Where’s the grit and determination?

Yesterdays blog saw some great discussion following the defeat at Old Trafford and SharkeySure picked out a couple of comments that spurred(!) him on to the following rant.

26 May – “it really annoys me to see our players not matching the energetic determination of their opponents”

Mike – “Thirty minutes to go and I see very little urgency or intensity from any of them. There is no spirit, no real grit and determination”

My overriding thought from Monday night’s game is that with two minutes of injury time left, we have a free kick deep in our half that is passed to our keeper and three more shortish passes ensue before RVP puts a cross into the box which leads to Theo’s tame (wild?) effort.

A winning mentality would have the keeper waving his troops into the box and strarting a mini Alamo. We really are the only side that I can think of who will continue to probe for an opening with so little time on the clock. We’ll also still have a back four in our half marking no one, or at best, one fat granny shagging striker.

Ok we’re not Stoke, but would it really hurt to push Squillaci up front and start an aerial bombardment for the duration of injury time..?? After all, Theo’s effort came from a weak headed clearance !

Scratched record alert !!!!

For all of Song’s misplaced passes on Monday, I still look at his approach to games and can’t help but think that if we had more players with his attitude we would see a real upturn in our fortunes.

He’s strong, he’s quick (out paced Evra!!), he’s normally a good passer, and one of our best in the air.

For all he gets told to stay back by so many, he has scored vital goals this season and been heavily involved in a fair few of our recent goals.

Personnel and circumstances dictated that he guard the back gate for most of the 2nd half on Monday, but I for one was cursing that we had no Denilson out there to allow him to push on a bit.

So I agree with Neamann re Song and Denilson, Neamann prob got the idea from a comment of mine from Monday night !!  In all seriousness mine was a bit of hindsight insight if you like, based on how ineffective I thought Rosicky was.

Clichy is also much maligned, I thought he played Nani very well for the most part. He’s another one with the right amount of guts and determination !!!

Last point on Song. Give him credit for never hiding away. Misplace two passes, and he’ll still want the ball under pressure, yeah he might then misplace a third, but then again he might not.

Why do so many people completely overlook the great defensive work he does for us..??

Written by SharkeySure

73 Responses to Where’s the grit and determination?

  1. Red Arse says:

    Sharkey,

    Really stimulating Post.

    looking around the blogs, I think your support for Clichy and Song is really a minority view, but then it is all a matter of subjective assessment.

    My last word on these two is that Clichy is a disaster waiting to happen every game, and frequently obliges. Song can be excellent and dreadful within the space of one minute in every game.

    We all, naturally, want to suport our players, but it’s sometimes like saying, “I’ve got a Renault Canardly that I love. It has four wheels, accelerates like a lawnmower, has a farty exhaust and is always liable to break down, but it is fine around town. So who needs a Ferrari?”

    Well, Arsenal need a Ferrari, in every position and should not make do with a well-loved, rubbishy Renault Canardly.

  2. Smith14 says:

    Sharkey,

    I’m really glad to see someone standing up for Alex Song. He’s begun to expand his game which I don’t see as a bad thing. The thing I keep thinking is that if Song’s foray’s forward were such an issue there would be more goals directly attributed to him being out of position. As far as I can tell, there haven’t been too many of those. He’s a very good DM so why should we just ask him to sit back and do nothing else? Why not encourage him to develop? He has the athleticism to do both. Ok, he gave the ball away a bit on Monday but who didn’t? Both sides passing was statistically worse than it’s been all season.

    On reflection, Monday was dissapointing but to be fair, both sides were poor. We weren’t outplayed or out classed in any sense. We didn’t play our best and lost. It happens, especially at Old Trafford.

    We’ve got 2 games in the next couple of weeks which could be incredibly important for us. We need to focus on those and see where we stand in the new year.

