Leeds 2 Arsenal 11; new ways to take on the opposition

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Victory through Harmony

by Tony Attwood

We all know that sometime around June the financially discredited Barcelona will start their annual whimpering about Cesc wanting to leave Arsenal and join them.    They were going to do it this month, but then one of their number started chattering about how it would happen in January when Arsenal were clearly out of the league race and Cesc was thoroughly fed up with being at a failing club.

That sort of prediction is a problem when we are still in all four trophies for which we have entered this year.  Five if you include the Reserve League (where amazingly, despite filling the squad with youth players, and losing one game 10-1 when we put out virtually the under 16s and had one player sent off after five minutes) we are still equal top on points – behind on goal difference – with a game in hand).  Six if you include the FA Youth Cup.  Seven if you include the Ladies team.  OK I’ll stop now.

These are the traditional ways of taking on the opposition – in games (although I will admit the Ladies haven’t played any league games yet – they are playing in a summer league this year). But it is looking to me as if we are moving into a world where that is no longer the prime way of winning at football.  Other games are now being played.

The media have long been involved in this, telling us what is, and what is not important.  Rather than saying, “here’s an interesting idea, what do you think” they tell us how we should see the world.   (Actually on the Arsenal History site we recently took a look at how an Arsenal manager was involved in going a bit further and, having learned how it was being done in the US, started making up news in football.  But it was a long time ago.)

The media is made up of goofs and biglesloths (a made up word to suit its made up stories), and it does give us a laugh.  As the Guardian pointed out there was a lovely shot yesterday of Gareth Southgate yawning in the reflection in the studio window behind Gordon Strachan who was attempting to say the word “Nasri”.   I suppose they do it in case the football is poor – although last night it wasn’t.

The problem is, people believe the media. A mate of my Celtic supporting neighbour, who is an Arsenal fan, (the mate that is, not the Celtic supporting neighbour) announced after the 10-1 reserve defeat, “that’s it, Wenger has got to go”.  He was apparently quite angry and determined and vowing never to go to a match again until Mr Wenger was replaced – although I gather it didn’t matter who it was who replaced him.

I didn’t get the idea he knew exactly what happened with the 10-1 defeat, or where we were in the league, but he knew that a 10-1 reverse in a reserve game (reverse/reserve – clever eh?) was a suitable case for a sacking.

The media has been getting a spot more complex of late though.  It is bad enough watching on TV Mr Winterburn sitting in a studio on Sky looking at a TV picture that we couldn’t see but which  was freely available on ITV if only we could find the remote, telling us what he could see on that picture.  In fact that reminded me of hearing that a person in one soap on TV (Coronation Square or West Enders or somesuch) announcing that he or she or it couldn’t go out because on TV a character in Emmerdale Council Estate (another soap) was being killed off by an evil producer on Roadcross (a soap).  I think we were all invited to go to his house and do him over.

But last night it got better or worse – depending on your point of view.   The Guardian (which you will know if you have been paying attention these last 320 years is my newspaper of choice) couldn’t report on the match in the normal way because Leeds has banned the Guardian from the ground for asking who owns Leeds.   Actually Untold has asked this question a lot of times, but we haven’t been banned yet – but then I couldn’t get to Leeds last night anyway.   But I was there last time we played them, and although that game was before I started this blog, I had expected a retrospective banning order posted through a wormhole in the fabric of space and time.   But it didn’t arrive, so I didn’t go – although I could have.)

Anyway Leeds view of reality is that no one owns more than 10% of Leeds so they don’t have to declare anything to anyone, and those jolly people at the League have said they believe Mr Bates so that’s fine.   Now I seem to remember Mr Bates getting slightly confused over a certain company he owned, declaring that he didn’t own it and then on having the papers put in front of him in a court case in Jersey which showed he did own it, and then saying he had got confused.   And of course I may be confused with this story, one can’t tell.   It was all so much easier when one just had to win a match.

But that’s not the end of it – and of course it never is.

Staying off the pitch Robbie Keane hasn’t joined Birmingham Small Heath which doesn’t really affect us but he said that the bid to buy him was a “publicity stunt.”

