnt the Arsenal defence more about positioning of our players and cutting out the options of the opponents? I read some statistic somewhere (possibly linked from here) that because of Alex Song’s positioning, he is able to stop so many attacks even though he makes fewer tackles than Parker.

    Maybe thats why we defend positioning-wise and crank it up to pressing when needed.

  43. Evil

    Unless you know Bendtner – “a snide grin as a show of his over confidence” – is not necessarily true. A lot of people respond with a smile to hide their embarrassment, a show of bravado that is at odds with a thought process that says, “Fuck” and then works out what to do with the next opportunity. As it is, if he fell to pieces every time he missed, Bendtner wouldn’t make much of a striker.

  44. @ Evil
    “All he had to offer in situations like that while wearing our colours was usually a snide grin as a show of his over confidence.”
    Perhaps that is what you wanted to see, helped with your obvious or apparent dislike of the player. Bendtner is a good footballer, not as good as he appears to think but arrogance in a footballer is a good thing (footballing arrogance I should say, arrogance in general is not a nice trait in a human being).
    He is a striker who more often than not was being asked to play on the wing due to the tactical restraints of the system played by Wenger. The impatience of youth has worked against him as he wants to play now, every week. Won’t happen with us.
    I suspect he will go on to have a decent career elsewhere. Will we ever look back on him as one that got away, not so sure. Is Giroud an alleged 13m improvement on him, again not sure.

  45. @Yogi
    In that case he must’ve been embarrassed quite often. But yes, that paragraph was probably too much interpretation. Still, I wanted to highlight the difference in body language he displayed playing for us and playing for his national team.

  46. Great news could also be that RVP has resigned just saying. That would be great transfer news that he isn’t going to transfer and has resigned! Giroud and M’villa please Mr. Ivan that would be all to kind.

    Yea Germany has nothing to play for but even with the changes that were previously spoken of about Goetze, Reus, Kroos, Klose they will still have an extradinary amount of talent and I would still expect them to score goals and score lots of them.

  47. “I wonder how long it will be until a newspaper publishes the Tottenham equivalent of a broken cannon: the chicken in a basket on a basketball.”

    This knocked me out.

  48. Upper Street Gooner


    You might be right but that would mean us changing our tactics which is somehitng AW hasn’t done so far.

    If we are going to play such a high line all the time we must pressure the ball much much better.

    Your right it would fatigue the players but thats why its so crucial to have the midfield and attackign areas.

    A squad containing

    m’vila, Song Colqlin frimpong (loan)

    Arteta, Wilshere, Diaby

    Ramsey, Rosicky,

    podolski, gervinho, myachi (loan)

    Walcott, AOC,

    RVP, Giroud, Campbell , afobe (both loan)

    has depth to rotate enough in order to be fresh.

  49. Hi George glad someone appreciates the humour. Funny that twonk takes you to task for not talking football when, um, guess what the season has finished and apart from some internationals there is no football to discuss.
    I suppose when your only goal in life is to irritate other posters and grab as much attention as possible no matter how negative you will be jealous of the real sense of community that other posters have discovered.

  50. @USG

    I agree with you ecspecially about the squad being able to press with the players that we have because alot of them can and have played in this system but players like Gervinho pressed at Lille and you can tell its a natural part of his game because when he loses the ball he goes and gets it.

  51. Right George, my two cents. I think Arshavin’s lack of strength isn’t in his favour at this stage of his career. Bergkamp in his later years played in a formation with a centre-forward behind a striker. To play in that position in the PL you need to be strong as well as have the ability to link the play. If you don’t play a centre forward in the hole, then you play a midfielder who can drop deep and help out the midfield and who is usually also pretty stong.

    If you think of all past premier league winning teams there aren’t any I can think of who played a small playmaker in the hole. They tend to play out wide. Chelsea played Lampard as an attacking midfielder when they won the league, but other than that most teams used a CF – Striker combo. We had Bergkamp, United had Cantona, Yorke, Rooney, City had Tevez, Balotelli, even Blackburn had Shearer playing off Sutton.

    So in short, you can be small of stature in the PL but you best be quick, in which case we’ll stick you out wide. If you ain’t quick or strong, you’re probably better off going elsewhere.

  52. Upper Street Gooner


    ”Funny that twonk takes you to task for not talking football when, um, guess what the season has finished and apart from some internationals there is no football to discuss.”


    Yup thats right no football to discuss in a summer with a european championships and our club looking like going on a spending spree. Keep it up big guy you will get there in the end.

  53. Upper Street Gooner


    Expecting big things this year from gerv. Will be more settled and think it could really help him if we sign some french players who will have been only to aware just what a good player gerv was in his last couple of years at Lille.

    He looks liek the sort of guy who will suffer from confidence issues but there is nodoubt in my mind that when he goes through hot patches he will be very very hot.

    We can expect a huge amount from these guys in terms of work rate as there will be others who can play mid week games, thats the beautiful thing about depth.

