Theo’s Leftie, Alexis’ Missile, BFG’s Shoulder, Ollie’s Flick: Sex on Grass!


By now we all know the result of the game, but beforehand there was high tension, as we weren’t sure what the team was going to be?

Finally it was announced about 45 minutes before kick off. Would it be Giroud, or would it be Walcott? Would it be Ospina or would it be Szczesney? In the end Arsene Wenger went for Walcott as the central striker, and with Szcesney in goal.

So the team was: Szczesney; Monreal; Koscielny; Bellerin; Coquelin; Cazorla; Alexis; Ozil; Ramsey; Walcott.

The scene was set. We had attacking lineup with a lot of pace, but we were always going to be vulnerable to a counter-attack from Aston Villa. Many of the commentators thought it was going to be a close game because we might not play a top game. I took the view early on this week that we should play the attackers in the team that played the week before, against West Bromwich, and won so comprehensively.. The reason for that was simple, we needed pace, and we needed to be unpredictable. That I think we achieved as the game unfolded.

The assumption was that it was a 4-2-3-1 formation, but the reality rarely matched those positions.

For a start Ramsey was not seen wide right very often. Walcott and Alexis interchanged, while Ozil moved around in his usual fashion. Add to the mix Monreal supporting Alexis regularly down the line, and Cazorla moving in and out, wide and central, forward and deep. Ramsey made some penetrating from deep, and Bellerin was always on hand down the right.

In the opening few minutes it was clear that our passing game was going to be quick and dynamic. This proved to be the key to winning the game. With Walcott upfront interchanging with Alexi’s, and Ozil providing key passes we always looked dangerous. But the puppetmaster was Santi Cazorla. He was the one who provided the passes from the back and kept moving around and always making himself available to receive and recycle it quickly. Alongside him was Coquelin. And he was second in the stats for the most passes,and with a high success rate. With that pair at the back we had a wonderful platform to move the forwards around. However despite numerous shots and some splendid saves from Shay Given, it was 40 minutes before we had a breakthrough. It came from a lovely passing move involving Coquelin who passed out wide to Theo Walcott. He then played a perfect ball inside for Monreal to race on to near the by line, and he quickly chipped across into the centre which was met by Alexis Sanchez, who saw the space about halfway inside the box. and headed it in that direction. Walcott typified the off ball movement that was so key, did not stop to admire his inch perfect pass to Monreal, instead he switched inside and made for the space that Alexis had spotted. Coming in at speed, he was off the ground when he lashed the ball low and hard with his left foot, and squeezed it in at the near post. The ‘keeper had absolutely no chance because his view was blocked by two players and only saw it at the very last second. A superb opening goal, and deserving of all the effort that had gone before..

We even managed to achieve a more possibilities in the last five minutes of the first half, but the score stayed at one nil.

In previous matches we have tended to favour fade a little towards the end of the second half, and I was worried about that on this big Wembley pitch. I needn’t have. I expected Villa to come out and undo the damage that they had allowed to happen in the first half.  They did not have long to wait before their fate was sealed. This was an Alexis Sanchez special, as he moved inside and hit a wonder strike from 35 yards, which turned and twisted in flight, and kissed the underside of the crossbar as it flew into top of the goal. A goal that is now been said to be one of the best FA Cup goal in recent years, if not of all time. That goal was created partly by the movement of Monreal who cut in behind of him as Alexis got the ball, and took away two defenders. In fact most of Arsenal’s attacks was all about movement off the ball, and none better than this example by Monreal. I could also mention that Theo Walcott had moved out to the wide left and allowed Sanchez to move inside the first goal. And it was this movement between players that left the Villa defence very confused.

Our third goal came from a corner, which we had several, but this time the corner came in and was met by Per Mertersacker, albeit off his shoulder. Nevertheless, a goal is a goal. And that really sealed the game for Vllla, who never quite got to grips with us at any time, and as the game wore on you could see the fight had gone out of them. Token last goal, which was set up beautifully by Oxlade-Chamberlain, who had only come a few minutes before. He took the ball beyond the line of the last defenders, crossed it straight across in front goal,  but it was met with perfect timing by Giroud, who stepped in and scored with the outside of his left boot, to beat the keeper with a trademark finish at the near post.

That made it 4-0, and full time was called shortly afterwards. Then the celebrations began, for the Gunner’s fans at least..

Arsene Wenger can take great credit for selecting the team he did. It would not have been easy for him to leave out a player like Jack Wilshire who played equally well as Theo Walcott in the previous game, but he opted for Aaron Ramsey instead. Probably for the better defence he might provide. As it turned out he had less defending to do than in previous games. He too, was unlucky in front of goal, having hit the post and had near misses. But like all the rest of the team he can be proud of his contribution. Another who could be particularly proud of his contribution was Woijech Szczesney. I saw when they were introducing the game on television, in the background Ospina was giving Szczesney a series of balls crossed in just towards the edge of the box, to help get him in the mood for clearing balls meant for Benteke’s head, and it proved very very useful. Apart from one ball which he didn’t quite get to over the crowd of players, but that came to naught, he never looked like making an error in front of goal, and so kept the clean sheet we all hoped he would. Per Mertersacker and Laurent Koscielny were also in imperious form in the centre of defence. Monreal was a real clever move by the manager, as he is taken up a role similar to what Sagna did when he was playing at right back. And that is receiving a ball kick out by the goalkeeper. Since he has been playing at centre half he has really improved his game at full-back. And it it is this heading ability which came to notice when he cut out several cross field balls that were aimed at at their wide players. But also as I mentioned, kicks from the goalkeeper. At right back Hector Bellerin was his usual forceful self going forward and always provided support for the attack. His only blemish in this game was the possibility of giving a penalty away, when he pulled down Jack Grealish. However, I think there was a technicality which may have prevented it being called a penalty, as neither player were actually on the pitch, as shown by the replays. I’m not sure if that is correct in the laws of the game, but I suspect it might be? There was another penalty shout when Frances Coquelin made the slightest contact with the ball, but also tripped up Gabby right on the edge of the penalty area. It look like a penalty at first showing, definitely a free kick, but the referee gave nothing … except a yellow card for protesting. It couldn’t happen to a nicer player …tic

However, given that Aston Villa only had two shots on target throughout the entire game it shows what a great game the whole defence did in keeping them out, so I think these two little blemishes can be somewhat overlooked, and were not punished by the referee in any case.

So history was made and Arsene Wenger has now won equally the most FA cups. Perhaps more importantly Arsenal have now overtaken Manchester United in winning the most FA cups.This was their 12th win. Compared with the pressure last year of just winning a piece of silverware, this was much easier on their shoulders and they played with great confidence.

We all hope now that they will go on from this into next season and be a real force for the title race. Really there’s no reason why they shouldn’t. The team has great unity and most of the players who played today will be there next season. I feel, but even if some do depart, we do have some splendid up-and-coming players that will press for places in the squad.

There will be a course a clamour from some quarters to improve the squad, but I don’t think there will be many players coming in to disrupt the unity which they have got at this moment in time.

All in all it was a triumph for tactical superiority. Every player at the top of their game. The result of which, made it one of the best finals that has been seen for a long long time. The movement of the players off the ball, receiving the ball with instant control, passing the ball accurately and quickly was what made it spectacularly good for Arsenal.

it was after all, played the Arsenal way.

By Gerry.

84 thoughts on “Theo’s Leftie, Alexis’ Missile, BFG’s Shoulder, Ollie’s Flick: Sex on Grass!

  • Kind words in the intro TA. Many thanks.

    Too many errors for me to be too happy with. Very difficult to spot every little one that DT slipped in, and close to being right.

    At least it is there to be read, and hopefully anyone reading it in the future, can get a sense of why it was such a special win?
    All too often we have wish the team to play to their very best, and all too often we have been disappointed … especially in big games?

    This time it happened BIG TIME! To a man you could not fault their commitment or their class, often doing things that they might not have risked in other games. But confidence and belief was breathed into the the whole squad … right down to the little cameo at the end where Giroud put away a ball that was far difficult than a dozen others he has had during his goal drought. And the Ox, who only came on in the 85th minute, looked as confident as any, as he breeze past the hapless Villa defence.

    It was a very very special performance, and we should treasure every bit as much as the oft quoted ‘golden years’, the ‘Invincibles’ ,and all.

    It really was that good. So to say I have done it justice, is really special. Thanks again.

  • It was special indeed, Gerry. And that’s what we love Arsenal for: real football. So much more fun than formations or TW speculations. 😉

  • Your point about movement is on the money too, and you were right to highlight Nacho’s contributions in this respect.

    My highlights were: the whole first goal, especially Alexis’ assist; that goal; Ozil’s thrust; le Coq’s bite; the BFG’s celebration of his goal.

    Back later.

  • Very enjoyable read Gerry…

    How many times, have I witnessed/watched on TV, an Arsenal team not quite fulfilling its true potential on the big stage?

    More than I care to remember unfortunately…

    But not on this occasion, I thought our team was magnificent…
    It was a joy to behold.

    I wonder what Abramovitch was thinking, if he watched the game?

  • Smashing read Gerry. Captured all the relevant action superbly. What a joyous day to be a GOONER on Saturday, watching football played as it should be. Mr. Wenger was MOTM for me, hats off to the professor.

    Whilst Sanchez/Cazorla/Ozil/Walcott/Coquelin took most of the praise, and rightly so, i have to say our unsung hero left back Monreal had a stormer. He made the first and assisted with the second to get us on the front foot.

    The whole team played their part. Just add/tweak the squad with SQ in the summer and who knows………..we may be contenders next season.

