Stop Carping And Get Behind The Lads

I didn’t see last night’s game but I thought I’d do a report anyway.

Here it is:

First Half: we were pants.

Second Half: pants with skiddies.

I have deduced this summary from Arsenal blogs and newspaper articles. And Twatter. And Twat (better known as Piers Morgan).

The thing is though, we won. And we’re now in a cracking position to guarantee qualification for the knock out rounds of the Champions League yet again.

Yes, I know we take the “knock out” rounds a bit too literally and tend to get knocked out, but we must be due a lucky draw in the Round of 16 this time, surely?

I digress.

Back to the game that I didn’t see. It appears we struggled to put two passes together and left ourselves spreadeagled and wide open at the back, resulting in a nasty Belgian Surprise (like getting an iffy mussel at Belgo).

Having gone a goal down, we instantly went back to not stringing passes together, leaving ourselves wide open at the back etc etc.

Then, when all was about lost, we scored two goals and knicked all three points.

Hurrah!

Although I didn’t see the game I did manage to see the goals on YouTube before a UEFA lawyer had the clip removed. Gibbs’ finish was a thing of class and composure and the most striking feature of Podolski’s winner was the sheer determination of Sanchez to keep the ball alive and in the danger zone. We got a lucky bounce to plop the ball at the Pod’s feet, but we’ve had few enough of them this season.

Anyway, many of you will doubtless want to go on about how bad our performance was, regardless of the result.

To that I say: “Hush, my little ones. Curb thine tongues and sooth thine fevered brows.”

We’re going through a wobbly phase at the moment (we’ll snap out of it soon) and what the players need above all is support and confidence. They are certainly taking the good bits out of the evening: Kieran Gibbs says we made a statement with our late comeback, Aaron Ramsey says it’s good to get back to winning ways, Mesut Ozil called the win very important and Arsene Wenger hailed our spirit. Well, alright, Arsene would hail our spirit if we’d just fainted on the Jungle Bouncers (“toddlers welcome”) at Chessington World of Adventures.

But while Arsenal fans wail and gnash their teeth, who’d have thought the most sensible comment of the night would come from Mr Stanley Collymore?: “Well done Arsenal. Crap most of the night, bottle when it mattered. Big big result and confidence booster.”

I say let’s treat the result (and the game) the way the players are treating it: a characterful win on a night when things didn’t always go smoothly.

We all know this Arsenal team has the players to do something special. Let’s help give them the confidence to get on with the job.

RockyLives

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135 Responses to Stop Carping And Get Behind The Lads

  1. Shard, following on from a query on the last post, the Hindu calendar predates all others so I was trying to guess which year it may be – like all things related to the origins of the oldest religion there’s nothing definitive but this was the closest I got to a year number: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hindu_calendar#Year_numbering

    I’d never bait Evonne, I’m not that dumb ha ha.

  2. Goongoonergone says:

    I’m sick to the core of people telling Arsenal supporters who pay the highest prices to watch an insipid Arsenal to get behind the team. I’m sick of the players and the manager talking crap after a match.
    How about the manager and the players getting behind us Arsenal supporters?

  3. Shard says:

    chary

    Wow. I didn’t know that the Puranas assigned a date to any calendar. Officially, the Hindu calendar is either the Vikram Samvat,which starts from 56 BC, or the Saka era, which, if I recall, has 78 AD as year 0.

    Thanks for that link though. Might look into it more at some point. I don’t quite think of the Puranas as a legitimate source though 🙂

    Anyway, onto the football.

  4. I think Mr Rock is calling me a fish head, I was none best pleased with the performance – the result I liked. 🙂

  5. NetBulger says:

    Good positive report, but you’ll never quieten the whines of the likes of Goongoonergone no matter how hard you try but thanks for trying hard anyway.

  6. Shard says:

    Rocky

    Thanks for your unseen match report.

    However, as regards Gibbs. I read somewhere that his statements were more of the ‘yeah we have a problem’ kind, than the ‘yaay, we won’ kind.

    Actually when the match ended, he did seem to be one of those who weren’t in the mood to celebrate too much.

    I hope this victory acts as a springboard for this season. It’s been weird. We’ve not been bad (apart from against Dortmund and yesterday) but have just fallen short of where we should be, and haven’t really seen a spark. Maybe the lucky win will be that spark to ignite us.

  7. Excellent Rocky. I was holding my head in my hands, I couldn’t believe what I was watching and then we equalised and then we scored another to win the game.

    If we have to chug along and win games in this fashion this season until we gel then so be it ………… it won’t be fun though. But as our dear departed friend dandan would have said ‘enjoy the ride and support your team’.

    If AW doesn’t know how to sort it out then we have to hope that a couple of the players step up and take charge.

  8. kelsey says:

    Thanks for the post RL

    If you had seen the game you might have written a different report.

    My main concern is that confidence and direction is all over the place.

    We convincingly beat Villa and then the next match lose at Home to Southampton. It’s irrelevant that it was the Carling Cup.

    Injuries do play a factor, but we have those every season.

    The only positives for me are Sanchez who will be our star player and that we somehow got three points quite unexpectatly.

    The ghosts of the thirties must be turning in their graves 😉

    I don’t agree about bench warmers.One needs basically two teams these days and sometimes good players need to be rotated.

    Sanchez only flew back last Friday,yet again was our best player against Hull, so there is another of Wenger’s myths about jet lag and fatigue.

    He cocked up big time in the Summer.Mertesacker and Arteta are a year older and it shows, Flamini is not the answer as he has also aged and generally our defence looks so brittle whoever we play and having lost Giroud and Ramsey being completely out of form our options to score goals is limited.
    Wellbeck is a good buy but still needs to improve his shooting, in fact all the attacking players should shoot more from the edge of the box or further so that others can run in and collect the spills if in fact the shots don’t produce goals.
    Tippy tappy has been found out and the number of misplaced passes by our players is the worst I have seen for years.

    What is the reason for that ? Possibly they are being pressed quicker by the oppo more than before, or they just aren’t confident or they are playing in a position that doesn’t suit their natural game.

    So many times our players are easily dispossessed or get caught too far up field and the very thing that we were famous for, the counter attack, is actually being used against us and we are being carved open time and time again.

  9. a says:

    we were dissapointing last night and i was running my foul mouth at them all except sanchez and welbeck.

