Corporate Strike / Placing your hope in the unknown / Ratings + Review

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A mega super massive post for you guys today! We were going to do a double post… but it just confuses the good people of Le Grove! So we decided to treat you to one big one…

Geoff’s Warm up

Poor turnout from the Corporate Mob...

Poor turnout from the Corporate Mob...

This is a short post before Pedro’s match report but I wanted to share this with you. Last night we went to the game and our seats are in club level, paying as much as we do we get the luxury of our own bar, not a lot of queueing and plenty of places to sit, which in fairness is why we pay that much, it softens the blow.

We got into our area and to our horror we saw that most of it was roped off for people eating, that is for punters who paid substantially more on the night, this happens sometimes with the big matches and part of our area is closed to us, last night it was ALL fenced off and we were herded into a tiny area reminiscent of a tube train in rush hour.

What made it worse was the fenced off area was empty, as the pictures show, I was so incensed I went with my cousin and broke into the forbidden area. I was surrounded by overzealous waitresses telling me I was not allowed in, I barked ‘get a steward then’

Along came steward number 1055 her name was Angela, I have to say I could not have been approached by a more balanced, more charming lady if I had chosen her myself.

She said ‘I won’t eject you because I think you are right’ Angela you are a credit to Arsenal, you not only diffused the situation, you showed enormous common sense to something that greedy, greedy Arsenal did that not only made no sense, it was disrespectful to fans that had paid good money.

Angela’s boss then arrived and also agreed with her that it was senseless, he was saying it had something to do with the Champions league blah, blah.

If Arsenal are planning on doing that again, they should warn us beforehand or refund us, as it reduces our match day experience and I for one would have preferred to watch it on TV, I bet they didn’t have that problem in the directors box or Diamond club.

I then left the ground and hour after full time and had to queue for an HOUR to get on the train, so add that to the debacle of Club level and the result, so I had pretty much a shit day.

Great team selection though and Johan had a blinder, but it would be remiss of me to end on anything other than a positive not by thanking the common sense of an Arsenal steward, so thank you Angela.

Match Report

Here was the line up:


Toure Silvestre Djourou Clichy

Ramsey Denilson Fabregas Nasri

Van Persie Bendtner

My pre match thoughts:

Well… WOW… that is a brave old line up! Has Wenger been reading Le Grove ()?

No Sagna, no Diaby… how is this going to work? Cesc and Denilson in the middle together? What about Ramsey in the middle? Who would go forward… who would stay back? Kolo as right back… how would he play after the last disaster? Fabianski in goal… if he has a good game, will he keep his place?

My post match thoughts:

Well, what an anti climax?

We were all pretty excited about getting a decent response after the woeful performance on Saturday… we started brightly and missed a few chances and went in 0-0 at half time. Ramsey had a blinder, RvP was trying hard and Fener looked pretty poor.

The second half was completely different.

The boys looked well and truly lost. Confidence diminished and nobody seemed to take control of the game, nobody seemed to have any spark and what was worse for me… nobody seemed to have any urgency.

We just don’t have any players that can turn a game at the moment and I include Cesc in that criticism.

A lot of the Grovers were calling for Vela to come on… I wasn’t… why would I? I’ve seen him score a hat trick against a team I think my Grandma would humiliate. That doesn’t convince me he is ready to come on and change a game.

That though, is the state of our club at the moment. We know what we have isn’t good enough, so we take solace in the unknown… we hope and pray that Diaby, Vela, Ramsey and Wilshere will be good enough to kick start our season… when the deep seated reality is that they wont.

I can’t ever remember seeing an Arsene Wenger team looking so completely impotent? We spent most of the night whipping aimless balls into the defender at the front post box with no strikers to finish.

We passed it about nicely at times, but it seemed no one was really that interested in moving for the creative players… I don’t think Fener really felt under that much pressure after Robin spurned his chances.

The most frustrating thing for me was listening to Sky Sports News in the background… Man United were chasing a victory against Celtic and they had Rooney and Berbatov to come on… all I could hear was the commentator talking about how ManU were throwing the kitchen sink at Celtic to get the win… I wished Arsenal would do the same.

It’s amazing to me that the coach is complaining about refs again and more pathetically complaining that we lacked the physical resources.

‘You expect us to make chances in the last 20 minutes and this didn’t come because physically we didn’t have the resources.’

