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Stunned, shocked, amazed… And that how it felt in just the first 15 minutes.

By Tony Attwood

Yes it was unreal, as Walter said, the most staggering first half display of amazing football I have seen at Arsenal since Henry and Pires were in their pomp.

Off the pitch it was unreal too.   Piebury Corner (it’s a pie shop that most of us who are regulars know, even if we don’t choose to buy the pies) was attacked by fans who were believed to be Italian (in that the witnesses reported the perpetrators as speaking Italian and wearing Napoli colours).  The place was wrecked and according to the report in the Evening Standard we site, there was blood all over the floor.

And that awful bit of news leads me for a moment to the Standard.

At the end of the 19th century London had at least five evening newspapers.  By the 1950s the number was down to three, the Star, News and Standard.  Now there is one, the Evening Standard.  It is a little freebie paper, given away at Underground stations, and a shadow or a shadow of its former self.

It covers football, after a fashion, but does so in a way that makes it look much of the time like the house magazine of the Anti-Wengerians.   Yesterday’s edition previewed that game with talk about how Higuain had not gone to Arsenal despite Arsenal doing everything they could to get the player and how Arsenal’s failure would come back to haunt them.

What they, and indeed other papers who took the same line,  all failed to mention was the Arsene Wenger has since come out and said that Higuain was never on his agenda and that no bid was ever made.

Now a writer on football might well decide that he or she feels that Mr Wenger was not telling the truth at that point, and so the writer could then say that this is unbelievable.  Not actually calling the boss a liar, perhaps, but saying that it seems a strange comment in the face of evidence, and if it is true, what on earth was going on.

That leads into an interesting story, but no, the Evening Standard, the Guardian and others just ignore that comment, writing history according to their whims.  All the news that fits.

And then when the club puts in a performance like last night, the articles just get removed and the paper moves on as if nothing untoward has happened and this was what they had been expecting all the time.  It is the technique predicted by George Orwell in 1948 when he wrote “1984”, and its adoption does the press no credit at all.

But let us move on, for like death and government taxes, the press seems always to be with us.  So let us turn to something rather nicer: the atmosphere in the stadium last night.

I don’t know if it came across on TV, but the whole place was astounding.   At first, as we would expect, the Napoli fans did their wholesale unified chanting, but as it became clear just what sort of football Arsenal were playing, the Arsenal crowd outsang and outshouted them consistently.

By the second half it was fun time and constant singing and chanting.  There was a long period of “We’re the clock end” v “We’re the north bank” and then the east stand got involved too.  I never heard the west stand, but perhaps they were still too busy searching for that loonie who stood behind Wenger holding up his money symbols during the first game of the season.  (Where do Anti-Wengerians go at a time like this?  Do they have a little club that they can go and hide in?)

It was just noise, noise, noise – a noise from the crowd that reflected a total, overall and absolute belief in the club and the team.  And of course we eventually got to “One Arsene Wenger”, and the re-unification of the Arsenal was complete.

Yes there were still old copies of the newspapers around with their talk of Arsenal’s failure and how Higuain was going to come back and haunt the club, but really that was a sign of desperation on the part of editors, holding on to old news that no longer quite fits with reality.

Arsenal have played five league games, four European games and a league cup game since the Villa defeat and won the lot.  The crowd is buzzing, excited, enthusiastic, overwhelmed by the standard of football.   The incoming players have proven themselves to be something else, and now we await the return of the lost knowing that our one big problem is going to be how to fit them all in.  The AAA is silent, the newspapers desperately trying to re-write history.

Rosicky and Arteta were back, Jack came on near the end, Vermaelen was on the bench, and oh yes and Ramsey was played out of position again.   But we await Cazorla, The Ox, Theo, Podolski…  and I’m sorry guys, I don’t know how you are going to be fitted into the team.

But one thing is for sure.  It is going to be hard to get much better than the first half of last night.  Or any better than that astounding first goal.

And all this from a team that had no hope, and that should have got rid of its manager.  (And I wonder if all those people who threw away their season tickets actually managed to find them again).

77 comments to Stunned, shocked, amazed… And that how it felt in just the first 15 minutes.

