1 nil to the football team …..

Some thoughts on the game (some of which I have wantonly culled from comments I posted earlier this morning):

1. Arsenal looked laboured at times, but they held their concentration facing a Stoke side that did virtually nothing with the ball but which held its shape without the ball extremely well. We were too often forced to cross the ball, which only plays into Stoke’s hands, even with Giroud up front and despite the fact that Walcott put in a few very good crosses. It was certainly not a pretty spectacle, but that had everything to do with our opponents. I’m just pleased our players and fans didn’t panic, and stayed focused and patient. The substitutions were made at the perfect time, and being able to introduce a fresh Cazorla and Podolski with 25 minutes to go worked very well. It was good to see some genuine squad rotation, with Cazorla and Podolski starting from the bench.


2. How the linesman even thought there was a possibility of an offside (whether for Theo or the deflection, if it had come off one of our players) is beyond me, it was clearly not offside. Well done to Chris Foy for putting him right. As for the complaints to the officials, both sides were doing it, so Pulis’s whinge about us being out of order is just one more example of his hypocrisy.

3. Begovic would be an excellent signing as a second choice keeper if we did try and rescue him from his purgatory in the summer. And with Butland joining Stoke then, one of Sorenson and Begovic will surely move.

4. Did anyone notice that Shotton (the new Delap) has a special piece of material fitted in his shirt to substitute for the towel he gets to use at throw-ins at the Britannia?

5. You remember that “Same old Arsenal, always cheating” we routinely get treated to by the enlightened souls of clubs like Stoke? It’s funny, when Matthew Etherington (a player I happen to quite like) dived to the floor right in front of the Stoke fans, to earn Stoke one of their very few attacking opportunities, the Stoke fans didn’t complain. And I don’t seem to hear much from Pulis when his rugged, muscular, it’s-a-man’s-game players dive to the ground in the mode of Filippo Inzaghi. Funny, that………

6. The Stoke time-wasting was ridiculous, starting in the 15th minute. Chris Foy’s laid back approach to refereeing is good in many ways, but there are times when you have to get a grip on cynical behaviour like that. A couple of early yellow cards, for example when right in front of the ref, Huth threw the ball away after fouling Wilshere, and the time-wasting would have ended there. And of course, once Stoke were a goal down, they suddenly started doing everything much more quickly. It was funny to see Ryan Shawcross complain in the 91st minute about the speed we were taking a free-kick. Well Sweet Little Ryan, if you hadn’t wasted so much time in the remainder of the game, you might have been able to get more attacks in when you were chasing the game.

7. As the pundit on Arsenal TV said (was it Stephen Hughes?), Stoke deserved nothing from the game and they got nothing. Playing ten men behind the ball the whole game is pathetic from any team, a real admission of weakness, but from a side that has spent tens of millions of pounds and has qualified for European football, it is even more ridiculous. Of course, it’s up to the opponent to deal with it and break it down, which Arsenal did – 1-0 was a pretty measly scoreline given that we carved open numerous good chances yesterday: as well as the goal, Ox, Kos, Giroud and Cazorla all had excellent chances to score. 3-0 would have been about right.

8. Any right thinking person of course hates Stoke and detests Pulis. So it was enjoyable to read that he’s been whining about unfair treatment, and tried to play the “we’re so poor, we can’t expect to win these games” card. It’s been a source of a lot of frustration for me that the journos lap this stuff up, saying in effect that it’s fine for Stoke to play the style they do, even when it verges on the violent, because they’re a poor, itsy bitsy club. The trouble with that theory is that Pulis has spent vast amounts of money. Stoke are about 6th in the list of spenders over the past five or six seasons, yet are allowed to say they are David to our Goliath. It was therefore good to see on newsnow that someone had done some sums and concluded that Pulis has spent £120m more than Wenger. Not a level playfield? On your bike, you prat, you’ve had an incredibly soft ride and, given the resources available compared with the likes of Swansea, Everton and West Brom, Stoke should be doing much better than they are.

9. In recent weeks, the prices sometimes charged for away fans at Arsenal have become a subject of controversy. Here’s a thought: perhaps the prices should be linked to a creativity index, so that the more creative or engaging the opponent, the cheaper the tickets for their fans. So Stoke would still be able to play their desperate version of the game, but their fans would be financially punished for it, while Swansea’s fans would be able to attend for about £3.50. I’m going to start writing to Ivan Gazidis now.

Some rough and ready ratings:

Szczesny: 7 – For staying awake.

Sagna: 6 – Did nothing wrong but didn’t show a lot when going forward either.

Mertesacker: 6 – Did fine.

Koscielny: 7 – Battled well, including pressing in midfield areas, and had a good effort on goal.

Monreal: 7 – It’s impossible to judge from one game but first impressions are good, especially given that he was playing against a side about as far from Spanish football as one can imagine. He was energetic, good with his passing, judicious about his overlapping runs and always seemed to track back. Of course, yesterday was hardly the most testing of attacking opponents, and we’ll have to see how Monreal goes in the coming weeks, but other than one terrible long-range shot he did well.

Arteta: 8 – Great to see him back, he makes such a difference. His tidy passing from deep in midfield is excellent.

Diaby: 6 – Was OK in the first half but tired early in the second.

Wilshere: 8 – Very sharp, often looked dangerous, his thinking was always ahead of his opponent. And lovely to see tomorrow’s England man tell yesterday’s England man, Michael Owen, where to go after the set-to with Arteta.

Walcott: 7 – Pretty dangerous at times, and managed to get behind the defence a few times. But then he was facing the weakest player Stoke have, Andy Wilkinson, so it would have been disappointing if he’d been completely played out of the game. Walcott clearly felt he wasn’t given enough protection by the referee – I’m not sure about that, we’ve seen worse, and it was a Wilkinson foul on Walcott that earned the free kick from which we scored.

