Arsenal Draw – but what conclusions?

Written by Gooner in Exile

Back at the Home of Football to the traditional start of footballing season entertainment known as the Emirates Cup.

This is normally a fun filled affair where we take on a couple of fair to middling teams put some skilful moves together introduce a few youngsters and send the punters home happy.

I disregarded TotalArsenals advice yesterday and watched on ESPN with the volume up, like a scab I couldn’t stop picking, and before long the inanity of Champion’s and Burley’s mutterings were winding me up more than they should for a game with nothing riding on it.

Apparently Van Persie doesn’t like attacking the near post. Cue Robin stage centre attacking the goal and getting on the end of a lovely counter which started with a Wilshere pass to Gervinho who drove forward and provided a great cross for Robin to do what he does best. 1-0 Arsenal and alls well with the world again.

We started the match rather disjointed and seemed to be a little leggy.

There were occasional glimpses of why Jenkinson and Gervinho have been brought in, however Nasri went a long way to justify not giving a pay rise with an anonymous performance in the advanced midfield role.

There should have been a penalty in the first five minutes when Wilshere was clearly fouled but Atkinson did what English refs do and assumed Jack must of been summer holidaying with Tom Daley and waved away the appeals. Oh well I guess it’s the refs preseason too.

Boca were professional, they set about disrupting our rhythm by fouling wherever they could as is the prescribed tactic against us. Jack was most often on the receiving end.

The high line played by our defence with no pressure on the ball led to a couple of opportunities for Boca but we reached half time unscathed.

The second half brought a number of changes, Robin, Jack, Fabianski, Gervinho and Kozzer making way for Chamakh, Ramsey, Vela, Squillacci and Mannone.

Within a minute of the restart Vela had jinked his way past a couple and the ball rolled to Ramsey who struck a good drive into the net, 2-0 cue feelings of happy days to come. I liked this goal because again it proved to me that faced with a likely impact Ramsey is not suffering the same mental frailty that understandably reduced Eduardo’s goalscoring knack.

After that the Arsenal performance slowly petered out, a lack of balance to the side, Chamakh drifting on to the left wing when he should be occupying the 18 yard box.

Frimpong started getting overrun in midfield and leaving our defence exposed. I thought he had a reasonable game but he seemed to lose energy in the second half, although he wasn’t exactly helped by teammates. The defensive midfield role at Arsenal really is a thankless task.

And then the familiar site of Squilacci behaving randomly for a Centre Back  he had already steam rollered Jenkinson in a fashion not seen since he headbutted Kozzer last season and then got caught in possession Boca didn’t need inviting twice and duly got a goal back.

Not long after and it was Djourous turn to gift one, first to the ball but under pressure he inexplicably missed the ball with his sliding clearance and the eager Boca player chasing him picked up the ball and equalised.

From then on Champion and Burley had a field day as they set about telling us all how regular an occurrence this all is at the Arsenal. Some of the support appears to agree having had a quick look on Twitter. As always the wins in our other preseason games have been forgotten and everyone wants to concentrate on this draw and the way it happened.

Okay so what did we learn?

  1. Jenkinson and Gervinho are good acquisitions.
  2. We really do need one more Centre Back to complete the squad. Maybe we will get to see him today if its Bartley.
  3.  Mannone is third choice.
  4. Robin and Jack are looking to continue where they left off as is Kozzer.
  5. Traore may be the answer at left back I thought he had a reasonable game.
  6. Nasri can’t play the advanced midfield role, or can’t play it like Cesc, his propensity to want to dribble rather than pass is one of the things that slows our progress up the pitch.
  7. Our new defending set piece approach is zonal marking, a system employed by Adams, Keown et al. For this to work we need at least four players over 6ft (five players best in my opinion) to patrol the key areas. I think it can work I would just like to see us take it a yard further out for a starting position.

Hopefully we will get more of an idea in the first half against Red Bulls as to what our likely starting lineup against Newcastle in two weeks will be. I doubt Nasri, Frimpong, Traore or Jenkinson will feature having played 90 minutes yesterday.

