Hammers Hammered – Report & Player Ratings

Five fine goals, free-flowing football and freezing fans fully satisfied.

(Whoops. Sorry about the alliteration. That sentence has more Fs than the ladies’ toilets in an Essex nightclub on Saturday night).

He signed da ting!

He signed da ting!

It would be fair to say that many of us were nervous before the game.

Would the Arsenal who dominated Chelsea for the second half at Stamford Bridge turn up? Or the Arsenal that whimpered and wallied its way through the first half of the same game?

Our inconsistency has been consistent this season and we knew that we could not afford to be off our game against a physical, long ball West Ham managed by the Walrus.

Truth to tell, it was the line in BR’s pre-match about the Hammers having put in 56 crosses in their last game that really caused a clenching of the buttocks. Fifty-six crosses? Given our ability to concede a goal roughly to one in every two crosses into our box, we could be on for a 0 – 28 humiliation.

Thankfully it was the good Arsenal that turned up. Podolski and Ramsey were in the starting line-up in place of Diaby (ill) and Coquelin (injured). The back five was unchanged, Ramsey took up the DM position behind Wilshere and Cazorla. Giroud started through the middle with Podolski left and Walcott right.

We looked threatening and up for it right from the off and created several half chances before, inevitably, West Ham took the lead. The goal followed a couple of annoying officiating errors (a clear corner to us given as a goal kick to West Ham, a clear goal kick to us given as a corner to them).

The said corner came in and was headed clear only to fall at the feet of Collison, who slammed it into the net through a crowd of players from just outside the box. It was powerfully struck and Szczesny was probably partially unsighted, but just once I would like to see him save one of those. I had the same feeling about Mata’s goal last week. Difficult to save, but great ‘keepers get some of them.

Anyway, that’s enough carping for one report, because we refused to let our heads drop or feel sorry for ourselves and hit back just a few minutes later. Wilshere set up Podolski with a wonderful little dink of a pass and the German rifled it into the side netting from about 25 yards with all the venom of Big Bertha (the cannon, not the golf club).

pod goal

At half time it was 1-1. But I don’t think any of us were expecting what happened next.

If we had been pretty good in the first half, we started the second like demons. The lightning-fast, quick-passing, rapid-breaking football that Arsene Wenger patented at Arsenal was suddenly back.

The half had barely started when we were ahead. A corner on our left saw a slick move in which Mertesacker, having taken up a near post position, suddenly sprinted (alright, lumbered) back into the middle of the box and Giroud dashed to replace him. The BFG’s movement confused the Irons’ defence and Giroud was able to reach Walcott’s near post corner first, guiding the ball into the net beautifully off the outside of his boot.

girou

Are we working on corners in training? Or was it just good, intuitive play?

Six minutes later it was 3-1. A neat one-two between Podolski and Giroud led to the German squaring the ball to Cazorla in the six yard box. Santi’s cheeky back heel steered the ball into the net and brought joy and relief to the crowd.

Our attacks were coming in waves now. Fast forward a few minutes and Podolski was provider once again. We broke down the left. Podolski held the ball up intelligently to allow Giroud to stay on side, then fired a low cross right across the penalty area for a flying Walcott to drive home.

And our excellent Number 9 completed his hat trick of assists minutes later when another
low cross was steered into the net adroitly by Giroud (a much harder finish than it first looked).

At 5-1 we continued to attack with panache and probably should have added further to our goal tally. But better than that, we were outstanding on the rare occasions when we did NOT have the ball, pressing West Ham all over the park and forcing them into errors. It was a real template for how we should approach every game.

A serious injury to the Hammers’ Daniel Potts (he appeared to be accidentally caught in the face or head by Sagna) caused a 10 minute delay and although we continued to press hard afterwards, the sight of Potts being stretchered off seemed to suck a bit of the energy out of proceedings. Hopefully the lad is alright. He was applauded off the pitch by both sets of fans (Stoke City Orc Scum fans please take note).

In summary: a brilliant performance and win; the gap on the cave dwellers closed to just four points and, surely, a huge lift to everyone involved with the club moving forward.

Many of us have complained that, too often this season, we have been less than the sum of our parts. Last night our players showed how good they can be and they need to carry this attitude, arrogance and self-belief into the rest of the season.

Player Ratings

Szczesney: Good game but I would like to see him stop somebody’s screamer some time soon (I know GiE will immediately post clips of half a dozen breath taking saves he’s already made in this campaign). 7

Sagna: Still not the old Mr Reliable, but had a better game than he has recently. He seems to have lost all confidence in his ability to cross. 7

Mertesacker: Very solid and brought the ball forward well from the back. 7

Vermaelen: Tommy is slowly but steadily getting his game back together and he, too, was good last night. Despite West Ham being a typical Allardyce team more physically suited to basketball than football, they did not cause us too many problems in the air. 7.5

Gibbs: Super game from Kieran. Good at the back and a thorn in the Hammers’ side all night going forward. 8

Ramsey: Fine job in his preferred midfield role. Worked really hard, passed well and did tons of work off the ball. No Hammer enjoyed paying against him last night. 7.5

Santi-Cazorla: A busy bundle of tricks, took his goal stylishly and contributed greatly to the speed and fluidity of our movement. 8

Wilshere: Our new talisman. Drove us forward throughout the game despite, as usual, beng on the end of several fouls. His energy and inspiration is rubbing off on his team mates. 9 (joint MoTM).

Walcott: He signed da ting, now he’s delivering. He was brave and inventive and forced West Ham onto the back foot. Some wrong options on occasion but he never stopped trying. Took his goal well. 8

Podolski: Three assists and a rocket of a goal. When the Pod is up for it like this he must be terrifying to opposition defenders with his size, speed, strength and the sheer power of his shot, which reminds me of Charlie George. 9 (joint MoTM).

Giroud: Took his two goals brilliantly and had a good all round game, even if sometimes his understanding with team mates was a tad off. 7.5

Subs
Koscielny
: Deputised well for Vermaelen who was removed as a precaution.
Santos: Nice to see Andre get a run out. He’s not as bad as his last outings would have you believe and it can only be good for the squad to have him back and fit.
Oxlade-Chamberlain: Full of running and tricks. Took shots a couple of times when he should have passed, but at 5-1 up who can blame him?

RockyLives

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214 Responses to Hammers Hammered – Report & Player Ratings

  1. Jeanette Kliger says:

    Nice review.
    Great that someone remembers Charlie George! He was my all-time favourite unit DB10 arrived on the scene.

    Crikey, that second half was a wonder to behold, such great goals.
    Let’s hope we can keep it up.

  2. Scott says:

    7.5 for Ramsey….at least 1 short me thinks…he was sensational.

  3. Shubham says:

    Good post RL,

    The team started with a purpose and got the deserved result. The application from the forwards were much better this time and put the Hammers on the back foot. I would have preferred a clean sheet but I will take a win any day. The team now needs to build momentum. We have 2 straight home games and the same purpose should be on show.

    On the negative side, I feel Sagna needs a break. He has suddenly become a passenger in this team and his clearances are awful. I think we have already conceded 2-3 goals from his poor efforts and last night we could have had another. Even more worrying is the OX who has regressed considerably in his development. His application is terrible. He shoots when there is a better pass available, he dribbles when a simple pass is more effective. Smiles after a mistake. There is something wrong with his attitude which needs sorting else will loose the potential he has.

    Overall a positive feeling and was worth staying up till 3 am. Enjoy the victory…

  4. Rasp says:

    Terrific match report Rocky on a terrific game.

    I can only see positives. It looks like Ramsey has staked his claim as Arteta’s successor. We had previously (LB in particular) thought that Ramsey was more attacking than Wilshere by nature, but the system with Ramsey playing behind Jack seems to be working well.

    The thing that surprised and impressed me the most was that we won the physical battles with wham in terms of desire and strength.

    Vaz Te (or however you spell his name) is a dirty b****rd who should have received minimum of a yellow for raking his studs down Per’s achilles – right in front of the ref!

  5. Red Arse says:

    A very nice write up, Rocky, :-)

    Big Bertha knows you well. When she wraps those thighs around your waist, you have to hope she does not sneeze, or she would crack you like a nut!

  6. Manthan says:

    People here always speaks about experience of watching match live in emirates… I had never watched gunners playing live in the ground because I never came to UK neither arsenal came to india like BARCA and MILAN…. I have a dream of watching a game live in emirates with current job it looks like it will take atleast 5 more years :P :P though my uncle reside in london near wembley street,,,, Hopefully i will come there soon and meet you all guys der and can watch full match singing dancing and roaring :P :) :) :)

  7. richard says:

    Like your piece, I agree though Szczesney has to start doing better the one on one with mata poor positioning didn’t help him. i would point michu second for swansea in their 3-2 win he got his angles wrong. He commits himself to early or gets his positioning wrong too often for my liking. However, last night it might have been down to seeing ball late that he reacted slower in case the ball go deflected on way through and by time he tried to get the ball it was too late. What surprised me is the hammers second half capitulation especially as thats not something allardyces teams normally do though its good to see the team produce a performance for most of the match

  8. Red Arse says:

    OK, what have you done to our Rasper?
    Positive, upbeat and crying out for vengeance on poor old Vaz Te.
    Not even close!

    Personation is a crime you know?? :D

  9. Manthan says:

    Thing about poldi i mark dis season is he has satmina problem as german leauge are slow and he is use to it.. If we play two match in a week in one match he will visible all around the pitch scoring assisting and second match he wont be seen… For instance agianst newcastle he scored a goal,assist he was all over the pitch but same week we played southhampton and poldi was nowhere on the pitch… Arsene should rotate him as he is still taking time to adapt to english leagues(stamina wise)… if he plays a game in a week he is very dangerous and unplayable for opponent…..

  10. Breezy says:

    Really chuffed for Rambo, his performances have improved of late, yet some fans were still giving him stick good to see him find some form again.

  11. Manthan says:

    Breezy,
    Rambo form is improving and he is better of middle then wide.. As more game will pass he will feel better and will get whole crowd behind him….

  12. Rasp says:

    Morning redders, I always tell it as I see it.

