Wenger’s U-Turn? Do Me A Favour (and Player Ratings)

So, according to the newspapers, this was the game where Arsène Wenger would show his desperation for silverware by fielding a significant contingent of his first team against the Barcodes.

It was a U-Turn they said, a departure from his tried and tested policy of playing kids in the Mickey Mouse Cup. An admission of defeat. Caving in to his critics. Going against his principles.

What utter rubbish. What putrid balderdash.

By my reckoning NONE of last night’s starting eleven would feature in Arsenal’s first team if our squad was fully fit.

Last night’s team:

Our ideal first team (if the treatment tables are empty):

So the idea that Wenger was lacing his Carling Cup team with first-choicers is plain wrong. Not that you can really blame the media. After all, Arsene himself said he was taking the CC more seriously than before.

But I think that was just mind games. It was his way of saying to the players who started for us that he didn’t think of them as second stringers – he saw them as part of a large Arsenal first team squad from whom he expected great things this year.

The average age of our starting line-up was just 23 (and that’s with a 30-year-old Tomas Rosicky bumping up the average). Admittedly only one of the eleven (Eastmond) came from the reserves squad, but it was still a very long way from our strongest starting team.

And so to the game.

It was a lively match, which we bossed from beginning to end. By my reckoning there were five attempts on goal in the first two minutes (including one for them).

Truth to tell we should have been two or three up by half time (indecision and poor shooting by Bendtner and Vela being the main reasons for our blank), but a comedy effort from Newcastle sent us in to the break a goal to the good. Eastmond managed to get a header on target from inside the six yard box, the Toon defender made a hash of it on the line and the ball ended up being Fabianskied into the Newcastle net off the back of the keeper’s head.  You’d need a heart of stone not to have cried laughing at that one.

We had shown some lapses in concentration in the first half and, as you would expect, lacked the fluidity of our normal play, but overall we were doing pretty well and always looked threatening when we attacked.

In the second half the Toon made a concerted effort to get back into it but, despite some wobbly moments, our defence held firm. Koscielny was always there to pick up the pieces and Djourou made some vital interceptions and tackles (but was also muscled off the ball a little too easily on occasion).

When we broke away and scored the second (a calm finish from Theo) you sensed there was no way back for Newcastle, even after they threw on Carroll, Barton and Gutierrez.

The hard working Nicklas Bendtner added a third with a positively Bergkampesque finish, a peach of shot from the inside left position, and Theo sealed the win with his second goal late on.

All in all a job very well done against an admittedly weakened Newcastle side who were, nevertheless, good enough to put the Chavs out in the last round.


Szczesny: He’s talked the talk and now he’s starting to walk the walk. One misjudged charge out of his area early on could have ended up embarrassing him. But there were at least two top class saves and a general sense of competence. I also liked his quick distribution, which reminded me of Lehmann. 7

Eboue: Started at right back, shifted to left after Gibbs went off. Some good defensive play. Some excellent attacking runs with the ball. Some falling-over-when-hardly-touched. Some getting into great positions and choosing the wrong option. In other words, a vintage Eboue performance. 6

Koscielny: Hardly put a foot wrong. Was always there to break up the Newcastle attacks and made countless great tackles. MoTM 8

Djourou: The critics are too harsh on this lad. He was out for a year with injury and is finding his way back. He made several mistakes which would have been costly had Kozzer not been there sweeping up behind him, but at other times he showed great skill and determination. He has to learn that, as a defender, it’s no good going to ground and hoping the ref gives you a free kick, because if he doesn’t your whole back line is undermined. 6.5

Gibbs: Looked to be really in the groove, both offensively and defensively, before yet another unlucky injury saw him have to go off. Someone please send him a black cat with a horseshoe round its neck and a rabbit’s foot tied to its tail. 6.5

Sagna: Came on for Gibbs and went to right back. Typical Bacary performance – defensively strong, some good attacking runs and some overhit crosses. 7

Eastmond: A good effort from the lad. Puts himself about and is always available for the ball. Lost possession with some casual passes but it’s part of the learning curve. Is he a Gooner legend of the future? Hard to tell, but he’s worth persevering with. 6

