Six PL games to go: where will Arsenal finish?

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Technically, the double is still a possibility, but even the biggest optimist will have given up by now.

If it was not for the incredible bonus of still being in the FA-cup, with a great chance to win it this time round, we would feel quite deflated right now. Having been top of the league for so long, it looks like we have to battle it out for fourth place once more; and our game against the Toffees this weekend will be another game of the season event.

For me and many other Gooners, it is this annual déjà-vu experience that is so frustrating: the realisation that we once again are not able to push through to the next level – that feeling that we are standing still. Whether we win the FA-cup or not, deep down we know that we are still short of breaking into the very top of national and international football. As such, it constantly feels we are not making much, if any, progress.

This, however, does not take away the importance of winning the FA cup this season. For all the young guys in this team it is just the tonic they need. I want the likes of Ramsey, Gibbs, Ox, Wilshere (hopefully), Jenkinson, Szczesny, and one or two others who form our long-term future, to experience winning something; and they will not get a better opportunity to do so.

The optimists – often also Wenger-loyalists – point towards key injuries and/or the fact that transition takes time. The doomers point towards lack of tactical qualities of the manager, or lack of player purchases and/or lack of investments – having ‘real balls’ – by our major shareholder. I said last season that I would give Wenger one more season to start making real progress, and will leave it till the end of the season to pull my conclusions.

Looking at our remaining six games, they are all winnable; and if we beat Everton this weekend it might well spur us on to get 18 out 18, which would leave us with 82 points at the end of the season. Now, where would that leave us?

Remaining games of current top four:

Arsenal: West Ham, Newcastle United and West Brom at home; Everton, Hull, Norwich away.

Liverpool: Man City, Chelsea and Newcastle United at home, West Ham, Norwich, Crystal Palace away.

Chelsea: Stoke, Sunderland, Norwich at home; Swansea, Liverpool and Cardiff away.

Man City: Southampton, Sunderland, West Brom, West Ham and Aston Villa at home; Liverpool, Crystal Palace, Everton away.

Current League table:

Liverpool: Played 32, 71 points (GD 49)

Chelsea: Played 32, 69 points (GD 38)

Man City: Played 30, 67 points (GD 67)

Arsenal: Played 32, 64 points (GD 19)

Everton: Played 31, 60 points (GD 18)

Liverpool are on a role, but I predict it will come to an end soon. I can see them drop points in at least four of their remaining six games and we might well still catch up with them.

The Chavs have the easiest run-in of all of our competitors and they remain the favourites to win the league. I really hope they don’t, but I reckon they will. They might drop points against Liverpool but should be able to win the rest…. We need another surprise away loss by the Chavs to catch up with them and let’s hope there will be a couple of Welsh Whirlwinds blowing….

Man City are only three points ahead of us but have two games in hand. With five winnable home games they should be uncatchable for Arsenal, although they could drop a lot of points against the Liverpool clubs and CP. If they were to drop two to four points at home, we could still catch up with them, but let’s face it, this is highly unlikely.

So, in fairness, the PL title is a battle between the current top-three, and unless all three slip up disproportionately we will not win the league, even if we were to win all six remaining games. However, there is still every incentive to try and win each and every game, both to secure a top-four finish and see whether we can still finish third or even higher.

Let’s continue to OGAAT and finish as strong as possible: fight for every point till the end.

COYG! 🙂

Just for fun, a few questions for debate:

Who will win the league and why?

Other than Arsenal, who would you like to win the league and why?

What will be the top-five at the end of the season?

What was, according to you, an acceptable finish for Arsenal at the start of the season?

What is an acceptable finish for Arsenal as things stand now?

Do you feel the club has made progress this season and why?

Written by: TotalArsenal.

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729 Responses to Six PL games to go: where will Arsenal finish?

  1. AFC says:

    Barca get given transfer ban. One less competitor in the summer TW? No chance of Song coming back either?

    http://m.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/26852466

    Back later TA.

  2. Hey fellas…Quick update from Mexico…The water is perfect here at the ocean but my football plans in the big City (Guadalajara) didn’t come off…first, there was nowhere (I could find) to watch the City match but I did see most of it on a stream on the hotel roof terrace. (I did miss the City goal…) We looked ragged but right, I thought. I still wish we could play a more possession oriented game instead of counting on the tough running of Rosicky and Santi and even the Flimsier as well as plenty of long balls from Sir Chez…Ah well… The professor’s preview, match report and responses to comments are all much appreciated and the general impressions matched my own…

    2nd, due to pretty extreme fan violence the week before during the Guadalajara Derby (Atlas-Chivas) there was a police line for people w/o tickets outside the stadium. Maybe I’m getting old, but the footage of the people beating the crap out of each other (and the police–leaving several looking as good as dead…) kinda took away my eagerness to hunt down a reasonably priced ticket and attend the Chivas-America match. As it was, it was a nil-4 drubbing and the Chivas faithful seemed pretty down afterwards… Again, ah well…

    Regarding the league (thanks for posting the run-in fixtures…), Pool are the form team but I wonder about them holding their nerve against teams (City, Chavs) who can really defend. I think Chelsea might have trouble with the extra matches (including today’s) even if their run in does look easiest. As such, if City can win their extra games, to me, they appear favorites…

    The other form team is Everton, but if we were to find a bit of luck and win up there it would be like a gift from Dennis and, who knows what might happen if we could run the table…As it is, I’d take a draw (if it were on offer) right now and then we’ll still need a bunch of focus and fortune to keep ahold of our CL spot and see out the matches at Wembley. In the end, rather than trying to guess at what’s gonna happen, perhaps it’s easier just to see what actually occurs… (Another very slight worry is that ManU did OK yesterday in leg 1 vs Bayern…)

    OK, off now and headed towards more remote beaches where there was most certainly no internet the last time I visited (16 years ago). Things change, however…

    Keep up the good work!…

  3. TotalArsenal says:

    Good to hear fro you, seventeeno!

    Good to hear you are having a good time and give us some more details: food, culture, smells, sight seeing, etc. 🙂

  4. TotalArsenal says:

    They probably win the appeal, AFC, but interesting development.

  5. Evening Arselickesquers ! 😆

    A bloody good read !……………apart from not putting up Everton`s fixtures, which as far as I`m aware, they are in the picture as much as we are !.
    So here Lazious Bastardous……..Everton`s fixtures ! :

    Squeaky Bumnal (H)
    Sunderland (A)
    C Palace (H)
    Manshafter Std (H)
    Soton (A)
    Mansour City (H)
    Hull (A)

    Right other than that and other than my Titled position, me and you Totes are basically on the same hymn sheet !. Actually, I said Wenger will be judged by this coming Summers TW and you will only make your mind up at the end of this season…….and they call me the doomer ( VCC is the Dormer of Doom ) !. hahaha
    In other news……..The Spuds are expecting to be in their new stadium in 2017 !……..will they have as many bleak years ( added on to the ones since 1961 ) that we have had in the financing of a new stadium ?.
    Now to the questions !
    1) I think I might have said at the start of the season Chavs or Mansour City…..although, it was I, who said that Liverscum should win it because of their lack of CL, Europa, COC and eventually FAC fixtures, people on here said they will falter at some stage because Suarez would either get banned or injured or something of both…….hasn`t happened yet ! . So it`s one them 3 ! . Added to this excellent piece of observation of mine, you can make Manshafter Std the favourites for next seasons EPL if they have no CL( I say “if” as we all no what the Chavs did to the Spuds ! ) and Europa League ! .
    2) Mansour City !. I hate the Chavs more and if I`m right about Liverscum, then bastards on here will be Wengerwanking their selves to with an inch of blindness in proclaiming….” you don’t need a Oilygarch to win the EPL ! ” .
    3) Us, Everton, Chavski, Mansour and Liverscum.
    4) Relegation !.
    5) Anything below 4th !.
    6) No !. Because for most of the season that mattered, we had between a third and half our first choice players on life support machines !.

    PS
    Seventeenho ……….fcuk the…..food, culture, smells and sight seeing etc`………what about the pussy !………………….has Speedy Gonzalez been eaten by one yet ?. hahaha

  6. omgarsenal says:

    There are a great many (in fact probably the majority) Gooners NOT feeling deflated at all right now, including myself. I am a realist and appreciate that our title winning chances are slim indeed, but stranger things have happened. We have a good chance to win the FA Cup and to take at least 15 of the 18 points available, perhaps 16. Not a bad end to a great season.
    It is not being optimistic to state that we have 7 first team starters out and that we have done the best with what we have, despite some embarrassing moments this year.

  7. TotalArsenal says:

    Cock of Doom, all good points, and yes you did predict Pool would do well because of lack of non PL games.

  8. TotalArsenal says:

    Fair enough, and no surprise there, OMG. 🙂

  9. TotalArsenal says:

    OMG, who are the seven starters?

  10. TotalArsenal says:

    No need to rush guys, the post will stay on till Saturday 😆

  11. Alcide says:

    Hi,

    “The optimists – often also Wenger-loyalists – point towards key injuries and/or the fact that transition takes time” – agreed with OMG, This (or the corollary sentence following) is a bit reductive (or provocative perhaps 🙂 ?) in any case I point to those facts but don’t think as myself as either optimist or a loyalist.

    Who will win the league and why?
    City… But the Pool results vs. City and Chelsea makes it a very close call.

    Other than Arsenal, who would you like to win the league and why?
    Liverpool. However annoying they can be, I like the never walk alone supporters thing, the attack oriented football, and the fact they are not oilers.

    What will be the top-five at the end of the season?
    City, Pool, Chelsea, us and Everton.

    What was, according to you, an acceptable finish for Arsenal at the start of the season?
    4th, although I had higher hopes – mainly for a first season where we could really compete. And in my mind we did until injuries combining at the worst time killed it…

    What is an acceptable finish for Arsenal as things stand now?
    4th, and FA Cup, mainly because the team owes us (and themselves) a good performance vs. a top team and we should therefore deliver vs Everton, and from then we have an easier run than them. And the Cup because after Birmigham, it would not be acceptable to fail vs. Wigan, Hull, Sheffield – I’m not saying it’s going to be easy, it being the Cup and all, but still.

    Do you feel the club has made progress this season and why?
    In the absolute, yes, but relative to other teams less so: I think overall team levels and number of competitive teams have increased in general vs. last season. Points were tougher to earn this season. And there’s the injuries – not only to key players (and it’s not like we were short of midfielders) , but aggregating at the worst moment. Now I don’t disagree with TCM that this could actually constitute a failure, but I’ll take a more positive (optimist? 😉 ) view. Here could be something about rotation, our medical team… But some of it, I like to think is probabilities playing tricks. Where we did not progress, is against top teams – and we can’t without a better DM pivot. Did you see Thiago Motta today? Kind of Arteta’s big brother… Or ugly-running-shoulders-in-front Matuidi?

    But OGAAT it is for now, and another game of the season it is 🙂

  12. AB says:

    Hi TA. As ever, lots to mull in your questions.

    My cup remains half full on matters. I am probably a Wenger loyalist, but that reflects the facts that a) I think there is a lot to be said for loyalty generally, in life and sport, and b) I remain of the view that Wenger is at least one of the very best managers available to us.

    Progress for me is not simply about league position, its about whether we have been competitive. For most of this season we have been – more than in fact, by dint of leading the league for most of it. I do think it is reasonable to see injuries (of the level that we have sustained) as an unfortunate and significant part of our relative decline in the latter part of the season. I accept also that injury management and squad depth are reasonable criticisms in this regard too, though I don’t really think we lack depth in the attacking midfield area, which is where most of our injuries lie. Progress then; I think we have made it, in depth, quality and steel – but if we fall away in the next 6 games and end up 12 points and more off the lead, then it will feel diminished for sure. If we end up out of the top 4, having secured more points than last season, then that would be a major financial and prestige set back – but it would not be an accurate measure of progress. A lot hangs on our steel for these coming games and the FA cup. Barring relegation it would be hard for me to see a season where we won the cup being a failure. At the start of the season I would have taken 3rd and 6 points off the top – now, I would still like that (or better), but I am also cheered by our performances over the season, which I won’t ignore at the end, whatever our final points tally.

    Who do I expect to win the league? Chelski I fear – my prediction at the start of the season; its amazing how the press let maureen get way with the implication that he hasn’t spent money on his squad and has no strikers at his disposal! Laughable. I’m afraid that leaves me wanting, if we can’t win it, for city to win……. I know, its a horrible choice! My reasoning, if it can be called that as its really gut feel, is firstly, I don’t want a fully resurgent Liverpool (like China, a giant you wake at your peril) as well as Rodgers being a complete cock, and secondly, if someone else is to win I would rather we can at least point to them being able to buy their way to the title – it would be harder to take from a team operating under similar financial conditions.

    I have been expecting pool to fade all season long, and they have instead grown stronger whilst keeping all their players fit. On paper I still expect them to slip up in the coming games, but I am far less sure now. The same goes for Everton (and its harder here as I can’t help liking their manager and the way they play), but their run in looks a lot tougher than ours. I would take a point from our game quite happily I confess as we should be able to pull away from them thereafter, but I really don’t want us playing Wigan whilst staring at 5th place in the league! Martinez is the one manager I like the look of in the PL – I don’t say this in hindsight, but registered it the season before when he turned down the pool job because Henry would not give him the player buying control; I liked the integrity, the steel and the sense of a full vision for his club – qualities that would fit the Arsenal job for me. In perhaps 3 or 4 years hopefully……

    As others have said many times, I think we are a couple of players away from being a very good and competitive side. With our current squad fit over the season I think we might well have been in with a shout of the title even now, but sadly such speculation counts for little. After all the supportive words, it will be interesting to see how the players come out and perform for Wenger in the coming games, and I can see him reflecting on their desire as demonstrated meaningfully when he comes to decide on his contract. If they cannot show him what staying means to them, then I suspect he may well not do so.

    Cup still half full chaps! COYG!!!!!!

  13. TotalArsenal says:

    Alcide and AB, thanks for the comments. I will get back to you both tomorrow. 🙂

  14. willc88 says:

    i think we’re heading for another 4th to be honest, a little disappointing but fingers crossed we’ll get a little bit of gloss and reel in the f.a cup. I think THIS summer could be very decisive. If we make more moves for players of a high calibre rather than the likes of which we’ve previously gone for we could be genuine contenders again.

  15. geoffchase says:

    TA

    Hmm…

    Who will win the league and why? City, in the end power over paranoia. It’ll be close with 7 points from first to fourth

    Other than Arsenal, who would you like to win the league and why? City will do of those present. Can’t stand Chelsea/Maureen and Pool/Rodgers/Suarez – I feel dirty and hungry?

    What will be the top-five at the end of the season? City, Chelsea, Pool/Arsenal, Everton. As noted I think there’ll be 7 points from first to fourth… Far closer than last year.

    What was, according to you, an acceptable finish for Arsenal at the start of the season? Top four far closer to first. As seems might, repeat might, happen.

    What is an acceptable finish for Arsenal as things stand now? Same!

    Do you feel the club has made progress this season and why? Yes. Far closer to first, FAA cup maybe, far closer to big boys, money to spend and get better. We’ve caught up largely with Chelsea and Man City, and Pool will fade with Europe and when Suarez blows town (or others). Right specific buys will see us top of table longer stand towards end of season.

    Cheers — jgc

  16. alexgunners says:

    Hi TA,

    Great post.
    Here are my answers to the questions which you have posted.
    Who will win the league and why?
    I think that Man$htty will win it

    Other than Arsenal, who would you like to win the league and why?
    Tricky question, Definitely not the chavs, Man$hitty to me is a better result than Lpool simply because all we are going to hear is about how Suarez has won the league for them. Arsenal’s ridiculous $40,000,001 bid cost them the league. And the rest of it

    What will be the top-five at the end of the season?
    Man$hitty, Chavs, Lpool, Gunners, Everton

    What was, according to you, an acceptable finish for Arsenal at the start of the season?
    i hoped for instant qualification to the CL.

    What is an acceptable finish for Arsenal as things stand now?
    3 or 4th with a the FA Cup in the trophy cabinet.

    Do you feel the club has made progress this season and why?
    The only progress made was the fact that we spend good money for once on a player that has the ability to guide us forward.

  17. henrychan says:

    Hi all.. TA, I like straight to answer your questions..
    1. Who will win the league and why?
    City or Liverpool.. Depend on who win the battle in Liverpool vs City game..
    City is more likely to win the EPL.. cause their hardest games is only Liverpool.. and they just need to draw.. hehehehe..
    2. Other than Arsenal, who would you like to win the league and why?
    I prefer Liverpool.. And if they can beat City and win all the rest games.. they will win the EPL..
    3. What will be the top-five at the end of the season?
    City, Liverpool, Arsenal, Chelsea, Spurs..
    Chelsea will lost twice and draw one.. So we will above them.. hahaha..
    4. What was, according to you, an acceptable finish for Arsenal at the start of the season?
    Top 2, FA winner, UCL semifinal..
    5. What is an acceptable finish for Arsenal as things stand now?
    Win the FA.. win all the rest games..
    6. Do you feel the club has made progress this season and why?
    Yes.. We are better than last season..
    Next season will be much better for us.. cause 3 or 4 new and big players will join us.. hehehe..
    So next season we can dream for better position in all leagues.. hahaha..

  18. From the unfathomable injury plague destroying our season (league), it has shown that quite a few players are not of the quality that is required to compete, which leads me to my logical opinion that as well as some SQ buys, we also need a clear out !. A clear out of the proportions I will be clearing out in a sec` !…………yes, I`ve had some rather plague inflicting spicy food…..must rush !.

  19. VCC says:

    who would you clear out Cockie?

  20. Clear out`s and reasons Vics !.

    Podolski…..I want fast tricky wingers to stretch teams !. Ok to keep as an impact sub for his shooting ability !.
    Verm….cant see him wanting another season as back up !.
    Sagna…..seems like he`s going !.
    Monreal….don’t get the hype !.
    Arteta ….too slow and out muscled against the usual suspects !
    Bendtner…..he`s gone !.
    Flamini !, someone to take over in future and someone either better or too cover….. Gibbs !.

  21. VCC says:

    I like the last one 😉

    You will get shot though…..

  22. VCC says:

    the only one I would keep in your list is Sagna

  23. VCC says:

    I would add =
    Giroud……Miyachi……Eisfeld…….Olsson….Diaby

  24. VCC says:

    Had a good look at Cavani last night……I know it was only one game, but werent impressed.

    I liked that winger who came on as sub last night. Cant remember his name

  25. Giroud is plan B when we get a Suarez type striker !.
    Miyachi, Eisfeld and Olsson are young and should be loaned out.
    Diaby will be assessed by his latest comeback and will either be injured again or do an RVP and play unhindered for a couple of seasons, but for the amount of wages we have paid him for being on a life support machine, I think he should agree to a, pay as you play contract !. He has been looked after beyond the call of duty, it`s pay back time from him imo !.

  26. alcide says:

    TCM – you also need to consider you’re going to replace them with better before you get rid of them…

    Podolski – agreed, we need a faster/better ballplayer option on the left
    Verm – quite a good CB backup if we can keep him, but if we can get some money AND a good replacement (or two if Bac leaves)
    Sagna – still one of the best at his post, ageing well so far, versatile and could be a great CB 2nd backup.
    Monreal – don’t get the hype? Let’s get ourselves a SQ DM, and you’ll see clearer 🙂
    Arteta – yep, but still a year on his contract (no extension in sight), would not be sold for much, and would do great against lesser teams to give a rest to our SQ DM!
    Bendtner – ok, I don’t have an argument here 😉
    Flamini – no way, perfect DM backup, or for when we need Steel+Steel in the DM pivot
    Gibbs – no way, he’s coming of age, and a faster SQ DM (+ better LAM cover) will help loads

    VCC – you’re talking about Pastore? He has been struggling for quite a bit (think F. Torres level), and I would NOT think about him for the EPL considering he’s “technically good but struggling with the physical aspect of the game” in ligue 1.

  27. TotalArsenal says:

    Evening guys, many good comments, bar cod’s ridiculous list. Flamini out? Time you start watching the games, couch Podhato.

    Back tomorrow, sleep well folks. 🙂

  28. TotalArsenal says:

    Alcide great response to cock of doom – and you don’t recognise the optimist in yourself? 🙂

  29. AB says:

    Blimey TCM and VCC – you seem to be talking about players as though all our squad need to be 1st 11 and mostly SQ to boot! A squad needs to have a mix, both for range of circumstance, injury cover and balance between developing, prime and experienced players. The only one in your list I agree with is Bendtner. Sagna, Gibbs and one of Flamteta would all be 1st 11 players next season, and all the others would be sound on the bench or when there is injury. I hope we strengthen a few places with real quality in the summer, and we have the space in our squad to do this without a major clear out – we had that last year.

  30. alcide says:

    TA, 😛

  31. Hold on a sec` muvverz !. 😀
    You miss understand me or maybe I didn`t make it clear enough !.
    I didn`t mean Flamini to go, but for someone brought in to take over in the not too distant future !.
    I didn`t mean for Gibbs to go either, just someone better (Shaw) for Gibbs as back up or someone better than Nacho as Gibbs back up !.
    As for Verm and Sagna, I would like them to stay, but don’t think they want to !.
    So if you read it again, it`s Bendtner, Arteta, Nacho and Podolski ….although, I did say Pod` was welcome as an impact sub !.

    However, all the ones on my list and the ones you have mistaken could go, if we were to buy better replacements, but that would cost more than even Mansour City or Chavs would even be willing to spend, let alone Miser Wenger !.
    Lets also face the fact that none of our squad has currently won a trophy under Wenger !. So who`s to say your mistaken view of my previous comment wasn`t right in the first place !.
    Hope that’s as clear as mud or the clear out I had earlier !. 😀

  32. I`m now off to bed…..to dream of my Arsenal culling and replacements to bring Arsene his first trophy for 9 years under my reign !.
    Viva La Cockie !. 😆

  33. Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz……………………………………..Yes Uzzy !, buy him and him and him and him and him and him and him……it`s OK…..we are still well short of the £2 Billion both the Chavs and Mansour`s have spent together to bring success !.

  34. VCC says:

    Hi alcide……cheers for that, but Im talking about the other game. I’ll have a check tomorrow what his name is. 🙂

  35. VCC says:

    Nite nite cockie.

  36. AB says:

    TCM – ok so we are only talking about a difference between us of Arteta and Nacho. I think Arteta has at least a year left in him, assuming we strengthen at DM with quality rather than potential. Even a Bender would need some easing into the PL, as almost any player would at DM. Flam is always a card or injury risk. We would get little for Arteta at his age, so why sell him, when he has a sound head, is a good option on the bench and can take penalties? Nacho I think is a quality LB – though he will never be SQ. Could we trade him in for SQ? Yes of course, but why would we do this given a) we already have SQ (or near) potential in Gibbs, and b) we have more pressing needs to fill elsewhere? He is great cover for LB, and also gives us a more defensive LM option where we need to close out. Not a critical player for our team, but a pretty good one for the squad all the same.

    Of your list Sagna is a worry. I don’t think we should break the bank for him, given his age; but I do think we could risk a longer contract, given his versatility at CB and even LB when necessary. If he does go, as seems likely, this leaves a problem as we will have to pay top dollar (not Wenger’s preference for a defender) to buy a ready replacement, and a Jenks:Theo combo next season would give me some defensive concerns……

  37. AFC says:

    TA, thanks for the post. To answer your questions:

    1) City will win the league. They have the best double DM pivot in the league, the best CB in the league and the best strikeforce in the league and they have games in hand.

    2) Hate Mourinho and Chelsea and hate Rodgers and Liverpool so I would want City to win the league.

    3) Top five will be City, Chelsea, Liverpool, Arsenal and Everton.

    4) An acceptable finish for Arsenal at the beginning of the season would have been winning any trophy and finishing in the top four, if we did not win the league in my opinion.

    5) An acceptable finish now will be 4th place along with winning the FA Cup.

    6) We have made minor progress. Next season is when we will make huge progress. Hopefully SQ players will be added and then we can challenge in the CL and maybe win the PL.

  38. Admir says:

    Lovely post, TA. 🙂

    Who will win the league and why?

    -Liverpool. They have the best strikers in the league including the one that is currently by far the best player in the league, the momentum is on their side and their rivals are coping with absences of their important players or non-PL matches. Plus, City and Chavs have to come to their place. If they beat WH, they will host City as the leaders on the table.

    Other than Arsenal, who would you like to win the league and why?

    -Liverpool. They haven’t spent too much money on their current team, they score goals for fun (32 more than we have), they have a manager that has managed to do a lot of things I’d thought were impossible (making Suarez and Sturridge a perfect couple – I thought they would kill each other eventually; returning Henderson to life; getting rid of all that deadwood Dalglish left to him…)…and they’ve been hard done by the referees at both Etihad and Stamford Bridge (especially at SB).

    What will be the top-five at the end of the season?

    -Liverpool, City, Chavs, Arsenal, Everton.

    What was, according to you, an acceptable finish for Arsenal at the start of the season?

    -Third place given that United went to transition, Liverpool and Spuds were…well, Liverpool and Spuds.

    What is an acceptable finish for Arsenal as things stand now?

    -Fourth place. Injuries, lack of a world-class striker, preposterous fixture list and the fact we are in FA Cup semifinals with the best chances to win the thing.

    Do you feel the club has made progress this season and why?

    -It’s hard to say. Our injury-list has been much longer than the one from the last term. That’s where we have deteriorated. I also feel our game has been much slower than it had been the case last season which has had a lot to do with Theo’s absence. We haven’t had a single game where we scored five goals or more (last season: Reading twice, Newcastle, West Ham, Spuds) – we have conceded five or more in three occasions. Also, our defending has deteriorated in a way that we hadn’t conceded more than three goals last season bar one absurd occasion (Reading in Capital One Cup). Also, we have already spilled more points after being ahead this season that we had had last term (last season: 6, this season: 7).

    We have made a progress in terms of our flat-track bullying of the smaller opponents and in terms of consistency – that’s why we have won so many matches with 2:0-scoreline and were in the title race for so long. Also, we have scored some wonderful team-goals this season (Wilshere and Rosicky) – that’s something that I can’t recall from the last one.

  39. Admir says:

    @The Cookie Monster – actually, Flamini has won two trophies under Wenger. 😀 The Flame has won Community Shield and FA Cup in 2004-05. He was actually a member of 49’ers – one of the players that participated in 49-match-unbeaten streak.

  40. TotalArsenal says:

    Okay CoD, that sounds a lot better. I reckon you had been listening to Talkshite for most of yesterday and was duly influencedby them hahaha

  41. TotalArsenal says:

    So most of us expect Mansour City to win and there’s a 50/50 split between Pool and MC as preferred PL winners other than Arsenal. For me, it’s Pool because, as others have mentioned, they are doing it based on vision and attacking football rather than just buying it. I still fear it will be Chavs, which might set the scene for the next few years….

    I expected us to finish in top three at least and to have to battle it out with Chavs for title and the way we gave it away in recent month has made me disappointed. The Chavs monster defeat was really bad, but equally was dropping three points at Stoke with a woeful team performance and dropping two points against Swansea. That were five points wasted which would still have us competing for the title right now.

    The latter rather than getting beat by the Chavs is so typically Arsenal under Wenger and frustrates me so much, and why I feel we have not made much, if any, progress. Yes we have moved closer to the Oilers but that is because they are in transition/getting used to a new manager.

    I understand why others are expecting big things in the summer, and it might well be true, but as I see it now we have more fundamental problems, which I will post about towards the end of the season.

  42. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Morning

    Nice stuff my Dutch Master

    Have we improved? Of course we have. The thirties team started of with an FA Cup and this modern side will do the same.I foresee a wonderful future.

    A champions league spot, whether it be 3rd or 4th, is a good season. Lets not kid ourselves, we play in the most competitive league in the world in terms of clubs with financial clout.

    I concur with Admir, It has to be Liverpool for the reasons he has spelt out. However, as the days pass my natural evil side emerges. You know, its like when you hear a good friend has come into some money. At first your happy for him then after a few weeks you start thinking “jammy bastard”.

    After a couple of months your at the point were your thoughts are “Fuck him, it should have been me with that money. I would love to shag his wife”

    Six months in, your round his house in a balaclava, speaking like Kermit the Frog to go undetected, and forcing him at gunpoint to give you the money

    So at this stage its Liverpool, but I dont know for how long. hahaha

  43. Alcide says:

    In case we still have doubters on Rambo’s importance and quality, interesting stats:

    http://hereisthecity.com/en-gb/2014/04/03/ramseys-back-how-gunners-ace-compares-to-toure-and-gerrard/?

  44. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Cheers GN5

    1971 are my first football memories. I was only six but my dad took me Arsenal v Derby. The only thing I recall was not been able to see the pitch, and then going round “auntie” Beryls house after.

    I can also recall Cup Final day. My dad got home steaming drunk and I dont think ive ever seen him so happy. He grabbed and held me up in the air “We done it Tel, we done it. Were going to have a great time tonight round “auntie” Beryls. You can have Tizer and watch Donald Duck”

    I would love to comment further on that legendary side GN5, but ime afraid bad views, Tizer, wine gums, Donald Duck, and feelings of resentment are all I have to offer.

  45. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Oopps, wrong site hahaha

  46. TotalArsenal says:

    very funny, Terry. The good news about Liverpool is that they show to us that a non-oil funded club can still win the league. But a long way to go for them.

  47. TotalArsenal says:

    Yep we have missed him, Alcide.

  48. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Yes TA. I have never had any doubts that a non oiler could win it. Dont tell Cornwall though. He will have to change his “end is nigh” placard to “end is maybe nigh” hahaha

    If you look at Chelsea, they are seriously effected by FFP. The reason is that unlike City or PSG, they are further down there FFP cycle than those two. In other words, they have less room for financial moveability. The same thing will happen to the others.

    We dont need Usmanov to win things. We do need however owners and management that are astute and plough all available resources back into the team.

    Lets not forget that in the grand scheme of things, the Kronke ownership model is in its very early stages. Lets see how it develops.

  49. TotalArsenal says:

    Thanks Terry Bright Side Mancini 🙂

    Yes Cocker of Doom wants to wallow in a sea of oil, together with his army of Lesbanians! 😛

  50. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    hahaha TA. Had to laugh at Cornwalls list of “Outs” and how excited my other mucker Vics got at the prospect.

    I really dont know whats got into those two, they are such kind and gentle souls. Next they will be telling me that Wengers past it and Stans only in it for the money. hahaha

  51. TotalArsenal says:

    So true Terry. Where do you stand on Gibbser and his potential?

  52. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    I am a big fan of Gibbs TA. He has it all really. Pace, skill, and the character required at a big club like Arsenal.

    His development has been hampered by injury, but this season its been a lot better. The guy will gain the adequate experience, toughen up, and fight it out with Shaw for the England left back spot.

  53. Know it all. says:

    Petition to Arsenal football Club. Please sign below.

    We the undersigned wish Arsene Wenger would sell Keiron Gibbs……….and buy Luke Shaw =

    ……….
    ……….
    ………

    Come on, don’t be shy. 😉

  54. Know it all. says:

    Terry, trust me….Frank McLintock was a better captain than Tony Adams. Your Father is correct, he was a colossus…….and being Greek he would know all about those things.

  55. TotalArsenal says:

    Fully agreed, Terry. He is top class modern FB in the making. The next Cole.

  56. AB says:

    TA, you are too harsh on the duff performances. I agree, the slip ups against lesser opposition are the ones that frustrate the most – Stoke, Swansea, and don’t forget Villa (how could we!?). But we have made progress on this front – in the last couple of seasons we have had far more of these, and we have had them in runs to boot. This year it has been the exception, not the expected norm. This IS the key mark of progress for me. The big away defeats to the top 3 have drawn all the attention, but we have been more consistent than those sides overall.

    What are we missing at the moment – our best 11 (free from injury), a winning mindset (the belief is still not there against the best opposition), and perhaps 2 more SQ players. Cup still half full for me. Disappointment from this season stems from what might have been even better, but should not detract from what we have built on from last season.

  57. We are still only +3 points better off like for like, fair enough, we can take the 3 points gained at the Spuds as an enormous plus point………I still have a boner from it !………but, the minus points are still that we cant beat none of Manshafter Std, Mansour City and Chavski and in two cases were humiliated, so on the whole, no progress made in the League, CL or COC imo and only when we start to beat these teams and beat them well, like they beat us, will I think we are possibly moving in the right direction !.
    Yes, the injury factor has been the major reason for our poor showings, so sort that out and buy some SQ to bring more depth to the squad !. Although the money is going to be available, how many of you are honestly optimistic someone of Wenger`s history will spend it ?.

    KROENKE OUT !………………………….UZZY IN !

    That’s a more realistic petition remedy for success than Vicky`s petition for Shaw to replace Gibbs !. Aim higher Vic`s !. hahaha

  58. Dylan says:

    Been fairly quiet on here from me recently. Not much to say. Missing the Arsenal, plus school work makes for a dull dull week. Just hoping for a win this weekend. A 6-Pointer that seals CL in my opinion. Then just focus on the FA Cup. A trophy and a Champions League spot is a successful season to me.

  59. VCC says:

    TCM. 23:26. I truly believe Wnger will spend big this summer. We all know he has a substantial pot, and the time has come for him to bear the fruits of the seeds laid these past several years.

    He will go out with a bang. He knows the supporters are getting increasingly restless, and now he has NO excuses.

    I just hope he spends it on quality and not quantity.

    Have you signed my petition yet? Stretch and Kloppenstein have. 😉

  60. TotalArsenal says:

    Sorry AB,I don’t agree. How can we have made progress, when at the crucial period we whimper out against the likes of Stoke and Swansea, and naively get slaughtered by the Chavs?

  61. TotalArsenal says:

    Dylan, you need a girlfriend! 🙂

  62. AB says:

    TA. Chelski whimpered out against CP – but still look like winning the league; progress? If the benchmark is no poor performances then we are certainly not there, but I think we have had fewer of them this season, regardless of injuries.

  63. Dylan says:

    I have one TA! My one year was last week.

  64. TotalArsenal says:

    Why look at others, AB? We need to look at what our team does and they whimpered out IMO. A season lasts for ten months, not eight.

  65. TotalArsenal says:

    Well you CANNOT be bored then, Dylan! 😀

  66. AB says:

    What’s your reference point then TA? For me, the handful of dire games this season are no more the true measure of performance/progress than the first leg of the Napoli tie. We can still give a truly woeful performance on ‘our day’, I totally agree with you on that; but we have fewer of them now, as our young squad has started to mature, Flam has returned to add steel, and our (best) back 4 has started to show some cohesion and quality. All that adds up to clear progress for me, as shown by long spells at the top. It does not take away the sense of disappointment from how we have slipped back at the end of the season however. I think the spread of views here reflects a range of opinions on how much weight you attribute to our injury problems – and how much you view this as the clubs fault or misfortune.

  67. AB says:

    No favours done in games today. Not even wins for relegation candidates that we have to face – I was hoping Norwich might pick up some points to make them safe come the final day. And goal difference starting to show distinct groups – after being up with the pack most of the season we are now down with Everton and manure, and don’t even have the comfort of the ‘extra point’ that goal difference offers in our probable contest with Everton for 4th spot….. Hey ho! Lets hope Rambo can have 20 min at the end of tomorrow and be back in our starting line up soon.

    I would take a point if offered now from tomorrow’s game; I just hope we are geared up for the start of the game, and don’t find ourselves out of it after 20 min!

  68. TotalArsenal says:

    AB 🙂

    Fair enough. My reference point is level of maturity, dealing with pressure and ability to push to the next level. In the games I mentioned our players and manager failed and I am peed off with it.

    I respect your views though, and you have always been consistent, which I value.

  69. AB says:

    How are you feeling about tomorrow TA? I find it harder to form any clear view as we get near the end of the season and the stakes get so high. On form they look the best bet – very sound at home and on a good run. We look pretty fragile and, great though it is to have Ram back, I don’t think we can count on him to transform our team. As ever, I will be looking for a truly committed performance, with drive and energy from the off. With Verm, Flam and Ros all in from the off, if we can’t be committed tomorrow, when can we be? But there’s the nagging doubt….. I end up just hoping to be pleasant surprised!

  70. Admir says:

    Our run-in last season was incredible in so many ways but what made it special was our ability to step up in the final months of the season. In 2010-11 and 2011-12 we had appalling April and May. Last season, our last defeat happened on 3rd March.

    The thing is, we were 14 points ahead of Everton after they had conceded that late goal against Chavs. Five weeks later, we need to avoid defeat at their soil (only four teams have managed that this season) to keep fourth place. If we – and by “we” I mean “our players” – win tomorrow, “we” – and by this “we” I mean “fans” – will enter matches against Wigan and West Ham (two matches in three days).

  71. TotalArsenal says:

    AB

    I freed up an hour to write a preview and then my daughter needed help with finding her DS…. which we still have not found.

    Hope to find some time tomorrow morning now.

    Funnily enough, I don’t feel too nervous about this one. I reckon we start the same eleven as against MC and keep it tight. Arteta always plays his best football against his old club, Flamini will be up for it, and Rosicky can lead the team. The wings are our weakest areas but both Pod and Carzola have a goal or two in them. Lets hope Ollie has a quiet night in Pool! 🙂

  72. TotalArsenal says:

    Admir 🙂

    I always like your historic/statistical perspectives – you have a talent for this. You were also the first to point out that Everton could still challenge us for fourth place and it looks like they could come very close to getting past us.

    We should play for the win and settle this once and for all. COYG.

  73. AB says:

    Hope you are right TA. We are the better 11 on paper, but I’ve noted that a few times without having a smooth ride afterwards! A couple of early goals for the good guys needed to settle my nerves! COYG!!!!!!

  74. TotalArsenal says:

    I hope we dont play a high line as Everton are strong in midfield. I reckon it will not be a game for the faint-hearted and dont expect many goals. COYG

  75. Other than the 3 above us, Everton are the next form team !. Lost less than us, conceded less than us and less injuries than us…..although every team in this galaxy has less injuries than us, especially the ones from Uranus !.
    They also have 6 players who could possibly walk into our current team…..Baines, Coleman, McCarthy, Barkley, Lukaku and Deulofeu…..possibly a couple of others !. They are at home and also have a more tactical football brained manager !.
    Therefore, I expect a resounding 1-0 to us !…………….yeah right !. hahaha
    It`s has all happened as I predicted and even Manshafter could catch us. This is the last game of the “Torturous Ten Weeks” I predicted, but given that our injury woes are at breaking point ( don’t be swayed by Rambo coming back, he will need weeks to get upto match fitness and if he rushes back to quick will more likely have a relapse ! ), the so called easy run in ( last 5 ), will now be known as the ” For Fcuksake Five ! ” , because can any of you confidently think we can beat anyone with ease in our current form ?……………………………………………………………..let the rose tinters begin !. hahaha

    Like AB, I would take a point right now if offered !……but as usual, if that is the outcome tomorrow, I will be disappointed !.

  76. Hi Totes, looking at the fixture list fourth looks set unless we totally collapse with Everton having a more difficult set of fixtures than us after tomorrow, well at least on paper.

    Top 3 is what I wanted all along to remove any excuses for delaying marquee signing(s) in the summer. It’s going to be a stretch now although do-able *if* we get three points at Goodison Park.

  77. jgc says:

    TA, Dylan, CM and AB et al

    A. I’m with AB. We are faaaaaaaar closer than last year to first and in it lots. Far closer to Oilers et al who’ve also slipped. IMO that’s a sign of a more competitive EPL, which is (also IMO) a good thing.

    B. We need many CM or CoD wants rid of. If only as depth, where I think we are weakest at the moment and getting hurt.

    C. Capitulation a don’t worry me, AS MUCH, cuz face it, a loss is a loss. Stem the bleeding and move in. The 2-2 right after Chavs was dropped thus perhaps but else, largely ok…

    D. For Dylan.. Cannot CM spare a Lesbanian? Or three? That should raise his grades right up! 🙂

    I think we can win tomorrow/today, but fortunately I’ll be asleep so I’ll not suffer long! Good luck to all couch hiders, may your hiding place be comfy, …. And have beer! 🙂

    Cheers — jgc

  78. TotalArsenal says:

    Afternoon guys, no time for prematch report unfortunately.

    Big game and if indeed some believe we have made progress this season, surely we are not going to lose today? CoyG! 🙂

  79. AFC says:

    TA, you are right to pose that question.

