We all know better than Arsène ………

We all love doing it. I guarantee there to be at least one in every comments section of any Arsenal blog, forum or news site you can think of. The speculative lineup, it’s addictive. Why, I have know idea. There is just something so satisfying about writing the names of our beloved players down into a thoughtfully deliberated formation. Only a handful of us have a significant knowledge of tactics and almost none of us know anything substantial about the players apart from our parochial, emotion-fueled observations during games and  from their blogosphere reputations. And yet, we fancy ourselves as Arsenal managers and pick our own teams week in week out. So here we are in the pre-season, with the summer transfer window hotting up; this is the time where the phenomenon reaches its pinnacle. The debate over our team’s lineup is well and truly alive!

Something we don’t often think about is that your speculative lineup is actually a great indicator of who you are as a person and as an Arsenal fan. Think back to the lineups you’ve produced over the years (maybe even in the last few days!), and find out where you fit in the spectacular spectrum that is the whole gamut of Arsenal fans. So where do you fit?

1. Signing Obsessed

———————–Lloris————————

–Sanga–Vermaelen–Vertonghen–Baines–

———————M’Villa—————————

—————Wilshire–Gotze———————

–Dzagoev——-Girourd——Podolski——

How often do we see a lineup like this? All the players who are even remotely linked with the club are portrayed as saviours, must-buys and symbols of hope for the coming season. This type of lineup will usually be followed by a comment such as ‘Get on it Arsene!’ or ‘Make it happen Gazidis!’

2. Academy Mad

—————–Szczęsny ——————

–Yennaris—Miquel–Bartley–Gibbs–

—————-Gnarby———————–

———Wilshere–Lansbury/Eisfeld—-

—-Aneke——-Afobe——Miyachi——

A lineup like this will usually be followed by something like ‘Future Arsenal first team, 2 years away?’ If this is you, you may need an injection of reality. Explore the archives of blogs from seasons past and have a look at some of the teams suggested as ‘Arsenal’s future’. Jay Emmanuel-Thomas anyone? Jay Simpson? The fact is that – if we are lucky –  each season has only one or two academy players that have what it takes to make the step up to the first team. Last season it was Coquelin, before that it was Wilshire and Szeszney. Who will it be this season? How exciting!

3. Formation Fans

———————Szczęsny ———————–

—Koscielny—Mertesacker—Vermaelen—-

—————Song–Coquelin———————

—-Ox-Chamberlain—Rosicksy–Diaby——-

————–Podolski—-Giourd—————–

There is always someone out there telling anyone who will listen that Wenger should being deploying his team in 3-2-3-2 or 4-1-3-1-1 or 5-2-4 or God knows what else. There’s always someone who’s certain the team would be better off with Vermaelen commanding the midfield or that so-and-so should surely be unleashed in the ‘hole’. Every now and then the fan knows what they’re talking about, not often though.

4. Nickname Fans

—————World’s Number One————-

–Sanga—Verminator—BFG——-Gibbo—-

—————–Rambo——–Le Coq———–

————————–LJW————————

——–Theo—The Boy Wonder—The Ox—

Football fans must be the only people in the world to give affectionate nicknames to men we’ve never met. But although we don’t actually know our players personally, in a deeper sense, we know them very, very well. Some of the nicknames are brilliant anyway, we don’t need to justify ourselves. I cannot stand when ostensible ‘fans’ invent hurtful nicknames for members of our beloved team such as ‘Flapihandski’ or ‘Ramilson’. Here’s a mystery I’ve often pondered. Why are some players known universally by their first name and others not? We always hear about Robin, Theo and Arsene and used to talk about Cesc all the time, but we never hear a thing about Mikel, Bacary, Laurent or Kieran.

5. England Snobs

——————-Szczęsny ———————

-Jenkinson—Vermaelen-Bartley-Gibbs-

————Ramsey—–Frimpong————-

———————Wilshere———————

—Ox-Chamberlain–RVP—-Walcott——-

Some fans are extraordinarily concerned by the amount of English players in the team. Nationality is their top priority. Ramsey’s Welshness is considered acceptable. They even prefer players who are half English or aren’t really English at all such as Jenkinson and Frimpong. As more English players have developed and integrated into Wenger’s new team, these types of posts have steadily become less common.

6. Trollers and Piss Takers

—————-Almunia———————-

Djourou—–Squillaci–Silvestre–Traore

——–Denilson——-Bischoff————–

——Park—-Chamakch—–TGSTEL—–

Poor Djourou cannot play full back can he? I couldn’t even think of enough players but you get the idea.

7. Diaby lovers

——————-Szczęsny ———————

–Sanga–Vermaelen–Koscielny-Santos–

————–Song—–Arteta——————-

——————-DIABY—————————

——–Podolski—-RVP—-Walcott———-

Staunch Diabyists. They exist in their droves. But I do have this feeling like he’s gonna have an amazing season….

8. Fence sitters

—————————-Szczęsny ————————

—Sanga—Vermaelen—–Koscielny—Gibbs/Santos–

————————–Song—–Arteta/Ramsey————–

————————-Wilshere/Rosicky———————–

——–Podolski/Ox—-RVP/Giroud—-Walcott/Gervinho-

This sort of lineup is a good sign; it means the club is spoilt for choice, that we have a lot of depth and competition for places. They manifest themselves in a variety of ways: slashes, parenthesis, brackets. But it sort of defeats the point of picking a team. Alternatively some fans like to make two teams, a first team and a second team and sometimes even a third team.

So now that we’ve analyzed it, let’s indulge in the activity we love so much. How do you think we should line up next season? Remember, everyone’s an expert – except for Arsène of course.

Written by Gus

172 Responses to We all know better than Arsène ………

  1. oz gunner says:

    hahaha bloody hilarious Gus, everyone will be ‘Gus-hing’ over it.

    it encapsulates pretty much the entire football fan base.

