Do Arsenal Deserve Third Place?

If we retain the precious third spot after next weekend, will we, as fans, really be celebrating?

I don’t mean celebrating as if we won a cup, or the league. But will we really feel satisfaction or accomplishment? I know, that with about eight weeks left, looking at the run in for ourselves, Spurs, Newcastle and Chelsea, it was exciting. Granted, we were in good form then. Our rivals were just the opposite. We liked our chances against anyone.

But now, like many of you, for a few weeks, I can’t wait for the season to be over. That is not how I should feel. I should be looking forward to more matches as opportunities to pile on points and getting closer to the Manchester in second place, if only for respectability and building up momentum for the transfer market. Instead, I have been feeling dread and pressure. After our late season collapse last year, our team and manager should have been on guard, especially against lesser opponents.

Before this stretch of mediocrity, I was looking forward to some changes in the transfer window. But although we hope for a lot of sales (clearing of deadwood) and acquisitions, I was confident in the core of our team. And more importantly confident that we could extend van Persie’s contract, and make the decision on whether to give Walcott and Song a raise, but do it all from a position of strength and optimism.

Even before this Norwich debacle, the news about Podolski signing made me feel that Robin and the rest of us could go into the off season thinking positively about our prospects for next season, assuming we would take care of our on-field business in this last two weeks. Well, Saturday showed just how wrong that assumption was, again.

I understand that this is the toughest league in the world ( as I often debate with my Spaniard friend ) – so, no game can be taken lightly, as all of our rivals, including Man U have seen themselves of late. But can we please take 3 points from someone?

Right now, I’m sure I sound like a pessimist, but I am actually the opposite. When we were nearer the bottom of the table early this season, with all of our problems, and the media writing us off, I showed my faith by wagering two mates that we would finish top four. That’s because I believe in our talent, organization, and football philosophy.  Also, I knew Cesc was going eventually, Clichy could be replaced, and I believed Nasri was not a true gunner, over-rated, and  I thought 25 million was good business to send a player that I don’t fear to a rival.

So, to answer the question in the title, I won’t personally say it’s undeserved if we finish in the third spot. Because I know what we’re up against in this league where oil money is clogging the way to the top of the table, as well as in UEFA with more super rich spenders coming into Spain and in France (where it is already paying off at PSG).

I don’t accept excuses for our current form, but there is no doubt that we don’t get many of the calls we deserve because we are not divers, and we play the right way. And no team has been as unfortunate with injuries as we have in the past two seasons. I look at our core and I see so much talent and skill, and I have a feeling Wenger will do some good things this summer, I hope I”m right about that. Moving Arshavin out and signing Podolski early lead me to believe this. And more importantly, I hope our captain sees the same things, and that we can head into the finish with a respectable victory, and our heads held moderately high after the terrible start of the season, and after the – no full backs period we went through.

So, instead of backing into the end, or stumbling towards the finish line, maybe we can focus our memories on our table climb this season, forget the fact that Spurs in third collapsed completely, even when we tried to give it back to them the past few weeks.

One good victory – three points –  could change the whole complexion of the summer and that certainly will have a huge effect on the future of The Arsenal.

Written by jnyc

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175 Responses to Do Arsenal Deserve Third Place?

  1. Big Raddy says:

    jnyc. Sums up my feelings about the season. 3 points and 3rd – good, lose at WBA – definitely not so good.

    A fine balanced post, full of things I will regurgitate in future posts!

  2. Rasp says:

    Thank you jnyc, and congratulations on an excellent maiden post for AA.

    I think your views are shared by many. We have a long summer break ahead, wouldn’t it be nice if our team could sign off this season with a professional, controlled and cohesive performance and get us CL football.

    The prospects for next season are far better than this, we must just pull our socks up and get over this last hurdle.

  3. Red Arse says:

    Congratulations, JNYC, an excellent debut Post. 🙂

    You sum up the current state of play and the fluctuating fortunes leading up to it very well indeed.

  4. Amaechi says:

    I love nd belive so much in arsenal we’ll be happy wit d 3rd position nd we sure celebrate it

  5. Big Raddy says:

    RAsp. I am very (in bold) impressed by your crossword skills!

  6. TotalArsenal says:

    hi Johnnie from NYC 🙂

    Thank you for a very fine, well-written maiden post! Top stuff.

    Your description of where we are and how we got there, reminds me very much of the Tour de France. Sometimes a cyclist just has to get up that last mountain, by hook or by crook, in order to complete the stage, have something to eat, have a rest and do it all again the day after. For Arsenal it is also tongue on chin time, but once we get over the line, the team will get their break and they can look back at a phenomenal recovery this season.

    The fact that we will finish ahead of the Chavs and Pool, who both invested so heavily in the last 16 months, is something to celebrate on its own.

    One last push on Sunday and we’re over the line. And we will finish third, even though we might not win against WBA on Sunday. Keep the faith!

  7. Rasp says:

    Morning Raddy, its all about understanding the methodology of cryptic clues. You should never take the wording of the clue literally and after a while get to recognise red herrings 😛

    I used to CCP’s every day but haven’t for several years now and so I’m a bit out of practice.

