Early Fixture Thoughts And Euro2012: Football(er)s Coming Home

How good are Arsenal? We’ll find out in the opening months of the season.  The draft Premier League fixtures are released with September featuring trips to Anfield and Eastlands.  The visit to City is the start of a bizarre run of three away games out of four (thanks for the update) over a month or so, something which the Premier League has always sought to avoid in the past. That ‘debt’ is repaid with three instances of double-header home games in November and December.

Getting the trip to Stoke RFC out of the way early in the season isn’t bad whilst minds will be focussed by that run of away games. If the players want to challenge for the title, tip-top form is going to be required from the outset.  That includes no last minute signings from the club perspective with all newcomers in and assimilated before the season starts.

As a set of fixtures go, there is always room for complaint and I am sure that these will rain in when the Champions League draw is made. However, one thing is certain the run of tough early away games means that we might be off the pace at the end of September which needs to be borne in mind before knees start jerking faster than an outbreak of St Vitus Dance.

Group B

Germany 2 – 1 Denmark
Portugal 2 – 1 Netherlands

The climax of Euro2012’s group phase has offered evidence of Uefa’s folly. In four years time, increasing the participants will diminish the intensity of the matches. Michel Platini’s desire for Europe’s tournaments at club and international level to be more inclusive, will be exposed as making it easier for the larger nations to qualify. The Dutch and Russians will no doubt rest somewhat easier.

Andrey Arshavin’s frank exchange of views with Russian supporters might be replicated by Robin van Persie. Oranje supporters have made their preference for Hunterlaar’s inclusion clear; last night they got their wish which provided an interesting indication of what the future may hold for Arsenal were van Persie to be shifted sideways or deeper. He was relatively ineffective but that is more indicative of the malaise which has beset their camp this summer.

It underlines how important it is for the team to defend as a unit; for all of the attacking talent, the Dutch did not have a defender worthy of the name in the tournament. The callowness of Willens was matched by the positional paucity of their centre back whilst van der Wiel barely registered.

The early exit will bring van Persie’s Arsenal situation into focus; there are fewer matches to report on and the need to fill column inches surely means that Ivan’s ‘good times‘ might be closer than we think, although it is not chic to think that. England’s continued involvement will occupy minds only for so long and the inevitable quarter-final exit this week offers brief respite. Provided they do not lose to Ukraine, of course.

Germany progressed to meet Greece in the quarter-finals with Lukas Podolski popping up with a vital goal. He is the first Arsenal player without transfer speculation surrounding him, to score in Euro2012. It would be good to see him repeat that type of goal for the club next season, one of a second wave of attackers arriving late in the area to finish with aplomb.

A record of 1 goal every 3 games is none too shabby domestically for a wide player, something we have missed from the left hand side in recent seasons. I think it will be the work ethic which continues the honeymoon period with supporters. New players are judged and dismissed very quickly at Arsenal – perhaps generally – but both Podolski and Oxlade-Chamberlain work hard for the team which buys them more tolerance if their performances are perceived to have dropped below the required level, irrespective of whether or not that perception is correct.

Having been cast as the nation’s saviour, life in the european theatre might well be curtailed for Theo Walcott. Hamstring-knack has manifested in the Arsenal player and in rare display of sanity, Roy Hodgson is not minded to start him lest he break down with five minutes played. Stuart Pearce is hopefully taking notes.

’til Tomorrow

Posted on June 18, 2012, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Soccer and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 395 Comments.

  1. pedantic george

    How did you do that Yogi?
    You have been lurking outside the Premiership building, wherever that is

  2. Nah, PG, read last night that they were out at 9 so guessed that even if I waited and posted some initial thoughts, I’d still be earlier than usual 😉

  3. Yes, interesting post – that run of tricky fixtures early on in the season will be cause for the inevitable knee-jerk response the moment we start not winning stuff, such is the poor state of much of our support, one fears …


    If I was about to go on holiday I’d be much more relaxed on that break if I knew my future had been sorted out and I knew to which club I was likely to be returning after the hols. So an early announcement re RvP not necessarily off the cards!

  4. I would rather get the tougher games out of the way early in the season and have an easier (on paper at least) run in. In that regard I think the fixtures have fallen well for us.

    Nice to see Podolski get on the scoresheet last night, a good finish too with his chocolate leg. No surprise to see the Dutch going out after all that has gone on in their camp. If they could get a coach who could mould them into an actual team then they could be a sight to behold.

  5. Am liking the idea of a posse of leading blog writers encamped outside the ‘Premiership Building, where ever that is’!

  6. Agree with Block4, re the early tougher games especially as in theory injuries won’t have kicked in.

    Towards the end of the season I’d suggest the opposite is true; the supposedly ‘easier’ games against the relegation fodder are often as tough as any game you’ll play all season as opponents are fighting for their place in the league, sometimes even, for their very survival.

    Only two months to go …

  7. pedantic george

    Are you laughing at me Andrew?

  8. pedantic george

    Well I am happy to play away games with the Sun still out in August and September

  9. First!

  10. i thought Podolski laboured last night. he got the goal, but i feel in the attack he has been left out by özil, müller, gomez, schweinsteiger.. i don’t remember him combining with them much…defensively he backtracked, but overall i felt he was rather static, held back quite a bit. maybe Löw’s instruction to him was to stay deeper, hold the fort lest they get countered and arrive late in the box as he did for the goal?

  11. good morning YW,the chelsea game is actually a home game.hopefully we will be off to a blistering start come august.

  12. the dutch being totally humiliated could have well worked out in our favour..
    robin will be feeling low right now, he’ll feel like everyones against him as even the dutch are turning on him..

    franks said it a few times but he needs to come home, where he knows hes loved and where he knows he has proper team mates..

    playing with other ‘stars’ could have helped him realise hes better off playing in a ‘team’ and pen to paper could be imminent..

    fuck robben and snieder..who the fuck wants to play with those cunts..

    gimme theo anyday of the week..

    i hope they both sign…

  13. …with September featuring trips to Anfield, Eastlands and Stamford Bridge.

    The official site says the Chelsea game will be at home. No trips to Stallingford.

  14. i told ya podolski would score 🙂

  15. Small correction – the Chelsea match in September is listed as a home match.

    That said, it takes nothing away from the fact that in Sept we will travel to Anfield, Eastlands and take on Chelsea at home – all challengers for the CL spots, if not the title, so a tough month.

    Add in an away trip to Stoke’s cloggers before that and it’s possible we may see a repeat of last season’s opening fixtures.

    I guess it all comes down to how many players we have coming in and going out and therefore how settled we are!

    On the flip side, if we get off to a rip-roaring start then we could see ourselves perched nicely at the top of the table. Or am I wishful thinking?

  16. Korikage.

    It certainly looks like podolski has played with ze hand brakes on, but he has shown enuf mental strengff and discipline to adapt to his role in ze team.

    Regarding the fixture list, i am slightly, okay just a wee bit unperturbed, remember we always perform better against the big uns and take the smaller uns like spuds and qpr for granted.

  17. Whatever be the fixtures..bring them on.
    As long as our boys are settled, contracts signed & we have clarity I worry not.

    When your team gets relegated and u are the captain it alters your perception somewhat. Poldi will sacrifice much to win be it for country or new club at this stage in his career.
    I expect more mature productivity.
    Congrats to him on scoring on his 100th cap.

    In a similar vein, I have faith in the fact that Robin’s re-appreciation of playing on a team where he is loved, respected & can fully express himself should speed up his contract situation.

    AA’s year’s been all peaks & valleys too. I hope he’s determined to end his career with a bang @ the Arse.

    No gunners on display today. Just ex’s.

  18. No I wasn’t George; I like the idea of there being a Premiership Towers somewhere where all this stuff gets done.

    Just wish we were playing Sunderland away in August rather than in the 9th of February when they won’t have had any natural daylight in those parts for four months, the pitch will be a quagmire and we’ll all be freezing to death when we visit.

  19. Khalifa

    i think he was covering for the front 3, and allowing schweinsteiger to roam upfield.. obviously, you would prefer to see him doing the magic, but it is nice to see that he can do the dirty work as well..

  20. Robin’s hated by the Dutch
    AA’s under-fire as well, http://www.arshavin.eu/en/news.php?id=776
    The Czechs though love their Mozart though some Gooners here do not

    Its a mad. mad, mad, mad world I tell ya..

    but its all working in Arsene’s favour…(me hopes)

  21. The earky schedule we give us a good indication of where we are as a club. Portugal outplayed the dutch. RVP had a couple of good looks on goal. Ronadlo finally showed signs of become a great player. regular season is one thing but the greats like Pele did it on the world stage. We need to keep Persie in the fold. He was the sole reason we finished in third place.

  22. Well, it looks like Man City have really taken united’s crown, they have a nice and easy start to the new season.

    Ours looks tricky, but it could well turn out to be a blessing. Depends what shape we are in come August.

    The debacle that was the dutch team’s involvement at the Euros must have been soul destroying for the players and fans. To have so many good players completely fail to gel and play for each other was quite sad. Robben and Sneijder in particular I felt simply refused to play for anyone, other than themselves. They made the portugese look good, which is never a good thing! 🙂

    Now, everyone join in with me;
    “Won’t you come home van Persie, won’t you come hoooooooooome…!”

  23. i predict that man city will lose to southampton in their opening fixture

  24. RVP should know from playing for Holland what it means to play for a team that loves you, that plays for you.

    he would be a fool to walk away from everything. but what do i know, last summer, a fool did walk away from everything.

  25. pedantic george

    That a shame Andrew.I go to a lot of trouble to try and get people laughing.
    thegeeman ,no he was not the “sole” reason.He was a major contributor.
    What about .for instance,Song and Theo assisting him.Or did you miss that?

  26. George

    There is no point responding to the blog’s resident nut job man. He never actually engages with anyone, just posts an inane and skewed to feck post then fucks off back toi his room in the secure unit..

  27. mumbaigooner

    now you have inspired me. sounds very plausible though. opening day is always full of surprises. would be lovely to see southampton beat man city.

  28. george

    while we are at it, how about arteta? we won only one game without him.

  29. pedantic george

    Dexter ,does Khalifa know he has lost his job?

  30. is the transfer window already open? not alot going on, if you ask me..

  31. pedantic george

    Or Laurent.who was the best defender in the league(apart from Sagna,ok boss?)

  32. was just about to mention kozzer

    george nailed it first..

  33. George

    Khalifha is a care in the community job, he is able to function, just about, with medication. Whereas the geeman WTF are you on? Is a complete basket case.

  34. theo provided rvp with a few of his goals. oct 6th west ham away, norwich away,qpr away, manutd away, thats four away games in a row, unless a cup there are no home games in october !

  35. RVP’s experiences over the last week or so might well remind him of the comments allegedly made by his father recently, that teams such asReal Madrid are a bunch of individual “stars” rather than a team.

    Arsenal is set up to get the best out of an outstanding player and the signing of players like Podolski is just likely to improve that further.

    Joining any other team at this stage in his career is likely to take some adjustment time (it might take a season to settle in) and the fans of any of the teams who seem to be after his signature will be expecting him to turn it on as soon as he arrives.

    I expecting RVP to sign a new contract and lead Arsenal back to trophies. Podolski and any other signings we bring in should make it clear to RVP that the team is built around him.

  36. Dr NIck, I would expect us to win at least 3 of those away fixtures. QPR might be tricky though 🙂

  37. this transfer windows a funny old thing..

    i dont know when it officially opens, could be june or july the 1st, not sure..

    fans are asking where the transfers are but weve already announced one signing, we made the first move really out of all the top clubs, and if reports in france are to be believed we have already got two more deals in place for after the euros..
    there wont be much going on while the euros are on which is understandable as the seasons not really over for the majority of the bestest players and gazidis is getting in holidays in now and wengers doing some work with france TV..(does he ever rest?)

    i should imagine everyone else is in the same position but at least from our part there has been movement already with podolski which seems forgotten in certain parts, so the signs are actually good..

  38. Dexter, yea i think so too. Ile take a draw against mu, but at this stage im always optimistic,ive got pre season delusion some would say .

    Im thinking the same as everyone else re rvp, he can now get on with job of putting pen to paper, along with tw.

  39. Whats the game with man c on july 27th all about ?

  40. Upper Street Gooner

    You could just see the tension in the Dutch ranks whenever there was a misplaced pass.

    I thought Robin looked alright last night once again created a couple of decent opportunities for others and had a great chance to score himself.

    Hopefully his troubles will make him understand how important it is to be loved in order to be really successful in this business.

    I think its great news them getting knocked out though. It means we can start negotiations a couple weeks earlier than we would have been able to at the very least.

    As Yogi correctly points out AW shouldnt be looking to the transfer deadline as his end of business date. The first game of the season is when we need to have our squad settled and ready to play.

  41. what i also find funny is all this replacing van persie stuff..

    when the news broke about giroud, alot of the anti wengerites were going off on one claiming he was a robin replacement..

    but they said the same thing about podolski..

    wenger cant win..
    he gives people good signings and it should make them happy but it strangely becomes another stick to beat him with..

  42. JJ;

    I think the transfer window is open in mainland Europe from June 1st, while the UK one officially opens July 1st.

    But I could be wrong.

