There is no ‘I’ in Team, but every bit of ‘Persie’ in Leadership

Almost a year ago, in the Evening Standard of 20 January 2011, Arsene Wenger was quoted at saying:

We have a shared leadership in our team, but I believe Fabregas is an outstanding leader, especially when you consider he is 23 years old, with personality and character and Van Persie as well….I believe what is important in the way we want to play football is that everyone takes responsibility.

Back then, it was looking okay for Arsenal, as we had everything to fight for and the following six weeks, all the way to March, were the best of the season, cumulating in that emphatic win over Barcelona at home. We all know what came next: three months of weak and unforgivably lack-lustre football in which we almost lost everything. The only reason we finished fourth, so important for the CL, was the fact that the season ended just in time: had it lasted another four games, Arsenal would not have made it, so bloody poor had we become.

Where was the ‘shared leadership’ then, who was taking responsibility and where was the personality and character to see us through all of that?

Wenger has never openly shared the fans’ concerns regarding leadership during the Henry and Fabregas captaincy eras. He always seemed to downplay the importance of having a strong individual leader/captain on the pitch, and to stress the importance of having leadership throughout the team. Well, I think he was both right and wrong with those views on leadership, and looking at the ‘New Arsenal’ of 2011-2012 it looks like Wenger himself came to a similar conclusion over the summer, and subsequently made the necessary changes.

For many seasons, ever since Vieira left, a great number of Gooners have been saying that Arsenal lacked real leadership on the pitch. Many of us were longing for the powerful, outspoken, ‘heart on the sleeve’ leadership during the years of Adams and Vieira. Henry and Fabregas were brilliant at leading by example but most of us felt something was missing: they were not naturally born leaders and as a result were struggling with some vital aspects of leadership we were craving for.

When Arsene announced that Robin van Persie would become our new captain over the summer, not everyone was convinced it was a good idea. The main reason for this appeared to be the fact that he is a striker, and therefore not positioned centrally enough in the team to be able to lead it adequately. TH14 captaincy is generally seen as not a very successful one, and understandably, many fans drew a comparison between his previous captaincy and RvP’s anticipated stint at it.

For me Fabregas, was not an effective leader. I see him as a specialist, somebody who really wants to be part of a team and play an important but TECHNICAL role within it. Often, people who are technically very good at what they do, are promoted into a leadership role without proper consideration whether they are actually suitable for it (within sport as well as in business). The main reasons are: a desire to reward people for their contributions to the team/organisation and a fear of losing a particular player/member of staff if they are not promoted instantly. The consequences can be very dire. Fabregas led by example, but he is naturally quite introvert and combined with an injury-strewn season and his anticipated move to Barcelona, he was not able to lead the team through those horrible last three months. Moreover, there was hardly any shared leadership and taking of responsibility by the rest of the team with the exception of Van Persie, Wilshire, Koscielny Song and Sagna. It was time for a chance.

Robin van Persie: the perfect captain

What a difference a season makes. Robin van Persie has turned out to be the excellent leader we have all been craving for:

  • RvP leads by example: not just with his incredible scoring record, but also with his high energy-levels. He never spares himself, always gives everything and plays with his heart on his sleeve. He will also stand up for his players and let nobody be bullied by the opposition;
  • RvP is blessed with a high level of social-emotional intelligence: he understands what is going on inside other players, and is able to support them accordingly, on and off the pitch;
  • RvP is extrovert: he is not a constant shouter, but he likes to talk to this fellow players and make himself known when things are not going right;
  • RvP is a great communicator: with the crowd/fans – an ambassador for the club. When, for example, he scored the winner against Sunderland with a brilliant free-kick, he took off his shirt which resulted in a yellow card being issued to him, but this was his way of showing the crowd how much Arsenal (winning) meant to him, and the crowd responded to it in equal measures. He interviews well, always smiles and is able to focus on the positives: he always represents the club professionally and with real passion – a true ambassador;
  • RvP is a great communicator: ‘liaison-manager’ between the players and the management. He has got the respect of Wenger and the players and seems to be able to translate messages, up and down, and down and up, effectively;
  • RvP can combine with ease his own ‘specialism’: scoring goals a plenty and creating chances for others, with his responsibility of leading the team;
  • RvP is team player/ team builder: he always wants to celebrate his goals with others in the team and he will always praise, on and off the pitch, contributions made by others.

As the saying goes there is no ‘I’ in team – but there is every bit of ‘PERSIE’ in leadership!

So, there you have it: RvP is the perfect captain. But, there is more! And this is why I am so extra-excited about the near future for our beloved Arsenal.

