Arsenal’s Worst Injury News Ever

Following Theo Walcott’s worrying injury against San Marino (who knew you could bruise a lung?) this seems like a good time to ask what has been the most damaging injury we have ever suffered.

I don’t mean damaging to the player (because surely Ramsey and Eduardo would jointly walk away with that one… well, hop away at any rate).

I mean damaging to Arsenal’s fortunes at the time.

Yes I know it’s a downbeat subject, but I’m feeling downbeat during this ridiculous two-week interlull*.

I know we’re supposed to be all “Cry God for Harry, England and Saint George” when Ingurland are on international duty, but I really couldn’t give a Gareth Bale’s uncle.

And so to the injuries which, given our abysmal history in recent years, should be a topic close to the hearts of most of us.

Fabregas Fractured

In the 2009-10 season Cesc Fabregas is proving to be an inspirational player. As the final day of March arrives, we are entertaining his DNA buddies from Barcelona in the Champions League quarter final (first leg); we are also sitting just four points behind Manchester United in the EPL, with six games to go. The Barca game finishes a 2-2 draw, with Captain Fabregas grabbing a memorable equalizer.

Unfortunately it emerges afterwards that even as he hit that goal to send the Emirates into ecstasy, he was suffering a leg fracture. Cesc misses the rest of the season and, without him, our form slumps. We lose the second leg in Barcelona and in the EPL we win only two of our remaining six matches to finish the season in third place, 11 points behind United.

If Fabregas had stayed fit, might we have ousted Barca and pushed on to CL and league glory? The answer to the first question is almost certainly “no” and to the second… “maybe.”

Van Persie (1)

Same season, 2009-10, and Robin van Persie is in fine form. He is named Player of the Month for October after a string of goals and assists. On November 14th he turns out for Holland in a “friendly’ against Italy.

A nasty tackle by the Italian defender Chiellini leaves him with an injured ankle and, supposedly, a six week lay-off. Clearly not wanting to become another of the “Disappeared Ones” in the Arsenal treatment centre, Robin pops over to Europe for some treatment with horse placenta and – Bingo! – six weeks out becomes five months.

Would a fit Robin have potentially sent us into the final run-in several points AHEAD of United rather than behind them? With the form he was in – very possibly.

Eduardo Horror Tackle

We probably all remember that day at Birmingham a bit too well. Arsenal are top of the league, the team are looking strong and, surely, glory awaits. Then, within minutes of the kick off, a lumbering Brummie oaf – Martin Taylor – dives in on our in-form Crozillian striker Eduardo and snaps his ankle in two.

The team are traumatised; captain William Gallas sits in the centre circle crying at the end of the game and, subsequently, our form drops quicker then a Towie girl’s knickers on a night out in Basildon.

Could we have won the league in 2008 but for Eduardo’s break? Most definitely YES.

Snap! Ramsey Horror Tackle

It is unbelievable when our boys have to experience an almost identical assault on another of their team mates, Aaron Ramsey, two years (almost to the day) later. In this case the offender is the Orc’s Orc, Ryan Shawcross, and the venue is the Britannia Ground where those classy Stoke fans boo young Aaron as he’s stretchered off to hospital.

In fairness, the team’s reaction was stronger this time round but we still had a disappointing finish to the 2009-10 season.

Did Aaron’s injury make a crucial difference? Given his youth and inexperience, probably not – but with the subsequent loss of Fabregas a month later it certainly didn’t help our midfield options.

Van Persie (2)

Come to think about it, this whole Post could have been about Brave Sir Robin, but I’ll keep it to two. In 2007-08, following the departure of Thierry Henry, it’s BSR’s turn to step into the limelight. He starts just as we would have hoped, with seven goals in 10 games. Then – yes, you’ve guessed – he goes off on international duty and comes back crocked. His involvement for the rest of the season is sporadic, to say the least.

Notwithstanding the trauma following the Eduardo injury, Robin’s full time presence in 2007-08 might well have given us the edge to find our way to silverware.

Ashley Cole

Football’s most charming man misses most of the 2005-06 season through injury, before following the smell of Maureen’s filthy lucre over to West London. We finish third that year, just ahead of the Spuds.

Flamini does a good job filling in in an unfamiliar position, but we undoubtedly lose something with not having Cole’s defensive solidity and attacking threat.

Could we have won silverware with him? A long shot, but it’s a possibility.

Those are the most telling ones from recent memory. There must have been devastating injuries from previous eras but I can’t seem to recall them.

Players just didn’t seem to get injured so much in the pre-Premier League age. Or maybe they did, but they were just pumped full of cortisone and sent out to get on with it: “Bruised lung? You’re havin’ a larf. Here, hold still while I give you this jab… that’s it – now get out there and kick someone.”

For what it’s worth, I believe the Eduardo injury was the most damaging of the ones I have listed.

The team was cooking on gas and I – and many Gooners – really felt the title was there for the taking.

The collapse in the team’s morale after the injury was disappointing (whatever happened to “let’s win it for Stumpy”?) but I do feel that we might have celebrated a 14th league title if it hadn’t happened.

What do you think?

And what injury blows have I missed off?


* © Arseblog

197 Responses to Arsenal’s Worst Injury News Ever

  1. gavo says:

    A broken heart when na$ari left.

  2. Rasp says:

    Nah gavo, we never want a player who doesn’t want to play for us. Na$ri was no loss, we’re a better team now without him.

  3. chas says:

    Excellent post, Rocky, as per (mertesacker) usual.

    Gareth Bale’s uncle. ROLF.

    I completely agree it was Eddy’s snapper which ruined our best chance of winning something.

    The venerable blogs posted this picture on twitter over the weekend with the question, ‘want to see Alex Hleb kicked up in the air by Mikel Arteta?’.
    I can’t get over Mikel’s hair. Looks more like Bobby P.