    I still think deals could and will get done while players are on international duty. Their jackals in expensive suits, I mean, agents can do all the nitty gritty and general fleecing for them.

    I read on one blog that gazidis is on holiday too. Maybe that means they are all confident of deals are nearly done and just need the finishing touches, and he’s recharging the batterie before the business kicks in.

  43. I want to touch on a lil tactic change for arsenal next season.

    Ever since wenger was arsenal manager he has played with a wide striker and a playmaker/winger/inverted midfielder combination on both flanks
    There is one constant i.e A right-footed player on the left and a right-footed player on the right – all that is about to change.

    With podolski at the club i would like to think he is going to be first choice due to his profile and probably pay packet.
    So we are going to have a left footed winger/striker on the left and a right footed winger/striker on the right, Mama Mia! Ze balanc….ee – but one thing we can be sure of is speed, pace and counter attacking madness, Good lord! Hands up if you are drooling already.

    Two players that will be important in all this are (drumroll please) …….. Santos & Gibbs, Wha? Let me explain.
    In order to maintain le bàlançè(french for balance) then santos has to play at leftback to help dominate possesion with his inward roaming with poldi on the left stretching the play so as not to play too narrow.

    Now, if we play with Chamberlain/Gervinho/Benayoun/Miyaichi on the left i feel wenger will Opt for Gibbs. While the winger on the left cuts in, gibbs can overlap and provide width, makes sense, no?

    Blah, blah, i think there might be two combinations that will work best on the left, the right hand side is rubbish so no need to talk about it.

    – Gibbs/Chamberlain
    – Podolski/Santos

  44. The Premiership Building is a Babylonian tower built in the Brutalist style in the early 90s in the back streets of ‘Cloud Cuckoo Land’. Whilst being recognised by many as the tallest building in the world, it remains largely invisible to the naked eye, and refuses to be officially recognised as such for fear that it might ever be held accountable.

    It was built from the Sky downwards using glass bricks polished with the prayers of children and anointed with the tears of grown men and women who have had their wallets ripped through their souls.

  45. Marvelous imagery there jonboy. Lovely prose. 🙂

  46. I will be gutted if I wait up all night on August 31st and we DON’T sign at least three players.

  47. korihikage

    There won’t be. The good players are at Euro2012 for the most part and then when gone, they will be off on hols. A lot of movement will start in the next fortnight or so.

  48. haha that was brilliant.

  49. Khali;

    Interesting observations there man. But wasn’t Overmars primarily a lefty? Anyhoo the bit about the left hand partnerships is what I think is potentially a good thing for us, finally. We have a solid right side with Sagna and Theo, so if we can develop something similar on the left that wikll be fabtastic. Podolski has shown his defensive work already this tournament, as well as his eye for goal and I do expect him to be 1st choice, but don’t write off Gervinho just yet. I think him and Gibbs could be a great pairing.

  50. Upper Street Gooner


    I would be very very suprised if all of our 4 very exciting wingers dont get at least 30 games next year bar if they get injured.

    I very much doubt that Podolski has been bought becuase he is a left winger. I would suggest he has been bought becuase he can lead the line as well as playing on the left wing very well. He was also in the correct price range which is the most important factor when looking at our signings, he represents excellent value.

  51. Jonny, i was born in that building.

  52. Damn it! ‘sky’ should have had a capital S.

  53. The transfer window officially reopens on 1 July, although once a club has completed their competitive fixtures for 2011-12, they are able to sign players.

    As many players’ contracts expire on 30 June, some deals announced between now and 1 July will not officially go through until the beginning of July.

    Copy and pasted from the BBC sport site

  54. Dexter, my bad, didn’t bother to check for errors. So far i like the looks of poldi, he helps out lahm a lot more than muller with his RB on the right.

    As long as Rvp remains with arsenal i feel podolski will play majority of matches on the left. Afterall he has scored 44 goals for Germany from that position.

  55. Dexter, my bad, didn’t bother to check for errors. So far i like the looks of poldi, he helps out lahm a lot more than muller with his RB on the right.

    As long as Rvp remains with arsenal i feel podolski will play majority of matches on the left. Afterall he has scored 44 goals for Germany from that position.

  56. Not bad jonny. Not bad.

  57. Like everyone else I have a momentary frisson of excitement at the release of the fixture list but really it doesn’t tell us anything does it? All this talk about the so called tough fixtures, well, who knew this time last year that Swansea, Blackburn, Fulham and Queens Park Rangers represented tough fixtures? Also despite what geeman and their ilk say the early season is no indication of what is to follow is it? If it was we’d have been relegated last time round rather than ending up third best team in the entire country.

  58. Maceo

    The transfer windows around europe open on different days. For example, EPL opens on 09.06 for domestic transfers.

    It is largely irrelevant since, as we’ve seen with Podolski, those are the guideline dates for paperwork and the transfers can be announced at any time.


  59. Upper Street Gooner


    You may well be right, although i’ve pointed out in the past the vast majority of his goals at international level have come up against ‘lightweights’ at that level.

    His impressive returns in a tough domestic league have come from striker.

    I to think he will play more on the left but there can be no doubt that a key aspect to the signing is his ability to play up top as well.

    He brings something very different to Gervinho which is good. if one of there games isnt going well against a right back its good to be able to bring on someone completetly different

  60. Jonny, that has made my morning … if you could do a similar job on the occupants of the Premiership Building, I’d have a good afternoon as well!

  61. Jonny

    The roving hand has changed that pesky ickle s to a big one. Now everyone is reading the comment and wondering WTF you were going on about at 11.46… 😎

  62. Ha! I imagine a fair few more are wondering WTF I was going on about at 11.29! 😛

  63. Damned by faint praise from Bob. Ach! The pain!

  64. It’s not his real photo you know.

  65. USG.
    Pardon the language but i have seen you bring up that ‘lightweight’ bullshit up before.
    If those so called light weights were so easy to score, how comd most international left wingers don’t have as a good a record as Podolski?.

    Also, many of his goals have come in international competitions so i don’t know where you get the idea of ‘lightweight’ teams from.

  66. Upper Street Gooner


    over 50% of his goals have come up against

    Thailand 2
    Slovenia 1
    Northern Ireland 1
    Australia 1
    South Africa 3
    Luxumberg 2
    San Marino 4
    Slovenia 2
    Cyprus 1
    Lichenstein 3
    China 1
    Azerbijan 2
    Hungary 1

    Now a goal is a goal and someone can make quite a good case that arsenal problem has been scoring against inferior teams. However these countries mentiond bar australia wouldnt make league 1.

    You say he is playing left wing but there is amssive difference between playing on the wing in a 442 and for 433 or 4231 formation. These ”wingers” are expected to scoore allot

  67. Usg, yea like luis figo, overmars, robben. I get your point tho.

  68. Good morning lads and happy belated Father’s Day!

    Good post as usual Yogi a whole lot more balanced than what I can say for teh Dutch team! I do think that this could work in Arsenal’s favor because its of not only everything that everybody has said about the RVP situation before but also for the fact that I truly think RVP wants to enjoy playing futbol. Yea he created chances and was still playing futbol but he didn’t seem to have the joy that he did last season due to all the individual bs that was the Dutch national team.

    RVP just put pen to paper and lead our line to glory not to mention Santos will teach you how to Samba and we can all keep watching the Arsenal play Joga Bonita!

    We all say that with a healthy squad that we can and have shown we can beat anybody well we get our wish right out of the gate. If we get off to a rip roaring start could be the start of a fantastic campaign but I know what could happen the other way but can’t bring myself to say it out loud.

  69. Dex – Overmars was definitely right-footed but he was pretty damn good with both feet. I remember him talking about the fact that Wenger deploying him on the right allowed him to cut inside and shoot on his stronger foot.

  70. Deploying on the left, obviously. One of those ‘slow’ mornings.


  71. USG

    Podolski’s international goals. He scores against the opposition in front of him but I think a few might be upset at being called lightweights.

    Australia 2 Austria 1 Azerbaijan 2 Brazil 1 China PR 1 Côte d’Ivoire 2
    Croatia 1 Cyprus 1 Denmark 1 Ecuador 1 England 1 Finland 1
    Hungary 1 Kazakhstan 1 Liechtenstein 3 Luxembourg 2 Mexico 1 Northern Ireland 1
    Poland 2 Republic of Ireland 1 Romania 1 Russia 1 San Marino 4 Slovakia 2 Slovenia 1
    South Africa 3 Sweden 2 Switzerland 1 Thailand 2

    How had you said that he’s only scored 13 since being used on the left (since 2009), you’re argument would have been, well, probably as weak since he’s only scored against:

    China PR
    Côte d’Ivoire 2

    And what is that, a record of, oooh, 1 in 3 games…

  72. Upper Street Gooner – those are the bread and butter international games but you still gotta score – look at his record at the international tournaments – he has always got about 3 goals per tournament, a goal in 2 games ratio, much like his overall international record. 1 in 3 at club level when you factor in a poor coiple seasons at Bayern is none too shabby – i have no doubts abot Poldi being anything other than a great player for us, none whatsoever…

  73. He wears that dog collar you know.

  74. Only for you Bob. Only for you.

  75. RIP Tom Maynard. Sad news

  76. USG,

    All international strikers get a load of goals against weaker opposition.

    Look at this lot:

    Finland 1
    Côte d’Ivoire 1
    Republic of Ireland 1
    Belarus 2
    Bulgaria 1
    Albania 1
    France 1
    Romania 1
    Russia 1
    Sweden 2
    Scotland 1
    Japan 1
    Mexico 2
    Ghana 1
    Hungary 1
    Cameroon 1
    Hungary 2
    San Marino 4
    Bulgaria 1
    Northern Ireland 2
    Germany 1

    Finland? Albania ffs!?! Two against Belarus and Norn Iron?? Four against San Marino????

    Yes, the eagle-eyed among you will have noticed this is Saint Robin van Persie’s international scoring record.

  77. Podolski is a goalscorer/playmaker plain in simple. He scores against the teams that are infront of him and constantly creates chances when he wants. Even watching Koln play, there isn’t a player on that squad outside of Podolski that anybody would want and he basically kept them up so that they could play in the Bundeshliga last season and yea they got relegated this season but he still gave them hope iwht his play making and goal scoring. Anybody who thinks that he scores against “lightweights” is just madness. If it was so easy to score internationally then with just as much attacking talent in Argentina has Messi only scored 28 in 70 matches thats a goal every 2.5 matches and he is arguably the best player in the world and mind you he is basically the focal point and gets alot more chances than Podolski does.

  78. 60% of the time, it works every time.

    USG, why pick out those teams. You’re trying to doom Podolski before he has even goteen started. The lad has 100 caps for Germany at the age of 27. England might disregard form when picking it’s international team, but the Germans definitely do not. He has been picked 100 times.

  79. Upper Street Gooner

    Block 4, Yogi

    Hence the reason why i think using his international strike rate to prove a point is slightly misguided.

    I’ve pointed out repeatedly on here before i’m a huge fan of his signing btu i think people should stop using his strike rate a s means of what to expect in future of him.

    International football on the whole is a very poor standard compared to the major domestic leagues in europe.

  80. And don’t even get me started on that joker Bergkamp. You want to see some of the rubbish he scored against!! 😉

  81. Oh I am such a huge fan of his, so obviously I couldnt wait to try and denigrate him and his scoring record. 🙂

  82. Dr Nick

    that game is to show those bastards and their legions of new ‘fans’ that RVP is playing in our red and white.

  83. maybe giroud’s transfer will be announced on wednesday, after france go through?

    i know there were lots of rumours last week about how the transfer would be announced by the end of last week. never thought that was going to happen when france were playing on friday, and then we have the weekend, and they play on tuesday.

  84. If he scores frequently against the bottom half of the premiership he will be doing a lot better than Gervinho!

    I reckon he might turn out to be quite decent – for the simple reason our manager picked him.

    What more do we need to know?

  85. I think England might need Sweden to do em a favour tomorrow night. I think we will beat Ukraine, but we need to top our group too. Surely the swedes will want to show they are better than their results?

  86. USG

    You sometimes try to put a negative spin on things, but this one takes the biscuit.

    Firstoff, the fact that you have already armed yourself with the list of goals podolski scored against this so called lightweights can only mean two things, Either you have gotten into this arguement before or you have been itching to get into it, which would explain the subtle hints you put in your sentences in when talking about podolski. This springs to mine “although i’ve pointed out in the past the vast majority of his goals at international level have come up against ‘lightweights’ at that level” ….. You sly,sly devil, well played.

    Now tell which other ‘winger’ in the same age bracket as podolski has scored more international goals, go on …

  87. is it me or khalifa sounds a bit like hunter, just with better grammar and more generous use of spacing and line breaks?

  88. Dexter

    i won’t worry about not topping the group. the way i see it, england probably has the best chance of beating Spain :)))))))))))))

    or maybe croatia will do me a big favour tonight and beat spain. and italy beats ireland, and we say hasta la vista spanish divers and crybabies

  89. khali;

    As soon as we signed Per mertesacker he suddenly went from being a world class CB with bags of experience and international caps to a slow cart horse.

    That’s how usj and his ilk operate mate.

  90. korihikage;

    Seeing as how Croatia were my tip for the dark horses of the tournament, I would absolutely love them to beat Spain and top the group.

