Would everybody stop shouting shoot!

Of all the things that disconcert me about the Emirates experience one of the most boring and unnecessary is the crowd shouting shoot when a player is anywhere inside the opposition half.

I mainly sit in the lower tier when I can get a ticket and behind one of the goals. At the Wolves game a number of build up passes would be greeted with growing cries of shoot, no problem you would think, but the perspective from the lower tier is such that when the ball is up the other end there is no way you can judge how far the ball carrier is out from goal or otherwise. I tried to encourage those around me to look for the only lines visible to us the 18 yard box vertical markings (the vertical ones if you are looking from the goal..the ones that are 18yards long….shall I draw a diagram?). Using them as a guide you suddenly become aware of how far out players are when the cries of shoot begin.

During the match when the chance fell to Rosicky I felt certain he would score, he was surely on the penalty spot or closer. We all held our head in frustration some berating him for missing an open goal. Then the replay showed the ball had broken to him on the edge of the D and whilst he dragged his shot somewhat it was a much harder chance than it had first appeared.

But these are not the reasons why I want the crowd to stop the “shooooooooooot” stuff. As has been recently pointed out we have scored 1.6 goals per game at home yet 2 per game away. Is there a psychological reason for this?

Well perhaps there is and perhaps it is Arsene Wenger…recently when asked about Frimpong he said the following:

Football is made about what the game wants not what the fans in the stands want. Good players always respond to the game situation and make the right decision taking all the emotional part out of it.

It’s a question of experience. When you are young you think you have a strong shot and people say: ‘come on have a go.’ You are tempted to do it even though you have a pass to make.

At 24 you think: ‘come on, I have that pass to make’.

Clearly Wenger discusses this with players doing what you want not what the fans want you to do, so if you take this further even if it is the right choice to shoot perhaps they will not do it as it will appear to the boss that they are following the crowds wishes rather than their own decision.

I know some will think that Wenger’s comments are exactly the problem as he talks about looking for another pass rather than shoot, maybe thats the case but statistically in the Premier League you are more likely to score from within the 18 yard box than outside it.

I borrowed the following image from Prozone and they have helpfully been analysing goalscoring trends over the last few years. It shows 2010-11 scoring positions.

So you see what is evident is that it is not merely shooting that will get goals, its a shame they couldn’t produce a shot chart to to show how many fruitless efforts there are in a similar form. As has often been said we were second top of the shooters charts last season (to Chelsea) here are the charts for the current season up to Christmas Day.

So we are bottom of the shooting charts behind everyone this year (level with United) but as you can see from United and City its the conversion rates that we are way behind in comparison.

Anyway the numbers are a side issue my main point is given that Wenger has openly criticised a player for following the will of the crowd rather than recognising there are better options available, I think the more we shout shoooooooot like a bunch of speech impeded cows the less likely it is that players will shoot from outside of the area.

Written by Gooner In Exile


151 Responses to Would everybody stop shouting shoot!

  1. Wonderman says:

    Morning GIE, what an excellent piece!!!!! and ofcourse on reflection it is totally logical that 80% of goals should be scored via the 18 yard box. I~ believe it falls in the same bracket as the fan who shouts out ‘ 60 grand a week and he cant pass 10 yards #*#*#!’

    Goalkeepers in general now are taller, more athletic and technically superior to 20/30/40 years ago. The chances of beating them from outside the box ( unless your name is Tim Howard) is remote

  2. Double98 says:

    So is Arshavin small? or far away?

    can i shout PASS at him?

  3. FANtastic GiE,
    Speech impeded cows……hillarious.. by the way, your points are valid, and i feel guilty of the crime being mentioned.. maybe we should postpone our cries for shoot until a shot has been taken in which we can shout ” shooooot (followed quickly by) ON taaarget” like a bunch of speech impeded cows…god bless ya GiE, your funny…

  4. D98,
    LOL. i love AA..so many comedians, kinda takes the edge off struggling for fourth

  5. Chris says:

    I agree in the main, but the stats do not show the number of shots that are saved, but the follow ups are scored.

  6. Rasp says:

    Morning, a clever challenging post GiE 😉

    I often find myself shout ‘keep going’ when one of our players cannot find a pass when in midfield and the opposition back off and open up a path to goal. If that happens and they are centrally placed, it may be possible to create a shooting opportunity.

    My problem is that we always look to put the ball wide but then don’t attack the goal to get on the end of a cross. Since we’re not a huge aerial threat, the ball is going to be cut back to any of 3 or 4 players on the edge of the box who still have to find a way to get a shot off with 10 opposition players beteween them and the goal. What’s wrong with a player making a run to the near post? – it will draw defenders away from our other strikers.

    As we’ve said before, stats can be used to prove anything you want. I’d like to know how we compare in terms of shots on goal against minutes of possession. Possession never won a game and we’re not achieving anything when the ball is being passed between the GK and back four except the ‘patient build-up’ which is all well and good but allows the opposition to form a defensive line and park the bus.

    I’d also like to know how many attempts on goal we have per corner compared to other top clubs as we seem to pose little threat from set pieces so far this season (with a few notable exceptions – RvP)

  7. fatgingergooner says:

    This explains why the Emirates crowd is quiet. They don’t wanna put the team off their game by making too much noise and getting the players excited or too pumped up!!

    Interesting read though. Shooting inside the box is obviously something that Wenger encourages, but sometimes the team do take it too far by trying to walk the ball in the net. It comes under the same Wenger philosophy of not crossing the ball into a crowded area because 9 times out of 10 you lose the ball to the opposition.

