Orcs! You shall not pass!

Written by oz gunner

How they lined up:

Arsenal (4-4-3)- Szczesny, Djourou, Koscielny, Mertesacker, Andre Santos, Song ©, Arteta, Ramsey, Walcott, Gervinho, Chamakh.

Subs: Fabianski, Frimpong, Rosicky, Benayoun, Arshavin, Park, van Persie.

Stoke (4-5-1): Begovic, Wilkingson, Shawcross ©, Upson, Wilson, Whitehead, Whelan, Delap, Ethrington, Walters, Crouch.

Subs: Sorenson, Huth, Shotton, Diao, Palacios (ex-scum), Jerome, Jones

Pennant failed to come up thankfully as he normally creates problems for us

Pre-Match Thoughts:

RVP needed the rest, so I’m glad to see MC lining up against the orcs (hopefully he can create room for Walcott and Gerv to work in).

Walcott needs to step up. He can’t fall behind the ‘youngster’ tag anymore, it’s time to take the game by the scruff of the neck.

Gerv needs to start hitting the target.

I’m glad Crouch and Upson are starting because I feel they are a lot less dangerous than Huth and Jones.

I’d like to see Arshavin come off the bench and deliver another great cameo.

I’d like to see a great defensive display against one of the most dangerous set dead ball teams in the league.

Lastly, no more injuries.

How it happened:

5’         Djourou sends in a poor cross (used up his good one in the CL).

6’         Ramsey picks out a great run by Walcott, however it’s just over hit.

9’         Corner sent in to a free MC…GREAT chance squandered. No pace or direction in the header really should of done better (that’s 2 goals in 31 matches for MC).

11’       Ambitious pot shot by Walters…fizzes wide. Song caught out in position but recovered well. Shot from distance by Arteta pulled wide.

12’       Crowd relatively quiet.

15’       Another great ball by Ramsey. Too hard for Gerv to control.

16’       Still no set piece for Stoke or Delap throw in.

17’       Spoke to soon. Boooooooooooo! BFG sorts out the danger.

19’       Great bit of skill by Theo (he needs to play to his strengths more often we’d all agree). Good cross, just a touch to high. Whitehead puts in a lousy slide on Arteta.

21’       Stoke are sitting deep and tight, it’s hard to get our passing game going.

22’       Arteta’s free kick spills to Gerv who tees up Ramsey who fires in a shot…just wide.

23’       Free kick to Stoke (Arsenal have conceded 5 goals from free kicks this season). Djourou headers clear.

26’       Hard to break down a well drilled Stoke team, conversely they are finding it tough getting forward.

27’       Ramsey chips a beautiful ball over the Stoke defenders, Gerv controls well with his chest and slots the ball under Begovic…GOAL!!! First goal at home for Gerv, Ramsey has been great.

28’       Fouls: Stoke 6, Arsenal 0

30’       Whitehead YELLOW CARD after another shocking slide tackle that just missed Arteta.

31’       Gerv great burst of pace, and a beautiful low cross, unfortunately no-one is there for the tap in.

33’       Stoke are playing very compact. Shawcross has the ball and Boooooo’s rain throughout Emirates and my living room.

34’       Stoke get a free kick after great and fair Kozza header (funny how Crouch rides over people all the time, yet when he’s on the receiving end he gets the foul. Ball sent wide to an unmarked Shawcross who headers the ball to Walters, ball headed to Crouch who taps it into an empty net. GOAL. Well thought out set piece by Stoke, Gerv should have done better.

35’       Wilkinson wrestles MC to the ground (Hulk Hogan-esque). How is that not a penalty? Very unlucky there!

38’       Delap throw #2. Ball ricochet’s around the box -> Corner

39’       Walters stop whinging.

40’       Arsenal have dropped off a little since we scored, half time can’t come soon enough.

43’       Delap throw #3…come on hurry up get on top of it ref! Handled well but out for throw #4 which comes back out to Delap who sends in an abysmal cross (shows just how one dimensional he really is, the rest of his game is poor).

44’       Great defending by Kozza who gets Gerv out of dodge.

46’       Arteta keeps it in well, great cross. MC misses it somehow and goes out via Upson.

47’       Wild shot from distance by Gerv, to no avail.

HALF TIME

Half time mullings:

A great start by Arsenal but we dropped off again after we scored. They are playing tight and defending well but because of it they are not creating much themselves.

MC we really need you to pull your finger out, yes your endeavour is there but as our second choice striker we need more out of you!

Bugger Chelsea away next week. If we play like we need against them last year we will be fine (oh how I miss that game. The full field press was amazing. Kozza will pocket Torres easy).

Gerv and Ramsey have played well.

Alarm set: 7 hours to work…mmm sick day?!

Second Half under way

46’       Poor effort from Walters, hit and hope if anything.

48’       Great ball through to Walcott, deflection, corner. Corner comes in and Kozza attempts a bicycle kick (love this kid).

49’       Cross sent in by Theo…ends up in row Z.

53’       Djourou sets up Theo to get flattened. Definently tell he is a CB playing at RB.

54’       RVP is warming up. How long before we see him? YELLOW CARD Wilkingson for holding Theo.

56’      Sixth corner for Arsenal. Orcs start falling over each other. Walters down after a tangle with Upson. Get up Walters two minutes have been wasted. Stoke appear to be playing for a draw. Stoke reconsider their sub.

59’       Whitehead is up there with Lescott in terms of ugliness.

60’       Song good hit on Crouch. Delap->off  Diao <- on. Well done Delap you have proved further just how pathetic of a footballer you are!

60’       Crowd chanting for RVP, only a matter of time you’d think as MC’s only contribution this half was a header to Crouch.

62’       Good build up play, bad pass by Song, crowd are getting restless. Kozza is playing great again. Unsure if these performances by Walcott can carry on. It’s surely only a matter of time before we see the Ox take his spot in the starting line-up.

65’       Stoke sitting very narrow and tight, Crouch still isolated. RVP is getting ready to come on. The crowd is shouting their love (please sign a new contract RVP… pretty please).

66’       MC->off  RVP<- on. MC was less than inspiring, guilty of wasting two great chances.

67’       Beautiful play by RVP, cross just too high for Kozza. Worlds #1 cheekily takes on Walters. Commentators condemning him saying he is naïve and has often made mistakes this season. Pretty harsh I think!

68’       Shawcross the sook forearms RVP in the head…no free kick given.

70’       Great pass by Song, RVP lays off to…no one.

71’       Theo->off  AA<- on. Hopefully another great cameo is on the cards.

72’       RVP’s cross splits the lot of them. We are controlling the game easily. BFG needs to assert himself better during our set pieces.

73’       Great run from Gerv, crosses into RVP who sneaks it past Begovic GOAL!!! 200th goal at the emirates in our 100th game. RVP’s positional sense is truly world class.

74’       Ethrington + Crouch-> off           Jones + Jerome<- on

76’       Gerv is looking great down the right hand side.

77’       Jones free header, Jerome goes for it but clatters into the World #1 (he’s not impressed by it). Nervous last 15 minutes coming up.

78’       Santos warned- Cool heads needed here. We don’t need to give away stupid free kicks this late into the game, especially not when Jones is on.

79’       Great piece of defending by Arshavin.

