Top 4 Tottenham? A better squad? What a bunch of mugs!

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Sorry for the slightly crass headline. It feels right though. Robbie Keane spouted off about how they didn’t fear us, how man for man they are equal to us and how their bench is stronger.

What a joker…

I met my brother outside Kings Cross McDonald’s after he’d drank 13 bottles of beer, I had a lot of catching up to do but there is no doubt his dutch courage rubbed off on me. By the time we’d arrived at the stadium, I was feeling pretty confident.

The game kicked off to a wave of sound, Arsenal fans were pumped which was unusual because we’re not normally loud and even more unusual because early kick offs are notoriously quiet.

The wall of sound didn’t seem to rub off on the Arsenal players. Arsenal in the first half were pretty woeful. Our passing was shambolic, the decision making was appalling and we struggled to hold our shape and play the football we’ve come to expect as standard.

Diaby was awful, truly terrible… I don’t think I have a good word to say about him from the first half. He was holding onto the ball too long, making unbelievably bad passes and his strength on the ball was like watching a 4 year old shoulder barge a WWF wrestler. When Nasri returns to the team, Diaby can have no complaints. His stint in the first team, has in the main, been a failure.

Song was very shaky. Again, his passing was off key and he was making sloppy errors on and off the ball. I think Geoff is right, he does have a Senderos moment in him almost every game. He did grow with the half, that was encouraging.

Even Cesc was having trouble. His game was all over the place!

It wasn’t all bad… despite not being on our game, we were still carving out chances. The first 40 minutes were a great example of playing badly and still threatening. Something that didn’t happen last season.

Our defending was also very good. Almunia had a few iffy crosses to deal with, but overall, he did pretty well. Vermaelen and Gallas were doing a very good job of disrupting the Crouch affect, deciding if they couldn’t beat him in the air, they’d put him off with physical hustle and make sure they always won the second header.

Cesc nearly broke the dead lock, but his passed shot was kept out with a tidy Gomes save. Robin also went very close but was again rebuffed by the hands of Gomes. Nik B picked up an injury and we were nearly exposed by his inability to run when Spurs flew past him unchallenged. Wenger was losing the plot on the sidelines! Eduardo entered the field of play and if I’m fair, it was the type of decision that was needed regardless off Niks injury.

It didn’t take long for Arsenal to chalk a number on the score board. Sagna, who was distributing the ball like he was trying to ruin his opta stats, whipped a dangerous ball into the box… Robin bundled into the box and slotted it tamely under Gomes. 1-0 up… what a sweet moment.

Just as we were all hugging out, we looked up, Robin dispossessed Keane (I think) from the centre kick, laid it off to Cesc who waltzed past 4 players and banged it past Gomes with Thierry like composure!

‘Did that just happen? Yeaaaaaahhhhhhhhh!’

2-0 up, we were in dream land. The talk at half time was about whether it was too early to start sending reprisal texts to our friends of ‘yid army’ descent?

The second half started and a different Arsenal emerged. Crisp passing football replaced the first half’s lack lustre laboured performance. Things just clicked, Spurs looked buried and we began to pick away at them…

It didn’t take long for us to grab our third. Eduardo laid the ball out wide to Sagna, got crunched in the process… Sagna stopped, looked round, the ref waved play on… Sagna fizzed a ball into the box, Gomes spilled, Robin slotted home. 2 goals for Robin, 2 assists for Sagna and certain victory for the Gooners.

If I’m honest, we could have had 6. Spurs were truly garbage, they had nothing in the locker bar the long ball. Top 4? They’ll be lucky to break into the top 8 this season. It was pretty funny to see Bassong go off towards the end, another injury to a defender.

Arsenal missed a whole host of chances in the second half. Eduardo, through on goal, with only Gomes to beat, managed to slot wide. Who’d have thunk it? Diaby went close with a shot back across goal, Gallas and Arshavin also spurned opportunities. As the game wore on, what was important for me was the clean sheet. Almunia was tested on a number of occasions, notably from a stinging David Bentley freekick, to which he pulled off a spectacular tipped save.

