Ramsey Was Right To Choose Arsenal Over Man Utd

I’m sorry to do this after such a splendid weekend of Arsenal wonderfulness, but I would like you to cast your mind back to late August 2011.

We had entered the new season in rocky shape.

Cesc Fabregas had failed his DNA test and returned to Catalunia. Samir Nasri had got fed up of hauling his arse round the pitch at The Emirates and went in search of a bench to rest it on.

We started our campaign with an unimpressive 0-0 draw away at Newcastle and followed it up with a 0-2 defeat at home to Liverpool (of all people).

We were also blighted with injuries to key players.

Then, as August prepared to hang up its boots and hand over the baton to September, we went away to Manchester United.

You all know what happened.

A weakened, disrupted side was trounced 8-2, a result not helped by some bizarre substitutions from our embattled manager.

The anti-Arsenal media (which means pretty much all of the beggars) fell over themselves to write our obituary and Arsene’s too.

And quite a few journalists also focused on a very specific piece of transfer business that had happened a couple of summers earlier.

In 2008 Aaron Ramsey signed for Arsenal despite already having been announced on the Manchester United website. The young Cardiff starlet had talked to Alex Ferguson on the phone and, from Fungus’s perspective, it was clearly “deal done.”

But Old Purple Proboscis had reckoned without the charms and wiles of a certain Monsieur Arsene Wenger, who flew young Aaron and his parents out to Switzerland, where he was doing a bit of footy commentary.

Who knows what blandishments Le Boss used on the impressionable young Welshman (a year’s supply of leeks? a box set of Max Boyce videos? a subscription to Hot Sheep Monthly?) but it was enough to make Aaron turn his back on the soulless wastelands of Mancunia and head, instead, for the bright lights of London.

Between then and that awful 8-2 thrashing he had a bit of a rollercoaster ride. His early performances for Arsenal showed tons of promise. Then he had his leg snapped in half by a humungous twunt from Stoke. Then there was a loan spell at Notts Forest, followed by a return to The Home of Football.

When the 2011/12 season started we had high – but qualified – hopes for him. Qualified because we knew he was young and was still recovering from that awful maiming by Ryan Shawcross.

You can only imagine how his head must have been in those early season games. Cesc and Nasri gone. No new arrivals of substance. Turmoil and dissent in and around the club. And him battling his own demons as he strived to recover from that shattering injury.

Then he finds himself on the wrong end of a record-breaking drubbing from the very club he snubbed a couple of years earlier.

As one journalist said at the time: “Surely if Aaron Ramsey had a time machine he would go back now and sign for United instead of Arsenal.”

It would be easy to mock that thought now, but at the time it didn’t seem so unreasonable. Many Arsenal supporters felt that the gulf between us and the Mancs was becoming almost unbridgeable.

But I am delighted to say that now, two years on, the idea that Ramsey would be better positioned at United than at Arsenal is laughable beyond belief.

Aaron is a gifted technical midfield player. As such there would be no place for him in the current Manchester United set-up. And that’s not just because of David Moyes. It is generally accepted among the footballing community that despite winning the Premier League comfortably last year, Alex Ferguson’s United team were as a poor a set of champions as we have seen in a very long time.

Indeed it speaks to the genius of Ferguson that he got them to grind out unimpressive win after unimpressive win all season long (all helped, of course, by the goals we sold them from the boots of Brave Sir Robin).

But, despite being champions, United looked like a team out of time – playing 1990s football at a time when the rest of Europe was embracing new approaches and styles.

It explains why the Mancs performed so dismally in the Champions League, where their dinosaur version of the game – which worked for stomping over low and mid table teams in England – quickly came unstuck when faced with more sophisticated opponents.

Now United seem destined for a period of relative decline (I happen to doubt they’ll make top four this year, but even if they do I can’t see them competing for the Title).

Arsenal on the other hand… well, we all know about the new Arsenal in which Aaron Ramsey is playing the best football of his life, surrounded by like-minded, technical players who want to produce beautiful moves and create goals of sexual intensity (at some point yesterday Rasp asked who provided the assists for our goals against Norwich: I was tempted to answer “heaven”).

If Ramsey was in the United team now his flicks and one-twos would be wasted, his runs would be in vain, his box-to-box effort futile.

The reigning champs are playing a version of the long ball game (with extra use of wingers) in which David Moyes clearly feels there is no place for a creative midfielder (hence Kagawa’s season ticket on the bench).

So, back in 2011, perhaps the journalist should have said: “if Aaron Ramsey had a time machine, he should go two years into the future to check on the relative fortunes of Arsenal and Man Utd.”

In which case – no contest. Aaron knows he made the right choice. He is in a team with a cadre of gifted young Brits (Gibbs, Theo, Jack, Oxo, Jenks, Pingpong etc) and a smattering of top world talent.

Not a single player from United’s midfield would get into our midfield, but any one of Ramsey, Wilshere, Arteta, Flamini, Ozil and Rosicky would walk into the Man Utd team.

Like us supporters, Aaron Ramsey has been through the grinder for a couple of years.

It’s understandable why so many fans despaired. But the more positive among us always felt there was an end in sight: a corner to be turned; a Rubicon to be crossed.

I would like to think that Aaron also retained his positivity, even when some of those who should have been backing him turned against him.

His performances in the last third of last season were crucial to us getting fourth spot in the table. If we had not achieved that, there would have been no Ozil.

Now Aaron has started the new season full of confidence and skill. He really is better than any other player in the EPL right now, including our own lovely Mesut.

Could you imagine the current Man Utd team scoring a goal like our first against Norwich at the weekend?