Oxlade-Chamberlain: 6 – Had some good moments, especially when he had a shot saved well by Begovic, but overall didn’t manage to make too many inroads on Stoke.

Giroud: 6 – As ever, worked hard, but he didn’t have the same impact in terms of lay-offs etc as he has done. Also made a poor choice to chest the ball for someone else when he had a clear chance to have a header on goal from close range.

Cazorla: 8 – Lifted the pace of the game at the perfect moment and found lots of awkward pockets of space. Should have scored when through on goal.

Podolski: 7 – Typically teutonic energy from Poldi. Got the goal of course, albeit via Cameron’s boot.

Ramsey: N/a

Written by 26may89


114 Responses to 1 nil to the football team …..

  1. Melvyn says:

    All the pundits that defend the ‘Stoke Brand of Football’,
    should be reminded that if the Premier League was only made up of Stoke City type teams, it would cease to excist very quickly.

  2. Red Arse says:

    Good effort, 26, well done. 🙂

    I am always euphoric after a winning game, regardless of how the win was achieved, if I am being honest. It helps to level out the sense of disappointment when we lose, I guess.

    Even so, in the calm light of the following day, a sense of honest introspective analysis nags away at the ‘cons’ as well as the ‘pros’ of overall game.

    First off, well done team, it was a well deserved result, and even if the goal came from a huge and fortuitous deflecetion, any other result would have been a travesty.

    So to the ‘cons’.

    We almost immediately, after the start of the game, reverted to the same metronomic, stultifyingly, slow cross field or backward passing that is the complete antithesis of Wengerball.


    You remember — fast, zippy passing while retaining possession, with the ball holder having many options to pass the ball because other team mates were making themselves available to receive the ball in space.

    We saw Wengerball only in flashes, particularly during the second half, but for the most part, what we were treated to was the usual default play of turgid passing, with anyone ahead of the back four remaining unmoving, rooted to the spot, hence forcing the sideways/backwards passing that is so unsatisfactory.

    Against a 10 man defence, this slowness of thought and movement played into the hands of the Orcs, because pace, and quick passing, involving everyone moving like a choreographed school of ballet dancers is the only weapon to be used against the anti-football teams like Stoke.

    That said — a win is 3 points!! 🙂

  3. GunnerN5 says:


    Well done for stepping up to the plate and writing a post game summary. I’ve never written one myself as I tend to over rationalize and end up not being able to write down some of the hard truths.

    Yesterday was a very difficult game with Pulis lining up his ponderously putrid potters in two banks of five in front of their goal and defying Arsenal to find a way through – without getting tripped up.

    I tend to agree with RA in that we needed to be a lot quicker in our movements – but the problem with that approach is that if we give the ball away our forward momentum makes it far more difficult to recover and defend a breakaway.

    Monreal was extremely confident in his play and his positioning was superb, for his first game in our colours he deserves a lot of plaudits, we have seen him against a 10 man defence now he has to experience a PL all out offence.

    The team deserve a lot of credit as in they showed an inordinate
    amount of patience and for once the bounce/deflection went our way – goodness only knows what would have been written today if the bounce and the scoreline had gone their way.

    Sometimes it is all in the bounce and some of our fans need to understand that fact and be far less fickle.

  4. Rasp says:

    Excellent points 26m, they really are an unsavoury bunch of thugs who perfectly mirror the presona of their manager. kelsey mentioned the headbutt by Shawcross on Arteta earlier that went unnoticed. Pulis’ “we deserved to get something out of the game” in the post match interview was priceless. The man has no class.

    One problem I can see is that the CB pairing of The BFG and kozzer looks like it is the strongestr option – but how can we drop our captain?

    I agree with GN5, Nacho’s positional play was excellent, gone were the gaping holes in our defence that have been a feature recently.

  5. GunnerN5 says:


    Do you plan on using the 2nd or 3rd widgets on my spreadsheet?

  6. Rasp says:

    Hi GN5, sorry I haven’t responded bfore. I’ll get down to it this evening. I think I’ll probably leave my widget the way it is and add your stuff as a separate widget otherwise it becomes very confusing to the eye – what do you think?

  7. GunnerN5 says:


    No problem.

    The 2nd tab is the same as yours with the prior season added,
    the 3rd tab adds additional stats[ – so if it were my choice I’d just add the 3rd tab.

  8. GunnerN5 says:

    Very quiet this morning — a bit creepy.

    Super Bowl today, is it aired in the UK?

  9. Ant says:

    Bliss. Spectrum free!

  10. Podolski, Giroud and Santi’s goals and assists tally seems very good to me for a first season in the prem.

    Great post BTW. stoke are disgusting. shawcross is an England player and people wonder why England are shite

  11. As I wrote here, a new defensive midfielder should have been a priority and it has been reported that Wenger failed with a late move for Etienne Capoue, who may still arrive in the summer.

    But for now, Arsenal are only four points behind Spurs and eight behind a Chelsea team with more wobble than a jelly weeble. Monreal is a sensible signing that shows careful planning to strengthen the squad, and there is every chance the Gunners’ difficult season thus far will be rewarded with a 16th Champions League campaign in a row.

    And of course, their most important player at the moment finally signed da ting. He’s like a new signing…

    Praise from F365!

  12. Rasp says:

    Ant …. we finally gave up and went to Spec Savers

  13. GunnerN5 says:


    Does that mean we are now free of “crumpets”

  14. Rasp says:

    😆 probably not GN5, it was just an opportunity for a bad joke, there’s always a chance “crum pest” will join us again in the future

  15. GunnerN5 says:

    Gee that’s too bad as I’m fed up with eating them, It’s all I can do to avoid throwing up

  16. Red Arse says:


    The Super Bowl is on over here starting with the build up at 10:30 p.m. UK time.
    KO 12 midnight usually – just as well that I do not have to be anywhere in the morning! 🙂

    Incidentally, I read today that while it is 5% cheaper to live in the US as compared to the UK, it is 11% dearer to live in Canada as compared the UK. How strange.

