A R-ight close SHAV IN-creases tension as the Vorm Turns? And Ratings…..

Arteta – Bright Start but faded…..

Its September 10th, a New dawn, new beginnings, from the ashes of Project Y’sssh and the dishevelled remains of a team that faced the Old Trafford onslaught, it was  Wengers regrouped band of footballers with a significant number of new recruits, grabbed on the supermarket trolley dash on 31st August, who took to the field, ready to drag Arsenal back to the upper echelons of the premier league………

Per – Slow Steady Start

There was an air of anticipation around the ground, as we all took our seats, Arteta and Mertz were in the Line up and the other new boys all on the bench…..A team selection rightly predicted by many, but from now on perhaps not so easy to predict, so the depth is there…

Little time to get the know the new players as our team returned from around the globe after their international endeavours with goals aplenty scored by our boys…….so they do know where the ball should go………?

Anyway, a bright start to the game saw a Spaniard look composed and assured on the ball, with deft touches and slide passes, he was playing with a smile and a zest about his play.  And the fans had their early voices heard…..

The first chance saw Arteta put Aaron through on goal, but he lost balance and smashed it high and wide. Arsenal continued to press and knock the  ball around. But the next best chance was seized by the Swans…….

A delightful cross in from the right from agustien, as Danny Graham attacked the six yard box (please note this arsenal), got in front of Per and stabbed it to the bottom corner, wrong footed, off balance and his eyes closed, ok that bit was made up, Szczesny somehow got down to his left to produce a stunning save…….

Arsenal kept up the initial pace of the game with the lively Arshavin releasing the ball through the middle to Theo who came from the right, Theo managed to squeeze the ball goal bound under Vorm, as it edged towards the goal, Caulker cleared the ball away…

Arsenal continued to move the ball around, but it lacked real zip and the movement in the final third was poor, as chances were few and far between. Frimpong back from suspension showed heart and the fight for a battle, had a dig from range, but it was dragged wide.

Gradually Swansea became more dangerous as their confidence grew with Dyer and Sinclair causing problems with their pace and directness, arsenal struggled to gel as a team. Another cross flashed across the 6 yard area, Graham nearly getting his head on it, with arsenal defence static Gibbs nearly steering in his own net as the ball came at him.

As we moved close to half time, no player really was standing out for Arsenal, Arshavin was certainly been more involved than of late and couldn’t have been lambasted for his usual laziness, as he chased and harried every ball, soon he got his reward.

Frimpong, passed into Theo with his back to goal, who turned inside to his right and done two men on the edge of the area, but flashed his shot high and wide with his left, a deflection looped the ball up high and as it edged towards the corner, Vorm collected the ball and rolled it out, but it hit the heels of the swan defender Rangel, Arshavin turned and with his left peg, curled a sweet shot into the empty and inviting net……..

Second half started lively with both sides knocking the ball about, but both lacked penetration. Sinclair raced towards goal; he tried to evade Kosceinly who scythed him down, yellow card. Sinclair’s free kick hit the bar and over.

Moments later, Arsenal moved forward down the left, Arshavin played into RVP, who took the ball with two players in close quarters, he shrugged them off and turned to his left and across the goal and unleashed a curler to the far right post which he clipped.

Arshavin came off for Benayoun on 63, which considering it was his best performance for a while was unfortunate.

Arteta, played the ball out wide to Sagna, who moved forward and curled the ball across the goal, just nobody attacking the box, Van Persie just too late……

Frimpong was replaced by Coquelin on 75; quickly he got into the game, he reads the game well, and he worked hard to close down players. On 81 Van Persie was taken off for Chamakh, which was a strange one, but later at the end, RVP limped as he walked on the pitch to applaud the fans, so maybe a precautionary move?.

Chamakh almost had an immediate impact; a long ball from Koscielny was headed back to Ramsey, who fed Gibbs on the left, who crossed perfectly first time, Chamakh rose, good contact but straight at Vorm.

In the last few minutes, Swansea pressed and won some corners and from one of them, the ball broke for Graham, who turned and couldn’t keep his shot down and fired over from 5yards…..


So we end with 11 men, no bad ref decisions against us and we get a little bit of luck for a change, so has the Vorm turned?

Well it’s a win, a clean sheet and 3points. Important not to drop points, especially with the pressure at the end of the match, nervous but we didn’t concede a sloppy goal which was a trade mark last season.

Fair play to Swansea, they played well and looked good at times, need to find the scoring touch soon to stay in this league, but we are not prolific!!! My only gripe was way too many players went to ground holding their heads………


Wenger: 7:

Picked a team, most of us picked beforehand but 3 points so cannot mark down too harsh. I would love to know what instructions he sends Theo out with, his play no way as effective as against Udinese. Standard substitutions, didn’t improve the game, as we lost our shape, allowing and inviting pressure.

Szczesny: 8: Just for that save, which truly was world class, Number 1?, commands the box and is more considered with his distribution now.

Sagna: 7: Not spectacular but dependable and solid, Sinclair will cause problems for who ever he faces. Got forward well.

Koscienly: 7: Reads the game well, under rated for me, I’ll say as always, he just lacks aggression for me. Rightly booked

Mertesacker: 6: Steady and slow start, little time to acclimatise to premier league so will mention a couple of good tackles he made.  My big concern was he didn’t attack the ball enough and use his height effectively

Gibbs: 6.5: offensively was probably better with some good crosses, but again he failed at times to attack the ball in defence, one very notably near the end that could hav cost us. Positionally naïve or still learning? Needs to up his game or Santos will be coming early this year……..

Frimpong: 6: Heart and fight, plenty of drive, his effort alone endears him to the crowd, a favourite of mine already. But his passing was poor. Although when he gets it wrong he chases till he gets it back…..Young and will be a stalwart for years…….Tired towards the end, before been subbed.

Ramsey: 7: Heard some comments knocking his performance, thought he did well, looked for the ball and moved us forward. Had an early chance that he blasted wide. Never hid and worked tirelessly. Heard someone say he isn’t good enough for Arsenal, balderdash…….have a word…….

Arteta: 7: Really lively start, probing and laying off deft touches, a Spaniard orchestrating the midfield, he is his own man and he will do well for us. Hacked down several times, showed that he was seen as dangerous by the swans. Dropped off in the 2nd half as our shape went apples and pears……

Arshavin: 8:  A much better performance, worked hard and close down defenders, always looking and probing. Definitely not a lazy boy today…….Took his goal well, it might have been an open net, but most would have missed that from that angle. Went off before 65 as usual….Just gets my MotM for his goal and work rate.

Walcott: 7:   A crowd splitter, he tends to frustrate more than he excites, but just what he instructions does he get? The team doesn’t aid him and he is not suited to balls in tight areas to his feet. I will defend him, but I agree without pace he wouldn’t be as useful, but he has pace so that statement is pointless, he does give us an outlet, he needs to become consistent to realise his full potential. But I would say, he has an Ox breathing down his neck…… I know quite a few will disagree with me but for all his knockers, he did more than Van Persie.

Van Persie: 6: Didn’t get involved enough, if he plays point, he needs to attack the area with more vigour. Great shot in the 2nd half that hit the post. Subbed late on, took a knock? Play him in the hole…….


Benayoun: 6: Lively

Coquelin: 6: Tenacious

Chamakh: 6: Had a header, but little time.

Next up:  Dortmund……….Champions league, we need a better shape and more movement in the final 3rd. Defenders need to attack the ball and not let it bounce. With Gervinho and Song back in the team, we will step it up again……..

End Note: Condolences to Brendon Rodgers, Swansea Manager, whose father died on Friday.

Written by Harry

217 Responses to A R-ight close SHAV IN-creases tension as the Vorm Turns? And Ratings…..

  1. jack says:

    i understand it will take some time before ramsey really shows up but he looks a bit slow and is not really great with ball at his feet.he takes too much time to pass.i hope he improves on that.wilshere looks a better player.but i hope ramsey will be our scoring midfielder.his range of shooting is his strength.hope he is our steven gerrard

  2. Thanks Harry for a great write-up of what I felt was quite a frustrating viewing.

    Many of our players did so well recently for their international teams and yet they don’t seem to play for Arsenal with the same vigour.

    I don’t think that we’ll see too much of AA, Theo and RvP as our starting 3 up front – I’m sure that will be mixed up with newbies next time around.

    If Theo doesn’t learn to push a ball into space and then accelerate onto it soon I’m going to be very cross – yesterday there were so many times he could have done that I gave up counting!!!!! What’s so hard?????????

  3. Rasp says:

    Thanks for a true supporters match report Harry 🙂

    I could write about so many aspects of yesterday’s game but these are the points that hit me most strongly.

    First; people who did not attend the game are not in a position to pass judgement on the crowd. The perception of support was even different depending on where you were sitting in the stadium.

    For the first 20 minutes, the crowd were excellent, greeting every touch from a new player with encouraging applause. When the mist descended in the last 20 minuites and the team’s loss of confidence was palpable, the red Action section stood to a man and sang their heart’s out as Harry has observed.

    My main gripe is with Arsene and the training staff. I would have given AW a 4 in the ratings simply because nothing has changed.

    I naively thought that the influx of new players and the apparent new emphasis in the signings would herald a new more direct style of play – not a bit of it, we were the same slow methodical, predictable side that collapsed last season.

    Its early days and things will get better, but yesterday’s performance was not down to new players bedding in as the new boys did very well, it was because we still play in the same tired predictable way.

    Not only do we fail to get the ball quickly out of defense, we slow down play and show very little urgency to get into the opposition’s box, therefore we are very easy to defend against. The usual missed chances early on made the job more difficult.

    Make no mistake, had it not been for Sz’s brilliance, a goal that was gifted to us by their keeper and the Swans inability to put away easy chances – we would have lost.

    I can only hope that Gervinho and Park can become regulars in the starting line up and that the likes of the Ox and Maiyachi replace Theo who IMO is only a championship quality player.

  4. pat says:

    The one thing that Arteta seems to be able to do is pick up free kicks in good position for us.

    I think the whole team was feeling the burden of pressure / expectation – while not the prettiest there were some good chances created. On a good day we could have won this 3-4 nil. Today was the type of win that Man U gets applauded for.

    We did enough today – onto the champions league…

    Also now all our suspensions are done with! (For players that is!)


  5. pat says:

    Peaches – I think Theo is desperate to show the world he can beat players with fancy footwork. He is just trying too hard at this instead of looking to how he can use his strengths to his best (and teams advantage). As Rasp said, a knock past and run or one – two with another player putting the ball in to space is what he needs. Theo isnt good in tight spaces or when 1 on 1 if the defender can slow him down. He did get a move off which allowed him a shot but to me is trying way too hard.

  6. Illybongani says:

    Morning all…..for those clammering for Cahill to be signed, me included, from what I saw yesterday he was all over the place against Man Utd. It just reaffirms my belief that great defences are worth more than the sum of the parts. It’s systems, systems, systems for me. And I don’t think we really have one.

  7. Morning Illy – sorry I should have invited you to meet us for a drink pre-match as I know you’re a north london boy – another time I hope.

    …………… never mind not having a system a mid-field would have helped in the second half …………………

  8. SUGA3 says:

    nicked from one of the LG comments:

    ‘Walcott ran down more blind alleys than Stevie Wonder at Hampton Court maze’

    haha 😆

    good writeup Harry, although you are being very generous for Feo, I think RvP deserves better rating than 6, he was isolated, we should stop this 4-3-3 lunacy…

  9. harry says:

    Morning all, will be out most of the day, my u13 and u18 teams are back in business today, lets hope we start better than the Arsenal have this season……..