    Here are the teams guys:

    Everton: Howard, Baines, Distin, Stones, Coleman, McCarthy, Barry, Osman (c), Naismith, Mirallas, Lukaku.

    Subs: Robles, Hibbert, McGeady, Deulofeu, Barkley, Garbutt, Alcaraz.

    Arsenal: Szczesny, Sagna, Mertesacker, Vermaelen, Monreal, Arteta, Flamini, Cazorla, Rosicky, Podolski, Giroud.

    Subs: Viviano, Jenkinson, Bellerin, Ramsey, Sanogo, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Kallstrom

  80. AFC says:

    Naismith scores! Down 1 nil!

  81. alexgunners says:

    hi guys,

    not a great start, COYG

  82. Dylan says:

    I wake up to 1-0 down. Ugh.

  83. alexgunners says:

    we are just not doing bough with our possession, no cohesion, and the players seem a little static at times, we can do this as we NEED to win this one

  84. Dylan says:

    The worst season ever is unfolding before out eyes.

  85. alexgunners says:

    Sign LUKAKU. He just made us look absolute shit.

  86. AFC says:

    Alex, he’s available for 25mill in the summer I think.

  87. Dylan says:

    Right Ox, Rambo, Sanogo on. At halftime. I don’t want to see Giroud, Poldi, or Arteta at all for the rest of the season.

  88. AFC says:

    Dylan, I’d sell all three in the summer if I had the chance. Surely this won’t be our 4th thrashing of the season.

  89. alcide says:

    Not a good benchmark TA, Everton (with Pool) improved tremendously this season. They are unfortunately and quite clearly the better team on the pitch, it’s going to be difficult to get a result today. Let’s start by better defending…

  90. Dylan says:

    I wouldn’t sell any. Decent 3rd string options. But not starters.

  91. AFC says:

    Dylan, it’s all about replacing them with better players. A proper wingeribn for Podolski at the very least. Arteta will not go though and Giroud will most likely stay.

  92. alexgunners says:

    Can we honestly believe that we are having a good season.
    It’s hard to be optimistic when we are playing so crap.
    We are lucky to be in a position that we are in the semi finals of the FA Cup.
    Do we deserve to be in the CL??? Take off your Arsenal glasses and seriously think about that question.
    Thumped by Liverpool, Chel$ki, Man$hitty, made to look like fools so far by Everton.
    We started patting ourselves on the back too early in the season, the Arsenal choke or Implosion is in full effect now.
    The crazy thing is that if we do lose this game, ManUre is only 7 points behind us despite having their worst season in 20 years or so.
    I am Arsenal through and through but I do question where we are going wrong.
    At the moment it’s hard to see where our next goal will come from.

    COYG, pull the finger out

  93. alcide says:

    Wtf is Per doing – trying for through balls in their 30meters?

  94. AFC says:

    And can I just point out Sagna is our best player and he has NO cover at all. Who on Earth is providing cover for Sagna against Baines. We need to sogn him up.

  95. Admir says:

    Just when I thought we reached the very bottom of performances, our players give their best to make me change my mind.

    Flamini is out for the next two games.

    Wenger, Sagna, Vermaelen, Arteta, Podolski, Giroud – all out at the end of the season.

  96. alexgunners says:

    Is it true that Flamini’s yellow will put him out of the semi final???

  97. Dylan says:

    It’s true Alex. No Flam for the FA Cup semi.

  98. AFC says:

    Admir, why Sagna? As I pointed out he has been our best player throughout this match.

  99. alcide says:

    Dylan, one should not get into the same questions ironing all the time… This is not our first team and we have key personnel missing – Theo, Rambo, Özil, Jack, Kos, Gibbs… Going into the game, I had no doubt their first team was better than the one we have on the pitch… But let’s see, tighten midfield and defense, score one, and have a strong finish.

  100. alexgunners says:

    No Flamini in the Semi, that’s a big blow.

  101. alcide says:

    Agreed with AFC on Bac’

  102. Dylan says:

    Right I refuse to watch Thursday night football. So wake the team up Wenger! This is unacceptable. The team has no pace in it and that makes it impossible to be a goal threat. We need our 3 players with some semblance if pace (Ox, Sanogo, and Rambo). To play every game from now until the end if we stand any chance of finishing in the top 4 (and having a season worth watching next year). If we lose this game, say goodbye to the Arsenal for 15 more years while we toil mid table and go back to losing all our best players.

  103. alexgunners says:

    Alcide, I understand your point that this is not our first team.
    Shouldn’t these 2nd string players then stand up and be counted. Play well and actually do something. Mert, Sagna, Arteta, Flamini, Giroud, and Santi are all in.
    We can’t keep making excuses, this is the mentality that makes our team not work any harder.
    Injuries, biased refereeing, no winter break, no this, no that. It’s making our players soft and they need to work harder.
    The minute we settle for a 4th place trophy, we lower the bar and soon, we all start to accept it as an actual trophy

  104. AFC says:

    Alcide, you said:

    ‘Going into the game, I had no doubt their first team was better than the one we have on the pitch…’

    How us their first team better than the team we have put out? Baines is better than Monreal and Lukaku is better than Giroud but other than that all of our players are better. I would only take Lukaku, Baines amd maybe Barry at a (big) push. Unless you are talking about the teams in terms as a unit.

    We cannot keep using the excuse of having players out either. We should have a squad strong enough to cope with injuries throughout a season.

  105. Admir says:

    AFC, perhaps you’re right but all that “will he – won’t he” is getting boring. Replace him with Coleman, replace The Stubborn Ditherer with a proper manager, replace The Wooden Legs with a proper striker and replace The Three Weather Taft with a proper defensive midfielder – and you’ll have title-contenders.

  106. alexgunners says:

    AFC,
    I agree. Arsenal Football Club is a big enough organisation to have a strong enough squad to cope with injuries.

  107. AFC says:

    Wenger sets up the team to keep defending with a high line even though Mert is slow as fuck (not his fault) and we have keep getting battered when we play a high line against the best teams.

    Wenger seems to send out our midfielders (the three behind the Giroud in particular) with no discipline which means our fullbacks lack the cover needed to deal with pacey, modern, attacking fullbacks like Baines and Coleman.

    And to make matters worse, Wenger likes to select teams with no pace in it.

  108. alcide says:

    AFC, I was indeed talking as a team unit, and in that perspective, Mirallas, Deulofeu, Barkley become better than Santi, Pod, etc…

    There’s still room for playing much, much better today though… Santi needs to wake up, Ox to come in. Let’s have a good second half, dammit.

  109. AFC says:

    Admir, why doesn’t the club just pay him the going rate then?

    Alex, I am just so sick of this. Wenger could have added depth but chose not to.

  110. alexgunners says:

    We just have to come out this half and do something early. We need to finish this season strongly

  111. Dylan says:

    Penalty! Terrible call by the referee!

  112. AFC says:

    Alcide, got you.

  113. Admir says:

    This one has 3:0 written all over it.

    @AFC – I don’t know. Maybe because we have a manager that has been only a top-drawer economist (and not manager) for almost a decade.

    Wenger out.

  114. alcide says:

    Santi not making the good choices today…

  115. alcide says:

    Good tackle by Verm

  116. alexgunners says:

    Arsenal vs other top 5 teams this season:

    Arsenal 1 x 1 Everton
    ManUre 1 x 0 Arsenal
    Arsenal 2 x 0 Liverpool
    Arsenal 0 x 0 Chel$ki
    Man$hitty 6 x 3 Arsenal
    Chel$ki 6 x 0 Arsenal
    Arsenal 0 x 0 ManUre
    Arsenal 1 x 1 Man$hitty
    Liverpool 5 x 1 Arsenal
    Everton 2 x 0 Arsenal ( 2nd half to be played still)

    Home Form – 4 goals for, 2 against
    Away Form – 4 goals for, 20 against

    Surely no-one can truly say that we are having a decent season

  117. alexgunners says:

    Definition of Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
    Albert Einstein

    So why do we wait for the 70th minute tie and time again to make a substitution??????
    Why do we persist with the same tactics time and time again.
    AW needs to hit the drawing board and change things

  118. Admir says:

    @alcide – Santi knew that Flamini has scored more goals against big teams than Giroud has and opted for him.

    Wenger out.

  119. alexgunners says:

    Sorry, add another goal to that chart that i just posted. What an embarrassment

  120. Dylan says:

    I could cry.

  121. Admir says:

    I hate Mirallas but it seems he had a crystal ball when he opted for Everton instead of Arsenal.

    Wenger out.

  122. alcide says:

    Oh well, see you later, trying to support my team here 🙂

  123. Admir says:

    Should have been fourth.

    Wenger out.

  124. Dylan says:

    I quit I’m done.

  125. alexgunners says:

    before anyone jumps down my throat, accept this for what it really is!!
    This is the Arsenal settling for a formula that doesn’t work.
    Whether it is Wenger that needs to be replaced, whether he needs to adapt to today’s game
    whether we reshuffle the majority of the team before next season.
    Something has to be done otherwise we are going to struggle.

    Let’s be realistic, ManUre will invest heavily, Chavs will always be up there. Man$hitty’s oil money will keep them there, Liverpool are getting back to the form they have missed after so many years and where are we heading.
    4th place trophy or Europa. We need the players to be accountable, we need to change the mentality and i wonder if it is a case that the players do not respond to Wenger any more. Who knows what it is but things have to change

  126. Admir says:

    The only thing bigger than the amount of toilet-paper needed to clean all the crap our players have served to us today is a transfer-list I would have made if I were in charge of Arsenal.

    Wenger out.

  127. AFC says:

    Alex, I’m going to do a harsh assessment of our current squad, rating them as either poor/potential, average, good or SQ.

    Szez- Average/Good with SQ potential
    Fab- Average
    Sagna- Good/SQ (in his position)
    Mert- Good
    Verm- Good/Average
    Monreal- Average
    Gibbs- Good with SQ potential
    Arteta- Average
    Flamini- Average
    Wilshere- Good with SQ potential
    Ramsey- Good with SQ potential
    Ozil- SQ
    Rosicky- Good
    Santi- Good
    Ox- Average/Good with SQ potential
    Walcott- Good/SQ
    Podolski- Average
    Giroud- Average
    Sanogo, Ryo, Gnabry- Potential
    Bendtner- Average

    Giroud be a man and stay on your feet. Anyone would think this guy was tiny.

    3 nil .This is a fucking joke. How can people keep protecting this team.

  128. AFC says:

    Giroud not even closing down anymore.

  129. alexgunners says:

    AFC,
    Whilst i am critical of our current situation, I will always defend the Arsenal against anyone, but this team cannot be protected any longer.
    What we also have to be careful of is that Ramsey will not regain his form prior to the end of the season, this all takes time. Miracles will not happen and i am afraid that the last 5 games aren’t going to be as easy as we all thing they will be

  130. AFC says:

    Dunno why AW is putting on subs now.

  131. alexgunners says:

    because it is the 70th minute and we always substitute then

  132. Admir says:

    AFC, I’d demote Cazorla from “Good” to “Average” and Gibbs can’t have a SQ-potential with so many injuries. Giroud deserves a good Championship club next season if there is anyone else stupid enough to buy him.

    Good to see Ramsey back on the pitch. We’ve missed his runs so much.

    Wenger out.

  133. Admir says:

    Our only hope for CL-place is the fact Everton have to play both Manchester clubs until the end. The thing is, they have a modern manager, excellent full-backs, a strong defence and a top-drawer striker so they won’t just lay down against them like we did.

  134. oz gunner says:

    pathetic. No heart, no determination…nothing. I don’t care many players are out. Step up and make that starting spot yours.

  135. oz gunner says:

    How often are we going to let opposition players have hours on the ball and sit off them? I would have thought we’d learn that lessen after the Pool debacle. Either the players are thick or Arsene is incompetent. PRESS!!!

  136. Admir says:

    Our players are mostly incompetent and their manager is on their level.

    Wenger out.

  137. alexgunners says:

    OZ,
    As I stated before, we need a change.Manager or personnel.
    Conceding 21 goals and only scoring 4 away form home against the other top 5 teams is absolutely embarrassing. Lessons have not been learnt from the liverpool game as the same thing keeps happening time and time again

  138. Admir says:

    Oh, our goal-difference away from home is negative now.

    Wenger out.

  139. AFC says:

    Oz, I feel you. Poor performance and I would expect much better from experienced international players, if which the majority of our team today were.

  140. Admir says:

    Atkinson is a cretin! That should have been a red card for Barkley.

    Wenger out.

  141. AFC says:

    We’ve just bottled it like we always do. When done to the team for that. All the team have to do now is bottle the FA Cup and then we will maintain our trophyless status.

  142. AFC says:

    Well done*

  143. Gino92 says:

    Fucking disgrace this team is! Lack of attitude, lack of fight, lack of heart, lack of motivation, lack of everything, basically… It seems as though Wenger just cannot motivate these fucking players anymore. I never thought a day would come when I will be able to say this, but maybe it is time for change at the top. We need some tough mean looking manager to whip these arseholes a bit. Let’s pay whatever it takes to get someone like Jurgen Klopp of Dortmund in. That guy looks so scary and crazy that the players will be so scared of losing and getting some serious tongue-lashing from him. Wenger has simply become a father figure to these overpaid lazy fucks and they are not afraid of him. Plus I want someone can make the tough decisions like changing formations and tactics mid-game and making early substitutions (as early as the first half even) when things are not going well.

    I am fucking mad as hell! I need a chill pill really bad… I feel my whole world is caving in!

    I WANT SOME FUCKING CHANGES THIS SUMMER. NO MORE EXCUSES!!!

  144. oz gunner says:

    The thing that frustrates me the most is we can see what this team could be. However, it doesn’t look like they want to put in the hard yards to get there! A big pre-season is needed with a truckload of positional work and conditioning. They should be like maniacs trying to win that ball back. Hunt in packs! Rosicky does it why can’t the rest of them. Should be coughing up their pay cheques and donating them to charity for some of they efforts they’ve put in this season.

    That’s a damming stat Alex!

  145. Admir says:

    Martin Atkinson – another shameful referee in English Premier League. Someone should make Sopranos-like show about PGMOL.

    Wenger out.

  146. alexgunners says:

    Well guys, I’ve had my fair share of comments tonight after another frustrating game.
    Hope you all have a great day despite this shit.
    I am off to sleep.
    I call for an overhaul. I’ll leave it at that

  147. alcide says:

    Well the only good news is Rambo, can’t have any assurances on his fitness level, but he looked like quality in a sea of mediocrity?

    Wigan next… Going to have to show a lot more passion and drive….

  148. AFC says:

    Why is there is a lack of attitude, fight, heart and motivation? Can they not motivate themselves. I would and I’m not even the passionate type. What gets these players motivated? Winning tropies no. Embarrassment no. The manager no. Each other no. For themselves no. Top four doesn’t seem though.

  149. alcide says:

    Alexa… You’re lucky to be able to sleep over that loss… The rest of the day is going to be tough for us…

    Pity for Yaya, I don think he was offside.

    It’s damning (and telling) that we were done by 2 simple moves by Lukaku.

  150. Admir says:

    I just went out to take out the trash my wife has reminded me about a few times. The trash container is next to the playground. Some kids were playing football and one of them did a Giroud’s routine – his shot went over the bar and they asked me to return them the ball. I didn’t tie my shoe-laces so when I hit the ball, my shoe went in the air as well.

    And still, I didn’t embarrass myself like our players did nor did I see bigger pile of trash than our players had shown today.

    Wenger out.

  151. Highbury Harmony says:

    Injuries aside, there is just something missing from this club. That mental strength and heart factor is just not there that often saw our teams in the past push through in many games. We have more than enough skill to win games, but I’m not convinced we have the right players to win the EPL. It’s increasingly become a more physical and competitive league and clubs around us are continually improving.

    Does this mean we need big money signings and a new manager? I’m not sure at this point, because Wenger has a considerable amount of prestige that attracts top talent and lord knows where we’d be without him. However, there’s something to be said to undergo some change at some point if the results aren’t coming year after year. Still, I will be sad the day that Wenger leaves this club, because he has become synonymous with Arsenal.

    That said, while he has an eye for talent, there’s something to be said for either training players better and selecting ones more suited for the style of the EPL (strength, skill and pace all combined). Arsene often does not spend big on prospects with big potential, suited for the EPL, preferring to unearth gems and play it conservative in the transfer market (Ozil aside).

    For starters, we must be stronger in the heart of the pitch. That means replacing Arteta/Flamini with a world class, durable talent like Lars Bender. Spend whatever it takes to get him here and we’ll see a significant improvement in both closing down on the opposition in our own end and a smoother transition from offense to defense. Past that, a striker is obviously a definite need and my vote goes to Mandzukic. He’s not world class by any means, but he’s a very good striker, capable of scoring timely goals and has the physicality and skill to thrive in this league. Having Walcott back next year will be massive so Ozil can have targets to play his exquisite through balls to.

    (4-2-3-1): Szczesny, Gibbs, Koscielny, Mertesacker, Sagna, Ramsey, L.Bender, Wilshere, Ozil, Walcott, Mandzukic

    Subs: Fabianski, Monreal, Vermaelen, Flamini, Cazorla, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Giroud

  152. Admir says:

    Hello, HH. If you want to see a match where Mandžukić had out-scored Suarez, check for Ajax-Dinamo 2:3 on YouTube. He scored twice (both in OT), earned a penalty that Modrić converted and hit the post.

    Casillas-Coleman, Mertesacker, Koscielny, A Healthy Left Full-Back-L.Bender, Ramsey-Walcott, Özil, Griezmann-Mandžukić.

    Bench and stands: Szczesny-Jenkinson/Bellerin, two central defenders, Gibbs-Flamini, Wilshere-Gnabry, Rosicky, The Ox-Remy/Akpom.

    Sell: Vermaelen (pretty useless in big matches ever since he had arrived), Monreal (not good enough after all), Arteta (too slow for this shit), Cazorla (not good enough and is going to be 30 this December), Giroud (the most useless player in big matches I’ve ever seen in Arsenal shirt), Podolski (there is a reason why this lad didn’t make it in Bayern – he is a limited player and a very expensive one).

    Sign: Casillas (constantly on the bench in Real Madrid but a proven winner), L.Bender (at least he can run), Griezmann (he is a winger), Mandžukić (can score in big matches and his technique is not like he was living in the cave for 30 years when he saw the ball for the first time – any resemblance to Giroud is intentional), Remy (has pace, can strike the ball properly and not like he’s using legs that belong to someone else), two central defenders (because Verm should go and we don’t have fourth CD), A Healthy Left Full-Back (because Gibbs’ fitness can’t be relied on).

  153. Unbelievably, we are still +2 points like for like !. 😆

    Even if we had all our injured players back tomorrow, they would need 2/3 weeks to get match fit !. So as I said previously, our so called “easy” 5 games left will be fcuking hard and only Ramsey is back !.
    In answer to alex saying we were all to easy patting our selves on the back early in the season !………well, not this Gooner…….the only one to not be wearing the rose tints !. It`s no coincidence that The Lords of The Chart of Doom picked me to be The Protector !. hahaha
    Who is actually confident of beating Wigan ?……..even those wearing Calvin Klein rose tints will be wearing Calvin Klein colostomy bags !. They are in much better form than we are !.
    I said more than half of Everton`s side would get in our current state team and so it proved !.
    Winning the FAC will be amazing, but as I have stated, imo, we are not better than last season, playing wise, average at best !.
    Wenger will be missed when he goes and that time is getting closer. He has lost the edge of the overseas market knowledge….a knowledge which more than made up for his lack of tactical nous, as for the big money boys, that has made his chances of success almost impossible in the EPL and CL. FAC and COC are trophies that can still turn up the unexpected……as shown by us being in the semis !. Winning it doesn`t mean we have progressed !……..just ask Wigan, Birmingham and Swansea……then again, for them maybe, but us …no !.
    At least a draw away to Sunderland next Saturday and Everton will be above us !.
    Our last 4 league games….2 draws and 2 losses…..next league game is at home to West Ham on the Tuesday after the semi !. That’s a must win as Everton play C Palace at home the following night !. A
    A semi-final win would bring on the confidence…..a loss…..well that’s something that just doesn`t bear thinking about !.

  154. AFC says:

    Cockie, if you remember I also said we would not win the league and in the summer transfer window review I said Wenger and co did not do enough in the window to give us a proper chance. I also predicted we would win the FA Cup.

  155. AB says:

    Admir et al. I share the frustration. I’m in the loyalist camp, but I can’t excuse today’s performance. As people have said, there was a lack of spirit, that tells a profound story about our prospects for the future, whatever the level of injury that has hampered the squad. We seem to start big away games in a state of fear and anxiety, and Wenger must take a fair slice of the blame for repeatedly not setting up (mentally) the team properly; I wish I understood better what the exact problem is here.

    I had no great problem with the starting 11 – you can make alternative cases for Pod or Ox; I doubt it made any impact on the result though. Equally, folk calling for changes when we were 2 down needed to look at our bench and the options available. The 3 changes made were all the one’s I would have gone for – was there any great error on this front? I don’t think so.

    Individual players were poor, perhaps most obviously Giroud. I don’t know what the issue is here but in the early part of the season, I would not have swapped him for anyone in the PL of a similar mould; but now, he is starting to resemble Chamakh. If off field matters are affecting him, we need Wenger to rest him and start with other options (though they are admittedly few).

    To complete the circle, this game is no litmus test for our team’s progress this season, though it does add to the case for the prosecution. We do need answers about why our team cannot seemingly lift themselves for big away games (my confidence levels for the Wigan game are not high at present) and what is to be done about it. And we need some of our injured back fast. Let’s hope Ramsey’s recovery continues smoothly for one. Unless we show more spirit and win those remaining games – of the regulation winnable variety that we have been consistent over thus far – then we will neither make top 4 nor deserve to. The case for progress will be much the harder to make if so.

    I’m not sure I have the stomach for all the soul searching that is likely to follow on most Arsenal sites. What ever the frustration, try and channel it into something constructive; we still want this team to do well in the coming games, and the team will need a sense of support like never before this season.

  156. Gino92 says:

    I watched FC Augsburg outplay and out-hustle mighty Bayern Munich yesterday, with every single player giving 150%. They chased the ball all over the pitch, they worked tirelessly, they pressed Bayern Munich all game long and gave them ZERO chance of winning the game. And the amazing thing was that they did this for the entire 90 minutes. In fact, they had all the best opportunities to score more goals (they even hit the post once). They could have beaten Bayern 4-Nil. And we are talking about the European Champions! Incredible, isn’t it? I was truly impressed by their fight, tactics, and preparation. From the very first whistle, they let Bayern know that they were not going to just bend over and take it. Granted, the big guns like Robben, Mueller, and Ribery sat this game out and Bayern have already long wrapped up the Bundesliga championship, but that was no excuse. They were going for the rare and ultimate glory banner of an “Undefeated Season” and they failed miserably. Even with the right motivation and a Bayern full first team, I still thought that FC Augsburg did great and would have still won it. They simply out-worked and out-fought Bayern yesterday, at least.

    Now watching this game unfold, I couldn’t help but wonder, WHY CAN’T WE AT ARSENAL DO THE SAME THING? Why can’t we work on our conditioning, mental attitude, blah blah blah and just play hard and with heart EVERY single fucking game, win or lose? I mean, old man Rosicky at his age, is the only player that does it. He chases every ball, makes great tackles to win the ball back, and basically plays hard every chance he gets while everyone else is standing there watching 20-30 yards from the action, or jogging, and thinking about what to post on their stupid Twitter account later on or which nightclub to visit. Lazy fucking fuckers! No wonder we haven’t won anything in the past 9 years! Nobody else wants to work hard and give their all to this fantastic club. If I could, I would just get rid of all of them (bar a select few…), especially in my current state of mind which is not good at all. Year after year, it is a dogfight to finish in a Champions League spot. This is just too stressful and not good for anyone’s health.

    The Board, Kroenke, Gazidis, Wenger, the Coaches, and the Players should be very ashamed of themselves and MUST do all they can to make it up to us fans pronto, starting with the FA Cup, the Summer Transfer Window, and Next Season. Yes, 2014-2015 has got to be THE season for us (as far as being genuine title contenders, not some fake pretenders) or else we might never win again…

    No more lightweight midgets in midfield; no more slow turtles in attack and defense; no more wooden/plastic leg players; no more glass leg players; no more father figure approach; no more “we are the Arsenal; we can win just by showing up attitude”; no more clueless medical team. I want Giants, I want Robots, I want nothing but Fighters up and down this team and if they happen to be quality or super quality, even better. If a player is not going to fight for his place, then sit him on the bench or ruthlessly ship him and his whining elsewhere. I am pretty sure I will never get what I want but I don’t care, that’s how I am feeling right now. I feel like venting. No more SOFTIES!!! The time for CHANGE has arrived at the mighty ARSENAL and it is long overdue. With or without Arsene Wenger, the club will survive and prosper. Sometimes, change is for the better. We must not be afraid of it, we must embrace it and roll with it.

    What say you, fucking Kroenke? Are you man enough to face the music and put up the money this Summer, or are you just going to coward down in your Walmart sugar wife’s stinky arse and let Arsenal (a club bigger than both Chelsea and Manchester City put together) languish in perpetual failure like all your stupid Sport Franchises here in America have been in the past decade? I dare you to do something about it. I double-dare you!

    Whew! Rant over. I feel a little bit better. Until now when I look at the fucking scoreline and table again…

  157. alcide says:

    Admir, agreed in general but on Santi, I’m not sure, he was close to SQ on his first season, and not playing to his level these days? Although if we had a quality LAM, I’d have trouble slotting him in the team if everyone is fit.

    But there’s something I’ve been thinking more and more… Is Per good enough? When we’re one up, and waiting in our half, close to parking the bus, he might be a contender for best EPL CB, but in many other situations, he is a liability… High defensive line or not (and unless you want to leave space between our lines which has had the same effect), his slowness is easily targeted, and limits our tactical options (compounded by our current DM pivot lack of pace). It takes a perfect Kos (or the German team) to cover him a lot of times, but that cannot work vs. top teams. I like the guy, but for me he is not good enough if we want to go the next level, unless the rest of the squad is as Über as the Germany team.

  158. AFC says:

    Alcide, that is a very good point. My friend shares your views. He thinks that if we got an upgrade on Mert e.g. a Hummels our CB pairing could be even stronger. Problem is we do not even have a 4th CB so can we think about replacing Mert, not to mention Verm might be off

  159. AB says:

    And then pool score. Day getting worse all the time….

  160. AFC says:

    But when does it stop. Podolski is not good enough, same goes for Arteta, same goes for Monreal. Do we replace all of those players as well?

    AB,my only criticism of AW is not using his subs at the break but the team should be held accountable for this performance and past performances which has been equally if not worse than the one today.

  161. AFC says:

    him not*

  162. alcide says:

    Yep, no closing down, no aggression, no constant movement… It’s unfortunate, but if you look at our recent results, since perhaps Stoke, today is just confirmation of the level of our current valid team, and it is very average; we have enough quality to produce some results when things go our way, but our base level is not sufficient for top five.

  163. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Some tremendous ranting going on. Has any one ever injured themselves watching a game? Punched a wall breaking your hand, kicking air but mistiming and striking a sharp pointy object? hahahaha

    Really crap performace. The worrying thing for me wasnt the lack of quality or speed, it was the lack of fight. Absolute shit.

  164. alcide says:

    Very disappointed by Monreal today I must say… But I still think he’s a good backup and more – it’s not a priority.

    On OG, I don’t expect him to save us with some fancy moves, when we play like that… He needs to be setup and he’s not being given many clear or even half chances these days compared to the beginning of the season. Not saying we don’t need better, we do, but his recent performances are obvious symptoms and reflections of our present inabilities.

  165. alcide says:

    I say sign Sagna and convert him to CB, and sign a young, fast, quality RB!

  166. AFC says:

    Alcide, I have been saying to convert Sagna to CB for ages. I even wrote a post on it. Do you think a Kos and Sagna partnership would be better than a Mertesacker and Kos one?

  167. AFC says:

    Abate?
    Richards?

  168. I don’t understand why I`m so disappointed ?………I mean, I only expected 5th or 6th at the beginning of the season !.

  169. Fcuk !……………………if Stretch is not optimistic in his summarizing of the game……then we really are in trouble !. hahaha

  170. alcide says:

    AFC, 1. yes, 2. don’t know him much, and 3. yes, but there may be better?

  171. AFC says:

    Alcide,

    I am a big fan of Abate and full of energy. Richards is more of a powerhouse who is also quite fast. Kind of like a RB version of Yaya Toure. Strong, quick can play CB and gets up and down the pitch. He has suffered from injuries though and seems a bit lost at City and could become available in the summer. Not sure if Abate will be available but I read that he will be available in the summer.

    When it comes to other options I cannot think of many apart from Dortmund RB Łukasz Piszczek who can also play RM/RW.

  172. TotalArsenal says:

    Arsene fielded ten Internationals today, four from the two top FIFA rated nations: Montreal, Cazorla, Podolski, BFG. Sagna, Rosicky, Giroud, TV all have big international experience, Flamini has done it all. Yet, we are beaten so easily and offer so little resistance, energy, and over my dead body attitude. Do they know something we don’t? Has Wenger lost them? They are not lazy, pay-cheque players IMO, so what is going on?

    I am off to France for a short holiday next week and will give blogging a break for my own sanity.

    Keep rocking guys and something good will come from this. 🙂

  173. Have a lovely break, Le Total !. 😀

  174. Simba Murerwa says:

    Some guys like Jilo have called me deluded before. Milo please can you say Arteta is better than McCarthy, Diame or even Coquelin as an anchorman? If Arsene can not release Arteta, Flamini, Podolski, Giroud, Mertesacker, Vermaelen, Monreal, Sagna,then he must go himself. These players are earning lots of money to be motivated for such key games not this crap they are givingin all the big games. I still maintain that we were foolish to release players like Denilson, Vela, Senderos, Song, Nordveit, when there as no need to. It is also impotant to note that we can not compete for good players. How did we loose Vertoghen to Spurs, Higuain to Napoli, Cabaye o PSG,
    I wish we have these players next season:
    1 SCEZNY
    2 JENKINSON
    3 GIBBS
    4 KOSCIELNY
    5 MANGALA
    6 BENDER
    7 WALCOTT
    8 RAMSEY
    9 MANDUZUKIC
    10 OZIL
    11 DRAXLER

    SUBS
    FABIANKSI
    BELLERIN
    CAMPBELL
    WILSHIRE
    CHAMBERLAIN
    GNABRY
    SANOGO
    LONG
    AKPOM
    ANEKE

  175. AFC says:

    Simba, I’m going to reply to you if you do not mind.

  176. Fozzie B says:

    Good evening Enthusiastically Exorcised Entrails by Eager Evertonian Entrail Exterminators !! 😆
    Lovely to be back with my Bereaving Brokeback Brethren!! Not much lovemaking going on at the present more like divorce and bitch slapping !! Haha !!
    Totes … Thank you for everything … If you wind up becoming a Burlesque Dancer with unique stage act of pole dancing whilst balancing one of Bergkamp’s Gonad replicas on your Klompendildo whilst curling the other in Henryesque fashion into one of the punters mouths …. I understand!! And if that punter just happens to look Maureen all the better!! 😆

  177. Fozzie B says:

    When I saw the post match interview with Wenger … It was the most telling interview I’ve seen from him for awhile. The poor man was broken … I mean seriously hurt by today’s performance. There will be some major repercussions!! I agree that Wenger struggles to motivate the guys. I don’t know if any of you guys saw Walcott on goals today, but that was very interesting indeed. He said Wenger’s tactics will never change and he insinuated that he preferred a more vocal, authoritative approach of Maureen. I thing Wenger treats his players like a professor which I totally admire, but in this new decade of players, it will not light a fire up their Arsenal ringholes and really get them going!! Love to be proved wrong! 😀

  178. Dylan says:

    Many evaluating the squad right now. I will save that for the summer. For now we must focus on the current squad. Our starting line up from now on must be this:
    GK: Szcz
    RB: Jenkinson
    RCB: Mert
    LCB: Kos (when available, Sagna for now)
    LB: Gibbs (when available, Nacho for now)
    RDM: Flam (until Jack returns)
    LDM: Kallstrom (until Ozil is back, then move Rambo here)
    RM: Ox
    LM: Gnabry (when available, Santi for now)
    CAM: Rambo (until Ozil is back, the move Rambo back to LDM and put Ozil here)
    ST: Sanogo

    Sanogo put the ball in the net today (which should have stood) so he should have some confidence. Let’s see what he can do. Mobile, powerful, and hungry beats slow, lumbering, and distracted. A lot can be done to change this squad and the major change needed is pace. Finally, if we don’t reach top 4 (I am saying for the first time) Wenger Out. FA Cup doesn’t matter to me. I’ll take 5 more trophy less years in exchange for guaranteed top 4. No matter what anyone else says, Champions League is a trophy. That being said, I do still want the FA Cup. If Wenger gets top 4 and the FA Cup he should retire a hero.

  179. AFC says:

    Simba,

    I get what you are trying to say however you need to consider what type of player and what type of role you want him to carry out while playing in the DM postion in relation to the other player in the double DM pivot. Do you want a regista (deep-lying playmaker) e.g. Pirlo, a carrier/runner e.g. Ramsey or a destroyer e.g. Matic. I see Flamini as more of a carrier than a destroyer.

    When everybody is fit Ramsey will play in one of the DM positions and is pretty much a definite. Wilshere is likely to fill in for Ramsey when needed when he is not playing in one of the three positions behind the CF/ST. Both players are runners/carriers/box to box midfielders so should ideally be paired with a destroyer for defensive stability. Having two box to box midfielders occupying the two DM positions, taking it in turns to attack and defend can also work, as Fernandinho and Yaya Toure have showed for City but less so for us? Arsene trying to buy another regista and pairing him with someone else in the double DM pivot will just not work in in opinion, as it is too hard to find a regista good enough to work with a Ramsey in the EPL.

    So you are right on Arteta not being a good holder any more for two reasons. 1) He fits the mould of a regista and a regista is not really what we need in my opinion, we need more of a destroyer. 2) He is not even an effective regista anymore as he often loses the ball, and cannot really instigate attacks and is not as good as keeping possession as he used to be, not to mention his loss of pace?

    Even though Diame is an average destroyer his qualities might have been of better help today. McCarthy not so sure about. He is another runner but his legs could have also helped today. Cannot agree on Coquelin though. He lacks quality and experience so what he would have made up on I.e. legs, speed we would have lost experience and positioning.

    Doesn’t mean we should buy any of those player though as we can get SQ ones in a similar mould?

    It does not make sense for Arsene to release and I presume you mean try and sell these players as we would end up bringing in over 10 players. Flamini, Mertesacker, Sagna, Monreal and Vermaelen are all good squad players at the very least. Sagna is a very good first team player and defender and was one of our best players today as was he against Chelsea? Mertesacker has formed a really good partnership with Kos as well and has been given a new contract so I cannot see Wenger selling him. Giroud is a good squad player? Wenger could get an upgrade if he wanted though as could he with Monreal. Not sure he could get a CB who is willing to be 3rd choice who would be an upgrade on Verm.

    Agreed Song shouldn’t have been sold but I suspect it was done for financial reasons. Song was one of our best players in his last season which meant we could sell him for a decent amount of money and make a big profit? But I will always hate Wenger for selling him. A case can be made for Vela as well but not for the other players you mentioned in my opinion.

    I am not sure if we needed a Cabaye attacking type player. He would have been an upgrade on Arteta but a similar player. I think we need more of a defensive minded destroyer. When it comes to Higuain , Wenger chose to go after Suarez instead and maybe he did not want to be messed around by Real who kept increasing their asking price for Higuain. Vertoghen wanted to be a first choice defender, something we couldn’t offer him?

    With regards to your line-up. Jenkinson is not ready to be first choice RB, Mangala will cost huge amounts of money and city are after him. They were quoted £50million for Mangala and another defender whose name I have forgot. I agree with you on Bender and Manduzukic.

    Bench is nowhere near strong enough and wouldn’t have much experience.

  180. AFC says:

    Dylan, I like your proposals. Your clearly a man who knows what needs to be changed and how to do it. 🙂

  181. AFC says:

    forgotten*

  182. TotalArsenal says:

    Thanks Fozzer 🙂

  183. TotalArsenal says:

    Cheers CoD, le total, I like it. 🙂

  184. alcide says:

    Dylan,

    I like your squad, but would still keep Bac’, he was one of the best on the pitch today (he did lose a ball (foul?) which caused the third goal, but he was pretty much caught, with no support. Flam is however and unfortunately out for 2 games (sigh)… We may need to (or will have to) use KK or Rambo for the semi. In any case something needs to happen on the left side – it has been leaking badly lately, and it would be reductive to blame Gibbs & Nacho, all to often left to cover two much space and too many attackers.

    Verm I thought was actually not bad today, better than Per for sure. I’m still wondering what the latter was doing on the opponent’s 35 meters, trying to find a through ball… we can blame tactics all we want, but I’m pretty sure this was not part of any plan.

    AFC, very nice answer, and fully agreed that a regista is not what we need at the moment – the best regista in the world would have walked out of that team in frustration today…

    TA, I don’t konw what’s up with them. I am settled in my thinking that we are not a top 5 team with the current valid team, but that they are not able, individually, to get the basics right (positioning, awareness, aggressiveness) in order to compete/fight as well as any bottom half EPL team is beyond me.

    The only positive thing is that Rambo looked like himself when he was subbed in, and in combination with Ox, created some long overdue movement. He’s not going to have his tremendous engine back on for a full game after more than 2 months on the sideline, but hopefully will be able to spark things up at the right time.

  185. AB says:

    AFC. I agree with almost everything you have said in your reply to Simba – pretty much spot on!

    I think Wenger’s interest in Cabaye was as a younger version of Arteta – not a bad call, but not at £20M. Given the success he had with a more physical DM style I am perplexed by Wenger’s continued favouring of smaller, more technical types – I presume the Barca influence? But the bid for Bender last summer is encouraging; this plus a striker if both top quality could transform.

    Giroud is a quandry. I could see him going if his attitude and work rate are poor, but I confess throughout this season I have been a fan of his and felt his overall contribution has not been recognised – its less obvious than his ‘running’ style or his goal rate. But something is badly wrong there. It will be a huge shame if we end up looking for a replacement – he has done the hard learning time into the PL and, on form, would be extremely valuable to us next season whoever we bring in up front.

    My one difference with you AFC is on Song. To me he was a good squad player, but not what I aspire to in 1st 11 – I would happily have kept him, he had talent for sure, but I found him infuriatingly inconsistent. The rumours of attitude issues are also there, although of course I can’t verify any of them. Would he have been very helpful to us this season – without a doubt. But would he be the SQ DM we are looking for – I think we can do better?

    Dylan. I admire the spirit in your team selection, and if we were taking a team into some cup competition it would hit the spot just right. But to get us over the line in the coming games? I don’t thin so. We must have pace – you would think we would have learned this by now! But we must also have some experience out there – and PL experience at that. I don’t know why you have axed Rosicky for example, nor why you would have Jenks at RB simply to avoid playing Verm. Ox and Rambo yes, with some Gnab from the bench – but even there, we need to get Ramsey fit again carefully rather than rush him.

    What I want to know is who gave the team the fire to grind out results at the end of last season – and where are they and what are they doing now?!

  186. alcide says:

    Et bonnes vacances TA,

  187. TotalArsenal says:

    Merci beaucoup, Alcide, cannot wait for proper baguettes and steak frites, among other ‘delicacies’ 🙂

  188. AFC says:

    AB, can’t agree with you on Song. For me he was turning into a Ramsey type player as opposed to your traditional destroyer type DM. He was inconsistent but he started to grow like Ramsey and Theo. I actually think he can reach Ramsey’s heights but I could be wrong.

    Alcide, what do you think about Song and his potential?

  189. AFC says:

    TA, at least you can get away from this mess.:)

    What worried me about Giroud today was his lack of effort, avoiding tackles etc and he is normally one of the workers in the team. Most of the team was poor today.

    I fear that we will not finish in the top four. If we win the FA Cup but finish fifth that it is a failure in my opinion as is finishing in the top four but do not win the FA Cup. We have to win the FA Cup and finish in the top four.

  190. alcide says:

    AB,

    Cabaye would have been too expensive long term (useful for sure short term, but I know you agree we need SQ in that position for the next few years), and at that time was set on PSG (and bigger bucks).

