Walking in a van Persie wonderland

Yesterday was Robin van Persie’s day.  Just how important he is to the post-Cesc Arsenal was on display for all to see.  His first goal, just half a minute into the game, saw him receive the ball from Gervinho on the edge of the penalty area, and work the space before getting off a shot that wrong-footed Mignolet in the Sunderland goal.  It was decent but said more about poor defending from our opponents than anything.

His second was as sublime a free-kick as one is likely to see, deftly flighted to the top right-hand corner of the goal.  Van Persie seems to like scoring free kicks against Sunderland in October; his powerhouse shot off the underside of the bar was against the same opponents in 2007.  Seb Larsson’s equaliser yesterday was another superb free-kick, and being sat behind the goal in the North Bank, I have to admit, I felt pretty lucky seeing two perfect efforts, even if one of them was against us.

But probably the most impressive piece of van Perise’s play was a miss: in the middle of the purplest patch of the first half, the first 25 minutes, van Persie took a pass with his right foot, shielding it from the defender, and then took an early chip across to the other side of the goal.  The Belgian keeper was completely beaten and looked to have resigned himself to picking the ball out of the net.  But the trajectory of the ball bent ever so slightly and the ball hit the inside of the post.  Gervinho attempted to sweep up the pieces as the ball went across the face of goal, but it was too much for him.  Van Persie may not have scored but his effort was reminiscent of Cantona at his arrogant, puff-chested best (also against Sunderland, as it happens).  Absolutely superb.

Van Persie aside, there was some good aspects to our performance yesterday.  Carl Jenkinson had his best game for us so far, and showed that he’s learning as quickly as Koscielny did last year.  He’s prone to be a bit head-down when running with the ball, but again and again he attacked Kieran Richardson at left-back and often got his cross in.  And Tomas Rosicky had by some distance his best performance for a long time, justifying his surprise inclusion in the starting XI.  Rosicky worked hard and turned his markers well.  Despite what others might say, Rosicky also delivered a number of good passes, including the one that released Gervinho before the Ivorian laid it onto van Persie for the first goal.

Wojciech Szczesny didn’t have the busiest of games but his point-blank save from Cattermole at the end of the first half was world class – after the energetic and awkward Sessegnon undid our defence and knocked the ball across the goal, everyone in the ground must have assumed it would be Sunderland’s second goal, the ball just needed to be nodded in from a yard.  But Szczesny didn’t give up and launched himself across the goal, and Cattermole’s header just cannoned off the big Pole.  An epic piece of keeping.

Andrey Arshavin has done little to justify his wages since that goal against Barca but his sub’s performance yesterday was the best we’ve seen of him for a long time.  His desire and artistry in the dribble was great to see, and he was unlucky to see his toe-poke shot go wide after he’d slalomed through the Sunderland defence.

But there were negatives.  Sunderland were a weakened side: they don’t have their first choice keeper available, have seen their star striker bizarrely head off to the Gulf on loan, and one of their first choice centre backs is on police bail amid serious criminal allegations.  Sunderland may have spent heavily over the past few years but this is a side we should be beating more comfortably than we did.  We tore them apart in the first 20 minutes, and could easily have been three or four up, and we completely dominated the second half, but we ceded control of the game in the first half and, despite all the second half possession, we often looked laboured in attack.  Sunderland were well organised and hard-working, deploying the typical defensive 4-5-1 used against us at Ashburton Grove, including the rotational fouling tactic, which the weak and inconsistent Howard Webb was unable to deal with.

On individual performances, the one that worried me the most was Mikel Arteta’s.  I like Arteta, he’s intelligent and honest, a real team player.  But he hasn’t shown adequate quality in an Arsenal shirt yet, and yesterday he contributed little of value for us.  And he even gave away the free-kick from which Larsson scored with a needless handball.

Theo Walcott drew the customary slagging from his own fans, something that never fails to wind me up, but he didn’t have a good game, too often taking up poor positions.  That said, he undid the Sunderland defence a couple of times and carried some threat to our opponents.  Not that the haters would acknowledge that.

The defensive side of our game remains a delicate thing.  Most of the time, everything was ok, but in the 15 first-half minutes when Sunderland were on top, too often our opponents had the luxury of time and space on the ball.  We need to be far more focussed and consistent in our defending.

And finally, our crowd: Christ on a bike, where do some of these idiots get off, booing their side at halftime?  And that after a half in which we’d done plenty that was good.  I despair of some of my fellow Arsenal fans.  The volume was increased in the second half, but this impatient, hypercritical nervousness is neither justified nor productive.

We’re edging forward slowly.  We’re back in the top half of the table and within striking distance of Spurs.  But next weekend, we’re hosts to Stoke, who will bring much more of a threat than Sunderland.  Cope with that and we’re definitely on the up.

My rankings for the day:

Szczesny: 8 A world class save and generally very good, bar a couple of wonky kicks. No chance for the goal.

Jenkinson: 7 After looking like damaged goods in his last few outings, CJ showed real promise.

Mertesacker: 6

Koscielny: 6

Gibbs: 5 Didn’t contribute enough going forward.

Song: 6 Some wayward passing but pretty sturdy performance.

Arteta: 4 Disappointing.  Needs to impose himself soon.

Rosicky: 7 A renaissance for Little Mozart?

Walcott: 5

Gervinho: 6 A great opening 20 minutes, not a lot after that.

Van Persie: 9 Oh my god, what a day.  Get that contract sorted now.

Santos: 6

Arshavin: 7

Benayoun: 6 Did ok when he came on, worried the defenders on a couple of occasions.