I’d also like to see Bartley and Afobe get a run out to give us all a positive vibe about the squad this coming season.
Enjoy the game AA’ers who are making the pilgrimage have a Peroni for me.

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106 Responses to Arsenal Draw – but what conclusions?

  1. MickyDidIt89 says:

    GiE,
    “Boca were professional” roughly translated as “Dirty Southern Bastards” :-)

  2. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Can I add my own “what have we learnt”. We are still pants with the dead ball. If Cesc does barca-off, then I hope his replacement has that skill in his box of tricks.

  3. Gooner In Exile says:

    That’s one thing I omitted Micky, we need someone to tell RvP to keep the ball down or someone else to take responsibility……OR actually work on some clever set piece tactics that could open up a bit of space closer to goal.

  4. Evonne says:

    Micky – how did you know it was GiE’s post? His style and optimism?

  5. Morning all

    I’ll be crawling to the Ems today as my back has not improved much but I’m really looking forward to it. What a glorious day to be going to watch The Arsenal ……. and Thierry Henry :)

    Well spotted Evonne, I’ll sort the author :)

  6. Evonne says:

    GiE – good post, as usual, as expected from you :) Thank you very much.

    How true about the commentary – those who cannot make up their own minds could be easily persuaded that we are regressing. Mind you, there is nothing worse than Polish commentary – they gossip incessantly, mispronounce all the names, cheer like loons for both teams. No, I’d rather listen to Chinese to make sure I don’t understand a single word :)

    One more possitive – we have seen almost 2 full Arsenal squads playing yesterday and both were reasonably good. So the starting 11 against Newcastle should be excellent :)

  7. Evonne says:

    Morning Peaches xx

  8. Thanks GiE for the post. I really enjoyed the first half but will Robin, Jack and Gerv play again today …….. I’m not sure they will :(

    I also thought that Traore was much more mature in his play than before he went on loan and that was a good sign.

    Nasri dribbling!!!! He had a quiet game I thought. It was nice to see Cesc sitting watching and The Yummy One got an assist :)

  9. Morning Evonne :D

    Are you still about? Can I email you a song for Gervinho that someone has sent to the site, I haven’t got any sound on my pc and I don’t want to put it up if it’s naughty :P

  10. Evonne says:

    Peaches – of course, I hope it is naughty :)

  11. Morning all. Are you crawlimg to the Tavern Peaches?

  12. Also, I know most of you hard rock guys probably think Coldplay are dead boring but they have just released a new anthem-like track that we might be able to adopt – I’ll put it up and lets see if we can change the words a bit to suit us.

    We need an anthem!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Its called Every teardrop is a waterfall, as I have no sound I can’t check that I’ve found a good one. Where’s chas when you need him :P

  13. Jamie says:

    GIE – Would agree with all 7 points.

    I think maybe I haven’t got the grumps today.

    Good post Sir, balanced as always!

    Traore was good but tired a lot towards the end, which if memory serves used to happen to him a bit. I think Wenger had a habit of subbing him aroud 70 minutes.

    I’m sure we will raise our game today.

    Leaving home in 5 minutes to commence pre match festivities. That is nearly five hours of pre-match pub chat. It’s good to have football back.

  14. ruemu says:

    Wenger get this two guyz for us!

  15. Hi gm, yes I’ll be crawling to the Tavern. I reckon we’ll be there about 2.30-3. Irishgunner is in town and she’s going to be meeting us. Gonna email Jamie as it looked like he was going to the Ems too.

  16. 5 hours in the pub? I’d never get to the match.

  17. Jamie – we’ll be drinking at The Arsenal Tavern in Blackstock road if yiou want to come and meet up

  18. I’m going to see my mum first so I’ll be there about 2. I’m looking forward to it.

  19. Evonne says:

    Morning Jamie, I am pleased to see the happy you today :)

  20. Oh no, Peggysue headlining the Northampton Square busking sessions at 3.45 this afternoon, If I didn’t have the bad back I’d try and do both :(

  21. Red Arse says:

    GIE, :-)

    Excellento write up, and I agree with all of it. (except if I can think of anything to be picky about later!! :-) )

    The ESPN commentary is always lamentable and not just about our team, in truth.

