One Of Us Speaks – We Know What We Are

What did you expect from England before this tournament? I expected them to go out in the first round. This squad was one of the weakest in the group stage. I assumed they would be brave, as usual. I figured there would be some contentious decision along the way to deflect from the rank performances, but I thought England would be home by now.

But here they are, just two games away from the final. So you can see how I might be pleasantly surprised. The team has eked out a win against the co-hosts, fought back against Sweden, who are a decent side by the way, and kept in-form France at bay in the opener. The football has been grim and defensive, and I don’t doubt that England are unpopular amongst all neutrals, but I’m pretty sure there was no other choice.

Not at this tournament anyway.

It’s obvious, but international players work under club managers with different philosophies, drilling them in completely different ways. The few national teams that play with style successfully have the benefit of firstly featuring a settled group of players, but also coming from football cultures that have a fixed idea of how the game should be played. I suppose you could call it an identity – what’s England’s identity? No idea.

Just shooting the breeze here, but one of the things that makes the Premier League so much fun is its spectacular diversity, with the whole spectrum of footballing styles, from the most ambitious and attacking, like Arsenal, to Stoke and, everything in between. This might count against the English national team.

I mean, how will an Arsenal player’s concept of tactics differ from one from someone who’s spent his career at, say, Chelsea?

In England’s case there’s the added problem of a brand new coach, put in position just weeks before the tournament got underway. I’ve always had the idea that possession football needs lots of game-time to flourish, as players get to know and trust each other. And that’s where England has been a bit unlucky. Even by international standards, this current team is a mish-mash, with players from different generations and club backgrounds. Even players from the same clubs have only been together a couple of years at most.

Oh and not to mention that there are too few players in this country with the ability to pass and receive the ball. There have been a couple of interesting prospects coming through in central midfield over the last few years, but only Jack Wilshere has really established himself at a top club, and we all know how the last year went for him.

I see the lack of technique and enterprise as a long-term gripe; it’s one that England fans should probably file away and wait to address after the tournament. We couldn’t have expected Roy Hodgson to do in five weeks what takes years of planning, and can only begin at grass roots.

So, Roy Hodgson is the man for the England job at this time. That’s to say, I’m sure his bosses knew what he would bring to the job, and recognised that he would be the best candidate if England wanted to snatch some pride from their trip to Eastern Europe.

I see him as a problem-solver. If England was in a big mess at the end of last season, then Roy’s a bit like Winston Wolf from Pulp Fiction; showing up to make a quick fix, throwing a duvet over the blood-stained car seats. Talented in his niche, but he isn’t someone to implement a long-term plan, unless he’s willing to be flexible with his tactics in the future. I think I’ve made it clear in this column that I prefer stylish and expansive football, so clearly I’d like that to be the FA’s end goal.

But defensive tactics can be implemented a bit quicker – I think if you’re good at it you can hammer discipline and organisation into teams in a matter of weeks. As I said before, attacking combinations take much longer. I think dull and stubborn has worked out quite well for England.

I’m aware that Arsenal’s international and cosmopolitan fanbase means that this post won’t concern all visitors to A Cultured Left Foot, but I’d now like to explain why I suddenly care about England’s fortunes.

Maybe my experience will resemble yours. In the past it seemed to me that although there has always a tub-thumping element in the build-up to tournaments, and although we were all aware that a minority of hooligans would embarrass us, on the whole we always seemed to be realistic about our chances. We were aware of our limitations, and you could hear it in the songs that captured the mood of the country at the time, expressing hope, not expectation. “I know that was then, but it could be again”, kind of thing.

Something changed after Manchester United won the Champions League in ’99. Everyone became aware that English domestic football was on the rise, and as expectations grew, so did the arrogance and sense of entitlement of onlookers here.

I think what we’re aware of this time, and what eluded a lot of people before, is that the English players at top Premier League clubs are usually just foils for their superior foreign counterparts. When the England squad is assembled we’re left with some talent, but mostly honest triers, like Milner and Scott Parker.

But, for a couple of bad eggs, this is an England team I can get behind. The coach wasn’t the popular choice, but he’s friends with Wenger, which must count for something. What’s more, every positive result is a slap in the face for the clique of football thinkers who have derided him since his appointment.

But, best of all, expectations have been as low as they should have been at every international tournament for the last 16 years. Every coherent attacking move, goal and positive result is a happy surprise. It’s the healthiest way to do it.

Posted on June 22, 2012, in England, Euro2012, Football, Premier League, Soccer and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 379 Comments.

  1. excellent post..
    good start to the day..

    i tell ya what changed everything, and your in the right period with the UTD-bayern final..

    it was david beckham..

    he made everything a circus, the cameras would follow him and us everywhere and posh kinda invented the wag..
    all went down hill from there..

    and for the first time in about 10-15 years its starting to feel natural to cheer for england again and actually mean it..

  2. Good morning Birdkamp. Good post.

    Am not an England fan, but I must confess I have been impressed with the work Roy has put into the team. Defensively, the 3 lions have coped well even if opponents still manage to get shots on goal.

    I believe a time will come when England will absolutely have to go for it. Milner and Young haven’t particularly set the Euros alight especially the later. Let’s hope at least one of the two young guns gets to start the game.

    Italy haven’t been spectacular either but very solid and professional. This game could turn out to be just like the England vs Sweden one. Totally dire first half but absolute fireworks in the second.

    “Just shooting the breeze here, but one of the things that makes the Premier League so much fun is its spectacular diversity, with the whole spectrum of footballing styles, from the most ambitious and attacking, like Arsenal, to Stoke and, everything in between.”

    Haha! The two extremes of English football. 😀

  3. Great piece overall, but I’d like to take issue with this whole notion of low expectations for England. Not to pick on you… the whole country seems to be saying it.

    Actually, thats the root of the problem. The whole of England has been saying (since the start of the tournament) that our expectations are low so therefore England might go far this time. If it were one or two people here and there, OK, I’d accept that. But the idea that everyone is hoping they will go far because everyone expects them not to… Huh??? What a weird bit of national psychology.

    Anyway, I don’t think this team is so bad. Its a fairly tough group of players. Waiting for the game to settle and then subing in the likes of Theo and/or the Ox as impact players seems a good strategy. And even though I picked France to go far in the office pool before the tournament started, I’m not particularly impressed by them. They are good, but against us and Sweden (in particular), I think their attack looks impotent, flimsy even.

  4. Superb post. Eloquently expressed and inarguable in its conclusions. On a personal note I’m really trying. I admire Roy and the warmth between him and Arsene plays a large part in that. But the last game which should have been an edge of the seat affair saw me switch over and watch Sweden. I simply cannot watch when there is no Arsenal involvement and I can’t bear any team that features Wayne Rooney.

  5. I’d agree with all of that Al. Very perspicacious.

    I also have to go along with steww. I am trying hard to be pleased when we score but it is difficult after years of willing Terry, Lampard, Cole, Rooney, et al to lose.

    I still can’t stand Gerrard either.

    1996 was the last time I felt behind the team.

  6. Great post! Two weeks ago I thought England was doomed, now I’m hoping we can send the Italians back with a sore head! It’s true, I’m not Terry’s or Rooney’s biggest admirer, but hey ho…we put up with a lot as England fans, so we can put up with Wayne and his 30 grand follicles for a few more years at least at this rate!

  7. Cannons of Rhetoric

    Great post. This is the first England team in years where the majority of the players aren’t despicable so I’m hoping they do well. Not sure how far they can get but if they do go out early I hope the media don’t bash Roy and his Rovers. I must also admit that seeing Parker get struck in the face when blocking shots is pleasing to me!

  8. Good post OOU.
    I too have a certain respect and likeness for Hogson. He has done well with the team members he picked even though I think he missed a great chance at breaking ties with some of the older members of the national team. Specially. TOXIC TERRY. I am not so sure he is as rigid in his ways and tactics to get this team to gel and play some decent football in the future and I hope the FA do not interfere in his affairs in running the team as they did DON FABIO. thanks to THEOS pace and heart they passed the hurdle that was Sweden and now they have belief. Anything can happen in these rounds now and as long as they play for each other. And leave everything they have on the field of play ,the fans will have been happy. Here is Hoping we see some more of the gunners in the squad playing and making a place for themselves in the national team. Can’t wait for the day when the national team was littered with our best stars. It wasn’t that long ago and I can see five or six gunners in this team in the near future….
    And last but not least. WELCOME TO THE ARSENAL OLIVER G.
    wish you the best of days at our great club…

    UP. THE. GUNS!!!!!!!!

  9. OOU – Nice post, and I do agree with yours and others posts.

    A long time ago I lost all passion for the national side; I genuinely don’t care how they do as they have far too many players I intensely dislike. But I want Roy to do well, simply because he seems a good bloke and the press are simply waiting for him to fail so they can all bleat how Arry would have been much better.

  10. As long as Terry and Cole are in the side, it is impossible for me to get behind them. The rest of the current squad I can manage. Although Rooney is a prize twat.

    I am just nonplussed about the whole thing really. Tournaments in the summer are great, but international football in general is simply an interruption of Arsenal’s season.

  11. pedantic george

    I would feel like a hypocrite if I did not object to the way England go about (not) playing.
    Rooney,Gerrard,Young,Cole and Terry are horrible,in almost every aspect of humanity.

    So I am struggling to support a the team at all.In fact,I don’t think I can.

    OOU,is a wonderful writer BTW.

  12. Roy wasn’t my first choice. Like you I prefer the expansive, attacking football and that has never been Rot’s approach.

    However, on reflection he’s the prefect man for the job right now.

    The reality is that we don’t have the players for expansive, attacking football. Whether that’s bad luck with injuries or a lack of technically gifted players is an argument for another day. We have what we have right now.

    And what Roy’s brought to the table is a discipline that is making us hard to beat. It’s not pretty but it is effective. It’s reminiscent of Greece 8 years ago.

    I’d love England to be playing attractive football but we can’t. But if we can do it our way and get to the semi-final or even the final this way then I would take it.

    Long may it continue (in this tournament).

  13. pedantic george

    I at agree with Andy 8,27

  14. Well I’m, obviously in the minority, but I fully expected England to get out of the group, Sweden and Ukraine were talked up way beyond their abilities. After that who knows, I don’t think there’s much between England and Italy. Germany and Spain are head and shoulders above anyone else at the tournament though.

    The style obviously hasn’t been great to watch, but as you say OOU, parachuting a coach in at the eleventh hour didn’t help matters. I think Hodgson’s done exactly the right thing, play solid and sensible and unleash the more pacy and attack-minded wingers late in the game against tiring opposition. I can’t really fault the coach at all in anything he’s done (apart from picking Terry over Ferdinand), he’s been good tactically and with the media so far.

    Great that it sounds like the Giroud deal is pretty much done. I’ve never seen the bloke play, but it does seem that the powers that be have learned from last Summer’s transfer debacle and are doing their business early. For once the promise to learn from their past mistakes seems to have been kept.

  15. Block4 – “Well I’m, obviously in the minority, but I fully expected England to get out of the group, Sweden and Ukraine were talked up way beyond their abilities. After that who knows, I don’t think there’s much between England and Italy. Germany and Spain are head and shoulders above anyone else at the tournament though.

    We struggled against both Sweden and Ukraine, and was thoroughly outplayed by France. If we play anything approaching a good side we will get beaten without too many difficulties. I don’t think there will be any big scores as the side look very well organised, but on the other hand we don’t really look much of a threat going forward. England are an average organised side. No more.

  16. Upper Street Gooner

    Great post.

    I think we hit are deepest depths in South Africa and its from there that you learn the harshest and most important lessons both from a playing and attitude perspective.

    The team work hard for each other and for once appear to understand their own limitations. For years we’ve needed a team identity and i have no issue if that is brave, well organized counter attacking one, in fact i rather like it.

    Absolutely right with regards to being able to dramatically improve a defense in a number of weeks if the players fully buy in the the system and you have some talent there.

    Flamini released from Milan, loved that guy in our midfield before, 1% chance of happening if that but would represent excellent value, knows the system, there are certainly worse signings to be made. Wouldn’t ”kill” colquin or frimpong either which m’vila signing has the potential to do.

  17. Don’t care if a signing “kills” the career of a younger player with us. All that is important is that we have the best players available to us in our 1st 11. If a player is good enough he will keep performing until the manager can no longer ignore him.

  18. pedantic george

    Flamini is not good enough.

  19. fuck Flamini and any other player that turned their back on the ARSENAL.
    let them stew in their selfmade hell. Choose to be a gpsy mercenary vagabond?? Stay in that place.

  20. GA, I agree with you, but my point was that everyone was saying we weren’t going to make it out of the group when Sweden and Ukraine are exactly the same, average and organised. The only thing Sweden have going for them is Ibrahimovic and he can’t do it all himself. Ukraine had home advantage and that’s about it. I didn’t expect us to top the group, that’s just a bonus as France had been in good form in the run-up to the tournament, but all those who thought we would go out in the first round were unnecessarily pessimistic in my view. We struggled against Sweden and Ukraine for parts of those games, I think that a lot of that is to do with the conservative game-plan we are playing to. Hopefully the lads can step it up and play with a bit more pace and power against Italy and have a real go. In the knockout stage you might as well give it everything rather than die wondering.

  21. Agreed, don’t want him back.

  22. Block4 – Fair points.

    I think will struggle to score against the Italians as they tend to be very good defensively. A set piece maybe the best bet. Either way, I reckon the game will be really dull with both teams not taking many risks.

  23. I agree with andy@8.57.
    The worst that can happen is they get cheesed off and move to another club and become successful so we have to buy them back 🙂 And how many has that happened with? – look at Pennant and whatsisname who became a spud.
    The practice of sending them out on loan generally sorts out the wheat from the chaff though. For example, the club must now have a good idea of Kyle Bartley and Henri Lansbury’s strengths and weaknesses now, enough to know whether to keep them or let them go.
    Giroud’s signing can only be positive. It shows the board mean business and will make other targets (+ current players dragging out contract renewals) think. From what I’ve seen of him, he looks the type of player to fit in quickly. The only question is whether he’s capable of the improvement necessary to move from Ligue 1 to the PL.

