Crisis, what crisis?

As I write this Arsenal are driving back home down the motor way with three very valuable points from a tough encounter with a Wigan team fighting for their lives. These points, as I am sure you know, put us in third place and if we stay there at the end of the season we will get an even bigger trophy than we usually do from finishing forth. Not enough to warrant an open top bus driven through the streets of Islington but perhaps a mini bus decked out in red and white with a few beers in the back. Get it where you can I say, lol.

Yes, only two weeks ago people on this site and many others were calling for Wenger’s head but now we have gone three League games unbeaten the faithful can breathe a little easier. Phew.

Have you noticed Wenger’s cunning plan?

We have all heard the stories about the club offering Walcott 75k per week, just as much as we have heard the stories that he wants 100k per week, what irritates me is that some actually believe that if he were offered the 100 he would gratefully sign to Arsenal for a further five years or some such number. To you I say this; no he won’t. With Ballotelli reportedly earning 190k per week Theo’s agents are going to do their best to try and make sure some of that action comes their client’s way. Only if no other oil rich club is interested in Walcott will his agents suggest re-signing to Arsenal.

So what’s Arsene’s cunning plan. Prior to the Reading game, Walcott playing through the middle had reached almost mythical proportions. Thierry Henry was talked about in the same sentence whenever the subject of Theo at number 9 came up. It is so easy to imagine Theo’s agents talking to other clubs in excited tones about how great Theo would be playing down the middle of their club; all it would take is the same wages as Balotelli and Theo is your boy.

Wenger’s cunning plan was to simply pop the balloon. Theo was pretty good against Reading. He was quite good today but 190k a week good he was not. His close control does not put him into what? Oooh choose anyone of the Barcelona front line including those who regularly make the bench. Bringing Walcott’s real talent as a number 9 into sharp focus maybe Wenger’s best shot at keeping him..

Back to the game

According to Arteta in his post match interview, Arsenal were expecting Wigan to come onto us strong and the expectation was correct as come onto us they did. Arteta also made the point that it was easy to see that with that kind of drive and the occasional rub of the green Wigan are capable of inflicting serious damage. All in all I would say that the first half was honours even with Wigan perhaps shading it.

The second half was different; of course, from the restart Arsenal upped the pace with superb runs from the Ox down the right and the rest of the team moving the ball around with far greater urgency.

It wasn’t long before Wigan had been pinned back and a goal looked on its way. It arrived courtesy of a penalty awarded against Walcott, Theo did well to get this it must be said. Up stepped our penalty king to slot home his third in a row, one nil to the Arsenal rung out. This was the signal to Wigan to double their efforts and they almost came straight back with an equaliser. It became clear we had a nail biting twenty minutes in store. Mertersacker stood strong and Szcesney made important saves but Wigan just kept on coming. Time for Arsene to batten down the hatches and batten them down he did, throwing on every defensive player available with the only exception of Steve Bould but I am sure that thought crossed Wenger’s mind.

The end finally arrived followed immediately by a huge sigh of relief. Three points, third place, now that’s my idea of a good Christmas present.

Written by LB

165 Responses to Crisis, what crisis?

  1. Simon says:

    Theo has only played two games as a striker but I don’t think he suits the role, especially when he’s a lone striker. Theo’s strengths mean he’d be better off with balls in behind the defence he can run on to. the way arsenal play means the striker holds up the ball and plays it off to a winger or advanced midfielder. I can understand that Walcott wants to play through the middle but he needs to realise he’d be more effective out wide.

  2. Silenstan says:

    Simon, you mean Walcotts strength, singular. Pace is it. He has nothing else. No where near goodenough. As for our position, i expect the mob are getting carried away. We just played 2 relegation teams and struggled to get on top of them before running out winners. And in both games our ‘defensive’ duties were rudely exposed, better teams would not have lost to us.

  3. goonermichael says:

    Silentstan. i trust you saw the results that city got yesterday and the mancs got at reading.

  4. goonermichael says:

    I agree with you about Walcott though

  5. kelsey says:

    Thanks for the post LB

    My new years resolution is to put my comments up AFTER the new post goes up 🙂

  6. Rasp says:

    Thanks LB, I agree Theo isn’t worth £190k a week to Arsenal (he is probably worth £100k a week to Arsenal for commercial and footballing reasons).

    I think he’s done OK up front in these last two games and it can be argued that he makes more space for the likes of Cazorla than Giroud. With Giroud its all about link up play by holding the ball up. with Walcott it is about how he makes space for others by dragging defenders out of position.