  • TommieGun

    Hi Tony,

    Maybe I missed the sarcasm, but it seems to me that Wenger had positively said he tried to sign Higuain –

    http://www.arsenal.com/news/news-archive/wenger-higuain-was-one-of-our-targets

    If I missed the sarcasm – then I apologize. However in case I didn’t, it seems that your post is as 1984ish as the evening standard…

  • WalterBroeckx

    In my country (Belgium) we have the Flemish channels and they didn’t give any CL games. They only focus on Anderlecht and give their games. (Losers). But the Walloon channels give matches of every match day and they had picked Arsenal – Naples.
    Now French match commentators can get a bit over the top at times but this was the time to get over the top. So I could see the game on my big TV and as the kids were out and the wife was on the other floor doing things I could actually put the noise to a good level. And you could hear the vibrant atmosphere in the stadium very well.
    In fact the match commentator even mentioned it how the stadium was very noisy during the game.

    It is great to hear and read that the crowd in the Emirates are fully behind the team. FINALLY!!!!

    Maybe it was the best thing they could do (the ones who would threw their season ticket away). Maybe they really have done so and now their places has been taken by people who come to support the team and not just moan the first bad pass.

    If the home crowd can get behind the team like the away fans usually do, then this could be the little detail that the team needs to do at home what we have been doing away from home for a while now. That is win, win and win some more.

  • TC

    Good read and I can see your upset with the Standard and Guardian – I never get upset with them because I never read them. I gave up on their ignorant reporting many years ago.

    I collect my web news via Newsnow as many do and perhaps you do as well and if so are you aware that you can left click the source of the article and then just click Hide Publication?

    As an example this morning where I saw you article there were 46 articles hidden from me. I am not missing anything because I know they are from web sources that are simply rubbish or known liars or are just copiers of other articles – I am sure you know who they are.

  • Jammathon

    Arsene said he was close to signing them. End of.

  • Jammathon

    By “them”, I mean “Higuain”.

  • elkieno

    Once again what a game, what a team and what a club. I feel so proud to be an Arsenal fan that never said a bad word about anyone – except those who shall not be named!
    Anyway all the way down under in Aus, the game kicked off at 4:30am (a real bitch of a time) on ESPN (they do FA cup too) so it’s not easy getting up but easier than staying up. Anyway on ESPN I think they commentate from the US but not sure 100% maybe someone can correct me? So it feels like they are not at the game but in a studio watching it on some big tv with the sound turned down so they can talk and be heard. It really ruins the experience and this mornings game didn’t come across as how you described it all all Tony. I am real glad that you said it was a cracking atmosphere cos from my couch it felt quite. Epl games are different you can hear everything.
    I have an hour of solo time before wife ‘n kid come home and I deleted the bloody game accidentally thinking it was Marselle game!
    ‘Mon you mighty Gunners!!!

  • Tonny

    GO GO GO Arsenal GO!!!!!!!!

  • nicky

    Tony,
    Your scathing dismissal of the Evening Standard surprised me a little.
    For years I thought the rag was the authorised mouthpiece of Peter Hill Wood and therefore a pro-active supporter of Arsenal PLC.
    You certainly led me to believe this was so in your many blogs of yester-year.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Great result, and performance. Nearly midday the morning after, and not an Einstein quoter or Spud lover in sight! Where have they all gone?

  • bjtgooner

    Lets remember how carefully AW has rebuilt the squad after the departures of Fab, Song, Nasri and van Pursey. Not only has the midfield and attack been reformed but the defence has also been strengthened over the last few years. Overall, it has been a masterful development. A lot of AW detractors, both media and bloggers (and esp the AST) need to apologise for their comments over the close season.

    Further, I feel this team is still in development and that AW will tweak it further.

    Last night’s performance was wonderful to watch, some excellent football, one very good goal and one goal of unique brilliance.

    We may not always play as well as this, it would be hard to maintain that standard but the signs are good!

  • gouresh

    I am more impressed with our defence as that gives the platform to build on. Just lets keep it steady now.

  • ian

    Watched the ITV Champs League Highlights show last night. Tony Cascarino said how “Arsene had a miserable summer in the transfer window but lucky for him its somehow all fallen in to place”.

  • ian,

    And I say: Tony Cascarino is a clueless moron. Yeah, it was luck alright.

    And these people get paid heavily for the nonsense they spout. Life is indeed unfair.

  • Rufusstan

    @Nicky– I always thought that was the Daily Star

  • Rufusstan

    Oh, and apologies for the off-topic, but couldn’t resist

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-24354622

    You know the gentrification of football is complete, when a 71 year old peer of the realm gets caught invading the home end :).

  • Vikrant Dogra

    @bjtgooner about building teams, a very salient point. In most cases, it takes a year or 2 to build a team that will probably need changing after the 3rd year.

    For Wenger’s first team he built, that era would be October 1996 to May 1999 when he achieved one (and probably should have been 2 back-to-back) ‘double’; he then sold Anelka, Overmars and Petit in the year following to pay for the new training ground and lay the foundations for his second team of August 2001 to May 2005 (2 championships, 3 FA Cups, an unbeaten League season).

