Magic man Song adds another assist | Arsenal move clear of Spurs and Chelsea

by & filed under News Review.

The clocks have gone forward, spring is absolutely here and what a day for a game of football yesterday was. By English standards, the heat was blistering, which as we all know, suits the Arsenal boys perfectly. The prematch didn’t exactly start well, Koscielny picked up some sort of illness (injury?) , so we lined up with JD instead. He’s a bit of a calamity at times, but at least he lined up as a centre back.

Within minutes, it was actually JD who was rolling around on the floor with a head injury. He wasn’t moving from what we could see, so we did fear the worst, especially with Jenkinson as the only potential centre back on the bench. He picked himself up and carried on.

Arsenal had most of the early possession, however, it was Villa who had the better of the chances with Albrighton taking advantage of some slack Kieran Gibbs tracking. Lucky for us his shooting boots were back in Birmingham.

Arsenal were working the ball around the pitch quite nicely, the best move before we scored came when Sagna worked his way down the wing, he played the ball into Robin who laid it off to Theo for a snap shot that was too close to Given.

It wasn’t going to take something that spectacular to open up Villa. Gervinho picked up a roving Gibbs as he was making a play for the box, he controlled the ball, struck his shot low and reasnobly hard at the near post, Given misjudged and the ball slipped under him to give us our first!

How easy was that? Very my friends…

It wasn’t all one way traffic, Stephen Ireland found himself in our box, he cut back to Heskey who flew his shot wide of the post. Albrighton again made a pacey run for our goal, Gibbs was nowhere to be seen, but Gervinho was and showed off his pace with a superb bit of back tracking!

The next goal came from another bit of Alex Song wizardry. He played one of his now trademark chipped through balls into the path of Theo Walcott. He trapped it, moved into space and placed his shot under the keeper. So much technique in that goal. An absolute masterclass. Alex Song really is starting to frighten me with all these assists!

Arteta also took time out to remind us that in a distant career elsewhere, he could shoot. He let off a bullet from outside the area but Shay Given had it in him to tip it over the bar!

The final moment of the half worth mentioning came when Alex Song played Robin into the box, the Dutchman lost his balance and fell, the ball came loose, he rose to his feet, gently swept the ball to his good foot and shot in one movement… sadly a Villa player flew back to clear the shot.

Robin is on fire. An absolute class apart!

The second half was a bit more of a tame affair. We were two up, we didn’t need to commit bodies forward and really, we needed to make sure we didn’t over exert ourselves to the point of injury. Villa were offering up nothing, we needed to realise that and keep the mistakes to a premium.

I have to say, I can barely remember anything of note in the second half? Villa made it through on goal late on but Chesney saved with his legs. I thought Chamberlain was fouled inside the box but the ref decided otherwise. Oh… and Alex Song was brutally chopped down in the last minute from the type of challenge that is typical of players working under Mcliesh. That’s why when I typed his name into my address bar this morning, I enjoyed the top suggested search result.

Anyway, the resultant freekick that looked to be about 35 yards out was smashed into the top corner by Arteta! What a way to finish a very efficient day at the office.

7 wins on the bounce… this is all starting to shape up rather nicely!

Conclusion

What can we conclude from a win like yesterday? Well, there are a few things for me. Firstly, I don’t take too much notice of the opposition. You can only beat who the league put in front of you and that Villa side went two up against us in the cup. What you can take note of is the difference in confidence of the team at the moment.

Theo Walcott, since the fans gave him a bit of stick at the ground, has become a different beast. I can’t work out what has been the bigger driver for him in the second half of the season. Is it the realisation that he actually had to start performing if he wanted a new gold plated deal? Was it the emergence of Chamberlain? Or has he had this summers England exploits in his head? Or has the return of Sagna made his life that little bit easier? It’s probably a combination of the lot. He’s added variety to his game, he’s far more clinical in front of goal and he’s decisive wherever he is on the pitch. His goal yesterday was superb. I’m not sure the Theo of last year could have scored that.

I think experience has been a major driving factor in the resurgence of the squad. In seasons past, we’ve tended to fall apart in the business end of the year. Not so this year. We’ve capitalised on some great form and we’ve kept it going. Alex Song, Thomas Vermaelen, Thomas Rosicky, Mikael Arteta, Bacary Sagna and Robin Van Persie are all mid twenties and up. They’re all in form and they’re all totally focused on Arsenal. Could we say the same last year? Certainly not for two of our star players

I think the other major factor is time. The players have started to work out how to play with each other. The impact of losing your two best players is always going to be massive. We had to work out a whole new way of playing and that finally seems to be clicking. More players are taking responsibility to create. More players are hungry to land themselves on the score sheet and over all, there is total belief that they can win any game against any team.

It’s the perfect storm at this point in the season.

A few people have asked if I’ve changed my opinion on the manager. Well, first things first, I’m over the moon about the turnaround. I’ve said all season we can make top four, which it seems like we’re on course to do now. My opinion of the manager has always been around learning from his mistakes. If we make top 3 this season, will he reflect on last years errors and make the changes he needs to early on… or will this year be vindication for him to continue as is. If we have another summer like last  year, we’ll have another similar season. If Wenger keeps hold of Robin, bakes in 2-3 world class players into the mix and makes a real go of it next year… I’d be more than happy for him to see out his forever contract.

