Pick up the Pieces

At last the chance to write about something other than rumour, tittle tattle and economics. And what a game we have today, none of that nerve wrenching, gut mangling, behind the sofa stuff of our last match against the lowlife bottom feeders – today we welcome those fine upstanding men from the frozen wasteland of Sunderland, who will be looking to gift us 3 points in their push for relegation. A day for Arsenal to get back on track and pick up the pieces.

Sunderland are owned by an American, Ellis Short, who has recently become chairman succeeding the excellent Niall Quinn. Will this isolate Steve Bruce and lead to his replacement, or will it have no effect upon the on-pitch affairs? More to the point, do we really give a damn?

There are lots of interesting stats about today’s game, my favourite being that Sunderland have not won at Arsenal since 1983. There have been 3 90th minute goals in our last 6 meetings, and whoever scores first wins – usually us.

No Bendtner today which is a shame. I watched him in Denmark’s excellent victory over the slimy Portugese (any team with Ronaldo , Mereilles and Nani is slimy and deserving of a good beating!). Nik played centrally and was, I can find no other word, poor. He finished off a fine move for his goal but even Clichy could have scored it. Nik’s absence could give Connor Wickham his first PL start, an interesting player as he showed against us last season at Ipswich.

We are just one point and one place ahead of Sunderland …  bizarre. You all know the problems, we have discussed them endlessly, unfortunately no-one has come up with reasonable solutions other than buying better players. Mr. Wenger believes he has the squad to challenge and one can certainly find reasons (not excuses) for our poor start. Injuries to key players and a rash of red cards have hindered our progress.

It will be interesting to see how Mr. Wenger solves the right back problem. Can he rely upon a very inexperienced 19 year old Carl Jenkinson to be an adequate understudy to Sagna? Or does he play Koscielny or Djourou at RB?  Another possibility is Coquelin. If there are to be brickbats (whatever they are) to be thrown at AW, it is selling Eboue without buying an experienced stand-in RB.

Upfront, RvP is in the form of his life, can he continue and get a brace today? Why not?

With Rosicky regaining fitness , will AW continue with Ramsey? Despite his critics I believe Ramsey is a fine player and should get the shirt with TR substituting late in the game

Is there any possibility of Arshavin getting the central attacking midfield role? Not in my opinion, in fact I doubt whether AA will even start.

My team:



I am hoping we will really attack Sunderland who are likely to play long ball and  look for set piece opportunities, hence the choice of Santos over Gibbs.

The Americans will not appreciate my choice of inventor born in Sunderland. Contrary to popular belief the electric light bulb was invented by Sir Joseph Swan and not by Thomas Edison.  The electric lightbulb was first patented by Swan in 1878 and his house was the first in the world to be lit by light bulbs.  He received a knighthood and the French Legion d’Honneur in honour of his invention. Top bloke, top beard.



167 Responses to Pick up the Pieces

  1. 26may1989 says:

    Cheers Raddy. My guess is that Santos will play right-back today, with Gibbs at left. Though we could see Kos or Djourou (please no) at RB and the other at CB.

    I think Rosicky’s injured after international duty.

    Sunderland have some good players, Richardson, Wickham and especially Seb Larsson. And Wes Brown and John O’Shea give them something at the back. But they’re short of their first choice keeper and I assume Bramble’s legal issues keep him out. And they’ve lost Gyan and can’t use Nik, so we should feel optimistic today. Get three points and we can climb up to 10th (woo-hoo).

    Anyone going to the Tavern today?

  2. 26may1989 says:

    By the way, I now can’t go to the Stoke game next week. I have two spare tickets looking for a home. West stand, lower tier, on the halfway line, cover price (£40 per ticket). Anyone want them?

  3. Hi 26 – Rasp and I will be bringing TA and his father-in-law to The Tavern, be there about 12.30. Will you be joining us?

    Bloody 1.30 ko’s are such a rush.

    Gonne read the post now 😳

  4. 26may1989 says:

    Lovely peaches, I’ll be there for 12.30, see you there.

  5. charybdis1966 says:

    morning all, thanks for the build up. It seems like an age since the hurt of the NLD. Sad that I can’t beat the tavern today, mind you I’ve just got out of bed ! I think this Swan chap is a forerunner to ZZ Top.

  6. charybdis1966 says:

    ps meant to say “thanks for the build up Radders”

  7. 26 – are you on twitter? There’s a @arsenal_tickets that RT available tickets and people looking for them – talk about it later.

    Great pre-match Raddy, must be disappointing for you to see Nik playing poorly even for Denmark – I’d hoped that he would find his mojo when he went out on loan but it must be hidden somewhere at London Colney 😦

  8. chary!!!!!!!!!!!! 🙂 How are you? When’s your next game? We really miss you during the day – can’t you change jobs 😆

  9. 26may1989 says:

    Twitter? What’s that?

  10. oz gunner says:

    @ 26

    haha cheers for the link, looks like a 6yr old dance concert where everyone is copying the one person who knows the routine. I’td probably have a better effect than the modern one because you’d feel sorry for them, nowadays i think the haka fires up the opposition just as much.

    Definently no surprise with fabs, just another unlucky keeper who lost his chance due to injury. A keeper who is affected that greatly by confidence isn’t worth keeping anyway.


    great preview as always.im very confident today

  11. MickyDidIt89 says:

    I gather its like Facelift.

  12. 26may1989 says:

    Oz, haven’t you got better things to be doing right now? Like the last 5 mins of the RWC semi???!

  13. 26may1989 says:

    Micky 🙂

  14. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Another fine Big Raddy, Big Raddy.
    Always such a great start to the day.

  15. MickyDidIt89 says:

    I’m out for lunch, how can I watch the game when I get back? No satellite tv.
    Seriously bad news if liveonline does not get back on line. I’m a bloom’in season ticket holder.

  16. oz gunner says:

    @ 26

    i was watching it but i brought my laptop in when the game went tits up. Bloody all blacks

  17. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Never mind Oz. Look on the bright side, France are going to get a World Cup Final thrashing. Every cloud..