  • Gerry, Well Done!…There may be some stray punctuation here and there but you’ve captured the essence of the game. Very cool that the voice recognition software seems to be helping…

    Too often, I think, our view of a performance (and thus the trajectory and inherent quality of the team…) is buried in the result and the individuals who do the scoring or make the mistakes. In this one, with such a comprehensive scoreline, we can honor (American spelling…) the performance as we should. We had to wait a bit to get going on the goal tally (which is always nervy…) but you could tell Villa were being worn down as they were forced to foul and take the yellow cards. As such, the potential for going 120 minutes ALWAYS worked to our advantage and it just became a matter of time. (Timmy Tactics, I think, should’ve been far more overt in trying to slow the game and park the bus. I was surprised he went so small in midfield and didn’t use the Colombian with the big hair–Carlos Sanchez–as a 5th defender…) The bottom line is that Villa wanted to believe they could play with us but we outclassed them-in every position–by taking the proverbial handbrake and smashing the windscreen with it! Really, they couldn’t get near us…and when we did give the ball away (on balls that nearly got through for serious chances…) it was just a bit of work (eagerly done) to get it back…

    Like you note, it’s all about movement. As observed, Ramsey only went wide right (where he was “supposed” to be) on a few occasions. Instead we overloaded them down Hutton’s side with Ozil alternately pulling the space wider and thinner, even if (as Stuart Robson pointed out, hoping to damn him early on…) he didn’t actually touch the ball for the first 6 minutes of the match. Given that Kieran Richardson on their left side (our right…) played brilliantly for an hour, working the left was probably the better idea. He’ll never get the credit he deserves amongst those who are fixated on the ball, but my hunch is that if you ask his teammates, they would say Ozil is THE best (they’ve ever played with…) at making them better…

    That said, Alexis deserves a lot of credit for doing his share of the movement thing–which perhaps was the greatest dividend of starting Theo over Ollie. Theo popping up in different spots and even holding the ball up with one mazy dribble, albeit towards the center circle…(which Ollie also does, but generally much better…) seemed to allow Alexis (and Rambo) to fill those areas with more conviction. The first goal served as the blueprint for such exchanges with Alexis on the right and Theo working with Nacho (and blasting the goal) from the left. The second goal was more traditional Alexis work, but Villa were running on fumes by that time and we done with the closing down stuff which worked for the first half hour or so…

    It was a great send-off for the summer and it will temper the transfer talk just a bit (although it had the opposite effect here…) Transfers ARE exciting and the team that spends the most (on salaries–which are driven by transfer numbers…) SHOULD have the advantage. If that’s your thing, it should be VERY exciting times at the clubs in the greater Manchester area (i.e., City, United and Liverpool…) not to mention those teams out in the CL semis (Bayern, Real Madrid). Still, a team playing together as a real unit can do amazing things. Given that Chavs, City and United will be outspending us, we will have to try and be the better team, and on that front it’s really only Chelsea who was able to so this past season (and, don’t forget, they choked, big time vs PSG)… And, at least we have a bit of a blueprint with this match and a positive memory for a high pressure situation handled superbly…

    At the level to which we aspire, EVERY match is high pressure… Luckily, we now have depth at every position which has experienced that sort of pressure, so we should be better prepared to rotate as fitness dictates over the entire (marathon) season. Hold onto those players (allowing them to compete for playing time…), do a bit of gentle tweaking or take a punt or two on extreme but (as of yet) unrealized talent in our weaker areas would seem the plan. Not as exciting as promises of spending huge and a total makeover (for some…) but It doesn’t bother me as I’ll take a good glow into the summer off that performance and skip out on clicking on the titles that tempt with titillation in the tabloids…

    Big week for me…gotta run…(try and) enjoy… 😀

  • Thank you allezkev. It was how I will remember the game. I expect many to pick up on other points too. I did not have the time to cover everything, so just the key points beforehand, the big highlight moments of the game, and what the whole team did well at.
    Even now I can think of that triple shimmy and twist that Coquelin did on the sideline, and despite 3 Villa players around him, he still came away with the ball 😀 Nor did I mention the stat which showed he had 7 successful long range passes.

    If they can bottle that confidence to take into next season we will have a great season.

  • VCC – The game must have been good to get you to come out with such fulsome praise ha ha.

    If you are the barometer for the change of public opinion, then even Arsene might enjoy next season?

    I agree on Monreal, and I tried to reflect that in the post.

    As for transfers, as AW has said we have got super quality in Cazorla and Coquelin, and they did not cost the earth. So SQ yes, but trust AW to get that with another gem or two at half the price?

    Thanks Vics, I hope the positive attitude holds.

  • Thanks HT, you have made many points there, which I will come to in a minute.
    The DT was very quick as long as I did not use in for editing. I’m not that skilled to know all the commands, or create new ones. Although ”Correct That!’ is mine, for changing the last word.
    It has some quirks, like Walcott came out as Wolcott, but if I said Theo Walcott, that is was I got. Hoping Laurent Koscielny would work too, instead I got ‘Laurant cause shell me’, ha ha.
    I shall have to stop mumbling. Luckily it has a self-sensoring device so I don’t get a load of frustrated ‘FFS’s’ to delete. 😀

    To your points. Yes, I knew when I was doing the editing that I did not highlight Mesut Ozil’s contribution. Truth is, apart from when he joined a 3 on one to dispossess a Villa player, his good stuff just got lost as part of the game. Even the above I couldn’t do justice to, as I do know who the Arsenal players were, or who the Villa players was, just the bare fact that Mesut came away with a turnover.
    No time to do any research you see.

    I had a feeling the ref might show a few cards early, because the speed of our players was going to make it so obvious he couldn’t ignore them. The Cleverly trip was a prime example, and Hutton rarely needs an excuse?
    The one I was annoyed about was the Gabby one, off the ball, on Bellerin. I am assuming there was no camera footage to show what he did, but it was certainly more than just a shoulder to shoulder collision. If anyone at the match can shed any light I would be pleased to hear it.
    Bells went down pole-axed, and looked like he was badly winded when he did eventually get to his feet. My guess would be a stray elbow in his side, just to the front of him?
    Hence I was chuffed when Gobby got his card later.

    However, your point on Timmy tactics is slightly misplaced,imo. I think he put the side out to dispossess Giroud, and have his midfield run with the ball with options left and right. He had about the same 45 minutes to digest the team that took took the field as we did, but it was enough. They could not handle the constant movement of man and ball, and the more they retreated, the greater the distance between their midfield and Benteke. Even when they were getting balls to Benteke, we often had three players surround him they way other teams do to Giroud?
    I not sure you can say that they done for after the restart, and had Alexis not scored when he did, I think they may have got a foothold in the game? But once we had that goal, and such quality goal, it gave a huge adrenalin lift to us, and the opposite to them. One thing for sure is, Benteke is nowhere near as good in defence as Olly is 😀

    I think you are right about the blueprint for games of this type, eg PTB teams like Chelsea.
    However, it does not necessarily mean we have to use Theo a the central striker, or exclude Olly from these compressed games in the middle of the park. He will have to be used differently. Stick him wide right to pick up out kicks from the goalie, or drop him deep. I am not that convinced if we keep playing this tactic, that other teams will not find a way of stopping us?

    However, when transfers are confirmed, it will be interesting to see the type of player, rather than who it is, to know what direction AW is wanting to go, I do think they will be technically good, and have matching stamina to Alexis, and pace to burn. I don’t expect a Mandzukic, or a Martinez, because they will simply be Giroud Mk2?

    Wellington Silva will also have a say, if he can translate his loan form to the EPL, but that could shunt Gnabry out on loan, or on the left, or even second striker?
    So yes, there is more to this 6 week summer than just transfers.

    Cheers HT

  • The one thing I am looking fwd to this summer is what’ll happen with Theo. I reckon Wenger started Theo to put him in the front window, and with Ollie on the bench he knew he would have a good insurance policy. The idea that Theo offers more movement I don’t agree with. He might be faster but a lot of the game passes him by. Ollie’s movement is always meaningful and his first touch is very good. Those who are hoping we will get a traditional CF might have a dour summer, as Ollie is entering his very best years now and Arsene will keep building his attacking game around The Hub. 🙂

  • I am glad I stayed to see your next comment, TA.

    I will agree with you on one thing, it was the right way round to play Olly and Theo. Not only do defences tire in the second half, so do our attackers. So little point in bringing on a pacey player if the support is a yard or so behind him?

    However, I think you focus too much on Theo the player, and not enough on what that type of player he is, and what he does to those around him. I mean, like Alexis did with his swashbuckling style. It lifted the players around him. I still cannot work out why you did not see that spark happen in the Baggies game? Yes they had a weak link in their defence, but just looking at our players perform and you see a greater urgency to get the ball moving forwards quickly, and with it the players moved quickly.
    I am not giving Walcott the sole credit for getting two excellent performances, back to back, but what he has done is give an end product, and a direction as to what works. Clearly AW sees this too, otherwise he would not have started with that 11?

    I don’t think we would have had the same result had Giroud started. But that is not the same as saying he will now be a back up player. I do think his role will change though. Hold up play in the way we have employed it, is just that. it holds up play. We have shown that we have the skilled players to move the ball quickly, in a variety of directions, rather than the ‘lazy’ ball up to Giroud in the hope he can keep it while we get forward as the opposition defence gets settled?

    The players seem to like it too? But this is only my view. One I had way back when I suggested if Akpom played in the middle they would have to play the ball to his feet, ie different to the way they play with Giroud.

    I am sure stronger tests will come, but hopefully we will get stronger the more this style is employed?

  • I have no doubt that Ollie will be our man again next season, Gerry. Our season changed twice, once Ollie got injured and once he became fit again. His is pivotal inboth meanings of the word. Villa was beaten in midfield as they could not escape and I am convinced we would have scored two after twenty minutes with Giroud in the team. But I respect your point of view.

