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Who Needs Batman?

Well we're probably not 'under the radar' anymore in terms of title race. Those who wrote us off in the summer are backtracking in unison (Spurs are backtracking all the way to the relegation zone). But Chelsea's current predicament is a poignant reminder that things can go wrong as quickly as they can go right. Every single game has been a test of sorts, so another tough London derby against our new bogey team West Ham was always going to be a good indicator for this side's ambition and belief. I arrived in the ground just in time to see the teams emerge from the tunnel, I happened to turn my eyes to the screen to watch the customary pre game handhsakes between the players. When you watch the highlights, watch out for the most insincere handshake ever between Ljungberg and van Persie. Around twenty minutes into the game RVP put a crunching challenge on Ljungberg which suggested that, for once, Ashley Cole wasn't talking out of his cellular phone free posterior when he suggested the pair did not get on!

The confidence in the side was clear to see as Arsenal popped the ball around with unerring swagger. West Ham, the so called 'Academy Club' had one plan and one plan only, to launch the ball long to Ashton. In fairness, Ashton caused problems all day and looked the only Hammers' player even close to capable of creating any danger for the Gunners' backline. Though I found his strike partner Henri Camara's comparitive inertia worrying, Camara is exactly the type of player who will do sweet F.A for 89 minutes, but win a game with a moment of genius. The home side had the first attempt on goal, Ashton collecting an Upson punt forward, turning Toure on the edge of the area, but firing his shot harmlessly over. West Ham appeared to be playing Camara in the withdrawn striker role, with Ashton advanced up top, which confused me greatly. I felt they had a much better chance letting Camara's electric pace trouble Arsenal's back four as he fed on Ashton's flick ons. Therein lay the difference between our front pairings, Adebayor and van Persie make a good pairing because both are equally comfortable dropping off into 'the hole', or playing the target man. Their constant swapping into the aforementioned pigeon holes caused the home side problems all afternoon.

Arsenal charged into an early lead. Emmanuel Adebayor collected the ball on the right and shielded it cleverly, awaiting the arrival of Alex Hleb. Adebayor fed the Belarussian on the right, who clipped in a precise cross, van Persie rose above a statuesque Lucas Neill to head the ball in via Green's despairing fingertips. A Hleb cross met with a van Persie header. That's a sentence that would not have troubled my keyboard last season. Arsenal assumed cruise control for most of the half, with only brief cameos from Ashton causing the raucous away support to mop their collective brow. The travelling Gooners' tongues were laced with silver, mocking the Boleyn ground with 'sing us your one song,' and lauding the coach with 'we've got the special one.' Even Bacary 'Banger' Sagna was serenaded with 'Bacary Sagna, dodgy hair but we don't care, Bacary Sagna.' The home support watched in contemplative hush with Flamini and Fabregas boxing clever against Scott Parker and Mark Noble.

I was about to write that Noble was ineffectual, sadly that isn't true. An horrific challenge on Alex Hleb saw Hleb leave the match on a stretcher. It was a spiteful studs up lunge, pre disposed and designed to injure. But thanks to another barmy, non existent rule handed down to us and regurgitated with sheep like bleating by entity of all foootballing Gods sky sports, such malice is not deserving of a red card as Noble only committed the challenge with one foot, not two. I don't give two shits what Andy Gray's interpretation is, violent conduct is violent conduct. Is an assassin any less culpable for a shooting if he only puts one bullet in his victim's head? Unfortunately, Andy Gray and Sky Sports wield more power of referee's and supporters than our shoddy football association ever will. It really annoys me that Sky Sports seem to be making up these rules that everybody abides by, even though there is no sign of them in the official rule book.

The half ended with the Gunners' well in control, and the second half began that way as well, with West Ham desperately in need of inspiration. Seven minutes into the second half, van Persie received the ball from Sagna on the edge of the area, checked onto his right foot, but his curling shot cannoned back off the post. Emmanuel Eboue could not quite arc his neck muscles sufficiently to head in the rebound when a professional break dancer might have scored. Another inch to my right as I looked on from behind the goal, and it would have been game over and quite possibly a rout. However, just minutes later, a Lucas Neill corss found Dean Ashton unmarked from eight yards out, but he planted a weak header straight at Almunia. West Ham became buoyed by the opportunity as the supporters raored on, enthused with new vigour. West Ham put Arsenal under the cosh, but Senderos and Toure managed to repeltheir every long ball. It was a five minute stint of pressure and the only time of the game that Arsenal were not in complete control.

As West Ham pushed on, Fabregas began to revel in the space and the Gunners' looked to take advantage on the counter attack. Robin van Persie controlled Fabregas' pass and slid the ball through to Emmanuel Adebayor, who left three Hammers' defenders in his wake, but Robert Green spread his big frame to thwart Adebayor one on one. Adebayor opened his body out very early to swerve the ball around Green in Henryesque fashion, I wondered for a split second with Green sprawling whether he might attempt a much aired trick of his idol Kanu and feint to go round him. Alas, he didn't and it stayed 1-0. It was a miss that nearly cost us dearly when Ashton produced a delightful back heel which put the familiar figure of Freddie Ljungberg through on goal and he beat Almunia with a cool finish. Fortunately, the offside flag had long since been erected. Amusingly, most of the home contingent did not see it and celebrated with brief delight. Oh how we mocked!