  3. Dave says:

    Why are we crying as if is the end of the world.
    Manure were lucky once, Parks goal was lucky.
    We can complain as much as we like but please remember that all our players wanted to win!!!
    We were closed down very quickly, we waited for the pass to arrive, manure intercepted.
    I though Song had a good game, lots of commitment and enterprise. Did you notice that Manure also misplaced a few passes!!.
    Rosciky should have been on the right Nasri in the center, We need better crossing so rather use Arsh and Rosicky to cross than Clichy and Sagna. Still create the overlap but with different personnel.
    Wahy do we have 5 gunners in the middle locking shoudlers at corners, we nee dot split up there defence, ala Nasri and Arsh the other day.

  4. DPT says:

    I see more grit and determination when my missus is clearing snow off the drive!!!

  5. Red Arse says:

    Dave,

    Your comment about “crying as if it is the end of the world” seems an over-reaction to the Post and the comments above.

    You then go on to question the tactics and, by inference, criticise Clichy and Sagna. And that’s OK too, many others on here may agree with you, and some might not not.

    Just let others have their say without overdramatising their comments. The end of the world. Seriously?

  6. Red Arse says:

    DPT, …. 🙂

  7. okayplayer says:

    Maure weren’t lucky. They were more effective and could have easily scored a couple of more goals. WE should have played more direct up to chamakh and work the flick ons, with Arshavin and Walcott running in behind.

    poor, poor tactics from a tactically inept manager

  8. Red Arse says:

    Gnarley, if you are around.

    Ashes? What Ashes?

    “Bollinger opened, Johnson out, Hussey bowled over. Actually not a cricket report, just Shane Warne’s diary entry for last wednesday!” 🙂

  9. Bendtnersdad says:

    Can’t imagine how you can think Clichy is anything other second rate with very flawed defensive ability and an alarming knack of being caught out of position. Song has improved but really needs to better select his moment to go forward. One defence of Clichy (the only one actually) is that he is one hundred per cent exposed down the left because Arshavin offers him no support. Wenger needs to either move him inside giving the left flank a winger that will track back or simply drop him until he adds this to his game.

  10. Dominic says:

    Arsenal’s passing game needs players to be moving into space. Too often in games the recipient of the pass is either static, allowing a defender to cut in and intercept, or moves inside to crowded areas so that as soon as he receives the ball one or two defenders are on top of him.

  11. Kipmonster says:

    Yet another insipid lily livered powder puff display in a big game by the most gutless bunch of players to have represented Arsenal FC in living memory.

    The only bright spot being Szczesny in goal who actually looks like a PROPER goalkeeper !! …………. Big physical presence, agile & confident. Does NOT look like an accident waiting to happen like the other 2 clowns.
    Of course we know what happens next as the ‘ head & shoulders ‘ best Keeper will be relegated to the bench once Flappianski is 100% fit……… CRASS STUPIDITY !!

    Szczesny’s assured performance was remarkable considering the jittery shambles of a defence in front of him. United’s chances were creations of feeble headers & clearances by our back four.
    2 hapless Centre Backs, Clichy who years ago looked like he would advance way past Ashley Cole as a left back but who instead has alarmingly deteriorated with his regular repetitive mistake of getting caught in possession in dangerous positions rather than clearing immediate danger. Many goals have been conceded as a result yet he persists playing in the same manner.
    Sagna was excellent in his 1st season but since has deteriorated into a very average player.

    The defence & goalkeeping positions at the club are what have & will continue to cost Arsenal major silverware. It has now gone way past the stage where Mr Wenger can be accused of being blinkered or stubborn. It is now simply NEGLIGENCE on his part that the same failings continue to dog the team.

    Stupid again was Fabregas’s appearance on the pitch.
    Arsenal should do what United did with Rooney & send Fabregas away to a sunny warm location to recover 100% from the injury with an appropriate training program however long it takes. It is one area of the team where such a desperate player selection is unnecessary. We want & need a 100% fit & firing Fabregas & NOT a shadow player who will tweak the injury again & be outr again & on & on goes the repetitive saga.
    Mr Wenger has always had the image of man of high intelligence but his actions here are ridiculous as was his decision to field a weakened team in Donetsk. A strong team sent that would very likely have won the game would have ensured 1st place qualification & he could have played as weak teams as he pleased in the final 2 matches. Short sightedness will make further progress very difficult but then again as I no longer believe ‘ Winning Silverware ‘ is Mr Wenger’s motivation then I guess it doesn’t matter.
    Simply qualification for the latter stages & a Top 4 Premier League finish by evidence of attitude are the aims each season.

