Pool – Arsenal in at the Deep End – written by BigRaddy

Written by Big Raddy

First game of a new season, new players, an opportunity to wear our new kit, ….. what is there not to get excited about?

Well, shame on me but I am approaching a trip to Anfield with some trepidation. I am normally confident every time we travel to Liverpool and I am reminded that we opened with a 6-1 victory up there last season (Everton is in Liverpool). But this time there are significant differences, and we all know what they are.

Firstly, Liverpool have finally signed a decent manager. Benitez was quite frankly one of the luckiest men on the planet. Without exception, their Cup victories were fortunate in the extreme (who has ever seen a less deserved CL victory than 2005, exciting though it was). That Benitez spent a King’s ransom and has taken the club backwards is a better indicator of his years as manager than Stevie G beating West Ham. Hodgson on the other hand is (in my opinion) one of the best managers in Europe and will make the Scousers a decent side.

Hodgson has in Reina, Agger, Johnson, Carragher and Aurelio, the personel to create a really solid defence. The signing of Poulsen (whom we should have signed) is inspired. He is a DM who can pass out of defence, is good in the air and above all can be a really dirty b*stard in the Roy Keane mould – expect to see a flurry of cards! With Gerrard in form, Aquilani bedding in, and Cole desperate to show he is worth his wages, they will present a formidable midfield. Thankfully Torres is unlikely to play and N’gog/Babel and Kuyt are hardly clinical finishers.

Secondly, we are not in great shape. Injuries, lack of form, severe defensive frailties and the lack of a reliable goalkeeper are likely to cause  sleepless nights for Mr. Wenger. The injuries are frustrating; when will we start a season with our full squad fit and ready? Song is at best 50/50 to play, and to rely on Denilson again is an indication of a poor summer’s work by our manager (who I am delighted to read is about to sign a new contract). We have been lacking a quality partner to Song for too long, and the possibility of having to start Frimpong is madness, however much of a prospect he is. Should Song be out, we will struggle to win the physical battle in midfield, as we will against any of the top 6 clubs…… we must buy an experienced CB/ DM to have a chance of winning the PL. Hopefully Sunday afternoon will not be a pre-cursor of difficulties to come

Much has been written about Fabregas this summer and I can’t wait to see him play for us this season – I expect him to confirm that he is the best in the World, bar none. He has to play at Anfield for us to win.

My team would be, (though I must point out that I have an unblemished record in this department – never having been right!!) :-

Mr. Wenger usually goes with a defensive team away from home and much as I would like to see Theo get a game, I doubt he will. The questions about RvP’s fitness must preclude him from what will be a tough fixture.

I will be satisfied with a point.

Regular readers of AA will know that I like to give some background about the towns we play in, and this season will be no different. Liverpool was founded by King John in 1207 and he personally designed the street layout (though only for 500 inhabitants). And, this is a brilliant and hard to believe fact….. over 40% of the entire World’s trade went through Liverpool at the start of the 19th Century!! There are many famous Liverpudlians amongst whom are; Rick Astley, the famous Youtube star and Keith Chegwin (Janice Long’s brother), both of whom are Gooners.

Most famous Scousers get out fast and move to Kent/Surrey – Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Cilla Black, Jimmy Tarbuck, Freddie Starr, Anne Robinson, Paul O’Grady etc etc ……. I wonder why??

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139 Responses to Pool – Arsenal in at the Deep End – written by BigRaddy

  1. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    Blimey

  2. shocka says:

    I”m sorry but a very dull flaccid read.

  3. Aziz, KL-Malaysia says:

    Frimpong, Wishere and Nasri will start …. 😉

  4. kelsey says:

    You wonder why BR: well add arthur askey,pete burns,ken dodd,kenny everitt,leonard rossiter,willy russell and ricky tomlinson.

    all comedians like the lot that own liverpool 🙂

  5. kelsey says:

    Eboue will start, as will Almunia for the rest i figure nasri will slot into cesc’s position at least at the start and I also reckon Chamakh will partner RVP.Add Arshavin(who says he is injured,read my early morning comment)so maybe not so defensive.

    can we play defensive ?

