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August 2021

The gateway to hell is slippery with oil; the team are clones, Uefa is bowed. AFC v Oilmen

By Tony Attwood

Manchester: gateway to hell where the roads are slippery with oil, and the downward path leads inexorably to Hades, or Liverpool as it is known in popular culture.

Manchester City will have quite possibly Samir Nasri playing.  While Mr Nasri doesn’t seem to have had it quite the same as Flamini did before him when he left Arsenal, there are similarities.  Mr Nasri has had some time with a Champs League club – although this may be coming to an end, as the club slide into the Europa League, where Mr Flamini spent many a happy few minutes – playing for example in the AC Milan v Porstmouth match in that competition after leaving Arsenal.

As far as I can see Mr Nasri has made 8 appearances for Man City this season including those as a sub, in the EPL, Champs League and League Cup  – but it is hard to work out because the Man City official web site doesn’t give a record as (for example) does.  Ah well.

In our team Arsène Wenger has said that Frimpong will get a game, plus Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Yossi Benayoun and Park Chu-young.  We’ll also have a change of goal keeper I expect.  I also expect Coquelin will get a game.

Robin van Persie, Theo Walcott and Aaron Ramsey are unlikely to play.

In terms of the Financial Fairplay rules clubs are allowed to lose £38.5m in total over the three years starting with this year.  Last year Man City lost £179m, and had a player salary bill that was £21m more than their total income.  According to some of the usual humour in the tabloids they are going to sell 20 players this summer.  Anyone fancy Mr Nasri?

But then, maybe it will never come to that – maybe by the date of FFP the whole fabric of football will have fallen apart.   After all Sion of Switzerland have gone to the EC concerning their expulsion from the Europa League.  If they get away with that, then by and large Uefa is done, its authority removed.

Arsène Wenger sees a new force in Europe with Chelsea Mafia, Manchester Oil, Paris St-Germain and Málaga spending anything and everything they want.  If Sion beat Uefa on the issue of player regulations, then the financial dopers will just sweep Uefa aside.

In effect players like Mr Nasri have become poodles, paid a fortune to occasionally step onto the pitch, and not caring much whether they play or not.  The Manchester team tonight in fact is clear:

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Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed al-Nahyan

Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed al-Nahyan   Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed al-Nahyan

Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed al-Nahyan  Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed al-Nahyan

Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed al-Nahyan Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed al-Nahyan

Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed al-Nahyan

Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed al-Nahyan Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed al-Nahyan

Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed al-Nahyan

playing of course in the regular 4-3-3 formation.

Just for the record, during the 2010-11 financial year Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed al-Nahyan  bought Jérôme Boateng for £10.5m, Edin Dzeko for £27m, David Silva for £26m, Yaya Touré for £24m, Aleksandar Kolarov for £19m, Mario Balotelli for £24m and James Milner for £26m.  Total £156.5m.Our team might be…


Djourou Yennaris Mertersacker Koscielny

Coquelin Frimgpong Benayoun

Gervinho Ju Young Park Oxlade-Chamberlain

or maybe not.

After all, what do I know?

38 comments to The gateway to hell is slippery with oil; the team are clones, Uefa is bowed. AFC v Oilmen

  • To be fair to fairness thats not a bad looking line up, we may not win
    but i hope we make them work Bloody Hard!

  • addy

    I think mertesacker is not in the squad.
    How much have man city spent in total since the sheikh took over?

  • Shakabula Gooner

    Surely, there must be something in the rule books about fielding a cloned team!!

  • nicky

    If the Sions of Switzerland persuade the Boys of Brussels to treat them kindly, then UEFA is truly lost.
    Then, we only need the Big Boys to find a way around the FFP and an organised shambles (as old soldiers will recall) will reign.
    Roll on ANARCHY until commonsence returns.

  • William

    to be honest I can’t see the FFP making a blind bit of difference.
    Could you imagine the Champions league without the Star teams from Spain Italy or England, well maybe you could but sure as hell UEFA don’t want too, they want all the big teams there more bums on seats more happy viewers more money for themselves. It seems to me that, say if Man City do indeed fall foul of FFP rules but qualify for the CL, will get thier chance to play in the CL, but will likely be fined some token amount, forfeit merit payments and probably not accrue UEFA ranking points so they will always be in the lasst pot.

  • walter

    How cruel live can be. They didn’t deserve to lose this game but this is football. One counter of around £100m killed us off.

    But I have seen great things from Oxlade Chamberlain… he looked awesome.

  • bjtgooner


    I agree, but Coquelin & Frimpong also impressed. The team really gave everything and to me looked just as good as the oilers.