    Then, as the Abramovich effect took hold and the club planned and built the Emirates, we saw the third team of the Wenger era (August 2005 to May 2008), that of the Champions League Final, the League Cup Final and the team that were an Old Trafford win short of winning the title in 2007/08, thanks to the Flamini-Hleb-Fabregas axis and Adebayor’s one great season for Arsenal.

    The fourth team was a younger vintage which took a bit longer as Hleb, Flamini and Gilberto all departed in one summer and Adebayor was to leave 1 year later, ending up in what I call the ‘bottlejobs’ team of Fabregas, Nasri, Arshavin, van Persie, Clichy (August 2008 to May 2011) because these players couldn’t get us over the line in the FA Cup and Champions League semi-finals in 2009, then proceeded to collapse 2 seasons running in title run-ins. In fact, 3 results of that era stick in my mind as proof of their mental weakness: end of April 2010, DW Stadium, 2-0 up with 80 minutes on the clock, end up losing 3-2; February 2011, Newcastle + Phil Dowd 4 Arsenal 4, enough said; then a few weeks later, losing 2-1 to Birmingham City at Wembley when they should have battered them!

    In those 2 seasons, had we won 5 of our last 7 games in 2010, we would have been champions; in 2011, we finished 4th having been Manchester United’s main challengers until about February!

    Which leads to the development of the current 5th Wenger team which is still progressing in my view, with more experienced players, more resilience and defensive discipline and now, with last season’s blistering finish and the start made this season, as well as Flamini and Oezil adding more variety, reslove and quality, not to mention some real class still to come back from injury, a real force at the moment…

  • Pete

    The real story is Wenger reaffirming yet again that he is peerless as a developmental coach. The KEY thing over the summer was NOT losing any of our first team squad (others than those who were not contributing significantly). So Wenger continues to work with them and, hey presto, we have seen improvement (ranging from mild to huge) for the likes of Szcz, Gibbs, Mertesacker, Ramsey, Giroud, Gnabry and Jenkinson. Sagna is back to his best, Kos has maintained his form, Wilshere is slowly coming back – and the likes of Arteta, Cazorla, Ox, Poldi, Walcott and Vermaelen haven’t had the opportunity yet due to injury. You could even credit Wenger with Flamini’s progress except I am not sure what his starting point was?

    I am now confident that our financial situation will allow us to retain these players and I expect the improvement to continue.

    Ozil is just the icing on the cake.

  • ian

    @ Bootoome

    You’re right about him being a clueless moron. Its a concern if he is the best that ITV could find as a pundit.

    The most worrying thing about this is that some people actually believe it. I find when I try to point out to people what is actually going on they think I am mad!

    The “no ambition” one makes me laugh. I had a discussion with a Blackpool fan over this, asked him if he didn’t think we had any ambition then why did we build The Emirates?

  • marcus

    @Bootoome
    “ian,
    And I say: Tony Cascarino is a clueless moron. Yeah, it was luck alright.
    And these people get paid heavily for the nonsense they spout. Life is indeed unfair.”

    I didn’t even know his name, but you have put a name to the moronic drivel. cheers

  • marcus

    The other night he was lathering away about AW playing youth in the League Cup, and what a misguided policy it was because it was so risky and also it would alienate the senior team.

    Perhaps he doesn’t understand that the reason why AW can field a team of competitive 20 year olds in the EPL is because they have been blooded young.

    Perhaps he would also like to square his little circle; if he believes like the rest of the mainstream press that Arsenal have a thin squad, then he has to accept that diversifying the squad work load is a beneficial thing.

  • Pat

    @Vikrant Dogra
    Fascinating historical analysis of the Wenger years. Thanks!

  • Andrew Crawshaw

    Off topic I know but good luck to theU19s who play Napoli tonight in their European Cup game. Kickoff 19:00 at Boreham Wood for anyone who can get there. Last round they had a wonderful 4-1 score line against Marseilles netting all five goals. Be good for another winning double!

  • ian

    @ Marcus

    Cascarino played as centre forward for Gillingham in the early 80’s before moving to Millwall. He became Villas record signing at £1.1m in 1990, think he also played for Chelsea.

    He moved to France in the mid 90’s and that was where he was most successful, although born in Kent he played for Northern Ireland.

