Arsenal punish 10-Man City with powerful display. Review and Ratings

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Arsenal took full advantage of a Boyata’s early red card with a superb 3-0 win away from home at the Eastlands.

There are those who will say playing ten men is easy, I have to disagree. Firstly I think you face a different pressure and more often than not, you find it galvanises the opposition to give 10% extra.

Geoff called for Arsenal to win ugly and for the first 60 minutes, you’d have to say his wish was answered. We were dominated by City 55% – 45%. We made sloppy defensive errors all over the pitch and there was a serious lack of discipline considering the importance of a win against a top 4 team would represent.

As with all good match reports, lets take this from the start.

In the first minute JD allowed Tevez to get inside him on the touchline, the Argentinian slipped a ball across the box, Silva flicked across goal where Fabianski was on hand to make a superb one handed save.

Up the other end, Cesc stamped his mark on the game slipping Arshavin in, wrongly adjudged offside. Moments later he replicated the same pass feeding Chamakh who reached the ball first only to be chopped down when he touched inside towards goal. I’m not sure too many Arsenal fans were confident of a red card after 5 minutes,  but Clattenburg was in no doubt… OFF!

It didn’t take Denilson long to pick up a booking with a slightly reckless challenge on Tevez. To my mind he had to make that tackle, the last thing you want is that monster tearing away on a counter attack. Aggressive tackling was happening all over the park. De Jong muched Cesc, Cesc returned the favour, Song clipped a City player… I wasn’t expecting the game to finish with 11 Arsenal players on the pitch. This felt like Arsenal of old!

Sagna whipped in an inch perfect cross only for JD to head over unchallenged for our first chance.

Not long after, Nasri picked up the ball on the edge of the box, he stopped then made up his mind to play a one two with Arshavin, his run wasn’t tracked by Barry, the Frenchman curled it inside Joe Hart’s near post! A stunning goal by one of the Premierships star performers this year.

The first half didn’t all go our way, Johann Djourrou was having a torrid time in defence getting himself turned inside out by Micah Richards and Tevez. Luckily Arshavin was on hand for the Tevez slip to clear up, that boy loves defending…

Song’s passing was incredibly bad and it was saddening to see that his imaginary friend had returned and he keener than ever to get ball time. He picked up a yellow card along with Cesc.

As the half drew to a close, Cesc picked up the ball in the area, Kompany stuck out a leg and down went the Spaniard for the penalty. I don’t know why, but despite Cesc scoring  all of his last 5 penalties, I didn’t feel confident. He hit it hard at the perfect height for Joe Hart to smother. It was a great save, not an amazing penalty though.

The second half nearly opened with a goal  but neither Cesc or Nasri wanted to pull the trigger.

Down the other end, Silva made the most of a loose ball outwide striking a cross goal shot that Fabianski did superbly well to guide past the post.

What’s that? A goalkeeper making the saves you don’t expect them to make? This was novel!

Adebayor took his opportunity to show us what £24million buys you these days… He managed to find himself offside (shocking) when he shouldn’t and even then he couldn’t find the net with Fabianski denying him with an incredible save.

Arshavin picked out Nasri from outwide with a floated cross field ball, the Frenchman cut it back to Cesc who slipped Chamakh in, City managed to disrupt the ball into the path of Alex Song who toe poked it first time into the far top corner! A ripping strike and a superb finish from the man who is determined not to be remembered as a holding midfielder.

Arsenal had caught wind that City had better possession stats and after the second goal decided to play keep ball for the rest of the game. City began to tire and just as the game was petering out, Nasri did well to keep the ball in play, he laid the ball into the path of Nik Bendtner who announced himself back in the Arsenal team with a cheeky finish past Joe Hart.

The final whistle blew up and Arsenal had taken three deserved points from the most expensively assembled team in the world. We fought hard, found our discipline and took our chances in what could be dubbed the first ugly win of the year. Last time we down to ten men, we were playing a bottom 3 team (Liverpool) and could only manage a draw.

There were some areas for concern. Despite Song scoring a superb goal, his overall game was very slack. He made unnecessary fouls and his passing was a little too Hollywood for me. He needs to rediscover the basics and work his game up from there. Johann Djourou had a shocking game in my opinion. His finishing up top was bad but in defence he was turned inside out on at least 3 occasions. That’s not good enough at this level and on another day we could have been severely punished. Arshavin seemed off the pace for large parts of the game today, but once again, he popped up with an assist… and he even tracked back!

On the plus side I thought Denilson played well. His passing was in the main pretty crisp, he was aggressive and he stood his ground well. Fabianski was excellent, the confidence is slowly ebbing back and he made three game changing saves. Exactly what I expect from an Arsenal goalkeeper. Nasri is growing into the player we’d all hoped and he stamped his mark on another match with a MoM performance. Cesc played to his normal high standards and Nik B scored.