  • Rich_Fryer

    I thought it was a very good performance all round, no mistakes from Squillaci, good pressure from mindfield, and only really the attack that wasn’t quite sharp enough. Felt like an even performance, and given the quality of the Man City side, that says a lot about our boys.

  • menace

    The game was an eye opener. The Arsenal youth were real quality. In my opinion some are better than the regular team. The Manchester Oilers were really poor considering the salaries they get paid.

    Arsenal did not have the quality finish and lack the shooting skills. Apparently Arsenal have sufficient coaches. I beg to differ – they don’t know how to kick a ball. Basic maybe but passing is easily coached as is the Art of Kicking. Arsenal pass but how many shots were on target from any kind of shot?

  • walter

    bjtgooner, I agree.
    Just wanted to slip in my first thought about the game and then had to write a more complete report about the players on the Arsenal Benelux website.

    Did you see Frimpong saying a few things against Nasri after the final whistle? He is a real Gooner. 😉 I even think I saw him joining with the fans in the stand in the first half when they had a go at Na$ri. Did he make a gesture to join in the standing up to hate him???? Okay just kidding on this one.

    I thought Miquel also had a very decent game.

    Let us not forget the combined likes of Dzeko, Johnson, Na$ri and Aguero must have cost more than he whole Arsenal team together. Even with those not in the team today.

  • Mahdain

    i think it was a very good all round performance from our youngsters… frimpong is a legend for giving na$ri a piece of his mind..heard there was a bust up in the tunnel with lady na throwing a punch at frimmy and running away..coward

  • walter

    If I may give a tip to Wenger. Since the end of the transfer window we have lost one game in September, one in October and one in November.
    Now if we would lose one game in December to keep this run going we should throw away the game in the CL which doesn’t matter for us. And win the other 6 PL games in that month. 😉

  • Mahdain

    coquelin once again impressed me a lot..that kid has a great future ahead of him and i see him becoming an important part in linking our play for years to come… and what can i say about the ox? he is just bloody brilliant and i think its about time he replaced arshavin on the bench..yossi`s work rate was amazing and was very solid..even squillaci had a decent game…i think we need a bit more firepower infront of goal and i really hope we do sign a new striker in january so he can share the goalscoring burden with rvp…proud to be a gooner

  • Mahdain

    and kos once again proved what a world class defender he of the best in the league and another great find by wenger..i wonder if the AAA still has the same opinion about him?

  • Tone

    Midfield and defence excellent.

    Chamak hopeless, Park anonymous. Neither striker showed anything at all in that game. Neither looked capable of beating a defender.

    Why no Arshavin from the start???

    Sometimes I just don’t get Wenfer!!!

  • Tone

    Wenger even…

  • Gooner Gal

    The team has nothing to be ashamed of as they all gave a good account of themselves. Arsene Wenger picked the team I suggested on Friday and they gave Man C a good game. If we had gone to extra time I think we could of won it, because their defensive players legs were going. If the plundit’s and hacks report the game as anything but even – then they will just look incredibly stupid.

    Frimpong was my MotM as he was assertive, concentrated, looked so comfortable breaking up play and distributing the ball. Man C looked nervous and jittery at times as they were hemmed in their own half for long periods. Arsenal showed them that we do not respect their price tags – from which they draw so much confidence and gave them a good game.

    I have said it many times recently and I will say it again, I love the attitude of the squad now and I think this line up could thrash a few premier league teams. It seems like we do have strength in depth and hopefully many of the players who played today, will get to play in the up and coming CL game next week.

  • Gooner Gal

    I can see now that Park and Chamakh are very similar and we could of done with one being swapped out for Afobe (who is injured unfortunately) to play off them. The strikers need games to help them find a hot streak – the question is how that connundrum is solved.

  • Eric

    What a game! We were all over them, and everyone played their part in the pressiorising which was very impressive and made it look as if City had no attack. shouldve, couldve won or draw and in the end nothing.. Where’s the reward!
    Oh well 3 more competitions to win, cmon Arsenal!!!!!!

  • M.V

    kinda surprised wenger didn’t go for 4-5-1, OR using arshavin insteaad of one of park/chamack just behind the striker, worked well in the bolton game…Anyways, great game by Arsenal all the same!

  • One of those rare defeats that seem like a win, lots to be pleased about probably the best way to exit.

  • M.V

    OH and lots of Cred’s to squillachi! That guess had a lot of critisizm, but tonight his class and experience showed…hope he stays even though he might be last in the order..I like him..

  • Gooner Gal

    I didn’t make this game, but from what I saw and heard, The Emirates crowd were excellent too and definately did their but to keep the players motivated.

