Yossi Benayoun – the Anti-Na$ri

It may seem odd after Saturday’s trouncing of Aston Villa to focus on an unused substitute from that game.

But Arteta’s wonder strike, Theo’s returning confidence, Songinho’s transformation into the new Liam Brady and even Johan Djourou’s unexpected solidity have all been well covered.

I want to focus on our on-loan Israeli international because I caught a glimpse of him during the game as the camera tracked along our bench. He was smiling with the other substitutes and seemed fully engaged in the squad and the game.

It struck me what a model professional he is.

Talent-wise I don’t see him as being too far behind a certain fat French benchwarmer. Both players are capable of defence-sundering dribbles, both have an eye for goal and both are nippy, one-touch players.

Obviously Benny is older, but a more significant difference is that only one of them is a greedy, grasping, ungrateful pillock. And I’m not referring to the one who lights candles at Hannukah.

While Samir Na$ri would rather have money than game time (and if you think I’m joking, you should read his quotes from last week, whining about how he played too many games at Arsenal and prefers being on the bench at Manchester City), Benayoun is exactly the opposite.

Yossi said recently that he did not know where he would be playing next season, but would like to join a mid table side so he could play more regularly.

It would almost certainly mean a pay cut, but Yossi doesn’t mind that. He’s 31 years old and just wants to play top flight football for as long as his skinny little legs will let him.

For Arsenal he has been no more than a bit part player this year and we are unlikely to see him in our famous strip next season. But the importance of bit part players is not to be overlooked and Yossi has certainly contributed in a positive way to our season.

For a start, without his 87th minute header to win the away game at Villa we would be two points worse off in the table. He has scored three goals in nine starts for us in all competitions (not a bad return) and has made 10 additional appearances as substitute – usually coming in games with about 15 minutes to go.

Whenever he plays he does a good job and his terrier-like hard work has earned the respect of supporters who, let’s be honest, undoubtedly raised an eyebrow or two when he joined us as a loanee from Chelsea on the last day of the transfer window.

Now that we have most of our squad fit his opportunities are likely to be limited, but earlier in the season, when our usual injury blight was wreaking havoc, we were fortunate to have someone of his ability and Premier League experience to bring on in games.

He even got to wear the armband in one game – our unlucky Carling Cup defeat at the hands of Na$ri and his fellow oil workers – and he made a fine contribution as one of the starting 11 in our 5-2 hammering of the Tiny Totts (he played until the 88th minute).

By all accounts he is a popular figure in the dressing room and has been generous with help and advice for the younger players.

In short, as I said earlier, he is a model professional and if his humility and sense of good fortune at being a professional footballer rub off on some of our up-and-coming young stars that can only be a good thing.

We certainly don’t want the likes of Wilshere, Ramsey, Oxlade-Chamberlain and others following the Na$ri path of greed and ingratitude.

In the horrible mess of last summer’s transfer business Benayoun attracted criticism from some supporters simply for not being Eden Hazard or Juan Mata or whichever marquee signing was flavor of the month.

But as a reliable squad player who has played at the top level in the EPL and was happy to do a job for us mostly from the bench, we could hardly have done better.

If he does get the move he hopes for this summer, I sincerely hope all true Gunner will wish him well.

RockyLives

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242 Responses to Yossi Benayoun – the Anti-Na$ri

  1. Pebbles says:

    Well said! Yossi has class. I wish him well wherever he goes.

  2. Good Post Rocky, Thanks
    I like Yossi, i didn’t before he came and thought “i hope not” when we were first linked.
    Since then i’ve totally warmed to him, he has a work ethic i like and he is a professional all over.
    I don’t think he will be here next season, i think Ryo will take his spot.
    I’m in agreement with Pebbles i would wish him well wherever he goes but please have a quiet game the next time he is arsenal bound.

  3. Siyan says:

    Yes, I agree with you. No matter when he is called upon his workrate is always a delight. I pray that he gets his heart desire since it seems he will be surplus to requirement at the end of the season. Do not forget his happiness at the defeat of Chelsea. He loves Arsenal and we can only wish him well. A true and dedicated professional indeed.

  4. Shammah mairiga says:

    I for öne never appreciate his style of play until when he join us i started watching him closely i think he’s a team player and i wish him al d best in future whether with us or away frm d emirate i wil continue to his fan.

  5. Big Raddy says:

    RL. Top class as always.

    I was one who questioned Bennie’s signing, thinking he was a last minute add-on, but he has proved himself to be a valuable member of the squad.

  6. deejay1952 says:

    Yossi hase done exactly the job he was brought in for. The priority should be getting brid of the ‘dead wood’. Worth keeping him for another season as I would like to see the arse challenging on 4 fromts and we need a ‘second 11′ for that.

  7. ignatzuk says:

    Maybe my memory’s not accurate but it’s the first loan signing I remember Wenger making. I think this added to the sense of panic amongst fans in the summer – “Player from Chelsea on loan? Shit, we must be in trouble.”

    In retrospect, it show that le boss is more flexible and perhaps less stubborn than people think.

    I think the Chavs must be kicking themselves. The deal certainly showed arrogance on their part, whichever way you look at it – either arrogance that Benayoun was not good enough to be a part of their squad, or arrogance that they didn’t need to worry about potentially strengthening ours.

  8. deejay1952 says:

    typo’s typo’s typo’s… due to lack of interest in my choice of employment…..

  9. I love the way Nasri careers is going so far, i hope City by even more players next year and he gets put down the pecking order

    also hope City does when the league

  10. For some reason Yossi brought out the best in Rosicky they bought started playing really well

  11. TotalArsenal says:

    Happy birthday to the Peach! :) You are in fine company today: not only do you share your birthday with D Ross – as you mentioned to us with considerable pride a while ago – it is also the big day for the stunningly beautiful Kiera Knightly and…..Arsenal legend in the making…….Mikel ‘A Treat’ Arteta! Have a happy virtual birthday with all three of them: you can choose how you want to spend the day! :lol:

  12. Morning all, nicely put the Rock – you can’t have too many model professionals in your squad, they are the antidote to your Na$ri’s, your Balotellis and your Tevez’s.

    Ignatzuk, I can think of another Wenger loan signing straight off – about 4-5 years ago “The Beast”(no not me Evonne :) ) i.e Julio Baptiste

    I’m pretty sure there have been a few others also.

  13. ignatzuk says:

    Ah yes, The Beast. True. Can anyone think of any others?

  14. Rasp says:

    What a great day……

    Its the birthday of two of my favourite people (Mikel’s the other :P )
    Rocky’s written a great post
    The sun is shining

  15. goonermichael says:

    Great post. I like Yossi. I’ve always thought he was a good player. I was talking to some spuds from the hairdressing industry and they Said “YOSSI BENAYOUN” as if that was a joke in itself. I told them we’d stiull finish above them. They thought that was funny too.

    He was one of the main reasons that AA’s 4 goals didn’t end in glory at the bindipper’s place

  16. Norfolk Gooner says:

    Yeah! Yossi’s been a good signing and I hope that if he is leaving he gets his wish to move to a mid-table club. Tottenham perhaps?

  17. 26may1989 says:

    Oh my god, TA just mentioned Kiera Knightley. That’s my concentration gone for a while…..

    OK, I’m back. Rocky, you beat me to it, I’ve been meaning to write something about Yossi – but you’ve done it so much better than I would have!

    Like Tommy, I didn’t really think too much of Yossi before, but his cameo season with us has changed that. Top pro, I wish they were all like him. And plenty of ability too.

    But who’s this Samir Nasri you speak of?
    :)

  18. goonermichael says:

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY PEACHES

    ” ” ”
    II II II
    ———————
    I/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\//\///\I
    I I
    I\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\I
    ———————

    Hope this works :)

  19. goonermichael says:

    Ok well I tried to make a cake for you :(

  20. goonermichael says:

    Do you likle Keira 26?

  21. 26may1989 says:

    Re Shearer’s question on MOTD, would Arsenal fans rather be in Liverpool’s potential position of ending the season winning two domestic cups than finish in the top four, is there anyone who would rather be in the shoes of a Liverpool fan this year?

    I know plenty of Arsenal fans are aggrieved about no silverware for a long time (ignoring the fact that we had no money for most of that time), but I can’t believe many would seriously give up CL football every year and the bragging rights that go with saying we are, even at our weakest, always there or thereabouts in the competition that really matters, i.e. the PL. Frankly, I feel sorry for Liverpool fans, constantly waiting for the new age of success, but made to accept the odd cup as compensation for their continued irrelevance.