  18. 26may1989 says:

    Oz, “bloody All Blacks” is about right: Andy Ellis’s face looked like a bootle of tomato ketchup had been sprayed on it.

    Both teams played incredibly well I thought, real determination and desire. Am looking forward to the Final.

  19. charybdis1966 says:

    Hi Peachy, strange but my work doesn’t block Tim’s blog but everyone elses. I could make short comments on my phone but watch out for typos ! My next game is the marseille one on the mid week. Have to leave work early for that one. There are Peroni’s to be drunk.

  20. 26may1989 says:

    OK, I’m off. Enjoy the game everyone, catch up anon.

  21. Gooner in Exile says:

    Morning all, a BR pre match to admire as always. I’m crapping bricks as I feel this game is make or break for the team/squad and manager. That’s a pretty sweeping statement from me but I think the discontent seen up to now will be nothing compared to that following a dismal performance/result today.

    Nothing less than three points before the visit of the Neanderthals from Stoke (who have even converted Upson into dreadful challenged …. see Murphys reaction yesterday).

    Personal opinion is that Sunderland can be dangerous on the break with Richardson and Larsson and they will shut up shop as they did last year and look to hit us on the break. So it’s important our full backs keep shape and for that reason I’d play Jenks and Santos and let the attack sort themselves out.

  22. Thorough says:

    Great post. I especially love the part that TR should come in for Ramsey…..after Ramsey has had two assists – both for Sunderland. Put anybody there but Ramsey. Arshavin, Benayoun, Ox….even Djorou, but not Ramsey. IMO.

  23. oz gunner says:

    @ 26

    it wasn’t pretty at all. I’m surprised it doesn’t happen more often because those blokes are bulls.

    Australia did well to beat the boks but the all blacks are too good and will take it all the way.

  24. oz gunner says:

    My prefered line-up, wouldn’t mind even seeing park swap with gerv

  25. oz gunner says:

    @ GiE

    saw upsons shocker, they literally are a team full of giant thugs

  26. Lifelong Gooner says:

    Note to all Arsenal supporters attending today’s match. Sing! shout! chant! show your support for the Glorious Gunners! The whole club needs a vocal uplift.

    Cheer them on to VICTORY!!!

    C’mon the GUNNERS!!!

  27. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Once more.
    Where can I watch the whole game later?
    I’m considering cancelling a lunch party.

  28. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Liveonlinefootie is BACK ON.
    Still need answer to above.

  29. Jamie says:

    Big game today.

    Very nervous. Think we will win, the front three should have enough.

    Going back to a point I saw raised earlier, Lauren, Cole, Toure and Campbell were a great back four but I’m not sure they were better than the famous back four.

    Nice pre match preview as always.

    I also saw someone suggest Dixon at right back today, I’d go along with that or Viv Anderson.

    Let’s get the season started, no more exuces.

    I hate 1:30 kick offs though it doesn’t allow for those of us who might have a hangover to start drinking pre match.

  30. LB says:

    To me the BR pre-match is one of the few remaining shining lights in the ever darkening world of Arsenal blogs.

  31. MickyDidIt89 says:

    So wrong Jamie,
    A hangover is the best possible preparation. Get straight back into the saddle, and away you go.
    T’was I with the Dixon suugestion, although Anderson is a very good call 🙂
    How can I watch the bloody game later?????

  32. pat says:

    sorry oz – being a kiwilander am very happy about the rugby result but to be honest will be happier if the gunners give the “Some other team nobody cares about” a hiding. Hopefully Catermole behaves himself and Jenks (ok the whole team) gets in a good performance.

    What did you think of the Wales v France game? Was gutted for Wales that they couldn’t overcome that harsh sending off.


  33. Jamie says:


    Worth a read.

    Might go for a bloody Mary.

    Is Iraq goals still knocking around on the net, used to be able to catch the odd game on there.

    Spent yesterday with a mate of mine in a Clerkenwell bar playing football manager, ended up with and audience and £107 bar bill.

  34. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    Nice pre-match Big Beardy!. C`mon, there`s a picture of a guy with a big beard, with Raddy`s name under it ! 🙂

  35. evonne says:

    Micky – no idea, unless you know someone who records games. I think Peaches does, she, Rasp and TA are on their way to the Ems, but I will ask her later

  36. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Thanks Evonne, but I’ve just thrown in an awful excuse. Will watch game live and go over later for some hello’s.
    Arsenal comes first.

  37. Team News in (for those not in the Tavern 😦 )

    ………………Worlds No 1…………..

    Subs (where surprises are):
    Fab1, Santos, Djourou, Frim, Arsh, Benayoun, Park

    No Ramsey, Cham, Coq on bench?

  38. Loving RvPs programme notes….problem is at £5 too many won’t read them……..

    “I want to say something about my commitment to Arsenal because there have been many stories in the media lately, I am committed to Arsenal, and that’s how it is, despite people [in the media] making up stories. For example, they said I was selling my house, but that’s nothing recent, I moved house last year.

    I see stories which make me laugh, but I can see how frustrating it is from the fans’ point of view. But I am committed to Arsenal. I am captain, and fans should not believe everything they read.

    As for that house story, the house has been for sale for a while, but I’m not living on the streets or anything, I have found a really nice house, and yes, it’s in London! So I want to put that straight, I am committed, and I will show that on the pitch.

  39. On My Own, on my own on my o-wn, on my own, on my own, on my own, ON MY OWN, on my own…..

    rinse repeat

  40. oz gunner says:

    cheers for the info GiE

    @ Micky

    agreed, bugger the party, gunners first

    @ Pat

    didn’t watch the other game, union isn’t my cup of tea, more of a league fan

    @ all

    enjoy the game,comfortable 3-0 victory to the mighty gunners

  41. oz gunner says:

    @ GiE

    ah RVP…my hero

  42. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Interesting to see Park has outumped MC for the subs spot.
    Something to eat then back for KO.

  43. pat says:

    @oz ahh – kiwis got ripped by the aussies in the league…

    yep and classy response to the gutter stories from RVP….

