Dopey Diaby – Destroyer Diaby: which one will we get next season?

Written by Total Arsenal

“When you think of your wife that she is pretty, she becomes pretty – if you think she is not pretty she slowly loses confidence and becomes not pretty. It is the same for players: you have to believe in them, that makes them feel that they have a certain strength”.
Arsene Wenger (when talking about discovering Vieira on the DVD ‘Arsene’s 11).

Seldom have I seen a football player like Abou Diaby. On the one hand he oozes class and potential, a beautiful athlete: a modern day gladiator. On the other hand he seems to struggle badly at times with being able to focus on the field, and achieving consistency in his performance. In every game he has a spell of being the destroyer: great tackles, followed by powerful, mazy runs, precision passes, regular assists and a great goal now and again.

Just have a look at this again:

Unfortunately, often he also has spells in which he seems to switch off, becoming almost dopey, uninterested and sloppy; without much focus or energy.

I am saying here, he seems to switch off and lack focus and energy at times, because of course I do not know him: I have never spoken to him, and I have never spoken to anybody who knows him. I am only drawing conclusions from what I can see on the TV screen and during the occasionally game in a stadium. Yet, it is so easy to judge and label a player from the comfort of a seat at home, or at a football ground, without questioning our own motives and attitudes towards other people.

Are you a ‘Theory X’ or a ‘Theory Y’ Gooner?

For me one of the most useful classic theories in (People) Management is ‘Theory X and Theory Y’ developed by Douglas McGregor. They describe two different attitudes towards workforce motivation, which can easily be applied to football as well.

The Theory X manager assumes employees (footballers) are inherently lazy and will avoid work if they can, and that they inherently dislike work. Usually these managers feel the sole purpose of the employee’s (footballer’s) interest in the job is money.

A Theory Y manager believes that, given the right conditions, most employees (footballers) will want to do well ‘at work’. They believe that the satisfaction of doing a good job is a strong motivator in the workplace, and that employees (footballers) are not primarily motivated by money.

This is a simple theory and has its critics, but I have found it very helpful in dealing with people and fellow football fans alike. Seldom have I encountered a pure X-er or a pure Y-er, but people tend to polarize towards either X, or Y on a 80/20 basis. ‘Pure’X-fans tend to quickly jump on players, say that they are lazy, money-grabbing bastards, their attitude stinks, and as a result they will quickly show their dissatisfaction towards any player who falls into this category. ‘Pure’ Y-fans on the other hand, tend to give players who underperform the benefit of the doubt, believe that external circumstances rather than motivational issues are the cause of a player not living up to expectations. They are very unlikely to taunt a player and would always look for ways to remain positive and supportive.

Diaby: bad attitude or lack of confidence/focus?

The ability to focus and concentrate, and to get the very best out of yourself is a special quality. It is not automatically there in every player and it is also not simply a matter of choice by a player. Some players have focus and concentration in abundance: Flamini, Keown, Fabregas, Wilshere, Sagna, RvP for example. Other players seem to struggle with it at times: Arshavin, Clichy, Almunia and Diaby come to mind.

Yet, what really bugs me is how easy we, the fans, mix up an apparent sporadic inability to concentrate and focus and/or a lack of confidence by a player, with a perceived bad attitude of that player. We come to the conclusion so quickly that some players are only in it for the money, that they do not care about Arsenal, are lazy and that they are letting us all down. Worryingly, we are seeing now a growing trend where fans are expressing these views venomously during home games and on the blogs. By doing this, there is a big risk of a vicious circle being created for players like Diaby:

  1. An occasional lack of focus and concentration;
  2. Is followed by moans and groans by the fans during games as well as complaints etc on websites after games, which then the press is very happy to pick up on, and magnify as much as they like;
  3. Which easily leads to a further reduction in self-confidence by the player who is targeted;
  4. With the likely outcome of even more mistakes/ underperformances, leading to even more and louder jeers and taunts; etc, etc.


If a player truly is lazy and does not give his all for the club, he should be treated with the disdain he deserves.

But, I am going to put my neck out here by saying that we do not have these sorts of players. Wenger would not let them wear the shirt. Players like Abou Diaby need our trust, need us to believe in them and support them, and give them the benefit of doubt when things go wrong occasionally. Of course all players need this, but some need it more than others. Only then will we avoid seeing Abou retreating in his shell again; only then will we see an improvement in focus, concentration and performances; only then will we more regularly witness the Destroyer that Diaby has within him; only then will we see his full potential come through. We, the fans, have a huge responsibility to help and support our players to become the gladiators they have within them, rather than let them crumble in front of 60.000 fans.


In order to do that, we have to question our own attitudes and motives a bit more: suppress the X-type tendencies as much as possible, and allow the Y-type characteristics in us to come to the fore.

188 Responses to Dopey Diaby – Destroyer Diaby: which one will we get next season?

  1. evonne says:

    Hiya Total, you made a very good point. Every player on the pitch is there for a reason. The 90mins that we see twice a week is only a fraction of the time the manager has to watch his players.

    I have heard players talking about collegues who underperform during matches, but are perfectly capable of brilliance during training.

    They are young lads, often sensitive and suseptible to open hostility of own fans. The suporters can make or brake a player.

  2. evonne says:

    Harry – football in bikinis? Why not? I would not object to football with g-strings only, but for both sexes 🙂

  3. harry says:

    I thought for a second i was reading an article on differential calculus for a second, xy…..Nice one TA……

    I am more of a “Y” I will look for a positive and give chances, I have done this on countless occasions for diaby, he is an enigma…..

    I always revert back to the Caling Cup final against Chelsea, when he totally dominated the game, until he kicked terry in the head and went off injured…….

