Ramsey: the next victim of Fans Fulfilling Prophecy?


From an interview by Simon Hattenstone with Paul Gascoigne, The Guardian 7 October:

But no, he’s [Gascoigne] not thinking about going back into football, either as a manager or as a pundit. He says he’s not got the constitution for it. “I’ve been told when a player’s playing well praise him, and when he’s having a bad game fuckin’ slaughter him, and I couldn’t do that. I couldn’t bring myself to slaughter someone having a bad game because I know he’s got to sit with his girlfriend or his wife, he knows he’s had a bad game, his kid probably thinks, ‘Oh, my dad’s shit.'” He shakes his head. “Couldn’t do it.”

Expectations are usually high when a CM has the ball in the centre of the opposition’s half, with a promising situation in front of him. If the CM delivers a good defence-splitting ball the crowd will be pleased – if not, it will quickly lead to a collective sigh of disappointment, especially if and when Arsenal is not in the lead. If the latter happens a few times in succession, the confidence of the player can get affected, depending very much on the thickness of his skin. Nothing new there: as long as football has been played in front of a crowd, players have had to deal with both the disappointment and elation of the fans present. But nowadays, players have to deal with so much more. Not only do they have to put up with a large number of journalists who do not bother to write about the truth, but whatever it is that its readers want to read; they are also now regularly subjected to vitriolic blogs and direct fan-communications via Twitter etc. It takes a lot for a modern-day, young football player to stay strong and believe in himself and the support he gets from his manager / his club is absolutely crucial.

We, the supporters, also have an important role to play: we can make or break football players and we all know we have made, but also broken, a few in recent times.

A lot of weight on Aaron Ramsey’s shoulders:
Creative Midfield play is without any doubt the toughest job in football. If CM’s are really good they are often referred to as conductors, magicians, creative hubs etc. They always get microscopic attention of the crowd, especially at Arsenal where the fans have been exposed to the very finest of CMs. As a result there is a lot of weight on the shoulder on whoever is brave and talented enough to take on such a pivotal role. After the master Fabregas sadly left for Barcelona, his most likely successor – the master in development, Jack Wilshere – sustained a nasty injury. It left a hole in the ‘hole-position’ the size of the Iberian Peninsula and the British Isles combined.

Wenger has been struggling to replicate his beloved 4-2-3-1 system, in which the midfield dominates our play to a large extent. I have posted before about the ‘Wall of ARS’: how Arteta, Ramsey and Song are multi-talented and multi-disciplined midfielders who can play in any position and can perform any midfield function to a high degree. We are now playing a 5/4-3-3 system, where ARS is a ‘mini-team’ in itself, and if and when all three are firing on all cylinders it is a joy to behold: the games against Chelsea, Marseille and Dortmund particularly spring to mind. It appears that Wenger has given ARS the freedom to perform various midfield duties as they see fit and sort things out between themselves, as in who does what at any particular point of the game. Ramsey has been the most advanced player and therefore has had most CM-responsibilities, but others have chipped in as well, notably Song has had many fantastic assists this season. However, even with the ARS at its best, something is still missing.

I am not sure whether the most advanced midfield position in our current 4-3-3 system is the ideal position for Ramsey. I think he would perform better in Arteta’s position, next to the more defensive minded midfielder Song (at least on paper). Nevertheless, Ramsey has been giving his all in this challenging position, and has been making good progress. I expect Jack Wilshere to become first choice for the more advanced position, once he is fully recovered, but Ramsey could still claim the CM-role on a permanent basis in the next few months.

The essence of ‘Victory through Harmony’
I have no doubt whatsoever that Aaron is a super-talent who will develop into a top class player. In order to get there, however, confidence/trust in his abilities by himself and the supporters is absolutely paramount. A number of fans have been highly critical, and in some cases, outrageously abusive about Aaron’s performances recently, and for a player like him – in this difficult position and at his tender age – this can be very detrimental.

If we are not careful Ramsey will become another victim of a negative ‘fans fulfilling prophecy’:

  • A couple of (perceived) under-par performances by Ramsey leads to;
  • Unhappy crowds and unhappy bloggers etc;
  • Once Ramsey becomes aware of this (and how couldn’t he) it’s highly likely that his confidence gets affected;
  • Ramsey might easily start making more mistakes, and as a result, will take less risk and might even start hiding during games;
  • Leading to more unhappy crowds, bloggers etc, even less confidence and worse and worse performances;
  • Before you know it, we have ‘unsupported’ him into a failure.

I just cannot understand why somebody who calls him/herself an Arsenal supporter can severely criticise a player beyond the technical performance in a particular game. If and when a player has a below-par game, there is nothing wrong with pointing this out. But when fans start saying that Ramsey is rubbish and should be dumped, when he is solely blamed for a game lost by Arsenal, or even worse, for all that has gone wrong with Arsenal this season, when fans start introducing silly, derogatory terms such as Ramilson, when even a few idiots start wishing him all sorts of diseases, and worse, then fans are starting to harm the very thing they say they support.

By all means, if a player is lazy, has a calculated commitment to the club and does not care for Arsenal one iota, criticise him as much as you like: he deserves it.

But any player who gives his all, who cares about Arsenal and wears the shirt with pride, is one of us and should get our full, unflinching support: that is what Victory through Harmony stands for. Ramsey is such a player and we need to stand behind him.

It is a question of attitude, and before you know it, we will actually experience a case of positive fans fulfilling prophecy, in which we help a player reach their full potential. Let’s stand behind Ramsey, let’s encourage him and support him, and before you know it we have another world class player in our midfield.

TotalArsenal.

145 Responses to Ramsey: the next victim of Fans Fulfilling Prophecy?

  1. evonne says:

    TA – you never disappoint, never!

    ‘any player who gives his all, who cares about Arsenal and wears the shirt with pride, is one of us and should get our full, unflinching support: that is what Victory through Harmony stands for. Ramsey is such a player and we need to stand behind him’ – amen.

  2. evonne says:

    silly and not-PC joke:

    An Irishman was terribly overweight, so his doctor put him on a diet.

    ‘I want you to eat regularly for 2 days, then skip a day,then eat regularly again for 2 days then skip a day …… And repeat this procedure for 2 weeks. The next time I see you, you should have lost at least 5 pounds.’

    When the Irishman returned, he shocked the doctor by having lost nearly 60 lbs!

    ‘Why, that’s amazing!’ the doctor said, ‘Did you follow my instructions?’

    The Irishman nodded … ‘I’ll tell you, be jaesuz, I t’aut I were going to drop dead on dat ‘tird day.’

    ‘From the hunger, you mean?’ asked the doctor.

    ‘No, from the skippin’

  3. Gooner In Exile says:

    Superb piece on our young midfielder and the midfield operations.

