Hilarious Sky, Muddled Merse, Nervous Nicholas and Krazy Claude

By Billy the Dog McGraw, Chief Psychologist at the University Hospital of the North Circular Road

I received the call just before kick off.  Something, I was told, was going to “kick off”.

“Yes,” I replied, “I know, I’m a doctor.  It’s called the kick off.  It’s a football thing.”

But the caller explained that Arsenal was being shown on Sky Sports 5, the home of football, which is a bit like calling Dave ja vu, the home of “witty banter”.  Of course we know it is there, but like Piddletrentthide (home of the Piddletrenthide Spartans) you’ve never actually been and watched, and by and large don’t expect to any time soon.

Anyway, duty called so I rushed over to the Sky HQ in Isleworth (a diminutive village in rural Middlesex, home of the original Tottenham Hots) ready in case my services were needed.

And needed they were.  On the Big Screen (it is important to use capitals in such circumstances) they had the Match (see what I mean) and on the sound system they have their Commentator.   Oh yes.  He chats a bit from the start, and thing brings in his co-commentator, who is completely incomprehensible.  And I mean incomprehensible.

Indeed it sounds like Kermit the Frog on heat.   Sounds emerge.  Meaningless sounds, to which the commentator says, “Yes,” and then comments a bit.

And then amazingly turns back to the Frog who has become marginally  more coherent and we can tell he speaks with what we might call a regional accent, but is still mixed with a throat so far gone his voice comes out as a series of grunts.  “Grunt” he says, and the commentator agrees.  Oh yes indeedy.

Then after a minute of an expanded “grunt grunt grunty grunt” the commentator comes back and chatters away.  They admire the Pod goal, the Ramsey first and then rave over the third.  “Grunty grunt” goes the co-commentator.  “Yes yes” says his pal.

Then around 35 minutes, the two commentators stop, absolutely.  We have the crowd sound, and nothing from the men who should be chattering.  For four blessed minutes there is no mindless chatter, just the crowd noise.  Ah bliss.

In the studio I sit and watch the assembled.  Panic breaks out on top of the already wide ranging panic.

The initial panic, a sort of Corporal Jones “Don’t panic” type panic, has already swept the panel as they watch Arsenal take command and score great goals.

But now with no commentator and his frog, they can’t cope.  “Pull the plug,” shouts the director. “where have they gone?” screams the producer, and there is much looking under the table and behind the curtains.  I administer injections, and some calm is restored.

Eventually talk resumes, the production stumbles to an end, and then back to the studio, and I’m on duty, carefully watching Paul Merson who to his credit raves about the second Ramsey goal and says he has never seen anything like it.   Then he says it again.  Good for you sunshine, I think.  Say it again.  And he does.

The whole panel are saying how amazing Arsenal are, but…  not a single word about how they have criticised Wenger, how they have said that he was done and should go.  Merson was good in giving praise where it is due, but… I worry for the psychological effect.  I mean, doing a 180 degree turn in your opinions overnight takes its toll on the brain.

And I am reminded once more of the bit in the novel “1984” in which half way through a speech that Big Brother makes denouncing the evil empire of Eastasia suddenly, mid-sentence, we are told that Eastasia is our friend, and has always been so, in the endless fight against Eurasia, our eternal enemy, who was until a second ago our friend.

So now they mention that if Arsenal win by six and Dortmund draw then Arsenal go to the top of the group.  Setting up Arsenal to be knocked down again or just enjoying the occasion? I observe nervous ticks and twitches and administer more drugs.  It is hard to tell how they are doing, but the psychological strain is there for all to see.  Paul grins a bit too hard, while Charlie Nicholas, for once, has a disheveled look and a strange glint in his eye a bit like the late Sir Patrick Moore after a particularly wild night on the town.

Then the adverts, and they run a long long long piece promoting Liverpool against Man U as the biggest derby of them all, so important you can’t miss it.  And I think, “Yes highly relevant to an audience of Arsenal supporters.”  Talk about alienating your crowd.   But in the studio talk of Manchester seems to calm them, and I realise, if they don’t have to mention Arsenal they might just get through the night.