Ashton dropped deeper and deeper in an attempt to play every position on the pitch, but his team mates did not share his inspiration and West Ham offered no further threat. Arsenal carved out another opportunity on the ocunter attack when Diaby and Clichy linked up well on the left, culminating in Clichy's right foot shot from outside the area being tipped just wide by Green. Yes, Clichy on his right foot from outside the area! Next you'll be telling me van Persie is heading a Hleb cross! Adebayor's tame shot was nearly diverted in by the pouncing Emmanuel Eboue in the box, before Ade went off with what looks like a pulled thigh muscle. The Gunners' saw out the game and finished with a deserved and hard earned 1-0 victory. It's another indication of Arsenal's increasing maturity, we controlled the game and put in the requisite elbow grease where necessary. No player emphasises this more than Mathieu Flamini, who had another marvellous game today. If you'd have told me four months ago that Flamini would be picked ahead of Gilberto and I would have been in full agreement with the decision, I might have shot you a funny look. But full credit to the man and full credit to the manager for sticking with him. News of Chelsea's 0-0 draw together with Drogba's sending off lightened the mood further as the travelling choir greeted the players with 'we shall not be moved.' Some might chance that it's too early for such a chant, but reading mojo magazine on my way home I read an interview with the ever quotable Liam Gallagher who offered, 'if you're embarassed by your dreams, then God f*****g help you.' Amen to that.LD.




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The Journalist

Writer: Tim Stillman Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Saturday September 29 2007

Time: 10:02PM

Your Comments

Great evocative stuff LD It's almost like being there! A week or two back I was reading some blog comments bemoaning how one footed RvP and Clichy are. Seems nobody told them though. Are refs ever going to see that trying to cripple a player with a reckless challenge should automatically prohibit a player from getting the chance to do it again - even if only in the same game?
Amos.
Interesting in the wake of your piece on the difference between English coaching styles compared to Arsenal's that a glorified clogger like Noble could remove a player with the technical poise of Hleb from a game. Hansen and co. will probably laud it as a piece of footballing genius.
Little Dutch
nice one LD, I'll do my usual and watch MOTD tonight with the volume off, I'd rather boil my own head than listen to those so called pundits, i cant stand them
TR7
LD, as you're always there with the Gunners home and away, would share the observation that since the beginning of this season and the departure of you-know-who, the team acknowledges the fans in a more appropriate manner? It is just something I noted on the telly.
G4L
Thanks LD as usual another great read
afghenry
Nobles ignoble assault didn't merit a mention from Hansen & co! We wouldn't have heard the end of it if it had been an English player at risk of missing the next international. You can almost hear the coaches highlighting the oppositions flair player and telling the player to "let 'im know your about". In the eyes of compliant referees its no greater a crime than kicking the ball away or taking your shirt off in celebration.
Amos.
LD, your match reports are absolutely brilliant, I can't wait to read them every week! Being stuck here in the states and only getting over to the Grove once a season, I can't thank you enough for really capturing the moment (the fans, the songs, the game, all of it). Thanks.
devvil
Touche LD. RVP was giving Freddie a smack for his comments in the summer about basically the new Arsenal werent any good. I see now he is trying to repair the damage. Too f***ing late. The kids are flying, dreams ----- What's your dream. Lets see come May.
themadafrican
Also, love the Header. Your usual standard.
themadafrican
Kevo's joke time : What's the difference between spuds and batman?
k_chelski
Batman can go to a store without Robin.
k_chelski
When Hleb went off I had my head in my hands but travelling gooners were more interested in taunting west ham..don't people realise how important he is?
Anon 1
Kev whats wrong with ur beloved team. There going down the crapper.
gunnerkid107
Great read as usual LD. For us who live on the other side of the world, and didn't get the game televised, you are nearly as good as being there. Had to watch Chelski, and when Drogba was sent off, well it was nearly as good as being at the Arsenal match too.
darinb007
Fantastic result.. I can't emphasise enuf on how important this result is.. my only worries are that Ade and hleb are injured.. for how long?
arsenalrulz4ever
Bunker mentality is amusing ... these so-called pundits who will forget more about football than you will ever know if you live for 500years were actually very complimentary about your performance - as you've said they must know nothing then :) Noble's tackle was late, but Hleb, as always, had actually turned into trouble, exposing the ball, and Noble never left the ground. There was intent to get the ball from a young player who was late but to suggest malice is ignorant and pathetic. Even Wenger's comments were very restrained. Noble got booked for the challenge. What do you lot want - the great game be turned into touch football, or the stale boring version we get on the continent?
Gromit
Thanks LD, its not often i miss home, but your piece evoked some great match day memories, be it on the north bank when i was lucky enough to get tickets, or singing with fellow gooners in one of my locals on stroud green or 7 sisters... i bloody hate not knowing the new songs, its at times like this i feel like packing my bags and heading back home.... then i think about the weather, cost of living, and the misery of the grind, living only for the weekends, and i remember why i left england in the first place and am very thankful for what i've got... its very rare for a piece on the net to get me all sentimental and emotional, but yours did LD, so thanks so much and keep up the excellent work sir! Oh, and wicked result Arsene and the lads, keep telling myself not to get too optimistic, but everyone involved with the club (including the board and the fans) are making me prouder than ever to be a gooner!
