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. Limestonegunner

    I have to say, those who have been calling for Hazard and Subotic have been vindicated. These young players are really proving their quality this year in their respective leagues.

  2. goonnneeeerrrrr

    Wenger – “Barcelona are certainly the favourites [for the competition] and a famous team but, on their side, they did not want us either because they know they will get a game.” rotflmao =))

    Wenger – “I think we are better than last year and we have a good opportunity to show that.” Delusion as usual

  3. confidentgoner

    Guys unto foot things now.

    Barca are very bearable. You need to press them the way they press you, even harder. You need fast wingers and good strikers. I have seen teams give them trouble without throwing ten men behind the ball. AW has to bring in DM, winger and strikers. Let’s assume it happens then,


    Eboue. Verm. CB Clichy
    Song DM


    Nasri. VP. Theo

    With instructions for Theo to press when he is not with the ball. Ditto the other front five.

  4. Confidentgoner

    Guys unto footy things now.

    Barca are very bearable. You need to press them the way they press you, even harder. You need fast wingers and good strikers. I have seen teams give them trouble without throwing ten men behind the ball. AW has to bring in DM, winger and strikers. Let’s assume it happens then,


    Eboue. Verm. CB Clichy
    Song DM


    Nasri. VP. Theo

    With instructions for Theo to press when he is not with the ball. Ditto the other front five.

  5. Confidentgoner

    Guys unto footy things now.

    Barca are very bearable. You need to press them the way they press you, even harder. You need fast wingers and good strikers. I have seen teams give them trouble without throwing ten men behind the ball. AW has to bring in DM, winger and strikers. Let’s assume it happens then,


    Eboue. Verm. CB Clichy
    Song DM


    Nasri. VP. Theo

    With instructions for Theo to press when he is not with the ball. Ditto the other front five.

  6. BillikenGooner

    “With players such as Samir Nasri, Jack Wilshere and, of course, Barca’s summer transfer target, Cesc Fabregas, Arsenal also play the possession game. Alex Song is no Esteban Cambiasso, who so effectively dealt with his countryman Messi, and Arsenal cannot and will not be happy to allow Barca possession while sitting back and parking the bus. It is hard to escape the feeling that they will be made to pay for this admittedly admirable philosophy.”- Tom Adams, ESPN

    Song is no Cambiasso… understatement of the year.

  7. zeus

    Can I just say that I find it a bit disturbing that Pedro can find these randoms pics so easily.

    Also, Wenger is a french. If he didn’t have a lady on the side, he wouldn’t be living up to French expectations.

  8. goonermichael

    Personally I think we should play dirty and kick the fucking shit out of them. The bans only relate to Europe anyway. How about signing shawcross on loan.

  9. Marko

    Fabianski’s distribution is actually good I think you’re confusing him with Almunia who’s kicking is woeful. And god I hope the Wolfsburg paying 10 million for Denilson is true, we could add 3 million to that and get Gohkan Inler or try to sign Blaise Matuidi or Yann M’Villa for 7-8 million and we come out smiling.

  10. Marko

    Just once I’d like us to play a big team with a fully fit Van Persie and an on Song Fabregas and Vermaelen. If we were to play Barca next week they’d whip us but by late Feb who knows what condition theirs and our squad will be in.

  11. Limestonegunner

    Exactly, Marko–perhaps we’ll get a chance to see a proper tie with our best players back and fit. I can’t understand capitulating now. Besides there is so much work to do in the league before then. If we haven’t defeated any of our major rivals, won the CC, and stayed in the league hunt, well Barcelona will be the least of our worries.

  12. earthworm jim

    Jimbo writes like scum.

    Trashy vile scum.

    His intelligence appears to be limited to uncouth reiterations of Daily Star stories.


  13. Gooby

    cheers, i saw that we draw those idiots again, bring them on we have nothing to lose everyone expect us to be smashed anyway. fuck them, no team is unbeatable, we played them last year with 5 first team lads out injured.

    if we go out, we’ll concentrate on the league.

    spurs will get properly smashed milan are no losers and they’ll not be kidding with those scum

  14. Master P

    “Barcelona are certainly the favourites [for the competition] and a famous team but, on their side, they did not want us either because they know they will get a game.

    Arsene Wenger’s Magic!

  15. Marko

    I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if it didn’t put a panic buy into us. Maybe an offload or 2 (Denilson and Bendy) and a signing or 2 who aren’t cup tied (Matuidi, Inler, Capoue, Santon, Gameiro, Hazard) might do it. Unfortunately we’re in a catch 22 situation we’re if we still doing well enough in the league and are up near the top then we probably wont sign anyone whereas if we were struggling a bit it’d probably force us to buy someone.

