Fàbregas Saves the Day.

Arsenal face Leyton Orient away in the fifth round after what turned out to be an unexpectedly exciting fourth round FA Cup tie against Huddersfield. I say turned out because for the first half hour Arsenal not only couldn’t move out of second gear into third they couldn’t even get out of first.

If the team win, the argument that the correct selection was made prevails, rightly so in my opinion and today was no exception. Wenger used the opportunity of playing lower league opposition to experiment: Nasri had his training wheels on, practicing the midfield play-maker role while trying on the armband for size; Diaby was given an opportunity to knock some of the rust off; Arshavin and Chamakh to restore confidence, Gibbs needs games, Bendtner to gain even more self belief by scoring more goals and Almunia to try and remind the Spanish footballing community that he is still alive and available for sale or loan.

With that amount of experimentation I doubt if too many expected grade A Wengerball, I certainly didn’t. Nevertheless Arsenal moved the ball around well enough creating a gilt edged chance after ten minutes for Arshavin who blasted over from six yards out. The next memorable opportunity occured just a few minutes later; the ball came across the box to the waiting Bendtner, it seemed to take for ever to get to him allowing us to wonder if he was going to carry on where he left off against Ipswich and produce yet another piece of Bergkampesque play and volley it home but alas, no, that was not the case, he completely missed it to the taunts of the Huddersfield fans. The thing that they would not have known is that when it comes to self belief our Nikki is head and shoulders above any other player they may care to name. It took only five more minutes for the next opportunity to arrive which he duly slid past the keeper and proceeded to taunt the Huddersfield fans himself by putting his finger to his lips in a gesture of who is quiet now.

What little urgency the game started with all but disappeared with the scoring of the goal; my mind started drifting to other more mundane things, I suspect the same happened with a few of our players because Huddersfield started creating some fairly good chances but as close as they came the alarm still didn’t ring and wake us into action. All this changed when Squillaci got himself sent off; suddenly the remaining players on the field seemed to take the view that the odds had been sufficiently evened out that it might now be a challenge worthy of their full attention and commitment.

Not happy to just reduce us to ten men the Gods of Football saw fit to try and even up the competition furthermore by having Nasri pull up with a torn hamstring which will probably keep him out for three weeks.

Arsenal held out until half time but there was little surprise that Huddersfield came out in the second half sensing they had a real opportunity and proceeded to throw everything they possibly could at us, getting their reward from a corner to make it one one.

Time for the biggest gun we have in our arsenal to be brought off the bench, the Spanish thirty six pounder was unfurled and proceeded to do what Fàbregas does best…add a world class dimension to the proceedings and win the game. And this is exactly what he did, stepping up to score what turned out to be the winning goal from a well taken penalty. Overall not pretty and not a game that will stay in the memory for too long but the Arsenal go marching on and I for one will settle for that.


Player ratings:

Almunia: affectionately known as the Spanish Waiter was attentive, focused and available when needed but not overbearing, only dropped one plate but I think he can be excused for that. 7

Eboue: the best thing this Ivorian does is give Sagna a rest. 6

Squillaci: school boy error, totally unnecessary sending off. 5

Koscielny: we should not forget that he is playing out of position, he is a right sided CB and is only filling in on the left due to Vermaelen’s injury; with that in mind, I think he is doing even better than he is getting credit for. 7.5

Gibbs: a better game, better positioning, that’s not to say perfect, there is still a long way to go but these games are so good for him and his development. 7

Diaby: rusty, as expected but the gulf of difference (we’re talking Grand Canyon here) between him and Wilshere was there for all to see. 6

Denilson: hurry up Ramsey. 6

Arshavin: the Russian’s confidence is such that if someone flicked a two headed coin in the air I swear he would fear that it would come down as tails. 5………. but an extra two for the brilliant, brilliant tackle he made a yard away from the goal line. 7

Chamakh: they say that the first time you parachute out of an aeroplane you are not scared because you do not know what to expect, where as the second time you know exactly what is coming and you are cautious; the first half of the season was the Moroccan’s first jump into the EPL; Christmas has passed, he is now on his second. 5

Bendtner: he is getting better and better and we will need him if RVP gets injured. 7.5


Rosicky: Super Tom showed more determination than I expected, still fighting to be regarded as an important part of the squad. 7.5

Song: calmness personified 7.5

Fàbregas: simply the difference. 8

Van Persie: just for being an Arsenal player. 10

Written by London

131 Responses to Fàbregas Saves the Day.

  1. SharkeySure says:

    Brilliant ratings London !!!

  2. SharkeySure says:

    Woo hoooo first !!!!

    Lol !

  3. London says:

    Good, well placed pictures Rasp.

  4. Gooner in Exile says:

    The shortness of the report sums up our performance.

