Arsenal Injury nonsense | Squillaci a great buy | Stoke taught a lesson

by & filed under Uncategorized.

My oh my, there is nothing quite like waking up to a morning knowing you’re going to have to lavish yet more praise on your favourite player. I took time out to say something nice about the Frenchman yesterday and as happens in all religions, you do something nice and you are rewarded with something nice… immediately. This little comment here…

‘so this is also a great opportunity for Squillaci to show that he is in fact a good defender.’

… could prove to be the defining moment in our season.

The team lined up exactly as I suggested it would with Nik B taking centre stage for once. The game opened brightly, Theo Walcott was found in space early on, he let off a rasping shot that nearly blew the back post from its foundations. Moments later, the Englishman found himself through on goal again but his tame effort was dealt with. We had our heads up and Jack Wilshere was combining well with Cesc to really open up Stoke.

The fans were incredibly vocal about that scoundrel they had playing at the back.

Ryan Shawcross, is a ‘tanker’ apparently?

Nik B found some space in the box from a corner, he controlled the ball, chipped a half volley into the box, Squillaci back tracked on himself and nodded home a poachers header! A super goal from a defender you’ll all agree has been nothing short of Baresi-esque this season!

Well done that man!

Anyway, it didn’t take long for bad news to strike. Cesc pulled up with what looked like a tight hammy, he walked off to rapturous applause, Andrey Arshavin came onto the same welcome. I haven’t heard anything from Pam on this injury yet, what I will refer you to is my match report after Braga when she told me it wasn’t that serious because he didn’t pull up. Think about how obvious it was that Samir had hurt himself? Maybe Cesc just felt a tightness and didn’t want to risk anything…

Andrey kept play ticking over and Arsenal reverted to controlled football. We held possession without ever really threatening. It is worth noting that Nik B’s work rate was exceptional and he made some telling passes. Stoke still took time out to remind us that actually, they’re a very tactically aware team. A few of their long throw in’s caused a bit of panic in the box but the defence and Chezzer dealt well with them. John Carew also fired off a fierce shot that our keeper was more than equal to with a long outstretched save. He was met by a chorus of…

‘Arsenal’s number 1, Arsenal, Arsenal’s number 1′

Haven’t heard that song in a while… the crowd must know something eh?

The second half wasn’t anything to really write home about. Andrey pulled off an outrageous piece of skill when he controlled a long ball perfectly, then chipped the ball inside his man, cut it back to Theo who fired embarrassingly wide. Despite a great opening 10 minutes, Theo really wasn’t at the races yesterday.

He was chopped down by a late challenge, which the dithering referee didn’t deem a foul. He went off on a stretcher. Again, I’ve heard all sorts of stories about his injury from all sorts of people who wouldn’t know. If I get anything solid late, I’ll tell you. I’m hoping this could be a case of Theo being a big girls blouse (I love that phrase, like a big girls blouse is the epitome of femininity).

The game petered out towards the end, there was a nervy freekick to deal with, thanks to Denilson and a last-minute corner that we defended excellently.

The game finished 1-0, that was a fantastic result and the red and white army go marching on!

Conclusion

I felt the team put on a strong showing all over the park last night. There wasn’t really a weak link anywhere. The team fought hard for each other, I didn’t get the sense we were bullied and we ground out a very good result. At times I did feel that people had Sunday’s game on their minds, we were a little casual about winning the game 1-0 and I know plenty of people in the ground felt that way. Still, if you can play like that and not concede, then there isn’t much to complain about.

Sunday is coming up fast now, we’re a possibly a couple of key players down but we’ve got to accept that injuries at this time of the year are inevitable. They’re collateral damage, providing they’re not too serious, we’ll deal with them. Sure the 2nd team on its own is weak, that’s not to say all the players in the second team are poor. Andrey is more than capable of coming into the side on Sunday and having a blinder, Samir can slip into the middle and Nik B proved last night how good he can be when he’s given a run in the middle of the park.

Also, a big shout out to the defence. They played as a unit yesterday, communicated fantastically all night and earned a great clean sheet. Squillaci was very good… that performance will give him belief.

Everything is starting to come together now. We’ll take Orient apart next week, we have the advantage against Barca, we’re in the final of the Carling Cup and we’re now only a single point behind United.