    He has power, deceptive pace, close control, strength, a real ability to hold off just about any player, his weakness seems to be his decision making, football intelligence……….

    IF the mass exodus does occur he will be a big player for us next season, maybe even a slot in the middle is for the taking………….

    If he played to his max in all games, he would be virtually unplayable, but unfortunately I cannot see him sustaining that level………

  4. Adam says:

    Hard to know what is going on with him when he seems to spend more time on the treatment table than the pitch. Talented player but the very last thing that Arsenal need, apart from Almunia of course.

  5. harry says:

    Evonne you wouldnt want to see me in a mankini…….thats for sure…..

  6. goonermichael says:

    I’ve never forgiven terry for headbutting diabys foot. Or lewin for saving the chavs life.

  7. Rasp says:

    Super post TA. No-one questions Diaby’s undoubted talent, but what he needs is a run of games and unfortunately he seems to get injured every time he begins to gain some momentum.

    I was at the Emirates when that thug Robinson scythed him down minutes after he came onto the pitch. The ref didn’t even give a card for what was an atrocious tackle and the result was that poor Diaby was out for another 6 or 7 weeks – he’s not been lucky.

    He is plainly not lazy, but his body language may give that impression as he has a languid style of movement, but he is devastating when he pushes the throttle.

  8. evonne says:

    Harry – I would, I love a good giggle 🙂

  9. kelsey says:

    Interesting article about the enigma called Diaby.
    You have summed up him perfectly but many people were under the illusion that as he was a Viera lookalike he would play like him.
    His natural game is to attck and he can be quite breath takingly good and for that reason when he has a poor period in a game it gets over emphasized as we know he can be a class act.
    Stamina is something that interests me as apart from Diaby, Arshavin and Walcott also tend to flit in and out of games.
    Given an injury free run I would suggest he is still an asset to the squad,and maybe mentally he still hasn’t recoveredfrom his leg break.
    We are just fans and reportedly we are trying to sell him,so I don’t really know what is behind Wenger’s thinking.

  10. kelsey says:

    i will come back to you another time about my thoughts on yesterday.

  11. dandan says:

    TA super article, you got it in one mate not much I can add other than, Common sense should tell fans if you get on a players back the load will soon be to heavy to take.
    Confidence is an enormously powerful but fragile thing, when the boo boys and groaners destroy that there is no way back for the player, no matter how good a motivator the manager is.
    Which is why players like Henry can be bit part players in Italy and a super star in England, a little love goes a long way. but if a player feels he will be crucified if he makes a mistake why the hell would he want the ball or try to make the killer pass if he knows a mistake will be treated with derision

  12. kelsey says:

    more bullshit in today’s papers but I wager that Usmanov will be making noises this coming week just to rock the boat even more.

  13. dave highbury says:

    This injuries rubbish – we’ve been through with Van Persie. Some of you would have gotten rid of him!
    The good qualities that Diaby has, you cannot learn – you cannot go up close to him or he will take you and leave you for ded. This gives us time on the ball as you have to step back off of him. Because of this he can totally dominate the opposition especially the bigger matches.
    He can transform defense into attack in NO TIME AT ALL.
    The things we don’t like about Diaby – CAN BE LEARNT.
    It was Naz’s turn to come good last season, It is Diaby’s this season.
    Diaby is on my Arsenal top. I have not wavered despite the pressure from my mates. I know once he channels his anger into the game, he will be frightening. I’ve seen it many times in Highbury Grove, and Highbury Fields. ONE run of games this season, and I expect a written apology from my mates…. signed lol

  14. Diaby has had some great games, been a real power house and scored some fantastic goals. He is clearly very talented but his decision making when playing deep is often what lets him down.

    I’ve always thought he should be used further forward where he doesn’t have too many choices to make – just go for goal ………

  15. He has unfortunately been one of the square pegs shoved in a round hole much too often.

  16. chas says:

    Nice one, TA

    My favourite Diaby assist….

  17. dave highbury says:

    By the way TOTALFOOTBALL… my favorite write -up for ages. You are so bang on about the fans roll to recognise the importance of our support for particular players. The game against Everton (2-1) comeback, and ofcourse Barca (2-1) come back. Nice one.

  18. harry says:

    Bang on rasp, he aint lazy, its his languid style which belies his explosive ability……….

    BUt as you say he is so unlucky with injuries, if he played WiWo he would improve immensely……………..And l think we should always give him a little bit of room due to the fact wenger plays him out of position a lot……

  19. SPECTRUM says:

    Diaby is injury prone and inconsistent. And probably lazy. Not up to Arsenal standard.
    The blog writer says we should “Trust, believe in, and support ” such players. Then the same reasoning could be applied to Almunia, Denilson, Rosicky and the rest of the deadwood at our club. Are you serious ? Have the last few years taught you nothing ? We have far too many non performers on the books, and on inflated salaries. These types need removing, not mollycoddling. Wenger has been far too soft and patient with them.
    It’s revealing how no-one wants to buy them off us. Tells you something about Wenger’s judgement.
    “In Arsene we rust.”

  20. Kev Kinoti says:

    True, confidence is a major issue in Diaby’s game, in the few games he has scored he is virtually unstoppable. Another reason why he is still an asset to the arsenal team is that he happens to perform better when he leads the midfield (when Cesc isn’t playing). I have a feeling when Cesc leaves (which seems the case), he will be the unlikely heir apparent and the midfield general as long as he remains injury free.

  21. Taryur says:

    TA…Thumbs up 4 dis article,i must confess…its d best av eva read.ur use of english is outstanding.
    Uv said it all…wht more can i say dan, Arsenal shd gv hm d benefit of doubt…diaby’s fantastik wn he’s got da vibes…dis article rocks

  22. dandan says:

    Not wishing to be rude, but am I the only one who finds that specrum reminds him of a well schooled parrot, no matter the blog subject, the verbal is the same.