  4. rufai says:

    Nice piece pal. Keep it up and keep us updated pls. Hope Arsenal team is going 2 lift a silverware dis season.

  5. Rasp says:

    Classic Rocky line … “couldn’t give a Gareth Bale’s uncle” :LOL:

    I’m going to have to design a widget for our wittiest one liners … suggestions on a postcard.

  6. Rasp says:

    Morning chas, you got there before me 😕

  7. Rasp says:

    It’s an acronym for a series on British TV Al …’The Only Way is Essex’, I think the title gives away what a load of old tosh it is.

  8. chas says:

    It looks like it’s drawn on…..

  9. chas says:

    Trust you to zoom in on the knickers, Big Al. 🙂

  10. Rasp says:

    Back to the post.

    Thanks once again Rocky for making me think. The injuries you list do prompt a lot of ‘what ifs’. If we hadn’t scraped through and secured 3rd place last season, I would cite the injury that kept Arteta out of the side for the tail end of last season.

    Our game was so reliant on his protection of the back four, if it hadn’t been for the generosity of W Brom’s keeper we’d have been playing on Thursdays.

    As it is, the injury to Ramsey ranks as the worst I think in terms of the effect it had on the whole team thereafter.

  11. Red Arse says:

    Another dazzler, Rocker, 🙂

    Well researched and altho a reminder of past disappoints it does put into perspective some of our ‘failures’ to land a title.

    It is clearly Wenger’s fault and if only he had put a bit more research into knicker elastic all would have been well.

    Speaking of which, I think this brittle elastic that causes those poor girls to deposit their knickers around their ankles in Basildon (?) is a disgrace.

    Is it possible to get some more of it do you think?

  12. SharkeySuresGhost says:

    For me the worst injury were the two players (?) injured one week before the CC Final, then Robin having to go off injured as well.

    Yeah there was a mistake for the Brum winner , and we didn’t play well on the day…but I do believe that the timing of those injuries was truly horrible.

    That was a one off game that would have provided a trophy on that very day. No other ifs and buts…so thats the worst injury news for me

    * It was Cesc and Walcott – thanks interweb

  13. dandan says:

    Hi Guys. nice one as usual Rocky.

    Ok you lot, explanations please, I left on holiday a month ago to your assurances that we would be top of the league,having returned. I now find we are behind the spuds……… explanations please?????

  14. chas says:

    That West Brom’s keeper thing pisses me off every time it’s mentioned.
    Why not say, ‘if it wasn’t for Kieran Gibbs last ditch tackle a few minutes before the end of the West Brom game’ or ‘if it wasn’t for Szczesny’s double penalty save at Anfield’ etc etc etc.

    They’re all equally as ludicrous in crediting us with getting in the Champions League. 🙂

  15. Rasp says:

    Welcome home dandan, how are your sea legs?

    The Arsenal are just building up nicely. We don’t want everyone to catch on to the fact that we’re going to leave them all standing in the New Year 😛

  16. Rasp says:

    Hi chas, he did throw the ball into his own net, that doesn’t happen too often 😉 But I take your point and promise not to mention it again.

    Fact is, that lady luck smiled upon us that day otherwise Arteta’s injury and subsequent absence would have cost us dearly.

  17. TotalArsenal says:

    Excellent post Rocky! 🙂

    It is always difficult to say whether a major injury blow was the main cause for us not winning silverware in that particular season, but you are making a few strong cases.

    I was at Shittania when Aaron’s leg was smashed to pieces, and still feel guilty for being glad it was not Fabregas whose leg was broken. I was convinced that Aaron’s misfortune would fire up the team to win the PL, as we eventually won that game and I remember both Sol and Cesc pumping their fists in front of the away fans before leaving the field. Yet, it was not to be, which was very disappointing and said a lot about the squad.

    In the current squad there is a lot more experience in the team, far stronger togetherness and fighting spirit, and I am sure we would now overcome much better major injury setbacks like the ones to Eduardo and Ramsey.

  18. Rasp says:

    Morning TA, I also think there was a bit of Deja vu over Ramsey’s leg break coming after a similar horror tackle on Eduardo, the players must have been thinking ‘who’s next?’

  19. TotalArsenal says:

    Morning Rasp, yes, I think you are right. It was so good to see that the players had learned from the Birmingham disaster and fought back to win the game. Fabregas did not sulk like Gallas, but fought by example and showed Pullis what he thought of him. Sol was immense that day and I will never forget that. But after that game it seemed that fear of sustaining major injury crept back in again.

    I really hate to say this but I reckon such major injuries would have galvanised MU teams to win the league in the past. But I do think our current squad is a lot stronger mentally now.

  20. LB says:

    Definitely, Eduardo’s injury was the worst, compounded by Wenger’s insistance on playing Walcott all the time, do you remember when people used to scream, Theo, Theo like a bunch of school girls, some of us saw how little he was bringing to the table while others have only just worked that out.

    The whole thing still annoys me now, we shoud have won the league that season.

  21. glic says:

    Although another fine installment of, The Rock Files, why do we allways torture ourselves with the impossibility of ” If only, what if “.
    If only I had a time machine and what if I run on the pitch and Martin Taylor is distracted by my outrageous handsome looks or what if I wasn`t this f**king handsome !
    Lets just concentrate on what will be and smile at the inevitable glory that is just around the corner.
    Lets leave them poor little souls of N17 with their torturous groundhog thought of, If only everything was still black and white !, what if there was no colour ! , If only they hadn`t moved to Highbury !, what if Rioch hadn`t been sacked ! and the list goes on.
    We are The Arsenal, they are the submerged luke warm spuds, flooded by a tidal wave of tears of disappointment of, If only`s and what if`s !.

  22. Rasp says:

    Definitely our squad is stronger now. There is an argument to say that every time our star player has left (Henry, Cesc, BSR) the team has become stronger.

    Santi is outrageously gifted, but I’d hate everything to be centred around him. We need 11 battlers on the pitch and zero prima donnas.