  8. fatgingergooner says:

    Morning Rasp,

    The point of knocking the ball around at the back is to move the opposition side around so that a pass forward can be made. This is repeated until we find a way to their box. The only other option is to lump the ball upfield and the majority of the time we would lose possession. If you are playing the percentages, it makes sense to knock the ball around rather than throwing it in the box. Frustrating for the fan when it’s 0-0 or 1-0 to them with 10 minutes to go, but still the better option percentage wise.

  9. Rasp says:

    Morning FGG,

    That may be true some of the time, but it also happens a lot when the opposition are tight at the back and close us down in midfield. I understand the patient probing build up has advantages particularly when we’re already in the lead, but on other occasions we need to show more urgency, take a few more risks and get the ball into shooting areas more rapidly.

  10. Gooner In Exile says:

    Morning all thanks for comments so far.

    Rasp I sympathise with your view, I raised yesterday that the thing Henry did which none of our players seem to do as frequently is carry the ball at pace for a distance. Rather than shoot or pass it would be good to see the likes of Arteta, Song, Rambo, Gervinho, Arshavin and Walcott drive with the ball towards the 18 yard box at pace with ball at feet.

  11. Arsedave says:

    What an excellent article, I like the scoring range chart, it’s not rocket science is it? Could we leave a copy of the chart on each seat with “Please don’t shout SHOOOOT until you are in a 20% or 30% zone.” on the reverse.

  12. Brigham says:

    Another good article GIE.

    I agree totally with your’s and Rasp’s posts regarding us ‘not’ driving forward with the ball. It is something very rarely seen either at home or away by our team. We used to always break at speed with the ball, now we are often foundering in midfield far too long!

    Walcott has the pace, so does the OX, but Arteta, Song and Ramsey are never going to be the type who stride forward with the ball at their feet, well, rarely anyway.

    IMHO, too much time is spent passing the ball sideways in the middle of the park (Have they been watching old Ray Wilkins videos?), when we should be looking to get forward much faster. Oh how I long for the return of the defending a corner and 10 second later the opposition keeper is picking the ball out of his net. Sadly, Pires, Ljunberg and Overmars are no playing.

    Returning to the original blog, although I can understand your viewpoint about shooting and I am often one of the ‘shoot ffs’ brigade, I fully understand that being sat in the West Lower, I do not have the full picture of what is occuring on the pitch in front of the players. That said however, I do get very miffed (farked off more like) when there is a clear shooting opportunity and the likes of Chamakh, Walcott or Rosicky chose to pass to someone who is in a worse position.

    Don’t even get me started on free-kicks or corners!

  13. RedMJ says:

    Rasp @ 11:28

    You say “take a few more risks” which I wholeheartedly agree with. The problem with that is two fold. First the player that trys something “risky” immediately gets stamped all over by “the fans” if it doesn’t come off and secondly, the statisticians tell us that the player is no good because his pass completion rate is poor and then the fans give him even more crap and cut him less slack the next time.

    I would much rather see a player take a degree of risk with a killer pass in an effort to open up the opposition than play keep ball cos it appeases the short sighted moaners and and the statisticians.

    The next time one of our lads tries something adventurous it would be great if the whole stadium could applaud/cheer/encourage the ingenuity instead of slag him off. The more they try and the more we encourage then the more it will come off for them.

  14. goonermichael says:



    You are certainly the Stats King GiE, top stuff.

    I have never believed we have a problem between the balance of shooting and taking the extra pass, with the exception of Hleb who was the ultimate five a side player no one realy frustrates me. I suppose it boils down to the individual player. Look at Henry the other night, made space controlled it, and nonchanatly put it away. ime sure that when Henry made space for himself he had only one thing in mind, a couple of touches and the ball was in the net.Lets face it, if that was Gerv or Rosicky they would have looked for the pass and the opportunity would have gone.

  16. goonermichael says:

    The problem is some of our players don’t shoot when they are 3 feet from the goal. We do suffer from the “extra pass syndrome” sometimes. The season when shrek scored a lot of goals not one was from outside the box so it’s the exception rather than the norm as you say.

  17. Arsedave says:

    Goonermichael, I knew you’d be the first to do that, you crack me up.

    Brigham, I’d love to hear your views on corners and free kicks, tomorrows article maybe?

  18. goonermichael says:

    Did anyone watch Park’s effort for the reserves? Chamakh never shoots.

  19. goonermichael says:

    Some of the shoot comments are meant to be jokes though. Some fans will wind you up whatever. There are some serious moaners at Arsenal. (maybe it’s the same everywhere). I was at a game and someone a few rows behind me was slating Bendtner. I was thinking please score to shut him up. Bendy did score so I looked back at him. He knew waht I was thinking and said “I still think he’s shit”

  20. Brigham says:

    That could be one for the future Dave, not this weekend though as I have family down and its going to be hectic.

  21. goonermichael says:

    Teams will generally be more defensive when they come to us and go for it (leaving space maybe) when they are at home.

  22. Double98 says:

    D’remember when Rosicky signed and we all you tubed him and watched him play in the 2006 world cup.

    He used to ping em in from distance. Then he joined arsenal and now scores Paul Scholes/ Freddie type “ghosting into the box” goals.

    IMO A shot on target gives you two things 1/ a chance at goal and 2/ panic in your opponents penalty area which can often lead to a second chance, a corner or even a penalty.

    I don’t think that Arsenal are nessecarily shooting from everywhere and despite your stats – i feel they mostly overplay situations and shoot when the optimum shooting chance has disappeared. Theo Walcott is an example of this – he often gets into excellent positions and delays the shot or pass until the angle / defensive cover has made it unlikely.

    Looking at Henry, you see a footballer in perfect harmony, his head, feet and movement all work in unison and so he anticipates, moves and strikes at the same time. Some of our players (Walcott) do not have this balance and so they react to stimulii rather than be the stimulus.

