Silverware or Not – What happened to the Carling Cup team of 2007?

The Carling Cup divides gooners. Should we play the kids or should we go for it and try to win some silverware? Not having won anything for 5 years it’s an emotive question.

Arsène likes to use it as a stepping stone for the youngsters he believes will be our stars of the future.

Yesterday afternoon on this blog we touched on the financial restraints we feel Arsene is operating under and the fact that he may need to sell players to balance the books. If that is true then the Carling Cup is a good way to get some of the young players good exposure – put them in the shop window if you like.

Lets examine what happened to the team that played in the Carling Cup final in 2007, and compare them to the full strength Chelsea side they met on the day.

The Chelsea subs were Hilario, A Cole, Mikel, Robben and Kalou

The Arsenal subs were Poom, Djourou, Eboue, Hleb and Adebayor

The whole of that Arsenal squad were first team players who had featured  in teams in the Premiership, Champions League, FA cup and Carling cup games. The  players missing were Henry, van Persie, Freddie, Rosicky, Gilberto, Gallas, Flamini and Clichy.

The players who have since left Arsenal are:-

Justin Hoyte moved to Middlesborough in August 2008 for£3m;

Kolo Toure moved to Man City in August 2009 for£14m;

Aliadiere moved to Middlesborough in June 2007 for £2m;

Mart Poom moved to Watford in May 2007 for an undisclosed fee;

Hleb moved to Barcelona in July 2008 for £15m;

Adebayor moved to Man City in August 2009 for £25m.

Senderos is currently on loan to Everton and Baptista was on loan to us. The players that have been sold have either wanted away or were surplus to requirements so the Carling Cup doesn’t seem to be a chance for ‘Player For Sale’ signs to be hung around necks but I’m sure the experience helps.

So in 2007 Arsène  took the Carling cup seriously. Yes or No?

When you look at the squad that Chelsea put out it would seem that they were taking it more seriously than us.  I went to that cup final to support the team although I didn’t expect us to get the result as many first team players were missing and some of the Arsenal team were young and inexperienced.

If Arsène is  accused of throwing away the cups and destroying the confidences of the young players by using them in this way, why do we still have eight of the players ( if you include Eboue and Djourou)  from that team playing now. Apart from Senderos who was already having Drogba nightmares – did any of these players suffer from playing in a cup final and not winning?

I don’t believe that the Carling Cup is a valuable piece of silverware. Certainly with our squad depth it would be madness to play a full strength team at any point.  I think the competition is a great platform for some of the inexperienced players to have the chance of mixing it with the big boys and I think  Arsène promises them they will be used in this way. If  we were to win it, I would be thrilled of course but I wouldn’t want to jepodise any of the other chances of silverware by using players unnecessarily.

The Carling Cup final is this coming Sunday and we aren’t in it – how do you feel about that?

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154 Responses to Silverware or Not – What happened to the Carling Cup team of 2007?

  1. Morning all

    Keep if friendly please :)

  2. Dave says:

    How do I feel about it ?

    The usual, we never get to the final anyway waste of time for us gooners, next…

  3. charybdis1966 says:

    Up until a few years ago I was indifferent to the fizzy cup, however our lack of trophies recently made me wish perhaps we should take it a bit more seriously. Perhaps 2/3 first teamers and 1/3 reserves would be a better mix and give the reserves playing a chance to prove themselves.
    A degree of squad rotation would be fair with more first teamers coming in at the semi-final stage. Winning a trophy, even the 4th choice one, would do a team a lot more good than no trophies at all.

  4. SharkeySure says:

    I just pray for home ties and really enjoy watching/going to them.

    I wouldn’t want to see the full first team in those games, not with our track record on injuries

  5. Morning chary – we’ve won the Emirates Cup a couple of times ;)

  6. Franchise says:

    peaches even gilberto agrees with me. A quote from pravda.com 23rd Feb 09

    Arsenal need to achieve the first trophy to feel that they can do it, because for a player it is very frustrating when you go through a whole season and have been very close, but at the end you don’t get the reward for your job. I’m sure if Arsenal win their first trophy, they are very young and their confidence will be higher and they can win more and more. It’s up to them to believe that they can do it.

    http://www.arsenal.com/news/news-archive/gilberto-a-trophy-will-lead-to-more-success

  7. charybdis1966 says:

    Stop being cheeky young lady – I meant actual, competitive trophies and you knew that ! ;)

  8. SharkeySure says:

    Whilst I don;t consider m,yself a trophy whore, it is almost at the point where I believe that any trophy might do.

