Alex Songinho, He Assists When He Wants: Match Report

Having endured the first 60 minutes of the Chavs’ vs. Spuds’ collective attempt to discover the best cure for insomnia, I was extremely pleased to find a half-decent stream to watch the mighty Red & White take on the Villains. I expected AV to put in a performance, partly based on their half decent effort during our last encounter with them in January (FA-cup), and partly on the fact that they have nothing really to play for anymore, which makes these sorts of games a bit of a bonus for them.

Arsenal has build up a phenomenal momentum since the dark PL days in January, mainly based on grit, togetherness, perseverance, and an occasional sprinkling of quality. It is fair to say that the encounters with Pool, NU, and Everton were not the most beautiful games of football Arsenal has ever played, but, at this stage of the season, we don’t care one iota!

However, our game against Villa was very different from our recent incredible achievements as a result of blood, sweat and thunder: there were periods of free-flowing football and, on more than a few occasions, of individual brilliance. In fact, I felt I was watching a game of the Fabregas-era yesterday; you know, one of those where we were in total control from the start, as a result of an early goal. This probably was our easiest game of the season and it is fair to say that the Villains’ lacklustre performance, combined with the early ‘easy’ goal, helped us a long way.

First Half

Arsenal suffered a mini-blow when, unexpectedly, Koscielny could not start as a result of a knee-problem. However, Djourou was ready and fit to take his place, and his mind was instantly taken off any nerves he might have felt, when Heskey planted inadvertently the back of his arm firmly in Johan’s face. Another great example of Johan Cruijff’s fantastically simple quote: ‘Every disadvantage has an advantage, and every advantage has a disadvantage’! JD never looked back and had a fine performance during the entire game.

Both teams started with a formation of 4-2-3-1, with an aim to press early on the opposition’s goalkeeper and defenders. This led to an open start in which Arsenal dominated and created a number of chances. However, AV had a few half-chances themselves as a result of quick breaks, mainly from the right, through their promising – yet disappointing on the day – young talent of Albrighton.

On the 9th minute, Arsenal produced a great move on the right by the almost telepathically aligned duo of Theo and Sagna, and goal scoring machine RvP. The latter’s lay-off reaches Theo who shoots at goal from close range but straight at Shay Given, who is able to parry his effort, albeit straight in the path of Sagna, who then fluffs his shot with his weaker left foot. Arsenal keeps up the pressure and it does not take long before we score.

Most of the pressure had been coming form the right, but it was Gibbs and Gervinho who were able to breach the Villains’ defence first. In the 16th minute, Gervinho, who played quite centrally during the first period of the game, picked out a good run by Gibbs and the latter found himself in the box with a half decent shooting opportunity. I expected him to pass sideways to another player, but he decided to take a shot himself and was richly rewarded for it: 1-0! The goalkeeper should have done better, but one should not look a Given-horse in the mouth, and I am sure Gibbs won’t do that either: his first PL goal, so early in the game, was just what we needed.

AV kept pressing high up the pitch, forcing Szczesny to demonstrate to us the one skill he still needs to improve on: kicking the ball out with some precision. Arsenal, though, managed to pass itself with relative ease out of the Villians’ inconsistent pressing, and a few quick attacks made sure we kept the pressure on our opponent. TV found Theo with a fine diagonal cross and our right-winger demonstrated once again that he possesses a fine first touch, leaving Warnock for dead in a fraction of a second. This time though, it was not to be, as his second touch pushed the ball just a bit too far so Cueller could clear it at the last moment.

The first of three top-quality moments of the game materialised at the 25th minute. Alex Song, who probably has the most complete skills-set in the PL – he can play as a CB, DM, AM; he might even be good as a nr9 or a goalkeeper! – produced once more one of his trademark lofted balls over the top. This time, it was not aimed at RvP but at Theo, who made another clever horizontal run towards the box. His first touch was excellent again and he finished clinically past Given: 2-0!! Some will argue the Villa defence should have done better, but the sheer quality of a) Song’s lofted ball, b) Theo’s first touch and c) his controlled finish were a joy to behold: football at it’s very best!

The second top-quality moment happened on the 39th minute. Song and RvP combined through the middle to reach into the box: RvP seemed to have lost the ball but somehow drags it back from the defender with his left leg, moving it swiftly onto his right, but his shot somehow hit the head of Warnock: it could so easily have been the third goal. It was a brilliant piece of skill by our captain.

