What If Wenger Does A Guardiola And Walks Away?

La Liga (3): 2008–092009–102010–11
Copa del Rey (1): 2008–09
Supercopa de España (3): 200920102011
UEFA Champions League (2): 2008–092010–11
UEFA Super Cup (2): 20092011
FIFA Club World Cup (2): 20092011

So to tidy that up, that is four seasons in charge winning three League titles, two UEFA Champions Leagues, and one Copa del Rey – and yet, it seems, Pep Guardiola is likely to walk away from Barcelona after all but conceding the league to Real Madrid, and getting knocked out of the Champions League by Chelsea’s bus. They now just have the Cup Final left to win some silverware.

“Coward! Coward!”

They are yelling it on Fleet Street and in their masses on the internet. But is he really? Apparently the going has gotten tough and Pep is doing a runner.

I suppose before I continue I better clear up a few things (these are my own personal thoughts and not those of AA as a blog)

  • Barcelona are over-rated. They are not “the best team ever” – Would the best team ever have a back five pretty incapable of defending? Valdes makes Almunia look good. Alves is a poor man’s Carlos, and while Puyol is a good defender, he is no Franco Baresi. Isn’t it funny how Lionel Messi didn’t perform over the two legs in the Champions League semi-final and they get knocked out? They are a great team, the best team CURRENTLY plying their trade, but the best ever? Surely I can’t be the only one that watched the AC Milan team of the late 80s and early 90s?
  • They have no Plan B.
  • Pep’s influence on the team has been over-rated. In 2008, he inherited a team that was largely been built up since the Academy days – the core being Xavi, Iniesta and of course, Messi. Gerard Piqué was also returned to the Nou Camp from Manchester United in the very first days of Pep’s reign, while the likes of Pedro and Busquets were been readied for the first team after coming through the youth ranks. All ripe and ready to form a winning machine – all coming neatly together after Frank Rijkaard had kept the ship steady over this period.
  • None of the above is not to say I don’t think Barcelona are a fantastic side and Guardiola a fantastic coach – he has embedded a work ethic in the side which is unparalleled – sadly it also extends to them largely diving as a team (Messi and one or two more gladly don’t take part) and to them waving imaginary cards and trying to get opponents sent off.

So back to the main point – Is Guardiola walking away?

Yes, yes he is. But he’s not walking away from the hard work ahead, or the cries of some greedy fans who want trophies every year, he’s walking away from a possible heart-attack. Pep has just turned 41, has a young family, and has aged considerably in the last season or two.

But Barcelona are a winning club you say, where is the heart attack waiting to come from?

I’ll tell you – the pressure. The pressure of being expected to win every game at a canter, to win every trophy available every season. The pressure of having a mad President that comes part and parcel of a top Spanish club who buys a player at a mad expense and tells you to play him whether he fits or not into your puzzle.

Pep Guardiola is taking a break from football for the sake of his health – both physically and mentally. And who could blame him? He has achieved so much in so little time, and at 41, will still be such hot property when, and if, he returns to football after a season long break. Besides, it’s not as if he might not have done this anyway, regardless of Barcelona’s “failed” season. He has only ever accepted rolling one year contracts and has always hinted he would take time out of the game after a few seasons.

So what has all this to do with Arsenal and Wenger? Quite a lot actually.

The pressure Guardiola is under is very similar to that Wenger is under: managing a big club whose fans expect to win every season playing perfect football. However, unlike Pep, Wenger can’t walk away from football for a while and then pop back into it again. At 62, he may feel that the time is slowing, closing in on his time as a manager, time closing in on his dream to win the Champions League.

So what if he decides to walk from Arsenal to achieve that? What if he thought to hell with the financial pressure he is under and trots off to PSG, Madrid or Barcelona? Sure, he’ll be under the same pressure as at Arsenal, but he’ll have more financial muscle. If anything, walking into Barcelona would be easier for Wenger, he will inherit the same problems there as he has here – dodgy back five, strike force that weighs heavily on the shoulders of one man, pressure to play proper football, pressure to win, but he’ll have the ££££ at Barcelona.

So just imagine if he said “sod it” and off he went. Where would that leave Arsenal? Would Pep Guardiola come over here and give it a punt – or the mouthy Jose Mourinho who knows best when it comes to all matters Arsenal? Yeah lads, we want all that Real Madrid and Barcelona have, but we want it without spending any more money than we make. Ha, that last one makes you think doesn’t it? Makes me think “We want everything that Barcelona and Madrid have – the Galacticos, the va va voom football, the trophies, the giant stadiums … but do it while making more money than you spend Mr. Wenger.”

Pressure?! Pressure, Mr. Guardiola, Mr. Mourinho? Pressure to win because they spend so much on their squads say Fleet Street, but Mr. Wenger is “under none” because we have a board with an ounce of cop on when Portsmouth and Glasgow Rangers are dying. Pressure?! Come to an angry Emirates Stadium of a cold Saturday afternoon Pep, I’ll show you pressure.

Written by the lovely Irishgunner


198 Responses to What If Wenger Does A Guardiola And Walks Away?

  1. SharkeySure says:

    Cheers Irish…very enjoyable read, although I beg to differ about us having a dodgy back five 😉

  2. Morning all, Maire I know you won’t see this till much later but I like your name change, from “Irishgunner” to “THE LOVELY Irish gunner”. 😉

    Moving on to the thrust of your post – I think Wenger has a stubborn streak that Gaurdiola doesn’t in that he likes to complete things he’s started, and to do it his way.

    Pep, I feel, appears to be able to let go(and walk away from Barca) if it doesn’t suit him and I can’t blame him for wanting to be out of the pressure cooker environment of the two team Iberian version of the SPL.

    I have to say, wouldn’t it be ironic if after years of pleading and whining to be “released from his imprisonment” the homesick spaniard(HS) arrives and the manager he idolises is off because of the poor season the HS’s arrival heralded ?

    To answer the question raised ealier, would I want HS back ?

    NO ! I don’t want him anywhere near my club stinking the place out with his bad attitude and traitorous ways.

  3. Johns says:

    We can throw a party.

  4. VCC says:

    Evonne, one has to participate in drinking as well.

  5. robbinURpersie says:

    and sleeping VCC

  6. Championships and titles are won or lost not coz a team has a great playing 11 but coz they have a brilliant squad of 25 players. The problem with us is that Wenger thinks the playing 11 will never tire, loose form or injure so we don’t have anyone beyond the 11. So Wenger or Mourinho or Guardiola we will not be winning anything till we change that mentality. Need 2 players (not u18’s) in each position min so that even if a RVP looses form we don’t fear and wonder what will happen next now.
    This might be a good playing 11 for Arsenal we just simply have a shity bench strength.