  6. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    When Liverpoo play Blackpoo. It will be like a turd derby 😆

  7. dandan says:

    Morning all, Shocka perhaps you would like to present a dynamic article of your own for consideration for publishing, if so email the article to “be our guest” at the top of this page, we would be delighted to hear from you.

  8. Red Arse says:

    Bang on Big Raddy,

    As usual you have got to the nub of the matter and the historic trawl (?) 🙂 thru’ the settlement of ‘Pool was v. interesting.

    I didn’t know about King John being the founder, but as he pinched the crown from Richard II, perhaps the good citizens of ‘Pool decided to carry on in his memory! 😉

  9. Red Arse says:

    Shocka,

    Try as I might, I cannot quite reconcile the adjective “flaccid” with the noun “read”, especially with reference to its usual vernacular use before the noun “willy”. 🙂

    But I will accept your greater knowledge.

  10. Red Arse says:

    Gnarley,

    🙂 🙂

  11. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    BR the fantasy League bolter 🙂

  12. SharkeySure says:

    Morning all, we’ll be fine today. Brace from Chamakhattack!

  13. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    I watched the concluding part of the 1st half of Wigan v Blackpoo last night. The stadium looked half empty, & disappointing really. Which brings me to tonights “curtain raiser” to the Liverpoo v Arsenal match on Fox, Nottingham Forest v Leeds United from The Championship. How did these 2 former powerhouses fall so dramatically from grace, & Wigan flourish.

  14. Red Arse says:

    Gnarley.

    Your first sentence shows that Wigan will soon join them. How the sod did they beat us last year? 😦

    Forest have a v.small fanbase while Leeds had Risdale and O’Leary, that well known combo of spendthrift and incompetent.

  15. dandan says:

    Very quiet on here today. Just a thought, I believe Eboue will be the suprise package of the year and first team regular

  16. Red Arse says:

    Well said, Sharkey,

    I’ve set aside a lovely bottle of my fav wine to celebrate.

    Anyone who suggests it is to drown my sorrows can’t have a glass! 🙂

  17. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    PMSL

    Aug 17 18:45 GMT Young Boys v Tottenham Hotspur Play-off round at Wankdorf

    Spurs will no doubt be wearing that gay sailor suite they had on against Man City 😆

  18. Fatgingergooner says:

    I’m also very worried about the game today, our midfield was overrun by a poor Polish side in pre season, so imagine what the likes of Gerrard and J.Cole will do to us. We cannot stick with one DM and expect to be able to cope away from home. With the way the full backs bomb on then there has to be a change of tactic in midfield. Surely AW must have seen this last season and I hope to god we play with 2 deeper midfielders and then either Nasri or Fabregas further forward. With the wide players we have in Nasri, Walcott, Rosicky, Arshavin, plus Fabregas then we have more than enough going forward.

  19. Rasp says:

    Afternoon all,

    I too am nervous before the game this afternoon.

    I see a rather disturbing parallel between Capello signing a new contract before the WC and Arsène settling on a new deal before the season starts.

    It was a very high risk strategy to go into this game with no 1st choice keeper and no significant back-up at CB or DM.

  20. dandan says:

    LOL Rasp. I really cant work out if you are a cynic on the wind up or just a plain old dyed in the wool pessimist.

    Rest easy my friend it will be a great arse year.

  21. Eddan says:

    Strange lineup you got there…nasri will most certainly start for one…

  22. Rasp says:

    Hi dandan,

    I have been thinking of writing a post for a long while to put to bed once and for all this idea that I am a pessimist. The problem is that I worry that you supporters who are always totally positive whatever happens will take offence.

    Basically it is far easier to be removed and ‘objective’ when you don’t go to games. If you’re at home watching on the box, you can walk out and make a cup of tea or just stop watching. It is far more intense in the stadium. Let me tell you that when we put in a disappointing performance that is say, down to goalkeeping error, there will be 60,000 supporters all of whom you might label pesimistic.

    Being worried by the fact that we haven’t bought a new keeper and are about to start the season with a new untested centre-back, 7 players unavailable through injury?fatigue and no back-up at CD and DM is cause for concern.

    Of course I want us to win today, but if we do, I will still have those concerns because the weaknesses will still exist and will become more apparent as the season progresses.