    Am I wrong??

  22. 26may1989 says:

    GM, how did you guess??

  23. goonermichael says:

    Jealous?

  24. 26may1989 says:

    Fascist corporate firewalls prevent me seeing that one GM, I just assume you’re taunting me…..

  25. evonne says:

    Rocky – superb post. Yossi deserved one, he gave us his best. I had no idea what to expect from him before he arrived at the Ems, which is good because I could make up my mind without any bias. And I am delighted with this level headed, hard working, solid man.
    I don’t think he underperformed once this season and I sincerely hope he will stay with us for at least another year.

    GM – wow, beautiful picture, who’s that handsome young man with Keira?

  26. TotalArsenal says:

    A very good ‘Flip’ post Rocky! :) The comparison between Nasri’s and Yossi’s attitudes and contributions to our team sums up perfectly what they are all about. Yossi’s contributions have been good but he did not get enough opportunities to make a real impact on our season. I watched him against the Norwich Reserves and he absolutely ran the show, and I do hope he will stay another season at least.

  27. goonermichael says:

    26 I changed the status to public so you can see it now.

    Beauty and the beast evonne :(

  28. TotalArsenal says:

    GM, wow – yes I am jealous!! You are a lucky, lucky man. I think I would have melted next to such supreme beauty :oops:

  29. evonne says:

    GM – yeah, right, whatever

  30. WiganGooner says:

    Thought provoking as usual Rocky, nice job.

    I like Yossi, I do think he was a last-minute replacement for Nasri but I think he has done well and as mentioned his professionalism is a real credit to him.

    I think he does offer something a bit different and if it hadn’t been for the rapid emergence of the Ox I think he’d have seen more game time.

    That said, he’s been a good servant and I wish him well wherever he ends up. Arsene might take a punt on him yet, but I do expect Miyaichi to be a first teamer next season.

    WG

  31. TotalArsenal says:

    26, that is a difficult question. Pool have a chance to win the FA cup but not more than that. Let’s imagine they do, so they can say they have won both cups. I would say that I would take that for Arsenal instead of finishing in the top-4 this year, but only just. The confidence of winning two cup competitions would be really good for our team and a good platform for further success. On the other hand, once a team does not qualify in the top-4 it appears to be hard to get back in there, and that would do our confidence a lot of harm again. Difficult one to decide on.

  32. evonne says:

    GM – bloody wordpress cut me off again. Never mind TA and 26, I for one think you are much better looking than Kiera.

    Ha, not one bad word about Yossi, marvellous

  33. Norfolk Gooner says:

    TA,

    Winning one cup hasn’t done much for their confidence so far this season and by the time the FA cup final comes around it will be too late to do any good.

    I’d settle for a good run in and third place.

  34. Goonerpower says:

    I’ve always rated him, I thought he was underrated at Liverpool. I wanted him when he was at West Ham. Wish we did buy him instead of that, dirty little shit of a mercenary Na$ri!!!! Ah well you could say it’s hindsight. (Also been wanting podolski for years as well)

  35. kelsey says:

    Thanks for a post about Yossi, RL.

    One has to remember he hardly played the season before he joined us and as we all know to have a cameo of a cameo role is not easy. When he is required he has done his best and like you I am sure he has a season or two left in the PL but maybe with a club lower down the league. I have a hunch he will want to stay in london so maybe QPR.

    MG,

    That is a fine picture, I presume tou are the one on the left as I look at the photo.

    What is it with AA contributers and receding hair ;)

  36. Andy T says:

    Great article….

    Selfishly, I do not want Yossi to go! By all accounts he has been an inspiration and major encourager to all involved at Gunnerland. I also do not believe he has had the opportunity to cement a role for him in the side. He is a good player and a guy who scores goals!

  37. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Rocky,
    ” And I’m not referring to the one who lights candles at Hannukah.” Brilliant :-)
    I am a massive Benny fan. I have the feeling that both he and Arteta have had a huge influence on a young and relatively inexperienced squad. Hard for someone like me to guage I know, but they both demonstrate a very professional attitude.

  38. goonermichael says:

    I’m fine with my hairline though Kelsey. It’s never bothered me.

    I used to have wavy hair then it started waving goodbye :)

  39. RockyLives says:

    Happy Birthday Peaches :D

    Thanks for the comments everyone – I was expecting some people (not AA regulars) to say that Benny was a pointless panic buy etc etc, but he seems to have really won people over.

  40. Thank you Rocky, one of my star Gunners of this season, added to the very talented Mikel Arteta who must be so excited to know that he shares his birthday with me ;)

    Sorry can’t stop, have to work today but the sunshine is lovely so I don’t mind at all, catch you all later.

    By the way, talkshite were just spouting some figures about clubs that had gone into administration and the fact that HMRC are owed £40m pounds still and that Portsmouth owe them £17m still. Maybe someone else heard it too and can fill in the info. It was interesting.

    Also, if the chavs don’t qualify for the CL they’ll come a cropper of the FFP rules because they already posted a loss of over £60m last year.

  41. 26may1989 says:

    Hi TA.

    I’m surprised at your answer at 11:15 – I see your point about confidence but it hasn’t really worked that way for many League Cup winners – someone put up some figures a few weeks ago, showing that the winning team often fell away in the league after that. And so it has proved for Liverpool. Of course, you could point to our disastrous defeat to Birmingham as being the point at which our 2011 collapsed.

    Anyway, I just don’t see the cups as being very important anymore. That’s a shame in some respects, but league performance is a much more important marker of ability these days. To me, the League Cup is little more than a competition for the reserves (and the winners shouldn’t get a Europa League place either), while the FA Cup has fallen a long way from its totemic importance of yesteryear. I remember our own Cup Double year of 1993 with little affection, and just recall it as a staging post in the nosedive of quality in George Graham’s Arsenal.

    To me, domestic cup wins are nice, but no more than that. The truth for Liverpool is that, despite all the money they’ve spent, and having brought back a much loved manager, they’re as far away from the top as they’ve ever been. And cup wins don’t cover that up.

    Anyway, we can chat that one through over a drink some time!

  42. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi Norfolk Gooner,

    With regards to confidence, I am refering to the many seasons ahead not to the current one. And I was not talking about Liverpool: they have a number of fundamental problems that we do not have.

    Winning the FA cup would be a brilliant experience for our young players and many of our more mature players as well. It builds believe and experience, and it stops all the b*llocks about us not having won a price for seven years. It should not be underestimated how important winning something is for our current team. for me, the elimination from the FA -cup by Sunderland was a real disappointment this season. I thought we had a very good chance to win it this year.

    Then again, I agree that a good run-in and third, even fourth, place are very important too.

  43. RockyLives says:

    Regarding the issue of Cups…
    In a transitional year (which this has undoubtedly been) I see it as far more important to keep our place at the Top Table than to win a gong.

    Liverpool probably won’t win both cups anyway, but even if they do I bet a lot of their fans would rather be in our shoes.

    That said, I agree that winning the FA Cup, in particular, would be a good thing for our younger players and for us fans – but not at the expense of a CL place.

    Next year we’ll be having a real go at the two trophies that really count. Liverpool won’t be doing that.

  44. 26may1989 says:

    I do agree with you TA, that getting knocked out of the FA Cup this year was very disappointing. In this form, we would have stood an excellent chance of winning, it’s just a shame we couldn’t hold it together in Sunderland that day.

    And I also agree that getting this ill-conceived “no trophy” thing out of the way would be helpful, however much I see it as a load of crap; I can accept United or Chelsea fans bragging (well, sort of) but being lectured by fans of Spurs and Liverpool is galling, when they’ve been serial underachievers for the last 20 years.

    If Shearer’s question had been whether we’d prefer fourth place plus a cup over third place and no cup, I might go for that. But 5th place or worse as the price for a cup? No thanks.

  45. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi 26, agreed on the general declining importance of the FA-cup. I am taking the angle of our players as a developing superteam: winning ‘small’ leads to winning bigger. Or to put it differently: to seduce somebody of the breathtaking quality of Kiera, you might have to kiss a few frogs on the way. :)

  46. 26may1989 says:

    Interesting theory TA!

    Now, where are those frogs………..