    I agree with Chary’s point that once we are close to winning it then we should perhaps go all out for it.

  9. Franchise says:

    actually 3rd Feb 2010 ;)

  10. Morning SS – good point about getting the home ties. Its been a thoroughly enjoyable cup run the last 3 seasons and we’ve seen some marvelous football at the Emirates.

  11. Franchise says:

    being 2 games from Wembley and not taking a cup seriously is not exactly wise for a club under so much pressure to deliver silverware

  12. charybdis1966 says:

    You see S Sure (why do I want to call you Feargal?) it seemed a shame to throw away a chance to win something when you get so close – and since better teams are around in the latter stages a pragmatic approach to team selection wouldn’t go amiss then.

  13. SS – would you like me to turn you into a trophy ‘whore’

  14. Franchise says:

    06/07 was our best ever run in the carling cup. since then we have done worse getting knocked out a round earlier every year

  15. Franchise if we only won the Carling Cup in a season and didn’t get into the champions league it would be a complete failure

  16. Taking the Carling Cup seriously is not taking winning silverware seriously.

  17. Franchise says:

    peaches why cant we do both is the question you might want to ask

    United won the league last year and still won the Carling cup

    you would have thought 4th and Carling cup would be easier

  18. We can’t do both because we haven’t got a strong enough squad to deal with injuries to our top players.

    To win it against the mancs or the chavs we’d need to play our best 11.

  19. Franchise says:

    For me the carling cup hype has died. It was fun when the likes of Aliadiere, Lupoli were running rings round the WBAs and Evertons. Right now I expect us to go for it if we realistically cannot win the big trophies.

    Vela had a good run in the CCup this year but he has failed to step up when played in the prioritised competitions

    Like Chary said mix the team better. Pick sides based on your opponets. Respect the home or travelling fans

    Until we start winning the league again and CL then its not right to treat these competitions as reserve games.

    If you have a youngster that you think is on the verge of first team, a loan move in the championship is better than 3 games in the Carling cup.

    Play the top kids and mix them with some experience. The ratio has gotten worse yearly.

    Even now our FA cup squad is looking like a Carling Cup squad of old

  20. Franchise says:

    Well if our squad is not big enough or reliable enough isnt the manager to blame?

  21. Of course the manager is to blame and that must be why he chooses to prioritise different competitions.

  22. Franchise says:

    exactly peaches it doesnt make it right though

    all managers give the impression that the league is their priority but none has come out to say they think winning the carling cup is not winning silverware.

    that is rich coming from a man that is under pressure to deliver silverware

  23. SharkeySure says:

    Thanks for the correction Peaches, but Fran’ll tel you that there’s nowt wrong with my spelling, but my ‘Typinsons’ is absolutely legendary.

    I hardly even bother to post *corrections* when I find my errors

  24. Winning the Carling cup is winning silverware just not important silverware.

  25. Franchise says:

    is 4th the target????

  26. Franchise says:

    winning silverware is important they are not just all in the same band

    there are more prestigous trophies than others but as fans and history is concerned all are important

    My Humble Opinion :D

  27. gd piece
    but you forget to mention
    we almost beat them.

    and dont really care.
    yes would like to win some
    but league cup is mickey mouse
    you just have to look at how many times it changed its sponsor to know that

  28. Franchise says:

    RSD we almost beat barca too but……

  29. Yes Franchise I know :D

    But we have a manager who can see that its not worth risking players in a cup that isn’t worth winning except for the sake of winning.

    If Cesc leaves us next summer and all hes won for example is a Carling Cup medal and the Charity Sheild but played in 2 Champions League finals – how will he feel?

