Arsenal 9 Villa 2, and a deep and sincere apology

Untold predicted Arsenal 2 Villa 1, and we were wrong.  I am really sorry, I apologise unreservedly.  I have let you, faithful reader, down.  And I have done it at a time of peace and goodwill.   It is a terrible lapse.  I can’t imagine how we got it oh so wrong.   It will never happen again.

Of course I know that I could pretend.  I could suggest that, as correspondents have kindly pointed out, you could add the two and the one together and get… 21, but that would be cheating.

And UNTOLD ARSENAL does not cheat.  Oh no.  Not at all.  Not one bit.

It was quite a jolly little game. It was rather entertaining.  It was worth the price of admission.  It was nice to meet Walter Broeckx and his family – great friends to this site.  It was good to see the players running around a lot.  It was nice to hear the volume up so loud.   It was good to see the goals go in.

In fact…

It was fucking amazing.

Not only did we win 3-0 but we had nine shots on target and the other lot had two.

In short, I thought it was an absolutely cracking game, and that it showed that we really are pushing our way to the top.

So it was a bit of a surprise to hear 606 on Radio 5 start with a Doom Monger saying that the first half was awful, terrible, appalling, and a disaster.  He went on to say that we need a new centre back, two new midfielders, and a new big bustling centre forward.

All of these players have to have power, aggression, power, aggression, and oh yes, aggression.  Otherwise not only will we not make the top four this year, or come to that the Europa League, but we will sink without trace.  Lower than the low.  Lower even than Liverpool.

So after Arsenal 3 Villa 0, that’s it.  The end. Kaputttttttt.

Their ratings…

  • Manuel Almunia, 2
  • Bacary Sagna, 1
  • Thomas Vermaelen, 2
  • William Gallas, 1
  • Armand Traore, 1
  • Vassiriki Abou Diaby, 2
  • Samir Nasri,2
  • Pereira Neves Denilson 1 (Cesc Fabregas,  3)
  • Alexandre Song, 2
  • Andrey Arshavin, 1
  • Da Silva Eduardo 0 (Theo Walcott, 2 )

I didn’t see it like that. Here’s how it looked to me.

In the first half both sides had chances, and couldn’t take them.  Hesky had a bash, Eduardo couldn’t find power, Song blocked Young, so it went on – but we were not second best.  We were shooting more than they did, and we were hitting the target more than they did.  Not an absolute measure of effectiveness, but a decent indicator.

And in the second half it wasn’t all down to Cesc.  We were upping the tempo and power before Cesc came on.  True he did a Denilson with the free kick, and he scored a great second but that also had a little something to do with Theo, his run and his perfect pass.

Even the much hated Almunia pulled off a great save from Agbonlahor before Diaby went for his dance at the end.  And what a dance that was.   This player is something and becoming even more.

My ratings

  • Manuel Almunia,9
  • Bacary Sagna, 9
  • Thomas Vermaelen, 9
  • William Gallas, 9
  • Armand Traore, 9
  • Vassiriki Abou Diaby, 10
  • Samir Nasri, 10
  • Pereira Neves Denilson 9, (Cesc Fabregas, 10),
  • Alexandre Song, 10
  • Andrey Arshavin, 9
  • Da Silva Eduardo, 9  (Theo Walcott,  10)

So who is right?  The Positivists who see what Wenger has done in building up this team from a group of kids with a handful of big time purchases, or the Doom Mongers who see disaster in a 3-0 beating of the 4th placed team?

Does it matter that we are four points off the top spot with a game in hand?   Should we rip apart the squad that has done this, throw them out and bring in new players?

If we did, what would that say to players about the Arsenal approach?   Only that you might work hard for the club and then be thrown out, even if your efforts have brought us to a position near the very top.

And what would it say about these facts I just picked up from the BBC web site…

• Arsenal have scored more goals (82) and lost fewer matches (five) in the Premier League this year than any other club.

• Arsenal are the division’s leading scorers with 47 goals.

We might buy one more player, true, but wholesale changes at this time?  I don’t think so.

(c) Tony Attwood 2009.