    On the other hand, I do not know how Big Raddy manages to surive, as it is 29% dearer in Denmark, compared to the UK.

    [Source report:- The Sunday Times]

  17. Red Arse says:

    GN5 and Rasper, 😀

  18. GoonerB says:

    Great report 26May at short notice. It does seem quiet today. Just back from the hospital but thought I would be well down the list of posters.

    I haven’t even seen match of the day yet, but I hope that they showed the whole Pulis whinge. I could do with a good laugh. I will happily take any win against Stoke. They seem to be a bogey team for us in terms of not finding ways to easily break them down. We rarely thump them even when we have dominated.

    Picking up on GM @1.26 i too heard the Capoue rumour. I remember when we were first linked with M’Villa that many people in the know were saying that Capoue is the one to look at now. He sounds like that powerful but also quick midfielder I have wanted us to look at.

    I suppose many fans will criticise AW for not having a second option if we couldn’t get Capoue. Firstly I feel that if AW went for him but his club weren’t willing to sell him, then I don’t see that as being Arsene’s fault. Secondly AW may feel that he is the only available player that we could possibly get that is good enough for us, and that if he couldn’t get him then he wouldn’t just panic buy an inferior substitute, but would prefer to wait unttil the summer to get the player he really feels will make the long-term difference to the quality of this squad. Maybe this is why he didn’t go for Diame.

  19. GoonerB says:

    Good day to you Redders. Never mind Denmark, with my wife being from Norway my frequent visits there often require a re-mortgage.

    The Norweigians actually go to both Denmark and Sweden when they can just to stock up on goods that are cheaper there. I was there for all of Christmas and new year and was in a pub for both the Newcastle and Southampton games. Each 440ml pint of beer was 69 Krones, which is roughly £7.20 I believe at todays rate. I could suffer it for the Newcastle game after banging in 7 goals but my bar bill from the Southampton game left a bitter taste.

  20. Red Arse says:

    Hello GoonerB Good, 🙂

    There are so many rumours and counter-rumours about who we were or were not in for in January it is not worth worrying about.

    I do agree with you, that I would rather wait until the summer rather than buy an inferior alternative choice — but I do not believe a mythical DM ‘beast’ is high on AW’s list of priorities.

    In one paper [Sun?] it is said Villa wants to come to us in the summer, and Wenger is prepared to wait, as HE was the one that got away on the last day. (sounds like bollix to me).

    In yet another paper, it is said, AW told him/Barca it was a one time deal, and that Villa had to join us now, or never darken our doorstep e’er more! (also sounds like bollix – as if Arsene would tell some spotty arsed journo!)

    What will be, will be — as Doris Day so admirably sang — or “Que Sera, Sera” as rasp is always singing!! 😀

  21. Red Arse says:

    Popov has been given a red card for Albion and has to pop off!

    Lucky Spuds!

    All these footballers are always spitting on my carpet!! 🙂

  22. I used to be a big fan of American football. Every super bowl I watched (and I watched a few) were more boring than golf or cricket.

  23. Red Arse says:

    Gooner B,

    Having had more than my share of hospital visits over the last couple of years, I hope you were only visiting.
    [altho if it is a family member or close friend you were visiting you may not agree with that – but I think you will understand what I mean!]

  24. Red Arse says:

    Fie on you! — goonermichael!! 😀

  25. slime says:


    As a 49’ers fan I will be glued to the action from 10.30pm onwards. Looking forward to a great game. Who do you want to win?

  26. GunnerN5 says:


    I find it very hard to believe that it’s 11% more expensive to live in Canada vs England.

    Here are some price examples.

    A litre of Gasolone costs $1.19
    The average home in Toronto is $478,739.00

    The current rate of exchange is $1.00 = 1.566 sterling.

  27. GunnerN5 says:


    I will be watching the Super Bowl at my son’s home in his home theatre (102″screen) with about 20 of his friends and in laws.

    The kick off is at 6:30 pm our time (- 5 hours UK)

    GM, when it’s in a party atmosphere it’s always a good time, I’ve seen 5 games live – all business perks.

  28. Red Arse says:


    I am a Yankees man, so I am not too worried about the result, but I would imagine the 49ers should win.

    Slim, Quite interested in your new guy Kaepernick, and how he goes — that boy can fly.

    GN5 that is the best way to watch the big game — sounds brilliant — me? I will be watching on my own! 😦

    Never mind — really looking forward to it.

    Don’t know where the cost of living info comes from — just happened to see it in the ST — and leaving aside the UK aspect, I thought it was odd they were talking about a net swing of 16% betwixt the US and Canada.

    I also happened to watch a TV documentary, last night, examining the US ‘War Game’ plans to attack Canada in the 1930’s to ‘get’ the British Empire. It was eventually shelved with the approach of the Nazi threat, and the British sea power threat.

    But only put into the ‘pending’ tray, against future contingencies, so the cost of living might yet be only a moot point! 😛

    Extraordinary nonsense!! Politicians the world over are crazeeeee!!

  29. RockyLives says:

    Well done for pulling together a report 26.

    Micky said earlier that it was always a bit of a drama trying to find a volunteer for the report.

    My suggestion (long ago) that Peaches and Rasp should ask for volunteers a month in advance for all the fixtures that month appeared to fall on deaf ears – but it might make life easier for them both!

    As for the game – we did well and it’s hard for anyone to break down a team that’s completely dedicated to putting everyone behind the ball.