Denilson:  I’ve been critical of Den in the past but last night he was the metronome in our midfield. I thought he had an excellent game, both covering our back four and being progressive.  He seems finally to be dealing with the concentration issues which affected him last season. His pass completion rate is excellent. If he carries on playing like this he will be hard to leave out. 7.5

Rosicky: Every time he starts a game we win handsomely. He was a bit less effective than I would have expected tonight, but his intelligence and composure were crucial to our overall play. 7

Walcott: Two goals, always a threat, this boy’s in form. Something has switched on in his brain, because he now exudes a maturity that wasn’t there before. His body language is different from a year ago and he has the potential to have a memorable season for us. 7.5

Bendtner: Stunning finish for third goal. Always looking for the ball and always direct but, in typical fashion, his touch and finishing let him down once or twice. What’s great about our Striking Viking is that he will never hide, shirk or give up the ghost. 7.5

Vela: A really bad night for Carlos. I want him to succeed, but something is not quite right with our young Mexican. Right now, his Arsenal career is not heading for a happy ending. His touch, finishing and decision-making were all off. 5


Sagna (see above); Fabregas 7; Emmanuel-Thomas 6.


77 Responses to Wenger’s U-Turn? Do Me A Favour (and Player Ratings)

  1. Statics says:

    what’s ‘putrid balderdash’ mean?

  2. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Rocky Rocky,
    Wow, am I pleased I am not your wife!! You are a hard man to please. I would have added a whole digit across the board.
    Anyhow, thanks for great write up. I think Bendy is going to pose some very serious selection issues for our Leader. Is he more direct and have a better eye for goal than MC? Lovely questions to be asking.
    Very busy today, so will have to leave you all to wallow in the gentle warm glow of success.

  3. JD Gooner says:

    Sorry Rocky, have to disagree about DJ. Thought he had a wonderful game.

  4. Barndoor Bendtner says:

    I agree with your comments about JD. When his fitness and sharpness comes up he is looking good.
    You were a bit generous to Dennilson and Rocky though. They werent bad, just not very good I thought, on a par with Eastmond for me.
    I so wanted Vela to shine, but I dont know if its his mind or fitness that holds him back.
    The massive plus is that suddenly we look like we have 2 young keepers that can actually perform. Sorry Manuel, but get your agent on the blower ready for January.

  5. tommystout says:

    nice report Rocky, my thoughts –
    chezzer gave me an odd feeling of being safe last night, he came and collected. I felt quite confident that we wouldnt concede with him in goal, and that punch at the end of the game, well that was a thumping statement of intent. Impressed.
    Djorou i feel had a good game apart from a one or two hicoughs.
    Joey Barton is a twat!
    Rocky’s first team 11 with RVP, in my book RVP has been surplanted by Chamache.
    The future is rosie!

  6. Smith14 says:

    I’m always happy when Bendtner gets on the scoresheet. Great finish from him, I think he could be really valuable for us this season as Chamakh tires and we obviously never know when RVP will be around.

    I still think it’s ridiculous that some of our fans had more or less written Bendtner off a season or two ago. The boy’s not 23 until January!

  7. Jimi says:

    I’d say Denilson was not as good as you say, although his performance was reasonably good I saw at least two occasions when he should have chased his man and closed him down, because he gave breathing space one resulted in a peachy cross that could have changed the game with a goal.

    I wish JET had come on earlier, he looked hungry and 4-5 mins wasn’t enough of an opportuntiy.

    Still a great result!

    Poor ol’ Gibbsy…… so rotten.

  8. kelsey says:
    October 28, 2010 at 7:18 am (Edit)

    Morning all. No doubt in my mind that we deserved to win even allowing that Newcastle rested several players and we had in particularly Walcott,Bedntner and a cameo from Fabregas coming back from injuries.Early chances went astray,and there is no doubt we were fortunate with the opening goal, and the second stood only because of this daft offside/onside rule.One can’t judge a keeper on one game but Szczesny was outstanding,and with Fabianski regaining confidence our concerns over a new keeper may be over.Theo feels more comfortable in a central position and it showed with his brace..On the down side this may be the end of Almunia and Carlos Vela,who IMO regardless of limited first team appearances,just isn’t good enough.Both our full backs still can’t cross a ball, though the injury to Gibbs,gave us no natural left back.and Eboue appeared to want to cover numerous positions and not for the first time was theatrical.Barton is a thug and he knows exactly what he is doing.it was a hard fought game and it showed the gulf between the top clubs and others in the PL.
    PS:some thought i was harsh on JD during the match, and my point was that he was extremely shaky for the first twenty five minutes,and especially when playing away,a defender has to focused from the first minute.(remember at City) he did get better but to me he remains forth choice.

