One Man Team?

Another game for Arsenal, another win, another two goals, and who scored them? Of course our one man team Robin Van Persie, or at least that’s what the Fleet Street Scribes, Football Pundits and Broadcast Hacks will have you believe. And judging by the Emirates faithfuls reaction of silence then rapturous applause when Robin at first went down nursing a limb and then got back to his feet dusted himself down and walked back to the head of our attack Arsenal fans also subscribe to the theory.

What is it to be a one man team? For me it’s a team that relies on one player for creativity, and that everything goes through. Whilst Robin is playing very well at the moment the ball moves from back to front without him. If I could pick a player in a European club that is more important to his team than Robin is for Arsenal I look North to Salford and see Rooney. A player who as is always pointed out on highlight shows has such a huge bearing on the outcome of United games. Defensive tackles, dropping deep to create from midfield, and finally getting on the end of moves he starts.

Whilst if necessary Robin can do all this (well maybe not the tackling) he has concentrated this year on being in the box and doing the job centre forwards are paid to do….scoring goals. Long have we Gooners bemoaned the lack of a 30 goal a season striker, some seasons 20 would have been nice. Somehow we’ve found ourselves a 40 goal a season player at current rate and now we think others should be contributing.

Look at the 17 goals he has scored so far this campaign (I know 17 goals and we’re not out of November!). Anyway have a think back about the goals….how many have been close range tap ins from good wide play, or on a plate from a good through ball, by my reckoning I’d say 13-14 goals this season have come from the work of others or John Terry being shit. The exceptions are the free kick against Sunderland, the dribble and shot against Bolton and his hattrick goal against Chelsea.

Don’t get me wrong any injury to Robin right now is going to hurt him and us fans but the way the team is playing any centre forward worth a place in a Premier League squad should convert at least half of the chances the skipper has been handed this year (if not more).

I think Vermaelen, Song or Szczesny would be a bigger loss to the team as a whole for the platform they provide for the players in front of them, Robin by default is the focal point of attacks and in the form he is in teammates are looking for him with crosses and passes does that make us a one man team? I don’t think so, if it did the Liverpool with Rush were a one man team, Arsenal with Wright were a one man team, Barca with Messi are a one man team…..I could go on.

Robin is doing what strikers should do and long may it continue but if we miss him for a few games I’ll still back this team to score goals, because I see how many chances they are creating.

Written by Gooner In Exile

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137 Responses to One Man Team?

  1. evonne says:

    GiE – going to put down J Grisham book now and read your post, I am sure you are more original than JG

  2. evonne says:

    Chas – re your earlier vid clip – someone should have reminded those Krauts that they were in London 2011 not in Warsaw 1939. That’s what my then manager told a group of loud German tourists in a Covent Garden creperie :)

  3. chas says:

    Superb video with nice shots of the stadium outside and from upper tier inside.
    Off to read the post.

  4. evonne says:

    GiE – hm, very good post indeed, but leaves me with some unanswered questions, ie

    IF, God forbid, RvP gets injured, where do you think the goals are going to come from?

    What is the % of goals scored for Arsenal by RvP
    and finally
    who is the second highest scorer for us?

  5. Wonderman says:

    Amen to that!!!! Robin is in the health period of his arsenal career and is as focused as a laser in the final third. Left foot, right foot, headers, chips, tap ins, powerful drives, free kicks….. We should be celebrating the fact that in our midst is a complete striker at the peak of his powers. As you say Barcelona without Messi, Real without Ronaldo, Man U without Rooney

  6. chas says:

    Great post, GIE.

    I quite like the media having a dig about us being a one-man team. It’s hiding the fact that Arsenal are playing very well as a cohesive unit. We are playing as a unified team for the first time in ages. Long may it continue.

  7. chas says:

    Evonne, the Dortmund fans were fantastic.
    It was one of the elements of Wednesday night that made it such a special game.
    I wish our fans were half as good.

  8. pat says:

    kudos for posting on this GIE – I believe we were more of a one man team under cesc, as you pointed out re creativity / creating chances. I’m also just enjoying him scoring goals – long may it continue! As AW would say he is “Super quality”.

    I guess Park or Chamakh are going to have to step up at some stage – the CC / final CL group game will be the chance for them…

  9. TotalArsenal says:

    GiE, great post about an important topic. Of course we are not a one-man team, but RvP is the razor sharp blade at the end of the spear. It works very well for us at the moment and it would be too risky to try something else, in order to show those who do believe we are a one-man team they are wrong.

    With Vermaelen back and the new players starting to really settle in now, Arsenal are becoming very quickly a solid unit that will not let in many goals. Even if RvP was to get injured there are plenty who can nick a goal for us, in any game. I would feel confident for Arsenal to start without RvP but with Chamakh upfront against Fulham, but if RvP is fit why change it?

    I also like to add that Gervinho and Walcott are still getting used to each other and once they start making better decisions on when to take a chance themselves and when to play the other one in, we will start scoring a lot more non-RvP goals this season. This team has not even reached 70% of its potetial.

  10. pat says:

    Does an often overlooked job as captain of doing his own job at a high level – which is great inspiration, but also gives wonderful acknowledgement of the effort from the rest of the team to give him the chances to score. Each time he scores its a great motivational team talk! :-)

  11. TotalArsenal says:

    Love the videos Chas. You seem to be really into the fans-experience / live-football atmosphere thing. It is not the first time you have posted such a video :)

  12. pat says:

    yup if Gervinho stops having a nap after beating the last man / GK he will score bags of goals…

  13. Gooner In Exile says:

    Cheers for comments, Evonne 44% of goals Robin has scored. Next top scorer is 4 (Theo).