    The puzzles I try to solve these days revolve around attempting to understand what’s going on at Arsenal – and that’s far more of a mystery at times

  8. TotalArsenal says:

    Rasp, what would we be without a bit of mystery in our lives? (5,5) 😆

  9. Rasp says:

    Bored Stiff? 😕

  10. TotalArsenal says:

    Top stuff Rasp, like BR, I am amazed with your CCP skills. My last boss used to love doing them too and, like you, he did not think much of Sudoku. I can absolutely not do CCPs: they drive me mad! 🙄

  11. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Great post Johnnie, thanks.
    You are so right about the meaning of this last game. and how it will effect the perception of our season. I can’t remember going into the last weekend with three teams fighting over one guarranteed CL place. A win and the club can go into the transfer window with possible new recruits assured of European football at the highest level and I’m sure that helps. I wonder how much of last year’s transfer fiasco was waiting to get over the Udinese game and qualifying for the tournament proper.

  12. TotalArsenal says:

    BTW Rasp, I only know one word that makes a first name reading from left to right and also a different first name reading from right to left (I won’t tell you yet which one). A bit like ‘stressed’ is ‘desserts’ when reading from right to left. How many first names do you know that read a different first name when reading from right to left? 🙂

  13. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Total,
    My middle name, Did, works.

  14. Rasp says:

    Thanks TA, I’m gonna be away from my keyboard for a couiple of hours but will ponder your brain teaser.

  15. oz gunner says:

    great first post johnnie, really like the last few sentences, sums it all up nicely.

    I really hope the scum miss out. Although them worrying about the final would be funny, but that’d mean chelsea would win and i don’t want that!

  16. oz gunner says:

    elle
    hannah
    bob
    eve
    anna
    ada
    otto
    dud (glic’s nickname given to him by mrs glic)

  17. Norfolk Gooner says:

    Ned and Den?

  18. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Oz,
    You’ve caught my simple disease. They have to read backwards making a completely different name. I’m off to think. Could be a while 😦

  19. oz gunner says:

    ava
    neven
    eevee
    azza
    abba

  20. oz gunner says:

    bugger, oh well teach me to not read the question!

  21. TotalArsenal says:

    NG, you proof again that all the brains in this country are located in Norfolk hahaha 😆

    Den – Ned is a new one for me, thanks!

    Oz 🙂 Micky is right, you have got to try harder 😆

  22. oz gunner says:

    Well i’m stumped i only know two:

    Noel – leon

    Eilah – Halie

    maybe axel – lexa

  23. oz gunner says:

    only know those because i was reading a baby names book the other day and they had a section on palendromes and then backwards names, so i had a little assistance haha

  24. TotalArsenal says:

    Wow Oz, that’s fast. Leon – Noel is the only one I knew! 🙂

    I think Halie is missing an ‘i’ as it should be Hailie, but I am no expert! Axel and Lexa appear to be two used names, so well done!

  25. TotalArsenal says:

    Oz, reading baby name books usually means only one thing…. 🙂

  26. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Oi cheating.
    Noel is not a proper name, its a sodding thingy. “Hi, my name’s MayDayBankHoliday, fancy a drink”.

  27. TotalArsenal says:

    My name is Retsea and a I fancy and nig and cinot!

  28. Great debut post JNYC
    I think we will be all pleased when this season is over, i look at that widget on the side of this site and wonder if we can say we have improved or not. I think so, i don’t think last seasons team would have ended up in this position with the bad start of this season and no fullbacks scenario.
    I just pray it ends well at west brom and we can laugh at chelsea and spurs as newcastle squeeze in for 4th, then i’ll become a Bayern fan for a night.

  29. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Tommy,
    “Become” a Bayern Fan. I’ve never felt so Bavarian!

  30. Hi Mickey
    I’ll be wearing my Munich hats from many a beer festival, from the days when i could drink!

  31. Red Arse says:

    Hi TA,

    That is quite difficult.

    Sienna = Anneis
    Aron = Nora
    Noel = Leon
    Zak – Kaz
    Aidan = Nadia
    Amy = May

    Bollix = Bollox

    Bored now! 🙂

  32. oz gunner says:

    maybe mac – cam

    from memory most off the names are foreign. Haha TA the mrs and I have chosen names so i was just checking the meaning out of curiosity. Still a fair while yet.

    I agree tommy, a ‘bavarian’ for one night only!

  33. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Tommy,
    Is that it?
    Lederhosen is the only wear allowed in the house right now!

  34. oz gunner says:

    vertonghen that idiot!

    “Tottenham are absolutely my favourite,” the defender told De Telegraaf. “Tottenham is a fantastic football club that has the tradition I want. They buy young, eager, offensive-minded players.

    what bloody young players? god i’d rather him go to anyone but them. Heres hoping he flops!

  35. TotalArsenal says:

    Esra Der, (not the famous Turkish singer): very impressive response! 🙂

    Cannot give you Anneis, as I can only find Anais as a used first name. Aron and Nora, Zak and Kaz, and especially Aidan and Nadia, are all very impressive finds!

    You almost had me there with Amy and May 😆

  36. johnnie nyc says:

    Hi all, thanks for the nice responses, you have all welcomed me here from my earliest comments. and i look forward to conversing with you guys daily.
    —- btw , i really hope the mvila deal is true, of course. i think it sounds very solid, because it makes perfect sense that the player himself wants to see if we tie up the third or fourth spot before agreeing, or else, he might want higher wages to compensate for no champions league next season.. all good signs that he is coming…

  37. yep can’t wait for the season to end….. and then we have another summer of transfer madness, gossip, speculation and let down ….. its no fun anymore 😦
    If the m’vila rumours prove false i’m turning to cricket.

  38. TotalArsenal says:

    Oz, sorry it totally escaped me that your partner is expecting! How long to go now?