    The problem we have is inconsistency, we really do go from the sublime to the ridiculous. We need to be 90% sublime from now on to get top 4. Hopefully last night was a pivotal point and will have given the players great confidence. Pool up next and they too are riding high. Three points from that game and I’d see 4th as well within our sights.

  13. Manthan says:

    Rasp,
    I totally agree with you… Problem with arsenal this season is one game we look deadly next game we all play average football.. Rest most of the players agaisnt brighton so agaisnt pool most of the player will be fresh… Hope AW rest Whilsere agaisnt Brighton……

  14. Rasp says:

    Hi Mantham, I’d certainly like to see Eisfeld, Yennaris, Miquel and Meade play some part against Brighton … as long as we have a strong bench.

    Thank goodness Chamakh is on loan so we won’t have to see him up front :roll:

  15. Red Arse says:

    Hi Rasper, :-)

    Actually, I find your views on games and events not very different from my own, and some of the comments expressed by both of us about consistency and the like are borne out of concern, and not criticism for its own sake!

    Keep on keeping on – I know I will! :-)

  16. Manthan says:

    yes we wont see Chamakh and his old 1970 hairstyle ;-)… Hope to see jenks and Mannone they really need playing time especailly jenks….

  17. LB says:

    One swallow does not make a summer.

    I have to admit or rather I am happy to admit that the midfield looked good last night; that’s to say, well balanced.

    But look a little closer and you will see that Ramsey did not make a single tackle. Some bright spark is going to post a clip to which I am going to say something about the exception that proves the rule.

    My point is that until Ramsey plays against a top team where he has to add to the defence I remain sceptical, in the mean time against midtable teams and below things are looking up.

  18. Morning all and a big thanks to The Rock for the well-observed match report.

    It was good to see us turn up in the first half for a change and despite being caught pout by a sucker punch our heads didn’t drop.

    Manthan – one day I’m sure you will get a trip to Ashburton Grove(I hate the “E” word) and maybe a few pre-match Peronis at the Tavern too.

    Moving onto the awayday to Brighton (anyone remember the old school British Rail ads for “Take an awayday” and “This is the age of the train” ?) I’d rather not see too many youngsters start except of course Jenks coming in for Sagna.

    I’m a believer in starting your strongest 11 first and then taking off those that need to be rotated when a convincing lead has been established.

    It’s much easier doing that than throwing on your big guns to retrieve a losing situation – but I think I’ll be in a minority of 1 with that opinion. :o

  19. Rasp says:

    Oh good point, yes Jenks should take the RB position. It may be an opportunity to ease Rosicky back as well – possible captain?.

    AW will probably surprise me and start a full strength team, but I’d definitely rest players for the pool game. Pool play on Sunday so we will have one day’s extra rest over them.

  20. Red Arse says:

    Rock a Billy,

    Nice to see the frozen, fickle, farty, fans’ fulminations finally finished at frolicking fantasy fixture!

    Watching In Spain, Bendy’s barmy beagle barked and bayed, becoming bothersome for beef biscuits.

  21. Manthan says:

    ————Mannone———
    –Jenks—-Miquel—-kos–Meade—–
    ——-Frimong/Yennaris—-
    ——Granbry—–Rocsiky(c)—–
    —Eisflid/ox—Walcott—–Santos/Asharvin

    :P

  22. Manthan says:

    Thanks Charry hope that day come soon…. ;-)

  23. Manthan says:

    Official— MVILA to Rubin Kaza…
    AW use to like him but due to his attitude we never approched him i guess… Two target left wayama,Diame which one is better????????

  24. Rasp says:

    Some of Jack’s through balls yesterday were fantastic and reminiscent of Cesc – unfortunately his teammates didn’t always read him. I think Jack is more inventive in his play than Ramsey so if one has to play the forward role, I would presevere with Jack until it becomes obvious that he isn’t best suited.

    The beauty of the deep lying midfielder is that they go unnoticed such is the efficacy and simplicity of their role. Ramsey is not the quickest but he has a great engine and seems to be able to be disciplined and stick to his task. He should never be played out wide again unless it is in the latter part of a game and we have no other options.

  25. Raspers, that’s what baffles me, we can all see Ramsey is best suited to a central midfield role, so why has he been put out on the wing ?

  26. Rasp says:

    Hi Manthan, They’re both big strong players. One of the good things about Song was that he could play CB, and I believe the same is true of Wanyama so he would be my pick of the two but it is rumoured that manu are after him in which case we won’t succeed.

  27. Rasp says:

    Can’t answer that chary, but it wasn’t good for his confidence and led to a lot of unfair criticism. I will admit to having given up on Theo a couple of years ago because he just wasn’t progressing – and now he is an ‘Arsenal’ player. Ramsey has shown glimpses of an exceptional midfielder, its too early to write him off yet.

    For me, Diaby is a problem. He occupies a place in the team in AW’s mind it seems and that is pure folly and could get in the way of progressing the likes of Ramsey or Eisfeld. Time to put Diaby out of our minds and concentrate on bringing through other midfielders.

  28. Raspers, don’t get me started on Diaby….. :(

  29. SPECTRUM says:

    Lest I be accused of being absent when we win, I thought I should give my perspective.

    An expected win last night, and if you look at West Ham’s away form, you’d surely have seen this was a thrashing waiting to happen, even if we had only played for our usual 45 minutes ( though this time for a change, we didn’t ). The Hammers had only scored five goals away, before this outing, so going purely on statistics, they weren’t likely to score many, if at all. So it proved. Their record was pretty poor, so if we can’t win matches like this, we don’t deserve to even be where WE ARE in the table.

    Liverpool will be a better test. But regardless of our results in coming matches, our season was realistically over a long time ago. That is what needs to be borne in mind. I couldn’t care less if we win our NEXT TEN games in a row, because other teams will also pick up points, and the best we can do is finish the same as last season. Which means failure yet again. That to me is depressing, so excuse me if I don’t join you all in your “celebrations”.

    On the other hand, we could stay inconsistent or even get worse, thus finishing lower and out of the four. This, in a strangely ironic way, is the best option for us, as it offers SOME hope that something might change somehow. Even with Wenger being ( perhaps ) still in charge by then.

  30. Manthan says:

    Chary,
    Point about playing Ramsey Middle rather then Wide is valid.. He is not quick and he is not winger either… As Rasp told its unfair to critize him when we plays wide… Thing i liked about Rambo is whereever he plays he runs in and out and give 100%….

  31. Spec, I don’t think there has been too much in the way of triumphalism on here today – we know we faced a side with poor away form and acknowledge we have to replicate this against better opposition.

  32. Breezy says:

    @LB I see your point, but if Rambo can play as our DM against mid table teams it gives us the option of rotating Arteta during those games. That means a fresher Arteta and Rambo getting more game time in the centre. It seems like win win to me.

  33. Manthan says:

    Rasp,
    Point about daiby is correct sorry Chary but he should be replaced now… Its of no use if you play only 10 games in a season… AW like him but he not old same daiby…..

  34. Manthan says:

    Spec,
    Westham has almost won FA cup away match against Manure… Thanks to BSR injury time goal… We played well yesterday so we got the result… We cannot go by result….

  35. Manthan says:

    Sorry we cannot by form i mean…

  36. Rasp says:

    Mantham, I think you will find that chary is in agreement with our view on Diaby … the best player we never had … time to move on.

  37. Manthan says:

    Yes we should find replacment for Daiby now and should release him after contract expires..

  38. Manthan, as you haven’t seen that one of my pet hates is the lack of starts Diaby makes in the season I was actually agreeing with you.

    Me saying “Don’t get me started..” was probably too cryptic to make sense without the context of my prior stance on Diaby, ha ha.

  39. Manthan says:

    :D :D :D

  40. SPECTRUM says:

    Manthan – F.A.Cup form and league form are two distinctly different things.

  41. Manthan says:

    United agrees Zaha fees… Zaha to undergo medical today…..
    Source-Goal.com

  42. SPECTRUM says:

    Someone researched Diaby, and found that he has only averaged 13 matches a season for us since he’s been in the first team. That’s a shocking statistic. He and the equally infirm Rosicky are missing more often than not. Yet Wenger leaves the team short because he refuses to bring in cover for them. He did the same last season, and so far again now. He knows we lack depth in ALL positions, not just midfield. Yet he consistently does nothing about it.

    If you were the personnel manager at your workplace and refused to have hired relief workers on standby when someone couldn’t work,and your neglect cost the company lost time and production as a direct consequence, what do you think would happen to you ? Well if it happened once, you would get a severe reprimand and warning. If it happened for the SECOND YEAR in succession, you’d be fired. At Arsenal, this sort of managerial incompetence is not only overlooked, it isn’t even questioned ! It can’t have been, otherwise Wenger would have HAD TO HAVE corrected it before this, wouldn’t he ?

  43. GoonerB says:

    Nice to see you on here Spectrum commenting after a good win. I could feel your pain oozing out of you as you were typing, in having to mention anything remotely positive. Did it bring you out in a sweat and leave you twitching like a super hyped up Harry Redknapp. We like to tease each other on here a bit so I would say in advance don’t take a bit of leg pulling personally.

    I would agree with LB’s earlier comment about 1 swallow not making a summer. Although that was in reference to Ramsey, it could be used in reference to the team as a whole, and I would imagine Spectrum that this would be the angle you would take in your own inimitable way.

    I try and not do knee-jerk reactions whether we have a good win or a loss but try and look at it objectively as a bigger picture. I actually share many of your reservations Spectrum, as many on this site also will, but try and temper them with a more all round view. I was not personally overly negative after the Chelsea game and similarly I am not now suddenly thinking everything is all rosy after last nights win. I took the positives from the weekend that we can aspire to a level of football that can put one of the most expensively assembled teams in the world, that is packed with top international talent, in the shade. The second half at the weekend saw us play like one of the best teams in Europe, but I am also aware that we didn’t do it consistently for 90 minutes which is not an isolated incident. Last night we performed for 90 minutes but I am aware that we would need to do this more often and against better teams before we can all feel the team has matured to a consistently better level.