    Id have to say i sit half way between the ‘academy mad’, the ‘nickname fan’, and the ‘fence sitters (largely because i comes down to opposition for me)’

    This year it’ll be Lansbury and Coq to make a name for themselves with Miguel and frimpong smashing it on loan

  2. oz gunner says:

    Not sure why fans still have faith in Diaby. That ship sailed long ago. It is sad, and I have no doubt he is an immense talent but his career has been tragically ruined by injuries.

  3. Gus says:

    Hi I’m glad you liked it. I also hope Lansbury will nail a place in the first team squad this year.

  4. samuel says:

    Okay so -called expert so explain it to us why the club hasn,t won a
    trophy in seven mediocre seasons ,and no it cannot possibly be Ro
    bin van Persie,s fault ?

  5. Gus says:

    Is that addressed at me Samuel?

  6. LB says:

    Good fun post Gus, very enjoyable.

    My personal reason for trying to guess the team is to see how close I am to working out how Wenger ticks.

    If all the players are fit we are going to learn so much from who he selects in the first game from his choice of AM. He has to chose between Ramsey, Rosicky and Diaby.

    Now if he picks the latter I think we can take that as his prefered choice for the season.

    So having made that choice I probably fall in the category of the Diaby lovers.

  7. TotAl says:

    I am a fence-sitting, Diaby-loving, not-knowing-what he is talking about, Fan of Formations! 😆

    Great, very analytical, refreshing and clever post, Gus. And welcome to AA-writers! 🙂

    Preferred formation for next season:

    —————Szczesny———————–
    Sagna—-Mertesacker——–Koz—-Gibbs
    Coq/Theo–Diaby/JW/Ram–TV/Song/Art–KAKA–Gerv/Pod/Santos
    ——————Giroud/Pod/Ars

    I am not counting on RvP staying and I would love us to add an attacking midfielder who can score between 12-18 PL goals and adds that bit of experience that other midfielders can learn from.

    KAKA would be ideal. There are rumours he is no longer required at Madrid and Arsenal could provide him with the perfect platform to show the world once and for all what a good player he is. Santos is there to make him feel welcome on and off the pitch. He would be very expensive, salary wise, but who knows: one can only dream.

  8. fergalburger says:

    I wouldn’t reply Gus. It would be a mental challenge just to find some kind of avenue or meaning and apply it to your post. It is impossible. I might as well say, “Ok Guspert, if you’re so smart, why did George Graham dismantle a winning side, sell of fan’s favourites and take a whopping bung if Arsenal are so great?”

    Nice post btw.

  9. LB says:

    Samuel

    I am guessing that English is not your first language and football is not your first sport.

  10. Timmy says:

    Beautifully and creatively written, thanks Gus for waking us up from dreamland.

    But however, it doesn’t hurt to dream, so dream I must

    Szczesny/Fabiansky/Mannone/Shea

    Bac/Jenk/Coq Kos/Mert/DJ/Kyle Kos/Verm/Mig Gib/San/Mig/Verm

    Song/Arteta/Jack/Ros//Diaby/Ram/Coq/Frim/Lans/Ox/Arshavin

    Theo/Ox/Ryo RVP/Ollie/Pod/Bend/Cham/Park/Benik Ger/Pod/Ash

    Pool of Quality and Talents to draw from. for formations ranging from 4-3-3/4-4-2/4-2-3-1/4-1-2-3/4-3-1-2/3-1-3-3 etc.

    yawn…Blinks——tap.tap.tap—-wake up, wake up. What a dream!

  11. Gus says:

    hahaha feralburger

  12. Double98 says:

    Then there is the 4nil down from the first leg gung ho team

    —————Szczesny———————–
    Theo—-Verminator——–Koz—-Poldi
    Miyachi–OX–Wilshire––Gervinho
    ————Giroud—RVP
    SUBS: Chamakh, Park, Afobe, Arshavin, Ramsay, Rosicky, Fabianski

  13. TotAl says:

    Gosh, forgot the Ox he can share with KAKA: KAKA/The Ox 🙂

  14. samuel says:

    Hey LB don,t guess just stick to the facts,no trophy at the Emirates
    in seven mediocre seasons,so what does English, which is very much my home language, have to do with Arsene Wenger,s inability
    to bring these much anticipated trophies to the Emirates and since when were you a psychiatrist able to judge from a comment here that
    football isn,t my sport ,like so many childish fickle Arsenal fans who
    post hogwash,the problem at the club is Arsene Wenger and hangi
    ng thousands of;in Arsene we trust;banners all over the stadium wo
    n,t bring trophies to the club ,seven mediocre seasons have shown
    it ,rather clearly?

  15. oz gunner says:

    too defensive 98…Lansbury as keeper!

  16. TotAl says:

    Come on Oz, give us your line-up!

  17. Gus says:

    Interesting opinion Samuel. I can understand why you got the impression you got but my post wasn’t supposed to be an article on Arsene’s coaching ability. Instead it was about us the fans and how we all think we could be the manager 😉

  18. samuel says:

    Robin van Persie is leaving the club after seven mediocre trophyless
    seasons,are the chldish fickle Arsenal fans saying van Persie is a
    liar ,when clearly the facts prove his decision not to sign a new contract,the problem is Arsene Wenger,who couldn,t even sign on
    Yossi ben Ayoun for a million pound fee from Chelsea and his insist
    ence on picking the same mediocre players ,Walcott,Wilshere,Ram
    sey,Arshavin match after match ,so Robin is going ,sell him to the hi
    ghest bidder already and then sack Arsene Wenger,it,s time ,the cl
    ub cannot afford another mediocre season without trophies?

  19. samuel says:

    Even yourself (Gus ) could do a better job than Arsene Wenger,so
    yes the fans,at least some of us ,know that we can do a better job
    than the current coach,now explain it to us why Yossi ben Ayoun wasn,t signed after his loan period from Chelsea expired,you reck
    on you,re a decent manager,go for it ?