  54. @USG

    The great thing about Gervinho is that everywhere he has gone he has made a significant jump in production from year 2 onfoward so I’m expecting massive things but I use to watch him at Lille and expected alot from him this past season. Yesterday somebody called him a “lock-picker” and that was spot on! I expect him to finish alot more now that he knows about the PL.

    Between Gervinho, Podolski, Santos and Gibbs down the left, we will have the most unorthodox left flank but also 1 of the most productive hard working left flanks. Not to mention the amount of assists and goals we will get. Say we are chasing a match and we dont sign Giroud, I would still fancy a front 4 or 5 of


    to get a couple goals at the end.

  55. Yep

    Gotta be honest, getting mightily fed up with abuse of regulars.

  56. Upper Street Gooner


    If we can start getting the same production out of our left as we do our right we will beomce formidable. Whats really good also is that as we develop more of a threat in the wide areas teams are going to have to defend against that threat meaning that there will be more space through the middle.

    Thats what Utd do well in attack (sorry guys), they make take what the defence gives them. If the opposition park the bus and clog the centre then they open then up wide where the space is. If we can start to attack with variety like that we beomce a hugely difficult team to match up against.

    We need to be getting 30-40 goals with a simialr amount of assists from our wide areas.

  57. @USG

    I agree about needing the amount of prodcution from our left as we do our right. But that will all change this year as we become more balanced.

    I think it actually works the opposite for us because we do have such a dominant striker that he opens up all the space for the wings and as the year went on it became even more space. I think if we were ever to get balance we would be more than formidable because teams wouldn’t be able to basically put the pinch on Theo because the left side and RVP will do them in. I think in the beginning of the season when Gervinho came back we could see this happening and ecspecially in the when we beat the Chavs and Santos and Gervinho were bombing down the left and Theo bombing down the right it made RVP even more unplayable because they couldn’t focus on just 1 of our “strikers” they had to worry about all 3 and I think eventually it will make whoever is playing AM get more goals and assists ala the Spuds match because they will be able to make those late runs into the box and have more space to shoot at the top of it.

  58. Upper Street Gooner


    Your right about all those things and it is an intriguing situation.

    No player in the squad should come back thinking they have a position in the team. I want pre season to be highly competative environment

  59. @USG

    I completely agree with you. I think ecspecially with the OX off to the Euros both flanks will have Theo and Podolski leading the race but both Gervinho and Ox will be there to keep them sharp and all 4 can rotate to keep fresh along with RVP.

  60. Another top post yogi.

    Holland is a mess and I seriously doubt they will go thru. No matter how much attacking talent a team has it will not succeed without an excellent defense. In reality it gives us more time to sort out the contract issue with RVP. Once Holland is out there is no more excuses to procrastinate for either side. I am glad RVP got a goal yesterday. It is interesting how the 3 players who are arguably the best goal scorers in the world right now RVP, L messi and C Ronaldo all seem to struggle in the international games and all 3 get more then their share of grief from the media and fans because of that. The added pressure to perform is the price they pay for their great talent and good form for their clubs.

  61. @Bill

    It is quite interesting but I also think that in all 3 instances they seem to lack an actual defense. Yea I know Portugal have Pepe(even though he is a dirty player can be absolutely dominant) Argentina have a couple players but many times all 3 of their defenses and midfield let them down. Not to mention for atleast me, Steklenberg is overrated as a GK and the GK for Portugal and Argentina leave much to be desired!

  62. C @ 2:04

    Wow you mean it’s actually important to have a good defense? I’ll have to remember that. 😉

  63. Abuse of regulars!

    Is that what happens when some tourist gets served in front of you in your local just because he has an expensive holiday cottage and spends a fortune on pub meals when he brings his awful family down from London for the week and his bloody awful son and girlfriend are sitting in my seat.

  64. @Bill

    Sometimes lol

  65. Upper Street Gooner

    I think what can also be derived is that these teams feel they need to try and play like barca or real to get the best out of them. Just becuase you play the same formation as both of them do you have the same personel which can execute the game plan which puts messi or roanldo in such situations.

    Do Argentina have a xavi who can get messi the ball in space in the final third. What about Port do they have a lethal striker who takes attention away from ronaldo.

    Both players thrive in oustanding club sides its very easy to say they make thier teams but in reality maybe the formation and stars they play with help them also.

    I dont think RVP is of the level where he can demand a formation to be tailored to him, As brought up beofre there are 5-6 other strikers who can lay claim to be on his level. The dutch coach needs to develop a system that fits and then demand that his players adhere to it. If that means dropping robben or rvp as they want to play their own games to much then so be it. Thats why coaches get paid allot

  66. I think Gerv will do a whole lot better next season, but isnt there another ACN in Jan 2013? Another un-needed disruption. You would have to think Gerv would still be able to get into double figures in the scoring charts, right? Hes got that in him anyways.

