Why crawl when you can walk?

Written by fatgingergooner

With 3 defeats in the last 4 games and an unconvincing win against Leeds in the last round of the FA Cup, Arsenal fans were feeling far from optimistic ahead of this 4th round clash against Aston Villa.

Rumour had it that the Gunners injury list was starting to ease, and so it proved with Sagna, Henry and Arteta all named on the bench and also the young Frenchman Coquelin was deputising at right back. It was also good to see the Ox given another start after his fine 65 minutes against Man United last week.

On to the game and Arsenal started the first half reasonably well, stroking the ball around and finding space in the midfield. Within 2 minutes of the kick off, Ramsey had already registered a shot on target, but if truth be told it was more like a pass back as Given collected easily. The same cannot be said of the next shot from distance as Vermaelen received a short free kick from RvP before firing an absolute thunderbolt from all of 35 yards which Given did well to save to his left. Brilliant effort, great save.

Arsenal continued to dominate the ball, but with Fabianski back between the posts, you could feel the tension in the air whenever the ball was near the home sides box. The young Pole did well with his first piece of action though, clearing a free kick away with a commanding punch, but he soon reminded us why he is now second choice. Firstly, he wanted too long to make a simple clearance and was lucky to see his blocked kick go for a throw. Then he rolled a terrible pass into the feet of Song who could only return it to sender, thankfully though, this time, the young keeper managed to clear his lines before the block came in.

At the other end, dogged work from Rosicky saw a pass slid into the feet of Walcott who was away behind the Villa defence. Initially, Theo did well to evade a lunging tackle from Cuellar, but his lack of composure reared it’s ugly head again as he thrashed a shot wide instead of steadying himself and picking out one of his colleagues in the box. A waste.

The first 20 minutes had flown by with Ramsey and Rosicky getting the better of the midfield battle, and it was an excellent Ramsey tackle that created the next opportunity. The young Welshman did brilliantly to rob Clark before showing bravery to nick the ball wide to Theo who had space to run into. This time Walcott did get his head up and fired a great low cross towards RvP but the dutchman just failed to find the telling touch.

Arsenal had let Villa off the hook and nearly paid the ultimate price at the other end as the ball ricocheted in behind the static defence and towards the head of Darren Bent. Fortunately for the home side though, the sight of an onrushing Polish keeper was enough for Bent to pull out of the header.Thank god he wasn’t braver!

The game was definitely starting to open up and the Ox showed a great turn of pace to gallop down the left wing before cutting inside and pulling his shot wide of the near post. Good play by the promising youngster.

Arsenal were knocking on the door but just couldn’t find the killer pass to unlock the away teams defence. Walcott, espescially, was guilty of wasting a couple of good crossing chances as the half wore on. His lack of confidence was showing as he refused to attack the full back and instead fired aimless balls across the box. Not what you expect from an attacking wide player.

ThirtyΒ minutes had passed without too much to worry about, but a moments lapse of concentration can be deadly Β at this level, and so it proved. Arsenal switched off at a corner and Ramsey was caught 2 against 1 at the edge of the area. Keane had ages to pick out a cross and his dinked effort was perfectly weighted for Dunne to climb highest and nod in at the back stick. 0-1 Arsenal again undone by a set piece.

To the home sides credit they were straight down the other end trying to get an equaliser, but Dunne was on fine form, twice clearing dangerous looking crosses. The home fans were starting to get restless as Arsenal camped in the Villa half in search of an equaliser. First Ramsey showed quick feet before firing straight at Given from a tight angle, and then the Ox hit a rocket from 25 yards which got away from Given but just didn’t bounce for an Arsenal player. Was our luck deserting us again?

On the stroke of half time we got the answer, and it wasn’t a good one! Villa broke from another Arsenal attack and Bent was played in down the right hand channel. His powerful shot was well saved by Fabianski at his near post, but as it is with the Gunners at the moment, the ball fell perfectly back to Bent who slotted in well from a tight angle. 0-2 oh dear.

Half time and the boos rang out around the Emirates. To be fair to the home side, they had made all the running and should not have been 2 behind, but the same old story of poor finishing and defensive mistakes meant that Villa’s 2 shots on goal had resulted in a 2 goal deficit. New manager? New players? New tactics? If you’d have asked at half time I think many would’ve said yes please!

But with football being a game of 2 halves, the Gunners still had 45 minutes to turn their season on its head.

Surprisingly, there were no changes at half time. Even with the boos still ringing in his ears, and with Craig Burley’s bullshit whafting under his nose, Arsene had stayed cool and kept faith in his charges.

Arsenal came out fighting, and it wasn’t long before they carved out an opportunity. This time it was a set piece of their own as Mertersacker rose highest at a corner only to see his header cleared off the line. So close!

Arsenal had started the second half brightly and moments later Walcott was almost on the end of a Ramsey back heel, but a fantastic Petrov tackle thwarted him at the last.

The pressure was really building and a flowing move then saw Ramsey with a shooting opportunity on the edge of the box, but with the ball stuck between his feet, he could only manage a weak right footed strike when he might have been better going with his left.

If fans thought Ramsey was at fault for that finish, then he certainly made up for it 2 minutes later as he burst into the box from a Song pass and just managed to toe the ball away from a lunging Dunne. Stonewall penalty and should’ve been a 2nd yellow for Dunne. How he stayed on I will never know! With the pressure on, RvP stepped up to send Given the wrong way and get Arsenal back in the game. 1-2

The tails were up and Ramsey was starting to control the game. Two minutes after the penalty he slid Walcott in down the line. This time Theo ran straight at the full back before squeezing a shot towards the near post. Given did well to get a hand to it but the ball fell to Hutton who somehow managed to smash the ball straight at Theo and into the back of the net! Barely 10 minutes gone in the second half and 2-2! Could it get any better!?

Unbelievably, Yes!

On the hour mark Koscielny collected the ball in defence and marched past the half way line before exchanging a slick 1-2 with Song. With Bent tugging at his shirt, Kozzer stayed strong and charged into the Villa box before Bent, in typical centre forward style, hacked him down with a badly timed/advised lunge. Another penalty to Arsenal and another goal to Arsenal as RvP sent Given the other way this time to put a resurgent Arsenal into the lead.