But Maitland Niles and Zelalem are on at half time and that bemuses the poor commentator and his pet frog even more.  Someone had clearly been on Wiki because they announce rather irrelevantly that Zelalem was born in Berlin, but other than that the crib sheet seems blank… we are given no indications as to who these guys are.  And as for O’Connor there are smirks about his hairstyle in the studio (which I quickly put a stop to with a soothing injection) but otherwise the clearest thing we could see was that no one had done their homework.

These were men who were there to bury Arsenal, and when they couldn’t they stood staring into the cameralights, still holding their shovels, completely unsure what to say.  My help was indeed truly needed, and as a true pro I administered to their needs.  Then I ran out of Xanax.

But even as I did so my buzzer was going off like mad with calls from worried parents about their little boys who, primed to rave over another catastrophe, were left shaking and shivering in despair and the depths of gloom.

Claude, the wild raving escapee from a calmer location was trying to do his regular wild raving foul-mouthed attack on Arsène Wenger but found himself on the edge of tears, unable to summon up the most ill-thought-out incomprehensible garbage that is his normal style.  Urgent calls were put out for more drugs.

For us psychologists should help Claude alongside Sky’s presenters; they all deserve the same psychological support, for neither Claude nor the Sky team bring any sort of expertise or informed opinion, nor (come to that) entertainment value.  They are as incomprehensible as the co-commentator last night with his bad frog impressions.  And yet they are there, ranting and raving, panting and unsure.  Poor saps lost in a strange alien world where nothing makes sense except a frog.

So they tell stories.   Like the one created by equally wild man Jonathan Liew in the Telegraph the other day, and I quote word for word, “if you go to the Emirates or Stamford Bridge these days most of the seats will be filled by tourists or middle-class Londoners, wondering what on earth happened to the atmosphere.”

But that of course is rubbish, deliberately thrown in to dismiss the whole issue with falsehoods.   And that is what we have now.  Gibberish commentary back up by childish lies and make believe.

In this new world we have the incoherent ramblings of a Frog as co-commentator, a panel of “experts” on Sky who appear to have read Big Brother’s speeches in “1984” and have mistaken the warning of the book and instead seen it as a blueprint on how to behave in front of a camera, and a football journalist in the Telegraph who tells such blatant fibs about what football is like at a match that he is either a script writer for North Korean’s hierarchy or else even more in need of my professional help than I first imagined.

It was a glorious night for Arsenal, and a night of unmitigated disaster for Sky.  But as ever my colleagues and I at the University Hospital of the North Circular Road were on hand to administer suitable treatment, calm them down, tuck them up in bed and say “there there”.  I like to think we provide a good service.

The Christmas books

Some other sites from the Untold team (there is a full list on the home page)

41 Replies to “Hilarious Sky, Muddled Merse, Nervous Nicholas and Krazy Claude”

  1. LOL Tony, I went from laugh to laugh to laugh to laugh…
    That was brilliant! If ever a comedy series would be written this would be the first episode and it would be something to catch the audience from start to finish and would get the audience shouting: we want more, we want more!
    Just as Arsenal you were in fine form for this one…

    Damned I should have turned up the sound to hear the frog as I am a big fan of Kermit the Frog…where are the days of the muppet show….

  2. Amazing read ! thank you very much for that.

    Didn’t they grunt about the fact that oh-Arsenal-are-great-when-it-doesn’t-matter?

    Seems like a something the grunters must grunt about, no?

    Didn’t they grunt about our kids who can’t defend or how we lack tenacity? No?

    Grunters are weird, that’s for sure.

  3. Apparently the game meant nothing, the opposition are the worst in this years competition, we still only managed to finish second in a group containing just two teams and we have only qualified for the zillionth year in succession because we didn’t have the might of a teams like Basel or be Ludogorets in our group.

    How lucky we are then.

    Talksport anyone? Grunt grunt

  4. If there is anything sweeter than seeing the hacks on Sky eat their words, it was seeing the hacks on ITV mourn openly for their beloved Liverpool being dumped out of the Champions’ League. All of a sudden, Gary Lineker is praising Arsene Wenger for always qualifying for the knockout stages.