If you didn’t get your copy of MAKING THE ARSENAL for Christmas you can still buy it yourself from    The publishers will be supplying it again, but are taking an Xmas break until Jan 4.  Disgraceful I know, but what can you do?

50 Replies to “Arsenal 9 Villa 2, and a deep and sincere apology”

  1. Great game, I am so looking foreward to going into work on Tuesday here in Birmingham.

    No ratings from me just a feeling of pride and awe for the performance by the whole team.

    Diaby the new Vieria?, naw he’s a different type of player but can be a true world star along side Cesc.

    Well done Lads

  2. come on tony, tell the truth. You deliberately got the prediction wrong so as not to raise any more eyebrows. And after what villa did to Man-U, anyone who predicted 3-0 would have been arrested immediately after the game and charged with match fixing. As for BBC commentary and pundits, I would not take them too seriously: I am convinced that they pass everything, including a list of possible commentary remarks, through Alex Ferguson possibly sometime in August, with weekly friday reviews.
    As for the game, to me this was the highest risk game in terms of morale and self belief. This game, not against any of the other ‘top 4’, was the real must-win … and boy, did we thrash them..

  3. I can’t say enough about the intangibles of the game! How lucky was Villa in the first ten minutes? How much penetration and team play did we achieve in the first 25 until the game finally settled down? And, when the game settled down it was not like Villa had anything other than the fast breaks or counters which would be predictable. Probably the most pessimistic thought in my mind would be for Wenger was having to bring in Fabs. But, talk about an intro! The caller in my mind was a “Liar” or a “Plant”. Because anybody that saw the first 45 knew straightaway we would win! Even Almunia barked today! That’s all I want Almunia just Bark go crazy back there! Almunia, you worked your Arse off today! By the way I make no bones about it! I picked 3-0 you check it on yesterdays post! I also enjoy my predictions for a win! “Hartwick89
    December 26th, 2009 at 12:40 pm
    Good Read;
    I think the key this year and this game will be decided on no own goals (Clichy out) which was the result of the quick counter attacks up through the left through the pouty Young; and Vermaelen’s ability to bully a bully Ablonglahor. Sagna will also have to be spot on both defensively to control the pacy Young crosses and as well occupy Young on the Lefr with overlapping runs. Also, this year what’s different is we have the maturity and the composure up front. If we can be patient and efficient up front and Song can be massive in stuttering the first penetration Arsenal could walk-away 3-0. Of Late Nasri is really showing his flair and if Fabs is 50-50 maybe Diaby gets the nod coming off an impressive 1 goal 1 assist game. Arsenal are on a run right now and the only thing that could be dangerous for us is if Aston Villa have belief..That would only happen if we concede first without a proper response. I think though Villa is in for it and this is the time of the year where Villa sart to crack. I look forward to Arsene making sure our boys make them crack. 3-0 to me would be a sign that Villa have no business being in the top 4. Also, remember Gunners this i that cocky, arrogant team that came to Emirates and cleaned our clocks and then Gabby said Aston Villa were better down the stretch than Arsenal and would be in the top 4? Well prove it you punk!” And, How about Vermealen on all 4’s protecting that ball like his life depended on it! Almunia getting stuck in 2x like his life depended on it. Fabregas running his ass off for his second goal like his life depended on it, Traoure completely anihilating both Young and downing, Sagna owning the right flank. And, Gallas being so bored towards the end getting caught up! Nasri don’t forget that you and your Frenchy French International Diaby owned the MF because of the Help of Denilson. Lastly, Eduardo & Arshavin the weakest links today really speaks loudly! Because on a better day with these two at thier best the score would have been 7-0.

  4. A truly enjoyable game indeed. Salutes to our captain, he has shown that he is invaluable to our attacking force. We created more openings and oppurtunities with him on the field. A true playmaker. And a wonderful 90 mins from Diaby as well, this season will make him a house hold name I’m sure of it. Also, I hope Eduardo can pull out from this recent slump in his form. I always have faith in him.

  5. Diaby was immense. He was absolutely dominant. Just imagine what he’ll be like with a bit more experience and, more importantly, confidence. He can do anything, and he does it all, seemingly with so much ease.
    (Obviously, Cesc was superb too, but he already gets all the plaudits. I really hope he’s OK). And Walcott is getting more rust off with each run out. He played great.