    This is the justification behind the criticism that Walcott gets. He is not cool because he is not sure if his feet will obey his head – Henry is calm because he knows what is about to happen and his feet and head are hardwired.
    Gervinho is similarily unpredictable – but that is because he doesn’t know what to do until after he has started doing it. He is better than Walcott because he is more instinctive and accepts his unpredictability rather than overthinking it.

    Our ex-flank players like Pires, while not as fast or technical as Walcott and Gervinho, were able to score and contribute more because of their anticipation and confidence.
    Its a pity that Wenger looks at Pace and Lungs over the mental side because Pires could have done a job for us for 3 more years than he did…

    Van Persie is a stone cold killer in and around the box – he has that Henry trinity in his locker.

    Oxlade-Chamberlain and Coquelin already have that balance.
    Arteta has it, Ramsay has it. Song has it.

    Arshavin doesn’t.
    Chamakh doesn’t.
    Park – might i don’t know

    So in a team built on pace and around a front three, we have only 1 striker who can operate the way wenger wants them to. We have a excellent spine but our attack is spluttering on 2 of the 3 engines.

    I would love to see the OX in straight away for Walcott and maybe play Henry / Rosicky on the left and tell them to shoot when they get the opportunity.

    bit rambley but there you go….

  23. GM @ 12.22pm,
    i didnt know you were part of the ‘ACB’ (Arsenal cow brigade)

  24. Oh for goodness sake GiE, if they don’t shoot they sure as hell aren’t gonna score are they 😆

    I don’t shout ‘shoot’ but I certainly do mutter ‘why didn’t he shoot?’ I’ve lost count of the times Rosicky, Chamakh (who I accept clearly doesn’t think it’s his role to shoot), Gerv, Rambo and even Theo choose a pass instead of a shot. I accept that other players may be in better positions but too often they aren’t or the pass is so obvious that the ball always finds itself cut out and with the opposition 😦

  25. goonermichael says:

    That reminds me of a really old (and long) joke. The beginning is about 2 old frinds meeting and one is gay. After 10 minutes of padding out the joke the gist is that the gay one say’s “I’ll put it in and if you don’t like it make the sound of a farm animal, If you do like it sing me a ballad”
    He puts it in and the guy says

    Mooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooon river wider than a mile

  26. goonermichael says:

    You tell him peaches

  27. …….. but I do love them all when they’re trying really hard 🙂

  28. I’m going back to work before GiE comes to get me, catch you later

  29. Nick says:

    Very interesting article. I’ll admit there are times I find myself being frustrated with excessive passing and mutter to myself “someone please take a shot”. It’s more born out of frustration because the excessive passing always tends to lead into turning the ball over by a really careless pass, which Arshavin finds himself guilty of a lot.

    I am very impressed that we were second on shooting accuracy, but as I said the other day in a blog about statistics, what would we gain by our shooting accuracy if it were 100% but that’s only because we had scored 5 goals on 5 shots the whole season? In theory we could’ve lost one game 6-5 and the 5 goals all come in 1 game. I think I want to see more shooting, not in the hopes that they will all find the back of the net, but on hopes that we force a save from the goalie that isnt handeled well and we poach a few more goals from that. RVP seems to be excellent at cleaning up after Theo fires one off the goalies hands. The bottom line is that more shots can lead to more goals if they are on target. But we sure can’t score if we don’t take more chances.

  30. on fire again today GM,
    i think arshavin must play in the middle if we are to drive the ball up to the attacking third..hes a great shot and needs a run of games to find his confidence and the blistering form of old,plus we all now know he has half a season to sell himself for another contract (whether its with us or another club is a matter for another day)..
    Arshavins’ confidence is no where near as bad as Chamakhs’, but low enough to Not back himself for a shot..he will come good, and as ive stated many times before, AA23 plays a completely different level when surrounded by intelligent and experienced players rather than our younger inexperienced cup squads.. Henry will be crucial to rediscovering our lil’ russian wizard!!

  31. Double98 says:

    RobbinU – Henry may well sub on or off for AA23 – he won’t push him into the middle.

    I am tired of hearing about players who won’t affect games on the flank insisting they should me moved in to the centre…

    Would you move Walcott in and van Persie out?
    Would you move AA23 in and Ramsay, Song, Arteta out?

  32. d98, yes i would most definately, doesnt necessarilly mean we start or finish with the same formation.. Arshavin has and always will be a central player who plays best in the hole..his short intricate passing is beatiful when he has players running off him on both sides..on the wing if he gets shuffled to the side line he doesnt have the confidence or pace to back himself..tell me D98, who out of those 3 in MF do you change wen jack gets back? you make them sound like definate starters.. and theo is just not intelligent enough to play through the middle, unless we tried reverting back to a 4-4-2..i dont mean to sound like i know it all, for my opinion means sh#t wen comparing to that of wenger, but i wouldnt mind a bit of tinkering whilst henry is here..i dont like getting edgy and nervous with these 1-0 leads going into the 80+ min mark.. i want more risk, start firing more like the cannon on our heart!! thats the arsenal you fall in love with

  33. TotalArsenal says:

    GiE, the master of analytical posts. Top stuff mate! 🙂

    I fully agree with you re shouting ‘shoot’. It will only distract players. The good news is we create a lot of chances with our style of play, but as yet, we are not sharp enough in taking them. That will come soon.