  47. TotalArsenal says:

    Rocky, it is probably worth a post at some time in the future. If we look at this team as it is with all its potential, I think most of us feel there is real a chance now for a very successful period of football of 3-10 years in this decade and beyond. I personally do not care much that we have not won anything recently, but I do care about this team and I really don’t know what would be the best outcome for this team in terms of preparing it as best as possible for that imminent period: winning two cups now, or finishing in the top-4?!

  48. TotalArsenal says:

    26 :P

  49. Big Raddy says:

    I am with 26 on this one. €th and a Cup would have been a good season given our dreadful start.

    If I am honest, at the end of Jan I was predicting a 6/7th place finish, so anything above that is a bonus.

  50. robbinURpersie says:

    Rocky,

    Does anything other than ‘top shelf’ exist in your cabinet?
    Fantastic write-up!

    I think our little Yossi is so underrated..what he lacks in physique, he compensates with heart and the will to be the best he can be for both himself and more importantly-any team that he is contracted to
    and what more can any decent supporter ask for?

    I never saw to much of him as a West Ham player, but thats not to say i never heard his name in a positive way..He then went on to Pool where i think he stood out even though he was always in Stevie Mee’s shadow..

    Any time Stevie Mee hit the hospital beds, it was indeed skinny Yossi who stood up to be counted with important goals and link up play with Kuyt that secured points for pool..(some great goals too)

    Then came his unfortunate move to Chel$ki..people were screaming that he was a dud buy and even before his long injury lay-off..its not like Ancellotti knew what he was doing, right? i mean, the man brought glory BACK to AC milan and he EVEN won a trophy with Chelsea..

    With age not being on his side and a change in management at Chelski, he found himself further down the pecking order with Meireles the new flavour of the month..

    During all this time and turn of events, NOT ONCE would anybody hear a complaint to come from Yossis’ mouth..His loyalty to his employers is second to none and his passion and leadership for his country are exceptional..

    If we snatch Third by 3 points or less, than one could easily turn to the dying minutes at Villa and simply say THANK YOU YOSSI

  51. TotalArsenal says:

    Before what?

  52. TotalArsenal says:

    Any views on tonight’s game? I am going to put a few pounds on a draw. Fulham under Jol can be difficult to beat in these sort of games and I am banking on Dembele to disrupt the Mancs’ flow of play.

  53. robbinURpersie says:

    Total,

    i would say dont waste your money..ManUre at home at this time of the season with a sniff of the outright lead…i expect fergies boys to put 5 past them, and i dont expect dembele, dempsey or pogryebnjak to get that many…just an opinion ;-)

  54. TotalArsenal says:

    I know, I know Robbin, but I just have a hunch that Fulham might deliver a little surprise to the over-cocky Mancs tonight… :devil:

  55. robbinURpersie says:

    Total,

    its weird..i always take joy in an upset win over Manure but if it means that the soul-less oil refinery get poll position for top honours than i dont want a bar of it..i think Valencia will be key..again…

    i suppose in the end, i only care for our club and results so on that note i hope you make a few bob and you can invest in a beautiful red and white 2012 jersey for your daughter :-)

  56. Guys, do you want me to tin tack the Uncle Malc comment ?
    Doesn’t seem to pass the Peachy’s mum test I reckon.

  57. robbinURpersie says:

    *2012/13*

  58. robbinURpersie says:

    yes i think so..dont wanna stoop to the level of some morons

  59. Rasp says:

    Uncle Malc is in the bin with all the other rubbish

  60. robbinURpersie says:

    Chary,

    can you please destroy my follow up comment @1.10pm
    it makes no sense out of context..

  61. TotalArsenal says:

    Robin, I am, very very reluctantly, with you re the winner of the PL this year, but I don’t want it to be a stroll for the Mancs-without-oil! And I would like us to close the gap between us and them as much as possible by the end of the season.

  62. robbinURpersie says:

    cheers Raspers/Chary

  63. Ah, beat me to it Raspers ! Glad you’ve taken out the trash.
    robbinUR – think he’s done that too.

  64. robbinURpersie says:

    too true mate

  65. robbinURpersie says:

    I just watched a recording of the EPL highlights show from the weekend and i noticed Myiaichi wiping away tears before the Bolton game when they were cheering Muambas’ name..he than went on to assist a goal that could prove priceless in Boltons fight against relegation..

    Says alot about the boy, both as player and human being..Arsene sure knows how to pick ‘em..

    Has anybody heard the latest on Fabrice? Not much mention here in Oz apart from stating that hes improving..

  66. robbinURpersie says:

    i just watched a recording of the EPL highlights over the weekend and noticed our Myiaichi wiping away tears during the ovation given for Muambas’ name..He than went on to assist (again), in what could be a priceless goal for Boltons fight against relegation..

    It says alot about the boy, both as a player and human being..
    Arsene sure knows how to pick ‘em..

    In saying that, has anybody heard the latest on Fabrice? They’re not saying much here in Oz apart from slight improvement…

  67. WiganGooner says:

    @TA

    I got 17-1 for Fulham to beat ManYoo on betfair, so I went for it :)

    Since I won with Wigan at the weekend I don’t mind chasing a losing bet… (I got 22-1 for a wigan win :) and knowing ‘Pool are shite helped)

    WG

  68. robbinURpersie says:

    Does anybody else think that the thought of breaking Shearers record of most goals has inevitably crept into RVP’s head?

    i noticed a little angst on his face during the villa game, especially when warnock fluked that goal line clearance..

    He posed that same face in games at the tail end of last season..

    Hmm, Just a thought..

  69. robbinURpersie says:

    Does anybody else think that the thought of breaking Shearers goal scoring record has inevitably crept into RVP’s head?

    During the game against Villa, he showed some signs of angst on his face, especially with Warnocks fluke goal line clearance..he pulled the same faces in the tail end games of last season..

    hmm, just a thought..

  70. robbinURpersie says:

    why are all my comments disappearing?
    ive made 5 already and then wordpress says it doesnt allow duplicates..

    testing

  71. Does anybody else think that the thought of breaking Shearers goal scoring record has inevitably crept into RVP’s head?

    During the game against Villa, he showed some signs of angst on his face, especially with Warnocks fluke goal line clearance..he pulled the same faces in the tail end games of last season..

    hmm, just a thought

  72. robbinURpersie says:

    Is it just me or does anybody else think that the thought of breaking Shearers goal scoring record has inevitably crept into RVP’s head?

    During the game against Villa, he showed some signs of angst on his face, especially with Warnocks fluke goal line clearance..he pulled the same faces in the tail end games of last season..

    hmm, just a thought..

  73. goonermichael says:

    I missed the uncle malc comment.
    I”d have shitty over the redscum any day and I’d Have nasri holding a medal over cesc too.

  74. goonermichael says:

    I hate everything about manchester united from the manager through the players and fans. I even hate the kit. I’d have the spuds over that lot any day

  75. lemi61 says:

    Me too gm. Anyone barring ManUre.

  76. ive wriitten 5 comments so far and theyve all disappeared..it then said it doesnt except duplicates..that was all while i was logged into wordpress..damned technology

  77. Goes without saying me and GM are in one voice re ManUre.

    Anyone but bacon face’s lot.

  78. dont know whats going on with wordpress but what you gonna do :-(

    Does anybody else think that the thought of breaking Shearers goal scoring record has inevitably crept into RVP’s head?

    During the game against Villa, he showed some signs of angst on his face, especially with Warnocks fluke goal line clearance..he pulled the same faces in the tail end games of last season..

    hmm, just a thought..

  79. robbinURpersie says:

    im over this.. im looking stoopid..laters

  80. Not sure what’s goning on there robinUR – you keep dropping into spam.

    I keep releasing you…weird.

    I reckon Uncle Malc has done something sneaky.

  81. robbinURpersie says:

    I cant comment..im over this..everyone should agree that Robbin should stay ;-) damn you uncle malc

  82. SharkeySure says:

    Yep agreed, Yossi’s been great.

    Dependable, reliable,and professional

  83. RockyLives says:

    I can’t believe some of you chaps would rather have the Spuds win the league than ManUre…

    Seriously?

    I dislike ManUre intensely, but our bitter rivalry with them is really only about 20 years old. With the Spuds it’s real history.

    I hope ManUre beat the Oilers because I don’t want the EPL to be so simple a competition that if you have the money you can just buy the title.

    Ah well, each to their own.

  84. rURp – I’ve just released some of your comments from spam, not sure why they were there but can you try and write one now. I think Rocky might need to release you as it’s his post.

