The Return of the Dancing Fool

Today the Arsenal resume footballing hostilities with our first home game for three weeks against Alan Pardew’s Newcastle United in the 5.30pm kick off.

Mr Pardew is remembered less than fondly by Gooners for his jig of celebration in Wenger’s face during his spell as West Ham manager.

wenger pardew

Our opponent’s were on the rough end of yet another referee inspired victory for the denizens of Old Toilet with our former skipper VanJudas (or should I say “Lazarus” in view of his near death experience in the previous game?) scoring the equaliser that paved the way for the usual Fergie time winner we have witnessed all too often at the home of the Glazer’s loan security vehicle.

It is worth noting that referee on this occasion was Mike Dean, who saw fit to send our manager to the stands, full of rabid, uncouth ManUre fans, for the heinous crime of kicking a water bottle yet failed to mention “Sir” Alex’s repeated hostile verbal abuse of him and the match officials over a disputed off side goal in his match report.

Surprising ?

Not if you assume Dean didn’t want to be demoted to a League Two game for this weekend’s fixtures, as happened to Chris Foy when he allowed the Spuds to win at Old Toilet in October. That was clearly a because Foy hadn’t read the latest edition of the referees handbook which states: “play must continue until Manchester United equalise.”

Anyway, I digress.

Having scored three goals away from home and still losing it could be said that it would have some sort of psychological impact on most teams but I don’t believe we should believe that will necessarily apply to the Toon.

That being said United have only won one of their last four league games, and that was a win against Harry Redknapp’s bottom placed QPR(wouldn’t it be funny if he took another team down out of the Premiership?), so their current form is less than impressive.

Injuries to their midfield, exacerbated by another unpunished, reckless tackle by a home player on an away player at Old Toilet mean that our opponents will be fielding a much depleted midfield.

This is because Perch will have to go into defence as Williamson, one of their regular centre halves, was yellow carded against ManUre and is suspended for today. Other absentees include Ben Arfa, Cabaye and Gutierrez.

Up front the Toon have a choice of two Ameobis (Shola or Sammy) and as well their main danger man Demba Ba, the subject of much continued, and annoying, transfer speculation.

While we tend to lose games in clutches there is the possibility that Newcastle will use the injustice of the loss to ManUre as a motivation to increase their efforts as they are a team that have goals aplenty in them and for that reason our defence has to be on tip-top form; particularly cutting out any lazy cross field passes in our own third.

Therefore I would pick our current first choice centre back pairing of the BFG and Vermaelen, with fullbacks Gibbs and Sagna, although our right back’s form has been a tad patchy and I would not be too surprised to see Jenko get the nod.

For the middle three I would go for our form players, namely Arteta, Wilshire and Santi although I wish we could rest one or two of those as I fear they may hit the “red zone” soon. As Rosicky is available today perhaps he could start or at least be subbed on to give Santi/Mikel a rest.

Up top I would start the Ox with the Pod and Giroud, with Theo coming on later as an impact sub, although this may not help too much in respect of Theo’s long running contract negotiations.

Injury wise we are without Fabianski and Santos as well as the ever absent/present(in the injury room) Diaby which leads to today’s “Fun fact”, namely that it is exactly three MONTHS to the day since our fragile number two last played for us, after it was reported here by Arse.com that Diaby would be out for three WEEKS.

In keeping with this year’s theme as established by Big Randy today’s explorer comes from Gateshead appropriately enough and goes by the suitably genteel name of Harold Crichton-Browne.

His pen and ink caricature, which hangs in the National Portrait Gallery, is shown below in which he sports a lavish handlebar ‘stache that befits a man who in later life served as a Lieutenant Colonel in Africa.

NPG 6251(12); Harold Crichton-Browne by Harry Furniss

He accompanied the more well known James Thompson on an expedition to the Atlas mountains of Morocco in the late 1880’s – anything other than a win against the Toon today and we’ll face an uphill struggle (to keep in the running for a top four finish) as difficult as that faced by Joseph and Harry in Morocco.

UTA !