    I thought our best players were Theo, BFG and Arteta, which puts me slightly out of kilter with your ratings.

    I’m sure Redders will agree with me about BFG being a contender for MoTM 🙂

    Having moved from London (UK) to Toronto a couple of years ago, I find Toronto more expensive, apart from petrol!

  30. LB says:

    “Prices linked to a creativity index” Genius.

    It is always a treat to read your posts 26, thank you.

  31. RockyLives says:

    Jammy Spuds
    Bit of an iffy red card for the West Brom player. He did spit, but whether he spat AT the Spud is pretty questionable.

  32. Red Arse says:

    Rocky, you are a naughty tease — altho’ with zilch attacks from the Orcs, BFG did look gooood!! 😀

    Actually, Per did prove he can jump, when put under the cosh by Crouch – that’s fair!!

    You just be careful, Rocky, or I will personally invade your bit of Canada. 😀

  33. LB says:

    Prices more expensive in Toronto than in London UK……….that is a scary thought.

  34. RockyLives says:

    That threat is bordering on erotic 🙂

  35. GoonerB says:

    RA, I would love to tell you that my hospital visit was for a chemical castration of my pheremones, due to the problems I have being mobbed by attractive young females whenever I set foot out the front door but…….

    No sod it lets go with that explanation.

  36. RockyLives says:

    I think that’s the case anyway, although I’m not sure what the going rate is for huskies, maple syrup and plaid shirts right now in London 🙂

  37. LB says:

    So if the US is 5% cheaper than the UK and Canada is 11% higher than the UK is it correct to say that the US is 16% cheaper than Canada. If so the only thing holding the Canadian economy up must be the Natural Resources.

  38. LB says:

    Husky prices have gone through the roof.

  39. Rasp says:

    Tomorrow’s headline:

    Popov, goboff causes spud spit spat

  40. RockyLives says:

    LB 🙂

  41. GunnerN5 says:


    The 2012 rankings for the most expensive to live in ranked London at 25th and Toronto at 61st – a huge gap.

  42. Red Arse says:

    ‘Normally’ – when you see these ‘most expensive’ places they tend to be by city, so on that basis; For an American expat (similar for UK expat??)

    1. Tokyo, Japan

    Tokyo is the most expensive place to live in the world for expatriates and is one of three Japanese cities to make the top 10 list this year.

    Monthly Rent, Luxury 2 Bedroom: $4,848
    Cup of Coffee: $8.29
    One Gallon of Gasoline: $7.34
    Daily International Newspaper: $6.38
    Fast-Food Meal: $8.29

    2. Luanda, Angola

    The most costly expense in Luanda is renting property.

    Monthly Rent, Luxury 2 Bedroom: $6,500
    Cup of Coffee: $3.90
    One Gallon of Gasoline: $2.38
    Daily International Newspaper: $5.46
    Fast-Food Meal: $19.94*

    3. Osaka, Japan

    Monthly Rent, Luxury 2 Bedroom: $3,062
    Cup of Coffee: $7.02
    One Gallon of Gasoline: $6.85
    Daily International Newspaper: $6.38
    Fast-Food Meal: $8.29

    4. Moscow, Russia

    Monthly Rent, Luxury 2 Bedroom: $4,200
    Cup of Coffee: $8.37
    One Gallon of Gasoline: $3.67
    Daily International Newspaper: $9.78
    Fast-Food Meal: $6.70

    5. Geneva, Switzerland

    Monthly Rent, Luxury 2 Bedroom: $4,818
    Cup of Coffee: $6.57
    One Gallon of Gasoline: $7.46
    Daily International Newspaper: $4.38
    Fast-Food Meal: $12.59

    6. Zurich, Switzerland (Tied)

    Monthly Rent, Luxury 2 Bedroom: $3,614
    Cup of Coffee: $6.02
    One of Gallon Gasoline: $7.38
    Daily International Newspaper: $4.38
    Fast-Food Meal: $12.59

    6. Singapore (Tied)

    Monthly Rent, Luxury 2 Bedroom: $3,588
    Cup of Coffee: $5.18
    One Gallon of Gasoline: $6.55
    Daily International Newspaper: $3.59
    Fast-Food Meal: $5.66

    8. N’ Djamena, Chad

    Monthly Rent, Luxury 2 Bedroom: N/A
    Cup of Coffee: $3.32
    One Gallon of Gasoline: $6.55
    Daily International Newspaper: $6.85
    Fast-Food Meal: $25.18

    9. Hong Kong

    Monthly Rent, Luxury 2 Bedroom: $7,092
    Cup of Coffee: $6.83
    One Gallon of Gasoline: $8.36
    Daily International Newspaper: $3.61
    Fast-Food Meal: $3.54

    10. Nagoya, Japan

    Monthly Rent, Luxury 2 Bedroom: $2,551
    Cup of Coffee: $6.38
    One Gallon of Gasoline: $6.70
    Daily International Newspaper: $6.38
    Fast-Food Meal: $8.42

    London has dropped right out of the equation! Exchange rate has dropped from $2 to £1, in 2009; now $1.57 to £1.

  43. Red Arse says:

    Right – offski.

    Have to work out which of my tutus I should wear for this here invasion of Toronto, Canada.

    It will not be green – yeuk — I absolutely refuse to be confused with that harlot, Miss Piggy!! 😀

  44. Big Raddy says:

    26. Thanks for the post.

    Yes, it is expensive here and made worse by vat at 25% and basic rate tax of 38%.

    Strangely enough, Danes are said to be the happiest nation in the world!

    Good game .. MC/Scouse

  45. jnyc says:

    Im just back from a much deserved vacatio. I tried not to follow too much, did not want to be upset. anybody wanna sumnarize quickly the last two weeks of arsenal?

