Totts 3 – Arsenal 9

Well, it makes a nice headline, but don’t get too excited about it.

This is one score line that we would much rather be on the other side of – and it goes a long way to explaining the relative fortunes of the two North London clubs this year.

It’s the score in long term injuries to important players. Tottenham have suffered three such blows this season so far. Arsenal have suffered nine.

The three Tiny Totts affected are Gallas, Dawson and Sandro*.

The mighty horde of Arsenal’s non-walking wounded comprises Wilshire, Vermaelen, Diaby, Santos, Gibbs, Jenkinson, Sagna, Mertesacker and Djourou.

Bear in mind that by ‘long term injury’ I do not mean three weeks out for a hamstring, or missing a few games with some knock or other. A long term injury is one that keeps a player out of action for a month or more. Sadly, in our case, it’s usually more.

Let’s examine the impact on the two clubs by looking at their five most important players.

I’m sure many of you will want to quibble with my selections for each club’s five crucial individuals, which is fine, but I’m writing this so it’s my opinion you’re getting. Feel free to add your own suggestions in the comments. I have not included goalkeepers.

Arsenal’s Top Five: Van Persie, Wilshere, Vermaelen, Sagna, Arteta.

The Spudders’ Top Five: Bale, Adebayor, Modric, Van der Vaart, Dawson.

Added together, the total number of EPL appearances for Arsenal’s five is 67. For the Spuds’ top five it’s 85. That’s a significant difference.

If you hone it down even more, to the three most influential players on each team, the tally is: Spuds (Bale, Modric, Adebayor): 60 appearances; Arsenal (Van Persie, Wilshire, Sagna): 32.

In others words, the shabby shower from Riot Central have been able to field their very best players twice as often as we have.

If the statistics had been reversed (and Bale had been out for the entire season so far while little Jack had played every game) I suspect the league table would be looking very different and the Spuds would be outside the top four.

They are obviously a much better outfit this year than they have been for a long time. They have always had he ability to play good football at times, but this season they have finally added some consistency, but partly this is down to the exceptional good luck they have had with long term injuries to their best players.

Many of us hoped that the injury curse that has dogged us for years would finally ease up in the coming weeks, with the return of some fullbacks and even the possibility of a Wilshire reappearance on the horizon.

But the freak injury to Mertesacker on a pitch that looked as if it had just hosted the Horse of the Year Show soon disabused us of any optimism.

The BFG had slowly (particularly slowly on the turn) established himself as a key element of our defence – as his absence away in the San Siro helped demonstrate. For my money he is an automatic starter with one of Koscielny and Vermaelen alongside him, but now we probably won’t seem him in an Arsenal shirt until next season.

The injuries have all come in different ways so it doesn’t seem as if any blame can be laid at the feet of the club’s medical staff.

In any case, ever since the club invited journalists and bloggers to view its new medical facilities (in a move with more than a hint of “come to North Korea and see our happy smiling famers” about it) the sting seems to have been drawn from that particular issue. A rare example of a PR initiative by the club actually achieving its desired effect.

But the loss of so many key players for months at a time (including the loss of an entire speciality – full backs – for weeks and weeks) has clearly had a big impact on our ability to get a consistent run of form going.

There is an argument that our reinforcements are not up to it, but not many clubs have someone of the quality of Wilshire sitting in the stiffs, or third choice full backs who can come in and do a job at the highest level.

For me it is one of the biggest factors in the way we have functioned this season and I can’t blame anyone except that evil old hag, Lady Luck.

The club may have made a mess of its summer transfer business, and there is a very strong case for saying we could have done more in January, especially to ease the full back crisis, but no club could have suffered the extent of injuries that we have and still have achieved consistently good results.

RockyLives

* Apologies if I have missed any – I had limited research time. But I believe the overall point is valid. Certainly when you focus on the very best players for each club it is unarguable.

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149 Responses to Totts 3 – Arsenal 9

  1. Red Arse says:

    Sheesh, what a classy but totally different type of Post from the Grand Master!

    What is inarguable, is that whatever subject matter you turn your hand to, Rocky, it is brilliant, and your easy writing style belies the amount of time and attention you have clearly put into this work.

    If your word play was to be described as an artistic genre, it would have to be a classical rococo style!

    I am currently on my knees, facing West, and bowing towards you with extended arms, while you are recumbent, deep in Canadian slumberland.

    I am also trying to keep an eye on the whereabouts of the Glic monster, and it is giving me a crick in my neck!! :-)

  2. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Barum,
    Before I read the post, can I reply to your comment. I know Big Raddy is a fan of AVB, but as for me, I think he comes across as a nice bloke but whether he is good enough for us I dont know. I certainly didn’t think Arsene was good enough when he became Manager :-)
    As for AW moving upstairs when the time comes, I really do think it would be a massive mistake as there would be too much pressure on the new man who would rightly want to make his own mark on the club.

  3. oz gunner says:

    great post rocky. I thought it was headed for the typical ‘when mixed how many from each team would start.’ It just goes to show that we have done it tough and are hanging in their, you give 9 big injuries to the other top teams in the world, and there is absolutely NO way they could hang in there as well as we do. Yes man city have depth but you take out kompany, hart, and silva and they are not a force that they’d like you to think.

