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. Wenger the Liar

    LOL Keyser –

    I think that going out to Barca is the best possible result. I actually would have prefered us to go out in the group stage hhad we not been playing United next, in retrospect it made no difference.

    I think the season might turn out to be one where we keep expecting someone to raise their game but no one does.


    I am well fucking pos today.

  2. zeus

    I think we are better than last year and we have a good opportunity to show that. I won’t come out on [how we will make it a different game]. What is on my mind right now is Stoke tomorrow more than Barcelona.

    heh. Wenger is funny.

  3. Man

    Keyser, I’m not quite sue I would equate Alonso to Cambiasso or Makalele. Khedira is good but still quite young. Barca were superb on the night, one of the best performances I have seen in a while

  4. Jimbo

    We won’t get Guardiola. He’ll got to a big, ambitious club that will offer him bigger money.

    My vote is now for Owen Coyle.

  5. arsenal4ever

    Geoff says:
    December 17, 2010 at 13:32

    great comment!! Exactly my thoughts, too. Cause if Chezzer makes a howler he learns about it and has such a lot talent Flappy will never have!!!

  6. Man

    Franchise, they could but barca would have to play badly. If barca play well they win as long as the ref and his assistants do their jobs well.

  7. Jimbo

    What we’ll show, against Barcelona, is that we’ve not moved on in the slightest from last year, and that Wengker is still the brainless inept twat he has been for over 5 years.

  8. Franchise

    Man most times teams play badly it is because their opponets force them to play badly. there are off days but most times it is because the other team gets their tactics spot on

  9. Keyser

    Man – They had two Diarras on the bench, I dunno if Higuain was injured ? He could have set the team up differently, neither Alonso or Khedira are going to offer the energy Lassana Diarra could’ve.

  10. Keyser

    WTL – It’s about time, you’ve seemed pretty miserable since your first post on here.

    Instead of having everyone get injured playing Barca like last year hopefully we’ll go out early, and concentrate on the league.

    Or the other way we’ll have put in a performance good enough to be them anyway, so we’ll be in good stead for the rest of the season.

  11. Wenger the Liar

    Keyser –

    When I saw the line up from Real I was amazed, its as if he try to change his whole football philosphy for the game. I think the “translator” taunt may have clouded him.

  12. Jimbo

    Wengker needs to play a youth team against Barca. Not fuck up the whole season because of the tie like he did last year, the brainless fuck.

  13. arsenal4ever

    agree jimbo. Wenger said barca difficult but not impossible. What? With this current squad we can be lucky not to get 3-4 goals in barcelona!! Fukking french bas…. should leave asap!!!!

  14. Man

    Keyser, for some reason he doesn’t fancy either Diarras. M. Diarra didn’t get into the team much when Pelligrini was in charge either. Since his last major injury he’s found it dificult getting in the team. Higuain ws injured. Having Alonso-Khedira is certainly no Essien-Makelele or Cambiasso-Motta.
    I really wanted Mourinho to land that job as it may be his most difficult yet.

  15. Wenger the Liar

    Keyser –

    Also on that point you just raised, I told my mate that we will probably lose but you never know what injuries they will have come the game.

  16. GoonerDNA

    I want a big manager to come in I can’t see the likes of Nasri staying otherwise, neither can I see Owen Coyle convincing big players to come play for us. Please don’t say our name alone can convince players to come and then mention young French Belgium players who want a chance since they know they better than Denilson and Co.

  17. Man

    Owen Coyle? Are you guys serious? He is a good manager but he is the flavour of the month. Let him win the CC with Aston Villa first before you all start chanting his name.

  18. Jimbo

    GoonerDNA – to get a big manager, you need to offer them the freedom to operate, something that our bunch of geriatrics on the board haven’t offered a manager for decades. They even fucked George Graham over.

  19. eduardo

    Lets turn Peps head whilst in Barcelona! Maybe take him out for ice cream!
    he will see that Barcelona are finished (as in “finished article”) and we are a work in progress…who doesnt like a challenge!

  20. Keyser

    Man – To be honest I didn’t think he’d fail, I thought it’d be a pretty easy job, Pellegrini’s done the hard work, Real finish with 96 points, outscore Barcelona, Valencia’s two best players sold, so all he had to do was setup Real Madrid to beat Barca.

    He could still do it, the way La Liga is now, the league could be decided at the Bernabau between the two.

  21. Pedro

    I know that Jimbo, but suggesting we sell Cesc now and talking about Wenger having an STD is a little be on the attention seeking side.