In other more statistical news, we’ve picked up 7 points in away games we didn’t pick any points up in last year and we’re sitting very pretty at the top of the joint second place crowd.

A great day for Arsenal… next up, Newcastle!

Player Ratings (Spreadsheet document):

Fabianski: Made two top class saves when called upon. His kicks are enormous and he marshalled his box without any jitters. 8

Clichy: I don’t have the utmost confidence in him this year, I thought he should have done better on a few occasions and it seems his confidence is so low he doesn’t really involve himself going forward. 6

Sagna: A top game from our right back. He defended well and put in a couple of top class crosses. 7

Squillaci: A quiet game from the Frenchman. Wenger talks him up as a leader, I don’t really see that, I hardly notice him on the pitch and our backline looks as nervous as ever. 6

JD: Not his best game, he’s not very mobile which City took full advantage of today. He was good aerially though and obviously he’s strong. 5

Song: His passing was wild in the first half and his silly tackles don’t show any sign of abating. Another yellow card as well. I’m unsure whether he lacks discipline or he’s being told to get forward, either way, I’m not comfortable with it. I don’t think he’s got the attacking instinct to merit a confusing formation. On the positive side, his game improved drastically in the second half and he banged in a peach of a goal. He made the most passes for us yesterday with 82! 6.5

Cesc: The master puppeteer pulled all the right strings today but missed a penalty. He is so dangerous on and off the ball and he has those tattoo’s which seem to have given him an nasty edge, even in the after match interviews! 8.5

Denilson: Put in a solid performance today with some classy passing, some crunching tackles and some intelligent play. I personally think there is a great footballer waiting to break out. If we can see more performances like yesterdays, I’d happily see him in the side. He made the 2nd most passes yesterday and certainly played a deeper role than Song. 7

Nasri: Really showed up today, wanted the ball, worked his socks off and scored a fantastic goal. He’s blossoming this season and I’m excited to see where we end up with him. He pops up all over the pitch if which makes him a hugely dangerous player. 9

Arshavin: Terrible in the first half, he looks unfit and like he’s clearly struggling with some aspects of his game. However, you pay £15million for a player and they produce for you. He managed another assist today which opened the game up. 15 starts, 5 goals, 7assists. 6.5

Chamakh: We really can’t complain that we’ve missed Robin this season. This guy has all the right ingredients to keep us competitive up top. He’s strong, deceptively fast and he has a knack for getting fouled in all the right places. 7.5


Rosicky: Didn’t put a foot wrong really. Still fit and its nearly November! 6

Bendtner: Glad we have another feather in our attacking cap. One that can come on a slot home with his first chance. That’s 50 career goals at 22. 6.5

Theo: Didn’t really have too much of the ball. 6

Geoff is on a blog holiday this week, so you’ve got my ramblings all week!

See you in the comments and maybe on twitter @Arsenal_Legrove !

440 Responses to “Arsenal punish 10-Man City with powerful display. Review and Ratings”

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  1. RayGooner

    This is the Mini-League of only meetings between Arsenal, Man United & Chelsea in all competitions over the last 15 seasons, starting with the 1996/1997 season when Wenger took over at Arsenal…

    Arsenal 84 31 23 30 109-117 117
    Man Utd 83 28 28 27 104-102 112
    Chelsea 83 26 29 28 115-109 107

    Chelsea & United have been very close through this period but Arsenal had a big upper-hand over both Chelsea & United in the first 10 seasons, then in the last 5 seasons we all know what’s happened…

    Let’s just hope Arsenal are now on their way to start a new upper-hand on the other ones, starting with beating United at Old Trafford…

  2. charybdis1966

    Not bad MasterP – I thought I was lined up to see us agains tthe bar codes at home on Nov 7, but I’ve double booked and I’ll have to leave at half time.
    Zut alors(especially for Jag.)


  3. Master P

    All good my friend, feeling a little more optimistic after yesterdays game, hope I dont get brought down to earth with a bump anytime soon!

  4. DaleDaGooner

    I am not giving you shit, to each his own, i feel the banging on some players on this site, Song is one of those who gets regular stick from most on here, me being one of them, but i call it like i see it, not like i feel.

  5. eduardo

    lol West ham till I die…. You do realise you are an Iron, dont you? I have done some work for your club and I can tell you that
    a: They dont pay on time
    b: shit.hole

  6. SA Gooner

    I haven’t read all the comments so apologies if this has already come up but I not only do I disagree with your rating on Song, Pedro but the link that you yourself have provided disproves your argument about song’s passing. As you rightly pointed out he completed more passes than anyone else (78) but crucially, he only misplaced 4! 4 passes… thats a completion rate of 95% Come On!!!

    I too see that he seems to be playing a different sort of role this season and sometimes I would prefer to see him sit a bit deeper, but he’s clearly only doing it on Wenger’s instrutions, otherwise he would be forced out of the team… So let’s cut the man a break!!!

