Not The End of the World, But The End For Arshavin? (plus Player Ratings)

There was something poignant about the moment, mid way through the second half, when Arsène Wenger made his first two substitutions.

Gervinho and Abou Diaby were bouncing on the touchline: primed, eager and ready while the fourth official fiddled with his number board.

Three yards away from them, on the pitch, a small Russian man was standing on his own, looking downcast and waiting for the inevitable appearance of the number 23 on the official’s board.

After an evening in which pretty much everything he tried had failed, you could see that Andrei Arshavin was not just expecting to be hauled off: he WANTED to be hauled off.

When the numbers flashed and it turned out that he was not one of the two players being substituted (Ramsey and Mertesacker ended up making way) he looked genuinely shocked. And disappointed.

It is heartbreaking to see what has happened to our pocket Russki.

Once upon a time (in an earlier life, it sometimes feels), he scored four goals against Liverpool in one of the most devastating individual attacking displays I’ve ever seen.

You could never say he was 100% consistent, but he always had the potential of doing something brilliant.

Yes, his tracking back was somewhere in the hinterland between rare and nonexistent; yes, his demeanour was often doleful; yes, his arse seemed large enough to make him as tall lying on his side as when he’s standing; but when he did fire into life he could ghost past players like they weren’t there and put his goals away with venom.

Yesterday he was a shadow of the player who terrorised Liverpool. He just looked absolutely shorn of confidence and ability. Towards the end of the game I thought he was drifting infield to hide among groups of Fulham players in order to not receive the ball.

I, for one, was left with the distinct impression that this could be the end of the Russian’s career at Arsenal. I might be wrong. I hope I’m wrong. Maybe our genius manager can get him firing again. But he seems to be in a dark place and it may well take a fresh start somewhere else to drag him out of it.

The game itself was a bit of a come-down after the high of beating Dortmund midweek and becoming the first English club to qualify for the knock-out stages of the Champions’ League.

Arsene Wenger blamed physical and mental tiredness and he had a point, but the Cottagers deserve credit too for playing a good defensive game designed to smother our movement between midfield and attack.

However, we also had a familiar dollop of bad luck: shots cleared off the line (again); gifting the opposition an own goal (again); a rival ‘keeper in inspired form (again).

Despite Fulham’s obduracy we carved them open enough times to have won the game. Twice in the first 10 minutes Arshavin was involved in penetrating attacks down our left (unfortunately that was more or less the end of any positive contribution from him).

Theo was ripping them open down the opposite flank and driving into their box at will.

But overall there was a bit of a lacklustre feel to our team performance. Both Ramsey and Arteta had industrious displays but both seemed to find that their touch was off, resulting in a lot of misplaced passes and being caught in possession.

We were also standing off the Fulham players too much and not pressing the way we had done against the Germans on Wednesday. The pressing game has been a big part of our revival this season and at times against Fulham it was notable by its absence.

By the time Fulham scored I had come to the conclusion that it was just going to be one of those days. And when we did put them ahead with a Tommy Vermaelen own goal (I would need to see it again to judge how culpable he was), I feared the loss of all three points.

As several AA commenters have already pointed out, you would have expected last season’s Arsenal to end up losing from that position. But this year’s crop has some real bottle. It was just a shame that it took us going behind to spark the team into life.

Suddenly we had a real urgency about us. Arsène’s attacking substitutions (including taking off Mertesacker and dropping Song back into CB) helped galvanise the team and we launched a series of frenetic onslaughts on the Fulham goal.

The equaliser was a fine glancing header from Vermaelen, making amends for the own goal.

Theo and Gervinho (showing Arshavin how it should be done) continued to torment the opposition defence from their respective wings, Prince Robin twisted and turned and peppered their goal and we went close numerous times. But, with Schwarzer eking out the time like a dying man the clock eventually ran down.

Final score 1-1. No doubt some of the nay-sayers will leap on the performance and result as evidence that we have not really progressed from last season. But they would be wrong. Even when we were winning Doubles we would get the occasional draw against weaker, but resolute, opposition. It happens to everyone.

And the positives were plain: we showed character to come back from a goal down, our unbeaten run continues and we made numerous chances to score and win the game.

A minor disappointment, but project New Arsenal is still very much on track.

Ratings

Szczesny: No chance for the goal and made one fantastic save from a powerful shot. His kicking was better than usual, but overall he didn’t have much to do. 7

Djourou: Came in at right back and had a super game. Made some great last-ditch tackles and nicked the ball from the opposition all game long. 8

Mertesacker: Another top performance by the Mert. I didn’t see him put a foot wrong and his reading of the game is so good that it often means he snuffs out attacks before they’re dangerous. It’s not as spectacular as the last-ditch scramble, but a lot better for my heart rate. Also came close to scoring with a good header. 7.5

Vermaelen: Powerful and dynamic as always. One point off for the og. One point added for scoring the equaliser. 7.5

Santos: His best game yet. Our new Brazilian is fast becoming a crowd favourite and yesterday he looked composed, skillful and dynamic. He drifted out of position occasionally, but usually because he was trying to push us forward. Got no help from Arshavin. 8.5 MoTM

Song: Good work screening the back four – and he was called on to clear up more than he ought to have been because of the way his MF team mates were giving away possession. Unfortunately could not tap his alter ego Songinho to inspire another goal for us. 7.5

Arteta: Did a lot of his usual good work helping to screen the defence and keeping the ball moving. His touch went off badly in the second half and, uncharacteristically, he lost the ball several times. Tired, perhaps. 6.5

Ramsey: Always driving, moving, tackling, trying to make things happen. But yesterday it just wasn’t coming off for young Aaron. Not his best game, but he never hid and never stopped trying and after years of Denilsonitis I’ll take that any day. 6.5

Walcott: Brilliant and direct in the first half and unlucky not to score or get an assist. Faded a bit in third quarter but came back strongly as we pushed for an equaliser and then a winner (that sadly never came). Surely his critics must shut up now? He is one of the best wide players in England and is demonstrating it on a weekly basis. 8

Arshavin: Nothing to add to what I said above. A bad – and sad – day for the Russian. 5

Van Persie: Exuded class all game, but for once the magic touch was off by a smidgen and he didn’t get on the score sheet. Fulham defended well, denying him space in the areas he normally likes to exploit between defence and midfield. 7.5

Subs
Gervinho: Outstanding when he came on. Was unlucky not to inspire us to victory. His brilliance made Arshavin’s performance look even worse. 8

Diaby: Nice to see him back. He showed some of what he can do (but also a little bit of his old failing of holding onto the ball for too long). 7

Chamakh: Didn’t have much chance to get in the game, but he tried. 6.5

Manager: His decision to start with Arshavin and leave the electrifying Gervinho on the bench may well have been what cost us all three points. His attacking substitutions helped make for an exciting finish, but it was still two points lost. 6

RockyLives

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180 Responses to Not The End of the World, But The End For Arshavin? (plus Player Ratings)

  1. Morning all

    Thank you Rocky for stepping in with a match report whilst waiting to board a plane! Sorry I missed you yesterday at the pub, come back soon.