    I didn’t recognise him at first as he has been off the radar for some time. Not sure why ITV think he is worth putting on their highlights show, they are either trying to save money or couldn’t get anyone else

  • ian

    Apologies – it was Republic of Ireland he played for not Northern.

    ian

  • goonergerry

    Where do the anti- Wengerians go at a time like this? The same place that you went for much of last season before February- the hall of silence.
    Love the way you attribute all success but none of the disappointments over the past 8 years to Arsene Wenger.
    What you don’t say is how much you and many of your supporters on here were opposed to the club making big money signings like Ozil and arguing that kids was the only way to go. I’d say to you that some of us were arguing for years for the club to invest in top players.
    Great- better late than never- but please don’t claim that the change in policy in the summer was anything that you ever argued for- because it was not.

  • ian

    Anyone see the interview with Arsene last night? I haven’t seen him smile with such pleasure and confidence in a long time. He was truly beaming.

    Would be nice to get another display like last night at WBA this weekend. Would see us in to the International break quite nicely, with players due back from injury over the next few weeks this will leave us looking very healthy indeed.

  • Micko

    I believe Mihir Bose is Sports Editor of The Standard. A Tottenham fan who spent years criticizing Arsenal’s plans to build the Emirates back when he was working for the Daily Mirror back in the early ’00s.
    I believe he basically said it was an impossible dream that would never get built. He never did apologise !
    James Olley & pals slag off Arsenal to impress their boss.

  • jambug

    Cascarino…..

    The ‘panic buys’ Guirod, Podolski, Artetta, Mertesaker, he was slagging off last year aren’t doing so bad either.

    The moron is an embarressment. Never an apology! Never so much as a moments contrition.

    After constantly derideing Arsenal and wenger imparticular at every turn there is never even the thought of an admition that maybe he could of been wrong.

    Okay, I know we havn’t ‘won’ anything yet but I’m not talking about that. I’m talking about the way he and the media in general slag off just about every player Wenger ever buys for being: ‘Second rate’ ‘not World class’, ‘on the cheap’, ‘an embreo’, worse still a ‘French embreo’ a panic buy, it goes on. And yet last night, and on many other nights if we are honest, it has been proved beyond doubt that Wenger has bought, nurtured and produced a team FULL of world class players. Before Oz I think he got credit for just one buy, cozola, and he didn’t even play last night!!!!!!!

    Rant over.

    Last Night…..WOW WOW WOW.

    1st half. Rarely have I seen such an assault on a top Eurpean side. Utter utter dominance.

    2nd Half. Rarely have I seen a team so in control that the keeper could of been excused for lighting up a pipe and putting on his slippers.

    MOTM…as has been said it could of been any one of them but I’m going for Giroud. 10 out of 10.

    I know it doesn’t matter but just a point. Flicking through the Scum in the mess room, there player scores out of 10 where: 6 7 6 6 6 7 8 7 8 6 7 What a joke. How could ONE of those players last night get below at least a 7?

    Except for Szczesny, and only because at one time I’m sure he nodded off, I gave them all at least 8.

    I’m still buzzing !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • bjtgooner

    @goonergerry

    “Where do the anti- Wengerians go at a time like this? The same place that you went for much of last season before February- the hall of silence.”

    Where are your facts? Did UA stop publishing pre-Feb last year, did the fans stop posting? Or – are you talking the nonsense that only a bitter and distorted AAA sewer rat can spout?

  • jambug

    Goonergarry.

    Talking out of your backside mate. We on here suffered/suffer the disapointments as much as anyone. The differnce is we UNDERSTAND why we had/have to suffer them.

    We know what a monumental task it is to build a new Stadium and yet still try to compete with bank rolled clubs. We wanted top draw signings but understood why Wenger had to look for bargains or young talent. We understood why doing this was strewn with pitfalls.

    It’s because of this that we did’nt start whingeing every time we lost a game, went out of a cup, or lost a player to oil money.

    You say you’ve been argueing for years for the club to invest in players. I suppose you think investing in a 500 Million quid stadium isn’t an investment at all.

    Where did you EVER see anyone on here say they was opposed to spending big money. FIND ME ONE QUOTE !!!!!

    Honestly people like you make me sick !!!!

  • Tasos

    No team has accumulated more points in the Premier League, this calendar year, than Arsenal.

    The mega bucks signing of Ozil has added genuine top quality but the team were already performing consistently well.

    4 defeats in 25 EPL games stretching back to January 1st.
    55 Points from a possible 75 available giving an average of 2.2 points per game.

    To put that figure into some perspective the previous two Premier League Champions have averaged 2.34 points per game.