  7. gib

    Criticising Pedro for being biased is ridiculous; of course he’s biased, we all are. Our long held views affect how we interpret new information we’re given. Even if we see something that contradicts our views it is easier for us to dismiss that than to change our opinions. It’s just how people work.

    It’s also why anybody who claims to be “a realist” or “objective” about things like this is kidding themselves.

  8. goonermichael

    A minute later came the game’s first talking point. Dedryck Boyata brought down Marouane Chamakh and, despite it not being a clear goal scoring opportunity, referee Mark Clattenburg produced a red card for the youngster. Clattenburg was probably going to send him off anyway, but the situation wasn’t helped by Cesc Fabregas, who disgraced himself by waving an imaginary card to get the City man sent off.

    From Kush’s link

    How biased and delude are they?
    In the 40th minute, Vincent Kompany seemed to get to the ball ahead of Fabregas but the Spaniard went to ground and Clattenburg awarded the visitors a penalty. To a chorus of boos, Fabregas dusted himself off and took the spot kick himself, only to see it brilliantly saved by England’s number one keeper Joe Hart. Kompany had a chance to level the scores a minute later but headed over from a corner.

  9. ZARgooner

    Is it just me or are our players becoming a little “tougher”…. Denilson looks stockier… Jack Wilshere not shy of a tackle… Cesc with his tattoo is bad ass… And after Nasri ate all the pies…

  10. Pedro

    SA, I’ve said many times before that those chalkboard stats aren’t very accurate once you have a rummage through them.

  11. afrogoon

    Pedro so let me get something straight……you had to ask about dale’s lineage before saying he was ‘biased’ towards Song because he shares ‘African ancestry’ with him??load of bollox…….it is stupid to assume all Africans are one or give a backing to a said player because he is one of their ‘own’ do realise there are various countries that make up the continent of Africa just as in Europe right??….Christ….it is as stupid as saying i support Hleb because i’ve got European heritage…..I assume you support Theo when he plays like he ‘hasn’t got a football brain’ because you are English right??Besides white,black,red,whatever we all one big family because of our love for The Arse…..Is it not possible for some people to back certain players because they see certain qualities in them that others might not see and hope those qualities become more evident over time??

  12. wardo

    Pedro – why do you call it chalkboard stats ?? is that just a term or reference to the people that produce the stats.

    goonermichael…..what really p’s me off about the last man thing is that defenders were deliberately fouling players when through on goal to their advantage so, the FA set a new rule saying, if you are the last man and foul a player through on goal, its a straight red. Its not fcuking hard to understand is it ?? Chamakh might not have scored….if the city player did not make a stupid challenge when he was not favourite to win the ball we might have found out…….straight red imo.

    Another point Mancini does not understand is that, if that situation did happen against Newcastle and did not go for city a week or so ago, then that was a mistake !!! you dont carry that mistake into every game and change the whole rule based on one error……

  13. wardo

    afrogoon – you’ll only support dalethegunner because ……….. :d only kidding mate – just a joke.

    To be fair, i think dale accused Pedro of hating song no matter what he does right (didn’t want to use the word prejudice)…..and as you say “is it not possible for some people to back certain players because they see certain qualities”……Pedro just doesn’t back song because he sees certain weaknesses from previous games

    each to their own mate

  14. DeiseGooner

    i agree re the chalkboard stats Pedro – they can be a little misleading – for instance – the cross theo attempted for Chamakh was overhit but because it ran out wide and Clichy picked it up = that counted as a successful pass – when it was really an unsuccessful cross – thats kind of a big difference – no?

    but the stats are quite good to give an idea of the involvement of a player – but you really do need to make the judgment based on watchin the game itself

  15. afrogoon

    wardo……fair enough……it’s okay to say you don’t rate him….just as there are players i don’t rate but it is a little silly to assume someone supports or backs a certain player because of their nationality……besides Africa is not a nation….do you think all Ghanaians support Essien??…Cameroon and Nigeria are very different countries……matter of fact one is francophone, the other anglophone……them two don’t get along so much..if we all gave a fcuk about where players were from we would not be starving for resumption of local hostilities during interlull now would we……

  16. afrogoon

    Personally my allegiances lie with The Arsenal……..i could give two flying fcuks where a player comes from so far as they bring glory to the team……….My frustration with some gooners on here proclaiming everyday how some of our players will never make it……i do share similar sentiments about certain players but banging on it everyday makes it look like you actually wish them to fail……..look at fabz…i was one of those that had given up on him but he seems to be coming on nicely now….i hope he continues his current good form but certain people were adamant and proclaiming everyday he is shit and will never amount to nothing…….if he had a bad game yesterday, there would have been no end to the abuse the bloke will suffer……….he has a couple of decent games and some of the folk are mute……praise him and they say it is only 3 games……i guess some people tend to see the glass half empty always……i can live with that.