    You are also right about the way the midfield is interchangeable. Song has the highest number of completed through balls in the PL (0.7).

    And Arteta made this very interesting comment on Arse.com

    “I watch the game from behind and I know that when we become too open we leave many spaces and concede goals, I jjust try to balance the team a little bit. Sometimes I would like to go forward more, but I’ve still had chances and the goal [against Blackburn] was my sixth this year, which isn’t bad.”

  4. Rasp says:

    Excellent post TA. It is disgraceful the way Ramsey has been pilloried from some quarters. He’s a young player who hes been expected to fill in for Cesc, Na$ri and Wilshere. He’s tried his hardest and no-one can ask for more than that. He is a quality player who will shine when surrounded by equivalent quality, but we’ve had to ask him to do too much at times this season.

    GiE, that comment by Arteta just shows what an intelligent footballer he is. I think he has been more effective than Cesc was at the deep lying midfield role.

  5. WiganGooner says:

    Great article, one which I think we can all find something in it.

    I know far too many “supporters” who jump on this bandwagon and that, criticising whoever the hated player of the week/month is.

    Aaron Ramsey is already becoming an awesome footballer. In time I can see him having more and more effect on the game. He is still young and in terms of appearances is still very much a rookie.

    That said however, I think his performances this season have justified his selection and I believe he is a credit to Arsenal Football Club and we are lucky to have such a talent. I suspect if we cut him in half, like the proverbial stick of rock he would have Arsenal written right through him like Wilshire, Szczesny and RvP.

    He showed against Sunderland that his timing of his runs (which are often missed because he fluffs the shot), is impeccable and I believe his ability to be in the right place at the right time will see him rise to the heights of Paul Scholes in his pomp.

    It’s back on Gooners!

    WG

  6. Jamie says:

    TA – I think it is a fair point all round really.

    I can sometimes be critical of Ramsey, but I don’t doubt his talent of commitment. I do doubt his suitability fo rthe position he ie currently plays. He may grow in to it, it did take Fabregas a while and for a long time he said he preferred playing deeper. Ramsey seems suite to a box to box roll where he can arrive late in the box.
    Just a few observations on the conductor position.

    1) Most of the game you need to be side on to the play. AR often faces the play. It is just a habit he may grow out of it but at the moment, by the time he is turned the chances of making the pass are slimmer.

    2 AR doesn’t have the supporting cast the Fabregas often had. Cesc often had a Hleb/Nasri to play second fiddle.

    3) AR could benefit from more central movement from our wide players, see the Ox’s first goal against Blackburn when RVP played him in.

    4) Wenger has spotted the AR needs the occasional rest. He usually comes back strong.

    5) I expect that Song, Ramsey, Wilshere combination wit ll allow the two more attacking players to alternate the conductor role. See Man Utd game last year. That could be really positive.

  7. Ngbede john says:

    I can see him becoming a star in arsenal shirt, give him more season 2 play more game.

  8. Sebastian says:

    I agree with what you say, about not supporting a player is counter productive and can harm them and the football club, I get that 100%. We need to encourage our players.

    However, I think maybe you are looking at the problem from the wrong angle. I am not defending the people that needlessly slag off Ramsey (if they play for Arsenal, give them support. period.) However I think it is more a fans reaction to the fact we give alot of players too much time to develop, the cost being Arsenal winning games and getting points. Dont get me wrong, if Wenger thinks Ramsey will be a star, then thats great, I believe him. But you cant deny that its frustrating for Arsenal fans to see a super star in Fabregas leave, and be replaced with someone who, like it or not, is worse.

    This is not Ramseys fault, he plays because he is picked. I know its a hard circle to break, because if Ramsey didnt play, he’d never improve, but can we always afford to drop points by giving several players in key positions time to develop? I think a key example of this is the fact it took Wenger 3 years to realise that Denilson, in all honesty, was rubbish. Being a club that hasnt won nearly as much as it should have recently, I think fans feel they cannot wait for Ramsey to become a world star, we need a world star right now.

    We will learn to appreciate Ramseys talents in the future, of that I have no doubt, however currently, he is unfairly taking stick for something that isnt his fault, but in truth, right now, do Arsenal need someone better than him in order to be a top team? I think the answer to that may be yes.

    But every Arsenal fan should still get behind him. And Arshavin for that matter.

  9. Musa Maimaje says:

    I am so much impressed with this post, I am really are because its meaningful. Its just the truth and nothing but the truth. Honestly what arsenal fans do forget is this is he’s first season at Arsenal, Ramsey was ruled out for a season with a broken leg, Back then before his injury, if y’all could remember he was a very good player and everyone was sad to see such a young of his talent got a serious injury like that. The point here is Ramsey is trying his best to cope with the squad, he has to make a lot of mistake because he wasn’t playing for a year, but believe me Ramsey is a great CM. Its just a matter of time, he needs time to settle! #Gunners

  10. oz gunner says:

    great post TA. When reading it you can tell it’s another TA masterpiece without even looking at the author. cheers

    Some arsenal supporters expect so much so soon from players. I know it’s mentioned a lot that he’s come back from a leg break, and it shouldn’t be scoffed at. Ask anyone who has had a similar injury and they will tell you how long it takes to fully recover. It is amazing how fast he’s come back, and i honestly don’t see where the criticism is coming from. Yes he’s had a couple of average games, but come on a bit of slack is needed because he’s had some rippers too. He will be a LEGEND no doubt about it, i just hope that some of our fans to pull their heads in because i want him to be at our club until retirement.

    I think our future will be Coq, Ramsey (box to box), and Wilshere as our midfield team, and if that comes to fruition then look out opposition. Our supporters need to get behind our players more. it’s as simple as that.

    cheers once again TA, best wishes out to Mrs Dandan

  11. Gooner In Exile says:

    Rasp you are right about Arteta intelligence wise, but I also think it shows the quality I have been calling for from Arsenal players for a long time….”taking responsibility”.

    Sebastian you state that Denilson was rubbish and it took Arsene 3 years to realise, what if Denilson was actually good, and the Arsenal support turned him average. I remember him scoring from long range, being a good offensive passer, he then suffered the long lay off with the back injury, and when he returned seemed to have lost a yard of pace, and went on to become more defensive and more sideways as any forward pass astray was greeted with sighs and groans, then every sideways pass was greeted with groans, i am surprised Wenger could get him on the pitch such was the level of criticism from the terraces. Exactly what TA is suggesting could happen to young Aaron if given the same treatment. Thankfully Rambo has his family and friends nearby to support him.

  12. Aussie Gooner Dave says:

    It’s as simple as this. He’s still a kid in football terms. Give him time to gain the experience he needs to become a great player. Get behind him, he bleeds Arsenal and we need him to become the player we know he will become

  13. Gooner In Exile says:

    Musa top comment.