    Mr Wenger’s desired legacy is not one he wants measured by the amount of major silverware won but a financial one whereby when he walks away it will be the legacy of a state of the art training ground & a virtually paid off new stadium.
    It leaves smiling hugely the shareholders at the club whose share values rise & rise as the genuine paying fan continues to assist funding this state of affairs paying far & away the highest prices whilst both the Club & the Manager take umbrage if such a fan dares to complain about the strategy.
    ‘ Pay Up & Shut Up ‘ is the motto of Arsenal Football Club since the move to the Emirates.

    It is laughable that the ‘ AKB ‘ bash in the ‘ blogosphere ‘ Arsenal fans who criticise the club &/or the manager.
    The vast majority of the ‘ AKB ‘ are ‘ fans ‘ who rarely if ever pay a penny to go & watch the team but forever are remote whilst condemning those who do.
    Even worse when a member of the ‘ AKB ‘ such as ‘ Lady Arse ‘ is effectively stealing from & defrauding the club with their unlicensed merchandising. ……… DISGUSTING !!

    Fear of the unknown in the future is NOT a good enough reason to put up with a manager who continues to fail to see the glaring weaknesses that prevent us from winning the major silverware that has been & this season more than ever is there for the taking.

  12. Wow, Kipmonster thats one hell of a rant, how many sites have you posted that on? Did you actually read our post ………

  13. Smith14 says:

    Kipmonster.

    I have to say I disagree, almost word for word with your post.

    I won’t go on too long but the goal or the few openings we gave away on Monday we’re not the fault of the Central Defence, they were the product of what was a very tight game. We didn’t pass particularly well and were stifled by an organised United. It’s not grounds to crucify everyone involved with the club.

    You assert that “The vast majority of the ‘ AKB ‘ are ‘ fans ‘ who rarely if ever pay a penny to go & watch the team but forever are remote whilst condemning those who do”. Quite what you base this on, I’m not sure. I go every week and believe that we are where we are becasue of Wenger. We are only just on the upturn of a cycle that was essential for the clubs long term future. If you want to bleat about the usual lack of money or ambition stuff then do so, just don’t suppose that everyone else agrees with you.

  14. Welcome Bendtnersdad and Dominic

    Good point about Song choosing his moment to go forward, I think that’s what many of us find frustrating about his new role. He can be a handful for defenders as he protects the ball well but if he then looses possession in a good position we’re not protected against a quick counter attack.

  15. Smith14 says:

    Peaches, I agree with this to a point but Song didn’t do too much wrong on Monday and didn’t push forward like in other games. He tends to do it more at home when we’re faced with 10 men behind the ball, it’s a neccesary risk to take to break down the opponent, I think.

    Probably the biggest problem is that his passing isn’t perhaps as slick as others and his interventions sometimes break up play but, as I’ve said before, this hasn’t given away many goals I can remember. Equally, there have been a lot of other players responsible for poor passing lately. I agree with Sharkey when he writes that Song is always willing which counts for a lot. I don’t think he needs to change his style, just work on elements of it.

  16. GunnerPete says:

    Smith14 you are a gem..the type of Gunner who desrves a pat on the back. I amknown as a Gunner 0f very long standing, and whilst Arsene sometimes amazes me with his flaws, he also delights me with his love of the club and his success in keeping us so near the top and in money. Yes I want certain players sold (Denilson, Diaby, Bentner,Almunia & Clichy) because I do not think they will improve much and they are in the way of better UK players coming through. For all the writers praise of Clichy he , yet again fails to remark on the incredible percentage of goals that eminate from the left side of our defence. If that is because of lack of cover then Clichy should stay back and tackle not back off.