  • Mick

    @Goonergerry
    ‘What you don’t say is how much you and many of your supporters on here were opposed to the club making big money signings like Ozil’
    This statement is so untrue and demonstrates a basic misunderstanding and of what Untold is about. Untold’s position has always been to fully support the club and manager in the strategy and running of the club in whatever manner they deem correct. That is what supporters do. That support continued through the years when, because of financial constraints, big signings were not possible. Untold has never argued against the purchase of big money signings as a matter of principle. Furthermore Untold and it’s supporters have never shied away from criticising the club or manager on matters of detail within the general day to day running of the club when it thought it appropriate. The nurturing and development of youngsters has been an integral and important part of the clubs modus operandi and the fruits of this are now being realised with the steady stream of talent emerging from the youth academy. This has rightly been supported by Untold but never to the exclusion of player purchase when funds have allowed.

  • jambug

    @Mick

    Well said. I was trying to say something like that believe it or not!!

  • BILL FROM MANHATTAN

    Over here in the states after our win over Napoli i turned on ESPN F.C. to watch the highlights. They had Craig Burley on the show. He just ripped our team apart saying that Arsenal still haven’t played any strong teams and we will not last because our squad is thin. The last time I looked, Napoli played 7 games in Serie A. won 6 and drawn 1 and was in 2nd place in their league. We made them look pedestrian last night but they are crap according to him. He also dismissed Rafa Benitez saying he is no great tactician. He said our bubble will burst. Where do they find these so called experts. Arsenal can’t get any love from the media. I think in Mr Burley’s bizarre world a great tactician and manager is someone like his father George whose teams I don’t recall setting European Football ablaze. Pay no mind to these expert pundits, They don’t know SHITE. ARSENE KNOWS BEST.

  • jambug

    Surely the whole point of building a new stadium was to generate the funds to enable us to compete with the Utds, Madrids and barcas of this World.

    Or do certain people think it was built just to give Great Eastern Train passengers something to look at as they wizz past.

  • marcus

    @goonergerry

    the implication is it must be embarrassing to be an AAA these days.

    I don’t think genuine Arsenal supporters are embarrassed by the club, in bad times or good

  • marcus

    @Manhattan transfer

    Scottish Mafia.

    Perhaps Mr Burley has conveniently forgotten that we’ve beaten Champion teams like Bayern and Barca in the last few years….

  • Mandy Dodd

    I actually like it when the pundits dont rate us, proves we are doing something very right
    Also shows there people as the idiots they are, there seems to be a line they have to follow regarding AFC.
    The better we do, the harder a time we will get from them, so long may the comments of Burley Jr et al continue

    Off topic for article but not Untold, but this has just come out
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/24363625
    Ok, only non league, but only a fool would imagine it stops there.
    The FA must be broken up, they are not doing their job

  • para

    Again great win for our TEAM and forever going forward.
    Don’t forget to support the U-19 tonight against Napoli alongside watching Manu get beaten and BM and Manc fight it out.

  • Tasos

    @para

    + can Eduardo score against Man Utd tonight?

  • Jax

    @Ian

    And Cascarino has doubtful Irish ancestry.

  • Mick

    That font of football wisdom Adrian Durham has just said on talkshite that the only thing that could stop Arsenal winning the premier league title this season is Arsene Wenger.

  • marcus

    There in a nutshell is perverse doublespeak at its zenith

  • sperez

    The panic buys also includes ‘Santos and Park’. How are they doing at Arsenal? And, please Wenger himself said he was happy with his team before the 8-2 drubbing at ManU. These players were panic buys indeed.
    At he time, Arteta was seen the best buy because he didn’t have to adapt to other league.
    Santos was always a rubbish defender and he was bought only because he was cheap.
    The season is long…Wenger has a good opportunity to deliver the PL title because Arsenal rivals are facing problems. But I don’t expect the likes of Mourinho to take too long to solve them.
    And the Arsenal striker position is still an issue…Let’s see if Wenger will strengthen his team in that position.
    Stength in depth is another thing to be worried about. This will make the difference in the end.

  • Mick

    @sperez
    We all agree that a striker is needed but can you explain your comment ‘Stength in depth is another thing to be worried about.’ Where exactly are we lacking in depth? Certainly not midfield. Come on explain yourself.

  • Stuart

    Sperez,
    You’ve been quiet lately. Why’s that I wonder? Nothing negative to point out I suppose. Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

  • AL

    sperez – “Wenger has a good opportunity to deliver the PL title because Arsenal rivals are facing problems.”

    And what exactly is that supposed to mean? If Wenger wins the title its only because our rivals had problems, and not due to us doing what is right? I’m lost for words really. Why don’t you just piss off back to wherever you’ve been all this time.