    Oz no Frimpong? 😦

  14. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    Great post TA,
    Your command of the ” English” language Is far superior than a lot of us ” Natives” ,you are a clever clogs !, but I am twice as good as you at your own native tounge, as Mrs glick says I speak double dutch ( I also write It aswell ) ! 😉

  15. WiganGooner says:

    @Sebastian,

    How will our reactions to a player determine whether he is good enough or not?

    As you say it’s not the players fault.

    A player that comes to mind is Denilson. I felt sorry for Denilson, a player with genuine talent, though his stature and style of play was not really suited to Arsenal. He was absolutely destroyed by Arsenal and its fans.

    Bereft of confidence his last few appearances were error-ridden and he moved around the field like Bambi on ice waiting for his next mistake and the inevitable booing from the stands.

    Highly paid yes, soulless, no. He’s just a young guy trying to play football.

    WG

  16. chas says:

    TA,
    Top post. How you can knock something up that good at short notice is beyond me.

    Sebastian,
    Excellent comment.
    How many players are of similar quality to Cesc?
    Wesley Schneider? I doubt it, but was never going to happen anyway.
    Even Cesc himself said that his replacement was playing already i.e. Jack.

  17. Sebastian says:

    Denilson did also state that he was too much of a winner to play for Arsenal before he left…

    Being a good player isnt just about talent, its about being able to bounce back and believe in yourself, cope with stick. If he was that good, he would have turned the fans round to love him, just like Song and Eboue did.

  18. WiganGooner says:

    @Sebastian

    I think we all know that was nothing more than a feeble attempt to save face, much like Bendtner crowing about all the teams in Europe wanting him.

    All I was saying that we are at least partially responsible for how these players fare if we don’t support them 100%, even in the bad performances.

    WG

  19. Sebastian says:

    Wigangooner, I agree with that, as I stated in my first post…football players, like any other person in their place of work, need support and encouragement to succeed. I’m just stating the reason why Ramsey takes, unfairly, so much stick right now. It the fans reaction to big players being replaced by players that perhaps arent quite ready yet. But we’ve got what we’ve got, lets support them and see where we end up.

  20. Hmmmmm…. A number of players could potentially play in the attacking midfielder position. Rosicky and Beneyoun this season, tend to have displayed qualities which sugegest, if given a chance, they could play at a similar level, if not better than Ramsey. An issue which has been highlighted is that by many fact Ramsey plays too often, creating a pressure on his shoulders to be the sole creative hub within the team. With the obove mentioned players in the team, I do not feel this should be the case, something Arsene wenger has revently realised playing rosicky in theat position.

  21. boyo says:

    @Sebastian

    Your initial comment is perfect!

    I don’t support booing players etc! But the fans are not there to hold young players hands while they develop! We support Arsenal and want them to win I do not watch to see how good we may be in five years, those who do should watch the youth squad and reserves!

    Ramsey is not good enough right now and he shouldnt be a staring player. If he played as a squad player he would still get a few games to develop and the fans would expect less of him.

    Arsenal cant be bad so that Ramsey can one day reach his potential! Dont boo our players but by all means let you polite view be known if you want him dropped!

  22. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Great post Dutch Master.

    I whole heartedly agree with your sentiments for the boy Ramsey. As ive said before, i suffered a leg break similar to Ramseys which led to a premature end to a glorious career on Hackney Marshes. Its not a nice feeling having your body snapped in two. Believe me, what the kid has acheived so far from bouncing back from that is exceptional.

    I remember watching the incident on TV. I was so distraught at the time i thought the boys career was over. I was pacing down the room like a lunatic, Mrs Terry fast on my heels, syringe in hand trying to calm me. I genuinly didnt give a damn about anything for those horrific minutes, only that Arron would be ok. The sweetest moment for me on saturday wasnt the winner, it was his goal, which is well deserved for all his efforts this season. He will get stronger and stronger and be a very important player for the Club for many years to come, and i for one am delighted fro him and for us.

  23. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    Hey Terry, Did they still have the cow sheds when you played over the “Marshes” ? . F**k me , was that cold washing in them water troughs, my todger wouldn`t come out to play for hours !

  24. Devil says:

    You know I had written this blog when every one was slating Ramsey as they deemed fit.

    http://dhavalscloud9.blogspot.in/#!http://dhavalscloud9.blogspot.com/2011/12/rambo-hope-youll-prove-it-was-worth.html

    No need to slat him.

  25. Rasp says:

    Hi Sebastian, you’ve posted some very perceptive observations this morning.

    The style and content of your comments is very much in keeping with the ethos of the site.

    I don’t know if you’re familiar with the structure of AA, but basically it is a co-operative site where anyone who wishes to express an opinion about anything relating to Arsenal without too much rancour can write a headline post and join our list of authors – that invitation is certainly extended to you.

  26. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Course Cornwall, the facilities were tremendous. hahaha

  27. Tomi Abiodun says:

    Really good article, the only problem I have with ramsey are his performances and I think it’ll do him a whole lot of good if he plays second fiddle to experienced players like rosicky and benayoun. At 21 years of age he’s not yet the player most fans expect him 2 be, but we can’t keep blaming him for his performances bcos he doent choose himself 2 play the games, Only the manager can be faulted for that. I hope he develops properly 2 become a good player..

  28. Sebastian says:

    @ Rasp

    Well thats very kind of you, I’d be more than happy to join your list of authors write a title post at some point.

  29. Rasp says:

    Mick McCarthy has had his marching orders then – I think he should take over at the spuds when ‘arry gets the England job 😕

  30. Rasp says:

    Excellent Sebastian, you can email us at arsenalnuts@live.co.uk

  31. LB says:

    I’m trying to think how to make the sound of a shark’s jaws closing on my keyboard……….lol.

    Good post TA

  32. tomstoned says:

    Total Arsenal mate

    just a superb post !

  33. goonermichael says:

    Great post. I’ve never understood the stick he sometimes gets. The people who slate him are the same people who coined the name “koshiteny”. They are basically tossers and he should ignore them anyway. I’ve seen similar stuff aimed at gervinho. beg bent nose getting the tin tack has really made my day. Can’t stand that wanker. Hope he’s the next spud boss. Any news on BFG (who had plenty of stick from the same “fans”)?

  34. Big Raddy says:

    TA. Good post to create debate ….

    It is difficult to discuss this without becoming a “football snob”. i.e. “I know better than you and you don’t know a quality player when you see one”

    Ramsey has quality stamped all over him. Not the obvious like Cesc or Xavi but the subtle key to the team like Scholes and Bryan Robson. I bet that in 5 years Ramsey will be our Captain Marvellous.

    But it takes time. My guess is that AW was banking on Diaby and JW being fit by now and rotate with Ramsey.

