Revenge of the Squid

Something rather remarkable happened on Tuesday night. Did you spot it?

No, I don’t mean the FFB (Fat French Benchwarmer) peeing his sky blue pants (size XL) at the very sight of Emmanuel Frimpong.

Nor do I mean two rookie Arsenal midfielders with the amusing acronym of “CoqPong” completely dominating the expensively acquired internationals in the Abu Dhabi City line-up.

Nor even the deafening silence of the Man City supporters (I’ve heard more noise during mime night at a Trappist Monks’ monastic retreat).

I refer instead to the fact that, after our highly creditable defeat at the hands of the Death Star of modern football, the Arsenal faithful were not all grinding their teeth, shaking their fists and muttering “Grrr… Squillaci…. Grrr…”

Sebastien Squillaci – the most maligned member of the current First Team defensive squad (I’m not counting goalkeepers!) – had a pretty decent night.

I read several match reports on different Arsenal blogs and, while no-one was exactly wanting to have his babies, there was a grudging acceptance that the Squid had done pretty well.

I remember writing a post early last season, when we were in great form and looking as if we were on for a real run at the silverware, along the lines of “who needs Vermaelen?”

It was after some excellent performances by our newbies Squillaci and Koscielny, both of whom seemed to settle into the team very quickly (once the Verminator’s Achilles heel developed bubonic plague and dengue fever).

With hindsight it was probably not one of my most prescient posts. It wouldn’t be long before we were praying to The Good Lord Dennis for TV5 to miraculously recover and begging Arsene to buy a burly British CB in the January transfer window.

And poor Sabastien underwent an extraordinary change of phylum, class and order to turn from a squid (loligo vulgaris)into a goat (capra aegagrus hircus). A scapegoat to be precise.

Now, there is no doubt that Squillaci had some poor performances for us last season, and that he and Koscielny did not really shine as a CB pairing.

But I wonder if the experienced Frenchman has copped more flak for our bad season than he ought to have done.

Let’s face it, when things went pear shaped (aka Na$ri shaped) it was the whole team that was at fault, from the captain on down.

With the exception of Prince Robin our strikers and midfielders stopped scoring and they also stopped defending, which left our defenders with a double-edged problem: one, they knew that if we conceded a goal or two our forwards were unlikely to redress the balance at the other end and, two, they weren’t getting the defensive support they should have received from the rest of the team so were shipping more goals.

Along with everyone else, Squillaci cannot have helped being tainted by the lack of confidence and uncertainty that affected even the so-called stars of the team during the final third of the season.

But he just can’t be as a bad a player as he is being painted in some quarters. You don’t get to play hundreds of games at the top level for clubs like Lyon, Monaco and Sevilla unless you’ve got something about you.

And a quick scan through some of the match reports and player analyses from last year shows that he played well in many games for us (and was observed to do so by the AA correspondents writing the reports). Unfortunately those performances were forgotten in the frustration and anger of the late-season collapse and the many mistakes he made during that period.

But this is a different Arsenal now – New Arsenal. Confidence is higher and so is team spirit, so it’s no surprise that he was able to come in and play very well against world class attackers on Tuesday night.

You get the feeling that someone like Vermaelen can impose himself on a game regardless of how his team mates are performing, but not many players have that presence, so in the dismal run-in Squillaci joined in the general dismalness.

But I for one am glad that he had a good run out and played well this week and I am happy to have him in the squad. Of course he’s behind Vermaelen, Mertesacker and Koscielny in the pecking order. He may even be fifth choice behind Djourou. But how many teams can point to a fourth or fifth choice CB with the experience and ability of the Squid?

Let’s support him because there may come a time this year when we need him.

He received too much criticism last year and I hope he takes his revenge in the most effective way that any footballer can: by silencing his critics on the field of play.

Welcome back Squiddy.



178 Responses to Revenge of the Squid

  1. In the immortal words of John McEnroe, “You cannot be serious”

  2. Big Raddy says:

    “I’ve heard more noise during mime night at a Trappist Monks’ monastic retreat”

    Superb …. Could only be one man.

  3. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi Rocky, well done to highlight the Squid’s good performance on Tuesday. When I watched the game again this week, I felt I had done him an injustice for not making more of it in my match report. So thanks.

    This one is for Lifelong. The immortal words of an extravert genius:

  4. Red Arse says:

    Morning Rock, 🙂

    A fair and balanced critique of the Squid.
    You are absolutely right, of course. When things go wrong criticism is wrought on the ‘wrongdoers’ at both the macro and micro levels.

    At the macro level, the whole team is castigated as incompetent fools etc by those spoilt brats spitting out their dummies.

    At the micro level, those with a penchant for pulling wings off flies, display a sadistic streak by singling out individuals, such as a particular player or the manager to vent their singularly cruel and vicious diatribes upon.

    In the past year or so, there have been a number of such players — and let’s give the abuse heaped upon Arsene as a given — and Squillaci, Denilson, Djourou and Almunia have all received more than their fair share of this somewhat poisonous opprobrium from the fans.

    That is not to say that some of them, at some times, did not deserve some stick for a personally poor display, but football is a team game and there are a variety of reasons, both footballing and otherwise that can impact on an individual’s performance on a given day. (Who can deny it happens to all of us in our own working environment, on occasion?)

    Squillaci did not fill the template of the CB many ‘enlightened’ Arsenal fans were crying out for at the time – tall, ergo good in the air, physical, ergo able to sort out Stoke, Bolton etc and therefore, I am afraid with his diminutive stature he was doomed in the eyes of these Arsenal fans from the start of his career with us.