    Pat I agree about Cesc and it was evidenced after his injury before the Carling Cup. We can’t blame him as he is a genius and it’s expected that players would look to go through him. Opponents took a gamble to nullify Cesc and keep us quiet. Easier to do that to a midfielder than a Centre Forward if they double team RvP he will be able to make room for the flying wingers and late arriving midfielders.

  14. flintstone says:

    OMG what a underhand swipe at RVP,bet many are anti-RVP-wolves-in-sheepskin undercovers,but pls save the disguise,too blatant. Without injuries,as statistics show,his strike rate has always been impressive considering this season only that feed,supply have been FORCED to direct to him more. Bearing in mind that his goals this season have been as AW puts it succinctly,intelligence in reading the game and was in the right place and the right moment,not flashy opportunistic Indian summers. This is the ultimate FOX in the box skill,a component to compliment the finish of most brilliant passes, in case of bewilderment,but he is more than that. Think back to a certain Charlton game,that goal was sublime not because it was spectacular,but like Bergkamp ,it was CALCULATED and executed with ballet-like artistry. Savour him before injury strikes again,as there will be low life journeymen that will do the job for the anti-RVP brigades. Heaven knows how hard AW wanted the last piece of jigsaw in his grand beautiful game,tried with so many FAILURES and this fortune of actually having RVP answering his call is just fantasy come true. Think of the frustrations and agonies of many true fans,the team as a whole has really matured,but RVP DELIVERS,he is unique and blossoming at the very moment until the next gem shines.

  15. Big Raddy says:

    GIE. Thank you for introducing an interesting topic,

    Devil’s Advocate …..

    Are we a one man team? Yes.

    Do we rely upon one man to unlock a defence? Yes.

    Do our other strikers put away their chances? No

    Does any AFC fan feel confident when anyone other than RvP is one on one with the GK? No.

    Does AW worry about this? Yes.

    Why? Because when he rests RvP we are toothless against high quality opposition.

    What evidence have we seen that Chamakh/Gervinho/Park or Theo can step up ? None. Just flashes from Theo and a superb CC finish from Park.

    RvP ‘s brilliant form has carried us over a poor period and allowed the rest of the team to develop into a team. Without him we would not have been given that luxury.

  16. chas says:

    Cheers TA.
    You’re right, I do love going to the games. When I’m watching games at home, I often have to turn the sound down because the commentators give you their b*llox view of the game and often spoil it as a consequence. I wish they’d give us an option to watch with crowd noise only.
    We have tickets for Wigan and Man Citeh away in December, so it’s going to be a busy period of watching live football. Love it. :)

  17. pat says:

    yup GIE, RVP is also good at pulling defenders out of position…

    Sharp end of the spear is also great analogy for RVP.

    So who do we think is going to be the top dog striker after RVP? Park? Chamakh? someone else?

    Still cant work Chamakh out. I just want him to actually get the ball in a decent position on goal and give it a wallop – has he actually done that or am i just crazy?

  18. Big Raddy says:

    Flintstone. . The question is not whether RvP is a great player – we all agree that he is. The question is how would AFC fare should he get injured?

  19. pat says:

    no swiping from me flint – RVP is awesome – hope he keeps on a truckin’

  20. Dolax says:

    i dont think we can score without van persie be if u look the arsenal vs stoke city mach u will se dat we crate many chanse but no goal untill van persie was introduce i think wenga should buy one good strika in january to partner van persie because is injury player.

  21. Rob says:

    At the moment, there is nothing indicating that Arsenal are not a one man team. I have read your arguments about tap-ins and build up play but if you take away RVP’s goals, you will end up with arsenal lying second- from the BOTTOM! It is not only RVP that has been presented with chances. How many times has Gervinho and Walcott fluffed them leaving us wishing it was RVP in that spot? The saying “Goals win you games” means that Arsenal ARE a one man team. You can justify all your points with colorful statistics but the bottom line is that without RVP Wenger would have been looking for another job by now.

  22. Fantastic post but apart from the goals, assists and being a great captain was has Robin ever done for us? :) Chas you do find some great vifeos.

  23. off to work wher our bradband is down so I’ll see you when BT get their act together.

  24. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi Pat, that is the thing with Gervinho though: as a winger he should make the right decisions regarding when to play another player in. He is very good at making the right decision and will have many assists. However, he is not (yet) the quick and deadly striker who does not hesitate in front of goal. If he can learn to combine the two – and the same goes for Theo, albeit to a lesser extent – he will become top-class. Both are very lucky to have Wenger to guide them through this, and TH14 training with them is also an added bonus.

  25. chas says:

    RvP’s form was brilliant in the second half of last season, but didn’t stop us having relegation form. He was scoring prolifically and we were still losing or scraping draws.
    The difference this season is the team are growing together as a unit and Robin’s goals are the end product.

  26. Gooner In Exile says:

    Flintstone do me a favour read it again tell me where I discredit him in fact have a look back through the posts and you’ll see me say how if you’d asked me a couple of years back I’d have said sell him but stress how good he is for us now. If you still think its an underhand attack (like he cares what this humble blogger types) I apologise it was not intended as such. If anything it was an attack on the medias laziness and looking at his goal tally and declaring a one man team. Look at the goals I can count quite a few that would not have happened without others work.

