A good old fashioned Gallic challenge! / Midfielder on the cards

by & filed under Uncategorized.

ALmunia
Sagna   Gallas   Verm   Clichy
Fabregas   Denilson   Diaby
Rosicky   Eduardo   Arshavin

Before the game, a minutes silence was held for the victims of the Haitian disaster. Impeccably observed.

Diaby and Arshavin tested Jussi early on with relatively meek shots.

Clichy caused an upset when he hoofed a clearance as far as the edge of the box, Davies manager to get on the end of it, Cahill slotted it home. What a disappointing start and a disappointing return to action for Gael.

Fabregas nearly beat the keeper from a tight angle. Soon after Diaby lost the ball from a weak pass to Arshavin, he ran the length of the pitch, retrieved it, looked up and played a dream pass to Eduardo who was unlucky not to score. Way to recover Abou!

Arshavin went close again after picking up a deflected Diaby pass. Arsenal were getting closer but had to improve their finishing.

Diaby made a sloppy foul on the edge of the box. Almunia did well to get down to Taylors freekick.

Arsenal conceded a corner, Sagna clears to the 18 yard box, Chung picks up the ball and Denilson clattered him. Very poor defending. Almunia couldn’t keep the penalty out despite going the right way and getting an arm to it.

Up the other end, Fab faked a shot, laid off Eddy, but he couldn’t get it past the Finnish keeper. Arsenal continued to press for a goal, something you felt they needed in the first half if they were to nick a win and sure enough it came. Rosicky ran at the Bolton defence, cut the ball outside his marker and smashed supremely inside the near post! The vital goal we needed…

The next half was a pivotal moment in our season. Heading into the nastiest patch of games in a long time, we’d need all the confidence we could muster. Nothing but a win would do. We had to meet the challenge if we were to keep up with our top 3 enemies.

There were many nervous Grovers, I had to remind them of the inspirational Malians who with 11 minutes to spare, scored 4 to level the game. If they could do it, we could… I was hoping the below video was Arsene Wenger’s team talk…

With the half time grovetalk done, we were set to go!

Bolton had the first chance of the half when Diaby fouled and gave Matt Taylor another crack at our goal.

The next key moment came when Gallas stepped on the ankle of mark Davies, won the ball, laid it off to Arshavin who lost the ball, it bobbled to Fabregas who slotted it between the legs of the keeper! GEEEEETTTTT IN!

Did I feel for Davies? Yes. Did I feel for Bolton? Not a bloody chance. I’ve put up with 10 years of their bully boy tactics, it was great to see them lose out because of a bad challenge. Just desserts I believe they call it in the restaurant trade?

Arsenal continued to pressure Bolton, Eddy going close, Cesc still pressurising and pulling strings like a red bull induced banjo player.

Then the break through came. Bolton failed to clear a corner, Vermaelen let it run past him then power sliced it in! What a great goal, the £10million man scored the most important goal of his career! We were back in it! We did it!

Well, maybe not…

Davies was continuing to menace our defence. The white Drogba was cushioning down headers whenever a high ball flew his way. We were going to have to up our game if we wanted to keep the score the same.

Fabregas had a shout for a penalty and although by the letter of the law it was a foul, there was no way he was controlling the ball.

Diaby picked up an injury, which meant Eastmond entered the game. The injury crisis had entered code red status. If Wenger doesn’t think it’s a good idea to sign a player now, he’s lost his marbles. Heading into the nasty period with just Eastmond and Denilson in the for defensive cover would be suicidal. Get on the blower Arsene and get Behrami in.

Clichy did his best to relive his first half calamity by clearing high to 3 Bolton players in the 6 yard box. Klasnic went close with a rasping shot. Why he didn’t start is beyond me.

Arsenal finished the game off when Cesc played to Eddy, who flicked to Arshavin who took the ball away from goal and smashed it into the net. A superb goal!

Arsenal played out the remainder of the game on top. The 4th official flashed up 6 minutes of injury time, a number I wouldn’t have felt comfortable with had we only been one up!

The whistle blew, we were top of the league!

Arsenal didn’t just beat Bolton, we battered them. Our team of missing spine has turned into a team of tough tackling beasts who are prepared to rough it. We showed superb character to come back from two down, a Grove first. We never gave up and proved to the world we are in this for the long run. The first half wasn’t the best, but we still created. The second half was the most jealous I’ve been in a while as I wasn’t in attendance!

Make no bones about it, that was the most important result of the season. We head into the nasty period high brimming with confidence, in form and in contention.

Life couldn’t be better, actually it could, Spurs lost as well!

