A Chance to Chase the (sky) Blues Away

Today’s pre-match is difficult to write following RockyLives’ fine and controversial post on Monday. In his post he covered many of the subjects I would have chosen to write about, in particular, the changing face of Man City.

I have been swayed by some of the articulate arguments raised by the City fans who came onto the site and expressed themselves so eloquently – perhaps they are not just a rich man’s foible. That Mansour is putting money into regenerating the area around the ground and financing the burgeoning academy is good for both Manchester and football as a whole.

But ………

I visited some of the City blogsites in order to see if they were in fact as polite as they appeared on AA, and sadly you know the answer. Full of bile, anger, stupidity and incorrect “facts”. I will address only one – the idea that MC are the chief developers of English talent. Inside 5 years we will have a predominantly British team, most of whom have come through the academy. Such talent as Lansbury, Wilshire, JET, Gibbs, Bartley, Frimpong, Afobe, Aneke (Ramsey and Walcott joing us at 17,) plus others form the basis of the current England Youth team and two are already in the full England squad. Arsenal started their academy 5+ years ahead of most of the PL and therefore will reap the rewards earlier.

I believe the improvement of the N17 cave dwellers and Man City, alongside the rapid demise of Liverpool, has made for a far more entertaining Premiership. Do we really want the same 4 teams to be challenging every year?  Surely not – as long as one of the teams challenging is Arsenal! That City have bought their way onto the top table is a fact and one the other teams will have to live with. As was said yesterday, MU are not afraid of big spending, 3 of their team costing over €30m and only Fletcher coming through the ranks (the 3 old fellas excepted).

As an outsider and only watching the occasional MC game, it is difficult to assess their team. YaYa Toure would appear to be a big miss by Wenger, he should have been at the Grove 4 years ago (and would have been had it not been for work permit problems). Imagine him, Song, Cesc and Nasri as our MF!!

Tevez is a great player, perhaps as good as anyone in the PL, a player who can turn a game single-handedly.  If Mancini can keep him happy throughout the season, he could well be Player of the Season (challenged by Berbs, Bale, Nasri and Cesc). Balotelli and Silva are injured for tonight and will be missed, but if any squad has depth it is surely City.

No doubt De Jong and Kompany will be looking to make a mark  on the AFC midfield, they will know all about the Wonder of Cesc and Nasri. I expect City to play one upfront and look to attack on the break. Clichy in particular has to be alert.

Sadly, we will not see the return of the Comedy Villain. City having very kindly donated over €25m for our hero (?) have realised that they paid the money for a super ego and not a super player. Will Ade go to Spurs in January and join Becks? He could join Mr Bentley in the reserves.

It is difficult to understand quite why Mancini is at MC, with so much money at their disposal they could have chosen someone with a much higher profile. Mancini’s main requirement from the team is to be organised and efficient allowing the mercurial talents of SuperMario, Silva and Tevez to flourish naturally. A midfield of Barry, De Jong, Toure and perm one of many, is not going to provide the watching pleasure of Nasri, Cesc, Song and Wilshire. Is Mancini the best available manager in World football? If so, we are in for some dull times ahead. My feeling (not based on any facts) is that if Mancini can get them into the CL  he will be given another few months, but I would bet DanDan’s house that he is gone this time next year. As Mourinho found out at Chelsea, entertainment is what the Oligarchs are looking for.

As to our team – it has to be the one which beat Chelsea and B’ham :-

Bench. Chesney, AA, Chamakh, Squillaci, Eboue, Rosicky, Bendtner Denilson

This is a huge game for both teams and will set up the remainder of the season. Wenger will be positive  expecting to take the 3 points and (in a little squeeky voice), so do I. It is 35 years since City last won at Arsenal (27 games). We did them 3-0 at their place and despite what the City fans say, won well.

Will we win? Will a draw be an acceptable result?

What do you think?



189 Responses to A Chance to Chase the (sky) Blues Away

  1. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    Good 2 c u have Big Johan in these days BR 🙂


  2. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    Moon Face will be their biggest danger IMO

  3. gunnerstat says:

    I think they’ll have to come out and play, not like the boring 0-0 of last year. And if they do, our midfield should be well able to handle them

  4. Svante says:

    What star players have City really been buying to call them the names we see on a day to day basis.

    Ballotelli – no, he was mostly on the bench for Inter
    Y Toure – no, he was mostly on the bench at Barcelona
    Tevez – did he play 50% of the united games ??
    A Johnson – came from lower divisions
    J Milner – came from a mid table team, same as Barry
    Silva – a class player from a mid table team in Spain.
    The 3 players from Hamburg – mid table team in Germany.

    City have not been buying the best players such as Messi, Iniesta, Xavi, David Villa, Zlatan, Maicon, Ronaldo, A Cole, Gerrard, Torres, Dani Alves or your own Fabregas. City have so far recruited from the group below above players.

    Arsenal is a good side so is City, but not becouse they have been spending money on the best players in the world.

  5. Statics says:

    It appears that Big johan have a problem with his knee and probably will be benched.. now that will be a big, big, big loss…

  6. Big Raddy says:

    Statics. Who would have thought you would write a comment like that3 months ago?

  7. Ian says:

    Interesting read, here are a few things I noticed :

    Quote “As an outsider and only watching the occasional MC game, it is difficult to assess their team.”

    So by your own admission you don’t know alot about City, yet later in the artical :

    Quote “Is Mancini the best available manager in World football? If so, we are in for some dull times ahead.”

    Dull times??? so what are you basing this on? The constant drivel that comes out of the media?

    And the final quote that pretty much shows you don’t know what you are talking about : “Mancini’s main requirement from the team is to be organised and efficient allowing the mercurial talents of SuperMario, Villa and Tevez to flourish naturally.”

    I will let you try and work out what is wrong with that one.

  8. Rasp says:


    Fine post Raddy and as it is your opinion no-one can argue – blimey, they are touchy these City fans.

    Both sets of fans are vervous about the game. They’ll be without Silva (but that could be a blessing in disguise for them), we will certainly miss Djourou (that will definitely not be a blessing)

  9. Ian says:

    Svante – So have Arsenal gone out and bought the best players in the world???

    So Silva is a class player from a mid table team in Spain. Yet David Villa is a star player? I think you will find Villa is from a mid table team in Spain as well.

  10. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    All I hope is that The Arsenal gets 3 points, which would effectively make it a 2 horse race with manure still to play @ Ashburton Grove. Simple really 😎

  11. Rasp says:

    I think your comment damns City either way you look at it. They have certainly spent shedloads of money. If you are saying it has been on players who are not world class, that makes them look somewhat inept don’t you think?

  12. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    ……..& for all those sky blue voyeurs who can’t help themselves by jumping on a gooner site, on the eve of arguably the biggest game in their collective life times. What was it like down in the old 3rd Division? 😆

    For me, this is just another game that needs to be won.

  13. Bill says:

    “Inside 5 years we will have a predominantly British team, most of whom have come through the academy.”

    Is this a “fact”? lol

  14. Rasp says:

    Yes Bill, thanks for reiterating the point for us.