  30. I’m very disappointed that we effectively pulled out of the FA cup – for me, as a fan, the FA cup is far more exciting that the ‘worthless one’

    Morning RSD

  31. Franchise says:

    we have a manager who has no excuse for not having a reliable squad of 24

  32. Franchise says:

    ok im pushing it…. reliable squad of 22

  33. More like reliable squad of 18 :D

  34. Why has Theo been picked for the under 21 squad? Either hes part of Capellos plan for the World cup or he isn’t. In order for him to play in the World Cup he needs to be playing games for us not swanning off with under 21’s.

    Or am I missing something here?

  35. Franchise says:

    peaches u rememeber what i told you about Eduardo’s martyr status in pre-season?

  36. No, I don’t remember – tell me again……

  37. Franchise says:

    we had this convo about eduardo returning on form and i said to you that i wasnt sure he would

  38. Franchise says:

    i basically said that i do not understand the hype surrounding his impending return. I also mentioned that i thought that most of the hype was as a result of his martyr/cult status got as a result of his unfortunate injury

    i was moaning for an ade replacement and this brought up the conversaton

  39. Its a shame that Eduardo hasn’t managed to regain any form at all.

    Rosicky has done much better than I thought though.

    Eduardo had only just startd to click with the rest of team when he was injured 2 years ago so do we really know what we’re missing? At least with Tomas we’d already seen what he could do.

    Now we’re expecting great things of Nik but he’s not proven either. The pot needs a jolly good sprinkling of magic dust I think.

  40. I remember the convo now – Arsene has put a lot of eggs in one basket – Theo coming good is another one.

    I was really impressed with Nasri though last Saturday – we haven’t really seen anything from him either but he was actually in the game against S’land so hopefully hes turned a corner.

  41. I still feel the team was shredded by the departure of Hleb and Flamini – their leaving broke the momentum, their replacements weren’t yet ready to step up and thats why we’ve underacheived.

  42. Franchise says:

    exactly peaches there isnt one striker without a ‘but’ in our side (nasri has a butt but he isnt a striker ;) )

    VP – injury prone
    Bendtner – hardly prolific
    Eduardo – returning from long term injury
    Theo – what can i say
    Vela – not many asking why he doesnt play anymore after some poor performances

  43. Theres a good arguement for whether we actually need a striker. Look at how boring we became lumping the ball to Ade……….

    There is an arguement for having a player that knows instinctively where the goal is that pick up the scraps that we float about in the box that invariably don’t become goals.

    I can see why AW isn’t interested in buying a striker, he wants everyone to score. But we do need a big bloke to lead the line, stand between the centre-backs and protect the ball. Niks not going to do that playing out in the wing :(

  44. Franchise says:

    All managers want goals to be shared but that doesnt mean you shouldnt have a proper reliable CF. Its the thing that annoys me about this youth thing.

    It seems Wenger expects too much from them too soon. Then the players become under tremendous pressure from fans and media.

    Then when the chips are really down he is scared to throw them in and we end up with Arshavin in attack

  45. Franchise says:

    or is it the youngsters failing to live up to the managers belief and expectation

    start of last season wenger said that that was the season walcott steps up. almost 2 years the kid is still looking clueless most times

  46. Franchise says:

    ** almost 2 years later

  47. Whinge says:

    league cup is shit. only useful for using the kids. winning it with the first team is a of little value to me. winning with kids is worthwhile.

  48. I’ve said before that I think it must be disappointing for AW that some of these players haven’t improved quickly enough for the team to kick on.

    With the financial restraints his hands are tied and he can’t refresh by bringing in new cover.

    Thats why it was so bad that Hleb and Flamini went.

  49. Afternoon Whinge – I agree with you on that. Would be great to win it with the kids.

  50. Big Raddy says:

    I agree Whinge ( you aren’t one of my kids are you?)

    Though I think it is the Carling Cup now or is it?

    But Franchise is also right. Which is better 3rd & CC or just 3rd?

  51. Big Raddy says:

    Good subject Peaches, a follow on from yesterday

    And we don’t know about financial restraints, it is your assumption not a fact.

