Fulham. Mannone’s Last Stand?

A skimpy one today…

We are not firing on all cylinders and as such need to dig in to get a result.

Martin Jol is a decent bloke who got shafted by those fools down the road. A man you would want on your side in a scrap.

Fulham are a good team who play decent football. Berbs plays with a Gitane hanging from his lip and is a craftsman. They are strong in defence and have a decent record against us – drawing at The Ems last season. Expect a tough game.

Fulham have the same number of points as us.

Arsenal are suffering from injuries particularly in midfield.
We need some players back. In attack Podolksi wants to play centrally, so does, Giroud, so does Theo and Mr Wenger wants to play Gervinho there. Insoluble problem? Not with the number of injuries we pick up.

Vito has done sterling work in Szczesny’s absence. With TPIG’s return to fitness what will AW do? Based upon Mannone’s Schalke performance I would say he is our Number One for the time being. TPIG will have to work for his shirt

My team:

My concerns are the attacking possibilities of such a midfield and perhaps Mr Wenger will go with Arshavin who has been on fine form this season. Having Walcott out wide will give Fulham problems.

I would love to see us play 4-4-2 with Podolski further forward but know it will not happen.

Todays explorer: Thomas Cavendish (1560-1592). Circumnavigated the globe. Plundered Spanish shipping wherever he found it. Generally a top bloke who brought silk and spices from East Asia to the court of Queen Elisabeth. Cavendish was knighted at the age of 28. Rumour has it that Cavendish was personally acquainted with Elisabeth’s crown jewels. Sadly, he died on his second voyage (32 y.o) off the coast of Ascension Isles. His ship went on to discover the Falklands Islands in 1592. As many know there is a square in London named after him .

A Ladies Man

We need these points more than Fulham. With the cave dwellers coming next Saturday, a confidence booster would be great. Please Arsenal score early – even better score two early. The fans are restless.

Written by Big Raddy


301 Responses to Fulham. Mannone’s Last Stand?

  1. Rasp says:

    Great stuff Raddy thanks for delivering a pre-match with your usual panache 😛

    I agree it is hard to envisage replacing Vito when he is in such good form – should we take a leaf out of totnum’s book and stick with the incumbent?

    The problem there is Vito would think that everyone would be waiting for 1 mistake and then he’d get relegated again .. wouldn’t be good for his psyche. I certainly don’t think it will have done Sz any harm to realise that he has competition for his place.

    As far as today’s game is concerned … I’m nervous like everyone else.

    What I don’t want to see is us giving away silly free kicks around the box and conceding unnecessary corners etc as they have aerial power and will be looking to capitalise on set pieces.

    I’d like us to be solid at the back but push forward and press them in their own half. I expect Podolski to silence his doubters and score today. It would be good if we could start the game as if we were 1 nil down and show some real fire in our bellies.

  2. chas says:

    Cheers, BR.

    I think skimpy is appropriate today.
    “personally acquainted with Elisabeth’s crown jewels” 😆

    Ladeez men often seem to go for the top lip facial hair rather than full face.
    Is it because it might tickle the lady’s fancy?

  3. mickydidit89 says:

    To the Tower for you Raddy
    Blimey there are alot of Brentford fans on the train, and judging by tbe amount of tweed and mud, rugbyists.
    It is time we clicked and really thumped someone. Fulham could be that someone
    Tha.ks Raddy

  4. Big Raddy says:

    chas. GM has a whisper of facial hair and he is a ladie’s man. Perhaps there is something in your theory

  5. Morning all

    Thanks Raddy for the pre-match.

    These London derby’s are coming thick and fast aren’t they and they know us so well. I loved it when we were the top team in London and a derby was a chance for the opposition to try to knock us off our perch whereas we all seem to be at the same place atm sadly 😦

    But today we have the chance to hit the ground running, we’re at home, we play the best football around ( occasionally 😉 ) and hopefully Theo will start. We need to score four before half-time and then the second half will be fun to watch 😆

  6. Gooner In Exile says:

    Hoping for 3 points today and a responsible display from those on the pitch, would love to see more “for the team” fouls committed which would then avoid Rasps concerns over set pieces which I share today, they have a number of good deadball specialists, Riise, Berba, Duff and they have players who attack the box for goals from those situations.

    For clarity “for the team fouls”….stopping their counterattack at the earliest opportunity, if we lose ball in final third make foul there, before it becomes bookable offence the further up the pitch they are in numbers, but make sure its not always Arteta, doing it on halfway line when we are stretched.

    This is actually the one thing Santos did well against Schalke at home, but that was more for his own benefit than the teams. 😈

  7. Rasp says:

    “Berbs plays with a Gitane hanging from his lip” 😆 nice one Raddy

  8. Didn’t Mannone have an amazing game against Fulham a couple of seasons ago – kept us in it? His confidence must be sky high at the moment, he did so well the other night against Shalke.

    It must be difficult for a keeper because they only get one chance to make a great save or make a complete hash of it. At least he looks scary and is happy to bawl players out. Did anyone notice how vocal Jack was the other night too?

  9. Rasp says:

    Hi GiE, yes I’m all for ‘professional’ fouls in their half – every other team does it.

    I’d also like us be more adventurous when we get free kicks around the half way line instead of the usual tap it back to one of the CB’s.

    I loved the way TH and others would rush to take a free kick to catch the opposition off guard and deny them time to form their defensive ranks – but all of our player would need to e alert to the strategy.

  10. Agree with GiE and Rasp about ‘taking a card for the team’ by stopping an attack early. We do seem to suffer from thinking that the opposition aren’t going to be good enough to carry the ball forward and expect them to lose possesion by their own sloppy play.

  11. MAX says:

    Arsenal is facing Striker dilemma… Well said Big Raddy “In attack Podolksi wants to play centrally, so does, Giroud, so does Theo and Mr Wenger wants to play Gervinho there. Insoluble problem?”…. I guess wenger shud play poldi center once gerv returns and OG on bench untill he gets settle properly and gerv walcott on wings….. Gerv is not tat gud in center… Walcott is a cool finisher but again on wings he can make some good counter attack run so gervi…. Poldi is very strong he can fite wid defenders and can take ball away he is very cool finisher too… I really hope wenger plays ashravin today as jack is not banned…. Cazrola,ashravin and arteta in the midfield…. My team for todays match

    —————-Don Vito————–



    I guess sagna can play well den santos as LB… We cannnot loose anymore point…..

  12. If Giroud can come a bit deeper to pick up the ball and can slip either Theo or Pod in we could be lethal today.

    Does my Phillipe still play for Fulham? 🙂

  13. Gooner In Exile says:

    I think it’s a team ethos that’s actually been taken a little too far, we try to play honestly, maybe too honestly, Brian Clough tried to do something similar with Leeds and we all know how that went. I actually think if the foul is committed early enough (deep in their half) the bookings will only come for repeat offenders.

    Peaches not sure if you saw link to Mail interview with Jack but there’s a picture that sums up what you mean about his vocality, Santi is celebrating the goal whilst Jack appears to be talking tactics to him.

    Also he said after last season that he understands a bit more what it is to live it as a fan, hopefully he passes the message on to the rest of the squad.

  14. kelsey says:

    What would we do without Raddy, moustache or not 🙂

    Peaches is being optimistic when she says ” We need to score four before half-time and then the second half will be fun to watch”

    I would ffull time personally.

    Is the Ox fit ? I notice mozart hasn’t kicked a ball in nearly 6 months, how time goes by.
    My concern with our italian stallion will be corners or any high balls, as he rarely catches them and palms them quite often into dangerous areas, though he did play well against Schalke and I feel he should keep his place.

    A stroll in the park, I doubt it / but we need the ponts.

    Those going enjoy and the rest of us will be behind the customary sofa.

  15. Rasp says:

    Hi Max, I must admit I am surprised that AW didn’t try the obvious solution as you say = Gerv on the left (his best position) and Pod in the middle (his preferred position)

    All I know is that for the last 4 games, the vast majority of the opponents attacks have been down our left flank. We are perceived as vulnerable inn that area, so I would play Sagna at RB and Jenks on the left. Flamini didn’t do a bad job at LB, right footed LB’s are often successful

  16. kelsey says:

    Maybe we should play a bit like Stoke 1-5-5

    . 5 strikers and no wingers. 🙂

  17. Big Raddy says:

    Song was an expert at “taking one for the team”. He took one for Barca at Celtic during the week.

  18. Rasp says:

    True Raddy and he should have been sent off … twice, lucky boy

  19. MAX says:

    I agree Rasp with you about jenks and sagna position change,, And about poldi playing centerally i strongly belive he should play in center as OG is good in air but not good proacher…. Poldi is natural poacher.. I dont know but there is some issue in dressing room all the players look dull they dont look like playing with aggression see game agaisnt chevs,citeh and liverpool and see agaisnt manure.. Something is going on i guess there is issue with positon player want to play somewhere and arsene plays dem somewhere else… I hope arsene slove dis issue as soon as possible,.,, I dont understand you hav poldi then yu are playing gerv in middle he is waste in middle…..