  • TA 19:39………I hope your wrong about Wenger keeping faith with Giroud. He is simply not good enough to help us win the EPL. We need a SQ replacement.

  • The question you need to ask yourself is why did Wenger not play Theo for the last few months, despite being fit. And why is he playing hm now before the contract talks/ opening of the TW? We’ll get a nice cheque for him, that’s why. And that money will be used to fill the right attacking vacancy, as gambling on Oxie is likely to cost us…

  • And we can leave it there. Cheers TA.

    I’ll have to catch up with any late posters in the morning, I wilting badly at the moment.

    G’night all.

  • That’s because you don’t get what Wenger expects his CF to do, and nobody does it better than Ollie for Wenger. OG is super quality but in a new way.. The total package. 🙂

  • But let’s face it, fantasising about a new shine traditional 30 PL Goals CF is what will make the footie free summer easy…. We had a few summers like that recently 😉

  • Diego Costa scored or assisted on average every 103 minutes this season; Ollie every 96 minutes. Yet how many believe of us believe the Spaniard is significantly better than Monsieur Handsome? Wenger knows.

  • Total 19.27…

    Roman has what, spent about a Billion, just to see his expensively constructed toy do what???

    Park the Bus….

    Total, you couldn’t make it up mate 🙂

  • Gerry……..the Laws state that anything (foul,misconduct etc.) committed off the field of play can be punished with a caution or ejection if it is a cautionable offence but cannot be punished with a free kick, since it didn’t happen on the field of play.
    As far as the trip on Benteke, Coquelin did play the ball and the referee had a clear view of his defending without any contact… in his (and mine) opinion there was no foul and certainly not a penalty, as the incident occured outside the box.

  • Thanks omgarsenal – So no penalty in either case then? Which was my thinking … with the benefit of replays it has to be said.
    Of course all the post match disgruntlement could be remove if oppositions could call of the ref for an instant review, as per cricket/rugby league?

    I don’t suppose you have a view on the felling of Bellerin do you?
    It was Gabby involved in both that and the Coquelin incident, btw (not Benteke).

  • VCC – I cannot go along with your view that OG is not good enough. In my opinion he can be an alternative to what we have just seen in the the last two games.

    Where I don’t think he is so effective is when the opposition funnel play towards the centre, so they can crowd out play. Ollie needs space, but more importantly he needs support. Somebody to take a defender away just to give him that extra yard.

    I agree with TA, AW is not looking for a replacement. I read yesterday that Jackson Martinez’s agent denies his client ‘agreement’ with Arsenal. So is is the case with other ‘links’ I am sure. Lazy journo’s think along narrow lines of ‘ Arsenal need a striker, link them with X, X, and X’.

    Where I think Giroud’s style doesn’t fit with this pass and move game is because he is not that flexible. He needs to be around that central area. Just providing him with crosses from wide does not help him if he is the only target, and that has been partly the reason for his goal drought I would argue.

    Now TA, we both know the reason why Theo has been playing, even when fit, and it has nothing to do with Giroud v Walcott, but everything to do with Theo and his contract demands?
    If anything, playing him in the middle against West Brom, sort of, back fired, in a hat-trick sort of way? If it was to show him that he cannot be the main striker, going on previous experience, then Theo has won part of that argument. Doing it week in week out is totally another matter. In fact I would go so far as any striker we may sign is likely to be a replacement/challenger for Walcott, not Giroud.

    BUT I repeat, in the STYLE OF PLAY, not the player himself.

    However, if Walcott thinks he has just moved himself up to the top tier of the wage scale, I think he is in danger of talking himself out of a job Arsenal anyway. Walcott on the form of the last two games is very impressive, but he is highly motivated at the moment. To keep him that way, he need real competition for his role, and any potential signing will also have to be capable of working alongside Giroud, as he adapts to this flexible fast moving style that suits us, and within that, suit our best players, best.

    We are very close to being able to run with a team that has two up front for long periods of the game. But that does not mean they have to be always around the centre of the box, therefore it does not mean a traditional CF, plus side-kick. If we find, or develop the right player, then it will mean a very bright future indeed. Enjoy.

  • Back to more mundane matters. The player I was trying to spell yesterday was:
    Konoplyanka – well I was near, but he is Ukrainian, not Russian.
    He is good though.
    Also on a list published today is Rannochia? If I remember rightly, we were linked with him before?
    He is a CB, and yet to sign a new deal with Inter. He is the sort of deal that AW might be interested in? Only 27, and could dovetail nicely with our back line.

    Other chatter involves Walcott and his demands …. Not ones I think the, or any, manager would want to tie their hand to? … ‘I want to play as Centre Forward, and at least 25 games a season. What do you think Boss?’
    AW – ‘Well I say where players play, and if I say you playing Full Back this week, you’ll fecking play there! And if you think I’d pick you to arse around the pitch while others are desperate to play, think again, sonny!’
    Sorry that came across more Fergie style, but you can see why Wallcott is barking up the wrong tree with this line. He is more likely to get his £150k a week than that …. err, that is .05% chance over zero% 😀

    And if Feo cares to take a look at the Vienetto video, he will see where his replacement might be?

    All for now, it has just stopped raining here, after a 15 hour spell of it.
    Which reminds me.
    HT, did that Texas flooding ever get close to your area,?
    Whilst being reminded of things – Take your time with your recovery Alex, you have a long life ahead of you. Take care and best wishes.

  • OK ..TA and Gerry, I concede I am in the minority with you guys. But if your right, and OG is our MAIN striker next season, you can kiss the EPL goodbye. He is simply not a top notch quality Centre forward imo.

  • It is an amazingly quiet on here, do you think the cast of this blog have found new homes already, TA?
    One problem I found is, if I did not make this site the last site I closed down, and not having it saved under ‘Favourite sites’, it is quite difficult to trawl through ‘History’ to find it again.

    But with this light traffic, I don’t think there is much chance of the site being abused if you did leave it open for next 8 or 9 weeks. Perhaps under the title of ‘Today’s Topic Is?’

    Just a thought.

    For me, Today’s topic is ‘Blattergate’
    It was only a matter of time before one or two of those charged would try and cut a deal? Once the FBI had enough evidence gathered, they knew in advance where he would be on certain dates … like Mexico City on June 13 ….. and just get the local police to arrest him and get an extradition warrant all set up so there would be no long legal battle. That meant Blatter would rather not attend in places where this could be done … like Mexico City on June 13 ….? Do you think he might just send a letter of apology?
    The turn around has clearly happened much quicker than he was expecting.

    Talking of Mexico, England Under 20’s take on said country tonight, live on BT Sport 6.0 – 8.0pm
    It should be worth a look from us Arsenal’s fans, as Akpom has now scored in both games so far, and they won the last one against Ivory Coast. This will be tougher.

    Transfer stuff is still babbling on with the usual guesswork. Sometimes I admit, I will think, ‘Yes he will do nicely’. But things like the ‘Express still trying to convince everyone that we have bought Jackson Martinez for a little short of £25m, just based on the fact that he has said he is leaving/left his current club?
    I keep saying it will not happen, because if we wanted him we would have done so two seasons ago when he played here in the Emirates Cup? No matter how many times he repeats his ‘dream’, I still do not see it happening now.
    Even your DM option TA, Wanyama has said he’d like to play for Arsenal …. again, no chance.

    There is no doubt the style of the Cup win has probably trebled the list of players who would like to play for Arsenal. Hopefully a few on AW’s short list might make us their number one choice?

    Well I pop back later to see if there is anybody posting.
    Thanks for yesterday’s sole contribution VCC. I would distance myself slightly from TA’s stance on Giroud. I think he will be a regular in the squad, and very likely one of those players who are part of the ‘core squad’. A lot depends on what happens in the TW, but I think flexibility will be the name of the game, and Giroud will just be a part of that jigsaw?
    This is why, as an armchair video talent spotter, I liked what I saw of Cornetto yesterday. At first I thought he was a left footer … therefore ideal counter point to when Theo is played on the right (Yes you Theo! On the right … you know, for the good of the team?). But then this guy starts coming in from the right, and scored several times with his right foot … Ideal as he is flexible?
    Then he did some Ramsey-esque late runs into the box from the central area …. Ideal, unpredictable.
    Major problem, we may not get him if Athletico Madrid flash the cash they get for Griezeman, rumoured to be going to Chelsea, who would replace Quadrado … and so it goes on.

    But it is a nice thought if it came off. However, we do have Wellington Silva to assess too.

    Always looking forward to something ….

  • Arsenal FC and related business news bulletin (Jan – May 2015): from SportsPro news website

    (1) Arsenal star Theo Walcott pens Adidas endorsement deal.
    “Walcott joins the likes of Lionel Messi, Gareth Bale, World Cup winners Thomas Müller and Bastian Schweinsteiger, and James Rodriguez as an Adidas endorser.”

    (2) Arsenal select Musco for summer lighting project.
    “Premier League club Arsenal have selected Musco Lighting to install new LED floodlights at the Emirates Stadium this summer.”

    (3) Calum Chambers signs with Doyen ahead of cup final.
    ” The Premier League player, who has three caps for England, will be represented by the agency across all sporting and commercial matters.

    The 20-year-old, who joined Arsenal from fellow Premier League side Southampton last summer, joins a stable at Doyen that includes the likes of David Beckham, Neymar, Alvaro Morata, Adnan Januzaj and former tennis player Boris Becker.”

    (4) Confirmed: Emirates seals FA Cup sponsorship.
    “According to numerous reports, Dubai-based Emirates will pay UK£10 million (US$15.38 million) per season to rebrand the world’s oldest soccer competition as the Emirates FA Cup.”