    We didnt deserve the win

    hopefully the team doesnt think they can perform like this again.

    couple of points – wilshere looked jaded, should have been subbed at half time – put some effort in

    Carzola – he has been disappointing for a long time now, yesterday was his worst performance since we lost 6-0 to chelsea.

    Rosicky should be playing, so should chamberlain and campbell

    in the summer we should have sold two players – podolski ( even though he won us the game – we shouldnt have been in that situation anyway) and carzola. a defensive midfielder and a defender could have been added to the squad.

    we need a cull – players we need are required. carzola served us well, but the reason why real madrid who wanted him on a few occassions coudnt guarantee a starting 11 for him is apparent

    otherwise i can see someone like sanchez wanting to leave us at the end of the season.

    I am still confident about the team but there are players that need to leave and wenger needs to drop sooner rather than continuing like this

  10. ‘morning all,

    I set out this morning to write a comment on last night’s eighty-eighty minute long fiasco, but thinking back over it I just can’t be bothered.

    Instead I’ll just say, same old same old!!

  11. Steve says:

    Why do you believe Arsenal have the players to do something special? It is plainly obvious that we do not. Our football has been deteriorating every year since 2008 despite spending a fortune over the past two years. We are now quite boring to watch for the majority of the time, with very few flashes of brilliance. There may be a few good players in the team, but it is obvious to all apart from Wenger that the set up he uses just does not work.
    Nothing will change until Wenger decides to leave, and that will not happen until the crowd turn against him big time.
    I thought Wenger was the best I had ever seen until 2008, but he has totally lost the plot since then and is in danger of destroying his reputation.

  12. Gööner In Exile says:

    Shard, that point about Gibbs made me remember a moment when he was showing pretty angry gestures towards Alexis, just after he decided to shoot over instead of look for a pass when others were in good position.

    The truth is those that want change will see all the negatives they want to see, not necessarily a bad thing but as Chas said last night something over we have very little control.

    So Kelsey made a comment about our same old passing majority being backward and square, so as we have this data at our fingertips i thought i’d look it up, this was us last night:

    Forward : 319 (53%)
    Backward : 133 (22%)
    Square : 144 (24%)
    Total : 596

    Attacking third : 182 (31%)
    Middle third : 344 (58%)
    Defensive third : 70 (12%)

    Short : 569 (95%)
    Long : 27 (5%)

    During the game last night Rasp referred to Pep’s recent revelations that Tika Taka is dead, actually Pep said that Tika Taka for the sake of it is pointless, fine we all know that, but it is certainly not dead, if you look at what he said he speaks of it as a way to draw defenders out and then exploit the spare man.

    Now i don’t think we have ever really played Tika Taka, trying to pass and move, but when you think about Pep’s words you start to remember how his best sides have played, when they are tika taka’ing they are doing it in small spaces and areas, often Iniesta, Xavi and Messi not even moving just the ball quickly between them, and when the defence breaks ranks they exploit the space between players.

    The reason i mention this?

    Madrid’s stats last night

    Forward : 317 (47%)
    Backward : 181 (27%)
    Square : 175 (26%)
    Total : 673

    Att Third : 141 (21%)
    Mid Third : 432 (64%)
    Def Third : 100 (15%)

    Short : 633 (94%)
    Long : 40 (6%)

    Munich:

    Forward : 314 (46%)
    Backward : 211 (30%)
    Square : 164 (24%)
    Total : 689

    Att Third : 223 (32%)
    Mid Third : 374 (54%)
    Def Third : 92 (13%)

    Short : 658 (96%)
    Long : 31 (4%)

    Barca:

    Forward : 283 (45%)
    Backward : 185 (29%)
    Square : 159 (25%)
    Total : 627

    Att Third : 144 (23%)
    Mid Third : 380 (61%)
    Def Third : 103 (16%)

    Short : 591 (94%)
    Long : 36 (6%)

    As percentages, no one played less defensive third passes than Arsenal, and only Munich played more attacking third passes than Arsenal.

    None played more forward passes than Arsenal, everyone played more backward and square passes than Arsenal.

    Strange that isn’t it? What people believe they see and what actually happened.

    In fact I think it was GoonerB who said the other day that perhaps there was an over eagerness to get forward by our team and not enough patience, looking at the stats i’d say that was true and watching the game last night i felt we were trying to force the issue in their third of the pitch too quickly without being properly set, which is leading to more turnover of ball because well when you are not set you don’t have good options.

    Oh I suppose I should include the fabled one and his tactical masterclass of getting the ball forward and not dilly dallying:

    Chelsea

    Forward : 313 (53%)
    Backward : 163 (28%)
    Square : 114 (19%)
    Total : 590

    Att Third : 188 (32%)
    Mid Third : 293 (49%)
    Def Third : 109 (18%)

    Short : 553 (94%)
    Long : 37 (6%)

    So the only side to come close to Arsenal’s forward passing and attacking third passes is Chelsea……go figure.

    Tika Taka is alive and well.

    Lets just be sure we get something right, we were awful last night, but that has more to do with the way the 11 men on the pitch played than anything wrong with the tactical instruction, there is an over eagerness to force the issue to get the first goal rather than a calm patience that it will come. Control possession first, then the chances will come. If we keep trying to smash our way through early to get an early goal we have issues.

  13. Gööner In Exile says:

    I’d just like to add that the warm afterglow of that trophy hasn’t lasted long has it?

  14. Eddie says:

    GiE – on average I walk my dogs for about 10 hours a week. 9 hours out of that are sheer pleasure, when people love my dogs (and me), we all enjoy ourselves, lovely jubbly. And then the 1 hour a week I have to deal with arseholes shouting, swearing at me and my dogs, one even tried to kill the old German Sheppard. And what is more important/memorable to me? the 9 nice hours? Nope.

  15. Eddie says:

    Rocky, Rocky, Rocky. I didn’t realise how much I missed your posts until this morning. Damn you!!

    I like your philosophy of snapping out of the wobbly phase 🙂

  16. kelsey says:

    GIE

    You have taken my comment out of context.

    I said we usually start a game with countless passes mainly sideways and backwards,I wasn’t refering to the whole game. It is a pattern I have noticed more and more.

    Shard

    We seem to be in a never ending transition period yet last season we topped the league for over a hundred days.

    We have regressed for a number of reasons surely you can see that.