82’       Great pass by Arshavin finding Gerv’s run, he cuts back to RVP who taps it in GOAL!!! Begovic poor attempt at a save. 6 goals in 5 matches for RVP against Stoke.

84’       Two great defensive efforts by Santos. Great block by Kozza who was 1-on-1 with Jones.

87’       Arsenal is making a mockery of Stoke at the moment, passing it around like it’s a training drill. Stoke cannot get near the ball.

90’       RVP threads it through to Gerv, Begovic saves from a tight angle.

91’       Gerv-> off  Pong<- on

Arsenal control the rest of the game with great movement and passing. They can walk off the pitch with their heads held high after that one! The second half was all Arsenal.

FULL TIME

Player Ratings:

Worlds #1  6.5.   Had little to do, but was consistent when called into action.

Djourou 6.    Offered little going forward but did the job asked of him well. His extra height was needed against the Orcs.

BFG  6.5.    Consistent, keeps getting better each game.

Kozza  7.5.    Stand out performer in defence and is becoming one of the best defenders in the league at the moment. Love how he goes about his game. One on one he is a star, and controls the air well. Crouch had nothing all game

Santos 6.5.   Like BFG he is getting better as each game passes. Offers more attacking wise but is no mug defensively. Will be a great purchase once he settles in and lifts his cardio.

Song  7   You know what you get from Song, and he played well again today against Stoke. Stuck to his role well and allowed Arteta and Ramsey to go about their business. Hard to think this is the same Song who went out on loan to Charlton all those seasons ago.

Arteta  6.5.    Started every Premier League game for Arsenal this season. Delivered another good performance both offensively and defensively, unfortunately will allows be compared to Cesc.

Ramsey  7.5.    Amazing game from young Ramsey. Cesc-like passes (especially the assist to Gerv), great work rate and dangerous shooting. He is going to be an Arsenal legend no doubt about it. Glad Shawcross has not ruined the great career he will have,

Gerv  8.    Man of the Match for me. Showed Theo how it’s done with great drive and low crosses. When RVP came on he lifted immensely. Great control and finish from Ramsey’s pass, and two good assists. Another Arsene steal considering his price.

MC  5.   Endeavour is there, just not his finishing. As though he’s scared to shoot with his feet. Wasted two great opportunities. Fans are losing patience with him, me included. Hopefully he snaps out of it though, I want him to succeed at Arsenal

Theo 5.    Good in patches. However those patches were few and far between. He NEEDS to deliver more, and his high crosses are a waste especially when playing a team like Stoke. Ox is breathing down his neck.

RvP   8.   Amazing cameo, the fans got what they asked for and he showed just why we love him so much. Two goals thanks to good positioning and passing by Gerv. We need him to stay he is World Class and a great captain.

Arshavin  6.5.    Good little cameo again. This might be how we get the best out of him for the remainder of his time at Arsenal.

Ref  4.    Didn’t get on top of the time wasting, missed a penalty and was pretty much poor all game.

The game was nerve racking for a moment there but we controlled it for the full 90 minutes. This team is getting better and better each game and looks very determined to give their all for the cause. I’m loving it, come on you mighty Gunners. Well played. Next up Chelsea.

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143 Responses to Orcs! You shall not pass!

  1. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Wow Oz,
    Monster Post..really has it all, thanks, and brilliant pic.

  2. pat says:

    great post Oz a fine read – totally with you re Chamakh. I really want him to succeed but he just cant get things going –

    However a great game, great victory. Referee was shithouse. as well as the Chamakh penalty that he missed there was also a set piece where the orc captian just pulls Metersacker over in the box, but nothing.

    With these wins its the best time for us to take on someone like the chelskis especially after their bad weekend….

  3. evonne says:

    Oz – what a fantastic write up!
    I think you were a bit mean with your player ratings though, for me it was RvP 9 and Ramsey 8.
    What about the fans? they deserve a 9 at the very least. the atmo was brill

  4. Red Arse says:

    Really, really great post, my antipodean hero! :-)

    I spent twice as long reading it as usual because I was running the minutes thru in my head.

    Can’t fault you on the ratings, altho’ like Evonne, I might have let RVP shade things with a 9. Without him I think we would have struggled to win, despite our dominance.

    Well done! :-)

  5. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Evonne,
    Crowd 9? Mmmm, I would go a little less, but then I think your judgement may be skewed having spent an hour standing outside The Lubricator with GiE. Walking to the ground with him, one could easily be forgiven for thinking that the skies of Islington were reverberating to the sound of Red and White Thunder.

  6. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Some work to think about. Bye for now.

  7. LB says:

    Good read Oz

    I particularly liked the player ratings and comments.

  8. mjc says:

    I hear Rooney went out for a Chinese to belebrate his birthday with some of the Man City players.

    Do you think anyone ordered Sichuan Chicken?

  9. mjc says:

    “celebrate”

  10. dandan says:

    Fine detailed post Oz, thanks for the late night.

    Did think we were going to have another Koss/ Keeper cock up though. Wish he wouldnt do that not good for my ticker. Ramsey has certainly perfected that chip over the top, Liam or Cesc. wonder who he copied. Top half of the table and climbing, next week a biggy but at least the drog monster wont be playing.

  11. MickyDidIt89 says:

    dandan,
    With a rested first team in the CC, I think we have a real chance at The Bridge.
    In light of last nights’ back-up striker chat, it will be fascinating to see who plays there on Tuesday.

  12. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Diaby up top?

  13. raccoon says:

    4-4-3? nice game though, com on gunners!

  14. Fair comment OG,

    Three points, no injuries, moving on up!

    A word on Walcott, he never had less than two defenders to cope with and was getting little or no support from Djourou. Because of his pace there was often nobody in the box to get on the end of crosses, except the Orcs.

  15. harry says:

    Cracking Post, oz, Like your style……….

    Things are certainly more rosy now, just need to keep improving little by little and not get carried away.

    But the shouts of our demise was pretty premature, lets get our injured players back and see where we are at…….

    Will be an interesting game tomorrow night. Peaches you got any spares?

  16. goonermichael says:

    Fantastic post.
    Hi Micky. It was great to meet everyone yesterday and my in laws enjoyed the experience at the worlds best stadium..
    When they took the free kick for thier goal most of the stadium was laughing as it looked like a mistake. Soon wiped the smile off my face so fair play to them. I was above the away fans and thought they were scum. A few on both sides were thrown out. I though Gervinho was great. Walked to manor house after the game so I was knackered.

    How funny are those mancs? We had most of our team out what’s thier excuse. I told Peaches they were shit.

  17. chas says:

    Really enjoyed the detailed match report, Oz. Thanks.
    I didn’t even realise Upson was playing.

    Have to say I love “the skies of Islington were reverberating to the sound of Red and White Thunder”. Sums up Mr GIE perfectly. :)

    Evonne,
    JC was very taken with you and would like your phone number. :)

  18. goonermichael says:

    Evonne is a very attractive woman chas. :)

  19. dandan says:

    JC Bloody hell is he an Arsenal fan, Evonne if he cant make the earth move no one can :-)

  20. kelsey says:

    Wow oz what a post, that will get RA thinking :)

    dandan, how can you be so negative that we might have had another kos/keeper cock up, it was rehearsed ;)

    I gave most of my comments last night though I didn’t know until I read the post match interview with AW that RVP had a slight musce strain.