    Peaches, It does seem strange the difference between international and domestic, but I think a little time is needed for the team to settle……?

    I agree Peaches he needs make the right decisions for himself at times, but twice I remember yesterday when in a tight position he puch the ball to a team mate, accelerated off and the ball wasnt returned…….And I just cant see why our players dont see his runs, but arshavin is also affected by this…….

    Rasp, agree even in the ground the crowd effect is deceiving, for me, its started and end well, in the middle it seemed to just stagnate.

    On wengers rating actually a 6 would have been more appropriate thinking about it, as we lost our shape badly in the 2nd half and he didnt sort it out. BUt I think the importance of the win, shaded my scores slightly. I did say the other day rasp, the football philosophy wont change. What we lack and I said this last season when everyone blamed our defence, is our movemnet in the final 3rd is slow and predictable because we actually at times press too much as teams sit deep and allow no room behind. We need to strike the ball more often and rather than take 3 yd pass free kicks, put it in the box……

    On theo, its a split decision, I know where your coming from, but he does have ability, its consistency he lacks, only time will tell who is right, but perhaps this goes back to what you say about how we play, a more direct style would actually suit theo…….

    A 7 was probably a tad high, but I wanted to give him the support he needs as today he will bear some critcism, he can be good for us, and I wont change my mind, until he absolutely does nothing for us, but as I said in the article, he does have an Ox breathing down his neck……..

  10. harry says:

    Suga3, your defence of RVP is based on 4-3-3 lunacy, but perhaps the whole team including theo suffers from our system of play, as Illy says, its systems systems……..the sum of all parts…….

  11. harry says:

    I wouldnt play RVP there anyway in a 4-3-3,

    For me he should drop deeper, behind someone like theo, he would find his runs and set him free, they are both suffering…..

  12. Red Arse says:

    Morning Folks, 🙂

    Rasp has summed up my general feeling perfectly.

    Harry’s excellent write up makes me feel much better today but yesterday, perhaps fuelled by too much booze, (for which I am now paying) I was somehow unhappy, even with the win. At times we looked awful, especially Theo.

    Illy is also spot on, we need to do something with our defensive organisation which seems non – existent at the mo’. Thank goodness for Chezzer!

    Cahill looked distinctly average in the recording I watched last night, but, sorry to say, Manyoo looked like the Arsenal of old. Bollix!!

  13. Will03 says:

    Poor as hell ratings you’ve made. Ramsey was terrible tonight, not just for the missed chance, but his performance was summed up when he failed to put any striker through in a 4v1 situation. Koscielny was nowhere near that good, it’s a disgrace that the brilliant Sagna was rated the same as him. Gibbs deserved 5.5 at most, very poor defensively. We need Santos in.

  14. Scott says:

    Theos problem is obvious to me,or so I think lol.
    When facing a defender with speed,he is lost,with no other options to beat his man.
    I remember when we played Liverpool at home last season,watching Theo against a kid of 18,thinking he would have a field day. Trouble was,the kid had speed,Theo looked lost.
    Yesterday,same story.
    Sorry to say it,I would let him go,he’s had his chance.

  15. SUGA3 says:


    practically the whole front three was played out of position, no wonder we were toothless upfront…

    – Theo is a striker to hang on the shoulder of the last defender. That’s it.

    – RvP is a support striker, so is Arshavin

    and you would think that a supposed top manager would figure out a way to play against the sides who come to defend, having had all these years?

    but hey, why bother? it’s better to have a moan about the defensive tactics, eh?

  16. the fontc says:

    this is a true arsenal view on the game remember chelsea won titles with scrappy wins we are fragile at the moment but if the fans
    stay positive and get behind the new and young players we are going to have a great season the true test of wenger s system will be on tuesday they are a fantastic team and it is going to be tough
    but le boss will come up with a master plan to hit them on the break
    and if all else fails pers can shout leave it in his mother tonge to score a last mimute header

  17. Fatgingergooner says:

    Just had an international break

    New players settling in

    Won 2 in 14

    Confidence shot

    3 points

    People on here said they would take a 1-0 yday

    Im happy and so should everyone else be!

  18. I’m amazed at the unrealistic expectations of some supporters,

    A back five that has never played together as a unit before. A midfield which has never played together as a unit before, yet the team is expected to steamroller the opposition. Some of the Arsenal players have barely met each other before yet are expected to slot into the side at the drop of a hat.

    Given a few weeks to settle and understand each other, plus the return from injury and suspension of others, especially Wishire, and this side will soon be heading up the table.

    Top Four? Most certainly!!!

  19. SUGA3 says:

    ‘Some of the Arsenal players have barely met each other before’

    last time I checked, we were four games into the season?

    epic management fail if I ever saw one!

  20. harry says:

    Lol, Willo3, we need santos in? And you have watched him just how much? Dont get me wrong I would give him a go, because as I said definsively Gibbs is naive, but attacking wise he is better, remember he was a LW, but hey wenger loves playing players out of position, sometimes its inspired, other times not so…..

    We all see things differently mate, I thought Kozzer had a solid game, he reads the game well and cut so much out, you might have not noticed, but he deserved a 7, thought Sagna was solid and he is a favourite of mine, maybe i could of squeezed him to 7.5, but I tend to rate players two fold, one their actual performance ie effort and affect on the game, then I rate them against what I know they can do, for me yesterday sagna was indeed good, but he can do more, so i expect more.

    Fatginger, I am happy……

  21. London says:


    Slow down, you are on AA where people interact with each other in a calmer more adult manner.

    I am one of RvP biggest supporters and yet I am excited as hell about having a forward line of:

    Gervinho, Park, Oxo

    RvP was not very effective in general but notice the difference at the beginning of the game when he was getting good service from Arteta and when that dried up as Arteta faded. And by the way Ramsey offered RvP nothing all game.

    Walcott is consistent in my opinion, he is consistently bad when ever the opposition play two lines of four, that’s to say Park the Bus, people say he really needs the ball played in front of him to be effective FFS what have we come to when we are making excuses for a footballer because he cannot deal with the ball when it is played to his feet.

  22. harry says:

    Life long Gooner, amen, top four easily for me……….well maybe not easliy as we love to be difficult about these things…….

  23. London says:

    Hi Harry

    Good write up, I agree with your general view for what it is worth.

    I did go to the game but I was supposed to be looking after the children while the Mrs was away so I could only slip out for the minimum of time.

  24. Fatgingergooner says:


    I think the point that LG was making is that some of the players ie Mert,Arteta and Benayoun have only just arrived at the club, and after an international break, so he is correct in saying that the players have barely met there teammates.

    Also, we won the game with Vermaelen, Wilshire, Song and Gervinho missing. That’s 3 from the spine of our team. So how can you say it was a management fail????

    3 points in the bag, happy days

  25. SUGA3,

    Look at the facts, some of the players were signed in the closing minutes of the transfer window, after the first three games and immediately before most of the squad went off on International duty. The have barely trained together.

    Give them a chance, I think you will be pleasantly surprised.

  26. Gooner in Exile says:

    Harry nice report, and well done for going out on a limb on RvP. I nearly wrote something similar in comments last night but 5mins of MotD highlights are difficult to assess. But against ManU and Liverpool I felt he had the disappearing act about him…effect of captaincy, that said a great curled effort with his standing foot which if going in would have earned much praise.

    Here’s the thing I don’t think he is a number ten. For me when Theo and AA23 are on the pitch he stays too central. When Gerv has been up front with him he has popped up left and right when he is mobile across the front he looks a far better player.

    As for your defensive ratings they look fair given what I heard on radio and observed. If there main threat came from wide how could our full backs have been worthy of high ratings.

    Also re Chessers save, his confidence was in evidence as it really looked like it was the simplest thing in the world to do, that friends is the mark of a good keeper. And I know he was part of the confusion that led to the last minute chance but again from what I heard on the radio he was prepared to come and claim crosses as far as his penalty spot, given the choice of him and DeGea I know who I’ll take.

    Unfortunately with our misfiring attack he and the rest of the defence do not have the luxury afforded to United, City or Chelsea of being able to give away one and know the attack has already scored 2 or 3.

    Watching all games on MotD last night the difference between oppositions defences was startling, from a Chesser throw out the Swans seemed to be set, however from a United clearance they seemed to be gifted acres, as did Liverpool against Stoke and City v Wigan. I was trying to work out why and the actual conclusion I reached was space and runs into them.

    When we get the ball on the break or in open play full stop, the team get closer to the ball for one twos etc, when United or City break you see wide men sprinting the channels which pulls the opposition wide and creates space centrally.

    Finally the joy of Wenger teams of old was clinical finishing in the early stages we used to hit teams cold and be 2-0 up before they’d got into gear. If Ramsey smashes in the first opening we’re on our way to doing that. We must become more ruthless.

  27. SUGA3 says:


    sorry dude, still buzzing a bit 😉


    like I said, making these signings on the last day of the window and just before the interlull was not what you would come to expect from the people at the helm of one of the top clubs in the world…

    these are good signings, but they should have come at the end of July at the latest – I heard that Merts had the personal terms agreed in June, but we were dithering, trying to get Cahill on the cheap…

  28. SUGA3,

    But the signings didn’t come at the end of July if they had then my argument would not have been relevant and I wouldn’t have made it. As it is, the signings happened at the end of the transfer window so my comments are entirely relevant.

  29. Fatgingergooner says:

    RVP being isolated has a lot to do with Fabregas being sold. He had the ability to find him from anywhere on the field, but that comes with time. Once Arteta and Ramsey have been in the side for a period of time then they will find RVP with much more regularity.

    This is a new side, we must be patient. I know that’s difficult after the 6 years that we have endured, but it’s not going to happen overnight. Teams take time to build and I don’t believe this is the same squad that we will start with next year. Another 2 or 3 signings are needed but we have made the right strides in creating a side without Cesc and Samir.

  30. Woonalong says:

    In Spain ,Barcelona and Rm dominate.If Arsenal aint careful they could be left behind by the top three teams currently. I know UEFA fair financial play will come into effect two seasons from now.The problem is these mega rich clubs although in debt could some how wriggle their way to escape the sanctions.
    Furthermore the threat of the these big clubs to form a closed door
    association could be a threat UEFA/FIFA cannot neutralise.What then for Arsenal?Already the game is being uncompetitive in Scotland and holland. Soon it could be England’s turn.
    The warning signs are there for Arsenal.

  31. harry says:

    Thanks GIE, London and others, glad it was ok……such high standards on here……….

    Exactly GIE, we need to be ruthless and I agree, had Ramsey had scored we probably would have bagged another soon after and then we could have relaxed more…….But as everyone says, it is a newish team and players rightly or wrongly have met recently and have little game time together, so lets give them a chance to gel,and get a shape…….

    Right all, my car is packed, balls pumped, first aid kit in hand, off for my first game of the season, right what shall i go with 4-3-3……..decisions decisions, who’d be a manager……….Later all…….

  32. Baggy Pants says:

    Good write up.

    Be patient everyone. Give the boys a chance.

  33. Jamie says:

    Agree re rating apart from Ramsey. I think imdividually the players did ok.

    I think they lack a sort of tactical cohesion as you would expect qt the stage. The midfield three get dragged to far apart and the need to sort that out. It doesn’t help when pressing the opponent to protect the back four.

    Ramsey missed a sitter at the start, a chance he would usually hammer in. I thought his afternoon was summed up with that counter attack at the end. We had four on one and he passed to the one Swansea player. He is suffering at the moment but he will come back strong.