The ‘New Arsenal’ is brimming with leadership

We now have real ‘shared leadership’ throughout the spine of the team, and for Wenger to have achieved this in such a short period of time, is simply astonishing. From Szczesny to Vermaelen, Mertesaker and Koscielny, to Song and Arteta, to Ramsey and Van Persie, we now have a core in the team who give their all and take responsibility when things go wrong. Mertesacker was like the devil –possessed in his attempts to break down the Wolves wall on Boxing Day, as he was earlier in the season at Blackburn away. Vermaelen’s ‘Terminator-like’, beastly hunger to score an equaliser against Man City is another great example of our players taking responsibility and wanting to make things happen for Arsenal. Szczesny attempts to organise his defence, with his verbal and physical dominance, are so different of what we have seen from Almunia and co, and the joint desire by the defence to fight for clean sheets is also very encouraging. This, as yet, is not always leading to the desired outcomes, but it’s only a matter of time before we will pick the fruits of this shift in mentality.

Arteta, Ramsey and Song, all wear their hearts on the sleeve. The ARS of the team works phenomenally hard and is the engine of it. I feel Arteta and Song are more of the introvert type, who stick to a task well and will never let the team down. Ramsey is probably more likely to become a future leader, but he is focussing on improving his technical performances first, at this stage of his career.

Theo, The Gerv, Jenkinson, Gibbs and Santos are also good team players who work hard and give their all for the team, and there are now plenty of good players on our bench who care for the club and will fight for it. This really is a new Arsenal, with a new mindset, and as Arsene likes to call it, bags full of ‘mental strength’.

Jack Wilshere – the final link

For me, the final, missing leadership-link in the spine of our team is Jack Wilshere. Wilshere is a born leader who just gives that extra-10% to our midfield with his hunger, extrovert leadership skills and unbelievable ability to command the midfield. For me, he instantly turned into a man when we beat Barcelona at home last season: what he showed during that game was simply astonishing. Future Arsenal and England teams will be build around him, and as soon as he returns into our team we will make a big jump forward.

As said in previous posts, this is a transitional year for Arsenal. I believe that all the ingredients are there for a long period of success and dominance in the PL, and possibly in Europe. No team can do without great leadership throughout the team: it is one of the key pillars of sustained success. I have little doubt that the ‘narrow’ spine of Szczesny – Vermaelen – Song – Wilshere – RvP will be the strongest in the country for years to come, and with RvP we have the best leader of them all.



131 Responses to There is no ‘I’ in Team, but every bit of ‘Persie’ in Leadership

  1. VCC says:

    Spot on post Total.
    You are so right, Arsenal have been lacking leadership for some time now.
    I feel we are approaching a side that pulls together. One part of the cog you mentioned is a big thing for me when you want to be “Top Dogs” in any sport/walk of life…..
    “He will also stand up for his players and let nobody be bullied by the opposition;”
    So many times in recent past I have seen our young players being bullied by the opposition, this would NOT have happened had we had a Vieira/Adams/Bould/McLintock in our team.
    You must stand up for yourself if you want succeed in life.

  2. Gooner In Exile says:

    A fine post TA. That key word “responsibility” the players you mention take responsibility for their jobs, so much more enjoyable as a fan to see that.

  3. goonermichael says:

    We better get him signed up quick. Lose him and we’ll be starting again. Great post.

  4. I would be more convinced of van Persie’s qualities as a leader if he signed a new long-term contract. The very fact that he hasn’t committed his future to Arsenal sends out a very negative signal to his team-mates.

  5. Should be an aitch in front of is!

  6. Where’s the edit button when you need it?

  7. I’ve got one, shall I do it for LG 🙂

  8. You can do it for me anytime Peaches, edit…..of course!

  9. goonermichael says:

    Just ironed my sons shirt now polishing his shoes. Feel like a real mug/dad now

  10. dandan says:

    Super article TA, I agree the man is a born leader, his toughness both mental and physical shines through in his play and attitude, honed no doubt in the no holds barred street football scene in Holland. His undoubted ability to delegate upwards on behalf of his team mates, underlines the real difference between a normal captain and a leader and man manager that RVP definitely is.
    It is also true as you state that many businesses hamstring themselves by promoting their best salesman, accountant etc. just to lock them in, thereby pushing them past their personal level of incompetence and damaging both the company and the recipient. Football managers do this all the time. This IMHO is definitely not the case with RVP, who I believe, is without doubt a prospective Arsenal manager in the making.

  11. dandan says:

    Lifelong Gooner@ 11.36….. Motivation works in many ways, maybe RVP has told his young colleagues what they need to deliver to keep him, loyalty and positivity works both ways.

