Arsenal Well Placed in Wide Open Title Race

What an interesting weekend that was as far as the title race is concerned.

In addition to our game I was lucky enough to watch Chelsea against Fulham, Liverpool versus Southampton and the Manchester derby.

This feast of football left me with some very clear conclusions. Firstly, that most other teams – and their players and their fans – are humungous chuff-munchers. But then most of you knew that already.

Secondly – and more pertinently – I saw nothing to deflect me from the view that Arsenal can be serious title contenders this season.

Let’s start with the Manc derby, which pitted Arab oil money against institutionalized favouritism. In this case petro-dollars won out over patronage.

Man City, in fairness, looked good as they have done in their home games this season. The movement up front from Aguero and the Fat French Pitchwarmer in particular was first class. But away from home it’s been a different story for the Sky Blues, with defeat at Cardiff and a tame 0-0 draw with Stoke.

They will certainly be in the mix towards the end of the season – the strength of their squad almost guarantees it – but if they don’t find more consistency soon they could be playing catch-up come April.

Then there’s the Surrey half of Manchester. Frankly they were awful. Brave Sir Robin did not play (here’s hoping his “thigh injury” represents a bit of karmic payback) and the rest of the team was bereft of creativity.  The only time Rooney looked up for a fight was when Kompany knocked off his alice band. Meanwhile watching Fellaini lumber around like a deranged totem pole made me feel very pleased he did not come to The Home of Football this summer. Give me the Flamster any day.

In United’s favour, they have a lot of players in and around the squad who have won the league and who have the habit of winning. That may be enough to keep them in the race, but I have my doubts.

They were poor champions last season (no-one in years to come will be talking about the great United team of 2012-13) and without Ferguson’s influence over the match officials they have lost an advantage which must have been worth 10 points a season. (Incidentally, Mark Halsey’s memoirs have revealed that many refs had way too close a relationship with Surralex – the sort of you-scratch-my-back-I’ll-scratch-yours relationships that would be deemed deeply unethical in most professions. There should be an inquiry but I’m not holding my breath).

The more I think about it the more I come to the conclusion that Ferguson retired last season because he did not think United would be serious contenders any more. Right now they are in danger of the sort of top six finish that David Moyes is very comfortable with.

And so to Liverpool. After their three-games-three-wins start I was reminding anyone who would listen that this is still Liverpool; that they have a prize prat for a manager and that the wheels will inevitably come off.

Two games and one point later for the Scousers, I see nothing to change my mind. Yes, they still have Suarez champing at the bit to come back – but they had him last season too and it wasn’t enough to get them into the top four.

In the West London derby the unfashionable dull team with lots of money beat the unfashionable dull team with less money. But Chelsea were a bit lucky to get the win and were unconvincing throughout.

On paper they have a creative midfield that’s almost a match for ours (in place of Ozil, Cazorla, Wilshere, Arteta. Ramsey, Rosicky read Mata, Oscar, Hazard, Willian, Lampard). But whereas our creative midfielders are playing for a manager who craves beauty and creativity the way a Spudder craves a top four finish, the Chav midfielders are under the yoke of someone who demands organization, discipline and defensive-mindedness above all else. Our square pegs are in square holes, Mourinho’s are in round holes.

I still think Chelsea will be serious title challengers, if for no other reason than Maureen has been so successful in all his jobs. But right now it looks like he has a set of players who don’t suit his style of football, so maybe it won’t be all plain sailing for the 10-year-old club

As for Arsenal, well, we put in a decent “seven out of ten” performance against Stoke. And before we get too carried away with our start to the season, someone in comments pointed out that in the equivalent five fixtures last season we took 15 points, so we’re actually three points down on last year.

But you get the feeling that something positive is brewing in N5. It started after the defeat to the Spudders last year and has gained momentum ever since. Adding a genuine superstar to the mix has given an extra psychological boost and has lifted the fans too.

Right now I don’t see any team that’s better than us, either in their current form or in the strength of their squad.

I deliberately haven’t mentioned our noisy neighbours because I did not see their game. It looked bang on for a 0-0 draw, but they snaffled a late winner – just like they did so often last year, courtesy of Ape Boy.