    I had another look at our game against Leeds. Marouane Chamakh was slated for his performance, mainly because everyone is looking at him to hit the target which he did not manage to do very well. However, he lay off perfect shooting opportunities for Arteta, Ramsey and Arshavin and they all failed to convert. Only Chamakh gets the full flack of criticism for our lack of goals. Yet we could have scored two or three goals from those opportunities and Chamakh would have shared in the adolation of the scoring midfielders. The margin between loved or slated is often very thin, just as the margin between winning big and struggling to win a game. We just have to keep the faith and sooner or later our midfielders and wingers start to score bucket loads of goals, and the shouting of shoot will be a blast from the past.

  34. TotalArsenal says:

    D98 at 12.34 top comment! I don’t agree with all you are saying there, but it is very insightful. Would be a great basis for a future post 🙂

    You are not the only one who romantically looks back at Ljunberg and Pires and believe they were so much better than what we have today. Yet Arshavin has a better career scoring record than both of them and I am sure he’ll compare well in assists too. Even Theo, who you do not seem to rate very much, has a scoring record that matches that of Ljunberg and is not far away from Pires. Theo is still young and after a fantastic season for him personally last year, he is struggling a bit at the moment. Yes his decision making and responing to ‘stimulus’ rather than stimulii (very nicely worded by you) needs to improve again, but he is doing alright at this stage in his career. His biggest problem is the expectation levels of our fans.

    Final question to you; do you think the likes of Freddie and Robert would have been ‘as good’/have left us with such favourable assessments, if they had not had the service of the super talents of Henry and Bergkamp, and played in a system that really suited them?

  35. Double98 says:

    TA – I actually think that TW is a fine player – i just think that he would excel in a different formation / team.

    Arsenal under wenger are drilled like a ballet – they have rehearsed movements and routines, their set pieces are in open play. in an organic situation like a match walcott needs to have his head and feet in harmony or he will fluff his lines… I think his natural bio rhythms allow him hazy days when he is more instinctive – on those days he is often unplayable.
    On days when he trying to compensate for the lack of instictive impulse – he over thinks things and slows down his reactions.

    i see Ox – and i see a player who is always driving. He is on a mission and has a single mindedness and channelled power that reminds me of Rooney – but presumably without all the rooney baggage.

    Regarding Ljunberg and Pires, i wonder if it is fair to say that the spine of this team is almost as strong? Sczesny, Vermaelan, Kos, Arteta, Song, Van Persie – strikes me as a solid rack to hang a few branches off.
    Bobby and Freddie had that single mindedness, that instinctive ability.
    In my recollection If pires ever had a bad game it was usually because the defender played better than him – i never saw him unable to take advantage of a poor right back performance.
    As for Freddie – i am sure he missed plenty – but my overriding impression of him was he didn’t miss too many 1 on 1s – he was clinical – and if he did miss it wasn’t because he delayed a shot or lifted his head looking for a pass.
    Freddie hadn’t half the potential of Walcott

  36. Double98 says:

    RobbinU – Jack is vying directly for a spot with Song – He may find that thecompetition heated up quite abit since he’s been out.

    Arteta came in and pushed Song forward. Ramsay is fulfilling the more forward Cesc Roll.

    Song plays the link, the interceptor – he wins loose balls and tidies up.

    Wilshere was tried in the forward roll and wenger didn’t think he was ready.
    Arteta is unshiftable on current form.

    So would you play jack in place of song, if song is playing like he is now.?

    And what about Coquelin?

  37. Double98 says:

    Robbinu – btw i would welcome a return to 4-4-2

  38. goonermichael says:

    SheWore @SheWore 11m
    Reply RetweetedRetweet
    FavoritedFavorite · Close Open Details Good news ahead of the Swansea game, Chamakh is 100% now at the ANC *GC*

  39. TotalArsenal says:

    D98, I love the way you write, and you are spot on: ‘Arsenal under wenger are drilled like a ballet – they have rehearsed movements and routines, their set pieces are in open play. in an organic situation like a match walcott needs to have his head and feet in harmony or he will fluff his lines… I think his natural bio rhythms allow him hazy days when he is more instinctive – on those days he is often unplayable.
    On days when he trying to compensate for the lack of instictive impulse – he over thinks things and slows down his reactions.’ Very fine observations.

    I also like your comparison between Ox and Shrek. I believe there is something of a Ronaldo in Ox as well, but I think he will end up in the hole behind the main striker, similar to Shrek. He is different from Theo but they are both good players.

    Our current spine is very good, I agree. Bergkamp in the hole was just ideal for the likes of Freddie and Bobby. I am sure if the ‘young’ Bergkamp was playing in our current team, Gervinho and Theo would be scoring a lot more goals.

  40. TotalArsenal says:

    This was a late response by (my mate) Neil, the QPR supporter who wrote a post on 8th of January, regarding his visit to the Emirates:

    “All AA’ers (is that right) thank you for replies, i seemed to have hit a nerver not only with the accoustics, but the odd player you seem tired off.
    A lot has happend since New Years eve and its only the 10th of Jan.
    Warnock Sacked, Barton Suspended, Henry back. I know where your money was on i heard it during the Arsenal v QPR game.
    I hope to contribute later in season as it might be my only chance to keep in touch with the premiership. But beware in March as you’ll be busy with CL, FA Cup, not the premiership, and Henry goes the end of Feb, we will have new boss (Hughes), new players hopefully no more more from Arsenal (Traore?), and fighting for our lives. keep singingThe QPR Non-Gooner.”

  41. Double98 says:

    Thanks TA – i think the standard of contribution and community on this site is outstanging… Everyone seems to have their “thing” or their area of expertise and it isn’t a case of everyone trying to out-arsenal everyone else.

    A young bergkamp… for that i would happily give spurs a cl spot and lose our remaining games.

    Bergkamp, quite simply made people decisions for them… he had not only a panoramic vision of the pitch like fabregas – he could also picture what other people could see.
    I wonder if his field of vision was like a sky game select where he couls mentally pan out and see his team mates “camera” angles.