  91. The pundits are saying Roy isnt afraid to make big decisions and fair enough, he made one over Terry and Rio (the wrong decision, but still a big one nonetheless). Now he has to make another one tomorrow and drop the racist for Jagielka. He was at fault for both Sweden’s goals, IMO and needs a nice ‘rest’.I’d also drop Johnson while I was at it.

  92. Domestically

    03/04 20 matches 10 goals
    04/05 32 matches 29 goals
    05/06 33 matches 12 goals
    Single handily kept Koln from been relegated those years
    06/07 34 matches 7 goals
    07/08 41 matches 10 goals(CL 12 matches 5 goals)
    08/09 31 matches 9 goals(CL 4 matches 2 goals)
    09/10 31 matches 3 goals
    Bayern Munich years were most of his appearances where as subs late late in matches

    10/11 34 matches 14 goals
    11/12 31 matches 18 goals
    Koln again

    So if you look at his strike rate domestically, when given the chance he does score goals and what I find interesting is that Koln couldn’t beat ANY TEAM in the PL and teams would find it impossible to find a player not named Lukas Podolski from that team that they would want meaning defences focused all their energy to stopping him and yet he still score in double figures the vast majority of the time. Isn’t that what everybody has been clamouring for, a wide striker not named Theo to help in the scoring and assist, and here we have 1 hand deliverd world class talent and its still not enough. lets all just take a deep breathe and watch Podolski, RVP and Theo tear apart opposing defenses next season!

  93. Upper Street Gooner


    Unfortunately it actually means i was interested to know where is international goals came from when we signed him. Its something that i tend to do with anything related to arsenal, i look into absolutely everything as i want a full understanding of something not just a positve understanding.

    Like i’ve said i’m hugely excited about the signing i just think you should be slightly smarter with how you promote it. Forgive give me if your from one of those countries but i’m afraid to say many of them aren’t worthy of professional status.

    You mention which wingers have that sort of strike rate. Well if you were paying attention last night you will have noticed that the 21 year old guy who comes on for him has scored roughly one in 2 for germany as well from the left wing.

    Now if you want to go along the line that podolski is the best left winger in the world go for it mate, i would be inclined to disagree. I nevertheless think he is an oustanding capture for us at the right price.

  94. Spot on Dex, but i think today Jabba is in the building.

    Jabba, is that you?

  95. Upper Street Gooner


    I fail to see what the issue is with what im saying. you may disagree but then nobody agrees on everything. Why cant someone agree with your prognoisis without being called a doomer.

    Considering this stuff is coming from you who appears to have ahd a bad few days in the comments section is what makes it even more ridiculous.

  96. I would agree a little with you USG about using international strike rates as a main measure of a forward. I mean, I’ve been looking at that mug Thierry Henry, do you know that the only countries he scored more than once against in a match are: Saudi Arabia, Malta (twice), Egypt, Switzerland, Lithuania and Tunisia. I won’t even waste my time on Japan, Faroe Islands, New Zealand and the like. Just a flat-track bully if you ask me.

    I think you’re on to something here.

  97. I asked … ‘Now tell me which other ‘winger’ in the same age bracket as podolski has scored more international goals, go on ….”

    Usg >”You mention which wingers have that sort of strike rate. Well if you were paying attention last night you will have noticed that the 21 year old guy” …. Those gamma rays must be having an effect on you jabba. You now have the power to ask yourself questions you want to answer.

  98. korihikage @12.54

    Sort of his more intelligent, older brother. The one who passed his grammar exams? Yes, the thought had crossed my mind.

  99. Upper Street Gooner

    Dexter | June 18, 2012 at 12:56 pm

    Incorrect. Firstly i would have never said that Mertasacker was a world class cb in the first place. All gets smashed around a little to easily especially on here.

    Podolski isnt world class either but then again that statement would only offend if your warped and basically think any player signing with arsenal must be world class.

    They are excellent addtions to the squad but not world class.

    The only thing you will have heard me point out about Per other than that he was a great signing was that he has had a multitude of issues with his ankles in his career. They were so big in fact that Bayern Munich who were desperatly seeking a cb last summer decided to not go with him even though he was availbale for the same price at the begnining of the summer as he was at the end.

    Of course these a points glossed over at the time by some but not by others who actually want to know as much as possible rather than only just the good things.

  100. The reason he didn’t go to Bayern is that he had already agreed to join Arsenal this coming summer. When things went wrong last August, Arsenal brought the deal forward.

  101. usg ….define ” world class” please

  102. Upper Street Gooner

    Block4 | June 18, 2012 at 1:12 pm

    It just makes a little more sense to me view someones career against better oppostion. Obvioulsy take into accoutn what he has done at international level. However if we are spending 10m on a guy i would much prefer to see what he has done in the rigours of a tough domestic league rather than against sides who any decent league 1 team should put a few past.

    Germany are briliant at coming together as group a forming an excellent side. They are much much much better than other nations at doing it. Its why i dont think his international strike rate is a true reflection of what Podolski is going to offer us. In would love it to but i just dont think it will.

    If i was looking at buying henry 4 years ago, i wouldnt have asked for one highlight of his international career. If his 400 odd profesional club games couldnt tell me wehat he could do i probably wouldnt be signing him

  103. USG @1:08, i don’t even know where to start.

    Firstoff, i despise jabba and every daft thing he wrote here.
    But usg i am okay with, seems like an knowledgeable guy.

    Now, everytime you try to put a negative spin on things e.g podolski’s scoring record, something in my head goes ‘doomer alert’, joking.
    Seriously , the comments you were making on this blog during the last season was so negative that i don’t know if you’re pretending or for real when you post a comment as usg.

    If someone like limestone brought up the point you made there would be no problem, but with you it feels like you are itching to pour cold water on people’s optimism here, admit it.

  104. @USG

    Do I agree that world class gets thrown around alot, yes. But there is also a difference between having world class talent adn being world class and I do think that sometimes that happens on here to. Many of us will say a player has world class talent but if that player doesn’t realize his potential or that talent then they are not world class just a very good player. For example Theo has world class talent with his pace and playmaking ability that we have seen flashes of(HE IS NOT INCONSISTENT) but inorder to become world class that talent must blossom; Mert has world class talent and has shown to be world class even on the biggest of stages their is no denying that, does he have ankle issues yes but does that stop him from being world class and 1 of the best CB in the world no!

  105. Upper Street Gooner


    Firstly if that was true which i very much believe it isnt, it would point to the club’s penny pinching affecting our results on the pitch.

    Not signing an obvious need last summer because we could get him for free the next year would have had horrific affects. Can you imagine us without per last year. You claim doomers want us to spend hundreds of millions, no most dont. Most just want the club spend the money it has available in the transfer market to better the team. Its quite obvious to all bar some on here an extra quality cb was needed early doors last summer.

    Secondly his ankle issues have been very well reported in the German press for a number of years now. 3 times now he has suffered serious injuries to his ankles. It was very well reported at the time that Bayern wouldnt be looking at Per due to his injury troubles.

  106. You can keep on trying to convince those who havent seen your past piss poor efforts USJ, but all anyone need do is simply read the snide bitter little digs you feel compeeled to make in each post. I am referring to the one aimed at khali BTW.

    Your first instinct was to downplay our newest signing, which ois something I don’t understand personally. But to you and your ‘mates’ its perfectly reasonable, I mean, you are having a really good debate (with yourself) arent you?

    Block 4 has smashed you and your lame brained ‘argument’ all other the place today.

  107. Your reputation precedes you my man.

  108. Upper Street Gooner

    van pers13 | June 18, 2012 at 1:21 pm

    Zim did a good job the other day but i think worldclass should mean your in the top 3-4 players in your position in the world.

    I think there sould be very little divide in opinion as to whether that guy is world class and by that i mean across different fanbases

    If Mertasacker is world class believe you me that opens up the door for a host of other clubs fans to say there cbs are world clas as well and you would disagree with them as vermantly as they do you.

    Podoslki has just come off his best year at cologne where he socred 18 goals leading the line for them, if he is world class why isnt Darren Bent, is it becuase Podolski plays for Arsenal?

  109. Another nice post Yogi, thanks.

    The Dutch were miserable. Now both sides of the RVP contract melodrama are out of reasons to wait. Hopefully we will know something soon.

    The schedule is what it is. I always liked the idea of getting “tougher” fixtures out of the way early but that has not worked well for us in the last couple of seasons. Getting the squad settled early will be critical again.

  110. I have been now reading a lot about world class, but who did call Podolski world class? Because for all the discussion about the world class moniker, I haven’t anyone seen him call that in the comments section.

  111. pedantic george

    I preferred Hunter.At least he knew he was mad.

  112. I think we’ll find Olivier Giroud, and is that pronounced Giroo (?), is a pretty decent player on the up and mostly off the radar, a tidy and efficient in-the-box pouncer, and a bit of an all-rounder (head, foot). If he doesn’t come to Arsenal I can also easily show he’s hardly worth talking about. It all depends, doesn’t it? Like USG’s contribution to Podolski’s international record.

  113. @USG

    I have put his domestic scoring rate since he 1st stepped on a pitch professionally in my June 18, 2012 at 1:04 pm, go read it!

  114. Upper Street Gooner

    khalifha | June 18, 2012 at 1:30 pm

    Why arent you talking about the point in hand.

    You can talk about my points last year but i stated last sumemr that i didnt think this arsenal squad was good enough to get anywhere near to challenging i was told i was many things for saying is essence exactly what happened. You might not think there is a difference but the way last summer went you woudl probably be allot more annoyed if you were a seaosn ticket holder than not. Its very easy to say there is not difference if your not paying 1200 quid to see the club trot out some great statements come renewal time and then nothign to happen. Believe me you would have been frustrated last summer and the consequint season

    No i’m not looking to go back on old territory this is a new season one filled with hope. The fact is much of waht i says makes complete sense. You might not agree with it but is neither rude nor far from the truth.

    I’ve said nothign bad about podolski today i’ve corrected you in that you should stop using his international record as his measuring stick

  115. BTW I was not saying Per mertesacker is a world class player. The point was that to some ‘fans’ once we sign a player, they are suddenly not as good as before they were Gooners. And then when they leave us, they are brilliant again.

    But as usual your repetitive and pointless ramblings have bored me to tears, so I shall leave you to it. I mean, what kind of thought process has to happen for a person to decide they have to dissect a player’s scoring record at International level till you can find something negative to say about them?

    Why is that?

    Podolski is a decent addition to the squad, glad we signed him, can’t wait to see him in the red and white next season.

  116. Now Darren bent is 100% deffo world class. At least we agree on something there.

  117. Er, and blue Dex. Red and white and blue now.

  118. Actually I am going to state categorically that Per Mertesacker is world class.

    That’ll give USJ the perfect excuse to completely slate him then.

    Go nuts dude, oh, you already have, my bad. 🙂

  119. Block4

    Ha, true, forgot about that loverlee blue detail we now have. Thanks mate

  120. pedantic george

    I could define “world class cunt” if that would help anyone.

  121. World class bore.

  122. ‘I’ve said nothign bad about podolski today i’ve corrected you in that you should stop using his international recordas his measuring stick’

    You must be havings hallucinations, where have i used his international record as a ‘measuring stick’?

    Either you make things up or you repeat the same drivel over and over and over again.

  123. Denmark striker Nicklas Bendtner has been banned for one competitive fixture and fined €100,000 for improper conduct at the Group B match against Portugal.
    So, Bendtner gets a fine for showing his Bill Grundies about 5 times as much as several national associations did for their fans racist abuse of black players.

    Course UEFA/FIFA take racism seriously and no way do they just pay lip service to the hideous cancer.

  124. Upper Street Gooner

    C | June 18, 2012 at 1:04 pm

    Who is saying its not enough, your paranoid. He is a great signing.

    I disagree with you on the world class thing that is all, its okay to disagree on stuff.

    His domestic strike rate of 1 in 3 is very good although some of these same people knocking me now were knocking the german league and dortmund last week so its hard to judge.

    I think Lukas will do very well for us. Then again though i fully expect the timid Gervinho to have a much better second season to there will be competition on our left

  125. pedantic george

    I like racists.
    They make me feel superior.And that is no easy task .I will tell you that for nothing ,young Dexter.

  126. @USG

    Mate you must also take into account world class atleast IMHO their international merit since we are talking “WORLD CLASS”. These are players that yes are in the top 3-4-5 at their position that constantly dominate and teams have to game plan for to stop them or to beat them. You look at players like Xavi, Inesta, Mert, Puyol, Ca$hley, Sagna, etc. players who when you take the best international teams and clubs these players stand out. Much of the discussion is turning to Mert, 80 sum odd caps for Germany 1st choice when fit, widely regarded as 1 of the smartest and best positional players in all of world futbol and I’m not saying that because he is an Arsenal player because even watching the Euro finals when Spain beat Germany, Torres and the Spanish NEVER picked on Mert but he was constantly making tackles to break up play and defending Torres who at the time was 1 of the most feared players in the world with his pace.

  127. pedantic george

    If winning 100 caps for Germany ,by the age of 27,is not world class, then I am at a loss to imagine what is.

  128. pedantic george

    Ha Jonny? Didn’t you mean “snap”

  129. We havent even seen the best of PerM, IMO. Him and Koscielny have the potential to be a world class (couldnt resist, sorry) CB partnership.