    Totally agree with you re Vertonghen. If he really believes it is ok to leave Ajax for Spuds then we should not want to touch him with a bargepole! One Belgian in our team is enough and I prefer a fit Mertesacker to the Spud-dribbler any day! 🙂

  39. Well done jnyc,
    Squeaky Bum Sunday. Could be bouncing off the walls or wearing ear defenders to cut out the laughter from N17.
    Even if we manage 4th and Bayern win, we will have another squeaky bum time in a qualification game(s), we`ve been fortunate on previous qualification games, but it has to come to an end sooner or later, so lets do something we`ve never done this season, win a game without Zorro !.
    Oh and stock up on the Andrex !.

  40. oz gunner says:

    sorry for the confusion, we picked the names ahead of time (we are organised haha), will be waiting 4+ years until that happens, to many things to do first

    TA if she was expecting i’d be on the first plane to mexico, changing my name to Alfonzo!

    I agree in regards to Vertonghen, he must have failed the personality test so we shipped him off down the road. That is three Belgium CB power houses in the league now. Personally i’d like all three.

  41. Red Arse says:

    Oz,

    The silly ‘transfer’ season has started early, but this is what TalkCrap were reporting this morning.

    — On Tuesday, the 25-year-old (Vertonghen) claimed he wanted to join Spurs, telling De Telegraaf newspaper: “Tottenham is a fantastic football club. Ajax was the perfect club for me, but Spurs will be very close in nearing that already. They buy young, eager and offensive-minded players.”

    But talkSPORT understands that the defender is also willing to consider a move to the Emirates, if Arsene Wenger can guarantee him first-team football. —

    Personally, I think he can Kcuf Ffo. 🙂

  42. Gooner In Exile says:

    Morning all.

    In the voice of Richie Benaud “the boys had a fantastic deyboo”.

    Top post Jnyc. Sums up exactly how I feel about the coming weekend. For the benefit of my heart I am trying to come up with ways to avoid the game and just check in at 5pm. I cannot have a heart attack, and I most definitely will if last Saturday is anything to go by. Saturday’s result is made more frustrating given Sundays results.

    Should we celebrate it? Damn right we should…firstly it’ll mean it’s St Totteringhams Day again, secondly all those early season pundits can wind their neck in about the power shift in London, to Liverpool etc etc yawn yawn.

    But 3 points Saturday do they make or break our season, literally they do but does it cover up failings or mean we have done amazingly to overcome the obstacles.

  43. oz gunner says:

    I hope so too johnnie and tommy, otherwise i just wasted an hour writing a post about it!

    @ RA

    haha well put, or in the words of Yossi: “vertonghen can Gayn cacken ofn yam”

  44. GIE
    Your last para`. I think a bit of both. The failing, our “Summerus Horribilis TW”. Amazing, after losing all our FB`s and Jack, to get where we are now .

  45. Rasp says:

    Congratulations glic on coining the phrase ‘Squeaky Bum Sunday’ – sums it up perfectly, I shall refer it as SBS for the rest of the week 😕

  46. johnnie nyc says:

    i think its obvious Vertonghen would choose us first,, but only if he was guaranteed to play most matches..this guy is coming from a winning team, and scores goals too ! he even gets to take free kicks alot……. complain as we might, we have 3 excellent cb’s and a couple young ones coming up in Bartley and miquel… so no way in the world we would pay even a few million for another, no matter how great.. Arsene would pass on Kompany probably under these circumstances haha—-personally, i would sell someone, or maybe look at a 3-5-2 formation 🙂 —
    but, im not so sure he will end up with spurs, i think city can really use a 3rd cb…they had their biggest problems when Kompany was out.. and he can get paid a fortune to play occasionally,OR.. he could start right away for chelskie

  47. Red Arse says:

    You remember what I said about the silly season starting early?
    This article was in the lunch time edition of the London Evening Standard.

    — “Arsenal now appear unlikely to sign Yann M’Vila this summer after distancing themselves from reports suggesting a deal had been struck with Rennes.

    The Gunners have a longstanding interest in the 21-year-old midfielder and it appeared as though a £17.7million agreement had been reached ahead of a proposed move.

    However, Standard Sport understands that the player’s agent had instigated rumours a deal was close in order to force an offer from Inter Milan and that Arsenal have no plans to sign the Frenchman at present.

    The framework of a four-year deal worth £60,000 a week had been proposed from the player’s side when tentative contact was made last August and was believed to have been met with a positive response from the club’s hierarchy.

    However, Arsenal have privately rejected reports that talks have resumed and are instead keen on switching their attentions elsewhere — in direct contrast to noises from the player’s camp that an agreement was imminent.

    M’Vila’s fee would represent a club record and there are thought to be reservations about the player’s temperament after he was arrested for allegedly punching a 17-year-old in an incident that took place at his home.

    Although M’Vila’s camp insist a deal remains possible, the Gunners are adamant he is not currently on their wanted list as manager Arsene Wenger looks to complete adjustments to his squad before the start of the European Championships in June.

  48. TotalArsenal says:

    She would find you anyway Oz-nofla, by the sounds of it she’s got you sussed! hahaha 🙂

    She might have done a bit of ‘Begin with the end in mind’ with you. First let’s you choose the name….. and before you know you’ll get the call: get’s what Oz – WE(!) are expecting [insert name(s)]!

  49. TotalArsenal says:

    Johnnie, RA, the silly season has indeed begun, but we HAVE Podolski signed up and that is the biggest gap filled. If our key players stay and nobody else gets signed up, I won’t lose much sleep over it this summer.