  23. TotalArsenal says:

    Thanks AA’ers! The final version of the post included an introduction quote by Arsene (Rasp/Peaches must have used an earlier version):

    “When you think of your wife that she is pretty, she becomes pretty – if you think she is not pretty she slowly loses confidence and becomes not pretty. It is the same for players: you have to believe in them, that makes them feel that they have a certain strength”.
    Arsene Wenger (when talking about discovering Vieira on the DVD ‘Arsene’s 11).

  24. Sorry TA, my fault, I’ll add your AW quote onto the front of the post in a while.

  25. TotalArsenal says:

    Dave H, Taryur, nice to see you on AA – glad you liked the post.

  26. Spectrum – you know your sign off comment gets up people’s noses, you’ll just start a blog battle if you use it on here so try and refrain please 🙂

  27. TotalArsenal says:

    No worries Peaches 😉

  28. It’s done 😉

  29. I know I shouldn’t but I had Talksport on in the car and they’re laying into us big-time ……………………..

    Is there any sense in letting Nasri run his contract down? In other words keeping him for the next year, letting him play as the playmaker, win the title and then maybe he’ll want to stay …….

    Naive, I know …………………………….

  30. SPECTRUM says:

    dandan – It’s the same, because everything the club itself does is the same, or haven’t you noticed ? I wish I could be more optimistic. But the club and its handling of matters, give me no reason to be.
    If you don’t agree with what I say, then what is YOUR view ? Are you happy to see the club divided and ambitionless year after year ? It’s easy to criticise. But were YOU on the recent protest march, or are you pleased with the season ticket rise, and the crap we get dished up in return for it ?

  31. TotalArsenal says:

    Spectrum, obviously there comes a time when players have had their chance, and I agree with you on Rosicky and Almunia, maybe Denilson too, although I believe he is a late-developer, just like Diaby. There is not another manager around who can turn decent players into great players like Wenger does. Maybe you need to polish away the rust from your spectrum.

  32. TotalArsenal says:

    Cheers Peaches 🙂

  33. SPECTRUM says:

    Peachesgooner – O.K . But I would have thought that given the state of things around the club, you and some of the other die – hards on here would have more empathy with the term “rust” by now. With some it takes a bit longer I guess…..

  34. dandan says:

    Of course I was not stupid enough to join that pointless and farcical march, neither do I think the season ticket rises unreasonable, I am also old enough to remember the time when we did play rubbish. Certainly not since AW arrived.
    As for AW his contribution to Arsenal has been massive, but then I expect Booing players and joining futile marches counts as support in your rust filled blinkered eyes.

  35. SPECTRUM says:

    dandan – Not fazed with your ticket price rise ? You’re content to be treated as a cash cow – to be milked by the board every season ? And what return are you getting on your investment ? Where are the big name, experienced, quality players we were supposed to be getting for instance ?
    And no defensive coach required ? Guess defence isn’t in the Wenger dictionary. He has implied we will be waiting till the end of the month to buy players. Why isn’t he acting with the urgency we require NOW, and beating the other clubs to it ?
    The board love “supporters” like you. Played for a sucker.
    “In Arsene we rust.”

  36. Spectrum – have you read yesterdays post?

  37. harry says:

    Spectrum, theres a middle ground in the arguement somewhere, I understand your frustrations and comments made to a point……I am in the middle, I am not a die hard, wenger can do no wrong, for me he has made several mistakes, but they are far outweighed by his acheivements here at the Arsenal………

    I gave him 2 years, a few years back and said if he didnt get us back in there I would too call for him to move upstairs…..

    For me, he has kept us in there against a backdrop of many limitations that none us truly know the truth about, I would agree a little tweak here and there, then maybe we could / should have won the CC and PL at least once…….Upto now I can see within reason where he is going and what we need, we are close……

    This is a massive summer for him, some of the constraints have loosened, this crisis of mass exodus doesnt help him, but he gets paid the big bucks, so he has to deal and get it right…….

    If he was to go and the alleged players as well, move would follow and then we would be in crisis………

    For now, In arsene we must trust…………

  38. harry says:

    more would follow………peaches I need edit ability………?

  39. SPECTRUM says:

    peachesgooner – You mean the one at the top of this page ? Yes, most ( not all ) of it I don’t agree with. Have YOU read my post about it at 11:41 ?

  40. No yesterdays post Spectrum – if you look in the side-bar you can see the last 11 posts listed……………..

  41. Harry – I’ll put you in, you need to be signed in through wordpress though

  42. dandan says:

    Sorry Spectrum since when was a season ticket an investment, it is for the hire of a seat for the season to watch an entertainment, no different to Covent Garden only cheaper.

    An investment is buying shares as the Arsenal trust do and our American and Russian friends have done big time.
    If you don’t like the entertainment don’t buy the ticket.

  43. Harry – don’t press any buttons you shouldn’t please 😉

  44. dandan says:

    LOL not like me Harry 🙂 I have had to eat humble pie with the red headed dragon.

  45. Ha ha ha dandan 🙂 and what did you do this morning to our friend kelsey 🙄

  46. dandan says:

    Filthy stuff he did put on there peaches, it had bad words like Liverpool and sex. 🙂 I ws gonna copy it but wordpress decided I wasnt, but I did speak to him and say sorry.

  47. SPECTRUM says:

    dandan – It’s an investment of your time and loyalty for 90 minutes or more every week for the whole season, is it not ? And by buying it, aren’t you trusting that the team will repay you by performing to a certain standard ? Well they let you down didn’t they ?
    If my trust was frequently betrayed, I’d make my feelings known, by boycotting games, yes. But that would not occur to you, would it ? Milking time.