  35. Sebastian says:

    @Goonermichael

    Im glad you brought up Koscielny actually, how fantastic has he been recently. People are far too quick to write players off, it saddens me when you hear people slate Mert, Gerv or Kos. They are coming to a new league, and it takes a little time. Especially when you hear these so called pundits, or “experts” have a go about them. If they knew anything about football, they would be managers.

    They also seem to forget that it took Bergkamp, Henry and Pires a good 6 months to a year to show what they could do. They were put down as failures at first, but they turned out to be reasonably handy…

  36. Femi Jacobs says:

    What people said of Ramsey is to look forward and not always backward. That is it. If he can take that lesson he will be one of the best. Rosicky looks forward often than backward. That is the only difference.

    Arteta holds and delay ball and Ramsey does the same. One should always think of attacking and that is what Rosicky brings to it. We were always dangerous against Sunderland but for the tight defence.

  37. WiganGooner says:

    @Sebastian

    Totally agree mate, Kozzer is easily the best 1v1 defender at the club and one of the best centre-backs in the league.

    @Anyone who will listen…

    I was gutted to see the BFG go down like that, you could see straight away it was serious, I hope he has a swift recovery!

    Verminator will be back in the centre against Meeeeelan and I’m glad, he prefers it there, he looks good there and we look fast, dominant and aggressive in the centre when he’s in it.

    All of which means Gibbo gets a shot at the left back slot and against the patient Meelan should get plenty of opportunity to run at them and put in some telling work.

    I’m really looking forward to Wednesday night.

    WG

  38. TotalArsenal says:

    Afternoon AAers and thanks for the comments.

    Evonne 🙂

    GiE, great comment by Arteta, you posted earlier. What a great guy he is!

    Rasp, you are right, we have asked too much of him and it was good he got a bit of a break recently.

    WG, the Paul Scholes comparison is interesting. I always think of fat Frank in terms of the sort of player Ramsey is, but Scholes is a good one too.

    Jamie, good comment. I agree with all your observations. Re point 2: Ramsey is getting good support from Song and Arteta, but you are right in pointing towards Nasri, Hleb etc who gave support to Fabregas further up the field.

    Sebastian, top comment. Some fans unfairly project their disappointment about the way things have gone recently on Ramsey. It is an explanation not a justification, which you point out very well in your comment.

    Musa, that is a fine comment. I left the leg-break bit out on purpose, but of course it had an impact on where he is now. I dont want people to feel sorry for him though. He is a top player with an incredible challenge at the moment: they don’t come much harder than this.

    OZ, good to see you back here, hope you had a relaxing hols and had some time to think about writing another post yourself! Song, Ramsey, Wilshere, Le Coq, Arteta and Rosicky: the midfield future is pretty much sorted out!

    GiE, WG, fine comments about Denilson. He could have become a good squad player for us. His skin was not deep and he was far away from home and family. We, the fans, have let him down imo too.

    GLiC, I have said it before you are a born entertainer. Make sure you make notes about your jokes. One day we hold an AA gathering and you will do a stand-up comedy for all of us!!

    Yloops, fair comment. Wenger is just not a tinkerer. Once he likes something he sticks with it. I kinda like that about him though.

    Boyo. fair comment, but we cannot sit back and say: go on son, proof us your worth and if not we will tell you you are crap. GiE has pointed out in the past the difference between being a fan and a supporter. If you are the latter you will know that ‘holding the hand of a young player’, as you call it, is one of your roles.

    Terry, I was at the game when Ramsey’s leg got smashed. It was sickening and you are right, he did very well to recover from it.

    Tomi, fair comment. I believe we should push throug with Ramsey. Making him ‘second fiddle’ now would be a blow to his confidence from which he might not recover. I expect him to shine on Wednesday against Milan.

    Thanks Tom and LB (interesting comment re the shark haha).

    GM, Koshiteny is another very good example.

  39. TotalArsenal says:

    Raddy, fully agreed. Ramsey will get there but it might take a bit of time.

  40. dandan says:

    Magic stuff as usual TA, I have never come to terms with the section of the so called Arsenal support that has always had to have a fall guy to rubbish. At the moment it would seem to me that they can’t decide whether to concentrate on Aaron or Theo. That is when they are not getting stuck into Arsene of course.
    Incidentally I was interested that the prediction in my post at 2.57 yesterday came to fruition with the American owners of Liverpool, telling King Kenny that he wouldn’t be king much longer if he didn’t front up and apologise. When will these supporters realise that at the end of the day, it’s what suits the owners that matter.
    It is for that reason I hope we stay without a single owner for as long as we can.

  41. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi DanDan, hope your wife is making further progression 🙂

    The post could also have been about Theo, but a) I think he has a thicker skin than Aaron and b) Aaron is in a more vulnerable situation at the moment.

    Yes, your prediction came through re Dalglish but it does seem a little too late at this stage. Fully agreed though on wanting more than one owner for as long as possible.

  42. Dannyboy says:

    Good article.Ramsey will be a big star in the next couple of years.

    Off topic, i would like to congratualate my country men for their victory over Ivory Coast last night to lift the African cup of Nations.Zambia has come a long way after losing its National team in a plane crash back in 1993.At the time it seemed an impossible task to build another team from scratch but patience was needed and we achieved it.People will moan when Arsenal are not doing well and call for the managers head and give a list of players to go in the next transfer window.Arsenal like Zambia have also come a long way albiet different circumstances for rebuilding.Arsenal like Zmabia will win something in due course with Arsene Wenger all we need to do is be patient with the players in Red and White.

    Welldone Zambia for lifting the Africa Cup Rest in peace 1993.

  43. TotalArsenal says:

    Dannyboy, well done to the Chipolopolo. To win the ACN in the same place as where the plane crashed almost 20 years ago, must have been very special for you and your countrymen! How did you feel when Gervinho missed his penalty?

  44. Dannyboy says:

    Thanks TA.Thats a tough one.I was happy for Zambia and sad for an Arsenal player.The sight of Drogba and Zakora ex spud made my day.Hopefully Gerv puts behind him at performs well for us.

  45. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi Danny, I think he will still be glowing from scoring the winner in the semi-final. Cannot wait to see him back at Arsenal – another great prospect for us!

  46. Big Raddy says:

    Never one to kick a man when he is down, may I send condolences to Mick McCarthy. What with Pulis, Fat Sam, Warnock, McCarthy etc etc leaving the PL who is left to ridicule?

  47. Rasp says:

    The meltdown in football finances continues – Glasgow Rangers have gone into administration – I bet they wouldn’t mind an oligarch in charge?

  48. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    Just watched Arsenal U18`s win 1-0 against Palace on the First Teams undersoil heated training pitch, It`s a better pitch than Sunderlands and a few others I should imagine. So much class !