  2. Can’t argue with any of that RL, I have seen only the two goals on MotD. Maybe the reason for starting with Arshavin was Gervinho’s tiredness, he looked slow and jaded midweek.

    Martin Jol’s plan was to cut off the passes to RvP, did that work?

  3. Big Raddy says:

    RL. Fine report Thank you.

    I take full responsibility for the loss of 2 vauable points. No shirt or lucky socks – unforgivable. And the recording stopped just after the Fulham goal so I didn’t get to see our fightback. Good dinner though….

  4. isbish says:

    I think it’s about time wenger considered letting Arshavin leave the club to those money bags Anzi in russia before his value gets annoyingly devalued. He seems often indifferent and lazy in games. Yes I know his confidence is down at the moment but at least even Chamack tries to work his form back. Arshavin just seems tire and sick of being at Arsenal and I think we don’t need such kind of player at Arsenal really. He should be sold.

  5. terry says:

    we needs to ask himself that if he is going to deplay 433 in every game then arshaivn dosent have a place in our squad, he needs to be sold and replaced by a left winger.
    if he has a plan b in mind like how he played against bolton then keeping arshain makes sence.
    arshavin if played cantrally can be a dynomite in any team.
    he has acceleration on him but dosent have the pace to beat his man.. when u play centrally you dont need pace u need to be quick and create room for yourself.. thats what he does best.

  6. ike@Ghana says:

    Sell Arshavin and Chamakh for Podolski and Hazard. Squallaci, Almunia and Rosicky should be allowed to move on as well.

  7. terry says:

    by we i ment wenger…

  8. We dropped two points at home, but let’s not get carried away, slagging off players and saying they should be sold is easy, finding a solution is not something that too many fans can manage.

    Wenger knows his players, he has had Arshavin in the squad long enough to know exactly how and when to play him, maybe we are not getting the best from AA but if it is a confidence thing then he needs game-time in order to re-build that confidence.

    Next week’s Carling Cup match could be an answer, I’d like to see Arshavin play more centrally along side Chamakh, a combination that might pose problems for the City defence.

  9. terry says:

    lifelong gooner i agree to what ur saying..
    falppy
    djouru kozzer vermy santos
    aox coquellen frimpong yossi
    arsahvin
    chamak

    this is how we should line up for city.

  10. ike@ghana

    This is the real world not Play Station, Hazard is beyond Arsenal’s budget, Almunia and Squillaci are already up for sale and I suspect that a fully fit Rosicky would be a strong contender for regular first team football.

  11. TotalArsenal says:

    Thanks for your fantastic match report Rocky, and good to meet you for a few minutes yesterday – always nice to be able to put a face to a fellow blogger’s name :)

    You are spot on in reflecting on AA’s performance last night, and that this might be the end for Arshavin now. Your description of the moment Arshavin thinks/hopes he will be substituted is a journalistic gem.

    I think you are a bit harsh on Ramsey but other than that I agree with your scores. He tried to drive our team desperately yesterday and never gave up. Theo tried to drive our team as well and to be fair on Arshavin he also tried in the beginning, but it was not good enough. We needed somebody to energize our team, somebody with fresh legs and bags of enthusiasm and stimina, so the rest of the, understandbly somewhat tired, players could get re-energized. Arshavin failed miserably in this, and as GiE rightly pointed out, it was also his lack of tracking back that gave the rest of the team so much work to do.

    However, on the plus side: JD and Santos had a great game, a great fight-back and our unbeaten run continues. In a funny way, I feel that yesterday’s result will mean that we will win on Tuesday against Citeh. A great game to bounch back and I will not have it that our ‘second 8-11′ players (I expect some regulars to start) are well below Citeh’s.

    Despite the disappointing 1-1 draw, I had a super day. Great to meet up with Peaches and Rasp, the brilliantly funny Evonne, Chas, Harry, Holly, Sharkey, Rocky, and of course GiE, with whom I had great analytical talks about footie/Arsenal and life in general. And for those who have not seen GiE in action in our stadium, he has a great booming voice – one that can snap trees in half and inspires others to join in. If we ever would have an AA-supporters army, GiE would be our first ‘soldier’ – leading our troops to the attack. A joy to behold :)

  12. ainay@yahoo.com says:

    why are you giving Ramsey a 6.5? If Arshavin gets a 5, Ramsey should be getting a mere 4 or lower. Ramsey even laid down flat to block a good pass from Arshavin to RVP, he also gave away possession cheaply. Worst player on the pitch I think we took too long to replace Ramsey because it was like 10 Arsenal players against 11 Fulham players.

  13. Big Raddy says:

    Sad to read the opinions regarding AA. The meerkat is one of my favourite players,

    Does he feel he has never been given the role his skill deserves as the central cog of the team? Did he think that with Nasri and Cesc’s departure that finally he would play in the centre where he works so well with Russia?

    Whatever the reasons his future at AFC is as a bench player which I hope he refuses to accept. He needs to go home.

  14. Big Raddy says:

    alnay. It is always interesting how different people view the players. I think Ramsey is one of our best players and if Schwarzer had not made a wonder save Aaron would have opened the scoring.

  15. A good read this morning think we should buy the young german Goerza as it is in the press this morning he would only leave his club for Arsenal or Barcerlona !!!!

  16. Big Raddy says:

    Diane. It is great to read that a player wants to come to Arsenal.and what a player!

    However with the return of JW I cannot see where Goezte would play. An ideas?

  17. Rasp says:

    Morning all, thanks for an excellent match report Rocky that seems to reflect how most feel.

    I am an Arshavin fan and actually thought he looked hungry and dangerous for the first half yesterday, but I bow to the rest of you who obviously have a less biased perspective.

    I thought TV and Santos where our best two players, Theo continued his good form but Arteta, Song and Ramsey all looked a bit jaded.

    Hi Diane, I fear that Goetze is already out of our league unless we are prepared to beat our current transfer record by about £10m. He will not be available until the summer and I cannot see us making an offer unless we can sell a few players and reduce the wage bill.

  18. Big Raddy says:

    Rasp. I think AA is gone and will bring in say, 5 m, NB 10m, Lansbury 5m, Bartley 5m, JD 10m. Cham 10m, plus a few reserves. Is Denilson still ours? If he is then he must be worth 5m.

    So we could have a pot of @ €50m !

  19. Rasp says:

    Do you really think we will be able to clear out that many players Raddy?