  20. Rasp says:

    OK, I’m off to the game. Catch up with you all later to celebrate a magnificent, back to our best, performance. The spuds wil lose to city tomorrow and we will rise above them and be back in 4th in no time 🙂

  21. kgooner says:

    This win is vital. I have a strong conviction the boys will be impressive. At home plus after a good performance away at Schalke. Plus, the chance to go above the Totts because they’ll lose kesho (tomorrow).

    Diaby? Rosiscky? Ox? We need these guys back. We’ll be much stronger especially for the coming stage of CL and Capital One cup.


  22. Big Raddy says:

    It is a complex issue about who plays LB. I do not believe we should play a RB on the left. – their instincts will always be to turn the wrong way. Tens of thousands of hours practising for one position hopefully has an effect.

    Just look at the way TV was out of position on Tues. He came too deep into his area because that is what he naturally good at. Those few yards allowed Farfan to have the time to control and shoot. A natural LB would have been closer though in Santos’s case we cannot be sure!

    I like Santos, he has a great attacking game and at home I would use him ahead of TV or Sagna, unfortunately this has a knock-on effect on Arteta and in particular Podolski’s game. ………. Complex

  23. Song take one for the team!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! He was the worst at waiting until the oppo were almost in our box before he tackled them badly to give away a free kick.

    Have to apply mascara

  24. kelsey says:

    Right, just phoned Wenger and told him the Venkey’s may want to buy the club . He gave that a lot of thought 🙂

  25. LB says:

    Thanks for the pre-match BR, always appreciated.

    I think there was an early game when Wenger tried Gervinho on the left and Pod in the centre……semms an obvious solution.

    I am quite suprised that no one has mentioned Flamini playing LB earlier.

    Wenger is not going to do it though, not while we have a left footed LB fit and available.

  26. Big Raddy says:

    Good work kelsey.


    1. Song almost always got his yellows in the centre circle chasing back.

    2. Mascara? I thought it was only applied once a week.

  27. MAX says:

    I agree with Rb shifting LB is not a good idea,,, But then i dont wanna see santos giving early advantage to fulham….

  28. Adrian says:

    Just a bit of news unrelated to today’s game.. it seems that Sagna has been offered the vice captain role in the beginning of the season only to reject it. A very unusual and unorthodox decision by any football decisiob. A sign perhaps to where his future lies next season? I hope he will break the trend of world class players leaving the emirates though, it’s about time this stupid trend stops as he’s one of the few we have left.

  29. Great pre match as always Raddy. I just read that Diaby is out til January. I hope we buy somonee to replace him in Jan. If Theos goes (I’d rather he stayed) then I hope we get someone decent in for him too.

  30. Adrian says:

    By any football player*

  31. kelsey says:

    Well that’s theo and sagna gone by the end of the season, but we are the fourth or is it fifth richest club in the world 🙂 Adrian.

  32. MAX says:

    So new saga starting next transfer window… Every time in arsenal topic will be same lad want to leave the club but characters changes…. Henry,cesc,nasri,rvp,walcott and now sagna… I am really fed up wid us… Every transfer window i cross fingures while wathcing the news as for arsenal players leaving arsenal news are more then player signing for arsenal.. We need a permnant solution for dis probke… we wont miss sagna much as jenks is ready to step up 🙂

  33. kelsey says:


    is that next january or the following january.

  34. Big Raddy says:

    Perhaps Sagna has the opportunity to join PSG and get a big final pay packet. Fair play to him. He is a wonderful player but will never be the same following two leg breaks.

    The Corporal and Yennaris/Bellerin are good enough to cover his loss.

  35. Big Raddy says:

    It must be such a difficult decision with players like Diaby. He is top quality but fragile. So what do you do – sell him or give him away for peanuts and watch him strengthen to become a top player, or keep him and hope he will be injury free?

    Either way AW is damned. Same with Rosicky. Given a new contract last season and injured for most of this.

  36. kelsey says:


    AW gets paid handsomely to make those decisions.

  37. LB says:


    There is sadly so much logic in that suggestion.

  38. GoonerB says:

    Posting from sunny Norway Where I Shell be watching the game. Lets hope AW Shakes it up a bit and looks to Play the likes of Podolski Walcott or Arshavin in a more attacking line up. Re Sagna, I do really like him and hope he stays but I actually think we Could go with Jenkinson and promote Yennaris as back up. I am still more worried Re the loss of Walcott. Enjoy the game all. Will check back no later.

  39. LB says:

    “Where I shell be watching the game”

    Is that an attempt to write with a Norwegian accent 😉

  40. I think we should get someone to cover Diaby. I doubt anyone will buy him unless he has a season injury free in which case we’d keep him

  41. VCC says:

    Adrian 11:21.”……Wenger/Arsenal will cash in on Sagna, as he/they do with most of their assets.

  42. @ Big Raddy

    Thanks, good post, and I agree with your lineup.

    “I would love to see us play 4-4-2 with Podolski further forward but know it will not happen.”

    Basically, I think it will – when we attack we’ll adapt to a 4-4-2.
    When we don’t have the ball, we’ll revert back to a 4-5-1.

    As regards Mannone, he looked decidedly dodgy in his first few games, and I was somewhat critical (quite fairly at the given time). Recently I have ‘warmed to him’ in his last few games. He’s stepped up, and some may state a case for him to retain his place.

    However, as in the case of Jenkinson/Sagna, if Wenger feels the Pole is the better player, he will reinstall him next week. It has to be the way… there’s no room for sentimentality at the top.

  43. GoonerB says:

    LB. The predictive text was driving me mad. using my brother in laws i pad so half the words came out norwegian and half with other words. I should have left my Post fully uncorrected for everyones amusement.

  44. oz gunner says:

    good post BR, to the point with little fussing about!

    sad to hear the news about Diaby. Surely his time is now up at Arsenal. I do also find it very surprising that Rosicky’s one injury free run was before a new contract is sorted. It’s signed then he’s gone again.

    I think Sagna will be gone too. I’m sure he will not want it to turn into the ‘Lauren’ situation where he is shipped off. He can go in good graces because he has served us well and we have Jenks who is ready to step up.

  45. GoonerB says:

    Herre You are LB the original unchanged post.
    Posting from sunny Norway Where i Shell be watching the game. Lets hope AW Shakespeare it up a bit and lookalike to Playstation the likes of Podolski Walcott or Arshavin in a more attacking line up. Re Sagna, i do realt like him and hope he stays but i aktuelle think we Could go with Jenkinson and promote Yennaris as back up. I am still more worried Re the loss of Walcott. Enjoy the game all. Will check back liters.

  46. LB says:

    Love the “Will check back liters” You can just hear the Norwegian in it.

  47. Shard says:

    Thanks for the match preview BR.
    I don’t think Mannone should be dropped. He’s done well in the last 2 games, and he might be getting better. No reason to put (a half fit?) Szcz back on, especially because he wasn’t very convincing before his injury either. Competition can only be good for him anyway.

    As it is, I won’t be able to watch this match live, due to some other commitments, but I think we’ll win today. Being Arsenal though, we’ll do it all nervy. We’ll win 2-1, taking a 2-0 lead before conceding an 80th minute goal and living dangerously all through the rest, leaving the fans and players to think this might be a repeat of Schalke. But in the end, we’ll have 3 points; which’ll make most people happy, and will give others ammunition to say how the result only papers over the cracks, In essence, a win-win-win.

  48. Shard says:


    You might be right about Sagna leaving, but I could swear that at the start of the season Wenger said that Vermaelen will be captain and Arteta and Sagna are both vice captains.

  49. LB says:


    I thoink the suggestion was that it was a behind the scenes kind of thing. Unusual though, to consider Arteta as third choice for Captain, personally I think he should be given the band immediately, starting this afternoon.

  50. richie says:

    We have a veritable plethora of intelligent bloggers on this site so; can someone please explain to me how we can be the 5th (Deloitte) 6th (Forbes) richest club in the world and still be in debt? And no one dispute’s we are in debt still! Besides it’s totally misleading to keep repeating something so idiosyncratic when the real facts tell us something completely different. Neither the Chav’s nor Mansour Citeh’s wealth is included in either of the lists mentioned. Neither are the bankers (you know that mob we all love to hate only slightly more than accountants) 🙂 part of this equasion (who now back PSG). So sugar daddy backed clubs are not anywhere to be seen otherwise we wouldn’t be top 10 maybe not even top 20.

  51. kelsey says:

    Arsenal: Mannone, Sagna, Koscielny, Mertesacker, Vermaelen, Coquelin, Arteta, Cazorla, Walcott, Podolski, Giroud.

  52. Big Raddy says:

    richie. Flattery, flattery.

    My guess is that the figures are based around asset value and turnover.

    BR only got 10/11. Mr Wenger has gone with TV at full back and Koscielny at CB. With Coquelin in the team I think it is too defensive.