    As for Song, I thibk he has had far to much to do with defending and attacking. Against a very ordinary side like manure , who always get the officials yo award penalties and un waranted fouls to their advantage, our defence looked quite good. It was our front four who were poor and mostly out of position…that is down to Arsene and if he cannot see that then perhaps he should get some advice elsewhere.
    I think an injection of UK blood to replace the above I would like sold should be a priority but AW wil not agree. If you watched Blackburns games this year…Jones stands out as another Song and could easily play alongside him. Cahill and Djourou would be a better pairing in the centre too.

    I also agree that Walcott should have played in the centre alongside Chamack who sometimes so isloated its criminal.

    The worst thing I saw was Cescs face when he arrived…not happy ! In fact he has been like that for most of the season….time to let him go AW and allow Nasri to play where he prefers.

    What was AR thinking playing Nasri out wide all match???

  17. Morning Smith14 – have you read an email from me?

  18. Smith14 says:

    Peaches – Not yet, I’ll check now.

  19. Big Raddy says:

    Some good stuff on here today, apart from Kipmaster.

    As Peaches has written, did you bother to read the post or just cut and paste your rant onto all the AFC websites? I disagree with almost everything you wrote.

    As to the AKB’s. which is not a term we use on this site because it is a knee jerk response to anyone who is supportive of AW. Most here are fans of Wenger but are clued up enough to question his decisions. One does not preclude the other….

  20. Big Raddy says:

    The lack of accuracy with the close passing is a direct result of playing teams who park the bus. If the play is compressed into a 20 yard pitch then the passes have to be 100% accurate, whereas in a more open game there is a margin for error

  21. Smith14 @ 11.24 I agree that Song had a much better game against the manks than of late, don’t get me wrong I really want him to be a great success in that role and I appreciate that he needs to grow into it.

  22. Red Arse says:

    Smithy,

    I think you have been a little harsh on Kipmonster.

    He sounds like a very disappointed and dejected fan who has allowed that to cloud his judgement a bit, especially regarding Arsene Wenger.

    If you take away the unfortunate diatribe about these so called AKB’s (aren’t they Russian rifles? 🙂 ), he has made some positive comments about Chezzer and because these things are subjective, his footballing comments are as valid as anyone else’s, especially mine! 🙂

    Anyway, it would be boring if we all agreed, all the time.

    K’monster, if you are still around, no one minds a fellow gooner expressing his footie opinions, but you need to tone down some of the personalised stuff, it does not go with the culture of AA, OK? 🙂

  23. Red Arse says:

    Gunner Pete, Bendy’sdad,

    I liked and agreed with a lot of what you both wrote. Interesting! 🙂

  24. Smith14 says:

    Red,

    Absolutely, his comments are valid, of course they are, I just don’t agree. I was on here most of yesterday moaning and venting my anger at yet another defeat so I understand how it feels as well as anyone else. I just wanted to be the voice of reason and show that an angry post which criticises, in my view unreasonably, many people, is not something we all agree with.

    Primarily I took issue with the idea that it’s non paying fans who support Wenger. The weekly chant of “There’s only one Arsene Wenger” would bear testament to the contrary.

  25. London says:

    Hi Sharkey
    Your question caught my eye: “Why do so many people completely overlook the great defensive work he does for us..??”
    I can only guess that this is a measure of just how far Song has come in people’s expectations; that’s to say, the majority take his defensive work as a given and have now started focusing on his attacking frailties which just like his defending is improving every week.
    Being a Song fan it really pisses me off when he makes school boy passing errors, I always think to myself I hope Wenger forces him to watch that in the hope that he will learn from it, a bit like the way you train a cat not to use the house as a toilet: you rub their noses in it until they stop; well, that is what my Dad did and I have always assumed ever since that that is how you train a cat; anyway Song needs his nose rubbed in his mess to get him to stop.
    As for Vieira while I share your view that we are unlikely ever to see the likes ever again people forget how timid a character he was when he first arrived which I think was 23, already one year older than Song is now. Vieira grew into being a warrior but that didn’t really start until he was 26, the obvious point being that it is reasonable to expect a great deal more from Alex Song.