    Bendtner, Chamakh and Denilson are doing little to make themselves attractive to prospective buyers. Some of the players we stuck with during the most expensive part of the stadium repayment are proving hard to shift.

    I like Djourou but he always seems to be one bad decision away from costing us a goal. Diaby on the other hand always looks like he can make something happen when he comes on and still could become an important player.

  20. justin rex gbuuga says:

    Hey am a gooner die had fan of arsenal, don’t play football but love good football its a good feeling to watch us move up in progressive football, but we are the gooners never been relegated before and has so much good records unbeaten and many more. Rvp is good now but what about later? Wat if we loose him like nasri,fabregas,henry and others or as usual he goes back to old rvp p that we all knew, injured? We need gozte and another firing squad so we can play three guns against top opposition we have a good mf,wings and a building defence, I even have a kid bro who is yet to be discovered, he is just 14 but plays good footbaLL if he is under wenger academy he will be better than okocha but in our part the world every is politics he might never play for Nigeria course he is from a minority TIv tribe but gooners can change his fate

  21. Rasp says:

    Incidentally, after having sung the praises of the Dortmund fans as the best so far to visit the Emirates, I’m afraid the Fulham fans are the opposite end of the scale.

    I can’t remember them singing a single song and if they did it was at a whisper. They celebrated their goal and that was about it. The Arsenal support was at about its usual level yesterday but the ground sounded quiet principally because the away fans were inaudible.

  22. Omotosho says:

    Good analysis

  23. dandan says:

    What sad news Gary Speed has been found hanged at his home, sad end for a fine footballer, a budding manager and by all acoounts a fine man. RIP.
    How will it affect young Ramsey I wonder Speed was a mentor to him made him captain of |Wales

  24. Chinedu says:

    Most of d tym,there is always confusion in d backline b/w chezzar & our defenders,vermaleen yesterday,djourou-carling cup,kyle bartly-emirates cup,miqel-liverpool…We need 2 do a bit more work in practice,understand d runs of the keeper,give him space & cover not block him?!For diaby,he is a work in progress,got till january transfers 2 prove 2 fans why we should still believe in him as an arsenal player.I think d couqelin+frimpong DM ,is a lot better than- denilson+diaby of last year.

  25. Rasp says:

    Hi dandan, that’s terrible news. I remember thinking that Speed looked very down as his players left the pitch at the end of their last International.

    I presume the circumstances are not known, but with the recent news of Stan Collymore’s battle with depression, it does look like the pressure of modern life, and football in particular is taking its toll.

  26. LB says:

    Hi all

    Just wanted to pick up on the Fulham fans comment, they are obviously not in the Dortmund league but when thinking the game thorugh this morning there is one song that they were singing that has helped me get over the loss of two points and put a smile back on my face.

    We’re winning away.
    We’re winning away.
    How shit must you be.
    We’re winning away.

    You have got to have a good sense of humour to sing that.

  27. LB says:

    That is devastating news, he looked so proud of that team he was building. I don’t understand, it makes no sense.

  28. Rasp says:

    Hi LB, you must have been much closer to them than me. I was the opposite side of the ground and didn’t hear a peep – but fair play to them for that little ditty.

  29. dandan says:

    Rasp as a cricket fan you will be well aware of the toll that passing your sell by date as a player takes on some of the top players who have lived in the limelight since their earliest days.

    Everthing changes and personal life can often not take the change in routine and life style, we shall have to wait and see what actually drove this. But anyone who has not read Stan Colymores piece yesterday about depression should do so now if they can.

    http://tl.gd/ecoqm1

  30. Rasp says:

    Thanks dandan, I can empathise with some of that. For all his faults, Collymore was brave to bare his soul in such a way.

    Peter Roebuck’s suicide was probably due to his shame at a rather dark side to his personality that he could not stand to be exposed in public – but very sad all the same.

  31. TotalArsenal says:

    Very sad news about Gary Speed. Stan Collymore’s piece is very well written and seems totally genuine. Hopefully both ‘events’ will put depression back on the map in Brittain so the available help for people who suffer from it does improve.

  32. oz gunner says:

    cheers for the good read rocky. whipping that sort of quality up while waiting for a plane is quite amazing.

    Yes wegner took a risk resting Gerv, but it’s a risk that he should be able to make. We are a team with strong depth in almost every position, and you would think AA would be chomping at the bit to prove a point and fight for a starting spot. However, it was not to be, he looked a shadow of his former self. Looking to offload passes early instead of running at defenders, almost walking at times when we were attacking (remember a time when ramsey had the ball down the left, he was getting crowded yet AA was walking forward not offering an outlet even though he was the closest to him.). If the endevour was there you can’t fault him, sadly it was not!

    Terrible news in regards to Gary Speed. I’ve seen plenty of toon games in my time, and he was a stalwart, and seemed like a very good bloke. Condolences to his family and friends

  33. Rasp says:

    Hi oz, we will be losing Gerv to the ACN in January so it may be that Arshavin will be needed despite many thinking he will be sold. I suppose Diaby could be an option or Rosicky or even Benny but none would provide the width we require.

  34. Rob Lucci says:

    If Arshavin don’t find his form in time maybe Oxlade Chamberlain progression will be faster than we thought.

  35. Gooner In Exile says:

    Morning all, any thoughts on the game have been sadly overshadowed by the news of Gary Speed and football trivialities of a 1-1 draw are a little meaningless.

    For what it’s worth I can’t disagree with the match report Rocky, a fine read.

    And as LB pointed out the Fulham fans did come up with that amusing ditty which I had to laugh at also.

  36. Mark Shawcroft says:

    After selling fabergas nasri and clichy plus
    The transfer fund we had already there should be cash left for a couple of class players we are doing well at the moment but
    I don’t think it’s enougth to win Amy trophys

  37. What a tragic loss Gary Speed is. He was so young. Feel really sorry for his family. Puts things in perspective too. Great match report. Point gained in the end I think.

  38. harry says:

    For me, Gary Speed transcends football boundaries, respected by all in football, one of those quality players who you wish played for your team. A true winner and model professional, who gave his all for his team mates. My condolences go out to his family at this time, especially his two children and wife.

    @Rocky, missed you by 5mins….Great match report……

    Agree with majority…….Santos definite MotM for me as well, although Thomas pushed him close……..The own goal was one of misfortune rather than a mistake.

  39. harry says:

    Ps. Great to meet Total and Holly…..

  40. Fatgingergooner says:

    As someone who has suffered quite recently with depression, I find the words that Stan has written quite comforting. It may seem strange but it’s good to know that others out there are going through similar things to yourself.

    The words he speaks about the brain being full of endless negativity are so true, but fortunately for myself, I was able to get counselling through my employer before my body started to feel the effects that Stan talks about.