  48. London says:

    You are not a season ticket holder Spectrum, I doubt you have ever been one or if you were you certainly have not been one for a long time. The reason I know this is because people like me who pay our money to watch every game at the beginning of the season do so in the desire to support the team. We would not spend our money in the first place if that were not the case. Season ticket holders go to find the positives, we go in hope, we do not try and find fault at every turn as you do and it is because of that fact that I know you are not a season ticket holder, so stop moaning about ticket prices — you have no right.

  49. dandan says:

    Cheers London, well said

  50. dandan says:

    My time, my lifetime has been invested firstly in my family and friends, followed by my career which has supported my family and I in reasonable comfort.
    Then the Arsenal, my Arsenal who in my leisure time over the years have brought me enormous pleasure, tremendous highs and some lows, a lot of like thinking acquaintances that I have been fortunate to meet along the way, some of whom have become lifelong friends.
    As the club have given me and my friends so much over a great many years, why would we at a time of change act like spoilt children and rubbish the very institution that has helped provide us a lifelong interest and who next to our families has been the greatest constant in our lives.

    But Spectrum I would not expect you with your obvious need for instant self gratification through bragging rights to understand a word I am saying.

  51. evonne says:

    The funny thing is that the same people that moan about increase in ticket prices, demand that AW buys Big players. So in a nutshell, they do not want to contribute more, but retain their right to demand more. Hm, canot have your cake and eat it

  52. harry says:

    Time and loyalty for 90mins? I wish some arsenal fans would show that then maybe the team would respond………

    Agitated booing, moaning, lacklustre and leaving early, isnt loyalty???

  53. harry says:

    wheres these extra buttons dandan…….

  54. dandan says:

    If I told you the dragon would have to kill me Harry 🙂

  55. SPECTRUM says:

    dandan – I understand you’re passionate. I’m not saying you should give up on the club and never attend another match. That would be stupid. Keep your tradition by all means, but realise that the club ( at this point in our history) are taking you for granted, and feeding off your complacency. Can’t you see this ?
    What’s wrong with expecting , even demanding when necessary, that we take back “ownership” of our club? That we have higher levels of achievement to aspire to ? Obviously you don’t feel strongly enough to feel this way at present.

  56. evonne says:

    Another one for my spreadsheet – Daily Star reported that RvP wants a move

    Dandan – I strongly disagree with you about you comparing Arsenal to the Covent Garden entertainment. Even the worst performance of the Gunners are better than opera, at least you understand what is going on! In my youth I was forced to go to opera every single month, but it never grew on me, still dislike it. One football game at Highbury and I was hooked 🙂

  57. dandan says:

    Evonne I refuse to accept that Arsenal made you a hooker your pulling my leg 🙂

  58. dandan says:

    Because Spectrum we have never owned it we only ever supported it, so we have nothing to take back.

  59. SPECTRUM says:

    dandan – Er, I thought the fans ARE the club. Not from your perspective, it appears. Shouldn’t we therefore have a vital, albeit ( not controlling ) say in how it’s run ? Or are we just a commercial money making enterprise now, and not a football club anymore ? Which takes us back to my original point, doesn’t it ?

  60. SPECTRUM says:

    This is what we were discussing this time last year ( July 28th 2010 ). I posted a comment then, which is just as relevant now. As was the issues being discussed.
    This turned out to be prophetic : ” And what if Vermaelen picks up an Injury during the season?? “

  61. evonne says:

    Dandan!!!!! Don’t you start!!!
    My mother forbid me to tell her friends that I go to football games, only certain type of women would do such a thing 🙂

  62. dandan says:

    We are what we have always been, a famous club owned by shareholders and supported worldwide by millions of fans,a very small number of whom attend the matches.

    It is far more important financially that the club qualifies for Europe than the ground be full, fortunately we have achieved both of those objectives throughout Wengers Reign.

    This has kept us on the TV, increasing the revenue whilst at the same time, exposing the brand to more potential fans and increasing the sale of branded products worldwide again increasing revenue

    None of which affects the product which is football, it does however help to attract players who are more likely if all things are equal,to join a club with CL involvement.
    Wenger has delivered exactly what the board has asked of him and hopefully the new European financial constraints due to come into effect will see our club well set to prosper from his prudence and planning and start winning the trophies you desire so badly.
    This transfer window will to some degree be a litmus test as to where the club ambitions lie now the hard work has been done a realignment of the squad will necessarily take place, but that does not mean that we will try to compete in the gathering of household names, rather players that suit the system will be drafted in at whatever level of experience Wenger deems necessary.

  63. evonne says:

    Spectrum – I think most clubs are now commercial money making enterprises. The good old day that fans owned their beloved clubs are long gone. Same applies to local lads playing for the team. The globalisation of businesses has not left football untouched. Sadly, I agree, but unavoidable.

  64. harry says:

    I agree that this TW will determine the limit of this clubs ambition, but if they fail to invest, then why bother with the stadium in the first place>>>>>>>>>?

  65. TotalArsenal says:

    DanDan, very well said, once again 🙂 . Are you not getting tired at times of repeating the same stuff again and again to fans like Spectrum?

  66. tunde imam says:

    Diaby for me, has it in him. Wat is lacking is that xtra push dat stands btween d averge n d top players.he can be great if he realy want to be. I guess it up to him.

  67. WiganGooner says:

    Great post TA. Spectrum, in answer to your pressing arguments I would say this;

    As fans it is our job to support the club as best as we are able, with our hearts, with our minds and necessarily with our wallets.

    If you are a passionate supporter of anything it will cost you money, its something you have to expect for something that can give you so much.