  24. Gypsy that is..

  25. Euro 2012 for me is just filling time until August, unless there’s something better on another channel.

  26. John H
    Johnson. Phil J. Lesscott. Cole
    t Walcott Shrek. S. G. Alex. O
    . wellbeck. Carroll

  27. And I hope UEFA change the. Head to head way of choosing who advances to the next round’s. Go back to goal differential. This. H to H thing feels so unnatural…

  28. pedantic george

    Yes Kam,scoring goals should be rewarded.

  29. It has taken me several decades to genuinely learn to support England – and to do that I have had to shed all expectations – I imagine this is what it is like to be a Hartlepool fan

  30. Upper Street Gooner


    I agree but Flamini was an excellent player for us in 07-08, he will have much less demands than m’vila and we know he is a great fit from an attitude perspective.

    Our record with big signings is quite poor, m’vila just becuase he costs 20m is a big risk there are serious questions of the young mans attitude.

    I would prefer m’vila as unlike some i think there are soem pretty decent questions marks as to whether alex song is a good enough DEFENSIVE midfilder for the club.

    Value matters an incredible amount to the club. If w can pick up a guy who fits the system and the dressing room for free and help our hugely talented young dm blossom as well ist somethign we will probably look at.


    He was good enought o get us to a cl final playing at left back and he was also good enough to anchor our midfield the last time we were releavnt in a title challenge.


    It was arsenal choice to not offer him a improved contract way into the last year of his contract. He stuck to the terms of his contract as our club did. We then realised how good he was and offered him another deal. He choose to join milan on a free hardly makes him a cunt its nothing like cole, nasri or cesc.

  31. I have no interest in International football from a ‘support’ or patriotic sense, in turn means I enjoy watching most games in the big tournaments as I genuinely don’t give a fuck who wins most games.

  32. USG – Flamini’s attitude really is questionable IMO. He only really played well when into the last year of his contract, and then fucked off when offered a better deal elsewhere. Decent enough player, but no thanks. We have moved on since then.

    On the subject of M’Villa I would like him if he is good enough to add to the teams. Simple as that. If that costs £20M and we can afford it, so be it.

    I think Song is good enough, but the notion of a defensive midfielder is flawed. Song is a good box to box midfielder. I would describe his as an axis as opposed to defensive. It is the team shape without the ball which has caused us to suffer, not the personnel IMO. The lack of shape maybe down to the personnel of course, but that is a different debate.

  33. Let’s see how many of you gooners have any knowledge of Arsenal history. Driving home from work yesterday via Old Brampton, a pretty village next to Chesterfield, and who did I see jogging along the pavement with a shock of white hair? None other than…….

  34. pedantic george

    Jeez.he played at LB because he was filling in and could not hold down a mid field position.
    He was a water carrier for 4 months when TR7,Cesc and Hleb played the football.He was average in the second half when he decided to try and play.
    He has been less than average ever since.

  35. Georgaki – John Hartson?

  36. Lovely stuff Al.

    The margins in the Euros are so small you often cannot deduce anything by who went through from the group and who didn’t. England could easily have played just as well they did and not qualified.

    I see Denilson is on his way back to the club! 🙂

  37. Bananas and I agree with Steww.

    3 is my guess for the number of times Scott Parker gets his face in the way of the ball and 2 is the number of times he tries to head the ball on the floor and gets kicked in the head.

  38. pedantic george

    Squire Thomas Mallen?
    I am I right Georgaki?

  39. goonerandy….nope! Too early to offer more clues.

  40. pedantic george

    Good Jonny ,I prefer him to that twat Flamini

  41. USG

    I suggest you are being extremely generous in your reminiscence of Flamini when you say “We then realised how good he was and offered him another deal”.

    He had enjoyed a very good season, beyond dispute. Prior to that season he was completely peripheral save for his involvement as an emergency left-back in our run to Paris in 2006. The summer before his eventual departure he was available and the only two clubs interested in him being Birmingham and Bolton I think failed to follow up any interest. The following season he took his chance in the absence of Gilberto and before the arrival of Diarra and to his credit did very well as I say.

    The club was 100% correct in how they managed that contract and gave him a deal as they saw fit, not to be swung in either direction on the basis of 1 season’s purple patch.

    His overall career at Arsenal and his subsequent career at Milan is probably a truer assessment of “how good he was”.

  42. *groans*

  43. Pedantic, I saw a famous Arsenal player….

  44. Upper Street Gooner

    Yup becuase clubs dont need guys who can fill in at emergency full back and perform to a high level…..?????

    Im not sure what your concept of football is george but yours appears to be based around attackign players with no concept of the defence.

    That water carrier allowes those players to go an play. Having a tireless worker in your side who is prepared to, shock horror charge down free kicks rather than not even bother to look to to see if they’ve gone in are needed.

    Arsenal havent lacked for players with wonderful techique in the last few years they’ve lacked for fighters, the type of guys you would want to go to war with as you know hand on heart that when the going gets tough they will role their sleeves up and get stuck in.


    Very good point regarding playing in the last years of one contract. Common in a number of sports i wonder if Rosicky is looked at in the same light.

    Like i said i think we should go for m’vila as he has breathtaking potential. Whetehr he is the right fit only time will tell. I think our defensive issues are based on positioning and work ethic. I know that Flamini can help with the one of them.

  45. Ok, I need to get back to work. I saw John Lukic. He lives in Chesterfield.

  46. That USG/Jabba guy takes his discussions very, very seriously!

    USG/Jabba do you smile much when posting on here?

  47. Paulie Walnuts

    Excellent post OOU,

    Hodgson has probably taken over the international equivalent of West Brom so once he established a `defensive shape` the team always had half a chance – particularly in a mini group / knockout competition.

    What would make me especially proud though would be a quality match winning moment from Theo or The Ox on Sunday.

  48. pedantic george

    Jibber .It is funny how you dismiss Rosicky’s majestic half of a season,A genuinely wonderful talent,yet laud a water carrier,for his average half season.Someone who jumped ship and has done fuck all since.
    I think it tells us a lot about you and your standards.

  49. At Arsenal On This Day, Don Howe talks about the forthcoming 1971-72 European Champions Cup campaign, the club’s first meal at Europe’s top table:

  50. Oh and Flamini? Yes, welcome him back with open arms because we are very low on our quota of injury-prone midfielders. That is why he only played 100 times for Milan in four seasons, isn’t it? Especially just 2 last year. Because surely no-one is saying that a player who cannot nail down a place in a transitional Milan squad is going to be a good addition to ours, are they?

  51. Upper Street Gooner

    pedantic george | June 22, 2012 at 9:50 am

    One of your main issues is your constant inconsistencies. Flamini is a twat for running down the contract that the club allowed him to run down.

    Denilson is a good bloke for laying into the club that still pays his wage.

    Flamini the bloke who ran through brick walls for the club to make up for his perceived lack of ability. Denilson the guy who had tons of ability but didnt care enough to work hard enough to improve in the areas that were letting him down.

  52. pedantic george

    YW,being sarcastic and generally taking the piss is my job .Thank you very much.
    Your is to “Educate”.
    Each to his own I say.

  53. Flamini developed a fantastic understanding and partnership with Fabrigas. Who is to say he will do the same with Song or Artetta. Too much of a risk and bedsides he choose. AC. my attitude is don’t look back. On wards and FORWARDS.
    That goes for any other player of ours that choose. Money and / or other reasons by moving

  54. pedantic george

    Flamini.the man of limited abilities who thought he was much better than he was ,and agreed a dean then pulled out?= twat
    Denilson,got injured,abused and wanted to play football=ok bloke

  55. Both Denilson and Flamini would be way down the pecking order of central mid fielders at the club either way. Our current rota of mid fielders are far better than either. Even more so if we add M’Villa into the mix.

  56. hope they do too Kam

    F**k Flamini…punka** b**ch!!

    If Greece can win the Euros why can’t England?
    Good luck Roy.
    There’s a possibility that by NOT having Rio, Fat Frank & any more of the old overhyped lot, a greater togetherness & shift to the next generation has been found.

    Even the presence of a high profile coache like Capello might have made the players try too hard to fit in. Kind of like a fat bloke in that latest skinny designer suit, when all they really needed was some bloke in the neighbourhood who’d travelled the world but was still so obviously english.

    nice one Big Al

  57. pedantic george

    Aman,Heaven help us if you ever get into a conversation with Finsbury

  58. So where will the country pick up these ball passers/receivers? Who in the EPL is teaching their players to play in this way?

    Does anyone else find it amusing that, having been derided for our lack of English players, we are the breeding ground for the future of English football.

    Yeah, Liverpool can buy all the so-called English talent for stupid money, but what do they learn when they get there? With Brendan Rogers at the helm, they might now surprise us, but what’s less likely to surprise is that the England team in 2/3 years time could have a great number of Arsenal players as starters, especially in the ‘difficult’ attacking positions.

    Wilshere/Ox/Theo/Gibbs etc?

    I wonder how many plaudits we’ll get when this happens……I won’t hold my breath!

  59. based on what we’ve seen of Flamini, I wonder if during that final year with us he wasn’t sipping on some of that “lance armstrong”?
    I mean he’s never been that good since..the twat

  60. pedantic george

    I have to go to work now.Will someone else please abuse Jibber until I get back?
    Thank you in advance.

  61. Hi All,

    I am looking to take the Red level membership on dot com, but I am in India. Would the Full membership (worth £36) is the correct choice for me?

  62. I have a feeling Olivier is going to prove an exceptional signing. Let’s see. He’s 25. He scored 25 (all competitions) at Montpellier last season, with around 10 assists. They won the title. He was crowned goal-scorer of the season in France, since he scored most goals in open play. His development is impressive; improving in all departments every year to reach fringe national selection, without attracting much public or European attention. His Montpellier manager rates him extemely highly. He has a reputation as a hard worker, a “team player”. He’s probably been on the Arsenal radar seriously for one a season. It’s likely Wenger has followed him closely. Evidently strong in the air, he seems to have that intangible, good striker’s instinct. It’s odd, but understandable maybe that Arsenal fans seem aloof as if this is a some unknown to make up the fringes a la Chamakh. I doubt this is the case. More an equivalent of Podolski, or close. It’s interesting that Wenger is strengthening the attacking department in preparation for an assault on the EPL next season. I doubt it means RvP is going, but rather as stats indicate that the team has been over-dependent on RvP for goals, and we are responding. You can feel, there’s one more to come.

  63. I gave up on the media ages ago and as such will not be holding my breath.
    Let them praise manure, spuds, shitty and chelski or whomever is the this weaks fashion. I’m proud of what we do and how we do it . And so are all true gooners worldwide.

  64. I do hope the English media and fans are not setting up their team with fever pitch hype, as usual, to then be castigated as great failures. It’s a very odd English trait. The difference this time may well be Hodgson. It will take a very strong performance to overcome Italy.

  65. Alan in my honest opinion many of our players do well playing for us due to the system. That is why so many disappoint when they move to other teams. 80% the system, 20% the player and their abilities. I really believe this to be true.

  66. Upper Street Gooner

    pedantic george | June 22, 2012 at 10:02 am

    We have differing understandings of ”majestic” quite obvioulsy.

    I dont think we had many players who were majestic last year, in fact i think we had one with a a few more who played to very very well for the majority of the season. I think Rosicky had a very good 15 game spell for us.

    I think we need some players who show heart and tenacity on a more consistent basis. Flamini whilst by no means the perfect addition has some attributes which we lack. You certainly wouldnt have him taking weaker oppostion likely which is something which we appear to have difficulty with at times.

    His situation was very very different to that of Nasri, Cesc, Clichy etc. It was the club who allowed him to get to a situation where he could freely negotiate with other clubs. We then came back to him a tried to keep him as we saw his value to the squad. Milan are a fantastic club i know you have this idea that arsenal is the begining and the end but in reality there is lots of competition out there.

    We have lacked a water carrier in the last 4 years and that is quite evident. We are now looking to change that.

  67. Upper Street Gooner

    pedantic george | June 22, 2012 at 10:19 am

    No george, Denilson wanted to go win things he said it in his own words. Cesc left to go and join his boyhood club to win things and you call him a cunt. Inconsistency again from you

  68. Upper Street Gooner

    Aman | June 22, 2012 at 10:27 am

    Its been shown before that we have a track record in making players look good in our system who cant replicate that for other clubs.

    I couldnt careless hwo a player performs fo another club if they fit our syetem. We havent got close to challenging since he left that is one thing for sure and it appears that we are again looking for a player in his position this summer.

  69. That last post was to you AMAN. self correct changed it to Alan.
    My prediction for today’s game is 3-0 Germany
    Sorry Georgaki and hunter13.
    They Greeks should really have protested and overturn ed the sending off their striker for a second yellow. That was no dive. True travesty of justice.

  70. Upper Street Gooner

    ZimPaul | June 22, 2012 at 10:34 am

    I think is back ground is excellent.

    I like the idea of guys who have had to work terribly hard to get to where they’ve had to get to. Guys who’ve had to deal with rejection and disappointments but used that as a motivation to get better. These charchteristics can complement what we have. He knows what its like to play in a chmapionship runin where the first person to blink loses.

    I’m very excited to see how we fit the guys in if we have fully fit squad. If its playign RVP behind i would be delighted like has been pointed out before we didnt get anywhere near another production from the amc position last year

  71. Who likes the way I have set up the English team in my 925 am post???

  72. Jabba; Both Arteta and Song are better than Flamini. Arteta curbed his attacking play for the sake of better organization on the pitch. His display last season was better than what flamini ever produced. If M’villa comes add to that the fact that Flamini played only 2 games last season, what can he possibly bring to the Arsenal. We already have two players coming back from a season long injury layoff in Jack and Diaby. To add a third one does not make much sense.