It was quite telling the way Robin and his teammates galloped over to Henry to celebrate. Maybe Wenger wasn’t the only person who had given out a bollocking in the changing room!?

The comeback was complete and the stuffing had well and truly been knocked out of Villa. Rosicky was dominating midfield, Ramsey was dominating the match, and Walcott was dominating his demons.

It was a joy to watch the young winger suddenly burst into life as he collected a long ball before driving at his full back and fizzing a shot at Given. Could this be the lift Theo needed?

After a brief penalty scare on 70 minutes, Arsene brought Arteta on for Rosicky to sure up the midfield, and it worked perfectly. The last 20 minutes saw very few chances at either end with a right footed RvP effort and a Clarke header straight at Fabianski the most the teams could muster between them. The highlight of the last 20 came on 88 minutes when Sagna returned to first team action for the first time since breaking his leg 4 months ago. Fantastic news.

It was also good to see the Ox and Theo both given standing ovations as they were replaced by Henry and Sagna respectively.

It was a tough 90 minutes to be an Arsenal fan that ultimately ended in elation as the boys turned into men in the space of 45 minutes. Ramsey showed just how to grab a match by the scruff of the neck, controlling the midfield for large chunks of the game, and especially in the key 15 minutes after half time. He was aided brilliantly by the energetic Rosicky who put in a sparkling performance to show that there’s life in some of the ‘deadwood’ yet!

It was a fantastic result for Arsenal, not because of the scoreline, but because of the way the team came back from 2-0 down. The second half performance was a joy to behold from every single player. People have questioned the manager’s and the player’s desire in the last few weeks, but no-one can say they don’t care, and they proved that in the second half.

At the end of the game I saw a banner about DB that read :
‘why fly, when you can walk on water’

We are nowhere near his high standards yet, but one small step at a time. If the first half was a crawl, then by the end of the second we were definitely up on our feet.

‘why crawl, when you can walk’


Fabianski-couple of shakey moments early on and may get blamed, unfairly, for parrying Bents shot back to him. Was solid in the air though and did little wrong 7

Coquelin-offered little going forward first half and was undone a couple of times by Agbonlahor. Kept everyone onside on build up to 1st goal. This shouldnt detract from his overall game though which was very good 7

Vermaelen-Much better in supporting Ox going forward and unlucky with a great strike early on. Caught out of position for second goal. 7

Koscielny-quiet first half but mainly because he makes defending look so easy. Came to life with run for 3rd goal and solid as a rock. 2nd best PL defender behind Kompany. 8

Mertersacker-great in the air at both ends and nearly scored. Maybe should have been talking to Coquelin in build up for first goal but very solid nonetheless. 7.5

Song-quiet game again but much better than recent games. Good second half and had a hand in winning both penalties. 7

Rosicky-drove forward whenever he could and worked hard. Gave Ramsey the platform to dictate the play. Looking back to something like his best 8

Ramsey-outstanding performance. If you think this kid is on par with Denilson then you are having a laugh! Controlled the game 9 MOTM

Ox-a solid display and showed maturity beyond his years. A natural footballer who looks dangerous whenever he has the ball and so composed for one so young 7.5

Walcott-Jekyl and Hyde. Had a poor first half as he failed on numerous occasions to get at Warnock when one on one. A different player second half and looked like he had his confidence back. Just wish he would attack the byeline more as he is so much more dangerous when he does it. 7.5

RvP-2 good penalties and linked up play with his usual mixture of strength and guile. Difficult day against a tough competitor in Dunne but eventually came out on top. Got ESPN Motm. 8


ArsΓ¨ne Wenger-maybe a slight risk starting with Coquelin but the young Frenchman was excellent. Brought Arteta on after 70 minutes to shore up the side and it worked well. Good substitutions, but earned his money in the half time interval. Many managers would’ve panicked and made changes, but Wenger’s faith was repaid by his players and he has to take a lot of credit for the half time turnaround as the players came out pumped up for the second half. 8

150 Responses to Why crawl when you can walk?

  1. chas says:

    Excellent, SGG.

    “Craig Burley’s bullshit” made me laugh. His comments were unbearable just on the highlights I saw.
    Bergkamp knows what it must have been like to have to listen to that shite for the whole game.

  2. chas says:

    Love the pic, Rasp.

    The BFG clenching his Teutonic fists in the background is my favourite part of it.

  3. Gooner in Exile says:

    Great write up SGG, a fantastic second half from the lads, and as you say the only thing missing in the first was that killer touch and movement. When it came in the second half we played with so much drive.

    It’s that drive that I think Koscielny gets my Immense award… He has such drive dragging the ball out from the back, and to see a centre back win a penalty, well that’s just proof
    of how he plays.

    Now here’s the question…..what’s the best centre back pairing? When we get a left back back I say TV goes to the bench. Shocking I guess, but that’s how good I feel BFG and Kozzer play together. What a lovely problem for Arsene to have. Bits it’s also why JD has to stay as 4th choice centre back, unless Kyle Bartley steps up next season.

  4. Gooner in Exile says:

    “Bergkamp knows” πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

  5. WiganGooner says:

    Excellent summary, I would just like to add that Craig Burley knows cock-all about football…surprising considering the amount of games he’s played.

    He put the blame for the second goal at old Mert’s feet, when actually, Mert and Koscielny both stepped up in line with each other and the full-backs played the Villa players onside.

    The commentary on ESPN is absolutely woeful.

    However, that aside, an excellent performance all round. It could have been so different, but finally we got a bit of luck and a bit of end-product from another excellent performance from both Rambo and Rosicky. Their partnership looks good with Song and with Arteta back too we are looking strong in the midfield.


  6. Gooner in Exile says:

    Oh and Rasp I apologise for breaking your voice on the walk to the ground.

    Actually quite a good bunch of fans in ground and someone even managed to get an air horn in. Sounded like it came from near where GliC was sitting.

  7. Rasp says:

    Morning again all,

    Fantastic match report fgg, rip roaring Roy of the Rovers game, only positives to come out of this one.

    chas – you and I have something in common (visiting elswhere) πŸ˜•

    GiE, I forgive you, I also managed to get some atmosphere going where I was sitting. So glad I finally got to sing U are Ya to the villains.