    Happy Holidays!

  6. My crystal ball cracked years ago, so I gave up on the score and line up predicting (plus player ratings).

    This year the Arsenal line up included Arshavin, Song, and Vermaelen v. last year (against Villa). Three important additions for Arsenal who have dramatically impacted our team confidence and performance.

    As we witnessed the emergence of Song, now we are treated to the same evolution from Diaby and Traore (and maybe Almunia).

    Wow! The wait has been worth every minute.

    As far as the January transfer – I trust our manager’s decision to add depth where he feels its necessary, only if the player fits technically, tactically, and personality wise.

  7. Diaby was good first half, very good second. Song was simply superb, I am getting a little worried how we will cope without him, not because we have a small squad etc just because he is becoming, game by game a player who is as good and as important to the team as Cesc and RVP are.

    As for the BBC an organisation that in every other area is pro Europe and Africa and generally anti English. It’s football reporting is nothing other than racist. The fact that an organisation that is effectively state funded employs half wits of such a degree is just disgraceful.

  8. Just returned home safe after 1am, middle of the night after being up from 4.50 more then 20 hours ago.

    I would like to thank all the people who have wished us luck on our trip to the Emirates. We got there with only one hour delay but still well in time.
    It was the best game I have seen live at the Emirates and with a great win for our beloved Arsenal.

    I have had the great pleasure to meet Tony in person and I must say he really is a nice and friendly person and I really enjoyed every minute of our nice conversation.

    So, and I know one has to be carefull to use big words, but this really is one of the best days in my life as an Arsenal fan. So I would like to thank the whole team for their performance, the manager, the groundsman, the well…. every person that made this day to such a nice event (Even the steward that took my deodorant out of my bag…I know he just did his job …).

    I even think Tony will allow me to post this also in the other article where so many nice people wished us well. Thanks to all of you.

    Like we said to ourselfes after we could arrange a solution for all our members that went to the Emirates: THIS IS WHAT IT’S LIKE TO BE A GOONER!

  9. @ Arsession;
    Good laugh almost like the drunk who gave up his last drink an hour ago…Anyway good thoughts and I agree with you you ole’ buggar!

  10. And talking about predictions… when Diaby got the ball in the middel circle I said to Joris, who sat next to me: Diaby is going to score our third….. and he just did it….:-)

  11. @Walter,
    I can just imagine what a day you have had….So ready for the trip…up and here it is! The train ride…And, the rush! Meeting and greeting! And, the rush! The game…probably so short! But, what a game you picked….and then the ride home after a few pints I hope! The thoughts of the build up! The thoughts of the game! And the thoughts of the meeting finally of the folks you never met…..Fill us in Lad! Because I will be making a trip in the not so distant future but I will “need a little help from my friends.” Walter, a hand for you! What a great day! Cheers mate!

  12. Nw villa who’s ur daddy!? That’s what you get for suggesting fabulous fabregas wouldnt get a starting shirt in your.for cryin out loud a half-fit fab only needed 26minutes of play to wreck ur ship hw long d’u thnk it wil take him when fit,13minutes? Never ever mess wif el capitan!

  13. The only thing that has spoilt my happiness, after the hammering we gave the pretenders from Villa, are the hacks in the media who are now trying to spin this way and that after failing to acknowledge that this new team built by Arsene is a mighty force to be reckoned with.

    Today’s award for spinmeister extraordinaire is one Kevin Palmer of ESPN. He is one of the many dumb pundits who wrote us off, especially after the Chelsea game. Trying to find some plausible excuse for having to retract most of this b.s. he planted this whopper in his report on the Villa game, i.e. last year Arsenal “lacked the physical power and maturity to back up their majestic passing football.” This numpty, in one sweep of his laptop, completely erases from memory the fact that last year we had most of our creative players injured during mid-season and three out of four 1st team defenders injured last April and May. You Tony found the source of this amazing statistic:
    • Arsenal have scored more goals (82) and lost fewer matches (five) in the Premier League this year than any other club.
    • Arsenal are the division’s leading scorers with 47 goals
    But why should facts get in the way of the nonsense spouted by Mr Palmer and co. They have the cheek to believe they can write this nonsense and get away with it.

