Theo begins, draft in Barazite and sign Benzema in May.

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Okay I’m back, you don’t want to know where I’ve been, suffice to say it was a dark place.Now the dust has settled on a strange weekend of football we can take stock of the situation and if we really try hard we can move onwards and upwards.

Firstly, Eduardo. I have nothing other than the highest admiration for the Croazilian after comments he issued from his hospital bed.

‘All I remember is that when I fell, I looked down at my foot and it had turned the other way. The rest is just a blank. It was an unfortunate situation but these things can happen in football’

Spoken like a real man, he knows he’s out of the Euro’s but wants to recover quickly, I think he’ll be lucky to walk again, let alone play, but good luck to him, he deserves it.

Wenger retracts? I wouldn’t have, the dirty bastard went in with his studs up, remember Eboue on Terry? Fuck, we never heard the end of it, someone else does it and they’re distraught, out of character, wanker, I hope you have nightmares, you know what you did, you cheat.

Okay what is clear is we need to bring in some reinforcements now and some new players in the summer.

First of all the reinforcements.

Theo now needs to step up to the plate, as a forward not a winger, I don’t think Bendtner will make it, give Theo the reigns, him and RVP can fill the void, Theo was fabulous on Saturday.

Anyway Bendtner sided with the Taylor on Saturday, so he’s had it in my books.

I think maybe Barazite will come up from the reserves, not sure if he can play at the highest level, but worth a go.

Next season we cannot go through another load of injuries like this and last year, so sign Benzema, he can score goals and is ready now.

We also need a center back to take over from Gallas, who I think is peaking and frankly I could do without some of his mood swings and inconsistent performances, the way he glares at players sometimes, reminds me of Henry’s latter day captaincy, I’ll give him one more season, maybe the Norwegian kid will be ready by then.

My choice would be an English style center back, who? I don’t know, but there must be an affordable one out there somewhere.

Finally we need to bring in one or two wingers, Rosicky is injury prone and always will be, Eboue is a full back, can’t score and does not have the temperament required to be an Arsenal player, and by wingers I mean players who like being there, Vela it seems, is one.

Lehmann, Gilberto and Hoyte all need to go, get on with it, no sentiment can be afforded anymore, they had their chances and had their day.

It wasn’t a penalty it was actually a great tackle, but making the substitutions for me lost the 3 points, we were all over them until that point.

Emotions ran high so things happen, but it’s still in our hands, go and win it for Eduardo boys, it’s the least you can do.

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Milan in for Ade – Don’t blame Gael – Gallas, grow up – Get well soon Eddy

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I feel so sick that I can hardly write this match report.

Almunia was drafted back into the squad after illness and Walcott started out wide.

After about 2 minutes, Eduardo was tackled late from behind, rolled over with studs grounded and snapped his leg. Taylor was given a straight red. The snap was so bad many Arsenal players looked visibly shaken. McFadden complained about the red card like the complete cunt he is… It is difficult to understand how a fellow professional can be so callous? I also can’t understand how another human can do something that grotesque to a person. from the pictures, he wasn’t even looking when the foot was on his shin. Its GBH with intent, simple as, Gunnerblog have a pic here if you wish to see… its fucking gross though, so be warned

Alex Mcleish’s defence was shameful.

“He didn’t think he made a lot of contact with him. It’s not in Taylor’s make-up to produce a malicious tackle.”

He need to take a good look at that picture and tell me he’s not that type of player.

Horror tackle

Not that type of player, eh?

Arsene Wenger was pretty disgusted by the challenge to, he said the below to skysports,

”I think this guy should never play football again,”

“What is this guy doing on the football pitch?

”I feel the idea has been going around for some time that to stop Arsenal you have to kick Arsenal. That sort of injury was coming for a long time.”

I’m so gutted that he will miss Euro 2008.Our thoughts are with Eduardo, and we hope you get well soon.

The game restarted after nine minutes and we looked out of sorts big time. Our passing was crap and we looked like our minds were on other things.