  7. BigL says:

    I’d be happy for one as I believe Wenger has done all he can at Arsenal. He has manged to turn around the season again but we still haven’t moved forward.

    Summer will no doubt bring the normal groundhog summer with rumours of major signings and no arrivals. A change of management and new faces would do wonders

  8. BnT says:

    “What If Wenger Does A Guardiola And Walks Away?”

    We can only pray for such a miracle.

  9. Well surpise, surprise, at Wenger’s press conference just when we need Diaby for a physical test at the Shittannia tomorrow he is rated as “doubtful” for the match, FFS.

    Wenger also says he “will be surprised” if Pep leaves Barca, maybe hinting at him not being able to rationalise why Pep would leave.

  10. dirtysteve says:

    If that happens then we call Pep…

  11. TotalArsenal says:

    IrishG, a very well-written and challenging post. Top quality, and we are lucky to have you writing for us on AA, even though I don’t totally agree with the general jest of it 🙂

    What Guardiola has achieved is simply phenomenal in such a short period of time. I cannot stand it when people (not you entirely, as you are only half saying this) say that Barcelona’s success had not much to do with Guardiola, that all the groundwork was done by previous manager(s), and the players were already there. As if all this success just happens by itself because of the quality of the players. It is doing a big disservice to the art of team management, which is still, – and has always been – the defining factor in whether a team is successful or not. Think Inter after Maureen left, think Citeh, think Swansea, think Norwich, think the Mancs, and think Arsenal. Also think Aston Villa, think Liverpool, think Chelsea, etc, etc. Managers are absolute key.

    Guardiola has been a fine manager for Barcelona and they have played football of the highest quality, all based around the very best football player I have ever seen. Everything is cyclical and success does not last forever, thank God! Barcelona have been looking jaded for a while now, and this can happen sometimes.

    I have no doubt that Guardiola will be a success at any other club and I would love him to come to Arsenal at some point in the future.

    Re why he is leaving Barcelona, it all remains to be seen whether he is finding the pressure too much. He looks damn healthy to me!

    Could it just be that he wants to spend some time with his family, or that he gets bored quickly, or that he likes variety, or that he is the sort of person who likes to move things from A to B, and once he arrives at B he becomes restless and wants to do another A to B, if you know what I mean?

    Guardiola is a great guy and a fine human being, who has always been fair to his opponents and showed us, footie lovers, a style of football that has been second to none for a long time. Whether Barca’s football is better than Milan in the 90th or Ajax in the 70th is a discussion for another day. The fact remains that under Guardiola we have seen football of the very highest standard and he deserves all the credit for it.

    You are right though that Wenger has been under more pressure than most managers this season, although I am sure he would not want to swap with a certain McLeish at the moment. 🙂

  12. kay says:

    can’t achieve much comparing players from different eras. i know roberto carlos and baresi were supremely gifted stars who achieved a lot in their playing days but as far as we all can see, carles puyol and alves have achieved a lot too and will be remembered as icons too in few years to come. puyol has won a good number of la liga titles, has won three champions league titles, the euros, and the world cup. thats decent by anybody’s standards mate. and he didnt win these titles by hanging around the club, he won most as captain.

    its funny that its now after a not-so-good season for barcelona you have the courage to state your opinion. pep’s contribution cannot be overhyped ( i wonder what that even implies), the job of any manager is made easier by the availability of very good players. the man did a good job with the man-management in his early days.arsene has ben accused of having no plan b. the similarity is that in this sport, once things don’t go as planned, people start to question you. one wonders if messi had netted that spotkick in the second leg we would be reading your ‘opinion’ on barcelona and their coach.

  13. VCC says:

    RobinUrPersie. Ha ha,. Yes I know, but I’m addicted to AA.

  14. dandan says:

    Morning Irish lovely stuff, Perhaps he is coming as Pat Rices replacements until AW contract expires and he moves upstairs. 🙂 PS the Anti AW brigade will love it on here today, well done Irish

  15. Gooner In Exile says:

    Well by all accounts it is a done deal…..but do I think we should invite him to Arsenal? Quite simply no. 4 years plus 1-2 as Barca B coach and lucky to have Xavi, Iniesta, and Messi developed from within.

    Someone said earlier that Arsene has relied upon 11 players being fit…..Guardiola hasn’t done much better in building a squad, they have spent big money on a few players. They had no replacement for Villa which showed in the CL semi, no impact off the bench. I’d guess in their successful seasons they suffered very few injuries.

    And here’s my test who got the best out of Hleb, who got the best out of Cesc? There’s a reason Barca allowed Cesc to leave as a teenager (I don’t care what they say they would have been able to keep him if they wanted him to stay). They didn’t think he was good enough. There’s a reason why they wanted him back – Wenger.

    As you say Irish in your cracking post there’s a different type of pressure at Arsenal….it comes from different sides (fans – trophies, board – financial and on pitch success).

  16. TotalArsenal says:

    That is fine comment Kay. I think, though, that the author would have written the same article even if Barcelona had reached the final of the CL this week.

  17. It should be pointed out that of the two teams in the two team La Liga, they benefit enormously from negotiating their own TV income deals.

    In the Premier Leaguie all the TV proceeds are split equally, not so in Spain, and hence the huge disparity and lack of competativness in La Liga.

    There is zero financial pressure on Pep(or Maureen).

  18. dandan says:

    How about this the.

  19. kelsey says:

    Another fine piece from our lady from limerick 🙂

    Who says perhaps pep agreed mutually to leave.
    I see him as the perfect replacement for Wenger in a year.

    With regards to barca, it didn’t happen overnight. Many of this team were schooled and taught the game from the age of 10.

  20. doctore says:

    Just wish Wenger could learn from this,and start taking responsibility for his failures rather punishing everyone by sticking to those damn senseless policies#walkawayArsene

  21. Rasp says:

    Thanks Irish, I agree with the main thrust of your analysis.

    Pep’s recent interview where he lost his rag and his general demeanour are evidence that the pressure is getting to him. I think he will take a year off after which he will probabley be able to take his pick of the manu, city or chelski jobs. I think he is unlikely to want to work under an interfering owner like Abramovich so a move to Manchester is the most likely if he wants to test himself in the Premier League.

    On the point of pressure, AW has shown severe symptoms of pressure in the last few years. Sitting on the bench cuddling himself, knees clamped tightly together and seldom venturing into his technical area. He is a highly principled man and does not believe in breaking contracts otherwise he may have considered doing a ‘Pep’ before now.

  22. evonne says:

    Irish – top post, big thank you.

    Do we know for sure that it was Pep’s decision to leave and have a year off? Is it possible that he has already agreed a deal with another club, one in particular springs to mind and it’s not Arsenal

    I think both AW and Pep are under tremendous pressure, all top football managers are. Different pressures, but still intensive enough to give anyone sleepless nights.

