No progress in achievements, but plenty to be positive about for next season

 

‘Hold on world, world hold on,
It’s gonna be alright,
You gonna see the light.
And when you’re one,
Really one,
Well you get things done,
Like they never been done,
So hold on,
Hold on.’

From ‘Hold on’ by J. Lennon

The season has finally ended: thank god! Seldom have we looked forward more to the end of a season as this one. The Bolton away game smothered the last bit of a fire that started to go out rapidly from the moment we lost to Brum in the CC final a few months ago. The torture is now over; or is it? Unless, the BoD acts quickly and decisively in the transfer market, the next few months will become even more unbearable with (the dread of) key players leaving and the agonising shenanigans regarding new players joining us or not. Furthermore, this year there is no World or European Cup to distract us from the continuous and highly-addictive media frenzy on the comings and goings of players: you know, you should not check Newsnow, Ceefax, the newspapers etc all the time, but you just cannot help yourself. In times like this, like in John Lennon’s simple yet wise words above, we need something to hold on to.

This post is not about an in-depth analysis about what went right and wrong this season. Others are more thorough, qualified and patient than me to do this. Before I go on, it is important to state I am as disappointed as any other Gooner that, once again, we have not won a major trophy this season. This should have been the year for us, at least domestically – just like it has turned out to be the year for Milan and Ajax in their countries who finally both won their first domestic championship since 2004 (YES, a 7 year wait as well) – but it was not to be. We will have to wait another year, maybe longer, and it hurts like hell. Recently, it has also become a lot harder to speak to fellow Gooners, as everyone is so disappointed and there is so much division between us on whether Wenger should go or not. These are testing times for all of us.

Yet, when I start thinking about next season, and I have been doing so for the last 4 weeks, I cannot help but feel mildly optimistic. There are real positives to take from this season, which combined with the fact that we are a young, ‘evolving’ team, should provide us with a solid platform for next season. And now I have put the cat among the pigeons – big style!!

 

The positives

  1. Best away-form in the league.
  2. We have started to beat our big competitors again, albeit at home and not away.
  3. Koscielny and Chamakh had decent-to-good first seasons, taking into account how hard it is to come here and make an impact straightaway.
  4. Song, Sagna and Fabregas had a good season, although Cesc has performed a little bit under what we have come to expect of him, he still had a decent season (see previous AA post ‘Not Getting Enough Cesc’).
  5. Wilshere, Szczesny, Djourou and more recently Ramsey made great progress this season and look ready to become first choice players for next season and beyond.
  6. Vermaelen looks finally recovered from his injury, and should be ready for next season to lead our defence.
  7. RvP has had an incredible few months and kept scoring goals for fun when almost everybody else stopped performing altogether. He looks ready to captain our side in the next season.
  8. Nasri and Walcott have shown this season that they are getting very close to becoming top-quality players. Nasri perhaps more than Walcott, who especially during the first half of the season was simply unstoppable. Walcott appears to be a somewhat slower developer, but has shown enough this season to suggest that more and better is to come from him (and the key question is: is he a winger or a striker?).

These positives form a solid platform but it is obviously not the finished article; improvements/additions are required. However, it is a (rapidly developing) platform nonetheless that not many of our competitors have in place, especially if we are able to strengthen our squad with a couple of both experienced and quality players.

In this post, I am not lingering on about the negatives, especially not about the players who did not perform and most of us feel need to leave the club: not because I don’t care about it, but I would rather focus on our strengths this time. I am also assuming that Fabregas and Nasri are staying, but if they leave this would create one or two extra vacancies as per below, although I cannot imagine Arsene will ever let both go at the same time.

If the positives are translated into our first eleven for next season, it looks like this (4-2-3-1):

                                                Szczesny

Sagna              Djourou/Vacancy       Vermaelen      Koscielny/Vacancy

                        Song/Ramsey        Wilshere/Ramsey/Vacancy

Theo/Vacancy            Fabregas/Van Persie Nasri/Arshavin/ Vacancy 

                                         Van Persie/Chamakh

.

In a 4-4-2 formation it would look like this:

                                                Szczesny

Sagna              Djourou/Vacancy       Vermaelen      Koscielny/Vacancy

Theo/Vacancy Fabregas/Wilshere    Song/Ramsey/Vacancy          Nasri/Wilshere

                                         Van Persie

                           Chamakh/Bendtner/Vacancy

Both formations, 4-2-3-1 and 4-4-2, need strengthening by filling the vacancies.

Defence

As a minimum, we need to recruit externally a tall, strong, fast, yet technically competent partner for Vermaelen. He should compete with Djourou for that position. I have no doubt that Wenger will spend in this area. I would really like to see Koscielny compete with Clichy for the LB position, as he reminds me of Lee Dixon.  However, if Clichy were to leave Arsenal, we might need to spend the money we get for him on a replacement, as Gibbs is not ready yet. Koscielny is also a good replacement for Vermaelen, if and when he gets injured or suspended.

Midfield

The centre of midfield has a great future with Song, Wilshere and Ramsey and Fabregas (at least for the time being). I also have high hopes from Frimpong. However, we need to add an experienced central midfielder who has won a few top prizes in his career, to support Fabregas (or replace him if he leaves), even if it just for a couple of years. He should help to mentor our talents to improve our mental strength when the going gets tough, so we can make the final push towards winning cups. This will be the hardest position to fill, especially if Cesc should leave us. Ideally, I would also love to recruit another quality winger, whether Arshavin is staying or not, but would understand if Wenger would try to fill this position from within his current squad (given the great number of talented midfielders he can pick from and needs to keep happy).

Attack

Finally, I am quite happy with our current strikers, especially with Van Persie and Chamakh. Both Chamakh and Bendtner did not get many opportunities to prove themselves in the second part of the season, and I believe there is more to come from them. In 4-4-2 we would see a lot more of them, no doubt about it.

4-2-3-1 has worked well for us in away games and against our main competitors at home. We should build further on this during the next season. Our home form needs to improve drastically but with a strengthened defence, more experience in midfield, and a more adventurous attacking formation of 4-4-2 against the ‘lesser’ teams at the Emirates, we should make progress here as well. Yet, Arsenal does not need to break the bank: £25-35m (not including possible sales proceeds) should make a big difference.

Although we have gone through a few difficult years, the future is still looking good and we should ‘hold on’. However, we need to learn from the past and move forward. As the Hindu proverb goes: ‘There is nothing noble about being superior to some other men. The true nobility is in being superior to your previous self’.

Come on Arsène, show a bit of humility, do not be scared to adjust your course, and make the necessary changes. Your loyal fans deserve it.

Written by TotalArsenal

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187 Responses to No progress in achievements, but plenty to be positive about for next season

  1. WiganGooner says:

    At the start I was worried you’d been kidnapped by Myles Palmer….

    More reading to do, but good job so far!

    WG

  2. WiganGooner says:

    Well done TA, You’ve done a great job of picking up the positives and applied a positive analysis to our performance this season and to the prospects for next season.

    I can hear the doom-mongers gathering so I’ll be brief. I too agree that tweaks are required but wholesale changes to the immediate changes are not. It’s a squad issue that needs resolving with more strength and proven player’s.

    I’m loathed to name names but I would not be disappointed if Scott Parker was signed on a 2-3 year deal. I think he could really help Song take his game to the next level.

    WG

  3. TotalArsenal says:

    Thanks WG, it has been a disappointing season, mainly because our expectations were so high (and with reason). But when you look ahead and look at what’s been developing within the team during the season, there are reasons to be positive, and it is something to hold on to.

  4. 26may1989 says:

    I like that one TA, well done. I absolutely agree there is plenty of good stuff to take from the season, despite the collapse at the end.

    I really like the way you put the points regarding formation, i.e. to mix and match 4-2-3-1 and 4-4-2. That would give us the versatility we obviously need to make the best of the existing talents.

    I guess my only quibble is the idea of Koscielny at LB: I just don’t see him in any other position than CB or DM. Clichy has had a poor couple of years now, and the hope we all felt when Cashley left, that we had someone at least as good to take over from the Evil One, seems a long time ago.

    Up front, I assume Bendtner will go, he needs first team football and knows he won’t get to nail down a position with us. That will force the issue on signing a striker. If Benzema is a real possibility, I would love to get him in, but his improved scoring rate at Madrid, and their decision not to take up an option on Adebayor, doesn’t augur well. I worry taht we’ll end up signing Jay Bothroyd on a free instead…. (Not that I would mind him coming in as well, might prove interesting.)