  67. Superb goal by RvP last night. I really fancy Germany to win he competition though.

  68. Welcome home, Mr Chairman.

    I trust you turfed the hoi polloi out of the reserved seating.

  69. @Deise

    Yea there is another ACN. I think he will get to double figures as well and think that should he be able to somehow help his country win it, that will be another boost for him and his confidence and propel him a great 2nd half of the season. But should it go the other way we have cover if he does need time to recover.

  70. Nice one cbob! Welcome back fella.

  71. A LOT of awful families in London, Bob – we have to export them SOMEwhere, now and again!

    Good holiday – you’ve been missed!

    Unlike the abuse of the regulars …

  72. Welcome back Bob. Did you go away on holiday?

    In case you don’t know – the stream of bollocks that is ‘Upper Street Gooner’ is merely Jabba’s new nomme de guerre.

  73. You are right about Bendtner and his ego. A legend in his own mind. RVP gave the dutch hope but the Germans are too srong. Netherlands has a chance to escape out of group play but they must beat the Fake Ronaldo and his Portuugal mates. Denmark and Germany shoud be a good one. The Danes are fight for their lives while the Germans are in like Flynn.

  74. The pressing game is not as simple as just sending out the players to press for 90 minutes. I dont think it is a long term alternative. It can work short term, but in the PL, I just dont see it happning over the long term.

    Even in a much slower league, la Liga we have seen barca’s performance levels drop significantly.

    However, i do think it should be utilised as much as possible, squad depth and injuries permitting (so that means we are fucked already!)

    As for our defence, its fine and the stats (please god back me up) show that when Arteta is in the mix, with a more or less settled back 4, our goals per game ratio drops to very miniscule amounts.

    Signing M’Villa and improving our efficincy upfront will also aid the goals conceded column and Bill and USJ can mutually masterbate till they go as blind as Phil Dowd.

    Case closed, now lets stop all this pointless football chatter shall we? 🙂

  75. Deise

    I am hoping for a marked improvement from gervinho too man. The ACN is a load of bollocks though. Sepp Blatter is a conniving theiving twat. Bet even old Twitchy McBung could learn a thing or two from that carpet bagger.

  76. Ah, I wondered what was going on, jonny.

    I’ve been to the family estates in Crete. All’s well there but the price of beer has gone up and there are some frightful chavs living too near by, ie. within 100 miles.

    ‘Chairman, Yogi? Have I been promoted or kicked upstairs? As regards the hoi polloi, I find drooling and talking loudly about the best recipe for freshly shot squirrel soon moves them on to the ‘lounge’. Treading on their smelly labrador also helps.

  77. My favourite tweet. EVER.

    Paul Tyyrell is the Communications Director at Everton

  78. Regardless of his visible panty line, Bendtner is a decent striker, although you wouldnt know it from the snide petty insults he garners from so called pundits. Its pathetic, the way they snigger and giggle like primary school kids when they are meant to be commentating on a football match.

    Lawrenceson and Pearce last night were truly fucking abysmal. Loads of snide comments and in jokes to each other. Talk about smugness personified.

  79. Upper Street Gooner


    He got 4 this year and when you think of some of the misses and the sheer number of them i’ve no doubt whatsoever he can get to the 10-15 range. If we can get 4 wingers providing Theo sort of production this year we will be in rude health. The fact is even then Theo has had a frustrating season imagine what he could do if he continues his development. Lest hope he stays.

    Gerv and Song should be off to acn this year but with Podiolski, Myachi, M’vila (hopefully) colqulin and frimpong there is depth there. We can even probabaly afford to give them a rest after

  80. TalkBollocks as usual treading that oh-so thin line between fantasy and fiction …

    Everton have been lucky to keep Moyes for as long as they have; can’t see him jumping ship though to the rotting Spuds.

  81. When RVP has been fit, he has scored. How else would he have scored over a 100 goals for us? His injury record does not make him less of a player but that is the only reason for any lack. World class, without a doubt.

  82. Upper Street Gooner

    Jonny | June 14, 2012 at 2:32 pm

    haha once again one of the regulars only comment of the day is to talk about another poster. begs the question do any of the regulars know anything about football.

    Come on little Jonny lets try and get you up to speed with stuff. Or are you still teaching everyone about morality.

  83. Lovely to see you back C’bob. Somerset is pretty much under water, how is pastieland?

  84. You won’t often hear this so strap yourselves in:
    I agree with Goonerandy.
    (about Germany)

  85. You really aint doing yourself any favours Jibbster. I am willing to engage with you in football stuff, but I think its understandable that others dont want to given your history man.

    If I was you and this is only friendly advice, I’d just ignore those that you dont see eye to eye with, espeically given that they have been posting here since this was all fields. 🙂

  86. Where’s the tunes anyways???

  87. Yogi’s Warrior | June 14, 2012 at 2:42 pm My favourite tweet. EVER.

    Can someone post that Paul Tyyrell tweet. For those of us who, ya know, have thus far resisted social media.

