Do we play our first team for revenge or our academy for humiliation? And time called on Marmite players.

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Robin Van Persie, fast turning into that player we all hoped he would, has asked the boss if he can play against Man Shitty in the quarter final of the Carling cup, Le Grove says yes please.

The Carling Cup, often referred to as the worthless cup is no longer second rate, how can it be? All the teams left in it are now EPL clubs, so the only difference between that and the FA Cup is the name. All the clubs left will be trying to win it, and will no doubt be playing with their first choice 11’s, I hope we do the same, to beat the northern chavs will go a long way to showing them who the daddy really is, so please Arsene, give us your best team.

Giving the woeful spuds a good pasting also established what a complete jerk Redknapp really is, to say they were as good as us, and that all our goals were useless is like saying Megan Fox has big ears and your wife’s sister is better looking. She may be better looking than your wife, but she’s not better than Megan Fox, so Harry, get real!

The Cesc Fabregas goal was so good I think it will win goal of the season, commiting suicide if we won 1 nil would be funny, but 3 nil, you’re having a laugh!

Onto a subject that will never be agreed on here on Le grove, our Marmite players. Song, Diaby, Eboue and Denilson are players that you either rate, or you don’t, there is no middle ground with us Grovers, the thing is, Arsene Wenger will continue to play them, and no amount of us debating their worth will ever change that, I suggest we leave it at that, we spend more time debating their worth than we do talking about the Arsenal, and it makes no difference, he will play them, so I suggest we stop arguing amongst ourselves and move on.

We should spend the rest of the season talking up our team and having a good debate at the end, or at least until the window opens and then see if Wenger gets his cheque book out in those areas.

I know I am the world’s worst on this subject so I am suggesting we call time on it, let’s all laugh at the shit team in the Hertfordshire slums instead.

We play AK Alkmaar on Wednesday and a win will see us into the knock out stages, if we then beat one other in our group, I think we should finish top of the pile, then we can experiment, I know other results also come in to the equation, but I don’t think I’m far away with that assumption.

I also believe he will want to finish the year still competing in all the competitions, and we won’t do that if we don’t bring out the big guns at the Eastlands.

Beating the southern chavs in a few weeks will close the gap even further, and Saturday showed we have added patience, defending and how to close a game out in one go, well done the lads, more of the same this week please.

Have a good’un today Grovers, and send all those happy texts to all those silly spuds that think they have a stronger bench than us, ha, ha, ha!

671 Responses to “Do we play our first team for revenge or our academy for humiliation? And time called on Marmite players.”

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  1. ReVELAtion

    Team on wed will be:


    Bak Verm Bill Gibbs


    Cesc Nasri

    Ebowie VP Eddy

    Bench: Fab, Clichy, Senderos, Ramsey, Diaby, Merida, Arshavin.

  2. A

    Yeah it is reva, i was just being a wee bit retarded.

    Eboue playing at home in an easyish game?! Not gonna happen…. Reckon he could well get a run out at right back, though with Sagna’s recent assists maybe not!

  3. A

    choy i reckon nasri will come in rather than merida or ramsey, though maybe merida playing as a wide forward, rest arshavin?!

  4. ReVELAtion

    A – in that case swap ebowie with one of merida or arshavin then..

    Arsene won’t drop Sagna after the game against the spuds.. I couldn’t believe his crosses in that game.. Even got 1/2 an assist for the 1st goal against the hammers. It was like all my christmasas’ came at once.

    However, Calamity Clichy’s crossing is still as woeful as ever though and to be honest i’ve been clamouring for gibbs to get given a go as Gael has been poor… It might be the kick up the arse he needs IMO.

  5. ReVELAtion

    At this point in time i’m still a bit bemused with arshavin.. He isn’t fit enough to play in an arsene wenger 11 atm. Only he can sort that out with extra cardio work after training.. At this point in time can you imagine getting a useful 120 minutes out of Arshavin in a CL knock out tie? I can’t…

  6. Stu

    There have always been questions over Arshavins fitness..even during the European championship Wenger commented on it possibly stopping top clubs from buying him. Obviously it didnt stop Wenger πŸ˜‰

    He did seem to be a bit overweight at the start of the season but he should have sorted that out by now. Its a home tie so maybe him not starting wouldnt be the worst thing.

