Arsenal introduce drinks ban, is this the end of the road beer?

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So it’s official, Arsenal have introduced a no drinking zone around the ground to stop nuisance drinkers doing what they do best which is, …well drinking, so I guess that means all areas leading to the ground, which in turn eliminates the road beer we all so enjoy, so no standing, no swearing, no singing and now, no drinking, oh how I love the Arsenal.

However we have added three more highly paid Americans to Ivan’s team of well paid mates, I wonder when we the fans will see any of this reflected in what we all get, my guess? Don’t hold your breath.

Nicki B’s dad says no contract extension has been signed and it was all paper talk but he says he thinks it’s all exciting so at least he wants to stay.

Transfer gossip arose around Steven Taylor of Newcastle, I like this kid, he may not be as big as Sackho, whom I also like, but he is English and has that same fight in him I see in Vermaelen, so I hope there’s some truth in that rumour, although it was great to beat Celtic, it was pointed out by the panel that no Englishmen were involved and that does hurt a bit.

Eduardo’s back for the Pompey game and I have a feeling he’ll involve Wilshere, Ramsey and Gibbs, I believe he needs to rotate his squad to keep them fit, keen and happy, so if you’re going to do it, then do it with a team you expect to beat.

I can’t see spurs staying at the top for too long so they don’t bother me but the chavs are there early and we play them soon, so we need to keep picking up maximum points, we need to get a result when we visit Manchester twice and maybe then we can start believing.

Let’s hope we sign the 2 or 3 players we need to make us the team to beat, imagine fantasy football and resilience, it’s like combining the best of Graham with the best of Wenger.

For those of you going tomorrow, don’t forget to take a carrier bag and good luck with the road beer!

Have a great day Grovers.


Bendtner signs big extension, great start, what’s the difference?

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First of all Nikki B signed a new and improved contract that sees him earning the same money that almost resulted in Cashley crashing his Bentley into a tree, £50k a week. Poor sod, I hope he’s okay!

Although it’s only 2 games in, it’s clear to see that with Ade gone, Bendtner is a different player, Gallas too though, so when Billy was talking about the lack of respect from a brash 25 year old last season, it was obvious now he was talking about Adebayor and not Robin.

Although it seems that some have stepped up this year, I was trying to work out what the difference is with our game, suddenly the ball is finding the net rather than missing, is it the formation? Is it the team are growing together?

Well 4-3-3 is certainly better than 4-5-1 that’s for sure, the team has started another season together and of course that will help, we have lost a trouble maker and a player that had lost his form, so that too helps, but for me the biggest difference is we are finally pressing and harrowing the opposition, we are chasing lost causes and hitting players hard, this is what we’ve been lacking and that is why we have been getting bullied by shit teams, Celtic tried it but we were having none of it.

As for the deflected goals, I think we would have scored from both of them had they not been deflected anyway. Deco had one the same night and no one said a word, Fat Frank and bar room yobbo Gerrard must have a dozen deflected shots go in every season, but no one says a word, screw them, we won, we dominated and we are now all but through.

Stuff Pompey on Saturday and we’ll be back on top for a day, the Mancs lost to Burnley last night which means that two of the top four have already lost, which is great news for us, I think we could have a great month and that’s without Rosicky, Theo and Nasri, if we signed 3 more players now we could really do something this season.

We have the money, come on Arsenal, lets consolidate, buy Van der Vart or Matuidi, get Numbchucks in and buy a big centreback.

Have a great day Grovers only 37 games to go!

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Celtic Fans: Respect? I thought we were playing Plymouth! + Ratings!

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I’m not going to give you the highlights of the game, instead, I’ll give you the highlights of the comments sections yesterday.

Roddy Bhoy

I wouldn’t be so cocky lads. In over FORTY odd european games at home only barcelona (twice) and a glitch there a few weeks back against dynamo moscow were the only defeats. Parkhead is a fortress. We have beaten man utd and ac milan recently at home. DO NOT underestimate Celtic… especially in our own back yard. By the way, enjoy the greatest atmosphere of any ground you have ever played at. Good luck… you will need it!

BigChipsUK

Ha ha ha ha! I almost fell off my seat reading this load of tosh!

You certainly know how to set yourself up for a fall, don’t you?! One freak result against a second rate EPL team and you think you can walk all over a team that has lost just 3 times in 36 home European games. Better (and, significantly, much more experienced) teams than Arsenal have swaggered into Celtic Park, only to leave with their tails tightly tucked between their legs.