  8. Gooner in Exile says:

    On the goals conceded:

    1st goal:

    The defensive line should have moved up in line with the ball then Keane would have been offside and unable to deliver.

    2nd goal:

    Our CBs had gone up for a free kick or corner so for me again shows the weakness of our resolve when midfielders and full backs are asked to stop a counter, a couple of times in first half Coq and Song waited to attack the ball then both went to it and got caught nowhere. They have to learn one needs to attack the ball and other needs to sweep.

    Quick point on Sagna, he was played a hospital ball when he came on and the Villa player looked likely to nick it but Sagna as he does just emerged with the ball untroubled and it was met with a big cheer. Solid!

  9. Gooner in Exile says:

    Rasp I actually enjoyed the “You’re not singing any more”, sung with such fierceness….lovely

  10. WiganGooner says:

    @ GiE, love the avatar pic πŸ™‚ – the ol’ long-haired lothario that was Safe Hands – mark 1 πŸ™‚


  11. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    I`m writing this again as It ended up on the back of yesterdays post !.
    My only regret was not having more time with you fine lot of gooner`s, cant wait for the next time and I love the idea of a box for a game, I know I`m a newbee but count me In If there`s a spare place If It happens, not too soon though as my voice needs to recover, It`s so sore ! πŸ™‚

    This sticky dog was still confident at half time, It was a Black eyed peas ” i`ve got a feeling ” moment ! πŸ™‚

    e va va vonne was right about GiE, he`s like some big bubbly bear you want to cuddle ( not a broke back sort of one ! πŸ™‚ ) , Huggy Bear would be a fitting name ! πŸ™‚

  12. GiE – Rasp and I had the same conversation about which of the three favourite centre-backs – Mert, Kosser and Vermaelen – should be the preferred pairing yesterday ……… it’s an interesting question.

    Both Kosser and Vermaelen are so mobile and could do a job in mid-field if needed. When we signed the BFG many thought he would only be useful against other 6 footers but his reading of the game is so good it would be a waste to only use him against Stoke and anyway he doesn’t seem to like to jump in πŸ˜‰

    I think someone wrote a post about this didn’t they, I’ll have a look.

    For me, Kosser has to play, his energy is amazing and he’s a warrior.

  13. glic – it was lovely to meet you and your son. Hope you didn’t freeze to death – it was really cold yesterday.

  14. TotalArsenal says:

    Superb match report Slim/Fat GG. One of the best I read on AA. I love the way you explain the title at the end. Very clever.

    I will have to watch the game again and focus on Rosicky. I thought he had a poor first half and an average second, but so many fellow AAers have said he played well that I must watch it again. I always think his attitude is great but his decision-making is too naive at times, and his execution is often very ineffective. But I must have missed something.

    The difference between the first and second half could not be bigger. In this formation, we can not afford to play in such a slow tempo and with so little movement as we did in the first half. AV deserved to be infront as they were sharper than us. The second half was brilliant and nothing is sweeter than turning a losing position round like Arsenal did yesterday. Top stuff, and the best thing of it all is, it will have shown the players again how they need to play for the rest of the season.

  15. Rasp says:

    Anyway, let me tell you all a story………

    After a modicum of liquid refreshment standing in the freezing cold outside the Tavern yesterday, our party consisting of GiE, peaches, glic, TMHT and I made its way towards the ground.

    We lost touch with TMHT and glic but I was carried along on the wave of arsenal positivity radiating from skinny legs.

    All of a sudden out of a side road, a group of maybe 100 Villa fans streamed in beside us singing at the top of their voices.

    What comes next is no exaggeration. GiE tilted his head back and produced a series or ‘Red Army’s’ that would have measured 10 on the richter scale.

    The Villa fans just looked across in amazement and one or two of them even complimented GiE on his support. Such was the shock of this one man overpowering them that they were silent all the rest of the way to the ground.

    That is a football memory I shall cherish forever – thanks GiE πŸ˜›

  16. Rasp says:

    peaches – it was me who wrote the post about our 1st choice centre backs and the options in various other positions.

  17. Arsedave says:

    FGG Excellent article
    Only one thing to say this morning “Name on the Cup”

  18. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    Fine post slim,
    I`m still dizzy dazed from the ” first 15 minute drunkeness period of the 2nd half ” , if we had kept up that intensity for the rest of the half It would have been a thrashing !.
    That air horn didn`t sound too far away, at first , I thought It was Terry blowing through his telescope !. I had a good crowd around me, no booing just singing, I will definately keep to the North Bank for games !


    Fine post Slim, i agree that Ramsey was man of the match, but Kos pushed him close. Ive noticed in recent games that when Kos and Verm push on we have a lot more attacking threat, though of course we are prone to counter attacks. Quite shocking to be 2 down at half time, i expected us to come out second half and win 5 – 2 but will settle for the victory.

    Great to meet Peaches, Rasp, GM, Chas, GiE, Harry, and of course me old mucker Cornwall and his boy Cornwall Junior before the game. The only worry was seeing Cornwall almost suffer hyperthermia outside the tavern. I havent seen any one shake like that since Shaking Stevens gave it some on top of the pops.

  20. chas says:

    Great story about Skinny Legs and Booming Voice Green.
    The Villa supporters I encountered after they were beaten might have reacted differently. They were definitely looking for trouble.

    5-2 πŸ™‚

  21. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    peaches may I say , you are one classy looking Lady , exactly what I expected !.

    Was It a good idea to stand outside in the freezing cold with ice cubes in my cola ?, no wonder i was rattleling !

  22. Gooner in Exile says:

    Anyone would think GliC thought the Emirates had a roof such was his attire. I’m surprised he wasnt in flip flops and boardies πŸ™‚

  23. Double98 says:

    I think that the rock bottom for this arsenal side was at half time…
    I was watching on ESPN…

    Having bossed the first half against nothing more than a tidy aston villa – we gave up two goals due to poor goalkeeping and poor organisation.

    The Dunne goal was Fabs fault – how can a player score from inside the 6 yard box from a header with out a challenge from the keeper? he was poorly positioned and slow to react to the play.