    As said by the great sharkespeare:

    ‘another top post (auto-paste)’

  4. James says:

    Good post. Have to give credit to Tottenham, they’re playing well this season and deserve to be where they are, but I don’t agree they have a superior squad. If they had suffered as many injuries as us this season, i’d be amazed if they occupied a place in the Top 4.

    All Redknapp’s mates are giving their combined XI’s with some concluding Van Persie is the only Arsenal player that should be included based on form (overlooking Koscielny and Song, and amusingly Henry Winter includes Dawson), might be best to point out that 9 or 10 first teamers have been absent long term.

    That’s not to say everything is rosy and significant changes don’t need to be made, but the injury crisis’ we have almost every season would hurt any team.

  5. Great post RL thank you.
    Morning all,
    Our injury record over the past few years has been appalling, leading many to debate as to the cause, be it medical staff, training methods or the part artificial turf that we use for emirates and the training pitches.
    Or are we just unlucky? Well we certainly have been unlucky with regard to fullbacks this season and the stand in utility fullbacks too. That is obviously the main reason we have struggled this season, but hey – we are still in fourth with everything to fight for.
    I was once of the mind of cutting our losses with injury prone players (Gibbs, Rosicky, Diaby), but then again i wonder where we would be without RVP this season? who i would have got shot of a couple of seasons ago.

  6. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Done it again Rocky. Thanks.
    The staggering thing for me is that I would only say about 50% of our poor results were down to injuries. Most of the rest would be not replacing Cesc and poor tactics.
    In other words, we are not far away.

  7. slimgingergooner says:

    GN5,

    Can I just point out what a good post that was yday. I was quite gutted after the Sunderland game and felt that a late season collapse was imminent. But having now looked at the remaining fixtures you put up yday it has given me a renewed hope.

    Looking at the stats, I am quite confident that 4th is definately achievable. I think just 8 wins and a draw would secure it based on what the others are doing at the moment.

    Sometimes emotions can get in the way of rationality, and I think your post has brought me back to where I need to be. Cheers!

  8. barumgooner says:

    Micky, You are probably right, be hard for Arsene to take a back seat.

  9. barumgooner says:

    Excellent post Rocky, It is such a shame we can never seem to have our first choice team available for long periods.

  10. slimgingergooner says:

    Rocky, brilliant post.

    Only one very picky thing to point out, and I apologise in advance, you said that Spurs have been lucky with injuries this season, but I don’t agree. Spurs injury record should be the norm for most clubs, it is us who have been very very unlucky. It shouldn’t be forgotten just what an awful injury record we have this season and saying that Spurs are lucky takes away from that IMO.

    Like I said, very picky!!!!

  11. oz gunner says:

    @ super

    cheers for the videos, much appreciated

  12. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Tommy,
    I love your honest comment about Robin.
    I too would have got shot of him as well. Oh and Kosser :-(
    Now I think back to the start of the season, I remember thinking, and maybe commenting that if we still need to play Rosicky, we’re buggered. Now I think its nuts to start with anyone else as AM.
    Football eh, pah, what do I ko?

  13. slimgingergooner says:

    Micky,

    Dont beat yourself up.

    There are no facts or experts in football, just opinions and fans!

  14. oz gunner says:

    @ Tommy and Micky

    i agree. When liverpool signed torres i was livid thinking we lost out and were instead left with an injury prone striker in RVP. Oh how i was wrong!

  15. Thanks Micky, its mad isn’t it.
    People just don’t know what its like to be a gooner.

  16. Gooner In Exile says:

    Tommy I think the cause of our injuries could be pitch related more than impact related.

    How many have occurred at home matches or on the training ground? Whereas how many have occurred on quagmires away from home. Take BFG at Sunderland, Coq at Sunderland (altho a strain heavy pitches will create greater pull on the muscles if they are not attuned to it).

    Rocky great post, I don’t think many have sympathy for our injury problems as too many will put it down as again failure to prepare for the inevitable.

  17. slimgingergooner says:

    I think we all love a good transfer rumour,I know as a kid I loved reading the back pages and seeing the likes of Overmars, Suker, Kanu and Henry holding up their new numbers. Brilliant!

    I would take Torres in a heartbeat. A change of scenery and he will be one of the worlds best again.

    Just some food for thought. At the beginning of the season, pundits, too numerous to name, said that if Wenger got Arsenal into top 4 then it would be his biggest achievement at this club. That was BEFORE the ridiculous injury list we have seen in Rockys post. Interesting then that he is still getting battered pillar to post.

    There’s nothing I want to see more than Wenger holding up the PL trophy with a fat French, smug grin on his face!!!!

  18. slimgingergooner says:

    One other thing, how much of a lift would RVP signing a new deal give this clubland it’s fans right now. With AA gone its time to get the chequebook out!!!!

    I can dream!