    I couldn’t help thinking the players were in a pre season friendly such was the application of skill.

    In the second half we seemed to think sideways passing and possession would see us through, but as so many have found out in the past that’s not the way in the FA Cup.

    As soon as Cesc came on we started moving forward with the ball again. Even Song was encouraged to surge forward with the ball out of defence on occasion which created more room to play.

    We were seriously hampered by Squilli deserved red card, but as London said we played poorly and got through, job done.

    Now for the Toffees and 3 more vital points on Tuesday

  5. SharkeySure says:

    Off topic.

    From AndyHa on Twitter: “Being an Arsenal fan on deadline day is like being in detention at school and watching other kids play outside!”

    Well thats because we already have a fantastic squad Andy !

  6. Gooner in Exile says:

    Still some rumours that Mertesacker may well be arriving in Islington today, what do we think? Is there a possibility Wenger has been keeping it all quiet? Or should I give up?

  7. Red Arse says:

    A good upbeat write up London and you have summed up the game very well. 🙂

    For myself, my delight and relief at getting thru’ were somewhat shaded by;
    (a) the feeling that we made heavy going of a game which we should have won easily, especially with all the possession we had in the first half.
    (b) the weakness in the defence whenever crosses came over, even when Song came on following Squidgy’s departure. Same old, same old it seems.
    (c) why can our forwards not shoot straight and powerful and on goal? Even Bendy’s “goal” was miss-hit and on its way to the corner flag before the deflection.

    But it’s the FA Cup and we are thru’ —- who cares how, if I am honest!! 🙂

  8. chas says:

    GIE, why do we need to sign a centre back, when we have 5 already? 🙂

  9. Gooner in Exile says:

    Have we been better at defending crosses with the conmanding and vocal Szczezny in the sticks?

    I’m sure Manuel does not deal well with crosses.

    I also wonder whether we should actually do some proper analysis of the whole conceding from crosses moniker.

    A couple of years back Benitez Lpool side were criticised for their zonal marking that seemed to concede goals all too frequently from corners. Actually when analysed they conceded the fewest goals from set pieces, the weakness was perceived because those goals came in big matches.

    Whilst we seem to concede frequently from set pieces and crosses I wonder what the percentages are, ie 1 in 30 crosses end in a goal? When you constantly defend crosses sooner or later you have to concede one.

  10. chas says:

    Thanks for the post, London.
    Pretty positive considering the shocking performance yesterday.
    Still we’re through, so who cares if we were shite!

  11. London says:

    Djourou, Koscielny, Squillaci, Vermaelen, Song.

    Vermaelen, is injured for who knows how long, Song is too valuable in midfield to be played as a CB that makes three although with Squillaci playing the way he is that really only makes two and a half, throw in an injury to Djourou and I think it is fair to say that calls by the majority of Arsenal fans for back up is reasonable.

  12. London says:

    Morning Chas

    I must admit I went to the game expecting very little, we won hence the reasonably up beat report.

  13. chas says:

    Even Stevie Wonder can see we need a centre back.

  14. London says:


    Who is that in your picture Chas?

  15. 26may1989 says:

    Thanks for the write-up London, says all that needs to be said about an underwhelming performance from what was the second string (plus Nasri and then Song and Cesc). But your rankings look more than a little generous to me! No-one other than Song deserved more than 6/6.5 to me – you’re right that Cesc was the difference, but it wasn’t a particularly good Cesc performance. Diaby was very poor, and lost his man for the goal conceded.

    But fussing over rankings is pretty pointless I guess. As you say, we’re through, shame about Nasri but now on to Everton.

  16. 26may1989 says:

    @Exile at 10.24am: Shoot me down if you think I’m wrong, but I think dealing with crosses is one of (the few) areas of Almunia’s game that’s ok. It’s his reactions, decision-making, failure to command his area and distribution where he has problems…..

    Re Mertesacker, am unconvinced, he seems to be error-prone (though what do I know, I don’t watch enough German footy to judge really.) I’d be pleased if we did make a late signing, but don’t believe it’s going to happen, unless Wenger can get a loan signing in, which would probably mean an underwhelming, making up the numbers name would be added.

  17. kelsey says:

    Morning all.

    Hard to be upbeat about the performance and I am afraid I don’t agree with some of the points in the post, London.

    Almunia looked totally disinterested and was late to every shot that went just wide,though he did make one excellent save.

    I see absolutely no need to rotate keepers and Chesney should stay in goal,though I accept it is nowadays the norm to change keepers for cup ties.my feeling is that no one wants to buy Almunia and we could finish up with a scenario with Fabianski,being much younger,leaving and not Almunia.

    Rosicky just can’t impose himself in a game anymore and can’t even shoot stright.He adds nothing to the team.

    Gibbs had a bad game,but all players have bad games,and he will come good.