No, neither could I. That’s why Aaron is in exactly the right place. His decision in June 2008 is looking better with every passing day.

Rocky Lives

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127 Responses to Ramsey Was Right To Choose Arsenal Over Man Utd

  1. Leptuski says:

    Did anyone notice how Rambo deftly dribbled Gibbs, even while celebrating his goal. This chap is poised for great things this season baring injury. C’YG!

  2. LB says:

    Great read Rocky, thanks.

  3. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Thanks Rock

    Aaron deserves all the plaudits like no other. He is a splendid player.

    I always said and believed he would become our goal scoring midfielder, but thought he would hit this kind of form next season, so his development has come earlier than I thought.

    He made the right choice because he would work under Arsene Wenger. No disrespect to Sir Alex, who lets face it, is a legend, but if you want to develop as a player and want someone to stick by you when others lose faith, then Arsene is the man.

  4. rob says:

    yeah he’s definitely made the right call. would have won a European cup and four titles at united in the same time to his nothing at all at arsenal but definitely the right call.

  5. chas says:

    Cheers, Rocky.
    Rambo has come a long way from not being impressed by Gary Neville’s manc training ground tour and his lime-green Fiesta with checkerboard roof. 🙂

    rob,
    You exaggerated by 1 league title and 1 spawny, John Terry-inspired, CL penalty win because Ramsey joined at the start of the 08/09 season but we get your point.
    It’s the smell that he couldn’t have coped with. Imagine trying to get that stink off your clothes!

  6. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    How can you accumulate all those medals when your not playing?

  7. SharkeySuresGhost says:

    Apologies Corky, not read this yet, but wanted to express my thanks for Randy’s PM on Sat, and GoonerB’s brilliant MR of yesterday (which I’ve just finished reading as an email !!)

  8. Räsp says:

    Excellent Rocky, Rambo has shown the strength of character to overcome massive hurdles to literally shove it down the throats of those who doubted him.

    When he first joined I compared him to Stephen Gerrard but that was to do him a disservice. His work rate and drive is comparable to Gerrard but he has greater ball skills and is improving with every game. If you asked anyone a year ago which Welshman would they prefer in their side, Bale or Ramsey, 99% would have said Bale. Now I’d go for Rambo any day of the week, the guy is class.

    Manure or Arsenal? – no brainer, TMHT’s ghosts are stirring 😛

  9. JM says:

    Aaron Ramsey:

    The Marseille Turn (the 360/ the Roulette) – check
    The Flip Flap (the elastico/ la culebrita) – next
    The “Behind the Leg” Flip Flap (the Aurelio/ Hocus Pocus) – next
    The Rainbow Kick (reverse flick-over/ arco iris) – next
    The Cruijff Turn – next

  10. chas says:

    Note the two stadium orgasms when viewing the replays of Jack’s goal on the big screen.

  11. Räsp says:

    ‘stadium orgasms’ 😆

  12. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Mmm, I’d always thought of “Rocky Shape” as being a good place to be 🙂

    Great start to the week, Rocky, thank you.

    I think my greatest “getting it wrong” was probably The Dutch Bloke, and I remember telling anyone that would listen that the man was a dud. Would never make it.

    I have absolutely no idea why I never came to the same conclusion about Aaron, as there was never really the evidence that he would turn out to be the next Zidane 🙂

    To my mind, he was always going to be that stereotypical British Bulldog type. Oh, how wrong. What a complete joy he is to watch. We are lucky people.

  13. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Anyone else see Chas und Exile’s clever posting of moving images last night?

    Can’t think why one of the lazy sods haven’t put up The Ramsey Goal since we are celebrating The Welsh Wizard today.

  14. LB says:

    Why is it called the Marseille Turn, as in roulette 360 degrees, when the world famous European gambling town is 100k further along the coast?
    Surely it should be the Monaco Turn…………

  15. LB says:

    I remember telling anyone who would listen that Ramsey was an attacking midfielder but would they have it? No they wouldn’t.

    I kept on having to deal with people saying he can play anywhere in the midfield err, well yeah but that is a bit like saying that Szesceny could play CF; well, yes again, but obviously his best position is in goal.

    So when I was banging on about Ramsey being an attacking midfielder I was right, soon you are going to understand why I say what I do about Wilshere.

  16. MickyDidIt89 says:

    I think there is a casino in Bognor if that helps, LB.

  17. chas says:

    Best goal scored by a DM ever. 🙂

  18. urskruz says:

    Reblogged this on urskruz.

  19. LB says:

    Talking of Bognor, there is a big Arsenal mad community there and when I say Arsenal mad I am talking attending every game, home, away and Europe and they are aggressive as hell.

    I used to sit behind a few of them at Highbury and the amount of fights they would get into with other Arsenal supporters was bad, very bad; if anyone booed they would seriously threaten them and clapping anything good the opposition did was always met with a treat of a fight.

    I was wondering if Chas had come across them at away games.

    Have you heard of Carl from Bognor?

  20. Räsp says:

    Morning LB, you left the “naaaa, naa, na, naaa, naaaa” off the end of your @ 11;42 😆

  21. LB says:

    The Wilshere goal to me is a thing of beauty but it is far more an Arsenal collective goal than Ramsey’s, for example, which was pure individual skill.

  22. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Best goal scored by a DM ever. ROLF

  23. LB says:

    Morning Rasp

    Your Song to Barça trumps it.

    Still can’t believe how you got that one right.

  24. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Look hang on a minute Rasp. Wasn’t our friend LB who inferred Ollie was an unintelligent footballer? Cast your eyes over Item One, M’Lud. The Jack Goal.