The big difference for me this year is Robin. The captain has been vocal with the manager about the lack of experience around the squad before. Wenger knows if he has a chance of winning the league over the next three years, he’ll need a player like Robin in the squad. Robin will know that a Wenger promise on super quality players doesn’t always stack up. I’m guessing he’s asked the club to show him ambition if he’s to sign on. Hopefully, that’ll be the tipping point for Arsene and a policy change.

However, lets take this one step at a time. There are still 8 games left. A lot can happen in that time. It’s looking good though. We’re 3 points ahead of Spurs, we’re 8 ahead of Chelsea and 16 ahead of Liverpool. Yep, 16. King Kenny. What a manager.

Next up is QPR on Saturday, they’re without Cisse, which is bad news for them, they’re also without any form players, which is even worse news. We need to beat one of Chelsea or City at home… if we can do that, I think top 3 is ours. It’s tense though… who would have thought 3rd Place Trophy could be so much fun?

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See you in the comments!

198 Responses to “Magic man Song adds another assist | Arsenal move clear of Spurs and Chelsea”

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  1. gilz

    shame none of this never started in august eh ?! defo need 2-3 world class players, poldo would be a nice start , followed by m`villa , and NO MORE SILVESTRE signings , i swear wenger and ferguson were sat around a poker table and fergie threw mikael down on the table , and wenger won the hand, ferguson tipped his hat back, laid back on his chair, sipped his malt and pissed himself .
    Get the deals done before the euros , then go on your hols arsene and have as many affairs as you want, !! At the end of the day its all wishful thinking.

  2. Josip Skoblar

    Rosicky was my MOTM. Sagna close second. Song was overall great, but his slowness and slopiness could have cost us dear at times.

  3. Jamie

    Your Comment HereIs in 9.45? 8.45?

    Anyway, Wenger in.

    This is so hard to take for most ITK commentators, I’m delighted. they’ll have to fish some kind of non-inflammitory ‘I was wrong, but this is why…’ statement out.

    Embarrassing, writing us iff in September.

    Mind that damned gap, indeed.

  4. Leedsgunner

    Wenger is so proud and so sure of himself that’s doubt he will learn from or even admit he has made mistakes… Great win!

  5. Gunns79

    Vertonghen, Podolski, Hazard that’s all needed for next season with the rest of team intact.

    And yes the annual pilgrimage by Henry is a must too!

    2012 Arsenal DVD season review: “Back Where You Belong err..you Spuds channel 5″!

  6. galteegunner

    Recent performances make me think that Arsenal can win the league next season. The team has finally shown real potential and a winning mentality. Without the shockingly bad start to the season and we would be competing this yr. As your post states, it is up to arsene to show ambition in the transfer window, do it early and spend summer preparing the squad for a real tilt at the big prize

  7. nedox

    Nice one Pedro…the team needs world class addition and AW is truly after Poldi, atleast, going by his comment on .com yesterdy. The case of Jan Vertoghen(spell check) is more curious cos we have 4 CBs and u won’t expect him to dislodge either Kos or Verm or Gibbs or Song. And with Jack coming back soonest, our creativity problem is almost solved! So I have a feeling Poldi will be our only signing this summer.

    7 in a row!

  8. Pacman

    Pedro good post!

    Third is ours to loose now, and that is still posible! If we keep up our momentum i fancy our chances tho

  9. Josip Skoblar

    I liked Arteta’s contribution as well. He keeps it simple, but he is disciplined and effective. I like his personality too, not a prima donna like Cesc or Nasri. Very solid game by Verm and RvP is technically head and shoulder above the rest of the team. You really realise that when you see him play from the stands. He’s got a full bag of tricks! The Ox is already a more accomplished player than Theo who has poor technique. The Ox will come very good! Our best prospect with Le Coq. Although he scored a fine goal, I remain unconvinced by Gibbs who lost his direct opponent so many times. DJ and him were our weaker links. Against better opponents, I not sure…

  10. Steve of Chiang Mai

    Notice the lads giving Theo stick last week are quiet today – whatever you think of him that was a class finish. The way he opened up his body looked like he had been taking Thierry Classes last month…..

  11. Thomas, it's up for grabs now..

    3rd not in the bag Pedro.. A bit of work to do yet! But that 3 point cushion is great to have. I reckon avoiding defeat against City & Chelsea and we will shade it. 4 points from those two and it’s ours.

    Piers Morgan seen taking LSD at the same party where Freddie Starr ate a hamster.

  12. azed

    Steve of Chiang Mai March 25, 2012 10:30:30

    Notice the lads giving Theo stick last week are quiet today – whatever you think of him that was a class finish. The way he opened up his body looked like he had been taking Thierry Classes last month…..
    ————————————————————————————————————
    Even Denilson scored some screamers, made some nice through passes and some tackles so lets bring him back..

  13. LAzer

    Pedro thought Gervino should get a special mention for all the solid tracking back and defensive work he did. You already mentioned the pass to Gibbs.

    That’s the sort of effort we need to see every game, that’s what the invincibles had in leaps and bounds.