That’s a bit of a funny publicity stunt – but I suppose it is meant to keep the supporters happy.  They said, “We could have had Keane, and we have the money – oh yes we have the money, even though rather like Leeds no one is quite sure who owns this club (Mr Yeung only has a minority holding) but in the end we didn’t.”   Which is I suppose a bit like Barcelona – although after they failed to pay their players last summer they can’t do the bit about having the money.

It is a bit of a reminder of the time when that Hoddle character was in charge of the Stratford Tinies before they did or did not go east and to answer the fans’ annoyance at not buying anyone, he gave a list of six players they had almost bought.   Well, five players.  The last one was a cabbage.

In the Blues case Birmingham’s vice-chairman, said: “Everyone knows he is a tremendous player but having considered the overall package (one which certainly wasn’t unfair on the part of his representatives to ask for given his talent and experience), Keane’s age and the length of contract, we felt financially he wasn’t the best option available.”   You can’t say fairer than that, unless of course you explain what the hell you are talking about.

This is not the first time Carson Yeung has done a Hoddle at Birmingham.  He did it with Kenny Miller, (who went to Bursaspor) and Charles N’Zogbia (who took a further look at Wigan pier and decided to stay).  Oh and Babel (the player not the fish), Pavlyuchenko and Dembélé.  They are not, as you will have noticed, Birmingham players.  But they could have been.

And there is West Porno and what they hope will soon become the Olympic Porno Arena, their proposed new home (if it doesn’t become Tinyland).   They don’t want Mr Grant, so they set up Mr Hold Your Head (so named after he told all his players that if Arsenal were on the attack they should lie down and hold their heads in order to get the game stopped.)  He was renamed Mr Longball after a bizarre and eccentric rant about a comment Mr Wenger was supposed to have made about the Aston Villa team he ran at the time.)   He was also known as Mr Russia after he took a reserve team  to the icy wastes, and deliberately got knocked out of the Uefa Cup, so he could come in fourth in the league.   They came in fifth.  Or was it sixth?  Anyway his old club is now up for relegation and he’s on the dole.

Anyway, for reasons that have never become clear West Pornography want to have the ex-Villa man as manager even though they don’t spend money much.   Mr Grant was going to be thrown away after the Arsenal game, and Mr Hold Your Head would be brought in.   But he wasn’t.  Now West Porn like Mr Grant again and everyone’s bemused.

Perhaps that is more of an own goal than how to take on the opposition.  Or maybe it is just the way pornographers work.

So it goes these days.  Winning a cup match, even playing terrific football, and leaving out several class players for much of the game (and using the man who started the season as fourth choice keeper in goal) isn’t much news any more.  And why should it be when at the great empire of football – Buckie Thistle – some players had a fight (having seen Newcastle players fighting each other and being sent off – if you remember that one).  Now that’s news.

Actual playing on the pitch.. .that doesn’t really matter any more.  Although we do seem to have scored more goals in the league than anyone else, have the second best goal difference (just one behind the best) and have the best away record in the league.  (I like that bit, because that was the foundation of the Unbeaten Season.  We got the away form right first, if you remember.)

Near the top of the league, scoring more goals than our rivals, in four competitions, the Reserve League, the Youth Cup, the Ladies league – oh and I forgot, the Ladies are still in the Champions League as well.  And I thought we played well last night – the numbers in the headline are shots on target.

Funny old game.

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34 Replies to “Leeds 2 Arsenal 11; new ways to take on the opposition”

  1. A great performance, a great result. What can you ask more to make this a great day?
    The sun is shining over here right now.
    Maybe another great Untold article? And here it is.

    We even could win the game with Dean in charge.

    Live can be great

  2. The probability of Sagna scoring twice in a season is as low as getting struck by lightning 2 times in a year. Well lightning struck twice!! 🙂

    Btw, after watching Van Persie in d air for that goal n his celebration – he’ll be our very own ‘The Flying Dutchman’!! 😛

  3. Untold Referee Index

    please where is it today? its one of my favourites blogs. am still waiting for it; maybe its coming later.