This time round they have no chimp, but they managed to get the result anyway. I think they will struggle to gel all their new players and I expect them to get beaten by the Chavs next weekend – but you never know: maybe this is the year when the two North London teams fight it out for the title. If so it would be tremendously exciting (not to mention nerve-wracking).

If I had to predict the end-of-season top five today it would be this:

Arsenal

Chelsea

Man City

Spuds

Man Utd

What do you think?

RockyLives

89 Responses to Arsenal Well Placed in Wide Open Title Race

  1. kelsey says:

    Rocky

    a bit tongue in cheek post 🙂
    I watched the Chelsea game and the Manchester derby. I honestly think that apart from bent missing Fulham’s only real effort, Fulham were absolutely awful and on any other day Chelsea could have scored 6.
    City did play well and the passing,movement and execution of their opening goal was one of the finest I have seen this season. They have a very strong squad but Yaya makes the team tick. As for United they were pretty average except for Rooney,and I get the destinct feeling he does not want to play second fiddle to RVP and Moyes is no SAF and I agree that United could well finish out of the top 4.
    Spurs always flatter to deceive and the Thursday nights will take it’s toll but could make 4th.
    I wouldn’t discount Liverpool just yet.Suarez will be a big influence if he stays so CL spot is feasable.
    As for us,we have no prima donnas anymore, the team is playing much more as a unit but we just can’t afford anymore
    long term injuries, and with Arteta and Vermaelen returning and hopefully followed by Cazorla and Podolski our squad depth is improving but now we have concerns about Walcott and with abdominal muscle problems,AW is saying he doesn’t know how long he will be out for.We need to stay in the mix up to the end of the year and as I said before the acid test will be the games against the other top 4 sides.Beat them or worst way not lose and we have every chance of going very close.

  2. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Rocky

    “Suarez champing at the bit “. Hungry? ROLF

    I think Spuds will gel under AVB and I sniff unrest lurking beneath the surface at Chelsea. Will Maureen please RA with his style? Also, the Mata situation looks uncomfortable.

    So, I’m going:
    Arsenal
    City
    Spuds
    Chavs

    Thanks for the post.

  3. Klaus Stein says:

    The Spuds on 4th – are you mad ? .. Replace with Liverpool, Swansea, Everton or anything else you feel comfortable with.

  4. jimson biono says:

    i think my is

    ARSENAL

    MAN CITY

    MAN U

    SPUDS

    CHELSEA

  5. LB says:

    Arsenal

    Arsenal

    Arsenal

    Arsenal

    Arsenal

    Is that allowed?

  6. Evönne says:

    Klaus – I agree, the author has temporarily lost his senses 🙂
    I think Pool will do well this season, providing the bitting one stays with them.

    Rocky – I’ll have a quiet word with you later.

  7. TT says:

    Great fun to speculate, Rocky. The fixture list is relatively lumpy this year.

    Of the top seven last year (ManU, ManC, Chelsea, Spurs, Everton, Liverpool, not including Arsenal of course), so far the Arsenal only have faced Spurs, and no one else until November, when Arsenal meet Liverpool home then ManU away, back to back.

    December looks tough with Everton home, ManC away, and Chelsea home, again all in a row. Then in February comes the reverse fixtures for Liverpool, and ManU, also one after the other.

    March + 1 wk April give Arsenal the toughest challenge: away to Spurs, Chelsea, back home for ManC, then away to Everton, all four in a row!

    Hope the Arsenal make hay while the sun shines, so to speak.

  8. TT says:

    Hi Rasp,

    I noticed the comparison of fixtures is missing WHU (5-1, 3-1) and Southampton (6-1, 1-1), and Wigan appear twice.

    Also, I wonder if you wouldn’t mind reordering the list according to the final table position, which would give a more interesting sense than being alphabetical. For your convenience I’m listing the table below. Thank you!

    ManU
    ManC
    Chelsea
    Spurs
    Everton
    Liverpool
    WBA
    Swansea
    WHU
    Norwich
    Fulham
    Stoke
    Southampton
    Aston Villa
    Newcastle
    Sunderland
    ===
    Cardiff
    Crystal Pal
    Hull
    ===
    Wigan
    Reading
    QPR

  9. TT says:

    Gosh, March + 1st wk April looks really tough! Stoke away and Swansea home, in addition to facing the other four contenders. And perhaps some CL knockout round in there as well?