    OG, well just see his goals when he finished #1 in ligue 1, or his goals at the beginning of the season – he actually has a decent (not great, but decent) conversion and assist rate – but he needs service in the box, and we haven’t had much of that lately… He used to work mostly from/to Rambo and Walcott, but since those 2 and Özil are injured, nada… He’s just isolated and has to play back to the goal, waiting for runners that never come… So I agree with you, he has his place in a properly functioning team (and we do need to bring some SQ up front).

  191. alcide says:

    AFC, we need both. To be honest, I’d rather we finish fourth and lose the cup – this is the summer I’m confident about buying SQ – for the first time last year we not only kept our key players BUT also bought one SQ – Özil – and just lately, we even extended ongoing key contracts mid year, so we mostly just have to focus on improving the squad, and not having CL to offer would be a disaster.

    Song I really liked, but I had trouble “trusting” him – every time he did something nice, I couldn’t help but think he was going to make a mistake to compensate a bit later, or next game. He never game me the feeling of a guy whose minimum performance level at any point in time would be good enough, day in, day out, I was always afraid of a bad quarter, or a bad day, not something I’d want for that position, if that makes any sense.

  192. alcide says:

    The only tough games we have are the Cup now.

    For the league, I have some confidence we can finish with a good run against the opposition we have for the last 6 games. Players just need to turn up, if that’s not too much to ask. Everton have a couple of tough games, and will drop those 2 points.

  193. AFC says:

    Yeah, I get what you mean Alcide. Someone like Yaya who is midfield general and performs consistently.

  194. AFC says:

    Let’s hope so Alcide.:)

  195. AFC says:

    I know this is drastic but I would think of dropping most of the team for the next match. Wenger needs to show some tough love and some ruthlessness. Drop Szez for Fab, Mert for Sagna and put Jenks at RB, Kallstrom for Arteta with Ramsey for Flamini, Sanogo for Giroud and Gnabry for Podolski. I would only keep Rosicky, Sagna, Kos, Monreal (if Gibbs is not fit) in the team.

  196. alcide says:

    I’m a bit in a bad mood, but I’ll just say it – we should have started with Podolski on the left wing today.

  197. alcide says:

    Well Flamini’s out in any case AFC. So you’ll see KK or Rambo for sure. I’m afraid Arteta may have to play (starting both Ramsey and KK would be a compounding risk?):

  198. alcide says:

    Proper baguettes you will find, but really good ones are becoming tougher and tougher to find…

  199. AB says:

    I’d like to see KK get a decent run out; but Wembley would be an odd choice for a first start. If needs must though…

  200. Admir says:

    @AB – “Given the success he had with a more physical DM style I am perplexed by Wenger’s continued favouring of smaller, more technical types – I presume the Barca influence?”

    There is a reason why bananas don’t grow in Great Britain, isn’t it?

    Wenger had been successful when he had physical players in the team – Vieira, Campbell, Adams, Gilberto Silva, Keown…even Lehmann fits the bill; players with pace – Henry, Overmars; exceptional technique and intelligence – Bergkamp, Henry, Ljungberg.

    And, at some point, Wenger got a “great” idea: “Let’s win the most demanding physical league in the world using nothing else but midgets, hobbits and eventually I’ll add a few ents help them to defeat Lord Alex Sauron.”

    I like Arteta a lot but after I’ve seen him hugging with Everton players after the game, I don’t want to see his perfect hair-cut anywhere near our team. If Barkley had pushed Vieira like he did to Arteta today, he would have had to visit his proctologist to remove Vieira’s foot from his rectum.

    That’s the only reason why Wenger’s defenders have right to be worried about what will happen when Wenger leaves Arsenal – his heir will have to spend a lot of money to restore physical presence to our team.

    If I were a new Arsenal manager, I know what I would do:

    1.cancel American and every other tour that has only one purpose – to earn money,

    2.ask for detailed report about physical and condition of all our players,

    3.hire a top-drawer fitness coach and medical experts to do that report, to translate that report to me and to suggest me ways to remove the flaws,

    4.based on that report, I’d decide what to do with Wilshere, Gibbs and Diaby,

    5.based on what I do with Wilshere, Gibbs and Diaby, I would know whether to sign new players on their respective positions or not,

    6.make a transfer-list with following names on it:

    Thomas Vermaelen, central defender; reason for transfer-list: injury-prone, incapable of dealing with demands of Premiership, especially in big matches (see: every game against Drogba, Lukaku et al);

    Nacho Monreal, left full-back; reason for transfer-list: incapable of dealing with demands of Premiership, especially in big matches (see: games against City, Liverpool, Everton);

    Mikel Arteta, central midfielder; reason for transfer-list: no pace, no directness, no physical ability to cope with demands of top-level football, especially in big matches (see: games against Liverpool, Chelsea, Everton);

    Olivier Giroud, central forward; reason for transfer-list: no technique, no composure, no pace, no presence in big matches (see: every big match in Arsenal shirt);

    Lukas Podolski, left winger-central forward; reason for transfer-list: lack of pace, laziness;

    7.make a short-list consisting names of reinforcements:

    Iker Casillas, goalkeeper; reason for purchase: a top-drawer goalkeeper with winning mentality, has won World Cup, European Championship, Champions’ League…and was one of the most important players in each one of those trophies; capable of earning points and victories on his own; a penalty-stopper specialist;

    Lars Bender, central midfielder; reason for purchase: a defensive midfielder with enough physical qualities to participate in English football;

    Antoine Griezmann, left winger; reason for purchase: a winger capable of scoring goals and offering width and pace to the team;

    Mario Mandžukić, striker; reason for purchase: he is not Giroud; a mobile striker with impressive aerial ability; capable of scoring goals in big matches.

    Wenger out.

  201. AFC says:

    AB and Alcide, I want Källström to get a chance and I am looking forward to seeing how he measures up to our other midfielders. He deserves a chance and as you point out AB he could play a part in the FA Cup.

  202. AFC says:

    Admir, what about the LB and CB to replace Verm and Monreal?

  203. AFC says:

    And put Jenks on loan to another EPL with a clause that allows us to take him back if we suffer from injuries in that position. Reports have said Wenger is thinking about that and I think he should. If we can get a RB and sign up Sagna it makes sense.

  204. Admir says:

    TA, enjoy in your vacation and if you find a striker that does well in French league, don’t sign him for Arsenal unless his name is Cavani or Ibrahimović. 🙂

  205. AFC says:

    😀 😀 😀

  206. TotalArsenal says:

    Wow great comments tonight 🙂

    Shame I have no time to participate.

    Thanks Admir, I might look for a good manager instead hahaha 🙂

    Alcide, I usually go to the small village bakeries… they tend to have the best bread and tarte fraise.

    Off to bed now.

  207. Before I go to noddyland !…………..that first goal, put your hands up if you think you would have been capable of cutting out the cross, which some how trickled past Vermaelen whilst he sat sipping tea and dunking his biscuits !. Why the fcuk did he let it go past him ?.
    As much as I love watching our small technical players bewitching the likes of Coventry. I would like to see Wenger rip up his obsessed fascination with Barca`s play book…….it`s England, not Spain !.
    Lets go back to athletic, pace, power, strength, speed and ugly bastards at CB !. Remember when Fergie started to cry that Arsenal`s team were bigger than Manshafter`s !. Let`s face it, our Invincibles had all them traits and they were just as skilful and technical as well !.
    Rip up the Barca manual, Arsene, it only works with having players like Messi !.

  208. AFC says:

    Cockie, Stan Collymore is adamant that AW is trying to implement a Barca like philosophy at Arsenal and that this will never work. He is always saying that this is not La Liga and over a period of 38 games not 10 games, not 20 games it will never work because of the physical demands of the EPL will catch up with you. It is the most demanding league in the world where you cannot win the league on technical ability alone and need heart, pace power etc, as well as technical ability so I can see where he is coming from.

  209. AFC says:

    Night all. 🙂

  210. Dylan says:

    AB, I’m playing Jenks to avoid playing Sagna, not Verm. Sagna’s contract situation is disgraceful and he shouldn’t be playing until he signs. Rosicky is axed for his dreadful performance today. We don’t need experience. We need raw hunger and passion and desire to prove oneself. The younger players must be clambering for a chance. Every minute Sanogo is on the pitch he is running up and down the field desperately trying to make an impact. Gnabry always looks eager to prove himself at the top level. We need these young pacy players in to push the team on and do what these jaded older players can’t. If I was a player on that bench that has been overlooked consistently in this time of poor form (Sanogo, Gnabry, Kim K, Jenks) I would be absolutely furious with Wenger for not giving me a shot over the likes of aging Arteta, sluggish Giroud, contract rebel Sagna, and lazy Poldi.

  211. AFC says:

    Dylan, what is disgraceful about Sagna’s contract situation. I hope you are not blaming him.

  212. AFC says:

    I just realised you are blaming him Dylan. Why should he sign? Have we given him trophies and money no? Has he shown loyalty? Yes he could have went to an elite club in Europe and won plenty of trophies while probably doubling his pay cheque. And you want him to sign for 60k a week when other clubs are offering him closer to 120k a week. Why should do that and sign a rubbish deal which is likely to be his last. That’s like M&S only offering me £6.50 an hour to stay after many years of service with no pay rise while Waitrose are offering me £13.00 to join them. Tell you what I’d run to Waitrose and if I was Sagna I would run to the like of City and Inter if Arsenal refuse to give me a wage which everybody else is offering. Blame AFC.

  213. AFC says:

    £13.00 an hour*
    Have we given him trophies and good money? No.*

  214. AFC says:

    Water, the season ain’t done yet. 😉

  215. water says:

    *triumph let me revel in it.

  216. water says:

    Yh I know but this is but one of my moments against Jb please don’t take it away from me. And I hope there are many more.

  217. water says:

    ®hahahahahahahahahahA @ jb

  218. alexgunners says:

    TA,
    Have a good trip and a safe one with the family.

  219. Dylan says:

    I see what you’re saying AFC. And I understand that completely. Perhaps we’ve not offered him the money and trophies he wants. In that case he can leave, and not play for us anymore is my point. Until he signs a new deal, he is no longer an Arsenal player in my opinion and shouldn’t be playing every week. It was the same with van Judas two seasons ago, if he doesn’t want to stay, let him go and let someone who wants to wear an Arsenal shirt play. However, I understand the club is (at the very least) partially to blame.

  220. alexgunners says:

    Attention Fellow BK’ers.

    I know that we are all somewhat pressed for time these days and the post have dried up a bit.
    I propose in TA’s absence (holidays), we choose a topic or a subject of the day. Something we can all discuss. What do you guys think?????

    I will start by asking the all important question:

    IN YOUR OPINION, WHERE DID IT ALL START GOING WRONG WITH OUR SEASON??????

  221. water says:

    I completely agree with u lot about him not playing as well as he should. It could be cuz of his contract or maybe he has an eye on the world cup. But honestly do u guys have good backup for his position. I doubt monreal is the answer.

  222. alexgunners says:

    In my opinion, things started changing for us during the January transfer window.
    Walcott injured back in January and not replaces, Chambo injured, Rambo injured. Ozil needing rest.
    Instead of investing carefully during a time where we were sitting pretty on top of the ladder, we just sat and neglected to get the back up players needed, especially considering our track record when it comes to injuries

  223. water says:

    I honestly think you guys have not recovered from the shock result at anfield.
    I mean no one, not even the most enthusiastic pool fan saw it coming. I honestly think its psychological.
    Modern sports has evolved. Wenger can’t do it all by himself. I honestly think a dr. Peters would do wonders.
    A team that plays great football can’t just stop playing good all of a sudden.

  224. alexgunners says:

    Water,
    The liverpool result certainly went a long way in demoralising the teams morale but i think the damage was done before that game. Whether it was the continued arrogance of Wenger or the ten perhaps believing that this year was theirs. A non productive January transfer window didn’t help. Why is it only the Arsenal cannot find a quality player who can improve the squad. We always get the excuse that there is no one available. 90% of players are available if the right offer is made.

    I do agree with you that a team that plays great football doesn’t lose that skill all of a sudden.

  225. VCC says:

    Good Morning Alex…….Wenger DID buy a player in the transfer window. Kallstrom?

    That’s how far the man has slipped in his knowledge of todays game. The only club that would have tolerated such a fiasco.

  226. VCC says:

    Alex…..If I had acted in such a farcical manner in my job I would have been out the door tute sweet.

  227. VCC says:

    Good idea Alex.

    I agree with you about it all going wrong in the January window.

    Every one and his dog predicted the out come if we did not strengthen. The only Man who did not see it coming was our Manager.

    I don’t think even Stretch can defend him any longer.

  228. AFC says:

    Dylan, but we have no other options. Jenks us as fragile as Monreal and Vermaelen when they play and is likely to be sent on loan next season. If we do not play Sagna at all things will get even worse.

  229. alexgunners says:

    VCC,
    How are you??
    My apologies, I forgot about Kallstrom. What a joke.
    I feel that he has done wonders for this club but we have tolerated a lot of mediocre seasons as well. I am very grateful for what he has given us but his tactics are non-existent (outdated).

    We would all have been out the door VCC. I just believe that if your players can’t be motivated by your landmark 1000th game, there is something severely wrong in the motivational department

  230. AFC says:

    Guys, here are some topics.

    Who players need to go in the summer?
    Who needs to be dropped for our FA Cup match?
    Which players need to come in in the summer?
    And as Alex says WTF has happened to our season?

  231. AFC says:

    Which players*

  232. alexgunners says:

    VCC,

    I understand where stretch comes from and will continue to defend him. We all have our tipping point but he has a bigger degree of tolerance.
    Prior to us winning some cups in the last 20 years, The Arsenal did have many barren years and i think that this is where stretch can appreciate our success through AW than most of us. I have followed the Arsenal since 1988 so I have been fortunate to see many wins but maybe we have taken our success for granted somewhat.

  233. VCC says:

    water……I have not addressed you up until now. BUT, that’s going to change.

    Have some respect for people who have had a tough time of life recently. Looking at both you and JB’s comments, he would make 4 of your kind.

    Now onto football issues.

    I am of the older generation, and I can remember only too well what a fantastic club Liverpool were. Your supporters are up with the best in the world, and amongst the funniest. That is not a fisherman’s tale, it comes from personal experience. You were second to none in the old first division during your hey day.

    You have not been too impressive in the EPL. You have only just come to fruition since January this year. So in terms of EPL, Arsenal have been light years above you. As AFC states above, it’s not over until the fat lady sings. I would suggest you look over your shoulder at ManCity and Chelsea before you start crowing.

    Your kind have only come out of the ground over these past few weeks, during a reasonably successful stint…..where have you been since the EPL started? Not so cocky then, were you!!!

    Lastly, please stop taunting JB, perhaps he might come back and you go away and play on a BinDippers site.

  234. alexgunners says:

    AFC,
    Who needs to go in the summer??? Arteta and Giroud. Arteta has lost his legs and Giroud his passion after concentrating on cheating on his wife.

    Who needs to be dropped for the Semi?
    Can we afford to drop anyone. Flamini is out, therefore Arteta will definitely be in.
    If Gnabry is healthy, let him play, replace Giroud, I would even go with Bendy.

    Which players need to come in? Right now I would accept anyone with hunger and passion for the shirt. Pride people, lots and lots of pride

  235. AFC says:

    Alex,

    I would say Monreal, Vermaelen, Arteta and Podolski need to go along with Bendtner, Fabianski, Johan. Jenks needs to go on loan and maybe so does Sanogo. Not sure if Ryo should be sold or go on loan. There is also a case for Gnabry to go on loan as well. I would only keep Giroud because a fully rested and fully fit Giroud is actually pretty decent, not good enough to be a starter but good enough to be a second choice ST. He could still be replaced with someone better though.

    Bendtner needs to come in for Giroud. Giroud is out of form, tired which is bad enough when you consider his normal level of quality. Gnabry to come in. Ramsey and Källström to come in. I am not convinced with the quality of Källström but I think he is good enough to come in and do a job. Arteta needs to he dropped in my opinion.

    Right now I would take anyone but in the summer a vibrant RB, a quality DM a destroyer or carrier, a top ST, a good traditional winger with pace, GK and another defender if Monreal leaves.

  236. AFC says:

    Sent on loan*

  237. AFC says:

    VCC, spot on with the January transfer window.

  238. VCC says:

    Alex….I am fine thank you Sir,………… and you ?

    I too sing from the same song sheet as Stretch and yourself. Only (unfortunately) I go back to first supporting Arsenal since 1955.

    I can remember only too well the barren years. The heartache, the sorrow, the anger, the disappointments.

    Only now, I am feeling frustrated, and somewhat let down. The thought of Wenger buying 2/3 more SQ players and we could/might have won it this year. We certainly would have performed better, that’s for sure.

    The drum has been banging for years now, NOT weeks or months, but YEARS. He will not change his tactics and philosophy. As stated earlier, every one and his dog has been banging on about what we need, he just defiantly refuses to admit his wrongs. Even now he keeps making excuses. I’m afraid I have turned the record over, I have become bored and sick of his unwavering denial of getting it wrong.

    As you say we had it good during his earlier tenure, but being human, once you have tasted the nectar, and experienced the sweet taste of success in the EPL (unlike the bin dipper) (did you like that little dig….. 😉 ) it’s a hard pill to swallow.

    I am giving Wenger the benefit of this coming Summer, and waiting to see if he addresses our problems and spends some money.

    I took my Daughter and Son to the Mancs home fixture a couple of weeks ago and had to sit and endure one of the most boring football matches I have had the pleasure of going to see. They were there for the taking, but Wenger played safe and negative. This days outing cost me an arm and a leg. ……So my stance is, I’m refusing to spend any more money on Arsenal ubtil they spend some of theirs ……and some money it is too.

    We have the stadium debt under control, we have sponsorships under control, lets get into perspective and get the playing field under control.

    I have said recently we do not need a cull, but after these past few weeks I’m not too sure.

    My biggest immediate worry is facing Wigan this coming week end. As it stands I don’t give us a prayer, and that’s stupid to say against a side who are a league below. We look shot to pieces. IMO

  239. AFC says:

    VCC, supporting Arsenal since 1955. That’s nearly 60 years!

  240. VCC says:

    I know AFC……….I’m an old fart……. ;-D I draw my old age pension next February. 😦

    I’ve already got a bus pass. 🙂

  241. alexgunners says:

    VCC,
    The only thing i know about the barren years is from what i read in ‘Fever Pitch’. Lucky me.
    You seem to be on the same boat as many Arsenal supporters refusing to spend money until the club spends more. I am an Arsenal Member, Albeit a red member purely for the love of the club but i do hope that they spend some money and actually improve our squad.

    We need to really access who are the correct (current) players to invest time in and who can be beneficial to the club, otherwise, unfortunately it is time to go

  242. alexgunners says:

    VCC,

    not old, experiences 😉

  243. alexgunners says:

    *experienced

  244. AFC says:

    Definitely experiences for VCC. Being a younger fan I used to think that the older fans thought differently and that as younger fans we are to quick to ‘want to act’ and are too harsh on the team, the manager and expectations of the team but it seems not. Now it’s not just the younger fans who are pissed, the older lifelong fans are also pissed and who can blame them.

  245. alexgunners says:

    AFC,
    It’s hard to accept that the spuds are lurking just waiting to close the gap,
    The Arsenal celebrating a 4th place trophy (remember last years change room photo??)
    The mancs are not too far behind us despite having their worst year in decades.
    The same excuses from the professor, rather the nutty professor these days.
    As i said before, we all have a tipping point and more and more of us are reaching that point

  246. AFC says:

    Alex, for me it is the excuses and as VCC says Wenger never seems to address the sake problems. Does seem to want to utilise different tactics and systems. Notice I say want as I know he can as he is one of the most knowledgeable managers in the business but chooses not to. He seems to be a technical manager rather a tactical manager (what I think is needed in today’s world of football).

  247. AFC says:

    the same excuses*

  248. Afternoon Arsenes Arselickesquers !. 😆

    VCC has been supporting us since 1955 !…..that’s about 5 minutes to eight !…….fcuking glory hunter !. Getting his bus pass has had him circulating London`s orbital motorway with no idea where to get off !.
    Alex the Great Shirt Provider !.
    I think it went tits up in the Summer TW when we failed to pay the proper price for Suarez and were left without a SQ striker !.

  249. VCC says:

    cheers alex ….your too kind.

    AFC……I like to think I keep myself young at heart……..but if Arsenal keep performing as they have been lately I’m afraid I will not be able watch them much longer. Since my Daughter has caught the bug this year, she is threatening to ban me from watching the love of my life much longer. You see, my young at heart will not be beating if I carry on getting soooooo annoyed and hot under the collar during match days.

    Yes Wenger spoiled me, along with many thousands of Gooners, but I’m afraid I think his time has come. Perhaps step up to board level and give guidance, and let Dennis or Jurgen Klopp (?) come in. Or even Martinez, I like his attitude and he seems a good guy, with plenty of football knowledge.

    AFC….my body may be weak and letting me down, but my eyes are still capable of noticing what’s in front of them. I see Arteta has lost any pace that he might have possessed. I see Giroud a cumbersome figure, I see far too many ordinary players, I see Wenger void of any corrective tactics, but more worryingly, I see a team that appears NOT to want to play for their manager. That last statement worries the life out of me.

    I can also still see beauty TFFT = A pint of Guiness………..The Emirates…….Arsenal Football Club…….My children……….My Boxer Dog George……. Kim Kardassion………Ludivine Kadri ~(that’s why Bacary must stay).

    Also, I may be physically weak but at least I’m not senile like TCM. 😉

  250. AFC says:

    Cockie, I would say no SQ ST and SQ DM cost us the title. I am pretty sure United were quoted 35mill for Khedira,maybe we should have put the money up for that deal.

  251. AFC says:

    😀 VCC

  252. AFC says:

    Another problem is some fans think Arsene Wenger is Arsenal when he is. Arsenal was around long before Arsene was came and will be around for many years after he has gone. A cliche I know but true.

  253. AFC
    I wont say who should go in the TW as there are other ingredients affecting the outcomes, like contracts for both manager and players and other variables, but this is who I think must be kept, the rest I`m not too arsed about !.
    Szczesney
    Jenkinson
    Bellerin
    Koz
    Mertesacker
    Gibbs
    Rosicky
    Ozil
    Wilshere
    Walcott
    Ox
    Ramsey
    Cazorla
    Gnabry
    Zelalem
    Plus all the youth players.
    Anyone one else you don’t see on that list, I don’t give a fcuk about and that includes non playing staff !.
    Obviously there are quite a few left off my list and I know we cant shift them all at once and some will be OK as back up players if needed, but to be shipped out eventually !.
    Yes…..Monster has yielded the axe !…..muhahahahahahahahahahahaha

  254. AFC says:

    That thinking can blind some Arsenal fans from the truth sometime and make them scared of change in my opinion.

  255. AFC says:

    No Sagna Cockie? He should stay in my opinion.

  256. Alcide says:

    A SQ DM (not injured), would quite possibly have left us in competition for top spot this season (for 35m, Khedira would have been expensive though, especially with an ACL rupture!).

    I’d argue that if injuries hadn’t combined (Walcott, (then Ox for a while), Rambo, Jack, Özil, now Kos/Gibbs)) at the worst time, we’d still be in the fight.

  257. VCC says:

    TCM, your list is good, but I would keep Sagna too.

    How’s the mental home? are they letting you out at week ends? 😉

  258. AFC says:

    Alcide, injuries did come at the wrong time for us andthety left us without our best players. Our best attacker (Theo) hardly played this season.Khedira would have been expensive but that is what the market has come to? You have to be willing to spend? Did not know about that injury though.

  259. AFC says:

    and they*

  260. I did say that some are not in because of contractual issues and Sagna is one of them !. He`s going, otherwise it would have been sorted by now !.

  261. VCC says:

    alex….12:23…….the correct players to invest in. That’s the 64 dollar question. I think Klopp and Martinez have an eye for quality, that’s why I put them forward as our next manager.

    I totally agree with most saying not to buy big because of their names……I have watched Cavani a few times recently and he doesn’t blow me away. Its a fine line who to get and invest in.

    Whoever manages us next season, they have to take some chances.

  262. alexgunners says:

    Cockie, the cock-up of the Suarez transfer saga was a massive balls up. Agreed

  263. AFC says:

    Cockie, sorry forgot you said that.

    VCC, I would buy based on age, reputation, experience and type.

    Any player we buy should be under 28, should be experienced enough to play in the EPL on a regular basis for us. Please no players from the Ligue 1. I think they need to have won things and/or played for a top team and should the the players we need.

    I do not think we need a Cavani for huge amounts of money. Manzukic, Balotelli etc, are good options and would not cost insane amounts of money.

    Would any of you guys sell Giroud for Lukaku or Remy in addition to buying a top ST?

  264. AFC says:

    I can see Di Maria leaving in the summer and he could be an option for us. Bale and Ronaldo are the first choice wingers and he would want first team football. VCC, is convinced we cannot get him but I think there is a chance we can. Imagine Walcott, Ozil and Di Maria behind a top ST.

  265. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Happy Frenching TA. Great place for a romantic weekend. If your not up for that, take the wife instead. hahaha

    Alex, thank you for your understanding, I appreciate it.

    I dont defend yesterdays performance. i can take been thrashed, but not when there is a lack of focus or belief. It is the managers responsibility to instil these quality’s and Arsene must take some of the can. If the players lose faith in the footballing approach we are in serious trouble.

    On the other hand, Arsenes and this current squad of players obituary is rather premature. its not the greatest squad in the world, but it does have a habit of bouncing back.

    The targets are now fourth and win the FA Cup, and they are capable of doing it.

    I am not a defeatist or delusional. But I ask you all this. If you had been attending every home game for the last 20 years plus countless away games, would you be able to carry the vitriol that you now feel to the manager or some players?

    I don’t need that and nor do other regulars, it makes you ill and defeats the object. Ranting and raving is ok, but come the next week we go again and support the team, thats just the way it is.

  266. VCC says:

    AFC….Walcott…Ozil…Di-Maria behind TQ S …YES PLEASE YUM YUM.

  267. VCC says:

    I would swap Giroud for Stephen Hawkins, or any one for that matter. He is simply not Arsenal quality. He is in the Gus Ceaser mould .

    A straight swap for Remi as well

  268. VCC says:

    AFC… the last game Di Maria played for Real Madrid, he showed pace, aggression and close ball skills, everything we need in a mid fielder.

  269. alexgunners says:

    AFC,
    I would sell Giroud regardless. Remy would have been a great pick up.

  270. VCC says:

    Terry….do you not see Wenger making the same mistakes, week after week after week?

  271. Hahaha I reckon Le Total hasn`t quite got the drift of the French welcome and instead of kissing both cheeks of their arse, is trying to French kiss them instead !……….and that’s just the men !. Is that a baguette in your trousers or are you just pleased to see me !.

  272. 17highburyterrace says:

    Hey guys…Please ignore or read the following as you please…

    First off, Totes, have a great trip to France…It actually sounds a bit in the vein of our trip to Mexico, where we enjoyed the food, the people, the warm weather and water and most everything. I’m back now, up early and catching up with stuff, including this mess called Arsenal. If desired, I could write a quick post asking all the various questions, just to freshen things up here on the site…Not sure if you’ve got the time/energy/web connection to put something up, however…

    The Match yesterday coincided with our departure which got a whole lot more complicated due to two things: difficulty finding a hotel near the airport (and ending up in a “shacking up” spot–not great for sleep…) AND not being aware that we were losing an hour due to Mexico jumping forward (a month later than us in the States) for the daylight savings thing. Not enough sleep, plus an hour less in airport time. Of course (as I told my wife, repeatedly, that it would…) it all turned out fine.

    At the airport I might’ve scrambled for a 2nd half stream but I saw score updates and I’d seen the line-up so at 2-nil I didn’t have much motivation. (I went for a 2nd coffee instead…) Unfortunately, this Arsenal squad ain’t gonna come back against a team like Everton in an away match. The Ramsey bench thing smelled a fish and it was likely to be a pre-planned 15-20 minute run out at most. We might need him for that same 20 plus 100 vs Wigan…

    The bigger issue (which nobody has mentioned–yes, I’ve read ALL comments…) is that all faith has been lost in the OX since the Chelsea debacle. Given the space Everton conceded to us (I’ve now watched the 1st half) near the center circle, he would’ve provided a MUCH stronger box to box threat than Flamini or Santi or even Rosicky ALL of whom dropped back to help perpetually stressed (the boos, maybe?) Arteta. Meanwhile, Poldolski, lively snap-shots from distance AND angle notwithstanding, is just not a team player nor good when he does try to drop deeper and get involved in the buildup. Combine this with woeful contributions on the left side of our defense and Giroud with nobody to work with (besides begging at Ref Atkinson) and it was over not long after it began.

    I’m not one to over-react and I actually think the FA Cup match can work to our advantage. In it, we can afford to mix the youth and aged types (as we should have done yesterday) and build a bit of a blue-print for the run in. We’ve got 7 matches remaining (six guaranteed…) and we must win them all. A tough task but at least we will have the better players. Yesterday, I fear, we didn’t. Credit to Martinez for getting his group playing together, playing wisely and getting the most of out of the talent at his disposal. Their momentum is strong but so are the obstacles in their run-in…

    We’ve got big (huge? mammoth? insurmountable?…) issues going forward even if we go 7 for 7 and they were on full display yesterday. The balance of youth and experience (including the experience to realize–realise?–that there was no true way forward yesterday…) was all wrong. Our youngest guy was our keeper(!) which is the exact opposite of how it should go. I think comment writers like Dylan (not to mention Simba…) go a bit overboard in their belief in the kids, but there was no verve or pushing or pressing, which might’ve come with youthful (irrational?) belief. Did Sicky, Flams, Lu-lu and Santi (not to mention Sagna, Giroud and Arteta…) use it all up vs City? Maybe so… Anyhow, the balance of the squad was off but it (might) make(s) for good discussion–for the end of the season and for the longer term. Personally, my hope is that some of the younger guys work their way back into the team, we get result upon (needed) result and more of them coming back (Ozil/Jack, Gibbs/Serge…) and things look a bit rosier as we head into the Summer. It might only serve to mask some of the (even) greater problems but it can still be done…

    Players Out, Wenger Out, Fitness staff (or supplements) Out… All very fun things to say but not really solutions (IMO)… In the meantime, Total is out (Bon Voyage) as I was, and I’d heartily recommend a vacation to all in need of one…

    Thanks for reading…(and Lemme know, TA, if I can e-mail you a similar sort or ramble as a “refresher” post…

  273. Giroud is ok and has a fine baguette his trousers since meeting Le Total, but I only see him as a squad player and have wanted a Suarez type player for years !. Giroud is probably the player missing out most because of the injuries !.

  274. 17highburyterrace says:

    Oops, sorry to put up my (long, too self-involved) post in the midst of other folks getting upbeat about spending our way out of this mess… Ain’t gonna happen even if we get a new manager… Like Cockie says, if Stan can wear that thing on his head, he’s not one for losing his money…

  275. alexgunners says:

    Terry,
    Speaking for myself, I will always support the team but when I feel that the passion and the heart is no longer there I will question their performances.

    I am known for having my rants but I just feel that with a little more guidance this team could have achieved much more.

  276. VCC says:

    Nice post 17ht. Good to hear you and your family had a fine vacation. Boosted the batteries no doubt.

    There definitely seems to be a problem with our glorious club at the moment = Manager/Players/back room staff/ medics, etc.

    These frailties must get sorted in the Summer, or we will be left behind the front runners and become middle of the road.

  277. AFC says:

    17, thanks for sharing your views. 🙂

    Question to you: Does Kroenke need to go?

    Is he interested in winning or just making money? From what I have heard all owns are average and/or failing sports franchise. Does he have ambitions? Is he willing to put the money in to make us competitive or do we need to brig in Usmanov who actually attends a lot of games and would be willing to invest some money into our squad.

  278. You are right Squatchie !……….which means, Wenger pretty much decides his own future as Stans symbiotic syrup will never sack him !.

  279. AFC says:

    he owns are average and/or failing sports franchises (?)*

  280. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Yes, its always the “mistakes” that get highlighted Vics. Every manager loses games dont they?

    Simple truth, whether people like it or not, is that he has maintained the Club in the top four through very adverse conditions. That is the simple reality. Others can try and spin it how they like but it makes no difference what so ever to the end result.

    People by nature want more, in many cases more than is currently feasible or acceptable. Unfortunately the internet world is plenty of know it alls who possess infinite wisdom. Football is like any thing else in life, you think you can do it better but they never think about the man trying to do it better than you. They are just as hungry and motivated for success as you and in many cases have more resources to achieve what they want.

  281. AFC says:

    bring in Usmanov who actually attends a lot of games and seems to actually care about our club (?)*

  282. alexgunners says:

    Thanks guys for the comments or thoughts. Time for me to get some shut eye before facing another gruelling day tomorrow. Good night to you all.

  283. AFC
    I would have no hesitation in dropping the symbiotic syrup into the Bermuda Triangle if it meant Uzmanov taking over our club and purchasing some titles !………..obviously, I am a person of no scruples !. hahaha

  284. 17highburyterrace says:

    Thanks for the welcome back Cockie, VCC, AFC… Obviously, I’m with Terry…The post mortem is pre-mature…

    I can understand the view (young and old) that change should not be feared and IF an exciting, smart, up and coming manager could be brought in it might be fun… As it is, I really do believe AW can get us to do this run in for the cup and the trophy (4th place)…

    It won’t mask the deeper problems about how to compete with the big clubs and get our best on the day. Those boring nil-nils (plus the 1-1 a week ago vs City) or at least the home match vs Chavs was probably the best we were gonna do with this squad AND they show some tactical flexibility in the old manager…

    For me, his greatest failing (this season) is that he seems to transmit his nerves to the team AND his desire to win through technique. As such, there’s very little drive to just out-fight the teams who are are as good (or better) when the going gets tough as it does when we don’t get the first goal away from our home ground…

    But hey, that’s just me…

    AFC, Kroenke ain’t going nowhere and you’re right about money being his bottom line. Football is different than our sports (over here) in that winning makes money (builds the brand globally, where the big money lies…) As such, it’s important we stay on top of ManU and get back on top of Pool very quickly. Personally, I think the best way forward is win these next 7 matches for the two trophies (haha) and keep Wenger at the helm and then make a better balance of youth and veterans for next season. None of the top 7 teams (all of whom will be there again next year) have convinced…Yes, it’s an opportunity lost (this year) but it presents again for the next one (if we can right the ship, of course… the opposite outcome I still won’t countenance until it happens)…

  285. Good night, Alex The Great Barrier Reef Diver !.

  286. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Welcome back 17, your reasoned approach has been missed.

    Were the hell is Bondy? He went from been the most prolific poster to this? I hope everything is ok with his family situation?

  287. AFC says:

    17, we do need to make sure we finish in the top four and win the FA Cup for us to stay a brand globally. It just seems pike there are problems throughout the entire club from some of our players, Wenger’s management and tactics and even the owner. I could be wrong of course.

    I just wish Wenger would become more tactical and worry about other teams. I know this goes against his whole philosophy but I think his philosophy needs to be changed

    Terry, you should go on the Arsenal Truth blog and then you will see the arrogance and pretentious feel to the blog and the utter disrespect for AW you are talking about. I will always question AW as I question everyone and myself, I am just that kind of a person (I question every decision I make no matter how minor) but I will never be malicious and personally insult AW. That’s just not me, I will always have respect for Wenger.

  288. Glad you had a great time trying to catch Speedy Gonzales to shag him, 17 !. That fcukers quicker than Theo, so no chance !.

    “Senior Seventeenho, why have you got zee mucho cactus in your trouserz.? ………Andale ! Andale ! Arriba ! Arriba ! Epa ! Epa ! Epa ! Yeehaw !.”

  289. AFC says:

    changed slightly*
    like*

  290. Well said AFC !
    I too question Wenger, but still have the utmost respect for the bastard !.

  291. 17highburyterrace says:

    Night, night Alex…

    Usmanov as a simple solution is a great counterpoint for Silent (Syrupy) Stan but that’s a lot of esses and what if you’ve got a lisp?…

    Terry is supremely correct about the internet and the current culture of football–Everybody is an expert, which translates (for me) to everybody is an idiot. Like I say, the vacation was nice and I can only write my piece once in a while. Of course, if you put me on Wenger money, I could make a more consistent effort…

    (Everybody can see the smilies I would use, I hope…Don’t like the new ones, however…)

    We need a little more in the way of quality and leadership–i.e., quality that can inspire the lesser quality to believe and play their best. We’re truly not that far off, I think, but injuries to the up and comers exposed a lot of the would be leaders (Verm, BFG, Arteta, Sagna–the armband guys, esp. plus yellers like Flams or a runner like Rosicky…) who probably need to worry about their own games as much as help out the other guys. Like I say, I’m happy to write a post about the squad and where we might tweak it going forward because some perspective is most definitely needed…

    Hopefully 7 in a row does the trick (for perspective and getting things back on track)…Oh-Gaat of course and Wenger’s Arsenal is on a knife’s edge…

    (AFC, the Arsenal Truth name says it all… Hate is ugly, IMO…)

  292. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    I know that AFC. Course we should question, otherwise whats the point of blogging.

    Vics, hope you dont think I meant you as an internet know it all. Like AFC, in my opinion you just ask reasonable questions about the manager, Club, and latest Zimmer frame technology. hahaha

  293. 17highburyterrace says:

    It’s nihilism at it’s worst to think that blame is the name of the game, which is why Wenger Out (Admir’s in match chant…) makes me so sad… “True” solutions begin with respect for what is on display and the (full) embrace of reality… not just a cry of “not good enough” which equates (in my mind) to “this is no fun” or as the younger kids say, “whaaaaaa!!!!”

    Of course, critique is necessary, but so too is enjoyment. If there’s nothing to be seen as enjoyable, why bother? For some, unfortunately, pointing out that others SHOULDN’T be taking any pleasure IS the ONLY pleasure…

    But hey, to each their own, right?…

  294. I get no sexual gratification what so ever in Wenger`s seemingly demise !………I swear, I have had this boner since the beating of the Spuds !. hahaha

  295. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    I think you will find 17 that Admir has stated that if only Wenger listened to him, we would be in a much better position. Perhaps we should start an “Admir In” campaign?

  296. AFC says:

    17ht, I am feeling confident we will finish in the top four as Wenger always seems to do it. Maybe I should be worried as all good things do come to an end.

    Winning the FA Cup and finishing in the top four would be a successful season in my opinion and would be progress no matter how minor. I will be happy as it will show this squad has some fight and bounce-back ability in it to come from 4 thrashings.

  297. 17highburyterrace says:

    Very nice Terry and AFC… Admir in, then…

    Yeah, it may be “excuses” but I think Wenger should be lauded for trying to put together a squad of good characters all fighting for the common good (i.e., the club)… It’s pretty tricky if you consider that it’s amidst a culture of “everybody looking out for themselves,” I think.

    As such, I have trouble getting into the buy everybody plan. If Arsenal show interest in a player that guy’s agent will (obviously and immediately) turn to the various silly money teams and say, “Arsenal are offering this amount (salary and transfer fee), what will you offer?… Hard to win those battles, I would think… And if you do win them, what have you got? A team full of mercenaries, I would guess. (On that note, according to John Henry, Pool owner, either our lawyers screwed up by not enforcing the 40,000,001 bid for Suarez or he was never for sale, but that’s taking the word of an opposing owner, which interests of his own…)

    The problem then becomes that many of our older guys are NOT good enough. Mertesacker and Arteta (and Giroud and Poldolski) were stop-gap signings as Cesc and Nasri and then RvP and Song fecked off. IF Captain Vermaelen was good enough surely he’d already be off to Barca (for big money) by now. Barca don’t want another Alex Song on their books, so he isn’t… Then, when ALL the promising young guys (Ozil, Jack, Rambo, Gibbs, Theo) go down hurt it’s on these older players. Yes, Sanogo and Ox have promise, but they also need to find their feet. Chelsea away (both matches vs Bayern), etc. are tough spots for them and we shouldn’t be overly surprised at how those turned out. Fingers crossed these remaining (easier, we pray…) matches give them some POSITIVE experiences for the future rather than the reverse…

    We’ve got to work through the “scar-tissue” scab by scab rather than pretending that firing anybody and everybody is the answer… I believe….