  17. GunnerN5 says:

    Being a stats man I appreciate the factual data that both GIE and Shard present to us – thank you both for your realistic views and assessments, you make blogging both educational and enjoyable.

    Being an overseas TV supporter I fully appreciate and relate to the views and type of unabashed support demonstrated by Chas and Ant. I’m extremely envious of them and wish I that I could accompany them on their travels. They are my type of supporters and i continue to blog because of their types. They add an incredible amount of inside knowledge that enhances my understanding of the meaning of being a FAN.

    If only they could be cloned!!!

    Being an Arsenal supporter I do not appreciate the over the top negative views presented to us by those who only seem to appreciate our team when we win and only then if we win in “style”. These types of bloggers seem to thrive on negative postmortem’s in the guise of rational analysis. I often wonder why they even bother to support when their main enjoyment appears to be criticizing to the very thing they purport to support……………..

    Two words for yesterday’s result.

    TRUE GRIT………

  18. fatgingergooner says:

    In 12 League, CL Group Stage, and League Cup games this season we’ve fallen behind in 9 of them. That’s not good.

    What is good is that we’ve come back to win or draw 6 of those matches.

    We are making things very hard for ourselves by conceding the stupid goals that we didn’t concede last season. Hopefully the return of Kos and Arteta will help resolve this issue as it’s becoming a bit of a problem.

  19. Eddie says:

    GN5 – it’s human nature – people are often not happy with what they have, but unhappy about what they haven’t got. And it is not restricted to the Arsenal fans, some clubs have even worse unsatisfied supporters.

    For me the problem is not with the fact that we played poorly, but because the players didn’t want to play. They walked on the pitch like prozzies outside a brother, only pretending to be interested in anything other than money.

    Having good quality players can be a curse – the expectations grow exponentially to the players wages and transfer fees. And the higher you climb up, the lower you will fall down. Gosh, that’s all very philosophical of me, I’d better stop before Didit notices

  20. Big Raddy says:

    RL. Great to have another Rocky post. Only The Master could write such an apposite report without seeing the game.

    My question is this……

    Would you prefer to win playing very poorly as we did last night or draw playing well as we did against Hull (for most of the game) ?

    The result is all, or is it?

    I just love watching football whether it be a park game or the mighty Arsenal. Always have. Our problems lie in the emotional attachment we have to our club which blinds us to the enjoyment of, for example, watching an average Anderlecht side play out of their skin for 80+ minutes. All we see is that AFC were below form.

    I am in the Chas camp.

  21. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Cheers Rock

    Great post earlier chas. Top man.

    Like GN5, ive cut back on the blogging due to what I regard as self fulfilling moaning, not just on this site which is relatively well reasoned, but on others to.

    Thats not been personal with anybody, we all have a right to a bit of doom and moaning. My problem is I see nothing to moan about. Supporting Arsenal is a privilege and honour so for that reason i am happy even when, and ime not suggesting we are, far from it, shit.

    Moaning is not the reason ime into football. Going to games enjoying the crack and a beer is, Think I will stick to that.

    As for Arsene Wenger? The greatest manager the club has ever had. Certainly the most successful.

    And yes, until the time comes for me to pay for my horrendous list of sins “The Ghosts of the Thirties” will always stir in my pants.

  22. Gööner In Exile says:

    You can play with stats here Kelsey, i’m afraid what you see is not what is happening:

    http://www.fourfourtwo.com/statszone/5-2014/matches/782744/team-stats/241/OVERALL_01#tabs-wrapper-anchor

    I have shrank the timeline to the first half of the first half.

    Then as its all visual with only numbers in top right i’ve had to change the pass type to get the stats:

    Forward 72
    Backward 34
    Square 38

    Total 144 passes

    So still 50% forward.

  23. Pat7 says:

    Well done Rocky for trying to put a positive on last night bar the result which left me in disbelief but smiling, especially when my Spud mate had half laughed stating the score as he left the bar just before we got the equaliser.

    I had sat there, watching to close to midnight as it’s a bit more advanced here and wondered what our play had deteriorated to. How long was this to go on?

    Points not covered by anyone yet:

    The ref must have had a good game as nobody’s mentioned him!
    Wenger’s substitutions SO late. 72′ and 83′ i think as I said to the group i was with ‘What is Pod supposed to do in 7’?

    I know we saved the game as ‘luck/grit’ would have it but is it reasonable to not chamge the pattern earlier in the first case when we are obviously playing badly; and to give quality players a chance to bring themselves into the match (which has rarely happened before last night) if only to save someone elses legs for the next game?

    I think there is a post there somewhere! Take care all!

  24. Gööner In Exile says:

    Pat 7 is all Pod needs 🙂

    I guess he is just there to take the chance given the opportunity, and I think to be fair to Arsene, if you’re looking at a team that 99% isn’t functioning then in reality what can two/three players do to change it?

    That’s the problem as I see it for last night, everyone was off the boil for whatever reason. And even 5 players off the boil is enough to kill you as a team, that everyone looked out of sorts.

    Just listened to the Tuesday Club podcast discussing the Invincibles with Amy Lawrence. Fantastic listen to cheer you up. Especially some of the stuff about how Arsene built the defence, and about how the club planned to death, some good stories in there.

  25. Shard says:

    BR

    Good point about Anderlecht. I do remember thinking during the game that their kids seem to be as good as we had back in 2007-08. Pity for them, they also have a similar fragility in terms of throwing away the lead.

    Also, I think we haven’t mentioned that though we got lucky that we won. The goals themselves, particularly the first one, were quite beautiful.

  26. Pat7 says:

    Thanks GiE i will do that.

    We do creat some beautiful goals Shard but just not enough shots, chances and ambition. It seems to me over the years that the tika taka has taken the power out of guys that previously had a shot in them – now, they either kick the turf or almost roll the ball toward the keeper….. Let’s hope Alexis keeps his and the rest get on what he’s on – legal, i hope! 🙂

  27. Shard says:

    GIE

    Great work with the stats, though just like positives are downplayed, if not dismissed, stats will be dismissed too with the quote about damn lies.

    The fact is Wenger has his weaknesses, but we seem to just take his strengths for granted. We notice stray passes more because we are so unused to them. But when the fantastic Chelsea miscue passes out for a throw or a corner like they did against us, it is not given much significance.