  • Hey Gerry. Are you using the voice-recognition stuff for all your writing now? Your stuff seems both easier to read and very stream of conscience. Easier to read seems good, but sometimes I really can’t follow all your thoughts. Worse, I think, is that we “big writers” might be drowning out the guys who are quicker to their points. If that gets combined with dismissal or misinterpretation of other people’s writing then we’re just “borrowing” TA’s space for nothing but our own blathering… More on this below…

    I KNOW I’m guilty of doing this myself, which is why the match previews were great for me–blathering in the guise of helping TA out.. 😀 Alas, no more matches… Also, the matches themselves were enough “response” to my posts, for me, but other people’s thoughts were always interesting too… The model (which TA seems to favor…) of writing something and then having the author respond to every comment CAN be great–IF the original writer has the energy to honor the effort of the comment writer by reading closely and responding authentically–rather than dismissing or reiterating his original points…

    In my original comment to this post, for example, you completely misinterpreted what I suggested about the cup final being a blueprint for other matches. I was not talking tactics (i.e. starting Theo over Giroud at CF…) but in terms of the (larger) squad bringing confidence to high pressure situations..i.e., every single match–with all the vagaries they present. IMO, between high ticket prices and the way the game is covered in the press and blogs, Arsenal MUST win ALL our matches except maybe those away matches against the very biggest other clubs–tough stuff, I think, when matching the Invincibles is Not. Good. Enough… In truth, it’s a very minor thing, but to have you “disagree” with a point I wasn’t making gave me two options…blow it off (disappear, give up, find another place to blog, etc.) or try to bring your attention to the matter, as I’m doing here…

    Who gives a crap? We all should be basking in the great performance and fine result and another cup on the shelf. Why create divisions where they need not exist? In other words, time for a new post… and maybe one which could foster some REAL debate. (“Benzema or Cech: For Which of Them Should Arsenal Break the Bank?”) For me, the transfer rumors are ridiculous so I’m not sure a player (or his agent) doing a “come and get me” or our manager (or one of our players…) saying “I like so and so” is worthy of speculation…

    In the final analysis, I think we need new posts on a regular basis AND active editorial guidance from Total to keep a tighter focus. Otherwise you just get blowhards (like me…) writing comments like this, which (I’m guessing…) is no fun at all… 😀

    Finally, on Blatter and FIFA…and maybe a(nother) possible topic if we choose to become “active” blog… We all know (knew) that Int’l football is corrupt… What about the club game?… My guess is that it cannot be far behind, even if a “little club” like Juventus (lol…) can make the CL final… At least it appears that our club “plays by the rules” and only “steals” its money from the ticket buying public (Although,if I really gave a poo, I’d look into real estate transactions and zoning/planning decisions near the stadium…) In truth, I think it’s more about a cabal of “big clubs” (or “brands”) strangling the clubs below us (see, for example, the fingerprints on Tim Sherwood’s neck….) with Arsenal as the plucky underdogs (with the stingy manager/owner) playing the good football… We look good for a spot in that EuroSuperLeague when it finally happens but towards the bottom looking up at the Oiler/Garch and clubs owned by groups of National/Regional bankers and Prime Minister types…

    Ah Well…

  • Wow.. Another FA Cup victory to the good guys eh? Good post gerry. Theres really no praise to add that other guys havent. lol
    I was hella nervous before the game. Turns out the prof has his magic hat on that day. Yeah… Man of the Game for me is definately wenger. The players did their shift but i think they executed his tactics to the dot. Loved it. Loved it. If you havent checked out Adrian Clarke’s analysis on you should. He did a good job. Doesnt he always?
    On Giro and Theo…. I agree with TA..Except when agree with gerry. Lol. Basically i figure they provide different options and can be rotated or played together depending on form and opponents. Personally, I’m just glad its wengers headache and not mine. hehehe

    Hello to the rest of the Bergkampesque gang. No, we did not find new places. I didnt. I just like reading.

    have a good night FA cup champions. Lets do the quad next season. 😀

  • Hi HT, I am glad somebody is around. I agree about the long post/comments. One of the reasons II left VCC’s as a stand alone, and still no takers.

    Yes you and I do tend to talk to ourselves a little. I am only commenting on here to fill a void. TA is not going to issue new blogs at the moment, therefore no new titles. It is not just about him not writing any snappy little ones as the time take to get it is what is hampering the process. But unless people check in to see if any thing among the comments is worthy of a reply. If they don’t, then it just hangs there?
    I thing your earlier thoughts about blogs only being alive when they have frustrations to vent is the main cause though.

    I shall follow the transfer gossip whether the blogs here or not. It is a bit like a crime story, where you try to work out amongst the characters who are the real deal and who are just fillers for the storyline.

    As for misinterpreting your comment, mmmn? How is any body supposed to second guess you when you are talking at micro or macro level? You said the Cup final was a blueprint. I thake that to mean that the way the game was played they should replicate …. which is what blueprints are for? The adds ons that come out of the game, like confidence, are all very good, but incidental.

    Any, that us just writing what we think.
    I’ll be back n half hour, Ox is on doing his 30 minute film thingy.

  • I am so happy that we won the prestigious FA cup for the second year running. What a great achievement! And to do it in the style which we did.. How many teams in all of world football are capable of that? Thanks for the review Gerry, “sex on grass” is right.

    I’m really getting the feeling that this group is coming of age. It’s been a long road, but great things lay ahead. Equipped with a healthy squad, Le Professor has become more fluid in his situational approach (plan A, plan B, plan C, etc.) and the competition for places will keep the players solely focused on “playing for the team” first and foremost.

    The boys have humbley reminded me that i could not support another club for as long as i live. I for one wish the squad a long and relaxing summer because it would seem that they have a big year infront of them.


  • Gerry…when I get time I whizz through comments, but find myself in the minority thinking band, and don’t have many brothers 😦

    We have a wonderful squad who, on their day, can beat anybody, but, IMO if we don’t move up a notch we will always be the bridesmaid @ EPL and Euro cup I’m afraid.

    Total and I are light years away from each other regarding OG. It would be very interesting if a survey could be held on how many of the top four EPL managers would swap OG for their CF????? I don’t think there would be any takers.

  • Sorry Gerry if I was a little tough on you there…Cheers for the explanation… blueprint = tactics, OK, I’ve got it…

    For me, the big difference between the past two seasons is ALL about the collective confidence of the larger group. Whereas we rather lucked our way to the top of the league in the Autumn of 2013 and then stumbled (badly), this time around everything is in reverse–Abysmal luck followed by a solid finish. The Cup finals tell all. Against Hull (a worse opponent, in truth) we had to dig very, very deep. By comparison, Villa was a slow, controlled strangulation…

    Likewise, last Summer we NEEDED to buy a super quality player who could contribute immediately, in addition to buying two players to replace our departing right back. We made those three purchases (Alexis, Debuchy and Chambers) and we probably should’ve gone even deeper with another CB and a DM. In the end we were pretty fortunate to get Welbeck at the deadline after Giroud hurt himself. This summer we can shop far more selectively. IF we can keep the price reasonable, we can upgrade in several areas–the team which finished the season, however, isn’t that bad and ALL our players will need to take their chances when they come. Competition for places (depth of the squad) has never been so strong…

    It’s easy for critics to say things like we’ll never win the league with Giroud at CF (or the current keepers or with DMs like Santi and Coq, or with AW as manager, etc., etc.,) It’s also true that we could buy the mythical world class CF (or Keeper or DM, etc.) and STILL not win the league. The Chavs and both Manc Clubs will spend FAR more this summer and (more importantly) continue to add to their wage bills. As nice a team dynamic as we currently possess, money IS the game and our owner wants management to work in a frugal manner (on the backs of the ticket buyers…) and attempt to overachieve. In other words, the smart money would be on Arsenal to finish 4th next season. Sentiment, of course, leads to higher hopes…Nonetheless, a rational prism helps, I think…

    So what’s the latest? Schneiderlin AND Gundogan to United? Dani Alves too? (And 250K/week for De Gea?…) And they’re angry with Memphis for playing his final matches at PSV…. Geezus… Desperate times up that way, IMO…

  • Hey VCC… I think the polarism on Giroud is too extreme. He’s better than Steve Fletcher isn’t he?… 😀

    I’m not a “huge” supporter of Ollie’s and I especially hate the injury faking thing. This is England so stop playing the continental game is my thought. EVERYBODY (including the refs) know you’re faking it. If you don’t get the call move on and stop flicking your hand–something you didn’t even do when your leg actually got broken with that late ball smashed against it up at Everton…

    The thing is–that’s an area for improvement as are things like getting headers down and on target. He’s a late bloomer and we may not be seeing him at his technical best even though he’s very old for a striker. That said, I’d grab up Benzema (or Benteke or Hiquain or Hackson Martinez) if the price was right to supplant (or push) our big man…Hell, I’d even take a punt on Ballotelli (or our old friend Adebayor…) on a free (but that’s just me, probably)… Welbeck is still pretty young himself and should keep improving too…

    Others (notably the guy with 11 fingers from the Island…) want all speed all the time. Personally, I think it’s nice to be able to go small and fast at times, but teams playing for a nil-nil (parking the bus) can negate that sort of pace so a more traditional target man seems good for those matches. The criticism that mi amigo, 007, always threw out at Ollie was that he “only” scored against those teams, which (sort of) proves my point…

    Theo signing da ting, staying fit and scoring plenty of goals wouldn’t be a bad thing either and clearly gives us a different look… With all the injuries he’s had he’s maybe young in footballing years, a la Rosicky…

    I dunno, IMO, Ollie’s return in the new year was a huge reason we finished above our proper level (4th, see my previous comment…) To overachieve all the way too the top probably will require a different top scorer–or a big step up in confidence and goals (which kinda goes hand in hand…) for OG…

  • Sorry about the break. In fact I would have replied much earlier, but your line about no more games reminded me that the England Under 20’s were in action – they were leading 1-0 when I joined, but lost it 2-1. So I am not a lucky omen for them. Chuba had a couple of good chances though, but it was not to be.

