Arsenal Plough their way to Wembley……..

Before I speak of a match that had all gooners on the edge of the seats for far too long, I will just say what a great night it was for my boys, tonight my youngster Reece was one of 12 lucky Junior Gunners to form the Guard of Honour as the teams came on, my eldest Luke is a ball boy all season, so all round, how jealous, but proud, am I?

Back to the match, Arsène stated in his programme, he will select his strongest team available for each match, although he started with a reasonably strong team, I always worry when Cesc and Denilson start together as I feel they don’t gel well……

Nasri and Walcott were on the bench alongside Song, but red hot Robin was on the pitch, so Wenger was certainly taking Ipswich seriously.

Arsenal started with a good tempo and had some early chances, RVP turning and hitting a shot wide.  Cesc was bundled over and from where I was sitting, it looked a stone wall penalty, but the ref waved away the claims……It should have been a scrum down at least?

A scary moment occurred after about 15mins or so when Chez went up for a corner and went straight through Sagna,  Eboue was soon into the fray as his replacement……Hope Sagman is ok……

Throughout the game Cesc took quite a bit of stick, I’d be surprised if he can walk in the morning……Talking of stick the Tractor boys were giving our fans a right bashing and clearly out sung us in the first half, milking their moment as we struggled to get the goal to get us into this tie, when will our fans learn…?

Bendtner soon floated a delightful cross over and RVP smashed a header against the bar with the keeper Fulop well beaten…….Would we score or would it be a night to forget?

Then a ball over the top, into the path of the on running Cesc, through the defence, slanting his body and hitting across the keeper, but agonizingly wide again…..

For me we were trying too hard and not holding our nerve, to get the pass right, as we tried to force the play, Ipswich stood firm and resolute, hoofing the ball away.  We needed to expand our play, and try to create an opening, rather than thread it through a gap, tighter than Wengers wallet…

The boys were trying though and notably Little Jack was growing every minute and becoming more and more involved, perhaps because most of the Ipswich team were intent on marking Cesc, that was giving Jack a little too much room, which he exploited…….

Half time came, and then the 2nd half started the same, admittedly I was crying out for Nasri to come on and make a difference, but it was a sublime ball from little Jack on 60mins that got the break through, deep in his own half, he collected the ball, looked up and sprayed a ball right to forward left, as super Nik ran onto the ball cushioned it down, ran on and cut back inside the defender, before curling a lovely right footed shot into the far corner, cue eruption and fans singing……….

Moments later and Kosser headed in a beauty from a corner delivered from the left by Arshavin, 2-0 and the boys went wild, with all the subs part of a mass team hug……It was good to see a corner actually getting into the box, when was the last time that happened?

Ipswich started to wade through mud now, looking for a Tractor to pull them out as they noticeably tired….

The 3rd goal was started with a cracking intervention by Denilson, who stole in and took the ball off Edwards and played straight to Cesc, who run forward and played onto Arshavin, who ran at the defence, cut inside and just as you felt he would go for goal, he slipped it back outside to the in running Cesc as he came into the box who then slipped it through the keepers legs, game over………3-0.

Nasri and Walcott came on for Rockin Robin and Arshavin for the closing moments as Arsenal knocked the ball about and round a now down trodden Ipswich, who for 150mins had held the Arsenal at arms length………and kept the Arsenal fans too quiet for my liking………….

Player Ratings:

Szczesny: Little to do, but oozez confidence, which I think settles the defence at times. Error of judgement when he clattered Sagna, but he will learn as he goes…. 7

Sagna: Unfortunately, short outing……..gets a….7

Djourou: Much better display than at Portman Road, strong and tenacious, read the game well and pushed forward when he saw openings….7

Kosser: A very solid game, pushed forward well, got booked harshly..Great Goal…7.5

Clichy: I think his performances are getting better defensively week by week. Good going forward, only caught out once at the back that I noticed…..7

Denilson: Industrious and plugged away against the backdrop of moaning fans, admittedly I wouldnt have started with him, but he did ok and his interception set up the move for the 3rd crucial goal….7

Cesc: Kept the team pouring forward and closed down very quickly and worked very hard, not at his dazzling best and should probably scored in first half, but still instrumental and probably would have done more if kicked less.. Scored a great 3rd goal….7.5

Little Jack: Head and shoulders above everybody else on the pitch in my opinion, he grew as the game went on and ran the show in the 2nd half, his pass for the first goal was pure class.. It was going to be something special to get the break through. Only a goal was missing from his night….8.5***MoM

Bendtner: Another player who gets the moans and groans from most fans, but worked tirelessly and made things happen, won most of his duels in the air. His goal was sublime…….8

RvP: A continual handful, who tried to get the break through and his endeavour really pushes us on. Hit the woodwork in the first half and had another couple of chances…..7

Arshavin: Kept going and had two assists on the night, better, keep going little fella, we all love you really, just we know there is so much more in your locker……..7


Eboue: Solid and kept attacking, still throws himself around too much for me, but a great squad player for me….7

Nasri and Walcott had too little time to comment.


After 150mins, the Tractor choked , spluttered and the Gunners blew them away with 2 quick goals, a third near the end ensured no slip ups. Wembley here we come at last……..

Wengers young team, will now take on West Ham or Birmingham as they try to win some silverware after 5 long years, so in the competition that Wenger has bloodied his young boys in over the last few years, might just be the one that breaks the Hoodoo that hangs over us, lets pray, 27th Feb will be our day.