  19. dandan says:

    Great post rocky Thank you
    I have been genuinely amazed that so many disaffected fans this season have not apparently factored our injury list into their thinking, when considering the team’s performance. On top of the loss of Fab and Nasri it is IMHO not in the least surprising that we have struggled and is therefore the major reason that I have consistently advanced the view that failure to qualify for the CL would not be the worlds end that many seem to believe.
    Rocky’s well-made points and stats underline this, as no club could have withstood the punishment the squad has taken without being cruelly affected. Hopefully we are coming out of our problems now with the imminent return of many to the squad, although the loss of our German Giant is a pain.
    Tomorrow’s game will tell us much I feel as will the return of Diaby in the near future, the injuries that boy has come back from show a character and determination that can only be an asset to a team a little short of that in certain areas.
    For those of you who love the CL this Clarence Seedorf interview may be of interest.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/chrisbevan/2012/02/seedorf_predicts_the_shape_of.html#more

  20. slimgingergooner says:

    Has anyone had news of the lads who went off injured at Sunderland?

    Was it Coq, Squid and Ramsey? Are they fit for tomorrow?

  21. oz gunner says:

    ramsey- ankle strain
    squid- groin
    coq- hammy

    all unavailable

    gibbs and koz test

  22. allezkev says:

    What a very very good post, really puts everything into perspective.

    Agree totally on Mertesaker, his anticipation and intelligent interceptions are not as eye-catching as a crunching Winterburn style challenge, but are equally effective.

    We could certainly do with him tomorrow.

    Not heard/read anything positive re: Coq, Aaron & SS and recovering from injury.

  23. slimgingergooner says:

    Cheers Oz/Kev,

    I still think a starting XI of

    Szscesny
    Sagna
    Kozzer (hopefully)
    Vermaelen
    Gibbs (hopefully)
    Song
    Arteta
    Rosicky
    Ox/Theo
    Gerv
    RvP

    Is more than capable of winning IF we play well. Anything less than a good performance and we will lose.

  24. Red Arse says:

    A cousin e-mailed me last week with the following. He is a really nice guy, but………………..well read it for yourselves!

    “You alreadt know that as a bagpiper, I play many gigs. Recently I was asked by a funeral director to play at a graveside service for a homeless man. He had no family or friends, so the service was to be at a pauper’s cemetery in the Kentucky back country.

    As I was not familiar with the backwoods, I got lost and, being a typical male, I didn’t stop for directions. I finally arrived… an hour late and saw the funeral guy had evidently gone, and the hearse was nowhere in sight. There were only the diggers and crew left and they were eating lunch. I felt badly and apologized to the men for being late.

    I went to the side of the grave and looked down and the vault lid was already in place.
    I didn’t know what else to do, so I started to play. The workers put down their lunches and began to gather around the grave. I played out my heart and soul for this man with no family and friends. I played like I’ve never played before for this poor homeless man.
    And as I played ‘Amazing Grace,’ the workers began to weep.
    They wept, I wept, and we all wept together.

    When I had finished I packed up my bagpipes and started for my car. And although my head hung low, my heart was full.
    As I opened the door to my car, I heard one of the workers say; “I’ve never seen nothin’ like that before and I’ve been putting in septic tanks for twenty years.”

    Apparently I’m still lost.

    It’s a man thing.”

    Told you – he is a really nice guy, but…………………… :-)

  25. Gooner In Exile says:

    SGG I think you are right that side could do a job, but we need to do two things that have been missing in the last two games.

    Attacking purpose
    Defensive solidity

    And for both of those purposes we need Arteta and Song to do their jobs. And I will keep coming back to the fact that we should not be pushing our full backs on as much as we like to.

  26. Gooner In Exile says:

    Right I am off for a day on the piss, watch the rugger and have a curry all in the cause of welcoming a new baby into this mad world, lucky for her her Dads has no real interest in football and his children will not suffer like we all have to.. :D

  27. allezkev says:

    SGG, that is the team i would pick. Tbh, it’s the strongest that’s available and kinda picks itself.
    Wenger has very few options on the bench also.

    It’s gonna be a fraught afternoon methinks.
    But i’m optimistic….

  28. oz gunner says:

    haha cracker RA, i love bagpipes, could never get tired of them. On the musical front does anyone here play the harmonica? I’ve wanted to learn it for years, just want to know how easy it is to learn and what not?!

    @ Slim

    good team, personally id go with ox, because:

    1) walcott needs to pull his finger out so perhaps another benching might open his eyes a little.
    2) assou ekotto has had walcotts number quite a few times now so the ox will bring a new challenge to the table.

  29. oz gunner says:

    If kozza doesn’t pass the test we are stuck with djourou. A shame really because if we paid a few quid more for alonso or didn’t loan out frimpong we could play song at CB to pocket ade again

  30. Red Arse says:

    I agree with the team too, SGG, but like Oz I would go with the Ox.

  31. Gooner In Exile says:

    Oz you pulled me back in.

    If Arsene felt JD wasnt right maybe he will play Song there anyway and shock Spuds by playing a midfield of Arteta, Oyzakup and Rosicky :)

  32. Gooner In Exile says:

    Oz don’t you just blow through it? The thing not to try and learn by all accounts is a chromatic harmonica.

  33. oz gunner says:

    I wish GiE, i love it when Arsene does that, e.g song vs manu (when he started at CB a few seasons back), szcz vs manu, coquelin vs manu.