  50. Big Raddy says:

    TA. 12.35 There is a definite ring of truth to that….. 🙂

  51. Yes Rasp, it has a nice ring to it !, just hope we dont get VIT`s ( Vomit Induced Thursday`s ) 😦

  52. Gooner In Exile says:

    😀 RA yet further evidence of why we shouldn’t get excited by transfer rumours, the Standard are saying that there reporters are easily duped by agents. So why do we bother to read any of it until its on arsenal.com

  53. johnnie nyc says:

    maybe im being hopeful, but this latest bit just sounds like the standard arsenal denials… always deny whether true or not, until the ink is dry.. or until it all blows over—- but remember.. inter will be lucky to be in europa league next season and their prospects look very bleak right now, aging squad and all ..
    .i will be worried if madrid gets mentioned… you see ! im caught up in this nonsense already !

  54. TotalArsenal says:

    Have you been there as well BR?! 😉

    Nowadays, it all happens a bit more innocently:

    Wife: let’s watch this ‘fascinating’ programme about Greece tonight
    Me: is it on before MotD?
    Wife: sighhhh
    Me: If it is, then yes
    Wife: It IS, sighhh

    We watch the programme and lots of memories are shared from our previous visits to this beautiful country.. Wife points out all the benefits of Greece and how rubbish the weather has been in the UK : ‘apparently, it is going to be rubbish for the whole of May….’

    Whilst I am watching MotD, my wife has been actively googling ‘affordable holidays in….’ and before I know it, she says:

    Wife: I found this fantastic ‘now or never’ offer, come and have a look
    Me: but I am watching MotD
    Wife: you know I am good at this, shall I go ahead and book it?
    Me: sighhh…all right then

    Begin with the end in mind… 🙂

  55. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi Johnnie, just image Arteta, Wilshere, Theo, Sagna, Diaby (ok, I am pushing it now) and Mertesacker all fit again. Ryo and Campbell back from their loan-spells, Song and RvP on new contracts, and a number of youngsters pushing through this summer as well. On top of that we have a new top goalscorer in the Pod.

    If Arsenal buy more, great, I am all for it. But there is a good squad already. And look at Pool and Spuds over the last few years: they bought and bought and bought and it has not worked for them yet.

    Far more important is to start the season with stability, a fit squad, a new formation/style of football, a good partnership between Arsene and his nr2, a good pre-season, and hopefully no distraction of having to qualify for the CL, with 3rd place in the back after Sunday.

    But I must admit, it is exciting to be linked with top quality players!

  56. Rasp says:

    Afternoon all,

    Has anyone read/seen anything concrete to suggest that Theo will be fit for Sunday?

  57. Gooner In Exile says:

    Rasp, physioroom.com says returns 13/5/12.

    We shall see, normally pretty reliable though.

    http://www.physioroom.com/news/english_premier_league/epl_injury_table.php?SKEY=05248dbe8c2782804a7ce9199492109d

  58. Gooner In Exile says:

    This is the final Injury League Table for those who like these things

    http://injuryleague.com/?p=39

    We are second to ManUtd who scored 305 points (1 week
    injured = 1 point). Man City scored 50points.

    Obviously Jack and Diaby will contribute heavily to our score. Other teams have also struggled this season.

    To have any real meaning you have to look at who was actually injured…Michael Owen scores heavily for United, yet he is not first choice. Whereas as we know we have lost first and second choices in some positions.

  59. Big Raddy says:

    I haven’t answered the question in the post Headline.

    In light of the above comment the answer is Yes.

  60. MickyDidIt89 says:

    I really don’t understand the rather cynical view on transfer rumours. I take them all as gospel and feel fabulous.
    My squad already has Podolski, Vertonghen plus MmmmmVila, and I believe we have as good as sealed deals for Hazard and Hoilet.

  61. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Here’s my final dose of wisdom. We believe one minute that Vertonghen is coming to Arsenal. Makes sense. Nice.
    Then, for some utterly bizarre reason, some choose to believe that Vert has suddenly transformed into a complete lunatic, and thinks Spuds are the team to join.
    Come off it!

  62. RockyLives says:

    Great debut jnyc – you seem to have really captured the mood among us Gooners this week.

    On balance, if we get third, I will see it as a season of progress and achievement – while recognising that there is still work to be done to make us truly competitive for the big prizes.

  63. RedMJ says:

    Do we deserve to finish third? If we do finish third then yes – the table doesn’t lie and it would be a magnificent achievemnet given the start we had, the injuries we have suffered (see GIE @ 2:11) and the BS coming from the slums down the road (and TalkShite). Can’t wait for next season already.

  64. Red Arse says:

    Your lips on mine are soft as wine, your kiss is so divine, your eyes are like the sky so blue and stars that brightly shine …………..

    If that doesn’t get some action on here…………….. then nothing will!! 🙂

  65. Gooner In Exile says:

    RA think everyone is at their local sacrificial plinth, offering virgins in Spud shirts and whatever else we can think of to guarantee 3 points on Sunday.

    Is it any wonder the players feel pressure? They know that there are literally hundreds of thousands of fans that rely on them to have a good summer. I am actually glad we are away last game hopefully they will be relieved of tension.