    Give Ramsey another year or so and we will all be in awe of him our own welsh catalonian.
    Gervinho has more pace than I thought and he will be another plus.
    We just need a settled defence and things will improve step by step.

    By the way i woke up at 1 minute to 6 this morning smiling.

    When we lost up at OT I suggested even with a depleted team we could have had at least 4 ourselves, including the missed penalty.

    Can’t wait for Wednesday.

  21. Red Arse says:

    Hi Kelsey, :-)

    Great to see you so full of beans! You are absolutely right about the Gerv and Rambo of the Valleys!! :-)

  22. Gooner in Exile says:

    Afternoon all, detailed report Oz :D

    For me the match changing substitution was not RvP, it was actually Arsh for Theo, suddenly Gerv was further up the pitch and playing either side of the skipper, and not in a rehearsed we’re going to switch wings after twenty minutes (which seems to be the case with Theo) but because of an intuition of where he needs to be on the pitch, this meant Arsh was not having to play as far up the pitch as he sometimes does. Also Santos willingness to go beyond the left winger worked well with Arshavin, again because Arsh could play deeper and leave space for Santos to get into.

    Couple of songs which made me smile yesterday:

    “We’ve Got Gervinho”….fans hero status building

    “One – Nil to the Football Team”

    As for ratings I would have pushed Arteta to a 7 or maybe a 7.5 as I felt he kept ball moving.

    Referee was dire, so dire….so 4 is generous.

    Final thought is on our team spirit, when was the last time you saw so many players celebrating goals together? Was the same at Marseille, everyone chasing Ramsey down.

    Despite being of lesser technical ability, we may have a better team than last year.

    And as Peaches and I said straight after the game, there was no noticeable wobble. Which meant even when they scored the fans were not nervous, we could see that Stoke were there for the taking all afternoon.

    Some pundits have talked Stoke up this season, they cannot now be judged as a poor side and an expected win because we handled them so easily.

    Defensive solidity was a joy to behold yesterday.

  23. Gooner in Exile says:

    I don’t think the staff in the club shop felt nicely about Evonne as she berated them for allowing a Spurs fan’s song (Adele) to be played in the shop.

    Telling them off at the counter :D :D :D

  24. dandan says:

    Kelsey the game is Tuesday not Wednesday Matey.

  25. dandan says:

    Did anyone stay on for the under 18 game, how did we do, how did you rate our youngsters

  26. kelsey says:

    dandan, we play Miraflores Panthers in the League Cup semi final ;)

  27. Red Arse says:

    GIE, :-)

    At 7:44 yesterday, I wrote the following;

    “– the balance of the team changed when Robin came on, but also when Arsh replaced a very disappointing Theo. Suddenly the Gerv seemed revitalized on the right wing, Arsh whizzed around like a demented firecracker and RVP terrorized their defence. Beautiful!”

    I am delighted we appear to be in a syncopated rythym regarding the Arsh Man! :-) So altho’ I was only watching on a feed, it is good that the view from the ground was the same! :-)

  28. Red Arse says:

    Dandan,

    I think we beat chelsea U 18s 1:0.

    I did not see it, but Zak Ansah scored and altho he is a Manyoo fan, he is certainly one for the future!

  29. Gooner in Exile says:

    DanDan we stayed for a little while, not long enough to judge, it was bit after the Lord Mayors Show.

    Our left back Campbell looked good, and in a now typical Arsenal way twisted his way past two opponents in his own area :D

    Toral looked capable of passing and tackling, but had an irritiating habit of holding on to his sleeve cuffs while running around, always looks like the player is cold when I see that trait.

    Our keeper (Charles-Cook) made a couple of good saves (one from an offside), but he could be a little short for the big time.

    But to be honest once Mickey, Evonne and Peaches found me the topic quickly turned to the game just played and the amusement of the United result, with me saying “6-1….club in crisis” to anyone who cared to listen.

  30. Gooner in Exile says:

    I dare say RA that view will not be shared by all, as indeed my view on Chamakh’s contribution was not appreciated by many in and out of the ground.

    We all see different things in football, it depends where our eyes are at any given time as we may miss the off the ball contribution, or the subtle changes of shape.

    For example when Ramsey got the ball for Gerv’s goal, I fully expected him to let fly, as for me the Stoke defence was well set, someone else watching in the Clock End would have probably noticed Gerv’s clever run along the Stoke back line and be screaming for the pass.

    Evonne and I discussed how we watch football on the way down to the game yesterday, I often watch the space, its the most dangerous thing on a football pitch for defenders, and its where clever teams exploit the oppositions weaknesses. And of you can make the space move around the pitch (as our 4-3-3 should allow) we can be devastating, one player prevents that space from moving, and has little idea of how to create it for others.

    One thing I would like to see though is someone finding the BFG from a corner, either the delivery is very bad or we are using him as a distraction, but defenders won’t think him a risk if we don’t threaten to use his size occasionally so will stop tracking him.

  31. goonermichael says:

    Nice to met you yesterday GiE. I just watched that video terry being a racist. I hope they do him for that. His denial isn’t even a denial he just says it was taken out of context. What a scumbag.

  32. goonermichael says:

    Just watched some of the barca stuff. I’d give cesc a slap myself.

  33. Red Arse says:

    Very interesting GIE.

    We arrived at the same view by whatever means.

    I think the substitutions dramatically changed the balance and pace of the team overall, but as you say others may disagree.
    In any event we won! :-)

  34. harry says:

    GIE, your right we all do watch the game from different angles so to speak, I too actually look at the space, the movement, and the vision of players, what was he trying to do, rather than just moan and groan when a pass goes astray.

    Theo currently is on a hiding to nothing with some fans, but last in the premier league he was the 5th most efficient player across the league, for me his contract extension cannot come quick enough.

    ————————————Extract————————————–

    Interesting article on formations, but it highlights theo’s worth to the team……….

    http://www.arsenalvision.co.uk/your-vision/3824-is-4-4-2-really-the-answer.html

    This certainly rings true when you think about Theo’s impact in games. He still drifts in and out of games more than one would like but think back to a game and it’s invariably Theo who has been involved in our goals. This is reflected by the stats. Last season, Theo scored a goal once every 189 minutes and assisted a goal every 242 minutes in his 1697 total league minutes. He scored 9 goals and assisted 7 giving him a ‘points’ total of 16. Therefore, in the table below ranking the Premier League players’ attacking efficiency in the 10/11 season he scored a point every 106 mins (1697/16)*.

    RANK PLAYER ATTACKING EFFICIENCY (point per x mins)

    1Robin van Persie 71

    2Dimitar Berbatov 92

    3 Carlos Tevez 97

    4 Wayne Rooney 101

    5 Theo Walcott 106

    ———————————————————————————

    Also people need to stop comparing theo and Ox, although they hail from Southampton, similarities end there…….Theo is more out and out attack / striker. Ox will develop into a deeper lying player who will control games, I am actually looking forward to them two playing together, rather than one replace the other………..Together they will be devastating, our options are truly plentiful……..