  12. 4th the new trophy of the ambitionless says:

    RVP will tear it up when he leaves this summer to go win trophies at Barca, Real or Citeh.

    He’s a great leader.

  13. goonermichael says:

    very insightful

  14. Robin is a team leader hope he signs a new contract soon,Hope wenger streathens our team to show RVP we have ambision other wise l cant see him staying .Just hope he buys a Striker to help Robin and loan a defender!

  15. dandan at 12.32,

    I doubt that I would be motivated by my senior colleague telling me to up my game or he would b****r off.

  16. fatgingergooner says:

    Great post,

    Let’s just hope we can keep him at the club so he can lead us to some trophies!

    Massive game tomorrow. The teams around us all have very winable home games today and with United next this really is a massive tie at Swansea. Fingers crossed.

  17. dandan says:

    It takes all sorts LG

  18. allezkev says:

    Great post.
    The way the players celebrated at Chelsea was when we really saw the currant team spirit begin to blossom.
    There’s still some hiccups, but overall i’m more optimistic about this currant group, than i have been for about 5 years.


    Fantastic post from the Dutch master. When TA speaks people should take heed, totally on the button.

    A team full of leaders, guts and pride is developing. Glory is a heartbeat away for our club, be just a little more paitent fellow gooners and you shall see.

  20. Big Raddy says:

    TA. Top post and love the play on words.

    There can be little question that the team has grown during RvP’s captaincy. To be fair to Cesc, had BFG, Chesney and Arteta been in the squad things may have been different.

    IMO one of AW’s most challenging tasks was to change the dynamic in the dressing room – getting rid of Nasri, Bendtner, Clichy and Denilson was vital. These are not the types of character who respond to negotiation.

  21. Big Raddy says:

    I find comments such as 4th (12.48) completely baffling.

    Isn’t football meant to be an entertainment? Imagine being inside his head. He must be the sort of bloke who doesn’t leave the house without an umbrella on a sunny summer’s day in case it rains.

    Probably one of those children who leave those inane comments on YouTube ….. (bet he comments on LG )

  22. Gooner In Exile says:

    I love people like 4th Raddy as they will be the first to rant if we finish outside the CL spots ultimately proving that finishing 4th is a success. Otherwise 4th/5th or 6th shouldn’t matter if you don’t win a pot.

  23. Big Raddy says:

    How rubbish must you be if Scholes gets in the team ahead of you? Anderson etc …. shame on you.

    And the great Spanish goalkeeping prospect who cost – what was it – €20m? Double the British record fee for a goalkeeper. And where is he? Oh, on the bench behind a 27 y.o Dane who isn’t even first choice for Denmark.

  24. Big Raddy says:

    GIE. Or “Even when we were 18th I always believed in AW, he is a genius”

  25. dandan says:

    If you have a look behind 4th’s post Raddy the man has no balls, he has all that gob and yet puts a false email address down in case a moderator challenges him, aint that just typical

  26. VCC says:

    Spuds 0 – Wolves 1

  27. go wolves!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! sorry TA il read the post in a bit

  28. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    TotalArsenal =TotalQuality

  29. Gooner In Exile says:

    Right just a quicky we will not comment on any other game until 4:45pm deal?

  30. VCC says:

    Frimppong booked

  31. Gooner In Exile says:

    More importantly VCC did he hurt anyone? 😀

  32. TotalArsenal says:

    Afternoon guys, thanks for your comments. The post is probably more suitable for a weekday as most of us seem to have more time to read and debate such a long post.

    Regarding RvP’s contract: who knows what is going to happen next? Something tells me that RvP being allowed to have a little holiday in Dubai with Arsene’s blessing, was meant to give him some time to think about his future at Arsenal. I would not be surprised if we hear more about that in the next few weeks.

    Kelsey, thanks for the award. I guess you are going to choose an overall winner and give him/her your 3D television?! 😉

  33. VCC says:

    GiE 3:30. Unfortunately not.
    Can see him getting sent off in this match.
    He is an Arsenal fan after all.

  34. TotalArsenal says:

    Shrek misses penalty, Yakubu red card.

  35. Gooner In Exile says:

    TA isn’t it strange that more of us are around on a weekday than a weekend 😀 strange what work does to a man (or lady) 😀

  36. RockyLives says:

    Excellent Post TA.
    Very well written, very precise and very persuasive.
    I’m in agreement with you. I wasn’t overjoyed about RvP getting the armband (I feared it would affect his goal scoring) but he has risen to the challenge beautifully.

    I wrote a post on similar (but much less comprehensive) lines after the Bolton game in late September, when the Prince faced down a pack of marauding Bolton lump heads after playing on when one of their players was feigning injury.