    I thought people have been harsh on Gibbs and Frimpong. Thought they did a sound job. Still learning.

    All the players know that Tuesday is a big test.

    Really like the article Harry.

  34. Jamie says:

    I would like to see us change slightly to Barca’s formation.

    Gervinho Walcott
    Van Perise
    Wilshere. Song
    Gibbs TV5 PM4 Sagna
    Sir Chesney

    Drop RVP deeper and leave Gervinho and Walcott to get in behind rather than leaving Walcott with a player to beat all the time.

  35. Rasp says:

    Hi Jamie,

    I think you are right, we need to change the formation to be more clinical up front. Unfortunately I cannot ever see AW playing 4:4:2 so your suggestion makes sense. Personally I’d like to see Park given a chance if Walcott fails to produce in the advanced role.

    I despair at seeing Walcott take up position in the centre of the box for corners – when has he ever scored with his head? Park, like Arteta, wins a lot of headers for his height and certainly can score from that position.

  36. Jamie says:

    Rasper – Walcott is great running on to a threw ball. We need to get him and Gervinho in to those positions. I think in other games we have gradually moved to RVP playing deeper but not yesterday.

    I think they are more mobile when Gervinho plays left, him and Theo switch a lot which benefits both of them.

    The team are still low. A point or better in Germany would help.

  37. Rasp says:

    Point taken Jamie, the problem is that for Theo to be supplied with that all important through ball, we need to move the ball swiftly out of defense. The scenario you describe that suits Theo usually only occurs in the quick counter attack which is something that it would appear we do not encourage in training as it very rarely happens these days.

  38. Faaji says:

    I honestly cannot for the very life of me understand why people are so harsh on Koscielny for scything down that Swansea player. I’ve been on several blogs and many folks are blaming him probably because it was the resulting free kick that hit the crossbar. Don’t you understand that it was a professional foul without which the attacker might have been on goal. I’d rather take my chances with defending a free kick than letting an attacker have a one on one with the goalkeeper.

  39. London says:

    I would say we need a change in personal up front more than a change in formation to become more clinical.

    Having ripped Walcott apart earlier I would say in his defence that I reckon he still has an important role to play in certain games. I expect him to play in the week and do very well, Dortmund will come onto us and as a consequence there will be space for Theo to exploit.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if he is MOTM on Tuesday.

  40. London says:


    You have been to several other blogs……..

    That is what you are doing wrong.

    Look above you will see that most people here think that Koscielny had a good game, which he did.

  41. Jamie says:

    Koscielny was right to foul the player.

    Rasp- Theo is best on the break. Agreed.

  42. Rasp says:

    Yes definitely, kozzer did the right thing, the player would have been through on goal – it was the right kind of professional foul. The free kick that Frimpong gave away on the edge of the box in the first half showed his lack of experience as it was totally unnecessary and just an example of him getting over excited.

  43. London says:

    I tell you one thing that no one has mentioned and that is Arteta organising the team, on more than one occasion he was going up to players and telling him what they should be doing, my goodness we haven’t had an organiser like that since………….ermmmmm. Vieira, I think.

  44. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    Just watched the second half on Arsenal player, for some reason the first half isn`t available yet(anyone know why?), So I Watched first half on MOTD, It did make me giggle 🙂 when the commentator said “if it wasn`t for the Swansea City fans, it would be louder at the Islington Library than here”.
    I am greatfull for 3 points considering the self induced craphole were trying to climb out of.
    Like, kelsey, I try to be realistic,I just don`t see a top 4 finish, not with the 2 we lost and Jack,Verm injured, If were not top 4 near January, It will be so harder to bring in “super quality”.
    With all the big money thats been flying around above us and the position we find ourselves in, I think it will be one of Arsene`s greatest achievements if we get top 4.

  45. RockyLives says:

    I watched on TV, which doesn’t always give a fully rounded viewpoint, but I’m surprised at some of the negativity.

    Given the new arrivals, the absentees and the fact we were coming into this match low on confidence as a club I thought the team did OK.

    As many said, the important thing was to get 3 points and we did that, with no goals conceded. Ramsey should have scored early on, Theo would have put us one up but for a slight touch from the ‘keeper and some brave defending from the CB, RvP hit the post for what wold have been 2-0. I think the attempts on goal were 16 or 17.

    Of course not everything was smooth. Arteta faded (probably not fully match fit) but showed glimpses of real class. Benayoun also looked rusty but I love his energy. Big Per had a very solid first game, playing in a new defence. I thought Ramsey is showing signs of being a top player and will keep getting better.

    The points about Theo not pushing-and-running are well made. He tried it once in the second half and skinned his defender to set up a good attack. The rest of the time he tried to dribble past even when he had opportunity (and room) to push it and fly. Baffling.

    Anyway, that’s my three hapenny worth.

    Morning all and well done on the report Harry.

  46. Interesting point London on Arteta, as i have said earlier i only watched the highlights, but after the free kick that hit the bar you could see him gee’ing up those around him. Good to see.

    As for the foul by Kosser my only criticism of him remains his propensity to get square on to a player coming towards him and allowing him to come too far with the ball, that said at Wigan last year he waited for the attacker to get in to the area before gifting a penalty, so you can see he has learned from that error. 😀

  47. dandan says:

    Having seen the lack of patience displayed on blogs since yesterdays match these words of Mr Dylan sprung to mind.

    Come writers and critics
    Who prophesize with your pen
    And keep your eyes wide
    The chance won’t come again
    And don’t speak too soon
    For the wheel’s still in spin
    And there’s no tellin’ who
    That it’s namin’
    For the loser now
    Will be later to win
    For the times they are a-changin’

    I wish I could have said it that well.

  48. RockyLives says:

    Nice one dandan

  49. gunnern5 says:

    From my point of view those who do not attend the games are in a far better position to judge the mood of the crowd and the overall level of vocal support.

    From my experience in attending games you mainly get to hear what is happening immediately around the area you sit/stand in, the rest of the ground is muted by these local sounds.

    Watching and listening to the game on TV you get to hear more of the overall sound effects and they are not blocked out by the person sitting next to you – this is just basic common sense.

    The crowd yesterday was tense and rarely offered all around vocal support for the team – those who disagree should watch a recording of the game.

    When the team needed a resounding lift from it’s supporters they were nowhere to be found.

    The commentators also made the point several times – about how the tension from the crowd was having a negative effect on the teams performance.

    Simply pathetic.

  50. SUGA3 says:


    I have to respectfully disagree with you, first of all, I thought the atmosphere was pretty good, secondly, when you are watching the game on the telly you get the sound as it is mixed by the dude at the console…

    you put a number of microphones around the place and mix the volume of each of them at will…

  51. RockyLives says:

    The crowd transmits nervousness to the team, which in turn transmits nervousness back to the crowd, who reflect it back to the team etc etc etc.

    The only thing that will break the cycle is a run of good results (not necessarily good performances, just good results). Yesterday was a first small step on the way to achieving that and I wish people had more perspective about where we are.

    Arseblog’s post today exactly reflects how I feel about yesterday’s win and the responses to it.

  52. dandan says:

    Correct Suga no doubt N5 remembers the mic hanging down from the tv platform in the west stand in his Highbury days.

  53. Rasp says:

    GN5, you are not in a better position to judge the crowd I assure you – how could you be, you are reliant upon strategically positioned microphones. Do you never wonder why our away fans always appear to drown out the home support – it is because the mics are positioned to pick them up being a concentration of sound and that give a better aural backdrop for the commentary.

  54. SUGA3 says:

    and I thought the crowd was brilliant at the beginning of the game, giving the team a massive benefit of the doubt?

    there was a good bunch of observant spectators around where I sat and I can’t say that anyone was harshly criticised…

  55. gunnern5 says:


    We will have to disagree.

    I fully understand the effect of mixing sound but that does not account for the predominate sounds being groans and silence.

    I noted during yesterday’s game that it took 38 minutes before we heard Arsenal chants. That simply cannot be the effect of sound mixing – what reason would they have to block out the real sounds – yet another another conspiracy I guess.

    Other grounds give fervent support our crowd seem to feel that they need to offer judgement and not support…………..

  56. Rasp says:

    You are correct SUGA, scapegoating of the crowd is a complete red herring. We tried very hard to lift and encourage the team, there was no negativity where I was sitting (on the halfway line) and Red Action (North Bank) stood pretty much throughout the game which must have p’d off the stewards.

    One fact that is never mentioned is that the time delay caused by the size and acousrtics of the stadium make it impossible for the whole crowd to sing in time at the same time.

  57. London says:


    You know that on TV you only get to hear what the TV director wants you to hear; I am sure you are well aware that the Director turns the crowd volume up when it suits and down when it doesn’t.

    This comment is not meant to disagree with you, after all everyone knows that the supporters input could be better.

    But, by the standards that exist nowadays at the Emirates, yesterday wasn’t so terrible. My view was that the vocal support started well and ended well but in the middle the word that you mentioned a few times in your comment reigned…….Tension………

    All started well, a new hope was in the air but just before we got our break in the form of the Arshavin goal I for one was getting very worried for the team, for the club and for the manager…….the realisation of we could actually lose this one crept into my mind as I suspect it did in many others; you may say that that is the exact time for the crowd to lift the team but there was a paralysing fear in the air.

  58. SUGA3 says:


    dude, I was there and if you heard the first chants around the 38th minute, then there is something massively wrong sound wise with the coverage!

    groans only started when people saw Theo jogging with the ball, where he should have tried to beat his man and run, when Ramsey somehow managed to cock up the 4 v 1 situation and all that…

  59. Jamie says:

    Crowd are nervous and were fighting behind me.

  60. gunnern5 says:


    I don`t know if that was a dig or just a comment.

    But to let you know -I was in the high tech industry for most of my professional career and fully understand the effects of sound mixing and how strategic placement of equipment can give different end results. To assume that the TV crews place microphones in a position that will result in a negative (just at the Emirates) is simply not understandable nor realistic.

  61. Rasp says:

    GN5, you weren’t there – so you don’t know. How many more ‘ear-witness’ accounts will it take before you accept that the crowd were supportive yesterday.

    The rubbish that away supporters sing is all to do with our reputation in the same way as every unimaginative jerk thinks that a reference to Arsene not seeing anything is amusing.

    If anyone was sitting among the clockenders yesterday that would be pretty unhappy to read your condemnation of them. No doubt there were quieter pockets elsewhere but that would be the same in any newly built stadium holding an extra 20,000 fans.

  62. SUGA3 says:


    I don’t know if you read my article about how that problem could be solved by allocating the singing sections all over the ground?

    it’s all acoustics and all it takes is to ask a question when taking the order for the ticket or when renewing the ST: do you want to sit in the singing section or are you more of a quiet type?

  63. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    “For the times they are a-changin`”
    Times started a-changin when Abramobitch entered the scene and have gone up to the stratosphere with the sheik n vacs.
    Every year we have been in the Champs League is what i expected,no rose tints,no delusion, just weighing up what we had/have and what the opposition had/have ,being realistic.
    This is the first time I have doubted our chances using the same formula as above, not lack of patience, just a pinch of reality.
    We all want the same, we just don`t all see the same, thats why it`s great to debate.

  64. Rasp says:

    Its an idea SUGA. I think they tried to address it a bit by re-labelling the Clock End and North Bank.

    By Emirates standards, yesterday was strong support and as Rocky quite rightly says, the more we win and put in good performances the better it will get.