  9. SharkeySure says:

    Wot a write up Rocky, tremendous.

    Djourou had some very good moments, but you still feel theres a mistake around every corner at the moment. He’s adecent option for 4th choice LB thuogh, so I’m happy enough.

    Kozzer. Masterful performance from him….he’s got everything you need to be a top class CB.

    Chezzer….how fitting that the final act of the match was THAT PUNCH. There’ll be no young Spuds smashing that back in for the night of their lives. Even before he started making great saves, Chezzer exuded an air of peaceful and invincibility. He just looks and feels right doesn’t he!?

  10. charybdis1966 says:

    Great result and a fiery, feisty write-up too from R Lives. While I have been critical of Wenger at times I too was getting pissed off about how the meeja have gone overboard with the “Wenger U-turn” nonsense.
    Further proof that you just can’t please those hack shit-heads whatever you do – he either disrespects the cup or he is desperate and has performed a U-turn.
    That’s why I say we shouldn’t care about trying to get positive press – I say sod the lot of ‘em !

  11. SharkeySure says:

    I echo Jimi;s point about being disappointed that JET didn;tget more minutes…in place of the ineffective Vela.

    Vela HAS to be to loaned to a PL side in Jan. Just HAS to, no ifs or buts.

    JET shoud be ahead of him for being offered chances, and then in Jan, you can add Wellington to that.

  12. Naija Dude says:

    Good Morning All, Its always sweet to comment on this blog after a thumping win but i must comment on one or two things, firstly I think Barton is a stupid thug and should remain behind bars. Anyone remember Nasri’s commen about his earliest encounter of that cunt? I wish somebody breaks his leg during the next premiership match at the emirates and am sure his last night performance will go unmentioned in your typical english media. Secondly I must commend our players it is not easy to go to this difficult places and get such emphatic wins (remember this same guys destroyed the chavs at shitford bridge)so kudos must go to the guys, i dont want to sit here and criticize our players. It was a fine perfomance and i hope they keep up the level so that come end of season, we shall all celebrate and i promise to be in London for the trophy parade. Gunner till i stopped breathing.

  13. eduardo says:

    nice review and good rating although my only thing to day is that I think Kozzer is in front of Squid in our starting 11

  14. bops says:

    Denilson kept the midfield ticking.. and was covering up for Eastmond’s errors.. 2nd after Kos for MOTM.. We had 60% of the possession away at Newcastle and we have to give the credit to Denilson.. Maybe the braids was all he needed to be the best..

  15. Richard says:

    Always thought Arsens policy was to field youngsters to bring them on , so three years later whats the difference, in the main its still the kids but we are no longer allowed to call them that. The media have short memories, for me it proves that his policy has been working as they now call our players experienced. Well done Arsenal FC.

  16. family enclosure man says:

    You don’t think that Koscielny would get into our first choice 11? Not sure I agree with that.

  17. Rasp says:

    Great post rocky,

    I agree with everything except I’d definitely have Chamakh in my first eleven. It’s official, we have the strongest 2nd eleven in the Premiership and therefore the deepest squad – well done Arsène.

  18. UDEHSAM says:

    Arsene is the best!!! you are spot on Richard!! Those media scunts are low on memory. Three years ago;Denilson,Bendtner,Walcott were INEXPERIENCED to them, but now the story has changed; thanks to the visionary!!! IN ARSENE WE TRUST.

  19. Tim says:

    While Koscielny, Bendtner and Walcott all showed encouraging form, and Szczęsny (his one error aside) also had an excellent debut, I remain concerned about Vela. He is well down the pecking order now, and his contribution last night was minimal. This is a critical season for him, and he isn’t cutting it just now – and doesn’t seem to be busting a gut to do so either.