    I thought that day he showed real cojones as well as real intelligence (in not allowing himself to be provoked into being sent off).

  37. evonne says:

    if wolves win today, i will quit smoking, can’t be fairer than that

  38. TotalArsenal says:

    I remember that post well Rocky. Welcome back btw! I thought he would be ok at being our captain, but he has turned out to be superb at it. To balance cojones with intelligence is something he has learned over the years, and maybe it tells us that a player should become captain when he reaches the more mature years.

  39. evonne says:

    TA – I am sorry, not read your post yet, leaving it for tonight

    Did you see Twitchy twitching and shouting at McCarthy? ha ha ha, I thought he said there in no pressure on Spurs, ha ha ha 🙂

  40. RockyLives says:

    I’m not following the other games – I’m worried I’ll jinx things if I look.

    However I do feel that we are going to thump the Swans tomorrow. I know they’re great at home and they’ve only conceded four goals at home all season, but I would’t be surprised if that figure has doubled by the end of tomorrow’s game.

    Age is important in being captain. Cesc may be a brilliant captain (of Barcelone 😦 ) in a few years, but he was too young to captain the Arsenal.

  41. Gooner In Exile says:

    Sounds like Frimpong has had two chances to make himself a hero.


  42. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Surely that’s it. Woooolves. Bale tee hee

  43. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Spuds..back in our sights!

  44. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Now I can do my manners…thanks foe great post TA.

  45. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Great result for you. Spurs drop two points and you get to carry on smoking 🙂

  46. evonne says:

    phew, for a minute there I was worried I am becoming a non-smoker.

    Right-o, Scum have finally started dropping points, it had to begin soon, their good run continued for far too long

  47. evonne says:

    pool dropped points too. good

  48. evonne says:

    Micky – exactly, from a wasted Saturday it turned out to be a good day after all 🙂

  49. fatgingergooner says:

    I said earlier that the teams around us all had winable home games.

    Spurs drew
    Liverpool drew
    Chelsea scraped a win (Bendtner’s shit!)
    Man Utd win

    Too many times this team fail to win the must-win games. That needs to change tomorrow.

  50. TotalArsenal says:

    Spuds and Pool Dippers drop costly home points 🙂 🙂

  51. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Now the fun really starts with Spurs having some proper away games.

  52. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Cripes, that drop ball incident was a nasty moment.

  53. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Brilliant, just discovered we have a 4:00pm KO tomorrow. Can watch afterall.

  54. RockyLives says:

    Chavs were lucky by all accounts.

    Wolves did a similar job on the Spuds to the one they did on us.

    Pool are not a top four side, so it’s between us, Spuds and Chavs for the third and fourth spots.

    It’s frustrating to see Blackburn thrash Fulham when we could only manage one point from two games against them…

  55. RockyLives says:

    Spuds will soon be setting a new freefalling world record.

  56. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Extreme Spudding.

  57. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Agree with all of that. If, if and if Robin stays fit, then we are only going to get stronger and with the TA Spirit strapped on, all should be well.

  58. TotalArsenal says:

    How nice is this from BBC website: ‘It has required four months of white hot form for Spurs’ title challenge to finally be taken seriously, but they undid some of their fine recent work with a lacklustre display.’ Spuds + gravity = cheesy mash!

  59. Gooner In Exile says:

    Haha TA 😀

    There was lots of back pedalling on R5 Live.

    So this drop ball in 6 yd box as I understand it Hennessy injured Spurs wanted to restart with competed drop ball…..was ball in Hennessys hands when play was stopped? If so classless bastards.

  60. Gooner In Exile says:

    We should remember before tomorrow only 1 side has won away at Swansea. And they have only conceded 4 goals at home.

    We need to take chances early and kill them off. Thankfully they play open football and in reality only Votm has kept their goals against so low.

  61. TotalArsenal says:

    Have to watch MOTD tonight! If it’s true they are indeed classless bastards!

  62. TotalArsenal says:

    It wont be easy GiE: they are a good team, especially at home. I read in the Guardian that Mertesacker is a doubt due to ilness and that would be a big mis tomorrow. However, Arsenal will take the game very serious and fight from the start, and there is enough quality to make the difference.

  63. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    I think I may have upset the Spud down the lane. His wife (Spudette) has a table out the front with eggs, veggies and plants on it, I was jogging past and she was bending over the table in a short skirt, she`s a big lump ( are all spuds big lumps, do they eat so much because they`re starved of success ? ), anyway I looked at her sign and thought , why not ?, so I slipped in the back way, sprayed 50 years and counting on her back, no problem finding the Clematis ( who said us men cant multi-task ) , gave her a pound and run of with some eggs. Problem is , I didn`t have my glasses on (cant run with them on ) and thought her sign said :

    Free Range eggs, £1 for Sex.

