Ade deals out the hammer blow… but do you forgive him?

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We threw everything at them bar the Adebayor… then we did… and the boy made it happen!

Yesterday was an exercise in patience and discipline and I think we did very well. West Ham had a few decent chances and held their own for a lot of the game, but for me… the big players stood up and were counted and there were a few very promising performances from our younger more inexperienced players.

This was the line-up:


Eboue Gallas Silvestre Clichy

Theo Song Cesc Nasri

RvP Bendtner

The big questions I had were these:

Could Song impose himself on the centre midfield

Could Nikki B take his chance?

How would Gallas play next to a bruiser?

Well, I’ll let you know in the player ratings:

Almunia: Pulled off a string of top saves again. The best of the bunch was when Bellamy raced through on goal, big Al came out, made himself big and managed to get a leg on the shot and turned it over the bar. He also made the most of a top corner bound shot in the first half. Almunia is a top keeper these days and no one can deny that (How about Capello?). 8

Eboue: His passing left a lot to be desired, but when you leave him at right back, it doesn’t matter too much. He is reasnobly solid and he does a good stand in job for Sagna. 7

Gallas: I was really impressed by the Captain today. He made some great tackles and he marshalled the defence quite well. Ok, so West Ham had a few chances but at the end of the day that is going to happen in an attack minded team. 8

Silvestre: A big improvement on the last game, but then again he was playing with a real centre back. I thought he looked solid and he did well in the air. It is almost reassuring having him in the box for set pieces. He doesn’t play Wengerball… but that is what we need at the moment. No nonsense defending. 7.5

Clichy: Not his best performance in yellow, but adequate enough. I’d love him to get a decent cross on him… I am sure it will come and when it does, he’ll be even more of a threat going forward. 6.5

Theo: Who stole Theo Walcott and replaced him with powerful winger? I want to know so I can shake their hand! Theo was tenacious, strong and a constant threat today. He hit the bar early on with a rasping toe poke, then he forced a couple of good saves out of Green. Theo was all over the park today and he is really beginning to repay the faith Wenger has in him. My favourite part of this game today was when he tussled with a West Ham player for about 20 yards, dispossessed him then carried on into the box to set up a chance… most of us in the pub thought it was Song or Gallas. Super performance. 8

Song: I was very pleased with him performance today. He quietly went about his job just sitting deep of Cesc. It was an understated performance much in the same way Berto used to play, but don’t take anything away from him… he was pretty good today. I wonder if that spells the end of Denilson in that role this year? I wonder if Diaby is only good for the 4-5-1? 7.5

Cesc: I’m not sure I have too many memories of Cesc today, he was a but quiet compared to his normal self. He also played a bit deeper than he normally would. Maybe taking on more responsibility for the team is adversly affecting his attacking game psychologically? 7

Nasri: A very quiet performance considering what he has been doing over the last few months. He is only 21 so expecting Pires type performances on a regular basis is probably asking a bit much. He was subbed late for Diaby. 6

RvP: Hit the post with a superbly struck freekick. He also forced a few decent saves out of Green (Who had is customary stormer against us). Nothing really dropped for him tonight, but he is still fit and he is still performing. 7

Nikki: He worked very hard for the team often going deep to pick up the ball. He also made Green look good on a number of occasions and overall I’d say he did his reputation no harm. He is certainly going to be a more Bergkamp type of player than a straight Ade replacement. It is also worth mentioning that it was Nikki who leathered the 50 yard pass to Ade for his goal… an amazing pass by anyone’s standards. 7.5


Adebayor: Came on with about 25 minutes to spare and changed the game almost immediately. His power and pace put the Hammers on the back foot straight away and it wasn’t long before the deadlock was broken. He weaved his way through the West ham defence and fired across goal… Faubert panicked and knocked it in. Ade then found himself in another good position, his shot was well saved by Green and Ade missed the open goal. Finally, Arsenal broke from a through ball, Ade raced onto it… rounded the keeper and slotted home for the winner!

Do you forgive him? I do… he has done his part to regain my love. 9

Diaby: I can’t really remember too much of him. 6

A great win for the boys and a game we could ill afford to draw. I thought it was great that we had players to come off the bench who could change the game and I thought the stand ins did ok. It was also nice to see Wenger make subs early in the game.

The great news is the chavs lost their home record to Liverpool, the Mancs drew and we look like we’re in a pretty good position.