  14. Sleek

    Chelsea at home is a certain three points. They were so bad yesterday. This Arsenal will batter them. I must say Cahill is pure class! Kept them from losing yesterday, a bit like Verm, tenacious and good on the ball.

  15. LAzer

    No easy games. With RVP leading from the front and experianced heads like Sagna and Vermaelen leading at the back I hope I don’t see the lads taking any games for granted.

  16. Josip Skoblar

    Sorry, Theo would have to do much more than yesterday’s goal to convince me that he’s world class. He can’t dribble, his positioning is often questionable and he does dp much defensive work. If he wasn’t English, imagine the
    contempt and hatred that would
    be directed at him… Let me add that I once was a great Theo fan and I’d like more English players in our team.

  17. LAzer

    That’s the attitude that will get you killed in this league super quick Sleek. No such thing as a sure thing. Especially a Chelsea squad with experiance and skill fighting for their CL lives. That will be a huge test.

  18. incesc

    i think chelsea are gonna have a clearout in the summer and the players know it.

    this champions league is their last hurrah, qualifying next year doesnt matter if you are leaving

  19. Josip Skoblar

    Lazer
    Good point! Gervinho worked so hard defensively, sometimes to cover for Gibbs who had gone missing.

  20. Sadam Mahessar

    Agree with you all, I was impressed with Gervinho yesterday, just needs to get a little more direct and start shooting whenever an opportunity actually arises.

    Also, what I have noticed about him is that sometimes he gets too close to the players with him and doesn’t provide much space by drawing defenders out, needs to get his off the ball run a little more sleek as well.

  21. Matchy

    As i had written many times in the past, Song is far more dangerous and effective playing further up front. He can deliver a killer pass. He had demonstrated yet again.

    Song is a very good player but far better up front.

    1. he likes to attack.
    2. he can pass (vision and application)
    3. he can hold the ball up there … hence keeps the ball in that part of town.

    Can he play the defensive midfielder? yes but he is not as disciplined cos ‘naturally’ his mindset is attack … so he often stray tooo further up the park and leaves holes at the back.

    So as i mentioned many times if they can have a player like m’villa sitting infront of the back four then the team will be even more stronger.

    M’villa plays very simply, effiecient cos he plays simple passes and keeps the ball moving. (arsenal must move the ball fast for them to be effective)

    Henece against teams who can negate their movement on and off the ball they have problems penetrating. (hence they need a player who can dribble past players) … OX looks the part and Harzard is great but he aint coming … not for $30million …

    Finally the two super stars:

    First AVFC defense yestrday was third rate. It was shit. As i mentioned against bigger players, smarter defensive walcott is ineffective.

    He had plenty of spaces to run yesterday. And apart from the goal i didnt see that much a big deal about the guy. That goal he should have score and must score. Whats so special? It was more about that PASS. If walcott didnt score that goal he is not worth $60k he is getting now.

    And if you look at yesterday’s game the team had holes in midfield. AVFC had chances to score ….. they had plenty of chances and they were dominated like the score line ….

    Walcott says Ramsey will be better then Fabby .. …………………..?

  22. Sleek

    LAzer
    Experience? Yes. Skill? No way. I say it again, we’ll tear them apart at the grove.
    Josep
    Wallcot might not be world class and inconsistent but he is a major threat to have on your side. If the English media didn’t build him up as their saviour maybe your expectations of him will be more realistic.

  23. Byo

    Great synopsis and lyricism. There is no doubt that the absence of full-backs, and the Fabregas/Na$ri saga had an effect early in the season.

    There seem to be consensus that the team needs 2 great signings in the off-season(in the CB and central striker positions). Wilshere will be the CAM. And there seem to be a consensus on Vertonghen and Podolski. M’Villa will be a bonus.

    One cannot ignore the leadership of RvP, with Vermaelen as deputy on this team.

  24. incesc

    sadam

    if thats true its a crazy statistic.

    wenger and the board are the most frustrating fuckers, why did they wait till september to put our team together

  25. Sleek

    Gervinho was decent yesterday but lacked the cutting edge to create chances for Robin. Ramsey will be seeing a lot of the bench next season.

  26. Thomas, it's up for grabs now..

    Incesc.. Indeed! This time last year after 30 games we had 59 points (58 now after 30). We were 7 points behind UTD with a game in hand. now we are 12 behind with the same games played.

    Utd won it with 80 points. It looks like it will take close to 90 to win it this year.

    If we win 6, draw 1, lose 1, of our last 8 we will touch 77 points. That is still well short and that would be winning 13 of our last 15 games. Eminently do’able however in the form we are in!

    We need to be hitting 80+ points to be close to any shake up for the title. Our 2008 side hit 83 and didn’t win it. We’ve never hit those heights since.

    Delighted with the curent form and cheering on the team. However, some spending still needs to be done in the summer to bring a few more top players in.

    If this team finishes around 76-77 points then we can look forward to the summer with confidence. With 200m in the bank we can certainly add the quality to scratch out those extra 8-10 points we will need next year to make a real challenge. Any team that is targetting 85ish points will be in the final shake-up. (hm I remember the Chavs won it one year with 95..96? points).

