We won, and won well, but I see selection problems ahead.

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So first of all, is Randall, the new Song? By that I meant that Randall keeps getting picked by the boss and I can’t see why? Really nice bloke, but I can’t see anything about his game that excites me, Nicky Butt’ish but nowhere near as good.

Onto the game, we won with a very young side and deserved it without a doubt, credit to Liverpool, they came to play and had an equally youthfull side, they even scored a great goal but we scored two.

I thought the whole team did well, yes, including Silvestre, Gilbert I think is the only one that didn’t stand out, well him and Randall, but Merida, Ramsey and Eastmond were stand out, and Eastmond as a defensive midfielder should start for the first team, he was very impresssive.

Nasri had a great game but then he is a first team player, Eduardo did enough and Bendtner could have had a hatrick, Merida showed us what having a shot from anywhere can produce but Ramsey orchestrated the midfield in a very Cesc way, this boy needs to start more games and like Eastmond, is better than what we currently have.

Wenger will certainly have selection problems on Saturday, I feel for him, I mean who will play alongside Diaby, Eboue and Song?

There is little point doing a match report, suffice to say it was a little nervy at the end, but the boys held on well, Senderos actually played like he was 32 and he didn’t make me feel nervous like he used to in the old days.

Fabianski looked assured and to be fair there was very little he could do about the goal, the ground under me did it’s usual empty out early, and last night I went down the Holloway road, an hour after the game had ended on the advice of many Grovers, they all said how easy it was going that way, thanks guys, you’re all liars, I walked all the way to Highbury & Islington Station in a traffic jam, there were more people on the road than Oxford Street on Christmas eve, and it took me 20 minutes to get a cab at Highbury Corner.

So I’ll take that advice again!

Bask in the glory of seeing us hold onto a lead for a while, at least we are in the hat for the next round, Man Shitty at home anyone?

Have a great day all!

628 Responses to “We won, and won well, but I see selection problems ahead.”

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  1. Nick

    in the inter view wenger was snotting all over the gaff…and he has got some bugle on him :)..hope its not swine flu and someone else has to pick the team πŸ˜‰

  2. gazzap

    I like Bendtner. OK he is still learning but I think he has some great attributes. admittedly, he’s not the next Henry, but he is putting a lot of effort into games. He is at least challenging if not winning nearly every long ball up the field. he is skillful as well for a big man.
    I dont think he is getting the chances in the box because he is being played as a winger. still he got a goal last night having drifted into the middle, so we cant complain.
    give him another year and he will be contributing even more to the team. He is 21.

  3. Keyser

    Hah, did my post get removed or did I close the browser, have simply got to pay more attention.

    The idea that Wenger hates the English, has to be the biggest load of bollocks ever.

  4. Nick

    people wenger dont hate the english he just prefers french africans πŸ˜‰ ok…everybody’s right lets talk about arsenal and not the politics of some chelsea fan ffs

  5. A

    English kids have generally had a much more comfortable upbringing, and therefore many get very arrogant and develop shitty attitudes at an early age, and Wenger hates shitty attitudes so kids with shitty attitudes aren’t given as much of a chance. It happened with the likes of Bentley and Pennant, although both wanted to leave, and it happened with Owusu-Abeyie too. It has nothing to do with nationality, it’s just to do with people having shit attitudes

  6. A

    I loved it Nick, superb performance overall. Hope Fabianski starts on Saturday, and great to see Nasri back. Top quality performance overall apart from Gilbert, and Bendtner had some very poor moments. Was a little bit worried by a few instances where Gibbs and Ramsey gave the ball away in very dangerous positions, and a few more where they just didn’t bother chasing back, but going forward ramsey especially was awesome. Eastmond was quality too.

    I really can’t wait until Nasri is fully fit to start for the first team, reckon could happen in a weeks time home to AZ

  7. A

    Not in a million years Nick, Ramsey in a good few years could develop the experience to play as a DM, but with so many attacking players we simply couldn’t play without someone who’s job is to do that role, and who’s instincts are more defensive than offensive. You can tell players to make sure one of them is back all you want, instinctively they’re still attacking players.