One final note, fair play to Ipswich, you did yourselves proud with your efforts….

Written by Harry

141 Responses to Arsenal Plough their way to Wembley……..

  1. SharkeySure says:

    Great report Harry. Even more so considering the long night and early start you’ve had. Well played.

    Full agree with your comments about LJW and Arshavin.

  2. Morning all

    Thanks Harry for the match report and for staying up so late to write it.

    Rasp – great picture of Cesc being ‘men marked’. Poor Cesc he really got some unfair treatment last night and hardly any protection from the ref!!!!! Boooooooo

    Its weird, I was probably sitting above where Harry and his boys were and although there were times when we did our ‘shooooosh, its a football match’ I hardly have a voice this morning so I know I must have been very vocal last night. There were a lot of Ipswich supporters and they were very excited to be there and made a lot of noise but I thought the atmosphere was cracking. They must’ve had the mikes turned down for TV 😉

  3. Wonderman says:

    Harry , your report pretty much reflects what I saw in the stadium last night. In my opinion we have the best squad in the premiership by a country mile. Chesney as you say oozes confidence and does settle the defence, I thought his kicking was much improved last night. What pleases me the most is we now have a core of what I call serious pros in our first team squad. Cesc, Van P, Nasri, Wilshere, Sagna, Song who all want to win and will walk over you to do it. I thought the team selection was spot on last night , though I am not a Denilson but song does need a rest.
    Eboue’s attitude still concerns me

    Wembley here we come !!!!!!!!

  4. Rasp says:


    Congratulations to you Harry on an excellent debut match report for AA and to your son Reece for playing a part in Arsenal’s history – a night I’m sure he’ll never forget.

    I had a look round the blogs during the game and our players went from %*&”ing %£%’s in the first half to heroes in the second.

    Bendtner is an enigma, he scored a goal of top quality, not only because of the finish, but the timing of the run, the control and the faint inside the defender to make space for the shot. I thought he looked up for the game from the start and this time his performance outshone Wickham (who still had a very good game). He needs to maintain that work rate and try to develop consistency and the only way to do that is to get a run of games – therein lies the problem!

  5. gunnerwilliam says:

    All along I believed that Ipswich under a new manager would play rugby like soccer and so it proved. That the ref was not so generous in giving more yc baffles me.
    On the subject of the men in black,how a penalty was not awarded to Blackpool is staggering. That’s why the referees must be made accountable and explain why stonewall penalties are given. The FA must look into why certain refeees give a high number of refs to certain teams and why dead penalties are not given.
    That is why don’t be surprised the men in black are the red faced c***’s twelve players.The FA will ignore my plea as that of a poor loser.
    Is it any wonder the rfc keeps winning in spite of insurountable odds which defy plain common sense.If not for the mortal man’s intervention,his side would have been buried.

  6. 26may1989 says:

    Thanks Harry, lovely write-up, am just sorry it cost you some precious sleep. And well done to the Harry Juniors for their contributions.

    Your summary captures my views of the game, and I wouldn’t change any of your ratings. For much of the game I was irritated by Arshavin’s lack of fitness, but his two assists balance much of the annoying part of his game.

    I was feeling critical of Cesc last night, as a lot of the time attacks broke down with his misplaced passes, but you’re right, he was targeted last night and he managed to cope with that attention (and a flaky performance from Mark Halsey).

    Feels a bit surreal to be so pleased about beating a side struggling to stay in the Championship but it’s a measure of how desperate we are for the team to turn potential into success. Plus Ipswich played their game perfectly, they’re a lot better than their league position suggests.

  7. Rasp says:

    Hi gw, thanks for your comment.

    I agree it was a clear penalty in full view of the ref. I hope his assessors on the night will reprimand him severely. If referees are suitably penalised by their own governing body (and not the press etc), maybe the (perceived?) bias in favour of manu will become a thing of the past. Manu got 3 points last night when if it had been 3 nil to Blackpool, I doubt they would have made the comeback – we will only know at the end of the season what effect that has had on our title hopes.

    BTW, I have added a couple of asterisks to your comment as we prefer to keep it polite on AA

  8. 26may1989 says:

    @gunnerwilliam, re Blackpool v United, couldn’t agree more. Refereeing isn’t easy but that was a shocking mistake by Peter Walton, there was no ambiguity, it was as clear a penalty as you could want to see. And he had a clear view, so there can be no excuse.

    Chasing down United is going to be tough, and decisions like that don’t help, but we can do it.

  9. SharkeySure says:

    Would I swap Song, LJW and Jesus Fabregas for Buckets, Iniesta and Xavi. No

  10. 26may1989 says:

    Sharkey, that makes me wonder what the current Team of the PL would look like. I reckon (bearing in mind I am always biased towards our players) it would be:

    Sagna, Ferdinand, Vidic, Cole
    Song, Wilshere
    Nasri, Fabregas, Bale

    Tough to exclude van Persie, van der Vaart, Yaya Toure, de Jong, Modric, Berbatov, Kompany, Carrol, and Torres.

  11. dandan says:

    Sharkey old son, Enjoy Fab while you can because I would put mine and Rasp’s house on him signing for Barca at year end no matter what we win, The boy looks fed up with being kicked and who is to blame him.
    But fear not Sami will fill his roll and AAron and Co need some changes to have their chance.