    I think AW is under less pressure than Pep, as he has full backing of the board and no players are forced on him by a mad president. Had he won as many trophies as Pep, there would be no pressure from the fans on any Saturday afternoon. And yes, I think I would be happy to see Guardiola EVENTUALLY replacing Arsene at the Ems. But not yet, Arsene has a job to finish yet and I am convinced that we will the CL with him yet

  23. Red Arse says:

    Hi Irish, 🙂

    I thought. at first, I don’t know where to start; but actually I do.

    The greatest compliment I could pay you, is to say that if I could pick 12 people to sit around a table in a pub, and chin wag about football, you would be high up there on my invite list. 🙂

    I love your forthright, combative style of putting your point of view across. e me, the icing on the cake is that you do not ‘close’ the discussion off, but throw out there some meaty ideas inviting others to ‘come on in’ and say their piece, which is a perfect technique in a blogging environment!

    All hail, Irishgunner, the modern day Gráinne O’Malley, “Pirate Queen” of AA! 🙂

  24. Red Arse says:

    Morning TA, 🙂

    Good comment. In fact it highlights exactly my point about Irish’s technique (ouch!! ……………….OK, I’m yelling before she verbally assaults me, but it is a technique cleverly perfected by all women so the beginning of time. 🙂 )

    She has drawn you (and me) into a discussion and I will show you how!

    For example, she said, in her clarification points, describing her own views, that;

    –“Pep’s influence on the team has been over-rated.
    In 2008, he inherited a team that was largely been built up since the Academy days —- All ripe and ready to form a winning machine – all coming neatly together after Frank Rijkaard had kept the ship steady over this period.

    She then later says;

    “None of the above is not to say (sic) I don’t think Barcelona are a fantastic side and Guardiola a fantastic coach – he has embedded a work ethic in the side which is unparalleled.”

    So when you say you don’t agree with the “gist of her article”, I’m left pondering which bit of it you don’t agree with, as she has made some apparently contradictory statements, but with plenty of wiggle room! 🙂

    The moral of the story? Never argue with a woman – or stand by to be blown out of the water by the Irish Pirate Queen!!! 🙂

  25. Red Arse says:

    Clarification of my own! 🙂

    I note there are some apparently crap syntax errors in my posted comments, this morning, but I am having problems with WordPress slowing down and then speeding up, this causes me a problem as I do not know exactly what I am typing, (and I am not in the habit of checking!) 🙂

    B*stards!! 🙂

  26. Ade David, a Nigerian Gooner. says:

    Very interesting reading Irishgunner. Beautiful post. But if I may ask, is Gourdiola walking away from Barcelona or his contract is expiring and doesn’t want to extend it? I will say kudos to him for what he achieved with Barcelona within the short period. The record speaks for him. Is he overrated? I dont believe so. It is one thing to have good players, world class, financial resourses and another thing to control manage and spend well. In this regard, he has done well. Comparing him with Wenger? Arsen Wenger is in top class of his own. With the little resources at his disposal, building a stadium, with the model of football management that Arsenal is practising that is, spend what you have, still competing in Europe and a force to be reckoned with in EPl. Wenger in my own opinion is far far ahead of Guordiola. Wenger has not won any trophy for 7 years, ok, bring Mourinho under the same conditions and let him win treble. I dont even want him in my club. An adage in my place says, “you may not know the value of what you have until you loose it. Wenger will still bring the good old days very soon. Present Barcelonal the best ever? I cant say since I didnt watch the great AC Milan of 80s-early 90s but there is one thing that I know my own team, Arsenal in the nearest future will be the best ever. Up Arsenaaal.

  27. Red Arse says:

    Not even the Rock Crock can be arsed to converse with me! Sod it then! 🙂

  28. Red Arse says:

    Absolutely top class. Excellent comment, Ade. 🙂

    Totally agree with you!

  29. Ade David, a Nigerian Gooner. says:

    TA @ 10.25am. I totally agreed with you. We have the same opinion about Guordiola. I have not even gone through the comments b4 I put my own. Guordiola is an achiever.

  30. TotalArsenal says:

    Good point RA 🙂

    Fully agree on the quality of the post.

    If you read my comment carefully, you will see that I have taken into account IrishG’s counterbalancing comment with my ‘(not you entirely, as you are only half saying this)’. However, the last bullet point does not compensate for the first three Irish is making in her post and, as I read it, there still remains a lack of recognition for what both Barcelona and Guardiola have achieved over the last few years.

    As I said, this is only partly coming from Irish, and my comment was not only aimed at her.

    The other part of ‘the gist’ is regarding the reason for departure of Guardiola, which I have questioned as well.

    The bit I do agree with is what it could mean for Arsenal if Arsene were to do a Guardiola and that we should recognise once again under which pressures our manager is working.

    So, yes I was drawn in but with eyes wide open! 🙂

  31. TotalArsenal says:

    Hey Ade, I only just read your 12.21 comment and it is indeed a ‘snap’ moment. Happy to see I am not the only one who read the same gist in this post and you have responded in an identical way!

    Great comment as well about Wenger and what he has achieved under difficult circumstances.

  32. Red Arse says:

    Nothing wrong with us being drawn into a debate TA, that is the beauty of a clever Post. 🙂

    A fantastically amusing correspondence session with Irish on a quiet day, over a year ago (18mths?) made me choose to blog on AA because of her humor easily matching my own.

    I have never regretted it and I have her to thank! 🙂

    IrishG for Taoiseach! 🙂

  33. gunnern5 says:

    Manchester United 0-1 Arsenal
    Wiltord (left) enjoys the moment in an empty Old Trafford

    Date: 8 May, 2002. Venue: Old Trafford

    Scorer: Sylvain Wiltord (56)

    Quote: Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson – “I certainly don’t begrudge them their share of the honours because they play the game the right way.”

    Defeat to Newcastle over the Christmas period had made Arsenal outsiders in a five-way fight to land the Premier League trophy but a stunning 13-match winning run saw Arsene Wenger’s team emerge to be crowned champions by season’s end.

    The penultimate game saw the Gunners travel to Old Trafford, with Manchester United knowing they needed a victory to keep the title race alive. Arsenal dominated the match from the start, and finally made the breakthrough just before the hour mark as Sylvain Wiltord was quickest to react to a rebound from a Freddie Ljungberg shot to score the decisive goal.

  34. gunnern5 says:

    Wonderful memories courtesy of BBC. Sport.


    Liverpool 0-2 Arsenal

    Date: 26 May, 1989. Venue: Anfield

    Scorers: Arsenal; Alan Smith (52), Michael Thomas (90+1)

    Quote: ITV commentator Brian Moore – “Thomas, it’s up for grabs now!”