    I was going to say that wenger would have to change formation for a young bergkamp – but bergkamp could build his game around whoever wenger built his team about – from any position – i suspect he would take Ramsays spot.

    I only compare Ox to Walcott because they are vying for the same berth.
    they would be interesting side by side in the team if OX is good as i think he is

  42. Double98 says:

    * outstanding – (but not the spellingg apparently) lol

  43. Gooner In Exile says:

    Just a quick visit back..

    I wrote this post not to defend our lack of shooting from distance but to see the negative effect shouting “shoot” could have. It was Wengers quote about Frimpong that got my interest.

    There are definitely merits from shooting from distance…the knockdown or deflection that could result in a goal but also the fact that it pressures the opposition to come out to defend you which should open a few gaps to exploit later.

  44. TotalArsenal says:

    D98, I also think a ‘young Bergkamp’ would play in the middle of the ‘3’ in our 5-2-3-1 formation. Song and Coquelin would take one of the ‘2’ and Wilshere and Ramsey would compete for the other position in the ‘2’, until they are good enough to compete with the ‘young Bergkamp’ for his role. I think Wenger will not buy a young Bergkamp though, even if he could find one. He will wait till Ramsey or Wilshere are ready for that role.

  45. evonne says:

    ArseDave @12:26 – DO NOT encourage discussion about corners, please!

    Hello Micky 🙂

  46. evonne says:

    GiE – I have to admit I am the shouter, especially when I am watching a game on TV. I don’t care if the players cannot hear me, it is a subconcious emotional response to the situation. I will try to keep quiet at the Ems though, I promise.

    Very, very interesting post and the stats have shocked me. I have not realised how few shots go into the net if taken from the right side of the goalie. Why is that? And why is a goal more likely when taken from the left, except for the line 0.7%, 10.5% and 1.2%? Hm, I am baffled.

    Our accuracy is actually higher than I thought, it seems we missed hundreds of sitters, so there you are 🙂

  47. evonne says:

    that Clegg is an eejeet

  48. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Evening all,
    Evonne, even funnier is that apparently Clegg is more popular in the polls than Ed Miliband. Boy he must be bad!

  49. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Really interesting article GiE.
    Really shocked with the PL Stats of how few goals come from wide, and equally that as many as 10.5% come from central outside the “D”.

  50. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Reminds me of how many goals we used to get from Cesc and DB10.

  51. evonne says:

    Micky – at least David Milliband is a Gunner, Ed and Clegg are just desperate, with Cameron not far behind.

    Anyway – I am happy Khan got a rematch. I listened to a radio discussion after his fight and both the guest speakers and commentators very negative and advising Khan not to bother with appealing. I am glad he did and won the chance of a rematch.

  52. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Come back Evonne, I’m loosing reception!!
    All those politicians make me ill, and Khan the same. Actually all boxers other than Ali, Tyson and The Gooner Watson, of course.

  53. evonne says:

    oh Micky, what happened with your virtual desktop?

    Politician – shock and horror because France S&P rating might go down a notch. Ha ha ha ha, how can they say it is a worrying with a straight face when Cameron walked out of Europe? All a fecking joke

    I like boxing a lot, Khan including. I think he gets a lot criticism in this country, rather than credit for his achievements. Same for Joe Calghaze, very dedicated sportman and only last year recognised as such

  54. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    Evening chaps and chapettes,
    Another fine post GiE. The post reminds me of one of my favourite fantasies. I`m at the Emirates, sitting behind my Mother-in -Law with a Gun in my hand, the crowd shouts , SHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOT ! 🙂

  55. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Sorry Evonne, but I promised I would play Chess with my son, and the moment has arrived. I’ve been so busy, I practically don’t recognize him.

  56. Irishgunner says:

    Very interesting post GIE and Wenger’s comment is very interesting.

    I’m here debating whether I should treat myself to a McDonald’s. I know its not real food but I have a longing for it, and its often best to give a woman her longings ….. I’ll be good next week (thinking out loud).

  57. evonne says:

    Micky – say hi to the Junior

  58. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    Henry Cooper was a Gooner and Audley Harrison, I love Boxing and love boxing training, circuit training, very fit sportsmen. I used to do some training at the Repton club when I was younger, I was brilliant at making a mess of their fists with my face, my face caused a lot of damage to their knuckles, so in the interest of their hands I decided just to do the circuit training instead !. Was still using a bag ( not MiL ) till about a year ago, but strained a hand tendon which is taking ages to heal, but will get back to it, as its great exercise.

  59. evonne says:

    GLiC – ooooh, you is fit 🙂 Why did I think you were fat 🙂 oh yeah, all the award winning pies 🙂

    Except for the one with a lisp, hmmmmmm, Chris Eubank? and the ugly Manc pickey, I admire all boxers, though men.

  60. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    e va va vonne,
    I love the time of , Benn , Eubank, Watson, that fight between Benn and McClellen was unbelievable, talk about Warriors !
    Shame your not about for the Villa game, I could have dropped you in a “Beast”, an Industrial size Chocolate fudge cake, not for the faint hearted ! 🙂

  61. Irishgunner says:

    On the subject of boxing, have the women’s gold medal all nice and sparkling for Katie Taylor when she wins. Actually no point in anyone else turning up…

    She’s 1/8 to win gold and she’s not qualified yet …

  62. evonne says:

    GLiC – I might be persuaded to go, the Ticket Fairy has persuaded me before.