  10. Rasp says:

    Thanks TT, I seem to have made a bit of a mess of the whole thing, I’ll have a look later and correct the errors.

  11. 26may1989 says:

    Cheers, Rocky, nice one. City were impressive – let’s see if, under a genuinely good manager, they can sustain that beyond a derby game. They have the talent, but do they have the guts?

    My head says:

    1. City
    2. Arsenal
    3. Chelsea
    4. Spurs
    5. Man U
    6. Liverpool

    But that’s no fun, so my real version is:

    1. Arsenal
    2-6. Don’t care

    TT, you’re right re the fixture list, though some of the other teams have similar problems. One thing that looks particularly bad for us is CL travelling before big matches. Eg, between the home match with Liverpool and the away game at Man U in early November, we have to travel to Dortmund.

    March and early April are horrible but if we get through that in good shape and in the running we finish with five very winnable games. Swings and roundabouts.

  12. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Thanks Rock

    Arsenal
    City
    Utd
    Chelsea
    Totnumb

    I don’t rate Totnumb as contenders Rock, nor Chelsea for that matter.

    How can a Club that’s building a Sainsburys bigger than there new stadium win the league? When I purchase my ready made chicken tikka masala no one ever comes up to me and screams champion and puts a crown on my head.

    Chelsea aint all that. They have a conflict of interest. Abramovitchs ego demands attractive football whilst Maureenio wets himself with clean sheets. Its like asking Stalin to do a comedy act.

    City and Utd are a threat, but Moyes looks a bit gangreen. Ime convinced that man has no pulse.

    I like Pellegrini, he seems a gentleman. Though i got to say, sort out the wig man, its fooling no one and gives respectable Toupee wearers a bad name.

    So, because of chicken tikka masala. Stalin, gangreen, and bad wigs, the title is ours.

  13. 26may1989 says:

    And what about those ghosts, Terry?……

  14. TT says:

    Rasp, I’ve reproduced the table in an excel spreadsheet, which I can send to the blog’s email address, if you want.

    26may, yes you’re right. I guess winning the league isn’t so easy like I thought it would be :D. I am in full agreement with your real version anyway.

  15. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Hi 26, there stirring very nicely.

    Last week, whilst in bed Mrs Terry was getting all amorous so I pretended to be asleep, but she persisted.

    Just then, i was saved by a visitation of the spirit of Sir Henry Norris. The force was so great that I levitated towards the ceiling with Sir Henry urging me to go with him. In the background I could hear Mrs Terry cursing as she tried to lash me with her slipper.

    Sir Henry took me to the Emirates on a warm summer day sometime in the future were the Arsenal players led by Arsene Wenger were parading the league title and European cup. I was filled with such joy and ecstasy and screamed loudly “Oh Sir Henry, this is the best ive ever had”, only spoilt by the distant yells of “Whos Sir Henry? My mother was right about you, bald, stingy, and now a gay levitator”.

    Oh yes, “The Ghosts of the Thirties are Stirring”

  16. Bïg Räddy says:

    “Firstly, that most other teams – and their players and their fans – are humungous chuff-munchers.”

    As such I don’t give a monkey’s cuss about who comes second

  17. Sai says:

    Rocky! Is that really you? Pretty plain writing for someone with your sense of humour! But points well put down. Your description of Chelsea not suting Moureen’s play and yet putting them on top of $hitty in the table amuses me a bit.

    I’m off from office now and 2 hours away from home. Henrying!!!

  18. Sai says:

    26may, follow yout heart! We will be tested and there is still some negativity and understandably so. Afterall, we have succumbed to pressure in the past few seasons.

    LB, 😉 Henrying!!!!!!

  19. Rasp says:

    Thanks TT, that would be great 😛

  20. dandan says:

    Morning all, good thought provoker Rocky, unfortunately my head is in agreement with 26, If City can sustain any where near that kind of form there can only be one winner. 🙂 We of course will be the best of the rest.