  23. Rasp says:

    Hi Edan,

    I agree, Nasri is likely to start. It all depends on whether Song is going to be fit enough and if Cesc will feature. For me, Song is the key player, as Nasri has shown he can be the playmaker in midfield.

  24. Red Arse says:

    Stop it Rasp,

    You are wobbling my positivity! 🙂

    The boss has said he knows we need another CB but can’t get other clubs to release their “goodies”.

    Interestingly, Manure, having pinched Smalling from under our noses now seem set to do the same by outbidding us for Mohammedu Sackho, a great big lump of a centre back from PSG. He is only young but a great prospect.

  25. Fatgingergooner says:

    Hi Rasp,

    If u think it is more intense in the stadium then u obviously haven’t watched a game at my house!!!!!!!

    The only time u will see a cup of tea is when it is flying past your head and smashing on the wall when Almunia drops another clanger!!!!!!!

  26. Red Arse says:

    Rasp,

    You might have a point, although Fatging’s experience is replicated chez moi.

    There appears to be a disparity in perspective between what the fans at home see on TV and what Le Prof sees in the stadium.

    Perhaps he needs to put more distance between himself and the team and take an “oversight” position.

    Eureka! My bath has overflowed! 🙂

  27. Rasp says:

    Thanks Red Arse, Fgg,

    I do hate it when fans go on about paying money to watch the Arsenal, it is a privilege to be able to go, but the whole experience is physically and emotionally draining and that heightens the intensity.

    When I am watching away games at home, I often have to go out and walk the dog because I can’t stand the tension. My daughter shouted half way across a 20 acre field to me when Gallas got the equaliser against manure.

  28. dandan says:

    Rasp Please write your post, why should it upset me, I have made my living out of being positive and know no other way, once a motivator always a motivator I suppose. But that does not stop me listening to or acknowledging the right of others to be different. I actually think it would make a fine headline post and provoke much discussion

    By the way just like gingers my TV is often in danger and in fact my wife blew a fuse when the world cup was on because our shouting at the TV was upsetting the grand-kids LOL

  29. Red Arse says:

    Rasp,

    I am the last person to give advice on posts, but here goes.

    Don’t write a “negative”, or indeed a “positive” post, as they are both misleading terms. Each of us can switch between both of them dependent on many extraneous factors, especially the perception of the reader.

    Write a “truthful” view as you see it, and let it fall where it may. Some will see it as negative, some will see it as positive and hopefully the cognoscenti will take it as a practical, indeed pragmatic appraisal.

    Seemples. 🙂

  30. Red Arse says:

    Rasp,

    I forgot to mention that Dandan, Fatging and myself all seem to share the same intense emotions when watching Arsenal games.

    I too, when I still had my beautiful dog, used to convince myself he “had” to go for a short walk, when the passions were becoming so intense I could take no more.

    Never happens when I am in the stadium. 🙂

  31. dandan says:

    Red Arse I have a lovely border collie, who barks at Mrs Dandan if she acts threateningly towards me. So picture the scene, me shouting at TV, Grand kids bursting into tears, wife shouting at me, dog barking at her, me telling the dog to calm down. Welcome to the wonderful world of Arse TV LOL

  32. tommystout says:

    Hello people, no team news at present???

  33. tommystout says:

    Hope we play a pressing game

  34. dandan says:

    Hi Tommy. It will be fast and furious I think.

  35. kelsey says:

    Afternoon all.

    It is a fact that we humans are all born either optimistic or pessimistic.How much optimism or pessitism, varies in each individual.

    I understand both points of view expressed by rasp and dandan, but following a club is something in one’s blood which is difficult to put down in writing .It is an emotion with highs and lows and to me so is life itself.

  36. kelsey says:

    Breaking team news: Manuel Almunia and Jack Wilshere do indeed start for Arsenal, as do Marouane Chamakh and Liverpool nemesis Andrey Arshavin. No place in the starting XI, then, for Robin van Persie or Cesc Fabregas.

  37. dandan says:

    Afternoon Kelsey, You settled down with a cold beer ready for the game

  38. Red Arse says:

    Tommy,

    Big Al, Sagna, Kos, TV, Clichy
    Eboue, Nasri, Diaby
    Wilshire, Cham,Meerkat

  39. kelsey says:

    Hi dandan,

    finally bribed the whole gang out and indeed am going to do my breathing exercises to calm down before the game.