    I never rated Benn, not really, prefer Haye. I know Haye is heavyweight and Benn was middleweight, but as style and watchability goes, Haye is a better man

  63. evonne says:

    Evening Irish 🙂 Do you like boxing, you probably would, Irish have it in their genes 🙂

    Katie Taylor? I am going away to check her out. Except for the Million Dollar Baby I have never watched women boxing

  64. evonne says:

    From Co Wicklow, like my late father-in-law 🙂

  65. Irishgunner says:

    Evonne – I’m not huge into boxing but I will watch it when an Irish guy or gal is in it, or if its a big bout and I’m at the pub. Ireland normally does well at it in the Olympics.

    Taylor is the best female boxer in the world, no question of it. She’s the female boxer in the Lucozade advert with Tinie Tempah

  66. evonne says:

    Irish – why is McDees not food? It’s quality stuff, go for it!

  67. evonne says:

    Irish – I have just watched a couple of youtube clips with Taylor. No, I don’t like female boxers or footballers, not the same. Plus women are too smart for boxing or footy 🙂

  68. chas says:

    Haha, GIE, I really hate that horrible mooing noise when the morons bellow ‘shoooot’.
    I’ve never once seen it work.
    Usually the player becomes so instantaneously tense that he either scuffs it or blasts it towards the corner flag.

    McDonalds is poison. Don’t eat it. It’s just your body craving salt.

  69. Irishgunner says:

    I have heard what McDees are made from … but they haven’t kill me yet 😆 I hardly ever eat there but have a longing for it. Its only 5 mins from me so gonna go get some now.

    I watch women’s football, be some cracking games on at times, the levels aren’t the same as men obviously but its still worth a watch.

  70. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    e va va vonne,
    You know who is, “by far the greatest ladies football team the world has ever seen ” 🙂

  71. goonermichael says:

    I used to love boxing until the Benn McClellen fight. I was shouting “Kill the yank c**t” at the TV. I felt really bad after what happened. I also think it is so fixed it’s all a bit pointless.

  72. Irishgunner says:

    Chas – That is proper health advice and I appreciate it, but I’m a woman and this woman wants Maccy Dees and for the health of those around me, I’m going to go get it 😆

    Might get the Happy Meal for the toy – puss in boots

  73. evonne says:

    Chas you monster – thank you for calling me a moron, love you too!
    McDees cannot be poisonous, I have been eating
    Big Macs and large fries for years, haven’t killed me either 🙂

  74. Irishgunner says:

    McChicken Sandwich meal and Strawberry Milkshake OM NOM NOM

  75. chas says:

    Evonne, the mooing I was talking about always comes from far deeper voiced people than yourself i.e. blokes. 🙂

  76. chas says:

    McChicken, yum.

  77. evonne says:

    Irish – you are as silly as me 🙂

  78. Irishgunner says:

    😆 Evonne I feel content now 🙂

    The fake Strawberry Milkshake is nice

  79. goonermichael says:

    I’ve seen so many people asking for RTs on twitter for disabled and people dying fo cancer etc. It’s so sad. Quite a few people cut and re tweet other peoples gossip/jokes too.

  80. evonne says:

    Irish – of course you are content, it is comfort food and therefore good for you 🙂 What is REALLY bad for you, is spending hours preparing and cooking healthy meals, that almost killed me once 🙂

    GM – what are RTs?

  81. goonermichael says:

    Retweets evonne

  82. Irishgunner says:

    GM – I generally only RT something if I find it funny or want to. I’m not one for sob stories to be honest, some times people make them up just to get celebs attention.

    I’ve enough real life cancer stories in my own life than to have to deal with fake ones in the virtual world.

  83. Irishgunner says:

    Evonne – My Grandma always used to tell me “Everything in moderation”

  84. Irishgunner says:

    Some people on Twitter seem to think we’ve signed Aly Cissokho and it comes from Italian TV.

    This transfer window is so boring.

  85. Irishgunner says:

    Apparently SSN are reporting he’s on his way to us for a medical?!

  86. evonne says:

    Irish – that’s what my grandma used to say too 🙂 She smoked for 20 years, cured any ills with a glass of vodka, lived through 2 world wars and communist and died at 95! The best woman i have ever known, my grandma

    Who in Aly Cissokho?? Off to check….

  87. evonne says:

    Ally C is a left back!! 24 and 181cm, could be good

  88. goonermichael says:

    I’m off to have dinner. Did twitter change today Irish? Everything seems to have move around.

  89. Irishgunner says:

    GM – Not that I have noticed although it was updated about a week ago and maybe yours has just changed now.

    Evonne – My Grandma died a few years back from cancer but my Granddad is still going strong, just a bit hard of hearing at 92. Said to me last week “Sure, I’m shoving on a small bit now Mary!” A small bit 😆

    Do we need a new LB or a new RB? I’d think RB if anything.

  90. Gooner In Exile says:

    Evening all, to cheer up your evenings and get over the fact that there is still over 24 hours to go until the next game I suggest you settle don to watch the swap shop features on Arsenal player. Very funny, until they said which car to Wojcech and he suggested Theo’s Ferrari. But its mainly the mickey taking ones that are funny.

  91. Jamie says:

    Ally Cissokho.

    Big, strong and very fast. Real athlete. Bit like a younger Abidal. Defends well one on one, tackling wise. Positioning is iffy.

    Mostly positive though he has had a bad year despite playing most games. He had one game in particular that was a nightmare.

    We need a left back, santos is good but Gibbs is unreliable, maybe give him a chance on the wing again.

  92. Gooner In Exile says:

    I agree Jamie, Gibbs has become a left back in the absence of a better option being available.

    Doubt Wenger really wants to buy in that position but needs must. Can he play right back too? Seems a shame when Santos was looking set to become a fans favourite.