    Vics, you are not alone in the wider world with your view. Any more than Steve is with his Ozil view, or my view on Wilshere. It is only an opinion.
    Climbing that extra notch is going to be difficult though. Even with money in the transfer market, there will always be clubs that will be capable of spending more. But HT is right, our collective confidence is probably worth a couple of players who do not have to be top notch. Which is probably just as well because we may not get the top players we need.
    Or put it another way, the difference between this season with lower points, but closer to the top, and last, with more points, but adrift by 15 points, is that we took more points off the top guys? So if we just concentrate our efforts in taking a minimum 4 points off the top 6 clubs we will be even closer to the top, and probably win it?

    I do fear playing attractive football is probably more costly on wear and tear of the players than say boring Chelsea?

    HT, now I’ve got you delving into the transfer chatter, I will disagree slightly. The more selective we are, the lower down our short list we will have to go. Not necessarily a bad thing if the player we turns out to be good.
    Let me clarify. If we selectively chose Schneiderlin as the player want, and then lose him to Man Utd, and drop down to Milner, and lose him to Liverpool, and both because they are prepared to pay higher wages, so we move on to Kondogbia, but he goes to Inter, will X, our next possible be SQ, or better still, suit the team better?

    The trouble is we are all fishing in the same pond. Our Cup final game is most definitely a good piece of bait, as is our 3rd place … but only for players that want to come to play for Arsenal, and not just moving for the money.

    As for the names you have put up. I think United have hooked Schneiderlin (to keep the fishing theme going), but they would like Schwiensteiger. If the get him, they’ll throw MS back into the water. By which time I hope we have moved on. Gundogan may be their 3rd option. De Gea will go back to Spain. Money is not his motivation. He enjoyed his time in Madrid, and that is where he wants to be. As for Memphis, well he now knows what club he has signed for?

    Another long reply, and not on the DT. If I came across clear with the post the reason is simple.
    It took little over 20 minutes to dictate pretty much all I had to say in the review. But then I spent 2 and a half hours editing! Even then I missed things, as it was 11.45pm, and I am normally well into dreamland by then. My brain works a lot faster than I can get things down, even on these comments when I read through I usually find something to correct. But I am not looking to rearrange things … that simply takes to long. Sorry

  • Funny you should mention Balotelli HT. I had a thought that him on his best form would be an ideal compliment for Giro?
    I have a soft spot for the ‘dog people’, Ozil and Alexis, and I know Balo has a couple I think. I am also heard it was him that gave a shed load of money immediately the fire at the dog shelter in Manchester, to help the find homes for those rescued, and to rebuild it.

    But, getting back to Giroud. I go with the view he is less effective in a crowded box situation. In those games, it is not just pace that matters, it is the quick movement that goes with it that makes the difference?

  • Evening guys 🙂

    Nice to hear from you AG and Xavier. 🙂

    Fine comments by our verbose BKers and not much to argue about. Except…. That Giroud is less effective in a crowded box. The opposite is true: Giroud makes vital space and links up so well in a crowded box, plus he adds real threat and goals. Ollie was made for crowded boxes, and that is exactly why Wenger rates Ollie so highly, and I am with him all the way. Alexis, Ozil, Ramsey, Wilshere and our newly to be bought right sided attacker will all need Ollie. That is Wenger’s system for next season and boy I am looking fwd to it. 🙂

  • Hey Gerry, I’m awfully busy at the moment so I’ll keep it short…

    Re: Giroud… Quick movement in a crowded box IS the key and that’s why it was so good to see Alexis actually moving again in the cup final… Of course, it can be argued he was moving because he was paired with Theo…I think the interchange would’ve been just as strong (or even better) with Ollie, but I know you disagree… It’s just a different scenario–cup final vs these matches against relegation fodder who will do ANYTHING (including injuring you…) to stop you from scoring… (Alexis movement in those final league matches was not very strong, IMO…) OK, maybe that was only Sunderland, but Swansea were pretty committed as well… I really think Ollie has to win back the tougher types in the home support (i.e., VCC) not to mention Henry and others… As big as he is, IMO, he’s not so “un-quick.”

    You’ll have to explain this idea that it gets tougher in the market as our needs diminish. IMO we need another real #9 or focal point CF. Whether he’s a back-up or likely to force Ollie to the bench doesn’t really matter… Ollie’s good enough to fight any CF for his spot…but a guy like Yaya Sanogo most certainly isn’t going to start too many matches unless he’s back in the tabloids again… 😀 From what I’ve seen, I’m not at all sure the Welbeck is the answer either… 😦

    We’re in a spot where every transfer target has a valuation–in fee and salary. If we can get a guy–who we think can help–cheaper than the valuation we try, if not we pass. That’s how things work in the real world…No Abramovich buying Torres for 50 Million, I fear (nor Dalglish turning around and using 35 million of that to buy Andy Carroll)… Thank freaking god… 😀

  • Vickers 🙂

    I know Giroud is no Aguero and Wenger knows that too. But look what happened when the Argenteenho got injured….. Mansour City lost their grip on the title race. Wenger wants the goals to be spread out so we are less dependable on our CF getting us the points in every game. And that’s where superb Ollie is simply bloody brilliant.

  • Hey TA… Write yourself a post one of these days, eh… 😀

    Feel free to contact me in the back-channels too… Also, be sure to forward my vitals (as champ of the UMF) to Alex… 😀 Oh man was I sweating it, positive that ManU were going to get a stupid goal up at Hull… Definite progress this early week on the “project,” I think, but too much driving back and forth across the state. Hopefully I can stay a bit more in the background as the poo hits the fan… How goes yours?…

    I gotta say, I prefer winning trophies to winning the transfer market, but the two could be related. Ozil was a good one (heresy, I know…) as was Alexis–Perhaps the two best in the past two seasons? Don’t tell the Josie worshipers who will say it’s been all about the Moo-man’s Spaniards… LvG seems a willing spender too… When does Man City (and/or LIverpool) get their new manager(s)?… Merengues don’t seem to happy about Rafa B, from what I hear…

    Does that CL final need to be played before the real business begins?…

  • I am doing the prize this season as Alex has enough on his mind right now, 17. I will email you as soon as things are calmer in my project.

    Good to hear you are making progress in yours, and yes, take it distance when you can.

    Night all 🙂

  • Ah, a few ‘afters’ to follow up.

    Funnily enough I am not going to dispute Giroud’s speed. I do think he is quite quick. What counts against at times is it is straight line speed. In order words, once he has started his run, the end point is predictable. I’m not going to argue against him being able to twist and turn in tight spaces. He can. My argument has never been about knocking him as a striker/goalscorer.
    However, in very crowded boxes defenders know if they get either side of him and he, and most players are stuffed. The difference is usually how well he can get to pass the ball away. Compared to Cazorla or Rosicky, he is not that nimble?
    Which is why I come back to my two plusses to help him:
    The new player X will be someone who can be good enough to draw players away, to give him that extra yard of space.
    Or he plays deeper, where he will either be marked by a midfielder, or even draw out a CB, making more space in the box.
    From this deep position he can time his runs into space, whether from set pieces or open play.
    Leastways that is how I can see him adapting to the quick pass and move style. assuming that is a blueprint we may be working from.
    I am certainly not in the camp of ditching him for some body else of a similar type, Jackson et al.
    It was quite laughable the lengths bloggers go to. Last night there were two from Zap.whatever who put up a title that indicated said Jacko was on his way… but just two blogs later their title says ‘… agent warns it is not a done deal’. Pathetic.

    TA, I agree totally that Arsene wants to spread the scoring among the players, not like we were with RVP. But he also wants the front line to be fluid. The only way I can see Giroud fitting into that scenario on a regular basis will be stepping back and letting the front line of Ozil,Alexis, Walcott, X, and whoever else is up there get on with it.
    The lighthouse need to move inland?

    Where are you on the Wilshere latest, possible 3 game ban for his ‘drunken’ prank?

    My view is simple. If you wouldn’t mouth such things in a crowded supermarket, even if filled with Arsenal fans, then why do it at all?
    Especially in a event which was going to be heavily covered by the world’s media. That was just sheer stupidity. Drink or no drink. I still think he was very peeved at not being picked to start. Every picture I see of him, he did not carry the same ring of absolute joy the others showed. Even when they lifted the Cup, he cheered with them all, but as other s carried on, he drooped over the barrier next to Alexis’s Chilean flag.
    I am not impressed.

  • Well done, Gerry, for keeping the home fires burning. 🙂

    I feel a bit guilty for not giving TA a little more support – well, in my case, a lot more support, but part of my problem is that when I do make an effort our ‘overseas’ buddies are in the land of nod getting some well earned sleep, and when I am heading off to bed they are all up, bright eyed and bushy tailed.

    As you have found, when there is no one around to keep the dialogue going, it is difficult to keep one’s interest going. I guess it is the timing differences that cause a bit of a problem.

    I must try harder for my friend Total. 🙂

  • The nonsense over Jack is a storm in a teacup, and smacks of double standards.

    The use of the vernacular, or industrial language, is common place throughout society, and if they tried to restructure societal behaviour perhaps they should start with the antics of the players on the pitch.

    Jack using the ‘sh*t’ word in a comedic way, hardy registers on the bad behaviour scale, whereas spitting, or well aimed nasal snotting on the pitch is endemic in football, whereas if they did that on a public thoroughfare, they could be fined for anti-social behaviour, but nothing is said or done by the FA authorities.