    One thing from the tail end of yesterday’s post: Chary, if you’re still reading this, what the hell does “KK DownIng quitting from the Epitah 2011 tour” mean?! I have no idea what you’re on about…. :)

  5. GalwayGooner says:

    I dont think Song or Cesc had particualrly good seasons. Song is simply a quite average player who constantly gets shown up when the game is fast and Cesc simply didnt perform for a lot of the season, his leadership has also been dissapointing.
    JD at the pack has shown that he is simply not ready to be first choice at a club trying to win the league and I dont know how (in 2 games) you saw enough in Ramsey to see he will reach his potential.
    Schezy in goals looks better than he is just because he is not almunia, i think he has a lot to learn before he should be considered a top keeper.
    And lets not even talk about Clichy as a top defender.

    There were some positives, RVP staying relatively fit and flashes of greatness from Theo and Nasri but all in all it was a dreadful season for us. The mental fraility that we have shown for the past few seasons really came home with a bang.

    I think we have gone backwards more than forwards.

  6. 26may1989 says:

    And Wigan, please don’t refer to Myles Plonker again, I block that useless, vain dickhead from my newsnow for good reason! ;)

  7. Rasp says:

    Morning TA,

    Thanks for sparking off the summer changes/signings debate with a very fair and well reasoned post – something for everyone there!

    For my part, I’m not calling for wholesale changes, but yes, a significant change of emphasis in training. We need to make sure we have defensive cover when the full backs go forward; to get back to attacking at pace, more directly and with width provided by proper wide players; and finally change/move personnel so that we are not so susceptible to set pieces.

  8. Hi 26 – it’s a Judas Priest reference that TotalA(and Radders were he not in communicado in Italy) would know about.

    I only said it to perplex your sparring chum RedA. :)

    Fine debut post TotalA and you are a worthy addition to the list of authors here at AA. Bravo !

  9. WiganGooner says:

    @ Galway

    I think the Ramsey potential was there to see before his horific injury and the recent games have shown that he appears to have fully recovered from that injury.

    I do think Ramsey has everything to be a top player, though he isn’t there yet of course. His development will be interesting to see next season.

    WG

  10. 26may1989 says:

    There are criticisms to be made of Cesc, but a glance at his stats suggests his season hasn’t been as bad as some seem to think: 35 games played, 9 goals scored and 17 assists. Game for game, he’s only had one season much better than that (last season).

  11. 26may1989 says:

    Chary

    I figured it had to be a metal reference, gives me the chance to revel in my ignorance of that area of music! RA and I will just compete to show how little we know about metal…. :)

  12. 26, I’m all at sea when the talk goes to gourmet steaks and wine and all, me being a veggie and beer drinker.

  13. 26may1989 says:

    Chary: As you know, I’m married to a Guju, so we’re veggie at home. Which means I cook a good range of veggie dishes. And it also means, when I’m out and about, I eat meat and fish like they’re going out of fashion.

  14. Oh right, I vaguely remember you saying that at some stage, 26.
    Funny you should day “Guju” as from the part of the world my parents are from they are called “kutchiya” –not that I advise you to use that term at home. :)

    I’m with beer as you are to meat, as booze isn’t allowed at home, when I’m out and about I neck the peronis at every possible opportunity. That’s my story/excuse and I’m sticking to it!

  15. 26may1989 says:

    I assume “kutchiya” derives from the Kutch region, which is a desert area on the far western side of Gujurat, bordering Pakistan. Might be insulting in your family (!) but Kutch is a really beautiful, interesting area, strongly recommended! The only downside about Gujurat is the alochol situation: it’s India’s only dry state.

  16. It does derive from the Rann of Kutch 26, but it’s a double entendre because in punjabi it translates to underpants. :)

  17. mickydidit89 says:

    26 and Chary,
    Despite offering my sincere thanks to BR yesterday for his pre-matchers, I am going to have strong words with him on his return regarding the Place:Metal references. I have one word to all Metalists…soap.

  18. Red Arse says:

    Really well written and informative piece TA, well done sir! :-)

    I will return to the subject soon.

    CharyB, you succeeded all too well in confusing me with your metal thingy. I did not even know it was a musical reference to be honest. The only upside is that (4+2+3+1+ 4+4+2)+6 did not know either! :-)

  19. mickydidit89 says:

    Rude rude rude Micky.
    Total, great stuff and I am entirely with you that recruits should compliment both systems.
    Evolution not revolution.

  20. 26may1989 says:

    Excellent Chary, I’ll definitely use that one next time I see all the United-supporting cousins!

    I always say to my wife it was a mistake marrying a Guju, who I now know are like the Lutherans of India, pretty much anything that is enjoyable is verboten or treated with suspicion; instead, I say (shortly before being hit by the aforementioned spouse), I should’ve married a Punjabi, who seem to be the Latins of India, lots of drinking, dancing, having fun and fighting. Sound like your family??

  21. MDi89 – I think Radders might go for a different themed recurring future of his match previews next season – perhaps famous soap stars from opposition towns ? I say soap stars as I assume that is what you mean by your repartee to my metally references ? Or is it the iconic ‘70s US sitcom that launched Billy Crystal’s career in playing gay guys?

    RedA – virtually no one understands my metal fascination so you and (2^7)/4-6 are in the 99% majority !

    LOL, 26 it does sound like my family, especially the fighting !

    PS – happy to help when it comes to goading/insulting glory-hunting plastic manks of any variety.

  22. navimumgooner says:

    I don’t think Koscer will be a good replacement for Clichy. We need a proper LB to replace another LB. All top teams need that. Baines for me is the best option. Although after watching a few SPL games, celtic’s Emilo Iziguire is not a bad option.

  23. goonermichael says:

    26
    How do you block myles dickhead?

  24. As a final word, for now, on my metal reference and in the spirit of todays post in taking positives I say this:

    OK, KK Downing will not be touring with the metal gods(Judas Priest) but looking at it from a purely selfish point of view he is not my favourite guitarist in the band, the other one, Glenn Tipton, is and he will be there.

    In all the guitar solos in the bands 40 year history there are only 3 occasions I can think of where KK does better than Glenn(Sinner, Victim of Changes and, most emphatically, Rock hard, ride free).

    So it won’t be the same without KK but it will still be a great tour in which the fans can say goodbye to the Priest.

  25. goonermichael says:

    In the metro this morning thay say Milan want to try to get RVP. They say he’s out of contract next season. Surely that’s wrong.

  26. 26may1989 says:

    GM

    Re blocking on newsnow, if you click on the publication name (in grey and to the right of the story headline that appears in black print) a few options will come up, one of which is “Hide publication”. That gets rid of that loser and plenty of others I object to! I operate on the principle of life’s too short to worry about all of them…..

    I think van Persie’s contract has two or three years on it but a new one’s being negotiated isn’t it?

  27. Red Arse says:

    We often get into a tizwiz over the finances of footie clubs, including our own, and forget the bigger picture of the UK’s finances.

    So here is an accountant’s solution to the problem!

    — Instead of giving billions of pounds to banks that will squander the money on lavish parties and unearned bonuses, use the following plan.

    You could call it the ‘Patriotic Retirement Plan':

    There are about 10 million people over 50 in the work force.

    Pay them £1 million each as severance for early retirement with the following stipulations:

    1) They MUST retire.

    This will create 10 million job openings – unemployment fixed, at a stroke.

    2) They MUST buy a new British car.

    Ten million cars ordered – Car Industry fixed, instantly.

    3) They MUST either buy a house or pay off their mortgage.

    Housing Crisis fixed. Splendido.

    4) They MUST send their kids to school/college/university.

    Crime rate fixed. Wow.

    5) They MUST buy £100 WORTH of alcohol and or tobacco a week.

    Arsene would be pleased with this, because it is self funding with the Chancellor getting his money back in duty and tax etc.

    It can’t get any easier to solve the nation’s financial woes than that!

    I know, I know, I am too modest to say I am brilliant …… but you can feel free! :-)

  28. kharadonha says:

    Nice article to comfort the Gooners all over the world. but for me I see no positives from this team, the only thing I see is lack of getting things done the correct way and the Arsenal way. Back in 2006 we’re all saying next season will be the bomb, it came still there was no improvement. We are well known for being chockers and that’s not nice taking into account that it is the players who getting paid big bucks not fans but still they don’t seem to lift themselves up. when you mentioned the players who can turn things around I still believe that under Arsene Wenger and this group of players we going nowhere. We are not tracking back to close gaps for the opponents not to have it easy when they attack, instead we give them too much room and respect something that Arsenal never had in the past. Also, Arsene is playing the players in wrong positions. all our players have no pace and those who have it don’t know how to use it for the benefit of the team.