    Good Post, as usual Rocky! 🙂

  5. evonne says:

    Rocky – absolutely fab!
    You are right, I haven’t noticed the Squid (is he really French?) and didn’t hear anybody complaining about his performance. He must have done well then 🙂

    Thank you for the great post and all the humour! FFB pissing his XL pants at the sight of Pong 🙂

  6. Arsedave says:

    That was a brilliant post, but you can mention this player, that player any player you want but you hit the nail on the head when you wrote “Confidence is higher and so is team spirit”. The end of last season was down to to just a total of 5 seconds of play. The mistake at the back in the Carling Cup Final (2 secs) and the miss away at Barcelona by Nic B (3 secs). Had them two incidents been reversed I think Arsenal would have gone on and won the lot, especially the confidence they would have got from beating Barcelona.

    Anyway like you say confidence is high again, it needs to be because of the competition this season with Spurs and Liverpool much improved and with City and their £Billions, but we are the club that has everything in place for the next two decades. Okay we might not win anything for another 5-10 years but once cars are totally run on Hydrogen and the Russian from Chelsea has had enough and Man Utd and their massive debt finally crash (75,000 to 52,000 (ticket prices set too high to pay off the debt)) the other night, we’ll still be standing strong winning the league and cup year after year.

  7. evonne says:

    Could this be true:

    ARSENAL have offered central defender Sebastien Squillaci to Espanyol.The Gunners will take £3million or a loan deal for the Frenchman.

  8. FIFA12Showboat says:

    great stuff! 🙂 Squilacci is turning those heads! 🙂

  9. Red Arse says:


    I did not get a chance to answer your question about Martin O’Neil earlier. So if Rocky will excuse me;

    I think O’Neil might be a brilliant manager for Sunderland if he can keep his mercurial temperament under control.
    He is such a highly strung man that he always looks as if he is going to explode, and of course, he hates our great manager!
    At his age, and not needing the money, I wonder if he is doing the right thing for his own health.

    The other matter was that in your story this morning you offered an explanation for the current use of the “Eff you” phrase so prevalent in today’s society, relating it to the 15th Century use of the English archers yew long bow and the drawing of its bowstring.

    “Plucking yew” was shortened to ‘pluck yew’ and then the more glottal “f*** you” used to day. I was going to pinch it from you and use it in the future should the occasion arise.

    But on reflection, I am not sure I believe it. And here’s why.

    As a reference point, Shakespeare was born in the 16th Century, and if you read his works, you will see it is far removed from ‘modern’ English usage and very difficult for many to understand.

    Soldiers in the 15th Century, during the 100 Year War with France, and approximately 150 years before the time of Shakespeare, probably spoke an old Anglo/Norman/Saxon English language that most of us would not be able to read let alone comprehend. So I really doubt they ever said “pluck yew” – delightful as it sounds! 🙂

  10. 26may1989 says:

    Morning all. Excellent Rocky – I especially liked “the Death Star of modern football” – exactly!

    And you’re right the Squid has come in for more criticism than he’s deserved. Not that he’s played that well during his Arsenal career, for the most part he hasn’t, but as Arsedave and you say, our failings in 2011 have really been about the failure of the collective.

    The treatment of a player like Squillaci raises more questions about the behaviour of fans, whose impatient, narrow-minded, vengeful, hysterical, abusive and bullying approach means they always want a few players to victimise. And Squillaci is one of those unlucky few right now.

    I was pleased to see Squillaci put in a tidy performance this week, he’s a man of quiet dignity and it’s good to see him do a good job against potent attackers. But I also think it would be the right thing to move him on. He’s not going to get ahead of TV, Kos and Mertesacker, and probably would find it difficult to get past Djourou. And in Miquel and Bartley we’ve got two young talents, one or both of whom could turn into something special.

  11. Big Raddy says:

    ArseDave You make good points about those 5 secs.

  12. chas says:

    I really hope you’re right, Rocky. 🙂

    We’ve gone from having scant cover at centreback to having a whole defence on Tuesday night populated by centrebacks! And that’s without the Verminator and the BFG playing. Long may it continue.

    I’ve just realised that playing for The Arsenal we have…
    The Verminator
    The BFG
    The Ox
    The Squid
    Le Coq.

    Any suggestions for other definite article soubriquets (or should the plural be soubriquet) for the rest of the squad?
    The Vajazzler for our Brazilian?

  13. Big Raddy says:

    RA. You caused me to check out the etymology of the F word. Very interesting and worth investigating! BTW it was in existence by the 15thC but as you said it was a German(ish) word (according to some sources) and as the English used mercenaries they could well have used it. However, my reading is that the English used to wave their index and middle fingers – words were unneccesary!

    26.Well said.

  14. 26may1989 says:

    Chas, the World’s Number One?

  15. dandan says:

    Superb Post Rocky, some great lines and smiles as usual, A smart spot sir, that squidgy had acquitted himself so well and had lifted his game in concert with the rest of the team. Wouldn’t it be something if AA could wake up, do the same and earn the kind of accolades his undoubted talent if not his temperament deserve.

  16. Big Raddy says:

    The Meerkat
    The Gerv

  17. 26may1989 says:

    I wondered what Raddy was on about with “The O”, then I got it: “Theo” > “The O”. Very clever BR!

  18. 26may1989 says:

    Le Professeur / Le Prof

  19. chas says:

    Oooops, didn’t expect the link to display like that!

  20. Fatgingergooner says:

    Does anyone else think that defenders are not usually given the famous ‘settling in period’ that is usually afforded to other positions, espescially strikers, upon joining the premier league from a foreign climate?

    They seem to be expected to perform at the top of their game as soon as they arrive, but as Koscielny pointed out the other day, this league is different. The strikers are much stronger than in other countries (according to Kozzer) and surely must take some time to get used to.

    My point is, could Squillaci’s poor start for Arsenal actually be put down to a settling in period and are we starting to see the best of him now. After all, Mertersacker has also taken a little time to settle. so why wasn’t this luxury afforded to Squillaci?

    My guess is that he is an unfashionable type who was purchased on a budget when everyone was looking for a stellar signing at a time when everyone could see, except Arsene, that a top quality player was needed. He was always doomed to fail unless he was putting in great performances from the start, which, in modern football, isn’t that easy. Just look at David Luiz as an example, £24m worth of talent who has been dreadful thus far, but maybe he’s just going through the settling in period aswell!

  21. Scott says:

    Seriously,i am starting to think I am a bloody genius.
    Loved Koscielny from day one,and stated to all and sundry he just lacked experience…..was laughed at.
    Stated Szczesny was potentially a world class keeper after his debut……was laughed at.
    Stated Squillaci MUST have been able to play as he was highly rated everywhere,and was not playing his natural game/position due to Injury to TV5 ….was laughed at.
    Stated Ox simply MUST be potentially a superstar for Wenger to pay so much for him……laughed at by plenty,but not all this time.
    Maybe because I believe players ALL will improve under Wengers tutelage.
    I don’t know,but check back to any of my posts over the last 12 months and you’ll see I am not lying.
    I should be our new scout lol.

  22. Fatgingergooner says:

    The Dogs Bollocks (RvP)

  23. Big Raddy says:

    FGG. You make a good point. Unfortunately age was and is against Squillaci. To come to the PL at the age of 30 meant that Squid had little time to adjust.

    I feel for him as when he arrived he was still in the France squad and played in the 2010 World Cup – to be reduced to 5th choice at Arsenal is a spectacular descent. I hope he plays at Olimpiakos and gets a Jan transfer to a club where he will get regular first team football.

  24. Big Raddy says:

    Scott. Get out there and find a replacement for Chamakh!

  25. Fatgingergooner says:

    To be fair Scott, I think a lot of us liked what we saw when Kozzer first arrived. I remember at on point thinking he reminded me of a certain Tony Adams! Hopefully he can become half as good.

    As for the Ox, well if AW is happy to dish out £12.5m on a 17 year old then he must be half decent, and at the moment looks every bit a bargain.

  26. Red Arse says:

    Scott, you must stop talking to the mirror! 🙂

  27. Red Arse says:

    Hi BR, 🙂

    Thanks for your etymological research into the ‘F’ word. I was too embarrassed to look it up in case my girlfriend thought I was engaging in puerile activities! 🙂

    I resorted to applying logic to the matter instead, as I demonstrated (or perhaps as they would have said in the 40s “shewed”) – which is never a bad place to start, I suppose?

  28. LB says:

    I don’t think it is correct to say that Squillaci didn’t start well at Arsenal; he did, scoring once or twice if memory serves. His short comings only started to be noticed after a couple of months. With Vermaelen’s injury he was asked to play more than was almost certainly originally intended — his lack of pace started to show and problems ensued.
    I agree with the sentiment of the post above, I am the first to defend a player who I feel is being picked on but if you take another look at the Aguero goal you will notice that Squallaci is to blame more than any other player, the point I am making is that age has caught up with him and if the offer of playing at Espayol is true I, for one, hope he takes it.

    Great post as ever Rocky.

  29. Red Arse says:


    Sorry. I forgot to say — I was not denying the ancient use of the “F” word, I was simply throwing doubt on the suggested origin – ‘plucking — pluck — f***! 🙂

  30. Red Arse says:

    I suppose you have all noticed the overuse of certain verbs in the run up to the Tfr Window?

    “Arsenal are (‘poised’/’braced’) to make a (‘move’/’bid’/’grab’) for xxxxxx in the trfr window”.
    They all lose their impact under the sheer number of frankly ridiculous rumours.

    What is not a rumour is that AW has said he is not intending to buy anyone in the Vindow (sic). 🙂 OK, he might be playing his cards close to his chest — if so, he is hardly like to tell these scuttlebut merchants, is he?

  31. goonermichael says:

    You forgot the most overused “swoop”

  32. Red Arse says:

    You are right GM 🙂

    Actually, I am sure there are others, but all of them have metaphorical whiskers from over use/old age and are extremely irritating.

  33. TotalArsenal says:

    We need a good name for Arteta – I’d like it to be El Toro

  34. gunnern5 says:

    Take him to the Euros! Wenger backs Oxlade-Chamberlain to follow Walcott with shock call

    By Sportsmail Reporter

    Last updated at 12:12 PM on 2nd December 2011

    Arsene Wenger has backed Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain to make a late charge for a place in England’s Euro 2012 squad after admitting the former Southampton star is on the cusp of the Arsenal first-team.

    The attacking midfielder has excelled since making the switch from League One during the summer, scoring on his first two starts against Shrewsbury Town and Olympiakos.

    He was then the brightest light on the pitch against Manchester City earlier this week as the Gunners were knocked out of the Carling Cup.

    And now his club manager has welcomed the link with the international set-up.

    Wenger has backed his young star to feature at next summer’s European Championships
    ‘I would like to see [him go to Euro 2012] but let’s go step by step,’ Wenger said. ‘I think in England you always take the fast track. To go to the European Championships you need experience in the Premier League so it is important he gets that first.

    ‘He is not far [from being ready for the Premier League]. At the moment we have been quite consistent with the team we put out because we are on a good run and have had no injuries.

    ‘I believe he is still in a period where training every day with top players is important for him to improve. He has quality when he plays in games – he is not fazed by the importance of them. He’s the kind of personality that makes you think he can play on the big stage.

    ‘You have seen him already before Christmas and I have no restrictions at all. For me, if I need him he will play. I don’t think it is too early for him to play anymore.’

  35. evonne says:

    RA and Raddy and Brigham – thank you very much, it actually is very interesting. Polish language has not changed as much as English over the centauries, 10th centaury writings are still readable. I think that the biggest change came in the last 10 years – hundreds of new words were introduced/adopted/taken from English. It is an abomination and I hate it, but have no influence over it.

    Sorry Rocky …back to Squid – I checked, you are right (of course), he is French with Italian background.

    in France they call him Toto

  36. Scott says:

    Redarse,talking to the mirror is the only way I can get a decent conversation lol.
    As for a Chamakh replacement…..I just love Podolski as a player.
    Having said that,I think Chamakh has simply been a victim of circumstances.
    He proved early on he can play,but when RVP came back,he lost his spot,got no game time and list all momentum and confidence.
    Selling him would be best for both parties.
    Sell TR7,Arshavin and buy Podolski and Gotze……..we will be good to go.
    We have the cash,and these two signings would instill a lot of confidence in the players and fans.

  37. gunnern5 says:

    Diaby will get back to his best, insists Wenger

    Published 12:11 02/12/11 By John Cross

    Arsene Wenger insists Abou Diaby will make a full recovery – after admitting he feared for the injury-plagued midfielder’s career.

    French international Diaby has been ruled out again after pulling a muscle in his latest setback after only just coming back from surgery in the summer.

    Wenger, also without Tomas Rosicky for tomorrow’s trip to Wigan, admits that Diaby has been left feeling “low” but claims he will be back stronger.

    The Arsenal boss said: “He’s got injured again – it’s a minor injury but at the moment I must say he is very low because he has put a lot of effort in to come back. He has not played one full game since the start of the season.

    “I had the fear he would never get back to his best before his last surgery because he didn’t look comfortable to me with his ankle. Now, I am convinced he will come back to his full potential.

    “He is going through a very difficult moment just now because he has put so much dedication into his rehab and to be injured straight away again is very difficult to take for him. He has been out many times like that.”

    Wenger denies that Diaby was rushed back into the first team too soon and says the Frenchman was desperate to play.

    Wenger added: “That’s always what you think when you do it. The players are always impatient to come back.

    “When they come back and they get injured, you think you have done it too early. But we felt with the fitness coaches that he was ready to play.

    “What you then say always to a player is it is a moment where he has to keep strong and continue because it is a small injury.”

  38. Arsedave says:

    How about El Bellas (Artes) meaning “the fine Artist”, a play on his name.

    A song to follow soon, when I’ve put the words together. We could do with some more songs. I only heard us sing two songs v Fulham.

  39. LB says:


    I was a very happy man.
    My wonderful girlfriend and I had been dating for over a year.
    So we decided to get married.

    There was only one little thing bothering me..

    It was her beautiful younger sister, Sofia.

    My prospective sister-in-law was twenty-two, wore very tight miniskirts, and generally was Bra-less.

    She would regularly bend down when she was near me.
    I always got more than a nice view.

    It had to be deliberate.
    she never did it around anyone else.

    One day she called me and asked me to come over.
    ‘To check my Sister’s wedding- invitations’ she said.

    She was alone when I arrived.
    she whispered to me that she had feelings and desires for me.
    she couldn’t overcome them anymore.

    She told me that she wanted me just once before I got married.

    She said “Before you commit your life to my sister”.
    Well, I was in total shock, and I couldn’t say a word.
    She said, “I’m going upstairs to my bedroom” she said.
    “if you want one last wild fling, just come up and have me”.

    I was stunned and frozen in shock as I watched her go up the stairs.

    I stood there for a moment..
    Then turned and made a bee-line straight to the front door.
    I opened the door, and headed straight towards my car.

    Lord And behold, my entire future family was standing outside, all clapping!

    With tears in his eyes, my father-in-law hugged me.
    He said, ‘Sergio, we are very happy that you have passed our little test.
    We couldn’t ask for a better man for our daughter.
    Welcome to the family my son..’

    And the moral of this story is:

  40. LB says:

    Wait for it.

  41. gunnern5 says:

    Always keep your condoms in the car.

  42. LB says:

    Good morning GN5

    How are you today?

  43. gunnern5 says:

    Great, other than a problematic prostrate, really pisses me off???

  44. dandan says:

    RA and Evonne much as I enjoyed both of your post about the origin of the word F*** , It has always been my belief that it comes from the original term for rape, which came from the fact that the supects had been tried “For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge”. One to ponder on 🙂

  45. goonermichael says:

    Sky have launched an F1 channel. Think I’d rather watch paint dry.

  46. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi Arsedave, “El Bellas (Artes)” sounds great too, but I don’t think that is his role or his real forte at Arsenal. He is a fighter with stamina and strong upperbody strength, and with focus and determination. More of an allrounder really: maybe El Bellas Toro is a good compromise? 🙂

  47. evonne says:

    Chas – monster.
    GM – me too, but many love F1, no idea why
    Dandan – good morning, very good!
    LB – you should know that GN5 knows ALL the jokes

    Arteta is a great name, why do we want to change it?

  48. evonne says:

    Martin O’Neill is a good manager, I agree with you Raddy and RA, I think he is going to do well in Sunderland.

    I cannot remember the circumstances but I argued with someone that 1000:1 for Suderland to win a league is a good bet, well perhaps not this year 🙂
    We had some problems with Villa when little Martin was there, I hope we will not repeat that with S~long name.

  49. Fatgingergooner says:

    O’Neill is a spender. He goes to clubs, spends a fortune, does pretty well with it, and then leaves when the money runs out. Sunderland threw cash at Bruce so O’Neill should do pretty well for a couple of years at least.

  50. Red Arse says:


    Once or twice I watched a programme on TV called something like The Fast One or some such, and a repeating theme was a weather girl who simply said the forecast for Spain was “scorchio” with loads of sun symbols!

    Leading up to this forecast was a military style newsreader (an English actor, obviously) who pretended to speak Spanish and it sounded like he was saying “arteteteta” repeated over and over again – very droll, very funny.

    So now we can all speak Spanish — Leave Arteteteta alone, I say!! 🙂

    Anyone familiar with that show?

  51. LB says:

    The problem with the name El Toro is that Arteta is Basque and associating Bull fighting with that part of the world is a bit like trying to associate Yorkshire pudding with London, a silly example but it makes the point quickly.
    Basques are lovers of food, only Paris as a city has more Michelin stared restaurants than San Sebastian for example. They are also quite fond of a political struggle. I don’t have the answer or even a suggestion but I can offer this:

    Did you know that the Basque language is so old that they didn’t have a word for knife, to remedy this they had to make one up from the existing Basque word pool — and the word they came up with was — sharp stone.

    And what do you think they call scissors — two sharp stones

    True story.

  52. Red Arse says:


    I have tried to decipher your cryptic comment at 1:14 p.m. All I can come up with is this mental picture of canaries???

    Fortunately useless canaries keep me excited. 🙂

  53. Hi Redders, it’s called “The Fast Show”.

    Funny and entertaining post as always Rocky.

  54. Red Arse says:


    BR has stirred me into action and I suppose I should give you an example of ‘old’ English and how it was phonetically said; as compared to ‘modern’ English, using the Lord’s Prayer, known to many.

    The Lords prayer is an example:

    “Old” English: Germanic base/Anglo Saxon/Norman French

    Thu ure Fæder þe eart on heofunum, Sy þin nama gehalgod. Cume þin rice, Sy þinne wille on eorðan swaswa on heofonum. Syle us todaeg urne daeghwamlican hlaf. Ond forgyf us ure gyltas, swaswa we fogyfaþ þampe with us agyltaþ. Ond ne lae thu na us on constnunge, ac alys us of yfele. Soðlice

    Phonetically this reads:

    Thu our Father, thee art on heavenum, say thine nama ge-holyod. Come thine rich, say thine will on earth swas-wa on heavenum. Sell us today ourne day-ge-wham-lick hloaf. And forgive us our guiltas swas-wa we forgiv-ath themp with us a-guilt-ath. And no lay thu nah us on costnun-ya, ahsh all-lays us from evil. Soothlike.

    Modern translation:

    Our Father, which art in Heaven, hallowed be thy name, thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven etc etc.

    You can see that there is little chance that the origin of that cuss word is derived from ‘pluck’ as we know it today!! 🙂

    Gadzooks — the Lord’s Prayer on a footie blog – whatever next?? 🙂

  55. Red Arse says:

    Thanks CharyB, 🙂 knew it was something like that.

    I am waiting to see DD’s solution to my cryptic response! 🙂

  56. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi Redders, yep, I watched that show a lot and remember the scorchio scetch. Caroline Ahern (spelling?) in brilliant form!

    See below (from 2.48 minutes onwards).

  57. RockyLives says:

    Thanks for comments everyone.

    Poor old Squillaci, everyone is quick to lambast him when he has a bad game, but a good performance against high class opposition and he gets barely a mention. That’s why I wrote the post.

  58. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi London’s Bergkamp 🙂 Good points re El Toro. But if the Basques don’t do bullfighting, it must mean they respect the bull to a high degree. What is the spanish word for knife or scissors then?

  59. Red Arse says:


    You are keeping your head down today, earning oodles of dosh, I suspect, but I made a detour past my favourite chippie last night to check up on ‘saveloys’.

    There is indeed a ‘meat section’ on their take out menu consisting of various pies, and then – jumbo sausages; jumbo battered sausages; jumbo saveloys and finally, jumbo battered saveloys.

    This is not on the restaurant menu, so I had not seen it.

    Dandan, they apparently won the Observer Fish and Chip Shop of the year award, according to a proud poster displayed on the wall, but I could not see which year, so it could have been 1564 when Shakingspear was around!! 🙂

  60. RockyLives says:

    I used to live a few doors down from Paul Whitehouse (the one in the military uniform in that Fast Show sketch) just off Highbury Fields. Lovely bloke but, unfortunately, a Spudder.

  61. Red Arse says:

    Hi Blue Rock Candy Mountain, 🙂

    Now I don’t want you to think I am bitter and twisted, or any such thing, but you get lauded, and rightly so, for your wonderful Posts, with their fluent, easy prose, while my comments only bring the site into disrepute by talking about food or abstruse discussions of our ancient English language heritage.

    I get it, I really do – so I am going to have a lie down, and then having wiped my tears, I will return to writing Xmas Card one liners, like Micky does in his spare time, after he has pinched GLIC’s 365 wenches!! 🙂

  62. SharkeySure says:

    (Auto paste) Top top quality Rocky

    You’e are right though, it is often overlooked that the Squid actually made a very good start to his Arsenal career. He played at CB and you didn’t really notice him. Fantastic.

    Mime night …lol

  63. SharkeySure says:

    Well said Rocky 3.06.

    We need more of this type of balancing out. You hear fans talk about some Arsejal players as though they wouldn’t get into their local Sunday League side. It really does get quite ridiculous at times

  64. evonne says:

    RA – oh dear, that’s a different language altogether! Now, if God understood it then, he must be baffled at today’s prayer 🙂

  65. RockyLives says:

    Hello Redders 🙂
    Personally I rather enjoyed your anglo-saxon version of the Lord’s Prayer.

    Did you know that in the Domesday Book Highbury was called Tolentune (Tolla’s Hill) – a name still reflected in the area today in Tollington Road.

    It seems the name Highbury did not appear until the 13th Century when a new manor house was built – the word literally means a manor house built on high ground.

  66. RockyLives says:

    if God understood it then, he must be baffled at today’s prayer 🙂

  67. evonne says:

    Rocky – I am sure, that once Toto gets a few good games under his belt, we will love him again. Starting tomorrow.

    Guys – is it worth subscibing to LiveFootballOnline, are they any good?

  68. Hey Sharkey is “Autopaste” your new sign on tag ?

  69. evonne says:

    Hello Chary, how are you today ?