Ratings

Almunia: Claimed his crosses quite well, had no chance for the goals. Reasonably quiet game considering the score line. Made a superb save from Matt Taylors freekick. No chance with the goals despite what some will tell you. Penalties are luck of the draw, the second one, well, if he’d dived, it’d have been a guess, stand tall was his only option. 7

Clichy: A very shaky return to the game. I know Traore had a shocker in the last match, but nothing compared to the mare Gael had. He was responsible for the first goal and he nearly replicated the mistake later. I’ll put it down to rust… not a seasons worth of poor form continued. 5

Sagna: A solid game, poor and unnecessary crossing. Especially against the height of Bolton. 7

Gallas: Had a torrid time dealing with Kevin Davies aerial threat. Hardly won a header. Good solid tackle from him on the Bolton player… when you both go in 100%, injuries can happen. Bolton need to stop being girls about it and man up. British fairies, we need more French players in the Premiership. Jokes aside, it was an accident, no one died. Like Wenger said, lets put a video together of the tackles from both games and see whose were worse. Actually, how about a video montage of the last ten years? It’s amazing the disgust evident amongst commentators when an Arsenal player makes a poor challenge. 7

Vermaelen: Scored the most important goal of his Arsenal career with a super strike. Struggled in the air today, but I guess if Bolton do anything well, it’s winning high balls. 7

Cesc: The best centre midfielder in the world at the moment, without doubt. Ran the show today, picked us up when were down and lead by example. Superb. 9

Denilson: Sloppy, sloppy penalty to concede. His game did pick up after that but it was still littered with basic errors. He is fresh back in the team and it will take a while to get back, I just worry how badly he’ll get punished by the top teams if he continues to stutter in the coming weeks. I’m yet to be convinced by this man, but there’s always time for a flump. 5.5

Diaby: I thought he was having a superb game. He’s beginning to add defensive responsibility to his game and he is continuing to use his giant frame to his advantage. I’m gutted he’s picked up an injury, especially as we know that’ll be him out for at least a month if his track record is anything to go by. Also had an assist. 8

Arshavin: As we don’t have a target man, we have to make sure the passing is intricate and difficult to deal with up top. Tonight, he helped that process along and finally got himself on the score sheet (plus an assist). A good game, though I feel we should possibly be seeing more of his brilliance on a regular basis. 7.5

Eduardo: Again, he’s never going to win the physical battles but he has a faster brain than most. His passing was good tonight and he carved himself out a number of chances which I can assure you will begin to drop in during the coming weeks. Another assist for the Crozillian. 7.5

Rosicky: I’m falling back in love with this mans skills. He opens up teams with his vision, superior movement and quick turn of pace. He scored a lovely goal today and helped keep things ticking over up front. He’s a trier as well, which makes him doubly important for us. 8

893 Responses to “A good old fashioned Gallic challenge! / Midfielder on the cards”

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  1. gambon

    The thing is we have a huge squad, one of the biggest in the PL, its just always injured, and full of kids that wenger doesnt trust enough to throw in.

  2. BigRaddy

    I just do not understand the AW doubters. He has been superb this year and the outlook for Arsenal is super shiny.

    All of Man City’s money will not create a team the likes of Arsenal in two years. We are set to dominate world football, and that will be Wenger’s legacy.

  3. SUGA3

    BR,

    I must say it is the most improbable scenario of them all 😉

    I am not a betting man, but I reckon this should get you good combined odds…

  4. dennisdamenace

    AW’s got a long, long way to go imo to challenge that cunt from Manc Land…..

    Back to back Titles
    A European Cup
    A Treble!

    It fucking hurts to admit that….

  5. SUGA3

    Pedro,

    yes, but that is all on the paper, isn’t it?

    correct me if I’m wrong, but we didn’t have the full squad available for selection this season yet, did we?

  6. gambon

    Raddy,

    I just think he gets so many things wrong basically ever since his speech after we drew 2-2 at the lane in 04.

    I honestly think he’s a genius, but you know what they say about genius & madness.

  7. BigRaddy

    DDM. No-one will ever challenge SAF. He has been the best manager in world football for over a decade (much as it pains me to say).

    But this decade will be ours !!

  8. Pedro

    Even what we have on show now is more impressive than most of the others.

    Cesc is the stand out player in the Prem. I wouldn’t swap Arshavin for anyone. The same goes for TV. Even Diaby looks better than anything ManU have in midfield.

  9. BigRaddy

    Gambon. Let’s just disagree.

    I accept your opinion and understand the justification, but I wouldn’t trade AW for anyone. He is the heart of the team.

    WTF. I was only trying to be positive!!

  10. gambon

    Back to back titles is the thing we need to do.

    Wenger loves stability a bit too much, when we win the league he figures we dont need to strengthen cos we were the best this year so we will be next year.

    For me you should strengthen every transfer window unless you have a damn good reason not to.

  11. dennisdamenace

    It hurts don’t it Raddy, but credit where it’s due!

    I really believe we could really dominate, but i also believe to do that we need another couple of Arshavin/Vermin style signings…..

    And, do you know what, for all Arsene’s flaws (and like all geniuses he has them) i wouldn’t swap him for that Manc Cunt….

  12. Pedro

    Gambon, I don’t agree with that. You should only strengthen if you need to.