  12. dandan says:

    Oh by the way Harry well thought out write up, welcome to the club

  13. Rasp says:

    Morning dandan,

    Are we also going to wager our houses on the fact that we won’t be signing a CB this transfer window? 😉

  14. charybdis1966 says:

    Morning all, Raspers we won’t have to put our houses on no new signings as Wenger has said “Transfer-wise there is no news and I would be surprised if there is any,”

    Tip top report on dee-boo(as Richie B would say) there Harry, a “candle lit” report too it would appear.

  15. Rasp says:


    Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery – A Cultured Left Foot, have just replicated your headline in their post published @ 10:55

  16. Rasp says:

    Agreed chary, I hope that means TV will be back in about 4 weeks – if not, we’d better pray Djourou and Kozzer stay fit.

  17. Big Raddy says:

    Rasp. I will take that bet! My house against yours that we will not sign a CB (as I have been saying since Xmas).

    And I may well fancy a piece of the Cesc’s going action.

    Harry. Fine write up – -like you I am jealous of your kids for 3 reasons.

    1. Their moment of glory last night
    2. Their youth
    3. That they have a Dad who loves them so dearly and has given them a lifelong gift – the passion to support the best club in the World

  18. dandan says:

    BR Are you saying I dont love my kids cos I let them support Citey and Dippers LOL

  19. Big Raddy says:

    DD. What can one say, bad parenting

  20. SharkeySure says:

    26m No Arshavin in your team of the season so far. Shocking !!

    Couple of points. Come the end of the season I feel that Djourou might have Ferdinands spot. i;m not convinced by Cole at the moment, but am struggling to replace him with anyone else. Assou Ekotto?? Long shot.

    I don’t really watch enough non Arsenal footie to have a solid opinion.

  21. SharkeySure says:

    DanDan. I respectfuly disagree. I think Fabregas enjoys the challenge of playing these physical games. He’s happy enough having running battles with CB’s twice his size, seen as recently as last night. He rarely complains about rough treatment.

    I honestly think the two team League would be a bit of a comedown for him. Note that he’s always respectful of the other teams efforts in post match interviews, especually when we we’ve played the weaker teams.

    Doesn’t he also use the phrase ‘in the PL anyone can beat anyone/there are no easy points’..or words to that effect..??

    I honestly would not swap Fab for Messi !!

  22. SharkeySure says:

    My eldest boy had a replica kit at four months, it was actually a babygro thingy. I apologised to him for not getting it sooner !!

  23. Red Arse says:

    Excellent write up Harry. 🙂

    The other guys have already said what I would have if I had been up earlier! 🙂

  24. Red Arse says:


    I think Arsene was referring to Oxo Chambermade when he said there was no trfr news and he would be surprised if there were any. He sounded pee’d off.

    Hill Wood has said that if Manu wanted to make a silly bid for Oxo, we won’t get into a bidding war.

    That’s why I visited a blogsite of our Manure opposite numbers to make my views known about Purple Nose’s spiteful and personal spoiling tactics. Poor old Oxo if he falls for it.

  25. charybdis1966 says:

    S Sure – fully agree with your 11.27 on every point.
    My boys got their first kits at around 2-3 years old, so I was even slower off the mark.
    IMHO that’s the whole point of having sons, they WILL support your team.
    If they’d a turned out supporting anyone else it’s grounds for immediate disinheritance.

  26. charybdis1966 says:

    That could explain it Red A – I thought he was being more general in his comments on transfer activity.

    Looks like that red-nosed old alcohoilic c**t is following the Spuds transfer strategy of signing anyone we show an interest in.

    The c**t.

  27. Red Arse says:


    My only query on your team selection is at Goalie.

    Hart has been excellent this season, overall, but for the last 4 or 5 weeks he has been going thru’ a trough, and Mancini apparently is thinking of bringing Given back into their team. So maybe Van der Sar?

  28. Red Arse says:


    🙂 Could not have described him better!! 🙂

  29. charybdis1966 says:

    It’s funny Red A – whenever Fungus-scum is described as being a winner whenever he’s accused of being a bad loser then these same experts brand Wenger a whinger for exactly the same thing.

  30. 26may1989 says:

    RA, agreed re Hart having a tougher time of late, but I still see him above the aged but able vdS and Friedel (who’s my favourite keeper in recent years). Given our recent run (3 goals conceded in 8 games this month) I could have gone for Sz but that might have been taking my bias too far.

    Sharkey, he’s a turd but Cole has been consistent over the last couple of years and is one of the few bright lights in the two flawed teams he plays for, Chelsea and England. I guess the only real alternative would be Evra. As for CB, Ferdinand is still superior to Djourou for me. Perhaps that’s because the partnership with Vidic is so strong and established, it allows them both to do well (more than the sum of its parts etc).

  31. Red Arse says:

    While the blog is relatively quiet, can I tell you something?

    After watching an initially stressful game which developed beautifully in the second half and culminated in those three wonderful goals I immediately nodded off. (I know … wierd) 🙂

    When I woke up at about 1:30 a.m. I read thru’ the late AA comments to see how you guys had reacted.

    The comments thru’ out the elapsed game time reflected unerringly accurately my own. The difference was they were leavened with some rib ticklingly comic comments and a couple from Irish which were fabulous although, I suspect, unintentionally funny outbursts.

    Someone should collect these and other comments from the stalwarts of this blog as they could have historic value in time.