    You can’t tell me that a rocking night at highbury/emirates and the memories Arsenal have given us isn’t worth our belief and support. I am Arsenal til I die, regardless what it costs because I believe. It’s a sacrifice we make for Arsenal, for the friendship and kinship with fellow gooners and the joy it brings.

    I know this, you can ask me in 50 years, regardless whether we win anything or not, I will still support Arsenal in every way I can.

    It’s an Arsenal life, nothing else matters.


  68. TotalArsenal says:

    Well said WG -> straight from the heart 🙂

  69. WiganGooner says:

    On the subject of the often abject Diaby, if its true that Galatasaray offered 10mil I wish we’d taken it…destroyer or not I’d rather have the cash than gamble.


  70. dandan says:

    TA we owe it to those that come behind us to try and show them the error of their ways, we are not always successful

  71. WiganGooner says:

    Well said DanDan, sometimes it can be a chore, but putting people on the path to enlightenment is rewarding too.


    I’m still working on my daft sister who supports Wimbledon for some reason…its a shame really…for someone so bright to be so wrong.


  72. dandan says:

    What can you do TA we are a friendly site, short of being downright rude which believe me I am more than capable of or banning them which Rasp rightly tries not todo. You can only try to give them a flavour of what being an old time Gooner means

  73. WiganGooner says:

    This is after all a site for discussion, I wholly accept the likes of Spectrum provided they are able to discuss and debate their views in a reasoned manner.

    Everyone is different and finds value in different things. My interest in Arsenal is soul-deep and therefore trophies do not make the team more important to me. A trophy, however wonderful it is does not make my love for Arsenal any stronger.

    Perhaps Spectrum doesn’t feel that love for Arsenal, I can’t knock him for that, but I feel sad that he can’t enjoy Arsnal the way I do.


  74. evonne says:

    Wigan – 🙂

  75. WiganGooner says:

    Sorry Evonne 🙂 heheh I’m having a beer in the Garden, it must be making me all soft and emotional lol


  76. dandan says:

    Wigan I have been supporting them for 60 years I think you could consider me with you.

  77. WiganGooner says:

    Good to hear it DanDan 🙂 I hate whacking myself up onto a pedestal of righteousness and then having to stand there by myself.

    I’d look lonelier than the MJ statue at Craven Cottage 🙂


  78. evonne says:

    Wigan – stay in the bloody Garden and have another beer 🙂 It was sooooo lovely what you’ve said xx

  79. WiganGooner says:

    I wish I could Evonne, unfortunately, or perhaps fortunately if you don’t agree with my sentimental side, I’m off out for tea and a few drinkies this fair evening. I’ll admit its a waste of evening sunshine and my own stash of tsing tao but the sun will be ere tomorrow and hopefully the sun will shine again 🙂

    I’ve gotta go get ready and I’m getting sunburnt so I’m gonna go inside and get myself all tarted up 🙂

    Enjoy everyone and I’ll try to get on tomoz…life has been so hectic this week I’m hoping for nothing but chillaxin tomorrow. 🙂


  80. evonne says:

    Wigan – enjoy whatever you do, speak tomorrow xx

  81. Jamie says:

    Isn’t Diaby going to miss the start of the season? I thought he might need an op?

  82. WiganGooner says:

    You too Evonne 🙂 enjoy!!

    Have a fab Sat night everyone 🙂

    Jamie, no idea – I thought he was recovering from an injury, but it needed rest.


  83. SharkeySure says:

    Cracking post Total.

    I despair when I hear of fans who want Diaby sold. I just don;t accept that a man with that much talent has no place in our squad.

    I recognises his shortcomings, but think that we need to support him and push him on. Maybe Cesc leaving could see him flourish.

    His injury record is an absolute bitch though. RVP seems to have moved on from his, so lets hope that Abou can do the same.

    Evening all

  84. SharkeySure says:

    London 2.51 and DanDan 3.21.

    Brilliant !

    When did supporting a club start to mean demanding success instead of hoping for it..??

  85. TotalArsenal says:

    Agreed Sharkey, he has incredible talent and with a bit more luck with injuries and a bit more maturity, he could be become pivotal in our team this season. He is versatile and as result can play in various positions. I quite fancy him on left midfield (competing with Arshavin), or possibly behind RvP in a 4-4-2.

  86. dandan says:

    Sharkey 8:25 What a superb sentence says it all for me. thank you my friend

  87. evonne says:

    Hiya Sharkey, I don’t think RvP’s injury was quite as bad as Abu Diaby’s. Robin’s brake wasn’t even diagnosed at first, whereas we had all seen Diaby’s foot hanging sideways. Plus, he was much younger, mental scars can be deeper than the actual injury, don’t you think?

  88. SharkeySure says:

    DD. All I’ve done is paraphrase you and London !!

    I loved every single word of both of those posts, and your closing line really is as good as it gets.

    Off to read the rest, whilst I wait for he big fight.

    I’ve renewed my onlinefooty subscription today as they are showing the fight. Happy days !!

  89. evonne says:

    Sharkey, don’t go away yet!!!
    Do you think the Hay Maker will win tonight? I don’t 😦
    I recon Klitchko will give him about 6 rounds and then knockt he living daylights out of our hero.

  90. SharkeySure says:

    ETL – I agree that their injury records are quite different, but just wanted to make the point that if Abou can overcome his, in the way that RVP did last season, then he’s got a real chance.

    We just need Abou to string some games together and get in the groove.

  91. SharkeySure says:

    Oops, Hi Evonne The Legend !

    Hows you and your bees bumbling along these days..??

  92. evonne says:

    ok, fair point. I like him and recon he will come through and deliver

  93. evonne says:

    Sharkey, I wish you didn’t call me that, brings bad memories 😦
    Bees are fine, it’s the rest of the zoo that gives me headache. You should see me with 3 black dogs and a black cat following going for a walk in the woods 🙂 I blame it on Peaches, but does she care??