  52. Alfa says:

    I wish we were in the final but I don’t see it as the end of the world that we aren’t – it’s only the CC.

    Interesting thing for me is that only 2 of that CC team are now top first team players (Cesc and Diaby). OK you can debate the others but what does that say for our policy of playing the kids to develop them?

  53. Hi Raddy – obviously 3rd and CC would be nice, any silverware and a place in next years Champions lge has to the way to plan for the season IMO

  54. Alfa says:

    I should also say, a great post, very thought provoking.

    BR,the facts about the financial constraints are there if you look for them ;)

  55. You’re right we don’t know about financial restraints, we can only guess that they are real or of AW’s own making ;)

  56. Big Raddy says:

    Alfa. Quite a few disturbed bloggers may disagree with you ;-)

  57. Hartwick89 says:

    I would answer it like this… The CC is very important for Arsenal in regards to the youth program. It is what Arsene has brought to Arsenal. He has totally revamped the club of Graham…(who totally devastated the youth program). To quote Arsene, ” I think in the future we need to look at our youth department to
    provide more players for the first team think it is important for a club to have a good amount of players that have roots with the club and region.” (Galustian Interview, PDF)
    I would say also for the indi’s that somehow feel slighted that Arsenal have been cheated going 4 yrs w/o sliverware not 5 till May do some real research. I mean to say I stumbled across a piece authored by a Eddie Pratt, who rated Wenger almost 2-3 yrs after Wenger took over for Rioch.
    The D&G’s (Doom & Gloomer’s) were all over Arsene’s case back then! The funny thing is what Pratt cited was Wenger starting a Dynasty for Arsenal. I believe 2 years later Arsene introduced the team that won 49 games straight….

  58. Big Raddy says:

    BTW I was standing next to the flag in the background of the AW pic. Brilliant day!

  59. Big Raddy says:

    Hi Hartwick.

    Good word that….. Dynasty.

  60. Hartwick89 says:

    Graham=Here and now! Wenger=Golden Era!

  61. Hartwick89 says:

    Adams=Portsmouth

  62. Thanks Alfa – I wonder if L’pool supporters are going to be wishing they were in the final.

    I think too many supporters focus on silverware – there are only 4 prizes – 2 are real cup competitions in that they are knock-outs – one we have to strive to be a part of and the fourth is all about consistancy over the season.

    Its unrealistic to think we’ll win something every year – although I’d love us to of course.

  63. Alfa says:

    Hi Hartwick. I’m always impressed by your research. Am I misleading myself thinking that only 2 of the CC team in the post are now considered good first team players, and that says that maybe our youth policy isn’t as good as we think?

  64. Big Raddy says:

    Also despite the fact that the media and some bloggers are fixated on Project Youth, It should be stated that our current first team in a blend of experience & youth, not as we are told just youth.

    AA, TR, TV, WG, Sagna & Eduardo were all established Internationals when AW bought them. I would include Nasri but he was only 21 (I believe)

  65. Alfa says:

    Peaches, I’ve been thinking about Liverpool. Will they be pleased to win the Europa Cup? It made me realise I’d be embarrassed if we did. So maybe the CC is the same.

  66. Alfa – I think AW would disagree with you about only 2 top players – what about Theo and Denilson ;)

    ……and Eboue was on the bench…….

  67. Liverpool are always pleased to win the CC

  68. Raddy – I agree with you that Project Youth is not the whole story and there have been experienced additions to the squad. The problem I see is that the youth that have been retained are either not ready or not good enough.

  69. Hartwick89 says:

    Alfa,
    Be that as it may… But, you wouldn’t be the first to say that… Remember, it was Wenger who was compared to Graham about ten years ago or so it divided the club and quite rightly so.. four years later we had the invincibles. So be prepared for that soon… Denilson include.

  70. Hello Hartwick – also, although there were no throphies between 98 and 2002 the build up to going unbeaten in 2004 was very exciting whereas since then its all been so laboured………and thats why supporters are disgruntled.

  71. Franchise says:

    Alfa how can you be embarrased to win the Europa cup?