  20. oz gunner says:

    —————–Szczęsny ——————

    –Sagna—Koz–Vermaelen–Gibbs–

    ——-Arteta——Song/Coquelin—

    ———Wilshere–——Ox———–

    ————Giroud——-Pod———-

    Subs: schwarzer, theo, Song/coq, lewandowski, BFG, Ramsey, Lansbury

  21. oz gunner says:

    Samuel you lose all credibility when you say mediocre players like Walcott, Ramsey, and especially WILSHERE!
    You seem to know a lot about Arsenal and yossi. I think a more reasonable theory is that his career is in it’s twilight and he wanted more game time (something Arsene couldn’t promise).

  22. samuel says:

    Hey Gus hopefully you,ll have something better to offer at the end of
    the 2012/13 season and still no trophies at the Emirates ,the club cannnot afford another third place (sic ) mediocre season with Wen
    ger still in charge ,time to sack him already,nevermind the thousands
    of ;in Wenger we trust ;banners hanging all over the Emirates ,they don,t bring trophies to the trophy cabinet ?

  23. samuel says:

    What do Australian fans know about the game ,stick to the oval rug
    by ball ,please ?

  24. samuel says:

    Fans like Oz Gunner have no credibilty whatsoever if they rate Walcott,Wilshere and Ramsey ,stick to rugby union ,please ?

  25. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Gus,
    Love it, and of course we are all experts (apart from Samuel who just likes spending other peoples money).
    For those of you who have listed more than one player for each position, I say…cowards.
    Great idea Double98 with your: “Then there is the 4nil down from the first leg gung ho team” 🙂
    Now, bearing in mind Gus asked how WE should line the boys up, and not what we think Arsene would do, here goes:
    .
    ………………Sz
    ….Kos Mert Verm
    Ox Song Jack Arteta Santos
    ………….Diaby
    ……………Giroud
    .
    Cripes, makes you realise how many great players we have when all fit, and trying to find a way to crowbar them all in is not easy.

  26. Gus says:

    Ironically schwarzer could actually be the perfect backup keeper if Fabianski leaves. Old and therefore cheap, bags of experience to pass onto Szczesny, no adaption period (wouldn’t even need to move houses) and – I’m guessing – a thirst to play CL football for a big club before he retires even at the expense of playing time.

    Wouldn’t it be ironic if he came after all.

  27. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Oh, and yes I’ve flogged the dutch bloke. To Glasgow Rangers for a fiver.

  28. Gooner In Exile says:

    Gus that is a really enjoyable read, I think I fit in all categories throughout a season.

    As for the nicknames it’s a shortness thing or how you feel shouting it from the stands 🙂 Gibbo is better than Kieran. 😀

  29. samuel says:

    Australian players such as Harry Kewell and Mark Viduka are just fe
    int memories and no, Tim Cahill at Everton is actually Samoan,any
    other Aussies you know of playing in the big European Leagues ?

  30. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Samuel,
    Not rating Wilshere really lets you down big time.

  31. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    Samuel

    Go FLICK yourself 😆

  32. samuel says:

    So what exactly did Micky did it 89 do,and no i don,t spend other
    peoples money as i,m not the coach,not yet, but Arsene Wenger is
    the current Arsenal manager and hasn,t won ant trophy of any kind
    whatsoever in the past seven seasons,you were saying what?

  33. samuel says:

    Nevermind Wenger,s sudden buying spree ,Podolski,Giroud etc. as
    Arsenal,s top goalscorer for many a season is leaving the club due
    to the incompotence of his manger over the past seven seasons,so
    what are these fickle fans trying to say?

  34. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    Samuel you wouldn’t know shit from shoe polish. Micky did it & it was in ’89. And I’ll never forget when he did it 🙂

  35. samuel says:

    Grow up Gnarley George ,if that,s the best comment you can post?

  36. Haohaohaohtc says:

    Gus, Great Fun! Btw, can you try fit Niang and Moses for the baby gunner team?

    Samuel, Can you look up the word ‘humor’?

  37. samuel says:

    Who,s Mick or maybe you mean Michael Rocastle or someone else
    care to inform us , kid ?

  38. samuel says:

    Well the fellow with the rather funny name doesn,t understand this humour at all,haohhaohaotic ?

  39. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    Yes, thats right Michael Rocastle the very same. Gee you certainly know your Arsenal. I bet some dumb Aussie wouldn’t know who Michael Rocastle is, or Terry Thomas is 😆

  40. Haohaohaohtc says:

    Samuel, you got close. Wrong spelling, btw.

  41. samuel says:

    Arsenal FC doesn,t need players such as wimp Wilshere,woeful Wa
    lcott and rubbish Ramsey,so England hasn,t won another World C
    up in 46 years or a European Championship in how many years now?

  42. fergalburger says:

    Samuel you are not real. Or if you are, you seem to be putting your can of Tennent’s Super T down on the return key with an all-too-frequent regularity.

    Or maybe you are speaking into Siri and feeling a little under the weather?

    Although you are entitled to your own opinion, the timing of it is odd.

    It is a little like in Police Academy when the two cops mistakenly walk into the Blue Oyster. Not that we are all gay, but I am almost convinced that by the time I hit ‘post’, you will have accused someone of it.

  43. samuel says:

    I got close to what,care to explain it as your name doesn,t suit yourself,try change it for something more suitable ?

  44. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    samuel, thats hebrew isn’t it. thought so. Fuck off you spud

  45. Haohaohaohtc says:

    Samuel, Gus post, include the subject, is about fun and humor. Got it? you can count in my nick name, too.

    Relax and have a good day!

  46. TotAl says:

    OZ, I like the players of your line-up. It might lack width/wing play though, no?! 🙂

  47. samuel says:

    So it proves i ain,t an Aussie so what,s your actual point of posting
    hogwash here when the Emirates trophy cabinet,s last trophy was
    the 2005 FACup,won on penalties against Man.United,try and post
    logic,not bs,please?

  48. samuel says:

    Hey George it could be Greek for all you know and care,but you sure
    have a pleasant way (sic ) of expressing your childish views on a
    Arsenal fans blog ,didn,t you attend school at all,dimwit ?

  49. TotAl says:

    Micky, I like that line-up, but I am sure our fwiend Samuel only sees mediocrity 😉

  50. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    I’m off to tweek my dreamteam & supercoach.

    Samuel, when Micky did it in ’89, well, ask your mother where she was @ the time 😈

    Tottenham did it ’61 (in black & white) 😆

  51. samuel says:

    Hey Fergal i couldn,t care if you were gay a policeman or a Martian
    so what are you crying about ?

  52. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    You don’t have 2 admit to being a geek fella, we already guessed that. Adios

  53. samuel says:

    Still posting childish hogwash,you don,t know my mother and it,s cer
    tainly none of your concern where she was in 1989 ,dimwit,go back
    to school ?

  54. LB says:

    Samuel

    I think I am going to stick with my view that English and football are neither your first language nor your first sport.

  55. evonne says:

    Red Arse – the joke is over, I got me believed for a while that ‘Samuel’ was for real 🙂 Well done mate!

  56. samuel says:

    Adios is Spanish not Greek or Hebrew ,go back to school?

  57. Gooner In Exile says:

    Samuel I was going to engage in debate then I saw your question about what MickyDid, and then you lost all credibility. Appears LB was right Arsenal can’t be your first love. Now bore off and let some adults discuss a very good post by Gus which you are derailing, we don’t do insults here, and I will bin any more comments that are insulting and that goes for regulars here too. Even though their patience is being tested.

  58. samuel says:

    You can stick with whatever view you care to LB Walcott is woeful,Wi
    lshere a wimp and Ramsey rubbish,and England still can,t win anot
    her World Cup ,goodday?

  59. evonne says:

    Gus – fab post, thank you!
    It really made me laugh, as there have been pages and whole chapters written here about formations. But the best comment ever was from GM ‘I don’t know about formations, I’m a hairdresser’ 🙂
    Spot on – let’s leave it to Le Boss, I trust him implicitly

  60. samuel says:

    Insults might not be your cup of tea Gooner in Exile,but the fact rem
    ains ,no trophies in the Arsenal trophy cabinet in seven long medioc
    re seasons ,so trying to scare fellow bloggers with threats won,t hide
    the fact,goodday ?

  61. Red Arse says:

    Evonne,

    Please don’t associate me with that appalling, humorless, ill mannered troll, thank you very much.

    Should have been binned after his first comment.

  62. Samuel, check here https://arsenalarsenal.wordpress.com/about/

    “This site was set up in February 2010 by a group of nomadic bloggers who rarely agree over the complexities of how our club should be run, but are united in their attitude towards healthy debate and the need for a forum where we can all air those views without ridicule.”

  63. evonne says:

    Red Arse – sorry, sorry, sorry, I thought you were pretending 🙂 I never thought anybody could be that dense for real

  64. samuel says:

    To all the fickle Arsenal fans who cannot see the facts,no trophies in
    the cabinet for seven long seasons,try and work it out without hiding
    the simple facts,the manager needs to move on,not only certain pla
    yers,so the 2012/13 season is almost here ,does another trophyle
    ss season appeal to you,not to me,bye bye ?

  65. I should add when someone has to ask the question “what did Micky Do?” I suggest they have open themselves up to ridicule.

    Then to compound that by referring to the unknown Michael Rocastle I do start to wonder that instead of needing an email to enable someone to enter comments on this blog we should maybe have a 5 question random test that if you fail to answer you take yourself out of the debate.

    Bit like the Darwin Awards but for Arsenal blogs.

  66. Haohaohaohtc says:

    Red Arse, Now, at least two souls are disappointed.

  67. Red Arse says:

    Hi Gus, 🙂

    A really good, a witty piece of writing which had me chuckling trying to put avatar names to different categories. Very clever – good fun!! 🙂

    I do have a complaint tho’, if I may?

    I don’t believe I have ever posted a suggested team, for anything, even the men’s singles 🙂 and I think most AA’ers are aware that I think making a science out of tactical formations, altho fun to read others writing about it, is not my thang and altho’ I am thick, I still have enough marbles left to know I could never best AW as a manager. So, in short, which category have you allowed for me and my cohorts? 🙂

  68. Right getting back to the cracking post by Gus, I have probably come up with fifty unique team selections and about 5 different formations during my time on AA. All of them are obviously quite brilliant and i always wonder why Arsene doesn’t see it like i do…..but then i bet if i laid my tactical masterpieces in front of any professional manager i would be laughed out of town.

  69. RA surely that puts you in the “On the fence” group but worse you are “On the hence and hiding” 😀

  70. TotAl says:

    Because you have been such a sport debating with us this morning, Samuel Allardyce, I dug out an old post of mine for you:

    https://arsenalarsenal.wordpress.com/2012/05/03/another-seven-years-without-a-trophy/

    Read eat, digest it, have an afternoon-nap, and I will have saved you from your depression. 🙂

  71. Gus says:

    Thanks evonne. Do Samuels happen often?

  72. Red Arse says:

    Hao3htc, I hate disappointing peeps, 🙂

    I do however have my suspicions as to who the real culprits might be.

    My attempt to flush out the mastermind concerned does not appear to have worked. Back to the drawing board! 🙂

  73. evonne says:

    Oh yeah! Micky usually refers them to the Samaritans 🙂 I often suspect that they are kids having a lot of fun winding us up

    Gus, everybody is entitled to their opinion and thank God we all have different perspectives on things, otherwise life would be terribly boring, don’t you think?
    Just look at your fab post – how many permutations one can have with 25 players in 3 basic postions?

  74. Gus says:

    RA, maybe the Fans with no football knowledge but who are luckily blessed with the humility to recognise this. Not very catchy though.

  75. Red Arse says:

    GIE,

    Fence sitting might account for all the splinters in my Red Arse! 🙂

    Gus,

    We do occasionally get ‘hit and run merchants’ on AA, altho this morning was different, but if they do not use expletives or insults they are normally tolerated until they get bored. 🙂

    It’s a shame for you after such a great Post tho’! 😦

  76. evonne says:

    from the 7th minute of the clip:

  77. Red Arse says:

    Your 11:50 will do me, Gus! 🙂

  78. Oh Evonne you’ve made it too easy 😀 I wanted him to live in confusion for a little longer.

  79. evonne says:

    GiE – sadist!!

  80. rhyle says:

    Morning / afternoon / whatever all…hope we’re all both fine AND dandy today.

    Thought you might like to see this:

  81. Samuels' Mum says:

    Sorry about that. He’s not actually allowed on the internet.

  82. richie says:

    Oh dear it seems a Scud Spud missile has landed in our back yard. Sami as was stated earlier its obvious to us English speakers that if English is your first language then your mother lied to you from an early age. If your not a Hebrew fluent swamp dweller then you should be. As for your knowledge of Arsenal re-google it, All Arsenal supporters reading your comments will immediately know you ain’t a Gooner, because the last trophe (The 2005 FA Cup) was placed in our cabinet in Highbury, we wasn’t at the Emirates yet. Hogwash is a village in N17 and schools in that town have been closed for 51 years, they’ll re-open when your team next wins the league, not so long to wait now only 49 years to go. Good luck Sami Spud.

  83. evonne says:

    Rhyle – thanks a million! And the King is back in red and white, fantastic

  84. Rasp says:

    Afternoon all,

    Sorry I couldn’t come on earlier Gus to herald yet another excellent debut article from a new writer.

    I read through the piece this morning before publishing and thought that the irony of the title would be appreciated …. unfortunately it was completely lost on samuel.

    Thanks to the rest fo you for dealing with him appropriately.

  85. chas says:

    Haha, look away now, Gus.
    Ooops sorry, you can’t, great post.

    I’m part Formation Fan and part Diaby Lover at the moment but that’s liable to change at any given moment.

    What I really want to know is what are we going to do after seven long mediocre seasons? And where in hell is the apos
    trophe key?

  86. RockyLives says:

    Wow! This site just gets better and better.

    Gus, welcome to the list of authors – and what a brilliant debut. I loved it.

    But I have one major criticism: your “Nickname Fans” 11 should have had Corporal Jenks at RB, not Sagna 🙂

    Here’s my contribution: A “One for the Ladies” team of Arsenal’s best lookers (although I suspect evonne, Peaches or Irish may have to tinker with it… oo-er).

    Fabianksi
    Sagna – Verm – Miquel – Santos
    Rosicky – Arteta – Ramsey – Lansbury
    Giroud – van Persie

  87. RockyLives says:

    Samuel
    I wish I knew how many years it was since Arsenal last won a trophy…

  88. chas says:

    Left footers
    Fabianski
    Gibbs – Vermaelen – Miquel – Santos
    Wilshere – Joel Campbell – Brady
    Brave Sir Robin
    Giroud – Podolski

  89. RockyLives says:

    Blimey Chas, I didn’t know they were all Catholics?

  90. chas says:

    Thank you for choosing the religious option, Rocky.

    http://www.leftfooters.org.uk/

  91. evonne says:

    Chas – I don’t think Rocky agrees with us doing it the catholic way 🙂

  92. oz gunner says:

    @ Rocky

    watch out it looks like GLIC’s book is starting to turn the great burly brute Rocky. ‘One for the ladies’ Rocky? Or one for you hahaha

    @ TA

    You are correct, no width whatsoever! But I’ll just use the excuse that Pod would drop back leaving a sort of fluid 4-5-1 with the midfield constantly changing positions ( hey they can get away with it, i mean players like Song, Arteta, Jack, Diaby, ect can do it all). See this is why i leave the formation stuff up to you, GiE, micky and co.

    @ Sammy

    Wilshere a wimp? You’d be hard pressed to find a tougher player on the field. His first season saw him hit from pillar to post but he got up every time. And stop finishing sentences with a question mark! ‘Good day?’ – it will be when you bugger off

  93. @Gus

    I am a formation fan and a fence sitter 😀 nice funny post btw

  94. RockyLives says:

    Evonne
    I’m really an Irishman. Left foot forwards! 🙂

  95. RockyLives says:

    Haha Oz
    Well, Redders was calling me a fairy yesterday 🙂

  96. oz gunner says:

    Traitors!!!

    Clichy—Toure—Gallas—Cole
    ————Flamini———–
    —–Fabregas——Hleb—
    ————Nasri————–
    ———–Robin————–
    ———Adebayor———–

  97. chas says:

    I’ve just had a swarm of bees hanging out in the back garden.
    When they left they all seemed to disappear over the house. I hope it wasn’t into the roof space.

    http://twitpic.com/a9ci1w/full

    http://twitpic.com/a9c5v4/full

  98. oz gunner says:

    BEE very careful chas, they never BEEhave
    If you get stung at least your blood type is BEE +
    If they come back it might BEE time for plan BEE
    They are dangerous BEEcause of their BEEhind

  99. Red Arse says:

    Hi Rockadillo, 🙂

    Having been posted into the Glicster’s new book as the mad Postmaster, (how dare he, when I am clearly more the Tin Man from the Wiz of Oz – no heart!), I was just helping him to formulate more character assassinations. 🙂

    GIE as ‘Little John’, springs to mind, Evonne as ‘Mother Hubbard’, Glic and Terry as the ‘Ugly Sisters’, Chas as the ‘Court Jester’, then I had to find someone capable of carrying off the major role of the Sugar Plum Fairy, while wafting a wand, pirouetting in a pair of ballet shoes and wearing a fetching pink tutu — well there was only one name in the frame — we needed a star, someone who is just as at home chatting on AA or talking to bears and it was not going to be me!!!!!!!! 🙂

  100. Rasp says:

    The post cupboard is currently bare so if anyone is sitting on the germ of an idea, this would be a very good time to turn it into an article.