    Song has been one of our most consistent players imo anyways this season, no way he could be dropped, if he was I’d want Eastmond in rather than Ramsey!

    Nasri in for Diaby though and the team’s sorted

  8. Odub

    So who plays the Song position then, say for instance if he gets injured, or he get’s a 5th booking which he’s one away from at the moment?

  9. A

    Odub maybe Eastmond after his showing yesterday! Denilson when he’s back, though that won’t be a while. Probably Diaby but really instructed to just stay back. Senderos perhaps? Maybe Ramsey at a push against weaker opposition. Surely it’s something we’ll address in January, unless Wenger thinks Eastmond is close enough to deputise, though I considered Coquelin to be ahead of him and was really looking forward to seeing him last night!

  10. dennisdamenace

    Greetings Grovers!

    Anyone up for some fine Columbian Rum and some sassy senioritas before and after we wipe the floor with those inbreds on Saturday??? The Che Guevara should be your venue of choice then my friends, cheers and here’s to a much hastened end of the four horsemen of the apocalypse Diaby-Eboue-Denilson-Song……Amen to that my brothers!

  11. Odub


    I though Coquelin was ahead of Eastmond as well and was surprised to see him start last night. Great performance from him btw.
    I know a lot said Senderos played at DM in pre season, but I just cant see him being quick enough to play there.
    Denilson yes, Ramsey maybe.

    Defo think we need to buy one in Jan.

  12. Mayank

    The thing is the English naturally hope to get an English superstar in their ranks so they hope want and think him to be better than his peers… It’s not hype just a simple trick of the mind…. Wenger plays players on merit, he sometimes makes mistakes but to suggests he’s doing it to somehow push down English kids is frankly quite funny..

  13. A

    Yep agreed Odub. I could see Senderos playing there against someone like Chelsea/Stoke/Bolton, he has the physical strength and ability in the air that we’d lose with Song gone, but against a more footballing and less physical team it’d be better to put in a more agile player.

  14. Odub


    I’m up for that mate! Although will be having a couple with Geoff and the board of directors of Le Grove at some point as well. I hope I’m sober enough to watch the game!!

  15. Mayank

    With Eastmond and Coquelin within shouting distance of Song’s DM spot(although i think they have quite a bit of catching up to do) Wenger will be tempted not to buy in the winter, can’t really blame the man… though many would like to.

  16. Arsenal Tom

    senderos at DM? i think he played about an hour in total there pre-season and it was just to make up the numbers

  17. insidealbania

    So I take it there is no news on Vela.
    What the hell happened to him? And the arse.com have nothing about him as well. What a joke that website is

  18. David

    Great Game last night….Wish Jay Simpson was playing instead of that idiotic Clown Nikki Bullshite.

    The more he plays the more shite he shows you how shite he is. Heh.

    And this is after playing 50 games for Arsenal last season.

  19. gazzap

    I think wenger knew about Coqulelin. he knows what his future holds, but he wanted to take a look at Eastmond to see if he had it in him at that level, and he didn’t disappoint. I still think Coquelin is a little bit ahead in his development but its great to have two coming through. Frimpong too might get a look in at some stage.

  20. A

    Arsenal Tom Senderos only featured in two games in pre season, and played DM in both of them. I agree I don’t see him as a DM, but he’s an option to play there against physical teams if Denilson is out so there’s no obvious alternative.

    lol Jay Simpson

  21. A

    gazzap that’s good thinking re coquelin, be interesting who starts in the next round!

    Not sure about Frimpong, certainly not starting, he’s a year below them, and not even starting for the reserves yet, he’s still playing in the u18s, next year should be his breakthrough year.

  22. Arsenal Tom

    A. id go with coquelin or eastmond… id rather play a palyer who’s natural game is it. senderos has probably played allot less football than those 2 so who knows how he’d play

  23. patthegooner

    You have got to be fucking kidding me

    Fabianski out for another 3 weeks.

    Almunia at the weekend. That game is too big for another Mannone punch fest.

    Seriously though, there has to be a reason why our players are so prone to injury, it is getting beyond a joke. Either that or we have medical staff that wrap them up in cotton wool and declare them unavailable at the slightest hint of an injury.