  46. Mobile Mallard says:

    Good stuff, 26.
    Stoke serve up such dire entertainment they should be penalised somehow. The stats actually showed them having more possession but I don’t think they should count the time the ball is in the air. Shawcross played the same ball with a golfers wedge about 20 times in the first half. Tedious in the extreme.

  47. Big Raddy says:

    Jnyc. Like the rest of the season. Inconsistent. Some brilliance, some stupidity, some terrible first halves followed by ver good second halfs. Awful defending, potent attacking. Theo signs and is playing like he is worth his new wages.


    Brilliant goal by Aguerro – that is what £40+m buys

  48. jnyc says:

    Thanks Raddy. There is nobody id rather get my info from than you and the guys here. I know we suffer and enjoy in the same way. I did catch a bit yesterday on latino tv. Saw this stranger on the pitch! Monreal- weird because i dont remember rumours about him. But thats arsenes way. kind of enjoyed his movement from the little i saw. Annoying goal by that diver spud simian today. 🙂

  49. 26may1989 says:

    Evening all. Thanks for nice comments, and the understanding about the post being on the rough and ready side. I’m sure Rock’s views on the Mert were right – I was watching the recording off the back of three hours’ uncomfortable sleep on a plane – that’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it.

    As for Mert and Kos being our most solid CB nearing, perhaps. Several of us have been saying for a while that dropping Vermaelen has to be an option, regardless of the fact he’s captain. That said, his form has stabilised to some degree – he’s not been perfect but he’s not been as bad as he was.

    @Mobile Mallard: I remember checking some stats a while ago that showed that more PL teams had Stoke as their lowest home attendance than any other club, including the relegation fodder teams. Fans voting with their feet, tells you all you need to know about Stoke’s worth to English football.

  50. 26may1989 says:

    “diver spud simian” – like it! 🙂

  51. 26may1989 says:

    Wow, Nigeria beat Ivory Coast, that is a shock. And as a result Gervinho will be heading home sooner than expected.

  52. jnyc says:

    Thanks 26 🙂 . Good report. One question- has jack gotten a minutes rest yet ? Still worried about his being overplayed/ overworked.

  53. Sheep Hagger ™ says:

    Eng v Wales on tonight in the darts World Cup semi final we got no chance England have Phil Taylor.
    Any one watching the Super Bowl tonight come on the 69ers .
    Much love

  54. GunnerN5 says:


    I’m a big fan of darts, I’ve been watching the games on the internet. Lewis is playing rubbish he and Taylor nearly lost to the Japanese team Taylor salvaged the match by taking out a 160 and a 156.

    I both played for over 50 years and also managed a youth team for 25 years.

    My son shot his first perfect game when he was 13 years old it was a game of 301 straight in doulble out – he shot 180, 60, 11 bullseye., at the time it went into the Guiness Book of Records but was later beaten by a younger player.

  55. Sheep Hagger ™ says:

    It’s on tv now G5 .
    Watching it as there is nothing else on I can watch most sports apart from
    Show jumping

  56. Big Raddy says:

    Superbowl for me. I am a SF fan. Have been since Jerry Rice.

  57. Sheep Hagger ™ says:

    I will watch Super Bowl but every year I fall asleep 💤.
    My fav team are the ny jets don’t ask y .

  58. 26may1989 says:

    @jnyc: Your word is my command….

    Since his return from injury in October, Little Jack has played 1,780 minutes. In October and November, he was treated carefully, being rested (once involuntarily after he was sent off in his second game back, vs Man U) and was usually substituted. But since December, he’s been worked harder. He, along with most first teamers, was rested for the trip to Olimpiacos, and he also started on the bench once and has been subbed a couple of times. But in most games, he’s played the full 90 (or 120 in the case of our fated trip to Bradford).

  59. Sheep Hagger ™ says:

    I watched a good Espn film about a man mad quarter back who was over trained by his dad.
    His dad was a x quarter back and he trained his son from an early age.
    In the end the son played for la raiders but he was a cocaine addict and lost it all.
    Can’t remember his surname it was something like Maldacivoc like a polish name .
    Any way it was a good documentary
    Can any one name the quarter back.

  60. kelsey says:

    Thanks for the post 26thMay and I appreciate it was short notice, but I don’t entirely agree with the ratings.
    It’s often harder to play against a totally non football side and with a bit of luck and of course the inevitable performance of the season by the Away keeper it may well have been 2 or 3 -0.
    The game definitely suited merteascker and I feel one needs to be selective when playing him.
    Walcott,giroud and podolski an to an extent Cazorla all offer a spread of scoring and the Ox won’t be far behind and though slightly fortynate with the goal we deserved to win if only for the sake of football.

    Just finished watchig the City v liverpool game and the pundits are saying that was liverpool’s best performance against the soon to be dethroned champions,but it gives me hope that we were arguably better over 90 minutes against Liverpool than City.
    It’s getting Diaby hopefully back to full firtness which is a big ask but he could make a huge difference to the players who particularly in defence have lost their way recently, though he needs to concentrate on defence duties as do the wing backs but that means Wenger changing his style.
    Overall I thought we played quite well and the rotation worked.
    I am concerned for Wilshere as he is really getting chopped to pieces in every game and will need to be rested and hopefully a fully fit Rosicky would be an admirable replacement.
    Just look at the team we put out and think how many were automtic regulars 2 or 3 seasons ago.
    it will take time and at least two more acquisitions in the Summer to really comete even if CL football is beyond us this season.

  61. Sheep Hagger ™ says:

    Found his name the quarter back any of u heard of this guy.
    Todd Marinovich

  62. LB says:

    Has Wilshere been rested yet?

    Good question, to which the answer is NO.