    If there is any team that the AAA should be learning from on the idiocy of their obsession, it is Liverpool but if fools can learn from the mistakes of others, they wouldn’t be fools.

  5. Christmas is approaching. With the season of goodwill upon us, the world of make belief is fast approaching. For Sky and most of tehir pundits, it has been here for 9 years.

    I went nuts watching Sky last night. Merson was his usual miserable self, closely followed by Rednapp. They tried to drag Niall Quinn down to their anti-Arsenal level but he always does his best to to pro-Arsenal.

    The worst part of what I heard from Rednapp and Merson were the untruths. They were making statements that simply were not true. Egged on by Stelling, they spent the 30 odd minutes prior to the game picking holes in Arsenal. I was so livid, I left the room and started acting like a spoilt brat, slamming kitchen cupboards (this was according to my wife). My sons agreed that the entire 30 minutes was an Arenal assasination.

    Like the AAA, Wenger is stubborn, our fans pay the most money and finance is irrelevant (except Niall Quinn who tried to offer some sense). Merson made a few claims about us spending less than Chelsea on wages and therefore there being no excuse. What he did not mention is that since we moved stadium, Chelsea had a net spend on transfers of £300 million, Man City a net spend of £500 million and Arsenal (after thsi season) a net spend of £40 million. But not mentioned.

    When discussing our defence they never mention injuries – its not allowed.

    After the game the Ramsey goal was the only real positive. Rednapp said that none of thye big teams like RM, Barca, Bayern etc would be bothered if the drew Arsenal because we let teams score goals. Hypocritically, he said that on their day Arsenal could beat anyone. But no, the rest of Europe would be happy to draw us. No mention of the 2-0 away win in Bayern. Its all rubbish. As soon as Rednapp mentioned the 9 years without a trophy thing, my eyes rolled and I decided I really had heard it all. Nobody mentioned we have just won the last two domestic trophies. No, its just the same boring cliches and lies.

    Now on the radio it is about how we can only finish second and thats not good enough. 13 points is enough to win a group. Lets compare that to the pathetic 5 points Liverpool won to finish thrid in their group. Or the 5 points Man City currently have sitting third in their group. Silence.

    It seems you get more criticism for getting 13 points and losing just one game than you do either not qualifying for the Champions League at all (Man Utd) or embarrassing yoursleves by only winning one game.

    Last night, Adrian Durham was up in arms about Wenger deciding to rest players. So called Gooners were calling in unhappy with his team selection. Consensus was that this somehow proved we didnt take the CL seriously. Same on ‘that’ blog. Apparently the team we sent out would lose. Seems Wenger cannot win. Rest players and he isnt taking games seriously, play players and he’s ‘red zoning’ them.

    What happened? We won 4-1 in Turkey. Was Wenger praised for his team selection and the fact he had quite a few youngsters playing? Course not. We won because the Turkish team weren’t very good. No other reason. You couldnt make it up, these clowns are filling the airwaves with absolutely bile. It is a joke. A big joke and I am sick and tired of listening to this constant load of BS. There is a nasty agenda afoot from the media which gullible, IQ challenged ‘fans’ are falling for.

    And SKY’s proved last night that Chelsea fan Merson and Spurs/Liverpool fan Rednapp are allowed to go on air and spout absloutely rubbish unchallenged. If Liverpool had been playing, they would have had three Liverpool fans, caragher, Souness and Rednapp on air.


  6. I once had sex with a very ugly girl. I was young.

    Listening to the media when Arsenal are mentioned is like making love to that ugly girl. You know its going to be horrible and you’ll end up regretting it but you do it anyway. The difference is, I am 40 years older now and I really should know better…!

  7. proudkev,

    I don’t know if you saw it but I implore you to look for the last 15 minutes of the ITV coverage of the Liverpool v Basel game. I don’t want to spoil it for you but if I didn’t know before, I’d think that the Three Pussycats of England have just lost the world cup by unlucky penalty shootouts.