    Anyone know what sort of Animal, a Range Is ?, I wasn`t saying no to free eggs, whatever Animal it is !

  64. the ball was in his hands!

  65. evonne says:

    TA – don’t watch it, they were actually good and Wolves did not deserve the point. Their weak link was Adebarndoor , bless him

  66. TotalArsenal says:

    GLiC, you are a born entertainer!

    Evonnesky, I will still watch it! As you know, being the better team does not mean you’ll get all the three points everytime. It’s about time the Spuds suffer a bit from this 🙂

  67. evonne says:

    TA – that makes perfect sense 🙂
    i’m going to read your post now to round the day off nicely

  68. chas says:

    TA, super post.

    Your persiepicacious prose has revealed AW’s persiestent persieverance in his quest to find the right captain for the New Arsenal.

  69. RL @5.07pm, and blackburn were down to 10 men against fulham…arrrrgh

    youve hit the nail on the head with this one..great post once again sir..and thanks for the read..indeed i will say that i always believed that robbin had something special about him even when he first signed for us, but never in my mind did i think he would come in leaps n bounds, the way he has, especially as a leader..we all know that in his younger days he was a feisty bugger, (in some sense he still is), but he seems to have grown and risen through all the doubt and distress that has surrounded our club over the last couple of years..(and his patience through injuries)
    Apart from wenger once again waving his magic wand, i believe Robbin has had positive influences around him that have helped him grow and mature into a fine leader of the greatest team in the world..RVP has stated that he has kept in close contact with Tony Adams and Dennis, recognising the former as a man who when faced with adversity of his own, showed strength and character to push on and fight…”A CALM SEA DOES NOT A SKILLED SAILOR MAKE” – leaders are not made and titles are not won when the going is smooth and it is for this reason and the position we found ourselves in that shows RVP to be nothing short of exceptional..
    There are many things that can turn a mans life around and one of those is something im not experienced with (well, not that i know of) The turning point in RVP’s career as a leader was not recieving the armband, or his ridiculous form..but rather his children, and family.. many of my friends have stated that becoming a father changes a man completely, in his way of thinking,becoming settled, his attitude and his desire to achieve great things..
    so i guess, im really hoping he signs on, and his wife is blessed with at least 3 more boys!..that should be our forward line for the future, and a well deserved fifa fair play by the Van Persies’!!

  70. Big Raddy says:

    robbin. Very good comment.

    What is this about a drop-ball? Nothing on BBC review.

  71. Big Raddy says:

    GLIC. I have said it before …. you are a naughty, naughty boy

  72. hey BR,
    funny..after your scholes comment at 2.45pm he managed to put one in for that shit excuse for a team..manURe.. those funky things used to happen to me all the time, but you cant change fact..anderson and so on…are SH*#T!!

  73. Big Raddy says:

    To rely on a 37 year old has been to propel you to the PL is madness. If MU had played against a decent team they would have lost and IMO they will be fortunate to stay top 4

  74. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    When my puppy ( he`s 5 now , but still my puppy ) craps on a Spud shirt, he`s a good naughty boy, when he chews my Arsenal slippers, he`s a bad naughty boy!. What one am I ? 🙂

  75. evonne says:

    TA – I have read your post and I fully support your views. TH14 and Cesc were given the captain’s band as a bait to keep them happy at Arsenal. Like you said, it is a common practice in all businesses, not just in football. I was made a Project Manager becasue programmers were cheaper in India, but PMs had to be present in London. I never wanted to be any manager and wonder if TH14 and Cesc did? Neither were examplery leaderss, they had plenty of skills and charisma, but the elusive skills that makes great leaders was not there. Robin has certainly got it.

    When he celebrates with the team, he looks natural.
    The thing that I didn’t see in your article is the respect that other players show Robin. They seem to like and respect him. I think we have a new King

  76. TotalArsenal says:

    Chas, persieverance is a great word! If and when he signs a new contract this word should be in the title of a post celebrating this milestone.

    RurP, a very fine comment @6.27. You should write a post yourself – your comments indicate that you have at least one good post in you, if not many more.

  77. ARSHAVIN SYNDROME- the reason behind my ‘no posts yet’

  78. Big Raddy says:

    Norwich up into 9th. Amazing

  79. evonne says:

    When we signed Robin Chavs signed Robben and stupid me was sooooo jealous, we did we sign the wrong Rob??