  23. kelsey says:

    I remember Joe Mercer being stretchered off at Highbury and waving to the crowd(as he knew his career was over) the tackle was from his own man called Jim Fothringham .

    Joe Baker another of my favourits signed for us and i think his second game for us was his first at home and he got injured and was also stretchered off. I was gutted.however he bacame .one of our most prolific goal scorers ever.93 goals in 144 appearances.

  24. Rich Smith says:

    The two leg breaks were travestities. If anyone could name me one player on the planet that wouldn’t be affected by such bad injuries to their team mates I’d be amazed. All the players were emotional affected and their minds were not on their game for the rest of the season both times. Cesc was more affected than anybody on both occassions. I’d argue that all the players being affected by both injuries than the injuries themselves are what had a bigger impact on the team than the injuries themselves. Cesc is a better player for it, because, he has experienced it now, so he won’t be affected as much as he was before. That is one of the reasons why having players with more experience. They won’t dwell on the past as much.

  25. chas says:

    Here’s Laurent Koscielny nowhere in sight as the West Brom throws the ball into his own net. I promise not to mention it again.

  26. chas says:

    Gibbo’s tackle

  27. chas says:

    Might as well go for all three……

  28. Rasp says:

    Haha chas …. I promise not to mention it again if you do 😕

    The difference is, one was a goal that was scored (ours), the other was the prevention of a chance from which they may or may not have scored – so no-one knows.

    I can’t actually see the ‘threw the ball into his own net incident’ in the clips so maybe my recollection is clouded?

  29. Gooner In Exile says:

    Cracking Interlull Monday post Rocky, the Eduardo one springs to mind as most devastating for our season.

    Like Sharkey seeing Cesc and Theo limp off against Stoke (the latter due to another bad tackle which the Stokogladyte Fans took great pleasure in cheering and mimicking the snapping of a leg) prior to the CC final definitely was the biggest effet on winning a trophy.

    The only other injury I can think of is Abou Diaby being on the end of that ankle breaker by Sunderland thug Dan Smith (see link below), three reconstruction surgeries and years of recuperation and rehabilitation and he still struggles to be fit every game. With a fully fit Diaby we could have had a powerhouse midfield for many years.

    What pitches has that “not malicious” player graced since that career threatening assault? Well he is currently playing for Darlington 1883 in the Northern League but once reached the heady heights if being a trialist for St Johnstone.

  30. chas says:

    Thats the thing, Rasp. If enough people repeat the same old negative thing enough times it starts to replace the truth.

  31. Gooner In Exile says:

    To be fair Rasp he had a shocker and came out to get the ball for Kozzers goal but was nowhere near, think the first was a lot worse.

    But as Chas says there were many other moments that played out over 38 games.

    Problem with Chas’s (and my argument) is that I don’t think I could find many Gooners who would say that Mickey Thomas didn’t win us the league at Anfield it was the goal against xxxxxx in August by xxxxx that did it.


    Thanks Rocky

    The 3 injuries in recent times that stick in my mind are Ramsey, Eduardo and Diaby. For me, in many ways they epotomised that Arsenal era. A highly talened young pool of players getting assaulted and maimed by a bunch of no mark thugs.

    Its not nice getting your leg smashed. Mine was done on astro turf down New River during a busy five a side tournement. I was young and delightful whilst my assalent was a brutish looking beast, covered in body hair.

    It always upsets me when people do not show the required paitence to people like Ramsey. That kind of blow is more than an injury. Its a trauma akin to been in a car accident and has physical and psychological ramifications that some do not fully apreciate. The fact that he is up and playing again is a testament to the boys will and charachter.

  33. Rasp says:

    Very true chas – you’ll be telling me that it’s not correct that AW gets a huge bonus when he resists paying big money for players next 🙄

  34. Rasp says:

    Thanks GiE, my hazy recollection of the game was that we were fortunate to get all 3 points and their keeper had a bit of a mare – so maybe that much is true.

  35. Gooner In Exile says:

    Terry that’s very true about Rambo, I was very impressed in his early games back how he didn’t seem to be psychologically affected, the goal he scored in the 1-0 win over United at the Emirates was testament to that as he could so easily pulled out. I think the doubts started to creep insuring his first full season back once the buzz of just playing had gone away, now this seasoning think we are seeing a return to a more balanced mindset.

    Eduardo suffered a similar fate coming back and scoring a hatrick(?) on return with a couple of peaches before starting to exhibit signs of pulling out of tackles or chances if there was a chance of impact, and unfortunately he needed pastures new to rediscover it (still touched by Arsenal fans cheering his goal on his return to the Emirates)

    Diaby has never returned to that trust in his body (although there were glimpses this year).

    Theo was apparently told to fall differently after dislocating his shoulder…..all things that take away from natural instinct to play football.

    I think it also has a lot to do with the way the injury was sustained, broken accidentally appears to be easier to overcome than broken by aggression.

  36. RockyLives says:

    Thanks for the comments everyone.

    I can’t wait for evonne’s Post about her plane journey with Szcz’s girlfriend (from earlier this morning).

    Back to the injuries – this morning I remembered that game away at Fat Sam’s Blackburn when Allardyce and Ferguson between them spent huge efforts psyching out the ref before the game.

    Something about our players being cheats, or being dirty – I can’t exactly remember.

    During the game we got kicked off the park without any protection from the ref and subsequently failed to win the league. It was one of the worst reffing displays I have ever seen. In fact, you would almost wonder whether there was a well stuffed brown paper envelope in the ref’s dressing room after the match.

    I think we ended up with something like four players injured from that game.

    Was it 2001? 2003? Anyone remember?

    And who was the ref? I want to remember his name so I can properly loathe him.

    Bloody alzheimers.

  37. Gooner In Exile says:

    At a guess Rocky it would have been Dowd, because for me he more than any other seems to allow the rough stuff against Arsenal more than he allows Arsenal to tackle. It’s a Strong v Weak mindset, was just about to say I think refereeing decisions have affected as much as injuries in last few seasons.

  38. Big Raddy says:

    Fine post. Add to the list the 4 FB injuries last season. It was no surprise that we struggled.

    But thinking back….. as has been mentioned sometimes the squad can be invigorated by an injury. Bobby Pires springs to mind in the ’01 season.

    Of the injuries in the post, the Eduardo injury was most costly.

  39. RockyLives says:

    Good point. A similar Post could be done about “the most costly refereeing performances against us”.
    The 4-4 at Newcastle stands out for me. Dowd was the ref again for that one and he had an absolute shocker.
    The effect of throwing away a 4-0 lead on our team was that for the rest of the season we never felt secure – even when we were three goals up in a game! It had a big psychological impact on the players.

  40. Goonlife says:

    Eddie deffo

  41. RockyLives says:

    When you think back to the FB injuries last season, followed by Arteta’s extended absence you do start to wonder what might have been achieved if we had had better luck…

  42. Big Raddy says:

    Mike Barber was the ref when Reyes got kicked off the park by Scholes etc. FAC SF ’04

    But for the worst refereeing performance I have ever witnessed …. step forward Phil Dowd. Newcastle away ’11.

    I have seen refs who are clearly corrupted, I have seen refs intimidated by a crowd but never such a craven one-sided performance. To see Tiote and Nolan given license to kick lumps out of our boys with no protection and then give Newcastle 3 goals was unforgettable and unforgivable (nice- a chance to vent some pent up anger).

  43. Big Raddy says:

    RL 12.58. Yes, we could have come 3rd but only 5 points behind. Last season we were just not as good or consistent as MU and MC.


    There is no question in my mind that Dowd showed bias that day. Of course he has reffed some of our games since then and done ok but he can never be forgiven for that day. It was a total utter disgrace.

    Makes me angry just thinking about it. I think i would like to beat him to a pulp.

  45. RockyLives says:

    Come to think of it, that reffing travesty I was referring to earlier was when Fat Sam was at Bolton, not Blackburn.

    Wish I could remember the year.

  46. Big Raddy says:

    Terry. I rarely condone violence but Dowd is an exception – give him a kick in the kishka’s from me

  47. RockyLives says:

    I think I did the match report on that game. It was basically a report on Dowd’s performance.

  48. Big Raddy says:

    Was that the game when Anelka scored 2 against us? In which case it was ’06

  49. Red Arse says:


    Just to be clear, Randy said “give him a kick in the kishkas” — not “give him a kiss in the kickas”.

    Oh well, go on then — first the kick then the kiss — very philantropic! 🙂

  50. Red Arse says:

    The November 2006 away game to Bolton was reffed by Mike Dean!

    We lost 3:1


    i dont even know what these Kishkas are. If its something to do with the nether regions, ime pretty sure Dowd hasnt got any.

    What the hell, will kick him repeatedly down there anyway to find out. And then i will give him a great big kiss. hahaha

  52. Red Arse says:

    The team that day against Bolton was;

    Starting lineup:
    Goalkeeper: Jens Lehmann
    Defender/Right back: Emmanuel Eboue
    Defender/Left back: Gael Clichy
    Defender/Centre back: Kolo Toure
    Defender/Centre back: Philippe Senderos
    Midfielder: Cesc Fabregas
    Midfielder: Gilberto Silva
    Midfielder: Freddie Ljungberg
    Midfielder: Mathieu Flamini
    Forward: Emmanuel Adebayor
    Forward: Theo Walcott

  53. Red Arse says:

    Thank God you are there Terry! 🙂

    Talking to myself,again, otherwise. I’m beginning to get the message.

  54. RockyLives says:

    Can you recall what the Ferguson/Allardyce wind-up was going into that game?

  55. chas says:

    I think the game you were talking about was 2003.
    The ref was Andy D’Urso.
    A spineless pillock if ever there was one.

  56. evonne says:

    RA – I was away, but read most of the comments and did note my name being dragged into disrepute by you yet again!! Have you heard about a dish that is best served cold 🙂

  57. RockyLives says:

    That’s the one Chas.
    (sorry Redders)

  58. Red Arse says:


    If it was the 1:1 away game in 2003, the ref was Graham Poll. Rob Pires scored.

    Starting lineup:
    Goalkeeper: Jens Lehmann
    Defender: Gael Clichy
    Defender/Centre back: Kolo Toure
    Defender/Centre back: Sol Campbell
    Defender/Centre back: Pascal Cygan
    Midfielder: Gilberto Silva
    Midfielder: Robert Pires
    Midfielder: Patrick Vieira
    Midfielder: Freddie Ljungberg
    Forward: Dennis Bergkamp
    Forward: Thierry Henry

  59. RockyLives says:

    But that report only tells half the story.

  60. RockyLives says:

    Agh! Now I’m confused.
    Which one was it?

  61. evonne says:

    RA – how did Pascal do then? Strangely enough I liked both Cygan and Sanderos….coat on…laters

  62. Red Arse says:

    I would quite fancy you served up hot or cold, Evonne. 🙂
    (But don’t tell Chas!) 🙂

  63. Neamman says:

    Eduardo’s injury was the most damaging to the club. But was it the same year or the one after thaT Flamini was injured for the run in. We had lost Diarra in January and when Flamini got injured we lost midfield cohesion? Maybe it was the CL season..I just remember Flamini being injured and wishing Diarra was around to fill in.

  64. chas says:

    That was the season after, RA.

    It was the April 2003 game, Rocky, not the one RA is on about which was in December 2003.

  65. Red Arse says:


    As you are not sure which year you were referring to, I can only surmise that it was the usual Ferguson cadre wind up.
    You know, the one that goes, AW was aloof and would not share a drinky pooh after the game, with fellow managers, Fergie, Fat Sam, Pulis and Hughes, blah dee blah, — and oh, by the way, he is a cheating frog who is getting at the ref by claiming we were going to be ‘thugged’. That was in 2003.