  101. RockyLives says:

    Isn’t there someone missing from your cast Redders?

    A largish fellow known for his rouge derrière and capable of conjuring magical phrases out of nothing…

    You’ll have to be the Genie(us) in the Lamp Redders 🙂

    But who can play Aladdin?

  102. Red Arse says:

    Rock,

    All I know about Aladdin is that he was a young(ish) rascally type, who was very lazy, always asking other peeps to write stuff, and always up to mischief, so when he pinched a magic lamp and a ring, he was very adept at rubbing them to get his evil way!!

    Well………..I don’t know who fits that description ………………… hmm….. wait…. didn’t someone make a wish at 4:04?

    That’s it ………. that’s our Aladdin……………now who was that???? 🙂

  103. evonne says:

    Chas – you lucky fellow. My bees swarmed 3 times this year. Bees do not live in the attic, wasps do. Bees hang in a tree until the scouts find them a new better home, usually a day or two. Swarms are worth about £150, should have kept it

    Rocky – I keep telling Chas that I love him, but he tells me that i don’t know him well enough to fall in love. Only when I tell him I love him in a Catholic way, he relaxes a bit 🙂 BTW, I can tell an Irishman a mile away

    Sorry it is all not footballing, but I am struggling to think footy in total absence of it

  104. Red Arse says:

    Evonne,

    How can you tell an Irishman a mile away? Is that even possible?

    Were you the one who said “you can always tell an Irishman — but you can’t tell him much!”
    If it was you, I suspect you also said, “An Irishman is someone who can tell you to ‘go f*ck yourself’ in such a way that you will want to just to please him!!” 🙂

  105. evonne says:

    RA – ha ha ha ha, very funny 🙂 My favourite one is ‘If an Irishman cannot eat it, or drink it, or shag it, he’ll break it’

  106. Rob Lucci says:

    interesting post Gus! very enjoyable read..

    Rhyle, thanks a lot for the video, that really brings back the memories.

    Here’s hoping De Gea, Hart and Cech will be out for the rest of the season after spending all 90 minutes saving Poldi and Oli G thunderbolts.

  107. Red Arse says:

    Evonne,

    And he has so much blarney he can also talk to bears, on holiday!

    The bears can get very stroppy tho’ — all this way into the Rockies for a vacation, they say, and a Gooner wants to cuddle us and tell us Goldilocks did it — and not Micky! 🙂

  108. evonne says:

    RA – he’s as big as any bear.

    I hope Ian Poulter does well in the Open in Scotland. He always manages to smugle some Arsenal sign or badge, true Gunner

  109. RockyLives says:

    Micky
    Sorry for not answering your question yesterday – yes, it was the lovely lakes area north of Toronto. Very beautiful (though not mountainous, as most of Ontario is pretty flat).

    We’ll book a cottage there when you move your business to these parts 🙂

    Perhaps even a cottage made of gingerbread to please our Panto Master, Señor Culo Rosso…

  110. chas says:

    Evonne,
    You do know I am a left-footer, don’t you.

  111. RockyLives says:

    evonne
    I suspect that compared to Redders (“the Grizzly”) I am a lowly Eastern Black Bear.

  112. RockyLives says:

    Chas
    Me too! Let’s get married 🙂

  113. Samuels' Mum says:

    We’re soo gay 🙂
    I just love it when someone like Sagar can come on here and say “I am a formation fan and a fence sitter” and everyone knows what he means.
    Rocky,
    Sounds great. Book the cabin. Although, I do like a mountain nearby.

  114. KK says:

    The sh*t stirrer:
    ————————————-Szczesny——————————————–Sagna——– Vermaelen——–Kosicelny———–Gibbs—————————Song—————————-Arteta——————————-Gervinho—————-Podolski——————–Santos———————————————–Giroud——————————————

    No Van Persie, no Walcott, no Wilshere and the most likely back four.Surely someone disagrees

  115. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Ooops,
    Forgot to change that back. Now, where’s DidIt?

  116. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Gus,
    Really liked the names of your various line-ups. I’m just such a Diaby Loving Formation Fan 🙂

  117. chas says:

    I don’t know what you mean, boys. I was brought up by the loving hand of Jesuits, you know.

    That Michael Rocastle was a damn fine player.

  118. MickyDidIt89 says:

    KK,
    If that’s Pod on the right of a front three, then I’m very interested. Or is it Gerv in the hole? Which is an Oooo ha 🙂

  119. jnyc says:

    Brilliant post!

  120. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Oh Chas,
    When you said left footer, I thought you meant gay, not Catholic. Bollocks 🙂

  121. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Ah ha, the man from the town of the pastrami on rye. Hi Johnnie.

  122. chas says:

    If Wenger was still trying to emulate the Contalans, surely he would have bought ten midfielders. Where would Giro-pod fit into either the Spanish or Barca teams?

  123. RockyLives says:

    Typical Micky. Any excuse to get preserved meat products into a conversation 🙂

  124. chas says:

    Evonne,
    Is it true they only swarm when they’re overcrowded?

  125. chas says:

    I like a good meat product.

  126. richie says:

    Rasp @4:04 I fired off a little something to nuts It probably needs a lot of editing either that or you don’t think its worth a spin?

  127. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Rocky,
    Can but try 🙂
    Off outside for a while.

  128. Rasp says:

    Thanks richie,

    I’ll have a look later, I’m sure it’s just the ticket 🙂

  129. Red Arse says:

    Chas,

    Your 5:56, Do left footers swarm?

  130. chas says:

    So I’ve heard, RA. Look at Barca. Left-footers to a man.

  131. RockyLives says:

    Old Chinese proverb:

    “When left footers swarm, beware your exposed right flank”.