Written by 26may89

88 Responses to Walking in a van Persie wonderland

  1. kelsey says:


    I would have headlined the post Robin Reliant 🙂

    I agree in general with your ratings except maybe Santos who deserved a point more .

  2. kelsey says:

    It’s all about opinions and reading through the comments yesterday ther were diverse opinions on several players.and though grateful for the 3 points most of the same deficencies were there yet again in defence and the midfield have lost the cutting edge to move the ball quickly especially on the counter attack.
    Based on the last year both Rosicky and Arshavin played a lot better but one game against a pretty ordinary side doesn’t convince me as yet that either of them can really stamp their authority on a gameon a regular basis.

    When you look at the side we put out yesterday there is literally only a sprinkling of players that were in the team 12 months ago.
    Buying Jenkinson as an immediate back up for Sagna speaks volume about the board/Wenger’s ambitions for arsenal to be a real force again.give him a year or two in CC by all means and to be fair he played quite well especially in the second half.Talk about throwing him in the deep end.
    Walcott will never be a footballer of the highest order and his wayward crossing continues and in fact our high crosses are a complete waste of time.
    I am not impressed with Arteta he slows the game down to a snail’s pace though others will argue he has no one breaking to release the ball to.
    RVP is in the form of his life,but we shouldn’t be in the position where we appear to be nearly solely responsible for him to score our goals.
    Last season we started the seson with 13 different goal scorers in our first 12 matches.
    A split second can change games and we were fortunate not to be 1-2 down at half time when with a bit of luck could have been 3-0 up in 25 minutes.
    Why does the team as a whole lose confidence so dramatically after the opposition equalises.maybe no real leadership, no real confidence, or most probably just not the quality of player we had a few years back.
    By no means out of the woods yet.that is a realistic point of view not a pessimistic one.

  3. chas says:

    Nice one, 26.

    Interesting how Jenkinson splits opinion. Elsewhere he’s been given low ratings especially in the first half.

  4. Stiffer & Thrustier says:

    “slalomed through the Sunderland defence”. That line is a thing of great beauty.
    Great write up and I completely agree with the ratings. I know the perfect 10 is reserved exclusively for Nadia Comaneci but I believe his performnce was but a leotard short.

  5. Double98 says:

    Yesterday could have been a 6-1 thumping of sunderland – we blew them away on the pitch but need to be more clinical.

    If Van Persie’s chip goes in then we are looking at flood gates opening – and we really need a big win – many games are won on reputation – Manu have been winning titles on it for years – you could see that by the quality of Brown and OShea who when removed from the Manu shirt look like the plodders that they are.

    From yesterdays technical performance i have hope, we have better quality players than other teams and if we can beat a few teams 4 or 5 nil we’ll go into games against the bottom half with a psychological advantage as its a far different mindset trying to avoid a hammering than it is knowing that we are there for the taking.

    We just need a few big wins and this team can get back up the table…

    oh and Arteta is playing far too deep! Who is the holding midfield player?

  6. 26.05.89

    My only quibble, with an otherwise excellent post, is the seven given to Jenkinson, presumably on the basis of his runs down the right. Unfortunately he rarely, if ever, managed to get the ball into the box or to one of our players. His defensive work was somewhat less than adequate as was his propensity to lose possession high up the pitch. A 4 at best along with the comment “Must do better”.

  7. kelsey says:


    I purposely didn’t mention Jenkinson’s rating as there is split opinion on him.My take on it is that he looks a fine prospect but it shows the club’s limited ambition in signing a young man as first back up to Sagna and it puts extra pressure on him having to learn and adapt to the presure of the PL and also that we have started the season so poorly.No one knew we would lose Sagna the way we did so there was only one other option at RB and that was kos so as he didn’t play at RB, Wenger felt jenkinson is ready. he started a little nervous but grew better as the game progressed.

  8. Rob Lucci says:


    ‘Buying Jenkinson as an immediate back up for Sagna speaks volume about the board/Wenger’s ambitions for arsenal to be a real force again.’

    Wenger never bought a household name for a fullback, let alone just for a back up. We never heard about Lauren, Eboue or even Sagna when he bought them, and without a doubt all of them were/are a very good player. Jenkinson is a very good player, but he must improve his defensive qualities, and he can only improve by playing.

  9. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    Dear Stiffy & Co,
    Just watched the first half on Arsenal player, agree with a lot thats been said. If RVP`s chip had went in, I think the confidence would have rocketed and could have been looking at a bigger margin win, what a piece of skill!.
    I thought Song`s energy was great but the passing atrocious.
    Rosicky lot`s of energy, movement and keeps the ball well.
    Too many of Jenkinson`s ball`s whipped in, were not deep enough, not getting behind the defenders, seemed to be playing more right wing than Theo.
    Richardson is quick and wasn`t giving Theo much space, hence Theo moving across the line and to the left later on, quiet afew times, Gerv` went inside with RVP dropping in the hole causing them some problems.
    Very pleasing performance for 1st, 30 mins.
    If Chesney had stood a foot more to his right, I think he may have got to the free kick. Will watch 2nd half later.

  10. 26may1989 says:

    Morning chums. Thanks for the coments.

    Interesting views on Jenkinson. Personally, I wouldn’t have chosen him for yesterday, I’d have preferred to see Santos or Kos there. But I was impressed with his energy and application, and the fact he didn’t hide at any point. On the defensive side of Jenkinson’s game, it was interesting that Sunderland’s most dangerous player, Larsson, had little impact from open play; Elmohamady did far more on the Sunderland right.