Second Half

AV started the second half with a low tempo and similar tactics. Arsenal was able to pass the ball round with relative ease but we lacked a bit of urgency and focus in our attacking endeavours. Gervinho was involved in a few attacks but was no longer able to deliver a precise final ball for his teammates. But the damage was done in the first half, and with the Villains lacking the spirit to start a fight-back, the sun shining nicely, Arsenal enjoying the ‘easiness’ of the game and the supporters singing in unison, we allowed the game to peter out a bit in the second half.

There were still some noticeable moments though. Rosicky had a decent effort on target in the 65th minute, and Santos, who had just come on for Gibbs, gave the ball away clumsily in his first minute on the pitch, which could easily have led to a Villa goal. He can be forgiven though as he, naturally, will have been a bit rusty after such a long lay-off. In the 73rd minute, RvP takes a cheeky free-kick from the left, only for Given to just tip it over the bar. In the 82nd minute, the newly-on Ox makes a blistering run on the right into the box, but a last-minute, great tackle by Ireland just keeps the young Englishman from pulling the trigger. I think Ireland just had enough of the ball for it not to be a penalty, so Dowd called it well imo.

The third top-quality moment of the match was left to the very last minute of the game. In extra time, Arsenal were rewarded a free-kick well outside the area, after a foul on Song. Arteta stepped up once again and this time he was successful with a thunderous bullet to the top right corner of the goal.

A magnificent effort and thoroughly deserved: 3-0!!! You won’t see a better free-kick this season.


Seven wins on the spin, another clean-sheet, a fitter than ever squad, and a real belief our team can go all the way and finish in the top-3 in May. Happy times!

We are in the driving seat and ahead of us are the Manc teams – the new Oilers and Old Bacon Face’s bunch of scrapers – and they are lucky there are most probably not enough games left to catch up with them anymore. In the rear-mirror we can see the sorry-Spuds and if we narrow our eyes with a bit of effort, we can see the old Oilers, the Chavs, catching their breath whilst desperately looking around who they can put the blame on this time. In the far, far distance we can see some ant-like spots that can only be Dalglish’s darlings. Ooh the virtues of momentum!

We are not there yet though – let’s be careful not to become complacent – but if we can keep this good run of form up, then soon we’ll be firmly positioned in third spot. Not only would this make us the top team in London once more, it would also provide a perfect platform for a firing-on-all-cylinders team for next season. It has been a year of transition, with some tough moments and big disappointment, but the road ahead is full of promise and potential, based on a sound foundation of all the things that matter in football: a great squad, a great manager, a financially healthy club with money for one or two more quality players, a great stadium, fantastic support, and a football philosophy based on total football. Class is permanent – long may it continue!


113 Responses to Alex Songinho, He Assists When He Wants: Match Report

  1. Big Raddy says:

    TA. Super stuff. Like the never look a Givens in the mouth and the Cruyff quote.

    As you say, it was a stroll yesterday and very difficult to understand AV’s tactics.

  2. Rasp says:

    Terrific match report TA. Micky will confirm that I predicted a 3 nil win before the game 😛

    An all round team performance with some brilliant individual cameos – Theo, Song, RvP and some electrifying stuff from the Ox when he camne on, but my MotM by a mile was Arteta.

    He linked the play brilliantly. He received the ball from the back sent it wide; if they ran into a dead end he collected the ball and sent play in another direction. His reading of the game, work rate and pass completion is outstanding, the goal was the icing on the cake.

  3. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Brilliant write up TA, thanks.
    Very accurate, and its amazing what you miss when you actually attend a game. What with soaking up the atmosphere, keeping an eye on the groping couple in front, ensuring you get a nice even sun tan and having to keep lifting your son up so that he could savour all the goal celebrations 🙂

  4. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Oh here we go again Rasp,
    Funny thing is I remember predicting 2-0 at half time ending 3-0 at full time. Guess that’s another bet you win!

  5. TotalArsenal says:

    Cheers BR and a belated well done for yesterday’s fantastic pre-match report. Another 11/11 on the line-up as well!

    Hi Rasp, good to see you praise Arteta. He reminds me more and more of Edgar Davids in his best years. In Holland he had the nickname of ‘stofzuiger’, hoover, and Arteta hoovers up very well for Arsenal too. His quick link-play is great as well. And what a goal yesterday!