    Will be good to see TV storming up the wing and getting crosses into OG.

  53. kelsey says:

    Substitutes: Szczesny, Jenkinson, Santos, Ramsey, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Arshavin, Chamakh.

    flattery,flattery got me nowhere

  54. kelsey says:

    Arsenal Gentleman ‏@ArsenalGent

    #GentsXI: Mannering, Sailor, Costerley, Meatlocker, Vermington, Cockleton, Arkwright, Cousins, Fenton, Ponsonby, Goring-Hildred.

  55. Big Raddy says:

    Arsenal Gentleman is a very funny man

  56. kelsey says:

    lots of empty seats

  57. Adrian says:

    What in the world was that from Giroud, no composure at all.

  58. oz gunner says:

    ‘Yo ADRIAN!’ fair go, his time will come

    This commentary is starting to get annoying, anyone would think Berbatov is the world’s greatest striker!

  59. Big Raddy says:

    Has Pod touched the ball?

  60. oz gunner says:

    on that note, GIROUD!!!!!!!!

  61. Adrian says:

    Well he sure made up for that weak attempt with a wonderful header. Brilliant header!

  62. RockyLives says:

    Hello AAers
    I’ve got no access to the game today (just my phone) so updates in comments would be gratefully received by this Gooner.

    Top pre-match as ever BR.

  63. Big Raddy says:


  64. oz gunner says:

    Rocky, you got it! Not that I need an excuse to dribble during a game

  65. Big Raddy says:

    Rl. First few minutes all Fulham. Then Caz got busy. We won a corner and OG scored a lovely header.

    Pod just misplaced a cross from a dangerous position..

  66. Adrian says:

    Walcott’s delivery from set pieces seems to have improved greatly/gone unnoticed, this was first seen in the reading game. He should definitely take more set pieces.

  67. oz gunner says:

    good shout Adrian, they were deadly against Reading

  68. evonne says:

    oz 🙂

    Raddy – thank you for PM, lovely, as usual

  69. RockyLives says:

    Thanks Chaps!
    OG is starting to bag ’em on a regular basis.

  70. oz gunner says:

    Injury update Rocky: Richardson hammy, duff likely to come on

  71. oz gunner says:

    In regards to Giroud…he sure is. Long may it continue, and long may a lot of fans/media eat humble pie!!!

  72. Adrian says:

    Berbatov is far from being the best striker, but his quality and skill on the ball is undeniably good. Quality player imo.

    Anyways, brilliant finish by Podolski!

  73. oz gunner says:

    Ball spills to Arteta in the box, he cuts back to Podolski who knocks in in for a goal. Arsenal 2-0

  74. oz gunner says:

    Update: Yes we are the best team in the world again!!!

  75. RockyLives says:


    Let’s keep it up Arsenal.

  76. oz gunner says:

    more crosses being fired in (Sagna needs more hang time on his), good to see us playing more into Giroud’s strengths. Fizz it in and he has a chance

  77. oz gunner says:

    Zone marking leaves berbatov free. He scores a header from a corner, poor poor marking 2-1

  78. oz gunner says:

    Walcott nearly mo-tored away with the ball. He is looking lively

  79. Adrian says:

    Team still lacking confidence and believe. Its very obvious.

  80. Adrian says:


  81. jnyc says:

    On Vito, i still prefer szczesny, but we can work him in slowly. When he takes over, Vito can be kept happy with some occasional work. i think he might be satisfied to be considered #2 for Arsenal.

  82. Adrian says:

    And they have equalizer. It’s clear whos the better side this first 40 mins. Poor from Mannone too.

  83. oz gunner says:

    2-2, the sub klasnicic headers a goal from a berbatov cross. Man one should have done better.

    Who said we were the best team in the world? bloody twit whoever it was!!!

  84. oz gunner says:

    Giroud good chance from a header, couldn’t keep it down though

  85. kelsey says:

    twice in 4 days,2-0 up and now this.Just not good enough

  86. RockyLives says:

    Throwing away two 2-0 leads in a week. Not good.

  87. RockyLives says:

    I was beginning to hope we had put that fragility problem behind us.

  88. jnyc says:

    RASP,great point about our free kicks from half way. ( even sometimes closer than that ) . I think also on corners we need to forget about trying to get it Mertesacker, if it happens great, but we were better with Vermaelen and Kozzer being agressive rather than tall. Merts can still try, but doesnt have to be the target always.

  89. Adrian says:

    MAJOR let off for us at the last minute of the second half. Could easily have been 2-3 to Fulham. Simply poor from the team, the boos around the emirates echoing the same exact sentiment.

  90. oz gunner says:

    Fulham nearly score on the break. Mertz across to save the day.

    To sum it up Rocky. We were dominating and playing some really good football. Once we got 2 goals up we completely switched off and Fulham have been the better team

  91. kelsey says:

    Santi and to an extent walcott not in the game. Our defence looks worse than ever and mannone should have saved the second. About time Bould was questioned as well as AW.
    look at the the so called average teams that we are conceding to.
    This is not top 4 quality,is it ?

  92. Big Raddy says:

    That half summed up our season. Score one against us and their are more to come. It started to go wrong when the defence began to play the ball around the back.

    Koscielny is having an awful game. Losing the ball, making risky passes and twice losing his man.

    Mainnone should have saved the 2nd

    Fairplay to Fulham they responded very well and deserve to be on par

  93. oz gunner says:

    You are right Kelsey, it’s simply not good enough.
    Gone are the days where we would get in front early on and then cruise to victory. Now if we score we take our foot off the pedal alarmingly quickly!

  94. Gooner In Exile says:

    Someone needs to explain what happens to the heads of the players when leading 2-0….Gary Neville always says its the most difficult stage of the game, answer are proving it. 1-0 and you still press on, 2-0 and the opponent presses to get something and if you allow them it changes momentum so when they do get 1 their tails go up. Will text Mum and Dad to see what they’re playing at! I’m not watching game but the stats suggest an even contest.

  95. kelsey says:

    Hopefully we can nick it,but that doesn’t excuse the defence.Just watched the second goal again.horrific to concede that.

  96. oz gunner says:

    Hangeland got lucky, ball bounced off his back and Giroud was ready to pounce but just got it away. 5 mins in not much happening

  97. oz gunner says:

    Great cross from Walcott. What on earth was that by Giroud, free header and he half arsed it and looked like ducked under it!!!

  98. Red Arse says:

    It’s just the same-same.

    Playing it around the back line and to the goalkeeper at a snail’s pace, lose the ball and ……………… urghh.

  99. kelsey says:

    I have been consistant all season about this squad.it lacks quality and Fulham aren’t sitting back or parking the bus.no one fears us anymore I am afraid.

  100. oz gunner says:

    Rocky: Walcott nearly scores a henry-esque goal, couldn’t tuck it into the corner though.

    Coquelin off
    Ramsey on

    Dissapointed for Coquelin, didn’t grab the game like I thought he would

  101. jnyc says:

    To everybody, thanks for the match commentary and play by play. I love following games through you guys. I will catch it on tv later, but this is fun sometimes.

  102. Adrian says:

    No coincidence that all of a sudden most of our attacks are coming from the right when its Walcott and NOT Ramsey that’s playing in the RW spot. Walcott has been lively so far.

  103. RockyLives says:

    I second what jnyc said.

  104. Adrian says:

    The back passes to the keeper this game has been an uncomfortable pattern of our entire season.. We seem to be lacking pace as of late and this back passing is a horror show too. Sort if out Wenger, sluggish movement with little pace compared to the Arsenal of previous years.

  105. oz gunner says:

    no problemo jnyc.

    the sub again almost creating a chance for berba. damn richardson.

    Looked like Sidwell was getting a second yellow, only to see Ramsey booked for an earlier incident. Dowd is a moron. It appeared as though he was going to card him then realised “sh*t he’s already on a yellow, i can’t do that”

  106. oz gunner says:

    agree Adrian, we never ever used to do it, now it’s constant and its so slow. No point in it at all, not quick enough for a switch

  107. oz gunner says:

    walcott chance for break but poor first touch took him away from goal. hangeland dives in to block the shot

  108. oz gunner says:

    Ramsey lucky not to receive a second yellow for tugging back sidwell. One more from either and we could see a red.

  109. kelsey says:

    well we will just have to win the CL 🙂

  110. oz gunner says:

    penalty for fulham

    Arteta gets caught wrong side of ruiz after losing the ball

  111. Adrian says:

    We’re making stupid risky passes and tackles in our half and bam, pentalty to fulham.

  112. evonne says:

    i want to die

  113. Big Raddy says:

    Oh dear Arteta gives away a stupid pen. Berbs scores.

    Complete shambles

  114. oz gunner says:

    Berba scores


    Oz likely to be scolded by Evonne after getting to cocky so early on.
    Oz likely to respond with sexist remark

  115. Adrian says:

    Watching Arsenal play is pissing me off nowadays, sort is out already ffs Wenger. Please don’t let this be the day Fulham finally wins away to Arsenal.