  49. J4goalpostsblog J4G
    @LeGrove Milan have a huge injury crisis. Race against time to get Pato, Boateng and Nesta fit & 10 players definitely out.

  50. Sagnaofficial Bacary Sagna
    Gervinho was probably the best on the pitch yesterday..that miss will make him stronger

  51. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Its very quiet on here today, so let me take you through the “Guide of Terry’s Narcistic Preening”

    After your morning shower its imperitive to stare in the mirror and tell yourself how lucky you are to be blessed with such gorgeous looks, something along the lines of “Terry, your one good looking Bastard” will suffice. After convincing yourself that your Gods gift to women, make sure your shave incorporates a three blade edge, just enough to make you nice and smooth, just like Terry, but without cutting your head of Jack the Ripper style, and apply aftershave… brute is good. Next is hair, very important,if you cant afford GM, and your follicaly challanged, use a hair volumiser, and if your realy realy skint and cant afford the products sprinkle some pepper on you head, works every time. Always dress smart, just like Terry. i find a nice suit from “Fake Tony” from petticoat lane market does the trick.

    Now displaying yourself. Practice walking with a swager like John Travolta from Saturday Night fever or Terry from Stepney, the birds love it. Practice at home so you dont get beaten up and draw the curtains in case someone sees and calls the police. Now you are ready to venture out, stare in the mirror one last time, and this is very important, tell yourself, “Terry you are one good looking Bastard”, trust me, you will feel great.

    Next week i will let you know how to deal with your new found gorgeousness, and at the same time avoid a kicking.

  52. goonermichael says:

    BFG’s ankle looks horrendous.

  53. goonermichael says:

    A make up artist told me that simon (I’m not gay 🙂 ) cowell has a sign on his backstage mirror that say’s yes simon you are that good looking. Did you give him lessons Terry?

  54. RockyLives says:

    Another fine post TA.

    Ramsey is far from the finished article (hardly surprising given his age) and does make some wrong calls at times.

    But I really think anyone who can’t see his inherent gifts really knows little about football. He will be a fine, fine player for Arsenal for many years, I hope.

    The “Ramilson” rubbish is a sad reflection on how immature and unintelligent a portion of our fan base is.

    I happen to think he’s more of a Gerrard than a Lampard or Scholes (although hopefully without punchy-bar-brawly bits).

  55. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Hes obvoiusly ready “Terry’s Narcistic Guide” GM. hahaha.

  56. Rasp says:

    Hi Rocky, I agree he is more of a Gerrard, but I wouldn’t mind if he could develop some of those long range pinpoint diagonal crossfield passes that Scholes is so good at.

    We haven’t had a player who could do that for ages but I noticed that when playing RB recently, Coquelin executed them perfectly on a couple of occassions. That ability to switch attacks between wings at pace is a very effective weapon.

  57. RockyLives says:

    Good point Rasp
    I also noticed in the Blackburn game that Oxo was pinging them around, long and short, with superb accuracy.

  58. Rasp says:

    Good point about the Ox Rocky, I noticed that too. Frank Leboeuf was the best I’ve ever seen at long passing, the problem is that if you get it wrong, you are immediately on the back foot.

  59. goonermichael says:
  60. chas says:

    GM,
    That’s quite nice, though the chicken on the basketball could be bigger and so could the sponsor’s name.

    Definitely going to try the pepper, Terrence.

  61. Red Arse says:

    Actually had to do some work today. That cannot be right!! 🙂

    Here’s a little morsel while I go read TA’s offering.

    Due to a power outage, only one paramedic responded to a call to assist at a childbirth.
    The house was very dark so, as there was no one else available to help him, the paramedic asked Kathleen, the woman’s three year old daughter to hold a flashlight high over her mommy so he could see what he was doing while he helped to deliver the baby…

    Very diligently, Kathleen did as she was asked. The mother pushed and pushed and after a little while, Connor was born.

    The paramedic lifted him up by his little feet and spanked him on his bottom to start Connor breathing and the baby began to cry.

    The paramedic then thanked Kathleen and praised her for her help and asked the wide-eyed 3-yr old what she thought about what she had just witnessed…

    Kathleen quickly responded, ‘Well he shouldn’t have crawled in there in the first place… smack his bum again!’

  62. Red Arse says:

    Excellento, TA, completely agree. 🙂

    I am a big Rambo fan, and have no time for the immature rants of half witted, spoilt and ignorant ‘fans’!

    Beautifully written again!

  63. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    Terry,
    We must have been Brothers in a paralel universe. You with your Brute and me with my Old Spice, My two-tone mohair suits come highly recomended from Paddy the Greek of Brick Lane.
    As soon as I walk through the doors at the local grab a grannie night there is a clattering of zimmer frames and a pool of wetness covering the neon lit floor. It`s the walk that does it, helped by the tightly gripped goolies as I glide past the totty singing to the sound of Frankie Valli`s high pitched “Walk like a man”. Who would have thought that two devilishly looking handsome bastards would also be AA gooners ! . Keep it preened !

  64. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    chas , thats not Travolta, thats that guy I met at the Tavern !

  65. Irishgunner says:

    I don’t get all the disgruntled comments made about Ramsey in general. I honestly think sometimes people will just say a player is shit and gobshites without a mind of their own go along with it. Not always the case of course, but I can’t remember Ramsey really going on a horrible streak. Some passes didn’t come off and he wasn’t have the best of games but he always gets stuck in, he just needed a rest.

    On another note, this lad has just signed on loan from CSKA Moscow with Limerick FC

    Leo is uber-excited:

    The club will go bust again if we don’t go up this time.

    18 years, who gives a fuck, we’re Super Limerick and we’re going up, we’re going up, we’re going up, we’re Super Limerick and we’re going up. Season starts in 3 weeks.

  66. Red Arse says:

    Oh, OK, Glic, don’t tell me you liked my joke. Don’t even lie about liking my joke!!

    I am planning to go down to visit Cornishwall in the near future and I shall pop in and let your bollocks out again.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Sorry that should read bullocks —————- nah —————— stay with the bollocks, and I will take Merry Terry’s down there too!

    He has been secretly watching me doing my mirror thing — does a guy get no privacy!!

  67. Red Arse says:

    Irish, you are going up where? Do you need a smack too? Tsk!

  68. Irishgunner says:

    😆 RA

    We’ve been teetering on the brink of promotion to the Irish Premier Division for the last few seasons, missed out on a play-off place by 1 point last season. This will be our season.

    Any hope of Leverkusen causing a shock and knocking scummy Barca put over two legs in the CL?

  69. Red Arse says:

    Come on you malingerers, and you Corky Elvis, let’s be ‘avin yer!

