Fabianski dropped / Benchmarking against the best / Justice time!

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I’m definitley not one for a conspiracy theories… Global warming is fact, there was no nonsense with those twin towers, the Americans definitely landed on the moon first and Fabianski certainly has a groin injury that may keep him out of the game with Stoke tomorrow…

Or does he?

Now, despite all the things Wenger has been doing wrong lately, I still like to think we see eye to eye on a few things. I’ve been telling the world for weeks that Fabianski is not a good goalkeeper and despite all the marvelous shot stopping he’s been doing, from a technical point of view, he’s been failing.

A goalkeepers job is at the maximum, only 20% shot stopping (Guide to Goalkeeping 2010). Most keepers can shot stop, unless you purchase them from a crap Spanish second division. You don’t generally get spotted unless you can make spectacular saves… but that’s not what pushes you onto a higher level.

Things that make a top class goalkeeper for me and Arsene are great distribution, the ability to claim crosses from set pieces and open play, communication and command of the area.

If the keeper isn’t confident and strong. The defence will wobble.

Now, I know people who don’t see goalkeeping in the same way me and Wenger do will naively tell you Fabianski has been amazing. Fact is, he hasn’t been. His kicking has been atrocious, you rarely see him shouting at his defence and it’s not unusual to see him bound out of his area and totally miss a cross. That puts everyone on edge and when you’ve got a defence like ours (more skitty than Amy Winhouse on day 3 of cold turkey), the last thing you need Flappy the seagull collecting balls in the box.

Wenger took him out of the first team line up, yet didn’t take him out of the squad against United. Very odd considering the severity of a groin injury. This weekend, it has been suggested Chesney will again take his place between the sticks. Is it a coincidence that a keeper who just showed a master class in penalty area dominance is going to get another chance to have a go against long ball specialists Stoke?

I think not…

Chesney shouts at his defence, he oozes the arrogance and self-confidence of Jens, he closes down players like Peter Schmeichel and he doesn’t facilitate spectacular goals like the other two. For me, he has it all… bar experience.

So please, if he has a great game tomorrow, don’t shed a tear for Fabianski, he’ll still get paid. This is the era of Chesney and hopefully it’s going to be a long and fruitful one.

In other news, Wenger said that Barcelona are the bench mark. Something Geoff and I said last season to great derision. If that’s the case, maybe Wenger will note that they have a great defence and a team that all work for each other. Samir Nasri flagged the same point in PHW’s paper

“We need to put our suits of lights away in the cupboard at times. We have to get down to working hard for the good of the team.

Damn straight Sammy. Flashy tricks and flicks are only acceptable if you’re spanking teams. Sometimes we need to think about other aspects of our game, you know, the boring bits. We need to become less shallow and dig in. Football is about winning, it’s not just about the spectacle and press plaudits.

Barca didn’t get where they are today by accident. Guardiola made Messi the best player in the world by teaching him how to be great off the ball. If we want to get to that level, Wenger needs to up his game in the transfer market and the players need to up their game in the mental department. If that happens, Madrid in the Champions League might not be such a daunting prospect.

It’s a massive game against Stoke this weekend. If we smash them, we’ll go back top and hopefully Chelsea will do the business against United and last weeks result won’t look so bad.

We know what to expect from Stoke, loads of long throws into the box, long balls all day and strong arm (and foot) tactics. The way you deal with tough guys in Sunday league is to give as good as you get. I don’t have any worries about the physical side tomorrow. The team just needs to make sure they all stand up for each other. We need to trust in our game,  be more direct and open them up with the same relish most of us attack a Terry’s christmas orange.

Tomorrow Grovers, we enact poetic justice for Rambo… again.

I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments… come join, it’s Christmas (Denilson to Werder) and it’s joke Friday!

TAXI! First joke... done.

P.S. Don’t focus too much energy on turd of the year Ryan Shawcross tomorrow? Yeah right… tear him a new one!

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846 Responses to “Fabianski dropped / Benchmarking against the best / Justice time!”

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  1. patthegooner

    Cesc just presented an award on the British Military Awards

    Given that he is Spanish, that is a bloody good effort by him to give up his time to do that.

    Well played Cesc.