    As they are not Arsenal fans, their continual referencing to our inability to hang on to 2 or 4 goals leads, is crass and irritating, but from their perspective does have some justification, I suppose.

    What was fascinating tho’ was Martin Keown’s analysis immediately after the game.
    He was able to show, on screen, a basic tactical weakness in the 2nd half, in particular, where our midfield and attack were well upfield leaving a huge gap between them and the back four, giving the oppo attack free rein to collect the ball and bypass our CB’s and backs.
    He maintained that the coaching staff need to urgently iron this out and insist on more and more practise, such as he and Adams and Bould did in the past.

    Really authorative and informative explanations for our defensive susceptibilties, and it makes you wonder why he or Bouldy are not given this role within the club. It would make our defensive woes a thing of the past!!

  22. Evonne says:

    Morning RA – I agree about Martin K. It never ceases to amaze me how well he speaks :) Just looking at him or watching him play you wouldn’t think he can string a sentence together

    Why he, Bould and PV are not involved with the coaching has always been a mystery to me

  23. Evonne says:

    Morning RA – I agree about Martin K. It never ceased to amaze me how well he speaks :) Just looking at him or watching him play you wouldn’t think he can string a sentence together

    Why he, Bould and PV are not involved with the coaching has always been a mystery to me

  24. Evonne says:

    ooops, duplicate, sorry

  25. Red Arse says:

    Evonne, :-)

    I love your “AW is as shrewd as a serpent”. Potty but wonderfully funny! :-)

    How about as ‘calculating as a millipede’? Or, ‘as smart as a sheep’?

    You could have started a new language! :-)

  26. Gooner In Exile says:

    I don’t know if Martin has the required coaching badges but for such an aggressive player he talks with such clarity that I am glad he is on TV.

    I think once this ex players have a hand in the media side it is very difficult for them to also be in the coaching set up. Unless we can convince him to part with media cash it’ll be difficult to get him to coach.

    Bould on the other hand I would like to see more involved on matchday. He has done a great job with most of the youngsters and as I have said many times if you watched the FA Youth Cup final v Liverpool a few years back you can see that he was blending Wengerball with some GG directness at attacking set pieces, and also a responsible defensive mindset.

    Peaches hopefully you will get to see Robin and Jack I figure everyone gets 90 minutes over the two games so I expect starting first half:

    ………….Chesney……………
    Sagna……TV…..Kozzer…..Gibbs
    ……..Song……..Jack………….
    Gervinho…..Ramsey……Vela
    ………….RvP….,…….

    Second half:
    …………….Chesney……………..
    Sagna….TV……Bartley….Gibbs
    …………….Song…………….
    Lansbury….AA……….Vela
    ………….Cham….Afobe……….

    4-1-3-2 would be interesting but mainly because I can’t think of anyone to play alongside Song who has had less than 45 minutes.

  27. Red Arse says:

    Just read that Totteringham are trying to muscle in on our bid for Wossa Matta.

    “Wossa matta you, wossa matta me, you Spuds will keep your monkey, so keep your mitts off me!” :-)

  28. TotalArsenal says:

    As black and white as a Zebra :P

  29. As welcome as ryan giggs at a family reuninon

  30. Red Arse says:

    Morning TA, :-)

    Erm, — Zebras ARE black and white!

    Perhaps, — “as black and white as a Green Parakeet”? Or as docile as a Spitting Mamba”.

    Evonne has opened a new genre of adjective/noun juxtapositions! :-)

  31. TotalArsenal says:

    GiE, great write-up post and a very sharp/analytical reflection of the game. Quality :)

    Agree with all your points, especially with your views on Traore’s performance at left back and Nasri’s performance in the middle. Traore did really well and I have only come to realise now what a true athlete he is: he is fast, strong and has a decent first touch as well. Nasri is best suited for the right midfield position which he can compete for / share with Theo. We already have two great players for our wings and maybe Mata is to join as well. Happy days.