  6. Rasp says:

    HI Micky, what a wonderful game for you to share with the little ‘DidIt’

    Childhood memories are made of such things. Great to have a bite with you before the game, I’m struggling to think of a more perfect scenario. The sun shone on us and lady luck didn’t need to such was the performance.

  7. MickyDidIt89 says:

    We did talk about how the Chelsea game with us would fit into their CL Campaign. Well, I’ve looked it up, and great news. If they get past Benfica, it will be slap between the two Barca fixtures. Nice.

  8. dandan says:

    Well thought out and crafted report TA. I was unable to watch much of the game, due to a lousy internet feed so your summation is much appreciated, thank you.
    Song seems to have patented that chip over the top, I wonder if a certain academy director has had something to do with that 
    Most impressive to find someone so fierce in the tackle should have so delicate a touch and finesse. Yet thinking back to the end of last season he was taking a lot of stick from some so called fans, but then that is the Arsenal way. Both Theo and Ramey have faced that treatment this year have they not?

  9. Rasp says:

    Morning TA, I have been quietly singing Arteta’s praises all season. I think the signing of Arteta was the single most important piece of transfer business we did last summer. I am very pleased for him. He is a good honest professional. He was loyal to Everton and plays the game the right way – he’s loving it at Arsenal, top top bloke

  10. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Coming hot on the heels of taking my father in law to the Newcastle game, I’d say DidIt’s as well as extended DidIt’s are doing pretty well.
    We are about to rival the GiE parents!

  11. Rasp says:

    Hi Micky, that is good news, maybe they’ll rest players as Abramovich’s football ego trip revolves around winning the CL.

    I hope the chavs get 4th and relegate the spuds to the thursday club, but we want nothing less than a draw from that game.

  12. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Very true about Arteta. He really is Basqueing in his spell with The Arsenal.
    Sorry, that’s shocking.

  13. Rasp says:

    😆 Micky, its a shame that his career has come at a time when Spain has so many brilliant midfielders. He’d easily get into the England midfield and I still think he could do a job for Spain.

  14. chas says:

    But we don’t want him to play internationals, of course.

  15. TotalArsenal says:

    Morning dandan: ‘Most impressive to find someone so fierce in the tackle should have so delicate a touch and finesse’ I love it: sums it all up in one sentence.

  16. Big Raddy says:

    Chas. Correct. For that reason I am hoping AW doesn’t play Wilshere this season. The idiot Pearce will surely call him into the England squad (or Harry will to spite us)

  17. TotalArsenal says:

    Micky: ‘Basqueing in his spell with The Arsenal’: nice one 🙂

    Love to read your descriptions of you and your son’s experiences of the game and the journey to and from THOF – it is Hollywoodesque at times – in the most possitve way of course.

  18. dandan says:

    BR I suspect that Arsene would like Jack to go, he will get match fitness and high level game experience, he has after all had a year off.

  19. robbinURpersie says:

    Your on fire Total, your class is permanent 🙂

    ive still got a smile going fom ear to ear…

    Theo was brilliant..No, i dont think people understand-Absolutely brilliant..i always knew he had talent and pace to burn but i am one of those who has in the past said that he lacks intelligence and on those occassions he proved me right..he also lacked a first touch..


    Yesterday he took my breath away..every first touch was sublime, he was running into dangerous areas whereas in some games past he looked lost, running round like a headless chicken into dead end pockets with no cool head for a finish..more importantly…he looks hungry!

    i dont know whats changed. yes sagnas back, yes we played against a mediocre McLeish outfit but thats not it..people say he plays well when in space but to be honest he wasnt given that space against villa…he made his own!! and i think wenger has given him a lisence to roam and find his feet and at the same time his own confidence..

    if he keeps up these displays consistently i can see us reverting back to a 4-4-2 or 4-4-1-1 with R.V.P taking on the bergkamp throne with walcott leading our line..its a massive call i know but such is my newly found appreciation for and confidence in Theo..

    PS..who need ‘Schweinsteiger”‘ when we have ‘Stofzuiger’ 🙂 🙂 🙂

  20. chas says:

    TA, have just read your superb report. Excellente.