KaoTeK
*yawn* @ sir gromits predictable faff
KaoTeK
Gromit talking out of his spud arse as usual.
vavavoom14
hleb wouldnt have "turned" into trouble if it was not for the reckless tackle by noble.. he ought to know that he would be getting the ball.. but yeah.. u can always get away by saying things like.. he was trying to get the ball.. he got booked alright.. it was hleb's fault as well..wenger was restrained.. what do you want him to do.. bash up curbishley or noble?? it is just as well not to provoke any sort of trouble from the fa out of him.. but if anyone in his right senses says that it wasnt a sending off.. hes a nutcase.. all said and done.. u can have ur arguments.. but that was as good a sending off as i have seen..
go4it_adi
and.. now to the match.. it was fantabulous.. cannot state the importance of this win.. it is these matches that decides the title winning teams.. a controlled, hard fought win against a very organized outfit.. all in all.. its us at the top.. so be it always.. gooner 4 life..
go4it_adi
i dread the day that arsne leaves arnal...it will be a dark day for you, and an even darker day for englsih football.
pompeycarpet
Anyone else read the observer interview with Le Prof? Class from start to finish, what a man, what a vision, we are so very lucky to have a man of such integrity leading our club. If i was a bird id want his babys ahaha...
KaoTeK
Dont want to think about it pompey, its gonna happen, but really does not bear thinking about... sounds like you had a cracker yesterday well played :)
KaoTeK
Doh *bare
KaoTeK
G4L, there may be an element of truth to that, though Henry virtually never failed to acknowledge the support. I will wait and see this team's reaction in defeat before I get too excited. Gromit, if Noble's feet never left the floor, how did Hleb manage to go off with a knee injury? I mean, your knee is quite some distance from the floor isn't it? It was a hack, the ball had long gone when Noble wrapped his foot round Hleb's knee, intentional violent conduct if ever I saw it. I don't want the physical nature of the game removed, I just don't want to see players intentionally injure others, there is a marked difference between commitment and violence.
Little Dutch
when your watching it live in a pub,and the whole crowd of people (about 50)who are watching it with you all wince and go ouch everytime they showed the replay.....you know its a bad tackle,and a red card
fran merida
Unless the crowd of people in the pub are Gromits. They'll certainly disagree and not wince and go ouch because it was Hleb.
entropy13
So the game would become stale and boring if tackles like Nobles were removed from the game would it? What contribution did it make to the occassion apart from remove a player who was causing West Ham problems? I fear it will be a long time before defenders of the 'English' game wake up to the the reality that punishing bad tackles won't remove contact from the game it will simply lead to players having to make good tackles instead. Bunker mentality indeed.
Amos.
Little Dutch, based on my experience of twisting my knee, it is quite easy to be caught far lower down the leg and the resulting force twisting the knee. Looking at the MoTD pics, Noble caught Hleb in the shin area, which due to the turn Hleb was making and where his leg was positioned caused the knee to twist. It was a late tackle, but I've seemed tackles which were so late they could be described as postumus, and got nothing. Noble played the rest of the game, knowing one more mistimed tackle was a red. Whilst I prefer tackles not to be fouls, I'd rather the odd late tackles, than yellows being handed out for minimal physical contact.
Gromit
Anon, I'd say travelling fans spent a good amount of time screaming in frustration at the ref, who was giving every 'foul' possible to the home side. While I didn't see Noble's tackle, LD is spot on - one thing is commitment, and another is violence. Those who say it's a man's game in order to defend Savage-like brutes would have English football cast back into the dark days - all grit and no guile.
Andy-bayor
What Hansen & Lawro did was simply big your team up about how well they've learnt to play in these hard away games. They said the tackle was bad ... which it was .. no belittling your team, no lauding it as 'footballing genius' - maybe those who opening their mouths before engaging their brains, should actually watch their comments than slagging them off for statements they didn't make
Gromit
KaoTek ... 'Sir' Gromit? ... I'm glad you appreciate my comments so much you wish to honour me for that ... either that or you are a giant T**t searching for a brain cell to keep your current one company.
Gromit
On the game, I think FLAMINI was our MOM. He was busy breaking things up and it was comforting to see him in the middle. On another note, did anyone else think that we were hoofing the ball a lot more than usual? I barely remember Almunia passing the ball out - don't know if this is because the players were compacted on the smaller pitch. Another thing is DIABY - did Arsene tell him he's going to sell him unless he learns to play on the left? His last few games there have seen a big improvement. Man of the match I think would have to be Green though, who kept out at least 2 or 3 shots that were all but going in.
Andy-bayor
Terry had his cheek bone bust by Dempsey leading with an elbow. Broken bone, already operated on. Dempsey didn't even get carded, though there was zero attempt to reach the ball, Dempsey wasn't even looking at it. Drogba gets sent off for a 2nd yellow when he was clearly going for the ball and kicked Baird in the head. So there is a certain consistency in the yellow's issued. Isn't that what you want? Or is it only deserving of a red card if its against an Arsenal player?
