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Cesc, Van Persie, Gallas could be fit for Champs League final

And why not plan in this way?   The Glorious Double – Champs League and EPL.

The fact is that once again with half the team missing we managed to outwit and outsmart the doom and gloom brigade, the media and the opposition.

What Arsenal would be like with a full squad would be like, well Everton away  on the first day of the season, when we had something like a full squad.

So, without Gallas, without Cesc, without Ramsey, without Djourou, without Van Persie, and quite probably several other players who I have now forgotten about, but with the negative media and the negative blogs we can keep on winning.

We’ve been chatting about Samir Nasri of late, and he was magnificent once again – and of course now the media are starting to catch up (a bit late but welcome to the show guys.)

And do you know they have even tumbled the fact that the Diaby – Song – Nasri group have an average age of 22.5  Nasri as Fábregas?  OK boss whatever you want.  Oh and I will do a special goal as well that would have people raving about the captain – just for good measure.

And then there is our Nicklas – bloody useless – spends three months lounging about doing nothing, and then comes back to play four games and get a mere five goals.  And one of those a penalty.  If only he’d get his act together.   (That’s postmodern irony just in case I am not making myself clear).

(Incidentally the media are playing their game today – “Bendtner, who received criticism in some quarters after his lacklustre display on saturday…”    Oh please, give me credit for being able to read.   Even the idiot behind me who hates Bendtner with a passion was laughing, and stopped shouting “Second ball” all the time just like that guy in “Making the Arsenal”.)

Then there’s that bloody Arshavin.   Wants to leave because of the tax situation.   Wants to leave because of the tax situation.  (I have to write it twice because the idiot press ran the story twice).   Looks bored stiff.  Hates Wenger.  Doesn’t understand why Wenger asks him to play in different places.

Watching him from the 10th row in the upper tier behind the goal is just such a privilege.  I don’t know how else to say it.

What we need to do is bring in five more players – not because the squad is no good – it is bloody brilliant and it will grow more and more.   We need five players to cover for the injury mountain.  Last night (and Walter may correct me on this because I was very much carried away watching the game, rather than the ref) I think we had a ref who stopped the rotational fouling game.  What a difference it seemed to make.

But we can’t expect that in the EPL.  So we need cover.  Sadly we need to assume that at any one time half our first team will be out.

Anyway…

I got home at midnight (as usual after a midweek game), woke up, cleared up, came to work, walked into a meeting.  I’ll get it together soon, and maybe say something coherent.  But in the meantime.  Let’s enjoy every second.

(c) Tony Attwood 2010

Making the Arsenal: the story of Arsenal 100 years ago – details here.

IMPORTANT NOTE RE THIS COMING SATURDAY: You may have been inconvenienced in the last few days by finding that the Untold site has gone down a couple of times.  We’ve tracked this back to something rather simple: our audience has just shot up again.

God knows where all these people keep coming from (another spot of post-modern gibberish there) but Hi guys, how you doing.

Anyway, we have a problem because the latest rise in readership has overloaded our server, and we are going to have to add another four billion trillion gigsandwiches or ramraider or something.  This will happen on saturday (not ideal for Untold, but there is a business called Hamilton House Mailings to consider, and it is the best time for the money making side of the operation.)

So for much of this coming Saturday there will be no Untold Arsenal.  I am shocked and devastated by this state of affairs, not to say mortified beyond belief, but there it is.  People will keep reading this stuff, so we have to move with the temporal anomalies (or anemones).

To be technical about it, all being wonderful and well Untold will work ok until Saturday morning, then vanish, and then reappear.

But seriously, you wouldn’t believe the readership figures we have just been getting this month.  I am overwhelmed by everyone’s support.

Tony

23 comments to Cesc, Van Persie, Gallas could be fit for Champs League final

  • Ole Gunner

    I thought the ref favoured us a bit as Walter predicted. That’s such a welcome change that I am celebrating not complaining.

    In a way winning 5-0 almost diminishes from the significance of the result. Porto are not a poor team. But beating them 5-0 in the round of 16, while making many individual errors makes it seem like they are.

  • gfd

    Yes I agree we were slightly complacent with ball keeping. But the first 30 minutes would make any opponent pee in their pants. And it should have been 3-0.

  • Karthik

    I love the positivity of your blog, a lot of the Gunner sites are just so negative, you’d think we’re the next Portsmouth, Keep up the good cheer!!
    In Arsene we Trust!
    why, you might ask?
    Coz we’re gonna win the double that’s why.