    The Bent goal was also his fault – ok he parried it straight back to Bent – but he had gotten to his feet and was beaten at his near post…

    At 3-2 with 5 minutes to go up he was taking risky throws – his clearances from the ground where poor and robbie keane nearly caught him faffing about twice = overall his in game management needs work – i think he needs to go out on loan – today and be back to challenge for the number 1 shirt in the summer.

    I was upset at half time… there was booing… i was to down to even criticise those “fans”…

    Then i said i wouldn’t watch the half time anal-ysis with neil warnock probably crowing like the demeted he/she that he/she is.

    So i decided “We will turn this around – this is rock bottom”
    It was simple – i knew that we would win – it wasn’t hope i was certain.

    My decision winged its way to Emirates and The first 20 minutes after half time we were mesmerising. Our passing had sped up, the energy was up, the enterprise was up – our centre backs were up.

    Mertesacker won a header!

    in the opponents box… against someone else.??.

    then Stephen “Granny Hater” Ireland cleared it off the line


    but we was buzzing and soon we found their achilles heel… ramsay, walcott and kos just ran directly at the villa defence and they crumbled like.. well like Arsenal under a highball.

    Now i said i knew that we would win. Heres how certain i was…

    After the first peno i texted my villa mate with the word
    Then after walcotts pinball wizardry
    and just before the second peno

    If anything i was disappointed we didn’t press on – Villa were there for the taking and we could have scored 5 if we had kept up the pressure..

    but that would have ruined my textual intercourse

  24. Double98 says:

    oh and Rosicky is a class act – he was my MOTM

  25. Morning all and thanks for your thoughts on the game FGG, pedantic point you “shore up the defence” but a very vivid recounting of the game.

    So in the true spirit of being a sore loser Mcleish bacon face mini me is whingeing about a possible elbow by Robin.

    Just the sort of thing Sir Whisky of anal Sphincter would whinge about whenever ManUre are beaten; just man up and get over it you jocko twat !

    You’re lucky Dunne wasn’t sent off before then you ginger mug(Mcliesh, not FGG !).

    Anyone know when the refs report will be in so that we will know if any action will be taken ?

  26. Double98 says:

    Gooner in Exile

    *Bergkamp is*

    That is all


  27. Gooner in Exile says:

    Alex McLeish on Bowyer’s stamp on Sagna a year ago: “I don’t like to see trial by television”

    Alex Mcleish on Van Persie’s ‘elbow’: “Would I like them [The FA] to look at it – if it was an elbow in the face – then yes.”

    Courtesy of Leo_Santos on twitter

  28. Red Arse says:

    Excellent match report young Ginge! πŸ™‚

    I could not gainsay one word of it. Spot on.

    Rasper, like many on here, I have always found Warnock an irritating guy, tho’ not in the league of Fergus, and not even up there in the second tier with Fat sam and Pulis.

    Hence my surprise at his comments when chatting with Martin Keown at the end of the game.
    He was really effusive about the style and class of Arsenal and he really played it straight when he said we can beat any team in the country when we play like we did in the second half.
    Astonishing to hear, as I was expecting the usual ‘they wuz lucky’ stuff. What’s not to like? πŸ™‚

  29. Rasp says:


    As I said on the tail end of yesterday’s post. Mancini has been criticised for waving an imaginary red card, McLeish’s blatant campaign to get RvP banned is infinitely more reprehensible – particularly from a manager who has made a career out of nurturing players who are more ‘physical’ than talented.

  30. Rasp says:

    Hi RA,

    Its funny how a manager/player’s demeanour changes when they take up the mantle of a pundit – all of a sudden they have to be impartial and try to say something intelligent πŸ™„

  31. Double98 says:

    RA – i was surprised at Warnock – he seemed pleased and delighted to be there…

    Its a stoopid way to present analysis tho – on the sidelines…
    i hope all teams try to his ESPN Panelists during the warm up… tight gits – get a room

  32. Double98 says:

    *Hit ESPN Panelists*

  33. WiganGooner says:


    Not that I am one to suggest violence in any way at all, but if anyone was to go a bit loco and decide to do something daft, what better than aiming a flying kick at the likes of Robbie Savage, Craig Burley and the ever stupid John Barnes.

    ESPN is an awful channel for football commentary, I shall defiinitely not be keeping it on my Virgin subscription!!


  34. goonermichael says:

    Great match report ginger. Once again I had a great time with all the AAers outside the Tavern. I Was very cold and I’ll vouch for Rasp’s story about GiE’s voice. I sat with some terrible fans and I was seriously considering leaving at half time. I always thought we’d win though and told the bloke next to me we’d score 5. It seem to make him feel better even though I’ve got no idea what I’m talking about. I’ve got no voice today.

  35. evonne says:

    Hi Ginga, I am going to read your post afer dinner, for dessert

    GLiC – told you GiE is soooooo lovely. Yet I’d have in my team in a punch-up

  36. Just as I thought GiE – he’s a two faced hypocrite as well as a bull shiter.

    This may explain why I hate McLeish so much – when bacon face finally buggers off, he will replace him as the scots manager who I hate the most – no scratch that, he will replace him as the person I hate most in football.

  37. MikeSA says:

    Apologies for being a pedant, but you “shore” it up, not “sure”.

  38. Chairman Gallant says:

    If our players performs the way they did in the second half of yesterday game,then fourth or even third place,and a trophy is assured at the end of this season.
    Great spirit,great movement of the ball,especially from Rosicky and Ramsey in the midfield.It is difficult to pick the man of the match,but personally,i will give it to Chamberlain.That guy is superb on the ball considering his age.One of my friends call him the new Maradona.
    Now,lets feed on Bolton come Wednesday.

  39. Rasp says:

    Hi gm, how could I have forgotten you – sincere apologies. Yes of course you were there with us. and witnessed the GiE moment.

    Its funny how going to football can become a great leveller. It is awesome when you discover some of the professional achievements of fellow supporters – you in particular have an amazingly successful and glamourous business, but you still stand out in the cold and mix it with the rest of us – unlike Harry and his prawny mates in platinum level πŸ˜†

  40. Rasp says:

    OK ‘sure’ is now ‘shore’ although I was unshore whether to do it or not, after all, this was written by a football supporter, not George Bernard Sure 😳

  41. Thanks MikeSA – I already said that at 11.04. πŸ™‚

  42. Raspers, as David Dunnne might say “To be shaw, to be shore”

  43. Rasp says:

    πŸ™‚ chary,

    I’m beginning to hate Mcdon’tlethimofftheLeish as much as you hate fergie!