  132. GunnerN5 says:

    Wenger eyes level playing field

    July 19, 2012

    By ESPN staff

    Arsene Wenger believes there is no defence for clubs spending money recklessly and hopes Financial Fair Play can bring a return to the days when the likes of Nottingham Forest, Aston Villa and Derby County won league titles.

    Arsenal have long refused to pay the kind of exorbitant wages on offer at some of their rivals and, with the club having failed to win any silverware in recent years, criticism has followed. Indeed, Arsenal shareholders Alisher Usmanov and Farhad Moshiri recently wrote to owner Stan Kroenke kroenke-in-firing-line-over-rvp to express their concern over the running of the club after Robin van Persie announced he would not sign a new contract due to a disagreement over the club’s direction.

    Wenger, though, has always stood firm on his belief that clubs should live within their means, and UEFA has introduced Financial Fair Play to prevent what has become known as ‘financial doping’. In addition, the 20 Premier League clubs are to hold a meeting in September to discuss measures to ensure a self-sustainable approach becomes the norm.

    “We need first to see how effectively Financial Fair Play can be enforced before we can fully understand the impact but I believe it will make for a more exciting Premier League,” Wenger told Time Out Hong Kong. “When you look at the history of England, there are Nottingham Forest, Aston Villa and Derby County who have all won championships. If that is possible again it will be even more interesting.

    “If the rules are well introduced, it will be a massive advantage to Arsenal Football Club, of course, and we will be well positioned for that. I don’t want to go into excuses but you want a business to be run properly and I believe that, to lose £150 million a year, you don’t deserve a lot of credit to win a competition.

    “I think that it is right that you balance your books – to accept the one basic principle for every company – and that’s that you can spend the money which you make. That principle just seems to be a common sense and logical one.”

    He added: “I have been in football for a long, long time and I don’t think just spending money is a target that is defendable. To spend the money on a top player is defendable, but just to spend the money is like you are worried.

    “Our fans can be proud of the way we run this club, of the quality of the players we have and of the financial situation that is existing at the club. Rather than convicting this club, they have more reason to be proud of the whole situation here.

    “We have built a team and a stadium in such a short space of time, and have a strong financial situation – and we have always survived at the top level.”

    Despite his frustrations, Wenger believes Arsenal are still able to compete with the likes of Chelsea and Manchester City.

    “I must say that not being able to match the spending of the richest clubs does not mean that you can’t compete with them on the pitch,” he said. “When I first came to England, this question did not exist. Every club was run within its resources.

    “The Chelseas and the Man Citys are new problems, but with this new financial environment, what has not changed at all is our policy that we will be as ambitious as ever and spend the money that we have available, if possible in an intelligent and wise way.

    “We have always spent money because we are ambitious for top-class players and, if you look at the history of our last 15 years, we have always had top-class players. It does not mean you can’t win the title if you can’t compete financially.”

  133. evonne says:

    ooooh, Chas has a new gravator. Is it just to prove you ain’t butty?
    No, they can swarm for a number of reasons. This year they have been swarming because of the weather, lack of forage, poor lying queens. They have to swarm, it’s in their DNA and any excuse would do

  134. TotAl says:

    Chas, a babe and bee magnet: what a man! 😯

  135. Red Arse says:

    Damn! That Rocky @6:19 is from a long line of Chinese/Irish. So, a great communicator, soothsayer and also serves a nifty No: 57. 🙂

    Chas, You are so right about those swarming Barca chappies!! 🙂

  136. Red Arse says:

    Chas, with that gravatar I can see why the Rock wants to marry you — so do I. 🙂

    Evonne, I feel for you with those lying Queens — if they are Queens they should not tell porkies!! 🙂

  137. RockyLives says:

    Redders… like the old joke about the Irishman who heard that every third child born in the world was Chinese, so he named his three kids Seamus, Michael and Chan 🙂

  138. GunnerN5 says:

    The Doctor was puzzled ‘I’m very sorry Mr O’Flaherty, but I can’t diagnose your trouble. I think it must be the drink.’

    ‘Don’t worry about it Dr Cullen, I’ll come back when you’re sober.’ said O’ Flaherty.

  139. evonne says:

    RA – you know perfectly well what I mean but cannot spell. It’s Micky’s fault that this bloody language is so awkward. And please don’t tell me that TA managed to learn it, he’s a freak in that respect 🙂

  140. Red Arse says:

    Rocky,

    Oddly enough I have just had a really good Chinese delivered within 25 minutes of ordering and finished within about 5 minutes flat.

    The curry wasn’t bad either!! 🙂

    Seamus, Michael and Chan, indeed. Harrumph!!!! …. so your yarn about being out in the Toronto wilds playing with the bears was just a cover story!! 🙂

  141. GunnerN5 says:

    Paddy Murphy arrived at Boston’s Logan airport and wandered about the terminal with tears streaming down his cheeks.
    A Texan asked him if he was homesick.

    ‘No, ‘replied the Irishman.’ It’s worse, I have I’ve lost all me luggage.’

    ‘That’s terrible, how did that happen?’

    ‘The cork fell out of me bottle.’ Said Paddy.

  142. Red Arse says:

    Evonne,

    Don’t take any notice of my teasing, your English is really excellent.

    I am always making mistakes with UK English, so I am not a good example anyway!! 🙂

  143. Red Arse says:

    GN5 @ 7:15, 🙂

  144. GunnerN5 says:

    The Texan paid a visit to Galway, Ireland.
    He enters a pub and raises his voice to the crowd of drinkers. He shouts, ‘I hear you Irish are a bunch of drinkin’ fools. I’ll give $500 American dollars to anybody in here who can drink 10 pints of Guinness back to back.’

    The room is quiet and no one takes of the Texan’s offer.

    Paddy Murphy gets up and leaves the bar. Thirty minutes later, he shows back up and taps the Texan on the shoulder. Is your bet still good?’ asks Paddy.

    The Texan answers, ‘Yes, ‘and he orders the barman to line up 10 pints of Guinness.