  40. tommystout says:

    I agree DD.
    I’m quite optimistic today whatever the team, liverpool still have to respect our style whatever.
    I just wish Scwartzer would surprise the world by rolling out for us today! haha.

  41. dandan says:

    Now that I do understand in the heat and humidity you have there mate.

  42. tommystout says:

    so thats eboue in theos spot, not surprised at all. But diaby in the holding role, not so sure about that one!

  43. kelsey says:

    Sub: Rosicky, RVP, Vela, Walcott, Song, Fabianski, Gibbs

    however no defensive midfielder.

  44. tommystout says:

    I think we all do them exercises Kelsey 😉

  45. tommystout says:

    cant believe no fabregas, whats going on.
    david silva was fine to play yesterday!

  46. tommystout says:

    well this sure is gonna be interesting!

  47. dandan says:

    He will be on the bench on after an hour, I expect

  48. Fatgingergooner says:

    Surprised to see little jack starting away at Liverpool. Wouldve thought that rosicky wouldve got the nod. Not sure which of Diaby and Eboue I want to see in the holding role as both are subject to drifting off during games. Seeing Koscielny and TV next to each other fills me with a lot more confidence, and the Liverpool line up doesn’t scare me at all. If we can stay tight for first 25mins then we could dominate

  49. tommystout says:

    fabregas – stomach upset apparantly… hmmmmmm

  50. kelsey says:

    No dandan, cesc is not on the bench.
    i said lionel would start and theo will get his cameo twenty minutes at the end of the game.

    Everyone enjoy, see you later, and rasp stop hiding under the couch 🙂

  51. Big Raddy says:

    I wonder if anyone guessed that team!

    Flaccid!!! A fine word that always raises a laugh 😀

    I have PMT (pre-match tension) and have already banished the wife.

    COYRRG

  52. Red Arse says:

    Dandan,

    Fab is supposed to have a chest infection!

  53. kelsey says:

    crouch has an infection elsewhere 🙂

  54. Fatgingergooner says:

    Getting very nervous but seeing RVP and Theo the bench has calmed me right down! If we are in trouble then 20mins from those two should sort things out.

  55. dandan says:

    I suspect that they want him to start at home, the scousers would give him a lot of stick.

  56. Rasp says:

    Looking at that team, a lot will rest on Diaby 😦 I hope he doesn’t start this season as he ended last. He had me getting excited over him for a few games mid season and then reverted to his ‘old style’. I think the problem was that DM is not his natural role and it looks like he’s going to be asked to play DM (ish) today.

  57. SharkeySure says:

    Come on you Gunners !!!!

  58. tommystout says:

    well maybe referees are going to be a little tuffer!
    That looked bad for kozzer who was having an excellent game, if its as bad as it looks then cheque book out mr wenger!

  59. Rasp says:

    I was just saying that Koscielny was having an excellent game when Cole decided to beak his leg!

    There are those sitting with me who claim to have heard a crack!

    I doubt that will be the outcome but who knows how long he will be out for?

  60. Big Raddy says:

    Dreadful tackle from Cole & how the Dippers dared to question the red card is beyond me.

    Desperately hoping Koz comes out for the 2nd half and it isn’t yet another serious injury. He was playing very well until then

  61. Big Raddy says:

    And Jack gets a yellow yet Stevie G gets away with an awful tackle. Quel surprise…..

    We are playing well, Nasri in control and JW growing into the game. Nothing upfront though. Put on Theo for the last 20 mins

  62. dandan says:

    Sound performance so far, expect LJ to be subbed by RVP and Eboue by Theo providing Koz is OK at around the 70 min mark. Make the ten men work, will be hard be hard for them

  63. tommystout says:

    yeah Braddy, andy gray was laughing at gerreards tackle……. god, its nice to see the pundits dont change… wankers.

  64. tommystout says:

    only trouble with theo coming on is that liverpool will be backs to the wall defending! theos better on the break in my book!

  65. tommystout says:

    i dont think merse is the best choice of pundit either, he dissus arsenal way too much for my liking!

  66. tommystout says:

    diabys done well in the DM role

  67. tommystout says:

    i dont think he will either rasp. it looked serious. so song will be CB?

