CARRY ON FOULING – they (Arsenal) don’t like it up them Capt. Mainwaring

Having watched around a half century of Arsenal games live, both at Highbury and Ashburton Grove, one of the first things I’d noticed – after the bowling green-like surface at both “Homes of football”- was how much opposition teams would need to toil away at their foul count to get a yellow card compared to us.

My first game was one of the Champions Leagues games played at the old Wembley (against Fiorentina) and even then I used to marvel at the fact that a robust challenge on us would generally get waved on by the man in black yet if an Arsenal player tried that same type of vigorous interception there would be a sharp intake of breath while the crowd waited to see whether there would be “an ecstasy of fumbling” at the referee’s top left pocket to flourish a yellow card.

As I trudged home after that first live match experience, where I had the delights of seeing Bergy, Henry, Kanu, Adams and other Arsenal legends play, I put down that perception to my partisan nature and I assumed the sense of injustice felt then was due to that natural fans bias.

Fast-forward ten years and has age mellowed my perception of this egregious treatment of our team and do I believe match officials deal with our games in an impartial manner?

No and no. So that’s a double no.

By way of an attempt to look rationally at this I thought “New year, fresh chance for officialdom to convince me of their objectivity” so I counted up – with my advanced level excel skills coming to the fore – fouls and yellows awarded in our games so far this calendar year.

We’ve had 4 home and 5 away games and the stats are as follows:

Match Date Arsenal Opponent
Fouls Yellows Fouls Yellows
Liverpool 10/02/2010 H 19 3 14 2
Chelsea 07/02/2010 A 14 2 11 2
Man IOU 31/01/2010 H 9 1 12 0
Villa 27/01/2010 A 15 2 16 2
Stoke 24/01/2010 A 8 0 20 0
Bolton 20/01/2010 H 16 1 17 2
Bolton 17/01/2010 A 3 2 7 1
Everton 09/01/2010 H 10 1 11 1
West Ham 03/01/2010 A 8 1 17 1

In total we’ve had 102 fouls awarded against us with 13 yellows while our opponents have had 125 fouls and 11 yellows. That means 7.85 fouls per yellow for us and 11.36 fouls per yellow for our opponents, that means the opposition have to foul us nearly four (3.52 to be precise) more times to get a yellow.

This is prima facie evidence of what I’ve always suspected, that we are either penalised more or we don’t know how to “skilfully” foul or foul at a low enough but persistent level to not warrant a caution, Darren Fletcher style, yes YOU Fletcher you scruffy, dishevelled excuse for a footballer.

However if you look at how the home and away statistics disaggregate another picture unfolds. At home we have conceded the same number of fouls as opponents, 54, yet we have been shown 6 yellows to the opponents 5. So that show’s we don’t have referees influenced by the crowd at Ashburton Grove as it’s a near identical fouls per yellow (us 9 exactly and opponents 10.80) but its away from home the referees show all the bias to the “Top 4” that smaller clubs with chips on their shoulders bleat about.

Our 48 fouls away from home have resulted in 7 yellows (6.86 fouls per yellow) while the opposition playing in front of their home crowd have earned only 6 yellows from 71 fouls (11.83 fouls per yellow) – that’s approaching TWICE the level of fouling required by us to warrant a yellow, and that’s just the opposition fouls that are called by the referee (we can all remember plenty of instances where dangerous fouling against us has gone without caution.)

I’m well aware that some may say statistics can be produced to support any argument however something as straight forward as fouls per yellow is not a convoluted or especially esoteric measure of the equality of cautions earned compared to foul play.

The home-away disparity is partly due to the hostile atmosphere at away grounds influencing referees – they may say it has no effect but 44,000 ‘dippers crying out for a penalty when Stevie Me launches into his trademark double axel with a half twist near our penalty area nearly always results in a spot kick. A similar situation exists at Old Toilet where the Shrek (and Greasiano and “Donkey” van Nistelrooy before him) has been conning us out of results (none more so notably to end our unbeaten run) on a regular basis – that our manager is no longer surprised by this is testament to how long this situation has prevailed; these are just “Old Trafford-ish” instances. The power of the prawn sandwich brigade has had referees from Riley to Webb showing all kinds of ludicrous inconsistencies favouring the toilet scrubbing in-breds who play in that Salford retail park.

In conclusion I would say we have to wise up and learn how to foul more “efficiently” and we have to make Ashburton Grove a more forbidding environment for the opposition so that we can make our home advantage count for more in influencing the referees.

Perhaps we have started to develop a bit more of a nasty streak in recent times which is all the better for letting the opposition to not start taking liberties with us.

There is also hope for the our home atmosphere being more intimidating on the evidence of the Bolton game where I joined in the jeers of Jaaskelainen (while they were 2-nil up) for time wasting and booing the Bolton players for their traditional thuggish approach.



279 Responses to CARRY ON FOULING – they (Arsenal) don’t like it up them Capt. Mainwaring

  1. Morning all

    The headline post today was written by a guest writer known as charybdis1966.

    Thankyou Chary for your words of wisdom.

  2. charybdis1966 says:

    You’re welcome Peaches – thanks to the vagaries of the M1 on Saturday I only got into Arsenal tube around 2.30 so was too late to see you and Raspers.

  3. tommystout says:

    Morning all……

  4. Hi Chary – at least you got there in time for the game.

    Morning tommy

  5. Saturdays game was unusual in that Steve Bennett was happy to brandish yellow cards at the Black Cats from quite early on 🙂

  6. Livers says:


  7. tommystout says:

    nice peace charey…. its conspiracy i swear.
    i can’t belive we actually got a penalty at the weekend, thats our 2nd this season i believe… and then steve bruce moans about big clubs getting decisions yawn yawn. If we got the decisions then i think we’d be flying high at the top of the league by now and also a healthy lead against porto!

  8. charybdis1966 says:

    That’s true Peaches, but he let the Sunderland player who studded Almunia’s face off with nothing and Cana should have been given a second yellow too.
    Of course Cesc’s yellow was for his first or second offence.

    If you’re interested I write a report elsewhere for the game:

  9. Rasputin says:

    Morning all,

    Nice rant Chary – I bet you’re glad to get that off your chest: 😉 You are correct of course in that not only is it perceived as acceptable for opponents to adopt a more ‘physical approach’ because they are less skillful but that we are more heavily penalised when we play them at their own game because we’re supposed to be the artisans.

    If I could change anything in the world, I’d make sure Jamie (son of twitcher) never got to comment on another Arsenal game for the est of eternity

  10. tommystout says:

    another point following on from my request of penalty awarded league tables etc .. i’d like to see a league table on the most fouled team. if we are top of that league (which i think we must be) then would that not go someway to explaining why we seem to get more injuries than anyone else???

  11. charybdis1966 says:

    Tommy S – if you look at the replay Bennett was going to give us nothing(as per the directive to all refs to refuse us all penalties) – it was the lino who signalled the penno and Bennett couldn’t pretend not to see that !

    But don’t worry – I’m sure the linos will be instructed like wise in due course.

  12. Chary – you’re dead right about creating a more intimidating atmosphere by booing the opponents every touch – the spud games are always filled with vitriol because we know we’re going to beat them 🙂 but recently the games against the chavs and the mancs have been really tame affairs.

  13. Alfa says:

    Morning all. Peaches, yes, Sunderland did get plenty of cards (4 I seem to remember). But why did Cesc get one? For trying too hard? I didn’t see it on MoTD but it fits the pattern.

    Chary, you’ve proved what we all know, that Arsenal are seen as soft and too ready to go down. The ref has to give a foul but doesn’t believe it is as serious, so doesn’t add it to the tally for a potential yellow card. Same reason we hardly get any penalties (Saturday’s being the 2nd this season I believe).