    What’s the point in buying a player you don’t need?

  13. Maciek

    I understand Raddy. Once more, take care!

    P.S. I would really LOVE to see us winning the CL under Wenger. He deserves it.I think he has got less luck than Ferguson.And it’s a shame.We really need a trophy. The future is now.

  14. gambon

    Pedro

    My point is there will never be a time in the history of Arsenal football club where we cant find a better player than one we have in the 30 man squad. When you have a squad thats absolutely perfectly balanced then fine. Even Guardiola last year, after one of the greatest club seasons of all time said he was looking to strengthen the defence & signed Ibra.

    When you win the league every other team comes out harder to win it back next year so if you stand still you actually drop back.

  15. Pedro

    German club Wolfsburg have come in for want-away Arsenal defender Philippe Senderos, reports the Daily Mirror.

    But even though Arsene Wenger would love Edin Dzeko as part of any deal, the Wolfsburg striker is out of Arsenal’s price range.

    Swiss defender Senderos, 23, is also a target for Celtic and Everton and would like to stay in the Premier League to boost his World Cup hopes.

  16. Pedro

    Gambon, Guardiola bought Ibra but sold Eto’o… so he didn’t really do much to his squad.

    Wenger should buy this window, he’s making life harder on himself by giving himself a weaker squad and opening himself up to a ripping if it all goes wrong.

  17. SUGA3

    Pedro,

    quite frankly, the perspective of going into the forthcoming ‘quadrilogy’ with the squad options we have available scares the shit out of me…

    one more injury in the midfield and we will have to get academy players in – we should just raid some skint club like WHU for players and be over and done with it 😉

  18. David

    http://www.imagehousing.com/image/348212

    Definately wasnt malicious. Looks more like a 50-50 to me.

    Personally I am happy with the way Diaby and Song have progressed in the team…but its risking too much on developing too many players and that is indeed holding us back….if it was only one Diaby and one Song..but the fact that we have to deal with too many players developing in the likes of Diaby, Song and then Denilson as well as Nasri…while also being content by his own admission to “gamble” on players like bitchslapp instead of buying ready made players brings into question ambition.

    Once again i reinterate the fact that Arsene is happy to keep this race close so if we dont win shite again its a valid excuse.

    Personally…Id rather we’re top by more than 10 points not just by goal difference…and if we are were we are with this squad imagine what we’d be if we strengthen?

  19. Ray in SF

    Alright, stealing (unashamedly) from ardentgooner now…

    ____________Fab

    Coq_____Sol_____Syl_____Gael

    __________Eastmond

    ______JET_________Traore

    Theo________Watt________Vela

    I’d like to see both Clichy and Traore in tandem on the left-side

    Clichy still needs match practice — sooner he’s back to his true-level the better

  20. BigRaddy

    No arguing with that Pedro and Suga.

    But circumstance has led to this. No amount of planning could prevent this level of injuries in one area. So the back up is Eastmond, so be it. He looks a handy player and mow he will have to step up to the plate. Who knows, he could be the new Flamini.

  21. SUGA3

    Pedro,

    there was a case in recent history where the teenagers were sent into battle and decorated, however, it was right at the end of the regime, and we are supposed to be in such a great condition and on the way up, right?

  22. David

    No amount of planning? I believe we have been calling for another CDM since flamini left…and for a striker since Ade left.

    CB is obvious. GK….well what can you say.

    How bout we plan around the usual suspects?

    Diaby? Van P? Rosicky? Walcott?

  23. SUGA3

    BR,

    frankly, I think Eastmond is a better option than Denilson, as he is more of a defensive playe, quicker, bigger (just) and stronger…

    then again, maybe that’s just me 😉

  24. SUGA3

    BR,

    it’s not like we have lost midfield battle with Song on the pitch, we were pants up top with a bunch of hobbits trying to get past giants like Terry…

  25. Maciek

    Pedro, mate.Listen.

    -what if Vermy or Gallas are injured?,
    -what if Song is long term injured?
    -Fabregas?(please,NO),
    -what if Arshavin is injured?
    -why Bendtner hasn’t been replaced?
    -why is Almunia allowed to make so many mistakes?
    -where is a quality keeper, a quality cd(don’t start with Sol), where is our quality back up cdm, a TYPICAL WINGER and a quality striker. Is that really too much to ask for?
    I don’t think so.

  26. SUGA3

    David,

    and that is why we should have made a move early…

    now imagine what happens if someone kicks the shit out of Song in the ACN and the window is closed?

    *spits it out and knocks on wood*

  27. BigRaddy

    Clearly it is not just you Suga !

    I don’t believe Denilson is the answer but he is the best we have until Song returns. Eastmond will certainly become the better player (though I believe Ramsey will take that role).

    We should remember that Denilson is only 2 years older than Eastmond !