    Patrick Vieira indicated the other day that he felt this would happen eventually, and then we would have another AW team challenging at the top for silverware, and that as far as he was concerned AW was the right man to oversee it. If we are all true Arsenal fans the one thing we should all share is that wish, even if we have doubted along the way. I know I would be happy to hold my hands up and say I was wrong in my doubts. So I would ask you this Spectrum on a purely hypothetical basis, even if you don’t currently believe it will happen. If AW does develop another great team that wins titles and silverware would you be prepared to hold your hands up and would you be prepared to swallow your pride and become complimentary of AW again. I presume there was a time when you did, like the rest of us, sing his name from the rafters.

    Does anyone know how many different ways there are there of saying I told you so in Terry Mancini speak.

  44. ArsenalForever says:

    Great post RL, I didn’t get to see the game and am yet to see the goals so I appreciate the balanced article! 5-1, wow we really do know how to turn it on when we play to our proper level.

  45. Manthan says:

    GB,
    Well narrated and very positive comments Mate :)

  46. GoonerB says:

    Ah there we go Spectrum. Back to business as usual in your 12.23. I actually agree anyway on that point about strengthening the squad and hope it is one of the areas he addresses. I don’t think we need a raft of incoming players just a couple of significant ones. He has said he is after 2 in this window so I will feel frustrated, as many others will, if it doesn’t happen and it ends up costing us this season.

  47. goonerjake says:

    What a win, forget who we were playing, the way we played we would of beaten anyone in the epl. Even against chelski when we started to play they could not live with us.

    Maybe thats all thats been missing BELIEF the players have finally decided to listen to Mr Wenger and his belief in them.

    Well done Arsene.

  48. GoonerB says:

    Thanks Manthan. On your earlier comment about coming over from the land of exotic spices, I am sure everyone will be delighted to see you down at the Arsenal Tavern. It is a shame you don’t think it will be for 5 years. Fortunately I am getting better looking as I get older, in a George Clooney / Sean Connery type way, so when you get to the Tavern I will be the one standing with a raft of giggly swooning females around me….

  49. GunnerN5 says:

    Football’s money league 2011-12

    1. Real Madrid: Revenue: €512.6m
    2. Barcelona: €483m
    3. Man Utd: €395.9m
    4. Bayern Munich: €368.4m
    5. Chelsea: €322.6m
    6. Arsenal: €290.3m
    7. Man City: €285.6m
    8. AC Milan: €256.9m
    9. Liverpool: €233.2m
    10. Juventus: €195.4m

  50. GoonerB says:

    Sorry Rocky, very rude of me but the post was great. You called it as I saw it. Spot on.

  51. ArsenalForever says:

    I agree with the comments regarding Diaby, he like many others is taking up space in the squad and I think we need to cut our losses.

    Whilst I do sympathise with AW’s comments about why he has stuck with him for so long (i.e. his injuries have all been caused by one reckless tackle by Dan Smith in the last minute of an end of season match), he was happy to move Eduardo on so I think he should now do the same with Diaby.

  52. ArsenalF – Wenger’s comment the other day about how sorry he feels for Diaby that his career has been blighted by injury shows a lack of objectivity.
    He then said something about he is such a good boy as he doesn’t drink, smoke or go out and he trains religiously – that shows a lack of pragmatism.
    If we had the money he would be a luxury that we could only start 13 or so times a season, but as we are not one of the sugar daddy clubs we can’t do that.

  53. GunnerN5 says:

    Good report Rocky.

    A solid win that, regardless of the opposition, shows just how devastating our team can be when we use a combination of our speed and skill. I cannot remember a game when we used the wings so effectively.

    As a previous detractor of Ramsey I’m pleased to see him playing so well as a DM – we need all the cover we can get in that position and he was very effective last night.

    Displays like that could cause AW to turn off the transfer lights.

    I recognize that player ratings are subjective, but I believe that a scale of 1 to 10 would be a more definitive way of showing the differences in levels of performance.

  54. SPECTRUM says:

    Gooner B – Thanks for the reasoned and measured post. I freely admit that I have a narrow focus when it comes to Arsenal. If I appear one dimensional and repetitive, it’s because that’s the way the team performs and has been performing, for so long now. It’s the way our board conducts its business, and it reflects the way the manager thinks. It largely contributes to the sense of stasis at our club. Which is why I normally ( but not on here ) use the term “rust”.

    I estimate that 80 % of the stagnation we experience year in and year out, is exclusively attributable to the manager. It astounds me that even though quite a few of you on here see the same painfully obvious deficiencies, poor decision making,bad man management, failure to act when necessary, and a host of other flaws and faults, you continue to not only accept it all with almost cheerful equanimity, but steadfastly continue to have faith in the one who constantly throws that faith back in your face. As you have gathered, I’m not like that, and can never be. I say what I think, but try to avoid offending others in the process. Occasionally my frustration gets the better of me, but that’s because when something IS OBVIOUS, and people are content to deny it, then I feel compelled to speak up. Particularly when this denial becomes delusional. As is the case with A.K.B.’s.

    I’m glad you asked me your hypothetical question. If A.W. does “develop another great team that wins titles and silverware”, then yes, I’d be as delighted as you would be. All would be forgiven. I’d be a Wenger worshipper again. And while we’re on the subject, it’s important that I make clear that my current loathing of him would apply EQUALLY as much to ANY manager who couldn’t win anything after eight years of failing. Not just in the winning of trophies, but in the whole way the team is run on and off the pitch. If this person ran the club and team as incompetently as Wenger has for so long, and is incapable of, and refuses to change – I would feel the same – whatever his name happened to be.

    For Wenger to convince me, he’d have to WIN the league as a MINIMUM requirement. But we’re further away from that than we’ve ever been. To do so, he’d have to change his entire character and mental approach to the task. He would have to start thinking like a winner does. And he’d have to act like one too. But we know this can’t and won’t happen. He just gets more obstinate and arrogant. He wants to prove that his is the honourable and right way. He won’t listen to advice, in fact he actively discourages it. And if you aren’t willing to admit your mistakes and learn from them, you’ll go on repeating them. Which is why we haven’t had, nor WILL HAVE future success while he’s here. He’s a millstone around the club’s neck, he’s dragging us down, and the sooner you all realise it, the better for the club’s future it will be. Don’t fear change. If what you have isn’t working anymore, discard it and try something new. We all had our favourite toy when we were kids, but fond as we were about them then, we grow up and put them aside. Or we’d never progress.

  55. LB says:

    Good call Breazy re the rotation of Ramsey and Arteta — I like it.

  56. GunnerN5 says:

    Chary,

    Why would AW not want to show compasion?

    Daiby has a contract and the only way we will know AW intentions is when Diaby contract nears the expiry date. (which is ?) Until then I agree with him boosting the players confidence in every way that he can.

  57. ArsenalForever says:

    Chary,

    I accept your points on the lack of objectivity and pragmatism (this for me is one of the reasons why we have a bloated squad with too many players not contributing enough)

    But I think GN5 is spot on, I think AW was right to show compassion in Diaby’s case and he renewed his contract giving him every chance to be a success at Arsenal. When his contract runs out, I think he should be released and no-one can have any complaints

  58. SPECTRUM says:

    charybidis1966 – ( on Diaby ) ” If we had the money he would be a luxury that we could only start 13 or so times a season, but as we are not one of the sugar daddy clubs we can’t do that “.

    Don’t you see what is wrong with that comment ? We don’t HAVE TO BE one of the mega rich clubs to buy a world class replacement for Diaby, or anyone else in the squad for that matter. Firstly, if you had been reading the club and Wenger’s OWN statements on this, you’d KNOW that this is simply not the case. The money to buy players IS THERE, repeat IS THERE. But the WILL to spend it isn’t ! This is where I get frustrated.

    Gazidis has said for two or three years now that the money is there for Wenger to spend if he needs it. We have a 70 million warchest to spend, minimum. With at least 30 mill more a year coming in from commercial deals. Our debt is under control, and if you look at Goonern5’s list at 1;01 above, you’ll see that we’re the sixth richest club in football / Europe. Ahead of Manchester City, even ! Then we have Wenger himself who has said ( if he’s telling the truth for once ), that ” we can afford 90% of the players we’re interested in.” ( which makes you wonder why he hasn’t bought someone then, doesn’t it ? )

    And there are many more instances of this “we’re skint” myth being blown to pieces, if you care to do some research. Truth is, the board although supplying him with the cash, know he won’t spend it, they’d prefer he didn’t. Because success on the field isn’t the board’s priority. Don’t you know that yet ? To neglect strengthening the team appropriately when you clearly HAVE the resources to do so, to my mind amounts to criminal neglect.

  59. LB says:

    Which was your favourite goal last night Spectrum?

  60. N5, I believe Wenger should do what is best for the club and move on anyone who cannot or has not fulfilled their potential. whether he has to show compassion or not was not what I was getting at more that he was more than happy to move Eduardo on after his confidence shattering injury yet he is showing a different approach with Diaby. I’m more surprised by his inconsistency than anything.

    Spec, I think it’s not wholly a question of whether we can afford to keep a luxury as Diaby, more the fact he takes up a squad space and our season is planned on the assumption he will be available at a more average rate per season, eg he plays for 30-35 occasions.

    Even Sugar daddy clubs only get the same number of PL squad places as skint clubs so sugar daddy clubs would move on a non performer like Diaby, hence Owen Hargreaves being shown the door for persistent injury problems at Shitty.

  61. GoonerB says:

    Very funny LB.

    Spectrum, I actually want to come back to you on some points but haven’t the immediate time so I will respond in a little over an hour if you are still around.

  62. LB says:

    At the beginning of this season there would have been no reason to think that Diaby wouldn’t be able to contribute as many appearances as any other midfield player.

    “But he is always injured!”

    Yes, and so had Van Persie and looked what happened there. That is the obvious one but we shouldn’t forget that Wilshere had been out for 17 months as well. This also works with Sagna, Clichy etc, etc.

    Diaby is one of the most skilful players we have and it made complete sense to stick with him. We are where we are and hindsight is a wonderful thing.

    A comparison with Hardgreaves simply doesn’t work. Man City are in a totally different financial bracket; they can buy a player one week, be bored of him the next and so let him go; that said, I think in the case of Hardgreaves City only brought him to piss United off.

  63. Gooner In Exile says:

    Well I’m a happy bunny today……always love to see Fat “I could win things of I managed XY or Z” Sam looking so befuddled on the sidelines and admitting that we tore them a new one in the second half.