    Their mournful demeanour was pathetic and showed them for the biased hacks they are. When we lose of out competitions, all they do is mock us with glee. Even when we win, all they do is talk about how weak our opponents are and how we’d get beat against ‘better’ oppositions. Now, there was their darling Liverpool failing to qualify from a group with Ludogerets(sp.?) and Basel!

    Jamie Redknapp’s sorrow yesterday gave me A LOT of joy 🙂

  8. Bootomee. I recorded the Liverpool 2nd half and agree. But that is the way the media are with Liverpool. On the radio this morning they were saying that Liverpool didnt give up and were unlucky not to get a second. If that had been Arsenal, we would have been gutless, poor defensively and criticised for only getting 5 points.

    The fact is that for whatever reason Arsenal are there to be ridiculed, mocked and insulted. They even make sure thay have the right ‘pundits’ on the show to do that. Try8ing to claim Merson is a Gooner makes me smile. Its well documented he is Chelsea ST and even been on their TV channel. He tried to accuse Wenger of doping in his book but got slapped. As for Rednapp, I really dont know where to start with that poser.

  9. Billy – very enjoyable read; especially liked the line “Gibberish commentary back up by childish lies and make believe”.

    Loved Arsene smile at the end of an interview with that prat Matterface – classic.

  10. Proud Kev, I am not sure that they are so sympathetic to Liverpool. In fact I have just been sketching out an article for tonight or maybe tomorrow, which starts off with two headlines from today’s Daily Telegraph:

    The first is “Liverpool’s woeful summer signings ranked and reviewed”

    The second is “Liverpool’s problems? Delusions of grandeur, transfer duds and failure to fix clear flaws”

    These are the top two stories on the Telegraph football site at the moment, and I have got the feeling that the media feel that attacking Liverpool is going to be a good thing to do for a short while.

    Might give us a reprieve.

  11. agree whole-heartedly with these comments. ProudKev u make some excellent points that mirror my feelings when watching the pre-match conversations. As much as i want to like Merse, he does stick the knife in, and as for Redknapp sprouting that ‘Arsenal are bullied, like at Stoke’, ‘Arsenal do the same things every year, play nice footbal – can’t defend’ I was highly annoyed. When I saw that Liverpool were 1-1 going into injury time, I turned over to watch and hope that the eternal British footballing gods to be forever revered by the whole country, would limp out of the CL to the might of Basle. That made my night even better. To think of the venom spat at Arsenal over the course of the last two seasons, and the Liverpool love-in that has also occured in that time. 5-0? 5 times? Try 5 points!! Fantastic!!! 😀

  12. Tony. That would be a change in the medias behaviour. I do hope the tide is changing because somebody else needs to become the whipping boys for the media. For me, Liverpool have always been treated kindly. We used to get the 9 year taunt, this lot spent more money than us and havn’t won a single PL Title.
    In many ways Liverpool have proved the flawed argument used to beat Wenger with.

    1. Spending money guarantees you nothing.
    2. Losing just one big player can make a big diffeence to the team.
    3. It isnt as easy as people think to qualify from a CL Group.
    4. The media and AAA make kneejerk predcitions based on one season.
    5. You should never judge a manager on one season.

    …and Michael Owen, Jamie Carragher, Steve McManamon and all the other ex Liverpool players that dominate the media need to look a bit closer to home than using Arsenal as a punch bag.

  13. Brilliant 🙂

    I enjoyed the tone of the petty commentator when he said “and arsenal have qualified for the last sixteen in second place for the fifth time in six seasons” like it was some kind of bad smell. Ho. Ho. Ho. I don’t think the high spending City or Liverpool squads have a similar record (& they both have spent bankloads more then AFC).