  28. ManGoonian

    We have a great team, unfortunately we also have a load of injuries too. To say this squad is average or shite is a gross disservice and shows a real lack of respect, IMO…

    Perhaps we lack a few bodies in certain areas for back up, but overall, our squad is better than the mancs and scousers for sure and not far off the chavs either…. I wonnder how they all would have done with our effin injuries???

  29. David

    Nite Pedro

    Yes Denilson is 2 years older than Eastmond with some 70-80 games first team experience.

    Denilson played more minutes than Song and Bendtner.

    Which is saying alot because Pink Shite had more minutes than any other Arsenal striker last season.

    You either have it or you dont…

  30. Ray in SF

    Rosicky wears a blue thigh support to protect his hamstring, why don’t the other hamstring-prone players in the squad also wear that protection? especially in training

  31. BigRaddy

    If Ramsey is to get a run of games, he has to be able to defend alongside Song. Just as Denilson has.

    A MF of Song, AR Fab, and Nasri is outstanding. Full of goals and all able to put n a tackle. And Diaby on the bench….

  32. David

    Indeed we’ve had a terrible run with Injuries.

    But i dont think they were unforseable.

    Rosicky? Clichy? Walcott? Diaby?

    And then there are others that arent even on the first team to begin with anyways…

    Fabianski, JD, JW, Gibbs…etc etc etc.

  33. SUGA3

    ManGoo,

    problem is that we cannot eat the cake and have it – we have a lot of quick, nippy technical players that look great when they’re fit and are able to make anyone look like muppets on their day, but what is the point of that if you can’t use them?

    to use automotive reference: we have a garage full of fucking Alfa Romeos, when we could do with a Volvo estate or two to carry heavy loads 😉

  34. BigRaddy

    David, You forgot to mention the number of goals Nik scored. But as you know, I will not discuss our friend with you 😉

    No injuries are foreseeable, we have back up, and that back up is top of the effing table, which indicates that they are doing better than anyone else’s first team, and I will take that.

  35. Ray in SF

    Mangoon, the Chavs would have coped better with ‘our’ injuries because they happened to us, no, I mean they would have coped better because their back-ups are senior players waiting to get back into the first team not youngsters hoping for a chance to prove themselves

  36. ManGoonian

    Big Raddy;

    Yep, our crappy understudies have been sooo poor as to get us to the top of the league!!!

    Suga3;

    Your obsession with very large men is starting to concern me… 🙄

  37. SUGA3

    my point exactly – problem is, OGL stopped doing presence and power since he dismantled 49ers…

    I mean, look at Sol – fuck me, he is big…

  38. ManGoonian

    We have had way too many injuries, but that should not be an excuse this year… And I pray it is not trotted out come may time…

    I do hope we get in at least one more player and with these additional UNFORESEEABLE injuries, ideally 2…

  39. SUGA3

    MG,

    it’s not obsession, it’s common sense – if you are a little fella and have to play a number of games against a bunch of brick shit houses, as you like to call them, then it’s inevitable that eventually you will get the shit kicked out of you and end up in the ‘garage’…

  40. David

    Disagree that no injuries are foreseable.

    All teams struggle with injuries. We’ve had usual suspects with the more injury prone players in the squad for years….injured yet again this season…it wasnt a surprise to anyone when Diaby went off injured…nor with Clichy being out…and how many people held their breathes everytime VP went on International duty.

    Big R

    Id love to be wrong about Nikk…if he can score 15 goals and put us to the tittle id be happy.

  41. Ray in SF

    it would be a brave man to bet that it will be raining at midday in London on the 14th of February

    and a complete idiot who would bet that there will be no rain during the month of February

    yeah, the individual injuries are ‘UNFORESEEABLE’ but the fact is, the squad needs to be strong enough the thrive despite of inevitable depletions

    I’m happier than most that we are top of the league, but my concern is staying in the race with our depleted squad

  42. BigRaddy

    Suga.

    Let me get this straight.

    You are saying that we should have a fleet of Volvo’s. Am I right?

    I know we are in North London, but really……

  43. BigRaddy

    OK. I give up. You guys are right. We should have bought the entire Barca team and be done with it.

    It is late here and I need my beauty sleep in order to fight to positive fight domani.

    Buona Sera Tutti

  44. leon

    i feel right now its just keeping the players fresh particualy in midfield the injuries are realy piling up right now diaby nasri ramsey,for the next game i would would not entertain playing cesc at all,most of injuries are all short term so i not sure if misfielder is needed but it would not hurt

  45. Keyser

    Can’t we just tune up the cars we have ?!

    Our biggest problem is that we’ve never had a chance to catch our breath over the past few seasons, we’ve got enough players now, minus the odd special one here or there, but because they’re all young and talented they never get a rest.

    Take Merida, he needs to not only wait for a chance with us, he needs to be able to take it too, but I think he’s already played a couple of youth tournaments this year and he’ll probably have another in the summer.

    This year they’ll be the World Cup and people like Rosicky, did the Czechs qualify ?, having just about got fit after a two year abscence won’t get a rest in the summer to recharge. We can’t win.