  44. chas says:

    How about wafting instead of whafting? πŸ™‚

  45. chas says:

    To be shore.

  46. How rude of me …….. thank you fgg for an excellent match report, I really enjoy reading yours and I didn’t even have to turn the screws πŸ˜‰

  47. He is the next fungus-scum, he seems to tick all the boxes to make my insides curdle Raspers.

  48. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    Huggy, your lucky I didn`t cling to you , I was so cold, with my shaking It would felt like a back massager for you ! πŸ™‚

    Terry, what can I say, I knew you were going to be a Top geezer and felt like we bonded instantly ,looking forward to our future friendship and as for the Transplant, your pulling my leg, didn`t look like one to me, looked like a normal head of hair but then again I didn`t see that Meerkat anywhere yesterday ! πŸ™‚

  49. I like it Raspers – sums up what the ex-BrumScum manager is becoming to Arsenal fans – a figure of hate, and rightly so.
    Imagine the furore in the gutter press if our manager had whinged about how an oppo player should be retrospectively punished.

  50. Gooner In Exile says:

    I have considered the “shore up/sure up” a few times when writing match reports and because i couldn’t decide ended up with “to solidify” πŸ˜€

    As for Warnock it’s no surprise to me that he was complimenting Arsenal and Wenger as I have heard him interviewed a few times and he has often commented on how much he respects the club and the manager. I always found it strange that he never seeks to play football the same way but I guess he would say that you can only work with the tools you have, and unfortunately for him the best QPR could do was sign the tool that is Joey Barton.

  51. Rasp says:

    Agreed chary, I want to save my comments for tomorrow as we have a terrific post on the subject coming up.

  52. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    Just catching up on some posts of yesterday, chas, was that Big Raddy singing in that video @9:31 ?, It was funny ! πŸ˜†

  53. Gooner In Exile says:

    Gazidis speaks, worth a listen.


    “We’re in three competitions this year, Manchester City would love to be in three competitions”

    “We do things based on a value system, we’re about creating star players not buying them, we’re about what happens in a team between players not about individual superstars”

    “Very proud that we’ve got one of the greatest managers the world has ever seen at the helm”

  54. Arsedave says:


    Is fighting for 4th place one of your competitions?

  55. Gooner In Exile says:

    FA Cup, Champions League, and Premier League I guess (well its not mathematically impossible πŸ˜‰ )

    To emphasise thats Gazidis quote not my view.

  56. Sounds good Raspers – can I put myself(plus my 2 boys) down to be NOT in Peachy’s pocket, but actually at the Tavern on Saturday ?

  57. gunnern5 says:

    Here is the latest news on Arsenal transfers ,…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………?

    Oops – you have to fill in the blanks as it appears that Arsenal won’t.

  58. goonermichael says:

    You can take me out of the council estate but you can’t take the council estate out of me. I had a fantastic time. I’m bringing my wife next time.

  59. Arsedave says:

    The transfer rumours are Clint Dempsey 28, Jan Vertonghen Ajax 24, Adrian Mariappa Watford 25, Lucas Torro Alcoyano 17 and Paul Pogba a Man Utd rebel.
    Don’t see any of these happening myself.

  60. goonermichael says:

    Think I’ll have my lunch as well then…………………….

  61. goonermichael says:


    I said yesterday that a Spanish team were interseted. I didn’t realise he has to stay in this country for his visa.

  62. goonermichael says:

    ‘It will have to be in England because he will lose the homegrown status if he leaves the country.’

    Read more: http://www.metro.co.uk/sport/football/888837-bolton-and-fulham-open-talks-over-arsenal-kid-ryo-miyaichi#ixzz1kwlVfzGE

  63. Just had my lunch GM – it was a foot long sub way veggie delite with extra hot chilli sauce and jalapenos.

    Yup, I’m living the dream.

  64. dandan says:

    Fine well written article Ginger, thank you

    Great to see so many players running with the ball.

    One wonders if the boo boys had enough brain to feel stupid at full time yesterday.

    “Does’nt know what he is doing” indeed πŸ™‚

  65. dandan says:

    Hope this raises a smile for all you hardworking types.

    A Catholic Priest, a Baptist Preacher and a Rabbi all served as Chaplains to the students of Northern Michigan University at Marquette in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan . They would get together two or three times a week for coffee and to talk shop.

    One day, someone made the comment that preaching to people isn’t really all that hard, a real challenge would be to preach to a bear. One thing led to another, and they decided to do an experiment. They would all go out into the woods, find a bear, preach to it, and attempt to convert it to their religion. Seven days later, they all came together to discuss their experiences.

    Father Flannery, who had his arm in a sling, was on crutches, and had various bandages on his body and limbs, went first.. ‘Well,’ he said, ‘I went into the woods to find me a bear. And when I found him, I began to read to him from the Catechism.

    Well, that bear wanted nothing to do with me and began to slap me around. So I quickly grabbed my holy water, sprinkled him and, Holy Mary Mother of God, he became as gentle as a lamb. The Bishop is coming out next week to give him first communion and confirmation.’

    Reverend Billy Bob spoke next. He was in a wheelchair, had one arm and both legs in casts, and had an IV drip. In his best fire-and-brimstone oratory, he exclaimed, ‘WELL, brothers, you KNOW that we Baptists don’t sprinkle! I went out and I FOUND me a bear. And then I began to read to my bear from God’s HOLY WORD! But that bear wanted nothing to do with me. So I took HOLD of him and we began to wrestle. We wrestled down one hill, UP another and DOWN another until we came to a creek. So I quickly DUNKED him and BAPTIZED his hairy soul. And just like you said, he became as gentle as a lamb. We spent the rest of the day praising Jesus. Hallelujah!

    The Priest and the Reverend both looked down at the Rabbi, who was lying in a hospital bed. He was in a body cast and traction with IVs and monitors running in and out of him. He was in really bad shape. The Rabbi looked up and said: “Looking back on it . . . circumcision may not have been the best way to start.”