  • jambug

    @Sperez

    So lets say that even with a fit Podolski and Theo we are a striker short. Okay name me one other position we are short. Maybe, just maybe a CH but with Sagna and now Flamini able to fill the CH spot I suggest not.

    Now you tell me ONE team in World football that isn’t short of a player somewhere? No squad is perfect.

    So how is that a stick to beat Wenger with?

    Then you mention some buys that didn’t work. Okay they didn’t. There are others as well but are you honestly trying to insinuate that Wengers the ONLY manager to make a bad buy? Sir Alex himself has made many poor buys. Thats the nature of the job.

    So how is that a stick with which to beat Wenger?

    So under what possible premis do you expect perfection from Wenger?

    This squad is possibly the deepest squad we have EVER had. I don’t think the 1st 11/12 maybe 13 are as good as the invincibles but beyond that this squads quality is better.

  • marcus

    @Sperez

    Failing to find real problems, you latch on the hypothetical ones.

    If Giroud gets injured, I am sure as the fair-minded decent bloke that you are you will allow him to enact his solution before you damn him?

  • marcus

    him = Arsene Wenger

  • BILL FROM MANHATTAN

    I see after a long time away, Sperez is back with his expert opinions. According to him we are short in depth and we make panic buys. The way I see things is when Santi, Lucas, Theo, The Ox, Sanogo,and Diaby return is that Wenger is gonna have problems on who to play and who should sit. Many teams would love to have our shortness of depth. Granted we are a little thin at striker, But in a pinch Walcott and Poldolski have played up top. Maybe we will purchase a striker in the upcoming transfer window or maybe not. Either way Sperez, Let Wenger make that call. You should stay on the periphery and keep making stupid comments without any facts to back them up. It was wonderful to come on this website and not have to hear bullshit from morons such as yourself, But even vermin must crawl out of their holes once in a while.

  • marcus

    well put Bill

  • jambug

    I see Adrian Durhams quest to be the biggest twat to ever grace the airwaves is taking shape nicely !!

  • Tom

    Is Mezut Ozil Turkish for Silky Smooth?. What a player!!! . Real Madrid fans must be pulling their collective hair out , while Florentino Perez is scrambling to up his smear campaign against Ozil. A handsome, single and famous footballer likes supermodels?….. Shocking!

  • Robl

    Hi Sperez, how’s that humble pie about Flamini tasting?

    It’s easy to spout your drivel on the Internet as there are no consequences when you are so catastrophically wrong, but we don’t forget.

  • bjtgooner

    Has sperez been kicked out of sewer?

  • vacong

    Gervninho is starting to sound like adebeyor. I see man united getting slaughtered and van pansy injured for the season result! Tom your right real madrid must be crying bale is injured lol so injury prone not fit for the team

  • Micheal

    I dont know why, but i keep listening to Hall & Oates’s “Out of Touch” after the Napoli game. Dnt know whether its a type song that the players sing to each other to show togetherness or a type of song that they sing to opponents to show arrogance. See the music video, i hope im not crazy or something like that…

  • jambug

    Watching Bayern take City apart..Blimey! It’s just like watching Arsenal !!!!!!!

  • jambug

    This Bayern are some side. They took us apart at the ’ems….but not this bad!!!

  • Andrew Crawshaw

    The U19s did it again with another 4-1 win. Well done the lads!

  • Pat

    But we beat Bayern in their home ground!

  • Pete

    Completely off topic, but related to an earlier debate about injuries, have seen this blog post which is interesting:

    http://www.fresharsenal.com/why-do-arsenal-get-so-many-injuries-the-truth/

    Read also the comments.

  • Marcus

    I read once that Arsene didn’t allow players to have Milk in tea because of the fats. If this is true it is possible he is imposing dietary strictures that are not beneficial. Fats of various Kinds are actually essential , especially but not exclusively Omega 3. Cholesterol repairs arteries. I eat huge amounts of dairy in the form of real yoghurt and it is highly beneficial, Maybe Mezut Can introduce Turkish Yoghurt to AW……..the Mezziah?