    P.s. I know Pedro is not one of the constant bashers of Song……he also seems to favor a certain Brazilian whom i don’t rate at all but have seen improvements in his game and hope he comes on well.Is it because pedders has Brazilian heritage??…By the way if you do pedders, am coming over 2014 for the world cup….It’s gonna be one big jamboreeeee

  17. DaleDaGooner

    To be fair on Pedro, i didn’t mean he was biased based on race or nationality (apologies if anyone thought that was what i inferred) I have been on this blog a while to see Geoff and Pedro have a go at Song, and sometimes i agree with them, BUT, when he does well i rate him, saem with Cesc, why give Cesc 8.5 when he had a shitty game by his own standards, and then give Song 6.5? The man made a huge difference, he scored and was not afraid to attack, where guys like Chamakh, Cesc, Sagna failed to score in open chances. We all love Cesc, and we tend to give him a pass even when he is piss poor, my opinion is either we rate Cesc a 6.5 as well for his efforts or we rate Song 8.5, i think there performance was comparable (i know,…blasphemy!) Cescy gave the ball away, and made his usual intelligent passes and space creation, he missed a peno that could have seen us secure the game early on, where Song scored his opportunity to move us along. Cesc made rash decisions in tackling (that could have seen him gotten injured as well) so did Song, they both came back in the second half to tidy it up (as well as Denilson) and we won. Lets cut him some slack once in a while. Pedro, i am not backing SONG cause he’s African, I back him cause he played well, let’s call a spade a spade, and judge accurately, not with yesterdays judgement.

  18. leon

    next game cc and i dont thinknewcastle is team you look past there seem to very powerful team and are very good at set plays i think the likes of vela jet landsbury ect need a run out i suspect risicky might start in this game as well.not sure who willplay in cb position i think dj and amybe nordviet

    eboue nordviet dj gbbs
    risicky delinson landsbury

    jet vela bretna

  19. DaleDaGooner

    I’d still take a less than million pound Song to a 30 something million Yaya Toure (not that he isn’t quality, but we all clamored for him, is he better than Song, really?)

  20. kneelbeforewenger

    Song scored a goal, Completed the most passes, had the highest number of completed interceptions and tackles. and yet he is given 6.5, while cesc was poor by his standards, missed a penalty, and didn’t score or assist, yet, he was given 8.5.

    I see where Dale’s coming from

  21. leon

    dale toure is better than song right now he more complete player however as you said he 30+ song is only 22 and still learning and improving and will only get better plus we have other players who do job there as well delinson diaby ramsey ect

  22. a greyman

    Checkout guardian chalkboard – song’s “wild passing” 82 complete only 4 misplaced – bit of a blind spot there I think………

  23. zeus

    The guy that does Carlos Vela news must think he hitch his cart to the wrong horse. (Unless he is just a Vela fan and not an Arsenal one)

  24. DaleDaGooner

    Wenger on Rooney’s contract:

    If he had left, do you think it would only have been for another English club?

    No, I think he might have moved anywhere in the world. Surely they would have been more open to a foreign club coming in for him than an English one – because the only domestic rival who could afford to buy him was their neighbour.

    Do you think that he had to leave, considering the public opinion about his problems outside of football?

    No, because people are focused on what happens on the field. What happens in a player’s private life only feeds the scandal pages of the newspapers.

    If you are 12 years of age, you only look at his performances on the pitch. You like him because he is able to do things you cannot do – and you want to copy him. You don’t care about how he is living off the pitch.

    Can he change the opinion of United fans?

    Trust me: in this job, the only thing which changes everything is your performance on the pitch.

    You could be the nicest, most elegant and polite guy in the world off the pitch – but if you are bad on it, everybody is going to hate you.

    You can be unpleasant off the pitch, but if you are an extraordinary player, people will forgive you anything. It may not be fair, but it is the reality. People pay to see special things, and if you manage to give it to them, they enjoy it.

    Would you have liked to sign him for Arsenal?

    We never thought about it because we have enough people able to play up front. Moreover, if Manchester United are not able to pay his contract, Arsenal cannot even think about it.

    So it means that he will keep scoring against you as he did in the past?

    No, it doesn’t mean he will keep annoying us – it just means that he will keep trying to annoy us. We will try to prevent him.

    He likes to score against Arsenal.

    Yes. He is world class player.

  25. Kushagra India

    Brilliant read Zeus
    Jags please give it a look I know it will be hard for you but you should give it a go.

  26. Kushagra India

    Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola has claimed that rival Jose Mourinho is arguably the best coach in the world, and that Real Madrid have “a great team”.

    The Blaugrana tactician was answering questions today regarding his side’s Copa del Rey match on Tuesday evening versus AS Ceuta when he was asked his opinion of los Blancos’ boss, and the team he is creating.