  15. Big Raddy says:

    Thanks Rasp. Bill clearly knows nothing about The Arsenal 🙂

  16. PTB says:

    gnarleygeorge9 says:
    January 5, 2011 at 10:44 am

    Not that I’d like to argue with you about the question. But I do think you owe Manchester City fans the respect that when we were relegated into Englands 3rd tier of football, we still averaged over 28/29 thousand a game (when Maine Road was only 32,500) keeping in mind LDV Vans trophy with as little as 200 away fans.

    It may be another game you want to win – but believe me – it’ll be a harder game tonight than the last meeting between us was.

  17. Big Raddy says:

    Ian. I am basing my OPINION upon what few games I have seen , but of course I bow to your greater knowledge and experience.

  18. Rasp says:

    Nice point PTB,

    We have said many times recently that we respect the true City supporters – but probably not the ‘new fans’ who are there just because you’ve got pots of money. Any fan who wants instant success without due respect to past history is not a proper fan in my eyes. Arsenal has a few of their own fans who would fit into that category and so does 80% of the support for your rivals down the road. You can’t be a proper supporter unless you’re prepared to suffer 😉

  19. Big Raddy says:

    PTB. At last, a decent Blue.

    Over the past few days many on here have stated their respect for City’s support, sadly, you will be joined by tens of thousands of glory-hunters who will turn your club into the Northern Chavs, which is an unappealing prospect.

    If we score early, MC will have a difficult night ahead of them. If MC score first, they will park the bus and try to exploit Arsenal’s over-commitment to attack.

    I am really looking forward to it.

  20. dandan says:

    Nicely put BR, no doubt some of the more reasonable city fans that visited us yesterday will appear later, it will be interesting to see their take, not just on your article but also the views of our current visitors.
    According to the Guardian, City tried to entice AW away when they dispensed with Sparkies services, they obviously are not aware of our leaders parsimonious ways.
    It no doubt came as a shock that money is not the only currency that Arsene values.

    As for Bill do yourself a favour and visit the main arsenal site and view the number of players out on loan as they get ready for the main squad as was J Wilshere until recently.
    Lastly the continued vulnerability of JD and the worrying Absence of TV will mean a new centre back will IMHO certainly arrive during the transfer window.
    My City supporting son is away on business tonight so no doubt the text’s will be flying between here and his Hotel as the game progresses. LOL

  21. Bill says:

    I do not doubt that you have alot of talented youngsters and to be honest I hope they do make it, it can only be good for the English game. My point was that the writer is trying to put across that your team will be mainly Brittish inside 5 years as a “fact”. How can something that has not happened be a “fact”?

  22. RockyLives says:

    Cracking write-up BR. And very gracious towards our visitors, which makes it all the more surprising that some of them are so chippy about it.

    To be honest, this game could go either way and a draw is probably the most likely result. We’ll miss the big Swiss lad, but if Theo van Nasregas can get his passing together we have enough to cause them real problems.

  23. RockyLives says:

    Bill, far be it from me to tell you how to read an article, but it is, by definition, tone and style, an opinion piece. So when the author says: “Inside 5 years we will have a predominantly British team, most of whom have come through the academy,” he is expressing his opinion. However, he’s hardly a lone voice baying in the wilderness. It is a pretty widely held opinion among Arsenal supporters and among football journalists.

    I, too, would expect our team in coming years to include many from Gibbs, Walcott, Ramsey, Wilshere, Jay Emmanuel Thomas, Lansbury, Afobe, Cruise and others. Obviously they won’t all make it, but others not on the list will.

    It’s not wishful thinking. Wenger has, for many years now, been building a group of players who grow up together playing the same style. It’s the Ajax model and is a very deliberate strategy (partly adopted because of the financial constraints caused by our stadium move, but also because it’s close to Wenger’s heart).

  24. RockyLives says:

    Where’s the story of JD’s knee problem come from? I haven’t spotted it anywhere.

  25. IzBiz says:

    HAs no one else noticed that there are 8 subs in the original piece?

  26. Big Raddy says:

    RL. I haven’t found it either. Let us hope it is a fiction.

  27. Big Raddy says:

    Izbiz. The site needs a proof-reader. Would you like to volunteer?

  28. RockyLives says:

    You’re wrong IzBiz. AA and Rosicky only count as a half each.

  29. Rasp says:

    Hi Raddy,

    Who would you like to remove from the subs bench?

    Morning Rocky,

    Although the City fans at the top end of the scale have impressed me more than any other, it does appear that their ‘dangerous’ new wealth has made them a tad sensitive for the opposite reason to ourselves. They seek to justify their exorbitant spending as vehemently as we defend our frugality.

  30. IzBiz says:

    I don’t mind proof-reading (were you taking the mick?)

  31. Red Arse says:

    Morning lovely People, 🙂

    I am writing this with some trepidation, as I do not want to appear to be pontificating. (altho’ I probably am!) 🙂

    This might be a little out of left field for some, but I genuinely don’t think it matters one iota which model clubs pursue in their efforts to establish themselves and achieve success.

    Arsenal have chosen a model where the club is being built methodically, cleverly and with brilliant financial acumen from the ground up, and developing young players to play a wonderful style of football.

    Chelsea, Man City and Manure have chosen a model, something akin to Dr frankenstein’s monster, where the club is sparked to life, not with electricity, but with the injection of vast amounts of money.

    Both models are currently permitted within the FIFA/UEFA rules, although this is supposed to be changing in the near future. Just don’t hold your breath!

    Chelsea and Manure have certainly achieved almost instant success by injecting big money into recruiting top players and City are hoping to emulate this with a money no object policy.

    Don’t forget also that years ago, Blackburn, albeit on a smaller scale, briefly achieved success as a result of Jack Walker’s wealth. On his death the funds ebbed away and they returned to being the middle ranking club they always were. So, there is nothing new in this desire for instant gratification by buying success.

    The argument as to whether or not Mansour has poured money into City, its structure and its training facilities is incontestable. So what?
    City have also spent huge money on buying overvalued players, such as Lescott, Barndoor etc. So what?
    They have also acquired excellent players for huge money, Tevez, Silva etc. So what?
    It is part of their chosen methodology and they will get somethings right and somethings wrong. So what, I ask again?

    Why debate this? It is pointless and sterile.

    We follow a club which has chosen the 4 “S”s, which stands for a Sensible, Sustainable, Satisfying and ultimately Successful model for running a football club. Not just for you and me, but for all those Gooners not yet born!

    For all the dosh spent by the above three clubs, and to them you can add the Spuds and Liverpool, there can only ever be one EPL winner a year. In Europe, there are even more big spending, profligate clubs, but again there is still only one CL.

    Leaving aside Arsenal, who will undoubtedly win their share of titles and trophies, the big spending losers, who will get their fingers burnt, will eventually pull out of their foolhardy investments simply because pride and ennui will cause them to go looking elsewhere for their kicks and to achieve their desire to be seen as the biggest swinging dicks in tiddly winks, motor racing or whatever.

    When that happens, we will smile benignly, thank heaven for Monsieur Wenger, and say “good luck and good riddance!” 🙂

  32. Big Raddy says:

    Izbiz. I would take up your kind offer but the machinations of posting on a site make proof-reading difficult.

    Why not write a post instead?

  33. Gooner in Exile says:

    Interesting thoughts BR.

    Can anyone tell I’m back at work today so have been here less than normal.