  94. SharkeySure says:

    Peaches made you get three dogs, a cat, and a beehive..??

    Mind control..??

  95. evonne says:

    Sharkey – no, not really. But 2 identical dogs are Peaches’ daughter’s fault 🙂 I love them really

    So, what do you think about tonight’s fight?

  96. SharkeySure says:

    Not too sure what to think really, just hope its a good fight !

    I’ll try to stop that ETL thing…not today though. I’m odd like that.

    You should have no qualms about that day. Mail me for my full faults about that if you like.

  97. SharkeySure says:

    thoughts not faults …lol

    The human mind ‘eh !!!

  98. evonne says:

    Ok, will ask Peaches for your email
    I’d love David to win, but not sure he can. Apparently, they love Klitchko in Germany, huge support. If they go the whole distance, Hayes will probabl lose on points. My son waned to go, but this weekend flights were too expensive, about £600 return.
    Good night xx

  99. Gooner in Exile says:

    Evening all.

    First things first TA that is one cracking post and it’s hard not to agree that Diaby if encouraged and given regular games could become the destroyer.

    As for DD, London and others you all sum up what supporting football is all about.

    I spent today at a bit of a family reunion and to a man all but one were Gooners, including my Great Uncle Len. My Dads brother the Spud is the exception he was winding me up with his “6 years no trophy” boredom line.
    I just asked him if two league cups in twenty years was worth all the hurt.

    Then told him I’d lost count of the exact number of times i’ve seen Arsenal lift the Championship Trophy and asked whether he could remember Spurs doing that in his lifetime which is considerably longer? Cue silence.

  100. TotalArsenal says:

    GiE, that’s an easy fight to win 😉

  101. SharkeySure says:

    Thats true Total…I don’t know why any fans bar Man U or Chelsea try to use it against us.

    Cracking 3rd round in the big fight

  102. TotalArsenal says:

    Hey Sharkey, boxing isn’t my thing, but hope you are enjoying the BF. Even Chelsea fans would have some nerve to try and make a success-comparison with us. Unless of course they feel buying pots is completely ethical 😆

  103. London says:

    Has anyone apart from me been foolish enough to look at the BBC gossip column? Not only are we loosing Fabregas, Nasri, Clichy but apparently we are now loosing Arshavin to Galatasary. At this rate we are not going to have any players at the start of the season.

  104. dandan says:

    Evening London take a deep breath and a dose of your own press cynicism and you will feel better. It will be OK You know it makes sense 🙂

  105. TotalArsenal says:

    London, I just had a look at Le Grove blog, and there are hundreds of comments like yours on there (and a lot worse). ‘Knowing’ you a bit though, I reckon your comment is tongue in cheek ?! 🙄

  106. Harry says:

    GIE, Nice one you mashed that spud……..

  107. TotalArsenal says:

    Evening DanDan, you baby-sitting again?

  108. TotalArsenal says:

    Hey Harry, thanks for your comments today. I was, as usual, broadly agreeing with you, so did not react at the time.

  109. London says:

    Evening Dandan

    I don’t really take that stuff seriously I read it for the comedy value more than anything. I find your view that you expect the first three names to go more interesting. Naturally, we are all guessing but I like to tot up at the beginning of a season who came closest in their predictions.
    I expect Clichy to be at the club at the beginning of the season I am getting a bit worried about Fabregas but I feel certain that Nasri will be with us. A potential Arshavin move is interesting possibility though.

  110. dandan says:

    Not this time TA been doing some on line stuff. Grandaughters birthday tomorrow so will be partying there though you are only 6 once LOL

  111. London says:

    Evening TA

    Good post, Diaby is always an interesting subject and the angle you approached it at made a refreshing change.

    BTW, you are getting to know me; my comment certainly was said tongue in cheek.

  112. dandan says:

    Its a lottery London but personally I will be astonished if Clichy stays with us. Nasri is the only one I have doubts about. Arshavin is interesting in that it makes a change in shape even more likely

  113. TotalArsenal says:

    How many grandsons & daughters do you have dandan? They seem to keep you busy.

  114. London says:

    Hmmm, I like these chats, uncompetative exchange of views.

  115. London says:

    Night, night folks, bed is calling.

  116. dandan says:

    Indeed they do TA I have four between 2 and 6, then 13, 16,17 and one 21 two days ago at Uni so a busy life but they are magic. Tell you what spectrum would find his season ticket cheaper 🙂

  117. SharkeySure says:

    TA. Why oh why did you have to mention LeGroan&Moan and give me a reason to go and look over there.

    The Samaritans really should buy up some adspace on that site

  118. TotalArsenal says:

    Transfer gossip has become such a business now. Yesterday, I visited the Dutch website ‘Voetbal International’ who do a daily ‘Transfer (gossip) Diary’ for both Dutch clubs and the rest of Europe. The entire piece was about the alleged transfers from and to Arsenal. Bloody rediculous.

  119. dandan says:

    From what I understand Sharkey, the great virtue of that site is that you only need a limited vocabulary with mainly four letter words and you are home and hosed

  120. SharkeySure says:

    Just caught up with this bit of top class irony:

    “TA…Thumbs up 4 dis article,i must confess…its d best av eva read.ur use of english is outstanding.
    Uv said it all…wht more can i say dan, Arsenal shd gv hm d benefit of doubt…diaby’s fantastik wn he’s got da vibes…dis article rocks”

    Yes he did actually say the following words: “ur use of english is outstanding”

    Wetting myself here – with apologies to the author, although a part of me thinks (hopes?) its someone on a wind up. If so, then its quite clever.