Charybdis1966 (on Twitter and youtube)

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165 Responses to The Return of the Dancing Fool

  1. Gooner In Exile says:

    Fine prematch Chary, and what joy that you got to get a few digs in at the Purple Conked one as a result of his recent spat with Pardew.

    Joy of joy we get Chris Foy today another referee from the North, Lancashire to be precise, would you like to guess who he will favour today?

  2. barumgooner says:

    Nicely written Chary. Agree that Pardew is a nob. They are a big powerful side so I think the BFG will be busy. Only worry is that its a 5.30 game, I may be wrong but I dont think we have done well in them lately.

  3. slime says:

    I think Shola Ameobi might be injured according to my Newcastle supporting colleague. They have Tiote back so that’s at least 1 booking there and hopefully 2.

    We have given away 11 goals from mistakes this season, more than any other team. Could you imagine where we would be if that was not the case!?

    They are depleted and put a lot into the United game so im hoping for a performance from our lads today.

  4. Prince-Purrfect-Poldi says:

    UTA indeed Chary. Top pre-match and really enjoyed the read.

    An early goal for us today should see us eradicate the time wasting disease that Tim Krul seems to have developed over the years. I also hope that Demba Ba’s game is affected by the rumours of a potential move and he plays within himself. Here’s hoping that Ba coughs up ‘shanks’ rather than a ‘lamb classic’..

    I would also like to see Rosicky start on the left with Poldi through the middle. Surely a guy of his calibre should get a chance centrally. But thats just me, there is no way he could be as bad as the swerve in that role.

    COYRRG!

  5. Shubham says:

    Good sum up Chary. I would prefer Poldi, Giroud and Theo as the front three. Theo will keep their left full back pinned and cut that line of supply. If in a position by the hour mark, move Theo centrally and bring the OX for Giroud.That will keep their back four firmly stationed in their own half for the fear of a counter attack. Also, we need to get some time from Rosciky either for Santi or Arteta keeping Tuesday’s trip in mind.
    Anyway, hope we can put up a brilliant show tonight. Also, wish all you gooners a fabulous 2013.

  6. Morning all, it’s always fun to point out “Sir” Alex for the cowardly bully that he is GiEand of course we should expect to get inconsistent refereeing from yet another northern ref; I believe about 17 out of the 20ish refs are northern. I wonder if anyone can spot which book I get the title of todays PM from ?

  7. chas says:

    Nice PM, chary.
    A worthy deputy.

  8. ST says:

    Looking forward to today and Jan Feb.

    It’s usually where the so called top four contenders fall away with fatigue and injury.

  9. kelsey says:

    Well done chary and thanks for stepping into Raddy’s shoes.

    Still nervous about today.We have won three on the bounce but only scored from open play in one of them.
    Personally I would like to see a fit Kos come in as I am still not sure about BFG if the geordies play with pace.
    I still have nightmares of that 4-4 draw.

    Most probably AW will for the third time start with the same formation and let’s hope results beforehand go our way.
    Ba :)

  10. Thanks Chas/Shub/kels/Brig/P-P-P – hope I’ve kept up with Big Daddy’s style of PM’s a bit. I think we’ll get to at least 1 Ameobi today then, Slime.

  11. LB says:

    Hahahaha I knew it was Chary after the first sentence.

    A good fighting talk pre-match.

    Much apprecitated.

  12. wenger worst best coach evA…well my shout out to all my fello arsenal fans…a big shout out.

  13. Ha Ha London, you know me, always one to stoke things up a little. :)

  14. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    hahahaha, “The Dancing fool”. great stuff

    I love geezers like Pardew,on the dance floor they make me look like John Travolta, increasing my pulling chances by a good 30%.If you then combine that with his riveting personality and chat up lines like “yes, the local council refused my planning application for a rear extension” then my increase is near on 80% hahahaha.

    It will be a tough game today but if we can turn there defence we should get the points. 3-1 Arsenal.