  70. evonne says:

    Rocky – now I know why my prayers are never answered 😦 That’s not fair, they are

    BTW Rocky – is it cold in Canada now? We had first frost last night, brrrrrr

  71. dandan says:

    Hi RA actually you have lost me with your canary comment. My post @ 1.14 was a serious one that is where I believe the word is derived from and was not meant to be cryptic,

    As regards your chippy it sounds a belter, there are a number of good chippies around. Yours sounds much more of an upmarket restuarant than the one I frequent, plain tables, no cloths and nothing as refined as Hake, which is a fish I like, generally I go for the Plaice.
    Market Deeping is not far from me and has a a priZe winning chippy called Linfords…. does many different fish varietes, but in my opinion it is not as good as the chippy in the wilds of Wisbech that we use.

    Hope that helps

  72. evonne says:

    Dandan – the best fish is karp Krakowiak, I am sure Pani Ania can confirm that

  73. dandan says:

    Carp is a fish I have had many times raw in Japan evonne and it is ok.

    As my participating sport these days is fishing I have caught many carp and prefer to return them to the water to grow rather than considering eating them. In fact there has been a deal of trouble around the fens with Eastern European imigrants removing fish from the local water to eat.

  74. gunnern5 says:

    The Captain’s View

    We have continued to play well over recent weeks. What I really like as well at the moment is that you can see people stepping up a level, and growing in confidence. I can really notice that around the team. Alex Song for example. He has been a great player for a few years now, but I do feel that when you see a defensive midfielder make an action like that he did against Borussia Dortmund, to break a game like that, then he is something special. To finish top of our Group with a game still to go was an amazing achievement we can be really proud of.

    We have Thomas Vermaelen back, and Mikel Arteta is playing really well. He’s so intelligent. He knows when to go forward, he knows when to sit back. Sometimes Alex makes a run forward, but because of his experience, Mikel can read the game, knows when to go forward, when to help his team out, or when to play for others. Everyone can see he has grown into his role, and you can tell he has played many games in the Premier League. I have been saying good things about Alex Song, but I have to say I didn’t know he would pull off something like he did for that Dortmund goal, it was unbelievable. It was like the move of a left- winger, the way he went past three players. Some players can do that, but what made it so special was the cross afterwards. That’s the hardest part because when you beat a few players, you might think to yourself ‘Oh yes, I’ve done it’ and then just deliver half a cross. But he put in the perfect cross for me, it made it 1-0 and changed the game. You could see after that goal that everyone played with more confidence, and were easier on the ball. So it was a vital moment and Alex created it.

    Thanks for your fantastic support so far this season and on behalf of all the players have a great Christmas and a Happy New Year.

  75. Red Arse says:

    Hi Dandan,

    Must admit I thought you were pulling my leg at 1:14 p.m. and responded in kind.

    The acronym version you mention was first used in the American south as a colloquialism for when someone was arrested “for unlawful carnal knowledge” and so I thought you were referring to my country of birth.

    An older English acronym is “Fornication Under Consent of the King”. But I think it is now generally accepted that the origin of the offensive word was, as BR previously inferred, derived from a corruption of the basic German/Saxon word meaning “to rub”.

    So, given that I thought you were kidding me, here is what I thought!

    You said: “For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge” = first letters are significant.

    So I responded with a nonsense preamble at 2:45:
    “Fortunately useless canaries keep me excited. 🙂 = first letters are significant.

    Too clever by half, perhaps? 🙂 No offense intended, DD.

  76. goonermichael says:

    Paul Whitehouse is a spud? I’ll never laugh at him again.

  77. goonermichael says:

    I loved the fast show. The South American Geordie used to make me piss myself.

  78. goonermichael says:

    Did I blogfart again?

  79. RockyLives says:

    ‘fraid so.
    It brings their celebrity fan base to a grand total of three:
    Chas, Dave and Paul W.
    Think Gary Glitter might be a Spudder too.

  80. goonermichael says:

    We just got Spain, France and Germany in the Euro 2012.

  81. RockyLives says:

    the ” ‘fraud so” was a response to your Paul Whitehouse comment… not to your question about whether you blog farted 🙂

  82. goonermichael says:

    Don’t blaspheme about my Gary Rocky. I love his music.

  83. RockyLives says:

    Do you wanna be in his gang GM? 🙂

  84. Big Raddy says:

    GM. 4.41. 4.42. You are a naughty boy. I don’t know which of the above two statements is true but my guess is that the first is more likely than the 2nd!

  85. Big Raddy says:

    RL. No he wants to be the Leader

  86. goonermichael says:

    The WC one was to see if anyone was here Raddy. I actually do listen to GG. Don’t agree with his noncy stuff obviously but if people can listen to jackson the n I can still listen to Glitter.

  87. goonermichael says:

    I’m in his gang Rocky 🙂

    Went to Vietnam recently 😉

  88. Hi Evonne, I’m fine and glad it’s Friday – need a lie in badly.

    Hope you are well.


    Gm, one thing i would give Garry Glitter, apart from a swift kick to the privates, he had a damn fine Wig.


    Good article Rocky, Squid always gives his best.

  91. Big Raddy says:

    GM. I was in a bar in Ho Chi Minh City which had a signed GG shirt framed upon the wall ( and No, it wasn’t one of “those” bars and I was with Mrs BR)

    I just tried to watch the Euro draw. What a pile of tosh. An awful europop song badly sung by a man in drag, a collection of embarrassed old pro’s, and then a boring rant by a bloke who used to be in Thunderbirds. A windswept, tumbleweed AA is better entertainment

  92. Big Raddy says:

    No question at all that these draws are bent.

  93. 26may1989 says:

    England get Ukraine, Sweden and France.

  94. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Yikes Group B
    Denmark, Holland, Germany and Portugal

  95. goonermichael says:

    Just like Platini Raddy (I have it on very good authority)

  96. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Right, evening all.
    Two great posts in two days, and two days of great comments. Thanks all.

  97. Big Raddy says:

    Group A is evidence if chicanery. How do these bent bastards get away with it time after time?

  98. MickyDidIt89 says:

    On any other site a title of “Revenge of the Squid” would only inspire talk of a defender, here the thinking goes straight to the piscine association. Brilliant chat on Fish and Chips.

  99. Big Raddy says:

    Micky. Holland & Germany must be delighted. Denmark beat and drew with the Portugese in the qualifiers, and I can assure you Dk are not very good.

  100. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Who be in Group A BR?

  101. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Well I hope Denmark and Portugal go through.

  102. goonermichael says:

    Sweden and France will get out of our group. We’ll be coming home early. You heard it here first.

  103. nigella's muffins says:

    Michael MacIntyre is a spud, too. I used to find him funny before I found out.

    I’m changing my blog name. That’s twice in a couple of days I’ve seen chas and dave referred to and thought it was me. 😦

  104. Red Arse says:

    Nigells’a Magnificent Muffins,

    You will just have to front up and have a word with Chas. His dubious association with Dave is udderly wrong! 🙂

  105. nigella's muffins says:

    chas is no more, thanks for the mammaries.

  106. Big Raddy says:

    GM. England will play very defensively with one upfront and get through playing awful football. Then get smacked in the next round (as always)

  107. goonermichael says:

    It won’t be shrek though BR 🙂

  108. LB says:

    Looks like a good draw to me.

  109. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Saw your talk on Basque’s and food. I’ve read three books by Mark Kurlansky. “Cod”, “The Basque History of the World” and “Salt (how it changed the world or something)”. All good if you’re interested in things Basque and food.

  110. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Newcastle v Chelsea. Mmmmmm. That could end in tears for Terry and Co. Shame that 🙂

  111. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Well, there’s only so long you can sit here on your own, discreetly putting the pointy thing on Nigella to make her bigger.
    Nite all.

  112. gooner lost in the black hole of a 25 stone spudette says:

    What a day . Broke down and had to wait for the AA, where were you ?, sorry wrong AA.
    Excellant read Rocky, personally, I wouldn`t give you six quid for the sick squid, hope I`m wrong. If he gives us a 100%, he deserves a chance.

  113. TotalArsenal says:

    Lost, was the Spudette the reason for your breakdown?

  114. nigella's muffins says:

    This is what happens when chas and dave and women meet.
    Is that the spudette at the front?

  115. LB says:


    I have read Cod and the Basque history of the World……..superb.

    Have you been to San Sebastian and sampled a Pinxo or two?

  116. LB says:


    Eugentics………….is it always wrong?

  117. LB says:

    I have got to be honest, they make my skin crawl, I know I should act my age but as I am sure GM would say — I fucking hate them.

  118. MickyDidIt89 says:

    No, but I have been in Bayonne on the opening night of the Basque Festival.
    Cripes, you need your drinking hat on for that one!
    That was the day before setting off on three weeks in the high Pyrenees. Some send off! The summer of ’89. Happy memories. A week later, I spent the night in a Refuge (mountain lodge) under the highest peak (Vignamarle) and read this grafitti on the wall: “Goon the the Moon. Anfield ’89”.

  119. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Sorry: Goon to the Moon.

  120. MickyDidIt89 says:

    I guess that’s high altitude Gooning. There’s a post somewhere in there. Extreme Gooning!

  121. MickyDidIt89 says:

    I only came over to log off. Sorry to have missed you. You have an interest in Basques me thinks. Interesting.
    Nite all. Again I think.

  122. LB says:


    Wrong side of the Pyrenees, the food is on the other side: San Sebastian is where it is at. If you and your lovely wife (I am assuming) want a weekend go to San Seb, you don’t need a car, stay in the hotel Londres with a sea view (important) go to the old town (5 mins walk) and eat until your heart is content.

  123. LB says:

    Actually, have lunch in the brilliant restaurants (lunch doesn’t start until 2pm) and then have pinxos and wine in the old town in the evening.

  124. LB says:

    Ahhhhh, happy days.

    Night, night.

  125. gooner back from the event horizon says:

    The spudette makes the girl in front look like Kate Moss on a hunger strike !
    No , she was too busy causing some high tides in North Cornwall, but I did manage to speak to her on the phone, funny that, I always manage to get a good reception on the phone to her, It`s probably down to the numerous satellite`s that orbit her.

  126. gooner back from the event horizon says:

    From way earlier, I think Arteta would make a good Zorro ( wish I could have the tech` know how, to put a slashing Zed underneath)

  127. nigella's muffins says:

    Event Horizon,
    High tides 🙂

  128. evonne says:

    Micky and LB – I have read those books too, fascinating. Fishing for cod Basques discovered America long before that psycho Columbus.
    I have also read about atrocities committed by the Spanish in Guernica
    I was very surprise that Xabi Alonso joined Real

  129. evonne says:

    cannot spell, sorry, surprised

  130. TotalArsenal says:

    ———————————– /

  131. TotalArsenal says:

    Oops that ‘Z’ did not work then!

  132. gooner back from the event horizon says:


    Z is for Arteta

  133. gooner back from the event horizon says:

    😆 I think were both crap at this, Total . 😆

    We need the magic of Muffins

  134. TotalArsenal says:

    GLiC, you are in serious gravitational spudette trouble. Next thing she will be mooning you!

  135. gooner back from the event horizon says:

    Just my luck Total, being stalked by a 25 stone spudette Lunatic. 😥

  136. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    Nite Nite, off to dream about…………… Arsenal win tomorrow. Please no spudette nightmares.

  137. TotalArsenal says:

    Nite, GLiC!

  138. nigella's muffins says:

    ——————– /

    Z is for Arteta

  139. nigella's muffins says:


  140. muffins says:

    I quite like ‘muffins’ on its own. Blog name sorted.

  141. ozgunner says:

    Morning all

    To your liking GLIC and TA?