    I’ll be having less of the Naaa naa, na, naaa, naaaa’s from the defendant 🙂

  25. chas says:

    I haven’t come across them, LB.
    Though I imagine I’d be aggressive if I came from Bognor.

    Anyone familiar?

  26. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    All our players are great and can all attack

    I reckon if Mertsacker was played up front he would get 20 a season easy.

    I took my daughter to Butlins in Bognor Regis LB. Lovely place. Like a huge audition for the Jeremy Kyle show.

    Some bloke wanted to fight me coz i went into him whilst on the Bumper Cars.

  27. chas says:

    “In 1974 the Great London Council [GLC] moved 3,000 families, including mine, from Islington to Bognor Regis. The area was suddenly awash with Gooners and we used to have to travel to London every week on the train. Obviously we bunked our fares as we did our best to look like Charlie George in big collared shirts, platform shoes, high-waisted flairs, scarves tied around our wrists and with hair down to our shoulders. We’d leg it from Finsbury Park tube up the Blackstock Road to the Golden Fish bar where the two Chinese girly twins would serve us fish suppers while making clear no bad language or any other bollocks was tolerated!”

    http://www.thearsenalcollective.com/the-memory-bank/2011/11/17/five-generations.html

  28. LB says:

    Micky

    It was me who questioned Oliie’s intelligence and I still do.

    The context was getting into the right position or not as I was suggesting when Jenkinson was about to cross the ball.

    This in my opinion should not be confused with his flick on Saturday, which was good but there was a great deal of luck involved.

    Ozil does not rely on flicks and tricks his positional play is outstanding, there is no luck involved in this it is pure football intelligence.

  29. LB says:

    Terry

    That is my point, all our players including Mertasacker can attack.

    But some are better at it than others.

    Maybe this point is more subtle than I realised. It screams from the mountain tops to me.

  30. MickyDidIt89 says:

    You’re a tough nut to crack LB 🙂

  31. 26may1989 says:

    Absolutely excellent post from The Rock, love it.

    Of course, Rob is right to say that, at Salford United, Ramsey would have picked up some medals in the past few years but the real issue relates to where Ramsey would have developed best. We’ve been the lesser lights in the past few years, no doubt about that, but the regime at AFC is all built around the players and how to help them become the best they can be. Ramsey saw that, and thought it would help him develop better to be part of that system. Having lost a couple of years on acount of the savagery of ex-MUFC defender, Shawcross, Ramsey is showing why his decision was the right one.

    Some people (not on AA) have been making out that our form this season has been driven only by Ozil’s arrival and Ramsey’s sudden good form. That may help them reconcile themselves with having written us off very recently, but the truth is that we have been showing excellent form since March, and at the centre of that was evident improvement in our brilliant Welshman. There’s been nothing sudden about his improvement or ours. (We also bear in mind that the fixture list delivered to us a series of very winnable games up front, and frankly we should have won at least the majority of those games.)

  32. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    True LB

    Not including defenders we currently have only one player that prefers the defensive side

    That’s the thing about Flamini, he likes the dark side of the game. How many of our players would have head butted that Norwich giant Saturday?

    Some one told me recently that Flamini is some kind of Judo black belt. If I had known this before i could have taken him to Bognor as my minder.

  33. MickyDidIt89 says:

    “Martin Keown on Triangle” is cruel

    Who the heck makes these kind of things 🙂

  34. LB says:

    It seems I am still a bit ahead of the curve regarding Wilshere.

    Who, by the way, I reckon would have been the only other player who would have done the same thing as Flamini on Saturday.

  35. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Wot, banged his head if he’d been playing DM? 🙂

  36. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Ooo 1pm, calling left side of the pond aka Rocky and Scarlet 🙂

  37. RA says:

    Beautiful Post, Rock. 🙂

    Your Post matched the brilliance of the game on Saturday.

    Any Spurs fans who got to see that game or its highlights must have realized the gulf in class between us, and have frustration on their faces like a eunuch’s in a bath of beautiful, naked women!

    Well back to read the ‘I told you so comments’ — not! 🙂

  38. LB says:

    Shame, I really value your input…………..not!

  39. LB says:

    Flamini definitely out tomorrow, this creates an interesting situation.

    I think everyone agrees that Flamini is more defence minded than attack so which player do you think Wenger will chose to replace him?

  40. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Assuming Arsene likes the Art/Flam style duo, and I think we can, then the obvious answer is Coquelin 😦

    So…..errr…not Jack surely? 🙂

    ………Ollie
    Santi Ramsey Ozil
    ……Art Jack

  41. LB says:

    Do I really have to say any more. lol

  42. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Here’s an idea. Sagna. Makes a very good mobile CB, so why not as DM, and pop Jenks back in.

    I know Bac is a superior RB, but would Bac be a better defensive mid than Jack?

    Just a thought.

  43. chas says:

    Really interesting video in this link from March.
    The bit I found interesting starts after 3 minutes in.

    http://poznaninmypants.com/2013/03/31/return-of-wengerball-the-video/

  44. chas says:

    Gnabry is favourite for the DM double pivot spare position. He tackles like a lion and has a forehead of steel.

  45. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    “a forehead of steel” hahahahaha

  46. Räsp says:

    Micky, your @1:28 midfield 5 is spot on – inspired by LB’s sage assessment of Jack’s best position. There is another alternative if we want to be more defensive (and why should we, we are at home) and that would be to start with Nacho and Gibbs. I’m sure this won’t happen.

  47. Räsp says:

    There’s always the possibility of Vermaelen at DM?

  48. Afternoon all, lots of excellent points well made Mr Rock and any post that digs out the recipients of institutionalised favouritism in the EPL is even better for it in my book.