    If one accepts Eboue is a reserve right back,then he shouldn’t stray past the halfway line as invariably he runs into a wall or doesn’t know what to do next.

    Squillaci has not won me over and not for the first time made a horrendous mistake,partly due to the over rated denilson, prior to getting sent off.
    Did. anyone actually notice Chamakh in the first half,he was anonymous.

    We have a squad but a few who are way off form and others not good enough.

  18. chas says:

    London, it’s who you get sitting on your lap if you buy a 1st class ticket from Devon to Paddington!

  19. mickydidit89 says:

    Thanks, much needed as well, seeing as it was the first game I have missed this season. I put my children first, but it will not happen again!
    I think the Chas Pic is Nigella. Wholly inappropriate as it is most distracting! Very busy, so not around much today. I do need to sort this work nonsense out. Does anyone know the extent of the Nasri injury?

  20. SharkeySure says:

    Kelsey – Fabianski’s injured. I’m prety sure that he would have played if fit. 2nd choice keeper plays ALL of our cup games, and I hguess its just a little uncertain at the moment as there is no absolute no.1 keeper, and Sz and Fabianski seem pretty close.

    I’m pretty convinced that was Almunia’s last game in an Arsenal shirt. Sz was rested and protected yesterday in my humble opinion.

  21. SharkeySure says:

    Cool Chas, I now just need a reason/excuse to go to Devon !

  22. mickydidit89 says:

    Chas 🙂
    Sorry, had not seen your reply when I posted. By the way, its all true!

  23. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    Evening all

    The Arsenal home crowd was quieter than the Huddersfield lot. You lot need to make a noise coz the silence is starting to become as deafening as English cricket celebrations.


    Are u still reading the Aussie papers? 😛

  24. Rasp says:

    Morning (evening gg),

    Top post London, the player ratings are fair – I’d like to have given a bit more for effort alone, but I’m confident he is about to peak and make a difference to our season.

    On that subject, to repeat my comment from yesterday’s post, following the untimely injury to Nasri, we will have to substitute Theo van NasriGas for Theo van ArshGas.

    I expect AA to score against Barca at the Emirates and Nasri to score against them at the Nou Camp.

  25. London says:

    Morning Kelsey

    Rather than descend into highlighting every negative that sprung to mind I tried to put the best spin I possibly could on the game; the biggest obstacle I faced is summed up by the saying: no matter how hard you try you can’t polish…

  26. charybdis1966 says:

    Morning Raspers, Gnarley – pretty forgettable performance yesterday and one would have thought that seeing the squid and Denilson show their level would convince most people of the need for CB/DM cover.
    However, I feel another empty transfer day so I’m expecting no one to come in.
    Looking ahead who’s up for a pre match beer tomorrow ?

  27. kelsey says:


    I understand perfectly were you are coming from,but I gave my honest appraisal of the things that disappointed me yesterday.

    It shows that when you take the spine out of the team things aren’t that great but to rotate so many players every other game is always a gamble and in a perfect world the two preferred centre backs should play as often as possible together .
    All reports I have read show a disappointment in the performance but we live to fight another day, and that is a big positive.

    I am still uncertain about our ability to defend in general,but my support never waivers for the club.

  28. Gooner in Exile says:

    26may 11:04

    Almunia can catch a cross, granted. But you highlight two weaknesses in his ability that I think are also needed to be classed as good at dealing with crosses, decision making and command of your area.

    Defenders need to know when the keepers coming and when he isn’t. Grobelaar used to come for everything, that meant Hansen and others could drop onto the goalline to clear any he missed. With Almunia you can’t second guess him.

    Chesney seems to come for everything is bold and positive, okay it doesn’t always come off (note Sagna’s forehead) but if he constantly comes the defence will start reacting better (ie dropping to the goalline)

  29. dandan says:

    Positive spin never hurts London, we got through and that will do for me, despite a less than convincing performance.
    Tuesday will be difficult Everton will park the bus for sure.

    Interesting you should use that Quote, as have just discovered my drains are blocked. The dog has just come in smelling like a sewer, Dyna-rod are on their way.
    Thought you might find this of interest


  30. London says:

    Classy comment Kelsey

  31. charybdis1966 says:

    Ok, looks I’ll be drinking alone – AGAIN !
    Moving on, just read that Fab2 may need surgery and could be out for the season. Let’s hope the Chesney stays fit and personally I’d be happy to have him between the sticks for the rest of the season.

  32. Gooner in Exile says:

    Chary as long as its not the god awful lager they serve up in the ground you’ll be fine.

    I’m hoping East Anglian Railways doesn’t let me down and I’ll be in the vicinity of the Emirates with an hour or so to spare, might pop into a pub for a pre match nerve settler

  33. Gooner in Exile says:

    Just a quick musing:

    Torres to Chelsea for £50million, LFC have had a £30million bid rejected for Andy Carroll.