    That Cruijff quote reminds of of a book I heard about but haven’t actually read. Think it’s called Flip and discusses how you can change your perception of a situation simply by turning it on its head. Seeing the advantage rather than the disadvantage, I suppose.

    Yin and Yang, good and evil, Wenger and McLeish.

  21. dandan says:

    Chas. AA and LG 🙂

  22. chas says:

    I read BR’s comment on Jack and immediately agreed with it.
    Then read Dandan’s ‘flipped’ comment and agreed with that, too. Thanks for the perfect example of that Cruijff gem of enlightenment. 🙂

  23. Big Raddy says:

    DD. We disagree on this one. I would like to see him have a summer’s rest and a full pre-season.

    But you may well be right about AW’s intentions

  24. dandan says:

    BR I am no soothsayer , just seems to make sense to me, But hey what do we know of AW’s thinking

  25. TotalArsenal says:

    Morning RurP and Chas,

    RurP, I have never seriously considered Theo in front of RvP, but it is food for thought!

    Chas, ‘Flip’ sounds good, and I love your examples!

  26. TotalArsenal says:

    We have not heard from a few AA-regulars for a while: Tomstoned, Harry, Herb, Carlito, Illybongani, LB/London, the steward-whose-name-excapes-me, Desigunner, etc, are you still reading, and how is life treating you?

  27. Makumyczxs says:

    Ohh Rasp! I love the post. Just thought of an addition …’Dwindling Dalglish’s Dangling Darlings’… there you are… Perfecto.

  28. Rasp says:

    Thanks Makumyczxs and welcome.

    I can’t take any credit for the post – TotalArsenal was the author.

    I think Dalgleish has just about used up the leeway on his ‘legend status’ at pool, his performance compared to expenditure is very poor …. such a shame 😆

  29. dandan says:

    But Rasp did you notice how all the press boys on the Sunday Suplement gave him a verbal cuddle, lovely , misunderstood man, right man for the job, he will pull it round.

    Arsenal coming in CL position not good enough they should win a cup. Pathetic.

  30. Well at least they got a trophy so they can’t say there season is a total waste

  31. Rasp says:

    Hi dandan, yes they love Kenny. If you look at his managerial career, he hasn’t got a great track record so I can’t think why they expect him to be any better at pool.

  32. goonermichael says:

    The stewards name is ELTel. LB commented the other day and upstet RA.
    What a fantastic write up. What a great first touch and finsh by Theo. I’m so glad he’s proved me wrong and long may it continue. if he keeps this up till the end of the season I’d gladly give him his payrise and I suspect Theo staying will be a prerequisite of RVP signing a new contract

  33. Big Raddy says:

    RAsp. Not a fan of King Kenny but one must be fair ….. as manager he has won 4 titles with 2 clubs, 2 FAC’s and won Manager of the Year on 4 occasions.

    Admittedly, it was some time ago but he surely deserves time to bed his team in. And whilst he does, we can laugh at their very expensive failure 😀

  34. goonermichael says:

    Did you see that twat shearer on motd last night. Liniker said something about the bindippers and shearer said ask the Arsenal fans if they’d like the CC and possibly the FAC . I don’t ever watch Sunday supplement. They are total dickheads. They lie and play on our emotions. The are close to the phone hackers. I’ve learned how to tell them what I think of them on Twitter it’s far more satisfying.

  35. How many times has Arsene won Manager of the Year?

  36. Rasp says:

    OK thanks Raddy, somehow my perception painted a different picture.

  37. barry says:

    to me Song is the best all rounded midfielder in the league

  38. Big Raddy says:

    GM. Agree.

    On a side issue. Should we sign Podolski, where and how does he play?

    Who will buy Park, NB, Vela and Chamakh with their high wage demands?

    And how does AW play OC, Theo, Gerv, RvP & Podolski in just 3 attacking positions? None will be content to sit on the bench.

    We have the same conundrum in midfield when Diaby, JW and Lansbury (+ Denilson) return.

    I cannot see any further additions to the squad apart from an experienced GK. Fabianski will surely seek a transfer.

  39. Big Raddy says:

    Super. I am not saying KK is anywhere near as good as AW. He isn’t.

    but in answer to your question 3 times.

  40. Rasp says:

    I’d have happlly taken 4th in the prem as a season’s achievement at the end of September. If we get 3rd, it will ba an amazing achievement and a far better outcome than pool even if they add the FA cup to the CC.