    London, I would guess Arteta would replace Flamini, with Jack and Rambo alongside him in the middle 3 and a top 3 of Santi, Olly and Ozzy.

    As we are at home I suspect we would not need to be as defensive as usual however Dortmund are an attacking side so Rambo and jack will have to be very watchful.

    Dortmund won 1 nil at home on Saturday thanks to a pen on 5 minutes, so they’re not exactly free scoring at the moment(before the Interlull they lost 2 nil away at Gladbach).

  49. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Its going to be Ramsey surely??

    Arsene dosnt seem to trust Jack in the middle at the moment, believing he still lacks 100% sharpness.

    Aaron in the middle and Jack wide.

  50. LB says:

    Terry

    It could be Ramsey back there but in that case Rosicky is a far better choice out wide.

    We all saw what happened to the shape when Flamini went off on Saturday but if you look carefully we only regain the ascendency when Rosicky came on.

    I can live with either of these two.

    ———–Szczsney

    Sagna, Mertasacker, Koscielny, Gibbs

    ——-Wilshere, Arteta

    —–Ozil, Ramsey, Cazorla

    ————-Giroud

    Or

    ———–Szczsney

    Sagna, Mertasacker, Koscielny, Gibbs

    ——-Ramsey, Arteta

    —–Rosicky, Ozil, Cazorla

    ————-Giroud

  51. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Chas
    Really interesting video? 3 mins on the dot and Gunnersaurus appears. Is that the clue?

  52. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Rasp
    I think we can give up on the Verm for DM campaign 🙂

  53. RA says:

    Hi CharyB and you Terry, 🙂

    You both seem to be saying much the same thing, and I agree with your player selections.

    AW always wants Arsenal to play very flexible, fluid football and this results in a changing tactical set up throughout the game with 4:3:3 becoming 4:4:2 or even with a lone Ollie playing up front in a 4:5:1 and so on, as circumstances dictate.

    As a result, whichever player assumes the ‘defensive’ or ‘attacking’ role also depends on the needs of the moment and is not set in stone.

  54. LB says:

    That is an interesting clip, the question that kept running through my head was how does he find these things?

  55. LB says:

    I don’t know what happened to Gunnersaurous am I correct in assuming that Rasp’s campaign to get rid of him was successful?

  56. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Good call LB, but I still prefer Jack out there than Rosicky

    I like Thomas, but for me he is a notch below in terms of end product and gives the ball away to much.

    Nice to have options though. hahaha

  57. Hiya Redders, I saw you might be based in Harrogate at some point in the future – if you are I may drop in on you, if that’s ok with you, as I occasionally travel there.

  58. Räsp says:

    Haha Gunnersaurus is history.

    Micky, I’m not campaigning for TV at DM any more, I think he’ll be gone in the summer if not January. I’m happy with either Jack or Rambo next to Arteta in the centre mid/DM slots, I’m sure we’ll be training for one of those scenarios leading up to tomorrow’s game.

  59. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Excellent point Redders, exactly what i was thinking. hahaha

    There is so much movement in this team its unreal. Ive gone all tingly with anticipation for tomorrow hahaha

  60. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    What about the bloke inside him? Poor geezers now on the dole. Not much call for that sort of thing, or is there?

  61. RA says:

    That would be good CharyB!! 🙂 Do you go there on business? There are a number of IT software developers who are based there and always seem to collect accountants to test their systems to destruction!!

    I love Harrogate and the rolling farmland, as I previously lived there while on a project, and Leeds is pretty close by for the clubs and restaurants.

    Nothing settled yet, but it is certainly an option.

  62. RA says:

    I think we should get up a campaign — Rasper Out! ***** Gunnersorearse In!

    After all, our mascot snubbed John Terry last year!! Got to give him that!! 🙂 Who has Rasp snubbed?? 🙂

  63. No Redders, it’s strictly non work, but it’s either York or Harrogate/Knaresboro I go to 3 or 4 times a year.

    I ended up at the Whitby Bay Goths annual do at Halloween last year, weird stuff, but absolutely brass gareth bales cold.

  64. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    I wonder what the bloke inside him looks like? Has anyone ever seen him with his head off?

    The poor geezer must be devastated, and all because of ruthless Rasps hate campaign

  65. RA says:

    I should have known it would be the call of music, CharyB. 🙂

    Still we could try out the Jumbo Restaurant in Leeds, if you like Chinese food? It is about a quarter mile from the Corn Exchange, just off Vicars Lane, and we could give their Tsingtao beer a hammering, and then you can try and convince me Peroni is better!! 🙂

  66. RA says:

    Terry, he has a lot to answer for, that Rasper!!

  67. Actually goths aren’t my style to be precise Redders, but I was with a goth would assured me it would be a good idea, and while the Victoriana style dressing(top hats and waistcoats and sticks for the blokes and Jane Austen style gowns and dresses for the ladies) was quite quaint there was rather too much cross dressing and all round weirdness going on for my liking, ha ha,

    I went to Uni at Leeds back in the 80’s so I wonder how the old place is nowadays.

  68. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    To be fair to Rasp, Redders, I bet Gunnersawarse is a right mess out of his costume.

    Once the fur is off, these highly talented artistic types tend to be manic depressive alcoholics.

  69. RA says:

    It’s been a while since I have been to Leeds too.
    As I remember the Uni is not far from the City Museum, I think.

    A group of about 10 of us with accompanying girlfriends saw a brilliant Tournament at the museum with mounted knights giving each other a bad time 🙂 with lances flying everywhere and thrilling the girls, which meant a good beer or two was absolutely necessary to restore equilibrium, which then made walking near the canal extremely treacherous!! 🙂

    Got to go. See you later!