  66. gunnern5 says:

    Over my years of supporting Arsenal the very worst times were those when we were out of all competitions early and had no hope of it being any better the next season.

    For the 40 year period between 1950/51 and 1989/9 we only had 5 major trophy seasons, six if you want to include a league cup, we finished an average of 7th in the league and had 8 different managers, 4 of whom won nothing.

    Those were 4 really tough decades to be an Arsenal supporter – the brightest point being the 1970/71 double season, during that period we only won a trophy on a average of once every 8 seasons.

    Only those amongst us who were around for that entire period can truly appreciate the “Wonders of Wenger”

    As most of you are aware, to me, trophies are just the icing on the cake and the real joy for me is in the “chase” for them and AW has, most of the time, kept us in the hunt long into the season.

    AW is quite simply my “Hero” manager and he has enhanced my personal joy of football way beyond my wildest dreams – but that doesn’t mean that I’m thrilled with “ring around the roses” football.

    Long live the “Wonders of Wenger”

  67. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    Is there no end to my happiness today, a chap just up the road calls in to say he`s starting up a window cleaning round, anyway were out side in the sub-tropical conditions ( just a pair of shorts and my newly found boomerang which I cant seem to get rid of !) chatting away and he`s a gooner (and a Wengerite ) , more instant bonding. It`s great being an Arsenalolic !
    Oh , and if your wondering , he got the job ! πŸ™‚

  68. RockyLives says:

    Fine and comprehensive report FGG.

    It sounds likes I missed a proper AA get-together yesterday. I’m jealous.


    Cornwall, since it was so cold i was well pleased to have the meerkat on my bonce. It was so bad that at one stage i was looking around at our fellow AAers with the crazy compulsion of nicking someones coat and running of into the distance yelling “f…..g freezing”, but thankfuly managed to restrain myself.

  70. i had a feeling..wooohoooooooooooo

  71. Red Arse says:


    Re. your 12:51.

    Arsene was pressed by an intrepid TV interviewer yesterday about transfers, and said “I cannot say we are NOT going to buy someone, but at this point it would have to be a miracle if we do”. (Pretty accurate altho’ from memory only).

    Translation? Your comment was pretty accurate – no purchases.

    Slightly disappointed that if no forward cover is coming in that Park was not given a run out yesterday.

  72. goonermichael says:


    An insight into Speed’s suicide

  73. So are we signing this Thomas Eisfeld(attacking mid fielder) from Borussia Dortmund then ?

  74. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    Who ? , He`s not on my “Supper Quality ” list as I haven`t heard of him !

  75. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    “Supper Quality”, well I was feeling a bit peckish ! πŸ˜†

  76. I think he’s an award winning product of the Dortmund academy Glic…..just noticed him on Twitter.

    Probably a load of tosh….the rumour that is.

  77. Rasp says:

    “He’s a 19-year-old, right-footed, offensive midfielder who has already spent a year out of the game having ruptured his cruciate ligament in late 2009.”

  78. A year out injured eh Raspers, someone to keep Diaby company in the sick bay perhaps ? πŸ™‚

  79. Rasp says:

    Haha, who knows chary. Don’t forget we bought a couple of midfielders from the Barca academy in the summer who are also 18ish. Le boss does love a midfielder or 2 πŸ™„

  80. Irishgunner says:

    Evening all,

    I’m fecking dog sick which is why I’ve not been on in a few days. I’m getting various flu symptoms on a weekly basis, for the last fortnight it was a sore throat and cough, which over the last three days has been replaced by a thumping headache, nothing is making it go away 😦

    Anyways, I could only listen to the game yesterday on the radio. When I entered Tesco I was like a demon cos it as 0-2, by the fruit aisle it was 1-2, meat aisle 2-2 and by dairy it was 3-2. Bet the other customers are still wondering what the crazy girl was doing shouting “get in Robin you beauty” at the milk ….

  81. Red Arse says:

    I guess there are a number of grandparents on here so I thought you might like to hear what a bunch of 8 year olds think of you! πŸ™‚

    WHAT IS A GRANDPARENT? (Taken from papers written by a class of 8-year-olds)

    1) Grandparents are a lady and a man who have no little children of their own. They like other people’s.

    2) A grandfather is a man, & a grandmother is a lady!

    3) Grandparents don’t have to do anything except be there when we come to see them … They are so old they shouldn’t play hard or run. It is good if they drive us to the shops and give us money.

    4) When they take us for walks, they slow down past things like pretty leaves and caterpillars.

    5) They show us and talk to us about the colours of the flowers and also why we shouldn’t step on ‘cracks.’

    6) They don’t say, ‘Hurry up.’

    7) Usually grandmothers are fat but not too fat to tie your shoes.

    8) They wear glasses and funny underwear.

    9) They can take their teeth and gums out.

    10) Grandparents don’t have to be smart.

    11) They have to answer questions like;
    ‘Why isn’t God married?’ and ‘How come dogs chase cats?’

    12) When they read to us, they don’t skip. They don’t mind if we ask for the same story over again.

    13) Everybody should try to have a grandmother, especially if you don’t have television because they are the only grownups who like to spend time with us.

    14) They know we should have a snack time before bed time, and they say prayers with us and kiss us even when we’ve acted bad.


    16) It’s funny when they bend over; you hear gas leaks, and they blame their dog….

    Let’s hear it for grandparents!!!! πŸ™‚

  82. Red Arse says:

    My favorite grandparent items 8, 9, 15 and 16…….especially 16!! πŸ™‚

  83. Red Arse says:

    You are clearly doomed, Irish! πŸ™‚

    Seriously………….. hope you feel better later!!!!

  84. TotalArsenal says:

    RA, you are a homo sentimentalis πŸ™‚

  85. Irishgunner says:

    We’re all doomed RA πŸ˜†

    All I’ll be fine by Saturday …. I’m not actually sick enough to take time off work (although was verging on it today) I’d rather be really sick for a few days and get over it than this fecking thing that won’t feck off.

  86. evonne says:

    Oh Irish, you are so mad πŸ™‚
    I’d love a friend like you, most of my female mates are so foocking boring!!!! Anytime you want to stay in London, I have a whole house to myself, come over, I’ll take you to McDees

  87. Irishgunner says:

    πŸ˜† Evonne – I’m over on Saturday for the day, are you going to the Blackburn game?

