Wenger : The man doth rotate too much

Written by Gooner in Exile

On Monday 27th December Arsenal took on and beat Chelsea at home. I was very content as finally I had seen our team in blistering form, moving through the gears during a ninety minute display against a major rival that many of us had not witnessed for some time.

Many fans including me proclaimed thanks that finally Arsene had identified his first team, who could argue, with Jack and Alex holding down centre midfield, Theo, Cesc and Samir causing all kinds of problems and Robin up front our team was looking frightening going forward. With the defence coming together also things were looking rosy for the second half of the season.

Following that game we travelled to Wigan away, Arsene proclaimed that there was little to be gained from rotating one or two players but that rotating seven or eight is okay as it causes less disruption (another piece of Arsene logic that I think is best left undiscussed). The side that ran out to play at the JJB was a shadow of the team that played against Chelsea. At the time I defended our manager for his decision, knowing we were amidst a busy festive schedule and approaching a succession of cup games in the near future, I felt he was right to send out the team he did and that the team should have been able to win that game, it failed.

Arsene instead of making eight changes in that game could have made two or three, and then for the next match two or three again.

I admit I have changed my mind, I hope Arsene does too, it has been clear to most of us that a gulf in quality has emerged this season between the first team regulars and the squad players. Sending the likes of Eboue, Denilson, Gibbs, Rosicky and Diaby out to play together does nothing for any of them, they are all capable players, they are not our best players and for me they would benefit more from starting alongside the majority of the first team regulars, rather than amongst players of similar quality.

Also by making these wholesale changes Arsene is inviting the opposition to up their game, by making eight changes Martinez was given an easy job for a team talk “who do this lot think we are, they think they can send out their reserves and beat us….lets show them who we are make them respect us”. I imagine both Leeds and Leyton Orient managers would have given very similar team talks.

Most of our “poor” performances in January and February featured many of these squad players, I believe that these results with the accompanied dissatisfaction from the fans had a significant effect on the confidence of these players. So much effect in fact that they all became virtually unusable as the season reached the business end. Partly due to reaction to their selection from pundits and fans and also because the players themselves have been on an apparent downward spiral.

I will leave you with a brief comparison.

In the last nineteen games of the season Arsenal started 25 different players, 15 of those players started 5 or more games, 11 started more than 10 games.

In the same nineteen games Manchester United started 24 different players, 20 of those started 5 or more games, 8 started more than 10 games.

There is a subtle difference, their squad players were brought in and out during the run in, as a result the whole squad feel part of the team, I fear that the squad players at Arsenal have become like the last kid to be picked in the playground, only wanted because there is no one else. With that mindset and the reality that they will be dropped when the absent player is fit or back from suspension why would they give all they can on the pitch or try and prove the manager wrong.

So enough of the wholesale changes, two or three players every week, to freshen up the side and legs. We as fans may have to be patient too, no hissy fits because X or Y is in the team, rotation works, if Carrick, Evans, Gibson, and O’Shea have been able to win Premier League winners medals it must do!

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98 Responses to Wenger : The man doth rotate too much

  1. Chris Surrey Gunner says:

    Very good point, Arsene has often used this tactic to appease the second string players to the detriment of the team. The real focus of a winning team has to be consistancy, and beating a top team one weekend, then not competing with a mid table team the next is the main reason this current team cannot win anything. The winning mentality, and (so called mental strentgh) comes from a continuous winning run of games, adding and building that oh so elusive mental strentgh Arsene is always banging on about. Until Arsene realises he needs some tough english players that can drive the team on when they play in Bolton on a wet and freezing cold night, we will never win the leaque again. The foriegn players are the ones who need reminding all the time that its not just the top matches, watched by all the world they have to put the effort into, its every match, again and again, will Arsene ever instil this virtue into tham, or will he continue to pamper their over inflated egos, pass, pass, pass, and pass again has become boring in the extream because there is no end result, something has to change, lets hope its Arsene.