If Aiden McGeady and Shaun Maloney can dribble half as well as you spout drivel, then you’ll be back on the Prozac by tomorrow morning.

“We could beat Celtic with our Carling Cup side” you say… well, in the Wembley Cup Celtic’s second team (only 3 of those who started against Aberdeen) beat a Spurs side featuring 11 of the 14 players who beat Liverpool at the weekend. But, you may say, Liverpool aren’t as good as Arsenal. However, they finished some 14 points above Arsenal in the EPL last season!

It is some eight games since Arsenal managed to beat Liverpool, and five games since they beat Spurs. Celtic beat them both by 2-0 in their own cities the last time they played.

Good luck Goners, you’ll need it! Celtic 2 Arsenil 0

Kilted Bartender

Facts – Celtic do not need to fear Arsenal. They have played the likes of Barcelona, Man United, AC Milan etc in recent years and came away with victories or credible results. We have dealt with the likes of Lionel Messi, Ronaldinho, Kaka, Pirlo, Inzaghi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Thierry Henry and Rooney so whats another side of multi-millionaires?

Some teams revel in the underdog status and Celtic is no different. Nice to see the usual clueless comments from English football fans in regards to Scottish clubs – how many times have you been made to eat your words? Hopefully it will be another case of you lot crying into your warm pints of pishy ale – I for one will certainly come back onto the site and listen to your bitching and moaning, being stiffled out by the greetin…

BigChipsUK

Anyway, unlike Arsenal, Celtic are not a selling club. Our players are revered and soiught after by EPL (and foreign) clubs. We are constantly bombarded by stories of teams wanting to sign our players: Artur Boruc (Bayern Munich); Andreas Hinkel (Hull City); Gary Caldwell (Spurs, Wigan, Burnley); Glenn Loovens (Birmingham City); Stephen McManus (Wolves); Lee Naylor (Portsmouth, Birmingham City); Massimo Donati (West Ham, various Serie A teams); Scott Brown (Spurs); Aiden McGeady (Spurs, Hull City, Bayern Munich); Scott McDonald (Hull City).

Of our first choice line-up that only leaves Georgios Samaras and Shaun Maloney that have actually been with us for more than a year. And they both left EPL teams because they wanted to play for a proper big club.

Oh how I enjoyed re-reading those bad boys this morning. To be fair to the Scots, there was a lot of good banter and it was quite fun watching the Grovers sparring with them yesterday morning

The game showed the gulf in class between the Premiership and the SPL. Tony Mowbray has clearly tried to implement his West Brom Blueprint of plenty of pretty football… not much product.

Celtic knocked the ball around very nicely to start with… but for me, it was kind of like watching the remake of a classic film… ok, but not quite as good as watching the original. The original, being Arsenal. We zipped the ball around at a such a frenetic pace, someone on the table next to me genuninely asked if the game was coming through the telly in fast forward. We didn’t carve out an amazing amount of chances, but posession wise we controlled.

The opening goal came from another excellently planned set piece. Cesc whipped the ball onto the back of William Gallas who expertly back-rolled it with enough spin to creep around the keeper. A truly magnificent goal! Song was having another blinder in the middle of the park. His positioning was excellent as he mopped up and distributed with…. yes… I’m going to say it… class and style!

Thomas Vermaelen and Denilson demonstrated some last ditch heroics… Celtic broke quickly… Denilson lunged in with a tackle that unluckily saw the ball continue into McGeady’s path… as the cross was looped in, Vermaelen covered the length of the pitch and got in front of his man (McGeady I believe) to get the block in. Kolo Toure, eat you heart out… the new kid on the block looks a bit special.

The second half was a bit more casual from and Arsenal perspective. Celtic were still doing their best to ‘Out muscle’ us… it’s a shame the only way they could do this was by petulantly fouling at every attempt.

A player came on for Arshavin… I seriously had to ask who… apparently it was a bit a Clark Kent moment… the player I was asking after was Abou Diaby… who had grown hair! Diaby receieved a lot of flak from people on Sunday’s guest post… someone said they call him ‘Diabolical Diaby’ down at the grove… that is my best freind you’re talking about… and a load of old bollocks. Diaby is going to be a top player this year and those who disagree shall be known as ‘Diaby Deniers’… a criminal offence in blog land… anyway… Diaby came on, took a fantastic touch in front of him to take it past McGeady… ran 40 yards… played a delicious ball into Clichy who crossed into the box, which McGeady unluckily touched past McGeady… Own goal… 2-0 to the Arsenal… hopefully the tie is dead and buried.

So to conclude… another encouraging performance against a top (Snigger) European side. I loved watching the team defend as a unit and attack as a unit. I think the 4-3-3 is still a touch alien to our more attacking player… but it certainly seems to be working from a defensive point of view. Arshavin, Nik and RvP don’t seem to be enjoying the formation at the moment… but that will come I’m sure.

The defence looked superb last night and I thought Sagna had improved on his Everton opener. Thomas Vermaelen and Gallas look like a partnership made in footballing heaven. Gallas sweeps up at the back organsing things… and finally… we have a defender who attacks balls coming into the box like Kerry Katona attacks lines of cocaine at house parties. I still think we need to add to our defensive ranks. A holding midfielder and a centre back need to be top of the agenda… because having a decent starting 11 doesn’t win you titles… it’s how you cope with injuries that does.

The big question this morning will be whether Wenger is confident enough of progression to delve into the transfer market early? I hope so… we’ve got to fill the next 4 days with something!

Player Ratings:

Almunia: The first clean sheet of many I would hope. He didn’t have much to do bar mopping up in the area. His distribution was sound as ever. 7

Clichy: A good performance from our pocket sized frenchman. He made a very nippy intercption late on which could have caused us problems. His awareness to danger is his best asset… I’m hoping with that with better players in front of him this year, he can return to his form of old. 7

Vermaelen: The beast from the East… Technically, the Belgium is East of England, so that works from me… you try rhymming something with Belgium! Anyway, the guy looks immense… he has dead eyes, like a serial killer… but he also has redeeming features like buckets of pace, ability in the air… and a cool head under pressure. I like this guy… I like him a lot… maybe a little too much, but we’ll talk about that later. 9

Gallas: Willy G (I always sing Willy G, to the tune of Billie Jean… you really didn’t need to know that) has turned his Arsenal fortunes around inside a year. He looks the consummate professional out on the pitch and he looks like he is enjoying his football once again. His defending was spot on and I think Verm is the ying to his yang. 8

Sagna: There has been concern among many people that our beaded Frenchman might not be able to recreate his form of two seasons ago… tonight went some way to dispelling that myth. Like Clichy, he just needs someone playing in front of him who can hold the ball up if we really want to get the best from him. Still needs to work on crossing though… 7

Cesc: Geoff mentioned that Cesc didn’t look particularly happy the other day, and I have to concur… I think the death of his buddy may have hit him for 6. However, he is playing with more focus this year and he looks like more of an athlete. He even managed to get a couple of shots out from under his feet. A solid performance from the Captain. 7.5

Denilson: I thought he made some very good interceptions and I think he looks like he HAS in fact been down the gym this summer. I can’t work out whether it is gym or the new kit actually… our home kit isn’t exactly flattering is it? Anyway, he did what he did well last year, got in front of his player… hussled McGeady’s, cut out angles… his passing seemed a little off at times, but he seems to play better when he gets a little bit more freedom to roam. 7

Song: In my eyes, he had a stormer… he was everywhere, cutting out passes, clattering into people, controlling the ball, waiting for the right pass… the man had a top game… his second on the spin. People might say he fouled a little too often… I would say to them look at PV04′s record of cards and tell me that he didn’t do the same? Same with Gilberto… A very solid performance from a man who know’s he has to take his football to the next level this year if he wants to carve out a career. 8.5

Arshavin: A much better performance from the dimunitive Russian. He was tricky, agressive and a nuisance for most of the night. His pace and power on the ball are a pleasure to watch. He didn’t really deliver too much bar a diallowed goal… but his time will come, and I’m going to stake a pound that it’s when we play the Mancs. 7

Bendtner: Not his best game for the club, but he did his fair share of defensive donkey work and his control was quite good. He is struggling a little bit with the new formation, but again… Rome wasn’t built in two games. 6.5

RvP: Not up to his usual high standards, but he had a fairly decent game. I’m not so bothered about the strikers at the moment because I know that the attackers will come good. The fact we’ve got the defence working is far more pleasing. We’ve still got Theo, Vela, Rosicky and Nasri to come back into the team… and that my friends is a mouth watering prospect! 6.5

Have a great day Grovers!

P.S. The Parkhead atmosphere was real scary… especially when most of it must have been outside when you were all leaving with ten minutes to go… tut tut!

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