Violently Happy, KOZ We Love You!

Aston Villa 1 – 2 Arsenal Match Report

1st half observations from a bad stream

The first 45 minutes were pretty different from what I expected. Aston Villa did not close us down frantically and allowed Arsenal plenty of space. Especially Gervinho and Theo saw plenty of the ball, as Villa sat deep in the beginning, allowing our wingers to attack them from the sides. Arsenal also allowed Villa a lot of space and there were plenty of chances for each team during the entire first half. The game was surprisingly open and yet the tempo did not appear to be very high.

After Gervinho had tried but failed to reach the by-line on a number of occasions – not being able to beat the ex-Spud Hutton – Theo was successful at the first attempt. He skinned the inexperienced Carian Clark just inside the box of Villa with a brilliant, ballet-like pirouette, after which he had acres of space to pick a pass. The young Villa defender pulled Theo back and the referee Jon Moss blew his whistle, even though Theo had not fallen down as a result of the pull-back. Penalty. RvP lined himself up to reach an incredible milestone: if he scores he will have equalled TH14 calendar year goal scoring tally. Is he nervous though? No, just BOOM in the roof of the net: 1-0 to The Arsenal.

After that, the game remained open, and after quick moves, both Theo and Ramsey got decent opportunities to score from just outside the box. Both missed the deadly accuracy and calmness of Boy Wonder and, as a result, two half-decent opportunities were wasted. Villa had their own chances, predominantly as a result of playing balls quickly into the box from Arsenal’s LB area to their ‘fox in the box’: the man with the warrior-like name of Agbonlahor (for a while, I dreamed of an attacking combination for Arsenal of Arshavin, Adebayor and Agbonlahor: it just sounded like the ultimate warrior-machine: the tree terrible A’s). I thought Vermaelen struggled a few times to put himself in the right positions in the first half, and as a result Aston Villa had a few opportunities to put the ball into the box from our LB area which led  to some half-decent opportunities for them. Luckily, AV were not sharp enough to pounce on these half-chances.

2nd half observations from another bad stream

Aston Villa started well. They allowed us less space and pressed us earlier in our own half. In the 54th minute, an opportunistic, high ball by Villa is defended by Vermaelen, who heads horizontally to Merkesacker. The latter is already on a yellow card and Vermaelen’s header is too short. Albrighton seizes his opportunity by taking the ball past the indecisive Mertesacker, and slots the ball calmly and professionally past the onrushing Szczesny. Quite an impressive finish.

Theo Walcott experiences an almost déjà-vu moment when, just as in the game against Citeh, he gets a decent opportunity to score a goal straight after our kick-off. The impressive again Richard Dunne makes a superb slide-tackle in the box to deny Walcott. Mertesacker seemed desperate to make amends for his and Vermaelen’s defensive error earlier. He was close to scoring a goal from inside the box, not with his head but with his foot, from one of the many Arsenal corners in the second half.

During this half, there is no more space for either Walcott or Gervinho to produce some effective wing-play. Wenger makes three changes in the last 25 minutes: Rosicky, Arshavin and Benayoun for respectively Frimmpong, Gervinho and Ramsey. Arshavin and Benayoun are only given ten minutes to make a difference which is not ideal of course. Frimmpong started to give away unnecessary fouls and both Gervinho and Ramsey looked exhausted.

The changes had an immediate positive impact as Arsenal was able to retake the initiative. We started to control the game and were desperately looking for holes in the middle of AV’s defence. We were awarded corner after corner, and from the 11th corner-kick in the second half – just as every single Gooner had given up hope we would ever score from a corner again – RvP reaches a free Yossi Benayoun (Agbonlahor had not bothered to stay with him in the box), and a late, and no longer expected, Christmas present was delivered to all who love the Arsenal: most probably the lightest man on the pitch, our man on loan from the Chavs, scores with a close-range header: 1-2 with only three minutes to go!

Some conclusions:

A scrappy win: no doubt about that. Our passing was under-par and we seemed to be missing our FB’s a lot more in this game than against the Mancs. We really lacked a strong/effective shape to the team tonight. There were a lot of tired legs out there, but the same goes for Aston Villa; and that was our saving grace.

A few players were brilliant today: Arteta, RvP, and especially Koz: with their energy and never-say-die attitude they made a major contribution to us winning three points tonight. I also thought Coquelin, after a slightly difficult start, had a good game. I was especially impressed with his ability to play long-range passes towards Theo, or diagonally towards the other winger. This boy has style and, judging on these early signs, will go far at Arsenal. It was also good to see Rosicky back. He really gave us a better shape to the team, almost as soon as he was on the pitch.

And well done to Robin for reaching this incredible milestone. We all know how special Thierry Henry was: one of the best strikers I have ever seen. For Robin to equal his calendar-year goals tally is incredible, and with a bit of luck he will surpass Alan Shearer’s by scoring three more goals in the next two home games.

Three points are three points. It is a game best to forget quickly and for us now to concentrate on our next two home games: Wolves and QPR. The boys will now have a rest till at least Monday and Alex Song will be back. Hopefully there will be no further injuries coming from this game, so we can put out a good team against Wolves. Liverpool and Newcastle dropped points again, and today either the Chavs or Spuds, or both, will drop points. The race for third and fourth place is on and we are now very well positioned; just behind the Chavs and the Spuds. Before Big Ben strikes 12 times on New Year’s Eve, we could be snug as a bug in a rug in third place.



247 Responses to Violently Happy, KOZ We Love You!

  1. LB says:

    Superb match report TA

    I particularly like the description of Theo being pulled back for the pen and this line made me chuckle:

    “just as every single Gooner had given up hope we would ever score from a corner again”

    So true.

  2. Kelvin says:

    Koz starting to prove his worth

  3. MickyDidIt89 says:

    One day try writing a post-match with only ten “stills” to work from. I think you could pull it off 🙂 Great work, thanks.
    I was hoping for a Chav victory until I saw game was at the Lane, so I’m now Gunning for a draw. Spuds can lose at the Bridge later 🙂
    Off for the morning.

  4. Rasp says:

    Just a quick note to let eveyone know that the Boxing Day game has been postponed 24 hours to Tuesday 27th Dec

  5. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Not every Gunner. Evonne is a believer. She has her own little Sect. The Corneristas.

  6. Rasp says:

    Thanks for a great match report TA.

    I agree Kozzer is a great player and an extreme “I told you so” by AW to those numpties who wrote him off based on his first few performances.

    It was not easy to watch last night and uncharacteristically TV seemed all at sea. He’s not a fullback, he’s a brilliant CB but I do get the feeling he’d love to be a box to box midfielder.

    Normally there are 2 ugly sisters this time of year but I’ll take 3 ugly points gratefully 😛

  7. MickyDidIt89 says:

    (sorry if that ruins anyone elses’ plans, and the strikers are still bastards, but I get selfish when it comes to a Christams match all for me and my son)
    Chas, my dear loyal bezzie mate friend (licky licky), are those two tickets still going?

  8. LB says:

    “The Corneristas”

    You have a great sense of humor Micky.

    I am trying to think what they would wear?

  9. rellends says:

    kos is turning in to a very consistent defender. he’s been great this season.

  10. Red Arse says:

    Hi TA, 🙂

    Well if that was a rushed job of a post match, my estimation of your analytical prowess has risen yet again. Well done indeed! 🙂

    Kelsey, I was up early this morning (stop it, Micky) to watch the recording of the game, altho’, as you and Micky asked, Caprice was excellent, bursting at the seams and provided me with all sorts of extraordinary tit bits and mind boggling specialties! 🙂

    What a restaurant for a noble minded AAer. 🙂

    By the way, Kesley, my little mover and shaker, please explain the following from your post match comment this morning; “Miquel was out of his depth last night”. Ermm, as he was not in either the team, or on the subs bench last night, do you mean he disappointed in other ways? 🙂 You beast!

  11. gunnerpete says:

    The only thing missing from this report is the second match running we were robbed of two blatant penalties? WHY? RVP got a yellow for being taken down inside the box in a big way..not even the slightest doubt….later again he is fouled inside the box and Hutton is given a talk? How? In the end Hutton decides to insist he is to be sent off by pure thuggery..this lad is an idiot and will ruin his career if he does not learn that he in not on the Glasgow streets any more.