    We will have retained our position amongst Europe’s elite clubs. The revenue, kudos and ‘player appeal’ from the CL far outweighs either of the cups IMHO.

  41. With the form walcott is showing & Rosicky is showing am hoping it can be past on to players like Ramsey and Gervinho. So i really don’t think we need any additional signing except an Attacking Central Midfielder so he can Rotate Rosicky with since am not sure Ramsey is ready for that position and i have never seen Jack there

    Guess like vela, NB, Denilson, Lans would have to be loan out again

    one good thing is we have dept now

  42. Gooner In Exile says:

    Cracking report TA. As is so often the best bit of skill in the game went unrewarded, many strikers would have swung their foot at the ball and hoped, not RvP he has such awareness and apparent time on the ball at the moment that he could pull it back and get the shot away in space. He didn’t legislate for a flying Villa defender tho.

    Great result onwards and upwards 😀

  43. BR we also have Ryo to ad to that conundrum in the midfield who is looking good at Bolton 2 assist in 2 games

  44. Some of the commentators thought that RVP should not have showboated with the side only 2 nil up, i disagree though

  45. Gevala says:

    Its tym pipo stop criticzing the prof wenger he is a genius so lets support he in both good and bad situations until death do us part,long live wenger.

  46. lemi61 says:

    Total, I cannot praise you enough, great post, it’s up there with a Rockylicious. High enough praise is warranted.

    I am one of Djourou,s biggest critics, but I was so pleased for him yesterday having such a fine game, long may it continue.

    Praise to Wenger. Our current form suggests he will not make any new signings for the new season, especially as we have an abundance of quality in the wings to come through.

  47. I always thought Djorou was a great player, he only looked bad when he played alongside Sebastian, and he is so much shit he would make TV5 look bad

  48. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi VCC/Lemi,

    Once the Pod is signed, I reckon Wenger will buy another quality striker/winger if he gets a chance. But you are right about the quality within our current squad 🙂

  49. Arsenalista says:

    Just cleared the hangover from yesterday. Went out on Holloway Road and Upper Street afterwards.

    Great result and a good performance. The team looked smooth.

    Djourou is obviously very strong and quick. My problem with him is that his positioning and concerntration are iffy.

    There were a few ocassions where he was nearly caught on the ball and a crosses he has a tendency to loose the man he should be marking.

    I think he is best deployed marking one man. He has done that job on Drogba a couple of times and didn’t give him a sniff.

    When Arsenal play zonal in open play, Djourou has a tendency to watch the play not the man.

    I do however agree with Wenger’s view that he will make a top centre-back, though I wonder if that will be here or elsewhere because the things that he doesn’t do well can only improve with constant playing time.

  50. Arsenalista says:

    GK Sir Chesney, Fabianski
    RB Sagna, Jenkinson
    LB Gibbs, Santos
    RCB Koscielny, Mertesacker
    LCB Vermealen, Djourou
    DMC Song, Frimpong, Coquilan
    DMC Arteta, Diaby
    AM Wishere, Ramsey
    RWF Walcott, Oxlade-Chamberlain
    LWF Gervinho, Miyaichi
    CF Van Persie, Podolski

    In Podolski and I think one other creative player but I agree there isn’t much room.

    Out Almunia, Squillaci, Denilson, Arshavin, Vela, Chamakh

    That’s what i think will happen.

  51. Gooner In Exile says:

    Raddy I am not worried about selling Bendy and Denilson, as I am pretty sure Bendy’s time is up and we will sell at any cost and he will just have to take whatever wages he is given or risk sitting on the bench, now at 24 he has to decide to party or to play. Same goes for Vela and few others.

    Both Deni and Nik B have apparently 2 years left on contracts, Vela 3 years.

    I’m more worried about the likes of Wellington Silva, and Joel Campbell getting visas or we may never see the benefits of their 5/6 year contracts. I’m unsure how we can develop them if they are not at the club.

    Ryo seems to be doing very well at Bolton though so I think the days for Henri Lansbury may be numbered.

    The PL squad rules will also have an influence, we have youngsters like Lansbury who if staying at the club will take a berth in the PL squad, thankfully we still have Wilshere, Afobe, Ryo and a few others who don’t have to be named. Rambo and Szczesny both need to be named next year but both count as Homegrown.