    Perhaps TA could be brought in as ‘fouling coach’ if he’s missed out on the defensive coach job. He had that way of protecting his team mates – 5 minutes after they had been crunched by some opposition hard nut, the hard nut would be lying on the floor while Tony sauntered away whistling.

  14. charybdis1966 says:

    Thanks Raspers – that’s a fairly calm rant from me to be honest !
    TommyS – it’s also because a lot of our squad are quite slight and young so impact injuries affect us more. This is not only due to the fragility of our players but the fact most are still growing.

  15. tommystout says:

    charey – yep yey to the linesman bet he got bollocked by bennet at fulltime..
    7am kick off is a good site too, i will read your report

  16. Tommy – I searched for some kind of ‘penalties awarded’ stats but couldn’t find anything on Friday – I’ll have another look around.

  17. charybdis1966 says:

    Hi Alfa – I’m quite sure we’re traditionally in the top 3-4 of most fouled teams and in the fair play league so it does imply we are seen as fair game for rough house tactics.
    We must remember when we play to assume we’l l get nothing from refs – and 90% of the time that’ll be true, home or away.

  18. tommystout says:

    peaches – i know we have had 2 in the league, as for others i think vp has scored one… can’t remember anymore.

  19. Rasputin says:

    Our players invite late challenges (and therefore suffer injuries) for two reasons. 1. they are more skillful and therefore opposition defenders like to ‘let them know they are there’ 2. they draw players into the challenge with the intention of last second evasion as a means of getting past them. Added to that, the fact that we have 60%+ possession, it stands reason that we will receive more attempted tackles. The Eduardo injury would not have happened if he’d been a less gifted player.

  20. Rasputin says:

    On that subject, did anyone see that fantastic turn by Nasri on Saturday – left the S’land players for dead – of course not shown on MotD!

  21. charybdis1966 says:

    I was listening to THAT match on the radio Raspers and some jocko ex-player was basically saying that it was Eduardo’s fault he got fouled because he held onto the ball for too long. Well Hooraah for you jocko retard – let’s ban dribbling and ball control from football and make it all about long punts and headers shall we?

  22. Changing the subject slightly – Theo tracked back and made a great tackle against Porto – I remember him making one against that slimy low life formally known as cashly (have to think of a new name)too – if he can tackle so cleanly at pace why can’t he control the ball at pace?

  23. London says:

    Morning All

    A very interesting read Chary.

  24. charybdis1966 says:

    Thanks London; Peaches, I reckon it’s because whoever he tackles is going to be slower than him and he only struggles to control the ball at HIS top speed at not other players’ top speeds.
    I think Theo is improving incrementally in each of his games – we just need him to take off fully to help our season finish well.

  25. Mike says:

    An interesting article with good points.

    What I also find interesting is the treatment of fouls/dives commited by Arsenal and those commited against Arsenal.

    When Gallas went in late on the Bolton player Davies certain media and pundits spoke and condemned the incident for the next week, when Eduardo went down against Celtic the media called him a cheat for a week. Cana on Saturday could have easily been sent off but I have read no condemnation of the foul or even seen it on Match of the Day.

    What do you think the reason for this is?

  26. Mayank says:

    Great post Chary! This just confirms what we’ve always known.
    Also Kudos to the creators of the blog. Novel idea. At least as far as i know.

  27. Morning London

    Is it you thats been testing the WordPress search capabilities – if you have a look theres been a search based on ‘spearmint rhino’ and ‘why did the bolsheviks murder the royal’ 😉

  28. Mayank says:

    ALso if you take into account the fouls per match that are simply not given it changes the equation a little.

  29. charybdis1966 says:

    Thanks Mayank – I think I did allude to the fact that a fair number of fouls committed against us are not even given.

  30. Thanks Mayank we’re giving it a go – if you want to get something Arsenal of your chest we’re happy to give you the opportunity as a guest writer to do so 🙂

  31. charybdis1966 says:

    Mike – you are spot in, when Cana slid in on Eboue I remember thinking that would have been a deffo red if it had been on an oppo player – also he had at least two more niggling/dirty fouls after that which should have been another yellow. Richardson was quite a niggly player too on Saturday.

  32. Mayank says:

    I’ll be happy to do just that peaches, it’s up to you guys to decide if it’s worth the word document it was written on.

  33. Morning Mike – its the world against Arsenal isn’t it 🙂

    If one of our players makes a meaty challenge we get bad press and if we’re on the receiving end we’re soft. Same old same old I’m afraid.

  34. Rasputin says:

    Hi Mike,

    I think it is for the reason I outlined earlier. When you’re good, others look to find angles for criticism. We’re widely acknowledged as playing the most attractive (pure) football and so when we commit fouls, we’re jumped upon as being hypocrite’s or cheats. It’s a mixture of jealousy and bullying that is perpetuated by the legions of dinosaur ‘old school’ pundits on the radio etc.

  35. charybdis1966 says:

    Pretty early on every gooner knows the hostility of the press/media comes with the territory(of suporting Arsenal.)

  36. Alfa says:

    I don’t know how Richardson stayed on until he was subbed.

    Mike, a lot of pundits, especially the old players, don’t like the Arsenal way of playing, Wengerball as we like to call it. I sound like a conspiracy theorist, but so many of their comments have an undercurrent of ‘in my day football were a man’s game’.

    When Brazil were one of the few teams who played anything like this (you could include Hungary, Real Madrid at times and some others), back in the day, they were seen as gods but somehow playing a game that wasn’t really football.

    Put simply it’s jealousy at better technique.

  37. Mayank – its entirely up to you, you can email it through to – don’t feel under any pressure though. Nice to see you here.

  38. Mayank says:

    I’ve come to the conclusion that the bias is simply because most of the pundits are worried that if the Arsenal style of playing catches on English football will lose it’s individuality.
    They might not get to say lines like ‘welcome to the Premier League’ etc.

    That’s why I was hoping that Coyle stayed with Burnley and guided them to some success. It would be a change from the 5-8 spots being occupied by teams that are carbon copies of each other.

  39. Mike says:

    I think it may be down to the fact that we famously haven’t or don’t play many English players in our team. The media/pundits/commentators love the Gerrards, Lampards, Rooneys, Terrys of this world. I think the treatment is different purely because we’re seen as a foreign team.

  40. Mayank says:

    No worries Peaches.

  41. SharkeySure says:

    I’ve not even read the post yet but I feel like I’m in heaven already !!!

    Stick me down as a regular please….

  42. Rasputin says:

    That’s a very good point Mike. I was astonished when I got back from the game on saturday to see that the main headlines on NN (Sky Sports in particular) were majoring on Theo’s performance when Eboue’s contribution was far more important.

  43. tommystout says:

    eboue/ song mom for me.
    anyone pick up a decent stream of the game or can’t we mention that on here?

  44. Morning Sharkey – you’re welcome, read the post and come and chat………

  45. irishgunner says:

    Morning all – that was an interesting read Chary.

    Does it spread to Europe too? Cesc was lumped from pillar to post by Porto and Fernando (or whatever he was called) only got a yellow in the 80 odd minute?

  46. irishgunner says:

    I got a great stream in Chinese tommy – very little buffering (only here and there) and I didn’t understand a word the commentators said = bliss 😀

  47. Mayank says:

    Actually Irish in the Porto game the ref didn’t stop play at all most of the times.

  48. charybdis1966 says:

    Hello Maire – I’m not sure how this would be affected by European games. I purely took the games we’d played from the beginning of the year till when I wrote the article, before the Porto game.
    BTW – I’ll get my excuses in for a perfunctory writing style – I’m only an engineer turned accountant, so I’ve no media/literature related-degree, unlike you !

  49. irishgunner says:

    I only got to see extended highlights Mayank so my view on that game isn’t the best

  50. Talk of streams isn’t banned tommy.

    I was really impressed with Nasri too – so often lately hes been one of the invisibles but on Saturday he was everywhere – tackling and being creative.