  21. JanMan says:

    Sorry to be the toad in the road but after only five games we may be getting carried away! Lets’ see how we do against Man City, Man UTD, Chelsea and Liverpool before we go prediction crazy. However, with that said;
    EPL Champs Arsenal, FA Cup Winners Arsenal, CL Winners Arsenal, Carling Cup Winners Arsenal, Best ground winner Arsenal, Best Tealady winner Arsenal. WTF I love Arsenal 🙂

    Good post Rocky

  22. jnyc says:

    Awesome post Rocky!
    Arsenal
    City
    chelsea
    who cares? Maybe spuds
    most happily, united out of top four. This is just proof of how much ref favouritism, and incredible special touch of Fergie made the difference the past few years.
    i remember saying here last season that we were a better team than them for sure, but the traitor worked some miracles for them early last year, and SAF took them through the rest of the way, with Mancini getting his players to hate him, and abromavich spinning managers.
    we, unfortunately, even though we added talent, still had another hangover from losing a star player again, this, plus the bedding in, put us behind early.
    this season, things are shaping up well, as long as we can get pod, caz, ox, theo mostly healthy for the harder matchups that come later. Then just maybe, add something we need in january.
    it is possible.

  23. GunnerN5 says:

    It,s way to early to predict where we will finish in the table. We have had a great start, but that,s all it is .. A great start.

    Let,s not get carried away.

    Typing this while sitting on Cinnamon Beach in Florida.

    It.s 32c and raining…..

  24. Shärd says:

    Funny but interesting post Rocky. It’s too early to say, but we surely have a chance. I would be much more confident of predicting Arsenal winning the league, if I had faith in the referees being fair. Maybe with Ferguson’s retirement, they will, or maybe the big match fixing ring being busted in Singapore will have an effect.

    Arsenal have already been ‘unlucky’ against Villa. Chelsea have been ‘lucky’ against Villa. ManU have been ‘lucky’ against Palace. Spurs have had a few penalties and late goals (but they will get better) and Lloris escaped a red. Liverpool got lucky in that Stoke missed a penalty.

    ManCity’s squad looks the best, and I like Pellegrini (I once suggested getting him as Wenger’s short term replacement when he decides to leave) and it seems that they can go for the title. Chelsea, like you, I think Mourinho can’t play to his team’s strengths and it will take him time (and likely, lots of money) for him to get them playing like he wants. So, maybe they’ll miss out.

    ManU, you can’t discount them yet. Without a creative midfielder (what is up with Kagawa?) they struggle, and despite them having lots of defenders, I don’t think their defense is great. Up front, with RVP, Rooney and Chicharito and Welbeck, they are good, and that might be enough for them to get a few victories even without looking comfortable.

    Spurs? No title push from them. With players like Lennon and Defoe in their squad, they aren’t getting there. They have improved though, and although AVB has a lot to learn, I think he’s a good long term manager for Spurs. Spurs are also s***, lest we forget. 61, never again etc etc etc 🙂

    Liverpool are interesting. They have improved considerably. (the TV deal has had that effect on many clubs I guess) but I don’t see them making the top 4 either. Although no European matches will help them in terms of avoiding injuries and fatigue, I don’t think they have enough quality in their squad.

    Arsenal. Need a striker, and need an end to the constant stream of injuries. Perhaps with a tough fixture list later in the campaign, we also need to add in some other positions. But we have a settled squad, a great manager, some great players, and as much as the Ozil effect giving us a boost, crucially, I think we also have the RVP effect. He didn’t just spit on the club when he left, he spat on his teammates saying they weren’t good enough. I suspect, although they don’t say it and some of them even stay friends, that they want to rub his nose in it as much as the fans do.

    That’s my long comment of the day. Back to the books now 🙂

  25. Dick van Duk says:

    An interesting review of the weekend’s veritable cornucopia of footballing razzmatazz.

    Some may consider that you are verging on fantasy, in your article, by positing that Arsenal can win the EPL based on the results of 5 games, 20% of which was calamitous (Villa), but I beg to differ, and see your view as a positive one that should be nurtured and encouraged.

    After a problematical start to the season, it was essential that Arsenal started their recovery by simply doing what was necessary, and when they achieved what some thought was perhaps improbable but still possible, it suddenly gave hope to you and others that this team could achieve the pinnacle that many others perceived as being impossible.

  26. LB says:

    Can we move on to an issue that actually is in doubt please?

    Like, who is going to lift the EPL trophy at the end of the season?

    Mertasacker

    Arteta

    Vermaelen.