    In the middle, Song was supposed to lead by making sure that his team mates in middle are doing the job but he doesn’t bcoz he has no football brains and you still say with Song the future is bright. are you kidding me?

    Cheers Gooners, Cape Town, South Africa is raining and no more games on TV.

  29. Wonderman says:

    Morning TA,

    Very good post on a positive slant. I dont believe much has to change either, and I think most of it lies at the feet of the coaching staff/management rather than the players.

    I dont agree with Kosser as a left back beacuse a) i’m pretty sure he is right footed and b) what makes you believe he has the engine to go up and down the flank the way clichy does….i’m not convinced at all.

    The positives I think we can take from this season are
    a) the emergence of Jack Wilshere
    b) We discovered a No1 goalie in Sczcesny
    c) Van P has showed what he can do when fit ( lets pray and get him help)
    d) Chamakh has shown enough to encourage excitement for next season
    e)Ramsey is back and playing again
    f) Denilson has said he is leaving
    g)Koscielny has showed plenty of promise
    h)Walcott has added goals to his game
    i)Vermaelen is fit

    With the purchase of a winger, natural born centre back and a proven striker, I think we are ready to go

  30. Red Arse says:

    Nice take Wonderman. :-)

    Altho’ I am a bit sceptical about your reason for rejecting Kozzer, at left back, because he does not have the motor to bomb up the wing.

    Isn’t that precisely the problem? Clichy and Sagna bombing up the wings, often at the same time, leaving no one at home to defend!

    I actually agree with you, in fact about Kozzer not being the right choice, tho’ for a different reason.

    TV would be my left back of preference, that would leave room for another top class CB with Djourou or Kozzer, making the defence much more watertight at set pieces!

  31. HCAA says:

    RA,

    You asked me at least once to change the subject, whilst at the same time asking me to respond to people who had responded to me. Impossible to do both in those circumstances. As it risks upsetting people and clearly incurs your wrath, I shall keep my opinions to myself.
    Thanks to Dandan and GiE for getting back to me.

  32. Rasp says:

    HCAA,

    Blogging is all about opinion and yours is as welcome as everone else’s. We only ask bloggers to back off when discussion becomes argument.

  33. goonermichael says:

    HCAA
    I enjoy your comments.

  34. Rasp says:

    On the left back issue, I agree Kozzer is not best suited, he would however be a great DM and one who could drop back to form a defensive 3 when the FB’s commit forward.

  35. goonermichael says:

    Anyone going to the Malaysia game? :)

  36. WiganGooner says:

    @ All..

    I think Gibbs could still be the answer at left back in a few seasons time. So with that in mind, with Traore and Botelho conceivably available for selection next year also…why not see how Botelho plays at left back during pre-season?

    Its a free option and he might be a great player for us.

    He looks a bit of an attacking full-back though, which has been highlighted is a big part of the problem.

    WG

  37. WiganGooner says:

    ..I think Botelho get spanish citizenship this year doesn’t he?

    WG

  38. Rasp says:

    Hi WG,

    I can’t agree that we should risk putting a rookie like Botelho into the first team however well he does in P/S. We need to get our campaigns off to a good start considering the way we tend to end the season.

    Have you noticed that the fringe players that do well in pre-seaon hardly ever make it into the first team? Last year at Barnet Nordveit was the stand-out player at RB and we sold him. JET did well too and was shipped out. I’m fairly sure Frimpong would have got games for the first team had he not been injured though.

  39. goonermichael says:

    HCAA
    If you are still here. I’m glad we never got Ferguson.I’d keep what we won with Graham and Wenger anyday than have that odious c*** running our team. I think he is a bully and a spoilt brat. I’d love to smack him in the mouth to be honest. If I met the bloke who assualted him at Kings Cros I’d shake his hand. If you ever get the chance watch the documentary about his sacking from his first job watch it. No wonder his son is a wife beater.

  40. 26may1989 says:

    Left back has become a bit of a problem position for us, with neither the potentially outgoing Clichy nor his logical successor doing much to make us confident. But I agree with WG re Gibbs: I know Gibbs has had a poor season but I still think there’s enough there to believe in.

    I can see where all the Vermaelen and Koscielny ideas are coming from but I see almost no chance of them actually happening – Vermaelen is a key player for us (as his absence this year showed) and needs to be at the heart of play; and Kos just isn’t built to play at full back – they may have similar builds but he doesn’t have the motor of a Micah Richards, which I think a modern full back needs.

    As for Botelho, I agree with Rasp. And in any case, isn’t Botelho the one with the very dodgy temperament? Or am I confusing him with someone else?

  41. WiganGooner says:

    @ Rasp

    I was merely suggesting taking a look at him in pre-season before we jump off and go buy someone else.

    After all, we bought him because we thought he had potential, now he is actually available to us it would be folly not to give him a chance in pre-season.

    WG

  42. WiganGooner says:

    @26

    The bit about his dodgy temperament came about from stories by a former assistant manager at Celta Vigo who took offence to Botelho sleeping with his daughter. It caused a huge kerfuffle and ended up with Botelho training with the kids and not even getting a look in at the first team.

    WG

  43. Wonderman says:

    RA

    One fullback going forward is one thing both of them is madness

    For me I worry about Gibbs. I think we should go and buy an experienced left back mind you I just remembered about Traore

  44. HCAA says:

    GM,

    Thanks, I will should the opportunity arise. If it was meant to be it would have happened. I think at the time most of us were probably content with the appointment of George Graham.

  45. goonermichael says:

    As you’ve probably noticed I really don’t like Ferguson. :) I would also be very wary of us being owned by Usmanov. Although abromovitch has provided the money for the chavs to spend he probably derailed thier season first by sacking wilkins then buying Torres when Ancelotti clealy didn’t want him.

  46. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi WG, 26, RA, interesting views re our LB position. I just like Koscielny and feel he needs to be playing in the first 11 if and when possible. He is intelligent and has got drive, hunger, speed, tenacity, is strong in the air (for LB position) and tackles very well. As I said, in the post he reminds me a bit of Dixon, but also of Flamini.

    I just don’t think he should play alongside TV in central defence. TV is my first choice CB, but if they were to play together there is just not enough height in the team. In previous seasons when we had Gallas and TV, and also Gallas and Toure in those positions together, I felt we suffered badly from set-pieces. If TV cannot play, Koz is the obvious replacement. So, in my ideal defensive formation we would play:

    Sagna – Djourou/new recruit – Vermaelen – Koz

    I think he is stronger defensively than Clichy (in the air as well on the ground), but going forward is still a question mark, although he could not be any worse than Clichy (in terms of assists/goals). However, as Rasp suggested, I can also see Koz in the DM position, next to Song or replacing Song at times. As long as he is not left on the bench when all defenders are fit: that would be a waste.

  47. 26may1989 says:

    @WG 12.49pm: :) :)

  48. goonermichael says:

    HCAA
    The documentary I mentioned was put together using the transcript taken at his unfair dismissal hearing.

  49. HCAA says:

    Here’s a bit of useless trivia for you GM. Chelsea’s first title in 1955, and Man City’s last title in 1968 were both won by ex-Arsenal legends. Ted Drake for Chelsea, and Joe Mercer for City.

  50. goonermichael says:

    I’d rather have Frimpong as DM than convert one of the defenders. Why don’t we just buy one anyway?

  51. That proverb is so cool!
    Well written article and unlike many articles being written at this time about Arsenal.
    Well done TA.
    Also, I think Koscielny is better than Djourou(remember Barca game) and would be above him in the pecking order.

    http://delhigunner.wordpress.com/2011/05/24/reasons-to-be-cheerful/

  52. Red Arse says:

    HCAA,

    Sorry, I have been out for a while, hence the delay in replying.

    You have misunderstood me. I have no problem with you commenting, and frankly no one wants you to keep your comments to yourself.

    I was simply trying to politely ask you to give the Wenger bashing a rest, and to change the topic because to some of us it is becoming repetitive and boring.