    Other than that, a good performance – even if there was a lot of luck about the first goal and a hint of controversy about the second. We were deserving winners. Bring on West Ham.


  20. Carlito11 says:

    Reasons to be cheerful!!! Agree that everyone except Vela acquitted themselves well last night- there was a Song -shaped hole in the middle of the park but it didn’t cost us and it’s a great feeling to have 2 clean sheets from our last 2 games. Walcott reminded me of Wrighty when he played down the middle in the 2nd half and there is no higher praise in my book!

  21. terry says:

    in that very little time that Jet had he did impress me … i think we have our own little drogba here or may be even better.

  22. 26may1989 says:

    Very satisfying result and performance, our cup form this season has been fantastic (6-0, 3-1, 4-1, 5-1 and 4-0), let’s hope that consistency finds its way into our league form.

    Szczesny showed what he can do – if he can maintain that sort of standard, the sky’s the limit for him.

    I thought Eastmond did better than others appear to think, plenty of sharp challenges.

    We have to acknowledge that Walcott’s first shouldn’t have stood. That said, Newcastle got away with Bendtner being taken out in the first half when he could easily have scored. They call it korma don’t they?

    He might be ex Spurs but I really like Chris Hughton, a man of dignity and integrity who took a nightmare job and has built a balanced side that should stay up.

  23. Dave says:

    I agree, Koz is better than Squillaci!
    I think defense wise Koz is at least as good as TV if not better. Better in the air and his reading of the game and marking is exceptional. TV is a better passer, and offers a little attack! i think they compliment each other perfectly! helluva combo!

  24. Red Arse says:

    Great insightful write up, Rocky.

    It’s amazing how a football match can make or break your day/week!

    Reading the papers tho’ it is mainly grudging praise, with most concentrating on Bendy’s “foul” and the lucky own goal. So what’s new there/

    I am going to leave the nice comments to you guys and be a bit horrible. I have watched Eastmond, as I have said many times before, since he was in the youth team.

    He was always the “invisible man”, not doing much wrong but not doing much right either. Until he reached the U 18’s where his performances at right back were truly dreadful. Rumours abounded that he was going to be released. To my amazement other better players were let go but he stayed.

    His performance last night was much the same. Stand still and pass the ball to the nearest Arsenal player. Run around like a clueless mandarin duck. Never made a tackle or was simply bye passed.

    I watched the recording of then game, this morning, again and if you don’t agree, have a look at your own recordings, but concentrate on him, don’t let your eye follow the ball. No skill, no input, no pace and doesn’t tackle. You will see I am right.

    I know, you are going to tell me to get lost, and say he has great potential. Hope you are right! But not for me.

    What a miserable sod I sound. 🙂

  25. Red Arse says:

    Me too, Dave.

    Kosser is No.2 to TV, intelligent reading of the game and very good in the air, even at 4′ 6″! 🙂

  26. Carlito11 says:

    RA I’m with you Eastmond’s performance yesterday- we were very exposed through the middle last night and he looked off his game (hence “the Song-shaped hole”). That said, I was impressed with his terrier-like tackling in the few games he played last year so I can’t consign him to the scrapheap yet. Vela on the other hand… and I’m gutted about it because he has such a great touch and poise when he is in the mood.

  27. Red Arse says:

    I am so disappointed that it is not happening for Vela, my hopes were very high for him.

    I watched him play in Spain for Ossasuna and he looked ace. We should persevere with him, but I don’t think Arsene will.

  28. RockyLives says:

    I think you’re being a bit hard on Eastmond, but I don’t have a recording of the game and I have no reason to doubt RA’s evaluation. On the night it felt like he was doing OK without doing anything amazing, to me anyway. He’s very young and we do have a tendency to write off players who turn out to be good after all.

    Clearly AW sees something in him or he would not have kept him.

  29. RockyLives says:

    Rddders – agree about Vela. As someone said above, he really, really needs a loan period to a Prem club.

  30. Red Arse says:

    Having castigated one young player, I am thrilled at the performance of young Chezzer in goal.