    I;m guessing it’s something sarcy about Moyes and the spuds.

  88. This one seems rather apt for some strange old reason;

  89. Agree regarding Germany. Watching them I have to feel glad that we’ve started recruiting from their ranks. Martin Keown described them as the slick machine. What struck me most was the work ethic; they cover each other so well. The one time that Khedira ventured into the box and almost scored I found it amazing that the person who dropped back to cover for him was Mario Gomez of all people.

  90. Steww – Ha, very nice. How is the Bass playing going?

  91. USG – exactly what is it with your sneering ‘Big guy’ comments?

    And now you’ve widened your brief to ‘Little’.

    Not that Jonny or anyone else needs me to write on their behalf.

    I don’t agree with everything you say by any means but what you have to say is often readable. But the sneering undercurrent I really can live without.

    Unpleasant, unnecessary, unbecoming.

    And unless I’m very much mistaken, I think you may have had a warning, so think on.

    ACLF is a much valued community of readers and contributors; you might want to consider why that is.

  92. Markus

    Click on the link, it’s a screenshot of the tweet.

  93. GA – been off it for a while due to illness but gig on Saturday so boning up on a few tunes like this one

  94. Here’s some more good advice;

  95. GA – love the drummer playing the high hat with his maracas!

  96. Steww – Very nice. I have not played for a few week as I have been away. Just had a blast for an hour or so. I can’t work out if I have lost a bit of sharpness of if the break has done me any good.

  97. Older guy on the Les Paul is no slouch is he? More shots of the fucking bass player though please.

  98. Upper Street Gooner


    Couldn’t agree with you more mate would just be a little bit better if Yogi developed a little policy whereby his ”regulars” actually spoke about football for once in a while.

    One only needs look at Jonny post today to just see what a joke he is. Good solid football chats all day then a needless comment from a guy who preaches to people about morale codes like he is jesus.

  99. GA – I practise with an acoustic bass, very high action and hard work so when I gig with the lovely smooth fast low action on my usual bass it feels that much easier!

  100. That reminds me, check out the lyrics on this family hymn…

  101. Steww – Have a listen to this Bassline (along with the guitar riff). I saw them live a few months ago, and whilst simple it is really hypnotic. I could have listen to this song for hours if they had carried on playing.

  102. Markus

    Ian Abrahams ‏@Moose_talkSPORT

    It is my understanding Spurs maay have already met with David Moyes today and that Moyes compensation has been agreed with Everton FC

    Paul Tyrrell ‏@TyrrellPaul
    @Moose_talkSPORT this is an absolute lie Ian. I expected better from you. If you repeat it, you can expect legal action from EFC.

    Ian Abrahams ‏@Moose_talkSPORT
    @TyrrellPaul ok Paul sorry and I withdraw it

    Ian Abrahams ‏@Moose_talkSPORT
    @TyrrellPaul is that ok and I will not mention it again

  103. Much wetter than it was in Crete steww. One always has this idea of England in the summer when away that it is going to be sunny, warm and mellow.

    One knows that this isn’t true or likely but I think the mind defaults to the memory of a childhood summer when, probably only for a few days, it was.

    While you are here, you and the other musical data bases, there’s a song I’m trying to track down heard in a taverna on the beach.

    It is low key and downbeat, sounds like Paul Weller but might not be, the lyric, I think, includes references to summer and butterflies. Something about a buttefly in a cage or in a trap. Da,dada, da da da.

    Terrible vague I know but the owner didn’t have it identified on his iplayer.

    I tried singing it to my ‘Soundhog’ app but it didn’t come up withy anythinf sensible.

  104. Some people are beyond help.

  105. Ahh, you want bass lines? Big eff off fuzzy ones too eh…

  106. GA – listening now
    C’Bob – Sure it’s butterfly? The Jam did Butterfly Collector Weller did a song called Butterflies

  107. Cbob

    The only two Weller songs I can immediately think of which might fit that bill are “Amongst Butterflies” but that has a downbeat soulful feel to it whilst “Butterfly Collector” by The Jam but that’s got a mix of acoustic for verses but a lively chorus. As The Jam were wont to do.

  108. Steww – Hmm, that is a good idea. I have not touched my acoustic for ages, maybe I should dust it off.

    The guy you mentioned is Stephen Jansenns and is considered to be the best guitar player in Belgium. I had a quick chat with him after the gig in Amsterdam. Nice bloke and looks like Jonny Cash.

  109. YW – Snap (as it were)

  110. Well, it was a double album…

  111. ” I heard that ‘Arry is particularly upset because Levy wanted his dog Rosie to take over.”

    Utter bollocks!! Clearly Rosie has been in charge of the Spurs the last few years and has openned a bank account in Harry’s name in order to receive payment.

  112. Well, I’m impressed. ACLF is a treasure trove.

    It was the Jam song. Don’t know why I missed that one, I was a big fan when they appeared.