    It is a fucking joke either way, it is beyond just bad luck.

  24. David

    lol Jay Simpson?

    At this point i’d play Darren Bent ahead of Bendtner.

    He’s that poor.

    People saying he will learn?

    Out of all the youngsters he’s easily the most experienced with the amount of games he has and is still shite?


    I am surprised about Eastmond…I thought the Cocq was our only holding star…but wow….If we can play Song when he was so shite early last season we can certainly play Eastmond!

  25. dennisdamenace

    Odub you old Mungler, how are you?

    Pedro’s supposed to be dragging Geoff down to the Che this Saturday, and he had a secret exclusive he wants to whisper in my ear 😯

  26. A

    Just saw that Tom, absolutely devastating, I’m certain he would’ve started on Saturday. Gotta be Almunia then, or will Wenger persist with Mannone so it’s easier for Fabianski to come straight in when he returns? Gotta think not as there must be doubts over Fab’s fitness now. Rosicky not available on Saturday either, that’s starting to be a worry now!


    Sagna Gallas Vermy Clichy

    Cesc Song Diaby

    Bendtner VP Arshavin

    Reckon that could be the team we see on Saturday, i’d be happy with it

  27. A

    Arsenal Tom depends on the opposition for me, Coquelin or Eastmond against a big physical team could get destroyed.

    David Bent is twice the player Simpson is, Bent over Bendtner is more justifiable than Simpson over Bendtner, which just makes you look very silly.

  28. Arse&Nose

    I was at the game and think we all need to calm down.

    The media are hyping us up again and it will do us no good, we have been in this position countless times before.

    The kids in patches were awesome and played Liverpool off the park but for the majority of the game both sides lacked cohesion. This is expected when you throw a team together who don’t play week in week out.

    The most impressive thing to take from yesterday was our teams hunger and spirit, the boys were giving it all and running for every ball.

    One concern that keeps cropping up is our inability to deal with long balls and set pieces which was once again a problem yesterday. At times it was too easy for Liverpool to hoof a long diagonal ball over our full backs and create goalscoring chances, if it was not for their bad finishing the story could have been quite different.

  29. Arsenal Tom

    A… its a tough one cos at least mannones got a bit of match experience under his belt but almunia’s probably the more stable option.

    wenger must have had fab marked as no.1 for the rest of the season and last night was his first step in.

    i think your team is exactly what wenger will go for, such a shame rosicky’s out though.

    maybe nasri for diaby though if he comes through alright, there was no mention o him on the arsenal web-site

  30. ardentgooner

    I’m with David on that point…

    Bendtner is the most experienced of the youngsters and yet doesnt seem to learn a lot..Should have had couple of goals yesterday… His form is begining to worry me.. I really thought this could be his season.. Also with Rosicky i am beginig to lose hope… This way I dont think Le Boss will want to keep him next year.. He wont be offered a new contract..which is disappointing but understandable…. πŸ™

  31. Odub


    All good fella. Looking forward to stuffing the scum on Saturday!

    No idea where the Che is btw, what’s the closest station?

  32. patthegooner


    Unfortunately I think we will see Eboue and Diaby in the same line up as West Ham, apart from Almunia for Mannone.

  33. A

    Arsenal Tom I think someone said yesterday that there was a post match interview where Wenger said it was Nasri’s first 90 minutes since the broken leg, so gotta see how he reacts, recovery time etc, and he could be in the squad for Sat but certainly not starting. I’ve not seen the interview, though it’d make sense.

    Regarding Coquelin he will have the style to cope in the future, but against really physical teams you need strength, and aerial ability, height, and Coquelin is lacking in all those departments. When he’s got some experience he’d be ok despite being small and slight, but playing against someone like Chelsea or Stoke currently he’d get bullied

  34. RockyPires

    Shit Fabianski is out for 3 weeks so expect Al to return against Spurds.
    Rosicky is still out so think lineup will be

  35. A

    pat Eboue has only played in midfield once this season at home, when there was noone else available. By my reckoning Bendtner was taken off before the end to give him a little rest so that he starts on Saturday

  36. David

    makes me look silly?