    My alternative suggestion, when you declined my original suggestion to change the subject, was to try and read what other bloggers were saying about Arsene, and respond positively to their points rather than continue to slag AW off using variations on a theme.

    You may have noticed I did not converse with you about your well known anti-Wenger views, because you have aired them so often there is nothing new.

    That does not stop you commenting and I am sure there are others on here, like Rasp, who share your views, so you can all chat as negatively as you like to each other. Especially as he is the boss!!

    You won’t mind if I don’t join you, or him, unless you discuss other matters.

  53. Anyone see the pic Cesc tweeted of him and Fabianski at the training ground this morning ?
    I didn’t realise Barca had bought Lucasz as well…….only kidding !

    Strange in that I thought he’d started his holiday already so how come he’s back in London now ?

  54. Red Arse says:

    TA,

    I would not dismiss your idea as it has merit.

    Given all the talk about Arsene intending to buy a tall CB, I think linking the new guy with our tallest CB, Djourou, would solve the height problem in the centre.

    What to do with TV and Kosser. Wonderman has pointed out Kosser is right footed, TV left. Therefore, TV at left back and Kosser as a DMF makes sense although they could be interchangeable.

    Actually, it is a moot point, because we both know, Arsene would laugh his socks off at the idea! He will need to address it tho’ if he does actually buy a new tall CB and Clichy leaves! :-)

  55. I got it now…Barca are training there ahead of the CL final against Old Purple Noses scummy team on Saturday.

  56. HCAA says:

    It really doesn’t matter RA. Had I felt that someone had comprehensively answered me to a satisfactory degree, I wouldn’t have been so repetitive or boring, so I apologise. Blogs reflect life, you get the good, the bad and the ugly. Supporting Arsenal means we have to support the manager too, as he ultimately shapes our mood between games. Sometimes people are made to feel like lepers for going against the grain and opposing the general consensus.

  57. WiganGooner says:

    Guys, I’ve written an article on the effect of Twitter on Arsenal players..I’d love to get some feedback on it…

    http://www.wigangooner.co.uk/?p=513

    Ta

    WG

  58. Red Arse says:

    HCAA,

    You are not a leper! :-)

    I don’t think you are going against the grain either. There are a large number of blog sites that clearly agree with you, and here on AA, opinion is divided.

    I do not blindly agree with everything AW does or says, but I just have a rather different take than you, and so many others, have of our manager.

    So chat away. I know there must be other matters of interest to you about Arsenal, so mixing up the topics and even throwing in a bit of poetry :-) would enrich the conversation.

  59. TotalArsenal says:

    S27, thanks. Agreed, Koscienlny had indeed a great game at Barca.

    If Koz had the height of Djourou he would be unbeatable. We need at least one tall defender in the PL and JD had some phenomenal games this year as well. It is quite amazing, given his previous fitness record, that he held on for so long without major injury. Next year, he will be even better and the combination of JD with TV is something to look forward to.

  60. Red Arse says:

    WG,

    I visited your site and left a message, and even did the maths, but I am not sure it registered.

    Anyway, I thought it was a good and interesting Post! :-)

    I hope you haven’t given up on the NewsNow route!! :-)

  61. TotalArsenal says:

    HCAA, you are more like a salmon (regarding your ‘Wenger-views’): you like to swim against the stream, which AA is providing for you. There are plenty of blogs where you would be comfortably swimming with the stream, but you seem to opt for the hard way. But, if you look around there a few more AA’s who are aligned with you, at least to a certain degree. I think you are a tremendous contributor to AA and look forward to many more discussions to come.

  62. HCAA says:

    One more thing, RA. I didn’t just ignorantly dismiss your request(s), but you did ask mid-debate, so as much as I was conscious of your growing annoyance, you also asked me to respond to other people, which I do when I can, because I don’t like ignorance. As I said, impossible to agree to your request at the same time as responding to other people’s responses.

  63. Red Arse says:

    CharyB,

    I thought this would be a salutary warning on the perils of drink!

    THE BOTTLE OF WINE

    Sally was driving home from one of her business trips in Northern Arizona when she saw an elderly Navajo woman walking on the side of the road.
    As the trip was a long and quiet one, she stopped the car and asked the Navajo woman if she would like a ride.

    With a silent nod of thanks, the woman got into the car. Resuming the journey, Sally tried in vain to make a bit of small talk with the Navajo woman. The old woman just sat silently, looking intently at everything she saw, studying every little detail, until she noticed a brown bag on the seat next to Sally.

    ‘What in bag?’ asked the old woman. Sally looked down at the brown bag and said, ‘It’s a bottle of wine. I got it for my husband.’

    The Navajo woman was silent for another moment or two. Then speaking with the quiet wisdom of an elder, she said:

    ‘You got good trade’

  64. WiganGooner says:

    @ RA – 2:03

    They’re a nightmare, I haven’t given up but they’re being quite picky. It’s frustrating because there are so many so-called Arsenal blogs that just repost news content from sky etc that get on NewsNow and my orignal content keeps getting binned…

    Still, I intend to keep trying and that’s all I can do.

    WG

  65. Good one RedA – but that’d never be a problem if you stuck to beer, rather than poncey wine. :)

  66. Red Arse says:

    HCAA,

    Hope this is the last time we need to talk about this, because, in turn, this is becoming boring buddy.

    I was not annoyed, I was actually trying to help.
    Neither did I suggest you were ‘ignorantly’ (?) dismissing my request. I did not ‘request’ anything.

    My intention was to politely suggest that you change the topic, because it was becoming repetitive and boring to other AA’ers, or failing that, to read what was being said by others and respond to their comments positively.

    Actually, I can do without this, you have succeeded in diluting my enjoyment of the site. I will go and look elsewhere.

    That’s it. Enjoy your blogging.

  67. WiganGooner says:

    @ RA

    Nope, the comments didn’t get on there, but I’ve changed the anti-spam system so no maths required :)

    I was getting a lot of spam comments so something had to be done :)

    Cheers

    WG

  68. Red Arse says:

    Don’t give up WG, you will get there!

    Poncey wine indeed, CharyB. :-)

    I am departing AA and am going to find a new site to frequent, so I might see you on that horrible Yankee Doodle site you write for! :-)

  69. HCAA says:

    RA,

    You add much more to this site than me, so I shall go elsewhere. I was merely trying to apologise and clear up any mis-understanding. I shall not bore you with this again.

  70. 26may1989 says:

    HCAA – Don’t go! Yes, you express your critical views on Wenger in strong terms, and that might not be to the taste of all, but that shouldn’t stop you pitching up here. I disagree with many of your views on matters Arsenal but you’ve got plenty to say and it would be a real shame if you depart these shores.

  71. Red Arse says:

    HCAA,

    That is not necessary! :-)

    I genuinely do not have a problem with you. I was trying to tip you the wink that it might have been an idea to change the topic. That’s all.

    Frankly, if the others were asked for their views of my contributions to AA they would not be flattering!

    TA said it earlier, ‘HCAA, I think you are a tremendous contributor to AA and look forward to many more discussions to come.’ Doesn’t get better than that does it? :-) never been said to me, by the way. So enjoy! :-)

  72. Red Arse says:

    WG,

    Before I go. I still could not post my comment on your site, despite 3 attempts.

    Have a go yourself, and see if you can get in OK. You don’t want to scare off the customers! :-)

  73. dandan says:

    HCAA and RA will the pair of you please get on with what you do best and that is blog, just do us all a favour and change the record occasionally re the Wenger stuff, Rasp among others is not to fond of the man, whilst I and others are fans, this does not mean we talk of him all the time.

    You both have much to offer don’t let petty squabbles blow you away.

  74. WiganGooner says:

    @ RA

    Right, I’m going to turn it off, it seems to work for me but maybe its a browser/OS thing..either way if its intermittently working then its no good for me!

    Cheers

    WG

  75. dandan says:

    And now for something completely different that made me laugh.

    When I was 13, I hoped that one day I would have a girlfriend with big tits.

    When I was 18, I got a girlfriend with big tits, but there was no passion, so I decided I needed a passionate girl with zest for life.

    In college I dated a passionate girl, but she was too emotional. Everything was an emergency; she was a drama queen, cried all the time and threatened suicide. So I decided I needed a girl with stability.

    When I was 30, I found a very stable girl but she was boring. She was totally predictable and never got excited about anything. Life became so dull that I decided that I needed a girl with some excitement.