    It was a real pleasure to meet up with Total and his father-in-law, plus Rasp and Peaches, yesterday at the Tavern. Just a shame it was a brief drink. Next time!

  11. pat says:

    is it just me or is Walcott and Jenkinson not gelling – they seem to lack understanding of each others movement

    Will be interesting when Verm is back – does anyone think we will see kozzer at RB? He is definitely putting his hand up and would be hard to leave out of the team.

  12. kelsey says:

    I am hopeful Jenkinson will turn out to be a good buy,but he is one for he future not now.We need a few quality experienced players in the side who perform well regularly to help the younger players IMO

  13. Wonderman says:

    Morning All,

    Great post 26. I didnt get to the game yesterday because of my own coaching commitments and thus far only saw the second half on tv.

    @Rob Lucci, I absolutely agree, at any level the only way you can improve is by playing. Based on the level of criticism from some fans there is a distinct lack of patience with a young player learning his trade. For me he crosses a ball better than Walcott and Sagna ( with both feet), he now needs to look up more rather than just cross regardless of who is ( or in our case is not) in the box and as some have said improve his defensive responsibilities.

    @26 …Kosser at right back I can see where you are coming from,though I dont agree, but Santos a left footer at right back ??? the implications to our team play is quite severe . But more importantly as a manager if you have a young player who you have convinced to sign as your back up right back, and then not only do not play him when the opportunity arises but you put your left back in his place, what message are you sending ?

    Absolutely agree with your comment about Stoke


    Nice post 26.

    When you consider the line up that finished the game yesterday, you can see that this a new team yet to find its feet. The way we pop the ball about is quite remarkable, specialy when you consider the changes that have been made and the relative inexperience of some of our players. This all bodes well for the future.

    The other point i would like to make concerns confidence. In professional sport i some times think that the concept of confidence is underrated. if you observe some of our recent performances it is obvious that we have had spells in games when we have been dominant and this has occured when the confidence of the team is high, and when its been low, well we have all seen the result. This also bodes well for this season. This team will aquire a winning mentality to go with its hugh potential and very soon we will be blowing the likes of Tottenham and Blackburn away.

    Lets get something from our Europeon trip,beat Stoke and then we can go the Bridge with belief. If we can beat Chelsea, and in my opinion we have a better team in the making than them, we can start thinking about having a poke at the 2 Manchester clubs.

  15. 26may1989 says:

    Hi Wonderman

    I agree with your comments, in particular re the lack of patience in assessing a raw player like Jenkinson. Impatience has been a feature of Arsenal fans in this time of crisis: Gervinho, Mertesacker, Benayoun and Santos have all been written off after just a tiny amount of game time.

    Jenkinson isn’t the finished article and shouldn’t be judged by measuring him against Bacary Sagna (a player who, by the way, was having a decidedly ordinary season before his injury). Sagna has played about 320 games at the top level, for Auxerre, Arsenal and France; Jenkinson has played 4.

    Jenkinson shows a lot of quality for one so new to top flight football, including that precious facet of being able to learn. As I say, before the game, I wouldn’t have gone with his selection before the game but I was pleased with his performance and felt he justified getting the nod against a left back or a centre back filling in.

  16. Illybongani says:

    Just a couple of observations from me…

    Kos at Right Back? Defensively maybe, but I can’t see him bombing past the winger a la Pat Rice on the overlap, so I’m thinking Walcott will be a little isolated. And let’s face it, he doesn’t have anything other than speed in his box of tricks.

    Second point, I’m a big fan of Szczesny – would a 30 year old Szczesny be beaten from so many shots from outside the area? Man Utd, Spurs, Sunderland, Newcastle last year are a few that come to mind. I think maybe the only thing he lacks is experience. Fair play to the boy though – no one is screaming out for Arsene to sign a keeper anymore.

  17. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    Hi TMHT,
    From playing as a young boy to still playing as an old man, confidence is everything. I`ve seen shit players with confidence play great and great players with no-confidence play shit! 🙂
    There`s nothing better for confidence than scoring a goal !

  18. Carlito11 says:

    Quality match report 26M. I have to say that Jenks’ crosses are some of the most dangerous and accurate from the right that we’ve had for a while. The lad still has a lot to learn but he put the ball in dangerous areas more often than not and I was heartily pleased with that! I suspect that he works better there with Theo in front of him as it keeps the opposition left back pagged back…
    Gotta rush off again- nice to be climbing the table! 🙂


    Exactly Cornwall, i was most certainly shit but had great confidence so i was less shit. You still play? Is it a vetreans league?

  20. 26may1989 says:

    Have just used footballunlimited’s Chalkboard to comapre the crossing success rates of Sagna and Jenkinson in PL games. And they’re pretty similar, though neither is good: Sagna has hit 3 successful crosses in 17 attempts this season; Jenkinson has hit 2 in 18 attempts.

    Of course, a cross can be fantastic in going into the danger area but may be repelled by the defenders, and it may therefore show as unsuccessful even though it was exactly what was required, so (as ever) the figures don’t say everything. But it does support the argument that the completely inexperienced Jenkinson is doing just about as much going forward as the vastly experienced Sagna.


    Hi 26,

    I fel sorry for any one that crosses the ball at our club. we dont get enough players in the box. Meat and drink for defenders ime afraid.

  22. kelsey says:

    High crosses are a waste of time with our attack force,on th ground or a cut back is a yes.How often do barcelona use high crosses,i know they are on a higher level than us but our system is mostly modelled on them.


    Hi Kelsey

    The crossing thing has always perplexed me coz Man Utd are excellent at it. They seem to work positions in wide areas and can then have about 4 players all lining up for a header around the six yard box. They score so many goals with this aproach, does my nut in.

  24. Red Arse says:

    Really good post match Post, 26! 🙂

    Very much agree with the balance of your match critique and your player ratings. (A point more or a point less on an individual rating is like spitting in a gnat’s ear. Pointless and cruel to gnats).

    Well not pointless ……. obviously …… and the gnats can get very cross, but you know what I mean —- well, TerryM and GLIC certainly do, because they are well known for it! 🙂

    Incidentally, as a general comment, I simply cannot understand why any sensible fan would be critical of Jenks, a 19 year old Arsenal fan just starting out on his footballing career.

  25. LB says:

    I don’t think there is any disagreement over Jenkinson, all the comments above say pretty much the same thing: he is young, learning and getting better with every game. There is however one dig at the club related to Jenkinson and that is Kelsey’s comment saying that Arsenal have shown a lack of ambition over his signing but I ask the question again: what do you think they should they have done?

    1. Brought a player better than Sagna?
    2. Brought a player as good as Sagna?
    3. Brought a player not as good as Sagna but better than Jenkinson?
    4. Brought a player as good as Jenkinson but more experienced?

    If Wenger buys a player better than Sagna we would expect him to play every week which would mean that Sagna would rightly expect to spend the best part of the season on the bench, would he be happy with that? No he wouldn’t he would want to leave and there are plenty of clubs with plenty of money who would take him.

    Bearing in mind that defensively Sagna is knocking on the door of World Class who and how are we expected sign someone better and if he were as good why would he come to the Emirates and share the position? The answer is they wouldn’t.

    Any player who is better than Jenkinson and more experienced would inevitably want to go to a club who can guarantee him first team football or where he is at least thought of as the team’s first choice. Players want to play.

    Jenkinson is a committed Arsenal player who was prepared to wait for his turn to play while learning his trade; as it turns out, he will get a lot more experience this season than he probably expected.

    So Kelsey if you think I have missed something please tell because at the moment your criticism sounds to me like a dig at Arsenal without having thought the practicalities through.

  26. dandan says:

    > Three friends married women from different parts of the world…..
    > The first man married a Filipino. He told her that she was to do the dishes and house cleaning.
    > It took a couple of days, but on the third day, he came home to see a clean house and dishes washed and put away.
    > The second man married a Thai. He gave his wife orders that she was to do all the cleaning, dishes and the cooking. The first day he didn’t see any results, but the next day he saw it was better. By the third day, he saw his house was clean, the dishes were done, and there was a huge dinner on the table.
    > The third man married an Arsenal supporter a young lady from Stepney . He ordered her to keep the house cleaned, dishes washed, lawn mowed, laundry washed, and hot meals on the table for every meal. He said the first day he didn’t see anything, the second day he didn’t see anything but by the third day, some of the swelling had gone down and he could see a little out of his left eye and his arm was healed enough that he could fix himself a sandwich and load the dishwasher. He still has some difficulty when he passes water.



    Ha ha , been from Stepney myself i know exactly how that poor git feels.

  28. dandan says:

    Afternoon all great post and interesting discussion. Jenks to me showed a lot of determination and on one occasion yesterday as he busted a gut to tackle back, I was reminded of the constant criticism on here of our recently derided Denilson. He is young, has come a million miles in under a year and deserves our support. in my opinion he will be a player.

    And by the way folksl, any similarity between the noble Peaches and the young lady outlined above is probably accurate. 🙂

  29. dandan says:

    TMH my wife is from Stepney the next block of flats from the Arry of hammer and spurs fame. We have come to an agreement she says jump , I say how high. 🙂

  30. RockyLives says:

    Good write-up 26
    I’d have knocked a point off Szczesny for that crazy, I’ll-judged charge out of the area that almost cost a goal. If it had been Almunia we’d be slaughtering him but I’ve barely seen a mention of it. Other than that he was very good.

    I agree TR7 had a good game but he has a tendency to do the hard stuff (turn his man and surge into the oppo half) only to spoil it with a sloppy pass (either missing his man or playing it to a man who is closely marked).

    I’m in the ‘Jenks did well’ camp. Obviously not perfect, but not bad. He seems a perfectly decent understudy to Bac – it’s just that no-one could have predicted that one of our most injury resistant players would suffer a freak leg break. In any of Bac’s previous seasons Jenks would be playing CC and maybe half a dozen league games when Bac has minor injuries.

  31. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    TMHT, Not a vet`s league, just an hours 5-a-side on a Thursday night, I say just, but an hour of it ,is more energetic than a 90 min, 11-a-side, great exercise.
    Got to agree with dan, being from Bethnal Green. 🙂
    Seen 2nd half on Arsenal player. Overall, we got less than we deserved. Apart from Song`s distribution,I thought he was MOM.
    Jenkinson seemed to get lots of space with Theo being being marked and moving across the line, good game from the young lad, apart from the crossing.
    AA and Santos very good subs today, keep it consistant.
    Rosicky, I thought played very well, If he can keep that sort of buzzing,probing, movement game going, then I would prefer him to partner Jack when he comes back, rather than Arteta.
    Just a point on Theo and Gerv`, I know they didn`t get high marks but a lot of the time they were begging for the ball and not getting it, a lot was being played through the middle. With our posession, Sunderland were defending a bit deeper, which makes it harder for Theo to run into open space.

  32. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    Sorry, forgot to thank 26 for write-up!

  33. Gooner in Exile says:

    Nice report 26, and it’s nice to start the week on a high looking at what we could do better, rather than where it all went wrong.

    I am in agreement with many on here re Jenks and his signing. I was surprised by him yesterday as there were a couple of nonchalant flicks and one superb piece of control from a long Kozzer pass that stick in the mind and that received hearty applause from fans close by. The only time I felt he was guilty defensively was when being given the ball in a horror position by Merts, Jenks was running towards our goal line with Larsson in close attention and Merts inexplicably gave him the ball with nowhere to go and he was dispossessed, as 26 says where did the main Sunderland threat come from, it was our left and centre more than our right.

    Sagna let’s not forget is 28 so has maybe two/three years left at the top level, by which time Jenks will be 22 and ready to slot right in, I assume Gavin Hoyte is going the same way as his brother and that Wenger does not believe there are others in Youth/Reseves good enough. For £1m the boy is a steal.

    On ratings I too would have pushed Santos and Kozzer up a point.

    On the goal it was difficult for Szczesny to set the wall, being so central he had to choose a side for the wall to go and in hindsight he probably chose wrong especially given Larssons prowess and the difficulty of saving the ball curling away from you as opposed as into you. I am also not a fan of a 4 man wall when the ball is that far out. It gives a large target if the keeper is correctly positioned. That said it was still a fine strike.

    All in all despite some defensive insecurity and some less than clinical finishing I was happy with the performance. Roll on Europe then lets smash the Stokies off the park….for that game I would be more than happy to see a midfield of more robust players cause the last thing I want to see us whingeing after fouls/hard tackles.

    26 you are so right about Webbs control of the game, Brown should never have had the chance to fell Walcott and accept a booking as he should already have been on a yellow for upending RvP in the first half, booking for Kozzer was soft compared to what had gone before. And I’ll say again Webb fails to spot the submarine attack on Song prior to the award of Subderlands free kick.

  34. Red Arse says:


    Walking can add minutes to your life.
    This enables you at 85 years old to spend an additional 5 months in a nursing home at £5,000 per month.

    I like long walks,
    especially when they are taken by those people who annoy me.

    The only reason I would take up walking is so that I could hear heavy breathing again.

    I have to walk early in the morning, before my brain figures out what I’m doing..

    Every time I hear the dirty word ‘exercise’, I wash my mouth out with chocolate, or rum.

    The advantage of exercising every day is so when you die, they’ll say, ‘Well, she looks really good doesn’t she.’

    If you are going to try cross-country skiing, start with a small country.

    I know I got a lot of exercise in the last few years,……
    just getting over the hill.

    We all get heavier as we get older, because there’s a lot more information in our heads.
    That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.


    Every time I start thinking too much about how I look, I just find a Happy Hour!
    By the time I leave, I look just fine.

    If you don’t recycle this to at least one of your friends in the next 5 minutes, your belly button will unscrew and your butt will fall off !!

  35. Gooner in Exile says:

    Oh and on being married to a Londoner, I’m married to a Norfolk Wurzel who was amused by my exclamation of “Different Gravy” when Szczesny stopped Cattermoles effort. Had her laughing as she had never heard the expression before.

  36. Red Arse says:


    — “Webb fails to spot the submarine attack on Song prior to the award of Subderlands free kick” — what was that then? a schnorkel up the jaxi? 🙂

    You could be in deep water here.

  37. Red Arse says:

    It’s always interesting to here what other fans/players think of Arsenal.

    Having already played in the 2-1 defeat to Chelsea at the Stadium of Light in September, the Sunderland midfielder Colback thought a less-than-convincing Arsenal were the best team he has faced this season.

    “Obviously we played Chelsea at home but I don’t think they move it around as quickly as Arsenal,” Colback told Sunderland’s official website.

    “They make the pitch really big and they’re constantly rotating so you don’t really get a chance to have a breather.

    “But while it’s hard work and tough, these are the games you want to play in and it’s great experience for me to play and start the game.”




    That Colback fellow sounds like a very astute individual. He is right of course. We are the best team they have played and it wont be just him who gets the Arsenal run around this season.

  39. kelsey says:


    maybe as usual i didn’t phrase myself correctly.By saying the club lacking ambition in signing jenkinson I was intending to mean that we need more experienced players to cover or come into what amounts to an entirely fairly new defence as this is one of our major weaknesses and that jenkinson is one for the future .I didn’t mean someone better than Sagna but GIE put it better than I did .lacking ambition most probably was the wrong word but we are being sometimes over cautious when accessing how much to pay for a player.At 1 million he may well be a steal in a couple of years.

  40. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    “The only reason I would take up walking is so that I can hear heavy breathing again”. I lost a few calories laughing at that, brilliant! 🙂
    Seeing that I had just come back from a walk with my puppy, ” Max Gooner”, No heavy breathing though, just Max panting.
    Noticed someone has just recently planted a vineyard across the valley, I wonder how long It takes from planting to In a glass ?
    Chateau Lezant ! 🙂

  41. Red Arse says:


    Made me laugh too! 🙂

    You know I have a love for the English language, so I posted this one last May and in case you did not see it I have copied it below!

    A small boy says to his Spurs supporting father “Dad, what’s the difference between “theoretically” and “realistically”?

    His dad thinks and then says “Right-ho son, go and ask your mother if she’d sleep with Wayne Rooney for a million quid.”

    The boy toddles off and comes back saying “Dad, dad, she said she
    would! She would sleep with Wayne Rooney for a million pounds.”

    “OK son,” says his dad, “Now go and ask your sister the same question.”

    The boy toddles off, and comes back saying “Dad, dad, she said she would too!”

    So then his dad says “Right, son, now go and ask your brother if he’d sleep with Wayne Rooney for a million pounds.”

    The son comes back excitedly saying “Dad! Dad! It’s amazing, he said he would too!”

    “Well there you have it, son,” said his dad.
    “Theoretically” we could be sitting on three million quid.
    “Realistically” we’re living with two tarts and a poof.”

  42. Fatgingergooner says:

    No praise for Santos??? I thought he was excellent when he came on. Made a couple of great one on one tackles, shows the kind of composure u would expect from a Brazilian and always offered a threat going forward. Only small blip was an horrendous free kick, but then most of our team had a shocking free kick throughout the game.

    As for Jenks and Theo, on many occasion when Jenks has the ball Theo will just hug the touchline and use up the space that Jenks xcan attack. Theo should either come short and inside for a 1-2, sprint ahead of Jenkinson to offer him a forward ball, or if Jenks already has a 1-2 option in the centre from a midfielder then Theo should be thinking about getting in the box for the inevitable cross. Hugging the touchline in front of Jenks does nothing but slow play down.

  43. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    Excellant RA, and I did not need the dictionary! 😆

  44. FGG said:
    “Theo should either come short and inside for a 1-2, sprint ahead of Jenkinson to offer him a forward ball, or if Jenks already has a 1-2 option in the centre from a midfielder then Theo should be thinking about getting in the box for the inevitable cross.”

    See the problem there is you used the words thinking and Theo in the same sentence. 😉

  45. Red Arse says:


    –“See the problem there is you used the words thinking and Theo in the same sentence.”

    Oooer missus — I hope 26 and TA don’t see that or you will be in biiiig trouble! 🙂

  46. Fear not RA, Total is another who has gone dark after meeting the motley crew, which one has kidnapped him I wonder? We haven’t heard from Evonne all day?

  47. dandan says:

    I wrote last week on the likelihood of Franchises becoming part of the football scene in this country, this was greeted with a fair amount of scepticism. Strange then that I should find this article in Today’s Times.

    Doug Gratton
    Last updated October 17 2011 2:27PM

    Relegation could be abolished if some of the Premier League’s foreign owners have their way, according to a senior English football executive.

    Richard Bevan, the League Managers’ Association chief executive, said today that overseas investors are keen to safeguard their assets and warned that they could attempt to change one of the basic tenets of the English game.

    At present there are ten overseas owners in the Premier League although a change to the league rules would require the backing of 14 clubs.

    “There are a number of overseas-owned clubs already talking about bringing about the avoidance of promotion and relegation in the Premier League,” Bevan said at the Professional Players Federation conference in London.

    “If we have four or five more new owners, that could happen.

    “Certainly you’ll find that with American owners and you’ll find that with some of the Asian owners [they have been talking about scrapping relegation].”

    Arsenal, Aston Villa, Liverpool, Manchester United and Sunderland are owned by Americans, while Blackburn Rovers are under Indian ownership and Queens Park Rangers have Malaysian backers.

    Under the present system, the three bottom clubs are relegated each season from the top flight to the Championship, while three clubs are promoted from the Championship to the Premier League.

    Bevan wants the FA to implement rules that would prevent the promotion system from being changed.

    “If you look at sports all around the world and you lot at sports owners trying to work out how to invest to make money, you will find that most of them like the idea of franchises,” Bevan said.

    “If you take particularly American owners, without doubt, there have been a number of them looking at having more of a franchise situation and that would mean no promotion or relegation.

    “Obviously if I was an American owner and I owned a football club or I was an Indian owner I might be thinking I would like to see no promotion or relegation, my investment is going to be safer and my shares are going to go up in value.”

  48. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    Just looking out the window,the Cherries,Maples and Dogwoods are changing to beautifull colours, soon I will be able to see across the valley through the tree`s. Down my field, where I shall build my “escape” chalet ( It will have a replica clock outside and be called the clockend ) there are two, soon to be “Arsenal red ” tree`s.
    One a Liquidambar(£2 from Endsleigh Garden Centre, Milton Abbot. what a bargain!), the other, an Acer rubrum “October Glory”,Gorgeous, …give them a picture Peaches!.
    Think I need two more Red tree`s, then I can have a back four , sitting in front of the goalie, sorry chalet. 🙂

  49. Red Arse says:


    If you look at my explanation of the American and European league models, written in response to Evonne’s astute question, it should not come as any surprise that there was, and is, real doubts as to the likelihood of any franchise system being adopted here.

    They are 2 different league models. The ‘franchise’ system in the US calls for a restricted ‘non promotion – non relegation’ ethos, whereas the European/worldwide model historically calls for an open promotion and relegation system.

    The only way into a US ‘franchise’ league is by getting permission for a new team (“franchise”) to represent a new geographical area, or moving an existing – failing — team (franchise) to a new geographical area by either buying your way in or by the league agreeing to a new expansion. (on average this has happened approximately maybe a dozen times in the NFL in roughly 100 years).

    It is hardly surprising that certain club owners would like to selfishly ‘protect’ their interests by banning relegation, just as Liverpool’s owners tried to justify the protection of their investment by grabbing more money from overseas sales – and look what a hornets nest that stirred up, not to mention the horrendous legal problems the proposed short distance move of West Ham or Spurs to the Olympic Stadium has caused.

    Your article did not really touch on any of that but simply said Premier League clubs had the ‘potential’ to become franchises, and depart to another town without explaining how or why that would be engineered or what benefits would accrue, other than the benefits to Slough or Wapping councils.