    I went to Brentford twice last season, just to see him. The games were dreadful to be candid, but he looked much the same. Self confident, marshalling the defence and just being “the man”.

    Glad he showed similar attributes last night, in the big boys team! 🙂

  31. leftright says:

    RVP can play wide. so Chamakh IN and useless Arshavin OUT.

  32. Red Arse says:


    Having gone to Barnet over a number of seasons, you get an impression of players abilities over an extended period of time. (I think CharyB will bear me out as he has also been regularly).

    There have been and there are today some tremendously talented kids, and some who are not. Eastmond came into the latter category, in my subjective opinion.

    Why did neither Lansbury or Jet play a major part in last night’s game. Arsene undoubtedly sees something in Eastmond that I do not, but I do not imagine anyone will take my assessment over his! 🙂

    However, on ATVO, before the game, he was really “bigging up” JET and Lansbury too, so I am puzzled by his mixed signals frankly.

  33. RockyLives says:

    Perhaps he was bigging them up to soften the blow of leaving them out.

  34. futbal says:

    kos always impresses me when he plays.I would like TV5 to learn a thing or 2 from when ie sticking to his primary duties which is defending.No mention of his immense pass to TW14 for his second goal.
    It is always funny hearing tv english pundits going on about leadership on the pitch. just because someone is always talking on the pitch they say natural leader ie Alan smith and then they slate our team because the players carry out their duties quietly.
    Another point is the pundits saying we are playing senior players in this years carling cup but failing to mention anything about manures teams age.

  35. RockyLives says:

    Agreed Futbal. As I mentioned in the piece, our average age was 23, which is still very young. Commentators are now so familiar with players like Bendtner and Walcott that they don’t think of them as young players any more. I suppose it’s a vindication of AW’s approach.

  36. Red Arse says:


    That’s very machiavellian, “bigging them up, to leave them out”! 🙂

    Bit like; “It’s not you darling, it’s me. I am just not the guy for you”. No one believed that either! 🙂

  37. Red Arse says:


    I don’t know if you are out there in the aether, but I owe you a vote of thanks. Last week we dallied briefly on matters musical, and I mentioned von Karajan.

    In having a root thru’ my musical war chest, I came upon a long forgotten recording of Puccini’s La Boheme, conducted by von Karajan. What bliss. It should be made available free to everyone! (not mine …… obviously) 🙂

  38. futbal says:

    I was watching our last round match against the spuds during the international break against just to cure my ‘proper football cold turkey’ and i was comparing our line up to theirs. the had a debutant but their squad was not far of age-wise but a big deal was made of our experience.Funny that.I am just praying for a good draw on saturday an Ipswich will be good.

  39. charybdis1966 says:

    HI RedA – I am lurking, I have to confess to being a bit of a pleb when it comes to Opera as I could never really get the hang of it.
    I always promised myself that I would get to grips with the Ring but after a few overtures I got no further and fell back to my primary passion, the good ole fashion large scale symphony.
    As I said the other day Von Karajans interpretation of Bruckners fourth(1968(?) recording) is as heroic and epic as its name implies it should be. Sadly his attempt at the 8th is less successful – Haitink all the way ! However Old Herb was a master at some stuff(esp Beethoven), and his other half was not bad – a good 20 years younger than him, the ole devil.

  40. Red Arse says:


    You are right about von Karajan and the Beethoven Symphonies.

    Have you tried listening to Puccinni’s Madame Butterfly? When I was a kid that really opened the door into Opera for me.
    I seem to remember being in floods of tears at one point, the music and the emotional singing was so powerful! (Don’t tell anyone, of course). 🙂

    You might have noticed I mentioned your name above, in the context of watching the youngsters at Barnet.

    I don’t think you have quite the same views as I have regarding young Eastmond, but you might agree that seeing the kids, playing up close on a small pitch, some look destined for the top, whereas others never quite look the business.

    It’s all subjective but Jack, Jet, Lansbury and even Randall, (on his day), for example, always seemed special. It’s where I formed my opinion. 🙂

  41. charybdis1966 says:

    Yeah I did see that earlier about Barnet RedA – close up you can see how much they “want it” although I’m not sure about Eastmond tbh, I want him to do well as I’m sick of the “Arsenal don’t play English” bollocks the press ram down our throat.