  73. I don’t have much against Flamini – he has already been punished enough by The Arsenal Curse and any player who suffers from significant injuries gets my sympathy (well within reason). I don’t wish for him to come back but for the reasons YW outlined rather than the bitterness of the jilted!

  74. I am pulling for an England win. With Rooney, Welbeck up front, Walcott and company providing the spark off the bench I expect to give Italy a match, This will be a nut cutter. I expect Italy to win maybe 2-1 or 1-0. This will be a close match. The Three Lions can win if they attack and play “D” like they did agianst Ukraine.

  75. Roy has done a good job with England with the players hes has available. To my mind he has turned England into Fulham, a solid hard working team, hard to play against, one other teams want to avoid, good enough for a close to the top finish, maybe got a semifinal/final in em but will ultimately fall short of winning but with the expectation of doing just that and being proud of it, as there are clearly better teams than them. Realism i believe its called. 🙂

    But id be willing to say building the team around Ox and Jack (centrally) in a few years will be better than what Gerrard and Parker currently turn out. And not to forget Theo playing in an England shirt with someone who will pass to him!

    As for Flamster – na hes had his chance here, chose Milan, its turned a bit sour for him there so he can jog on. M’Vila will hopefully be here soon. 🙂 So that also rules out Denilson, if Arteta didnt already do for him…

  76. Upper Street Gooner

    sahil sehrawat (@sahil_sehrawat) | June 22, 2012 at 11:01 am

    They are all very different players.

    I think arteta is an excellent pivot but people who say our defence was incredible with him in obvioulsly didnt watch Milan away this year. He isnt the soel solution to our defensive woes

    Song has some wonderful attributes however i dont see him as a true out and out dm. I think the fact that he often goes missing in our worst defensive performances says 2 things. One, the guy needs a rest he gets run into the ground. 2 he doesn’t take weaker opposition as serioulsy on a consistent basis.

    To win leagues you need to be consistent. No point being brilliant against Man City at home if you put in a shocker against Wigan the next week. You might remember the highs but one cant forget the lows.

    We need more quality depth, on a cost and fit level flamini would be an excellent addition as we know what he can do and we like what he can do.

  77. yes we’ve gone close after he left GUS,
    but regardless I have little time for p***yclots like Mathieu Flamini. He felt Milan was his dream team..well I trust AW will keep that dream of his very much alive & away from the Arse.

    We need team loyalty or at least self belief enough to fight the odds.
    ..Samri, Cesc, Hleb, Flamini, LassDiara, to mention a few lack it

    leaving for money is one thing but leaving because u don’t buy into our methods, u want it easier on a team full of mercenaries+past glory, or diss AW and our system?

    f**k him..
    ungrateful low-IQ’d twat
    He must NEVER come back!

  78. Aman – “eaving for money is one thing but leaving because u don’t buy into our methods, u want it easier on a team full of mercenaries+past glory, or diss AW and our system?

    Do you include Denilson in that? After all, he said he wanted to leave so he could win things. Hardly a ringing endorsement of the club is it?

  79. goonerkam; I like it but both Theo and Ox starting is a unlikely under Roy.

    So you are going to give an example of a result that was a fluke and overlook the numerous good results we had when he was in the team. Everyone was awful in that match, did you even see the grass on the flanks? The match was not fair to begin with. To take the Milan away game as a reference to any point is stupid.
    Had Flamini payed in that match, are you saying the result would have been different?

  80. don’t know the meaning of the word jilted in this context. But you probably do.probably an expert.

  81. I agree somewhat goonerkam@10:51…but same applies for those who don’t “succeed” with us.
    Its relative.
    U must find the club thats suits your strengths best as a player.

    Oh, also GUS,
    Song is way better than Flamini.
    Frimpong will be better than Flamini.
    LeCoq’s as versatile and will be better than Flamini could ever be.

  82. Denilson did not leave us up shit creek without a paddle. In fact he did not leave us at all.

  83. yes u may include denilson in that list.
    I do but still cut him some slack ’cause of his age & bad back frustrations.
    He vented horribly like the quiet tend to when its too much.
    I’m curious to see what AW does
    if we sign M’V its a wrap for “young” Denilson.
    if not….?

  84. It would of course be splendid if Deni does come back. Arteta played in his role with a more experienced head (obviously) and therefore did it better but when he got crocked we needed someone with a similar understanding of how to intercept, keep possession and keep the team ticking.
    Tell me is it just a rumour or is it true?

  85. You’re probably right Sahil. I was thinking to spring a surprise on the Italians. All out attack.
    Well, have a blessed day . See you game time.

  86. if Denilson’s back is fully healed & strong
    and Rennes demand too much for M’V
    ..i’d bring back Denilson.

  87. Beekeeper Bill

    I cannot wait for Arsenal’s season to arrive and could care less about England or any other team in the europea championship. I just do not want any of our Arsenal players to get seriously injured this summer. Here in the USA, I am enjoying my DC United rise from the ashes of several bad years to lead MLS so far this season. But MLS is painful to watch most times, especially after watching my Arsenal play “Wenger ball” so beautifully.

  88. @ birdkamp/OOU/Big Al
    Well-written, thoughtful post again, young man.

    I agree that the lowering of expectations has been quite refreshing, although I think people went too far the other way.
    “What did you expect from England before this tournament? I expected them to go out in the first round.”

    I expected them to make it out of the group stage and lose in the quarterfinal. No reason why they shouldn’t have been one of the two best out of their group, but I can’t see them getting past Italy. If they do, they’ve overachieved and should be congratulated. There are quite a lot of good players and one or two very good players (if not good human beings), it’s just strength in depth which is the problem. I can see them doing quite well in the future – Wodgson’s organisation plays to their strengths. And he also has weapons at his disposal, TheoX being two obvious ones. With Wilshere and two more years of experience/honing for Theo, The Ox and some of the younger players, we may see a really good squad when the World Cup comes around. And hopefully, FINALLY, low-lifes like Terry will be history.

    Wodgson could be a very successful England manager, more so than a PL manager, because his efficient, percentage, pragmatic approach often pays dividends in a cup competition. Over a season, that approach tends to produce middling results, unless you have top quality in every position and every backup. Though dull to watch, it will be quite reassuring and familiar to many of his squad, and help keep them calm in the high-stress and febrile atmosphere of an international tournament.

    He doesn’t have a philosophy like Wenger’s or even like Loew’s, and he’s making the best of what he’s got, but I think he does have a philosophy of sorts – it’s just not what you or I would subscribe to. So I wish him success but I hope that English players do continue to improve their technical level and that the rather conservative football community embraces the ideal of technical ability as well as the physicality and competitiveness for which English football is known.

  89. He’s coming back to the club Steww – been released by Paulo as they could not afford him. What Wenger will then do with him is anyone’s guess but I’d be surprised (though not disappointed) to see him back in the squad – a loan seems likely as his wages seem a bit of a stumbling block.

  90. Upper Street Gooner

    sahil sehrawat (@sahil_sehrawat) | June 22, 2012 at 11:22 am

    Yer you see I’m not one of these guys who is goign to make an excuse over that result.

    In every sport teams have home advantages. Cricket and rugby are 2 such examples. Teams have to deal with these situations if we cant we will accept failure for years. We had just played sunderland on a poor pitch.

    There first goal had nothing to do with a pitch but everything to do with a team playing suicide tactics in the first 15min of the 1st leg of a very important match.

    Imagine the England Rugby team coming out and complaining about playing at altitude.

  91. Aman – Denilson would be an accepted understudy to Arteta, he is assuredly not the answer to our DM problems.

  92. a youthful 3-headed monster to back up Song & Arteta doesn’t sound half bad now that I think of it….much cheaper, all system-trained, ffp-groomed…hmm?

    DeniFrimpCoq….take your pick

  93. I hadn’t heard that Denilson slagged off the club when he went on loan. Does anyone have a link to the interview please? The only thing I’ve read he was humble and hugely respectful to Arsene and took the blame for not playing well enough himself.
    That was fairly recently but sadly I don’t have the link for that either. It may have been posted here so perhaps someone knows.

  94. Upper Street Gooner

    Aman | June 22, 2012 at 11:30 am

    But he hasen’t bought into the system like you said Flamini didnt. What worse is that he slagged off the club whilst he was still getting paid by the club. Like george huge inconsistencies.

  95. “Yer you see I’m not one of these guys who is goign to make an excuse over that result. ”

    No one is making any excuses. You are mistaken if you think that. The pitch was a disgrace, fact not excuse. It was that way to negate the threat of our players, almost certainly a fact, definitely not an excuse.

  96. Ah the Denilson debate. The reason it never bores me is it divides the people here with such precision into those who to whom I pay serious attention and those I don’t.

  97. The quality of playing surface does matter – yes we should have done better to overcome the difficulties but you would rather brush those difficulties aside as irrelevant so can continue you favourite hobby of criticising/blaming the the team/players/Wenger.
    Your angst really is bottomless isn’t it.

  98. Upper Street Gooner

    Aman | June 22, 2012 at 11:36 am

    Have you been watching arsenal for the last few years. What on gods green earth makes you want to have youth backing up experience again. Have you learnt nothing from our squad struggling with depth in recent years.

    Have you even looked at that youth and had any sort of rational analysis of where they are at.

    One is coming off not one but 2 acl tears in 2 years. He has about 15 prem games under his belt. The other is our best reserve right back backing up a player who has had not one but 2 broken legs this year.

    Song plays in the anc this year so forgive me for saying you need to think a little harder about such things before making your statements. And people say i talk out of my arse.

  99. GUS,
    his “comments” , knowing the english press, could have been recoded in translation to slag the Arse.

    Flamini left us up shit creek without a paddle.
    Now he might have to squeeze in with Mido…hahahahahahahahaha

  100. “. And people say i talk out of my arse.”
    Yes. Yes they do.

  101. FunGunner,
    “Wodgson could be a very successful England manager, more so than a PL manager, because his efficient, percentage, pragmatic approach often pays dividends in a cup competition”

    I agree

  102. You still didnt answer the question
    Had Flamini payed in that match, are you saying the result would have been different?

  103. Upper Street Gooner

    Jonny | June 22, 2012 at 11:42 am

    Of course it matters Jonny. But clubs are perfectly within their rights to make sure they have home advantage.

    In cricket a spsort you are so fond of, should the Indians prepare seamer friendly wickets for when we go over. Should sa in rugby play all there games at sea level. These are much bigger advantages but people get on with it.

    Not very club is going to prepare a lovely pitch for arsenal to play on, not every club is going to sit there and allow us to pass though them. The sooner our team and a very small section of our fans understand these things the better.

    We will play on shit pitches next year and i expect our team to deal with it much much better. It might be worth our manager in training the week beofre actually making one of our numerous pitches similar to that of the one we will be playing on so our guys dont look like they have just walked into a different universe at times.

    You can bang you head against a brick wall all you want and cry about the injustices of it all but everyone else deals with it just fooking fine.

  104. As a member of the “international and cosmopolitian fanbase” I have great difficulty to agree with the oppinions stated. England played like rubbish against Ukraine and did not deserve to go through.

    But I guess in football results and story-telling eventually – and in this case very quickly – converge: England won, England deserved it. Chelsea won CL, Chelsea deserved it.

    By the way, Walcotts contribution in the Sweden game was very uplifting for Arsenal supporters while Hodgsons teamselection seems peculiar as Milner is picked in front of Theo. Oxlade-Chamberlain has not impressed me so far but good to see him in the squad anyway.

  105. Sahil – you do know you can’t win? And trust me the journey is not worth trying.

    You’d have more luck nailing a blancmange to the wall.

  106. ok GUS,
    I’ve thought things over just for you..
    M’V’d be great but if overpriced AND Deni’s back is healed & ready..i’d keep Deni

    your sweet Flamini’s been out injured for how long in the past 4 years???
    and u want him back?
    ..i think your arse is tired of being spoken out of GUS,
    might wanna try the armpit for a bit.

  107. Jabba is like some insane end of the pier act put on to entertain and baffle but above all to distract us from the empty tedium that is the close season.
    Personally I’d prefer to look at an empty stage.

  108. Upper Street Gooner

    sahil sehrawat (@sahil_sehrawat) | June 22, 2012 at 11:47 am

    It was a tragic performance form the side where we were outclassed in every facet including work ethic.

    We had a 7 day stretch with 3 games in 3 different comps. We got battered in 2 basically knocking us out of both comps and won valiently in the last min in the other.

    If we had been able to rotate our side with quality subs in that time yes i think we would have been able to perform much better than the 2 abject performances we got……what do you think? Thought so

  109. Eh? Oxo was shimmering at times in the first game – certainly one of the better players against France.

    Roy’s gameplan is allegedly all about shape and Milner fits that stolid unadventurous role for Roy. initially he preferred Theo as a super sub to run at tiring legs but all the signs were he would have started the last game but for hamstring concerns. If his fitness is proven I fancy he may start against Italy.

  110. I’d rather jump off the fucking pier.

  111. Upper Street Gooner


    I said we could do worse than look at it.

    Like i said lets not talk about injury records in the last 4 years or a couple of our ”majectic” midfielders will have to be painted with the same brush…..or are we making allowances again???

  112. @ goonerkam | June 22, 2012 at 9:13 am
    ha ha!
    With you 100% on that one.

    @ Steve | June 22, 2012 at 10:25 am

    So where will the country pick up these ball passers/receivers? Who in the EPL is teaching their players to play in this way?

    Does anyone else find it amusing that, having been derided for our lack of English players, we are the breeding ground for the future of English football.

    Bang on. Except it’s more of a wry smile playing around my lips rather than a belly laugh exploding from my gut.

    @ mj_gunner | June 22, 2012 at 10:33 am

    @ goonerkam | June 22, 2012 at 10:44 am
    There’s a great deal of truth in that, and also the corollary of that, as Aman points out.