    That’s just how it is and will remain unfortunately. The positive of him leaving will be that people can’t ascribe anything going wrong to the manager. It was supposed to be about trophies, but as you said, that doesn’t seem to have made any difference to those who think he’s past it.

    Anyway. Gotta go for Diwali celebrations. Back later.

  28. Gie, you say that we were “off the boil” last night, but why is that?

    We seem to lack the ability or motivation to start actually playing as soon as the whistle blows. Too many times we have been caught cold, and we never seem to learn the lesson.

    I really would like to know what goes on in the dressing room before the kick-off, is there a bit of fist pumping from someone? By the look of the team as they wander listlessly out of the tunnel and onto the pitch they surely haven’t been on the end of a motivational tirade.

    Last night the only person trying to gee the team up was Flamini, but was anyone taking any notice?

    The only thing Wenger does on the touchline is moan at the fourth official, he never seems to either encourage or berate the players, they’re just left to get on with it.

    I’ve been critical in the past as to Wenger’s substitution policy, or lack of it, he seldom subs anyone before the sixtieth minute unless forced to by injury or a red card and last night he took even longer.

    It was blatantly obvious, long before half-time, that certain players were just not at the races, Cazorla and Ramsey for instance, yet he failed to rectify the problem at half-time, and just let things drift along until it was almost too late.

    Whether it’s lack of motivation, the lack of competition for starting places due to the poor quality on the bench or injuries, or just the fact that too many of the squad are slipping into their over-paid comfort zones, the fact is we appear to be in for the worst season since Wenger took over.

  29. Eddie says:

    happy birthday to the Pizza

    “All eyes turned and all mouths gawped to see this pizza slip off that famous puce face and roll down his nice black suit.”

    The excerpt from Ashley Cole’s autobiography may sound like a tale from a school dinner hall.

    In fact, it is a snapshot from the farcical scenes in the Old Trafford tunnel that followed Manchester United’s tempestuous 2-0 victory over Arsenal on 24 October 2004, a result that ended the Gunners’ 49-match unbeaten run

  30. Rasp says:

    Hi GiE, thanks for your thoughts re Tikki Takka. As we all know stats can be used to prove/disprove anything the user desires.

    Your stats @11:47 are open to the opposite interpretation to the one you inferred ….. “None played more forward passes than Arsenal, everyone played more backward and square passes than Arsenal”.

    But we were lucky to win after 88 minutes of under-performing whereas the other teams played to a high standard and won comfortably against better opposition.

    So much of our possession is meaningless be it backward, sideways or forward passing. Both Hull and Anderlecht showed that we are an easy team to defend against at the moment.

    It is a team problem, focused mainly on the midfield. Like others have said, I hope/trust it will click soon.

    As regards chas’ attitude to bloggers choosing to analyse games – I completely respect and understand his view and would not wish to upset him or anyone else with the points I make. This blog is at its best in the early mornings thanks to those regulars and if I had to choose just one way it would be to let that be the overriding ethos as it does not threaten the friendships we have made which are important to me.

  31. Eddie says:

    rasp – lucky? I didn’t think you subscribed to the luck theory 🙂 Did you celebrate when we won?

  32. Rasp says:

    Of course eddie, I never want us to lose at any level. Your friend will tell you how upset I was when the spuds under 18s beat ours.

    Anyone who wants to see the team lose because they believe it will prove a point they have been banging away at is not a true supporter.

    I just look for answers – there is no malice

  33. Rasp says:

    Re the use of ‘lucky’, I believe it can always be applied to individual occurrences but should not be applied to repeated events which defy statistical probability.

  34. Eddie says:

    I don’t want to argue with you Rasp, but you just had a pop at GiE about stats 🙂 🙂

    Joking, I know what you mean. I was glad we won, but at the same time terribly disappointed with the poor performance. I don’t buy Wenger’s tactical gamble claim – on this occasion it was sheer luck, his unexpected late birthday present

  35. Bayonne Jean says:

    Towards the end of the match, was composing the theme of the Daily Fail report — “Wenger 65, qualifies for bus pass, supporters want him to take full advantage immediately”. Very very fortunately, that didn’t happen.

    So on to qualifying. It’s simples. Assuming Dortmund does Gala at home, and Arsenal take Anderlecht at home, both qualify. Arsenal – BvB becomes a simple proposition — Arsenal has to win by at least three goals to hope to finish first on head to head GD. Given BvB will not drop points vs. Anderlecht at home in their final match, that’s the only way top spot is doable, given massive overall BvB GD.

    So BvB match strategy is also simples: high energy, go for it all out and outscore ’em by 3. If you don’t, you’re already qualified, and last match vs. Gala is a very dead rubber. Would suggest sending the women’s team, but it is Istanbul….

  36. arnie says:

    Great stuff, Rocky. Perfect pre-post report/review post! 😛 Taking a page out of Crystal’s notepad! 😛

    chasing my tail today, but just to say that I am very happy! 🙂 🙂 🙂

    And happy Diwali to all!!!! 🙂

  37. Rasp says:

    😛 eddie. I didn’t have a pop at GiE, he will know that, he always makes valid points. I didn’t use my own set of stats to make a point just referenced his.

  38. GunnerN5 says:

    Quote from Rasp @4:10

    “This blog is at its best in the early mornings thanks to those regulars and if I had to choose just one way it would be to let that be the overriding ethos as it does not threaten the friendships we have made which are important to me”.

    Rasp while the early mornings, which due to time lines I am unable to participate in, are a lot of fun they are usually not football related.

    My preference is to openly dialogue football – without having to read endless, meaningless post- mortems. We are a football club and like all other clubs throughout the world our form fluctuates. I accept the fluctuations and eagerly await the next game – without feeling that I have to give my interpretation of what went wrong and how to fix it.
    Like all other AA bloggers I have neither the skill or background to assume that I can second guess all of the players contributions or the managers decision making. They are the experts and are highly capable of analysing the performances.

    Second guessing “experts” spoil blogging for me, and many others, so I will continue to duck and weave and not get involved in “know it all” debates.

    Kelsey is one of the few bloggers who can make their points without trying to appear to be superior in knowledge than either other bloggers or the team management. His views are always consistent with his belief’s whereas other bloggers opinions change with the wind…………

  39. arnie says:

    feck. comment lost twice! 😦

  40. Rasp says:

    Thanks GN5, I appreciate that is your take on blogging and I respect that – but there are other valued members of this site who enjoy trying to understand what is happening and looking for answers. That doesn’t make them disloyal or bad supporters, its simply a difference in personality/attitude. Its all about tolerance otherwise we enter the realms of censorship.