  298. proudgooner says:

    Hello Gooners,
    Well it’s my birthday today so i am disappointed by yesterdays result alot, that was the main thing i wanted to happen for it. Was just to beat Everton, but it did not happen.
    I am still on Wenger’s side, all the people that say Wenger out need to have a closer look at the players. Wenger has always shielded them from any blame though. Once he has named the team it is down to them to perform. There was nothing wrong with the team he sent out.
    I still think we will get 4th and CL football next season, but it has clearly highlighted the need to spend on some better quality players to go to the next level, perhaps a blessing in disquise.?? We will have to wait and see..
    We are missing KOS and i think we are really missing Ozil, just knowing you have a SQ player who can undo a team with 1 pass gives us a lift and the opposition fear of us. Add Theo our top goal scorer to that list and the problem is clear
    It is all about the FA cup for me i would take that over CL football next season i think, If we get both it is a good season, lose both it is a disaster.

  299. proudgooner says:

    17,
    I like your points and agree with them. Our club is changing a lot next season with deal kit deals etc, Wenger has also let us is a bit more on the struggles of the last 8 seasons since the stadium build, but that is behind us now.
    When i look back to the invincables i see a much more physically stronger side to the one we have now, your Petit, Viera, Campbell, Lauren and many more. I think we need to add a couple of them to add that pressence.

  300. alcide says:

    AFC, Khedira has been on rehab for a few months now.

    I wouldn’t sell OG for Lukaku. Note that the latter has about the same number of goals and assist (and he is in a functional team!). If you look at stats, OG has quite decent conversion ratio vs the likes of Lukaku. I’m hoping for better than those. Not disagreeing that Lukaku brings a bit more (especially tactical options) and does not take away much.

  301. alcide says:

    Impressive posts guys. Special thumbs up for 17ht, I would want to have the time and articulation to write posts that good (and they reflect my thoughts very much).

    Laters

  302. Let me be honest…….”Admir in”!…. wouldn`t be such a bad idea at this moment in time !. In fact put any of yourselves in that position and I would be surprised if 50% of you couldn`t do a better job on team selection and tactics !.
    I shall like to throw my self into the hat as I`m probably the best player on this site !. I was as good as Wilkins and he went onto captain England whilst I succumb to the 36/24/36 formation !.
    Lets look at Liverpool, they are scoring for fun with our loanee Suarez leading the line !. I don’t watch other teams as you would imagine, as I only watch Arsenal when they win, which was against The Spuds and the reason I still have this boner and not allowed to shop in Tesco`s !.
    Any way, what I`m trying to say is…what formation do Liverpool play ( maybe H20 can divulge this secret ! ) ?, they don’t have a big target man and by the looks only have Sturridge and Suarez up front. So why not be bold and drop Giroud and play Oxlade and Gnabry in the Suarez/Sturridge role ?. Both similar in stature and skillset . Wenger is beating a dead horse with Giroud up front with the loss of the players who made him effective !.
    No doubt in my mind that this tactical switch would have been no worse than the performances against Liverpool, Mansour City (A), Chavs and Everton…..also remember although I have been known a Priapism Gooner since the Spuds victory, that is a game we were very fortunate to win !.

    Wenger Out ……Cockie In !.

  303. Happy Birthday to you PG………I hope you have a belated present in victory over Wigan…..it will be nice for us underdogs to win !. ( on current form ! ) 😀

  304. 17highburyterrace says:

    Cheers PG…Happy Birthday! Sorry Arsenal didn’t present you with a present…

    I think you’re right about Koscielny…Those first half goals wouldn’t have happened, I think, if Kos was on the pitch yesterday… That said, they certainly created a lot more pressure and half-chances than we did…

    While (whilst?) I’m trying to stay upbeat, I also do believe these results have truly put our club and it’s manager onto the sharpest of knife’s edges. If we cannot make it to the FA Cup final the case against Wenger will be nigh on complete and certainly there will be no reason to believe that we can win out vs West Ham, at Hull City, vs Newcastle and WBA and at Norwich… No manager should be “one result from being fired” (i.e., decisions should be made with a longer term perspective…) but, if ever Wenger was in that situation it’s right now…

    Alcide–cheers and (likewise) I thought you were top notch with your comments throughout… Re: Lukaku.. At least he’s young AND he might be the only striker we could get that Chelsea (stubborn Mourinho…) would let us have…(at an extortianate, Mata-esque price…) lol… I like Giroud as well, but since his ill-timed off-field antics he’s been pretty useless except for the good half against (resting for the league cup final) Sunderland…

    Cockie in? Uh, my dear friend, even I (all caps…) could coach a team that I ONLY saw winning…LOL, I think it’s the losing that requires the more careful (and painful) viewing and corrective measures, EVEN with you getting all Snuzzy with your Uzzy and his ruples…

    Squatchie in, I say…

    Anyhow, I might have to get my day going here… Happy Monday, everybody…

  305. alcide says:

    I agree on the stop gaps, and it’s difficult not to see that we have secured last summer and even this year long term contracts for our most promising players. We went from selling 2-3 a year to resigning, and ece. Bought Mesut, our first SQ in years. This summer will see this trend considering, and we won’t get stop gaps, but buy improvements. On kroenke, I have no doubts about his goals, but he for sure understands that money will have to be invested (risked) if he wants decent returns – well need to start winning and be consistent contenders for top spot. This is not the NBA.

    After the football revolution, after the financial consolidation, I am hoping to see Wenger write his phase III with football and financial maturity..

  306. alcide says:

    Well we’re all better managers as far as we’re not accountable. Few remember our mistakes – Pod should start on he left, Ox will bring pace in the box to box role… Etc. well some of our ideas were tried and were not successful were they? If Gnabry is not played, there might be reasons were not aware of? In French comments, Arsene said that with our current injuries, our team is average… And I agree. Tactics cannot always fix that against better teams.

  307. Exactly alcide !.
    Our team is average and all the optimists thought we could get some decent points from the horrendous recent fixture list !. The more logical amongst us…….which by the way is only me ! hahaha……..saw this coming !.
    In the managers words…we are average, so what makes anyone think we will cruise our next 6 ( 7 if we beat Wigan….big If ! ) games, when the average play against the average !. Everton have a better chance in their so called harder games because they are currently above average ( winning their last 7 league games ) than we have imo !.
    Winning 2 trophies…..4th place trophy and FAC……will be more down to luck than great management….if we`re lucky !.
    If Wenger is such a great manager, then having an average team, he should be tactically better than the other managers who are on millions less per year, in knowing how to beat a fellow average team !.
    This doom stuff comes so much easier when you`re pissed off with inept performances !. hahaha

  308. Trouble with Wenger is he has taken his eye off the football and tactics after years of having his eye on the economics !. Only a good shafting will shock him out of this state of mind !.
    I therefor suggest a new slogan to solve this situation !.

    In Wenger We Thrust !.

  309. VCC says:

    Stretch 14:36…..no offence taken buddy. You know I have supported Wenger to the hilt, and will forever thank him for what he has done for our club. But, even you must doubt his wisdom lately…..No?

    My opinions only, but Giroud was a bad purchase, we would have been better suited to get a more mobile athletic striker, this type would have suited our play more. We could have picked Remi up from QPR before he went to Newcastle. Then the Kallstrom affair. What was all that about, he doesn’t even play him when he is fit?

    We could have got Winyamma from Celtic before he too went, to Southampton.

    I have scratched my head with some of his decisions this season, to say the least.

    My prototype Zimmer is looking the Blollocks. 🙂

  310. VCC says:

    Happy birthday pg. Ava good one.

  311. 17highburyterrace says:

    Hey Cockie…I thought 5 or 6 points from the 15 (most recent on offer) would be about the proper expectation…and 5 it turned out to be…so you’re not the only one with realistic expectations. “Average” is still (probably, hopefully…) better than our remaining opponents who are either lower league or in relegation form…

    And speaking of hope…What’s so bad about hope? Isn’t this what makes the Spurs (and other average team) supporters wake up in the morning? Why pillory Arsenal supporters for being hopeful? Isn’t that what you’re doing with your “strategy” of only watching the wins–trying to stay upbeat in your own (peculiar) way…

    If, however, we think we can manage better than the manager (so as to make the argument that ANYBODY could do better than him…) I think we need (as Alcide suggests) to be just a fur or two more rigorous… Rigor (Rigour?, er, Boing of Steel) would seem to be your specialty (speciality?), no?…

    All grins and much squatchie-fur love as I ask these questions, of course…

  312. Hahaha Squatchie……rigor mortis of the Cockie indeed !.
    I some times wonder if Arsene is losing it when I read some of his statements !. The current one that using products to stop the onslaught of male pattern baldness is bad for footballers health !. Not something I need currently, although I do rub my head in the crouchies of my nymph Lesbanians, but not sure if it works or not, but I will carry on just in case !. So I will leave that one to you and Stretch to answer whether you have had any drop in performances……although in both your cases, maybe I should ask Percy the Pigeon and Speedy Gonzales for some truth !.
    A quick assessment leads me to believe it might not stimulate hair growth, but stimulates the side of the brain that activates illogical optimism !. 😆

  313. As for Vicky`s prototype Zimmer Frame……..basically it`s a cut and shut job made from the parts of a Mini, a Hillman and a Morgan and has ended up with a Mini man organ !.

  314. Admir says:

    @17, TMHT – I can guarantee you that I’d accept one million pounds per year and my point-to-paycheck ratio wouldn’t be worse than Wenger’s. 😀 So, if Wenger wins 77 points this season, I will win around 11.

    @TMHT – it’s not true that our team has ability to bounce back. We had three disasters prior to this one against Everton. After Manchester City, we played 0:0 against Chavs at home. After Liverpool, we played 0:0 at home against the worst Manchester United team in the last 23 years. (Mind you, in both matches at home we were saved by the crossbar when Fatty and Cunty respectively had chances to score.) After fiasco at SB, we played 2:2 against Swansea at home. We simply lose two matches at once – the one our ass get spanked and the next one when we stick that very same ass to the wall in order to avoid spanking.

    @17, if you really have read all comments, you have noticed my proposal what our new manager should do. I understand your emotions for Arsene. There are only a few people in the world that can make me angry and make me happy like Arsene has had – all of them are members of my closest family. Alas, Wenger has been in “lets-make-Admir-angry-mode” for a while and given what my blood pressure said to me last night, it would be a great thing for both of us if he leaves at the end of the season and to say the following words at his last press-conference as an Arsenal manager, just one hour after his testimonial:

    “I leave as a winner. I leave as a man who won the double in his first full season at Arsenal and an FA Cup in his last. I leave as a man who leaves Arsenal as a club that will participate in the Champions’ League for the 17th consecutive season with Real Madrid being the only participants with a longer run in 2014-15. I leave as a man who leaves Arsenal with manageable stadium debt, with one of the best stadiums in the world, with a British core, with cash reserves that allow the signing of at least two world-class players this summer and with a stature that attracts every player in the world. I leave as only manager that has won Premiership without a single defeat in more than one hundred years. Merci and adieu.”

  315. kelsey says:

    Thank you to those who popped into AA to give their condolences to my dear friend and stalwart supporter,dandan.

    It is very much appreciated by us all, gooners young and old.

  316. An interesting read. I know Le Total likes Louis van Gall, maybe his understudy has potential !.
    Love the name of the new U16`s coach at Arsenal……Jan van Loon !. A typical drug induced Dutch name !. hahaha
    http://1nildown2oneup.net/have-arsenal-already-employed-wengers-successor-conspiracy-theory/

  317. kelsey
    Least anyone could do for a fine fellow Gooner !.

  318. VCC says:

    Kelsey…..I enjoyed dandan’s posts. In the two years reading the blogs, he was one of the best. Will be sadly missed.

  319. RA says:

    Cockie,

    Did Morgan mind you using his bits for the cut and shut – especially as he was still using them?

  320. RA says:

    Hi VCC,

    Long time no sea as the angler said to the manky fish. 🙂

  321. RA says:

    17HT,

    Oh, I worry for you taking on that Huge Monster Cockie. Don’t let him grab you by the essentials – look what happened to VCC and Terry — one lost his hair, and the other is still looking for his zimmer frame. 🙂

  322. VCC says:

    HiYa Redders…….you’ve been missed buddy.

  323. RA says:

    Looking at what made the Invincibles so successful.

    What I have been calling the ‘3 Ps’ for ages; It’s Pace, Power and Purpose.

    We have very little of the first two ( actually, Sunday’s match showed we had zilch) and when we lose heart we have sod all of the 3rd P – ‘purpose’.

    The remedy is really straight forward. We need to buy strong, young, athletic midfielders who can run without looking as if their todger is not tied to their ankle.

    So that’s the first two sorted. As regards purpose, we need a ‘proper’ captain – none of this they are all leaders on the pitch. We need a Vieira or Tony Adams type captain who will take no shit and will drive the team on and threaten the back sliders on the training ground.

    Thank you Mr Wenger, my fee will be £7m for the advice – and now go sort it!

  324. 17highburyterrace says:

    I must check out this AA place (condolences for the loss of ANY gooner, I say)… After all, if we cannot get new posts up around here, even for the big 6 pointers, etc., I think we might be winding down, so I (and everybody else) may need to find a new home… Indeed RA, taking on the Cockster is not without peril… but if I have to switch to the AA I bet there are others who will “rip me a new one,” as we like to say…

    Lunch break here, so time to address Admir…

    I hear you re: Wenger and your list of things for the new manager is (mostly) reasonable… I think, however, if you look at our teams and what’s been done with a net spend of nearly zero it’s pretty impressive. The oil (and natural gas…) money has skewed things and the only way to compete (in the short term) is to take on (massive) debt or have support structures in place (bankers, other politically influential figures behind the scenes, i.e., the Burlesconis of the world or guys who might rezone your training ground for high rises as they did in Madrid) willing to do so. Fees are one thing. What they’re paying the likes of Rooney up in Manchester is another…

    For example, when the (really) big clubs play musical strikers this Summer who will be left for us? Mandzukic (and Lukaku) or Cavani go to Chelsea so we go for Torres or Eto’o? Unless PSG want them… Maybe one of the ex-Atletico guys (Falcao or El Kun) goes to RM so then City get Suarez and we try for Benzema? Not likely and the kid there (Morata) will cost more then he’s worth (at least in the short term). Who’s left? The same guys we might’ve splashed for in January– Draxler (who might not even make the German Nat’l team…) or the ancients like Klose or Gomez (who probably will)…We’ve already got Poldolski, no?

    Like I say, I’m hopeful (about the run-in and the future generally…) but in my heart of hearts my expectations are low. To me the problems seem structural and Wenger and the vision of the new stadium has been just about the best way forward. That it coincided with a GREAT team (which raised expectations too high) and was followed by a real estate collapse PLUS all the shiek-o-garch money is the unfortunate part. We’ve been a whole heck-o-poo (in reality) since the move…

    As such, I think we’re actually on the up…the present *crisis* notwithstanding. We had hoped this new generation would come good this season but alas, it was not to be. Maybe these last 7 can be a springboard along the lines of the post Bayern-away matches a year ago… Certainly with Ozil at the center it seems more promising than the Diaby, Denilson and Song core (anchored by Rosicky and Hleb and always-gonna-leave Cesc and the others who did, Ade, RvP, Nasri, etc.)… Frankly, I’m not holding my breath around this Britcore thing either… Injury issues, true quality and the right mentality ALL seem questionable when it comes to Theo, Aaron, Jack and the Ox…Jenks, I think, is pretty fortunate to get his photo up on the stadium with ’em…

    So, at least you have a bit of a recipe for going forward. Read it again and picture a new manager (who would be Steve Bould if Wenger was out after Saturday…) *really* trying to make it work… The real problem is that the club allows AW to get away without delegating so it’s “all on him.” putting the board/ownership (not to mention the supporters…) in quite a pickle: Stay the course or blow it (all) up. The testimonial scenario is a nice one but I think it might be a long road with a new manager (and a slowly growing cast of new, capable players…) Who would be our “chosen one” and would he do as well as Moyes has? What if he struggled? A better example is probably up the 7 Sisters (that’s a pun for Cockie, by the way)… Let’s see how long it takes Spurs to get it together and recover from losing Bale (and then knee-jerking AVB out)…The money trail (and Stan’s only very mild desire to speculate) suggests things could get a lot worse before they get better…

    But then again, they could get a lot worse on Saturday, too…

  325. Stiffs 2-0 up against PV4`s side !.
    Yes, Redders is missed, maybe he can be temp` manager whilst Le Total is away writing some French letters !.

  326. RA says:

    VCC,

    My blogging is a bit sporadic these days.

    I’m glad Stretch and the Glicster are not driving you bonkers. 🙂 Not yet anyway.

  327. RA says:

    Cockie

    I have lost touch with my friend Total, and he seems to have disappeared, leaving his blog baby to your tender mercies. Where is he — where are the Posts – are you all on strike and not helping him? 🙂

  328. RA says:

    17HT,

    TA will never let BK wind down!

    I suspect he has a lot on his plate for some reason but all will be well. Just hang in there. 🙂

  329. Ah my good friend Redders, Le Totes is in France as we speak, no doubt, French kissing whilst writing his French letters !. Excellent multi-tasking and only capable by the Double Dutch Boys !. 🙂

  330. Reading between the lines Redders and the double dutch, Le Totes has mentioned a few times about some secret projects, so I suspect he is maybe in some kind of employment and doesn`t have as much time nowadays to keep up his hard work of churning out posts. As you know I`m not a post man, just a comment man and we need more posters to take the load off Total van Loon. That dastardly syrupodopolous promised a post when the blog first started, but is more interested in syphoning semen from a Pigeon`s cock !. Anything to try and stop the hair loss ! hahaha

  331. VCC says:

    17ht…..BK needs posters like you. Total has been busy in his social life lately. Consequently BK is suffering slightly, please hang on in there. 🙂

  332. RA says:

    Thanks, Glicster, I will try and have a word with him when he is back.

  333. VCC says:

    Redders, I try and follow you around the blog world, but your like the Scarlet pimpernel.

  334. VCC says:

    3-1 Arsenal (O’Conner) COYG

  335. proudgooner says:

    TCM, 17 and VCC,
    Thank you.
    Cockie i really hope you are right, we should beat them but they are a good side. My old man watched them play at QPR the other week and he said they are still a good side. I really want to go to that match but so far have been unable to get tickets for a decent price. I am thinking about just going there and seeing if i can get some of a ticket tout.??

  336. That was some game Vickers !. 3 goals in the last minute…..4-3 to the good guys !.
    Vic`s, Stretch and 17…….I know you gays like house design etc`, this site has been my bible for years…before internet I used to subscribe to the magazine yearly !.
    Some nice contemporary homes by the sea…..mostly in the South West where Monster lives !. hahaha
    http://www.homebuilding.co.uk/community/breaktime/modernist-homes-by-the-sea

  337. Admir says:

    @17, whilst I agree that sacking Wenger right now wouldn’t help (no, we must line-up his replacement before his contract expires and he leaves), I have to disagree regarding oil-money-excuse. Borussia Dortmund had played Real Madrid four times last season. They won two, lost one and drew one (our own Özil scored a free-kick). Their scouting service found Lewandowski and Gündogan which were signed for less money than we paid for, say, Monreal. If I recall well (and I’m too tired right now to check) but I think they paid less for Reus than we did for Giroud and, say, Santos combined. Mind you, they also managed to beat the crap out of Manchester City last season (not so much in result-wise though).

    If you don’t want to go abroad, check Liverpool. They had their club legend as a manager, he screwed them up completely and spent their transfer budget on Downing, Carroll, Henderson (who was very poor during Dalglish’s tenure) and, er, Suarez. Rodgers came, signed a proper goalkeeper, creative midfielder, revived Henderson, made Suarez a world-class striker, added Sturridge (you know, the one that played in London) before turning him into the best English striker and made Sterling look like a real class. When Suarez started Fabregasing, he played hard-ball on him and Suarez didn’t leave Liverpool. He actually became one of the best strikers in the world, if not the best at the moment. That’s something good old Arsene did with Vieira (you know, when Vieira wanted to leave saying that our team wouldn’t get into Top 5 – he stayed, we won the double, Vieira became our captain and won the title with Invincibles). Everton sold their best player but managed to find proper replacement, used what current loan-system offers and added Deulofeu, Lukaku and Barry to their ranks.

    The point is, there is a real mess in Arsenal FC. Scouting service is either poorly instructed or limited to only U21 players. We are only two months away from having a goalkeeper-crisis – Viviano, Italian goalkeeping version of Chu Young-Park (= signed for no reason except that we screwed that lad’s World Cup chances), will go back and Fabianski is leaving on Bosman ruling. Martinez and Iliev as Szczesny’s cover? We have three central defenders. Our fourth choice is actually a right full-back with expiring contract. Our third central defender is a club captain that has spent more time on the bench in the last 12 months than Steve Bould has and his performances suggest that he belongs there…except he has to play because our best central defender is injured. Our left full-back is one of the most promising in his position in the world but he has been injury-prone and usually unavailable for big matches. That one time when he actually played in our disaster this season, he was wrongly sent off.

    Etc, etc…

    Someone asked when did the season go down the toilet. I think it started in the summer with poor pre-season and poor transfer window that saw us waiting until the last day for making a serious signing without making a serious signing in strikers’ area (so he can help Giroud go to World Cup, score a few goals there to raise his price and then leave?). Then, Wenger screwed it up by overplaying Ramsey and Özil. When Ramsey (26th December) and Walcott (4th January) were hit by long-term injuries, he had plenty of time to sign replacements. He signed a guy that didn’t play serious football for ages (look at how Eto’o and Samba struggled in Premiership after their spell at Anzhi) and was injured at the time but Wenger was happy because…it was a free loan and they paid Kallstrom’s wages. Wilshere and Özil spent some time on the pitch with injuries. Now we had to go through March Madness without Özil.

  338. 17highburyterrace says:

    Hahaha…Well, I volunteered to write something to freshen things up but it appears that maybe
    Total is in transit or otherwise doing his French business… As it is, I’m probably (almost) all written out for the day…

    Anyhow, trying to do some landscape work around the house is a lot tougher than watching the mexicanos doing likewise while sipping a beer or eating a taco… Nice houses there, Cockster. Around here, it’s all about the eaves and sheltering out the sun in the hot season and letting it in in the colder days. Our house is “performing” nicely on a warm day like today… OK, back at it, one more clump of Aspen to dig out and replant somewhere else…

  339. Fozzie B says:

    Evening bastardos 😀
    This is the best article I’ve read on Wenger all season!
    Not scathing, but pragmatic and sums up where he is at totally!

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/teams/arsenal/10749414/Arsenal-are-paying-the-price-for-Arsene-Wenger-avoiding-confrontation-and-dodging-big-issues-for-far-too-long.html

  340. Fozzie B says:

    Poor Don Vito got 5 jacket potatoes stuffed up his jacksy tonight!! Poor bugger will be coughing up a lethal combination of rooster feathers and stale mashed spuds!! 😆

  341. AB says:

    Hi Admir. All that you write there is true. The problem is you write it with such bias (I don’t use that term in the pejorative here) that you leave out as much that is also true.

    All you say about the pool for example was true mid season – when we were leading them and had beaten them 2 nil at home. They looked a good side then, but thin in their squad (much thinner than us), and most predicted they would fade. They have not, and all there deserve much credit for that – but they have been very fortunate on the injury front, not just in their own games but in the internationals their players play. They do of course have fewer cups to worry about than some… But they are on a roll now, and looking like everything that we are not.

    For us, someone with a one-eyed perspective might write (just as glowingly as you do on the pool players) about the talent developed previously in Fab and Nas, as well as Theo, Rambo and Jack. And then there’s the Ox, Gnab and Zel coming through. And as for decisive purchases, £42M for Ozil is a huge statement – we seem to have become somewhat blasé about what an impact that was and a shock to the system; I could barely imagine Wenger spending £20M before this! A truly world class, top drawer player, bought at 24, around whom our young players could develop and learn. If you want to go through players, like for like, then I think added value under Wenger will compare pretty favourably with most other managers out there. And that would have been the story 6 weeks ago.

    Its not like that though – I am not claiming it is. But you assess over a season, not at the highest points and not at the lowest points – though its easiest to make the ‘I was right’ claims at such times of course.

    There’s no denying we are at a season low point. And sadly it could all get worse quite soon. And there is a legitimate challenge over whether Wenger is the right man to lead our club. The time to judge will be in May. For now we need to support our team and encourage them to give the best results they can. Rubbishing our players is not the way to go – some of them will dip into this stuff, or at least their friends and families will; do you think it will make them feel more confident and motivated? The Arsenal is a classy club, and we should act the same; and then apply some cold and dispassionate analysis on the future once the playing is done.

  342. 17highburyterrace says:

    Admir, You might be done for the night but just to give a bit of response…

    Personally, I wouldn’t trade these years with Wenger at Arsenal (since the stadium move) for the wanderings of Liverpool even if Rodgers is on top at the moment. That’s just me of course. And you’re right about the Dortmund recruiting having been (very) good but Klopp is also at his wit’s end losing his best players to Bayern and (even more tragically) to ManU and he’s certainly dropped more than a peg this season. I just read an article suggesting that he’s as good as gone when he loses Reus, perhaps to United, to pair back up with Kagawa…

    Yes, there are short-term exceptions to the rule that says the shiek-o-garch money will win out. AW’s stategy is long-term which rankles some (if not most) Gooners to their core. I actually believe that he doesn’t “push the boat out” on potential SQ players if he thinks his own guys–even if they’re currently injured–show just as much potential. As such, no need for Draxler if you’ve got Theo coming back, etc. Trying to get one guy to hold down two roster spots (Sagna as our 4th CB and starting RB) seems wacko to me too… Some of the faith in youth is clearly at odds with some of the nerves on display when they do get their chances. Where is the young guy who actually comes good from the get-go (and doesn’t cost us a load of points beforehand)?…

    Finally as bad as the English money down a hole clubs AND the American owners debt-finance response in England might be, the rise of PSG into the biggest French club (bigger than Arsenal…) might be just as bad in terms of AW’s special brand of recruitment. We’re now getting ligue 2 guys (Giroud, Kos, Sanago) rather than the creme… Adjustments toward underused German and Spanish players has been a reasonable response.

    Again, I think the real breakdown is one of delegation and planning for the future, and, like I’ve said, it breaks supporters into the two extreme camps (Wenger Knows vs Anybody But…) which is distinctly unhealthy. (You and I are probably not as far apart as it might seem, for example…) It could also be described as megalomania or just a very good (and very selfish) job preservation technique. If it’s one of those things then the testimonial and step down idea seems even more unlikely…

    Anyhow, happy dreams…

  343. Gerry says:

    Morning all, It seems like the team has been missing my positive input recently, amongst other things?

    Well here is a thought or two:

    Two positives?

    F’king hell, How good is Ozil now????

    If we are just flat track bullies we should be okay against Wigan?

    To be honest, I think the Cup game has been in the players mind a bit. So hopefully we will have a stronger, give it their all, mindset for this game. Lose, and I don’t think AW will sign a new contract? That will start a managerial scramble, but I hope DB10 is high on the list?

    However, I think a touch of Wigan over-confidence, and us playing better will see us through …. BUT, they will have to have the right balance in the side, and the loss of Flamini(stupid git!) could be good and bad news. Bad if we rely on Arteta. Good it it allows us to push on more positively. Not having seen anything of Kallstom, but by all accounts his cameo appearance showed promise, he might be the answer? What would be a mistake, but I fear will happen is Ramsey will be pushed in there two games too soon. He playing like he is as good as he was would be marvellous, but playing half a yard off his game will open up all those flaws in his less confident games, and our midfield will be overrun.

    Get the Cup semi out of the way and the league game will take care of themselves. We can ‘flat track bully’ our way into 3rd, as the others trip over themselves for the title. Another case of so near yet so far?

    No time to chat, byeee

  344. VCC says:

    Fozzie B 22:04……in a nut shell that article by Matt Law sums it up for me.

    Wenger has become far too nice and loyal to many of his players.

    Bendtner should have been outed, Kallstrom fiasco should never have taken place, Arteta is finished as a top class midfielder,but still favoured, Flamini is good but not the answer, January signings ????? a joke, if he had signed at least one striker then Giroud could be suitably punished for his misdemeanours. Not giving the captaincy to either Per or Kos is a sign of weakness imo. You could go on and on.

  345. alexgunners says:

    @ Fozzie and VCC,

    That article was spot on. AW needs to kick some ass to get the right response from his players.
    I completely agree also that TV5 being our captain shows exactly what is wrong at the moment. He is not a leader and has given up instead of owing out and trying to prove himself again

  346. Gino92 says:

    Very good article on Wenger. At first glance, it all seems so true, but then again the writer is not a fly in Arsenal’s dressing room or around Wenger to know what he says to and/or how he treats his players exactly. Neither am I. Therefore, all that is left is pure speculations based on how we see things through our own eyes and blogs/media.

    Unfortunately, I too, agree that Wenger is way too nice to his players. He is for the most part like a proud father to them, he is always there to protect them publicly like any caring parent would, but they don’t always seem to learn from their mistakes and reciprocate their “father’s” trust and faith in them. In fact, they seem to abuse it at times, imo. I mean what player in their right mind would not get the fuck up and want to give a 1000% for their beloved manager’s Landmark 1000th Game in charge of the Club? Seriously…??? Injuries or no injuries, as a player, when you get selected to play, you go out there and put in a real shift. You don’t take anything for granted, you show your manager that he was indeed right to select you, you play your heart out, you run until your legs literally fall off and you are in serious need of an oxygen tank, and you have a never-say-die attitude right from the get-go, especially given the importance of these last few games (having been League Leaders for 2/3 of the Season to now running the unthinkable risk of falling out of the top 4 altogether). This alone ought to drive all the players angry, insane, and triply motivated to not let this happen at all costs, to not validate what all the naysayers have been saying since the start of the Season: “Arsenal are not good enough and will not make the top four this season”. Instead, they are capitulating right in front of our very eyes, their confidence is totally shattered, the manager is at a loss for words to explain what is exactly going wrong with his team. All of this with only a handful of games left.

    There is NO time for low confidence and/or self-pity. If a player doesn’t show a desire to improve his in-game performance, I say to Arsene, be mean, be ruthless and bench his arse (no matter how highly he thinks of himself or what his weekly wage is). No time for all that nonsense bullshit! We need gritty performance and result asap!!! We need real fighters for the cause.

    As for the Captaincy, there might as well be signs posted all over the Club saying: “Wanted: Club Captain For Season 2014-15. Please Apply At Your Own Peril”. Let’s be real, we all know that the Verminator is as good as gone this Summer. We need a tough, serious, hard working, “over my dead body” mean looking son of a bitch, LONG TERM Captain at our beloved Club. Alas, I don’t really see anyone with that description at the Club at present time. Jack Wishere is the only closest candidate but I definitely wouldn’t want him to fall victim to the Curse. We have to put an end to this “Arsenal Captaincy Curse” that has besieged our Club over this past decade.

    Since the 2004-2005 Season, we have had way too may changes at Captain:

    1. Patrick Vierra – Sold
    2. Thierry Henry – Sold
    3. William Gallas – Sold
    4. Francesc Fabregas – Sold
    5. Robin van Persie – Sold
    6. Thomas Vermaelen – Bench Warmer, soon to be Sold…
    7. Who Is Next – Sold…???

    Come on Arsene, sort it out!

  347. VCC says:

    Gino92.
    He kept Gallas as captain….to keep him happy
    He tried to keep Cesc…..gave him captaincy (at a young age) to keep him happy
    He tried to keep Shit Face happy and gave him the captaincy. ( God I can’t look at him without spitting out abuse) I hate him as much as Nasri/Cole/Sherringham.
    Thomas Vermaelen……not good enough any more, still persist to keep him club captain.

    As you say……sort it out Arsene.

  348. TotalArsenal says:

    Afternoon guys 🙂

    I am siting here with a baguette in my trousers, and yes it is because I am happy to ‘see’ you all. 🙂

    17, good to hear you had a good time and shame about the ‘stress’ for the last day. I have no ability here to post new blogs but will be back home on Saturday, just before kick off hopefully.

    Good to see AlexG starting a new discussion and I like the quality of the comments and various points of view. The pain of another big loss still lingers on, but seeing a kid on the campsite here with an Ozil Arsenal shirt put a smile on my face. 🙂

    Off to Paris tomorrow – cannot wait to show our daughter this magnificent city.

    Keep rocking. 🙂

    Finally,
    The blogger *ater has gone too far with challenging JB and is now banned: insensitive fucker. Don’t use his name as your comment will be regarded as spam.

  349. Admir says:

    @17, @AB – nice posts. 🙂 Response is yet to come. 😉

    I’d like to say a few words about our captaincy issue. I wrote a few articles last summer under the title “The Armband Curse”. Articles were about Vermaelen, Vieira, Henry and Gallas respectively. I should have mentioned Gilberto Silva as well – one of the kindest players that we’ve had in the last 20 years.

    Our captains after Vieira were…well, most of them were much better players than captains – Thierry, Gallas, Fabregas (he didn’t know how to encourage his troops to calm down when our opponents were starting their come-back – Newcastle 4:4, for example), Vermaelen… Perhaps Van Prick would have been the best captain in post-Vieira period hadn’t he showed his betraying nature.

  350. Total van Baguette Basket Headcase …..nice to hear from you !. 😀
    My boss showed me an email today from the Spuds asking for some samples of our delicious pies !. How did I feel about delivering to them !. After the expletives, I calmed down and felt that it would be an honour to extract money from them !.

  351. I spoke to VCC today and the bastard was going on about fcuking Hydroponics and Aquaponics !.
    Trouble is, the Clunge, instead of doing in a greenhouse, will have it all hooked up to his colostomy bag in his bedroom !. Fcuk having him sell me some Cock tasting Cod and Turd tasting Tomatoes !.
    This is what his missus thinks of it !.

  352. I like Kempies grey hair, better than his natural black hair !. Keep dying it grey, it suits you !. I do the same, I dye my hair grey as well, so I look older and don’t attract jail bait !. hahaha

  353. Admir says:

    I want to have Reus’ child.

  354. Fozzie B says:

    Evening Bruised and Bejazzled Brokeback Brethren ! 😆
    And screw me if Maureen got it right again tonight with his early proactive subs !! And who else but to score the winning goal than the guy who was going to come to us!!
    Ba Ba Black sheep!! Deny Arsenal the league and win the champions league in one move!! Now that’s class!!

  355. Fozzie B says:

    Cockie … That’s a great link!! Cheers !! I read somewhere that in the coaching badges now one of the things proven by stats is that you have to make the sub before the 58 min mark or it will make very limited impact !! All the younger managers than Wenger are prepared to get the their light sabers out early whereas Wenger loves to get his light saber caught up in his puffer jacket zipper!!
    Man Reus looked awesome tonight !
    Hey are your guys thumbs bulging with all this scrolling?? Both of mine have 6 packs and are no longer suitable for nasal excavation !! And that’s saying something because I got a big honka !! Haha !! 😆

  356. Fozzie B says:

    Pepe Le Totes !! Enjoy your time in Paris! Are you taking the young one to EuroDisney?!! That place rocks !! Especially after a few pintos going around the rides !! I think you should set the example for Mini Totes ….. And get totally anihilated and blame it on post traumatic arsenal stress disorder !!
    I have the same disorder !! And will wind up with an upgraded room at the local sanitarium on Saturday if we lose!! I say upgraded because you bastardos will be there with me and as I currently live there (in an advisory capacity :D. ) then I will be upgraded!! Haha … So I guess ultimately life will not be too bad on Saturday!!
    Hey JB … Get your punk spy, tree swinging arse back on here !!
    We need you the run in!! 😀

  357. Yes Oh Oh Sevennnn………..H20 has been tasered and lasered, so get back !.

    Total McBastard only went to EuroDisney to kidnap Snow White and give her 7 inches !. hahaha

  358. Fozzie B says:

    If you listen hard enough you can just hear slurping noises coming from Stamford Bridge!! Abramabitch has his ponytail wig with painted on freckles giving Maureen’s Portugese Man of War the finest of Russian blowjobs !! But without a Hazard warning … Look out Maureen … Abramabitch can bite!! Haha !! 😆

  359. RM have Bale, Ronaldo and Isco !. Barca are banned for 14 months for transfers !.
    PSG, Monaco, Mansour City and Chavski if intending to abide by FFP will have to curb their spending !. So that just leaves us and Manshafter Std to buy Reus and we have the advantage of Admir begging him to take him in any position he prefers !………plus we could probably chuck in HH for a threesome !.

  360. Fozzie B says:

    Hell Cockie … When you put it like that h20 got a bloody good deal!! He will be mincing with Raheem as we speak!! Haha 😆

  361. Plus Fozzie B`s Brazed Boiled Bollocks and Butchered Bear Buttocks !.

  362. What is it you actually do ?…..Fozmeister !. hahaha

  363. Fozzie B says:

    I suggest Klopp comes over bringing Reus, Hummels an Gondongan!! Imagine the damage they could do!! 😆

  364. Why the fcuk has Totes gone all the way to Paris for a romantic break ?……..it`s much cheaper keeping me in the wardrobe !. hahaha

  365. Fcuk that !……….any more Germans over here and we will be classed as an occupied country !.

  366. Fozzie B says:

    Haha … Your making me hungry Cockus Van Bastardicis!!
    Man can’t believe Dortmund didn’t put RM away tonight … They were awesome!! Like you Cockie in full swing doing your naked figure 8s in the Tranny annex !!! Gooner boner like a kickstand keeping you in the groove like human scalextrix !!
    Uzzy worship must be in full swing these days eh Cockie?? I hear a few of the BK brotherhood have changed genders and joined you in the Tranny annex!! Haha 😆

  367. Fozzie B says:

    How very thoughtful of you Cockie !! On that note I shall now try and violate Mrs P which will no doubt subsequently result in a short, sharp to the pills !! Goodnight Cockie and Co!! 😆

  368. Fozzie B says:

    Short, sharp, shot to the pills !! 😆

  369. True Fozzer and you are being invited to join !. I have set you up with our main regular……StretchVestTight !. You`re in luck…she`s a looker !.

  370. Hahahaha Honestly….that is such a good likeness of Stretch…..Vic`s will back me up……if only he can remember !. hahaha

  371. It`s a goodnight from me and a goodnight from him….goodnight !.

  372. Admir says:

    Cookie, if we sign Reus, I’d be the first heterosexual guy in history that would get divorce papers due to yelling: “Marco! Oh! Get in! I love your through balls!” while in bed with beloved wife. 😀

  373. Dylan says:

    Agreed Fozzie. I hope Klopp comes and I hope he brings some players.

  374. Dylan says:

    Someone needs to show our players this video so that the players know how to fight for the shirt and why Wenger is to be respected.

  375. VCC says:

    Cockie 23:05….I had to look twice. Pink is not usually Terry’s colour. I think his white number suits him far better.

    Trouble is, he will insist on smoking.

  376. VCC says:

    ~Dylan……That brought tingles down my spine………..cheers. What memories

  377. Gerry says:

    Well done Dylan, a must watch. Worth 11 minutes of anybody’s time.

    Sadly, it also show the talent that has come and gone, along with some just sidelined. Even the much derided Arshavin, the maligned Song, and the now abused, RVP all had their moments. But the cream, they rarely had bad moments, and will always be remembered for who they were, as well as how they played the Arsenal way.

    So let’s not get all senile and live on memories. Look forward to Saturday, and to make some more history.
    Enjoy it!

  378. alexgunners says:

    Good Evening/Morning guys.

    Putting another question out to you guys.
    We are just over 72 hours away from booking our place in the final.

    What do we need to change for this game? Let’s keep it realistic, no we cannot propose transfers as this will not take place. That is a discussion for the end of the season.
    Keep in mind, Flamini is out. Rambo is still making his way back into the squad, Arteta is struggling and the Ox has lost some self confidence.
    How do we overcome a plucky Wigan side who are the current holders and have beaten the billion dollar team twice in this competition, in the last round as well as last year’s final.

    I just want to keep a discussion going so i will be popping in at different times to comment but i am quite sure you fine BK’ers will have plenty to say.