    As for the rest, well we were good enough to claim the points and it made up for being robbed at City…another blatant penalty…but of course that was in Manchester, the capital of cheating.

  12. Bang on again TA, how you wrote that through a dodgy stream is beyond me, cheers.

    The best 3 defenders in the league are:


    I love that 2 of them are ours!

  13. kelsey says:

    everyone in Spain is called miquel to me 🙂 Of course i meant our coq.

  14. Thanks for the report TA – a far better effort than I could have cobbled together from radio commentary or a shaky stream, of which I can never get one to work.
    Bit annoying the Wolves game has been put back a day – I’ll have no day to recover after my drunken match day befroe I rock up to the office on Wednesday.

    So who’s going on Tuesday then ? “I am in!”(as Walden Schmidt would say).

  15. Red Arse says:


    You know I read your every word! 🙂

    I thought you were going to hit right back by claiming a typo as you meant Mikel Arteta! But you are too honest!! 🙂

  16. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Pointy hats!
    Me not here.

  17. kelsey says:

    I hope Terry gets a card tonight, well it is Xmas and where is Veronica when you need her ?

  18. Red Arse says:

    Very true, Micky person, there are a number of AAers who have said you are not all here. Not me, I would not say that, obviously!! 🙂

    And I don’t care what anyone says about my pointy hat. It fits my pointy head very well!

  19. Davi says:

    I always like to compare Koscielny to Senderos: 2 potentially world class defenders, with all the pace, strength and defensive talent needed, imo, but every young defender will make the odd mistake when they start playing in the Premiership; the difference is purely how well they deal with the mistakes mentally, and how they respond in the next game. Simply, Kos didn’t let the early mistakes affect his subsequent performances, but Senderos did, and as a result he never improved, while Kos continues to get better.

  20. Red Arse says:


    I think that Veronica is a male Spurs supporter trying to lure innocent Gooners, like yourself.

    1. No Arsenal fan could bring themself to write such unadulterated rubbish.
    2. No femine, female personage would ever refer to “pussy” in such a public and scatological manner as she/he did.

  21. Red Arse says:


    Interesting comment.

    As a youngster Senderos seemed to have everything going for him. He was fine physically for the CB role, and mentally he was, and no doubt still is, highly intelligent.

    Unfortunately, unlike Kozzer, he rapidly started to pile on the pounds as he got older, and this impacted on his pace and particularly his ability to turn. Even tho’ this weight gain is muscle and not flab, it affected him badly.
    Drogba, then at the peak of his powers, showed up these flaws when he played against us and Senderos never recovered.

    This is unlikely to be the case with Kozzer who is naturally lean — and very speedy! 🙂

  22. Charles says:

    No full backs??

    Why cant Frimpong or Coquelin fill in, as footballers they should be able to hack it surely!

    Centrehalfs are normaly the wrong size and to slow. If I was a fringe player I would jump at the chance of trying a new position and who knows? History tells us that ex Arsenal players Ray Kennedy striker to top midfielder and for those with longer memories – Geoff Strong striker to left back. Both players changed positions because they could not get regular games in their positions.

    Both had more sucessful careers in their new positions and both at Liverpool!! There must be many more. A defensive midfielder worth his salt should be able to play fullback.

    What do all these coaches do? Pat Rice was a fullback! Experiment Arsen.

  23. dandan says:

    Nice one TA thank you.
    I sat and watched last night that thinking that GIE had warned me it would not be easy and was a bit relieved to see Benny get his head to that one, what is it with us and corners, last year we couldnt defend them this year we cant score fro them, bloody crazy game this football.

    For those that dont know what Evonne does in her spare time, I have taken the liberty of posting this link, so you can turn the sound up and see for yourselves.

  24. Davi says:

    @RA – I hadn’t noticed that to be honest. He’s always looked a bit top-heavy and clumsy to me, but he was still capable (notably I remember him coming on for Toure against Milan a few years ago and handling Pato very well). I don’t think I actually saw him play very often in the beginning, not for entire matches anyway, so maybe he was a bit leaner when he first broke into the 1st team?

  25. TotalArsenal says:

    Cheers for the comments AA’ers. Am off to London with family for a few days now, so catch up with you all again on Saturday night.

  26. Are you going to the Wolves game TotalA as you are in London ?

  27. Morning all, ok just afternoon (but it’s Christmas so everything starts later 🙂 )

    Thanks for the match report TA I love that so many here are prepared to struggle for a stream whilst someone like me watches on the modern day teletext equivalent. It means that the blanks get filled in.

    Noticed Lineker on MotD saying RvPs yellow should be rescinded, there is nothing in FAs or UEFAs guidelines to say it can’t be if a clear mistake was made….so maybe we will appeal. He was definitely looking for the pen but contact is made there was no way he was getting past him.

    As for Kozzer I’ve never doubted him, maybe the leanness hinted at by RA is due to his penchant for smoking Marlboro Reds. (last year end of season party pictures).

  28. Now the movement of the Boxing Day fixture has put a stinking great cat amongst the pigeons.

    My brother was due to be getting wed in June and stag was going to be April/May. The wedding got binned and changed to a wedding in Hawaii in January and after I booked Wolves tickets he announced stag for 27th December.

    Now I have an issue……it’s an all day affair from around 3pm to whenever so perhaps I can do both by arriving back in Norwich to take memorable pictures of him in various states of inebreiatedness around 9pm.

    Bloody families!


    Great write up TA. In my opinion We were second best last night until the point were Frimpong was replaced by Roscisky. The two factors are that up to that point Villa were playing like demons on acid, sprinting to every ball and hence stopping us from playing but by the time Tom came on there physical levels were dipping. Secondly pingpong found it very difficult last night. He showed his inexperience both positionaly and when he had the ball. I noticed he was sprinting forward to Villa players to close down down but they were playing it around him. To be fair to the lad, the game did not suit him tacticly, he played the holding role and the way Villa approached the game he was almost redundent since they played one at top and two wide men with no one in the hole.

    After Rosiskys arrival and with Villa waning, our possession of the ball increased and it was enough to edge the points. A very difficult game and 3 hard earned points in the bag.

    If we can win our next 2 home games, we could still be in for an outside shot at the title.

  30. Interesting take on Frimpong TMHT. I guess experience will teach him not to do that. And currently his youthfulness and desire means he wants to get in to the game and prove what he can do.

    For me at the moment he is over excitable, I think Wenger said something similar recently (like shooting when the crowd shouts “shoot”).


    I think we should let him go out on loan GIE. We have Coq who can cover for Song and Jack is on his way back. Pingpong needs games to learn what this league is all about.

  32. goonermichael says:

    I thought we were generally rubbish lst night. I was glad to get the three points.

  33. 26may1989 says:

    Afternoon all. The Boxing Day postponement has stuffed my plans to go to the Wolves game, I can’t go on the 27th. So I have two tickets available, £40 a pop (cover price), block 1 (east lower, ten rows behind the players’ tunnel).

    Anyone want them?

  34. Brigham says:

    Not our best performance of late, but three points is three points and we would probably have lost this game during our bad run last season.

    I am one who is glad the game has been moved on 24 hours as I can now go – yippee.

    @ 26may, you sit a few rows behind my mate as he is two rows back from the tunnel, right on the half-way line. He is the actor Perry Benson (Love, Honour and Obey and This is England fame) sitting in front of him.

  35. Brigham says:

    That should read ‘he ‘has the actor’ 😉

  36. 26may1989 says:

    Cheers Brigham, I’ll keep an eye out for Mr Benson and whoever’s sitting behind him!

    Now that we’ve got into Ashburton name-dropping, Alan Davies is also in our vicinity, along with various of his stand-up comedy circuit mates brought as guests (you know how it is, you know the faces but the names are a bit tougher).

  37. LB says:

    Don’t the players come out on the West side? Think where the clock is, think where North is? So surely the players come out on the West side, opposite to Highbury, am I wrong?

  38. desigooner says:

    Name dropping…… we are in the illustrious company of Ainsley Harriet in our block. Fantastic man, he is!!

  39. RockyLives says:

    Great report TA

    You compass needs adjusting – you’re in the lower West 🙂
    My seat is upper West about level with the ege of the north end penalty area.