    Who is the better finisher out of Giroud and Walcott? – not much to choose I reckon. Which of the two fits in with Wengerball? – probably Theo.

    Who works harder for the team when its not going well – Giroud.

    Mr Wenger has a problem oin his hands and maybe it should be solved by the players supporting either of our front two options.

  7. Rasp says:

    Pool have just done the deal for Sturridge so it doesn’t look like Theo’s agent is getting his big payday there – that means its left to the 7 or 8 super-rich teams as an option or he may yet sign for Arsenal.

  8. goonermichael says:

    If I had to choose between Giroud and theo I’d have Giroud anyday

  9. hat-trick-hero says:

    It was a tough game in tough conditions. Arsenal done well and deserved the points in the end.

    On Walcott. I think Arsenal could afford to lose Walcot after announcing the good news of the 5 re-signings. He has never done anything to demand the sort of wages he is demanding and then demands to be played through the middle. Now that angers me.

    If he is not careful he will end up like Pennant, Kieran Richardson etc all players who thought they had made it big time before they had actually proved their worth.

  10. goonermichael says:

    Why would any of the super rich teams want him Rasp?

  11. goonermichael says:

    Apart from sitting on the bench

  12. goonermichael says:

    I think he’ll go to a team like Villa

  13. barumgooner says:

    Morning all. I kindof think Theo is a good striker but not on his own. He is not a target man, played alongside Giroud would work and played in a front 3 does work. As we all know agents are trying to turn his head but I hope he does the correct thing and stay with the Arsenal. I think playing Theo there is a far better option to playing Gervinho and the Pod offers far more protection for his full back so he is very valuable down the flank at the moment. I think the truth is AW has the choice of Theo or Chamakh when Giroud is unavailable and its a no-brainer rather than a master-plan.
    The master-plan to keep him must surely be the signings of the young stars this week, if this doesnt convince him to stay then nothing will.

  14. Sheep Hagger says:

    Will Theo be Sturridge replacement at chelski.?
    Bookies reckon he is.

  15. Rasp says:

    Hi GM, I think you’re wrong 😉 , some of the big clubs will be interested in Theo.

  16. barumgooner says:

    Rasp, I think you are right, the big clubs will be interested but will he play on a regular basis ? I’m not too sure. At Chelsea I think he will be outshone by some very talented young players, at Mancity he will be an impact sub and at Utd he will be in the same role as he is here but under a far stricter and disciplined regime which will demand more from him as a team player. This could either make or break him.

  17. Rasp says:

    I agree barum, he probably will spend a lot of time on the bench at one of the big clubs.

  18. Adrian says:

    Mantd seems to be on the cards too, and I have a feeling if he goes there we”ll be seeing the best of Theo – sir Alex always manages this.

    You’re right about Theo being more suited to Wengerball compared to Giroud though.

    Goonermichael i’d like to know why you’d choose Giroud over Theo anyday though.

  19. FcArsenal says:

    “Wenger’s cunning plan was to simply pop the balloon”

    I think your interpretation is wrong. What Wenger is doing is saying “I have given you everything you want, now sign”

    What is more likely is that Wenger is shifting the blame to the board and saying “I have given Theo what he wants now you give him the salary ”

    This way nobody at Arsenal can say Webger and Theo didn’t see eye to eye.

  20. Rasp says:

    Hi hat-tri-hero, statistically Theo is our best player – top scorer and top of assists. In reality he is not our best player of course but where we you expecting those goals and assists to come from if Theo leaves?

  21. goonermichael says:

    The very rich clubs can buy players like , Aguerro, Suarez, Falcao etc Theo is nowhere near that league. I’d coose Giroud because he’s not used to the prem yet, theo has been playing in it for ages he’s good but not great.

    “sir” alex doesn’t always get it right. and if he goes there he’ll be a striker?

  22. goonermichael says:

    Cazorla beats theo in goals and assists in the league.

  23. goonermichael says:

    We’re out of the CC so that doesn’t matter anymore

  24. Rasp says:

    gm, I think the way Theo dragged defenders out of position was key in his hattrick at Reading. I know Cazorla is a better player but he can alsoi become anonymous in games. All I am saying is that an existing squad member is going to have to step up to fill Theo’s boots, or we need to try to buy a player to chipo in with goals and asists or we will be a side furhter weakened by selling/losing its better players.