  35. dandan says:

    Harry Thanks for some interesting facts, Mr Kelsey will need to visit his optician I fear. :-)

  36. oz gunner says:

    @ all

    thank you all for taking the time to read the match report and to all those who have commented. Greatly appreciated.

    @ Harry

    I can’t speak for others but i don’t compare ox and theo due to the similarities between the two, but due to where arsene plays them both (same position). If theo is lining up down the right and ox plays there also i’ll compare them, same goes for RVP/MC/Bendy and so forth

  37. oz gunner says:

    @ Evonne

    thank you. I’m a bit strict on player ratings because i feel sometimes people on others sites throw high scores around will nilly. RVP would get a 9 if he started but i as good as he played i couldn’t give a sub a 9 rating (but hey thats just me). As for the atmosphere, can’t comment much because it was only what i heard on the box, glad it was good though because a fired up crowd will do wonders for the teams confidence.

  38. oz gunner says:

    @ Chas

    cheers, i to often forgot upson was out there. Amazing what he has become, yet alot of fans were begging for us to sign him up a few seasons ago (that’s why im more reserved with cahill, because it could be just another case of the curious overrated englishman).

  39. oz gunner says:

    @ Kelsey

    cheers for your comment, great to get such a reaction from such a well respected arsenal fan.

    I agree in regards to your comments on gerv. Great dash and skill, finally a player who sends in low crosses to dangerous areas. Nothing frustrates me more than seeing theo and sagna send in cross after cross to nobody (we don’t win headers during set pieces when everyone is in the box, let alone 1 on about 5).

    Ramsey is having a break out year, it’s trully great to watch him light up the pitch after fearing the worst for him during the shawcross incident. It ruined eduardos career but thankfully Ramsey is kicking on.

    @ GiE

    Arteta probably should have deserved that rating but his position in the team is not one i take full notice in. He goes about his business and does what is required, i feel with him you always know what you are going to get, he’s been around for a while now, he knows all the other teams and the stadiums, hes just a consistently good performer. He’d get a 7 nearly every game i think.

    I agree AA’s sub did bring on a positive influence, but i feel RVP brought more out of the crowd and other players just from his presence alone. He has that hero aura about him now where you think ‘RVP’s on things will happen’

    AA is excelling as an impact sub, and playing with a natural like santos is only going to improve his game, because lets face it clichy and AA did no favours for one another. AA left clichy to be double teamed, while clichy left AA to be doubled teamed as he had nothing going forward.

  40. oz gunner says:

    @ Harry

    like dandan has said thank you for those very intriguing stats, i would never have thought walcott was that efficient.

  41. harry says:

    @ Oz, understand that thought, but when i consider players, i look at how we can get the best out of them and how i can get them into the same team………when i consider them to be players that can truly hurt the opposition, which both these boys can do……..

    I just see everyday people berating Theo, when they clearly havent studied the issue closely enough, wasnt digging at you mate, it was me merely backing Theo………..

    Walcott

    Gervinho RVP The Ox

    Wilshere Song

    Santos Vermaelen Kozzer Sagna

    No1 ITW

    For me of all the players we have, this the best line up for me if all fit…….and to think of who is on the bench!!

    Who says our squad is not deep enough………?

  42. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Excellent write up oz.

    I would like to give the manager, team, and club 10 out of 10, not for our level of performances, but for were we are now as compared to a month ago. Come backs take guts and pride and we are showing both qualities in abundance.

    The side has solid foundations, with a new found defensive stability. We will build on that over the coming months with individuals improving within the team framework and the introduction of Jack and Ox in the new year. Exciting times ahead, and fearful ones for our competitors.

  43. oz gunner says:

    @ Harry

    didn’t take it as you having a dig whatsoever, love the different point of view, and i can’t fault a supporter standing up for a player (we need more of it).
    The lineup is good but to me theo doesn’t deserve that spot yet, i know players develop at different ages but i just can’t see him improving quick enough. He has had his bad luck with injuries but when i see someone like gerv doing what he did yesterday i just think to myself ‘why isn’t theo doing that’. I don’t know what they do in training, but i would have thought if theo knew he was going to be playing out wide for a certain time he would work on his crossing, and skill set. It’s just pure frustration if anything, i know he has it in him hence why i’m tougher on him then most.

    Same goes with MC, we’ve all seen what he can do, he was brilliant at the start of last year. Seeing what he is now makes me want to rip my hair out at times. I just want them to do well from the team and themselves

  44. 26may1989 says:

    Thanks for the forensically detailed write up Oz. ;)

    On ratings, I’d probably mark Chamakh and Walcott down further, and would be slightly more generous to Arteta, but that’s just nit-picking, all your observations are on the button.

    Stoke may have been tired after their Europa game on Thursday, and they don’t travel too well anyway, but our defenders and midfielders did a very good job yesterday, topped off with van Persie’s savvy sub’s performance. With Vermaelen potentially returning to the fold after the weekend, and Djourou looking like he’s remembered he can defend, our CB position is looking in danger of looking positively healthy.

    I was as disappointed as anyone by Walcott yesterday but Harry is absolutely right about the extent to which his contributions get ignored (not yesterday mind, there was nothing good to say about what Theo did). I also push back at comparisons of Walcott and the Ox, they are such different styles of player. And he might have started brightly but we don’t really know what AOC is going to be.

    Bearing in mind Walcott’s superb performance against Chelsea in the 3-1 last season, I would play him this weekend. As well as always having that threat about him, he could keep Cashley very busy too, which would definitely be a boon.

    As for Chamakh, we all know Wenger is amazingly loyal to his players, and that sometimes produces results (e.g., Song), but I wonder how close Chamakh is to exhausting his chances. He could end up another of Wenger’s pure strikers who didn’t really fit in (Bendtner, Eduardo, Adebayor, Jeffers, Wiltord, Aliadiere, Reyes, Wreh).

    Having watched van Persie’s post match interview, I remain very concerned about his contract situation. This party line adopted by club, manager and player, that commitment means what the player does now and has done in the past, rather than whether he will commit to staying with the club for the longer term, doesn’t cut it. It seems that van Persie’s position hasn’t changed a jot, meaning that we will continue to be exposed to the risk of losing this key player. We’re progressing but it still looks like he is waiting to see how the next couple of months pan out. Wenger, Kroenke and Gazidis should be very, very careful, and should not assume just because van Persie is scoring and smiling, and that we are recovering some of the ground we lost, that van Persie is nailed on to renew.

  45. oz gunner says:

    @ Terry

    love the enthusiasm, and i couldn’t agree more. Exciting times ahead for this team, and more importantly us! I know we have a while to go, but i can’t help after performances like this thinking we are going to win it all haha. Whats the odds on the quad?

  46. 26may1989 says:

    Spare ticket news: I have one spare available for each of the games vs West Brom on 5 Nov and Everton on 10 Dec. £40 each. Any takers?

  47. oz gunner says:

    @ 26

    thank you for the kind words. The RVP situation worries me also, we’ve seen it all before so who could blame us for thinking the worst. RVP is one of those players who i’ve always thought was loyal and not money driven, so i hope the board and wegner can convince him that things have changed and we are serious about taking top honours. A RVP-less arsenal is not something i want to think about atm, the thought of it sends shivers down the spine.