McFadden picked up the ball ran into a crowd of players, was dispossessed fairly by Flamini (Check the trailing leg touch the ball first), then McFadden dived over the top of the Flamster and a free kick was given. We all knew where McFadden was going to put it and he duly did.

Gutted. The football gods were clearly watching a Spanish game or something?

We coughed and spluttered for the rest of the game, Adebayor winning plenty of balls in the box – and doing fuck all to put them on target. I think he had about 4 headers at goal?

The second half started and there was a lot more about our play. We found rhythm and started to look like a team with intent. We had a few chances, Cesc coming agonisingly close – somehow denied by Maik Taylor.

The corner was belted in, Ade rose up high for it… Taylor ran into him… Ade nodded it on and Theo volleyed it in! 1-1! Fan-fucking-tastic!

Andy Gray said it was a foul on the Keeper. Do I need to say what I think of his opinion?

5 minutes later Theo capitalised on a Birmingham mistake, took the ball through the middle and instead of passing it… he drilled it into the bottom corner! GET IN THEO!

The statistic of not having and English player score a goal in the league all season was well and truly banished.

We had something like 21 attempts on goal. Ade missed a glorious chance when through one on one… if he’d looked up he could have played Nikki B through… it was an open goal! But instead he went for the shot and Taylor saved again. I don’t know what anyone else thought, but it seemed to me that Ade and Nikki were not enjoying each others presence on the pitch.

I said to the guys I was sitting with that all the chances we were squandering could come back to bite us in the ass and I though Ade was being selfish today.

As the 92nd minute nearly passed, I was getting excited, another Birmingham attack passed, a ball rolled out towards Clichy… he let it run… the camera panned out and a Birmingham player was on the end of it! Clichy stuck his leg out… PENALTY!

It looked bang on as well. Replays however suggested to me that Clichy actually won the ball… so we had been done by another farcical bit of reffing.

Up stepped McFadden… goal.

Fucking gutted.

What got me even more was William Gallas’s attitude. He stormed up to the half way line (Before we’d even conceded the penalty) and sat down like a spoilt little brat. Arsene had to walk over to get him to stand up. I appreciate the fact you are pissed off, but you are the captain. Grow up and support your team mates. Clichy didn’t mean to make a mistake, if the ref was any better he would have spotted it wasn’t a foul and he’d been conned again. Its gives out the wrong message to the fans and more importantly… our rivals. He looked like he was saying, ‘fuck it, its over now’… its the same in any sport, don’t let your emotion get the better of you and at 30, he should know better.

If ManU win today, the gap is closed to 3 points.

3 points – 5 points, what’s the difference?

I doubt we will lose the title by 2 points. There are still plenty of points left to play for and if we beat ManU and Chelsea, we will win the league. You’d hope so anyway.

RvP is nearly fit again, same for Rosicky and Diaby. Walcott may have just found his scoring form and you can bet your bottom dollar Eboue wouldn’t have scored those goals.

So lets pick ourselves up, and move onto the next game. We’re still firmly in the title race and there is not time to feel sorry for ourselves. This is the first time we’ve been done in the last minute this year… we’ve done it to enough teams so we’ll just have to take it on the chin. We didn’t play badly either and Taylor was in the form of his life

In other news, Ade is being courted by Milan. I’ve said this before… Ade will be a pain in the Arse with things like this, his ego is huge and from past quotes, he is fully expecting to play for teams like Milan and Madrid. Be prepared for a summer of shit from him.

Heads up gooners, its still in our hands!

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Flamini worries grow – Wenger puts team over profits… or does he?

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So Arsene Wenger had a few interesting things to say during his press conference yesterday.

Firstly he said that he puts his team before profits.

“At the end of the day I feel that [profits] are an internal matter,”

That all sounds pretty good to me but sometimes I wonder how true it is?