  27. chris

    Hate to say it but Wenger might well take the view that the squad’s developing nicely, Jack back, two of Ramsey, AOC and Coquelin virtual bankers to be a lot better next year, the defence is starting to improve fianlly (agere with people who worry about Gibbs positionally though).
    Any of Afobe, Ryo, Frimpong, Campbell (if he gets a visa for playing for Costa Rica) have a real chance as well (I like them all as better impact subs than we have now)

    So maybe try to buy Hazard, find out he’s too expensive, try to buy M’Vila, find out he’s too expensive buy Podolski hopefully and decide he’s enoughfor now and buy a couple of guys in late August after the squad is decimated by injuries early on…

    Still, there’s much better cohesion between the fans and the players who finally seem to realise how much they need one another and a few poor results by Spurs and Chelsea and third is rightthere for the taking, mayybe even by a fair margin.

    I thought yesterday’s 0-0 was ideal. Both sides a bit rubbish at the back but incapable of scoring.Spurs still look to have more firepower (arguably more than us) but I wouldn’t want Assou-Ekotto, Kaboul or King in myteam (I don’t know enough about Walker to say) and they are ony 2 points from the last 15 so the next two games could potrentially wreck their season.
    I’m not at all convinced about di Matteo eeither – I think hemight have been flattered by a couple of early results and they have a lot of tough fixtures – really they probably need to beat us to finish ahead of us.

  28. Sadam Mahessar

    Incesc

    That stat has just sent me into a severe state of depression. If only we hadn’t lost to Blackburn, Swansea, drawn at Bolton and lost to Fulham at Cottage, even these four results, which were far easier to get than say Liverpool at Emirates, United at OT and Newcastle at Andrews, would have had us in contention for the Premiership right now.

  29. Matchy

    @kc

    it was a strike that most people would have taken. he was right in front of the goal and … it was expected goal. if he had missed that goal. he is not worth $30k

  30. Josip Skoblar

    Sleek
    Fair point about Walcott, I agree. As usual our media over-hyped him far too early. I think it’s good to have him in our squad, but he’s no exceptional talent. I once believed he was, so I’m quite disappointed now.

  31. incesc

    matchy

    song can deliver a through ball, but he is not a good enough player to be our AM.

    he is far too clumsy, moving him forward would be a disaster. we can hardly fight man citeh for the title next year when they have silva pulling the strings up there and we have alexander song :)

    maybe lay off the drugs

  32. Sleek

    Matchy

    C’mon! Give the lad some credit. He would’nt have scored if his first touch wasn’t van persiesque! He controlled nicely and still had the calmness to finish at the bottom corner. You lot would have been raving had it been RVP.

  33. Thomas, it's up for grabs now..

    Overall I’m with Josip on Theo. We need that form more consistantly. He definitely has raised his game recently.

    However, to be fair, that was a bloody well taken goal yesterday. Martin Keown said it was possibly the best goal he scored. He described it as Thierry Henry-esque!

    The first touch to bring it down, and set up the final touch was as good as any first touch you will see for a goal. Nice one Theo!

  34. incesc

    it obviously comes down to getting the team in place early thomas and keeping robin, but if we can get that many points in what has been our worst season on the pitch for over a decade there is hope next year.

    i think a lot depends on citeh. Clearly they have a strategy of buying our best players, and disrupting us but can they continue to so that with FFP?

  35. Matchy

    Thomas, it’s up for grabs now..March 25, 2012 11:24:42

    if i buy the lottery tix for 200 times i’ll win something.

    walccot plays 200 plus games to score that goal and people are over the moon?

    so it takes him another 200 games to score a goal like that ? if he gets 80k a week?????

    come on!!

  36. Robin's Choco Leg Special

    Villa had two real chances of their own making to talk about yesterday. Even though we were sloppy and took our foot of the gas for a long period in the second half (which, was a bit criminal with our tendency to fold when teams get back into games after their first shot on target ) we looked a side brimming with confidence. We must be aware of that and not let an arrogant complacency creep into our game which is bound to come in some quarters on the back of this run. Thinking games are over can suddenly turn to 2 losses on the bounce and trouble we should be avoiding with just the league finish to really concentrate on. `

    Djourou even played 90 minutes and had remarkably decided to leave the red nose and silly hair act at home. On Djourou though, a fourth choice centre half, and not a very good one, on £50k a week is a key example of Wenger pissing money away.

    Walcott hasn’t really changed a lot for me. He’s still incredibly frustrating with the ball at his feet, but a major threat with his pace and intelligent runs. He’s riding on the crest of the teams form and certain aspects of his game are falling into place for him. I’m pleased for the lad because he’s taken a bit of stick (not unwarranted) and risen to the challenge posed by our situation and the competition in ox, gervinho and arshavin. I’m a big detractor of his and certainly think letting him go is a bad move in the long run, but he really must improve his variety in 1v1’s against full backs and improve his short 1 touch game to take him to the next level and set him up for that coverted centre forwards role. I’m certain that if we keep Robin, he will play a deeper role instead of the focal point as his touch and in game intelligence signify it’s where he’ll thrive when the pace starts to go.

