If he’s 23 and not 18 have him. I have the answer for a new captain of England!

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I talk of Moses of course, not the one that led the Israelites out of the desert and into the promised land, but the one that currently plays for Palace. If he’s really not 18, that’s not a bad thing is it, we have enough of those already!

Perhaps Moses (the real one) is at our gaff, the way we’re going, it may take 40 years to win something!

Today I want to talk about Palace for a bit, no one likes to see a team in trouble, especially a London team, but Simon Jordan has never tried to make the footballing world love him, and employing Neil Warnock, the Andy Capp of managers didn’t help him, or as it seems, Crystal Palace.

Now I’m no expert, but I thought Jordan thought he had bought the ground when he bought Palace, but I understand he got stitched on that one, so was always on the back foot, now I’m guessing so please don’t take that as gospel.

What I do find amusing is watching Ron Noades, now a regular on Sky Sports News,  painting himself as the wise old man of football, and in his day he had to be head cook and bottle washer, he suggested that, not me!

Well I know Ron Noades a bit, in fact he’s a neighbour of mine, I even remember having a lively debate with his charming wife once, anyway, the Ron Noades I know is not quite the Dickie Attenborough of football he makes out to be. So this bloke who comes across as a caring old chap who loves nothing more than helping old ladies across the road, eating jellied eels and watching a game from the terraces is not quite what he seems.

The Ron Noades I know gets on a plane, pays for a ticket in economy but when he needs a leak, he goes through the curtain into business and uses the club class toilet, he does it every time I’ve shared a flight with him, doesn’t want to pay the full fare, but wants to use the facilities of those that do! Now in my book, that’s no different to cheating at golf.

A little bit sneaky.

And someone that does that when flying, may not play life with a bat as straight as he makes out, so for all his digging at Simon Jordan, I’d like to know if he did something to him when he first bought the club, who knows eh? We haven’t heard from Mr Jordan.

Back to Moses, is he worth a punt? I’ve never seen him play, but as we only have until midnight on Monday, he may be our last chance of a signing. All the hope in December, dashed yet again by the end of a window, ho hum.

All we have now is the hope of a miracle that all above us collapse, we beat them both and that Nikki B comes of age and stays injury free till Robin come back and gets injured again.

Red nose said this, ’Sometimes, I can’t make out these chants but I know there’s been some terrible abuse from our fans to Arsene Wenger and there must be a line drawn’

First of all if he can’t make out the chants he must be blind as well as stupid and does anyone else wonder why he’s left it until two days before the game with us to mention it? Cynical or what? I hope our fans near the dug out give him some serious shit.

On a final note, with all the lurid and unsavoury stories about John Terry coming out today, is now the time to finally take the leap and make Theo Walcott captain of England? It could bring his form back, what do you think?

‘Theo Walcott, saviour of England’

Have a great day Grovers one more to go before the defining moment of our season, tomorrow I rally the troops!

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Did you watch the semi final of the worthless cup Arsene?

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First of all let me start by saying I didn’t agree with Pedro’s summary of the Villa game, he’s entitled to his opinion and that’s why we write this blog, I don’t have to agree with it though.

Let me start by saying I didn’t think a draw against Villa was a good result, they haven’t scored in the Premier League since the 15th of December they were there for the taking and had we had a good enough squad we would have taken them, sadly we haven’t.

People were on here Wednesday evening and Thursday morning saying they were surprised some Grovers were upset as it wasn’t Wenger’s fault, it was the team.

Sorry, I beg to differ, Arsene buys the players and picks the team, what he has is a bunch of players that are either too young, and not ready yet to play against men, or ready, but simply not good enough.

Who’s not ready? Well Wilshere, Eastmond, Fabianski, Bendtner and Ramsey. Who’s not good enough? Denilson, Almunia and at the moment, Theo Walcott, who at £60k a week should be paying it back to the fans and not buying his girlfriend a Ferrari.

I’m sorry but in the real world where you earn £15k a year flipping burgers, if you started flipping them on the floor you’d be out that night, that’s in the real world though.

I like Theo, I really, really do, but someone needs to toe him up the arse and quick.

All this could have been put right with a few good purchases in the summer. We then get our annual injuries, and we always do, co-incidence plays no part, we get as many injuries every season, January comes and we get another chance, so what do we do? We say that we will only buy better players than we have, if we can’t buy better than Denilson and Almunia, then maybe we need counselling.