You do have to ask whether he is forgetting that he sold Diarra to Portsmouth because of profit. I can’t find the quote, but I remember he was asked why he wouldn’t loan him and he said something along the lines of, ‘you couldn’t guarantee he’d get first team football if he was loaned’…

So he was essentially saying Arsenal would end up lumbered with a worthless player if he failed to get a first team spot at a lesser club (Aliadiere is a prime example of this). So we sold him in January to maximise the profit.

Wenger said this in December,

‘I understand the frustrations of players who don’t play but at the end of the day I will do what is best for the club. That is my first responsibility.’

Would responsibility to the team include keeping players who will be useful, even if they are unhappy? Fergie didn’t flog Ronaldo when he kicked off after his behaviour during Euro 2006 (I know Ronaldo is a better player, but Diarra was still important).

Wenger also took time out to talk about the fans,

‘People pay a big price to watch a football game and they don’t care how much money you make or how much money you lose. It is down to you to do the job of making this Club survive and to give the fans what they want when they come to a football game – enjoyment. That is our responsibility.’

Again, I completely agree with what he is saying but he is missing the biggest part of what we enjoy… winning trophies! We’re not Newcastle fans, we don’t go purely to see a good game… Our footballing style is a tremendous bonus, but like Chelsea fans always say, ‘I’d prefer our trophies and souless club, to your pretty football’.

Now, I am not criticising him, I am merely pointing that he maybe a little off the mark when he suggests we only go to enjoy the spectacle.

He went on to talk about the management of finances.

‘I was never in a club with any deficit. I spend what is available and not more. If it’s not enough, it’s not enough. But that’s the basics for every manager for me at the start. You cannot put the life of a club in trouble or in danger because you want to buy players that you cannot afford.’

He is doing a great job managing our finances, but I think the club has grown to a sufficient size now where if there is a player we wanted… and the price was inflated (Like all great players prices are)… we should compete. I know that sounds silly, but if the price is inflated and big clubs are willing to pay it, its normally because they are worth it. Okay, I know there are flops, but Torres ain’t half bad, Rooney is okayish and Tevez is doing the business. All players we could have competed for.

When the summer comes, will we be in for Benzema? Doubtful. Will we be in for Sammy Eto’o? Not a chance. Will we sign an established star to compliment our youth? I wouldn’t bet on it.

Wenger reckons after he secures his current players he may add to the squad,

‘If I can add one or two more and I have funds available I will do it. But the first priority is to keep the team together and the first case I have not solved yet is Flamini.’

… that quote should go into Wengers famous cliché’s…  Its as famous amongst Arsenal fans as, ‘I did not see the incident’ and ‘The spirit in the team is great’!

Its all by the by, but I just thought he kind of contradicted himself a bit. We can’t argue with his success this year so far, but it would be nice to be able to compete on 4 fronts instead of two, maybe this is the summer where we start acting like a big club in the transfer market.

Onto more important things. His comments about Flamini’s contractual position were not as positive as I’d have liked! Citing Flamini as a problem that has not yet been solved doesn’t fill me with confidence! He is key to our future success, replacing him would cost millions and I’m struggling to think of a player capable at the moment?

Still, in Arsene we trust.

Today it is Birmingham. Wenger has not revealed who will take up the reigns in goal, but many suspect it will be Almunia. Most people on the site yesterday were in favour of Almunia between the sticks, because he has had a great season so far and his pacey distribution has been missed.

When Wenger was asked if Lehmann would retain his place he said,

‘Come to the game tomorrow and you will see.’

Trying to shift a few extra tickets eh?

He had this to say on the state of the squad,

“From Wednesday night we have lost Kolo and Emmanuel Eboue through injury and suspension,”

“We have no-one really back from the squad who played in that game apart from Manuel Almunia.”

So I am predicting a 4 or 5 goal haul. I think we’ll come out of the blocks desperate to bang a few goals in and get the ManU game well and truly out of the system!

How good does 8 points clear sound!

See you in the comments section!