    I think Tevez will be a threat to Kos, he will run at him and with Kos tendency to jockey backwards could be found short. IMO Kos needs to commit early for challenges tonight. Delaying and jockeying will only invite Tevez to shoot or risk giving away a pen like at Wigan.

    Song needs to be disciplined tonight although I wouldn’t mind a tactical change to 4-2-3-1 if JD cannot start, with Song and Deni alongside each other in holding midfield and Nasri, Cesc and Wilshere allowed to roam free behind RvP.

  34. Big Raddy says:

    RA. As you say – so what? It is 11 versus 11 and the value of our team is probably equivalent to MC (perhaps more valuable).

    How they arrived at the respective clubs is interesting (to me) but an irrelevance.

  35. Red Arse says:

    Sorry BR, I forgot to compliment you on yet another excellent Post. 🙂

  36. Big Raddy says:

    GIE, If JD doesn’t start I would be tempted to replace JW with Diaby in order to combat MC’s height advantage.

  37. Big Raddy says:

    RA oh shucks (embarrassed smiley)

  38. Rasp says:

    Interesting point dandan made earlier about the possibility of Djourou being injured forcing AW into the transfer market for a CB. There would be no point in buying a 2nd string CB so someone like Cahill or Mertesacker would be appropriate – but what would we do when TV and JD return to fitness? I can’t see it happening.

  39. Red Arse says:


    I might have misunderstood your comment in the Post re Yaya Toure, but I saw Yaya play a pre-season game for Arsenal as a gawky, long shanks when he was about 18/19 when Arsene was trying to get him a UK work permit. We had already agreed a small fee for him with our then Belgian feeder club.

    Unfortunately, as AW later explained, Yaya became very impatient with the delay and decided to bugger off to Eastern Europe and then to Turkey (?), eventually washing up with Barcelona.

    I think that was broadly the situation, altho’ memory can sometimes play tricks on me! 🙂

  40. Rasp says:


    I’m a bit surprised that you keep trying to stifle this debate by telling us it’s “pointless and sterile” (you said something similar on monday). Surely the fact that we had over 340 comments on Monday on the subject proves that some find it an interesting topic for discussion.

    I’m not trying to stifle you – far from it, but this is obviously a subject that rankles with you. Don’t you think that it is not a level playing field when one club can just buy players if it has a need where others have to juggle players and risk exhaustion. Fair enough that is the world we live in but that still doesn’t make it palatable.

    Apparently Dzeko is undergoing a medical today. His acquisition will improve City’s title hopes. We could never make a signing like that.

    On gaining an understandiung of what Mansour is doing for City and the community, I would say he is a far more philanthropic owner than Abramovich.

  41. Okay, Rocky you were right, I’m back. Sorry for jumping onto your space Ggnarlers, old bean.
    Having watched City for all bar 2 games this season (admittedly most on TV or PC link, as I now reside in Ireland)it’s clear that most of you guys (and some of our guys) have no idea what the present City side and manager is about.
    Mancini took over from the worthy but rather pedestrian Hughes. ‘Yosser’s’ teams were always set up the same way, his substitutions always at 70-72 mins. In another club he may well have got more time but, for reasons that have been well discussed, we were in a hurry. Mancini changed the buying policy – Hughes preferred to buy players he either knew well or had worked with before, age and condition irrelevant. Mancini prefers players 20-25 with a few years potential in them, capable of development.
    He then set up his side to defend, never previously a City strong point and our defence is now very mean. This, plus Ade’s dramatic loss of form (no need to go into that) made for a one upfront (Tev)+ 3 DMFs (primarily to cover the weakness at FB – Richards goes AWOL, Bridge is just not up to snuff) policy. He said at the time this wasn’t not his favoured way of playing. Cue the arrival of Boat, Kolarov, Silva and, to a degree Balotelli and things change. Now in theory at least) we have 2 FBs who can get up-and-down and a midfielder who can hold the ball, dribble and with a great eye for a pass (our Fab, if you like, but their styles are different). Mancini’s last task is to get the wide players to tackle back. Milner and Silva (to his credit, cos he’s not a big guy) do. Johnson doesn’t, not naturally, so Mancini has to keep bollocking him and dropping him. All this allows him to poke Yaya forward and when he goes on a run he’s hard to stop. At the back Kolo/Kompo and recently Kompo/Lewscott are developing nicely, the fullbacks are finding their feet and we have the always reliable Zabaleta. Key to the whole operation are Barry and De Jong. Barry’s limitations are well known, primarily he’s not the quickest but when he plays well so do the team. DJ is pivotal and a much better player than opposition fans – who only see the replays of the WC final – give him credit for. What you get is 90 mins commitment, a great first touch and a player who is always first to the opposition’s most advanced forward or midfielder.Links up play well, too. If we need anything more it’s a big guy up front to give us another option. Ade and Jo don’t cut it, hence the buying of Dzeko. balotelli, who I like, is a bit of an unknown quantity. A recent interview showed he’s not quite as grim as people make out.
    I’d be happier if Silva was available tonight. We can still beat you if our midfield stands firm and if the fullbacks are on form – I’d fancy us on the counter-attack, without David I don’t think we’ll be very gung-ho. It’s a hell of an ask, though, as you have easily the best midfield in the Prem and given that and our track record v Arsenal away I’m not expecting too much. Other City fans are sceptical of Arsenal’s defence but I don’t buy that. I think it’s the way you are set up to play as much as anything. One thing is certain – both squads have more quality than Chelsea and The Rags can turn out so I think we’ll both be there or thereabouts at the end.
    Here’s to it.

  42. mickydidit89 says:

    Well, back in the saddle for the big one, and I really think this, along with Spuds away, are the real biggies for this season. I believe Utd are about to come a cropper and are very vulnerable to the inevitable injuries/CL burnout. Our bench, like that of City, is very strong. We performed superbly against what must be called an over the hill Chelsea. Today sees the beginning of a battle between two sides that may dominate the league for as long as the oily one is around.

  43. RockyLives says:

    Hello Redders.
    I’m slightly confused by your comment, because you seem to start off saying that it doesn’t matter which approach clubs take to achieving access (which surprised me – moral equivalence being the curse of the modern age).
    But then your summary implies that AW’s and Arsenal’s approach is best…

    Of course, I am often easily confused so please don’t take offence.

  44. RockyLives says:

    Blueval – that seems like a reasonable assessment of your side. But when I have watched them this season (which, in fairness, is probably only about six or seven games) there seems to be something not quite right about the team. A certain je ne sais quoi, but I don’t know what it is.
    It’s almost as if City play with the handbrake on. They’re a team of roundheads who have the personnel to be cavaliers if they chose to be.
    Obviously the roundheads beat the cavaliers, so that’s probably not an auspicious analogy for tonight.

  45. Gooner in Exile says:


    Admittedly City are playing more attacking football in the average PL games, but unfortunately they will be judged (as Arsenal are) by the media in games against their peers.

    Hence why we are classed as bottlers for our performances against Chelsea and ManUre in recent seasons. You have been classed as boring for the way the team were set up against those clubs this season and against us. It may have worked if you had not had a player rightly sent off within 10 minutes. Last season Sparkies side put us to the sword at Eastlands with quick attacking football, will Mancinis side do the same?