    The MC situation you would think would be coming near a close. Bendy was given less chances yet he was bringing positive results. However with MC we know he has it in him, the problem is will it ever come back.

  48. oz gunner says:

    @ All

    once again thank you to all those who have commented and given up their time to read, its a pleasure to write up something for such a great group of arsenal fans, and a top site.

    enjoy your day, i shall reply to all tomorrow morning (your time)

  49. harry says:

    @Oz, can see your point about deserving it, but i think he has a need to take that spot to show he can do it, for himself as well as for anyone else. Get his confidence up and watch him go.

    RVP-less arsenal is a dreaded thought, when they kept saying during the summer our best two players had left, i kept checking the squad list to make sure our boy wonder was there, have always maintained that he is our most important player, and when it was clear 24 months ago that Cesc’s heart was elsewhere, I maintained robin staying was a priority over cesc. Na$ri has been suitably replaced by Gervinho………Ramsey is stepping up and Jack is still to come back………..Times arent so gloomy……..

    Bring on Chelsea…………for once they have players missing too……

  50. Red Arse says:

    See you Oz, :-)

  51. Red Arse says:

    Hi 26, :-)

    Not surprisingly, your comment was well reasoned and well said.

    I think that Harry as well as myself, first saw Theo play for the Southampton kids against our youth team. He murdered us. It was not just pace, that’s a given, but his control and finishing were exquisite.

    I cannot tell you how thrilled I was when he signed for us. Since then that brilliance has occasionally come out, in spades. the Chelsea match as you have said, and the ‘Liverpool’ goal which was sublime, as well as in the CL and so on.

    But, and there is a but; because of some really bad injury lay offs, or being expected to produce for Arsenal and England too young, he just has not gone on to producing the goods consistently.

    Harry, (and your goodself) are right in saying that he is a very different player to the Ox, and comparisons are therefore pointless, but he plays on the wing for us, at the mo’, and that does not seem to be his natural position.
    However, I slightly disagree that he did nothing on Sunday. For the first time in ages, Theo tapped the ball past Wilson and hared after it, leaving their left back for dead. The cross came to nothing and Theo slipped out of the game, but he showed he can do it and is still learning.

    AW has said that he will move Theo to CF eventually, but not yet, and that sounds a bit vague to me. I want Theo to show the fantastic ability he is capable of, and then like Harry said, having him and the Ox in the same team would be absolute dynamite. Fingers crossed. :-)

  52. gunnernr says:

    Good write up Oz, the most detailed I’ve read on AA.

    It’s easy to have different opinions on player ratings as they are very subjective and most likely vary if you watched the game live. But I think you are extremely generous to Song his passing was awful and he looked more comfortable going forward then in his defensive role – 6 at best.

    Arteta had a great game, perhaps his best for Arsenal, and deserved at least a 7.5

    Even though you gave him an 8 and MOM I still think that Gervinho was worth more, certainly his best game and if he can play that well against “The Oaks from Stoke” he can only be better against the less physical teams – I’d give him a nine a 9.

    Arshavin’s role has to be that of power sub he just excels late on in the game when other teams are tiring, Walcott may also be better used late in games.

  53. gunnernr says:

    Belatedly I found a new way 2 – 8 Man U.

  54. gunnernr says:

    26M,

    I’ll take both tickets.

    I’m assumimg that the return air fare to Toronto is included?

  55. LB says:

    If only we had done our transfer business early in the window like manu we would so much better placed than we are now.

    Shame on the Arsenal supporters who wrote similar drival to this not so long ago.

  56. MickyDidIt89 says:

    GiE,
    During the game yesterday, Evonne told me about your watching the spaces theory and I giggled as I imagined you perfecting your theory by standing in a 10 acre grass field. Staring :-)

  57. 26may1989 says:

    LB: ha ha, excellent one! And I say that as one of the “we should have done our business earlier brigade”, against whom you’ve fought so consistently!! :)

    Gunnernr: Of course flights are included. Do you prefer Air Canada or BA?

  58. goonermichael says:

    LB
    If we’d done our transfer business earlier we would have been better off than we are now. :)

  59. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    Afternoon AAers,
    My connection has been down for two day`s, so I`ve had a lot of reading to do!.
    Oz,
    I have not seen the game on Arsenal player yet! ,but after reading your great report, do I need to!, you bet I will!, will go for a run in the rain first.
    I might be taking this the wrong way, but there seems a lot of rejoice ,at manure`s loss,If it were most of the other team`s thumping them, well yes, but there are two teams I have no respect for,and that`s City and Chavs, they have started a trend that is and will ruin our beloved game.

  60. MickyDidIt89 says:

    GM :-)

  61. 26may1989 says:

    RA re Theo: All good points. One thing that really winds me up is the unthinking “No football brain” argument. Theo has his faults but that’s just not the right criticism to level at him. Yet it’s become an accepted “wisdom” amongst many now. I even had an ill-tempered pop at a very mild mannered guy who sits near me and who used that line at the Bolton game (a game in which Theo was very good). I shouldn’t have been so grumpy about it but I think that criticism is just so off the mark.

  62. RockyLives says:

    Well done Oz for a mighty and insighty write-up. It’s nice to have a blow-by-blow report because, as Redders (I think) pointed out, you end up reliving the game as you read it.

    I do have a small quibble (the doctor recommended ointment):

    You say that MC wasted two great opportunities, whereas I thought they were two really difficult chances.

    For the first one (the header) the ball came relatively low and slightly behind him, making it extremely difficult to get anything much in the way of power or direction on the ball. It may have looked an easy chance, but I really don’t think it was.

    The second was where he stuck out his leg at full stretch in the six yard box, got a contact on the ball but not enough to steer it into the net. Again, I’m not sure what more he could have done. He was in the right place, attacked the ball at full stretch and got a touch. If his leg was half an inch longer, or the ball had been hit a fraction more softly, he would have had a much needed goal.

    I think that, right now, he is a very unlucky player and I am convinced he will come good.

    Lone voice, I know :)

  63. MickyDidIt89 says:

    26,
    I would never use that line, and certainly not at a game, but I am afraid for me it is possibly his only problem.

  64. MickyDidIt89 says:

    GliC,
    Met a really nice guy on the train who goes to every home game (and a few away) from Bodmin Moor!
    He’s semi retired and children have left home, but still.

  65. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Rocky,
    One thing you have on your side is every single blogger hoping and praying you are right. Really.

  66. 26may1989 says:

    Oh Micky, Micky, Micky… Hey Micky you’re so fine, hey Micky. Sorry, got a bit carried away there.

    We’ll have to discuss this one over a beer, I just don’t see how this line of argument is used on Walcott but not a thousand other footballers.

  67. RockyLives says:

    One other thought occurred to me when re-watching the goals last night.

    Let’s stop all this talk of how we need a ‘real’ striker, and how Prince Robin is really a true No 10 who should be playing with an out-and-out striker etc etc.

    Both his goals yesterday were textbook ‘fox in the box’ goals – attacking the danger area in the six yard box.

    And with a record of 25 goals in 26 league games in 2011, it is unarguable that he is simply a brilliant lead striker.