  130. My defination of world class is a player who plays at a very consistent level – Lahm, Xavi, Sagna and someone who can get into the best teams in the world without looking out of place – Messi, Ronaldo, Silva, Rooney, Rvp.
    In my opinion, those combinations are the defination of a world class player.

  131. Dexter

    “BTW I was not saying Per mertesacker is a world class player. The point was that to some ‘fans’ once we sign a player, they are suddenly not as good as before they were Gooners. And then when they leave us, they are brilliant again.”

    Works in reverse also. Players who would be criticised and/or described as average at best if they played for opposition sides are often viewed through rose tinted spectacles on here and in general on most club based sites I imagine.

    You only need to look back at conversations on here in the past 10 days regarding our little Russian who despite ultimately having disappointed in his Arsenal career is still placed on a pedestal as a world class talent who invariably would be the star of the Euros before coming back to N5 to lead us to European and ultimately inevitable global dominance.

  132. George

    Racists and ‘guests’ on the Jeremy Kyle show are there to help you feel superior man.

  133. @USG

    I wasn’t taking a jab at you mate now your paranoid like the whole world is against(not everybody just most of ACLF). I think he is a “WORLD CLASS TALENT” with 1 of the best left foot in the world when he is pushing foward.

    I dont mind disagreeing and debating with you the issue arises when you go off the rack and instead of going to the pipe to calm down you speak madness!

  134. @Steve
    So you are basically denying that Arshavin has the talent of the world class player?

  135. Steve

    I think the Arshavin love in comes down to him being the subject of a few crushes mate. Gervinho, for instance ultimately slightly disapointed me last season, I wouldnt say he has been painted as a world beater just yet. But players will have their acolytes and detractors.

    But to be honest, being a fan of a club, you will naturally think our players are better than others. You might grudgingly admit someone like, erm Messi aint too shabby but generally all other club’s players are c*nts. 🙂

    Not sure I would have felt the need to point out what you just did TBH. I guess you like playing devil’s advocate?

  136. pedantic george

    And Jeremy himself Dexter.Let us not forget him.

  137. No I’m not. No person would deny his talent.

    Takes more than mere talent to make a ‘world class’ footballer.

    It’s a fucking stupid term anyway.

  138. pedantic george

    Steve would fit my definition just fine.Thanks for that Steve.You were very helpful,tipping up at just the right time.

  139. Oh Jabba – how DO you manage to provoke so many arguments?

    Is your time on here a mirror of your life? I simply cannot imagine what it must be like to be constantly stuck in the same arguments for eternity. Sheesh!

    Please can we desist from the term world class it is absolutely, totally fucking meaningless!



  140. Dexter @2:07, don’t forget a squirrel that can’t speak fluent gibberish also boosts the ol self esteem, right PG.

  141. Good to see someone at Arsenal.com has gotten right on to the getting the full fixture list with times (subject to change) pre-season dates and all the ducks neatly in a row.


  142. pedantic george

    Meerkats are not squirrels

  143. OK ….so what about character ? ….

    did you see that short ugly fella who destroyed the arrogant russians ? on a scale from “shit” to “world class” how would you rate his WINNING mentality and character ?

    now compare to ibra’s ….skillwise world class no doubt …heart ? kitten ..mellberg the lion !!!

  144. Upper Street Gooner


    So Caps to you are the best guide of deciding whether someone is world class.

    Neglect league form and go with internationals. Okay thats fine and one way of looking at it.

    Would you say that his club form merits him to be a world class footballer? Would you say that he hands down would start in the Man Utd, or the Spurs side to use a couple of examples?


    Mertasacker is a very good cb in my opinion.

    ”widely regarded as 1 of the smartest and best positional players in all of world futbol”

    who regards that. Why is it that Arsenal who suffer such disadvantages to other clubs were able to pick up one of the top cbs in the world (3rd best on our team some gooners might say) for 10m pounds. Why is it that every team mertasacker has played for has had an average defense. How have you judged Per performances in the cl which is the highest level in european football.

    I’m just interested to know what constitutes world class in yours and George book. You see i think I should be able to walk up to a barcelona, inter, real , Utd or munich fan and say hey this guy ius world class and the vast majority of them to say ”yup i agree with you”. I dont think thats the case for either of these 2. I dotn think we have many world class players in our side. I think RVP is there or there abouts i think we have a few that are capable of getting there if they add consistency to their games. To you guys though we are litered with world class players which should mean we should do better than 19 points off top

  145. Is the “Capital One Cup” the Micky Mouse Cup?

  146. Limestonegunner

    September and January looks like the tough months. ManCity, Chelsea, and Liverpool each. The run-in looks ok and the late April home match v. ManU will hopefully be a meaningful match for title hopes!

    Without seeing the fall CL schedule–when will that be announced? August? It is hard to assess whether we will have lots of away matches on 3 days rest at this point.

    But the double home matches in November and December are very inviting for the long-distance supporter who would like to plan a trip! It is tough to get away matches and if there are two home weekends in a row plus perhaps a mid-week CC or CL match at home, it could be golden!

  147. Limestonegunner

    Ah, Jonny, thanks for that link–looks like the CL fixture dates are already more or less set. Planning can begin!

  148. You probably dont get invited to many parties do you man? Just a hunch.

  149. PG, there, there 🙂 baby steps man, you might understand someday.

  150. Nothing to do with playing devil’s advocate mate, just a statement of fact as indeed was your original post which lead to my reply.

    It’s the nature of an internet board, one person says something followed by another etc. Often they agree or just expand on an earlier comment.

    Ftr I don’t go thinking our players are better than others, haven’t done so since I was about 12 years old I would think. Some are, some are not. Go back 10 years in time and you could genuinely think that about over 50% of the team. I like them more than players of opposition clubs, for sure think they are less of a cunt than most players of opposition clubs but I have no problem at all in recognising and accepting the quality of any player no matter who he plays for.

  151. Indeed it can LSG. Indeed it can.

    Gladdens the heart and puts a spring in the step doesn’t it?

    😀 😀 😀

  152. I think both the spuds and manU could do with a defender like Mertesacker, but well done, you finally managed to get mentions in for the 2 clubs you love to big up. Jones and Mertesacker would be an awesome pairing while the spuds dont have a decent CB now that King’s finally admitted defeat.

  153. So does the re-branding to the Capital One Cup indicate the start of a process to try to big-up the trophy?

    The Capital One Cup – what’s in your cabinet?

  154. Limestonegunner

    George, are you mourning the end of the Arsenal away to Blackburn fixture? Perhaps you can make Wigan your new away station.

    Well, if CL matchday 6 is a home fixture, that would make a tasty 3 home league and European matches in 8 days in early December. Stay a few more days and watch the kids play, hopefully at home, having made it to league cup round 4…

    How to carve out at least 9 days—must begin plotting….

    Holiday schedule is also good because 22nd is Wigan away and if all else fails, one can purchase a regular ticket since they never fill their stadium. Does anyone know if Wigan supporters have any reputation for making trouble for visiting supporters? Seems unlikely but hard to judge from afar!

  155. Limestonegunner

    Jonny, Yes! The anticipation of a new season begins–club football will be back!

  156. Steve

    The fact that I watch Arsenal players more than any other team kinda renders an opinion on another team’s player as pretty ropey, unless you want to get your info from a 3rd party or media hype. TBH, I havent really noticed our players being praised to the heavens, whereas I have seen plenty of negativity aimed at several. Aklthough in his absence, Jack has almost been canonised! 🙂

    Plus, I am not sure its possible to be objective about your own team’s players any way, but that can work both ways as a few of our players have suffered in the past from unfair (in my opinion) criticisms.

  157. Limestonegunner

    Wavey, lol! Nice one…

  158. Wigan away is a great fixture. Please don’t encourage George to go, I would like to sample their pies again when I am there! 🙂

  159. Limestonegunner

    Football league has really made a mistake with their branding of their cup all these years. They should have always kept “league cup” in the name because with the frequent change of sponsors, no one recognizes or identifies with the competition as easily as the FA cup. It is always confusing.

  160. pedantic george

    LG,I am from Wigan ,at least that is where I grew up.The fans are no trouble as long as they are not provoked.
    I could meet you there ?

  161. Limestonegunner

    Dex, who ate all the pies?!?!

  162. Yogi hit the nail striaght on the head. The Dutch lacked a back 4 of note. They didn’t have any marauding fullback offering other options. Oh Giovanni vB where art thou brother?

  163. Ha! They asked Ibrahimovic who his picks for the rest of the tournament were.

    “I don’t give a shit who wins. I’m going on a holiday.”

  164. Bendtner’s fine of £80,000 makes this look soooo wrong;

    When Porto fans racially abused Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli in the Europa League last season, they were only made to pay £16,700.

  165. pedantic george

    Have not many of our brilliant fans be saying we should buy both of the Dutch fullback.If we are to show ambition ,that is?

  166. LimestoneGunner;

    Ha! We really dont need an answer for that one!

  167. @USG

    “Why is it that every team mertasacker has played for has had an average defense.”

    As we have seen a back 4 must consist of more than just 1 player because well that player can’t cover the whole back 4 or maybe you know something that I clearly dont.

    “I dont think thats the case for either of these 2.”

    I said Podolski has world class talent mate please dont misread my words if your going continue because like I said before there is a difference between world class talent and being a world class player.

    “I dotn think we have many world class players in our side. To you guys though we are litered with world class players which should mean we should do better than 19 points off top”

    When have you EVER seen me say we are littered with world class players for that matter when has anybody said that. we have 2(IMO 3) world class players in RVP and Sagna(MERT IMO) and then we have players who have world class talent(i.e. Jack, Theo, Podolski, Kos, Mozart) and then we have players who are really good that can produce moments of absolute genius. Sprinkled with world class players haven’t said it wont say it and never would say it. Again if you are going to debate dont put words in places people haven’t said them.

    Do at times we all look through rose tinted glasses, yes but at the same time I do see clear as day what is fact and what is fiction. If you want to debate facts here are a couple for you:
    1. Yogi writes a great blog.
    2. Arsenal wear red and white.
    3. RVP was and when fit is the best player in the PL bar none and showed last year he is in the top 3.
    4. We have a great supply of talent on this squad and when healthy can compete and beat any team, if you dont believe me go ask the Chavs(who won the CL), Manshiteh(who won the PL), Dortmund(who won the domestic double in Germany) just to name a couple.

  168. Limestonegunner

    George, I am thinking about a trip–either the holiday Dec. 22nd to 29th week or Dec. 1-8. If not then sometime in Spring. Last time I was out there, I could only get to one match, Villa at home because QPR away was sold out.

    I’d love to join you at Wigan if I make it out during that period. Can’t purchase home tickets as a red member until a month or two in advance, so I’ll have to wait to see. But it would be great!

  169. pedantic george

    Dexter ,you do pap on about racism.

  170. George

    That van der Weil has been hugely hyped for a couple of years now. Thought the chavs wanted him? Why would we want a fullback, we have world class defenders, full backs, midfielders, strikers, stadium, pies, tea lady.

  171. Limestonegunner

    Dex, you’ll be wise to watch it–Wigan George might be able to judo throw you up into the director’s box and you’d have to make polite conversation with Dave Whelan, who would probably regale you with inside information about how Roberto Martinez was going to ManU to take over from SirAlex who would be retiring if Arsenal defeat ManU on April 27th!

  172. pedantic george

    Would someone get 100 caps without good club form? Especially a striker who only scored against poor teams internationally.
    Why would you get 100 caps? why does someone get picked to represent Germany?
    Why do I bother?

  173. George

    I am sooooo sorry about going on about a piddling little issue such as racism, I mean, its old news isnt it? What was I thinking bringing up such a boring topic repeatedly, over and over again, I mean, who enjoys having to trawl through repetitive boring poinbtless posts eh?

  174. Doris is ,i>beyond world class.

  175. Let’s try that again.

    Doris is beyond world class.

  176. Ooh is that how you do i>italics then? And b>bold by any chance?

  177. Upper Street Gooner


    ”I said Podolski has world class talent mate please dont misread my words if your going continue because like I said before there is a difference between world class talent and being a world class player. ”

    Right im not really sure what that means but we can role with it. I thought we were talking world class players well Georgie was anyway now tis world class talent. That was really useful to us in Andrei case last season

    ”When have you EVER seen me say we are littered with world class players for that matter when has anybody said that. we have 2(IMO 3) world class players in RVP and Sagna(MERT IMO) ”

    The issue with your point is that many gooners would certainly place Kos above mert and quite a few tv5 above him as well. If He is so world class why do most german writers beofre this tourn talk about germany major weakneses being its defense and has been for a while. Seems strange to me considering they have one of the best keepers in the world one of the best full backs in the world quite possibly the best cb in the world currently and 2 oustanding dms. O right they were worried about the other cb position as they didnt think mert or baustber were that amazing.

    Your last para is just for kids really really. Yes we can compete with teams on our day. Problem is leagues take consistency to win. Unitl we get consistency we will continue to hover around a level that both Spurs and Liverpool copuld hit if they have good seasons and we dont want to be like that do we.

  178. Hahahahahaha! that’ll be a big fat NO then!!!

  179. Limestonegunner

    About the pies, not the racism issue, of course. Fight your corner on the latter, by all means!