  116. Gooner In Exile says:

    Are we at our lowest point yet?

  117. oz gunner says:

    Giroud off post, ball spills to theo, crosses and header goal by Giroud


  118. evonne says:

    oz, I already told you – you is a compulsive liar

  119. Adrian says:

    Giroud misses a sitter and hits a post only to score the header from the beautifl rebound cross from Walcott.

  120. Big Raddy says:

    Come on Arsenal. The Entertainers 🙂

  121. RockyLives says:

    It’s starting to get hard to believe we can turn this season around.

    It doesn’t sound as if we are losing unluckily – from what I can read we are just not as good as Fulham.

  122. Adrian says:

    That has only got to be th 27th time we lost the ball in our own half.

  123. Big Raddy says:

    Do we have an effing defence?

  124. kelsey says:

    If you didn’t know who was playing you would think this was a second division game.

  125. RockyLives says:

    Now it’s them who have surrendered a lead. Should make a difference psychologically.

  126. oz gunner says:

    All of a sudden we have spring in our step. I predict a giroud hat trick. He is looking very dangerous anytime the ball gets sent into the box.

    We are losing the ball far too easily though, sagna this time.

    Giroud playing like Carroll by dominating headers both offensively and defensively

  127. evonne says:

    why is Theo so greedy? he wasted a few chances

  128. oz gunner says:

    ox ready to come on for podolski. Micky to rub it into his son.

    Santi playing really well.

    @ Evonne

    I never! would i lie to you? just confident

  129. kelsey says:

    I would bring on chamakh for the winner.

  130. Adrian says:

    2 Last ditch tackles from Koscielny saves us from going behind.

  131. oz gunner says:

    Kozzer great double tackle to stop berba from converting a great chance after being put through on goal

  132. oz gunner says:

    it’s what we need Kelsey. Giroud is dominating so why not chuck on another aerial threat. Verm, giroud, mert, kozzer plus chamakh reads for a great set piece threat

    Walcott made a great run, spotted too late though

  133. oz gunner says:

    Giroud showing great strength to fight off two players, sidwell can’t tackle, he sends in a rocket, great save!
    we are pressing

  134. RockyLives says:

    Really appreciating the updates guys (and Evonne 🙂 )

  135. kelsey says:

    This is desperate football. giroud best game so far, Arteta’s worst.

  136. oz gunner says:

    Walcott struggling…cramp perhaps.
    Looks likely he will be taken off for AA

  137. oz gunner says:

    AA for theo 84. limping, either cramp or corky from berba slide a few moments ago. Hopefully nothing serious

    Hospital update: a lot of admissions coming in, people suffering from heart complaints

  138. oz gunner says:

    Sagna great cross, Giroud free header should have hit the target

    4 mins of extra time remain

  139. RockyLives says:

    We need a winner.

    A home draw with Fulham is not goo enough.

  140. oz gunner says:

    Schwarz wasting time, Australian Gunners hate him now!

  141. Terible result even if it stays like this

  142. oz gunner says:

    corner 80 seconds left

  143. oz gunner says:

    Ruiz coughs it up, AA goes to cross it’s a handball!!!!!!!

  144. Adrian says:

    PENALTY TO ARSENAL!! Last kick of the game!

  145. oz gunner says:

    first penalty at emirates in 18months!

    poor decision tbh, but i’m not complaining

  146. oz gunner says:

    arteta’s penalty is saved!!!! Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

    game ends: 3-3

  147. Adrian says:

    AND ITS FKING SAVED. Poor poor attempt.. Wow. Im speechless.

  148. Big Raddy says:

    Bollocks bollocks bollocks.

    Was never a penalty though

  149. So we miss a pen too? FFS we are rubbish

  150. Adrian says:

    That was never a penalty.. It was a bloody gift. And we still couldnt score it. Piss poor game, oh Arsenal..

  151. oz gunner says:

    it was a shocker Adrian, a lot of pressure but he’s experienced enough. His worst game as an Arsenal player

  152. RockyLives says:

    Oh dear.

    Thanks for the updates.

    Last year the visit of the Spuds kick started our season. I don’t feel we’ll be seeing a repeat performance this year.

    Offski til tomorrow.

  153. oz gunner says:

    @ BR

    my worry now is that we won’t get one for another 18months because a lot will be made from that call. Worse if it went in

  154. Big Raddy says:

    Arteta must be really gutted. Cost us 2 points.

    Agree that Chamakh should have played the last 15.

    What an exciting open game

  155. Reddawn says:

    It just about sums Arsenal up! We haven’t got a forward who is brave enough to take a penalty

  156. oz gunner says:

    no worries Rocky, hope it helped.

    I’m off too. Time to hide under the doona

  157. Red Arse says:

    I am taking myself off — anything I say now would not be helpful.

  158. kelsey says:

    Oh dear oh dear oh dear.

    Why did Arteata take the penalty and it wasn’t well placed.He wasn’t playing well all game.

    We didn’t deserve to win and we slide further down the table.
    What the hell is wrong ? No confidence, hardly a decent move in the game, we should have had the points wrapped up iat 2-0.

    Strange Schwarzer didn’t play well, but he saved Fulham a point.

    only Spurs next.

  159. alex cutter says:

    When you have to ask yourself “who’s going to take the penalty?”, your squad’s in trouble.

  160. Adrian says:

    Well that’s it. Poorest start ever in the EPL for Arsenal. Trust me, 4th is gonna be a miracle if this keeps up. Wenger sort it out ffs, you wouldn’t even recognize this Arsenal team compared to the one a few years back. At least back then defense splitting passes and pace never let us down and managed to carry the team even with the leaky defence. Today, the defence has been piss poor and 2 of our goals have came from Fulham mistakes. The amount of back passes to the keeper only for him to chug it upfield back to a Fulham player is just unbelievable. Our passing and pace in the first 70 mins was just poor and slow, we only picked up the tempo in the last 20 mins.

    Disappointing game, a top 4 team nevermind a team competing for the EPL would never throw a 2-0 lead to Fulham and only manage a draw.

  161. Big Raddy says:

    I agree – that was Arteta’s worst game for us but in the first half our defence was terrible.

    What was Coquelin’s role in the team?

    The TV/Kos partnership just doesn’t work. Let us pray Gibbs returns or Monkeyboy will tear us to pieces

    I don’t agree about 4th because Spurs, WBA, Everton are all going to drop points.

  162. kelsey says:

    Berbatov not a bad buy for 4 million

  163. Big Raddy says:

    Giroud had a good game.

  164. jnyc says:

    Champs league for next year is a doubt. That could be the beginning of some bad times for us.

  165. Neamman says:

    Just result but I think there are several pluses from the game. For the first time in many games we looked dangerous, finally we know how to utilize OG.
    Giroud played great, could this be the turning point for him? I have always liked him and two goals in a PL game should do wonders for his confidence.
    Walcott looked lively and hopefully the atack is starting to understand each other
    Arteta had a stinker, maybe he needs a rest
    The defence still needs a lot of work.
    Well done to Fulham, they came to play and deserved their point.

  166. dandan says:

    Most amusing thing about today’s game Tony Gales totally prejudiced comments on the Sky commentary, does he not like the Arsenal in general and Arsene in particular, watch it as the main game tonight and enjoy a vintage poison tongue performance. No wonder he is called gale all that hot air. LOL

  167. kgooner says:

    The result is ok considering we played dangerously after the 68th minute. We were attacking more, creating chances and the game was nothing like the first half. While the rest of the football world might deride us for this, genuine gooners we’ll be glad at our spark of what we’re capable of displayed today(2nd half).

    One/two things though. We need to stop passing the ball back! It could have cost us today and its not the first time they’ve done this.
    Theo needs to be a bit generous with the ball. When the team wins, we all win!!

  168. kgooner says:

    We haven’t slid further down the table. Unless W. Brom win tomorrow against Newcastle. I doubt that. We retain our position at 7th.

  169. Big Raddy says:

    OK. I am over the disappointment and into the what an exciting game mode.

    Yes we should have won but perhaps we should applaud both teams for playing an attacking game in good sporting spirit.
    No nasty tackles and no cynical diving.

    Giroud was our MoM. Once AW finds the right position for Pod we will be stronger offensively

  170. Neamann. Theo is probably off unless I’ve missed some news today 🙂

  171. kelsey says:

    Obviuosly bould and wenger are not yet on the same page

    I still maintain when a player is having such a poor game he shouldn’t take a crucial penalty.i know some will say if he had scored he would have been the hero.Giroud should have taken it,he was buzzing all afternoon.

  172. Gooner In Exile says:

    Kgooner WBA played today and beat Wigan so we did slip.

    As I said this morning we faced Fulham in a similar game last season, immediately after a CL game and we looked tired then and came away with a point, the two results that have actually affected our like for like (same games) total with last season so far are Norwich Away (-3) ManCity A (+1).

    So anyway for those who were there what changed at 2-0 up, and did the team start with some fight about them? And continue that fight?