  85. Ah, but you see, The Rock, everyone will know the oilers/Arab camel shaggers Championship will have merely been purchased, not fought for on the pitch so it will be a tainted trophy.

    A break from ManUre winning will do something to shake the Fergie loving media out of their obsessive worship of this thoroughly disgusting old git.

  86. RockyLives says:

    Chary
    Well argued!
    But it’s not enough to sway me :)

    Peaches
    I’ll have a go at setting rURp free !

  87. robbinURpersie says:

    ok, testing again

  88. RockyLives says:

    Just freed a bunch of rURp’s comments…

    I think they’ll pop back in the timeline, appropriate to when they were sent. There are bound to be a few repeats… sorry…

  89. RockyLives says:

    rURp
    That test seemed to work :)

  90. robbinURpersie says:

    All good Peaches…i think..
    Sorry, for having to make you work on your birthday ;-)
    hope you have a fantastic day..

    and Thanks Chary
    sorry to everybody else for any repetition

  91. robbinURpersie says:

    Rocky you legend :-)

    maybe raspers did something when i asked him to bin one of my comments

  92. You see, The Rock, at the beginning of the Premier League era we had won more Championships than ManUre, but now they have pulled away from us and are disappearing off into the distance so even an arab oil monery backed way of stopping Fergie getting another League is acceptable.

    I’m hoping failure to win any more leagues and European Cups will force the Govan growler to finally retire.

    rURp – no worries, and I hope I haven’t botched things though.

  93. robbinURpersie says:

    chary,

    its all good i think..at least we’re gonna break the 2.000.000 hits mark sooner than later :-)

  94. evonne says:

    Sorry Beast and GM, but my hatered list goes like that:
    1 Scum – goes without saying;
    2 Cathalan cheats
    3 Chavs – they stole our titles and started the oily trend;
    4 Shitty – oilies;
    5 ManU – bitter rivals

    Robbin – why you keep repeating yourself? Same question over and over again, give it a break

  95. RockyLives says:

    evonne
    stop being mean to rURp – it’s not his fault :)

    It was Uncle Malc…

  96. robbinURpersie says:

    Evonne :-(

  97. evonne says:

    Rocky – all right, soz Robbin
    Who’s Uncle Malc, never heard of him

    Rocky, did you see my comment from this morning? A friend of mine, extremely, really truly intelligent guy, sadly a Spurs supporter mailed me yesterday saying:
    ‘No doubt you’re pleased that your boys have overtaken us in the league. Must admit it came as quite a shock to see such a commanding lead vaporise like that, but that’s life I guess.’
    He is not going to like my reply, but he expects nothing else but a banter from me, so I guess we are still mates

    Do we want ManU to win tonight? Does it matter to us? Probably not, but I would like their rivalery to go to the wire, kill each other in the process

  98. Green eyed goddess her is my top 5 list of hatred –

    1. ManUre – total gits, especially detestable in the Keane/Beckham/Neville/Ruud van Horseface era and of course their alchy manager
    2. Chavs – appaling club, no class, protoype chavs, John Terry, Ca$hley, Diving Drogba etc..
    3. Brum Scum – Eduardo, McLeish, thuggish fans
    4. Spuds – disproportionate triumphalism at the slightest excuse – unnecessary DVD’s.
    5. Catalan divers – tappers up extraordinaire and DNA thiefs.
    (5+1 – Stoke should really be there on the basis of the treatment given to Rambo as he was being stretchered off and for their crimes against football.The Crouch goal was clearly an aberration)

  99. robbinURpersie says:

    :-) :-) :-) :-) :-)

    thats for the 5 on your list Chary

    “unnecassary DVD’s” haha

  100. evonne says:

    I wonder if this will work

  101. RockyLives says:

    Hi evonne
    I did see your comment earlier. He doesn’t sound like a proper football supporter – more like someone who claims allegiance to a team but is not really that engaged.

    Spuds are top of my enemy list, which is as follows:

    1) Spuds
    2) ManUre
    3) Chavs
    4) Shitty
    5) Catalan Diving Team

    But even though – in principle – I dislike Utd more than City, I am clear that this season I don’t want petrodollars to buy the league, so it has to be one more trophy for Old Bacon Face, then an extended period of Arsenal dominance :)

  102. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Great post Rocky. I reckon Yossi will be realy disapointed not to have played more games. The guy is a good pro, and you can tell by his body lanquage that he wants action.

    Whos this Uncle Malc geezer? never saw his comment , but he sounds like the kind of Uncle you dont want, the type that will offer you sweets, bounce you on his knee and demand you play with his rabbits. hahahaha.

    As for the rivalry, for me there is only one that matters and thats Totnumb. Utd, Chelsea etc are just based on football were as Totnumbs a little bit more personal.

    Happy birthday the Glam Peaches, enjoy your day. X

  103. evonne says:

    I give up, sorry guys, just wanted to show you my boys, but a degree in computing taken many years ago does not make you computer literate now :(

  104. robbinURpersie says:

    Im suprised that Howard Webb didnt make it onto anybodys’ top 5 hated list?

  105. Cheers rURp

    A big sloppy kiss from me to Peachy on her birthday – sadly (for me anyway, luckily for Peachy I’d guess ) I’ll have to wait till the Wigan game before I can deliver it in person. :)

  106. robbinURpersie says:

    Evonne,

    Cant see any of your links, i think its your privacy settings on facebook or youve done that for a reason?

  107. evonne says:

    Robbin – no, not for a reason, will have to play with it later

  108. RockyLives says:

    rURp
    What are you talking about?
    Webb is in my top five at No 2, in Chary’s at No 1 and in evonne’s at No 5 :)

  109. robbinURpersie says:

    Good call Rocky :-)

  110. 26may1989 says:

    Excellent, the hierarchy of hate question, love it.

    Here’s mine:

    1. Chavs: Hated them before they had money (the Bridge was a horrible ground, peopled by obnoxious NF wankers) and hate them even more in the cheating Russian era.

    2. Abu Dhabi Government (or the club formerly known as MCFC): Cheats, pure and simple. Their status in my hierarchy of hate will be reviewed once the sheikhs leave, quickly followed by all the players, and then MCFC goes into liquidation before the fans get an AFC Wimbeldon thing going.

    3. Orcs: It’s not football, and Pulis wants a really good kicking. Or a so-called tackle from everyone’s favourite crybaby, Ryan Shawcross.

    4. Real Madrid: Pretentious tossers, the lot of them. Galacticos indeed.

    5. United: Cockney reds are a breed beyond hope. Crap ground in a crap part of a crap city.

    6. Brum City: Eduardo. Say no more.

    7. Lazio: Racist, fascist wankers.

    Yup, no Spurs and no Barca for me. So long as they’re always below us and lose to us, I’m happy for Spurs to do well (partly as a result of having watched them a lot in the 1980s – I grew up equidistant from Highbury and WHL). And I like Barca – I just wish they’d stop pinching our bloody players. But they play on a level beyond all others, with a squad they mostly developed in-house, and I love that.

    Bring on the rage!

  111. robbinURpersie says:

    26m,

    haha..bring on the rage..
    Im suprised that the pretentious tossers made it well above ‘Mussolinis maggots-Nazio’

    i agree with you on Barca, its a joy to watch them play..and even better when our team (barca-lite according to some dkheads)puts them to the sword

  112. 26may1989 says:

    Perhaps you’re right robbin, maybe I should have Nazio higher up. I remember Sinisa Mihaijlovic’s disgusting racist abuse of Vieira as a particularly obnoxois example of what the club is about. But they’ve become less relevant as they’ve slipped out of CL football, while Real are always there, lording it like they deserve to be at the pinnacle all the time, while sucking up corrupt funding from the Madrid regional government etc to retain the ability to pay stupid money for the best players. Plus they’ve got Mourinho and Ronaldo, two of the biggest tools in world football.

  113. evonne says:

    Robbin – did YOU think I didn’t know why your comments were repeated? Did YOU think I berated you?

  114. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Oooo the hate list, and some very interesting lists and comments posted. Before I blast off, I have a problem and that is separating the fans from the clubs.

    First up, club hate list:
    1. Chelsea and City =1st, for now.
    3. MK Dons. Deserting their fans.

    Now fans:
    1. Pool
    2. Chelsea
    3. Milwall
    4. Leeds
    5= Rangers and Celtic

    I don’t know where to put Utd. I respect the Club, but detest the arrogance of their fans, especially the non-manchester based ones. Spurs, I like to have neighbours to finish above and see their fans as slightly pathetic in a sad way.