  88. Irishgunner says:

    thefadotcom TheFA.com
    The referee has confirmed he saw the incident involving Robin Van Persie and therefore the Arsenal forward faces no further action.

  89. slimgingergooner says:

    Hope you all enjoyed the game as much as i did yesterday. Nothing like a good come back is there!?

    Love the grandparent stuff RA! Brilliant!


    I think you should hold a seminar once a week at the Emirates in front of all the boo-boys and explain to them, with the aid of flip charts, graphs and projector slides, just how different things were at Arsenal for the 40 years prior to GG and AW. I honestly believe some of them would start to understand that what we have at this club at the moment ain’t half bad!

  90. slimgingergooner says:

    Off to play football now! Show Arsenal what there missing (not a lot!).

  91. evonne says:

    Irish – oh no, I am away this weekend 😦 Feck feck feck!

    BTW, why didn’t you watch the game? Have you not got that marvellous LiveOnlineFooty ?

  92. goonermichael says:

    I’m glad the FA aren’t going to ban Robin (obviously) I thoughjt they would. Makes macliesh look like a right lemon

  93. Irishgunner says:

    Evonne – I was travelling at the time, so radio was the only option.

  94. Oye you, who’s foooking boring!!!!!!!!

  95. evonne says:

    Peaches – you are not a friend, you like family, come off it!

  96. Ok, I’ll excuse myself then πŸ™‚

    When are you going away?

  97. Irishgunner says:

    Fooking is a terrible word, fucking is far better

    a word that is!

  98. evonne says:

    Irish – oh ok, I thougth that you might be having problems subscibing to LiveOnline in Eire.

    Ginga – had my dinner, read your post, both marvellous!
    I am glad you didn’t think that the first half we were dismal, I didn’t think that. I still cannot understand why the foock there was booing? Because we were losing no doubt, but it was a weird result, we were the better team.

    Thank you for such thorough report, well done Ginga

  99. evonne says:

    Peaches – Thursday, grandson is all yours for a weekj πŸ™‚

  100. Gooner in Exile says:

    Evonne it was strange. It must be from such a minor section of idiots.

    I chatted to the guys next to me (well the older ones) and they were of the same opinion, namely “how the f*** are we 2-0 down”. I’m sure the players were shell shocked at half time as were most of us fans.

    When I text my dad at full time to say how much I enjoyed the win….he text back saying “we thought you left at half time”. Such is my Jonah status within the family!

  101. Irishgunner says:

    I’m getting magnets for my headache – apparently they work wonders… we’ll see!

  102. chas says:

    Elsewhere some are saying it was the booing at half time that provoked or inspired the storming start to the second half yesterday. I really hope such moronic thinking doesn’t catch on.

  103. chas – I saw that earlier in the day – about the booing spurring the team on – it seems as ridiculous as the crowd being to blame when the team are doing badly IMHO …….. if only it were that simple πŸ™„

    Irish – sorry to hear that you’re not well, hope the magnets work …..


    It does my head in when people boo or slaughter individual players, completly self defeating. I will never forget the Eboue booing, the bloke actully started crying. Hows he going to play well after that?

  105. Gooner In Exile says:

    I guess anything to justify their actions.

  106. Gooner in Exile says:

    Such a quiet day on the blog…how’d that happen considering the comeback yesterday…..oh self explanatory I guess

  107. Gooner in Exile says:

    Just in case you hadn’t realised we will be 4th and 3 points behind Spuds on 19th March at the latest.

    We will be level on points with them on the 25th March and celebrating St Totteringhams day on 5th May a lot later than normal but it will happen. (12 wins 3 draws 1 loss but one of those wins has to be Spuds at home)

    QPR, Wigan and Wolves go down. ManUre win the league.

  108. oz gunner says:

    @ irish:
    Two words: analgesic calmatives. Have had migraines frequently for a while and they work wonders,only downside is dowsiness.

    Haha love the grand parents stuff,reminds me off the bill cosby show ‘kids say the darndest.things’

  109. Jailhouse Legs Malone says:

    Morning Oz,
    Exciting day ahead what with Bolton game and the last day of the window!!!

  110. Jailhouse Legs Malone says:

    So Arsene says a signing this window would be a “miracle”. Well, that’s definately not a “No” then, simply a well crafted message to the negotiating team that he has little or no faith in them πŸ™‚

  111. Gooner in Exile says:

    Bolton game’s tomorrow Micky. I’m hoping for snow to force a cancellation. Be good if we had a weeks rest and 7 days more recovery time for Bac and Mikel.

  112. evonne says:

    Morning all
    GiE – explain yourself re @1:08. Are you bankin on Arry going down?

  113. evonne says:

    Will we sign anybody? Reportedly Mariappa and Eisfeld are coming to the HOF, let’s see

  114. SharkeySure says:

    Cheers SGG, cracking report.

  115. Gooner in Exile says:

    I just did the BBC Predictor Evonne and I was honest.

    Spuds between now and March 25th have Liverpool away, Us away, United home and Chelsea away (on 24th March). They will lose all those. We in the same period have Liverpool away and Spuds home, So they will lose 12 points, we will win 4pts from those two games.

    There are 8 games in that period, so Spuds will have 58pts and we will have 58pts, but be ahead on goal difference Simples πŸ™‚

  116. morning all,

    hey GiE, do you believe the Ox will from now on be a regular starter??

  117. Red Arse says:

    Feeling positively grumpy this morning. 😦

    Woke up fine at 6 a.m., then remembered I have more blood tests today, yeuk – then listened to a snippet of TalkCrap where those absurd idiots Brazil and Irani with their peripatetic intellects really wound me up!

    Brazil is a pompous, disgusting little tick. Irani is just like Darren Gough — a thick – no, a really, really thick, Manyoo supporting, lickspittle ex-cricketer who hates Arsenal. Why does anyone want to listen to such drivel from these asinine individuals?

    So, I came back to AA and watched the mystery ‘crying in the rain’ vid and was cheered up instantly. I love it!! πŸ™‚

  118. Gooner in Exile says:

    RurP I think whilst Ivory Coast continue in the ACN he will, but come Gervs return I think he will go down to the subs bench

    But he, Rambo, Theo, Gerv, TR7 then give us quite a few options in the attacking third.