    It is obvious that some bloggers can get away with saying things that others would be slated for – kelsey is a good example.

  41. Big Raddy says:

    All I ask of any blogger is that they respect another opinions – even if they are as blatantly peculiar as Didit’s.

    Over the years we have managed to weed out the one-line keyboard warriors leaving a site on which, hopefully, people can state an opinion without fear of abuse )…. except kelsey 🙂 )

  42. Eddie says:

    very true rasp – chas is another example. He is constantly given slack only because Ant is his brother

  43. Big Raddy says:

    And Happy Diwali to all

  44. Eddie says:

    GN5 – breakfast at AA is all about football. you may not see it as it is disguised in music vids, holiday snaps, cat and dog chit chat, but it is a secret code we use and I can quite assure you it is all about the Arsenal.

    blatantly peculiar comments from DidIt 🙂 🙂

  45. Big Raddy says:

    Eddie. And you are given slack because everyone is scared of you.

  46. Eddie says:

    peace man xx

    on a different subject altogether. How many years have the football fans been given the good example of public school educated rugby players? How goodie good they were, what an outstanding example that footballers could never follow…..bla bla bla bla

    So how about that Ben Flower punches? Why is he not in jail for GBH? And only a few months’ ban? Disgusting! If a footballer did anything as violent as that he would never play again. Can you imagine Suarez punching someone in the face, breaking their nose, blood etc?

  47. Eddie says:

    raddy – they should be.

  48. GunnerN5 says:

    Rasp,

    Our views obviously differ but not to a large degree. I enjoy an open dialogue where views are expressed and there is a some, give and take and tolerance. My issue is with the know it all’s who overreact to every single wobble, for goodness sake it’s a sport played and managed by human beings not a game played and managed by robots.

    I am totally disinterested in reading reactive opinions – and so are many other “not ear” bloggers.

    AA remains as my 1st choice site to blog on but my personal enjoyment is ruined by the “critical, after the fact, experts”.

    The only thing in football that I am an expert in – is being a supporter of my team – not a distractor………..

  49. GunnerN5 says:

    Eddie, Maybe it’s a good thing that I miss out on the early morning blogging because I cannot speak cat-ese.

  50. GunnerN5 says:

    Here’s a quote from Jack – a few words speaks volumes..

    …………………………………………………………………………………………..

    Jack – It wasn’t our prettiest display

    ‘We’ve been through a rough stage, so the main thing was to get the three points,’ says Wilshere

  51. Eddie says:

    GN5 🙂

    It’s good to see Jack saying that. Anybody can make a mistake or have a bad hair day, but don’t make excuses. Admit, put your hands up and don’t do it again.

  52. Rasp says:

    Sadly my life doesn’t allow me to participate in the early-morning club, but it is a highlight of my day and always brings a smile to my face. Chas unearths some amazing clips and the humour is fantastic – Shame it can’t be morning all day

  53. Eddie says:

    rasp – it is in your power to change your life and be happy.

  54. Rasp says:

    I need to earn a living Eddie – that was what I was referring to 🙂

  55. Big Raddy says:

    Right on Eddie

    Get rid of those negative vibes Rasp 🙂

  56. Eddie says:

    I wasn’t 🙂

  57. Rasp says:

    Ok Raddy, are you going to supply the weed? 😆

  58. Eddie says:

    who needs weed Rasp? you know my ultimate dream would be to wake up in the morning with the person I love, coffee on a sunny patio (fish pond on the left), quick swim in the pool, maybe some work, watching a game together, falling asleep on the sofa….. no time for drugs

  59. Gööner In Exile says:

    Rasp, that was kind of my point the fact is the system of short passing football isn’t wrong, but the players are not delivering on the pitch.

    And generally to relate what we perceive to what actually happened. My reading of the game was that we were trying to force the openings and this in turn makes it look ineffective. Look at the move that led to Romaldos goal there was a couple of sideways passes before the angle was created Romaldo was the only player moving forward.

    Look at our attacks and for me far too many are running away from the ball and not enough are standing still waiting for the simple pass. We then look congested because too many are running into the same spaces.

    And I think that is due to the players not the manager.

  60. kelsey says:

    “It is obvious that some bloggers can get away with saying things that others would be slated for – kelsey is a good example.” said Rasp.

    Not sure if that is a compliment or not 🙂

  61. Eddie says:

    kels – so how about people tolerating me because they are scared? is that a compliment?

  62. GunnerN5 says:

    Who needs compliments ?- i’m quite used to be ignored.

  63. GoonerB says:

    “What’s that Kelsey?, you think that GoonerB fellow is a complete moron and a big girls blouse!”

    Well I never, let me just tell you…oh allright, never mind seeing as it is you Kelsey.

    Sh-t it’s Eddie, would love to stop and chat Kelsey but I’m off before I wet myself.

  64. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Dont worry about it GN5

    Now and again I like dropping vague hints like “Ime fed up with this blogging shit” etc, in hope someone will say “Terry, dont leave. We love you Terry”

    The problem of course is people on this site are to intelligent to fall for the sad balding batstard seeking attention and validity.

    The only surprise is as yet ive not had “Go on then you mug, do one, you wont be missed. And take that crap wig with you”

    Of course deep down, for an attention seeking queen, even a negaive response is better than silence, but still, nothing.

    I salute you all. Youve obviously got me sussed. hahaha

  65. Eddie says:

    nutters 🙂 🙂 🙂

    Terry. Do you really wear a wig?

  66. chas says:

    Thanks for the post, Rocky.
    You summarised the game without seeing it and did a better job than Paul Merson. 🙂

    Apologies to all for my comment this morning. The blog today should have been about our spawny win and Rocky’s post, not about anything else. I wasn’t trying to stop anyone expressing an opinion about tactics or performances. After all, no-one is forced to read all the comments. 🙂

    All I ask is for bloggers not to have a default position of criticism, simply because supporting our team becomes so much more fun for all concerned. The dickhead who sits near to us at home drones on with comments like, ‘Time to go Venga’ (that is how he says it) and was doing the same half way through the second half against Hull. It can get very demoralising. It’s as if he thinks that helps!