    Loved it. Thank you guys and gals!! 🙂

  32. dandan says:

    Sharkey please don’t respectfully disagree with me mate, if you think I am a Pommy Pratt tell me so LOL I wont be offended its only swearing for swearings sake that I find tiresome and you dont do that,

  33. Morning RA – hope your recuperation is coming along well 🙂

    Its true what you say about often the days comments having an historic value. Last season London was writing most of the match reports and we loved them so much I wanted to turn them into a book. Sadly he got a bit fed up of always being on duty and found he wasn’t enjoying the games, or the wine as much, as he knew he had to spend time writing.

    I love the catching up of the days comments when I haven’t been around for a while. The blog is about the people who contribute just as much as about our fabulous team.

    Thank you Red Arse 🙂

  34. dandan – hello, I keep missing you 😀

  35. On the subject of children supporting other teams, my handsome intelligent son is a mank 😦 He reads all my Arsenal books and is far more knowledgable than me and I’m certain he’s a closet gooner.

    This terrible affliction came about as unfortunately his primary school teacher in 1999 was a mank and he wouldn’t be shifted from that view then and won’t now.

    Sad for me though 😦

  36. SharkeySure says:

    No worries Dandan, my ‘rpectfullys’ are always abit tongue in cheek. Its just something that Mr Radders and I have carried over from ourtime on the ‘other site’.

    Over there it was a bit of a ‘piss take’ to ‘respectfully disagree’ in that environment, whereas over here its just for fun.

  37. SharkeySure says:

    26m Fair do’s I was thinking about ‘top team’ on current form, and just figured that Chelsea’s defence has been poor of late.

    Worse than leaving out Arshavin, you also left out £20m man Cahill. How could you..?? He’s had two clean sheets this season, two I tell ye !!!

  38. SharkeySure says:

    Peaches – respectfully, you’ve gotta start the indoctrination a lot earlier than that. Primary school, lol. How late is that..??

  39. 26may1989 says:

    VG Sharkey!

    Peaches, your words send a shiver down my spine, the very thought!

    My 5-year old endeared himself to me a little while ago – I was driving him to some party or club, and from the backseat came:

    “Dad, that’s disgusting, yuk.”
    Me: “What, what’s wrong?”
    Son: “Over there, that van, it’s got Chelsea on it”.

    That’s my boy, makes me proud. Not that he has any understanding of football yet (you should see him at football club, hilarious).

  40. dandan says:

    My sons support of opposing teams has enlivened our family meals all through there childhoods, it has also taught them to handle themselves verbally, if as a kid they learnt to cope with me full on, kids at school were no problem

    Now as both travel a lot with their jobs the texts on match days are frequent, funny and remarkably bonding.
    They consciously arrange there work schedules to allow them to be here with me when ever any of our teams play each other, mum provides the refreshment, telly the pictures and verbal is as good as any terrace. Wouldn’T change it for the world. OH and by the way the wife’s a hammer LOL

  41. dandan says:

    Hi peaches glad you enjoyed last night, Wembley at last, who will we play.

  42. Harry says:

    Guys thanks for the great feedback, havent read it all yet, just come out of a 4hour meeting, am about to go into another!!! On 4 hours sleep not good….

    Will read the comments later..


  43. Rasp says:

    I’m torn as to who I’d most like to meet in the final. I have a small affection for wham so I wouldn’t mind seeing them make it to Wembley. On the other hand, I have a large dislike of Brum and so spanking them in the final would be an added joy.

  44. Carlito11 says:

    Not enough hours in the day for at the moment so a fleeting visit. Top notch match report- loved the agricultural references and I too am green-eyed about your son’s experience yesterday Harry. Not an enjoyable game to watch on the main but a top result and great to see the whole team celebrate AA’s delivery for the second like that. Great team spirit!

  45. charybdis1966 says:

    Raspers, although I loathe Brum(they are in my top 5 of most despicable teams) I would rather we met WHam in the final because a day out at Wembley is more than that ginger Sir Alex mini-me’s team deserve.

    Whisky breath:“McLeish, we need a whopping victory – can you oblige with a 5-0 whipping?”

    Ginger mini-me:“Of course Sir Alex”

    Brum duly bend over and let the manks take them from behind, sans lube.,

  46. kelsey says:

    A few observations after last night.Game went more or less as most expected though at half time, there were some nagging thoughts that this was going to be more difficult than initially imagined.Accepting rotation it was clear that Arshavin is just completely out of form and needs a rest, and I think it is playing on his mind and consequently his play is suffering.With the unfortunate injury to Sagna it was plain to see what an average player Eboue is,just not good enough for this squad.Bendntner is believing in his own hype,had a reasonable game and scored the vital first goal with an exquisite shot.Song was missed as Denilson doesn’t do it for me.RVP looks back to his very best and hopefully this appearance in a final will be the benchmark to better things ahead.MOM: Jack Wilshere.

    I have also written the odd match report 😉

  47. Rasp says:

    Hi kelsey….. and very good match reports they are too 😛

    I agree about EE, he is the only concern I have about the ability of our team to surprise Barca in the first game. Sagna is currently playing the best football in his time at Arsenal, and like Cesc, he seems to have added a ‘positive belligerence’ to his game that I like to see.