    Enjoy your day. thank you for the info.
    I’d like to do this when i’m into retirement. Playing the blues on my veranda after an arsenal loss

  34. RockyLives says:

    Morning (afternoon) all.

    Well, the Arshavin debate last night was bracing. Don’t worry, I’m not going to start it up again now :)

    I’m excited about tomorrow. We definitely have it in us to beat the Spuds. A lot will depend on our work rate when we don’t have the ball (Lee Dixon on Arseblog’s podcast yesterday made some very interesting comments about how we often suffer from not being well organised when not in possession).

    When we have played a pressing game against good opposition (Chavs at home last year; Barca) it has been effective. It’s just a bit baffling that we don’t do it more often.

    I would start with Theo and I expect him to have a blinder.

    Redders
    Thankyou for your ridiculously OTT kind words. Rococo indeed. I think, on balance, there’s a lot to be said for GM’s pin sharp minimalism.

  35. chas says:

    Great stuff, Rocky.

    I knew there had to be a reason why they’ve managed to spawn their way above us in the table.
    Riot Central. :)

    Their fans will be dragging their knuckles down the Seven Sisters Road full of confidence. Let’s hope we can send them home with their tail feathers between their legs.

  36. evonne says:

    Hello Rocky
    Great post and a very valid point. I don’t like using injuries as an excuse for poor season, but our defence has been decimated and it is no longer a mere excuse, it’s a fact. We are defenceless.

    I haven’t other comments, so I apologise if I am repeating the obvious, but in my opinion you cannot have a successful season without solid defence. George Graham had many faults, but his defensive force was formidable.
    Why have we had so many injuries this season and last season? I don’t believe in coincidences, there is usually an underlying reason, but I am not going to speculate what it might be, coz I don’t know.

    I cannot believe you Rocky and others are EXCITED about tomorrow!! Is it just poor choice of words? Are any of you worried, or scared?

    GM’s pin sharp minimalism, how true, he doesn’t feck about, does he :)

  37. evonne says:

    Chas – I checked, bears don’t shit in Trent, defo

  38. RockyLives says:

    Hello Evonne :)
    I really am excited.

    I think it’s because, unusually, we are the underpugs.

    The Spuds are flying, we’re coming off the back of two bad results – everything is perfectly set up for us to cause an upset and put them back in their box. We are often at our best when we are least fancied to succeed.

    As General Foch said at the First Battle of the Marne: “My centre is giving way, my right is retreating… situation excellent, I shall attack”. And he Foching did, too.

    Also we tend to raise our game against “good” teams (perhaps because they don’t park the bus against us).

  39. oz gunner says:

    pfft scared…Evonne we are men!

    @ Rocky

    it is beyond me why we haven’t done it since the Barca game. Workrate?laziness?Arsene doesn’t like it (how could you not)?
    If i had one question for Arsene it would be ‘where the Feck is our pressing game?’

    If we implemented that along with fewer injuries we would be champions, simple as that!

  40. evonne says:

    ONLY on days like tomorrow I wish I was a man, a brave man. Thank God there are less than 10 such occassions in a year :)

    Rocky – I love the General Foch’s bravado, must read more about him, good chap!

    You are right of course, open game, chasing game and undelying tension suits us fine, they seem to raise the occassion. Lets hope that’s the case tomorrow.

    Underpugs :) Pugs are tiny, but have HUGE heart and characters

    Oz – I’ll pfffff you in a minute! We’ll see how brave you are tomorrow!

  41. Red Arse says:

    Hi Rocky, :-)

    I have often waxed eloquent at the sheer quality of the Posts on AA, and I do not think it is difficult to equate that happy state of affairs with your setting the benchmark with your excellent Posts. :-)

    Other sites do occasionally produce some good stuff, but that is usually the product of one or two dedicated authors, which eventually induces a certain sameyness to their Posts.

    About time that antipodean Uni boy — whats his name? — oh, yes, Oz, — contributed another New World Post for our delectation and delight!! :-)

  42. oz gunner says:

    we will Evonne! i’ll be sitting there on the couch in my war paint, chest puffed out like a pigeon, full of piss and vinegar. if we lose (not gonna happen!) i’ll be under my ‘duvet’ sulking more than the spurs kid when we kicked them out of the carling cup last season!

  43. evonne says:

    Rocky – look what I found about Gen Foch: ‘Foch was made a British Field Marshal in 1919,[11] and, for his advice during the Polish-Bolshevik War of 1920, as well as his pressure on Germany during the Great Poland Uprising, he was awarded with the title of Marshal of Poland in 1923′ He really was a geezer!

  44. RockyLives says:

    Redders
    Quite right about that young chap from Down Under. Never mind pointing fingers at his elders, he should get his own finger out and get writing.

    Tut tut, youth of today.

  45. RockyLives says:

    Evonne
    And he kept pugs.