    The purpose of this post is to suggest that we shouldn’t be as worried as we are/as I am about his fitness. The second goal against BD is a case in point.

    Raddy I respect your devilment, and to an extent I agree, but still we are not a one man team, whoever replaces Robin must have the same goal hungriness (which means Park not Chamakh probably) otherwise we will need to change style too much to accommodate the change.

  27. TotalArsenal says:

    Vhas, those are good away games to go to. I was at the last Citeh away game, and it was just brilliant. With a bit of luck you can sing once again ‘Thursday night, Channel 5′ and ‘You’re just a sh*t club with money': they love it there ;)

  28. TotalArsenal says:

    Vhas = Chas (in my mind I must have been combining video chas to vhas :) )

  29. pat says:

    Hey TA, do you also think it might be a case that other players need to be more prepared for Gervinho breaking through the defenders and be ready to give him the option of a pass instead of a shot? Maybe its just me but (some of) the situations he has been in when he has beaten the defenders there hasnt been anyone else to pass to (hey Gervinho does have some gas). HOWEVER – Gervinho does lead our team in assists in the PL (5) so he is still doing a good job…

  30. Big Raddy says:

    What would make me a totally happy Gooner would be to see the midfield score a few or at least try.

    I worry that AR gets into great positions but his team-mates can’t find him. Is this because they focus purely on RvP?

    We used to do the same with Ian Wright. Both Alan Smith and Kevin Campbell suffered from the team always looking for Wrighty.

  31. TotalArsenal says:

    Hey BR, good points of course! As I have said a few weeks ago, if and when we started Chamakh we scored more goals as a team then when we started with RvP. The difference is significant: 2.4 goals per game with MC and 1.8 with RvP. MC lost a lot of form and confidence, but it is not inconceivable he could have another good spell with us. Plan A is working to perfection at the moment and it is too risky to try out our Plan B, but it does not mean it would not work. You don’t change an engine mid-air!

  32. Andy T says:

    I’m hoping that AW hasn’t noticed our players getting into the six yard box on a regular basis. He may put a stop to it.

  33. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi Pat, fully agreed. Gervinho, Theo and RvP are still getting used to each other. I really believe that they alone are only at 70% of their potential. Against Dortmund, in the second half, there were a few ocassions where Gervinho should have played in Theo and vice versa. The central midfielders – all three of them – can score goals, and again, it is only a matter of time and the wingers start spotting them at the edge of the box.

  34. pat says:

    I dont see a problem andy – thats the sort of range I cant even miss at :-)

  35. pat says:

    Thats what is great TA – they still have more room for improvement but are doing enough / showing the promise to provide that motivation to keep getting better…

    Didnt really watch the Dortmond game in detail as I had to watch it on a stream while “working”. Have it recorded though so will have to review when I get a chance…(or when the TV is free…)

  36. RockyLives says:

    Fine read GiE.
    I happen to agree that if the Prince was out for a couple of weeks and Chamakh stepped in, we would still score goals.

    That’s not the same as saying that the Chamster will score them, but that he will help our MFs to score more. But I also think that Cham will come good again soon.

  37. TotalArsenal says:

    Ok Pat, I only noticed it when I watched the game for the 2nd time (it is amazing how much more I see in the game, when I watch it without the nervy excitement and sole focus of wanting to win!). In the middle of the second half, Gervinho on the left has a chance to put Theo in diagonally but decides to go on his own and gets crowded out by the BD defence – a while later Theo has a chance to put Gervinho in but decides to shoot from distance, from well outside the box: you will see Wenger looking rather disappointed!

  38. pat says:

    ha ha – I was going to mention that about Walcott TA, often you see him shoot early – Gervinho has the opposite issue, shooting too late! I guess they are a little too eager to get a goal. Maybe if they get one or two they might settle down a bit… maybe we shouldn’t be tooooo picky – wasn’t it around this time last year or sometime that we had the issue that no-one wanted to shoot for goal? But you are right in saying that the decision to shoot or pass is a little bit of an issue for both of them.

  39. pat says:

    Yep Rocky – I want to see Chamakh get a goal – he will get mobbed by the entire team!

  40. Dave says:

    On the subject of the latest media bandwagon that Arsenal are a one man team. So far this season 14 different first team players have contributed goals for the team. There is no such thing as a one man team in the Premier League. RVP is brilliantly showing what he can do when he gets an injury free run in the team and long may it last. The ‘one man team’ bandwagon is just the latest attempt to divert attention from the many who have written off Arsenal this season.

  41. pat says:

    Even the commentators are often spouting that mantra Dave – makes me want too…. not listen to them. But I want to here the crowd / atmosphere so I have to put up with it. Would love to somehow to be able to just mute the commentary. Am especially sick of hearing from Efan Ekoku.

  42. TotalArsenal says:

    Dave, well said.

    Pat, yes lets not get too picky. But, it does indicate there is room for further improvement within the team which only bodes well :)

  43. harry says:

    GIE, Spot on mate, we are not a one man team, no more than Barca and messi or Madrid and Ronaldo, remove them players and the teams will be weaker, granted, but would survive.

    I would say as someone mentioned that with Cesc we were more so, in that when he was on the pitch, everything went through him.

    If RVP was missing, someone else would step in, albeit he wouldnt be as talented but we would survive. He does make a massive difference and agreed if he had stayed fit in previous seasons, perhaps silverware would be glistening in the cabinet, but that doesnt make us a one man team. You dont replace truly world class players that easily unless your CityOilSlickers……..