A win on Sunday could give the whole team the belief they need to carry them through the last few months of the season. Alex Ferguson once said all players are tired at this stage of the season and that it’s mental attitude that gets you to the post first. I totally agree. This team feels like it’s grown up and that it’s ready to deliver. Pound for pound, there isn’t a better squad.

I’m hoping we’re going to break in that virgin trophy cabinet this Sunday…

We’ll start previewing the final tomorrow!

See you in the comments!

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449 Responses to “Arsenal Injury nonsense | Squillaci a great buy | Stoke taught a lesson”

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  1. albo

    SUGA3 says:
    February 24, 2011 at 19:43
    Dale,

    what you fail to understand is that the author of the article is pointing his accusing finger at Barca, while we do the same what they do, simple as that…

    Again, you have failed to pick on the subtleties of the article (though I use that word lightly as it wasn’t particularly subtle). At no point is the author defending what Arsenal do. In fact what he is saying is that the system undeniably needs to be tightened up to prevent the abuses you are so opposed to. He is simply highlighting the hypocrisy Barcelona are showing by complaining about it.

    (Though again, that was at the end, so you might not have got to that bit yet ;-) )

  2. A

    Well the vast vast majority do choose to wait a year don’t they SUGA?!

    Hence Spain having far better youth players in that country than us, and not just the Spanish players!

  3. Zorr0

    Nice article by J.Sanderson, yet again!

    Shows Barca up to be the hypocritical fuckwits they are. Neither policy may be right, but don’t call someone out for doing something you can be found guilty of doing very easily!

  4. DaleDaGooner

    Oh, Wasn’t Pep’s brother brockering the deal? Hmmm Pep’s just waiting for Arsene to shift upstairs or something, Barca loves’the Arse…LOL

  5. albo

    SUGA3 – but again, if you have read the article surely it is clear that he is categorically NOT casting the first stone! It is an article structured specifically as a retort to an attack on our club by Sandro Rosell…

  6. SUGA3

    A,

    the fact that Spain has more quality youth players has very little to do with that, it’s all about the grass roots stuff, really…

    continental Western Europe is sadly light years ahead of the UK as far as this subject is concerned, really…

  7. A

    Yeah SUGA but at 16/17 why don’t they just sign for English sides if it’s all about the contract?!

    One or two of every 100, and I can guarantee that every young player with any talent will be known about and interesting Premier League sides and scouts!

    Anyone know how Bartley played for Rangers tonight, or where people will be watching the match on Sunday?

  8. SUGA3

    albo,

    say what you want, but if you were in the middle of a fine job and then I came told you to bugger off, finished it and took most of the proceeds, you would not be happy, would you?

  9. DaleDaGooner

    suga3, THE FACT YOU ARE HAVING any KINDA argument on Sandra’s rebuttle article…makes me wonder. FAT is Barca do quite the same, and it’s ok to be bitter, but to call out another for something you are as guilty for? Insane i say. the article is not totally supporting the practice but just showing how ignorant Sandra(o) is about his club. Had Sandra call out the whole system without naming Arsenal, and call to question the way they have dealt in the past, then you sir, would be right. Just don’t pick arguments for the sake of having a different opinion..Now you do have a right to thinker differently, but we must do so without sneaky insults.

  10. DaleDaGooner

    SUGA, Barca was int he middle of a fine job with Merida, they could have finished it off when he wanted to leave us…you do understand that they fear Toral Harper may come good and they’d have to cough up 10x the 350k they nicely pocketed.

  11. albo

    The thing is SUGA, despite your complaints of being patronised, you actually do seem to have missed the point of the article. At no point was the author of the article (or I) defending the practice of poaching teenagers. It was simply an article pointing out Barca’s hypocrisy in the matter…

  12. Rohan

    Looks like both of them just might make it for Barcelona though.

    As I said though, it’s not the worst news. If Cesc can’t lift it up, there’s no one I’d rather want to lift it up than Mr.Arsenal Robin van Persie.

  13. Mayank

    What is this nonsense about poaching youths from Barca? Now I have no personal experience of this myself, but if you’re a brilliant student aren’t the best colleges trying to get you to their institution?
    Instead of money they offer scholarships.