  4. Looking at NewsNow feed, not a single one mentioned about how we the only one still on course for a quadruple.

    You can bet even the underground ants will hear about the achievement if its the other teams .. other then Arsenal.

    All I see is they bigging up ManUre for challenging he invincible record.. urm hello .. they still only about one third of the record >.>

  5. To be more optimistic, its not just the quadruple. We can win 6 titles this year!! Dont forget that we can even win the community shield and the fifa club championship as well this year. But for a shot at those 2 titles, we’ll need to win the fa cup and Champions league as well.
    But i think we should start with basics first – The Carling Cup!!!!

  6. Wawa

    Walter’s referee review is ready and will be published at around 1240 GMT give or take (when I have my lunch break).

    Do remember Walter lives in Belgium and so has to find a TV station that is showing the game, and then do the analysis, and then write it up in a foreign language (unless of course you want to read the Flemish original!!!)

    That’s why occasionally I precede him with a ramble of my own; he was still working on his review this morning so I did my little rant about the media (no change there).

    Just a little while to wait now.

    Oh and in my piece I forgot to add a reminder that the site’s new policy is that if a comment isn’t related to the article, or is just a load of abuse with no coherent argument, I’m now just deleting rather than putting up a note to say it is deleted.

    But, we won, so most of the “anyone can see Sagna is a plonker” type comments won’t be sent in today I guess.

  7. what a game! il b suprised if we get cahill.

    may have been hallucinating but did anyone else hear the commy refer to leeds as the white machine?:-S

  8. “anyone can see Sagna is a plonker” – Are those guys for real!

    That white machine thing was hilarious – Leeds gave it all but we were by far the better team.
    Also noted they refused to really analyse Arshavin being pretty much dragged to the ground before their goal. They just said something along the lines of he was not strong enough and it was no foul! Still did not matter in the end.
    One day, this club will get the credit from the English media it deserves (in stark contrast to world wide media and fans who on the whole show due respect)
    Good to see a few of the recently maligned players putting in a shift – I think some of these players just need games, and Arshavin just needs a bit of confidence back.

  9. It’s a shame to read such a depressing article after having my faith in football restored last night watching the game on ITV.

    My view of it was:

    1. Two teams went at it hammer and tongs, in a great spirit, for 90 minutes, and produced 4 great goals and a hatful of other goalmouth incidents.
    2. 38,000 saw it, stayed to the end with their losing team and generally said they’d like to be back in the EPL, whilst no doubt observing what it now takes to challenge to win that league.
    3. Nicklas Bendtner played his first genuinely selfless shift for Arsenal out of position and was rewarded with a magnificent assist for an RVP header. Well done the young Dane!
    4. Even I, Arsenal fan though I am, jumped out of my seat when Leeds lammed in a left-footed howitzer that put Charlton to shame. As I can admire great football. Just the same as one had to admire Essien’s strike at the Bridge a few years ago when all thought Flamini had won it for Arsenal……
    5. Arsenal’s squad players did the business last night: Denilson, Gibbs and Bendtner were excellent. Arshavin was close to being spectacular, his turns and dribbles being excellent with only the shooting to return. Chamakh will no doubt benefit from the weather getting warmer as the season gets to the sharp end…..
    6. Szeczeny looks ready to be Arsenal’s Number 1. He has presence, self-confidence and ability. He’s not the finished article yet, but he can be. So long as he doesn’t get ahead of himself.

    Yes, last night was what football was about.

    I’m not sure whether saying that every other team on the planet is useless, criminal, insolvent, incompetent or bent is though.

    To each their own……….

  10. Tony you are known for your creative writing but he whizz did you digress a lot in this article. I think I have slight dyslexia and so reading can be a chore but Damn Tony I have no clue what the hell went on in that article. One example you started wring about your Celtic mate and then totally went off on a tangent about soap operas because your brain thought of that. Only to then not go back to the point your Celtic friend was making and if there was any concluding to his point? Did he find out the actual facts? Does he still believe, Wenger out? Does he go to games still?