    Arsenal and Liverpool headed into the final game of the 1988-89 season as the top two sides in the country. Liverpool started the game three points clear, with a marginally superior goal difference.

    Crucially, a 2-0 victory for the north London side would see them take the title on goals scored. Alan Smith put Arsenal 1-0 ahead in the 52nd minute, but the race to get the second seemed lost before winger Michael Thomas rushed into the penalty area in injury time to slot past Bruce Grobbelaar to hand the Gunners the most dramatic of title victories.

  35. TotalArsenal says:

    And then, of course, there are your horse-riding fantasies! 🙂

    I ‘joined AA’ responding to a dandan post and it was the warm, challenging AND encouraging comments from him, 26, Rocky, GiE, Rasp, yourself, and others that kept me coming back to this blog. I have never seen a better Arsenal blog ever since! 🙂

  36. Red Arse says:

    Actually, TA, when you first came on, I gave you a hard time, because I mistakenly thought your comment was anti-Wenger!

    I quickly back tracked — and I am so glad I did!! 🙂

  37. Red Arse says:

    Sadly, TA, my horse riding fantasies about Irish, based on a lovely Irish girl jockey, on an American TV programme called Luck, have had to be abandoned, because the show has been cancelled. 😦

    Apparently, 3 horses were killed during the filming of the series, and, altho’ the deaths were not directly related to the show, the sponsors did not want to be associated with the adverse comments and pulled the plug.

    No more IrishG fantasies! 😦 But she writes damn well!!! 🙂

  38. Gooner In Exile says:

    TA is anti Wenger….he wants Bergkamp and we all know it 😉

    Fridays are so quiet here as I’m sure everyone is doing what they should have done Monday – Thursday and instead chose blogging. I wonder how productive the UK would be without Internet distractions 🙂

  39. Redders, just to dash your horse riding fantasies completely having met Maire(Irish) on more than one occasion she doesn’t come across as a horse rider to me.
    Seems like a very perceptive and bright eyed studenty type of character.
    GiE – I’ve been trying to stir things up a bit with my anti-Cesc rantings but no one is taking the bait. 😦

  40. TotalArsenal says:

    Actually, that’s correct Red Arse – I went through a short spell last year in which I believed Arsene could not take the team any further any more. You and a few others convinced me otherwise eventually. But yes, I have never been anti-Wenger! 🙂

    You know the saying: not a hand full but a land full of fantasies! 🙂

  41. jnyc says:

    Hey just wanted to thank TA, red arse, and rocky for making me feel so welcome here. I learn so much from you guys, alot more than the media, they have no insight into our team, and they do seem to be anti- arsenal. Why is that?
    —-sharkey asked me a great question, why i chose arsenal? Ive never felt more drawn to any sports team before. Almost like i was a gunner in a former life, 🙂 when i began watching i was looking at man city as up and comers,but i couldnt enjoy a team that just grabs anything they need. No fun in that. im proud of the way we do business, we do try to do things the right way. But i wouldnt mind a sugar daddy
    owner like usmanov to spend a little.
    i think if we dont mess up the last few matches, and do a little business early in the summer, we will look very good next season.
    🙂 maybe pep would like to take pat rice spot 🙂

  42. Red Arse says:

    Not to worry CharyB, I now fantasize about GIE wearing fishnet tights, stiletto heels and cracking a big whip for his clients in his office!! 🙂

    Anyway, what are you saying about Irish and girl jockeys?

    Are you implying she would not make the weight for the races? Or is it that you think all girl jockeys are dimbos? 🙂

    let’s see you get out of that CharyB, or do you want to be visualized frolicking in your fishnets, playing a guitar, etc? 🙂

  43. Gooner In Exile says:

    Chary after watching Cesc the other night he did only one thing where I thought wow (which was the little back heel pass on the edge of the area) after that I was unimpressed with his lack of influence.

    I know the club (Barca) is in his heart but I can’t believe he decided to become a team member there rather than become a legend here.

  44. TotalArsenal says:

    GiE 🙂 Dennis has a long way to go. Although it looks like Ajax will become champions again this year and he can claim some of the credits for that as De Boer’s right-hand man.

    Chary, I am not biting, cause I have bitten before and I know what you are like! 🙄

  45. Redders, I’m not sure exactly why I think that – Maire just doesn’t seem “jockey-ish” whatever that means.
    As for your GiE fantasy – arrgghhhh !

    GiE – I’m laughing about how Cesc itched, moaned and whined (because of his Barca DNA apparently) to play for his idol and his idol promptly buggers off and the Catalan Divers lost their Champions Leauge title and(almost) La Liga !


    Perhaps there is some (footballing)karma/justice in the world after all after he screwed uys over last summer.

    Total – I’m a complete wimp, you have nothing to worry about 🙂

  46. RockyLives says:

    Fine article Irish – you really are a good writer.

    To be honest I’m torn about wee Pep. On the one hand he did seem to inherit a team of great players… but on the other we all know that having a bunch of great (or greatly expensive) players does not automatically bring success.

    In fact I’m so on the fence on this one that I have more splinters in my bum than poor Na$ri.

  47. TotalArsenal says:

    GiE, you might remember I did a post last year ‘Letter to El Capitan’, telling him it is too early to go, but that I would understand it if he did (being young and homesick etc). So I agree with your second paragraph at 2.29. It looks like as long as Xavi and Iniesta stay, Cesc will be played out of position at Barca. Here he could have played in the hole and it could have been a brilliant year for him. I still don’t blame him and would take him back immediately. But it wont happen now, maybe in a few years time. (see Chary I took GiE’s bait, cause I trust him 😉 )

  48. Red Arse says:


    You are another great addition to AA, and hopefully you can write a Post, perhaps from the perspective of an overseas fan? You will be well treated!! 🙂

    I should not say this, as I got into trouble on another site for talking non-football/soccer stuff, but anyway, I am a big Yankees fan, as well as a fan of Big Blue! [Don’t tell me that you are a Mets guy!] 🙂

  49. Red Arse says:

    Is it true then Rock, that he rogers himself with a rolling pin?

    And good morning/afternoon to you Sir! 🙂

  50. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi JNYC, you chose the right club! Do you know any fellow Gooners in New York?