    @BR I wouldn’t risk Diaby in a game like this even if ge were fit, too lacking in confidence and unaware of his own physical presence to do anything with it. Bloody quality player who needs to sort his head out before it’s too late. Wilshere is probably our second most combative midfielder despite his height, and is also playing with great purpose going forward, something that us all to often missing from Diabys game.

  46. mickydidit89 says:

    I have some disturbing news, and it concerns the one who goes by the name of bluevalentine. He is an agent of the City hierarchy, who along with other covert operatives, are sent deep into enemy territory to “soften” opposition fans. The club called City are taking football espionage to new heights, and no stone shall be left unturned in their attempts to secure world domination. You have been warned.

  47. dandan says:

    Rasp It depends on the medical diagnosis on both our two injury prone Centre H’s if they realy are long term problems, I do feel AW will buy because in his wildest dreams he could not of forseen the league being so wide open. That has raised the possibilty of getting the 5 year monkey of his and the directors backs.
    Without a proper CH that wont happen, we will know more if Dj is back soon.

  48. Rasp says:

    I’m with you dandan. Do you think he will go for the quality (and expense) of Cahill or Mertesacker, or will he find an ‘unknown’?

  49. mickydidit89 says:

    I mentioned Mertesacker the other day, and now there is a rumour we have tabled an offer. Can anyone shed some light on this one?

  50. mickydidit89 says:

    I also mentioned that I had trawled the net for some news on TV, and could only find AW’s pre match press do before the Chelsea game, and when asked was, IMO, very hazy with his answer.

  51. Rasp says:

    Hi micky,

    I’ve read the stories about us having tabled a bid of 8.5m for M’sack (1.5m below their 10m asking price) and I feel it extremely unlikely in light of AW’s statements re TV. We may have enquired. I like M’sack and would take him for 10m, we’d then have the enviable situation of having to rotate TV, JD and M’sack for the most important games with Kozzer and squidgy to fill in for injuries and where necessary. But I still don’t think it is likely 😦

  52. mickydidit89 – damn it, my cover is blown. I confess, even my name is a fake.
    Yours aye, Lee Dixon

    RL, fair comment, I’ve often thought that myself.I think Scarf Ace is a bit belt-and-braces or certainly was before the arrival of Boateng and Kolarov. On many occasions we seem to come out of the blocks sprinting for the first 15, then throttle back, even if we go one up.
    I think our main weakness is, we don’t seem to know much about ‘pressure’, either giving or soaking it up. Last season panicking in the last few minutes, booting anywhere and creating more pressure on the defence cost us crucial games – notably Spurs at home and 2 x v The Rags away. Going forward our best moves come on a quickly sprung counter, we don’t seem to boss midfield. We’ve got better but even tonight, if we were a goal up with 15 to go I’d take the draw, if offered.I think in my case it’s probably shell-shock after 57 years of watching City!
    If I were Wenger tonight I’d have your lads playing wider than the norm, certainly on one wing.

  53. mickydidit89 says:

    It is your “we may have enquired” that gets one of my eyebrows on the move. Why would we enquire? I am getting some of my bad feelings about TV5. Pray I am wrong. Having said that, with TV and JD looking like our first choice pairing, having a tall (6’5″) Mertesacker might be a smart move.
    I have always thought that TV or even Kosser could step up as a back up DM. I love options. Our back ups for Song are not good enough. Rambo is too forward looking, and Frimpon is not ready.

  54. Rasp says:

    “Scarf Ace”, that’s good bluev 😆 – what name do you have for lazybarndoor?

  55. Rasp says:


    On the other site, they’re saying that Lacina Traore is the new signing Cesc was alluding to – he’s a striker, but maybe Nick B will be going the other way in a Mertesacker deal …. I’m in RA’s cloud cuckoo land aren’t I?

  56. mickydidit89 says:

    “if we were a goal up with 15 to go I’d take the draw”. Lucky bastards. Unless we are three up with ten to play, most of us would take the draw!!!

  57. RockyLives says:

    Rasp, I’m sure I read a quote earlier this week where AW said he definitely would not buy anyone for attack or MF, but would consider a CB.

    A few weeks ago I promised to eat my marzipan hat if we didn’t buy anyone this January. I’m feeling confident that the hat will stay intact. My money would be on Mertesacker.

  58. mickydidit89 says:

    I’d be very happy with that.

  59. mickydidit89 says:

    I am not happy. Have promised my ten year old he will come to next home game I make it to. Evening KO means getting home at 2:00 am. Not cool on first day back at school!!! Looks like Leeds.

  60. Rasp says:

    I agree Rocky, I don’t think the Lacina Traore story has any merit.

    I’d love to have Mertesacker, but my gut feeling is that it is extremely unlikely. Cahill is a non-starter I’d say.

  61. mickydidit89 says:

    Just read your “je ne sais quoi” line. An hour ago, I was writing to someone in French, then put on Microsoft Translate to check. It turned “avocat” (lawyer) into “avocet” (wading bird), and I was trying to be firm!!

  62. mickydidit89 given the predispositions on this site I’m staggered it didn’t turn into ‘avocado’

  63. RockyLives says:

    Micky 🙂 Zut Alors!

  64. Red Arse says:

    Rasp, Rocky,

    I neither wished nor intended to confuse anyone nor indeed surprise anyone by trying to stifle meaningful debate. 🙂 (but see below)

    Rasp, I prefaced my comment by saying I did not want to pontificate and that some might find my view a little left field. That still applies in my response to your disappointing comment.

    Neither do I deny there has been a lot of chat.

    That being said, again, I believe I set out a cogent and reasoned explanation for my position, and I regret that I have not been able to couch my argument in a way you could understand.

    Sterile? Well, it is an opinion, of course. I really do not care whether or not anyone else wants to carry on such a “debate”.
    To me, many of the exchanges were banal and smacked of the “I will” ,,,, “you won’t” “I will ,,,, “you won’t” arguments engaged in by irascible siblings.

    Sorry, they do not appeal to me, but please feel free.

    My “so what” answers to the questions regarding the prime matters arising from the blog comments tried to reflect this. Ingrained inter-club rivalries make such discussions pointless and will never be resolved by the parties concerned.

    City fans are not responsible for the management philosophy of Mansour. Some/many will be delighted by their apparent windfall. For those who are unhappy with Mansour’s methodology it will be a case of “tough titty”!
    The fans cannot change Mansour’s methods, neither will they stop supporting City.
    Therefore to argue with them and expect them to do anything other than to blindly defend his policy is self evidently fruitless. Stifle debate? What debate?

    Rocky, apologies to you. You are right, I could have explained the “model” part better, but I am limited by time today and I typed as it came to mind.

    Our model (AFC’s) is by far the best and has my wholehearted support, for what it is worth.
    But what if circumstances changed and either Kroenke or Usmanov managed to wrest sole control of the club and decided to reverse Arsene’s project and throw huge money at buying players instead.

    Would I be expected to stop supporting Arsenal?
    Would kroenke or Usmanov care what I think?
    Would I be able to change the new management?
    Would I allow rival fans to make whoopee with Arsenal as a result?

    They are, of course, rhetorical questions to which the answer to all is a categorical .. NO! 🙂

    City or Arsenal, as fans it is all the same, same.