    Let’s not pretend that it’s been a great season though. The pressures off in regards to a title run in or relegation dog fight and we aren’t in the mixer to win any trophies. Finishing above the scum with an automatic champions league spot and a gloat of ‘our worst team in 15years is better the your best team in 15years, forever in our shadow’ should just about appease even the most ardent Wenger detractors. But, it will certainly not satisfy them nor most players or fans when it comes to trophies.

    Next season will have to be a return to the ‘competing for the title’ Arsenal and not the ‘top 4 is a trophy’ Arsenal. The latter won’t keep our best captain since Vieira, it won’t win trophies, it might just squeeze into the top four, but it’ll save and make the board some money.

    We already know who needs to go and it’s a few but Podolski, Goetze, Vertrongen and a back up GK if we can’t keep Fabianski and I think we’ll be showing some serious intent towards being a force rather than a team who has it’s days and are a good side, but in the end lack the depth to really challenge for the big prizes.

  37. Thomas, it's up for grabs now..

    Incesc, spot on..
    The 3rd place is so important for a number of reasons..

    Aside from the extra money, in the CL, (10% more of the TV money), an extra lump from the PL and of course the confidence it will give the team, the number one reason, IMO is that we will have no qualifying game in August.

    Now that gives the club certainty in the summer, that we will be in the CL. No waiting around to see what happens til the end of august.

    AW can step out on the 1st July and get his business done early and with certain knowledge of the finances he has and will have the following season to pay wages etc..

    On FFP; 3 days ago the European Commission said UEFA’s FFP regulations were in line with EU State Aid Policy. Not anything bindind mind, but an affirmation that the rules were consistent and such a statement will make it a tad harder to challenge them.

    I just hope RVP can accept a substantial pay-rise, and see some good players come in. Then I think he might stay, despite the large offers elsewhere. And with a substatial loyalty bonus I think we can offer him a decent package.

    Now I’m off to visit a church, a mosque and a synagogue to pray for that!

  38. The Prophet

    Kos is suffering with knee tendonitis but should be back shortly. Did some easy reading on it which you can check out here http://orthopedics.about.com/cs/patelladisorders/a/patellartendon.htm

    Good game against poor opposition. If we can beat Chelski an City at home we will be good to go for top 4

    Interesting to see Rambo is benched a lot and it seems to be working. I’m afraid he isn’t the same since he broke his leg.

    Wenger states he will buy top top quality only if they find it available. No mention of price I see……interesting times.

    It is nice to be smiling 7 games in a row 😀

  39. AJ

    Great performance overall. Really good touches from Walcott, good finish as well.
    The only problem with Song is that he takes a long time on the ball. He spots angles, yes, but sometimes you just need to move the ball around, like Arteta.
    As for signings, I don’t think we will go for a center back. And if we do, we can try out Vermaelen as a DM along with Song or Arteta( who I thought was left sided, but seeing him and Song exchange positions of late).
    The thing is that we are a few players away from being a strong unit, and Wenger will be a fool to not sign new players.

  40. iffy the goon

    Oh my aching head. This is my last hangover forever. I can’t understand why i’d put myself in this type of situation.

    Anyway that tv pass to theo was sublime, and what can you say about thomas rosicky pressing that defender (think it was cuellar or so)to make a wayward pass to song for 2nd goal. Just shows that if you apply some pressure you will get some results. We need to beat city at the grove if we’ll stand a chance next season. Been a while since we had a good say about who wins the pl.

    oh!!! my aching head

  41. Honest Bill

    I think Rosicky’s recent performances have to get a special mention.. He looks like a totally different player, who is super committed and is looking far more decisive than he ever did before his injury

  42. Thomas, it's up for grabs now..

    Match..

    i didn’t say Theo was world class and deserves a world class salary. I said I’m with Josip Skoblar’s viewpoint on him. Read back.

    However, that goal yesterday was as well taken as you will see. I was giving credit where it’s due. And his first touch was excellent.

    I’d be quite happy to see a 25-30m player like Hazard/Goetze A. N. Other come in and push Theo to the Bench. That would give us depth and quality. Then if Theo keeps his game raised to the level he has found recently then he will earn his place on the field on merit.

    I think we have more serious problems to ship out of the squad, and release some wages than to push Theo out and hold onto Chamakh, Fabianski, Squillaci etc…

    My view is quite straigh-forward. Bring in top quality at the top end of the squad, ship out lowest quality at the other end. If Theo and a few other not-so-favourite players with some people (Song, Ramsey etc) remain, then in my opinion we will still have improved our squad and chances.

  43. iffy the goon

    Not exactly true incesc, maybe he wants to see a move from wenger for real quality players. Last season he said that everyone signs for 20m+ why not arsenal. This season he’s talking about going on a run for a whole year like he never even considered leaving.

    I think he’ll stay and he’s doing what is best for all of us

  44. iffy the goon

    chelsea need something like 100m to get back to winning ways. They need a new striker that won’t get any bedding period so must be pl proven. Maybe ba, but my money’ll be on cavani. They need 2 midfielders, creative and good on the ball. The need to replace bosingwa, they need competition for cashley cole. They just seem to have a need in every position.