  115. Rasp says:

    Hi folks, I’ve just done a bit of tidying up of the comments. Let’s move forward and leave it alone from now on.

  116. Red Arse says:

    Hi Guys, :-)

    And a special hello to you, Herb. :-)

    Rock, loved the Post.

    I don’t have a hate list. :-)

  117. 26may1989 says:

    Of course you do RA, you’re just suppressing it, you big hippy….. ;)

  118. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Oh god RA, you must be in love or something! :-)

  119. MickyDidIt89 says:

    I do want Chelsea to beat Benfica this week as I’d love our league game to be sandwiched between their two (possible) ties against Barca. Which, of course, they’d lose.

  120. MickyDidIt89 says:

    You are all right. Out into the sunshine for me too

  121. dandan says:

    From Todays Telegraph

    Since the middle of September, when Arsène Wenger’s hasty overhaul and retuning of his squad was complete, the spread of points covering Manchester City, Manchester United and Arsenal is just five.

    It is a sequence of results that contradicts the popular view, certainly of one month ago, that this is the worst Arsenal squad in Wenger’s 16 years as manager. More importantly, it is a sequence of results which suggests that Wenger is quietly developing a team that could again challenge to win the Premier League.

    Much will depend on contract negotiations this summer with Robin van Persie and Theo Walcott but, with the £11 million signing of Lukas Podolski likely to be announced this week and Jack Wilshere due to return from injury next month, Arsenal should improve again next season.

    As well as Podolski, Wenger hopes to sign at least one more creative player, with Junior Hoilett, Eden Hazard and Mario Gotze all still on his radar. “We want to add some strikers,” he said. “Many times people say we rely too much on Van Persie, which is true, but if we can find world-class players, we will.”

    Saturday’s 3-0 win over Aston Villa was Arsenal’s seventh straight Premier League victory, providing them with the comfort of a three-point advantage over Tottenham and, most significantly, an eight-point cushion over Chelsea in fifth. From a position of 15th at the beginning of October, Champions League football for a 15th consecutive season now beckons.

    It has been some turnaround but Wenger remains cautious and says that the next eight games will decide whether, in his mind, this group of players
    really can take on the two Manchester clubs next season.

    “Let’s just see if we have the quality to maintain this consistency until the end of the season and then we can say, ‘OK, look,” he said. “Overall since October, since the team has gelled, we have lost four games. Against Man City and the three on the trot in January. If you look at the circumstances of the blip in January, it was down to the fact we had no full-backs. I just felt we had two weak periods in the season and you can only afford one.”

    Saturday’s performance underlined how the team have progressed. Laurent Koscielny’s tendinitis meant that he was ruled out following the warm-up but, with Thomas Vermaelen, Bacary Sagna and Kieran Gibbs all finally fit, the defence is becoming an area of uncharacteristic strength.

    Van Persie and Walcott are having the best seasons of their career, Alex Song is developing into a world-class holding midfielder and Tomas Rosicky is suddenly doing a passable impersonation of Cesc Fabregas in behind the main striker. The additions of Mikel Arteta and Per Mertesacker have also added an experience and know-how that has made the team better at grinding out results. Add in Podolski, Wilshere and Abou Diaby, who will be available to face QPR next Saturday, and it is difficult to pinpoint an area of weakness.

    Even the goals are now becoming more evenly distributed. Among the more quirky statistics on Saturday was that Gibbs, with his first-half finish under Shay Given, became the fifth defender to score in the club’s last six matches. Walcott’s delightful second, which was made by a wonderful defence-splitting pass from Song, ensured that two Englishman had scored in the same match for Arsenal for the first time since 1997. Arteta’s rasping injury-time free kick also underlined that Arsenal have had 18 different scorers this season.

    “We’ve turned things around quite dramatically,” said Gibbs. “Everyone seem to be hungry, our new signings are gelling, it looks fantastic for next season.”

  122. RockyLives says:

    Great Telegraph article Dandan
    This fact is staggering: “Since the middle of September, when Arsène Wenger’s hasty overhaul and retuning of his squad was complete, the spread of points covering Manchester City, Manchester United and Arsenal is just five.” Not least because it includes the three losses in January when we were fullbackless.
    Who’s it by?
    It was only a few weeks ago that Henry Winter (also Daily Tel) was informing us that only Robin van Persie would have a chance of getting in the Spuds’ starting eleven.
    I wonder what he thinks now?

  123. RockyLives says:

    Micky
    I like your idea of splitting the “dislikes” list into clubs and fans.
    But I still ended up with the Spuds taking first place in both :)

    Spring is in the air, and Redders may be in love? I like :)

  124. 26may1989 says:

    Oi, dandan, I posted a link to that article (by Jeremy Wilson) this morning (tailend of yesterday’s post). Bleedin’ cheek. ;)

    It is a very interesting piece though, and the stat about being within five points of the Manchseters since September is very revealing. Makes you wonder about what would’ve been were it not for those January defeats….. Stop it 26, that’s just self-inflicted torture.

  125. Big Raddy says:

    Hate List. Following Didit

    Clubs

    1- Spurs
    2. Stoke
    3 Any team managed by Mourinho
    4. Any team managed by Redknapp,
    5. Any team managed by Mark Hughes

    No MU because of the Best, Law , Charlton team

    Fans:

    Equal First:

    Orcs
    Spurs
    MU
    Chavs
    West Ham

  126. Big Raddy says:

    Henry Winter is an appalling journalist.

  127. dandan says:

    Sorry 26 will plead distraction, (hosp visits) :-) Its nice to see my boring insistance that lack of f/backs was the main problem in print at last.

  128. 26may1989 says:

    See now I just feel guilty DD!

    Hope Mrs DD is doing as well as poss.

  129. TotalArsenal says:

    1. Mancs
    2. Chavs
    3. Oilers
    4. Spuds
    5. Orcs
    6. Madrid
    7. Lazio
    8. German National Team
    9. Italian National Team
    10. Fortuna Sittard

  130. Big Raddy says:

    For those who like statistics.

    Today we have had over 600 hits from Iceland!

  131. TotalArsenal says:

    WG – great win on your bet for the Pool – Wigan game! Hope you are lucky again tonight ;)

  132. Big Raddy says:

    Any further news on Mrs DD. Have they found a correct diagnosis ?

  133. Big Raddy says:

    “Credit to Liverpool, they didn’t just come to make up the numbers” – Wigan manager Roberto Martinez feels moved to congratulate his defeated opponents for their pluck – at Anfield.”

    I like this guy.

  134. TotalArsenal says:

    SKY SPORTS reports Fabrice Muamba can breathe unassisted, recognise teammates and he regained limited control of his limbs….
    LFC have offered Bolton a swap deal for Andy Carrol. :)

  135. dandan says:

    BR They are going into receivership the staff had nothing else to do… :-)

  136. TotalArsenal says:

    I like him too Raddy, a real gentleman and he knows his football: hope Wigan survive.

  137. dandan says:

    No BR they have not, but I have a meeting with the consultant tomorrow morning…. Thanks for your interest

  138. RockyLives says:

    Calling all Icelandic AA readers!!!!

    Please reveal yourselves!

    Would one of you like to write a headline post about being a Gooner in Iceland?

    I have been asking the same of our Nigerian readers (well, not EXACTLY the same – I haven’t been asking the Nigerians to write about being a Gooner in Iceland, but you get what I mean…).

    I genuinely would like to get a view from some of the countries that seem to have a big Arsenal fan base. That also includes Singapore, Malaysia, India and Norway.

    Let’s hear from our far-flung AA-ers. You will all be made welcome :)

  139. goonermichael says:

    Robbin
    Do you think the thought of breaking shearers record is playing on Robins mind?

  140. TotalArsenal says:

    Good call RL – I would like to hear from them too! :)

    GM :)

  141. RockyLives says:

    Non-UK hits on the AA site so far today, in descending order:

    USA – 1,091
    Iceland – 609
    Australia – 433
    Kenya – 179
    Singapore – 154
    Nigeria – 151
    Malaysia – 148
    India – 124
    Canada – 89
    Norway – 85

    Quite a spread.

  142. RockyLives says:

    GM
    Simply brilliant, as always :D

  143. kelsey says:

    GM,

    No, I think he is genuinely a bit tired.