  48. Wonderman says:

    Kelsey, I agree that Arshavin is out of form, I said to Sharkey earlier in the week that he must have run over a family of black cats as nothing he did up to last night came off recently. BUT the problem with form is the only way to get it back is to continue to play. It was his corner delivery that gave us the 2nd goal and his assist that gave Cesc the 3rd goal so I would argue bit by bit he maybe on the way back. Re Eboue. My problem with him is his casual attitude. He does not win as many headers as Sagna therefore we get targeted on that side aerially when he plays, he virtually invites the opposition’s left sided player to cross/shoot and has stopped his marauding runs that we know he is capable of. Denilson I agree 100% !!! someone on this blog said recently he was a ‘mover of the ball’ a ‘continuity player’ ….spot on ….Ramires has just been named in the Brazil squad ahead of him…I rest my case

  49. Wonderman says:

    My favourite bit of last night was hearing some bloke behind me say “Koscielny is sh*t !” about 2 minutes before he scored , I just turned around looked at him and shook my head

  50. AS says:

    Kelsey, I disagree with u, Eboue provided better quality attacking-wise than Sagna, although Sagna is a better defender, his pass to create Wilshere’s scoring chance yesterday was the best example. Going forward, Eboue is one of the best RBs in the league

  51. kelsey says:


    I am actually in retirement at the moment though I can’t give you a full explanation, however Eboue is a complex chap.he is more use as the team mascot,loved by everyone,but as a footballer he is very very average and a cheat.I would never boo any of our players but he never changes and though I grant you he has his odd moment in a game he just isn’t the class required for a team looking for silverware.He is a tad hyper if you know what I mean.

    Football fools many of us.I bet many were thinking “get Bendtner and Arshavin off” and then Nic scores and AA gives an assist.

  52. RockyLives says:

    Great write-up Harry.
    Particularly liked this line: “it looked a stone wall penalty, but the ref waved away the claims……It should have been a scrum down at least?”
    And well played for burning the midnight…

    I thought we played well last night and showed a lot of patience. As has been said, we may have been a bit tense in the first half, snatching at final passes, but it came good in the end.

    One point about Bendy’s performance – on at least three occasions he won important headers in our own box when Ipswich were attacking. That’s one aspect of his play that goes unsung, but does add to our aerial strength at the back.

  53. Red Arse says:

    Hi Kelsey, 🙂

    I could not agree with you more about Eboue. He is simply not good enough at defending to play at right back.

    It’s all very well saying Eboue is good at attacking, but a fullbacks first duty is to defend. If he is also able to combine that with attacking ability, all the better.

    Others have mentioned Eboue’s casual attitude, I think what they mean is when he is passed by a forward he just jogs back. No urgency, no good, not for us.

  54. Big Raddy says:

    HI Kelsey. Hope all is well.

    AS. I am in Kelsey’s camp. Eboue is just not good enough for this squad and if I were AW I would be looking for a young RB.

    Take nothing away from Eboue as a man, he appears to be a top bloke, but as a footballer he is no more than an average cover for Sagna.

    Today I am basking in the wonder of Nik’s goal. At such an important time in the game, under considerable personal duress (a new Dad) and out of form, he comes up with the goal of the season so far (IMO). The Danish Boy Wonder!!

  55. Red Arse says:


    The way B52 brought down little Jack’s great pass with a caress of the outside of his right foot was exquisite, the Cruyf like tap from his left foot to take him away from the defender, the sudden burst of pace and then the beautifully guided shot were top, top drawer. 🙂

    How can we marry that up with the leaden booted player who can only trap the ball five yards from his body instead of killing it stone dead.

    A paradox!

    If only we had more of the former skills and less of the latter lead boots, we might have a world class player on our hands.

    There is still time. He is only young! 🙂

  56. RockyLives says:

    To be devil’s avocado, wasn’t there a time when we all thought Eboue was a pretty decent first-choice RB? Has he just got worse or have our standards improved?

  57. Red Arse says:


    Eboue is the 1,000 Island dressing to your avocado. Nice and tasty but with no substance. 🙂

  58. 26may1989 says:

    @Wonderman at 2.01pm: I did pretty much the same thing to someone near me who was giving Bendy lots of stick – in fact, I virtually assaulted the bloke in the celebrations.

    I love Eboue but it has to be admitted, his best period is after the final whistle goes, he comes into his own then. His defending isn’t the best but fair play to him, he was fine last night, despite being against Ipswich’s best player.

    And I maintain that Arshavin isn’t casual, he’s just not as fit and athletic as the others.

  59. RockyLives says:

    Redders 🙂
    I have also accused him of being a bit of a prawn on occasion.

  60. RockyLives says:

    How’s your recovery going?

  61. Red Arse says:


    From a legal perspective, what is a “virtual” assault. Did you whip out your laptop/notebook and give his sim a right larruping? (Is that an English expression?) 🙂

  62. Red Arse says:


    Slow and steady thanks. 2 weeks ago I thought I was brown bread! (I am becoming more confident with the slang, or whatever) 🙂

  63. Red Arse says:


    Prawn? You are probably more used to shrimps over the pond! 🙂

    Eboue does seem a chirpy character, and he has definitely got pace and skill, it’s just that he’s lacking in awareness and decision making.

    I have a soft spot for him, it’s just that he gives me the eebeejeebees when he is standing still with the ball. I know he is going to fluff things. 🙂

  64. 26may1989 says:

    Unbelievably (!) you’re right RA:

    tr.v. lar·ruped, lar·rup·ing, lar·rups
    To beat, flog, or thrash.

    Assault (virtual or otherwise) may have been an overstatement, but I meant it to be a bit more aggressive than he interpreted it to be. Can’t stand those buggers who slag off their own players mid-game…..

  65. Red Arse says:


    Even worse when they celebrate as if it was always expected. I know what you mean.