    Just coz I have not been around is no excuse for duckin’ and divin’ — where are you VCC, 26 May, Carlito, Illybongani, Neaman — your boys took a helluva bea,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, no, no, OK that’s someone else’s cri du coeur, gråte fra hjertet …………………..oops no – I am no linguist, careful !! 🙂

  70. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    Sorry Redders, I was talking to a goodlooking bastard in the mirror, he was telling me that I was the cure for Lesbianism !, I didn`t know whether laugh or cry, but I shall test It out at a Carpet munching convention, or to you a Lesbian wedding reception . To stop you coming down here on a buttock slapping expedition ,I loved the joke ! 🙂

  71. Red Arse says:

    Irish,

    I have always had a crush on you since I found true love on AA — well apart from Big Raddy who enticed me with talk of great food and wine — what a connoisseur that lad is ———- but back to you — bloody Limerick? There was a young lady from Ealing who had a peculiar feeling so she lay on her back and………………… no, no, stop it …………….I am sounding like Glic, and I don’t like him coz he did not say my joke was great!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  72. Red Arse says:

    To late Glic, baby, I am coming on down and I will tell you all my jokes…………….. and let me tell you that will last for at least 5 minutes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  73. Irishgunner says:

    RA – 😆 Go on, finish the Limerick for the girl from Limerick. I’m so innocent I’ve no idea where that is going…

  74. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    There was a lady from Biarritz, whose pussy was the size of two skips.
    So me and my mate, had a mass debate and decided to play with her Blue Tits !

    (Otherwise that pussy might have eaten them birds) 😉

  75. goonermichael says:

    opened her crack, shagged the arse off her,
    and pissed all over the ceiling

  76. Red Arse says:

    Glic, GM, you naughty, naughty boys!! 🙂

  77. Irishgunner says:

    Nice GM 😆

  78. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    No way Redders, It was gm lowering the tone, I was a good boy talking about Birds, Cats , Skips and mass debating !. I`m innocent `guv , `onest !

  79. Gooner In Exile says:

    BFGs ankle doesn’t look too bad. My assessment is ligament damage. Treatment Rest Ice Compression Elevation for two weeks, strap the fekker up tight and play. Wuss!

    Seriously though if he wants a long career that’ll need a fair bit of rest and strengthening. I used to turn my ankles on regular occasion because I didn’t rest an injury like that as prescribed. (I would have missed London Youth Games Basketball tournament if I did) and suffered ever since. Played the rest of my footy career with ankles strapped and on cold mornings I can’t move them.

  80. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    It`s Fans Forum time on Arsenal player @ 7:30pm. I`ll be listening for you Redders, trying to bamboozle that Tom Watt, I`ll be waiting to hear someone sounding like the great Bob Bubka ( talksport ) ! 🙂

  81. RockyLives says:

    Well I don’t know. It was all fairly respectable on here until Redders showed up.

    There hasn’t been such a lowering of the tone since TA6 went on a submarine trip in the Red Sea.

    And what fun it is!

    As you stagger through the gutter feel free to drag me with you… I may be in the gutter but I’m looking up at blah blah blah.

    Redders
    You raise a good question.
    Where is M’Learned Friend?
    And Illybongani?
    And Carlito?
    And Neamann?
    And California?
    And where’s old Gnarley George? Oz – he’s down your neck of the woods, can you rootle him out? Be careful though, he can be a grumpy beggar.

  82. RockyLives says:

    Micky
    Our Mutual Chum and I were working together back in 1986 and he took extended leave to go to the Mexico WC.

    He was a junior trainee at the time, so he did quite well to be allowed to take three weeks off.

    The WC came and went, and OMC never showed up. Not for the first week, nor the second… eventually, about three weeks later he turned up at work with some cock and bull story about visas and English Consulates in Mexico and whatnot.

    He had just gone a three week post WC bender.

    Amazingly he kept his job.

    All very funny at the time. I remember being very impressed by his audacity.

  83. VCC says:

    15 hour day today AA’rs. Late arrival.

    Top drawer post TA. I think Ramsey will be a big star in the future for Arsenal. Some supporters forget about his tender age. He is still only 21 and has had a career threatening injury, and missed almost a year’s football. Many players would have slide down a division or two after that kind of injury. NOT Ramsey, he has come back fighting. What is special about him he will not go hiding, even when his timing is not quite right.
    Wenger will have a happy headache when all our squad get fit.

  84. RockyLives says:

    Hello VCC
    Good pont about his missing a year. He’s effectively at the development stage of a 20-year-old (and he only just turned 21 at Christmas).

    When you think about it, it’s quite remarkable how good he has been for us this season.

  85. VCC says:

    Indeed Rocky.

    My memory is not the best, but I can’t think of many top division players (and so young) that have come back so soon after such a horrific leg break, and make an impact like Young Ramsey.

    I admire his approach, not flinching tackles and getting stuck in. To come off the bench as he did on Saturday and put that chance away was quality. It was the spark we needed.

  86. Gooner In Exile says:

    By the way Raddy at 2:34 were you just hoping that Pulis had left Stoke, or predicting their relegation?

  87. Gooner In Exile says:

    VCC you only have to look at Eduardo v Rambo comebacks.

    They were both awful breaks, maybe because Rambo has never known any different than British football getting back in the saddle was easier. Sometimes even I wince as he goes into a tackle or to put a shot in with players diving in to block. His goal against ManUre at home last season epitomised his mental strength to overcome a traumatic injury.

  88. goonermichael says:

    Did someone add something to my comment? Is that possible?

  89. goonermichael says:

    I’ve seen Carlito on twitter recently and gnarly goes on LG last time I looked

  90. goonermichael says:

    Michael Gooner ⚽ @MickTheGooner
    Reply RetweetedRetweet
    Delete
    FavoritedFavorite · Close Open Details Arsenal losing out on Hazard to Sp*rs after buying Gervinho…will be 100 times worse than last time when they bought Bale & we got Walcott!

    Oh well here we go

  91. TotalArsenal says:

    Evening all, thanks for comments since this afternoon. We have friends visiting at the moment, so cannot stay long 😦

  92. VCC says:

    Hi TA. A big week for us coming up.

  93. dandan says:

    Just published in tonights Times

    Arsenal’s preparations for their Champions League match against AC Milan tomorrow were disrupted yesterday by the news that Per Mertesacker will be out of action for several weeks with an ankle injury.

    The Germany defender had been ruled out of the first leg of the round-of-16 tie at the San Siro because of an injury suffered in the 2-1 win away to Sunderland last Saturday, but scans showed the problem to be worse than was originally feared and he is unlikely to be fit for the return leg at the Emirates Stadium in three weeks’ time.