  144. goonermichael says:

    Mine is

    The RMT
    Cyclists
    Selfish dog owners
    Recorded sales messages (just had one)
    Football writers
    Anyone who’s not me

  145. dandan says:

    Love your Gravator TA :-)

  146. RockyLives says:

    GM
    “cyclists”
    Oh dear – I’d get your tin hat on if I were you.
    Although you won’t hear a word against you from me – I can’t even ride a bike. It’s the devil’s contraption.

  147. dandan says:

    Kelsey give me a bell when you can please.

  148. goonermichael says:

    See you all later. I’m off home

  149. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Lets get serious. Who we really want to hear from is a Nigerian living in Iceland, or an Icelandier living in Nigeria

  150. RockyLives says:

    GM
    Watch out for angry cyclists :)

  151. GunnerN5 says:

    600 hits from Iceland – That’s cool…………………

  152. Rasp says:

    Hi Rocky,

    I was astonished by the new stats available through WordPress. Do you think its anything to do with the geographic location of search engine providers or do we really have legions of Icelandic followers who never comment?

  153. RockyLives says:

    Gn5
    “That’s cool”

    Rasp
    It must be something to do with local servers. The stats are also a bit inconsistent. For example today we have apparently had zero hits from Ireland, which I find unlikely.

    Maybe we gathered a legion of Icelandic fans when we had Siggi Jonsson with us for a couple of years…

  154. 26may1989 says:

    @GM, my ex-friend: “Cyclists”? You hate cyclists??! And here I was, thinking you were the paragon of reason.

    Now, if you said “I hate inconsiderate, selfish, the-rules-of-the-road-don’t-apply-to-me cyclists”, then I’d be with you. But the rest of us are angels.

    Plus it’s great fun, I’ve been commute riding in London for over 30 years and love it.

    Go on, say it ain’t so.

  155. RockyLives says:

    Blimey Rasp
    I’ve just dug a little deeper into those WordPress stats.

    Fellow AA-ers – would you be surprised to learn that in the last week, our various posts and comments have been read by people in 143 different countries.

    143!!!

    There are people in Bhutan and Kyrgyzstan, in the Grenadine and in Montserrat who know about Terry’s teeth and Redders’ ruminations and Peaches’ birthday and Didit Minor’s trip to London and Chary’s fondness for Bacon face and GM’s “closeness” with Keira Knightley and… and… and…

    I’m blown away.

  156. Irishgunner says:

    Evening all,

    Top post RL, I’ve always been a fan of Benny, going back to his Liverpool days, always saw him as a Hleb type, great control who draws players towards him.

    Happy Birthday to Peaches :D

  157. Big Raddy says:

    26. GM must have been on the sauce.

    Cyclists are as you say angels. Over here if a cyclist turns right on a red light they get an €80 fine. Cross a red – €100, same for riding on the pavement. But then there are cycle paths for almost every street.

  158. Irishgunner says:

    Back in my days of a fan-journo at Bleacher Report I wrote this:

    http://bleacherreport.com/articles/66569-arsenal-in-ireland-what-the-gunners-mean-to-the-land-of-saints-and-scholars

    There were also ones done from India, Australia and America I think.

  159. Big Raddy says:

    RL. Astonishing isn’t it .

    I am humbled.

  160. Big Raddy says:

    Irish. Interesting article primarily because it shows how your writing has developed.

    You are so much better now.

  161. Big Raddy says:

    That’s it. I have a nasty man-flu and am taking an early night.

    Mrs Raddy has promised to “plump my pillows” (sadly, not a euphemism :-) )

  162. RockyLives says:

    BR
    Sympathy for your man flu extends (literally) around the globe :)

    Irish
    Thankyou.
    I always liked Benny at Liverpool too. He seemed a real game-breaker at times – winning the crucial points for them with those dangerous dribbles into the six yard box followed by a calm finish. I have a lot of time for the little fella.
    Now I’ll read yours and BR’s links…

  163. Rasp says:

    Thanks Rocky, I am very heartened that we are a global community even though we can be a bit colloquial in comments at times ;)

    It saddens me that many think we are a closed group and I wonder if some are put off by the fact that we have all become such great mates they may feel they are intruding. I wouldn’t wish to change the style of our comments, it’s one of the great features of the site.

    It’s also the case that sometimes a new blogger comes on and addresses us like long lost friends indicating that they have been reading the site and have developed an understanding of the characters on here before deciding to join in.

    I had considered and even discussed with peaches the possibility of writing a post specifically aimed at those who read and yet don’t comment. The thrust would be in the form of a challenge to reveal themselves if only for one day.

  164. Irishgunner says:

    Thanks BR :)

    I think the journalism thing will stay a dream for now, and if it happens, it happens. As it is, I’ve just e-mailed a college in Scotland about doing the Librarian course … I can do it online which means I can keep the job I’m in, I hate it, but some people are a good laugh and its money each week. Plus I got to openly laugh at two Liverpool fans today “WIGAN, lads, WIGAN” :lol:

  165. RockyLives says:

    Irish
    Don’t listen to BR! I thought your piece was really good. I guess the Irish Leeds fans date back to the days of Johnny Giles (my Dad’s cousin, as it happens).

  166. RockyLives says:

    Rasp
    I know what you mean.
    Although we still do it to some extent, I think we have become a little bit remiss at engaging new commenters. For example today we had comments from Pebbles, Siyan, Shammah, Ignatzuk and Deejay. Only Igantzuk got responded to, with a comment from Chary.

    I have wondered if, from the outside, it must seem a bit hard to dive right in to the chat and badinage.

    We have all been blogging together for quite a while now, so there are so many in jokes and references that we throw in without really thinking about it.

    It would be good if we could engage new commenters by asking them a follow-up question (and just asking them to write a Post ;) )

  167. RockyLives says:

    (and NOT just asking them to write a Post)

  168. Irishgunner says:

    RL – Giles would probably be a big one with Leeds. I don’t think its always about the players though. There is a more than expected amount of support for Italian teams as well – I had a soft spot for AC Milan, all Maldini related – but maybe that goes back to Italia 90?

    I would like to see the league in Ireland progress. I went to a game 2 years ago, Limerick FC vs Derry City, there was about 1,000 people at the game which was a huge attendance for a First Division game. Sadly we (Limerick) lost but on the team sheet that day was James McLean. You never do know what gem will pop up at games – I remember watching Wes Hoolahan not so long ago in the then Eircom League, and Shane Tracy (once of Arsenal) now plays for Limerick.

  169. RockyLives says:

    Irish
    Maybe that big oil find in the Irish Sea will turn Limerick into the new Manchester City :)

  170. Irishgunner says:

    I don’t get on during the days any more cos of stupid work so I feel like I’m losing out :(

  171. Rasp says:

    Good point Rocky, I’m going to make a conscious effort in the future.

    I used to always greet new bloggers with my David Frost impersonation ….. “Hi XYZ and welcome”

    If someone has finally plucked up the courage (and strangely I have heard many people say they are scared to comment), we should greet them and let them know they’ve been noticed at the very least.

  172. 26may1989 says:

    United poor tonight so far, but managed to get a goal just before halftime.

    Crowd rubbish.

  173. Irishgunner says:

    RL – JP McManus looks after Limerick FC – not quite a sheikh but just as good for us. He bought the Market Fields (spiritual home of Limerick football) and it will be done up to UEFA standards for next season when hopefully we’ll be back in the Premier Division.

    I’m a bit skeptical about that oil find – our politicians are dirty rotten thieves, they’ll screw it up somehow.

  174. RockyLives says:

    Rasp
    That’s how you reeled me in :)

  175. Rasp says:

    Caught a big fish that day Rocky :lol:

  176. RockyLives says:

    Yeah, but I’ve lost weight recently Rasp :)

  177. Irishgunner says:

    Have ye seen this?

    Classy by Henry

  178. 26may1989 says:

    GM, I’ve now been able to follow your link to the Facebook page at 10:47. Assuming you’re not just very good with Photoshop, the answer to your question, is yes, I’m jealous. Very jealous.

  179. 26may1989 says:

    And Irish, has to be said, Henry looks way better minus the beard.

    He’ll be back in an Arsenal shirt next January, I’m sure of it.

  180. goonermichael says:

    I did mean selfish cyclists. It was meant to wind up as well. I wish they’d fine some cyclists here Raddy. It’s becoming terrible now.

  181. goonermichael says:

    She’s a very nice girl 26. as beautiful in real life and very down to Earth. She’s a bit of a West Ham fan. I’ve seen her near my shop a couple of times too.

