Top 10 predictions for 2011 – Sulky players – The worst decision against Wigan

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Don’t you just hate top 10’s of everything? No? Just me…

I sat in on an SEO course (work) for simpletons a few months ago, and when I say simpletons, I’m saying that one of the tips was to put a contact form on the site so people could communicate with you. Anyway, the guy there said the best way to attract people to your site is with top 10’s of whatever. I dislike them for that reason, but today, I’m going to give my well thought out top ten predictions of 2011!

Before I get into that, I thought I’d just run you through a few after thoughts from the Wigan debacle.

I spoke to a guy who knows his football and he was as bemused as the rest of us about the changes. I read around a few of the blogs yesterday and there are a number of the ‘I’m just trying to show perspective’ sites saying they could understand the changes. Sorry, I don’t care how balanced and reasonable you want to be, anyone with half a brain and a bit of experience of sport will tell you 8 changes in a team of 11 is asking for trouble. It wasn’t precautionary, it was dumb.

Anyway, I digress… the guy I spoke to thought Wenger’s biggest mistake was not taking Andrey Arshavin off despite him clearly struggling for fitness in the second half. He made the point that the Russian’s lack of tracking led to the corner for the equaliser. Interesting point. Even more interesting is that Arsene Wenger was the most vocal a few years ago with doubts about the his ability to cope with the rigours of the Premiership.

How right was he? Arsene knows…

Me, I don’t care too much about his fitness. He creates chances and he scores goals. We shouldn’t be moaning about him not defending, we should be asking how we could get more out of him and whether his fitness should be managed in a different way to ensure we extract the most from his magic. That’s a different story for a different day.

On the team selection, did anyone think that the decision may have been made for reasons alternative to fitness? Has anyone thought that maybe players like Eboue, Denilson and Nik B might have been sulking? Lets be honest, we’ve all read what’s been going on in the media. If there are rumblings in the press, it’s hard not to believe there aren’t rumblings in the dressing room. Maybe Wenger thought he’d create more harmony if he played his miserable favourites in an easy to win game? Who knows…

Predictions 2011

1. We’ll win something. Of this, I am in no doubt. We’ll definitely take the Carling Cup this year because Wenger knows if he doesn’t, there will be an even louder group of fans calling for him to move upstairs. I think we’ll win that and maybe, just maybe… the FA Cup. The Premier League is a different kettle of fish. We have a great chance to win something there, I’m just not sure Wenger has it in him to spend the money we need to compete in the 2nd half of the season.

2. We’ll beat Barcelona. I know, I know… this is fantasy talk! Well, it might be, but it was fantasy talk to consider we’d beat Madrid and Juve back in 2006. I just think Barca are being massively over hyped and I can’t help but think it’ll be mighty tough for them to maintain that intensity of performance the whole way through 2011. I really wouldn’t be surprised to see us beat the Catalans then lose in the quarters to Copenhagen. Just kidding about the last bit… I might add that I don’t believe we’ll win the Champions League if we beat Barca.

3. Wenger won’t buy in January. Wenger won’t buy unless there is a need. I don’t mean a need as in a quality need, I mean a need as in a squad space because someone has left. Where in this squad could he possibly justify a purchase? He believes he has 3 world class keepers, he believes in the defence and he believes he has enough competition in defensive midfield. There is no one he could sign, so don’t get your hopes up. By the way, I haven’t heard anything about Tommy V’s season being over.

4. Pat Rice will leave. Word on the street is that Arsene Wenger and Pat Rice are going their separate ways. Our assistant manager is leaving for pastures new which leaves a space open for a new Arsene Wenger side kick. I’ve no doubt he won’t promote Steve Bould to number two, instead he’ll probably go for the Grimster, which wouldn’t be good. Wenger needs to sign someone who isn’t in awe of him. He needs some right wing to his left wing, he needs a shake up in back room staff if Arsenal are to ever kick on. He’s not a revolutionary anymore, he’s not at the cutting edge of football training wise. With the right selection of assistant manager, he could be.

5. Aaron Ramsey will return. I know I’ve overhyped this far more than I should have, but this guy is going to be the real deal for us. He has the best stats when it comes to tackling, shooting and passing when he’s in the side, he has bundles of passion and he’s a superb technician of the game. When he returns, we will have, potentially, an amazing midfield ready to go for the next ten years. Remember, the only DNA we have to worry about with Aaron is the Welsh stuff he picked up somewhere along the way. If we treat him and Jack in the right way, they’re ours forever. Ahhhh… love.

6. Cesc Fabregas to leave. I know, I know, I didn’t want to depress you on New Years Eve, but I had to put this one in here. Statistically, he’s the best deep-lying creative midfielder in the world. Barcelona are cash rich again and have apparently, according to twitter sources, set aside £50million for him. I told you last summer that Madrid offered to match that price as did Manchester City. My gut feeling says we’ll look for £60million. If Wenger had a brain, he’d make sure we took  Mascharano as part of that deal because let’s be honest, £60million is no good to us with captain Scrooge at the helm.

7. Ivan Gazidis will not change his hair style, despite increasing pressure to cave to the Cesc pre first team rat tail look.

Oh Ivan you bore!

8. The Arsenal Marketing department launch bottled Spirit and Belief as part of their new soft drinks range.

9. Stan Kroenke takes over the club and turns the Armoury into an Asda Express. Cost of salt beef sandwiches set to plummet.

10. Le Grove are handed secret Wikileaks cables  exposing employees of as specialist HTML coding monkeys.

'Denilson better than Gilberto' sound like a good headline Barry?

Ok, the last few weren’t really predictions, I just thought you might start getting board of the whole top ten thing.