  25. Gooner In Exile says:

    Good report LB, thanks, I agree with much of what you say, that game yesterday is the type we have been known to (and still do on occasion) throw away in the past.

    But we stood firm, the defence rolled up its sleeves and saw out the Wigan attack.

    As for Theo I’m in agreement I have yet to see anything that suggests he is centre forward material. That’s not to say he can’t do a job their on occasion or that he is not of any value to the club, but is he worth a big wage increase? I’m not so sure.

  26. goonermichael says:

    If we let him go (or he goes anyway) and we don’t replace him then heads should roll. I think he’ll be here til the summer

  27. goonermichael says:

    I have to motivate myself to go shopping and I’ve got man flu. God knows what she’s got she won’t get out of bed

  28. Rasp says:

    I agree gm, I think he’ll go on a free in the summer.

    What maybe we should ask is: what should the club do when an important player refuses to sign a new contract when there is 2 years left to go … my answer would be to sell him (try to sell him) and make as much money as we can. Letting the contract roll on whilst his value diminishes in the hope that he may change his mind is naive. It appears we have done the right thing with the 5 signings last week, only time will tell if those players earn their wages but it was certainly the right risk to take.

  29. goonermichael says:

    I think we have that situation with Sagna rasp.

  30. Reddawn says:

    goonermichael….I think your wife has got peace and quite, that’s why she won’t get out of bed!

  31. barumgooner says:

    Cazorla scored a hat-trick because he was making runs into the area. The whole team played further forward. His shooting from distance is at times woeful so I think he needs to push on past the forwards a bit more often. I agree that he does go missing at times and should imo be subbed more often once TR is available.

  32. Rasp says:

    Yes we do gm, we should sell Sagna and buy another RB

  33. Reddawn says:


  34. adi says:

    in arsenal context. Do you guys seriously think he is worth 100. Our best players. Santi, arteta, jack, podolski, sagna, per . Are far better than theo. He will surely get 100-190 at chelsea, city, but will not play main striker. He will be lucky to get on the bench. His agents are misleading him ,and ruining his career. He should trust Wegner to work on his technique

  35. Gooner In Exile says:

    Rasp if that was a player who was 26 with 2 years left then yes I think sell and he will want to go (time running out).

    Now take Theo, a year to go and he is 23, so 22 with 2 years to go, he knows he has a decent wage, and knows (as do his agents) that unless a club like City or Chelsea were prepared to pay £20m plus match his “on a free” wages he doesn’t have to be sold or accept being sold to the highest bidder.

    And lets assume we actually just did that with Alex Song? Didn’t exactly meet with glowing praise from the support.

  36. Rasp says:

    Hi adi, Theo may not be worth £100k a week ( although we do not know his value in terms of shirt sales/sposnsorship etc), but you have to ask how much we would need to pay to bring in a player who can chip in with his goals and assists …. and then that player would have to integrate into the side and start producing the goods.

  37. Rasp says:

    Hi GiE, I appreciate what you are saying. I think we supporters (and the club?) have learnt the harsh reality that if a player doesn’t want to sign he should be sold. I don’t think Sagna’s head is in the right place. He was skinned continually yesterday and allowed crosses that the Sagna of old would have snuffed out. When he does do something good he then seems to slow down as if to say ‘I’ve done my bit’. He’s a great player and I want to keep him, but if he’s focusing on a big payday elsewhere then sell him.

    The problem is in the notion that a player may not want to be sold with a view to seeing out a contract and receiving a bigger pay day. This is the point at which the club has to get tough. If the player desn’t sign and refuses to move to another club who has made an acceptable offer, I’m all for the ‘let them rot in the reserves’ treatment since they are damaging the club.

  38. barumgooner says:

    I think Theo and his advisors know that he is in a very strong position more from the past players leaving than from his own actual worth. The media have made a big deal of Arsenals brightest stars leaving year after year and Theo staying will for the club signify a massive boost, undoubtably the agents are using this as a way to hike his demands above what he as a player probably merits. I think he is replacable as a player but maybe not as a unique marketing tool. A sign perhaps that AW and the club have put an end to the exodus.

  39. barumgooner says:

    As for Sagna. I think he has been a good servant for the club through difficult times and has been both loyal and respectful. Obviously with his recent history of injuries he is a risk but loyalty works both ways and it would be a nice gesture to offer him a relatively good deal in order for him to stay, afterall we have enough free-loaders picking up a good wage for nothing, at least Sagna would be decent back-up for Jenks.

  40. SharkeySuresGhost says:

    Quality write up LB.