  44. SharkeySure says:

    Cracking pre match Mr Radders.

    I’m happy enough with the team, I just hope that the missing faces are not even more injuries.

    One or two goals before H/t please…ie lets create some good chances ,…and take them !!!

  45. SharkeySure says:

    Liveonlinefooty is BACK !!!!

    I’ll be wtaching on Sky anyway…but thought I’d let you all know

  46. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Grrrrr must win. Lets do it.

  47. gunnern5 says:

    Here we go again – 1-1

    We always seem to find a way to make the opposition look good.

  48. Gooner in Exile says:

    I literally can’t believe it…..I know I should be used to it but how do you go from dominating to submission in about a minute?

    Suddenly the midfield stopped working, not one of them is receiving the ball on the half turn neither is Gibbs who persists on putting his first touch inside meaning he can only go backwards..so ball just goes defence-midfield-defence.

    All that said Brown fouled Song before goal as he jumped for ball but Webb missed that…..and for me there should have been T least two yellows for Sunderland players but as the offences are on half way line and just disruptive they are allowed to get away with it. Brown through back of RvP is sliding in from behind which is automatic booking. But Webb must think he is still playing for Fergie.

  49. Gooner in Exile says:

    By the way top top save by Szczesny

  50. oz gunner says:

    @ GiE

    yep, typical webb, yet in the 2nd oe of ours will commit one foul and get a yellow, cattermole and brown should be both on yellow. This is blackburn all over again, we were on fire in the first 20mins, what on earth happened?!

    @ Pat

    haha Australia are on a whole different level in league (still spewing we coughed up the league world cup to you lot though). Its a shame its not on more often because league is alot more skillful and exciting, compared to the bulls that but heads and penalty this and penalty that.

    Rocky has been good for me, one that is still actually driving forward, walcott has been non-existant

  51. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Bloody Hell,
    This is a big 45 coming up.
    I’ll be off at the final whistle, so hope to find you all in good spirits when I get back.
    Come on you Gunners.

  52. gunnern5 says:

    Team booed at half time — fans or morons?

  53. gunnern5 says:

    Walcott has not been in the game and Gervinho faded after the first 20 minutes.

  54. oz gunner says:

    how does kozza get a yellow for that and brown gets away with worse in the first half. typical webb hes a 2nd half yellow specialist, yet never gives them in the first. G5 your right haven’t seen gerv since the 20min mark

  55. oz gunner says:

    whats the odds on us going the whole season not scoring from a set piece? mert never gets near the ball, as for dead ball specialists pfft

  56. Gooner in Exile says:

    Webb really is an absolute see you next Tuesday

  57. Gooner in Exile says:

    GN5 agree on Gerv.

    Someone I follow on Twitter said it was a minority booing…but that minority are morons.

    That said i’m guilty here of some foul language here.

  58. gunnern5 says:

    Oz our dead ball specialists are – dead.

  59. gunnern5 says:

    VP is pure class………………

  60. gunnern5 says:

    Now for a very nervous 7/10 minutes

    Wow that close call for offside.

  61. gunnern5 says:

    Arshavin is having his best game of the season.

  62. oz gunner says:

    G5 he has been great since he came on, however there was a game at the start of the season where he played a really good 60mins. I think he should be starting over gerv atm. I take that back well taken RVP

    @ GiE

    a few sharp words thrown myself, but agreed morons indeed

  63. oz gunner says:

    phew, a wins a win i guess.

    Thank god for RVp and szcz thats all i can say

  64. Gooner in Exile says:

    Jeesh…..my heart couldn’t bare to take injury time and it’s only 35years old!! Poor Arsene must have felt like I have no idea!!

    Honourable mentions today for Kozzer, Chezzer, Jenks, TR7, Santos, AA23, and of course RvP….Quality.

    I’d really like Webb to explain bookings, he allowed them to play like they did and give so many free kicks away, some of the most obvious rotational fouling I’ve seen.

  65. Rob Lucci says:

    what do we do without Van Persie? Pure class!!

  66. gunnern5 says:

    I know a bunch of you want to argue differently but our crowd is just plain awful – in fact pathetic.

    There may well be small groups that create a modicum of hope but generally it’s beyond hope – maybe the players should boo the crowd? As soon as the team need some support to lift them up all you hear is moans and groans.

    Do you continue to maintain that the problem is the acoustics or the placement of microphones for the lack of sound or atmosphere or having to listen to Elvis? If so why is it that the moans and groans can always be heard above the cheers?

    Oh I know the answer already it’s the lack of cheers.

    Glad we won despite of the crowd’s apathy.

  67. Gooner in Exile says:

    Awaiting the injury time announcement I came up with a new rule.

    If your team has been responsible for time wasting and are losing at the end of 90minutes you don’t get it added on.

  68. kelsey says:


    RVP was outstanding
    Arshavin’s best cameo role for over a year
    Szscney as he kept us in the game at 1-1 but still needs to work on his distribution.


    Many but mainly not a defensive unit and midfield is too slow

    Most annoying:
    Song great in the tackle,passing woeful.

    Arteta slows the game down and generally i am not impressed
    Walcott still a waste of space
    Rosicky not a bad game but again final pass tends to be poor
    Benyaoun a poor loan buy
    Gervinho still an apprentice
    Jenkinson as said previously shouldn’t be in the squad but improved in the second half
    Gibbs loked to be having a good game until went off injured
    Mertsacker a shadow of the player we saw play for germany and is also extremely slow
    Kos, plays his heart out but always liable to the odd mistake
    Santos did a good job when he came on

    Summary no fluidity in the team, too slow on the break and this was a poor Sunderland team.

    A win is a win and the magic moment for me was RVP turning his man and then chipping the keeper only to hit the post.

    We are miles away from the team of last year and just have to accept it for the time being.

  69. Gooner in Exile says:

    GN5 sounded better today but in the main I agree with you. What really annoys me is the lack of ST holders turning up. I understand that some games are hard to make, but it isn’t hard to find someone to occupy your seat surely. Although saying that another General Sale game today which also means more tourists and less regulars and it’s much harder to get noise going when it’s like that.