  180. pedantic george

    Yes Dexter,quite right ,no one does. Now ,back to Arshavin.He is white you know .I like him .Therefore I must like white players best .Therefore I must be racist
    See how I brought both of our obsessions together there Dexter?

  181. Limestonegunner

    We used to just call this boyish daydreaming in the past. Some just don’t grow out of it, but get it dressed up as “visualisation”!


  182. LSG

    haha! I know mate!

  183. To italicise type

    left chevron i right chevron

    type word(s) you want italicised

    left chevron forward slash i right chevron

    for bold replace the i with a b

  184. usj just cannot help himself can he? You can consider that a good day at the office. Thats 2 players you have spent all day on, trying your best to slate them, well done.

    And to think mertesacker got those International caps and all the time he was shite, those germans are so thick, its a good job you were on hand to point his shortcomings out.

    And that german defence has really looked solid in his absence hasnt it? But I see you were easily capable of bigging up every german defensive player who isnt an Arsenal player. Congrats.

  185. @USG
    Now, I am not sure where you get your information about what German writers think, but me being German and all that, I can assure you that in the past 6 years there hasn’t been as much as a blip in the important German sports outlets about the defensive side of the German national team.

    There were some questions asked before this tournament, but they dealt with the right-side of defence (for which Germany currently lacks a player who is natural to that side. Boateng is a centre back, Bender a defensive midfielder). In fact, most journalists were convinced that Hummels, despite having been the best CB in Germany for two years running would still be benched in favour of a Per that hasn’t kicked a ball in 6 months in a proper match.

    The only reason why Mertesacker is not playing is his lack of match sharpness. You could be sure that if Merte would’ve gone into the tournament having played some competitive matches beforehand, he would’ve found himself at the heart instead of the bench of the German team.

  186. Limestonegunner

    Of more consequence is Rosicky’s achilles injury. I hope he doesn’t play in their quarterfinal and the Czechs lose so he isn’t tempted to play in a semi by rushing back and aggravating it.

    My concern is to have the next several weeks to se whether it is minor and Rosicky can be bit for the start of pre-season or whether this one is more serious and will take longer to heal. If we know that it isn’t healing quickly, I do think we are quite light in proven and effective attacking midfielders. I’d be more inclined to get someone in that position, even than in DM, because Coquelin is a good prospect to back up Song and take over during the ACN, plus Arteta can play there alongside Wilshere or Ramsey.

  187. Thanks Jonny

    That better effin work now!

  188. pedantic george

    Dexter,remember when you used to tell me not to waste my time arguing with Jabba and Luke?

  189. Yay! Go Dex.

  190. pedantic george

    Who are you thinking of signing LG?

  191. Evil

    Thanks mate, you dealt with that one loads better than me! I only read any worries were about his match fitness, not about him.

    But you see, this is how usjibber operates. makes sweeping unsubstantiated statments that his’friends’never pull him up on and passes them off as facts.

    Does it all the time.

    Think he’s well overdue for an early bath.

  192. pedantic george

    Jonny ,its bad enough reading his shit ,littered with those little face things,now there will be bold and italic everywhere.

  193. George

    Yes, I know, but I am a believer in giving people the benefit of the doubt and a second or third/fourth chance. The slightly less toxic incarnation wasnt too bad initially, but today has proven it a pointless excercise and a lost cause.

    Sad really.

    Cheers jonny mate! Woo Hoo!

  194. Upper Street Gooner

    pedantic george | June 18, 2012 at 2:53 pm

    Maybe its just because we have different aspirations as to what world class is. I think world class should mean they are one of the top players in their position in the world. You quite clearly there are other factors.

    Germans have a great knack of picking players who fit well into their team formula at international level, even if they arent performing at club level. A great example of this is funnily enough Podolski while he was having his struggles at Bayern. They picked him consistently in that period.

    Like i’ve said before though i think he is a great signing for us. The arguments have arisen as your rose tinted glasses haven’t been removed which is fine but it doesn’t make you right though.

  195. George;

    You are just jealous because now my posts will be even more attractive than your pig ugly efforts 🙂 🙂 😀

  196. @USG

    “The issue with your point is that many gooners would certainly place Kos above mert and quite a few tv5 above him as well.”

    How many would have even made any noise about Kos last season when he was struggling to adjust not to mention TV5 is what you call looked at through “rose tinted” glasses. Many on here have said Mert over TV5 but we will never know the truth until their both healthy at the same time.

    “If He is so world class why do most german writers beofre this tourn talk about germany major weakneses being its defense and has been for a while. Seems strange to me considering they have one of the best keepers in the world one of the best full backs in the world quite possibly the best cb in the world currently and 2 oustanding dms. O right they were worried about the other cb position as they didnt think mert or baustber were that amazing.”

    Think about this, they write not sure about a German defense whose 1st chioce CB hasn’t played a match in months due to injury and may not be match fit. Its interesting you say that they are missing half a back 4 because Mart was out injuried and they haven’t a another FB to play opposite Lahm for years. Again a defense just can’t have half a back 4 because any decent coach will just attack the side that is weaker or is that not common sense?!?!?!? Its interesting that you constantly put down Mert yet for Germany he adn Lahm have been their rock for years they are just now developing players to play with them. Now that they have Mert gets injuried and may not be match fit but that doesn’t seem to play any part because you dont need to be match fit or have an ankle to play futbol.

    So we continue to hover around Spuds and Pool yet the season before last we were in prime position to win the league before the shit fell out the bottom. We have 1 season to where we lose every FB 2 of our best players 1 of which the team was built around missing half of our squad at the beginning of the campaign and we still finish 3rd yea it was 19 points back but far from were we started.

    Lets look at Manure and Manshiteh this past season, both get embarrassed out of 2 European competitions and while we did lost in the knockout stage we made it further then both of them or am I looking through rose tinted glasses. I’m done talking with you because your starting to drift off into the same posts as always.

  197. Head wall banging your brick repeatedly.

    re-arrange to form an interesting and rather apt sentence 🙂

  198. International managers often overlook club form and go with their tried and tested, players who have been there for the manager before and done it. They don’t get carried away with flavours of the month, that is the media’s job. Call them into the squad for a look at perhaps, pick them in front of somebody they know inside out?

    Mertesacker would be a permananet fixture in the German defence on that basis, he is solid and 100% reliable. He works in their system.

    The flipside is a player like Koscielny who was magnificent last season for us but when it comes down to the serious business Blanc still goes with his trusted duo, Mexes and Rami, the former especially being a player who would have many scratching their heads.

  199. pedantic george


  200. True Steve. Mexes? *Scratches head*

  201. @USG

    You speak of his troubles at Bayern but that was when Lucatoni and Klose were in great form scoring goals freely kind of like the situation(not comparing players just situations) of RVP and CHamakh. You play your 1st choice and if their are scoring you keep with them or am I incorrect

  202. Upper Street Gooner

    Dexter | June 18, 2012 at 3:10 pm

    I dont get it are you that insecure to say that im slating them. Or am i actually just giving a view point of those 2 without rose tinted glasses on.

    Am i not allowed to say our signings have been very good rather than world beaters. Is that a misconception on my part?

    Is it rude to suggest that possibly arsenal football clubs 3rd best cb isnt ”widely regarded as 1 of the smartest and best positional players in all of world futbol” is that rude of me to bring a little bit of sanity.

    The stupid thing is to normal football fans what is being said is perfectly normal. only on here you get called a cunt for saying that arsenal 2 german signings are very good buys

  203. Oh lorks a lordy, can you all just say how shite Podolski and Mertesacker are so usjibber can feel like a winner for once? I mean, THAT is what you want aint it? Sure as hell seems like it.

    Thing is, most normal people move on from a topic when they get an inkling it might be either;
    a) boring
    b) wrong
    c) pointless
    d) all of the above

  204. usj says; “Am i not allowed to say our signings have been very good rather than world beaters. Is that a misconception on my part?”

    There, you just said it, on ONE sentence. But you have spent ALL day on the topic. And you dont even realise how boring that is?

    Thing is, you could have bored everyone on so many different way. Like discussing endlessly how he moght fit into the formation, what his best position will be for us, how many chances he will create and if he will drastically improve our goal threat from the left…. So many different ways in which to send me to sleep, yet you chose the one where you feel obliged to hammer home the failings and shortcomings that Block4 and Evil has already shot down.

    Go figure

  205. USG

    I disagree with your defination re world class.

    A W.C player is a combination of two attributes. Someone who plays well consistenly at a high level: Xavi, Sagna, Lahm and someone who is able to play in the best teams in the world without looking out of place:Ronaldo, Messi, Rooney, Rvp, Casillas.

    A combination of those two attributes makes a W.C player.

  206. Limestonegunner

    George, I haven’t got that far and hope it won’t be necessary because Rosicky gets fit with no trouble or delay. But it is a position worth watching for. Maybe Ramsey will progress, but I am concerned that he and Wilshere are not that experienced in the position and need another season or two to learn to run our attack at the highest levels. Right now I only really trust Rosicky, but there are questions about his form and fitness for a full season in 3 or 4 competitions, don’t you think?

  207. *washes hands*

  208. Does anybody know if we will be bringing Joel Campbel back into the fold this summer? I am assuming that he (and Wellington Silva) will be with us for pre-season tours, but will be interested to see if either, or both, of them are in AW’s plans for next season?

  209. LSG;

    I have stated many times (oh fuck, now I am doing it) I think we need to sign an AM. It would have to be someone world class, yeah definitely a world class player like, erm, David Dunn.

  210. wavey

    Depends on work permits being given or otherwise man.

  211. pedantic george

    LG, Arshavin is my choice .
    No surprises there ,eh?

  212. Dex,

    that’s what I thought, but seem to remember Campbell’s was only down to the fact that he had only just emerged on the stage at international level and was therefore not regarded as a regular for his country. He has since established himself as a part of the squad for Costa Rica which should mean that his work permit is issued without any problems. I thought Silva had been in a similar position to Vela and that now he had served his time on the continent he would be available (if I’ve got my timing right).

  213. George,

    if Arshavin stays I think he is one of four in the squad who could fill that AM role, two experienced (AA/TR7) and two to develop into the role (JW/AOC).

  214. USG

    >Maybe its just because we have different aspirations as to what world class is. I think world class should mean they are one of the >top players in their position in the world. You quite clearly there are other factors.

    At which point I pop in and say,

    Given that you don’t agree with the definition of World Class, the whole argument is irrelevant. Unless the basis for discussion is agreed, you cannot even agree to disagree. This is how Dante’s less talented brother, Eric, defined a circle of Hell.

  215. Actually it’s pointless speculating now where Podolski will play considering we don’t know where Arshavin and van Persie will be next year.
    Even if RvP returns, Podolski gives us great options. Occassionaly he can staupfront and give Robin a rest. He can play on the wing and move to the center if RvP is withdrawn on a day where he is misfiring and when Wenger sees the need to bring on a lockpicker like Gervinho.

  216. Podolski was the best young player in the world – 2006, got sold to the best team in Germany – Bayern, lost his form a little at munich, kept his place in the German national team scoring 44 goals so far, youngest european player to reach 100caps – He is more than a ‘very good player’.

    If koscielny maintains his form and continues playing at a consistent level next season he will be a World class player, End of.

  217. Limestonegunner

    It is important to have a meaningful and shared understanding of what the standard of “world class” refers to before wasting lots of words arguing about an individual player. Too late, I am afraid.

    But the only meaningful definition is that the player would be among the best in the world, or arguably make it into a world squad, maximum 28 or 30 players. So realistically the player has to be in the top 5 to have an arguable chance to get into an all-world team. If they are only top 10, there are too many players obviously ahead of them to make the case that they would make the squad. So they aren’t world class unless we are talking about positions where you have two players like cb’s and central midfielders.

    Arsene Wenger talks about top class. Maybe we should be using that category as it is a wider one. World class is too exclusive.

    By the world class standard, we have RvP. Others are top class. Very few teams have several world class players. There are so few of them.

  218. pedantic george

    I agree with LG
    Except Arsh………………oh forget it

  219. Philmar

    I liked the way you said its pointless discussing where Podolski should play, then went on to discuss that very thing!

  220. “Am i not allowed to say our signings have been very good rather than world beaters”

    Yes you are USG – you’re allowed to say it over and over again restating it in a myriad of different ways (oh you already have) and bolstering it with new crucial ‘facts’ which support your case until it is proven irrevocably and is irrefutably known as the enshrined truth.

    It will not change the fact that no one here remotely gives a flying fuck.

    Boo-Hoo! The team you support hasn’t signed the quality of players you demand.

    FFS grow up.

  221. Limestonegunner

    haha–David Dunn it is, then!

    George, I agree with you, as you know, but as we have almost never seen it, we can’t be sure AA would be effective for Arsenal there, just like we can’t be sure JW would be. But because he is experienced and has a free creative role for Russia, which has produced some good results, we can try to make our case. I believe AA would make things happen and would do enough pressing up top to do this if there is a solid central pairing behind him: two of Song/MVilla/Arteta.

    I’ve just started assuming AA won’t return, but it doesn’t feel good to admit it and I don’t think it is because he doesn’t belong. Just seems that is what is going on. If he returns, I welcome him enthusiastically.