  70. RA says:

    You stop dissing Glic, Terry Munchkins!! 🙂 You know it is him.

  71. jnyc says:

    Brilliant article ROCKY! Just the perfect subject. I often remember the story of Rambo snubbing Fergie for Arsene. All repaid through Arsenes faith.
    we are watching the player of the year. Just enjoy it. Even is his scoring were to slow down, he is the most important all around player to any team. In the u.s. They call it mvp most valuable player.
    he is surely earning the respect and recognition of players and managers around the world. The media only notice the goals im sure. Look at his defensive stats also, outstanding.
    and ask the three defenders and keeper he left on the ground in the aftermath of his goal saturday.

  72. RockyLives says:

    Thanks for the comments everyone.

    Especially “rob” who said Ramsey would have won lots of trophies if he’d gone to Old Toilet.

    Well, he wouldn’t have because Fungus was going to send him out on loan for a couple of years.

  73. RockyLives says:

    Busy day I’m afraid… will try to catch up later.

  74. GunnerN5 says:

    Well Rocky, I for one, was very concerned about AR’s performances when he returned from Injury, I thought that he would never fully recover. Many players who have suffered broken legs are never the same again, very tentative going into a tackle and a yard or two slower – I thought that he looked like he fitted into that category.

    I am ecstatic to be proven so wrong.

    By the way one would never realize from his performances, that Sagna has experienced two broken legs.

  75. ärnie says:

    Fantastic, Rocky, absolutely fantastic read.

    I wonder, apart from being a fantastic tactician, and all the technical finesse, Arsene Wenger must also have fantastic communication skills. Very articulate, and able to convey a clear sense of the future, even if he is a man of less words. Or is he? Maybe he speaks a lot in one to one communication.

    Also, he probably knows how to respect players, which I doubt many of the other mafia-ganglord managers have

    That, plus maybe professional footballers, even the young ones, or their advisers, can look well into the future.

    And about Rambo, what more is there to say!!!! We all hope he continues to flourish for many many years, and stays away from the opposition mercenaries. Outside the field of play, he is very mature, articulate, soft-spoken and seems to be approachable. A truly great asset for Arsenal and Wales.

    Late in, and have to go as well, sob, back later, hopefully!

  76. ärnie says:

    Nice thoughts on team selection everyone, plenty to mull over!!!! cannot wait for tomorrow…..

  77. chas says:

    “Looking forward to our match against my German friends.”

  78. GunnerN5 says:

    Here’s one of my favourite headlines.

    ……………………………………………………………………….

    Moyes Driving Racing Car Like A Skoda

  79. LB says:

    Hot damn

    I can’t wait for tomorrow’s game.

  80. Shard says:

    Thanks for the post Rocky. I’m sure Ramsey agrees with you when you say he made the right choice. I really think he’s enjoying life at Arsenal, like most of our players. Would Ramsey have developed the same way at ManU? I doubt it. Wenger has been huge in Ramsey’s growth as a player. Ferguson apparently barely conducted training the past few years.

    But Ramsey also has this inner drive that is remarkable. He overcame his leg break with such fearlessness. The first time after his recovery when we played Stoke, he was jumping in for 50-50s and consistently winning them. It was at that moment that I knew he would come good. At one point before his injury he was being touted as belonging in the same company as Fabregas. Then people made out that he was Gerrard, because he always put in effort and running around. And then people used him as a lightning rod for their frustrations. But he’s exploded into action this season. He’s been our player of the season so far, and if he can keep at it, I think he has the talent, and as he’s shown. the desire and mentality, to overcome whatever is thrown his way. There’s no more need to compare him with Cesc, Gerrard or Zidane. He’s Aaron Ramsey and he’s ours.

    A couple of other stories I saw. Has anyone else heard that Vermaelen is requesting that players wear the Arsenal suits on the team bus instead of the training gear, and that Gazidis has confirmed this will happen by next month? Seems interesting. If or no other reason than suggesting that Vermaelen is still very involved with the club.

    Also, Klopp saying this, (if the report is true) is fantastic

    “Arsenal plays the Arsene Wenger football. And I like it. As a fan of football, its the most beautiful kind of football you can watch”

    After watching the Norwich game, few would disagree, and if the trophyless seasons have lost us potential fans, it won’t be long before they start coming to us in droves. I was going to use the word throngs, but I was sure someone would make up a joke around underwear. There was definite stirring after the Wilshere goal, and you know, maybe Terry is right after all.

  81. 26may1989 says:

    You might think Palace v Fulham is a televised fixture to avoid (when else are you going to catch up with Homeland?), but in the first half the Cottagers have scored two absolute pearlers, one from Kasami, one from Sidwell. Both great individual strikes, but the Kasami one is the better, being from a narrow angle.

    Neither one beats the weekend’s efforts from Wilshere and Ramsey though.

  82. GunnerN5 says:

    26M,

    I agree with your assessment on Fulham’s first goal but did you hear the commentator say that it could rival the Wishere goal for PL goal of the season. Unbelievable how they won’t acknowledge anything good happens at Arsenal

  83. bayou says:

    Ramsey scored against a static Norwich defence and Giroud made a poor touch from Wilshere in to a goal.

  84. arnie says:

    Too much rain, soggy ground, one or two of the earthworms have started creeping out of the soil …. trolalala lalalala lala!!!!!

  85. 26may1989 says:

    GN5, I know – pretty, long-range hits always attract too much admiration (and I said that about Henry’s classic v United). Give me a well-worked team goal any day.

    Bayou, mate, if you can’t say anything sensible, best to keep the old gob shut.