  15. Sheep Hagger ™ says:

    Hi
    TA for the Arteta pic,Chas.
    Nice afternoon read enjoyed it with my smoke and coffee 😇.
    At least we will know what we need to do on this game as we are last team to play that may be an advantage.
    2-0 the sheep says to Arsenal. ⚽⚽

  16. Gooner In Exile says:

    Sky haven’t replayed this dive a thousand times….wonder why?

    http://media.lockerdome.com/uploads/eb77aa9d272332e6982984c5ec336834_large

  17. VCC says:

    Because its not an Arsenal player.

  18. Prince-Purrfect-Poldi says:

    Soon the betting agencies are gonna have an over/under option on the amount of dives Bale makes in a game. :roll:

  19. Gooner In Exile says:

    VCC and sadly because Defoe is English and a good honest pro making the most of minimal contact and diving is only done by foreign players.

  20. Sheep Hagger ™ says:

    Gareth Bale diver he does the same when he plays for Wales.
    Makes me ashamed to be Welsh.

  21. RockyLives says:

    Great pre-match Chary
    Loved the “Lazarus” gag :D

    I reckon AW will start with the same team and formation that won the last couple of games – so Giroud will start on the bench.

    Not an easy game today by any means – but a good test of whether our recent “mini revival” has any substance to it.

  22. neamman says:

    its a must win with tottenham winning already

  23. RockyLives says:

    Amen to that neamman

  24. City may be winning but the FFBW just saw red :D

  25. Prince-Purrfect-Poldi says:

    GiE,
    Isnt that the biggest load of bullshit the FA and refs have ever spurted out to the fans. Nasri gets red carded for retalliation. Basically all he did was eyeball Bassong. Van Judas raises his hands on a player, grabbing for the throat and in heat of the moment even takes a swipe at the ref. Verdict= Yellow.

    It is pathetic, and slowly and surely with these sort of decisions, the world will look upon the EPL the same way they used to with the serie A in Italy.

  26. Brigham says:

    Another fine pre match as one would expect from you Chary.

    I am sat at home today, not feeling very well so have not used my ST today. In fact, I have not been very mobile at all today, hence I shall be watching our game on the TV today.

    We really need a good win today, both to shut up that total prat Pardew and of course to keep on the coatails of others currently winning or who have won.

    I see we have Foy as the ref, which does not inspire me to think we will get any favourable decisions from him, he is another northern munkey who prefers to duff us over.

    Anyone, all those going today, enjoy and sing loud and proud.

    Na$ri sent off at Norwich, heehehehehe

    COYRRG

  27. Hi all

    Just off to the game, hoping Newcastle are going to be completely pollaxed by their exertions last Wednesday and we’ll be quick out the blocks.

    Sorry to hear you’re not well Brigham, wishing you a speedy recovery.

    If someone would like to write a match report or even some player ratings for tomorrows post that would be much appreciated. Catch you all later ;)

  28. GunnerN5 says:

    TEAM NEWS: Koscielny back for Newcastle clash

    Laurent Koscielny has been recalled to the starting line-up for this afternoon’s clash with Newcastle United at Emirates Stadium.

    The Frenchman replaces Per Mertesacker, who is ill, and partners Thomas Vermaelen in central defence.

    Elsewhere, Jack Wilshere and Mikel Arteta continue in central midfield, with Theo Walcott again lining up in attack, while Johan Djourou is recalled to the bench.

    Team in full: Szczesny, Sagna, Koscielny, Vermaelen, Gibbs, Arteta, Wilshere, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Cazorla, Podolski, Walcott.

    Subs: Mannone, Djourou, Coquelin, Ramsey, Rosicky, Gervinho, Giroud.

  29. kelsey says:

    Same team as last week except kos in for BFG (unwell) as I predicted :)

  30. kelsey says:

    BFG has got german measles

  31. Anyone feeling confident?

    I hate 5:30pm kick offs

  32. kelsey says:

    So do I and I would say this most probably is the most important game of the season so far for us to get three points.

  33. Brigham says:

    I hate them too GiE, we never normally do very well in them either.