    If we are as bad as many say we should be happy with a point and we should start at the basics, that being showing some effort.

    I take full responsibility for Artetas miss, at 3-2 down I stopped checking web, then 442 app informed me Giroud equalised and as driving home I switched on 5live to hear award of penalty, but in my gut I never felt he would score. But if I hadn’t have switched on radio and i wouldn’t have known and Arteta wouldn’t have missed….sorry all.

  173. kgooner says:

    @GiE sorry i meant WestHam. We haven’t. Not yet. Where’s the faith?

  174. Gooner In Exile says:

    Johnny or it could be the break we need, we aren’t going to win the CL, part of me wonders whether we shouldn’t field weakened teams in CL to preserve legs for PL anyway.

  175. jnyc says:

    Yes GIE. At the post match press conference, i hope Arsene mentions your fault in this. 😉

  176. Big Raddy says:

    GIE. Tua Colpa.

    Our improved defence has conceded 12 goals in 4 games yet we only lost one game!

  177. Gooner In Exile says:

    Good Good KGooner I must admit I don’t really look at the league table until Christmas.

  178. Big Raddy says:

    GIE. 6.04 With what purpose? So we can get 4th and qualify for the CL again?

  179. Big Raddy says:

    Kelsey. Hindsight.

  180. kelsey says:

    I think i will go and wash my hair Raddy

  181. jnyc says:

    Maybe GIE. Either way, the priority is not to blow top four. That starts the downward spiral financially and in recruiting talent. Also we will spend even less then.

  182. evonne says:

    ok Kelsey you wash your lovely hair, I’ll watch great game with villa and tell you all about it

  183. jnyc says:

    If it were any other manager, i would contemplate a change. that says alot about the performance of the team. Very disappointing.

  184. Adrian says:

    I bet Man utd will come back and win, Ferguson never fails to make them bounce back. Something I wish Wenger is good at.

  185. Adrian says:

    Correction* Yes, we were known to bounce back in a string of games last season, but as much I hate saying it Man Utd under Ferguson are without a doubt THE comeback kings in the EPL. A quality that every team would love to have.

  186. evonne says:

    yes Adrian, they always do, but fingers crossed and they might not this time

  187. Gooner In Exile says:

    We kinda bounced back today Adrian (from 3-2 down).

    Raddy if competing as we have done in CL group stages affects any chance of running at the title then the purpose would be to actually have a run at the title.

  188. evonne says:

    what a goal!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  189. evonne says:

    Adrian – I think Fergie went to the wrong dressing room 🙂

  190. just think, if Chelsea and City fail to win tomorrow, we may only be 8 points behind the leaders!!!!

  191. evonne says:

    slim chance 🙂

  192. kgooner says:

    @slimgingergooner I’d rather totts lose tomorrow. So that when we meet, we win an move above them.

  193. Adrian says:

    Well clearly Hernandez was in that dressing room :p

  194. Hi all

    Had to watch the end of the manu v Villa game as the manks were losing when I got in …….but of course they won 😦 How were they 2 down? What I saw was really good sadly ………

  195. Anyway ……. is anyone eager to write up their comments on our game today for a post tomorrow morning?

  196. Big Raddy says:

    Peaches. On the stream it sounded as though Arsenal were booed off at half time. True??

    And that the fans really got behind the team after we went one down. True?

  197. jnyc says:

    Slim, kgooner. I hate to say it, but it looks like we already need to pull for the top teams to beat the second tier clubs, ( spuds, everton, newcastle ) – i was hoping that wouldnt be the case this year. I wanted to focus on the best teams as i thought we were competing with them. We are competing for fourth already, so early. Its a sobering feeling. — if somehow we turn it around, i will be the first to say i was wrong though! 😉

  198. Dear Santa,

    i can honestly say this is the most frustrating period since i started caring about my beloved Arsenal!

    Everything feels like a chore at the moment, and its supposed to be FUN!

    Please can you sort it out?

  199. Yes Raddy, there was booing at half time.

    The best part of the game was when we went 3-2 down, the crowd lifted the decibels as we willed the team to score.

  200. jnyc,

    i had the same thought earlier so i think you might be right.

  201. According to Stan Collymore the Emirates was a couldron this afternoon 😉 It was pretty couldron like for the last 20 minutes but the first half was dire.

  202. jnyc – I agree with you, I really thought we were going to compete for the title after the way we started but something has gone wrong and it’s not just the injury to Gibbs.

    Poor Podolski, he must hate pulling on the shirt. He gets hemmed in on the wing, he has no pace and no-one goes to help him out.

    Arteta must be needing a rest me-thinks.

  203. I saw the highlights. The first goal was terrible defending and the second mannone looked like he could have done better. Arteta’s assist was good and he looked devastated when he missed the pen. We need couple of players in the window I think. We’re going to struggle for top 4 unless the other teams are as bad as last season. I hope we take the Europa cup seriously next season though.

  204. Big Raddy says:

    GM. Which area of the pitch would you improve?

    Bear in mind we at last look good upfront scoring 13 goals in our last 4 games, have Ox, and JW to return. And Chesney.

    We are happy with Sagna and BFG. Kos is out of form but a very good defender as is our captain. Gibbs is due back.

    So where do we buy?

    And Arshavin showed in 10 mins why we should keep him.

  205. We need a left back. A replacement for Diaby and a striker when Walcott goes. I’m not that sure about TV myself

  206. jnyc says:

    Yes Peaches Even last season, with the terrible start, most of the season seemed to make sense. But the end of the season was a horror show, and we didnt want to admit how lucky we were to qualify for champs league. Is our new squad so poorly conceived? we just seem LOST. we keep finding different ways to fail.

  207. slimgingergooner says:

    I think it’s a typical reaction that when things aren’t going well, we can all name 3 or 4 players who we could replace in the team, but I don’t think it’s the answer.

    Over the last weeks we’ve had cries for a keeper, left back, centre back, defensive midfielder, left winger and striker. I believe the players we are looking for are already at the club. All that’s lacking is confidence and a bit of luck.

    Szscesny was great last season and is young enough to only improve. Get him back from injury and get some games under his belt and the keeper problem goes away.

    At LB Santos was more than adequate last season and was a fan favourite. Gibbs was fantastic before his injury. Just need them both fit n healthy.

    Kozzer was one of our best players last season and Verm is a top class centre half. We were talking about them being the best in the league at the end of last season. Again confidence and fitness are key.

    All was well at DM when Diaby and Arteta were dominating teams early doors. Diaby is our legs and Arteta struggles without him. Get him fit.

    On the LW Podolski was outstanding earlier in the season and has a large chunk of his 100 German caps playing there, so to say he’s not capable is bollocks. Sort it out!

    Up front Giroud has 3 in 2 and was a top scorer last season. He is starting to find his feet.

    The point is that whilst its utterly infuriating watching us at the moment, the answers are already within the squad. Add Walcott, Gervinho, Sagna, Wilshire, Rosicky and Ox who have missed a lot of games recently and we should start improving. We just need a bit of luck, penalties to be scored and some f’ing confidence in the team.

    Rant over!

  208. Gooner In Exile says:

    Premier League Stats:

    Carl Jenkinson P8 GC6
    Bacary Sagna P3 GC5

    Just saying

  209. chas says:

    Great to see Rasp, Peaches and Micky today.
    An exciting game of football, too.
    If only that pen had gone in.

  210. Gooner In Exile says:

    “If only……..” Chas, that should be our new club motto, or even fan motto…

    If only Eduardo hadn’t had his leg amputated at St Andrews

    If only Arshavins onside goal against Sunderland in 10-11 had been allowed.

    If only we had paid 50p more for Schwarzer

    If only we hadn’t time wasted on Mata deal

    If only ……

    I’m sure there are lots more 🙂

    If only we’d kept Bruce Rioch in charge

  211. oz gunner says:

    agreed slim, i don’t think we need much. We have the players, just need the confidence, tactics and right setup.

    I’m sorry though I’ve given up on Gibbs and diaby, they get injured far too often. Diaby was great at the start but he injured himself shooting for goal whilst in the open. now out til xmas.

    If walcott goes we need a proper winger too.

  212. richie says:

    This word press malarkey has a lot to answer for! I shot this off @ 14:21 just before leaving to watch the game it’s the 2nd or 3rd post that the gremlins have swallowed. Luckily I “spelling checked” it on Word hence AutoRecover. What happens to the posts that get swallowed? Where do they go? I know I’m not the only bod that this happens to, has anyone bothered to find out?

    I can see Today’s London derby game being particularly difficult, we aren’t looking either fluid or confident and they’ll be looking to stay at their lofty height in the table. On paper we should win comfortably, Fulham having conceded twice as many as us, but they’ve scored only 2 less than we have, so all things considered we’re pretty evenly matched, but that’s on paper. We just need our class to shine through and hope we create the chances that thus far we haven’t. Well that and hope our forwards take their chances when they come. I’m hoping for a solid 2-0 confidence builder as a spring board for what’s up next.