    Last time Jay Simpson played a competitive game for Arsenal he had 2 goals, hit the bar…against a premiership side.

    What is silly is suggesting Bendy will be Class given all the outrageous opportunities he’s had to prove himself.

  37. Mayank

    Cesc Song and Diaby have been playing together for a while and generally do a good job Eboue as a forward i just don’t get i’d rather have one of the kids there.

    If Nik gets a start Diaby might get a rest as Nik accounts fot the height thing as well…

    Might see Ramsey in there but i’m afraid he may get overawed by the situation like he did at Cardiff… The team selection will be interesting…

  38. dennisdamenace

    Odub – come outta the Armoury, turn right and go under the rail bridge, take the first left, there’s a dodgy little off license on the corner, walk straight on for about 100 yards and it’s on the next corner….

  39. Mayank

    I think Nasri won’t play as a forward in the 4-3-3… Last night i’d expected him to be there but Wenger has his name down as Fab’s partner imo.

  40. bnsb

    Hansen told footballpools.com: β€œDespite Spurs obvious improvements I believe Arsenal will be too strong this weekend.”
    β€œThey offer so many different threats going forward as well as real danger at set-pieces with William Gallas and Thomas Vermaelen weighing in with plenty of goals already.”
    β€œTheir record against their neighbours cannot be ignored. After all, they are unbeaten in their last 19 Premier League North London derbies.”
    β€œIn fact, Spurs have not beaten the Gunners in a league match since November 1999 and their last away league win at Arsenal came way back in May 1993.”


  41. Arsenal Tom

    A… it was after the match (the interview your talking about) he was asked if he’d be available sat and he said what you said – that he’d have to wait and see basically.

  42. A

    Mayank I’d be surprised to see Ramsey start, or anyone who played yesterday ahead of Diaby. Just over 60 hours between the game ending last night and the kick off against Spurs, whereas Diaby will be rested. I can’t find anywhere an interview where Wenger said Nasri won’t start, but if there was a chance of his starting I’m sure he would’ve taken him off after about an hour rather than have him play the whole 90

  43. RockyPires

    I think your right actually Nasri wont get two starts back to back Nik to start.
    Nik against Ekotto aerially is a win win for us and his physical presence will help RVP against King and Woodgate.
    I’m expecting big games from AA23, Cesc and Vermie

  44. A

    Ah ok Tom, cheers. I’d be very surprised to see Nasri start, though a pleasant surprise! Reckon he’ll start against AZ in midweek, hope we give them an absolute smashing as revenge for their last minute goal

  45. Mayank

    I know Nasri and Ramsey won’t start but i’d be a bit surprised to see the WHU team walk out again. I hope one of Nik or Eddy starts and also someone new in MF, Spurs are hardly a physical team we can do w/o DIaby…

  46. Nick

    A again i agree with that logic,think az is the 1st game we could see our 1st choice team play πŸ™‚

    sagna gallas tv clichy
    cesc nasri
    rosicky rvp arshavin

  47. A

    Palacios and Huddlestone are big fellas Mayank, and Palacios is a nasty fucker too, I’m pretty sure Diaby will start.

    I’m thinking Bendtner to start rather than Eduardo just because he was subbed off which you’d assume would be to give him a rest, whereas Eduardo played the full 90

  48. Arsenal Tom

    nasri will be one of the CM’s… not the DM but not an AM either.

    A… yeah i think it’ll be diaby as well, shame its a week too early for nasri, much rather bentder than eboue though

  49. Odub


    I know where the bridge is, I’ll figure it out from there. Might not get on tomorrow, so I’ll find out from Geoff & Co what’s happening Sat morning.

  50. Mayank

    Even with this team i don’t see anyone apart from Fab who likes to hole on to the ball. Nik? not sure, i’d be a lot more comfortable with one of TR7 or Nasri in there..

  51. A

    Please no Nick! Diaby as a forward would cripple us, very unlikely to happen though thankfully! Eboue rather than Diaby in the forward positions imo

  52. David

    Diaby’s natural position is a Secondary Striker.

    He said so himself.

    We are a team of Secondary Strikers.

    No real CF.

    DId you know that Torres Cost the same amount as Robbie Keane?