  46. ManGoonian

    Suga3;

    Nope, it is not common sense, it is your opinion mate…. Quite a big difference…

    I bet a lot of Gooners would be happy if we had a Flamini/Gattuso type player signed up to play vs the chavs or indeed the Boltons of this league. Yet he aint your big lump kinda player is he? Just like Makelelelelelelele aint a big fella either….

    There’s more than one way to skin a cat, but I doubt you are interested in pussy… Ahem… 😀

  47. Ray in SF

    Thanks for repeating the question, with the 8-hour lag I’m trying to take part in the current discussion and catch up with the earlier postings

    Not one to multitask successfully

    what was your question again?

    oh yes, how would Chelsea have coped better, well short answer is 23 out of 27 is magical and is on track to gather 97 plus points

    so very few teams, even injury-free would match that pace for long

    on-the-other-hand…

    Liverpool……was a close game
    Burnley……..was also close
    Hull City……solid win
    Aston……….close until Cesc’s cameo
    Portsmouth…..solid win
    Everton……..maybe lucky to grab a point
    Bolton………on another day might’ve dropped points
    Bolton………ditto to first Bolton game

    last season we might only have gotten 8 or 9 points out of those games

    not sure whose point I’m making here…just very, very glad the way things turned out…hope it continues

  48. SUGA3

    neither of Gattuso, Flam or Makelele could be considered a technician, am I right?

    at this moment, the only player of this kind in our squad is Song 😉

  49. Keyser

    We had a midfield of Flamini, Hleb, Fabregas and Rosicky and they couldn’t get anywhere near us in seasons past, it wasn’t physically dominant, but it was good enough to win games.

    We played Chelsea with almost none of our big players playing, Bendtner, Van Persie, Diaby even someone like Djourou.

    Even still it wasn’t really their size that stopped us, it was a poor attacking threat and two clinical pieces of play from Chelsea, plus an own goal.

  50. ManGoonian

    Suga3;

    Sturdy??? How about a few Cyborgs then? Half man half baked bean tin…? Now thats what I call sturdy…

    Nasri is sturdy, but his leg should’ve been made of titanium then it wouldnt have broken like that, same goes for Eduardo and his bolsa wood fibula… Then there’s Denilson breaking his wafer thin spinal chord…

    Pansies the lot of em… Trade em in for Arnie Terminator types…

  51. SUGA3

    Keyser,

    I think some are underestimating the influence of Flamini and Hleb – tough fuckers with plenty of pace to burn…

    against Chavs, we missed some presence upfront, that’s all – while we can somehow nip through the defence when we play Bolton, the likes of Chavs add a bit of class to their size: there is a reson why some play for Trotters and others for Chelsea…

  52. Gooby

    good evening guys, just read the post pedro. Top of the league is such a feeling, and pissed off cameroon got into the quarters

  53. ManGoonian

    Suga3;

    I will think for a minute when you do fella!!!

    The chavs had a pretty terrible injury list last season…. What exactly is ylour point? Are you saying that the chavs are drug cheats??? Wow, that is explosive stuff there dude…. I hope you have evidence to back up your claims…?

  54. Keyser

    Suga3 – You overplay it far too much.

    Chelsea are a lot better than Bolton obviously, Hleb wasn’t particularly tough, nor was Flamini particularly strong, Hleb was far too quick with the ball most of the time and Flamini was quicker to the ball than most.

    At the same time Chelsea still play a very defensive game compared to us and they had almost a fit squad. They could afford to sit back let us try and break them down knowing they had Drogba and Anelka at the other end.

    It’s far easier to implement their gameplan than it is to break it down. When it comes down to it, when you play the top sides you need all your best players playing.

  55. ManGoonian

    How does a player prevent an opposition player from kicking them??? That is something I need to see… Do they have Jedi styleee force fields then?

    I think you need to think thru your points a bit more fully me ol china plate…

    We have just played one of the biggest set of cloggers in the league, twice! And WE are the ones being accused of bullying and nasty behaviour!!!

    Re-joice my friend, re-joice!!!

    You even said it yourself, it was not a case of the chavs bullyin us last time out, it was a completely piss poor attackin display from us!

    You go on and on and on about physicality, when for me, it aint the major issue…. It is a tired, lazy hack’s cliche IMO…

    And Song will be back for the chav game too, anyways!

    Right, off to bed, nitey night Suga3, David, Keyser, Ray, leon and anyone else out there…

  56. Ray in SF

    did anyone else like the way Cesc and AA23 scored their goals almost by force of will, just fierce determination capped by brilliant finishing skills

    actually Rosicky’s goal came from nowhere and was also an act of willpower

    Vermaelen’s was just craft, looked behind him then ran a quarter circle to meet the path of the ball with his left foor, no backswing, calm, brilliant stuff

  57. Keyser

    Vermaelen’s clever, that was Eduardo like, Eduardo always makes sure his bodies in the way of the ball before he makes contact with it, so at the very least you’ve given the defender little or no chance of getting to the ball.