    Well as can be seen from above clearly that didn’t turn out as I’d hoped! The words “deeply disappointing” spring to mind. Firstly I imagine (like me) everyone shared the euphoria of creating chances and going 2 up. Then came the truly appalling defending. Last season and before many called for Arsene to bring in a defensive coach, the implication being Arsene is only an attack minded coach (this defied all logic and history like Arsene’s “the invincible 49’ers”) but nonetheless. Pat Rice retires and a proud member of our famed old guard baldie Bouldie was appointed assistant to Arsene, and many heralded this as the long awaited change that (like the long awaited messiah) would bring the much prayed for tight defence. And thus it seemed, especially early doors, until the Chav’s veritably mugged us by stealing all 3 points from our house because Kosh twice left the front door wide open. Nevertheless we all “collectively” said we still have the defence that’s conceded the least in the prem.

    For me this begs the question; are we all collectively delusional? Because the defending today was atrocious! If we gave Stevie B brownie points for tightening up our defence surely we must hand out demerits to him for today’s poor defensive showing. Which brings us full circle; Arsene is the manager so he takes the can, but then can someone please tell me what Bouldie is doing? If his remit is to strengthen the defence? On yesterdays showing he’s failing miserably. Slim in his post of a few days back was prepared to lay the blame squarely at Stevie B’s door for our poor offensive showing, stating with good reason that, players constantly reminded of their considerable defensive responsibilities by Bouldie might attack with one eye on defence, stifling their freedom and creativity, therefore playing with the breaks on. Consequently as our attack has been blunt and on today’s showing the defence is vulnerably exposed is our old hero the spanner in our works? I hope not but…….

  213. richie says:

    I’m with Kelsey @5:56 Giroud is a CF on a hat trick why did Arteta take the pen? In the same situation you’d have to fight most CF’s if you wanted to take their spot kick! I know all of this is with the benefit of hindsight but even so? I can only think Arteta was insistant “wanting it” because he gave away a spot kick to them.

  214. Adrian says:

    So you asked who we should buy when we seem to have everyone we need in the squad?

    Let’s see, with the way the board deals with players whose contracts are expiring in less than a year i.e Walcott along with the absolutely appaling Gervinho (Honestly, I think this was one of Wenger’s less successful signing), I think it’a safe to say we need to start looking around for decent wingers. And when I say decent, Taarabt isn’t exactly the first thing that springs to mind as reported recently. Good and skillled wingers win you game as shown all the time by MU and not make shift players playing RW i.e Ramsey. I still think a CF is a good idea too if Walcott decides to leave, tbh I don’t think Giroud is good enough to lead the front line the whole season, he still needs a true out and out goalscorer/poacher to back him up.

    Next up, a replacement for Diaby/Rosicky. I’m sure most of us agree that Diaby is one talented midfielder and its a pity that hes injure again, but noone in their right mind would continue to pin their hopes onto a player who is injured most of the time. Rosicky too is another one who is a great player but is constantly injured and at 31 or is it 32 its definitely time to look for a replacement.

  215. oz gunner says:

    @ Richie

    Arsene said arteta is first on the list to take penalties. Just because you are a striker does not mean you are good at penalties. Experience wise i’d definitely have chosen him

  216. kgooner says:

    I also believe we have a good set of players. Certainly not the best in the league, but collectively good enough to challenge most teams. Slimgingergooner is right. The spirit and perpetual confidence is what is lacking. yesterday, i was livid at the first half and was going to come here later and rant on about how below par the performance was. The last fiery 22mins however, was how i think they should play all the time. If they played like that day in day out, they’d be winning games and once your used to winning games, you never lose no matter how many goals you’ve conceded. Man U are a good example. A long string of wins and comebacks intimidates the opposition.

    I once said that what lacks in the team, both last season and this season is the fine spirit at emirates over Milan 3-0 win. That’s what we need regularly. The big question is, who is at fault for that? maybe start giving bonuses for wins for the team?

  217. Gooner In Exile says:

    Someone said earlier on twitter or maybe here that if you haven’t got a striker you think can take a penalty it shows a weakness in your squad. I think it just shows again how lucky we have been. As I can think of penalty takers at other clubs with good strikers who didn’t give penalties to the striker:

    Exhibit A : Frank Lampard (with Drogba in team)
    Exhibit B : Steve Gerard (with a myriad of strikers in his time)
    Exhibit C : Ray Stewart (with Trevor Brooking in team)

    Richie on this thing that we have collectively said we have the best defence I will point you to my comments to Slims post on Friday, I said that I don’t personally believe we are better, whenever I have said we have the best defence it’s been with tongue firmly in cheek. Too many basic errors have been occurring.

    I also do not believe Bould has been brought in to sort the defence, that’s just lazy journalism, he would not have been given the youth team reins if he was going to produce defence minded players.

  218. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Morning all.
    Great to see Peaches, Rasp, Chas, Ant and JC.
    I owe you a Christmas Hamper with really good things inside. Something nakedto jump out perhaps 🙂

  219. chas says:

    Morning, GIE and Micky.

    You don’t owe me anything.
    I should have given you a Reading v Arsenal C1Cup match programme for Oscar yesterday but thought of it too late.
    The cavalry charge heading in your direction must have been exciting but ultimately disappointing.

    Everyone wanted someone else to take the penalty – someone who scored in essence. I would have gone for Mannone. 🙂

  220. MickyDidIt89 says:

    So much to talk about, but on the penalty (and I’d like to see it again, as we were in line with the goal and hard to see), it appeared well placed to me.
    Yes Arteta was knackered and I was surprised to see OG not step up for his third, but at least MA stepped up to the plate after a poor game.
    My biggest moan, yet again, is for Podolski. He is not a winger. Fulham looked so much more vulnerable against attackers prepared to take them on one on one, like Ox and AA.
    There is something seriously wrong with the motivation and drive of the team during periods of every game.
    As many have pointed out, we have players that are good enough to be doing better, but what sums up our season more than anything for me, was the approach of the team at Old Trafford. All smiles, hand shakes and shirt swapping.
    Oh and the tippy tappy back/sideways pass rather than the quick ball into the middle.

  221. Rasp says:

    Morning Micky, great to see you yesterday, and thanks for providing such an excellent ringside seat. The lunch was super – shame about the game.

  222. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Is there any news of the knock I swear I saw Santi pick up?
    Sadly, I really don’t believe he’ll make the game in Panama, which means available for The Spus game 🙂

  223. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Less onion salad for me next time. I had a repeater on board for the rest of the day 😦

  224. chas says:

    Ringside is the perfect description.
    By the side of the corporate ring. 🙂

    Btw, Assists
    2 for Jersey Joe and 1 for Arteteteteta.

  225. Rasp says:

    I have plenty I want to say about yesterday’s performance, but will save it for the new post. My main problem is that apart from the obvious lack of spirit, our team lacks balance and the players we have brought in although individually talented have not been selected to perform a specific job that the team requires. Taking into account the injuries, we have gaps in our personnel that are being filled by players not best suited to the position. When Theo leaves the problem will become worse.

  226. Rasp says:

    😆 morning chas, Jersey Joe = Theo presumably

  227. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Corporate Ring 🙂

  228. Gooner In Exile says:

    Having just watched highlights and Keown’s piece on our defending, the three goals can be attributed as mistakes by the following.

    Berbatov header – simply Sagna allows himself to be repositioned by Berbatov who gives a good shove in the back, Mannone should claim cross.

    Kalalalalalalnic – Vermaelen too high up pitch on left marking right wide player too tight, leaves space for Berba. Koscielny sees space late and can’t recover. Sagna let’s his man drift off him and head home. Mannone dives backwards

    Penalty – Arteta

    Artetas own penalty was too much precision not power. From memory he took Everton penalties, as well as Giroud was playing I don’t think he should be asked to be relied upon yet.

    A quick word on Giroud, his two headed goals were great but I was also impressed by his movement into space before the second (for his shot that hit the post and then for the header where he shows Theo where to putit).And most impressed by a part of his game I didn’t know existed, he showed flashes of it against Reading. Picking the ball up deep and using strength to hold off players and either being others into the game. The shot he had from outside the box he holds one man off draws three or four towards him as he motors forward and hit an absolute stinger.

  229. chas says:

    Interesting stat

    1 – Headed goals by Giroud in Ligue Un last season (courtesy Orbinho)

  230. MickyDidIt89 says:

    I very rarely get the earlier 6 o’clock train as I did yesterday, but when I do, I sit with this very intelligent, retired bloke, who goes to every home and away game. From Bodmin, Cornwall!!
    Anyhow, he was also at the Shareholders meeting, and although I haven’t seen him for a year or so, boy has his mood changed, and its very hard not to agree with him.
    He’s now firmly in the new manager camp, citing shocking tactics, predictable and ineffective style of football, and club attitude as all wrong.