    The fact that he can do ‘fox in the box’ stuff AND do the Bergkampy stuff just shows how blessed we are…

  68. Red Arse says:

    Hi Rocky, :-)

    You are not a lone voice. I am a bit ambivalent about Chamakh, in that he clearly played very well in France and when he joined us he looked the Biz. On the other hand I sort of swallow my disappointment when he seems to take the wrong option. (even watching on my own, I don’t like to groan at an Arsenal man).

    The thing is, you are right about those chances on Sunday not being nailed on, but do you know what? he looks so crestfallen and ‘guilty’ looking on those occasions, that he may be inadvertently causing people to think he screwed up and therefore they moan about him – wrongly.

    I still have a feeling in my water, that if AW can help him get his confidence back, he will become the player we saw at the beginning of his Arsenal career. The first steps in doing that have already been taken — against all the pundits expectations — AW has said he has no intention of selling Marouane in January.

    Chammers my man take that as a vote of confidence and get scoring!! :-)

  69. MickyDidIt89 says:

    26,
    Lets throw in one of those mini Pringles packs they sell in the stadium, and you’re on :-)

  70. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Bergkampy stuff :-)
    Right, off for some much needed exercise.

  71. RockyLives says:

    Redders
    Thankyou for that. I don’t feel so lonely now :)

  72. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Greetings Cornwall,

    What i found amusing about the Utd defeat was the unfortunate simalarities with our defeat to the one they took yesterday. What goes around comes around and all that.

    Dont over concern yourself with the suger daddy clubs, we have more than enough to compete and overtaking them in the long run is 100% a stone cold certainty. In a couple of years Chelsea fans will be begging Roman to pump money in to keep them above the likes of Villa and Everton and he will turn round and tell them to do one. The Arabs at City will get pissed off finding that staying one step ahead of institutions like Arsenal and Utd, gathering political enemies on the way, is a very exhaustive and expensive business and they will not be able to maintain it.

    Our natural competitors are Liverpool and Spurs, but we have the massive advantage of been ahead of the game with Ashburton Grove. There headaches will realy begin if they ever get round to building the new stadiums that they so desperatly want, but they need to in order to match our Turnover.

    Arsenals foresight will be rewarded, its a question of when not if.

  73. chas says:

    Some Bergkampy stuff here

  74. Rasp says:

    Afternoon all, apologies for my late arrival.

    A monster of a match report oz in every way!

    I can’t honestly add or disagree with anything. Unfortunately the TV coverage I saw was only highlights and the text commentary via BBC Sport appears to have been highly misleading.

    Being objective about a player’s performance is in reality purely a subjective view based on watching a game. The idea of having patience with a player in the hope that they will improve is admirable but may be folly if there are others in waiting (Sz for al?) who have not had a chance. I really hope Park gets 90 minutes against Bolton so we can see what he can do. Although he is a different player to Chamakh, he functions in the same area and I believe may well produce more end product.

  75. 26may1989 says:

    Micky, that my good man is a deal!

  76. dandan says:

    The Ref for the Chelsea game is Andre Marriner he has had us once this year we had three yellows that day.

  77. Rasp says:

    Hi dandan, hopefully Marriner watched the chelski game yesterday and saw the disgraceful wrestling and elbowing from Luiz. He’s a fantastic footballer but a nasty piece of work.

  78. goonermichael says:

    Rasp
    If you get the ball and stick it in the back of the net from different angles and distances it makes no difference what the defenders are like really (which is what some bloggers have against Park). He does it well for his country. Chamakh can be better than he has been but I’d definitely give Park a chance.

  79. Rasp says:

    I agree GM, that was my point. Gervinho has improved and looks to be forging an understanding with RvP, I am still waiting to see any improvement in Chamakh this year.

  80. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    Micky,
    It might or might not surprise you how many gooners are in the West Country. There is a Devon and Cornwall supporters branch, I think they travel up from Redruth in a Mini-bus for home games, their Number is on Arsenal.com.
    If your ever in Charlestown, use the Pier House for some nosh, the Head Chef is a gooner and a lovely chap, Dont use the Wreckers, the owner/chef is a tempremental Spud!.
    Hi Terry, just been for a 4 mile swim…sorry run in shite weather, so it`s great to get in the warm and have a smile put on my face by your infectious optimism, the day you lose it. is the day I know things are bad! :)
    Time to watch game on player. I`ll try to pretend I dont know the score. :)

  81. chas says:

    Robin playing Wiff Waff

  82. gunnernr says:

    Sometimes stats are meaningful.

    We are joint first along with Man C, Man U and Chelsea in the home table.

    We are joint bottom along with Fulham, Wigan and Swansea in the away table.

    Oops next game – away to Chelsea.

  83. LB says:

    GM

    Continuing the humour, I notice you left out the sickly words “Like Manu” I knew you would, by the way, I know you hate them as much as I do but there were people who visit this site that actually said or seriously implied that they wished we were like manu because they are so perfect doing their business early, never mind the obvious observation that better players may become available towards the end of the window, well after their drubbing yesterday this is my turn to get my own back of those would be manu supporters who masquerade as Arsenal supporters.

  84. goonermichael says:

    I’m not sure Wenger had a choice this season LB becuase of the 2 rats. If he had done the business earlier we would have been better off. I’m so happy about the mancscum. Their fans are so deluded. I’ve got one blaming the referee on facebook.

  85. kelsey says:

    Back to Theo if I may.

    Firstly as many of you know I don’t attend games anymore and I fully accept that one gets a much wider picture of what is going on when the whole pitch is in view as opposed to a multitude of cameras basically following the ball in play.

    I cannot argue that last season his goals and assists were by far his best,nor can I argue against the several injuries he has had primarily to his shoulders or that Capello includes him in the England squad,,but he is 23 in March and by the law of averages he is going to have good games once in a while but I really don’t see him ever playing in a more central role for US or that his improvement is that remarkable.
    Maybe he is not suited to the way Arsenal play, but to be a great footballer you need a number of attributes and in his case the first thing everyone says is his pace.Well no arguement with that but he can’t tackle, hardly ever looks up when releasing the ball, is nearly always dispossessed when he and another are both going for the same ball and going back to the time we bought him he stands us in at 17 million with the initial fee and add ons and weighing everything up I still find him a huge disappointment and very erratic in his performances.
    This is not meant to be a comparison with the OX as the only thing in common is that they were both bought from the same club.IMO he is a nice young man but the expectations that he will turn it all around are to me extremely doubtful.That WC fiasco was 7 years ago and he needs to grow up in all sense of the manner to play top flight football in the PL and make a regular impact.I had hoped this would already have happened.

  86. Big Raddy says:

    Oz. Congrats upon a fine match report, could have been written by a professional. Watching a stream is not the best viewpoint and your minute by minute filled in many gaps! More of the same please.

    I watched the MOTD and we looked much better than I recalled. Unlike others I thought we were struggling in midfield as an attacking unit, others who know better than I refuted my claim and the clips support their view.

    kelsey. I would like nothing better than to disagree with you :-D but I can’t!

  87. wally says:

    The most encouraging thing i note is that the defence feels more solid. The back four, as long as Song sits in front of them has done immensely better. I never felt concerned, save the goal with Delap or dead ball situations. We’re doing a much better job. With the return of the TV we’ll have three solid central defenders. With Song and Wojo they make a nice spine. We may have the beginnings of something useful.