  68. dandan says:

    They will probably bring Torres on to try to provide an out, so they will push forward occasionally

  69. tommystout says:

    i cant believe kozzer is back out…. i hope the ref dont hold that against us!

  70. Big Raddy says:

    Ref made the correct decision immediately following the tackle, the extent of injury was irrelevant.

    Yes. Diaby is doing well.

    Damn, damn, damn….. Almunia near post – again

  71. Rasp says:

    Two things highlighted in the last 20 mins, we need a decent back-up CD and Almunia MUST go……

  72. Big Raddy says:

    We aren’t creating anything. Time for a change

  73. Rasp says:

    We need to have a $£*)ing shot once in while

  74. Rasp says:

    Its a disgrace and an insult to our great captains of the past to give Almunia the armbad.. why would you honour our worst player?

  75. dandan says:

    Because its his last game Rasp?

  76. Fatgingergooner says:

    I’m sick of this

    Same shit keeping mistakes

    Same shit Clichy who is inept at defending and only gets away with it so often cos of his pace

    Same shit tactics of looking pretty but getting nowhere

    Same narrow team trying to pass the way through but playing far too slow to penetrate

    Same old wenger moaning to the ref

    I’ve stood by this Wenger team for years whilst people have been asking for him sacking but I’m getting to the end now. This Liverpool team is spoor side yet they are beating us with 10 men, embarrasing

  77. Big Raddy says:

    We have just seen why Reina is worth over £20m and Almunia 20p

  78. Rasp says:

    If only you were right dandan

  79. Big Raddy says:

    I must do that again!!

  80. Big Raddy says:

    Ludicrous sending off. Koz couldn’t get out of the way

  81. Rasp says:

    We shouldn’t have started the season without a new keeper and a back-up CB. Thank god its Blackpool next week, kozzer was one of our best players today.

  82. dandan says:

    Interesting game we would have settled for that result before the kick off.

  83. dandan says:

    Be fair Rasp you know sparky is playing silly buggers or we would have had our keeper, he will be in goal next week, no danger.

  84. Rasp says:

    dandan, we were so much better than them, we should have won that game 3 nil, instead we scraped a draw. Almunia cost us 2 points – same as last season.

  85. dandan says:

    Yep, but interestingly what would we have said if he did a Reina

  86. Rasp says:

    We should be setting our sights higher than Schwarzer any way and we should have had a new keeper in place weeks ago. I’ll cheer if we sign Schwarzer because he’s so much better than Almunia and Fab2

  87. Rasp says:

    It was never going to be Reina dandan, that was a ludicrous rumour.

  88. dandan says:

    Jesus doesn’t mince his words, but it will be interesting to see what Irish thinks when she comes on

  89. tommystout says:

    merse said it all “until arsenal get a goalkeeper they will not win the league”

  90. dandan says:

    Time to cook some steaks see you all later

  91. tommystout says:

    kozzers PL debut was very encouraging

  92. Red Arse says:

    Merson, ia an absolute t*sser. He is supposed to be an ex-Arsenal man and I cannot stand the f**ker.

    Almunia, sorry it’s goodbye.
    Clichy, sorry it’s goodbye.

    Overall, we utterly controlled the game and it would have been grossly unfair if we had not got something out of the game.

    The defence haven’t had enough time together yet but they will improve, but Clichy is rubbish. Clueless at defending, bring on Gibbsy.

  93. Big Raddy says:

    Bit harsh on Gael. I thought he did OK, nothing special but a solid game.

    Chamakh kept going to the end and looks a fine buy as does Koscielny.

    AA anonymous again, I thought he loved Anfield?

  94. Rasp says:

    Anyone itching to do a write-up for tmoro? Probably better to say so on here so that we don’t get 5 reports 😉

  95. Red Arse says:

    At last Big Raddy we disagree.

    I have had my doubts about Clichy for some time. Not for me, sorry, especially with Gibbs available. 🙂

  96. Thats funny Rasp I was just going to say the same thing 😉

  97. tommystout says:

    i thought vela would have got on for AA

  98. Kozzer’s handball was ridiculous especially when you see the one that Ngog got away with – that’ll be Djourou next Saturday then.