    It’s almost the same thing. The kid and the parents get the final decision on what the best option is for the kid. And of course the Club gets something out of it as well.

    And if someone makes an obviously bitter and unfounded attack on our club the best recourse isn’t to try and side with the enemy. And yes Barca are the enemy.

  14. DaleDaGooner

    SUGA3, i don’t think anyone is saying we are right, but what’s right or wrong? a 16 year old, along with his parents and Agent made a decision to chose us for his career, have in mind that the Agent has close ties to Barca…key point.

  15. albo

    Kreshnik – didn’t watch much of it, but BBC text did seem to ascribe one of the Sporting goals to a Bartley lapse…

  16. SUGA3

    and once again, I did understan the article, all I am saying is that it’s double standards…

    Mayank,

    I am not the ‘right or wrong, it’s my country’ type, don’t consider that to be siding with the enemy, it’s called having some perspective…

  17. albo

    SUGA – this is the last reply I’ll make on the subject, since you seem to be one of these people who will attempt to have the final word no matter how completely you have been shown to have missed the point.

    It doesn’t ‘work both ways’ since Sanderson didn’t make an attempt to defend Arsenal’s behaviour in this matter…

  18. albo

    And one last time – it’s not ‘double standards’ because (again and again and again and again) Sanderson is not defending Arsenal’s behaviour. The final sentence of the article makes that clear. It would be much simpler if you just stopped trying to make this indefensible point to be honest. Let’s talk about the CC Final instead eh?

  19. Lurch LeRouge

    Cesc will get plenty of chances to lift trophies with us if he sign an extension to his contract. :)

    I’m starting to think theres a silver lining to Cesc missing the CC final.

  20. 1886-2006

    Absolutely gutted for Cesc. I still think we have more than enough talent to win the match but I really wanted to see him lift a trophy for us at Wembley.
    Guess he will have to wait until may when he will lift 3 in quick succession.

  21. Mayank

    It’s really not perspective SUGA3. It’s quite predictable when the same people try to take the same side in every topic that may be debated.

    The article is calling Sandro out on a double standard. You can’t turn that into the article itself being a double standard. It’s circular logic. Barca accused us of certain thing, the article pointed out that they do the same. That means it intrinsically accepts that we do it too. Trying to turn it into the writer having double standards is quite funny.
    THat means almost any post pointing out a double standard is guilty of one.

  22. Mayank

    Cesc should just sit on the sidelines with brass knuckles on with a ‘You better not fuck this up’ look. We really needed him to unlock Brum and keep the pressure on them.

  23. albo

    Mayank, despite you being entirely correct and putting it beautifully succinctly, it appears that SUGA is just one of those people who, once they have dug a hole, refuse to get themselves out of it. He’d rather just obtusely hold on to his intellectually bankrupt point of view rather than back down…

  24. SUGA3

    That means almost any post pointing out a double standard is guilty of one.

    er, no, I can point out double standards, because I am the faultless, flawless white knight in the shiny armor :lol:

    some of you seem to think that the club can’t do no wrong, and I respect that, naive as it is…

    I am just arguing with points raised in that article, because I disagree with them, simple as that…

    but yeah, this subject has been chewed on and spat out, move along, nothing to see here :mrgreen:

  25. albo

    I think the thing is mate, you were essentially having a different argument to everyone else on here, but seemed entirely unaware of it!

    No one (on here or at Young Guns) was defending the club’s record on poaching youngsters, or claiming that the club can do no wrong. So it just makes almost all of what you wrote kinda pointless! And instead of realising that, you just kept banging on with your original point! But anyway, it gave us something to argue about for an hour or so I suppose…

  26. Dutchman

    We must play wilshere in the “cesc role”. With nasri on the wings. Bring diaby back in midfield, we need his height. I go for a 4-1 for the arsenal!
    How unlucky is cesc? He will miss a final! Come on gunners!!

  27. Mayank

    White knight, eh? Lets not get race into it. Especially since Lurch is around ;)

    For the record I don’t think the club can do no wrong. It’s just that if I do think that we’ve done something wrong, I don’t get the urge to post about it instantly on the internet with a ‘got you!’ tone.