    The question i kept asking myself yesterday was why we kept going up the right hand side? You really don’t want djourou handling the ball and Santos was by and large wasted yesterday. What was happening that wasn’t apparent on the box?

    I also like the fact that we’re being more direct this year. Haven’t got much for it thus far but it’s making more space in the middle.

  88. RockyLives says:

    wally
    good points all
    Santos clearly has more to offer going forward that JD, so I’m not sure why we used the right flank so much.
    Maybe one of the tactical experts on here can provide an answer…

  89. LB says:

    Well this is dull, I agree with all that Kelsey.

  90. kelsey says:

    Sven-Goran Eriksson sacked as Leicester City manager.

    Nice work if you can get it.He must have earned more in compensation than most top flight footballers do in their entire career.

    I suppose he will soon be on Strictly Come Dancing.

  91. evonne says:

    Chas and GM – thank you for the compliments, you are such great guys….

    Chas – John is brilliant! what a guy! Joined the Navy at 15!! At 15 he went to war and is still around to tell the tale! Hero

  92. LB says:

    Tra la la

    I can’t wait for the Bolton game now, I hope, like others, that Park plays 90 minutes.

  93. RockyLives says:

    GM
    All we are saying, is give Park a chance… :)

  94. LB says:

    Why on earth did Wenger buy Park if he is not going to play him? Why he hasn’t beeen given match time up till now is beyond me especially when you think of the goals he has scored for South Korea

    Well wait a minute, lets just look at the goals he has scored and agianst who they have been scored:

    2.9.11 South Korea 6 — Lebanon 0 Park scores a hat trick, Wenger what are you doing?

    6.10.11 Kuwait 1 — South Korea 1 Park scores the only goal for Korea, Wenger don’t you know anything about football?

    7.10.11 South Korea 2 — Poland 2 Park scores two more in this thrilling draw: Does Wenger know anything about football.

    11.10.11 South Korea 2 — UAE1 Park grabs last gasp winner, Wenger should be sacked for not playing him.

    So the sum of it is that Park has scored against Lebafuckinnon, Kufuckinwait, Poland and The UnitedfuckingEmirates, that is the equivalent of playing against Stevenage, Welling Garden City and Boremwood FFS

    And by the way before these games they lost 3-0 to the world beating Japan.

    Wenger you really don’t know what you are doing.

  95. harry says:

    @Kelsey, I understand your reservations in respect to Theo, but for a player,

    “who cant go past people, cant cross, has no vision, doesnt look up, cant win tackles, losses the ball consistently, erratic and just lacking a football brain”

    I will take him as the 5th most efficient player in the PL and hope he signs his contract…………

    I just think, expectations have been too high for too long and that feeds our disappointment and frustrations.

    The world cup farce was all of erikssons doing and not theo’s fault. should have played him…………

  96. LB says:

    Park was bog standard against Shrewsbury; he was scared of his own shadow.

    Buuuuuuuut imagine if the tables were turned, how quickly would any one of us feel if we upped sticks and went to live in Korea, I now it would take me a while to acclimatise.

    The point I am making is that Wenger has this under control, all we have to do is let the whole thing unfold in the best manager we have ever had’s own time.

  97. harry says:

    This below is the mentality of some fans, quotes taken from an article talking about JD and MC on another site, first bloke just slates theo and the next one supports this and as usual suggests AOC is ready

    ——————————————————————————–

    Quote 1`

    Walcott is not fit for any PL team. Arshavin, even on his worst day, is better than Walcott. Walcott should join athletics instead of wasting time in football. Horrible of the lot and then Chamakh, laughing stock.

    Quote 2′

    I have no idea why you have more dislikes than likes… Us AFC fans need to be optimistic, but not so much that it results in delusion. Walcott is ineffective – with the amount of games he’s played over the last few years, he hasn’t improved. AOC needs to start.

    ———————————————————————————–

    Dont get me wrong I really rate AOC and cannot wait till he is a regular, but I think wenger is doing the sensible thing at the moment and giving him some protection and easing him in, it wont be long before he has to play him though, agreed. As I said earlier, we need to get them both on pitch…………………

  98. Dial Square says:

    harry are you still looking for a ticket

  99. RockyLives says:

    Here’s my feeling about Park…

    His fellow countryman (and namesake) who plays for the Mancs is a very decent player who is clearly not out of his depth at the top of the EPL.

    Our Park is the Korean captain – so is presumably (in some respects at least) considered by the Koreans to be better than Utd’s Park.

    Ergo, our Park must be a decent player.

    As to when AW decides to play him, I’m very happy to leave that up to AW as I’m sure he’ll chose the right moment.

  100. RockyLives says:

    Harry
    Simple moral: don’t bother looking at other sites :)

  101. LB says:

    Rocky 9.18

    Now that to me is a sensible way of looking at it.

  102. harry says:

    lol Rocky, it was an interesting article, just made me laugh how they went off tangential on theo……….

    Dial Square for tomorrow? is this the dial square that I have met before?

  103. Dial Square says:

    Did we when?

  104. harry says:

    Obviously not then, lol……Once met never forgotten………….

  105. Evening all, anyone seen Al Fayeds open letter to MArk Hughes following criticism in the tabloids by the former manager, well here it is, honesty in football is so refreshing:

    What a strange man Mark Hughes is. Sacked by Manchester City, he was becoming a forgotten man when I rescued him to become manager of Fulham Football Club.

    Even when results were bad, I did not put pressure on him. I gave him every support — financial, moral and personal.

    He fully negotiated a two-year extension to his contract. On the day he was due to sign, he walked out without the courtesy of a proper explanation.

    And now he insults the club, saying it lacks ambition, and the players who delivered an 8th. position finish last season and a place in the Europa League.

    He is not just disrespectful but entirely wrong. Fulham has just announced plans for a splendid new riverside stand that will substantially increase the capacity of Craven Cottage.

    In every aspect of its work, Fulham is a progressive club with a top manager in Martin Jol, the man we had really wanted when Hughes was appointed.

    We shall endeavour to prosper without him simply because, when the challenge came, it was not the Club but Mark Hughes who lacked the courage and ambition to take on the task of leadership. If people are looking for a flop, they only have to look no further than the man who has lost his spark.

    Yours faithfully,

    Mohamed Al Fayed,
    Chairman,
    FFC

  106. Dial Square says:

    Yes i do have a spare for tomorrow

  107. RL at 9:18pm but unfortunately the ManU Park retired from international football, and thats when our Park became captain of South Korea.

  108. Dial Square says:

    harry did i get you a ticket before

  109. SharkeySure says:

    Oz – ‘ve not even read the post yet…

    Absolutely brilliant pic…truly brilliant. It looks so genuine..its almost spooky.

    Just what I needed after the (working!) day that I’ve had.

  110. RockyLives says:

    GiE
    aah – didn’t know that.
    Not sure it affects my point though.

  111. LB says:

    I must admit I have never thought much of Al Feyed in football terms but that letter has made me think again.

  112. Big Raddy says:

    RL. I agree with you about Park – he must be the DB’s and I expect at least a brace tomorrow.

    However, should he play well , will he get a place on the bench ahead of Chamakh at the Bridge?