    Crazy world we live in.

  53. A

    When did Diaby say that David? I always thought he was always a CM throughout his youth, then as he went up the levels he got found out because of his lack of tactical awareness, so was moved further forward where he had less defensive responsibility?

  54. Geoff

    What we should do is hope that Eboue and Song have a run in with the Somalian team, Diaby may improve but I doubt it.

    I would play Nasri with Cesc and wait for Coquelin and Eastmond to grow up.

    Or even train Ramsey to play there, anything is better than what we have already.

    Though Adams, Cole and Cesc were in the first team at that age.

    Mind you Adams retired and Cole was sold so…

  55. dennisdamenace

    Odub – no problemo fella, if needed you can always email me for my mobile, Geoff/Pedro have my email addresses…..

  56. David


    Pedro met Diaby and did a mini interview with him.

    It was on one of his posts from over a year ago.

    Diaby has always seen himself as a Secondary striker.

    Which makes sense if you think about it.

    His link up play is not half bad. He can dribble and can shoot with either foot.

    Besides its about the safest albeit the most frustrating place he can lose the ball.


    Yes but Bent is English. πŸ˜€

  57. A

    Ah ok David, that does make sense! Would also explain why when he does play CM he’s so clueless as to where he needs to be, he just thinks in the way of a forward

  58. David


    It is especially ridiculous since Le Prof keeps saying how close the kids are to the first team!

    I mean seriously now he’s come out and said that Merida is the bisness and is close to the first team.

    I bet we dont see him unless its the carling cup.

  59. dennisdamenace

    The future’s bright, the future’s Vela, Wilshire, Merida, Gibbs, Eastmond, Watt, Walcott, Ramsey……

  60. A

    nope ddm, vela plays in a different position, and isn’t ever effing available, so so frustrating, and wilshere is still very young. I wonder if a loan for wilshere in jan would actually be good, with Nasri back, and if Merida and Ramsey are ahead of him he won’t get near to the team

  61. Arse&Nose

    It’s ok if we have too many Second strikers, we will invent a new role – “third striker”

    Genius πŸ™‚

  62. A

    David – because we havn’t had enough injuries! They’re “close” to the first team, not “in” the first team….

  63. Odub

    That’s me done folks!!

    It’s been emotional as usual ;), will try and get on tomorrow, if not, see whoever makes it at the game.


  64. David


    I fully believe that Wenger refuses to play Boy Wonder because he will be picked for the Enlgish Squad like Cole was when he was 17

  65. Nick

    laters odub have a good one,when you see pedro get his exclusives off him and tell us on Monday….but shhhhhhhh dont let him know the plan πŸ™‚

  66. zeus

    WTf, wasn’t Rosicky rated 50/50 last weekend. Shit. Now we have the same team of Diaby, Eboue and Song just like last week. At least Eduardo and Bendtner is back. God I really hope Eduardo and Ramsey get a look in.

  67. Dutchman

    Rosicky is out for the weekend!!!! WTF is this. Is this the same problem as a year ago???? Yes, and now we see diaby and eboue start, if diaby starts OK,if eboue starts OK, but if diaby and eboue start, I am going to kill wenger!!! Because then we will lose!

  68. Dutchman

    It’s just crazy that only wenger is seeing something in those two players(eboue,diaby). Only wenger will start those players. Why not merida,eduardo,bendtner,ramsey,vela,nasri????????
    But we will see!

  69. lc

    This is Arsenal best and well balanced team:


    Sagna- Gallas- Vermaelen- Gibbs.

    Eboue- Song- Fabregas.

    RVP- Diaby(Striker)- Arshavin. 4-3-3.

    AW’s Team on Saturday:


    Sagna- Gallas- Vermaelen- Clichy.

    Fabregas- Song- Diaby.

    Arshavin- RVP- Nasri.

    Song, the only defensive player other six players, unbalanced team selection.

  70. David

    Interesting entertainment when you go on a spurs blog.

    Apperantly their more deluded than i thought.

    Palacious to boss around the midfield?

    You cant make this stuff up.

  71. Arse&Nose

    Diaby as striker? You crazy fool, that actually makes sense-he can’t score own goals from up there or lose possession dangerously.