    Hopefully we can go on a run for a few games and improve all of our moods and hopes.

    AA gives me great pleasure on a daily basis thanks to ‘the management’.

    Thank you for some very nice comments about mine and Ant’s contributions to the blog. Much appreciated.

  67. Gööner In Exile says:

    Eddie I didn’t know Chas was weed free 🙂

  68. GoonerB says:

    Off you trot Mancini but leave the wig. I need it for my daughters school project on the animals of Madagascar.

  69. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    No evonne. That what makes me an sadder bastard than a sad man who does wear a wig. I have to pretend to wear a wig to get attention.

  70. Eddie says:

    terry 🙂 you ejeet 🙂 we love you, wig or no wig.

    GiE – chas and I aint an item. I am still looking, but I know I will never fulfil my ultimate dreams because I hate swimming

  71. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    You may scoff GB but all your daughter needs to know about Madagascar is that its wilderness is so remote that certain furry animals who know no predator will aproach a bald man holding scissors and tranquilser gun and ask no questions.

    Obviously that was before I visited back in 2003.

    Now you can put a Tiger in the midst of a bunch of Madasgcian monkeys and the Tiger will have to sleep off his full stomach for a month

    From two miles away they see me coming and communicate, funnily enough in a language only observed only since 2003, “The bastards coming. Leg it”

  72. chas says:

    Here are a couple of news stories from Mal’s referee newsletter which I found interesting. 🙂

    BUENOS AIRES: A vicious brawl involving players, substitutes and riot police forced an Argentine lower division match to be called off midway through the second half with the referee handing out 12 red cards, Argentine media reported.

    Deportivo Roca’s match at home to Cipolletti in Group One of the Torneo Federal A, the Argentine third tier, erupted after two players were sent off following a seemingly innocuous clash in the game on Wednesday.

    Cipolletti defender Marcos Lamolla was initially given a yellow card for a foul on Fernando Fernandez, who protested and was sent off. This led to more protests, a scuffle and Lamolla was given another yellow and dismissed.

    Video footage of the game posted online showed the livid Lamolla running the entire length of the pitch to square up to Fernandez, who was already on his way to the dressing room, but then being intercepted by a player.

    The pair lashed out at each other which quickly led to a free-for-all in which players lunged at each other with flying kicks and punches, before Cipolletti players fled down the inflatable tunnel.

    Referee Facundo Espinosa told Argentine media that he had sent off 10 further players in the chaos and they would be named in his official report.

    “Both teams’ players were disgraceful, they didn’t behave like professionals,” said Roca coach Diego Landeiro. “It was a disgrace and it means lots of work down the drain. I’m very bitter.”

  73. GoonerB says:

    Personally there is not one regular blogger on this site whose opinions and views I don’t value. Whether I agree with them or not is another matter, but I will always read them and digest what is being said to see how it lies with me.

    IMO all the regulars on here put their views across well with relevant justification and without going into rant mode. I actually wouldn’t enjoy it so much if everyone had the same viewpoint as me, and I enjoy others putting across opinions that may challenge how I see things.

    Anyway enough of that lovey dovey stuff. Back to Mancini’s wig. Where is it?

  74. chas says:

    Referee abandons cup tie in Peru after five players feign injury
    • Defensor Bolivar already had two players sent off
    • Authorities to rule on whether match will be replayed

    A referee in northern Peru halted a cup tie eight minutes early after five players from Club Defensor Bolivar went down injured at the same time in an apparent bid to have a match they were losing abandoned.

  75. GoonerB says:

    You’ve bloody hidden it in Madagascar haven’t you Terry?

    Right I’m off.

    Scissors…check
    Tranquilliser gun…check
    Greek to Madagascan ring-tailed monkey translation book…check

  76. Big Raddy says:

    chas. A couple implies two.

  77. Rasp says:

    Thanks GiE (from an hour ago), you’re better than me at the tactical bollix so I always defer to your greater knowledge, and I’m not trying to start a witch hunt against Arsene.

    But when something in any business environment is not working, you look to the man in charge to put it right, so much as I agree that it is the players who are under performing, it must be up to the manager to get them to perform. If they are not capable of executing the managers wishes, them he should devise a plan they can execute.

  78. Gööner In Exile says:

    Chas that 5 players rolling around to get match abandoned is hilarious but very ingenious on the part of the team that did it.

    Rasp, fair enough I think the players are capable though and so does Arsene (although I’m sure even he would prefer a few less square pegs).

    Really worth listening to The Tuesday Club podcast this week with Amy Lawrence as as journalist and Arsenal fan she has been interviewing the players of the Invincibles season to write this book. She clearly has very good contacts within the club, something that came up was a few things David Dein did that were likely to cause a better relationship with the Press than we have now, for example he got her a seat in the scouts enclosure for the title decider at SHL because the press box was full.

  79. arnie says:

    OK, chums (apols Evonne). Just back from a fantastic debate on “Can fan ownership rescue Scottish football”.

    My tuppence. Chas is fantastic, his his contributions are fantastic. Including the motning batner, and the f**t maps. 😛

    Motning batner is fantastic. I am not an early morning person, but I enjoy the batner, and try to contribute with some bollox that everyone hates. So what? We celebrate diversity in this space, which is a great value. 🙂

    About the game yesterday, I dont want to discuss, because I am happy that we won. But the reason I stay on this space is because we celebrate diversity. That we can accept and enjoy the Arsenal way even if we win zilch! 🙂

  80. Gunnerjoe says:

    Thank you Ricky

  81. Gunnerjoe says:

    Bloody iPad Rocky

  82. RockyLives says:

    Thanks for all the comments chaps and chapesses. Sorry I haven’t been able to join in – damn work!

    Will try and get on in a few hours time.

  83. Gööner In Exile says:

    Interesting interview with BFG, I would like to know what he means by train harder….I can’t think it’s fitness work.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/teams/arsenal/11183679/Per-Mertesacker-blames-Arsenals-attitude-in-training-for-struggles-in-Premier-League-and-Champions-League.html

    Ignore the headline because it’s not all about training, stuff about how he feels after the WC, same goes for Mesut I guess.

  84. Eddie says:

    ??????????? what happened?????????
    micky? chas? RA? arnie?

  85. chas says:

    Motning session cancelled.
    Chief protagoniast with Nepalese Nigel after five bloomin hours in a car.