    @ steww | June 22, 2012 at 11:37 am
    I think it was one of those rumours that turned out to be untrue. I’d certainly be interested to see what he can do after a season away. I think Denilson learnign from Arteta could serve us well – we struggled without Arteta, so having a backup to play his role could be a smart move. Denilson is not the only one who could do that, Wilshere could as well, but he is of course on his way back from injury.

    Regarding Giroud, Philippe Auclair was saying that he was under the radar partly due to not playign as much because he was studying for a degree, I forget in what subject. So he when he was able to concentrate on his football, his talent burgeoned and became more obvious, I guess.

  113. Jonny – made me smile

  114. Beekeeper Bill

    I think bringing Denilson back will be a good thing. He is one year older and a season backing up Arteta should teach him a thing or two about how to play that position the right way. This time not so many back passes , Denilson!

  115. Upper Street Gooner


    No offense mate but look at the respective arguments

    We’ve got a couple of you crying about pitches again and how unfair they are and we have another saying that flamini is a cunt for not buying into the system then in the same sentance saying he would welcome back denilson with open arms.

    Another one asking would we have done better in a result which we got slaughtered and showed a distinct lack of fight, one of the major reasons being we had no depth so couldn’t rest anyone……………your fricking mad some of you and its hilarious.


    so back to cricket?

  116. Good job as usual OOU. On another subject, that internet paragon of click-seeking eyeball popping stories,, had the following headline at Newsnow:

    “Derksen slams Van Persie, Afellay & Van der Wiel behaviour in Netherlands camp”

    I have been hoping our captain doesn’t get snared in the blood-letting post Euros. Maybe Frank will do some fact checking.

  117. Jonny- I know after a few days i will get exhausted of the tiresome repetition but i will try while i still have the will.

    Jabba; Flamini has played only 2 games last season. We have more than our fair share of injuries, adding another one wont do any good.
    And didnt you say how sensible Bayern Munich were when they didnt sign BFG because of his knee injuries, and here you are know advocating signing an injured player.

  118. Denilson coming back to play for us is not an entirely bad idea. We know he is a tidy player and can keep the ball well. Perhaps his time in Brazil has helped him developed the strength and tenacity required for playing as a CM/DM in top level football. That imo, was always his problem and if he can work on that side of his game, I don’t see any reason why he can’t get some serious game time in the Arteta role.

  119. GUS,
    you use injuries to make your point and its ok
    I do the same and its not?

    I’d rather bring back Pennant, f**k Flamini!

  120. Funny, I had the impression Flamini left Arsenal years and tears ago. I had no idea he was being debated as part of the current set up. Is Diarra also still around? I am guessing then Reyes must be too. Hleb?

    Denilson is is an Arsenal player. I am hoping he makes a return now. For all his detractors, his development record is excellent. He had a tough time at Arsenal with the back injury, and it seemed too often forced to play by injuries to other players. On paper, he would make an interesting long term back up for Arteta.

  121. USG/Jabba

    Jebus Rice!

    What are you after, a consensus? My impression of you is of someone who cherry picks ‘facts’ to support an argument. Even when you cannot possibly know the truth you assume an authority which you will never convince me you have….you are tiresome…

  122. Even if Flamini were fit & could run a mile in 20 seconds…f**k him!

  123. USG – do you have a link to Denilson slagging off the club? Yes or no?

    On Flamini – do we need more pre-injured midfielders?

  124. Great post OOU. Unlike the English press who are behaving as if England will definitely win the Euros. Given that Greece worn it with a boring team in 2004 maybe they feel over optimistic. As for the Denilson debate I think it would be unfair to bring him back. Mind you he’s one of my three favourite gunners. I just don’t think that most tribal gooners would give him a chance with Wilshere and Ramsey hoovering about. They don’t mind Arteta because he’s older – so he’ll be leaving soon – and that Wilshere was injured all season anyway! Denilson would do quite well in Spain, France, Italy or Turkey.

  125. And about the quality subs and squad depth- Jack was injured, Frimpomg too. Coquelin if i remember correctly picked a knock around that time. There was no option but to play the same midfield in all the three matches

  126. Isn’t tone of their lame excuses..i left to win titles?
    well they’ve won titles haven’t they, Samri, Cesc, Flamini, Hleb can keep as far away from the Arsenal as possible.
    I mean why come back to where u might not win..a shiny silver trophy?

    Good riddance to the lot of them and any other twat who derides us ever again whether they claim to love AW or not!

  127. This argument you put forward that Flamini was in the team that last contested for the title. You who else was in that team that are still playing. Gallas, Hleb, Eboue, Eduardo. Want them all back too?

  128. Corr :
    You know who else was in that team that are still playing.

  129. My choice for Arteta’s long term replacement had a good game last night. Not doing us any favours in the market if we did want to go for him.

  130. I don’t see Denilson coming back, he’s returning yes, but I think he will be sold or loaned out again. Moreover, I don’t see why we would want him back. Wilshere coming back from injury basically puts paid to his position, three or four years younger, he has shown much more in his first season in the first team than Denilson ever did. And as we stand, there’s no guarantee that a fit Wilshere just walks back into the team anyway given the performances of Song, Arteta and Rosicky last season. Song, Arteta, Coquelin, Rosicky, Ramsey and Wilshere are plenty to occupy the central midfield roles. I hope Denilson goes on to a good career, but I don’t see where he fits in at Arsenal.

  131. Who wouldn’t have Eboue back! 🙂

  132. Here’s my issue with the whole thing with Flamini and Denilson. Why would we bring back Flamini that would go against what we have built. Would seeing him in the red and white again bring back memories of Flamini, Mozart, Hleb, Cesc ofcourse but those were yesteryears and now we have a midfield of Song Jack Arteta and the lot that can play beautiful futbol too(no were close to what we saw but still beautiful).

    Bringing back Denilson(who I have seen a couple times watching Brazilian futbol) wouldn’t be a bad thing because he has developed nicely and plays the Arteta role good for his development. Long term it would be a great thing not to mention cover for the injured players if they need more time or rest.

    But all this talk about Flamini is just utter nonsense and should be put to rest immediately!

  133. Great post, very readable and also agree with Bob’s first response and JJ raised a very interesting angle regarding how England went from being a side ‘we’ all supported back in ’96 (as per Bob’s point) to becoming a media wag-embracing circus that most of us were too embarrassed to be associated with.

    Throw in a few unpalatable rats and the mix rapidly became a stench; maybe just finally we are beginning to pull away from that?

    Bit pushed for time but looking forward to reading the rest of the posts later …


  134. C, Flamini would make a good squad player. But I don’t want him back either!

  135. Could be wrong but I don’t recall Denilson slagging off the club, just stating that he wanted to leave (because he wasn’t being played) and then later, whilst at Sao Paulo that he didn’t want to come back.

  136. Zimpaul, If you’ll be flying through Nairobi before August make a point of calling on Darius, Firstlady and I. I say before August because that’s when Darius returns to London!

  137. @Kenyangunner

    He would make a good squad player but I agree don’t want him back. If we want a good squad player keep Denilson but all this talk anyways is rubbish because when Sagna gets fit then Le Coq can play there and I rate him like many very highly there!

  138. No links to Deni slagging the club? OK .
    Just to clear up one thing Arteta plays the Denilson role not the other way around. Thanks.

  139. OK Kenya, let’s see. I do fly around a bit. Haven’t been in Nairobi for a while now, but we do work with several partners there, musicians, venues and festivals.

  140. Good post One Big Bird.

    My expectations were more than met when we actually won a game vs Sweden! So topping the group is stratospheric! I dont think they are defensively sound, not while Johnson and Terry are playing. They’ve been massively lucky and will need even more to get past England. But I agree with JJ, they are easier to support than previous incarnations, due to the more low key approach, although the shite the media gushed in the pre-amble before Rooneys return was cringe making in the extreme. He was RUBBISH vs Ukraine! 🙂

  141. Wow, I can post two links in a comment and not be sent to moderation. Cool, a perk of the job at last! 😆

  142. Ah, the Arsenal curse you see. Hleb, Flamini, Reyes (slight curse but still), Adebayor, Gallas. The curse visits those who leave in bad spirit, or talk badly about Arsenal afterwards. Why on earth bring back a player who is cursed? This is ludicrous talk. Nasri will be next, if not already.

  143. Flamini;

    I liked him while he was with us, he played really well for half a season then went for a big pay day (Hmm, that reminds me of someone! And he had the good chant thing like nasri and Ade did)

    I mostly liked his tenacity it was what the CM needed at that time and we could have done with it after if he had stayed. However, we definitely dont need his services now. Arteta and Song are way way more gifted than him.

    Song, is an excellent DEFENSIVE midfielder. Anyone saying different knows FUCK ALL about the game. And is simply regurgitating anti-AFC player bile that gets repeated ad NAUSEum on certain so called Arsenal blogs.

    Song has been immense in a purely defensive role, many times. He however, has more to his game as well, something that is used to denigrate him. Now that is fucking weird, if you ask me.

    Someone posted a quote from M’Villa, where he stated he was trying to hard to produce the killer pass and forwent his defensive duties. perhaps he has been trying to copy Alex! 🙂

  144. Georgaki | June 22, 2012 at 12:11 pm


    Jebus Rice!

    What are you after, a consensus? My impression of you is of someone who cherry picks ‘facts’ to support an argument. Even when you cannot possibly know the truth you assume an authority which you will never convince me you have….you are tiresome…
    Well, thats the nail hit bang on its head there innit. Everyone else might as well go home 🙂

  145. It’s slightly unnerving seeing the pilot YW making merry amongst the throng. Who the hell is flying the plane?

  146. The former coach of Ukraine, Oleg Blokhin, complained about African players in the local league saying: “Ukrainians should learn from Shevchenko or Blokhin and not from some zumba-bumba whom they took off a tree, gave him two bananas and now he plays in the Ukrainian League.” He has had no sanctions,
    That is fucking scandalous if true. What a see you next tuesday.

  147. Nice blog post Birdkamp.
    I would love England to do well just for Uncle Roy. He is doing the best he can, with what he has got.

  148. @Zimpaul

    Remember Na$ri was already linked to coming back HAHAHAHAHAHA. I completely agree with you. How can you say you love a club but constantly bad mouth the club and say stuff like I left to win trophies and all that rubbish but then in the same breathe say o but I love Arsenal and always will. Honestly I have a strong message for those players and fans that do this rubbish(Yogi don’t moderate me please!)


    Cannons raised, cannons aimed, FIRE!!!!!!!!!

  149. @Dexter | June 22, 2012 at 1:02 pm

    I completely agree with you. Its funny that people berate Song but how many times has he saved our ass by breaking up play or making a smart tackle. Song for me is the best DM in the PL and is growing into arguably 1 of the best in the world. He was transformed into a DM because lest we not all forget that he was a CM/creative midfielder before and when we got him but he was the big kid on the lot so Arsene transformed him into a beautiful, man-child destroying all comers, yup that means you Ibra, Robinho, Ba, Modric, Rooney, and the lot.

    Its funny to me though how the same people that beraid Song for pushing foward and sometimes forgetting his defensive role are the same people that praise Verm for doing the same thing, that have made him into a cult hero that walks among the Gods.

    Sorry if I sound a bit anger mates I need a drink already just a shitty day and its only 8:16am here in the states!

    ACLF so relaxing and soul meditating

  150. One of Us / birdkamp
    You have a gift for clarity in your points.

    Winston Wolf – excellent comparison. A strong character type is just what this England squad needs as a manager.

    Flamini, as I recall, left us because of wages.
    What makes anyone believe he will find it back at Arsenal.


    Agree with your earlier points (8:22 / 8:27 about Hodgson, England squad, and the media

  151. So USG said – What worse is that he slagged off the club whilst he was still getting paid by the club

    What Denilson actually said in the interviews linked to by YW – “It is a great club with a great organisation, a great manager and so many talented players…. we are still the best footballing side in Britain, we play beautiful football. Only Barcelona do it better.

    Are there any more links USG, or am I to surmise that you’re a lying Doomer?

  152. And we can add ffsshoot to the huge evergrowing list of nail hitters. 🙂

  153. ffsshoot; That would be an accurate description.

  154. C;

    Sorry to hear that mate, but it’s perfectly understandable, some days are like that. I have been in a similar state for the last few months! I didnt have time to post on here as I was up to my eyeballs in work related stuff.

  155. “ACLF so relaxing and soul meditating..”
    yes C,
    the soothing feel of useful info sipping around the oblongata an hour without GUS gives u!

  156. C, Song started out as a defender. I don’t think he was ever an attacking mid. Not yet anyway!

  157. @Dexter

    Thanks mate! These cunts at my office are acting like they don’t get paid to help finish this major project that is due today by 5pm US time and its barely started! I’m moving to London anybody know any good spots to start looking!

  158. @ least TR can rest up and heal @ the beach.
    ..class act, our mozart…

  159. C;

    Bloody bastards! Give em hell from me!

    Good ol Camden Town’s not a bad place to start man! 🙂

  160. “Denilson is is an Arsenal player. I am hoping he makes a return now. For all his detractors, his development record is excellent. He had a tough time at Arsenal with the back injury, and it seemed too often forced to play by injuries to other players. On paper, he would make an interesting long term back up for Arteta.”

    Very true, another point that most forget when slagging him off is there is a season (the one before his injury) when he was one of the first players on the teamsheet, infact I seem to remember him being a better player than Song then, he even provided us with some tasteful goals.

    As Kenyan gunner pointed out the only reason I wouldnt want him back is because I think for some arsenal fans whatever he did it wouldnt be good enough for them as they would think he’s be taking up Wilshire’s spot.

    He is castigated alot for his backpasses,I have got no idea why since Arteta who plays the Denilson role(I am with Steww on this one) plays alot of those.

  161. @Aman

    It is, this is my meditation at its finest!