    Maybe they’re going to start to tick at last – some of Saturdays football was rather good just not enough and no end product.

  51. irishgunner says:

    I’m quite happy about Saturday – okay I was on edge until Cesc scored the 2nd but considering we had no Gallas, Eduardo, Diaby, Van Persie, Arshavin to pick from I’m happy.

  52. Mayank says:

    The best and the cleanest tackler in our team without a doubt is Rosicky. I think it’s part of the reason he’s prone to injuries. If Nasri learns to tackle like him he’ll be great player.

  53. tommystout says:

    well i got some good advice m8
    if you look evere come across a link requiring the veetle player go for it… cos its always hi quality, largish screen and ive never had a broken link yet… just thought i’d share that with users of this site, cos we all aint lucky enough to get to all games.

  54. irishgunner says:

    Rosicky is the best at everything 8)

  55. irishgunner says:

    Veetle is what I use most Tommy – they had none for the game on Saturday though, only advertising hoovers 😕

  56. tommystout says:

    i got a good one on saturday… think it was, not positive though.

  57. Mayank says:

    Sopcast is the one I’ve been using. Especially since my TV broke. Generally a good stream is available.

  58. Big Raddy says:

    Great read Chary. I especially liked

    “toilet scrubbing in-breds who play in that Salford retail park”.

    Poetry in the same league as Larkin and Betjeman. HOw can you say you have a perfunctory writing style??

  59. irishgunner says:

    “Perhaps, now, it is time for Wenger to acknowledge that he once again is wearing red-tinted spectacles.”
    “On Saturday, a neutral observer would have thought that Arsenal’s first goal looked offside and their second came from a dubious penalty award in stoppage time.”
    “However, as both decisions went the Gunners’ way, Wenger appeared content with referee Steve Bennett.”

    😆 😆

    So Poll doesn’t know how many yellow cards equals a red card or the offside rule?


  60. Rasputin says:

    While on the subject of your favourite player Irish, the stadium announcer pronounced his name as Ro-sit-ski (phonetic) it’s spelt Ro-sicky (no pun intended) – do you know the correct pronunciation?

  61. tommystout says:

    i think arseblog has a good take on graham poll this morning!

  62. kelsey says:

    Talking of streams peaches, I couldn’t get on ours on saturday, but found another one in spanish which had no delay at all. The same spanish stream on another site was a full 8 minutes behind. Strange to say the least.

    Do you want some stats about our firepower or is that a post for someone.

  63. Big Raddy says:

    The foul/yellow imbalance has been such since the Days of Yore (whenever Yore was!).

    If the fourth ref. were to count the fouls against Cesc in a game, it would b seen by the officials that he is targeted, and they could act accordingly. But what does the 4th official do…. check his watch and apologise to SAF.

  64. charybdis1966 says:

    When it come to slagging off the manks Radders, the words flow, otherwise I feel I struggle to be smooth and natural at times, but thanks gratefully accepted.

  65. irishgunner says:

    Its “Sexy” – Se-xy!!

    Seriously, I don’t know I pronounce it “Ro-shiki” but heard him being called Ro-sit-ski, Ro-sicky, Ros-sicky as well.

    I’d love to ask him 😉

  66. kelsey says:

    David Pleat has another new classic.Vermolen.

  67. charybdis1966 says:

    Raspers, I have it on good authority that the correct pronunciation for TR7 is Row-zhit-ski, with the “zhit” said as you do in the Zsa of Zsa Zsa Gabor.

  68. tommystout says:

    i think sometimes its maybe best to get the foreign streams, on saturday i got a setanta stream, even though it was excellent quality you still have the problem of the anti arsenal brigade commentry…. hit that mute button man.!

  69. Rasputin says:

    Thanks chary – I can sleep at night now 😆

    Did you see that Mr. Mainwaring is not Capt. Mainwaring?

  70. Mayank says:

    Why in the world would anyone give that embarrassment to referees, column space?

  71. irishgunner says:

    My brother’s girlfriend is here and I so happen to be wearing my TR7 shirt so asked how she’d pronounce the name on the back of my shirt, the reply: Ro-I-E-Ky 😕 That’s what I get for asking

  72. charybdis1966 says:

    Raspers, I think it may have been the warden who called him “Captain” mockingly, or “Napolean” , Billl Pertwee’s character I think it was.

    BTW the same guy told me that “hleb” , pronounced “Kleb”(as in the russina lesbian from James Bond) means bread.

  73. irishgunner says:

    Rasp – nothing about TR7 is a laughing matter, our club would implode without him 👿

  74. charybdis1966 says:

    think your brothers g/f is winding you up, Maire. 🙂

  75. Mayank says:

    How many think we’ll get a mention if we finish the season with 0 reds? And how many think the mention if there at all will not be followed by a remark about steel?

  76. Harry Barracuda says:

    Can should have had a straight red, never mind a second yellow.

  77. irishgunner says:

    Chary – Ha ha I don’t think so. There was a state of confusion look on her face when I asked her.

  78. Rasputin says:

    Oops – shall we change it back 😳

    Apparently Petr Cech should be pronounced ‘Shook’ and the technically correct pronunciation of totnum is ‘SHITE’

    BTW, congratulations to ardent Arsenal fan Ian Poulter on his win yesterday,

  79. Big Raddy says:

    Welcome Harry B.

    Any ref with a pair would have given a Red. It was right in front of him,

  80. irishgunner says:

    How many think we’ll get a mention if we finish the season with 0 reds?- None and if it is, it’ll be mentioned in a negative way.

  81. Morning kelsey – I think one of Rasputins offspring got to the stream before you 😉 In all honesty I forgot that it would be needed we’ve been on tv so much lately…….

  82. Rasputin says:

    That’s hilarious Irish, I’m as sure as I can be that Cesc did that on purpose. He’s got amazing visual awareness, he couldn’t have missed a prat in black standing right in front of him.

  83. irishgunner says:

    There is some great footballer’s names:

    Ars Bandeet
    Segar Bastard
    Argelico Fucks
    Stefan Kuntz
    Bongo Christ
    Danger Fourpence

  84. Rasputin says:

    That Kuntz scored against England!

  85. irishgunner says:

    Rasp – You could see by Eboue’s reaction he meant it ha ha

  86. irishgunner says:

    “Fucks off to Benfica” best headline ever!!

  87. SharkeySure says:

    Morning All,

    Warm hello to those of you I already know, and a heartfelt pleased to meet you to those that I don’t.

    Responses in no particular order:
    Yeah Veetle streams are the king of streams.

    Bent was way deeper and played Super Nik onside.

    Cana 100% shoud have seen straight red. Although Flamini also got away with a few of those it was before the current clampdown. I know Nani’s a Manc scumbag, but how must he feel to miss a final for his challenge and see Cana get only a yellow for that one.

    Agreed re the Cesc foul count.

    I thought the Porto ref last week was very good. Completely our own fault re the 2nd goal. I felt the ref kept a firm grip on the game, and ignored a lot of diving and gamesmanship from the Porto players.

  88. Rasputin says:

    I’m in love with Eboue now, but I just remembered what it was that really turned me against him previously – the ridiculous second yellow and sending off against ‘SHITE’ when he completely lost control.

    Actually we were 1 nil down at the time and the ’10 men’ equation cut in and we got a well earned draw – so maybe it was for the best.

  89. irish – that clip is fantastic 😆

    And we’ll be calling yer man Rosexy then shall we 😀

  90. Rasputin says:

    Hi SharkeySure,

    I agree we should have prevented the second goal and crying over it just makes us look pathetic. The ref was out of order due to his positioning when he effectively obstructed Campbell although I don’t think he’d have got back anyway.