    Anyway new ways to take on the opposition. Was that in kind to talk about the opposition as you have done or quite literally a tactical point of view as the latter didn’t happen.

    I think I need to sit down.

  11. last nights game gave me, personaly, a number of positives and negatives. the positives are that we have a lot of quality in our team and at 2-1 up we bring on two world class players. sagna is a beast and our overal team performance was good. negatives,which i focus on becuase i want my team to improve, are that we do relie to much on our top class players, look at the difference between our teams in both leeds games and the real quality showed. bendtner and arshavin are two players which i am putting questions marks on. sagna had the ball on the right wing and squared it to bendtner which he then flopped the move, sagna was in the same position moments later and processed to rocket the ball into the net, what does that tell you when our right back does not feel confident in passing the ball to our forward (bendtner) and he would rather shooot himself… nuff said. arshavin i really dont know what to say… i was screaming at my TV yesterday and the missis though i had lost it, i cant repeat what i said cos teamtalk wont allow it but when he rocketed it after a bit of beatiful build up play and then proceded to turn around and smile i shouted “dont F-ing smile, what you smiling about you mug” its safe to say i lost it…

  12. @ Rhys can I just say to make sure its out there, that Denilson played exactly the same way he has for us mostly this season. If anyone cares to look back. It is funny how opinions offkilter a little when the team are not performing and when they do. Deni put in his usual solid performance, a few mistakes as normal. A few slips, but in all, great defensive and offensive momentum play.

  13. Arshavin was close to being spectacular ,his turns and dribbling being excellent with only his shooting to return,yet more rubbish from this blog and it,s author,so when will this shooting return mister as the little Russian is getting awfuller by the day and needs to be cashed in already,another profit to be made from another clown just like Adebayor ,it,s time for Arshavin to move on and out bye bye?

  14. @Rhys,
    I’ve seen Bendtner put in a few good shifts out of position before; I remember him being especially selfless and hard-working in a CL match against Roma on the left wing. Lots of chasing, tackling and tracking back from the big Dane, coupled with strong hold-up play.

    And I thought he was excellent in both Barca games last season, albeit not used out of position. Once again very hard-working, and either scored or set-up all 3 of our goals over the two legs. He seems to save his best for European games; either that or they just suit him better.

    Re: Denilson, couldn’t agree more. He was his normal solid and efficient self, without ever dazzling and the odd brain-mist defensively. His performance last night was no different to the ones against Ipswich and Leeds, but as usual any poor result and the knives come out for the less-loved members of the squad regardless of their contribution.

  15. A very god game for Denilson last night but amazingly he get,s the blame ,from fickle Arsenal fans,for Arshavin,s clownish antics ,like blazing inch perfect passes high,wide etc. over the crossbar ,game after game,whilst Denilson gets on with his magic short passing skills with both feet,mind you,game after game,truly amazing the rubbish from fickle Arsenal fans,but not you Aaron as you,re watching the same game as myself,go Denilson ?

  16. what has really happened to Arshavin, I cant understand how a player can decline at such a rapid rate. Normally you slowly see the decline until the player just cant compete anymore but for Shava its from one extreme to the next, one minute hes playing well then suddenly hes just Blahhh. Im really sorry for him he doesnt look frustrated but he plays frustrated like he cant believe hes playing bad. Him smiling today after roofing that shot says it all, behind that laugh was a pair of very sad eyes. Something is wrong with the youngman. The whole thing is bizarre.

  17. Samuel,

    Is your life so empty that you end up reading ‘rubbish’ bloggs?

    You have a right to disagree with the contents of articles here but insulting the blog and its writers is just stupid. Aaron and Rhys have voiced their dissent without abuses, try to emulate them. Or, as I do with other Arsenal blogs that I consider ‘stupid’, boycott/ignore them!

    This article is classic Tony rambling (see others by Billy the Dog). It is meant to amuse and even confuse. Trying to make a cogent point of it will make your head hurt but if you understand what the author is trying to say, you realise it’s all just for a laugh.