    Your rite mate but he was always known for his passing.

  162. @Dexter

    O trust I will! Yea my wife wants to move over sees and she said she loves London and I said “Great I’ll be close to Arsenal”. So we are really considering it and I’ll definetly look into Camden Town!

  163. Billy's Boots

    Nice post, Big Al. I think expectations re England should be at this level for most tournaments. England is typically a quarter-final team.

  164. Billy's Boots

    arsenalandrew: to save you time so you don’t have to read Jabba’s posts, here’s a digest for you:

    “We havent got close to challenging since [Flamini] left that is one thing for sure”

    “I think arteta is an excellent pivot but people who say our defence was incredible with him in obvioulsly didnt watch Milan away this year. “

    (That one is my personal favourite. Try substituting some different players/words to behold the true beauty of the logic: “I think Van Persie is an excellent attacker but people who say our offence was incredible with him in obviously didn’t watch Milan away this year.”)

    “We’ve got a couple of you crying about pitches again…”

  165. OOU

    Nice post man, very enjoyable read.


    ‘Someone posted a quote from M’villa’ *cough* khalifha *cough*, jeez.

    As for Flamini, i don’t want him back because i don’t like him …. Err, thats about it.

    All players sent out on loan last season had their chances in the First team with more than enough appearances to convince aw that they had a role to play in the team.
    Joel Campbell apart, if Wenger saw it fit to send them out on loan despite the fact we were going through a ‘crises’ then that speaks volumes about their importance to our squad.

    Now i won’t even beat around the bush any longer, last season i saw spirit, grit and determination from the team to claw their way back to 3rd position and i don’t want a few bad apples ruining a perfectly good bunch. So Denilson and the other loanees who have already been given their chances should not return, in my opinion of course.

  166. C;

    Thats great man. I am sure there are ‘nicer’ areas but I think Camden’s a top place.

    I am going to upset a few with the following comment, so apologies in advance;

    I thought Denilson was going to be a world beater when he first joined and I remeber him and Diaby running the midfiled for us at the start of one season (must be about 3 seasons ago) culminating in a top dominating show up at OT.

    However, due to whatever, most probably his injuries, he has not replicated that early promise, enough to warrant being considered a 1st teamer, IMO and AW’s decision to loan him kinda bares that out too.

    As with Flamini, he isnt good enough for us any more. I dont think he will ever return to AFC and I think the quotes attributed to the brazil chairman about the transfer fee is purely designed to bring down his valuation.

    Time we moved on.

  167. Sorry *cough* khali *cough* fha.

  168. pedantic george

    OK I am back now.
    Where is my bat?

  169. Billy’s Boots; goes on the list too.

    Yeah, thats the kind of logic we are (having to, thanks a bunch Yogi) deal with man.

  170. did wenger really say giroud is 90% an arsenal player? funny how he is usually so coy about transfers to be so open about this.

  171. Another fine post BA.

    It would be far better if everybody just ignored the troll

  172. But you dont even like cricket George.

  173. What is today’s bunfight about then?

  174. korihikage

    read the same and was quite surprised; very un-Arsene.

  175. The deal must be unnotdoable for the boss to be so fwank.

  176. Oh o, somebody’s going to get hurt, PG go easy on him.

    Dexter, no *cough* pro *cough* blem

  177. pedantic george

    I do so.Dexter.
    Dont you start with Jibbers tactics of making something up ,then repeating it endlessly until he thinks it was true in the first place.
    He is a stupid oaf of a person.
    This beautiful place is tainted by his presence.He is the Stoke City of Arsenal fans.No redeeming features at all.

  178. Don’t forget according to Jibber not only is he not a doomer, but we are!

  179. But jonny

    You ARE a doomer. 🙂

  180. George hates cricket, he thinks its a game for posh little girls, he told me that himself, many times…George hates cricket, he thinks its a game for posh little girls, he told me that himself, many times…George hates cricket, he thinks its a game for posh little girls, he told me that himself, many times…George hates cricket, he thinks its a game for posh little girls, he told me that himself, many times…George hates cricket, he thinks its a game for posh little girls, he told me that himself, many times…George hates cricket, he thinks its a game for posh little girls, he told me that himself, many times…George hates cricket, he thinks its a game for posh little girls, he told me that himself, many times…George hates cricket, he thinks its a game for posh little girls, he told me that himself, many times…George hates cricket, he thinks its a game for posh little girls, he told me that himself, many times…George hates cricket, he thinks its a game for posh little girls, he told me that himself, many times…George hates cricket, he thinks its a game for posh little girls, he told me that himself, many times…George hates cricket, he thinks its a game for posh little girls, he told me that himself, many times…

  181. @Khalifha

    dont forget Ryo along with Campbell.


    I’m going to start looking in Camden on your advice mate since your post always seem to be well thought out and top quality.

    I do agree with you on Denilson, I even liked him watching him in Brazil this year he seemed more mature.

    The thing that does bother me though about Denilson’s critics is that they forget that:
    1. He is only 24 yrs old.
    2. The back passes that he plays the Arteta’s, Xavi’s, Inestas and some of the best midfielders in the world play because it keeps the ball moving and makes the opposition react even for a split second.
    3. He was injured and was coming back from a back injury and for all those that have had a back injury you know how crippling that is but yet when Ramsey, Jack, Gibbs, and the lot were injured and coming back its ok for them to struggle because they were injured the previous year and need time.
    4. Finally he is a player that may not be the fastest of players but he is quick and is very good positionally and I can think of a few midfielders who are like that.

  182. Have a great weekend, most, seeya.

  183. George.

    I don’t do conversations or threads. Only monologues. Repeating the same old tired arse gr8t day after day after day. Some call it propoganda, I call it ‘talking football’. No surrender to the AKBs!

  184. @ korihikage | June 22, 2012 at 2:14 pm

    I just read it and started lauffing because it is unArsene!

  185. Speaking of football I enjoyed the threads about the 07-08 teams formation variations from recent days. Followed on nicely from OOU’s last post. But there was a lotta lotta skimming involved. Thanks be to the football gawdsthat I have one of those tippy tastic mouse wheels with some micro/nano gear stuff going on.

  186. That team loved the defensive 451 at times, is that right? Oh, I would whine and a whinge when that loon Wenger would ask Eduardo to drop to LW as that team ground out some gr*tty arsed victories.

  187. Upper Street Gooner

    Jonny | June 22, 2012 at 12:40 pm

    He said he left the club as he wanted to win trophies and that is an absolute fact. Hence why some of yorus hatred for Flamini leaving when his contract run out is utterly bizare considering you want a guy back who slagged us off whilst still being paid by us

  188. Upper Street Gooner

    Dexter | June 22, 2012 at 1:02 pm

    He has played some great dm games has our alex he has also played some pretty fricking awful ones.

    If we have all these world class players who play in defenisve positions why do we concede so many goals.

    Its not the tactics
    its not the players
    its not the attacking players pressing

    so what is it. Could we not have done with an experienced dm allowing song to have some rest last year in games.

    Nobody is saying flamini is better than arteta or song, but its pretty clear we havent had a squad anywhere near capable of competing on 4 fronts….how about we try.

  189. C

    So many good players, i can’t remember them all! – What do we do with Miyaichi?, so much competition on the left or maybe he could fight it out with Walcott and Chambo on the right.

  190. pedantic george

    Yeah.Finsbury has tipped up.
    Now we can start smiling.

  191. pedantic george

    I am going to steal Yogi’s keys one day .and do us all a favour.

  192. Upper Street Gooner

    How were the lectures george, productive?

  193. USG,

    What do you think about the leveson inquiry?? that brooks deserves going down doesnt she?


  195. @Upper Street Gooner | June 22, 2012 at 2:40 pm

    Cohesion and trust in each other. You can say alot of players worldwide have had bad matches its part of the game. The issue with Song is that he does work so hard that from time to time he does need rest. Le Coq looked the part when thrust but he was covering for our FB’s and Frimpong was hurt. So yea he did have a some stretches of not up to the standard at which he set but then you watch that Milan at the Emirates match were Arsene basically told Song to hold down the midfield defensively Ox and Mozart are going to go all out attack and Song was masterful. Or the match against Everton(I think) where he was breaking up plays time and again and then finally played that beautiful lob to RVP who hit it 1 time into the net or even Spuds 5-2 match to where he basically made the Spuds midfield disappear and then played that brillant ball slipping Theo in for his 2nd. Personally you can have your Flamini and whoever else just give me Song!

  196. Upper Street Gooner


    Not so sure i’m only an expert in certain fields!!

    Something quiet sexy about her for a ginger middle aged women though

  197. @Khalifha

    I woudl loan him out again maybe the Southhampton and let him develop even more and then the following season unleash the dragon; by then Mozart and Arteta will be a year older and I think that will be the start of Ox moving centrally so Ryo outwide then would be perfect.

  198. Upper Street Gooner


    I think song is a great player, he still needs to show that he can be part of a team that consitently defends well as a team but he is a wonderful player to have in the squad.

    Banfield alluded to it on the website that the coaches see le coq as probably a better full back.

    He is by far an away our best best reserve right back.

    We are competing for 4 trophies next year lets hoep we dont have another week like the cl drubbing week. The squad needs to be fresh. Having experienced backups is an absolute must just look at what yossi brought to the table this year

  199. USG,you have two problems. One is the PG is getting YW’s keys and doing us a favour. The other is that you have a rigid view of “what Arsenal needs”, and an annoying trick of picking only those points that support your view, often wrong, guessed at, or at least out of context.

    Flamini was a hard-working and decent utility player at Arsenal for a short spell, including left back in one or two games. He left under cloud, and said objectionable things after leaving. His career has since stalled. What amongst these qualifies him for a mention in 2012?

    The team that Flamini played in was very different to today’s team, and it did well, but more importantly the context has changed radically, internally (the players) and externally (the nature of the opposition). In what way does that team, and all its different players, bear comparison to this team? Better? Worse? About the same? It is plainly idiotic (I use the word advisedly) to single out one player, Flamini, or more to your point, one “type”, a Flamini “type”. Seriously, would Flamini, if fit, even make this team ahead of Song?

  200. pedantic george

    Jenkinson is our best reserve RB.
    Arsene said Le Coq is not comfortable at RB.
    Jibber ,You are an expert on Fuck all.I would bet my life on that.

  201. C

    ” Its funny that people berate Song but how many times has he saved our ass by breaking up play or making a smart tackle. Song for me is the best DM in the PL and is growing into arguably 1 of the best in the world.”

    “funny to me though how the same people that beraid Song for pushing foward and sometimes forgetting his defensive role are the same people that praise Verm for doing the same thing, that have made him into a cult hero that walks among the Gods.”

    yeah, the same group that whines about keeping Rosicky on the books cause he’s been struggling through an 18 month injury……

    then when Rosicky gets a run of matches and shows us the form that sets him apart from our other midfielders and all others in the epl, they keep pounding the drums for those that haven’t reached puberty.

    Not skipping a beat, when discussing our next season, they have Rosicky depicted as a good squad player, to warm the bench.

    Today is the best Friday, June 22, 2012 I’ve ever had and will ever have! (tautological?)

  202. ‘Upper Street Gooner | June 22, 2012 at 3:01 pm


    I think song is a great player, he still needs to show that he can be part of a team that consitently defends well as a team but he is a wonderful player to have in the squad.’

    i think USG needs to show that he can be a Gooner.

  203. @USG

    I agree about Le being our best reserve right back. Your saying bringing back Flamini but why not just bring back Denilson since he is already on teh books. Our midfield will probably be made up of Arteta, Mozart, Jack, Ramsey, Song, Le Coq, Diaby(please just lay in bed so you dont get hurt all summer), Denilson. Do we really need Flamini, I say no.

    Look at it like this for the CC an FA cup ties we have Denilson and Le Coq and probably Bartley can come if he stays and put in a shift at DM that is where he played while out on loan.

  204. the funniest thing was his caramello bet with the italian journalists. riled quite a few people up who said that was classless, slagging off an entire league.

    really amused, because basically wenger said the truth.

  205. pedantic george

    Arsesession , excellent post.

  206. pedantic george

    c,not so good

  207. Le Coq is a natural born midfielder with defensive inclination. He is nowhere as good as Jenks at RB, in defence or in offence.

  208. pedantic george

    That’s what I meant to say Paul.

  209. Arsesession

    Tiny bit OTT on Rosicky. Quality player when fit, no doubt whatsoever.

    A player whose form sets him apart from “all others in the epl”? Why not just be happy to say he had an excellent season and see what next year brings.

  210. Upper Street Gooner

    ZimPaul | June 22, 2012 at 3:08 pm

    He played in allot more than 2 games at left back, would have been nice to have someone that versaitle this year dont ya think. As it would be really ”stupid” to drop points becuase we have no full backs….yup i agree it would have been.

    ”Seriously, would Flamini, if fit, even make this team ahead of Song?”

    No he wouldn’t Zim your correct. Would Giroud if fit start of RVP. What about Gerv over Podolski or Mert for tv5, what about gibbs for santos.

    No probably not in all these cases, but they provide excellent depth. And that Zim is important when trying to compete for leagues as you do suffer injuries and there are other compeitions that your fans would really like you not to get embarrassed in. So yes having some experienced depth for Song is an absolute must this year and to say otherwise is fricking stupid as it appears the club is ”allegedly” doign just that. Or do we only go for top top talent now. What if we cant afford m’vila.

    Will some fans let there hatred of a guy for actually doing nothing wrong cloud our need for an experienced dm in the squad

  211. …if greece beats germany, will they still get the bail out money?
    does anyone here expect Poldi & BFG to get some early rest today?

    ..would be a surprise but I’d get over it within a half hour.

  212. Upper Street Gooner

    pedantic george | June 22, 2012 at 3:09 pm

    ahahahahaah jenk better than le cpq at right back jog on and go support one of your local teams

  213. For finsbury – I don’t do conversations or threads. Only monologues. Repeating the same old tired arse gr8t day after day after day. Some call it propoganda, I call it ‘talking football’. No surrender to the AKBs!