    Whereas when some other club fucks up I do get that urge. That is a double standard and one I’m happy to embrace.

  28. SUGA3

    albo,

    OK, I understand, I am sorry, I should have known better that that, I am wrong, you are right, and whatever Sanderson writes is a gospel…

    happy?

  29. SUGA3

    Mayank,

    I don’t give a flying fuck about what the other clubs do, I prefer to look closer to home, would you say it’s fair?

    it’s got nothing to do with ‘got you’ or any other bollocks, it’s the pursuit of perfection…

  30. DaleDaGooner

    SUGA3 is a funny guy..he supports Arsenal and wants to always point out where we are wrong…by all means SIT ON THE HIGH HORSE

  31. Mayank

    You sound like a Chinese tiger mom :D

    Different strokes I guess but I do seem to care about what other club do, only our rivals though. That’s why I don’t have many posts about Spurs. It’s basically because they are the clubs we’re in competition with and will inevitably be compared to. It’s a bit vain I know but human nature nonetheless.

  32. DaleDaGooner

    We aren’t wrong SUGA3, And that’s putting the article bluntly! We have every right to do what MOST big clubs do, that is look around the globe for 16 years old to sign, maybe even younger! Aint shit wrong with 16 and less moving to a football club just so their parents can enjoy some cash! LOL

  33. DaleDaGooner

    oK, SERIOUSLY, What is SOOOO Wrong in pointing out that, while we aren’t perfect, Rosell is clueless and should shut the fuck up?

  34. MARK GOONER

    A girl was granted 2 wishes:
    1st she asked for bigger tits (.)(.).. They instantly grew to 36DD.
    Then she asked for a really tight cunt.

    She’ll probably ring you later.

  35. DaleDaGooner

    Suga3, why do you always have to go against the grain just so you can say you have a different opinion everyday? As an Arsenal fan, we can all agree on some issues ALL at the same time…..this case is perfect example, You’d find even Liverpool, Chelsea and Man U fans support us on this particular view, that Rosell is clueless.

  36. SUGA3

    nothing, all I said was that there was a difference between taking a 10 year old to your academy and doing all the hard work and reaping the benefits of that a few years down the line if you are not the one who did it!

  37. patthegooner

    Cesc out for Sunday

    Nightmare, but we should still win it…..as long as we dont start with Denilson.

    I am now more concerned that RVP recovers in time.

    I would go with this

    Chesser
    Sagna, Djourou, Kosser, Clichy
    Song
    Nasri, Wilshire
    Bendtner, RVP, Arshavin

  38. Kreshnik

    VanPersie wishing on Cesc and Theo to get better soon loool … that surely doesn’t happen often.

    Him lifting that fucking trophy would be priceless … chamoooooneeeee u gunners

  39. albo

    God lets not start the whole debate all over again! SUGA has admitted he completely misunderstood the article and has been talking nonsense for 2 hours. Let’s just leave it at that ;-)

  40. Kreshnik

    I think with this:

    Chesser
    Sagna, Djourou, Kosser, Clichy
    Song
    Nasri, Wilshire
    Bendtner, RVP, Arshavin

    or this:

    Chesser
    Sagna, Djourou, Kosser, Clichy
    Song, Diaby,
    Wilshire
    Nasri, RVP, Arshavin

    we’ll grind it out

  41. SUGA3

    Dale,

    I don’t have a different opinion everyday, do I? I think you will find that I tend to be pretty fair and give praise and criticism where it’s due, no?

    OK, can we talk about the CC final and the great perspective of playing Spuds on the Fuhrer’s birthday then?

  42. DaleDaGooner

    SUGA3, So the job was done on Merida at 10 before we poached him? Great…Cesc learnt all that wonderful stuff at La Masia, no he was talentless, and when he arrived in London, we didn’t train him in the English football way..no sir! At 16 a player is the finished article, yes sir! Messi was thought by Barca, nothing to do with him being poached from Newell’s Old Boys No sir..he was talentless.

  43. DaleDaGooner

    Okay League Cup…oh c’mon! Why do these things happen, better script would be Cesc trotting out at Wembley, job done, lifts cup …gutted.