    Guess that’s what happens when you don’t have a working youth policy

  45. Thomas, it's up for grabs now..

    Incesc, I do worry that he will go also.

    He definitely will listen to other offers but he will also listen to Arsenal and see what they will put on the table.

    The club know this, he knows this, and his Poxy agent knows this! There is no doubt that we will have to make him a serious offer to retain his services.

    However, if the planets are aligned, the team finishes strongly, he sees some quality arriving and we offer a decent package then there is still a realistic chance he will still tog out for us next season. There are rumours also of a 5m loyalty bonus to be offered, so I think the overall package will be worth 150k+… Plus his missus and kids are happy in London. So we are not out of the race yet. I would in fact say we are still favourites but we must put fresh bread on the table, and not a 3 day old french loaf!

  46. andy

    I was really cursing yesterday with theo and gerv … Good runs, good first touches BUT bad second touches … The bullet of verm perfect first touch by theo but then … Good work for nothing ;( hopefully they will be able to improve this weakness … Btw ox was fouled definitely outside the box. Ireland should have received red and he would be suspended for their homegame against the chavs – good for us if he can play he was good last time against them

  47. Sleek

    3 day old french loaf! Cracked me up there. Arsene is obsessed with Goetze and we recently contacted Dortmund about him. If he buys an attacking midfielder, bet your money it would be Mario Goetze.

  48. fanboy

    Anyone watch F1? A real suprise podium finish for Alonso and Perez.

    Top post Pedro, I was pratically reliving the match.

    Not a word of criticism for any of the boys, everyone played the game to the best of their abilities.

    Its strange that when Song made an assist for RVP, the pass wasn’t all that good and RVP had to adjust to score it. But Theo gets an assist from the same Song and he has to be a fool not to score. A bit of double standards, eh?

    We have to maintain this streak and show no mercy to lower opposition and no fear against the Chavs and city. Who knows if they continue losing points we might just nick 2nd.

  49. Goon in 60 Seconds

    Andy ?? Bad second touches?? There was not much more theo could have done with that verm pass, it was a a great recovery challenge from the villa man, plus it WASNt a foul from ireland on Ox watch the slow mo, it was a goood tackle!! watching the wenger presser, is it me or is he sounding Very Japanese today!!!!! great great great great great great great win yesterday, Arsenal of old again, but this time with even quicker movement!!! I think podolski is Arshavins replacement, dont think we will see DM, as both song arteta and coq can play there. I think we will get Ryo bak from loan, obv Jack will be back. Vertonghen is the only feasible signing other tha Polack but even then, who does he replace?? Gibbs? Santos? Sagna ?? Verm Kos??? Merte?? Vertonghen will be a 3rd choice in every position. Cant see it happening., unless we ship out Santos, but i cant see that happening, and i like santos a lot!! before his injury he was a MAJOR factor in our revival!! Goetze??? it could happen , as he is young and therfore wouldnt demand a place in the team every week, but with Rozzer on form, wilshere and ramsey, again how feasible is it we need him. So people of le grove, some one give me a sensible answer, Who should we sign in the summer and WHY?? I can see Podolski but any one else, i am struggling to see where they woud fit into the team. nb if it wasnt for Sicknotes recent revival i could see a place for a goetze, but ATM we have the best AM in the league form wise in tomas. Good day grovers! :-)

  50. Terence Andrade

    i would still get Hazard … Hazard is that player than can create magical moments when everything is going against us… i dont think gotze is needed at the moment… ppl say he is top class but how good was he when he played against us???
    we have wilsahre, diaby, ryo who have not played this season for us… next season they will b fighting it out for a spot… we have bartley coming back…. for the def midfield spot we have le coq and frimpong figting it out for songs spot… we have ramsay and diaby fighting it out for artetas spot and we have wilsahre fighting it out for rosicky’s spot. (one player who is very similar to rosicky is modrich, i would rather buy him for 25m than gotze).

  51. charles

    Everyone is talking about signing players … surely it is more important we dont’ lose players in the summer? Right now we are without Wilshere, Mert, Kos, and obviously Diaby (le coq aswell?). Those are 4 very solid players two of them our best and we still have a great side.

    This current crop of players are playing great together and can take a few injuries and still play great. Next year we are going to have ryo and frimpong back. Plus we should be getting podolski. As long as we don’t lose TV, RVP or … can’t believe i am saying this TR7 we will fine next year with just those additions. I do like mert but I feel vertgohen would have been a better signing for his versertility … we can’t buy him now because we have too many CBs and he would want constant game time (really we should sell DJ and replace with vert but that is never going to happen).

  52. Sleek

    Hazard won’t sign for us! Goetze will be the perfect player to unlock stubborn defences.Rosicky won’t play all the games and we’ve all seen he’s a form player. Yossi will be gone at the end of his loan spell. Chamack, and Park are available for transfers.