  34. After todays results i agree Kelsey, a win takes us 4 points away from midtable mediocrity (with game in hand) and 3 points off 4th (with a game in hand).

  35. My only superstitious upper is that normally we have had results go our way and then fail to capitalise on them in these games, hopefully the lads have seen the other results and know the importance.

  36. RockyLives says:

    BFG is a big loss (pun intended) but Kozzer is a decent replacement. The worry is that both he and Verm are prone to very costly individual errors.

    Theo gets another chance down the middle – I expect him to do well and score today.

    Rosicky on the bench – could be a good asset if it’s a tight game late on.

  37. RockyLives says:

    As for 5.30 KOs, we had better get used to them – we have another one on New Year’s Day.

  38. Gooner In Exile says:

    Rocky it’s not the individual errors that worry me but the fact that BFG and Szczesny combined have been organising set piece defending much better recently…with the less experienced (and possibly ignored by others) Szczesny being most vocal organiser I worry about us from set pieces. Especially as Pardew will have drilled his team since Boxing Day.

  39. Gooner In Exile says:

    Remarkable that Bale is now suspended for notching up 5 bookings, all dives according to Twitter.

  40. Reddawn says:

    Come on you Gooners, show a bit more spine. Stop stroking your magic rabbits foot and show some positive feelings for our fine team. I predict a fine…..by the way what time is the KO?(5.30pm I think).

  41. Rasp says:

    Afternoon all, thanks for the pre match chary – many apologies for my absence, I’m all over the place today :(

    Can I get in before the game and ask for a volunteer to write tomorrow’s match report please. I shan’t be able to see the game and I’m working tomorrow so I’m afraid I’m counting myself out.

  42. Brigham says:

    A lot of empty seats, including mine. ;-)

  43. oz gunner says:

    great pre-match chary, Raddy who? :)

    home of the Glazer’s loan security vehicle. hahaha

  44. Brigham says:

    Great finish by Walcott!

  45. oz gunner says:

    sign da ting! sign da ting!

  46. SharkeySuresGhost says:

    Top quality finish

  47. Brigham says:

    The barcodes are playing quiet a high line in defence and with our pace we need to take full advantage of it. More of the same please Theo!

  48. Red Arse says:

    You need to listen to me, Rocky. I do not know how you can doubt Theo!! :P

  49. Brigham says:

    We are playing like the away team here and conceding a huge amount of possession – could be a good thing! :-)

  50. Brigham says:

    Should have been two nil to Theo there, he seemed to not get enough on it to force it past Krul.

  51. Adrian says:

    Keep possession and close them down ffs.

  52. Adrian says:

    Why the heck arent our players closing the newcastle players down as a team? Look at the amount of space they have to move the ball around and keep possession.

  53. oz gunner says:

    tiote still thinks it’s feb 2011!

    theo theo theo, could be 3-0

  54. Adrian says:

    … Its shocking how slack we were for the past 15 minutes and we’ve paid the price.

  55. oz gunner says:

    sh*t!!!!

    they’ve had no attacking threat all game and then that!

  56. Brigham says:

    We are slow, not pressing, passing astray and basically shite!

  57. Brigham says:

    Half-time and 1-1 and Newcastle deserve it to be honest. We need to buck up after the break or we will lose this one.

  58. oz gunner says:

    one thing we didn’t want to do was come into the game like it was going to be a walk in the park…once again we’ve done it!

  59. RockyLives says:

    Sloppy.

    We should be going in two or three up, instead we have a big hill to climb again.

    Foy – as predicted – is giving them a free kick every time they fall over and ignoring it when they inflict identical tackles on our players.

    Soft goal. Jack needs to either get out of the way or take the ball in the face. A half-hearted effort like that deserves what it got.

  60. Gooner In Exile says:

    Before the goal I was thinking its a workmanlike performance but at least we are winning.

    Then yet another individual error cost us. That tackle by Sagna was needless and hopeless at the same time. Some may think I’m on his case but I’ll say again Mr Consistent at what precisely?