  72. Big Raddy says:

    Peaches. It is a story of kids developing at different paces (look at your own!!) Fab has come to maturity so fast that diminishes the achievements of the other kids. !0 years ago a 23y.o. was still thought of as a very young player.

    The developement rates of…… Wait a minute, there is a post here :-)

  73. Hartwick89 says:

    Actually Peaches,respectfully, I would see more similarities than disimilarities. Especially in light of the fact that the Key players Adams, Wright et al were moved on… And, this weird French coach was putting the cheque book to work by buying “foreignors”. This was unheard of at the time…. Now look what we have. The ROTW doing the same…. Google this for me beloved Mourhino… Put in “wants to build”… I see a trend… Not the first trend Wenger will start.

  74. Big Raddy says:

    I’m with you there Franchise. I wasn’t embarrassed on my first ever day in Denmark when we beat Parma.

    I thought it was the best thing ever, and was off my face for almost a week. No wonder I chose to live here !

  75. Franchise says:

    Hartwick89 for a start you cannot even begin to compare both setups

    we had the core of the french team which was easily the best national team in the world in the early noughties

    what we have now is completely different

  76. Alfa says:

    Franchise, hi. In the past I would have been delighted with any cup, especially a European one. I can still remember the TV clip of Wrighty on the plane singing 1-0 to the Arsenal.

    I guess now it would just prove that we were in a lower league. I’ve been a gooner when we have been also rans, don’t mind that, but it would be such a waste of a great manager and a great time in the club’s history.

    I hadn’t analysed it before, just a gut feel that surprised me a bit.

  77. Franchise says:

    if it proves we are in a lower league what does winning nothing prove?

  78. Franchise says:

    ever heard the saying a beggar has no choice :D

  79. Alfa says:

    That we are competing at the top just not quite good enough. That it might come right this season. That AW is on the right path just not at the end of the journey yet. Or it’s not our time right now but it will be soon.

  80. Alfa says:

    I’ve heard that one :D

    AW seems to be trying to prove it wrong, God bless him.

  81. Hartwick89 says:

    ROTW=rest of the world

  82. SharkeySure says:

    “I think too many supporters focus on silverware” – great point that Peaches.

    Great post all over, its got a nice debate going.

  83. ‘AW seems to be trying to prove it wrong, God bless him.’ Great comment alfa :)

  84. Its a bit of a sweeping atatement though Sharkey (I think of Feargal too) – I thought I’d get blasted for it. Maybe its cos I is a girl ;)

  85. SharkeySure says:

    Fran – Arsene didn’t buy half the French national team, he developed the players who became half the French national team.

    Conceptually thats a massive difference.

    Its one thing having the odd cap for France, its another thing becoming the mainstay of the 1st 11.

  86. SharkeySure says:

    *a minstay* not *the*

  87. tommystout says:

    hi everybody, i’m a tad late today after an early start freezing my butt off in the snow…
    all i have to say is that i love the CC cup win lose or draw, i find it fascinating seeing how the youngsters step up to the big stage. The CC hasn’t been so succesful over the past 2 seasons but its bound to be more difficult now, our starlets are not an unknown quantity anymore, teams know that they will play the arsenal way and they prepare for it the same way that they would our first team. Opponents that take the youngsters lightly are likely to be emabarrassed, cos the change in arsenal personell is irrelevant (to a degree), its still the arsenal football and that has to be respected.
    Anyway thats my view, stick with the youngsters.

  88. SharkeySure says:

    Undertones wasn’t it Peaches.

    Sweeping statement yes, valid point..also yes imho.

  89. charybdis1966 says:

    A “minstay” Feargal ? You did a cracking version of “Teenage kicks” BTW. :)

  90. Hi tommy – thats a good point about our starlets not being an unknown quantity anymore and that they are treated the same as the first team in the way they’re going to be set up.

    What AW has to do now is develop Wengerball mk3 and only introduce it through the youngsters – now that would be exciting wouldn’t it :)

  91. SharkeySure says:

    Raddy, thats a very good starting point for a post. (development rates)

  92. tommystout says:

    Wengerball Mark III – yeah – no goalkeeper….
    now that would solve our GK crisis!