    Guardiola remarked: “He is probably the best coach in the world. It is often difficult to decide in these cases who is the best, but his career in several countries is immaculate. Real Madrid have a great team, and I knew that the league this season would be competitive from the very first game. We hope to keep up.”

  27. Jaguar AKB

    I hope Diaby plays against Newcastle; he would make a big difference with a slightly weakened team. Irrespective, I trust Wenger to get it right.

  28. DaleDaGooner

    Is this what Cesc was referring to by saying we would have still whooped City if they were 15 men versus 11 of us?

  29. Confidentgoner

    Our major weakness in Defence is Clichy. The scenario repeats time and time again. Here’s how it works;

    Clichy bombs aimlessly forward and does a one two with Arsh and Nasir.

    We get cracking and somehow the ball comes back to Clichy who then loses possession.

    The space in our left side is now exploited by opponents.

    I think he can remedy this, but I prefer Gibbs in there now.

  30. Jaguar reloaded

    I predicted it before.We played without that piece of s*** Diaby,and we won it.Even Wenger has learnt it.

  31. choy

    Confidentgoner ..

    I concur.. people blame Arsh too easily for not covering Clichy but it’s Clichy who goes AWOL and puts even the CB’s under pressure, not to mention he wanders aimlessly upfront with little to no end product!

  32. SUGA3

    thing with Clichy is that he bombs forward, but there is little or no end product – would love to see a stat on his cross success ratio, i.e. not necessarily goals, but one showing where the good guys in the middle could do something useful with the ball…

    Clichy could do with someone like Traore in front of him on the left, but then again, the latter is no wide forward but a wide left MF at a bit of stretch, so it is pretty much a non starter in our current system…

  33. Jaguar AKB

    As an true Arsenal fan I give 100% to the team at every match. I fully believe in what AW has done for the club.

  34. choy

    Compared to Clichy, Sagna is more confident going forward and defends better.

    Not to mention Sagna’s crossing is miles better and its not like Sagna crosses like Alves!

  35. Gooby

    nah it’s the same one doing this to make fun of the AKBs

    he changes name on unculturessomething to make fun of them too

  36. Confidentgoner


    Am typing and wandering why the boss still has not addressed this obvious weakness? I believe he can do this effectively by benching Clichy and let Gibbs plunge in.

    When Verm and RVP comes back, I will like to see this team


    Sagna Verm Sqid Gibbs

    Song Wilshire


    Nasir Chamkh/Bendt VP

    Bench: Rosicky, Arsh, Eboue, Kosiceny, Theo, Daiby

    Will want to see the front 3 rotate a bit

  37. Keyser

    Confidentgoner – It’s probably because it’s obvious, he knows what Arshavin offers the team and what he doesn’t, it’s far too easy to blame Clichy for everything.

    Arshavin covered once for Clichy on Sunday and people were astounded, but most wingers do that several times a game, thrusting Gibbs isn’t going to improve that, though if Gibbs did feel adventurous and bomb forward he might have more of an attacking threat.

    Watch the game and the one time Clichy got in line with the 6 yard box down the left he whipped in a great cross that Hart had to punch clear. Thing is you just can’t get that far down the touchline if you know there’s going to be no cover down behind you.

    Other than very early in the game, Clichy was solid and had a good game, even Djourou who’s been singled out you can put down to how poor our ball retention was in midfield.

    Even a man up in midfield we were playing silly dangerous passes that were leaving us open to their pace on the counter attack.

  38. choy


    I do think teams attack our left side though, more often then not.

    Clichy was left wanting a few times on sunday.

  39. SUGA3

    what I really like about yesterday’s performance was that we were able to go with a direct break for the third goal – yes, they were down to 10 men and chasing the game, but it was refreshing to see that we can reach the goal with just two passes…

  40. Pedro

    Sorry, message for Afrogoon… it’s not stupid to suggest that Dale’s Nigerian lineage would make him prone to defending Song.

    I have everyone’s IP address… it’s very rare someone from Africa slates another African!

  41. SUGA3


    to be fair, I think we can finish second, as long as we can cut out the lazy performances and complacency, keep the key players fit and all that…

    unless a distater strikes, Chavs are still going to walk it, I’m afraid…

    second and a cup and I am laughing!

  42. choy

    The third goal was pretty lucky… Fabianski just booted it and found nasri.

    Yep the speed from one end to the other was fantastic though!

    Chavs? They’ve had pretty easy games.. lets see how they do with 2 away games at Blackburn and Pool.

  43. Keyser

    Choy – We started nervously as a team and even a man-up we struggled to take control in midfield that wasn’t down to our defence or Clichy in particular.

    What do you mean by left wanting ? Clichy can handle most players one-on-one, you just can’t expect him to do it for whole games though, it’s like people saying Fabianski didn’t have a good game because he didn’t have much to do, that’s exactly the way it should be.