  26. Big Raddy says:

    RA. Whilst applauding your defence of anyone to hold an opinion, when they are talking (writing) such errant nonsense as :

    “Mr Wenger’s desired legacy is not one he wants measured by the amount of major silverware won but a financial one ”

    it is impossible to take seriously.

  27. London says:

    And the so called Arsenal supporters who started that nonsense think they are not damaging the club?
    Spuds couldn’t have come up with a move devisive way to undermine us if they tried.

  28. Red Arse says:

    Smithy,

    I did not intend to be didactic, my views and yours coincide in many areas.

    The “footie” views he expressed were valid, even if I did not altogether agree with them all.

    I did suggest that he modify his “personalised” and “non footie” comments, because they were not acceptable on AA.

    BR, I think the above covers my response to your 12:33. Certainly I have no intention of falling out with you two over this! 🙂

    I hope I do not have to say this, but I have no interest in defending the indefensible. Actually, since I wrote, I see K’monster has cut and pasted his unfortunate comment on other sites. Oh Well! 😦

  29. adedayo adeyemi akanbi says:

    i think these articles are meant for wenger to read,cos sometimes i feel may his stubborn,or he is blind to all these flaws in our team.pls i need friends on facebook.search adedayo adeyemi akanbi

  30. Red Arse says:

    Raddy,

    We were talking about the reasons why quality players, last Sunday, suddenly could not pass the ball 5 metres accurately, and you gave me an ex-players take on that.

    While accepting your explanation, I forgot to follow up and say that perhaps it was also because our team seemed so lethargic at times, during the match, when the intended receiver did not go into the positions the passer expected him to take.

    Our beautiful Wengerball requires intuitive pass and go, at speed, and if any member of the team does not properly participate/anticipate, the move(s) breakdown, allowing counterattacks.

    If I can see that, I am sure Arsene can too, which probably explains his frustrated countenance when the cameras catch him unawares, becuase he knows we can normally do this sublimely.

    I could never be a manager! 🙂

  31. Red Arse says:

    Right, I think I might need Rasp’s assistance here while everyone else is having an afternoon nap. 🙂

    I have noticed that 90% of the blogs I have visited lately, including AA, have various bits of statistical data. To be more precise, there has been a presentation of collected data.

    Now, I have a healthy distrust of raw data, which hasn’t been refined. Therefore Rasp, I have a request, as I understood you to previously say that you have a mathematical background, when I have touched on basic accounting issues. 🙂

    Could you possibly interpret the various data populations, presented on AA, by using the principles of multivariate nonparametric statistical quantitative analysis.

    I suspect that, apart from me, Raddy is gagging to learn the result of your deliberations. 🙂

  32. Neamman says:

    I dont understand the anti Song posts and … the point about PV4 not maturing until he was 26 is valid. But He was surrounded by leaders when he arrived, currently we are not.
    I certainly echo the thought we need more Brits out there, I dont mean that as racist.. but in that Brits grew up with the passion of the EPL and know what it means to fans. Foreigners probably, with exceptions of course, just dont get it. If I were playing in La Liga or Serie A I doubt I could get a worked up as I would playing in the EPL s I know and undestand the history.

  33. Big Raddy says:

    RA. I don’t even understand what you are asking of Rasp 🙂

    I stand by my earlier assertion that there is no margin for error when there is so little space. To suggest it is tiredness doesn’t ring true – most players had a 10 day break before Monday. I don’t buy the energy level argument either. What I do accept is the lack of urgency which is inexplicable when we are losing.