  93. Gooner In Exile says:

    Seems like Lyon are themselves in need of a centre back. Squid or JD on loan to sweeten the deal?

  94. MickyDidIt89 says:

    That’ll be the The Squid then.
    Your post has really got me thinking, and the real culprit is your Prozone chart. It does highlight our lack of goals from the No10/AM position.

  95. MickyDidIt89 says:

    I must throw in my two cents worth on last night’s McD’s chat. There is a massive, massive difference from a political/animal welfare standpoint between a British McD’s and an American one. There is no difference between a British beef burger and any other piece of beef/mince you would find in a supermarket. British Beef is grass/grain fed, whereas US Beef is almost exclusively corn fed (what we call sweetcorn/maize). A cow is a ruminant and therefore force feeding corn is entirely unnatural.
    Chas is right the body craves salt, but not in the western world has the body receives too much in fact. What the body craves is calories, and therefore ssweetness.

  96. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Only just discovered the game is tomorrow, which has completely cocked up my weekend. 😦

  97. chas says:

    haha Micky,
    I nearly changed it to salt and sugar, but I still would have been wrong. 🙂
    I have an irrational dislike of any of the global chains, so I don’t use them.
    I don’t think the Prozone chart represents just Arsenal figures, but I may be wrong.

  98. evonne says:

    Morning Micky,
    Another wasted day without footy! Anyway there are enough games at 3pm to keep me out of trouble. I fancy a few shockers, Wolves especially!

    It’s great that you ‘defended’ McDees, I think many knock them because everybody else does, without having the facts. Personally, I don’t overdose on Big Macs, but when I fancy one, I get 2 and love it 🙂

    You got me into reading intro to chess, always wanted to learn, but didn’t. Did you win last night?

  99. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Hi Chas,
    I know its not just The Arsenal,, but if 90% of goals scored come from central, then are we asking too much of our wide boys and too little from AR/Ros or whoever else plays in the Cesc role?

  100. evonne says:

    Hi Chas!
    I analysed the Prozone chart in some detail, but without knowing how they gathered data for it, it’s not very meaningful. Especially in football, where so many goals are flukes defining any reasoning and laws of physics

  101. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Morning Evonne,
    My last comment on McD’s I promise. As is often the case, the lunatic fringe miss the point. The real problem is not McD’s, it is the US Gov’s massive subsidies to the corn industry. You have farmers producing 100’s of 1000’s of tons of corn who can barely afford to feed their families, and yet a McD’s Burger costs less than a head of uncooked, unprocessed broccoli. It is not surprising that it is the poor who are obese.

  102. evonne says:

    France and 8 other countries downgraded by S&P, there is a surprise. And let’s guess who is doing well out of the weak Euro? Who could that be, surely not the country that lost the war against Europe?

  103. chas says:

    Surely the wide boys score when they drift in from the flanks towards the centre. I think LB would agree with you about the lack of goals from Rambo especially.

  104. evonne says:

    Cahill having medical at the Bridge 😦

  105. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Great. Start playing. You would be very very good very quickly. It is the best game by far. Yes I beat my son, but he would hate it if he knew I let him win.
    He has a very good mathematical brain and will be technically very good. Whether he has the creative side as well I don’t know. He will still beat me within a year I imagine! My chess brain is nothing like it used to be when I was about 14.

  106. chas says:

    Don’t mention the war!

  107. evonne says:

    Micky – you mean old man! Let the lad win!
    My family played bridge and chess at home, I never took part and refused to learn in fear of losing. I never got hang of ‘graceful losing’, cannot do it.
    A bit like Fergie and struggling

  108. MickyDidIt89 says:

    I have argued on here before that we do not have the player to operate a 4-3-3 (4-2-1-3 whatever) as it requires a player of Cesc quality.
    We will in 18 months, and that player will be The Ox. Oh yes he will 🙂

  109. evonne says:

    Chas – I love that clip, very not PC 🙂

    The sad truth is that the Germans are doing very well out of the weak Euro flogging the goods to Asia, bastards!

  110. evonne says:

    Micky – less then 18 months. Cesc started at 17, the Ox is ready to develop by playing every game

  111. chas says:

    I hate it when it when the ball goes down one flank and the opposite wide player still stays outside the box. It’s that ‘hiding’ thing. A bit like not learning chess in case you lose. Don’t get in the box and you cant be blamed for missing. 🙂

    There’s nothing worse as a kid to know you haven’t really won but were allowed to win. There’s no point playing if that’s the case..

  112. chas says:

    The way I understand it in simplistic chas world is that the Germans can’t help having a strong economy. They had their own little Thatcherite cull of public industry working practices and unions but decided not to completely destroy their manufacturing base in the process unlike us.

  113. MickyDidIt89 says:

    They also don’t take three hour lunches then piss off to the beach!

  114. chas says:

    Whoops, bloggus fartus maximus. Off for a swim.

  115. chas says:

    Haha, Micky,
    Is that the working practice at DidIt towers?

  116. MickyDidIt89 says:

    A Full English is a far better idea 🙂

  117. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Spot on 🙂
    Having said that, DidIt’s won’t expect a fat pension or a hand out when things go tits up! We’re a solitary tribe.

  118. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Bollocks. Saturday and we won’t get A Big Raddy. Its plain wrong. As Evonne rightly said: “Another wasted day without footy”

  119. evonne says:

    Micky – all the opposition have home games, not good. Let’s hope they all screw up!

    Chas – believe me, when I was a kid and was allowed to win, I loved it 🙂 Yes, I was always ‘different’ or ‘eccentric’

  120. Big Raddy says:


    Like Micky I thought the game was today! Got up at sparrows fart to write the post as well …..

    Still – lovely day here. Sharp brilliant sunshine and cold.