    We dropped Manuel from the PL squad to include Thierry, if Diaby, Park and Cham stay we have a very full squad of non homegrowns (maybe one berth if AA23 decides to return).

    I know one thing, I would not like to be the manager that makes the decision, and whilst we are going to have a number of homegrown players to get through a season we need to continue to acquire the most talented youngsters.

  52. Carlito11 says:

    TA- you’ve brought me out of hiding! Actually I only find time to read AA about 2/3 times a week and ever have time to read all the comments but I missed yesterday’s game as I’m in France skiing and I needed to catch up on the good news! Great match report and loving the cruyff inspired food for thought in the comments 🙂
    Vive AA! COYRRG!

  53. TotalArsenal says:

    Jamie, you forgot to include the hottest AM in the PL atm! 🙂

    Carlito, always good to read your comments. I bet you parachuted from an aeroplane with your skis already on, so you could start skiing as soon as you hit the top of the Alps 🙂

    GiE, is that true: Vela still got 3 years on his contract? wow!

  54. Gooner In Exile says:

    Arsenalista thats only 23 players but I think you missed TR7 so thats 24 and if AA23 returns (as he has threatened) 25.

    Out of those players mentioned 6 are too young for squad rules.

    So effectively there is room for Podolski (already included in your list) plus 5 others (over 21) to arrive/stay.

    5 of your list are homegrown and over 21 (Walcott, Rambo, Djourou, Song, Szczesny). So we could sign 3 Homegrowns over 21 and 2 more from overseas.

    But there is a big but coming, any purchase has to be very carefully planned and we need to ensure there is room for Ox, Wilshere, Coq, Frimpong, Myachi, Afobe and Jenkinson to make it through). Bringing NikB back in to the squad as cover would be a better proposition with only 2 years left on his contract and homegrown than signing another Park/Cham over the summer or even an expensive reserve.

    In short our cup runneth over and I wouldn’t like Arsene’s job of planning the acquisitions. Unlike other clubs we have three or four youngsters emerging each year who I’m sure Wenger would like to promote, and he also acquires exceptionally talented youngsters that he sees (just look at Ryo).

    But its also where I appreciate his management the most,just look at whats happening down at the Bridge, not one manager has cared about the future, they have only looked at the here and now, City are doing the same. Only United come close to doing what we do, and in some respects manages it better as Fergie manages to keep the O’Shea’s and Brown’s as squad players, committed to the club but not as good as the first team. No need to sign from outside and they are probably earning more at Sunderland than they did at United.

  55. RockyLives says:

    Great report TA
    “Three top quality moments” indeed 🙂

    I love looking at our options (as set out in Arsenalista’s 3.41).
    It just makes you realise what potential we have.

    If only we had a manager who could combine all those great elements together to create a new title winning team… Oh, wait a minute – we have 🙂

    Happy days.

    Nice to hear from you Carlito. Hope you’ve got plenty of snow!

  56. Arsenalista you forgot Rosicky

  57. I think Chamahk should stay, since he really had a good season last year, and we haven’t even mentioned Park

  58. Gooner In Exile says:

    TA only according tot he Transfer Market website which seemed fairly accurate.

  59. robbinURpersie says:

    Vela is doing very well in spain?
    Is he considered a homegrown?..I would rather he warms our bench rather than chamack or park..

  60. robbinURpersie says:

    Geordies on the romp against Albion..

    2-0 up with 18min gone…Cisse was a good buy (4goals in 6)

  61. robbinURpersie says:

    and equall with Chelsea on points if they hold it… 🙂

  62. TotalArsenal says:

    Vela has supersub potential – I have always liked him.

  63. Arsenalista says:

    I do forget Rosicky but I think he will call down the pecking order as player come back, Wilshere and Diaby and as other improve Ramsey etc.

    I love Rosicky.

    GIE – I agree changes need to be balance but to be honest I don’t think there is anyway that AA23, Chamakh, Denilson will be here next season that set a bad example.

    The squad thing is a very important point though, I don’t account for a full 25 as then we get in the third choice keepers and Wenger is bound to fill a spot or two with some young gems we have never heard of but Rosicky aside( bit embarrassing that) that will be the base I the squad.

  64. robbinURpersie says:


    there goes hodgsons credentials as being organised and a candidate for the poisinous england job

  65. RockyLives says:

    Excellent – that’s two clubs with a chance of booting the Spuds out of the CL places. (Although Toon still have to play the Chavs, Shitty and Liverpool).