    As an aside I saw Rosciky in his comeback game after his long lay off where his face was screwed up in determination all through the half he played in.

    I think I’m too old to change my ways regarding opera, I feel about in a similar way as I do to musicals.

    IMHO they are a compromise, either the music comes first or the story – opera/musicals seem to fall between 2 stools and are not satisfying in either respectt.
    Again, what a pleb I am !

  42. Carlito11 says:

    Great link Statics- enjoyed seeing all those Arsenal players at the top of the rankings!

  43. Red Arse says:

    Not at all CharyB, it’s just a matter of what we like as individuals that matters.

    Otto Klemperer was also one of my favourite conductors, although I only heard his mono recordings about 10 years after he died. Now, when I play them, what I thought was wonderful seem quite kitsch and overblown when compared with current interpretations. (terribly unfair comment, I suspect).

  44. Neamman says:

    I guess AW sees Eastmond as another Song? A tough tackling midfielder who just needs to mature

  45. Red Arse says:


    I promised myself not to discuss or diss young Eastmond anymore, but as a final comment, can I say, a tough tackling Song type player he most certainly isn’t.

  46. charybdis1966 says:

    Klemperer, crikey now he’s from a very old vintage, similar to Jochum, who slowed my fave composer down to almost standstill.
    Anton J’s adagios would last 50 minutes under his wand !

  47. Red Arse says:



    Got to go. See you tomorrow! 🙂

  48. charybdis1966 says:

    Yeah, see you later RedA.

  49. Big Raddy says:

    Suoer write up Rocky.

    I believe Squill will be a better partner for TV in the short term, he has big game experience and appears to be a defensive leader in the Sol mould

    Eastmond? I thought he looked out of his depth and was carried by Denilson & TR.

    Vela. As has been said he needs a loan move or a permanent move to Spain where he will be a big player. It appears he cannot cope with the speed of the English pressing game, whereas when he has time to think he looks class, hence his very pretty dinked finishes.

  50. Rohan says:

    As shocking it may be, I believe that Koscielny and Squillaci just may be our best defensive combination. Either way, it’s a great conundrum to have.

    If and when RvP gets fit, I believe Arshavin will be dropped and we might go back to an unorthodox 433 with Chaamakh allowed a free reign to move around.

  51. Big Raddy says:

    Would be interesting Rohan.

    Just been flitting around the AFC blogs and it appears that we need two new full backs, apparently Sagna, Gibbs Clichy and Eboue are not good enough!

    Sad …..

  52. kelsey says:

    Is this BBC Radio 5 or Radio 3 😉

  53. kelsey says:


    Gibbs is out “for a few weeks” according to le boss.

  54. Hi kelsey – how did it go today?

    What a shame about Gibbs, what was his injury last night?

  55. Rasp says:

    Does anyone have a rant they’d like to air for tomorrow? Carlito submitted an excellent article a couple of weeks ago, but recent results would make it inappropriate at this time.

  56. kelsey says:

    Hi peaches,

    another win but a lot closer.I am knackered, laters.

  57. RockyLives says:

    @statics: “Putrid balderdash” is a pretentious way of saying “rotten nonsense,” but I do like the resonance of those old-fashioned insults.

  58. RockyLives says:

    Kelsey – what do you play (and for whom?)

  59. SharkeySure says:

    I love this blog !!!

    Fair do’s Red re your criticism of Eastmond. You haven’t dismissed him completely, just made your observations and voiced your concerns.

    Its clear from the tone of your post that you take absolutely no pleasure from stating your points, nor does it sound like you personally know and loathe the man. In fact it sounds like you really are lamenting the fact that he isn’t better than he is.

    For what its worth, I agree completley with your assessment, especially how he (and Tom Cruise) really did look like the odd one (two?) out in that great Youth Cup winning side.

    I was astonished to see him leapfrog Coquelin into the last team last season.

  60. SharkeySure says:

    *first team* not last team..lol

    King of the typos….