    Hopefully we’ll see him together lighting up Wigan for two goals and two assists playing centrally in a 4231 in December!

  222. ” Anybody who thinks that he scores against “lightweights” is just madness. If it was so easy to score internationally then with just as much attacking talent in Argentina has Messi only scored 28 in 70 matches thats a goal every 2.5 matches and he is arguably the best player in the world and mind you he is basically the focal point and gets alot more chances than Podolski does.”

    It isn’t madness – it’s verifiable and well documented in the list USG provided.
    Messi plays for country in South America where there are fewer nations and therefore fewer lightweights. He doesn’t get to play as many lightweights. Maybe 10% of his games are against Bolivia, Ecuador and Guyana. He doesn’t get to play qualifiers against the likes of village countries like Andorra, Lichtenstein, Faroe Islands, Malta, San Marino or against weak nations like Macedonia, Belarus, Norn Ireland, Luxembourg ect.

    Why do people get so mad at USG for stating irrefutable facts that a sane person might find pertinent in order to temper the rampant blinkered optimism.
    Shooting the messenger.

  223. Limestonegunner

    George, I think AA was at least top 10 and probably top 5 number 10’s/forwards when we signed him. I’m not sure where I’d place him now because we have hardly seen him play the last season for Arsenal.

    He had a good tournament–encouraging signs.

  224. pedantic george

    I think Andrei’s spat with the Russians has increased his chances of a return to us.
    What say you Yogi?

  225. I liked the way you said its pointless discussing where Podolski should play, then went on to discuss that very thing!

    You like what i did there? Yeah, it was pointless but I admit it.

  226. Dunno why people just can’t be happy with deciding a player to be very good, brilliant if you are feeling particularly effervescent. Then there are players who have enjoyed very good seasons but let’s see how things pan out in the future before placing them on a very high pedestal. Consistency over a period of time should be an inclusive factor, all footballers have talent.

    Referencing a player as world class is purely a subjective description of a players talent chucked around these days with wild abandon.

    As per an earlier comment I made – “It’s a fucking stupid term anyway”.

  227. YW – well put. I’ve been making the same point somewhat less eloquently over the last few weeks.

  228. pedantic george

    Another one for the list Dexter.
    How long is it now mate?

  229. Philmar who cares if it’s sane or even if it is true? It is deeply, deeply boring.

  230. Philmar

    Where is this rampant blinkered optimism you speak of and how can I get my hands on some?


    2 and a half, maybe 3 I think

  231. dexter, check it man. http://www.tizag.com/htmlT/htmlitalic.php

    this racism is world class

  232. @Philmar

    As somebody who watches South American futbol regularly I do have a pretty good idea about the strengths of teams. The point was that Podolski’s goal scoring record can’t be something that can necessarily be disregarded because Messi who is arguably the best player in the world doesn’t score freely for country as he does for club with talented attacking players on his left right and everywere. Argentina does play teams friendlies against teams like Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, and some of the CONCAF countries who are on the same level an Andorra, and those.

  233. Philmar

    If you have to ask that question, then you must have an increbily high boredom threshold. How long have you been in solitary confinement BTW?

  234. I find this discussion of world class players an interesting one.
    Although we may not all agree on the defination of a world class player, i think we can agree without bias that

    – Martin fulop grew as an arsenal fan and trained in the same academy as fabianski

    I don’t agree that a world class player has to be among the top 5 in his position, i have given my own defination but i won’t bother writing it again. Instead …

    Central Midfielders
    – Xavi
    – Pirlo
    – Iniesta
    – Xabi Alonso
    – Schiewsteger
    – Modric
    – Yaya Toure
    All world class i.e can get into any team in the world without looking out of place.

    – Rvp
    – Gomez
    – Aguero
    – Rooney
    – Villa
    – Falcao
    – Adebayor (buahaha)
    – Benzema.
    Again all W.C.

  235. Haha! Thanks Will.

    I just Lurve World Class Racism

  236. khalifha

    I presume the WC at the bottom of your list was the Water Closet into which we can drop a few of those names?

  237. I think we can safely say the level of debate on here today has been utter….


    And its good night from me.

  238. pedantic george


  239. Damnit, Thanks Jonny for giving Dexter italics and bold!

  240. pedantic george

    Dexter broke the internet

  241. Hahahaha! How did I manage to do THAT???


  242. <del<George what do you have against formatted text, man?

  243. France football claim Giroud is having a medical at Arsenal straight after the Euros.

  244. USG isn’t going to like this non-football related talk. That is what football blogs are for, right?


  245. Limestonegunner

    Khalifa, how would it be a meaningful term if it didn’t mean that the player was among the best in the world in their position? Whether that is top, top three or four, or top 5? When we talk football, we often talk about a first eleven. Or who gets into the team. Taking that as a basis you can decide who is genuinely world class rather than having an amorphous category.

    As to your list, you have put into practice the essential principles I mentioned. A team can play with two strikers so 6-8 players are in the conversation as arguably “world class’. And that is what you have done–mentioned those you think are the top 8.

    So despite yourself and despite not being able to articulate it as a coherent principle, you are on the right track!

  246. Ha!

    Sorry YW. It was only a matter of time till Dex broke his new toy.

  247. Limestonegunner

    And that is not saying I agree with your 8. How you dare list Modric as one of the top 8 central midfielders in the world (and on an Arsenal blog!) is a big mystery or a major indictment. Almost worthy of banishment!

  248. Limestonegunner

    Jonny, but PG is right. This is all your fault!!!! 🙂

  249. @Dexter

    With great power comes great responsibility and clearly you can’t handle it!

    I’ll believe it when I see it.

  250. Sky Sports News ‏@SkySportsNews
    Sky Sources: Arsenal agree deal to sign Olivier Giroud from Montpellier

  251. Upper Street Gooner


    You’ve been blogging all day why havent you done anythign about the standard of debate.

    Thats what i dont get. If your bored of a topic why not start a new one.

  252. Limestonegunner

    How many think Bendtner is going to pay the fine rather than the betting company? The ban however is somewhat serious for Denmark unless it can be served during a friendly.

    Maybe the betting company can help supplement his wages to enable a transfer–using his image rights as part of a deal?

  253. Agreed – but I have already apologised. In BOLD!

  254. Jaysus, walk away for two minutes. A little bit of knowledge…is a recipe for a bloody disaster.

  255. How long till USG starts slating Giroud?

  256. Yeah Dex! I don’t understand why you aren’t doing more to help us not have to listen to USG’s moaning either. Why Dex?


  257. it should start now

  258. pedantic george

    I don’t mind debating about Arshavin ,if that helps Jibber.
    He is world class,don’t you know?

  259. Limestonegunner

    Well, I haven’t been commenting on the Giroud news because it didn’t necessarily have legs. It is starting to look like more of a possibility because France Football isn’t an English tabloid rag. It would be more reliable if it was L’Equipe, but that isn’t bad. Begone with your sky news link, Jonny! That only undermines your case.

    But, what do we think about this? His stats are great, 21/9 in a pretty strong league for the unfancied league winners. The only question I have is his mentality. He missed a pen v. Toulouse and then in a crucial match v. Evian with score tied 2-2 and just minutes remaining he refused to take a penalty for the game winner and Camara who never takes them stepped up and missed. Belhanda who rotates on penalties was livid and got sent off, criticizing Giroud’s bottle publicly afterwards. Then Giroud didn’t score in the remaining three matches when they were neck and neck with PSG after the draw let PSG back in.

    I didn’t watch those games so I don’t know how he played. But I did hear about the episode in the Evian match and wondered if Belhanda, who acted very petulantly, had a point. If anyone here watches Ligue 1 regularly and can comment about Giroud’s qualities, that would be helpful and much appreciated. I’d like to think it was just a strange episode that doesn’t have any wider significance to Giroud’s character on the pitch. We need brave fighters to go up against ManU, ManCity next season and beyond. Somebody like Podolski, whom I had questions about because of his Bayern episode, however seems to have courage to come up big, according to Mertesacker, and that’s good enough for me. Maybe Giroud will show us something if he gets a chance for France.

  260. The Giroud thing could well be true, but I reckon “Sky Sports Sources” are constituted by the France Football website which reported this earlier today and it’s been been used as a source in a Tweet about it.

  261. Beat me to it Limestone, although I got it second-hand as I’m not a twit. Not a Twitter Twit anyway.

  262. pedantic george

    Jonny ,if I wanted to read Arseblog’s tweets I would follow him

  263. Limestonegunner

    Well, Jonny, I hope seeking further info about how he has played and what sort of character he has doesn’t sound like slating! I’m just curious because I don’t watch Ligue 1 but listen to some Euro football podcasts where this episode was discussed because it looked like a potentially big stumble for Montpellier which had nice lead but had a nervy couple of games before putting clear distance to clinch the championship there at the end of the season.

  264. The spud names were meant as a joke, must i put smiley faces at the end of everything, jeez.

    The fact that adebarndoor and modric are in spuds jersey already means they are covered in shit so wc is not an abbreviation of water closet.

    I never said those names were my top 8, you assumed that yourself. We have agreed that the defination of a W.C player is subjective, personally i think your principle is flawed.
    There can be more than 5 even 10 world class players in a position at any given time.

  265. @LG
    Just out of curiosity, why wouldn’t you put Sagna in the world class berth? I can’t think of any right sided defender who’s better defensively than him (Lahm is probably as good as him in that department, though) and there are defenders who are contributing more offensively, Alves as an example, but at the expense of defensive solidity. And anyway, Bac has improved that part of his game recently, too.

  266. Giroud, pronounced Djourou…

    Can he play behind a main striker?

  267. Well if we’re going to get pedantic – I didn’t get it from arseblog’s tweet, Georgio.

    All good LSG.

    I’ve actually already seen someone stating that Giroud doesn’t score against top teams and someone else stating he is thought less highly of than Chamakh in France.

    Arsenal fans eh? Let’s write them off before they’ve even played for us!

  268. @LG

    From what I have read many people are comparing him to Mario Gomez to where confidence for them is everything. When they even have teh slighest of breaks in confidence shit can just go to hell for them. But when they are playing with confidence and teammates that play for them they are at many times unplayable with their being able to both score goals against anybody with both their head and their feet.

  269. Giroud signs for arsenal? Whatever, its not like he was ligue 1 joint top scorer or anything, pfft.

    The job of a striker is to score goals. Now if you put: the competiveness of the league, calibre of players played against, consisistentcy, into the equation it is safe to assume the striker that scores the most goals can be termed as world class i.e after taking the above mentioned variables into account.

    *Oxford defination of World-class : as good as the best in the world.

  270. Limestonegunner

    Good point, Evil. Sagna might indeed be there. But I have to admit I don’t really know who else are contenders as that isn’t a position that gets a lot of attention. I am more concerned with the principle/standard actually. It seems very foolish not to have a meaningful definition for the category. All choices will be subjective but at least you can have a rational discussion.

  271. Thats what i dont get. If your bored of a topic why not start a new one.

    Look, I know as the quality controller of this blog I really ought to provide everyone with debate pointers, I failed today. But hold on.

    Oh boy, maybe you missed my efforts at different topics of discussion while you were busliy scrabbling round the internet to find ammo for your mud slinging excercise;

    The new fixtures, racism, the england team for tomorrow were just three I can recall.

    Now we can all look forward to reading about how Giroud will be a massive disapointment for Arsenal next season.

  272. Limestonegunner

    Ha, Jonny, never satisfied, are we? There’s always something…

    Seriously though, does anyone besides C know anything about the player other than the obvious goals/assists stats, which are excellent? C’s comment isn’t that encouraging because he obviously will have to sit behind RvP some–hopefully that doesn’t affect his confidence the way it did Chamakh’s, and instead he takes it as a great challenge. He’s a young striker and will be adapting to a new league and a top club, so I wouldn’t expect him to light up the league next season even with the chances he gets. He’ll be a good option off the bench, maybe start some games, and learn from the Dutch master.

  273. Can’t do a world 1st eleven as I don’t rate anyone who doesn’t play for Arsenal and I can’t even whittle my first choice Arsenal line up down to only 11. I don’t rate them by the way because I don’t watch and study them closely. Happy to admit that some may be good enough to play for us, but I wouldn’t actually know for sure until they’d been with us for a couple of seasons.

  274. Markus

    Can he play in defence?

  275. “He’ll be a good option off the bench, maybe start some games, and learn from the Dutch master.”

    You would think that any young striker would relish the opportunity to learn from the Dutch Master, knowing that he can eventually take RVP’s place.

  276. Limestonegunner

    Now, that I can agree with Steww, and very honestly said– I mostly watch Arsenal and don’t consider myself all that educated on other leagues, much less other confederations.

    But for some reason others are confident in those judgments and also don’t feel the need to have a reasonable definition as the basis for their inane discussion!

  277. Limestonegunner

    Will, yes, especially if they are a team oriented player who want to improve their whole game.

  278. Limestonegunner

    wants–sorry not want

  279. @LG

    I think we would be able to gadge a little how he would react if France were to sub him on behind Benzema and watch his work ethic. I think the main difference for me atleast is that Giroud has better technical ability and touch than Chamakh(I do like Chamakh and know he will work his ass off if he stays. should have scored a couple at the end of the season). But I think alot of it will depend on his attitude toward playing behind RVP.

