Poll: Is Robin’s Arsenal Stronger Than Cesc’s Arsenal?

If ever you needed evidence of the newly improved team spirit at New Arsenal, you just have to read some of the recent match reports.

Here on AA yesterday Harry’s excellent dissection of the victory over Everton was comprehensive and entertaining.

He plumped for Koscielny as Man of the Match, but clearly did not feel his performance was way out ahead of the rest of the team (Kozzer was one of four players whom Harry gave an 8 out of 10. He also gave 7.5 to three others).

If you scan around the Arsenal blog world you will see other writers picking out Ramsey, van Persie, Song, Vermaelen, Arteta and Walcott as their choice for MoTM from Saturday’s game. The same has been true in other recent performances, where there has been no concensus as to who was the stand-out player on the day.

If you’re Blackburn, not having a stand-out player probably means you had 11 equally inept piles of hippo dung stinking up the place.

But in the happy situation of being the Arsenal, it means that we had an outstanding team performance with players working so selflessly for the greater good that it’s hard to pick out an overall star.

Last season Cesc was usually MoTM in the games he played. Sometimes it was Na$ri and, on a few occasions, Wilshere. But there always seemed to be a player whose efforts exceeded those of his team mates.

The difference this year is not that our “stand out” performers have dropped to the level of the players who were just putting in a shift. It’s that the whole team is playing better together, with the result that in any given match most players have raised their level at the same time.

Fun to watch, but a nightmare if you feel the need to single out a Man of the Match.

Clearly we have an out-and-out star performer for the season so far in Prince Robin. He is probably the best striker in world football right now and would be the stand-out in any team (even the Catalan diving squad). But Robin’s amazing achievements are very much built on the solid foundations that are now firmly in place following the chaos at the start of the season.

Personally, I’m thrilled that in recent games it has been so hard to pick out a MoTM. When Cesc was our regular MoTM we were a poorer team overall.

Perhaps there was an element of “Thierry Syndrome”, with players feeling that they always had to pass to our former Number Four even when better options were available.

Or, more likely, we functioned less well as a team last year because we lacked team spirit and togetherness.I think we all know that Cesc was not a great captain. And with the constant “will-he-won’t-he” background noise of his move back to Barcelona, it can’t have made for stability in the changing room.

Na$ri, meanwhile, was clearly a malcontent and trouble-maker who did not get on with some other members of the squad.

When those two left (for love and money, respectively) and we acquired the likes of Arteta, Mertesacker, Santos, Benayoun and Jenkinson instead, not many people believed we were a stronger squad than before.

But what about now?

How are you feeling after eight wins and a draw from our last nine EPL games?

How did you feel when Prince Robin went over to celebrate joyfully with the bench when he rifled home the winner against the Toffees?

We lost our two best players (supposedly) and gained what some have described as a bunch of journeyman pros.

But which team do you think is more likely to actually win something?

I know my answer. It’s obvious to me that New Arsenal, with its mix of precocious young talent and seasoned experience, will have a better chance of grabbing some silverware. At the very least I don’t expect New Arsenal to wilt when the pressure mounts, like last season’s model.

You may feel differently, in which case make your views known in this poll:

RockyLives

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339 Responses to Poll: Is Robin’s Arsenal Stronger Than Cesc’s Arsenal?

  1. unaminous i thought but only one vote,. anyway robins arsenal has to be stronger, hands down better defense…. gervinho contributes more than wantaway nasri and arteta/ rambo replace cesc…. we need another signing though…. striker… january please

  2. also the points total is same as last season, and after next sunday we’ll have played the big guns away – all our tough games are going to be at the emiartes, so we’ll need that 12th man.
    Big gunz – LOL i included tottnum – sorry bout that.

  3. forgot my manners – great post Rocky
    and morning all.

  4. Chris Hodgson says:

    A friend of mine was on a plane yesterday with Alan Smith who had been working for sky at the Sunderland game and he told him RVP is a done deal to Real Madrid.

  5. Arsedave says:

    Wow! I never expected that when I just voted, 100% to Prince Robin’s, it just shows the mood and optimism around the place. Na$ri and Cesc aren’t really missed as Aaron and El Bellas Artes are just as good anyway. Don’t under-rate the diffence our keeper has made as well.

  6. Big Raddy says:

    Chris H. And my mother was on a train with Messi’s mother travelling from Arselona to Madrid on the way to the Classico. They got into conversation and Messi’s Mum has bought a house in Highbury Sq. for her son when he comes next season.

    According to her it is a done deal and so is Christiano Ronaldo, Danni Alves and Sergio Ramos.

  7. Arsedave says:

    Chris H
    Yes but the done deal is only at the summer not the January transfer window. RVP is actually doing the right thing not letting his contract run out because we’ll get the £30million for him instead of nothing.

  8. Big Raddy says:

    RL. Another top post. I think the key element here is Teamwork. Arteta and the BFG have brought a different ethic to Arsenal – much welcomed.

  9. pat says:

    My cousins friend was on a boat with Maradonnas gardener and said Neymar beat out Messi’s Mum for the Highbury Sq house because he has signed for Arsenal in Jan…

  10. and with wilshere to come back, the future is looking good…

  11. pat says:

    Great post – RVP all the way! We finally are starting to develop that “mental strength”. Team is together and want to play for each other and the club. I echo the sentiments of the post thinking that recently it has been hard to single out MofTM winners as everyone is putting in a shift and leaving it all out on the pitch.

    I hope Ramsey gets on the scoresheet this week v City will make a certain Mr Speed looking on from high very proud. He will still be hurting a fair bit I imagine and a goal would be a great tonic.

  12. Red Arse says:

    Monday, why do I hate Monday? 😦

    But wait — it’s a clear, crisp, sunny and beautiful day out there — and then there is a new ‘Rocky’ Post!
    Ahhh — all is not so ‘bloody Monday’, after all.

    Nice, gentle ruminative Post Rocky, up there with your usual standard. Excellent! 🙂

    A stand out difference between the two ‘teams’ is that the confidence of the 2010/11 team was assailed by the unwanted but increasing speculation concerning the futures of both Cesc and Nasri in the latter months of that season.

    In addition, serious injuries to key players began to take their toll on the resilience of the squad cover, and the goalkeeping position was like a nagging tooth which got everyone down and only received belated treatment with the coronation of Chezzer as the ‘world No.1’.

    The 2011/12 team has been reinforced with some quality ‘incomers’, and it could be argued that should have happened 12 months earlier.

    Injuries have again started to blight the defensive areas of this year’s team, especially in the backs, but the emergence of PingPong, Miquel and Coquelin from our youth teams has helped to reinforce the squad too, and without Cesc there has been a resurgence of individual ‘responsibility taking’ by so called ‘lesser’ talents in the team, creating an enviable cohesive camaraderie, which is self evident in the way the team members interact with each other, both on and off the pitch.

    Long may it continue!! 🙂

  13. chas says:

    Nice one, Rocky.

    The seven people who have voted for last seasons team are taking the p*ss.
    Last season’s team wasn’t led by Cesc Fabregas, unless you call pining for Gerard Pique ‘leading’.

    Oh yeah, and Alan Smith is a w*nker.

  14. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    Great post Rocky,
    Not as easy as It sounds. If Cesc,RVP and The Verminator would have had an Injury free season last year, then I think we would have had our silverware already, yet I dont think we will win anything this season. I agree the team spirit has improved greatly. If Arsene were to off load a few of the noncommited players, and I think you know who I mean and bring In a quality goal scorer and someone like Goetze then next season we willl be challenging on all fronts. Just two decent signings imo will do it, I`m happy with the defence (when all fit ) and the defensive midfield cover,and there`s some great young talent waiting in the wing`s. So I think Cesc`s team (when fit) were more talented and Robin`s a more “bonded” team.
    Should have had a dont know option. 🙂

  15. Big Raddy says:

    pat. Strangely my Uncle met a man in the greengrocer who knew a man who had met Arsene Wenger at a sauna in Morocco. Apparently in their brief exchange AW said he had signed Gareth Bale in the January window.

  16. steam says:

    let’s not kid ourselves, last season’s squad defeated and put up a fight to the best team in world football, I highly doubt this season’s team can do so also.

  17. steam says:

    that said, great article once again. Cesc’s team had much more talent in the team and vast potential, robin’s team could prove more effective as they gel and bond.

  18. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    Still haven`t voted yet, but if chas could put up the celebrations at the end of the Chav$ game I might lean towards Robin ! 🙂

  19. Red Arse says:

    CANT MAKE HIS MIND UP GLIC, 🙂

    Why don’t you vote for both? An ersatz ‘don’t know’. Typical!! 🙂

  20. VCC says:

    chas.. hahahahahhahhahahha. thats sooo funny.

  21. Emmy says:

    The current squad is stronger considering the likes of kozzer,walcott,learnt from last seasons mistakes.epecially kozzer.he’s brave and simple not forgeting walcott coming back to defend.

  22. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    RA ,
    Decision`s decision`s, I haven`t been this confused since the time I dated conjoined twin`s and what a time that was !

  23. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    chas, you vote manipulator you, Robin it is !

  24. Odigi John says:

    Am so much in lov wit arsenal particularly wit arsene wenger, Rvp nd song nd I know we are going 2 win trophy dis seanson.

  25. 96% say Robin – speaks volumes

  26. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    chas , I cant stop watching that clip and something`s come to my attention, wouldn`t it be great if the whole team followed Robin`s lead and they all gave their shirt`s to the away fans every week, a special acknowledgement to some special fans.

  27. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    Watched it again, looks like Rosicky gives his away first, great bonding stuff !

  28. Big Raddy says:

    chas Love that penguin vid

  29. I likwe the post Rocky,

    This seasons team by far. Without the Homesick Spaniard’s want-away attitude and Na£ri’s greed there is a much better togetherness.

    Sczeczny’s blossoming talent and confidence has given the defence the kind of back-up they have needed for a while. Santos, until his recent and unfortunate injury, brought stability in what had been a very dodgy area. Meretesacker and the returned Vermaelen are immense.

    Arteta has slotted in well, Ramsey is now beginning to outshine Na£ri and Walcott is vastly improved.

    Rvp is……well RvP.

  30. That should be …..I like the post.

  31. Cescsational says:

    If we are not to kid ourselves,Cesc’s team was better.they had talent but injuries prevented them from maximizing their potential though RVP’s team also has talent and are still bonding,Cesc who I so much love beat Barca.it’s pretty close,but I think Cesc’s team was better

  32. chas says:

    Sir Chesney about to be knighted by King Robin.

  33. chas
    extremely quiet in here?
    didn’t used to be the case.
    putting it down to xmas.

  34. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    Anyone see Motd2 last night, they did a nice piece on our beloved team. chas any magic left up your sleeve`s !

  35. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Rocky,
    Love this kind of post and I could dwell on the poll all day.
    Mmmmm
    Nasri RvP Theo
    ……Cesc
    ..Jack Song
    Clichy Verm Kos Sagna
    ……Sz
    Subs: AA, Ramsey, Gibbs, JD, Bendy
    .
    against
    Gerv RvP Theo
    …..Ramsey
    ..Jack Song
    Santos Verm Kos Sagna
    …..SZ
    Subs: AA, Arteta, Benny, BFG, Cham

    Mmmm
    On its day, last season’s team. Over a season, this season’s vintage due to better squad, improved Kos, Theo and Sz as well as improved team attitude and togetherness.

  36. goonermichael says:

    Firstly, A fantastic post
    Secondly, I love voting
    Thirdly, I wouldn’t swap Robin for both of the two “best players” you mentioned

  37. terry says:

    gourcuff / gotze for diaby
    reus/ podolski for arshavin
    sow for chamak, nikki b, vela.
    mayachi loan,
    afobe loan,
    wellington silva sort out his loan to a club in spain ot neatherland.

  38. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Ah ha Terry,
    I think Diaby may yet end up being our secret weapon this season. He may need an oxygen tent and some bubble wrap, but I still believe. So long as he retains a pulse and an Arsenal note of employ, then I live in hope.

  39. Herb'sArmy says:

    Hi fellow Gooners, 125 not out!
    Good debating post Rocky.
    My personal opinion is that we’re getting there. There was no need to go into this season so under-prepared, nor is there any excuse for that performance at OT, for which AW deserves a lot of criticism.
    Arshavin, Rosicky, Chamakh and Almunia should have all been shown the door in the summer and replaced.
    Having said that, after Fabregas’ performance at Camp Nou and his no-show at Fulham to attend the Spanish Grand Prix, I’m happy he and Nasri have gone. We are better without them because we’ve become stronger as a unit, but we’re still only a couple of injuries away from disaster, so a marquee signing in January would be very welcome, (and I don’t mean Thierry Henry!).
    Gervinho still has something to prove for me too.

  40. Nyambati says:

    There are several additions in Robin’s squad that have been lacking in Arsenal for sometime. Firstly, the new signings (Santos, Arteta, Per, Gervinho, Yossi, Jenknson and AOC) they brought experience, diversity in attack and genuine competition for starting positions. Secondly, Theo is now unfolding to full maturity, of late he’s been doing wonders in attack n has become handy in defending. Finally, kosc has finally settled after a turbulent first season and Vermaelen is now off the hospital bed. I can bet the current squad is strong enough to beat any side in Europe. Do not 4get Jack is yet to join here.

  41. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Excellent Rocky.

    For me this seasons team is better. There are many reasons why we are stronger this season, Robin injury free, experienced players added to the mould, Development of Song, Kos, theo etc.

    This will not be popular, but i would like to thank Man Utd. The 8-2 drubbing was exactly what the club needed, a good old fashioned kick up the back side has resulted in a team that goes out there and defends properly, something that has been lacking for near on six years. I dont care about one off results, i want glory, and all the foundations are now there for us to go forward and acheive it.

  42. Herb'sArmy says:

    Hi TerryMHT,
    great first post the other day, I would have left my own comment but my PC has been playing up.
    Hope to read many more of your fine posts in the future.

  43. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Cheers Herb. much appreciated.

    Nice one Tommy, Champions League glory here we come.

  44. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    Terry,
    If you would have made that remark this time last year, I would have said you needed locking up, but this time last year I never knew you were already locked up ! 😯
    Anyway , I agree with you and have already thanked my manu freind over the lane !
    I did say the other day what a fantastic post you wrote, well done mate!

  45. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Cheers Cornwall. I was a a bit worried the other night with the full moon that your Lick-anthropia had got the better of you and that Mrs Cornwall had no choice but to chain you up in the celler for your own and every body elses protection.

    I will make a deal for you, you do a post next, and then i will do the ‘Mancini Code’.

  46. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    Terry,
    I did get an email from peaches about doing a post and did reply with an idea, but I have had no reply to whether she got it. Then again I dont think i`d be any good doing a proper post, probably better at making silly comments and joining in the fun of AA.
    Your cracking post was on the lines of one of my ideas, and you did it so much better ! . So I`m sorry, you`ll have keep on drafting the “mancini code”. 🙂

  47. 26may1989 says:

    Good one Rocky, as ever.

    Micky summed it up nicely: “On its day, last season’s team. Over a season, this season’s vintage”.

    What we see now may be less glitzy but it’s more of a team, more capable of being greater than the sum of its parts. In comparison, the very talented 2010-11 team managed to throw away a very good crack at the title with ten games to go and finish fourth when a minimum of second place was a gimme.

    I like the fact there are no “Big I Am” members of the current squad. In previous years, we’ve been afflicted by the extended egos of some difficult but talented characters (Gallas, Adebayor, Nasri and Anelka) and of some greats whose dominance became unhealthy (Henry and Cesc). And then there’s Niklas Bendtner, whose ego came into play without being troubled with sustained good performances.

    We may have strong characters like Szczesny, Wilshere, Frimpong and van Persie in the squad, but they’re a far healthier bunch of characters than some of those we’ve had in the past. And the serious types we have, like Arteta, Vermaelen, Sagna, Rosicky, Koscielny, Song, Merteseacker, Ramsey and Gervinho have fantastic characters, competitive battlers with talent but not guys who get carried away.

    In short, the chemistry is good in this squad.

  48. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Cornwall,

    Ime not aving that, if your article is anything like your posts it will be hillarious. Your humor helps keep me going during those long stints in the straight jacket, that and the lovely nurse who feeds me my dinner by mouth of course.

  49. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    Oh, the other night was scary, I was chained up next to the Mother-in-law. I`m alright now, apart from cocking my leg every time I walk past a lamp post, and when I go to the Emirates I get the urge to run on the pitch and chase the effing ball !

  50. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    hahah, i would join you on the pitch, but thats one of the reasons for the straight jacket. Mother in laws are enough to get any one frothing at the mouth.

  51. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    Terry,
    This Is probably a silly question, Straight jacket,gagged, concrete shoes, what are you using to type with ? 🙂

  52. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    Terry,
    There are only two ways how I`d like to communicate with my Mother-in-law, one, through a Medium, two, through letters, on a Ouija board !

  53. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Cornwall

    What ever you do, never allow the mother in law access to your laptop. I tell you whats worse than a straight jacket, my daughter spilt hot chocolate on my keyboard and now i have to use the screen keyboard. By the time ive replied ime probably on the wrong article, day or year.

  54. Red Arse says:

    Oi, you – Laurel in Cornwall, and you – Hardy in the syrup — stop it you made me drop my Laptop laughing. Don’t you know this is a serious blog? 🙂

  55. Red Arse says:

    Chas, only got back a few minutes ago, and started laughing at the AA Laurel and Hardy, then watched your vids and the penguins were hilarious!

    I take it the one with 3 flippers is that strange guy down in Cornwall, and the one with the dodgy head gear is TerryM? 🙂

    Excellent — the three of you!!

  56. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    Laptop !, she`s just getting used to the new invention of electricity !. I sometimes remove her tonge from the socket`s, I know, I`m all heart !.

  57. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Redders, i blame Cornwall for this, every thing he posts has got humour in it, and in my drugged up state ime compelled to respond. As for Chas, well hes the “Video King”.

  58. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    RA,
    Your probably right, that looks like my field after the bulls had their way, and either me or terry can be heard saying ,” I`m the one with the big bulls”

  59. chas says:

    Cheers RA, those penguins made me laugh, too.
    Thanks TMHT and glic, keep up the good work.
    🙂

  60. chas says:

    Award-winning bullocks.

  61. RockyLives says:

    Redders
    “syrup”?
    Are you beginning to acquire an affinity for our charming Cockney rhyming slang?

    Whatever happened to “two nations divided by a common language”?

  62. gunnern5 says:

    From Arsenal.com

    ……………………………………………………………………………………….

    Wenger: ‘I suppose that 1-0 is quite an historical scoreline’

    Dear Arsenal supporter,

    Our Club celebrated its 125th birthday before the Everton game and I felt it was important that we played to the level of history at Arsenal.

    In the end, we won it with an artistic goal from an artist and I suppose that 1-0 is quite an historical scoreline when you think about it.

    The victory put us in the ‘virtual’ top four because we know if Chelsea get a draw on Monday they will be in front of us.

    However we started from so deep this season that nobody could have predicted that we would be where we are now at the beginning of December. We have to keep going though because, in my opinion, we are still far away.

    Maybe the turning point was when Andrey Arshavin scored against Swansea because that was a game we absolutely had to win.

    After that there was the victory against Chelsea – that helped confidence – and we did well in the Champions League too. In the qualifier, we played Udinese who have been top of the Italian League this season and then we finished top of our Group F. We never got credit because when people decide you are a bad team, you are a bad team. We just have to work slowly and let people talk.

    For me, we are a bit more mature these days but we still want to improve and be faithful to our style. On Saturday, Everton looked very good in the middle of the park and stopped us from playing. They have very intelligent players so Robin van Persie’s winning goal was vital.

    When you are 22 and you do not have the best of games, you rush your moments a little bit. When you are 28, like him, you keep focus and, if you get a chance, get it away.

    It is difficult to take a ball over your shoulder like he did. The timing has to be right, you have to lean forward very quickly and your body shape has to be correct. Everybody who has played football understands that is the most technically difficult movement for a striker.

    People will say we are ‘Van Persie dependent’. But on Saturday, he got us a goal which came at a moment of the game where we were struggling to create chances. He delivered something special and three important points.

    Thanks for your support.

    Arsène Wenger

  63. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    Great vid chas, Is that Redders dancing in the chair,just before they go through the doors !

  64. gunnern5 says:

    Santos is scheduled for ankle surgery and is expected to be out for 3 months…………… Oh F……………………

  65. gunnern5 says:

    Santos to go under the knife

    December 12, 2011

    By ESPNsoccernet staff

    Arsenal full-back Andre Santos will undergo surgery in Brazil on his injured ankle and will be sidelined for three months, the club have confirmed.

    The news comes as a big blow to the Gunners, who were forced to play with four centre-backs – Laurent Koscielny, Per Mertesacker, Thomas Vermaelen and Johan Djourou – in Saturday’s 1-0 win over Everton with no specialist full-backs available.

    Santos damaged the ligaments in his right ankle during Arsenal’s Champions League defeat to Olympiakos last Tuesday and manager Arsene Wenger said he feared the defender would be “out for a while”.

    The club confirmed those fears in a statement on Monday: “Andre will have surgery in Brazil this week and is expected to be out for around three months. Everyone at the club wishes him well.”

    With Santos, Kieran Gibbs and Carl Jenkinson all injured, Arsenal will have to continue to use players out of position at full back.

  66. RockyLives says:

    Gn%
    Rollocks! (and not award-winning ones either).
    What chance a LB on loan in the Jan window?

  67. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    I saw that Gn5, hopefully Gibbs comes back soon and somehow avoids injury.

  68. RockyLives says:

    Chas
    That’s another fine video you’ve gotten us in to 🙂

  69. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    Shit, anyone on here good at left back ?

  70. chas says:

    Rocky 🙂

    There’s an AA-er on here….guess who?
    http://twitpic.com/7se2p6/full

  71. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    Rocky,
    I`m sure LB would jump at the chance to play Left back, maybe he will tell us when he comes on !

  72. RockyLives says:

    Chas
    Is it someone in need of some fresh barnet?

    GLIC
    I’ve met LB. With all that cycling he’s got legs like tree trunks – I’d put him at fullback in a heartbeat 🙂

  73. goonermichael says:

    That is devastating news about Santos.

  74. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    OK , thats left back sorted, I`m better than Chamakh ( and theres a long queue behind me) anyone got more stamina/workrate than Arshavin ?. Do I really have to ask the question or shall I just say anyone`s better than Squilacci !

  75. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Count me out, ime not even fit enough to take Gunnersauraus place.

  76. Big Raddy says:

    Terrible news about Santos.

    Nutty Wnterburn looks fit – he must be worth a punt. The Chavs or MC must have someone we can take on loan – what about Gael or Cashley?

  77. Big Raddy says:

    I could last a half (not that Mrs Raddy would agree 😉 )

  78. evonne says:

    Hi Rocky, congratulations on yet another masterpiece. What I like most about your posts is the fact that you can think of an exciting topic that is glaringly obvious and yet nobody notices it! Yes, you are spot on, the team is stronger, better organised and my god, so much happier. They looked like they are a bunch of mates out to have good time. Even AA hangs around a little bit longer than usual.

    As much as I miss the little maestro, I would not want to go back to previous season’s team

  79. Gooner In Exile says:

    Evening all, read post early doors haven’t had a chance to comment and just got through them all.

    For me the current team/squad is clearly stronger, spirit and talent wise.

    Some may argue on the talent bit do here’s my reasoning:

    Lost:

    LB who didn’t know where to stand
    Mercurial passer and all round footballer
    A short winger who wasn’t the greatest finisher, rarely beat his man and lacked pace.
    An egotistical young forward (only on loan)

    Gained:
    An experienced CB
    An experienced LB (who is now eating lots of fish and chips and having an op…,damn)
    An experienced CM
    A talented tall winger with pace to burn and skills to beat a man
    A youthful gutsy RB
    An experienced AM (altho only on loan)
    A CF willing to learn

    Plus the further development of players already at the club and another bunch of Young Guns emerging.

    And as I have said so often the 2010/11 let Wenger down they didn’t take responsibility. Cesc would often look elsewhere for excuses either at team mates or the referee. The rest of the players followed his lead.

    RvP takes responsibility for scoring goals I have rarely seen him complain this year, in turn there is much more get up and get on with it from our players, have rarely seen them look to the ref as much as they used to. The way we played against Stoke and Sunderland at home highlighted this. The rest of the team are fighting for each other, and they are all doing their own jobs right first.

    Long may it continue…..

    Leighton Baines in Transfer Window it is then?

  80. evonne says:

    Chas – I love the penguins, rude little bastards

  81. Gooner In Exile says:

    Wayne Bridge is kicking his heels at City if we’re thinking loan signing but 3 months is only February (maybe Santos didnt fancy it when someone mentioned Snow. 😀 )

  82. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    Terry,
    That puts you ahead of Squilacci then,
    Raddy,
    I`m sure Cashley would get a warm reception, a sort of “Joan of Arc ” one !

  83. Gooner In Exile says:

    GLIC 😀

  84. LB says:

    Rocky

    Thanks for the vote of confidence, I’ll get my boots.

    Clever angle for a post BTW.

  85. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    Evonne would probably give a warm reception to Martin Keown and Carlos Tevez`s love child, ” Rory of Orc ” ! 🙂

  86. Red Arse says:

    Chas, loved that laurel and Hardy routine, how did you get GLIC and TerryM out of their penguin outfits? 🙂

    Rocky, I will let you into a little secret — I just could not figure out what TerryM was referring to when he first came on and made reference to syrups – but his name tag TMHT was a clue and when I dropped it into a pub conversation it became obvious (?) “syrup of figs = wigs” —- erm, no idea what a syrup of figs is – but it seems irrelevant.

    I do have quite a knowledge of rhyming slang tho’ and adding to it all the time!! 🙂

  87. SharkeySure says:

    (Auto paste). Another corker Rocky. I’m loving this new solid dependable Arsenal, over last years beat Barca then lose to xxxxx (insert lowly team of your choice).

    I’m also loving the fact that I no longer have to borrow Kelsey’s beta blockers to get thru a game, which was often the case with our old harem scarem approach to tossing away leads

  88. Gooner In Exile says:

    @JackWilshere: I am in Barcelona for a Nike Shoot, no other reason haha don’t want you lot starting some rumours!

  89. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    Sharkey,
    You`ll need more than beta blockers if you carry on tossing away in old harem`s, you`ll go blind if your not carefull. 8)

  90. evonne says:

    Chas @ 4:21 – it’s me 🙂

  91. chas says:

    Haha, where do peaches and Rasp sit?

  92. Big Raddy says:

    What do people want from tonight? A draw? MC win? Chav win?

    A draw would be good but the sooner MC stop their unbeaten run the better, on the other hand, a Chelsea win puts us out of the Top 4.

    A draw could be best

  93. chas says:

    I think you’ve just summed it up perfectly, BR. (except a draw puts the chavs in 4th too)

    Whatever the score, we benefit in some way, so I’m just going to enjoy it.

  94. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    Evonne,
    Are you the one at the back, arms folded with specs ? …….. nice moustache !.. Just kidding ! …It`s the one that looks like Ivan Gazidas !. Kidding…. I`m so glad I`m safely 250 miles away ! 🙂

  95. RockyLives says:

    Chas
    Put me out of my misery – which AA-er is in that pic?

  96. RockyLives says:

    too complicated for me Chas…

  97. chas says:

    I meant the 5:54pm comment, Rocky

  98. RockyLives says:

    Ah… somehow I missed that.
    I’ll have to look for Evonne now. It’s like playing “Where’s Wally”.

  99. evonne says:

    Rocky – it’s me 🙂 blue hat on and the Arsenal scarf

  100. RockyLives says:

    Of course it is! How good I miss you. Even with your Man City hat on you look great 🙂

    I was trying to figure out which of the baldies might be Terry MHT…

  101. RockyLives says:

    *how COULD I miss you

  102. Hi all

    evonne – I found you!!!!! 🙂

    chas – Yes, Rasp and I are there too – you have to know your areas to be able to find people. We were in 130 row 10 on Saturday, if you’re on facebook I’ve tagged us ……….. but then you’d have to know our real names 😆 But anyway, you know what we look like 😉

  103. chas – how did you do that screen shot? You can only see me anyway cos Rasp is drinking his hot chocolate 🙂

  104. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    Terry`s there, can we play “spot the loon” !

  105. evonne says:

    Rocky 🙂

    I am off to look for Peaches and Rasp and CHAS, he should be easy to find, I know where he sat

  106. Great post Rocky – There is something special about how the current players work together, they might not win anything but I have more confidence in them digging in when they need to.

    Great shame about Santos 😦

    Those of us that blogged on Le Grove in the early days should remember ‘Mike the Neighbour’ who sadly died yesterday.

  107. chas says:

    I know your real name peaches as evonne put an anagram of it on here!

  108. chas says:

    Evonne, I’m not on there. East upper not included apart from the front row. 😦

  109. I’m off to find LB, cos I know where he sits …………

    Where was Mickey sitting? And chary and his boys? I sort of know where 26may sits ………………..

  110. MickyDidIt89 says:

    That’s a brilliant thing Chas.
    Just found me! Then some mates. Now looking for Bill Nighy (for Wife’s benefit) who I saw going into North Bank Boxes/Club.

  111. Herb'sArmy says:

    Hi Raddy,
    I don’t know what I want from tonights game. A tiny bit of me wants Chelsea to prove that Man City aren’t invincible, but a point or three knocks us out of the top four, and there’s the added danger of Chelsea beating them and making them angry ahead of our game next week.
    Maybe a draw would be best.

  112. RockyLives says:

    I found my son, and my regular group of mates.

    Everyone looks bloody cold. You’d be better off over here in balmy Canada 🙂

  113. My friend Trisha will be furious cos her seats aren’t on there either!

    Why do a 360 degree photo and not include everyone??????

  114. hi Chaps, excellent post as ever Rocky.

    Just found myself on the picture, I’m in block 27 five rows from back, row 25, sort of 6 seats in from the gangway.

    Me and my mate are visible, my 2 boys to the left of me less so.

  115. RockyLives says:

    Herb
    Don’t worry – we’ll beat ’em at the weekend.

    Like you, I reckon the draw is the best result but whatever happens one or more of our rivals is going to drop points.

  116. chas says:

    It’s shift and Prt Scr, peaches. That puts it in your clipboard.
    Then go into Paint which is in All Programs then Accessories and click paste in the edit menu.

  117. Micky – I’ve seen Bill Nighy in club level, I think it was the same night that I saw Dermot O’Leary.

    Rory McGrath was sitting near us, we saw him go in, I think he sits near LB actually – the other end of his row.

    I’m such a good spy 😉 😛 😆

  118. RockyLives says:

    Micky
    Is Bill Nighy a Gooner? (It’s funny, we had a family viewing of Love Actually last night. He’s the best thing in it).

    By the way, as 26 also pointed out, this was a very perceptive comment from you: “On its day, last season’s team. Over a season, this season’s vintage due to better squad, improved Kos, Theo and Sz as well as improved team attitude and togetherness.”

    Evonne
    Thanks for your kind words earlier. I would love to claim credit for original thinking but nearly all my ideas for posts are prompted by the brilliant comments that fill up this site on a daily basis.

  119. The site’s crashed 😦

  120. I don’t think Bill Nighy is a gooner, I’m sure I read that he supported another team – must be one of those ‘johnny come latelys that jump on our bandwagon’ 🙂

  121. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    I would just like to point out that since my transplant i have a fine head of hair and am extreamly good looking, infact i turn heads were ever i go.I am convinced people take great pleasure from my handsomness.

    Evonne, you look very cute in that picture.

  122. evonne says:

    this is so much fun 🙂

    Chas – I don’t believe you, I am still looking. Ant is wider than you, so might be easier to spot

    Terry – that’s the frozen version of me 🙂 Rocky, you are right it was bitterly cold, just as well Boy Wonder scored when he did or we would freeze to death!!

    Peaches – you are so funny, Trisha being furious 🙂 Serves her right for critisizing our captain!

  123. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    I`ll change that to “spot the handsome transplant” 🙂

  124. chas says:

    Evonne, we’re not on it, honest.

  125. Peachy @6.34 – the camera was placed in front of the west stand lower tier, so without repositioning opposite the upper tier of the west stand those seats would never be visible.

    I’m almost directly behind Chesney, but 5 rows from the back slightly to his right, fame at last !

  126. evonne says:

    Herb – shitty are running away with the title this year, let them. But it would be good if Chelsea suffered another defeat and lose 3 more points. So I want shitty to demolish the Chavs tonight

    Chas – you are not there 😦 that’s not fair!!

  127. chas says:

    Camera was in front of the east stand, Chary, but we knew what you meant.

  128. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Rocky,
    Very true about BN in Love Actually. He was brilliant.
    Evonne,
    I could see you from where I was sitting. No reaction at corners was noted!

  129. VCC says:

    chas 6:54. You lucky so and so.

  130. chas says:

    Chary, have you noticed Sir Ches is in the photo twice!
    It threw me a bit.

  131. MickyDidIt89 says:

    I have a still from the CL Final in Paris TV coverage where there was a long shot looking at the Arsenal wall lined up to defend a Ronaldinho free kick. It looks like I’m in the wall.
    I wonder where it is?

  132. chas says:

    That’s not me, VCC. Far too young and good looking.
    It just came up on Google. Simply proof that he’s been before. It’s from March 2011.

  133. MickyDidIt89 says:

    VCC,
    That’s not Chas whatever he may say 🙂

  134. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Chas,
    There was a brilliant pic of Nigella in the Sunday Times. Chocolate running down her face. Ahhh

  135. He was definitely there the night of the Roma? game in 2008, sat in club level with me, Rasps daughter and Dermot O’Leary 🙂

  136. chas says:

    Just had a look and could only find this!

  137. Bill flies with the Eagles, also known as Chrystal Palace Football club, and is known to be a huge football/soccer fan. Champions League games being his favourite to watch, if England isn’t playing.

    Told you, a johnny come lately 🙂

  138. MickyDidIt89 says:

    I’m still mulling over the Big Raddy “who to win tonight” question. We can certainly read a good into any result. I suppose it depends on how ambitious we are feeling.
    I think I will cheer any goal on the grounds that it will be hurting for one of them, and then simply celebrate the result whatever the outcome.

  139. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Cripes Chas,
    That’s post nine o’clock stuff!
    It is the one though 🙂

  140. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Hi Peaches,
    Great lunch 🙂

  141. Sooner or later everything gives way to chocolate 😆

  142. Rasp says:

    Evening all.

    Rocky apologies for my late appearance but thanks once again for a typically topical and amusing offering. I’d actually decided not to put in the ‘Vote for your MoTM poll’ recently because as you point out, we’ve been putting in team performances. I’m not alone as Thierry Henry came second in the MotM poll yesterday 😛

  143. Hi Mickey – it certainly was, I’m hoping Raddy will need feeding up on Boxing Day and I can persuade him to go there ……

    Did you enjoy the game?

  144. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Don’t you just know it, Chocolate Legs!

  145. Rasp – can you embed the you tube clip I just put up please 😉

  146. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Haaa Rasp,
    I’ve been waiting for you 🙂
    Saw your comment directed at me about some one footed German and would he have scored the other day.
    “Maybe…but just the one!”

  147. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Peaches,
    Its the home for all pre-match hungry AA’ers as far as I’m concerned.
    (Next door to S&B, if anyone’s wondering).

  148. Rasp – I worked it out myself …………….

  149. RockyLives says:

    Evening Rasp
    Overwhelming result in the poll (no great surprise, but could you have imagined after the Blackburn game that, before Christmas, 95% of Gooners would be declaring the new team to be a much stronger outfit than last year’s?).

  150. Irishgunner says:

    This team, I like this team more cos it is an actual team. Fuck Barcelona DNA, prick wouldn’t even play for us the last few weeks, even Nasri been the good mercenary he was continued playing.

    http://arsenalcomment.com/articles/where-is-arsenal-great-dennis-bergkamp%E2%80%99s-statue

    A little something I wrote

  151. RockyLives says:

    Peaches
    If Bill Nighy has been coming since 2008, we can hardly call him a glory hunter! 🙂

    (Not that you did…)

  152. Irishgunner says:

    Spuds are just a different breed:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/football/16146536.stm

    Mistaking Chris HOY for Chris FOY

  153. RockyLives says:

    Irish
    Great article.
    In my opinion DB10 is the best player ever to have worn the famous red shirt and white sleeves. What’s more, he never left us for another club or a final pay day. When he hung up his boots at Arsenal he hung them up for life.

    I have no doubt his statue will be coming in the next few years.

  154. Gooner In Exile says:

    Have I missed something? A BLUE HAT? How very dare you?

  155. Irishgunner says:

    Guys, I going to try and go over to the Blackburn game in February and that might be it for a while, I’m kinda going back to college – well via correspondence but its going to cost me some serious €€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€ 😦

    Having said that, I normally find the money for Arsenal 😆

  156. RockyLives says:

    Spuds fans are ridiculous.

    This season they’ve had more luck than a leprechaun who’s just found a genie lamp.

    In one game the luck goes against them and they’re whinging like babies.

  157. Hi Rocky – I assumed, when I saw him at a game earlier that he was a gooner and then read that he was actually a Crystal Palace supporter, but then saw him again at the Emirates so reckoned he was attractive to both 🙂

  158. RockyLives says:

    Is it a journalism course Irish?

  159. Irishgunner says:

    Rocky L – Agreed. They might give him one when they put up Wenger’s or will they wait until DB10 (once he gets over the flying thing) leads us to glory as manager?

  160. Irishgunner says:

    Rocky L – Its information technology. So I learn about cataloging, archiving, etc., etc., the hope is to work in a Library but if not to work anywhere where there is a whole lot of information that needs to be archived and made easily accessible when needed. I love reading and finding information so its right up my alley.

    In the most perfect of world’s it will tie in with my Media masters and I’ll get work in a television stations archives or the like. Or if Arsenal need someone to work in their archives 😆

  161. Good article Irish, agree that there should definitely be a statue for DB10. Hopefully there will be one ………

  162. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Sorry Peaches, just saw your question.
    Yes I enjoyed, but then I always do. Its so much more than the game itself, its the whole day.

  163. Irishgunner says:

    Peaches – we could have a whole host of statues. Rosicky could get one for the added aesthetic value 😳

  164. evonne says:

    Micky – I did react!! Ask Chas’s brother! Every corner I was poking him and laughing ‘corner’! Even he knows your story 🙂

  165. ……….. not before Sol Campbell I hope 😳

  166. evonne says:

    come on Shitty!

    Irish – well done! Do your courses, you’ll recoup the money in the future. I am also glad to know that you have your priorities spot on, ie money available for Arsenal 🙂

  167. Irishgunner says:

    Campbell should face towards White Hart Lane holding the Premier League aloft – luvly jubbly

  168. Look ……… the famous starfish and a stunning goal …

  169. evonne says:

    Goal, Ballottelli

  170. Irishgunner says:

    Evonne – yeah exactly, don’t mind being a bit low on money for 18months if I get a job I like at the end of it, and a better playing job which equals even more money to go see the Arsenal.

  171. Irishgunner says:

    Fuck sake Chelsea 🙄

  172. VCC says:

    Thats a good goal , so early on.

  173. Dear Santa

    Please may I have a Balotelli for Christmas

    Goonermichaelxx

  174. Irishgunner says:

  175. evonne says:

    GM – have you been a good boy all year?

  176. Irishgunner says:

    I do like Balotelli – least he has a personality.

    Was also reading an article there the other day where he gave a lot of money to some region in Sudan so they could build a new secondary school, they are naming the gym after him.

  177. Rasp says:

    I want city to win, that way we stay in the top four. I’m happy to concede the premiership title this season as long was we guarantee our place in the CL for next season. The FA cup or a good run in the CL are still within our grasp.

  178. chas says:

    I wish Butch would shut up.

  179. chas says:

    Yaya Toure should be off

  180. evonne says:

    Rasp – what do you mean you are happy to concede the premiership title??!!

    I know, I know, just jesting

    Is Fatso playing tonight, haven’t seen him yet

  181. Big Raddy says:

    Can’t see Chels coming back into this.

  182. evonne says:

    not with Drogs injured

  183. Fat$o is on the bench

  184. Gooner In Exile says:

    So if ref didn’t see the incident for YaYa the FA can act and bring a disciplinary, which will result in him being suspended for game against us……won’t happe then.

    Actually best result for us tonight is a 22 man brawl 😀 and a few injuries.

    Wouldn’t mind seeing a bit of rotational fouling on Silva (where’s the devil emoticon?)

  185. chas says:

    Fat$o 🙂

  186. Irishgunner says:

    Na$ri is here

  187. Gooner In Exile says:

    Someone named this game on Twitter tonight:

    El Cashico

    😀

  188. Ooooooh chavs have scored ……………….

  189. Big Raddy says:

    Shows how much I know. MC looked totally on top

  190. VCC says:

    Thats why Wenger sold Clichy.
    Twopence

  191. chas says:

    Clichy got skinned alive.

  192. evonne says:

    GiE – I was jsut thinking the same – Cashley breaking a fat leg, but he cannot when Fat$o’s sitting on the bench

  193. Gooner In Exile says:

    I’m on about a minutes delay here! Watching on SkyGo and Peaches comment came up, I have only just seen goal go in!

  194. Big Raddy says:

    VCC. Slighly more expensive — Two bob

    Peaches. I will not need persuading to join you for food pre-match on Boxing Day. Book away.

  195. Fat$o is still deciding which underpants to show off tonight 😉

  196. Big Raddy says:

    Lescott’s hair is a disaster – not even GM could help him.

  197. This from Henry Winter on twitter

    henrywinter Henry Winter
    Fabulous atmosphere. Total tumult. Loads of chants…’Thursday night, Channel 5′ from #cfc is the cleanest.

  198. Irishgunner says:

    Lescott’s head shouldn’t be talked about :@

    not being mean, but what happened him?

  199. Big Raddy says:

    MC don’t look as strong as Blackburn or Wigan.

    I expect us to get a result at the Oil Well.

  200. chas says:

    Car accident at 5 years old apparently.

  201. Irishgunner says:

    Thanks Chas – Wikipedia would have told me were I not so lazy 😆 I always wondered and never checked.

  202. chas says:

    If we had to choose someone for a straight red for violent conduct, who would it be?

  203. chas says:

    That was never a penalty, Neville, Silva was on his way down already. Stonewall dive.

  204. Big Raddy says:

    chas. David Silva

  205. Irishgunner says:

    Silva 😆

  206. chas says:

    Silva it is, then.

  207. VCC says:

    chas, I also would pick David Silva.

  208. Rasp says:

    Hi evonne,

    Sorry I have been doing some editing for one of my kids…..

    ….. no, I’m not joking. After the start we had, I would gladly settle for CL qualification. If we could get in the top 4 by christmas and stay there for the rest of the season I would be ecstatic. We still have the FA cup and the CL to play for.

  209. Sagnaofficial Bacary
    Watching the game with my beloved wife @ludivinesagna..and baby wanna play now..long night ahead ☺ I should be running in a bit by the way.x

  210. John Terry obviously

  211. Rasp says:

    No, we need a city player to get a straight red because we’re playing them next week – Silva and Aguero would be top of my list followed by Kompany.

  212. 26may1989 says:

    So no Gael Clichy reunion!

  213. VCC says:

    Thats why Wenger got rid of him twopence. two bob

  214. chas says:

    Feckin Clichy

  215. Irishgunner says:

    😆 Clichy – he just didn’t want to face Theo

  216. Silly us …….. Clichy didn’t want to play against us 😉

  217. Snap snap snap 😆

  218. fatgingergooner says:

    Robin lifts the game of others by leading by example. Not sure Cesc had that effect on his team mates. But then again, Cesc had to put up with attitudes like Gallas, Adebayor n Nasri whereas RvP has it much easier with older heads like Arteta n Per.

    Too early to answer, but the signs are good for RvP.

    Clichy off! Misses the game with us. Just need Kompany to get booked again!

  219. chas says:

    Does my bum look big in this?

  220. 26may1989 says:

    Kompany and Yaya must be close to second yellows.

    My daughter wants to put in a smiley face, so here goes: 🙂

  221. chas says:

    Hello miss 26. 🙂

  222. 26may1989 says:

    hello 😉 🙂

  223. 26may1989 says:

    And now Little Miss 26 says goodnight! Off you go number one child!!

  224. 26may1989 says:

    Has anyone worked out what Chelsea have done so well in the last half hour to turn this game around? City’s midfield seem utterly toothless now.

  225. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Just arrived.
    Nipped through comments to understand game, and this from BR:
    “Lescott’s hair is a disaster”.
    I understand everything now 🙂

  226. 26may1989 says:

    Rooting for the Orcs yesterday, and the Chavs tonight. Feels very wrong.

  227. 26may1989 says:

    Blimey, 2-1!

  228. chas says:

    Was he lifting his arm to sort his hair out?

  229. VCC says:

    Hopefully they get defeated. No undefeated season for the oil rich kids.

  230. Gooner In Exile says:

    Hmmmm I’ll be happy to see the “unbeaten” tag going but can’t help thinking I wanted Chelsea to lose this tonight.

    We’re going to have to go and beat ManChavs away tonight too now and then that means ManUre will probably go top….. 😦

    Still need a couple of other second yellows.

    Can’t wait to ask a ManChav acquaintance how good Clichy is now 😀

  231. 26may1989 says:

    And VCC, more to the point, brings us three points closer to winning the title! 🙂

  232. Gooner In Exile says:

    To be fair I think its been a pretty poor game, haven’t been that impressed with either side. We should walk the league 😀

  233. 26may1989 says:

    Exile, sod worrying about Chelsea and United, let’s aim high!

  234. Gooner In Exile says:

    Sorry 26 I corrected myself at 9:47pm

  235. 26may1989 says:

    Am really hoping the City midfield plays like this on Sunday. And they’re vulnerable in defence anyway.

  236. 26may1989 says:

    You did Exile!

    Shame that we’ll drop back to fifth tonight, but I hate this pretence of Man City so much, I don’t mind.

  237. evonne says:

    Fergie is happy tonight 😦

    Anyway, chavs beat Shitty, but we beat Chavs, hence we should win on sunday

  238. 26may1989 says:

    Bloody Chavs, nicking a North London song from Madness for their own celebrations. Bastardos!

  239. Gooner In Exile says:

    Its logic like that Evonne that only a football fan can exercise

    I’m down with it. 😀

  240. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Evonne,
    Oilys beat Utd. Chavs beat Oilys. We beat Chavs, so we must be nailed on Champions.

  241. Irishgunner says:

    We beat Citeh and we’re back to within 6 points of them?

  242. Rasp says:

    Very bad result for us tonight – not what we wanted at all. I will now produce the league position widget showing us still in 5th with a resurgent chelski and the tots still above us 😦

  243. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Nite all. Hope the really good dream builder is at work tonight.

  244. Gooner In Exile says:

    Do we fancy any of Blackburns players?

    They may be forced to sell according to press reports unless the ChickenWranglers input some equity to ease Working Capital pressures. The pressure is they have no Working Capital and a predicted £10m gap between incomings and outgoings.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/teams/blackburn-rovers/8949814/Blackburn-Rovers-face-bank-demand-to-reduce-debts-by-end-of-year.html

  245. 26may1989 says:

    Damn right Irish.

    This season has so much left in it. I’m convinced United and Chelsea will fall away. Can we take the fight to City and Spurs? Can Spurs maintain their form, especially when their nightmare run of games begins in January?

    Could be very, very interesting.

  246. Gooner In Exile says:

    Rasp perhaps now is the time to introduce the like for like, both comparisons are in our favour after the weekend.

    Swings:
    Shitty +9
    Spuds +4
    Dippers +3
    Arsenal +3
    Chavs +1
    ManUre +/- 0

    Extrapolations
    On Percentage swing:
    Shitty 93
    ManUre 80
    Arsenal 76
    Chavs 73
    Spuds 71
    Dippers 63

    On Cumulative:
    Shitty 80
    ManUre 80
    Chavs 72
    Arsenal 71
    Spuds 66
    Dippers 61

  247. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Not at all Rasp, we can win this league. Our level of play is right up there and we continue to improve, we have a great chance.

  248. 26may1989 says:

    Oh Rasp, no need for the downer, it’s just short term – come on, believe!! The Chav win is only bad tonight, it’s the start of a process that could allow us a look in at the top!

    Exile: I quite like Junior Hoilett but I don’t really think we’d want any BRFC players (at least not now that we don’t need Samba).

  249. chas says:

    I’m really pleased Citeh’s unbeaten run has gone.
    The chavs are only 2 points ahead.
    Happy days.

  250. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Next weekend is pivitol, win there and i reckon we will go on and win it.

  251. Gooner In Exile says:

    Not even the Yak 26?

  252. Gooner In Exile says:

    TMHT 😀 I thought I was optimistic!

  253. Rasp says:

    Sorrry guys but you’re wrong. We are once again at that critical period where one or two significant injuries and it will become impossible for us. Several players must now be in the red zone. We are down 4 full backs (all of them) we are losing Gervinho in January and I’d bet that not one of you would wager your house on RvP going a season without injury.

    Lady luck has been extremely unkind to us in recent years, I expect that to continue because of the way we play and train (so maybe its not luck!)

  254. VCC says:

    26May 9:46. Exactly, keep the faith.

    Rasp 9:59. Its not over until the fat lady sings. We can do a late run on the rails ala Pat Eddery. Surely we want the top boys to be pegged back at all times.

  255. Gooner In Exile says:

    Did we ever worry about Thierry Henry going a whole season uninjured, or PV4 or DB10?

    All key players all kept fit under the same regime.

    Robin has been unlucky, mainly from injuries sustained whilst away with Holland. Why can’t he be lucky this year.

  256. Rasp says:

    Hi VCC,

    I think you’re all getting carried away. We are far from out of the woods and unlike the mancs and totts we have to compete in the CL which will take its toll on our players. We have some very good back-up players but what we don’t seem to be able to do is put them together in a balanced side. Make no mistake, the injuries to Jenkinson, Wilshere and Santos are down to being overplayed. Arteta spent a lot of last season out injured, if we lose him we will be in trouble.

  257. Rasp says:

    Did we ever worry about Diaby and Gibbs getting injured – yes because they have a history of injury.

  258. Irishgunner says:

    Bah humbug Rasp

  259. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    You could be right Rasp, however, our level of play will improve. This Arsenal is a different animal to last year, we can do it.

  260. VCC says:

    Rasp, not sure your right to be pessimistic. Sunday will answer lots of questions for us. Lets remain positive until after the game. Win this and we will be on a crest of a wave, and if i’m not mistaken will have played most of the big boys away from home.
    Wenger can also buy a central striker in January to take the load/pressure off Van Persie. Hopefully fingers crossed, happy Dayz.

  261. Rasp says:

    Whatever….. I don’t want to be right but unlike a lot of people, the manager included, I learn from past experience.

  262. Rasp says:

    Hi VCC, I really hope you are correct, because we need to find another striker but Arsene will not buy a striker in January.

  263. 26may1989 says:

    Well Rasp. me old mucker, you could look at it that way. But where’s the fun in that??

    The one thing I’ll give you is RvP, we’re exposed on that front. But Gervinho’s absence, while not good, won’t be a disaster either: even if Ivory Coast go through to the FInal of the ACN, Gerv will be missing for Swansea away, Man U home, Bolton away, Blackburn home and Sunderland away. The big one aside, those are distinctly manageable. As for full backs, we’ll get Sagna back at the end of this month, and we have cover within the squad. Any more injuries in defence and I grant you, we’re in trouble, but we can cope if the situation doesn’t get any worse.

    See, no need to feel so pessimistic: results like tonight’s just mean game on for all of the top six. And I believe our guys can definitely finish in the top four, and perhaps a lot better than that.

  264. Rob Lucci says:

    The manager didnt learn from past experience? yeah right..

  265. Gooner In Exile says:

    Ok Rasp Gibbs I’ll give you, Diaby I can’t just because one tackle from a guy now working in a call centre couldn’t stand being beaten and resorted to violence.

    But they are hardly the rock on which our current form is built. We have already shown that we can cope with injuries we wouldn’t have done last season.

    So far we have coped without our best right back, an experienced centre back, a talented central midfielder.

    Ok if RvP gets injured we may worry. But on the other hand our title challenge last season was on track when he was unavailable the rails came off for the reasons highlighted in today’s post.

  266. Rasp says:

    😆 26m, Sagna will not be back at the end of this month – its the end of January.

    If we can get to the end of January when pretty much all bar Santos will be back and do it without any further injuries then I will be coinfident of a top 3 finish,…. but that’s asking a hell of a lot with our track record.

  267. VCC says:

    My point is I think we will finish top four, so why not hope the two Manchester teams drop points to enable us to sneak it at the end of the season.

  268. Rasp says:

    GiE, our title challenge fell away last season for two main reasons: pivotal players had decided they were going to leave and we suffered one injury blow after another until all the fight was drained out of the side.

  269. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Rasp, your probably correct in your analysis. Ive believed we can do it since the Spurs game were our approach began to change. Its a big ask but if we can beat City, then in the immortal words of Mr Morre, “its up for grabs now”.

  270. VCC says:

    TMHT, your dead right. If we stay clear of major injuries and bring in a central striker in January (which I think Wenger will do) it will be up for grabs.

  271. pat says:

    I think City getting beat is good – especially since we play them next week. Shame that Clunky Clichy got sent off – was thinking he is a good area for us attack but now he wont be there…

    How does yaya Toure get to stay on the park for hitting players? If Mata had gone down after that he probably would have gone off…

  272. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    The Champions League is nailed on though

  273. Rasp says:

    I stand by my point that we should have been rooting for city to win tonight as we have a chance of finishing above chelski but we will not finish above city.

  274. 26may1989 says:

    Rasp, we’re not going to agree on the glass half full/empty thing re tonight’s game, which is of course fine.

    But I have to disagree on your view of what went wrong last season: even with injuries, the players who were on the pitch in those last eleven games (versus Sunderland, West Brom, Blackburn, Blackpool, Liverpool, Spurs, Bolton, Man U, Stoke, Villa and Fulham) were more than capable of picking up the points that were needed. Conservatively, we could have reasonably expected to get 25 out of 33 points in those games. Instead, we got 12. We missed out on the title by 12 points. So, to my mind, injuries had nothing to do with our failure last year: those players on the pitch (who did manage to beat United in the middle of the collapse) could and should have won the title.

    That’s my opinion anyway!

  275. Rob Lucci says:

    Damn it! Just know that the blind fatso that goes by the name Phil Dowd will be the referee for our game next weekend. ArgHHH!! Will there be another Newcastle parody?!

  276. Rocky, interesting post, but I cannot decide at this stage of the season. I feel you are comparing apples with pears, as we know how it all ended last season but we cannot know how it will end this season. I love the New Arsenal though and I am hoping like you that we are more resilliant this season 🙂

  277. VCC says:

    pat 10:36. Strange after the sequence of events that Yaya Toure did not get sent off. This is proof our officials are useless. I will not be popular here but have a look at some of the decisions made in the Stoke v Spurs game last weekend. If that was Arsenal instead of Spurs I would have been furious. Our officials are totally inept.

  278. Rasp says:

    OK 26may, so if those players on the pitch could and should have won the title last season, was it therefore their fault that we didn’t?

  279. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Dowds the ref? the mans the refereeing equivelent of Glen Helder on ice, utterly disgraceful.

  280. Brigham says:

    Happy invincibles day one and all! 🙂

  281. 26may1989 says:

    Exile, re Yakubu, hmmm, he is dangerous and is one of those guys just wired into the goal. But if we get a striker (which I really hope we do), I really want someone physically better (can you imagine Yakubu tracking back much?) and with more of a future.

  282. pat says:

    I can see where you are coming from Rasp but my view is that City are not so tough in that hard shell covers a soft center – If we can follow up their loss and beat them at home it would be a massive boost for us and I have this feeling that City could self destruct if they start losing….

  283. VCC says:

    Rasp..10:37. OK here goes. Pint of Guiness says we will finish with more silverware than City this year. Cannot bet against my boys EVER.

  284. 26may1989 says:

    Rasp, an unforgivable failure of attitude would be my diagnosis. In part I guess it was the divisions within the squad (Nasri, Cesc, Clichy about to leave), in part it was the crisis of confidence precipitated by the lost League Cup Final and exits from the CL and FA Cup. I was truly shocked to see how our players conducted themselves in that run-in – failure I can accept, but not capitulating in that spineless way. The players gave themselves the chance to win the title last year, and they threw it away. Frankly, I’ll never forgive them for that.

  285. 26may1989 says:

    Oh and Pat, I am absolutely stoked by NZ’s win over the Aussies in Hobart!! Fantastic!!

  286. 26may1989 says:

    I hate Phil Dowd as much as the next human being, but fair’s fair, he had a good game in our match vs Norwich.

  287. Rob Lucci says:

    Does anyone did not worry that Phil Dowd will officiate our game next weekend? We have been lucky with refereeing decision since our resurgence started after the Spuds game, and that is the one of many reasons that saw us fall short last season, or season before that.

  288. Rasp says:

    Hi Brigham, that is a good point, the Invincibles record is safe for another year at least.

    26m, I agree. A complete shake-up in the squad was just what was required and just what we got. As you know, I am very happy with the players we brought in but equally unhappy that 2 are injured, 1 is off to the ACN and the others may be one game away from injury.

    Koscielny has been magnificent this season and seems to be made of inexhaustible steel

  289. pat says:

    @Rocky “If you’re Blackburn, not having a stand-out player probably means you had 11 equally inept piles of hippo dung stinking up the place.”

    This is because Ryan Nelson has been out injured this season 😉

    Can AW take pity on him and bring him to the Ems? Hes better than Squillaci!

  290. TotalArsenal says:

    Great, great result tonight (sorry Rasper! 🙂 ). We are The Arsenal and we should always be gunning for the title. We could be ahead of Citeh by 2nd of January, even if we ‘only’ manage a draw on Sunday. They will want to put the result against the Chavs behind them against us, so we need to be strong and focused from the start on Sunday. Citeh struggle to deal with adversity as they seem to lack the backbone and character to turn round a losing position (just think about the games against Napoli and the first game against BM recently, as well as our away game against them last season). We can do it and if we win, it will set the PL alight for us. Isn’t that why we love football?!