  2. watts says:

    this is a very interesting take…..i had’nt thought of it that way……actually u r very right. utd are able to play well even with the smallings and evanses and osheas because they dont throw them all in at the same time…it will be a disaster (like the game they were drubbed 4-0 by westham)….u c,the lack of quality of the squad player is always cushioned by the high quality players,who are the majority in the pitch at any one time. in the long run, the squad players gain confidence due to the perceived good performances they have picked up through the many won game alongside the majority quality players. arsene wenger throws in all the squad players at the same time expecting results. if, for instance, we had stuck with the main core of the Chelsea game against wigan…the results would be different i beleive.

  3. Evo in Oz says:

    well said peaches!

  4. dandan says:

    Interesting take GIE, Too many changes can never be good, but there is the perennial problem of keeping a large squad happy. Some of the players you mention may find the exit over the summer and next year should be interesting.

    Having read the previous comments I thought it worth posting a couple of paragraphs from an interesting article in this morning Times, that also compares Utd and Arsenal

    But before we get overly sympathetic towards fans and irate towards the owners who exploit them, it is worth noting something else about supporters. They are a bloody nightmare. If they are the dream consumers in terms of brand loyalty, they are an uncontrollable maelstrom when it comes to their anger, regardless of circumstance, and in their eternal agitation to give someone — anyone — the sack.

    Manchester United have just won the league for the nineteenth time and are about to play in their third Champions League final in four years, but huge swaths of their fanbase are mutinous. They applaud the success but fear that the huge debt that has been placed on the club will leech money that could better be spent on new signings and keeping ticket prices lower. Many fans are members of the Love United / Hate Glazer campaign and thousands have worn green and gold at one time or another.

    This may seem all well and good — rather admirable, in fact — but Arsenal fans are angry, too. Their club are free of superfluous debt, are turning a healthy profit and the team play, by common consent, the best football in the league. Oh, and they have performed well enough over recent years to have qualified for the Champions League with remarkable consistency. But that is not good enough; not by a long chalk.

    It is Arsène Wenger’s fault. He just does not spend enough. We need more top-quality signings, fans say, more razzmatazz, a new goalkeeper, a stiffened midfield, perhaps a quality centre back — £50 million should be thrown at new signings and then let’s see what happens. Or perhaps £100 million. Risk more, not less. Take a leaf out of United’s book. Haven’t you seen what they spent on Dimitar Berbatov? You need to sign big-style to get results. Except that when Wenger spends this summer, as he has indicated he will, fans will find something new to be angry about. For without anger, they would not be fans.

  5. Hi Evo – it wasn’t me it was written by one of our regulars Gooner in Exile. How are you, where have you been :)

  6. For without anger, they would not be fans.

    Could this really be true????? :lol:

  7. Gooner in Exile says:

    Morning all.

    Chris I feel your pain living amongst so many Mancs must be hard. But I am not advocating a change or an injection of English players.

    DanDan I understand the need to rotate I just think rotating so many is problematic and detrimental to the players featuring. Interesting take on the fans tho.

    Watts glad you enjoyed the post

  8. I remember how apoplectic a lot of us were at the team that was selected for the Wigan game – we’d taken the chavs apart the week before and it was ridiculous to have made such wholesale changes.

    In addition to them being second string the feeling was that they probably hadn’t played together too much either.

    The point about making only 2 or 3 changes to the first team squad is important IMO. Whatever happened to proper reserve matches?

  9. Rasp says:

    Great post GiE and one that I know you would have found painful to write such is your admiration of our manager.

    Making all those changes was ridiculous, as was resting players for the last 2 CL qualifiers – this was if anything even more perplexing because AW hadn’t learned his lesson from the previous year and we suffered the same outcome.

    For me, rotating too many playerss and then putting them in positions to which they were not best suited have been the manager’s worst failings this season.

  10. Gooner in Exile says:

    Rasp as ever I have no problem criticising our manager when backed with reasonable argument, I also like constructive criticism which is what I hope cones across in the post.

    We started the season with I thought a balanced squad I don’t think Arsene has used them to their full potential and has resulted in the end of season need to change.

    Not many clubs will have a squad of players that are hard to choose between (perhaps Chelsea under Mourinho was the last) it’s just a question of utilising it to the best end result.