  280. Theo has been passed fit for tomorrow night. Now that will give Roy some serious food for thought.

    He seems obsessed with playing Milner wide right so that Stevie me can roam where the fuck he wants and try his hollywood balls (yes, his cross for Biffa bacon was decent) but sticking Milner there for that reason seems like playing with a man less almost. Someoine has to step aside for Rooney, which would be Young given his ineffectual displays so far.

  281. Rvp – Podolski – Giroud – Campbell – Walcott – Chamberlain. Am expecting at least 70goals minus carling cup fixtures.

  282. pedantic george

    the Dutch master is currently in residence at Ajax,
    Just saying.

  283. It will be interesting to see how Arsenal incorporate the new signings next season. There is a school of thought suggesting they will all play with RvP, or perhaps maybe we have signed Giroud so we can alter our game dramatically, perhpas how Chamakh was supposed to do before his loss of form/confidence.

    So, having Giroud would mean we continue and increase the recent trend of sticking crosses in the box? having a tall, muscular presence upfront could be vital in a few away games for sure. I remember seeing us get out of jail a few times playing Ade up top on his own, even bypassing midfield on occasion; lumping the ball to him, with supporting attackers picking up the knock downs etc.

    Playing Giroud then, with Theo on one side and Podolski/Gervinho/Oxo kid on the other could be a possible lineup.

  284. @Dexter

    Is it just me is is Ashley Young overrated. What I always thought to be interesting was that having the choice of Nani, Valencia, Young; Nani always gets dropped and I think he offers the most of the 3. Back to Young being overrated, I alwasy thought of him as a player that had trouble holding onto the ball not very good at tracking back and does deliver enticing balls but to often times their not very accurate. Thougths

    You forgot Gervinho!

  285. sorry George did I offend you?

    the CURRENTLY PLAYING FOR ARSENAL dutch master. better ?

  286. Yogi why did you have to go and depress us all by mentioning stuart pearce?

  287. I caught the last half-hour of England v Sweden on a re-run on Eurosport this morning. I was interested because Stewart Robson was commentating, and we all know that Theo Walcott was England’s hero. A couple of weeks ago Robson, who is employed by Arsenal to work as a co-commentator/analyst on Arsenal TV Online, chose to go public in slagging Theo and his ability. Robson is also a man who told viewers of Arsenal TV a couple of years back that he is “not an Arsenal fan”. Anyone who has heard Robson talk about the Club will know that’s certainly the case, which kind of begs the question as to why he gets paid by Arsenal when there are plenty of other ex-players who would love his job.
    The commentary from Robson on the England game is quite incredibly laughable. He simply refuses to give Theo any credit. According to Robson, Walcott’s goal was “deflected, and that’s why it swerved”, despite the replay showing quite clearly that it was not. He refused to give Theo prais for the run and cross for Welbeck’s winning goal, too. Robson even kept on about how Theo was a “liability” at the back. You could feel his annoyance that Theo was making him look a complete twat for his comments the previous week. I sincerely hope the powers that be at Arsenal have taken note and that the man is sacked from his role at Arsenal TV Online.

  288. Dex we should start a petition. Oh

  289. C;

    I think Young is a decent Premier League player, but of the three you name, he is the poorest. I quite like valencia and think he is an honest hard working professional and team player. So, to answer your question, yes, I think he is over rated.


    You see, that notion of only rating Arsenal players because you support Arsenal completely kills any chance usj and co have of ‘debating’ on here.

    Hold on a min… 🙂

  290. Ha! Yeah steww, that was from another blog BTW. Not my own work.

  291. I think with a full pre-season behind him, Giroud’s acclimatisation period will be greatly reduced, meaning we could see him banging in hatricks every game for ever and becoming truly world class and then spoiling it all by being a racist.

  292. C, okay, okay. Gervinho can keep rvp’s golden boot clean.

  293. I would have thought one of the principal requirements for his job is to be an Arsenal fan?

    It’s own TV station is not an area where the club should be encouraging impartiality!

  294. @Dexter

    I always found it interesting. My most overrated players on the England squad:

    Glenn Johnson

  295. Jonny

    It’s ridiculous mate, he outed himself ages ago, so there’s no discussion IMO. Same with merson openly declaring his chav leanings. The fact he is so vehemently biased against a current Arsenal player should be more than enough grounds for dismissal! 🙂

  296. pedantic george

    Robson is a racist.
    Go get him Dex.

  297. It seems a bit ironic that the number of posts that do nothing but call USG redundant and boring has probably reached well above triple digits in the last few days.

    On another topic, I agree with Limestone @ 3:42 regarding our options at “attacking mid”. Lots of question marks right now and the team has never played well when the player in that position is not in top form.

  298. pedantic george

    Dexter ,Jonny is as well.And he does not like men who like other men either .
    See him off lad.

  299. C;

    At least 3 of those players shouldn’t even be in the squad man.

    Here’s my England line up for tomorrow;

    Jones – Jagielka – Lescott – Cashley
    Theo – Milner – Gerrard – AOC

    I seriously doubt Roy will drop Terry or Johnson or Young or Parker! But at least one person from the team that played Sweden will miss out. I am guessing it will be Young, with Welbeck stuck out there.

  300. @Khalifha

    He might shine it but not until after helping RVP get it after setting up all those easy tapins for him!

  301. Bill

    Its doesnt go unnoticed that those who try and defend the indefensible are ‘fans’ whose first instinct is to criticise the club, players, manager.

    usj AKA Jabba’s delights got banned for being an utter humourless incessant doomer, who did nothing but post bile about the club he supposedly supports, yet finds it oh so easy to praise the likes of manU (he is a manu fan, just saying) and the spuds.

    Then tried to sneak back in, taking a different name and pretending to be all moderate, but that didnt last very long. He thinks wenger a cunt.

    Basically, he belongs on another blog, and you too probably Bill.

    Make your choice dude, take your time. 🙂

  302. Dexter, spot on man, milner playing in midfield will help England defensively and possession wise.

    I like the idea of gervinho as a supersub, what do you think?

  303. Grrrrr, lemme at ‘im George…. Woof, woof!!

  304. Down boy!

  305. Bill;

    The options at AM as the squad stands now are;

    Arshavin, RvP, Rosicky, AOC, with possibles of; Ramsey, Jack, Diaby.

    So,m yes, there are many question marks there, not least in terms of whether Arshavin will even be at the club (doesnt look too good) AOC could well be the long term solution, but we cannot expect him to fill that role now surely? Rosicky was superb last season, but he, for me, is more suited to a deeper lying role as he is very tactically aware, positionally sound and can put in a good tackle and break up play.

    Of the possibles, my choice would be Diaby (if fit), although the other 2 could well be seen as the answer.

    Like you say, questions, questions???

  306. IF we don’t sign an AM, then I think we may well see RvP deployed there, with others, particularly AOC given a chance in the role.

  307. @Dexter

    I agree completely but thats why Roy picks them and I dont. Yea I dont understand how Theo and Ox get left on the bench as both provided teh best attacking options both through the middle and outwide up to this point for England. I think Young will come sit next to Ox and Theo but be the 1st one off the bench. Milner and Gerrard midfield though would be a hard working midfield.

    what I always thought was funny is how Gerrard catches slack on here for playing the Hollywood through balls and balls over the top but we praise Song and Mozart for playing those balls. I know I will get crucified but it was just an interesting something that I noticed.

  308. “If he scores frequently against the bottom half of the premiership he will be doing a lot better than Gervinho!

    I reckon he might turn out to be quite decent – for the simple reason our manager picked him.”

    It’s a shame you don’t allow the same credit for Gervinho, whom you continue to castigate at every opportunity – our manager picked him too.

    LSG – all players have confidence issues at times – RVP missed a penalty in that game at OT last season, that could have been a turning point. He has also has games where he does not score despite what the song says. It seems unfair for Giroud to be permanently labelled for that incident – maybe he just knew he was not in the right frame of mind. I seem to recall Thierry was superstitous and would not take the penalty if he was fouled for it.

  309. Dexter, the arterta role has to be played by someone in the mould of arterta, no?
    Am thinking at least 90 passes per match.

  310. Limestonegunner

    There have been several Dutch masters: Rembrandt, Breughel, Vermeer… RvP qualifies, but perhaps I should have said, “a Dutch master”!

  311. @Khalifha

    I honestly think that is going to be the perfect role for him. Because all match the FB’s are going to have to deal with Podolski and Theo running at them, bring on Gervinho say 60 mins and let him run at them and their tired legs. Not to mention his direct unpredictable style will cause mass confusion. Imagine him and Giroud coming on to bring something completely different. Gervinho as a supersub will be the most unstoppable thing and when he finds his shooting boots starting by match 3 he will strike fear in the hearts of defenses!

  312. C- thanks for your reply. No doubt Argentina plays teams friendlies against teams like Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, and some of the CONCAF countries. But the point I made is the frequency of these matches is less. And Messi doesn’t make the transatlantic journey for all of the pointless friendlies. Usually the national team coach uses them to evaluate a few of the players who participate in the Apertura and Clausura. Surely you don’t rate these teams (Panama, El Salvador, Costa Rica) as being as weak as the local village teams of Andorra, Lichtenstein, Faroe Islands, Malta, San Marino. Most CONCAF teams can point to some players that play internationally in Europe or the MLS and who play for club teams that participate in the CONCACAF Champ League. I can name at least one or more Honduran, Costa Rican, Trinny and Jamaican players but not a soul from Andorra, Lichtenstein, Faroe Islands, Malta, San Marino or Luxembourg.

  313. Dexter @ 6:02:

    I think I had heard something like that about him before, not sure where. Really surprised you had not warned us about that scoundrel before. You’re slipping, I think we need a new doomer sheriff. 🙂

  314. @Philmar

    You do make a good point their. The CONCACAF is really weak compared to even the likes of Andorra but whats also interesting is that many of those plays that come from Luxembourg and such play in the MLS HAHAHA. I do get what your saying but another point that must be made is that bar this past match vs. Brazil Messi has been rather poor for country and has been widely critized for it, even with the likes of Di Maria(Madrid), Aguero, Tevez, Gago and the attacking lot.

  315. pedantic george

    khalifha ,your boy Jack is the perfect apprentice for Arteta.

  316. Passenal – what an odd accusation.

    I have said on numerous occasions that I think he has been a good signing. However I am also on record as stating that his finishing and final ball were extremely poor.
    I don’t think that’s unfair – especially as a huge proportion of goals came from the other side of the pitch. If that counts as ‘castigation’ then I imagine most of us are in trouble.

    As for ‘every opportunity’ – really?!

    Overstatement at all?!

  317. pedantic george

    The is and has only ever been one Dutch Master.LG.Don’t be getting me at it.

  318. pedantic george

    Jonny ,you have found your way into the bad books of some our lady posters.
    You need to work out what you are doing wrong mate.Its a slippery slope.

  319. Limestonegunner

    Uh-oh, George, is Wigan off before it even was on?! 🙂

    Don’t worry, no one thinks anyone can come close to DB. The mold was broken by the Sculptor.

  320. Limestonegunner

    Passenal, I hope you understand that I am not labelling him anything. He is an unfamiliar player who had some notoriety recently for an incident and is now strongly linked to Arsenal, so I am asking if anyone is more familiar with him who can address the character of his play and performance with specific knowledge or impressions. So far only C has provided impressions of Giroud. We know all players have the odd confidence problem. The question is how does or has Giroud dealt with that apart from this recent occasion? I am afraid your response has not addressed the issue or offered anything specific about Giroud, which is what I am hoping to learn.

    Also, that’s not a great comparison with RvP (and he really shouldn’t be compared to him as it is unfair–he’s a much younger player after all) and penalty missing. I don’t remember RvP failing to take one because he missed his last, btw…

  321. Is Ashley Young overrated. I think so but some would label him as world class simply because he has been capped by England and plays for Manure Inc.

  322. Spuds lining up Laurent Blanc…USG will be excited.

  323. Limestonegunner

    Hope Theo doesn’t play v. Ukraine for the same reason I don’t want TR playing the quarters. No good comes of them rushing back from injury and aggravating the situation.

    Besides, England doesn’t really appreciate Theo–very few seem to be calling for him to start and he has been pretty consistently labelled (in just the way you mean, P) as an “impact sub” and not a starter. Why risk him? He has had a hamstring pull recently; it would be irresponsible to play him, I think.

  324. It’s nice to see the Italians worried about a ‘fix’ on the Spain-Croatia game. Only the crooked see crookedness in everyone else.

  325. Limestonegunner

    Spuds are forever chasing us. Get French manager, try to build a stadium. Reeks of rank imitation. I suppose we would be flattered if we deigned to consider their opinion of us for even a second…

  326. Limestonegunner

    Apparently Buffon, discussing those sort of “arranged” draws at the end of the Serie A season, amid many other allegations of improprieties breaking, stated something to the effect of “It’s better to have two wounded than one dead.”

    That statement is apparently coming back to bite him now that the Italians are decrying a possibly suspicious, potential Spain-Croatia draw!

  327. Limestonegunner

    I suppose it is good competitively not to stagger these final group games, but it means being at the mercy of the broadcaster for which one is shown. I am certainly more interested in Spain-Croatia, stylistically. But at least Italy will be trying to win.