    VP, Eddie and Vela. Not much balance with 3 lefties but its better than having Eboue or someone else who doesnt fit.

  7. skandibird

    I subscribe to ATVO, but can’t seem to view the Reserve game v Portsmouth? As some of you seem able to; am I choosing the wrong selection once logged in?

  8. ReVELAtion

    vela is injured stu and will miss out..

    TBH, Second guessing Wenger for a mo’ I reckon Diaby will start and come off in the 78th minute for Nasri whilst Eboue starts right side of a forward 3… Merida probably won’t make the bench, which would be a travesty IMO with the attacking options we have out intwinned with what’s available.

    I’d personally like to see:

    V Alkmaar


    Sagna Gallas Vermaelen Gibbs


    Fabregas Nasri

    Arshavin Van Persie Merida
    Vs. Citeh


    Eboue Senderos Sylvestre Gibbs


    Ramsey Merida

    Wilshire Bendtner Vela

  9. Stu

    Vela injured? Whats the injury?

    I cant see Eboue starting right wing simply because we are at home and Wenger wouldnt do that….i hope.

    We are likely to have most of the possession as usual and there wont be much need for defensive cover. With no Vela then Arshavin can just start right and either Merida or Eduardo left.

  10. A

    knee Stu, physioroom says he’ll be back at the weekend along with rosicky, and wilshere if he makes the squad, which he probably won’t.

    nasri rather than diaby would make me happy, eboue potentially at right back, and maybe merida in if arshavin needs a rest

  11. ReVELAtion

    Might be old news but, has anyone read the youngguns story in barcelona offering Benik Afobe and Chucks Aneke the chance to go to Spain, check out the nou camp and it’s facilities etc. Aneke turned it down whilst Afobe it seems could be going to have a look.

    Is it 1 upmanship on barca’s part after obviously growing tired of being reminded of fabregas’ brilliance and being shown constant re runs of the merida goal against liverpool? Or are our youth academy players really that good that they’ve decided to come to have a look and thought “he’s better then what we’ve got”?

    Probably a bit of both to be honest, but if one, both or others decide to leave us for pastures new (God knows why with Arsene’s promotion of youth to the big time) we can have no complaints. They’ll be others but at that level of football leaving arsenal at 16/17 is certainly a step down anywhere in world football…

  12. ManGoonian


    Great result on Saturday and a feckin top atmosphere too! I almost fell from the Upper tier when cesc scored!

    So, Vela is still injured then A?

    I would play the same Carling Cup side as the last round, with vela replacing the injured Bendy, for what its worth, which is loads, obviously…

  13. A

    Apparently Mang, though not sure there’s been a pre match press conference yet so we won’t know for sure until Wenger says, but physio room say 7th is his and Rosicky’s comeback.

    I’d say Wilshere has to come in there somehow Mang, for Nasri I guess and maybe Eboue rather than Gilbert. Theo could be in there as well depending on his comeback from injury, Denilson too perhaps. Bit soon to think up sides now actually!

  14. ManGoonian

    Wilshire for nasri? Wouldn’t wanna see that to be honest fella. maybe Wilshire up top with Eduardo and vela? Not in midfield though.

  15. A

    I dunno Mang, i’m not a fan of his, and looking at the line up he’s by far the weakest player, and someone I don’t see as having any chance of making it. I’d rather Eboue play as he’d really offer something, or Coquelin if we’re going for a youngster, although with his playing in midfield rather than right back all this year that’s unlikely.

  16. ManGoonian

    Anyway, thats a few weeks away and I am sure as Stu lives in a 70’s styleee Pimp’s paradice, we will have a few more injuries by then!