    The player I truly dread getting Injured is Vermaelen, he adds 10% to every one of the defenders……

    @Flintstone: Next time you read an article, take the blindfold off, you’ll find it easier……..

    @Chas, lol, one of the blokes at my office, just asked if you look like your gravatar!!!!!!!

  44. gunnern5 says:

    TA:

    RVP may well make us a “One man team” but my hope is that he decides to be a “One team man”

    Nice piece but why did you have to spoil it by including the grubby little scouse?

  45. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Interesting stuff GIE.

    Are we a one man team?. Of course not, there is no such thing. Are we a team that over relys on RVP?. I think this can only be anwsered if RVP is out of action for a sustained period.

    Football consists of a long hard season. Any side that has pretentions of been succesful will have to adapt to diferent circumstances as the season progreses. At the moment its difficult to look past RVP but as we go along different permutations and players will hit the spotlight.

    We have the makings of a fantastic side, and i will repeat what ive said many times before, the key with the modern Arsenal is keeping the squad together.

  46. gunnern5 says:

    Chas, I have the same issue with biased commentary, I solved it by muting the sound and listening to the game on Arsenal player.

    The sound is a bit out of sync with the picture but I’d sooner have that issue than have to listen to the commentators talk about Man U and continually try to create controversy about Arsenal.

  47. Irishgunner says:

    Afternoon all,

    I have resurfaced after Wednesday night – not the most comfortable at the hostel so had to make up for it yesterday when I got home. Was great to meet you all and hopefully will be back over early next year.

  48. RockyLives says:

    Great meeting you too Irish. Glad you got back safe and sound.

  49. Big Raddy says:

    TMHT. Re: your final para.

    As I see it the only way of guaranteeing keeping the squad together is to pay such high wages which other clubs will not match. MC and Chav players only leave when their contracts run out or if their clubs are willing to subsidise a loan.

    Can we compete? If we want to stay at the top table we have to. Sadly, money talks.

  50. TotalArsenal says:

    BR, don’t let the Danish winter gloom get to you!

  51. Big Raddy says:

    TA. Don’t worry. I start drinking alcohol when the sun goes down which means that in winter it is mid-afternoon!

    I must start writing tomorrows post before the ‘witching hour

  52. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Raddy,

    100% correct. This is the fundamental problem that we have. Our players are wanted by the likes of Barca and City because they are top draw, if we wernt raided in the last few years we would be the best team in England.

    3 or 4 years ago i recall that when Arsene or a member of the board (including the late Danny Fizman) were asked if the youth policy could fall down because we could not match wages with the likes of Chelsea they all replied that this was not a major concern since we offered a football paradise, and crucialy, we paid handsome wages makng our players mega rich anyway.

    Unfortunitly for us, Arsene and the board were wrong. The greed of players and there agents knows no bounds (i know this a generalisation).

    The positive side of the money debate is that in around 5 to 6 years time, all things been equal, Arsenal and Man Utd will have wage bills that will match, and even exceed, the likes of the suger daddy and 2 spanish clubs.

    This dosnt mean that we can not be succesful in the short term, i believe we can, but we will have to do so knowing that we could and probably will, lose players to our rivals.

  53. TotalArsenal says:

    Raddy, that seems the best way to survive :)

    I read the other day there is a new, (first?)female, PM in Denmark now. If I am right she sits on the left of politics. Do you think the country is moving towards the left? And how is the Danish economy doing?

  54. chas says:

    Harry,
    I hope you told him I did.
    Chas could be short for Chastity. :)

  55. pat says:

    money cant buy everything – just ask Carlos Tevez…

  56. pat says:

    But I agree keeping our players in this “financially doped” environment will be challenging…

  57. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Pat,

    Thats true, its a generalisation, it dosnt apply to every one. i would play for nothing if they asked me, but then i am a bit old and hughly crap.

  58. TotalArsenal says:

    Peaches, Evonne, IrishG, can we have a bit of this please? :)

    http://ladyarse.co.uk/2011/11/video-match-report-arsenal-2-1-dortmund/

  59. RockyLives says:

    It’s also important not to underestimate the importance of success.

    If we can have a really good season (go a long way in the CL, top three in the EPL, maybe a domestic cup) then the bond between the players grows stronger and they really enjoy the feeling of succeeding together.

    It’s not going to work for everyone, but even in today’s money-obsessed culture I refuse to believe that all players are only driven by greed.

  60. RockyLives says:

    TA
    You mean this? http://www.flairtalent.com/models/30s-40s/women/jules-wheeler.aspx

    Nah, not a patch on RHWP and Irish…

  61. chas says:

    Caption competition

  62. chas says:

    I only saw that picture because I put “driven by greed” as a search in google images. :)

  63. RockyLives says:

    Chas :)
    Looks like he’s being driven by more than greed in that shot!

  64. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Rocky,

    Very true, success can act act as a strong bond between club and player. The only downside tends to be the catch 22 situation were generaly speaking, to acheive the success you need to keep your players.

    Lets not concern ourselves to much, if one club and one man can acheive against the odds its Arsenal and Arsene Wenger.

  65. RockyLives says:

    Terry
    It is a Catch 22 but, for example, it was almost certain that Gerrard was going to leave Liverpool for Chelsea a few years ago, but then ‘Pool got an unlikely CL win and in all the euphoria he signed a new contract.