    “Arsenal FC, like Chelsea and all the privately owned clubs have the potential to become a Franchise. Should Chelsea move to Slough, Harlow or Wapping it matters not, they would be welcomed with open arms by local councils for the money they would bring in.”

    I do not believe you seriously believe these clubs are altruistic and care tuppence for the economic livelihood of a small town such as Slough.

    Neither are they ever likely to receive the 100% agreement of all the other clubs, which they would need.

    Scepticism? No. Pragmatism? Yes.

  50. Red Arse says:


    If you want to model your chalet in the Wenger mould, can I suggest you would not go wrong with two stalwart Acer Palmatum O’Kagami midfielders.

    They display a slight callow greenish tinge early in the year, with sturdy growth throughout the Summer, changing to a beautiful scarlet red in the Autumn, just like our lads! 🙂

    Arsene would be proud of you!

  51. Red Arse says:

    Bloody hell, GLIC, on reflection you seem to have a vast estate down there in the peninsula.

    A valley, fields, large trees and a chalet. What did you do in real life? Estate agent; lawyer; bank robber; other? 🙂

  52. Gooner in Exile,

    So your married to a little ole Norfolk gal, blaast me bor, thets better by far than being married to a gret ole mawther like which some I know.

  53. evonne says:

    Hi 26 – great postmatch analysis, thank you. I completely agree with you about Arteta and Rosicky – one having a poor, game and the latter an excellent one. I think Song deserved a 7, but I might be biased coz I like him lots:)

    Yes, the shot that didn’t go in was un-be-lievable! Had it gone it that would have been goal of the month, hands done.

    RvP is the best skipper since PV. Both TH14 and Cesc were great players, but I never rated them as captains. RvP does a good job, not only leading by example but also urging others and the crowd to join in. He MUST sign the contract, he simply must.

    TA and Rasp – good to see you yesterday 🙂

  54. dandan says:

    RA, Evening: yours was not the only response to that article my friend.
    As far as local towns are concerned they were only examples to prove a point. Major cities in the world we currently live in are looking for means to generate revenue and employment. Boroughs are as conscious of the potential as anyone and would react the same.

    The point I made was that as these clubs become toys of owners then they will be able to drive change, which is more or less what the times and now sky news are saying.

    10 down five to go. then cartel country and anything can happen, as the accountant in you would say, money talks my friend

  55. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    Indeed RA.
    The Okagami is a stunning tree, these small Acers , would probably work better in my mid-field(see what I done there! 🙂 ) being Arsene`s like for small midfieders, but alas being in a frost pocket Palmatum`s struggle a bit, I`ve lost 2of 3.
    Have not built the Chalet yet, thats my next project, done a lot of the hard landscaping though, getting ready for the next stage. My escape patch s about 3/4 of an acre,the wife is left with the rest ,4 acre`s for her horse`s.
    Being a former Cowboy, please come and rustle her Horse`s, then I will have more money to spend on getting to see my gooners!. 🙂
    I had so many trades in the East End of London, I cant pin point one.
    I`m now semi-retired, apart from my love of Arsenal, I love landscaping and your dirty word, exercising. 🙂

  56. Red Arse says:


    I will put my favourite cowboy hat on and see what I can do — maybe organise a Rodeo day! 🙂

    All the acers are a bit prone to wind damage, but with Cornwall’s somewhat milder climate and a nice sheltered spot they should prosper.


    All our tiny midfielders are a bit prone to a physical drubbing, but under Arsene’s tender ministrations and a couple of big guys in midfield they should elicit some welcome victories. 🙂

  57. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    Nice one chas. 🙂
    Thanks RA, dont forget to bring the Pus…sorry Posse. 🙂


    RA, Ime sure Cornwall is a retired east end villan in the Reggie Kray mould,hes lying low,safe from the old bill and enjoying his swag in some Cornish village. He stays fit so he can either fight his way out or do a quick runner just in case plod catches up with him.

    By the way, anyone whos interested in a flutter, get on Arsenal 11/4 to finish top four. Money for jam.

  59. Red Arse says:

    Sorry, Chas,

    I meant to say that was an excellent Vid and right on the button.

    Still don’t know how you manage to filter out the good stuff! 🙂

  60. Gooner in Exile says:

    Can I be the first to say Hallelujah:

    From Arsenal on Twitter-

    Arsenal Football Club has opened a new state-of-the-art Medical Centre at the Club’s London Colney Training Centre http://t.co/gXVbaRNx


  61. Pat7 says:

    Evening all!

    Am I alone in not getting too carried away by VP’s silly yellow card due to taking his shirt off. I realise footballers are brainless in this ridiculous ‘celebration’ but VP is our captain & we could do without losing him as a result………..

    Added to that I was extremely disturbed as Song seemed intent on getting a second yellow for a blatant obstruction, followed by a handball & even a ‘silly’ foul. I’ve noticed he does this toward the end of matches but again it will cost us one of our best contributors!

    Not happy 😦 despite the points!

  62. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    The boyz will be paying you a visit, you slag! 😆

  63. kelsey says:

    Detection V:2,loaded:,site:22232,url:

    Excuse me but the above appearsed suddenly on this site only. i have checked my computer and everything appears in order.Can someone please explain what this is ?

  64. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    I need better odds than that, for my loot. 🙂


    Cornwall, what about Browns an alien at 1000 to1. If he dosn’t admit it soon the boyz will definatly be paying me a visit.