  51. Yeah, but GiE is twice my size TotalA – and mean looking to boot !

  52. TotalArsenal says:

    Nah, I think GLiC described him as a huge Teddy-bear and I think he got it spot on. Where you have been described as a bit of a …… 😆

  53. Red Arse says:


    I don’t want to worry you, but GIE has had extensive training in the “trust me I am an accountant” school. CharyB skipped that bit and majored in an intensive “Insult Red Nose” module!! 🙂

  54. I hated training for Chartered Accountancy Redders – wish I’d stuck to lion taming.

  55. TotalArsenal says:

    RA, don’t worry, I am worried: Charyb stings like a bee and all that! 🙄

  56. jnyc says:

    Red arse,i find i have no patience for baseball anymore, nfl is great in its own way, but they all pale in comparison to bpl. The history, the drama, the worldwide interest WOW.
    TA, im about ready to get in touch with an arsenal supporters club here.
    —micky asked yesterday about where i watch matches, the blind pig is a great place, strictly an arsenal bar, including singing the songs. No other teams matches shown there. but im avoiding there for a while since we lose too often when i watch there, bad luck.
    — but now, YOU GUYS are my arsenal buddies. The
    internet is a great thing. 😉

  57. Red Arse says:


    I mentored one guy, and he was ace at auditing and taxation and really knew his stuff. Unfortunately, he was too methodical and frankly too slow. The shame of it was that he really ‘knew’ his stuff and would have made a great accountant but could not pass his exams.

    He drove me ditzy trying to get him thru’.
    — “Just divide the time allowed by the number of questions, or apportion the time by the value of the questions and stop when you run out of the allotted time for each question!!” I would say. “Attempt them all — you will get a juicy return, even if you don’t finish”, I quoth! 🙂

    Come the day of the results, “What happened” I would ask?
    “I only managed to answer 3 questions and got half way thru the 4th question out of 5 (or whatever), and I ran out of time”. Arrgh!

    Each attempt he was giving away up to 20% of the marks, before he even got into the exam. He never made it! 😦

  58. Babangida Othman, says:

    This writer must be fool, by calling pep coward. You are also a fool by comparing wenger with pep. Cos pep is an achiever while wenger is a revenue generated coach, he’s nt seeing futbol the way it supposed to be seen.

  59. kelsey says:

    Not for the first time, i agree with GIE re Cesc. a”A little fish in a small pond”. Should have stayed another year, would have suited everybody better,but his body language was clear. He might regret that in time.

  60. Redders – it’s a shame when not sticking to your time allocation can stuff up your chances; it’s such an obvious thing to do.
    As I’m such a thicko when it comes to things that bore me I needed every bit of help possible to pass my exams so the last thing I was going to do was to chuck marks away by not sticking to my time plan.

    Turning to the battle of Mordoor tomorrow I hope our boys have got extra body armour on for when they take on the sub neanderthals of the Shittania.

    jnyc – good to have you on board.

  61. kelsey says:


    we don’t appreciate calling anyone a fool on this site.kindly rephase your comment.Thanks.

  62. SharkeySure says:

    So Peps gone.

    There was a line ion the Been last night asking if McLeish was ready for ghis biggestever challnege of getting a team as talented as Barac relegated.

    Oh and many thanks to Corky and DuEnglish for the sterling advice last night. As a father of four I’ve certainly heeded Corky’s advice, and I’m working on following DuEnglish’s 😉

  63. chas says:

    Great post, Irish.
    I think Wenger would rather die than bow to the pressure of being the manager of the Arse.
    I agree with you about Barca. They can only play to plan A and if Messi struggles, they struggle. I’d still like to see how they coped in the premiership with some route one football. Can you imagine them facing Stoke at corners with 7 players over 6′ 2″ ? Ooops, worried myself now. 🙂

    It’s amazing how close Irish looks like this in the flesh…….

  64. Red Arse says:

    Thanks, and good afternoon, Chas. 🙂

    She does have a great ass, doesn’t she? 🙂

    I really liked the series, especially as Irish was in it!! 🙂

  65. TotalArsenal says:

    JNYC – you should join us then tomorrow at 15.00 hours GMT for the Stoke away game. Find yourself a stream and join the blogging here! 🙂

  66. TT says:

    superarsenaltv @ 13:41, thank you very much for the video clip. This is my first chance to watch Wenger give a pregame press conference. Usually I only get the digested—and regurgitated—quotes from the various news/blog sources. Am quite impressed by Wenger’s thoroughness.

    One comment stuck out for me when Wenger addressed the question about the strength of the squad (around 11:25). Without prompting, he gave his view on the situation with injuries:

    “We suffered mainly from ankle injuries this year, and we have not found out really why. And all the players… we had four (?) surgeries from ankles. Just…[French shrug] from no where!”

    Asked if Arsenal will be looking at the problem medically this summer, he answered:

    “We looked medically at that. Is it down to the pitches, to the boots, to the… training methods?”

    For some reason this gives me more faith in the coaching and medical staff. Even though they don’t have the solution, it shows they are monitoring and considering the situation from many angles. Hopefully they can alleviate the problem.

  67. evonne says:

    Babangida – that can’t be a real name 🙂 It’s Red Arse pretending again just to get our dander up
    Rocky 🙂

  68. Hi all

    Irish sends her apologies for not being around, she can read the comments but can’t comment herself and she’s not going to be around after work either 😦

  69. TT says:

    Oops! I meant superarsenaltv @ 13:16 of course.

  70. TotalArsenal says:

    Evonne, Babangida is a Nigerian name. My local team in Holland once had a wonderful talent with that name: Tijjani Babangida. He also played for Ajax.

    TT – agreed on the thoroughness of Wenger’s replies.

  71. jnyc says:

    Thanks TA, i will probably have to be at work, but ill try to go in late so i can watch at home, if not, im recording to watch after work. We better get these points. Thats all im worried about. pressure is on, lets see how we react.

  72. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Absolutley love your writing style. Its so you, and I know that if I ever meet you, I’ll be right.
    I just don’t know about Pep. I think I wrote a post once saying that Barca are average without Messi, but how good of a manager he is I find impossible to say.
    His next appointment will reveal all, and I don’t think that should be at Arsenal. Yet.

  73. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Hi again Johnnie.
    Too right about the pressure tomorrow, that’s why for me Benny is a must to bring a cool head.

  74. Gooner In Exile says:

    TT – Wenger always answers whatever he is asked, I don’t think I’ve ever seen him shirk a difficult question? And he is one of the few managers who can give the press good copy on most things football not just on field stuff, but finances, social, psychology etc.

    Good to see you on the blog again.

    RA – “Trust Me I’m an Accountant” someone bought me the cuff links so I don’t have to say it 🙂 I never passed my finals as I kept failing Audit & Financial Reporting, even tho that was my job (referred 3 times and got time barred). Passed Case Study in the higher percentiles first ask….that said I never really revised, I never revised for an exam in my life and I know I could have done better if I did but I’m afraid my mind was elsewhere during those early career years. That said not qualifying has never held me back. The whole time allocations the first rule of the exam.