The ref blew up for full time, Arsenal recorded a very important win and continued the title push.

So a few things that need to be mentioned. Arsene Wenger needs to be commended for putting out a half decent team in midweek. Sequences are very important in football, an unneccessary loss against Liverpool cold have seen a different outcome today. Look what happened to Liverpool, 3-1 losers to Bolton. I also thought Arsenal paid more respect to the way Spurs played than usual. We dealt with the aerial threat much better than normal… understanding the way the opposition play is key to nullifying theirΒ  strengths, we did that today. I was also impressed with the way we came out in the second half and that we managed to come out of the first half with a lead.

Oh, and a final mention to the fans, who were magnificent!

Ratings:

Almunia: I wasn’t sure whetherΒ  reintroducing a keeper low on confidence, to a North London Derby, was a good idea. If he’d dropped a clanger today, Wenger could have found himself with a real dilemma. My worries didn’t come to fruition, he was top draw after a shaky start, making some very tidy saves, especially in the second half. 7.5

Sagna: His passing in the first half was abysmal. Like I said earlier, it was like his was in a competition with Diaby to make the most incomplete passes in a game! That didn’t stop him setting up two Robin Van Persie goals and it didn’t affect his defending which got better with the game. 7

Gallas: Took it in turns with Vermaellen to rough up Crouch and dealt particularly well with Keane. 8

Vermaellen: Took most of the aerial ball challenges and did superbly considering Crouch is officially the new face of Big Green Giant sweet corn. A top effort, a yellow card and a growing affection developing among the gooner faithful. I think I love him… 8.5

Clichy: I tidy game from our tenacious left back. He got forward to great effect today, at one point finding himself alone heading toward goal, but not having the confidence to unleash a Nigel Winterburn rasper! 7

Song: Started the first half like a right lemon. His passing was terrible and he was making alsorts of silly mistakes. The whole midfield was guilty of this, but as the game grew, so did he… by the time the second half began, he had found his game and started to play with a lot more confidence. In the end, he turned in a good performance. 7

Diaby: A very poor showing from our Frenchman of said potential. His passing was erratic, his ball retention was poor and he was messing up all over the pitch. Someone get this man a space on the bench, because he is playing terribly. 4

Cesc: Started in very un-Cesc like fashion, spraying passes around Gilberto on a bad day and failing to get a grip on the game. He did manage to get on the score sheet with a superb powered run through the heard of the Spurs defence, driving home the second. That gave him the confidence to kick on in the second half when he started playing his game. 7

Arshavin: Spent most of the first 40 on his arse, but he was our only real threat. He played much better in the second half, sitting incredibly deep for the type of player he is. He knows how to pick out a pass and his deft flicks leave the opposition baffled at times. 7

Robin: I hope those who stated our Dutchman wasn’t good enough for a central role have put that humble pie in the oven and upped the gas mark. The boy wonder is on fire lately, finishing well and adapting to that central role like most of us knew he would. I think that’s 7 goals so far this year! I can’t fail to be happy about that… what a top player! 8

Nik B: Was having a bit of a shocker if I’m fair… hopefully he’s not out for too long. 5

Subs:

Eduardo: Had a tidy game out wide, guilty of a couple of very easy missed chances. 6

Eboue: The coach loves sticking this guy on. He came on to little effect, but at least he got a run out. 6

Rambo: 3 minutes isn’t really enough to get a hold of the game. Lost his head a little when Bassong fell down injured next to him during a run… he should have powered on, concentrated and laid off the right pass. He froze a little and we missed out on our 4th. 6

So, is it time to talk about challenging this year? Lets wait until the cold weather lands, then I’ll start talking! This time last year, I think it was snowing… are we finally feeling the benefits of global warming? I hope so! Bring on the November tan!

See you in the comments!