  328. @Philmar

    I completely agree but the thing that bothers me is that everybody talks of Theo not being able to shield the ball and constantly getting knocked down(which is vastly not true at all) but when your own Manager says you can’t do it and your a diver(Fergie after that bs penalty) that shouldn’t be brushed over. Young needs to make way.

  329. Very interested to see how Gervais gets on this season. I think the lad will do very well.

  330. Limestonegunner

    That was quite a good article, Frank. Thanks for linking it.

  331. I see that jibber has been jizzing all over YW’s blog again. Ah well. Better out then in I suppose.

    Nice post yogi. Thanks.

  332. I think he missed the crucial point about Oranje having 11 players from 11 clubs on the pitch at any one time, Limestonegunner. If you don’t have enough time with the squad then transplanting chunks from club teams is a good way forward. Never understood why Ingerlund did not have our back five back in the day. But there you go….

  333. Limestonegunner

    Agree with you C. Young sits for me. So does Terry. Let Rooney come in off the bench, I say.

  334. Limestonegunner

    That does seem like a telling statistic and compares poorly with the other big contenders. I think the problem there is in this era all the best Dutch players leave by their early twenties.

    But they did get to WC final, so the preparation for South Africa must have been more thorough.

  335. Limestonegunner

    I would credit the writer, Frank, for pinpointing Sneijder’s poor attitude and performance. In other venues I’ve heard him lauded as the only one who played well, which is an utter joke.

  336. @Lg

    I agree ecspecially about Terry and Rooney but ole Roy has pressure to play Rooney and I doubt he doesn’t start him. I wouldn’t be suprised if Roy gets more defensive ecspeciall only needing a point to get through.

  337. Why don’t the girls like jonny?

    I do remember him telling us he had three girlfriends. That might do it.

    I remember getting stick for finding Irish’s jokes funny. So…

  338. Limestonegunner

    Not sure Silva deserves to start ahead of Cesc for Spain on the right.

  339. Changed from two to three now has it Bob? Well that’s inflation for you!

    In fairness, they did know about each other – before you manage to cast me as some kind of devious rogue.

    BTW – I got a job you’ll be pleased to hear!

  340. Glad to hear we got OG.

    I expect plenty from Gerv next season as well. Sophomore sophistication aplenty.

    I do hope we keep AA…for assists galore

    & for Rooney to start..just put Carroll back on the bench.
    Milner starting works better for THIS team than Theo.
    Its so much safer

  341. Limestonegunner

    Congrats Jonny! Hope it suits you or pays you well, if not both!

  342. Limestonegunner

    Bilic should button his shirt collar or ditch the necktie.

  343. Jonny | June 18, 2012 at 6:35 pm

    Soon after he joined you posted here about a conversation with a French football fan suggesting that his early wayward shooting is the best we can expect from him. Since then I’ve noticed a few more times when you point out his shortcomings to support your already formed view of him. The season Lille won the league in France – he posted very good goal scoring and assisting stats on a par with the much hyped Eden Hazard. He has had 1 year in the PL which was interrupted by the ACN and we all know how his confidence was knocked by that experience. Maybe you meant your comment today as a joke, but given your previous record, I didn’t see the humour. I just think he should be given a chance to show what he’s got, just as any new signing should. Arsenal scout players over a long period, so the scouts must have seen something about him to justify his purchase.

  344. Thanks Limestone – I’m helping out doing a little cheffing for The Phoenix Artists Club which is a den of iniquity full of luvvies and lushes underneath The Phoenix Theatre.

    The pay is rubbish but it’s a really lovely crowd of people who run it and they were in bit of a spot so it’s really nice to be able to help them out.

  345. “Spuds are forever chasing us. Get French manager, try to build a stadium. Reeks of rank imitation.”

    true. We even let them have George Graham for a while too. Hopefully their nxt French manager will be as successful as their last one – Santini. When will they learn? They need to hire an Alsatian.

  346. Well done jonny.

    A real job next.

  347. Oh, Ramos should’ve seen a card and that should’ve been a penalty. Very unlucky for Croatia.

  348. Limestonegunner | June 18, 2012 at 6:41 pm

    LSG – sorry, I did not mean to imply that you were labelling him, just that an incident like that quickly attaches a label to someone, which is why I would rather wait and see what he does if he arrives here. The point I was making about RVP was not to compare them, because as you say RVP is older and more experienced, it was just that even top players lose confidence at times. As for that incident – why didn’t Belhanda take the penalty if he was 2nd penalty taker?

  349. I see Spain get the same treatment from referees as Barca.

    Stone cold penalty and a booking. No, a corner.

    Bloody piss poor.

  350. I feel you’re really overstating my comments – yes I did say he was renowned for being wayward but that’s hardly a great crime is it? It is not as though I made it up.

    I was merely expressing my concern at the fact that he had missed an unusual amount of absolute sitters and that it may be part of his character trait. When I said it I naturally opened myself up to be proven wrong. Since then, it so happens, he has almost exactly fitted the description I was given by my friends in France [good but very lacking in execution of the final ball].

    If I had been rude about him I could understand why you are taking this so seriously but this just seems more as though you feel any player in the red & white should be beyond criticism. I understand some feel that way but I do not share the same view – to put it bluntly he had an okay first season but there is a great deal of room for improvement. I hope he finds it as he continues to settle but if he doesn’t I’m not going to just pretend his final ball has improved!

    Indeed I am hopeful one of the reasons Wenger bought Podolski was because he has a reputation of working the keeper and hitting the target. It’s an important part of the game for someone operating in that position after all.

    No one does a better job than Wenger and his team but of course not every signing works out – they all deserve a fair crack of the whip. Perhaps I overstated my concerns – if so I’m sorry.

    Anywho what I said today was meant as a light-hearted comment and you have overlooked that I have also praised Gerv and indeed defended him on other occasions. You are spotting a different pattern – one that fits with the clear annoyance you feel about comments you disagreed with from the beginning of last season. Could it be perhaps you are reading a little too much into what I am saying? The tone of emails are so easily lost in translation and as I have said several times it would be a mistake to take me too seriously.


  351. Cheffing doesn’t count as a real job?! Are you mad?! Jeez – long hours, arduous work, hot temperatures, shit pay and plenty of pressure.

    What am I meant to do, Bob, work in a coal mine?!

  352. Just one goal from Hrvatska and the Spanish boys can head home to their mummies.

  353. Cooking? Well done, Jonny. Did you excel in Domestic Science at school?

  354. Yes, but for luvees?

    I do admire chefs for their workload but am not impressed with their celeb status and tthe sheer ordinariness of most restaurant food. I don’t doubt the hard work.

    I’m reminded of some ‘great’ fashion guru who died a few years ago and the press was gushing in it’s plaudits and paeans of praise.

    One person, whose name I wished i remembered pointed out that the late person, “…made frocks”

  355. Sewing is important, Bob. Same as cooking.

  356. On another point, I do think you get rough treatment from Passenal and Fun.

    Really girls, he’s a nice boy. Bought me a pint and everything. Give him a break.

    I am sure he said he had three girlfriends but, hey, who hasn’t?

  357. I dream of getting rough treatment from Passenal and FunGunner. I imagine they both have red hair.

  358. I know where you are coming from Frank.

    I like cooking myself and have sewed on occasion but is it a proper job?

    Mind you, what is? Poncing around some office, standing for parliament, being an advertising executive?

  359. Ha! You seem to be confusing the 0.01% of chefs who have attained celebrity status with the rest of the workforce who do what they do largely without any thanks and usually whilst working insane hours for the pleasure of being shouted at whilst being paid a pittance.

    As for the ordinariness of the food – you must be going to the wrong restaurants but then
    I suppose it’s all a far cry from your bucolic lifestyle with yerr organic veg fresh out of the ground and yer homemade cwider.

    And luvees have an appetite just like other humans you know or do you have something against the acting community as well?!


  360. Ying and yang Frank. I remember.

    How’s the dog?

  361. Lol. Bob – it was two. I regret saying anything!

    Really you’re not helping mate! 🙂

  362. Ha! I like the idea of jonny being kept in check by fun and Pass! He needs a firm hand, not too firm, he’d enjoy that.

  363. c;

    The issue about gerrard and his 60 yard hollywood balls is, they generally miss their intended target man! If they hit the mark, I wouldnt have any problem with them. Thing is, he often tries them when a much simpler and more effective ball is on.

  364. Well yes, as you ask.

  365. Didn’t even do it in school Frank – this is something of a career change.

    What’s your line of work, pray tell, or are those years behind you now?

  366. Sounds like dinner followed by the theatre would be your perfect date!

  367. I too remember jonny describing the article about gervinho’s wayward finishing. I actually read something similar, but his stats were very good nonetheless.

    I do think it definitely is an area he can work on and I expect to see him show us all that improvement.

    Then jonny can apologise to passenal and fungunner for being wrong.

    It’s just what needs to happen jonny! 🙂

  368. Every restaurant and pub is now expensive jonny, on the back of the great staus that eating out has acquired.

    I don’t doubt that many chefs are very good and attained standards beyond the domestic kitchen but most are ordinary, overpriced and conselslel and myself can usually cook better at home.


  369. He tries Dex. but they won’t bite.


  370. I have a few friends in the catering bizz on the gig circuit. I couldnt do it. Talkl about hard graft man. And they are all off their nuts, naturally and artificially, if you catch my drift. Not to be sniffed at.

  371. Dex that would be an all round win as far as I’m concerned.

    BTW it wasn’t just the article I have a few friends in Paris who told me what I should expect – that was probably why I was more bullish about it.

  372. Stop digging jonny.

    What’s that Dex? That white powder isn’t always salt?

  373. I am sure you’d get a real kick out of it jonny.

    CBob, yep, need to be careful with the seasoning when they are around!

  374. Jonny

    I’ve had a fair few great nights with them, get into some cool gigs for free, get well fed and erm looked after. Good times.

  375. Interesting back story of Giroud, he was a former teammate of koscielny at tours in division 2, they are also said to be best friends.
    Contrary to popular opinion, Giroud is also said to be mentally tough, he has waited a long time to realise his potential having bidded his time in division 2 before winning the freanch league with montpellier last season.

    This is culled from an article …. ‘He never gave up, though, as he kept fighting and finally, following his move to Montpellier, made it right to the top with a French league title thisseason after scoring 21 goals in Ligue 1 , sharing the Golden Bootwith Paris Saint-Germain’s Nene.
    Back to Clairefontaine just a few weeks ago. Koscielny had these words for his old friend when I saw him there: “I always knew he would become the great player he is now. He always had something more than the others.
    “I am delighted that he won the French title and finished the league top goalscorer because he deserved it. He has worked sohard for it. And the best is yet to come.” … So am guessing mental strength – check.

    This is for the ignorant arsenal fans that criticise song on his attacking forays.
    Apparently m’villa had a bad finish to his season for rennes, he began to lose form and the climax to all this was the fans booing him in a semi final clash against a lowly ranked club.

    This is what he had to say ‘“I’m so concerned about trying to play a killer pass I have been forgetting about my defensive work,” he admitted this towards the campaign’s climax, amid complaints from the Rennes fans that he had not been at his best all season – sounds a lot like song and arsenal, but he is still a amazing player tho so don’t let this cloud your judgement.

    Funny part tho, this is what his coach had to say “He touches the ball so often the crowd couldn’t keepup. That made me smile.” – Lets just say he is the arterta of the french league, only more all action and robust.

    Thats all folks, goodnight.

  376. Thanks for that Khali. Very interesting about our new world class player.

  377. I am a cat burglar, Jonny.

  378. I steal cats to order. Expensive ones. Usually from zoos.

  379. Dangerous work

  380. Nice of uefa anbd the refs to make sure the germans and spanish ease through. Cast iron penalties against them, not given

  381. Oh crap. I hate Spain

  382. Croatia played well and missed some excellent chances. Spain were far from amazing and defensively pretty dodgy. Still think England need to win their group and avoid them!

  383. so my england 1-0 spain bet is still on. was hoping croatia could do everyone a favour and send those cheating bastards home.

  384. Jonny @ 8:29:

    Passenal’s doomer radar has never missed yet. Best that you admit the truth about yourself. It’s the first step in healing.

  385. @kori
    I’d thoroughly enjoy that. Especially if it’s Theo or Ox grabbing the winner/assisting. Ideally for each other!

  386. Limestonegunner

    Fair enough, Passenal. The story I heard was that Belhanda and Giroud rotate because each one has wanted to do it, so the manager resolved the problem this way. Belhanda took the first v. Evian a few minutes earlier and scored. Then it was Giroud’s turn and in the confusion when he didn’t step forward Camara grabbed the ball and Belhanda started shouting at Giroud. Camara took it and missed. Then Belhanda went ballistic and later came out with critical remarks and it looked likeontpellier were going to collapse. Credit to them for winning the next couple games to clinch the title.

  387. Limestonegunner

    Credit where credit is due, Khalifah. That was a top notch post and grnuinely informative. Thanks!

  388. MD’s pasties are world class (Oxford English Dictionary def.)

  389. Most professionals in all professions aren’t very good. That’s why mediocrity sounds so bad. Singling out chef’s ain’t fair. Especially since cooking is a comparatively useful job.

%d bloggers like this: