Fullback Crisis: A Radical Solution

To lose all four of our first team fullbacks at once to long-term injuries really is unfortunate.

As an example of serious bad luck it’s right up there with Wayne Rooney finding himself at Grab-a-Granny night in the local nightclub with both arms in plaster; or Harry Redknapp taking a wrong turn into an auction house and accidentally winning 53 bids on account of his twitch.

Despite our spirited performance at the PetroDome on Sunday, Manchester City shaded the game and just about deserved the win.

However, I am sure that if we had had recognised fullbacks instead of converted centre halves the balance of play would have been much more level and may even have tipped in our favour.

There seems to be some possibility of Gibbs returning in time for the Boxing Day fixture against Wolves at the Emirates, but that’s far from certain and the other three (Sagna, Santos and Jenkinson) are still a way off.

To compound the problem, Johann Djourou, who has been filling in at right back, is also out injured for three weeks.

So what do we do?

The makeshift back four that finished the game against City did not look convincing. Quite apart from their inability to support our wide forwards, they also struggled positionally.

I’m not blaming the individual players because they did their best while playing out of position, but Koscielny lost his bearings in the build-up to Silva’s goal, allowing Balotelli too much room, and Miquel, as temporary left back, should have been picking up Silva who was standing unmarked in the box.

With the speed and intensity of Premiership football, you can only hope to eliminate those sorts of errors with constant drilling and practice as a fullback, which neither Kozzer nor Miquel has had the opportunity to do.

On Wednesday we play Aston Villa and we need to find a solution to this conundrum.

I would be disappointed if we start with a back four of Miquel and Kozzer as FBs and Vermaelen and BFG as CBs.

We run the risk of having a groundhog day experience, with not enough support for the wide players and not enough positional discipline to make our defence as secure as it should be.

Instead, and because these are special circumstances, maybe it’s time for Arsene Wenger to try something a little more radical.

My suggestion? We adopt a 3-5-2 formation (or to avoid upsetting GiE and the goalkeepers’ union, a 1-3-5-2).

My back three would be the Verminator on the left, BFG in the middle and Kozzer on the right.

In front of them a five made up of (from left to right): Gervinho, Ramsey, Frimpong (Song is serving a 1 match suspension), Arteta, Coquelin.

And, up front, Theo and RvP.

I have moved Gerv into the five man midfield because he is more effective at covering defensively than Theo and also has more variety in his play when picking up the ball from deep.

I like Coquelin as right midfield because he has played RB before and is a tenacious tackler and competitor who also has the footballing skills to bomb forward and help the attack.

Arteta, Frimpong and Ramsey in the middle all have the energy and awareness to drop back if one of the two wide midfielders is caught forward.

As for up front, I don’t see Prince Robin needing to change his approach at all, but I would give Theo licence to drift all along the attacking line without needing to overly concern himself with defensive duties.

So there you have it: one man’s idea for coping with no fullbacks. I should emphasise that my theory is based firmly on zero foundations as I have never coached or managed a football team apart from (once) a five-year-old girls’ team. So feel free to rip it apart and offer your own solution…



141 Responses to Fullback Crisis: A Radical Solution

  1. allay says:

    song is suspended for ur info. bt i like d idea of a change in formation. Wenger is so stubborn dat he always sticks to 1 formation making arsenal so predictable

  2. TotalArsenal says:

    Like it a lot Rocky. Great idea. 🙂 The Ox for Song maybe?

  3. Gooner In Exile says:

    Before I’ve read post but had to share this from Twitter:

    “@AFC_Wheeler: Thomas Vermaelen has a grizzly bear carpet in his room. The bear isn’t dead, its just afraid to move. #VermaelenFacts”

  4. suz says:

    arteta also suspended. and with bfg in the middle, a fast villa striker penetrating through the middle spells trouble for our defense.

  5. Rasp says:

    Great post Rocky – makes far too much sense 😉

    Thanks for the reminder, I’ve amended the post accordingly.

  6. Rasp says:


    I think you’ll find that Arteta has 4 yellows and so is not suspended for the Villa game

  7. Gooner In Exile says:

    1-3-5-2 would certainly be a change from the norm.

    I perhaps would shake it up even more and go for a 1-3-2-3-2


  8. Dav says:

    No Arteta v Villa

  9. Rasp says:

    Hi Dav, thanks for reading, but Arteta is not suspended for the Villa game – see the report on Arsenal.com


  10. Dav says:

    Scratch that his early booking when playing for Everton was not actually awarded apparently

  11. Rasp says:

    🙂 Dav – you got there before me

  12. pat says:

    ok – get that ox fellow out there – at least as first off the bench option. Between now and x-fer window open could be a chance for Ox to show class and try and convince the boss he is the guy.

    I like the idea of 3 at the back. NZ played 3 at the back at the last world cup with Ryan Nelson in the middle. However the wide midfielders did play pretty deep and we were trying to hit long balls to NZs version of Kevin Davies (Rory Fallon). I just remember him (Fallon) just getting penalized again and again for raised elbows going for the headers – sorry thats the limit of my input on a 3-5-2!

  13. Gooner In Exile says:

    Actually I’ve had a little more of a think, and decided scrap Theo upfront and play the little Russian…………HOLD ON…….let me explain before you start laughing.

    If he were playing up in a two with no real tracking or defensive duties he could concentrate on what he does/did best. With RvP he could perform neat one twos with someone on a similar wavelength.

  14. fatgingergrinch says:

    Coquelin has played right back for a full season in France so why not just slot him into the back 4? If he’s gunna play anyway then surely that would make more sense than changing the whole team formation?

  15. fatgingergrinch says:


    I totally agree with you on the AA part of it. He would be much more effective as part of a front 2 and probably wants to play that position. Unfortunately with our current squad and formation that ain’t gunna happen so he should move on. I also think Chsmakh would play better with another striker to link up with Ashe could flick the ball on rather than having to hold it up and wait for others to join in which isn’t his strong point.

    Interesting to hear Wenger talk about the possibility of loaning MC out to get his confidence back. If Wenger isn’t ready to give up on him yet then maybe someone like Sunderland would take him as they are short up front. It would also make room for Arsrne to bring in another forward.

  16. kay says:

    Nice idea. But we all know that Song is suspended for this game. So I expect either Coquelin or Frimpong to take his place. This is my own variation
    Kolscieny. Mertesacker. Vermaelen
    Coquelin. Artteta
    Benayoun. Ramsay. Gervinho
    Walcott. Van Persie
    In this formation, Benayoun and Coquelin will back up Kolscieny on the right while Gervinho and Arteta will support vermaelen on the left. Walcott will be our counterattack outlet.

  17. Gooner In Exile says:

    Kay thats a good shout on Benny.

  18. fatgingergrinch says:

    Sorry RL,

    Just re read the blog and realised that I missed the point a little bit!

    I think a 3-5-2 is a solid option but do you think we could even go to a 3-4-3 so as not to disrupt too much of the team?

    Kozzer BFG Verm
    Ramsey Arteta Benayoun
    Theo RvP Gerv

    Personally I think we will see a few changes tomorrow but only in personnel, not formation. That last 30 minutes must have taken its toll on a few. Also, I think the fact we were chasing the game on Sunday meant our defence looked less solid for the last 30 mins against Man City but that wouldn’t be the case if we were in control of a game and I would be confident of setting up with the back 4 that finished Sunday. For me:

    Koz BFG Verm Miquel
    Rosicky Coquelin Arteta
    Theo RvP Ox

    I think Rosicky should get a start in place of either Ramsey or Arteta and I also believe Ox could start in place of Gerv or Theo but tbh With Theo getting rested for the last 20 I have gone with Gerv.

  19. DS says:

    That’s essentially what just would happen if we played Coquelin at RB though, he’d naturallly get forward more with Theo drifitng infield from RWF whilst Vermalaen would stay back more, covering Gervinho. Some formations are radically different in the style of play but that would not be an issue here, give Coqelin a run out as I think we’d get more from utilising our full-backs better rather than the extra solidity of Miquel.

  20. I’d go for something like this

    Kosiencly————————- Mertesacker————————– Vermaelen
    —————————————————Van Persie——————————

    Almunia (1st time I’ve wrote his name in years!)
    Oxlade chamberlain

    With this team we would have 2 DM’s protecting the back 3 .. With ramsey also helping out .. Then we have our front 4 of Arteta, Gervinho, Walcott and Van persie .. It brings a very good balance to the team!
    What u guys think?

  21. RockyLives says:

    I forgot Songinho was suspended – thanks for pointing it out allay and thanks for fixing Rasp.

    Morning FGG
    I thought about Le Coq as RB in our regular 4-3-3 because I know he has played there in the past. However, Vermaelen has played LB in the past but it doesn’t make him a LB now.

    I would guess that when you stop playing those specialist roles your instincts for how to play them fade away and it can take a long time for them to come back. Obviously it can work (look at Flamini in our CL final season), but I would worry that a back four with Coq and Verm or Coq and Miquel as FBs would give us the same problem as against the Oilies of leaving our wide men unsupported.

    I like your formation too. I thought about including Benny.

  22. Red Arse says:

    Interesting call, Rocky. 🙂

    From one non coaching guy to another, I don’t think a back 3 is a runner, however hard I try to convince myself.

    I often hear other clubs/coaches say they set up depending on who they are facing next. Manyoo one formation; Bolton another formation.
    That is not now and never has been AW’s modus operandi.

    Ignoring the keeper (just to prove I can sometimes count, TA 🙂 ), I would like to propose a 5; 1; 3; 1 formation.

    Coquelin: Kozzer: JGG: Verm: Miquelin

    …………………….. PingPong ……………..

    ……. Rambo: Arteteta: Gervinho …..

    …………………….. RVP ……………………..

    This would give a strong core in the centre of defence, and allow the full backs to defend securely and get forward because in Kozzer and Verm we have two very fast covering CB’s – who can also protect the slow turning Mertesacker.

    In front of the CBs we have the Pong as a tough spoiling DMF, breaking up attacks before they reach our core defence.

    In front of Ping (see two players for the price of one) we have a hard working support player in Rambo, with flair from Arteta, and pace on the wing from the Gerv; and no need to say what RVP does best.

    What is crucially significant about this formation is that if it works, I would be hailed as a genius, and if it is a catastrophe, I could nonchalantly say “I told you – I ain’t no coach – so don’t blame me!” 🙂

    Wonderful this coaching larkl! 🙂

  23. RockyLives says:

    Ooooh – no Walcott?
    You provocateur you.

    But I take the point about not picking the team according to the opposition. It has never been AW’s way and will never be. I wasn’t so much suggesting my “back 5” as a way of dealing with Villa, but as a way of coping with our FB shortage.

    However, there is approximately zero chance of it happening.

  24. Red Arse says:

    Rocky – snap. I don’t think AW would give my suggestion even a second’s thought! 🙂

    Of course, I can still maintain that I am being thwarted as a coaching genius, only held back from my glorious footballing destiny by an uncaring French genius!! 🙂

  25. RockyLives says:

    You and me both Redders.
    My 5-year-old girls team would have swept all before them if only I had been given more time to put my radical theories into practice before being fired…. ahem

  26. Red Arse says:

    Rocky, I have a heartfelt sympathy for your unfair treatment.

    You, I am sure, will understand my quite understandable chagrin at the lack of belief when, in a similar context, I tried to explain to a bunch of inebriated female revellers that I was, without question, one of the greatest exponents of the Kama Sutra, and that I could guarantee the most exquisitely pleasurable experiences of their lives.

    Nada; nothing; nix! Even sozzled out of their minds they all gave me the raspberry and fell about laughing while impugning my assets (which for the sake of clarity, were well hidden – because it was freezingly cold, is all!!

  27. goonermichael says:

    When can we officially sell arshavin?

  28. Red Arse says:

    When someone officially buys him GM, after Jan 1 2012. 🙂

    You seem keen! 🙂

  29. ogban says:

    Too radical! This is no time for experimentation. I’d rather have Squil to pair Per at CB and Kos at RB. The man should start earning his pay or get kicked out.

  30. gunnern5 says:

    The Henry rumors persist, I for one, would love to see him back, he may just provide the catalyst we need to get into the top four.


    By Jeremy Wilson

    9:04AM GMT 20 Dec 2011
    Djourou suffered a groin injury in Sunday’s 1-0 defeat against Manchester City while Gibbs is understood not to be sufficiently recovered from hernia surgery to start at Villa Park.

    Arsenal are currently without any senior fullback, with Bacary Sagna, Andre Santos and Carl Jenkinson also all currently injured. It means that they are likely to start against Aston Villa with four natural centre-backs across their defence. Laurent Koscielny is again the obvious choice at right back, while Ignasi Miquel is expected to start at left back while Per Mertesacker and Thomas Vermaelen resume their partnership in the centre.

    It all leaves Arsène Wenger facing a dilemma in January over whether he recruits defensive cover. He will also assess his attacking options, with a short-term loan deal for Thierry Henry an increasingly likely possibility. Wenger has been hugely impressed by Henry while he has been training with Arsenal as he maintains his fitness between seasons in Major-league Soccer with the New York Red Bulls.

    Wojciech Szczesny, meanwhile, has expressed his determination to maintain Arsenal’s record of finish above Tottenham in every season since Wenger became manager in 1996.

    “Getting above Tottenham is the main target,” said Szczesny. “We don’t want to finish below them no matter what. That’s just my personal ambition because I am one of the fans and so it means a lot to me to finish above them. I am confident we will do so.

    “They will slip up eventually. They have been in good form – you have to give it to them – but I am confident we are a better side and will finish above them. Time will tell if they can handle the pressure but they look good at the moment.”

  31. gunnern5 says:

    This is one of the better articles I’ve read about the Gunners.


    Arsene Wenger’s rule will always beat mob rule

    By Jason Cowley

    19 Dec 2011

    The mob in full cry is always an ugly thing. Early this season, as Arsenal were thrashed 8-2 at Manchester United, and even before that, the cries of those traducing Arsene Wenger were becoming ever-louder. A consensus against him had formed; group think predominated.

    Day after day, commentators, former players and fans suggested that he no longer knew what he was doing and should be promptly sent on his way. Even the usually reliable editors of the respected Gooner fanzine published a series of lead editorials demanding that Wenger be sacked, as if the club he has remade as one of the great progressive forces in world football had someone half as good, ready and waiting, to replace him.

    His wrong-headed disparagers were also calling on the club to spend £20million-plus on several players -and to hell with balanced budgets and fiscal discipline. It was the logic of the mob.

    It was obvious to me – and I wrote this in a column of August 22 – that Wenger would ride this one out, and deserved to. He would have to compromise on his vision of taking on the petrodollars of Manchester City and the Russian oligarchy of Chelsea with a squad of mostly home-grown young players of all nationalities, most of whom had been at the club since they were teenagers.

    He would even be forced to do something that he’d never done before at Arsenal – panic buy, as he did after first Cesc Fabregas and then Samir Nasri left the club against his wishes.

    That frenetic 24 hours before the transfer window slammed shut was, for Wenger, the definitive end of what he called the “project” – his youth-orientated dream of doing it entirely his own way, in defiance of the hard, mercantile spirit of the winner-take-all Premier League.

    “The hard thing is the feeling that something is ending,” he said last week, reflecting on the departure of Fabregas and Nasri, both of whom are in their early twenties. “You had a project with guys that you took on at the age of 18 and [now] they leave at 24. For the first time since I have been here I lost young players who were reaching maturity.”

    For Wenger it was a case of never glad confident morning again. Yet he did not walk away. He is an idealist, yes, but he’s also too smart not to be pragmatic.

    When the facts change, said John Maynard Keynes, I change my mind. The facts for Wenger have changed and he has shown enough flexibility, not only to change his mind about how he goes about his business but to revitalise Arsenal in the Premier League through signing more experienced players, such as Mikel Arteta, and playing in a more direct style.

    On commentary duty for Sky yesterday, Martin Tyler said that, for all his professorial disposition and polyglot intelligence, Wenger has a “fighter’s heart”. That seems right to me.

    Arsenal were beaten by Manchester City in an exhilarating game but hardly deserved so. They have been weakened by injuries to four full-backs. They are still carrying too many players who should be moved on as soon as is practicable, including Andrey Arshavin and the non-scoring striker, Marouane Chamakh. Theo Walcott is improving but remains far too inconsistent for one who aspires to be a regular England international. He complained and professed disbelief when he was substituted against City but ought not to have done. He was awful.

    This is a period of profound transition at Arsenal. The club are adapting to majority shareholder Stan Kroenke’s style of absentee ownership and the predatory Uzbek billionaire, Alisher Usmanov, reportedly the 35th richest person in the world and the owner of 29 per cent of the club, remains an unsettling presence, at the club without being part of it. He is not welcome on the board but nor is he going away soon. I’ve seen him many times at Emirates Stadium, often in the company of David Owen, the former Labour Foreign Secretary and former leader of the SDP. He is there, watching and waiting.

    As for Wenger, his contract expires in 2014. He’ll see it out and only then will he know whether he has reached the end of the journey that began when he arrived in London as a little-known manager from Japan in October 1996 and soon afterwards was viciously slandered. The mob at work again.

    Like Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United, Wenger has earned the right to dictate the terms of his own departure and anyone who says otherwise is a fool or simply doesn’t understand what he has achieved.

  32. Naz says:

    I think you are right the we should consider changing our formation to may somethhing like this.


    ——–kos —————–The BFG —————Verminator——

    ——————-Arteta —————–Coquelin ———————

    Walcott ———————Ramsey—————–Gervinho——–



    This will work better as Coquelin is better at tracking back and his positional play isn’t to bad, As we all know walcott had a bad game on Sunday, but his wing play is getting better and changing his position will only make us weaker and therefore he is better of staying where he is and you can all say that side of our defence is weaker but with Arteta supporting we will be ok.

    Yossi offer bit creativity and his dribbling will create more opportunity for RVP and Co.

    Subs would be:


    Let me know your thoughts

  33. goonermichael says:

    I just met the ref for our boxing day game. What a nice bloke and so young.

  34. goonermichael says:

    I read that on the way home last night in the standard. I don’t usually like him much But I thought that was really complimentary and wel written.

  35. gunnern5 says:


    I read many English papers, on line. including the Standard, it’s like watching a game on TV – only the second best choice, as I would prefer to be holding the newspaper.

    The articles relating to Arsenal are getting to be more complementary and far less abrasive, and all down to AW. I hope he experiences another change and moves out the peripheral players instead of wishing and hoping they come good.

  36. goonermichael says:

    That column used to be written by an out and out spud so he’s a step in the right dirction.

  37. evonne says:

    GM – where have you met the ref, in your salon?? did you tell him about your subtle obsession?

  38. VCC says:

    goonermichael 12:48. Sell Arshavin? You won’t be able to give him away.

  39. goonermichael says:

    His girlfriend was having her hair done and she introduced me evonne. He seems really nice. How are you ?

  40. goonermichael says:

    I’d consider giving him away

  41. There may not be a boxing day game, if the theatened underground strike goes ahead the match maybe delayed until Tuesday.

  42. Red Arse says:


    Crowley took over from Matthew Norman a Spuds season ticket holder, so GM is right he is a definite improvement!

    You are right too. It was a really good article trying to put forward a more mature insight to Arsene Wenger rather than the rabid nonsense that spouted its ugly head, again, after Sunday’s defeat at Citeh.

    What is missing from the piece above is the rather tongue in cheek paragraph that said he (Crowley) did not know what had come over him, and that it must be the festive season and normal service would later be resumed. 🙂

  43. Red Arse says:

    spouted = sprouted ………………….. altho’ spouted works too! 🙂

  44. goonermichael says:

    I’m not going anyway. Tuesday will probably be better for me. I have to get that way to se my brother anyway and I don’t drive anymore.

  45. goonermichael says:

    I think he maent he would be back to his normal miserable self RA. Mathew Norman I couldn’t remember his name.

  46. RockyLives says:

    Matthew Norman is a good writer and quite funny – and I always respected the fact that he made no secret of his allegiances (whereas some other journos seem to have an anti-Arsenal bias to which they never own up, like Sam Wallace in the Independent).

    If I had a sports column in a daily newspaper I would take every opportunity to rip the piss out of our rivals… 🙂

  47. goonermichael says:

    Me to Rocky

  48. kelsey says:


    from yesterday.

    No i am still in Spain printing my own euros.Internet/land line still having problems.Great system over here, the phone rings but it is silent so we play guess work if someone is calling.

    Frimpong needs to calm down, we don’t want too many more bookings.i think two of our players are on 3 yellows at present.
    i would start with rosicky, rest ramsey or give him ramseytime when rosicky fades.
    Maybe theo will get dropped after his strop,wenger doesn’t like actions like that. the ox should get some play time, but it’s a big fat no on chamakh.

  49. RockyLives says:

    Hi Kelsey 🙂
    Thanks for your email.
    This line made me laugh: “the phone rings but it is silent so we play guess work if someone is calling.”

    I had actually forgotten about TR7 (has he even been on the bench lately?). Has played some good games for us this season but seems to have slipped out of AW’s thinking.

  50. RL,

    Rosicky is injured I think.

  51. kelsey says:

    1998 champions – Arsenal. Position at Christmas: 6th. Points behind leaders: 13
    keep the faith.

    Rosicky injured…never 😉

  52. evonne says:

    GM – I am ok, thank you. A bit stressed out as I am used to being on my own, so sharing my house with mother is tricky. Tomorrow for example – I am not sure if I’ll be allowed to watch the game!! Crazy, I know!!

    Michael, did you tell the ref you are a MAD Gunner? Whose is his team?

  53. goonermichael says:

    He’s not supposed to have a team evonne. I made him a cup of tea and said ” that’s at least worth a throw in going the other way” which he found amusing. His girlfriend told him I was a gooner (so is she)

  54. evonne says:

    Hi Rocky, thank you for yet another great post. I am glad that you mentioned 5 in midfield. I actually like teams flooding the midfield, I have seen some great games that was a battle of midfields.

    You managed a team of 5 year old girls?? Brave man!

  55. evonne says:

    GM – his girlfriend’s a Gunner?? Well, well if he really loves her…. 🙂 Why did you not give him a whole pot of tea?? That’d be worth a penalty, surely 🙂

  56. evonne says:

    Chas – where is the vid of the most spectacular own goal? A Nigerian player today? What a goal!!

  57. one of the ugly sisters lost in cornwall says:

    Finally got to read your expertly written post Rocky. Tactics, Formations !, after shovelling 16 ton of slate chipping`s, I`m too knackered to agree or disagree, so i`m with you. 🙂
    My back`s aching like f**k, someone`s half inched my Cornish shovels, I think them workers who sorted out my Bull infestation patch, may have took them, have no proof though, B*ll**ks !.
    I shall now state the obvious ( or is it ? ). The Xmas / New year games will make or break us for CL spot imo and possibly be a bearing on who we buy or not ! , come on Arsene Claus make it a Goonertastic Xmas !.

  58. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    oops, forgot to change my name. 🙂

  59. goonermichael says:

    It actually was a pot evonne

  60. Afternoon all, a very cogent approach to ur full back catastophe Rocky, made more relevant by Wenger just revealing Gibbs has suffered a setback in his recovery and so will not return over Xmas.

    Ah bo***cks !

    and they may be postponing the Wolves game, double bo***cks !

  61. Red Arse says:

    Hi GLIC, 🙂

    What the hell do you want 16 tons of anything for? Wouldn’t it be easier to go and live in a disused slate quarry?

    It’s against my accounting principles, but as it’s you, there is no charge for my sage advice! 🙂

    Kelsey, Sorry to hear you are still having problems with your broadband. Never mind. When the next tranche of money comes from the other EU mugs — sorry budget — the Spanish will use someone else’s money to build the best broadband in Europe.

    It worked well with their roads!! 🙂

  62. Red Arse says:

    Rocky, I think Sam Wallace is a West Ham fan isn’t he?

    He occasionally appears on Sky TV on Sunday morning on a journo programme and always seems fairly straight, unlike Rob-I-am-a-Chave-Beasley and all the multitude of Manyoo supporting journo rabble.

    Perhaps he seems enlightened only by comparison with the others around the table.

  63. RockyLives says:

    Hi Redders
    Living out here in the colonies I only really know Wallace from the articles he has written about Arsenal, which seem to contain a deep-seated dislike of our fine institution.

    I’m sure he’s a nice fellow, buys his mother flowers etc, but when it comes to commentating on the Arse he deserves to be buried under Cornwall’s slate chip pings.

  64. RockyLives says:

    I tried to get my 5-year-old girls playing a version of Dutch style total football, with interchangeable wing backs and a fluid midfield/attack interplay.

    But mostly they just wanted to pick daisies or, on occasion, go wandering off to one of the other pitches to see their friends…

  65. VCC says:

    RedArse 4:42. Roads around Valencia are superb. All paid by someone else. Managed to get most of it done before the America’s cup.

  66. evonne says:

    Rocky – of course they did 🙂 Fair play to you for trying 🙂

    GM – whole pot of tea?? I think you bagged us the game, good man !!

  67. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    Hello Redders,
    The “chipping`s are for the driveway, I thought Iwas going to need another 16 ton, but will need about 6 ton more. It`s funny you should say about living in a quarry, since I moved down here in “91”, I`ve done nothing but renovate, new build, extend, landscape etc` and used to subscribe to “Homebuilding& renovation magazine”, there are always “readers project`s” ( a builders version of readers wive`s , ooh , look at them door knockers ). There was a chap in it one Month, who built a Ramshackle property in his quarry, the quarry was very high sided with only one way in, so no one could see in, he had no planning permission, so he lived in it for 4 years and then beat the planners with the 4 year rule, he then got proper planning and built a stunning house. So keep your eye out for a secluded dissused quarry !.

  68. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    How you coping ? You can always send her down here, I know a secluded high sided dissused quarry, she can join my mother-in-law for a game of “tombestoning” of the highest side, only snag is, there`s no water at the bottom !. 👿

  69. Hi all

    Can I prevail on someone to write the pre-match for tomorrow as Raddy won’t be around.

  70. evonne says:

    GLiC – you are terrible 🙂 If she won’t let me watch the game tomorrow, I might buy her a one way ticket to yours 🙂

  71. evonne says:

    Peaches – I won’t write the post, sorry, but could you please let Raddy know I am thinking of him

  72. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    evonne , thats ok, she will recieve only the best “award winning” 5 star coffin…sorry accomodation that cornwall has to offer ! 🙂

  73. Red Arse says:

    A woman walked into the kitchen to find her
    Husband stalking around with a fly swatter

    “What are you doing?” She asked.

    “Hunting Flies” He responded.

    “Oh! Killed any?” She asked.

    “Yep, 3 males, 2 Females,” he replied.

    Intrigued, she asked. “How can you tell them apart?”

    He responded, “3 were on a beer can, 2 were on the phone.”

  74. Red Arse says:

    One for you Kelsey/VCC! 🙂

    A couple of years ago, the then Prime Minister of Italy, Silvio Berlusconi decided he would ‘twin’ Italy with Spain

    He visited his opposite number in Madrid and couldn’t believe the palatial mansion the Spanish PM lived in…he asked him how he could afford it…

    The Spaniard said…”you see that bridge over there? — the EU gave us a grant to build a 2-lane bridge but I built a single-lane bridge with traffic lights at either end, so then I built this house with the money we saved”

    The following year, the Spanish PM visited Berlusconi in Italy.

    He was simply amazed by the house Berlusconi was living in which was twice as sumptuous as his own … many gold statues, marble everywhere, three huge swimming pools, etc etc…it was truly amazing.

    When the Spanish PM asked Berlusconi how he could afford it, Silvio replied that he had taken the Spaniard’s advice on EU grants and went on —– “my friend, you see that bridge over there?”

    the Spaniard replied…”no!”

  75. Red Arse says:

    While I am at it, and no one is about;

    A 72-year-old man goes for a physical. All of his tests come back normal so the doctor says, “Harry, everything looks great. How are you doing mentally and emotionally? Are you at peace with God?”

    Harry replies, “God and I are tight. He knows I have poor eyesight, so he’s fixed it when I get up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom, poof!, the light goes on. When I’m done, poof!, the light goes off.”

    “Wow, that’s incredible,” the doctor says.

    A little later in the day, the mystified doctor calls Harry’s wife. “Mrs. Wilson,” he says, “Harry is doing fine but I had to call you because I’m in awe of his relationship with God. Is it true that he gets up during the night and poof! the light goes on in the bathroom, and when he’s done, poof! the light goes off?”


    “OH GOOD GRIEF!” Mrs. Wilson exclaims,
    “He’s pissing in the fridge again!

  76. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    RA, 😆
    💡 Genius, I`ve just invented the Bunk coffin (as in bunk bed ), anyone who wants to send an unsavoury dispicable person to share a bunk coffin with my mother-in-law, can contact me at, coffins “R” us, I`m sure they`ll get on like a coffin on fire,at the local crematorium .( due to laugh and no safety reasons, there`s no fire extinghishers )

  77. Red Arse says:


    You and I should set up our own upmarket anti ma-in-law and jokes site as no other sod wants to talk to us!!! 🙂


    Hahahaha, Redders & Cornwall.

    Take it from me, some of those guys in that Brenwood Club would pay good money to share a Bunk Coffin with a mother in law…..corpse….goat, etc.

  79. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    Aunti MiL.!…….that makes my wife my cousin. oh well , I am in cornwall, as they say “when in Rome, do as the Romans do”, and “when in cornwall, do your relatives” !

  80. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    Ahh, Terry me mucker.
    Goats, I`ve got great hopes we`re gunner get him !

  81. Panic not all, GiE has offered to write the pre-match for us – but that does mean I can’t collar him to write the match report, so someone will need to volunteer 🙂

  82. Jamie says:

    No way 3-5-2 it is a system buried in the mid nineties. It can only work if the wide two in the 5 can attack as well as they defend.

    I thought the back four that finished against city were fine.

    Villa will be a battle. Frimpong over Coquilan for me.

    Proud of the lads from Sunday and since spurs in general.

  83. Gooner In Exile says:

    Interesting take on the definition of “offered” 😛

  84. Irishgunner says:

    Evening all,

    Suarez fined £40k and given an 8 match ban – seems as the FA pick and choose who they punish.

  85. fatgingergrinch says:

    8 match ban for Suarez! That’s Liverpool dropping out of the race for top 6!!!

  86. Irishgunner says:

    They have 14 days to appeal FGG – if he got that what will Terry get? His case looks more clear cut … but it is the FA .. and Euro year is coming up 🙄

  87. Gooner In Exile says:

    That is huge ban although 2 are cup games.

  88. Irishgunner says:

    Sagnaofficial Bacary
    Hey tweeps..chilling at home watching football..happy as I’m running again..feels good but I’m so tired..still need to get fit

  89. Irishgunner says:

    GIE – Apparently if Liverpool don’t appeal (which could effect ban positively/negatively) he’ll be due back in the game against ……..
    ……………………. Manchester United!

  90. Irishgunner says:

    😆 I’ll think they will be appealing


    ” It is also our opinion that the accusation by this particular player was not credible – certainly no more credible than his prior unfounded accusations.”

    ” We would also like to know when the FA intend to charge Patrice Evra with making abusive remarks to an opponent after he admitted himself in his evidence to insulting Luis Suarez in Spanish in the most objectionable of terms. Luis, to his credit, actually told the FA he had not heard the insult.”

    *grabs popcorn* this will get interesting

  91. Irishgunner says:

    They’ve removed the statement – pity it was very funny.