    Oh and it was also in 2006, and probably in 2012!! 🙂

  66. chas says:

    Your original comment included ‘subsequently failed to win the league’.
    I don’t think that could have been said about season 2003/4. 🙂

  67. Red Arse says:


    You are a hard man to shake off! 🙂

    As Rocky does not know what game he is referring to, I certainly do not! I am only supplying limited info to be helpful.

    Starting lineup: 26th April 2003

    Goalkeeper: David Seaman
    Defender/Centre back: Pascal Cygan
    Defender/Centre back: Sol Campbell
    Defender/Midfielder: Bissan Lauren
    Defender/Left back: Ashley Cole
    Midfielder: Gilberto Silva
    Midfielder: Robert Pires
    Midfielder: Freddie Ljungberg
    Midfielder: Ray Parlour
    Forward: Sylvain Wiltord
    Forward: Thierry Henry

    It was a 2:2 draw. Wiltord and Bobby for us.

  68. Red Arse says:

    Andy D’Urso was the ref for the April game. That is right! 🙂

  69. chas says:

    The line-up and subs were in the report link I posted.

  70. Red Arse says:

    I am sorry, Chas. My PC is having a fit of the wobblies and is going slowly, probably my wifi connection again and Vids are ‘shunting’.

    Anyway, I am sorry for trying to be helpful, and will desist immediately.

  71. RockyLives says:

    Guardian report into that game. We finished with 10 men because we had made all our subs and didn’t have a spare man after the Bolton assaults.

    The latter paragraphs of the article mention the Ferguson/Allardyce “mind games” that had gone on in the run-up.

  72. chas says:

    It was Alan Smith’s goal that won us the league in 1989.
    Without that, Micky’s goal wouldn’t have been enough and Liverpool wouldn’t have had that psychological ‘we must stop the 2nd goal’ hanging over their heads for 40 odd minutes.

    Micky’s goal was just the inevitable denouement in the Fever Pitch script. 🙂

  73. RockyLives says:

    I would say that that season was the first where we showed signs of a certain psychological fragility… except that the following year we were Invincible 🙂

  74. chas says:

    It’s me that should be sorry, RA.
    I’ve got one on me today.
    Blame the West Brom keeper. 🙂

    I’ll stop winding people up forthwith.

  75. Red Arse says:

    Not at all, Chas, 🙂

    I am a fan of your Vids, and much prefer them.
    Actually, I have not noticed you doing anything other than be factual.

    That does not mean I will stop teasing you! 🙂

  76. Big Raddy says:

    chas. think 26/5/89. That has to raise a smile.

  77. Big Raddy says:

    Where is GoonerMichael? Is he on an International break?

  78. chas says:

    Cheers, BR.
    It worked.

  79. SharkeySuresGhost says:

    Corky, it was 2002-03. Robbed us of a back to back !!

    We lost three to injury that day. Even a talented player like JJ Okocha was sharpening his studs prior to that game.

    Alzheimers aside, I think Okocha did as horrible a stamp on Parlours ankle as you’ll ever see. There were countless other acts of savagery that day.

    That old tactic of ‘getting at’ the ref in the run up to a game where they then proceed to kick lumps out of us, is (hopefully
    ?) as low as it ever gets in professional football

  80. RockyLives says:

    Thanks Sharkey – I remember being incandescent with anger.

    I never tire of watching that.
    What a superb ball from Smudger to set up the winner.

  81. SharkeySuresGhost says:

    I realised that someone lse (prob Chas !!) might have answered already, but my readback hadn;t reached that far.

    I also wanted to ‘say it out loud’ BEFORE I checked it, as I was pretty convinced that I’d won a small battle (not the war) with my Alzheimers

  82. chas says:

    Football is Football is Football. 🙂
    Do you think this ability might impress any prospective signings from Germany?

  83. SharkeySuresGhost says:

    Chas. That Vieira video you posted for me on Sat nite…. 🙂 🙂

    And it started with one of my fave Arsenal goals ever. Yep the one you have had to fnid for me ona tleast ten occasions here on AA in the last few years.

    Usually its because Dennis makes a pass for the assist that almost defies human comprehension, this time it was to show how cool a finisher the greatest box to box MF who has ever lived was. Either way…happy daze !!!

    Muchas gracias Carlos !!

  84. chas says:

    Always a pleasure, Sharkers.

  85. chas says:

    This is well worth watching if you have the time.

  86. Rasp says:

    How about this for a new piece of training equipment at London Colney? ….

  87. Rasp says:

    …. sorry to lower the tone, but it made me laugh 😳

  88. SharkeySuresGhost says:

    Oh and it was Freddie that JJ savaged not Parlour.

    I still love Ray Parlour

  89. RockyLives says:

    What do you mean “how about”?
    That vid IS at London Colney. The two on the spinning bowl are Arshavin and Santi. Arshavin is the one who stops running…

  90. Gooner In Exile says:

    Chas thanks for that vid of Arsene, we are so lucky…just think it could have been Fergie mumbling through a cloud of whiskey had our Directors been a bit patient 🙂

  91. Admir says:

    Vermaelen’s injuries. If he and Fabregas were fit throughout 2010-11 season, we would win at least one trophy.

  92. RockyLives says:

    Nice one Admir
    We lost TV for almost an entire season – during which we conceded far too many goals.

  93. Big Raddy says:

    Chas. Never tire of watching that vid. What a night

  94. jnyc says:

    Nice article Rocky, interesting subject when you think about it. Although i hate to think about it.

  95. kelsey says:

    By the way where is Carlitto ? We all sponsored him to do a parachute jump last year and he vanished with the money 😉

  96. LB says:


    That 3:52 is superb.