465 Responses to “Top 4 Tottenham? A better squad? What a bunch of mugs!”

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  1. nn

    leave diaby alone. if ur going ti critise him critise his football or the manager for playing him. calling him a retard , wanker etc. for fucks sake get a grip

  2. 8 inch knob

    Guys, one thing we must all do is support our players.

    Damn_Gallas, I’m afraid I have to disagree with most of your comments. He is one of our most talented players, probably the most technical but he needs freedom to express it.

    It’s unfair to categorise the player as a defensive minded player when really his core strengths lie a bit further up the pitch, ideally where Cesc Fabregas is playing. Diaby/Denilson/Song, Diaby/Nasri/Song and maybe Diaby/Ramsey/Song would be a far better balance than playing both Fabregas and Diaby supported by Song.

    There is far too much pressure on Song to defend when Diaby and Fabregas are paired with neither player very good at tracking back. But I’m willing to bet that if Diaby was supported better then he would be a far more potent and dangerous goal scoring threat than Fabregas.

    It’s also easy to forget that Diaby averages more succesfull tackles than any of our other midfield players.

    I’ve followed Diaby since he signed in Jan 2006 and even back then I could he the undoubted class and potential he had. Since then I feel this is his first major season for us and he can only go from strength to strength. Let’s not forget this is his longest run in the side so give the boy some credit.

    Our lack of silverware is more down to the negative vibes and appalling that some our our so called fans give the club and players. The know it alls who think it’s easy to just buy a world class player and expect the trophies to follow. The ones who were last season calling Denilson, Song, Bendtner and Eboue shit. These are the same idiots who will be made to eat their own words when they see at the end of the season just how good a player Diaby really is.

    I have faith in him and so does Wenger. So that’s all that matters regardless of what you may think otherwise.

  3. Keyser

    Geoff – Heh, as long as you change yours, when all you do is sit there and count the errors without acknowledging the good points, your motives will always be up for questioning.

  4. 8 inch knob

    Alonso would add nothing to our team.

    How can there still be people calling Song shit. What planet are they living on.

    Without Song, we’d be fucked up the arse well and truly by now.

  5. Geoff

    We all say he has talent, we are all getting fed up with waiting, if evrey player played like him, we’d get relegated.

  6. rastagoon

    We need to take advantage of next PL fixtures,where one or both the mancs and chavs drop some points.hopefully a goaless draw

  7. Geoff

    I’m from London, Bethnal Green but now Islington, have a great day and bask in the sunshine of beating the Scum!

    I spent some time in Gosport, I love that area, genteel!

  8. Truth

    Afternoon all: I found this humorous piece on the tiny totts news stream.

    ‘Against the old enemy, it seems we can come up with ever more creative ways to lose. I remember a good few years ago sitting right at the back of the Paxton with a precious ticket watching them take us apart. It was near the beginning of the Wenger era. At the finish, the mood around me was surprisingly philosophical, beaten by a better team on the day, therefore in some measure we could deal with it. But since then, we have games when we are on top but are then destroyed by breakaways, cup semi-finals, we watch them win the league on our ground, we score four but concede five. Now we have the 11 second goal. Utterly pathetic, like watching the primary school team give the ball to the big boy who’s better than everyone and runs straight through’.

  9. Geoff

    Fucking hell Michael, I was drinking!

    I always give praise when it’s due, I just wish we had better!

    I’m off now! Have a good’un.

  10. GordoGunner

    When Gazidis started, I hoped he would force the club to spend in obvious need areas: central midfield, goalkeeper, etc.

    Now I just wish he’d overhaul Arsenal’s training and medical staff.

    Bendtner out a month, which will surely become two.

    Walcott, Denilson out long-term with “back problems.” Eduardo and Rosicky still struggling to play consecutive games…

    Getting a leg-break like Nasri is one thing, but so many of our injuries seem preventable…

    People like to talk about how tasty our lineup will be when everyone’s fit, but I don’t think that’s ever gonna happen…

  11. Stu

    We should send some of our medical staff on loan to AC Milan. All their players are basically fossils yet never seem to get injured. Someone one here once told me that they have special preventative measures for dealing with injuries.