    Going on from that, the use of bad tempered ‘industrial language’ or swearing and cussing, aimed at referees is tolerated, and viewed by millions all around the world. I doubt Jack’s antics were witnessed by many outside the Arsenal supporters.

    The FA’s totally disproportionate response is pathetic frankly, and if those tossers were hauled up for similar punishment every time they swore, there would need to be a revolving door at the disciplinary officer’s door.

    Too long – I know. I am going to have to précis my comments. 🙂


    — Jack’s use of the ‘sh*t word is no biggee.
    — FA have over-reacted.
    — Much worse on football pitch.
    — FA are hypocrites

    There you go, 🙂

  • RA – Nice resurface time 😀

    As watching any link to said offence did not fill me with interest, I assumed the language used was more anglo-saxon rather than excretia.
    I still think he would be thrown out of the supermarket though?

    This is normally the time when HT is around, but as I like to knock the computer on the head about two hours later, if I can, you are right. Timing sucks!

    Got any views on the TW?

  • I think he was just entering into some banter with the fans. Where he is stupid is knowing he will get punished for it.

  • If he wants to banter with the fans … become a fan.
    If he wants to be a professional footballer, act like one.

    Mesut Ozil has just been awarded an honour for his individual work for charity.
    We have Jack Wilshere bringing unwanted headlines … again.
    I presume he is a member of the PFA, and as such he should show more respect to fellow professional who happen to play for Tottenham. Whatever fans may think of their fellow fans, it is on a different level because they don’t earn their living by being fans.

    Face it, give him the opportunity to act the prat and JW will oblige. I suppose there is time for him to grow up …. and it might happen sooner at another club?

  • Gerry I don’t disagree with you, but Jack does charity work as well. Just the other day he heard about a young lad who was not very well and went to visit him. Sure he has his faults, but in the grand scheme of things, it wasn’t that serious a crime.

  • Nice of you to come and visit us, Redders. It is quiet because I am busy with project work and cannot issue enough posts. How is life treating you and how would you summarise our season?

  • Gerry,

    Personally I do not like the language that some people use, and frankly there are an awful lot of fans who think nothing of it. I would prefer Jack to be more sensible, but I think I am in a minority – altho with all the other rubbish going on it does seem an over zealous and hypocritical reaction from the FA.

    On that tack, I recalled a guy a while ago who came to fix my friends insured TV and his opening line went something like; “I’ve coming to fix your effing TV – these effing older sets are an effing nuisance, and they effing cause me a lot of effing messing about.”
    That is not verbatim, but gives the gist – but what can you do?

    I try not to take any notice of the TW because just as I get my hopes up (Kondogbia / A.N.Other?) it seems that Real or Juve or Citeh want him; or the player wants them.

    Best just to keep one’s head down and hope.

    That said, Kondogbia would please my desire for a physically imposing but skilled DM, or Lacazette on the wing, or Martinez at CF – nothing original there, and I do not suppose any of it will happen.

    How about you? 🙂

  • Hi TA,

    Unfortunately my taxi has just turned up – so will have to get back to you tomorrow.

    I think the stress of writing so many Posts is difficult, but Gerry, HT and other loyal bloggers have obviously been helping you out – credit to them.

    Gaps in Posts are happening all over the Blog World, [including AA] so BK are not alone in that.

    Sorry – must dash – but I will be back tomorrow. 🙂

  • Gerry, we have to agree to disagree re Ollie. Ollie IS movement and does not stand in the way of fluid football. The right ‘wing’ is the one area where we can improve, but fluidity needs to be combined with defensive discipline. Theo is not the complete package, Ox is young and remains a work in progress, Ramsey is an alternative when we want added defensive support…. so who will claim the spot/gets bought for it?

  • Some non-Arsenal “newsflash” in transfers round-up & related around Europe (up to 1st week June 2015):

    1) Paulo Dybala (CF), from Palermo to Juventus for £28.2M
    2) Danilo (RB), from Porto to Real Madrid for £27.7M
    3) Rodrigo (RW), from Benfica to Valencia for £26.4M (from loan to perm. deal)
    4) Memphis Depay (LW), from PSV to Man. Utd for £24.2M
    5) Xherdan Shaqiri (AM), from Bayern to Inter for £15.8M (from loan to perm. deal)
    6) João Cancelo (RB), from Benfica to Valencia for £13.2M (from loan to perm. deal)
    7) Max Kruse (CF), from M’gladbach to Wolfsburg for £10.6M
    8) Gonzalo Castro (CM), from Leverkusen to Dortmund for £9.7M
    9) James Milner (RM), from Man. City to Liverpool for free
    10) Ricardo Álvarez (AM), from Inter to Sunderland for £9.2M (from loan to perm. deal)
    11) Luis Muriel (CF), from Udinese to Sampdoria for £9.2M (from loan to perm. deal)
    12) Serge Aurier (RB), from Toulouse to PSG for £8.8M (from loan to perm. deal)
    13) Matija Nastasic (CB), from Man. City to Schalke 04 for £8.4M (from loan to perm. deal)
    14) Fabian Schär (CB), from Basel to Hoffenheim for unknown fee.

    Jordi Alba (to 2020) & Pedro (to 2019) signed new deals with Barcelona.
    Lucas & Marquinhos (to 2019) signed new deals with PSG.
    Youri Tielemans (to 2020) signed new deal with Anderlecht.
    Kevin Volland (to 2019) signed new deal with Hoffenheim.
    Mauro Icardi (to 2019) signed new deal with Inter.

  • Morning all. My day hasn’t started too well as I found I couldn’t connect to the internet.

    Turning to my faithful (and free!) Tweaking Windows (highly recommended) to set about repairing faults in the system … including faults found on ‘chkdisk’. It is a very thorough program. Anyway, whilst waiting for it to run its course, I thought I would read my mail (from last week … I am very diligent about that 😀 ), I found something from Age UK asking if I had thought about funeral costs …….. Well come to mention it …….Grrrrr!

    Retsub re JW – I suppose I am the antidote to those who think a slap on the wrist and he’ll grow out of it. … It hasn’t worked yet?

    RA – I like two out of three of your (in your hopeful) TW wish list. I just don’t get the fascination with Martinez. He scores lots of goals in an inferior league, he is the wrong side of 28, and he would not help the defence the way Giroud does. That transfer is just in his dreams.
    Hopefully Spurs will buy him.

    TA, I agree on your point about Walcott, but as a variable in the middle? Apart from the returning, or should that be arriving? Wellington Silva, who may be special or another Joel Campbell? we do have a right winger who can tackle – Hector Bellerin. Useful in games where you need both, but not so flexible that you could switch him to the left wing. Which is why I liked the look of ‘Cornetto’ (sic). But as RA says, not one to get our hopes up over until the doted line has been filled in.

    JM – That is a lot of activity before the window opens? The surprise one for me is Serge Aurier? So cheap for one so promising. Also Fabian Schar, off PG’s, amongst others, list of possibles?
    Do you still hold the view that Lyon won’t deal with us? RA will be disappointed.


  • There are different opening & closing transfer windows in different leagues around Europe:

    England & Scotland: 9th June to 1st September
    (I believe that they extend 1 extra day because the last day of August is a Bank holiday; and it ends at 6pm rather than 11pm, to cater for our, Chelsea’s and Man City’s submission of CL squads to UEFA/FIFA.)

    France, Germany, Spain & Italy: 1st June to 31st August

    Netherlands: 11th June to 02nd September

    Turkey & Denmark: 11th June to 1st September

    Russia (tentatively): 17 June to 6th September

    Norway, Sweden & Finland have their mid-season transfer window instead.


    PSG is the monopoly in the Ligue 1, sort of like Bayern Munich in the Bundesliga, bossing their counterparts around when it comes to player acquisitions.


    Fabian Schär was a red herring from the rumour mill linked with us, before we signed Gabriel in the January window.


    Olympique Lyonnais’s chairman, Jean-Michel Aulas, is somewhat like Tottenham’s chairman Daniel Levy; both are businessman foremost and they do not like doing transfer business with Arsenal FC, especially our manager, Arsene Wenger at the helm (for Jean-Michel, at least).

    On the record, we have never ever done any transfer dealings with Olympique Lyonnais during Arsene’s stay as our manager. (When we have negotiated with most other clubs in the Ligue 1)

    Olympique Lyonnais (like Tottenham) sell their star players for big money and only a few teams in Europe got their respective prizes from them (Chelsea – Essien, Malouda; Real Madrid – Benzema, M.Diarra; Barcelona – Abidal; Tottenham – Lloris; Juventus – Tiago; Fulham – Marlet etc).

    For Alexandre Lacazette, the club is believed to have his valuation to be more than £35M.


  • Wellington is a good shout, G. Theo as alternative works for me too but reckon he wants more now. Expect him to get sold this summer.

  • hahaha get a guy like Jack who has all the time in the world for charitable en devours and then also inhibits the genuineness of a real fan of the club he plays for and then scold him for saying a naughty word from atop an Arsenal bus in front of yep you guessed it, a crowd of Arsenal supporters and all of a sudden its stupid behavior – 😆 what a load of bollocks!!
    Don’t remember people saying shit about it a couple of years ago when Ray Parlour did the exact same thing you bunch of idiots.
    We’re Arsenal, i hate to have to remind you but thats what we do…… we hate spurs.
    Besides give me a guy who shows his true colours freely instead of Ozil types who may project a designed saintly image atop a bus in public but undoubtedly go back to their locked basement of trafficked children and stroke the necklace human ears they have collected over the years.

    I’m with you on the Silva thing though, can’t wait to see if this guy has it to perform in the premiere league.