  • walter

    As Tony was asking my opinion I will give it. I would have done anyway.

    Let me start by saying: I’m not a big fan of De Bleeckere normally.

    But he did what many refs in the EPL don’t do and that is to keep the game under control. He gave some early calls on fouls so the players knew after a few minutes that he was keeping things tight. When you do a game you have to build it up as a ref. You have to use your own tactics. It was clear that De Bleeckere wanted to have a game without horror tacklings and dangerous fouls. I must say he succeeded in that part of the game. The players behaved because they felt he was watching them closely and keeping them in control.

    In the EPL refs tend to let things go at first and when it goes out of hand then they act. You have to take care that things dont go out of hand first. De Bleeckere did so good points to the ref.
    Take the yellow card against Bendtner : this was an example of a frontal tackle, feet on the ground. As I have said many times before: this is always a foul as it is dangerous. De Bleeckere even gave him a yellow card and this was a clear signal that he wouldn’t let those tackles happen. So again good points.

    Must say that I found that the yellow card against Vermaelen was very harsh. If it would have been another player I don’t think he would have given a yellow. But as it was a Belgian ref and a Belgian player he wanted to show that he had no bias and booked him for a harmless foul in the middle of the field.

    But overall I felt he let play go when he could but stopped when it was needed to give a signal to all the players saying : this is the line you shall not cross.

    I saw him use the same tactics I use and that is to correct strong in the first minutes of the game so the players know what they can expect and then you can let go (a little bit) if you see the players are in good spirit and there is no malicious intent.

  • george rodger

    here are some of the team that “Le Grove” have told us (in recent months by the way)are not fit to wear the shirt.B52,Eboue, Diaby,Song,Denilson,Clichy,Nasiri,Rosicky,Wallcot and even Gallas.This is true and not me exagerating.So Tony,as it is clear the D & G lot dont seem to know much about anything at all maybe some of their readers have seen the light and come over here to boost the numbers.A good move if you ask me.

  • goonergerry

    The Refs performance highlighted a couple of things-clearly clamped down on wild challenges and prevented the kind of climate arising where legs get broken by uncontrolled challenges.
    Was this anything other than a fully committed whole hearted game played by 2 teams giving it their all?
    Was the game in any way diminished by not allowing pushing,dangerous challenges and uncontrolled aggression? No not at all.

    This season will be interesting- just to see how far we can go- how far we can push it- we have to go up a level to win anything and even if we don’t get there it will be great to give it a go. I just want us to win our next game which will be yet another war.

  • walter

    Exactly Goonergerry, it was a commited game by the two teams but no dangerous or stupid challenges were made. I give the ref credit for that.

    Another thing is that when you take all the decisions I think every team can point at some decisions that were wrong. But if a ref gets +90 % of his decisions right then he has a good game. I think he did.

    So credit for the ref and once again, I’m really not a big fan of him.

  • Rhys Jaggar

    Those traffic figures, Tony: must be the end of the frosts and folks wanting some optimism as the lambs start frolicking in the fields……no point in a farmer saying his lambs are scrawny, ugly, splay-footed, bad-tempered dog food, is there? Especially if he wants to make some money on his flock occasionally??!!

    By the way, if you get the chance to ask Arsene this: has Eboue been taking sprint classes with Theo? He made up about 10 yards on AA for his goal. Was it just that leaden-footed donkey getting tired (clearly the Porto players were tin-footed rhinoceroses if so), or is the joker in the pack coming back to his 2006 form??!! He took some great corners yesterday!! What the heck is going on????

    Is it just me, or has Diaby suddenly turned into the effortless gazelle exuding a calm authority?? Last time I said something like that was the CC Cup final in 2007 and he promptly became a show pony for a couple of years. But this time, my nose says it may be more permanent…….tell Arsene to drop him like yesterday if he changes his spots……..

    As for squad size, Tony: my hunch is you need 33 players, including a benchmark 5 or 6 injuries at any one time – 3 in each position. Of course some will be 17 – 21s. If you’re going to do that though, you need sufficient rotation to let those squad players get some game time. Arsene’s next master juggling act perhaps??

  • joe

    stop fantasising. there is still a long way to go.

  • LRV

    Basking in the exhiliration of a variety of ‘football-o-metry’ called ‘Wengerball’ yesterday evening is like being in paradise. Nasri, with the ball sticking to his foot like with a glue, was the bomb yesterday! It was just simply too beautiful for description.