    Hello Desi
    Nice to see you on here. What did you make of the game?

  40. 26may1989 says:

    Sorry, you’re absolutely right LB, west. Just me being dense!

    Many moons ago, I used to work with Ainsley Harriot!

  41. gunnern5 says:

    I still chuckle when I think of this, I think I heard it on the Goon Show.

    Breaking news – We have a partial score from Highbury…

    Arsenal 1.

  42. RockyLives says:

    Bludnok: “Do you know, Eccles?”

    Eccles (after thinking for a moment): “Yeah, I know Eccles.”

    Gn5 – showing our age 🙂

  43. evonne says:

    Micky – pointy hat would not go well with my pointy nose!

    LB – anything but a fury thong

  44. 26may1989 says:

    I may also have a spare for the QPR game.

  45. evonne says:

    TA – you are the match report King! Fantastic, nothing to add. I am glad you didn’t rate individual players, they should be rated as a team.

    Micky is wrong in saying that I believe we are good at corners. We are rubbish, but improving. That’s 2 goal now from corners in a month. I believe a time will come we will become fierce corner takers and then Micky will eat his flat Devon hat!

  46. evonne says:

    micky – I will text Chas re 2 ticks

  47. Brigham says:

    Name dropping, I have no-one famous anywhere near me at all. 🙂

    26 – Paul Davis and his son are in that block as well, on the right hand side of the tunnel. I got him to sign my matchday programme after the Stoke game whilst watch the youngsters play Chelsea.

    As for the Goon Show – sheer brilliance and I had many a happy listening to them on the radio with my Gran. Probably where I get my warped sense of humour from? 😉

  48. chas says:

    Micky, the tickets are yours as promised. Don’t ye fret.

  49. gunnern5 says:

    Premier League Winners And Losers

    With Newcastle and Liverpool slipping up, and the Manchester massives too good for the dross, Arsenal sneak back in as Wednesday’s big winners…


    Having played better and lost at City, Arsenal played worse at Villa and won. Football, it’s a funny old something.

    The Gunners will, of course, not care a lot about the merits of their late win – indeed, they are entitled to take satisfaction from their newly-discovered capacity to win ugly. At long last – even Arsene Wenger referred to their winning goal from a corner being “a historical rarity” – the penny seems to have dropped that the game is still alive when a dead ball is being taken. With Robin van Persie one of the league’s better corner-takers, and Arsenal’s first XI currently including four six-foot centre-halves, set-pieces should be a strength and not the long-time weakness.

    Wenger, too, also deserves a line or two of credit for tiltng the balance of play back in his side’s favour at Villa Park after the hosts’ merited soft equaliser – never mind the missing pace, where is Per Mertesacker’s bravery? – with the introduction of the under-used Tomas Rosicky even before Andrei Arshavin and Yossi Benayoun arrived to steal victory. The Arsenal manager doesn’t have much in reserve – and he probably erred in not making any voluntary changes to a team that sweated profusely to no avail in Manchester on Sunday night – but he used what little he had wisely this midweek. His next challenge will be to find a week in which to rest Van Persie. It’s unlikely, but the cameos of Rosicky and Benayoun might, just might, persuade him to consider the central deployment of Theo Walcott on Boxing Day against a Wolves defence that struggled even against Norwich’s modest pace.

    Robin van Persie

    An assist and a sumptuous penalty to end his 11-day scoring drought. The crisis is over.

    The remaining curiosity is what he has done to offend officialdom, home and abroad. 2011 might have been Van Persie’s record-breaking breakthrough year but its most striking image is the scandal he suffered in the Nou Camp while Wednesday night’s victimisation – there is no other word for it when his name is sullied by a charge of diving when a) contact is blatant and b) elsewhere on the same evening, Victor Moses is able to throw himself to the ground in front of a referee without punishment – also offered the reminder that the Dutchman’s haul of 34 goals in the calendar year is also bereft of two onside goals wrongly ruled out last winter while his chip at City on Sunday was no more offside than the chance Sergio Aguero was ruled free to blaze over beforehand.

  50. Arsedave says:

    Gunner 5
    Don’t think Liverpool and Newcastle are even in the equation now, it’s a straight blow-out between us, Spuds and the Chavs.
    Brigham, you really are a Gooner then.

  51. chas says:

    Excellent match report, TA.

    I thought Villa closed us down well for the whole game.

    The Villa fans sung, ‘ We scored a goal, how shit must you be’ so they weren’t expecting much. We also heard supporters saying how much they had enjoyed the game as they were leaving the ground. I thought the game was pants apart from the result, but perhaps my expectations were a little higher.

    RvP’s scoring drought. 🙂

  52. chas says:

    Can you imagine if it were true that ‘foul, abusive, homophobic or racist language will not be tolerated at White Hart Lane.’?
    My god, the crowd would be silent.

  53. When I sat in 26’s seat I spotted Ian Stone and DJ Tayo who sit next to Alan Davis (who was in Oz at the time) and Keith Dover. They all do the Tuesday Club podcast which is well worth a listen if you do podcasts.

    Proper Arsenal fans for years not Johnny Come Latelies.

  54. Afternoon you wonderful collection of AA bloggers 🙂

    Thanks TA for the match report, if winning ugly is the way forward then as long as Robin scores I’ll be very happy. It certainly wasn’t enjoyable to watch but I just love it when we score late in the game to take all three points 😆

    We need posts for tomorrow and Saturday if anyone can come up with a few words to start the day off please.

  55. You just know I’ll be nabbing someone if no-one volunteers 👿

  56. kelsey says:

    I used to sit in the same row as Pete Murray and Bernie Winters (goggle them you youngsters 😉

    I think RA is a cunning old giant fox.having telephoned Caprice at lunchtime they assure me that no one of his description or of that name, dined there last night.

    Evonne as i said earlier that was our second goal direct from a corner in 198 consecutive corners.

  57. Forgot to say earlier that TA highlighted in the match report why we must be more ruthless. The fact that our wingers were denied the space after the break means the manager has had a chance to re organise or reiterate what his players are doing wrong. If we are more ruthless the damage is done and they cannot recover.

  58. goonermichael says:

    Pete Murray is/was a Gooner? and Bernie Winters. What about Mike?

  59. kelsey says:

    not absolutely sure about that but i think that Mike supported Spurs

    pete murray is still going at the age of 86.

  60. Red Arse says:


    There’s a tabby cat I know, who goes by the name of Joe,

    And would like to be a hippopotamus

    OK, it might sound strange that he would want to change

    But isn’t that just like a whole lot of us?

    I guess it wouldn’t be bad if he was certified mad –

    But he’s not — and he’s good at footie conversation

    It’s just that deep within he’s got blogging in his skin

    And it causes him a lot of botheration

    If only he could write, and not be total shite

    Peaches would have her new narration

  61. Red Arse, Sir, oh wonderful blogger, would you like to have a go at a narration for our delectation tomorrow 😉

  62. Red Arse says:


    ‘Giant Fox’, Moi? How unflattering. 🙂

    You must know someone at the Groucho Club where I went with my crowd at midnight. 🙂

    Give them a tinkle — thing is tho’, as you will know, discretion is part of the deal!! 🙂
    I know nuzzing, I saw nuzzing and nuzzing is his name … obviously. 🙂

  63. ………. or Saturday ……………..

  64. Red Arse says:

    Peaches, my love, if only I were a cat named Joe!

    I suspect that if we had met, I would be unable to resist your overtures — fortunately for this totally inadequate blogger, we have not, and therefore I can spare myself the ignominy and derision of all and sundry berating my hypothetical Post– and politely decline!! 🙂 🙂

    There are so many excellent and exciting writers on AA to choose from — and I am going out tonight, again, once I have shaken off the gimlet eye of my man Kelsey (who is dying to write for you)!! 🙂

  65. goonermichael says:

    I always remember Pete Murray having great hair. I wasn’t sure he was still around.

  66. goonermichael says:

    The Wolves game is on general sale and not sold out. I’m tempted now it’s been moved.

  67. 😳 I thought you were offering ………….

  68. kelsey says:

    Go on Red Arse do a post and we will put a translation underneath it 😉

  69. kelsey – what a good idea 🙂

    Do you have any more inside goss on transfers? Will Arshavin be gone?