  • That’s funny stuff, Fi11ngers… Of course it’s got nothing to do with football but that’s OK… The stuff about Ozil’s necklace of ears made me think about other sacred cows– Check out these guys… 😀 Maybe it’s Ozil’s big eyes that you don’t like as opposed to Jack’s on hangover Sunday… Surely it cannot be Ozil’s performance in the cup final which bugs you…

    Overall, It’s just a player being silly like a fan, so I cannot complain–even if it means he misses a match or 3 at the start of the season… He’s not a starter as it is so it’ll be a bit like a new signing near the deadline if we look a little sluggish…

    The great irony is that so many of us have given up on our home teams and chosen one of the bigger brands (Hell, I’ve given up on ALL US sports, although I’m pretty excited about the Golden State Warriors at the moment…) Frankly, I don’t know why a guy like you (steve) chose Arsenal when there are other clubs which feature faster, more direct, more athletic play. Clearly Wenger is an egghead and he likes intelligent (effete?) players like Ozil… In truth, shouldn’t your loyalties (and/or hatreds…) be saved for Newport (IW) FC or one of the South Coast clubs? Is there any excitement on the Isle around the Bournemouth promotion?

    Anyhow, nobody, IMO, should have a cow about any of it…but so it goes… 😀

  • HT,
    I used Ozil in that sentence not out of any personal bias for once but because i was responding to Gerry’s comparison of the two earlier:
    “Mesut Ozil has just been awarded an honour for his individual work for charity.
    We have Jack Wilshere bringing unwanted headlines … again.”
    (I think Gerry has some how missed the massive amounts of charity Jack does, or maybe he does so much himself that he feels he is in an appropriate position to judge)

    But on to your other points:
    “chose Arsenal” hahahaha 😆 i like it mate, you crack me up 😆
    My old man moved down here from London (Arsenal supporter) and when i was very young it was either Arsenal or get the fuck out lol, now i am very glad he made that choice for me 🙂

    I think you have mentioned before that you had missed the Invincibles era but after watching us strive forward and cement a solid force to be reckoned with during the George Graham years playing strong, disciplined football that i for one valued immensely even though many of you seem to find it a great source of ridicule now that a certain other London club is once again using the “1-0 to the Arsenal” style of play to lift the title trophy, it was then an even greater evolution that the Wenger era brought about in its beginning.
    That “faster, more direct, more athletic play” you mention i should go looking for elsewhere WAS US!!! IT WAS THE BEST OF US MATE!!
    Back then we had a defense like Chelsea have now but with the attacking force and pace of a Barca or Real – no wonder we were Invincible, and played the most beautiful football i have ever seen. Maybe you should watch a few games from back in those days to get a real sense of the value of pace and power when combined with technical ability.

    Unfortunately for you (i seem to get the feeling lol) i wont be going anywhere, a resurgence in Theo, the replacement of dead legs Arteta with young tenacious Coquelin and the development of the OX not to mention the signing of the first Invincible-esque player we’ve had in a long time in Sanchez, nope i have a feeling my pace, power and tenacity cravings are going to be satisfied more and more in the future as we hopefully get back to the style of play that obviously causes legends of that Invincible era like Henry to look at the forward line at present and say we’ll never win the league with that donkey lol.
    lol i know i know, its because of the system we play and how Giroud fits into it but you can’t blame Henry when you actually watch what he was part of here at Arsenal, its no wonder he wants to get back to the pacey, powerful, high scoring Arsenal 🙂

  • Good stuff, F11ngers…

    Indeed I am more upbeat because I came on the scene (or lived at my screen-name) in the Autumn of 2006…coincident with the opening of the new stadium and the retirement of Bergkamp. Pires and Vieira were gone and Freddie and Henry were mere shadows of themselves due to injury and age… So, for me, the best Arsenal football I’ve ever seen was last Saturday… 😀

    I’ve had this same “conflict” with others before and one guy even sent me the DVD called Untouchables” (or something of the sort–because they couldn’t use the term “invincibles,” I guess)… Watching it you do get the sense that pace and power and a finisher of unparalleled confidence (Henry…Pires, DB10, PV4 and Freddie weren’t far behind…) was what it was all about. IMO, coming from a guy who was THAT good, you can almost (kinda, maybe…) forgive TH14 for slating Giroud. Unfortunately Ollie’s a striker who lacks that striker’s mentality and goes into a bit of a shell when he misses a chance. (“Donkey” seems excessive, and he’s still improving, I think.) This is a reason I’m very excited (at the moment) about reports that we’ve offered only a few million quid less than what Napoli are demanding for Gonzalo Higuain, a guy with plenty of confidence. A little less of that famous food from down there (pizza…) and he could give Ollie (and Theo and DW and anybody else) plenty of time to think about things from the bench…

    Speaking of good video…Arseblog links to a compilation of all Arsenal goals for 2014-15 here. I haven’t watched it yet (very busy this morning,…) but I will this afternoon…

    I dunno, to me the more pragmatic teams (Park the Bus types) have changed things since I’ve been watching. It’s also possible that the newer, bigger, more expensive stadium has also changed things, esp. in cases where opponents set out for a draw… “Here we are now, entertain us” as somebody from Aberdeen, Washington once said, with the fans very quick to turn on their boys for not measuring up… You know, “I whaa whaa whaa want my Arsenal back….” For awhile everybody wanted to play like Arsenal but now the pendulum seems to have swung back and plenty seem happy to do like Moo (or George Graham). Tony Pulis always finds work in the and my hunch is that Fat Sam will too–at least by the middle of next season…

    Anyhow, that’s what I think about shit…. 😀

    Back to my other crap… Cheers…

  • Steve. I might think you been drinking too, to reply with that odious, if not downright outrageous comment, even for you, which is not only racist, inflammatory, and deserves to get pulled off asap. The only thing that saves it from being libellous is the you inserted ‘types’ in there.

    It is one thing make a point in favour, but that was so STUPID!

    In the first place I was not comparing who does what in the world of charity. I was making the point about what was in the news. Ozil receiving a public honour in Germany v Wiishere facing a ban for his bus ‘banter’.

    When you say ‘we are the Arsenal’, that is you and other Arsenal FANS. The players probably have friend among the Spurs players? The point I made to Retsub was Jack Wilshere is a highly paid professional footballer …. and that carries with it some responsibility.
    When you say he was addressing a crowd of Arsenal fans, that is true … but the world’s media were also there.
    Which is exactly the same as making the above comment in your front room …except you are not. You have just stuck it on a public forum.

    Come back when you have regained a little bit of common sense.

  • downright outrageous comment, inflammatory, libellous – 😆 you understand that i was joking right?? 😆 you know…. when we use over exaggerated circumstances to put forward a very basic concept, something that may get a giggle, rather than just saying don’t judge a book by its cover, or in this instance one very VERY small incident (and in my mind justified anyway), that somehow overshadows the amazing amount of good work Jack does, Charity among that.
    😆 😆 i just had this image of you actually reading that comment thinking i actually hate Ozil enough to think he collects ears in his basement 😆 😆 CLASSIC 😆 – i have to say, that has just made my day 🙂
    OH and racist??? what f*cking part of that was racist??

    Your comments about the fans, he’s a professional footballer, worlds media etc etc – come on, get over it for gods sake. Its a singalong on a f*cking bus, nothing to get amnesty international involved in.

    Right i have to go and feed the hostages i have tied up in my basement lol – its a joke, oh wait… it can’t be i stuck it on a public forum… ahhhh what am i going to do now??? Crap i have stuck my comments on the infallible compendium of all truthful knowledge that is the internet ahhhhhhh, i’m in trouble now 🙂

  • Oh and cheers for the vid link HT, going to give that a watch after dinner 🙂

  • The bit where you said ‘ …. Ozil and his type’. What type exactly is Ozil?

    I am not in the front room with you, so I cannot read your features to know where a ‘joke’ might be. It is no good smattering your reply with ‘smileys’ now.

    Your comment came across as very angry. I responded in kind.

    10 out of 10 for deflecting the point I made about your comment being inaccurate though.

  • My bad Gerry, its obvious to me that a man keeping trafficked children and an ear necklace which he strokes in his basement could NEVER be though of as a joke, its so commonplace and becoming such a prevalent and serious problem in our society today after all 😆 – come on man how could you possibly think that i was being serious?? are you for real???
    You must be joking Gerry otherwise you wouldn’t make it through even one of Cockie’s comments without calling the police every time lol – i would love to see his view on Wilshere’s rant about Spurs btw, i wonder if he thought it was stupid?