    Second half, at times Arshavin moved to the middle, Chamakh made sure he picked up the full back and covered the left side, into the second half, Micah Richards was left to run free down the left at our defence, Nasri switched to that side and then nothing.

  44. Jaguar

    We will win the Carling Cup unless Wenger decides otherwise.We will finish second in the league,if Wenger ensures that the wanker Diaby doesnt play against any half decent team.

  45. zeus


    Absolute rubbish. We’ve always been at worst a top 4 side and that will continue. Whether the injury fairy will fuck off for a bit will determine or final position in this top 4.

  46. G STAR


    Carling Cup – Winners
    FA Cup – Semi Final
    Premier League – 2
    Champions League – Final

  47. DaleDaGooner

    Pedro, and it is not so rare that some Africans think that Adebayor is a cunt, or that my lineage aside, i rate Song as much as i rate Mikel Obi…just a thought

  48. Gooby

    i wish lansbury starts the game vs the barcodes alognside denilson to give song a rest.
    i think cesc should start as he needs game as well as bendy, theo and Gibbs.
    i am not sure about the left side, vela rosicky JET or nasri??? arshavin needs a rest…

    well i think i will go like this


    imo it’s a good side mixing youth with experience and it has loads of creative players
    i want to see more of lansbury and hope JET and easmond come off the bench

  49. Pedro

    No Dale, I’m suggesting that the people who defend Song with the most venom generally reside in Africa or have some affiliation with the continent.

    Not totally… but there is definitely a pattern.

  50. alex

    More like this

    Eboue Djourou Kozzer Gibbs
    Lansbury Denilson Rosicky
    Walcott Bendtner Vela/JET

    Squillaci will get a rest, Denilson DM, Rosicky captain. Theo and Bendy need more matches and Vela or JET.

  51. Gooby

    mmm thanks choy i didn’t know

    so i guess i’d start nasri instead.

    or rosicky play maker and vela on the left.
    but i reckon that diaby may play, is he injured?

  52. Gooby

    i think song is ok but he still scares the hell out of me vs the big teams.
    makelele is fucking slow and looks lazy ans always have been but compensate it with intelligence, vision, technique and clean tackling.

    song needs to watch some of his games and learn

  53. Robin's Choco Leg Special

    Good day to be a gooner today 😀 Great result yesterday and a professional, committed performance to go with it.

    Got to give the away fans a quick mention. Top notch once again. So buoyed by the display, Adebayor was a mere afterthought during proceedings.. We’ve forgot it, got over it and got 3 points. Ciao mate!

    Bit harsh on song and clichy’s ratings, just a bit. Djourou though is a worry, but it was his 16th prem start in 3 and a half years and coped well with city’s physical threat after initial panic stations. Squillaci is a strange one for some. He one you don’t notice too much, but in a good way. He has a surreal air of calm authority and never looks panicked. He wins the majority of physical battles and reads the flow of the game well, although pace in behind looks a concern. Starting to look a top drawer experienced head purchase by Arsene IMO.

    Cesc, Denilson and Song IMO were pivotal in central midfield in earning us the right to play. Crisp passing, gave as good as they got, closed down the space, made use of it when with the ball…3 of our longer serving players who gave it for the shirt. Was and still am over the moon after that win. 10 men or not we went there and showed that the arsenal are still here and should be feared. Andy Gray and all the other mugs who had us down as getting a hiding all backed down with medicore “City were brave” , “unlucky”, “were in it until the 2nd” etc.. Giving us no credit whatsoever. What we did get was a bit of credit for showing some steel from those that predicted right, but that was the long and short of it, nothing more nothing less.. We showed it against a decent side in one game and Cesc summed it up pretty much in the post match interview.. Next Newcastle!!!!

    Fabianski had a top game and deserves to stay no.1. Great saves at match defining moments and other than the rush of blood coming out to adebayor, when he headed over from 7 yards, looked solid, solid as a rock. Long may it continue. But, everyone here knows it’s 1 fuck up away from being the flapihandski show again. But, right now, the thrill is still ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-hot!

    Nasriis on fire at the moment and has really stepped his game up a gear. He’s more in the game, more clinical, more decisive, fitter, hungrier and that only can benefit us, france and most of all himself. On the road to becoming a top, top player and firm fan favourite.
    Also, Chamackh (Best Signing & Bargain Buy of the summer nominee) has led the line superbly up until now. It’s nice to have bendtner back to ease the work load and give us more attacking options. Van Persie certainly has a battle on his hands for sure, when/if ever fit.

    Sagna made a good return to form after injury and after second season syndrome looks to be getting back to the player we first bought. Consistent is what best describes him, rarely has a ‘mare. Crossing is also getting better and with eboue we have 2 quality right full backs at our disposal, built for this teams style of play.