    What the hell is Cesc worth right now?

  34. charybdis1966 says:

    GiE – I only drink at the Arsenal Tavern oin Blackstokc Road, where Peachy/Raspers tend to meet if they’re going tomorrow.
    I’ll be there around 6.30 hopefully.
    Lookng at the BBC transfer live text story they’ve flashe dup a spoohf Messi to Blackburn story.
    Is anyone up to speed on twitter so they can send in a link to my spoof Messi to us story from a week or two ago?

  35. Gooner in Exile says:

    I’ll send it in Chary

  36. charybdis1966 says:

    Good stuff GiE – the more hits for AA the better.

  37. Red Arse says:

    Just as I thought the GK situation had settled down and we could concentrate on the CB to buy/not to buy issue, it seems that we may be in for Givens.

    Leave the GK’s alone would be my advice. Chezzer No.1 with Big Al No.2 (if Flappy is injured).

    a) Squidge is not good enuff.
    b) TV is going to be back sometime never this season.
    c) Leaving us to hope there are no injuries to JD or Kosser.

    Arsene has already ruled out Bartley as not good enuff to recall.

    London, what should AW do? Will he do it?

  38. SharkeySure says:

    Liverpool offer £30m for Carroll !!!

    Newcastle reject it !!!!!!!!!!!

  39. Rasp says:


    We should be around for a drink pre-match tomorrow – will text you

  40. Rasp says:


    It would be good to meet up with you tomorrow too. We’ll probably email you a mobile number for contact.

  41. Gooner in Exile says:

    I see Red Nose has convinced another of his players to quit International football at a relatively young age. 29 year old Park kas retired from S Korea.

    Maybe it’s in their contracts?

  42. Gooner in Exile says:

    If I don’t make drink tomorrow I’ll be there for Stoke game as I’m working down there and only have to take tube to ground from Heathrow.

  43. Carlito11 says:

    Afternoon all- just nipping in to say that I hold no firm views whatsoever and apart from meeting Peaches yesterday I will be wiping my memory banks to store something else- possibly a recipe for pot roasted pheasants! Chary- I will be around tomorrow by the look of it and happy to get down the Tavern.
    Good report London- sorry to be so apathetic! But we’re in the next round and playing an altogether better game tomorrow I hope 🙂

  44. kelsey says:

    how can carroll be worth 30 million when however good he may turn out to be he has had half a season in the pl. could be another adebayor in the making.

    the world has gone mad.

  45. Geoff Strong says:

    Hi All, just picking up on a few points made about our defending and central defenders in particular.

    I believe it is more to do with coaching/leadership at the back. GiE makes a good point about defenders dropping back on the line when the goalkeeper comes for a cross. This is clearly highlighted by the Andy Carroll goal, once Chezzer decided to go for the ball it should be instinct for one of the players to drop back on the line. Scillacci tried to get back but he was reacting rather than anticipating.

    When Adams and Bould were playing, whenever a long ball was played up, Adams would attack the ball and Bould drop off behind to cover. Our current pairings tend to stay square and therefore if the first defender is beaten they are not in a position to cover.

    We have made one improvement this season, if the opposition put a player on our keeper at corners etc. we no longer put a player between him and the goalkeeper. Always thought this was wrong as it tended to restrict the keepers movement even more. Can recall a couple of goals we let in at Blackburn because of this. Where the keeper got the blame as usual.

    Any thoughts ?

  46. mickydidit89 says:

    Here’s a Micky Very Special.
    One casserole. Heat. Brown bird(s). Dried apricots in. Gooseberries in (tinned fine). Dry fruity white wine in. Glug of schnappes. Lid on. In oven. 10 mins before serve, add handful white/pink grapes.
    Sweet and sour. Texture of grapes. Moist birds. Invented 15 years ago. Remains undefeated!

  47. Carlito11 says:

    Excellent Micky- logged! What was it I was supposed to remember? Nevermind, game for dinner 😉

  48. mickydidit89 says:

    Don’t ask me, I have no memory whatsoever.
    Must win game tomorrow. I cannot wait. So nice this is a transfer window gossipless site. Sanctuary from the madness.
    Really looking forward to sighning Toulalan or Vertonghen though. Ooops.

  49. SharkeySure says:

    Geoff – good points re the defensive co-ordination. I wonder if Sz himself has specifically told his defenders not to get between him and an attacker. He seems bold enough to do so…

    You’ll no doubt now tell me it started back when Fabianski was in goal.

  50. Gooner in Exile says:

    Geoff could not agree more re: the player marking the opponent on the keeper madness.

    At times you could end up with 4 players (2 attackers and 2 defenders) in front of the keeper.