  2. sixx pac

    I actually like the prospect of us being premier league bad boys. If only the number of cards received actually told the true story 🙄

  3. incesc

    despite the vitriol over cesc wanting to play for his home team and the best team in the world, cesc is a top guy.

    we are lucky to have him as captain

  4. Keyser

    Fabregas used to be a proper spiky git as a younger player, I think the Captain’s armband has made me think about his responsibiliries, but you could see him talking to Ferdinand after he done Sagna, if only the team had seen it properly.

  5. Marko

    Wouldn’t mind Gameiro at all instead of Bendtner, he’s fast and can play on the shoulder and thats something we lack

  6. Samir

    Gallas was injured aswell in that Barca game remember!

    I think Vermy and Kos will deal brilliantly with Pedro,Villa and Messi…All are small and weak…Unlike Ibrahimovic…Who destroyed us and made the defence panic!!

  7. OPG

    That vid of Diaby vs Barcelona sums him up get’s the ball and gives it away.
    Looks like we could be offloading some players in January when we should have got rid of them in the summer, maybe with spaces open now we’ll get a proper DM brute that will do his job?
    It would come in helpful against Barca otherwise I can us struggling with their movement even Vermaelen’s positioning was suspect against them last season, I wonder if they’ll strengthen in January themselves.

    Stoke at home shouldn’t be tough they are poor away from home but expect a tough game especially with the snow and close to minus temperatures.
    Time to enjoy Friday night and forget about football for now.

  8. Samir

    OH YE Silvestre against Messi…God…And at the time I thought we had a slight chance…What was I thinking :L
    Bloody hell Wenger is useless! Silvestre?!?!?! :S Laughing stock!

  9. incesc

    cant really blame anyone but wenger for the barcelona games.

    you dont take a unch of average kids to the nou camp and expect to win.

    take the best team your money can buy…

  10. Kwik Fit

    Incesc the whole fucking thing is corrupt! russia Mr ambrov! Chelsea Componhen! Back handers every fuckin where !Alex fuckin fergus knows that manu that the big back hander!

  11. incesc

    shes good mate


    how come you only bless us with your crazyness on a friday night?

    we need to fight the good fight all week mate!

  12. Gooneroo

    Who’s hosting the first leg between us and the Spanish scum???

    Bring in Hazard and Chamakh will score 20 goals/season.

  13. Kwik Fit

    NO I SHOULD NOT SAY FUCK OFF BECAUSE THE FIBRATIONS CAME TODAYhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qjc0WjTWGhM&feature=related

  14. Kwik Fit

    Headed to london on the 27 have 4 tickets only need 2 and they are beside the directors box i just wish we could fucking beat one of the top three!

  15. Rohan

    hahahahahahahah, Kwik Fit is Santa! Why else would anyone come from the North Pole around Christmas..

    Santa’s a gooner..hence he wears the red and white. BOOM!

  16. incesc


    le grove is our religion, arsenal is our God!

    im gonna hit the sack

    but before i go, we are due a win vs chelsea after we smash the pulis and his shitty baseball cap!

  17. SUGA3


    so, you want us to sell two midfielders and buy two forward players (Hazard would play RWF in our current system), making the team even more unbalanced in the process? what about a DM?

    I’d say add Matuidi or Inler to that list and I’m happy 😉

  18. SUGA3


    so, the refs don’t treat players equally…

    great fucking discovey, what next?

    ‘Pig’s arse is pork’ 😆

    I have been saying that for quite a bit – since the board shafted Dein with all his FA connections, we can’t count on any favours from the refs – manager’s job in such situation is to assemble a team capable of overcoming this ‘obstacle’, no?

  19. Gooby

    every top team has a problem with its DM.


    all under performing and tbh i prefer song to the other muppets

  20. Jimbo

    sell chamakh!!!

    I cannot believe that Arsenal fans who have spent the last 10 years watching Bergkamp, Anelka, Wrighty, and Le God, cannot tell a donkey when they see one.

    Shite player.

  21. SUGA3

    fuck me, Jimbo, why all that negativity?

    Chamakh is a decent player, certainly not a first choice, it’s down to OGL to play him to his strengths, no?

    pretty problematic if you have wide players who can’t cross for shit, eh?

  22. Queen of Suburbia

    You’ve already done that particular piece of trolling on this site Jimbo.

    Get a new troll repertoire or troll it somewhere else, it’s boring.

  23. Marylou Spencer

    sell chamakh!!! I cannot believe that Arsenal fans who have spent the last 10 years watching Bergkamp, Anelka, Wrighty, and Le God, cannot tell a donkey when they see one. Shite player.