    Also Theo may get his chance to cover for RvP on occasion.

  119. evonne says:

    GiE – I hope you are right. I REALLY do not want us to finish behind those arseholes. They seem to be very busy today buying 😦

  120. Gooner in Exile says:

    Chas thanks for the link it’s a good interview and article, I posted a link to the audio yesterday morning.

    Makes a mockery of the “they don’t talk to us” line.

  121. Morning all

    Thanks chas for that link to the article on goonerboy, it’s very well written and easy for laymen to understand the position we find ourselves in.

  122. chas says:

    spuds away kit for next season if you haven’t seen already.

  123. kelsey says:

    Morning all,

    Sorry to have missed the last two days and have read all the comments and like many thought there would be major repercussions by an ever growing amount of so called fans in the stadium, at full time if we went on to lose.

    Well those 7 minutes changed the game and i was intersted to see after each goal RVP and Walcott ran to embrace not AW but Henry.

    So we can get motivated and for about 30 minutes in the second half we were the Arsenal of old.Villa are not a great team yet somehow they unbelievably scored not one but two goals and I said to myself, oh not again.

    many fans are fickle and to boo, Arshavin and to again groan at Walcott as they did to Denilson does absolutely nothing to t restore confidence.

    I understand we have again enquired about Dempsey as Fulham are just to bring in an attacking midfielder (forgot his name )and I think if he really wanted to come and the fee was right he would come and that his wages wouldn’t be too exhorbitant.

    My only real hunch is that with none of us really knowing if Jack will be out for the season is that we may buy this Eisfield for about 600K as cover.and for the future.

  124. chas says:

    I meant to listen to that, GIE, but then forgot.
    Soz for duplication.

  125. Gooner in Exile says:

    Chas no worries, the article fleshed it out a bit whereas the audio was just the interview with no interpretation.

    Evonne I wouldn’t worry about the Spuds activity, according to the gossip columns they are signing 5 and selling 2. And I think Levy will tell ‘Arry “no….we don’t know where you are come Friday at the moment”

    Their apparent targets of Adebayor, Rodellaga, Marin, Samba and Hoilett sounds like the dream of a wheeler dealer, and they only get Marin if they sell Corluka and Pavlyuchenko apparently. Sounds like summer again where ‘Arry told us they would do big things and ended up signing a 30 year old centre midfielder and loaned a striker.

  126. chas says:

    I hadn’t seen this either… πŸ™‚

  127. evonne says:

    GiE – I know I can rely on you to set the facts straight

  128. Gooner in Exile says:

    Kelsey sorry to pick you up but much has been made of the celebrations running to Henry and I think people could be guilty of reading too much ino it.

    Well first goal, RvP retrieved the ball and ran for the centre circle.

    Second goal Walcott ran to the bench and played shadow whiff whaff with Szczesny.

    Third goal RvP ran along the goal line celebrating with the crowd, sees Henry and jumps into his arms.

    Watching Thierry on the bench normally with a young player explaining little passages of play suggests to me he will come back as a coach one day.

    As for the rest of what you say I pretty much agree, altho I don’t see the point of Eisfield, but I haven’t seen him play, and we have Coq, Pong, Rambo, Wilshere all of similar age, Toral, Aneke and others in the academy so don’t see the benefit. But as Rasp says earlier in this thread Arsene loves a midfielder.

    Dempsey is a good finisher and has good work rate but I don’t think he is good enough for Arsenal and would be disappointed, at 28 and definitely not home grown he would be nothing more than a very small stop gap. Now if we were going to take Bryan Ruiz from them I would be happier (but know its a lot less likely)

  129. The ‘angryofislington’ article is very good too. The paying of inflated wages to young players who aren’t worth it is something that annoys me too. Obviously there were some mistakes made when promoting certain players from the reserves and then we just couldn’t move them on because of the wages. In addition maybe what we paid them turned some of their heads???????

    That can happen at any club though, I suppose you’re always taking a chance with a young player.

  130. Gooner in Exile says:

    Chas that’s superb πŸ˜€

    What’s your Secret Bank Account name?

    Mines Tabitha76 (blame my mum for naming the cat!)

  131. Wecome back kelsey, how did the bowls match go?

  132. chas says:


  133. Gooner in Exile says:

    Pay 5 youth team players Β£35k per week and keep them for a year after they leave (I honestly think that’s about the most we would pay a 18 year old without first team football)

    The cost is Β£9.1m a year.

    How much would it cost to buy Jack? Rooney at 19 cost United Β£30m.

    One gem from every year and it’s money we’ll spent IMO.

  134. kelsey says:


    you will understand this.

    We had a round trip of 280 kilometres ainto the heart of the Cordoba and we actually won. that was the furthest i have travelled in 12 years and with someone else driving, not my wife who always drives me (mad) I did better than expectd. Thanks for asking.

    GIE that is the difference when you are at the ground or watching on TV. On TV it looked as i said, but I wasn’t implying any disrespect to Wenger as i always thought the short loan spell of Henry was to boost and educate some of the squad as to actually playing a lot.

  135. chas says:

    Sylvester as in

    rather than

  136. chas says:

    It’s still making me laugh that Jailhouse Legs has kept blues name.

  137. chas says:

    * his blues name

  138. chas says:

    Looking forward to the post.
    Arseblog has described McLeish as ‘the withered, sunburnt, jaundiced, shrunken testicle’. πŸ™‚

  139. Well done to you kelsey πŸ˜‰

    GiE – I hope we’re not paying 18 year old youth team players 35k/week that’s obscene!!!!!!!

  140. New Post ……………….

  141. Big Raddy says:

    Just finished watching the Sunday game not knowing the result. Have to admit I was not in a good place at halftime πŸ™‚ but felt we had played well and got hit with 2 sucker punches.

    2nd half – well, I guess you have already picked the bones out if it.

    What was obvious is the difference a confident GK makes to the defence. I am afraid Fabianski is a busted flush. Shame.

  142. chas,

    he wants to imprint that name into our brains, so that we would forget the original “SLEEPPY SUGAR McGEE”

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