    That ‘pop the balloon’ theory is a very interesting angle on the situation. I thought it was a little bit of appeasement, but can definitely see how it might actually benefit Arsenal in the way that you suggest.

    I almost struggle to watch Theo lately, as I’m stuggling badly with the problem of confirmational bias where he is concerned…or am I..??

    I really did watch him consistently fail to trap a ball cleanly yesterday didnt I.

    Worst of all around the 81st minute a corner is cleared and Figueroa is waiting for the ball to drop outside the area. Theo seems to make a real point of NOT closing him down…and almost runs past him. Its not like Fig isn’t known for shooting from distance is it…??

    I also agree that Theo/his agents are absolutely milking the ‘Arsenal losing stars’ situation and its really turning my stomach considering how limited Walcott is.

    I need to stop talking about him now…me being this negative is not healthy for me.

  41. SharkeySuresGhost says:

    Agreed Barum. Sagna has been a real warrrior for us, and his injuries have been suffered fighting for OUR cause, unlike BSR who often got injured wearing Orange in Sept/Oct, then took no further part in our our season.

    I fear Sagna is ready for a change anyway. I’ll wish him well, and transfer my loyal support to the Corporal

  42. goonermichael says:

  43. chas says:

    A fine summation, LB.
    Great result yesterday and a functional performance in shocking weather conditions.

    I thought Theo should have scored from the Ox’s cut back but he seemed to stumble just before. A little while after, his stepping over the ball when in the clear for a shot was laughable. He clearly enjoyed not having to track back as centre forward. Having said that he’s always a threat and that threat helps to open up the opposition.

    I’ve seen lots of reports that suggest we were ultra poor in the first half and much better in the second. I thought we were pretty dodgy after the goal but maybe that was because I was panicking because we then had a lead to protect. 🙂

  44. chas says:

    Do you really think Santi’s long distance shooting is woeful?
    I think he’s our best chance of a goal from outside the box by a country mile.

  45. barumgooner says:

    Chas, not always but his ratio cant be very good from distance I should think. Dont get me wrong he is a great player and I really like him but he just seems to keep trying these long shots and I cant remember that many bothering the keeper.

  46. barumgooner says:

    My point was more about our midfielders getting beyond the forwards and into the box which doesn’t seem to happen enough tbh.

  47. SharkeySuresGhost says:

    He nearly broke the crossbar at Bradford…smashed home agood one at West Ham..??

    I’m often willing him to shoot more

  48. SharkeySuresGhost says:

    Fair point BG,,,he certainly got past the forwards at the MadStad. Funnily enough it was what ‘Super’ Gary Neville highlighted as our problem in the pre match

  49. SharkeySuresGhost says:

    Nathan Dyer…quality footballer !! Awareness, touch tricks, quite two footed, works his bollox off

  50. Adrian says:

    Now if only Gervinho was more like him.

  51. LB says:

    Thanks for the kind words guys. I have just got back from shopping, was unnecessarily panicked about getting a turkey, absolutely no need, Waitrose and M&S have loads of them.

  52. Gooner In Exile says:

    Or Theo?

  53. Gooner In Exile says:

    The suggestion that Cazorlas shooting from distance is woeful is I’m afraid more evidence of a highlight driven generation.

    If you only see the distance goals from Gerard and Lampard I would guess they would be considered to be good shooters, but I’m pretty sure both are pretty woeful in terms of goals compared to shots from distance. I’m sure we could compare to many other “good” long distance shooters.

    Fact is if you don’t buy a ticket you don’t win the lottery. And anyway the fans always want our team to “shooooooooooooooot”, rather than walk the ball in.

  54. Gooner In Exile says:

    Chas says:

    “He clearly enjoyed not having to track back as centre forward. ”

    Spot on!

  55. Adrian says:

    Goonermichael you’ve said yourself that Giroud hasn’t gotten used to the prem yet, so why’d you still pick him “anyday over Theo” when its obvious that a player who’s more experienced in the PL could offer more to the team? You make it sound like Giroud is lightyears ahead better than Theo. Yes, Theo is not ‘great’ yet but surely even you have noticed that he has improved considerably over the past 2 years. Giroud is a good player too and I really admire his work rate especially when games start to get tough but I wouldn’t pick him ‘anyday’ over Theo. I feel too that we tend to hoof the ball up the field whenever we can when Giroud is playing (not his fault) and we don’t tend to play very well with this style when most of the players have been cultured to play Wengerball.