Gromit
You're rather letting your bias get the better of you Gromit. The prospect of Nobles tackle being 'lauded as footballing genius' was nothing more than a sardonic observation of the priorities of certain football pundits. As it happens the tackle, which was high enough for Nobles right knee to make contact with Hlebs knee, didn't get a mention other than in the MoTD commentary which maybe also tells you something about certain priorities. Other pundits have taken a different view and rightly condemned it. It is sometimes quiet hard to see where you are trying to take a point but your curious fixation with LDs writing style and readiness with which you resort to abuse would suggest that your own advice to engage your brain before speaking is something you might benefit from yourself.
Amos.
I actually thought it was a reasonable post by Little Dutch ... the abuse I've resorted to is the KaoTek wally who has been lamely trying to dish it out. .... However isn't knee to knee contact when following through on a challenge something which occasionally happens? Surely its where the foot is? And didn't Hleb's knee land on Noble's knee as he fell? And hasn't Hleb been out with knee problems which would suggest he'd more likely to have a reaction there, even though it wasn't premeditated? I believe the tackle wasn't mentioned after the game because the time allocated to Hansen and Lawro was left to praising your performance. There were a number of games, and its called Match of the Day not Arsenals Match of the Day - the point I was making was yesterday similar challenges received a similar punishment so there was consistency in the refereeing which we all want.
Gromit
- Dempsey: should be yellow at least but there was no card - Drogba: should be yellow at most but was sent off - Noble: should be sent off but was yellow carded Where is the consistency there? LOL
entropy13
Gromit why get worked up - Kaotek wasn't that offensive. He just said 'predictable faff' to you, which is more of a 'committed' tackle than a violent one :-) Anyway, its hardly a surprise to see us being a bit sensitive bearing in mind that in recent times we used to be get kicked off the pitch by the Boltons of the world. I think Arsene summarised West Ham as committed, which I'm happy to accept.
Andy-bayor
entropy, drogba got a yellow, but since he had another yellow, he kind of ...had to go.
k_chelski
Gromit here you go: http://cache.gettyimages.com/xc/77106974.jpg?v=1&c=NewsMaker&k=2&d=17A4AD9FDB9CF193D0128ED53B52CDE6DE7EAD34AF3AEBC0 Look at it. Its a extremely nasty challenge that was very high.
gunnerkid107
According to Graham Poll on BBC, he should have got a straight red.
WouldYouBelieveIt?!
Andy-bayor - as I'm part Czech I don't like being described as the little Englander that Sir Harry (I think?) was. You lot can't seem to not think in extremes unfortunately. Gunnerkid107, that particular image looks bad, but it shows the aftermath of the tackle. I'd imagine a pic at the point of contact won't look so damning. And I think Hleb came off badly as it also aggravated an existing knee injury. A high tackle is characterised by where the point of contact is
Gromit
As you said Hleb came off badly because it also aggravated an exsiting knee injury and that was the point of the tackle. Hleb passed a game time injury descion then set up the goal with a perfect cross, then IMO Noble went for blood. I believe that he was aiming to take Hleb out of the game. You probably wont agree but I have no doubts over it.
gunnerkid107
An extreme opinion would be one that insists no one elses opinion can be justified. The opinion that Noble was lucky not to get red carded is one shared by plenty of non-partisan neutral folk. It was certainly the opinion of Phil Thompson while watching the game live for Sky yesterday and their match commentators along with a number of this mornings papers. As WYBI points, it's also that of Graham Poll so banging the drum that this is purely the perspective of biased Arsenal supporters is pretty detached from the reality and as such is an extreme opinion.
Amos.
Gromit, people have a right to feel aggrieved at shoddy refereeing. There is only one way in my eyes to bring consistency into the game, and thats to do a post-match card/foul-play review. Anyway, I leave the last word to a Hammer who saw it better than me, and reckons it was a nasty tackle: http://www.westhamonline.net/article.php?2016910
Andy-bayor
Funny how no-one is mentioning Flamini's tackle on Scott Parker that forced Parker off?
Gromit
Would that be Graham 'Three Yellows make a Red' Poll so regularly derided on these and other pages, Amos? Funny how he's right if he supports an Arsenal position now - I think it was a nasty tackle, but it simply wasn't a red card situation if you consider other similar tackles which go unpunished. If all of those tackles are red carded then so be it, but many players have made those sort of tackles including Arsenal players and gone unpunished.
Gromit
Flamini's challenge was in no way malicious, in fact, it wasn't even given as a foul. I think all tackles of Noble's ilk, that is, tackles deliebrately designed to hurt an opponent, should be red carded. The reason I haven't brought up Dempsey's elbow on Terry is because I was reporting on West Ham v Arsenal. The Terry Dempsey incident happened a few miles West and didn't involve Arsenal, therefore it wasn't really appropriate to bring it up on Vital Arsenal. Anybody who wishes to comment on it, your log ins are valid and you can leave comments on the comments section of Vital Chelsea or Vital Fulham respectively.