    Counselling was the best thing I ever did and I would recommend it to anyone who has similar problems in their life.

    I have never liked Stan Collymore off the field, but after reading this, i shall show him the respect he deserves for opening himself up to others.

    These things just put football and life into perspective. It’s been a sad day in football today, but Stans words just prove what a key part sportsmen and women can play in society. They have the ability to get messages across on a global scale. Maybe it’s something that players should think about next time they are tweeting about refs decisions etc

  41. Rob Lucci says:

    I don’t know if anyone have read this piece by stephen bradley. It is interesting article about suicide where he experienced IT himself.

    http://ladyarse.co.uk/2011/09/football-isnt-life-or-death/

  42. Rasp says:

    Thanks FGG and Rob.

  43. LB says:

    I am sorry to disrupt things but thinking about it Gary Speed was a selfish bastard, yes selfish, suicide is probably one of the most selfish things a human being can do, the pain and suffering it causes friends and family are awful. That man has left two children to grow up without a father, terrible, terrible, terrible.

    Waiver: this is written without knowing the circumstances, but short of saving his children from certain death I will almost certainly still think of it as SELFISH.

  44. Gooner In Exile says:

    Back and realised manners left me earlier. Good to meet TA yesterday and as he said great journey full of football/life chat.

    Harry must apologise only saw missed call at final whistle.

    And Chas I told you I would blame you so I am.

    Good to meet up with all AAers as usual makes going to the Emirates more enjoyable.

    For me there is no more perfect a day than a trip to the Arsenal. Coupled with meeting people I can now call good friends in a pub for a few beers makes it moreso.

    Still rattled by the news of Speed as Harry says a man who transcended footballs dividing lines, always enjoyed watching him and I think every football fan would have liked their club to sign him.

    A sad sad day for football.

  45. Gooner In Exile says:

    LB I understand your feelings however it is yet to be confirmed that it is suicide and unless we personally have suffered depression it is hard for us to judge.

    I have a friend who suffers from depression (he has wife and kids) he once said the following:

    “I’ll always drive extra safely with you in the car, I value your life more than my own and the thought of leaving your wife without you is what makes me value it. I know I should value my life equally I just can’t”

    He knows the hypocrisy in the statement but he still can’t lift that feeling.

  46. Big Raddy says:

    LB. It is self-evident that anyone who takes their own life is unable to make a rational decision. I do not know the stresses Speed felt but having worked as a Samaritan for over 10 years I can make a reasonable guess – Speed believed his family were better off without him.

    Selfish? Yes. Rational? No.

  47. Gooner In Exile says:

    Szczesny’s comments to The Times (as reported on Arseblog) today make interesting reading:

    “We’ve had disappointments before but that game was the point where it got embarrassing. Looking back, I think it did us a favour because we realised we really had to work much harder, stick together and defend better.

    We always used to train as a whole team. When we did attacking it was as a whole team and defending was the same. Now we’re split into groups and the defence works separately, under Pat Rice. We know our jobs and communicate better.

    The manager bought players who have brought back the spirit to the dressing room, I think when we went to Old Trafford, we didn’t actually believe we could win. Now, we’ve signed Arteta, Yossi , Mertesacker, who have played at the top for a long time and that’s made a difference.

    I love the way the club do things. I’ve grown up at Arsenal. I know every single person on the staff. My best friends work for the club, my best friends are in the dressing room. I don’t have personal ambitions, I just want to win as many trophies for this club as I possibly can.”

  48. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    I felt genuinely sad for Stan Collymore and I`m shocked about the terrible news of Gary Speed. I cant bring myself to even think about football.
    FGG,
    I`m glad the counselling you had ,has helped you, hope your on top of it and feeling fine now.
    LB,
    Sorry , but thats a terrible thing to say. Best say nothing than put a waiver!.

  49. Big Raddy says:

    Watching LFC. Nasri off after a totally ineffective game, not that he will worry – he has earned over £3m since he left in August and has added nothing to City’s team.

    And Suarez. Good footballer but my goodness the man is a dreadful cheat. The FA should have the ability to retrospectively ban any player who dives more than once a game

  50. evonne says:

    Raddy – fat French troublemaker is off!

    Come on you Reds!!

  51. evonne says:

    LB – you are wrong about suicide. But that’s good as it means you have no idea about it. i wouldn’t wish such knowledge on anyone

  52. Big Raddy says:

    Amazing MC’s squad. They bring off two players who cost between them over £50m and replace them with 2 players costing over £50m!

  53. George says:

    LB, you are correct. And I might ad that suicides in the prime of life are weak, weak men. We all have problems in life and relationships, the measure of a man is how he deals with life. Feel empathy for those who go in accidents, illness, service of their nation or fellow man…but nothing but disgust for those that take the cowards way out. Needless.

  54. RockyLives says:

    Back in Canada.

    Awful news about Gary Speed.

  55. Fatgingergooner says:

    LB,

    The brain is a powerful thing.

    If it isn’t running correctly it can make you do things that 99% of the world would disagree with.

    My brother suffers from paranoid schizophrenia and I have witnessed him doing things that I could never comprehend.

    Many people say that suicide is the easy way, and selfish way out, but this can only be true if the person is of sound mind IMO.

  56. RockyLives says:

    I see we haven’t lost any ground on Man City this weekend. The title’s still on :)

  57. Gooner In Exile says:

    Or Liverpool Rocky :D

  58. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    You will read many things on message boards and we are all entitled to our views.

    Me personaly, i like to think i cam empathise with others, and when others have shown me empathy through my lifes trials and tribulations, i remain to them eternaly grateful. Without the love and support of others, we are nothing.

  59. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Tragic news about Gary Speed. Thoughts with his family.

  60. chas says:

    I can’t even begin to comprehend the Gary Speed news. Shocking.

  61. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Jeepers Rocky,
    About fifty comments ago, you were in London producing a stunning match report, and here you are in Canada. Meanwhile, I have had a spot of lunch and a nap!
    Sorry not to have met you at either game.

  62. RockyLives says:

    Next time Micky.

    All a bit overshadowed by the Gary Speed news. Suicide is a terrible thing and if it touches your family you feel differently about it afterwards than you did before

  63. chas says:

    GIE,
    It was your fault we dropped points.
    I quote from yesterday, “altho trepidation for a couple of reasons Riise’s propensity to score against us……..”.
    You sent out negative vibes into the ether and even the stadium announcer picked up on them. :)

  64. evonne says:

    George – that’s it. Everyone feels sorry for those with cancer, but mental illness is a sign of weakness. That is why so many go untreated and kill themselves.

  65. Hi all

    As Rocky treated us to a match report we are without a post for tomorrow. I’m going to be undergoing some torture at the dentist at 8 in the morning so I’m appealing now for a post please that I can sort this evening.