  46. oz gunner says:

    couldn’t find the kid crying but this will do. Came out a few months ago, bloody hilarious

  47. evonne says:

    Oz – there are times that duvet diving is the only option. Tomorrow is NOT going to be such occassion, no no no, please no

    I am probably repeating myself but I am glad that the fellow across the road died last year. He was a huge Spurs supporter and he knocked on my door once to gloat about them winning the North London Derby, ignorant old fart. I wouldn’t want him adding to my worries again

  48. evonne says:

    Rocky – go away! Did he really??

  49. evonne says:

    Oz – brilliant! I am like that fat Mexican boy punching the wall

  50. Red Arse says:

    Evonne,

    Marshall Foch, altho’ a hero during WW1, was responsible for very many hundreds of thousands of deaths during the first world war.

    He believed that young soldiers lives were expendable when it was necessary to achieve a tactical advance — provided it was not his. Cynical? Moi?

    Actually, it was not his wish for that to happen because he did counsel caution to his General Staff during military offenses, but he surrounded himself with rubbish subordinates who did their best to waste the lives of French soldiers.

    Oddly enough, he was very influenced by a German (Prussian) General born 100 years earlier (cannot remember his name) who I think first said that no matter how well planned a campaign, if something can go wrong, it will go wrong once the first shot is fired.

    Sorry, to bore you, but Rocky’s Fochian quote got me dredging up bits and pieces from the depths of my memory! Apologies! :-)

  51. oz gunner says:

    haha hey normally i’d say wishing someone dead is a bit rough but an annoying fan from our rivals…sounds fair! I wish he was still around so you could get some payback.

    The two brothers at the end were the best, ‘what the heck!your gonna get a tummy ache’ haha little smart arse

  52. evonne says:

    Oz – the one in pyjamas was best!

    Oh no, I didn’t wish him dead, he just died and i was sorry to see him go. But before tomorrow I am glad he is not around.

  53. evonne says:

    Chelsea Bolton game on polish TV – utter crap

  54. goonermichael says:

    Miyaichi has been caled up to the full Japan squad.

  55. Big Raddy says:

    Results not going our way so far today….

  56. Big Raddy says:

    RL. The injury problems have been around for a few years now. Gone are the TA years when players didn’t get these problems. No idea why – except the pace of the game is quicker.

    There were much worse pitches in those days and perhaps players ligaments and tendons were more able to cope with the twists and turns, though I have no idea whether that is possible.

    Buying players with existing injury problems doesn’t help either ( Mertesacker, Arteta, Santos, Benayoun)

  57. slimgingergooner says:

    Barcodes drawing is a good result but I don’t think anyone expects them to be still in the running in 13 games time.

  58. RockyLives says:

    Well done Wolves.

    Newcastle are not in the race for fourth – they have defied gravity for way too long and their slide will continue.

    Chavs beat the second-to-bottom team – big deal.

  59. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    Rocky , super stuff.
    We seem to have been cursed with injuries for a few years now, I`m convinced we would have had an extra Title to our collection If we could have had a ” normal” injury season somewhere.
    Tomorrow I shall enter the nearest DFS store with fellow West Country Gooners, ” Can I help you ?”, F**K off bitch, we need plenty of Sofa`s to hide behind for the next two hours ” !.
    I hate this game and get too stressed to watch it, I dont feel good about It ( I was the same even when they were shit ).
    Having a decent team now, It`s amazing how many “celeb” spuds have come out of the woodwork in the last couple of years, Adele, Jesse J, Matt Cardle and Michael Mcintyre.
    I used to like Mcintyre before i found out he is a spud. I see e va va vonne was talking about having a tattoo the other day, well I`m thinking of having one, I want one of Mcintyre`s gob and face…. on the end of my nose so that after I`ve had a sneeze ,I can say ,” Oi Mcintyre you think your funny, well I`m laughing my nostrils off”

  60. RockyLives says:

    Well, that was a conversation stopper GLIC!

  61. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    Rocky,
    After putting my foot in it with the Tourettes Salesman the other day, I`m on a Roll !
    The mention of Mcintyre sent me over the edge !
    Appologies to anyone still in shock !

  62. chas says:

    Back to the North London derby maybe?
    I wish I didn’t dislike seeing that goal Adebyhore scored at Shite Hart Lane. What a beauty.

  63. RockyLives says:

    He’s a worry tomorrow Chas. You know he’ll want to score one because he’ll be getting plenty of stick from the crowd.

  64. RockyLives says:

    How are you feeling about our prospects tomorrow?

  65. kelsey says:

    RL,

    For christ’s sake don’t address that to GLIC :)

  66. chas says:

    I don’t really ever get strong feelings one way or the other, Rocky.
    I’m always nervous, expectant and hopeful.

    I’d imagine everybody thinks it’s going to be tricky. Who knows? I’m not sure we deserved to lose at theirs.

    We certainly need a big reaction from the players, fighting for each other and the club. The fans will be up for it; for the full 90, I hope.

    There’s a Tottenham blog that has posed the question, ‘ Are spurs now a bigger club than Arsenal?’. Give it 70 or 80 years and ask me again. :)

  67. chas says:

    What did you think of Pedro from LG in superarsenaltv’s comment at 12:45?

  68. kelsey says:

    He is very thin :)

  69. chas says:

    Haha, thin. :)

    I’m hoping to be at the Tavern for 11.30.