  93. Undertones – yes :)

    He must be off writing it – I live in hope :)

  94. Excellent shout tommy :lol:

  95. charybdis1966 says:

    Just heard something to shake up the Shrek boy worshipper, Myles Palmer.
    16 of his 21 goals have come against bottom half opposition. As I suspected – your typical flat track bully.
    Rooney the greatest – yeah, bite me!

  96. Alfa says:

    Tommys,

    I think you’ve got it. AW is playing rush goalies from now on. That way we can play 4-4-3.

    I bet TV is a cracking goalie, he seems to be able to play everywhere else.

  97. Mayank says:

    This post will lead me back into a dead end debate with Franchise so I’ll stay off it… Eboue’s the next Ramos?

  98. peachesgooner says:

    Mayank – stay and talk about something else :)

  99. peachesgooner says:

    Alfa – sounds good to me :)

  100. Big Raddy says:

    I seem to recall that Adebayor was the same as Rooney. Nearly all his oals were scored against poor opposition.

    I bet they love him up at Citeh. A marriage made in heaven. Though to be honest, out of City, the Dippers, Spuds and AV in the run for 4th, I would probably go for Villa – for all sorts of reasons

  101. Mayank says:

    Apologies to all Londoners but purely on football basis I’d like to see Spuds enter the top 4. Villa and Everton are basically the same type of team and Man City are scum. Pool despite all their financial troubles still have a better squad than the rest so they haven’t done enough IMO.

  102. Mayank – no no no, its an exclusive club and we don’t want them to be part of it – its bad enough the chavs are there

  103. Alfa says:

    Mayank

    Spuds in Europe? I think that some of the lesser teams would take them apart. I’d rather see Everton have a go. Surely they’ve got a better pedigree against European teams and top EPL teams this season?

  104. I still reckon L’pool will get there unless Gerrard gets injured. Between the others, I think Everton have done really well over the last couple of seasons and David Moyes is a good manager

  105. Mayank says:

    Everton would do better in Europe than spurs, but it will be all to Cheslea without the quality, for me. CL is defensive enough without having to see Everton play away. At least we know spurs will give it a go. Barca at Goodison will be an interesting tie, but Real at White Hart lane will be absolutely hilarious, perhaps even exciting.

  106. Alfa says:

    Chary, isn’t Rooney their penalty taker as well? That must help.

    Having said that, when I’ve seen him play at the Emirates he has been tremendous, either with or without Ronaldo.

  107. Mayank says:

    *too chelsea

  108. Alfa says:

    Fair point Mayank. I’d rather see a 6-5 than a 1-0. :D

  109. SharkeySure says:

    Mayank, you’re right about dead end debates, I avoid them like the plague.

    Anything I write/blog I like to think of as musings and thoughts, that don’t have to be proven beyond any reasonable doubt, just (hopefully) have some validity to start with.

    I’d rather just concede a point or agree to differ than spend hours posting and researching because I absolutely felt the need to ‘win’ an argument.

  110. charybdis1966 says:

    Pretty sure he is Alfa, but we always greatly aid his performance at our place because Wenger plays an open, expansive and risky game against the manks. If only Wenger hadn’t ordered us to be so gung ho early off – it played into the manks hands as they were only ever looking to counter-attack.

  111. Mayank says:

    Actually SS, I don’t mind long drawn out arguements unless they depend on a point of view. If it’s a lack of understanding of basic logic on the other guys part I don’t mind educating them. ;)

  112. Alfa says:

    Chary, agree we gave him a stage to play on, but we were on the same stage as well.

    His technique always seems so reliable. That first header against Milan was perfect.

    What am I doing? 8O

    He is still a diving Manc.

  113. charybdis1966 says:

    Don’t forget he’s a gippo, chavvy,pikey shrek-boy too, Alfa.

  114. SharkeySure says:

    I just don’t have the patience for it.

    I;ve seen debates about Arsenal’s formation go on for a very long time, because Bergkamp played deeper in a 4-4-2. The counter argument was that he was effectively an attacking midfielder. Then it moved on to LeBob and Frddies positions.