    By the way, like it or not it’s well known that Alex Ferguson (since you don’t seem to like me putting a ‘sir’ in front of it) manages to get the best out of even the most average players time after time. For many seasons Man Utd doesn’t look like champion material on paper, yet you just have to look at the trophies they’ve won so far to see that that is true.

  56. Adrian says:

    I wouldn’t mind Theo being more like Dyer too. But I mentioned Gervinho beause he’s probably the closest player in our squad that resembles Dyer’s playing style with all his dribbling (and stature too).

  57. kelsey says:

    anyone watch the sunday supplement.? i didn’t but i heard that the journo’s were discussing the fact that Arsenal players have told them that there is a problem with the training, too many poor players have been signed, players are played out of position, the formation is wrong and substitutions are wrong , and done at the wrong time in the game.. is this true ?

  58. Chamahks sisher says:

    Adrian Baconface won trophies thanks to refs.stop being Scrotuam without neighbours.

  59. chas says:

    Who’s Adrian Baconface?
    Scrotuam without neighbours sounds painful.

  60. Adrian says:

    What the hell is a scrotuam without neighbours? It’s one thing if you don’t agree with others, don’t you think name calling is a bit juvenile?

  61. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Really top post LB,
    Still don’t quite understand why you’re Peaches’ favourite though 🙂

  62. MickyDidIt89 says:

    I think I’ve probably said enough about Theo along the lines of a 23 yr old replacement with 11 goals in half a season will cost £25m to replace and that is worrying.
    Given the dross who never play that are on small fortunes, then I think its nuts we didn’t flog him in the summer, and invest.

  63. MickyDidIt89 says:

    It was Kelsey’s comment that killed the chat, not mine 🙂

  64. barumgooner says:

    GIE, sadly im far too old to be part of that generation you speak of. I agree that I much prefer to see players shoot rather than the tippy-tappy of the Cesc era….I would just be happier if he hit the target a bit more. Again i’m not disputing his ability and maybe “woeful” was a bit harsh but it is a part of his game that could be improved. imo !

  65. chas says:

    The format of sunday supplement appears to be journos talking bollix so I’d imagine that it’s probably true that they did the same today.

    Here’s a link if you want to find out what that bollix specifically was. 🙂,20494,19913,00.html

  66. MickyDidIt89 says:

    I’ve just read that Huntelaar has signed a new Schalke contract.
    Very good news if you ask me.

  67. goonermichael says:

    I meant if I could only have one of Giroud or Walcott I’d take Giroud, Giroud will improve i don’t think Theo is ever going to be great.I also said that the drunken scot doesn,t always get it right. Veron springs to mind

  68. goonermichael says:

    How much did Michu cost?

  69. Rasp says:

    Here here Micky, Huntelaar is not the player we need. I don’t think AW was considering him any way – just press talk.

  70. goonermichael says:

    why don’t the chavs sing anti abramovitch songs? He hires and fires the managers. I suppose they’d shit themselves if he left

  71. MickyDidIt89 says:

    No idea at all.

  72. Rasp says:

    £2m gm, a bargain, but they don’t all turn out that way. Had you heard of him before he started scoring in the Prem?

    However it does look like some other clubs have caught up with us (surpassed us?) with their scouting networks.

  73. goonermichael says:

    I imagine all the talk of us being after him helped his agents get a good deal. just like the mancs and chavs wanting Walcott. does anyone know any mancss or chavs who would want to have him. I don’t mix with chavs. But the few mancs I know think he’s rubbish

  74. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Oh I see where you’re coming from GM.
    Picking on one cheap success story is, well…picky 🙂

  75. goonermichael says:

    I know they don’t all turn out that way rasp and he is an extreme example. i don’t think a replacement will cost £25m though.

  76. MickyDidIt89 says:

    I do think that if Theo doesn’t leave in jan, it will be because no good offers come in for him from what he’d consider big enough clubs.

  77. chas says:


    Aside from the scorcher versus West Ham and the bar shatterer against Bradford, it was a Santi blockbuster that won the corner against Citeh from which Kos scored.

  78. MickyDidIt89 says:

    A question.
    Theo stays. You get to buy one top player. Which position?

  79. chas says:

    I think Abramovich is bigger than the club.
    If he pulls the plug, they’re back to Ken Bates. 🙂

  80. goonermichael says:

    If only chas

  81. goonermichael says:


  82. goonermichael says:

    Chavs are killing Villa

  83. MickyDidIt89 says:

    I think I’d agree, although part of me says DM.
    Losing Arteta terrifies me, and I also think Arteta could play in some games with the new man, as he could push upfield a little and give Santi some much needed help.
    Then there’s the left wing slot.