    Interesting to see your line up for today game (first half). I have got a feeling that it will be Song and Ramsey who sit back in front of our back four as a joint DM-machine with licence to go forward if and when one of them can, and that Wilshere is our first choice of playing in the advanced/hole position this season (and not Ramsey as you are suggesting).

  32. 26may1989 says:

    Thanks for the write-up Exile – I’ve only seen the goals so far (thanks to arsenalist), so didn’t have a feel for the rest of the performance.

    The goals conceded were pretty rubbish but I was very impressed with the two we scored, the sharpness of Gervinho, van Persie, Ramsey and even Vela looked good for the coming games. But the soft centre is of course still a concern, and shows how important Vermaelen and Song are for us. But bring on the defensive signing.

    Elsewhere, it was depressing to see another skill player, Lee Chung-yong of Bolton, crippled yesterday by a much less competent opponent seeking to show the physical side, when Bolton played Newport. Result: Lee has a double fracture of his leg and will be out for months, denying Bolton the talents of their best player. When will the authorities get hold of this rubbish?

  33. TotalArsenal says:

    RA :) very funny. But you used ‘calculating millipede': which made me think of a milipede surrounded by calculators doing maths at the speed of light!

    Ok then: as humble as a Giraffe. Any better :P

  34. TotalArsenal says:

    26, did not know about Chung-yong’s horrific injury. And that at a friendly. Makes one sick.

  35. Scotland won’t be going to the world cup :)

  36. Red Arse says:

    TA,

    Your humble giraffe is excellent, a bit like a haughty mouse — but how about “as short legged as a giraffe”? :-)

    I had in mind the joke about the centipede with a wooden leg, every time he walked he went — 99, clop!

    GM’s topical “Giggsy” sentence was good too!

    I love silly — I bet that does not surprise anyone! :-)

  37. Red Arse says:

    GM, wicked! :-)

  38. TotalArsenal says:

    RA, have you ever seen a fully grown giraffe trying to sit down on its short tailed behind? A joy to watch: full of composure, focus and grace. Even better would be ‘as necklesss as a Giraffe’.

  39. Is Mickey still here? I’ve just been listening to “white man in Hammersmith Palais” I’m in the mood now. Shower and then the Tavern

  40. mog says:

    intersting read and agree with wot your saying.
    first time ive replied read all the time seems like a friendly site.

  41. mog says:

    goonermicheal forgot to say dont ya just love the clash.

  42. Evonne says:

    GM – England and Poland in the same group for a change :)

    RA – you are silliness incarnete :) Wossa matta you and monkey boy…honestly

    Sheep are clever, have you read ‘Three bags full’ detective story by L Swann? Highly recommend it, murder mystery at its best

  43. Evonne says:

    Mog – it is a friendly site, just follow the rules, ie AW is God, the team can do no wrong, anything you might think is wrong with the Club is all media invention. Oh and beware of the Princess with the whip, you’d be fine :)

  44. mog says:

    evonne thanks for the warning ill be very carefull what i say.

  45. oz gunner says:

    agree with the comments about keown. Anyone who can take a defence with senderos and flamini to a champions league final is damn good by me. Why he hasn’t been brought in again is been on me. Ex-players around the club would do wonders, but arsene hates change.

    Jealous of those going to the game.I have to settle for watching it until 2 in the morning,then getting up at 4.45 for work then uni…ahhh all for the love of the mighty gunners (well worth it)

  46. Evonne says:

    Oz – yep, we can go to games, but you live in Australia!!! no other place like it on earth, so be grateful :) just come here on hols and we will help with the tickets

  47. oz gunner says:

    @ mog:

    i’m new to the site also, but you won’t find a better lot of arsenal supporters than the regulars on here

    ‘Went to the park to check on the game,but they was murdered by the other team,who went on to win 50-nil’

  48. chas says:

    Nice post, GIE.