    I found it astounding that two bloggers were prepared to argue over Arsenal’s clearly very fluid formation and were trying to pin it down to one system or another.

    Neither seemed prepared to accept that they were both ‘right’ !!

    My best one of late was Kolo Toure was or wasn’t converted to CB by Arsene Wenger. A namelsss blogger refvused to be swayed by Kolo’s own commnet sthat he had always been a CB even though he started by playing a few different positions (in the same game) for Arsenal.

  115. Rasputin says:

    Afternoon one and all ;)

    Sorry I haven’t been around so far today. Excellent piece peaches. I’ve read through the comments and find myself in agreement with the general consensus = Arsene’s policy of ‘good for the kids but don’t risk the important players’.

    I also agree with the point that Arsene probably virtually guarantees new young players that they will get the chance to play in the CC and he is a man of his word.

    Finally, we will only be acknowledged as the great club we are when we have won the CL. I’d hate the chavs to do that before us, but fear that this season they might.

  116. SharkeySure says:

    ‘Fear’ Rasp…??

    I’m scared shitless that that might happen !!

    Worst nightmare for me that one…

  117. Rasputin says:

    A big thanks to Pedro and our friends at Le Grove for highlighting Chary’s article yesterday and even putting a link in the headline post. I consider all the Arsenal blogsites to be part of the extended family of supporters whatever their standpoint.

  118. Rasputin says:

    Hi Sharkey,

    I think manu and the chavs are in with a good shout. If we don’t win, I wouldn’t mind someone like Lyon as they play good football on a restricted budget and have produced some fine players.

  119. How boring would it be if those two were to meet again in the final – and in Madrid aswell :(

  120. charybdis1966 says:

    Yeah I noticed that in Le Grove too Raspers, that was cool now if only I could get some blog groupies off the back of my blog fame over the last few days.

    And please don’t even mention the prospect of a repeat of the 2008 CL final – the bile is rising at the very thought.

  121. I’ve lost all my focus of the Champions Lge with it being spread out over 2 weeks……..whats happening tonight? Barcelona?

    Oh, I didn’t practice the accents and cedilas when London told us how to do them the other day :(

  122. Rasputin says:

    Hi Chary – really sorry for calling you by another’s name yesterday, I think it was ‘edited’ and now reads correctly. Send some of your blog groupies my way if you’ve got too many to handle ;)

  123. Don’t I count then :roll:

  124. Rasputin says:

    We’re all your groupies peaches :lol:

  125. charybdis1966 says:

    I don’t think I have any Raspers(I had some when I did a karaoke turn in Clerkenwell a few years back), unless Peaches is volunteering. Still it was a good response yesterday and no I didn’t pay James to say that yesterday Peachy !
    Anyhoo I’m off –see you later.

  126. ‘Now thats just how I like it’ she says clapping her hands.’Posts, I need more posts’ :)

  127. SharkeySure says:

    Lyon will do for me too Rasp

    Even a demonstration of teutonic efficiency from Bayern would do for me !!

  128. See you later chary and thanks for the post yesterday. Have you started writing the mancscum one yet :)

  129. Big Raddy says:

    Evening All. Some lively debate today. How does anyone find time to work?

    I would like to see Villa in the CL. I think they are a tidy attacking team and can play good football.

    The idea of ‘Arry getting into the CL is appalling. However, as there would be a play off in the 4th spot, the Spuds would be doomed before the League stages :-)

  130. kelsey says:

    Hi,

    just a quick visit between pain killers.I am at odds with your post peaches . Not the content but the benefit as to play the kids in the CC.Firstly we only enter it in the latter stages so to get to the Final one only has to play 5 games including a two legged semi.It is feasable that our first game could be away to a strong PL team in the future,and if we lost that how much experience does that give the kids.
    On the other hand as one of the richest clubs in the world I believe we should be fighting on 4 fronts not prioritise on only two.

    Then we loan players out and in recent years the only player that has come back and really looked quality is Song.