    Glad to see the use of the word gibberish 😉
    There’s plenty of it about. Rafael hongostein who has previous with his Özil comments after signed, before signing (he said, in public that the bid had been made only to appease fans with no intention of signing of the player – Oops! AFC then went on to have quite a good season…) has been trolling AFC fans hard again. What a transparent plonker. In his own words a purveyor of the finest unrefined pure gibberish. His vile comments on the Özil transfer bid told us all we need to know about this hack-dwarf. Most football journalists were appalled by the “Keane Out” psychosis displayed by those unfortunate fools (the chicken farmers still own the club I see…), the perfect example of a hack trolling the fans and the club. Easy money I suppose.

  14. I also note that the plundit, in his attempt to denigrate arsenal’s acheivement forgot to mention that the last time AFC finished top they went out the second round. Why pay attention to the actual record when people will listen to any old bollocks if you shove it down their ears often enought?

    Do they think that they are programming people?

  15. After watching both Arsenal and Liverpool games last night, a couple of things stood out right away.

    First, the benefits of starting games strong and putting opponents under presure. Arsenal did that and they got their just rewards. They were also able to take the foot off the gas, rest key players in the second half and coast to victory with some players ,which probably wouldn’t be on the pitch if we were chasing the game.

    Liverpool did the opposite and got punished. They let Basel too much space to play in, didn’t close the Swiss club down and let them boss the game.
    Liverpool only picked it up after Markovic’ sending off late in the game.
    Now I know some can say Liverpool had more presure on them because they neede the result to qualify and Arsenal didn’t , but the point stands.

    Start games quickly and you won’t have to fight to the last minute of the game to get the points( most of the time).
    This approach is also highly beneficial with keeping your injuries down.
    You get less injuries knocking the ball around rather than chasing the game late into 90 minutes plus.

    Another thing, I was happy to see many fringe players get some game time.This was overdue. You can’t keep the players focused if they never play.

    Well done Arsen Wenger and the players. Some fantastic goals as well.

  16. Cloughie was right all those years ago. Fans would prefer to watch the game with no commentators, just the live feed.

  17. proudkev wrote:

    “…and Michael Owen, Jamie Carragher, Steve McManamon and all the other ex Liverpool players that dominate the media need to look a bit closer to home than using Arsenal as a punch bag.”

    And I say:

    DREAM ON!!!

  18. @finsbury
    Exactly that (programming sheeple) they are doing, people tend to realise and not succumb to it.

    Glad to see the youth getting a chance to travel and some to play, this really enhances the relationships between them, plus giving them valuable experience.

    I think in time that many youth players will want to go to Arsenal, because of the way Arsenal treat their players, and it will also rub off on older players as they realise what Arsenal is.

    It’s not just a football club any more, it’s something bigger than that now.

  19. Para I agree. On the youth coming through, as my favourite football plundit Alan Partridge once said:

    “The proof is in the pudding and the pudding in this case is a football…Boof! Eat my goal!” (Fitting plunditry for rambo’s wonder goal)

    The signings of Ramsey, Chamberlain etc. is a strong indication that the process you describe has already started.

  20. Pure, unadulterated joy at seeing Liverpool crash out yesterday. Just recompense for all the vitriol and insult we’ve been subjected to.
    To make matters worse, Arsenal will go on a run of ass-whooping for the rest of the season. All the way to the title. That my friends, will be the most appropriate response to their hatred of this great club.
    Yeah, am dreaming. Dreams still come true you know. If a night like yesterday isn’t proof that they do, then be prepared to be blown away. WHOOO HOOOO HOOOO HOOOO!!!!!!
    Now am overeacting a little bit. I think am losing my composture.

  21. Excellent stuff. The only people in greater danger of capsizing mentally last night were probably the fellows who reportedly had their Wenger Out banner confiscated by Arsenal officials before the game.

    I love the thought of their faces, people who were burning with outrage before the game and making it known on social media just what a scandal had occurred, as each excellent goal went in during that first half. You’d have to guess there was a lot of ‘I’m still not happy’, and ‘this changes nothing’ going on. Would also be great to know what sort of praise they were giving Ramsay given that they are almost certainly the same people who wrote him off, demanded we get shot of him, only to be over-ruled by, yep.