    I try to ignore such things but occasionally my caustic sarcasm gets the better of me. Fortunately my height and bulk usually deters any physical response.
    (They are not to know I abhor violence, unless I am the perpetrator, of course) 🙂

  66. SharkeySure says:

    2006 there wasn’t a better RB than Eboue in world football in terms of both attacking and defending. Well I”ll qualify that by saying there was none that I would have swapped him for.

    He frustrated an in form Nedved to the point where the Czech lashed out and got a straight red. The following season cracks started to appear defensively, mostly positional issues.

    Roll forward to 2007/8 and we were in for Sagna, and I for one was bemused as to why. Sagna’s majestic first season, soon allyaed any doubts that I had.

    Like Wonderman said earlier, Sagna is one of the core of battle hardened pros at the club. Amen to that

  67. Carlito11 says:

    “Larruped” is my favourite word for being trolleyed! Never seen it in print before tho 🙂
    Are any AAers in need of tickets for Sunday? My usual contingent are all crying off with other commitments so I have 3 spare…

  68. Rasp says:

    I’ve just realised that we’ve all been spelling the name of our new midfielder incorrectly. We’ve been missing a syllable off the end, it should be ….. Theo van NasriGasShere

  69. Red Arse says:


    Thanks for your confirmation of the meaning of larruping! Fancy me getting a word right. 🙂

    What I was actually wondering, is whether or not the word was used in both American English and English English?

    As you know, I am a bit simple and can sometimes confuse the two! 🙂

  70. Red Arse says:


    He does not like to be too formal and has texted me to say could you make it; Theo van Nasrifabjack.

    I promised to use what little influence I had with you, oh great Raspercreamkat! 🙂

  71. RockyLives says:

    Stranger Redders,
    I heard he liked to be referred to as Nassong Wilegas… but I’m not too sure about having a player called willy gas in our team.

    Glad to hear you’re improving. Sounds like it was quite a scary old do.

  72. RockyLives says:

    and our second string strike force…

    Velamakh Arshbender

  73. London says:

    The same problem over and over, whenever the Eboue debate comes up nobody points out that if Eboue was any better he would not be happy being Sagna’s understudy; he would, of course, want to leave for first team football elsewhere.
    Didn’t it dawn on anyone last night just how lucky we were to have such an experienced RB in Eboue to come on when needed?

  74. Rasp says:

    😆 Rocky

    Thank goodness Windass and Dickov don’t play for us!

  75. RockyLives says:

    Good point. But when he plays as badly as he did in the first leg against Ipswich his experience counts for little. That said, he was pretty solid last night and against WHam, so maybe it was just lack of game time that affected his first leg performance.

  76. RockyLives says:

    Rasp 😀

  77. RockyLives says:

    Or Shittu…

  78. Rasp says:

    Hi London,

    I take your point. It is probably less acceptable to an up and coming player to be denied first team opportunities than a player of EE’s age who knows the quality of the younger players coming through.

    You are correct of course in that you can’t have 2 complete teams of equal quality. If we did have that kind of depth, they would have to be mercenaries; we would have to pay them too much and our name would be Manchester City!

  79. Rasp says:

    Not to mention Nwankwo Kanu – he soon shortened his name when he came to this country …..

  80. RockyLives says:

    So if Kanu, Shittu, Windass and Dickov were all in the same team you’d have to go with…

    Dickwank Shittass

  81. Rasp says:

    I’m shocked Rocky!!! 😆

  82. RockyLives says:

    Let’s just say Theo van Nasregas feels a lot more wholesome.

  83. RockyLives says:

    You’re just much more subtle than me. You listed the names and left everyone to draw the obvious conclusion.
    I couldn’t help myself from seeing it through. My inner Bernard Manning coming out.

  84. Red Arse says:

    Rocky, Rasp, 🙂

    London your 4:50 makes me feel terrible. No is the answer to your question. I thought oh migod, no not Eboue!! Get up Sagna.

    My only excuse is that I don’t do much dawning at night. 🙂

  85. Red Arse says:

    Am I the only one who is puzzled by Arsene’s generosity in allowing loanees to play against us for their new clubs?

    It appears that he has agreed to let Benik Afobe play for Huddersfield against us this Sunday.

    Giant killing does happen. Half the magic of the FA Cup is these feats of derring do. How galling would it be if the one chance in a million occurred and Benik scored the last minute goal that beat us?

  86. Red Arse says:


    Your 5:07. I am not sure about this Nasrigas thing. It makes him sound rocket propelled!

  87. Harry says:

    Well thats the meetings over, I am shattered and feel like I have missed a day of banter on here, really glad I found this site and hope to write again soon and I am very pleased that you liked my first report…

    My biggest comment that Arsenal fans need to understand is that the squad is what will make or break our title challenge, some players although not as good as the top players, have a job here to do and need support when on the pitch, criticise in pubs and blogs, fine, but support in voice when in the ground… A bloke near me last night lambasted super nik every time he touched the ball and then milked it when he scored, which I did make a sarcastic comment to him about…

    Next Up is Huddersfield, one game at a time…

  88. Red Arse says:

    Hi Harry, 🙂

    26May was on early and made pretty much the exact comment, and felt the same as you about the perpetual moaners.

    Supporters are like the wider world; there are all sorts, vociferous good, vociferous bad and silent. 😦

  89. 26may1989 says:

    Monsieur Arse, you and me both, allowing opponents a free hand is not exactly a good idea. The PL rules prohibit loaned players appearing against their parent clubs but that’s not the case in other competitions. But it’s all down to Wenger’s spirit of decency. He’s said in the past that he thinks the idea of stopping loanees play against their parent club is wrong, that as soon as a player goes on loan the parent club should lose the right to make any demands.