  66. Rasp says:

    I don’t know what you mean GiE

  67. Red Arse says:

    THAT is not me, Rasper!!!! 🙂

    Altho I have sod all to do — and am listening to my Brook Benton records — what a voice! 🙂

    GIE,

    You are right, I am accepting vestal virgins by the score at the mo’ to try and restore the balance, $Kisss me babee tell me so, why don’t you let me know ….. won’t you say yes; don’t you say no, make me feel good kiddio$ ………………. sorry I digressed, —- keep sending them virgins, GIE, I am prepared to make the sacrifiiiiiiice!!! 🙂

  68. Red Arse says:

    I’m gonna kiss my Arsenal badge in the morning, and kiss it in the evening too ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, I’m gonna spend my life lovin’ no one else but you …………………….. an I don’t care who knows it …………..coz it’s no one else but you!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Yaay, go Gunners!!!!!! 🙂

  69. LB says:

    What an interesting read. As I made my way down, I was trying to work out who the author was, my hunch was that it was Total’s (which is high praise, the man knows how to write) but low and behold when I get to the end I find it is a debut. Congratulations and thank you for a superb read jnyc.

  70. LB says:

    Oh, and to answer the question: it is our god given right to finish above spuds, so third it is.

  71. RockyLives says:

    Nice one LB 🙂

  72. Big Raddy says:

    LB 6.03 Impossible to argue with that

  73. RockyLives says:

    I see Koscielny’s been called up to the French squad. Thoroughly deserved – he’s been our best defender this season.

    Shame he has to associate with that odious little worm Evra though 😦

  74. Gooner In Exile says:

    Gods got nothing to do with.

    It is just right 🙂

  75. Gooner In Exile says:

    Maybe he can kick him in training Rocky and Nasri the little twat

  76. RockyLives says:

    My predictions for the weekend:

    Comfortable win for the Good Guys at WBA.

    Fulham to beat the Spuds.

    Toon to beat Everton.

    QPR to get a point against Citeh.

    ManUre to beat Sunderland and win the title.

    (Bayern to beat the Chavs).

  77. RockyLives says:

    Good idea GiE – maybe LK can have of those ‘colliding head’ incidents he seems to like so much, with Evra as the victim 🙂

  78. RockyLives says:

    The anagramometer tells you all you need to know about Patrice Evra:

    Active Raper

  79. GunnerN5 says:

    By Norm Hubbard, Soccernet.

    An analysis of the goals scored By Van Persie & Rooney.

    ……………………………………………………………………………………………..

    Van Persie has 30 goals in 37 Premier League games (36 starts) and Rooney has 26 in 33 (31 starts). In all competitions, Van Persie has 37 in 47 games (44 starts) and Rooney 33 in 42 (40 starts). Van Persie averages a goal every 0.81 games in the league and every 0.78 games in all competitions, Rooney one every 0.78 games, both in the league and all competitions.

    If we compare their chance-conversion rates in the Premier League, they are very similar: Van Persie has scored 30 goals from 170 attempts, a rate of 17.6% and Rooney 26 from 152, scoring from 17.1% of his efforts. One measure, however, of a striker’s value is to remove the penalties and, in all competitions that leaves Van Persie the clear leader with 34 goals to Rooney’s 25.

    Another way to gauge their contributions is to look at the number of points a player’s goals has earned his side: for instance, remove Van Persie’s two goals against Liverpool and Arsenal would have lost 1-0, rather than winning 2-1, but take away his one goal in the 3-0 victory at Wolves and Arsenal would still have claimed three points. By that measure, Van Persie’s goals have brought 23 league points for Arsenal and Rooney’s just 11 for Manchester United. It is also true that the Dutchman has scored a much higher percentage of his side’s league goals (42.3% to 29.5%), all of which suggests he is more important to Arsenal than Rooney is to Manchester United.

    If goals away from home are deemed harder, and thus count more, Van Persie has scored 13 to Rooney’s nine in the Premier League. However, Rooney has more league goals against top-six opponents – eight to seven – and far more against teams currently in the top half – 15 to RVP’s 10 – which may be of more importance to a title-chasing side. Rooney also scored twice against Manchester City in the FA Cup – Van Persie’s only goals in the competition were against Aston Villa – but arguably the Dutchman provided more meaningful goals in Europe, striking against Udinese in the play-off to help Arsenal qualify for the competition, then Borussia Dortmund – with his three goals earning three points – and AC Milan.

    Van Persie also has 10 Premier League assists to Rooney’s four, and thus ranks among the most creative players in the league (only four players have provided more) as well as being the division’s top scorer.

  80. Anyone seen the new video for Arsenal`s new kit ?, at the end they have Szczesny hitting Wenger`s car with a ball, I have It on great authority that the first choice was Chamakh, two days filming were wasted with him trying to hit the car, they then tried a lorry, no improvement, they then suggested Wenger parked the Double Decker Bus, being against his principles he declined !.

  81. RockyLives says:

    Interesting article Gn5. I’ve always thought Shrek was a bit over-rated. Good player, but not great.

    Gn5 I was thinking about you the other day. I know you have been in Canada a long time and I was wondering how you used to follow games back in the days before universal TV coverage (and when “soccer ball” was not exactly a high priority in North America). Did you use the World Service? Could you listen to games live?

    Just curious…

  82. RockyLives says:

    GLiC 🙂

    By the way, I liked your “pr*ck” awards idea. I thought it could make a good post when the season ends.

    But, as Redders tactfully suggested, you might need to think of a different name for the awards to avoid scaring the horses.

  83. VCC says:

    Rocky 6:37. Are they you wishes too?

  84. RockyLives says:

    VCC
    You caught me out 🙂

  85. Irishgunner says:

    Evening all,

    Great first post. I think, in the league, you finish where you deserve to finish and I think we’ll get 3rd although we’ll have to be wary of WBA who will want to send Hodgson out in style.

    I’m going for Bilbao in the final tonight – mainly cos they knocked out the Mancs and I got great delight from that.