  66. TotalArsenal says:

    RL, you know what I am talking about ;)

    Regards ‘Success’, we should add that it would also bring in a lot more money, short and mid-to-long term, which makes it easier to offer higher wages to the top players.

  67. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Rocky,

    Thats true Rocky. Also the fact hes a scouser, obtained a bumper pay deal, and received (allegedly) numerous threats to him and his family from some Liverpudlian scallys might have swayed his mind to.

    I in no way belitle your argument Rocky, success is a very important factor in keeping players.

  68. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    TA,

    Very good point. Players receive large chunks of income based on winning.

  69. RockyLives says:

    Terry :)
    I’d heard those rumours too… Our Stevie was being strong-armed by some men with curly hair and bad moustaches saying “eh? eh? eh?…”

  70. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Rocky,

    They are a funny lot scousers. Ive met a lot of them in the past, and i think i can say ive liked them all. But they are a very tight community (something you will never see in London), almost like a little independent country within the UK. Supid hair and taches though ha ha.

  71. Big Raddy says:

    RL. Good point. If as Captain RvP sees growth I believe he will sign his extension.

  72. Big Raddy says:

    In the flesh Scousers are great but ….. Jimmy Tarbuck, Manie Carragher, Paul O’Grady, Wayne Rooney etc etc?

  73. oz gunner says:

    Great read GiE, and great Match report yesterday FGG

    We definently are not a one man team, as i feel we would miss the worlds #1 and verm more. However it is a bit of a problem because RVP always seems to time his runs perfectly and his positional sense is second to none! As someone mentioned yesterday (perhaps TA?!) RVP did switch out wide after we scored the second so that gerv and Walcott could play down the middle. It’s a very good idea because a backup is needed.

    I want MC to get back on top of things because everytime he misses it looks as though he is going to cry, he’s trying too hard.

  74. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Raddy, met some nice girls from Liverpool, very easy going, if you know what i mean.

  75. oz gunner says:

    haha great pic chas, reminds me of the ronaldo/rooney one

  76. evonne says:

    Rocky – I agree with you. A couple of years ago ‘the winning mentality’ buzz phraze was being used against us. And I think we began to believe that the team lacked that ‘winning mentality’ factor. If we didn’t believe it, the media would make us believe. They always, always reitterate how many seasons we have not had a trophy and how many players in our team (not many) have ever won a cup.

    I also agree that winning a trophy this sea
    son could be massive for us. Last year’s defeat in CC had a detrimental effect on the team. Next week’s CC game against Shitty could be season defining for us. If we win, the future is red and white!

  77. TotalArsenal says:

    TMHT, fully agree on the scousers. I worked a couple of years in Liverpool and they know how to enjoy life. Liverpool and Everton fans tend to have a lot of respect for Arsenal as well. They know how to appreciate good football and have to confidence to openly appreciate it. The contrast with the Mancs could not be any bigger though.

  78. Big Raddy says:

    TA. Yes, we have a new female Prime Minister, Helle Thorning Schmidt . She is married to the son of Neil Kinnock and as you say is left of centre. The Danish economy like the rest of Europe is struggling. Nothing like the Southern countries but growth is slow. Unemployment is around 3%.

    That said, the demands of employers are very high and there is a requirement for well educated people in all fields e.g. you cannot say you are a painter and decorator without 3 years apprenticeship, same goes for builders and carpenters. Plumbers and electricians need even higher qualifications which are constantly updated.

    As to drifting to the left….. In some ways – especially economically, evidenced by the highest tax in the world (basic tax is over 40% and VAT 25%). However, immigration is a huge issue in Denmark and they have been taken to the International Court of Human Rights about their border issues. Basically, if you are from outside the EU, you will struggle here; there is a huge mistrust of the “burkah” following the uproar caused by the Mohammed Cartoons and the Danes are very open about the national statistics which show that first and second generation immigrants are responsible for almost 70% of crime, and receive a huge percentage (pro rata) of the Danish Welfare benefits.

    n.b. I have spent a couple of hours writing tomorrow’s post and feel the need to address another subject – sorry :-)

  79. RockyLives says:

    BR
    Thankyou – that was very interesting (and I’m not being sarcastic!).

    What a life for Kinnock’s son – to grow up as the son of a wannabe Prime Minster and end up as the husband of an actual Prime Minister.

  80. TotalArsenal says:

    Thanks BR, reading your penultimate paragraph you would expect there to be a right of centre government/election win, so it seems that the Danish were tired of the ‘right’ party(ies) and are looking for something new?

    Unemployment of 3% does not sound too bad, and I believe this is partly due to the fantastic employer incentive schemes to employ (long term) unemployed: is that right?

  81. Big Raddy says:

    RL- I am at Uni doing a BA on Danish History,Art, Architecture and Society with a focus on Cross Cultural Communication (only in my first term of a 3 year course.)

    This stuff interest me!

  82. TotalArsenal says:

    Hey RL, will you be in the Tavern again tomorrow? I promise I wont ask you about Canadian politics :)

  83. TotalArsenal says:

    BR, that sounds like a great BA. Are you being taught in Danish?

  84. Big Raddy says:

    TA. You know your stuff. Plus the excellent and free Danish Education system.

    Name me another European country that PAY students €800 a month to go to University?

    Even the non-EU immigrants get paid to learn Danish if they are unemployed in order to help them find work.

    The Danes believe that education is the root of a progressive and happy society and are prepared to put their money into the system. Even the Royals go to ordinary schools (there is private education here as well).