    Couple of cutaways I enjoyed last night, at 0-0 (or maybe 1-1) a pass by Ramsey got intercepted before Walcott arrived after a good move of pace and passing, they cut to Bould laughing clearly enjoying the performance. But he is clearly unhappy in his role…

    The other one that made me laugh was watching Fat Sam with an assistant either side with pieces of paper and suggesting formations and players (either that or playing hangman), it was 3-1 and they looked up as we broke away again with look of concern and new sheets of paper being required. I laughed because Managers that surround themselves with so many lieutenants clearly don’t have the balls to stand by their own decisions. You rarely see it from the best coaches.

  64. LB says:

    And for what it is worth, out of all the brilliant goals last night and they were all gems my favourite was the pile driver from Podolski.

    He looked the fittest he has been all season, his movement was so much more agile.

  65. Red Arse says:

    LB @2:25, Spot on!

  66. London – the van Persie/diaby question, at the beginning of this season we’d had Diaby for 6 1/2 seasons where he averaged 18.6 starts. The dutch chap we had for 8 seasons and he averaged 26.4 starts per season; so that’s about 8 more starts a season, or around 42% more than Diaby’s average(STATS per Arse.com).

    I don’t think the the Dutch chap is necessarily a good comparator with Diaby regarding how injury prone he is.

    Agree with you on best goal of last night, I like a howitzer of a shot on my strikers. :)

  67. Gooner In Exile says:

    Rocky, enjoyable read, nothing to disagree with…..except obviously Szczesny but I’m too busy to find the vids :D

    I enjoyed Ramseys performance last night, he is very comfortable on the ball. And contrary to popular belief can pass.

    LB just for you Rambos defensive stats:

    Attempted Tackles 3
    Successful Tackles 3
    Fouls 1 (the photo Rasp put up)
    Interceptions 1
    Clearances 1 (Goal line clearance too but injured TV5 in process)
    Headed clearances 1
    Blocks 1
    Aerial Duels 1
    Successful Aerial Duels 1

    More importantly:

    117 successful passes from 123
    107 received passes.

    As a team we made 543 successful passes, so Ramsey was involved in 41% of all our passes.

  68. Gooner In Exile says:

    LB I put Pods performance last night to his little mini winter break that Arsene has allowed both him and BFG this term.

    My favourite goal was Santi’s one because of the balance he showed to flick it in, and secondly because the oohs and aaaahs that greeted it from the Emirates faithful when the replay was on the big screen :D

    Did like Pods, and I also liked Girouds first.

  69. evonne says:

    LB @2:03 – probably the one against us :)

  70. LB says:

    Thanks GIE

    I assume you put those stats up there to back my point up: three tackes and a headed clearence. lol

  71. evonne says:

    LB – for me it was the equilizer

  72. LB says:

    Evonne

    I would do a laughing face here but I don’t know how to do them.

  73. SPECTRUM says:

    Chary – Agreed. Most other managers would have moved Diaby on. Wenger however has his favourites, and Diaby, like Ramsey, is one of them. You don’t ( and should never ) put the interests of an individual ahead of the interests of the team.Wenger does this often. He sticks with players when they’re out of form, partly because he doesn’t give himself the flexibility and options to do any different. How can you gamble ( and GAMBLE is what it is ), on players who are so injury prone that they cannot be relied upon with any degree of certainty, to last the whole season through ? It’s recklessly stupid to do it. And totally unnecessary to anyone with common sense and a bit of foresight.

    You can tell from his comments about Diaby that he sees him as one of the family, almost. He exhibits this fatherly attitude to much of the squad on a regular basis. This softly softly gentle handling of them, ends up being counterproductive. The players become convinced with all this constant praise and support, that they’re better than they really are, and when they don’t play well, they know there’ll be few if any consequences. Wenger needs to harden his manner with them, get tougher, and not tolerate underperformance and poor application from them. At United, Sir Alex gains respect from his squad because he takes the opposite position. He’s not afraid to get stuck in to them after showing no pride or effort. The players fear him, and this leads to them lifting their game. Wenger can no longer motivate his team consistently. Which is why combined with poor decision making and judgment, and rigid tactics, we get inconsistent results.

  74. Spec, another way of saying that is Wenger should be a boss, not a father, but then even fathers have to show tough love sometimes.

  75. LB says:

    There’s a manu love in going on here, I’m off.

  76. dandan says:

    Now is the winter of our discontent
    Made glorious summer by these men of Arsenal;
    And all the clouds that lour’d upon our house
    In the deep bosom of the ocean buried.
    Now are our brows bound with victorious wreaths;
    Our bruised arms hung up for monuments;
    Our stern alarums changed to merry meetings,
    Our dreadful marches to delightful measures.
    I could not help but think of these lines from Richard 111 as I read todays blogs so vastly changed from what has been the norm since the new year.
    So negative has much of the outpourings been that one would have been forgiven for thinking that the snows of winter had been generated from the Emirates, so chilly has the reception for the team been.
    No point us older fellows talking of cycles or the magnificent football we were capable of, when those far shrewder and more computer literate than us, could evaluate the results analyse the tactics and tell us that the tea leaves that had served us so well should be dumped on the compost heap and forgotten.
    Old games, old players, hard times, good times all have no bearing on this digital world where all that matters is winning, well we won last night, but it is not the winning that has relit the flame of respect at our super stadium. Even young Ramsey for a season and a half the butt of much of the negatives was eulogised and our newly re-signed flyer and the supposedly short of pace bargain basement Germans joined the carnival.
    It was of course the manner of the winning, which has been there to see for half a season. Sure it flickers in and out but it bears testament to the shrewdness of the man that many would like to see replaced, buried under a mound of black scarves and a hunger for tinpots.
    We may lose again next game, Liverpool will be no push over either, but the innate ability is there, young players are beginning to Gel with our newcomers, the belief is there, should the supporters grasp these truths and understand that in the football world 8 years without a trophy is a road that all the major sides of today have walked
    A bit more rebuilding and maybe our winter of discontent will indeed become glorious summer and like that Mr Willie Spokeshave we will still be talked about by generations to come

  77. SPECTRUM says:

    LB – As you asked me, I liked Podolski’s goal, Nice approach play too. However I find it very difficult to get excited about individual games, whether we win lose or draw. I have become so disillusioned with the team and the whole club in general under this current regime. I always look at the broader perspective, not merely whether we win or not. You see what Wenger and co. have done to me ? They’ve killed my enjoyment of the team. That’s why I’m angry. Love the club, hate the way it’s run.

    Gooner B – It’s almost 11.15p.m. here in Western Australia where I live, so I’m off to sleep now. I’d be pleased to continue discussion with you tomorrow, if time permits, that is. You can leave your post for me to read in the meantime, though.

    Gooner In Exile – On Ramsey’s stats – shows what can happen when he’s played in his natural position, doesn’t it ? The only reason Ramsey was played in the middle this time, was because of injury to Coquelin, hence his being given the midfield holding role. When Coq. and / or Arteta return, our master tactician will have him back out on the flanks again, where he’s the most ineffective. Can you doubt it ?

    Time for my beauty sleep. Night all.

  78. Rasp says:

    I’m all for trying to bost Diaby’s self esteeem in the hope that if he does manage to play games from us he’d perform to a high standard. But it is beyond risky to have expected him to have a run of games given his history and to plan the structure of the midfield based around that hope.

    This would not have been anything to do with the gift of hindsight and everything to do with forward planning. The way to have viewed Diaby’s participation in our season would have been to accept that any pitch time we could get out of him would be a bonus.

    No one would deny that Diaby is a very gifted footballer, that is not the point. As it is, in the few games he has played, he hasn’t really got up to speed as might be expected after a long lay off.

  79. arthur mallard says:

    Nice one, Rocky.

    As regards the BFG’s movement at the corner for Giroud’s first goal, I think it was a training ground move as you say, but a little naughty as he deliberately blocked Giroud’s marker, John Terry stylee.

    It’s clearest at 2:27 in the vid below.

  80. Rasp says:

    Another thing I noticed last night was how good the first touch control was by all the players. I remember Theo pulling a long diagonal cross out the air on his toe and setting up a shooting opportunity in a way that would have had pundits drooling if BSR had done it.

    The midfielders were pinging the ball at each other very hard demonstrating complete confidence in their team mate’s ability to control the ball – all very enncouraging.

    There is clearly still some way to go to fully develop the understanding and timing of runs but that can only improve every game.

  81. RockyLives says:

    Good day everyone and thanks for the comments.

    It was a fun game last night and shows what we’re capable of.

    Let’s see if we can keep the momentum going. A win at Brighton is a must, then we’ll see against the ‘Pool whether we are making real progress.

    If we play like we did second half against the Chavs we’ll be too good for Liverpool.

  82. Red Arse says:

    Chas,

    I noticed that on the highlights programme, too. :-)

    In fact, I recall BGF running towards the nearside of goal first, held by Tomkins (?), until he changed direction and as you say blocked him off as Giro ran the other way.

    It was the sort of training ground goal strategy we have often fallen foul of – nice to see it reversed – thanks for reminding us! :-)

  83. Red Arse says:

    GN5 was honest enough, earlier, to admit that he was unconvinced about Rambo, a while back, but was now pleased to see that he has improved.

    I was the opposite. I had a lot of conviction that the lad was going to get his form and finess back after his terrible injury.
    That conviction, in recent months, had begun to wane, so coming at it from different directions, GN5 and I are both now on the same page in our assessment of Ramsey!! Yaay!! :D

    Of course if Rambo buggers things up next time — it was all GN5’s fault! :D

  84. GoonerB says:

    Rasp @3.36 that was a spot on comment. Many fans who are unconvinced of Theo often cite his first touch as being terrible. For maybe over a year I have actually thought that he cushions his first touch very well. There will be some times when he does take a slightly heavy touch obviously, but he is often trying to cushion the ball on the move at pace so that he can run onto it without slowing down. That is a difficult technique to fully master but Theo is becoming very good at it and will IMO become even better as he plays in an advanced role more often. I remember the one you stated from last night, but there were 2-3 others that saw him get a yard on the last defender even if the final shot didn’t quite come off. I don’t know if you have the clip, but I remember a game last season when I think Song lofted the ball over the defence and Theo took a great first touch and placed it calmly past the keeper on his second touch. I think it was against Villa. If that had been one of our more celebrated strikers we would have all been dribbling in our Horlicks and talking about it for ages. Can you get that one Rasp or is Gon-chas-ad around to oblige?