  17. A

    Yeah Mang, but Nasri should be first choice by then, I expect him to start on Weds, maybe Diaby will play if Nasri is first choice by then. Nasri only played as he was on his way back from injury. Maybe Wilshere in for Nasri and Merida back in midfield with Ramsey and Eastmond/Coquelin/Denilson, and Wilshere up top with Vela and Eduardo/Bendtner/VP

  18. gooner786

    ManGoonian, I heard a song years ago, but dont know the name of the song, can you help me please? I think it is a Reggae song and went something like this, “make me down, make me down, make me down, make me really really really touch the ground, oh oh, oh oh oh”

    I think it went something like that.


  19. A

    Thought he was quality Mang, I wrote him off when playing at right back last season, really got that one wrong! He’s looked very good all season in midfield for the reserves, apart from tonight. Still rate Coquelin higher though.

  20. ManGoonian


    Yeah, Nasri is 1st choice most def and will be by the time of the CC game, which obviously buggers up my team selection then!

    Perhaps Denilson and Theo wil be available by then too?


    It is on the tip of my tongue me lion! I bet BBK will know it, with those kinda lyrics!

  21. ManGoonian

    I’ve just seen the lineup for the reserve game and its a flippin weird one i tell thee!

    Mark Randall, Coquelin, Eastmond and Frimpong??? I know randall has a few tricks up his sleeves, but aint they all a bit samey? More defensive minded players?

  22. Supergunner07

    Szczesny – 6 – Did what was needed, couldnt stop both goals

    Gilbert – 6 – Good defending in 1v1 but wasnt clinical in the final third when he overlapped

    Miquel – 5 – he should know is limitation is pace thus he should have been on the move backwards instead of trying to outsprint Cowarn from static position & he should be using his arm leverage on Cowarn’s chest to slow him down.

    Bartley – 5 – won some headers however poor organisation from the skipper as Coq [5ft 10] is left with Kilbey [6ft 1 plus]. Attacking point of view, he & Miquel need to step into midfield with the ball to create overload against opposition midfield.

    Evina – 5 – positioning & his 1v1 defending needs work and ineffective in the final third, no combination with Sunu

    Frimpong – 4 – needs get his head up for vision so he can play forward passes plus his technique/ball manipulation is tight spaces is still suspect

    Randall – 5- some good angled forward passes but not enough & needs to quick up the tempo.

    Coquelin – 5 – some good forward runs however didnt get his head-up like Pong in the final third

    Eastmond – 6 – good follow performance to last week, some good movement plus some ineffective ones as well tired towards the end.

    Watt – 5 – Inconsistent 1st touch [some good some bad] didnt give the platform to join, better movement and anticipation of clearance down the line needed.

    Sunu – 5- Expected better variation than he showed, [playing on the shoulder, dribbling in-field as well as outfield] to keep fullback guessing plus playing combination with full back is needed next time. Close control was off.


    Deacon 6- injected direct dribbling to the preceedings plus his ball manipulation in tight space is always a welcome especially against deep opposition.

    Murphy 5 – not great service on the floor to maximise his movement

    Freeman 5 – got in danger but nothing much really happened, to late to really affect the game.

  23. A

    Yeah the reserve game wasn’t great! It started off


    Gilbert Bartley Miquel Evina

    Coquelin Randall Eastmond

    Frimpong Watt Sunu

    second half Randall and Frimpong swapped round.

    First half was really attrocious, second was better but still very nothingy. Only times anything really happened were when Coquelin and Randall linked up, but Coquelin barely touched the ball.

    Eastmond got forward alot but not very well,

    Frimpong just can’t pass the ball, though very enthusiastic.

    Watt did ok with his back to goal but with the lack of creativity behind him he rarely got the chance to get in behind or get the ball going forward,

    sunu did a few individual things but alot didn’t come off for him.

    Randall had a couple of nice touches but is basically a nob and got caught on the ball alot with his lazy way of playing, which cost us the second goal too.

    bartley was pretty poor, dealt badly with long balls, headed the ball into dangerous areas a few times, and was very lucky not to give away an attrocious penalty.

    miquel was tidy on the ball but got beaten for pace and strength a couple of times

    evina got forward well and looks to me like more of a natural footballer than clichy, and probably the other full backs, but crossed for goal kicks constantly

    gilbert can’t really pass and was sloppy but got forward well in second half though he could’ve done better with his final ball after getting in behind.

    szczesny did nothing wrong that i can remember, no chance with either goal and made a nice save for the second before they scored soon after.

