The cult of Santos | Rambo to the Olympics! | Eden Hazard to Arsenal? | Andrey Average!

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Morning Grovers, we have plenty of defensive talk to plough through this morning, so lets dive straight in!

Cult hero…

I crowd sourced a bit of content yesterday, someone raised a great point. Has Andre Santos achieved cult status already? I mean, it doesn’t seem to matter how woeful he is on the pitch, people wade in to tell me I’m wrong and he’s great.

This type of irrational behaviour has all the hallmarks of Eboue.

So what makes us love him so much? I say us, because I must confess, I too like the guy. Is it his casual Brazilian swagger? Is it his ability to bomb forward and create? Is it the fact he has a Twitter account and he shares pictures of his suped up Smart car? I’m not sure… I just hope he becomes a cult hero for the right reasons.

He no doubt has qualities, he’s just struggling with the boring stuff, you know, like defending and running. Our backline really isn’t in a state to be dealing with that type of nonsense, so we need him to pick his game up sharpish.

Still, it’s early doors…


On the flip side, everyone seems doubly keen to jump on Mertesacker for being a bad player. Now this I’m struggling with. I’ve in the main been impressed with how he’s adapted to the pace and physicality of the game. I think he gives the team a calmness that wasn’t there last year and he’s a very good reader of the game. I think we have a great buy there.

A player who does appear to be gaining plenty of fan love is Koscielny. He’s changing opinions fast with his no-nonsense performances and his strong work ethic. He has all the ingredients to be a top player, he just needs to cut the mistakes out of his game.

I feel I’m in the best form of my life. I’ve improved a lot. I keep working on the basics, my controls and my passes.

I’m also more rigorous. I make less fouls and get less booked as I needed time to adapt to England. I also cope better with the pressure of playing in a very big club.

And I know I can improve even more. Chelsea was one of the best performances of my career, along with the win against Barcelona at home last season.

I might as well make it a clean sweep with the defence, Thomas Vermaelen said,

‘What can I say about it? It does not worry me at all. I am on the pitch to do my best. I am confident and don’t care what people say’

Thomas, it should worry you if your defence concedes loads of goals. However, as you didn’t concede any in the week, I’ll let that comment slide.


In other news Gervinho has been talking about the qualities of Eden Hazard, a player who has been hot on the lips of the Grovers for 3 years now. He’s looking to leave Lille and we’re rumoured to be interested.

‘Hazard is a young player with enormous quality. He has everything it takes to triumph in England.

‘Eden has learned a lot at Lille, and I believe he could succeed abroad’

Firstly, someone should tell Gervinho that Hazard has already succeeded abroad, being Belgian and all. I think Hazard is a great player who already knows how to win trophies, with Theo likely to depart next summer, he could be top replacement signing. I’m just not sure that’ll happen. We have Ryo and Oxo coming through, so it wouldn’t make Wenger sense to spend £30mill plus.

Talking of Gervinho, I do love his flagrant disregard for Wenger’s ban on shooting. I thought the below quote merited a place in the dressing room.

You miss 100 perce­nt of the shots you never take. ~ Wayne Gretz­

I’d send it to Stan, but as Billy Beane didn’t say it i’m unsure he’d like it.

It’s a good point though. How many times have we been undone at Spurs alone with pot shots from outside the box? It would be nice if some of the
midfield would have a go every now and then. It creates space if teams know they have to press you outside the box. I’m not sure teams worry about us shooting at the moment.


Aaron Ramsey says he’s going to the Olympics if he’s picked. Now, that works for me because he’s Welsh and the likelihood of him ever making a major championships are very slim and who wouldn’t want to play in a once in a generation (unless you’re American) home soil Olympics?

My concern would be if Jack was picked. He can’t play two summer tournaments. His current injury is almost a blessing, because a broken bone is not a ruptured Achilles, something that could well have happened had he been run into the ground again this season. He’s had a rest, he’ll be flying from January. That’s great news for our 4th place title aspirations.


In other news, there are a couple of articles I’d like to draw your attention to, one is about Arsenal and their social media plans over the next few years (Football&Socialmedia) and the other is something I wrote about what Manchester United (The Wall blog) creating their own platform for fans.