  121. Gooner In Exile says:

    There’s a difference between TheOx and Cesc at the same age….Cesc only had to grow physically…TheOx on the other hand is physically stronger than Cesc at the same age but is probably not as advanced in decision making.

    Growing up in Barca Cesc learned to use his teammates whereas Ox learned to do it all himself. It’s why Jack was further forward at Arsenal than Rambo in terms of decision making and ability to slot straight into a top side.

  122. Gooner In Exile says:

    Don’t forget today we will see Frimpong mash some spuds today…..always something to look forward too. 😀

  123. kelsey says:

    This was meant to be a tongue in cheek post but as we are nearly halfway through january I will just put it up and let you comment if you want.

    The Arsenal Arsenal awards 2011

    The last comment on Arsenal Arsenal the other night stated “we have a fantastic crew on here ” prompted me to give my personal awards and thoughts of our site as we approached one and a half million hits.

    AA differs from many Arsenal sites as although we have regular contributers from all over the world there is a growing hard core of fans who actually attend games be it Home or Away and the standard of posts are diverse and interesting but above all decorum is generally of a very high standard.

    So my awards in no particular awards for 2011 are as follows.

    Big Raddy for his regular pre match posts that invariably gets team selection spot on and his knowledge and delight of gourmet cooking.

    Rocky Lives: Undoubtedly has the gift of the gab and every post is excelled by the next one. Well done RL

    Rasp: co founder, the Peter Hill Wood of AA

    peaches: co founder. The nagging Queen but a gunner through and through.

    evonne; the Polish jam princess

    irish: the feistiest no nonsense lady of the blog.

    dandan: The most pro Wenger supporter one could imagine closely followed by LB the artist formerly known as London, who is like the banker on Deal or No Deal, always in the background and then suddenly appears.

    Total Arsenal: Amazing posts from someone who has English as his second language.

    VCC: has the most Arsenal memorabilia I have ever seen.

    Red Arse : just for being a one off, dictionary recommended.

    26thMay: shares his birthday with Patsy Palmer , a true gooner.

    GIE/Terry/Chary/Sharkey: the accountants of the blog (I am sure there are others)

    Mickydidit89: A well balanced sense of humour which personally appeals to me.

    gn5: ours statitican who has his house house wall papered in arsenal spread sheets.

    Herb’s army: remains firm in his belief even though he is often challenged.

    Chas: his countless intersting videos obtained in a flash

    kelsey: The Theo Walcott Appreceation award

    Goonermichael: the master of the one liner.No bullshit from our hairdresser

    Newcomer awards: gooner lost in cornwall ,Terry Mancini Hair Transplant, Harry,FGG and Oz

    There are many more and they all, in their own way add substance to the blog. Apologies if I have left anyone out, as I most probably have.


  124. Big Raddy says:

    GIE. Makes sense. Kids who go to better schools get better education. Southampton vs AFC/ Barca ?

  125. Big Raddy says:

    kelsey. Why didn’t you put that into Posts?

  126. goonermichael says:

    John Cross @johncrossmirror 1h
    #afc could turn down £125000 and keep Villa cup tie on Sat. But didn’t. What’s reason behind Wenger rant IMO? To deflect from Spurs’ success

  127. goonermichael says:

    The Germans and Japanese have tiny defence budgets too. That must of helped during the cold war.

  128. Sorry kelsey, there just hasn’t been a chance to use your awards post this week 😦

  129. goonermichael says:

    I’m going to my Nephews wedding today. he an evangelist Pastor and Christian rapper. Going to be interesting I think.

  130. Gooner In Exile says:

    So John Cross believes we can choose not to have a game on TV, I doubt that’s the case.

  131. We have a technical hitch atm 😦

    Rasp – are you there?

  132. goonermichael says:

    I can’t go on Saturdays because of work so I’m glad we’ve switched it. Tickets on sale on Monday.

  133. kelsey says:

    Did you know the villa cup game is the last of the forth round and yet again the draw for the 5th Round will be before we play.

  134. VCC says:

    Kelsey 9:46.
    Great comments. I’m glad I made the team. Truly honoured.

  135. VCC says:

    Did you hear about the fat, alcoholic transvestite – All he wanted to do was eat, drink and be Mary

  136. VCC says:

    Paddy says to Mick, “Christmas is on Friday this year”. Mick said, “Let’s
    hope it’s not the 13th then.”

  137. VCC says:

    My mate just hired an Eastern European cleaner – took her 5 hours to hoover the house. Turns out she was a Slovak

  138. VCC says:

    I’ve been charged with murder for killing a man with sandpaper. To be honest, I only intended to rough him up a bit.

  139. VCC says:

    After years of research, scientists have discovered what makes women happy.

  140. VCC says:

    A lad comes home from school and excitedly tells his dad that he had a part in the school play and he was playing a man who had been married for 25 years. The dad says, “Never mind son, maybe next year you’ll get a speaking part.”

  141. Morning VCC and all

    New Post ………………

  142. VCC says:

    2 women called at my door and asked what bread I ate, when I said white they
    gave me a lecture on the benefits of brown bread for 30 minutes.. I think they were Hovis Witnesses.

  143. goonermichael says:

    I have try with the one liners Kelsey. I can’t string two sentances together boom boom.

    fergiescum is on tele atm. Is he ever sober? Hope Bolton injure some (most) of thier players. Another assist by scholes would be nice too.

  144. goonermichael says:

    He’s gushing about that dirty little ginger c**t

  145. goonermichael says:

    twitchy’s turn now.

  146. Rasp says:

    Apologies for the delay in publishing this excellent ….

    ….. New post ….

  147. Big Raddy says:

    Get in thère Frimpong

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