  231. Rasp says:

    Hi Micky, that’s worrying but mirrors recent conversations I have had with long standing level headed supporters – as you have said it may be the loss of revenue from corporate sources that eventually forces a change. What was a murmuring of discontent has amplified to a collective resignation that a fairly major change is required to re-energise our team.

  232. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Another aspect of OG that wouldn’t get seen on the telly, and I was watching him closely, was his clearly cheesed of body language. The ball would come quickly from the back/midfield out wide, and then all too often the back or sideways pass, by which time the CB’s had filled the gap between OG and the GK.
    It was very obvious to me that OG wants the ball earlier.
    When the ball does come across, it is invariably very poor.
    As I said to Rasp and Peaches as we walked after the game, look how many of his headers require his neck craning backwards to get forward purchase on the ball.
    IMO, he could score so many more goals with with accurate service.

  233. slimgingergooner says:

    A great penalty is one that goes in.

    If Arteta had hit the exact same shot and Swarzer had gone the other way, people would be saying it was a great penalty and Atteta has fantastic mental strength!

    All the praise should be at Schwarzer for saving it, not moaning at Arteta for missing.

  234. Gooner In Exile says:

    Does not surprise me Chas unfortunately most fans of English teams see a big lump and expect him to be good in the air.

    Tevez writes a column for the Sun apparently, into days column he slates Neville (G) and Souness, the Neville criticism is about England duties, Souness is criticised for his opinion that “football is easy”:

    I TRY and avoid watching my old friend Graeme Souness on the TV at the best of times.
    But when I’m unfortunate enough to catch him, I can’t help but laugh.

    He tells us football is an easy game.

    He tells us players like Oscar don’t intentionally score brilliant goals — even though everybody else knew it was wonderful skill against Juventus.

    The question that I would like Graeme to answer is: If football is so easy, why was he so unsuccessful as a manager in England and Portugal?

    Why didn’t he buy players like Deco even though he had the chance in 1997?

    And why does no chairman trust him with their club any more?

    Football is an easy game.

    Especially when you are watching it from his armchair or from the Sky television studio.

  235. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Oh dear, but thanks Chas. Looked better from where I was sitting.
    Still, should have won the game before that.

  236. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Some men grow taches for charity. Then there is Souness. Nuff said. Prick.

  237. chas says:

    Bang on.

    Souness is a pillock

  238. Big Raddy says:

    Morning All.

    This season has seen constant re-calibration of my expectations.

    At the start of the season, I thought we were top 2, after Stoke Top 3. After MC top 2 again. Then Norwich – Top 4, MU – top 6. Now I believe we are in with 3 other teams for top 4 but could finish 7th.

    The good thing about this is that with reduced expectation I can enjoy the games more. When Berbs got his first I was in little doubt that Fulham would score again. When we went behind, I had little doubt we would equalise. When Arteta missed the pen. it was more “oh what a shame” than a stream of abuse and a night playing the Blues.

    Perhaps it’s healthier this way.

  239. slimgingergooner says:

    It’s an interesting PL again this year. Pretty obvious which 3 teams have the squads to be consistent and it looks like its between Arsenal, Spurs and Everton for 4th.

    Whoever can get away with the least injuries at the right times, and whoever can put a decent run together will get it. I still think we have the best squad out of the 3 and are the most capable of putting a string of results together. The longer we leave leave it to start performing though, the more teams could get a sniff and the harder it can become.

  240. Rasp says:

    Take a look at the widgets folks, Walcott top of the goalscorers and top of the assists. I hope our contracts department and our scouts are working overtime to find a player who can fill that void – I recommend Walcott 🙄

  241. chas says:

    I think it was a fairly good pen.
    Not far enough in the corner, admittedly, but on the deck where it’s hard for the keeper to get down to.
    Only trouble was, Schwarzer seemed to know exactly where it was going.

  242. Big Raddy says:

    What a pity Tevez wasn’t around when Souness was playing – wouldn’t be acting Jack the Peanut if he was.

  243. chas says:

    What we need is for all of our players to be in the last year of their contracts. It lifts their performances. 🙂

    Dutch traitor
    Jersey Joe

    A recurring theme

  244. VCC says:

    Richie 2:24……wenger still rules the roost at the training ground.

    As I said some days back, Bould is allowed to put the cones out, it’s still Wengers call. He is the Godfather.

  245. chas says:

    Jack the Peanut always gets me lolling.

  246. Big Raddy says:

    SGG was right. There is only one type of good penalty

  247. chas says:

    Have you got some insider info into training ground activities?
    Spill the beans.

  248. Big Raddy says:

    chas. Great point. How about one year rolling contracts?

  249. slimgingergooner says:


    I lowered my expectations a while ago and it does make the current ‘dip’ much easier to stomach.

    It’s a shame it’s come to this but the fact is we are no longer a title winning side and are operating at a lower level to United, Chelsea and City in all aspects. I still believe we are the best of the rest, espescially over the course of a full season, and I’ve no doubt we will claw back the big boys in the next few years, but it’s going to be a slow 12 months for the Arsenal I think.

  250. Gooner In Exile says:

    Rasp what happens if you take out assists from corners?

  251. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Very true Slim,
    Although I am beginning to doubt whether we are more capabable than the others of putting that winning run together. I think it is almost inevitable that we will suffer worse injuries, as we have too many persistant long termers in this respect. With the likes of Gibbs, Diaby and Rosicky, we will simply heap too much pressure on the others resulting in the inevitable fatigue.

  252. Rasp says:

    doh GiE 🙄 you’d have to ask chas. But I do think Theo takes a good corner, whips them in at pace so for me an assist from a corner is valid.

  253. Big Raddy says:

    Micky. The other teams will have similar problems.

  254. chas says:

    I think Theo’s had two assists from corners. One yesterday and one at Reading.

  255. VCC says:

    Chas….all I will say is I’m being told that Bould and Wenger do not see eye to eye, and yes my source actually said that. Wenger just will not listen/take advice from any one. He has the last say on everything. Its his way or nothing, thats why there is alot of discontent in the ranks.My source can be laughed at or ridiculed but it was brought to my attention at an extremely early stage that RVP was not going to sign and was leaving, even before it leaked out in the press. You can verify that by asking Rasp (if he remembers)

  256. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Sorry Raddy, I don’t agree. The likes of City and Utd have physically much stronger players at the heart of the engine room. The likes of Carrick, Fletcher, DeBong (he’s dutch), and Yaya, Barry and so on.

  257. chas says:

    I wasn’t laughing or ridiculing.
    What I was thinking was who is actually present at training sessions?
    Other coaches i.e. goalkeeping coach.
    The players.
    Who else would be privy to such information? I honestly don’t know.

  258. Gooner In Exile says:

    Two at Reading? (Koz and Giroud?) One yesterday.

    Obviously that was tongue in cheek (where’s the emoticon for that?) but it’s his open play assists that in my opinion should be judged. Because this scoring from corners thing is a forgotten phenomena 😈 At Olympiakos game I asked the guy next to me if he remembered when scoring from corners was expected….he was young and couldn’t

  259. kelsey says:

    Mourning all,

    Wenger’s post match interviews are becoming a bit of a joke.Is this the man who has finally lost it for maybe a series of reasons.

    “When cheekily prompted about whether he had considered signing Fulham’s two-goal hero Dimitar Berbatov when the languid but often brilliant Bulgarian quit Manchester United in August, Wenger replied: “I didn’t know that he was leaving Man United.”

    The season before last berbatov played a cameo role for United and still scored 30+ goals

    He is an intelligent footballer,maybe not a grafter but on his day for 4 million is a complete bargain.

    Many were nervous before the game and i and peaches hoped we would get out of the traps with momentum.Well yet again it didn’t happen and I was actually surprised after the first 15 minutes that we scored twice in a matter of minutes. Fulham to give them credit never tried to park the bus because no team fears us anymore.just look at our recent games against United where the score flattered us,QPR,Readin,Norwich,Shalke twice and now this.

    Watch mannone carefully.Sure he can stop shots but when a cross is about to be delivered he dithers and goes one way then another.

    it is great after 11 games we are hoping the teams around us drop points so we might get fourth.

    We have good players and one can excuse poor performances by one or two but not the other way round when only one or two play well.Theo looked world class at times compared to others.

    I have come to the conclusion if Bould or little Jack horner sat next to Wenger it wouldn’t make the slightest bit of difference.We are so predictable as to the way we play and I honestly don’t think he will ever change.If you isolate Santi or Arteta most of our game plan goes out of the window.

    Theo most probably will leave followed by Sagna and the transition will go on.
    on the positive side we upped our game for twenty minutes when 2-3 down, but is that good enough.
    Now Schwarzer.IMO he looked shaky all game except for the penalty save. i will argue that it was not struck well,it needed to be another foot away from the keepers left side.
    we don’t have a player to score a penalty like berbatov, it was the last kick of the game and somebody (not sure who0 should have blasted it not try and place it.