    PV4. Were you there that wondrous day of his first appearance? There was a collective gasp of appreciation as we realised we finally had a class midfielder after the years of Selley, Morrow, Jensen etc etc

  34. SharkeySure says:

    Hola amigas, boa tardes !!

    Apologies for my very late arrival,. but I have only just realised that today is my post !!!

    I actually saw the headline on NewsNow this morning but was snowed under at work so didn’t click it !! Lol

    The post istelf is actually three separate comments I made last night and I jokingly told Peaches that they were almost a post.

    Unfortunately I didn’t use a smiley, so Peaches has taken me at my word !!

    Peaches, I have only just read your enail to my yahoo account, I’ll post my next commet using a work mail address. I;ll always see those mails sooner.

  35. SharkeySure says:

    London – “Being a Song fan it really pisses me off when he makes school boy passing errors,” – ME TOO !!! Grrrrrr

    Its possibly correct that we are now so fully accepting of his defensive prowess, that there is only his offensive work to pick on.

    That in itself I find funny when I think of the goal and assist threat that he brings to our team !!

    Someone above (Smith14?) rightly pointed out that Song takes on a greater offensive responsibility when we are at home against a park the bus team. Surely we all want that..??

  36. SharkeySure says:

    Re the ‘writers defence of Clichy’ ,..Lol

    There’s a single line in my post that celebrates Clichy’s work rate and determination.

    Surely thats beyond debate !!!

    Anyway, meeting calls. Back later.

  37. I suspect Rasp won’t understand either 😉

    Maybe AW had told the players to try to slow the play down to get a foothold in the middle of the park. Its not like us because we like to zip the ball around from the off – I didn’t understand it then and I still don’t understand it now.

  38. Sorry Sharkey, I guessed you were busy, I’ve attached the other email now, thanks

  39. Big Raddy says:

    Peaches. The first 15 mins of the second half we were all over them and looked dangerous. There was a lull and then AW made his changes. I think we would have been better served by playing Theo alongside MC (replacing JW) and replacing TR with Cesc. We were losing so why not give it some gas?

    Playing RvP in a non-de-script role was pointless.

  40. samuigooner says:

    Neamman meant to get back to you before live nam muang south of Island.Now in uk till the end of next month then back to sunny samui.still feeling sick after mondays performence a lot of players did not seem up for it clichy seems a liability to me does not concentrate for the whole 90 mins, still with a bit of luck could have got a draw

  41. SharkeySure says:

    No worries Peaches.

    You should have found a good gag and tacked it to the bottom though 😉

  42. Red Arse says:

    I am feeling slightly smug today, because a business trip previously planned has been postponed, thru no fault of mine, but I am still being paid a retainer in the meantime.

    That falls in nicely with my work philosophy, which is summed up as;

    A bus station is where a bus stops; a train station is where a train stops; on my desk I have a work station! 🙂

  43. gunnern5 says:

    I’m a semi retired/retarded consultant and I’ve always kept my business philosophy very simple.

    “Say the words, take the money, and go home”

  44. Red Arse says:

    GN5,

    You are obviously feeling better! Pleased about that. 🙂

  45. California Gooner says:

    I really can’t see the point of pissing on specific players. A few years ago we were regularly beating ManU and all the better teams, but losing the league by 20 points. What’s frustrating for me is that I’m quite sure we can take these guys… so why don’t we?

    For me, you have to give credit to ManU for making us look poor in the first half — Anderson and Park were particularly strong in their pressing on Song.
    Clichy was left isolated one-on-one against Nani. But 80 percent can be explained by our formation. Our distances were all wrong to string passes together and we were outnumbered in the midfield. My feeling is that we needed (and need) more bodies in the midfield. When RVP is playing up top he provides that by dropping back; when Chamakh is playing, that role seems to belong to Nasri. In the second half we seemed to correct this and started to play our game. Wilshire also began to realize just how much better he is than a Carrick or Fletcher and Sagna found lots of space on the right.

  46. gunnern5 says:

    RA;

    Thank you, yes I’m almost back to normal.