Little Dutch
Good piece as usual LD! Aren't you all delighted that we've seen all the "unusual" things happen more and more often? I mean Hleb and Rosicky scoring before they got injured (now that's "back to normal"), RvP and Clichy shooting with their right feet, Flamini holding the fort well, Cesc scoring for fun, Almunia doing ok in goal, even Song having an odd good game in defence, beating the bogey/lesser teams convincingly. If it's a dream, please don't wake me up!
Louisa
I'm delighted to see these "unusual" events, but I really never doubted that they would be rectified for a second. It's not usually in my nature to be so unquestioning of a person, but my opinion of Wenger long ago turned into a kind of quiescence whereby I trust him absolutely, and our current form does not surprise me in the slightest. At the moment I cannot help thinking of two seasons ago having sat through every single one of our 11 away defeats, yet not for a second did I doubt the team or the manager. There were problems but I always thought it was a matter of time and temperance. I truly hope we can keep this kind of form going, because it's even more satisfying than ever that while teams whore themselves out to arms dealers and shady money men, this has been built from within the club by the manager. Hopefully, David Dein's attempt to destroy that will be fruitless.
Little Dutch
nice one LD, as usual its like being there yourself when we read your reports ! tricky away trip this week, and then sunderland, i will be up a mountain and can't make saturdays game :( but will check mobile for updates.
PUREGOLD
If it were only Graham Poll agreeing that Noble should have been red carded you might have a point Gromit. But he isn't - and you don't. I am quite happy that for you not to think it is a red card offence. Its of no great concern to me. But then I am not the one making posts claiming others are ignorant and pathetic just because their opinion doesn't accord with mine.
Amos.
People have siad it was a premediated malicious tackle with the sole intent to cause injury. Anybody who watches it time and again will see that the boy was late and was going for the ball initially and was caught out by Hleb's skill. To suggest that maiming Hleb was the principle aim is a very serious accusation to make against a professional so unless those posters have the smoking gun of Noble saying 'I woz going to do him' ... then those clowns suggesting it, are ignorant and pathetic. Do you have that evidence? Was it a nasty tackle? YES. Was it the aim of Noble to set out to deliberately maim Hleb? or was he just over enthusiastic? Come on provide your PROOF!!!
Gromit
And considering the disciplinary record of your team, talk about the kettle calling the pot black!!
Gromit
I said IMO it was premeditated. Where the hell do you want us to get proof. Is Noble going to come out and say " Yea I meant to kill the damn foreigner". No hes not. And your being blind if you say he attempted to play the ball. He was seconds late and the ball was long gone. Theres should really be no arguing that.
gunnerkid107
Which person in our squad has a terrible discipline record?
gunnerkid107
Yeah LD, I mean a cross from Hleb of all people, finding RvP who nods it right in! Now what's more unusual, do you remember seeing more RvP headers or Hleb crosses?! And another unusual and great thing is CLEAN SHEETS - we kept 7 of them, out of 11 games played! And when we didn't, we conceded only 1 goal! Granted, we haven't played the big guys yet - but then I'd say bring them all on at this point! Also we've started scoring some poacher's goals, mainly through Cesc and Eduardo - without taking away the absolute screamers! Doubtless it's even more satisfying watching those match-winning ugly goals than clinching our fists seeing the beautiful play with no end result like last year. LD, I'm with you on my full trust for AW and I was laughed at or dismissed as naive not that long ago. I have nothing to brag or vent about, but I just want to say I'm so proud to have AW for our manager.
Louisa
Gromit, Roy Keane basically put a Man City player out the game but until he admitted it in his own book nobody could prove that either, still happened though didn't it!! If Noble's challenge was just a genuinely mistimed tackle it would've been 1 footed however he deliberately went in with the trailing leg to catch Hleb in a scissors motion. Whenever that happens its a pre planned effort & its what every pro knows they will get away with.
Ashburton Gooner
Does it have to be intentional to get a straight red? Don't they send people off when the injury's serious enough, regardless of what went on in your mind? I only watched the highlights on BBC but it did seem to be a very unnecessarily serious tackle to me and yellow did seem lenient. Like this blogger said, it was worthy of a straight red: http://aculturedleftfoot.wordpress.com/2007/09/30/west-ham-0-arsenal-1/
Louisa
He ended up in the scissors movement because Hleb was collapsing on him. Keane's tackle against Haaland was like Souness's infamous tackle at Rangers. To suggest Noble's was like that is to invite ridicule. Also you do a disservice to the skill of Hleb - he turned back into the scrum, Noble saw a split second opportunity, made a lunge but Hleb had already flicked the ball away. Viewing it again on DVD both a normal speed and even slo mo that is what happened - it doesn't have to be intentional, but Drogba was only given a yellow for kicking someone in the head so at lease the officiating is consistent.
Gromit
vieira got a red card for flicking out a leg in the general direction of rudd van $hit-himself......after he had been assaulted by said dirty horseface
fran merida
But of course we musn't forget to fine angelic record of Arsenal on the disciplinary books since the Premiership began. If Fabregas had committed the challenge, you would all be lauding it as the boy showing a bit of steel - Louisa with all due respect, another Arsenal fan saying it was worthy of a straight red isn't setting it in stone - another fan said it was accidental but very late but they are not a dirty team .... the guy got booked which is a lot more than often happens
Gromit
Based on the Premier Leagues own disciplinary points system then Arsenal rank 17th worst out of a total of 40 teams that have played in the Premiership since its formation with an average of 1.66 disciplinary points per game played. The teams with worse disciplinary records than ours include Chelsea, Everton, West Ham, Bolton, Blackburn, Fulham and Middlesborough.