  24. A

    oh and deacon i thought was very good after he came on, murphy didn’t touch the ball, and freeman looked tidy and sharp, should’ve had a pen imo too

    supergunner ratings wise I’d go for

    Szczesny 7
    Gilbert 5
    Bartley 5
    Miquel 5
    Evina 5
    Coquelin 6
    Randall 5
    Eastmond 5
    Frimpong 4
    Sunu 6
    Watt 6

    Deacon 7
    Murphy 5
    Freeman 6

  25. ManGoonian


    Haha! No, wasn’t me! But it gave me goose bumps watchin that… The lull just before the cesc goal… then…Mayhem! Brilliant!


    Thing is, we aint relying on one player, so if Arshavin is a bit quiet, chances are the likes of cesc, or RvP, or Eduardo, or Nasri, etc will step up!

  26. Supergunner07

    @ A, i dont think it was attitude problem in the performance, i was more technical/tactical problems.

    CBs didnt step out enough

    when the diagonals was played the winger where receiving it too wide instead of receiving it tighter to the inside so that porsmouth cant shuffle across quickly.

    No combination between full backs and wide players until Randall went wide & did it with Gilbert but he wasnt efficient with his final pass

    No much forward passes and positional rotation wasnt simutaneous to drag opposition out of position.

  27. A

    I’d agree to an extent Supergunner, though imo it was more just that the players weren’t up to the required level. I wouldn’t say it was that they did the wrong things as much in terms of their positional play, and combinations, but just that with Pompey sticking 11 men behind the ball from the off, although we did the right things at times, we just did them WAY too slowly, which made everything very ineffective and easy to defend.

    The passing wasn’t quick and precise enough, and there wasn’t enough movement either.

    Frimpong and Eastmond are pretty useless when they advance too far forward, and Coquelin didn’t get involved enough, Sunu largely does his own thing, Watt needs people creating for him, he isn’t great in the build up, and Randall really isn’t a forward, and needs alot of movement ahead of him and people to link up with to be effective.

    This system is always going to be limited when there isn’t a playmaker there though, a Merida or Wilshere would’ve made a big difference.

  28. Ja_Gunner


    I really feel we should play Sendy against Wolves….

    We need to give the backup CB’s more run outs so that they are prepared in case of an injury to Gallas or Verm…

    The CC games are not enough….

    Also Gallas is in his 30’s so he could do with some rotation…Vermy doesnt need any, he is young and strong

    Manure played Wes Brown and Evans against Blackburn(I know they had some injuries )

    so I dont see why we cant rotate a bit for Wolves…plus Wolves have some tall fuckers in the team, a couple of their players are over 6ft 5inches….So having a partnership of Senderos and Vermy would be good in that game..

    Remember France will be involved in a high intensity 2 legged playoff so Gallas wont get any rest in the International break…

    So for Wolves I would play


    Hopefully the other already qualified countries wont be playing any useless friendlies in the international break…

    If there are friendlies I really hope the coaches try out their fringe players and give the likes of Cesc, RVP etc some rest….

  29. Ja_Gunner

    By the way whats wrong with merida?

    Why didnt he play? As you said A we lacked a playmaker in that reserve game…

    The mids were Frimpong, Coquelin, Randall..none of them are playmakers so its easy to see why we couldnt break down a 10 man bus.

  30. A

    I’d have to disagree Ja, defensive partnerships develop an understanding and get better with every game they play, Gallas and Vermaelen need to play every single game they’re fit, and I’d be shocked if they didn’t.

    Brown and Evans only played because of injuries, Vidic and Ferdinand will play every game they’re fit without fail, they wouldn’t be rested if fully fit, I can’t think of centre backs being rested when fit? It’s the one outfield position that players don’t generally get rotated or rested.

    Other than that the team for Wolves will largely depend on fitness. I’d be surprised to see Vela start having just come back from injury, unless Eduardo gets injured.

    If we were playing wolves after the internationals then there could be other players rested, but i’d doubt we’d rest players for them to play in the internationals?!