    When I was 35, I found an exciting girl, but I couldn’t keep up with her. She rushed from one thing to another, never settling on anything. She did mad impetuous things and made me miserable as often as happy. She was great fun initially and very energetic, but directionless. So I decided to find a girl with some real ambition.

    When I turned 40, I found a smart ambitious girl with her feet planted firmly on the ground, so I married her. She was so ambitious that she divorced me and took everything I owned.

    I am older and wiser now, and I am looking for a girl with big tits.

  76. WiganGooner says:

    Lets face it gang, we all come here to agree and disagree about stuff…but its because we love Arsenal that we want to discuss it with like-minded individuals.

    Lets live together in perfect harmony.

    WG

  77. dandan,

    I always suspected there were two sides to you ;)

    Everyone else……chill please :)

  78. Dan dan – that reminds me of the bit in the Charlie Sheen comedy where his character has recently been dumped by his fiancée so he hires a hooker at $2,000 per day to give him the “girlfriend experience” – i.e. to roll her eyes at him at whatever he says, nag him and try to change him.
    When he asks her if she’s free the next day she says “I’m never free but I am available” and quotes him $8,000 for the weekend.
    When she walks away to go upstairs and spend 2 hours putting face cream on, like his g/f did, he says to himself “Hmmm, still cheaper than getting married!”

  79. dandan says:

    From todays Time it looks like youwill get your wishes.

    Manager ready to finally release purse strings

    Arsène Wenger has vowed to be “very active” in the transfer market this summer as he attempts to strengthen an Arsenal squad that has failed to win a trophy for six years.

    The club’s barren run has prompted supporters and former players to call for heavy investment in the close season, but until now Wenger has been determined not to stray away from his longstanding policy of evolution rather than revolution.

    However, the Arsenal manager is preparing to adopt a different attitude towards the market, which he believes could be more frenzied than normal with Uefa’s Financial Fair Play regulations on the horizon.

    “The market will be hyperactive because everyone believes Financial Fair Play will happen soon,” Wenger said. “So we are quickly doing the last buying before the stores will be closed. And for the first time for a while, I will be very active, too.”

    Wenger has money to spend but it is unlikely that he will attempt to compete with the likes of Manchester City and Chelsea for the most expensive players in the market. Instead, the Frenchman is likely to revert to the approach that brought him so much success in the early part of his career in North London, recruiting established and robust young players alongside experienced and proven performers from the Premier League.

    Wenger is keen to bring in at least three top-class players with a centre back, a goalkeeper and a defensive midfield player the priority as he attempts to overcome the disappointment of finishing fourth in the Barclays Premier League, 12 points behind Manchester United, the champions.

    “The club is in a healthy financial situation and we have got the basis of the team, but we know we want to be stronger next year,” Wenger said in an interview on French television. “The fans need to trust us because the club is in a strong position. I share their disappointment because a few weeks ago we were in a position to win the league and in the end we play for qualifying in the Champions League. We have to take it on the chin and come back stronger next season.”

    Arsenal may opt to revive a deal for Christopher Samba, the Blackburn Rovers defender, after narrowly missing out on the player in January, while Mamadou Sakho, another defender, from Paris Saint-Germain, is also a potential target.

    Gary Cahill, the Bolton Wanderers centre back, is a more expensive and less realistic option, with Manchester City and Liverpool also known to be interested in the England player.

    Wenger will also attempt to keep a number of his star players amid interest from the Continent. Samir Nasri, whose contract expires in June 2012, is expected to clarify his future in the coming weeks.

    Arsenal had been expected to announce that Nasri had agreed fresh terms in February, but nothing materialised. It was then agreed that further negotiations would be postponed.

    “I never speak about the conversations I have with the players,” Wenger said when asked about whether Nasri had given him any assurances that he wanted to re-sign. “I will do everything possible to make him stay.”

    The retention of Cesc Fàbregas, the captain, is another pressing issue. The sight of the injured Arsenal midfield player at the Spanish Grand Prix in Barcelona, rather than at his club’s final game of the season at Craven Cottage on Sunday, will do little to dampen the annual speculation over a move to Barcelona, although the club insist that it is their policy that injured players are not required to attend away games.

  80. goonermichael says:

    Danda
    I’ve had 4 wives and the first one had big tits funnily enough

  81. dandan says:

    O my god GM, what will BR say when he comes on later :-)

  82. Rasp says:

    dandan,

    Why do you think “I am not fond of the man” (Wenger)

    I love the guy. He has done wonders for the club. I want him to acknowledge that (for whatever reason) his current vision is not working and to put it right. If he cannot put it right, I think he should go with honour, but I will always be profoundly grateful for what he has done for the Arsenal.

  83. goonermichael says:

    He’s had 4 to I think dandan.

  84. dandan says:

    Rasp perhaps I chose a wrong word, in my haste to try and calm our blogging friends, It would be silly to lose them over so trivial a matter.

    As for Wenger I am aware you respect him, but was of the opinion you were nearer the Arsene out than Arsene in.

    By the way AK11 arrived today so all must be well. :-)

  85. Rasp says:

    Thanks dandan, I understand – and well done on your arbitration service :P

  86. mickydidit89 says:

    Here’s one who is firmly in the current Arsene out, new Arsene in, campsite.

  87. TotalArsenal says:

    RA, I think you are phenomenal contributor to AA and am looking forward to many more discussions, poems, jokes, philosophical insights and general entertainment to come.

  88. TotalArsenal says:

    Are there indeed to sides to you DanDan, hence the repetition of your name, Dan?

  89. dandan says:

    Mickey I will rub some sticks together and see if I can light your campfire with enthusiasm, for the fun times ahead.

  90. mickydidit89 says:

    dandan,
    This happened the other day. AK11? Andrei Kanchelskis? Eh? Who?

  91. dandan says:

    My full title young TA is Dandan the footyman :-)
    but dont tell anyone. :-)

  92. dandan says:

    Mickey have taken today delivery of the wife’s new car, this years reg letters are AK, its number just happens to be 11, thus AK11 = Arsene knows his 11 simples :-)

  93. mickydidit89 says:

    dandan,
    I believe I am one considered to be shifting into the anti brigade, which is not the case. I simply believe we have some weaknesses, all of which are the fault of those at the top.
    I happen to think, with a little inside knowledge, that Stan will be very good for the club, and will inject some leadership from on high. Good times ahead I am very sure.

  94. mickydidit89 says:

    Ahhh

  95. Rasp says:

    Hi micky,

    When I compare the image from the bench of the fidgeting, stressed, frustrated Arsene of recent years compared to the calm, urbane version pre 2006, I wonder what has happened? I don’t get the impression he is enjoying the job any more that’s for sure.

  96. RockyLives says:

    Great debut article TA
    A very timely reminder of the many positives.
    I am slowly emerging from the trough of despond that I was in for the final few weeks of the season.
    But I have come to the conclusion that our players were technically good enough to have won the EPL this year, so what’s needed is a change of attitude. That may be brought about partially by new personnel, but also it will need a different attitude from AW. I happen to think he will provide it and that next year we’ll win the league.

    Like others, I’m not sure about Kozzer as LB, but I would love to see him playing as our DM. Song, for me, was less consistent this season than last, partly because he was encouraged to get forward so much.

  97. dandan says:

    Good to hear it Mickey, anyone who was there on that magic night has to be a true believer. God bless Smitty an assist and a goal oh! sweet memories.

  98. mickydidit89 says:

    Rasp,
    I happen to think that Stan is well aware that AW is under too much pressure, and relieving some of that is paramount to AW returning to calmer, winning ways.

  99. mickydidit89 says:

    I am on school run duties today, so bye for now.

  100. RockyLives says:

    Redders
    At the risk of sounding like the little boy at the end of Shane… “Don’t go…”

    I can’t believe you’ll find another site with as many like minded nutters as this one. Forget the football – it’s worth coming here for the poetry, the philosophy, the quantum physics, the epicurianism, the internationality and, above all else, the humour.

    I’ve only been blogging for a year or so, but in that time I have come to the conclusion that although participating in a site brings many joys (friendship with ‘complete strangers’ being not least among them), it also requires a strong dose of tolerance.

    Sometimes views will be expressed that ‘rub us up the wrong way’ (oo-er missus). Sometimes we’ll engage in some back and forth with someone with whom we find ourselves at loggerheads. When it all gets too tedious it’s probably best to cease engaging with that person and their points and just talk to others instead.