    I thought there was going to be a joke about the calculating millipede taking off his shoes and socks to count using his toes.
    How about implacable as a buffalo or mysoginistic as a coypu?

    Peaches, is your back trouble disc-related or sciatic pain?
    If it’s sciatic, this piriformis stretch exercise has really helped some people I know that have suffered.

    http://www.spinal-health-care.com/tips-a-advice/piriformis-stretch-2/

  49. oz gunner says:

    @ Evonne

    That is true no other place like it. Don’t worry when i’ve graduated Emirates is definently on the to-do list. Cheers for the generosity

  50. mog says:

    oz gunner
    didnt know the spuds were doing there per season down under and playing in the park as well

  51. oz gunner says:

    @ mog

    haha good call. Australia wouldn’t want them. Although the country goes nuts when teams like wigan, wolves and everton come so who knows.

    GAME TIME!!!!

    good to see the legend back where he belongs!
    enjoy the game ladies and gents

  52. chas says:

    My god, booing at the end of a pre-season friendly. Sad, indeed. I’m not sure I’m looking forward to my first trip to the Emirates. Absolute w*nkers.

  53. Good Evenings Peeps, as my Arsenal-supporting hero from the 80’s, Stavros would say.

    Hope the guys and gals had a good drink up at the Tavern before this game and what a lovely day it was to have a nice cold Peroni.

    As for the game…hmmm least said soonest mended methinks.

  54. Quick match report
    Went to the Tavern
    Had fantastic conversation with fantastic company. Finest, Peaches and Rasp.
    Got a bit drunk.
    Went to the toilet 7 times,
    Saw a fairly boring football match,
    Sat next to a really annoying family who went on and on about how they made more noise with 25 thousand on a wet Wenesday night at Highbury but didn’t quite know how the songs went.
    Listened to them sing “stand up for your 6%” then explain to thier kids that if you used to pay £10 it’s now £16 becuase everything has gone up 6%.
    Went home and got told off for smoking and now I’m destined for a hangover.
    Someone please tell Chamakh which way we are playing.
    I think we need to buy a couple of players.
    Still glad I’m a gooner though.

  55. GoonerM – great maths there, a 6% increase is from £10 to £16, lol.
    Annoying families are hard to avoid, they are everywhere.

  56. I’m terrible at drinking ih the afternoon. The pub was so much better than the match though.

  57. Gooner In Exile says:

    Evening all, just finished watching the match on delay. First half was I thought ok, second half again petered out especially when the changes were made.

    Shame Bartley had to stick one in the wrong end, thought he had done ok up til that point. Thought Kozzer and TV looked good together, Gibbs had a good game, competition between him and Traore will be good for both of them.

    But my Man of the Match was the one I had forgotten about in my line ups Rosicky, thought he had a really bright game, some great passes and clever movement.

    Also thought Afobe showed some glimpses of why he will be staying with us, I hoped a little bit that when Chamakh came on he would go and fill the void left by our wandering centre forward.

    Any news on Jack yet?

  58. Inflammation of the ankle according to Wenger, GiE, he’s out for a week apparently.

  59. Gooner In Exile says:

    GM what you describe confirms my worse fears, all these people complaining about the 6% but still going and not knowing what its true monetary value is anyway. The booing…..why? Its not a bloody pantomime.

    Although when the Mexican Wave was going round I did think that just maybe we could make that into an atmosphere builder at games, would be good to have a thing that we do, it generates a noise and if we could get double and triple waves and even contra flowing waves…..ok i’m getting carried away. Lets just try the one and see how it goes when we’re in the season proper.

  60. Gooner In Exile says:

    Thanks Chary, I switched off as soon as the final whistle went and then came up to my desktop to blog….dedication :D

  61. Agreed, as Roy Castle would have said (i.e. “Dedication….”) GiE. S Sports just showed the boo ing at the final whistle.

  62. TotalArsenal says:

    GiE, agree with you that first half was ok, with a more solid look to our defense. With Jack’s early departure Ramsey became fully exposed and I thought he did ok-ish. Rosicky had one of his better matches, but just does not seem to be able to play at top level for 90 minutes anymore.