  91. irishgunner says:

    Oh no,no,no Peaches only I get to call him that, TR7 said so 😳

    I’m so going to get “Rosexy” on a shirt – would people get it?

  92. Sharkey – of course it was our fault the 2nd goal because we should have been more alert but it still goes down as cheating in my book as the ref decided that the player could take the free-kick quickly.

    Did the player ask if he could take it quickly?

  93. irishgunner says:

    Overbo is a worse ref and that linesman he brings along is laughable.

  94. Mayank says:

    Good point Peaches, ’cause Henry did. Also I don’t know how we could have prevented it. The ref asked for it the player positioned it, where do we come into the frame. At most Fab could’ve taken a yellow and kept the ball.

  95. irishgunner says:

    ” as the ref decided that the player could take the free-kick quickly.” – He has in the past decided that an outfield player can handle the ball TWICE in the lead-up to a goal in a major World Cup qualifier, so rules mean little to him!!

  96. 😳 Sorry I rattled your cage there 😳

  97. kelsey says:

    What has not been mentioned by most is that the second Porto goal should never have been allowed as it was an indirect free kick not a direct free kick.

    The Respect the Referree campaign is farsical as none of them intrept the rules the same.

    Every week the highlight of discussion is about refs and linesmen first and foremost,it’s a shambles IMO

  98. Rasputin says:

    The most significant factor in that second goal was Fabianski’s inexperience. First he shouldn’t have picked the ball up, secondly, he shouldn’t have given the ball to the ref even if it meant taking a yellow.

  99. Rasputin says:

    Hi kelsey,

    He did pass it and someone else scored – therefore indirect I think?

  100. kelsey – gotcha – do you want to expand on one of your points for a post please

  101. Hold on – hes a goalkeeper – he should know not to pick the ball up?

  102. kelsey says:

    Chary going back to your post, it’s the media mainly who are anti Arsenal and yet at the same time praise our sublime football when it works.
    I can’t think of any other club when we get a red card the commentators are quick to say this is the 67th red card since Wenger became manager.

  103. irishgunner says:

    I’m easily rattled on that subject Peaches 😆

    TBH I still think it was Fab’s fault – if in doubt booooooooooot it.

  104. Rasputin says:

    Talking of daft refereeing rules – does anyone know if both the Everton youngsters who came on and scored got yellows for going into the crowd. Technically the second lad should have been sent off for 2 yellows – 1 for taking his shirt off and the second for going into the crowd.

  105. irishgunner says:

    ” 1 for taking his shirt off and the second for going into the crowd.” – I think that should be just 1 yellow cos it was the one act of celebration.

  106. kelsey says:

    Yes rasp, you are right by the rule book, but one can argue,again going by the rule book thast the defence has to be ten yards back from where the original kick was taken.

    It was a calamity of errors, but the focal point for me was that Fabianski was too quick to throw the ball back literally into the ref’s hands.A conspiracy (nearly) as if the ref wanted us to be off gaurd.

    Peaches, a post about what .

  107. I suspect he’ll never be caught out like that again.

    In fairness to the media AW is always preaching how things aren’t fair and that our players are targeted and in addition not protected by the refs, so when we get a red card its kind of out of character – double standards if you like.

  108. SharkeySure says:

    Campbell after wallowing with his head in his hands manages to end up wrong side of the ref, and still day daydreaming.

    Fabianski DID delay by holding on to the ball for a bit, but the ref demanded it from him more than once. So then he perhaps felt impelled to hand it over… now here comes the realllly stoooopid part.

    Having handed the ball over and watched it be passed onto the Porto player, Fabianski decides its a good time to turn away and start berating the linesman !!!

    You couldn’t make it up.

    Quick free kicks should ALWAYS be allowed, anywhere on the park. The fouled team should be allowed to regain as much as they can of whatever advantage was originally taken away…imho

  109. irishgunner says:

    😆 Imagine what Lehmann would have done with the ball 😯

  110. Rasputin says:

    Irish, my son is a newly qualified ref and he assures me they are 2 separate offences. The ref obviously used his common sense and took into account the youthful exuberance.

  111. SharkeySure says:

    Irish…that doesn’t bear thinimg about.

    I still love Mad Jens. Proper keeper.

  112. Rasputin says:

    Lehman would probably have taken it with him behind the hoardings whilst he had a pee…….

  113. irishgunner says:

    I honestly think Campbell meant to pass it back and was briefly comatosed by the stupidity of Fabianski in picking it up….

  114. SharkeySure says:

    Great post Chary !!

    Better late than never ‘eh 😉

  115. kelsey says:

    irish I agree that yellow cards should be graded.A near leg breaking two footed challenge sometimes only gets a yellow or not even punished.Time wasting is another.Maybe if a guy like the Everton kid takes his shirt off what’s the big deal, he’s literally over the moon having scored and didn’t run up the terraces.

    Maybe those hard nut pillocks who stand bare chested(and are usually obese) shouldn’t be allowed in the ground for health and safety reasons 🙂

  116. irishgunner says:

    Rasp – If Rodwell had been sent off for that, the ref would have been beaten by everyone, even Ferguson I reckon. I think its a stupid rule anyway – players aren’t robots, let them celebrate…

  117. Porto didn’t have an advantage – Sol was following the ball to the penalty area……….

    Big Sol fan here Sharkey 😆

  118. irishgunner says:

    Kelsey – Totally agree – especially about the bare chested beer bellies that especially seem popular in Newcastle.

  119. charybdis1966 says:

    Kelsey, for the mono brain celled hacks it’s to make things easy for them. Praise them when our complex style of play works – so that they can run us down the next day when it doesn’t.
    These same snout-faced hacks(does anyone remember the way Spitting Image portrayed tabloid hacks – it was as pigs and I always think of that image when I read the red tops slagging us off)will accuse of being soft if we complain about WWF style tacking on us BUT will then plead like schoolgirls who’ve had their pony tails yanked when we either put in a crunching tackle., and then say that’s the 55,000th red card in Wengers era.
    As he’s been in the Premier League the longest bar ole 65% proof nose of course they’ll be more red cards than most. The cnuts want it both ways – either we’re soft or we’re not.

    Do they commentators ever mention how many red cards have being issued to ManIOU in the drunken jockos reign?
    No, ’cos they’re too scared of Funguscum, the gutless, cowardly wimps.

  120. Rasputin says:

    I take your point Sharkey, but why do refs then allow opposition players to stand right in front of the ball to delay direct freekicks which are not in shooting distance from being taken – this is against the rules, they should be 10 yards away. Presumably we didn’t have the right to have time to arrange a wall against Porto because it was an indirect free kick.

  121. Rasputin says:

    I agree with your 12:01 Irish – that was my point.

  122. kelsey says:


    you do have a way with words 😉

  123. charybdis1966 says:

    Thanks Sharkey – but in our instance it was not a fouled against team being given the advantage. It was a back pass error that was being punished.

  124. chary – you could do a whole post on how you feel about the mancscum 😆

  125. irishgunner says:

    Rasp – Will we be getting to abuse your son in years to come?

  126. kelsey says:

    But Sharkey that is the whole point.Inconsistency about the rules and how each ref intprets them differently.If a player does as rasp says at 12.03 it should be a bookable offence,because it is again a form of cheating by trying to delay an advantage.

  127. kelsey – Cesc being our top goal scorer, not scoring early – they could be combined if you like. Red cards.

    You suggested them 🙄

  128. Rasputin says:

    Would you like to rephrase that Irish 🙄

  129. Mayank says:

    I agree with the yellow for celebrating in front of the other teams fans but the shirt thing is stupid. How could that provoke the fans, unless of course its Rosicky taking off his shirt, right irish 😉

  130. kelsey says:

    Oh so I did peaches. When I get this boiled egg off my face I will do it.