    Mertesacker reported to the Arsenal training ground on crutches for a scan that revealed he has sustained ankle ligament damage, leaving Arsène Wenger, the manager, short of defenders at a crucial period of the season.

    Bacary Sagna and Thomas Vermaelen have only just returned from injury and, with the Belgium defender sure to replace Mertesacker at centre back against Milan, Wenger will have little alternative but to play Kieran Gibbs at left back tomorrow despite the England defender’s injury problems.

    Gibbs, who has not played since October 16 when he lasted only 51 minutes of 2-1 win at home to Sunderland, is still recovering from hernia surgery. But, despite being reluctant to rush him back, Wenger is short of alternatives. André Santos will be out for at least another month because of ankle ligament damage, Carl Jenkinson may not return this season because of a stress fracture to his back and Francis Coquelin has looked uncomfortable when at full back.

    Arsenal received a more positive bulletin yesterday on the fitness of Jack Wilshere, who is hoping to be back within four to six weeks, despite having suffered a second stress fracture to his ankle.

    Wenger is so concerned at the prospect of injuries and fatigue disrupting Arsenal’s season that the manager is considering fielding a weakened team in the FA Cup fifth-round tie away to Sunderland on Saturday. He is under pressure to deliver a first trophy since the 2005 FA Cup, but is adamant that finishing in the top four is his priority.

    Wenger is likely to rest several key players for the second trip by Arsenal to the North East in eight days, despite being short of numbers after the departure of Thierry Henry, who will return to the New York Red Bulls on Thursday. Wenger is particularly keen to avoid a draw at the Stadium of Light — after negotiations between the clubs, the FA and the Metropolitan Police yesterday, it was agreed that a replay would take place next Tuesday, only three days after the original fixture.

    Wenger was unhappy with that decision, but, with the subsequent midweek slots filled by a series of international friendlies and the second leg of the Champions League tie against Milan, he agreed reluctantly.

    Arsenal are planning to take the game to Milan after winning 2-0 in the San Siro four years ago, although Sagna will be the only remaining player from that victory. Aaron Ramsey is expected to return to the starting line-up in the only other change from the side that beat Sunderland and the Wales midfield player confirmed their intention to attack.

    “If we can go there and get a few goals and then come back to the Emirates, then that’s going to be a fantastic result for us,” Ramsey said. “Hopefully, we can get a couple of goals and keep them out as well.”

    Henry hopes to play some part by coming off the substitutes’ bench, although he claimed not to have considered the prospect of finishing his second spell at the club with another fairytale goal. “I have not thought about it,” Henry said. “I just want to help Arsenal on the night. It is another type of game and it is never easy to win away in the Champions League.”

  94. pat says:

    No worries – Ramsey got a goal – I think thats all thats needed to bring his own belief and self confidence up. The effort has always been there. Top post – Ramsey and all the players need the support of the fans. Hopefully Mr Arshavin has turned the corner as well.

  95. RockyLives says:

    Thanks dandan
    A lot hinges on Gibbs staying fit (although “Francis Coquelin has looked uncomfortable when at full back” is a load of bolleaux. He has deputised better than most).

    I’m not unhappy with Verm and Kozzer as our CB pairing, with JD as back-up.

  96. dandan says:

    I will whisper it quietly Rocky but I prefer that pairing than to have the BFG there.

  97. Ramsey and Wilshere with Song as the anchor is the future of Arsenal.No one really expected Xavi and Iniesta to reach the heights they have reachd, but I believe that the combo of Rambo and Jack will be even better than those 2 Barca c**ts, because they have faced adversity(long injuries) at such a young age, and still have the balls to bounce back.
    Srsly,all those who criticze Rambo forget that just a year ago , he was returning from a yr long career threatening injury, and its really amazing how much progress he has made.
    Nice Article btw. 🙂

  98. SharkeySure says:

    Brilliant TA….I’ll even drop the Frankly rubbish I’d been adding.

    I’m a big Ramsey fan even though I’m fully aware of some of the things he doesn’t do so well.

    I love hefact tht he seems to leave it all out there every time he plays. Yeah he sometimes overplays or tries too hard, but mostly he is driving us forward time and time again.

    At times he’s looked a little bit cursed in front of goal. Close, closer, but still o goals, even though e was getting into some truly fantastic positions.

    I, like many others I’m sure, was so happy to see hm ‘break the seal’ on Sat…here’s to many more, starting on Weds. I think his late runs might make the difference. Oh and that’s late as in backing up play…not a’ la Marseille away

  99. RockyLives says:

    Dandan
    Have to beg to differ on that one. The BFG is such a good footballer that he brings great composure to our back line.

    Verm and Kozzer are both outstanding CBs, but are both quite similar in style.

    For me it would have to be Per plus either of the other two.

  100. FrothingInarticulateLoon says:

    Oooh look at you Sharkey – shame you didn’t also look up the French word for ‘away’

  101. chas says:

    I’m not sure about that Times article at all.
    Sagna can play left back, Coquelin hasn’t looked uncomfortable at either right or left back. Yennaris can play right back.
    Where does that stuff about the FA Cup tie come from with Wenger concerned about injuries and fatigue? Is it purely guesswork?

  102. dandan says:

    Rocky: It appears that we will have some time to get used to them playing together so we will see. I of course wish BFG a speedy recovery.

  103. dandan says:

    Dont shoot the messenger Chas please, I only post this Times stuff as not many on AA have access to it, as it is pay to view.

  104. SharkeySure says:

    Just to add a corner to the triangle…its Kozzer plus one for me !!!

    CorkyElvis – I agree that the BFG is a truly great footballer, but I think he’s greatly helped by having close to the PL’s CB playing alongside him. What he does bring to our defence is bucketloads of nous and composure…invaluable. Kompany is Kozzers main competition for top spot, but I feel the Belgian is a little more rash than our French Pole.

    I love Vermy, another warrior. When he’s not in the side (or if he’s at LB) I unhappily mark him down a bit for one or two very minor faults that I think he has.Then he comes back into the side and has a ame like he did at home to Liverpool*, and he shows you what a born leader he is, and the effect he has on the whole team in front of him.

    Fuck, I’m confused now. My first love (lol) is Kozzer, but I really couldn’t put more than a £1 on who my first choice pairing would be. I just can’t see a pairing that would make me go …naah, I’m not sure about them two together for this game.

    * I almost called Social Services that day to protect Carroll from further punishment. I say ‘almost’, cos I actually ended up ringing the RSPCA.

    Taxi !!

  105. chas says:

    Sorry dandan, my comment wasn’t meant to be any slight on you, just on the article. Apologies if it seemed otherwise.

  106. SharkeySure says:

    Mert missing a few weeks is much better than I feared.

    I’m not convinced by JD at CB anymore. although I’m not sure if thats more to do with his shakiness at RB, or his last rough spell at CB.