  97. LB says:

    Ok I admit it the 3.57 made me laugh.

  98. Kelsey he has been seen at the occasional Tavern drink, and also occasionally on twitter, think he is a very busy boy.

  99. kelsey says:

    Respect GIE: you nearly always answer a question I pose.


    Kelsey my dear fellow. Go on ask me a question, anything you want, be my guest, absoloutly anything. Except if its hair related, then ime not answering. hahaha

  101. kelsey – Rasp and I saw Carlito at the Ems at the last home game.

    Mmmnnnnn ……. home game, when’s our next home game?

  102. Rasp says:

    Aha LB, you don’t have a heart of stone after all 🙂

  103. Rasp says:

    Hi peaches, check out the new trial logo at the top of the side bar

  104. Message for Kelsey. I was at the game where Joe Mercer broke his leg. Collision was with his colleague Joe Wade. Not sure that Fotheringham was playing. Sorry to be so pernickity!

  105. evonne says:

    Rocky – I have just had time to read the full article. Without reading it and just glancing at the title, I thought that Aaron Ramsey’s injury was the worst by some margin. But after reading your blog I’d say that as a knock on effect of the injury goes it had to be van Per$ie’s first, but who knows?

    Anyway, good article, thank you sir.

    BTW, Chesny’s girlfriend told me that he has foot injury, not rib/shoulder as reported, and he will be out for 3 more weeks, that was 10 days ago.

  106. Rocky – it’s crucial that we remember that we have suffered injuries that have made a huge impact on the success of our recent seasons.

    When Pires suffered his cruciate knee injury I wondered whether it would have an impact on our success for that season but the team was too strong for it to matter. The 2002 Double was made all the sweeter because my daughter was in love with Thierry and she came to lots of games with me …….. aaah memories 🙂

  107. Rasp says:

    Hi martin, thanks for the info.

    Satisfy my curiosity if you would please …. are you one of the many who read the site regularly and yet choose not to comment unless something unusual (in this case kelsey’s comment) flushes you out?

    Please don’t take offence at the question, it’s just that I know a lot of supporters follow us but for some reason are reticent to join in the banter in comments and I’d really like to discover how we can make the site more accessible for them.

  108. Rasp – are you playing? I’ve just seen a new logo 🙂

  109. ……. and now I’ve seen your message 😳

  110. Rasp says:

    Pay attention peaches …. my comment @ 8:43

  111. Rasp says:

    And now I’ve just seen yours 😆

  112. Rasp – are we going to use that for twitter? If you put it in Peaches Pad as a gravatar you can see what it looks like smaller

  113. Rasp says:

    Granny …. eggs …… sucking 🙄

  114. Apologies if someone else picked this up earlier …… seems Hodgson likes the look of The Corporal ……

  115. Ok clever clogs 😛 😀 😆

  116. Irishgunner says:

    *sneaks back in*

    Hi everyone – international break is normally dull but not in good old Eire – IL Trap is on the way, so we’ll have a new manager and people want Liam Brady 😀

    I also hope to make it over for the Montpellier game if ye are going.

  117. evonne says:

    at long bloody last!! you took your time pet 🙂

  118. Irishgunner says:

    Waited till we lost 😆

  119. Blimey Irish, we lost a couple of weeks ago, where’ve you been hiding 🙂

    Rasp and I will be at Montpellier.

    Is Liam Brady up for this job then? Was it your boys in green that you were waiting to lose then 😆

  120. Rasp says:

    Hi Irish, good to see you back – does that also mean Rosexy will be back soon?

    Peaches, have a look at my new ‘Results Compared’ widget and let me know if it makes sense pls.

  121. Irishgunner says:

    I’ve been busy Peaches – like properly 😆

    Work, studying in the evening to become a librarian, writing for a student site, ooh and watching Limerick FC winning the First Division in Ireland YAAAAAAAS back in the big time 😀

    How long does it take red memberships to get delivered? I’ve mine ordered and presume I’ll have them before that game ha ha Said it was about time I took the plunge

    Yeah, he’s the bookies favourite at the moment, many think we will lose to the Faroe Islands tomorrow night – if getting hammered by Ze Germans wasn’t bad enough, the camp is in bits.

  122. Rasp – yep, it makes sense to me 🙂 You clearly have too much time on your hands 🙂

  123. Irishgunner says:

    Hiya Rasp – I hope so, although I might just explode if TR7, Jack, Mikel and Santi are all on the pitch at the same time O_O sexist midfield in football.

    I can’t wait to see Santi live – he looks so amazing on tv, although I know he might not play in the Montpellier game, but I can go over again for a league game 🙂

  124. Rasp says:

    Yep Irish, Santi is a real star – and he plays with a smile on his face. It’s hard to resist comparing him to Cesc, so far, I’m happy with the swap.

    We don’t have a tippy tappy midfield anymore …. now it’s more nippy tapas 😛

  125. Irish – I don’t know how long they take atm, it’s usually a few weeks though. I thought ye all loved Trappatoni 😀

  126. Rasp says:

    I’m going to trademark ‘nippy tapas’

  127. Irishgunner says:

    That goal he scored against West Ham was unreal – the way he switched direction.

    My sister who came over for the Blackburn game and was taken by van Prick had a few comments to make on his move to the Mancs, she does like Mikel though so she’s her new favourite. She wanted to know could we go to the Man Utd game 😆 I’ve a feeling we’ve a new supporter.

    I’m going to Malaga at Christmas I must remind to thank them for Santi, and I’m going to Amsterdam for New Year’s so I’ll thank them for Bergkamp and Vermaelen 🙂

  128. Rasp says:

    If you go to Disneyland, can you ask them to take Gunnersaurus back 🙄

  129. Rasp – blow your own trumpet why don’t you 😆

  130. Irishgunner says:

    Fingers crossed I’ll have it before the Montpellier match, if not I’ll do an EPL game, just flights are dirt cheap during the week – I can them for €35 return for midweek.

