Ok, Football is back again, and Arsenal are back in town! + Booing Hleb

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After that same old same old England debacle last night, it’s easy to see why we shouldn’t have renewed Capello’s contract, he had a chance to put the Arsenal boy on to liven it up but he didn’t, England’s loss, Arsenal’s gain.

It looks like we’ll have Cesc, Theo and everybody’s enigma Nikki B back for the Brum game, we will also see Hleb back at the Grove too (no laughing), should be a fun match and one I expect to see us show our title credentials once more.

PLEASE ANYBODY GOING, DON’T BOO HLEB, HE WASN’T THAT BIG A LOSS AND HE SUFFERED MORE THAN WE EVER DID!

People like to have a pop at our Nikki but I think he could be the real surprise this season, he has a lot to prove and with the arrival of Chamakh, he has slipped down the pecking order a bit, Nikki, it’s time to deliver, I think he will, it’s his old club and he has something to prove. I tip him to feature and I tip him to score.

If Theo and Cesc are back, we have some team to pick from, with Diaby in the mix, we could have a very tall team too, and against the brummies, we’ll need it.

I would go with this team, he won’t, but he might.

Chezzer

Eboue Koscielny Squillaci Gibbs

Nasri Cesc Wilshere

Theo Bendtner Arshavin

That is a team full of pace and skill, he’ll have Chamakh, Rosicky and Diaby there too if we need to mix it up a bit, I really think it’s time to go with talent, we are at home and we can attack, I’ll be there and I’m fed up with seeing potential but no end product, this forward line has something to prove and if Theo isn’t playing, then Rosicky would be my first choice to go in there.

I have been starved of football for too long, you wouldn’t mind if England had won 5 nil and Jackie boy got a hat-trick, we didn’t and he didn’t play, let’s see if Arsenal for once can benefit from the internationals, so often the cause of much woe, apart from a friendly over Christmas, it’s all Arsenal until April, no more moody weekends, now it begins, Nikki and Theo need games with the ECL coming next week and then the games against the tough teams roll in.

Come on Arsene and come on Arsenal. I don’t do predictions, but I feel 4 goals coming and guess what, they won’t be from Birmingham, time to avenge Eduardo and our championship loss, time to stand up and be counted.

LAST THING, I WOULD SPRING ONE AND GIVE AFOBE A CRACK, HE COULD BE A REAL SURPRISE PACKAGE, HE REMINDS ME OF A CROSS BETWEEN IAN WRIGHT, WRIGHT, WRIGHT AND ANDY COLE, THE ONE THAT GOT AWAY, 60th MINUTE SUB WHEN WE’RE 3 UP, WHO WILL IT HURT APART FROM THE BRUMMIES!

Have a great day grovers, 3 days and we are back in it!

P.S. We’ve got more stories to stoke up the Kick Campaign fire. Rocky Lives over at Arsenal Arsenal has put together a 2 part series on violence and what Journo’s can do to help combat this nonsense (part 1part 2). I’ve heard on the grapevine Wrighty7 is going to join the party. If you’ve got a blog, no matter how small or larger, please feel free to contribute (drop me a mail when you have). Oh, and check out the KICK video if you havent!

Finally, Pedro has written a piece in defence of Essex if you fancy something different.

397 Responses to “Ok, Football is back again, and Arsenal are back in town! + Booing Hleb”

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  1. Arsene Nose Best

    It looks like we’ll have Cesc, Theo and everybody’s enigma Nikki B back for the Brum game, we will also see Hleb back at the Grove too (no laughing), should be a fun match and one I expect to see us show our title credentials once more.

    what title credentials.a team that loses at home to west brom certainly isn’t a team that can win the league.

  2. ozrus

    samir, how’s Arshavin lacking in confidence? He sets them up, he scores. Do you want him to sing a song while he’s at it or something?

  3. A

    Would be awesome if we snapped up reina, he did want to come to us in the summer, but i’m not sure liverpool would let him move to us even if he demanded a move away.

  4. samir masri

    ozrus

    have watched arsharvin play recenly?

    cos if you have then you would’nt ask me that question.but I know he scores and sets goals. but does’nt nt show the love and passion which he had before wenger fucked it up for him. snd I so I do agree with you.

  5. melvyn

    “That is a team full of pace and skill” – and which one of those does NB52 possess – it would be good to add bravery & committment to your definition although my question above would still be relevant. I live in hope.