  131. irishgunner says:

    ” How could that provoke the fans, unless of course its Rosicky taking off his shirt, right irish” – That’d be a straight red and I’d see no other option but to take him to the dressing room myself … you know… to make sure he finds it… 😳

  132. charybdis1966 says:

    I could probably do quite a few of those Peaches. In the days they still had Keane, Ince and Maclair they had plenty of unlikeable gits then(a bit like the Chavs now) nowadays it’s remains their manager who is the most detestable, but Evra, Fletcher and Neville who are also utter cock sandwiches.

  133. Mayank says:

    Is it me or does anyone think Keane has a soft spot for Arsenal? He’s spoken in our and Wenger’s defence a good few times.

  134. Rasputin says:

    It’s not only my son you want to abuse then Irish … 😆

  135. Rasputin says:

    Graham Souness is also an unlikely Arsenal/Arsene proponent.

  136. irishgunner says:

    I wouldn’t abuse TR7, I’d be gentle, unless he’d rather…… 😳

  137. irishgunner says:

    Souness??? Not on Irish TV he isn’t and he’s on that a lot. He had a proper go at Wenger last season and Giles and Dunphy told him to shut up.

    Souness got offended and asked Dunphy who he’d ever managed and Dunphy spoke those immortal words “I didn’t manage anywhere but I did manage to stay alive for 63 years BABY!!” 😆

  138. irishgunner says:

    Roy Keane only has a soft spot for himself, the wanker. Mr.Rent-A-Quote.

  139. kelsey says:

    As we all know,Saturday was only our second penalty of the season, and the media hype that surrounded the so called dive by Eduardo against Celtic has been treated as if he was a serial diver.Even now I am not 100% certain it was a dive,but whatever he is,Eduardo is not a cheat.We have been lambasted about this ever since yet the likes of DrogbamGerrard and Rooney get away with it time and time again and they are far more high profile players than Long John.

  140. irish – there are ladies present 😳

  141. kelsey says:

    Come on Irish, in a perfect world we would have an all Italian team,and Manager and play all our home games in Milan 😉

  142. irishgunner says:


    😳 “I wouldn’t abuse TR7, I’d be gentle, unless he’d rather……” – I forgot to write “have a chat”

  143. kelsey says:

    Even I am embarrassed.Apparently if the full back leaves a space the centre half has to fill the hole.(Work that one out.)

  144. irishgunner says:

    😆 Kelsey I should just support AC Milan, but Maldini is gone 😥

  145. It wasn’t that bit …………

  146. irishgunner says:

    ” Apparently if the full back leaves a space the centre half has to fill the hole.” – John Terry!

  147. irishgunner says:

    What bit then Peaches?

  148. kelsey says:

    You are on fire Irish 😉

  149. irishgunner says:

    Rosicky does that to me Kelsey 😉

  150. kelsey says:

    At this juncture I will take a commercial break, otherwise known as a siesta.

  151. I’m with you kelsey, I don’t believe it was a dive, I think he was protecting himself. But did we have to be held up as an example – the press turned it into a witch hunt.

  152. SharkeySure says:

    Re no adavantage.

    Technioncally speaking we were under pressure, albeit from ourselves, and thats to Porto’s advantage.

    All players try to standover a free kick for as long as they can get away with tio prevent being taken quickly.

    Once you are ordered away then generally the ref is going to count you out ten yards.

    But if Im honest, I’m not sure why anyone even questions the refs involvement in such a monunmental cock up which was purely of our own making and entirely preventable in any of about 5 or 6 distinct and separate phases.

  153. irishgunner says:

    Sunu has signed a new contract – he looks a decent prospect. Hope he gets some games at Derby. He played at the weekend which is good.

  154. SharkeySure says:

    Irish,….and to think how you ‘blushed’ last summer at one of my ‘less judicious’ comments.

  155. James says:

    Chary – great blog and just confirmed what we all suspectedv although one small area of confusion for me; if we get 7.85 fouls per yellow and opponents get 11.36 fouls per yellow then surely that means the opposition have to foul us 1.45 times more to get a yellow rather than 3.52 times more (although, of course, your point still stands – or is my arithmatic just crap?)

    Incidentally, I take it you’re a big fan of Wilfred Owen (or certainly, his Dulce et Decorum est…)with your ‘ecstasy of fumbling’ reference and then the use of the word ‘trudging’ amost immediately afterwards as in: ‘And towards our distant rest began to trudge’. Certainly, that poem is very approproiate given Arshavins’ recent foot injury, in which it is reported he played with a boot full of blood – – or ‘blood-shod as the poem has it.

    Anyway, apologies for being picky over the arithmatic – this was quite p[ossibly the most intelligent and well thought out Arsenal blog I’ve read recently… if ever. Thanks

  156. Mayank says:

    James I think times in this case has been used an in the number of times and not the multiplication one. If that helps.

  157. SharkeySure says:

    Well said James.

    Your expansive response puts my ‘great post’ to Chary to shame.

  158. Rasputin says:

    Welcome James,

    The site belongs to the bloggers and we are lucky to have excellent writers like Chary who contribute – but you can never have too many!

  159. SharkeySure says:

    Hey long have you been coming here and not told me…??

    No Jaguar, no Le Inv…bliss

  160. SharkeySure says:

    Many thanks to you too Rasputin. I’v ejust read yesterdays post…nice.

    I’ll go read back thru more when I have time, but deffo so far so good.

  161. Mayank says:

    lol, I noticed it a few days back because Big Raddy was blue, though i’ve commented for the first time today. As for Jaguar and co., no comments!

  162. SharkeySure says:

    I think its only you younger techie minded bloggers that notice that names are links….

    I only ever noticed ‘Ricos’ whne Avenell Road was up and running.

    Just as I started blogging there it closed.

    This place is like heaven to me so far

  163. James – thankyou for your kind words about the blog.

    In case chary isn’t around I read it that we get fouled against 11.36 times before the opposition get a yellow whereas we get a yellow after only 7.85 times.

  164. charybdis1966 says:

    Thanks for that James and great spot on the Wilfred Owen reference – I was wondering who, if anyone, would pick that up and I was going to work in the coughing like hags into it somewhere . Mayank has clear up the point you raised, perhaps I should have said opponents have to foul us “on nearly four more occasions” for better clarity.

  165. Mayank says:

    ‘Younger techie minded bloggers’ lol!… Not at all SS I can hardly use bold and italics! I can tell blue from black though…

  166. Mayank – just seen your comment about being ‘blue’ – Raddy will be chuffed when he sees it.

    When you log in through wordpress and get an avatar you can link your name to a web-site so the collective writers on here have linked their names to this site, it means when we blog elsewhere if someone clicks on our name they come straight to here. Its blog whoreing I’m afraid but it works 😉

  167. charybdis1966 says:

    Oh is that what that’s all about Peaches. I haven’t done that, although that’s not because I’m “not that sort of blogger”- I just didn’t know how to.

  168. Mayank says:

    Haha quite clearly it does Peaches.

  169. Rasputin says:

    Thanks Sharkey,

    Yesterday’s post was a bit of a rush job as I hadn’t expected to be writing it. I’d have taken more notice of the timing of events etc. if I’d known I would be doing the report. When I’m at the Emirates, I just get absorbed in the atmosphere and detail becomes a blur. I had decided I would keep a close eye on Clichy as he’s been worrying me lately, but actually he did OK although he’s got some way to go to match his better performances of yesteryear.

  170. SharkeySure says:

    “I can tell blue from black though…”

    Lol Mayank…no comeback to that. 1-0 to you mate !!

    Rasp, I hear ya re getting engrosssed. I was supposed to be doing the match report for my sons U9’s match yesterdaya s our regular scribe was away. Thankfully our local paper limits reports to 100 words so it wasn’t like I needed to have made lots of notes. Thankfully, cos I hadn’t made a single one !!!!