    Great song, just sounded a little different at low volume with a breeze stirring the tamarisk trees and a blue mist on the sea.

    Thank you both.

  113. Cbob

    (Dons anorak)

    It was the b-side to the single Strange Town.

    (Removes anorak)

  114. Bob – Maybe the Mythos impaired you hearing for a short time 😉

  115. Strange Town still my favourite Jam single. Funny how some tunes simply don’t age.

  116. Upper Street Gooner


    Taken on board

    The reality of it is i respond to rude remarks in a foolish and slighlty nasty way.

    Fact is i will ignore them from now on.

    The majority of people on here want to talk football. Which is good as thats the only reason why im here

  117. Ahh, love is in the air and Steww, this one’s got a killer B-line if you aint heard it… and it’s all on its own about half way through too…

  118. Apparently AVB now bookies favourite to take over the Spuds with Moyes drifting in the betting.

    (‘Arry being associated with Swansea).

  119. At 3mins 45 secs to be precise.

  120. A band I just discovered:

    Must surely be the most appropriate Thursday music ever posted on here!

    Note the free mixtape download for those who are so inclined…

  121. Hello CBob. May I ask whether you live and farm in Devon?

    Crete always reminds me of my first real love, history.

    On an earlier issue. “World class” players. PG. Not to under-rate RvP, but it’s interesting to me, the idea of world class – that good! My criteria for world class (in any field of endeavour) is simple. In footie for example, a player must be universally acknowledged across cultures, above club and country (ie tribal affiliation) as world class to be called such. Examples: Thierry Henry (yes). Dennis Bergkamp (yes). Ian Wright (no). Paddy Vieira (yes, just). Tony Adams (yes, just, as player and captain). Lionel Messi (yes). Christiano Ronaldo (yes). Xavi (no). Rooney (no, not yet, close). Steven Gerrard (no). Didier Drogba (yes). George Weah (yes). Paul Gascoigne (tragically, because he could have been, no). Socrates (yes x 2). Eto’o (yes, just). David Beckam (yes). Maradona (yes). Robin van Persie (if he has a season like last, yes, and the latest world class player from Arsenal).

  122. I thought Laudrup was nailed on cert for the Swans?

    Has that story been LEEKED by the press?

    I’ll get me coat.

  123. ZimPaul;

    I would say Sagna is a world class RB, in that he is one f the best in world football.

  124. Xavi no and Drogba yes??? Bit topsy turvey that mate!

  125. Yea Xavi is definetly universally acknowledged by your criteria as world class. Even by your definition above club and country he is universally regarded as world class.

  126. I do drink Mythos in Greece Andy. Well done sir.

    In the Tamar Valley ZP. Not farming though. Just fruit veg and chooks, Small smallholding really. Why?

  127. Defenders are very difficult. Sagna (maybe, but no, not yet). In the world class rules, subjective perception is allowed, it dare not be objective otherwise individual genius will suffer. Hence Xavi (no), compared to Brady (yes, and aurguably the greatest Irish footballer ever), Zidane (yes) and Drogba (yes). Cannavaro? (yes). Laudrup (probably, yes). Schmeichel (yes). Cantona (no). Eusibio (yes x 2).

    I think that’s clear as mud, yes?

  128. Bob – Me too. Nice and refreshing once you come off the beach, or better still sat in a nice Taverna on a harbour with some fresh seafood.

    Jonny – They do quite a few European Festivals normally. Rock Werchter every year at least. (I am going the week after next).

  129. Do I remember reading that you got a promotion Andy?

    To what heights have you climbed? Corporal or Field?

  130. I might be persuaded on Xavi. It’s hard after watching Zidane though. I even enjoyed his headbutt.

  131. Bob – Yeah, to Staff Sergeant. I will be moving back to the UK (Corsham in Wilts) later in the year due to it though. Shame, we love it here in Germany. Still, there are worse areas of the UK than near Batch I suppose.

  132. CBob, someone asked, and it made me wonder that’s all.

    Figo (yes, controversial). Kaka (no).

  133. Paulie Walnuts


    Yes , Strange Town still does it for me. Three minutes of pure excitement – a bit like a Stoke City seasons highlights DVD.

    Oh, & I too hate it when someone sits in my seat, Cbob. I always tell them they can drive the bus themselves if they`re that serious.

  134. Jabba I probably should rein in my jibes towards you but it still staggers me that you don’t connect the abuse you get (and lets face it – it’s hardly solely from me) to the things you say/have said.

    I’m all for a range of opinions but as others have pointed out numerous times you do bang the same tedious drum and you frequently go way too far in your criticism of players and manager – there is something of an ethos here as is typified by the strapline at the top of the page. You claim you are not a doomer and yet you frequently walk, talk and act like one.

    It’s become difficult to take you remotely seriously given that you inveigled your way back on to the site under a new pseudonym and with much milder outlook than your previous incarnation. That’s just devious and slightly odd behaviour – no?