    I guess Wenger’s stance is logical though: we send players out on loan to develop, so why stop them doing so just because we’re the opponent? (Which just shows why Man U fans ought to have been pissed off when Fergie cancelled the loans to Preston in protest at his son’s sacking.) And as with Watt and Leeds, while we’re playing Huddersfield we can take pleasure in watching one of our own youngsters and measure how well he’s doing.

    But none of this counts for anything if an Afobe goal sees us knocked out of the FA Cup!

  90. Red Arse says:


    It does make me feel a heel when my rather egocentric attitude (in Arsenal terms) is compared to Arsene’s rather more magnanimous approach to loan players.

    But the bottom line is, I would be furious if we were knocked out of the FA Cup because Arsene is a good guy! 🙂

  91. Big Raddy says:

    It matters not if we considered Eboue a decent RB prior to Sagna’s arrival, AW didn’t rate him otherwise he would not have spent €10m replacing him.

    I respect that some defend our players from criticism but I have said for 3 seasons that EE is not good enough and I fear for the first leg against Barca – I hope EE proves me wrong.

    The knowledge that we have Ramsey and possibly Diaby ahead of Denilson pleases me, because as much as I like Denilson he too is not good enough.

  92. Big Raddy says:

    What happens if one of our players crocks him? Are we insured 😦

  93. 26may1989 says:

    And RA, before I head off to the delights of a quiz evening, I had a quick look at the use of larrup: I think it only means hit etc in UK English but in your Yankee English it can also mean excellent. Actually, I shouldn’t say yankee, as that meaning seems to have come from the southern US. But what the hell.

    Evening all, and come on you Hammers!

  94. Big Raddy says:

    Thinking of supporters and those who kiss the badge then slag of the team, what about Ade’s loan to Real?. A dream for him and a slap in the face for Higuian and Benzema,

    Wonder how he will get on with Ronaldo’s ego?

    I would bet on him to be an enormous success.

  95. mickydidit89 says:

    Harry, excellent write up. I took my son to his first league game on saturday, and the issue of being the mascot was raised. Fantastic, what a great family evening!
    Now for something spookey. I note that prawns have been a hot topic today. Well, I have spent the whole day sampling the little critters. Weird hah?

  96. mickydidit89 says:

    Eboue is a tough one. You love his humour and effort, but then we have the diving. Bet he wears speedo’s.

  97. mickydidit89 says:

    Adebeyor to Real??!!!? Wow, that’s news to me. Good luck to Jose, he will need it. Marriage made…somewhere!

  98. Harry – I almost feel guilty that I twisted your arm to write the match report ……. almost but not quite although I am sorry that you’ve had such a hard day after so little sleep 😉

    I couldn’t bear the flak that Nikki was getting and made a point of giving him loud encouragement which thankfully paid off and I did enjoy the nod I got from the yank sitting behind me when he scored. Obviously it was my positive energy that enabled him to score that beaut of a goal.

  99. SharkeySure says:

    Higuain’s out injured, medium or long term by the sounds of it, and Mourinho must really have something against Benzema.

    Benzema chased his big dream and has killed his own career. I don’t quite get the RM as dream club thing these days. Sure they have a great history, but for the last 10years at least its all been a bit of a comedy. Galacticos and water carriers, constant changes of manager. Do players not prefer a stable* environment.

    *Insert your own RVN gags there!

  100. SharkeySure says:

    Oh and Harry, welcome to the ‘post by candlelight’ club. Ie those who have been press ganged into a last minute and late night post by Peaches.

    Its a badge of honour, worn with pride !

  101. dandan says:

    Now Richard Keys Resigns

  102. Its the curse of the evening game Sharkey, much better to let one of those ‘across the water types’ do it but sometimes they just don’t offer 😦

    Very sad about Benzema, he didn’t do himself any favours by moving to RM.

  103. Hi dandan – I just saw on twitter that he was probably going to resign. I heard him on talksport earlier today, he was talking about ‘dark forces working against him’ so I reckoned his position was untenable

  104. SharkeySure says:

    No loss !!

  105. charybdis1966 says:

    S Sure – what about the ones that do one first thing in the morning – The Early Bird club ?

  106. chary – I was just going to give you a mention for that, stepping up to the plate at 9am is pretty awesome I have to say 😛

  107. RockyLives says:

    Even those of us across the water sometimes have conflicting commitments!

    Although I do admit it’s hard to say no when Peaches asks sweetly 🙂

  108. charybdis1966 says:

    Hey, anytime Peachy 😉

  109. charybdis1966 says:

    As Keys has gone has anyone got incriminating evidence on John Champion or Collymore, they both hate the Arse so much they are blatantly partial and therefore not fit for purpose as pundits.

  110. So, here’s the bottom line chaps as I have the attention of some of you – Radders is off on Friday to do some skiing and won’t be around for three pre-match reports – Huddersfield, Everton and Newcastle so I’ll be getting the whip out for those too I’m afraid.

    Next week is a strange one because we play Sunday and then Tuesday and then Saturday.

  111. charybdis1966 says:

    As you’ve threatened to get the whip out(and hopefully not put it away 🙂 ) I could do one of those if you give me a couple of days notice.

    Of course I’ll step aside if you get other volunteers first.