Amos.
I was flipping the match-day programmes and found an answer to RvP's right-footed shots. He said ahead of the Fulham game that he had been practising his right foot together with Flamini who wanted to strengthen his left foot. They shot with their weaker foot and tried to improve. Also read elsewhere that Cesc has been working on his left foot as well. It's scary how RvP will torment defenders... And Gromit, I was just saying what I thought was right. Just because another Arsenal fan said it's a red didn't mean I was saying it's set in stone either. If you don't agree, so be it. These things happen. I'm not even particularly concerned about this decision as Hleb's not too badly hurt. What does concern me though is the refereeing inconsistencies.
Louisa
we're still top, spurs still in the relegation zone, chelsea slipping: let's savour the moment...
afri-gooner
Yeah afri-gooner, to add to that, Chelsea are slipping to mid-table, with a goal difference of NEGATIVE 1! (Even Wigan has 0, still one better than them hahaha!) And speaking of the relegation zone, not just Spurs, but Bolton are there too. Kinda too good to be true, the start of this season!
Louisa
Leave it to Amos to find the most brilliant stats. Well done :)
gunnerkid107
Looking at the Official PREM Stats of the 40 team listed Amos, Arsenal come in at 38 out of 40. In fact Everton are the worst, then comes Chelsea and then Arsenal and in fact Arsenal have had more sendings off than any other team with 49 except Blackburn (58) and Everton (60) ..... rather than just take my word for it, here is the link to the official stats provided by the Premiership Arsenal's average is lowered as they have been ever present yet when measured against the more ever present sides you fall down. ManU and Liverpool are far superior and Spurs, Newcastle, Villa are much better- clubs who get promoted tend to get physical to survive, those who don't have no excuse http://www.premierleague.com/page/Statistics/0,,12306,00.html
Gromit
I have no need to take your word for it Gromit - I have already been there. But as not all teams have played the same number of games in the premiership those with fewer games will obviously have committed fewer disciplinary offences - so you have to do a little more work. You need to divide the number of games played by the number of disciplinary points in order to find a comparative measure for disciplinary performance. Therefore, for example, West Hams 869 points over 470 games is a worse disciplinary performance than Arsenals 973 points over 587 games. On this measure Arsenal rank 17th out of 40 - not great but a long way from being the worst - pretty average in fact.
Amos.
Incidentally, just to aid a greater understanding of disciplinary comparisons then it may be helpful to know that Arsenal has cleaned up its act quite a bit over recent years in the premiership. So much so that Arsenal have gained fewer disciplinary points over the last 6 full seasons than, for example - let's say Spurs. They gained 328 points in this period compared to our 303. In the same time scale Spurs incurred 16 red cards to our 12.
Amos.
Correction - that should read over the last 5 full seasons not 6
Amos.
When we think of those 12 reds, I bet Senderos has 4 or 5 for just being clumsy.
gunnerkid107
Ooh! who's getting a wee bit sensitive then? If calling the calling out your comments as 'faff' (which they invariably are, hence the predictable tag) is abusive, them id hate to see how you'd react to genuine abuse... The 'sir' isn't refering to the estime in which i hold your broken record like comments, it merely alludes to your former handle 'sir' harry, which for some reason you seem to lack the required cojones to take up upon your unfortunate re-emergence on the vital network... As for searching for a brain cell to match my remaining one...sorry sunshine, every last one was destroyed many moons ago as a result of self induced chemical warfare, yet despite that, i still manage to see through your rather lame charade, so what does that say about you?
KaoTeK
*Then
KaoTeK
BTW heres the link for thta Wenger interview for those that haven't already caught it: http://football.guardian.co.uk/News_Story/0,,2180175,00.html
KaoTeK
A sign that the grit is back at Arsenal. For years we were considered dirty, then we were called moaning fairies and lectured on the finer points of 'the man's game', now we're villians again. Isn't objectivity a wonderful science?
Little Dutch
Why are we arguing about disciplinary points? Why don't we ask old grommy groms to have alook at the leauge table points?
BergGun
LD: was thinking the same thing....damned if you do, damned if you don't.......I for one am happy with the balance of grit & skill our boys are showing this season - something certain lesser teams could well do emulating....
KaoTeK
Gromit, can you actually read? If so you would know I didn't compare Noble's tackle to that of Keane's, what I said is that nobody could prove Keane went to intentionally injure that Man City player until he himself admitted it. Until he done so it was just a poor challenge. Therefore there is no way to prove anything unless a player is going to admit it, which for the most part they dont. Clearly you have no understanding of anything because if Hleb was collapsing into Noble as you said then he would actually have landed on him, which he didn't. His knee was being bent away from Noble & regardless of all that if you tackle 1 footed, it remains 1 footed it doesn't become a scissors motion, to suggest otherwise is clearly leaving yourself open to ridicule!!
Ashburton Gooner
AG: That's all he ever does (leave himself open to ridicule) ahaha....