  70. Red Arse says:

    Forgive me, and that blasted cat, Peaches, for giving you that impression!

    It is no secret that my writing has its limitations, not least because of my stilted vocabulary and I will not impose that on innocent AAers! 🙂

    My occasional urge to set the world to rights in print is assuaged by going incognito onto other sites, under an alternative pseudonym and then disappearing before they can get a posse on my trail! 🙂

    Anyhoo — I must went — perhaps see you all tomorrow or Saturday!

  71. Red Arse says:


    You are a wicked boy!! 🙂 Night, night!

  72. kelsey says:

    Hi Peaches.

    Nothing definite but i would wager Arshavin and Chamakh will be gone. it’s much easier to see who will be leaving by the Summer than who is coming in.

    I forgot to mention that at 1-1 last night the cameras zoomed in on AW and PR and I clearly saw AW say to PR “who shall we bring on “.Then there was a pause as if PR was pondering but the cameras turned away and it was about ten minutes untl the double sub was made.

  73. LB says:

    Hi Kelsey

    The proof of that little story is that Wenger and Rice are still capable of making the right decision at the right time.

    Everything changed when Frimpong went off and Rosicky came on, it changed even more when Arshavin and Benayoun made their entrance.

    Hopefully Frimpong can put that one down to a bad day at the office and move on.

    Song will be back and we will be stronger, Coquelin will improve as right back and Vermaelen will become more effective.

    All good stuff really.

  74. LB says:

    Pete Murray…………my goodness, I remember my dad always pointing him out to me………..look, look there’s Pete Murray………….who dad?
    I know now, and he certainly did have a good head of hair.

  75. evonne says:

    GM @5:37 – fancy you noticing his hair 🙂

  76. LB says:

    When I was in the 12 Pins last evening, they started a rendition of the wanky Tottenham Hotspur went to Rome to see the Pope and it made me think of Rocky…………you would have loved it, full on, heart felt singing, great stuff.

  77. LB says:

    I would still like to know from Jamie why he was looking for somewhere different.

    Were you with your new wife Jamie, were you a tad embarrassed to take her there? No need to worry there were many ladies inside and they all seemed to know the words to the song I was talking about above. lol

  78. LB says:

    Is it really obvious that I am filling time, dinner is on and and I am waiting for Mrs London to come home from her hard day’s work in the office and I can serve.

  79. Ok, I’ll interupt your flow LB 😉 Raddy’s here for the 27th Dec game and we’re going for lunch in Blackstock Rd with Mickey and son hopefully, do you fancy joining us?

  80. LB says:

    How many times is it permissible to watch the Chelsea – Arsenal game before people start questioning your sanity.

    I am up to 8…….is that wrong, is it possible to watch Van Persie score too many times?

    Sky Plus is a wonderful thing.

  81. LB says:

    Too personal Peaches but thank you for the offer.

  82. goonermichael says:

    I’ve watched it 7 plus the 2nd half on chelsea tv. My broadband (annd sky) is down so I may beat you

  83. 26may1989 says:

    You’ve watched Chavs v Arse eight times?? Brilliant, I can prove to my wife that I’m not the most Arsenal-obsessed one around!!

  84. RockyLives says:

    LB 🙂
    Sounds like I would have liked the 12 Pins (one of the few Arsenal pubs I’ve never visited).

    Good on you watching the Chavs game so many times. One question – does England Captain John Terry slip over every time you watch it? 🙂

    Just checking…

  85. Where’s chas, I want to watch John Terry slip over again 😆

  86. LB says:

    Every single time and it never ceases to make me laugh.

  87. LB says:

    This is spooky, Chas has got a microphone in my living room. lol

  88. goonermichael says:

    I hate the mancs so much but that still tickles me

  89. LB says:


    Interesting story about watching it on chav tv, I have a similar story.

    A few years ago I was out of the country and was unable to see the game in which we beat the mancs at old trafford with greedy scoring the winning goal. When I got back I realised the only way to see the whole game was to take out a month’s subscription to manc tv. The problem was that Sky keep phoning me up asking if I want to extend my membership as well as trying to sell me everything else available to the mancs but the worse bit is that they use a, we know your a manc fan voice, I do, of course, get one little bit of joy out of it, when I tell them to sling their hook, because I support

    The Red and White Machiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiine.

  90. Thanks chas, could you find one with Robin scoring aswell now 😳

  91. goonermichael says:

    That was the only away game I’ve ever been to LB. I’ve got chav and manc TV. The chav commentary was suprisingly unbiased. The manc one is disgracefully biased.

  92. I love that pic of Yossi and Kozzer more every time I F5 🙂

  93. Herb'sArmy says:

    Evening all.
    Don’t agree with the first part of your 6:22 LB, but ’tis the season of goodwill. Is AW worth £6m a year on what he delivers? No.
    Hope Chelsea beat Tottenham, only because Chelsea can far out-spend them, so the battle for 4th might be down to us and Tottenham.

  94. LB says:

    I love that picture too, I have been meaning to write that all day.

  95. Am I allowed to sky+ the totts v the chavs game or is that likely to cause some kind of shift with the gods – I’m going out to dinner – might be fun to watch later ……………. 😀

  96. LB – that was very unnessary, go edit it yourself please. We allow others to have different opinions …………….

  97. goonermichael says:

    LB That was a bit strong. Peaches you don’t need anyone’s permission. You may not go to heaven though 🙂

  98. chas says:

    Just look at those happy gooners!

  99. chas says:

    and again…

  100. VCC says:

    Settling down to watch the Spurs v Chelsea game. Nice to be able to relax while watching a game. Not fussed who wins.

  101. Herb'sArmy says:

    Do you really have to be so juvenile? My support is every bit as valid as yours, I just don’t get all starry-eyed and hero-worship with childish obsession like you.

  102. Still need an offer of a quick post for tomorrow and Saturday please

  103. goonermichael says:

    I’m going to a very nice (and cheap) Malaysian cafe. Hopefully there’ll be lots of red cards and injuries tonight.

  104. goonermichael says:

    Herb. Did you use to call yourself HCCA? Or was that someone different.

  105. goonermichael says:

    You always find the best pics and videos. Recently you found a video and said “I knew someone would have recorded it” I wanted to add ” and chas would track it down” My walpaper is still the one you led me too of our boys celebrating at the chavs.

  106. goonermichael says:

    Am I on my own again? 😦

  107. Herb'sArmy says:

    Is that what you’re about LB? Verbally bullying and belittling people who dare to contradict your opinion? Or just those who don’t see AW as some God-like figure?
    Grow up!

  108. goonermichael says:


  109. goonermichael says:

    We’re level on points as last year

  110. Herb'sArmy says:

    Hi GM,
    HCAA is ‘Herbert Chapman’s Arsenal Army’, it just seemed easier to shorten it.

  111. Gooner In Exile says:

    But remember god like worship of a manager is not recommended.

  112. goonermichael says:

    Thought so Herb. I meant to apologise for swearing at you ages ago.

  113. Herb'sArmy says:

    I don’t look upon any mortal as God-like GiE, but for me he will always be a better tactician, and more visionary than AW. I bet he didn’t put out an Arsenal side that got beat 8-2.

  114. evonne says:

    I am praying for a draw and several injuries, throw a red card or two and I am a happy bunny

  115. Gooner In Exile says:

    This manager you saw manage Arsenal how many times?

    I don’t doubt that he was a great manager for our club and for its history but simply none of us can compare them.

    All i know is Arsene Wenger is the greatest manager I have ever seen manage my team. And I think he is worth £6million a year. As so many remind us we have the spending power of most of the mid table clubs but we have consistently found ourselves in CL spots, that is because of one man.

  116. Herb'sArmy says:

    No worries GM, hope you and yours have a great christmas and new year.

  117. evonne says:

    Shit, Ade scored from Monkey pass

  118. Gooner In Exile says:

    Chavs are shite! And Cech has gone in the head, scared again by potential impact that he fails to deal with the ball.

    I tried to post this earlier but link was broken, Hansen making cringeworthy comments on MotD

  119. evonne says:

    GiE – I think I said it last month, that Czech is finished, looks very nervous, not better than Fabianski

  120. Herb'sArmy says:

    It’s all personal opinion GiE. The very least we should do is qualify for CL, we are after all one of the biggest clubs in the world, so not qualifying would be a huge failure.
    Chapman’s team were winning silver-ware long after he died.