  31. A

    Ja I’d imagine he didn’t play because he’s in the squad for weds.

    Gotta say it’ll be a joke if Vela plays for Mexico in these internationals when he’s been injured with us, return from injury and just fuck off to south america

  32. Ja_Gunner

    Also we will not be able to play many first teamers against Manshitty in the CC because of the schedule…

    We play Chelsea on Sunday the 29th of Nov…The CC game is Tuesday the 1st of Dec….so there is only one day to rest and travel… at best I can see a CC team like this…


    I think thats a good team……

  33. Stu

    Gallas can have his rests when we play in the Carling cup and after we have qualified from the group stages in the champions league. For now his partnership with Vermaelen shouldnt be messed with.

  34. Stu

    Personally i dont understand the country before club mentality with some players.

    Its the club that pays your wages and you play the vast majority of your football for. Also if you dont perform for your club then its unlikely you wont get a call up from the national manager…unless you are Shevchenko or someone of that ilk.

    I dont like it with Vela and Theo pissed me right off when after getting his latest injury his first concern was not being able to play for England.

  35. Ja_Gunner

    I am not saying we should rest players for Internationals….

    What I am saying is ..we know the likes of Arshavin and Gallas wont be rested by their countries….so therefore maybe we can rest them so that they dont completely break down…because if they come back broken then its gonna cost us….they will have time to recover for their countries but we will feel the hurt immediately

    Also I know defenders are rotated less…but that doesnt mean there should be zero rotation…

    I follow Barca as well and Pep Guardiola has been rotating his CBs alot…

    Since the season has begun he has subbed one of his CBs at the 70 min or so in many games

    The only sure starter is Pique…..but he rotates the Ukranian with Marquez and also Puyol..

    Puyol will sometimes fill in at right back…

    But the Ukranian and Marquez are rotated heavily and I have seen him sub Pique during games as well.

    It happens too often to be seems to be some method he has…

    So yes I know defenders are rotated less but that doesnt mean they cant be

    And I really feel that if Sendy and Silvest are not exposed to top class competetion more often then…when injuries do occur I feel they will come in and get destroyed.

  36. A

    Stu with Theo it pissed me off, with Vela I can kind of understand it, on the one hand it’s been really bad timing, he’s always come back from injury JUST before international breaks, on the other he’s established and very important to them, but he hasn’t totally broken through yet with us, so if he’s at 60%-80% fitness he’ll play for them, but we’d never play him when he’s not 100%. It’s really annoying though, now they’ve qualified for the world cup if I was him I’d just knock internationals on the head for a while until I was absolutely 100% fit, so fully available for club and country.

  37. Ja_Gunner

    Yeah Stu I want us to take the next 2 CL home games seriuosly so that we can seal up the first spot….

    Then Wenger can carry the CC team to Greece.

    All the seniors can rest destroy Liverpool at the weekend.

  38. Stu

    A, i cant stand international football. It drives me crazy. Apart from the top countries its just generally awful to watch. The qualification for tournaments is the worst. At least the tournaments themselves are entertaining…for the most part.

  39. Supergunner07

    @ Ja Gunner La Liga is not blood and thunder of the prem so we cant rotate CB however its round about Nov that Gallas usually get hamy injury so fingers crossed it wont happen.

  40. Joel

    Wise words about the people you don’t like, Geoff. This is supposed to be fun, not like life. I disagree with your opinions on those players, but not on this.

    What is most amazing about last weekend is that how Redknapp gets a walk on everything (Americanism: aka “free pass.”) When a team does not play on, whose fault is it? Not Ledley King’s. It’s “our ‘arry”

    They guy’s a joke. Bankrupts Portsmouth, tries to bankrupt Spurs. I thought his comment on Vermaelen was most revealing as to his style — someone “tipped me” to him as a left back, “Our ‘Arry” said. But he didn’t need a left back. Contrast to Wenger, who’d probably watched two dozen games on tape. Does the guy ever put in a full day?

  41. ManGoonian

    Hopefully the mexican coach will cut vela some slack and leave him out of any forthcoming friendlies…. unless he is as mush of a twat as the Ivory Coast management were a few years back, when they refused to release Kolo.