    In his defence he had a fantastic spell last season, and had started to look a little more composed in his last few outings at RB.

  107. chas says:

    To tell the truth I’m finding more and more mainstream football writing absolute “bolleaux”.
    Matt Law of the Express, John Cross and Henry Winter write such sensationalist rubbish, I much prefer to read the posts on here.
    They were calling each other nicknames on twitter during the Redknapp debacle last week. Seeing ‘H’ and Crossy in text nearly made me puke.

  108. dandan says:

    Nah, your fine Chas, no problem at all. Off to bed now Gnite.

  109. SharkeySure says:

    Coq uncomfortable at FB. ..!!!

    Who makes shit like that up and gets paid for it. Incredible. Coq looked mustard at LB,. let alone how good he was at RB.

    I’m supposed to have paid a subscription for that. Nutters

  110. SharkeySure says:

    I’ll need that sick bag after you Chas !!

    I honestly couldn’t tell you the last time I read a match report in the mainstream media. They used to just write about everything but the game, and then throw in anything else off the agenda that they were working to that week.

    Pure unalduterated shite.

    I get all the Arsenal news that I need from here, either from you guys, or from links that you post.

  111. Gooner In Exile says:

    Have we ever had an injury that was better than first feared?

    For me Kozzer plus one is the way forward at the back. The trick will be him and Verm deciding who will be aggressor. I think he can do the BFG calm sweeping/intercepting role and the Verm tackle and attack header thing. But he and Verm need to know Verms attacking everything and let Kozzer do the sweeping up. His speed over the ground probably makes him better for the role than BFG. His passing out is as good as.

    Who would have thought Arsene could buy three centre backs? 😉

  112. LB says:

    GM’s 5.26 is hilarious.

  113. SharkeySure says:

    DanDan – Great news re Mrs DD. onwards and upwards.

    Also best of luck to Harry, hope things start to turn in your favour soon.!!

    Night all

  114. LB says:

    I think we have just got used to the BFG in a kind of familiar furniture kind of way and no one likes change but I reckon Kos and the Verminator are going to blow us away.

  115. SharkeySure says:

    Dunno GiE…but looking at the way he went down, then off, then the lack of news, then that horrible pic of his foot….

    Me and my mate Kily had fears of ‘out for the season’. Now to read talk about him missing the 2nd leg, is a very good sign, as it shows he’ll back quite soon after…I hope !!

  116. chas says:

    Sharkster, that news was from that bollix Times article which was just full of made up shite. Pinch of salt.

  117. SharkeySure says:

    Agreed LB…so simple yet also hilarious.

    I love GM’s work on here. He often has me in stitches with the minimum of prose.

    One of my all times faves was – ‘Xyz,I think you’ve misspelt c**t. Cos he felt that someone hadn’t quite been given the ‘status’ they deserved.

    100 thank you’s (again!) to Rasp and RHWP for the set up and to Big Raddy for the invitation.

    I love AA

  118. TotalArsenal says:

    Sharkey anybody who shares the same age is totally allowed to be ‘frank’ with me 🙂

    On the CB-pairing issue: we are indeed best when we have a cool and calm figure next to a dynamic, all-action figure next to him (Adams-Keown / Sol-Toure / BFG-TV or Koz). Koz and TV are pretty similar but it could work, especially if they are supported by the supercalm Sagna. Szczesny likes to control things and with Koz and TV in front of him I think we’ll see a more dominant pole in goal again.

  119. chas says:

    Is this Sunderland’s version of The Wonder of You ?!!!

  120. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi VCC, yes a big week ahead. I hope Arsene does not think ahead at all and just tries to win a game at a time!

  121. goonermichael says:

    Miguel is ok at left back too. That coq being uncomfortable statement just show how lazy some journos are.

  122. Jamie says:

    I don’t think Gibbs will be risked in Milan.
    With Mertesacker possibly out for a month he will be extra careful with players coming back.

    I fancy us tomorrow.

  123. goonermichael says:

    It’s Wednesday jamie 🙂

  124. Wombledin says:

    Ah diddums. I’m sick of hearing about having to support Arsenal’s young lads as if they are little sensitive girlies. If they have the talen they will naturally get hte support. I think us gooners are extremely tolerant and patient, more so than most fans, and if after a while its apparent they are shit, they are shit.

  125. goonermichael says:

    Ramsey isn’t shit. He’s the Welsh captain. Extremely tolorant? You must be having a laugh. If we had Torres or Carrol half of our fans would be sceraming like bitches.

  126. slimgingergooner says:

    There is a young midfielder called Arteta,
    Who’s hair always looks that bit wetter,
    His National teams Spain,
    But he can’t get a game,
    ‘Cos Xavi and Iniesta are just better!

    There was a Frenchman called Henry,
    Who came back to the Arsenal to see,
    If he could fill in a hole,
    And grab us a goal,
    But he didn’t get one, he got three!

    There is a big German called Per,
    Who’s running speed makes us despair,
    The press say he’s shit,
    but I’m not having it,
    ‘cos our defence is solid when he is there!

  127. slimgingergooner says:

    There are bloggers who love to chip in,
    Not happy unless there having a chin,
    If its not ‘how shits Ramsey’,
    Or ‘Walcotts a pansey’,
    Then it’s ‘why the fuck did we buy Arshavin?’!

  128. Big Raddy says:

    Superb work SGG

  129. chas says:

    Sorry about the 8:06.
    When it’s embedded, the music is disabled which is the best bit about it. Watch in you tube to hear the music. Please delete otherwise.

  130. evonne says:

    Slim at 1:20 – spot on!

    I am already nervous before tomorrow, grrrhhhhh… Can someone tell me, please, that we will be ok?

  131. Gooner In Exile says:

    Evonne we will be ok, 5-0 win for the good guys 🙂

  132. evonne says:

    GiE – thank you! I can relax now 🙂

  133. Big Raddy says:

    evonne. In answer to your book query. I cannot remember what you like, give me some clues and I will sort out a list for you.

    Where did you get the 2500 books from?

    That is a huge amount of reading matter

  134. Morning all

    Happy Valentines day to all my favourite gooners

    New Post ………………………

  135. Sorry, false alarm, GiE’s post is on silly timing, I’ll have to go back and sort it out 😦

  136. Ok, it should be there now – can someone confirm please

  137. chas says:

    It’s there and on Newsnow

  138. chas says:

    Oooops Newsnow link not working. Goes to Not Found screen.

  139. daz says:

    This is a wonderful piece, slagging off a player of arrons quality is rediculous add to that the awful injury by shawcock, arrons no bentner or denilson! This guy could be an arsenal legend, rambo & Willy in the midfield can run teams ragged for the next decade,

  140. I am also commenting to make you know what a fantastic encounter my
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