    Very disapoiting for the fans and I fear that we will drop too many more points before january if in fact we are to strengthen the squad.
    I wondr what kroenke is thinking. Someone said that they walked away from the stadium with dein and he just kept shaking his head in disbelief.
    Nothing will change and this is going to be a hard season for the fans. I wouldn’t even try to suggest what the solution should be.

    Sorry to be harsh but though we have no devine right to win anything a bit more effort and players put in their rightful positions wouldn’t go amiss.

  260. chas says:

    Wasn’t BR talking about our competitors for 4th spot?
    DeBong 🙂 is at Milan.

  261. slimgingergooner says:

    I don’t think the worrying thing is how Chelsea, United and City are pulling away, it’s to be expected with the cash they have, and anyone still moaning about us not challenging is living in 2004!

    The worry is how much closer we are to the other teams who have far less cash than us. However, Fulham are a prime example of a team that’s performing at the top of its capabilities, and we still should’ve beating them whilst playing as crap as we are.

    We have a large scope for improvement compared to every other team, which is probably the only thing keeping many of us sane at the moment. Wether we see that improvement, and for how long, will determine where we finish.

  262. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Blimey Kelsey, what’s wrong?
    You said yesterday you were off to wash your hair. I wasn’t expecting you back until Thursday afternoon at the earliest.

  263. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Oh. Oooops. Well you get my drift.
    What is it with Milan and Dutch players? They must have a big supply of something or other.

  264. VCC says:

    Hi Chas……..sorry I was not pointing at you. The last thing I would do. It was a general statement.

    You are very warm with the last two guesses though.

    If you ask Peaches for my email I will return.

  265. chas says:

    You’re right about Kos, of course. My memories of that game are hazy to say the least.

    Santi was taking the corners before Jersey Joe and he was given only one assist (luckily I thought) for Kos’ goal against Citeh.

    Long may we continue to score goals from corners (eh, Micky?).

    One last little story from Ant about my drunken behaviour at Reading.

    Apparently Tony Adams and Tom Watt who were sitting behind us in the posh seats, left with about 5 minutes to go of the 90 when it was still 4-2 to Reading. Anyway, Ant says that I stood up, waving my head off at them, shouting “Bye, Timmy”. Embarrassing. 🙂

  266. chas says:

    Cheers, I wouldn’t want you to reveal your sauce, though.
    It might be the last snippet you ever received.

  267. slimgingergooner says:


    The only difference between Berbs pen and Artetas was that their keeper guessed the right way and saved it.

  268. Big Raddy says:

    Micky. As chas says.

    SGG. Well said. Would Arsenal have signed a 29 y.o for 24 m? Of course not and until we do we will not compete.

    I believe (and accept it may be false optimism) that Arsenal can still have a good season. Yesterday wasn’t a disaster – it was a really exciting game that turned on the final kick. Had MA scored the atmosphere would be very different

  269. VCC says:

    Chas…….my sauce is HP.

  270. oz gunner says:

    morning all.

    I don’t get the berba thing. We sign him and we are ‘signing has-been rejects from other clubs’, we don’t sign him and it’s Arsene’s fault. What about all the other teams in the league/Europe that didn’t either. Poor bloke, Apocalypse…Arsene, financial crisis…Arsene, Kelsey has a lone mane terry doesn’t…Arsene!!!

  271. chas says:

    Off for a swim and a sauna.

    Today’s games should be interesting.
    Citeh v spuds 3-2
    Barcodes v whammers 3-3
    Chavs v dippers 2-2

  272. MickyDidIt89 says:

    In the very nicest possible way, I think the answer is really simple. As I said a week or so ago, I believe we need a new manager with fresh ideas. The only question is when.
    I really really hate the thought of Arsene ruinning his legacy. I love the bloke, and everything he has done, and would hate to see an undignified end.
    I also don’t think its a decision that should be met with anger, just that things need to move on. To my mind, its not a particularly big deal.

  273. VCC says:

    Chas ………it looked to me that there were plenty of empty seats.

    As you were there, is that correct?

  274. Big Raddy says:

    It is worrying that on a site which is as deeply committed to AW as AA that the majority are questioning his ability to turn the team around.

  275. Adrian says:

    That should be a clear indication of how unsatisfied the fans are with him leading the reins at Arsenal. If this is the year that we do not get that 4th place that Wenger cherishes so dearly, I feel that this should be Wenger’s last season and we should start looking around for replacements. Hint hint, Guardiola is looking for a club around that time and is a very real possibility. While its true that Wenger has done many invaluable things for the club during his tenure, I believe that he simply cannot bring the team forward anymore and a change in management is needed. If this goes on, the club will just continue to spiral downwards making it even harder to bridge the gap between us and the top 3 and it’ll also taint Wenger’s legacy. It is wise that he leaves while the majority still have great respect and fondness for him.

  276. oz gunner says:

    It is BR, that’s what I was thinking. This site has the most reasonable Arsenal fans yet if some are questioning him, I wonder what’s being said on LG

  277. Most of the criticisms being bandied about today are hindsight issues, I must have missed the cacophony of calls for AW to sign Berbatov during the summer. No they weren’t there were they? Why not?

    Because he is at the end of his career, and he has as little workrate as any of our previous annoying starlets. Why do you think Fergie started to drop him?

    And as for this 30+ goals season in a cameo role, i am struggling to find it.

    2008-09 P31 G9
    2009-10 P33 G12
    2010-11 P32 G20
    2011-12 P12 G7

    Thats Premier League

    08-09 P43 G14
    09-10 P43 G12
    10-11 P42 G21
    11-12 P21 G9

    The best season is 2010-11 and that is the season where ?Hernandez came to the forefront of Fergies mind whilst Berbatov was out injured, I remember Berba was topping scoring charts and starting at the start of the season, and ended it on the bench behind Rooney and Hernandez. The facts bear that out of those 32 PL appearances only 8 were as sub.

  278. Also of those 20 PL goals 5 came in the 7-1 mauling of Blackburn Rovers

  279. Morning all

    In case you’re all worried about today’s post let me put your minds at rest, I’ve written it and if we keep putting in performances like yesterday I expect I’ll be writing a few more 😦

  280. kelsey says:

    GIE Ok pont taken, but I found AW’s answer that he didn’t know he was for sale rather strange.He may not have considerd him at all but who knows. Anyway, i am off for the day before i put my foot in it again 🙂

  281. MickyDidIt89 says:

    I don’t see it as worrying. Arsene is 63, and while I know there are older managers out there, his interviews appear to me to reveal a deeply troubled man, who is probably at loggerheads with his board, and he just seems to have lost his enthusiasm, spark and fresh ideas.
    It is quite normal for someone to go a little stale after so many years in the same job.

  282. Haha Kelsey, its not just you i was responding too, I have seen it said on Twitter too.

    Its one of those things that winds me up, gets said enough times and everyone believes it.

    As for his answer it wasn’t the best, but what Wenger’s reply should have been is what I said, “no-one was asking for him at the time, and even if they were I wouldn’t have signed him….why not? Because I already have enough players who’s heads go down and don’t work for each other”

  283. Well done Peaches, I’m sure it was a pleasure to write 😕

    In my defence i wasn’t able to see the game.

    Oz provided a very good running commentary on here though.

  284. Big Raddy says:

    Does anyone imagine that Berbs will be playing as well come Feb? And one could question why Spurs etc didn’t sign him.

    Peaches. Your post matches are very good and you were there.

  285. Big Raddy says:

    Micky. Do not misunderstand me. I agree with you as said a couple of weeks ago.

    I do not agree that AW has lost his mojo. Let us see how his first choice team play because let’s be honest Coquelin contributed nothing yesterday. We looked better with Ramsey who must have been 60% fit.

  286. MickyDidIt89 says:

    I understand you Raddy 🙂

  287. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Off outside to tend to pig issues. Back for the female touch shortly.

  288. New Post …………………….

  289. Stefan says:

    I’m so much more accustomed to failure with AW post-Highbury that I’m not half as upset about poor results as I used to be.

    So thanks I guess are in order, but perhaps it’s time to step aside now so Arsenal can offer something more to fans than that.

  290. Mickeyk says:

    Hello can we please get rid of wenger he’s old fashioned out dated and has not got a clue .please stop buying tickets if you are arsenal we’ve been conned for too long .david moyes and a new owner please. I hope we don’t get top four this year .

  291. Mickeyk says:

    Can all you middle class wankers go back to rugby .youve ruined my club .

  292. Mickeyk says:

    Why did we leave highbury? can someone please remind me.

  293. Mike says:

    I`m sorry to say that Arsene cost us 2 points on Saturday. Starting with Mannone was a disasterous miscalulation. Szczesny would almost certainly have saved the 2nd. goal, yet he was confined to the bench. Mannone is just like Al with knobs on; another keeper glued to his line, and failing to dominate his area. Szcz. is not the finished article and is still capable of the odd error due to inexperience, but he is light years ahead of journeymen like Mannone, who can `chuck one in` at any time. If Mannone starts against Spurs, we will surely lose.

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