    Mind, as you know, I am an ill educated moron and you should ignore all the foregoing!

  65. Big Raddy says:

    Micky. Be very cautious when using Google Translate. It is set up by the chaps who wrote the Monty Python dictionary sketch (“My hovercraft is full of eels”). Some of the rubbish I have written to Danish colleagues is very embarrassing.

    BlueValentine. Your description of the setting up of the team sounds much like George Graham in the Ian Wright days. Build from a watertight defence. Use the FB’s as supplementary wingers,the wide men have to be able to tackle and track back, rely on a mercurial CF and hope the rest addd a few goals from elsewhere. Having enjoyed the GG ride I wouldn’t change a thing, but the AW way is so much more entertaining.

    The arrival of Dzeko could change everything and give a huge boost to the MC title challenge or it could take him 3 months to settle and you will lose points in the process. Upon this will your PL chances be determined

  66. RockyLives says:

    Redders, you are, of course, absolutely entitled to your view of the debate between City and Arse fans. You weren’t the only one who was turned off by it.

    As for the rest of your argument about the respective roles of supporters and owners, it’s clear as a bell and I find it hard to disagree with a single word. As you say, even if we were taken over by Ming the Merciless and he invested 12 trillion zonks into the club as well as unleashing his fleet of death cruisers on the rest of the EPL, I would still support Arsenal and would still act defensively towards any criticism, which is what the City fans were doing.

  67. RockyLives says:

    By the way Redders, even though there were some tiresome “yes you did” “no I didn’t” moments in the debate with Citeh fans, it quickly settled down and I found a lot of their contributions to be genuinely informative and interesting.

  68. Rasp says:


    Sorry you found my comment disappointing, no offence was intended. I just sensed (and still do) that you have an issue with the subject or the fact that we had so many rival fans on the site. Tit for tat comments are most common when you have opposition fans on AA.

    We worked quite hard to sift out the argumentative and abusive City fans and in doing so, I believe we allowed them to present their case more clearly and as you have seen, one or two gems are still joining us.We did leave on the first half dozen or so rather bitchy remarks so that everyone could see what the underlying level of response was.

    GN5 has made it clear he was very unhappy that we took any comemnts off. To completely purge the site of irate rival supporters we would have to have moderation on all the time and that would require one of us to be in attendance permanently which is impossible.

  69. mickydidit89 says:

    If we are ever taken over by Usminov, I will unleash Chary!

  70. Red Arse says:


    Thank you. 🙂

    I disappeared after making my comment yesterday, as i meant what I said.

    On returning later I was pleased that some excellent Blues fans were in evidence. Not that all the hot air was coming from City fans, but it is “our” blog. (well until Rasp throws me off!) 🙂

    Not wishing to cast nasturtiums, but BlueV seems to be of an age/experience with many of his Arsenal opposite numbers on here. As a result he has been interesting, lucid and civil.

    Stop blushing BlueV, I know you are peeking! 🙂

  71. mickydidit89 says:

    I am wondering which would have had the desired effect, threatening him with an avocado or a wading bird!

  72. Rasp says:

    I read somewhere that if Usamov, Kroenke or anyone else exceeds a 30% holding, they are obliged to make a takover bid (we all know this) but that if the bid fails, they are then obliged to reduce their holding (I think it was something like 16%. Can any of you financial whizkids tell me if this is true?

  73. Rasp says:

    Red Arse,

    I would never throw you off (I can’t, we’re a democracy any way 😛 ) To quote Bruce Forsythe …. “You’re my favourite”

  74. Raddy, after you’ve ridden the Alan Ball ride anything is welcome. It’s early days still, Scarf Ace saw we needed to steady the ship before we started playing total football and I agree 100%. I’ve always been a massive admirer of the Wenger Way but until we had defenders comfortable on the ball and, before the arrival of David Silva it just wouldn’t have been possible.
    Fingers are xxd

    Just heard that Villa have ‘made an enquiry’ for Adebayor. Seriously.
    Presumably in the nature of “What’s his fighting weight? Is he a southpaw? Does he have a gum shield sponsor?”

  75. mickydidit89 says:

    Stop speaking to him. He is a mole.

  76. Red Arse says:


    It is just as well we are not married! 🙂

    I think we could go on like this and never reach understanding.

    To clarify, I have no objection to anyone blogging on here, hence my disappointment at your “stifle debate” comment. The only stifling I did was to take myself off the site.

    In addition, I had hoped my comments would have made clear my kinship with many Blues fans.

    On the other hand I have no time for abusive fans be they Arsenal or City fans.

    This discussion has now become pointless and sterile too, so I shall ban myself forthwith.

  77. RockyLives says:

    Moles, avocets… it seems like we’ve stumbled into Simon Barnes’s nature notes*

    *a reference to something that came out of Dandan’s post yesterday.

  78. mickydidit89 says:

    Although I am not talking to you, I guarrantee he has some of those stupid shiny shorts.

  79. mickydidit89 says:

    Moles are snakes!

  80. mickydidit89 says:

    I simply cannot work or be serious on big match days. So I’m off out for a while. You see, I am already at pre-match level 4, and that is not good with almost five hours to KO.

  81. RockyLives says:

    And avocets go nicely with prawns and some thousand island dressing.

  82. dandan says:

    Let them have there say Rasp as long as the language they use fits the criteria you laid out for the blog in the first place.
    It does us no harm to be reminded occasionally of the standard of blogging others have to deal with all the time.
    The old adage sticks and stones etc still holds firm and anyway after tonight game they will look for other targets.

    Again I would say that one does not have to answer or argue every post or point, someone with your obvious intelligence is quite capable of sitting back and popping in and out of the bun fight, whenever you fancy without getting verbally involved or vexed. we all have our pet hates, mine is bad language and I refuse to get involved with any such blogger who in my opinion spoils our site, But I recognise that for some younger blogger such foibles are viewed as pathetic and Antique.

  83. RockyLives says:

    Catch you later Micky. And now that I understand how your pre-match status differs from the US defence establishment’s Defcon system, I appreciate that this is very early to be in PreMatch 4.
    Take a cold bath.

  84. Shall I take this guy on, what do you think should qualify a ticket to be ‘normal price’, one that a small minority are able to purchase or one that the bulk of the stadium will have paid to watch the game?

    There may be 1,000 seats in the upper tiers that are top price and most of those are season ticket holders anyway. What a ridiculous point to put out there, rubbish journalism.

  85. Red Arse says:

    Thanks for that dandan. 🙂

    If you met me in real life you would soon see I am a right chatterbox and I am no different on the blog really.

    Your point about vexation is well made. I am not at all vexed actually but I hope I have not upset Rasp either.

    I am working pretty hard at the mo’ (client belatedly changed the parameters I was given) and have only one eye on the chat here today.

    Banning myself was just an excuse to get on with it! 🙂

    Rasp, see you tomorrow when I expect you to be full of joie de vivre after a stirling Gunners win! 🙂

  86. RA – if you need to ban yourself to get on with your work that’s one thing but to tear yourself away because you think Rasp has the hump with you is entirely silly 🙄

  87. Rasp says:

    AW has given his permission for Sanchez Watt (on loan at Leeds) to play against us in the FA cup on Saturday.