    I must say night night to Spectrum and wish him sweet dreams. I can post to you on another day Spectrum. I don’t know if anyone else has noticed it but he has been slightly more reserved and objective today. In about another 3 weeks I think he will fully metamorphasise into Terry Mancini in AA’s version of the fly with Jeff Goldblum. Don’t let the thought of Ramsey playing out wide make you grind your teeth and pull your hair out in the night Spectrum. You need to get a good nights sleep so you are fully refreshed for tomorrows ranting….

  85. Rasp says:

    Thanks GB, I noticed last night that Theoi was able to weave and trick his way out of tight spots when previously he might have lost possession or been dumped on his back. I think he has benefitted from BSR leaving and taken up the mantle of top goalscorer impressively well.

  86. Gooner In Exile says:

    Darren Fletcher, Paul Scholes…..sick notes with mystery illnesses/injuries….persisted with

    Vidic out for 18 months ….. not replaced

    Phil Jones out for 12 months ….. not replaced

    That’s without thinking that hard.

  87. Gooner In Exile says:

    Seem to remember Ramsey playing in the middle quite a bit last season, but he was roundly booed!

  88. arthur mallard says:

    Here’s that goal at 30 seconds

  89. Red Arse says:

    Daddy GIE, :-)

    I have a confession to make — I pinched your Rambo stats when you were not looking, to make a point to TA!!

    Does that make me a tea leave?:D

  90. evonne says:

    Oi GiE – Fletcher is very ill. You lost £100, I didn’t think we’ll see you here today

  91. ArsenalForever says:

    DD – excellent post at 3.07 pm, I always admire your optimism, and I agree with you on a number of your points – particularly the fact that we football works in cycles and that our time will come again. They say fans are fickle, and yes sometimes they are! :-)

    As someone who was a supporter of Arsenal before the George Graham era, I can appreciate why you cannot understand the current antagonism and polarisation, as you would have seen much worse days. I think it’s a case of people no longer sitting on the fence and some want change while others are happy with things the way they are and expect things to turn around. I will give you my take on why some want change here, and later I’ll give my views on why some feel things will still turn around.

    1. Timing. The negative outpourings towards AW have only been in the past few seasons (since 2010 actually). Fans have been patient – it’s not like we’ve won things every year under his reign. There’s the perception of our squad still not being able to compete yet the Board tell us every year that we have money that has caused the negativity. That’s where the “lack of ambition” comes from. I don’t recall anyone complaining during the barren years of 1998/99 – 2000/10, and that was because fans believed that we had a strong team that had done everything we could to compete.

    2. Press Comments. Some (me included) feel that AW doesn’t help himself with his occasionally patronising comments such as “fans want a Messi”, when in reality fans just want to see significant quality investment in the squad to give us the chance to compete for trophies. That could mean a 5m signing or a 20m signing. No-one is asking for an £80m+ signing, Also his comments regarding transfers come across as some form of political spin designed to baffle us all.

    3. The issue of tactical naivety. I don’t think that AW is tactically naive, but I do think we tend to stick to formations too rigidly, and substitutions seem, more often than not, to be premeditated rather than in response to what is happening on the field e.g. Andre Santos earlier in the season. I take it that I am not a football manager and can only judge based on what I see on the pitch, but it is not rocket science to identify some of the obvious flaws. Like them or not, pundits on MOTD have highlighted our defensive weaknesses for years and these are people who know the game and have worked with some of the greatest managers in English football. Some of them have even played under AW! I think it was Schmiechel who showed a clip of our “schoolboy” 1st half defending against City, by drawing a line down the middle of the pitch from goal to goal. In this particular clip, all of our defending players were drawn to the ball and ended up above the line, allowing a City player to break down our left unmarked.

    4. Inadequate replacements for players sold. This is probably the biggest bone of contention. I hear it said a lot, well who would you get to replace him with? But IMO, that’s a moot point. 1) That’s the purpose of having a scouting network and 2) No one can ever say how well any player will do at a new club. Other teams have shown that it can be done, so it is possible. As an example, I think the RVP sale could have been mitigated with us getting Berbatov as part-exchange. He ended up at Fulham cos Man United were so keen to sell him. It was a bit shocking for AW to come out afterwards and say he did not know that he was available, when the rest of the world knew (especially as they had 5 strikers). This shows that there are quality players out there that are not being bought up by the sugar daddys. Arseblog has been one of the few sites with a sense of perspective (the bloggers, not necessarily those adding comments), but even they have started to be critical of the clubs lack of transfer activity.

  92. ArsenalForever says:

    Clarification – I did not support Arsenal before GG era, as that’s when I started watching football! I was referring to DD being a pre-GG era Arsenal fan… Hope that clears that up! :-D

  93. LB says:

    Re Diaby

    I remember having the same discussion with Rocky about Van persie when he came back from injury and how could he possibly be relied upon.

    The point is when a player returns from injury there is no reason to assume that he is more likely to get injured again than any other player of a similar position.

    And as for Wenger’s failure to think ahead in case Diaby or Wilshere took longer to recover than expected.

    Well WTF is Cazorla if he is not exactly that?

  94. evonne says:

    Rocky – excellent report, very enjoyable read, thank you.
    My only beef was Santos, I really cannot get my head round his tactics, but you are happy to see him back, so let him stay.

    Pott’s injury wasn’t serious, thank Dennis. He was kept in hospital overnight, but released in the morning with a bill of good health. Lovely.

    Fat Sam’s face was a picture of agony and disbelief. How does he think Wenger feels when we play like that? Le Boss looked puzzled too :)

  95. Rasp says:

    Hi LB, I’m afraid the physios would disagree with you. We have a resident AA physio who I hope will come on to explain in technical terms exactly why players who have had long term injuries are prone to suffer further seemimgly unconnnected (to the layman) set backs.

  96. evonne says:

    Dear Sheep, here is one for you:

    I was in a bar last Saturday night and drank a few and noticed two very large women by the bar. They both had pretty strong accents so I asked,
    “Hey, are you two ladies from Ireland?”

    One of them chirped saying, “It’s WALES, you idiot!”

    So, I immediately apologized and said, “I’m sorry. Are you two whales from Ireland?”

    That’s pretty much the last thing I remember.

  97. Rasp says:

    I don’t see Cazorla as a replacement for Diaby or Wilshere – Rosicky maybe?

  98. Red Arse says:

    Hi AF, :-)

    I like that comment @4:45, reasoned and well argued, with some valid points made.

    There is another aspect of the growing dissatisfaction, that you have not made, altho you have inadvertently demonstrated it yourself.

    That is the habit of many fans to rationalize the ‘missing links’ or to fill in the gaps in our knowledge by inventing ‘facts’ that are anything but.

    For example, (in an example you were making yourself) you made a perfectly reasonable point that the fans anger could have been assuaged, by saying, — “I think the RVP sale could have been mitigated with us getting Berbatov as part-exchange”.

    However, you then went on to say, “(instead), he ended up at Fulham cos Man United were so keen to sell him. It was a bit shocking for AW to come out afterwards and say he did not know that he was available, when the rest of the world knew (especially as they had 5 strikers)”.

    Now that was just your interpretation of the events surrounding the sale of Berbatov, casting doubts on Wenger’s integrity, or competence – and that was not based on ‘fact’.

    I offer you an entirely different explanation to yours, from someone, with due respect, much closer to what happened between the clubs concerned, than you could possibly be.

    I call as my witness Mr Gary Neville: Neville said on Sky, earlier this month, when he was analyzing an Arsenal game, after that very point about Berbatov not going to Arsenal had been raised, that Ferguson had played his cards very close to his chest, and that no one knew the deal had been done to sell berbatov to Fulham until after he had signed.

    He went further and also said that Ferguson would NEVER sell an ‘important’ player to what he saw as a competitor club, but doing the deal with Fulham on the quiet, made sure it could not be raised during the RvP negotiations.

    That puts a very different slant on the events as you portrayed them.

    This ‘inventing’ of facts by fans everywhere is understandable, given the limited information given to all fans of every football club, but in the current climate of hostility it is personally and unfairly damaging to AW, and by association is also damaging to the club.

    We all do this infilling, at some time — well maybe not GN5 and DD — so this is not written to bug you — but have a look at some of the comments made on any number of blogs, and you can soon see that the blogger relating the ‘fact’ could not possibly have been privy to it.

  99. Norfolk Gooner says:

    Loyalty is in short supply in today’s football, Wenger has always shown loyalty to both the club and his players. Diaby is a case in point, van Persie was another, Wenger stuck by him for season after season until he was kicked in the teeth by the Dutchman.

    However, loyalty can be taken too far, in the case of Abou Diaby the limit has been passed. A player returning from long term injury requires a run of games to get up to speed, Diaby, unfortunately doesn’t seem to be able to stay fit enough to play in a run of games. It’s time to let him go.

  100. LB says:

    Well Rasp

    Van Persie’s fitness says other wise doesn’t it. How many times has he been injured since he returned for us?

    Has Jack’s injury reoccurred after his 17 month absence?

    The point of the criticism above from Chary and Spectrum which you jumped into is that Wenger should have anticipated problems with Diaby’s fitness — he did and bolstered the midfield with Carzorla. Nothing to do with replacing Diaby or Wilshere Rasp, just a bit of forward thinking.

    I know that for you, Chary and Spectrum, Wenger never does anything good but as hard as it is for you all to swallow — the facts show that he does.

  101. Sheep Hagger ™ says:

    Hi all
    Cheers for that Evonne. Xx
    I see Saha is on his way on Manure shame.

    We r still yet to see any new signings loads of rumours and paper talk.
    There is a interest in Ashley Williams the Swansea captain is one of them I have heard.
    For around 8mill in the summer.

    Much love
    Sheep Hagger ™🚬

  102. Rasp says:

    That’s well over the top LB and unbefitting of you. I appreciate that there is no reason for you to remember stuff I write, but I am happy to praise anyone who performs well including the manager (big of me I know :roll: ).