  84. chas says:

    Ha, great question.
    Falcao is the player who impresses me every time I see him, so I’d say striker.
    I do think we need backup for Arteta but I can’t think of anyone who I really like in that position.

    Currently we are 3rd in goalscoring (quickly becoming 4th as villa are capitulating) and 4th in lowest goals conceded ( behind Citeh, chavs and orcs!)

  85. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Off to join you watching a bit of Chavs Villa

  86. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Nov 2012 – Sport | Football | Edinson Cavani ‘agrees to talks’ with Arsenal and Liverpool, says Napoli star’s agent – Football gossip, transfer news, live
    He’s good

  87. neamman says:

    Giroud offers more than Theo althouigh I think Theo is very good, but Giroud offers an aeriel threat. What please s me is Ox’s recent form. Even if he isnt scoring he is always a threat. I see Huntleaar has resigned with Schalke.. we need another striker and a big name player in any position.. someone whose signing .. like Reyes.. will get the fans and players excited.
    I just hope like Liverpool we get it done early, not january 31st.

  88. chas says:

    I’m not sure if we need any new players.

    What we need to do is ensure
    that there is no problem with the training,
    that we don’t sign too many poor players,
    that we don’t play players out of position,
    that the formation is never wrong,
    that substitutions aren’t wrong,
    and that the substitutions are not done at the wrong time in the game.

    Then we’d be sorted. 🙂

  89. MickyDidIt89 says:

    This is our man. Here are his 33 goals from last season. Yes, 33!!!

  90. MickyDidIt89 says:

    All those things may be true, but with Cavani, who cares? ROLF

  91. goonermichael says:

    You could be a football journo chas

  92. chas says:

    I’ve seen Cavani play really poorly for Napoli.

  93. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Cvaaaaaaani whooooooaaaaa

  94. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Are you having a giggle?
    Then again, I do remember Maradona having an iffy game for Napoli against Madrid.

  95. chas says:

    Haha, gm.
    I freely admit I talk bollocks.
    I don’t look like a pig who’s had his snout in the trough for too long.
    I don’t wear alice bands.
    I couldn’t pretend that one dick with a black binbag was a mass protest.
    I could never refer to other journos as winters, scotty and matty-poops.
    So I might struggle.

  96. neamman says:

    Steve McMannaman made a good point yesterday. Someone tweeted at half time we need another Vieira.. he said how many players of his are there in the prem? He felt teams didnt play that style of player because there are so few of them. Of course if Arsenal could find one they should..but they are so few and far between its best to forget about that role.

  97. chas says:

    I’ve seen him very disinterested and poncing about like a prima donna.
    Can you imagine what he’d be like if he had Robert Huth up his arse ( so to speak)?

  98. goonermichael says:

    He might like that chas

  99. chas says:

    Typical Uruguayan.

  100. goonermichael says:

    7 and I don’t think they are finished

  101. goonermichael says:

    They do like it up em Mr Manwaring

  102. MickyDidIt89 says:

    ROLF Chas
    BUT….. I’m not sure I care too much if he does his nails during the short moments between scoring goals.

  103. goonermichael says:

    He’d probably have gels they last for ages

  104. goonermichael says:

    Or silk wraps

  105. goonermichael says:


  106. goonermichael says:

    Great save by Guzman to keep Villa in the match

  107. goonermichael says:

    8 All over now. That’s calmed the chavs nerves

  108. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Happily GM, I haven’t the foggiest what you’re on about.
    Must go.

  109. goonermichael says:

    See you later Micky

  110. goonermichael says:

    Can’t say I’ve ever liked Villa

  111. chas says:

    Did you two realise it was ten years ago yesterday since Strummer passed away?

  112. goonermichael says:

    It was all over twitter chas

  113. goonermichael says:

    doesn’t seem like 10 years

  114. chas says:

    Sorry, gm.
    I didn’t go on twitter yesterday. I should have realised.
    Micky might not have known, I suppose.

  115. chas says:

    Off for some food.

  116. goonermichael says:

    See you later chas

  117. Gooner In Exile says:

    Backup for Arteta? I’d say Coquelin fits the bill, as long as he gets support from his centre backs, and by support I mean helping him identify the threat by talking.

    The best thing about BFG imo is that he has brought some much needed organisational skills to those around him, dead balls especially, but I think he could do more in open play.