    Am I the only one who thinks there are a couple of camps emerging within the squad? I think you’ve got Szczesny, Gibbs, Jack,Ox, Giroud, Ramsey and Koscielny in one, then Pod, TV5, Sagna, Theo in another, with only Arteta, BFG and Cazorla mingling between the two.

    I know which camp I’d get rid of it it’s there.

    Theo you scored a great goal, to be worth that position you have to do more, left foot needs a lot of work for someone demanding World Class Salary…as does passing.

  61. Adrian says:

    What exactly do you mean by camps in the teams?

  62. Gooner In Exile says:

    Rocky thanks for reminding about Foy but it wasn’t like we didnt know what was coming, Koscielny has to get off Ba’s back and let him have it, or get in front and nick possession before it arrives.

    You’re right on Jack too, he was in chargers position so needs to not worry about his pretty boat and stick his head on it.

  63. RockyLives says:

    What evidence do you have for your “two camps” GiE?

  64. Gooner In Exile says:

    Cliques/groups…apparently it was there before last season, Arteta, BFG convinced RvP to do something about it, and they did, seems like its come back. I don’t see them working for each other like they did last season.

  65. Sheep Hagger ™ says:

    Being an ex defender of class.
    We were poor 1st half and lacked any vision
    😡

  66. Gooner In Exile says:

    Just what I’m seeing on the pitch Rocky, raised arms if passes aren’t to feet but it sometimes appears to be only towards certain players. Could be imagining it of course.

  67. RockyLives says:

    GiE
    I thought the story was that they were sitting in their language groups, but Arteta and BFG put a stop to it.

  68. Gooner In Exile says:

    And hope I am! Come on Arsenal!!!

  69. Gooner In Exile says:

    There Gibbs takes shot (maybe wrong decision) how many players stood in box arms outstretched while Newcastle broke away!

  70. oz gunner says:

    yes!!!!what a strike!

  71. Gooner In Exile says:

    Cracking strike

  72. Adrian says:

    Get in there ox! Now please dont slack off and maintain the pressure and press them.

  73. oz gunner says:

    it’s a poor habit GiE, obertan did it in the first half and i was left shaking my head. i see no point in it and makes them look like spoilt brats. i’m sure it’s something Arsene could point out when the team breaks down the game together as opposed to sulking on the pitch

  74. Adrian says:

    Now that you mention it I do get the feeling that at certain periods of the first half non of the players seem to be working for their teammates. Early glimpses of the second half seems encouraging though. Good point about the possibility of there being cliques in the team though.

  75. Adrian says:

    Sigh. We just cant seem to keep exerting pressure can we?

  76. Gooner In Exile says:

    Poo!

  77. Red Arse says:

    We should go back to the Corporal. Sagna has for some time looked a bust flush to me. :-(

  78. Gooner In Exile says:

    Fantastic work by Jack

  79. Adrian says:

    Wow what a game this is turning into. Its as if both teams have forgot how to defend in this second half.

  80. oz gunner says:

    get in!!!
    good thinking by jack

  81. oz gunner says:

    agreed RA

  82. Gooner In Exile says:

    Right can we carry on playing now?

  83. Gooner In Exile says:

    Wouldn’t it be great if our full backs could play like full backs and defend out wide and not have to keep tucking in to help the centre backs?

  84. Adrian says:

    Are you fking kidding me?

  85. oz gunner says:

    what a fluke pass,.bloody hell what’s going on???

  86. Gooner In Exile says:

    I’ll just repeat my comment from two minutes ago.

  87. Red Arse says:

    Is Gibbs for real?

  88. oz gunner says:

    toon havent won trailing at half time in 64 matches…does that help?

  89. oz gunner says:

    goal!!!!!!!!!!!!

  90. Adrian says:

    What a game this is turning into, are you fking kidding me?

  91. oz gunner says:

    great game by pod!
    have to be wary of ameobi

  92. oz gunner says:

    BANG!!!!

    That’s what he’s there for! Stuff another striker we have Giroud!

  93. Adrian says:

    Brilliant cross by Walcott and an equally brilliant beader by Giroud!