    I used to tell my defender to go stand on 6 yard box and pick the attacker up when the corner had been delivered, i didn’t want an extra body impeding my run at the cross.

    Used to drive me crazy when i saw so many defenders on our keepers toes.

    Also if it is only attackers on the keeper its far easier for a ref to see an infringement rather than kopping out and blaming it on the keepers team mates.

  51. London says:

    In responce to your question.

    I still wouldn’t rule out a loan CB move until the window is closed and locked and if no one appears then I will believe, as Wenger surely must, that Vermealen is nearer rather than further away from returning.

  52. SharkeySure says:

    £30m+ on a striker with almost as many court appearances as he has had PL appearances.

    How crazy/mad/bad do you have to be for a judge to order that you live with Kevin Nolan as part of your bail conditions. Kevin Nolan !!!

  53. London says:

    Lol Sharkey

    The longer you think about that the more ridiculous it becomes. Kevin Nolan!

  54. SharkeySure says:

    Lol Mickey, I dread to look around some of the blogs on a day like today. Maybe I’ll log onto one or two as ‘Frothing Inarticulate Loon’ and just take it from there. Might be a laugh.??

  55. SharkeySure says:

    I’ve always told the kids to look away when Kevin Nolan’s face appears on TV. I often subconciously also check the time to see if its pre or post watershed !

  56. mickydidit89 says:

    Great points. I do believe we have lacked quality defensive coaching for a while, and I have long argued that neither Adams nor Bould/Keown were individually great players, but they were well drilled and time allowed them to form the essential understanding needed.
    Clearly they had the commanding and imposing figure of the pony-tailed-one behind them, and certainly Chezzer brings his confidence to the table.

  57. dandan says:

    Mickey TA may not have been a great player, but he was capable of great tackles and was a born organiser and natural leader. Martin was the man marker supreme, Bouldy would head cannon balls. GG’s hours of drilling I agree made a difference but the skill was there to start with

  58. SharkeySure says:

    The only good thing about transfer deadline day are texts/post like this one:

    “‘Does this keep going until Newcastle pay £25m for Jermain Beckford, Everton spend £15m on Jay Bothroyd & Cardiff splash £7m on Dean Gaffney?’

    Dean Gaffney. Quality !

  59. Carlito11 says:

    Twitter is aglow with the news that Andy Carroll is being driven to Liverpool by Kevin Nolan to agree terms on a £35mil transfer! I can’t quite get me head round how a player no better than Bendtner can command a fee of that sort…

  60. Red Arse says:


    I cannot believe you got that recipe so wrong! One glug of schnappes? Madness!

    You know full well that’s wrong. Now do it with me;

    One casserole. (Take a glug of schnappes)
    Heat. (Take a glug of schnappes)
    Brown bird(s).(Takea glugof schnappes)
    Dried apricots in don’t forget takey a gluggy of schnappies)
    Goosesteps in tin, and taking ein schnappess for a glugging).
    Dry fruity weiz wine und ein schnappz agluggski.
    Taksh ein udder slugz of schnaggss.
    Put der lid on der headt and put it in oven for 10 mins with a sluggz of snapssss.
    Add eine kliene handful weiz/pink grapes to der schnappes undt donner und blitzen, yahwohl mien herry.
    Sweet und schneppzz wiz der texture of grapes. Moist birds were inventing 15 years ago.

    Wunderbar!! Und ein glug of der schnappessss.

  61. Carlito11 says:

    RA- that was excellent! You morphed into a germanic Keith Floyd there 🙂

  62. SharkeySure says:

    Thats it in a nutshell Carlito. With the paucity of good English strikers this guy has ONE cap, and he really didn’t look the part that night.

    Added to his court appearances and his ‘bromance’ with Kevin Nolan, there’s also the small matter of breaking Steven Taylor’s jaw.

    Oh the glory and joy of being an Arsenal fan and being able to watch such madness from a safe distance.

  63. mickydidit89 says:

    Absolutely brilliant 🙂 🙂
    My first ever awarded double smiley.

  64. Carlito11 says:

    “Oh the glory and joy of being an Arsenal fan and being able to watch such madness from a safe distance.” Spot on Mr Sure! I was sent this text this morning “Being an Arsenal fan on deadline day is like being in detention at school and watching other kids play outside.” I replied “No, it’s like being a rich Victorian kid at Xmas watching the other kids begging for toys! Our squad is good enough!” I hope my bravado is justified 😉

  65. mickydidit89 says:

    I’m finding it hard to concentarte after RA’s comment, but you make very fair points. I must add that, probably like you from the comfort of the North Bank, I saw all of TA’s early games and he was awful, so the coaching must have been good. No arguing with his leadership qualities which combined with his will to win and his red and white blood makes him the one kind of man we could do with most right now.