  42. ethangunner

    All the teams left in it are now EPL clubs, so the only difference between that and the FA Cup is the name. All the clubs left will be trying to win it, and will no doubt be playing with their first choice 11’s
    good post , my point precisely .
    to beat the chev’s , man shitty or who ever
    in a race for silverware is not worth even contemplating for the average fan ?

    its bragging rights pure and simple and i want my team to get some of this !

    so if wengers madness continues he really needs to take another role other than manager , because if he cannot see what this club needs to turn the corner he isnt fit to manage !

    sure adopt a 100% youth policy when your winning the big cups like the EPL or C.L
    but until then priority 1 is silverware ..

  43. YON

    ONLY STUPID IDIOTS SAY BENDTNER IS CRAP. He scored 15 goals last season (as a 20-21 year old) playing as our 4th choice striker in a disaster season for Arsenal. That goal count is 1 more than 30 million pound Berbatov, equal to Tevez and one less than Ade. This guy will improve greatly. In my opinion he is one of the top 4 important players in our squad simply because he offers us height in attack, directness, hard work and technique. He is clumsy and makes some stupid mistakes but he is a great striker and will continue to improve.

  44. ethangunner

    yon ,

    i dont think people really mean he’s crap ..
    but he really needs time to develop at the top level , he is far from the finished product currently .. well not far , but..
    he would need the rest of this season in the team just to get the experience he needs to , but if you want silverware we can ill afford to carry a passenger (trainee)in the quest for it . we need top , top quality on the pitch every week like RVP – DUDU – AA , nik is good as a sub at wengers usually sub call 60 -70 minute mark .

    being not 1st choice gives him that lethal edge too . (when he comes on as a sub)

    he has played his best minutes coming on in the final stages .. id like him to start along side RVP in the carling cup .. but for the EPL/ C.L
    it must be EXPERIENCED quality .

  45. Jonathan

    I personally feel that Diaby is showing signs of slumping in performance. Tell-tale signs of impending destruction of a would-be great player will come to pass if we the fans continue pin-pointing him as a charaacter of fault on a pitch, a scapegoat of sorts for all things poor in team performance.

    Well, I say, at one fine day, we as the fans should just sing chants of Diaby to boost him up and show that we’re behind all our Arsenal players all the way. We give our best for them 100%, they’re players who carry our team forward and it’s with that that we hope to see Diaby less worried and to just play his best football on the pitch.

    I’m sure no one likes to point their fingers at anyone really; be it rose-tinters or realists. My proposed solution however is that aforementioned.

  46. ethangunner

    also if you do compare torres to nik b age-wise intelligence on the pitch .. its clear to see there still is a large rift in quality .

    as fans when do you say at arsenal level he just isnt ready yet(or not good enough ) .. and we have several players like that still in 1st team spots !.
    wenger fails to see the rift with player like eboue – diaby .. and nik .. they are not BAD players , but are they the quality we need ?

    i dont think the level in some area’s is still acceptable yet .

    goal keeper worries , striker problems , RVP is fine but what if he goes back to injured ways ?.
    a DM with real experience .. the same problems exist that have for .. seasons !… until they are resolved there is always going to be doubt for me . and this is the key to the missing part of the silverware puzzle !

    but good to see RVP getting back into scoring position again , he’s always been a pretty good marksman , but with ade being here you could see him not seeing much of the ball ..
    good to see the back of that cunt !
    and see RVP getting some service again .

    and i suppose the foot stamp proved i was right
    that the spat was between RVP and ade last year or so ago ! no wonder gallas had a melt down !

  47. Emperor Gooner

    carling what ??

    dont rlly care what team we put out..infact considering how fragile most key players are i would rather prefer the kids play that game

    geoff i think ur wrong in comapring fa cup n carling cup even when only the epl clubs are remaining

  48. Geoff

    I wasn’t comparing it to the FA cup in the historical sense, it was more the fact it’s no longer like the Makita cup, as all the teams left in it are EPL teams, and as the final is at Wembley, it has meaning this year and playing the kids is pointless as we are bound to lose.