  92. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Talk about late to the party and really, damn it, these are my absolute favourite posts. I want so badly to turn the clock back and join in. Now I have to work for an hour just to compound my utter misery.

  93. RockyLives says:

    Liverpool will appeal and the appeal will be upheld. You can’t convict a guy when it’s one man’s word against another with no witnesses.

    John Terry on the other hand…

    Evening Micky 🙂

  94. RockyLives says:

    …I should have added… you ca’t convict a guy when it’s one man’s word against another with no witnesses AND THE ACCUSER IS A PRIZE SEE YOU NEXT TUESDAY.

  95. Gooner In Exile says:

    The thing is Rocky it is all about context, Suarez has admitted using the word he was accused of.

    It was an independent commission, the FA cannot uphold the appeal if the commission has found him guilty, doing so would look weak, and also go against the criticism the FA often give UEFA for lenient/meaningless penalties.

  96. fatgingergrinch says:

    Hoilett anyone?

    Blackburn going down and he would be up for grabs. Caused us problems when we played them and only a kid.

  97. chas says:

    Bloody hell, this working thing really does get in the way of one’s blogging.
    Sorry can’t do match report as going to Villa Park will be back late and have to be up early on Thurs morning.

    Interesting post, Rocky. If we lose another couple of defenders we may have to go to 2 at the back. How about 2-3-5, Micky? 🙂

  98. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Working hard here, but had to have my say:

    ….Frimp Arteta
    Ox Ramsey Ros

    …..RvP Gerv

  99. RockyLives says:

    Good team Micky – but surely it should be Theo ahead of Ox or Ros?

  100. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Ah ha Rocky,
    My thinking was that they might both add just a little more defensively. I reckon that ultimately Ox might end up playing centre mid. Time will tell, but I think he may have everything.
    I am not really thinking too clearly as I think part of my brain is in Canada!!

  101. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Must finish work.

  102. Gooner In Exile says:

    Pre match in drafts Rasp/Peaches

  103. Tomas says:

    A new teacher was trying to make use of her psychology courses. She started her class by saying.
    “Everyone who thinks you’re stupid, stand up!”.
    After a few seconds, Little Johnny stoop up.
    The teacher said, “Do you think you’re stupid, Little Johnny?”
    “No, ma’am but I hate to see you standing there all by yourself”

  104. 26may1989 says:

    Well, can’t say I’m surprised at the Suarez decision but still a very dramatic ruling. The chair of the independent panel, Paul Goulding QC, is a specialist in both employment law and sports law. His employment law background means he’s very well versed in issues relating to racist abuse, which is why I said a few days ago that I wouldn’t be feeling too optimistic if I were Luis Suarez.

    And Rocky, as I’m sure you already realise, findings certainly can be made when it’s one person’s word against another without other witnesses, it’s just harder. Anyway, as Exile said, Suarez confirmed he used racial epithets but argued they weren’t insulting or derogatory.

    Excellent post by the way Rocky. I like the idea but would feel better if we stuck to a four in defence. Compared with Vermaelen and Djourou at FB, the lack of back up from FB wouldn’t be quite as bad with Miquel and Kos, who seem more enthusiastic about providing support. But you’re right of course, they need to get their positions right, which Kos failed to do on Sunday in one crucial phase of play.

  105. RockyLives says:

    Thanks 26
    I haven’t followed the Suarez thing closely and hadn’t realised he had admitted using the offensive word.

  106. goonermichael says:

    If john terry doesn’t get at least a 12 match ban it will be a farce. I bet they don’t even charge him though. The FA are basically racist anyway if they don’t.

  107. goonermichael says:

    negrito isn’t as bad as black c++t

  108. RockyLives says:

    Hang on GM… didn’t he actually say “Hey Anton, did you think I called you a black c**t”?
    Just like you would… 🙂

  109. goonermichael says:

    he’s england captain so they’ll whitewash it. nothing happened to roy keane for calling mick mccarthy an english c++t. I don’t think the fa have even charged terry yet. maybe they can’t because of the police investigation.

  110. VCC says:

    Morning all. Would you take Wayne Bridge in January?

    Ban on Suarez a bit harsh imo. Wonder what would have happened if it were a ManUre player???? Me thinks different out come.

  111. kelsey says:

    Morning VCC,

    In our present situation yes, but wages may be a sticking point.As I have said previously I expect all the top 6 will be in the market in january though with limited quality available most probably loan deals.

    I fully expect spurs to beat chelsea tomorrow not that man to man that they are a better side but of all of the so called sides chelsea one ould argue have so far performed the worst against pre season expectancy.
    After 16 games only newcastle have dropped off the pace and as with us they have many long term injuries.
    it is going to be a hell of a fight for all but city to maintain consistent form.
    IMO we should loan out at least 6 players therefore cutting our wage bill initially and it is imperative we get a striker or attacking midfielder (if only diaby could have remained fit). a full back though AW won’t buy in defence just to cover an injury.

    my hit list would be apart from vela and bendtner who are already out on loan, is to loan out fabianski or/and manone, squillaci and the likelyhood i hear is that arshavin will be sold.benyahoun needs more playing time, as does Ox and park, well that is a mystery signing.can bartley be recalled.I would keep frimpong, not loan him out as has been reported.

    Wew have to win tonight as every game now which come thick and fast it is imperative not to drop too many points.
    3 bad results and we would be playing catch up with the top three.

    side note,i heard the venkey’s thought that there was no relegation when they purchase blackburn.