  94. oz gunner says:

    it’s a Krul game Newcastle!

  95. oz gunner says:

    stuff defending we can score more!!!

  96. Adrian says:

    6-3 6-3!! Absolutely bonkers of a game!

  97. Gooner In Exile says:

    Have that son….what a strike

  98. oz gunner says:

    santon you psycho!

  99. Sheep Hagger ™ says:

    Wats the score they don’t have Espn in the boozer
    I’m on my I phone

  100. oz gunner says:

    7-3 shagger, you’ve missed a ripper!

  101. Adrian says:

    GET IN THERE WALCOTT! BRILLIANT FINISH TO GET HIS HATTRICK, what a game this is turning into! Sign da ting!

  102. oz gunner says:

    stuff a new striker we have giroud and theo! now sign it theo, do what’s right!!

  103. Red Arse says:

    we have found our attack. Play Hat trick Theo and Giro together!! :D

  104. oz gunner says:

    nooooooo! a double hat trick that would have been fantastic!

  105. Adrian says:

    So close to a hat trick for OG too! Damn it!

  106. Red Arse says:

    Fabulous game!! Boring, boring Arsenal indeed!! :D :D

  107. Gooner In Exile says:

    See what happens when Theo stops thinking and just does! Too much time makes Theo a dull boy.

    Fantastic result so close to a double hatrick which would have been great.

    Should be no shortage of match reporters for that one…come on guys it’s the decent thing to do.

  108. Sheep Hagger ™ says:

    7-3 ffs she made me miss it she wanted to go to boozer
    Cheers catch u tomorrow morning
    🐏

  109. 20/20Vision says:

    haha fergie tried to psyche up newcastle pre match, they paid the price trying to match Arsenal playing football!

  110. Adrian says:

    For the love of god please just sign da ting Theo. Look at the emirates crowd chanting your name!

  111. Brigham says:

    Unreal scoreline which I honestly do not think reflects the game, but who cares, we scored SEVEN.

    For me, Sagna had a very poor game and was caught wrong side of his man far too many times, missed his tackles and his passing was pretty awful to match. Gibbs can be blamed for their third, but for me Sagna should have stopped the cross!

    Great finish by Theo for his hatrick, unbelievable goal really.

  112. Gooner In Exile says:

    Right Theo has just put cat amongst the pigeons in that post match interview:

    Interviewer : The manager is showing confidence in you playing you up front down the middle

    Theo : Well obviously but I’m happy playing anywhere across the front….

    Oh the penny drops for everyone, it’s not about his position it’s about money (if you didn’t already know it)

  113. RockyLives says:

    Sounds like a pretty bland answer to me GiE.

    That said, I’m sure you’re right – it’s always been about the money…

  114. slime says:

    WENGER OUT!

  115. So how much does it take to sign Theo?

  116. RockyLives says:

    100k a week GiE.

    I believe the club should pay it.

    But I have a feeling he’s set on leaving anyway.

  117. Red Arse says:

    Well after that performance there will be a bandwagon of previously unsure Gooners crying out for Theo to sign up!

    Yeah, yeah — me up front! :-) But Theo played best just behind and supporting the Giro — so the contract must stipulate that!!! :-)

    OK you were right Rockadillo!!! :-)

  118. RockyLives says:

    Redders :)

    One swallow doesn’t make a summer and all that.

    I liked the Theo/Girou partnership too. OG’s first goal was my favourite of many fine goals in that game.

    Although Theo’s composure for all three of his goals was quite impressive (even if at other times his composure went a-wandering).

  119. Red Arse says:

    I have always said Theo would stay, and I still think he will — the rest has been agent’s shenanigans!

  120. RockyLives says:

    Now it’s important we take this form into the Soton game on Tuesday. The Spuds have a home banker (Reading) so we need to win.

  121. Adrian says:

    Walcott is starting to look like the complete CF.. I’ll be so pissed if once again we lose another player who’s just about reaching his prime, why does this amazing timing of player contracts always happen to us! Just listen to the emirates crowd chant his name, sign the damn thing theo.