  86. GunnerN5 says:

    Rocky;

    In our early days here the only soccer game televised live was the FA Cup Final and was only shown in a few select pubs.
    The only way we got the league results each week was by listening to a CBC radio show called Calling all Britons with Ray Sonning as the host.

  87. My anagram of Alisher Usmanov disappeared !. 🙂

  88. VCC says:

    Rocky…….I know I’m going to be shot down on here, but I can only see a draw at the best for us at WBA, and the Spuds will beat Fulham.

  89. RockyLives says:

    Thanks Gn5
    Was the Ray Sonning show on the Saturday (or some other time of the week)? At least all the games were on a Saturday, but it must have driven you mad waiting for the results.

    In a weird way it was probably better for your sanity than to have to 24-hours, 360 degree coverage we get now.

  90. RockyLives says:

    Thanks GliC
    I thought you just couldn’t spell Patrice Evra 🙂

    VCC
    Wash your mouth!

  91. GunnerN5 says:

    Recently I’ve spent a lot of time researching our Family Tree.

    I’ve authenticated each generation going back to 1611 (401 years).

    Back in the 1700’s the family were farmers in Swannaton, Devon, they resided in two farm house on the same acreage. Those same farm houses have been renovated and are now rented out as holiday accommodations.

  92. VCC says:

    Rocky. I know, I know. It’s 4 days away and I’m getting nervous already.

  93. Irishgunner says:

    I feel sick and its only Wednesday, I’ll never make it to Sunday … last day jitters :-s

  94. dandan says:

    Rumours on Twitter Maggie Thatcher has died, no doubt many will celebrate

  95. GunnerN5 says:

    Calling all Britons was a live radio show from 4:OO to 5:00 pm on a Saturday evening, the results were read out at 4:50 pm.

  96. RockyLives says:

    Great stuff Gn5
    Aren’t you tempted to rent one out and visit the Old Country?

    You could probably get Micky and GLiC to pop in while you’re there, as they’re down that neck of the woods.

  97. You know them Mega -Sales where people camp out side the front door for days just to be the first in the queue, well I`ve done the same sort of thing, I`ve got in first, hiding behind the sofa 4 days in advance !.

  98. RockyLives says:

    Dandan
    I think the Blair/Brown years did a great job of improving her reputation.

    Certainly a divisive figure but even a lot of left wing people (these days) seem to give her credit for some things.

  99. Irishgunner says:

    Dandan – its fake. Someone trends as dead on Twitter every other day

  100. Big Raddy says:

    GLIC. LB has a very big sofa (he calls it a settee) with a bar behind it. We have been using it for some time now.

  101. GunnerN5 says:

    Rocky,

    My sister and her family, who live in Rockport, Mass. and my family have spoken about just that , we need to do it before we become old relic’s.

  102. VCC says:

    Hey GLiC, look behind you….it’s me.

  103. Raddy, Sounds like my kinda sofa (settee ) 🙂

    GN5,
    The only Swannaton(s) I can see on google maps is, Crediton or Dartmouth way.

  104. VCC,
    All we need is a couple of lezzers behind the sofa with us and it will be like Greenham Common !

  105. GunnerN5 says:

    GLIC,

    FYI; My family roots are from Devon – they lived in Tiverton and Shobrooke in the 1600’s, Morchard Bishop, Clannaborough, Crediton & Sandford in the 1700’s and then finally Broadwoodkelly in the 1800’s.
    Then In London from the 1900’s.

  106. Irishgunner says:

    If Falcao joined Arsenal he’d be my new TR7

  107. RockyLives says:

    Irish
    Didn’t he do “rock me amadeus”?

  108. RockyLives says:

    …which would be very appropriate if he was replacing The Little Mozart in your affections 🙂

  109. GunnerN5 says:

    GLIC;

    My earlier comment was incorrect – to clarify, my research gives the following detail.

    Swannaton is a large farmhouse situated in the northern Parish of Sandford about 3 miles from the village.

  110. Like most of Devon, some lovely countryside around that area GN5. Some people like the harshness of the Moors, some like the sea, but I prefer rolling countryside and wooded valley`s, but everyone to their own .

  111. VCC says:

    GLiC 8:04…. No chance. If I’m with a guy behind a sofa, it’s at least two each.

  112. Irishgunner says:

    RL – He could rock me anytime 😉

    That’s just cheesy – but what an awesome player and heh, if he’s got a good facial structure to boot I’m not complaining

  113. VCC says:

    GLiC. 8:20….I prefer 4 lezzers behind the sofa.

  114. RockyLives says:

    Quick, run!
    Peaches is coming!

  115. VCC
    You sound like a typical greedy gooner, cant settle for the PL title, you want the CL aswell ! 😆

  116. VCC says:

    Yer. And don’t tell Peaches it’s befor the watershed

  117. VCC
    Your getting greedier by the minute, add the FA cup and League Cup aswell !. 😆

  118. Looking at your avatar VCC, I`m surprised Irish isn`t smitten already, that looks like fine bone structure all over !

  119. VCC says:

    GLic yes I am greedy, together with the FA cup + League Cup + MVilla+ Vertognen + Four lezzers (done care if they are behind the sofa or on my lap) just get them here NOW.

  120. I think you need your Arshavin aswell !

  121. VCC says:

    GLiC…. I have been trying all day to fine out who put your picture as my avatar.

  122. VCC says:

    Don’t need any foam n shaven on my body, I’m Brazilian.

  123. Irishgunner says:

    Glic – VCC is my precious.

  124. VCC
    As much as i would like to stay and exchange pleasantries, Mrs glic is calling, she `s probably going to explain how she sent you my picture.
    Laters.

