Bob Wilson speaks… the referee’s an idiot, oh, there’s a surprise.

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Don’t expect a positive post today, I have spent the last 24hours getting the urine ripped out of me, not for the calamitous display, but by the post match rantings of a manager in denial. Then late last night I read the further rantings of propaganda minister Joseph Wilson, singing his masters tune again.

I have to say, I loved Bob Wilson, I used to watch him from the terraces and I’ve been in them all, I sat in the schoolboy enclosure, the North bank, East upper, South and all over the West, I started out in the directors box and ended up with a box, so I’ve been all over the wonderful ground that was Highbury, in fact when I first went, Bob Wilson was the keeper.

You see I’ve done something that neither Arsene Wenger or Bob Wilson and the board has never, ever done, I’ve actually paid for my ticket. Think about that before you spit your cornflakes out.

So I’ve seen him, Barnet, Rimmer, Jennings, Lukic, Seaman, Manninger, Wright, Lehman and I even remember Shaban, I probably spelled them all wrong and I’ve probably missed some out, but I have never seen any as bad as Almunia and on Wednesday, Fabianski.

Wenger said before the game that at 23, even Seaman made mistakes, well we know that Arsene, and that’s why George didn’t sign him until he was almost 30, is the penny dropping?

He followed that up with Bendtner is the age now when strikers come good, what? no player really comes good until his body has finished growing and experience sets in, most players come good in their mid to late twenties, there are exceptions of course, but not often, and certainly not in Bendtner or Denilson’s case.

Now Bob quite rightly says Fabianski will get over it and come good, but to say it wasn’t his fault is quite frankly, laughable. To call the ref an idiot is just being a bigger idiot in my book. In fact it’s being a complete fool.

Bob Stayed at Arsenal his whole career, and that was fantastic, Bob, I loved you, to go through the personal tragedy you have must have been heartbreaking, I have myself given a bunch of money to Willow, a great cause.

However your sucking up to Arsene Wenger borders on sick making and worries me. I have seen two clips of Thierry Henry scoring goals from taking them quickly in the last 24hrs, Wenger was the manager, it was alright then was it? I don’t remember you calling those refs idiots.

You also became apoplectic when some shareholder had the temerity to suggest Wenger had signed a geriatric in Silvestre, you couldn’t believe it, well it seems to me that shareholder was right on the money, because outside of Almunia and Denilson, he is our worst player.

Bob I think you should stop kissing the backside of the manager as it is becoming embarrassing now.

Arsene blows enough smoke up his own orafiice, you don’t need to blow anymore.

In fact the only person this week that said anything that made sense was Cesc, when he said they were schoolboy errors, the manager didn’t like that either, so expect to see him go in the summer.

How bad has it got when I look forward to seeing Eboue come on, how bad has it got when he looked good compared to the others, how bad is it that Sol Campbell was man of the match?

Don’t mis-understand that last commment, check my posts, I wanted Sol back, and by coming back he has now become a true Arsenal legend, the ghost of Tottenham past has now long gone. The reason I wanted him back was because his is a big lump, a proper strong centreback, and he has experience, and the day Wenger realises that, then that will be the day we start to win things again.

Right now we are in the middle of a mad professors experiment that only he, Bob Wilson and the board of directors can see will pay dividends. Not real ones of course, just sneaky unpublished backhanders. Me, I think we are crap.

I have no doubt that we’ll beat Sunderland, we may even beat Porto in the return leg, but if this team win anything this season, I will be truly amazed.

We now seem to be being run by the three monkeys, they see nothing, they hear nothing and they say nothing that make any sense and thats really isn’t a good way to run a football club.

It’s time for a change, whether that means the players or the manager, I don’t care anymore, Bob and Arsene, you are not the club, we are, give it back to us.

I am not anti-Arsene, I am pro Arsenal and all I can see, is us disrespecting two domestic trophies and fielding a team of babies that only he can see is good. Screw finishing third, I want to be competing, like we used to. In the old days Bob, remember.

Have a great day Grovers, football’s coming home tomorrow.