    We are the Doomer Borg. Lower your optimism and surrender your blog.
    We will add your virtual distinctiveness to our own.
    Your culture will adapt to service us. Resistance is futile. We will work as one mind*
    Denilson is irrelevant. Song is irrelevant. Walcott is irrelevant. Resistance is futile. Negotiation is irrelevant. You will be assimilated. Ramsey is irrelevant. Chamakh is irrelevant. You must comply.

    Why do you resist? We only wish to raise quality of life for all fans. Like in the NFL.

    You will become one with the Doomers.

    You will ALL become one with the Doomers.

    (* A neural transceiver is required for maximum communication)

  214. GUS,
    “Will some fans let there hatred of a guy for actually doing nothing wrong cloud our need for an experienced dm in the squad”

    yes…i’d rather play one of steww’s cocks @ DM!

  215. The cocks were cbob’s i believe.

  216. pedantic george

    So a player who is a natural RB,and Arsene prefers to play ,rather than a mid fielder ,who Arsene says “is uncomfortable at LB” is a Jog on then?
    Your stupidity is staggering.
    I have never come across as much of an idiot ,who thinks he is smart as you Jibber.

  217. @ Arsesession

    You make a very good point and I agree with you! And to add to your point the are also the same people that say teh midfield of Hleb, Flamini, Cesc and Mozart played beautiful futbol but forget that Mozart was apart of that midfield and hasn’t lost any class just was out injured.

    They say he is a good squad player for the bench but what I find most interesting is that him being implanted at the AM position coincided with our run of great performances starting with the Spuds and Milan matches.

    O well Mozart I support you!

  218. pedantic george

    From Arsenal 5 Spurs 2.Rosicky was the best player in the League.

  219. Not having great financial knowledge, I’m not sure what this means to us on the pitch, but seems important . . .

  220. Jibber/Jabba/USG. You know what you are.

  221. @USG

    “He played in allot more than 2 games at left back, would have been nice to have someone that versaitle this year dont ya think. As it would be really ”stupid” to drop points becuase we have no full backs….yup i agree it would have been.”

    Mate were you not watching as Le Coq put in a shift at both FB positions midfield, I think that is what you call versatility or do I have the wrong definition?!?!?!?

    For me Mert starts over Verm if both are fit.

    So yes having some experienced depth for Song is an absolute must this year and to say otherwise is fricking stupid as it appears the club is ”allegedly” doign just that. Or do we only go for top top talent now. What if we cant afford m’vila. ”

    I agree with you on Song needing a backup but didn’t Arsene say he was also looking at Biglia who cost 6-10M?

  222. Upper Street Gooner

    ZimPaul | June 22, 2012 at 3:25 pm

    I’m sorry did i miss something last year with Jenks. Did i see a load of you jump on a bandwagon. Where were Jenks great perfromances. The fact that you say he is better than le coq goign forward i find literally amazing. You need to buy HD mate as your current one has issues

    I think i made it quite clear my thoughts in the summer about selling the best reserve right back in the league and bringing in Jenks…..look how that panned out.

  223. sorry, thanks ss…Cbob’s cockerels it is then..

  224. Upper Street Gooner

    pedantic george | June 22, 2012 at 3:38 pm

    ahahahahahahahaahahahahahahahahahaha becuase he is right footed george and who did arsene play at rb at the end of thes season hahaaha go support blackburn or is it wigan who frickign knows it was one of them though

  225. @Bernard

    What is he you have me intrigued *while sneaking a drink of scotch at work*

  226. @ ffsshoot | June 22, 2012 at 3:33 pm
    ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! Brilliant.

    @ Markus
    Re Song, AW said recently that he had always been an attacking midfielder by nature and possessed vision but didn’t have the technical ability to play that far forward. He added that Song had worked on his technique and we are seeing the result. So I guess inside the CB/DM, there has always been an AM struggling to get out!

  227. Upper Street Gooner

    pedantic george | June 22, 2012 at 3:42 pm

    actually george it was Sigursson in march and jelavic in april. Nice try though

  228. Upper Street Gooner

    C | June 22, 2012 at 3:46 pm

    I agree le coq is an excellent deputy full back so we had better not make sure he is our first up dm when song needs a rest or is away at the anc….squad depth in all positions is the aim

  229. George

    “Jibber ,You are an expert on Fuck all.I would bet my life on that.”

    You are wrong there. He is an expert in bull shit.

  230. @Fungunner

    Now that he is set free, if we were to bring in M’villa we would have the best DM CM combinations in the PL. What makes Song so special is he can destroy an attacker, yup Ibra I’m looking dead at you, or can pick any pass, yup Spuds defense and every other victim I’m looking dead at you, with both equal class!


    If Capello had stayed in charge, would he have trusted Theo and the Ox? I guess no manager would have ignored the former. Although they still underestimate him. Theo is the best right forward they have, although, lacking defensively a bit in comparison to Milner. But he brings much more aggression to the team, which England lack. They’ve played some awfully boring football so far. I couldn’t stand the Ukraine match. If it was Ukraine that they were playing. Can’t even remember now!

  232. Given his form this season, theo should start with Rooney in some formation. Maybe one of Welback or Young alongside. With gerrard dictating in the middle they have a good short at even winning the tournament. But given current formations and tactics, they will nothing! And niether will we get to see the likes of Gerrard, Rooney, Theo and Young/Welback combining. We haven’t even seen yet what both Theo and the OX can do on the same pitch. Not even at Arsenal in a meaningful way. They can wreck havoc together with a good striker and they did with RVP this season. Will do much better next season. With Podolski and Giroud’s arrival we can do a lot of damage. IF Robin stays. It seems like he will stay if the board doesn’t want to make money out of him. If he stays we can go for a lot of titles. Song, Arteta, Wilshere, Diaby (?), Ramsey and Rosicky is a strong midfield. With strong attackers, which we have now, we can win a lot of titles. I wouldn’t mind seeing Denilson as back up as well. But we can’t keep all these gems. Rosicky is getting old though, but still a really good player unlike Arshavin. The latter is in love with himself rather than football. Which is understandable. Bendtner too? He’s crazy. But a good player nevertheless and will do well in the right team. Frankly, better than Carroll, if Liverpool were smart they’d buy him. But they’ve already wasted 30m on Carroll and they can’t sell him. And he plays for England? Ours is on loan. Arsene…………..

  233. pedantic george

    Jibber ,you blithering idiot.Jenkinson was injured,when both he and Le Coq were fit ,Jenkinson started.
    Now fuck off telling me to support another team.Despite you being an ignorant cunt,who I detest with a passion, I don’t tell you to support someone else.
    Apart from one sad poster ,Philmar,not one single person wants you here.Not fucking a one.You are as popular as the clap and half pleasant.

  234. Despite winning the Champions League, chelsea are weaker than before at the moment. With Drogba leaving they’ve lost one of the best strikers in Europe. Instead of him we have Torres, who he still struggling with football at the moment. Although Hazzard and Mata do make them stronger, but only if they stop playing hoof ball. Which they might eventually move towards, but I doubt De Matteo is the sort of manager which could lead them to success again.

  235. sorry but who was the best reserve rightback we sold in summer again?

  236. C | June 22, 2012 at 3:57 pm

    I can’t remember Alex stopping Ibrahimovic dead in the San Siro.

  237. Jenkinson seems like a really good player. He will learn from Sagna defensively a lot. Going forward he looks good as well. Will need experience though, just like Cesc, Wilshere, Ramsey, Nasri, Diaby, Song, and RVP amongst numerous others.

  238. @Steve

    But he did at the Emirates. Shit at the San Siro the whole team pretty much played like shit!

  239. United would be interesting to watch next season with Kagawa in the midfield. I think they’ll push for the title as well. What about City? They’re quite a strong team as well. If Tevez also stays, they will probably have a team matching the elites of Europe like Barcelona and Real Madrid. A lot of star power growing there. But more like Madrid than Barcelona. So they’re beatable. Barcelona though have a formidable challenge with Madrid after quite a while. VIlla was injured, which should be discounted!

  240. @ C
    ha ha! nice image
    Camden is lovely and painfully hip. Not as in hip replacement, more young and groovy, great music scene, markets etc. And it’s right next to Islington!

  241. C,

    I don’t remember any of our players showing up in San Siro and not just Song. The game was quite exceptional to the form we’ve maintained this season against bigger teams. We didn’t play well. But in the Emirates, we almost won! Song was there. So were the rest. You weren’t!

  242. Clichy is right-footed. Plays left back. Seems comfortable in the position.

  243. USG

    u might want to know that arsene played jenkinson against wba in the last game of the season. he played coquelin in midfield. and he always played jenkinson during sagna’s first spell out.

  244. @Steve and Ateeb

    Yea at the San Siro Arsenal was terribly poor but at the Emirates, simply DOMINANT!

  245. FG

    clichy is definitely not the best reserve rightback in the league.

  246. Correct me if I’m wrong but I think the concept of the old-fashioned utility player – in the squad sense – is fast dying. At the top today (by which naturally I mean Arsenal, maybe Barca), most players have multiple roles, and are by definition utility players performing more than a single specialist role. Song performs a decent attacking function. Santos goes walkies. TV shoots, and sometimes Kos gets up there. Ramsey defends, as best he can. Jack is rather good at that, and Mozart excellent. RvP trots way back into midfield, or onto the right wing. Walcott switches to the left. 3Gs defends, and may be found on occassion in the middle.

    Ben was the latest and my hunch is the last of these specialist utilities players we have had. Flamini was such, and so was Eboue.

    Yes, USG, you missed something with Jenks. His early games were expectedly jittery at times, what a step up, but Wenger chose well and we saw later, after he came back, a defensively assured RB with an excellent cross. My guess is Jenks will get many more games. He’s a very focused young man. Coq did well as a stand-in, he is after all a very good footballer, but it’s not his role.

  247. I unfortunately ended up at the Dublin Castle in Camden. It was al right, didn’t like it much though. Better places for the night! Though Camden is much more interesting under the sun. Hip with consumer culture thrown in.

  248. United would be interesting to watch next season with Kagawa in the midfield. I think they’ll push for the title as well. What about City? They’re quite a strong team as well. If Tevez also stays, they will probably have a team matching the elites of Europe like Barcelona and Real Madrid. A lot of star power growing there. But more like Madrid than Barcelona. So they’re beatable. Barcelona though have a formidable challenge with Madrid after quite a while. VIlla was injured, which shouldn’t be discounted. Cesc went missing in the second half of the season (Does that explain our second half of the season collapses in the last few years?). He was exceptional in the start with all those goals. But couldn’t produce much later on. But they’re still quite strong.

  249. @ korihikage
    didn’t say he was. I meant that being *right-footed* did not in itself preclude him from being comfortable playing at *left back*.

  250. FG

    oh. nah, i was referring to USG’s claim that we sold the best reserve right back in the league in summer. wondering who it was..

  251. Fun,

    Maybe it did a little. He was a really good left back but also a nervy lad! I don’t think he was learning anymore. Santos is much more interesting and Gibbs could be phenomenal.

  252. ZimPaul

    quite right. i think even in the interpretation of roles, there are already changes. look at how kos and vermaelen stride up to join in the attack. actually back when gallas was around, he was doing that. toure as well. just look at how khedira and schweinsteiger play for germany.

    so you can see that a player not just needs to be able to play in a couple of positions, he also needs to reinterpret the position he is playing in.

    that is why more than ever, understanding and chemistry will be important.

  253. pedantic george

    Jibber was right ,Emmanuel Eboué was the best reserve RB in the league.
    Even a broken clock and all

  254. oops forgot all about eboue :p

  255. @ korihikage | June 22, 2012 at 4:16 pm
    I guessed as much. 🙂

  256. More like a broken record

  257. pedantic george

    Dups ,you lurking?

  258. Wow – lot of anger against Flamini. Why do people feel so emotional like they are jilted ex-lovers? Flamini gave 100% for us on the pitch each and every game, a lot more than some of our current revered players (stand up and take a bow Andrei). Flamini signed a contract and honoured that contract. He played the contract out. He didn’t agitate for a loan spell or a transfer before the contract ran out. This is behaving professionally. The team didn’t owe him a new contract when it ran out and he didn’t owe you or I or the team anything when it ran out. He chose to work for an employer who was willing to pay him more – this makes him a gypsy mercenary vagabond? Uh, well many of our current players bolted from their previous clubs to earn more money at Arsenal. In fact Flamini left Marseille after his contract expired. He allegedly refused a senior contract (one that he had verbally accepted) then signed with Arsenal. Was he called a gypsy mercenary vagabond then by the same people calling him that now? Arsenal’s mistake was not signing him before his worth increased. Instead they offered large contracts to the likes of Bendtner, Vela and Denilson.
    I don’t know if Flamini has anything left in the tank. He’s only 28 but seems to be injury prone. Don’t know if the club will take on another full time salary for a part-time injured player. We have those in spoades. But if he can be signed on the cheap and preferably on a shorter contract since working for a new contract incentivizes him then he may be deemed good value by a team still saddled with large contracts for certain aforementioned under-performing malcontented spare parts (I won’t use any tree-based analogies). But IF Arsene deemed him to be a useful player and wanted him back then I for one would welcome him with open arms. He honoured his contract and left everything he had on the pitch each and every game. Personally I would take that over the many players I’ve seen here over the past few years that are happy to sit on the subs bench, earn an obscene wage and go out and give 80% on the pitch or publicly announce they don’t want to be here (yes I’m talking about you Andrei, Carlos, Nicklas…)
    Denilson? Well if Le Boss wants him then so will I. In Arsene I trust.