  14. There are many positives – that is apart from Cesc-Denilson, Traore, Song, Diaby to name but 4. Arsenal are a far better unit with a fit Denilson in the side. Cannot speak highly enough of Traore-ever since Chelsea- he has got stronger and stronger- and his positional play has improved no end- he is after all our third choice LB. There is also a lot more to come from him.
    To watch these players progress and deliver is fantastic- particularly given the injuries we have.
    Sometimes you have to give credit where it is due-and that is to Wenger-who continues to fashion performances out of adversity.

  15. Some great posts…..Shotta Gunna,great spot.


    Phil Dowd. Handled a big match with some aplomb, and the big I..(ssssh don’t mention integrity).

    Abou Diaby. What a goal…….what a performance.

    Cesc …….sheer magic. Value just gone up 10M. But like the Crown jewels, it’s not for sale.

    Radio 5 live……. dispensed with Alan Green’s grating prattle yesterday……bliss.


    BBC1 ….in spite of headlining with us for a change, (I was thinking, no, surely they won’t start with ManRed), they still managed to shoehorn us into 10 minutes, before letting the main act sprawl annoyingly into my sleep time……unbelievable

    Alan Green’s girlfriend …….must have had to put up with his assinine drivel all day, poor girl.

  16. Great Great game, we deserved all the way. I’d predicted a 3-1 for us but we kept a clean sheet again, very impressive a few weeks ago we couldn’t keep a clean sheet for our lives, Is it because Vermaelen has been asked to stay back more these days, all his runs have just seemed to dry out making him more effective at the back i even noticed him not coming up for some free-kicks whereas gallas did despite the vermenator being the better header of the ball.

  17. Walter. If we play like that every time you make the journey, maybe we should club together to get you there every week? btw I’m really looking forward to a few slices of humble pie if Diaby carries on like this. Immense for two games in a row? I was looking up to the East for the star rising…but instead of three wise men walking to the miracle, all I could make out was eleventeen million very happy gooners. That truly was a great team performance.

  18. The only negative point i can think of is Fabregas and Denilson’s injury, i thought Fabregas is coming in to add some attacking threat. Our midfield for next game is going to be Diaby,Ramsey,Nasri do we have any other options ? Hope Rosicky comes back soon.

  19. If Denilson hadn’t gone off with an injury, we wouldn’t have seen Cesc and won the game. Denilson play is all lateral and non-penetrative. He’s a great player but his inability to create and produce that killer pass is a worry. I’m afraid the rise of Diaby might see him revert to the bench.

    The other worry for me is Eduardo, he’s throwing away so many sitters. He’s missed sitters against Spurs, Sunderland, Burnley, Hull and Villa. We’ll need a striker in the January opening if we have a shot to win the league this season.

    Great for the boys, fans, Arsene and everybody. Its a defining win, more important than the Chelsea game.

  20. u guys need cover for centre back…..prtsmouth away is gonna b a tricky fixture…bolton at home shud be easy….all this without fab…

  21. SO now its Denilson and Dudu’s turn, eh Barbados? You peoples have the ability to pick on SOMEBODY amazes me..


  22. Barbados i dont agree with your view on denilson but Eduardo has definately lost it.Diaby has always frustrated me but at least gave us a bit of directnes we lacked at times.Then SANTA gave us an early Christmas pressie and for the last 3 games Diaby has shown what Arsene new all along.Its just a shame we are so unlucky with injurys as i dont think we could be stopped if full strength.

  23. AnonymousGun, Thats what makes them ‘special’!!! They’ll find something to moan about even after an excellent team performance and I’m sure they’ll have something to moan even after we win the league…

  24. When Wenger speaks of his last four years being his best at the club, this game illustrates his point.

    The side is made up of players whom he has spotted either as youngsters or in relative obscurity (at least from an English perspective) and he has brought them through.

    Sometimes they just have to mature, having been brought in so young. Sometimes they have to learn how to deliver each week. But Wenger gives them time.

    It is true that occasionally we have to wait, and see performances that are uneven, but that is a price worth paying, in my view, to see these guys develop.

    As for the coming period when internationals yet again steal the players from their clubs (and please don’t call me racist for saying that – we had that argument 2 years ago, and I would say it if the competition was being held in any country in any continent) I suspect Diaby will play in Song’s position, but I am not sure who the back up to Sagna will be.

  25. I am expecting Wenger to buy. Perhaps a defender who can play RB and CB, like Gregory Vd Wiel from Ajax. Also an attacker like Gignac, and perhaps a midfielder like Matuidi or other.

    None of this is very expensive but all good additions to any squad.

  26. As it stands, with Eboue at the ACN it is Gilbert or Eastmond for RB cover. Gilbert has done well in the CC but got his positioning wrong for the goal at Olympiakos. He should be ok if called apon, although apparenetly surplace to requirements- same as Cashley so maybe a sudden change for him too.

    Good competitive game that we slowly took control. Villa are a very functional side,with quality players, who play to a rigid formula. They lack the creative element,relying on the pace of Young & Agbonlahor combined with set pieces & the lump up to the big man.

    The first goal was always going to be important & we are generally very good at taking advantage of the opposition having to change their game plan.

    Traore has come on a pace mentally, brilliant cross field pass for the second goal, & he does not dive in like he used to. A few more games like that & the position could be his.

    Apart from Cesc’s match winning cameo, Diaby was outstanding & Nasri put in another huge shift, with Denilson not far behind.

    Did anyone hear that idiot on 606 saying we need a ‘protector’ for Cesc, another CM, a CF etc etc… ie totally change our style of play, when we are a potential 1 point behind the leaders & have just thumped THE form team of the moment 3-0?

    Why do these people humiliate us so much with their ignorance? Alan Davies came on though & put things straight.

  27. Not much that can be added to a most enjoyable game of football.It wasn’t as so many pundits expressed that villa didn’t turn up,we didn’t let them get into any sort of rhythym.

    Traoare,third choice left back against an England winger in Milner, not bad performance.

    Diaby has found his true position as an attacking midfielder and right footed as a bonus.OK he dropped back when Cesc came on, but was right back in it after Cesc had to go off.

    A word about Song, a player loaned out to Charlton a couple of years back.In recent times,I can’t remember a player being loaned out and becoming so pivotal to the side this season.

    Eduardo is lucky to be even playing football again, thanks to the quick reaction of Gary Lewin, and he will come good,remember he had hardly established himself last year(the well known 6 month settling in period).

  28. Flint: It is true that Arsenal carry the ‘curse’ of the likes the ‘606 fckr’. But I want you to look at it this way; Arsenal is blessed to have those ‘fckrs’. For without them, we will not have anyone to prove wrong and therefore not progress. Let them rant; as long as they don’t come to this site to do it. It will be our pleasure to keep on proving them so wrong.

    Our boys proved a thing or two yesterday. So Walter, you are more lucky than I am. You were there to see it. Even though my son got me the ticket, my daughter burgered it by dumping my grand-daughter on me. I woke up from an early hours nap to find the little princess sleeping beside me and wondered how she got there with no one else at home. That put paid to me going anywhere. I watched it on telly though. But I cursed my luck for missing such a wonderful game.

  29. Having clinically dispensed with the matter of number three and four (which was never in doubt) Arsenals next three games are against Portsmouth away, the game in hand against Bolton, and then Everton. We play Portsmouth away and Bolton and Everton at home. Ideally, these three games should not pose much of a problem and by then we should have amassed a total of 47 points and leapfrogged Manchester United and probably Chelsea if they drop any more points even through another draw.

    The January transfer window opens on the 1st and Arsene Wenger should have an idea of who it is he wants to buy by then. It is never a good thing for a player to get hurt but sometimes some bad things can actually be a blessing in disguise. Cesc Fabregas’ injury not only showed how influential our captain is to us, but also how vulnerable Arsenal can be as a team without the influential midfielder. Wenger is said to be considering buying a midfielder since that injury. I am of the opinion that injury or not Wenger needs to get another midfielder especially due to the constant injuries to Thomas Rosinsky and because he does not play consistently.