  • OMGArsenal

    My cherished fellow Gooners (excluding the troll Spermheadz), please refrain from commenting on and blogging in response to that moron’s incessant negativity,pessimism and whiny monologues he tries to pass off as insight and savoir faire. He is the type of immature, infantile and ludicrously insufficient teenager whose battle against acne was lost at birth and whose adolescent fantasies include actually being taken semi-seriously by Gooners, who are far more intelligent and knowledgeable than he ever will be.
    Now that we have correctly defined his status, here is what I feel we actually witnessed last night:

    1)Napoli were, from the start, piss poor and didn’t seem to care what happened at the Ems.
    2)Conversely the Arsenal were totally committed to winning and it should have ended 4 or 5-0, had our shooters been a bit more lucky and Reina, less efficient.
    3)Our ability to pick them apart in the first half was only surpassed by our ability to smother them in the 2nd half.
    4)We were without 5 first team starters;(Walcott, Ozil, Podolski,The Ox, Diaby) and 3 very promising youth or new signings; Zelalem, Gnabry, and Sanogo for various reasons…when they return, as Tony said, WHERE can we fit them?
    5)We are probably the hottest team in Europe next to Barcelona, and playing Football as well as them.

    I once wrote an article about team chemistry being as important as individual superstars….we now have proof that great team chemistry with a few, first-class individuals can offer spectacular results.

  • Gord

    @Pete

    A partial summary would be nice. 🙂

    This will be long, and lately UA has been eating long replies.

    But, bringing up this site in another tab, the article starts talking about “today”, but there is no timestamp at either the top or bottom of the article. Not everyone has perfect written English, and many people have perfectly valid reasons for this. But, finding English errors in text, especially at the beginning is not a good start. Enough nit picking.

    Gooners upon reading about some supposed injury to an Arsenal player, really should visit Arsenal.com (possibly many times) to get the original message. The press and blogs following Arsenal often warp what Arsenal presents. Wenger could say a few weeks. A few is 3-7 (technically). Well, 7 weeks is more than 2 months, and so you see some blog saying that Arsenal player is out for 3 months.

    Lately, I’ve seen Arsene present optimistic and realistic prognoses. Optimistic and realistic (or pessimistic) time frames are all unique to the person. And regardless of the injury, how fast we heal depends on the general level of stress in our lives. For example, most injuries heal slower during tax season.

    I am just to the end of the article, no reading of comments to “pollute” my response on the article. I’m an engineer who has had a lot of experience doing athletic first aid for amateur football teams, and at one point I was an Adjunct Professor of Pharmacy. So, not a medical professional, but not someone without knowledge. And I know way more about statistics than most medical people.

    If a person was to look at ankle sprains for all football (male and female), you would see some distribution of recovery times. Most of these people are not evaluated, so some of the short recovery times are due to not having an ankle sprain in the first place. But, as so many people would be surveyed, I would expect a symmetric distribution of recovery time, and that the distribution to be very close to Gaussian.

    If we start to restrict our population to top level youth leagues, top level adult leagues, provincial/state elite leagues and professional leagues, we expect that most players suspected of an ankle sprain are evaluated by a professional. So, any minor mode at short recovery times because the athlete was in fact not injured will disappear.

    Training to be an elite athlete is to learn to walk a tightrope. And we’ll look at a more controlled practice, such as 100m sprint. An athlete could train at 98% of max, and not have a problem. To train at 99% of max, they might see some kind of injury 5% of the time. At something like 110% of max, you might start seeing 50% injuries. Part of the problem is defining what max is, as it is probably specific to each athlete, and it will not be constant for any given athlete over time. But, regardless of that, as I presented it, it is obvious that the distribution of injuries is not symmetric. At lower exertion levels, it is unlikely anyone gets injured. As we exceed some (fuzzy) threshold, the probability of injury goes up significantly.

    To go back to training in football, how does one tackle at 99% intensity instead of 100%?

    The mistakes of the backroom medical/physio/athletic first aid people are seen in large part to premature return to play: the player who had a hamstring injury, coming back to play, and having to be substituted due to a recurrence. And these mistakes are more likely with new athletes to the team, and to first time injuries.

    In terms of overtraining, what I learned a long time ago was monitoring basal heart rate. Every athlete should keep a diary of their resting heart rate. The alarm goes off in the morning, which startles anyone. Wait a minute or two. Now measure your resting heart rate (still lying still in bed). There will be some long term baseline (which can change slightly). If the resting heart rate is more than 10% above the baseline, it is likely there is excess stress present (could be overtraining, tax season, or other), and so a day of rest is suggested. Is there a better method now? My knowledge on this is probably 30 years old now.

    Others at UA will talk about rotational fouling. It could easily be that Barcelona et al have similar training methods. If the Neanderthal referees in the EPL allow rotational fouling, Arsenal players will be predisposed to coming out of games with injuries.

    Okay, on to those comments.