  16. Marko

    IF we came in for Hazard in Jan I’m sure they’d sell, it’s all about money and you’d probably get him for the same fee we paid for Nasri or Arshavin. All ifs and buts at the moment and all depends on how we look come Jan. I’m sure if Wolfsburg did offer 10 million for Denilson we’d probably take it cause with Wilshere, Diaby and Ramsey he’s down the pecking order and if Bendtner keeps opening his trap then it is conceivable we’d let him go. That’d be the only reason we’re being linked with Gameiro and Lacina Traore IMO.

  17. Marko

    I doubt he’d look for another attacking mid Incesc unless Rosicky were to get injured for a bit or leaves, I’d say if we were to sign a midfielder it’d be in the box to box catagory. As well as hoping for a fit squad when we do play Barca we can hope as well for a loss of form or an injury to Messi, that’d be nice but mostly for a fit squad to show what we’re capable of cause I can’t remember the last time we played a big team with a full squad which is what plebs like Jimbo don’t realize. Proabably away to Chelsea when we won 2-1 with Van Persie scoring 2 maybe then.

  18. patthegooner

    I think Wenger rates him pretty highly A

    And I think he has said so publically.

    However he does openly speak about the qualities of a lot of players, and we cant sign all of them.

    Personally I would be overawed if we signed him. Not good enough IMO

  19. Marko

    Would love us to sign Inler he done a job on Xavi in the World Cup. Would just love someone to man mark him cause he’s key to them more than anything

  20. A

    pienar is an ok player but he’s just another rosicky, no better, and in a position that we’ve got loads of players. he’s about the last person we need!

  21. Marko

    A I think it’s more he seems like a sensible guy who wants to play for us cause he knows he’ll get plenty of game time here, I’ve seen many interviews and he likes us big time and whats the difference in 6 months? I’m sure if we tried for him he’d ask privately to join us

  22. patthegooner

    Heres what Wenger had to say about him

    “Pienaar has grown this year,” Wenger told Sky Sports. “He was usually a very busy player where the final ball was missing a little bit, but this year he has gained in personality and he has kept his work rate, so he has been much more efficient.

    “What also played a big role in his growth was that Mikel Arteta was not there for a while and that he had to take the responsibility of being the playmaker of the team.

    “He was one of the best players in England this year. He would get into the Arsenal team. I always had an eye on him since he was at Ajax.”

  23. A

    Marko the difference is that he wants to finish the season where he is at the moment! Exactly the same as last summer, it wasn’t a case of the club not being willing to sell, it was because he didn’t want to leave yet, which is exactly what he’s said about jan, BUT in the summer he’ll be considering his options.

    We have no need for him in January anyways, there isn’t room for him in the squad. Arshavin and/or Rosicky will go in the summer, so there’ll be an extra spot or two up for grabs.

  24. patthegooner


    I think what he means is that there were probably easier ties that they could have got.

    Lets face it, Barca fear nobody, but of the teams I am sure they would have preferred the likes of Marseille or Copenhagen.

  25. Rickys had enough

    Arsenal.com Online Poll
    Do you think Arsenal will beat Barcelona in the Champions League?

    * Yes 55% = akbs
    * No 45% = realists

  26. woody

    So that’s that then,”we will have to look at the two bob cup”,because as much as i love Arsenal,Wenger has put us in this position of playing the best club side in the world with a team,that’s not worthy.

  27. Arsene Nose Best

    Rickys had enough says:
    December 17, 2010 at 17:12
    Arsenal.com Online Poll
    Do you think Arsenal will beat Barcelona in the Champions League?

    * Yes 55% = cunts
    * No 45% = realists

  28. incesc

    Do you think Arsenal will beat Barcelona in the Champions League?

    * Yes 55% = drunks, druggies and weirdos
    * No 45% = well levelled individuals

  29. Marko

    Do you think Arsenal will beat Barcelona in the Champions League?

    * Yes 55% = drunks, druggies and weirdos
    * No 45% = people who like Le Grove
    * Fuck Wenger 3% = BBK and Jaguar.

  30. Gooby

    “We are in the middle of December and we play at the end of February. So there is a long way to go.

    could this mean anything about January mmmm

  31. Limestonegunner

    incesc, no kidding! It’s like seeing ghosts; if it weren’t for Jaguar going on about him obsessively, you could easily forget he played for this team!

  32. Rickys had enough

    Some of you guys talk alot of shite! Its really unbelievable what comes out some of your mouths.

    You call me a troll when theres you lot trying to justify that the 55% who said we would beat barca are correct?

    Honestly? I got nothing more to say on that front. I sometimes wonder how i have one thing in commonn with cunts like you lot.

  33. A

    nope Gooby!