  80. TotalArsenal says:

    What’s the Arshavin syndrome?

  81. Gooner In Exile says:

    The Spuds report on Beeb website states Adebayor on loan from Arsenal…. maybe we bought him back quietly and will withdraw his services come 1st Feb 😀

    The drop ball incident was described on Radio5 but they didn’t state whether ball was in open play or not when game was halted.

  82. Evonne, wenger would never make a mistake like that.. Arjen Robben would never hav fit in at Arsenal..good player, no doubt about it, but with him…ITS ALL about HiM..imo he is such a hog that sometimes his plays can be detrimental to his team

  83. TA, Lack of confidence

  84. evonne says:

    RobbinUR~ – hindsight is a wonderful thing 🙂

  85. Big Raddy says:

    I think Robben would fit well with AFC. He has grown up and is more of a team player.

    Never get him though and he is prone to injury,

    Buy Affelay as well and we are in het bedrijfsleven

  86. evonne says:

    Aha Mr Big Raddy, but do you think he would have been better for us than Boy Wonder?

    What is het bedrijfsleven?? hot bed ridden with fleas?

  87. Big Raddy says:

    “in business” (dutch)

    I am delighted we have RvP and not Arjen Robben but Robben remains one og the worlds most exciting players and he is still only 27 – same as RVP

  88. evonne says:

    Is Robben only 27? looks much older.
    I am happier with RvP, I think Arjen has had the pick of his career much earlier, Robin is at his peak now.

  89. allezkev says:

    RVP is 29 this August….

  90. TotalArsenal says:

    BR – ‘and we are in het bedrijfsleven’ 🙂

    Robben, if and when he has a longish period of fitness is the best ‘pure winger’ around (his statistics are awesome). If he will be fully fit during the Euros this summer, Holland will win it. But that is a big IF!

  91. evonne says:

    Allez – and so he is, 28 and a bit. What is happening with his contract,has it been extended yet?
    Monsieur Wenger has the over 30 policy, I wonder how is that going to effect (or already had) contract negotiations with RvP

  92. evonne says:

    TA – holland will win! Dream on! Poland will 🙂

  93. TotalArsenal says:

    BR, you are right: Robben is only 27 (28 in a few days though)!

  94. allezkev says:

    Not sure what the situ is with Robin’s contract Evonne, from what i’ve read/heard, he wants to wait until the summer…

    Where have we heard that before…. 😦

  95. TotalArsenal says:

    Evonne – Poland will win it? – as the Germans say: Mann kann nie wissen wie die Huhner pissen!

  96. evonne says:

    TA – I love when you talk dirty 🙂

  97. Gooner In Exile says:

    AllezKev – saw that unfold on Twitter at the time it happened. A Celtic fan said some vile stuff. Threatened violence (maybe even implied death threat in the messages). Don’t think Bartley helped situation by retweeting the message tho, should have just reported it straight to police, but I can understand his reaction. Lorraine Pascal did a similar thing with a tweet she receialongside racist attack along the lines of “why should you tell us how to feed our kids”).

    It’s a shame that a medium such as Twitter which gets us closer to these players than we’ve been for quite some time is used by a few for such despicable behaviour .

  98. TotalArsenal says:

    Evonne 🙂 if RA would be around he would tell you about his ‘Ich bin heiss’ German joke!

  99. allezkev says:

    Not sure what can be done tbh, all that kind of thing will do is drive people away from twitter.

    And more worryingly, drive the players away.

  100. allezkev says:

    I’m not really sure how twitter works?

    Is there some kind of moderation, so to speak, or is it all kinda in your face…?

  101. Ozgunner says:

    Great read TA. thank you for another masterpiece
    Leadership is very important,and thankfully it now looks like we have it over flowing at the seams.robin surprises me more and more everytime I see him,i was skeptical (mainly because he is injury prone),but he has done an exceptional job (oh how I hope he signs a new contract!).
    @kelsey: cheers for the mention,always an honour.
    @gie: great stats yesterday,as someone mentioned the other day ou make journalists look like a joke.

  102. Gooner In Exile says:

    Kev – Twitter is two things.

    1st it’s a a straightforward timeline and on your timeline you see tweets by people you follow. They are not addressed at anyone just typed and sent to the ether. Its kind of a concise RSS news feed but includes comments from people too. It’s most interesting/revealing during big national/international events.

    I follow footballers, journalists, friends, comedians etc.

    2nd is the @ messaging where people reply to what you or others have said. Of you follow them and they @ message you it shows in your timeline, if you follow them and they @message someone else you follow it still appears in your timeline. If you don’t follow the person who @messages you it appears in a separate area of twitter away from your main timeline. I would imagine most footballers do not read all their @messages so have to be unlucky or lucky (if they are going to report it) to notice it.