  99. Why was Vela on the bench and Fab not?

  100. tommystout says:

    fab had a tummy ache …. hmmmmmmm

  101. Big Raddy says:

    Peaches. If JD is fit 🙂

    I am happy with a point. Think we were by far the better team and we will have a good season.

    Buy a GK and we could be Champs.

  102. Red Arse says:

    Peaches,

    Fab had a chest infection, allegedly.

    If Djourou plays next week it will be hopping on one leg. I heard he has a medium term injury.

    I am disappointed not to win today, but overall the defence looks a bit better than I expected, but we still need better organisation and a new Keeper. 6 out of 10. 🙂

  103. Big Raddy says:

    Lasagne??

  104. Big Raddy says:

    RA.

    7 for me. Totally dominating at Anfield is an achievement.

    First half an 8, second a 6.

  105. Red Arse says:

    O.K. Big Raddy, on reflection that split is about right, perhaps.

    We are so dominant and technically so much better, I can’t believe we have so few shots. I’m baffled!

  106. SharkeySure says:

    Thanks for nothing Almunia. Shocking
    Kozzer looked very good

  107. kelsey says:

    So much to take in.Beforehand I would have taken a draw, yet at half time as it is so often the case it is harder against 10 than 11. Almunia, oh Almunia, beaten at the near post yet again, and I have to say clichy was at fault on more than one occasion, if arshavin is injured,he shouldn’t have played,as he was poor.

    We really got stuck in,at least in the first half and besides those mentioned everyone played well, especially Nasri.
    Nice to Rosicky make an impact, but Theo shows no signs of improvement and i hardly saw RVP.

    We were fortunate in the end to get a draw,yet if we had actually created a few more shots in the first half,it might have been a different story.Jack was fine,kos played better than i thought but no final thrust.(where have i heard that before).

  108. barumgooner says:

    Hello all. I agree that Gibbs is getting better all the time but that doesn’t mean we need to get shot of Clichy. Its called competition for places, something average players have not had to worry about at the Arsenal for a while. Just imagine for a second that we sell Clichy and Gibbs gets injured, who are we left with…. Traore… now that would worry me. For too long we have had a great first 11 and then a pile of average rubbish on the bench. IMO keep them both and make them fight for the right to play.

  109. Red Arse says:

    So Djourou injured (there’s a surprise) Kos suspended, (ridiculous booking), Song still not fully recovered from his injury, perhaps Nordveidt will get his chance?

    See you tomorrow. (slides off still feeling pretty positive).

  110. kelsey says:

    Wenger was asked again about a new keeper and said definitely not.I hope he is a good poker player.

  111. kelsey says:

    good point barum about clichy,but he is prone to make too many mistakes.give gibbs a chance and let them fight it out,but my bet is that gibbs will be number one before the end of the season and clichy will be off next summer.

  112. Red Arse says:

    Kelsey,

    Not wanting to be picky, but so that we don’t depress everybody, Arsene was aked if he had any news about a new GK, and gave a firm “No”.

    No nudes is good news! 🙂

    Ta ta.

  113. Rasp says:

    kozzer was excellent, he looked stronger than in pre-season and was up there with Vermaelen. An excellent find by Arsene and the scouts. Apparently he has a huge lump on his calf from the tackle so maybe a rest next week is what he needs. JD is extremely unlikely to play against Blackpool so I reckon Song may be CB unless he drafts in Harvard.

    dandan promises me we will have a new goalkeeper next week. Arsene refused to criticise Almunia over the goal and instead chose to praise Ngog.

  114. Rasp says:

    Clichy did make too many mistakes. LJ was at fault for allowing the ball to run past him in defence in the lead up to Ngog’s goal.

    Gerrard and Mascerano fouled continually, eventually Gerrard got a card but not befoe Sagna had been booked for a fairly innocuous challenge.

  115. barumgooner says:

    Its not Arsenes style anyway but If we are trying to sell Almunia its not a good idea to run him down.

  116. dandan says:

    Murry 3 – 0 up against Federer first set. Go Andy

  117. dandan says:

    You got it Barum, We will be ok,plus if you think of the negatives voiced over the last couple of weeks on Kos he proved them unfounded today

  118. barumgooner says:

    Was Kozzer sent off for the handball or for kicking the ball away ?

  119. Rasp says:

    The general feeling was that it was for the handball bg, which is ridiculous (as peaches said earlier) because Ngog was guilty of a much more blatant handball that went unpunished.

  120. barumgooner says:

    I agree Rasp I thought it was mad for the handball which is why I thought it must’ve been for kicking it away after which would make more sense.

  121. barumgooner says:

    Overall though it was a good start. A point at Anfield is always good and most players were solid. When you look at those who were missing again it all looks positive. We still need a GK and two centrebacks but hopefully that will happen soon.

  122. Rasp says:

    Yes a point isn’t a disaster, we were good enough to get all 3, but there’s a long way to go. Obviously we need a GK. I would be happy with a back-up CB as I thought the understanding between kozzer and TV was excellent. If we were to buy 3 players I’d go for a back-up for Song, but I’d be surprised if we buy more than one to be honest.

  123. barumgooner says:

    I dont think it’l be 3 either Rasp. Schwarzer plus one I think. But I can live in hope.

  124. kelsey says:

    kozzer had a really good game.first pl game away at anfield couldn’t be harder and twice he out muscled torres.

    just had a look round the other arsenal sites, and over reaction to our display is an under statement.i am not sure if they know what the word support your club means.

  125. barumgooner says:

    Well said Kelsey. I often wonder why people support a club when they seem to get such satisfaction from seeing it fail.

  126. ArseChicago says:

    Just imagine the reaction had we not gotten a draw. I said before the match, regardless of whether the match was won or lost, there was surely to be an overreaction on the part of the blogosphere. But then again, what fans do blogs in general attract but the craziest of fans, both good crazy and bad. People seemed to have forgotten that we were sans Cesc, RvP (mostly), and Song. They seemed to forget we were playing at Anfield. They seemed to forget it’s the very first match of the season and there was international duty for some godforsaken reason last week leading up to this. The team looked sluggish, certainly, but do you think mediocre teams can play as lethargically as we did and come out of Anfield with a point? Not bloody likely. We deserved a point and that’s what we got. The team fought and we should be maintaining our optimism about this season.

  127. SharkeySure says:

    Great first half, poor 2nd half. Decent performances from most with the exception of Arshavin.

    I just don’t how he gets to play 90mins with so little effect. If I was Eboue I’d be shaking my head too, wondering what the Russkie has to do to ever get subbed. I’m really at a loss to explain why Arsene indulges him so much.

    Nite all

  128. 26may1989 says:

    Evening all.

    Well, thank God the waiting’s over, I was beginning to go a bit nuts. But the game today was pretty frustrating: a good first half performance, albeit without creating enough chances, but a really slow, turgid second half performance. Nice to scrape the point but a suitably horrible equaliser to cap such a laboured second half performance.

    My take on individual performances:

    Almunia: 3/10. At fault for the goal and made at least two other big mistakes on crosses, and Skrtel could easily have made it 2-0 on one of them. Sorry to say, because I like Almunia’s character, but hopefully the end of his time at the club.

    Vermaelen: 7/10. Solid performance, did little wrong in defence and could (should?) have got a late late winner.

    Koscielny: 7/10. Excellent start, worked well with Vermaelen and did little wrong. Very harsh second yellow card.

    Clichy: 4/10. Poor performance, lots of weak play and mistakes with little attacking penetration. Would hope Gibbs is brought in quickly, but Clichy can and will do better.

    Sagna: 5/10. Not great, not terrible.

    Wilshere: 6/10. Tough game for his first Prem start for us. Faded and made a bad mistake in the build-up to Ngog’s goal but was as bright and lively as almost anyone else in yellow before he went off other than Nasri.

    Diaby: 6/10.

    Nasri: 7/10. Excellent first half, didn’t deal so well with Liverpool’s tightened defence in the second half.

    Eboue: 6/10.

    Arshavin: 3/10. Dreadful, deadened performance, offered little in attack or covering for Clichy.

    Chamakh: 6/10. Tough debut, up against a talented, well-organised defence.

    Walcott: 6/10.

    Rosicky: 7/10. Great cross for the goal, good effort saved by Reina, improved the team.

    van Persie: 5/10.