It’s apparent that as football fans,we’re all hooked when it comes to blogging, Twitter and Facebook. How clubs take on the challenge of social will have a big impact on future commercials. Obviously, the best way to widen your reach is to win a few trophies, but as reported last week, we’re already seeing massive benefits from our tour of Asia. Hopefully that’s started the ball rolling and will give us a larger chunk of the Asian Pie (do they eat pies in Asia?).


Andrey Arshavin has been doing his best to take apart any argument I had about him being more than a luxury player. He stated,

‘Speaking honestly, I think my performances for Arsenal have been average…I’ve done some good things, but I don’t assess my game on goals or assists. I look at the whole picture.’

Oh, ok Andrey, so you’re saying I don’t see the bigger picture are you? I thought contributing 18 assists and 12 goals last year was pretty good. I know he can appear lazy, but having a player with that flash of magic to change a game is always important. He did redeem himself with this.

‘Ideally, I’d like to play closer to a forward’

Well, I wouldn’t mind seeing that. However, if he can’t motivate himself to work hard, he’s not going to get that opportunity.


Finally, it looks like Capello is going to pick John Terry for the upcoming friendlies. That’s odd, what with Italians having such a fine and upstanding record when it comes to racism. What does JT have to do to get dropped? That’ll be a shameful blot on our country and once again show that if you’re an ok English footballer, discipline matters not a jot.

Disappointing in the extreme, but not surprising.

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Right, see you in the comments!

229 Responses to “The cult of Santos | Rambo to the Olympics! | Eden Hazard to Arsenal? | Andrey Average!”

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  1. NiXKiX


    Did you notice how many of the goals scored in the first few min were chips..??

    Wonder y our chip factory, Carlos Vela didn’t progress like this…

  2. JJ

    I read an article from Edu yesterday. It said that Brazilians in general find it hard to come to grips with the pace of the PL when first introduced.

    I hope he is right and that Santos is just working through fitness issues. I also like him and hope that he will plug the leak when he gets his PL legs together.

  3. JJ

    I also saw a Sky Sports News piece the other night where they interviewed a couple of old white men at a kids league and asked them about racism. They said, ‘sure you hear it but no one really means anything by it. It’s just words…’

    Oh, they don’t mean it…well that makes it ok then. What a bunch of plonkers.

  4. Rohan

    I like Pumba. Think he’ll come good. He’s probably good value for 7-8 goals a season as well.

    He’s not THAT bad defensively. Has a decent tackle on him and is pretty fucking strong.

  5. Northbanker

    Don’t know why the earlier debate and the blog is still talking about Hazard. Fact is we can’t afford him and that’s that. Paris SG are sniffing and they are the Man City of France now. If hes up for sale city will also try to buy him just so no-one else has him.

    We have to find someone unknown – that’s our lot these days

  6. bade the gooner (bernard)

    Fuck me every one talks about 202 goals for Messi with Barca, in 6 full years.

    No one mentions CR7 100 goals with Real within 2 years

    Hate Barca Suckers…..

  7. Ricky

    Ronaldo’s record is possibly the best i’ve ever seen in top flight football bade..

    Whats the goals per game ratio?? Surley something ridiculous.?

  8. bade the gooner (bernard)

    Scums lost to Kazan away, now they’re third in their group

    If they fail to beat Paok next week, they’ll be out most probably…..

  9. Ricky

    In all honesty bade i doubt arry will lose any sleep over that defeat..

    He’s kinda made it clear its a competition they dont want to be in.

  10. bade the gooner (bernard)


    2009, 33 starts, 33 goals
    2010, 51 starts, 53 goals
    2011, 16 starts, 18 goals

    It’s more that 1 goal per game…. He had another total of 8 subs, so it’s still 104 goals in total of 108 appearances …..!!!!

    Ridiculous indeed

  11. bade the gooner (bernard)


    Hello to you, it’s sleepy on here lately


    Don’t matter, as long as we can mock their fans over it 🙂

  12. kwik fit

    bade quiet indeed , so quiet that you have been having sex in a row more frequently than you know you should 🙂

  13. Ricky

    Dont worry bade,

    We’ll get our chance to mock em sooner or later this season..