We now only compete in two tournaments, our manager considers the FA and Carling cups not worth the effort, or not worthy of a first team, how our kids get invaluable experience by playing 2 or 3 games then losing is beyond me, play them in a pre-season tournament like other teams do, that’ll do the same.

Please don’t say we got to the final one year because in those days we had a number of experienced players playing, he doesn’t do that any more.

Sickening

I watched the Mancs going ballistic yesterday, they were as happy going to that final as they were when they qualified for the Champions league one, going to a final is as good as it gets for a fan, believe me, I went to Wembley when we won the league cups in 1987 and 1993 and the FA Cup in 1993 and 1998, I’ve been to Copenhagen for the Cup Winners Cup and every FA Cup final in Cardiff.

I declined going to Paris because of family reasons, so I watched that one on the TV.

I’ve also been to a World Cup final (Argentina vs West Germany) and I’m telling you fans are as happy with any final as long as their team is playing, that’s what fans do, they support their club.

(And before any monkey head out there calls me a spud, save your breath, it’s been done before and it’s normally a 9 year old who’s never paid to go to a game)

That’s what I’m doing, supporting my team, Arsenal. I buy a season ticket in the hope that we try and win all we go in for, if Arsenal decide that winning certain competitions doesn’t matter, fine, rebate the fans. You can’t have it both ways, that’s just plain greedy.

Please don’t tell me we are top of the league, in the next round of the FA Cup and through to the knock out stages of the Champions league, because we’re not anymore.

Yes if we win the league of course I’ll be delighted, but I’m fed up with the same thing happening every year, it’s now been 5 years since we won anything and 6 since we won the league, given we pay more than anyone in world football to watch our team, our manager gets paid more than 99% of football club managers and our we have the third largest wage bill in the EPL, I expect more. Why shouldn’t I?

Every year we get a chance to win silverware, every year we throw it away, watching the Mancs this year and the spuds last, really hurt. It could have been us.

Finally, Arsene, Ivan, Danny, Stan or any of you that care as much about our club as I do, feel free to respond, email me, the address is at the top. You are disappointing an awful lot of fans and holes are beginning to appear in the stadium, be warned, I watched Roma this week and they barely filled the space behind their goal!

That’s it, I’ve said my bit, next post I’ll be behind the team and bigging us up.

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Verminator terminated for season / Please note, Villa are a good side. Ratings and review

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So in the all important first game of the quadruple header, Arsenal failed to capitalise. We bumbled our way to a draw in a fairly open game which was surprisingly for large parts.

There were chances for both teams, Arsenal having the better of them.

Cesc Fabregas went on a superb run at the end of the first half, cutting in and out then poking a shot that hit the post, the ball came back out readying itself for Rosicky to fire it in, sadly Rambo had other ideas and stepped in the way.

Aston Villa’s best chance fell to Agbonlohor when he broke free of Vermaelen, fired across goal, only to be denied by a sharp save from Almunia.

Other notable incidents from the first half was a key injury to the shaky Vermaelen and the second Premiership debut in an Arsenal shirt for Sol Campbell.

The second half saw Arsenal perk up. Arshavin went close with a superb 50 yard run, Freidel spilled the shot out to Rosicky who went for power over placement, the cross bar decided to get in the way this time.

Ashley Young tested the reflexes of Almunia with a diving header, again the Spaniard was equal. I maybe praising Almunia for his saves, however, it must be noted his overall keeping was pretty weak. He was flapping at crosses again and it made me cringe to watch. Anyone who thinks Shay could do better on the crossing front should watch Rooney’s final goal against City.

Eduardo picked up an ankle injury and Nik B came on… the saviour we’re led to believe. Well, he’s not much different to the old Bendtner. He came on, threw his weight around a bit, but he didn’t add much to our game. He was played through by Arshavin in the last ten minutes, I was expecting a snap shot, instead, we got a cut back and the move fizzled out.

One of the Grovers made a great point the other day about a Wenger comment. On the one had he says that we shouldn’t expect great form from Theo because he’s been out injured, on the other, he pointed out we didn’t need a striker because Nik B was back. Now everyone know’s I’m a fan of Nik, but he’s never done it on the finishing front for me and after being out for 3 months with an injury, I highly doubt he’ll be knocking them in for fun.

The game wore on, the creativity fizzled out and Arsenal took a point away with them. The boys dug deep and defended very well. Say what you want about Villa, but they are a very good team defensively and they have a very threatening attack. With our record for defending, a clean sheet here is very encouraging. We squandered chances, but there have only been 4 occasions this season when we’ve done so (One was the trip to Greece).