  12. Goonerbeall

    After reading up to where you diss Diaby and Song I realised you must be a habitually drunk like your brother who drinks 13 bottles of beer and goes anywhere. Were I to drink that much I would not only be unable to do anything but I would’nt want to either. Any wonder there is so much violence?

    As a drunk, no wonder you could not see good plays of Diaby or Song. I thought Diaby held his own with fewer mistakes. Song positioning and disrupting Spuds was fine. Reading your blog is boring. Stick to being abusive coz you cant analyse.

  13. Keyser

    Does Gourcuff play in a midfield 3 ?!

    I dunno if that would work Stu, part of the reason Milan’s ‘Lab’ works soo well is because of the league they play in.

    I don’t think it’s the preventable injuries that have hedl us back, it’s because of the ones that aren’t, 3 broken legs in as many years, Rosicky’s misdiagnosis of a rare injury to sustain and Fabregas’s ligament damage, alongside Walcotts shoulder dislocation, it’s not just because they’ve spent time out, it’s how much strain it puts on the rest of the squad while they’re out.

    Denilson played loads of games consecutively to cover, just like Song is now, they might not be the best of players, but it just shows you how stretched we are when even our squad players are feeling the strain.

    If we can get enough of them back together, like we seem to be doing now, say if Eduardo, Rosicky, Vela and Nasri can come back together, then Walcott and finally Bendtner, we’ll finally be able to do some rotation aswell.

  14. goonermichael

    In Italy they stop play and give out cards for the slightest touch as far as I can see.

    Off topic

    I’m glad Brown is getting sacked and hull are going down but that ref yesterday gave 3 big calls against hull and they were all wrong. What a cunt

  15. leon

    stu its different legue which alot less physical,i feel the reason why song has been doing so well is because he keepsit very simple he just stays in front of defence and just goes for short simple passes for the most part yes he goes forwrad but i does not forget his defensive duties he is the best footballer and he does try to be,diaby however tries pull of the intrycut passes and he just cant do it,he hold on to ball trying to smart in stead of passing it or kicking it into touch,he could be a good dm player if didnt try so msmart all the time

  16. Stu

    Whatever about it being a slower league but the defenders in Italy are dirty bastards too. They hack attackers down like nobodies (or is it nobodys?) business.

    And because of their players ages it makes it all the more impressive. All our players are mid 20s and so many of out players get injured a lot. AC have a whole squad of late 20s and mid 30s yet rarely get any injuries. It cant be just because they league us slower that their players dont get injured.

  17. Truth

    So far Shitty are looking very ordinary, half time and still no score, if anything Given has been the busier keeper.

  18. A

    almost dropped the ball right at feet of the oncoming bham player there zeus which was poor, but did make an amazing save earlier

  19. Samir

    I really can’t believe we lost 3 points to City…..
    If only we had them points now. Along with the 2 lost at West Ham………

  20. Keyser

    Stu – Whatever about them hacking players, it rarely happens, it’s more shirt pulling and sly trips, you’re not even allowed to raise your leg near someone else. It might not be just because it’s a much slower league but it helps a hell of a lot.

  21. Ja_Gunner

    I actually want City to win……ever since that Birmingham thug injured Eddy…..I hate Birmingham….(It was part of the reason we never won the title in 07-08.

    And the other thug Ridgewell injured Theo with a needless follow through….

    So I want City to beat them….hopefully they go back down to the championship even though they will have 40mil to spend in January….

    So just for today I say go City!!!!!!!!!

  22. Sven

    I’m going to prove once and for all that Robbie Keane is a numpty! Here is a comparison of their squad and ours.