  125. Irishgunner says:

    Vidal Sassoon is actually dead – didn’t know he was 84 though

  126. VCC says:

    Rocky 8:30……not to worry, Peaches has gone to bingo

  127. Irishgunner says:

    Seems to be a party for Pat Rice tonight

    http://yfrog.com/od90klkj

    Will miss him on the sideline

  128. VCC says:

    I miss GM

  129. VCC says:

    Irish your my precious

  130. TotalArsenal says:

    Wow, the Europa League final tonight was a fine advert for footie.

  131. Big Raddy says:

    Sure was, Don’t expect Chelsea to be so entertaining.

  132. TotalArsenal says:

    Very true Raddy. The difference between Bayern and Barca is that the former are able to vary their attacking play more and parking the bus might not be the best option for the Chavs. Let’s hope they get properly thumped by Die Lederhosen! 🙂

  133. evonne says:

    Irish @ 9:03 – I cannot believe those boys, all the money they earn and they dress to a party in ripped jeans and trainers….I don’t know, the youth of today

    Has anyone mentioned that it is Roy Hodgson’s last game at WBA? Not good for us

  134. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi Evonne,

    ‘the youth of today’ – haha – you are a spring chicken yourself! 🙂

    Why is it not good for us that Sunday’s game is Hodgson’s last one?

  135. VCC says:

    Evonne…..This is going to be a huge task for us this Sunday. Usually I think we could cope, but we have a confidence thing about us, and I don’t know why? It must come from the Manager! The best I think we can do is a draw. That means the. spuds must not win.

  136. SharkeySure'sGhost says:

    JYNC – thats a proper daybyoo….well played.

    I’d love to think we’ll be fine on Sunday, but this season has taught me more than ever that you just can’t bank pon anything.

    God only knows how or why people put money on games and/or results. Madness.

    Like, you I challenged an email group (yeah Im tough!!) that we would still finish top four back in the dark months. My only real moment of concern was after our extremely flat draw up at Bolton.

    I’m still struggling to comprehend our recent run, and and I’m still none the wiser about what the hell happened at the Emirates last Sat between 12.45 and approx 2.45.

    Maybe we should call witneses to the stand.? Hey 2*13 willyou lead the questioning..?? Thanks.

    Ps. excellent advice to Oz last night 4*5+6. Wot a website this is….

    Night

  137. jnyc says:

    Sharkey you made me laugh, and thanks to the whole bunch of you for encouraging me.
    —– i will be conversing with u all here daily. Now what do i do about this knot in my stomach, getting bigger every day since saturday. i hope its gone on sunday

  138. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Great article jnyc, plenty of emotion in your post, which always makes for a good read. Now allow me to help aleviate your anxiety. We are going to thrash the living daylights out of West Brom. Bottlers?, What bottlers? Any club that gets champions league football year in year out dosnt bottle. Just like the Totnumb game our players will come out with fire in the belly and a steely determination and concentration that is befiting of the glorious red and white shirt. Albion will be swept away and we will qualify for a competition that next season we have a great chance of winning.Pride, courage and exceptional talent, we have it all and will prove it, starting this weekend.

  139. henrychan - indonesia says:

    Yes sure.. we deserve the 3rd place..

    But to be honest.. our team nowaday is the worst of all season (for 15 years by Arsene Wenger)..
    Very incosistent and very easily beaten..

    But guest what..?? Suprisingly..
    Even with this poor team we still go for UCL..
    I never really realised that without Arteta we never win a single games..?? Is it really true..???

    But even if it is true.. I hope even without Arteta, for this last game.. We must win.. And I hope our team will go allout for the last game and beat WBA..
    And on the other side, I also hope Dempsey give a shock for Spurs.. Go Gunners..

  140. francois says:

    Bon Anniversaire Dennis.

  141. francois says:

  142. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Francois,
    Fantastic start to the day. Oh, oh, oh for a player of his quality.

  143. Big Raddy says:

    Francoise. Thank you

    Can you imagine being DB10? What must it be like to be blessed with such genius?

  144. kelsey says:

    Morning all.
    I want to talk about RVP. IMO it has no baring were we finish this season. We have aready secured Podolski and despite being linked with about 20 different players by the media,, the fact that we have been bidding for Dempsey and others that we don’t know about, tells me RVP will be off. I cannot believe that between him and AW a decision has not been made.
    I also believe that with Almunia off and Fabianski most probably going we will buy a keeper (something that should have been done last Summer though we tried for Schwarzer.) Our pole in goal has 15+ years to go, and though never fazed he needs competition for his placy

    My other concern is Wiltshire,who looks like being out for a good year and that’s why I think we will be looking for quality cover for him as well.
    Song may go or not, I am not bothered as he can be replaced hopefully with someone who can hold the backline together.

  145. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Morning Raddy and Kelsey,
    “Pole in Goal” 🙂
    Who knows about RvP, but I agree with you Kelsey, that I’m sure what will be has already been agreed. As I said here before, I believe we will take the money now.