    There’s no need to walk away, but if you do, best of luck. You’ll be missed on here.

  101. dandan says:

    Mickey some of your comments have the ring of informed realism about them, if you do indeed have a seat close to the throne, please keep us as informed as you are realistically able to without breaking confidences.

  102. RockyLives says:

    dandan
    There’s a few on here who hint at a bit of insider knowledge. I am very much an outsider, so I hope it’s understood that everything I say is spectacularly uninformed :)

  103. Gooner in Exile says:

    Afternoon all, been wanting to comment all day since reading this morning. Troublesome client kept me at bay.

    Cracking post TA altho I’m sure others have complimented already, it’s a good start to summer of looking forward rather than the spring of discontent.

    Now to read comments.

  104. Evonne says:

    Total – I am sorry, I completely forgot to congratulate you on yet another great post. And thank you for keeping us entertaint :)

    Rocky and Chary – this is not Total’s debut, he published a great post a couple of weeks ago, you boys must have been away.

  105. Evonne says:

    HCAA – Red Arse is a true gentleman and he is big enough to accept an apology, hopefully you can stay with this site and share your vast knowledge

  106. Evonne says:

    Chary – can I have a recipe for a veggie curry please? Peaches has my email.

  107. Evonne says:

    GM – four wives???? And only one with big tits, that’s shocking

  108. Evonne, I must have missed that then as I’d never seen a TotalA post before today.

    I have to confess most of the cooking I do is Mexican(enchiladas, burritos) or out of a pack mix.

    As regard to ruby’s, I tend to just get some ready made sauce(especially Rogan josh, or jalferazi if it’s just for me) like pataks and just add soya protein, onions, green chillies, mushrooms, peas, potatoes(boil these till slightly soft before you add them) and fresh tomatoes.

    Best served with freshly baked nan bread -I can’t stand rice.
    Hmmm, I’m getting hungry at the thought of it now.

    Thanks Evonne, I’ve just decided what’s for dinner tonight !

  109. kelsey says:

    An interesting collection of stats from the Guardian, it dispels quite a lot of myths and falsehoods on our season. It also confirms hard truths!

    Between 1 January and 22 May 2011, Robin van Persie scored in nine consecutive Premier League matches away from home; a new record

    Arsenal saw nine opponents sent off, a 2010-11 high, all nine of them were straight red cards

    Three players managed 10 shots in a single game this season. Samir Nasri for Arsenal at home to WBA, Andy Carroll for Newcastle at home to Manchester City and Daniel Sturridge for Bolton at home to West Ham

    Robin van Persie equalled the Premier League record of 18 goals scored in a season from January 1 onwards held by Thierry Henry and Cristiano Ronaldo

    Jerome Thomas, Andrey Arshavin and Jermaine Pennant were all substituted 19 times, more than any other player this season

    53.5% Arsenal conceded the highest proportion of the goals from set-piece situations this season in the Premier League

    61% Arsenal were the only team who averaged over 60% possession this season

    75% Arsenal had the best pass completion in the attacking third

    142 Denílson made the most touches in a single game, 142 for Arsenal away at Wigan

    1104 Arsenal made more touches in the opposition penalty area than any other side in 2010-11

  110. Gooner in Exile says:

    Okay so it’s been a very interesting day…..

    Looking forward to hearing more of Mickys inside knowledge

  111. goonermichael says:

    Two are Japanese Evonne. They are not known for big tits. They have other assets but this is a family site. :oops:

  112. Red Arse says:

    Hi rocky, :-)

    I wasn’t exactly walking away, I just wanted HCAA to have some room to blog without feeling pressured.
    Unfortunately, my attempts to help have spectacularly backfired.

    In addition, I had to pop down to the doc. :-) That reminded me of an article a friend sent to me, when he first heard I was having some problems. I thought you might like to add it to your list of non-footie topics on AA! :-)

    Colonoscopy Journal:

    I called my friend Andy Sable, a gastroenterologist, to make an appointment for a colonoscopy.

    A few days later, in his office, Andy showed me a color diagram of the colon, a lengthy organ that appears to go all over the place, at one point passing briefly through Minneapolis.
    Then Andy explained the colonoscopy procedure to me in a thorough, reassuring and patient manner.

    I nodded thoughtfully, but I didn’t really hear anything he said, because my brain was shrieking, ‘HE’S GOING TO STICK A TUBE 17,000 FEET LONG UP YOUR BEHIND!’

    I left Andy’s office with some written instructions, and a prescription for a product called ‘MoviPrep,’ which comes in a box large enough to hold a microwave oven. I will discuss MoviPrep in detail later; for now suffice it to say that we must never allow it to fall into the hands of America ‘s enemies…..
    I spent the next several days productively sitting around being nervous.

    Then, on the day before my colonoscopy, I began my preparation. In accordance with my instructions, I didn’t eat any solid food that day; all I had was chicken broth, which is basically water, only with less flavor.
    Then, in the evening, I took the MoviPrep. You mix two packets of powder together in a one-liter plastic jug, then you fill it with lukewarm water. (For those unfamiliar with the metric system, a liter is about 32 gallons). Then you have to drink the whole jug. This takes about an hour, because MoviPrep tastes – and here I am being kind – like a mixture of goat spit and urinal cleanser, with just a hint of lemon.
    The instructions for MoviPrep, clearly written by somebody with a great sense of humor, state that after you drink it, ‘a loose, watery bowel movement may result.’
    This is kind of like saying that after you jump off your roof, you may experience contact with the ground.
    MoviPrep is a nuclear laxative. I don’t want to be too graphic, here, but, have you ever seen a space-shuttle launch? This is pretty much the MoviPrep experience, with you as the shuttle. There are times when you wish the commode had a seat belt. You spend several hours pretty much confined to the bathroom, spurting violently. You eliminate everything. And then, when you figure you must be totally empty, you have to drink another liter of MoviPrep, at which point, as far as I can tell, your bowels travel into the future and start eliminating food that you have not even eaten yet.
    After an action-packed evening, I finally got to sleep.

    The next morning my wife drove me to the clinic. I was very nervous. Not only was I worried about the procedure, but I had been experiencing occasional return bouts of MoviPrep spurts. I was thinking, ‘What if I spurt on Andy?’ How do you apologize to a friend for something like that? Flowers would not be enough.

    At the clinic I had to sign many forms acknowledging that I understood and totally agreed with whatever the heck the forms said. Then they led me to a room full of other colonoscopy people, where I went inside a little curtained space and took off my clothes and put on one of those hospital garments designed by sadist perverts, the kind that, when you put it on, makes you feel even more naked than when you are actually naked..
    Then a nurse named Eddie put a little needle in a vein in my left hand. Ordinarily I would have fainted, but Eddie was very good, and I was already lying down. Eddie also told me that some people put vodka in their MoviPrep.
    At first I was ticked off that I hadn’t thought of this, but then I pondered what would happen if you got
    yourself too tipsy to make it to the bathroom, so you were staggering around in full Fire Hose Mode.
    You would have no choice but to burn your house.

    When everything was ready, Eddie wheeled me into the procedure room, where Andy was waiting with a nurse and an anesthesiologist. I did not see the 17,000-foot tube, but I knew Andy had it hidden around there somewhere. I was seriously nervous at this point.
    Andy had me roll over on my left side, and the anesthesiologist began hooking something up to the needle in my hand.
    There was music playing in the room, and I realized that the song was ‘Dancing Queen’ by ABBA. I remarked to Andy that, of all the songs that could be playing during this particular procedure, ‘Dancing Queen’ had to be the least appropriate.
    ‘You want me to turn it up?’ said Andy, from somewhere behind me.
    ‘Ha ha,’ I said. And then it was time, the moment I had been dreading for more than a decade. If you are squeamish, prepare yourself, because I am going to tell you, in explicit detail, exactly what it was like.

    I have no idea. Really! I slept through it. One moment, ABBA was yelling ‘Dancing Queen, feel the beat of the tambourine,’ and the next moment, I was back in the other room, waking up in a very mellow mood.
    Andy was looking down at me and asking me how I felt. I felt excellent. I felt even more excellent when Andy told me that It was all over, and that my colon had passed with flying colors. I have never been prouder of an internal organ.

    The problem was that to push the 17,000 foot tube up, they have to blow some air in ahead of it. The result is when you lie in the recovery cubicle, you let rip a series of the most horrendously protracted farts man has ever produced, akin to the protracted blasts of the Queen Mary’s funnel venting!