Next up… the Spuds!


At least we’ll get Traoré back! Harry what have you done?

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Harry, I can’t believe you went to the Spuds, I really thought you would finish your career at Portsmouth, what a plonker, I really liked you, now I’ll have to learn to dislike you, what a shame. Harry said it gives him a chance to manage a really big club before he retired, Harry, Tottenham are not a big club!

No doubt the first signing will be Diarra but on the plus side we’ll get Traore back and that has to be good news, a real left back, back in the fold.

Let’s just hope that the spuds don’t get the new manager boost and start playing well, I really fancied us to stick 6 past them, to be honest, you don’t become a bad team overnight so on that basis they won’t become a good team overnight either.

Harry’s parting shot was to recommend big Tone for the job and that I see as a good thing, we’ll find out what he’s got now.

Ok, onto today, the Mancs did part one by not beating our whipping boys Everton, We need Liverpool to do the chavs today for part two and then we’ll hammer the hammers this afternoon to make the perfect weekend, I think it could be a cracker so I’m going for 4-1 to us.

There seems to be a lot of Ya Ya talk but to be honest I don’t think we need him, I would be happy to sign a world class centre back, I think we have enough midfield players.

We had two AKB’s on yesterday which was a surprise as yesterday was Saturday and I was a little contentious, so it shows that there was a lot of people that were as pissed off as we were.

West Ham are a nice club and like to play football so I expect a good flowing game and Noble isn’t playing so it won’t be a dirty game, I can’t see how they can beat us, but then I did say that about Fulham and Hull did I not.

I hope that Bolton stuff the spuds today and soften them up for us to do a real job on them on Wednesday, I also hope that Bentley plays so he can see what could have been.

I hope that Wenger learned something from the fantastic win in Turkey and I hope he plays this team.


Eboue Gallas Djourou Clichy

Theo Cesc Diaby Nasri

Ade Boy Wonder

We can only hope, have a great day, we have a big week coming up.

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We’re all Arsenal fans, that should be the message.

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So yesterday we had a swipe back at the Wenger comments and said what we felt but today I read something from one of the supporters groups that likes to think they’re the only people that sing at the ground, when I got to the piece that referred to Arsene as ‘the great man’ I stopped reading it, enough said.

Let me begin by saying this, Le Grove has never, ever said Arsene Wenger should go, spend yes, but go, no. So please any of you out there that for some strange reason that think that, please think again.

I get sick of listening to certain supporters who think they’re better than others, they’re not, they’re no different to the next fan, an Arsenal fan is by definition a fan, you can’t get better than that, so a message to you who think you sing better because you have no money and say fuck every other word, you’re no better than people who don’t sing as much but have more money, they probably worked harder than you did.

It’s funny, our manager earns around £6 mil a year, but he’s not a prawn sandwich merchant is he? He deserves it, this is the perverse logic employed by the very people who tell us to support other clubs.

Remember the library? We were never any good at singing at Highbury either, those people with short memories just think they did, when you get a small group together like away games or cup finals everyone sings, it’s a way of getting at the opposition in their own ground, I remember Copenhagen, I couldn’t talk for a week after that, we sang ‘one nil to the Arsenal’ all night, same at the FA cups, as I said yesterday, we out sung Liverpool in Cardiff.

I think the only way to do it properly and in unison will be to put the words on the screen like they used to at England matches, then we can all sing together.

When we had a ground with distinct ends we used to sing to each other, that always got it going, but that’s difficult to do at the Grove.

I expect the next few matches will be noisy as a point needs to be proved but for the long term I think this is the answer and I will be letting Arsenal know Le Grove’s view.

So Arsene, do something about it, stop whining, be constructive. You are extremely lucky your team plays to capacity crowds, they’re all Arsenal fans don’t knock them, they’ll all be there long after you’ve gone.

Finally a word to the groups that think they’re better supporters than people who don’t sing, have more expensive seats and probably more money, your not. Without the people in the ground that spend all that money, you wouldn’t have the team or the manager you currently have, they’re all fans, they come in all shapes and sizes, all colours and all with varying bank balances, but they all support Arsenal, so lay off.

Billy having a quiet fag was funny, Pedro and I were only last week having a booze versus fag debate, how funny was that!

Not a lot to say about the game today but I will cover it tomorrow, today is Saturday and of course a school holiday so you know what to expect.

Until tomorrow Grovers.