    Peaches unfortunately the reserve league is more a youth team, it is seen purely as recuperation for first team squad rather than a place to keep match fit. 18 men matchday squads doesn’t help.

  11. Evo in Oz says:

    i have been good thanks. how is everyone?

  12. Wonderman says:

    GIE as usual, thought provoking, balanced, concise.

    Dandan, what a quality piece of article in the times…the irony !!

    I agree with everything you say in the post. Constructive critism is always welcome in my book.It would be interesting to know what the real motivation was behind so many wholesale changes, as anyone who knows anything about running any team would know that changes of that magnitude are seldom good news.
    Lets hope Wenger recognises are atones !! I would also hope that next season when players are obviously not putting a shift in, they get hooked before the what seems to be obligatory 69th minute

  13. Camberwell Gooner says:

    Interesting article, but I have to disagree that Arsene’s conviction that rotating in eight players is “best left undiscussed.” Your post seems to hint quite strongly that this was probably the main reason for the poor showing at Wigan, and in fact you have a point there. I remember reading an article on Football365 that compared two recent cup runs, where there was wholesale rotation in one – ending in an early exit – and much less in the other, which led to greater success. Obviously I’m just hijacking someone else’s research to make my point, but it’s not that hard to see that a certain amount of continuity can help a team build momentum and understanding. So in summary, I basically agree with what I think you’re saying!

  14. Red Arse says:

    Stimulating Post GIE, :-)

    I agreed with all of it, except, and there is always a ‘but’ or ‘except’ in life, :-) there is a possible discrepancy between what you are assuming with ‘squad’ players and what Arsene might believe.

    I still think you are right, but in my opinion Arsene seems to see them all as equally gifted. The squad as we see it is really just a ‘bi’ team to Arsene and he chooses to team and lade them simply to give them all a run out.

    The trouble is that the squad players are not all equal, even within certain tolerances, and the result is as you have explained.

  15. Red Arse says:

    ‘bi’ is ‘big’, obviously.

  16. Camberwell Gooner says:

    I thought you were implying that half the squad like to swing both ways…

  17. A decent point you’ve made. I think winning the title is all about integrating the whole squad together and making them feel at par. That’s one major setback this season. The big gulf in class b/w the 1st team and the squad players doesn’t help at all.The point about the opponent’s manager having an easier team talk is spot on.

    Btw, how many of u think Samba will perfectly fit at Arsenal. This article might just change your thoughts:
    http://delhigunner.wordpress.com/2011/05/26/why-samba-is-not-the-answer-to-our-defensive-frailties/

  18. Red Arse says:

    CG

    I am not necessarily ruling that out! :-)

  19. Where’s that Barca fan when you need him – I thought he might like to write a pre-match for the Champions League final for the post tomorrow ;)

  20. HCAA says:

    Hi everyone,

    No argument from me over your concise post GiE, a good point well made. Another big difference between us and Man Utd is appetite. Rooney for example runs about like a man possessed, and his work-rate is phenomenal. That was the one thing that stood out in the 2-0 FA Cup defeat. We had more possession in the game, but they wanted it more, which was borne out through their work-rate. Maybe it’s down to the manager’s psyche. Scots are traditionally gritty working-class, who don’t mind getting their hands dirty, whilst the French bring us champagne and are consumed by artistry. We did have a mixture of both when we had the like of Adams, Keown, Campbell, Vieira, Gilberto, Pires, Bergkamp, Henry etc., but seemed to have lost the steel and determination in recent seasons.

  21. Gooner in Exile says:

    CamberwellG I am kind of discussing it anyway I was more implying let’s not let the debate turn to Arsene’s PR debacles of late in interviews rather than the actual point of the rotation.

    I day debate it seems everyone is on bank holiday break already.

  22. Gooner in Exile says:

    I day debate = I say debate obviously

  23. TotalArsenal says:

    GiE, another fine, well set-out post.

    Over the years, there are many similar examples of Arsene making too many/ wrong changes from one game to another. I always thought that Mourinho was a master in making as little changes as possible, even in busy periods, and yet get the best out his core 11 everytime.