    Over the past 3 days we have had an all time record snowfall here in London, Ontario – over 5 feet and it’s still coming down with another foot forecast for today.
    Makes for some good exercise. When I went to my car, after 12 days either in the hospital or at home, I could not see my car as it was buried under a drift of snow, with over four feet on the roof.

    My wife thinks it looks pretty, I think it’s pretty f*****g awful.

  47. Rasp says:

    Afternoon,

    A rant with a toothy ferocity worthy of Peter Benchley Sharkey 🙂

    I have mentioned the lack of passion/determination/ leadership many times lately and so can only agree with the first half of your post.

    I cannot accept that any player’s ‘personal development ‘ should take precedence over the team result and so would suggest that Song’s considerable talents should be primarily to break up the opposition’s attacks in the big games.

    Clichy is an enigma to me. He has as much desire as any player I’ve seen yet this passion does not seem to transmit into self improvement by learning from his mistakes. I thought he had a reasonable game against manu and I would never question his heart only his decision making at times.

  48. SharkeySure says:

    Agreed re Clichy Rasp !!!

    Others may have mentioned personal development, but I certainly haven;t where Song is concerned. I just find it a bit strange that when Song gives a passing masterclass it goes almost unnoticed by so many, but when his radar is off its obvious to everyone.

    Likewise with all the comments about Song’s lack of pace. I fear its another of the now infamous LG ‘facts’ !!

    I honestly don’t know how Arse blogs get so many column inches out of Song’s games for us, and others who are more culpable, almost get free passes.

    One day I’ll organise a re-run of an Arsenal game in a cinema, and we can all watch it together and try to ‘harmonise what we see’, and how or why we see it.

  49. Red Arse says:

    Sharkey,

    Are you suggestion that the use of aesopian language is at play here viz a vis Song? 🙂

  50. London says:

    “I cannot accept that any player’s ‘personal development ‘ should take precedence over the team result”

    I agree with this Rasp and it is from this angle that I criticise the choice of Wilshere.

    Wenger is pandering to this boy. It is not Song who is leaving Wilshere with too much work to do it is the other way around.

  51. Big Raddy says:

    SS. May I respectfully point out that there are few regulars on AA who deride young Song. Quite the contrary.

    Moving on, I am hoping Djourou starts on Saturday, We will need some height.

    And where the hell is Diaby???

  52. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Sharkey,
    Great stuff.
    I really want to get stuck into some of the comments, but don’t have time today. From a brief trawl, two quick questions:
    1. Is there really a car called a “Renault Canardly”? Duckly!
    2. Is there a difference between someone who uses the term “AKB” and a Chav? (That one is a serious question).
    So much serious stuff to talk about, but I’ve had a 400 mile drive, and now off to childrens’ school play, so back bright and early tomorrow.

  53. Big Raddy says:

    My word London – twice in two days!!

  54. Big Raddy says:

    Micky it comes from an old joke. Goes fine downhill Canardly get up them!

  55. London says:

    Lol Sharkey

    A cinema re-run, that conjures a funny image, I suspect it would end in a huge punch up that is if it even got started without someone decking Jaguar.

  56. Red Arse says:

    BR,

    I heard he has been mended and will return to the fold this week end.

    London, if only I could see the world thru your eyes! 🙂

  57. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Ahh, can ‘ardly!!! Durrr, as my daughter would say. Offski. Nightski.

  58. Rasp says:

    Hi London,

    Obviously I wasn’t referring exclusively to LJ with that comment but I am happy for it to apply to all players – and beyond the players to the management and the others who may have influence on our affairs.

  59. Red Arse says:

    Nothing old about my jokes BR. It was a french re-working of the Rolls Canardly. As you correctly said rolls downhill, but canardly get up them!

    I thought no one had noticed. Trust Mickey to spot an old classic! 🙂

  60. Red Arse says:

    Rocky,

    I suspect you will turn up after I have gone to bed, but you are only getting warm when you told Mike I live in Cloud Cuckoo Land, it’s actually a bit farther North at this time of year! 🙂

    I used to live in warmer climes with white, sandy beaches, but I had to move after I discovered that I scream the same way, whether I am about to be devoured by a Great White Shark or if a piece of seaweed touches my foot!