    It should be noted that according to a number of polls Danes are considered the happiest and most content nation in the world and it is no coincidence that it happens to be one which has the smallest difference in income between it’s citizens.

  85. Big Raddy says:

    TA. Unfortunately …. Yes

  86. Big Raddy says:

    I want to go to the Tavern and meet all you fine chaps and chapesses

  87. TotalArsenal says:

    BR, that is very impressive – you being taught in Danish!

    Funny what you were saying re training. A few years ago I interviewed a Dane for an FD role in London (he was based in Copenhagen). At the end of the interview I asked him whether he had any questions to us. Out came a list of questions, and the first one was: [my first name], ‘you have not told me anything about the training I will receive in this job’ – looking at me with real incredulity, as if I committed the worst corporate crime possible. Now, I can place that a little bit better :)

  88. TotalArsenal says:

    Off cooking now. Laters.

  89. evonne says:

    Raddy – two of my Irish brothers-in-law live in Denmark, both have excellent jobs and love it there. They told me that the taxes are the highest in Europe, but so are the social benefits. Pensions, childcare, sick benefits are very generous, and there is a lesser divide between the very rich and very poor.

    Also, I believe Danes to be very clean and honest people. Aren’t they a little bit subdued though?

  90. Gooner In Exile says:

    I thought all Danish women looked like Sandi Toksvig and the men like John Jensen…..am I wrong?

    Evonne, me and TA have organised and we are hoping to leave Norwich at around 1pm, which should get us down to you by around 3-3:30pm is this going to be ok for you?

  91. Hi all

    I’m probably checking in as you’re all checking out :(

    Great post GiE.

    Of course we’re not a one man team but we are blessed with a Robin van Persie who is in the form of his life. Someone earlier said that we were more a one man team with Cesc because everything seemed to have to go through him and I agree with that.

    We are very lucky to be able to watch, what I believe, will be a fabulous team at it’s inception. They are playing for each other and loving it. How many times have you watched the 2nd goal against BD since Wednesday?

    One man team? Pah, what we have is a team and van Persie scoring goals – sounds like a bit of heaven to me :)

  92. 26may1989 says:

    Hello there. Good post Exile, but then I expect it from you, you always display a great understanding of the game and frequently I read your words and think “Why didn’t I see that?”

    I find it funny to see so many pundits using RvP’s fantastic 12 months as justification for slagging us off with their oh so predictable one-man-team argument. As if our great run, and recovery, can be dismissed on the back of this argument. Funny, I don’t remember too many pundits criticising Man U recovering from a bad start to nearly win the title off the back of not much more than an astoundingly good run of form from Wayne Rooney in 2010. Funny that.

    Van Persie is a god, we all know that (we really do, flintstone), but who is it that’s been creating the chances for him to score? Who is who’s been running the midfield so effectively? Who is it that’s been defending so solidly? And who is it that’s been pulling off impressive saves and keeping his defence organised? Stand up Song, Ramsey, Gervinho, Szczesny, Vermaelen, Mertesacker, Santos, Jenkinson, Koscielny, Arteta, Walcott, Benayoun, Coquelin and Rosicky, you, along with van Persie, have delivered. Now just keep it going. Please!

    As Terry so eloquently said in his excellent 12:54 comment, the season will have phases, and of course we will need to see others finding the net later in the season. But that shouldn’t stop us enjoying watch Robin put away all these chances his teammates are creating. God knows, we’ve had to wait a long time before chocolate legs could have an entire year without serious injury, let’s enjoy it. Oh and let’s get the bugger to sign a new contract too.

    Re the debate between Raddy and Terry on wages, it is clear (and Wenger knows this too) that the top players in the squad need to be paid, near as damn it, top-whack. We can never match Abu Dhabi City while they’re ignoring FFP and anything approaching economic sense, and we shouldn’t even try, but for the top players in the squad, we can still match anything the other top clubs are paying. And here’s what I see as being key: we should weed the not-so-expensive-but-still-well-paid middle rank in the squad, and focus the squad on superstars plus emerging under 22s. I understand why we overpaid the middle rank during the stadium financing years, it was done to achieve squad stability at a time when we had no meaningful transfer budget, but that time has passed, time to switch. The process began in the summer but there is still some pruning to do in order to free up resources for retaining and recruiting.

  93. evonne says:

    GiE – perfect! Do you have the postcode?

  94. GiE – that’s not enough drinking time for you ;) I think you need to be at evonne by 3 – not that I should be interferring :oops:

  95. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    TMHT @2:13pm,
    Terry , How in 5 or 6 years time, are we going to match or exceed the wage bills of City and Chavs ?. Is it the hope of FFP or Increased revenue from Far East ? or something other ?.

  96. SharkeySure says:

    Quality. Pint on me tomorrow GiE

  97. 26may1989 says:

    Without wishing to get political, what Raddy describes in Denmark (high tax in exchange for social stability and equality) is exactly what I think we need more of in the UK. We Europeans need to find our place in the age of Asia, and for me, the Nordics show the way. Now just try getting a British political party to sell a high tax programme to the British people, especially in these times of recession, high unemployment etc – not an easy one! But the way we’ve been running things sure doesn’t work.

    No need to idealise them vikings though: the Danes and Norwegians I know are mostly a pretty rough bunch in terms of social attitudes, even while their societies have been as open as any around. It’s not that surprising to see the far right on the rise in those countries.