    Should SW see this as a compliment? I think not, he’s made 18 appearances for them and not scored yet.

    The practice of sending players out on loan is very valuable. Szczesny and Jack certainly benefitted whereas others may be found out. I don’t know how well Coquelin or Barazite are faring on loan but Le Boss will have a better picture of their potential future worth through the experience.

  88. ryandanielwood says:

    Afternoon AA’ers,

    Mickey, I am right with you on pre match levels, mine included ranting on at a Bournemouth supporter about the importance of this match, I’ll even be popping into a local dump of a pub to watch the game, that’s me making my effort!

    Blue V, you made some sense of Mancini’s management with your post earlier. I am inclined to agree with you on the subject of how he is shaping the club. Not that I think it is a cryptic method or anything, but with the signing of each player they have acquired in the short Mansour reign, it has been my opinion for awhile that all bets are off when defining their playing style. Not so much now, thanks.

    Any more word on the DJ crock rumour?

  89. gunner4lige says:


  90. mickydidit89 says:

    I am so jealous of everyone going tonight. Big game, floodlights on and three of pints of Guinness to keep the motor lubricated…..aaaaah

  91. Big Raddy says:

    Me too Micky.

    I just got sent a picture of a fiend from Oz in the Club dining hall enjoying a 5 course dinner. Swine ….

    Tonight will be magic for those lucky enough to attend (if we win!!)

  92. RockyLives says:

    swine as the main course?

  93. London says:

    Great post BR

    Have been doing things away from my computer but now I am going to start my going to the Emirates ritual.


  94. mickydidit89 says:

    Oh here we go, all foodies aboard! Talking of which, I’m just hunting the internet to book a villa in Provence for a summer holiday. The thought of it. Yummy.

  95. RockyLives says:

    Here’s the line-up:

    Fabianski, Sagna, Koscielny, Djourou, Clichy, Wilshere, Song, Fabregas, Nasri, Walcott, Van Persie

    Unchanged from Chavs and Brum.

  96. Irishgunner says:



    Tonight we declare ourselves contenders!

  97. mickydidit89 says:

    100% on the line up Mr Radford XXL. Bravo. Great team.
    Ello Irish, all connected up and rip roaring to go?

  98. LB says:

    “Rasp says:

    I read somewhere that if Usamov, Kroenke or anyone else exceeds a 30% holding, they are obliged to make a takover bid (we all know this) but that if the bid fails, they are then obliged to reduce their holding (I think it was something like 16%. Can any of you financial whizkids tell me if this is true?”

    Rasp, that is true. They would have go back to the status quo ante. The implications are obvious, a fire sale at a loss, and is likely the main reason no one has gone beyond 30%.

  99. Irishgunner says:

    MIDI89 – Am indeed. I think we’ll win tonight, just got a feeling. Would love to actual be there though 😦 Damn work and having no holiday days left 😦

  100. mickydidit89 says:

    Win tonight, and we are really in it. You have one of your feelings about this one, I have one also, and that is Utd are going to lose three games. My hard earned (cough) is on us or City for the title.

  101. Irishgunner says:

    Total agree MIDI, totally agree.

    We’ve lost too many games at home, and its a bit of a six pointer this one.

  102. Rasp says:

    Thanks for the info LB,

    I’m rubbish at the financial stuff.

  103. Big Raddy says:

    LB. That is a very interesting nugget.

    So – here we go ….

    Come on you Reds!!

    Micky. If you decide to try an Italian house 45 mins from Monte Carlo, give me a cal!! The food is better and so is the wine:-)

  104. Big Raddy says:

    And I would like to see Everton pick up some points tonight, but Spurs call it 3 point Park,

  105. Rasp says:

    Bloody hell, we’re playing sublime football – should be 3 up in 10 minutes.

  106. mickydidit89 says:

    Great start…come on

  107. Irishgunner says:

    Chavs 1-0 down ahahahaha

  108. Irishgunner says:

    fucking woodwork

  109. mickydidit89 says:


  110. mickydidit89 says:

    Simple. Get out the narrow guage timber framed goals for the second half!

  111. Irishgunner says:

    Theo is finding himself in great positions, just doing the wrong thing over and over again.

  112. LB says:

    How is the score still 0-0? I hope it doesn’t signal a bad omen. We need Nasri to get more into the game.

  113. Big Raddy says:

    With better luck ( or shooting) we cshould be out of sight. Instead MC look dangerous and we have much work to do in the second half.

    As Irish says, Theo keeps taking the wrong option. Cesc and Nari superb but jack is having his best game in the sgirt – a brilliant half from him

    We need total concentration if the 2nd half

  114. Big Raddy says:

    Typinsons ,,,, sorry

  115. Irishgunner says:

    Liverpool 2 down to Blackburn 😆 Seriously!!! And the Chavs down at Wolves – too funny.

    Back to us – I know they’ve not had much, but when they had that passage of play around their corner, my heart was in my mouth.

  116. LB says:

    Liverpool 2-0 down, Chelsea 1-0 down. Ouch!!

  117. Big Raddy says:

    Bye bye Roy. B’burn are toal pants and to be 2 down at Ewood is a disaster for him.

    Could Wolves really beat Chelsea?

  118. Irishgunner says:

    Why won’t the ball go in?! ARRRRRRRRRRGH

  119. Irishgunner says:

    Silly by Sagna, silly silly

  120. Irishgunner says:

    Should have gone for Chamakh over Bendtner and if h wanted to go Bendtner put him up front FFS.

    Still, good over all performance, but it only suits Old Red Nose.

  121. mickydidit89 says:

    Well City remind me of how another team played when first ladled the wonga. Boooooring!

  122. Irishgunner says:

    A point suited City – as boring as they played, they defended well and we couldn’t break them down.

    Arshavin was hopeless when he came on, and Bendtner couldn’t get into the game cos he was put out on the wing. We didn’t play bad by any means but Wenger got a few calls wrong.

  123. mickydidit89 says:

    We had to get the first goal to bring them out. So damn nearly did. I demand a re-count, as I reckon they had about fifteen behind the ball!

  124. Gooner in Exile says:

    Where are all those City fans who told us how much attacking football they play these days?

    Players paid that much to play like that? Platt and Toure know that’s not how football should be played and should be embarrassed. Everytime they ventured forward Mancini was screaming at them to get back. Want to win the League you have to try and win away from home at your nearest rivals, Chelsea and Man U do.

    Sagna was a silly boy and we could do without missing him for 3 games but thankfully one is FA Cup and the other the Carling Cup.

  125. Big Raddy says:

    That really was a case of 2 points lost. Not a single save from Fabianski!

  126. Irishgunner says:

    Is Eboue fit?

  127. Big Raddy says:

    Toure, De Jong and Kompany were excellent.

    As were JW, Fab4, Song and Djourou, and if anyone deserved to score it was RvP

  128. mickydidit89 says:

    Spurs lost.

  129. Statics says:

    mancini successfully turned adam johnson into a right back, milner was the overrated player ever, mancini is another mourinho in disguise, song is the best DM in the world, and City officially replaces Chelsea as the most boring club! damn it!

  130. mickydidit89 says:

    Oh and Chelsea know how to lose away from home too. Sorry people, trying to make myself feel a little better.