  66. robbinURpersie says:


    i believe toon will demolish pool..dalgliesh will have one eye on another of those cursed cups..(who wrote that headline post?)

    albion fans just booed off their team going in at half time

  67. robbinURpersie says:

    My old man said something interesting last night (which isnt often)

    He said, the teams you want to avoid in the run in are teams battling relegation or there abouts…even more so than the teams playing for european places or titles…

    there is a little truth to that i suspect

  68. Gooner In Exile says:

    Arsenalista….not embarrassing to leave out TR7:

    a) 100000 Gooners would’ve done the same in Feb if asked to name next years squad
    b) I tried to do a similar thing and it’s so easy to omit players from the squad unintentionally.

  69. TotalArsenal says:

    Rosicky would not have signed a new contract, if he had a chance of falling down the pecking order. I reckon it will be a close competition between him and Wilshere, and possibly Diaby for the advanced MF position, and Ramsey will compete with Arteta for the ‘DM’ positions next to Song.

  70. Gooner In Exile says:

    TA let’s just take a minute to look at our midfield three……

    Song, Coquelin, Frimpong, Arteta, Rosicky, Wilshere, Ramsey, Diaby, Oxlade-Chamberlain. That’s 9 players for the three spots so gives us plenty of variations.

    I like that we appeared to line up 4-2-3-1. It’s what I thought was the one thing the first team could learn from the Reserves that night.

  71. TotalArsenal says:

    GiE, it looks good, doesn’t it?! Do you reckon we will move to 4-1-2-3 once the defence is fully settled?

  72. evonne says:

    Hello TA, long time my friend!
    After yesterday’s footy binging I was trying to be good today and failed. As soon as I had seen you wrote the match report I started plotting when I can steal some time and read your blog. And boy, was it worth it? It is like reliving the game, fantastic

    ~I love the shot ‘In the rear-mirror we can see the sorry-Spuds and if we narrow our eyes with a bit of effort, we can see the old Oilers, the Chavs, catching their breath whilst desperately looking around who they can put the blame on this time. In the far, far distance we can see some ant-like spots that can only be Dalglish’s darlings’

    Thank you TA

  73. TotalArsenal says:

    Thanks Evonne, I got a bit over-excited at the end, but what the heck, hey?! 🙂

  74. evonne says:

    ha ha ha 🙂 I can’t help getting over-excited either, when it comes to the Mighty.
    I watched the game on polish TV yesterday and have noticed they were pronouncing Vermalean with a F in front. Is it correct?

  75. kelsey says:

    Fantastic and accurate post, TA, well done.

  76. goonermichael says:

    I’d love it if we come third and the barcodes get fourth 🙂

  77. evonne says:

    GM – you are evil 🙂

    Kelsey, 20 degrees here today, are you coming back?

  78. TotalArsenal says:

    Evonne, you are right, it is pronounced with an English ‘F’ rather than an English ‘V’. One of the best things I saw this season was when Sir Szczesny stopped Kuijt’s penalty and Fermaelen had such a rush of adrenelin going through his body he made the biggest jump possible, whilst looking like he just beheaded somebody. What a player he is! 🙂

    Cheers Kelsey. Just like last week Sunday, it has been quiet here all day. I guess it is another ‘petit mort’ (?) as I think Chas called it recently.

  79. evonne says:

    TA – Fermaelen sounds better than Vermaelen, I think I love him even more.

    I was terribly quiet yesterday too. If we lost a game or two, some would come out of the woodwork. You’d think all Gunners should be happy winning, but oh no, some are only happy when they can moan

  80. Gooner In Exile says:

    TA I’m not sure we need to go 4-1-3-2. The way the deeper midfielders link from defence to attack is good, only having one would make them easier to nullify. With the full backs now giving us width and the 2 wider forwards drifting into more threatening areas I honestly think its the best we’ve lined up formation wise since the purple patch around December/January last season and the emergence of Theo Van Nasregas. But injury cut that short.

  81. goonermichael says:

    I think a lot of people are enjoying the weather evonne. I washed my windows and curtains, went to the butchers (took the piss as he’s a bindipper) and cleaned my flat. I saw some people in shorts and vests.