  171. Franchise says:

    Nicklas Bendtner aims to fire Arsenal to the title / Premier League

    I hope so

    good day Arsenalsquaredites

    Rasputin nice to finally meet you in the flesh on Saturday. I bet you praying for Wenger to hand the captaincy to Silvestre 😉

  172. Rasputin says:

    Hi Franchise,

    Nice to meet you too. Sorry for the delay in replying – been out for lunch, and you’ve missed Irish too, – she’s in the land of nod dreaming of TR7.

    Yeah, right, Sylvestre 👿 – still goes down as my worst Arsenal signing ever, not only because he’s not very good but because we paid manu money for a reject.

  173. Alfa says:

    Rasp, Franchise, what do you reckon we are paying for Sylvestre? That’s where the real pain is I think.

  174. Rasputin says:

    Hi Alfa – would just “too much” be OK as an answer? 🙄

  175. Alfa says:

    Rasp, that’s exactly the answer I was thinking of 😦

    We have one of the biggest squads in the premiership, or at least we did at the start of the season. OK lots are kids but did we really need to add Sylvestre? Sol must be costing a fair bit although worth it so far.

    Citeh must be wondering whether Viera was really worth it. They got him to play about 16 games and he’s been injured for 2 and suspended for 3 already 😆

  176. Rasputin says:

    Agreed Alfa,

    I am sad for JD as he must have been ahead of Tweety in the pecking order if not for the injury. I’ll get reminded of the goal Sylvestre scored against totnum, but the fact is he does not possess the required ‘quality’ and it’s no good having experience without ability.

  177. sol is on pay as you play

  178. Rasputin says:

    PV going to citeh made me sad. If his aim was to get 1st team exposure to regain his world cup place, he must be deluded. I hear Ireland wants to leave and would like to play for us – unsurprising since an aged PV has taken his place. We can’t have him though – far too ugly…..

  179. Rasputin says:

    Hi SH, yes I thought that was the case – a very good deal for all I would have thought.

  180. Franchise says:

    hi Rasp i thought i was going to break the day light blog fart record of your young blog. Praise be to Jehovah 😉

    Re Silvestre I say waste of money. I cant believe we hijacked a move to City. How blessed would that move have been? 😕

  181. charybdis1966 says:

    Fran – you are the Billy Graham of the Arsenal blog word !

  182. London says:

    You did that on purpose Rasputin.

    I was sitting there minding my own business when I got poked in the ribs by blog cattle prod.

    What makes you think that we paid Man U for Silvestre?

  183. Rasputin says:

    It’s not my blog Franchise – it’s part yours now 😛

    Ever thought of joining the dark side and putting some of those radical views of yours in a headline post?

    Sylvestre = desparate; Campbell = canny

  184. Rasputin says:

    Hi London – it works every time 😆

    I thought we paid something like £650k for him, but what do I know?

    We walked round to your favourite pub (the pins?)before the game on saturday to see if there was anyone there who looked ‘nouveau riche’ and was buying everyone drinks.

  185. Franchise says:

    with 650k ManU would have paid the 1st week of september 08 wages of Rio, Rooney, Ronaldo and had like 250k spare for the likes of Evra

    Arsene why?????? 😛

  186. Franchise says:

    chary just stretch forth your hands to your computer screen, close your eyes and believe

  187. charybdis1966 says:

    \ o / PTL Fran !

  188. Franchise says:

    haha u remember that one chary

  189. charybdis1966 says:

    Yes, it’s a rip-snorter Fran, as they say down under.

  190. Franchise you preachin’ again 😯

  191. Big Raddy says:

    Why indeed Franchise. Nice to see you here.

    Unfathomable is how I would put it. If we were to buy an aged CB, why not take Sol 18 months ago? He is different class to Fishface.

  192. Rasputin says:

    Congratulations chary,

    You hold the record for the greatest number of comments in response (in our 16 day history 😉 ) to a post from ‘Arsenalsquaredites’ as Franchise has dubbed us.

  193. Rasputin says:

    A2’s is snappier 😉

  194. AW was only desperate to sign someone cos he’d just let Flamini, Hleb and Gilberto go but he just thinks hes sooooooooo clever…….didn’t fool us though 😉

  195. charybdis1966 says:

    Thanks Raspers, but I feel a little sneaky as a lot of those comments are me droning on. Still I’ll take the current record.

  196. Franchise says:

    raddy we had a hand in Manu’s success last season. They did the double and our 650k aided them. Shocking

    Deals like Sol and Silvestre is beginning to make me believe that Wenger is under constraints.

    But as long as no one with proper knowledge comes out and says otherwise, then Wenger is just the prude

    I think if Arsenal came out to say we dont have money to spend for top calibre players, season tickets sales will drop and many would ask for cheaper tickets

    So perhaps Wenger gets paid a bit extra to handle our expectations hence, the rehearsed press conferences and timely articles

    hmmmmmmmm ❗

  197. Franchise says:

    recently Arsene came out saying he can pay the transfer fees for top players but cannot afford the wages what do you guys make of that?

  198. Rasputin says:

    Blimey, London’s cattle prod must have him in agony 😆

  199. Rasputin says:


    Do you or anybody remember the statement that Arsene made a year or two ago when he said basically that we’d have to make a nett profit on players sold against purchases of £15m a season to break even?

  200. London must be on the phone to the accountants finding out what we paid for Silvestre 🙂

  201. Franchise says:

    I aslo rememebr him saying that there are only 10 players in world football that we cant afford to sign

    he might be signing players like Sola and Silvestre as stop gaps but for who you would ask. Djourou, Bartley, Nordveit????

    A carling cup would ease the scrutiny of the recent failures and criticism of his policy but wenger doesnt seem to understand this

  202. Franchise when did you see the light……….

    ‘Deals like Sol and Silvestre is beginning to make me believe that Wenger is under constraints’

    Do you believe that AW would have a team of under achievers if he could help it?

  203. Franchise says:

    Rasputin with all the revenue we generate, if we are indeed under as much constraints that would mean silvestre and sol are our level then the board must have done some real silly deals beyond the obvious (shirt and stadium naming)

  204. Franchise says:

    peaches whichever the case is, Arsenal board know that they cant charge the most expensive football tickets in the world and tell the fans that they cant sign a world class GK for instance

    I believe there isnt an endless pot but comon GKers like friedel are moving for 3m and we have 3 clowns that has to be wenger fault

  205. Big Raddy says:

    Well said Franchise, but I fully understand why AW plays the teams he does in the CC. And you cannot say that they don’t entertain. For me the CC is one of the highlights of the season …. to see decent teams smashed by our kids is great. Until we get the Spuds or Chavs…..

    As to the money pot, so many differing opinions. No-one knows for sure, but I trust another site that say we are good to go for the transfer pot. Whether AW uses it it is another thing!!

    Please, please let him go for broke with a proper GK. Chesney can wait….

  206. Rasputin says:

    Brad Friedel when Jens left would have been an excellent stop-gap for a couple of years if we weren’t gonna sign Given.

    Arsenal has had a history of great Irish players, I wonder why none feature in our ranks these days?

  207. Franchise says:

    Raddy if we keep throwing away winnable competitions like the carling cup then we have to ensure we win the ones we prioritise for.

    Like u said its fun watching the kids in the carling cup but after seeing it over and over again it is beginning to annoy me.

    ManUre were playing kids until they met City and they played their 1st team or almost. This is a side that is not under as much pressure to deliver trophies like ourself

    And one thing is certain these defeats are not doing the kids any good. Arsenal Carling Cup player successes are very few to mention.

  208. Big Raddy says:

    I respectfully disagree. It shows the kids they can play at the top table. Sure they can’t beat a Top 6 first team, but that is no disgrace.

    Plus it is one of AW’s promises to the kids – that they are his CC team. It shows them that he is consistent, and that his word is good. If he changes his mind and plays the first team, it belittles him IMO.