    Arsenal thus need a strong and influential defensive midfielder with the ability to make important tackles, hold the ball and break the counters and plays of opponents and also read the game well. This is especially because Song will be gone to the CAN and so will Emmanuel Eboue who sometimes is used in the position albeit wrong positioning. We also need creativity in the midfield. The midfielder can be a versatile player who can also be used at the back.

    We also need a good defender and this ought to be someone who can revert to playing defensive midfield and central or back left/right. It is not easy to get such a person but am sure Wenger the magician can conjure up some tricks off his hat. Needless to say, we need a striker and this must be a person with the killer instinct and the instinct to create chances or make half chances into a whole chance. We need someone who will scare the opponents’ defenses and punish their mistakes.

    February will be very tough and might take its toll on the young and small Arsenal squad. Song and Eboue will be back from Africa but you never know in what condition. Arsene Wenger has said, “I just think the Premier League is very open. We go to Portsmouth on Wednesday and you know it will be another tough game. What has changed in the league this season is that all the teams can make results. You have seen Birmingham against Chelsea. It is like that anywhere. You go anywhere it’s not that you go there, turn up and take three points. That has gone. It has gone – until March.

    “After that some teams will be safe, or will not go for Europe and you take some easier points. But from now until March in this championship the consistent team will get it.” And Arsenal is certainly the most consistent team at the moment, despite all the injuries. But we have a busy and intense time coming up. We have Portsmouth at Fratton Park on 30th January, then Bolton Wanderers at the Emirates Stadium on 6th January, then Everton at home again on 9th January, and again Bolton Wanderers on 17th January at the Rebook Stadium.

    The true test of character begins when we have to go to Villa Park for the return match against Aston Villa on 27th January followed by a game against Manchester United at the Emirates on the 31st January and then Chelsea at the Stamford Bridge on the 7th February, then again Liverpool on the 10th February at the Emirates. Sunderland visits us at home on the 20th and then we go to Stroke City on the 27th. There is Burnley, Hull City, West Ham and Birmingham City in March.

    Wenger thus needs to add to Arsenals small squad in January. We still need a goalkeeper but that could probably wait until the summer when it can be much easier to look for one or two more players, a goalkeeper included. However, if Wenger does not get three players (a defender, a midfielder and a striker) in the winter, then he will have himself to blame if we don’t win the Championship because we are already in quite a commendable position to take the league. We could even get the FA Cup and challenge strongly for the Champions League. An FA Cup Final and a Champions League Final or Semi-Final is a good show and if we don’t win we could be satisfied with finishing in these positions if we have the Premiership. Over to you Professor.

  30. Julius, you take us through a commentary on games past and present, and a quote from Wenger, and then suddenly say “Wenger thus needs to add to Arsenals small squad in January”

    Where does the “thus” in that statement come from.

    “Thus” is used when you have set out a set of facts which lead (“thus”) to a conclusion – but I don’t see the connection here at all. There are all sorts of pros and cons to be debated between your opening points and the conclusion.

    The pros are that a bigger and bigger squad means that you have more players to choose from when people get injured or suffer a dip in form. That’s true.

    But the cons are that bringing in new players can be a slap in the face for those who have worked so hard to take us to within a few points of the top, new players can sometimes take a time to settle in to a system, new players can be surplus to requirements when we don’t have injuries – and will then disrupt the squad by wanting to leave (Diarra is the most obvious example), and your whole argument is based on the premise that new players are available who are better than our existing team.

    All of this needs debating before you can inject “thus” – leaving aside the fact that your premise that we do need new players is not debated at all.

    Let us assume we buy a new midfield player who is a top man in his position. Are you saying then that when Cesc, Denilson and Song are all fit and available we drop one of them? Why? Does this new player come in ahead of Diaby? And what of Ramsey who has made such terrific progress since we signed him? Does he now accept being not first reserve in midfield but second or third? And if so, for how long?

    Eduardo is not on top form just now, but does that mean we drop him completely? And what about Bendtner who will be back in January – just at the time we sign this new person.