  121. Rob Lucci says:

    Which manager you think worth 6m a year then Herb?

  122. Gooner In Exile says:

    It is indeed personal opinion Herb, one of the biggest clubs in the world? I’d simply ask why we are.

  123. Rasp says:

    City subsidising totnum £100k a week to take points off their opposition – so so wrong.

    The rule should be that only players under 21 can go to other prem teams and they must pay their full salary. Older players can go abroad or to the Championship. City’s money buys them success and pays to make other clubs fail.

  124. fatgingergooner says:

    Play to the whistle!!!!!


  125. VCC says:

    Changed my mind, want Chelsea to win. 1-1

  126. Herb'sArmy says:

    Very good question Rob. A modern-day Herbert Chapman if such a manager exists.
    GiE – Considering our lousy European record, I have no idea.

  127. fatgingergooner says:

    Ivanovic injured.

    That chest and shot by Drogba was world class

  128. Herb'sArmy says:

    Drogba. AW could have signed him from Lorient reserves for £100,000 in 2001, but AW signed Kanu instead!
    That’s been the recurring theme of AW’s time in charge. We nearly had Cristiano Ronaldo, Cech, Joe Hart, Hernandez, Xavi Alonso etc.
    Chapman bought players to win trophies, AW always nearly buys them, and we’ve now come to celebrate 4th as if we were winning trophies.

  129. chas says:

    If only we’d spent that extra 50p and bought Alonso!

  130. evonne says:

    Hi Herb – instead of Ronaldo, Cech, Joe Hart, Hernandez, Alonso we have Szczesny, RvP, Arteta, Wilshere, Song…need I go on? AW has done pretty well considering money that he was given, no?

  131. fatgingergooner says:

    Mikel injured now

    Just need some spurs boys to get crocked!

  132. evonne says:

    Ginga – and a couple of red cards, please santa 🙂 After all we are in the season of good will 🙂

  133. Gooner In Exile says:

    Herb really? If thats the level of argument I won’t bother. Its boring and its old and its pretty much irrelevant in the face of the long line of did gets…shall i start us off:


  134. chas says:

    The thought of us qualifying for the CL every season before Wenger came along is both unthinkable and laughable.

  135. Herb'sArmy says:

    Hi Evonne,
    yes he’s done ok. It’s been a while since he had a winning formula though.
    Szczesny has only just come through, RvP has finally proving his class in his longest injury-free period ever, Song is another who has come good this season, and we should have bought Arteta from Rangers. A lot of his recent big-money signings have failed though.

  136. fatgingergooner says:


    Who’s to say those players would have been successful with Arsenal?

    Also, Arsene is widely considered to have one of, if not the, best transfer records In modern football. Have a dig at his tactics etc, but not his transfer dealings!

  137. Herb'sArmy says:

    And players of similar quality since GiE?
    Chas – It hasn’t been that long since they expanded the CL to allow the top four in, and whether you like him or not, even George Graham brought a European trophy home.

  138. Herb'sArmy says:

    Almunia Arshavin, Chamakh, Squillaci. He got so desperate he had to bring Sol Campbell back from semi-retirement and Lehmann back from full retirement. Any other successful managers using that cunning plan?

  139. Brigham says:

    Herb, I think you need to wake up to the real world that is the game today, it has changed imeasureably the last 10 years or so. We (Arsenal) have been punching above our weight for some time now and the majority of us fans know it, you seem to be stuck in the 30’s when it was ‘All good friends and jolly good company’. You may not like what I have just said, but they are the facts.

    Money talks and always has. Yes, you are correct, GG did bring home a European trophy, he also won us the league against all odds in 1989, but I honestly know which team I prefer to watch every other Saturday. Oh and by the way, I am not a JCL.

  140. Gooner In Exile says:

    Van Persie

  141. Brigham says:

    Forgot to add, so Herb, which players would you have us buy/purchse/sign then? Come on, who can we really afford and who really wants to come and play for us?

    Tell you what, I really fancy Salma Hayek, but there is no way she would come and dance in my bed, so maybe I am a failure in life as well then?

  142. chas says:

    Herb, you seem to be forgetting that under GG we finished 10th in 1992/3 and 12th in 1994/5.

    We even finished 11th, 10th, 9th and 14th in 4 of Chapman’s first 5 years.

    Champions League, you’re having a laugh.

  143. Herb'sArmy says:

    Then we should all collectively lower our expectations Brigham, and stop referring to ourselves as a ‘big’ club.
    In your premise we have no right to challenge for major trophies, so what’s the point of our existence?

  144. chas says:

    Wenger has raised the bar which makes us forget the early/mid 80’s when we were battling relegation.

  145. She Fell Over says:

    HerbsA you need happy pills 🙂 AW is the bees knees!

  146. Brigham says:

    Herb, not at all regarding our premise, I am just saying that considering the financial constraints we performed higher than most of our expectations. Are you really an Arsenal fan or a poor ticketless Spud on a wind up?

  147. Gooner In Exile says:

    And Herb you have just proven why AW is worth £6m a year because with that limited budget over the last five to six years he manages to keep us in the CL and in more than one season pushing for the Championship. Far exceeding realistic expectations.

  148. evonne says:

    Is Bale in the olympic team? The boy can dive, that’s for sure

    Ade’s goal ruled offside 🙂

  149. Herb'sArmy says:

    Chas, I didn’t say Chapman found instant success, he obviously had wholesale changes to make. He did make us the first London club to win the title, and his legacy lived on long after he died.
    Some of George Graham’s football was horrible to watch, and we were probably all relieved when he was sacked.
    But AW hasn’t delivered in Europe, before or since Abramovich.

  150. fatgingergooner says:


    It’s easy to list players that werent successful,
    But for every player you give me that Wenger got wrong I can give you 2 that every other manager has got wrong in the same era.

    15 years in the top 4, only Fergie has done that on 3 or 4 times the budget.

    If you compare that level of consistency to any other 15 year spell in the clubs history then Wenger is the greatest of all time.

  151. harry says:

    Evenin all, shopping all day…..bah humbug……

    Great write up TA, you had a better stream than me….

    Brilliant 3 points dug out of the mire, villa bordered on useless against Liverpool, who strolled to an easy win, against us they somehow find a performance, although we didnt perform to the same level we did against city.

    Regards the joke yellow for RVP, we cannot appeal, only the ref can rescind if he decides to relook, which personally I think all refs at this level should do…….

    Herb, ist that just hindsight?>@8.43……..

    I think we have discussed wenger before, I dont think he is exempt from mistakes, he has made some right howlers, but surely we can all see that these are outweighed by what he has got right?

    I think our progress since old trafford has been nothing short of amazing, who is that down to?

    The moving of the wolves match has worked in my favour, couldnt go on boxing day, but 27th is good, what tickets are going spare?

  152. Gooner In Exile says:

    I’m watching tho game and I really can’t understand what makes Bale so special, he has one foot, not too many tricks and runs fast.

    Pretty much the same as Theo (apart from height)

  153. fatgingergooner says:


    It’s not a case of lowering expectation, it’s a case of assessing your surroundings. 7 years ago only United and Arsenal were challenging for trophies, now there are 6 teams with realistic ambitions of lifting trophies, even more in Europe.

    We should still be aiming for trophies and titles, but the fact is, in the modern game, its much more difficult.

  154. Herb'sArmy says:

    The last time we were battling relegation Chas was mid-seventies, when Bertie Mee was breaking up the 1970-71 Double-winning side.
    Yes Brigham, well done you, I’m a poor pathetic ticket-less Spud on a wind-up!

  155. Brigham says:

    Herb, just for clarification, Abravmovich has spent a small fortune and please tell me just how many European trophies they have won?

    Real Madrid have spent billions and when did they last win the Champions League? The year 2002 I think?

    Barcelona for all their pomp have only really been successful the last few years and one of them was against our ten men. Wake up mate, drink some coffee and realize you are one of the lucky few to support one of the best teams in the world (other European fans tell us that) enjoy it, have a drink, its nearly Christmas and chill out.