  131. Sorry for that lads. Well, no, I’m not really but it was draw the wagons into a circle time and must have been very frustrating for you guys. We could easily have been 2 or 3 down at half time. Anyhow, onwards and sideways,I’m overjoyed with the point because I’ve had collywobbles all afternoon. Shot myself in the foot though cos I said I would only drink if we were down at half time.
    Nice results elsewhere with Fulham Dynamo going down to Wolves, Spuds struggling and, as a nice little fillip, the Dippers totalling again.
    Told you Kolo puts in a shift.
    Anyhow, I’ve enjoyed the banter. I might come back for the gastronomy but more likely, see you next season. Good to know you and hoping for a 1-2 finish, ideally with us as No.1 but (reverting to mole role Mickey) I wouldn’t begrudge you.
    Yes! Just heard Spuds have lost.

  132. Big Raddy says:

    Think so Irish. Sagna was stupid.

    Hart looked good as did the woodwork. Was MC last season our previous 0-0 at home?

    We missed a chance to put some distance between ourselves and the Chelsea + Spurs 😀

    Great night for MU

  133. mickydidit89 says:

    See you bv. Not your fault!

  134. mickydidit89 says:

    Was about to say, Man of the Match by a country mile…the woodwork 🙂

  135. Big Raddy says:

    Wolves beat the Chavs at home and L’pool away !! This is a crazy season.

    Caio BV. Enjoy the season and I hope you get a Champions League place

  136. mickydidit89 says:

    House in Italy. Need 5 bedrooms. Many of us.

  137. Big Raddy says:

    I will dream about JW’s awful pass in the 1st minute – even I could have found RvP….

    In a game of so few fouls and no animosity it was uneccessary to give out 2 reds, yellows would have sufficed.

  138. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    😆 I saw more imagination from some of the city comments on here in the past 2 days than from their team out on the pitch. Has that load of tripe really cost 500 million Euros to put togther. No wonder United take the piss out of them. Oh well, City fans are the ones who will have to endure that 😆

  139. Big Raddy says:

    Only 3 bedrooms – sorry Micky

  140. SharkeySure says:


    The boys played really well from start to finish and easily deserved all three points.

    Is Yaya Toure really that unfit that he needs a hands on knees, bollox in his throat type breather after every sprint. I really thought he might not be out for the 2nd half. £200k a week…??!!

    Wilshere. 19. Unbelievable.

    Songs flick over Tevez (79m.30s if you missed it), ridiculously bit of skill that.

    Aaaargh, so so close to getting the 3pts. I still have a very good feeling about this season though.

  141. mickydidit89 says:

    Just to end on a positive. We are getting better and better every game. We can beat Utd as they will not “bus it” City style. Even if they win their game in hand, that would leave them four ahead. No problem.
    We are very very good.

  142. SharkeySure says:

    I’ve read all(?) of your posts these last couple of days Blue V, and I have to state that you sir, are a class act. Well played fella.

  143. Big Raddy says:

    Easy to see why Mancini signed Dzeko, Jo was totally anonymous, apart from faking a facial injury

  144. mickydidit89 says:

    Thanks very much BR. I must seriously consider not inviting my sister’s tribe!!!!

  145. Irishgunner says:

    It was a good tempered match and I’m sure a joy for the neutral as despite City’s lack of imagination they could have been dangerous on the break (not that they had many).

    Was something said to Sagna? He just went a bit crazy.

  146. Statics says:

    and my Chelsea frens thought that JW is another french youngster that AW turned into an absolute amazing player.. he’s 19, and he’s better by a million miles than all Citeh midfielder from the first team to the bench combined!

  147. mickydidit89 says:

    It was a hair styley thing.

  148. Rasp says:

    How come Sagna kept his cool when being stamped on by Bowyer and then lost it under less provocation tonight – very unprofessional. I assume EE is injured since he wasn’t on the bench. Does anyone know if the FA cup and C cup games count against the 3 match ban?

    Thanks for the apology. Your lot defended well but didn’t add a lot to the entertainment. After that game, I am not a fan of your manager. It would be ironic if his lack of ambition means that he thinks that CL qualification is the target this year and then his employers sack him in the summer for not winning the league. I am confident we will finish above City after that game but unfortunately their negative approach has made manure firm favourites for the title.

  149. mickydidit89 says:

    We are only half way. We are playing well and improving. They are not. Long way to go.

  150. Gooner in Exile says:

    To be fair to Sagna he was failed and it wasn’t given, Zabaletta was over him when he was on the floor as he got up the first clash happened, Sagna then seemed to lose it. In some ways its good to see that he was fired up, from the other side he was stupid.

    If Eboue is injured is Eastmond available? He could put a shift in at right back.

    Re Suspensions I’m pretty sure all FA Sanctioned competitions count towards suspensions so yes for FA Cup and C Cup counting.

  151. SharkeySure says:

    Alright Irish, best of luck with your new site/stuff, you know what I mean.

    I agree with you completely about Bendtner going wide left, wide right would have been bad enough !!!

    In my OP/HP/Wigan write up I introduced TLR for Arshavin. It was always a double edged moniker – Talented Little Russian, and/or Tubby Lazy Russkie, which sounds a bit like 3 characters from a kids puppet show. Anyway, I digress.

    On a nite like tomnite for putting it all out there, he practically embarrassed the shirt tonight. Its not often I can say that, and I really don’t like to say it. I was actually pleased to see hm come on, as I felt Theo had faded a little, and that City had left him no room to run.

    So on comes TLR and in the misty haze of enjoying how well we were playing, I completely overlooked just how lazy and useless he can be in spite of his record no. ogf assists. I was pretty soon reminded of just how panglossian (tm. Carlito !) my hopes for him had been ! Its a long road back for him in my book. I suspect that we’ll soon see him lose his spot on the bench to ‘a diplomatic knock’, or at least find himself stuck on it for the full 90mins anyway.

    I’m not one for so much negativity, so I’l leave that there.

    Gutted that Wellington never got his permit though

  152. SharkeySure says:

    “We are only half way. We are playing well and improving. They are not. Long way to go.”

    Mickey said it first, I’m saying it again !!

  153. Rasp says:

    Thanks GiE, a good time to get suspended then!

    There must be more to Chamakh’s absence than just being tired, surely he would have been a better sub than Bendy?

  154. SharkeySure says:

    Static….those Chelski fans just landed here from Mars..??

    Or are they cousins of Mr Balotelli..??

  155. Rasp says:

    Yes we can still win the league. If manu win their game in hand we will be 7 points behind. They have more tricky games ahead of them than we do. We’ll need to beat them at the Emirates and be consistent for the rest of the season.

    Good news – Bale is injured…..

  156. Big Raddy says:

    Rasp. Nooooo. MU have to go to THOF, Anfield, WHL and play Chelsea twice.

    It is only 4 points and we are getting up a head of steam

  157. Rasp says:

    Everything you say is correct Raddy, its 4 points and a game in hand = potentially 7 points.

  158. mickydidit89 says:

    You and me in the positive corner then!

  159. RockyLives says:

    Well, an odd game but I feel pretty proud of our lads. Denied by the wood work twice and a good Hart save once, we made enough chances to have won.

    The press will no doubt go on about Citeh’s stalwart defending, but if you’re relying on the thickness of the post to save you, then you’re definitely riding your luck.