    However, and at the risk of irking plenty here, I’ve a real gripe about last night. There now appears to be a very high chance we will lose Chuba Akpom in the next year and while that would make me unhappy whatever the circumstances were, the fact that the chief reason is Sanogo truly gets to me. Last night was easily the hardest one to take yet.

    I understand, unlike nearly all those wailing on twitter, that the circumstances of the match are what prevented him from getting on- the two cm changes had to be made, and the third change could not be made until the end, and had to be the defender for Debuchy. The problem for me is that he, not Sanogo, should have been starting. You have an excellent young prospect with less than a year on his contract and a lot of interested clubs; given that he has not signed the contract, there seems only one possible way he will- playing. You might not like that, and Wenger certainly might not like it, but all the same- unless you are ok about him leaving- it is the only thing to do.

    But, he is determined, despite extremely mixed evidence, to give Sanaogo every possible chance. My take is that Sanogo looks about 25-1 (and only then if I can utterly erase last night from my thinking) to make it as a striker for a top club, while Akpom is, so far as I can tell from having seen him 5-8 times in the last few years, about 5-1 (actually, I feel the odds are even better), even after taking into account he failed to score on a handful of loan appearances last year.

    It feels like a huge mistake, and really gets to me.

    Worse, I’ve a sneaky feeling that Liverpool could get the idea that a guy who has been flourishing at u21 football since he was 16- who has something like 10 in 8 at that level this year, and who possesses pace, strength, heading ability, gets into a ton of goalscoring positions, and scores a lot with both feet- could be a very good punt, as a free or near free, given their striking problems.

    It’ll also send a negative message to any aspiring strikers in the youth ranks. The only way you could do better at that level is if your’e a Rooney-type prodigy, anything lower and you won’t get your chance.

    I think the last hope is if Wenger took him aside after yesterday, explained why he couldn’t get on, and assured him he would strive to get him some minutes very, very soon. But, given Akpom doesn’t get called up to 1st team training all that often, I don’t think I’ll get my wish.

    Boo me if you like, but I am confident we are getting this one wrong and will pay a heavy price, and for a project I really don’t think will work. Yes, I see the irony given my mention of people who said similar of Ramsay, but, so what, I’m bloody right on this one!

  22. Tell it, Tony.

    I texted a mate: “Hypocrite whore hacks half time hogwash”.
    My mate had called me close to kick of to moan about Sky’s pre match crapfest. It seems their smiling-ness comments were completely opposite to what they were pushing prior to KO,and that’s confirmed in this article.

    Great comment, ProudKev.
    And as always, Finsbury.

    Yes, ITV’s conclusions about Liverpool were indeed hilarious. Note how they aren’t looking to destabilise the club or the fan base!

  23. Don’t think anyone has yet mentioned what, from the Untold perspective, was the key commentary moment yesterday :

    One of them, Redknapp I think, said, in a strange tone as if he couldn’t comprehend it himself : ‘they play differently in Europe’

    Clearly, he couldn’t understand what he’d seen first half, the huge quality from our players, the running power, etc…yep, we play differently, Jamie, because the refs do their job and, among other things, don’t allow the opposition to gain an enormous unfair advantage by constantly grabbing our players.

    It really is a shame we didn’t top the group. I love the break Europe affords to escape prem reffing, and believe we are capable of producing some wonderful football in the competition; only, unfortunately, there are four or five teams who are very likely that bit too strong for us. However, if we could get to the quarters, I believe our chances would be much better of beating a big gun than should we meet them, as normal, in the earlier round.

    one thing we know, Chelsea will get the weakest team they could.

  24. READ-IT knee-deep READ-IT knee-deep READ-IT knee-deep


    Looked around the crap that is Arsenal related sports news just now, and some “news” organization has even dredged up that Suarez the vampire is now a target for the upcoming transfer window. Bleech!


    KNEE-DEEP read-it KNEE-DEEP read-it KNEE-DEEP read-it

  25. IT was good to see our midfielders charging forward – brushing off the hand grabbing and just pushing forward. At one stage the commentator said that the Ox was just too powerful for the defender. I have no idea what the Frog said.