    The real story of the game: Liverpool defended (at Fortress Anfield) heroically, as well as Blackburn or Stoke would have done, and Arsenal failed to break them down despite being a man up for half the game. The result was better than I feared but the performance was worse than I hoped. United and Chelsea will hardly be quaking in their boots watching either us or Liverpool. Cole was rightly sent off but Koscielny shouldn’t have been red carded. Leaves us with a problem next week, as does yet another poor performance from Almunia.

  129. 26may1989 says:

    Fair points AC, but the international break affected everyone, and yet Liverpool had an inspired (if defensive) second half today, and Chelsea decimated (an admittedly very poor) WBA yesterday. Plus today was another example in a long list of Arsenal games in which we fail to break down determined, well-organised defensive football. These happen often with our best team on the field, so the return to the starting line-up of Fabregas, Song and van Persie may not cure the ill. Our next league games see us play Blackpool, Blackburn, Bolton and Sunderland, so there may well be more tests of this kind very soon.

    But it was just the first game, and I remain hopeful. However, there’s no getting away from the need to complete the long-standing recruitment work, and quickly.

  130. ArseChicago says:

    Maybe one of these seasons we will get to play the opening match at home against West Brom instead of traveling up north. A little too harsh on your rating on Almunia, I think, May89. If we had signed Given or Schwarzer and that was he that gave up that goal, there’d definitely be more understanding. He definitely should’ve done better on that shot as it’s not as if Ngog could’ve shot it to Almunia’s right, cross goal. And that whiff on his attempted punch in the first half 1 out of 3 times would’ve resulted in a goal, so we got lucky there. I came away happier with his saves on the free kicks, particularly in extra time today, which helped secure the point. Lot of pressure on the Arsenal GK right now. There’ll be even more pressure on whoever we sign to play GK, if that’s something we do.

    Agree with you on Arshavin, though. Not sure how to consistently keep him involved in a game. If he doesn’t get off an early shot or two, he seems to fade. Not a good quality and I’m concerned about the lack of chemistry the team has with him. Tough to win a title with one of our best players, Arshavin, often being on his own little island at times.

  131. kelsey says:

    Arshavin is our version of Berbatov.

    I agree mainly with the last few posts,but the fact is we are short on numbers of quality.If Vermaelen got injured our defence wouldn’t exist.

    It’s alright saying we missed Song but we need more than that we need a bully in central midfield.

    be it Almunia or Fabianski,neither can claim crosses on a regular basis and don’t install confidence.

    I can’t except international duty played a big part as that effects all teams.

    Having watched a re run, I actually wonder why RVP came on, he was literally a passenger,I expected more.

    What i did like especially in the first half,was to get stuck in and we loked mighty impressive, with Kos surpringly doing a grand job on his debut.

  132. Big Raddy says:

    There were other positives than those mentioned above;-

    AW changed things early in the 2nd half.

    Diaby worked well as a DM and gave a disciplined performance for once.

    Walcott seems to have strengthened and bulked up. Plus he was willing to shoot (albeit wayward.)

    Apart from the CB/GK situation, we finally appear to have a squad. To have so many midfield absentees and yet dominate a very powerful L’pool midfield speaks volumes for our players

  133. Big Raddy says:

    Good read and a well balanced view of the game.

    Shows how negative our”fans” are – opposition fans rate our team and rightly so.

    http://www.redandwhitekop.com/article.php?id=7276700

  134. 26may1989 says:

    AC

    I don’t think I’m being too harsh on Almunia – the free kick saves were pretty routine, had he conceded one of those it would have been a genuine howler. But he did make at least three mistakes, one of which cost us a goal and one of which could easily have done so. Almunia isn’t as bad as many say (witness the first leg vs Barca, when he kept us in the tie) but his regular mistakes are simply too costly.

  135. Frothing Inarticulate Loon says:

    “but his regular mistakes are simply too costly” – not to mention too frequent !

  136. kelsey says:

    One can’t harp back on one good game.of course he is a shot stopper as are all keepers,but his first miss yesterday when the ball just flew past him was sheer embarassment.

    Keepers are always there to be shot at,by the nature of their position, but let’s be honest every time the ball goes anywhere near him we ALL hope for the best.A top team shouldn’t have that added angst.

  137. Morning all

    Theres a NEW POST

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