    TA,
    I hope you and the family are having a great time with your family

    Over to you guys

  379. 17highburyterrace says:

    Hey Alex…Also nice to have Gerry pop in…Still waiting on my response from Admir (smiley)… Also, good to hear that Total is enjoying his holiday and that he finally took steps about the water fellow. I didn’t see the upside there, but (as always…) that’s just me…

    Before I respond to the question Alex has put out, I must say that I find a ton (tonne?) of irony in Dylan’s two posts above. On the one hand it’s Klopp in (meaning Wenger out…) but then a video asking for respect for the manager. I’m not trying to pick on you, Dylan, but I think a lot of the difficulty in the ongoing talk about the manager is that–in the end–you can’t have it both ways. He’s a divisive figure but I believe that’s mostly on the back of unrealistic expectations (some fostered by his, er, less than honest, communication with the support…) Obviously, I’m in the “let’s do it for AW” camp and crave a narrative of winning out, Wenger signing a new contract and we build upon what we’ve got. Others want to blow it all apart and then there’s the middle ground of Admir’s testimonial idea, with Wenger taking/getting credit but handing the reins to a new guy. Personally, I don’t see that solution as possible given the ego of the man, but again, that’s just me… IMO the next manager, no matter who he is, will really be up against it… Ah well, it might re-set (lower) expectations for the guy after him…(That manager sacking business is addictive, I fear…)

    But maybe that’s one for another post… Regarding the Wigan match…I just watched the 2nd half of the Everton game (trouble sleeping/up early…) and it actually made me significantly more confident about our chances. Our team is not as bad as these lopsided results suggest. Everton played a near perfect match and with such an aged squad (Szcz was our youngest starter) we had no spark once we went behind… The squad (of course) is still very thin AND we need to be thinking about 120 minutes given our lack of goal scoring–a scenario where basically everybody (fit) plays (shock face). With Flamini banned I think we’ll see both Ox and Rambo start. Both of them, young and/or lacking match fitness as they are will run a whole lot more than that Poldolski character. Yes, Giroud looks a step off his (not very quick) pace but he’s still actually scored a goal for us (Sanago’s late effort should’ve counted, the one he screwed wide earlier, however, shows that he’s not the answer–yet, at least…) We’re really missing Theo as help on the counter and as a target for our long ball guys (Giroud and Sagna) to knock the ball towards…

    For all the stick Arteta got I thought he (and Santi) was much more effective than Rosicky whose game is really based on running…So many missed passes and his floated balls are really lacking, He shines in an open game or ones where teams play the suicidal high line (i.e., the Tottenham matches,,,) but is not one to break down a well parked bus. Which way will Wigan come at us, then, becomes a question… Although, he probably has to play regardless…

    We’re really missing Koscielny and Fabianski (who I assume will start…) will be tested. People are criticizing (criticising?) Vermaelen but playing between small and slow(ish) Nacho and tall but really slow BFG requires a lot of careful (perfect?) positioning AND the pace to make the key plays. If Flappy starts, it’s even tougher as he’s not the quickest off his line. (Pantilemon was pretty poor and looked like he was growing roots in Wigan’s win over City, I thought)…

    Who knows, maybe we’ll get some good injury news (Gibbs, maybe?…) to give us an extra boost. Still, I fancy our chances and think we’ll be fine. Of course, the opposite result is unthinkable, so why bother?, maybe?…

  380. 17highburyterrace says:

    Haha, I mentioned the banned guy and my comment ended up in moderation…Oops. I’ll try again… (Even if it makes an already long one, even longer…)

    Hey Alex…Also nice to have Gerry pop in…Still waiting on my response from Admir (smiley)… Also, good to hear that Total is enjoying his holiday and that he finally took steps about the banned fellow. I didn’t see the upside there, but (as always…) that’s just me…

    Before I respond to the question Alex has put out, I must say that I find a ton (tonne?) of irony in Dylan’s two posts above. On the one hand it’s Klopp in (meaning Wenger out…) but then a video asking for respect for the manager. I’m not trying to pick on you, Dylan, but I think a lot of the difficulty in the ongoing talk about the manager is that–in the end–you can’t have it both ways. He’s a divisive figure but I believe that’s mostly on the back of unrealistic expectations (some fostered by his, er, less than honest, communication with the support…) Obviously, I’m in the “let’s do it for AW” camp and crave a narrative of winning out, Wenger signing a new contract and we build upon what we’ve got. Others want to blow it all apart and then there’s the middle ground of Admir’s testimonial idea, with Wenger taking/getting credit but handing the reins to a new guy. Personally, I don’t see that solution as possible given the ego of the man, but again, that’s just me… IMO the next manager, no matter who he is, will really be up against it… Ah well, it might re-set (lower) expectations for the guy after him…(That manager sacking business is addictive, I fear…)

    But maybe that’s one for another post… Regarding the Wigan match…I just watched the 2nd half of the Everton game (trouble sleeping/up early…) and it actually made me significantly more confident about our chances. Our team is not as bad as these lopsided results suggest. Everton played a near perfect match and with such an aged squad (Szcz was our youngest starter) we had no spark once we went behind… The squad (of course) is still very thin AND we need to be thinking about 120 minutes given our lack of goal scoring–a scenario where basically everybody (fit) plays (shock face). With Flamini banned I think we’ll see both Ox and Rambo start. Both of them, young and/or lacking match fitness as they are will run a whole lot more than that Poldolski character. Yes, Giroud looks a step off his (not very quick) pace but he’s still actually scored a goal for us (Sanago’s late effort should’ve counted, the one he screwed wide earlier, however, shows that he’s not the answer–yet, at least…) We’re really missing Theo as help on the counter and as a target for our long ball guys (Giroud and Sagna) to knock the ball towards…

    For all the stick Arteta got I thought he (and Santi) was much more effective than Rosicky whose game is really based on running…So many missed passes and his floated balls are really lacking, He shines in an open game or ones where teams play the suicidal high line (i.e., the Tottenham matches,,,) but is not one to break down a well parked bus. Which way will Wigan come at us, then, becomes a question… Although, he probably has to play regardless…

    We’re really missing Koscielny and Fabianski (who I assume will start…) will be tested. People are criticizing (criticising?) Vermaelen but playing between small and slow(ish) Nacho and tall but really slow BFG requires a lot of careful (perfect?) positioning AND the pace to make the key plays. If Flappy starts, it’s even tougher as he’s not the quickest off his line. (Pantilemon was pretty poor and looked like he was growing roots in Wigan’s win over City, I thought)…

    Who knows, maybe we’ll get some good injury news (Gibbs, maybe?…) to give us an extra boost. Still, I fancy our chances and think we’ll be fine. Of course, the opposite result is unthinkable, so why bother?, maybe?…

  381. AFC says:

    Alex et al, thanks for keeping the blog going. 🙂

    For the Wigan match Wenger needs to go more tactical. He needs to prepare his team with a clear system in my opinion. Instead of preparing for this by just playing the ‘Arsenal way’ I think Wenger would be better off taking Wigan and their players into consideration. He needs to go through the various scenarios that the players could find themselves in i.e. what to do if we are one goal down, what to do if we are one goal up, when to shut up shop, what to do if we go down to ten men, when to change our system (if necessary) etc, just like Mourinho done last night.

    Regarding the team I would like to see a few changes. Fabianski should start.

    A back four of Sagna, Mert, Kos and Gibbs should start if all are fit.

    I would drop Arteta for this match. Risky I know but he has been out of form. I would start Källström alongside Ramsey and bring Arteta on as the match progresses. In front I would play Ox, Rosicky and Santi behind Giroud. Podolski should be saved and used as an impact sub. He performs better coming on late as a sub.

    Giroud should start as he is our best option. To keep things short Sanogo is not ready to lead the line on his own. I would have said Bendtner but he has not played recently and it would be risky to start him. He has to be on the bench though. We might need to use Sanogo as a makeshift winger later on in the game if we need pace as we will most likely have no one on the bench who can give us that speed and thrust. Bendtner can then be back-up for Giroud. It makes no sense to keep Bendtner out of the squad as we are lacking attacking options.

  382. AFC says:

    Another option could be to drop one of Rosicky or Santi from the starting line-up for Sanogo. You could then have Giroud playing slightly deeper as a SS which suits his game, with Sanogo in front of him. With Ox and one of Rosicky and Santi on the flanks. A more attacking system but this allows Giroud to cause problems for their DMs, remember how Rooney restricted Arteta. If Giroud can cut off the supply for Wigan’s forward players from deeper positions by giving their DMs less time on the ball it could make our day a lot easier. Giroud and Sanogo could then link up and compliment each other when we attack.

  383. 17highburyterrace says:

    Hey AFC, good to see you, I thought I had killed off it looks the discussion and that I might have to create a new character, maybe with a different dog avatar… Scooby Dooby Abou (Diaby) perhaps? Maybe HE’S the fitness boost for the weekend (and afterwards). Seems a bit risky using him as he’s the sub who requires a 2nd one (when he limps off minutes after his introduction…) Still, he’s on the payroll so it’s like a new signing, no?…

    Your line-up seems fine except that (unless you know something I don’t…) dropping Arteta for Kallstrom seems like a shot in the dark. I’ve heard he’s more of an attacking MF with the killer left foot. Maybe in for Poldolski (who I agree with you on, 100%)…

    The Arteta out of form or as the figure of all the finger pointing seems way over the top, I think. I thought he had a decent enough match. Yeah, he might’ve kept running on the 3rd goal but Sneezy should’ve held that ball. Plus, wasn’t the own goal actually a foul? In fact, watching that 2nd half, it was distinctly 12 on 11 with Atkinson given ALL the close ones the other way. Ox put one on the bar and I’ve seen that penalty (his little divey thing after getting the touch) given. (Young Alex seems to have studied a bit of Suarez during his time off, I think)… I’ve also seen the handball (sent back to Santi) given and Barkley unpunished there at the end is ridiculous. What exactly did Arteta do wrong in trying to explain to the ref and the opposing captain what (the freak) had happened? Frankly I’d be a whole lot more worried if Mikel was the one banned for the Wigan match rather than Flams…

    I agree about trying to study and exploit Wigan. One thing that Everton did really well was back off and regroup when they lost the ball–easier of course, when they got the lead. We really don’t have the players to break down the parked bus, but I kinda doubt Wigan are gonna try that stategy. The problen is that Giroud (and Poldolski) simply do not move well in tight spaces and Rosicky doesn’t really either. Unfortunately (in the Everton match) the next line (Santi, Flamini and Arteta and the FBs) got the short end of the calls (and the non calls…) and it doesn’t help that they’re smallish, slowish and clumsy (Flamini) More “presence” is necessary but Ozil, Ramsey, Wilshere and the Ox (who will learn the DM role, he’s still just 20). Ramsey and the Ox (from the start) I think will give the needed impetus AND enough ball control ahead of the back line for the Wigan match.

    I dunno, maybe I’m protective of “my” guys, or maybe it’s my own sports background where the only way to build my team included keeping myself on it… but I think the knee jerk criticism of some of our guys is over the top. (I’m not singling you out here, AFC, by the way…) Yes, sometimes games are lost VERY early and there’s no way back and sometimes players under-perform or do something wrong in a key moment. Supporters can “throw in the towel” on individuals or the club (get another pint and curse and shout for drastic solutions and frankly irrational solutions…) but the players have to keep going. My encouragement (to the boys) on the interweb doesn’t count for shit(e) but it still feels like the right thing to do…

    Sorry if it’s out of place…I’ll stop now… Carry on…

  384. AFC says:

    17, thanks for the response. 🙂

    I was not singling out Arteta to make myself clear. I just think recently he has been quite poor but he has not been the only one. Monreal, Vermaelen, Giroud, Santi, Podolski all were as poor as Arteta in that match. I would say Arteta has been as poor as Podolski who will most likely be dropped for our match against Wigan. Källström is a more attacking minded midfielder but like Rosicky and Arteta he has the experience and discipline to play in a deeper role. He seems fit and not out of form and it seems like to the right time to put him in the team in my opinion.

  385. AFC says:

    An interesting and reasonable proposal regarding AW’s contract renewal.

    http://hereisthecity.com/en-gb/2014/04/09/wenger-contract-arsenal/

  386. 17highburyterrace says:

    Hey AFC, I tried to re-work my post there (as a response to you) but it was originally a lament about nobody talking with me…i.e., there’s some poor editorial work in there…Sorry…THANK YOU for the response…

    Watching the match (and knowing the sad result…) my takeaway was that Everton was the better team (and had the firepower on the bench, as well) but not by as much as the scoreline says… Giroud cuts an isolated, tired looking figure out there with nobody to knock it on towards and just about no help on the break. Slow as he is he tries to get forward. Lu-lu by contrast is usually seen walking at the center circle…

    Poldolski is a huge defensive liability and (early match vs Everton) he looked for his shot rather than the pass. When those shots didn’t work the team sagged, Nacho being a primary victim (forward and back)…but Giroud and Rosicky (the other would be forwards) also suffering…

    Also, Flamini as our box to box (he scored our most recent goal…) MF left us exposed (with Santi and Sicky trying to cover…) which seemed a big tactical error. Santi, I thought played well in the 2nd period (bus extremely parked), Rosicky not so much…it’s important, I think to judge the players by how their teammates are helping or hurting them as much as anything–a reason to cut Vermaelen a bit of slack given that he’s got to mop up a lot of stuff left from the slower guys around him… (All this talk about making BFG captain bothers me too, given that we need to find a CB who is better than him and make him our #3, in my opinion…)

    We looked better when the subs were made (Ox, Ramsey on Poldolski, Flamini off) so I think starting with that team will work a treat. The other ideas (Sanogo and Giroud together from the start, for example or Kallstrom as DM) seem like things Wenger will simply not try (so only good in theory, i.e., cannot be tested, etc.)

    Anyhow, I promised to feck off, and look at me now…damn espresso… (winky)

  387. AFC says:

    17, agreed. I cannot see Wenger playing Sanogo and Giroud but just thought I’d throw that idea out there. The same goes to Källström starting the match at DM which I think is more likely to happen than the Sanogo and Giroud starting together

    Alcide, also agrees with you on the need for a better partner for Kos.

  388. 17highburyterrace says:

    Like I say, I try to be upbeat about the boys and see the better qualities… Even Poldolski, who it appears I’m singling out for criticism, probably was doing the right thing trying to get us an early goal. His chances didn’t go and then they scored so then his spot on the pitch becomes a bigger liability since they could sit back and play on the break even more…

    The idea that Wenger doesn’t do tactics, I think, is one of the silliest. The problem is that with Theo gone it leaves our only real runner being Rosicky. We got lucky with his early (breakaway) goal at Spurs and then we held on defensively. It could be argued that Oxlade-Chamberlain has breakaway pace but his attempts (at putting Spurs away, or early vs Chavs) haven’t been falling. He’s still so young, so it’ll come…On the plus side (winky) he does win a penalty (knows how to dive) now and again. Poldolski can do a bit of running but only to the line for crosses. (Draxler, who might’ve replaced Lu-lu in January looks more of a direct winger type and a promising athlete but not pacy on the break like Theo…) All told, it’s not good, esp. if our best defender is out and our keeper is a work in progress. As such, if we don’t get the first goal we’re looking at brutal nil-nils (or lucky Flamini equalizers vs City) or we come out of shell and get hammered. (Equally unlucky–of course–was Flamini’s late goal for Swansea…but winning that match would’ve only been a fillip if our expectations are the quadruple every year…)

    AFC, the rolling one year idea and grooming a real first team manager (i.e., Bergkamp who would need another guy–like Bould–due to the flying thing) would work for me. Still, the model at United has been far from a smooth transition… I would love for something (ANYTHING) to come out suggesting there was a chance for something besides a Wenger out (i.e., completely out…) solution…(Unfortunately, IMO) I Don’t see it happening that way…

  389. AB says:

    AFC and 17. Some interesting selection choices. Fab I assume, plus our best back 4 depending on fitness – I’ve not heard an update on either Kos or Gibbs, so I’m assuming for the moment that its Verm and Nacho again. I can’t see Arteta being dropped for a minute, esp with no Flam. But I do wonder if KK might start alongside him? As 17 says he’s more attack minded, but he does have some physical presence, which is not be be under valued. I agree, Pod should start on the bench, so Ox, Ros and Santi across the middle. I think Sanogo might get the nod for the start however, just as Fab does, with Giroud there if needed on the bench. This might not be bad on many fronts, esp if Giroud still has his head up some model’s backside!

    I would not risk Ramsey from the start, but hope for a comfortable run out late on. If we have some presence and some pace in our 11 we really should have nothing to fear from Wigan – provided we turn up from the start without any complacency. Yes, that’s several ifs in there I fear…..

  390. AFC says:

    17, I think Wenger does do tactics but only chooses to use one system? The ‘Arsenal’ system. George Graham in his most recent interview with talkSPORT said that Wenger is more a technical manager rather than a tactical manager. He prefers that we focus on ourselves and not the opposition whereas a tactical manager like Mourinho focuses on the opposition an sets up his team accordingly. For instance Fabregas said that at Arsenal with Fabregas he would only train the Arsenal way no matter what match was ahead but at Barcelona he participates in more tactical training where they practice a number of systems and styles of play. Wenger is not tactically inept, if he wanted he could turn into Mourinho tomorrow but does not want to.

  391. AFC says:

    at Arsenal with Wenger*

  392. Dylan says:

    17HT, I think you may have missed some of my earlier comments. I sounded contradictory earlier, but what I’ve been saying all along is I love Wenger more than anyone. I believe he is one of the greatest managers to ever live and I want him to stay. However, I think if he gets top four and the FA Cup this season he should retire a hero for the sake of his legacy. He can take the French job and live his dream. Then Klopp/someone else (Dragan?) can come in and take their try.

  393. 17highburyterrace says:

    Hey Dylan, I try to read all the comments (no matter how ridiculous…) and (like I said) I wasn’t trying to single you out…Really I’m just trying to make the point that it’s very tough (if not impossible) that there will be a solution that honors (honours?) Wenger, allows him to leave on his own terms, and is good for the club. I love him too but he’s made himself pretty much indispensable and I fear for the next guy. As such, we run the next seven matches and I think he’ll sign a new contract. If we don’t…Well then I think the Wenger out folks will get their wish and I’d be braced for some darker days… I really don’t see this middle solution happening nor working particularly well…(as always, of course, WTF do I know?…)

    Also, why would it be his dream to coach the French National team? (It sounds like more of a nightmare, I think…) PSG might have an opening sooner rather than later after blowing their CL tie vs Chelsea and would be a much surer way to go out on top…

    Klopp is an interesting character and very different from Wenger. http://www.theguardian.com/football/blog/2014/apr/07/bayern-munich-jurgen-klopp-borussia-dortmund-real-madrid-champions-league If you buy the notion (I don’t really…) that Wenger coddles his players too much, Klopp sounds like the exact opposite. Of course, if you’re in the group that just believes “wanting it more” is the answer (rolly eyes) Klopp sure sounds like he hates losing as much as anybody… If he were to bring his own guys I’d expect even more turnover in what is sure to be a fairly busy summer as it is…

    I’m looking forward to today’s CL matches to see a couple of under fire managers (Martino, Moyes) against up and comers (Simeone, Guardiola)… Both 1-1 at the halfway point so the home team *should* have the advantage…

  394. RA says:

    If Wenger decides to retire, then I would be happy if Klip was appointed the next manager.

    Ahh, perhaps I meant Klop – to hell with it – Klip Klop, slip slop, who cares – so I would probably vote for a management team of Stretch and Huge Cockie, but as they would probably molest the players I will go along with Klip Klop for manager!!

    Or VCC? 🙂

  395. 17highburyterrace says:

    And while I’m at it…(before the espresso wears off…) Does anybody else think this whole Brit-core notion is at the root of our troubles? I know if 007 were still posting…(come out, come out, the ocean/lake/river is fine…) he’d rip me a new one…. Fitness wise, they haven’t exactly been the most robust group and (I think) we’ve got a few seasons before they will win back all the points we’ve lost having played them. A new manager, more (hell) bent on immediate results might not have the patience that Wenger has shown. Like I say, I think AW passed on Draxler (at 37 million pounds) because he thought Poldolski was good enough for the season and Theo/Ox good enough in the longer-term. Or maybe he just thought he should keep the powder dry for a better (long-term) opportunity… One would guess ANY new manager won’t be thinking in this manner–for better or worse, as the preacher says…

    On the England bashing note…Will Ox make the team? Will Jack or Gibbs? (Or will both be in protective boots all Summer?…) Will Barkley get sent off when an Italian defender calls his sister a terrorist or Suarez does a little bump and dive routine? Tough times, I would guess, for the three lions… Even if it’s three and out, THIS http://photos.worldisround.com/photos/1/478/15_o.jpg (Not particularly safe for work…) is probably NOT the best preparation for the English season… If you’re reading, Superspy, AND you’re still headed over there…Have fun…

    Ok, now, I promise, I’m gone (for at least a bit)…

  396. RA says:

    Joking aside, I think the discussion between 17HT, Dylan,AB and AFC has been terrific, and a treat to read.

    Well done guys! 🙂

  397. VCC says:

    Hi Guys……..Last nights game at Wigan against Millwall, they rested eight players who will be starting on Saturday.

    All their players are really up for this encounter at Wembley. McManaman said it’s the best camaraderie in the dressing room since he joined the club, and they are extremely confident they can pull off the result.

    Their plan is to attack down the flanks and try and exploit the wide open spaces of Wembley and attempt to turn Mertesacker, by using the pace of McManaman and Beasejour, especially McManaman.

    This is easier said than done of course, but I fear if they succeed with their plans we will have a difficult afternoon.

    My team selection for the semi final, if all are fit, is =

    SZCZESNY
    SAGNA……MERTS…..KOS……GIBBS
    ARTETA……RAMSEY
    OX
    GNABRY……….SANTI
    SANOGO

    SUBS =
    FABIANSKI
    VERMAELEN
    ROSICKY
    PODOLSKI
    GIROUD
    JENKINSON
    KALLSTROM

    Playing Arteta in his present form,together with his lack of pace, is a big risk, but we have little options.

    Ramsey is also a risk, but we have to start him and sub him if he breaks down. This is a better scenario than using him as a sub just in case he breaks down once used.
    Ox, Gnabry and Sanogo will be the energy we must call upon. Wenger must tell these guys to bust a gut with the likelihood of being replaced after 70 minutes.

    I cannot believe I’m looking at my teams options and not feeling confident about beating a Championship side in a FA Cup semi final at Wembley.

    I have already booked a cushion behind Cockies sofa, any one want to join us?

  398. RA says:

    Behind Cockies sofa, VCC?

    You might find the price too high – whatever you do don’t turn your back on him, 🙂

  399. VCC says:

    wink wink 😉 😉 RA…………I know. Launceston mental institute have warned me about him.

    I managed to get a pass for him to venture out this week end to watch the match, but they said “On no account turn your back on him” Wise advice I think 🙂

  400. 17highburyterrace says:

    Atleti up a goal…and all over Barca… They need to close up shop and get two…Missing Valdes a lot. Alex Song’s work as a CB must not be impressing them in Catalunya as he still can’t make the starting team with both Pique and Puyol out… Villa hits post!…So many spurned chances might hurt them later…(Barca need the ball, however…) Now Villa hits the crossbar! Barca defense a total mess!

    In the other game…Valencia nets for United but well offside…United need two which seems really tough without van Judas…

  401. 17highburyterrace says:

    Hey VCC…Cheers… Wide open spaces at Wembley? Will it be a bigger pitch than the (now standard) PL pitches? If so, it *should* favor the more technical team (which *should* be us)… Agreed with RA, if you’re thinking behind the sofa with the monster, you must REALLY be afraid of Wigan…

    Gnabry is hurt, I think. Didn’t make the bench at Everton, if I’m not mistaken…

    I’ll tell you what…As iffy as Vermaelen and BFG (and Flappy or Sneezy between the sticks) might be, they couldn’t be any worse than this group trying to keep Barca in this match…In fact the three best defenders they have are the three bars holding up the net…

  402. VCC says:

    17HT……yes, I’m afraid of Wigan. They have a useful side, they have a plan to attack our weaknesses, and they are super confident of inflicting more pain on us while we are at a low ebb.

  403. Dylan says:

    Mandzukic really not impressing me, despite his goal. No better than a full of energy Giroud. We need a dribbler and a runner, and Mandzukic is not it.

  404. alexgunners says:

    Guys,
    Great to see the conversation still going. Some great comments and thoughts as well. Unfortunately right now I am very limited on blogging as I am in a remote town about 7 hours from where I live for work so reception isn’t the greatest but I do appreciate the comments and always make time at least to read them.
    Hope you all have a great day/night.

  405. 17highburyterrace says:

    VCC, that’s just paper talk…They’d be wiser to sit back a bit and play on the counter. We haven’t scored a decent (non-scrambled) goal since the Sunderland match…

    I think we need goals and we need them early…a long match doesn’t suit our current fitness levels and the general decrepitude of our (available) guys… Do they still have that guy Maloney? Takes a good (right footed) FK, as I recall. McManaman is a diver (and a hack) so one to watch out for… They’ll be playing for corners and FK’s for sure. Who’s the ref?…

    Seems like you’re in the group who believe Sanogo > Giroud (and Poldolski)…Poor as they’ve been I gotta say that It’s hard (for me..) to fathom that our best striker scored most recently in the U-21 World Cup…

    Wow…two quick goals at the Allianz and now it would go to ET. Barca still can’t make a breakthrough in Madrid…

    Scored with his head though (Mandzukic, for Dylan…) Agreed, however, that Bayern will be even better with Lewa next season…

    Mueller!! 2-1 …

  406. 17highburyterrace says:

    So, no ET in Munich, but United only need a goal to win. Barca still need 1 to get more time, 2 to win… Oooh and Gabi shoots weakly with the keeper on his way down… Masch gets away with a stonewall too…Howard Webb (and finishing just off) keeping Barca in it….

  407. I thought alex was supposed to be popping back to chat at different stages !. He`s a tough fcuker, he`s already got Bella working out back stitching and making fake Arsenal shirts !. hahaha

    OK Arsenelickers, this is my take on it !.
    First be warned not to expect a happy Saturday !. As Cesc once said,……….Wenger is not into watching vids of the opposition and just concentrates on his own players ! ….I think AFC said something similar earlier !. A great economist and an average tactician…..yes I know 17…a silly remark….but one that history since 2005 sways to my side !. hahaha
    As per usual, if they are fit and seeing as there is nothing on Arsenal`s website to inform us……sort it out you twunts, it`s supposed to be a top website !……I will go for this team and tactics !.

    Szczesney/Fabianski…..not bothered !.
    Sagna….Koz….Verm……Gibbs…..this gives us pace at the back to combat Wigan trying to exploit big open spaces at Wembley and will fcuk them up as they will be expecting Mertsnailer !.
    Enough pace in defence to allow one DM and duty will be shared by Rosicky and Ramsey…one sits, one goes alternatively !.
    Santi in the CM position, which leaves and I have no idea what formation Liverpool play, but I know they don’t play a Giroud type centre forward, at a guess, I think they have Sturridge, Suarez and Stirling interchanging !….so my speedy and skilful interchanging top 3 who should play in a system the same as Liverpool use, would be Gnabry, Ox and Miyaichi !.
    So there you have it, pace in most areas and players who play with energy !. It will be nowhere Wengers team selection, but when Wigan beat us, at least I can say….Total Cockie told you so !.

    Total Cockie…..a true visionary who tried to revolutionise football tactics with the saying…..” The 3 P`s…..Pace pace and more pace !.

    Bow to your leader bastards ! hahahaha

  408. So if Wengers vision is a Barca style football, but without the same SQ players as Barca have and then Barca are having over 70% possession tonight and getting beat by a better team, then should we just give up on the tippy tappy stuff ( and we cant even do that at the moment ! ) and maybe try something different, like copy Bayern instead who seem to have a hybrid system of fit players pressing for the ball when out of possession, but having more pace and power in the team and still able to keep possession !. But imo for that we need two things….1) the players capable and 2) Pep Guardiola, someone who is a proper coach !.

  409. 17highburyterrace says:

    OK 3-1 from the bald diver guy…United done… Sylvestre doing commentary on the US broadcast…

    Barca out! Wowser… Couldn’t muster a goal even with Atletico missing all those chances…

    Hey Cockie, I thought Bendtner took Ryo out for a cigar and a claret and lost him in the back of a cab…Certainly I haven’t seen him since they took him to Munich even if he wasn’t eligible…Like I say, Wenger, you gotta delegate…And I don’t mean letting Bendy take care of the teenagers…

    Speaking of… What are your behind the sofa plans for your buddy and his four extra feet (steel in padding…or bare :shocked:)?… Actually, I think there are other forums for such stories…

  410. Or 3) Total Cockie !. I`ll soon have the fcuking statuary lazy bastards chasing and pressing high with my blue furry cock up their rectums !. hahaha

  411. VCC says:

    17ht……….that statement was not paper talk. It’s from the horses mouth.

    McManaman is relishing the idea of exposing Arsenal’s weakness. I agree with Cockie, it makes sense in playing Vermaelen in stead of Mertesnailer

    They have done their homework, and see Arsenal pushing their fullbacks forward, so they will expose the open spaces that will materialise.

    As I said, this is their plan, but to put it into practise may be another thing.

  412. Seventeenho…..listen buddy, when Wigan are making Wenger look a worst tactician than the manager of my local pub team, I will be comfortable with a few of my Lesbanians whilst you are choking on a fur ball from a Squatchies Sausage !. hahaha

  413. See how big that is Seventeenho !……..jet over !. there`s enough room for all the BK Brethren behind it !. hahaha

  414. Oi Vics !……that’s Total Cockie to you !. hahaha

  415. 17highburyterrace says:

    No, no, I realize (realise?) McManaman (the diving hack…) said it, just that it might be wishful… Glad to see you (VCC) haven’t already given them the game, quite yet, as Cockie has. Amongst all the other things he likes to give people, however, this is probably the least harmful…so no worries my furry friend…

    That Miranda fellow (young defender for Atletico) impressed me when I saw him live and looked strong again today. Atleti did it today w/o their two best players (Arda Turan and Diego Costa)…Very impressive. JuanFran is old (and struggling with his hair) and (supposedly) we were in for him last Summer. If Sagna goes (and he will, the smart money would guess…) he’d be a pretty strong replacement. Why would anybody come to Arsenal, it must be asked, when everybody hates us? (“Supporters” included?…) Nope, the only guy with a chance of coming to London is Courtois if Chavs call in his loan. (Speaking of which can they keep him from playing in the CL semis if they draw each other?) Supposedly they need the money to comply with the FFP so maybe he stays. Speaking of sales, Verm (who suddenly we need…) oughta be worth something when he goes to Barca, I would think…

    If that’s your couch, Cockster, AND those gals are life sized, consider me VERY impressed. (Still–perhaps–I might be even MORE jealous of 007 if he’s gonna watch his English team from the Copacabana, linked to above…Like I say, the Ocean’s fine, even if all the action is on the bitch, er, beach…)

    OK, afternoon labor (labour) session in the yard must be undertaken… Hopefully the Fozzer comes on to keep y’all company… (Yeah, dig Alex with the cut and run…Almost as bad as TA with his baguette touring the tower, etc. and working on his Sylvestre accent…)

    L8RZ

  416. I`d love to stay and chat to you delusional Aresnelickers but I have to go to The Valley of the Orcs tomorrow, so it`s up early for over 500 miles ( none of that kilometre shit ! ) of motorway ( freeway ? ) driving !.
    I may do some more of this tactical shit in the future as I`m quite the master of it !. Remember the 3 P`s !. hahaha
    Total Cockie has left the building !.

  417. VCC says:

    Total Cockie…..I’ll have the one second left. 😉

  418. alexgunners says:

    Hi cockie,
    Spot on. I have Bella supervising the other kids in mass producing fake shirts. Unfortunately where I am, it is about 500 miles from home as you put it.

    Unfortunately I am away from the family working on a new project.

  419. alexgunners says:

    VCC,

    I somewhat agree with your lineup for the semi. I just don’t see Kos being fit unfortunately. Whilst I would actually like to see Giroud rested, I just don’t think that we have the cover. Big issue in that position. Play an inexperienced Sanogo or bring back Bendy?? A demotivated Giroud is like playing with one player less.

    I certainly would like to see Gnabry get a start but I would like to see Rosa in there as well purely for his non stop effort. Wigan will come out all guns blazing as they have nothing to lose. They will hit quickly on the counter and try to bully us.
    If ever we needed leaders on the pitch, it would be for this game

  420. VCC says:

    alexgunners…..Wigan have a clear game plan………. As I said earlier, it’s alright stating what you intend to do, but another matter carrying it out. Arsenal HAVE to stay focused and tuned on from the start.

    I certainly hope my source has egg on his face come Saturday evening. I worry though, because I see us shot to pieces in confidence, we have injuries personified, and we are desperately struggling to score goals

    The lack lately, of goal scoring, and movement up front, is the reason I would go for Sanogo instead of Giroud. I know he is raw and young but he is athletic, strong and has been unlucky recently with dodgy refereeing decisions going against him. Also, he will fare better against Emmerson Boyce.

    Boyce is quick and strong, and also, has scored some important goals.

    IMO, Giroud, being cumbersome and slow, would struggle to have any impact against the more mobile and far quicker Wigan centre back, also, his reactions from brain to feet are somewhat on the slow side. This would also give Giroud the opportunity to take advantage of a tiring defender after 70 minutes. Coming on as a sub would surely equal out both Emmerson’s pace and Giroud’s carthorse style.

    If Kos is injured it will be a setback, but I think Vermaelen may cover adequately, as he has pace. This will be tested on Saturday, that’s for sure.

    I would also leave Rosicky out and play Gnabry, if he is fit, and again use Rosser in the last 20 minutes (Wengers sub time not mine).

    Naturally, I sincerely hope I am wrong and Giroud scores a hat trick and we go to the final.

  421. Gerry says:

    Hi all. I like the new topic twist Alex. Yes, that is where the focus should be.

    As far as AW goes, it will be his decision. Let him make it.

    So the match Saturday evening. Big changes? Only if the unfit guys are returning.

    Balance? Not just between going forwards and defending, but also left and right. Tricky.

    If Kos and Gibbs return, then that is the back 4 sorted.

    Midfield, tricky, but if Ramsey plays, then I think it will be back to the 4-5-1 formation

    Who supports Gibbs wide left is the first problem. They are strong down that wing, and will try and do an ‘Everton’ by pressing high with both back and wingman to keep Gibbs from advancing.

    O the other side, slightly less potent, so it could be our attacking outlet, unless Bacs is required elsewhere e.g. a wenjury to TV5?

    Arteta will play. There really isn’t anybody else who has been given any gametime to step in?

    Giroud, with quicker support, also in.

    So, my 5 in midfield Ramsey- advanced left; Ox – deeper, central but B2B; Cazorla – in the absence of anybody else. Free role, minimal defending; Arteta – DM, if not injured; Rosicky – rightside, pace to support/ play off Sagna?

    Should Bacs be required for CB, or even DM, then I would try Jenks/Bellerin combo on the right, and save Rosicky for impact sub duty.

    Kallstrom and Jenks for midfield and defensive cover. Bellerin for right advanced cover. Sanago- I said at the start, he is a work in progress. Gnabry if recovered from injury, if not???

    We are flat track bullies remember!

  422. alexgunners says:

    VCC,
    My concern is also our lack of attacking potency and goal scoring of late. Things need to change as we are no longer dominating the final 3rd with crisp passes or pace. I believe that a fit OX will help us create those chances we desperately need.

  423. alexgunners says:

    Gerry,
    Always a pleasure in reading your opinions, as always a precise mini post with options for our team. I do feel we are a bit light for this game but I do hope that regardless of who is on that pitch, they do us proud and grind out a result.

  424. VCC says:

    Fine comments Gerry…….but, “To keep Gibbs from advancing”. That is exactly what they want him to do, and in fact EXPECT him to do.

    McManaman is more than relishing the thought of exposing our left flank.

  425. Dylan says:

    After latest injury updates I will adjust my squad:
    Fab
    Sagna Mert Verm Nacho
    Ramsey Kallstrom
    Gnabry Santi Poldi
    Sanogo

  426. Gerry says:

    VCC – I slightly disagree with your left flank assessment. I think they will try and isolate Gibbs 2 on 1 in our half. Which will happen if get get gung-ho in the middle when attacking?
    My thinking of Ramsey in the advanced position, but slightly more central than line trotting, would be the way of counteracting their ploy by doing the reverse to them. In other words, Cazorla switching play from the right behind their advanced pair at the same time as Ramsey makes a bee line for that corner flag – remaining on-side, natch – Sooner or later they will have to drop somebody back to cover it. Gibbs should be able to manage Mannaman with his pace.

    If Dylan’s post above indicates that Arteta is not fit, then I would switch Sagna to DM alongside Ox or Kallstrom, as he reads the game as good as any. I would also go for the Jenks/Bellerin duo on the right.

    My reasoning there is simple. Bellerin has been on the bench a few times lately, and ahead of Jenks too, so he must be doing something right in training with the first team squad? The boy has serious pace, and can tackle better than the Ox or Rosicky. If Jenks just bombs on down the line, as he tends to do, he will get caught out if they are not having any joy on their right? But with Bellerin capable of a twist and turn, and getting to the by-line to cross, or even interchanging with Jenks to do the final 3rd and finish with a cross, It means there will always be one of them to cover the ball played in behind Mert. Essential that, especially if Kos is absent???

    With Cazorla on a free role on the edge of their box, he or Giro are there for the cut-back or cross, and Ox and Ramsey both capable of doing the late run into the box, so opportunities will arise. Ox is due a hat trick, this could be his day for it.

    One more thing. The Wembley pitch should suit our game every bit a much as it will Wigan. At least this semi final the players are not going into the match thinking they only have to turn up to win. They know they are in for a tough game, and they have to play better as a team than they have done of late. Keeping possession will also be key, as whoever is chasing will tire, so we should come on very strong in the last 20 minutes. So, no gift goals. No silly, lazy passes giving the ball away in dangerous places. Play it quick, play it simple, that should be the order of the day.

    That is my recipe for success anyway.

    I noticed in the Presser, AW had that sparkle back in his eyes. That is very good news?

    Keep the faith.

  427. Admir says:

    Only a month ago we were thinking how to beat Bayern, arguably the most dominant side in football in the last 20 years, and now we make a serious scouting of Wigan.

    I don’t know whether to worry or to feel happy about it.

  428. The Cockie Monster says:

    Arsenal away to the Chavs in the FA Youth Cup Semi-Final @ 19:05……..it`s live on streaming if you can find a link !. Get searching Muvverz !

  429. Injury news for Saturday ……..Koz is out, possibly back on Tuesday night Vs West Ham.
    Ozil, possibly Saturday week !.
    Diaby, full training next week !.

    Ox ( groin )
    Gibbs ( ankle )
    Rosicky ( thigh )
    all rated 50:50 for Saturday………There goes Total Cockies call for the 3 P`s……………………………so basically…..we`re are Dooooooooooomedddddddd !. hahaha

  430. TotalArsenal says:

    Evening guys 🙂

    Paris was great and tomorrow we’re off to Pires’ birthplace, Reims. Sunny weather and having a great time.

    Starting to get nervous about Wigan Warriors now. We need a performance on Saturday to save our season. COYG!

  431. TotalArsenal says:

    Bring us some good news cocker of doom! 😦

    Thank you all for keeping the blog going. Daughter wants to do ball throwing, so got to dash! 🙂

  432. VCC says:

    0–0 half time.

  433. Don’t be silly Le Totes, I am The Protector of The Chart of Doom !. It takes a special kind of person to be considered for such a position, one of no rose tintedness, one able to see the wood for the trees, one who is level headed and possessing a neutral view, one of not being biased, one who prefers the evilness of being a doomer to the one of being deluded, one with a soothsaying sausage, one of many fine characteristics that one like me possesses etc` etc` etc` !. hahaha

    So far, our youth have defended much better than our 1st team did at the bridge !. Away goals do not count double in the youth cup !.

  434. VCC says:

    Total Cockie, you might have to polish your boots for Saturday. Injuries are mounting.

  435. AFC says:

    Sums up what the supporters need to do come the Wigan match.

    http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=1IP-9k5euoc

  436. alcide says:

    This article has an interesting chart on top clubs net transfer spend since the late 90s… it’s hard not to see the correlation with our comparative results…

    http://www.7amkickoff.com/2014/arsene-wenger-sign-or-resign/

    I see this as quite uplifting if, as we all hope, and as a few of us believe will indeed happen, our now stable financial situation (with improved outlook) will see us invest in top quality players (trend confirmed by not having 1-2 key players leave for the first time in ages. by spending 40m on Mesut and by securing our best/most promising players on long term contracts). Managerial changes on the youth side, attempted changes in the scouting section, questions raised in the medical department are also signs that a new phase has already started.