    And now it’s Senderos scoring with a far-post volley. Blimey.

  86. bayou says:

    Ramsey and Wilshere could only dream of scoring Fulham’s two goals.

  87. arnie says:

    well said, GN5 and 26may. just a thought, what would be the closest to the Wilshere goal in EPL history?

  88. bayou says:

    Fulham’s first goal was pure technique whereas Wilshere’s goal was a tap in.

  89. 26may1989 says:

    arnie, I’ll put my thinking cap on……

  90. arnie says:

    26may: 😀 ;D

  91. GunnerN5 says:

    arnie,

    If there was one as good It would have to be a Man U goal, dislike them as we may they still scored some beauties.

  92. 26may1989 says:

    This one from Drogba is on the same level: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PQ8WMkGQ0xc.

    Turns out some of the usual suspects (Bleacher, Daily Mail) have been putting together compilations following Wilshere’s goal. See:

    http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1818970-was-wilsheres-the-best-team-goal-in-premier-league-history/page/6

    and

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-2468733/After-Jack-Wilsheres-stunner-favourite-team-goals-time.html.

  93. dandan says:

    This was written by a spurs fan but it really it is for all football Dads and I would like to dedicate it to GIE and his lad.

    http://dispatchesfromafootballsofa.com/2013/10/20/everybodys-free-to-support-spurs/

  94. 26may1989 says:

    Have just realised each side tonight has two ex Arsenal players: Chamakh, Jerome Thomas, Sidwell and Senderos.

  95. 26may1989 says:

    Re LB at 8.47 (“Hot damn. I can’t wait for tomorrow’s game”), has AA’s acid-tongued one been kidnapped by a Texan cult (that’s “cult”, Peaches, don’t worry)?

    We want our LB back.

  96. arnie says:

    GN5: 😀

    Thanks 26may, let me relive the memories. A fantastic team goal is a thing of beauty, has to be appreciated, wherever it comes from!!!! 😀

  97. SharkeySuresGhost says:

    Amazing commentary….I think they quite enjoyed it 😉

  98. 26may1989 says:

    dandan, absolutely love that, brilliant stuff.

  99. arnie says:

    thanks a lot, 26may. Had a great time watching all the goals over and over again.

    For me, the Wilshere goal is the best, the only one that comes even close is the Drogba goal. The Wilshere goal pips it for three reasons. First, the other one is scored by Drogba, the great player, but the cheat and the master of theatre! Dont laugh!! Second, there were two 1-2’s between Ollie and Jack, which prolonged the suspense, and it looked more breathtaking. And yes, two were required, there wasnt the opportunity before. Third, the stage of the game. At 0-0, it was a cagey affair, and this was the first goal.

    No other EPL goal comes close. But the two internationals. Carlos Alberto and Cambiasso, ah what pleasure!!!!

    I have gone to heaven and returned to earth. Now need to sleep a bit before the trip down south. See all who will be at the Tavern or the game. Very excited…..

  100. arnie says:

    Forgot to mention, 3 out of the top 5 in the Bleacher Report were Arsenal goals. Hey ho!!!!!

  101. arnie says:

    dandan: good stuff!!

  102. 26may1989 says:

    Much as I dislike talking up anything done in the name of Chelsea, I have to disagree with you slightly arnie. First off, Drogba is an absolute god of football – the fact he ended up wearing the wrong shirt shouldn’t obscure that. Second, the goal itself was the culmination of a move that was a smidgeon more controlled than our stellar effort on Saturday. The 1-2s between Olly and Jack were ludicrously extravagant – they were certainly intentional but they were also low percentage efforts in terms of likely success – the fact that they came off doesn’t take away from that. There’s just a bit more control in Chelsea’s effort, and to me that means by the narrowest of margins it shades our goal.

    Chelsea is still a shit-heap of a club though.

  103. Gööner In Exile says:

    Nice post Rocky, I take it from only te one Manc poster that they are all picking twit wounds and trying to figure out what’s happening.

    It is certainly true he would have been in a few medal winning squads had he been at OT, but do we think he would have got a medal? I’m not so sure he would have had enough appearances under SAF, and I’m certain he wouldn’t have progressed in the four years as much as he has at Arsenal.

    Evidence for that is there for all to see….Carrick, Rooney, Rafael, Fletcher, O’Shea, Evans, Brown.

    Did any of those players improve under Fergie?

    And I know I haven’t listed Giggs, Scholes, Neville, Beckham….whilst they may be great players….they were that good when they walked in the side.

    Only Ronaldo improved under SAF, but even that we can see now was just a small improvement compared to the player at Madrid now.

  104. GunnerN5 says:

    A little light but enjoyable early morning reading.

    ………………………………………………………………………………………..
    Posted by David Hirshey

    At the risk of jinxing myself and being forced to inhale my mustache come May, let me just say that these are heady days for Arsenal fans.

    After the Gunners’ 4-1 vivisection of 30 million pounds-wasted-on-summer-transfer-fees Norwich, a clearly besotted Chelsea supporter sidled up to me at the Football Factory and asked whether he could buy me a pint. Now, if there’s one thing I never trust, it’s a seemingly pleasant guy wearing a John Terry jersey. After all, Terry himself must have acted friendly to Wayne Bridge at first too, right?

    So I told the guy that while I rarely drink alone, I prefer it to drinking with plastic fans who scurry about in the shadows of an evil Russian oligarch. Then I bet him $100 that Arsenal would finish ahead of the Blues in the table. Did I mention that I had already enjoyed a few pints of Stella-flavored courage?