    They will start to fade at some point or another.

  14. bade the gooner (bernard)


    I’m watching Maccabi Haifa play away at Steaua.

    Steaua took a comportable lead 2-0 and looked like they’re going to batter Haifa, but Haifa’s manager showed his balls

    He made one change, tactical one, in the 30th minute, Haifa pulled one back, then he made another change (!!!) again changed the tactical game and the formation, Haifa came back to 2-2

    Will Arsene ever be so reactive during games? I doubt it

  15. Ricky

    Injuries are inevitable kwik..

    Lets not forget the fact that the fixture list has been favourable to them so far this season.. there time will come as normal.

    Just looked at there fixture list & later in the season they will have to play these tough games back to back.

    Man utd

    Not to mention citeh away a fortnight before the game at anfield.

  16. roaaary

    Gambons facts…… on. Messi will be looked at as the greatest player of all time when he retires. The fact he is 24 and people are already saying he could be the best says it all

  17. kwik fit

    Does Messi ever get injured? He seems to avoid all tackles will his body movements . There is no doubt he’s on course for the best of all time.

  18. kwik fit

    I’am liking the look of Esteban Granero the guy from Real who we are
    in talks with according to the Spainish press. Looks to have plenty of ability and an eye for goal. Might just fit right in.

  19. Stickybrown

    “do they eat pies in Asia?” nope we don’t. We rather suck on white clams and oysters! We love watching jumbo brown sausages dipping in white clams! We live in little huts with satellite dishes so we can watch Arsenal!

  20. bade the gooner (bernard)

    Gambon, morning

    No quite FAIL, I didn’t take the national teams in consideration

    Ronaldo 104 goals in 108 appearances (100 starts)

    Messi 117 goals (not 122) in 122 appearances (109 starts)

    Hardly a difference, even Ronaldo’s ratio better (0.96 to 0.95)

    Taking all games (+ international) in consideration

    Messi 151 games (138 starts), 124 goals, 0.82 goal/game ratio
    Ronaldo 130 games (121 starts), 112 goals, 0.86 goal/game ratio

    So Ronaldo’s ratio over all even better than Messi’s , the midget wizard just had more games

    Nice try, maybe next time Gambon.

    By the way, you missed the whole point, as it wasn’t saying CR7 better, it was saying they both so prolific, but one is getting all the attention, sucking and but cheeking…… It is gross

    I’m fan of Argentina, I just happen to hate the collective herd sucking, even if it’s for a player I love and rate…..

  21. bade the gooner (bernard)


    The best player in the world must have some international pedigree …. Messi failed already 3 times as Argentina’s leader to achieve anything, so he still has a distance to go

    And sorry, but the LA Liga is a joke, training ground most of the days, just like Ronaldo, he wouldn’t be so prolific playing in a decent league, say the EPL….

  22. Mayank

    Bade I’m sure Messi has more assists. Messi just brings more to the game than Ronaldo. The only place where Ronaldo has the edge is that he’s proven in two leagues.

  23. Mayank

    Also Maradona had more experience carrying teams like he did Napoli (I’m assuming the rest of their team wasn’t anywhre near the current Barca setup). Messi on the other hand has to play for 2 very different setups.

    If Messi wants to bring international success to Argentina he must learn to play under more than one set of circumstances. And for that he’ll have to leave Barca which will never happen.

  24. bade the gooner (bernard)


    The point is, even if Messi’s better, he’s a touch better. By the way, I prefer Messi over Ronaldo, he’s Argentinian, so for me that alone will do

    But the media sucks Messi so much to the throat you really get the impression he’s miles better, and he’s not (not yet at least)

    You can’t be so a great if you fail to drive your national team to any success. Mind you, Messi surrounded with wizards, while Maradona barely had good players around him, and he took Argentina to 2 WC finals, won one and lost the other due to referee double mistake (that wasn’t a penalty….)

  25. Mayank

    Bade, even if there is only a little difference the media can only have one football hero of the generation.