    It was the sort of game where we had to keep up a high tempo with lots of pressure and clearly, with so many changes and fatigue setting in, and little or no desire by most players to give it their all, it petered out at the end. Shame for (another rooky defender) own goal. Hope that’s it for the rest of the season.

    Great to see Thierry again – still looking sharp and so bloody healthy: does he ever age?

  63. Red Arse says:

    Hi CharyB, :-)

    I like the cut of that family’s math, GM could have put me onto something there.
    I am going to incorporate it into my next fee note! A 6% rise on your £1,000 bill is £1,600 madame!! :-) I thank you.

    The game looked like what it was supposed to be, a preseason training workout.
    Mainly a fitness and conditioning deal, so was OK by me.

    My only real concern was that on the infrequent Red Bull attacks our defence, even with TV and Kosser, looked at sixes and sevens, much like last season really!
    Witness the build up to their equalizing goal.

    Tell me I am talking rubbish someone!

  64. Gooner In Exile says:

    RA when they scored Chamakh was doing an impersonation of a bollard on the 6 yard box, Ramsey next to Henry with 135 minutes of football in him, and Eboue was playing right back.

  65. RockyLives says:

    Hello All
    Didn’t see the game or even the goals (limited Internet access at the mo cos of house move).
    However, I can’t believe people were booing a pre-season friendly with half the team changing at half time and young kids on the pitch. How many were booing? Was it at the end or during?
    There’s a portion of the Arsenal support with whom I am getting seriously p’d off.

  66. RockyLives says:

    Rasp, Peaches
    Have put a rant in drafts for tomorrow. If there’s a match report the report could possibly follow on.
    Or, If you would rather just run the report and hold the rant it will need a couple of tweaks (ie references to ‘yesterday’s game’ will need to be changed etc).

  67. TotalArsenal says:

    Dear AA’ers, it has been good blogging with you all over the last few months. I will be away for two weeks and hope to catch up with you all after the Newcastle game.

    TA

  68. RockyLives says:

    Have fun TA. And come back soon – we’ll miss you on here.
    Hope you’re going somewhere nice.

  69. TotalArsenal says:

    Cheers RL :) We are doing a family/Friends visit-holiday in Holland and then some cultural/culinary treats in Brugge, Lille and Paris. Not as fancy as a Carribean Cruise, but still looking forward to it :P

  70. Thankyou Rocky for the post.

    TA – hope you have a lovely holiday, we will miss you :)

  71. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Very quick in and out.
    Villas-Boas has said Arsenal are going to be VERY busy in the transfer market.
    Have a great holiday TA.
    Chary, great to hear from you.
    Nite all.

  72. TotalArsenal says:

    Nite all. Thought it would be nice to say goodbye for now with a small poem by Dutchman Remco Campert:

    POETRY
    I never cared much for beautiful poetry
    unless you didn’t notice it was beautiful
    quick as the light
    skimming along a rail track
    or snow flake melting on a paving stone
    apart from that I’ve never cared much for beautiful poetry
    unless it was very beautiful
    like the time you stood at the tram stop
    and I glimpsed you in passing

    Am really gone now :)

  73. Jamie says:

    Just looked at the site for first time in about 12 hours.

    Heavy days boozing.

    I thought the team did well for an hour. Really impressed with Gibbs and Rosicky.

    We need a centre back and we need the fab and nas situation sorting. Same old problem, whenever cover players come in, Eboue ,Squillaci, Djourou we look wobbly.

    Thought our first choice pair were a bit exposed at times but you don’t get much protection in pre season.

  74. Jamie says:

    Peaches – just seen my invitation to the Tavern. Would have been good. Thanks for the invite.

    Will come next time if invited.

  75. Gooner In Exile says:

    Bon voyage TA.

    I’m with you Rocky…altho I have been following twitter and there seems to be a groundswell of the silent majority becoming more vocal in telling the booers to shut up.

    I will never understand why anyone wants to boo our players and our team. It’s getting ridiculous, how we shut them up I have no idea.