    Wilshere.

    This needs careful thought.

  27. 26may1989 says:

    🙂

    Upper Street, here we come……

  28. 26may1989 says:

    So Theo’s having a minor op and will be out till about 14 October. I assume he wouldn’t have played tomorrow in any event, but it does mean he’ll miss the PL games at Swansea and West Brom and the CL game vs Napoli. Not a disaster but getting another injury when we’ve had so many already isn’t great. Perhaps we’ll get them all out of our system now. And at least we know Theo will be safe from getting crocked playing for England, since he won’t be back till just after the next game. Or is that a bit unpatriotic??

  29. Bïg Räddy says:

    LB. A point well made.

  30. dhakka09 says:

    Great Post, Rocky. I sense that quietly we all are getting excited and carrying hopes for our team, and not mention it in public for the fear of jinxing it.
    For the table, I see Old Toileters struggling finishing in top 4 and investing heavily in January to just cling on to it like a sailor holding on to a sinking raft. Just above them would be Chelsea who have ingredients to make Caviar but whose manager knows only the recipe for Sausages. Theirs will be a season of a mis-matched dish, a cross between caviar and sausage (eww) and they will, by the time January rolls around, throw caviar out the window and go on a full-scale sausage production. They will be third.
    The most threatening team at the top is Manchester City, no doubt about it. They have a manager who knows what he wants to do and has players who can pull it off. I just hope they will take time to settle, for their bullet-train will gather speed on latter half if the season. I just hope we have enough of a head-start when they are shifting gears. It will go down the wire and honestly, if we are thereabouts at the end of the season, I wouldn’t terribly mind even if the title slips from our hand. It’s a good feeling to know that the question then would be of ‘when’ and not ‘if’.
    The fifth-place trophy goes to our Spudders down the road, they can even name their new-stadium (if they ever manage to sell enough Tikka-Masalas to fund building a new one) as “Stadium of close, so close; but no Cigar”. Liverpudlians will shout themselves to mid-table oblivion (possibly even behind Everton) once again.

  31. Bïg Räddy says:

    Dhakka. Shite Hart Lane can be called The Next Year Stadium.

    My hope for AFC is that unlike the last few seasons we are in the mix in April and May.

  32. dhakka09 says:

    haha Big Raddy; your reply prompted me to think of other prospective names for the new Shite-hart Lane. Here is my own short-list;
    A) Bale-less Stadium
    B)Forever fifth Stadium
    C) Stadium of delusions
    D)The Stadium of 7 overpriced jesters
    E) Stadium of Arsenal’s shadows

    After deliberating for a while, I decided to settle on:
    F) Chicken-coop
    which is short, succinct and accurately describes the nasty foul smell released by them lots.

  33. Evönne says:

    dkakka 🙂

  34. LB says:

    dhakka

    How on earth have you managed not to comment on here for so long?

  35. Evönne says:

    Ok, Mr Rocky, I finished reading the post now. I agree on most points that you made, except for Spurs and Liverpool. I think that Spurs will finish behind Pool and Pool will finish above ManU, It might be because I like Pool and dislike Spuds, but it could be Daniel Sturridge who might overshadow the cannibal; he has had a great start to the season and cannot see him stopping now.

    Spuds on the other hand………..no, too many spuds spoil the broth. They will not finish in top 4, no way.

    Also agree about Fergie. He knew full well that it was the poorest United side to win anything, extremely lucky and not to be repeated. Finished in full glory and left it all to Moyes, whom he probably disliked anyway 🙂

    As for you Rocky – you have been very quiet lately and I have even made inquiries about your health! But I can see that you watched even more games than I did, so I can only assume that you couldn’t be arsed to chat with us on very regualar basis. Hm.

    Thank you for a great post.

  36. dhakka09 says:

    LB: I don’t know but I’m getting a hang of it now. My public-forum profile/speech/writing confidence is transforming like from Ramsey’s serious face in interviews to Podolski’s everlasting grin 🙂

  37. chas says:

    Cheers, Rocky.
    Loved
    deranged totem pole
    top six finish that David Moyes is very comfortable with
    prize prat for a manager
    plain sailing for the 10-year-old club.

    Plain writing indeed!!!!!!!!

    Seven out of ten and we still beat the Orcs. Lovely.