  6. Wenger the liar

    Sentence reads:

    That is a team full of pace and skill, he’ll have Chamakh, Rosicky and Diaby there too if we need to mix it up a bit.

    Sentence should read:

    That is a team full of pace and skill, plus bendtner.

    Pedro once again thanks for the tickets hook up, diamond mate.

  7. terry

    i would like us to plat 442 with

    eboue kozzer squillachi clichy

    nasri song cecs gibbs

    chamak ashavin

    this team would be more balanced than our 433

    subs could be:

    rosicky for gibbs and gibbs for clichy

    nikk b for chamak

    wishare for cecs and diaby for song

    walcott for nasri

  8. Wenger the liar

    WBA.

    But subsequently the contact has enabled me to secure a whole host of others.

    I would have rented some season tickets but I dont like the idea of renting one then when Arsene hits his head again and realizes the follie of his ways and we are succesful again losing the season tickets.

  9. Pedro

    Excellent stuff! That’s what I kind of hoped Le Exchange would enable people to do… it’s hard shifting spares.

  10. Robin's Choco Leg Special

    afternoon grovers,

    Looking forward to an arsenal return after the recent annoyance of the international break.. And, with most returning unscathed if not a little fatigued bar Sagna we can look forward to the brum game with the imminent reurn of a couple of key players.

    Cesc should start, whilst walcott is close to being included along with bendtner. Vermaelen still remains a TBC and with Sagnas 3 week tigh sideline we can safely say we’ll be seeing eboue in the only position we want to (at right back) for the forseeable future.. Probably opens a door for nordviet to be included in tehc arling cup against newcastle and it’s something he certainly deserves after a stint in germany, great pre season and decent start in the reserves.

    Afobe’s recent trumping by Geoff is welcomed. A top quality young english goal getting striker who has done superbly with the England U17’s and Arsenal Academy Team and thus far at u19 level and reserve level shown his quality.

    We certainly are lacking a front man who will deliver 25+ goals plus a season for a succession of seasons, not just a one hit wonder. Chamakh and bendtner are target types who are neccessary at this level and van persie is some sort of hybrid between a No.9 & 10 without really excelling in either position. Vela, is well, vela.. Looks great when we’re 3-0 up in a top tier game, yet struggles to make an impact from the off. However, against cup oppo he looks the nuts. Needs to show some consistency when given the chances, but to be fair doesn’t get the chances. And then there’s Wellington Silva coming in jan and we’ve already mentioned Afobe..

    On the post from yesterday. I think we are starting to do our part to bring through english and british players. But at the top you know everything is about the now. Can’t really complain about the youth policy, then trump up about bringing through english quality in oppossed to foreign because we’ve lost some of our foreign players later in their careers to alternate clubs. Sometimes, shit happens. We certainly have thrown some.

    Walcott certainly has had his chances and looks to me have gone up a level on the pitch in terms of confidence and end product with the ball. Wilshire has appeared in every league game for us so far and is in the england squad at 18 years old (no other clubs young kid would be in the squad at that age unless they were top 4 and special), it’s crazy!!! Gibbs is definantly breathing down clichy’s neck, yet can’t stay fit. They are all current england internationals and play for arsenal’s 1st team.

    The english contingent of arsenals fan base can certainly at this moment be a little more positive. It’s down to them at this point in time to continue to show quality on the pitch for arsenal and in the training camp for england so Capello simply cannot ignore them. Of all the players Gibbs by far has the hardest task. Ashley Cole (love him or loathe him) has been in the top 3 left backs in world football for nigh on a decade now and has at least the euros and 1/2 of wc qualifying in front of him.

    Then we have emmanuel-thomas, lansbury, ramsey (welsh), afobe & aneke with possibly bartley, henderson (irish), shea and cruise looking like being top quality british players also.

    Patience though after 6 years is not a virtue most arsenal fans are in tune with! 😆

  11. cem

    Geoff a few months back you guys were ready to kill for a holding midfielder and now you want a midfield consisting of nasri, fabregas and young wilshere?

    what has gone wrong? or is the idea of a holding midfielder already out of date?

  12. Man

    “Every day you learn when you watch someone like Cesc Fabregas, though it’s not just him. There are players like Samir Nasri and Denilson and you can learn anything from them.

    “They’re top class players and the best thing to do is train with them every day.”

  13. pharo9ja

    Hello peoples!! Terrible few days for me without my daily dose. Geoff u’d better tell me what u’ve been lacing me with on this bleedin blog!! Pedro..u too!
    Nice post..what have I missed cept for the resident senile? I see franchise’s still AWOL!