    Night all

  121. dandan says:

    OK good night all, gonna need some energy tomorrow

  122. TotalArsenal says:

    Wow dandan, they will help keeping you young at heart 😆

  123. TotalArsenal says:

    night London, forgot to ask you whether you are a follower of the Tour de France. I’ll try again tomorrow.

  124. SharkeySure says:

    DD – I’ve always been thankful to that site for its ‘care in the community’ approach, and most of all cos it generally keeps them all in one place.

    I think its a sort of Victorian approach to dealing with the feeble minded. Give them somewhere to go, then lock the door behind them when they get there. You then let everyone else know where they are, so that they know to to stay away.

    Simple but effective..??

  125. TotalArsenal says:

    Sharkey, yes that was very funny, one way or the other!

  126. dandan says:

    Gnite Sharkey, I have never been there, but your summation confirms what I have heard elsewhere.

  127. TotalArsenal says:

    But Sharkey, it is scary, some of these Le Gr*ve posts have more than a thousand comments: how many feeble minded Wenger haters are out there?

  128. WiganGooner says:

    Yawn…night was good….anyone still up? 🙂


  129. WiganGooner says:

    Fine, I’ll go sleepy then!!

    Na night all!!


  130. Rohan says:

    Le Grove isn’t all that bad, you know! Granted there is some unneeded bile and some proper !@#*s (insert word of choice) you do find some great characters and most of all some great debate.
    You just need to look beneath the surface. Ignore the stuff spouted by some, but you’ll get a good albeit sometimes heated debate there.
    There’s a reason it gets 1000 comments. Not every post agrees with each other. I tend to disagree with about 70% of the stuff on there, and I do engage in meaningful debate as Sharkey (I hope) will testify to. I do think sometimes that I am a sucker for for conflict though. 😀

    Having said that, this is a great blog with excellent posts that are a great departure from the norm that I enjoy. Try and read it most days although don’t engage in the comments section as it’s almost always dead when I’m on. (I live Stateside these days)

    Either way, nice dropping in here. Just though I’d stick up for Le Grove where I’ve been blogging for 2.5 years now. Don’t tar everyone with the proverbial brush. Not everyone on there is “feeble minded Wenger hater”.

    No one will probably read this but if anyone does, I’d appreciate it if someone could repost it in tomorrow’s comments section.

    Chin up, and keep the faith.

  131. London says:

    “Chelsea are to launch a shock bid for Arsenal winger Theo Walcott.”
    (Mail on Sunday)

    This one made me laugh out loud for a second, 10 out of 10 for creativity.

  132. Gooner in Exile says:

    Rohan it’s an interesting take. Glad you enjoy reading here and your comments and views are welcome. Admittedly we are not all around at 4am.

    I have read LeGrove occasionally and whilst the articles can be good the comments section boils a fury inside as many can seem shortsighted.

    1000 comments is indeed good in the debates sense but it is probably too many for me to be able to keep up with. And some posters are prolific in their posting and stubbornly repeat the same theory. I find the debate moves on here disagreements are aired but everyone tries to accept the others PoV and move on rather than continue to flog a dead horse. Altho sometimes this is forgotten and we are all guilty at times of continuing a debate too long.

  133. evonne says:

    Morning, so far we have Nasri, Cesc, Clichy, RvP, Arshavin, Nic and now Walcott leaving. If the exodus goes on we will only have Denilson to wear the shirt

  134. chas says:

    Rohan, I don’t think it’ll need reposting because I’d imagine most of the AA bloggers read all of the comments they’ve missed since they were last on.

    I think you hit upon one of the reasons for LG’s popularity; that is, you’ll usually find someone to talk to, which is a large part of its appeal.

    Up the Arse, keep up the good work.

  135. Gooner in Exile says:

    See you’ve given yourself a way to amuse yourself today London 😀

  136. chas says:

    Evonne, Denilson is getting a specially-made version of the new crest which says ‘sideways’ on it instead of ‘forward’…..
    (courtesy of an old Tuesday club podcast).

  137. evonne says:

    Chas – brilliant 🙂
    10 days and we are playing Malaysia, great. I’m becoming very restless, weekends seem to drag on forever

  138. chas says:

    The women’s world cup should keep us entertained today, Evonne

    Australia v Equatorial Guinea , GpD, 13:00
    Brazil v Norway , GpD, 17:15

    I didn’t even know there was a country called Equatorial Guinea!

  139. Morning all

    Does anyone want to write a few words for a post for this morning as we don’t have anything waiting otherwise we can chat on this one …………………….

  140. chas says:

    “Arsenal WON’T let Theo Walcott go to Chelsea”.
    (The Sunday Mercury)

    It’s ok, London, the Sunday Mercury says it WON’T happen. 🙂

  141. evonne says:

    Chas – I said yesterday, that I don’t really like women’s football. Having said that, I noticed that the girls have improved their game greatly and are much more watchable these days. Harry likes watching the bikini version on russian TV, strange…

  142. evonne says:

    Morning Peaches – could you kindly send me Mr Sharkey’s email? We would like to chat in private 🙂

    Just a little suggestion – the WW2 years – we played our games at Shite Heart Lane, how did that go, does anyone know? Were other matches played? I am sure some of you guys have fathers and grandfathers telling some stories

  143. chas says:

    Evonne, I saw your comment (and Harry’s….btw, how does he know what he looks like in a mankini?).

    I turned on the USA v Colombia game yesterday, but soon went back to the tennis as it was pretty tedious. So I know what you’re saying.

    …….might have to look into that Russian TV programme. 🙂

  144. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Morning all,
    3 Lobsters to talk about all day !!!!!
    Please, please don’t ask me to write a post, as there can only be one topic, and I will fit it in.

  145. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Some great chat here yesterday.
    Funnily enough, the Arshavin away stories would appear the most logical to me, plus his picture is not in the promo material.