  53. andy

    Well goon he made a perfect first touch but the second one was far too much if you take a look at it again you will see it. The ball was at least 5 yards in front of him and thats not working in the box … And if you really think it was not a foul you should really considering watching only rugby and fightclub … It was not a bad one but a clear foul and yellow

  54. 9jagunner

    And the Lord said unto Wenger, “Behold I have heard your cry and indeed I have seen the works of the Mancites, the Manuzites, the Chelshites and the Tottentites. I have seen how the Mancites have put their trust in filthy mammon.. I will permit them for this season. I have also seen how the Manuzites lean on the arm of Ferguson… I will pity them also for a season more. However the sin of the Chelshites and the Tottentites are beyond pardon. The Chelshites have made gods of their old prophets and have not allowed my young prophets to prosper… Europa league is their due. But the Tottentites have vexed me most of all. They have made proud boasts of their skill and their pacy wingers. They have taunted their better rivals and kicked them even as they lay on the floor, as if they did not know that Fabregas had returned to the land of his birth and Nasri had moved on to the land of oil and honey. For this sin, I have instructed mighty angels to seal up the goal post of all their opponents on every pitch of play. In vain will Bale shoot, for nought will Lennon sprint. Their midfield will wallow in confusion, even as their defence leaks goals
    😉

  55. Josip Skoblar

    I think that Hazard is more talented than Goetze. He’ll soon be as big as Ronaldo. As for Goetze, that remains to be seen. But it’s only my opinion, and this opinion seems to be in a minority on this blog… We shall see.

  56. Thomas, it's up for grabs now..

    Hey Josip! I agree on Hazard v Goetze! You are not alone! (Both would be tasty though!)

    If anyone wants an example of an arrogant player look no further that Ian Wright! Did we love him all the same? 😉

    What are you views on Mario Gomez… Never gets a mention on the transfer gossip.. Although I did read recently somewhere that Abramovich might be targetting him in the summer?

  57. iffy the goon

    Wenger shot himself in the foot when he signed eisfield. No way we’ll get goetze now.

    Then again, maybe we were never after him

  58. Thomas, it's up for grabs now..

    Pedro March 25, 2012 13:42:15
    Anyone watching this Old Firm derby?
    Fuck me… we’re spoilt.
    ——————–

    Nah Pedro, I’m watching higher quality stuff than that.

    Chesterfield v Swindon now on SP2.

    Just for the Di Canio madness alone!

  59. Josip Skoblar

    Thomas
    An English mate who lives in Lille tells me that Hazard is a popular figure at LOSC. I reckon the lad is simply very confident a la Ronaldo. That does not make him a trouble-maker.
    Intetesting that you mention Gomez. I’ve always rated him. Norhing too fancy about him, but the lad scores buckets of goals. I for sure would like him at Arsenal.

  60. JOPPAAAAAAAA

    We sit in a good position now. Never let it go 15 years again before two Englishmen score in the same match. That is a horrible statistic for an English club.

    Looking forward to seeing Wilshere, Ramsey, Walcott, Ox & Gibbs in the same team. By all means bring in TOP TOP foreign talent but not at the expense of developing the English/Brit players.

    Well done Wenger / Gunners.

  61. Josip Skoblar

    Di Canio is insane but highly entertaining! :-) but he wouldn’t last long at the helm of a top PL club…

  62. DaftGoon

    I don’t think we should be getting ahead of ourselves, should we…3 points is a nice and dandy lead, but look at the lixture list.
    Chelsea and Citeh at the Ems, and Stoke at the Britannia (didn;t ANY of you watch the game last night), that is three very hard games. The only one comparative at all for Spurs is Sunderland at the Stadium of Light.
    And, aside from those three, a further three away games .
    A much more difficult run-in than Spurs.
    Anyone laughing at Spurs fans thinking it was all over with a 10 point gap should be looking at a 3 point gap and that fixture list and showing some circumspection.

  63. Thomas, it's up for grabs now..

    Josip.
    I’ve no problem with a confident player (arrogant?). Who cares! He’s quality and would improve us greatly. In fact we could do with a few more like him around.

    Gomez with 23 goals out of 26 Bundesliga games is a man right in form. Not to mention his CL goals etc. Outside of Messi, Ronaldo and RVP he’s gotta be the next best at hitting the net.

    Hazard and Gomez. I’d be delighted just with those two additions! Oops forgot about Prince Poldi… Those 3 then! :-)

    Sadly no talk at all of Gomez wanting to move from Bayern. :-(

  64. Thomas, it's up for grabs now..

    I believe so.. nothing too serious.. a bone fracture which kept him out for 2 months. I believe he’s back in training?

    His agent said last week that he will not leave Dortmund and will play another season there? But the club can still accept an offer! Maybeeeeee..

  65. goondawg

    Anyone got a list of spurs, chelskis and Arsenals respective fixtures? We shouldn’t get ahead of ourselves, just take a look at spurs freefall from title contenders! We need to gather momentum and take it game by game. I’m confident we can get results against city and chelsea, but it’s far from over!

  66. CP

    Thought-provoking post as usual Pedro – well done.

    Surely on summer transfers it should be a case of looking at the weaker players in the squad and replacing them with quality. I firmly believe the first eleven could beat anyone on paper, but we don’t have as much strength in depth as say Man City and that is why we are so far behind.

    Added to the fact we have had a huge injury list for at least the past three seasons (and questions have to be asked about that and I would start first at our physio department) that lack of depth in quality has been exposed.