  82. goonermichael says:

    I’m going to watch the whole match on Arsenal Player now

  83. evonne says:

    GM – after all that hard graft you deserve a quiet moment with the Arsenal Player! Enjoy

  84. TotalArsenal says:

    Theo van Nasregas 🙂

    GiE, agreed we don’t need to play it but it was so effective and great to watch against Milan at home. Once the defence is firmly in place we should really try to evolve towards 4-1-2-3, but I can live with our current system as well.

    Evonne @8.08 so true!!

  85. Easiest game of the season was against wigan at DW stadium. After that our winning momentum collapsed. Hopefully it will be different this time around.

  86. SharkeySure says:

    Frankly I’m disappointed not to have made the time to read this cracking report earlier.

    Many thanks (franks?) TA.

    Loved this line:
    “one should not look a Given-horse in the mouth”

    2nd language my arse.


  87. RockyLives says:

    After Wigan, our next five games were W3 D1 L1.
    The real collapse started when we hit January with none of our fullbacks available.
    The moment we had proper fullbacks back in the team, we started winning again.

  88. SharkeySure says:

    Me too GM. But shorts and vests really was overdoing it. It looked a lot nicer that it actually was.

    Still, to see the sun in the sky here in blighty, its a bit churlish to grumble, so I won’t.

  89. chas says:

    Mighty Arshavin!

  90. chas says:

    1. So many players around us, so many players are cool,
    But look at this guy, “23” on his shirt,
    Looks like he barely finished the school…
    When he’s down on a pitch, it’s from the gust of the wind,
    No one ever saw him diving!
    He is fighting so hard, from finish to start

    CHORUS. Arshavin was striving for 2-8!
    Would have been 1-11 without him,
    Arshavin’s arriving too late!
    He is Tom and Jerry for his team,
    Arshavin is shining like a star!
    Lousy teammates, they are screwing up a lot!
    Arshavin is MIGHTY ARSHAVIN!
    It’s not easy playing in one team with the God, ARSHAVIN!

    2. Close to his lips is his finger,
    Right after he breaks the score!
    He is such a powerful winger,
    Michael Jordan can’t take anymore!
    When he’s down on a bench,
    He ain’t speaking no french
    ‘Cos he is totally mad-driving!
    When it’s time for a change
    He’ll be back with revenge


  91. kelsey says:

    Morning Chas.

  92. Gooner In Exile says:

  93. kelsey says:


  94. chas says:

    Morning kelsey and GIE.

    And a big Happy Birthday to the Peach. 🙂

  95. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Happy Birthday Peaches 🙂

  96. Gooner In Exile says:

    Morning all

    Can’t believe Peaches is 21 😀

    Happy Birthday to the RHWP.

  97. MickyDidIt89 says:

  98. kelsey says:

    GIE, she isn’t 😉 but her Mum looks like her sister.

  99. VCC says:

    Happy Birthday Peaches.

  100. chas says:

    Off to work.
    Going to see Stiff Little Fingers at Rock City tonight.
    No time for blogging. 😦

  101. robbinURpersie says:

    Morning all,

    everybody is saying it so it must be true!!

    Happy Birthday Peaches…. 🙂 May all your Arsenal dreams and wishes come true..

  102. Morning all

    Yes it’s true, I am 21 again!!!

    Great messages, thank you xxx

  103. evonne says:

    Happy Birthday Peaches! Have a lovely day from me, Romeo, Shirley and Lilly La La xxxxxxxxxxxxx

  104. evonne says:

    From my Spurs friend:

    ‘How’s things with you? No doubt you’re pleased that your boys have overtaken us in the league. Must admit it came as quite a shock to see such a commanding lead vaporise like that, but that’s life I guess.’

    He is extremely clever but know eff all about football 🙂 Shock my foot, well overdue if you ask me 🙂

  105. Big Raddy says:

    HB Peaches. xx

  106. 26may1989 says:

    Happy happy birthday Ms Peaches!

    And thanks to Micky for a bit of 1980s revival.

    Belatedly, tip-top write up of the Villa game from the best Dutch, Norfolk-resident Arsenal blogger in the business. 😉

    I also loved Exile’s comment at 4:02pm, excellent perspective. I’m sure others saw this but for those who may have missed it, a very good piece from the Telegraph:

    Catch you guys later.

  107. New post ……….

  108. Thanx Rockylives, i can sleep easy now.

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