    Jack has been at Bolton for one month and has played 60 minutes.What benefit is it to him.

    The trouble is that City will most probably spend another 200 million this Summer, so we get out priced even more. Are Berbatov,Robinho both worth over 30 million.

    It’s a hell of a balancing act to keep everyone happy.Too many highly paid players means big egos, and too many youngsters means impatience if they are not playing.

    How many players come to the fore from day one at the age of 16.I can only think of one that is Rooney.

    Cesc had experienced mentors, but now at the tender age of 22 he is expected to be the mentor.
    Anyway those are my thoughts and my outside tip for the CL is Sevilla

  131. kelsey says:

    Work raddy ;)

  132. Big Raddy says:

    Evening Kelsey.

    My outside tip are The Arsenal.

    We disagree over the CC. The anticipation and excitement of seeing your name on the first team sheet must be brilliant for the kids. They get very high media profile – the Arsenal CC games are the only ones shown over here – not even the Final is shown, which gives some idea of it’s value.

    I think it is unfair to say that AW doesn’t prioritise the FAC, he just prioritises it in third place, a decision I agree with.

    It was unfortunate that we had so many injuries at Stoke (FAC) and went out.

  133. Big Raddy says:

    I’ve got a job now Kelsey ;-)

    I have just realised, I have been off Skype for over a month!! Must change it….

  134. Rasputin says:

    I’m with you on this one Raddy. There must be literally millions of kids joining football academies from the age of about 6 and upwards. To join Arsenal as a youngster and know that one day you might get the chance to walk out at the Emirates and play in the CC must be a huge incentive.

  135. Big Raddy says:

    I wonder who City will buy in summer, and who they will sell?

  136. Hi kelsey – still on the pain killers :( – hope it feels better soon.

    Some argue that its of no benefit to the young ones to play in any stage of the Carling Cup but I can’t see that its done any of them any harm. That was my point.

    This season they beat West Brom and Liverpool in fantastic style in front of 60,000 at the Emirates. What a chance for them to show their abilities at their own home of football in front of a crowd they would only dream of.

    Its only the Carling Cup after all.

  137. kelsey says:

    Raddy,

    ‘I think it is unfair to say that AW doesn’t prioritise the FAC, he just prioritises it in third place, a decision I agree with.’

    Well that amounts to the same thing.I don’t disagree with you entirely, I just see it from a different perspective. e.g. we see Vela have a couple of stormers last season and then many can’t understand why he is never on the team sheet as a starter.

  138. Big Raddy says:

    Must be time to air the Merlot

  139. Thats it then Rasputin, Raddy and I are the Bold New Romantics :lol:

  140. kelsey says:

    Evening peaches. 2 more days I hope.

  141. kelsey says:

    Old New Romantics ;)

  142. Big Raddy says:

    Peaches.

    Are you calling me Gay?

  143. Rasputin says:

    Hi kelsey,

    Sorry to hear you are still suffering – have a look at some of the videos in the library if you need cheering up :P

  144. Rasputin says:

    No Raddy, I think she’s accusing you of having a mullet :lol:

  145. Watt,Simpson and JET also did very well but Vela is a much better player IMO and better looking than all three put together :oops:

    Why doesn’t Vela get games?

  146. We all came up with really romantic reasons for the babies to play – London would be proud of us.

    Wear your romantic sides with pride boys :roll:

  147. Big Raddy says:

    Because he has been injured Peaches

  148. are we all watching our new centre forward play in the champs league tonight?

  149. Franchise says:

    Sharkey Pires, Wiltord, Henry, Petit all played for france before coming to us

    Henry was actually a world cup winner before coming to us

    Wiltord and Pires actually won best player in France award before coming to us

    Sorry mate you cant compare both set ups

  150. Big Raddy says:

    Shame we didn’t play Barca tonight – we would have beaten them.

    YaYa Toure was awful. Taken off at halftime & Barca looked much better without him. Let’s hope Citeh waste another €20m+ and sign him.

  151. Alfa says:

    BR, TH14 came on for YaYa – what do you expect? ;)

    Franchise, your point is very well made.

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