    Immediately, Paddy downs all 10 pints of beer, drinking them all back to back. The other pub patrons cheer and the Texan sits down in amazement. The Texan gives the Irishman the $500 and asks, ‘If ya don’t mind me askin’, where did you go for that 30 minutes you were gone?’

    “Oh, said Paddy, I went to the pub down the street to make sure that I could do it”

  145. Silly season on AA 😀 thank goodness theres a pre season friendly on Tuesday……

  146. You’ve got to love the enthusiasm of the Ox

    “I spoke to the boss and Colin [Lewin] the physio and they said I am in on Thursday, but I asked if I could come in earlier! I just can’t wait to get started again and get cracking with the new season.”

  147. I’m impressed, I have to admit. Rarely do I encounter a blog that’s both educative and entertaining, and without a doubt, you’ve hit the nail on the head. The issue is something not enough folks are speaking intelligently about. Now i’m very happy that I came across this in my hunt for something relating to this.

  148. Gooner In Exile says:

    Hmmm has the spam filter been broken?

  149. glic says:

    Just got in from the Valley of the Orcs and my brain is frizzled from Motorway madness ( M5,M6 ,M42,M50,M54 and Mmmmm I must sleep ), but before I collapsed , I had time to read a great original and witty post. Fabulous or FabuGus.

  150. RockyLives says:

    That’s all very well glib, but what do you think about the first symptoms of the menopause?

  151. RockyLives says:

    On second thoughts… don’t answer 🙂

    And glic, not glib (bloody corrective text).

  152. glic says:

    Rocky
    Does that mean my child bearing days are over ?, Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo
    That means I will be stuck in front of the TV watching Emmerdale , East Enders , Coronation Street and even worse Jeremy Kyle and Loose Women !. Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

  153. glic says:

    Do you get Jeremy Kyle and Loose Women in Canadialand ?
    If you dont, your probably wondering what they are ?, well Rocky , they are a disease, a slow lingering death !.

  154. RockyLives says:

    I think Kyle has a show in the US. Not sure whether it’s doing well.

  155. barumgooner says:

    Nice post Gus, very good. I think sadly i am all of the above at varying times. My only constant being that Diaby is never anywhere near the teamsheet, alas Mr Wenger is a fan and nobody else wants him so we will probably have another half-a-dozen games to witness his mystical abilities again this year.

  156. richie says:

    @GunnerN5 6:21Very interesting stuff on FFP rules

  157. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Gus, love the post mate. Not sure what group i fall in, to be honest ime a bit all over the place.

    GN5, thanks for the Wenger FFP comments. This has been an interesting summer as regards to the new rules and i would like to make a few comments about City and Chelsea if i may.

    City havent bought anybody yet have they? There squabling with the wretch adebarndoor, and the press are reporting they have to offload Tevez before making a move for RVP

    Chelsea have spent money, but there interested in young players (resale vaule) which are untried and untested in our league. There days of monopolising proven talent is a much more difficult task.

    Wenger is spot on that FFP’s full impact can only be judged retrospectivly, but the reality is that it is already having some form of impact. Its amazing, to me anyway, that in this changing climate, slowly but surely in our favour you still get imbecilic wankers like that Samuel geezer giving it the large.

    Our time is coming. I hope it will be this season but if not it will probably be the next. Wenger knows, that a more even climate will see us overtake Chelsea and City. They are built on money and when the competition hots up they will have serious internal problems. Arsenal is built on solid foundations, developing players, work and team ethics, something we should all take pride in, but just as importantly celebrate because in the end it will see us to victory.

  158. jnyc says:

    Amen ,Terry, great comment!

  159. richie says:

    I hope it happens naturally but my worry now is that payments and salaries will go under ground or off shore. I can see it happening in a multitude of ways that would be very difficult to uncover, but hey won’t it be fun if they do it and get caught. The inland revinue will have its work cut out but the rewards would be worth it, because imagine the size of the fine that a court would throw at a Chelski or a Money Citeh if they were fiddling the books and paying more than they declare just so they didn’t contravene the FFP rules, and get chucked out of the CL.

  160. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Dum di dum di dum…
    Thinks……what kind of Chas video would I like to start the day off with today. Really liked the Brave Sir Robin stuff, but then, kinda like some of the weirder stuff as well. Mmmmm

  161. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Woah, same time to the second. Spookier and spookier.

  162. MickyDidIt89 says:

    That’ll be the weirder stuff. Very relaxing though. Still watching.

  163. chas says:

    How about this, Micky?
    Did you see the Punk Brittania series on BBC 3/4?
    It’s available on youtube if you’re interested/haven’t seen it.
    Lee Brillo and Wilko Johnson. Hahaha.

  164. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Morning Chas.
    No I didn’t see it. Your vid got me thinking and my mind went to this track which directly resulted in me getting laid for the first time!!!. Who knows, may well still be a virgin had it never been recorded. A pure and innocent DidIt…now that would be a first

  165. chas says:

    Haha, I hope Sheena enjoyed it, too.

    By the way what do you think of Ludivine?

  166. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Ah ha,
    Just had to google the name. Mrs Sagna. Great name 🙂

  167. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Oh, and great hair also.

  168. chas says:

    Sir Bobby
    Robert Pires 'we are not worthy'

  169. Rasp says:

    Morning all …..

    …… New post ……..

  170. Kevin says:

    Great read.
    Next season will be good if we play 4-1-2-1-2 or in other words 4-3-3 IMO. With this sort of starting team >

    ……..Sczcesny…..
    Sagna-Koz-Verm-Gibbs
    ……….Song/Coquelin
    ….Arteta…..Wilshere/Rosicky
    Chambo….Giroud/Chamakh…..Podolski

    Chamakh is good in the air, and since Podolski and Chambo are better crossers than Gervinho and Walcott respectively, I would say that Chamakh’s performances from the start of his career could return.

  171. Brent says:

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