    Our boys, were all super. Clichy played like a man possessed. Sol & Sagna worked listlessly. The Verminator was simply majestic. Song! Oh Song. Diaby, with his strides, simply bestrides porto like a colosus. The front guys? Can’t find the words to describe them. Not to forget our Mozart.

    Above all, a nice cleansheet with the Aluminium man switched on throughout. Niceeeee.

    I honestly think the FA should invite that Referee to hold workshops with the EPL Refs. They surely can learn a thing or two from him about refereeing in general and controlling a game in particular. Even if they can get our own Walter, I am sure he will teach them quite a fair bit.

    I’ll just enjoy this for a couple of days before I even think about the bucthers called Hull and their brown-faced manager.

  • LRV

    Correction: I meant to write “Sol & Sagna worked tirelessly”.

  • tim

    Yes, I think we will do the double.

    For me, this team’s “issues” have always been more mental than physical. The spirit is there and it is infecting!

  • kaka

    agree with most of your points but Nikki B is not useless, come on mate he’s scored 3 goals, but he needs to do better. Also arshavin needs to go, too greedy, does he not get payed enuf, and he shudnt argue wwith the manager. but agree with everythin else, diaby, clichy and bendner need to go and wenger needs tto sign 5 players, villa, ramos, buffon, alonso and robinho then we will be complete. so get behind the team and stop slaggging them of.

  • 'holic

    Good to see you are starting to get the audience you deserve, Tony.

  • tim

    Of course, we have to take it one match at a time. Every match is a cup-final. There are no easy opponents. But the only thing to fear is fear itself. We will give it all we got. (Five trite cliches in a row! Yay!)

  • CS1

    Keep up the good positive work

  • critic

    like it or not, negetive blogs are as important positive as ones, they might be bit too much but they tend to keep players hungry, motivated in a way….

    sometimes they are right, i mean denilson is crap(at present) but this blog really rates him, and sometimes criticizing helps a player to prove his worth.

  • george rodger

    you see “Critic” that where i can agree with you .Tell me how negetive blogs help? Beause every time they are proven to be wrong.As you will be with Denilson ,he may not be Cesc. but by calling him “crap”you lose all credability .quite clearly your knowledge of football is crap

  • Paul C.

    Rhys – do you really think a squad should be 33 in size? And are you including your “fringe” youngsters in that number? When you say 3 in each position do you mean, for instance, 3 central defenders etc. or do you mean 4 central defenders?

    Personally I am not at all a fan of big squads. I think they lead to internal friction as players demand more playing time. I also do not believe in squad rotation. It never works. Players need to play with each other and develop chemistry with each other. Rafa Benitez always tried to rotate and Liverpool kept getting off to terrible starts every season and being out of it by November. Meanwhile, Jose Mourinho built a massive squad and then played the same guys every week (lucky Chelsea were paying the reserves silly money). The only guy who has made it work is Fergie, but even there that is due a lot to the presence of so many home grown players who know his system inside out and are happy to rotate (O’Shea, Brown, Giggs, Scholes, Neville etc etc). Hopefully we will get to that point one day.

    Until then I think 18-20 is a good size for a squad. You cannot legislate for EVERY injury. We have 5 midfielders for 3 positions and that is great. If another one comes through naturally (Eastmond for example) that is great but I dont think we should buy another.

    With the exception of Chamakh and a possible replacement for Gallas if he leaves, I think most of our future squad growth should come organically from within.

  • Shevo

    Kaka – still talking Kak.
    Told you before, fuck off and support the scum if you ain’t happy with the players we have.

  • critic

    @george rodger

    what happened when u made some mischief or mistakes? did ur parents scolded u or encouraged u? or just turned a blind eye?

  • critic

    @paul c.

    good point there, but then what’s wenger trying to do???i mean he already has 6-7 strikers – rvp,bend,edu,vela,walcott,wilshere i can’t remember the 7th, but he still wants chamakh or that’s what paper say. He has 3 good central defender – tv,gallas,campbell, and gallas and campbell is out of contract for next season, and campbell i think is getting old, tv alone can’t hold the defence considering he has played every single game this season. I am waiting for a defender. But wenger keep signing wonder kid in midfield.

  • LRV

    Kaka: You ought to read the article properly. You need to understand which part is humour, which part is fact, and which part is mere irony. Not to worry though; most new readers of this blog make the same mistake.