    Any volunteers ………………..

  66. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Chas,
    Too late Matey, we have already attributed the dropped points on BigRaddy pissing off to a party without his lucky shirt.

  67. RockyLives says:

    Peaches
    Just pressed a button on my iPhone that may have reloaded today’s post or wiped the entire interweb or something. Could you check it’s ok?

  68. chas says:

    Micky,
    He said it was my fault yesterday, BEFORE the game because I wearing a yellow away top.
    If that’s not chucking out negative vibes, nothing is!

  69. Big Raddy says:

    Thankfully this is a football site and the opinions given do not amount to more than a hill of beans.

    Discussing mental health however is an emotive subject which affects many people directly and upon which very few of us are qualified to make judgements. To call a man who is so desperate that he takes his life a coward shows a lack of understanding which I find bewildering and insulting.

    As would all the wonderful people who work with depression and it’s devastating side effects.

  70. RockyLives says:

    Chas
    Having now met you, I don’t think the words ‘Chas’ and ‘negative vibes’ belong in the same sentence.

  71. Big Raddy says:

    TMHT 6.26. Well said. I wish I could have written that comment

  72. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Rocky,
    You want to be careful with those buttons on your phone. After a particularly sensational night with my wife last week that involved much swinging from chandaliers, I sent her a text the following day. Accidently copied to my biggest customer. Yikes!

  73. Big Raddy says:

    Guys. I have taken the responsibility . it was my fault. Mea Culpa,

  74. evonne says:

    Oh Micky!! You cannot tell us that much and not say what was in the message!!

    Raddy – xx

    Rocky – welcome back on the blog :) Yes, Chas is a sweetie, isn’t he?

    Harry – what did you say about draws just before the game last night?

  75. Big Raddy says:

    Micky. Could have been worse – I have a story which is not for the site and which I will tell on our next meeting.

  76. Hi Rocky

    Everything seems to be ok this end, you’d better check you didn’t switch off the oven ………. :lol:

  77. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Evonne,
    Had to laugh hard at the thought of you and Sharkey at Corner Time :-)

  78. MickyDidIt89 says:

    BR,
    You have my email address :-)

  79. MickyDidIt89 says:

    I’m waiting….

  80. It was Rasp’s fault, he’d been talking ‘draw’ all day ……………….

  81. chas says:

    Thanks Rocky and Evonne.

    Micky,
    I wondered what that text was when I received it.
    I’d never heard the term “orgiastic raptures” before.

    Btw, did you see we scored from a corner in midweek?

  82. LB says:

    Well said George.

    Some feel sorry for Gary Speed and some of us feel sorry for the children he has left behind who will painfully grow up without a father.

  83. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Chas,
    I was very busy that particular night, but yes I did.
    And as far as that expression is concerned…
    Nope. Looked it up and I have no idea what you are on about.

  84. TotalArsenal says:

    FGG. well done for being so open about your and your brother’s personal health problems. Glad to hear you looked for help and got out of it.

    Some brilliant comments here today regarding Gary Speed’s apparent suicide. It is great to see so many AA with real social-intelligence. Everything has been said already, but Evonne’s comment @5.42 is pure wisdom.

  85. Rasp says:

    Evening all,
    Hi Rocky. So sorry we missed you yesterday. We were actually standing outside the pub wondering where you all were whilst you were amongst the throng inside and somehow we didn’t see you as you left. I believe I owe you a ‘cheers’ as GiE appeared with an arm full of Peronis provided by you, one of which disappeared down my throat :P

    Peaches is correct, I had been predicting a draw all day as it was so ‘Arsenal’ but was actually really pee’d off with myself when it became reality. Maybe the ‘old Arsenal’ would have lost that game.

    My last word on the subject of depression. Like many of you I have personal experience of its debiltating effects. I guess as evonne says LB is lucky to never have had first hand knowledge as I’m sure he’d revise his view. What he may have said to himself was that he could never envisage a circumstance that would cause him to leave his wonderful children, but that’s because he is of sound mind. If Gary Speed was suffering from depression he would have believed that it was best for everyone that he wasn’t around any more … its just sad.

  86. chas says:

    I feel sorry for both.

  87. LB says:

    A comment GIE made yesterday stayed with me, on his way home he was contemplating what went wrong. I have been asking that question and the answer I came up with is that is was the first time this season that the opposition didn’t think that they could beat us and that is the big change.

    Last season and before most teams were frightened and defended on their 18 yard line and time wasted from the outset; this season and especially after the Old Trafford debacle all the teams we have played have started each game with the idea, in my opinion, that they can beat us and because of which they have come unstuck as they have left space for Walcott and Van Persie to exploit — until yesterday.

    Martin Jol has been round the block and is in fact very respectful of Wenger. The Dutchman set out his team with a view to avoid getting thrashed, they defended deep, I suppose we could say they parked the proverbial bus; it worked, they frustrated us and the mid week effort started to show.
    Teams are now wary of us again, so much so I fear a spat of draws coming our way.

  88. LB says:

    Rasp

    I have looked up at the comments and I cannot see where Evonne says I am lucky to never have experienced depression, although, if she had I would say: what makes her so sure I haven’t?

    There is a gulf of difference between taking depression seriously, which I do, and condoning by why of feeling sorry for someone who takes their life by committing suicide.

    Suicide is selfish; it is especially hurtful to loved ones around and should, in my opinion, be promoted in society as such.

  89. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    LB,

    Very good point, we have conquered our fears, and now other teams fear us. Dont worry about future draws, we have more than enough to break teams down.

  90. Still looking for a volunteer for a small post for tomorrow please …………

  91. Irishgunner says:

    Evening all,

    Very sad to hear about Gary Speed, one of those guys who never seemed to have any enemies in the game. In the space of two months 4 years ago, a woman I knew my whole life (in her 50s) and a friend I grew up with (he was 20 when he died) committed suicide – I believe neither had control of what they were doing. Even though they weren’t mentally unstable, they weren’t thinking straight. No-one can be in the right frame of mind if they are throwing a rope around their neck!

  92. Rasp says:

    No worries LB, it’s not really a topic for this blog. It just so happens we have quite a few on here who have painful first hand knowledge of such matters and if that includes you I apologise, you are of course entitled to your opinion.

  93. evonne says:

    LB – your comments convinced me that you have not suffered from this horrid illness. If you had you would not be saying ‘well said George’. First time I tried to kill myself I was 17. Believe me, there is nothing selfish about the pain in your head.

    Rasp – can we please stop on the subject, it might be too painfull for others too. Calling mentally ill people cowards and selfish bastards is plain awful.

  94. chas says:

    Peaches,
    I’ll probably regret this but I’ll have a go at a small post for tomorrow.