  86. chas says:

    *protagonist

  87. Eddie says:

    ok, I will admire the Lamela rabona goal on my own

  88. mickydidit89 says:

    Morning
    Yup here with Nepalese Nigel
    🙂

  89. Eddie says:

    phew, I was about to go back to bed 🙂
    I thought you lads got upset by the comments of the morning ‘non-footballing’ blogging. I should have known better 🙂

  90. Eddie says:

    Sir Bobby Charlton is the key fundraiser in the pioneering 20 year humanitarian research programme requiring £100 million support, which aims to provide the re-engineering of biological replacement limbs. They aim to grow lower legs from the knee joint, foot from the ankle, etc. Absolutely marvellous project, good luck to them!

    They need £100mil, that’s all. I can think of a few footballers that could pay for the whole thing outright

  91. mickydidit89 says:

    Hey chas
    Funny you show that vid from the summit
    Nigel just gave me a bag of small rock chippings taken from the summit ridge
    You can see it in your vid
    Just below the top and above the Hillary Step
    Highest rocks on the planet

  92. mickydidit89 says:

    Sod em Eddie
    We do our thang they do theirs 🙂

    Bloody love the Exile stats yesterday. So we’re better than Madrid barca bayern and chavs
    Phew
    I was getting worried

  93. Eddie says:

    how very generous of Nigel 🙂

    Exile stats, where the hell does he get them from? Oh poo, I have just realised – DIY?

  94. stevepalmer1 says:

    Morning all, fishing all day yesterday so never read the post till this morning. Well done Rocky. To tell the truth Rocky you did the right thing not to watch, liked your headline and your encouragement to the lads but boy was they bad.

    If your a true Gooner, i believe you have to admit the bad times as well as the good. That game was like a comedy of errors. No sugar coating it because we got the win, The side we played were at home we know that, but for those that watched must have felt like i did and couldn’t believe the way we played.

    Without going on about it, i don’t believe we will see another performance like that this season, but then again we might. I have come to the conclusion that the parked bus syndrome that we seem to struggle with, is brought on by our own play.

    I feel we play very narrow and channel everything through the middle and other sides seem to bunch up there. Watching Chelsea the other night showed me where we are lacking.

    Where most teams use the rotational fouling system, i noticed that Chelsea seemed to use a rotational winger system, and they used it well, every time they switched play out wide there was a different player on the touchline, whether this is a Maureen thing or just happens by chance i don’t know but it proved effective.

    I feel that it worked well for them maybe it could for us. Happy belated birthday Arsene, watch the Chelsea game son and you could get a good birthday present.

  95. mickydidit89 says:

    Give me ten minutes Eddie and I’ll diy some stats to prove that 4-1-4-1 is a formation in the mind of a lunatic
    Oops doom
    Morning crystals

  96. kelsey says:

    Morning all

    Indeed Evonne a fantastic breakthrough.

    I know it is against the morning club rules to talk football BUT a few things.

    When did we last see any of our players score a goal from open play such as Lamela’s goal last night. Be honest with yourselves, in many a game if not in every game there is an opportunity to shoot and one can hear the crowd shout SHOOT only for the player to lay it off to another, always trying to score the perfect goal.
    Every single bar us has a pop from outside the box and on many occasion against us. Didn’t Ospina get caught out the other week from a shot of about 30 yards which seemed to be heading straight for him.

    GIE,

    I respect your technical knowledge and various stats but quite honestly they are of little importence to me.I just watch a game and draw my own conclusions, and while I am at it I still am waiting for a response from Rasp.

    With regards to Podolski, AW is just plain lying.Nothing to do with the WC, as he hardly played. He was more or less frozen out last season and this season but now apparently he is vital to the team.

    The man has totally lost it, he needs help until the end of the season and then bow out gracefully so he can be remembered for all the good things he did and not see a growing number of fans lose respect for him or even turn on him.

    Sorry I am a morning person not a night owl.

    I will get my coat 🙂

  97. kelsey says:

    Morning Steve

    I will wager you that we will see plenty more games such as the Anderlecht game this season.

    The parked bus is getting boring.Change the bloody system but is AW open to change, that’s the real question.

  98. Eddie says:

    kels – ok darling, now you have had your say, can we move on to the customary Friday moaning phase?

    only 25 years ago, not in the dark ages, but just 25 years ago an undercover cop had a relationship with a young civil rights activist. He fathered her son, kept on spying on her and her friends while married with children. Eventually he was assigned to another job, so he disappeared from the girl’s life. This must be one of the worst stories coming from this country I have ever heard.

  99. stevepalmer1 says:

    Morning Kelsey, you have a point mate. The way i see it is we do not even think of the other side, just our own game which we don’t play well. Surely watching from the touchline as Arsene does every game, he must see what i see, I know the guy has done tremendous but how can he watch performances like that without change.

  100. stevepalmer1 says:

    Morning Eddie, No the worst story is the Ebola epidemic, Doctors and nurses catching this disease in the country where its prevalent, being sent home to be treated here, instead of being treated there, how bloody stupid is that.

  101. mickydidit89 says:

    No rules in the morning crystals

  102. kelsey says:

    Now a doctor has caught Ebola and has been back in New York for a week, the inhabitants will go into meltdown.They didn’t exactly do a good job in Dallas,did they.

  103. Eddie says:

    steve – that effing ebola keeps me awake at night! The thing is that one cannot catch it unless bodily fluids are exchanged. How do these doctors and nurses get infected?

    That poor Spanish nurse had her dog put down because she was suspected of carrying the virus. Why the dog??? how would she exchange the fluids with the dog? And after all she was given all clear.

    It is shambles. Complete and utter shambles. There are some 400 people travelling every day from the countries with Ebola to Europe with barely any checks carried out at the borders. All it takes is one case and it could be au revoir for all of us.

  104. stevepalmer1 says:

    We pay the EU 55 million a day to be a member, and we donate 150 million to the Ebola cause while they sit on their arses.

  105. kelsey says:

    Micky

    You see Arsenal is a huge part of my life and I will always support them but I and many others are being more and more critical of AW.As I said last week in nearly two decades the world has moved on and so has football.

    IMO since the partnership of Dein and Wenger split up we just haven’t been the same and Wenger just has an unhealthy total control of others.