  75. Big Raddy says:

    Irish. Lovely post and as always well written. Do I want Pep t come to AFC in a year? Hell, Yes. He is a perfect fit. Interested in bringing through the kids, plays Wengerball, tactically aware and a gent. Plus he speaks good English.

    JNY. Another fine set of comments.

    Micky. I don’t want cool heads. I want to play Keown and Bouldy and TA and PV4 and Peter Storey and Radford and Lauren etc etc. Let’s give them the kicking the Orcs so richly deserve. (do you get a feel for tomorrow’s post 🙂 )

  76. Red Arse says:

    As JNYC raised the matter, I thought this bit of Arsene’s press conference might be of interest for those who did not see it.

    — Arsene Wenger today claimed he was open to Alisher Usmanov taking a seat on Arsenal’s board after the Russian billionaire claimed he wants a greater involvement at the club.

    Usmanov has consistently bought up odd shares at an inflated market price — including four earlier this week at an average price of £15,820 each — and today told a Russian TV channel he wants to boost his holding above 30 per cent.

    He currently owns fractionally less than that figure but should he reach the threshold, Premier League rules dictate he would have full access to the club’s books to analyse the financial results in far greater detail.

    Usmanov would be entitled to a seat on the board but majority shareholder Stan Kroenke is reluctant to allow such a move because of a difference of opinion in the future direction of the club.

    Usmanov has in the past suggested a rights issue to generate cash for Wenger to spend on improving the squad while influential fans group Arsenal Supporters’ Trust recently balloted their members with 70 per cent keen to see him on the board.

    Wenger said: “I don’t want to interfere in that. I always think it is important in a big club that everybody does his job. I have zero shares so I cannot sell him anything.

    “For the rest I don’t want to be involved in that. But why not? I don’t know what is available and what is not available. He must not be far from 30 per cent anyway.

    “Should he have a seat on the board? That is a decision which has to be made by the board, who is represented there. Why not? As long as we have the freedom to decide on the sporting side, I have not to decide what is going on with the board.”

  77. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Cannot wait to see your team line up.
    Who to play in Arteta’ place? That is the question.
    Interesting read. Thanks. I’m in the “what will be, will be” camp as I cannot change things. Personally, I just don’t like Usmanov.

  78. RockyLives says:

    Redders (jnyc, TA and others)
    Not being deliberately rude – just a busy work day!

    Will try to talk to talk later.

  79. Red Arse says:


    As I said earlier, the guy I mentored was an ace accountant and he has since gone back to his family business (Hong Kong) and I know he is now a millionaire in his own right.

    Exams are not the be all and end all to have a brilliant career.
    As I was hinting, they are more a question of application and technique, not knowledge! I am proof of that — dopey as hell, but good at exam technique!

    In your case I would never have known, as you speak so authoritatively on all financial matters and frankly I always look to your intelligent summaries and assessments. Much better than anything I have done!

    I never wanted to stay in practice, but have always specialized as a freelance, and then move on.
    Suits my wanderlust character, which is why the current circs are a b*stard!!

  80. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Stoke are nine points above relegation, so as good as safe. Maybe they’ll actually play for a win to guarrantee safety, so hopefully AW doesn’t send out the cautious “away” line up.

  81. MickyDidIt89 says:

    I must to the outside world go.
    Farewell lovelies.

  82. Gooner In Exile says:

    Indeed RA, practice was probably never for me, I started in one at 18 as AAT trainee, so knew no different.

    I progressed quickly on that side but the firm had a 2 strikes rule on exam fails so I moved to a smaller suburban practice where my eyes were opened to the plight of the small businessman seeing his accountant once a year to be told the tax liability and whether he made a profit and to be told by a partner what he should do to improve his business. Two hours meeting and a big fee later the businessman left.

    I decided the opportunity was there to be hands on throughout the year, an in house FD if you like. Much more rewarding for me, and hopefully for the client.

  83. jnyc says:

    Probably ramsey for arteta again, i hope he can play more like second half last week. I bet yossi could play there in a pinch, hes smart and works hard. Ramsey does work hard, despite his faults

  84. Gooner In Exile says:

    Tht said I do look at my old firms website and see fellow trainees who made partner in 6-7 years and think two things:

    1) brown noser 🙂

    2) lucky sod

  85. jnyc says:

    Hey mickey, whats the sports bar u referred to in nyc,,? i do blind pig ,but like to have alternatives. Nevada smiths shows all football in the world, great for champs league

  86. Red Arse says:


    I have probably told you this before. A couple of my friends became articled straight from Uni and slogged away until they got qualified, and then realised they hated the whole deal.

    One has persevered and claims he loves it now (probably the money) while the other switched into engineering (it’s all math) and is now a director of a big construction company, and I KNOW he loves it, tho’ he gets less money.

    You have the right attitude and I admire you all the more! 🙂

  87. Gooner In Exile says:

    Jnyc I think Ramsey should play deeper with TR7 up the pitch as it seems Diaby is again not fit. But if Coquelin is fit I would go with him.

    RA thanks for the Arsene comments on Usmanov. The rights issue works to stay within FFP, I doubt Kroenke wants to go that route.

    The Americans appear to have different ways of raising revenue, look at Liverpools recent move to a new kit maker which is not unusual but going for an unknown to the soccer world is a big step with big revenue to match. And now they have sold rights to a 6 part fly on the wall documentary, must admit if like to see the inner workings of Arsenal but understand Arsene would probably never allow it, I doubt Kenny wants it either but probably shows where the power is there.

  88. Gooner In Exile says:

    I actually liked audit, I didn’t like big firm internal politics and point scoring, especially during review process.

  89. Red Arse says:

    GIE @ 6:11, precisely!

    When Arsene finally says “tempus has fugit-ed enough” and retires, I think the new manager will not have his power and the American way of boosting sponsorship and all that implies will shape Arsenal.

    Not necessarily a bad thing to help finance transfers.
    Us Yanks do have our advantages. 🙂 🙂

  90. kelsey says:

    Excuse me butting in but Ladbrokes and William Hill make Pep favourite to take over next year at Arsenal at 9 to 4.

  91. Red Arse says:

    By the way, Kelsey, don’t try and distract me with your betting farrago. 🙂

    You figure I am a stupe because you called me Frankenstein, when what you really meant to ask was, am I related to Frankenstein’s monster? No! 🙂

    Am I having blood transfusions? No! 🙂

    What a cunning Spanish way of wheedling info out of me!!!! 🙄
    And I thought you were my friend! 😉

  92. Red Arse says:

    Before I depart, I have just watched the Arsenal/Citroen advert — it is priceless!

    If you have not yet seen it on facebook, perhaps Chas can find the Vid. 🙂

  93. chas says:

    Keown looks like Michel Roux Jr!