    They’re behaving like spoilt brats.

    This tweet perhaps said it best

    “I’d rather be fighting and defending my team against rival fans instead of against our own supporters. Please go away you awful ‘fans'”

    That was from a lady. Chas also retweeted one which summed up how most of us feel. But it contains some swears.

    This one is quite good too

    “Importance of pre-season results: Spurs in 2008 = WWDWWWWW – season start – LLDLDLLL. Chelsea in 2010 = WLLLL – season start – WWWWW”

    These fans that boo should ask one question “why would anyone want to come and play for a team who’s fans regularly boo their team? and why would Nasri, Cesc or anyone else want to stay?”

    Kyle Bartley was not to blame but walks on the pitch 6ft

  76. Gooner In Exile says:

    Kyle Bartley was not to blame but walks on the pitch 6ft plus and walks off it feeling 3ft 6. Shocking.

  77. WiganGooner says:

    Good morning all,

    The booing yesterday was ridiculous wasn’t it? Do people not realise the Emirates Cup is a Pre-Season event and nothing more than a fitness and team blending exercise?

    Of course we will get disjointed performances, because so many changes get made in the game, you’ll never see a consistent 90mins performance. Arsene needs to look at his players and work out what he has.

    The important things to take from the Emirates cup are;

    1) Jack, whilst now having a minor knock is back on fire, which can only be good for us.
    2) Rambo, returning to his promising form – I think this season will be massive for him.
    3) Frimpong is an awesome prospect, the more I see of him the more I love him. He’s like an angry wasp buzzing about. Just what we need. (As identified by Riquelme and the Boca manager also)
    4) Gervinho is looking another excellent Wenger signing.
    5) Our left-back situation looks covered with Gibbs and Traore (told ya so :P)
    6) Vermaelen and Koscielny look to be a good partnership, as first choice I think they will do well for us. I would like another centre-back to cover along with Djourou, Squillaci is a car-crash waiting to happen. I have given up on him now, as much as it pains me to say it.
    7) Goalkeepers – think what you will, but I think in the three goalkeepers (Sczcesny, Fabianski and Mannone) we are well covered.
    8) There is a positive shift in the defensive method and it will only get better as the players become more accustomed to it. This weekend’s games were their 4th and 5th games practising it.

    Be positive, being a gooner sometimes means being as stubborn as Arsene and reading more into the game than the result.

    WG
    P.S. Crazy Shiznit going on for me at the moment so apologies for a) a lack of a fresh post and b) lack of visitation to the site recently but all will be explained very shortly I promise.

  78. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Morning Wigan,
    I agree with your positives as well as the need for a CB (I would like to add a winner/leader at DM also). However, I think it is going to be impossible to judge the realistic outlook for the season until the end of the window. The fact that Arsene continues with 4-3-3 without Cesc makes me believe that he has a replacement in mind should he go as we cannot play that way without him with the current personel. Therefore, I am holding back on any assesment of our chances until the end of Aug.
    Has NB gone? I really hope not, unless another striker is in the pipeline.

  79. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Oh God, the booing.
    At the Liverpool game towards the end of last season, I took an English guy who has been living in the States for the last 18 years. He is a massive fan of football, and it was his first PL game.
    Despite a great day, he told me afterwards that he would simply never take his 10 year old son. He felt the attitude of too many at the game mirrored English Society 2011, and was the very reason he has no intention of returning to the UK to bring up his children. An instant gratification society where people believe they have rights to success without earning it, a total lack of respect for their fellow citizen, and very sadly, the list went on. I share his concerns.

  80. London says:

    I turned off as soon as the game finished yesterday and didn’t notice any booing but then later on Sky Sports News I hear it loud and clear my only concern is that Sky amplified it loader than actually was, could anyone who was at the game give us an acurate version of events.
    I was going to express my unhappiness at the booing but I suspect Rocky will to do that today with both guns blazing.
    The first half in both games was pretty good and that was the only time real football got played both second halves were for experimentation, what on earth do people expect from a team that has had six changes made to it.