  182. dandan says:

    Irish dont think JP will ask SAF to bring a team to open his new ground LOL

  183. goonermichael says:

    I’ve got a feeling that rooney will outscore RVP. I hate that lot so much

  184. dandan says:

    Hope you have had a Very Happy birthday peaches. Gnite all

  185. Irishgunner says:

    26May – Yes he does, not so sure he’ll be back next January, but who knows?!

    Dandan – Limerick had arranged a pre-season friendly with Barcelona but the FAI blocked it, the greedy bastards. All over money. Not sure if JP and SAF are still at loggerheads. JP lives about 15mins from my parents house, and near my Grandad, one of the soundest blokes going.

  186. 26may1989 says:

    I think I’m going to start hanging around GM’s shop.

    OK, enough of the dodgy comments from me, am just sounding like a 40-something perv now.

    And don’t worry, I knew you weren’t too serious about cyclists: I’d also be delighted if more of the selfish ones got fined.

    United have been dominant this half, but Fulham are still playing some calm football and could still nick a goal. Rooney just subbed with 12 minutes left. Interesting.

  187. 26may1989 says:

    Well Irish, there’s another African Nations next January, so we’ll be minus Gervinho again. That’s why I was thinking we’ll see the great man make another return.

  188. Gooner In Exile says:

    Evening all, nice article Rocky.

    I like Yossi, he seems to have thrown himself into the squad and even though his appearances on the pitch have been few and far between he has been plenty willing to come off the bench and display the same hunger as if he had started the game.

    I think he and RvP are friends off field, judging by some tweets anyway, and i think some of us don’t realise the importance of this.

    RvP might have got on with Cesc and Samir, but in TV5, TR7, Yossi, Arteta, Santos and the BFG, RvP has players of a similar age around him, not everyone is looking to him for advice but they can go to any of the those as well.

    Captains all over the pitch is an oft used phrase but it is probably quite apt at Arsenal this season. Young defenders can talk to TV or BFG, midfielders to Arteta, Yossi and TR7, again up front they can talk to Yossi or RvP.

  189. Irishgunner says:

    Won’t be an ACN until 2014 26May, they are held every two years.

  190. Gooner In Exile says:

    GM RvP was 6 goals ahead before the start of tonight, I don’t think he will.

    The only problem for RvP will be the umpteen penalties that United will get in the run in.

  191. RockyLives says:

    Sorry Irish, they’re doing a ‘transitional’ ACN next year and then switching to every two years after that, so that, in future, they’ll avoid WC and Euros years…

  192. goonermichael says:

    Irish
    They are having an extra one to make it odd years so it doesn’t clash with the Euros. It should really be every 4 years anyway

  193. goonermichael says:

    GiE the mancs will ghet at least 5 or 6 pens. The mancs have commited 15 fouls and have 1 booking.

  194. Irishgunner says:

    Ye are kidding me??? What a massive crock of crap. Are ye having me on? :lol: That’s one of the stupidest things I’ve ever heard … but then again Blatter was probably involved so quelle surprise….

  195. 26may1989 says:

    I know I shouldn’t say this, but I cannot believe the penalty Fulham just weren’t given. Two minutes from the end. At Old Trafford. Need I say more? Absolutely 100%, easy-peasy, nailed on pen. Shocking call.

  196. RockyLives says:

    GM
    Do you ever look at Untold Arsenal? They have done some brilliant stuff on quantifying the pro-ManUre bias inherent in the EPL.

    http://blog.emiratesstadium.info/

    Check out the “recent posts” on the right.

  197. 26may1989 says:

    Irish: nothing to do with that dickhead Blatter, it was the decision of the Confederation of African Football. They want to switch it to odd years so that the ACN doesn’t clash with World Cups, which makes sense. Just a bit galling that it results in tournaments in consecutive years.

    United win. Poor performance but they won, just.

  198. RockyLives says:

    26may
    You should also check out Untold Arsenal (there’s actually a link in our Blogroll above). Then you won’t be surprised that a bang-on pen against ManUre is not given at OT.

  199. Irishgunner says:

    ACN should be every 4 years and that should be that

  200. goonermichael says:

    I’ve read everything on untold Arsenal. that is why I’d have City winning the league anyday. I didn’t watch their match but I understand there should have been a pen. Absolute digrace. This year is embarrassing how much it’s rigged. This manc team can’t even beat Basle. Disgusting.

  201. 26may1989 says:

    Rocky, I never learn, my sense of outrage is never dimmed. There are plenty of tough decisions for refs to make, and I sympathise about those. But I just can’t believe they can’t call these easy ones.

    Someone posted something a little while ago, with some great stats showing that Arsenal plus Wolves and one of the other relegation battlers were the clubs that consistently (i.e., year in, year out) got the worst of referees. Seeing things like obvious pens not given at OT just confirms the feeling that refereeing errors don’t even themselves out, that they really are just biased in favour of United and one or two others.

    Am stating the obvious, I know.

    Will check what’s on Untold Arse.

  202. goonermichael says:

    If there’s ever an independent investigation into English football. the mancs wiould be stripped of a few titles.

  203. goonermichael says:

    I’d rather the taliban won the league than those (can’t say it on here)

  204. RockyLives says:

    Haven’t seen it, but from what people are saying about the penalty appeal turned down for Fulham at OT, you really do wonder about corruption in football.

  205. TotalArsenal says:

    Fulham were robbed a penalty tonight. Shocking decision – the referee had a perfect view but yes, once again the Mancs are treated favourably. SOOOOOOOOOOOO frustrating!

    I always struggle to watch a MU game till the end, so low is the ‘entertainment’ level of their games, and also this time it was poor. They are just not able to start a proper attack that leads to a shot on target – everything comes from the rebound / breaking up of attempts by the oppostion to come forward. If they become champions once again this season, it will tell us a lot of the level of ‘quality’ in the PL right now. :(

  206. goonermichael says:

    TA
    I disagree. The mancs aren’t an indication of the level of the premier league. Even our depleted squad put in a far better shift in Europe. Chelsea are still on the CL. The mancs Beat an unknown team from Rumania (who lost all thier matches) twice and won a match at Ajax. 3 wins! They get help from the referees in much more subtle ways than non penalties. They have to foul twice as much to get cards. They are a boring one dimensional team. rooney, young. welbeck and carrick are overrated.

  207. TotalArsenal says:

    Re getting more bloggers to come out and post a comment, I would suggest to do more ‘interactive/voting’ posts, as in letting bloggers choose from a number of options and give a reason why they have gone for a particular option. RL’s, Kelsey’s and my recent ‘voting’ posts have had quite a few new bloggers taking part and commenting.

  208. TotalArsenal says:

    GM, all agreed and I dislike them almost as much as you do! But my point is: they were humiliated several times in Europe, yet they are in a strong position to win the PL again this year. It says a lot of the quality of opposition they are facing in the PL compared to Europe. The Russian Fulham striker was absolute rubbish and with a bit more quality upfront they would have drawn this game tonight. The referee helped the Mancs tonight, but the lack of quality was the biggest factor for Fulham not getting anything out of the game.

  209. goonermichael says:

    I’d love more voting posts TA. Going on from the last couple of points. If the mancs are the best in the league we have to consider they just spent £50m in the summer. Will they do that again? I can’t see what they have getting much better. Cleverly may turn out well as I haven’t watched him I don’t know. Welbeck is average, the grandpas don’t have any stamina.. I think our future looks brighter. I wish we still had to play them again. I’d fancy us spanking tham.

  210. TotalArsenal says:

    From BBC website – as unambigious as it can be:

    ‘And in actual fact United were lucky not to concede a penalty in the 87th minute when Carrick clearly tripped substitute Murphy inside the box.

    But referee Michael Oliver waved away their appeals and United hung on for a nervy victory’

  211. goonermichael says:

    They get a lot of extra points from officials though Ta. City are the better team by a long way. beating them 6-1 at at olld shithole was no fluke

  212. TotalArsenal says:

    Agreed GM – I wish we still had to play them again as well. I have absolutely no doubt we have at least as good a squad as they have at the moment and our future looks brighter…. Just frustrating to see them tonight playing such average football yet being top of the league…. deep breath..

    Did you actually do Kiera’s hair before the picture was taken?