    Unlike Spectrum, I am not on a mission to twist everything that happens as evidence that the manager should be sacked and I’m pretty sure chary would say something similar.

    So let’s put that down to you just being arsey then :?

    As I said earlier, I don’t expect you to take it from me but just a few minutes googling will show you that follow up problems are commonplace after long term injury – but there will always be exceptions. It is a highly technical subject and I am in the process of helping my son with essays for his degree in sports science and physiology so I have been reading a fair bit about aspects of rehabilitation.

  103. LB says:

    I can see why people are saying it is time to get rid of Diaby now but what really pisses me of is when people try and criticise Wenger for not anticipating this before the beginning of the season.

    The other thing of course is that should he get sold there is still the very real possibility of him having four more blinding seasons, but then if that happens it will be Wenger’s fault for selling him.

  104. Norfolk Gooner says:

    LB,

    The answer is to send him out on loan to see if he can regain his fitness. If he must be sold it must not be to any of our competitors.

  105. Red Arse says:

    Toon, seem to be rebuilding their whole squad with French players.
    They have just signed Muhammed Sissoko. I think he is their 5th signing since Ba ( down Sheep) was bought by Chelsea.

    Could end in tears — hopefully! :-)

  106. LB says:

    Rasp

    I noticed you dodged the point about Van Persie and Wilshere not suffering reoccurences after their long lay off.

    These are facts, and I say once again that Wenger was right to assume that Diaby would ba capable of playing as many games as any other player of a similar position.

    And by the way the thing that you, Chary and Spectrum all have in common is that you want Wenger replaced.

    This is not being “arsey” as you put it, it is a fact that all three of you have stated many times, and all three of you look for resons to back your view up. Today’s is that Wenger should have anticpated Diaby’s present injury, well once again Wishere and Van Persie say otherwise.

  107. Norfolk Gooner says:

    RA,

    Some while ago Alan Pardew criticised Wenger for playing too many foreigners, the man is a hypocrite.

  108. LB says:

    Norfolk with the information we have now I would tend to agree with you — but at the beggining of the season, it was reasonable to assume that he could play as many games as Wilshere for example.

  109. Red Arse says:

    I have NO technical knowledge on physiological matters! [Take note, Shard] :-)

    But why are so many jumping on Diaby today? (OK, well the usual suspects are excused from answering — and I don’t mean Rasper) :-)

    Diaby is not injured and he has played a lot since his return to non-match fitness 2 or 3 weeks ago.

    He did not play last night because he was ill. Just like the Ox was ill last week [Norovirus?]

    Let’s give the guy a break, fellas! :-)

  110. Red Arse says:

    I know Norfolk, it is a disgrace that inferior managers like Pardew have the nerve to criticise AW, and get away with it.

    I thought the League Managers Association was supposed to stop this sort of crap.

    Hypocrite — well that is one word for Pardew!

  111. Shard says:

    LB,

    I am one of Wenger’s biggest supporters but even I think relying on Diaby to stay fit was a ‘mistake’. His injury issues are well known and he’s had enough false dawns and comebacks that it was very reasonable to anticipate that Diaby cannot be relied upon to be fit for any length of time. We didn’t strengthen the midfield with Cazorla. We sold Song. SO in terms of numbers about even from last year (though Wilshere didn’t play last season) As an aside, a striker and midfielder is what I think we are missing. A Song and an RVP (not saying we could have kept them, but if only we could)

    What I will say is that Wenger thinks a little more long term than one season. We have a fair number of young midfielders at the club. At one point there were even more. Ozyakup and Bunjaku have moved out. But we still have Eisfeld, Frimpong, Yennaris, Aneke, and behind them Olsson and Toral. Now we know all of them will probably not make it, but Wenger sees these players and assesses their talent. Let’s say Eisfeld and Frimpong are two that he expects will be involved next season. Should he block their path with another player now? Perhaps. But it has to be the right player who will be good enough long term to justify blocking their path for (because he believes they might turn out to be better) Maybe he didn’t find such a player who was available, who would fit into our system, and whose attitude was right.

    The other option is to go for someone on loan. Apparently he tried that with Sahin, which would have been a very good move for both player and club in my opinion.

    So, in short. I’m sort of sitting on the fence :) I am frustrated by not having another option in midfield. But I can understand why Wenger may not have brought anyone in. There is no right or wrong here. It’s all qualia :)

  112. Shard says:

    I always describe Pardew as a snivelly little runt.. I’ve heard other gooners agree wholeheartedly with that description :)

  113. Red Arse says:

    Shard,

    I am surprised. You speak as if Diaby has ‘collapsed’ injured again, it beggars belief that everyone is crying before they have been hit!

    In the future he might succumb to injury, but if you take the analogy that Wenger should have a ready made replacement for every player in the squad who may get injured, he would need 25 extra players, which, of course, is nonsense.

    In cas you had not heard Arsene’s comment about Diaby, he is sick – that’s all!

  114. Rasp says:

    LB, I haven’t dodged any questions and have tactfully tried to point out to you that your layman’s assumption that a player who comes back from long term injury is no more likely to suffer further injury than a fit player is incorrect.

    Citing exceptions to a rule does not mean that the rule is incorrect.

  115. Shard says:

    RA,

    No. And I share in your surprise that this has become an issue today. In fact, Diaby started 3 games in a week recently. 1 game out after that is hardly abnormal anyway.

    But my view on relying on Diaby is still the same as it was at the start of the season. I would like to see him as nothing more than a bonus player. He has already missed a significant chunk of the season. Wilshere has come back quicker, and better, than expected, or Diaby’s absence would have cost us more.

  116. barumgooner says:

    Nice post. I only saw the highlights ontelly but much much better. Really showed how much we missed the Pod against Chelsea. I will put my view into the pot regarding Diaby. Anyone who has ever read my comments will know that i’m not a fan and I feel he should have been dismissed as an unfortunate failure some time ago but AW sticks with him, possibly out of loyalty, possibly out of a stubborn wish to prove he is right and more likely that he genuinely does believe he has the quality. My problem is that if semi-fit he walks straight into the team and no doubt Ramsey will be consigned to the bench once again so we can all see Diaby giving some more half-hearted and below-par performances. This imo is where the manager is wrong. If any of the midfield should go out on loan (as is often disscussed about AR) it should be Diaby so he can prove once and for all whether he is good enough to hold a place in the squad.

  117. Red Arse says:

    Maybe.

    You will all be aware of the law of unintended consequences, and unfortunately it is being demonstrated here on AA today.

    It only takes one irrational blogger to sour the blog and others get sucked into it and …………………….. well, it’s a shame!

  118. Shard says:

    barumgooner

    That sort of logic is strange. First, there is an assumption that Diaby is semi-fit (being injury prone is not the same thing). Then that he’s walking into the team. Diaby’s skillset is different from Ramsey’s. If he complements the side better, then he deserves to start. Finally, there is no way of knowing Diaby’s state of mind. Will he be half hearted because he gets into the team, or will he be even more motivated to prove Wenger right and repay him, not to mention getting to play after all this time? It’s impossible to say either way.

  119. Shard says:

    RA,

    One has to be very careful with you and your caveats.. Yes..Maybe.. If Wishere hadn’t made his comeback so well, Diaby’s absence might have cost us more :)

  120. RockyLives says:

    Right, been doing some work for a change.

    Everyone still happy and discussing the great win last night?

    Oh…

  121. RockyLives says:

    Redders is absolutely right with his 6.32

    If we don’t want negativity spoiling a whole day’s blogging people have got to stop ‘biting’ when provocateurs dangle the bait.

  122. Red Arse says:

    Shard,

    It is better to be non-committal sometimes than to argue – so ‘maybe’ is not a caveat – it is a social deference! :-)

    Anyway, I am off. :D

  123. barumgooner says:

    Shard, When I say he is semi-fit its because after so many months off and less than an hour of reserve football under his belt he gets put straight into the first team for two big games. In both games I would have got nearer to the opposition than he did……alright maybe thats a step too far. Against the Chavs though he just seemed to patrol space allowing there midfield freedom to do what they liked. I support any player wearing the shirt but some decisions do baffle me. When he has the ball at his feet running he is great to watch and worth having but tall, black and gangly does not make you Patrick Vieira i’m afraid.

  124. Sheep Hagger ™ says:

    My view of Diaby

    The midfielder seems to struggle to pass to a team-mate regardless of where said team-mate is standing, be it five yards away or 50.
    Diaby does also try as hard as possible to be nowhere near the ball at all times and has taken ‘flattering to deceive’ to whole new levels. Quite why Wenger persists with the French midfielder is frankly baffling.

    Much love
    Sheep Hagger ™

  125. Shard says:

    Haha. RA. Fair enough. I wasn’t looking to argue anyway. See you soon :)

    I watched the match again, and what struck me is how calmly I took in the game yesterday without railing at West Ham’s dirty tackles. I was fuming at some of them today, and I see Tim from 7amkickoff has mentioned those in his match report too. Sam Allardyce sends out his team to kick and injure the opponents (unless the opponents happen to be a team from Manchester wearing red), and yesterday was no different. But we dealt with it very well yesterday (probably the reason for my calmness) , and as has been pointed out before, we pressed well and worked hard. The goals were beautiful too. My favourite was Walcott’s goal. Podolski’s vision and cross were superb for that one. But perhaps the most heartening goal was the go-ahead goal by Giroud, from the corner.

    I’ll be honest and admit I was a little fearful when the draw for the FA cup put us going to Brighton. I’d just watched them the day before, and they seem very Swansea-like in their style of play, and I could see them causing us some problems. If we play like we did yesterday though, we could probably match Bayern, let alone beat Brighton.