  65. gunnern5 says:


    Three or four comments will do nothing to change my opinion of the poor crowd support at the Emirates.

    We are widely known to have one of the least supportive crowds in the EPL.

    Do you really believe that the producers purposely mix the sound at the Emirates to create a poor atmosphere.

    Think of Stoke, Man U. Newcastle, Man C, just to name four other teams – do you think that their sound is mixed to create a postive atmosphere or could it be that their fans are more supportive.

  66. gunnern5 says:

    Rasp Agreed I was not there – but you were not watching TV so you don’t know the overall sound effect so how can you possibly disagree with my perspective.

  67. SUGA3 says:

    er, how can a director create poor atmosphere by mixing the sound?

    I sat in the Clock End upper tier and believe me, we were singing quite a lot…

    no offence mate, but since you have ‘N5’ in your nick, which makes me think that you must be a ‘local’, then perhaps you should go to the game and show us mugs how it’s done?

  68. Rasp says:


    How many managers have you ever heard blame a poor result on the suppoprters? Yes they often praise but even they are not daft enough to think that blame can be attributed to the fans.

    Your constant accusation that the reason things are not going our way is the fault of the fans or bloggers is way way off the mark. If you cannot see the logic of an eye witness to any occurence being more reliable than someone who watches (hears) proceedings via their television then I see no point in discussing it further with you.

    Of course the TV powers place microphones for a specific effect (amplifying away fans), I’m sure someone who works in the industry will come on at some stage and testify to that.

  69. dandan says:

    Rasp I watched the game on On line footy…… as you know they show the Sky output in real time, the support seemed fair to me until just around the half hour mark when tension seemed to creep in. Of course much of what we hear is at the behest of the producers although…..

    The second half became progressively quieter as the tension ramped up, Ramsey’s pass I thought was the effort of an exhausted man, after all he had driven Wales almost on his own this week.

    GN5 my previous comment was a statement of fact and given your oft stated fact that you used to stand at Highbury I thought you would have remembered that microphone hanging down over our heads. I do I stood under it for years.

    GLIC. My comment Re Dylan was a general statement aimed at no one in particular. RE the the number of impatient fans who seem to give no credence to the fact that Saturdays side was very much an experiment designed to get us 3 points whilst other problems suspensions etc worked there way through. So in my book job done and lets wait and see where we are going over the coming weeks.

  70. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    Being out and about around the SouthWest, I meet a lot of differant supporters, and one common saying is “when am i next going to the library”.
    Is it only us who are refered to in that way?

  71. dandan says:

    That is an old chestnut from our Highbury days, much loved by the tabloids and reflects more on your contacts lack of knowledge than reality.

  72. Rasp says:

    dandan, your perception is correct, it did become quieter after half an hour. That was because the players seemd to be losing their way abit and not the reason for that happening. When it became evident that the team needed a lift, the supporters in some areas responded magnificently.

    I like many others hardly have a voice today, so yes, I do take it personally when people watching the game from the comfort of their armchair claim to know more about what was going on than I do.

    GLiC, the proposition is not whether the Emirates crowd is quiet per se, but rather are the crowd in any way to blame for the team’s performance. Believe me, those who go to games want more than anything to have something to sing about.

  73. gunnern5 says:


    I find your comment to be both curt and arrogant.

    I did not intend to start a war I simply offered an opinion that was also supported by Oz as he watched the game in Australia.

    FYI – I was born on Avenell Road and watched pretty much every home game from Nov, 1947 until I moved to Canada. Since then I have watched every single Arsenal game that has been televised so overall I have watched around 2,500 games.

    I fully understand the differences between watching live and on TV and would far prefer to watch live – and if I did i would be hoarse at the end of every single game – my support never ebbs, win, lose or draw, and i would never and have never booed or jeered my team……….I am supporter not a detractor.

  74. Rasp says:

    OK so that’s it then. Someone in Canada and someone in Australia know more about an event that we attended in person than we do ……. see how ridiculous that sounds?

    There was a genuine effort by the supporters to get behind the team – I know because I was there.

  75. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    The atmosphere Is also probably dependant on “teams,matches,importance etc”,
    Nothing beats, beating the spuds for atmosphere , home or away!Being at shitehart lane when we won 5-0, chippy`s beauty, what a day! 🙂

  76. dandan says:

    Rasp…. I would not take issue with a regular attendee as to the quality of the support….. I am also loath to take too seriously the reports taken from watching TV, as such important issues such as perspective and depth and movement off the ball are next to impossible to gauge with certainty on TV, The runs of the ball in particular drive me mad as I cannot tell when the picture is following the player with the ball, what is opening up for him, due to his teammates efforts. All we seem to see is a cross to an empty box and no idea exactly why.

  77. Rasp says:

    Haha dandan, even that is worse at the game. I have already expressed my frustration that there was no significant change in our style of play. The failure of our attacking players to bust a gut to get into the box when it is obvious a cross is coming over is all too evident when watching from the upper tier.

  78. gunnern5 says:


    I am giving you the perspective from those of us who watched the game on TV – not by those who can only get the persepective from their seats. 

    Jamie tells us that the crowd around him were fighting – but you prefer to ignore those statements and only talk to those that support your viewpoint.

    Oh I almost forgot that you like to have the last word with your self serving comments like – I see no point in discussing it further with you. Which means you have a closed mind and are not receptive to another viewpoint- especially mine……..

  79. SUGA3 says:


    I think that if you take the mauling from two weeks ago and shockingly mismanaged summer, then you should understand that the crowd may become a little tense if we are struggling against a side which is yet to score a goal in the league…

    this is not a situation where a team of sub-par players have been sent to the slaughter by the reigning champions, is it?

  80. gunnern5 says:


    I am in comp;lete agreement with your comments @ 4:11.

  81. gunnern5 says:


    I would be really upset but that would never lead me to not giving 100% support at the next game – I did that in the most dire of times – not when we are among the best four in the EPL……

  82. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    We need to crank up the atmosphere before kick off, I propose the burning of a spud player effergy( hope thats the right spelling).
    First one can be Alan Gilzean, he broke Bob Wilsons leg( Bob only recently found out about it with a scan for somethingelse!).

    The Bastard!

  83. dandan says:

    GN5 Does the fact that whenever you come on here you manage to drag the blog into argument and frustration with you, not tell you something about your style and love of confrontation.. Please use the wisdom of your years to try and assimilate the culture of the blog which is friendly debate not aggressive arguments and we will be pleased to greet you

  84. Rasp says:

    GN5, I have given up trying to argue against you simply because you are so entrenched in trying to blame everything on the supporters rather than having the honesty to look at other aspects of the team, but I am buggered if I am going to let you get away with it unchallenged.

    We don’t agree, we will never agree, but I was there and you weren’t, so please do not try to validate your argument by quoting spurious references.

    No-one is saying that the atmosphere at the Emirates could not be improved, but I am stating categorically that the support yesterday was good for the most part and bears no blame for the result or the team’s performance.

  85. SUGA3 says:


    and I was giving my 100%, trust me, but seeing Gibbs out of position time and time again, Walcott unable to beat his man to save his life and absolutely dire performance from Ramsey is enough to make a saint utter a simple ‘oh, come the f**k on’ every now and then…

    the club is not blameless either, if you treat supporters like customers, you are bound to hear some complaints, simple as that…

  86. Rasp says:

    GLiC, I totally agree we need to find a way to crank up the atmosphere before kickoff. We’ve discussed it many times and there is broad agreement on this at least. The Wonder of You is not condusive to building fervent support. It would be great if the Emirates was a more intimidating place for visiting teams, but I’m afraid it often serves to inspire them rather than terrfiy them.

  87. SUGA3 says:

    TWOY is completely out of place, puts the crowd to sleep more than anything else…

    I would go for something like this:

    ROAR!!! 🙂

  88. gunnern5 says:


    Please tell me what is confrontational about my initial post on the subject at 3:08.

    The confrontation comes from Rasp who simply does not like me.

    I have just strongly supported my position – and at no time have I been either rude or abusive – maybe agressive.

  89. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    I hope Arsenes not on here reading otherwise hes next interview could be,…:” the spirit was good,we were intelligent, we fought hard,great technical ability but we lost,why? ze crowd was shit! ” 🙂

  90. gunnern5 says:


    By the way in most of my years at Highbury there was only sky above my head – nothing to hang a microphobe from.

  91. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    How about the Benny Hill music when the teams come out 🙂

  92. Red Arse says:


    Will you stop that!
    This is the second time today I find myself agreeing with you,as well as Suga and Dandan (from a sensible perspective)!! 🙂

    I am so hoarse today even my typing sounds sexily husky.

    The stadium is so huge it gobbles up a lot of the sound and unless someone experiences it they really should be careful with pointing the finger of blame. Anyway, who needs a finger pointer?

    The ‘Highbury Library’, is, of course, an example of the high level witty ‘rhyming’ poetry that Arsenal detractors used for years. Pah!

    What rhymes with Emirates? Hmmm?

  93. Rasp says:

    GN5, I don’t know you except via your keyboard. What I don’t like is your abrasive manner when debating and your continued pilgimage to lay the blame for poor performances at the feet of the supporters.

  94. Rasp says:

    Hi RA, it wasn’t fantastic yesterday, but it was better and many supporters were making a real effort – we couldn’t ask for much more.

  95. Red Arse says:


    Don’t let the Rasper’s supposed dislike put you off. He is really cute — and you do generally take an aggressive stance with him!

  96. Red Arse says:


    I gave it hi-octane yelling supportive, fuelled by acohol (which I am not supposed to have 🙂 ), and altho’ it is true we ( the crowd) did get apprehensive at times, (and Suga is correct – all of the fans near me did groan when Theo ran into any available defender) it is because we care — not because we do not care!

    How can anyone doubt that?

  97. kelsey says:

    Back now and read all the comments but haven’t changed my stance one iota.
    Waste of time discussing if there was crowd noise or not, we are generally not very vocal at home and the stadium has a bit to play with that whilst away, the fans are all locked together and can generate a fantastic support,one could even argue that these are always going to b the most vocal fans.
    None of what i have read washes with me except no one can be blamed for our current injuries to two of our best players in vermaelen and Wilshere, though in his case through necessity rather than choice he played 53 games last season.
    We are the fifth richest club in the world, and for one reason or another or perhaps several we are falling from grace extremely quckly.if that can be rectified only time will tell.
    A club with the status of Arsenal doesn’t start experimenting with players four gams into what has been up to now a disaster and in one case a humiliation.
    Fabregas could have been sold in february even if it wasn’t declared until the end of the season, nasri wanted away so why delay and then it appears we go out and panic buy at the last minute.
    i have already given my opinions earlier today but in general i don’t agree with many on here.
    walcott will never make it, at least not at arsenal. kos has been mentioned and as i said earlier he had a good game,but every single game he makes one near fatal mistake in his timing which could yesterday have proved costly.hiopefully he will learn.
    There are players to come back but our pace has gone,ans sometimes it looked like we were 4 games from the end of the season and the reason for that is that the players are at rock bottom,in confidence. Maybe with the trouble makers out of the way this new team, and that is what it will gel but it will take time.I also wondr what the team really thought of their captain in his final few months.Whatever they thought it did nothing to bond a team together.
    gazidis is a PR disaster and it appears that we can now buy who we like but can’t offer the going rate in wages, which in all honesty restricts the number of players we can look for.
    I hear trengthening in january is an option, but by then it will be too late and yet another mediocre season will go down the pan.
    Many people to blame what was unavoidable.i hope to be proved wrong and we rocket up the table scoring bags of goals and also bringing some entertainment to the fans , not the oh glad we scraped a 1-0 win. We were bettr thaan that, much better and in a very short time we have imploded.
    Harry, a hard day to write a match report,if it was me,it would have been censored.
    (sorry about the spelling)
    i may sound like a doomer but i am not.i and many other saw what was going to happen and it was to an extent avoidable.Wrong decisions have been made from the board downwards and now we are in the position we are in.