    Next two games for Chelsea are Wigan and Spuds away and they are bound to drop points again, so I am not worried about them at all at the moment.

    Next five games:

    Arsenal:
    MC (a)
    AV (a)
    Wolves (h)
    QPR (h)
    Fulham (a)

    MC
    Arsenal (h)
    Stoke (h)
    West Brom (a)
    Sunderland (a)
    Liverpool (h)

    Chelsea
    Wigan (a)
    Spuds (a)
    Fulham (h)
    AV (h)
    Wolves (a)

    MU
    QPR (a)
    Fulham (a)
    Wigan (h)
    Blackburn (h)
    Newcastle (a)

    Spuds
    Sunderland (h)
    Chelsea (h)
    Norwich (a)
    Swansea (a)
    West Brom (h)

  291. 26may1989 says:

    All agreed Rasp.

    And Pat, was that a sneaky attempt to lobby for a kiwi to don the red-and-white?? But I agree, Nelsen is a very good player.

    OK, night all.

  292. pat says:

    @ 26may – it was a close one its amazing the tech they deploy on the lbw (and other decisions). Take note FA, FIFA etc…

    Kiwis needed something we have been in the cricketing wilderness for sometime…

  293. pat says:

    Night 26 – and yes would be great but Nelson is getting old now… just a shame he has to come in to a team that looks like its going down the toilet…

  294. harry says:

    Great post Rocky and thanks for the mention, I am truly honoured……

    Its been a long day, work and then football club meeting, just in and up in 5 for a 200mile drive……….

    Anyway, Robin is the best leader we have had in ages, he really has matured well……..He listened and learnt well……….

    Team is more solid and responsive, has an egde about them…….

    Absolutely chuffed the oilmancs got beat……..Invincible, my arsenal!

  295. gunnern5 says:

    Drogba was immense tonight, for the last 10 minutes he was almost unplayable, he simply dared Man C to try to get the ball off of him.

    Great result and one that throws the championship wide open.

  296. RockyLives says:

    Peaches, Rasp

    Post in drafts – might be suitable for tomorrow (Tuesday)

  297. RockyLives says:

    Possession stats from last night’s game:
    Chavs 58%
    Oilies 42%

    I would say that bodes well for our game at Middle Eastlands as we are considerably better than Chelsea at the possession game.

  298. Gooner In Exile says:

    Young Afobe on Twitter last night (let’s hope this one doesn’t come back to bite us):

    “Take off Silva and Aguero to bring on K.Toure and De Jong? Does the gaffer want to get anymore defensive?! #ScaredToGoForIt #ParkingTheBus”

  299. Arsedave says:

    Agree with Total Arsenal, we should always be gunning for the title and I think we can go to Maine Road and win on Sunday. All credit to AVB for changing his tactics after 25 minutes. There was a break in play and he grabbed hold of Mata and told him to pin back his lug holes and listen. And what he told him was to tell his team-mates not chase the ball in the City half but all drop off and force them to pass through them. It worked a treat, then Ramirez came into the game with his pace and good lay offs by Drogba. If AW saw that then he’ll deploy the same tactics and with Walcott’s pace we have the ability to pick them off. My prediction MC 2-4 The Arse.

  300. Arsedave says:

    Forgot to agree with Gunner5, Drogba was immmense after about 87mins, it was a one man show, that flick past 2 defenders on the wing was unbelievable and had that shot gone in would have been the greatest goal ever, but it didn’t and it won’t.

  301. evonne says:

    Morning all
    I am already nervous about Sunday, very nervous
    Where is Oz?

  302. fatgingergooner says:

    I don’t want us to play the passing game against Citeh. They are quick and direct on the counter, but struggle against teams who park the bus and ask them to break them down (Napoli away, Chelsea away, Villareal home). We look like our old selves on the break (Chelsea away, Udinese away 2nd half) and could rely hurt Citeh with Gervinho and Walcott.

    I suppose how the game starts will dictate how we play. If we score first then tactically it would make us play on the counter. But if Citeh score first then the same could be said for them.

    Clichy could be a big loss as Walcott is capable of ripping Kolarov or Zabaleta a new hole!

    Should be fun!

  303. pat says:

    Interesting write up of the Chelski / City game – plenty to mull over and shows we should be well up for this Sunday

    http://www.zonalmarking.net/2011/12/12/chelsea-2-1-manchester-city-tactics/

  304. evonne says:

    Morning Ginga, fun?? ooffffff…let’s hope you are right. My worry is their physical presence and our injury prone players’ safety. I’d be happy to take a point, but even happier if we escape unscathed

    I am glad I won’t be watching the game, mother is arriving on her broomstick from Poland and I am not allowed to talk or watch excessively football 😦

  305. pat says:

    @fgg I agree – with Clichy out Walcott becomes a big problem for those two and with Gerv on the other side City have a headache on the flanks – as the above mentioned once we get hold of the ball and work it quickly from flank to flank we should have some joy. Cant wait for the game!

  306. pat says:

    *above = above article

  307. Rob Lucci says:

    Apparently Kolarov is injured, and the only left-back they have is Wayne Bridge. Heh, Walcott will skin him alive!

  308. evonne says:

    Pat – you are a braver man than me 🙂
    Psychologically it is probably good timing – Shitty will try to recover their stance and prove they are the force to be reckoned with, but at the same time our team know that Shitty can be beaten, that teams that are not as good as Arsenal succeeded, so there is no reason why we shouldn’t

  309. evonne says:

    Rob – you sure about kolarov??

  310. evonne says:

    Rob -yes, groin injury, lovely

  311. chas says:

    Happy Invincibles Day for yesterday, everybody.

  312. evonne says:

    Chas – yes! That was the possitive to take from that game and the Spuds game on Sunday – nobody can beat our proud record!

  313. If JD plays well there is no reason we can’t beat city. Our second string outplayed there second string, our first string i’m sure will outplay their first string…. we just need to take the chances.

  314. Brigham says:

    I agree with FFG, we need to be direct, get at them from the off and no tippy tappy stuff. They also have the ability to hit us fast on the break, so it could well be an end to end affair.

    Lets get them on the back foot early and keep them busy and get their fans on their back. We have the pace to worry their back four, especially if Walcott is on his game.

    They (City) were getting more and more frustrated last night as the game went on and lets hope we can do the same to them on Sunday. A strong ref may be needed! 🙂

  315. pat says:

    you said it tommy – gerv, walcott and co should be able to create the opportunities out wide – clinical finishing will be important….

  316. yeah Brig
    a strong ref, and who we got Phil Dowd…… shit newc 4 arse 4
    OMG

  317. yeah pat,
    clinical it must be….
    RVP wont be gambling with money shot volleys LOL

  318. Gooner In Exile says:

    I’d like to think counter attacking would work but I fear that’ll result in a 0-0, Mancini will be regretting not having a more solid base yesterday.

    I fully expect him to rein in the attacking emphasis, expect midfield four of DeJong, Barry, Yaya and Milner. Then upfront Silva and Aguero.

    The blessing is we will not have attacking full backs playing for us which should mean we also keep a solid base, with Song and Arteta protecting.

  319. SharkeySure says:

    GLIC 5.28,. Yellow card !

    Where’s the moderators/lawyers on this site…?? I will not allow my good name to bemsirched in this manner !!

  320. SharkeySure says:

    From Physio rooom:

    Manchester City 2

    M Richards Calf/Shin Injury no return date doubtful
    A Kolarov Groin 3rd Jan 12

  321. Big Raddy says:

    chas. Another superb find. RvP’s last sentence is fab

  322. Big Raddy says:

    Morning SS. Besmirching is good for you if done in moderation

  323. Rasp says:

    Morning all…..

    …..New post ……..

  324. TotalArsenal says:

    Great article Pat and great find of a video Chas.

  325. California Gooner says:

    I was going to suggest that we offer Chelsea 15 mil for Torres (which may be too much, but is worth a punt!)… but got busy with real work. And then I saw this.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-2073746/Fernando-Torres-sale-Chelsea-20m-January-flop-striker.html

  326. dubturbo says:

    dubturbo…

    […]Poll: Is Robin’s Arsenal Stronger Than Cesc’s Arsenal? « Arsenal Arsenal[…]…

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