  70. chas says:

    You’re not meant to hide under the duvet or behind the sofa BEFORE the game. :)

  71. slimgingergooner says:

    Didn’t realise McIntyre was a spud, I used to like him! Went to watch him a couple of years ago and he was very good. I’ve just booked tickets to go watch Kevin Bridges in October. Now he is one funny mother hubbard.

    I’m keeping my expectations low for the game tomorrow. It helps me deal with a bad result if things go pear shaped. Come kick off though I will be very nervous and expecting a world class performance! Old habits die hard!

  72. TotalArsenal says:

    Another clever post Rocky – top stuff :)

    Let’s hope Arsene has made a change to our formation and we will own the midfield again, especially ‘the hole’ area. If not, I cannot see us get anything from tomorrow.

    Don’t be surprised if we start with the Gerv/The Ox and Theo on the wings, RvP upfront and the Ox/the Gerv right behind him, although it is more likely Wenger will play Rosicky or Yossi in the hole.

    Like Slim, I will keep my expectations low but my hopes high!

  73. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Great post Rocky, the injuries are so frustrating, drives me mad.
    For tomorrow my expectation and confidence is super high. No, i have not gone insane again. lets look at the facts. We had a terrible start, have played many competitive european games and have been cursed with injuries. We are simply a better team than them and will show it and restore some pride. After tommorow, the race for 3rd place begins.

  74. RockyLives says:

    Can anyone explain to me why the Spuds always seem to have more money to spend on players than we do?

    They have a small stadium and we have paid off most of our stadium debt.

    It was quite chastening to read the other day that, despite all that investment in the Ems, and despite earning the biggest match day income of any UK club, we are still only a break even business…

  75. allezkev says:

    Rocky;

    If i recall, Arsenal seemed to spend more when we were at Highbury,
    similar to how the Spuds are now…

    But lets see how much the boys from Middlesex have to spend when they are embroiled in their own stadium development…?!

  76. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    My comment @5:00pm, I would rather you remove It all than change It to something I did not say. Sorry for my sense of humour, I shall refrain from using It.

  77. oz gunner says:

    take your apologies elsewhere GLIC, everyone on here loves your sense of humour, 99% of the time I’m in fits of laughter.

    @ Rocky

    i struggle to see how they can also, because there has been a few transfer windows in recent seasons that they have spent quite a bit of $$$, yet they have only been in the champions league once, doesn’t make sense.

    I used to enjoy seeing them linked with everyone and their dog (especially strikers) and not getting anyone, but now they are going to be in the champions league again we have them linked with hazard (although everone is), and other heavy weights. I don’t want to see a spurs team with pulling power, i preferred the days of robinson/gomez, jenas, bentley, and so forth

  78. oz gunner says:

    if Arsene had of bought Bale do you think he would be playing LB or LW?

    Given his track record for converting wingers to full-backs (cole and gibbs), i think he would be plying his trade as a LB

  79. slimgingergooner says:

    Between 05/06 and 10/11 the Spuds had a loss of £120m on transfers. In the same period Arsenal made a profit of £24.5m.

    Since the PL started the loss stands at £175m. Arsenal’s loss is just £21m.

    This season however they have made a profit of £27m on transfers. Arsenal made a profit of £17.5m.

    The £145.5m swing in the years 05/06-10/11 probably explains why they have a decent squad, but we have a brand new stadium. Seeing as they are only 10 points ahead of us in the league for the first time in those 5 years I would say the stadium was money well spent!!!

  80. oz gunner says:

    Cheers for the stats Slim.

    Investment will be needed soon enough though:

    Friedel 41
    Parker 32 (speed already not his strong point, game will pass him soon enough)
    Gallas 35 (falling apart)
    King 32 (how much longer will his body hold on)
    Ade (Loan)

    They will need a new striker once Ade returns from loan, because they cannot rely on defoe and Pav.
    Their improvement came from three experienced premier league campaigners in Friedel, Parker and Ade. 3 players that cost them next to nothing. They got lucky with Walker coming through because they have always struggled to find a good right back. King’s body has finally been putting games together. This is where the improvement comes from.

    If modric leaves they will get a large some of money, same goes for Bale. Unfortunately with them in the Champions league next season they might stick around. But hey they can enjoy it while it lasts again!

  81. slimgingergooner says:

    The thing that stands out about those financial stats though is the £145m difference between them and us in a 5 year period. During that period they never finished above us, even with all that extra financial backing. It really does show just how well we have done to remain a top 4 side in that period.

    As for their future, if they do look to move stadiums then they will realise just how hard it is to stay in the top 6 whilst financing such a move. Apart from ourselves, history shows that moving stadiums often coincides with a drop in league position.

  82. oz gunner says:

    Bring on the stadium move now then so we can enjoy the drop quicker. A shit spurs is a good spurs!

    It’s just a shame a lot of fans forget the stadium move and just how much impact it has had on us.