  98. Jamie says:

    Time out boarders, time out. The fans don’t help but we didn’t play well as a team and that is due to the amount of changes from last seasons eleven not anxious crowd.

    It doesn’t help though it isn’t the crowd a grew up with. I sat next to two day tripper fans that were encouraging the the team and two idiot knocking the players after five minutes on the other. I miss the lower east stand at highbury but the fans are not to blame.

  99. dandan says:

    GN5 I cannot accept that you believe that what comes through your TV speaker is more reliable than the opinion of those that were there. To push that view continually as you do is an affront to many on here who spend good money to attend and then tell you differently.
    We know you are a passionate gooner the oldest that frequents this site, but age does bring with it some responsibilities. your attitude to Rasp is hardly likely to endear him to you is it, but it is not just Rasp you have fallen out with on the blog over the months past.

    Please wisdom is supposed to come with age, you like me, remember a different Arsenal, but that was also in a better world . Why not do what I do, try and share your memories of times past with the modern fans and you will find they will welcome you and your knowledge with open ears and fine words.

    For instance I wrote of the Italian punch up that you well remember and was amazed to find that it was virtually unknown to the modern fan, so we have a roll to play. Try and embrace it and bear in mind the world so many of these fans live in is nowhere near the live and let live place we grew up in.

    Rasp and the other founders have invested much time and effort into building this blog your input could be enjoyed by many if you could just bite your lip occasionally.

  100. Gooner in Exile says:

    The supporting debate rumbles on.

    Two quotes from Pat Nevin on R5 Live commentary (if it had been R Savage I wouldn’t be repeating).

    “that should shut up the two idiots behind me” – when AA23 scored

    “I can’t believe Arsenal are at home, we’re near 70th minute and I haven’t heard them”.

    Now he is in the ground.

    Now I know I’ve been to the Ems come back hoarse but it doesn’t mean the atmosphere was good. GN5 makes a valid point, one I agree with even when I’ve been in the ground I look around and see many silent people. His accusation is not a personal attack on anyone who went it’s an observation of 60000 people of which you’d probably be lucky if half sang.

    Rasp you raise the issue of time delay for songs…I just don’t get this at all. We’ve all been there on nights of great atmosphere, Everton home last year for me was the best I’ve experienced, there was no problem with delays as the crowd had something to sing about.

    I am afraid yesterday’s atmosphere was probably due to the type of punter after all these tickets went on general sale before selling out.

    Gn5 you refer to Stoke,ManU and Liverpool as grounds of high passion, I’ve been to the Britannia, they song Delilah when they score, other than that the away end outsung them for 90 minutes. As for Anfield they only sing when their winning, have you never heard the Arsenal fans up there singing “Where’s you famous atmosphere?”

    Rasp whilst I agree no manager ever blames a defeat on the crowd, how many times have you heard managers and players say “that ones for the fans, they were magnificent tonight”.

    Read Jack or Cescs tweets after Barca game, they also tell you how important to them the lift from the crowd was that night, how it gives then something to play up to.

    This team needs our support more than ever, and it’s time for those of us who do want to exercise our vocal chords to do it and if someone complains we can tell them “we’ve paid our money I’ll sing what I like, stand when l like”

    As for RedAction they always stand (part of their agreement I guess) but unless it was another two or three blocks wide it will never work.

    I’ve said it before I’ll say it again, unallocated seating Clock End and North Bank lower, then let fans get their early start creating atmosphere, get their favourite spots. With fewer sell outs it seems to make sense to me to at least try it.

  101. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    If we can call it the”Ema..rates” instead of “Ema..rits” we could have ,”Wilshere goes past Modric, nutmegs Parker unleashes an unstoppable 30 yarder into the top corner, the Ema..rates ejaculates” 🙂

  102. Red Arse says:

    Hi Kelsey,

    I think I agree with you? 🙂

    Kroenke was interviewed at the start of the new NFL season (come on you Giants!!!) and when he was asked about his Arsenal ‘investment’ he said that AW had his total backing in that Arsenal would only buy players that were value for money, and that the fans could not expect a lot of money to be spent on expensive purchases.

    That is not verbatim, but pretty much reflects the sense of what he said.

    Nothing wrong with those comments, except with Chelsea, Citeh and Manyoo spending big, we are always going to be the cinderella of the transfer market, with all that implies.

  103. gunnern5 says:


    Likewise, I do not know you.

    I will never be sweet as an apple pie – and I am unlikely to change after 74 years and nor will I apologize for my style.

    Please accept that I am not conducting a vendetta,

    I simply have strong points of view and I do not believe that our supporters do not do anywhere near enough to support our team. You always ridicule that that point of view, and try to close out the dialogue – whereas I think it is far more valid and can have greater consequences for our team than all of the idle discussions about what could have been or what things should be like.

    The crowd should be our ace in the hole our twelfth man they should make a real difference when the team is down – ask not what the team can do for us but what can we do for the team (JFK)

    They should not be our judge and jury and drag the team down,
    what can be achieved by moaning and groaning – how can that possibly be uplifting for our team.

    I fully expected the crowd to be a frenzy of support after Man U – and not ……….

  104. kelsey says:

    You agree with me RA, blimey 🙂

    i rant because i love the club

  105. Illybongani says:

    RA- what rhymes with Emirates? Effeminates?

  106. SUGA3 says:

    you gotta love the ‘holier than thou’ types…

  107. kelsey – you are an astute supporter, by that I mean you are happy or rather unhappy to hold a realistic view of how you think the team have performed or what the coming weeks will bring for us.

    Four games in, I’m happy to think that the rollercoaster is on an upwards journey for the time being although nothing quite prepares you for the depths that it will no doubt plummet to in the coming weeks at some point. I think my anticipation of success has taken a real knocking over the past couple of seasons but there is no doubt that naively I expect us to win every game still. Hope springs eternal 🙂

  108. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    I was at the other leg of the Italian punch up,
    It opened my eye`s up,couldn`t believe what I was seeing, Lazio were spitting ,pinching, elbowing, stamping the lot,
    talk about Gladiator`s are you ready!.
    They must have thought they were still in the Colliseum.

  109. kelsey says:

    Fifth richest club in the world , and our future as a club in financial terms remains solid.Winning things is an entirely different matter and unless there is a change of policy it will be a long time until we win a trophy again, at least under this regime.I don’t want us to bankrupt ourselves,but as each season goes on it will be harder to climb the rung again.The FFFP rule won’t efect the big boys as they will have the best accountants in the world and will get round things and we will be left in a time warp.

  110. dandan says:

    So was I. Standing under the microphone LOL

  111. Rasp says:

    Hi kelsey, for what its worth, I agree with a lot of what you say (and Red Arse 🙂 ) but since there is nothing I can do about the politics behind the scenes, I have to just focus on us achieving all we can with what we have.

    One thing that does concern me is that we do not seem to be able to get the best performance out of our players. We have seen Walcott, van Persie and Ramsey all play really well for their national sides and yet not be able to achieve that standard for Arsenal on the evidence so far this season.

  112. neamman says:

    Is it my imagination or is Theo much better when Gervinho is on tyhe pitch? Two similar players swapping wings must make it a nightmare for defenders?

  113. Red Arse says:


    This Gooner was referring to rhyming ‘sound’ allegories.

    At least no one has come up with – Emirates and urinates- Doh! I’ve just done it!!! 🙂

    What a sterile discussion this whole sound = support is.

    How can an argument over who is the better supporter, between someone thousands of miles away and supporters who get off their arses and spend big money going to every home game, have any merit? Seriously?

    And the point is?

  114. Illybongani says:

    Peaches – thanks for the invite earlier. Indeed maybe next time!

  115. gunnern5 says:


    I come on here for a meaningful dialogue between rational supporters, for me that is what is most important. It must be obvious to all that I do not have a need to be liked.

    I do make my points aggressively but in doing so i show no disrespect for others.

    Is it a prerequisite to be friendly on AA – or knowledgeable and able to offer a countervailing opinion.

  116. kelsey says:

    peaches, I thank you and I think you know my feelings in any case.supporter i am but i often speak to fellow supporter who say things verbaly which in essence agree with me,yet when it comes to writing on the blog they change their stance somewhat so not to offend anyone or disrupt the general pattern of a particular blog.Well i am not like that. if i made my comments on other certain sites i would either be ignored, told i am not intelligent to corrspond with or told in no uncertain terms to bugger off.
    i have never ever been disrespectful to any of our players or swore at our manager.i am my own man.

  117. Red Arse says:


    You often make valid comments and I for one enjoy your jokes. But, you do seem to take an unnecessarily aggressive stance with almost anything Rasp says.

    When you were younger, if someone spoke to you agressively, face to face, you might well have poked them on the nose or walked away.
    Bit difficult to do on a blog and anyway you can make your point without personalizing it, surely?

  118. gunnern5 says:

    Red Arse,

    There is a distinct difference between being physically aggressive and having strong opinions.

    I have extremely strong opinions but I’m totally non- physical and face to face I’m known as very likable person (in-spite of myself).

    Being brought up in Highbury, during the war years, we were very street wise but seldom physical.

  119. gunnern5 says:

    Red Arse,

    This is for you.

    I picked up a friend who was coming over for dinner.

    He had a brown bag and placed it beside him in the car.

    We chatted away for several minutes and I asked him what was in the bag.

    Oh – he said it’s a bottle of red wine – I got it for your wife.

    I replied – that sounds like a good trade to me!

  120. Red Arse says:

    GN5, 🙂

  121. gunnern5 says:

    Watching Fulham vs Blackburn – my 5th game this weekend.
    Scrappy affair and to be non- confrontational I muted the sound.

  122. Rasp says:

    Hi GiE, sorry I missed your comment @ 5:02. I know absolutely that the time delay is a problem at the ems because yesterday, sitting exactly on the halfway line, there was one chant coming from the Clock End and one from the North bank. They were both singing the same thing but with a time delay of more than a second, consequently it was very difficult to join in.

    I don’t think you were there yesterday, but here was a definite effort to give greater vocal support. Its not great but its all part of the metamorphosis of the stadium. We will never have the same intimidating atmosphere of other oval stadiums such as the Camp Nou, where it is extremely steep and has multiple levels.

    As you know, I am not the greatest fan of our syrupy PR and I think the Americanized way they try to engender family atmosphere at the expense of fervour actually detracts from the atmosphere.

  123. Red Arse says:


    Crap supporters! just like the HighburyLibrary! 🙂

  124. evonne says:

    Harry – thank you for the detailed report! Balanced and unbiased, of course 🙂 I know I can trust you

    I was reading the heated debate and I may have the answer to why the opinions differ to such degree iro fans’ support at yesterday’s game.

    It was for the first time in many years that I couldn’t find a stream to watch the game on my laptop (bastardly money grabbing tv companies make it impossible to watch games illegally now). So I listened to the commentary on the radio.

    And I was under an impression that it was a terrible game. There were comments that the team was not better than the one at OT. During quieter periods much was said about poor atmosphere. It was reported that Swansea were awful and for Arsenal to grab just one jammy goal was poor.