  58. SUGA3

    Keyser,

    for all his deficiencies (shoooooot!!!), Hleb was a brilliant player, capable of pulling players out of positions and disrupting the defensive plans by creating space for others, while Flam was constantly running at people, closing them down and forcing the into making mistakes – this is something we sometimes lack, but often fall victims to…

    Bolton tried to do that for some time in the last two games and it kinda worked…

    MG, I didn’t say that we are being bullied, but we come out bruised from trading blows more often than not…

  59. Keyser

    Flamini was quick over short distances and had almost superhuman stamina, he wasn’t that strong he just made sure he made it as difficult as possible for opposing players, Hleb made sure his technique and skill would come before his physical weakness.

    You don’t need big, brooding players for either to be effective, they’re men, they just need to be a bit more aggressive.

    As for Bolton or any other team they tried to get at us and like almost every other Wenger team we stayed calm, because they simply cannot sustain that over the course of a game, they will fall away and we’re generally fitter than most.

    It’s like at half-time, people keep asking for early changes, if Wenger doesn’t make them, it’s not because he’s stubborn, it’s because he knows we’ll be fitter towards the end of the game, and that the players should be still able to enforce their game plan no matter what.

  60. Sion De Freitas

    Keyser Says:
    January 21, 2010 at 23:16

    Flamini was quick over short distances and had almost superhuman stamina, he wasn’t that strong he just made sure he made it as difficult as possible for opposing players, Hleb made sure his technique and skill would come before his physical weakness.

    You don’t need big, brooding players for either to be effective, they’re men, they just need to be a bit more aggressive.

    As for Bolton or any other team they tried to get at us and like almost every other Wenger team we stayed calm, because they simply cannot sustain that over the course of a game, they will fall away and we’re generally fitter than most.

    It’s like at half-time, people keep asking for early changes, if Wenger doesn’t make them, it’s not because he’s stubborn, it’s because he knows we’ll be fitter towards the end of the game, and that the players should be still able to enforce their game plan no matter what.

    ——————————————————

    I’d say this is a correct analogy. My dad also commented on the fitness of the team, seem to be able to continue attacking all game without getting too tired.

  61. Keyser

    SUGA3 – It’s been one of our biggest strengths over the years and we’ve always been able to lift ourselves over the last 20 odd minutes of games.

  62. Gooby

    sixx pac- don’t ever make this kind of jokes again, you scarre the hell out of me and it’s a danger to my heath and fellow frover’s

  63. Sion De Freitas

    lol dont scare me like that, I was scrolling through newsnow like a madman loool.

    Suga, that probably really IS why they get injured so easily, trying to maintain those epic fitness levels. We are probably the fittest team in the league (arguably). But with maintaining that will come plenty of injuries.

  64. sixx pac

    i’m sorry Gooby and fellow grovers. On a more serious not it was reported in the bangalore times this morning that a certain fella named Sabeel had a serious dick injury

  65. SUGA3

    now, is it not a paradox that we try to maintain these superhuman fitness levels and make our long term fitness suffer as a result?

    I will leave you with that thought…

    nite all 😉

  66. A

    “Randall was involved in a confrontation with a handful of Southampton players following a poor tackle on French midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin”

    lol, nice to see he hasn’t changed

  67. Ray in SF

    Here’s Tevez’ direct and earthy recap of his behavior…

    Carlos Tevez has branded Gary Neville a “boot-licker” and a “moron” in explaining his goal celebration in Tuesday’s Carling Cup semi-final.

    Former Manchester United striker Tevez gestured and cupped his ears towards their bench after scoring twice in a Manchester City’s feisty 2-1 derby win.

    “My celebration was directed at Gary Neville,” Tevez told ESPN Argentina.

    “He acted like a complete boot-licker when he said I wasn’t worth £25m, just to suck up to the manager,” he added.

    Before the first-leg tie, Neville had said United were right to let Tevez leave in the summer, rather than signing him on a permanent deal after his two-year loan spell ended.

    And during United’s defeat cameras appeared to catch Neville making an obscene gesture when Tevez scored.

    “I don’t know what the hell that moron [tarado] is talking about me for,” said Tevez. “I never said anything about him.