  22. Man

    A, my shorthand way of saying let him prove himsself at a club like Aston Villa/Everton/Spuds/even Newcastle before moving up to Arsenal

  23. Keyser

    WTL – They’ve got players like Mascherano and Adriano, who barely get a game, so they’ve got a deep squad, everywhere apart from maybe a Messi replacement and someone for Villa.

    I can’t really see any of them getting injured, La Liga’s just not like that unless they do it themselves.

    It’s down to how we build up into it now.

    Madrid will probably buy in January, I can others doing so to.

  24. Jimbo

    Well, he’s obviously putting it about behind his back – anyone scummy enough to have an affair deserves an STD, at the absolute minimum.

    as for selling Cesc, I’d rather we tried to catch the market by surprise and get maximum value for him now, rather than wait for another crap season to end and have to sell because he’s handed in a transfer request. He’s a legend, but I’d rather we sold as many of our big players as possible, until we have a manager capable of winning with them. Until that happens, money in the bank is the most important thing.

  25. A

    Ah ok Man, that confused me!

    imo unless he’s won the league then i’d rather not.

    Bergkamp, Henry, Bould, Keown, Vieira dream team, with Henry as the manager?

  26. A

    Keyser I don’t agree about Barca having a deep squad at all, quite the opposite….

    I’d say our second eleven is a fair bit stronger than theirs even….

    They don’t really have backups for Xavi, Iniesta, Messi, Pedro, nor Villa!

    They have full back and DM reserves, that’s about it

  27. Man

    Keyser, I see what you are saying. The way I saw it this barca team are probably teh best la liga has seen and they are getting better.
    Mourinho is restricted by the attacking philosphy of the brand. The players at his disposal are of this philosophy from the defenders to the attackers. Would even Real buy 25 players a season?
    He has to overcome what has now become a recent culture of failure in the champs lge.

    Carvalho at Porto and the chavs is a level higher than the Carvalho at Real and he might beb best defender they’ve got. Pepe is good but he ain’t no Lucio.

  28. Keyser

    Man – It doesn’t matter if he equates or not, it’s the physical edge they lacked, Higuain works his aSs off, as does Lassana Diarra, instead he put in Alonso and Khedira who are good, but they don’t have the energy or physical edge of either of the Diarra’s.

    Up front he had 3 players who have good individual talent, but don’t work anywhere near enough for the team as a whole.

    It was a hit and miss approach, either Ronaldo does something extraordinary or you get abolsutely battered.

  29. Franchise

    A I agree what they are achieving with their squad is quite impressive

    the squad is small

    i get frustrated when i look at my barca benck on pes 2010 lol

  30. Jimbo

    Wengker has freedom to do absolutely nothing.

    Hiddink is a quality coach, and a very good tactician, something the adultering frog clearly is not. Even if our senile board refused to back him in the transfer market, he’d do a damn-sight better than Wengker at coaching the team.

  31. Wenger the Liar

    Keyser –

    Yeah but we have Jet and Bendy, dont get better squad depth than that.

    More important than that shit is beating Stoke Chelsea and Citeh. I want 9 points no less from those three.

  32. Keyser

    A – Yeah I know, but those are players that you couldn’t really replace anyway, if they stay fit, they’re strong enough to win anything.

    If they have problems in other areas they can deal with it pretty easily. Especially if it allows them to rest their star players for a game or here and there.

  33. A

    yep franchise, they’re so lucky with injuries, although playing in the spanish league where there are less leg breaks as well.

  34. zeus

    Pep won’t leave for a couple of seasons at least.
    On an ideological level we could get him. Them apart, we are one of the few clubs with a footballing philosophy that extends right down to the youth teams.
    That sort of thing might appeal to him.

  35. GoonerDNA

    Jimbo, Having a affair means you should get a STD, what are you some sort of marriage counsellor. Next you’ll be telling us that divorce’s should be illegal too. How bout the death penalty for women who have abortions. How backwards.

  36. Keyser

    WTL – Van Persie’s being eased back in, hopefully Fabregas is to, for once and I’ve said for 3-4 years just want to see what they’re capable of together, because it’ll dispell all illusions, if they’re fit and we don’t get anywhere near the title or anything, then it’s time to replace or add to the team in a big way.

  37. Keyser

    A – Who do you bring in that’s good enough to be a close replacement for Villa or Messi, but is also happy to sit on the bench, in midfield there’s obviously Fabregas.

  38. Man

    Keyser, it does matter becos Mourinho has a template of how he plys and he generally sticks to that template. I think his genius is his man management.