    I am not debating why Dein sold his soul, but will we ever really know the truth. The two are still close friends.

  106. stevepalmer1 says:

    Eddie, Good points but the nurses and Doctors take blood, they touch the infected patients who sweat and spit, I know what your thinking, but when helpers are in protective clothing and spraying anything that doesn’t move, suggests to me that we haven’t got the whole story.

  107. Big Raddy says:

    Spurs will be releasing a DVD, celebratory t-shirt and a statue outside the ground of Lumela’s lucky goal to commemorate the win over the unbeatable Greeks.

  108. Eddie says:

    Dein, yes his departure hurt the club. His departure and his son’s revenge.

    Only Sunderland on tomorrow. Away, 17th in the table, but just 3 points behind us. Should we worry micky?

  109. Eddie says:

    raddy 🙂 come on, it was an awesome goal. Admittedly it is a shame it came from a Spud, but brilliant nonetheless

    steve – agree. Why would they put down the dog?

  110. Big Raddy says:

    FFS What is happening this morning?

    Any other depressing news to deliver?

    Why not tell us that the world economy is on the brink, that the climate is shagged, that more innocents are being slaughtered in the Middle East and that the world as we know/knew it is irredeemably fecked?

    It’s Friday. We have a game coming up. We support the finest club in the world.

    Lighten Up 😀

  111. arnie says:

    Motning all.

    Change what? If I were as innovative as Arsene, and as successful professionally, respected the world over (except a small minority of lunatic but vocal Arsenal fans) for my fantastic contribution to my profession, appreciated by my employers, would I change? Would you change if you were Arsene?

    Why change? I would rather go around the world with the gospel of the new church and trying to convert everyone with my version of tiki taka. And why not?

    OK, maybe Arsenal needs change, or maybe not, but why should Arsene bring that change? He deserves his right to continue his own experiments with his forms of innovation. Maybe there will be one final spark, maybe not, but why can we fans not enjoy the fact that we are different. We are defiant. We do not follow the herd. We are leaders in our own small, or maybe not so small, church.

    Change will come. But that will be later. Let us just flow with the moment. Life as an Arsenal fan is not so bad after all! At least we do not participate in the Spursday circus and try some desperate show-off. Let us see how many goals Lamela scores in the league this year!

  112. stevepalmer1 says:

    Saliva, they wee all over the place and when ill they can bite. Also it would need looking after while she got treatment, easier to put her down.

  113. arnie says:

    snap.

  114. Big Raddy says:

    Steve. 8,56 That’s better 😀

  115. Eddie says:

    no Raddy, sorry dearest but Friday is for moaning/complaining and getting it off your chest. I think it was anonymously agreed when you were in a geyser

    steve – you are clearly a cat person.

  116. Big Raddy says:

    arnie. Wierdly hypnotic and not how I remember the Indian railways!

  117. arnie says:

    ah, I see it is moan-day Friday. 🙂

    My moan today is about the lack of diversity in the EPL. Everyone follows either the bus-parking boring mantra or the trophy-hunting unsustainable oiler mantra. Only Arsenal sitting apart doing its own thing.

    Too little variety. We fans of clubs and followers of the EPL deserve to see more diversity! Demand more diversity! More of the mavericks like Arsene, please! 🙂

  118. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    hahaha arnie. That chaiyaya video played without sound looks like an audition for one flew over the cuckoo nest

  119. Big Raddy says:

    Eddie. Can I amend the rule so that the complaining/moaning is reserved until after the Friday Post?

    For some of us Friday is a day of joy and anticipation.

    But AA is nothing if not democratic and if the needs of the many are to vent and moan early morning then I will try to join in.

    Hmmmm …… Can anyone tell me why the RSPCA raises mores more money than the RSPCC?

  120. Big Raddy says:

    This makes me laugh.

  121. Eddie says:

    raddy – that would be disrespectful to the author 🙂 yes, try to join in and have a good moan 🙂

    terry – you are right, I am still ROLFing, much better without sound

  122. arnie says:

    Raddy, I was trying to find the Sholay fight scene with subtitles to see whether this agreed with your vision of Indian Railways. But cannot find subtitles. But what the heck! Terry is going to watch in silent mode anyway! 😛

  123. stevepalmer1 says:

    Big Raddy don’t get me on the subject of charity organisations, Cancer research still finding a cure for cancer after how many years takes in millions every year has invested billions, and still not a cure. Funny that how many royals have died of cancer

  124. Shard says:

    “why can we fans not enjoy the fact that we are different. We are defiant. We do not follow the herd. We are leaders in our own small, or maybe not so small, church.”

    Arnie… Simply brilliant.

  125. Big Raddy says:

    arnie. No. I spent many a day on the railways and never experienced anything like that!

  126. Big Raddy says:

    Steve. Or that the UK spend £43bn on arms. Complete madness

  127. Shard says:

    Here’s something I’ve never experienced on the Indian Railways.. This ad really amused me when I saw it in the UK

  128. Eddie says:

    well done Raddy, see you can do it 🙂

    steve – royals are inbreds and cancer is genetic. Plus good, healthy life style, wholesome food, plenty of rest and no stress does wonders for anyone’s health

  129. Eddie says:

    shard – and Australians don’t even know what is Castlemein xxxx 🙂

  130. Shard says:

    Eddie

    I have no idea what you are talking about. I must be Australian 🙂

  131. stevepalmer1 says:

    Now although i respect Arnies views and you cannot question his loyalty, but some of your views Arnie in my opinion is out of date.
    New owners new stadium new players old system. We are 12 points behind the leaders we have been lucky to get draws . the other night you dont have to be an expert to see we were complete shit.

    Now personally i find that unacceptable. This has been happening most of the season, and we still haven’t solved it. Million pounds worth of stadia state of the art Training facilities the eighth richest club in the world and we struggled to beat a side that is not in our class.

    Now i understand how stalwart Arsenal supporters can be, tradition history past victories, but there comes a time when things are not right, to make changes. Arsene is a good manager no doubting that but a more stubborn man you couldnt wish to meet.

    Football has changed formations rules referee’s if we dont change as well we will be left behind, change has to come, our playing style will have to change our medical staff need to start from scratch, that is the way success comes, not a dig at anybody but we need change and bloody quickly.

  132. Big Raddy says:

    Is there a post today?

  133. Big Raddy says:

    We have a new and short post on Rant Friday ….

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