  209. London says:


    I base my view that we got an extremely experienced defender that is prepared to sit on the bench for the best part of the season, for free because that was what every single newspaper reported at the time. Where did you get your £650,000 from?

  210. Rasputin says:

    It was reported as £650k at the time, but I can’t give you the reference London – and as is often the case, it may be incorrect.

    I stand by my earlier view that being experienced isn’t as valuable an attribute as ability.

  211. Big Raddy says:

    Checking round the sites, the general opinion is that the fee was €750k sterling. But there is no official figure.

    However much, it was too much.

  212. Mayank says:

    Well said Raddy @ 5:11. Purely on entertainment basis CC is more exciting for Arsenal fans than any other. I have a Manc friend who though he won’t admit it watches all the Arsenal CC matches.
    Also many were enraged by Wenger’s ‘3rd place over FA cup’ statement. Some even say FA over CL, that’s absurd it must be a great experience to go to a final but seriously if Portsmouth can win it is it really that big a deal. Arsenal fans are more fond of it because it was our stamping ground though.

  213. Big Raddy says:

    Plus it stopped the development of Senderos 😉

  214. Franchise says:

    what is the point then Raddy? when after these kids do all this Wenger would rather play Arsh 23 as a CF when he has a fit Vela Carling Cup CF hero

  215. Rasputin says:

    I’ve just done a bit of ‘googling’ and most reported ‘an undisclosed fee’ at the time, which suggests to me that money was paid.

  216. Mayank says:

    Silvestre has played some important games for us and done in the most part, as a 4th choice CB, okay. 750k wouldn’t stop any other transfer we were involved in so no real harm done.

  217. Mayank says:

    I’m sure Vela was injured for most of the matches AA played as CF.

  218. I still think it was a panic buy – 3 key players were allowed to leave and whatever was going on with Senderos was an influence too.

  219. Big Raddy says:

    Mayank. I wrote a headline post about that very subject – FAC v CL.

    IMO the CL is the only Cup AW cares about now. The team he played at Stoke indicates his priorities

  220. Franchise says:

    I personally think its a failure that we cant qualify for CL yearly with any trophy to add to it. Comon how hard can it be?

    the team Wenger says we are only 2% off won the league last year, got to the CL final and won the carling cup

    Who may I ask before the emergence of City should rightfully lay claim to 4th spot? is it Everton or Spurs???

    3rd is better than domestic cup is the most stupid thing a manager that has won the FAcup/league double before can say

    4th plus FA cup plus decent run in CL should be minimum the team should give in return

  221. Big Raddy says:

    I happen to agree with AW Franchise !

  222. Franchise says:

    I bet Roy Hodgson, Martin O’Neill, Dirty Harry have an ambition to at the minimum qualify for Europe and win a domestic trophy

    why should Arsenal fans be told to take 3rd postion or Carling Cup?

    why not both???

  223. Big Raddy says:

    AW isn’t saying that he doesn’t want to win the FAC, what he is saying is that he prioritises the league.

  224. Rasputin says:

    I think as a ‘statement of intent’ to the footballing world, the signing of Sylvestre sent out all the wrong messages. The signing of Sol on the other hand was astute and pragmatic.

  225. Champs Lge qualification is the minimum plus another cup should be the target IMO

  226. Mayank says:

    Really Fran, “the most stupid thing a manager that has won the FAcup/league double before can say”?
    It was obviously a loaded question.
    Reporter: Would you rather be 3rd in the league or win the FA cup?
    Is there a correct answer to this question for a team that was in our position.
    For me, I’d rather be 2nd/3rd in the league being constantly in the mix like we were this year, than be chasing the pack and get a consolation trophy mostly based on luck.

  227. Franchise says:

    comon JET in attack? we might as well have just stayed at home 😀

  228. Big Raddy says:

    It is nothing new Franchise, is it?

    The ticket prices for the CC are lower, they aren’t included in the season ticket, and AW is totally honest about the team to be played.

    One day soon the kids will win it. They are getting older and better. A team with JW, Merida, Vela, Theo, Watt, Gibbs, Chesney, JD, Bartley etc is pretty tasty

  229. Its only cos we love him cos hes a gooner from the dark side and he scored in the Champions League final and he was an Invincible 😆

  230. Big Raddy says:

    I agree Rasp 5.44

  231. Rasputin says:

    I’d prioritise CL, prem, FAC, CC in that order up until we win our first CL then I’d put the prem top of the list.

  232. London says:


    Let’s agree that he arrived for a nominal fee. Moving on…..the thing that alarms me is that you went to the game on Saturday as did I and I thought Silvestre had a very good game, I certainly thought he had an equally good game as Sol did in the week, no wait, Sol made a school boy back pass and switched off when the free kick was taken that led to the goal, so I suppose it would be more accurate to say that Silvestre played better. Wouldn’t you agree?

    This is Wenger bashing by stealth.

  233. Big Raddy says:

    Are you sure that is all Peaches 😉

  234. Ok stop! I think I’m gonna write a post about it 😳

  235. Franchise says:

    Sorry Mayank he blatantly said he doesnt rate the league cup. My point is others that dont rate it as much either, and also prioritise the league and CL yearly are winning this trophy but he cant and he still finishes below them in the league for 4 years running

    “Is it the Champions League, the Premier League, the League Cup? If you win the League Cup you cannot say you win trophies for me.

  236. Big Raddy says:

    London. I only saw the game on TV and of course one has a different perspective. But I thought Silvestre was our worst player – by far.

    He had no pace, played the Sunderland attackers onside twice, didn’t seem to have any understanding with TV. His passing was off as well.

    But perhaps I am blinded by his MU connection…..

  237. Big Raddy says:

    Franchise. Could it be because they have been better than us?

  238. Franchise says:

    If God is a gunner, I hope he makes us win the league or CL. If we dont I would like to see if Wenger changes anything.

    It is counter productive this sort of attitude cos players do care about honours and the best players would soon seriously start considering their immediate future

    If i remember correctly, of recent fergie and mourinho have used the Carling Cup to get monkeys off their back. And used it as a stepping stone unto bigger things

    For a change, I would like to see the manager treat all competitions with respect.

  239. London – that sounds like Campbell bashing by stealth 😦

    The thing is even if Silvestre had a great game – and I thought he was ok – he was a manc reject and thats going to cause supporters to question why we took him on. Why was fergie happy to let him go?

    We aren’t going to agree on this and you’re having a stressful time so I think we should drop it now 🙂

  240. Rasputin says:

    Sorry London, I concur with Raddy, I didn’t think he had a particularly good game (he wasn’t total rubbish either), I just don’t understand his signing in the context of what Arsene says he’s trying to achieve. One minute he doesn’t want to undermine the confidence of the young players by buying and the next he signs Sylvestre. If it was his response to the critics who said we lacked experience, I repeat…. ability is more valuable than experience IMHO.

  241. …..ok Raddy…..and the legs and the smile 😀

    Is anyone elses page taking forever to re-load – must be all the comments 😛

  242. Big Raddy says:

    Off to cook. Thanks for the entertainment……

  243. Mayank says:

    Franchise I think it would be a bit cowardly to change his principles about certain competition just to get the pressure off himself. He’d lose a lot more respect in my eyes than by making such a statement. I don’t think Cesc will renew just because we won the Carling Cup.

  244. Mayank says:

    Sorry I don’t think Cesc should renew, he’s with us till fuckin 2014!

  245. Rasputin says:


    It’s true that winning is a habit and losing a disease. The Invincibles epitomised that – for 49 games thay felt they couldn’t be beaten. It is also true that sometimes you can take strength from adversity since the Keown/Vieira/horseface incident seemed a huge injustice and spurred us on to go into that unbeaten run. It’s all to do with the character of the players, and here I would agree that age/experience play an important part.