    Like I said on the day, the match was effectively over after the second goal. He brough Lass in teh second half and tried the ‘physical edge’ thing you so describe, pushed up the defence by 15 yards but barca simply passed their way round them, tore them open with intelligent runs from deep and good through balls.

  39. Wenger the Liar

    The level of performance that Barca produce has little to do with squad depth, in fact I would go further and say that squad depth would be more a hindernace to them as knowing each others game inside out is required to play at the level that they do.

    This statement is fact. I defended the champions league with Carlise back in the 1990s on championship manager, so I know more than you cunts.

  40. A

    What would you prefer Jaguar?


    Eboue Squillaci JD Gibbs

    Rosicky Denilson Wilshere

    Theo Chamakh Bendtner



    Adriano Milito Youth Player?? Maxwell

    Thiago Mascherano Keita

    Jeffren Bojan Youth Player??

    Mascherano, Keita, Adriano, Bojan are ok, the rest though….

  41. Man

    Yep I like Higuain a lot, he works his ass off and is pretty clinical but he has not got that physical presence of Drogba or Milito that Mourinho loves. I think its common knowledge Mourinho wanted a striker before the season started…he might get one this winter!

  42. A

    Don’t have to be a close replacement Keyser, but just a replacement!! They just don’t have backup for positions!

    They basically have an 18 man squad, then bring in youth players to fill the bench if they have injuries, it’s crazy!

  43. Master P

    Solution: Wenger should buy shawcross on jan 1st and sell him onto any spanish side who still have to play barca (at least twice would be good).

    Injuries to Barca aplenty. 😉


  44. Keyser

    Man – The thing is he didn’t stick to the template, whether that’s out of choice or not is another matter, he usually plays the harder workers than the flair players.

    Higuain’s injured, but players like Diarra would have been involved. Unless he truly thought that because he’s been demolishing other weaker sides with thos eplayers that they could make the step up to Barcelona.

    They didn’t he should have had Diarra on from the start and pushed up earlier in the game, instead he let Barca have complete control of the ball and let them pass it about aswell.

    It just made little sense overall.

  45. eduardo

    Jimbo, dude I think affairs have ZERO to do with football….right to beat him (AW), but your using the wrong stick!
    ZEUS; Pep has spent time with AW and at Colney..I would say we would have a massive chance to get him WHEN he leaves…actually I would dare to say we maybe first in his line

  46. A

    Adriano is a right back Franchise not left, I’d certainly have Clichy over Maxwell.

    Not been THAT impressed with Adriano when I’ve seen him, though granted I’ve not seen that much. Not sure I’d have him over Eboue though.

    Mascherano I’d definitely have over Denilson, he’s the only definite person I’d have over our players.

    In terms of overall depth I’d certainly take our second team over Barca’s though

  47. Man

    Keyser, personnaly I would have played Lass over Khedira simply for his mobilty and agression…but Mourinho doesn’t like him it seems. Early on he set them up like he did with Inter…to be defensively disciplined and be ready to counter but barca destroyed that plan with the early goals. Marcelo and Ramos are a waste of time defensively if you ask me.

  48. Man

    Cough Cough. A, I think Adriano can play LB, RB, LM and RM. I’ve seen used in those positions for Sevilla anyway and he has done well playing those positions.

  49. eduardo

    errr do arse.com have every fucking employee pressing YES WE CAN like barry fucking obama….how can it be 51% y to 49% n

  50. A

    Yeah man but he’s essentially a right back.

    He’s played all over the place in the same way Eboue has. I’d still class Eboue as a right back more than any other position….

  51. GoonerDNA

    Jimbo, I don’t care if Wenger has an affair, thats HIS private life not mine not yours. It’s not murder or rape, Fuck I always want something different from time to time but that’s about keeping the DNA strong

  52. Keyser

    Man – That’s the thing with La Liga now, there’s no contrast, you go on from walking over teams week in week out to playing Barcelona.

  53. zeus

    Ramos is a top defender.

    I also think that we forget that its not about Mourinho, its Madrid. At the Bernabeu he can’t play pragmatic football ar the Madristas would severe his hands.

  54. Jimbo

    No, GoonerDNA, it’s not murder or rape, it’s adultery, and as far as I’m concerned that’s for scumbags.

    Like that twat Terry. Wengker and Terry, one and the same.

  55. Jimbo

    What’s more, whether or not it affects his ability to do his job is besides the point. If he WAS a murderer, a rapist, or a paedophile, it probably also wouldn’t directly affect his ability to do his job unless he got caught, but he’d still be a complete scumbag.

    Adulterers are scum. Arsene Wengker is scum.