    The period you chose to focus on – the 4 Christmas/New Year games – is however not an easy / clear cut one. Who can tell whether 2 or 3 changes every game from the Chelsea game, to Wigan, to Brum and to Man City would have made such a difference? We got 8 out of 12 points from those games, which is not bad, but we all had wished for at least 10. Changes to our core eleven are always likely to have adverse impacts, whether it is 8 or 3. You are probably right that 8 changes have more negative impact than 3, and I can see that maybe we would have beaten Wigan with a smaller number of changes. But, it still makes me wonder whether, subsequently, we would have beaten Brum as well with the refreshed team back in December, as we would have done with a half tired team and half fresh team, as per your scenario. Even with hindsight, we cannot guarantee we would ended up with more than 8 points from that crazy period.

    For me, the key for rotation is that you leave the defense as unchanged as possible, and rotate midfielders and strikers. But, for that you need a solid, established defense/goalkeeper and we clearly do not have that in place yet.

  24. Carlito11 says:

    GiE- I am on bank holiday already- my mind has been in Brighton for the past 3 hours even though I have no actual plans to head South this weekend! I think your point is essentially right but agree with RA that Wenger would never admit to thinking that players of Arshavin’s level are b teamers.
    I heard an interesting rumour that Mourinho wants rid of Benzema but the big boss there would rather ship Higuian out. I would love to have Higuain at the club- if such a thing were really possible.

  25. Gooner in Exile says:

    Shub I agree on Samba but not for your reasons. What I have seen of him one part of his game that does impress me is his ball control and composure in tight spaces.

    He is a lump admittedly but not a Huth like lump. More a Campbell lump.

    Where I am more concerned is his ability to defend when the ball is on the floor passed around him or men running at him.

    In fact my next post (when I find time to write it) will be based on some comparisons on the players we apparently should buy and what we’ve got. How many of us can claim to watch all these players week in week out?

    Two seasons ago everyone said Wenger should sign Hangeland from Fulham that’s all gone quiet….it’s not easy this signing players lark.

    The only position that you can’t compare with existing players is up top as a striker at Blackbirn will not get as much service as for us, in every other position you can as a proposed defensive buy from a PL team has faced the same opponents as us and therefore like for like stats can tell us something.

  26. V.C.C. says:

    Whilst I agree with not making wholesale changes for the so called “Lesser” teams, so our first squad can recuperate, I really feel the fundamental reason we were not successful this season was because our stubborn manager did not purchase 2/3 quality players when needed.
    We fell short because of second rate players, simple as that, such as Squillaci, Koscielny, Djourou, Bendtner, Denilson, Diaby, Rosicky, Almunia, Chamakh.
    You cannot expect to win anything with below par performances from second rate players.
    A good yard stick to use is would Alex Ferguson (A Winner) have employed ANY of the above players? IMHO I think not.

  27. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi HCAA, MU players have more appetite? Cannot agree: I have seen plenty of lacklustre MU games, where they just sit back and bank on their solid defense. Rooney appetite is fantastic, but so is Van Persie’s. As said many times before, MU’s away record show that they are by far the finished article.

    I can also not agree that Scots are more gritty etc etc. You make some stark generalisations about both Scots (managers?) and French players. Have you forgotten about Petit, Grimaldi, Flamini, Henry, Sagna etc? plenty of grid mon amie!

    I guess this must be the reason you have suggested in the past that Wenger should be replaced by the likes of Moyes or even Lambert. Now that would be gritty disaster!

  28. TotalArsenal says:

    HCCA, forgot to add that the Scots have brought fine malt whiskey and a host of fine inventions/artistry – similar to the French.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scottish_inventions_and_discoveries

  29. Gooner in Exile says:

    VCC some of your list of second rate players includes players that others would consider very good, I for one like Koscielny.

    And the answer is yes VCC Ferguson has made do with OShea, Evans, Brown, and many similar for a long time.

    TA – the reason highlighted that spell was because it was PL I could just as easily add in the CL rests as Rasp pointed out earlier and the Cup changes.