    It’s actually really funny how in spite of yourself you could not stop from morphing and regressing back to the same moaning Jabba who had gotten himself banned in the first place.

    Listening to you wade in to defend the morally bankrupt twat and distinctly average manager Harry the other day was a new low. You’d rather champion him whilst bitching and complaining about the failings of Wenger. I find you leaping to his defence really quite incredible.

  135. My first thought, when the question came up, was “Far from the Madding Crowd”, wherever that was set. I have no idea whatsoever, except from books and pictures, the odd film, about rural places in england.

  136. Andy

    You know, all this time and I didnt even twig you were in the forces, even with the living in germany clue too! 🙂

    BTW, did you see the comments gazidis made about a certain spanish player who refused to play for us last season? I did link to it on here as I thought you’d be oh so eager to check it out man!

  137. Paulie

    I imagine that 3 minutes highlights reel includes the opening and closing credits as well as a load of adverts for loin cloths and lice treatments.

  138. I agree with Jonny. I suspect everyone does. It’s so … accurate. It reminds of the quote “when the facts change, I change my opinion; what do you do sir?”. Only in this case, the facts have remained the same.

  139. @Zimpaul

    Mate even though he plays for Barca and Spain(I hate both passionately I must say) he is the driving force behind them. He not only dictates play like very few in the history of futbol but he also strokes the ball around as easy as we drink water. I watch him and its very rare to me to see how well he dictates play. I to do enjoy Zidane and think that he is pure genius and for me Xavi fits that bill except he does it differently. Zidane is easily top 10 dribblers and controllers of the ball of all time with his ability to never get the ball taken away from him or even in the smallest of crevis he would appear in full control and at full flight. Xavi is one of the best passers of the ball period. You watch Spain and Barca and everything revolves around his genius not to mention he has actually quite the work rate. You watch Messi, Inesta, Pedro, Sanchez, Villa make runs and who is constantly playing the impossible balls and making them look like a 2yd pass, Xavi. Sorry mate we may differ but Xavi is world class.

  140. That was Dorset ZP, not too far away but much different in terms of scenery.

    Wils and wooly in parts of Devon. Very lush and rolling here in the valley. Beautiful place. Wouldn’t live anywhere else.

    Congratulations Andy. My Dad, after a ‘full man’s service’ in the Royals reached the rank of Colour Sergeant. Different world then, of course.

  141. ZP;

    If Xavi aint world class, then no central midfielder currently plying their trade can be classed as such.

  142. @Zimpaul

    Is the man that shall not be named(*whispering* because I think he’s a cunt Cesc) is world class?

    Because if he is then he should easily be able to remove Xavi from his place in the 1st XI and well he hasn’t.

  143. I concede. Xavi is in. So is Iniesta. Riquelme? Now that’s an interesting one. I wouldn’t hesitate personally. Fat Ronaldo? I cringe to place him in that category, and so refuse although I seem to remember a particular world cup, even so, no; much like Ronaldinho.

  144. Dex – I didn’t mate. I would be interested in what he said though.

    Bob – Cheers Bob. Staff Sergeant is the same as Colour Sergeant. Depends what job you do. You still get Colour Sergeants in the infantry now. So much has changed since your Dads day, but the Army does still hold plenty of traditions.

  145. Paulie Walnuts

    Good point there Dexter, three minutes is a bit of a stretch.

    ZimPaul, I agree with your world class comments almost entirely. It`s a term far too over used these days. Another one is `genius`

  146. Fabregas is quite obviously not world class. We need to see a bit more of him.

  147. IF he was still at Arsenal he’d be world class though!

    But I think we can all agree that Jack is world class, can’t we! 🙂

    Where is George BTW?

  148. Spicy looking game going on at the moment – Italy v Croatia. The ref is none other than England’s finest, on his hols from Old Trafford, still bending over backwards to favour one side over another. In this case he’s helping out the Italians who are benefiting from every decision so far, pretty much.

    Hope to see Eduardo come on later (but not holding my breath); also hoping for a splendid performance from the soon to be Spuds departing Corluka, just to make their day absolutely complete.

  149. On his hols, trying to improve on his double-pickpocketing from earlier in the year.

  150. Ah, but my Dad was a Marine Andy, not in your mob at all.

  151. @Zimpaul

    I completely agree with you about Riquelme for me he is world class just hated by every Argentina national team coach, I always wondered would Messi be just as devasting for country if Riquelme was pulling the strings the way Xavi does for him at Barca, personally I believe so. Ronaldo is 1 of the most feared strikers of ALL TIME and for me, without hesitation he is world class. Ronaldinho has world class talent and vision but for me he didn’t make it and this is coming from somebody who loves Brazilian futbol and follows it like I do Arsenal!

  152. And the chief executive revealed that Cesc Fabregas wasn’t committed to Arsenal last summer – as revealed on this blog when he refused to play for us at all during pre-season when he was fit.