    Let’s face it — this jinxing business can be tough on the nerves. Usually I prefer to assume the worst until fate, Arsene Wenger or Howard Webb prove me wrong. And for eight long, sad, Birmingham City-tainted and trophy-less years, this state of affairs has proved to be depressingly correct.

    But this season there’s something in the North London air, and it’s not the usual “mind the gap” stench wafting from White Hart Lane …

    Even more surreal is what happened next. Standing in line for the men’s room, I found myself behind a gaggle of mid-table United fans, still in shock from dropping two home points against Southampton in what used to be called Fergie Time. Suddenly the sea of red jerseys parted and, in a loud, booming voice, the guy in front of me said, “Go ahead, mate. You’re top of the league.”

    Was this some tacit acknowledgment that a Gooner’s needs now come before those of the fallen champions — or were they simply having a laugh at my expense because they saw me hopping from foot to foot as my bladder threatened to burst? Either way, I gratefully accepted their magnanimous gesture.
    Paul Gilham/Getty ImagesIt’s hard to deny how Mesut Ozil has transformed Arsenal. But the toughest games are yet to come.

    Wait, there’s more. Still basking in the glow of this mystical deference towards Arsenal, I floated out of the bar — in truth, my feet haven’t touched the ground for the past four league-leading weeks — and headed uptown in a taxi. The driver took one look at my maroon Gunners bomber jacket and said, “What an amazing goal by Ramsey!” He explained that he was originally from Ghana, supported Arsenal because of Emmanuel Frimpong and had heard breathless reports of Ramsey’s goal on BBC Radio. I told my new Ghanaian best friend that from now on he was to refer to Arsenal’s next savior as Aaron Rams-messi, but that the Welshman’s sick corkscrew dribble in the box that left three Norwich defenders flat on their derrieres wasn’t even our best goal of the game.

    “I’m so happy right now,” said the cabdriver, who was even giddier after I gave him a tip commensurate with a fare to central Ohio. Now you could argue that there’s nothing stupider than communing with a man whose Arsenal hero is a player whose primary contribution to the team’s success is making a line of clothing with someone named Lethal Bizzle, but I believe that my Gunners and I are bulletproof this time around.

    Killjoys will claim that Arsenal has yet to beat any team of consequence in the league — did they forget our 1-0 win over Spurs? Perhaps — and that the true test of Arsenal’s mettle will come over the next 22 days, a time frame featuring seven games against formidable opposition. It all starts Tuesday with Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League, followed by Chelsea in the Capital One Cup and then Liverpool and Man United in the league.

    Sure, a couple of bad results would see the Emirates’ feel-good factor vaporizing like a plume of cigarette smoke over Jack Wilshere’s head. But judging by Saturday’s joyful, mesmeric display, Arsenal’s normally glass-completely-empty faithful can be forgiven for thinking that it’s the Prussians, Blues, Reds and Mancs who should be afraid. Very afraid. I mean, when even the world’s greatest Danish ninja warrior, Nicklas Bendtner — he of the ridiculous topknot and scruffy Red Sox beard — is starting to look like a legitimate threat to someone other than his fellow drivers, you know the soccer gods are smiling down upon your team. Can a Frimpong hat trick be far behind? That’s three goals, not a yellow, yellow and red card.

    How fitting it was that Arsenal looked truly unstoppable on a day when Robert Pires, a key figure in the Gunners’ last invincible run, was in attendance.

    Despite its rollicking start to the season, Arsenal has been bedeviled by injuries to several key attacking options — Lukas Podolski, Theo Walcott, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Santi Cazorla have all been struck — and the bad news for Gunners opponents is that save for Walcott, they appear to be mending just in time for the upcoming crucible of big games.

    Cazorla, the practically forgotten midfield maestro who was the team’s best player in 2012 B.O. (Before Ozil), returned on Saturday from a month layoff to put in an impressive 60-minute stint alongside the man who usurped his role as Arsenal’s creative heart. Ironically, it was the Spaniard and not the German who was in the middle of Arsenal’s dazzling sequence of six one-touch passes that resulted in the Gunners’ first golazo, as memorable an homage to teamwork as anything we’ve seen since the wizardry conjured up by Les Invincibles.

    How fitting was it that Robert Pires — who, along with Thierry Henry, Dennis Bergkamp and Patrick Vieira formed the attacking spine of that storied unbeaten side — should be in the stands to witness the latest sleight-of-foot magic unfolding in the 18th minute. (Although I’m pretty sure that Cazorla waxes his eyebrows, which none of the Invincibles would have considered.) It began harmlessly enough with Wilshere picking up the ball deep in the Arsenal half and passing to Cazorla on the left flank. Cazorla galloped to the top of the box before laying it off to the on-rushing Wilshere who fed Olivier Giroud and kept on running. Two lightning-quick flicks from the Frenchman, sandwiched around a fortuitous back-heel from the England player, and Wilshere was clean through the Norwich defense, which seemed hypnotized by the interplay.

    Wilshere, who never broke stride, volleyed the ball past the Canaries’ outstanding keeper, John Ruddy, and straight into Arsenal folklore.

    Astonishingly, for all the technical quality and speed of thought involved in the move, neither of Arsenal’s two most accomplished players had a foot in it. Perhaps a tad weary from having played in Germany’s World Cup qualifiers during the international break, Mesut Ozil started slowly, causing the flummoxed commentator at one point to yelp “OUT OF BOUNDS OFF OZIL!” Ramsey, meanwhile, was relegated to the bench to make room for Cazorla in midfield.

    The players arguably most inspired by Ozil’s brilliance? Try Jack Wilshere and Olivier Giroud.