    In effect this policy shift would undermine all the work of the last 4 years that has been undertaken to build a new young team that will not only challenge this year but in years to come.

    I think you should explain to us exactly how you see this working out and where that “thus” comes from.

  31. Tony, the likes of Julius only think short-term. We have injuries now, so we need new players now. There is no chance in his mind that we could find solutions within the existing squad and he has no concern about what happens when the injured players are back. After all in the computer games none of these issues matter since the players are not human. But this is real life and these issues do matter.

  32. Quite simply our best performance of the season yesterday. Fabregas added the fizz to the sparkling performance.

    Left field call for transfer target in January – Adriano.

  33. One of my sons has put a few short video’s on the facebook site (Ben Broeckx) and just watched them and it gave me goosebumps all over my body … What a great day it was.

  34. We can speculate all we want about who Wenger might buy in the transfer window. When I was young I thought I would get a Spiderman suit for Xmas and then be able to climb walls.

    I think he will get a winger, Perotta or someone like that, and move Nasri into midfield if necessary.

    I’d still like to see him capture Marcos Senna though.

  35. Walter, are you going to write a post about your trip and Emirates experience? I would love to read it.

  36. Funny to hear Alan Davies on the same show mentioned above where Marcotti revealed his Smurfette fixation with that brilliant quip about Wenger as a used car salesman, and also Alan’s comprehensive endorsement of Le Gaffer.

    ‘Fans split between two camps?’

    ‘Wenger to go at the end of the season?’

    What’s the producer whispering in the presenters ear?
    Should we give a ****?

    Hilarious stuff.

    Referee was good for a change. It felt, for almost the first game this season, like there was actually a referee on the pitch.
    Another blogger, Fungunner answered that maybe as the players have scuffled a little in recent games, the Meeedjyah Myth (or Meme) that was doing the rounds, the old seventies classic, ‘That they don’t like it up ’em’, is being put to bed, and that referee’s like the official yesterday, are actually starting to use their own minds on occasion again!

  37. The first bullet point may refer to all matches, rather than matches in the Premier League (where as the second bullet point says, we have scored ‘only’ 47 goals, and lost 4 matches (as compared to Chelsea’s 3 and Man City’s 2

    Still agree with the thrust of another excellent post!

  38. I cannot believe there are actually Arsenal fans who have websites and actually support and rate the players. What is going on? I just do not get it. Shouldn’t we all be slagging off Song? oh no hang on, he has proved us wrong so forget about that. Lets talk about how shite Eboue is. Can’t really do that can I? he has been very consistent this season. Lets round up on Diaby, oh drat. I better come back when we draw or something then I can really support the team properly.

    You lot are insane.

  39. Simon, I think the first bullet point is relating to the calendar year as opposed to the season.

  40. And in the second half it wasn’t all down to Cesc. We were upping the tempo and power before Cesc came on.

    Yep, spot on. The first half seemed to be in slow motion, but I knew from the first (when Eduardo came close at 4 mins) that Villa were not going to win.

    Denilson, Sagna and Nasri carved them up on the right for the first 45 mins, but it seemed disproportionately right-sided to me. Or was it because of where I was sitting?

    Second half things were really kicking off, and I think we would have got a goal even if Cesc had not come on, although I can’t “prove” it. Anyway, we got three, which was nice!

    Glad to see Traore getting some plaudits, I have always thought he is a fantastic talent, really steely. Also, when Fab4 came on, and was jumping up and down to warm himself up, you could see the steel, he
    really intended to take the game by the scruff of the neck.

    And of course an interesting by-product is that we now have at least two players who know they can score from free-kicks.

    With Denilson and Cesc likely to be out, will Merida now get his chance?

    Song is going to be a massive miss at the ACN, he was immense yesterday.

  41. Tony, you brought up very good point asking Julius to explain his point up there. I was reading his comment and getting a bit frustrated. By the way, where are these players he is referring to located? Are they even on this planet? All the positions a single player is supposed to cover is unbelievable. Here is a quote:

    “Arsenal thus need a strong and influential defensive midfielder with the ability to make important tackles, hold the ball and break the counters and plays of opponents and also read the game well. This is especially because Song will be gone to the CAN and so will Emmanuel Eboue who sometimes is used in the position albeit wrong positioning. We also need creativity in the midfield. The midfielder can be a versatile player who can also be used at the back.