  156. chas says:

    What you did say was, ” The very least we should do is qualify for CL, we are after all one of the biggest clubs in the world”.

    Chapman wouldn’t have achieved that, GG certainly wouldn’t have achieved that (if the CL had been around in their times and 4th would have resulted in qualification).

    So GIE’s question remains unanswered, why are we one of the biggest clubs in the world who now expect CL qualification every single season? Please answer this time.

  157. She Fell Over says:

    True true have a drink and chilly out HerbsA

  158. Herb'sArmy says:

    Hi Harry,
    we shouldn’t have been so weak as to lead to the slaughtering at OT. The recovery has been ok.
    Among his many talents, it seems AW also has the ability to hypnotise everyone into accepting that not winning is ok as long as we do enough to scrape into 4th. They might even get an open-top bus if we do it this year. Maybe we can have our own ‘play-off’ type trophy for such an amazing achievement!

  159. chas says:

    So I was a few years out, you’re right.

    Don’t you realise you are providing info that refutes your own argument now?

  160. fatgingergooner says:

    Van Der Vaart injured aswell.

    That’s 3 so far!

  161. Herb'sArmy says:

    I did answer, concerning our lousy European record.
    Chapman made us the biggest most famous club in the country, if not the world, so it’s a bit presumptious of you to say he would have never conquered Europe.

  162. evonne says:

    And John Terry 🙂

    I bet you any money that Torres (the one that AW could have bought) is going to score tonight, any offers?

  163. chas says:

    see 26May at 12:53

  164. chas says:

    I give up if you cannot answer the question and simply choose to avoid it.

  165. Herb'sArmy says:

    Not really Chas. Billy Wright brought in nine of the Double-winning side for which Mee takes the credit. When Bertie Mee did try to put his own side together, he was exposed as being hopelessly out of his depth and replaced by Terry Neill (yet another under-achiever!).

  166. evonne says:

    GiE – when Bale starts to run I can see purpose and sense a goal. which often happens. When Theo starts to run a see a dark alley and him getting nowhere. I must confess that I rate the Monkey Boy much more than our Theo

  167. Herb'sArmy says:

    What is the essence of the question you want answering, Chas?

  168. chas says:

    see 9:30

  169. harry says:

    Herb, I am far from happy with 4th and I am not hynotised by his worship, but I just am realistic with the given resources and the uneven playing field, we hold our own.

    Remember Lord Chapman was fully bankrolled to his hearts content, Herbert took us to a new level, Wenger returned us there, but since then we have been financially restricted……..

    I agree that old trafford shouldnt have happened, but if Thomas V and Sagna hadnt pulled out the day before, I am 99.9% sure it wouldnt have happened, some things you can plan around others you cant………..

    I agree GIE, monkey ears has done little to impress, but what surprises me, or does it not? that Modric has been nearly non existent, why do people rave about him………

    Modric or Arteta? I think I know who we’d all say……..

    The one spud that impresses me is Kyle Walker……..

    ha ha gallas misses a sitter………

  170. Brigham says:

    Herb, says who? Chapman made us a force to be reckoned with for a few years when his team won the league three years on the spin (one of them after he sadly passed away). But to say we were the biggest club in the world is a bit OTT. Have you been at the jungle juice or wacky baccy?

  171. Herb FFS!

    AW said finishing in top 4 can be considered a successful season. Didn’t say it was a trophy didn’t say it was great said it could be considered a success.

    Just like Mick McCarthy will consider staying in the PL a success.

    Abramovich needs the European pot to consider his investment a success it’s why he keeps splashing money on managers and players.

    Spuds will consider getting in the top 4 a success as will Liverpool.

    Mansour again needs pots and trophies to justify the advertising vehicle that is the team who play in Man City’s shirts.

    Man Utd are the only club who probably under Fergie consider failure to win the league an unsuccessful season for footballing reasons. But the biggest brand in football has spending power that Arsenal doesn’t they have been able to buy the best players at their peak and pay the wages they can command….a luxury AW has never really had.

  172. chas says:

    What a block by the racist!

  173. fatgingergooner says:


    As a manager Arsene has spent an average of £239k a season nett since joining, and is placed 20th out of all managers since the PL started for highest nett spend.

    The club however has a nett spend of over a million since the PL started and are rated 15th out of all teams to be involved since the PL was introduced.

    That means that Arsene has actually spent less per season than the managers before him and still kept us in the top 4 every year on a net spend of £240k!!!!

    That’s why the majority of fans see top 4 as successful, because of the league was based around budget and spend we would be relegation fodder.

  174. Herb'sArmy says:

    So it’s a loaded question isn’t it. Because GiE is saying the reason we’re one of the biggest clubs in the world is because of AW’s influence, the move to the Emirates (which we can share with Brazil sometimes!) etc etc.
    We have been a world-famous club since Chapman put us on the map all those years ago. He even got us on the silver-screen with ‘The Great Stadium Mystery’.
    Is that a sufficient answer for you?

  175. evonne says:

    Chas – superb block!

  176. Brigham says:

    Actually, thinking about it, I think that Herb has been on ‘the Herb’

  177. Rasp says:

    Perfect result for us tonight, 4 points taken away from teams above us.

  178. evonne says:

    No red cards, rubbish result 😦

  179. chas says:


  180. Brigham says:

    Actually Herb, question for you. Did you actually seen Herbert Chapman in the flesh? Did you shake the great mans hand or are you just another, like me, that says “Thank you” and scuppers beer in ‘his’ pub on match days?

  181. Evonne, you are naughty. I agree with Raspers, 4 points less for the teams above us and with any luck fan-de-fart out for a while too.
    I asked earlier, but who’s at the Tavern on Tuesday ? Put me down for a 1.30-1.45 appearance. 🙂

  182. Brigham says:

    Another thought. I met Lord Louis Mountbatten once, he made sweeping changes to my branch in the Royal Navy (Communications), he was a visonry, he changed the way the Royal Navy handled Communications, but I tell you this, the branch has moved on a huge amount since that day in 1977.

  183. Brigham says:

    A Tavern meet sounds very good and I have Peaches number – muwahahahaha

  184. Herb'sArmy says:

    Yes Brigham, both. Why do you have an extensive knowledge of the world’s biggest football clubs during Chapman’s time? If so you can educate us all. What were Real Madrid, Barcelona, or Milan doing back then? Man Utd were mostly 2nd Division during that time, so we were well above them.

  185. A bit annoying about the tube strike pushing the game back a day but what can you do, eh Briggers ?

    Hope we tear McArthey’s hapless crew a new one as we need to boost our goal diff.

  186. Rasp says:

    Hi chary,

    Hopefully Raddy, peaches, Micky, chas and I will be at the Tavern – I’ll put up the widget shortly, and hopefully add your name.

  187. Herb'sArmy says:

    Nowhere near old enough Brigham, so unfortunately, no I wasn’t around to appreciate his great work.

  188. I’m definitely be there Raspers, it’ll be an all out peroni-fest as my 2 boys will be at the in-laws and I won’t have to behave.

    I’m in block 4 so I can get shirty with the red action mob.

  189. Brigham says:

    To be honest Herb, you bore me. I love football, but most of all I love MY ARSENAL. I have tired of you for now, I am chilling out with an attempt to enjoy my prelude to Christmas.

    @ Chary, meet you at the Tavvers on Tuesday with luck.

  190. Good stuff Briggers – 3 points to be followed by 3 more against QPR.

  191. Brigham says:

    Chary, just for you and me matey…


  192. Brigham says:

    Well, that did not work… try again…

  193. fatgingergooner says:

    Quick question,

    Theo or Sturridge?

    I love Theo but Sturridge looks so much more dangerous and ruthless. Going to be a great player, as is Theo!

  194. Herb'sArmy says:

    Good for you Brigham. Have a good one.

  195. @ 10.15 – I’m salivating at the prospect already. 🙂

  196. Brigham says:

    FFG – Sturridge for me, but you best ask Herb first! 😉

  197. chas says:

    Wenger tried to sign Sturridge when he was 9 years old and at St Mary’s Primary school, Solihull, but the nuns said he had to go to Villa.

  198. fatgingergooner says:

    Now now Brigham, be nice!!!

    Chas, those bloody nuns! Pain in the Arsenal they are!!