    So when I had read Harry’s detailed report I was completely taken aback. Was it a dire performance? So how come that Harry gave 6s and 7s to several players? Are we talking the same game?

    Yep, we are. Commentators can change what we are seeing, subconciously showing and discussing points that you would not pay much attention to otherwise.

    Those who were at the game had an opportunity to make up their own mind, the rest of us, like it or not were probably influenced by the media

  125. Red Arse says:

    Hi Evonne, 🙂

    You are quite right!! Mind you, I was influenced more by the booze!! 🙂

  126. evonne says:

    All – do the selective attention test, please:

    We often see what we want to see, fact

  127. kelsey says:

    Of course there was Robbie Savage on Strictly Come dancing to round off a super day.

  128. evonne says:

    RA – I have heard that you chose champagne over Peronis!
    You will not get away with it so easily next time! I will be there

  129. SUGA3 says:


    I really wanted to see my team brush aside a newly promoted side at home, wounded animal and all that…

    what I saw was that side being closer to scoring than us and we only have our countryman to thank for the three points…

  130. evonne says:

    Hi Suga, I know, I was just about to tell Sharkey off for joking about the Poles. Where would his team be without them??

    Shame we didn’t buy Jagielka and Podolski

  131. harry says:

    Evening all, back from my first game of the season, which my U18’s won 5-2. It was 1-0 to us at half time, scored on 44, I wasnt happy, without making substitutions, I made a couple of changes with personnel, by 60mins we were 4-0 up and game was wrapped up.

    Got a few of the other lads on, went 5 up, before conceding 2 in last 5 which was disappointing, but 1 was a worldy…..Good start though…..

    ANyway, see there has been some good sparring on here this afternoon, regards fans and noise……..

    I remember the CC final at Cardiff Millenium, my mate sat in the chelsea end (although arsenal) he said the arsenal fans were quiet compared to the chelsea, I said it was the other way….Same ground, Same time, different opinion.

    Yesterday, fans started well, struggled in the middle (40-70) then picked up again, and IT does make a difference……………..

    @Jamie your team at 1.23pm is what I would go with……..Obviously until TV is back, stick kozzer in there……

    @Suga3 your 4.30….Dire performance from Ramsey, that is harsh.

    @Suga3 I agree with your 4.35 TWOY is out of place and hasnt taken off, not sure about your alternative though…….I prefer Impossible Dream….

    @GunnerN5, I dont do wine but a case of Corona and my wife is yours…..

  132. London says:


    Polite question: when you say that you think the Nou Camp is intimidating are you speaking from someone who has been there?

  133. SUGA3 says:


    Podolski would be a good option to be rotated with RvP, they are very similar players, IMO…

    not sure about Jagielka tho, he is nothing special…


    from where I sat, he looked slow and a bit over-cautious and that ‘pass’ in the 4 v 1 situation summed up his afternoon for me, I mean, it was harder to mess it up…

  134. Rasp says:

    Yes London, my son has been there and and several others I know have said that you get vertigo and feel like you could spit on the players – not that a gentleman like yo9u would 😛

  135. evonne says:

    London – I’ve been to Nou Camp to see our Tel play. I didn’t think it was intimidating, there is no fan segragation, many old biddies (like me) and young kids were wondering around. After the game there were no cops on horses, or any other special arrangements for fans making their way home.

    Fans make that ‘eah’ noices and shake arms a bit, but that’s about it.

    The stadium is big all right, but not humongous. Cardiff felt more scarey to me.

    I thought it was a friendly, family like atmosphere. It might be different when they are playing Real though

  136. kelsey says:

    Speaking in his post-match press conference, the Frenchman explained that the Gunners started well but were slow in the second half as he praised the visitors who made it difficult for his players as they were good on the ball and made good use of the wings with the Arsenal boss believing that they have what it needs to be a good Premier League side.

    Asked about the performance of Andrey Arshavin who scored the only goal of the game, the manager said that the Russian’s attitude in training has been a good one since the start of the season as he rubbishes criticism that the 30-year old doesn’t care anymore.

    On what happened when Marouane Chamakh came on to replace captain Robin van Persie, Wenger concluded by joking that the Morocco International found nobody to give the captain’s armband to as vice-captain Thomas Vermaelen was of course not on the pitch.

    After the narrow win, Wenger said:

    It was vital for us to win the game. I think we started quite well but slowly the nerves took over. We played with the handbrake on and were restrictive in the second half. It is not often that we pass the ball back to our goalkeeper when we are at halfway.

    You could see in the second half that we just wanted to get over the line and we didn’t make a mistake. Swansea make it difficult for you because they keep the ball well and on the wings they are very quick. Overall they have the basics of a very good Premier League team but they just can’t score at the moment.

    [Andrey Arshavin?] [He] has a very good spirit. He had lost confidence but he has a good attitude in training and a good spirit. People think that he doesn’t care but that is not true at all. He cares very much and he had just lost confidence. You could see that he was himself again today.

    [Marouane Chamakh] could find anybody! I told him to keep it, what does it matter for the last 10 minutes. Thomas Vermaelen is the vice-captain but it was difficult to find him

    love the last paragraph 🙂

  137. SUGA3 says:


    as far as I am concerned, this is shocking, how can you not have a vice-vice-captain in such situation?

    not like we don’t have about a million captains in the squad?

    Wenger seems to underestimate the role of a captain, why bother with giving anyone the armband then?

  138. Gooner in Exile says:

    Rasp in the respect of time delay from one end to the other it’s always difficult that’s why We’re the Clock End We’re the North Bank worked it’s never been different at any ground from end to end. The bowl like effect takes that away. But if enough noise is coming from either end and the bits in the middle join up we will be able to make that ground noisy again.

  139. kelsey says:


    i did think it was an unusual comment. like me, when I feel under stress my spelling goes out of the window so perhaps Wenger can’t think clearly or at least as clearly as he used to.

  140. kelsey says:


    I agree with that but Highbury i believe was the smallest allowable pitch size and the crowd were far nearer. i remember going to QPR and though sitting i was about 5 yards from the touchline. It must have an affect.

  141. Gooner in Exile says:

    Theo, Bac, Kozzer? Really no one else on pitch for it was there?

    Could just take AWs response as the funny it was intended to be. Fergie or Pulis tell a joke it’s fine, AW does it it is analysed.

  142. Red Arse says:


    I cannot argue with your much greater knowledge of the Ems, but I did make the very same comment as Rasp about the ‘delayed’ or doppler like effect of the sound coming from the other end of the stadium.

    In one of my rare attendances, I sat behind the clock end goal. We were singing the same song as the opposite end, but by the time we were starting the second verse, the other end were just finishing the first!

    Very off putting, and not conducive to singing as one. Have you ever tried talking in an echo chamber (hall)? It’s almost impossible not to be affected by the time lag.

  143. SUGA3 says:


    I don’t recall either of these two telling jokes about not doing their job properly?

    Sagna would be an obvious choice for me…

  144. Fatgingergooner says:

    Totally agree Evonne,

    Being up norf, I don’t get to the games, and have often listened to the commentary on the radio. I find that the commentary is terrible towards arsenal, espescially on 5 live. Not sure what there problem is or wether I’m over sensitive but it always seems to be anti arsenal.

    As for the crowd noise, the general consensus amongst all football fans is that the Emirates is a quiet place to visit and not very intimidating. They can’t all be wrong can they?

    Team wise, I think Theo has been given some undeserved grief on here today. Now I get annoyed as much as anyone when he just runs the ball out of play or straight into a defender, but he is playing out of position. He is a striker, who should be used in a pair rather than in a 3. His ability to run behind the last man isnt being utilised. His finishing is decent and he could be a massive player for us if used correctly. Whoever said we should play Theo and Gervinho as a 2 with RVP and Arteta in behind was spot on. The pace would scare defenders to death if it was used centrally rather than out wide. No good being able to sprint to the byline when we have no one in the box!

  145. gunnern5 says:

    This is dated data (Aug to Oct 2008) but at least it’s better than mere speculation.

    Noise levels at EPL grounds.

    1)Stoke City 101.8 Decibels
    2) Spurs 97.58 DB
    3)Liverpool 95.40 DB
    4)Portsmouth 94.30 DB
    5)Newcastle 94.06 DB
    6)Aston Villa 92.20 DB
    7)Chelsea 92.06 DB
    8)Middlesborough 91.30 DB
    9)Arsenal 90.80 Db
    10)WBA 90.26 DB
    11)Everton 89.98 DB
    12)Blackburn 89.30 DB
    13)Bolton 88.00 DB
    14) Man City 87.25 DB
    15 Fulham 87.00 Db
    16)Man Utd 86.50 DB
    17) West Ham 86.15 DB
    18) Wigan 86.10 DB
    19) Hull City 84.60 DB
    20) Sunderland 84.05 DB

  146. gunnern5 says:

    Same study dated May 11, 2011

    We drop two places and 13 db’s.

    1.Liverpool, 97 decibels
    2.Man United, 94 decibels
    3.Aston Villa, 89 decibels
    4.Everton, 86 decibels
    5.Blackpool, 85 decibels
    6.Stoke City, 83 decibels
    7.Newcastle, 82 decibels
    8.West Ham, 81 decibels
    9.Chelsea, 80 decibels
    10.Sunderland, 80 decibels
    11.Arsenal, 77 decibels
    12.Wigan, 72 decibels
    13.Man City, 71 decibels
    14.Tottenham, 70 decibels
    15.Birmingham, 70 decibels
    16.Bolton, 69 decibels
    17.Wolves, 69 decibels
    18.Blackburn, 67 decibels
    19.West Brom, 67 decibels

  147. harry says:

    I have rewatched it all Suga3 and I maintain that Ramsey had a goodish game in spite of the team, having a lack of shape, ok he messed up a pass at the end, but he never stopped running for me, effort wise he was up there, he will be a major player for us.

    What bugged me yesterday, someone saying that Ramsey wasnt fit to play for arsenal. Last season he was instrumental as we beat United………

    @Fatginger – your not imaging it mate, all radio and TV stations are anti arsenal….Any chance to twist the knife is taken……..

  148. SUGA3 says:


    and the last season’s complete pathetic collapse had absolutely nothing to do with that…


  149. gunnern5 says:


    I’ve watched the game 3 times and my feeling of Ramsey’s performance was that he slows us down. He is slow in releasing the ball and runs in circles looking for a pass avenue which even meant running and passing backwards.

    He, Walcott and to a lesser degree Frimpong were my personal disappointments.

  150. gunnern5 says:


    Could well be – but a great crowd would be lifting it’s team – not going to sleep.

    At the moment I’m watching an NFL game Pittsburg vs Baltimore and the crowd noise is simply deafening – oh yea I almost forgot it’s not the crowd it’s the sound mixers – I’m a slow learner.

  151. kelsey says:

    In a candid interview focusing on his NFL side, the St Louis Rams, the normally guarded Kroenke revealed a business policy which fully entrusts people to do their jobs when employed by him and his company.

    ‘We like to know what everyone is doing, and we keep up with it,’ Kroenke told stltoday.com.

    ‘We have our football people in place because we believe they can get the job done, so we just let them do their jobs.

    ‘I don’t coach. I don’t play. I don’t scout players. The idea is to put good people in place and trust them to do their jobs.’

    Kroenke has been applying the lessons learned from his US exploits to business dealings in the Premier League, and said that Arsenal risked slipping even further down the pecking order if they take a knee-jerk reaction to losing players such as Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri.

    ‘There’s a risk of going backwards if you overreact and start throwing money around in an attempt to solve your problems,’ the entrepreneur said of Arsenal.

    ‘Unfortunately we saw that with the (St Louis) Rams several years ago.

    ‘Signing a bunch of free agents wasn’t the answer. It set things back, and it took us a while to dig out of it.

    ‘Our track record is out there for people to see. If we think there’s good value, we’ll spend.’

    Before the summer transfer window closed last month, Wenger had been echoing Kroenke’s words when the Frenchman claimed he would select quality over quantity when it came to buying players.

    Since then Wenger has brought in high-profile names such as Mikel Arteta, Per Mertesacker and Yossi Benayoun.

    Both Arteta and Mertesacker made their starting debut in the 1-0 home win over Swansea at the weekend and earned praise from Wenger following the match.

  152. Gooner in Exile says:

    So Suga by your analysis Cham should run on and run over to Bac to give him the armband? Or RvP should run to him
    on way off? After kick off is the Captain important? As the old saying goes there should be eleven captains on the pitch.

    And that is where I try to see your arguments up to a point and then it feels like nothing Wenger could do would change your mind you will always look to be negative about him.

  153. kelsey says:

    well there you have it in a nutshell.

    “Kroenke has been applying the lessons learned from his US exploits to business dealings in the Premier League, and said that Arsenal risked slipping even further down the pecking order if they take a knee-jerk reaction to losing players such as Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri.

    ‘There’s a risk of going backwards if you overreact and start throwing money around in an attempt to solve your problems,’ the entrepreneur said of Arsenal.

    ‘Unfortunately we saw that with the (St Louis) Rams several years ago.”

  154. SUGA3 says:


    like I said, you have every chance of becoming the Ems’ very own MC and putting us all to shame, it’s all well and good to criticise the paying fans from the comfort of your armchair, isn’t it?

    and by the way, bringing up these stats was pretty pointless, I thought the topic of the discussion was the crowd at yesterday’s game?

  155. gunnern5 says:


    That philosphy makes a lot of sense to me, but to be honest it’s more of a sensible business decision then it is a football first decision.

  156. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi Harry, thank you Sir for a fantastic and passionate match report. Whenever you write a blog or a comment, one can never fail you on both your knowledge of the game and enthusiasm for our club.

    So good to see you standing up for Theo. I am starting to get really frustrated about the negativity about Theo by so many fans. Ok, he did not have one of the best games. So what! Most attacking players suffer from this all the time. He played 6 for us and scored 3 goals this season: together with Szczesny he has been our most successful player until now. Pay the guy some respect!

  157. SUGA3 says:

    I am praying and hoping that he just sells out to Usmanov when the 12 month period is up…

    he clearly does not have the resources to make this club successful, he just bit off more than he could ever chew…

  158. gunnern5 says:


    I won’t debate with you for fear of being called confrontational.

    But suffice to say|I find your argument to be circular as the whole discussion really is all about noise levels with yesterday being the current example.

  159. SUGA3 says:


    unlike you, I was there and sang my heart out…

  160. gunnern5 says:

    Well done SUGA but what about the other 59,999.

  161. SUGA3 says:


    you have to understand that the club does not really encourage that, whilst it would be really easy to improve, if you read that article to which I posted the link earlier, you would know what my take on this is…

  162. SharkeySure says:

    Alright Harry, pleasure to meet you again (briefly) yesterday.

    Cracking write up. Loved these lines:
    “and his eyes closed, ok that bit was made up,”
    “or Santos will be coming early this year”

  163. Gooner in Exile says:

    “I am praying and hoping that he just sells out to Usmanov when the 12 month period is up…

    he clearly does not have the resources to make this club successful, he just bit off more than he could ever chew…”

    So by that argument for you the only way to make a success of our club is for it to become the next plaything of the super rich…..I’d honestly rather be relegated. Let’s try and do things right and applaud the club for doing so.

  164. SharkeySure says:

    Hey ETL.

    I love that test. I was absolutely stunned the first time I saw it.

  165. SUGA3 says:


    in case you failed to notice, we have already become one, the bad news is that our rich man is not that rich…

  166. chas says:

    Great write up, Harry.
    Let’s hope the Vorm really has turned.

    Judging by today’s comments, it’s probably true to say that watching football is a subjective experience. 🙂

    For some reason, one of my main memories of yesterday is a massive beer gut. (Note to self, must cut down on beer intake).

  167. gunnern5 says:

    Stan Kroenke is worth $2.6 billion US. He is married to Ann Walton whose father, Bud is the co-founder of Wal Mart.

    They are not exactly paupers.

  168. SUGA3 says:

    compared to this?

    According to the 2011 edition of Forbes magazine, the oligarch is one of Russia’s richest men, with a fortune estimated at US$17.7 billion, and the world’s 35th richest person

  169. SUGA3 says:

    and he is said to be on course to double that in the next 2 years…

  170. gunnern5 says:

    My love for the Arsenal is very basic – I was born less than a mile from the ground and I loved the fact that it was a working man’s club.

    Over the years it has progressed to become more of a mid to upper class team and with that change in supporter status it has lost a lot of it’s raw passion.

    My feeling for the team has never changed (never will) but I am less enamoured with the supporters in general.

    The supporter of 2011 feels entitled to the club repeating AW’s early successes without taking into consideration the underlying reasons for our lack of silverware. After all we have only been missing silverware and not much else.

    I personally do not crave for silverware I crave for a club that will continue to joy to myself and hopefully to my grandchildren.

    That (IMLTHO) will not be possible if we become somebody’s new toy – to be tossed out when they lose interest.

  171. SharkeySure says:


    You have been to several other blogs……..

    That is what you are doing wrong.”

    London, thats succinctness(?) at its finest

  172. SUGA3 says:


    you seem to miss the fact of our pathetic capitulation from the CC final which we lost to a relegation fodder onwards…

    we had a realistic chance of winning the double last season, but due to certain shortcomings we somehow conspired to come fourth in a two horse race…

  173. SUGA3 says:

    I have just watched the first half and I must say that Ramsey looked better on TV…

  174. Gooner in Exile says:

    Suga if it was in the hands of the super rich and treated like a plaything your plea for Usmanov wouldnt be there. So no I hadn’t noticed unless you have evidence to the contrary.

    Kroenke has bought shares previously owned by other relatively wealthy individuals (relative to me anyway) and the company is still run as a legitimate entity spending the money it earns and living within it’s means.

    Like GN5 I do not support my club because it might win trophies, I do it because my Dad told me to. But to be fair as documented on this blog he had to coax me away from my Granddads (his Dads) decision to make me a West Ham supporter.

    Like GN5 my Dad was raised round the corner from Highbury to a majority Arsenal family (except his Dad), and like GN5 I want there to be a club to support for my children, and theirs. At a recent family gathering of 5 generations there was 1 spud (my Dads brother).

    I want my club to be one that stands up for values that may go against the trend but are admirable. I’m lucky to be an Arsenal fan.

  175. harry says:

    Lol Chas, I thought you meant my beergut!!!

    Thanks Total, I appreciate the comments……..

    Cheers Sharkey, I was wondering if anyone picked up on the one liners, I always like throwing one or two in there, starting with the title…….

    GunnerN5, I understand your comments about Ramsey, but I thought the movement around him was poor and limited his options and rather than give possession away he maintained it…….He gave an honest performance and worked harder than people seem to realise, but I accept your views we all see things differently….Me and chas had a similar discussion the other week about Jenkinson, then the next match we sat together and saw the same things, so its all about the angles maybe!!

    GunnerN5, love your passion at 9.28pm………I agree with alot you say, I wasnt born that close, my dad took me when I was 4 and I have now supported for nearly 40years, my support has never and will never waiver……….I too get frustrated at a huge percentage of our support, which our club could do so much about to improve…

    Gooner Til’ I Die………

  176. London says:

    Seems Like I should watch the match again on TV to see why people are defending Ramsey because from where I was sitting I thought he put in an average performance, not terrible but not fulfilling the linking midfield role that he plays as well as I expect, can anyone remember a single pass that put a striker in a position of being able to score; still I agree with Harry, the idea of writing him off this early is ridiculous.

  177. Gooner in Exile says:

    On Ramsey I haven’t seen much from him in the early matches, but we all know what he is capable of. As with Eduardo he came back well in early games on return. The next season was the defining time, it will be for Ramsey too.

    Thinking on about AA23 I guess he has had some travelling this week and 180minutes of football? One blessing with Arteta not being a Spanish internationali guess 🙂

  178. harry says:

    London, One of his best passes was when Chamakh headed back to him, he sent a peach of a pass down the left to gibbs who could cross first time for Chamakh to get his head on it…..

    I think when we play well we all see the same thing and agree easier, when we struggle we all see different things……….and dont agree……..simples………

  179. evonne says:

    Peaches – Phil Neville of course

  180. Silly us, Phil Neville of course 🙂

  181. Gooner in Exile says:

    Just saw this on Twitter made me smile:

    Vermaelen equips magic armband > Team morale +10!
    Chamakh equips magic armband > All players retreat 2 squares.

  182. I hope jabba doesn’t buy Arsenal. sad day when that happens

  183. oz gunner says:

    Cheers G5 for throwing me under the bus haha

    I did comment on the crowd support, from what i perceived from the TV, but was supported by the commentary. Suga3 G5 is not attacking you personally, yes you may have sung your lungs out but you appeared to be the minority. If my perception is wrong than so be it, i’ll admit that those who attended have a better view of things.

    What angers me most is those who say supporters who don’t attend games are ‘armchair supporters’ like we are lesser fans. My grandma is a mad arsenal supporter and attended many games before she came to Oz in one of the first fleets. So because she lives over here now i guess it makes her less of a fan (just like G5 it doesn’t). Yes you attend games and spend money i’d do the exact same if i lived over there. I have to watch champions league games at 230 in the morning and leave to start work at 6, so i think i had the right to an opinion as a fan also, no less than you. When ive finished studying i hope to work as a forensics officer in north london just so i can see arsenal on a regular basis.

    Great post by the way Harry, match reports don’t get much better than that!

  184. SUGA3 says:


    no one says ‘armchair fans’ are lesser supporters, but hearing complaints from thousands of miles away about us not being vocal enough whereas the atmosphere was pretty good, all things considered, is a bit much…

    have a nice day AA’ers 🙂

  185. oz gunner says:

    @ suga3

    i was only stating my opinion, something backed up by the commentary. If you feel the vast majority were vocal enough than obviously you are correct and i apoligise

  186. kelsey says:

    Morning all.

    I wrote this last night and it seems to have been blown out of all proportion and led onto other matters.

    [Marouane Chamakh] could find anybody! I told him to keep it, what does it matter for the last 10 minutes. Thomas Vermaelen is the vice-captain but it was difficult to find him

    love the last paragraph 🙂

    Everyone reads into any quote they way they want to read it,but though insignificant to some I found it as i said rather strange.There must be a pecking order in any team and for no one to know who should take over the armband be it for 1 or 10 minute shows me that this is not at present a team just a collection of nervous individuals.Surely there must be clear instructions given before the game starts ?.

  187. kelsey says:

    What worries me further is apart from the new players having to bed in below is a list of the contract situation of the whole squad.

    (1) Almunia, 34yrs old (Spain, foreign player, contracted till 2012)
    (13) Szczesny, 21yrs old (Poland, U-21 player, home grown, contracted till 2014)
    (21) Fabianski, 26yrs old (Poland, foreign player, contracted till 2012)
    (24) Mannone, 23yrs old (Italy, home grown, contracted till 2012)

    (3) Sagna, 28yrs old (France, foreign player, contracted till 2014)
    (4) Mertesacker, 26yrs old (Germany, foreign player, contracted till 2015)
    (5) Vermaelen, 25yrs old (Belgium, foreign player, contracted till 2013)
    (6) Koscielny, 26yrs old (France, foreign player, contracted till 2014)
    (11) Santos, 28yrs old (Brazil, foreign player, contracted till 2015)
    (18) Squillaci, 31yrs old (France, foreign player, contracted till 2013)
    (20) Djourou, 24yrs old (Switzerland, home grown, contracted till 2014)
    (25) Jenkinson, 19yrs old (Finland, U-21 player, home grown, contracted till 2015)
    (28) Gibbs, 21yrs old (England, U-21 player, home grown, contracted till 2014)

    (2) Diaby, 25yrs old (France, foreign player, contracted till 2015)
    (7) Rosicky, 30yrs old (Czech Rep., foreign player, contracted till 2012)
    (8) Arteta, 29yrs old (Spain, foreign player, contracted till 2015)
    (15) AOC, 18yrs old (England, U-21 player, home grown, contracted till 2017)
    (16) Ramsey, 20yrs old (Wales, U-21 player, home grown, contracted till 2016)
    (17) Song, 24yrs old (Cameroon, home grown, contracted till 2015)
    (19) Wilshere, 19yrs old (England, U-21 player, home grown, contracted till 2016)
    (26) Frimpong, 19yrs old (Ghana, U-21 player, home grown, contracted till 2013)
    (30) Benayoun*, 31yrs old (Israel, foreign player, on loan till 2012)
    (39) Coquelin, 20yrs old (France, U-21 player, contracted till 2015)
    () Denilson**, 23yrs old (Brazil, home grown, contracted till 2014, OUT on loan)
    (46) Lansbury**, 20yrs old (England, U-21 player, home grown, contracted till 2014, OUT on loan)

    (9) Ju, 26yrs old (S.Korea, foreign player, contracted till 2015) – likely to leave in 2yrs time.
    (10) van Persie, 28yrs old (Netherlands, foreign player, contracted till 2014)
    (14) Walcott, 22yrs old (England, home grown, contracted till 2013)
    (23) Arshavin, 30yrs old (Russia, foreign player, contracted till 2012)
    (27) Gervinho, 24yrs old (Ivory Coast, foreign player, contracted till 2015)
    (29) Chamakh, 27yrs old (Morocco, foreign player, contracted till 2014)
    (31) Miyachi, 18yrs old (Japan, U-21 player, contracted till 2015)
    () Vela**, 22yrs old (Mexico, home grown, contracted till 2015, OUT on loan)
    () Campbell**, 19yrs old (Costa Rica, U-21 player, contracted till 2015, OUT on loan)
    (52) Bendtner**, 23yrs old (Denmark, home grown, contracted till 2014, OUT on loan)

  188. kelsey says:

    So if you read that list and we have an unsuccesful season or not the whole process will start again in the next two years.I have never known a time under Wenger where there is so much uncertainty..

  189. Kelsey
    Contract negotiations are ongoing. The players he (or whoever takes over) will have new contracts (or not like na$$$ri). At least almunia’s runs out at the end of the season.

  190. should of said
    the players he want’s to keep

  191. Gooner in Exile says:

    Chas 😀

  192. kelsey says:


    contracts are worthless, i am talking about the key players in the squad.it could be a few years of a merry go round. read what kroenke said in my comments last night.he isn’t going to invest too heavily regardless if his wife is part of the Walmart family.
    I don’t want the russian in, that is a knee jerk reaction by those fickle supporters who think he will pour money into the club and laden us with debt.
    We need a direction the club intends to go and at the moment i don’t see one.DHW didn’t want kroenke anywhere near our club and a year later he is on the board and majority share holder.
    Usmanov will start to make noises when he gets the few shares he needs to see the books and that will be more unsettling to everyone at the club .he will promise the world but it’s easy to say things from the outside.
    We are in a mess as a club, and as a long time supporter i can’t stand it,as it was unnecessary.

  193. kelsey says:

    if you want to take the piss just say so and i won’t bother to comment anymore.

  194. chas says:


    My apologies if you thought I was taking the p*ss. I was simply trying to lighten the mood.

    Every single club on the planet will have players whose contracts are going to expire in the next two or three years. The successful clubs will have no problem getting players to sign long extensions. Others less successful will always have players wanting to run their contracts down for a big pay day and signing on fee. It’s the nature of the beast.

    It should be me that doesn’t bother to comment anymore.

  195. evonne says:

    I didn’t realise the CL game is tomorrow!!! Shit, I am not ready yet!!
    How tricky can Dortmund be? Who are their key players?

    Oh, yeah, sorry – Good morning all 🙂

  196. kelsey says:


    I undrstand but I just feel that there is so much going on at the club that we as fans are not being told (which of course happens in all clubs and all walks of life) but the statements by Gazidis and Wenger (most probably under oders) have been conflicting.
    cesc had 4 years left and we all know he was going,but to me it was a bad bit of business on the financial frontfor a club who count the pennies more than most..

  197. Rasp says:

    Morning all,

    We put up a post in the summer (someone remind me who wrote it?) asking the question ‘where do we expect to be after the first 4 games of the season?’

    No-one had such lowly expectations as have materialised but we can only look forwards and hope that things begin to click. Perhaps someone should write a post asking where we hope to be points wise at Christmas and we will then be able to tell in retrospect whether the current underlying pessimism from some quarters was justified.

    kelsey’s concern about the fundamental problems at Board level cannot be ignored but on the other hand apart from speculating, there is nothing us mere supporters can do about it.

  198. Gooner in Exile says:

    My question re club direction and squad contracts. When is Wengers contract up? If he is not planning to renew is it right that the Board restricts his spending.

    Looking at that list are there too many problems? Almunia will leave/retire next season, TR7 and AA23 will also leave to sign a four year money contract which we will not and should not give them. RvP will be 30 when his contract expires has he done enough to justify an extension of his existing one?

    Every year players will come and go, new contracts will be offered.

    Kelsey your opinion is your opinion, that others try to look on the situation on the brighter side (including me) is the yang to your ying.

    I realise and have always realised my views on the internal operations of the club are from second hand evidence and hearsay. As such any view brings with it a bias of that persons opinion as he/she may have something to gain from leaking information in a certain light.

    I received no reply from the club when I wrote a letter complaining about North Bank Bond Issue my concerns were not even responded to, will anything you and I say change the direction of the Board….no. So knowing that I cannot waste energy on worrying about it. All I can do is start the day thinking they have the clubs best interest at heart and enjoy the ride.

  199. evonne says:

    Thanks for all the replies!
    I checked Dortmund myself.

    Right, they won CL some 15 years ago, finished 1st in Bundesliga last season and have Zidan playing for them!!! We are in trouble

  200. chas says:


    Dortmund lost at home on Saturday. 🙂


    Cesc leaving was a case of emotional blackmail, completely different to any other.

  201. Big Raddy says:


    Evonne- neither did I – better start writing a pre-match!

    To return to the game as I was not around to comment. I felt we would struggle given the events leading up to the game what with RvP, AA, Ramsey all playing 180+ mins at International level I expected them to tire. That they did so is no surprise.

    Nor was it a surprise that we looked disjointed – the fluency will come when we have our first team in action. Without JW, TV, Gerv and Song (and Abou!) we will struggle.

    Shame the Chamakh header didn’t go in – it would have kick started his season.

    A win was all that mattered and we got it.

  202. London says:

    Morning Kelsey

    This is meant as a polite question: if you think the club handled the Fabregas situation poorly please tell us what you think they should have done, you must have a view on this to have arrived with your concern in the first place.

  203. Gooner in Exile says:

    Rasp it was me, i think i said i wanted CL Group stage which we’ve achieved. And that I thought 7 points would be achievable.

    So 3 points behind that tally which I will explain away by bemoaning Songs stupid red, Gervs retaliation, Frimpongs naivety and Wilshere and Verm’s injuries.

    To be fair i expected a win at Newcastle and a draw at home to the Pool which was on the cards until Frimpongs second yellow.

  204. London says:



    In my opinion that is a comment of the highest quality.

  205. Big Raddy says:

    chas. That cheered me up!

    Let’s hope BD’s keeper is as poor as that one!

  206. kelsey says:


    fair enough i would love to be proved wrong.
    it’s hard on a daily basis to right comments without repeating oneself. I just look at it at perhaps a different angle.it may come over as being defeatest,pessimistic or whatever you wish to call it, but i just have a gut feeling that the last five years have impoded in our face and for now things won’t improve much.

  207. chas says:


    If my support for the club was tinged with an ever present pessimism, I would give it up.
    As peaches said, regardless of the situation, I always hope the club win the next game.

    Supporting Arsenal has always enhanced and enriched my life. If I let it start to affect me negatively, then I feel I would be a fool. If we lose, move on to the next game, if we win, bask in that warm glow for as long as possible. Simple, but effective.
    Life is subjective, as is watching football. It’s up to each individual person how they react to each situation. Nothing is under our control, but how we react is.

  208. evonne says:

    Chas – what a free kick!! cheers

    BR – yes please, start writing, as you know I love your pre-match articles 🙂

  209. chas says:


    I would have said that with a free kick centrally placed, the keeper not being able to see the ball, Henry actually starting the ball off towards the keeper and bending it into the other side, the keeper stood no chance.
    Proof that we all see things differently. 🙂

  210. kelsey says:

    Morning london.

    i am glad you asked me that question because if you go back through my posting history this is one thing i actually know about straight from the horse’s mouth.
    before Fizman sadly died there were nummerous meeting with the barca representitives and arsenal were offered more than they actually received when cesc was finally sold. To me that was a bad business deal. Who is actually to blame i am not sure,but if it had been tied up then we would have had more time and more money to try and replace our star player.not like for like but someone of greater standing than the last minute buying of Arteta.

    You can believe that or not. I have never come out with wild guesses about anyone else except recently about dempsey as again i had first hand information.

  211. Rasp says:

    Hi GiE, thanks, yes I agree, I left the pool game actually feeling better about the performance than I did after Saturday’s game even though we won.

    There was a feeling of deja vu when we seemed unable to keep hold of the ball in the last 20 minutes and had no shape – just an underlying air of panic. I thought at that stage that a draw was the most lkely outcome, but the footballing gods were with us when they missed a sitter with 5 mins to go so perhaps our fortunes will change.

    The sending off of Song and lack of mental preparation to deal with Barton are down to individual and collective failings and all we can do is learn from them.

  212. Rasp says:

    Hi chas,

    No argument there. I think it is fine to discuss any aspect of a performance after the event, but on match day it has to be 100% support – otherwise why bother as you say.

  213. chas says:


    haha, I’ve just realised who that ‘poor’ keeper playing for Dortmund is…..the one and only Jens Lehmann. 🙂 🙂 🙂

  214. Morning all

    There’s a New Post …………………….

  215. TotalArsenal says:

    WOW, some top quality comments on here this morning! GiE and Chas especially: how do you guys come up with such wisdom so early in the morning? 🙂

    Kelsey, I appreciate your point of view and you are always consistent and polite in your comments. I think most of us on AA rather enjoy the top of the iceberg and don’t like looking deeper down, but your desire to do so – baised on a genuine concern – raises the quality of the debate on AA. So please, keep it going, even though you might feel like a lonesome salmon swimming against the stream 🙂

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