  126. ArsenalForever says:

    RA,

    “I call as my witness… Gary Neville”. Very amusing :-)

    Your comment at 5.21 is a fair point and very well made. I do not assume to know the details of how transfers work, and perhaps by using Berbatov as I was probably speaking in ignorance. However, I was not trying to imply that AW lacks integrity, not at all. If anything, it was directed at the team responsible for transfers. If you feel that the point came across as questioning AW’s integrity or competence, then I could probably use the same argument against AW when he says that we fans want a Messi. That implies that we are all glory hunters living in dreamland… I say give me a Ray Parlour any day! ;-)

    I guess the point I was trying to make was based on an assumption that when Man U came in for RVP, Berbatov’s name might have been mentioned during the process of the negotiations. Man U may have said that he was not for sale. If so, why didn’t AW just say that? Or it may very well be that AW was never interested in him, in the first place. but again why not just say that? By saying that he did not know Berbatov was available, it implied that he may have been interested. With Zaha, he came out and said we weren’t interested, so he could have said the same here – but if Man U lied about Berbatov then he could have just said so and shamed them. That was why I said it was shocking. But the implication above is where you also make a valid point about fans “filling” in the details.

    Rather than infilling, I believe I was attempting to read between the lines. We are talking about a player who two seasons ago was their top scorer, but spent most games on the bench, that was followed by virtually a whole season of bench warming. His body language was clearly one of frustration. Given Man Utd had 3 other strikers who were given more playing time, plus they were willing to buy RVP, it is not too unreasonable to assume that they were willing to sell.

    Let me be clear though, I meant what I said about your comment, it is something which most fans do. I was only portraying my views as well as those expressed by numerous fans I speak to as well as those at matches. I do admit I have been guilty of infilling on more than one occasion, but it’s not done with a view to harming AW or the club – it’s just a case of trying to make sense of what is happening at our beloved club.

  127. kelsey says:

    Firstly i don’t come on here to have a slanging match with anyone, it’s getting sometimes like ” I know better than you”.
    Right got that out of the way and seen one hours highlights and the first thing that struck me was the movement of the players seemed 25% faster than quite a while,noticeably Giroud and Podolski.
    Diaby wll if ever there was an enigma. it was reported he was injured in training then last night he was ill, so who knows.
    otherwise confidence should be sky high so let’s make a judgement after the next game.

  128. Red Arse says:

    Hi AF,

    Your response caught my attention as I was firing up my Excel software!! :-)

    I really do have to go, but I wanted to say that you have made a very good rejoinder to the point I was trying to make.

    Actually, it was not my intention to pillory you, (your comment just happened to have reminded me of a pet beef) :-) there have been many more outlandish comments that deserve opprobrium! :-)

    Your comments are well intentioned and interesting, and I always look for them!! :D

  129. Well done last night you Arsenal lads. Please do it again, and again, and again, and again, and never stop. I can never get enough !!!

  130. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Evening all,
    Just seen “Oh Bless GiE’s League Projection Chart”
    Eh? 30 points behind Spuds!!!!!
    That’s one doomer of a machine :-)

  131. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Great report Rocky and as upbeat as it should be. Thanks.

  132. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Ooo a Diaby debate
    Only Jack and Santi have his kind of natural footballing talent. Difference is, they are not quite so lazy
    Hope that helps ROLF

  133. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Alright then, tip for the day.
    Sell your house, and wife if she’s hot enough, and buy gold.

  134. RockyLives says:

    Micky
    Why?

  135. evonne says:

    why not Rocky?

  136. ArsenalForever says:

    Thanks RA, same here mate, have a good evening!

  137. ResidentAAphysio says:

    Good day to you all. Rasp I have just picked up on your 4.54 for insight on the injury issue, and the debate that has resulted from this today. I am sorry it has taken me a while to respond but I had a late emergency. The entire Swedish female volleyball team came in with injuries. They all had different injuries but strangely enough every injury seemed to be referred pain from the gluteal muscles (buttocks in lay terms). I’ll tell you, if I have to massage another tight, tanned Swedish female buttock I will just scream….

    The cases of the long-term injuries with Diaby, Wilshere and RVP and whether they will have a long-term knock on effect is a difficult one. It is a subject that may even split opinions amongst different physios and other relevant medical persons. There are many variables that may make one case different to the other. Obviously the type of injury is very relevant. Diaby’s was a high impact trauma injury while Wilshere’s seemed a less traumatic injury, or possibly was more of an RSI or overloading stress type injury.

    A fractured tibia can have different after-effects depending on whether the injury is mid shin or at the ankle. The latter would likely have substantial ligament damage also which would likely be more problematic afterwards than the mid shin fracture. I believe, without knowing the absolute facts, that both Diaby and Eduardo suffered this type of injury. There could be a potential argument that certain injuries will slightly alter the way a person moves dynamically even after recovery from the injury. At the higher athletic level this could alter said persons bio-mechanical efficiency so that the loading stresses change slightly on other areas of the body making that person more prone to repetitive break-down injuries.

    The bio-mechanics consideration, I feel, has a big influence on the variance of injuries in different players. Some players do just seem to be injury prone even without a significant high impact trauma injury. I would surmise that this would be down to differences in bio-mechanical efficiency between different players. I have never directly assessed Wilshere or Diaby but in observing them you can see that they have an obvious difference in their shape, size, and how they dynamically move and run. This means that they will have different bio-mechanical make ups and different levels of stress on certain body areas. Wishere is short and stocky with a low centre of gravity and shorter limbs (or levers) while Diaby is tall, slim and long-limbed (long levers). We are basically all an organic piece of machinery if you like made up of a series of anatomical fulcrums, levers, and pulleys so it could be argued that you can apply basic physics principles to this to assess loading and the ability to withstand stresses to different football players in different parts of their body.

    All of this is of course without true insider knowledge and is just looking at basic principles. It may all just come down to a more simple concept that even with all the scans and expert intervention of people dealing with these players, that in many cases you just simply cannot predict how a player will be after a long injury lay off. If this is the case you will just simply have to find out with time whether a player will become perennially injury prone. I trust that this answers all your questions but I must go now because I am starting to feel like Sheldon from the big bang theory.

  138. Rasp says:

    That’s brilliant mr physio – so the answer is you don’t know :-)

  139. slime says:

    Don’t want to start this Diaby debate again as it seems to have run it’s course, but the only issue I have with him being at Arsenal is if his presence is stopping us from buying a quality DM.

    Spuds had Ledley King for years, and the reason they kept him is because they knew that when he was fully fit, he was different class. I’d happily keep Diaby on the basis of 15-20 quality games a season, at the moment we are getting about 5 and that’s not a good enough reason to have him. Hopefully with age his health will improve and we can see him repay the faith.

    As for Wenger having too much faith, I read an interview of his recently where he talked about how he feels sorry for Diaby and what’s happened to him. He said that he works harder than most to be fit and that he does everything that a professional sportsmen should do to keep his body in prime shape. He said he feels for him as he’s had so much bad luck, and he wants to see him fulfil his promise. Wenger is more than a manager to a lot of these players, he doesn’t just try and improve them on the field, he tries to improve them as men. Is that something he should be lambasted for? Some will say that managers should be ruthless and sentimentality has no place on the field, but what you have to remember is that Wenger spends nearly every day of his Arsenal life with these players. It is impossible not to have a bond with them.

  140. LB says:

    It seems that there are people on here who have more experience with medical injuries than Arsenal football club with their ooooh how many years experience, but hey ho what do Arsenal know?

    How’s the cricket out there in India Shard?

  141. Sheep Hagger ™ says:

    Mr physiology
    Any Viagra for a mate of mine, he’s a nice lad.
    Cheers Sheepy xx

  142. Sheep Hagger ™ says:

    I’m a real nhs nurse but you don’t want a visit from me
    Case closed
    Sheepy

  143. Big Raddy says:

    Great read as always RL.Like the alliteration and the Essex joke

    Diaby. The man is quality, there are other members of the squad who should be sold before him. If we get 20 games a season that is enough but to rely on him is foolhardy.

    He is a squad player and a very good one

  144. ResidentAAPhysio says:

    Well Rasp it can be difficult to know. I thought RVP would be injury prone on an ongoing basis and AW always said he wasn’t but had just been unlucky. My feelings on him were, therefore, incorrect as it currently (unfortunately now) seems. I thought Owen and Woodgate would continue to be injury prone and my feelings in these cases proved to be correct.

    I look forward to seeing how Diaby is for the rest of this season. Putting aside the science and looking at it as a fan, with a bit of extra insight, I would like to keep Diaby in the squad for a while longer, to see what happens, but would not have relied upon him being available (with his history). In other words I think we should have brought in another player in his area of midfield and then if Diaby remained fit it would be an added bonus. His recent record would suggest it is a gamble to rely upon him but he may just overcome his bad period like RVP did. If we have the finances to accommodate Diaby and another then we should be doing this. It is an area I hope AW resolves this transfer window.

  145. Sheep Hagger ™ says:

    We’re is the humours bone in a body my wife knows she knows everything physio

  146. ResidentAAPhysio says:

    Sheepy. No need for Viagra. Just send your mate around to my clinic the next time I have the Swedish female volleyball team in.
    Much love
    ResidentAAPhysio

  147. LB says:

    Just out of interest Resident AA Physio, what do you think Diaby’s position is?

    Is he an Arteta: a more defensive midfielder this season, is he a Cazorla a more attacking midfielder or is he in between the two, as Wilshere has been playing prior to Swansea?

  148. Hi gang

    Thank you Rocky for stepping up with a match report for today. Evening games are really difficult to get a report out for those that live in the uk unless you’re an insomniac. I took a chance and asked our favourite insomniac, 26may but he replied from Singapore!!!!!

    Isn’t it wonderful to know that this team really can push the boat out and play at pace when they fancy. If only we knew why they fancied it last night :oops:

  149. Sheep Hagger ™ says:

    Ok physio cheers i will tell my mate.
    U got much love like me
    Welcome

  150. Sheep Hagger ™ says:

    Sssshhhh she’s here now

  151. ResidentAAPhysio says:

    LB, I actually see Diaby as a bit of both. I don’t think he could play effectively the sole DM position alone, but if he was one of 2 deeper midfielders say with Arteta it could work. He does offer quite a lot going forwards though when he is on his game (e.g, Liverpool) so it would be a waste to tye him down to a permanently deeper role.

  152. GoonerB says:

    Wow, ResidentAAPhysio does longer posts than yours truly. How are you Peaches. I am just going to get my daughter to bed but I must tell you about my experience at the spit and sawdust last night. It was rather surreal. Will be back on in a bit.