  199. Gooner In Exile says:

    SPOTY finally goes to someone who actually has a personality…well done Mark Cavendish

  200. Brigham says:

    FFG – I am a being nice, honest!

  201. Brigham says:

    That should read FGG, my fingers are working much faster than my brain right now!

  202. Herb'sArmy says:

    People have long since forgotten how to do that FGG. Those sort of values belong to a bygone age.

  203. Brigham says:

    Of course they do Herb, I mean, you are living proof yourself.

  204. Brigham says:

    My Grand Mother, my Mother, my Father and my time in the Royal Navy taught me to treat others as they treat you; You make up your own mind from that statement Herbie old boy.

  205. Herb'sArmy says:

    Don’t ask questions you don’t like the answer to then Brigham. And when we finish 4th or 5th you can celebrate like it’s our 14th title, knowing that your hero delivered.

  206. RockyLives says:

    The trouble with Herbert Chapman v Arsene Wenger is that it is so difficult to compare people from such different eras. It’s a bit like comparing apples and orang utans.

    All you can safely say is that each one, in their own era, was a phenomenally positive force in Arsenal’s history and each one brought great success to the club.

    If you add in Billy Wright and Georgie G, you could say we have had four such figures (although Herbie and Arsene probably stand above the other two).

    And we should be thankful for that! Some clubs don’t have a single manager in their history who has brought any sustained success.

  207. Brigham says:

    Herb, did you really answer me? Nah, thought not, now go have that drink I told you to, chill out and FFS, enjoy it.

  208. Herb Will it be a failure of we don’t finish top 4?

  209. SharkeySure says:

    Cracking write up TA….

    Only point of disagreement is re Merts involvement in the goal, I thought he was blameless.

    Thats me at my absolute most pedantic though…sorry.

    Love the headline…Koz is a real warrior, and deserves all the credit you give him.

    Well played to Le Coq for digging in and turning his game around on the night, against a very tricky customer in Charlie Insomnia*

    * Joe Kinnear’s finest moment !!

  210. RockyLives says:

    Herb’s entitled to his view that Chapman was a greater manager than AW. He laid out his views in an interesting post on the subject back in September

    Most of us here generally approve of Arsene and are quick to leap to his defence when someone suggests that he has done less well than he (or someone else) might have done.

    My view is that he has performed miracle after miracle for us in the most trying of times and I can’t think of one modern manager who could have achieved what he has.

    But if Herb believes differently that’s fine – it’s a good debating point and there have been some well made points in this discussion, even if it has got a bit short tempered.

    As it’s Christmas, how about everyone doing whatever is the email equivalent of shaking hands?

  211. Herb'sArmy says:

    Not if we win CL, GiE.

  212. Brigham says:

    Herbie, the more I read of your posts, the more I feel you are a very frustrated and wound up man who is caught up in the dark and satnic days of Don Howe. You seem to think that if the Arsenal were to sign a wonder star, all would be right once again. I also think that you you have never actually played a days football in your life (I may be wrong, but doubt it)

    I bet you still look out for reruns of “All our Yesterdays” on the Discovery channel.

  213. Herb'sArmy says:

    Don Howe was far too defensive (maybe his overall philosophy, having played as a full-back).
    Sadly part of me is stuck in the past. But football is a team ethic, and requires each link to play to their maximum strength and ability. For a while that level hasn’t been good enough.
    I don’t recall either Fergie or AW being great footballers, do you?


    Herbet Chapman, Arsene Wenger, love them both. Great managers tend to be great visionarys…and no can dispute that these 2 men had and have that rare quality.

  215. 26may1989 says:

    Evening all.

    Herb, sorry, I can’t resist historical research points. At 7.59pm you said “I bet [Herbert Chapman] didn’t put out an Arsenal side that got beat 8-2.” Well, actually he put out a few Arsenal teams in the first few years of his tenure that did as badly and worse:

    3 Oct 1925: Lost to Newcastle 7-0
    7 Mar 1926: Lost to West Ham 7-0
    6 Apr 1926: Lost to Newcastle 6-1
    9 Apr 1926: Lost to Sunderland 5-1
    27 Aug 1926: Lost to Bury 5-1
    14 Mar 1926: Lost to Sunderland 5-1

    So you were wrong on that point.

    (I also spotted an epic draw in 1930 (vs Leicester 6-6) and, within a few weeks of Chapman’s death in January 1934, we beat Crystal Palce 7-0. A fine tribute.)

    And at 10.04pm, you asked what Real Madrid, Barca and Milan were doing during Arsenal’s Chapman era. I’m not sure how that’s relevant to the spurious comparison between Chapman and Wenger that you’ve been pressing for months now, but for your info, those clubs appeared to have done a lot of the work of establishing themselves.

    Spanish league football didn’t begin until 1929 and was suspended from about 1935 due to the small matter of the Spanish Civil War, but Barcelona were champions in 1929 and Real Madrid in 1932 and 1933. True, Athletic Bilbao were top dogs till about 1945 (around the years of suspension), but after that the Big Two took over and dominated.

    In Italy, Milan were champions in 1901, 1906 and 1907, but things went quiet for them until the 1950s. The other clubs that were doing well in the early days were Juve, Inter, Genoa, Bologna, and a club called Pro Vercelli.

    So it seems many of today’s big European clubs were doing very well in and around the 1930s. Does that mean anything?

    As Rocky says, no problem with you having your own view. But using a name from the club’s history, about whom you can only read, and who by your own admission you can’t appreciate from direct knowledge, just smacks of presenting yourself as a pseudo-expert in order to do what so many Arsenal fans who miss the trophies do: slag off the manager who has kept us competitive with less money than he had in the first few years and while the competition has been completely stunted by the saturation of two clubs with foreign money.

    I really don’t mind criticism of Wenger, he deserves it plenty of the time. But this use of something neither you nor I can understand as your means to criticise is just silly.

  216. Herb'sArmy says:

    Cheers Rocky,
    I respect AW for everything, his time, energy and many many achievements.
    But just as we recognise those, his genius is a little flawed too.
    I accept that he has had financial restraints and isn’t shopping at the same market as Man City or Chelsea, yet the fans are constantly told the money is available to spend.
    Has he maximised Arsenal’s full potential with the resources he’s had? No. Nor will we ever know if anyone else could have done better.
    He obviously has our best interests at heart, but it’s been a while since he won a major trophy. We all hope he can reproduce the magic formula, and if he wins the CL, he will overtake even the great Herbert Chapman.

  217. Herb'sArmy says:

    Hi 26,
    thanks for your intensive research. To be fair, those results were very early in his tenure, and before he’d had a chance to re-structure the club. Look at the overall success he gave us long after his death.
    I was trying to make the point that we have long been considered a big club that is known throughout world football in response to GiE (latched onto by Chas), about why we’re a big club.
    AW has presided over a few thrashings at OT, something he has never reciprocated, and I’m disappointed at the season overall, with the exception of our CL progress and the performance at Chelsea.

  218. 26may1989 says:

    @Herb: “Has he maximised Arsenal’s full potential with the resources he’s had?” That is indeed the question.

    And up until May 2010, when the stadium-related debt that drove everything about the club from 2004, was, to all intents and purposes, cleared, the answer is a big fat yes. I don’t believe any manager could have achieved what he achieved from 2004 to 2010, and none of them would have accepted a job. He could (and from his personal point of view, arguably should) have gone to Madrid or Chelsea and worked in much greater luxury, winning pots along the way. He chose to stay, and he deserves our respect and gratitude for that.

    But fair’s fair, since the summer of 2010, we’ve had greater resources available and they haven’t been used. They should be.

  219. fatgingergooner says:


    Just out of interest, why is European success the level that Wenger is judged in comparison to HC? If Arsenal won another 5 leagues under Arsene but no European trophies would you still consider HC the best of all time? Bearing in mind of course that Arsene would have done that with a team that even his own supporters didn’t believe in.

    If AW wins 1 more important trophy with this side then for me he would be, without question, the greatest manager this club has ever seen, because he would have achieved something that his own fans didn’t even think possible, and we are the greatest sceptics, but also the greatest optimists.

  220. SharkeySure says:

    Rocky – “The trouble with Herbert Chapman v Arsene Wenger is that it is so difficult to compare people from such different eras.”