  83. evonne says:

    GLiC – you are a disgrace, worse then Monster

    Monster – no, not at all. Duvet diving after a game is either too late or completely unnecessary. Before the kick off is the more nerve wrecking time where comforts are needed. Some drink to exccess or eat disgusting chicken balti pies, I go to bed and try to sleep it off, sort of hibernate

    Oz – lets hope the Scum go to administration soon :) They will never build a new stadium, empty shite big talk

  84. chas says:

    The chicken balti pie was delicious.
    So instead of playing golf on Friday, I should have been hiding under the duvet in preparation for today. Words fail me. :)

  85. evonne says:

    Words fail you – at long last !!! :)

  86. oz gunner says:

    players brought in over that 5 year period: (in million)
    * = good bits of business

    Lennon 0.8 *
    Huddlestone 2 *
    Routledge 1.25
    Jenas 7
    Mido 4.5
    Berba 10.9 (made 19.8 profit though) *
    Chimbonda 4
    Kaboul 8.2 (sold for 6. Then repurchased for 6)
    Keane 12 (sold for 3.5)
    Woodgate 7 (released)
    Hutton 9 (sold for 3)
    Boateng 4.5 (sold for 4)
    Bent 16.5 (sold at no lose)
    Rocha 3.26 (released)
    Malbranque 3.5 (made 2.5 profit) *
    Zokora 5.2 (made 3.2 profit) *
    Bale 7.5 *
    Modric 16.5 *
    Melo 1.8 (released)
    Dos Santos 8.6
    Gomes 8
    Bentley 17
    Pav 15.8 (sold for 8)
    Palacios 12 (sold for 8)
    Corluka 8.5
    Defoe 15
    Bassong 8
    Walker 4 *
    Naughton 6
    Crouch 9 (made 3 profit) *
    Kranjcar 2 *
    Sandro 6 (not sure yet)
    Pienaar 2.5 (flopped)
    Gallas Free
    Friedel Free
    VDV 8 * (lucky)
    Parker 5 *

    So they have made quite a few blunders, and in comparison the wheeler dealer is no match for the eye of Arsene. There are a few good buys (recent experienced players) but there has been a more shockers!

  87. evonne says:

    Shouldn’t you be on the road by now? It is an early kick off you know, perhaps you didn’t notice it playing golf. Playing golf as if the world was not coming to an end

  88. evonne says:

    Oz – the biggest spender was Rafa – he actually bought 77 players, 7 full squads, including one with a broken leg :) Now there is rumour that he might be managing Chavs, I hope it is true

  89. chas says:

    Kick off is 1.30pm, not 10.30am!

  90. oz gunner says:

    @ Evonne

    here’s hoping! chuck man u, chelsea and man city in their while your at it

  91. oz gunner says:

    @ Evonne

    who could forget, he was a very overrated manager. I would love him to come back and manage chelsea, he can waste more of the russians money.

  92. evonne says:

    Kick off at 1:30, but you won’t be able to down 8 pints in half an hour!

  93. evonne says:

    Oz – he was indeed. Scoucers didn’t like him much, but then again they didn’t like Reina either. they are just plain stupid.

    Ok, I am off to prepare for the game, in case I decide to watch it

  94. oz gunner says:

    Evonne you chicken!

  95. VCC says:

    Be brave Evonne. Put that Red and White scarf on and shout from the roof tops.

    Oh to, Oh to B, OH TO BE A GOONER.

    COYG

  96. chas says:

    Talk us through your pre-match prep, Evonne.

  97. oz gunner says:

    Evonne’s pre-match checklist:

    rabbits foot around neck
    four leaf clover in front pocket
    horse shoe in coat pocket
    walk the streets until a penny is found
    sleep facing south
    sneeze 3 times before breakfast
    ladybug on shoulder
    don’t walk on tile cracks at home or sidewalk
    put on dress inside out
    pray to god
    rub Buddha’s belly
    10 hail mary’s

    IN CASE OF EMERGENCY
    *duvet
    *tissues
    *cancel internet and satellite connection for a week

  98. oz gunner says:

    sorry chas i must of wrote something bad, two comments went into hiding for ‘evonnes pre-match check list’

  99. chas says:

    I think only the ‘y’ word and the ‘c’ word are banned.
    Use ‘N17 rioters’ and ‘front bottom’ instead. :)

  100. oz gunner says:

    haha dearly noted chas.

  101. kelsey says:

    Morning everyone.

    I will unfortunately miss the game, but that might not be a bad thing. Last time I missed a local N.London derby I actually watched the first half and we were 1-0 down at WHL and finished winning 4-5.

    I hope Kos is fit.

    Can someone give me a good explantation as to why RVP takes corners, as we never score from them.IMO he should be on the edge of the area.

    Hopefully Djourou if he plays can get some composure into his game,as it is a long time since he really played well.

    No freak 30 yard goals from the oppo thank you, after we start and dominate possession.(Bentley,Rose,,Walker spring to mind)
    There is no question that a draw is not good enough as the worst thing yesterday was Chelsea getting +3 on goal difference on us.

    Hope you all enjoy.

  102. chas says:

    CMON you GUNNERS.
    See ya later, bye.