    The effect on our run in was bigger than the effect in those games

  30. Mickeyk says:

    The trouble with us is the players know there not as good as the top sides and thier right .there willing to except second third or fourt place because at the end of the day their is no action taken against them for thier faliure .as we’ve seen in previous seasons.we need to clear house and get winners in players that can fight and who won’t tolarate results like 4-4 after leading 4-0 we need players who the youngsters fear a bit players they won’t want to upset by losing silly games.players they fear upsetting more than the other team .it’s arsenes final season unless he wins a cup this year so he better get it right.

  31. goonermichael says:

    London is full of Barca fans. The mancs all live here so I suppose they are all at work or down the dole office.

    I agree with HCAA about the hunger in the cup game. When the twin scored he busted a gut to get to that position. Later we had an almost identical chance. vds palmed the ball to his left but there was no one there to tap it in. The mancs always gamble on going to the goal line and when a ball goes acroos there is someone to tap in.

  32. goonermichael says:

    hellooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

  33. Gooner in Exile says:

    That’s a good point GM, it was a position Freddie, Overmars and even Wiltord would end up in quite frequently.

    Do you think Eduardo would have been that player for us if Martin Taylor hadn’t redesigned his shin?

  34. Gooner in Exile says:

    It’s slow here today GM.

  35. goonermichael says:

    GiE
    He may have been. That tackle killed his career here.

    Have you seen how many tap ins the mancs score?

  36. Big Raddy says:

    Thanks for the post GIE. Tinkering is an essential of modern football. The pace and quality of the PL means that even players with staying power have difficulties playing 50+ games. There is no hiding place anymore.

    I tend to agree with VCC that the season was lost by not making signings – though I disagree with his assessment of the squad. It was unfortunate that Squillaci was unable to adjust to the PL – but it was proof that AW correctly assessed our problems and acted accordingly (who else bought 2 CB’s in the summer?)

    What was lacking was the back up for Song. Even when fit Diaby is no DM, so we were reliant upon makeshift players.

    In reality it was poor refereeing which cost us so dearly this season, not just personnel. The worst of a huge number of mistakes being the insane red card for RvP in Barca. It is for this reason that I support the Mancs tomorrow – Barca despite their brilliance are the UEFA love child and they need a good British kicking.

  37. Big Raddy says:

    It is slow isn’t it. I blame Sepp Blatter

  38. Big Raddy says:

    GM. MU can score tap ins because other teams attack them and there is the space. How many times do we have the chance to get the rebound with no-one else within 5 yards of our player? Never.

  39. goonermichael says:

    I partly disagree Raddy. They attack at pace much more than we do. We get to the half way line and slow down. If we put a ball across the goal line there is hardly ever anyone there. Lots of teams play the mancs with a parked bus. The 2nd goals against Barca and Wolves were how we should be attacking more often.

  40. goonermichael says:

    5.12 is the chance I’m referring to. Not quite as I remember (going senile) but still valid

  41. goonermichael says:

    I didn’t embed that can someone delete it please?

  42. Big Raddy says:

    GM. OK. But I think that MU’s different playing style allows them to break in a way that we cannot. That said, we are certainly lacking the incisive breaks of old. The suggestion that Theo times his runs badly is relevant here, though due to the oppositions fear of his pace there is rarely a one on one opportunity for him. Can you think of one from last season?

  43. Big Raddy says:

    GM I can but are you sure – it is a good illustration?

  44. goonermichael says:

    Ok leave it Raddy. I din’t expect to have that picture showing.

  45. goonermichael says:

    Raddy
    We did tat with the 2 goals I mentioned. 4 or 5 passes from defence and we’d scored. I thoght we were truly back then.

  46. Big Raddy says:

    Who says we can afford to lose Fabregas? Who else has such vision?

  47. goonermichael says:

    http://arsenalist.com/video/?id=xh2dx6

    the one aginst barca

    If th mancs play them like that they may win. I hope they get slaughtered. barca maybe be scum and get the decisions in Europe but the mancs get them all here and I hate them. Greta news about fifa. hope they all go to prison

  48. goonermichael says:

    Wether we can or not is irrelavant. He’s gone.