Now come on Arsene, we’re a few months into a season and you’re already pulling that little chestnut. Tired? How can Nik, RvP, Silvestre, JD, Nasri, Ramsey and Denilson be tired already… they’re not back from a long Euro’s (RvP maybe, but he was out for 9months)? We’re not even in December yet!.

Overall, it’s just another disappointing performance and I don’t really know what Arsene can do to turn this around? He doesn’t have the tools at his disposal this year. I’ve no doubt there will be more false horizons along the way, but just looking at tonight’s performance told me that we are certainly in for a long hard slog this year.


Fabianski: Wasn’t it nice to see a keeper come out of his 6 yards area and claim a 40 yard ball into the box. He hesitated when he should have come off his line for a one on one… but other than that, an assured performance. I fully expect to see Almunia back for the big one. 7

Clichy: Quietly got on with his job tonight without ever really sparkling. I can’t remember him doing to much with the ball going forward, but pairing up with a player who might as well have stayed on the bus didn’t help. 6

Silvestre: Dealt with the long balls well and looked comfortable next to JD. He went off late with a facial injury, but I am sure he’ll be fit for the Mancs. I’m just glad we have a defender who will put his head on the line to defend a high ball. 6.5

JD: Well, I thought he played well. He is big, mobile and good on the ball. He also dealt with the high balls. I am at a loss as to why it has taken so long for him to get a call up… 7

Toure: Did a much better job at right back compared to his last outing. He also went close with a well placed free kick. 6.5

Nasri: A major disappointment tonight. He was virtually anonymous. He lacked creativity, confidence and any sort of presence. Much like Hleb in his first season. He needs to shape up if he wants to start on a regular basis… because he has…errr… Eboue ready to take his place (Sigh…). 4

Denilson: He did a tidy job tonight… he kept Fener relatively quiet, but he isn’t the answer. He is too small and I don’t think the role he is being played in suits him. 6.5

Cesc: I hate to say it, but he is looking less and less interested as the season goes on. I remember last season Cesc would fight for every ball, he’d be screaming at refs, chasing down the opposition… and playing with desire. I’m not getting that vibe? Anyone else? 5

Ramsey: Well, the one glimmer of hope in the midfield tonight was Rambo. He tore about like an absolute lunatic in the first half. He was sparky, intelligent and speculative (<- sorry about that, but it works!). I loved his drive. I noted during the game that you can tell when a player is born and raised on British football… the good players have that combative edge that your rarely find in a continental player. Maybe that is what this team is lacking? A bit of British grit… the best teams always have a British backbone… Ray Parlour, Adams, Winterburn, Dixon, Seaman, Campbell… I don’t know… maybe I am clutching at straws. Ramsey just brought back good memories… 8

RVP: I thought he played ok tonight… he was getting a stupid amount of flak in the comments last night which I thought was unfair. He had a couple of chances that were inches away… they didn’t drop… so you have to say he was wasteful. However, I was impressed with his work rate and I always feel he has the club at heart… even when he does dumb things. He has to become more productive though… I love his skill and aggression… but if it amounts to nothing, it’s wasted. He’ll come good… as Jimmy Greaves once said, ‘At least he is in the right position to miss them’ (Geoff definitely didn’t mention that story on the train home once…). 5

Nik: I like him as a player, I like how selfless he is… but he isn’t taking his chances is he? If you want to stake your claim on the first team… you have to bang in a few goals and force the boss to pick you. I can hardly remember him having a shot last night?. That is disappointing. Hopefully he can bounce back against the Scum. 5


Carlos Vela: The saviour for a lot of hopeful gooners… brought on after 60 minutes to change the game and to be honest, to little effect. He made a couple of nice runs… but he held onto the ball for too long. He is a long way off being the finished article, but it’s good that he is getting games and that Arsene thinks he is good enough to change a match. 6

Diaby: I love this guy, I just can’t get over how skilful a man who is 6ft 4 can be. He made nearly made the break through assist after a great piece of skill outside the box and his link up play was good. Like I’ve said before, where do you play him? Too good to sell, not good enough to displace Cesc. 6.5

Song: Managed to get his customary default appearance. 6

When I read through those player reviews… it doesn’t feel like there is too much wrong, bar a bit of experience and a bit of confidence. It is easy to point at the team and blame the strikers… but when you are not getting the service, it is hard…

I can’t really fault Wenger based on last nights team selection. It was the team we wanted to see, and it still didn’t work. He made his subs early and he made good choices (Rambo was ruined)… What you can fault is the size of the squad, but that ground has been covered every day for the last 4 months. Wenger has placed his faith in players who haven’t raised their game… you’ve got to feel a bit sorry for him? The question for me is does he admit his error in January?

We need to raise our game and raise it fast… for we entertain Premiership rivals Manchester United in our season decider… can we do it? I think so!

What do you think? Why not let us know with a comment… everyone is welcome!

P.S. We broke a 1000 comments again yesterday, which is a big slap in the face to those who think we heavily moderate… thanks for making this a great place to be Grovers!

Finally, there are a whole batch of tickets in Le Exchange, and a single to Man United up for a best offer price! Get buying Grovers!

711 Responses to “Corporate Strike / Placing your hope in the unknown / Ratings + Review”

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  1. charybdis1966

    Hey,Pullis is now saying he’s scared the refs will pick on them because of what Wenger said about their tackling from behind and/or off the pitch tackles.

    Yeah, the refs always listen to us don’t they ?

  2. Mark C

    wow interest rates have gone down 1.5% today, which is massive.

    Gutted I took out a fixed rate product.

    Combine that with the cut that happened last month and that is 2% cut, or in my world 6k a year.

  3. Rasputin

    I am oddly optimistic about saturday’s game. Instinct is a funny thing. If you’re wrong, you dismiss it as just that, but if you’re right you think you’re nostradamus.

    For no other reason than a gut feeling, I think we will beat the mancs by the odd goal – 1 nil or 2:1. This is not based on logic and certainly not the evidence of recent games. We have had results like that against them in the past. Wouldn’t it be great if we only had 30% possession but took our only 2 chances – I’m dreaming now!

  4. Pedro

    I’m going for a win… I feel quite strongly about that!

    Wenger doesn’t do poor runs really… I have faith he’ll turn it around at some point. There has to be some cheer soon, right?

  5. chris

    perhaps ronaldo is the oracle, rasputin
    Last season Arsenal started very well and dropped points at the end of the season.

    “Maybe this season is going to be different. Maybe they will lose points at the start and then win them in the last bit of the season

    i’d take a draw based on form and injuries,

  6. chozzer

    Before the game last night outside the Drayton pub there was a big disturbance.
    There were plenty of Fener fans drinking outside and all of a sudden a lad in a Galatasaray shirt was standing in the middle of the road shouting at them that Arsenal would “give it to them up the arse 5 times”. They all started shouting, lobbing beer and glasses at him before the police calmed it down and moved the Gala lad away.
    Shame he wasn’t right. It was funny though.

  7. Rasputin

    I agree Pedro – I’m really fed up with all the negativity – mine as well as everyone elses! I want to feel positive about our team.

    I look back to the Vierira/Van Horseface/Keown incident and remember the suspensions that followed. We scraped around for players, but picked ourselves up, fought for every ball, and the rest is history.

    It would be far better to have a lousy start to the season and come back strongly after Xmas and break their hearts for a change (maybe even buy a player or 2 in January)

  8. xeeez






    I love NIK and know he was shite last nite but do we have an option?

  9. kelsey

    ethan why are you again swearing at me at 10.19 i have been out since early this morning and haven’t posted anything to you.Explanation please.

  10. Franchise

    To be fair guys I’m beginning to worry about wenger’s mental state. His behaviour in the dug out has been scary all season u wld think he needs anger management. I hope he is realising the problems we are having and I hope he would address them in January. If he continues his blind faith in this team then he hasn’t seen anythin yet regarding disappointments

  11. chris

    i honestly thought vela was going to do a number last night,


    dudu and vela fired up in jan, that would be awesome,

  12. xeeez

    @ frnahcise..his behaviour has always been like that both in the dugout and transfer window..I know it needs to change in the WINDOW though 😉

  13. Rasputin

    Big plusses on the horizon – Ramsey getting more games, JD getting a regular first team spot and Dudu making an appearance. He cried when we applauded him on his return to the Emirates – he has something to prove and the guts to do it!

  14. no.1 goon

    theirry henry is gonna be at the game saturday,i wonder who he brings with him?
    hopefully they give us some good luck!

  15. Michael Pittordis

    Yes Gunners!

    Pedro, I’m still of that very same opinion….I have a very strong feeling that we will win against united and I am going to go one further and say that it will be 2-0 to the Arsenal.

    We always turn things around when our backs against the wall, too many examples to list here but just think back to what we done to AC last season….

    You heard it here first, the scoreline will read as follows after the game on saturday

    Arsenal 2 – 0 Man U


  16. David

    I got nothin to say bout the game….I spotted that Cesc has been having a poor season after our defeat at Fulham…

    I realized Cesc is not the kind of player to lead a team and elevate them…he only shines when there are stars around him to compliment them….

  17. Gunner8

    Agree with the ratings… …Thought Nasri should have been taken off instead of Ramsey!

    Shit can not get much worse but I would bench Cesc for a game, yes I said it… …his passes were all a shower of shite last night and as Geoff said he does not look interested.

    It goes back to last year when we had no one to bring on and the players all got a bit complacent.

    i would fucking drop the lot of them and just bring in the reserves, fuck it we have nothing left to loose.

    Jeezus I am starting to loose it but, these players are not fit to wear the shirt!

    I would rather have jensen and Helder in the midfield, with Morrow!!!


    Sorry but last night was just dreadful!

    The one bright spark for me was Fabianski (one-on-one aside) and Djourou. For once i was not worried about long balls coming in… ….what a relief and when Djourou covered for an out f position Toure he nailed the fener player and won the ball.

    Unfair on Denilson he was great compared to the rest of the feckless bunch.

    I am usualy load and proud at matches but could barely get excited…. I really don’t know what to do because as a fan I have 0 confidence of the team getting a result on Saturday, in fact the way yernited are playing I feel a pistake coming on like in the FA Cup last year, I mean we will be playing with relativly the same team!

    I am really starting to piss myself off and need a break!

  18. Chipo


    if you call a bright spark someone who made one save all day and generally had fuck all to do then fuck me jack wilshere was a bright spark too cos he was warming up at half time and looked impressive

  19. Gunner8

    yeah Chipo he was, did we conceed a goal no… …that was the one bright spark and for me that was down to the chnge at the back!

    I couldn’t really give a turd, I think Almunia is a turd… …just as he was starting to banish all the horrors of his past and people were talking him up he let’s in 8 goals in a week!

  20. Pedro

    Gunner8… bar the hesitation for the one on one… he looked solid.

    He makes the saves your don’t expect and he is good with high balls.

  21. Wrighty7

    I’ve a REALLY strong feeling about Arsenal on Saturday.

    I can honestly say that I feel we will beat them, I reckon 2-1. Gallas will score as well.

    But then again I said we would smash the Spuds, but then again we DID smash the spuds but then went crazy in the last minute………..

    I’m gonna take my pills………………………

  22. Pedro

    I reckon you and Keyser paper scissors rock it… the losers has to ditch there name and take on a new one… of the winners choice…

    What say ye?

  23. insidealbania

    Hello Grovers, I think JD had a very good game yesterday. I was desapointed with Nasri and Cesc, I dont think I have seen Cesc give so many miss-placed passes before. Rambo did what was asked of him and is a future star.

    chozzer that was funny, but then when it ended brought back the depression. Thanks mate

  24. Rasputin

    2:1 sounds good Wrighty!

    What do you reckon – we score early and should add a second but miss some chances, they equalise early in the second half and then apply huge pressure. Cap’n Billy comes up with the winner in the 87th minute – I shat my pants with joy…..

  25. Paulinho

    I think what is really going to be disturbing on Saturday is the difference in physical prowess between the two teams. Last year United seem to physically overpower us in midfield and this year we are even weaker in that department. I think it could get very embarassing in that sense as our midfield is just so powder-puff, even though technically we played some nice stuff in the first half last night.

    I do think we will construct a decent goal on Saturday and put some nice stuff together but by the end United will run out 3-1 winners and looked extremely comfortable doing so.

  26. Wrighty7

    I think that we will come out all guns blazing but go behind at half-time to some fluky Ronaldo goal.

    Second half we dominate and United miss a chance to kill us off. With 20 mins to go after constant Arsenal pressure we finally equalise, a scrappy goal by Diaby, but who cares?

    Ten mins to go we get our 12th corner of the game, we all groan because we’ve done nothing with the previous 11 then BANG Gallas pops up with a dynamite header.

    Instead of going for the third we sit back, que scenes of Gooners absolutley SHITTING ourselves!

    Finally after 5 minutes of stoppage time and United battering us the ref blows his whistle and Fergie does his bollox.

    Thats what I reckon anyway, haven’t really thought ut through TBH! LOL

  27. Michael Pittordis

    No draw lads- it will be a WIN for the gunners and a big turning point in our season, our team-spirit and our approach to the rest of the season!

  28. insidealbania

    Wrighty its been so bad since that wednesday night. We need to turn the corner, and I really hope we can do something this saturday. What I want to see is commitment and desire from all the players, I want to see them give it their all, then no matter what the result is I can not fault the team. Its just their attitude in the last games that has made these results even worse, maybe their confidence is down or something. I just hope AW can motivate them for the game and give them the confidence to perform against the Manc scums.

  29. rico01

    2-1 or 3-2 for me, this is the turn in our season, big game, liitle players will finally stand up and show their worth wearing the famous shirt…………

  30. ethangunner

    I think that arsenal will rise to the occasion on Saturday ..
    i still think it will be a hard game , but man U have been a bit indifferent this season too .. that would put us on a more even playing field ,
    plus with the recent wenger back lash it might be enough for the kids to come out of this match with some points to prove …. and give us points for the EPL table too ! 🙂 …

    anyhow so far we have drop points against shite teams …
    but im sure red nose will have other ideas !

    but i concur if we fail its over … officially ..
    it will be the measuring stick that cannot refute denial

  31. Stu

    Weren’t we in a similar situation a few seasons ago. Think it was 05-06. We player United in the 10th or so game and hammered them 1-0 at Old Trafford. Remember?…Gilberto missed a pen and Ade got the late winner. That game kick started our season. Why not again?

  32. Wrighty7


    I know I sound pessmistic and lot of people on here wont agree with me and I hope that they are right but I feel the title is beyond us and the Champions League is a more realistic target.

    I’m really sorry for saying that. My heart says we can win the league but my head says we can’t even if we win on Saturday.

    As I say, I REALLY REALLY hope I’m proved wrong and you can all mug me off for it!

  33. Paulinho

    United are in fact pretty drab technically in midfield and lack inspiration at times, but what will kill us is their strikeforce. Ferdinand and co will just keep humping it up front, Berbatov will win headers all day and the likes of Rooney and Ronaldo will swarm around him and pick up the pieces and convert a few gift-wrapped chances.

    Their midfield will gradually overpower us in the final twenty minutes or so, so that’s when we will go long and try and play off Nick Bendtner. Wright7 could be right, we might steal it late if the momentum shifts go in our favour- like they have in the Emirates in the last few years. It’s all about when we score or when they score.

  34. Wrighty7


    I remember that game. I was on holiday with the missus in Lanzarote watching it in a bar full of Mancs!

    There was my girlfriend, me and some Manchester City fan all cheering on the Gunners!

    It was a late goal by Ade but we deserved that win.

    Needless to say, I got out of that bar sharpish, I upset a few United fans with my over-zealous celebrations! FUCK ‘EM!

  35. charybdis1966

    Hey Wrighty7 – I like that kind of match; warms the cockles of every goon heart.

    And yeah, I often think “fuck ’em” whenever the manskummers drift into my thoughts. I hate the lot of them.

  36. ethangunner


    i take your point and wenger always seems to rest players for the C.L fixtures ..Whilst letting the EPL clashes go to hell ..
    but what wenger must realize is if he ignores the EPL any longer he might find himself out of the top 4 ! and next season it means out of the C.L ..

    Also the home and away legs are easier to train for .. you always feel arsenal can win on the night , but with the EPL its harder as you need to show consistency over 38 games .. something this team lacks ..

    I only said i think we might get something out of the Man U game because the pressure is off
    and wenger knows the heat is off him also if he gets any sort of result …

    I always thought that wenger knew he would struggle again this season .
    thats why he didnt strengthen the side … he knew 4th spot was good enough !
    its easy to see that on paper !… and hard to know how much you need to spend to really challenge for it ! so thought why bother ?

    his actions for resting players only proved to me he values the C.L more than the EPL !
    why ? because he knows like us this team cannot challenge against the likes of chevski – man U locally , cant win dont try …

    Focus on the C.L …

  37. Chipo

    Gunner8- are you seriously saying that if Almunia had played we would have conceded last night? If so then you are mental lol

  38. Chipo

    Team for Saturday:


    –Sagna JD Gallas Clichy

    Theo Denilson Song Cesc Nasri

    ———Nikki B

    I fear he may play diaby instead of song, but i feel it would be a huge mistake to leave a ronaldo shaped hole in front of our back 4

  39. Wrighty7

    I see your point Ethan.

    I just hope that Wenger realise that 4th spot shouldn’t be taken for granted.

    We were pushed by the Spuds a couple of years ago and now Villa are looking like a side capable of being around the Champions League spots.

    I don’t think Manchester City are there yet, money means nothing on the pitch and they are way short yet.

    What we need is to go on one of those runs that we used to go on, 10 game unbeaten streak, get the belief back. I’m not sure the current squad can do that yet.

  40. Chipo

    Prediction- (i hate to do this)

    Arsenal 1 – 1 Man Utd
    (Fabregas 38′) – (Rooney 80′)

    I think we will repeat the mistake we made so many times last season against the big teams- come out firing, go one up and then freak out and concede. And hopefully hang on for a draw.

    I think if Man U score first we will lose.

  41. Stu

    Saying we would have conceded is a bit much but apart from his inability or reluctance to play sweeper keeper, Fabianski did well. He wasnt really troubled but came for everything in and around the box and probably gives the defence more confidence by doing so. We haven’t has a keeper command his area since the days of Seaman.

    Almunia doesnt do enough to assure his defenders IMO. He rarely comes for crosses and often flaps at them when he does and as far as im aware he doesnt direct his defenders either. A keepers job isnt just stopping shots, its also making sure your defenders are organised and able to deal with most danger.

  42. Michael Pittordis

    Song has got no place in match of such importance…play Diaby, Ramsey, in fact even Coquelin in front of him ANYDAY.

  43. Michael Pittordis

    We will score first, open the game up and we will snatch a second in the last ten minutes. I can see a strong and inspired performance from every Arsenal player, especially from the defence and midfield…..

    Nikky and Theo to cause lots of problems to their defence…..let’s not forget that they are only 1 point ahead of us with a game in hand….it’s not a massive gap, we can do it!!!

    I REPEAT….2-0 Arsenal….

  44. Michael Pittordis



  45. Chipo

    if you replace Diaby with song then where is the defensive midfield?

    and you think that Coquelin should make his league debut against MAN U? give me a break. song is the only anchor we have. he may be shit, but he’s a holding midfielder, and our only one. And against a team like man U, we need one.

    you don’t see chelsea playing Malouda Lampard Ballack Joe Cole across midfield do you? they always have an essien/mikel type in there for protection.

  46. insidealbania

    This game is too big for the Pass Master, but then if Theo is a doubt I think we are going to see him in the team. You guys must have missed his step overs and that silly hopping he does before he passes the ball back, not to mention those killer one-twos

  47. Michael Pittordis

    Song has shown that he is not up to playing that role to any great effect for us.
    I would definately have ramsey or coquelin before song, yes.

    Lets face it, coquelin would def do no worse than song.
    Ramsey/Denilson is the best option in this case…NOT Song.

    And yes, in fact, Chelsea have played with that line up….a few times actually, and won.

  48. Michael Pittordis

    You think song is a good player…i get it.
    You are entitlewd to your opinion.
    Check out the chelsea line ups before you rant on without any proof…

  49. Stu

    The difference with Chelsea playing no DM is that they have a mean defence. Carvalho and Terry can defend themselves without help from the midfield. Would you rather those two or our 2 in a defence. It seems that most of our defenders just love to atack, especially from open play. How often have ye seen Toure and Gallas win the ball and just keep going, wandering into the oppo half with no purpose. I realise that it gets us the odd goal but i’ld rather have defenders who just defend. Defenders should want clean sheets not goals and thats what seperates us from the other 3 top teams.

  50. Chipo

    so you would rather have an admittedly incredibly talented but vastly inexperienced and physically unimposing offensive midfielder, or a 17 year old kid who you’ve seen a couple of videos of on YouTube than a cameroon international, who (i dont know how long you have been a fan or how short your memory is) actually did incredibly well for us when we went to old trafford last season…

    And you name me a game where chelsea didnt play a holding midfielder in the last 2 seasons

  51. Michael Pittordis

    Fair point Stu, and ur right…..we need a no-nonsense CB who can mop-up and get the ball out to players who are there to attack….and who is a major threat from corners…dare I say it…like Terry and carvalho… I really wish Wenger would think like that!

  52. Chipo

    No. I don’t think he is a good player by any stretch. But i think in a game like this, we need a steely holding midfielder, and not a tiny little kid who may or may not show up.

    Song is shite, but in that position he is the best we have.

  53. Michael Pittordis

    I’ll let you do the searching on the chelsea front, got lots of better things to do.
    Song has been inconsistant to say the least this season….and i have actually seen coquelin play for the reserves twice, live, this season. He is a better tacklerthan song on the evidence i saw. Im not denying he didnt play well at old trafford, but this season he has been dire at best. Been a fan for over 25 years FYI

  54. ikon

    playing song against manu, is disaster
    watever u say chipo about song playing is beyond me…. i would like Eboue to play in the holding role, with the same midfield that played last nite, just that vela wide left and ramsey senter, nikki upfront, nasri right.

  55. Stu

    I think that we all realise but will reluctantly admit that Song is the only and, therefore, best DM at the club. the problem that everyone has with him isn’t really his ability but his attitude, his lack of effort and his general demeanour.

    We all miss Flamini terrable and so we take it out on him. Flamini ran, ran and ran, he never stopped running whereas Song jogs a bit, stops, jogs a bit more and then stops again. He has absolutely no speed or urgency and isnt that good at keeping a move going.

    You dont know what you had ’til iits gone and thats the case with Flamini. Many people saw him just as a DM to help out Cesc but he was more than that. He protected the defence and allowed the full backs to go forward woithout worry and that is also the reason why Sagna isnt as good as last season showd he can be.

  56. Chipo

    Fabregas has been dire this season as well, so why don’t we drop him too and replace him with Amaury Bischoff cos i’ve seen him play in the reserves and he scored a goal

  57. ikon

    Song is shite, but in that position he is the best we have.

    song is shite, and hence we dont have to play a holding midfielder. Song is shite beyond the mnimal acceptable level for a holding midfielder.

  58. Michael Pittordis

    Chipo…..what are u going on about mate???
    Been a Gunner for over 25 years.

    Find the line up yourself.

    Dont be ashamed that you got SONG on the back of the new shirt mate!

  59. Pedro

    Ikon that is debatable… how many times have we seen him there this year? 3-4 times? West ham… Sunderland… Stoke?

    Win, Draw, Loss.

    Hardly inspiring form is it?

    I’ll stick with Denilson for this one.

  60. Chipo

    lol u r the one who wants to disprove my comment that in the past two seasons Chelsea have never played without a DM. that’s all. if you can find one then i hold my hands up.

    all im saying is that your theory is flawed- a worrying number of our team are not the players were last season, but does that mean we drop them all and replace them with 17 year olds? No, we stick with them and hopefully they repay us with good performances.

    and ok ok you aren’t a chelsea fan 🙂

  61. kelsey

    With regards to Fabianski,everyone said he had a good game,but he didn’t have much to do but on the one occasion in the second half when one of their players was clean threw,he made an Almunia type mistake by not coming out as a sweeper and then hesitating and then stayed back only for the geezer to shoot wide.that could have been costly.havig said that i don’t believe Almuna was ill,and fabianski might well regain his spot,when he will have much more to do.

    Also what about wenger not shaking hands at the end and walking off in a huff.

  62. Michael Pittordis

    Pedro….Denilson has come in for a lot of stick this season, but when you look at his stats, and last night, he has played quite well. I can definately see hime growing into that role. BUT….we still need to strengthen in that area come January…no doubt.

  63. Chipo

    I reckon Song is going to have an absolute blinder on Saturday! I’ve changed my prediction- 2-0 and a brace from Song!

  64. Michael Pittordis

    Chipo….bottom line is I really dont think that song is up to Arsenal standards. And I think that we can do no worse than Song!! Ok, so Coquelin may be an extreme choice, but Denilson or Ramsey would get my vote every time. In fact, even Eboue would be ahead of Song!

    No aggression here guys….Chipo…got nothing but Gunner-love for you man!

  65. Stu

    A brace from Song. Thats a bit far-fetched considering he only has 2 in his career as it is. Although they were against Fenerbache and Liverpool so why not!?

  66. rico01

    Yeah Guys, stop bitching – thats a womans job 😉

    A blonde calls her husband at work one day and asks him, “Can you help me when you get home?”

    “Sure,” he replies. “What’s the problem?”

    “Well, I started a really hard puzzle and I can’t even find the edge pieces.”

    “Look on the box,” he said. “There’s always a picture of what the puzzle is.”

    “It’s a big rooster,” she said.

    The husband arrives home and tells his blonde wife, “Okay, put the corn flakes back in the box.”

  67. Chipo

    Gut feeling he’ll go with 4-5-1, and if he does that, he’ll play song IMO

    if he goes 4-4-2 then obv cesc and denilson in the middle but i cant see him playing Bendtner & Vela (our carling cup strikeforce against sheff U – yeh yeh i know they scored 6 but sheff were sooo bad)

  68. Stu

    What is wrong with some people? Eboue is a RB at best but lots of people say he is ok at right mid and now people want him in the middle. Where to next, just play him left wing in a 4-3-3. Problem solved!

  69. avenell

    I think it’s going to be,


    After reading the Injury page..

  70. Stu

    I’ld go for :

    Sagna JD Gallas Clichy
    Wilshere Cesc Song/Diaby Ramsey Nasri

    Normally i’ld go for 4-4-2 but we all know thats very unlikely.

  71. charybdis1966

    Regarding Wenger not shaking hands with Aragones, I say he’s well entitled to do that.

    If I was him I’d a been so pissed off I wouldn’t want to see some senile old git extend a withered paw after his lot indulged in dirty tactics and time wasting.

    Let’s hope that anger is channelled into firing up our players for Saturday.

  72. rico01

    Me Pedro, surely not……. 😉 You dont mean misanthropist do you 😉 (not sure if i spelt that right)

    What a big word for a Thursday afternoon 😉

  73. avenell

    I don’t understand why Diaby played on the left wing and Vela joined Nasri on the right last night.
    Unless they was trying to get at the LB position when Carlos went off.

  74. Stu

    IMO he didn’t shake his hand because Wenger doesn’t want to touch a racist. Did anyone else notice that every time the camera went to Aragones his head was down. Not because his team never had the ball but because of our African contingent.

  75. Chipo

    i wouldnt shake hands with someone who called an ex-legend a ‘black shit’ either, but i dont want to get back onto the race thing again!

  76. rico01

    Get Luke Freeman in, I think he now wears pants rather than nappies, should be able to last 90 mins…………


  77. Michael Pittordis

    My line up for Saturday

    ———–Nik B—————

    Im having visions of Nik B scoring 2 this saturday…….

    Any1 know any updates on the fitness of Theo and Billyboy???

  78. Stu

    Hoyte(?) JD Bartley Gibbs
    Randall Ramsey Coquelin Wilshere
    Freeman Simpson

    Whats the point playing an experienced team.

  79. Michael Pittordis

    I think we should have Vela, Wilshere andSimpson on the bench as our attacking options….damn…..we ARE down to the bare bones!!

  80. Stu

    Was just thinking how, along with wingers and defenders, Wenger always buys “nice” players. Thats the problem! Everyone in the squad is too nice. No1 has anything bad to say-ever! And thus there are no leaders. I remember someone saying that when TA broke into the team he was shouting at everyone telling them what to do, where to go etc.

    I know there is only one Tony Adams but ther opnly anger i’ve seen all season was against WBA on the opening day. Gallas played the striker onside JD eventually cleared off the line and Gallas started shouting in his face for no reason. The problem is that no1 is mean enough.

  81. Michael Pittordis

    We NEED Theo!!!
    But, I think if he’s not available, Wilshere coming on in the last 20 would help to pin them back……we’ll be 2-0 up by then anyway!! Come on!!!

  82. kelsey

    i agree,diaby should have played just behind rvp,pointless out on the wing.all our strikers are now wingers first and foremost ala henry.

  83. rico01

    chary – thats funny 😆

    AW and mind games… they will both be back, and probably Ade will make a speedy recovery too 😉

    Got to dash – Dypers!! Dohhh 🙂

  84. ikon

    btw…anyone supports wenger over his commens against stoke being “cowards”
    i for one believe he is not entirely wrong

  85. charybdis1966

    Agree Ikon, there’s no bravery in ploughing into someone from behind because their too quick or skillful for you.