  95. evonne says:

    Raddy and Micky – you cannot just exchange funny emails and leave the rest of us out!!! That’s not how you treat your virtual mates

  96. Gooner In Exile says:

    Well done Chas, knew if i stayed quiet long enough someone else would step up. :D

    Yellow away top…..really who breaks clothing superstitions when they’re working?

  97. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    My last words on the matter. My heart goes out to all of you, who have been affected or suffered by depression in anyway. The fact is, It is an illness, and people will die from It, just like people will die from cancer or any other illness. To say these ill people are “selfish bastards” leaves me angry and upset. I hope none of us ever become “selfish bastards”.

  98. Rasp says:

    I had hoped to put up the league position widget showing us a place higher in 6th but city were really quite poor and pool deserved at least a point.

    Clearly 6th is well within reach by Christmas and 5th a possibility if other results go our way.

  99. Irishgunner says:

    I actually listened to the Citeh vs Liverpool game on the radio while I was on the bus, it sounded very entertaining. Balotelli seemed to do nothing but get sent off :lol:

  100. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Rasp,
    You total doomer :-)
    I expect us to be 4th in a week and third by Christmas!
    Evonne,
    Zilch in my inbox from Raddy :-(

  101. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Strewth Irish, the lad didn’t have time to do anything else. Cut the man some slack!

  102. Irishgunner says:

    :lol: MIDI according to the commentary he had “three touches – all awful”

  103. Gooner In Exile says:

    I think a lot of us felt yesterday’s game had draw written over it all for differing reasons……I actually think the reason most of us never thought of was the change of starting eleven. I really thought Wenger would prioritise the League but wondered if he left Gervinho out to start on Tuesday. We will know on Tuesday I guess. If it was a tiredness thing he showed none of it when coming off the bench and I would have preferred a first half with him flying and take off at half time with job hopefully done.

    Mancini appears to have relieved any stress on us over Na$ri and Clichy, i assume by playing them today they will not be selected on Tuesday.

    Does Balotelli get instant one game ban for double yellow (ie the next game)? I’m never sure how two yellow suspensions work, I guess an appeal would postpone it.

    Love this comment from Mancini regarding Anfields dressing room door.

    “If he’s damaged the dressing room door he pays – just like his house.”

  104. evonne says:

    Balottelli came on for the fat Frenchie, was on for a few minutes, got sent off. There are reports that some doors in the dressing room were damanged :) Fantastic news, any signs of unrest can’t be a bad thing

  105. MickyDidIt89 says:

    GiE,
    Good quote :-)
    Nite all.

  106. Rasp says:

    Haha micky,

    This is the way it’ll go.

    December: we will climb above will be pool = 6th
    January: toon = 5th
    February: spuds = 4th
    March: chavs = 3rd

  107. Rasp says:

    Evonne, I actually like Balotelli’s moody aggression. He’s such a good baddie, I wish he was in our squad.

  108. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Cornwall, your a good man. I promise, when i perfect my time and dimensional shifting machine i will take you on a tour.

    GIE, ha ha, cant help but like the City manager, hes got a good surname to.

  109. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    Just looking back at a Rasp comment earlier @ 11:45.
    Not a dig , but why shouldn`t we be able to buy someone like Goetze for £30m ?. Aparrantly we have money, even if we dont sell some of the less desirables. City have about ten £20m+ players, the Spuds have spent £323m net on players over the last decade, we`ve made profit in the same time. Would It really bankrupt us, to just once spend £30m+ on a “super quality ” player, dont us fans deserve it, after the money our rivals have splashed out over the last few years !. Arsene put the cheque in the post !.

  110. Wow …… a chas post ………. looking forward to that :)

  111. Rasp says:

    Hi glic, what makes you say “apparently we have the money”?

    I’d bet my bottom dollar we’d want to be sure of being in the CL next season, hopefully have got Robin to sign an extension on £120k a week or more and also sold quite a few players before we double our club record and offer £30m for Goetze

  112. dandan says:

    You have a post if you want it

  113. Fatgingergooner says:

    LB,

    I would never chastise you for putting across your point of view, but I have to say that I disagree entirely with your comments regarding Gary Speed.

    For a man to take to make the decision that the only way out to improve his life is to kill himself, must either be unwell, or at a low ebb that is impossible for others to comprehend. Either way, it really is impossible for others to judge.

    My thoughts and prayers go to Gary’s family, as they must be going through hell. It’s just a shame that no one could help Gary through his,

  114. evonne says:

    Rasp – no, no, no, NO. He really is a trouble maker. Plus, any man that can have such elaborate hair cut is too vain for my liking. Rory Delap and James McFadden with proper haircuts are the real men :) Chas, I don’t need to see their pictures, I know what they look like, lovely :) Night all

  115. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    Hi Terry,
    You still haven`t answered my question the other day, how will we be able to pay as good or better wages as City/Chavs in 5/6 years time ?.
    Is It money from your Gordon Brown bet ?. Funny thing is , I was reading The Sun the other day (I found it laying around in a chip shop, honerst ) and David Icke was in it , saying the World was being run by Alien Reptiles (Blair, the Queen etc ), I thought of you straight away !. :)

  116. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    Hi Rasp,
    I think I heard David Icke say It, or was It on Talksport ? :)

  117. Fatgingergooner says:

    Apologies for bringing the subject back up again.

    As for ydays game, Fulham are a much better side than the table suggests. I’m not sure they came for the draw, afterall, they started with Ruiz, Dempsey, Dembele and Zamora. Arshavin basically made the the game 11v10 which didn’t help. We created a few chances and had Gervinho started we would have won comfortably.

    Personally, I would have started Yossi n Diaby but I suppose the CC is a good time as any to rest players.

    I think selling is gunna be the key to any signings in January. I think Goetze is beyond our budget, but if AA leaves then maybe we will get someone in.

  118. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Ime afraid Rasp is spot on Cornwall. I know its frustrating, and looks at times we have Frazer from dads army in charge.

    We can afford to splash £30m if we use our cash reserves,but this is risky. We certainly cant do it from our profits. Must point out that Spurs wage bill is £50m a year less than ours. If they finnish above us you could say weve under acheived….but they wont.

  119. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Cornwall, Ikes a mug, he cant say that about the Queen, hes right about Blair though.

    Going to try and explain the 6 year thing in an article.

  120. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    Sorry If I`ve got this wrong, but I thought we had £50+M in the last window to spend, before we sold Cesc and Na$ri !.

  121. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    Good Terry, I look forward to reading It .

  122. Rasp says:

    glic,

    I think the sums of money that have been suggested as available over the last 5 years have been a smokescreen. When have we ever spent the money that is said to be available?