    One thing I are from Santi is when he goes to shut down a player he points to the channel that he is not shutting off expecting a second pressed to cut that option only to turn round and see no one is there. His awareness with the ball also makes him a good reader of the game without the ball, Jack has recently pressed higher too but they need others (Arteta, Pod, Ox) to help too, I think sometimes the wide men mark the man too much when they could shut the space, which our opponents do well.

    Clearly they could be doing this because the full back is telling them to mark the man, but I would like to see a more defined approach, think we are sometimes too passive defensively dropping back to a set 4-5 bank when we could be more proactive getting the ball back higher.

  118. SharkeySuresGhost says:

    BBC Gossip this morning:
    “Aston Villa captain Ron Vlaar, 27, has been told he faces a battle to regain his starting spot in defence after the form of young trio Chris Herd, Ciaran Clark and Nathan Baker since his absence due to a calf injury.”

    Oh yeah he’ll struggle to get back into that watertight defence !!

  119. SharkeySuresGhost says:

    Great save by Guzman to keep Villa in the match



  120. SharkeySuresGhost says:

    That was GM’s 5.47 !!

  121. SharkeySuresGhost says:

    GiE…two great shouts re the maturity and organisational acumen of both Mert and Cazorla

  122. kelsey says:

    Police in South Wales are seeking help to trace a weapon used in an attempted murder. It’s described as a flourescent, spherical object filled with air. If you have any information phone 999 and ask for Detective Taggart.

  123. VCC says:


    Last year Evonne replaced all the windows in her house with those expensive, double-pane, energy-efficient kind.

    Today, She got a call from the contractor who installed them. He complained that the work had been completed a year ago and She still hadn’t paid for them.

    Her reply was =

    Helloooo,………… just because I’m blonde doesn’t mean that I am automatically stupid. So, I told him just what his fast-talking sales guy told me last year… that these windows would pay for themselves in a year. Hellooooo? It’s been a year, so they’re paid for, I told him. There was only silence at the other end of the line, so I finally hung up. He never called back. I bet he felt like an idiot.

  124. MickyDidIt89 says:

    You say Coq is good enough to stand in for Arteta as long as he gets help. Imagine Jack being injured/rested at the same time and we have a mid two of Ramsey and Coq.
    That is not only a real possibility, but a mid table set up at very best.
    One good DM and they can all rotate.
    Ramsey could then be out on loan for a season or two.

  125. VCC says:

    Kelsey, this is a sad story.

    A son asked his mother the following question:

    ‘Mom, why are wedding dresses white?’ The mother looks at her son and replies:

    ‘Son, this shows all the friends and relatives that the bride is pure.’

    The son thanks his Mom and turns to double-check this with his father who was watching football on TV.

    ‘Dad, why are wedding dresses white?’

    The father looks at his son in surprise and says:

    ‘Son, all household appliances come in white.’

    The funeral is on Saturday. 😉

  126. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Right, I’ve had a surge of Christmas spirit, so no more moaning from me until after the festivities.
    Only positive thoughts, and people have just arrived, so nite from me.

  127. Gooner In Exile says:

    “MickyDidIt89 says:
    December 23, 2012 at 8:46 pm
    You say Coq is good enough to stand in for Arteta as long as he gets help. Imagine Jack being injured/rested at the same time and we have a mid two of Ramsey and Coq.
    That is not only a real possibility, but a mid table set up at very best.
    One good DM and they can all rotate.”

    And people criticise a big squad! 😀

  128. RockyLives says:

    Nice Post LB
    I don’t agree that that is AW’s motivation but I enjoyed the read 🙂

  129. evonne says:

    I didn’t read all of the comments, but cannot see GM enjoying the failed murder attempt on R$P….it was very close indeed

  130. Gooner In Exile says:

    AW: ‘Suddenly, there are a lot of good things to talk about. But let’s not go overboard.’

  131. RockyLives says:

    Oooh – interesting comment. What context?

  132. chas says:

    Another win on the road…

    ARSENAL have won 16 points away from home this season, but are 12th in the home form table.

    1 Man Utd…..10…7….1….2….22
    2 Arsenal……10…4….4….2….16
    3 Man City……8…4….4….0….16

    11 Liverpool..10…4….3….3….15
    12 Arsenal……8…4….2….2….14

    This is slightly misleading because of the difference in number of games played home and away.