  122. Adrian says:

    While our defending and our lack of communication as well as players not pressuring the opposition enough particularly in the first half leaves much to be desired, going forward we have been absolutely spectacular (Some credit must go to the ox too and not just theo, i must say i am very impressed with him over the past few games. Similiarly Podolski had a really good game too.) Must have been a wonderful game for the neutrals.

  123. RockyLives says:

    GiE
    Any news on the “bump” front?

  124. Gooner In Exile says:

    Adrian, we have offered Theo a contract he hasn’t signed….we have offered Jack, Rambo, Ox,Jenkinson, Gibbs contracts they all signed.

    It’s in one persons hands and always has been.

    The question is if its £100k a week it’s doable, although he has injury track record as chequered as RvPs was. If its £150k a week and we give it what does Cazorla look for when his agent starts talking to Gazidis next, or Jack for that matter?

  125. Gooner In Exile says:

    Still waiting Rocky

  126. Well what a roller coaster of a game that was, but we got the 3 points and added +4 to our goal differencce. If anyone cares the answer to the question about the book my PM’s title was taken from it was “The return of the dancing master” by Henning Mankell, a spin off from his Wallander series.

  127. RockyLives says:

    Ah! I’ve never read Mankell Chary, so you had me stumped.

  128. I recommend Den orolige mannen (The worried man) Mr Rock, it struck a chord with me as a(at times) lugubrious middle aged chap plus the descriptions of Scandinavian winters are vivid.

  129. RockyLives says:

    I will definitely look it up Chary.

    I’ve loved “Scandi winter” fiction ever since I read Mis Smilla’s Feeling For Snow many years back.

  130. You can almost feel the cold reach out from the pages Mr Rock. Did you catch any of the Wallander series on TV ? I can recommend the Krister Henrikkson version series 1. I’d leave the Brannagh efforts well alone. :)

  131. RockyLives says:

    Haven’t seen either, but I’ve heard the original is best.

  132. Fantastic game, I can’t believe peeps aren’t falling over themselves to write something!!!!!!!!

  133. LB says:

    I would like every one to know that I predicted the score correctly?

  134. LB says:

    I’m just off out.

  135. RockyLives says:

    I’ll do it if no-one volunteers Peachy – but I was going to write a Sunday-for-Monday instead.

    What was the atmosphere like? On the TV it sounded alternately joyful and peed off until we finally put it to bed with the fifth goal, after which it sounded simply ecstatic.

  136. RockyLives says:

    Haha LB :)

  137. The three goals we conceded were appalling ….. thank goodness we slipped into ‘we can outscore you’ mode :)

    All of Theo’s goals were decidedly Henryesque if you ask me, not that anyone will ;)

    Giroud made me growl in approval of his headed goal, amazing sound :lol: I’d just said to the lady next to me that we needed a two goal cushion with 9 minutes to go at 4-3

  138. LB – don’t go, you must want to write about how your favourite player performed today, hattrick and all ;)

  139. Rocky – it’s true there were the usual moans and groans. I sit next to a couple of sisters in their seventies and they get quite angry. Each time we conceded the one that sits next to me was very disapproving :lol:

    But what was interesting was that there were such great attempts on goal in the second half that were unlucky misses that instead of groans they were met with WOAH – as in fantastic effort which is an entirely different sound. D’you know what I mean?

  140. Did we miss Mertesacker?

  141. RockyLives says:

    I do know what you mean – and it must be a much sweeter sound to the ears of the players than groans.

    I think we did miss Mert a bit. Tommy and Kozzer both had decent games, but maybe the BFG’s organizational abilities would have prevented a couple of their goals.

  142. Theo carried his match ball to each corner of the ground applauding the fans……. and we applauded him.

    Surely the mark of a good CF is that they could have scored 10 because of the positions they got into …… Theo was that man today and Giroud and Podolski could also have scored more.