    Laters!

  437. Dylan says:

    My mom purchased tickets for the Arsenal vs Red Bulls game this summer, today! July 26th! Hopefully get to see some decent quality players (who aren’t in the WC, or have been knocked out), also can’t wait to see Henry in his final season!

  438. Gerry says:

    Dylan – Does this mean TH will be available for coaching duties in Jan 2015?

    But I digress. The injury doubtful’s pose as many problems problems as those out?

    GK – No prob
    LB – Lack of Gibbs, a big worry?
    CB – No Kos, Yeek, but half expected. AW will probably stick with TV5.
    RB – Sagna fine.
    LMF – AW will probably stick Ramsey in here? In these early matches I’d rather keep him away from the deep defensive line, if he is even slightly slow with his thinking???
    DM – Arteta
    B2B – Kallstrom, Short of dropping in a ‘yuff’ or Rosicky, who else is there?
    RMF – Gnabry for pace, Rosi for experience .. mmmn?
    AMF – Critical Cazorla. Just when there might have been an opening for Zelalem, he plays a stinker for the Youth’s … Better there I suppose? Where’s that Eisfeld chappie when you want him?
    Giroud – Another lonely time up front. But if he can keep it together for the second half, we just may introduce a Bellerin blitz to liven things up, assuming he is not on already if Sagna switches to LB?

    I read in the Coventry news blog that ‘former’ loanee Akpom scored in the Youth Cup last night, so he may be up for a tilt at the No 9 spot in these last few games? Somebody fit and fresh, that will be welcome, along with a Diaby return? Nah, I didn’t believe that one either 😀

    Only 30 odd hours to go then ..

  439. Dylan says:

    Gerry, yes Thierry is available in January. However, I believe he is looking into punditry before coaching for now.

  440. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    hahaha Dylan, your mum got tickets? Your such a good lad you restore my faith in human nature. I hope you and your mum get to see a great game with plenty of big names on show.

    My dear old mum passed on a few years back Dylan. She was great. I was such a mummys boy that up to the age of thirty she would shampoo my hair. Her hands were like a 1970’s wrestler. Probably why I lost the hair?

    My first wife never got on with her. She couldnt understand the shampooing or my mum coming into our bedroom to help me with my pyjamas. Probably why she divorced me?

    A mans best friend is his mum.

  441. VCC says:

    So right Stretch……..You only get one Mum, so look after her. 🙂

  442. 17highburyterrace says:

    Working on a new avatar this morning, from a sign we saw on a property near the beach in Mexico… Just like with all the talk about Mums, I agree… You only get one–same as your football team… I’m trying to do likewise on the wife front (but, as always, however….that’s just me… 😀 ooh I miss the old smileys)… She’s out of town so I get a chance at the mistress, thinking about and watching Arsenal, and writing a(n) unauthorized match preview… Please bear with me and TA, if it’s not to your liking, please feel free to delete this comment…

    The more I think about it the more I’M getting confident in BOTH our chances for tomorrow and in our manager as this critical match approaches. Of course, if we get through it, Tuesday vs West Ham will be equally critical. (And then Hull Tigers away, Newcastle and WBA at home and Norwich away–The 2nd trip to Wembley is the one I’m concerned we might take for granted…lol…) They all are critical–life or death–at this point. Oh-Gaat in the extreme as a great blog-owner once said…

    Our fearless (fearful?) leader’s Spring holidays notwithstanding, it’s gone dead silent as everybody holds their breath on each result. We got a nice little burst from New Zealand around the ManCity game but, maybe because the result wasn’t completely definitive, we had to wait for the next one, which (it seems) was… Football, and watching football, is quite a game…

    I realize that people either don’t get (or–more likely–don’t appreciate….) my cynicism about the culture of internet support for one’s team but I find it a bit on the ridiculous side that individuals can go from clever observers of the players and the situation and what happens on the pitch and who we need to buy to screaming children throwing everything and anything out of the pram (under the bus?)… (It’s like slamming down your water bottle just because the zipper of your snuggie gets caught…) In many regards, diapers would solve the problem of the person I’m hoping to show in the new avatar. I used to believe, once you reach a certain age, we got control over our bowels…Down in Mexico, as on the internet, with our “virtual” stream of belly contents, it doesn’t appear that way… In other words, why say “Wenger Out” (or in) during the match (or immediately afterward) if you wouldn’t say it the day before? As bad as our board (or owner) might be, I wouldn’t want them (or him) to make decisions based on the width of a post or the length of a keeper’s fingertips. As per always, that’s just me, of course…

    So, (in lieu of an official match preview) here’s my take… We’re gonna win this one because we’ve got the better players and because we NEED it more. My ONLY doubt/caveat would be this one… We WILL lose IF the players have turned against the manager and want a new one. If not, they will do whatever is needed to get us the result. Bold words, I know, but somebody has to fight against the tide of (self-protective) doom, even if it only emanates from behind a giant pink sofa…

    Let’s be clear. ManCity’s chances of winning the league are enhanced by dropping out of the other cup competitions (CL and this one, the little league cup already pocketed, just in case…and they need a result at Pool on Sunday)… It’s humiliating to have lost (again, and at home) to lowly Wigan. On the other hand, losing the final last year probably worked in Sending Mancini to Istanbul and getting a fresh face (if one which never sees the sun…) in as manager…

    Take a second and study the tables (PL and Championship). Wigan will make the playoffs so, in essence, it’s all about keeping it together and winning a semi and then a final and making their relegation a one-year thing. Tomorrow’s match, then, is a GREAT chance for them to try out how their game works in a huge (potentially) 120 minute match against nervous opponents. If they can do well vs Arsenal (mind, I didn’t say “win”…) they will be well poised for similar matches against QPR and Derby (and/or whoever gets the 4th spot….Leicester City–already coming up–and Burnley, it appear, will get the two automatic promotions). As such, tomorrow is not a must-win for Wigan…

    Of course, it is for us, but (as I said…) they ALL are at this point and even THAT (mathematically) may not be enough to avoid our own relegation (from the CL.)… Feel free to call me an idiot but I like that AW is trying to manage (what’s left of) our squad by “dropping” (calling them injury doubts…) guys like Rosicky, Gibbs and Ox and not bringing back others (Kos/Ozil) ahead of their true fitness. I doubt that the 50-50 guys are actually hurt but putting them on the bench and (hopefully) having them rested for the league matches seems wise (to me, at least). Remember, as trophies go, AW is on record as saying 4th place trumps the domestic cups… (Of course, he needs both to avoid the public hanging he will receive from all the “supporters,” if anything goes awry…)

    Then there are the “cup” players–like Fabianski–whom he won’t drop–and who may actually be our best keeper. (That was for 007, if he still read these comments… After all, wasn’t Szczesny likely at least partly responsible for ALL three goals at Everton? As I saw it, he spilled or saved to Everton runners on #1 and #3 and got himself unsighted on #2…) If Fabianski gets us through and lifts the cup while the taller Pole watches, might he be convinced to stick around? He’s only another Szczesney red card (or injury) from getting another opportunity as our #1 and, in truth, he won’t be particularly easy to replace in the off-season. (Any veteran with a “name” or keeper who has a good WC will cost a bit in fee plus salary and do we really want a #2 who’s old and/or happy to sit and cash a check?…) A similar dynamic is in maybe in play with Vermaelen, who will lead the team out for this match (and maybe, if we get there, for the final)…

    Likewise, Is there a chance that Sanogo is our “cup striker” (He did start vs Pool and Bayern back when AW–like Pellegrini–was maybe OK with us going out of ALL the cups…) Bringing on Ollie (or better yet, a defender to hold a scoreline…) for a few minutes of regular (or extra) Time plus a penalty kick makes sense, esp. given that we’ll need him for 75+ mins on Tuesday…

    Gerry’s Line-up (welcome back and thanks for YOUR preview…) tends towards his focus on the youngsters, but (amongst the guys who never or rarely play) I think we’re far more likely to see Kallstrom ahead of Nacho on the left, than any of the U-19s. It’s also possible that Poldolski will get another shot over there despite my idea that including him–if he doesn’t score or assist–is almost like playing a man down…IF he does start AND we were to get behind in the scoreline and early hook would be my call, even if it flies in the face of “logic” (the more “strikers” the better). In his last game, (and if we fall behind it might very well be…) I would hope Wenger might “gamble” (by sticking to his ideas…) rather than falling for the “safer” (i.e., more conservative) options…

    Santi (despite his recent damning comments…) could also start out left but (I think) gets the #10 spot (tucked in behind Sanago and Giroud in one order or the other)… Ramsey will play. Does he become the 3rd CM (along with Arteta) or does he start on the right? Depends? (Another diaper brand–do they have them in England?–but for the older set…) Kallstrom “could” play as a DM, I’ve been told, or maybe (just maybe…) the players AW listed as 50-50 are just fine and one of them (Ox or Rosicky) starts in the final MF spot… Speaking of spots, which of them has the better spot kick? (Ox probably…) So maybe Rosicky goes from the kick-off with Ox (or Gibbs to shore up a result?) coming on at 75 mins.

    Who knows? I’m just trying to guess at what our (current) manager is thinking (rather than playing one myself…) in what could (or should?) be his last match. (Wenger, I’ve been told, if he had any self-respect–or respect for the club–after all they share the name and–for better or worse–like a wife, not a mum…HE IS THE CLUB… would step down immediately after these “unacceptable” results…)

    Alright then, let’s do this thing–get the result, build a little something (with it, plus the performance) and move forward. Otherwise, my advice would be to lock up the guns, knives, ropes, heavy chemicals, etc. and start trying to guess at who Bouldy might pick against the Hammers…

    Thank Dennis for the internet (so we can kill one another rather than ourselves)… Anybody actually going to the match?…

  443. 17highburyterrace says:

    Awfully quiet around here… I just wrote a long one–a bit of an unauthorized match preview–but it’s maybe too long and sits in moderation…I don’t think I mentioned anybody who’s been banned, but maybe it went a little too heavy on the sarcasm meter or otherwise got flagged…

    Help me, TA. Or should I be asking my favors of Dennis directly?

    In the meantime…Yes, I love the mothers (my own and all the rest) and Dylan’s sounds like a (very) good one. How does she get with on the girlfriend? Could you post a photo? (Of your mum. I assume the GF is under age, but if she isn’t, well, even if she is, you could post one of her too…)

    Cheers!

  444. Gerry says:

    Hi HT, put the quietness down to nervous tension?

    I am caught between setting up my races of interest tomorrow, so Ii will not be keeping you company for very long either.

    I have a sneaky feeling we might score first tomorrow, and not concede immediately after, like Man U did? Forget recent form. It is the FA Cup, the players will be up for it, and with all due respect to Wigan, they are not the opposition we have been playing of late? I also think they are coming expecting to win, and confidence can drain very quickly when they realise their dream is over?

    We on the other hand, know it is down to how well we play. But if every player puts a good shift in, cut out the stupid errors, we should be sound as a pound come 7.0pm. I am not anticipating extra time either.

    i know injuries are a big problem. Not least at getting a settle, well balanced side out. But it is not like they have not played together at some point this season?

    As I said earlier. Keep it simple, keep it moving, keep possession. That is the triple ‘K’ approach.

    I will probably worry more/less when I know the actual team. Until then, I remain confident.

    cheers …

  445. Evening Belusional Dastards !. 😆

    Arsene says he has no problem at changing tactics !.

    Yeah, from Watermelon to Strawberry Fields !.

    ” with all due respect to Wigan, they are not the opposition we have been playing of late ! “.
    Correct Gezzer !…….Wigan have been playing Mansour City and beating them, something we are miserable at !. hahaha

  446. Evening Belusional Dastards !. 😆

    I think I have had a comment disappear into somewhere deep, dark and scary……..VCC, have a look in your wallet !.

  447. VCC says:

    Gerry, I admire your confidence. It would be a bonus if we scored first. Give us a big lift. We must all get behind the boys and give them positive vibes.

  448. ” and with all respect to Wigan, they are not the opposition we have been playing of late ! ”
    Correct Gezzer !…..Wigan have been playing and beating the likes of Mansour City, where we fail miserably against them !. hahaha

  449. Who said Wenger cant change tactics ?.

    No problem changing from Watermelon to Strawberry fields !.

  450. It seems my problem of losing comments is when I put a link up with a comment !.
    Hey Seventeenho, did you put a link with the comment which disappeared ?.
    Are you back to Tahoe yet ?…….and found out that you have some uninvited Sasquatch guests taking over !………this is a common thing known as ….Squatch Squatters !. Has the missus found one in the bed and then locked you out ?. You should sort out your DIY skills out, she`s been complaining about your bad screwing ! . hahaha
    VCC had the same problem and instead of going to the doctors, he went to his local Screwfix store !…..the young girl trainee had to be treated for shock, when Vickers slapped his dead Hampton on the trade counter and said ……” fix my screwing device ! “……yet another place the cupid stunt is now banned from !.
    hahaha

  451. 17highburyterrace says:

    Cockie and Gerry…You are both mentioned (or at least alluded to) in my long post…I think it could be due to it’s length…Longer than the baguette Total is munching and he cannot be Arsed (or something)… Perhaps I’ll try it in parts… Here goes… Part one, a scatological pre-amble….

    Hi Boys…Working on a new avatar this morning, from a sign we saw on a property near the beach in Mexico… Just like with all the talk about Mums, I agree… You only get one–same as your football team… I’m trying to do likewise on the wife front (but, as always, however….that’s just me… 😀 ooh I miss the old smileys)… She’s out of town so I get a chance at the mistress, thinking about and watching Arsenal, and writing a(n) unauthorized match preview… Please bear with me and TA, if it’s not to your liking, please feel free to delete this comment…

    The more I think about it the more I’M getting confident in BOTH our chances for tomorrow and in our manager as this critical match approaches. Of course, if we get through it, Tuesday vs West Ham will be equally critical. (And then Hull Tigers away, Newcastle and WBA at home and Norwich away–The 2nd trip to Wembley is the one I’m concerned we might take for granted…lol…) They all are critical–life or death–at this point. Oh-Gaat in the extreme as a great blog-owner once said…

    Our fearless (fearful?) leader’s Spring holidays notwithstanding, it’s gone dead silent as everybody holds their breath on each result. We got a nice little burst from New Zealand around the ManCity game but, maybe because the result wasn’t completely definitive, we had to wait for the next one, which (it seems) was… Football, and watching football, is quite a game…

    I realize that people either don’t get (or–more likely–don’t appreciate….) my cynicism about the culture of internet support for one’s team but I find it a bit on the ridiculous side that individuals can go from clever observers of the players and the situation and what happens on the pitch and who we need to buy to screaming children throwing everything and anything out of the pram (under the bus?)… (It’s like slamming down your water bottle just because the zipper of your snuggie gets caught…) In many regards, diapers would solve the problem of the person I’m hoping to show in the new avatar. I used to believe, once you reach a certain age, we got control over our bowels…Down in Mexico, as on the internet, with our “virtual” stream of belly contents, it doesn’t appear that way… In other words, why say “Wenger Out” (or in) during the match (or immediately afterward) if you wouldn’t say it the day before? As bad as our board (or owner) might be, I wouldn’t want them (or him) to make decisions based on the width of a post or the length of a keeper’s fingertips. As per always, that’s just me, of course…

    Part two…The actual matchy stuff, coming, I hope…

  452. James Bond says:

    guess who’s back 🙂

    yep, ever since I disappeared we went through a nightmare spell, hence this is me coming back and making sure we win tomorrow.

    the reason for my absence ? nothing to do with most of you thought it was (petty fights/arguments occur close family members as well , it’s normal and hence not the reason for me being AWOL).

    real reason ? yep, as some of you feared….Jane and the Twins , now it’s Jane Minus the twins…yep, the doctors did what they had to do to try and save Jane, she is still in hospital but in recovery mode now.

    i have been reading all the comments and visiting regularly minus my comments , as you can imagine after what i have had to go through, it was kinda difficult for me to be indulging and i wasn’t even talking to anyone in reality as such.

    a big massive thank you to all of you who kept missing me and wanting me to break the silence, – VCC in particular, you sir are a superstar .

    TA – you can unban H2O, honestly, taking on trolls or handling them isn’t a problem as such, it’s freedom of speech, it’s just that he kept on insulting Arsenal and making fun of Arsenal and tried to provoke during the wrong times, intentionally and i can not let anyone come on here and then intentionally try to stir s*it up or so I thought at the time , it doesn’t bother me if he comes back and posts here, i am more than happy to blog with him as long as he shows Arsenal and everyone on here the respect we deserve.

    back to football we will win tomorrow purely because we don’t have Sczny in goal , that’s the sole and main reason for our victory tomorrow and then in the final as well – it’s a real shame because we still could have been in the CL and EPL title race had AW made the right choices and right decisions.

  453. 17highburyterrace says:

    Hey Cockie/Gerry…

    Well, I tried to break it into two parts but that failed as well. Have I been banned? There were no links, but there is a little scatological content… 🙂 (I did criticize the new smileys as well, maybe that’s what did it…)

    Bottom line, I’m confident that we’ll do the deed tomorrow because contemplating the opposite just too much. Call my lenses the color (colour) of Cockie’s couch, if you must…

    Yes, I realize oh great protector of all that is doomsworthy, that we all have different ways of coping… Gerry likes to propose a team that would appeal to Wenger the pedophile (paedophile?) while Cockie, by not watching the losses, only takes in the (dire, reactionary, over the top) commentary but still sees (with his clear eyes) just how crap we are even when the result is OK… Sometimes there are kernels of good even when the result is woeful, dontchaknow?… He’s got such a cheery outlook for all things besides Arsenal–or at least all things in the physical realm of what we might call love. Even though we don’t see eye to (cock) eye, I appreciate your, uh, perspective…

    Yeah, Gerry, those horses, like those Spring holidays (and annual collapses in the league…), make a real mess out of trying to do this blog-o-comment thing…

    Anyhow, hopefully TA pops in and un-bans me, if he sees fit to do so…

  454. Gerry says:

    TCM – Cup games are one off games. They normally play Championship sides, who, I would like to think we would be despite our depleted squad?

    The other difference between those game, both Man C and Wigan did not think Wigan would win.

    We are under no such delusion. They on the other hand, do think they can win, and I believe that little bit of over confidence will prove a step too far … as long as we play to our ability?

    We cannot afford to be sheep out there. Uwe has said they will play aggressively. Let’s meet that head on. We are The Arsenal! The lads will know that they are playing the game of the season. Lay it all out on the pitch and don’t leave with any regrets on effort or talent. Don’t get beaten before they step on the pitch, just because the Prophet of Doom says Wigan are a wonderful team.

    Confidence will come if they play to the strengths, and that is 17 years of being in the Champions League, amongst the high echelons of Premier League, not winning a Cup and getting relegated!

    So get out from behind the sofa, put away the ‘doom laden’ comparison to last season, and believe!

    I do, and that is not often I feel this strongly that we we win, and win well. So there! :-)/\:-)

  455. Gerry says:

    That last bit was supposed to be a ‘high five emoticon – It did not work!

  456. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Bondy, really sorry about the twins mate.

    Good to see you back though

  457. Gerry says:

    Yes, Sorry JB – The real world can be a right turn off for blogging.

    So your return, my return, albeit temporarily, who know, we might just turn the almighty Arsenal around, and not a moment too soon. The ‘P o D’ will have relegated next season if he keeps it up!

  458. Gerry says:

    17HT – you are clearly not banned, as your last one got through?

    There must be a word in there that triggers an alarm?

  459. VCC says:

    Hey 007. Welcome back Buddy. We’ve all missed you.

    Truly sorry about the bad news regarding the twins. Give Jane a big kiss from all us at BK. XXX

    You have brightened me up. Now your back we will get on the winning road again. YIPEEEEEEEEEEEEE

  460. James Bond says:

    thanks guys, it’s not your fault…sometimes, it’s just not meant to be I guess, really appreciate all your kind words and support.

    it seems that not only me and Gerry are returning, Diaby is back as well (perfect timing as usual to let AW mutter the words ” he’ll be like a new signing” and boom we know what happens next.

    🙂

    i missed all of you as well , sorry about the UMF league but as you know, my circumstances wouldn’t let me be part of anything fun, otherwise i would be winning the UMF with 10 weeks of footy to spare 😉

    there’s always a next time , me thinks 😀

    how was Mexico @ 17HT ? did you manage to practice your spanish there in abundance and talk about Carlos Vela with your amigos ?

  461. AFC says:

    JB, good to see you back and sorry to hear about the twins. 🙂 Hope Jane is ok as well.

    Will you have time to watch the match tomorrow or will you be needed elsewhere?

  462. James Bond says:

    last but not least H20 aka W.

    guess what do you and Chelsea fans have in common this season ?

    plenty of nonsense yet come at the end of the season, both of yous would be without any trophy or silverware even though you have spent more money than Arsenal – yet we be the ones playing the community shields next time round.

    you can jump with excitement all you want for now though as that’s the difference between real fans and glory hunters.

  463. 17highburyterrace says:

    Ooh, ooh 7!!!

    Very sorry to hear the news, sorry if I got a little angry (in spots) about you having gone missing. We (some of us, at least) are pretty “invested” in our on-line friends. It can get heated (frenemies?…sometimes…) but there’s still a measure of it being “real.” Again, very sorry. Is Jane OK and will there be chances to “try” again?…Always fun, as I (very hazyily…) recall…

    Yeah, Mexico was excellent but not long enough for my taste. I should’ve tried harder to make it to the stadium for the clasico (which turned out only classic in it’s lopsidedness) but we were already pushing pretty hard just walking around the City. Lots of ManU kits down there (Chicharito…) but a few Arsenal shirts too. More than the one or two Chelsea or City shirts I saw… Bimbo (a bread company) is the main shirt sponsor for both of the big Mexican teams so it’s pretty funny to see everybody (women too…) wearing the kits ahead of the clasico given the English meaning of the word…

    Anyhow, more later…My current comment in waiting has a little section on you and the Flappy Factor… Gonna try this new avatar to see if it goes…

  464. James Bond says:

    Hi AFC,

    am hoping to watch it with all of you tomorrow…i need a bit of a release from the events of past few weeks and what better way to do it than being with my bk and gooner family.

  465. AFC says:

    See you tomorrow for the match JB. 🙂

  466. James Bond says:

    for now getting her back to normal and through this is the main concern/target @ 17HT – everything else can come later.

    that’s really nice to hear ! interesting bit about the shirts – so in essence, man utd not letting go for hernandez for more than one reason (commercial ones)….he is at the wrong club in my opinion.

    looking forward to your comment under moderation (i try to copy and past my comments by paragraph , just to see if they go through ok and the one’s that don’t, then that means there is something unwanted or foul there – try do it next time, it just makes you break down your original comment sat in moderation into smaller chunks (might not be such a bad thing).

    and for me it’s a lot real the online friendship thingy , that’s why you see me here sharing with you what I have – i know how all of you supported me and were concerned during our testing times, i can never forget that – we have a good relationship and mutual respect for everyone on here which is pretty special.

    just a shame how our season has nose dived and you can all blame Glic’s aka protector of that chart of booooooooooooooom, i mean doom and gloom.

  467. 17highburyterrace says:

    Indeed, 007, your optimism has been missed…Hopefully you (and Jane) can get that going again in the real world… No trip to Brazil for you, I would guess…

    Yeah, for me, the real tragedy (for our season) was the double whammy on our sensitive signing, Mesut Ozil, missing that pen in leg one was a killer (compounded by Sir Chez getting bald-boozled by Arjen Robben-Hood in reverse (he cheats the poor…) “Bench him, bench him,” came the chorus…Didn’t work at Stoke (A-dub, the idiot, there)… Of course, then he stops stretching (“Why bother if the fans all hate me, regardless?”… and twang goes the hammy…Or maybe he got worried about HIS hair and took the wrong supplement…

    That was the injury we couldn’t absorb. All the others we might’ve worked around…But, of course, people will tell me we should’ve seen in coming and bought another Messy there in January…

    Still can’t get the Gravatar going…And starting to get angry about it…

  468. 17highburyterrace says:

    OK, then James, I’ll try and do my earlier writing in pieces… Part 1:

    Working on a new avatar this morning, from a sign we saw on a property near the beach in Mexico… Just like with all the talk about Mums, I agree… You only get one–same as your football team… I’m trying to do likewise on the wife front (but, as always, however….that’s just me… 😀 ooh I miss the old smileys)… She’s out of town so I get a chance at the mistress, thinking about and watching Arsenal, and writing a(n) unauthorized match preview… Please bear with me and TA, if it’s not to your liking, please feel free to delete this comment…

    The more I think about it the more I’M getting confident in BOTH our chances for tomorrow and in our manager as this critical match approaches. Of course, if we get through it, Tuesday vs West Ham will be equally critical. (And then Hull Tigers away, Newcastle and WBA at home and Norwich away–The 2nd trip to Wembley is the one I’m concerned we might take for granted…lol…) They all are critical–life or death–at this point. Oh-Gaat in the extreme as a great blog-owner once said…

  469. 17highburyterrace says:

    Part two…Gravatar is up, I thought it was a funny one when I saw it…

    Our fearless (fearful?) leader’s Spring holidays notwithstanding, it’s gone dead silent as everybody holds their breath on each result. We got a nice little burst from New Zealand around the ManCity game but, maybe because the result wasn’t completely definitive, we had to wait for the next one, which (it seems) was… Football, and watching football, is quite a game…

    I realize that people either don’t get (or–more likely–don’t appreciate….) my cynicism about the culture of internet support for one’s team but I find it a bit on the ridiculous side that individuals can go from clever observers of the players and the situation and what happens on the pitch and who we need to buy to screaming children throwing everything and anything out of the pram (under the bus?)… (It’s like slamming down your water bottle just because the zipper of your snuggie gets caught…) In many regards, diapers would solve the problem of the person I’m hoping to show in the new avatar. I used to believe, once you reach a certain age, we got control over our bowels…Down in Mexico, as on the internet, with our “virtual” stream of belly contents, it doesn’t appear that way… In other words, why say “Wenger Out” (or in) during the match (or immediately afterward) if you wouldn’t say it the day before? As bad as our board (or owner) might be, I wouldn’t want them (or him) to make decisions based on the width of a post or the length of a keeper’s fingertips. As per always, that’s just me, of course…

  470. 17highburyterrace says:

    Part two, Gravatar now working, I guess I did use the Scouse-supporters name in there…

    Our fearless (fearful?) leader’s Spring holidays notwithstanding, it’s gone dead silent as everybody holds their breath on each result. We got a nice little burst from New Zealand around the ManCity game but, maybe because the result wasn’t completely definitive, we had to wait for the next one, which (it seems) was… Football, and watching football, is quite a game…

    I realize that people either don’t get (or–more likely–don’t appreciate….) my cynicism about the culture of internet support for one’s team but I find it a bit on the ridiculous side that individuals can go from clever observers of the players and the situation and what happens on the pitch and who we need to buy to screaming children throwing everything and anything out of the pram (under the bus?)… (It’s like slamming down your H-2-O bottle just because the zipper of your snuggie gets caught…) In many regards, diapers would solve the problem of the person I’m hoping to show in the new avatar. I used to believe, once you reach a certain age, we got control over our bowels…Down in Mexico, as on the internet, with our “virtual” stream of belly contents, it doesn’t appear that way… In other words, why say “Wenger Out” (or in) during the match (or immediately afterward) if you wouldn’t say it the day before? As bad as our board (or owner) might be, I wouldn’t want them (or him) to make decisions based on the width of a post or the length of a keeper’s fingertips. As per always, that’s just me, of course…

  471. AB says:

    Good to have you back JB, but I’m sorry the circumstances are so rough; I suspect a few of us on this site have been there too. I hope things work out in the end on this front though.

    On happier matters, a stonking win would lift the spirits no end tomorrow. Glic is eroding my confidence a bit these days – I hope none of the Arsenal players ever visit this site, or we would really be screwed! I just hope none of our boys are feeling cocky tomorrow; they need to be up for the fight from the off. Family calls tomorrow, so I will be keeping tabs from a distance – sadly family involves spuds, so double reason for me to hope we turn out!

    Catch you all soon! COYG!!!!!!

  472. 17highburyterrace says:

    And finally the rest of it…

    So, (in lieu of an official match preview) here’s my take… We’re gonna win this one because we’ve got the better players and because we NEED it more. My ONLY doubt/caveat would be this one… We WILL lose IF the players have turned against the manager and want a new one. If not, they will do whatever is needed to get us the result. Bold words, I know, but somebody has to fight against the tide of (self-protective) doom, even if it only emanates from behind a giant pink sofa…

    Let’s be clear. ManCity’s chances of winning the league are enhanced by dropping out of the other cup competitions (CL and this one, the little league cup already pocketed, just in case…and they need a result at Pool on Sunday)… It’s humiliating to have lost (again, and at home) to lowly Wigan. On the other hand, losing the final last year probably worked in Sending Mancini to Istanbul and getting a fresh face (if one which never sees the sun…) in as manager…

    Take a second and study the tables (PL and Championship). Wigan will make the playoffs so, in essence, it’s all about keeping it together and winning a semi and then a final and making their relegation a one-year thing. Tomorrow’s match, then, is a GREAT chance for them to try out how their game works in a huge (potentially) 120 minute match against nervous opponents. If they can do well vs Arsenal (mind, I didn’t say “win”…) they will be well poised for similar matches against QPR and Derby (and/or whoever gets the 4th spot….Leicester City–already coming up–and Burnley, it appear, will get the two automatic promotions). As such, tomorrow is not a must-win for Wigan…

    Of course, it is for us, but (as I said…) they ALL are at this point and even THAT (mathematically) may not be enough to avoid our own relegation (from the CL.)… Feel free to call me an idiot but I like that AW is trying to manage (what’s left of) our squad by “dropping” (calling them injury doubts…) guys like Rosicky, Gibbs and Ox and not bringing back others (Kos/Ozil) ahead of their true fitness. I doubt that the 50-50 guys are actually hurt but putting them on the bench and (hopefully) having them rested for the league matches seems wise (to me, at least). Remember, as trophies go, AW is on record as saying 4th place trumps the domestic cups… (Of course, he needs both to avoid the public hanging he will receive from all the “supporters,” if anything goes awry…)

    Then there are the “cup” players–like Fabianski–whom he won’t drop–and who may actually be our best keeper. (That was for 007, if he still read these comments… After all, wasn’t Szczesny likely at least partly responsible for ALL three goals at Everton? As I saw it, he spilled or saved to Everton runners on #1 and #3 and got himself unsighted on #2…) If Fabianski gets us through and lifts the cup while the taller Pole watches, might he be convinced to stick around? He’s only another Szczesney red card (or injury) from getting another opportunity as our #1 and, in truth, he won’t be particularly easy to replace in the off-season. (Any veteran with a “name” or keeper who has a good WC will cost a bit in fee plus salary and do we really want a #2 who’s old and/or happy to sit and cash a check?…) A similar dynamic is in maybe in play with Vermaelen, who will lead the team out for this match (and maybe, if we get there, for the final)…

    Likewise, Is there a chance that Sanogo is our “cup striker” (He did start vs Pool and Bayern back when AW–like Pellegrini–was maybe OK with us going out of ALL the cups…) Bringing on Ollie (or better yet, a defender to hold a scoreline…) for a few minutes of regular (or extra) Time plus a penalty kick makes sense, esp. given that we’ll need him for 75+ mins on Tuesday…

    Gerry’s Line-up (welcome back and thanks for YOUR preview…) tends towards his focus on the youngsters, but (amongst the guys who never or rarely play) I think we’re far more likely to see Kallstrom ahead of Nacho on the left, than any of the U-19s. It’s also possible that Poldolski will get another shot over there despite my idea that including him–if he doesn’t score or assist–is almost like playing a man down…IF he does start AND we were to get behind in the scoreline and early hook would be my call, even if it flies in the face of “logic” (the more “strikers” the better). In his last game, (and if we fall behind it might very well be…) I would hope Wenger might “gamble” (by sticking to his ideas…) rather than falling for the “safer” (i.e., more conservative) options…

    Santi (despite his recent damning comments…) could also start out left but (I think) gets the #10 spot (tucked in behind Sanago and Giroud in one order or the other)… Ramsey will play. Does he become the 3rd CM (along with Arteta) or does he start on the right? Depends? (Another diaper brand–do they have them in England?–but for the older set…) Kallstrom “could” play as a DM, I’ve been told, or maybe (just maybe…) the players AW listed as 50-50 are just fine and one of them (Ox or Rosicky) starts in the final MF spot… Speaking of spots, which of them has the better spot kick? (Ox probably…) So maybe Rosicky goes from the kick-off with Ox (or Gibbs to shore up a result?) coming on at 75 mins.

    Who knows? I’m just trying to guess at what our (current) manager is thinking (rather than playing one myself…) in what could (or should?) be his last match. (Wenger, I’ve been told, if he had any self-respect–or respect for the club–after all they share the name and–for better or worse–like a wife, not a mum…HE IS THE CLUB… would step down immediately after these “unacceptable” results…)

    Alright then, let’s do this thing–get the result, build a little something (with it, plus the performance) and move forward. Otherwise, my advice would be to lock up the guns, knives, ropes, heavy chemicals, etc. and start trying to guess at who Bouldy might pick against the Hammers…

    Thank Dennis for the internet (so we can kill one another rather than ourselves)… Anybody actually going to the match?…

  473. 17highburyterrace says:

    OK, there you go, gonna take the kid on a bike ride but back in a bit, hopefully without (any additional) facial scars, like the last preview writer inflicted on his youngest…

    Sorry TA for clogging your box–though I should blame Wenger and his slamming his stupid drink bottles–Just open up your Arse-hole and buy somebody!!! (Like the guy in the avatar, eh…)

  474. James Bond says:

    apologies as i can’t stay on for long, hence the reply will be short and sweet (it’s a pain typing through the phone, with plenty of typos and spelling mistakes, hence apologies in advance).

    17HT,

    see it works 😉 yes, agreed mostly , Ozil indeed was the killer blow and as usual you make fine observations and give balanced opinions … you know i was very vocal about sczny and his mistakes costing us big time from a very very long time – and most of you were on my case labeling me a hater 🙂 well, he was making mistakes on a consistent basis even the last game we won which was vs spuds if memory serves, he basically wanted to gift them a goal (Chadli – your Missus must have wanted him to score that day, ha ) but yeah anyway, he didn’t cost us that game but he cost us the CL for the 2nd time in a row…and quite a bit of points in the PL title race as well – of course it’s not all his fault as eventually the buck stops at AW.

    no worries @ AB – we will win tomorrow and then you can gloat in front of the spuddies –

    why am I so confident ? well our boys were already thinking and dreaming of Wembley (very unprofessional but such is human nature ) – anyhow, we will get the job done tomorrow in a very professional manner , both Ramsey and Fabianski will save the day.

    Also , I suspect that the OX is carrying just more than a niggle but due to lack of options (speed) in our team and Gnabry, i think he is having to play through the pain barrier, and i don’t expect him to go to the world cup (not a bad thing !

    on a slightly different note, Is FLAMINI the most brainless footballer or is he really a similar case to Sczny and has his brain farts on a regular basis ? for crying out loud, that is unacceptable – a truly appalling disciplinary record and we can not trust him at all for the big games – AW do us all a favour…

    Bender,

    Wanyama

    Schineder,

    Diame,

    Paulinho,

    Pogba

    just bloody sign one of the above and keep Diaby on the bench as BACKUP – about time we got ourselves some presence, even that guy at man utd Fellaini will do for crying out loud

    see you all tomorrow.

  475. James Bond says:

    add Barry and Song to the above list as well

    gone for real now 🙂

  476. Oh Oh Sevennnnnnn !………as soon as I saw your….”guess who`s back !”…….I got a smile on my face for the first time since we beat the Spuds, then it dropped when I read about your/our poor Jane !. Give her a hug from Monster !. I`m glad you`re back as by all accounts it seems I`ve been the Bond villain recently, with no Bond to fight !.
    So you`re back to try and salvage something from Arsenal`s season !……..you will have to be good Mr Bond as Dr Doom predicted this sequence of results in The Oracle of Doom !.
    You are going to need some extra potent gadgets from (B&)Q to stop this free fall of shite as we are near to the point of no return tipping point !. Be ready as well before this time tomorrow, the Arsenal could be out of the FAC and out of the CL places !. Muhahahahahahahahahahahahaha ( only my finest evil laugh was used there ! )
    Night Fuvver Muckers !.

  477. Gerry says:

    HT17 – When the injury news came through, and at the start, my only ‘youff’ suggestion was Bellerin. And then, not in isolation, but in tandem with Jenks. Gnabry or Rosicky was an option if the former was fit. Likewise Ox.. The squad is thin, so somebody has to paper over the cracks?

    I posed the question about several players, who else is there? From my view, we have a workable 11. Just. Add another 3 seniors who are a bit iffy, and that is it?

    But to name but 3; Monreal, Vermaelin, and Arteta, who on current form should not even make the bench, but they will, or play, if push comes to shove. The combinations with some of the others does not work that well either. If you get the out of form players playing with players that do not compliment their game, then were are in trouble.

    You mention Sanogo being ‘the Cup striker’, which is fine, but we should not expect him to play the Giro role. But he is more mobile, and to my mind makes a better pairing with Ox if they were given the time to get used to each others play.
    As for playing Santi on the left, and Wigan with a strong right side attack is not what I am building my optimism upon. I can see where you are coming from though, as it is largely to accommodate whoever is on the right, I guess?

    I also think it will be a mistake to put too much pressure on Ramsey to come like he has never been away, and why I wouldn’t have him alongside Arteta at this stage. Kallstom seem the logical one to start there, even if he doesn’t last the 90, and we should not need any longer than that.

    I agree on the Ozil point. At least when he played we could still pick up the points when playing poorly 😀

    So I repeat, as I see it, Bellerin is the only viable young player to make a bigger difference by keeping a strong attacking threat, and keeping the back door closed on our right flank. The other two(Ox and Gnabs) have experienced players to cover their ‘injuries’.

    Hayden, with game time, would have been useful right now, but we/he missed that boat. If Akpom is available for the last few games, I can see him getting an opportunity, may be alongside Sanogo should Giro get injured? But nobody else will get a look in now. I don’t see Diaby being able to make more than a token appearance, even if he survives the return to training. Jack is possible for the last 3 league games perhaps? But the return of Ozil will make a big difference if he stays fit.

    Well that is probably my morning post done now. I will give a thumbs up/down or the actual team, if time allows.

    Have an optimistic day …

  478. 17highburyterrace says:

    Back from the bike ride (and other business)…

    Great stuff there Gerry and 007 too, I’m really looking forward to more of your participation, esp. with the transfer season coming. Again, I’m supremely sorry about the health issues and the loss of the twins. It sounds like Jane’s health situation isn’t totally out of the woods either, so best of luck with that…(The more you choose to share here, the more we can offer support…)

    But this is a football blog…

    With the tide swinging towards doom and gloom it IS extremely hard to be upbeat about the Arsenal. Expectations are at the root of all disappointment, so mine isn’t so extreme. I *was* hopeful, but observations (even when the points were rolling in) never really made me a “true” believer. I still think AW is the way forward but I have a lot of sympathy for those who *need* to see it otherwise…I also think there’s a toxicity in the air around ALL of these issues that only a re-set on the expectations will cure. Who’s up for a little Kenny Dalglish? (Tony Adams In!, for example, if not Steve Bould or Thierry Henry…or all three and some 6th to 8th place finishes for a few years… 😉

    Gerry, like you say, a lot of those opportunities for the young players have evaporated, mostly due to the extreme pressure for results. I *wish* we could give some teenagers some time in these Wembley (and run-in) matches, but the pressure is just too great. Again, expectations drive decision making, and expectations put bums in seats, so there you go…

    Big match tomorrow (and another one on Tuesday). Let the good times roll, as we seem (at least somewhat) due… Maybe?…

  479. Fozzie B says:

    Good Afternoon Wenger’s Wigan Wiener with Wasabi Warriors!! 😆
    Welcome back JB and so sorry for your loss, and wishing you and Jane all the best in your physical and emotional recovery!!
    Working at present so will be watching the game later al a Cockie style!!
    COYRRG’s!!!! 😀

  480. alexgunners says:

    Good morning All.