  18. In a few games Arshavin will be back in form and the same that are now writing him off will be telling us: told you he would come good.

    I think AA knows better than any of us that his form isn’t what he can produce. But what when I saw him trying to work hard yesterday I knew he will be back in the next weeks to his best. And we will need him and the other squad players to help us.

    Can’t believe that after two good results and good wins still some fans are only able to say player X, player Y and player Z are not good enough and should be sold as soon as possible.

    It will be the quality of the squad in the next months that will win us things or will make us lose things (if we get hit by another massive injury crisis)

  19. Good article Tony.
    The quality of football commentary seems to be very variable in England- most media outlets seem to be pro the big Northern clubs and promulgate their football culture and values-i.e. spend, spend, spend to address all your teams shortcomings- the more the better, “in yer face football”- a euphemism for winning at all costs-such as kicking the other side off the park.
    Arsenal do get some credit in certain sections of the media- notably Paddy Barclay and some Guardian journalistas. Even the Game podcast were talking Arsenal up last week. Its only all bad when you get to TV pundits i.e. former players. This notion that former players are experts on football is the biggest myth going. They are celebrities who boost viewing figures thats all. being formerly a good footballer doesn’t mean you know how to analyse the game.
    Britain is obsessed with celebrities.

  20. Two things in relation to this article – and indeed many others. It is an issue I have raised before, and Rhys will have read it before because he’s a long term reader. But in case you have missed it.

    I named the site “Untold” because I deliberately sought to build a site that did things that no other site did. The pre- and post- match ref analysis is one example. Others have copied us, but we launched that.

    Being wholly pro-Wenger and pro all he does, was another thing that no other site did.

    I retain the view that it is important to experiment with the writing, and to look for other places to go – otherwise we will over time become the same as other sites. The occasional “Billy the Dog” pieces are like that, and from what I gather from correspondence they appeal to a small but solid group of readers.

    And we should remember that until Untold came along the number of articles that dug around into the economics of football was much smaller, and generally less informed. We didn’t start this area of research, but we added something to it.

    So I continue to experiment and look for new ways of writing and expressing an interest in Arsenal and football, and this article is just one among many. Criticism that the article is incomprehensible is one that I take seriously, and I look to see where my experimentation has taken me. Criticism that I should have been writing about the match rather than something else I don’t take note of, because the match is covered in many other places – and if those places don’t do it well enough, then the writer can offer to write a regular post-match review of the game for Untold.

    What I was trying to do in the article was make a simple point: we had a great game last night, but it wasn’t really seen as news. And that’s because what is news has moved.

    And to finish this off, here’s an extra bit of news I found, which to me completes the whole story.

    Birmingham City’s website has issued this statement about Polyanna Chu who is not apparently what we thought: “Chu is the controlling shareholder of Kingston Securities Limited… [it] entered a placing agreement with the company on 22 October 2010. The longstop date for the placing is 25 February 2011… the number of shares in the company to be placed is 450,000,000 representing approximately 14.11% of the issued share capital of the company as at the date of the placing agreement… Once the shares in the company have been placed, their disclosure obligation will cease and their interests removed from the disclosure register.”

    I rest my case.

  21. Well said Tony.
    One other point on the ‘Bendtner out of position’ discussion.
    Arsenal play with three strikers. They may adopt somewhat different positions at the beginning of an attack but are all, almost equally, likely to end up in the middle to put the ball in the net. As an example Walcott has scored as many goals as Chamakh this season despite playing in a position that the press wuld descibe as a winger.
    Bendtner does not yet have the close control of a van Persie and therefore suffers by comparison when played down the middle. He’s not yet quite as good as Chamakh in that position. When either of those two are in the team the only position available to him is as the right-sided striker.
    Those of us of a certain age can remember one of the great Arsenal centre-forwards, John Radford, coming into the team and looking far from convincing in the middle. A season or so out on the right wing where he had more space and time to control the ball and decide what to do with it did wonders for his confidence and made him more difficult to mark on late runs into the box. His goal scoring record was outstanding in that position and he carried it over when he was moved back into the middle.
    Wilshere is probably now playing ‘out of position’ being taught the defensive side of the game before he gets moved forward – perhaps when Cecs leaves.
    Where you want to play and where you operate best can be two different things and it shows team spirit as well as long term self interest to play where the coaches ask you to rather than to sulk.
    And by the way, I see that we now cannot move for world class goalkeepers! Wenger right again? Surely not.

  22. Richard B. – excellent point. I also remember a certain T.Henry playing “out of position” on the right in his formative years and everyone saying Mr. Wenger was crazy for thinking he was a striker. Hmm. That one didnt turn out too badly.

    Overall I thought it was cracking Cup-Tie (both games) that was a fantastic advert for the FA Cup and English Football in general. Leeds had their chance in the first game and as is so often the case, when the lesser team doesnt take their chance they get ruthlessly exposed in the second match.

    Denilson was steady and efficient. Djourou and Kos continue to develop a partnership, and Kos in particular seems to be adapting to English Football very, very quickly now. Gibbs outstanding (although he was caught out way too far upfield on at least one occasion and it almost cost us a goal). Bendtner played a “team” shift. Arshavin was, well, he was what he has been for months now. An enigma. I dont know. He is just as likely to hit a ball out of the ground as he is to score an absolute screamer. One thing is for sure, nobody knows what the heck he is going to do so he must be a nightmare to play with AND against!!!!

    Keep the games coming.

  23. RE: Bendtner as ‘winger’

    I’d also add that our defensive shape is very different from our offensive one. When the opposition have the ball we might have Bendtner/Walcott on the right side and everyone else in their place to form our conventional 4-2-3-1 for efficient pressing, but once we win it back it’s all very different.

    RVP purposefully drops deep to drag players around and create openings for others, mainly for Walcott who can be seen always looking to go into the space that Van Persie leaves behind. Our right ‘winger’ is effectively a striker – it’s not too dissimilar to the role David Villa plays for Spain and Barcelona, except on the right side. Nasri or Cesc can burst forward into that space too, and this all comes down to Van Persie’s fantastic ability on the ball, and how he excels at manipulating and dragging defenders with his movement. Like DB10, his genius makes everybody around him play better.

  24. The team played great last night. Nasri was a bit off despite his goal, but world class players impact the game even when they’re not at their best. Denilson being efficient? If you call efficient hiding behind Song and scurrying to get the ball away from under his feet as fast as possible for fear he will lose it, then yes….Denilson was extremely efficient. Arshavin is still missing loads of chances and losing the ball too easily, and if he was 25 I would say it’s because he’s out of form but he’s almost 30 now, who is to say he will get that form back?

    Nasri should always play through the middle behind the striker, he is such a potent player in the box. Gibbs is always the better player going forward. Nice cross by Bendtner, but that was his only contribution really, although he did well to keep the shape of the formation by staying wide and providing an option. He just doesn’t have the speed to play on the wing, nor the consistent delivery…but like I said, that one cross was fantastic. Chamakh is havin’ a tough go at it right now, but watching him run back and intercept a pass in our third of the pitch…well, you don’t see some of our other forwards do that.

    Wenger finally figured out how to go for the killer goal and made some well-timed subs. Normally at 2-1 he’ll wait until the other team equalizes and make the changes in the 83rd minute. Old dog, new tricks.

  25. I seem to remember that at the age of 14 Bendtner was Danish 800 metres champion. You don’t lose that in such a short time and I think he’s a lot quicker than most of us (who don’t have a stopwatch handy) think.

  26. Great performance and good result.
    Defence was solid and everyone had a great game, well except the usual few mistakes and mispasses and miscontrols from Denilson and Bendtner, but then everyone does that, even Nasri last night.
    But I feel the difference last night when compared to the 1st leg and Ipswich is NASRI. His presence has become much more effective and commanding than even Fabregas.
    Arshavin worked hard, though nothing he tried worked out.