    “I didn’t go overboard in my celebration and it was directed at Gary, not at Ferguson and not at the fans.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/football/league_cup/8472196.stm

  68. Pat

    ARSENAL
    Jan 27: Aston Villa (a)
    Jan 31: Man Utd (h)
    Feb 7: Chelsea (a)
    Feb 10: Liverpool (h)
    Feb 20: Sunderland (h)
    Feb 27: Stoke (a)
    Mar 6: Burnley (h)
    Mar 13: Hull (a)
    Mar 20: West Ham (h)
    Mar 27: Birmingham (a)
    Apr 3: Wolves (h)
    Apr 10: Tottenham (a)
    Apr 17: Wigan (a)
    Apr 24: Man City (h)
    May 1: Blackburn (a)
    May 9: Fulham (h)
    CHELSEA
    Jan 27: Birmingham (h)
    Jan 30: Burnley (a)
    Feb 2: Hull (a)
    Feb 7: Arsenal (h)
    Feb 10: Everton (a)
    Feb 20: Wolves (a)
    Feb 27: Man City (h)
    Mar 6: Portsmouth (a)
    Mar 13: West Ham (h)
    Mar 20: Blackburn (a)
    Mar 27: Aston Villa (h)
    Apr 3: Man Utd (a)
    Apr 10: Bolton (h)
    Apr 17: Tottenham (a)
    Apr 24: Stoke (h)
    May 1: Liverpool (a)
    May 9: Wigan (h)
    MANCHESTER UNITED
    Jan 23: Hull (h)
    Jan 31: Arsenal (a)
    Feb 6: Portsmouth (h)
    Feb 10: Aston Villa (a)
    Feb 20: Everton (a)
    Feb 27: West Ham (h)
    Mar 6: Wolves (a)
    Mar 13: Fulham (a)
    Mar 20: Liverpool (h)
    Mar 27: Bolton (a)
    Apr 3: Chelsea (h)
    Apr 10: Blackburn (a)
    Apr 17: Man City (a)
    Apr 24: Tottenham (h)
    May 1: Sunderland (a)
    May 9: Stoke (h)

    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-1245030/Arsenal-Chelsea-Manchester-United-Sportsmails-lowdown-deciding-factors-Premier-League-title-race.html?ITO=1490#ixzz0dIZj7Yxf

  69. Ray in SF

    If I read it correctly…Chelsea play Hull away on the Tuesday before the game at Stamford Bridge and we get a full week’s rest…nice, very nice

    Pity the Hull game isn’t on a Wednesday and the Stamford game on a Saturday, but I’ll take it as it is

  70. Ray in SF

    by the way, thanks for fixture list Pat

    it’s hard not to go through it — at least mentally — and take a stab at the results to come up with a prediction

  71. nishanth

    Playing Senderos there wouldn’t be a bad idea.But wenger might not risk in case of an injury affecting the transfer.In that case pull JET back in midfield and play traore as a part of the front 3.He did play there for the french u-21 team right?

  72. Ray in SF

    the word earlier is that Merida is out for this game

    and that Sol has a neck injury and also isn’t available

    the squad is paper-thin if we can’t come up with a team to face Stoke that protects the key senior players?

    I’d like to see Senderos play DM and also to see Traore as a mid-fielder or winger on the left side

    That might answer some questions that need to be asked, if we’re not going to take advantage of the transfer market

  73. ethangunner

    the chev’s play 3 games in about a week or less so you can only hope the regularity of the fixtures fuck them up ..but they are a pretty easy 9 points on paper ..

    its the next 3 games we have i worry about 4 really .. but 1 of them is with said team at Stamford bridge .. so on paper its not looking good there either ..

    we will need a full squad , no fillers over these next 4 games .. we need the most experienced bunch on at the same time ..

    no nik B experiments , sub him on after 70 , ok ..
    but don’t include players who will probably be anonymous … now is not the time for anonymity

  74. ethangunner

    the only experiment id try is fabianski in goal !
    in fact i wouldnt call it an experiment id call it an improvement .

  75. ethangunner

    ray

    some good experiments there .
    id buy that …

    you gotta try it right ?
    thats what frustrates me with wenger .
    if he had brought on jack when he was showing form , or gave more time to vela we wouldn’t be worrying .

    too much time spent on song – denilson diaby and eboue .. when we would have been just as well biting the bullet and bring on ramsey – theo – vela and jack to the point they put pressure on spots ..

    theres none of that going on … , in fact i dont think we can cover half the spots currently with 1st teamers ..

    wengers options are limited ..
    buy or falter at these crucial next 4 games .
    i understand his thinking he wont pay big for top players , and no young player within price range can make an impact straight away . So he wont ..

    he needs to snap out of that mindset as the board is set to win the game .. he just needs a few … queens 🙂 to win the chess game .

  76. Ray in SF

    It’s not moaning Rohan, it’s frustration…

    we are so close and the obvious pieces of the jigsaw are available in the transfer market but instead of buying them we’re taking out a pair of scissors and trying to make those pieces out of the box the jigsaw came in

    don’t want to be disrespectful regarding the understudies, but in most cases it’s two to three years before they’re ready and that’s if they are good enough

    that’s two layers of uncertainty

    we need a couple of good-enough, proven, ready-now squad players

    I’d take a couple one from group A

    Kevin Davies, Kenwyne Jones, Charlton Cole, Chamahk (spelling?)

    and one from group B

    Upson, Parker, Behrani, Flamini, Felaini, Cahill, Senderos

    they may not be better than our best but they are better than our best’s backups

  77. dennisdamenace

    Ray – I agree, but disagree!!