KaoTeK
It's Strangely Refreshing Seeing You Guys Give The Others a run For their Money...
horseworrier
KaoTek you really are a brainless t**t - how would someone who is part Czech be the same person who if you do a google search for this 'Sir Harry' (SIR HARRY VITAL FOOTBALL) as he clearly states that he is 100% British and proud of it ... Pay attention Numb Nuts, Ostrava where my paternal grandmother comes from is not part of the United Kingdom ... I know this geography lesson will be lost on you and you'll continue to bray like the donkey you clearly are so maybe you should write a letter to Santa and ask him to deliver an atlas to you for Christmas.
Gromit
Kaotek ... you clearly aren't Sherlock Holmes if thats the best you can do; I would say you are definitely more Inspector Clouseau
Gromit
Ashburton Gooner, with the Keane challenge 99% of the people who saw that challenge thought Keane had deliberately set out to maim Haaland due to previous bad blood caused when Haaland was at Leeds. Haaland had taunted Keane about getting injured and all Keane's book did was confirm it. At the time it was described as a 'blatant knee high tackle' which was not the sort of tackle Noble committed .............. ............... the comparison you make with the Noble tacke is weird as more than half of those who saw it, have said while it was a nasty and bad tackle there was no intent to maim or injure Hleb, nor was there any previous bad blood between Noble and Hleb. It was an inexperienced player being overenthusiastic, not an experienced player seeking revenge
Gromit
"the comparison you make with the Noble tacke is weird as more than half of those who saw it, have said while it was a nasty and bad tackle there was no intent to maim or injure Hleb." Err, where did that little statistic come from? AG has already said he wasn't comparing the two challenges (Noble's was malicious, but not in the same league as Keane's), he was merely alluding to possibly the ONLY example in recent football history where a player has come out and said that he intended to injure another player. Irrespective of the age of the player, it's safe to say a player hacking his opponent's kneecap when the ball is on the floor is usually a deliberate attempt to hurt someone.
Little Dutch
Little Dutch, from what I recall of the tackle, Noble's foot didn't connect with Hleb's knee but with his shin = how can he have hacked at the kneecap?
Gromit
Quite simple, he connected with his knee. In fact, Noble's knee connected with Hleb's. If his foot shouldn't have been up there, his knee definitely shouldn't have! Noble originally went for the ball with his left, but with that long gone, he brought his right foot up in a scissors motion. All in all, with the ball long gone, nowhere near his right foot in the first place and the contact arriving on Hleb's knee, I'd chance it was a poor tackle and quite intentionally so.
Little Dutch
thanks to that noble, Hleb will now miss our next game in Romania
fcdematthew
that's the problem when you play against players of lesser quality
fcdematthew
Didn't Hleb have an existing knee problem which would likely have maximise the problem caused by any sort of contact?
Gromit
he had exiting injury during the stupid tackle, Wenger would have played him, idiot?
fcdematthew
He had only just come back from the injury and any IDIOT knows that for a few games there is an increased risk of aggravation
Gromit
gromit, bravo. great point. he deserved to get injured. my bad..
fcdematthew
Learn to read .. where did I say that? .. I am suggesting, that Noble's tackle on another player who hadn't just come back from a knee injury might not have caused the same problem. If you play sport you know that in the first couple of games, your former injury is still a little risky. Train all you like but its not the same as a real game
Gromit
I think you are straying a long way from the point Gromit. There is no mitigation whatsoever in the fact that Hleb had recovered from an earlier injury. The extent of the injury was bruising 'from ankle to knee'. You have spent a very long time trying to justify a tackle that has been widely condemned both inside and outside the club. If it is your view that these tackles should not be discouraged then I will leave you to your viewpoint but I have little regard for it.
Amos.
forget about the injury. next game, Bucharest. i predict Arsenal win 2-0.
fcdematthew
love the title of this article :).