    Gazidis said:

    “Me trying to sell you that selling Cesc Fabregas is a step forward for Arsenal – that’s a pretty hard sell. From a technical perspective it clearly wasn’t. But in terms of what we got out of Cesc and what we got out in terms of players who are committed this year and wanted to be here, those of the type of judgements you end up having to make and my goodness, those are so, so difficult.”

    It should be remembered we didn’t get Cesc’s true market value because he would only sign for Barcelona and that pulled the price down, meaning we were unable to buy a world class replacement for him. Will I remember Cesc in a good way? Not after the way he treated the club last summer.
    There’s a bit of it Andy and the link too. I suppose you will tell me it doesnt really explain it categorically though! 🙂

  153. Yea and Modric is thinking about running away too! lol HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHa

  154. How about Rivaldo? Lillian Thuram, Nedved…. erm, Pirlo?

  155. @Dexter

    Will I remember Cesc in a good way? Not after the way he treated the club last summer.

    I completely agree with you mate!!!!

  156. Stefan Effenberg, Lothar Matthaus, Gabriel battistuta, Davord Suker, Hierro.

  157. Who said that Italy would do well as they have done so each time they have come into a tournament on the back of a scandal? Its happening again.

  158. Agreed Paulie on both counts. I’d go further though I absolutely detest the term ‘world class’ as there is no inform agreement on exactly – it means different things to different people – which essentially makes it a redundant and meaningless term.
    The word genius has been tragically abused – it makes me shudder how casually it is bandied about. Reminds me of this marvellous sketch –

  159. *uniform*

  160. Ha! Dex – you been literally itching to stick that in Andy’s face!

  161. Cesc could’ve made himself an Arsenal legend, if only he had been content to sit out his contract/wait until the last year before moving on. We all knew that his heart lies in his home and no one would’ve begrudged him if he hadn’t signed another contract. Unfortunately he chose that he doesn’t care about Arsenal one bit. As much as I hate Mourinho, I hope he leads RM to consecutive championships for the next several years so that Cesc wins f*ck all when it comes to important trophies.

  162. jonny

    Now now man, it’s not like I copied and bookmarked that link or naything just waiting for GA to return so I could ambush him with it, is it? 🙂

    Seriously though, I am just sharing the wealth. Knowledge is golden

  163. That was a world class post there jonny, you genius.

  164. Coach class more like it.

  165. @Dexter

    For me Rivaldo(no, but very close), ,Pirlo(yes), Nedved(yes,but close)

  166. Dex – Heh, he said he wasn’t committed. No mention of him refusing to do anything. There is a pretty big difference I think.

    Good shout on Matthaus. Probably my favourite non Arsenal player.

  167. Andy;

    I knew it before I posted you’d say that! 🙂 I guess we won’t know till Doris the tea lady writes her memoirs. 🙂

  168. Lineker doing a decent job of tapping up pardew for the spuds. He must be even more bitter now his beloved SHL is once more in a state of crisis.

  169. Heh, very true. On one hand I honestly don’t believe he would have put Arsene in that position, but on the other if he did I would gladly join you in calling him a huge cunt.

  170. One all Italy v Croatia.

  171. Eduardo takes the field, 83rd minute, on for Jelavic.

    Good luck Eddie.

  172. Is Beckham world class?

  173. A world class bell end?

    Why, yes of course he is.

  174. All right you lot. You want bass? Check this out, this is a bassline. Honestly James Jamerson would’ve been proud of this. Take a bow Louis Satterfield

  175. But any discussion of bass wouldn’t be the same without this footage of the Ox. The bass track isolated from the rest of the band so you can really hear what he does. Out fucking rageous

  176. That Grits tune is massive steww! Top lyrics too; Mona Lisa was a man…. Sweet 🙂

  177. Great isn’t it Dex? Going to feature more soul on the show from now on I think. If anyone listens to the Ox make sure you don’t switch off as the end approaches and it seems to be silent, that’s just a gui***ist noodling away, the bass comes back with a vengeance.

  178. Favourite non-Arsenal player?


  179. steww

    What are your views on New order’s bass man, or should I say, ex-bassman, Peter Hook? He got a mean sound out of his stick for a fair few New Order tunes.

  180. GA

    Thoughts on Poldi? Have you seen him play live?

  181. Dex, he isn’t my favourite in terms of incredible inventive gymnastic bass (which I love) but what he had was a distinctive recognisable style and sound and came up with some memorable riffs which is enough to put him right up there.

  182. Irish already a goal down. And there didnt seem to be much chemistry between Roy Keane and Paddy Vieira in the ITV studio before the game. Funny that.

    At least it was a bit better than the BBC’s gaggle of Alans; Hansen, Shearer AND Pardew now. All they are missing is the ultimate Alan; Partridge.

  183. I think you won’t go too wrong with a few old funk n soul nuggets Steww. Love those bouncy basslines man.

    If I can, I’ll try and dig you out some.

  184. Favourite non- Arsenal player? Hard to say but for me he’d either be a Dutch international from ’74 or a Brazilian from ’70.