  38. Gööner In Exile says:

    Rocky have to say well done for getting people to start looking at the PL predictor 5 games in 🙂 TT has highlighted tough games in November, December, Feb and March 😀 and we haven’t even arrived in October yet.

    It is indeed we make hay during October, with Theo injured it’s another blow but one we can stomach with Arteta returning, ok I know they are not the same position but I can see us starting games with a five man midfield with Flamini and Arteta at the base Ramsey, Wilshere and Özil roaming free and the full backs providing the width.

    The reason this will work is thy Arteta and Flamini together can fill in for the full backs when needed and help the centre backs out.

  39. RockyLives says:

    Thanks for comments all.

    I would chat for longer but Red Arse has me locked in a basement dungeon, which he laughingly refers to as “the Fritzel Suite.”.

    I managed to get this message out while he was applying his unguents.

    Must confess to being a little concerned as to what follows next…

    Anyway, pip pip Gunners.

    See you soon

    I hope…

  40. Great post. I have a feeling we’ll come second to shitty

  41. MickyDidIt89 says:

    First comment disappeared 😦

  42. MickyDidIt89 says:

    LB

    “who is going to lift the EPL trophy at the end of the season?”

    Now that is a titilator.

    Verm is still club skipper, I think, so he gets my vote, but a bit weird if he only plays a handful of games. Mmmm

  43. MickyDidIt89 says:

    I really look forward to these League Cup games.

    Player I’m most intrigued to see is Nic Bendtner.

  44. kelsey says:

    Morning Micky.
    I think our new Italian will be in goal as Fabianski has been sick.

    I haven’t a clue what the exact line up will be but if the showing underpants,, car right off,shagging princess Dane plays ,he better do better than the 4 he missed against Burnly a few years back.

    If Frimpong plays I hope he has learnt to control his rashness and doesn’t get booked or worse red carded.Jenkinson,Vermaelen and Arteta should start with either Pers or Kos, possibly Rio on the wing and Gnarby. Jack is being rested .That’s all I know.

  45. Gööner In Exile says:

    Arsene is talking up NikB

    “He had nearly gone somewhere else [in August] and in the end he stayed because it didn’t work out and we needed him here, now he can convince everybody. We are open-minded, we believe in his qualities. I personally believe in his qualities. It’s just down to attitude and fighting [spirit]. When he has that, Nicklas can be an unstoppable striker. He gets his chance. Our job is about that. Take your chance.

    Fans forgive you everything as long as you produce the performances on the football pitch. That’s what people want. I think our fans have a positive attitude towards Bendtner and they will be behind him. Only you can create that with your performances.

    I see him as a centre forward, he can use his body back to goal. He’s an intelligent player, he can play intelligent passes and protect. He’s a similar type size-wise to Olivier Giroud. The central role is perfect for him.”

  46. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Kelsey

    “That’s all I know” is practically the Full XI 🙂

    On The Dane. I’m sure his Arsenal Goals, if compiled onto a youtube thing, would look mighty impressive. For a Winger!!! If he has learnt not to piss over his luck, and his attitude has changed then he could still be a great squaddie.

    I must certainly grow up a bit, and give Ryo a fairer crack, so promise to do that. Frimpong: it’s not me that needs to grow up here, but I’m in a happy mood, so he could prove to be a formidable defensive midfielder.

    Verm has “it” in spades, and I predict a massive season from him.

  47. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Well, well Mr Exile,

    I had not read that on Bendy, but agree with every word.

    Over to you, Nic.

  48. chas says:

    Maybe Isaac Hayden could play alongside Tommy.

    Ant and me are off to the Hawthorns tonight. Should be fun.

  49. Bïg Räddy says:

    Morning All,

    Oi, let’s leave the team discussion until after the post has been published.

    I decided to watch the 2nd half of the Spurs game last night – I know, but I was bored – and once again we saw a dreadful referee affect a game completely.

    5 min gone, an AV player (a Dane which is why it was on Dansk TV) ran into the Spurs box. Vertonghen pulled him back by his shorts which forced him to shoot in his y-fronts (easy at the back, it’s not funny ). Ref played on when not only was it a penalty but also a straight red as the Spud was last defender.

    No Pen. Spurs go up the other end and score their second within 2 minutes.