    OK, end of politics!

  98. Gooner In Exile says:

    26 thanks for the compliment :oops:

    Also I’m ok with high taxes (i always find a way of avoiding them ;) )

    Evonne I’m sure we do, I will remember anyway, i lived in the area long enough so getting to Oakwood is easy, its just remembering the turns after that (which I’m sure I can manage).

    Peaches I might have to have a few tins on the tube to warm me up for the pint Sharkey is buying me :D

  99. Gooner In Exile says:

    That was far too many smilies for one comment.

    Right as the wife is away for the weekend I need to go do stuff like cook and clean up a bit…..apparently if you keep on top of cleaning it won’t all have to be shoved under the sofa on Monday morning…..we will see.

  100. TotalArsenal says:

    Evonne, GiE, I have the postcode and directions. I am sure we’ll manage to get there by 3pm. Cannot wait to meet you all and watch the mighty Arse live!

  101. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi 26, great comments. Who do you think Arsenal needs to weed out? Are you talking about the likes of Rosicky, Arshavin, Diaby?

    I love your ‘without wishing to get political’ as introduction to what is to come next. :)

  102. dandan says:

    Great comment from Everton’s Moyes a Scot through and through.
    What price SAF agrees with him.

    . “Sky: What you think about goal line technology? Moyes: I wish they had it in 1966″

  103. 26may1989 says:

    Well TA, you know what us Ingleesh are like, say one thing, mean another!

    Wedding out candidates: I’m not as critical of Arshavin as many but he’s a prime candidate, as is Abou “Who He?” Diaby. Ryo, AOC and a possible recruit (Hazard, Goetze etc) will replace AA at AM and Ramsey, Wilshere, Arteta and Song are already ahead of Diaby, and the likes of Frimpong, Lansbury, Coquelin and Ozyakup can provide cover for both Diaby’s CM and AM functions.

    Almunia is of course on the list, and perhaps Fabianski too – after all, it’s unrealistic to keep a fully fledged international keeper on the bench, and Mannone’s more than good enough to be back up and we have that Argie keeper, Martinez, who looks very decent and perfectly decent as a third choice. Squillaci should be found a new home (Miquel and Bartley can provide that cover). Although we’re not paying their wages right now, all the seniors out on loan (Bendtner, Vela and Denilson) should be sold too. Easier said than done, of course, but that shouldn’t stop us, even if we don’t get hoped-for sale prices. Being conservative (but not in the political sense…), by selling Arshavin, Diaby, Fabianski, Almunia, Squillaci, Bendtner, Vela and Denilson, we’d free up something in the order of £20m per year from the wage bill.

    None of this is to say that these players don’t have qualities, but having all of them without the need or opportunity to use them often enough, while paying them well, is a luxury we can’t afford. Plus we need to allow space for the younger players we have and those we will recruit the chance to break through.

  104. 26may1989 says:

    Excellent Moyes comment, thanks DD!

    And I did of course mean to write “Weeding out candidates”. Though I quite like the wedding out candidates – which of the Arsenal squad should we marry off? Now there’s a question…..

  105. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    26,
    Agree with most of your above list. Personally I would keep one one of Bendtner or Vela and get rid of Chamakh. I`d also be surprised if we recruit anyone as Wenger has said on club site , he`s not looking to buy as he`s happy with squad, which is a shame, as I think we will be standing still without some more investment.

  106. Fatgingergooner says:

    As our striker it’s obviously RvP’s job to be putting these chances away, but the quality of his link up play this season has been unbelievable and it’s this that we would miss if he were not in the side.

    Chamakh can score goals as can Park, but I don’t think they have the same link up and drop off game that RvP possesses.

    RvP hasn’t been getting MOTM every other game just for his goals. His all round play has been immense.

    Long may it continue

  107. TotalArsenal says:

    26, I would agree to wed out or weed out – whatever works :) – most of those on your list. I’d keep Diaby just to see whether he can stay injury free for a long period and start delivering on his promise.

    I really like the quality and experience on our bench at the moment though. To know that we can bring on the likes of Benny, Tomas, Andrey and Chamakh to finish off the game, is a real luxury at the moment. Plus we can deal with injuries to key players like Arteta, Ramsey and Song a lot better. So yeah, lets weed out a few and get one or two new and promising players back :)

  108. LB says:

    “This team has not even reached 70% of its potential.”

    Most poignant comment of the day.

  109. LB says:

    It is understandable why people doubt Diaby, I do, but this is neither here nor there, only one thing matters, do you really think that Wenger has given up on him………………I don’t.

    We now have some very impressive competition for the old Cesc spot.

    Ramsey
    Diaby
    Rosicky
    Arteta, when Wilshere is back.
    And Arshavin….in theory.

    All of that lot are going to have to work their butts of to make that spot their own.

    I would still have him back though………..in a heart beat.