    The one area of the squad I am least concerned about in terms of strength of depth is the midfield – but if we can obtain M’Villa and Gotze great. But we need to focus on the strikers, the defence and reserve goalkeepers. If we are going to bring back the loan players such as Bartley and Campbell (if he can obtain a work permit) – fine. But we also need quality, adaptable signings like Podolski and Vertongnen who can play in different positions to help the team with the fixture workload.

  67. Ice

    Song out to Spain in the summer….replaced by jack w who is a better player by a country mile….poldi and one other comes in…left midfield…..keeow is new number two…which is good…

    BTW Gambon is a MUG

  68. Bade

    Hello Grovers

    What a great week, yet another fantastic results, all played to our favour

    Great post Pedro,

    But the bit about Arsene? Well, we can always hope, but for me I’d put my money on it that he’ll use the great run just to get people off his back, and he won’t sign the needed players, yet again

    I just fear that Poldy is Robin’s replacement

  69. Bade

    Robin’s definitely the biggest thing we had this season

    He he stays, but can’t say I’m positive about it

    Judging by Arsene’s way of acting in recent years, we may be getting Poldy, but that will be it, bar of course injury prone youngsters that barely play in Dortmund reserves

  70. Bade

    And by the way, we’re far from securing anything

    The Spuds can fight back, now that they played all their tough games and they have the easiest run in

    The Chavs always a danger, albeit both team looked lost and embarrassing for large parts of their Derby

    So let’s keep our focus for another 8 games ….

  71. iffy the goon

    Does anyone have that picture where rooney and van persie shook hands after the pl game at the emirates this season?

    I’d be much obliged

  72. GOONER89

    Song is surely the most complete DM in the league, arguably the word ATM, the guy is on fire. Great performance from the WHOLE TEAM yesterday! Lets keep this up for the rest of the season! Then lets follow that up with a real title bid next season! COYG

  73. JOPPAAAAAAAA

    Bade. Spurs looked v good against Chelsea. They are no mugs. For me it’s a straight fight for 3rd with Chelsea. Good that Newcastle are winning as well, keeps them and Chelsea locked together.

  74. Bade

    Joppaaaaaa

    I made many comments this morning, on the yesterday’s post regarding my thoughts, so I feel I have nothing much left to say at the moment

    Song is praised for his assist, which was really great ball served to the striker, but no one seems to be bothered about his defensive sloppiness, he can’t play in the higher level, with all the respect I have for a wonderful assists, the main mission of a DM is to defend and protect the back 4, something he doesn’t really make enough

    We’re lucky to have Arteta, otherwise his poor defending and positioning would be exposed even against substandard sides

  75. JOPPAAAAAAAA

    I don’t think you can be too critical on Song. For me when we have the players fit we are as good as any other team in the EPL. Yes we have to improve to step up to Bayern level but Madrid & Barca are just super clubs.

    They have won 7 in a row, Song is playing well. Truth be told the standard in the EPL and dropped dramatically these last few seasons so we don’t have to be great to finish top 4.

  76. Bade

    Joppaaaa

    There were some good parts in that game, but most of it was purr shite to be honest, from both sides

    I want Newcastle to win so King Kenny gets pipped as hard as it can get

    Hahaha,
    They might be pipped by Swansea and Sunderland

    Shame that Everton won away at Swansea, they could’ve been level with Kenny’s maestro’s now

  77. Bade

    That game with the Chavs is the most important

    It’s a 6 pointer, so we mustn’t lose it

    Other than that game, there are still 21 point in the league

  78. scott quiller

    have been slagging theo for months but he needs to show consistency not just a few good games here and there,but will be happy to est humble pie if he carries on good form.

  79. Bade

    And there’s another bizarre phenomenon regarding Arsenal players

    Many of them seems to hit their form 6 years after they joined us

    Could this be because they join too early? or do we train them the wrong way?

    This was the case with Rosa, Robin, Song and Theo (both partially) ……

    That said, maybe this is why Arsene still have hopes for Diaby? 😆

  80. gary

    People moaning about theo should remember young players develop at different ages. He is only going to get better.People who say all he has is pace is a lazy argument. He’s a big reason why we,ve won 7 in a row. I’d b happy with just Poldoski and M’via in summer

  81. andy

    Well i think we will be in the top 4 for sure – 8 points more than the chavs with their runin? Guys we have to lose our game against them + two more and they still need to win all of their games … Its not working even if we lose our homegame against them – which will not be the case anyway … I am confident we can finish 3rd but it will be really hard … Stoke away will be brutal, even qpr will be a real fight. Fingers crossed the yids will lose at sunderland so we can afford a lose and a draw against stoke and mancs

  82. Bade

    Andy

    If the Chavs beat us at home (they did that twice in their last 3 visits to the Emirates), it will be 5 points with another 21 to play for …..

  83. Bade

    The last time we made the double over the Chavs in a season was in the invincibles, twice 2-1 wins

    Since then (including the win this season), 7 wins to them, 4 draws, 4 wins for us

  84. Bade

    In other news,

    Ronaldo and Messi with ridiculous numbers, both with 35 goals in this season in La Liga. Mental

    Ronaldo became the quickest ever to reach 100 goals in La Liga, only in 92 games, while phuskash needed 105 games to get to that milestone