  66. Carlito11 says:

    Not that I want to be likened to a rich Victorian child but I think we can feel both spoiled and smug right now

  67. Gooner in Exile says:

    Comparing TA early to latter days we clearly need to take account of eve of match Guinness consumption

  68. mickydidit89 says:

    I was an expert in that department as well as our Tone, so my vision and interpretation of events could have been clouded!

  69. Red Arse says:

    I sometimes feel each year of my life piling on to me like bricks on a pallet, especially when Manure and Chelsea have been winning trophies while we have been going thru’ a fallow period.

    Reading Micky and Carlito’s comments about TA and Bouldy and the hours of practise they underwent, makes me wish we had such defensive coaching in the current era.

    But the thought struck me that there could be a bitter lesson to be learnt here.
    Playing Wengerball has not necessarily meant winning; but disciplined defensive coaching would not necessarily mean either playing Wengerball or winning.

    Philosophical thoughts and recipes in one afternoon. Must be PTCS (pre transfer closing syndrome). 🙂

  70. mickydidit89 says:

    My feelings on this transfer window are that we could do with a CB. However, its more than that. We signed Kos and Squil which were “oh, ok” signings, whereas there are the Charlie Nicholas, DB10 and AA signings which are the “Oooo, wow” signings. All fans like the occasional sprinkling of magic dust!

  71. Geoff Strong says:

    Micky, What do you think it would do for the squad and Cesc in particular if we went and stole Torres from under Chelsea’s nose.

  72. dandan says:

    35+ million plus for Carroll, 50 mill for Torres, how lucky are we to have AW, He spent that money on a stadium,
    what will happen to Chelsea if they don’t win the champions league now. An ageing defense is going to have to be addressed, will the Russian provide the money

    Has King Kenny lost the plot, If Stevie Gerrard gets into trouble in Liverpool what price Carroll staying out of trouble

  73. mickydidit89 says:

    He has always been the player that got away in my book. Would have been sensational at Arsenal, but the time to sign him was at the £25m point when Pool grabbed him. £50m is nuts.

  74. Hello everyone

    Sky are wicked they’ve just been showing all the Torres goals against the chavs 😆

  75. SharkeySure says:

    £50m, 175k per week. Thats a helluva lot of money for an injury prone player.

    Not even with a barge pole for me.

  76. SharkeySure says:

    Plus Torres seems to only want to play the as the Lone Ranger, with complete freedom to roam as he pleases. Up fromt in a 4-3-3 with teams parking the bus, he’ll have to be a lot cuter in his movement.

    When he plays for Espana with Villa, Villa gets shoved out to the wing, then they realise that Villa is a much more clinical striker and Torres is benched.

    Torres has some great moments, but I don’t think he’d be amazing for us, if only because we play a lot higher up the higher the pitch than the Pool do, leavinh him with less room to run away from defences.

    He’s still a better buy than Carroll at £35m though. £35m !!!

  77. SharkeySure says:

    Peaches – One in the other direction this weekend ??

  78. I have to agree with you Sharkey, we certainly don’t need anymore sickies.

    The chavs have resurrected their request for Luiz a defender from Benfica – we could do with a defender 😦

  79. dandan says:

    You can check out the January ins and outs below:

    Players Signed:
    Ryo Miyachi (Undisclosed)
    Wellington Silva (Undisclosed)

    Players Out:

    Nacer Barazite (Signed for Austria Vienna on a free transfer)
    Gavin Hoyte (Re-joined Lincoln on loan until end of season)
    Giles Sunu (Signed for Lorient on loan until end of season)
    Ryo Miyachi (Signed for Feyenoord on loan until end of season)
    Wellington Silva (Signed for Levante on loan until end of season)
    Jay Emmanuel-Thomas (Signed for Cardiff on loan until end of season)
    Carlos Vela (Signed for West Brom on loan until end of season)
    Henri Lansbury (Signed for Norwich on loan until end of season)
    Aaron Ramsey (Signed for Cardiff on 1 month loan deal)
    Craig Eastmond (Signed for Millwall on loan until end of season)

  80. SharkeySure says:

    Torres and Drogba up front…clash of the egos ! I just can’t wait to see who ends up at RW, or to see how good Fat Frank looks in a hurriedly assembled 4-4-2.

    There should be a gag in there about an IKEA ‘flat/fat’ pack but I can’t quite find it.

  81. Neamman says:

    I wish we were at home for Orient. It would give them a lot more money. I was reading that an abnormally large % of their attendance are Gooners like me, for whom they are the team to watch on an away day.
    Also its nice to se Crawley get that fairy tale draw.
    Carroll and Tores moving..I didnt see carroll going at all.