    However you’re right, unless Messi wins a WC for Argentina he isn’t close to Maradona.or even Zidane. Not because international honours are more important than club honours but becaue he has to showcase the ability to play under more than one type of setup.

  26. bade the gooner (bernard)

    But those years it is trendy to suck Barca cocks, so all the media do that, Messi happens to be their best player (by miles their best), so he get the most sucking

    By the way, mark my words, Barca won’t win La Liga, or CL this year, and I’ll be much surprised if they do

    Barca always get the good calls, they barely have a wrong refereeing decisions going against them

    They’re a bunch of cheaters and divers after all…. Look how many penalties and reds they got with cheating, then try to find how many were given against them

  27. bade the gooner (bernard)

    Agree Mayank,

    Mind you La Liga more of training ground than a competitive league

    Do you think Messi would be so prolific if he played in the EPL? I much doubt it

  28. bade the gooner (bernard)

    I’m going with Real winning La Liga, and either of Real or Bayern winning the CL. I reckon they’ll meet in the finals, unless the draw clash them earlier …..

  29. Mayank

    I don’t think he’d be 53 goals prolific here but he’d probably still break the EPL scoring record. Although it depends on which team you put him in.

  30. bade the gooner (bernard)

    Well Mayank,

    I doubt that, anyway you should count 2-3 months out each year, it’s the EPL 😆

  31. LAzer

    ah the pointless “Messi is the greatest” debate wages on. Imo he isn’t even close RIGHT NOW. He is only 24 so has probably 3 WCs left in him. Plenty of time but you never ever know. I don’t think he is necessarily going to get a whole lot better, similar to Rooney, an earlier riser. Depends on if he maintains his game and how he adapts when he loses a touch of pace in the late 20s.

    Still, the jury is out deliberating this one and will be for a while I think.

    As far as Barca go everything has gone about as rosy as it can go for them the past few years. Nothing lasts forever.

  32. frednerk

    What I don’t understand is Park is not up to the pace of the game yet,the team we played were a french team,we bought him from a french team ,he played in the french league over 3 season’s,someone explain to me what I’am missing here.

  33. Mayank

    Doesn’t need to get better just show that he can carry his Barca form to another setting. Be it another club or internationally.

  34. bade the gooner (bernard)


    You can say I’m right

    Or do you think playing in a training ground league makes you the best ever?

    Fuck me let us see him play in EPL is regular basis. La Liga is embarrassment for competition definition

  35. bade the gooner (bernard)


    You’r right, that’s why Argentina won the WC in 2010 and the Copa in 2011, when Messi ended as the leading scorer in both competitions ….

  36. Moray

    WS, Messi is shit and one-dimensional. Put him in the Stoke side and I bet you he hardly scores ANY headed goals from long throws!

  37. gnarleygeorge9

    Mertesacker can’t do everything @ the back. Blimey Tony Adams had Martin Keown, Steve Bould or David O’Leary to back him up. Unfortunately until TV gets back to regular game time, Per will have to carry the load of also rans like Koscielny.

  38. WengersSweeties

    Moray says:
    November 4, 2011 at 10:26

    WS, Messi is shit and one-dimensional. Put him in the Stoke side and I bet you he hardly scores ANY headed goals from long throws!



    This is the first and last time you’ll ever get my attention.

    Now get to School, your late!

  39. WengersSweeties

    bade the gooner (bernard) says:
    November 4, 2011 at 10:23


    You’r right, that’s why Argentina won the WC in 2010 and the Copa in 2011, when Messi ended as the leading scorer in both competitions ….


    Who has ever won a World Cup on their own?

    What the hell are you talking about?

  40. bade the gooner (bernard)

    If Messi was that big, you’d think Argentina would produce a better results with him on the side. This just didn’t happen, and he barely had any impact on the national team

    If he was truly big, he would shine there too, not only in the training ground league when surrounded with a great squad and manager too

  41. frednerk

    When Tony Adams began his 1st team career the 1st 4 seasons were littered with mistakes,every ground,every away supporter, all you heard was the sound HE-HOAR he proved the donkey tag wrong did’nt he.