    I agree that we are so so close to having an all conquering team/squad, but I disagree with the personnel your choosing from! A club of AFC’s standing, coupled with the money we’re sitting on and money we’re making every year we should be aiming higher in terms of quality.

    How frustrating is it to hear other Grovers say Dzeko is not in our price range!!! WTF?? Seriously, where’s the ambition, where’s the drive to get and be the best, ‘not in our price range’ fucking hell, the money AW’s sitting on he could buy Aquero, Ribery AND Villa tomorrow and it would barely dent our profit column!! People need to wake up, sme the coffee and get over the ‘fact’ that AW is financially hamstrung coz he’s not, it’s HIS choice not to spend, so by default we all lower our sights….

  78. ethangunner

    DDM
    How frustrating is it to hear other Grovers say Dzeko is not in our price range!!! WTF?? Seriously, where’s the ambition
    ————————–
    Yes a little freak called A , uses that line all the time
    like arsene uses THE NEW SIGNING , one ..

    its a self admission that we are not the team we once were ! that we as a group should lower our expectations .fans coming up with bollocks like that , then tearing a new asshole to anyone who doesn’t fall in line with wengers thinking .

    we are not that caliber team we once were ,
    we might not be again under wenger either ..

    but being more consistent at beating the shit teams doesnt make you the champions ..
    not unless you stand toe to toe with the big boys .

  79. dennisdamenace

    Ethan – We all know that 99.99% of us that want Wenger to spend some money on strengthening key areas don’t actually want or believe we need Aquero, Ribery and Villa, but just take one third of their combined price tag, say around £35-40m and go and buy Dzeko and a decent, hard takling, water carrier of a central midfielder and we could really storm this league and have a serious crack at the ECL, how the hell would buying those two players holdback anyone, if it did then maybe those players weren’t actually good enough for us then….

  80. Baxter Wall

    Ray in SF’s list reads like a list of the worst players Wenger could possibly ever sign!

    I’m glad he’s not running the club!

    I’ll play for Arsenal before I allow Kevin Davies to. His first game for us would see the intrusion onto the pitch of a 60year old man with an Axe!

  81. ethangunner

    DDM

    your preaching to the converted my friend !!!
    ive been thinking a bit deeper into the invincibles .. was that just all blind luck too ?

    NO .(i hope) . back then we spotted real players ..
    and secured them .. ive got no qualms with the type of player wenger signs when he needs a ‘NOW player’ ..

    problem is WE NEED MORE OF EM !
    and he’s more interested in the tomorrow player (that never comes)
    and the fucker is blind too it ..
    or too tight to do anything about it ..
    or has achieved his BOTTOM LINE THIS SEASON already ..

    what ever the reason he isnt spending , he should at least tell us if so ..

    he’s taken liberties and the piss out of us far too long now getting this team right .

    300 foot sky scrapers are built quicker than this fucking team !

    spending a bit of money saves years ,
    if fans out there dont get it and jump on board with wengers line of thinking then they are just mung beaned fuck wits 🙂

  82. stonroy

    morning everyone. I have a question I want to ask. Who would be in favour of a cash say 15 million plus Senderos and Nick B trade for Edin Dzeko?

  83. BigRaddy

    Ethan. It is not true to say AW doesn’t spend money – he just doesn’t spend silly money.

    Who do you think is the better signing, AA at €17m or Berbs at €32m? TV at €10m or Lescott at €25m ?

    I agree we need to add to the squad every transfer window, but as I see it, AW does. There is still over a week to go, all is not lost !

  84. stonroy

    Yeah I agree DDM, it’s a good deal both ways. I think that’s the way around the Dzeko move. They get a like for like and we get…Well I have to say it someone more suited for the Arsenal.

  85. dennisdamenace

    The trouble is Stonroy that their are a few on here who would argue that (three goal) Bentner is a better player than Dzeko!

    Truth be told, I’d flog Bentner AND Theo if it would secure the Bosnian’s signature….

  86. ethangunner

    BR

    mung beaned fuck wit
    ——————
    i am too ! thats the way we are treated as fans !

    thats what i mean !

    dildo !

  87. Geoff

    Raddy you mung beaned fuckwit, both those purchases were hostile, that’s why they cost so much.

    Dzeko is worth the money and those two cunts weren’t!

    Morning all!

  88. stonroy

    a player and cash deal mate, plus send old Phillipe there for shits and giggles. 15 million and Nicky B is a good deal all round.

  89. Goonerman

    Wenger is useless, he don’t spend any money, the squad is not big enough, he don’t shake hands after games, his team are full of midgets and to top it all his team can’t defend.

  90. SUGA3

    the squad may be big enough numbers wise, but we didn’t have them all available for selection from day one…

    like I said last night: we should have signed Behrami and Cole/Jones and we would be laughing…

    but no, they’re ‘not good enough’…