  112. Gooner In Exile says:

    Seems Mancini does not understand mercenary motivations:

    “I don’t understand why there are some players that have a chance to go and play, and don’t. Wayne is a good guy but I hope he leaves in January.

    I don’t know why you would want to stay at a club where you can’t play..

    When we are young and start to play football we don’t play for money, we play because we like football. Every player should have this target in mind – to play football.”


  113. Gooner In Exile says:

    Kelsey if Blackburn story is true it’s laughable and makes an enbarassment of the fit and proper test. I fear we could say goodbye (not just from PL) to a historic club if they decide to pull out.

    As for us i’d keep Frimpong too. Unless Wenger is convinced Ox or Park are ready for regular first team action when Gerv goes off to Africa I can’t see Arshavin leaving.

  114. kelsey says:

    Ah, GIE a response, much appreciated as though i have internet problems I find it hard to get into a debate these days.

    I copied a long piece about arshavin two days ago.no doubt he is a talent, an expensive purchase by our standards but the manager has to make up his mind to give him a regular run hoping he can regain primarily goal scoring form, or if he is a bench warmer it has been very evident all season that the odd twenty minutes he gets doesn’t justify him being in the team as he hardly makes an impact on a game when needed.
    It’s a hard call at the moment but i think he will be old.

    Park is the real mystery for me. 2 year deal to sell shirts in S.Korea.

  115. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Surely Karen Brady would have failed the “fit” and proper test.
    Ooops, sexist.

  116. kelsey says:

    Karen Brady was on our hit list and ended up on the Apprentist 😉

  117. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Could AA just be a little sulky as he can’t play where he thinks he is best suited? For me, he has a point.

  118. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Are you moving?

  119. MickyDidIt89 says:

    What list, new DM?

  120. MickyDidIt89 says:

    As far as Park is concerned, I don’t believe he was bought soley for shirts, I really think Arsene thought he had unearthed someone who could play the Arsenal way and would be the kind of back up LB dreams about. Not at all pushy about first team football and so on. Trouble is, all we have is another MC. Simply not even good enough to push the first teamers for their places.
    I remain convinced we will move for someone of quality to add some much needed sharpness to the front line.
    Keeping unhappy players seems counter productive, so its cheerio to AA, who I still think could do an excellent job centrally for a team in a slower league than the Prem, and good luck to the fella.

  121. kelsey says:

    Hi mickey,


  122. MickyDidIt89 says:


  123. kelsey says:

    in europe, micky.

  124. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Mysterious. The Vatican?

  125. evonne says:

    Morning all,
    Kelsey, I thought you were coming back to dirty London?

  126. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Let’s all go to Canada. I have already found my dream home.
    Get the beers in and the telly on.

  127. evonne says:

    Why Canada??? They only get 10 days holidays a year and you cannot take it during 2 month long summer

  128. Gooner In Exile says:

    Europe is local in terms of AA readership 🙂

    Arshavin maybe has reached the age where he can’t do anymore. Maybe his little legs have finally caught up with him, after all he has to take two/three strides whilst some 6ft 4 beast takes one. We may be blessed he has gone on so long.

    In seriousness the fans need to get behind him when he is playing (im guilty of under my breath muttering about his workrate as TA will justify). But he has become the whipping boy and my supporting instincts now tell me that now everyone has seen what I’ve been saying for so long it’s time to criticise you all for abusing him and support him vehemently. I am a football fan I reserve the right to do so. 🙂 The African Nations could give him the run he needs, I hope it does as the competition is famous for upsetting our players rhythmns when they return and it’ll take Gerv a few weeks after to reset pace requirements etc. if he has a god run at least it will add more pressure to those currently wearing the shirts and keep their performances up too.

  129. Gooner In Exile says:

    Evonne that depends on the employer, my Uncle and cousins own a factory in Fergus Ontario, they close for two weeks summer and two weeks in winter.

    In summer they go off kayaking, winter ski-dooing.

  130. kelsey says:

    The vatican. is the pope jewish 😉

  131. evonne says:

    GiE – 4 weeks is not bad. I had visitors from Canada a few years ago, they could only stay for 10 days because they couldn’t take any more time off, not even without pay

    If Suarez racially abused Evil Evra then he should never play in UK, simples.
    If JT racially abused Anton then he should never play as the captain. Is a gross professional misconduct at the very least.

    I am sure the FA are using lip readers to establish what was being said

  132. evonne says:

    Kelsey you heretic 🙂

  133. kelsey says:


    not a bad idea. you can buy a 4 beroom house for the price of a lock up garage in central london. but the weather is another thing. i have friends in vancouver who madly emigrated over here as the cost of living was so expensive in vancouver, now they regret it.

  134. Gooner In Exile says:

    Kelsey you’re right about the weather in Canuckland my Aunt and Uncle cannot cope with the winters anymore so as of January they decamp to Myrtle Beach until Spring.

  135. Now we learn that Gibbs has suffered a “setback in his rehab”, Wenger must at the very least sign a left-back on loan. Wayne Bridge is surplus to requirements at the Oilers. He could be just what we are looking for, England International and bags of Premiership experience.

    Sign him up Maestro!

  136. Rasp says:

    Morning all…….

    …….New post ……….

  137. duong vat gia cao cap…

    […]Fullback Crisis: A Radical Solution « Arsenal Arsenal[…]…

  138. anon says:

    lol mertesacker = bfg

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