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ACCIDENTAL BACK PASS! / My beef with Cesc / Wenger fails to deliver again

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Pretty much the first thing Denilson did was generously play Falcao in behind Sol Campbell, however, using his experience the giant defender managed to make a world class challenge.

Seconds later, the Hulk found himself in front of goal again and somehow managed not to miss. We were looking a shambles! Where were Denilson and co?

Diaby lost the ball in the middle of the park, retrieved it well… ran up the pitch and set Nasri up for a toe poke at the keeper.

Then the first key moment arrived. Varela crossed badly after skinning Clichy… Fabianski looked like he had it covered, but let slip into the back of the net. One of the worst goals we’ve conceded this season. And to be fair, we’ve seen a few!

If there is one position you can’t afford a learning curve with… it’s goalkeeper.

Rosicky did well to cut Bends in, his ricocheted shot was unlucky not to go in!

The following corner hits Vermaelen, then Rosicky played it back across goal and who else was there to finish? Big Sol Campbell!

Rosicky was playing really well, he was creating space and running at players the way you’d have hoped.

Watching Denilson potter about the pitch was grating to say the least. He doesn’t have the hunger to be an Arsenal player. I watched Ferguson spit blood at Evans during the game yesterday, would Wenger do the same to Denilson at half time? Time would tell.

Bendtner got on the end of a Cesc cross, his header forcing a great save.

The rest of the half played out with a number of dirty challenges, cynical you could say.

Rosicky had a great shout for a penalty turned down. Stone wall in fact.

The ball headed down the other end. Campbell marshalled the ball, got a touch on it, Fabianski picked it up! The ref blew for the freekick. Arsenal switch off, Porto take the kick quickly, Falcao slots home. A fair goal, another embarrassing piece of defending. Ok, I’ll say it… THE worst piece of defending this year.

Those two goals were so poor, they’ll be in the advert for Danny Bakers footballing gaffs.

Arsenal didn’t have an outlet, Nik was getting pulled outwide and we didn’t have the pace over the top. Walcott came on with the aim of rectifying that. He didn’t.

Cesc did well to smash his 90th minute corner 20 yards past the back post.

I usually welcome Eboue as much as I do another Pfizer special offer e-mail, but I have to give it to the lad, he did fantastically well when he game on. With 92 minutes on the clock he beat his man with a superb dummy, he cut it back to Cesc but  Portos centre back got in the way, the ball fell for Diaby who didn’t have the confidence to hit it first time. Failure to shoot… the story of the last 5 years!

So, we lose the easiest tie of the last 16 in the champions league last 16. What does that tell us?

Well, firstly that Arsene Wenger likes to suffer in the name of his art. If someone tells you you’ll get problems with your car if you don’t get it looked at, but you insist it’ll be ok, then it breaks down on the QE2 bridge. Well, don’t come crying to me when your cam belt snaps and you’ve got 2000 people driving past you bibbing their horns calling you an idiot.

Here are some of the problems under the bonnet of project youth.

Denilson doesn’t have the athletic capabilities to be a top class footballer but worse than that, he doesn’t have the attitude to be a top class footballer. Watching him fluff challenge after challenge, miscue passes and saunter back to defend at his own pace made me feel a little bit ill.

If Wenger watches Fabianski in training everyday and he does things like that, why is he our back up keeper? If he is amazing in training and he does things like that in matches… that just goes to show, judging a player by what they do in training and banking on them replicating that in a champions league last 16 is suicidal and tantamount to negligence. Trouble is, could you have bet against Almunia doing any better?

Gael Clichy was absolutely woeful again, he was roasted time and time again by a second rate winger. However, like the keeping issue, who do you put in his place? We have a squad lacking in good back up. Where are our Wes Browns or Alex type reserves? Ours are either pulling their pension or sitting their GCSE’s.

How about overall team attitude?

Cesc hit the nail on the head. His voice trembling with anger when he pointed to the ‘school boy error goals’. He said maybe our team is a bit soft. When we lose goals, Cesc says we’re not good enough to pick ourselves up.

A defeatist attitude at this level? Are you kidding me? That is a diabolical thing to hear from the captain of Arsenal.

As much as I love him, HE should be lifting the team. Would Tony Adams let heads drop? Would Patrick Vieira let Denilson get away with jogging. Not in a million years. Who is leading this team? What have you got to lose when you know you can get overtaken by a ref in a game against Man United and still have a place in the team inside a month? That’s two weeks docked wages in my eyes… or a proper day working with underprivileged kids to realise how good you’ve got it.

Theo Walcott? Why bother bringing him on. His pace is his asset, he’ll run for 20 yards, have a brain freeze, then cut it back. My pals jack russel Barry has more instinct for the game… at least he’ll run with the ball at full pace until he hits a boot bag. Shame he doesn’t earn £60k a week…

Finally onto Wenger. We’ve got a great player in Ramsey sitting on the bench. A player we know can either do an amazing job, or the same type of standard job we get from Denilson week in week out. The Wenger of old would have taken the risk on Rambo… the new Wenger… well, he’s to interested proving to the world he was right with Denilson. A demise of gutting proportions.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gCWjioIR5MM&hl=en_GB&fs=1&]

Wenger can moan all he likes about the freekick, but it was within the rules and we’ve seen Thierry Henry do the same before. Instead of venting your anger at the officials, why not vent some at your inept squad of highly paid flops? It was funny to listen to his post match reaction, he didn’t know where to go with it, when the commentator asked him if Cesc’s appraisal was correct, he gave that ‘I’ve just spat my cornflakes out’ look. Sometimes, it’s ok to call a cock up a cock up.

The fact is, you can’t win games when 2-3 players aren’t up to the job. It’s unfair on the rest of squad. All these problems are rectifiable, but Wenger seems incapable of making the tough decisions. We knew we needed a keeper, we knew Gael was playing poorly/unfit and we knew Denilson was a liability. We know Theo isn’t a game changer. That’s enough to lose at this level.

Still, despite my rant, it’s important to not get too wrapped up in misery, we’re not out of this by a long shot and I’m sure we’ll qualify at home. However, we want to win this trophy, not brag that we’ve made it to the quarters 22 years in a row.

With with an attitude like the one on show tonight, I struggle to see that culminating.

Ratings:

Fabianski: Two of the most ridiculous pieces of keeping I’ve seen. The first was inexcusable, the second was inconceivable. He scares the defence as much as Big Al. 1

Clichy: Roasted time and time again. His crossing was poor and you always felt nervy with him in the box. Love him as a gooner, but he hasn’t been cutting it for a while now. Needs a rest or some proper competition. 3

Campbell: I thought he had a very good game. There was no accounting for Fabianski picking up that back pass. The goal was superb and some of his defending was world class. You have to do double the job when you have a midfield as disciplined as ours in front of you. 8

Vermaelen: Some real sloppy challenges out there today. He looked annoyed and a bit aloof. Not his best game, but adequate. 6.5

Sagna: I thought he played ok. Nothing too scary from him bar his crosses. He needs more cover like Clichy, he is too often exposed alone. 6

Diaby: Attacking wise I thought he had a very good game. The second half saw the sloppy indecisive Diaby come out to play and no one in midfield can say the did a good defensive job. 5

Cesc: Not good enough for me. You’re supposed to be motivating everyone around you, you’re supposed to stick corners in the dangerzone. I love you, but I’m not going to start justifying a Barcelona move to you like so many fans keep on doing. You’ve signed to us, you get paid handsomely, you need to deliver. You wont get away with performances like that in Catalonia. 5

Denilson: Look, if you let a monkey drive your car and he crashes it, would you get angry at the monkey? Of course not. That monkey doesn’t know how to drive. Same with Denilson, why get angry at a weak footballer? Everyone knows he is poor bar Wenger and it’s not his fault he gets picked every week. The worst performance I’ve seen from him all season… and that’s saying something! 2

Bendtner: We saw the best and worst from him. He won a lot of headers, his passing was good at times. However, he was pulled out wide too often and his reticence to pull the trigger is infuriating considering he is a striker. 6.5

Rosicky: In the main he played pretty well. He claimed a great assist for the goal and forced a couple of handy saves from the keeper. Went missing in the second half. 7

Nasri: First half was pretty average, the second half was pretty anonymous. Same old, same old. He doesn’t have the personality to do great things for me. There is no edge to him. 5

P.S. Any spares to the game this weekend will be welcomed!

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CL brings comedy to Milan / Beckham’s had it / Tonight the laugh will be on Porto.

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So I started to watch the mancs play the easiest knockout game in the ECL, but had to laugh when I saw the snippet that said this, it was talking about granny shagger Rooney and the snippet said this makes 50th CL APP tonight, which read as ‘CLAPP’ which I thought was apt, given his antics, if only manc loving Sky realised their gaff, I sure as hell did, well done Sky Sports, hilarious!

I hope Fabio was watching because the Italian press said Beckham was like a waxwork dummy, and last night proved if we take him to South Africa, we must be nuts.

Onto us and the big game tonight, Fabianski is in goal, which isn’t great, but it’s better than having to endure another gaff strewn evening from Almunia, Fab, prove you are worthy and put in a great performance, I think Gallas is out too so that means powerhouse Campbell steps in, no problems there, I also think Song is out so the boss has to decide on Eastmond, Denilson or maybe a 4 man midfield instead, here’s what I would do.

Fabianski

Eboue Campbell Vermaelen Clichy

Rosicky Cesc Diaby Nasri

Walcott Bendtner

I think that team would score goals and protect our goal at the same time, 4-4-2 would be a good move considering the problems, and we wouldn’t have to put in youngster Eastmond or rubbish Brazilian Denilson.

We can attack at will, with pace and height and defend from the middle, so we won’t be exposing ourselves as we do with a 4-3-3, I wouldn’t be unhappy to use Ramsey either but not Denilson, anyone other than him. I would even suffer Eboue in the midfield rather than Denilson, at least he has pace and can defend.

We need to get in their faces and shut the crowd up early, this is our last real chance of any silverware, and a good result would give us the confidence to go all the way, and don’t forget, we have Robin to come back in April.

Kyle Bartley is getting rave reviews in Sheffield, is he the one to step up next season? I don’t know, trying to buy Smalling doesn’t suggest he will, but we also have Djourou and Nordveit or whatever his name is.

Porto are about as good as Villa, dangerous in spells but not that good, we shouldn’t underestimate them in the same way we wouldn’t underestimate Villa, but we are by far the greatest team the world has ever seen. I know we are, because we all sang that against Liverpool and won, so it must be true.

Don’t forget Arsenal, Porto were a team managed by a chav scumbag, we owe them, and two wins in a week against a chav connected side would be absolutely brilliant.

So go and get a famous win tonight boys, a draw will do, but a win would all but seal it, they call their centre forward the Hulk, why? Is it because he let someone die in a car accident? Is it because he got exposed to radiation whilst conducting experiments? NO, it’s because he’s crap at football and bats for the other side, just like that one trick pony the Hulk, from DC fame.

Screw them Arsenal, show us why we love you so much, prove to your manager you are all worth what we pay you, and why the club won’t buy players, this is no dress rehearsal, this is it, tonight you play in the most important game of you careers, I know you can do it, the manager knows you can do it, tonight is up to you.

I don’t do predictions, but Carling do and they told me 2 nil to the team that plays in red…honest!

Finally Pedro sent me a list of Europe’s top earners, we have only Arshavin in the top 50, so I can see why all the Cesc rumours are being bandied about, maybe if we stopped paying so much for the ordinary fringe players, we would have the money to give him more. We have players like Jay Simpson who seem to be on permanent loan whilst we keep players like Denilson in the squad, we have players like Randall, Hoyte and Gilbert that seem to hang around for ever but never play so why? I think we should have a long hard look at our massive squad of averageness and whittle it down to a group of top players, I bet we’d even get change if we did that.

Hey and all this talk of we couldn’t afford David Villa’s wages, he earns the same as what Cashley and the 50 year old Vieira does. Hmmm!

Have a great night Grovers, win or lose, have a booze, tonight I feel it in my bones, we’ll be doing both. Winning and boozing!

Finally, a big fat P.S. from Le Exchange. We have loads of buyers, no sellers! If you have spares, don’t let them go to waste. Use our free exchange service and Let Le Grove put you in touch with someone who’ll buy them off you. E-mail address is in the side bar —>

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