  142. ozgunner says:

    Great read Rocky, love the humour you tie into your posts, seems so effortless.

    Squidge has copped it from the fans, and i think part of that was from his partnership with Kozza (bit tough for Two CB’s to partner each other in a new league, especially when they were new to one another). He did have some good games with djourou though. I liked his game the other day, but he is a fair way down the pecking order so maybe he should more on. I would rather miquel, bartley and djourou over squidge

  143. Big Raddy says:

    Oz. It must be great to have your mastery of photoshop. Rasp is good as well.

    Trying to find cheap flights to San Sebastian, it sounds wonderful.

  144. Big Raddy says:

    KELSEY: Where are you? The internet connection must be repaired by now or is it a case of Spanish Manana?

  145. evonne says:

    Morning all

    Raddy – San Sebastian is one of the most expensive places in Europe. Hotels and restaurants are outrageously dear. You’d better check before you go. I checked after reading the books about Basques, but couldn’t afford to go 😦

  146. MickyDidIt89 says:

    There was I thinking I was the only lune reading books about Salt and Cod.

  147. Big Raddy says:

    Micky. The history of salt is very interesting. There are salt roads running through the mountains behind my Italian house that are over 1000 years old and still in good condition.

    Cod – I have to say that I question the pleasure such a book will bring, but if it is on Kindle it could be Xmas entertainment.

    evonne. Thank you for the information. Perhaps another year 🙂

  148. evonne says:

    Morning Micky – nay, there are more insane people than you, trust me. Excellent book, don’t you think? An eye opener to the Basque culture and cause

    Anyway, matchday today!! Six nil to the Mighty?

  149. evonne says:

    Raddy – me too 🙂

  150. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Pray tell me, living in Denmark as you do, is the New Years’ Day Feast still Cod in Mustard Sauce?
    Incidently, the Danes are very tied in with the history of both the Basques, salt, as well as the Celtic fringe sea faring nations. Salted cod is what enabled long distance travel.
    I love this site.

  151. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Weirdly, as I wasn’t at the time, today I am rueing the dropped points against Fulham. If it were to be a win either way, who do we go for Newcastle or Chelsea?

  152. LB says:


    I think it is a little unfair to describe San Sebastian as one of the most expensive places in the world. I admit it not cheap, as in some small Southern Spanish village; but I suspect, when you compare the prices of hotels and restaurants to London or Copenhagen I feel certain that it will emerge as being quite the bargain.

  153. Big Raddy says:

    Newcastle because they are at the peak of their form, plus they have a wafer thin squad – witnessed by their lack of a midfield today!

    I have asked Mrs R about the Cod dinner and she says her Grandmother would always have a fish feast on NY eve but nowadays no-one would. Shame really – I love tradition

  154. Big Raddy says:

    Just checked the hotel prices. Hotel Londres – €130 for a double room with seaview. Seems reasonable to me.

  155. Gooner In Exile says:

    Morning all, haven’t had a chance to read all comments. But have read the post. I remember writing a match report last year that had to deal with the vilification of Squillacci, think I said something along the lines of he is not an awful defender as many would have you believe. As you say he needs a good partner, and very few defenders can cope with a poor team in front of them.

    My only worry is that Jack posted a twit pic of Seb and Cham at breakfast, they seemed to be sitting on a table together….is that the low confidence table? Seb was reading a crappy tabloid too….maybe they should ban all tabloids from training ground 😀

    Right I have to go off do husband like duties (shopping in Nottingham) after a great Kasabian gig last night up here.

    Next home game visit for me confirmed…Wolves on Boxing Day (I bought it for the wife for Christmas 🙂 )

  156. Gooner In Exile says:

    No one mentioned The Beast (Frimpong).

  157. Big Raddy says:

    GIE. I will be joining you for the Wolves game. Already excited

  158. MickyDidIt89 says:

    I’ll share with you BR. The ship sails from Plymouth an hour after final whistle. See you there on the morn my merry fellow.

  159. pat says:

    Hey there – rested first team regulars + Wigan should = win for us. Simple math hopefully fulfilled later today…

    Re low confidence players – Maybe if we all pool together we might be able to afford a goal for Chamakh… if only he could score, same with Arshavin there mojo may yet be found!

  160. MickyDidIt89 says:

    The North is crawling with magnificent beards. My hopes are sky high.

  161. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Ommmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm Cham Ommmmmmmmmmm

  162. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Come on, its beard time!

  163. muffins says:

    Where’s the pre-match? I have to leave at 10!

  164. muffins says:

    You can’t have a lie-in just because it’s the weekend.

  165. I’m here, be up in just a minute 🙂

  166. oz gunner says:

    very jealous GiE, hope it was a good gig.

    @ BR

    definently not mastery, bored. Looking forward to your ever reliable Pre-match

  167. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Oh here we go again. Pointy thing on Nigella. Bigger.
    Smaller. Bigger.

  168. Big Raddy says:

    New Post …… beat you to it Peaches 🙂

  169. oz gunner says:

    Beard! Beard! Beard!

  170. pat says:

    My 2c re Squill – seemed to have a bit of the confidence our back line is beginning to show lately…. I think also DJ getting a game here or there is starting to help him out. He seems to again benifit from playing with the more experienced defenders e.g. Mert + Verm.

    Obviously we just need to sort the striking side out – e.g. still persist with Chamakh as understudy. Also seems to be an issue with Park although hopefully he is going to adjust and perhaps contribute more in the new year. I guess both have untill the transfer window to convince the boss that they can be the backup to the Boy Wonder…

  171. pat says:

    e.g. still persist with Chamakh as understudy.

    should be

    e.g. still persist with Chamakh as understudy to RVP or move him on?

  172. Ha ha ha Raddy 😆

  173. comparehotels…

    […]Revenge of the Squid « Arsenal Arsenal[…]…

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