  82. Hi Neamman – ‘arry wanted Carroll at one point, spuds won’t be happy that Liverpool have more money than them 🙂

  83. dandan says:

    Bloody hell, would you believe it, Steve Claridge has just complemented Arsenals squad, he said “they have a squad of 32 players and only 4 or 5 of them couldn’t do a job for you, he got a really good young squad together there, that’s why they like Utd, don’t need to buy”.
    never thought the day would come.

  84. Neamman says:

    Where the hell do spurs get their money from. I keep on hoping they will go bankrupt.

  85. London says:

    Hi Dandan

    Interesting comment, manyoo have a similar problem to us in the sense that they have had noisy neighbours move in down the road forcing them to change their approach to the transfer market. We are far more advanced in our adaptation but it should be interesting to see if united can keep pace. My guess is Ferguson won’t be able to cope in a world where he hasn’t got more money than anyone else and can’t buy who ever he wants. The only way is down for them.

  86. dandan says:

    London it seems to me the spuds wheels are coming off.
    Bale I thnk will go to Man Utd in the summer and if no champions league a couple more could go, Modric perhaps

  87. 26may1989 says:

    Kyle Bartley gone on loan to Rangers? A precursor to Madjid Bougherra coming on loan to us?

  88. Hi 26may – they are talking about that elsewhere but I can’t find anything official.

  89. Rasp says:

    That would be fantastic 26m – but highly implausible, why would Rangers let him go?

  90. Rasp says:

    Haha, the totnum fans have probably just got all excited about the press release telling of their last minute transfer news ……. Dos santos on loan to Racing Santander – I bet they thought they’d signed Messi on the quiet.

  91. 26may1989 says:

    Rasp, no real reason beyond (a) why pull Bartley away from an established and productive loan and (b) Bougherra has said he’d like to join us. So no reason to suppose it’s right, just a deadline day guess. Clutching at straws, moi??

  92. Totts trying to sign Charlie Adam from Blackpool in the last few minutes

  93. Rasp says:

    😆 26m, you are far better informed than me …. I’m still wearing my “we won’t sign anyone hat”, it protects me from disappointment.

  94. Rasp says:

    That’s desperation peaches, I guess the totnum board are just trying to placate their disillusioned fans 😕

  95. 26may1989 says:

    How low have I fallen, desperate for a loan from Glasgow Bastard Rangers?

  96. London says:

    Come wallow in the mire with the rest of us 26m

  97. Rasp says:

    Cheer up 26m – it’s just been announced that Fabianski needs surgery on his shoulder so it’s not just fit CBs we’re short of

  98. London says:

    I see spuds didn’t sign anyone, goodness there was some nonsense that came out of that club during this window.

  99. Rasp says:

    If we think some Arsenal fans are spoilt and impatient, you should hear what the totnum fans I work with are saying …. ….”I’m not going to the f***ing Europa League games next season if we don’t sign a top striker in January” 😆

  100. 26may1989 says:

    Am certainly getting sick of seeing two pigging nonentity dickheads, Ian Dowie and Tony Cascarino, banging on about how wonderful Abramovich is.

  101. London says:

    Why didn’t we sign Torres, Wenger had money, I mean Cesc said he wanted to play with him…..you just know that someone with actually write that and mean it…..probably Ghost Face, funny how he hasn’t been around since we have been doing quite well, I supose we will see him the next time we lose.

    Reading through that I see that it is a bit of a grumpy comment, probably jealous of the other kids having new toys to play with and we haven’t.

  102. London says:

    Right Wenger I want footage released of Vermealen back in training and looking as scary good as he ever was.

  103. 26may1989 says:

    Chelsea announce loss of £70m and then spend another £70m on two players. Fair play regs, what fair play regs? Perhaps Abramovich is having a shit or bust, I’m so desperate for the CL climax to his time at the Bridge. All very strange.

    But given the two Chelsea games v United to come, plus none for us, perhaps it serves our short term interests?

    As for £35m for Caroll, bloody hell.

  104. Irishgunner says:

    Despite paying over the odds for Carroll – anyone else think Liverpool got the better end of the deal?

    Torres had no more interest in playing for Liverpool, seems to have lost his speed, is very much out of form, and more than anything – Robin van Persie style when it comes to glass body parts = time on the sidelines.

    Meanwhile, Liverpool sign two very good young players (again for over the odds but that is today’s game) who could well form a lethal partnership – Carroll the strength to Suarez’ guile.

  105. London says:

    And worse they will be commited to Liverpool where as Torres certainly wasn’t.

    Hi Irish nice to hear from you, this is just a flying visit, night night.

  106. Irishgunner says:

    Hi London – catch ye tomorrow game time, have been buy the last two weeks working over time – gotta fund my trip to the Emirates in two weeks 😀

  107. Irishgunner says:

    *busy (not buy)

  108. Neamman says:

    As Liverpool was not in the CL, does this mean Torres can play in the CL for Chelsea?