    It was like that for Olympiakos as i sat amongst so many in Clock End Upper. My issue is the nervousness I said for that game sitting in the stands was like sitting with hypochondriacs waiting for blood test results.

  70. Gooner in Exile says:

    Kelsey, I take issue on quite a few of those but respect your opinion. For example Gerv and Theo you rightly criticise but then you say TR7s end ball was poor. He only had one outlet and therefore it’s harder to find fault.

    Still think you’re harsh in Jenks I thought he was one of our better players today and leaves everything on the pitch which for me is a good thing, he was played into trouble by Merts in first half but in the main won the crowd over with his drive and surprising composure on attack.

    As for Kozzer I can think of at least three long passes to feet that we haven’t seen an Arsenal centre back play for a long time (if ever)

  71. kelsey says:


    maybe my expectations are higher and shouldn’t be,but which ever way you look at it we just scraped home.

  72. pat says:

    Rosicky had the best game I have seen from him in ages!

    Walcott was hiding somewhere – did not have much to do.

    RVP did the business!

    3 POINTS!!

  73. kelsey says:

    Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger on his side’s hard-fought victory over Sunderland: “We had a good start for 25 minutes but as soon as Sunderland equalised the confidence started to wobble a bit. The second half was all us but we needed something special from Robin van Persie to make the difference.”

    So my question is why did the confidence start to wobble.

  74. I have the same question Kelsey, it just seemed that we lost composure and they did nothing to warrant it apart from get a bit tighter, part of me thinks it was going to well, and the midfield started to play too far up the pitch leaving the back four to marshall breaking players. Arteta allowed runs off him too easily today which was disappointing.

  75. SharkeySure says:

    On days like today when for some reason (Larsson’s goal) the team has lost all confience to play our usual game then you are looking for heart and desire over technical ability.

    Today the likes of Song, Kozzer and Jenks ran and fought for everything when we were trying to wrestle back control of the game. I also thought Santos came on with the right spirit, It might be my anti Gibbs bias but I started to wonder what Arsene sees in trainnig that’s getting Gibbs selected ahead of Santos. It looks a no contest to me.

    For me that win is very much down to Kozzer, Szczesny and Song, The game could have been long gone before RVP’s (fantastic !!) free kick but for those three.

    Decent cameo from Arshavin

  76. Agreed Sharkey on nearly all of that……no infact all of it, although Song does give me the jitters some times when he trys to shield the ball and not play the ball, he gets caught out doing that occasionally.

    And I thought Santos was very good, and he is more capable than Gibbs in terms of controlling and directing those around him.

    When Benny came on I did think that these old heads around the club can only be a good thing, his performance when on (winning the free kick, and generally demanding ball and keeping ball) can only be good for youngsters around him to learn from (if they choose to).

  77. RockyLives says:

    Three points good.

    RvP is looking our only world class player at the moment.

    Encouraging cameo from Arsh.

    Jenks did well, I thought, and he’s the best crossing fullback we’ve had for a long time.

    But we just look so fragile and vulnerable. It would not have been a complete surprise if we had lost today. We did not look as fluid as we did against the Spuds, but at least we got the result this time.

  78. dandan says:

    Kelsey I would have thought the answer to your question was obvious. it was the old here we go again syndrome you could feel it in the reaction of the crowd, when Seb Larson hit that superb free kick. The crowd then appeared to go into their shell until half time and there was even a little booing as the players left the pitch. But AW words of wisdom must have been good because they came out as they had started and carried it through. To a resolution we would not have got at the end of last year, the wise heads were there to see at the end. Young Jenkinson I thought deserved a mention for sticking to the task he appears to have a superb engine. Song would be so much a better player if he could find a consistent final ball, everything else about him is first class it’s a shame he lets himself down with those loose passes.
    All in all i thought it was a good performance both TR and AA were a bit of a revelation today, nearer the players we know they can be, they must have heard GIE instructions to run at them with the ball.

  79. RockyLives says:

    Listening on the TV I have to agree with Gn5 – the crowd seemed very quiet (although I didn’t hear too much booing).

    Mind you, it’s a long way to Canada!

  80. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    Two out of three, not bad.
    1, RVP`s commitment to The Arsenal. 🙂
    2, A win. 🙂
    3, The media reports on Wenger. He`s happy with the squad .
    He wont buy in January .
    With regards to the squad, what else can he say ?, ” The one`s I bought are shite , along with the rest of the shite”. He would never undermine the players or their confidence.
    The Jan` TW, Depends on : who is in the market and how well we do from now to December !.
    So how many points below 4th spot,in Dec` warrants Arsene getting the Cheque book out ? even then , It depends on, who is available!. How many unavailable players have we sold !.
    So this weaker squad, compared to last year ( which needed strengthening) does not need strengthening ? Baffles me .
    RA, where are you ? You explain thing`s better ( even though I will need a dictionary ! ) 🙂

  81. gunnern5 says:

    Kelsey, your question

    So my question is why did the confidence start to wobble?


    Given that we have new players, young players and have experienced a dreadful start to the season – It’s obviously going to be fragile.

    They’ve been there before – Blackburn & Spurs being the latest examples and they must fear the worst when the tide turns – it’s only human nature.

    But being in such a negative space as the Emirate, being booed off at half time and hearing the moans and groans is also a confidence killer.

    I’m watching the Newcastle v Spurs game at the moment and the Newcastle crowd are wonderful and fully supportive, it may well be the difference is between a corporate crowd and a working man’s crowd.

    Whatever the reason our crowd stink and are a major part of our problem.

    But I’ m used to being told to sing a new song as the incumbents don’t want to hear about it any more……But how can the problem be solved if they bury their heads in the turf?

  82. I guess GLIC that even speculating about buying suggests to the current squad they are not good enough.

    I think back to AA23’s arrival from memory that came from a poor patch. Looking at records we had dropped 29 points by end of January. (5 losses and 7 draws).

    Good news Newcastle equalised 😀

  83. Hi all

    Just back from the game, haven’t read any of your comments yet but it will be interesting to see what those of you watching on tv thought of some of the performances.