    Strange thing to me is that, by playing for a point, City were effectively playing to stay behind us in third place. If we win our game in hand we’re above them on points, so a draw is more useful to us than them (although not much use to either side in terms of catching ManUre).

    Wilshere is a great talent and Song was immense tonight – MoTM again as far as I’m concerned.

    Blueval – it’s been a pleasure bantering with you. I suspect you’re strong enough to do over most of the weaker teams, but you’re just not progressive enough against the better teams to really take the title. Time will tell.

  160. Wonderman says:

    Rasp I agree with u completely, it wouldn’t surprise me if zabaleta’s is overturned, very strange from sagna, but i must say we played well and I M more frustrated than dissapointed as are most of the posters. Remember the mancs have yet to play chavs twice, Liverpool,spuds,citeh and us at home , we need to focus and keep playing well we are on form

  161. Big Raddy says:

    Night All. Looking forward to hearing from thosse who saw the game live

  162. Rasp says:

    What odds Hodgson gets the bullet after tonight?

  163. Irishgunner says:

    MIDI – Perhaps ha ha normally Sagna keeps his cool though, so just wondering was something nasty said.

    Sharkey – Cheers 🙂

    I have to agree with AW tonight when he says it was a positive draw in terms of the display.

  164. mickydidit89 says:

    Ooops, budge up Sharkey, BR is coming in!

  165. Gooner in Exile says:

    If maybe not for this seasons league but for the future I am definitely in the positive corner.

    I’ll take a cup this year and then see this crop of players kick on in the future.

    Someone on Talk Spite tonight said the future of the English game is looking like being a fight between Man City and Arsenal, both gone about it different ways but both building good squads. Whilst Chelsea are going backwards, Man Utd have some rebuiliding too and Fergie looking at the end of his career, and Spurs…..well come on be serious.

  166. Rasp says:

    Yes, I agree Wonderman. If we can keep our better players on the pitch we’re in with a good chance. I just can’t see manure’s luck holding out – they’re pretty average but always seem to produce a match winner out of nowhere.

  167. mickydidit89 says:

    And its goodnight from me too. Goodnight.

  168. RockyLives says:

    Bac’s red card – fine, he gets a three game rest against Ispwich, Leeds and WHam. I don’t think Eboue is injured – just not on the bench for this one.

  169. dandan says:

    Rasp cant see anyone wanting to take over from Roy, before the pool play the Manc’s this weekend, maybe after that game he may get his marching orders.

    Even my City supporting son text me, you should have had three points City should be ashamed of themselves.

    Is that city player what an American would call an average Jo.

  170. dandan says:

    Rasp the Cricket starts in 15 minutes that will cheer us up.

  171. Irishgunner says:

    I’m off as well – nice catching up.

  172. SharkeySure says:

    “mickydidit89 says:
    January 5, 2011 at 10:35 pm
    Ooops, budge up Sharkey, BR is coming in!”

    Room for one more Mickey..? Yeah ? Sweet. Wonderman, in you come mate, seat over here for ya mate.

    Nite all.

  173. Statics says:


    no, he just a nerd, spending most of his time on study table than watching football. Nevertheless, he pretty amaze after i told him, JW just turn 19 this year.. the way he playing right now is unbelievable for someone with a small frame and age like him..

  174. Rasp says:

    Thanks dandan, I’m just off to watch us win the Ashes series 🙂

  175. RockyLives says:

    So right about JW Statics.

    I’m really getting down in the dumps about Arsh. I predicted at the start of the season that he would be PFA Player of the Year this year. Shows what I know. He has played himself out of the first team, and now he’s looking to play himself out of contention for the bench. Sad.

  176. gnarleygeorge9 says:


    Come on mate, we all know nothing could ever cheer the English up.

    Anyway, only another 2 days & those 10 Euro poms the Barmy Army will be going home to Eastenders/Coronation Street 😆 Sounds like a jail sentence doesn’t it.

    We will get England & Wales back, but I don’t think many of the Barmy Army can afford to come back here. Oh well “such is life”. Appologies to Irishgooner for quoting Ned Kelly as he was hanged. But Ned would be proud of Oz these daze. Australia is a tribute to the Irish.

    Oh and to the King of Moaning dennisdamenis. Touch of class that re your sniggering @ the Queensland floods. Don’t worry, I won’t have a laugh when the the bombs go off in 2012 during your Olympics.

  177. LB says:

    “SharkeySure says:

    “We are only half way. We are playing well and improving. They are not. Long way to go.”

    Mickey said it first, I’m saying it again !!”

    Absolutely the most important issue here, not dropping two points. Best squad in the league for sure, now with serious grit and determination. We completely outplayed Chelsea and Man City, two squads put together for a combined GBP1.2 billion!!

  178. Statics says:

    Well said LB.. and to think that neither side was actually play football even with that outrageous sum of money..

  179. Big Raddy says:

    LB/Statics Could it be our manager?

    On reflection I am disappointed. We have faced teams playing 10 behind the ball so often that we should know how to beat them. RvP/Cesc’s long distance shooting was our only real hope.

  180. dandan says:

    Unlike you Br, because you will remember G. Graham saying all those years ago, 11 dustbins take some beating when they are all in your penalty area, make those same dustbins 6 foot tall and stick arms and legs on them and and you get what we got last night.
    A wise man once called it anti football and he was not far wrong.
    But never mind two weeks and you will be able to book your Wembley ticket now that will cheer you up Matey, and dont quote Swindon at me LOL

  181. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    Yes but George Grahams 11 dustbins didn’t cost as much as that 500 million Euro bunch of tripe.

    On another night, with the near misses The Arsenal had, it was 5-0.

  182. charybdis1966 says:

    Morning all, Gnarley – they are some pricey dustbins! I take it some of your earlier comment was directed at something said on the “other site”? Pretty un-classy I’d agree.
    Still we have to larf at the spuds/chavs and dippers and look forward to nailing down that date at Wembley.

  183. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    Yes chary, definitely not from here. Classless comment from a computer nerd.

  184. gnarleygeorge9 says:


    This whole cricket thing has been humiliating to say the least. England has belted the living crap out of us, and more. I bet duds like Michael Clarke, Michelle Johnson & Hilfenhaus still get paid the same for a piss poor effort.

    Engalnd were too professional, organised & too good. Even after we won that test, there were some here who said it was rigged to get the crowds in for Melbourne.

    But can I say this. That @#$%ing Barmy Army come down here and sing shit songs aimed @ us. Theres a plane leaving from Sydney on Saturday, be on it 👿 & don’t come back you dopey $%@#s.

    And just because of the Barmy Army. Make no mistake for any out numbered pom who remains here, I am going to give them shit until i sicken them. Everytime we beat England they will cop it, & then cop some more.

  185. Morning all

    Anyone about? I haven’t yet received todays post from Mike who is in a different time zone and promised it for 8.30. If someone can pen a few words to get us going we can add his when it arrives. Anyone?

  186. charybdis1966 says:

    They are wind up merchants Gnarley, who have hardly endeared themselves to the locals.
    Peachy, if you’re desperate I could knock up a few random thoughts?

  187. Can you chary, that would be brilliant, I’m struggling to eloquently do justice to our endeavours.

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