    I reckon he’s referring to Vermy’s return, Szczesny’s rise to the best keeper in Europe, VP, Cesc, Arshavin and Theo getting back to form, Song’s return to his DM role and form, Koscielny’s settling in, etc etc etc

  34. Marko

    I was just pointing out how calling someone who doesn’t agree with you a cunt is a great way of going about life. Bravo

  35. Rickys had enough


    I’ve been posting on here for a good while under “ricky” mate. Im not new here.

    Just find it amazing how hard headed some folkes can be.. Nothing personal.

    It’s like they cant face reality.

  36. Goonerpower

    Listen here Ricky!! Just because some people believe that with the right players in the squad and a fully fit squad we are VERY capable of causing barca an embarrassment!

  37. izzo

    There is no hope! Are some of you still drinking the Wenger Kool-Aid? I’ve seen the outcome ina dream. Messi is destroying our defense and he runs circles around Squillacci & Koscielny. And Walcott is running aimlessly as a headless chicken. Song is talking to his imaginary friend again and thinking he “Songinho” trying to attack instead of sitting in front of the back four. Chamakh is afraid to shoot because he’s afraid of Puyol’s hair. denilson isn’t tracking back and is daydreaming in midfield and making sideways passes to Barca players. Arshavin is missing as he’s busy trying thinking hes a fashion model on the left flank. Clichy is backing off from attackers and is constantly caught out of position as he goes forward only to pass it backwards to koscielny his lover. To top it off Fabregas is wearing a Barca jersey underneath and reveals it wiping sweat from his forehead as he scores an own goal trying to defend a corner Flappianski just flapped at. Groundhog Day again for Arsenal! So forget that day and get drunk and party hard on your birthday so you sleep through the shower of shit that’ll be on display. 🙂

  38. Rickys had enough

    Incesc, Must be that time of the month mate lol.

    Then again, recently its been every week.

    I blame the arsenal.

  39. kev

    so barca in the champions league eh? this wont end well. wenger will tell the lads go out and play – youre as good as barca. lying bastard. unless messi and xavi are injured or barca go through a severe loss of form i cant see us beating them. best hope is to try and stifle them and nick a goal some way. out of our depth

  40. patthegooner

    I think it is too early to judge how we will fare against Barca.

    If the game was tomorrow, I dont think we would have a chance in a million years.

    But, we will see where closer to the time. They might have injuries (although that will more likely be us), Cesc and RVP could be fit and on fire. Djourou, Vermaelen and Gibbs could be in the back 4, Chesser could cement his place in goal.

    We are certainly up against it, but stranger things have happened…..

  41. Limestonegunner

    Kev, then get back to the shallow end if you think we are out of our depth. In the deep end it is sink or swim, the way it should be. Our season isn’t going to be over if we lose to Barca. If we do what is needed between now and then, we should have won one competition and be in two others.

  42. kev

    believe it or not i want us to win. but im being realistic – were not good enough. i love the optimism but its misguided. anyone who watched barca tear real a new one in the clasico knows how up against it we are. you asked earlier would barca have preferred the likes of lyon or us. were their ideal draw because they know wed come out and try and play them at their own game like what we used to do to inferior teams in the pl.

    maybe between now and the game chesney will make the number one spot his own, well bring in a couple of top sigings in january, well learn how to defend properly and wenger will come up with a proper set of tatics but i cant see it happening

  43. TOMTOM

    Barcafuckinglona what a kick in the bollox that is. Maybe it will help that we get knocked out early so we can be stronger in the league. Wenger will hate it if we get knocked out early,it will hit him in the pocket

  44. Hitman

    After the draw a Manutd ‘friend’ at work said ‘thats the end of your season’.
    You know what I couldnt really disagree. Another groundhog season. I didnt have the inclination to argue back. The bid teams dont take Arse seriously anymore. Larfing stock is what we have become.

  45. TOMTOM

    If we get knocked out of the champions league early it could have a big impact on our transfer budget. Instead of having our usual 3 million to spend,next season it could only be 1.5 million.

  46. Queen of suburbia

    No reason to think that it’d be the end of our season guys.

    If diaby had gone right to Theo at the camp nou we’d have beaten them.

  47. SUGA3


    now read that name again 😉


    in my opinion, our only hope is some good old fashioned underdog anger and being underestimated by that lot…

  48. Hitman

    It was a her TomTom. HR issues prevented me from doing so.
    Not so sure QOS. I actually dont care for UCL except that it would have been nice to get to a London Final.

  49. SUGA3


    I am staying put – have to get prepared for the great Xmas road trip across Europe 😀

    leaving on Monday morning, a brief detour in Holland, then negotiating the German Autobahns in the snow – joy of joys!

    then it will be two weeks of burning and pillaging in Poland – can’t wait…

  50. G STAR


    Arsenal have accepted an offer from Borussia Mönchengladbach for defender Håvard Nordtveit, Young Guns can reveal. The 19-year-old will now hold talks with the German outfit and is expected to move in the January transfer window.