  27. I think like fellow big men such as Diaby and Adebayor, Bendtner is deceptively quick. Their long strides and relatively slow leg speeds can make them look as if they’re running through treacle.

    On a few occasions last night Bendtner turned inside and sped away from his marker with the ball with quite incredible ease.

  28. Wrenny – I agree. I saw a couple of blogs this morning that said “Cesc looked slow” but if that is the case, then what does that say about the people marking him because he seems to drift past them effortlessly. Some players dont look fast, but actually are. It is seldom about the long sprints in football but rather the quick bursts of acceleration that take you past the first man.

    I can remember the same thing being said about Song as well.

    The thing is that AW looks for pace first in players, so nobody in the side is going to be slow, even if they dont always fit the sprinters mold like Walcott. I think that is why AW isnt that interested in Mertesacker. Everyone knows that he doesnt have much pace. I just dont think he fits the mold, same as Hangeland.

  29. and to all the fans complaining about him being “stuck out on the wing” and “played out of position”

    i refer to you a) the faint toe-poke miss b) sagna’s goal and c) van persie’s goal

    this was the formation that had us flying at the start of last season.

  30. definately paul c. all of our players have the ability to at least beat the first man with relative ease. which is perfect , obviously, because very rarely is a man not open in one of our triangles

  31. i am constantly amazed by the complete lack of empathy shown towards our players by some and wonder what has happened to fans these days.
    it seems that if a player is injured or left out the team that there is always some ulterior motive by the manager to hide something from them.
    first lets take the bendtner situation, over the last month the manager has taken great pains to assure everyone that he is finally fit but is neeeded games to gain match fitness/ sharpness, and yet some are ready to shift him out of the team at the drop of a hat, is it really that hard given that we all know he played the world cup last summer with an injury and underwent surgery at the beginning of the season, to appreciate that if you havent played competitive football for nigh on six months that your touch on the ball might veer erratically between that of a rapist and a casanova? he has increased competition for his place from JET, chamackh walcott and they are performing. i am sure it has escaped a lot of fans’ notice that last week end theo got more purchase out of the wing by staying on the wing, i mean right out there in the boondocks, and i am sure after that revelation to bendtner yesterday he will be more willing to build patiently- i see no comments on what an intelligent cross it was he made to set up van persie’s header but i’d like to suggest it might give him an idea where to go next time he finds himself alone in the middle against two or three defenders not to mention where he might want to play if he wants get the time and space on the ball. all positives to be taken out of yesterdays game for him and indeed the manager.
    second, denilson just cant a break from some it seems but gawd bless his little cotton socks, is there any team in the premiership that would’nt have wilshere in their starting line up at the moment? everybody seems to have forgotten the spectacular manner denilsons injury manifested itself last year, he is in the centre circle in control of the ball looking for a pass and then he just collapses forward in pain, at the time a complete mystery. he has been out of competitive football since and according to some he should stay there. i for one think he is doing well in the couldron that is the midfield usually playing against 3 against four, nobody remembers that teams try and battle us for midfield supremacy.
    lastly arshavin, he is usually the smallest payer on the field punching way above his weight, and yet he produces some spectacular performances when he connects, the brvery he shows going into tackles and the sheer amount of work he has to do to outstrip defenders he concedes anywhere up to two feet in height to is largely forgotten but lets remember that whenever he gets the chance he puts him self out there and he gets kicked up in the air in almost every game for his pains.
    boohooo, you might say, that is what what they get paid for. well no actually, they deserve some a chance to express themselves to the best of their ability just as you do in what ever field of endeavour you might be engaged and the only way we are going to get that is to patiently let them play their way into form, and for that you have to trust the lord weng, then it is a win win situation.

  32. Tony couldnt agree more about the Guardian love reading anything Amy Lawrence does on Arsenal.

    Annonymous Gooner yes if it was Utd still in all four the papers would be full of quadruple quotes every day much like the Invincible ones everytime they remain unbeaten.

    I guess we have to earn some quotes by winning that first trophy and send them all running scared. If we play against Ipswitch like we did against leeds and westham that wont be long comming.

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