    We also need a good defender and this ought to be someone who can revert to playing defensive midfield and central or back left/right. It is not easy to get such a person but am sure Wenger the magician can conjure up some tricks off his hat. Needless to say, we need a striker and this must be a person with the killer instinct and the instinct to create chances or make half chances into a whole chance. We need someone who will scare the opponents’ defenses and punish their mistakes.”

    Somebody please build a prototype of these players and see if they actually functions in real world. Once we find them (build them) see if we can fit them in the existing system. Oh, they need to adjust to their new surrounding and teammates and perform at their peak right away! Better yet, why don’t we advertise this job description and see how many sane people apply? Oops I forgot, it should be noted that once the injured players come back, these androids will not be paid and will be stored in the basement for next time!

    My apologies I couldn’t stop.

  42. In the case of Song and Eboue we must realise the fact that we will be missing them for 1 month. After that month they normally will be back and what will we do with those new players ? Dump them ? Dump Song or Eboue ?
    If Song gets an injury for a month then we have to cope with it so I really think we should solve the problem in our own team.
    For a forward we could do with an extra addition as for the moment Arshavin has lots of games to play and Eduardo still isn’t the old Eduardo yet but I really have the impression he is improving. Just the finishing has left him for the moment but his contribution is not that bad as some make of it. I’ve seen him do defending work against Villa aswell so he works hard and maybe that is the reason he misses the chances up front ?
    But maybe Walcott is finally starting his season in the next weeks. Just like Nasri, who struggled the first games when he came back after his long injury it is the same for Theo. Players are not robots where you put in a battery and just turn the “on” button and the will work.

  43. I don’t support Julius as such but I think we need a stronger striker who can hold the ball better with his physical strength. RvP is not coming back this season. Bendtner will be available in the second week of January but Bendtner is still too young to play all the FA, PL and CL games and is not a top finisher.

    Eduardo’s finishing is leaving him and lacks the physical strength to hold the ball. I also believe he’s still not match fit yet. We also never replaced Ade so we can afford a striker.

    Choices are Carlton Cole, Huntelaar and Gignac. We can take Huntelaar on one year loan. Cole has premiership experience and Gignac has all it takes to succeed here and he’s only 24.

  44. Great site Tony (other than the URL!!!)

    Incredibly, I only started coming here after someone pasted a link to it on LeGrove (of all places !!!). And yes it was a link to your ‘Ten Steps’ post…Lol.

    Julius has posted that diatribe on at least 3 different blogs now, so well done to you for explaining his illogical logic, but I’m not sure you’ll get a ‘logical’ response from him, if any…..

    I also loved Walter’s post about his trip. Top Man.

  45. @Barbados – I’m not entirely convinced that any of those listed players would do better than Bendtner & Eduardo. But I’d agree we need another striker. Eduardo will come good again, the man is a killer in front of goal and just needs time.

    I’m more interested in getting a defender in though – we can cope without the striker but I get butterflies thinking about what would happen should Gallas or The Verminator(tm) get injured. That partnership has been the nuts this season.

    @Sharkey – good to see you chap. Jumped ship eh? S’allright over here innit? Cosy 😀

  46. Alright Tommo……not really ‘jumped ship’ although I really should.

    Geoff red carded me last week, I think its been rescinded now, but I just can’t be bothered to go back there.

    I go there as a proud AKB (there’s a few of us there !!)and defend our players and our club from the WACs (Wenger’s a C**t) Brigade. Its hard work though…. 😉

  47. Ain’t that the truth. Unbelievable some of the stuff on there but each to there own eh? I’ll join in the robust defence as best I can.

    @Tony – great point regarding the constant speculation of new players joining. Why rock the boat when we are in such a superb position? One or two signings to help stregth in depth in key areas would be prudent in my view but wholesale changes as suggested by some would be suicide. There is never a guarantee that they will work – and there are few men you’d trust to get the right blend as much as Arsene Wenger.

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