    But it can still be fun and sometimes informative if approached in the right manner.

    if (as I suspect is the case here) the comparisons are purely being made in a poor attempt to put down one of the pair, then its all a bit pointless, not to mention boring.

    Just saying….

  221. 26may1989 says:

    @Herb: Yes, I thought you’d use the “early tenure” argument. Well that cuts both ways doesn’t it? Other than a giveaway 5-0 defeat to Chelsea in a League Cup game, which doesn’t count (at least IMO!) it took Wenger five years before he suffered a heavy defeat (the 6-1 game at OT). And he had to do plenty of serious surgery on the squad when he arrived, in terms of personnel, lifestyle, tactics, philosophy and training.

    So you’d accept that Wenger’s early days record is superior to that of Chapman?

  222. RockyLives says:

    Post in drafts. I’ve tried to include a Poll – can you check it works?

  223. Herb'sArmy says:

    without question.
    It’s not really a discussion about who is better, that’s been done. and I agree with all those who suggest it boring. I was attempting to answer GiE, Chas, FGG, Brigham, Evonne, and mentioned Chapman only in reference to our club status.
    It started with me disagreeing that Wenger and Pat Rice always know when to make the right decisions, which hasn’t always been the case.
    Then my point was, given the size of club we are (I should have said perceived to be), CL qualification should be the very least requirement, which led to GiE asking me why we’re a big club, as if to infer that our world status is solely Wenger’s input.
    I think it’s a culmination of everything that has happened since Chapman became manager to the present day.
    It would be ridiculous to dismiss Wenger’s impact on the club, and in their own way, both appointments should be regarded as revolutionary.

  224. Rasp says:

    Thanks Rocky, that’s great. The poll works and I’ve added some pics.

  225. Herb'sArmy says:

    A very Merry Christmas and a Happy, Prosperous New Year AA’ers, whoever and wherever you are.

  226. 26may1989 says:


    OK, last thing before bed: should we always achieve CL qualification? We’re big but not uniquely so. United and Liverpool are much bigger. We’re in a group of clubs below them, including Spurs, Everton, Chelsea, Newcastle, Villa, City and Leeds. I for one don’t feel CL qualification is a given.

    We were asleep when Wenger arrived; he woke us up, and made us into something we haven’t been since the days of Chapman. I don’t know about you, but there was nothing in my early years as an Arsenal addict to suggest that we could dream of being spoken of in the same breath as Milan, Juve, Bayern, Ajax, Inter etc. The fact some of us (yup, I mean you) take that status for granted virtually proves how far we’ve come since October 1996.

    George Graham showed us we could compete in England, at least before he became psychotically defensive after 1991, but we all knew that that ECWC win over Parma proved nothing about European credentials. It’s only been under Wenger that we have arrived at the European top table.

    Night all.

  227. 26may1989 says:

    A good Christmas and New Year to you too, Herb.

  228. Herb'sArmy says:

    You are right of course, 26, Man Utd and Liverpool are the stand-out two in English football. I’d probably include Sunderland in the list of clubs just below as well.
    Regarding CL qualification, it’s not that I take it for granted, it’s that every time the richest clubs in the world are published, Arsenal are right up there. That’s the only basis for which I think Arsenal should qualify, but I agree, Wenger has significantly raised our profile.
    Wouldn’t it be fantastic to have it on our list of honours though. Arsenal, champions of Europe!

  229. Rob Lucci says:

    the only man that worth 6m a year is a man that don’t even exist anymore.. pfftt!!

    Brigham 11.07 sums it up for me

  230. evonne says:

    Morning all,
    What a great debate last night, so many good points, and facts and views. Very interesting.

    I just cannot resist bringing one more point – Chapman’s team consisted mainly of English/Scottish/Irish working class lads. Herb, are you sure that HC could cope with the dressing room with almost as many cultures, nationalities and languages as the Tower of Babel? What if he was a racist?? We don’t know that and therefore we cannot say that he would had been sucessful, which we can say about AW. Hence, Wenger wins

    Managing people and relationships, on and off the pitch is THE most difficult part of life. To me, Wenger does it extremely well.

  231. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Not getting at anyone in particular here, as I’m in a particularly jocular mood given last nights’ result, but… one comment from last night goes: “we have no right to challenge for major trophies, so what’s the point of our existence?”. Kind rules out 80 odd league teams raison d’etre. Must tell my chums down here who think they are having fun family day’s out watching Exeter, Plymouth and Torquay not to bother.
    Talking of Herbert Chapman, I think he was vastly overrated. I mean, an Underground station behind the North Bank! Surely, if he was so damn clever, it would have been an overland, one stop inter city, destination Bideford in Devon. I mean, how hard would that have been in an era with less regulated planning laws.

  232. MickyDidIt89 says:

    And morning Evonne 🙂

  233. MickyDidIt89 says:

    “What if he was a racist?” 🙂
    Now that is throwing some lateral thinking into the debate!

  234. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Apparently, an inside source revealed at the time, that Herbert had a pathelogical hatred of men with side partings and grease in their hair, but his Ghandiesque qualities of forgiveness and understanding saw him muddle through.

  235. Too much John Terry for Evonne 🙂

    Micky not just Devon, Norfolk too. And obviously there would also have been an airport to reflect our worldwide stature and a canal running barges for people alighting steamers in the Thames. Absolutely no long term vision that Chapman bloke.

  236. Arsedave says:

    Wow, just got in to work and read a fantastic trail of posts from Brigham and Herb, much better than the telly. I think Brigham has just got back from sea and has brought a couple of cases of Rum from our Royal Navy ship and the Herb has just got back from a day at the Kings sport in his 1930’s Bentley.
    More of the same please.
    Joking aside, I agree with Brigham, we have punched above our weight. The last 6 years have been dominated by the wealth of Chelsea and Debt of Utd. We can’t afford to spend £30m on Rooney, £29m on Rio, £18m on Carrick, £17m on Hargreaves, £14m on Ronaldo, £30m on Berbatov (the list goes on).
    1-1 last night, great result for us.

  237. MickyDidIt89 says:

    GiE 🙂
    Short sighted almost to the point of blindness in my opinion. Tosser.

  238. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Can’t believe I’m on an Arsenal site calling Herbert Chapman a Tosser. Hey ho!

  239. kelsey says:

    Indeed a good debate last night but to compare chapman to Wenger let alone mee to either makes interesting reading but as all things one can’t make a true comparison as the world let alone football has changed dramatically.
    if hitler had turned West instead of east we might be playing in the bundeslige ;).

    Regardless of the crazy money in football in the worst recession in 80 years, AW has done a remarkable job under huge financial restraints.I would rather be a supporter of a club that wants to be self sufficent and hope it can maintain it’s top four challenge but most of all purely for AW i would love us to win the CL during his tenure.

  240. Can’t disagree with that Kelsey.

  241. Morning all

    Can’t find Rasp, have to publish early ……….

    New Post …………………….

  242. evonne says:

    Ha ha ha, all seems to be well in the ArsenalArsenal world, everybody in good mood 🙂

    Micky – did you see Chas’ message for you re tickets? I told him you were grovelling shamelessly 🙂

  243. gunnern5 says:

    RockyLives says:

    December 22, 2011 at 10:51 pm

    The trouble with Herbert Chapman v Arsene Wenger is that it is so difficult to compare people from such different eras. It’s a bit like comparing apples and orang utans.

    All you can safely say is that each one, in their own era, was a phenomenally positive force in Arsenal’s history and each one brought great success to the club.

    If you add in Billy Wright and Georgie G, you could say we have had four such figures (although Herbie and Arsene probably stand above the other two).


    Rocky – what are you thinking?

    Billy Wright was esteemed for one reason only!

    He was right up there alongside the WORST managers in our history. He arrived just as Spurs were lauding all over North London, and believe me he did nothing to improve our mood.

    In his tenure we won squat and I was one of the unfortunates that saw every one of his home games.

    Imagine how we felt going into a season with nothing more than a wish and hope?

    His abymismal record was–

    P168. W64, T41, L63, GF307, GA309 – winning % = 46.2.
    Under his “leadership” we finished 7th, 8th, 13th and 14th.

    Bah Humbug….

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: