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. Michael Pittordis

    Delap had no chance of getting the ball.
    Ade got bashed into OFF the pitch.

    Still,we should have won this game and not have to focus on this sort of thing….but lets not go there now….

  2. Michael Pittordis

    Definately good news, on the evidence of last night, we need Theo’s pace to be able to stretch their defence….

  3. avenell

    Winger Theo Walcott Theo Walcott was also injured in the clash with the Potters, with Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger revealing that the full extent of the injury is not known after the England International injured the same arm that has already been operated on due to a hereditary condition that has weakened ligaments in the former Southampton players arm.

    Premiership latest,,

  4. Stu

    Despite the unfortunate injuries sustained against Stoke, I dont blame them as much as others. I hate when Wenger comes out and says shit like that. Injuries are part of the game. As are hard tackles but the fact is that their tackles weren’t illegal ones. They got the ball most of the time. The follow through is what did the damage.

    I hate watching pundits on all the shows saying that we are soft and we are to a great extent. But again itrs down to Wenger. He buys the players. Surwe, its not his fault they are injury prone but it is him who brings them here.

    It also has to do will toughness, in that a lot of players get tack;ed but chose to play on. How i miss the days when one of our players would stay on even if it mean stitches by the byline or relocating a finger or something along those lines. Ya get me!?

  5. Michael Pittordis

    Looks like th starting 11 pretty much pick themselves with our current situation….


    who should be on the subs bench???

  6. ikon

    stu… tell me
    is there any difference in the tackles made by delap the other day and a speeding truck who accidentaly runs over pedestrian.

    the truck never deliberately did so, but the driver ought to be aware of the dangers, same with delap… he has to be sensible enough to know that he is 3 yards behind walcott, and walcott is 3 times more pacy than him..

    wats the fucking point of taking the lunge?

    I for one think this countrys mentality has to change if they have any realistic aim of winning silverware with the national team.

  7. Chipo

    alternative team for saturday:

    ————-Almunia —- Fabianski —– Mannone




  8. kelsey

    Every post and tabloid says that bedntner was shite yesterday,which he can one have any confidence in him leading the line on saturday,haven’t we got to go 4-4-2 with diaby with him,any other ideas guys.

  9. Michael Pittordis

    kelsey…he wasnt great yesterday, but then not many of our boys put in a great performance…I think Niki B will come good on saturday….we need him too!
    I think a big factor, if we play 4-5-1, which is looking increasingly likely, is how well he is supported by the midfield…..cesc and nasri in particular…

  10. Maciek

    Yes, I think Cana would be perfect. When I first saw him I thought to myself. Yes he is everything we need. But lets face it guys- Wenger will never bring him. We will end up with Mutadi or Y. Toure, and to be fair, I don’t think that Kolo’s brother is good enough, or is what we really need.

    PLEASE AESENE—-BUY CANA, GIVEN AND ZAPATA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  11. Michael Pittordis

    Just a thought gents, but going by the 6 degrees of seperation thory…SOMEONE here knows Arsene Wenger…or knows someone who knows someone (you get the idea)…..

    Cana for Arsenal!!!

  12. Michael Pittordis

    Yes, I have…..on a few occasions…Cana is a beast, literally, and marshalls the midfield like a powerhouse….his tackling and distribution are spot on…..
    and are exactly what Cesc needs alongside his silky skills….

  13. Maciek

    One more thing- is there any chance to make a meeting between Wenger and our supporters? Or e-mail him for example. Sorry, if You think, that is a very silly question.

  14. David

    lets face facts people…

    Walcott is our Only Hope for Saturday…

    And I completely disagree with ure rating for Betner….he should be a 2.5

    Tell me one good thing he did?

  15. kingsley

    i e mailed the club via the official website. i got a reply saying that they had forwarded it to mr wengers office. its just a standard reply they do to every e mail.

  16. Gunner8

    Chipo Says:
    November 6, 2008 at 2:35 pm

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

    CHIPO like I said earlier I am loosing it so to call me mental is fair…. …I would definatly been very worried about two ocasions where Fabz dealt well with the long balls where manuel faulty would have sent shivers down me spine arrr

  17. Maciek

    And as for Cana- I was watching OM vs Liverpool, and trust me Liv. midfield was unable to touch him. I think that he is the second coming of Patrick Vieira(hehe). Judt my humble opinion.


    bendtner is a poor player its his time to stepup and take the place of ade,its not looking too clever for him tho saturday will define whether or not he will succeed at the club

  19. David

    I agree. I think If the boy has another poor showing…He should be axed permanently….Unlike pedro…I do not think that our Forwards should be selfless…they should be selfish and fuking shoot the ball to score!

  20. David

    Do you realize that in the Ferner game Kolo Toure and Clichy were looking more dangerous over all throughout the game…isnt there something seriously wrong when our Defenders take most of our shots???

  21. charybdis1966

    Good to see ole 65% proof nose has got charge by the FA for improper conduct after the Hull game, ho ho.

    Of course he’ll get away it as per effing usual.


    half this team should still be in the reserves just getting a chance now,thats how far behind the other top 3 we are.

  23. Michael Pittordis

    Loved the impact he had against the spuds last year when he came off the bench to score the winner with his first touch!!!!!

  24. David

    loved the impact he had against liverpool in the champions league that stopped fabregass goal on the touch line and for the stupidity of it…got called for offsides when there was a defender behind him that tackled him off the ball like an irritable fly.

  25. David

    i dnt have issues with Wenger playing Eboue at RM or Song at CB or DM i do however have isssues with Nikki Bullshit going forward he belongs 3 levels below the Coca-cola champoinships….disgusting.


    well i think i will pass my final judgement after saturday on him.bendtner needs to put in his best performance otherwise its a complete waste of time for him


    thats funny david someone the other day said his level is about championship standard and i agree with him

  28. David

    i already decided on the lad…thas why i dnt have much hope for saturday…Walcott is our only chance….Except Nasri decides to play real football

  29. David

    That your friend that made the comment about his level for the championships is not wrong at all…i do feel he is below that tho…the fool actually plays for his country??? Seriously? But then again so does Song

  30. Gunner8

    ooooooooooh yes Veloso, you can catch Marseille on Setanta sometimes, being a frog sympathiser means I catch as many French games as possible PSG PSG PSG

  31. Pedro

    BBK… he isn’t is he? Ask Steve Bruce or anyone at Arsenal… ask the Danes, or the Germans when he scored against them.

    Nik B is far from a championship player.

    Once he gets a run, he’ll prove his worth.

    Some people are so quick to write off a player…

  32. Maciek

    At the moment almost everyone plays bad in our tem. I have had a very high hopes for Nasri, but first of all- at the moment he is playing badly and I think that maybe he isn’t just that sort of player which we really need. Maybe a “new R. Pires” would be better. And I think that Jeremy Menez from Roma can be that sort of a player. And how about Antonio Valencia and Palacios from Wigan? Or maybe we can bring back Pires from Villareal?
    And one more thing- do You think, that we only need a defender, and a CDM, or maybe also a nwe GK and a “typical” wilde player/winger? I would be great if anyone could respond.

  33. Gunner8

    BBN your credibility is dropping fast are you just looking to take the piss or what… …let’s get back to trashing Song

  34. Gunner8

    Maciek… …there is no point, we should have signed Kompany in the summer but Wenger chose fishface and we are shite… …isn’t it funny that our poor run of form really got worse with silvestre in the side?

    MANC in disguise!

  35. Pedro

    It’s true Gunner8… BBK only comes on here when we lose/draw… I have never read a positive comment from him, ever!

  36. Gunner8

    fine, so long as it’s settled then!

    bet Silvestre scores an OG in extra time to gift the mancs an undeserved win!

  37. Pedro

    ‘I saw Best have poor games and he was a genius but I never saw him indulge himself in the way Ronaldo does.’

    Johnny Giles on Ronaldo.

    Aren’t piss heads pretty self indulgent?

  38. Pedro

    “Ronaldo does it occasionally but, on a lot of other occasions, he’s indulging himself. It’s not entertainment and it certainly doesn’t entertain me.”

    Another pearler…

    Ronaldo is an entertaining player, whatever era you come from…

    Bren, is this guy really your source?

  39. Gunner8

    Pedro was at S and B last night but you’d all gone… …some bloke said he was Geoffs cousin… …looked like him

    Was shite last night!

    replacement steward told me to sit down as we took a corner in the last 5 mins… …she kept telling me, just ignored the cow… …seriously in the last 5mins WTF

    When the regular steward came back she just laughed at her

  40. Pedro

    I wasn’t there last night, and I’m not overly sad about that… we just seemed to drop in the second half.

    Stewards are like traffic wardens… well, some of them! Unless you are a gooner, who’d do that job?

  41. kelsey

    I have a good friend in london who has an apartment over here,and he is extemely friendly with PHW,even though he has no real football interest,he meets PHW frequently socially and on a business level.

    We met recently and he told me that although PHW is a bit guarded about anything arsenal,he said a takeover will happen a lot sooner than people think,rather than later.Make of that what you will,but i tend to go along with that as Arsenal may have had the best of Wenger and times they are a changing.This present board would be very unlikely to sack him,so we will have to wait and see.

  42. David

    How in Everything that is sane can anyone watch last nights game and the whole season this season and last season and then Rate Betner…seriously?

    At least song put in a few good games.

    What are u talking about?? Give Song a chance then….ppfft

  43. David

    50 yard ball so he can pass…if we need passers At our CF position then we might as well hail eboue and Adebayor in there as well….selflessness….and ure a forward…wow….where do i start?

  44. David

    To be fair to Pedro…Song did get a better rating than Nikki Bullshit…even by his standards Song is a better player…now that should tell u something

  45. raif

    BBK you mean the


    yeah im done with that now. no point going on about the past. its about moving forword.
    somthing witch arsenal is not doing either. “SIGH”


    yeah that one raif i think it has come back to haunt everybone accociated with arsenal very funny at the time tho-anyone for a dvd

  47. Pedro

    David… firstly they play in different positions, so comparison is pointless. If you were to compare based on ability, only a mad man or someone with an agenda would say Song has more ability.

    Secondly you don’t judge a player by one game… Nik had a bad game, but so did Nasri. By your reckoning, that would make Song a better player than Nasri?

    Thirdly, Thierry Henry was one of the most selfless strikers around. If you can create as well as score, you are an asset. If you can pass a 50 yard ball to feet… that means you are good. He fits into our style of play… and he is only one year older than Theo.

  48. Pedro

    John Sivebæk said to the media that he can see great potential in Bendtner.

    “His speed and technique reminds me that of Thierry Henry but there is also a little bit of Zlatan Ibrahimović in his challenging and unpredictable style.”

    Bruce on Nik:

    “You see Nicklas and he’s 6ft 4in and you think of him as about 26 years old,” Bruce said. “You forget he’s a kid. He led the line in a Championship side at Birmingham at just 18.

    “He’s different, he has unbelievable talent, he’s got belief in himself that he would be a player. He’s got a swagger and he’s hungry for success.”

  49. Pedro

    Now find me a quote from a Premiership manager like that about Song…

    Find me a player that fans dislike more than Song?

    You’ll struggle… and it certainly wont be Nik.

  50. David

    And i completely agree you cannot judge a player of 1 game…you judge him over a series of games…

    [David Says:
    November 6, 2008 at 5:05 pm

    loved the impact he had against liverpool in the champions league that stopped fabregass goal on the touch line and for the stupidity of it…got called for offsides when there was a defender behind him that tackled him off the ball like an irritable fly.]


    Vela has outstanding games…Walcott…Eboue….Song…Please should we really do this?

    now you are completely bonkers…mentioning Henry in the same breathe as Betner is such a foul insult to his legend that his spirit in highbury must be ravin insults by now…the kid can pass…Maybe he doesnt belong as a forward then.

    Because ofcoarse the most important thing as a farward is a beautiful pass from 50 yards…fuk the system we need forwards that put the ball behind the net or get fouls in the dying minutes like liverfools and the mancs

  51. kelsey

    Rosicky will be back in january,so will Log john and bischoff is waiting in the wings.3 new signings that’s it. 🙂

  52. raif


    good point.

    Rosicky, Bitchslap and DuDu will be back. so who knows. could be the excuse wenger uses on why he wont sign anyone in the Jan-Tran

  53. David

    U know i dnt even have to prove much to anyone about Nikki Bullshit…

    All i’ll do. Is wait till Saturday…And fuk need to wait till saturday…or maybe i’ll juss wait till saturday…lets give him one more chance to prove himself….its not neccesarily if he is shite or not…but the level of how shit he is…thas what im concerned about…

    We’ll c.

  54. raif


    bischoff is the one. he will save our season and be catapulted into football stratum and give Cesc the Partner he craves..

    then again i could be Dreaming?

  55. paul

    Guys i am so pissed off again with the Muppets around me at club level.If you sit i block 51 back row 201 and 202 either turn up and watch the full game or Fuck Off.Last night you missed 25 minutes of the game having your meal or whatever then spent the rest of the match talking work.And if you own the three seats in front of me 205 when are you going to turn up for a match

  56. ikon

    i just feel if we keep the onus on keeping clean sheets every game…. we could just start to turn the tide on to our side….

    i just feel thats the single most important thing to do as of now, the results will follow


    arsenal need to srtart being more clever when these shit teams play non football tactics.why dont arsenal for a change stick 10 men behind the ball and fuck the other teams up

  58. kelsey

    If mentally ok,eduardo will be the lethal striker we have been yearning for ,and that will mean the shipping out of ade or nicci in the summer.both have attitudes which don’t fit in with the arsenal tradition.nicci most probably would be better off away,he plays much better for denmark than for us,but he is a lazy moody player,and ade is ade who if he was chocolate would lick himself to death.

  59. Maciek

    You are right. I would love to have Kompany, but You know Arsene. He wouldn’t have bought Campbell if he wasn’t for free. And You know what- when we will miss next yer CL football, he will regret it., because is better to lose 7 milion than 20 milion. And my humble opinion is that Gallas is even worse at the moment than Silvestre. We know that Djoruou will never play if Gallas, Toure and silv. are fit.

  60. kelsey

    anyone listening to the news on sky sports,every bloody manager in the pl is slagging him off for his comments about stoke,saying it’s a bit rich coming 48 hours after the game when he didn’t refer to it in the post match interview.silly arse.

  61. ikon

    marveloso, velosoraptor… wtf, chippo u r in the mood… i guess ur way to let go of tension in the build up to THE match of he season for us.

    cana would be awesome, if the refs allow him to be…. he is a monster in every sense of the word….. fucking would teach a thing or two to the stoke players what is meant by “committed tackles”

    would leave them too soft to play men’s football any longer.

  62. ikon

    i have already made my views known to sky…. if you see the comments posted on that incident, not many fans disagree with wenger, imo thats a good thing, just the fucking ignorance or sky nothing else. best way is to as Geoff/Pedro would say “tear the mancs 11 new arseholes”

  63. Big Raddy

    True Kelsey.

    But I must defend Nik. He is only 20 FFS. He is a proven International at 20 !!

    OK . he had a pisspoor game last night, but tell me one time that he got a decent pass from midfield , or the wings that would have allowed him to have a shot/header. So , he is forced deeper and deeper in an attempt to get in the game.

    It was a poor team performance, and Nik was one of the worst. But to say (at this point) that he not good enough, is unfair.

    Does Nasri not deserve the same criticism ?