  49. goonermichael says:

    Hope we don’t lose Nasri to or we are looking at the Abyss.

  50. goonermichael says:

    to = too

    I probably should say staring into the abyss :)

  51. Big Raddy says:

    I cannot agree GM.

    No one is bigger than The Arsenal. If they both leave we will invest some of the money and buy a class replacement. And we would still have Diaby ;-)

  52. Big Raddy says:

    Out for a night of excessive eating and drinking.

    God nat

  53. gunnern5 says:

    I apologize for my absence, unfortunately I haven’t even had the time to read the comments yet hence the lack of responses.

  54. goonermichael says:

    United have been working on two formations for the final. They will start 4-4-2 and go to 3-4-3 if they fall behind, with Antonio Valencia pushing up alongside Javier Hernandez and Wayne Rooney in attack. Nani has been playing the “Messi role” in training, while Michael Owen has been playing in the style of David Villa.

    How do you play in the style of david villa?

  55. California Gooner says:

    Actually, I think David Villa is a lot like the old Michael Owen, only better. They must have him making diagonal runs in from the left behind the defense. Other than that, who knows.

  56. mickydidit89 says:

    Ahoy Chas,
    Its time AW gave us a signing, so that we can get an insight to his thinking, and some meat to get our blog teeth into.
    Barca for me.

  57. mickydidit89 says:

    GM,
    Not sure this is your time of day, but the “he’s gone” comment regarding Cesc.
    Anyone shed any light on this darkness?

  58. mickydidit89 says:

    We all know the drill, three and out. Evonne will be walking the German, and BR unwell, so this is going to be a lonely place.
    Later, but I’ll be watching from the corner of my screen.

  59. Evonnethegunner says:

    Morning lads,
    Great clip chas, thanks.
    When Aaron broke his leg I got all my mates and family around the world (mostly Poland) to send him well wishing cards. I wanted the boy to feel positive. Since then soooo many people are mailing me asking about ‘that Ramsey’. I am a good supporter, no?

  60. Evonnethegunner says:

    Barca for me too, cannot wait

  61. Evonnethegunner says:

    I am not walking the German!! I am reading your comments:) Morning Micky

  62. Evonnethegunner says:

    pssshhh…I may as well walk the black krout

  63. mickydidit89 says:

    Marching him?
    Morning Evonne.

  64. Big Raddy says:

    Goose stepping him?

    One thing I have learned from a life of alcohol abuse is that if one is going to knowingly drink to excess it is essential to do so with top quality booze, fortunately our dinner party hosts think the same way!

    A night on the Chablis has left me clear headed and bushy tailed.

    Mancs for me.

  65. Evonnethegunner says:

    Hiya Raddy – Mancs??? You clearly did drink a tad too much

  66. Evonnethegunner says:

    Micky – yeah, marching her with my fake tache on. Hi-lee hi lo, hi lo

  67. Big Raddy says:

    I have just read that there is a possibility that Harry Redknapp is wanted by Chelsea …. one can but hope!

  68. Big Raddy says:

    Morning Evonne.

    Because Barca are the media darlings and the thought of the cheating Busquets and Alves dancing around Wembley is repulsive.

    Better a win for the English. and a fine night from Rooney etc

  69. Big Raddy says:

    Thinking of which – how in hell did Alves avoid censure for cheating to get Pepe sent off in the semi-Final? There was clear video evidence of his diving yet UEFA did nothing.

    Mourinho was right, there is a pro-Barca conspiracy.

  70. Evonnethegunner says:

    I like Wayne too, but not ManU. Barca for me anytime.

  71. mickydidit89 says:

    The Raddy has arisen. What is on the agenda today?

  72. London says:

    There is a must see match tonight.

  73. London says:

    Mexico v Equidor

    Carlos should be playing.

  74. London says:

    What game did you think I meant?

  75. London says:

    I have finally got the chance to read the your thought provoking post GIE.

    It’s tough to answer, the team selection seemed to make sense before the Wigan game and had it worked we would have been fresh as daisies going into the Christmas period but as we know it didn’t pan out.

    Hingsight….what ya gonna do?