  259. The idea of the utility player is, from what I can tell, first and foremost an English one that suits the English game. It’s usually used in a more rigid sense though, as players who defend and harrass well, run a lot, but can do other stuff, cross, pass. You know the Parkers, Milners and Barrys. A constant theme of some English Arsenal supporters is the desire to make Arsenal “more English again”,not by nationality but by style and method. The tell-tale vocabulary … players who you want “with you in trenches”, “have spine, bottle”, “aren’t afraid of a tackle”, “give as good as they get”, can “get in your face” if needed, “put in a decent shift”. It’s all very cultural, and speaks volumes of how football has been played in this environment for generations. The pundits go all ape-shit and man-crush when they see such a player. Wenger and others have started to introduce new vocabulury; “control”, “technical ability”, “concentration”, “courage”, character”.

  260. USG @3.50pm

    Arsenal’s right back for the last game of the season was Jenkinson. Before that, Bacary Sagna. Coquellin came on as a sub during the Norwich match.

    Not sure of the your point since Norwich was the last home game?

  261. pedantic george

    Ha ha ,Fuck off.We know the score .
    Talk about multiple personalities.Right on cue the cunts one friend turns up spouting the same sad shit.

  262. C

    Don’t why that happened with first one but the following three happened because the first one was still in moderation. Hopefully be OK now.

  263. Philmar, it seems you were privy to the precise details of discussions between the club and Flamster, yes? Did you play a part or did you just sit in those discussions?

  264. pedantic george

    ZimPaul.Jibber told him .Pillow talk I thing it is

  265. we dont want flamini back..
    he was a good player when with us and we missed him a year or so after he left, but he would be way way way down the pecking order now..

    same for denilson..
    he will be way way down the order too, but i dont think the club are looking to keep him to be honest..
    im sure le ox was given his old squad number

  266. Ateeb,
    “Instead of him WE have Torres”

    what’s with the “WE” bro?
    is their a dual allegiance issue u’d like to discuss bro?

  267. Notoverthehill

    OOU, I cannot support people like John Terry, Wayne Rooney, Ashley Cole, Stephen Gerrard or £35 millions of overrated ability! Surely NB52K must be worth at least £25 millions???

    Let us shake things up a bit, with your permission Yogi?

    Source date line: Читайте далее:

    Subject AA23 being “hung out to dry” by former KGB officer Валерий Александович Голубев. Golubev was involved in 1993 with Mr Putin in a bit of property dealings in Vasilebsky Island in St. Petersburg. So the gentleman is very well connected and thus with his mother-in-law, residing next door to Vladmir Putin in the ’90’s. Golubev is now Deputy Chair of “Gazsprom” and thus some influence on ФС Зенит. When asked to comment on AA23’s remark to certain inebriated Russian fans, disclaimed to one and all “He cannot be a Russian” in effect! Also Sergei Kupriyanov, a representative of Gazprom, protested that Mr Arshavin played no part in Gazprom’s advertising campaign.

    An agent called Phil Smith now handles Mr Arshavin’s affairs, but it does not stop Dennis Lakhter, his former agent, flogging off AA23 for €10 millions, according to Izvestia dated 20th June 2012.

    Now I could expand on the “reported skulduggery” in St. Petersburg Andrei, Shava, how could you?

  268. Upper Street Gooner


    Some great points in your 4.37 and portrayed much better than I could.

  269. Upper Street Gooner


    Who do you think is the better right back prospect jenk or le coq if banfield quote is to be belived and the club feel his more natural position will be a full back who can also anchor very well in midfield

  270. Old argument, but if Denilson was so good as many think, Wenger would have not let him go on loan would he?

    And the argument “he needed games” does not add up; if he was as good as some think he would have been getting games. I didn’t see any other decent size clubs scrapping to take him on loan either. The fact he ended up back in Brazil speaks volumes. (Homesickness has never been mentioned before somebody desperately clings to that as a reason).

    He is a decent enough squad player, but no more. Our rota of players in that position has improved since he left and I really don’t see a place in the squad for him. He has a good shot on him though, I will give him that.

  271. pedantic george

    Upper Street Gooner | June 22, 2012 at 5:47 pm

    Some great points in your 4.37 and portrayed much better than I could.

    Ha ha fucking Ha
    Yogi ,put an end to this nonsense FFS.

    Oh wait who is this I here coming?

  272. ffsshoot | June 22, 2012 at 3:33 pm

    He shoots. He scores!

  273. Jibbering jowls!
    Is it writing to itself? Again? I blame those Oik Awards.

  274. George @ 4:52 pm: Stop being so cruel. Be kind to dumb animals.
    I hope my subordinates don’t spot me guffawing in my office.

  275. PG.
    I have read todays posts and I agree with everything you say.You are a wise and knowledgeable poster and should be respected .
    You insight is wonderful and you always win debate .
    Well done Pedantic George

  276. Roy Hodgson is a gentleman. He is respected. Nevertheless, if he should have a bad match or two he will be denigrated by the media. He needs to be left alone for a few years to develop his English team free of the poison the media will heap on him. In the meantime, if he should win games with a boring style of defensive football, this will give him time to settle in and understand his players abilities. I can live with that regardless of Rooney and the other lot that myself and most other Arsenal types tend to despise because of the football wars.

  277. Flamini is <Denilson
    Jenkinson is Sagna's understudy

  278. pedantic george

    I like this George Rodger ,he knows his onions.

  279. ” Philmar, it seems you were privy to the precise details of discussions between the club and Flamster, yes? Did you play a part or did you just sit in those discussions? ”

    Zimpaul – what part of my post claims that?

  280. ..”well said GUS” said Philmar is fed grapes by Jabba’s Delight
    “might really be hot to have Flamini in the sack vit jyu boooyz….oooh!!!!!!

  281. Jenkinson looks a decent enough prospect, but people are getting carried away saying how great he is. He a a few solid games and definitely gives 100% which is great.

    But he is at the level you would expect for somebody who only has a handful of lge games (at any level) under his belt. Very raw.

  282. …deep, deep down I don’t expect Denilson back
    neither did I ever expect to see TH in r&w, albeit decked in the #12.

    If he looks fantastic in pre-season training might AW have a rethink on splashing out to Rennes?

    i foresee:
    we’ll add M’V + exp. goalie along with OG + LP, Bartley
    sell NB52*, CV11*, ND15*, LF21, JYP9, MC29, SS18, VM24 off with MA1
    not buy or loan back YB30
    sell Eastmond, Lansbury, Watt, Botehlo, Wellington along with Ozyakup
    bring into the COC squad, then loan out: Yennaris, Aneke, Miquel, Afobe, Henderson..
    unleash Campbell, Ryo

    WIN ZA DOUBLE for starters.
    wayasay george rodger, u meerkat clone u?

  283. pedantic george

    Andy,can you point me to a post where someone says Jenkinson is great?
    Thanks in antisipation

  284. A general comment George. Plus I really can’t be arsed trawling through posts looking for such drivel.

  285. ” Ha ha fucking Ha
    Yogi ,put an end to this nonsense FFS.”

    which nonsense is that George?

  286. is it really fair to compare jenks and le coq?
    le coqs more central midfeild, r/l wb
    jenks is more cb, r/l fb

    different players maybe? i would imagine jenks will learn a great deal under sagna and le coq will end up in midfield..

    i think wenger sees le coq as a midfielder already, hes said so im sure..but he is an amazing prospect i feel..i must admit if he has to play at wing back to get in the team next season then we should let him because hes going to shine with regular games and maybe he wont get them in midfield, with the abundance we have already..

    anyway, im impressed with them both and either/or is fine if we are looking for cover for the main man..i have a soft spot for le coq but i think jenks will be the managers choice if we have to ease sagna back or if he has recurring problems with this bone that keeps getting smashed..

    and dont forget they can both play on the left, so theres no reason why we cant see alot from both of them next season..

  287. ” ..”well said GUS” said Philmar is fed grapes by Jabba’s Delight
    “might really be hot to have Flamini in the sack vit jyu boooyz….oooh!!!!!! ”

    HOW old are you?

  288. Righty, off down town to watch the Germany game. Bratwurst and beer at the ready!


  289. mattgoonerknight

    I really want us to sign M’vila; in simple terms, he looks the nuts, and he would undoubtedly add further quality and depth to a squad already laden with quality and promise.

    Injuries, fatigue, suspensions, tactical changes of formation, the ANC, and the desire to challenge at the sharp end of four competitions will ensure that our concerns over “who will play where” etc. will be elevated.

    Denilson or M’vila? I think this is only open to debate due to the fact that Deni is on the books and M’vila is still just a possibility. Take money out of the equation and ask the same question.

    Frimpong needs a loan spell as his previous one was sadly instantly cut short, while Le Coq at present is surely a much needed utility player: proficient at DM, LB or RB, but perhaps not ready to be called upon in any one position on a weekly basis.

    The reported quotes coming from M’vila are really promising, well for those who would like to see him at the club, anyway.


    I intentionally omitted any reference to Mathieu as I see it as a non-starter.


    Are people excited about Giroud or is the consensus “I’ll believe it when its on”?

    I think he’s coming.

  290. pedantic george

    JJ said “i think wenger sees le coq as a midfielder already, hes said so im sure”
    You are right JJ he has ,But GUS/USG/Jibber/Jabba/Philmar want to disregard that and latch on to something they think Banfield might once have said .Thick fucks that they are.

    Andy .Let me save you a trawling job.You cant find one because no one said it or anything like it .If you are going to do a Jibber(make shit up) best to wait until I am not here.

  291. mgk

    hes in the bag dude..

    wenger never says that stuff unless hes got his man..
    the 10% referred to was the club announcing it.. 🙂
    which it will, after the euros, like they said..

    yes mate im excited i think him and podolski are fantastic deals for the club and although i think mvila could be on the cards also, it all depends on diaby..
    beleive it or not..
    and none of your above 🙂

  292. Didn’t realise you had been appointed the “post police” George.

    Anyway, off.

  293. pedantic george

    Philmar | June 22, 2012 at 6:34 pm
    ” ..”well said GUS” said Philmar is fed grapes by Jabba’s Delight
    “might really be hot to have Flamini in the sack vit jyu boooyz….oooh!!!!!! ”

    HOW old are you?

    How old are you lot?

  294. pedantic george

    Andy.when you chat shit ,expect to get pulled

  295. “But GUS/USG/Jibber/Jabba/Philmar want to disregard that and latch on to something they think Banfield might once have said .Thick fucks that they are.”

    I’m a thick fuck? I have not uttered a single word about Banfield – ever. Reread the posts lest you realise who the thick fuck really is.

  296. pedantic george

    Jibber did.
    Stop pretending

  297. pedantic george

    Jibber ,are you saying you are not thick?

  298. george me old fruit, i gotta say pal, that i get confused with all these comments from United States of Jibber.

  299. Who is ‘you lot’? There’s only one of me.
    I’m old/mature enough to be able and log in to a football blog and if I have an issue with people about their football opinion I give them my opinion about football. I don’t demonstrate a lack of maturity and intelligence or debating acumen by talking childish shit about feeding grapes and talking about threessomes.

  300. Philmar/Jabber..USG or GUS,
    old enough to smell bs from a mile away
    …i smell a cloned rat!!!

    btw how old do u think u are?

  301. How does what Jibber say about Banfield have in the slightest to do with me, threesome or grapes. Bloody childish. Sorry.

  302. You say you can smell bs a mile a way and you can’t even tell when your own pants are soiled? Tell yogi to check the IP addresses and you fools will see how foolish you really are.
    Stick to the football – I am not USG.

  303. whats wrong with being fed grapes while having threesomes

  304. ..only a 3-some??
    ’twas a 5-man army @ the time of mention

  305. mattgoonerknight


    Forgot about Diaby, which is crazy given how good he potentially could be.

    As it stands, even without M’vila, he has surely slid down the pecking order and would need a run of games to merit an improved standing.

    Interesting write up on the Diaby saga:

    I think Diaby would benefit from a short loan; there would be a host of football playing premiership teams who would love to bring him in and he would get the regular game time which he desperately needs.

  306. Seriously – is this blog just a big circlejerk for you guys? Anyone utters any opinion different to yours and rather than making a single intelligent counterpoint all you do is make childish statements about thresomes and grapes. Sophomoric behavior. Stick to football.
    Flamini honoured his contract and decided to earn more money and work in Milan. Why feel jilted? You only worked for one employer your whole life?

  307. are you GUS, Philmar?

  308. mgk,
    no way we loan out Vassiriki.
    He ft…he play..1st teamer, 1st choice !

  309. Hey USG, what do u think of mgk’s idea?

  310. lol JJ….we love grapes.

  311. corr: “He fit…he play..1st teamer, 1st choice !”

  312. Shut up with the childish nonsense – I’ll only answer football questions. i have no interest in being a toy for your large circlejerk.

    Flamini honoured his contract. He gave his all while wearing the shirt. I state this and somebody stupidly suggests that I claim to have insider knowledge? Yogi’s posts are intelligent, reasoned and thoughtful. birdkamp’s today as well. But the comments to anyone’s opinion that differs from you are juvenile.

    Did Flamini really owe you anything? Why feel jilted?

  313. mattgoonerknight


    Is this with or without the signing of M’vila?

    For debates sake, let’s say without.

    As I alluded to in a post above, I don’t believe in a nailed on starting 11 as so many factors dictate to the contrary – but if such a thing was possible; what would your nailed on central three be?

    In short, what’s your “1st choice” central three?

  314. mattgoonerknight


    Why do you ask USG for his opinion?

    Also, Diaby’s fitness, or lack thereof, is a central part of my thinking, and thus should be recognised when disregarding the idea.

  315. mgk,
    even WITH the signing of M’V.
    Arsene’s going 3-D on us man…he’s trying to set up CM combos with no drop in quality at all!

    There’s triple coverage for all 3 CM positions.
    Its got me so excited I truly cannot give u a 1st choice threesome
    BUT one thing’s for sure, if all are fit
    Diaby’s not in the 3rd group!