    Wenger will play him every minute of every game that he is fit. The reason for this is that he is Arsenal’s most important asset and as such has more power than most. The fear is that an unhappy Jack on the bench might start thinking that the grass is greener at other grounds. The club cannot afford this to happen hence his name being the first on the team sheet every game. (20 year olds are happy when they are playing, think Cesc to see how the club’s mind works)

    The problem with this is that it is costing us.

    Look at Saturday against Stoke. The Orcs play two banks of four and hope to score from a set piece. So naturally we have to find a way past the two banks.

    Wilshere to Diaby out to Sagna who crosses and we lose possession.

    Diaby to Wilshere out to Sagna who crosses and we lose possession.

    Walcott to Diaby to Arteta to Wilshere to Diaby to Sagna who crosses and we lose possession.

    So many people blame Sagna for this where the real problem is that we cannot find a way to quick pass our way through the middle of the Stoke two banks of four and so the team cop out and send it to Sagna who gets the blame.

    Who is at fault? Who was playing just behind Giroud? Wilhere, and he was completely ineffectual in his role.

    Did you notice the difference when Cazorla came on and Wilshere was sent further back…….well, the difference was immediate? We were quicker, sharper and far more likely to score.

    Here’s an idea, how about going back to when we were then most dangerous earlier in the season against Man City and Liverpool away with Arteta, Cazorla and Diaby?

    I ain’t going to happen because of the power that Wilshere has at the club and this frustrates the hell out of me.

  63. Merseforever says:


    Great stats, cheers for that. Wasn’t a great match to watch but I loved it. I’ve been critical of the team on the few times I’ve posted on here but I was very happy with that performance. We dished it out a bit as well. Nacho looked like a good signing and while we lacked a bit of creativity in front of goal with all the side to side passing, let’s not forget that Begovic had another (annoyingly) outstanding game against us.

    I hope I’m not alone in feeling very happy that Pulis was unhappy about the way our players behaved and felt bitter. The more unhappy and bitter that odious little berk feels, the happier I am 🙂

    On Jack. I love the boy, embodies everything I want an Arsenal player to be. Plays with heart and with skill. Hate to sound all little Englander, but I love the fact that an English lad is the heart and soul of the Arsenal again. Has fantastic close control, can stroke great passes and has a good shot (which I think he needs to do more). Of course I think he can improve (in the final third mostly) but he’s a kid! He will hopefully have as long and succesful career as big Tone, hopefully jack can be Mr Arsenal version 2.

    This is why I’m concerned about Wenger playing him so much. He’s fantastic, but like I said, I would rather keep him a little more cushioned till the end of the season so his body is more used to the bumps and bruises of the league, before using him more fully next season. I’ve said it before, but I think Arsene overplaying him in his breakout season was the reason for his injury (I wonder what other bloggers thoughts on this interpretation are?), and we are going to have major fixture congestion over the next month. Ideally we want super Jack to play all of those games but I’m of the opinion that it will be too much. Ignore the fact that it’s only been a couple of months since his return but his style of play means he takes a lot of knocks. In fact that’s the thing I want him to improve (although improve is probably not the right word) the most, ie shielding/protecting himself better. But I’m equally aware that by doing that, he would lose some of the bite that makes him so special. Bit of a catch 22. What are the people on here’s thoughts on how much he’s been playing and should be playing over the remainder of the season.

    Lastly another question completely unrelated is, does anyone know why the relationship between Tone and the club is a bit strained. I love the guy. I know my username is Merseforever, but TA will forever be my favourite Arsenal player. I would love him to be involved with the club in some capacity and I hate the fact that he seems ostracised from it. If I’m honest I think Tony (along with Wright and me( is one of those people who thought the club died a little (or rather changed from the Arsenal we loved) when we left the old girl. (I’m learning to get over it and start living in the world of modern football, but it’s taking me a long time…) Thoughts? Would be interested to hear what people think of Adams on here, and why the club’s relationship with some ex-players is a bit tense to say the least!

  64. LB says:

    Tony Adams tells people that he was offered the role that Steve Bould has now. I am certain that TA tells this story; but, as it suits his agenda I have my doubts over its verity.

  65. LB says:

    In one of TA’s books he apologises to his former team mates for accepting low pay raises the result being that this allowed the club to use him as an example and a reason why others shouldn’t expect more.

  66. LB says:

    Hi Merse

    “Of course I think he (Wilshere) can improve (in the final third mostly) but he’s a kid!”

    Exactly, he is learning on the job and it is costing us.

  67. dandan says:

    Afraid TA is like a lot of reformed people a zealot, he seems to see all things in black and white and is firmly in the GG school of management, nearer I am sorry to say to Pullis than Wenger’s philosophy . This in my opinion puts him outside the rational that drives today’s AFC and :I accept this will sound strange coming from an old un like me: ,makes him a bit of a dynasour Indeed, I suspect he sleeps with his arm in the air.
    Mr Arsenal he may have been but that changed with the demise of Highbury and the passage of time. sorry Tone loved watching you in your halcyon days but both mine and yours are long gone.

  68. LB says:

    “I suspect he sleeps with his arm in the air.”

    Subtle, clever and very funny.

  69. Gooner In Exile says:

    26 great post on which having only seen highlights I can only agree. How the BBC have stokes possession as more than us I don’t know. Unless time taken to take a throw is included.

    On Shottons under shirt attachment I believe this is also used at the Britannia as Stoke were told that they could only place towels round the ground (with ball boys) if both sides could use them, they had been under instruction from the ever fair Pulis to not allow opponents to have the towels, a new system was needed and the under shirt bar cloth was most fitting to the type of football Stoke play.

    That Ryan Shawcross is any where near an England shirt is an indictment on the English game rather than the ability of the Captain Orc.