    Rasp – good shout re my ‘atrophy’ the other day…well played.

  61. SharkeySure says:

    Can you imagine Frimpong in that side last night…?? He would have had Barton wishing he was back in prison, and Smith wishing he was back at Leeds !!

  62. RockyLives says:

    Hello Sharkey. Redders makes a strong case about Eastmond, because he has clearly seen more of him than most of us.
    I have the same problem with Mannone. When the old Arsenal TV channel was still up and running I used to watch quite a few reserves and youth games and every time I saw Don Vito he was comically bad – it was like a school game where the most useless kid gets put between the sticks, even though they can’t keep goal to save their life.
    All I can say about Eastmond is to repeat what I said earlier: Wenger sees something in him…

  63. SharkeySure says:

    “Wenger sees something in him…”

    And thats what really counts here Rocky. If anyone had told me that I’d be relaxed watching Wookie Fabianski in goal for us, I’d have called the local Care in the Community team and asked to see someone.

    Sometimes you really do just have to say ‘Arsene Knows’!


  64. 26may1989 says:

    I love it, Red Arse says that, the day after the game, he got up and watched it all over again (see 1.03pm) and none of us questions the logic of doing that, probably because we’ve all done the same thing at some point.

  65. […] Wenger’s U-Turn? Do Me A Favour (and Player Ratings) So, according to the newspapers, this was the game where Arsène Wenger would show his desperation for silverware by […] […]

  66. Neamman says:

    Red Arse, I appreciate your comments. I have never seen Eastmond so cannot comment and thats why i ended the sentence with a ? My thought was just that Song wa absent, no one calls Eastmond another Cesc.. so pehaps AW sees him as a future Song? If not I find it hard to see why he would play him when there was lansbury available who was, by all accounts, excellent v the spuds.
    I guess as someone else says we just have to hope AW know!!!

  67. gnarleygeorge9 says:


    6.5 for Johan is close to the mark IMO. Good post.

  68. gnarleygeorge9 says:


    a good point you raise about the non 1st team starters against the Barcodes.

    Something I’d like to point out is how great the long sleaves look with the traditional Arsenal home strip 😀 Fit for a traditional English winter 😆 frigging cold.

  69. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    ……& finally, I’m well & truely on board the Wenger juggernaut. Arsene is purrrrrrring!!!!!

  70. Statics says:

    how often do you read an article about football manager in management and business column? how lucky we are to have him as our manager! well, he did revealed something about our policy there.. he did negotiate transfers..


  71. SharkeySure says:

    Brilliant article that statics….thanks. You should post it again when the new post arrives

    Loved this – “you may have a choice between an 18-year-old and a 26-year-old. You know the 26-year-old will give you 15 out of 20 but no more. The 18-year-old might give you 18/20, but he may also give you 6/20. I think you have to be brave and play the kid.”

  72. kelsey says:

    Morning all.

    Taken from your article Statics.

    “While most leading clubs have sporting directors, communication gurus and financial experts, Wenger does virtually everything. “I’m responsible for the technical side but I also negotiate transfers and look after contracts,” he says. He might also have mentioned the key role he played in Arsenal’s move to the Emirates Stadium, a 60,000-seat money-making machine that helped the club to record profits this year. “I have more power and more authority but that makes me more vulnerable. If any bad investments are made, the finger is pointed at me”

    Well sorry to disagree but I think that is half the problem.he takes on too much and it is showing in his general demeanor. This is not an insult to our great manager, just an opinion

  73. Rasp says:

    New post …..

  74. goonerwife says:

    as per Vela, remember that Henry got really good at 24/25. i think Vela is 21?

    If he is patient he will get his chance to shine it might staqrt at around 25 for him as well. Just cos he had a bad game and there are other players doesnt mean he needs to go, now. its funny, he didnt have a great game so he’s finished?

  75. Well done goonerwife – I hope AW sticks with Vela and Vela sticks with us. He had a such a great understanding with Nikki a couple of years ago until Robin got injured and their partnership got broken up when Nikki came into the first team.

    He’s a great little footballer.

  76. […] Wenger’s U-Turn? Do Me A Favour (and Player Ratings) […]

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