  103. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Evonne,
    Off to prepare for the game at 7:33!!!!!!
    Good girl :-)

  104. oz gunner says:

    looks like we will have to win 4-0 kelsey. I forgot about bentley and Rose’s fluke shots. Funny how they haven’t done anything since then. I worry about Ade hugging to Djourou, because he hasn’t been strong enough lately and seems to slip over easy.

  105. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Enjoy Chas,
    From one seriously pssed off Gunner who is not going. :-(

  106. oz gunner says:

    enjoy the game chas. off for my pre-match. Goodluck to all those in attendance, and those watching at home/pubs hope you enjoy.

  107. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Oz,
    You are off for your pre-mtch as well!!! There must be a post/discussion about all these preparations. What the heck do you all do?

  108. VCC says:

    Looking forward to meeting more AA’ers at the Tavern.

  109. evonne says:

    Micky – yes, at 7:33 I am running late! I need to sort out the animals, have something to eat, to throw, do my hair, nails, make up….it is a big day after all

  110. MickyDidIt89 says:

    I’m leaving home in about half an hour, and won’t be back until probably around five this afternoon. I usually watch the games on onlinefooty. Is there anywhere I can watch a full rerun of the game before waiting for MOTD highlights?
    I will have my mobile, so will be having sky live on under the table at lunch, but not good :-(

  111. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Don’t rub it in VCC :-)
    Evonne,
    Doing your hair and nails for a game. Pure class!
    Imagine the Spud women strapping on their bellies, tattoes and face furniture!

  112. Morning all

    Nice to see you’re up early preparing yourselves. I’ve already danced around the kitchen to Right Here Right Now ;)

  113. Oz – I’ve just released your comment from spam, I have no idea why it was there but no doubt some eagle-eyed administrator will find the reason.

    Oz’s comment is at 7.55 – it’s good :)

  114. Micky – what happened????? Why aren’t you coming??????????

  115. Gooner In Exile says:

    I am in no fit state to watch football…..

    I need a few espressos and a blast of fresh air.

    New baby was well and truly celebrated. I have nothing to add to the debate as I can hardly make sense of it.

    See you all after the game in celebration.

  116. Gooner In Exile says:

    All those going today stay safe and stick together. United front needed today.

  117. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Peaches,
    Sunday and Oscar. I work sunday night, and would therefore stay up in London after the game so that I could “log on” at 8, but Oscar needs to go to school on monday!
    I simply could not come to this game without him! It would be no speaks for days to come.

  118. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Right off now.
    We will win today.

  119. Hope you have a nice day Micky, see you both soon I hope.

  120. evonne says:

    Micky – you can watch onlinelivefooty on your mob

  121. evonne says:

    Morning Peaches – what are you going to wear to the game? It is too warm for the new coat

  122. goonermichael says:

    MickyDidIt89 says:
    February 26, 2012 at 8:32 am
    Don’t rub it in VCC
    Evonne,
    Doing your hair and nails for a game. Pure class!
    Imagine the Spud women strapping on their bellies, tattoes and face furniture!

    Depends how many punters the spud women have on the day.

  123. goonermichael says:

    Morning everyone :)

  124. What am I going to wear????? Omg what am I going to wear?????

  125. goonermichael says:

    Chanel or Dior?
    Westwood or Fendi?

  126. goonermichael says:

    To win today we are going to beat the officials too.

  127. goonermichael says:

    What time will you be at the Tavern Peaches?

  128. I was just checking the trains, I reckon I’ll be there at 12. How about you?

  129. GiE – can you put LadyArses Mind That Gap pic on here please

  130. Gooner In Exile says:
  131. goonermichael says:

    I’m leaving at 11:15 and it takes about 20 minutes door to door. Chas is getting there at 11:30. I have to go through tottenham hale and seven sisters. What time do the scum start getting there? I’m an NLD virgin :)

  132. Big Raddy says:

    Very excited about today and full of apprehension.

    High hopes, low expectations – nicely expressed. I shall be wearing mostly red and white.

  133. VCC says:

    Hope to see you later gm. I have a cd you might like to listen to.

    One for Chas as well, if he makes it.

  134. New Post ………………..

  135. VCC says:

    Peaches, as your the only one I might recognise, will you be at the back of the pub or front?

  136. Gooner In Exile says:

    That’s the only way to support a team isn’t it BR?

  137. Big Raddy says:

    GM. Here’s hoping you pop your cherry with a victory.

  138. goonermichael says:

    see you later VCC

  139. goonermichael says:

    I hope so Raddy

  140. goonermichael says:

    EXCELLENT NEWS: Koscielny & Gibbs BOTH FIT to play in #NorthLondonDerby for Arsenal! . #ArsenalPositives

  141. goonermichael says:

    photo/1

  142. goonermichael says:

    Better start getting ready. See you soon

  143. goonermichael says:

    Millsy ‏ @JsMills
    Reply RetweetedRetweet
    Delete
    FavoritedFavorite · Close Open Details Any1 contemplating not going & leaving their seat empty.Have a look @ urself in a mirror, chant The Arsenal 3 times & get ur arse 2 the game

    Retweeted by THE Positive Gunner

  144. skyrim cheats…

    [...]Totts 3 – Arsenal 9 « Arsenal Arsenal[...]…

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