    Lets focus on positive Arsenal things…clean sheet, a rest for Santi, a good debut from Nacho, a fluked goal (we haven’t had much luck this term).

    Still on the coattails of third and fourth place, pity we have not been able to beat Chavs (but they are struggling in other games and have some tricky fixtures left), but a win over Spuds at the Lane and their spirit night start cracking.

  70. LB says:

    Hi Merse (again)

    I have just read your comment again, fine comment may I say, and noticed that you said that Wilshere is everything you want an Arsenal player to be and I suddenly realised where my own issues might lay.

    To me Cazorla is everything I want an Arsenal player to be; he is fast, has superb ball control, can beat a man, spot a pass and score, I would take five more Cazorlas over five more Jacks all day long.

  71. LB says:

    I’ve hogged the blog enough. Night, night.

  72. dandan says:

    LB I prefer to think our future lies with the DB 10 of this world, We saw the natural extension of the GG /TA take one for the team philosophy at work yesterday with the so called Orc’s entertainment package

  73. Big Raddy says:

    I love TA. But he expects a position AFC cannot offer him. His managerial career has been hugely unsuccessful and we need better. Shame for TA but he is the past, not the future.

    As to JW, we have enough midfield options to rest him.

    Ramsey. Diaby. Arteta
    Santi. Coq. Arteta
    Diaby. Santi. Rosicky

    + Ox

    Etc etc etc

  74. Big Raddy says:

    LB. Why not both?

  75. RA
    Anyone who pays those prices in Tokyo must be a mug. They must do their survey in Ginza. Even then I’ve been to some expensive places and there is no way you’d pay $8 for coffee. Petrol was a fair bit cheaper the last time I went too. What do they class as a fast food meal? You can get Ramen cheaper than that in Omotesando! Mcdonanlds and KFC is about the same as here. You can also get accommodation cheaper than that unless you want to live in the centre.

  76. Merseforever says:


    In a way we both agree that he should be playing less, but for slightly different reasons! I agree he needs to improve, but I think he adds more directness than our midfield has without him. He’s the only midfielder who effectively drives past players. I take your point though, and may have to watch him more carefully in the next couple of matches. Undoubtedly I am watching him through Arsenal tinted glasses!


    I’m afraid we will have to disagree on the terms you are defining GG and AW in. Before ‘Arsene Knows’ it was ‘George Knows.’ Like Wenger GG will always have a place in my heart. The fact (in my mind) he was a proper Arsenal man, cannon on the blazer etc and having met him near highbury a few times. But undoubtedly he went stale by the end. While everyone remembers Boring Boring Arsenal, let’s not forget that GG’s teams from 88-92 played some great stuff too. I wonder if others agree with me, but I’m not keen on Wenger’s philosophy in terms of what its evolved to. I loved the quick strong dynamic counter attacking play of his early teams. His obsession with cumbersome tikki-taka not so much. Furthermore, one thing I would love to see come back is a rock solid Arsenal defence. That was ingrained into our club for generations. I loved watching that beautiful football, but let’s not forget that we all used to take the mick of the mob up the road while they harped on about beautiful football while we won trophies. Spuds were in our shadows well into the nineties, without us every harping on about beautiful football. I’m not suggesting Pulis style thuggery, but a return to a well drilled organised defence would be a welcome return for me (even if it mean sacrificing a bit of our attacking play).

  77. Gooner in Exile says:

    Last 13 games (in no particular order

    Chavs achieved 16 points from those in 2011/12, Spuds 27, us 15.

    So in short we need to win a lot of games to get 4th, but it is achievable, its hard to see Spuds exceeding the 27 points they got last year (especially given the fact we will whip them at the Lane), and then there is us, we should do much better than 15 points from those games.

    Chavs Spuds The Good Guys
    Aston Villa (A) Arsenal (H) Aston Villa (H)
    Everton (H) Chelsea (A) Everton (H)
    Fulham (A) Everton (H) Fulham (A)
    Liverpool (A) Fulham (H) Manchester United (H)
    Man City (A) Liverpool (A) Newcastle United (A)
    Man Utd (A) Man City (H) Norwich (H)
    Southampton (A) Newcastle (H) QPR (A)
    Sunderland (H) Southampton (H) Reading (H)
    Swansea (H) Stoke (A) Sunderland (A)
    Spuds (H) Sunderland (H) Swansea (A)
    WBA (H) Swanswea (A) Spuds (A)
    West Ham (H) West Ham (A) West Brom (A)
    Wigan Ath (H) Wigan (A) Wigan Ath (H)
  78. Gooner in Exile says:

    Eewww that looks ugly i’ll edit that

  79. I can’t make head or tail of it 🙂

  80. Sheep Hagger ™ says:

    Lol funny that

  81. You did that quick and it looks great.

  82. I think we have a slightly easier run in

  83. dandan says:

    Mersey, I can understand where you are coming from,but I and others on here go back far beyond GG , Even Billy Wright and the Beverley sisters all demurely sat in a row in Identical outfits. Our initial Fairs Cup win, doubles at the lane, all these we’re watched and are part of our Arsenal DNA , GG did continue that evolution and for that we remember him,as we do the cash in the safe that so let our great club down. Arsene has built a new Arsenal maybe he has peaked who knows, but given the longevity of the Govern shop steward elsewhere, I doubt it.

    Many of the modern fans either forget or are not old enough to remember, that Arsene built the invincible s defence surely one of our best ever.
    In my arsenal heart therefor AW has the biggest part and will I am sure lead a new side moulded around the existing core to new triumphs to further enrich your Arsenal memories.