    A complete travesty and something which the FA just have to address. Given the worldwide TV audience it does the referees no good at all to be shown to be incompetent. A 4th official with access to TV replays should have some power during the game. It works in other sports and will work in football.

    The stakes have become too high to be entrusted to ancient methods, unfortunately those who have the abiilty to change things are ancient themselves.

  50. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Putting myself into those pink boots for a moment, and I’d be thinking:

    “Ok, I thought my life was going to be fast cars, fast women, and legendary status at The Bernabau, Nou Camp or San Siro. The reality was Selhurst Park.

    Crikey, the princesses aren’t going to like that much. Best get serious at The Arsenal”.

  51. chas says:

    The first couple of seconds of this has AW saying “for f*cks sake” 🙂

  52. Gööner In Exile says:

    Lol Chas NikB wasn’t even popular then….Rambo goes over and then looks embarrassed to see he is on his own 🙂

  53. chas says:

    shoot in his y-fronts 🙂

  54. Gööner In Exile says:

    Ok he had a few more celebrating with him in the second one 🙂

  55. LB says:

    I think I know what is going wrong here.

    Most of the really good conversation is happening before BR’s pre-match has been published.

    Solution: if written (and that part is obviously important) publish earlier.

  56. LB says:

    Micky

    That 7.37 is very funny.

  57. chas says:

    Excellent point, LB.

    It fits in with Micky saying the site goes dead before 9.30 am.

  58. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Chas

    Bloody difficult not to love a bloke after watching the Wolves and Spud goals.

  59. Bïg Räddy says:

    At the moment, Peaches and Rasp like to publish at 09.30 in order to have consistency. Perhaps that can change

  60. Bïg Räddy says:

    And much depends upon when the post is written. I still haven’t finished 😦

  61. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Obviously I agree LB.

    BR is a very efficient and diligent Man, so gets his homework in on time. He also has the power to publish methinks 🙂

  62. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Oh, there goes that theory 🙂

    I was going to suggest a Coup, but clearly we forgot to pack our bullets and packed lunches 😦

  63. LB says:

    Well I am not sure how we are going to sort out a match report for tonight, I don’t think it is on telly at all.

    Have any of our overseas readers got it?

  64. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Copy and Paste LB 🙂

  65. chas says:

    Looking for a photo of Bendy’s goal against the spuds, this one confused me because of the extra Arsenal players in shot.
    Then I realised that there are three Bendys. 😆

  66. MickyDidIt89 says:

    LB
    It is being shown on Wiziwig, but some “good luck with that” is required with that site.

  67. chas says:

    Wiziwig thinks there are three stations announced to broadcast the match, but I’m not sure if this is true.
    http://www.wiziwig.tv/broadcast.php?matchid=221530&part=sports

  68. chas says:

    Snapadiddlydocus

  69. Bïg Räddy says:

    Sure to be a stream somewhere – I will check if it is on LOF – nope. Could be a night by the radio.

    Do ArsenalTV still do commentary?

  70. chas says:

    Who’s the chap to the left?
    Serge Gnabry and Mesut Ozil of Arsenal

  71. chas says:

    Still loving this.
    I didn’t realise the shirts had 100 years in Islington on them.
    Aaron Ramsey v Stoke

  72. chas says:

    Good touch for a big man……

    Olivier Giroud

  73. chas says:

    Not sure about the Sumo top knot.

  74. kelsey says:

    The older you get they say the less sleep you need so many of us get up quite early

  75. chas says:

    Nice gravatar!

  76. chas says:

    kelsey,
    Have you read ‘Interrupted Sleep’ by I.P. Knightly?

  77. Bïg Räddy says:

    Looking at the NB pic – could he be auditioning for a part in Game of Thrones if it all goes tit’s up tonight?

  78. chas says:

    Yep, looks like you’re bang on, BR.

  79. LB says:

    Chas

    I had to look that up. It is Kristoffer Olsson, (Sweedish).

  80. chas says:

  81. Evönne says:

    “Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger believes Nicklas Bendtner can be ‘unstoppable’ ahead of the Danish striker’s return to the first team”

    good to see Le Boss cracking jokes again 🙂

  82. chas says:

  83. Rasp says:

    Morning all……

    …. New post …….

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