    The stick Nasri got made me laugh too, if I am honest!

  • Gooner Gal

    …and did their BIT to keep the players motivated…

  • DeeDee

    Little off topic, did anyone notice how Zabaleta stamped Frimpong? I looked deliberate to me, but Probert failed to see it.

  • Gooner Gal

    @ Dee Dee, yes I did and I thought so too. To me that show’s that we got under their skin and they were worried.

    Can Man C really say that, the team they put out was their second string?

  • menace

    City could call it any string they like – they have 5+ teams – two of them on loan!! The important thing is our football and our players were better than theirs. Only our luck and part of our strategy was not as good.

  • dy

    Aguero was in early only meant Mancini saw no way OIlcity was going to score if the game went on without change. That told me Arsenal was playing very well indeed defensively. I won’t complain about either Park or Chamakh, they’re not attackers to run with the ball on their feet to attack, they need ball feed to them in front of the goal month. Chamakh has already demonstrated his ability but Park should be given more chances with the first team together. Actually RVP is the same sort of front man, he can’t dribble like Aguero and create his own chance. But gives him a good cross and he’ll deliver.

  • menace

    @DeeDee – if you can pinpoint the time of the stamping incident, complain to TheFA and the perpetrator will (sorry might) get a ban.

  • menace

    @DeeDee -just had another look at the Zabeletta/Frimpong incident (2nd Half 37.52) and you are right. Zabeletta raked his studs on Frimpongs face deliberately. There is no reason for Zabeletta to rake his left boot on Frimpongs face. Please report it to I will and I hope a few others do too. The FA and media act in consort to publish Fergies hates and very rarely will you see action taken against anti Arsenal nastyness.

  • menace

    Apologies!! the Zabeletta/Frimpong incident was in the first half at 37.52.

  • Ed

    coquelin has been excellent in every game i have seen him play. even that game against man u, he was our best player.

    whilst i love frimpong, i think coquelin can be the successor to song. he is that little bit calmer and technically better than frimpong at the moment. lots of tidy passes and good engine.

    oxlade chamberlain was brilliant last night too. i would like to see him in some more league games esp against the supposedly weaker teams. based on last nights game, i would put him ahead of arshavin at the moment to play on the wings.

  • Johnny Deigh

    @DeeDee @Menace – I was shocked that Probert didn’t blow the whistle for that foul on Frimpong for which he went down and grabbed the ball, and the following stamp and then Frimpong lying on the ground injured.
    That non-call made me think that the match may have lacked integrity and I thought of placing a bet on City at halftime, but the odds were surprisingly low 13/8, especially considering that Arsenal had the better scoring chances and then the match could end up in a draw as well in my opinion at the time, so I decided to skip it.

  • walter

    I think I have missed that incident with Frimpong but the stream I was watching went down in the first half around 35th minute for a while. Only came back some 6-7 minutes later

  • Rich_Fryer

    Coquelin is a great ‘quiet’ player, but I think Frimpong adds great strength and character, perhaps drawing attention away from Coquelin and I think that combination could prove fruitful. I think Frimpong and the Ox may also prove useful against teams that try to bully us, such is their strength and power.

  • nicky

    You are quite right. I thought Frimpong/Chamberlain were jointly our MOTM, quite ignoring Coquelin who I failed to notice. It’s the quiet ones who really earn their corn.

  • Rhys Jaggar

    Well, if Arsenal feel strongly enough about it, they could always become founder members of the ‘football is about football not billionaires’ pockets’ league, featuring financial reprobates like Arsenal, Bayern Munich, Napoli, Spurs, Porto, Dortmund, Celtic, Wolves, PSV, Lille etc. I’m sure AW can supply you with a list of 20 clubs which would fit. And 80 more who wanted to sign up for that according to an FFP-style set of rules.

    If, of course, 20 billionaires set up some rival show as harlem globe trotters or the new very rich mans league in China and the USA, well, then you will determine how fans and players feel about it all. Because they’ll have a stark choice.

    An honest league promoting good players, managers and fiscal responsibility.

    Or a shedload of money for players to do what they are told, especially to do what they are told. Interminable hype. And Man Utd or Barcelona or Real Madrid or Man City always win. Except they’ll be franchises by then, so who knows what they’ll be called.

    I’d go watch the former myself.

    But I wouldn’t want to vouch for the millions that would be necessary for it to be a viable concept. Because most fans only care about winning, nothing else matters.

    Unless the rich boys buggered off out of europe, that is……..

  • DeeDee

    @menace, thank you. I reported it. 😀