  94. kelsey says:

    Dracula Red Arse, Dracula 🙂

  95. chas says:

    I think we should all have photos of us in our sunglasses as our avatars. 🙂

  96. RockyLives says:

    Good idea Chas

  97. VCC says:

    Welcome on board JNYC. I had the pleasure of visiting your wonderful city last July, fantastic time we had too. Sounds great that NY Arsenal club. I can send you some Arsenal songs to enjoy in the club if you want?


  98. RockyLives says:

    We’re going to beat the Orcs tomorrow. I have a good feeling.

  99. kelsey says:

    Nah, they would never believe it, chas.

  100. kelsey says:

    Rocky, you are older than me 🙂

  101. RockyLives says:

    I had a bad feeling for the game against the Chavs, so I was relieved we got a draw.

  102. VCC says:

    I sincerely hope your right Rocky.

  103. RockyLives says:

    Just jealous of your barnet Kelsey 🙂

  104. RockyLives says:

    You need some sunglasses on that tat!

  105. TT says:

    Thanks for your responses, GiE & TA. I’ve been reading AA off and on, when I started following Arsenal more seriously this year. The faith of the regulars on here is strong. I have moments of weakness 🙂

  106. RockyLives says:

    I meant to ask you earlier… where is your bluebell walk? Have you ever walked the Valency Valley?

  107. chas says:

    Rocky and GIE,

  108. RockyLives says:

    I liked your comment about the ankle injuries earlier.

    Some of the haters seem to want to use anything to beat the club with so, if we get a bad run of injuries, it’s all “the medical staff don’t know what they’re doing – Wenger out!”

    As you rightly say, it’s clear that they (the medics) are more on top of these things than we can possibly imagine. But that doesn’t always mean there’s a ready made answer!

    By the way, where are you based?

  109. chas says:

    I mean,

  110. RockyLives says:

    I’m younger than you now Kelsey 🙂

  111. RockyLives says:

    Were you ever a punk rocker?

  112. chas says:

    Never had a mohican or wore bondage trousers but I liked the music and went to quite a few gigs. Were you?

  113. RockyLives says:

    Bit like you Chas – no mohican, but I did have spiky hair and T shirts with holes in!

    Went to a fair few gigs, particularly in Manchester ’78, ’79.

  114. VCC says:

    Sun glasses gang.

  115. chas says:

    One of my mates is from Manchester. He keeps making me discs called ‘This is Manchester 1’, then 2, then 3. Magazine, Joy Division, Morrisey, New Order, Slaughter and the Dogs, the Buzzcocks… the list goes on and on, lovely stuff.

  116. chas says:

    Haha, VCC.
    I think your description is a little harsh. 🙂

  117. chas says:

    Got any pictures of you as a punk?

  118. VCC says:

    Chas, side on you look like Bono. (quick look).

    Rocky, were all younger than Kelsey. Ha ha.

  119. chas says:

    Chary’s not gonna like it. We’ve gone from mods the other day to punk. 🙂

  120. chas says:

    That is a picture of Bonio.

  121. VCC says:

    This is more my mark. ( Arsenal = You.)

  122. chas says:

    Last one from me in case anyone’s trying to post a comment about Arsenal. 🙂

  123. VCC says:

    Chas, so peased about that.

  124. evonne says:

    what’s that with sunglasses?

  125. RockyLives says:

    Buzzcocks Chas 😀
    They were my band.

    I’ve got some punk pics somewhere – not uploaded though.

  126. RockyLives says:

    never mind “what’s with the sunglasses’ evonne…

    WHERE ARE YOURS???????

  127. RockyLives says:

    In fact I was in a very unsuccessful punk band called The Pillocks.

    Even by punk standards we were dire.

  128. chas says:

    The Pillocks, hahahahahahahahahaha.

  129. RockyLives says:

    (Don’t bother Googling. There’s some Scandinavian band called The Pillocks, but they’re much more recent). The original Pillocks (as I like to think of us) never made the slightest ripple in the great pond of public recognition.

  130. RockyLives says:

    I was nominated as lead singer on the basis that I was the most tuneless.

    You could do that in the Punk period.

    Happy days 🙂

  131. evonne says:

    trying, Rocky, trying 🙂

  132. evonne says:

    success 🙂 things that I do for you silly lot 🙂

  133. RockyLives says:

    evonne @8.51
    Yes, you are 🙂

  134. forfarfor says:

    Do It Dog style… not the dog obsession again Chas. Come on Forfar!

  135. VCC says:

    Rocky 8:53 I agree. 🙂

  136. evonne says:

    VCC @ Rocky – ??? what do you mean??

  137. forfarfor says:

    Not the donkey! LIke the gravitar?

  138. kelsey says:

    kelsey and the sunshine band

  139. evonne says:

    you are all silly tonight, i am off nighty night xx

  140. VCC says:

    Kelsey/Chas/Rocky. I’ll play the spoons.

  141. kelsey says:

    GIE and Rasp

  142. TotalArsenal says:

    Bring on the Orcs and let’s stuff them properly! COYG!

  143. Gooner In Exile says:

    Glad someone else thinks Chas looks like a punk rocker, I first thought of Billy Bragg when I met him.

  144. oz gunner says:

    good idea for a post irish, like others on here i like your writing style.
    personally i wont judge him until he managers another team.

    Give me Arsene any day of the week though.

  145. Gooner In Exile says:

    What happened to the BBC? When did they start employing writers that reported gossip rather than news?

    Headline: Robin van Persie may delay Arsenal contract talks

    Article contains these quotes.

    “I am confident [he will stay] for two reasons,” said Wenger. “First of all I want to convince him to stay here and to extend his contract.

    “Secondly he is not free at the end of this season – he has one year of his contract left anyway.”

    Ok so where’s the source for the headline I ask myself, well here it is:

    Arsenal travel to Stoke on Saturday before hosting Norwich on 5 May and finishing at West Brom on 13 May.

    Van Persie is then due to report for a pre-Euro 2012 training camp with the Netherlands in Switzerland on 17 May.

    Given the short time frame, it is understood he is now open to the idea of playing in the tournament before deciding on his Arsenal future.

    Absolutely no corroborating evidence, no “source close to player” just pure and simple guess work from a writer with nothing better to write about.

    I limit my news reading to very few outlets and I used to trust the Beeb. But I am beginning to grow tired of their headline writers.

    So tomorrow I am going to submit an article.

    Arsene is ready to break the bank

    I will use the same quotes.

    But my article will read as follows:

    It is understood Arsene Wenger will spend lots of cash to keep Robin VanPersie at Arsenal next season.