  185. “Favourite non-Arsenal player?


    Di Natale

  186. Georgi Kinkladze

  187. The bassline on this is a killer –

  188. Fave non-Arse player izzit?

    My new one is Lahm. Although there are loads I could mention. The real Ronaldo, George Weah, Nedved.

  189. I liked Vialli as well. And Vieri

  190. My fave contemporary player non Arsenal might well be Eden Hazard…or at least it was!

    Still I am looking forward to seeing him play more frequently.

    I used to love Stevie G – but that was before he became the biggest serial cheat.

  191. John Paul Jones apparently almost entirely improvised the bassline for this.

  192. One of my favorite non Arsenal players is Jay Jay Okocha. Impressed me big time in the 98 world cup.

  193. I’m having that Dex. OW!

  194. fav non Arsenal player Marton Fulop…great guy.

  195. Ian Darke said that the current spanish team will be regarded as one of the best international teams ever, really?

  196. Paulie Walnuts

    Johnny Rep – superb talent / cool name combo

  197. Ireland getting trounced!

  198. And finally Fabregas takes the field.

  199. And so does young James McClean.

  200. Great goal from the Spanish sub.

  201. Ireland well and truly sunk, sadly.

  202. can’t watch this anymore..i feel for irishgray although something tells me he is probably too pissed now to give a shite.

  203. It’s The Girlfriend I’ll feel sorry for.

  204. Ireland, the worse team at the Euros.

    I am picking Croatia and Italy to top their group.

  205. What happens if Italy beat Ireland and spain and croatis draw?

  206. Ah fuck it. I’m off to a 80’s music blog site to discuss Arsenal….

  207. In view of the fucked nature of Europe’s finances i’d say that if Spain, Croatia and Italy are all tied after their games that the 2 countries with the least amount of debt should go through. That’d be Croatia and I imagine italy. A rule that that would get Europe to be serious about debt reduction…….

  208. Not a music fan Phil?

  209. “Ireland, the worse team at the Euros.”

    A little harsh Paul. They did well to get there but are clearly not up to the technical level of their opponents in the group. But you have to admire their willingness to try to play.

  210. If Croatia, Spain and Italy tie their matches and all beat ireland to finish with 5 points each, I wonder if it is goal differential that decides who would go through. essentailly it is their Ireland game that decides it. That could be why Spain is piling it on against Ireland. A +4 gets them in over Croatia’s +3.

  211. Steww, not much of a music fan anymore. But since someone posted a link to Sham 69 I guess i’ll bite:
    What the fuck was their song ‘Hersham Boys” about? Never understood what they were talking about cockney cowboys for.

  212. Actually i guess I can google the lyrics nowadays – back in the 70’s and 80’s i couldn’t and couldn’t make out what htey were singing about. Where in UK were they from?

  213. And how did the expression ‘break ducks’ come about?

  214. Philmar, isn’t Croatia’s goal differential +2 as Ireland scored?

  215. So sorry IRISH GRAY, you can be proud of the boys for making it to the tournament and for the game they played against the Croats, but they were lessoned in tekketakk football this time around. Not much hope against the resurgent Italians but I hope they step on the pitch not already defeated in their minds. Well done the Spanish. They were in cruise control most of the game. I must say SHAY should have done better with the first goal. Time for change of guard .

  216. Laced up boots and corduroys is all I recall from that one. They were a godawful band. Anyway off to bed see you all tomorrow. Let’s pray James Milner forgets to set his alarm…

  217. Passenal, Greece?

  218. “Philmar, isn’t Croatia’s goal differential +2 as Ireland scored?”

    Going from my memory. I thought it ended 4-1 but I see now it was only 3-1. WOW was I drunk at the time….hmmm, so I guess then Davor Suker’s goal was offside? 😉

  219. Paul, I just don’t think we should label any team as ‘the worst’ unless they are really negative and attempt to break other players legs. Any team that qualified for the competition deserves some credit. Ireland have not qualified for a major tournament for ages and have really given it a go against technically superior opposition. I just thought it was a little harsh when it’s bad enough that they have been battered by barca-lite tonight. I just cannot stand that team and long for their arrogance to be shoved back down their throats.

  220. That is fair Passenal.

    I want Croatia to take it to Spain. I am with you on seeing them get dumped out.

  221. Paul

    The trouble is Croatia’s defence is awful.

  222. “Carroll to start as England aim to mash Swedes ”

    When will these morons come up with some new headlines?

  223. Clerkenwell Gooner

    Ah, bass lines.

    This is one of my favourites, from Chuck Brown & The Soul Searchers’ cover of Boogie on Reggae Woman, one of the all-time great cover versions IMHO. Here is a chap who’s got it down:

    One of the best bassists I ever heard was with Grandmaster Flash’s band in the early 80s, and she was a woman. No idea of the name.

  224. Just to let you know a new post is up. Usual place

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