  44. DaleDaGooner

    i’d rather see Diaby in and Wilshere pushed up in support to RvP, Nasri and Arshavin than Rosicky or Denilson…i’ll take Rosicky in if Wenger decides to piss us off.

  45. Ricky

    Pmf,

    A few mates were telling me but did’nt want to believe it. Feel bad for the lad, let’s hope the boys give a bit extra for fabs on sunday.

  46. SUGA3

    Dale,

    this really is pointless: let me ask you, did you play football much?

    IMO, technical training from the youngest possible age is the key, you can have stupid amount of talent, but if you are not polished, you will always be a rough diamond, who will be outdone by a decent professional, it’s the training that makes you an ubermensch of a player!

  47. DaleDaGooner

    Welsh Asst Manager said some interesting things on our training method and how it causes injuries, almost accusing Arsene of being stubborn with overdoing training sessions.

  48. albo

    I want to know who noticed that the day we played Spuds was Hitler’s birthday. I mean, what sort of person has that particular birthday on immediate recall! ;-)

  49. SUGA3

    ——————-Szczesny——————–
    –Bac—–Djou—————–Koz—–Clichy–
    ———————Song———————-
    ————–LJW————–Diaby———–
    —-Nasri—————RvP—————AA—

    and I hope Diaby will show why he is good enough to win Ballon d’Or and play for RM or Barca :lol:

  50. SUGA3

    it was Maqitlarge, the old Nazi!

    Zorr0,

    I thought the ubermensch would be a nice touch given the subject of the Spud game being played on that particular date, even though it was originally Nietzsche’s, not Hitler’s…

  51. Zorr0

    Ches
    Sagna JD Kos Clichy
    LJW Song Nasri
    Nik RvP AA
    Subs: Basil Ebway Denilson Gibbs Rosicky Shakatak Ramsey Squiddly Diaby
    2 of the subs will have to go; Diaby may not be fit and Ramsey may miss out in favour of those who got us this far.

  52. LAzer

    Ramsey not back till Sat. He will play against Hull in championship so he won’t be available for CC.

    If Diaby is back he plays over Ro and Denil imo. Bench is Denilson, Squillachi, Almunia, Rosicky, Bendtner, Chamakh and a 7th.

  53. LAzer

    so true SUGA. He will get injured no matter when he comes back anyways. May as well use him for the minutes he can play.

    If the twat doesn’t pick up a red he could have perhaps been in some sort of form by now playing in the EPL.

  54. Kreshnik

    Can Rambo play vs Sunderland ? Could actually be quite useful on that game. Would had been ideal if was eligible to play vs Orient but can’t do much about that.

  55. JJ

    When Denilson came on I thought “HHere comes their equalizing goal”. He was like Bambi on ice – slipping and falling over everywhere. My heart was thumping in my throat every time the ball was played to him…

  56. Zorr0

    Big Dave, I have checked the FA Cup games that Forest and Cardiff played and Rambo did not play for either, so I can see no reason for him being cup tied!

  57. incesc

    gotta be diaby for me too

    chesney

    sagana koseri jourou clicky

    wiltsher sog diaby

    nasry rpp arshavan

    team picks itself really

  58. Zorr0

    James Shea was not in the squad first game v Leeds and yet he was for the replay! And Sagna and Robin! I think sometimes people make up this old bollocks for the sake of it!

  59. jlp

    EVening all

    Once a game Bengali, the guy obviously has banana skin boots.
    He really has done very little well this year and sadly seems quite content with that.
    Donkey with the mange is as kind as I can be on him.
    His continual place in this squad bamboozles me to no end.

  60. Zorr0

    Useless twat looked like he had banana skin ice skates on last night! The boy has had his chance, time to move him on and give Rambo a chance, even Lansbury!

  61. A

    Zorro I think people are just misunderstanding, but he is ineligible sadly.

    A player whose ineligible for the original tie can’t play in the replay. As he was at Cardiff then (as he still is now) he was ineligible for us, therefore he can’t play. Pretty annoying….

  62. Zorr0

    A, alright mate.

    So, Player A is an unnamed sub for Melchester Rovers Rd 3, whilst Harchester play Accrington Percy and draw. Player A then joins Harchester during the window but cannot play in the replay for his new team because he was ineligible for the first game as he was with another club?