  81. London says:

    Morning Micky

    That is a sad indictment of English society but one that I would not attempt to challenge.

  82. WiganGooner says:

    The Emirates Cup crowd, in my mind is rarely made up of Season Ticket holders, or actual hardcore fans,.

    It is made up of people unable to secure tickets on a normal basis, who demand to be entertained by a team that they have decided to support.

    They demand to be entertained, they demand victory without thought for the actual event they are watching. I suspect that for as long as the Emirates Cup continues we will see booing at it until Arsene plays his first team for 90 mins on both days and we win 12:0 each time. Impossible. Were the crowd interested in the actual event? No. They wanted to walk away and say that they saw Arsenal win in a marquee result because bragging rights mean more to them than the club.

    It is the state of the Arsenal fan-base at the moment, this feeling that we have a god-given, universe delivered right to success. There are pockets of “supporters” who subscribe to this view in the same way I sit firmly in the other camp, that success is earned, not bought.

    I think the majority of Arsenal fans sit with me, I guess there will always be those that need the success, but to me Arsenal is and will always be more than that.

    WG

  83. London says:

    I’ve got a bad feeling about what I fear will be announced today.

  84. Evonne says:

    Morning all, the booing is becoming endemic, louder at each game. It has to be stopped, not sure how, but it has to. Perhaps leaflets handed out before a game explaining the counter-effectivness of booing, or a precise kick up the arse, I don’t care which, but lets rid off those sickoes.

    The place to start is the moaning mates supporters. I am very tough with those who constantly complain and demand; it is usually easy to put them in their place as they are the once that never spend a penny on the Club. Lets start sending the message out they are not wanted

  85. Evonne says:

    once – ones dohhh

  86. The booing wasn’t at all bad. I thought the match was quite boring. I was drunk though. I won’t do that again.

  87. MickyDidIt89 says:

    London,
    Referring to Cesc?
    If you are, then a swift resolution is imperative.

  88. London
    Is bendtner staying?

  89. MickyDidIt89 says:

    GM,
    Saw your “White Man” comment yesterday. Excellent start to anyone’s day.
    I asked the same question myself. He has so much more potential than MC. I think we are making a howler and letting the wrong bloke go. I just think that right now there are more goals in Nic than Cham.

  90. London says:

    GM

    “Is Bendtner staying?” that’s funny.

  91. MickyDidIt89 says:

    London,
    On the other hand, MC as Robin’s stand-in, is not so funny (-:

  92. MickyDidIt89 says:

    (-: )-: testing

  93. London says:

    There probably are more goals in Nick than Cham but Nick wants first team football where as Cham will bench warm without too much complaint.

  94. London says:

    I don’t see Cham as RvP’s stand in, that role has been taken on by The Gerv.

  95. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Ah Ha, the old warming the bench chestnut !!
    More goals in Nic is very relevant and I don’t think The Gerv (love it) will be the stand in. He will start wide me thinks.

  96. London says:

    I agree with you that he will start wide but I see no reason why he should stay there.

  97. MickyDidIt89 says:

    London,
    Were you referring to the sale of Cesc earlier. If so, we have a monster debate on our hands as to his replacement.

  98. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Arsene has tried both Nasri and Rosicky in the Cesc role and neither are anywhere near as effective. Why won’t he try AA there? Makes me think AW is treading water as he knows who he has in mind.

  99. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Why would Villas-Boas say what he said without reason. I am hoping it has something to do with his Porto connections (-:

  100. London says:

    Micky

    Yep, I was referring to Cesc, I think today might be the day. Gulp. But I don’t expect for one minute that Wenger will buy another creative midfielder. Jagielka works for me and then let Ramsey, Nasri, Arshavin and Rosicky fight it out amongst themselves for the right to take his place in the starting line up.

  101. London says:

    What did V-B say?

  102. London – Gulp :(

  103. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Oh do keep up London.
    Read my 10:12 pm

  104. MickyDidIt89 says:

    London,
    If he does that and sticks to 4-3-3, we’re buggered.

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