  146. TotalArsenal says:

    Harry in a mankini? Harrilarious 😆

  147. 3 Lobsters!!!!!!!!!!!!! Fantastic – I’m on my way, be there by tea-time, save me some please xx

  148. evonne says:

    Chas – yeah!!!! How does Harry know how he looks in a mankini???? Harry ……

  149. chas says:

    Evonne, just had a quick look and found this…

    It says that the exhibition runs until July 4th, so there’s your boring Sunday catered for. 🙂

    My old man had a couple of single sheet programmes from the early war years, but I think they were for games at Highbury. They had ‘what to do in an Air Raid’ instructions on the back.

  150. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Was out all day, so have just Sky Sported. Kvitova beat Sharapova, blimey. Haye got beaten, hooray. Robbie Keane is on the move, oh.

  151. Gooner in Exile says:

    West Ham are obviously having a bit of a clear out and there’s a lad there I have always liked and think could do a job for us….Mark Noble.

    In terms of top flight football he’s had a few good seasons. Relatively young and a good box to box runner. He’d be as much of a gamble as Cahill or Samba IMHO.

  152. I need majority decision about whether to stress myself writing a new post – haven’t really got the time tbh – or to chat away on here

    Please show your hands bloggers 😉

  153. Did I hear that the scummers are applying for financial help from the local authority to build their new home?

  154. MickyDidIt89 says:

    A one word post Peaches.

  155. evonne says:

    Peaches – yes! please write a post

  156. chas says:

    peaches, how about Micky’s suggestion from a while back about a one word post? How about “Exodus?”. 🙂

  157. evonne says:

    Chas – that’s amazing!! Thank you very much, I am definitely going to go today.

  158. chas says:

    Micky 🙂

  159. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Oooo, that’s a bit harsh Evonne.

  160. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Genisis, for the optimists!

  161. ……….. and before we have a massive attack on LG it would be good to remember, that as a blog, we were bourne from that friendly site and a lot of us met there 😀

  162. MickyDidIt89 says:


  163. chas says:

    Revelations, for the pessimists!

  164. Exodus or Genesis? 😉

    The problem is that when we publish an article it appears on NN and if there isn’t any content we’ll look a bit silly ……….

  165. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Who needs a post? 🙂

  166. Gooner in Exile says:

    Indeed you did Peaches. Seems they are desperate to get the stadium cheaply.

    I haven’t got time to write a post.

    Why not just do one of the oft proposed Headline ……. A sentence and let us roll.

    I’ve just emailed you

  167. chas says:

    Don’t do it then, peaches.

    Though perhaps it would be amusing for people to click on the title Exodus. And the post just says, “Everybody’s gone”

  168. MickyDidIt89 says:

    I am off out for most of the day as my children are both playing a Football Tournament. On a day when the sun is shining, the tide is a springer and the visibility is superb. Grrrr….
    and yes, I said three lobsters!

  169. Gooner in Exile says:

    😀 Chas

  170. Gooner in Exile says:

    How many Lobsters Micky?

  171. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Three GiE 🙂
    Can you believe it.

  172. Harry says:

    If I got up earlier I would done one, just off to foooty training now…….Been wearing my mankini round the house, getting some pictures done for Evonne……

    BUt your right, it needs to resemble an article for the newsnow scrollers…….

  173. MickyDidIt89 says:

    “Been wearing my mankini round the house, getting some pictures done for Evonne”. This really isn’t that kind of a chat room.

  174. chas says:

    This is what the war-time programme looked like and I think it was at White Hart Lane as the next fixture suggests. Love the last line, ‘will patrons please refrain from changing their position and going from behind one Goal to the other’…….those were the days. 🙂

  175. Harry says:

    I’ll do some articles (short) for you during the week to hold in reserve……

  176. evonne says:

    We could just start commenting the empty post as usual …’Thank you xx for a great post. I strongly agree/disagree with your view of…..bla bla bla’ 🙂 That should confuse some non-regulars 🙂

  177. chas says:


  178. MickyDidIt89 says:

    That is superb. Thanks.
    2-3-5. Way to go!!! Air Raid Stuff is Fantastic.
    I like it so much I have downloaded and will get my graphic techy bloke onto it first thing Monday to Adobe Somethingorother the Football Zone stuff out.
    Thanks again.

  179. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Ha Ha. That brings back memories.

  180. WiganGooner says:

    Morning everyone 🙂 another scorcher it seems 🙂

    Think I’ll be sticking to plan A, do sod all and sit in the sunshine all day, occasionally popping on here for chit-chat 🙂

    Peaches, I haven’t got any posts ready, but if you’re short I’ll try to write something for next week?


  181. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi Peaches 🙂

    I just emailed a short, quick and dirty post, that you could use today or any other day this week, or whenever.

  182. Jamie says:

    Fed up of hearing about players leaving? The press are making a big deal out of this. Nasri’s quotes this morning sound more like a player giving Arsene a kick up the gear box than a player on the way out. Apparently Walcott, van Persie and Arshavin want to leave. what proof? None. That’s because none of these players are going anywhere unless le gaffer says otherwise. the papers always give you this Arsenal in crisis crap.

    I’m not happy at the moment, don’t get me wrong but I know that 90% of what is being written about Fab4, Nasri, Arshavin, RVP and Walcott is rubbish with little truth.

    As for Clichy, I am glad to see him gone, frankly I would pay his fare for him.

  183. RedMJ says:

    This is absolutely spot on. I really wish the boo boys and moaners would take their money and their moaning down the road and give it to the white shite.
    Yes of course the team has a responsibillity to perform and “earn their money” but the fans must realise they have a role to play as well. Too many just expect to turn up, lie back in their padded seats and bask in the glory without making a positive contribution.

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