  146. Gooner In Exile says:

    A fantastic article in the Independent about the EPL, Fit and Proper Test, Debt etc.

    http://www.independent.co.uk/sport/football/news-and-comment/james-lawton-premier-league-is-to-blame-for-owners-acting-like-headless-chickens-7723278.html

    Excellent piece that needs a lot of answers and makes you feel good that at the moment we are not subjected to the lunacy that others are. Finishes with a debt league table:

    Wolves 0m
    Swansea 0m
    West Bromwich 2m
    Stoke City 8m
    Norwich 16.8m
    Blackburn Rovers 21m
    Manchester City 41m
    Everton 45m
    QPR 56.1m
    Sunderland 66m
    Wigan Athletic 73m
    Tottenham 78.6m
    Bolton Wanderers 93m
    Arsenal 97.8m
    Aston Villa 110m
    Liverpool 123m
    Newcastle United 150m
    Fulham 190m
    Manchester United 439m
    Chelsea 734m

    Whilst our debt is not the least it should be noted that we are the only club in that list that have used it to pay for a 60,000 seater stadium, just how will Spuds, Liverpool etc finance a new stadium without changing their on pitch strategy.

  147. Big Raddy says:

    So, we are united in our opinions about RvP. Why would we be looking at Dempsey if RvP was staying.

    Dempsey 10m + Podolski 11m = £21m

    Sale of RvP, 29 and on last year of contract = £25m ???

    Looks like AFC are balancing the books again.

    But I would love RvP to stay

  148. Big Raddy says:

    Bolton are in deep excrement if they go down

  149. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Replacing Robin with two strikers would appear very good business if he lands a four month injury. Although Dempsey, just no.

  150. MickyDidIt89 says:

    GiE,
    Interesting stuff.
    What is happening with Spuds and stadium plans?

  151. Gooner In Exile says:

    Morning all, interesting you should bring up those players Kelsey, twitter is awash with will he/won’t he, and will sign/won’t sign stories. A selection of views:

    Keeper
    Swansea’s Michel Vorm is again linked with Arsenal but would have to compete with first-choice Wojciech Szczesny. (Mirror)

    RvP
    Meanwhile, The Mirror claims RvP will only move to Barca or Real Madrid if he leaves Arsenal – nowhere else.

    RvP has indicated he and his family are settled in London and have recently moved into a new house. (Mail)

    No source. No quotes from van Persie. As much as I want to believe it. http://t.co/VVR8ha5s

    PHW: “We haven’t talked to Robin yet, but I spoke to Arsène recently. He is very confident he’ll stay and I very much hope he will.

    @northbanklower: RVP stories haven’t come from the club. Steered from his camp. IMO, for what it’s worth (not a lot), he’ll be leading the team next season.

    M’Villa
    @northbanklower: Silly season has begun. Why would Arsenal now not be interested in M’Vila? They are, of course they are. Not sure about 99% done though.

    @northbanklower: Also know for a fact that Arsenal have been steering press away from M’Vila stories. Are our Press that naive? No way. Best in the business

  152. Big Raddy says:

    GIE. Can you read all the rumors and distill them on a daily basis for all on the site?

    I haven’t got the time or the will!

    (just kidding)

  153. Gooner In Exile says:

  154. LB says:

    Morning GIE

    I am confused by that Rami S tweet. Have I missed something, have the Pat Rice retirement stories been confirmed?

  155. Gooner In Exile says:

    Think so LB, have a look at the pic Irish posted last night and this tweet from Jack

    https://twitter.com/jackwilshere/status/200313099721519104

  156. LB says:

    44 years…………incredible.

  157. kelsey says:

    Raddy,
    did you mean united or untied 🙂

  158. VCC says:

    44 years…….now that’s what you call loving a club.

  159. kelsey says:

    I feel a new statue is on its way.

    Always remember Pat playing against Curry in a game around 1970.

  160. LB says:

    Pat Rice…..tasty goal.
    Pat Rice…..tasty goal
    Pat Rice…..tasty goal

    He only ever scored one I think, I can’t remember who it was against though.

  161. henrychan - indonesia says:

    Big -Daddy- Raddy, we bring Dempsey not for replace RVP.. Dempsey is a Attacking Midfielder although he scores alot for Fulham.. We need a solid AM.. Rosicky can’t do it alone..

    For me.. buying Dempsey is more reasonable than Podolsky..
    Only when Wenger change the formula to 4-4-2.. or RVP out.. than we need another striker..

    I wish more AM will come.. Sneijder is another good one..
    I’m very sure if we can get Sneijder sign, than RVP will absolutely stay..

  162. kelsey says:

    Ithink you misunderstood me micky. I said if we are trying to purchase a striker/attacking midfielder in addition to Podolski,it tells me RVP may be off. dempsey was only used as an example, and as I have said before,he doesn’t want to come to us.

  163. Big Raddy says:

    HenryC Sneijder is injury prone and a problem in the dressing room. No thanks… though a fine player.

    I see Podolski as a more attacking replacement for Arshavin.

    I don’t see Dempsey as an AM. I see him as the leader of the line who works hard defensively. The only way I see him fitting is if RvP leaves or AW is getting rid of both Chamakh and Park and wants 2 replacements.

    Neither Dempsey nor Podolski will come to sit on the bench.

  164. LB says:

    I would be really happy to see Dempsey replace Chamakh and Park.

  165. Big Raddy says:

    LB. Me too, and I would add on Bendtner, Vela, Murphy, Galindo, Botlelho, Watts and Wellington.

  166. Big Raddy says:

    kelsey. 1.245 and rising …..

  167. henrychan - indonesia says:

    Big Raddy..
    Chamakh and Park replacing with Podolski..
    Dempsey for replacing Ramsey and Arshavin..

    I wish Ramsey out along with Chamakh, Park, Bendtner, Arshavin, Almunia, Fabianski, and Squillaci.

  168. francois says:

    Nous avons besoin seulement d’une Fiesta

    http://bit.ly/K4udUT

  169. Gooner In Exile says:

    Raddy think I am confused by your 8:47, are you saying you want those out, or in instead of Cham and Park.

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