    World Class Internationals-
    Us= Van Persie, Fabregas, Rosicky, Arshavin
    Them= Modric(maybe at a push)

    International Starters-
    Us= Sagna, Gallas, Vermaelen, Senderos, Djourou, Eboue, Song, Nasri, Vela, Ramsey, Walcott, Bendtner, Eduardo, Fabianski.
    Them= Corluka, Palacios, Krancjar, Keane, Pavlychenko

    International Youth or Bench warmers-
    Us= Diaby, Clichy, Gibbs, Wilshere, Merida
    Them= Crouch, Defoe, King, Woodgate, Jenas, Hutton

    So in conclusion, Arsenal players going to the World Cup= 15 (at least). Spurs players going to the world cup= 5 at the most.

    Pretty sure if that was presented to him he may have to take back his rediculous claims.

  23. Stu

    Pavlychenko isnt even a regular starter for Russia. He only started at the Euros because Pogrebnyak injured his knee before the tournament kicked off.

  24. Samir

    Walcott and Fabianski should be back for it.
    I would play:
    ___________Fabianski______
    ____Eboue–Senderos–Silvestre–Gibbs
    ________Merida–Coq–Ramsey
    _____Wilshere–Bendtner–Vela

    That team should be good enough to give City a game!!

  25. Sven

    I was being as generous as i could to them, if Russia and Ireland don’t qualify it will only be the English players and Palacios that go.

  26. Ja_Gunner

    My team for Alkmaar

    ………………..Al………………………..

    Eboue……….Gallas………Vermy………….Clichy

    …………………..Song……………………..

    …..Cesc…………………………..Nasri……..

    ..Asrhy……………..RVP……………….Eddy…..

  27. Samir

    ITV are shit. Have not bought 1 Arsenal game this season.
    They have bought 2 Chelsea,2 Man Utd ones and 2 Liverpool ones.
    Liverpool on ITV thi week πŸ™
    Its taking the piss Tbh

  28. rico

    The Dippers are on ITV, I so bloody hope they lose against Lyon – If they do they are almost certain not to qualify πŸ™‚

    Bye Bye Rafa, Rafa Bye Bye………….

  29. Stu

    I want Liverpool to draw against Lyon so they will still go into the last 2 games trying their hardest to win. At least that way their premiership form will suffer.

  30. Stu

    With all the money Tevez is surely raking in why hasnt he gotten his neck scars sorted out. Its like melted cheese all over his jaw.

  31. rico

    I don’t Stu, I want them to get thrashed, all confidence beaten out of them, I hope they lose every game they play – I even hope they finish below the spuds !!!

    That is Liverpool bottom of the league and spuds just above them πŸ˜‰

  32. Ja_Gunner

    Yeah Stu I want Liverfool to draw iwth Lyon as well..

    We want them to be still in with a slight chance when they play Fiorentina on the last match day….that way their players will get no rest and we can ambush them the following Sunday…

    Liverpool play Fiorentina on wednesday the 9th of December.

    On the same day we should be playing Olympiakos(hopefully with the kids because we have sealed 1st spot)

    Our senior team can rest up and destroy them on Sunday the 13th of December

  33. Stu

    Well thats fair enough Rico. If they are out of everything then they might stop us from winning the FA cup. We cant win the treble without he FA cup.

    A, thats a stupid reason.

  34. Ja_Gunner

    In Liverpool’s CL group..here is where it stands

    Lyon 9
    Fiorentina 6
    Liver 3
    Debrecen 0

    If Liverpool and Lyon draw…and Fiorentina beat Debre

    It will be 10 9 4 0

    Then lets say Fior and Lyon draw and Liver beat Debre

    It will be Lyon 11 Fior 10 Liver 7 Debre 0

    So on the final day Liver will have to go for it and try to beat Fiorntina to get to 10 points…however there chances would still be slim because they would have to build up goal difference…

    So with Fiorentina on 10 and Liver on 7, Liverpool will have to try and go for it…so their best players will have to play and play hard….but most likley they will fail.

    So after we can ambush them 3 days later.

  35. Stu

    That might leave Liverpool in the Europa League and if Rafa was serious about it he would probably end up winning it because all he can do is win cup competitions.