  76. Big Raddy says:

    Micky. Cycle down to the harbour to buy some fish, then a cycle tour up the coast. Home in time to watch the Mexico game (I thought Carlos had been dropped)

    And you?

  77. Big Raddy says:

    Sadly, it is too wet for the Lycra outfit, today will be a goretex day. Not quite so figure hugging but streamlined nonetheless.

    London, will you continue your training?

  78. Rasp says:

    Morning London,

    Obviously the gift of hindsight is meaningless and only serves to expose the egos of those who employ it, but the use of past experience to educate future decisions is a different matter, and there have been times when we (AW?) have not learnt from our mistakes.

  79. dandan says:

    I heard a discussion in the early hours of this morning, about Septic Bladder and co. An MP and some journo,s were agreed he had to go and were saying, Platini was tainted by it and should not be considered either.
    It needed an intelligent football man respected throughout the football world to clear the whole lot out.

    Their recommendation ARSONE WENGER he speaks several languages has managed in France,Japan and the premier league has a grapevine throughout football second to none and his integrity is without question.

    What is frightening is they are right and I bet he would go for it.

  80. Gooner in Exile says:

    Aye London hindsight is a beautiful thing.

    As much as I hate comparing us to the Mancs it seems they make better use of the squad rotation by only doing a few each time. The Wigan game was an exception but coupled with poor CL and FA Cup rotations in a similar vein highlights an issue that needs addressing going forward.

  81. goonermichael says:

    Raddy
    Vidic clearly cheated to deny Robin a goal with his handball but nothing happened to him and he scored against the chavs. I’m starting to get manc fans walking past my shop now. Jealous? Me? I wish they could both lose.

  82. goonermichael says:

    I saw Mexico play Ecudor at the world cup in japan. Great atmosphere

  83. Rasp says:

    I’ve put a new widget at the top of the page – I bet you lot will be wiki’ing those names :)

  84. Evonnethegunner says:

    Dandan – it is indeed scarey. Sadly, it is all true and he would be a perfect man for the job

  85. Evonnethegunner says:

    London – is the Mexico game on TV? I cannot find it listed anywhere

  86. Red Arse says:

    Morning Rasp, :-)

    I put a comment on yesterday about all the players we have been linked with so far.

    I was going to suggest a widget on AA to keep track on them as the summer advances, but you would probably need several screens. Not a good idea, after all.

  87. Red Arse says:

    Evonne,

    One of the loves of my life was my pure black German Shepherd. He was at the ‘giant’ end of the breed, weighing 10 stone (64 Kilos) and really tall.

    The kids loved him because he looked like a bear (to them) the adults were mostly terrified of him, although he had the sweetest temperament you could wish for.

    Sadly gone now. :-(

  88. Gooner in Exile says:

    If you want to see a view of what the refs have and haven’t given us domestically have a look at Untold Arsenal, Walter has done some detailed markings and statistical analysis that’s very impressive and damning of officialdom

  89. Evonnethegunner says:

    Red Arse – a lot of people say that my GS looks like a bear. She is long haired, not tall but chunky (like the owner), very loyal and soft with just a tiny nasty streak lurking (like the owner) :)

  90. Rasp says:

    Morning RA,

    I’ll try to put some interesting stuff up over the sumer, its just the time to keep it updated that’s the problem :?

  91. What shall we do Rasp?

  92. Red Arse says:

    Rasper,

    I was trying to get GIE interested in getting one of his spreadsheets going to try and keep track. It would be fun at the end to see just how accurate/inaccurate the rumours were.

    Unfortunately he ‘turned a deaf ‘un’ :-) (is that the right phrase?)

  93. Rasp says:

    peaches, we should publish Rocky’s review post

    RA, I had considered in the past having a ‘BUL***TOMETER’ and rating the rumours accordingly.

    It doesn’t look like Benzema, Hazard or Cahill are in reach.

  94. V.C.C. says:

    Big game of the day Saracens v Leicester at Twickenham 3 pm. Rugby Union Aviva premiership Final.
    COME ON YOU SARIES.

    Oh and a little matter of a game at Wembley later…… COME ON BARCA spanc the mancs.

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