    I disagree that the author well researched the article. The author did some research. I have a M.Eng. (obviously engineering). I have taught weight lifting as a volunteer at YMCA gyms. I have had fresh physical education graduates tell me that muscles that could at best only exert minor influence on some exercise were the target muscle of the exercise. “Knowledge” by reading popular magazine articles is too prevalent. I have no faith in “sports-science” people. In engineering, if I make a mistake I am liable until my estate is settled (dying doesn’t avoid problems). These sports-science people have little or no liability. I knew of the importance of recovery back in the mid 1980’s.

    I have no idea if weightlifting, or Olympic lifting is part of the first team training program. I would hope that both are.

    I suspect a big part of our injury problem is the referees letting it go in games. It is okay to kick Arsenal players. If someone wants to present data about injuries occurred in practice, that would be interesting.

    I never took painkillers playing (low levels of football). I have played with broken ribs. You can tape to start the game, but a collision mid-game takes entirely too long to recover from.

    Sorry, I don’t see evidence of malpractice in that thread, or that Wenger is doing anything which puts his players at risk. The exception being exposing his players to EPL referees.

  • Gord

    @Pete

    Addendum

    From: http://www.theguardian.com/football/blog/2013/oct/02/arsenal-mesut-ozil

    > “If you don’t perform for one or two games you get dropped,” Arteta said. “Competition is a great thing, it raises the level of training and that will raise the level of games.

    One would hope that the desire to play doesn’t descend to intent to injure in practice. But injuries do seem to happen in practice on a regular basis in the EPL. When I was doing athletic first aid for a top amateur team in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, I never seen injuries in practice.

    It’s obvious that professional training is more intense. But if some player seeks to be named as a starting player in the next game by injuring all the other players who could be named in practice, one would hope the manager notices and permanently benches the player.

  • ARSENAL 13

    @Gord,

    Injuring your teammate to get into the first team…..Plausible. BUT I thought, players usually dont know the starting 11, atleast untill friday.

  • Stuart

    Pete,
    That article completely misses the fact that refs are more lenient when it comes to bad challenges against Arsenal players where as one of our players would only have to fart in the wrong direction to get a yellow.

    The quality of our medical team can be assessed based on how players recover from comparative injuries and whether the injury repeats itself although as everyone’s body is different, it is difficult to measure.

  • Tasos

    Off topic.

    Last night Bayern Munich dismantled Man City without a recognised centre forward. Pep Guardiola packed his team with midfielders allowing Tomas Muller to roam across the front line.

    Could Arsenal adopt this style at some stage this season?

  • elkieno

    Hmm I know Ozil will play for sure, merts, Kos, Ramsey too so I could dead leg Aaron and get a spot?
    I wonder how do teams train?
    Do they play 5aside on Mondays
    Tuesdays: all split into teams of 8 and a guy in middle has to get the ball off the other 7?
    Do they practice keepy ups on Wednesday?
    A mystery!

  • Stuart

    Tasos,
    Also worth a mention is how according to the media, Man City played poorly when we beat them 3-1 yet when Bayern beat them 3-1 it was due to a how good Bayern are.

  • Pete

    Thanks for comments. I am not endorsing the article because my medical knowledge is insufficient. What I do know is that there is clearly a problem. Most likely there are a variety of reasons. But the more debate the better – and I welcome the comments above.

    Although over-lenient referees/rotational fouling may be a part of the problem I doubt it is a major component.

    I have written here – and elsewhere – that this has been the most serious problem at the club over the past few years. Carrying significantly more injuries than average is very disruptive as well as expensive both in terms of the cost of employing additional players and the fact that injuries happen in clusters (strikers now, full backs a couple of seasons ago) – also players need a few games to get back to form.

  • Micko

    Sperez must have great banter with his mates who support other teams…..

    Manu mate “ Manu’s the best and Arsenal’s a shit club with a crap stadium and useless manager”.
    Sperez “ Yeah I totally agree, Manu are brilliant and we’re shit. We have the worst manager, worst stadium, worst owners, and most whiny fans”.
    Manu mate “ Yeah but you’re top of the league at the moment”
    Sperez “That doesn’t matter we’re shit and we won’t even get our cherished fourth place trophy this year, all our players are inferior to everyone else’s”.
    Manu mate “But you’ve just won ten matches on the trot, you must be doing something right”.
    Sperez “No we’re crap and we’ll never win another trophy ever again”.
    Manu mate “ Blimey! I think I’m more of an Arsenal fan than you are”.

  • WalterBroeckx

    LOL @Micko 🙂

  • Unbelievable belief

    Sperez
    What and when is Moe going to solve with that bunch of chav wasters?

  • Unbelievable belief

    Matt hasn’t finished GTA5 yet?
    Seems he’s as good at computer games as football punditry.