    As well as the already purchased Podolski, Wenger has lined up a string of world class talents to bring glory back to the Emirates. He has been keeping a watchful eye on the best European talent at home and abroad and plans to add 5 new players to his squad. Top of his shopping list are Messi and Iniesta who are believed to want away from Barca now Guardiola has announced his intention to depart the Camp Nou. These will be complimented by three of the following seven players, Muller, Ribery, M’Villa, Goetze, Dzeko, Higuain, and Kaka who are all understood to want new challenges and believe Arsenal is the club for them to be at.

  146. oz gunner says:

    haha good idea GiE, it’s complete rubbish these articles. I love transfer gossip but some of them don’t even try

  147. jnyc says:

    Hey VCC, im glad u enjoyed ur trip to nyc. We arent all bad, just mostly, haha
    —- i found the arsenal pub throughthe arsenal website. Official list of arsenal bars. Class organization looks out for their international fans, but good business also. Btw im proud of dempsey, just not sure he would fit technically for us, what u think.?he is hard nosed player, fearless.

  148. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Match Day
    At last

  149. chas says:

    Looking forward to it or dreading it, Micky?

  150. kelsey says:

    Morning both.

    I am neither dreading it or looking forward to it.Would a point be OK, can’t imagine a loss.

    just e mailed you chas for some help

  151. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Cannot wait Chas.
    Hoping AW goes with an attacking line up. Dread the thought of his “away” formation with AR out leftish.

  152. Big Raddy says:

    Good Morning.

    Missed some fun last night. I must admit to preferring kelsey’s music to the Buzzcocks etc but I guess it is an age thing.

    GIE. Love your comment 12.07.I look forward to the arrival of our new signings, but we need a more experienced back up right back to Sagna – what about Dani Alves?

  153. VCC says:

    jnyc. Dempsey is a fine player, and he has had a great season with Fulham, I’m pleased for him and the club.

    I wished earlier in the season he would come to us, but no longer. My priority would be a fox in the box type player. Spend big on that type player and together with Podowski we will be fine to go next season.

    We have Wilsnire due back, Coquelin in the wings and I have high hopes for Kyle Bartley.

    Keep Van Peesie and Wenger and we will push all the way.


  154. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Benny Robin Theo
    …Coq Song

  155. Big Raddy says:

    I think he will play safe and pack the midfield

  156. VCC says:

    Mickey….hope your bells are red this morning.

  157. Big Raddy says:

    VCC. Agree.

    Given the likelihood of Fabiaski and Almunia leaving I would also sign an experienced GK.

  158. MickyDidIt89 says:

    I think you are right. What I’ll call the “slow” line up 😦

  159. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Me bells are not even blue yet 😦

  160. Big Raddy says:

    I am still laughing about the Veet link chas gave us.

  161. MickyDidIt89 says:

    I won’t be around when the post goes up Raddy.
    So be gentle with me here, does Coq and/or AR start?

  162. Big Raddy says:

    Your worst fears Micky 😦

  163. VCC says:

    Today will be difficult. All this rain together with the extra watering that Pulis will use will make the pitch heavy. This will dampen our style (nice one I like that).

    As Mickey says, I hope Wenger does not play Ramsey leftish.

    I have to admit I would be cautious today and take the draw. I know, I know what your all saying, BOORING.

    Take the draw today then three against Norwich and WBA.

  164. MickyDidIt89 says:

    That’ll be Ros and Ramsey in the same team!
    Can’t Ramsey pretend he’s suffering from psychogical “issues” about playing at Stoke?

  165. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Ha ha. Its flood alerts all over the country, and Pullis has the sprinklers on full blast 🙂

  166. chas says:

    I hope we’ve been practising on a boggy pitch at Colney all week.

    I’ve replied, kelsey.

  167. MickyDidIt89 says:

    I do think AW deploying the packed midfield immediately puts us on the back foot. Its saying to the players “we have something to fear here” and we must play them at their own game not ours.

  168. Big Raddy says:

    micky. No-one will agree with my line-up today, so don’t worry!

  169. Big Raddy says:

    Didit. Bang on. AW started this “away team” a few months ago and I believe we should play Wengerball regardless of opposition or ground.

    They should be fearing us not the other way round.

  170. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Ah ha Raddy,
    You are starting with Chamakh and Robin spearheading a five man midfield.
    Nice thinking, but no. We must play under them not over them 🙂

  171. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Couldn’t agree more Raddy.

  172. VCC says:

    Raddy….what’s your line up?

  173. Rasp says:

    Morning all, I think one of the most disgusting things about playing Stoke with Ramsey is that they boo him whenever he gets the ball????

    How inconsiderate of Ramsey to upset that nice Ryan Shawcros by deliberately snapping his leg in 2 places across the studs of the entirely innocent Stoke defender 👿

    I’d like just one Stoke supporter to offer any justification for their behaviour

  174. Rasp says:

    VCC, you’ll see Raddy’s line-up in about an hour when we publish his post 🙂

  175. evonne says:

    VCC – patience is a virtue

    Giving the team a message that there is something to fear? Ehhhhhmmm…. there is actually. They are a horrible team to play and we have more than one bad experience to prove it

    Will Ramsey start?

  176. kelsey says:

    I think the team picks itself. Benny will come in for the Ox and Rosicky will play with Song and Ramsey.

  177. VCC says:

    Ok Evonne I will have some breakfast and eagerly await the line up.

    I much prefer your avatar of last night.

  178. MickyDidIt89 says:

    There’s a dead dog in bondage gear on your laptop.

  179. evonne says:

    Micky – the dog is not dead, he is blogging on ArsenalArsenal 🙂

  180. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Bloody hell, really?
    If that happens today, I will be visiting Stoke blog sites for sure.

  181. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Hard as you may try to conceal the awful truth, the evidence is there for all to see.

  182. evonne says:

    Stoke fans are front bottoms, really weird lot.
    A win today would take them to 11th !! Mind you, with their goal difference -16 they clearly have not got the strongest defence in EPL

  183. evonne says:

    DidIt – stop it! Romeo had fallen asleep reading some comments
    Don’t you think he’s gorgeous?

  184. evonne says:

    Fecking ell, it is actually possible to climb into a red suitcase sitting in a bath, lock the padlock and commit a suicide. Modern version of the Roman bath I guess.

  185. Gooner In Exile says:

    Morning all, I couldn’t agree more with Rasp @ 8:38.

    The fans follow the managers lead unfortunately and they’ve bought it hook line and sinker.

  186. evonne says:

    GiE – don’t you like Tony Pulis then 🙂

  187. Stoke Supporter aka Stoke Bloke says:


    You don’t understand. Our poor Ryan was thoroughly cheesed off that Ramsey dived in and deliberately broke his own leg in several places.

    Ryan had a nasty scratch on his favourite boot, reaching from the toe right around to the second set of studs, and had to use far more Dubbin than usual! So there!

  188. Rasp says:

    ….New post ……..

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