    Clichy is a constant worry and isn’t known as “calamity” Clichy around my household for no reason. To be fair Arshavin doesn’t help on most occasions and when you’re low on confidence and looking for form the last thing you want to do is keeping running back towards your goal and into your penalty area in 2v1 situations. Lost a little bit of belief going forward too I feel due to that and tbh getting into his crossing is a whole other story.
    Gibbs isn’t far away and perhaps a re shuffle on the left with gibbs and rosicky/nasri starting in more prem games might give the duo a kick up the backside they both need.
    Suprisingly, Clichy was very good yesterday, but a rest 😉 wouldn’t do him or us any harm. Same goes for Arshavin, although other than the lay off for nasri was, again, disinterested/unfit/lazy/tired… Can’t argue with the stats (5 goals and seven assists) on paper, but the russians performances are basically, starting to get on my tits!

    Bendtner (HRP) back with a goal and theo now always looks a genuine threat. 2 players i’m hoping can really kick on this season. And as Pedro said, It’s November and Rosicky still playing 😆 happy Days!


    Fabianski 8

    Sagna 7
    Djourou 6
    Sqiullaci 7
    Clichy 7

    Denilson 7
    Song 8
    **Fabregas 8

    Nasri 9
    ***Chamackh 7
    *Arshavin 6

    Subs: *Rosicky 6, **Walcott 6, ***Bendtner 7

    Team V Newcastle


    Eboue Koscielny Djourou Gibbs

    Lansbury Denilson Rosicky(c)

    Walcott Bendtner Emmanuel-Thomas

    Bench: Fabianski/Shea, Eastmond/Sagna, Cruise, Song, Aneke, Vela, Afobe

  54. jacob

    What a stupid thing to say… the people who defend Song reside in africa or have some affliation to the continent??? That’s every human being then isn’t it Einstein? What dumb, bigotted, crass, uninformed and totally undefendable thing to say! how the hell can you possibly know who is defending Song when you cannot see them… and if you know anything at all about Africa you’d know that there’s no reason for Nigerian or Ghanaian to defend a Camroonian. I’m sorry Pedro but the ignorance and stupidity of your comment beggars belief. If you don’t have an argument then say nothing. Freaking unbelievable… Now anyone who defends Wilshere is English… anyone who likes Chamakh is an Arab and only the French can rejoice in Nasri performances… where the hell do we go with this idiocy??? Is this really an Arsenal site???!!!

  55. Robin's Choco Leg Special

    Team V Newcastle


    Eboue Koscielny Djourou Gibbs

    Lansbury Denilson Rosicky(c)

    Walcott Bendtner Emmanuel-Thomas

    Bench: Shea, Nordviet, Cruise, Eastmond, Aneke, Vela, Afobe

  56. alex

    Think Nasri will get a rest aswell, won’t risk Diaby. Denilson likes scoring against the toon, lets hope he score another one of these


  57. A


    Eboue JD Koscielny Gibbs

    Lansbury Denilson Rosicky

    Theo Bendtner Vela.

    Fabianski, Clichy, Song, Cesc, Arshavin, Chamakh, JET

  58. Keyser

    Gooby – I wouldn’t want him to watch Makalele, he didn’t move, he never ventured upfield and his passing range or attacking ability wasn’t anywhere near as good as it needs to be in a team like we have.

    People look to Song and blame him for our defensive frailties because he plays in a defensive mannger, him and Denilson are pretty much the only ones though.

    It’s not Song or Denilson that need to change much, it’s the rest of the team, it’s like Rosicky, he can do all the link-up play, make runs into the box, venture forward keep the play flowing, but at the same time he’ll track back, put a tackle in and he’s a pretty good defender.

  59. Robin's Choco Leg Special

    think jet will start and vela will sit on the bench.. Boy’s red hot. Vela looks lost! Other than that and swapping cesc for nordviet, i have you spot on, A.

  60. Stu

    Evening, or whatever time this is… fucking superb result yesterday. Still havent seen Fabs early save from Silva though.

    Song is wrecking my head lately, always going forward carelessly. He may have scored a cracker but he wont always do that and eventually his forays forward will cost us. Stay back and just do your defensive job!

  61. Honest Bill


    He wouldn’t be doing it if it wasn’t his job. He’s supposed to join the attacks, and by all accounts he’s improving at it too. It doesn’t hurt to have nother goal threat, as long as someone else is covering the defense i don’t see why he shouldn’t go forward at all.

    As for whether we should adapt our system to become a little more defensive on occasions, well that’s a different debate

  62. Rohan

    To be honest, if Song’s going to be this attacking, I’d rather Denilson play instead of him and put someone like Diaby in there for some physicality if required against the more physical teams. A midfield of Cesc, Diaby and Denilson could work imo.

  63. Stu

    Its not an issue of cover for me though Bill. He is the clubs first choice defensive midfielder and he should stick to that. Also, adding numbers to attack isnt always the best thing. I would rather have an attacker adding to the numbers than a defensive player who suddenly sees himself as an attacker.