    Colonoscopies are no joke, but these comments during the exam were quite humorous….. A physician claimed that the following are actual comments made by his patients (predominately male) while he was performing their colonoscopies:
    1. Take it easy Doc. You’re boldly going where no man has gone before.
    2. ‘Find Amelia Earhart yet?’
    3. ‘Can you hear me NOW?’
    4. ‘Are we there yet? Are we there yet? Are we there yet?’
    5. ‘You know, in Arkansas, we’re now legally married.’
    6. ‘Any sign of the trapped miners, Chief?’
    7. ‘You put your left hand in, you take your left hand out…’
    8. ‘Hey! Now I know how a Muppet feels!’
    9. ‘If your hand doesn’t fit, you must quit!’
    10. ‘Hey Doc, let me know if you find my dignity.’
    11. ‘God, now I know why I am not gay.’
    12. ‘Could you write a note for my wife saying that my head is not up there?’

    I receive that on the morning of my procedure! :-)

    Anyone who has experienced this examination will sympathize. :-)

  113. dandan says:

    Been there done that, superbly described RA. then they charged me a couple of grand.

  114. Blimey, I feel quite inadequate, I’ve only had an angiogram. :(

    Followed by a quadruple heart bypass the next day !

  115. chas says:

    Haha RA, sounds like the MoviPrep was worse than the 17,000 ft long tube. Your good humour does you enormous credit. :)

  116. Red Arse says:

    Hi Chas, :-)

    Sorry it was a bit long. :-)

    Dandan, it is not something I would recommend to anyone, as I am sure you would agree.

    The UK procedure differs to the US method in that you are given a relaxant and are wide awake in a room full of doctors and nurses. Dignity? What’s that? :-)

  117. Red Arse says:

    CharyB,

    Is that true, or are you joshing?

    You had a quadruple bypass op! Seriously?

  118. chas says:

    What, the tube, RA? :)

    Saw this about Fergie and thought it was funny. Just delete if it’s not acceptable.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/13521267.stm

  119. Red Arse says:

    Chas, :-)

    Typical Ferguson! Autocratic despot and total shitheap! :-)

  120. 26may1989 says:

    Cheers for that Chas. Just shows what a Leninist Fergie is – right to free comment? Bugger that, just ban anyone who doesn’t tow the party line.

    But are the football authorities or the press brave enough to take him on? Course not, spineless bunch of sycophants.

  121. RedA @ your 5.32, no kidding, I had it about 6 years ago now.

    I’m sure I offered to show Peachy the scars one match day but I may have been rather tired and emotional and may be getting my details muddled.

  122. Red Arse says:

    CharyB, :-)

    But you are far too young.

    We accountants put in so much more effort than the lawyers, I suppose it is the price we brave warriors have to pay! :-)

    Sorry to hear it buddy!!

  123. Gooner in Exile says:

    A typical day on AA from football philosophy to colonoscopy in one day.

    I’ve had an ‘oscopy but without wanting to go into full details I will say that if you think the entrance on the rear of the body is uncomfortable try the one at the front from where only liquid normally passes.

  124. Too true RedA, luckily it all happened too quickly for me to have time to panic about it. :)

  125. kelsey says:

    Embarrasing Bodies …now on AA, whatever next.Is there another Arsenal site quite like this :)

  126. dandan says:

    Gooner IE am I allowed to say you were probably full of it. :-)

  127. Red Arse says:

    Oh stop it GIE, :-)

    Even reading that makes my fingers go numb,

    The things some AA’ers do for kicks!! :-)

  128. Hemorrhoids ;

    Any opinions .

  129. Red Arse says:

    Kelsey, :-)

    I knew I should have buggered off and left you innocents alone!! :-)

  130. Gooner in Exile (has said too much) says:

    The worse was the joviality shown by the doctors performing the task.

    Anyway on to lighter subjects what next?

  131. RockyLives says:

    Hi Redders
    @your 04.11
    I’m sorry, I know it must have been traumatic, but I’m still laughing now at your hilarious account of a colonoscopy. I happen to be in a doctor’s waiting room while reading it too (fortunately not for bottom related issues).

    Am very glad I got the wrong end of the stick earlier when I thought you were departing these particular balmy shores of the Great Sea of Blog. It wouldn’t be the same without you.

  132. RockyLives says:

    TA
    Apologies too – I blame Chary.
    In fact I read and enjoyed your previous post (about our fine manager, I recall).

  133. goonermichael says:

    I had a very attractive nurse at UCH checking my prostrate once. She asked “that’s not too uncomfortable is it” I almost replied “Don’t stop yet you’re really good at this”.
    I’m off home see you all later. Hope HCAA hasn’t gone.

  134. TotalArsenal says:

    Colonoscopy, holy crap! What are you guys doing to my post? I’ve even tried to find a suitable, funny poem about Colonoscopy, and there are plenty available, but they are all too serious! RA you started this!

  135. Gooner in Exile (has said too much) says:

    Cesc and RvP are clearly not where the dressing room unrest judging by their twitter banter this afternoon.

  136. GM

    where you PROSTRATE when you had your PROSTATE examined :)

  137. TotalArsenal says:

    GM, did the nurse become one of your many wives?

  138. TotalArsenal says:

    Evonne @4.48 that was very funny!

  139. SharkeySure says:

    Nice post TA, pleasant antidote to almost everything else being written about Arsenal now I guess. I say ‘guess’ as I pretty much only read AA and the BBC Football page.

    I think Kozzer is our best defender, ahead of even Vermaelen. Djourou in the last couple of montns hasd completely undone all his earlier good work (Man U game aside?). He’s back to square one having to convince me one way or the other.

    We need a left back who likes defending, who can also deliver a good cross into the box from 30yds up the touchline, not one who loves to loiter around the oppo 18 yd box. Having said that we will miss Clichy’s energy.

    Bottle of wine and girl with big tits…cheers Red and DD !

  140. TotalArsenal says:

    Cheers SharkyS, agree on Koscielny and I think that Djourou got a bit tired towards end of season. With TV back and hopefully another defender (Samba?) we should be ready to spread the load and get better defensively.

  141. RockyLives says:

    TA
    I would like to see a CB of Samba’s size in the team. Verm and Kozzer are very good but, as a partnership, they both lack height. JD is taller, but I think the jury’s still out on him.

  142. TotalArsenal says:

    RL, yes jury is still out for JD. I just remember what a difference he made over the Christmas period when he did not play against Wigan away, but did play against Birmingham away. He brings a lot more balance to the team, but towards the end of the season he had a few poor performances, so jury remains out.

    Are there any Gooners out there in Canada that you are in touch with?

  143. chas says:

    Sharkey, what was the barometer thing you had on LG ages ago? Something like the SharkeySure Bullshitometer?

  144. goonermichael says:

    Has anyone read the bbc site re the team of the decade? Shows how much they all love tha mancs.

    Kelsey I thought it was called the prostrate gland lol.

  145. SharkeySure says:

    Agreed re Evonne’s 4.48. Quality !!

  146. SharkeySure says:

    That must have been some time ago Chas….Lol

    I used to make them up as I when along. One ofthe was the SharkeySureSanitySomething..?? It got thru a lot of work over there as you can well imagine.

    I reckon it almost died thru over use. Now I’m here and I’ve only had confirmed cases of insanity for Red Arse and the Frothing Inarticulate Loon. Happy days.

    I’ve tested MickeyDid it and Chary on his Red Nose Rant days…both close, but no cigar.

    First and hopefully last time I ever use that silly ‘cigar’ phrase

  147. Evonne says:

    Peaches, Irish – do not read the comments! Boys are taking bo**x tonight

    GiE – I had the *scopy a couple of months ago. A good looking, young doctor, how can he do this day in day out?? I would not to his job for all the tea in China

  148. RockyLives says:

    TA
    My boss is a Gooner :D
    Plus there’s a big group of Toronto Gooners who regularly meet up at certain pubs for games.
    Almost all the games are on the box.
    We used to have a regular on AA from London, Ontario (GunnerN5) but he got huffy about something and flounced off sadly.
    Also there’s a good blog site called Arsenalist (arsenalist.com) which is run by a Toronto guy and always carries footage of the all the goals and incidents from each game.

  149. Evonne says:

    Chary – you look so well and young! The op must have been a great success!