    Hope that helps.

  103. fatgingergooner says:

    Personally, I think Spurs first 11 is closer to title than Man U first 11.

    Experience counts for so much though. With an excitable manager and lack of PL title experience I think Spurs should be more worried about what’s behind them than what’s in front. Interesting to listen to fans on Sky’s phone in talking about the title challenge rather than dropping 2 points to those behind.

    They remind me of a fat kid who’s too busy stuffing his face with sweets to realise he’s just shit himself!

    Time will tell.

  104. RockyLives says:


    “They remind me of a fat kid who’s too busy stuffing his face with sweets to realise he’s just shit himself!”

    Genius 😀

  105. RockyLives says:

    Spuds have a decent team and squad but no more than that.

    They have had a very easy first half of the season and they have been incredibly lucky with injuries. If they’d had our injury luck they would be closer to mid table.

    But with Pool and the Chavs also faltering, this is as good a chance as they’ve had in years of getting a top three finish.

  106. fatgingergooner says:

    Exactly RL,

    I just hope they keep looking at the title. Harry seems to be very positive and excited about them winning the league. I get the Impression he wants it before he gets buggers off to the FA or gets buggered up the FA by a big BC (fat arse, big cock! for those who are wondering!).

    Everyone has a blip, and Spurs are due theirs. Let’s just hope it lasts 8 or 9 games rather than 2 or 3!

  107. Big Raddy says:

    Having nothing better to do I watched the Mallorca v RM game last night.

    Mallorca deservedly 1-0 up . An RM player blatantly dives in the box, the ref waves it away. Mallorca break upfield and score. The linesman raises his flag for offside – a very clear and obvious mistake yet the goal is disallowed. The diving miscreant smirks and walks away, later to score the winning goal for RM.

    There are some wrong decisions which are understandable (Rooney’s dive at MU in the 50th) but there are others that question the corruptibility of the officials and this was one of them.

    Who can forget when Busacca sent off RvP at Barca for a “foul” which resulted our defeat and in his promotion to Head of Ref Development at FIFA?

    Corruption in football? Never

  108. BigRad,
    so ironic that you bring up corruption in football whilst referring to real madrids’ game…i can remember only yesterday (last seasons campaign actually ) that jose mourinho was slating barca and the authorities for such things!!! dont worry, sepp blatter will have another photo taken with a black man and that’ll be problem, does it stink sometimes…..alot of the time!!

  109. Gooner In Exile says:

    Morning all. Only saw highlights on MotD last night. They didn’t show the drop ball (selective editing?). But was interesting to see how they coped against a 4-5 wall on the 18 yd box. As I thought they appeared to slow down their attack and didn’t have the cuteness to break it down.

  110. evonne says:

    Morning Raddy, the Admin can publish your prematch at long last! Micky gave up waiting 🙂

    Talking about corruption – the kings of cheating playing tonight – Inter v AC, should be fun.

    Ginga- what do you mean 8-9 games of bad luck for Scum??!! 8-9 months please and that’s not enough!

    I had a shocker last night, I have failed as a mother. My only child is a Spurs supporter. He went to Shite Heart Lane yesterday. I am devastated. I will never do his ironing again, that’s for sure

  111. evonne says:

    GiE – I hate MoD, I start adjusting colours on my telly. Bloody presenters look fecking orange, what is it?
    I know that Hansen has had face lifts and wears makeup, but Linekar and Shearer either use spray-on tans or have caroten injections, it’s not natural

  112. Big Raddy says:

    Time on my hands as Mrs Raddy sleeps away the morning.

    Yesterday’s results. What do they tell us.

    Firstly, that MU are greater than the sum of their parts. Bolton are a poor shadow of the team of 2 season’s ago and will surely be relegated. Nonetheless, MU are equal top this morning and that with the worst MU squad for 15 years. They are there for the taking at THOF IF we can get some bodies back.

    Spurs: AT the time I felt we had thrown away 2 points v Wolves. Now Spurs have. Are Wolves a decent side or a very lucky one? Is this the beginning of a slump at WHL? Let us hope so. They have been incredibly lucky with injuries so far and a knock to Bale or Modric will see them tumble.

    Chelsea. IMO the signing of Cahill will improve them,add that to a return to form for Torres, the rehabilitation of Fat Frank and we can see them mount a challenge. On the other hand, they are an aging, classless, bunch of criminals who will run out of steam.