    For now he is our best ball winner in midfield, thus imo he should always remain behind the ball in case we do lose it and it needs winning back.

  64. Honest Bill


    Yeah but that’s exactly my point. He isn’t a defensive mid, we just all like to call him that, but he clearly isn’t as evidenced by his regular attacking. he’s a CM who rotates attacking with the other CMs

    Wenger seems to prefer players who can contribute to both sides of the game.

  65. Rohan

    The current system hasn’t really hurt us as yet. We’ve been saying for quite a while that it will, but it hasn’t really considering that we’ve also played both City and Chelsea away. I’ll reserve judgement for a while though.

  66. Stu

    Ok fair point about him being rotating with the others but imo he isnt as good as the others in attack so should leave it to them. I have just been so damn frustrated watching him go forward aimlessly this season and leaving so much space for the oppo to exploit.

    I was particularly disgusted with his goal in the CL, the flick. It was a stupid thing to do and he got extremely lucky. In a tight match that wont come off and we could pay dearly for it. He now considers himself an attacker imo and thats a dangerous thing because he is certainly better at defending, which he appears to have just forgotten about as of last.

  67. Keyser

    He hasn’t forgotten, that’s basically ridiculous, I honestly couldn’t care less if he goes and stands in the 18 yard box for the next game, either side of the pitch not bothered.

    The whole point of actually having team-mates and teams in general is that you work together, the idea we have one defensive midfielder who’s supposed to do everything defensively if bollocks.

    It’s like people spazzing out about Clichy or saying Arshavin doesn’t have to track back because he’s an attacker. Or wondering why Djourou finds it difficult to track Tevez when Silva’s got all the time in the world to play throughballs, or last week when someone or other was allowed to get in a pinpoint cross for Zigic.

    If Song runs upfield, then someone simply drops back, because for the past year and a bit, we’ve slaughtered Song or our defence because the front 5-6 can’t be asked to defend from the front.

    Fabregas missed a penalty, Song scored a great goal to finish the game off.

  68. Keyser

    I dunno if it’s a sign of things to come, there was an edge to us once we got going on Sunday, Clattenburg’s a twat, but the way Denilson, Fabregas and Song took their bookings stopping Citeh breaking high up the pitch was good.

    Teams do that to us all the time, the ref usually doesn’t book them for those sort of fouls until their 3rd or 4th one, hopefully Clattenburg went a bit mad because he felt he had to even it up and other refs won’t feel the same.

  69. Keyser

    Stu – Sorry maybe a bit too vociferous in that post, just don’t see why we expect players to be one-dimensional in their play and then blame them as individuals for what should be a team responsibility.

  70. steven

    Well said bill and further more our system in that reguard is fine its the left with clichy and aa23 and when you add jd in the center. not good

  71. jacob

    My tupenny worth on the Song issue is very, very simple. There hasn’t been a single player under Wenger at Arsenal who hasn’t had to expand and improve their game because that is basically what Wenger does… even the likes Adams and Bould had to expand what they did as players… Henry went from being a player dubbed the French Perry Groves by some fans to being a true World class player and Arsenal legend because he accepted the challenge of expanding his game and trying new things. Petit went from CB at Monaco to one of the most complete midfielders we have ever seen both for France and Arsenal.

    The thing to remember here is that Song is 22 y/o and so is Denilson. Song has never ever been a solely defensive player and to make him into what he isn’t is not either sensible nor ultimately the most productive course for him or us, what he is doing comes naturally and the only way he can improve and become better is continue to exapnd his game till he reaches his full potential… I personally think that Song will get to a point where everyone will just wonder what all the fuss was about. I just watched the First half of the match again and while Song was outstanding in the second half his First half performance was very strong too in a different way.

    The bottom line for me is that there’s never been a move that Wenger makes with his players that wins universal approval. I remember moans and groan about everyone from Pires to Lauren to Gilberto. Wiltord always got in the neck… and lately it’s been Clichy and Song and Diaby and whoever… As an Arsenal fan IMHO the time to worry is when the bloggers agree with Wenger. It ain’t the AKBs that worry me… its the BKBs (Bloggers know best) that scare me. Song even now is a very, very good player and the the thing that should actually make fans rejoice rather than moan is that he is still getting better… compare his development to Anderson’s… to appreciate how good Anderson is as a footballer just watch him when he was at Porto… and Fergie apparently tried to make him into a DM. Trying to force a person to do something that is against their nature very rarely pays off IMHO

  72. chozzer

    I wonder if le grove gets more hits with people checking if the new post has been auto-posted yet, than it would do if the new post had gone up?

  73. ardentgooner

    Imagine Google shutting down for an hour…. CHAOS…
    Thats how Le-grove is for us Pedro…Get the post on!!!! ;);)