    Here is our starting 11.
    Fabianski, Sagna, Mertesacker, Vermaelen, Monreal, Arteta, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Ramsey, Cazorla, Podolski, Sanogo

    We have all (most of us anyway) asked for a change upfront, and the nutty professor has given us that change.

    COYG

  481. alexgunners says:

    On another note, a plucky sunderland side is currently holding Everton to a nil all draw. May it continue

  482. 17highburyterrace says:

    Hey Alex… Call me flabbergasted. Poldolski keeps his spot but Giroud loses his? Rosicky not even on the bench. Not what I expected. Gotta hope the kids (Ox and Sanago) combine again as they did in the cup match vs Liverpool…

    Subs: Szczesny, Jenkinson, Gibbs, Kallstrom, Akpom, Eisfeld, Giroud

  483. AFC says:

    Sorry guys but I won’t be here for the match as something has come up, will record it and watch it later though. Hope you guys enjoy it. 🙂

    Also surprised to see Giroud dropped and Podolski retain his place in the starting eleven.

  484. alexgunners says:

    Hi 17,
    I think this is a reaction from AW in relation to his interview earlier in the week where he stated that he is not scared to change his tactics or team.
    I will be the first to say that I have been completely been unimpressed with Giroud but Poldi has been lacking as well. This really shows where some of our issues lie in going forward.

  485. alexgunners says:

    Own goal gives Everton 1-0 lead. very unlucky

  486. James Bond says:

    such is life @ Glics

    appreciate that @ 17HT

    cheers @ Fozzie with a capital B

    re- starting 11, it’s the right one.

    very excited to see the front 3 of Poldi / OX and Yaya.

    Podolski is the only or perhaps maybe the closest big match player we have in this current team @ 17HT

    you shouldn’t be baffled as to why Giroud has lost his place (has happened far far too late in my opinion ) – he should be used as a super-sub until the end of the season.

    the writing is on the wall for him I reckon just look at the bench , we have Akpom on the bench…but worryingly, not much else to write about on the bench in terms of real steal in MF and so on

    but anyhow, attack is the best form of defense, and it’s going to be a 3-0 to the mighty Arsenal .

  487. alexgunners says:

    JB,

    glad to have you back and wishing you and your family all the best in moving ahead despite the tragedy.

  488. James Bond says:

    *steel even

    the plan is to get into the final and then allow our big players, Ozil and JW to return and help us lift the club – I likes !

  489. James Bond says:

    Hi Alex

    good to see you and thank you very much for that.

    Nacho needs to be more street smart and TV5 needs to keep awake and that’s half the battle won.

  490. Gerry says:

    So that is where Eisfeld is .ON THE BENCH!

    So the team is good news bad news:Ox in, Monreal in

    Akpom on the bench too … interesting?

    I don’t like the midfield, but Kallstrom is at least on the bench

    This will be tough. I don’t think the game will be won until we makes changes late on?

    How do you feel?

  491. alexgunners says:

    JB,
    Nacho for me has always been a little bit of a worry, Unlike Gibbs, he has a lot of trouble in tracking players back and tends to move forward too much unnecessarily. Yes he has to support play in the left hand side but he has to do it smartly and not get caught out

  492. James Bond says:

    we will miss Rosicky today…i wanted him to play ahead of Santiago in that no.10 role with Santiago on the LW – i think the injury of Rosicky might be the main reason why you have Poldi on the LW .

    however, i can see us playing to a 4-4-1-1 with Poldi and Yaya playing in close proximity.

    when the going gets tough – The Arsenal get going !

  493. James Bond says:

    Nacho will do well against Wigan and is relatively better against lower mid table teams – so I think he will be ok for today, Gibbs obviously offers us a bit more in terms of pace and so on but he isn’t a 100% match fit or fit ? @ Alex

    I feel that Arsenal owe it to Arsene Wenger and the fans to rise up to the challenge and be counted @ Gerry – we certainly are better play for player and played a more fluid game – Yaya to score his first goal today and start his long and beautiful journey with a bang – it’s written in the stars sort of things, hence you had his perfectly timed run and scored goal disallowed last week.

    🙂

  494. alexgunners says:

    Damn spuds equalise in the 4th minute of injury time.

  495. alcide says:

    Hi guys, sorry, been busy and did not have time to contribute, but there was no need, good posts in the last couple of days!

    JB, I’m very happy to see you back, but so sorry for the circumstances. My best wishes to Ypu and Jane.

    Interesting line up, Ox and Yaya might give us the movement we need (on top of Rambo). COYG!

  496. alexgunners says:

    The teams are coming out now
    COYG

  497. proudgooner says:

    COYG,
    Time to perform

  498. Dylan says:

    Thrilled to see Sanogo start and thrilled to see youth (Ice Ice Baby, and Chuba) on the bench. Wembley is beautiful. First time seeing Arsenal play there for me. COYG!

  499. alexgunners says:

    My only fear for today is that on the bench we don’t really have the players that can change a game. Hopefully it will not come to that.

    COYG

  500. James Bond says:

    don’t worry @ Alex, Man utd will pip them for the Europa league I reckon 😉 them drawing isn’t a bad thing as such.

    thanks Alcide 🙂

    guess what ? Ozil, JW and Diaby might all be involved for the final (after we win today) SPOOKY!

  501. proudgooner says:

    Good to see you back JB.
    I am going for 4-1 to us .

  502. proudgooner says:

    predictions?

  503. alexgunners says:

    Diaby is going to be like a new signing.
    – Arsene Wenger 2007,8,9,10,11,12,13,14-

  504. alexgunners says:

    So close by Sanogo

  505. 17highburyterrace says:

    Wow, what a save on Sanogo from Ox’s cross! Unlucky there…Kids up front are starting well…

  506. proudgooner says:

    Yaya looks like he has really got his touch back, playing well.

  507. alcide says:

    Bac and Nacho keeping low for now.mgood, let’s take our time.

  508. 17highburyterrace says:

    Slowing down the end to end with a bit of possession now… Earlier tackle in the box by Verms was perfectly timed. We need to get the ball deeper into their territory. More Rambo, more Santi, I say…

  509. alexgunners says:

    positive start in the first 15 minutes, now lets start piling on the pressure

  510. alcide says:

    Ox and Yaya making runs, good.

  511. alcide says:

    I wish Podolski moved a bit more…

  512. 17highburyterrace says:

    Forgot about Poldolski until just now…but then his backward pass goes out of play…Wigan on the up in the past 5 mins… We need the ball and need to do something with it…

  513. James Bond says:

    there’s a red card in this game.

  514. James Bond says:

    let’s switch the OX on the LW, with Ramsey on the Right and Poldi roaming around – it will work.

  515. 17highburyterrace says:

    Wow…Great ball from Rambo but Yaya gets his feet tangled… Corner falls to Sagna but the angle is too much… C’mon guys, gotta convert one…

  516. James Bond says:

    we are getting closer – not long before we score,

    come on lads – keep going !

  517. alexgunners says:

    We are playing very cautiously at the moment. In fact both teams are. A goal will come from a mistake unless we start to play more our game

  518. James Bond says:

    every time I watch Arteta, it sort of makes me angry…regardless of how much he tries, he is one of the main culprits for our sloppy play at times – gotta keep focused !

    Nacho is bombs forward needlessly thinking he is a striker which leaves a lot of space for Wigan to come at Arsenal – bad

  519. alexgunners says:

    Ox seems to be the only shining star at the moment. His pace is causing them a bit of trouble. This is where we are missing Theo as well. Our game relies on pace breaking down defences

  520. James Bond says:

    hence switching OX to the left for a bit might not be a bad idea as Wigan are putting 3 men on the OX every time he tries to do something on the right @ Alex

  521. 17highburyterrace says:

    Slightly better but very clogged through the middle and it dies with a wild effort from Yaya… Agreed with alcide that a key is getting Poldolski moving, with guys like Santi and Ramsey filling the spaces he might leave… Unfortunately we can’t quite get an upper hand in the match…

    Wigan set piece defended OK but McManaman looks dangerous…

  522. alexgunners says:

    @JB
    Thats because they can see that he is the main threat.
    Someone else has to ill the finger out and do something. We are approaching half time and not a lot of promising runs or plays. A lot of possession but most of it is us passing it in our own half.

  523. James Bond says:

    wooah, i thought Poldi had scored there from that free kick, was mighty close mind you ! good good

  524. alexgunners says:

    Sanogo needs to improve his first touch and he would be clearly one on one, showing some promising signs, he needs to break his duck and put one in the back of the net

  525. James Bond says:

    Yaya is already doing much more than Giroud has done in his last 10 games for Arsenal.

  526. 17highburyterrace says:

    Great run, not such a great 1st touch from Yaya…Earlier run from Poldi looked on-side to me… All (half) chances coming from longer runs…Not really our game, I don’t think…

  527. James Bond says:

    wow, what hunger and desire shown there by Poldi to win that ball and punish Wigan…so close yet so far again…come on lads !!!!

  528. James Bond says:

    where are thou – Santiago

    oh yes, taking the corners.

  529. alexgunners says:

    We just can’t make it happen in our final 3rd. Confidence is at an all time low

  530. 17highburyterrace says:

    Slightly better pressure leads to some poor clearances from Wigan but still we cannot make any chances. Not particularly promising–gotta get lucky in the 2nd half? Half time espresso needed…

  531. alexgunners says:

    @17ht
    An espresso is needed, It’s times like this i wish i still smoked.

    We are going to need a lot of luck

  532. alcide says:

    It’s all right, I’ll say on JB’s behalf were a second half team 🙂

    I hope Yaya scores or assists soon, at least he offers a lot more than OG does lately. Isn’t it nice to see a striker that can get past a CB *and* stay ahead? Plus that stretches them a bit… If Santi wakes up, well find passes. Rambo not overdoing himself, I hope he is just pacing himself but has enough fuel.

    Fullbacks are obviously being very careful. We definitely need more movement, and aggressiveness.

  533. alexgunners says:

    @Alcide,

    Last season we were a second half team.
    This season i do not know what we are. It’s been a while since we have looked like The Arsenal

  534. 17highburyterrace says:

    OMG Piers Morgan in the studio at HT is calling for Bendtner…Geezus…

    To me we need a little more calm and space in the #10 spot (Ramsey and Santi) and things will open up. We’re either clogged there or nobody is present… Hopefully Wenger can iron it out and we get the ball in the net. Wish we had something beyond Giroud on the bench to lift us…

    On the other hand, the espresso IS picking me up, just a bit, at least…

  535. James Bond says:

    yep, look at the bright side – we didn’t concede a goal and we have the 2nd half to score our 3 goals @ Alcide 😉

    Piers Mostly talks utter rubbish @ 17HT – i feel sorry for all those who have to listen to his punditry , ha

  536. alexgunners says:

    Maybe give an espresso to the whole team to LIFT them up

  537. James Bond says:

    re- Yaya – not only just what Alcide has stated but also his level of understanding with the OX is a thing of beauty – very nice to see !

    62% possession , time to make it all count in the 2nd half – is it me or Santiago has gone missing for large parts of this game ?

    if push comes to shove and we are chasing this game, then taking Santiago off for Giroud might not surprise me.

  538. alcide says:

    Well we still score much more in the second half 🙂 Let’s see what happens, but it looks like we’ve played very cautiously, and just lack enough movement from the front 4. TR7 will fix some of that?

  539. James Bond says:

    wooooooow – ITV studio peeps saying the same thing more or less about Santiago – Lee dixon says, he may as well come join us and do the commentary here instead of being there as he has hardly been on the game –

  540. Dylan says:

    When (not if, but WHEN) we score the winner, I want to see Wenger run the length of the pitch and complete a 5 yard knee slide in front of some Arsenal fans before completing a perfect backflip.

  541. alexgunners says:

    unfortunately TR is not even on the bench for us. We need his drive

  542. alexgunners says:

    Santi has disappeared not only in this game but in many others as well during the second half of the season

  543. 17highburyterrace says:

    No Rosicky on the bench, alcide… 😦

    The thing about Santi today is that we need him near the D (top of the box) and he’s out wandering…My fear is that we’re gonna need a long ball or a long run to score. We just don’t have any build-up play to speak of…

    C’mon fellas!!!

  544. alexgunners says:

    Well said 17, no build up play at all.
    too static, too cautious, and it seems like we have defenders, no midfield and a lodge gap to Sanogo

  545. 17highburyterrace says:

    Seemed like a pretty nice ball there from Santi…Yaya caught between strides or ideas or something…

  546. James Bond says:

    Dylan, that might be a bit too much for AW , although, no harm in asking, ha

  547. James Bond says:

    well done Arteta and Ramsey.

  548. Dylan says:

    Hahaha JB, right perhaps the running was a bit much to ask for, but I think the backflip is incredibly realistic! 😉

  549. 17highburyterrace says:

    Important toe in from Arteta on defense…Corner eventually given but (more or less) defended…

    C’mon guys!

  550. James Bond says:

    that was a lovely ball from yaya on the break, OX nearly made it…

    come on lads !!!

  551. alexgunners says:

    Where is the FU#$ING Urgency.
    Make shit happen FFS

  552. James Bond says:

    come on Santiago, you are better than that

    oh hell yeah, AW can do the backflip forward flip and all that but I reckon he’s saving it for the final.

    PENALTY given to Wigan

    damn

  553. alexgunners says:

    FUCKING PENALTY.
    All started from Monreal’d clumsiness
    fucking idiots

  554. 17highburyterrace says:

    Bad Pen given by BFG… Geezus…

  555. James Bond says:

    come on Fab, save it come on

  556. James Bond says:

    was that a foul on NAcho which led to the penalty ?

    i think so.

  557. oz gunner says:

    Shocking from mertz. Really should know better

  558. Dylan says:

    Nacho’s season looks to be over. If he goes off on a stretcher here there’s not way he comes back.

  559. Highbury Harmony says:

    What an awful challenge by Mert. This entire team needs a rehaul!

  560. alexgunners says:

    Now the bus will be parked, well done lads

  561. oz gunner says:

    Absolutely pathetic. 2 months of pure shit

  562. 17highburyterrace says:

    1 nil Wigan…

  563. alexgunners says:

    Dylan, Nacho has gone off in disgust of what he allowed to go through

  564. James Bond says:

    fabianski guessed it right, did everything right but sadly, the penalty was perfectly taken….

    never mind, still plenty of time to score 3 goals 🙂

    gibbs on for nacho

  565. alexgunners says:

    Here is the urgency, only 60 minutes late.

  566. alexgunners says:

    I just do not understand why we walk through the first 60-70 minutes of a game only to concede and then all of a sudden they play with some urgency and desire. What a joke. Win or Lose this game, it is complete and utter rubbish the way we have been playing.

  567. James Bond says:

    why take off poldi for Giroud, why i ask why why why

  568. oz gunner says:

    Been the story all season alex. Too little too late. Why take off lulu?

  569. Dylan says:

    Correct choice by Wenger. Poldi has been awful, Sanogo has been our best. Now he just has to choose between Bellerin for Santi or Kallstrom for Arteta.

  570. oz gunner says:

    Be daring and take off mertz. It’s not like wigan will be attacking much

  571. alexgunners says:

    Apart from the loss to Birmingham in 2011, this is our best opportunity for silverware and we can’t even see off Wigan. I know it’s not over but our tactics have been the same for so many years that regardless of who we face, they know our one page play bookend can get a result against us

  572. 17highburyterrace says:

    Dylan, Bellerin’s not on the bench…Also, we’ve already used two subs…

    Santi in the box wins a corner…C’mon boys!

  573. alexgunners says:

    *play book

  574. Dylan says:

    Oh crap, you are correct 17. Somehow entirely forgot about Gibbs! Kallstrom for Arteta then. Now.

  575. 17highburyterrace says:

    Never gonna happen, Dylan…

    This group’s gotta do it…Save the sub for ET, maybe?…

  576. alexgunners says:

    Arteta is shit

  577. Admir says:

    Where is passion? Where is pride? Will Arsene Wenger win a single game after his 1000th game on the bench?

  578. Prince says:

    I would get shot of 85% of our team/squad. Closely followed by our entire scouting network and then, before anyone could say ‘boo’ id get our medical team to drop their tools and follow suit..

    after all of that, i would turn to the man i respect and admire most and say “ENOUGH! Either grow a pair and sort these attitudes out quick smart, or we bring back David Dein to do the dirty work…

    17, this is not knee jerk reaction. But Alex said it best. We cant even recognise our own team anymore! Its been too long, and we dont even see a 2% improvement in the team…

    The whole world is watching and nobody can recognise any sort of football philosophy in our play, but im sure of one thing! Our current players are LAZ-EEEE and are willing to let Arsene take the fall.

    Where is Petit and Viera and Keown to grab these international mercenaries and remind them that we’re playing at Wembley with 15min to go to saviour whats left of another shocking yet typical season….

    This is a joke…..if you dont laugh, your gonna CRY…..

    IM Livid at the attitudes of this current crop… At least Judas worked his arse off when he was fit and boots were on…..

  579. AFC says:

    Ok, been watching at my relatives house and have been trying to use their internet with no luck until know. We just haven’t been at it from the beginning. We have been pretty conservative and it has cost us. A spurs of the moment pen which has been converted and now we are shitting ourselves.

    Why do we always leave it so late before we get serious?

    Seems Wenger is trying to get Giroud to link up with Sanogo which I suggested he could do in my pre-match comments. However why didn’t Wenger take off Monreal for Giroud and switch to three at the back and two up front. We need to go for this. Taking off a defender for another attacker is pretty textbook, I would have thought.

  580. alcide says:

    Rambo’s got no fuel left…

  581. alcide says:

    And we hit the pole… Can’t we get lucky for once…

  582. alcide says:

    For fucks sake saved on the line

  583. AFC says:

    now*

    We hit the bar and then Gibbs is denied.

    Mertesacker!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  584. 17highburyterrace says:

    1-1 BFG…

  585. James Bond says:

    get fucking innnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn

  586. alcide says:

    Yes yes yes yes yes!

  587. Prince says:

    Stop celebrating…. Get back and compose yourselves, finish the job PLEASE!

  588. Highbury Harmony says:

    You better make up for that fucking mistake!!

  589. Dylan says:

    YES YES YES YES YES!

  590. alcide says:

    FUCKING YES!

  591. Highbury Harmony says:

    Excuse my language!

  592. AFC says:

    Alcide, time for Källström?

  593. oz gunner says:

    All is forgiven BFG. Get in boys turned this season around!!!!

  594. alexgunners says:

    @PRINCE,

    Well bloody said.
    Ok we have scored, but WHERE IS OUR ARSENAL????
    The mentality of this team is shocking

  595. Admir says:

    PEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEER!

  596. Prince says:

    Good Question AFC. Why do we always leave it late to get serious. Can we only start playing when the games on a knifes edge? Im so dumbfounded with the Arsenals of late, its hard to defend them quite honestly

  597. James Bond says:

    is it extra time or penalties if it stays 1-1 ?

  598. alexgunners says:

    extra time

  599. 17highburyterrace says:

    Sanogo wasn’t offside there…Pretty nice effort by Ollie to force a save…

  600. Dylan says:

    Just now realizing Arteta can’t come off, he’s our penalty taker!

  601. James Bond says:

    we will win this in extra time @ Alex

    some very disappointing comments up above before the goal.

  602. Prince says:

    You know what id like to see most at Arsenal FC. ??

    Who knows that song from coldplay…umm, ‘the Scientologist’ i think….”Oh take me back to the staa-aart’ ……and the whole clip is filmed in backwards motion…

    Yep, id love to go back and recycle, re-hash, and spit out all the shit thats infected our club. Everything from Denilson, Bendnter, fark id even rewind to Francesc, enjoy and admire him for a bit and then spit him out tooo. Until i found that beating heart that has been missing!

    Gilberto or PV4 or Petit, one of those big boys took it with em, but the new Arsenal is so soft and fragile, your not allowed to sneeze incase of potentially tearing someones ligaments.

  603. 17highburyterrace says:

    I’m with you Bond…

    Great cross from Sagna…Yaya not backing up Ollie, however…

  604. AFC says:

    A really good ball from Sagna but no one can connect.

  605. James Bond says:

    it’s baffling to read such comments @ 17HT

    let’s remind ourselves – Wigan are the giant killers, they have beaten MAn city along with the other big fish not only this year but also last year as well – they know how it feels to be winners and champions of the FA cup.

    none of our team has ever won anything- yet we are fighting like lions now, for every ball – why we didn’t before ? who the hell gives a F , as long as we are in it – we have a chance of winning it and we will be winning in the next 30 minutes.

  606. James Bond says:

    what i want in the next 30 minutes is for our supporters to go into over drive mode and go beserk with their support – blow the roof right off at Wembley – be the 12th man – make the numbers count !!!

    come on !!!!!!!!!

  607. alcide says:

    Well that makes for an interesting semi final! Yaya and OG up front should allow for simple plays, we just need some runners to pick the ball up, plus we seem to rule the air on dead balls. Who’s going to be subbed out/in?

  608. oz gunner says:

    Come on we’ve got this. Wigan are out on their feet

  609. oz gunner says:

    @ BJ

    Not sure why it is so baffling to be honest. We were 1-0 in a big game. Regardless of the opposition it is pretty warranted given their past displays/effort

  610. Prince says:

    Um James, i read what your saying and you have a fair point, maybe. But the dynamics of this game changed just after half time. Wigan, the so called giant killers were dead on their legs and we had em in our pocket had we decided to be pro-active and have a go.

    On this display, we would get thrashed in Europe, and i know your intelligent enough to recognise that.

  611. James Bond says:

    I would sub Santiago and bring on Akpom, if need be but for now let’s stay like this

    @ Alcide

  612. AFC says:

    Källström for me. Very experienced which could help in such a tense situation.

  613. 17highburyterrace says:

    “Support,” when it comes to Arsenal, I fear, means something very different from what you’re asking 007… “Tear it all down,” seems the mantra, for many at least…

    It makes me sad, but what can you do?…

    Me, I’m still pulling for the boys…Probably makes me “part of the problem”…Oh well…

    Yaya getting some nice touches…Would really love to see him bulge the net…

  614. Prince says:

    Have no idea why both ourt full backs bomb up 3 quarters of the pitch. Its absolute suicide and have been undone by that, time and time and time again….

    Come on, we have come so far.
    Are we that bad now that we cant unlock championship defences?

  615. AFC says:

    That’s what worries me Prince.

  616. Prince says:

    17, i have been arguing your side of the coin for far too long, but in every other sport, when the attitudes stink and they dont show up……they dont put on the shirt for that shift… Its quite simple. Todays attitudes and mindsets have been quite comfy and in tourist mode..

    Why is their manager more animated and full of gusto, then most of our fully cappe internationals..

    I fear we have much deeper underlying issues at the Arsenal FC 😦

  617. AFC says:

    Giroud should have the shot when he had the chance.

  618. AFC says:

    I think Arsene needs to gamble and put Källström on.

  619. Prince says:

    When my chippies show to work with bloodshot eyes and asking to borrow a hammer….. i send them home before something major happens and i find myself on the end of a massive lawsuit…..

    Surely, even you can see that they didnt show today. And we are talking international capped players who have all had CL experience….NO more excuses, just need to find the root of the problem andf banish it!!

  620. James Bond says:

    Prince,

    I know emotions are running high but the fact of the matter is that we are supporters of Arsenal FC – and we should never forget that and never sort of hurl abuse , swear and so on directed at our players.

    all of our players including AW wants to win – look at his body language, he looks like a broken man.

    whether we win or lose, let’s get behind the team and show we are arsenal.

    you raise valid points and let’s discuss them in the right manner after the game – i am more than happy to talk them through you 24/7 on BK !

    come on let’s score in the 2nd extra time half

  621. 17highburyterrace says:

    I don’t see the lack of spirit which seems so obvious to others. To me it always seems associated with the scoreline… Seems to me like both sides are trying pretty hard…

  622. 17highburyterrace says:

    Ox off the corner of the frame!…dammit

  623. AFC says:

    Ox hits the bar and Gibbs cannot turn it in.

  624. oz gunner says:

    @BJ

    Not sure where your ‘support at all cost’ approach is when dealing with szcz.

    Different fans deal with the game in different ways . it’s part of the emotion of sport. I’m surprised it shocks you.

  625. AFC says:

    Källström on for Ramsey.

  626. 17highburyterrace says:

    Ramsey off for KK… He ran and he ran but clearly not at his best…

    KK way wide with the volley…

  627. Prince says:

    Fair enough James. Ive been on your side of the arguement many times before, and your right……after the game

  628. James Bond says:

    OZ – criticise the decisions , i do – yes

    but i don’t swear at AW , our players and so on – i ask for more like all of you do – however, i also identify the flaws and also provide solutions i.e. Sczny criticism and solution = Fabianski .

    nice one @ Prince !

  629. Prince says:

    Not one leader on the pitch to grab our players by the scruff and tell them to calm down, stop wasting energy, and stick to our posession game..instead we’re now toe poking into nothingness and putting our very high up the pitch and very slow defensive line under immediate pressure…

    Anybody who cannot see this, im sorry but it has nothing to do with tints. Its plain common sense in football

  630. oz gunner says:

    Thankfully fabs is a great penalty keeper. The way some arr moving around I wouldn’t be surprised if a leg comes off during a spot kick

  631. AFC says:

    Pens it is!

  632. James Bond says:

    Penalties it is – i’ll be the first one to admit – I never saw that coming

    🙂

    5 penalty takers ?

    Arteta

    OX

    Giroud

    Sagna

    Santiago

    sorted ?

  633. alcide says:

    Oh boy, penalties… I hope players are in better shape than I am!

  634. alcide says:

    Ox with cramps might be a bad idea!

  635. Prince says:

    Its all a lottery now OZ… I hate pens, and dont feel crash hot when i win, as its the worst feeling in the world of football when the lady has departed, along with her luck.

  636. James Bond says:

    I said it yesterday – Fab will save the day

    how I hope he proves me right now, ha

    bitch twitchy time ehhh (winks at 17HT

  637. oz gunner says:

    But who cares if someone swears. It’s the heat of a match. Not everyone can keep their composure and stay calm. End of season scrap, last trophy, losing in a final…surely some slack can be given to supporters. Especially after some of the pea hearted performances the players have coughed up as of late

  638. AFC says:

    Not sure about Sagna, maybe Källström instead.

  639. James Bond says:

    nail biting stuff ehh lads 🙂

  640. Prince says:

    Hows your shape, Alcide?
    You must love your bagguettes too 😉

  641. alexgunners says:

    @Prince
    Prior to the game I did say that if ever we needed a leader, it was for this game. No one has stood up

    @JB
    Wigan giant killers, maybe so, but for the past 2 months we have sen the creators of our own doom

    @OZ
    Agreed that we all support our team in different manners and no one can change that.

    Each one of us have our opinions, doesn’t mean i have to agree with anyone’s but i will still speak my mind.
    This team has been subpar and whilst i will always support them, my criticism does not come only from the scoreline, my criticism was there before the match and I just don’t believe that every year we crash out of all comps in quick succession

  642. James Bond says:

    ahahahahahhahahahahahahahaha
    fabianskiiiiiiii

    i love youuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu

  643. oz gunner says:

    Hopefully ox doesn’t take it. He looks like nothing is left in his legs

    Yes!!!!!!!

  644. Prince says:

    Oz……i love you, man

  645. alcide says:

    Yes Fab!

  646. AFC says:

    Fab saves it and Arteta scores!

  647. James Bond says:

    get in Arteta

  648. alcide says:

    Fabx2! Gogogogogogo!

  649. oz gunner says:

    Fuck he’s good!!!! So good at penalty keeping

  650. AFC says:

    Fab saves and Källström scores!

  651. oz gunner says:

    3 for 3

  652. Prince says:

    OZ…….feel the love x2

    Great call on Fab..Your head of my scouting team, bud.

    Yes!!!

  653. AFC says:

    Fab seems like a penalty specialist.

    Giroud scores!

  654. James Bond says:

    do you see my point now @ OZziE

    Re- Sczny and Re- Fabianksi.

    I say no more.

    Congratulations everyone, it was a nail bitter and well done to Wigan for making us bite our nails this much !!!!

  655. James Bond says:

    and this is why you always always play your best starting 11 or the best keeper, not one who has potential to be the best in 3 years time.

    thank you, Fabulous Fabianksi.

  656. oz gunner says:

    Phew. Thank dennis for that!!!!

    Well said alex.

    Bring on the trophy!!!

  657. alcide says:

    Well we’re coming back to Wembley! That wS a crappy performance but nothing else matters for me (in the next couple of hours!)!

  658. AFC says:

    We’re through!!! We just had to win this match. Now onto the final. Let’s hope we don’t lose it. 🙂

  659. alexgunners says:

    Good night guys, til next time

  660. James Bond says:

    what a smile AW has ehhh, finally there it was when Santiago scored 🙂

  661. oz gunner says:

    I don’t BJ. I still think szcz is the better keeper. He’s made his fair share of penalty saves…including that ripper at anfield. Fabs is a top keeper too. Better at penalties and I wish he stayed our number 2. He keeps szcz on his toes and steps in when needed

  662. James Bond says:

    later Alex and laters everyone,

    Prince if you are up for a beer and a footballing discussion then leave it all in a comment and i shall get back to you in a bit !

    no worries

  663. James Bond says:

    ripper at anfield 2 years ago or was it 3 ?

    Ozzie that’s your opinion and i’m sure the majority shares it and i respect it, but in my opinion Sczny has cost us 2 CL’s in a row along with a decent bite at the cherry this year at the EPL.

    like i said , opinions is all what i have – and i disagree with yours and you can with me

  664. AFC says:

    I’m off guys. See you guys later. 🙂

  665. Dylan says:

    My first final! Weeeeeeeee are going to Wemblllllllleyyyyyyyy! Fab is MOTM. Sanogo and Ox also with fantastic performances.

  666. alcide says:

    Laters AFC and Alex!

    Back later to talk about the performance, and the line up for Tuesday (ouch!) 😉

  667. Prince says:

    Alexinho, your absolutely correct on all fronts, mate.

    YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS, it was a long winding road and i couldnt wait to finally get there, but, YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!

    Im happy that Arsenal, have scraped through….
    No one realises (in house) or during a game with this sort of display that leaves us wanting, or heaven forbid a loss, just how it will effect other aspects of AFC.
    Sponsors, conversion of potential new supporters, growth of our brand name- world wide, attraction of SQ players in the future…
    Of course, this all comes second and third or even last when comparing to our on field performances and attitudes, but all these little dynamics can have a bearing on our future path.

    I know one things for sure. If any of our boys turned up to a commercial shoot, or photo session, or brand awareness/ promo sessh’ with a poor attitude, im sure we would be able to hear our Syrup man, talk for the first time..

    *PLease, can we abandon the money making pre-seasons to Asia and head back to the serene hills of Austria, where Arsene could work his magic hat, and display a proper team of footballers, communicators, and leaders??

  668. oz gunner says:

    And i respect yours too BJ. I’m just waiting for you to admit that szcz bullied you at school and you are holding a grudge 🙂

  669. The Cockie Monster says:

    Evening Sock Cuckers ! 😆
    What happened ?……..I`ve just been released after being held hostage by some of my renegade Lesbanians !……..I was made to pluck their bikini lines using just my teeth !…….bastardettes !.

  670. I shall go out now and H20 my grass seed, then come back and watch the game……actually, I`m just going to watch the penalty shoot-out !. hahaha

  671. James Bond says:

    yes Alex, we haven’t done ourselves any favours over the last 2 months – will agree with you over that one .

    all is well that ends well @ Prince

    and what school might that be ? school of cocky tossers or school of brain farters 😉 @ Ozzie ?

    nah , it’s no grudge and I don’t hold grudges against anyone and if you would read my take on Sczny, i don’t blame him either – it’s AW I criticize .

    you see, most of you will say including AW that he’s a young goalie and blah blah blah blahdi blahdi blah –

    well, football is a moving and progressing sport/business – if someone has played over a 100 games, at the age of 23/24/25 , regardless of their position – for me they must not be shielded behind oh but he’s a goalie and in terms of age and experience it’s nothing – i don’t buy that hoopla

    for me he should be loads better and matured as he has comfortably crossed that 100 game barrier and mind you, it’s 100 plus game at the top top and top level – if he still can’t show maturity and the progression we all expected from him then am afraid, it’s best to accept that and lower our expectations –

    poor Fabianski was the one who started our revival last season and got the sack – I suspect it’s going to be a full circle again (Fab revives us today) and then boom – he’ll get the chop for the favourite son, which is a shame really as he might not be world class but he is certainly better than Sczny in my books and has been treated harshly by AW.

    I hope you see that it’s no grudge and i have backed it up with some substance behind it – Arsene Wenger’s strengths are proving to be his weaknesses for me (loyalty – sticking by his medical staff, no major changes and then being stubborn with his favourtism in goal, when he should be picking the keeper on form and merit and on Merit Fabianski deserved to be our no.1 since we beat Liverpool in the FA cup , if not sooner).

    you mentioned Sczny stopping that penalty at anfield and I was quick to point out it was a few years ago – forget about saving penalties, when was the last time he went the right way to guess it right ? yeah you will go back to Aston Villa but Benteke still scored : ) point being ? he’s not progressed a goal keeper at a top 4 club and a keeper at one of the biggest clubs should.

    he is a weak link for me, as are Arteta and Giroud (Giroud not so much so as he can always be our plan B and a super sub) but we desperately need to either bring in a world class keeper at Arsenal so Sczny can learn and be more competitive or B – let Glic loose on him with his laser taser, ha

    where did 17HT disappear ? i guess he didn’t enjoy our company and was put off by the constant negativity 🙂

  672. James Bond says:

    before I go –

    look, we could be worse like Barca , Chelsea or even liverpool – spent so much money and still end the season without a trophy.

    least we have a more than decent chance at winning the FA cup, being in the community shield and also finishing top 4 – this win tonight sets us up nicely for our remaining 4/5 games !

    let’s not forget this was a team low on confidence and had hardly won in the last 4-6 weeks – hell we even lost a QF to league 2 (Bradford) with a better team and squad available and then went out to Blackburn at the emirates last year.

    things can only get better now, how can they not when you still have the likes of JW, Ozil, KOC, Diaby , Flamini all to be returning rather soon, we are talking about days and a week or 2 at most –

    the only way is upwards and forwards.

    all of you Aussies were on the same page today, I blame Fosters for it, ha

  673. 17highburyterrace says:

    007, Yeah, I had to get away… The negativity of a few comment writers really got to me today and made it impossible to enjoy the win. I just don’t get how calling the players “shit” and/or suggesting there’s no spirit on display makes any sense at all. The team is far from perfect but I see guys trying their best. The circumstances and pressures are extremely difficult and the guys came through them today. Even if they hadn’t, what was not to salute in the effort?…

    Maybe part of it was that Piers Morgan was doing a similar schtick on the television–talking endless shite about the players and the manager and painting a relentlessly bleak assessment. Then we win and he shoves all that aside and enjoys the victory–the same as (some) of the guys here. It shouldn’t bother me so much, but it does, and it really sours it for me. Frankly, it makes me feel ashamed of my fellow supporters. The players and the manager and the club as a whole deserve better…

    Criticism is fine, I believe, but there’s a superiority on display when (usually based on the scoreline…) we hear the assessment of “no passion” or “not good enough.” Additionally, this perspective is one of zero potential satisfaction, so–no matter what–it’s only a fillip until the next disappointment.

    Enough from me. We won the match and I’d love to celebrate it with like minded folks. There’s plenty to discuss about the game and how we might try and move forward, but why bother? It all goes again on Tuesday vs West Ham, when the “supporters” will again give vent to their endless disappointment and come out to rip the players, manager and club. Pathetic…

    In happier news from my spot in Spain…Granada 1 – Barca 0. First win over Barca since 1972…

  674. Prince says:

    Cheers James.

    My comment in game, was NOT of a knee jerk nature. In fact, in the past and on almost every single occassion, i have sat in the high chair that 17 has chosen to take with me and i have done nothing but defend. Defend and support and fight every single swipe, snort, cheap shot and block any potential knee jerk reaction, that one may regret later on, or regret when referring to the club, OUR club, that we all, no doubt love…

    In fact i was sitting on your side of the fence and arguing the angle that you have chosen to take on this occassion, defending against anything or anyone who i believed was tearing into all that i loved and stood for…ripping into the team (which i wasnt, it was based on performances and attitudes of late, rather than the potential and or development /growth that our squad possesses.

    Amazingly,17ht, who up until this morning, i had a HUGE respect and admiration for, with all his views, his approach and seasoned/reasoned style that would get the average mindset thinking outside the box. He was also a regular by that time, so you have to excuse me James when i find it difficult to comprehend, just how quick he is to jump onto either side of an arguement, WHEN it suits him, and then announce his sadness at, what he believes in his mind, are negative mantras that are being implied and on displayed.

    Down under, this would be known as a double standard or a hypocritical approach, but in the end, its all spit ill just wipe off my chin, before i move on from a confusing environment.

    James, the last time we had a blue (if you wanna call it that (personally for me, that was very, fairy light stuff. Featherweight stuff, that im certain you can hold your own) and im certain you would have lost NO sleep over the episode or my ugly mug). But you were right, back then as you may have been harsh by generalising peoples comments this morning/night/earlier……especially when those comments generated, always come from a place genuine concern and have remained super consistent. Of course, im not referring to myself right now.

    Back to me, and that episode. James i will apologise for swearing directly at you. I know you have tough skin, and even through all my confusion at the clubs lack of communication, its direction back then and my possible sensitivity with peoples view point, which i felt, back then were swipes at AFC and the hierarchy, before they were ever heartfelt concerns for our future, (on top of that, was all compounded by my lack of pussy/variety on the menu, back then) and thats quite simply put, how you got a glimpse of my teeth.. While im here on topic, id like to apologise for my bark. The swearing you copped was uncalled for and the communication lines, between us broke, which made me super angry that communication became difficult, enhanced by my struggles to get my view across to the community, as eloquently as others.
    In hindsight, which is always easy, i could have taken a time out, avoided the bust up and let the heat escape the collar, but truth be told, i was real angry in that lil episode. Prob more so that i couldnt deal with it in true Aus fashion, where id hook you on the chin, then pick you up, dust you off and by you a drink or three. Simples lol 🙂

    This time, amazingly, the tables have turned and for whatever reason, ive become a little less sensitive on topic, less anal on defending our players, when they choose not to defend on the pitch and show poor attitudes (which, with every and any aspect of life, is where success starts.Ones attitude.. Isn’t it?)

    Anyway, you on the other hand have taken up position on my old stomping ground and quite possibly taken offence to something i may have said and misunderstood it to be negative and anti Arsenal, which would be impossible, as im certain that i bleed red and white..
    Regardless, its good to see another soldier take up arms in defence of our club and its honour, but its also a real head-fuck when view points and beliefs, chop and change and/or communication becomes difficult with emotions involved.

    So i hope you can understand now, why ive been taken aback by recent events and comments, and confused with the varying and sudden change in you point of view …

    Once again, James, i ask that you forgive the direct swearing towards you……next time i just buy a ticket to the Queens land and we can have that ‘frothy’ in person……my shout.

    I can also see how both ‘Dutch Mc Totes’ and Redders seem to have realised a certain similarity that we may have. Might be crap, but i see where theyre coming from, in regards to the very loud and ok, maybe a little stubborn personas that we possess……which might explain the ease at which we are both able to clash…..

    So anyway, im growing to dislike blogging sometimes, again, that’s born more out of having a shit writing style, or just a lack of.

    So in future , you should know , you CAN always take me to task on any comment as im open to sorting shit out and if need explaining… BuT, i dont function well, when, that communication becomes a one way street and its ‘shut shop’ on the other side.
    I also have issues with double standards, and James, your a big boy and im real certain you can handle your own, without ‘big brother’ jumping in with his hypocritical viewpoint and adding fuel to an almost if not dead fire…

    Of course, you can ignore everything ive said and continue on in the same vein and ignore me in future. Its all cool and naturally, your choice..

    Last thing James, before i head off for sesh’ of spear fishing and to catch dinner……,and you can tell me to mind my own, but even though im growing to dislike blogging, it does not extend to the reading side of it, and trully enjoy reading the forum and differing viewpoints along with a few funny b*stads and their humour…………But in reading the good stuff, ive also come across the unfortunate and been taken aback by certain difficulties and chapters in your life, where you may have felt helpless and caved in..
    For what its worth James, i was trully sorry to have read up on your struggles and you having to experience such difficulties…. feeling helpless..
    I know im but a stranger to you, but ive always been God fearing and raised that way. Im glad you were able to find a support network on BK but if it helps at all, i have always had you and your family in my prayers during, and beyond those dark times you’ve endured and same goes for every other ‘MUvVA’ on BK that has been through or going through testing times, of their own…

    So anyway, im really no good at sharing my own demons. I usually go for a dive and scream out my probs to the depths and fishies. But i also know its NOT healthy bottling up, and found that out in a very hard way, when a close mate chose to be proud, and pretended on him being strong….. Few days later, and it was too late for sharing any burden, when he decided on the cowards way, and took his own life. Im still angry with him today, because he should be here today….but its done now, and since then, ive become, top shelf for listening to others……….
    So, im sure youve been offered support by most B*stardos on BK…….BUT, Stranger or No stranger……..if you ever.need to earbash your probs onto someone else then please dont hesitate……it’s NO probs,,,, and can all sorted (everything else in life becomes insignificant) and happy to tackle whatever has been dealt to you,,,,, or anybody else for that matter….

    Alright im offski before i grow a pair of man boobs 🙂

  675. James Bond says:

    yes, I get that and you are the voice of reason for a reason , me amigo 🙂

    but hey, if all of us were like minded and on the same page then it becomes boring, saying that, the aussies can say the same about us , since all of them seem to be on the same page most of the time with their like mindness !

    on a more serious note, the boys did us and most importantly AW proud – he looked like a broken man near a nervous break down – honestly, I have watched Arsenal for a very long time and I have never seen AW so anxious, nervous and broken as he was today… it was as if, he couldn’t believe what was going on – the players owed this to him and they must push on now to keep him smiling – he has his flaws but at the end of the day, he gives it his all to the best of his ability and we do love him even though he keeps playing Sczny for the big matches, ha

    yes, that Granada win has made Real Madrid favourites for me in the LA Liga …they won 4-0…congrats on winning against the mighty Barca (no more)….or are they they new Arsenal ? : )I joke, of course.

    we won today without Ozil, JW, Rosicky, Koc, Theo – that’s 5 big big players

    i hope we can have Rosicky back for tuesday along with Koc…Giroud will be fresh and Gibbs should be able to play the whole game – let’s win and win in style with a good goal difference, The hammers have been good for our Goal difference in the recent history !

    Pier Morgan is what most fans are like these days – as soon as you told me he was on, I knew what you lot were going to be hearing from him – he’s like a broken record, ha

    anyhow – I hope you are feeling better now and not as much Peeved off – Arsenal put a big smile on my face after a very long time, so you won’t see me complaining on that front anytime soon 🙂

  676. James Bond says:

    Prince – Bud,

    you leave me speechless there, really I don’t know where to begin but i’ll give it a go !

    firstly – look, it’s understandable how emotions are running high during a game…we have all been there in the past – hell , when you were going through a barren run in that department I was equally frustrated with our players mentality and called our mentality “pussy mentality ” in the heat of the moment stuff.

    I get all that, and I have been there with 17HT myself but look, things are often said in the heat of the moment that we don’t obviously mean or want them to come out in such a manner – but we being humans must release them somehow or vent out our frustrations because we love this club so much – both you and 17HT are top notch posters and bloggers and wear your heart on your sleeve, 17HT is less feisty and more sensitive but very caring and protective to an extent – what we must never forget is that we are all gooner and bk family – differences in opinions and petty fights or arguments take place even between blood relatives – but hey we are all adults here and able to sort out our differences and get back to normal after sanity prevails and tempers have come down a notch.

    so this is me basically asking both of you to shake on it and let it be, because obviously things said during live game time should always be taken with a grain of salt, ha

    we are in the finals of the FA cup for crying out loud !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I wasn’t picking up on you but you know, i have mellowed down a bit after what i have been through and i have started appreciating and being grateful for things which perhaps i took for granted before – that’s all … I am grateful for your prayers, kind words and support and no, you are not a stranger none of you are actually as i consider all of you my gooner brothers..even though we may not know each others real names and and so on, we still take time out every day or whenever to interact on a regular basis to share and express our views and have such lovely conversations about Arsenal and other things –

    don’t grow a dislike to blogging – your style of writing is unique and very good as you often speak from the heart and i much prefer people who speak from the heart instead of being politically correct most of the time, ha

    you know, your footballing concerns were genuine and valid if we took out the doom and gloom , yep my way of suggesting that you should write a post – put it all in a post and let people come forward with their view point, am sure most will agree with you on some and some won’t – that’s football for you but you should give it a go sometime 🙂

    finally, thank you very much for the offer and arm around the shoulder for support – you lot listening to me is enough for the likes of me and i am deeply humbled and touched by all the support and kind words you have written – rest assured, it was no issue for me back then as well when you swore at me…i am not the sensitive type , Glics calls me a bastard all the time ahahahahahahahahahahahahhaha well he calls everyone a bastard, so… 😉

    anyhow ,it’s good of you to come out and let it all out like that, i have no ill feeling towards you and I have to say that it takes a real man with courage to come out like that and accept that they were in the wrong – If i ever offended you or provoked you then I do apologize as well.

    I hope both you and 17HT can sort it out as well !

    cheers

  677. A lot of Broke Back BK stuff going on here !. Group hug in the dark !…………….ok……who`s the bastard with the boner ?. hahaha
    Did Stretch go to the game ?……………them Pigeons are in for a treat if he did !…………….” Live from Loft Vegas ! “.

    Night night bunt cace fastards !.

  678. Fcuk !……….your names not really James Bond !……you bastard !.

    Night again !. 😀

  679. James Bond says:

    you got to stop freaking me out like that @ Glics

    no, my names exactly what it says on the tin – I was on about Prince ahahahahahahaha

    I take you enjoyed the penalty shoot out as it was 100% to your satisfaction @ Glics ?

    Fozzie must have loved the Arteta penalty, out of all the penalties that was ooh la laaaa !!!

  680. James Bond says:

    can see a paragraph missing so will copy paste @ Prince

    sorry to hear about your mate…that is it, we often take things and people for granted…it wasn’t your fault and you shouldn’t be angry at him…he chose the easy way out because he thought it was right and was being selfish…you couldn’t do anything about it then because he didn’t let you in – had you known or he opened up am sure, you would have been there for him and a loss of a valuable life may have been avoided.

    am glad you shared that one and let it all out though, life is harsh at times but such is life…what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger.

    football is what keeps us going and helps us forget our problems and the real life worries, temporarily but it does help to a large extent when we have such mighty fine and considerate gooners all over the world !

    yes, so group hugs and handshakes and all that !

    am off to bed now – Hope TA has come back home safe and sound from France and has managed to bring Cavani along with him, ha

  681. Morning Bussy Pucking Fastards !. 😆

    Glorious day in Lesbania and it just so happens to be National Lesbanian Naturism Day !……….celebrated 365 days of the year with a day off on February 29th, when they are allowed to wear a smile !.
    Bob Wilson ……our legend goalie, is to start treatment for Prostate Cancer. Good luck Bob, you ledge !.

  682. Gerry says:

    Well as far as the match went, I thought we played it just right, given the team out there.

    Ist half- They took my comments seriously – The three K’s:
    Keep it simple; Keep it moving; Keep possession.
    Job done.
    Short of scoring from good opportunities, we restricted them to very little. All the time it drained their confidence.
    2nd half was going fine until the pen. Not usual for Mert to commit like that, but these things happen – Overall I think the ref had a pretty good game.
    Wigan’s mistake, probably with one eye on their league game, went defensive, and it cost them. If we scored, there was only going to be one winner.

    The first change was Gibbs, and he put a bit of life and pace into the attack, and nearly scored.
    The second was for Giroud for Poldi – criticised at the time above, but Poldi rarely last the 90, let alone 120?
    The 3rd change was Kallstrom for the understandably knackered Ramsey.

    We got a fully deserved equaliser, and but for some superb keeping, could have won it in normal time. Yes, it was a game built on scraps, but at least they put that mental affliction away, and saw it out well.

    I am not getting into the OTT comments during the game, mainly because that is why I avoid listening and reading during a matches. This one I could watch.

    Prince – you made a comment earlier about why our full backs bomb on? The answer is simple. They are our wide players. That is the system we play. In the first half we combatted the ploy of getting down that wing – It was TV5 who had the task of going out to the winger, and Ramsey dropping deeper to cover the inside runner. This left the Mert to cover the middle along with Sagna, Arteta did a similar job on the other side. Sanogo did well at the set pieces, which adds to my earlier point, that they had very few scoring opportunities. Part of this was because we kept them out for so long, players started to want to be heroes, and made the wrong choices.

    It is a balancing act, with a squad on very limited resources at this moment.

    So much was said because it looked like the last 5 seasons were repeating themselves. Which is why it pays to wait for the result and do a calm analysis.

  683. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi guys 🙂

    Got back yesterday just before the game. Was a bit foggy in the head after a long drive, including a couple of ours through thick fog. Will write something on the game later on, but very happy we won the PSO.

    Welcome back JB. Sorry to hear about your loss and hopefully mrs B will pull through.

  684. AFC says:

    “I think the fans have been terrific. When they got upset I think they had every reason to do it because in big games when it really matters I think we have disappointed everyone’

    Part of Arteta’s words after the game.

  685. 17highburyterrace says:

    Hey guys…Early morning here…Probably about the same time the Aussies were up watching the match yesterday. Everything beside the result yesterday more or less killed my whole day. (Watching Granada hold off Barca and RM slowly breaking down Almeria and then a little 3rd round of the golf… got me well into wasting a nice, sunny afternoon.) I get pretty down on myself when I let that happen, but I’m rested now. Early to bed is my thing, but sometimes, given that I seem to need less sleep than I used to, so too is “early to rise.”

    As such the English/Euro football suits me well, but as always, that’s just me…

    Today’s Arseblog, which is part of my wake-up reading, says it all–about the match and the reaction to it. Read it if you can–it echoes my thoughts about the match and how we as Gooners reacted to it.

    Sorry about my comment–post match–yesterday, I probably shouldn’t have posted it. I have total respect for the Aussies waking up as they do to watch AND (I would like to think) I have a measure of tolerance for the the blowing-off-steam, heat-of-the-moment-thing is OK. It’s not my thing, but I know that football is a respite from drudgery (for some) and riding the tide of (in match) emotion is part of that. In the heat of the moment, and when writing quickly some hefty statements get thrown out there. I “almost” posted that Arteta’s penalty was the best I’d EVER seen, but then I realized it was only in reaction to being told earlier in the match that “Arteta is shit.” Two wrongs don’t balance other, nor do they make a right…

    Prince, since I found this place you’ve always been one of my favorites. The passion is undeniable and there’s a broken plasma TV somewhere that can vouch for you… (Winky) I’m sorry you’ve lost respect for me or that I appear two faced and this is me, as 007 suggests, extending my hand…

    Of course, I will defend myself in the process… (Winky face, lol, other smileys…)

    IMO, it’s one thing to blow off steam, express frustration, AND to (re)declare your more deeply held beliefs. Your posts may not have been “knee-jerk,” but we haven’t heard from you for a long time and then we do–at 1-nil in a match we’ve got to win. It’s perfectly fine that you’ve done a 180 in your thinking, but is it really OK to suggest–in the heat of the moment–with the scoreline already killing us–that anybody who can’t see it is (in essence) blind. That’s a little rough, I think.

    I know Piers Morgan is a wind-up merchant (and a self serving jack-ass) but at least he gets paid for it… We “work” here for free and–if you read any of my pre-match stuff, my only request was that people come out BEFORE the result to say their piece. If it’s Wenger and 85% of the team out, that’s fine. But to say it as (some of us) are still hoping we can turn it around (and we did, we’re in the final…) seems the wrong moment. (And luckily it was before the result was in. Dennis forbid if the 1-nil had stood…)

    We’ve all got egos and we’re all sharing our ideas and trying to convince ourselves and each other of their correctness. Still, to say, repeatedly, that “anyone can see it,” backed by the scoreline and the imminent failure seems (to me) like bullying. I can see a lot of things (which are very wrong with what’s going on at the club–and I’d like to discuss them even if that might make two-faced…) but yesterday I didn’t see guys not trying. IMO they’re extremely nervous (the pressure is immense) and actually trying too hard. BFG’s mistake, responsible for Wigan’s goal, came from NOT pulling out of a challenge or from wanting TOO desperately to make the tackle he couldn’t, not from lack of effort. That Nacho got injured (maybe seriously) as he was being fouled in the build-up shows that he went BEYOND what his body could actually handle rather than that he doesn’t give a shit….in my opinion. (Also, the notion–or the lament–that we were *finally* putting in the effort once we fell behind, really seems odd. The scoreline, being down a goal–naturally will effect urgency and pushing forward; allowing exposure at the back is a must when the equalizer is needed…)

    Please note, I use, “in my opinion,” rather than “as anybody can see.” This, plus the timing of your reappearance, PPP, in essence, is the big source of my disappointment. Still, I apologize if I went overboard in expressing my opinion and grouping people together (lumping my fellow BK bloggers in with Piers Morgan seems both overly simplistic and harsh)…

    So, there you go. The hand is extended. I’m not a fighter (except with my words–and I don’t throw stuff at my telly, either…) which probably makes me a pussy or a cunt or not manly enough or something… though I once took a (pathetic) swing at a teammate who I thought was bullying other teammates of mine (at a practice)… So, in this war of words, I guess I’m not completely backing down, either… We all–with the passion to wake up at odd hours or waste time writing about the Arsenal–are invested in our football club and we’ve maybe got different ideas about how that should be done–not to mention VERY different ideas about the various characters on the team, at the club, in football, etc… but respect is a two-way street.

    You’ve always had mine, I’d like to have yours (again). I’d also like you have my sincerest condolences about your mate. My only advice would be to try and give yourself the time, space and energy to try and absorb it (grieve…) and learn from it as best you can. Life (like football?) is tough, but there (maybe?) are things to be appreciated and enjoyed amidst all the difficulties… Cheers…

  686. 17highburyterrace says:

    Well, I wanted to get that one out of the way early…

    Excellent comment there Gerry about the actual match, tough turnaround to Tuesday vs Hammers, I think…

    Also, a great quote from Arteta there AFC, Shit as he might be, that was an awesome first pen, I thought, and the work of a real leader, much as BFG getting the goal for the one he gave was as well. Of course, maybe neither of them are good enough to be first 11 at a club like Arsenal, let alone being the (de facto) leaders… These are legitimate questions I think, but maybe it’s being two-faced to say that while simultaneously suggesting that I love both of them and what they’ve given to the club during a very difficult period…

    Welcome back, Total, I’m not sure if you’ve kept up with the comments. I’ve got a couple in there where I inadvertently used the banned word. Sorry… Please (please, please…) put something new up. We NEED to move on (IMO) AND my old computer is struggling with the reload volume.

    How was the holiday? Good, I hope and a nice break from the difficulty of being an Arsenal supporter. Personally, I think yesterday may have been us hitting rock-bottom and getting a little upward bounce. Gotta win on Tuesday (and then next Sunday and then the next one and the next and the next, and then spend big and fire the right people and hire the right people and on and on and on…) but that’s how it goes… Hopefully you’re feeling refreshed and up for it… Cheers…

  687. 17highburyterrace says:

    Anybody watching the “big” match at Anfield? Suarez (best player in world football?) looks super-up for it and has already gotten a yellow and an assist. Seemed to me like Hart (the English Szcz?…) might’ve backed off to his near post rather than leaving it open for Sterling to kick into. City are definitely on the back foot but have only conceded the one rather than the 4 we did in the first 20 mins…Can’t really get the ball out of their half, however… (The other) Yaya hurt and done for the day (or longer)?…

  688. 17highburyterrace says:

    2 nil… Shocking defense at consecutive corners. Hart saved the first and (maybe) should’ve saved the 2nd. The quality of the corner kicks (Coutinho and Gerrard, respectively) was excellent… City in real trouble now with Nasri maybe their best goal threat on the pitch and Pool happy to play on the break…

  689. James Bond says:

    cheers and welcome back as well @ skipper 🙂

    yep, Man city got their tactics and starting 11 all wrong in my opinion and then lost yaya toure to injury after the first 15.

    anyway, I still think Man city will end up winning this one or drawing it at least…time to bring on Aguero and Negredo both for Navas and Garcia, if I were the man city manager..

    man city unlucky not to get a penalty in my opinion….I don’t know what it is but Liverpool have been getting a lot of decisions go their way after that very public outburst by Rodgers some months ago – hmmmmmmm

    @ 17HT

  690. James Bond says:

    nice balanced comments as usual @17HT

    can i just butt in re- that Arteta is *hit one – you know, I find it extremely frustrating to watch Arteta on the field these days as he clearly is trying to do his best, however, his game seems to have taken a step backwards and he is getting very leggy , he seems to be losing pace at a much more rapid pace than Terry Mancini has been losing hair 😯

    no but seriously, where are the long passes of the passing range of long balls spreading play from left to right and so on which he had before ? his confidence much like the teams has dwindled down it seems and I for one will be very surprised , if he was starting the big games next season….or let’s just say if he was still in the starting 11 for games agaisnt BM, Chelsea, Man city and so on then we are well n truly in a crisis – he still has a role to play at Arsenal but a similar one like Rosicky , in my opinion.

    and yes, that penalty was sublime and perfecto yesterday !

  691. 17highburyterrace says:

    Hey 007, Breaking up your comments–now I see how you’ve become our “top poster”… Thanks for keeping it going yesterday, even if I should’ve avoided the bait and kept my own counsel…

    Hopefully we can move on from that… As such, maybe I’ll say a couple of things about our match…

    Our current squad is not very good. Luckily we *might* be better than the teams we have to play. Wigan is a team (currently) used to winning whereas some of the others might cave in if we can get a little luck. On the other hand, unless Wenger is lying about the injuries (and I pray that he is, esp. re: Rosicky) we’re gonna have some tired guys for Tuesday.

    I was impressed with the 120 mins given by the two (very, very) young forwards (Sanogo and Ox) but things just didn’t quite come off for them. Yaya’s got more pace than our other CFs (but so do I)… Both of them need some goals in these final games to get their confidence up. That said, they never seemed to go into a shell or try and disappear. Ramsey (the remaining young player) ran and ran but it was all very one-paced and nobody was moving off his tight circles and giving him targets for his cross-body passes. When players start doing that, the chances and goals will happen…

    The older group needs improvement…People are very down on Santi (after the publishing of his comments, maybe…) but he’s clearly a guy who (also) needs players working towards the stengths of his game. I thought he did OK and I also think he helps out defensively (sacrificing his forward game) a lot more than people appreciate. At nil-nil and thinking we might play 120 mins, it’s not such a bad thing, perhaps… At this moment, with all the injuries, Santi on the left (Giroud’s only good side for 1-2s) and Ollie in the middle, unfortunately, is our best attacking combo and what I hope to see vs West Ham. Otherwise (like yesterday…) it’s all very random and built on Ox or Poldi having a moment of individual brilliance. Ox, I think, wants to play the combo game (and will learn it…) but Lu-lu has given it up, I fear. Hopefully Rosicky was merely rested yesterday, not truly hurt or that Ozil is back (very soon). We looked in dire need of somebody to build around in the #10 spot. Kallstrom, on the back of his PK and his desire to get right into the fray, maybe could contribute. His size seems nice as well. The “physicality” of the teams we have to play will certainly be an advantage they will use given how thin (and tired) we appear… That said, I cannot question the nerves of the “capped internationals” and the uncapped one (Arteta) with those PKs…And, sadly, 007 I agree with your assessment of Mikel. With JW and Ozil hurt and Flamini banned (agreed with your thoughts there too)… He must play and (I think) he’s still a leader out there…

    That’s at the offensive end. People may get their wish in Nacho being done. Vermaelen played well, I thought, but the desire of BFG (see my first long comment of the day) was both his strength and his undoing. Sagna was excellent (as always) but you can see why he might want an opportunity to play with better teammates….

    The keeper question is a good one and a manager less concerned with the confidence of his guys might make a switch to reward yesterday’s hero (Fabianski). We *should* be able to beat all these teams no matter which Pole is in goal but I fear for the small margins in each match. Fabianski has the better reactions, Szcz is taller and more decisive, though sometimes, of course, the decisions are wrong… I’d like both of them in the team come August, but I’d also like Sagna there too (and Wenger as manager…) so I’m probably a bit of dreamer…

    City avoid giving a 3rd and looked better right at the end of the half but Pool do enough to keep the 2 goal margin…Can’t see them winning (or drawing) this one w/o a call or a bit of luck. Next goal is huge…

  692. James Bond says:

    suraz the cheat is a very lucky boy and clattenburg bottles it – that was a 2nd yellow , stone wall for diving and he didn’t get the card out.

    again a big decision for for liverpool hmmmmm

  693. 17highburyterrace says:

    Milner in, makes a goal (through Silva) but was offside… Neither of these teams truly impresses me but they are playing without the nerves (handbrake?) and there’s one REALLY good player out there, even if he’s a cheater, etc.

    Same combo works this time, 2-1 and we’ve got a game…

    Haha, Suarez right in the middle of City trying to get the game kicked off again quickly…

  694. James Bond says:

    get in Silva – 2-1

    that will send the cat amongst the piegons (anfield crowd)

    game on.

    oh and 17HT has posted a comment , goody good, let me get to it

  695. 17highburyterrace says:

    The yellows for diving have evaporated and nobody will get a 2nd for sure…

    Silva playing well but the Bosnian Bendtner (Dzeko) cannot get on the end of a fine cross…

    Pathetic dive from Sturridge after he can’t find the pass to Suarez (who started the break brilliantly)… City let the corner bounce but get it away…

  696. James Bond says:

    2-2

    ahahahahahhahahahahahahaahhahahahahahah

  697. 17highburyterrace says:

    2-2, a Johnson OG? All David Silva…Wow…back level, so maybe you’re correct there, Superspy… Oooh, Mingo might’ve done better on that one…Slow reaction at the near post…

  698. James Bond says:

    let’s remind ourselves one more time –

    Wigan beat this man city team at home (potential champions of the EPL),

    yeah, Dzeko is the new Giroud or has he always Giroud been the new Dzeko 😯

    saying that, Benzema isn’t that better either from both of them !

  699. James Bond says:

    there you go, another theatrical dive of sorts by the cheat Suarez – if that’s not a penalty then surely a yellow – the ref gives neither

    dzekooooooooo, oh you should have scored there, bread n butter for a striker, how on earth he manages to not score

  700. James Bond says:

    here comes a real world class striker – enter Kun Aguero

    this ones Man city to lose now, they are all over Liverpool.

  701. 17highburyterrace says:

    Haha 007, but what about Morata?… That Granada match was incredible last night…Barca guys did everything right except getting it in the net. Cesc and Song looked as good (or bad?) as Neymar and Messi…

    I think, if we’re being subtle about comparing Dzeko to our forwards, Bendy is the one because their both big but don’t play the hold up game. Giroud is a different ball of, er, wax…

    On that note, have you talked to your sauce lately? Sounds like the guy lacking the vowels (from the Swiss league) as the Remy talk has gone quiet… Bigger need at DM but all I hear are wishful stuff about German players or the So’ton fellas… Those summer ideas about Cabaye or (even) G.Barry don’t look so bad in hindsight…

  702. 17highburyterrace says:

    Agreed Bond about the complexion of this match. Navas is the better player but Milner (the ancient Ox?…) brings the directness…

    Oh, Silva just a toe slow on Kun’s perfect turn, run and pass…

  703. 17highburyterrace says:

    Draw today suits City just fine, no? I can’t be arsed to actually think about the table and games in hand, etc.

    Everybody realizes, I hope, that Pool turned down Theo for 7-10 million two summers ago because they had Sterling…

    Coutinho makes it 3-2!

  704. 17highburyterrace says:

    Wow, that was, er, some clearance from Kompany…

  705. James Bond says:

    Morata, I reckon his agents are putting him in the news to get him out of spain and possibly Dortmund ?

    no, the only person I have spoken to recently are my other half and BK 🙂

    oh Vinny, you silly silly boy…gifts liverpool a 3rd !

  706. James Bond says:

    yes, Draw suits Chelsea even better but yes, will do for City….- agreed

  707. 17highburyterrace says:

    Musical strikers, Summer 2014… PSG get Benzema, RM get one of the former Atleti guys (El Kun or Falcao), Suarez to City? (But only if Aguero goes)…On the plus side, United look to be stuck with both Rooney AND RvP…

    I gotta say, Suarez (with nobody giving yellows for diving AND him able to actually look for a pass to half decent teammates) is quite a force…Best in the world at present or maybe just looking the best because he’s on a worse team (but maybe more balanced) than Messi or Ronaldo?

    Time running down for City…

  708. James Bond says:

    on to your long comment –

    no worries, I have been there myself and i know how it goes when tempers flare up and things get lost in translation , The Aussies have obviously been influenced by Glics – so let us all blame the protector of doom and gloom for this one, ha

    re- our squad then yes, agreed with you on that one…and we should be able to beat all the remaining teams we face as we are pretty consistent at being flat track bullies 😉

    re- Santiago – I guess he is playing with an injury plus he lacks that bit of understanding with the current players around him ? it’s only natural after you lose the core of the team but he still has a future at Arsenal and is one of our big players, however, for him to work or get back to his best, we need Ramsey match fit .

    what a difference a fit Ramsey will make to the end of our season !!! still our 2nd highest goal scorer even if he was out for 4 months (a story own its own).

    seems like pool have got this one in the bag, thanks to the ref.

  709. James Bond says:

    most top clubs are after a world class striker, so you never know @ 17HT

    Chelsea,

    Real Madrid,

    Dortmund,

    Arsenal

    Barca (if they get the ban over turned)

    am sure Monaco, AT-M might be in there somewhere too.

    hence it’s imperative for Arsenal to get the business done nice and early (before the world cup, even if it means forking out a premium).

    finally a red card but a little too late, I reckon.

  710. James Bond says:

    10 out of 10 for Pool –
    effectively +1 ahead of Man city, if man city win both their games in hand hmmmmmmmm

  711. 17highburyterrace says:

    So good to have you back, 007, so sorry about the health issues…

    The reffing is madness. It would all improve A LOT if the yellows for diving returned. The World cup is gonna be a mess and we’re gonna really have diving issues afterwards, I would guess. That said, Henderson is off with a double Flamini… On the plus side, the way they call the matches leads to the goal-fests…

    We gotta cut the Aussies more slack, I realized, when I was awake a 3 this morning…

    Speaking of which, I’ve gotta get another coffee but I’ll watch a little Moo-Misery (or the Swan-strangling?…) with ya… Brutal how Flamini got the two goals (for Swans, against City) for the 2 points when not getting them would’ve netted us 3…

    So, does this result mean Man City at Everton on the final day for either Pool win and Everton get 4th or City and Arsenal get those two, assuming (and it’s a BIG assumption, esp with us…) that all teams play perfect to that point? No, a quick look suggests Pool control their own chances…

  712. 17highburyterrace says:

    Re: strikers, then we’re already done with Drmic or Remy coming in… (Shakes head…)

    So, after your time off, are you on the Wenger Out train? Seems like just about everybody is and with the support divided as we are there’s the argument we’ll all come together around somebody new…

    How do you do that hahahahahahahahaha thing across the page?…

  713. James Bond says:

    yes, scenarios and assumptions – we have been here before , haven’t we with Arsenal and perhaps we are the experts in doing scenarios thanks to our team always making things that bit more difficult for themselves and all us gooners :Evil:

    AW got it right, if we win all our games, we finish 4th or even 3rd (if Chelsea don’t win at swansea today).

    neither – I’m on the train where I let AW decide for himself, whether he wants to stay for a further 2 years and go bananas with the overhauling of the squad and get in the player he wants at all costs ( if he can somehow separate the economist in him and let the manager in him take charge, tell the suits what players he wants and he wants them at all costs , regardless of how much they cost because it’s no longer his problem and wants to reap the fruits of his own labour) he bloody deserves it – in essence 3 big signings and we should be ok… (£100 million well spent ?

    he can off set this by selling Poldi , with NB , DJ , Park and so on already on their way out in a good way –

    or if he decides to leave, then we respect his decision and give him a farewell that he deserves.

    if you ask my opinion, then it’s like Prince quoted one of the songs ” Take me back to the start” in the words of cold play…

    get the 3 big signings done and then take us back to the start AW – stay for another 2 years, this is the time when the likes of Klopp/Pep / Martinez can come in , if AW decides to retire after one last hurrah.

    getting in a new manager to replace AW might not be ideal, I would give him 2 more years and let him win more trophies with his own squad which he has built (Theo, Sczny, Ramsey, OX, JW, Gnabry e.t.c e.t.c

    although, that guy from Holland Van Gaal is supposedly keen on taking over from Wenger at the Emirates, if AW doesn’t sign the dotted line (interesting).

    am off now, catch you later – been a pleasure as always blogging with you !

    cheers

  714. James Bond says:

    oh yikes, forgot to add on that character thingy…

    you know I was really disappointed when at Everton, there was a little tussle between Arteta and young Ross….

    not a single Arsenal player went there to support Arteta, when all that was going on – Baines came running at Arteta to give him an earful but not 1 Arsenal player went there to stand shoulder to shoulder with Arteta to tell baines or ross to fuck off –

    big deal we were losing 3-0, we have lost with a far more bigger and deflating scoreline and performance but for me that was very alarming and not nice to see – love him or hate them, both Flamini and JW least stand up for their team mates – it’s like Giroud had been stomped earlier on twice by dirty adam’s and it was the same story.

    this all comes down to leadership or lack off ?

  715. 17highburyterrace says:

    Sorry you’ve got to run 007, best to the missus, thanks for answering my questions…I don’t see Swansea taking points off Chavs today… Disagree about the leadership thing re:Barkley., but like I say, I’m not a fighter… IMO it was just another missed call by Atkinson. If he and his linesman had called that game accurately it would’ve been a draw…

    OK, coffee in me…and just watched the Gerrard interview. They’ve got a strong (English) leader there and with the best player in the league. As such if Suarez continues to be allowed to play his (cheater’s) game, I think they should be able to get this thing done. Chelsea, I guess, if they win all their matches, including at Anfield, can win it, too… Who’s the ref for that one, Dean, Webb or Atkinson, surely, now that Marriner can’t keep his Sturridges straight from his Sterlings…

    What’s curious, (tip of the hat here for the Master of the Keeper of the Doom…) is that this 4th place biz is becoming more and more of a relegation thing. Even IF Pool win the league AND they keep Suarez, AND they spend reasonably big to help in defense and DM, would they still be favorites for a top 4 finish next season? Surely United will strengthen and Arsenal, crap as we are, are top 4 material even IF we have to play those extra CL matches…

    The silly money clubs (maybe) are beyond worrying about managerial stability but clearly Pool and United have been affected, leaving opportunity for teams like Everton and Spurs. Many would argue that we *should* be too, but I don’t see it that way, which is my argument for keeping the course. Time will tell, of course, but my big fear are these next 5 years of our own Dalglish or Moyes (or AVB) at the helm… Remember the whole, “we’ve got money to spend” argument, goes up in whatever you’re smoking if you give it to the wrong guy. On the other hand, some will argue that Wenger, already IS the wrong guy–Here are his 10 biggest buys (in reverse order–Dennis and TH14 no longer make the list…)

    10:Poldolski
    9: Hleb
    8: Ox-Cham
    7: Giroud
    6: Reyes
    5: Wiltord
    4: Nasri
    3: Arshavin
    2: Cazorla
    1: Ozil

    Of course, his net spend is basically zero so he’s more or less built the team on the same budget or less than some clubs currently playing in the Championship… If, however, those guys on the team (but not on the list) are injured all the time or (worse) are just plain crap, who cares which league(s) we play in…

    Anyhow, if TA were taking posts, this might make for one…As it is…We’re going (back) to Wembley (if you want a positive spin) or we got incredibly lucky yesterday and it all dies (again) in 50 hours as we try to play better long ball (with a team of midgets…) than Fat Sam and the Hammers…

    C’mon you Swans?..

  716. Dylan says:

    I maintain my prediction for the final. Arsenal 17 Sheffield 0. Come on Blades!

  717. Admir says:

    “Time will tell, of course, but my big fear are these next 5 years of our own Dalglish or Moyes (or AVB) at the helm… Remember the whole, “we’ve got money to spend” argument, goes up in whatever you’re smoking if you give it to the wrong guy.”

    @17, I don’t know where to start. Whilst you made me chuckle by comparing Džeko to Bendtner, I picked this line above to make a bigger comment.

    Here is the thing: Arsene Wenger might become (or might have been already) our own Dalglish – a club legend that didn’t understand winds of change which caused all sorts of trouble for his club. Wenger sold Van Prick and signed Giroud and Podolski for similar amount of money with latter being one of the best paid players in the club. I fail to see a financial gain there except that we replaced a world-class striker with two average ones.

    One of the best Arsenal bloggers has written a few times that people who are afraid of change shouldn’t bring that argument out unless they were certain that hiring certain manager from Japanese league would be a major success. Plato, on the other hand, made a wonderful “Allegory of the cave”.

    Of course, there is nobody who can guarantee us that our next manager will propel us to the top in a way Brendan Rodgers (helped with circumstances) has done with Liverpool but there is also nobody who could predict a certain failure to us if we replace Wenger with Klopp, Martinez, Van Gaal or someone relatively unknown like Wenger had been (and I have my doubts on each one of them based on my knowledge of their work).

    Nevertheless, reaching a final in the FA Cup is a great thing and I can already imagine a headline after the match: “Mesut Özil’s 10th goal (I suppose he will score before that game too) of the season ends Arsenal trophy drought”. Hull won’t be push-overs in that match, that’s for sure. Since 1999-2000 only two finals have ended with two-or-bigger margin (“It-s-only-Ray-Parlour”-final in 2002 and United-Millwall 3:0 in 2004) – seven of last nine have ended with one-goal-margin and in two occasions the winner has been decided by penalties.

    Now, until that match we have to raise our game in the league. Here is the worrying fact – we haven’t won a single game since that defeat of Spuds on 15th March.

    Speaking of funny things, one of producers of Doctor Who is named Piers Wenger. 😀

  718. 17highburyterrace says:

    As long as you’re chuckling with respect, Admir 🙂 … I actually wanted to ask you your thoughts on Dzeko, seems a bit more disciplined than our Bendy boy… Funny stuff about Piers Wenger… My kid is a big Dr. Who fan and I fell asleep watching an episode of it last night…

    Yeah, you’re right about being unable to disprove a negative (of course)…Just expressing my fears. (Note the repeated use of the unnecessary term, in my opinion, which I add not only to make my posts longer…) Unlike many who see our players not showing up, I fear they’ve actually played above expectations *for* AW, (much as some at ManU played better for SAF)… So, in other words, unless the new guy can keep up that level and spend the money (maybe better than AW…) it could be a right mess. Like I tried to express re: the testimonial idea, I might actually be LESS convinced about the true depth of our squad (in a “manager neutral” scenario, if that makes any sense)… but, I’ve also been accused of talking out of both sides of my arse, so there you go…

    10 man Swans keep Chavs at nil-nil until old man Ba slips one past Vorm in the 67th… Early sending off on the sillier side, IMO…

    Hull in the final means that our match next weekend at their place will be all the tougher given that if they lose it they can’t feel good on the return trip to Wembley… Of course, if we were to beat them in the league we’d likely be over-confident (guys already on vacation–in Brazil or otherwise)… Nothing easy EVER for Arsenal, I fear..

    I was wrong earlier…It’s Pool’s to lose now…Even if Chavs win up there….

    Happy Sunday everyone…

  719. Dylan says:

    Hull 5 Sheffield 3. Arsenal v Hull will be the FA Cup final. COYG!

  720. Hi ! Cockie the Merciless, Enforcer of The Rod of Doom here !. 😆
    Remember Sussy Puckers, I didn`t expect 4th this year, so I will keep with that, as the excuses of fatigue will be filling the Emirates air on Tuesday night against a fresh and inform West Ham !.
    As for the FAC Final, this will be another 50/50 like the semi !. Even if we miraculously manage to get our first choice eleven fit ( apart from Theo ) and it`s 5 weeks away from the final, I expect another squeaky bum final !. I`ve seen ( and so have you lot ) enough shocks in finals over the years and Arsenal are one of the best at it for losing them, to know it`s a toss of the coin, so either a monkey of the back moment or our 4th various final defeat on the trot and given ( a pre sorry to 17 ! ) that at this moment in time we are, imo, worse than last season, basically playing shit, I expect the worse !.
    Do I want to see this final with a supply of Arsenal diapers ?….of course I do and have sounded out my mate across the road to speak to his friend who has some connection to the FA ( she was in Rio etc` ) to see if and how many tickets she can get !…….. not sure if I will need a ticket for the sofa !.

  721. 17highburyterrace says:

    Hi Rodman (my favorite basketball player)… No need to apologize to me as I know the squad is very poor. If you’re daring to see the match live you must have a tiny inkling of confidence deep down in the boing region, however, I dare say…

    If PPP ever comes back on I was only upset with the timing and authority in yesterday’s declarations. There’s plenty to discuss but I think the guys are trying their best out there even if the handbrake is on due to the extreme pressure on them with their loyalty to manager. Or at least that’s my theory. Do we need a new manager (maybe) for whom the players are less worried? It’s a possibility, I think…

    Anyhow, “getting in” should be easy for a guy like you given you’re probably at least as good as another hoops player–Wilt Chamberlain… http://mentalfloss.com/article/12310/did-wilt-chamberlain-really-sleep-20000-women Have fun!

  722. Admir says:

    Dennis Rodman is actually the Dennis that made me an Arsenal fan at the first place which makes me probably the only Arsenal fan in the world that was drawn to Arsenal by THAT Dennis. 😀 I read a parallel interview with Ian Wright and Dennis Rodman as examples of bad boys. I liked Rodman, I liked what I’d read about Wright and the rest is history.

    @17, in my book, Džeko is somewhere between Bendtner and Lewandowski (yes, there is a huge gap between those two). He can score important goals and against big teams (Arsenal, Bayern, Manchester United, Real Madrid). Four-goal-haul against Spuds at Shite Fart Lame wasn’t bad either. He has won two titles in two different leagues and his goals were crucial (especially for Wolfsburg). He has been a key player for our national team ever since he has scored a brilliant goal in a debut against Turkey (he wouldn’t have played at the first place if most of our players hadn’t been on strike due to corruption in our FA) and the main reason that we will play in Brazil.

    However, Džeko has been poor lately and it seems that ever since he has been involved in change of body fluids with Amra Silajdžić, he hasn’t been that effective on the pitch. I would have taken him in a heart-beat last summer. Now – I don’t know. If he is the only thing that we can sign to replace Giroud, I’d sign him. Most of people here thinks that he should have signed for Arsenal from Wolfsburg at the first place.

    I’m a fan of Doctor Who as well. 🙂

  723. 17highburyterrace says:

    Hey Admir…a quick google of that Amra gal suggest that she *could* be a distraction….

    I always think of Dzeko and Bendtner as “thunder runners” — Not so bad once they get up to speed, but also not very adept at cutting down their long strides to do quicker work like Lewa (a smaller guy) can do… Bendy’s career seems about as good as over, of course… Giroud, lacks the pace and is only a bit quick going onto his left foot. He also would drop to the ground like a Suarez if he thought he could get away with it… Any hope for Yaya (our Yaya…) after yesterday’s display? Any thoughts on the Croatian (Swiss) fellow (Drmic)?…

    Yeah, Dennis Rodman, aka the “worm,” allowed me to take up basketball at a very late age. Like him, I had no skills, but I could run and play defense so I was still a valuable guy in a pick-up game… Plenty of fun until I moved to the mountains where all the decent athletes were out on the snow all winter… (And the big guys who played ball just played for fouls so they could breathe…)

    I used to play a lot of golf too… 20 year old kid looks like he might get in today as youngest big tourney winner ever…10 holes to go…

    C’mon people, where’s all the Wenger/Arsenal hate (or love–the two extremes being so close together, after all)?… I can’t hold up the sky all by myself…

  724. TotalArsenal says:

    New Post – New Post 🙂

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