    Great to meet Total and his father-in-law who are now on their way back to Norfolk.

    26 – you paid me the tenner but I don’t remember if you agreed to write a match report 🙂

  84. dandan says:

    C5: sorry to disappoint you, but prior to my retirement I had among others a table in the Magpie Restaurant at Toon, the food served there is superb and regularily voted the best in football , They therefor have a large corporate presence, in fact i would not be surprised if the mix is not similar to that at the Emirates

  85. kelsey says:

    Another thing Song had already been booked when he fouled someone again and i bet i was not the only one who thought he would be sent off, so Webb did us a favour there.

    GN5 I don’t anything will change the atmosphere at the ground which is very sad.

    did he really say that

    dandan we agree about Song he was fantastic in the tackle but his passing was wayward (is that allowed 😉 )

  86. @GiE’s comment about Robins’ programme notes

    I said after the game that Robin looks like he absolutely adores playing for us, look how he took off his shirt for his second goal – amazing free kick, he’s waited as long as we have for him to score one of those – he applauds the crowd, he even waved at me 🙂

    In return, we sang his name over and over again and I can’t wait to be singing it next week aswell

  87. gunnern5 says:


    Why do you assume that would disappoint me?

  88. The problem is GN5 what do you want people to do about it? I come home from every game i attend hoarse, but you do start to feel moron as you stand facing your fellow supporters urging them to sing up and you are on your own. I do not doubt that fans have an impact on the team and the players are asking for more, see Wilshere’s twitter feed today.

    BUT…..I do not feel like I sit around corporate types, I sit around people who just do not get it, or feel the need, for whatever reason. And as for moaners and groaners they have always been there, I sat around them as a kid, and i sit around them now.

    And then you have our away fans who are some of the noisiest in the league.

    Bad news Spuds scored again 😦

  89. 26may1989 says:


    Our home crowd is without doubt terrible, too often a twelfth man for our opponents.

    But I’ve just switched on the Newcastle v Spurs game, and the Geordies don’t sound too good to me. Noisier than our lot of course but nothing special.

    As for the Arsenal crowd being too corporate, I don’t think that’s the problem. Most people I see and hear seem to be pretty average in class terms.

    My problem with Arsenal fans is how critical and negative they are during the game. They just seem to have no idea how to contribute, to help drive the side on. It’s all about venting spleen on whoever the current love-to-hate figure in a red and white shirt is.

  90. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    Kelsey, My sources were from most Nationals and sky sports via newsnow, so did he say it ?. My comment ( more of a question ) is based on that he did .

  91. kelsey says:

    i think they miss eboue 🙂

    GLIC I believe you, I believe you.

  92. gunnern5 says:


    In comparison the Newcastle crowd are way more vocal and supportive than our`s, Pardew leads by example and has not left his technical area for the entire game.

    There are now 13 minutes left and the crowd are fully supportive and behind their team whereas at around the same stage our crowd was making our team nervous.

  93. RockyLives says:

    Toon have equalised 🙂

  94. RockyLives says:

    Well done BR for calling a brace for Prince Robin.

  95. dandan says:

    Oh dear G5 silly me. I forget how pedantic you are and will be more careful with my limited vocabulary in future

  96. RockyLives says:

    Toon-Spuds finished 2-2
    Toon should have a pen for handball in the final minute of added time.

    We’re only 3 pts behind the Spuds now.

  97. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    Thanks Kelsey, 🙂
    I know change my 5:00pm remark to three out of four.
    4, spuds not winning, yesss. 🙂

  98. kelsey says:

    I will very interested to see the ratings tomorrow whoever is doing the posts

    Have to say the atmosphere the final 10 minutes at newcastle was fantastic, but then again they are passionate supporters in a one club City or is it Town.

  99. gunnern5 says:


    Now you are being insulting.

    It’s not your vocabulary that I questioned, it was your presumptive attitude.

    By the way to assume you know me is also way off the mark.

    If you can only respond to my posts with insults then I would prefer you keep your comments to yourself.

  100. kelsey says:

    Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger:

    “The spirit in the team is exceptional and in the second half we just came out and played in their half. We are growing as a team and getting stronger and stronger.

    “Robin van Persie is a special player and he’s shown that again today. He’s blessed at the moment and let’s touch wood with his injuries. He’s shown what a great player he is when he can be consistently playing.

    “We have answered a few critics but not enough and there is a lot more for us to show.”

    well i agree with most of that except the first few words bu i hope to be proved wrong.

  101. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    Happiness percentage.( out of 100 )
    Arsenal not winning 0%
    Arsenal winning 100%
    Arsenal winning,Spuds drawing 150%
    Arsenal winning,Spuds losing 200%
    I`m only 150% happy today. 🙂

  102. gunnern5 says:


    Even though my views have bveen received with insults I still maintain that the social makeup of the crowd make and enormous difference in the atmosphere.

    Even though our away supporters are fantastic the Toon Army are in a class all of their own.

  103. kelsey says:

    gunnern5 you are more sensitive than me 🙂 I really don’t see any insults intended or otherwise.

  104. Can’t we just be happy tonight?

    By the way Kelsey, atmosphere on a comeback very different to atmosphere for holding on. I give you the Emirates for Barca and Everton home games last season (place rocked), against today and Liverpool last season (place got nervous).

    But to be fair at home I buried my head in the cushion whilst my Missus told me to look once the ball was out of our half, and then i just had to step outside for the last few minutes. Would I have been any different to the fans who were in ground today? Probably not!

  105. dandan says:

    GIE “You had to step ouside”, would you admitt to the description “Big Girls Blouse” 🙂 or is that construed as an insult too.

  106. kelsey says:

    Each ticket should have a health warning stamped on it.I think because of our dismal run of form since february there is more angst than enjoyment is certain sections of the ground.

  107. gunnern5 says:


    Mty friend I’m not the least bit sensitive but I’m very perceptive.
    The insults are mild but nevertheless intended.