    Both would join in the fun soon enough. When the spiky and influential Mathieu Flamini was forced off with a concussion late in the first half, Ramsey slotted into the holding midfielder role. But anyone who has watched Arsenal this season knows that the only holding the Welshman does is after the game when he clutches the bottle of champagne awarded to the man of the match. Ramsey has been an attacking beast for Arsenal, leading the team in scoring with seven goals, none more spectacular than the one he invoked in the 83rd minute. I don’t think I’ve seen so many bodies lying forlornly on the turf since Diego Maradona slalomed through the England defense in 1986. Granted, Maradona’s was a 60-yard open-field run compared to Ramsey’s mini-masterpiece in the Norwich box that saw him Cruyff-turning and Zidane-pirouetting before calmly beating Ruddy to his far post.

    It is tempting to suggest that the presence of Ozil on the field has been the spark to light Ramsey’s recent performances. Tempting but not precisely true. The Welshman had rediscovered his swagger long before the former Real Madrid player arrived at the Emirates, and his confidence has been soaring with every goal.

    On the other hand, you could make the case that Ozil has lifted the games of almost every other Arsenal player, most notably Giroud (who had two assists against Norwich) and Wilshere who, in addition to scoring the goal of his career has been playing with more control and less whining.

    But the German, as he showed again Saturday, is far more than the sublime playmaker who has made more goals than any other individual in Europe over the past five years. Give him the slightest opening to score himself and he is a ruthless finisher. His two strikes on Saturday — the first a rare header off a delicious Giroud cross — brought his total to three goals and three assists in seven games for Arsenal.

    When Ozil side-footed home the fourth against Norwich, the delirious Gunner contingent at the Football Factory chorused “Umlauts for everyone!”

    I’m buying.

  105. Gööner In Exile says:

    Thanks for that link DanDan….very good footballising of Baz Lurmans Sunscreen.

  106. arnie says:

    26may: Great respect your opinion, mate! 😀 😀

  107. RockyLives says:

    Well, I have watched all the rival contenders for “best team goal” and none of them is a patch on Wilshere’s v Norwich.

    Gn5
    That’s a very nice piece from the Hirshey Bar chap, but I have to take issue with this: “Two lightning-quick flicks from the Frenchman, sandwiched around a fortuitous back-heel from the England player, and Wilshere was clean through the Norwich defense.”

    If he thinks Wilshere’s backheel was fortuitous, he is a chap who has never played footy (at a decent level).

    Every one-touch pass in that wonder goal was intended, not accidental.

    As 26 says, a couple of the flicks were high risk, but they came off – and that’s why it’s a better goal than all the alternatives offered.

  108. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Motning All.

    26, I know this is not your time but can’t ignore this:

    “The 1-2s between Olly and Jack were ludicrously extravagant – they were certainly intentional but they were also low percentage efforts in terms of likely success – the fact that they came off doesn’t take away from that. There’s just a bit more control in Chelsea’s effort, and to me that means by the narrowest of margins it shades our goal”

    I think judging the Chav goal better than the Arsenal one, simply says more about the interpreter than the goal (in a nice way)

    Someone who prefers the “low percentage efforts in terms of likely success”, that’ll be me, over the lower risk goal, Toi 26, simply likes greater risk.

    The chances of the Jack goal coming off, were far far slimmer. There were two more “elements” to the Jack goal, and both high risk, and therefore the overall goal will always be a far rarer event.

    Reach for the stars, I say 🙂

  109. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Highly jealous of everyone going tonight. I have a feeling it is going to be a magical night.

    Really annoyingly, I have to be in London for a 4pm meeting. Sniffing distance from N5. Even worse, the man I’m meeting is going to the game. Then, and I have no option, I’ll have to set off Devonwards, leaving all my hopes and dreams in the Metropolis. How painful is that going to be?

    Answer: it’s going to hurt like buggery.

  110. chas says:

    I’m not sure the phrase “hurts like buggery” is very pc!

  111. MickyDidIt89 says:

    To be honest Chas, I don’t know how they enjoy it. Haven’t you ever had a “full gentleman’s check up”?

    Anyway, moving swiftly on…..

  112. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Chas
    Another fine ball from our DM 🙂

  113. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Oh God Nooo, he’s off finding a related vid. This could be the lowest moment ever on AA

  114. chas says:

    Haha, has any other team got a goal-a-game DM?

    On a lads’ trip away, one chap was looking for a volunteer to apply pile cream, ‘as my wife usually does it’.
    Safe to say that both, a) he couldn’t find anyone and b) he’s now divorced. 🙂

  115. MickyDidIt89 says:

    ROLF

    Must go, on school run.

  116. arnie says:

    good morning everyone.

    Micky is exuding green vapours …. ha ha ha

    Micky and Rocky: I sort of understand 26may’s position. But for me, the goal on Saturday was more breathtaking also because it was high risk. The audacity of trying something like that is amazing! The game was at 0-0, and some other day we might have suffered just because of such expansive low-percentage brilliance, but who cares! It came off, and was beautiful!!!! It was a different matter doing such a thing when the team is 2-0 or 3-0, or in the Chavs case 4-0 up.

  117. arnie says:

    chas: see you soon…..

  118. SharkeySuresGhost says:

    Corky – top class read !!!

  119. Morning all

    There’s a New Post …………….

  120. Mike says:

    I like the article. However whilst I’m “loving it” (to quote Kev), I’m a little concerned about the use of hindsight (which is always 20/20) and “mind the gappage” which should be reserved for Spuds.Just a bit of coution. For Ramsey personally, there’s no doubt the move to Us has worked out, but write Utd off at your peril. And there’s no telling how Ramsey’s career would have worked out at Manure.
    Go Gooners!!

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