  150. SharkeySure says:

    Samab’s a real conundrum for me. He’s a really good talker and organiser which is exactly what we need, but I’m just not that convinced that he’s a really good player.

    Then the pragmatic side of me (split personality – test myself later!) says we’ve got a team full of ‘good’ players which has’t ‘turned the corner’, or ‘made that final step’. Perhaps we need a player of slightly less technical ability who makes up for it with sheer bastardness and an iron will to win and absolute refusal to be beaten.

    In that vein I remember thinking talking to Wonderman a my mate Kily some years ago and suggestig thate buy Phil Neville. Of course I was only half serious, but the point was made. If we’d had a 30 yr old Gilles Grimandi to bringon as sub, or to cover injures, we might well have seen a very different ending to our season.

    Gilles two most glorious moments are also his most infamous. Full details can be obtained from Mr Diego Simeone and Mr Edar Davids. Sat here shaking my head about both incidents…but with a big smile on my face !!!

  151. SharkeySure says:

    Me and my tpyos…. ;-)

  152. SharkeySure says:

    “They have other assets but this is a family site. :oops:

    Thats a cracker !!

  153. chas says:

    Haha Sharkey

  154. SharkeySure says:

    Red 5.11. Wot a read. Brilliant.

    I’m 44 now, happy enough to give thanks and die rather than go through that I think!

  155. SharkeySure says:

    Chas….many thanks.

    I knew I didn’t need to be so obtuse as to actually ask you to find it. Some things just don’t need saying ‘eh.

  156. SharkeySure says:

    Grimandi….Legend. On the TV footage, you see him give a gallic shrug in response to Davids that said more than a thousand words ever could.

    One of my greatest memories watching Arsenal is Simeone’s reaction to Grimandi’s right hook. Its not even the punch itself, its Diego’s volcanic reaction when he realises that after years of getting players sent off sneakily, he’s just been laid out, and the guy who did it was going to get away with it. Priceless

  157. SharkeySure says:

    GiE – “try the one at the front through which only liquid normally passes.”

    Your mouth GiE..??

    Are you seriously trying to pass off sinking bottles of Peroni outside the Tavern as some sort of medical procedure..??

    You trained as lawyer before seeing the light, tried your hand at nursing, then back to the dark side as an accountant..oops I mean ‘brave warrior’ ..??

    God news. Thats my last post.

    Bad news. I’ll be back tomorrow

    Nite all

  158. TotalArsenal says:

    RL, great to hear you are surrounded by fellow Gooners. Your boss is a Gooner? Haha, he must have made supporting the Arsenal as the key selection criterium for the job…

  159. Harry says:

    Total A, that was a great positive review of where we are at, so busy at the moment and havent had chance for a proper response…..Just so good to read a positive post…..

  160. chas says:

    Sharkey, here’s the gallic shrug….
    (first 4 seconds blank)

  161. Gooner in Exile says:

    Morning all

    I see rumours about Benzema are strengthening with AW commenting in the Mirror on the player.

    However he is going to cost us around £20m and is 23 years old…..one goal in two in 2010-11, one in three before that.

    However in my view he is still young and is not the proven goalscorer type we need.

    Also has his legal stuff regarding the visit to the “nightclub” (with Riberry et al) been resolved?

  162. Gooner in Exile says:

    That shrug is hilarious

  163. Gooner in Exile says:

    The Fergie “ban him” made the BBC breakfast news this morning.

    What a cock, the guy asked a very simple question “how important is Ryan Giggs to the team?”

    If he asked about the injunction it’s fair enough but what would the reaction be to Wenger if he was seen to do that?

    One other pic not sure if people have seen or not:

    http://tinyurl.com/3utgfpx

  164. Gooner in Exile says:

    That team of the decade thing is a joke, I can understand why some players are picked (ie they have played the majority of the decade at the top level and are still playing).

    But for Shearer who retired in 2006 to be ahead of Henry or Bergkamp just shows how xenophobic the game in this country is.

  165. mickydidit89 says:

    Chas,
    That is such a great clip. Certainly elevated Gilles to cult status. Highlight of a deadly game, and once again, I got the wrong free T-shirt. Got the white one both then and at the CL Final. Sadly missed the Wigan game at Highbury, but would have been in a “white” seat for sure!

  166. mickydidit89 says:

    I think we have space and time for a mini debate. If it were to be a straight choice for a player to get a consistent run in the side playing as a striker in front of RvP, would you go for MC or NB. For me the answer was obvious, then I learnt that NB has the highest goals to shots ratio of any player the world has ever known (or similar). Then compound that confidence is a key ingredient of a striker’s repetoire and the answer for me inches closer to NB.

  167. Evonne says:

    Grimandi shrug – top acting

  168. mickydidit89 says:

    And NB is younger. If we flog him, will he go on to be the next…?

  169. Evonne says:

    Micky – Nick any time, he is perfectly capable of brilliance. I have not seen enough of MC yet.

  170. mickydidit89 says:

    Evonne,
    Bonjour.

  171. Rasp says:

    Hi micky,

    I don’t think Bendy has ever had a run in the side similar to that enjoyed by Chamakh at the start of the season. He’ll definitely be successful elsewhere if he leaves. I would ask the question, why when we had Bendy, did we want a player of very similar ability? (Chamakh) – I’m hoping the answer isn’t because he was free.

    I see very little in terms of goal threat between Bendy and Chamakh, but I think his extra arrogance/self confidence may just give him the edge.

  172. mickydidit89 says:

    E,
    I believe I am with you on this one, and yet I have a feeling NB would be nearer the exit door.

  173. Morning all

    micky – I agree that it should be Nik. As you say his stats are very good but also his determination and never give up attitude are important to us as a team as too many of our players’ heads drop when we’re chasing the game.

    Nik just keeps on trying – I hope we keep him.

  174. mickydidit89 says:

    One or two comments here on my insider info. I know absolutely nothing about any player comings or goings.

  175. mickydidit89 says:

    I have sparked the worst debate in the history of AA. 100% agreement does not make a great conversation :-)
    Where are RA and HCCA when you really need them. Bless those two.

  176. Maybe the debate should have been about the type of boots he chooses to wear or the car he drives or the girls he hangs around with or the fact that he of all our players seems to get caught out by the paps the most :)

    I always cheer for him – ridiculously loudly and often – as soon as he is on the pitch, I’m sure the people around me think we’re related. Mainly it’s because there are so many negative comments about him as soon as he touches the ball I feel compelled to fill the air with ‘Come on Nik’

  177. Evonne says:

    Micky – dzien dobry :)

    What has actually happened between RA and HCAA? They are both right, in a way, they both are passionately in love with Arsenal and yet such anonimosity?? Too much alike??

  178. TotalArsenal says:

    GiE, agree fully on your ‘team of the decade’ comment. No DB or TH is a disgrace.

  179. London says:

    I have finally had the chance to read the post and all the comments and what a fine post it is too as well as some interesting comments. This might seem like nit picking but how on earth is a right footed player like Koscielny expected to make a success of playing left back?

  180. TotalArsenal says:

    Bendtner or Chamakh? As per the post yesterday, if we would play 4-4-2 more regularly, especially at home, they both would get a chance to show us their qualities. I prefer Chamakh though, but only slightly. He has got a better first touch, and turns quicker than superNik, and as we often have to attack with hardly any space around us, those attributes are important.

  181. WiganGooner says:

    Hi all,

    Chamakh-the-knife’s work-rate is miles better than Bendy though..plus I think he’s a better target man. He did really well when laying back to Diaby for RvP’s goal at the weekend.

    I think he has more guile than Bendy, though I would like to keep both I think Bendy wants to go and I would rather he go than disrupt the dressing room with his want-away attitude.

    WG

  182. Rasp says:

    Morning WG,

    We shall be publishing your post shortly……..

  183. TotalArsenal says:

    Fair point London. Koz is not left footed and that is a disadvantage. I just think that with TV and JD/new recruit in the middle of our defence, Koz should not end up on the bench. I like his energy, his tackling ability and I think he’s got a desire to go forward. He is the sort of player who can be played in more than one position imo.

  184. WiganGooner says:

    @ Rasp..

    Ooh…my virginal post…hehe am reasonably nervous!

    WG

  185. Rasp says:

    No need to be WG – it’s excellent!

  186. Rasp says:

    NEW POST…….

  187. Collette says:

    Exceptional post but I was wondering if you could write a litte more on this subject? I’d be very grateful if you could elaborate a little bit further. Kudos!

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