  112. RockyLives says:

    I wonder if Gunnerblog was reading our discussion here a few days back, when the poem “If” was quoted in its entirety.

    Have to say though, he’s done great work with the pics.

  113. charybdis1966 says:

    Absolutely storming post you’ve linked to Kelsey.

    it’s why I refer to us as “The Good guys” – we always have to triumph through adversity (refs, injuries, Arsenal hating media etc..)

  114. Harry says:

    No worries Peaches, I think it was worth the lost of an hours sleep or so and I enjoyed it, I actually write for another blog at times, but not since sept, due to the infrequent traffic and cannot see the point of wasting time and effort, I love talking about Arsenal and enjoy the banter, so for a site like this, it is worth it…..

    Sharkey, thanks I will wear the badge with pride…..

    Micky, my little one was buzzing last night, it was great as my eldest has been rubbing it in that he is a ballboy….

    I didnt force my kids to be gooners, but am so glad they are……

  115. charybdis1966 says:

    Harry, I didn’t give my boys the option, but they took to Arsenal instinctively.

    I took them to the 2nd competitive game at Ashburton Grove ( v Dinamo Zagreb) and never looked back.

    Gooners for life.

  116. Wham have scored 🙂

    I’d much rather thrash B’ham at Wembley though I have to say

  117. charybdis1966 says:

    I was always rooting for WHam to get through Peachy, a final appearance for the Brum Scum would have been totally undeserved.

    Plus we get the chance to gain revenge for 1980.

  118. Harry – you are welcome to put pen to paper whenever and Rasp has added you to the list of authors in the side bar.

    kelsey – awesome link, had the tears rolling down my cheeks. Thank you xx

  119. London says:


    I am guessing that you are referring to my comment. If that is the case then I would like to clarify that people like me who defend Eboue do so with the full knowledge that Wenger spent 10 million on Sagna because he knew he would improve the squad. My point is that if Eboue was of a higher standard he would not hang around, he would leave in search of first team football else where. Only Man City can afford to have two RBs of Sagna’s quality on their books the rest of us have to find practical solutions to keeping the standard of the squad as high as possible within the budget available.
    As to setting a criteria that we will see how good he is by how he plays against Barcelona; yet again, the same argument applies, which is, if he was as good or better than Sagna he would be playing else where. Sagna got himself sent off; thank goodness we have an experienced replacement.

    Everybody wanted Sagna to get up and carry on last night, but he couldn’t, my point is that we were fortunate to have a replacement as experienced as Eboue ready to step in.

    I find sweeping statements like Eboue is average we should replace him with a youngster incredibly naïve, it is exactly the experience that Eboue possesses, above all, that we need for the game against The Catalans.

  120. Harry says:

    Exactly CharyB, my eldest boy, Luke’s first word was Bergkamp……None of my kids have regretted it for a minute……

    And I agree Wet Sham at Wembley, to get rid of that 1980 monkey…….

  121. SharkeySure says:

    Chary – I didn’t give my boys the option, but they took to Arsenal instinctively.” Same here, only throw in a daughter too !

    Early bird posters …Worm chasers??

  122. Carlito11 says:

    Quality link kelsey- haven’t seen your avatar Of late- good to see 🙂

  123. Carlito11 says:

    Cannot help feeling pleased Keys has fallen on his sword- I used to do a recruitment job where that kind of chat was commonplace- combination of job and banter made me feel like I was unclean in some way- soiled by the unthinking brutality of the morons I worked with. Never felt better than when I quit that job!

  124. Rasp says:

    It’s Brum in the final, Beauty and the Beast all over again.

  125. charybdis1966 says:

    S Sure – I could go ’80s retro here and suggest “The Breakfast Club”

    Harry – looks like it could be Brum Scum now, altho a goal for W Ham will take them through on away goals.

  126. charybdis1966 says:

    It’s not over yet Raspers. Another 15 minutes to go.

  127. Rasp says:

    Scrap my last comment, Livescore told me the game was over but they’re still in ET …. but I still expect the baddies to win this time.

  128. Big Raddy says:

    London. I see your point and accept that having an experienced man is of benefit to the club …. but,

    I would much rather see a young player take his place and gain experience as understudy to a fine RB in Sagna. Or do we wait and sign a finished article when Sagna reaches 30 (3 years)?

    There is little chance AW will sell Eboue as he is clearly extremely popular with the players and AW puts a high price on team spirit.

    Seeing EE do the starfish looking up at the referee has reduced him in my eyes. Thank goodness AW has halted his attempts to play EE anywhere but RB.

    We agree to differ on this one.

  129. Wonderman says:

    That werewolf Keys had to swallow his silver bullet, he’s been having sly digs at arsenal for years. I have no sympathy

  130. Big Raddy says:

    Not having access to Sky, I care not whether Keys is sacked, but if Irish thinks he should go, then so do I

  131. RockyLives says:

    There are some nice pics of the Guard of Honour on the official web site.

  132. Big Raddy says:

    The Birmingham pitch is a disgrace

  133. charybdis1966 says:

    So Brum it is…….dam them.

    Let’s do it for Eddy.

    Night all.

  134. Big Raddy says:

    As you say Chary

  135. Wonderman says:

    Birmingham it is then

  136. Carlito11 says:

    Talking of lovely well rounded individuals it’ll be nice to beat a brum team with bowyer in it!

  137. London says:

    Nice one Carlito

  138. RockyLives says:

    Big pitch should suit us.

  139. Morning all

    There’s a New Post

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