    Or should Chamakh start tomorrow night after putting in such an ineffective shift on Sunday? (sorry RL I do not agree with your assessment of his performance ;-) )

  113. Well their Park was captain until 2011 then he retired and our Park became captain, so in the our Park is thought as high or higher than their Park……too many Parks now and I’ve confused myself.

    Lets just agree that Wenger will play him when he thinks he is ready….he did make it to the PL bench yesterday at least. :D

    I fully agree with your 3:58 about RvP, as you say both were instinctive strikers goals.

  114. harry says:

    I think that I mistook you for another Dial square, from Birmingham, but we normally chat on a different forum and I havent spoke with him for about a year or so………..

    WHere is the seat?

  115. Dial Square says:

    Club level, free beer at half time £30

  116. SharkeySure says:

    It gets better every time I look at it…

    I’ve got a tear in my eye now….I just cant stop laughing about it.

  117. Big Raddy says:

    Fayed must have read my post about Mr. Hughes. To those who have yet to read it ….

    http://arsenalarsenal.wordpress.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=7480&action=edit

  118. California Gooner says:

    Big Raddy — good to see you re-assess your rather pessimistic views on our performance. I too thought that the midfield looked rather slow and out of joint in previous games, but against Stoke, things looked different. First, Ramsey looked very good. I suspect some of his errors against Tottenham might have been the result of simple exhaustion. Second, we are beginning to look like a team with some understanding. For example, the Gervinho — RVP near-post connection looks like a go-to move, something each player will look for — and when defenses wise up, they’ll figure out something else.. Likewise, Arshivin — who’se best play perhaps involve perfectly times through-balls to players on overlapping runs — seems to connect well with Santos and Gervinho as well. Even Arteta seems to be getting a knack for those around him.

    As for Theo — not sure what’s going on there. He has had to play with Jenkinson (who need protection) and then Djourou (who is not a natural right back) behind him, which cannot help.

  119. SharkeySure says:

    Cracking post OZ-G..I was pleasantly surprised cos when I saw theformat…I did have a little ‘oh’ moment. My mind immed thought of the BBC’s text updates….

    Then I got into your pre match thoughts and the first half and was feeling pretty stoooopid about my ‘oh’. Your style and stamp was all over that write up – ie ‘boos ringing round your living room..lol.

    You did yourself a disservice with your pre game comments about how it wouldn’t pass muster (whatever that means !!)

    Top work.

    Oh ad this: “Hopefully he snaps out of it though, I want him to succeed at Arsenal” – If you’re an Arsenal fan and you want to criticise an Arsenal fan then that is exactly how you should do it.

    Is it too dramatic to suggest that any critcism of Arsenal players or staff, should be done ‘with a heavy heart’..?? It just kills me to see/read so-called Arsenal fans almost revelling in our travails.

    Night all….

  120. FrothingInarticulateLoon says:

    @Sharkey – pass muster…?? Why didn’t you just ask..??

    Etymology: based on the military use of the phrase pass muster (to gather soldiers in a group to show officers they are acceptably dressed and equipped)

    Arshavin hat trick tomorrow night…you heard it here first. I’m on 10% of all winning bets, losses are yours to keep.

  121. harry says:

    Dial, I will confirm in the morning, should be a yes, cant drink the beer though, driving……..arrrrgggh….dont hold onto specially.

  122. chas says:

    I thought Eboue was the pass muster?

  123. oz gunner says:

    Cheers sharkespeare,glad it tickled your fancy.im not much of a wordsmith so i thought id adopt the play by play approach.rocky,TA and the other post match brigade do the match reports great, so for fear of failing miserably i thought id distance myself as much as i could haha

  124. evonne says:

    Morning all

    Bravo to al Fayed! I never liked Mark Hughes who looks and acts arrogant and selfconceited. I am glad that he has been exposed.

    Could this be a begging to more football revelations to come?

  125. evonne says:

    Raddy – I have only read your prematch now, no time before, but wouldn’t miss it for the world

    My favourite is: “To make Shawcross look even more stupid will complete Aaron’s recovery. He will score if selected.” He almost did, was superb on Sunday. The lad is fully recovered :)

  126. barumgooner says:

    CG. Interesting take on Theo and I think you are probably right. Like Chamakh I really want Theo to succeed but I have to accept that his performances have been very up and down. I think Chamakh looks like hes ready to concede defeat and try again elsewhere which is a shame. I have absolutely no love of the little Russian though, I would have to agree with GG that he has been an awful buy and a waste of wages, he looks ok when he comes on in the final stages but its a very expensive 20 minute cameo !

  127. barumgooner says:

    FIL, I’d like to see the Park start and get goals, also fancy ox to continue his run of form but we gona be weak at the back. 4-3 to the Arsenal.

  128. evonne says:

    Park, Gervinho, little Ox and Jenkinson – and we thought the Club fecked up in last summer’s transfer !!!!!! Dear, dear, dear…how wrong can one be

  129. pat says:

    Does anyone think Vermaelen will start or on the bench (assuming we will see him). Looks like no Diaby

  130. barumgooner says:

    Pat, I think it would be a big risk to even have him as back-up. I really want him to take his time and be fit for the rest of the season. Diaby not back in training yet i think.

  131. kelsey says:

    Morning all.

    With regards to Vermaelen, if in the squad he may well have a run out. Bolton have higher priorities than the CC so I don’t think they will put anything like a first team out.

    With regards to Park, he is 26 is 6 foot tall but as LB said last night not really proven in the PL, but why sign him on only a two year deal.
    One of our esteemed posters on here believes that as long as he is banging them in for Korea he will help sell Arsenal shirts in his homeland, though i would wager 90% would be knock offs.
    I would like to see him play tonight and he most probably will.
    I expect an about turn by AW on this year’s CC as it is just not a competition we need at this moment of time with so many injuries and hardly a settled back four, and if it gives some of the returning players a game for fitness reasons, all well and good
    This season is all about priorities,and IMO the CC is not one of them..

  132. Best stat I’ve seen on Twitter today:

    “2011/12

    Aaron Ramsey- 13games 2goals 7assists

    Bale + Modric combined- 14games 3goals 1assist

    Bale + Modric are World Class”

  133. Rasp says:

    I beg to differ with those “I told you so” comments last night made on the basis of one game played by manu. Of course we would be in a better position if we had been able to make our signings earlier, that may not have been possible but manu are still in a much healthier league position than us.

    As regards Park v Chamakh, I’d much rather give a chance to a player who is scoring consistently at international level than persist with a player who consistently fails to produce in the premiership.

  134. LB
    Have you actually seen any of the Park goals you mentioned? It doesn’t really matter who the opposition is. I wouldn’t put money on Chamakh scoring them.

  135. Rasp says:

    O Yea, O Yea, my Lords Ladies and Gentlemen, please be upstanding for a….

    ……. New post …..

    From the veritable genius of the pre-match who is Big Raddy

    ….. is that good enough for you RA? :P

  136. evonne says:

    Not as good as my announcements :)

  137. Rasp says:

    Evonne, I could never compete with you – it seems you recruited a new band of admirers at the weekend, how do you find the time? :lol:

  138. How to Barbeque…

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  142. knamec94 says:

    I have some problems with – check out the topic
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