On that note, I want to say goodbye to 201o. From a personal point of view, I thought you were an ar@ehole. From a blogging point of view, you’ve been to kind to us. We’ve grown by 30% this year, so a big thankyou to all the new faces in the comments section, and a big hello to all the new people who read on a daily basis, we love you more than Jesus Christ and those little sausages wrapped in bacon.

I know I keep saying this, but bar the world-class writing from me and Geoff, you lot are the factor that distinguishes us from the rest. When people find out I write this, more often than not, they’ve got an opinion on their favourite commenter! So keep splurging your thoughts next year, they are well read the world over!

Next year, we hope to bring you… well, exactly the same! 365 posts, some insider gossip, honest opinion written from the heart and maybe some more competitions and prizes!

Have a great evening, don’t do anything too embarrassing, like wet the bed and blame it on the dog and remember to tune in tomorrow for Geoff’s first post of the New Year!

All the best, Pedro and Geoff.

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348 Responses to “Top 10 predictions for 2011 – Sulky players – The worst decision against Wigan”

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  1. Lurch LeRouge

    nice one JJ, plenty of gringos for ya missus to play with down there!

    spent a few weeks in hermosa beach – a few years ago now. nice spot.

  2. JJ

    Funny Story – I decided to get off my butt and go watch the Chelsea game at a bar. I googled “places to watch Arsenal in LA”. I found a bar in Orange County but when I turned up it was about 5:1 scum to us. Our numbers got up to about 25 or so before the game started but I digress…

    Anyway, I go talking to this guy. A fellow gooner. Just before the game started his wife and 2 little kids walked in. During the game I let out a burst of expletives but then felt bad because of the kids. I gave the guy a quiet word of apology. He said it was cool. At the end of the game he asked if I had a business card. We exchanged cards. Funnily enough he was a DUI lawyer… and here I am in a bar, beer in hand and acting like a tit. These ambulance chasers will try anything to drum up business!

  3. JJ

    Thanks Zeus. That will be one more kit coming our way… and another 40 squid that Wenger will put in his pocket instead of buying players…

  4. JJ

    Wenger: The only thing we have learnt from this first six months is that the team who will be the most consistent, with great emotional stamina and resolve will win it.

    Clearly that is the ONLY thing he has “learned”… I wish he would learn something about not conceding goals…

  5. zeus


    I will advise you to ignore all of Wenger’s comments. Lets start the year right. A pity we play 2mrw instead of Sunday.

  6. sixx pac

    My predictions for for 2011:

    1) I will read all 365 posts and disagree with about 350

    2) I will read all the comments everyday and disagree with 80%

    3) I will call the likes of Jaguar/ANB/Jimbo cunts or spuds agent more than 100 times, but deep down I know they all love Arsenal and want the best for the club.

  7. Zorr0

    Guys and gals, all of you and for one night only, even Jags and BBK, a happy new year. I hope that 2011 brings you health and happiness and obviously that the boys in red and white will get their heads and arses sorted and win something, even if it is just the CC as a start.

    2011 could be the final year for AW unless we win at least 1 trophy this season and finish 2011 top of the PL and winning our group in ECL and they look like men rather than a fucking very large boy band!

    31 Dec 2011

    Chesney or new keeper

    Sagna TV JD/Metersacker Gibbs

    LJW Fab4 Song/new DM Nasri

    RVP/Walcott Shakatak

    Peace love & harmony.

  8. Dan

    So eboue signed a new contract months ago and it only just gets announced today? Some things we do as a club are very questionable. As I’ve been thinking for ages that I’m sure he was in the last year of his contract and he hadn’t signed and we was letting nordveit go aswell. Anyway, happy new year grovers

  9. simon mcmahon

    Oh Fucking joy of joys ,
    ridiculous a squad player on better wages for another long period.

    Arsène Wenger has confirmed that Emmanuel Eboue has signed a new long-term contract at Arsenal.

    The Ivory Coast international joined the Club six years ago and, ahead of Saturday’s game at Birmingham, had made 202 first-team appearances.

    “He extended his contract one or two months ago. It is a long-term deal,” confirmed the manager at his pre-match press conference on Friday.

    brilliant waste of our money

  10. AA23

    This site makes me laugh my head off and want to smack the shit out of people in equal measure…and thats why we love it!
    Happy new year Grovers!

  11. ethangunner

    AA23 says:
    January 1, 2011 at 00:27

    This site makes me laugh my head off and want to smack the shit out of people in equal measure…
    thats funny because we want to smack the shit out of you in very unequal measures!

    there must be something too it !


  12. ethangunner

    you bet feltching Canadian !
    funny you lack the moral scruples to not run and hide
    but then i put it down to you being …gay !

  13. ethangunner





  14. Lurch LeRouge

    ethan keeping it real. rock on sunshine!

    happy new year kreeps. your all bleeding self harming sickos!

    why?, because the board like us messing in a pool of filth!



  15. Arsene Nose Best

    What the fucks going to be happy about this year,we have a senile old french cunt incharge of our club that refuses to budge on this sick,shit project of his,in arsene we and arsenal football club rust.

  16. Arsene Nose Best

    Andthat cunt eboue signs a new lomg term contract,what is the matter with these cunts that run the club.

  17. albo

    Jesus! If Man U stay unbeaten after this game (and you’ve got to assume they will now) then its certainly not because they are a decent team! How do they get this lucky!!!

    On another note, I don’t really understand everyone bitching about Eboue on here. He’s a very decent right back, and a versatile squad player. Every squad needs a few players like that who aren’t necessarily world class but who can fill in in a few positions…

  18. egessa patrick

    In Uganda,the word wenga stands for a confused person.Therefore wenger’s decision to make 8 changes against wigan can be equated to a mad mans decision.
    even an ordinary coach could not have done that. let him quit the club. patrick.