  36. zeus

    @ Ja no need to run these scenarios, LiverFool has absolutely no chance of winning in France. There not good enough for a draw either

  37. rico

    Stu, and how much would we all hate to see him and them win anything, its getting near Christmas and they just need stuffing πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜‰

  38. Stu

    Agreed Rico. Lets just hope Debrecen beat Liverpool and Fiorentina so they can get into the Europa league instead. Sorry for doubting you..

  39. rico

    Stu – don’t be daft πŸ˜‰ Its only when we see they could end up with a cup it all comes clear, I hate the B***ards and just want them to get nothing!!

  40. Sven

    This has inspired me. Im going to compare our squad to the teams worth comparing ours with Chelsea, Manu and Liverpool-

    Us= Van Persie, Fabregas, Rosicky, Arshavin
    Chelsea= Drogba, Ballack, Lampard, Terry, Cech, Essien
    Man U= Rooney, Van Der Sar, Vidic, Berbatov
    Liverpool= Torres, Gerrard, Reina

    International Starters-
    Us= Sagna, Gallas, Vermaelen, Senderos, Djourou, Eboue, Song, Nasri, Vela, Ramsey, Walcott, Bendtner, Eduardo, Fabianski.
    Chelsea= Ivanovic, Carvalho, Cole, Deco, Anelka, Kalou, Cole.
    Man U= O’Shea, Ferdinand, Evans, Evra, Valencia, Nani, Fletcher
    Liverpool= Bennayoun, Mascherano, Voronin, Skrtel, Agger, Insua, Johnson, Aquilani

    International Youth or Bench warmers-
    Us= Diaby, Clichy, Gibbs, Wilshere, Merida
    Chelsea= Belletti, Alex, Sturridge, Malouda.
    Man U= Carrick, Foster, F Da Silva, R Da Silva, Wellbeck
    Liverpool= Babel, Reira, Kuyt

    So in conclusion, Arsenal players going to the World Cup:
    Us= 15 (at least)
    Chelsea= 15 (at most)
    Man U= 11 (at most)
    Liverpool= 10 (at most)

    Looks like we have the most internationals playing for the major countries in the premiership. I like it!

  41. Stu

    What the fuck! Andy Gray and his bum chum Fat head Keys showing replays of the spuds goals against us in the 4-4. WTF is that about!

  42. leon

    i feel that anyone qwho does think chelsea will not up there up may is deluding them selvs and evon though manu are without rinalndo they still are winning games and are not playing that well,chelsea do have edge over use when it comes to experience but will have tope they dont pickup too many injuries as they cant buy in jan, i feel both manu and chelsea more experienced midfielders than use but i feel we have more attacking options

  43. Stu

    Carragher doesnt start for England (retired). Rooney is included in the world class department and not the int starters to avoid double counting and so is Gerrard.

    And Ballack being nominated for World player or the year and Cesc not is just a sick twisted joke.

  44. rico

    oops, missed Gerrard there, sorry…

    That’s just Sky Stu, they hate us… I nearly chocked yesterdya when I heard Andy Gray say that any other ref in the PL would have sent Bentley off!! Darn right they would and look at the soft red cards that were given out yesterday… Its a disgrace…!!

  45. Ja_Gunner

    Carragher doesnt play for England Rico…

    Anyway I just watched some highlights and those pundits still write us off…

    They say until Arsenal win on a cold Tuesday night…they cant see us as contenders…

    So I guess they figure its a 2 horse race then…

    Fuck them I hope they eat their words a couple months down the line.

  46. Sven

    Since when has Carragher been an international starter? I’m leaving him Giggs and Scholes off completely as they retired from internationals and for this are irellevant.

    Gerrard and Rooney etc. are in as World Class

  47. rico

    Sorry Ja πŸ™

    I want the press, paps and Sky to write us off, and may they do it at their peril..

    I feel this is our year, Song will be recognised as a hero come May, but don’t anyone tell Geoff I said that πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜‰

    Off for supper – great to chit chat you guys πŸ™‚

  48. Sven

    Dunno what Andy Gray is talking about, using his little computer thing makes it look like we are playing the same formation as Liverpool? So Diaby is a holding midfielder now is he Andy?