    What a load of bollocks!

  63. A

    Essentially yes I think that’s what it is Zorro! The mentality is something like the replay being a continuation of the tie rather than treated as a whole new game. I remember someone being fined or even kicked out of the tournament recently for fielding an ineligible player, a lower league team in the early rounds? Can’t for the life of me think who or when though, perhaps I dreamt it?!

    You going on Sunday Zorro?

  64. Zorr0

    Well I have a ticket, but going to take my boy up there and give it to him at the last minute, as if I tell him beforehand he won’t go and will insist I use the ticket, but I have told him he has one.

    I will then find a pub to watch the game near Wembley, then join him and my mates who are going for some post match celebratory beers (hopefully!)

  65. A

    Good planning. That’s a real bugger you only got one ticket, they really did make a hash of the ticket allocation didn’t they?!

    Received my away Barca tickets this week and someone’s messed up a bit there too. The two of them are nothing like the tickets on the email confirmation. About ten rows back and the ticket numbers are 13 and 15, so we aren’t even sitting next to each other?! I’m sure Mr seat number 14 will move right or left one but still pretty odd

  66. AA23

    Pedro I know mate.
    its just that they will be treating it like the world cup final and our second string are pretty woeful at times.
    Nasri, Rvp and Wilshere need to do the business.
    fucking nervous, imagine fucking losing this?
    with Fabregas and Walcott we would piss it, just hope we can do the buisness without them

  67. incesc

    mirror saying fabregas could have played in the final as its not as bad as reported.

    we really need cesc for the run in though, win 9 games out of the 11 and we could well be champions

  68. Rohan

    Looks like we’re just being super cautious with Cesc. Good news that it isn’t THAT serious.

    Walcott re barca is the one i worry most about though…

  69. steven

    i really have this feeling that our defense is in the midst of a run similar to the year they played in the champions league final. I wouldn’t be suprised if we win 1-0 on Sunday.

  70. Rohan

    Djourou really has been something else. Who would have said so a year or two ago?

    Most were saying he should be shipped out.

    He’s probably our No.1 CB now. With Vermaelen back, we really have a solid squad with Ramsey and Lansbury coming back next season. I’d only perhaps buy Vertonghen who kills two birds with one stone and perhaps Hazard if he’s avaliable.

  71. steven

    Rohan-

    i agree if landed hazard and Vertoghen we would have a mean Belgium connection that might woo Lakaku :)

    U must be in the USA, What part? I live in Aspen, CO

  72. LAzer

    Sunday can’t come soon enough, but I know I will be having a pant shitting contest the entire 90. Those miserable cunts could play for penalties too. Park 10 in goal and see if they can take us the distance.

  73. OPG

    Looking back at our last Carling (League) Cup final our 16 was:
    Almunia, Hoyte, Toure, Senderos, Traore (Eboue 66), Walcott, Fabregas, Denilson, Diaby (Hleb 68), Aliadiere (Adebayor 80), Julio Baptista.

    Theo scored his first goal ever http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i1Rg5uid_Iw to make it 1-0 but Chelsea equalised soon after, Senderos played Drogba onside and Almunia let the ball under his body.
    We outplayed Chelsea’s first team that day but didn’t find the winner, Diaby kicked Terry in the face and then Drobga snatched the winner near the end.
    And then there was that fight where Kolo and Ade got sent off along with Mikel.

    That was quite of game but it was shame we didn’t win it back then as we played alot of kids in that run-in back then.
    There was the night ‘The Beast’ Baptista and Aliadiere ripped apart a strong Liverpool side apart and we beat Spud(r)s in the Semi.
    That would of been some achievement, in a Cup even though it isn’t a huge deal for many clubs and the least prestigious winning it would of been big.

  74. Geoff

    Rohan I’ve been bigging Djourou up for years, always rated him, my only concern was his injury record, a bit like Diaby, there comes a point when you have to move on.

  75. gnarleygeorge9

    A word of warning:

    This Scottish fella who manages Brum, Mac whats his name won’t be a push over. Arsenal will need to forget about everything other than beating Brum for 48 hours, including the 90+ involving the game. We lose this we are back to having the piss taken out of us for not winning anything.

    Its time to concentrate.