  14. jay4741

    Terry

    i agree, would’nt mind see 4-4-2 again (especially at the emirates), as i dont think 4-3-3 is working. too many players played out of postion

    Aluminia

    Sagna Squillaci Verm Clichy

    Walcott Cesc Song Arshavin

    Chamakh Van Persie

  15. NW5 Gooner

    hi.. i have three tickets to this saturdays game. Upper Tier , near half way line v good views, face value, just need to find a home for three season tickets. Let me know.. NW5

  16. Man

    Pedro I think we need to send someone from Health and Safety to Colney…there’s got to be something in those drinks

  17. A

    4-3-3 isn’t working?!

    seriously sometimes i just don’t some things.

    With 4-3-3 against teams like Birmingham we’ve had an unbelievable record at home, far better than we ever had with 4-4-2.

    We also have many more players better suited to 4-3-3 than 4-4-2. Who is out of place in 4-3-3 that is in place in 4-4-2?!

  18. jay4741

    A

    how have we had a better record 4-3-3 sweeping statement, i have not seen us beat a top 4 club using 4-3-3 because it does not suits us time & time again we get hit on the counter, have not won anything using 4-3-3 or beat a decent side. also our 4-3-3 work well aaginst west brom at home

  19. A

    jay against teams like Birmingham.

    Since we changed to 4-3-3, ie last season, we won all but 4 of our home games, and those that we didn’t win were against chelsea, utd, everton, and city.

    We won all but one of our home games in Europe, 2-2 against Barca, and we won our only domestic cup game at home.

    Of the 14 league wins we won 13 of them by at least 2 goals.

    Then go back to when we played 4-4-2 the season before, how many draws we had, loss against Hull, 0-0s, and just general inconsistency.

    We lost against West Brom in our last home league game, but that was our first loss against non-quality opposition at home in the 18 months since we changed to 4-3-3. That is a complete one off and the very first time it had happened since the system was changed

  20. A

    So in all competitions last season at home we played 27 home games, and won 23, drew 3, lost 2, winning 20 of the 23 by at least 2 goals.

  21. A

    Compare that to the previous season in which we played 4-4-2

    32 games at home, 21 wins, 7 draws, 4 losses, and 9 of those wins were by a solitary goal, drawing with West Ham, Sunderland, Fulham, Fenebache, Spuds, losing to Hull, Villa.

    It’s just incomparable since we changed system.

    The West Brom loss was a terrible result, but since we’ve changed system to 4-3-3 that would look very much like a freak result, and I expect us to show that against Brum

  22. R.S.P.C.Arsenal

    losing 0-3 at home to Middlesbrough was a freak result a few years back.. west brom was not a freak result!
    \
    west brom were the better team, we were not fit to wear the shirt with that starting 11!

  23. A

    That was a terrible performance against West Brom RSPC, but it was a freak performance, something that hadn’t happened since we changed to 4-3-3.

    Regarding Lansbury I’d hope so, but it’ll depend on injuries….

  24. jay4741

    arsenal will not beat a top 4 side using 4-3-3 it will not happen, we dont have the players to cover when we get countered end of.

  25. jay4741

    Choy

    1 player out of postion Arshavin & he can deal with it cause he our only class player after Fab, and i dont think players are played out of position anymore than they currently are using 4-3-3

  26. A

    Our record against top sides certainly isn’t as good jay I’d agree with that. We play more 4-5-1 when we play top sides though, or need to certainly.

    Our record against sides like Birmingham since we changed to 4-3-3 though is incredible.

  27. A

    arshavin and theo cannot play in a 4 man midfield, nor in a 2 man attack in 4-4-2. 4-3-3 gives cesc WAY more freedom hence his stepping up a level after it changed, nasri can only play centrally in 4-3-3 not 4-4-2, wilshere suits a three man central midfield, diaby too.

    Part of 4-3-3 is to put Cesc, Diaby, Arshavin, Theo into positions to suit them better, Arshavin and Theo having a more advanced starting position, Cesc and Diaby to have more freedom/help in the middle of the park.

  28. zeus

    Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger refuses to rule out eventual Paris Saint Germain move.

    Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has hinted that he may be interested in a future non-coaching role at Paris Saint Germain.

    The former Monaco boss, who hails from the Alsace region of eastern France, has been linked with a move to the capital club for some time and has told Republican Lorrain that he would not rule out a move in the future.