  316. mgk
    we did this the other day and had a massive row up about rosicky and jack..

    amans added diaby to the mix..

    its a tough one..

  317. im not talking of selling or loaning out diaby either..

    hes too talented, we could keep him fit for a year when hes 30 and he could win us everything before slipping a disc lifting the cl trophy..

    but i dont think we should leave his space open in the team anymore..
    having a player like that out season after season kinda fucks with the system so if AW feels the same i think a player like mvilla could be on the cards..

  318. mgk,
    ’cause GUS is da man, the myth, tha multiple.
    I just really needed his wisdom @ that point
    ..alas, the moment has passed

    I’d worry about a loan deal. AD2’s probably quite psyche-sensitive right now.
    And we definitely don’t want to lose him.

  319. arse or brain

    great post as usual however I believe england should have used this tournament as a learning process and taken a young team concerntrating on ball retension. we once again have been an embarressment. I like roy but once again we are the poor relation as far as technique is concerned. As I watched Denmark beat the dutch the comentator said maybe this was the way england could win games I had to laugh we could never hold on to the ball in key areas like the danish did in that game. qualifying top of the group has ( in the long run ) not done us any favours in our overall progression. We are unfortunatleythe stoke of world football

  320. mattgoonerknight


    I for one don’t believe that we have a nailed on central three, as each player affects the other two possibilities, hence why I challenged Amans assertion that “He ft…he play..1st teamer, 1st choice !”

    Diaby’s too talented to go on loan IF he is allowed the opportunity of a injury free, significant run in a team. If however, his opportunities are limited due to competition (which is surely the ideal scenario), wouldn’t a return to his best form be severely hindered?

    I don’t see how Diaby playing his way back to form, in every game, for a team who is not challenging our position while in turn playing against all of our rivals (à la the citeh exiles), until the new year, is not to our benefit.

    If he does the business, he comes back and helps us in the second, most gruelling and squad testing, half of the season. If he ended up playing just a handful of games, most of which being “come back” games due to persistent recurrences of various injuries, then there would have been nothing lost, as this is what perennially happens to us anyway.

    I like Diaby but you’ve got to actually play to be considered a first team starter.

  321. arse or brain,
    what say ye if England wins the damn cup?

    do u forget Italy in 2006?
    what was so special about that team?

    I say big up the effort being put in..
    ..cheer like the irish
    stop bad-mouthing your team!

  322. mattgoonerknight


    If you think he’s such a twat, perhaps you shouldn’t invite his twatisms?

    If he were to take the bate, he would be (un)ceremoniously told to fuck off, so why not enjoy the visual silence, eh?

  323. No mgk,
    u just don’t loan out your cream…
    AW rates him really high for a reason
    Just as he does TR, Cesc, Robin & even Ramsey.
    Home is where he reboots not out in the cold, cold world.

  324. f’give my moment of weakness mgk,
    it’ll never happen again (today)

  325. mattgoonerknight

    “Arsene’s going 3-D on us man”

    Diaby, Djourou and Denilson together in centre mid…shit, I hope not! 😉

  326. arse or brain

    mgk WHAT THE FUCK YOU ON and aman i have lived football for years and more and more I want more than just a lucky win, i want to enjoy my team, talk about them for years and have everyone else talking about them as well. the dutch in 74 might not have won the world cup but watch them again oh what a team still one of my favs

  327. mattgoonerknight

    Aman | June 22, 2012 at 7:59 pm

    “No mgk,
    u just don’t loan out your cream…
    AW rates him really high for a reason
    Just as he does TR, Cesc, Robin & even Ramsey.
    Home is where he reboots not out in the cold, cold world.”

    Cesc has gone (don’t understand why he’d ever of needed loaning, but meh) and Ramsey was indeed sent out on loan (for pretty much exactly the reason I’m proposing) not once but twice.

    I’d imagine Wilshere is rated highly, too.

    TR7 arguably could have benefited from a loan, but his amazing second-half-of-the-season-form makes this now difficult to imagine.

    Loaning out the cream sounds interesting; do you think my girlfriend would mind:)

  328. a or b,
    to each his own.
    personally I’d enjoy seeing England win ahead of Spain or Germany
    and I am NOT english.

  329. arse or brain

    and sorry my friend b ut you are also not a fan of football ………………..but i understand and mkg dont take the bait yeah nice argument i too used it at school

  330. mattgoonerknight

    arse or brain | June 22, 2012 at 8:07 pm


    Explain what you mean, in lower case if you would.

    Is what I’m saying so implausible?

    For what it’s worth, I don’t particularly care as whatever the boss decides is good for me, but I don’t see how my rationale is so deeply flawed: players who have struggled with injuries and subsequently have a lack of competitive game time often go out on loan.

    24 appearances in the last TWO seasons, in ALL competitions: anyone would think I was talking about a player who we’re actually used to seeing playing.

  331. pedantic george

    Check the IP address ,ha.

    I am not Jack fuckin Bauer

  332. pedantic george

    Diaby is either fit enough to play or he isn’t
    He cant play on loan if he is not fit .
    If he is fit he plays for us,
    Matt,you usually are bang on with your chat.But not this time,

  333. arse or brain

    mgk no argument with you on injury prone players its a difficult call either way depending on the player my comment was about twatisms which looking back i may have misinterpreted

  334. mattgoonerknight


    I knew you’d disagree because you rate Diaby very highly, but I’m not talking about his ability or necessarily his “fitness”.

    I’ve read your defences on many occasions of the apparent poor form / performances from our players returning from injury. Your argument against those who criticise is often that the players need time to play themselves back into form; to truly get to grips with the pace of the game and to (pardon the pun) find their feet again out on the pitch.

    Is Ramsey fit? Yes. Is he the Ramsey we know he’ll be given a significant run of games and renewed confidence? I fucking hope not, because we’ve all seen how good he can be.

    Rosicky? Pre and post new year – different player. He was “fit” for most of this period.

    I could go on but you hopefully get the point.

    Read back through my posts; I’ve not been disparaging and I would say that it’s mostly cogent.

  335. mattgoonerknight

    arse or brain | June 22, 2012 at 8:32 pm

    No worries.

    I just looked back, I spelt “bait” as “bate” – kind of related I suppose.

  336. a or b…
    a fan of football i am.
    i’m actually enjoying this english team.
    The planets are seem much better aligned..

    Not too many vets…
    They work hard for each other.
    (unlike the Dutch of 2012)
    Rooney was on the sideline for 2
    Others had to step up
    They attack & defend as a team
    They’ve accepted Roy’s pragmatism and it’s yielding results
    the squad’s spirit is high
    whats not to like?
    …why fantasize?

    question is..
    with such imaginary standards (hype)
    do fans like u deserve a great team?

  337. corr: The planets seem much better aligned..

  338. btw,
    Germany’s making the Greek look like they need a bailout!

  339. arse or brain

    aman ,
    there not imaginary standards weve seen teams from all over the world acheive wonderful football and there is no reason we cant, but we must emphasize good football and not bulldog spirit that is the fantasy jesus the greeks have scored

  340. c’mon greece!!

  341. arse or brain


  342. oh bugger.

  343. Poldi time please Mr. Low

  344. arsenalandrew

    Billy’s Boots at 1.54pm – thanks for the Jibba-summary; saved me a job.

    Looks like it’s been a long day here on ACLF …

  345. fuck this shit..i am talking about the germans not the amount of bullshit that has been spilled today on a cultured left foot.

  346. mattgoonerknight

    Look at the players Germany are bringing on with 10mins to go in a Euro quarter final…takes the piss.

    Either Italy or England have got their work cut out.

  347. matt,

    at least the english media will be giving us a chance.

  348. pedantic george

    I know your point was put well and was in no way disparaging.
    But Diaby is much further down the development road than Aaron.
    Ramsey is learning,Diaby has learned and if first will play .
    I don’t disagree that 6 months on loan,playing week in week out would do him the world of good.But so would 6 months playing regularly with the first team at Arsenal.

  349. mattgoonerknight


    I do too, it’s a cup tournament after all.

    If we we’re in a qualification style league with some of Europe’s best then I think England and Italy would rank some way behind Europe’s best, but in a one off cup game (we as Arsenal fans know as well as anyone) anything can happen.

    Germany have better players; are in better form; are on a longer unbeaten run; and have a much better record in international tournaments (inc.West Germany) than England = they are favourites.

    England have a better all time head-to-head = clutching at straws.

  350. It was a very good move on Löws part to replace Müller with Reus, but leaving Podolski out could’ve been very costly. His replacement, Schürrle, was like Arjen Robben from another dimension. Always trying to go for glory and even more wasteful in possession. Just imagine that guy starting gainst England on the left side with England having Theo on the right. Counter attacking goals galore. I hope Löw sees the errors in his way and brings back Poldi for the next game. Poldi — Özil — Reus looks like a very, very good attacking midfield.

    But obviously before England can relish another tie with Germany there is the small matter of Italy to be negotiated.

  351. pedantic george

    We might get a Russian official.

  352. arsenalandrew

    More likely a Swiss alpine shepherd, George.

  353. mattgoonerknight


    Fair enough re. his experience and development compared to Rambo, although I suppose we then go back to my main argument which is I don’t believe he can expect to get games week in, week out; this is what I fear could stagnate his rate of, for want of a better word, re-development.

    We know what the midfield options are so I won’t waste time in listing them, but if we add M’vila (speculatively, admittedly) to them also, I think Diaby at best will share a role in the centre three, thus not providing him the number of recovery aiding, game playing opportunities he would receive from being the star player at a team operating in mid table.

    Like I said earlier, I don’t particularly want him to go out loan, but I can see the logic if such a decision were to be made.

    If he stays (which despite my postulations is definitely most likely) I sincerely hope he stays injury free, finds form quickly and in turn demands a regular starting spot, ahead of a full complement of fully fit team mates. If he is able to do this, we will be in a extremely healthy position as our centre midfield options, with or without M’vila, are incredibly strong.

  354. pedantic george

    Matt,I think he would share playing time with Thomas.

  355. pedantic george

    I suppose we differ Matt ,because I think he would get plenty playing time if he was fit.Perhaps I rate him more than you do.And perhaps I am wrong.It would not be the first time.

  356. mattgoonerknight


    Sagna Kos Verm Santos

  357. mattgoonerknight


    Was just innocently lining up my best 11…didn’t mean to hit send

  358. pedantic george

    What part of this are you finding hard to understane
    “I think at the moment he would say his best position is central midfield”

    So the player sees himself as a mid fielder and Arsene sees him as mid fielder.
    I was impressed with him as a fill in RB .That does not make him a RB .

    How deep a hole are you going to dig yourself.?

  359. In a way I am very, very anxious for tomorrow’s game. I am on a Kos-detox and it will be my first glimpse of him playing in months. I so hope he gives one of his usual performances, i.e. completely bosses each and everyone that tries to go past him.

  360. @PG
    The way you have been posting today is reminding me of the way Koscielny plays. Making little fuss and taking care of business effectively. I guess USG must feel like 99% of strikers trying to get past Koscielny. But at least USG has a good work rate and keeps trying, no matter how foolish it makes him look.

  361. Upper Street Gooner


    Actually he is very adept at both, but he showed signs last year at right back that he could develop not only very well but very quickly.

    Jenkinson attitude is top class and i hope he develops into a quality player but le coq is an exceptional talent and our reserve team coach now first team coach thinks he may well have a future in both. his ceiling is much much higher than jenkinson who is still to show in any way or form that he can be a consistent or exeptional performer at the very highest level in any position. Letting eboue leave last year came back to haunt us in game 3 where he was ruthlessly exposed.

    I was never confident with him in the side after that, the same was not true of le coq.

  362. How do you refresh ACLF on a tablet?

  363. Balance very carefully or you’ll fall off.

  364. On a lighter note, I was quite surprised by the amount of Arsenal fans supporting Greece last night. We had a bus parking unadventurous team hoping for a lucky break or nil nil and penalties against a proper fast flowing improvisational young lively and beautiful to watch footballing side.
    How on earth could an Arsenal fan be on the side of the Stoke team in that equation?

  365. You are right steww but when it comes to the crunch there can be other reasons to support the likes of Stoke or Greece. There is a greater good.

    For the former, as an example, when they are playing the chavs.

    For the latter, when they are playing a country with a dodgy record in trying to dominate Europe and have most recently screwed up the economy of half of the continent by creating a currency, with their ‘friends’ the French, that gave them enormous economic advatage.

    In short, the Greeks are victims, albeit willing ones.

  366. That would be a heck of an extrapolation though Bob. They are two football teams not two governments surely? For the record I don’t support Stoke even when they play Man United. there has to be a line. i fell for the German team at the last WC and am delighted to support them still. They have done everything properly in terms of planning and long term strategy and play the game the right way.
    Oh and as Arsenal fans they won the Arsenal test 2 – 0. OK neither of our guys played but I can see zero football reasons and only some pretty poor and petty nationalistic reasons not to like Germany.
    And of course they are the only team likely to be able to stop Spain and if that doesn’t give everyone on earth reason to support them I don’t know what will.

  367. Can’t let this pass either
    “they are playing a country with a dodgy record in trying to dominate Europe ”
    which I assume means you find England even more reprehensible what with their dodgy record in trying to dominate the world.

  368. I make no comment on England and the world as I asume that most of the world hates us already. That’s upto them.

    As for the extrapolation, yes, it is. However, the German football team represents Germany, not just it’s football teams.

    I have nothing against the Country or it’s people but I am inclined to make opinions based on my, albeit poor, knowledge of history and economics.

    Not every country is the same.

    On a slightly different note, I strongly dislike what the euro has done to Europe in the attempt to make it ‘all the same’.

  369. Oh, and I would support Germany against Spain. Not for any geopolitical reasons this time, I just can’t stand the current batch of smug bastards

  370. I’d do the same, Cbob. But just to wind up Mrs YW and the Queen Mum, who arrived last night to stay for the next three weeks.

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