    As we all know, the cost of a player comprises his purchase price, his wages over the period of his contract and the + or – of his resale value so £50 may only get you one £30m player for 4 years and many would suggest that buying 2 or 3 players for that amount would be a wiser investment. The £50m for Torres and another £20+ m in wages doesn’t look like the such a good investment at the moment.

  123. Fatgingergooner says:

    If we bid 30m for Goetze, someone else will bid 35m. The budget we have is irrelevant. There are only so many young, talented players to choose from our there and unfortunately we have to wait for the bigger clubs to choose their’s before we can feed off what’s left. Luckily, we have one of the best managers in the world at spotting the talent that the bigger clubs don’t care about.

  124. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    FGG,

    I agree, but please use the term ‘richer club’ as opposed to ‘bigger club’, no clubs bigger than Arsenal.

  125. Rasp says:

    I agree with most of that FGG, but a club can’t sell a player to another club if the player doesn’t want to go there. Remember the ridiculous £100m that city offered for Kaka, they eventually sold him for much less.

    I don’t think we’ll get Goetze but he has said he’d like to play for us or Real, so there may be a small chance. I know Gazidis has underplayed it, but CL participation is very important in attracting top players to any club.

  126. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    Fair enough Rasp and FGG, I`ll just have to settle for the purchase of Jack Wilshere in January, I`ve heard he`s a great young talent !.

  127. Irishgunner says:

    Apparently Bruce has been fired by Sunderland but won’t be announced until tomorrow

  128. Fatgingergooner says:

    That’s fair Rasp.

    I couldn’t see him going to PSG or Malaga, although Eto’o did end up at Anzhi aged 31! But I see your point.

    When I said bigger club I meant financially!

    We will just have to see if injuries force AW’s hand, although I would rather see everyone fit and us sign nobody.

  129. Irishgunner says:

    Or maybe it has been announced :lol:

  130. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Irish, they get rid of all there strikers and Bruce carries the can.

  131. Rasp says:

    :lol: Irish, the bookies have stopped taking bets on it. I bet Darren Bent is having a sly smile.

  132. SharkeySure says:

    Cracking write up (in an airport lounge.?? Lol)

    Great early comment from TA, and I can second those points about GiE being ‘half German’ (born in Dortmund I hear).

    And yes Evonne is hilarious..and a real joy to be around.

    Great to meet you too TA, Harry and his two boys Luke and ‘Rhys’..lol.. Cheers to Holly for the ticket.

    Chas/Chozzer …(nowt to say here – other than – still stunned that I never made the connection. !!) Trolololoololololololo…….

    Rasp, and RHWP…meeting you two is a bit old hat now. Not the one London ate, an even older one.

    On reflection I should have started this comment with…. ‘I firstly want to to give thanks to God’….in the style of an acceptance speech.

    Night all

  133. SharkeySure says:

    Popped back for a correction of GLIC’s last post….

    “I`ll just have to settle for the purchase of Jack Wilshere in January, I`ve heard he`s an ‘award winning’ young talent !.”

  134. Gooner In Exile says:

    Sash remember in the transfer window when people were holding a comparison between Bruce and Wenger and saying how great Bruce was because he got all his business done early etc etc. he spent a lot of money in the summer, and to no avail the news is unsurprising.

  135. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    Cant argue with that Shark Attack. :)

  136. Fatgingergooner says:

    Bruce deserves the sack, Sunderland did me out of £112 yday! If that’s not a sackable offence then I don’t know what is :-)

  137. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    Going to watch my Sky plussed “Walking Dead”. or I could save some time and look at the real thing ,my Mother-in-Law.

  138. Irishgunner says:

    Not surprised at all that Bruce is going – the board backed him heavily and he can’t seem to pull anything out of the bag.

  139. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Sunderland lost key players recently, leaving Bruce to carry the can. Bent, Asamoah, Henderson. etc

  140. chas says:

    I’ve just sent a “post” to Arsenal nuts.
    Sorry it’s late and hope it’s acceptable.

  141. Irishgunner says:

    Not sure how true it is, but apparently The Sun were to run a story on Gary Speed tomorrow, and they are still going to do it. All Twitter based speculation but it has been right before on other matters.

  142. chas says:

    My god, Irish, if that’s true, they’ve just plumbed new depths.

  143. Irishgunner says:

    I really hope its not true.

    When does the first look at the papers come out? Don’t Sky normally have the front pages in the night before?

  144. chas says:

    Sharkey,
    What was it like when Kanu jumped over your head?

  145. Irishgunner says:

    http://news.sky.com/home/uk-news/media-gallery/16118859

    Nothing bad on the front page at least.

  146. Irishgunner says:

    Chas – Maybe it was all hot air, its just when one hears The Sun the mind tends to verge on the negative.

  147. Irishgunner says:

    I got the match programme last Wednesday and in it they had a part asking about people’s favourite celebrations and Kanu jumping ovr Wiltord was one of them.

    I think the look on Adams’ face after that goal against Everton was one of my favourites.

  148. chas says:

    Hopefully hot air, Irish.
    ‘Night.

  149. chas says:

    Have you met Sharkey, Irish?
    He’s a right doppelganger for Sylvain, but better looking and younger!

  150. Irishgunner says:

    Last post on it – It was The Telegraph that ran a story saying

    “There was also suggestion that Speed, a former Leeds, Everton, Newcastle United and Bolton Wanderers player, had recently learned that a tabloid newspaper was to print a story about his private life. The Sun newspaper denied online accusations.
    A message on the paper’s official Twitter account read: “No truth in this story. The Sun was not investigating Gary Speed in any way.” ”

    And APPARENTLY they had set him up (much as in the way Fergie Duchess of York, John Terry and taking money to view Stamford Bridge etc., were set up) and were going to out him as gay.

    Just to flesh out the story I saw. I will leave it at that and just say I hoped its untrue.

    Night all.

  151. Irishgunner says:

    :lol: Chas, No I’ve not had a pleasure yet, but you’re not the first to have said that. One day Sharkey, one day ;)

  152. TotalArsenal says:

    Some interesting facts to give some more consideration:

    Of the 12 teams that won their CL games during the week, only 5 were able to win their domestic league games this weekend. Barca, Bayern, Olympiacos, Plzen lost and Bayern Leverkusen, Arsenal and Napoli drew. Porto, Valencia, Lille, Real, and Basel won their domestic games.

    Yet of the top-European Leagues, those teams that lost or drew their CL games all but one (MU) won their domestic home games: Milan, Dortmund, Chelsea, Marseille, Lyon, Ajax, Benfica, Inter (Villareal play tomorrow).

    On the basis of this CL round (further study is required): if you win your CL game there is more than 50% chance you will not win your subsequent domestic game, yet if you do not win your CL game, you have a more than 80% chance to win your subsequent domestic game. Some mighty psychological processes going on there!!