  56. Man

    Keyser, that’s true I hope the new TV deal they have helps. The other teams will be getting more money now but its no where near the more equitable Premier league.

  57. eduardo

    LOL Awesome! keep fighting the good fight….till tomorrow..
    fuck me, Im in kilburn now…its gonna be cold tamarraw!

  58. Master P

    Eaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaasy QoS!

    I like it!

    I personally think it is payback time and somehow, SOMEHOW, we will deliver….

  59. Franchise

    just for fun i will do an underdog accumulator for the 2nd leg

    Marseille to go through

    along with CHavs, MAdrid, Roma

  60. Franchise

    Wenger is so loved by the press

    I was surprised how they cooled off regarding the affair story

    or is there a gagging order?

  61. A

    Second leg would be huge odds franchise, us to win at barca, and roma at shakhtar together would be pretty nice odds just by themselves!

  62. Franchise

    i bet there is a porn site that only specialises in gagging porn

    in all honesty if the world could as organised as the porn industry what a beautiful place it will be

    it amazes me how organised their galleries are

    well a friend told me they are i dont watch that shit 😛

  63. zeus


    We don’t have what it takes to beat Barca. No doubt Wenger will try to match fire with fire. And this Barca side is even more in sync and more mobile without that lump Ibrahimovic. That makes the task more difficult.

    I fear it will be like lambs to the slaughter.

  64. Keyser

    I don’t think it’s anything to do with being loved by the press, the only outlet that ran the story was The Sun even then on it’s frontpages and then not on it’s online site, a few others commented on the ‘allegation’s as they put it.

    No-one else has mentioned it and then story died, it’s either a gagging order, or there wasn’t much to the story, French laws are far more stricter on privacy aswell, so maybe thats it because he was on French ground where they took the pictures that they couldn’t release it.

  65. Pedro

    Jimbo, last time someone got so uppity about cheating… it was Jeremy Kyle… you know what, he got busted cheating last week.

  66. GoonerDNA

    Jimbo, No it was too show you that the world we live in isn’t some sort of American dream with happy kids and a cooking and cleaning wife’s. When sex is being used to advertise stuff from perfume to cars or and music video’s nowdays are more explicit then porn 50 years ago what do you expect? Happy families or Social decay.

  67. Queen of suburbia

    I read that wenger had initiated legal action over the pregnancy story, so perhaps that has stopped any reports?

  68. Pedro

    She might have been a total bitch… always in his ear about leaving wet towels on the floor and pissing on the toilet seat.

    Jeez… who’d find that sexy?

  69. Jimbo

    So what’s your point, DNA, that supposed to be some kind of excuse? What about the rest of us, who manage to get through life without behaving like scumbags?

    Yes, it’s the real world. The real world where we have rapists, paedophiles, murderers, and all sorts of scum all over society.

    As for Jeremy Kyle – you didn’t need to know he’s been cheating to know he’s a scumbag!!!

  70. Pedro

    Jimbo, you might behave like a scumbag in other areas of your life.

    You might not do much for Charity… or you might not cheat, but you totally neglect your misses and treat her like shit.

    Horses for courses… it’s very easy to judge an incident you have little detail about.

  71. Dutchman

    Hazard wants to come to us! Bring him in for it is too late!!! Come on arsenal!! I’am positive today!
    We will win against Barca!!!! Just play walcott as a striker and he needs to run just like kamara did against us, barca plays offside trap so walcott needs to make that sort of runs with ramsey and fabregas behind him! Djourou and vermalen as CB’s and i give us a higher chance of beating them then last year!

  72. Limestonegunner

    Playing Barca early is the best time to do so. We get it over with and either win and go on in glorious fashion or can concentrate on the league and FA cup, hopefully having already bagged the CC. We should have our best players fit and with enough games to get in form. Honestly, it’s the best possible draw. There’s no shame in going out to Barca but there is great glory to be had in defeating them, so there won’t be much pressure on us.

    In the meantime, we have some big games ahead that could prove decisive in the league. The best preparation is winning the big games we have in the league, getting the CC, and getting our players back and fit. Then we’ll see how we are doing.

  73. GoonerDNA

    My point is and has been you can’t judge adultery, unless you’re involved. I could understand if you were his wife and you ranting on about it the way you are. Any fucking way enough of this.

    Pedro, That’s just wrong

  74. Jimbo

    Pedro – very observant. I MIGHT be a scumbag. But generally, when it comes to the biggies, and that includes things like adultery, I’m not.

    Wengker is a scumbag, bottom line. Adultery is for scumbags, and Wengker fits the bill perfectly.