    Ha! 🙂

  61. barumgooner says:

    Nice post SS. I agree that Clichy imo gets far too much unwarrented stick. Yes he does get caught in possession which he needs to sort out but he and the rest of the back 5 were excellent on Monday. If im honest I’d say we deserved to lose but once again it wasn’t the fault of the players but the way they were lined up. Unfortunately the t word has alluded AW again and where Manutd went out with a specific job to do we just went out top heavy and predictable as ever. This is the weakest manutd side in a decade and they beat us by parking the bus. If we had gone out for a battle with Denilson inplace of TR we would have won the midfield battle with ease and the game with it.
    TACTICS !!

  62. Big Raddy says:

    Don’t RA. I should be out there following the England with the Barmy Army instead of freezing my buns off and spreading buckets of salt over the paths.

    4 years ago at this time I was basking at Hayman Island on my way to Whitehaven Beach on the Barrier Reef ……..

  63. Big Raddy says:

    Barum …. I was thinking all the way through your comment “what is the T word”, until the final word …..

  64. barumgooner says:

    sorry, i thought it might just be me.haha

  65. SharkeySure says:

    Radders, disagreement respectfully accepted.

    I try really hard to only speak to the AA audience when writing posts and comments, but invariably I respond to the mood in the wider blogosphere to at least some extent.

  66. SharkeySure says:

    GN5. Glad to hear you’re over the worst of what you had. 5-0 vs Stoke should aide the last phase of your recovery I reckon.

  67. SharkeySure says:

    Fair do’s Barum, I too thought that Denilson for Rosicky was the one change to the starting 11 that might have made the difference, but only with the benefit of my amazing hindsight insight AFTER the match!!

    Did you think it before the match..??

  68. Big Raddy says:

    I said at the time and re-iterate, this was a game where we needed an in-form Diaby. It is such a shame he has been injured so much of the season, he had a good WC and looked as though he and Nasri were forming a partnership that would benefit AFC.

    Let’s hope he comes back firing on all cylinders (in line with today’s motoring theme)

  69. SharkeySure says:

    Well said Mr Radders. Diaby’s another one who gets waaay too much stick imho. Even on here there’s a few who would happily have sold in January, if not sooner !!!

    You just can’t let a player of his ability leave our club at such a young(ish?)age. The boy has everything in his locker, he just needs a good set of instructions on how to consistently piece them all together effectively.

  70. Mike says:

    I’m honored to be quoted after my first couple of posts. Great read Sharkey!

    I agree, Song works very hard and that’s what I like to see. He has the kind of heart that I’d like to see from all of our players. The only problem I seem him having this season is a lack of concentration. You can see it almost when he gets the ball and the second before he’s about to make a pass. He almost thinks about his pass TOO much, and it screws him up. Last season, he was very very defensive minded and seemed much more relaxed when making choices. For me at least, I don’t mind him making runs and pushing into the final third when he can. Now if he could combine this offensive mentality with calm and collected pure defensive alter-ego of last season, I think he’ll become a really great box-to-box midfielder. He has the ability, I’ve seen him do it all, but he doesn’t use it often enough yet.

    Song will keep getting better and better. As time goes on, I feel he’ll become more relaxed and settle into this “hybrid” player that can attack with real menace but also can be a rock in the center of the midfield. I’m looking forward to it.

  71. SharkeySure says:

    No worries Mike, I read your first post on (??) and thought it was worthy of a headline post.

    Above I explained how this came to be a post, it was all pretty accidental really, but I’m glad you’re happy about it. I say ‘happy’ as I’m really not sure that being poorly quoted by me is any sort of honour !!!

    Anyways thats me offski, and I wholeheartedly agree with your last post

  72. Morning all

    Theres a NEW POST

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