  110. David Soenju says:

    your are absolutly right. Robin is in deadley form. But The Arsenal is all about when one player is injurd or stop producing, an another STEPS up?!? This is the Arsenal way. The way Arsene wants it to be, and the way it is …. WE are AN fotballing machine….. in arsene wer trust….
    thats just bad english, all apoligice????!!!!!

    please stop talkin about cesc, world classs player, but arsenal is a better Team without him

    your sincerly David Sønju

  111. oz gunner says:

    love the 26 comment at 7.47, good read. I agree that the weeding of players has to continue, Diaby i’d like to see have one more chance (however he’s getting a large sum of money for very limited playing time), vela won’t get his chance especially with Campbell, aneke, and…(bugger his name escapes me, played in the emirates cup, very promising). Denilson can’t leave soon enough, he’s probably our 16th choice midfielder now (and so he should be) and his wages are to high for that. The list continues
    As was BR’s interesting comment

    Forgot to thank you for the link to the article the other day TA. Was a very interesting read, especially when i thought it was the opposite. Like BR said about Denmark, there were alot of interviews saying our taxes are too high and it’s an expensive life over here. The Mrs parents travelled around Europe earlier this year and said London was alot cheaper food wise which is interesting. Something about pints over there being alot cheaper.

  112. RockyLives says:

    David
    Thankyou for your comment. I agree with you about Cesc.
    Great player though he is, somehow we never made the system work on a consistent basis with him in the team. It’s early days, but we look to have a more balanced team this year.

    Cesc was also not as good a captain as RvP. But I will still always thinks fondly of Cesc for the great moments he gave me (and all of us) in an Arsenal shirt.

  113. RockyLives says:

    LB
    Having just taken the opposite view to you on Cesc (I would not have him back now, even though he is a world class player) i can agree totally about AW and Diaby.

    Arsene really rates Diaby and will stick with him unless his injuries bring everything to an end.

  114. jean says:

    flawed reasoning,
    ’cause it’s not about how many chances we create but having someone who can finish them. I don’t think feetless chamakh/ “unable to finish” gervinho or whoever else are going to score. The only one I see having a decent scoring record is walcott. Maybe park when wenger will decide to play him.

  115. oz gunner says:

    agree rocky i wouldn’t have him back.

    It’s simple Cesc was the quarter back, everything went through him, we would pass and pass and pass in an attempt to free him up (essentially playing blockers for cesc). It slowed us down and the sysyem did not work. We are playing a better brand of football, more direct, and more team orientated. It will only further Ramsey’s and Wilsheres game because they can do their own thing without feeling the need to pass it to cesc always. The same thing happened in Henry’s last season, everyone passed it to him even when in better positions themselves. A Cesc-less arsenal is a better Arsenal! Captain wise, team wise, and playing wise!

  116. Gooner In Exile says:

    “Robin is flying and Alex is on song as Arsenal make nonsense of their early-season critics.”

    “Alex Song has had a huge influence on Arsenal’s rekindled form. His powerhouse display against Dortmund was one of the strongest seen by a central midfielder this season in the Champions League”

    “He’s [RvP's] now gunning for records. His 13 goals in the first 12 league matches has only ever been bettered in the Premier League by Les Ferdinand, who hit 14 by this stage but failed to score in game 13.

    The Arsenal captain has netted 31 Premier League goals in 2011. Only Alan Shearer (36 in 1995) and Thierry Henry (34 in 2004) have scored more in a calendar year.”

    A few excerpts from the BBC pre match, nice reading on a match day morning.

  117. evonne says:

    Morning all
    GiE – so Boy HAS to score 6 more in the next 7 games. Today’s hat trick will leave him with target 3 goals for the remainder of the year, easy peasy

  118. evonne says:

    Boy = Boy Wonder, course

  119. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Ahoy Shipmates,
    Darn, did I miss a good night on Wednesday. Just read through three day’s of great posts and comments.
    Absence makes the heart grow fonder, some say. Not me, I felt sick. I really believe that I developed a syndrome.

  120. evonne says:

    aha, Micky, there you are!! I forgot you were going away and was sure you were busy cooking strange French soups!
    Are you all right?

  121. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Ah Evonne,
    I saw your soup comment. Sadly, far from the truth. I am very good, thanks, although very exhausted. All work no play make Micky a dull boy!

  122. MickyDidIt89 says:

    On the bright side, I leave on the eve of a Big Raddy Pre Matcher and return on the eve of another. That is a good thing.
    Any beardies from the Fulham area?

  123. evonne says:

    Yes, Raddy’s prematch jewels are well worth waiting for

  124. MickyDidIt89 says:

    I don’t want to go over old ground, but earlier I watched all of the two minutes thirteen seconds of Dortmund highlights on the Arsenal thing. Wow, that Song stuff down the left for the Robin goal, and a mention must go to the Dortmund fans.
    Right, Fulham.

  125. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Here’s a thought. Last week I said we could climb one place every three weeks and be champions.
    Technically, we could be third by the end of this weekend with a four nil win :-)

  126. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Poor Kelsey.

  127. chas says:

    Welcome home, Micky.

  128. MickyDidIt89 says:

    The Chas video clip. I’m well and truly home :-)

  129. Big Raddy says:

    Welcome back Micky.

    Looking forward to today’s game but unfortunately my mother-in-law has decided to have a birthday and being a “mature” lady it starts at 5p.m.!

    Which means BR will not be around to share the excitement with the armchair viewer.

    In the words of Cervantes ….. Cojones

  130. oz gunner says:

    welcome back micky. Ok now kelsey and micky are counted for, yet we are still losing the one…the only RA!

  131. oz gunner says:

    Now whenever i think of fulham i think of the amazing goals by the fat boy last season. Hopefully prince robin can wipe that memory clear with something brilliant today.

  132. Morning all

    There’s a New Post ……

  133. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Morning BR and Oz,
    I’d love to see Gerv start converting some of the many chances he creates for himself, and I think we are due a Verm piledriver.
    RA,
    If you are reading, hope all is well.

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