    It was very scary each time the toons came back but it was also great fun and very different from 1-0 to the Arsenal although I like those too ;)

  143. Rocky – the goals we conceded were dreadful. Really, we have to stop giving away such goals because it makes us look so foolish :(

  144. RockyLives says:

    Do you want me to do the report Peaches?

  145. Gooner In Exile says:

    Theo

    Central for 74 minutes – 2 goals
    Wide for 21 minutes – 1 goal,2 assists

  146. GiE – why aren’t you in a maternity unit somewhere? Come on Mrs GiE pull your finger out ;) Do you fancy writing a little something so that Rocky can do a post for Monday?

  147. It can be …………. this was fabulous, that was fabulous but we need to work harder on the other :)

  148. Fabulous by the way is my favourite word, in case you didn’t know.

  149. slime says:

    Man U do it Peaches, and there top of the league!!! :)

  150. You’re right Mr Slime and my post the other day asked the question
    about why the defence is so poor this season.

    Rocky – if you don’t mind keeping an eye for a while to see if anyone else offers and if they don’t then can you do tomorrows and we’ll sort Mondays?

  151. Gooner In Exile says:

    I think the key to Toons goals was 2 centre forwards against two centre backs.

    On the second and third goals TV points for Gibbs to stick with Ba, which seems ludicrous. Neither he or Koscielny covered themselves in glory on those goals, Kos tried to do the BFG thing of blocking the cross on the first.

    I just don’t get why a centre back gives a full back the responsibility of picking up a tall centre forward.

  152. oz gunner says:

    Just tell me he’s going to sign i can’t stands no more!!!

    Jan 1: Theo resigns

    or

    Month long saga of hell followed by Arsene saying he is confident he will sign, followed by him leaving on a free like Flamini did. Oh the humanity!

  153. chas says:

    Ha, at 4-3 I asked the question if Arsene ever did a ten minute clean sheet exercise in training.
    We got the answer, keep a clean sheet by scoring three more goals!
    Absolute classic and I couldn’t give Ant’s ticket away. What a crying shame.

    My train terminated at Leicester due to a derailment on Thursday night and I had to get the bus replacement.
    I didn’t mind one bit. :)

  154. chas says:

    Jack standing the ball up for Pod’s goal reminded me so much of Liam Brady.

    http://player.arsenal.com/home/player/2890-newcastle-h-bitesize

  155. RockyLives says:

    OK – I’m doing the report!

  156. Gooner In Exile says:

    Oz prepare yourself for the heartache….

  157. chas says:

    From twitter
    Whilst Theo’s goals may warrant a new deal, I honestly feel this celebration makes his position at the club untenable……..

    http://cs6246.userapi.com/u179178381/docs/2a45eef02194/GibbsieTheo.gif

  158. Gooner In Exile says:

    Chas, Chary was so right with his pre match title….The Dancing Fool :D

  159. goonermichael says:

    I enjoyed that

  160. Gooner In Exile says:

    The quote I was misquoting yesterday:

    “I enjoy playing in whatever position but it was just telling the manager to give me the opportunities to play up front, I’m not saying I’m always going to play up front but it’s just showing what I can do but hopefully I’ve opened a few eyes and it’s just a different option. Hopefully, I can start to take it a bit more often now.”

    Pretty sure it was LB who said the decision to play him through the middle worked in two ways, one being to prove that it wasn’t about the position.

    Problem is I think it will cost a lot more than £100k a week to keep him. I think we are talking easy £200k a week demands in current market. No transfer fee (which could equate to £100k a week over a 5 year contract) plus a fair wage (which if City is £170k a week based on Balotelli). So worst case scenario is Cityor Chelsea offer him £270k per week, how do we pay that, without every other first teamer approaching Gazidis?

  161. Gooner In Exile says:

    Was it supposed to be Carlton from Fresh Prince?

  162. Gooner In Exile says:

    To put the above in context £200k per week more would be £10.4m per year, so 4 other players asking for a £50k a week pay rise as a result would equate to £20.8m and the new sponsorship money is spent.

  163. Morning all

    It’s lovely and sunny here in North London :)

    And we have a Rockylicious New Post ………..

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