  213. goonermichael says:

    I made the long peice she is wearing TA She’s holding it in the picture.

    http://www.michaelbarneshair.com/Kiera%20Knightley.html

    These are the finished pictures

  214. TotalArsenal says:

    GM, you are always quite humble about your professional achievements, but you quietly blew me away once again today. Kiera, although far too skinny on most days, is one of the most beautiful women I have ever seen and here you are showing us the work you did with her. Top stuff.

    On that note, I am wishing everyone sweet dreams and see you all tomorrow. :)

  215. goonermichael says:

    Night TA. see you later

  216. chas says:

    Wow, I can’t believe how many people from around the world read Arsenal Arsenal.
    It’s such a lovely thought.
    Please join in and spread your love for the club around the world.

    I’ve been watching Mr Jake Burns of Stiff Little Fingers tonight. Top fella.

    http://twitpic.com/91rre0

  217. 26may1989 says:

    GM, I’ve just gone through your website – most impressive, and I’m no longer talking about KK!

  218. goonermichael says:

    Thanks 26. I enjoy what i do. I think that’s important.

  219. chas says:

    Rocky,
    great Yossi post.

  220. chas says:

    Bend it like GM!

  221. goonermichael says:

    Great video chas. the person nearest to the mic doesn’t know the tune :) I don’t want to get done for typecasting but I’d love it to be sung to the tune of “if I were a rich man” the other one reminds me of nasrislut

  222. kelsey says:

    As one of the original 6 that helped get this site off the ground with Rasp and peaches the main motor behind the scenes, I find it sad at this time when we have had a remarkable turn of form that fellow contributers to AA can get involved in such distasteful comments to one another as has happened on more than one occasion this past two weeks.

    Somebody, who is now a regular on here told me that they were addicted to AA but at the time were reluctant to post as often AA came across as “an inner circle of friends” who meet before games, and therefore they felt like an outsider.
    I told them that was not strictly true as only 2 or 3 people originally knew each other and during the 2 years of AA many others have met up for the first time before a game and it appears they generally enjoy each others company and of course it is so nice to put a face to someone who you have frequently read but never met,. and now it has beome a regular occurance. (I am extremely jealous).
    Now this person has met up with others and really enjoyed the meeting and that is what AA is all about.People of different ages from different parts of the county but the bond being a love for The Arsenal.

    As far as I know all new posters are welcomed but as RL said not everyone who makes a comment wants to be asked to write a headline post.
    Every blog has far more peope who read than actually contribute and all I can say to the people who have perhaps written to another blogger in a distasteful way that all it achieves is put old and new folk off from contributing.

    So I ask the few, and you kow who you are just to take a deep breath before slamming into someone in print.

    I and many others have been guilty of doing it myself in the early days and believe for some it is a learning curve to sometimes feel it is better to ignore a post that is diected at a particular individual rather than have a blog fight, as absolutely nothing is achieved that is a benefit to AA.Thanks.

  223. Big Raddy says:

    kelsey- Spot on.

    It is very enjoyable when bloggers have different views on a subject and debate. It makes the site. However, as you say, abuse is totally unacceptable no matter how upset one becomes, because the only possible result is the loss of a valued blogger.

    Rasp. Good point about the welcome. Chary is particularly good in this regard and I must do better :-) I agree with kelsey that an automatic invitation to write a post is counter-productive until the new poster has been around for a while.

    One problem is that many of the new comments are “closed” and don’t open up a discussion point.

  224. Big Raddy says:

    Right back to football.

    Very interesting stats on Untold. The MU bias appears to be a fact. Not quite sure how they decide as to whether the refereeing decision is correct – perhaps there is some AFC bias in Untold’s decisions, but even so, there is considerable room for doubting the integrity of the ref’s decisions.

    Earlier in the season I got infuriated with Song being given a yellow card around the centre circle when he fouled a player went past him. Invariably, it was his first foul of the game and there was defensive cover all around him. This after he had been fouled many time without the offender being carded. Fortunately, this has ceased of late.

    I suspect that the foul count to yellow card is lower for Arsenal than any other team. Does anyone have the figures?

  225. robbinURpersie says:

    Morning Raddy, Kelsey..im starting to feel like a kid stuck in a bitter divorce between my parents…its getting tedious…so as Raddy said ever so wisely…back to football :-)

    in the last several hours i have changed my mind as to who id be able to accept winning the EPL and i have always stood firm in my belief of not buying a trophy like the oil refinery, but after seeing another dismal decision go ManUres’ way i dont see the difference in the way the trophy is bought..i hope man city take it cos ive had enough of fergie time, corrupt refs who claim to be blind to game changing decisions and the antics that go with it..this is the only reason why they claim OT to be a fortress…more like theatre of screams

  226. kelsey says:

    Herb,

    Well that was a waste of time on my part.

    No one questions your pasion and support for Arsenal, but I am removing your post.

  227. kelsey says:

    Herb,

    please move on and anyone else who wishes to abuse another poster will be binned.

  228. 26may1989 says:

    Just seen these Opta stats and brief analysis re the Villa game, they make interesting reading:

    “Match Stats
    Total Passes 609 vs 232
    Accurate Passes 535 vs 158
    Pass Completion 88% vs 68%
    Possession 72% vs 28%
    Total Shots 19 vs 3
    Shots On Target 8 vs 0
    Total Crosses 30 vs 16
    Accurate Crosses 30% vs 25%
    Total Tackles 10 vs 14
    Tackle Win% 100% vs 86%
    Ground Duels Won 42 vs 35
    Aerial Duels Won 53% vs 43%

    As you can see from the statistics above (via our Stats Centre powered by Opta) Arsenal’s complete domination is illustrated by the fact Arteta, Sagna & Song completed 187 passes together – more than the entire Aston Villa team combined, who completed just 152. However, it was not only possession that the Gunners but also attempts on goal. Villa did not muster a single shot on target. The much-maligned Arsenal defence is now the only side in the Premier League to restrict their opponents to no shots on more than one occasion this season. A further statistic that emphasises Arsenal’s complete performance is the extraordinary fact they won 100% of their attempted tackles.

    Alex Song was again inspirational. Not only did the Cameroon midfielder get his eighth assist of the season, he had 90% pass accuracy, played 7 long balls with 100% accuracy, made three perfect tackles (the most in the match), made one interception and had one successful dribble.

    My Man of the Match goes to Mikel Arteta who was brilliant. The Spaniard completed 90% of his passes (61/68). In the attacking half this was even better with 96% of his passes (20/21) finding a teammate. As well as his phenomenal strike from distance, Arteta made six crosses, won three fouls (the most in the match), made three key passes and one interception. The midfielder’s importance to Arsenal cannot be underestimated and this is highlighted by the amazing statistic that Arsenal have not won a game this season in which he has not played. With Arteta in the side, the Gunners win 72% of their matches.”

  229. Rasp says:

    Hi 26m, great stuff re: Arteta. I am not going to be about much today, but I shall be publishing a rare Rasp post in which Arteta’sw role is discussed amongst other things.

  230. robbinURpersie says:

    Morning 26m,

    i recorded the game and out of curiosity went back to the stats they gave us on TV..

    possession 63% vs 37%
    shots on target 12 vs 2
    shots off 8 vs 1

    i like your stats better and maybe they tell some porky pies to enhance the look of overall competition in the EPL..why do i doubt the stats we had on TV?..the shots off target because i distinctly remember Albrighton fluffing 2 shots..

    But you are right, it makes for good reading ;-)

  231. 26may1989 says:

    Robbin, wouldn’t the two Albrighton misses be included in Opta’s three off target shots? Or am I missing your point?

    I doubt we’ll face opposition that is more timid than Villa for a while, so we should be careful not to believe our own hype too much. Just what has happened to Gabby Agbonlahor, he used to be such a vibrant threat? Can’t help to have a manager like he has, but all the same. Given, Cuellar and Ireland all looked poor impressions of the players they were a couple of years ago too.

  232. Rasp says:

    New post ……..

  233. robbinURpersie says:

    26m,
    your right and thats why im doubting the stats given on TV after the game because it states they (villa) had 2 shots on where as your opta says they had 0.. anyhoo, i guess its irrellevant..

    i agree with your point about timid opposition, those mentioned and Villa as a whole look like they dont care and are there to only collect their wages..i remember the face ‘given’ pulled after his save from artetas’ first shot..he almost smirked as if to admit he was playing with a shite team and that he was holding them together..nobody wants to fight for each other..

    im so glad we have turned the corner of yesteryear and players realise the importance of collective harmony..its the only way forward and alot of credit must be given to our captain on that part..

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