  26. @Rich.
    Interesting points. Who knows what might have been if Chuba started in place of Sanogo yesterday. But then, there’s also no way of telling whether Arsene spoke to him already or not about his situation.
    I believe there are still a lot of games this season, and there is no need to panick. If you can see that situation,then you can be sure AW can. Afterall he trains with this guys and knows them well enough.
    Totally agree with you though, that it will be nice to see kids like Chuba Akpom and Serge Gnabry mixing with the big guns, sooner rather than later. But then, that is neither my call nor yours. Only Wenger knows. We can only judge such matters after the season ends. Not before.

  27. Rich, we dont know what Wenger is thinking with Chuba but he ssems to have great potential. Wenger is a good judge of a young players ability and attitude. Perhaps he is slowly integrating him, who knows. He sees these players most days, we only see them in the odd appearance. He is a far better judge then any of us. I suspect Wenger knows what he plans with Chuba. The irony here though is that few Arsenal fans would want to give youth a chance, we see that with the comments aimed at Sanogo and he’s not the only one. Lots of the dissenting fans are cheque book managers, having extensively researched and scouted via their Xbox console and FIFA 14, they are the recruitment experts. They wouldn’t have the patience to give ayoung player the support he needs. I personally feel there is real irony whenever Chubas name pops up.

    Champions League

    Firstly, we are due a bit of luck with the draw. But who cares, we have to play another 4 games, so not sure why some people are negative about finishing second. In any case, lots of teams have won the Cl with huge dollops of ‘luck’ on their side, look at how three English teams virtually fluked it. And Porto.

    We don’t play until February and we have half a team due back for then. Lets not kid ourselves, the injuries have affected us. We have had Kos and Debuchy out along with Theo, Ozil, Giroud, Jack, Ramsey and Arteta. Some are back, others may return for the next round. This excludes any potential signings. Get everybody fit and I would not put it past us going on one of those Arsenal runs. The Champions League is not beyond us with everyone fit.

  28. Rich, we’ve just played a beauty game in the Champions League, made all the pundits, journalists and arm-chair experts eat their words, and then what you do is you come on here and write an essay on how disappointed you are Sanogo is getting chances ahead of Akpom! Come on! Moan moan moan! Do you think you know more about youth development than Wenger? Give it a rest.

    Anyway, some excellent comments about the pathetic English media. It’s pretty much obvious these days, but whenever you bring up the bashing we get in the media you’re called paranoid, even by many Arsenal fans. The contrast between our Champions League record and Liverpool’s and Man City’s is so stark it’s hilarious.

    I notice on ArsenalFanTV, which supposedly represents Arsenal Fans, their videos get the most views and comments after a loss. More proof that some Arsenal fans can’t wait to bash their own club.

  29. Stan the man, Proud kev

    Hope you’re right and the unease I’ve had for a while ,which has now progressed to a very bad feeling, is misplaced.
    Not sure I’ve ever had a strong feeling a mistake was being made with a player, let alone put it in writing, so to speak, in his whole tenure.
    First time I saw him play- next gen semi year before last- happened to coincide with time I started keeping an eye out for youth team players again, and really liked what I saw from the off.
    Every time I’ve seen him since he’s looked to me like someone with a very good chance of becoming an excellent top level player.
    This unease of mine- it really all points towards him leaving ( why else does a player not sign a contract going into the last year?) – overrides the knowledge wenger has seen so much more of him than me.
    Can’t help it. Could be because he’s a striker who at least holds promise of having pretty much all the attributes you want- as opposed to our options now who are noticeably strong at some things, noticeably weak at others- and those guys are hard to find, coveted by everyone and, when proven, cost mega bucks.