  153. LB says:

    Shard says:

    January 24, 2013 at 6:10 pm

    LB,

    I am one of Wenger’s biggest supporters but even I think relying on Diaby to stay fit was a ‘mistake’.

    Who, where or when has anyone said that they are relying on Diaby?

  154. Gooner In Exile says:

    Micky :D you’ll be pleased to know that it’s only 29 points after last night…..and it’s going to go down from there with a win against Liverpool.

  155. Sheep Hagger ™ says:

    Just took Limpar for a walk in swansea and i got a 17 year old watching me and he’s behind me guess what I did.

    I kicked him in the nuts now I’m on a charge of assault unlike the Chelsea player.
    Much love
    Sheep xx

  156. Gooner In Exile says:

    I love Diaby because he is a footballer who if he hadn’t had his fledgling career wrecked my a no mark now clogging around the non leagues and working in a call centre (no offence to call centre workers) we wouldn’t be talking about him we would be asking why Wenger hadn’t managed to keep hold of one of the great midfielders.

    He has great skill with the ball at his feet, he has a good engine (to even come close to completing three games in a week was impressive after a lay off), he is a great passer and most importantly he knocked out John Terry. I’d pay him til he was fifty for that alone.

  157. Gooner In Exile says:

    Could watch this all night long

  158. RockyLives says:

    :)

    There were premiership player husbands all over the land jumping for joy when that happened.

  159. LB says:

    If we could have only had that Swansea ball boy to have delayed Gary Lewin getting to John Terry…………

  160. LB says:

    From Arsenal.Com

    “Koscielny – We’ve learnt from Bradford game”

    Any chance of learning from the City game Laurent?

  161. Gooner in Exile says:

    :D LB I was thinking why was it Arsenal players rolling him onto his side

  162. LB :) :P :D

    Theo was good didn’t you think ………?

  163. GoonerB – I’m back, tell me your story ……. am I going to be jealous ;)

  164. Anyone got a post for tomorrow, just a quickie will be good …………..

  165. GoonerB says:

    Peaches, as you know I did get to see the game last night at the spit and sawdust that we talked about and the following is a true story involving real people.

    As I took up my place at a table on a high stool alongside my neighbour gooner friend, I had a look round at the clientele that I would be enjoying my evening with. I noticed tucked into one corner of the bar was a sole drinker in maybe his mid sixties with long straggly silver hair and a long and bush white beard. If I had taken a picture of him I am sure Raddy could have easily presented him as one of his much loved polar explorers. I was reliably informed that he had worked in the music industry in some capacity, and was regularly on tour with Queen back in the day. Slightly further down the bar were 2 Irish travellers who were doing their best to finish off all the JD in the pub. Around at the far side of the pub was a chap who had finished work early and, as I was again reliably informed, had been in the establishment since 12.30pm. The game came on from a polish TV channel and after a bit I started to notice that the polish commentator sounded exactly like, how I can best describe as, Andy Gray out of his head on Tennants Super. Midway through the first half our 12.30 marathon session chap, who obviously knew the landlord went behind the bar to put on some music. Cue 1 1/2 hours of Rat Pack music at full volume, I kid you not. Not only that but he proceeded to dance to said music in what I can only describe as an embarrassing dad’s Ibiza rave style. So as I was sitting there watching the game listening to Andy Grayski after 15 Tennants Super, with Raddy’s explorer, the JD loving Irish travellers, and Mr Rave dancing to Rat Pack music guy, I wondered if someone had slipped something slightly hallucinogenic into my Guiness.

  166. LB says:

    Peaches

    Yes, I did think he was good, his signature seems to have spred confidence throughout the squad.

    If we beat Liverpool well I think it may be time to start getting excited

  167. GoonerB says:

    Peaches, I am trying to knock you up a little something for tomorrow, but you know me, little may not turn out to be the correct term. I will do my best.

  168. dandan says:

    Peaches chucked a few words in hope it helps.

  169. Writing this on my phone …..

    Thanks dandan and goonerb for your post
    offers.

    Goonerb – sounds like an interesting collection of people at that pub last night, will have to try and join you and your gooner mate.

  170. GoonerB says:

    You must come next time Peaches. Do we have any AA’ers who are Psychiatrists or behavioural analysts. They could class the whole evening as field work and put in down as expenses.

  171. Great post

    those of you asking why Ramsey has been played out wide haven’t been paying attention.

    Wenger said he plays him there as he has to learn to operate with the space he has between the central midfield and the touchline. so that when he is central his close control is better. Whether you believe it is up to you.

  172. I agree with a lot of what spectrum says today but find it sad that he can’t get excited by a goal or a win. I doubt he ever will until we win the league.

  173. RockyLives says:

    Well said about Ramsey, GM.
    Wenger did a simrilar thing playing Jack as a DM to teach him that aspect of the MF role.

    And as for Speccy – he said earlier that winning the league was his MINIMUM requirement before he would even consider starting to like AW again.

  174. What about if Wenger goes though. Would he automatically start enjoying again?

  175. arthur mallard says:

    GoonerB,
    Love the spit and sawdust story.
    You could have almost been describing last year’s AA Christmas party.

  176. arthur mallard says:

    gm,
    It’s a horrible thing to see WHEN someone loses their sole raison d’etre.
    Suddenly having no purpose causes a LOSS of all critical faculties and a swift descent into GIBBERING madness.

    Hang ON………………Wenger out, NOW. :)

  177. arthur mallard кря кря says:

    Here’s that Santi pass and sublime control from Theo.
    (I find it hard to watch this without imagining some idiot behind me bellowing SHOOOOOOT)

  178. RockyLives says:

    Arthur
    What’s with the Russian?

  179. RockyLives says:

    Great control by Theo and what a pass by Santi!

  180. arthur mallard кря кря says:

    48 seconds!

  181. arthur mallard кря кря says:

    gm’s got Japanese,
    sheepy has his trade mark,
    spectrum has his capital letters,
    so I thought, why not?

  182. arthur mallard кря кря says:

    Belarussian Gooners

  183. Big Raddy says:

    Morning All.

    Re: GM 11.13. Perhaps AW should play Szczesny in midfield to improve his distribution.

  184. Sheep Hagger ™ says:

    Morning all.
    Re GB 11.11pm

    Yes me I am an RMN working for the NHS
    Case closed
    Much love
    SHEEP™

  185. evonne says:

    Morning all
    Can anyone explain to me why Mondays the rubbish collection days come in quick succession, but twice a week game days are so few and far between?

  186. evonne says:

    it’s not a match day today, so everybody must be taking their rubbish out now
    laters

  187. kelsey says:

    Morning all.

    I was wondering how much the side will change for tomorrow. One can’t under estimate any opponents even in the lower leagues and home advantage does have a sway in a cup game as invariably the home crowd spur their team on a it more than usual.
    I believe Vermaelen is out, i heard for two weeks and I would have thought at RB it would be an ideal game for Jenkinson as he may well be a little ring rusty and in need of the game especially with Liverpool up a few days later.

    I have always thought Arshavin would make a comeback as on hs few and infrequent starts when he is good he has the vision to make a differce,but it appears he has been frozen out and having seen him last week I can’t see him adding anything whatsoever even in a cameo role.he is one player amongst the deadwood that I hoped would make good, but for all intensive purposes he will be gone by the Summer.
    Any thoughts ?

  188. Manthan says:

    Kelsey,
    Play Ashravin in the SS position he will be good he need good reception before leaving as he as served for club for 3+ years… About jenks he need run of game and give OX the chance to play….

  189. Big Raddy says:

    Not good when our own player puts his captain out for two weeks, especially with the Liverpool game coming.

  190. kelsey says:

    it wasn’t intentional raddy you old fart :)

  191. kelsey says:

    What a doomer you are :)

  192. kelsey says:

    i am getting my own back as i am a realist :)

  193. Big Raddy says:

    Who wants to live in reality. My fantasy world is so much more interesting. In it, I am 30 years younger, have hair and going out with a young Helen Mirren – and we are top of the table by 13points.

  194. evonne says:

    Shouldn’t you be concentrating on your exams Mr BR :) How did you get on, passed with flying colours?

  195. arthur mallard кря кря says:

  196. evonne says:

    Kelsey – pessimists, optimists…..I have the best of two worlds, I have bipolar :)

  197. Rasp says:

    Morning all, I’m just updating the widgets to sow our new much more healthy stats :)

    Been reading LB’s unpleasant snipes from last night .. I shan’t bother to respond except to say I support Arsenal

  198. Red Arse says:

    Morning All, :-)

    An especially good morning to you Rasper – we all love you – no AA without you!! :D

  199. arthur mallard кря кря says:

  200. Manthan says:

    RA,
    Truly said about Rasp….. :D

  201. arthur mallard кря кря says:

  202. Rasp says:

    OK, that looks a lot healthier :P

    Compared to this stage last year:
    Equal on points
    Way ahead on goals scored (about the same conceded)
    1 place higher in the league
    13 goals better in goal difference

  203. Red Arse says:

    Hi Arfur, :-)

    The still photo of the Emirates stairs looks like a wizards ziggurat hat! :-)

  204. Big Raddy says:

    Mallard- Do you think I am so shallow, it’s her personality I like…..

    Why haven’t we signed anyone yet?

  205. arthur mallard кря кря says:

    BR,
    I thought it was the rubber gloves. :)

  206. Morning all

    We have a New Post …………………….

  207. Rasp says:

    ….. New post ……

  208. arthur mallard кря кря says:

    …New POST……

  209. Shard says:

    LB,

    I’m not going to argue against you if you want to fight Diaby’s corner. I like Diaby, and I can understand why Wenger is persisting with him. I have no interest in arguing against that. I still feel we could do with another player in midfield and that counting Diaby as anything other than a bonus is very risky. If he is already being counted as only a bonus, and since we aren’t using any of your youngsters, I count us being understaffed in that dept. That is it.

    Sorry to reignite the Diaby debate again. I just read Lb’s response. And LB. I don’t watch cricket. Only very occasionally. But I didn’t watch a single moment of the ongoing India-England cricket series. I like the game in its purest form (Tests) and dislike the hype and drama created around the game, especially the shorter formats. Moreover, I see no reason to support many of the spoiled, self important people who make up the Indian cricket team. Much, as I suspect, many in England view the English Football team.

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