    Ozil types – introverts, the type of people who aren’t going to grab the microphone and get involved with the hundreds of people that have come out to see them in the same way that they themselves do in the terraces week in week out and will instead keep up there agent designed image by maturely standing in the background quietly. – until they get back home to the basement that is 😆

    I have no idea what you are referring to re the deflecting btw

  • This is amusing… Steve went a trolling and hooked himself a big one… Unfortunately the (bigger) fish are more likely to strike when the pond is drying up at the rate it is around here… 😦

    Gerry, I too believe there’s quite a bit of sentiment against Ozil that is due to his background and/or faith… Again 😦

    The truly funny and/or sad bit is that I’m SURE Jack’s agent is working on his next contract by threatening a move to another English team whose (middle eastern Prince, Russian Oligarch or clueless ‘Merican owner) would be willing to match or exceed Ozil’s wages for the publicity inherent in “stealing” a long-time prodigy from a rival… Cue Steve to say he’d rather pay the big money to watch a “passionate” guy like Jack (or Ainsley Niles Maitland or is it Maitland-Niles or is it his mum 😀 …) rather than Ozil’s type… It’s all a bit ridiculous no? A mainstay of a world cup winning international team and huge contributor to major clubs like Arsenal and Real Madrid vs a guy with tons of potential but a poor fitness record and a questionable public persona who, in truth, has (so far) only been a bit part player at our club. In my opinion, which is as good as anybody else’s (until I get banned…) it’s simply laughable that the one might end up on the same money as the other… That said, I hope Jack stays at Arsenal and becomes as undroppable as our Messy… Because, you know, it takes all kinds… And because I just watched his goal vs Man City and it wasn’t all that different than (one of) the other Messi’s vs Bayern in the recent CL semi-final round… 😀

    Personally, I’m not a fan of the trolling and I’d rather talk football, but that’s just me… 😦

    This guy said it all…

  • thats the whole thing in a nutshell HT, you think my whole mindset is Jacks passion vs Ozil’s talent whereas the reality is for me its Jacks TALENT vs Ozil’s talent and i mean talent not potential there mate, the passion is just a welcomed bonus. Only the future we tell if im wrong or not but i know what i see on the pitch and it doesn’t look like i’m changing my mind anytime soon 🙂

    Whats this thing with Ozil’s faith or background you mentioned? is this another thing my basement joke must have implied just like its obvious racism? 🙂

  • Totally with you Stev11e !…………………….I thought Jack was a bit tame actually !……Perry Groves was on talkSPORT and said he did it years ago as well !.
    Now everyone knows my feelings about the Spuds and if I was an Arsenal player the least I would have done at Wembley in front of a world wide audience would have been to wipe my arse with a Spud shirt whilst pissing on one of their scarfs !……….young impressionable children need to be shown the priorities in life !…………………….HATE THE SPUD SCUM !. hahaha

  • Messy is turkish and a follower of Islam…Not everybody’s cup of tea (nor turkish coffee, but not alcohol… maybe… the drink is only in the hand of his mate)… 😀

    Steve… I dunno, it’s all fun and games and you know nothing about nothing…except what you see… OK, if you say so… It just makes it hard to take your opinions very seriously…but maybe that’s the effect you’re after…

  • hahaha i somehow knew you would be supporting Jack somewhat Cocker 🙂

    HT, why is it hard to take my opinions seriously knowing that i make them based on what i see on the pitch? how do you come to make yours? – i’m being serious btw

  • Hahaha…F11ngers… If you cannot appreciate what Ozil brings to the team… :shakes head: there’s basically no point in trying to discuss anything re: actual football… I guess you got me too… :took bait: :lol … You and 007 can do the OTT stuff about your Donkeys and your Keepers who’ve brought on global warming, and Ozil doing nothing but gliding around like Caitlyn Jenner, but I’ll take a pass… 😀

    Your man Cockie wanted to tattoo Ozil’s name on his todger, so he knows what I’m talking about… (Sorry Cockie, but Ancelotti made a BIG mistake selling Ozil our way and writing Bale and Isco up and down his little guy… Luka would also fit and is probably more deserving, but didn’t Moo or even his predecessor (Pellegrini) buy him?…)

    Anyhow, Spurs are shit so it’s all good…(As we say out here…) 😀

  • Steve, I’ll reply on this post so as not to contaminate something in new post.

    If I were arguing with you in your front room I would have said you were pathetic, if the only way you can defend ‘saintly’ Jack is by knocking down somebody else’s deserved good reputation.

    That is it. Full stop.

    But because we are not in your front room, and I see what looks distinctly like a racial slur, by aligning Mesut Ozil with people traffickers, as one whole group … whether meant in jest or not … It is not funny to the potential number of people who may read this, and take the comment as said. And that means both extreme sides, who will take the view either as, ‘Yeah, too right!’, or the other side with, ‘Good God, they allow racist to publish what they like on here’.

    If you cannot see the difference between the two situations, then you are as naive as kids giving out details to anonymous strangers.

    As for the point you (deflected away from) and took wrongly. I was not making a comparison between the charitable works of the two players in question. Only you brought that into it. I was pointing out the news headlines that they each had generated. One for worthy reasons, the other for stupid reasons.
    Which is why your whole comment was based on you shifting that focus to somewhere else.

  • The way i defended Jack was by saying i agreed with his actions Gerry, i said it over and over again. Then i defended them by saying other players have done the EXACT same thing in the past and were unanimously labelled legends for doing so. Then i reminded people that the other football team are our most hated rivals (seems like some of you need reminding). Then later i added how ridiculously idiotic politically correct killjoys have blown the whole thing (which is a tiny bit of banter) way out of proportion, like its some kind of criminal act – All that seemed like a pretty good defense tbh lol

    I said the phrase “Ozil types” which could have meant many others on the bus who were shying away in the background also and was meant to point out the quite ones in the background, introverts if you will, and then offered what i thought was a f*cking funny sentence which basically emphasized in an extreme and comical way the adage “never trust the quite ones”

    I only brought Ozil’s name into it at all (instead of just using “the quite f*ckers in the back”) because you had brought his name up in a headline whilst noting Jacks headline – But like you say i am sure these two headlines were COMPLETELY UNRELATED, and NOT MEANT TO BE USED AS ANY KIND OF COMPARISON BETWEEN THE TWO PLAYERS – 😆 😆 😆 Give me a break Gerry, now who’s being “naive” lol
    I just so happened to list two completely conflicting news stories right next to each other highlighting the media trying to show the best of one person and the worst of another, there was no comparison implied – 😆 😆 😆 you should work for FIFA lol.

    And the best bit by far!!!!!

    I made that sentence up about the basement as a comical situation describing a circumstance that you would never find in a million years in the real world (HENCE THE F*CKING COMICAL ELEMENT).
    And YOU took it to be a racial and religious attack on Ozil and his people – hahahahaha
    To the best of my knowledge people trafficking happens in Asia, Mexico, Europe, Russia, fucking everywhere tbh, i think you will find it is you who have made the connection so solely with Ozil’s people with your extreme reaction. Do i detect a touch of racial profiling on your part Mr. Gerry hahahaha. Indeed only that type of predisposition could have turned a scene set as some type of silence of the lambs / texas chainsaw massacre parable to induce the response of not trusting the quiet ones into an all out holy war against the people trafficking Islamists hahahaha

    I was going for f*cked up and weird to imply humor, you kind of went a whole nother way all by yourself there Gerry, good luck with mate 🙂

    The only response i was looking for really was something like this:

    “That’s funny stuff, Fi11ngers” from HT, thats all it was Gerry, a comical scene i set – not a holy war you nut case lol

  • Steve, we are never going to agree on the merits of your ‘joke’. It is not one I would make, or appreciate in private or on the Internet.
    The two headlines were only connected by their positioning on NewsNow, and it triggered a thought in my head that there was a big reflected plus for Arsenal in the one, and an unnecessary negative in the other. That is all. I then gave my opinion on it.
    If you followed the earlier responses, like Retsub, I only suggested that Wilshere was guilty of being stupid …err not quite true, as I was saying he was repeatedly stupid. I would go so far as to say, I would like AW to tell him straight up, that one more of these incidents and he can look for another club. Just to see if that does make him sit up and realise his career is slipping away from him. Things like this does not improve his cv as being a professional footballer.
    What others have done in the past is somewhat irrelevant, especially if they were no longer playing for the club? Jack is.
    What fans think of Spurs, and most of that is aimed at their supporters, the coin throwing at Walcott on the stretcher a case in point? But Wilshere is about to join up in the England squad which contains Spurs players. That is what I meant by showing more respect.
    Two days on and there are still things rumbling on. The Independent, is a little subtle with their links. They re-run the award to Ozil story, which confirmed it was for his charity worked, as I was only guessing., but as you scroll down they show Jack with mike, in hand, doing his bit for public relations – no comment, just the photo – Then further down a picture of Theo, who in other stories is saying he has realised it it time he reached his full potential. All good stuff as far as his new contract is concerned, but I am sure these photos were not there by accident?
    Roy Hodgson has also had is say on the matter.
    So how were got to an extreme edge is partly me, taking the way you were writing appeared very angry, and so I missed the ‘humour’. Even so, it was a joke in poor taste, imo, and the phrase ‘Ozil, and his type’, followed by the connection with human trafficking, mutilation, and
    all, struck such a chord with me so I responded in the way that I did.
    I don’t know how much retrospective rationalisation you are putting in for your defence, but if that had been Arteta that received and award, can you honestly say that the same terminology would have fitted?
    ‘Arteta, and his type, when not dealing in human trafficking, wearing a necklace, of ears taken from the bodies, and having his evil way in his basement’
    ARTETA??? I think not Steve.
    However, you phrased your ‘joke’, it was not aimed at the quiet ones. Whether consciously or not, you made that link because of who Mesut Ozil is, and who the majority of human traffickers in the news are, whether that be in the Indian Ocean from Myanmar, or the Med from north Africa, or Syria.
    It is a disgusting trade, and not one to be used lightly as a form of humour.

    Oh, and just because HT did acknowledge your joke, he went on to have a dig, mistakenly, by trying to label you as a hypocrite for not supporting Newport, IOW.
    The difference is, when I see something that should not appear on a public website, I stand up and call it as I see it. So don’t try with your ‘and this is the best bit’ and shift attention way from you.
    Examine your own conscience first.

    I repeat what I said to Retsub. I am the antidote to those that that support Jack’s actions as just linking with the fans. Anybody would think he is some kind of working class hero? He is a highly paid profession footballer and earns more in a week than many of the fans will in four or five years.
    I am not convinced that he is not trying to work a ticket out of Arsenal, in a way that he can remain the fans favourite. His celebrations after our FA Cup win left me very underwhelmed. More team Wilshere, than Team Arsenal.

    Much as I appreciate your football comments, Steve, I am not Nelson turning a blind eye.

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