  153. TotalArsenal says:

    Correction (ignore my last comment):

    Some interesting facts to give some more consideration:

    Of the 12 teams that won their CL games during the week, only 5 were able to win their domestic league games this weekend. Barca, Bayern, Olympiacos, Plzen lost and Bayern Leverkusen, Arsenal and Napoli drew. Porto, Valencia, Lille, Real, and Basel won their domestic games.

    Yet of the top-European Leagues, those teams that lost or drew their CL games all but two (MU/MC) won their domestic league games: Milan, Dortmund, Chelsea, Marseille, Lyon, Ajax, Benfica, Inter (Villareal play tomorrow).

    On the basis of this CL round (further study is required): if you win your CL game there is more than 50% chance you will not win your subsequent domestic game, yet if you do not win your CL game, there is an 80% chance you will win your subsequent domestic game. Some mighty psychological processes going on there!!

  154. LB says:

    Morning Rasp

    Just picking up on your Kaka comment: there is no doubt in my mind that the 100 mil offered by City was no more than a publicity stunt, an attempt to elevate their status in the football world; kaka was never going to go there but it suited their purposes and he and his father played along as it helped increase the fee that Real paid for him in the end.

  155. Big Raddy says:

    I have a confession to make….. I am starting to enjoy watching an opposition player.

    Mario Balotelli is just great. He has talent, he is an entertainer, he is nuts and he has the most wonderful smile.

    Don’t want him at THOF but am so pleased he plays in the PL

  156. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Morning all,
    Suppose we were lying 6th and six points behind the 4th placed team come Jan 1, would this alter AW’s/The Board’s transfer policy in contrast to lying 4th with Jack and Sagna about to return?

  157. LB says:

    Goetze

    Why do people think there is a possibility of this happening? I think I am correct in saying that the German plays the old Cesc role. If that is the case and he were to join the club then Ramsey would be expected to spend the best part of the season on the bench — that just ain’t going to happen. There is also Diaby to consider, he is also vying for that position which makes it even more unlikely that Goetze is a realistic target. I know this is the old bench warming chestnut but put yourself in Wenger’s shoes of having to keep the squad happy.

    That said, I am not betting anything on it this time.

  158. LB says:

    That sounds like Santos to me BR

  159. MickyDidIt89 says:

    LB,
    Got to your line 4 and the word bench. Guess what, the word Chestnut had made it at top speed to the tip of my tongue :-)

  160. MickyDidIt89 says:

    LB,
    On a serious note, because Gotze would add a different dimension to our game. He can do the defence unlocking stuff in just the scenario you described yesterday. Bus Parking and all that.

  161. Big Raddy says:

    LB. I agree and have asked on more than one occasion where would Goetze play?

    We have more than enough players for a rotation policy. When JW returns AW will have the problem of fitting him into a settled midfield that appears to function very well. Who will get dropped for JW let alone Goetze?

  162. Big Raddy says:

    Micky. So …. we sign the German, drop Ramsey and Arteta? Or is it Theo who is dropped and we play 4-4-2?

  163. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Simply put, our first choice three midfield for the next few years will be Song, Jack and Ramsey. Absolutely no problem adding a fourth with the inevitable injuries and fatigue.

  164. Big Raddy says:

    Right work beckons and I will ponder upon this

  165. LB says:

    Micky

    In an ideal world I would love to see him at THOF as much as the next Arsenal supporter.

    I wrote “the old bench warming chestnut” with you in mind ;)

  166. MickyDidIt89 says:

    LB,
    You have said yourself that you would have Cesc back in a heartbeat. How do you square that in terms of Gotze and Chestnuts?

  167. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Seeing as we are angling towards the who and where’s of the transfer window, clearly another goalscoring source is the priority and I like the idea of a player who can operate anywhere across the front. However, maybe an AM like Gotze would give us more goals from the middle while also providing more assists for our existing front boys.

  168. I’d hate to have cesc back.

  169. evonne says:

    GM – now don’t be like that! Cesc is a great player and we love him. I resent him for leaving, but would be delighted to have the blue stripes removed from his shirt

  170. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Hi GM,
    Now tell us what you think of Mancs :-)

  171. Gooner In Exile says:

    Whilst Goetze plays the Cesc role currently I believe there is more to him than that.

    Clearly at the moment squad strength is causing us a few problems. Yes we have experience to bring on with 15minutes to go but apart from Carling Cup and the away game at Olympiakos do you think Yossi, Rosicky etc will be trusted with starting line up duties.

    We arguably need players for every position who can be trusted to start and do a job.

    Strangely we now look most set for that in defence.

    Gk: Sz/Fab
    RB: Jenk/Sagna/Djourou
    CB: Merts/Kozzer/Verm/Djourou/Miquel
    LB: Santos/Gibbs/Verm/Miquel

    Midfield again more varied with a lot of players but a lot of different ability levels:

    DM: Song/LeCoq/Frimpong
    DM/FetcherCarrier: Arteta/Wilshere/LeCoq/TR7
    AM/BoxtoBox: Ramsey/Wilshere//Diaby/Ox/TR7

    Wide players, this is where we are screaming for extra,

    Wingers: Theo/Gerv/AA23/TR7/Yossi/Myiachi

    The problem here is as soon as you take the pace of either Theo or Gerv from wide areas we start to look a bit pedestrian. Also on Saturday not once did AA23 and Theo swap wings.

    CF: RvP/Park/Cham

    I think this is about the best you can hope for when having someone as good as RvP in the squad and Captain.

    The new Arsenal doesn’t really need a Cesc role, hence why the arguments about AA23 wanting to play in the whole being fruitless. Unless we go back to 4-4-1-1 (Bergkamp days) we are not going to see it used very often. We don’t actually have the players to play 4-4-1-1 anymore either. The centre midfield would have to be Arteta/Song so you would end up with the same result of Ramsey and Wilshere on the bench. Left midfield Gervinho could be ok but I don’t think Theo could play the right midfield role. Then you have AA23 in the hole but in reality he is not close to Bergkamp in vision or being able to hold the ball up. So RvP would end up very isolated.

  172. LB says:

    Micky

    Having Cesc back is romantic nonsense, never going to happen but I still have a soft spot for him.

  173. LB says:

    So that is a no to Goetze arriving in the near future GIE.

  174. Gooner In Exile says:

    Pretty much LB unless he has blistering pace and can play on the wing.

  175. Morning all

    There’s a New Post ………………

  176. evonne says:

    GiE – “we start to look a bit pedestrian” :) And there is me thinking we are being patient

  177. siphiwe says:

    I’m also put a blame on Arsene Wenger for not starting Gervino, and that its cost us 3 points.

  178. Surefire says:

    Surefire…

    [...]Not The End of the World, But The End For Arshavin? (plus Player Ratings) « Arsenal Arsenal[...]…

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