  49. Ray in SF

    The story so far…

    Forgive the over-interpretation, but compare to the equivalent 10 fixtures last season, we are scoring an average of 0.7 goals more per game, conceding 0.3 more goals per game and winning 0.7 more points per game.

    That puts us on track for 115 goals for, 49 goals against and 101 points

    I wish

  50. Paul88

    Actually i thought that was quite interesting viewing. He was explaing how in the 2nd half we defended the lead differently from the year before. He was quite complimentry to us. Keys is an idiot though, he’D have found it easier explaining his theories to a packet of crisps.

  51. Sven

    Errrrrrrrr!

    Ok, Richard Keys and Andy Gray are officially the worst two football pundits!

    Looking at Drogbas goal where he is clearly standing offside. “We don’t want linesmen to disallow goals like that”???????? Errrrrrr, yeah we do because he was offside Richard.

  52. Stu

    Bye bye Rico..

    Paul, thats because the crisps wouldnt ask pointless and meaningless leading questions. Keys is just as thick as hey come. He knows nothing about football.

  53. A

    Not sure about that Sven, going to the world cup we should have currently

    Cesc
    VP
    Bendtner
    Vela
    Theo
    Senderos
    JD

    Then depending on qualification

    Gallas
    Sagna
    Clichy
    Nasri
    Diaby (if he gets in the squad)
    Arshavin
    Song
    Eboue

    So we’d have 15 max, can’t think of any others?

    Liverpool have

    Reina
    Agger
    Degen
    Johnson
    Skrtel
    Aquilani
    Babel
    Gerrard
    Mascherano
    Riera
    Kuyt
    Torres

    Voronin

    So 12, 13 if Ukraine qualify

    Chelsea

    Cole
    Cole
    Terry
    Lampard
    Ivanovic
    Ballack
    Alex (if he makes the squad)

    Bosingwa
    Carvalho
    Ferreira
    Deco
    Malouda
    Anelka
    Drogba
    Zhrikov
    Mikel
    Essien

    so 7, 17 depending on qualification

    Utd

    Brown (if he makes the squad)
    Neville (if he makes the squad)
    Foster (if he makes the squad)
    Ferdinand
    Vidic
    Carrick (if he makes the squad)
    Hargreaves
    Park
    Rooney

    Evans
    O’Shea
    Nani

    Utd really don’t have many do they? Will be advantageous to them come the start of next season, alot of their players will be well rested

  54. Stu

    The worst thing about Gray and his computer is watching him struggle every single time pressing the wrong buttons and making things look over complicated…

  55. Sven

    Yeah theres a few that can be argued, completely forgot about Hargreaves, Park and Zhirkov! Can’t see Wes Brown or Neville making it and Evans is Northern Irish. Pretty sure Alex isn’t in the Brazil team is he?

    Was also basing our numbers on maybe Gibbs and Wilshere. If bridge or Cole go down this season Gibbs is in for sure.

  56. Ja_Gunner

    If Rafa is smart ..he will try to buy Pavlychenko in January…they need better backup for Torres than …Voronin,Babel,Ngog….

    And I am sure Pavy would gladly leave Tottenham because there he is 4th choice behind Defoe, Crouch and Keane…at Liverpool he would be second choice and also they could play Torres and him together sometimes to take some pressure off Torres.

    I am not saying that I rate Pavy…but surely he is better than all of Liverpool’s backup strikers…

  57. leon

    well i dont its such good thing having international players because most times they always come injured,vela has played more games mexico than arsenal

  58. tomstoned

    Evenin All…

    great weekend….and what a poor display by manciteh….all this talk about the big four ??..to me it seems that instead we should be talking about the big three…

    of course wit Arsenal miles ahead of anyone else..”

    tom

  59. tomstoned

    Jaguar mate

    if it hadnt been for Given..citeh would have lost without a doubt…he was actually very good…

    tom

  60. A

    lol Jaguar that’s definitely what I said.

    Given today made an absolutely world class save, he also very nearly cost his team a goal by spilling a shot he should’ve either caught easily, or got a proper hand on it and knocked it away. Sums him up, saves goals with amazing saves, but also costs the team he plays for goals

  61. Jaguar

    You really dont make sense A,Given whereever has played has been brilliant and has been consistent than Almunia or even Reina in that regard.Everyone is prone to the odd mistake,and Given too is,but Almunia has had some embarassing bloopers than Given.So your take on Almunia being better than Given smacks of hypocrisy or toeing the AKB line.

    I have nothing against Almunia.My one and only concern in our team is ,well every one knows it.

  62. A

    No Jaguar he hasn’t he’s cost every team he’s played for goals and made mistakes, but made up for it by making loads of top class saves as well. He’s anything but consistent, capable of doing amazing things, but makes more mistakes than most as well. I wouldn’t want a keeper like him at the club.

    It’s incredible the way the media portray different keepers, imo Given and Gomes are very similar. Both are capable of amazing saves, but make mistakes, but with Given noone ever talks about his mistakes, just the amazing saves, and with Gomes they just call him a clown, talk about his mistakes ignoring the amazing saves he does, like the save from Cesc yesterday.

    Neither are keepers I’d want at the club though.

  63. Stu

    Givens mistakes are because of an error in judgement most of the time. Almunia makes them because he isnt that good. Not his fault really but still not acceptable.

  64. A

    Given is anything but consistent, that was even highlighted by Mourinho in his pre match notes to his players when they were leaked before their game against Newcastle a few years ago, it instructed players to watch out for and try and take advantage of Given’s inconsistency and lapses of concentration!

  65. Stu

    Waheeeey Merida is on La Liga doing studio commentary for the Malage Valencia match. Those Bastards had better not try lure him to Spain. Dirty cunts!

  66. Jaguar

    Given is not immune to criticism and havent had any bloopers like Gomez,who has been a clown in almost every single game he has played.I would never agree with you on the fact that,Almunia has been more consistent than Given.The only decent season Almunia has had was the 2008-09 season.

  67. A

    I agree Stu, I’d rather we have someone who’s better than both, but i don’t believe there’s be any difference for us over the course of a season between someone who’s consistently average, and inconsistently superb.

    I prefer Fabianski to both anyways!

  68. Pat

    Given was the reason City drew their 2 previous games imo. He parried shots straight to opposing strikers. Thats goalkeeping 101, simple stuff that he constantly fails to do. I won’t even mention his chaotic interventions during corners.

  69. Stu

    Gomez is underrated imo. Apart from his first season there (when he was literally like an outfielder in goal) he has been pretty god for them.

  70. Stu

    Against united Given let a shot creep inside his near post because he thought it was going wide. Granted it took a deflection but it wasnt a late one to wrongfoot him. Thats a mistake right there.

  71. Pat

    Given was at fault for 3/4 of United goals if I remember correctly.

    I really don’t rate him.

    France should play Hourau against ireland. He’d give Given hell during crosses and is guaranteed at least a goal.

  72. Stu

    Given pulls off so many world class saves because every team he has ever played for has always had a shit defence so he always had plenty to do. On the other side of that tho is that he is more likely to make a mistake.

  73. Big Johan

    I agree with most of your report but have to take issue with comments on Song and Sagna’s passing in H1 – Song had a 93% pass completion accoring to the Guardian chalkboard (admittedly all three misplaced passes in H1, so perhaps just 86% in H1) – and Sagna didnt do much “harm to his Opta stats) with an 89% pass completion rate (even distributed)……Song, Cesc and van P were all outstanding

  74. A

    Yeah Stu, that was poor, in Ireland’s last game Given was at fault for both goals too, there have been a fair few city goals he should’ve done better with this season as well, but he’s made alot of spectacular saves too so gets hyped