    “It’s not impossible,” said Wenger. “But it wouldn’t be in a coaching role.”

    “PSG is the only club in the world which is based in an area of 10 million inhabitants and doesn’t have any competition (from a rival club),” the Arsenal boss added.

    PSG, one of the biggest clubs in France, are currently on a barren spell regarding league titles and the Frenchman has offered his opinion on what needs to be done to add the to trophy cabinet in Paris.

    “What needs to be done is to get a group of investors around the table to provide the club with some financial muscle.”
    *****************************

    That last bit is a bit rich.

  29. Baafuor from Ghana

    I can see Mannone is trying his best to follow in the foot steps of Al and Flappy.May be he has realised u never get the chance to play between the sticks if u don’t make stupid mistakes.

  30. Baafuor from Ghana

    My team for the Brum game will be
    Chezzer
    Eboue…Squillaci…Kozzer….Gibbs
    ……Song……Wilshere……
    ……….Cesc………..
    Theo…..Chamack…..Rosicky……
    Rosicky deserves to be in the team cos I think he is in fine form.

  31. Rohan

    Dave, we had the most number of goals from outside the box last season. 20 if I remember right compared to the second highest which was 12. So much for that then.

  32. SurferX

    Oioi..

    Bit late today. Stupid work.

    Love the team Geoff, and love the post! Hleb definitely shouldn’t be booed! All he has done since he left is tell everyone what a mistake it was leaving the Arsenal! He is a walking advertisement for the-grass-isn’t-always-greener!

    The only change I’d make is (assuming Nunchucks isn’t fit) I’d start JET and have pinkie on the bench. What does he have to do to get a game (beyond 5 minutes from the bench when it’s already game-over)?

    Anyway, can’t wait for football to return. Bring on the Brum!

  33. Mayank

    I think the current press reaction will go a long way in curbing the horror tackles. But only for this year, next year it will be the same old reckless committed tackles. After all you wouldn’t want football to become a non-contact sport. Which is what Danny Murphy and Arsene Wenger want.

  34. JJ

    This is how the formation would look if everyone played where they want:

    Chamakh Song
    Arsharvin
    Nasri
    Cesc
    DM
    LB CB CB RB

  35. JJ

    Mayank – The horror tackles will continue. Bolton, Wolves and Blackburn aren’t going to change their style for the media. The red cards and broken legs will continue until the Managers put an end to it.

  36. Mayank

    No I do think the next perpetrator will really have to face the music, especially after the De Jong reaction. No-one would want to be the next guy to break a leg. For entirely selfish reasons of course, but nevertheless…

  37. JJ

    Good article by Darren Lewis. It is a shame that no one takes The Mirror seriously…

    Mayank – Those reckless players are too thick to ‘curb their enthusiasm’. Especially if their managers are not telling them to do so. Time will tell who is right in this discussion. I like my odds though (unfortunately).

  38. Mayank

    Most of the players seem to respect Denilson. Arsh has praised him on 2 seperate occasions, he’s good friends with Cesc and now JW. It seems like the more talented players like having someone like him around.

    If he could play the physical game better he’d be the solution to the DM problem.

    A MF of Denilson, JW and Cesc would really run some of the teams ragged with their passing.

  39. Kushagra India

    Mayank
    Arsene and Murphy never want football to be a non contact sport but the art of defending and tackling it seems is getting lost,gone are the days when we had the likes of Arie Haan ,Makelele top physical players winning tackles giving a crunch in midfield.Now it has become a minefield
    full of average thuggish players. Football can never become a non contact sport its charisma lies in that unlike field hockey(my other favourite team sport) and Basketball where the playing field ,the strategies and most importantly the use of the ball is entirely diggerentdifferent.

  40. Mayank

    Kush, I know it won’t but it’s the standard reaction of people when there’s talk of bad tackling.

    JJ, you might be right.

  41. JJ

    I think Denilson has improved physically. It is just that he is still not physical enough in that position and probably more importantly he lacks pace.

    They all like Denilson because he is a nice guy and they all grew up together. He is also the guy who they know they will get the ball back from when they pass to him.

  42. Kushagra India

    AnB
    especially Song “its very wise to chose the moment when u can go forward otherwise they will penetrate….”.

  43. Pedro

    Zeus, I told you ages ago that pretty much everyone should be available after the international break.

    Not sure if they’ll all make the squad, but Theo will be about.

    The only doubts should be Vermaelen and Sagna.