    We all loved Trapattoni when we qualified for the Euros, now that he is playing Darren O’Dea of Toronto FC over Ciaran Clarke of Aston Villa and we’re getting thumped 6-1, he’s not so popular 😆

  131. Rasp says:

    …. and if you go to Graceland, can you ask them to take ‘The Wonder of You’ back

  132. Irishgunner says:

    I like Gunnersaurus :-/

  133. Irish – I’ve got a Season Ticket ……. in my name 🙂 I only mention this in case you need a ticket as Rasp and I have other tickets for the Montpelier game so mine will be spare.

  134. I like The Wonder of You 😦

  135. Rasp says:

    Haha Irish, my dislike of Gunnersaurus and TWOY is well documented.

    I don’t quite see the relevance of a green dinosaur to the Arsenal – can anyone explain. Is it a reference to the average age of the Board?

  136. Irishgunner says:

    Awesome – thanks Peaches 🙂 My friend is coming too though, so I’ve got two memberships ordered cos I always bring someone along ha ha

    Screw the last meme, this one is better 😆

  137. Irishgunner says:

    I suppose it’s rare enough the mascot has anything to do with the club. Who is it that has the creepy girl thing, was it West Brom?

  138. Rasp says:

    Irish is your gravatar supposed to be a block of red colour?

  139. Irishgunner says:

    Yes it is Rasp – if it’s annoying I can change it 🙂

    Lady Gaga avatar is having a nap ha ha

  140. Rasp says:

    Yea, that Wigan mascot is weird, more likely to appeal to Jimmy Saville than the average supporter 😳

  141. Irishgunner says:

    Ha ha yeah the dirty fecker – bit late now to be saying all this stuff and he dead, BBC are in deep doodoo

  142. Rasp says:

    Not just the BBC, most of the ‘institutions’ that he patronised were aware of his ‘leanings’ and turned a blind eye – its a national disgrace

  143. It’s incredible how much power a ‘national treasure’ can have …….. scary really 😦

    Sad for his victime to have to wait so long to get some closure on what happened to them.

  144. GunnerN5 says:


    I don’t have these stats but it would be interesting to know, by season, the amount of man man games we lost due to injuries.

  145. Irishgunner says:

    The only thing that can be of any sort of consolation is that this never happens again … but it probably will 😦

    The freedom he seemed to be given to commit the molestation is frightening – really frightening

  146. Rasp says:

    Hi GN5, I believe a statistic similar to that is available somewhere as I recall seeing a comparison of the number of games missed by first team players from prem sides. I think totnum had the worst record and we were second in the list.

  147. RockyLives says:

    Hello Gn5
    Like Rasp, I have seen some form of tally of injuries somewhere. Of course it’s not easy to compare like with like. For example the Spuds might be without, say, Huddlestone, Jenas and Gallas for a combined total of 100 days. We might lose Arteta, Santi and Wilshire for the same amount of time – it’s hardly a comparable loss.

  148. glic says:

    Rasp, I think the Stoke and Sunderland results are in the wrong columns !.

  149. Rasp says:

    oh no bugger, can’t sort it tonight, will put it right tomorrow – thanks glic

  150. oz gunner says:

    Great post Rocky, and very well researched! Has to be the Eduardo incident in my opinion. I remember seeing it at a pub and everyone watching was stunned silent. It left a real sour taste in my mouth for the remainder of the night, and it still pisses me off that it ruined Eduardo’s career. I thought he could of been an Arsenal great!

    @ Rasp

    I think it was you that said it would have galvanised ManU, and I agree, our response was lackluster to say the least!

    @ Dandanite and Irish

    Welcome back, i hope all is well!

  151. oz gunner says:

    @ Chas

    If those videos have taught us anything it’s if you pull off something spectacular watch out for Vermaelen because he will shove you hard afterwards. Szcz and Gibbs coped it haha

  152. kelsey says:

    I find the Jimmy Saville case interesting and also very disturbing.
    It was brough to the attention of the head of the BBC light entertainment in the fifties and then again in following decades, and in each and every case it was dismissed as rumour.
    Some will seek compensation from the BBC but not sure how the law stands on that.

    What I find really amazing is the Broadmoor connection.
    how did ,what amounts to an eccentric disc jockey get permission t to speak at will to inmates privately, and have a house in their grounds.?

  153. kelsey says:

    Nice to see Irish back and you will be in Malaga at Xmas ?. Drop me a line.

    TMHT, I will think very carefully as to a non hair question for you 😉

    Going back to the original post, though horrific in both cases,neither Eduardo nor Ramsey had at that time been regarded as regulars.As was said earlier the mental state of the player after such an injury is most probably more important than the eventful physical state of the player.In Eduardo’s case he never regained his potential yet the opposite looks like being the case with Ramsey.
    Re Fabianski, that is another mystery.He was on the bench in poland’s last match,prior to last wek, and then returns home with a shoulder injury. personally,I don’t believe it.

    Our Number one’s injury is his ankle not his leg, as i understand it, and a Wenger 3 weeks until he is back, could be anytime 🙂

  154. Gooner In Exile says:

    Last seasons Injury League Table:

    Surprisingly United had most injuries, then Spuds then us.

    Least injuries City

  155. oz gunner says:

    @ GiE

    cheers for that link, with any luck Bsr will get injured for the remainder of the season so they finish on top again.

    @ Evonne

    Does szcz’s mrs know you hate him? Yet love every other polish player haha

  156. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Creative thinking post Rocky. A very interesting topic, and some great comments. Thanks.
    Nice to see Dandan and Irish back in the fold.

  157. kelsey says:

    For those interested “The beckham Law” applying to footballers has been stopped due to the dire state of the country and the higher tax rates here in Spain have increased to 52% and will further increase to 60% in January for high wage earners in general.This may have an effect that top players will not be tempted so easily to play and live in Spain and may be more inclined to play in the UK.
    Having said that there is a suggestion that several top players are still being played offshore.