    If he leaves, I sure do hope, uncharacteristic as it is for me not to wish our departing youngsters well, he’s not half as good as I think he’ll be. Last night was the perfect, perfect opportunity to see what he could do. Galatasaraay were wide open. That sanogo could struggle as badly as he did was not a good sign at all about his chances.
    Didn’t help my mood when I saw a tweet last nightfrom someone who seems to know him pretty well which concluded with ‘don’t be surprised when he leaves’

  30. Quincy
    Cheers for picking up all the well- hidden clues that I’m aware of what it looks like, don’t normally do that, and my offering of what I think was reasonable mitigation. Nice one

    Will try not to launch another essay here, but what infuriates most of us more than anything in the way we are dealt with by the media is the deliberately unbalanced nature of the reporting- I.e a 3-2 Stoke defeat can only mean a complete and utter disaster, containing no light.

    Well, there was light: it caught my eye throughout that Ramsay appeared to be running and playing better. Sure enough, he scores, and now we all know what happens next
    Well, the reverse can be true. On an excellent night, there can be some difficulties or darkness to go with the light

  31. Rich, I think you have every right to look at youngsters and ask the question you have. However, we are now in a world where money talks and a lot of teams do not have the patience (or their fans) for young players to get a chance. The advent (pun) of FFP was to try to prevent clubs spending money they didn’t have (Chelsea & Man City) and force teams into developing home grown players. This is something Arsenal have been doing for a while, Wenger certainly gives youngsters games, last night we saw that with our own eyes. But I am not sure our fans have the patience for that – look how much abuse Sanogo receives, even when he has done well.

    It is very difficult for Managers to throw kids in and allow them time to develop. You make a fair point about Sanogo looking lost yesterday, he did. But who is to say Akpom would have faired better? It is very easy for us to all assume that hindsight makes us right but it doesn’t. I prefer Wengers judgement to my own or any fan. That is not to say I think Wenger is right all the time, he isn’t. But he most definitely sees more of these players, has more experience and a better CV than mine. If I wanted advice on how to prevent my boiler from exploding, I wouldn’t trust the judgement of some bloke who works in marketing & writes a blog in his spare time (wink;). In fact, taking that advice would almost certainly leave me homeless and wiping black smoke out of my eyes.

  32. Rich, I have no problem with you bashing Sanogo and salivating over Akpom, but I don’t agree with how you’ve been banging on about it, writing a long essay on the merits of Akpom and general uselesness of Sanogo, thinking that was the best use of your time after a convincing Champions League victory with our reserve team. It just seems you’ve got a very skewed perception of things. A line or two would have sufficed, in my opinion. But of course, you are entitled to your opinion, and entitled to express it as you like.

  33. Quincy @ 4:38

    Thanks for that link.

    Haven’t been able to steel myself to watch the MOTD highlights of the Stoke game. Not because of the result, I can handle losing, but because I just know how biased the editing and commentary will be. It just makes my blood boil. Grrrrrrrrrrr.

    But I was wondering if MOTD showed that particular incident and if so did they just refer to it as part of the ‘bullying’ Arsenal cant handle or did they call it out for the disgraceful act that it was?

  34. Really enjoyed that performance and the goals . Hope we can see a bit more of the likes of Poldi and more of the shoot on site thing. Hope this performance and the acknowledgment some have gone way over the top on our manager leads to a few changes in the media but not holding my breath. Apparently the talkshite radio commentary last night was referring to…..plucky… Liverpool!

  35. Quincy

    When you look closely at the fans in the background you can see a young Girl in pink, and two, shall we say, more mature ladies, with there mouths just dropping open in disbelief.

    Even there own fans can believe what they’re seeing.

    I also notice one Stoke lad finds it hilarious. Well he would wouldn’t he seeing they found it funny when Shawcross broke Rambos leg.

    And they get there knickers in a twist because they get called a rugby team.

    What a shameful joke of a Club.

    I’d love one of there mouthy fans to come on here and try and defend that.

    I assume he got booked for it?

  36. Charlie Adams got only a yellow, when he clearly should have got a straight red. I’ve seen comments from fans of other clubs, and he is widely considered the most hated player in the league.

    I don’t know if you’ve seen the recent article covering the horrendous refereeing that game:
    And that’s not even all of the incidents.

    I’m sure if you could be bothered to look around the internet you can find some rather disgusting comments from Stoke fans after that game. The toilet rag Metro even published one of the most absurd sports articles you’re likely to read.

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