    One of the potential rearranged dates for the WHam fixture would not have been possible if we’d had the 2nd leg of the Mickey Mouse cup semi to contend with.

    (p.s. does anyone else’s cursor have an annoying lag on it with the snow?)

  133. VCC says:

    Morning Chas…my cursor is fine! I bet your getting excited about Christmas, that’s why your up at 04:30. 🙂

  134. Gooner In Exile says:

    Rocky I think it was just a comment in the press conference post match about the form and position, I think there was a little bit of irony in there. I’ll try and find question to see if there was anymore to it.

  135. chas says:

    What’s your excuse, mate?

  136. VCC says:

    chas….I agree on the yellow card. A terrible decision. I wonder whether Wenger will appeal?

  137. VCC says:

    Too much on my mind at the moment.

  138. Gooner In Exile says:

    Poor old Chas VCC, we thought he was a layabout but he has been working all hours in December. Clearly Chas is an Elf or Santa, I’m going with the Elf.

  139. chas says:

    Layabout was right, GIE. 🙂

  140. VCC says:

    Yes GiE, layabout was the correct one. 🙂

  141. chas says:

    I’m moonlighting for Old Nick.

  142. chas says:

    When’s the sproglet due?

  143. MickyDidIt89 says:

    What the……..are you lot all doing up?

  144. MickyDidIt89 says:

    No moaning from me today, but to answer your response about me having a go at squad size, I say I’d happily reduce it considerably in lots of 2 for 1 deals 🙂

  145. Gooner In Exile says:

    Chas, yesterday.

  146. Gooner In Exile says:

    That is, it was due yesterday, unlike its father it seems it doesn’t do premature arrivals 🙂

  147. MickyDidIt89 says:

    I thought The Exilette was due about today.
    I guess if its a bloke, you’ll hear the roar.

  148. Gooner In Exile says:

    Micky in answer to your 5:40, I’m up because my Dog woke me up chewing on something he shouldn’t be.

  149. Gooner In Exile says:

    Actually I was fast asleep Mrs Exile woke me to tell me to sort him out, I am now awake she has gone back to sleep.

  150. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Bloody hell. You’re on stand by.
    I don’t know about these things, but are there signs as to how late the baby could be?

  151. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Never got back to you on the Toon ticket (which has probably gone by now), but I forgot to talk to Oscar. Problem is, he passed his Grade 5 Piano last week and therefore I owe him a treat. Normally, that is Arsenal, but he’s Umming over the cash option as he’s desperately saving up for a new gaming sterring wheel!

  152. Gooner In Exile says:

    Micky, the baby is allowed to overcook for 2 weeks before the medics step in and for the benefit of all concerned bring the event to its natural conclusion with a little bit of pharmaceutical encouragement.

    I think Mrs Exile is rather keen for an arrival soon given that the medics keep saying the “bumps all baby” which basically mean its gonna be a big baby!

  153. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Most sensible thing would be to get the presents opened now, scoff the grub, and down the Port while the goings good 🙂
    Crack on and you could get it all done before she surfaces.

  154. Gooner in Exile says:

    Micky all sounds perfectly sensible except the port, i am on drinking ban just in case i have to do the hospital dash.

  155. chas says:

    Morning, Boys.
    Had another couple of hours kip.
    It’s in the afternoons I always struggle getting to sleep.

    I had a look on twitter for clues and saw a comment about no Boxing Day football for the next 20 years, so I guessed the arrival was imminent.

    No probs.
    Ticket hasn’t gone. Everybody likes a pair.
    Oscar deserves a treat. I wish I’d had music lessons when I was a kid.

  156. MickyDidIt89 says:

    I used to miss many starts to CL games as I had to drive him to his hour long music lesson at 7pm on weds. That’s all changed now thankfully.
    So, spare a thought for the pushy Dad.

  157. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Everybody likes a pair 🙂

  158. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Hopefully Chas is now beavering away finding us a suiaible clip to support his pair theory.

  159. MickyDidIt89 says:

    He He

  160. Morning all

    You boys!!!!!!!!!!

    Anyway, I haven’t had a chance to procure a post for today so if anyone wants to writes one they should go ahead otherwise we’ll just leave this one up for people to chat on ……. yes????

  161. Gooner In Exile says:

    Maybe just a picture of AW saying I told you so may spark some debate 🙂

    Or “Come all ye faithful”.

  162. Rasp says:

    OK guys/gals, with the absence of any other offering, I have quickly cobbled together a short post to act as a starting point for today’s discussion 😛

    …… New post ….

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