  66. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    Dont worry, I`ve arranged a dodgy autopsy, just in case the 1000000 to 1 chance he`s not alien. 🙂

  67. barumgooner says:

    Evening all. Nice to read a post from someone who watched the same game as me. I just read a piece on gunninghawk which was negative to say the least. I am reading less and less on the blog sites lately because its just so bloody depressing reading our fellow gooners moaning and condemning everyone in the side. To me it was a great performance with the now customary wobble. I agree that the worst performers of the day were Theo and Arteta but that doesn’t make them terrible players. TR was magnificent and Song was great in the tackle but his passing was woeful. To me Jenks is a young lad thrown in at the deep end and is improving. My only worry is not the defence but up front, we need a few more players to starty contributing.

  68. Daniel says:

    kelsey you are the most negative person I have ever come across!You are never pleased regardless of a win or a draw!You seem to have a field day when Arsenal lose.When other teams play cr4p and win they are called champions material yet when Arsenal do it,its a sign of cracks within the team.You also seem to be on the Wenger out carriage.You need to reassess your life as something is not right.old age?

  69. dandan says:

    Daniel you are out of order, It is a prerequisite of AA that we are all allowed to voice our own opinions on this site, provided they do not insult fellow bloggers. If you are unable to understand that ethos, then please take your contributions elsewhere

  70. neamman says:

    I dont think anyone expected Jenkinson to be playing so many games at this stage, least of all AW. I think they thought the back up to Sagna would be TV or Koz. Making the assumption we had 4 fit CBs to choose from. Losing TV is a huge blow as well as is JDs loss of form and confidence.
    For me Jenkinson has been doing great considering he has had no chance to work his way into the team. Is he first choice now… of course not.. but lets cut the guy some slack. I certainly thought he played well yesterday, not great but was a constant threat going forward.

  71. neamman says:

    If I have had a major disappointment so far in our new faces its Gervinho who looked great the first 2 games and has been useless since.

  72. neamman says:

    My only worry is not the defence but up front, we need a few more players to starty contributing.>>>>

    EXACTLY!! take away RVP and the only guy who has really looked the part is OX.. and he is still learning. Theo has been good.. but we need him to be much more consistent.

  73. LB says:

    I did not write that ok. lol

  74. LB says:


    I don’t know how much you visit this site but as someone who is here far more than is good for him let me tell you that Kelsey is a died in the wool Arsenal supporter, that man loves the club as much as any other Arsenal supporter you will ever meet.

    Do not be fooled,

    Reading a comment here there does not give the full picture that man has supported Arsenal for longer than many people will live and anyway he is our Kelsey and only we can give him grief.


    Lots of debate about Jenks today. I reckon in 2 years time this boy will be playing centre back, and he will be fantastic. Wilshere, OX, Jenks, Cocq. Frimpong etc, the futures ours i tell you.

  76. chas says:

    Seems to be something to do with a browser extension called Complicity for both Chrome and Firefox.


  77. kelsey says:

    Extract From the Guardian:11.55 PM

    “No, it’s not that [players have to leave to win titles],” said Wenger on the French radio station RTL. “The problem isn’t that. Frankly, if you compare what Manchester City have won in the past and what Arsenal have won, then you don’t go to Manchester City to win titles. Players go to Manchester City because they pay much better than Arsenal.

    In the more distant past, yes, Arsenal have won more than City. But over the last six years, it’s a bit tighter, with City lifting one trophy to Arsenal’s, well, less than one. And once a number of good players went to City for those much higher wages, didn’t the players who joined them after that do so because they thought that club had a better chance of winning titles (in addition to the higher wagers, of course)? Maybe, maybe not.

    Anyway, Arsene continues his tale of redemption:

    “It was a very difficult summer because half the dressing room wanted to leave,” said Wenger. “You’re preparing for a season where you don’t know who’s going to come in, the players who are staying are asking themselves what’s going on at the club, you’ve got a pre-season tour of Asia. It was extraordinarily difficult. What saved us is that we’re a club that are extremely solid and united. Other clubs would surely have gone to pieces in those circumstances.”

  78. kelsey says:

    Thanks Chas, it seems to have come from Turkey affecting Firefox and Google Chrome.By deleting extension v shape toolbar it clears the problem.

  79. Gooner in Exile says:


    “Vito Mannone and Sebastien Squillaci will both play in the Reserves tomorrow against West Brom.”

    Ok I’m being sarcastic.

  80. kelsey says:

    GIE even being sarcastic that comment is something that would normally be attributed to me 🙂

  81. evonne says:

    Morning all
    Thanks Kelsey for this little shocker.

    Half the dressing room wanted to leave???? What????? Who???
    That’s a shocking statement! How can AW go on to say that we are solid if any stage half of this players want to go

  82. kelsey says:

    evonne good morning.

    it wasn’t meant to be a shocker,it just goes along with my belief that has been constant all year that things are not right within the club.

    the reasons ?

  83. evonne says:

    Hi Kelsey – your belief is one thing, but having it confirmed by Wenger is another 🙂 No desrepect to you, far from it, but I take everything that other bloggers say with a pinch of salt, morning all 🙂

    Mind you, who says that Wenger really said that? Straws. ..clutching 😦

  84. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    evonne, good morning,
    I have been onto the RTL radio site and Arsene(or impersonator) had an interview. what was said I dont know, It was In french. I struggle with english, let alone french! 🙂

  85. kelsey says:

    Someone else thinks that Wenger meant after losing cesc and Samir he didn’t know if others wanted to leave but I am not sure about that.

  86. Morning all

    There’s a New Post

    Hi kelsey and evonne 🙂

  87. Red Arse says:

    GLIC, 🙂

    The only French you need is, if the opportunity arises is;

    — Voulez-vous coucher avec moi, ce soir? —-

    Don’t say it in front of the missus tho’! 🙂

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