  72. nishanth

    If wenger starts eboue as a part of front 3 he must be fucking mad.Well he has played their only 4 or 5 matches but we have drawn 2 and lost 1 when he has played there.Should stick him at RB

  73. ManGoonian

    I thought Gilbert was excellent, really surprised me. His comittment and tenacity were great.

    Eastmond did very well, but to suggest he can now replace Song is lauhgable. No surprises that prize deluded old twat thinks he’s better than Song, et al.

    BTW, I mean Myles Palmer there.

    Howdy and laters

  74. ManGoonian


    Unfortunately fella, we have been missing the likes of Theo, Rosicky, Vela, Nasri, Wilshire this season.

    I am pretty sure, we would only see Eboue at RB if we didnt have soooo many effin injuries!

  75. ManGoonian

    I will be surprised if Almunia starts vs the spuds. Would come across as Wenger backing down, although Almunia has the far greater experience, obviously. Its unfortunater we are having to bed in a rookie keeper in games that have cost us now (2 points on Sunday)

    Then again, the only way he will improve is by getting games and we are at home and it is only the spuds, so fuck it! Mannone will do!

  76. David

    Having realized trying to claim Spurs have a better team, manager, ground, history or support than Arsenal was ludicrous, Robbie decided to attack the Gunners where it hurts – the all-important sub selection. Keane told the London Evening Standard:

    ‘You look at the two squads and we’re definitely on a par. It will be judged at the end of the season but if you look at the bench we have, it is probably a little bit stronger than their bench.’

    Indeed, the North London derby this Saturday should provide a perfect opportunity for Keane to test his theory, when with ten minutes left, and three goals ahead, Wenger turns to his bench to rest key players ahead of the midweek fixture.

  77. gazzap

    fuck all that gaining experience and backing down crap, its simple – who is the best keeper to take us through 90 minutes on saturday.

    I dont rate him but everyone knows that the answer is Almunia. If Mannone starts we are fucked. the boy is miles away from being ready. it’d be like asking Frimpong to start in midfield. maybe one day but not yet.

  78. ManGoonian

    Nasri was effin excellent last night, considering how long he’s been out and it was his 1st competitive game this season.

    He is top quality, even BBK couldnt argue that one!

    The dude is my fave player.

  79. gazzap

    I dont see players like Nasri and Eduardo getting many minutes against the spuds. Last night they played 90 minutes after returning from injury. they may come on for 10 mins but nothing more than that.

    Nik B was taken off early last night. I think he could start.

    of course people are right that wenger love children Diaby and Eboue will start again. sigh.

  80. ManGoonian

    I think it was all set for Fabianski to mstart Saturday and then he goes and gets effin injured.

    Now we are back to a rookie or a keeper who was playin shite before he got dropped.

    Its a bit shite really.

    Maybe Szcersny???

  81. gazzap

    Because both almunia is an average experienced keeper while mannone is an average young developing keeper.

    arsenal really should have a decent keeper in their ranks. I do actually rate Fabianski but clearly injuries are going to be an issue for yet another Arsenal player.

  82. David

    Starting Almunia is like going backwords imo…

    He should be finished at Arsenal.

    We cant do anything about it till January.

  83. ManGoonian


    Look, we are gonna win the title (dont forget the Β£100 you will owe me too!) by scoring more than the oppo, not by being defensively water tight!

  84. gazzap

    the difference between Almunia and Mannone is the difference between being a little bit away from whats required, and miles away.
    remember almunia had a very solid season last year. if he can get his head right he can have another solid season.

  85. gazzap

    yeah well sell him january and buy a decent keeper. but in the mean time you cant select a rookie keeper. its like suicide.

  86. David


    Almunia was anything but solid last season.

    He did OK. But Solid?

    His form has been horrendous which was why he was dropped for Fabianski for the last couple of games of the season!

  87. gazzap

    did you see that free kick against west ham. even a rookie keeper shouldn’t be making that mistake.

    what about his flap against Brum. this guy is not ready.

    wenger wants almunia out. that is clear. but mannone IS NOT ready yet. its not writing off a keeper. its saying, he isn’t ready yet.