  84. Gooner in Exile says:

    Its very quiet when we win isn’t it? Funny old breed football fans 😀

  85. dandan says:

    GIE stuck in this Hotel room in Devon wife asleep after stressfull weekend without football and now no one to talk too. 🙂

  86. Gooner In Exile says:

    Guess it’s Superbowl from now then, luckily I have work to do which means say on sofa at silly o clock watching the Bowl, I’ll probably make it to the half time show and die of boredom…not knowing US Sports that well how long is a normal American Football HT, and how long is the Superbowl Half Time?

  87. dandan says:

    GIE ain’t the same with IPad and headphones, can’t wake the boss 🙂

  88. Gooner in Exile says:

    DD put a call into the DidIts its about now he will be able to join you for a beverage or two in your hotel bar.

  89. oz gunner says:

    Everything is right in the world…26 is back!
    Great post on very short notice.

    I noticed the Shotton towel also so I did some research. Apparently it was first looked in to in 2011 when they played the spuds. They worked around it though because the rule states they can wear any undershirt as long as it is the same colour of the uniform; therefore, Pulis and co get Shotton to wear a towel vest (craft sods probably have it sewn in to his shirt now).

    The time wasting thing really annoys me too. Yes fair enough in the latter stages because we’d do the same, but 15min mark is pathetic. I’m glad teams play football now because the 10 man defence’s were very frustrating to watch!

    @ GiE

    good table, very high tech

  90. oz gunner says:

    @ LB

    5 Santi’s > 5 Jack’s

    Big big call. Tough one though. Based on where they are at now in their careers I’d go with Jack due to heart alone.

  91. Gooner In Exile says:

    Does anyone else think Pod suddenly looks half a yard faster?

    Who have Holland got this week? Can we rely on someone to kick BSR or has Sir Alex persuaded him to retire from International Football already?

  92. mickydidit89 says:

    Morning all.
    Well done 26 for leaping into the breach, and a big thank you from someone who missed the game.
    Which Hospital are you visiting? Derriford (Plymouth) is an hour away, whereas North Devon District is close, and Mrs Didit works there three days a week, so it’d be extra biscuits for the dandan’s.

  93. mickydidit89 says:

    Hi GiE,
    I’d far rather someone kicked Bale right now. Are Wales playing Holland? Could a collision take place?

  94. mickydidit89 says:

    How can you lot be fresh and properly prepared for an AA week, when you sit up all night watching American Soccerball?
    Irresponsible, I call it.

  95. Sheep Hagger ™ says:

    Wales are playing Austria
    The Dutch ate playing Italy

  96. Manthan says:

    Morning all.
    We played very well agaisnt a pathetic team who plays with negative tatics for draw… Altough we cannot say our defence was good because stoke never attack properly they were playing for the draw… Thing which impressed me the most was we never gave up we always tried hard and atlast we were rewarded… Begovic was expectional we could have got 2 or 3 goals but never mind 3 points matter… Job done now next target is sunderland each day will be very tough from now one we need to take step by step to reach CL and i guess we can achieve it because of our team sipritt…….
    And specai thanks to our jacky boy he is our future leader way he fought for arteta true gooner he is…..

  97. mickydidit89 says:

    Ah Sheep,
    Responsible blogger 🙂
    Do Austria have a particularly nasty defender?
    Or even one who can be “persuaded” as I could organize a whip round

  98. mickydidit89 says:

    And remember Sheep, you are Arsenal before Welsh, so no patriotic sentiments towards Bale, ok.

  99. Sheep Hagger ™ says:

    I’m a welsh gunner that’s the way I look at myself,Micky

  100. dandan says:

    It was North Devon District, am staying in a hotel in Eggesford, off home today, but will be back next Monday its going to be a regular thing will contact you frm home over the next couple of days. Regards.

  101. Red Arse says:

    Morning Micky, 🙂

    I had an early evening last night, and set the alarm for 11:45 p.m. so that I could get up refreshed and watch the SuperBowl.

    I could not sleep at first but eventually nodded off. I woke up feeling great and switched the TV on in time to see the final score!! Bollix.

    Slim will not be a happy bunny, but at least it was a high scoring game.

  102. dandan says:

    Mickey sorry above was for you. 🙂

  103. GoonerB says:

    Morning all. Micky @7.43. I am sure that I seem to remember that Scharner is a gooner. A quiet word in his shell like me thinks.

  104. mickydidit89 says:

    Please do contact me. I assume its a close friend or relative in NDD, so until you get back next monday, I can certainly get Mrs Didit to keep an eye, and let them know there’s a friend on site.
    It would be great to meet up for drinks/supper.

  105. mickydidit89 says:

    No idea who this Scharner is, but I like the sound of things.
    Every Gooner everywhere knows his duty.

  106. GoonerB says:

    Micky, you know him, Paul Scharner. Currently at Wigan I believe. He plays defence / defensive midfield and had some multi-coloured hair style a few seasons back. I think we may have even been vaguely linked with him a few years ago.

  107. mickydidit89 says:

    Time for him to impress our scouts methinks 🙂

  108. GoonerB says:

    To be honest Micky I haven’t focused too much on how he is playing currently so he may have faded a bit, but there was a time when maybe I wouldn’t have turned my nose up at him. He is a big lad that can play both CD and DM and seemed to have an eye for goal back then.

    Now when we need a big lad Micky that can play both CD and DM then we can have a look at him….Hang on a minute.

  109. mickydidit89 says:


  110. Manthan says:

    These season two keepers who are outstanding are Begovic and Cesar we should bid for one of them… Getting cesar will be easy as qpr have more chances of getting relegated… QPR always drew with there opponents due to cesar he is outstanding…..

  111. Rasp says:

    Morning all ……

    …. New post ……

  112. Manthan says:

    Dofoe is out for some weeks we have advantage now to be in CL 😉 😉

  113. Very nice article, exactly what I wanted to

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