    Ivan Gazidis has been in discussions with Nordtveit over a new contract for almost six months, as his current deal expires in July. Negotiations appeared to be coming to a close recently, with a three year extension on the table, only for them to break down. The club are now keen to offload Håvard in January and recoup some of the £1.7 million fee they paid in 2007.

    Nordtveit already has Bundlesliga experience, having spent last season on loan with FC Nuremberg. The defender is expected back in Germany over the weekend with agent Jim Solbakken to thrash out a deal.


    Pep Guardiola, the Barcelona coach, said he was “frightened” of facing Arsenal after the two clubs were once again drawn together in the last 16 of the Champions League. The tie came as no surprise to Arsène Wenger, though, who had predicted his Arsenal side would meet the Spanish giants before the draw took place in Nyon.

    While Manchester United drew Marseille, Chelsea face FC Copenhagen and Tottenham Hotspur are up against Milan in their respective ties, the third meeting between Arsenal and Barcelona is the pick of the round and a repeat of last season’s quarter-final, which Barcelona won 6-3 on aggregate.

    “Arsenal frighten me, but that is true of all the clubs in the draw,” said Guardiola “I will be a little calmer when I start to watch their games if I can see any weaknesses. Arsenal are a classic of English football. They have been playing good football for years now. I think they will be stronger than they were last season with [Samir] Nasri now fully established in the team, plus the signing of [Marouane] Chamakh.

    “Also there’s a difference this time: Cesc [Fábregas] will be on the pitch,” the Barcelona manager added. Arsenal’s captain missed last season’s second leg at the Camp Nou due to injury.

    “If you’re not at your best, Arsenal overrun you. It should be a fantastic game because we are two very similar sides. They are a very bold, daring team, a side that forces you to defend very well. They play and defend with the ball – they are a very good team who play nice football.”

  51. Queen of suburbia

    Two moments changed that game IMHO tie.

    Messi’s rolling around following a brilliant and fair tackle from denilson and diaby failing to send Theo clean through at one nil.

    Two nil up barca would have been having kittens everytime Theo got the ball.

  52. A

    Saw that about Nordveit, very annoying, really thought he’d end up a quality player for us! We could well regret letting him go….

  53. SUGA3

    cheers, TIE 😉


    if only they can somehow start making all the right decisions – Barca will not give us too much space…

    their workrate is second to none, I am just concerned we will once again see the same hunting in packs and closing us down in numbers right from the off: last year it looked as if they had about 15 players on the pitch!

  54. G STAR


    Sagna Koscienly Vermaelen Clichy


    Fabregas Nasri

    Walcott RVP Arshavin


    Koscienly and Vermaelen tackling skills and speed should keep Villa, Pedro quiet.

    Messi should get marked by Song and Clichy.

    Walcott and Arshavin’s pace will cause problems, and Nasri is good at keeping posession.

  55. SUGA3


    thing is that they do it all the time and it was exactly what Barca-based Spanish team did in the WC, whenever there was a need to do it…

    when they played ze Germans (who played with a lot of totally un-German flair throughout the tournie) they simply suffocated their play and won 1:0…

  56. sixx pac

    I could shoot Diaby for not passing to Theo. That would have made so much difference, if even to make the aggregate a respectable 6-4

  57. G STAR

    Clichy is good at pressing, same with Song.




    We are signing Gameiro (Bendtner Leaving) in January and Hazard (Arshavin Leaving) at the end of the season.

  58. Rohan

    coz apparently Jaguar, RIcky and Jimbo were going to rage on there tonight. It’s called “Fans” Forum for a reason…

    I’m sorry..couldn’t resist.



    sagna vermaelen ? gibbs

    fabregas ? wilshere

    nasri arshavin


    were lacking a world class spine

    sign those 3 quality players and that would transform us from a very good team into a top top team

    problem is it wont happen

    we could sell almunia denilson diaby bentner vela
    and have the money to sign at least 1-2 of them

  60. G STAR

    Koscienly similar to Puyol
    Vermaelen similar to Pique

    Fabregas similar to Xavi
    Nasri similar to Iniesta
    Denilson similar to Busquets

    Arshavin similar to Messi

  61. G STAR



    Pirlo / Gourcuff
    D.Milito / Eto

  62. Gooby

    busquets is probably the cunt i hate the most in football, what a cheat, rolls on the grass like a whore every fucking time

  63. incesc

    i fucking hate pulis

    when we are 5-0 up tomorrow i dont want the lads to ease off.

    total humiliation is the only way for dangermouse