A disappointing result? Well, yes, we want to win all our games but a point is hardly disastrous, just irritating because we missed some sitters and the woodwork went against us.

What is truly disappointing is the injury to Vermaelen. He could be out for the season with a broken leg. Sol Campbell was superb tonight, don’t get me wrong, but an injury to our main man and the reliance on an older player to stay fit with Arsenals medical set up… well, it seems like a big ask. Not getting Smalling seems negligent, not having anyone else lined up could cost us the Premiership.

Losing Eduardo is also a blow. He hasn’t been flying of late, but we need all the players we can get our hands on at the moment.

Song needs to return ASAP because Denilson just doesn’t cut it as an Arsenal player at the moment. I don’t care if he becomes the next Zidane, right now, he’s awful. I’ve had 5 years of the future, a bit of now would be nice.

However, it must be noted that despite peoples impeccable memories, every successful team we’ve had was littered with a few marmite players who wouldn’t get into our apparently world class pub teams! Lets not pretend that Grimandi was a well loved player when his number used to flash up on the substitute board. Most people used to sigh the same sigh they do when they see Eboue warming up to come on up front. How about Cygan (My brother religiously has his name etched on his shirts), Vivas, Garde, Edu (For the bulk of his career bar the last year) and even Flamini in the early years? They all had the same love Denilson is getting now. Most of their names were only cemented in legend after they left…

As fans, we can’t afford to mope. People have to understand that we can’t win every game this year and a few draws are going to be part and parcel till the end of the year. Wins against Chelsea and Man U will put us right back in the mixer. Destiny is in our hands and it’s up to us to prove to the world we have what it takes to fulfill it.

I think it’s also a good time to remind you that when we won the league in 1998, we lost 6 games and drew 9, finishing up on 78 points. For me, teams are so much better this season, the likely points total for winning will be much closer to that number than the 90 point total teams have been reaching of late. In 2002 we lost 3 and drew 9. This season, we’ve lost the same amount as United and one more than Chelsea who have a game in hand. You can’t go on seasons past, you have to take this year as different, more competitive and unlikely to be a run away for anyone.

I’m confident, so should you be… the games are coming thick and fast and the next three could see one of the greatest turnarounds of the decade!

This isn’t a rallying cry, it’s a demand!

Putting one over the Mancs? I’m getting excited already!

See you in the comment!

Ratings:

Almunia: Made some tidy saves, dealt with his crosses like his intention was to see how close he could get his glove to the ball without touching it. 6

Sagna: I thought he dealt with Villas pace well today, a good performance. 7

Vermaelen: Not the best game I’ve seen him play. He made a few mistakes and got himself booked early. I’m worried about the injury (Rumoured to be a broken leg). 5

Campbell: So much for Sol losing it?! He came on and he was immense. He won balls in the box and slotted beautifully into the defence with Gallas. 8

Clichy: Caught out hideously on occasions but sorted himself out in the second half. 6.5

Gallas: Immense game from the Frenchman. He was powerful in the challenge, took responsibility in the box and put in a great performance. 8.5

Cesc: A very slow start to the game but came to life late on in the first half with a run that sparked the team. Much better second half, shame about the finishing. 7

Denilson: Not good enough. Sorry, but it doesn’t seem to matter where he is played, he can’t crack it. We know that flogging a dead horse sometimes sparks a career, but we’ve also seen what can happen when that process doesn’t work… he’s on loan at Everton if you were wondering. Poor positional play, naïve defending, sloppy tackling and an appalling lack of pace. 4

Arshavin: An anonymous first half, but a much improved second. His trickery and quick thinking was too much for Villa and at times, too much for Bendtner also. Unlucky not to score. 6.5

Eduardo: Very quiet. Injured. 5

Rambo: A disjointed first half with some very slack play. He got in the way when Rosicky could have scored which was pretty infuriating, but then again, he is only a kid. He had a better second half but didn’t drive the game like we know he can. 6

Bendtner: I wasn’t hugely impressed. It’s his first game back, so maybe I’m being unfair. His height definitely added something to our game but his hunger for goals is lacking for me. Still, maybe he’ll find his shooting boots for the United game, then all will be forgiven! 6

Rosicky: Unlucky to get blocked in the first half, guilty of not placing the ball in the second half. I thought his pace and ingenuity shone through in the second half. 7

Pedro

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