    Liverpool. King Kenny? Master tactician? Plays one man upfront who has the scoring record of Kuyt (0 goals – 15 apps). Leaves his €35m signing on the bench. And this against a Stoke team at home? Liverpool may have spent a shedload of money but they play terrible football and without Suarez are toothless. The Kop have little to sing about.

    MC. With that squad they should win the PL by at least 9 points. If they fail it will be down to their manager

  113. hey evonne,
    can i recommend, if i may, that you continue any ironing for your son..can i also suggest you take eXtra special care when ironing any replica jerseys and so forth (you know wot i mean..hmmmm)..when the complaints start flying in, tell him that he should never argue with mums’ instinct (“,) its for his own good and that jus like spuds form, this is all a phase

  114. kelsey says:

    Morning BR,
    I also have time on my hands as mrs.kelsey is walking the dogs before our sunday morning bowls festival 😉

    I watched the spurs game as well, and the drop ball scenario was one of the most bizarre situations I have ever seen.As i saw it the keeper , who kept the ball collided with his own player.On another day spurs would have won as from the 56th.minute onwards Wolves defended with 9/10 men and just hoofed the ball anywhere and then lost possession more often than not.

    I would say today is a must win game for us as the gap is beginning to lok quite disturbing.
    There are plenty of twists yet to come with the top six all having to play each other and I really wish we would get a fullback and an attacker in somehow as i fear by the time all our key men come back it might just be a bridge too far.

  115. Gooner In Exile says:

    Raddy nice summation. Only bit I disagree with is Shitty, as I think their failure will be due to dressing room egos. They have players who would play for peanuts because they enjoy football so much, Aguero, Silva, Toure, Milner. Then they have the mercenaries Nasri types. Then they have the troublemakers, Balotelli types. Mancini strikes me as someone who loves the game and expects his players to be the same, but he cannot understand how the money sways the players minds and make decisions and expect certain status because of it.

    Still watching MotD and just watched Norwich V West Brom. Both these sides play football the right way and it’s great to watch. Lambert is working miracles with so few additions of “quality” compare to the mess QPR have made of their return and you see the perils of upsetting a squad that got you into the PL. Swansea too are similar to Norwich.

    There were a number of times watching the game I thought he could be useful in the squad. But I reckon the likes of Long, Odemwingie, Morrison want to play week in week out.

  116. Gooner In Exile says:

    Kelsey so were Spuds right to contest the drop ball, in gentlemanly conduct terms?

  117. evonne says:

    RobbinUR – ha ha ha 🙂 Well, he is denying that he is a Spud and even he is not that stupid to bring tottenham shirt to my house

    Kelsey – I wish I had a wife to walk my dogs

    Raddy – go on, let us have the prematch pleeeeease, pretty please

  118. Big Raddy says:

    Robbin You are too gentle.

    I would recommend Evonne has her son castrated in case he breeds more Spurs fans – it will be a mercy to them. (just kidding evonne – don’t do it!)

    Can you imagine a worse life than as a Spurs fan? We have a number of them in my family and I can tell you that they are sorry creatures.

    40 years of ridicule, remembering the “good Old Days” which are in Black and White, or the “golden years” of Hoddle and Gazza and Wadlde – when they came – what was it – somewhere between 5th and 8th? What kind of life is that?

  119. true lol.. DO IT EVONNE, JUS DO IT

  120. evonne says:

    Cannot do it, because of Peaches, long story 🙂

  121. Big Raddy says:

    Can’t publish post. It needs a tweak from Rasp.

  122. Gooner In Exile says:

    Le Boss on AA23:

    “We know he has the talent. He has been questioned many times, but his attitude has always been spot on, in the last game specifically, he showed that he needs to play with confidence and freedom, that is his strength.

    Andrey is a creative player and you need that fraction of belief and confidence to play with freedom.

    He has always been a player who plays on the borderline, he is a big gambler.”

  123. evonne says:

    grrrrrhhhhhh 😦
    Ok, I will have another coffee, sorry dogs, have to wait

  124. evonne says:

    GiE – yeah, right, we all know Le Boss has selective vision

  125. Rasp says:

    Morning all,

    New post ……

  126. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Morning all,
    I reckon there’s some serious photoshopping going on behind the scenes at AA Towers as they try and enhance a beard to epic proportions.

  127. hey evonne,
    now that szczesny has comfortably taken over from fabianski as our new NO.1, wots the scenario with the national team, have the coaching staff portrayed the same beliefs in the youngster or is it the lack of first team and game time inevitable to the demise of fabianski’s career internationally as well?

  128. how to treat backpain…

    […]There is no ‘I’ in Team, but every bit of ‘Persie’ in Leadership « Arsenal Arsenal[…]…

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