  108. Has 26 conveniently ignored my 5.20 do you think?

  109. Gooner in Exile says:

    Is from Twitter from someone in ground:

    Atmosphere was great today. Again. #librarymyass

  110. Gooner in Exile says:

    DD…probably a fair description, TV angles can be misleading as can commentators, if I was there I would hope to be calmness personified 🙂

  111. If GiE had to step outside today then Rasp deserves a Gold Star as he’s always wanting to be somewhere else if the last 10 minutes feels scary – he didn’t once say ‘I can’t watch this’ 🙂

  112. chas says:

    Sorry to have missed any Tavern-goers. We arrived at 11.30 and it was shut, so we went to the Kings Head.

    Here’s the goals before youtube takes them down.

  113. Rob Lucci says:

    nobody mention Rosicky lob pass to Gervinho that creates the first goal, it was a pure class.

  114. dandan says:

    Kelsey thanks for the support my friend, but worry not, some look for an ulterior motive in everything they see and I really can’t be bothered with precious people. So being sent to Coventry by G5 is a bit like being savaged by a sheep.
    peaches as it happens I was thinking of Rasp when they announced 5 minutes extra time. LOL Had visions of him shooting the ref 🙂 I thought we need to concede now, like a Arry needs a brown paper bag..

  115. gunnern5 says:


    That’s true, He had one of his better games today and showed a lot more speed and energy then most other games this season.

    An on form Rosicky will be a great asset.

  116. dandan says:

    From Twitter: MattLawExpressMatt Law

    Arsenal ratings: ws 7, cj 6, lk 6, pm 6, kg 5; as 7, ma 5: tw 5, tr 7, ger 7, rvp 9

  117. Rob Lucci says:

    Oh, and by the way, Van Persie first goal is the fastest ever goal in the Premier League.

  118. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Evening all,
    Creeping up the table is great news.
    Beforehand I was very worried about Jenks, but he put in a great shift. Our lack of creativity from midfield is a worry but I think it can be overcome with more drive. Rosicky showed a vast improvement in this area and Jack is greatly missed. However, if we are not to plunge into the market, then I believe Diaby could be a real asset.
    AA looks a real problem for defenders when he comes from central and I can see Oxo playing a large part.
    Mert worries me enormously. We all know about his lack of pace, but I was relly hoping he would show organisational qualities that would really help to galvanize the centre of our defence, but I just don’t see it.

  119. kelsey says:

    I just saw an interview with RVP on Sky and unless he is a very good liar he is committed to Arsenal.

    Leading goalscorer in the PL this calender year with 23 goals and countless efforts that hit the post.

    by the way how many pairs of underpants did Rasp take with him to the game 🙂

  120. gunnern5 says:


    To suggest that I would be disappointed in your revelation about you know more about the Newcastle crowd, because you saw one game there, is nothing more than intended one upmanship and an intentional put down,

    Calling me pedantic – I guess that”s a compliment in your vocabulary.

    At least have the backbone to be honest and not disingenuous.

  121. kelsey says:

    Come on you two ,you have a joint age of “one hundred and ……:”)
    lets all have a cyber handshake.

  122. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Do keep up. Rasp is going commando this season, so all is well in the trouser department.

  123. 26may1989 says:

    Peaches: I’ve ignored you long enough: if match report duties still need to be filled, I’ll go for it.

  124. holly says:

    Evening all,

    Today was all about the result and wasn’t it nice to finally hold on to a lead without chomping through fingernails!

    There’s been enough negativity (a lot justified) around the team this season but we’re only 6 points off fourth and this weekend gained two points on both Liverpool and Spurs.

    That alone is worth a happy Sunday evening


  125. LB says:

    Just read all the comments, seems like most people were bouncing off of Kelsey’s 3.42.
    I thought the vast majority of that comment was on the money, although, I don’t really understand why you question the Benayoun loan deal, every time he has come on I have felt that he has moved things along in the right direction, he has also speeded up the game a notch which surely has got to be a good thing bearing in mind how much Arteta slows the whole thing down: a view of yours I agree with.
    I also have my doubts about Jenkinson but one thing I would like to know is what do you think Wenger should have done and even more importantly how would you envisage your solution working in practice?

  126. The first twenty minutes was like the Arsenal of old, Wengerball at it’s best, pacy, incisive passing, great movement and goal chances galore. and then…..

    Still, three points, no injuries, no dismissals. Some Bergkampesque moments from RvP.

    Come back quickly Bacary Sagna, Jenkinson is a poor substitute.

  127. MickyDidIt89 says:

    I like to hear your views. What single thing do you think we need to do to improve? Tactically speaking.

  128. I’m not normally one to question Wenger statement, but after RvP had said how committed he was to Arsenal etc etc, we get this:

    “Many people questioned Robin’s leadership qualities but he is completely committed”

    “Commitment is giving absolutely 100 per cent until the last day of your contract… Robin knows we are ready to talk”

    I don’t like the second quote one bit!! Although I don’t know what question was either but its from Arsenal.com’s twitter feed from press conference.

  129. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Sounds good to me GiE.

  130. Micky I know you didn’t ask me but I thought I’d add my tuppence 😀

    I thought in general we were quite good today, Theo and Gerv went into hiding a bit, but overall we controlled the game apart from a ten/fifteen minute spell in the first half, where we need to employ the services of Corporal Jones running around and screaming “Don’t Panic”.

    As I said earlier I thought Sunderland’s rotational fouling and park the bus attitude was all that stopped us winning that game by more. Oh and some poor finishing in first twenty minutes.

  131. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Thanks GiE.
    To answer my own question, I would say better movement from the wide boys, which kind of ties in with what you are saying. It is mighty hard for the midfield to find them, to play the killer ball as I think their off the ball movement is poor. I think even a Cesc would struggle.

  132. Rob Lucci says:

    From Arsenal.com

    ‘It depends what you call commitment. For me commitment is not about how long you are at a club. As long as you are at a club you will give 100 per cent until the last day of your contract. That for me is what you call commitment. The length of a contract is completely different. For me you have players who have ten-year contracts who don’t give full commitment, and for me it is not about the length of a contract. He knows that we are ready to talk about it but the most important thing is today and how much you are committed to the cause as long as you are at the Club.’

  133. LB says:


    I think there are many things the team need to improve but what is driving me mad at the moment is how slow we are to break, this was brought into even sharper focus by the speed and efficiency in which Steve Bruce’s (of all people) Sunderland were doing just that. I don’t like moaning without first thinking of a potential solution but I am stumped here, I don’t know if it is Arteta, I don’t know if it is Rosicky or simply the system that Wenger is employing but which ever way you look at it somehow we have gone from the best in the business in 2004 to possibly the worst.

  134. dandan says:

    Dear Me G5 please read my post again. I did not see one game at Toon, I had a table for several seasons, like having a corporate box, but we chose the Magpie room because of the magnificent catering. Every home game we hosted ten customers. For the more important I was obliged to attend often with reluctance. Attendance for the Arsenal game however was cast in stone..
    AS for the word pedantic I doubt anyone who has watched you fall out or get embroiled with a number of posters on here in recent times, would argue with its undoubted suitability to describe your blogging character

  135. MickyDidIt89 says:

    I agree completely, but even Cesc struggled to get the movement forward swifter, yet he does at Barca, which is what leads me to believe the problem is the movement from Gerv, and Theo in particular. I already think Oxo is better in this department, and from what I’ve seen of him, Park also.
    RvP looked a real threat when he dropped deeper occasionally today, rather like Vila does for Barca. Robin simply does not have the luxury of brighter footballers on either side of him.
    Really what I am saying is that I think Gerv and Theo are a bit thick.

  136. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Its a goodnight from me. Goodnight.

  137. LB says:

    Bang on Micky

    I couldn’t agree more, there is little doubt in my mind that Wenger sees the way Barcelona play and would like to emulate it but as we both know you need close control to replecate their game and key players in our team simply do not have it, Walcott went AWOL and Gervinho wasn’t that much better today.
    I ask myself why is it that Wenger can’t see this and the only answer I can come up with is that the team must be able to replecate the first five minutes of today’s game which was very impressive on a regular basis in training and by doing so they lull Wenger into a false sense of security.
    One injury to Walcott and I am not sure he would get his place back from Oxo-Chamberlain.

  138. LB says:

    Good night Micky

    I enjoyed reading your comments……….football comments, the best kind.

  139. SharkeySure says:

    DanDan 8.48. Well said.

    The repetitive nature of the same boring arguments and the plaintive cries of ‘what a victim I am’ really bore the the tits off me.

    The hollow threats to never darken our door or ever write a headline post again are just so tiresome. On his good days he’s fine,…but it seems to me like another of his bad days is never too far too away.

    I’m tired of the ‘patience of a saint’ (tm-TA) shown to him by so many on here and I think its just getting beyond a joke now.

    Seriously GN5, you really do yourself no favours on here some days.

    Apologies to all (even you GN5), for having to lash out a bit, as I know we don’t really like to do that here.

    Night all

  140. RockyLives says:

    Totally agree about the (lack of) speed of our breakaways, which is no different now than it has been for several years.

    Indeed, it has been such a feature of our play for such a long time that I think it’s harsh to blame Arteta for slowing us down. It seems to be something that’s institutionalised in our squad.

    There were moments when Sunderland were attacking then lost the ball where, for a micro-second I thought “great – let’s go” before immediately remembering that we don’t do that any more.

    In our last great side it used to go from defence to (usually) PV4 then out to Bobby, then inside to DB10 who would play in TH14 or Bobby for the (almost) inevitable goal.

    I wonder, is it actually the PV4 role that’s really missing in the current team, as regards are inability to break quickly?

    Funnily enough, there were times when Song picked up the ball and tried to move us forward really quickly today with long through balls. In almost all cases he heavily overhit the passes (although the ideas were good). If he can get that bit of his game right then maybe our counter-attacking speed will improve.

  141. Gooner in Exile says:

    Thought TR7 made the best fist of bringing pace to our attacks, as did AA23 when he came on. And for me it’s what we miss from Jack. Receive the ball gain ten yards. But Rocky you highlight the problem. PV4 to Pires/Henry who made space wide and were so good teams marked them double team but it didn’t matter, close control, good passers, and finally intelligent runners. It’s what separates the great from the good players.

    But that said today when we did break we got fouled repeatedly. And if anything we start too high up the pitch from midfield and attack.

    How many times when our centre backs got ball today were the midfield within ten yards for a quick easy pass?

  142. Fatgingergooner says:

    I thought Santos was outstanding today when he came on both in defence and attack.
    Arshavin was lively when introduced.
    Rosicky was forceful with his runs from midfield and had the beating of those around him. He definitely should not be blamed for our lack of attacking pace.
    Walcott was poor and needs to learn that standing on the touchline is a hinderance to an attacking full back such as Jenkinson as he is taking up the space.
    Jenkinson was excellent going forward but still looks shaky at the back.
    Mertersacker improves every game.
    Koscielny was dogged as usual and in my opinion is going to be the long term partner for TV.
    Gervinho again looked dangerous but needs to improve on his final ball, or shot.
    Arteta didn’t do enough for me though I do like the way he keeps things ticking over with ease.
    Song was excellent again and has found the consistency that all top players have. He is fast becoming one of the worlds best in his position though I still have a desire for us to find a genuine DM so that he can be our box to box midfielder as I feel he could be a world beater in this role.
    As for RvP, well, what can you say except World Class. And I hear people say we don’t have a World Class player at the club anymore! 23 goals in the league since January, 4 more than anyone else (including the worlds 3rd best player Rooney!).

  143. RockyLives says:

    Agree with most of that.
    I’m not sure about Gerv. If he finds his feet he could be awesome (as he was for the first 20). Still drifts out of games too much, but he’s still in his ‘settling in’ period with the EPL.

    AA was very direct and dangerous. More of that please!

    Fair point about TR7. He still gives it away a bit too much for my liking but his thrusting runs were good.

  144. Gooner in Exile says:

    Wojcech Szczesny ( I love him ):

    “I thought it was a good save but I won’t take too much credit it was a poor finish really because you’re supposed to score from three yards out”

  145. neamman says:

    I just never feel we are going to score. We are .. can be.. great to the edge of the box.. but for me we need that elusive fox in the box. Someone who knows intuitively where the ball is going to bounce, fumble, drop etc etc.

  146. oz gunner says:

    @ Micky

    love the commando comment

    @ G5

    you get your knickers in a twist over the smallest of things, maybe a ‘water off a ducks back’ approach would be better suited.

    @ All

    i thought rocky was a great positive today, his turns added with a burst of speed are a joy to see. Song played great, for some reason though his passing was off today, all season it’s been ‘on-song’ so no complaints here. One of my biggest worries is our set piece delivery (how many times during corners did we not make it over the first man?), and i’m not to sure what mert does during a set piece, it’s as though he runs himself under the ball and he never gets anywhere near it. For his size i thought he was going to be like a samba or huth (they get to the ball whenever they can and give everything they have to get there). As someone stated earlier jenks has a great engine, he leaves everything out on the pitch, it’s a shame walcott or gerv could’nt follow suit. How long before we get the ox or park taking over their spots?!

  147. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Anyone know the “real time” comeback dates for Verm and Diaby?

  148. chas says:

    Morning Micky,
    these dates are from Physio room. Whether they’re accurate or not is anyone’s guess.

    B Sagna Broken Leg Dec 11
    T Vermaelen Achilles Tendinopathy 29th Oct 11
    J Wilshere Ankle/Foot Injury Jan 12
    V Diaby Ankle/Foot Injury 24th Oct 11

  149. kelsey says:

    Morning Micky,

    Vermaelen set back as last year, no definite date
    Diaby under two weeks

  150. chas says:

    From Twitter….

    T_Vermaelen05 Thomas Vermaelen
    Today i had my first session with the ball. What a great feeling!!!
    14 Oct

    T_Vermaelen05 Thomas Vermaelen
    Great step forward today. First run outside without any pain or discomfort. Hopefully i can make good progress this week.
    3 Oct

    T_Vermaelen05 Thomas Vermaelen
    Unlike what I am reading in several media today: I do not have a setback at all! On the contrary, I am exactly on track for a full recovery!
    30 Sep

  151. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Thanks Chas and Kelsey,
    So we get stiffer and thrustier as the season progresses. Has to be good news.

  152. chas says:

    I like stiffer and thrustier!

  153. Stiffer & Thrustier says:

    I’m so pleased with it myself that I’m considering a name change!

  154. Gooner in Exile says:

    Oz I know what you mean about set piece delivery, but we so rarely score from free kicks and corners I fail to get that excited when we get one and expectations are low.

    But we tried one off the training ground in first half RvP to Arteta to RvP which nearly worked. Corners rely on a good movement by many to get the big men free, I think we need more work. Arteta’s and RvPs delivery on corners was hopeless yesterday.

    As for our shooting it was poor, especially considering we had a few where we could have whipped into far post given the position.

    Going back to Santos yesterday I think he will be a very good asset, he was steady in the tackle comfortable on the ball and shows good invention for a left back.

  155. Stiffer & Thrustier says:

    At no point when we are awarded a corner do I think “right, here we go”. I almost chuckle when Theo (or similar) bombs down the wing and pings it off a defender to the optimistic cheers of the North Bank.

  156. Morning all

    Theo is very good at pinging it off the defender for a corner, in fact he almost always tries that tactic instead of putting the ball into the box – usually gets a handball that’s never given too. Is this what Theo is for? 🙂

    Stiffer and Thrustier – you’ll get us an ‘X’ rating 🙄

  157. Stiffer & Thrustier says:

    I had a third word to add that may have got you that much sought after rating!

  158. Stiffer & Thrustier says:

    Someone really needs to have a word with Theo about that and explain that his brief is broader than the winning of a corner. The ultimate result it is not.

  159. 26may1989 says:

    We might not be great from dead balls but I reckon we’re better now than we were 5 or 6 years ago. (There’s probably a post in there somewhere, if someone had the time to check the stats…..)

    But I agree that we still don’t carry enough threat to our oppo. 13 shots yesterday wasn’t bad but we need to up our attacking game.

  160. 26may1989 says:

    Stiffier & Thrustier & XXXXXier

    You’re harsh on Theo – yes, there are examples of his crosses pinging off for corners but he also got behind his full back yesterday on two or three occasions and got a few passes into the danger-zone. My criticism of him yesterday was about his positioning and movement. He didn’t have a good game but we shouldn’t just ignore what he does do well because he aggravates so many fans.

  161. Stiffer & Thrustier says:

    No idea about the dead ball stats, but I certainly agree about our attacking threat. Plenty of possession but not enough forced saves from the opposition goalie or even damage to their woodwork and associated upholstery.

  162. Gooner in Exile says:

    26 I think the positioning issue with Theo is not just limited to him, it’s a wider issue within our squad, Clichy was always susceptible, Song as imposing as he can be has the ability to get lost on the pitch, as did Arteta yesterday, and so does Gibbs.

    Our fluidity is potentially our problem with very few players capable enough, and unfortunately too few who realise when they have to fill in for a mate.

    On Song as good as many think he is there is an issue about him that I can’t put my finger on. I think it’s that I notice him too much for a DM, but maybe that’s because we were blessed with Gilberto for so long, i just did not notice him because his positioning and reading of the game was so good threats were rarely posed, there is too much last ditch defending from Song for my liking.

  163. Gooner in Exile says:

    And thinking more on 26s and Thrustiers attacking ruminations and thinking about our glory teams I come back to our starting positions. For me Freddie and Bobby gave us more width deeper, Theo, AA23 and Gerv get the ball further up the pitch due to where they start.

  164. Stiffer & Thrustier says:

    Surely we are on first name terms by now. Stiffer is fine.

  165. New Post …………….

  166. peter gerard scully…

    […]Pick up the Pieces « Arsenal Arsenal[…]…

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