  246. London says:

    Hi BR

    I hate to play the I was at the game card but to me he was superb, the TV cameras will never show him being in the right position when the ball is on the other side of the pitch but that, as I am sure you would agree, is 90% of the job of a CB.

    Sunderland had two one on one with Almunia, the first was caused by Ramsey which had Denilson done the same thing the pitch would still be smouldering from where he was nailed to the cross, hoisted and burnt. In this instance it was Silvestre that cleared the danger and in the second one on one it was Silvestre who shepherded the player away; so bearing in mind that we kept a clean sheet I am not sure why you thought that he was our worst player?

  247. Franchise says:

    oh definitely Raddy it is because they are better than us. but we didnt lose to either this year when we got knocked out of the FA cup

    Mourinho once said before a fixture pile up, ‘I will not choose competitions but I will let the competitions choose us’

    we learnt a big lesson about this just recently when we chose to rest our big guns away to stoke in fa cup, we won only 1 out of the next 6

    how many years on the trot have we seen us loose momentum because we ‘throw’ away games in ‘useless’ cup competitions?

    Wenger definitely needs to change his approach IMO. Very flawed

  248. The Carling Cup is worthless to us as a club but it has a value to Arsene to give exposure to young talent on a big stage. Hell I was there when we beat Liverpool this season and it was very exciting…..

  249. Franchise says:

    Mayank there is nothing cowardly about doing the right thing.

    its called pride when you insist to do things that are not working

  250. And if he takes the Carling Cup/FA cup seriously and one of our little flowers gets injured and we’re stuffed for weeks then who’s gonna clear up the blood then Franchise……………

  251. Franchise says:

    peaches i would say then if our kids are any good then we would at least have won it once. Our record since the 2006 final has gotten worse. Change in policy needed

    with all the exposure Sanchez Watt has gotten from the CC we couldnt call on him to deputise when we had injury problems up front

    when would he be ready then. Maybe after 3 carling cup years

    Randall has played Carling Cup since baby Jesus fled to Egypt he is still not ready to help the first team

    Or is it the Peruvian Denilson 🙂

  252. London says:


    Let’s try it this way, you know I have written so much about the fact that not every CB can be on the pitch on every Saturday afternoon, that being the case we will obviously always need players who are prepared to sit on the bench for what could be the best part of the season, so, being as critical as you are about Wenger’s attempt to solve this difficulty what should he have done?

  253. So Franchise you’d be happy with a Carling Cup to parade and nothing else???????????????

  254. Franchise says:

    what else is there to parade. There is no trophy for 4th. so yes i would take the carling cup 😉

  255. Franchise says:

    it shouldnt stop us from finishing 4th or would it?

    the great Spurs might just nick 4th cos we won a trophy

  256. Rasputin says:

    You’re definitely outnumbered on this one Franchise 😛

    We had such huge injuries and bigger fish to fry this year in the CC that I thought we shouldn’t even have risked some of the players we played. Gibbs, Merida and Eastmond are all knocking on the first team door I’d say.

  257. Mayank says:

    I agree about the winning is a habit thing, and unless its unavoidable we’ve always played our first team for the FA cup. The point however is getting the CC would be papering over the cracks, all it would do is remove the ‘X years no trophy’ tag from Wenger.
    The reason we prioritise is simply because both FA and CC have a huge element of luck in it and the rewards aren’t great. Teams like spurs win the CC teams like Portsmouth win the FA cup could either of these teams dream of coming 3rd? No.

  258. London says:


    I have just re-read your last post, you posed the question:

    “I just don’t understand his signing in the context of what Arsene says he’s trying to achieve. One minute he doesn’t want to undermine the confidence of the young players by buying and the next he signs Sylvestre.”

    The answer to this is that he isn’t a threat to the development of the younger players, if Djourou hadn’t got injured he would have been playing Saturday.

  259. Rasputin says:


    AW knew we were short of CB’s he could have paid £3-4m for someone like Distin or a gifted foreign player we’ve never heard of. The last minute signing of MS was desparate. I may be blinded by prejudice, as peaches said, he’s an ex-manc and that is never gonna endear him to me.

  260. London says:

    I have to cook as well, I’m old school I was brought up to hate spuds.

  261. Rasputin says:

    I agree JD would have played on saturday. We signed Sylvestre before JD got injured so that wasn’t the motivation for the purchase.

  262. Rasputin says:

    Haha London, I’m wending my way home too. Great to have a gentleman’s debate with you. I don’t know how long we can keep trawling that old one up 😆

  263. Franchise says:

    Mayank Jeez i cant believe what youy are saying.

    I would use your own point against your argument who do we expect to finish 3rd? is it villa, spuds or everton???? or portsmouth in their hey days????

    simples. 4th is no achievement for a club like Arsenal.

    you say wenger dont rate the cups cos of luck??? is it luck that spuds used to thrash us in the carling cup in 08???? or when stoke beat us at brittania in 10. or was it luck that Mancs used to thrash us 4-0 in 07/08?

    The teams that end up winning the major trophies have an excuse to give for not winning the CC and FA cups not 4th chasers like us

  264. Franchise says:

    ok guys im off. I will catch u all another time

  265. Mayank says:

    No Franchise, it wasn’t luck, but even if we go for it and give it our all we could still end up with nothing and hurt our PL challenge which is a real gauge of a team. It’s the CC we don’t care about if you remember we reached the SF of FA last season to be knocked out by Chelsea.

    4th is not an achievement for us and that is why we have to try and do better.
    Which brings us to our original question, would you take 4th and CC or a competitive 3rd? No brainer for me.

  266. Mayank says:

    That’s been a lot of blogging for me today. See you all later.

  267. Franchise says:

    no brainer for you. i bet you mean 4th and CC if not then 😯

  268. Ok I’m off too cos my daughter and her band Peggysue are doing a live run through of their album tonight in Highbury

    This is an old clip but it is going to be the first single off the album

  269. London says:

    My aim is not to try and get anyone to like Silvestre; I don’t really like him that much myself but I am very protective of the reason why Wenger bought him in the first place. You say that it seemed desperate, well, I agree, it was, this situation was forced on Wenger by the late decision by Senderos to take up an offer to go on loan to Milan. The Distin argument is equally flawed because it is illogical to expect a player of his calibre or any other foreigner with a similar level of skill to be happy sitting on the bench for what could have been the best part of the season. Silvestre was bought as forth choice CB, an arrangement he was aware of and was happy with. A good solution to a last minute problem.

  270. Rasputin says:

    Ok London, I understand what you are saying. At the end of the day it comes down to our differing interpretations of Arsene’s reasoning – and we’ll never know which of us is correct. In the bigger scheme of things it’s a trifling matter. I’m sure we can find more important issues to disagree over 😛

  271. London says:

    If you understand what I am trying to say then I am happy as that was my only goal.

    Possibly, one of the reasons for our difference of opinion is that I don’t regard Wenger’s decision making process as trifling…..Silvestre, yes……Wenger, no.

  272. Rasputin says:


    I’ve been magnanimous in accepting your viewpoint. I did not say (as you well know) that Wenger’s decision making process was trifling, I said “it was a trifling matter” referring to the whole Sylvestre purchase issue – something quite different.

    I’m sure Arsene’s decision making process is about as analytical and considered as it’s possible to be. I’m not Arsene bashing here, but I am prepared to accept that he is not perfect and makes mistakes like every mortal – even though he, himself would not consider them to be mistakes.

  273. Rasputin says:

    I’m not going to be around today for what I expect to be an equally lively debate following Chary’s excellent article yesterday. Have fun everyone and I’ll catch up later 😉

  274. charybdis1966 says:

    “Chaf” Raspers ? LOL, it could have been “Chav” I suppose. 🙂

  275. Morning all


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