  44. David

    No source Zeus.

    Im just going by what people have been saying.

    Every is back bar Vermy and Sagna?

    Im trying to like Denilson. Even willing to forgive the whole referee jogging past him et al if he can just be a bit more nasty in the tackle.

  45. SUGA3

    ‘evening 😉

    I saw a bit of discussion on Essex in the morning – just moved to Westcliff, seems quite nice so far 😉

    agreed, Basildon is a dump, I work there (well, in Laindon to be precise), but I could not live there if they paid me!

  46. SUGA3

    Denilson has a lot of good bits, but he does not seem to be suited for the Prem – he may be able to bulk up a bit, but there’s not a lot you can do about the frustrating lack of pace…

  47. David

    Song lacks pace as well.

    Denilson has the defensive discipline in him.

    Honestly it hurts to think we couldve had Alonso instead of having to switch back and forth between who is less shocking Song or Denilson

  48. SUGA3

    well, I reckon the biggest issue with our current team was lack of competition for places and players strolling around,knowing all too well that they are the automatic picks…

    all that breeds complacency and shit work ethic IMO…

  49. zeus

    Pedro

    When you say someone is back, I mean if they play the next game.

    Theo should be back, Rvp…………..I’ll believe it when I see it.

  50. David

    Yes Suga

    But how comforting is it to know that Song is upfront heading the ball tamlessly at the keeper time and time again?

    For me…theyve been watching Cesc way too much.

    KEEP

    IT

    SIMPLE!

    Pedro

    Im not so sure about Frimpong. I liked him…but he is not as strong as Song imo

  51. SUGA3

    David,

    every cog in the machine has its role and purpose – Chavs piss all over us over and over again, as they have what we are lacking: discipline…

    if every MF tries to play like Cesc, it results in the midfield consisting of three Cescs with two shit ones in it 😆

  52. David

    L 😀 L

    Yes Denilson would make a very shyte Cesc.

    I dont blame them for trying though…but after we’ve gone ahead by a couple goals.

    Still not convinced by Squill and Kosck and I think our last game showed that we really need an out and out striker.

    We cant really on our midfield to keep scoring goals all season.

    And no HRP is not the answer.

  53. SUGA3

    dare I say, Arshavin needs to play where he likes it the best?

    —————–Szczesny——————-
    –Ebowie—–SS———–LK——–Clichy–
    ————-Song (STAY! SIT!)————–
    ———-Cesc—————–JET———-
    ———————AA———————
    ——-Chamakh—————Vela———–

    Arshavin would benefit from playing in more central role, behind the wide strikers, unleashing his blasts every now and then IMO…

  54. Pedro

    David, black guys can bulk up in about 2 minutes… strength wont be a problem. Pace however… well, you can’t sort that out in the gym.

    Frimmers has that by the bucket load… he’s not the finished article by a long way… but I think he’ll come good, providing this injury hasn’t fucked him already.

  55. SUGA3

    I say we should rest him, there are bigger fish to fry than Brum 😉

    Vela could be quite useful against this lot with Chamakh’s and AA’s link up play abilities – Vela is making good runs, but does not really get the service when he wants it…

    anyway, what a bench:

    Al/Fabianski, Gibbs, Denilson, HRP, Theo, Nasri, TR7…

  56. Gooby

    thanks lads!

    Hope we trash them, and hope walcott gets a few minutes to see what he looks like live with all this pace

  57. David

    Honestly

    I thought Johnson played like shyte.

    I couldnt figure out who was more embarrassing.

    A.young or A.Johnson…especially on their dead ball delivery?

    Yeah Pedro

    Can never discount a player so young and with bucket loads of pace regardless of how they play (see Clichy)
    I would still love us to just say…

    Fuck it.

    30m on Schweinsteiger and we still make a 26million profit.

  58. JJ

    HRP? I’m, lost.

    Suga – I like the line up but would put JET up front instead of Vela and put Nasri where JET was.

    I also think Gibbs is better than Clichy atm.

    Maybe we should get one of this invisible electric fences so that Song gets zapped every time he ventures too far upfield…

  59. JJ

    Pedro – I think Frimpong was already looking better than Denilson and Song. Good ‘through-ball’ passer and a very clean tackler. He already has a good build. Just needed to work on the stamina required for 90 minutes with the big boys week in week out.

  60. JJ

    Oh, that’s funny! Thanks David. I doubt any of those players coming back from injury will start… except for possible Cesc.