  158. Red Arse says:

    Good morning earlies, 🙂

  159. MickyDidIt89 says:

    There is a grey area between lateies and earlies, what with the world being upside down in parts and so on.
    Kelsey cracking on at 4:59 is blurring definitions. Which is he?

  160. Red Arse says:


    Kelsey is an occasional early, Spain is an hour ahead of UK. 🙂

    What has happened to Chas, today? And you yesterday? The Breakfast Bunnies are getting out of hand. 🙂

  161. Red Arse says:


    That is why poor little boy Ronaldo has not been feeling loved and wanted at Real over the past couple of months. 🙂

    He wants his £10m per week increased because of the new tax regime in Spain. He finds it hard to make ends meet on a net £9.5m per week. Oh, no, that doesn’t work — Madrid already pay his tax for him, the greedy b*stard.

  162. MickyDidIt89 says:

    I’m in transit this week RA.

  163. oz gunner says:

    Micky i say:

    8.00 = get the frick up your late for work!!

  164. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Dman it. Just composed a few carefully chosen words to answer the Rocky question. In short, my answer was the cumulative injuries to Persie.

  165. Big Raddy says:

    Morning all,

    It is rumoured that Anzhi are offering Vidic €13m a year AFTER tax.

    We are starting to see American level sports wages

  166. chas says:

    Morning, or is it afternoon?

    Minsk Gooners making Santi feel like he’s appreciated.

  167. oz gunner says:

    bugger what happened to my comment. It was supposed to be:

    8.00 = get the frick up your late for work

    Kelsey is officially an early bird, but with that mane how could you not want to get up early and feel the morning breeze flowing through your locks

  168. oz gunner says:

    ok wordpress goes not like greater than or less than signs.

    it deleted both sentences twice, dammit!

  169. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Get back to your drinking 🙂

  170. Rasp says:

    Morning all, here’s a sobering stat revealed by my new ‘results compared widget’.

    Of the 5 games out of 7 in which we have played the same fixture last year (= excluding relegated and promoted) we have only amassed 6 points compared to 8 in the same fixtures last season 😦

  171. Red Arse says:

    Thanks Rasp, 🙂

    I will now waste important daylight hours trying to work out significant statistical variants to explain that!!! 🙂

  172. oz gunner says:

    NOOOOOOOOO Rasp, that is terrible news, I thought we were travelling well!

  173. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Ha ha Chas,
    Those Minsk Gooners didn’t hold up Fabregas for too long did they

  174. Big Raddy says:

    We are traveling well. We have thrown away stupid points to the Chavs and Sunderland but we can clearly see the potential for the rest of the season.

    As TMHT says, The Spiirit of the ’30s is rising

  175. chas says:

    If we take West Ham away for Blackburn away
    and Soton home for Bolton home
    (which make the most sense in terms of the time they occurred in the season)
    …………we are 3 points better off in those two fixtures (6 pts instead of 3)
    ergo, we have amassed 12 points as opposed to last season’s 11.

  176. kelsey says:

    Ah Rasp,
    but we had fewer men on the pitch in the opening 7 games with red cards. 😉

  177. evonne says:

    Oz – ssshhhhh…..don’t say things like that. I told Sandie about this blog and she might be reading it!! Plus I don’t hate him, he just makes me nervous

  178. kelsey says:

    By the way we are buying one of two strikers on our radar, come January.No names, just be patient. All that tells me is that formation will change and either or both Walcott and more likely Arshavin and Chamakh will be off. (Info from mertesacker)

  179. chas says:

    You tease, kelsey.
    So the BFG is the new source. Cool.

    In the latest Twitter takeover Per was asked,
    ‘what’s the weather like up there?’
    He’d obviously been asked the question before but he said his answer doesn’t really translate very well. He said, ‘It smells after little people’. 🙂

  180. chas says:

    I don’t wanna be patient I need to know we are signing Falcao and Cavani NOW.

  181. chas says:

    To be honest, I find it astonishing that so many column inches are being devoted to new signings and to transfer hysteria in general in the middle of feckin October.

    And there was us thinking the madness might be over for at least 3 or 4 months after August finished. 😦

  182. Rasp says:

    Hi again, my earlier comment is just an illustration of how stats can tell 2 completey different stories.

    We are in a better position than last year and have played more of the tricky fixtures at this stage.

    As far as signing a striker in January is concerned (yawn), I think it is more likely that it will be a replacement striker/winger for Theo than a central striker. Its not AW’s style to undermine a player like Giroud by bringing in a replacement after only half a season.

  183. kelsey says:

    Are you twisting my words,Rasp 🙂 Who mentioned Giroud.

  184. Rasp says:

    Morning kelsey, no not at all 🙂 It’s just that I can’t see us having 2 £10m + central strikers, so a replacement wide player for either Theo or Arsh would seem more likely – but I suppose that player could simply be categorised as a striker.

    If Chamakh left we wouldn’t really need to replace him because he brings nothing to the side any way.

  185. oz gunner says:

    It just seems pointless bringing in more strikers in January (unless absolutely needed) when we will have Afobe and Campbell coming back from loans pushing for more chances.

    Then again if by some miracle Falcao was available and was willing to take a pay cut then…Afobe who?

  186. Morning all

    New Post …….

  187. Steve says:

    Rasp @ 8.53
    Love the site but I live in the Far East so am 8 hours ahead of you lot. I’m at work when the first posts come in and usually under the cosh, so I seldom actually read the site then. Then there’s the long commute home, and if I read the site, which depends on how tired or busy I am, the salient points have all been covered in the first few hours and the focus among the posters has gone, so it seems a bit pointless posting. Bit like this post, which is for yesterday’s article.
    Cheers anyway, and keep up the good work. Great reading today. It’s actually 1am here. Good night all.

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