  109. RockyLives says:

    Great review of the game and ratings. With you 100%.
    Very busy at work at moment so will be a rare visitor for next couple of days, but my one thought on the transfer business (apart from regret that we haven’t signed a CB) is this:
    The Carroll transfer will come to be seen as great business for Liverpool: Carroll and Suarez are the new Toshack and Keegan.

  110. kelsey says:

    Newcastle came in for bendtner at the eleventh hour at 17 million and were flatly refused.

  111. 26may1989 says:

    @Neamman: If I remember correctly, under CL regs, clubs can add three players to their CL squad after January, one of whom can have played in the Europa League. If my memory is right, Chelsea could therefore play Torres in the CL but I don’t know the position on Luiz; if he played CL football this year, he couldn’t play CL for Chelsea but if he played in the Europa League, Chelsea would have to choose between him and Torres. Assuming my recall is accurate……

  112. London says:

    Morning Kelsey

    Very believable call on Bendtner.

    Interesting that Bartley moved from Sheff U to Rangers I can only assume that that was done to give him a slightly stiffer challenge in what, I suppose, we might assume will be a return to the good guys at the beggining of next season.

  113. mickydidit89 says:

    I think you are all being very very brave indeed. My hat is doffed. Me thinks Arsene has dropped a very large one. An injury to JD or Kos and we are in very deep trouble. I know it is very un-ArsenalArsenal of me, but I am sulking. Upside down smiley face!
    Back later.

  114. 26may1989 says:

    Micky, it’s defers a gamble not to have brought in a CB (or perhaps a DM), but that gamble is for what happens in Feb and March. We have our games vs Barça but the fixtures aren’t intimidating beyond that, either in number or oppo. I’d have loved it if we’d got a high quality loan in but seems that wasn’t available. Still feeling optimistic!

  115. kelsey says:

    I agree micky,but Wenger won’t move on his stance on value for money.

    Apparently Carroll cost 36 million + add ons for half a season in the premiership and a character to match some of the worst.

  116. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    Evening all

    Gee the poop has hit the fan @ The Poo over Torres 😆

  117. Carlito11 says:

    Biggest positive from the transfer window- Torres to face ManU twice more this season! Gives me hope 🙂

  118. Gooner in Exile says:

    I’m happy we’re not buying players at the current inflated prices. I fear we will never buy an English player again due to their inflated prices, we will raise all our English players in house from now on).

    We also know we cannot compete on wages, and with financial fair play round the corner we shouldn’t.

    It’s now up to UEFA to enforce these rules for all clubs. No footballing loss allowed, City and Chavs are in big trouble. Altho Chavs £70m loss is due to player revaluations. The only thing that worries me is if both Chavs and City can manipulate sponsorship income to fix rules, Chavs sponsored by RuskyMafiaOil and City sponsored by any one of the Sheikhs businesses.

  119. Rasp says:


    Like most I am mildly disappointed but not surprised that we didn’t sign a defender. If it were possible, a utility player who could fill in at RB, CB and cover Song at DM … Grimandi?

    What does concern me is next summer and the following season. I doubt we will buy a ‘first team’ player over the summer. It is obvious that the other 5 of the top 6 (possibly with the exception of manu) intend to spend whatever it takes to get CL football. I don’t expect our transfer policy to change whether we (reportedly) have the money or not.

  120. dandan says:

    Rasp….. and neither should it, look at our squad and the quality coming through, we have had CL for 11 years doing it AW’s way.

    Imagine the money we can make selling the don’t quite make its, or the too many players in the way to make its, hopefully the profit can be channelled into wages enabling us to keep the players we want to maintain the challenge within the rules.

  121. London says:

    With Carrol going for 35 plus add ons I can’t see how our transfer policy could change.


    That is a good point about the possible abuse via sponsorship but it’s worth remembering that it will be fairly easy to expose and UEFA being the ultimate power should be able to stop it very quickly.

  122. Rasp says:

    Morning dandan, if only we would sell some of the ‘don’t quite make its’ as you describe. They only serve to act as a distraction. When does the statute of limitations on ‘potential that is never realised’ expire?

  123. London says:

    Dandan put it better than I could.

  124. Rasp says:

    Its such a shame that Frimpong got injured as he could well have been the understudy for Song we’ve been looking for – maybe next season.

  125. London says:

    How are they be a distraction? If one of them has a half decent season they will be worth 35 mil alla Carroll at which point we have a choice of selling or keeeping.

  126. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    If Crawley Town had the same size debt & as many suger daddies as manchester united has had over the years, they would probably start favourites in the 5th round of the FA Cup.

  127. London says:

    Well I agree with you about Frimpong.

  128. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    Watching that calculated response by Kenny Dalgleish over the Torres move took me back to his post 1989 press response after The Arsenal stuffed them as well 😆

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