muffdaddy1983
Now now, no need to get your knickers in a twist sir gromit, you're being just a wee bit defensive for some one who allegedly has nothing to defend aren't you me old fruit jube? Here's a tip for you, when you want to re-invent yourself, a changed handle alone is nowhere near enough to convince people that you are different person....you should have changed both your style of writing and tried, if at all possible for you, to have had at least a *slightly* different view point from your former identity (not just here, but on the Spud site too - yes I visit their once in a while for a bit of light, and yes you go on about the same cack you did as sir harry there too) Ofcourse if you really want to go the whole hog then I'd suggest an IP mask and/or routing through a proxy in Kalimantan or some other far fetched place so no one could trace you either (not that anyone would be sad enough to bother....) So there you go geeza, maybe you should disappear for a few more months, come back with yet another new handle, but take into account the advise above, and hope no-one spots you next time, or you could just stop posting boring drivel here....Honestly I'd call you a troll but the really sad thing is you actually believe what you're spouting...On the subject of the tackle, how is it nearly every (neutral) write up on the match (and even a fair few Hammers blogs) state the tackle was a blatant red card?? I could even provide all the links, but I've wasted more than enough time on you as it is....try googling most major news papers for a start to get an idea.... Anyway cheers for giving me a giggle with your OTT responses, especially the bit about your gran being Czech (even the bloody queen isn't British by your standards ahaha) By all means keep it coming mate, I'll supply the spade and you dig the hole yeah?? ;)
KaoTeK
Sorry guys...won't be bothering to reply to his razor-sharp insults anymore, even though he's genuinely making me laugh out loud....wind em up and watch em go and all that.....I'll be a good boy now, promise ;)
KaoTeK
Wow, KaoTeK, your laser intelligence startles me .... what are the chances that on a planet of 6.5billion people, that two people don't occasionally hold the same opinion ....., please tell me how I have the same views as this Sir Harry geezer ... I am actually really quite interested in the fact that I may indeed have a doppleganger? However I suspect that such a lame attitude as you will mean you are not able to site a single example. On the matter of every neutral rightup, I took your advice and the BBC, the Times, the Telegraph and the Guardian mention nothing about Noble meriting a red card ... maybe you should take your own advice you lazy retard. Your pathetic lies, and remarks make your comments all the more laughable
Gromit
I can quite now understand where Nigel Powers get his views from - personally I think his attitude to the two things he most hates are neatly summed up when describing you
Gromit
Wonder if Gromit's at the lane at the moment? England's number 1, England, England's number 1. Shame about Noble, i genuinely don't think he's a dirty player but it was a terrible challenge - can honestly see him being a very good player for years to come.
AFC85Lew
1-4 LMFAO Going down Going Down
Gooner SA
4-4 and they still going down
Gooner SA
Yes I was ... good to see all the local Arsenal fans piping up .. are any of the Vital Arsenal posters on this site the ones who turn up to the Emirates or try to talk big sat thousands of miles away? ... genuine fans like those at Leeds and Forest will support their team which ever division they are in ... most of you lot would ***** off to the Chelsea page in the blink of an eye if Usmanov messes you up
Gromit
unlike your inbred local fanbase, yes we do have supporters coming from all over the globe. africa, asia, america you name it. just because theyre not born within 2 yards of the stadium doesnt mean theyre not as proud of their football club as the other supporters you mentioned. nothing escapes globalisation today, football included. please get your head out of your arse gromit
cescfab4
i bet those kids with arsenal shirts in nigeria and ivory coast are a lot more passionate about their club than your fellow spuds walking out midway through your 125 year celebrations last night eh gromit?
cescfab4
Funny Gromit, you said you go to every home game, but you poted here at about 7.30pm last night. Last time I checked, you couldn't bring laptops into the Lane.
Little Dutch
Err Little Dutch, you are aware of web connection via your phone? .. may I present to you the Nokia N95 .. superb piece of kit, a 5.0megapixel camera, GPS to help you runaway from WHL and oh yes, an Internet connection with a great sized screen and I got a great deal .. it may have escaped you but web browsing over the phone these days costs virtually nothing .. welcome to the 21st century ... I was at WHL at 6.45pm .... think before typing you prat
Gromit
You can jump on Facebook, MySpace, Youtube etc and get to any story or profile so Vitalfootball is dead easy
Gromit
Gormit, are you sir harry in disguise?
luckys_10
Hahaha Luckys_10, there seems to be a theme on here that anyone who disagrees with you is Sir Harry. We have the clown Kao 'Inspector Clouseau' Tek with his comments holding less water than a sieve, then we have Little Dutch who apparently hasn't heard you can connect to the web via your mobile .... pray tell can you come up with a coherent and (I'm asking a lot here) intelligent reason why I'm this Sir Harry guy?
Gromit
My guess Gromit is that the 'duck' principle is being employed here. If it waddles like a duck and quacks like a duck it is most probably a duck.
Amos.
Problem is Amos, that could easily be a description for the multitude of Gooners on here, who haven't been near Heathrow, let alone any English football stadium, yet seem to have this overwhelming desire to spout off about other grounds that they've never been to and funny enough SOUND ALL THE SAME !!. And again, you haven't been able to cite a single example ..... I'd have thought that if this guy was as prolific as suggested then one single example could be found? ..... I can see that its simply a game played by the feeble whitted !!
Gromit
Weird, kernowboy also gave me a lecture about the abilities of the modern mobile phone at some point. Strange. I couldn't give a monkey's arse what your phone does, frankly, I don't feel I need that kind of status symbol.
Little Dutch
Well Little Dutch, I don't know about this Kernowboy, but if you want to imply I'm a liar by suggesting I wasn't at the game, then I will happily tell you how I accessed the internet - I don't think WHL has Wi-Fi access so having a laptop wouldn't have helped anyway. Its not a status symbol its a necessary tool of the modern world. Only people who don't get out often think its a status symbol - for me its as vital to my job as a thermometer is for a Doctor - I don't have the luxury of being stuck behind a desk in the warm
Gromit
"A Hleb cross met with a van Persie header. That's a sentence that would not have troubled my keyboard last season." Exactly what I was thinking when the goal was scored. An excellent head line, again.
prits
If it is a game for the feeble witted you do seem only to happy to play it Gromit. I think someone provided you with a check list comparing you with Sir Harry/Kernowboy before. There are some compelling similarities. The ratcheting up of abuse levels each time you encounter the mildest of put downs. The unnecessary and unverifiable detail designed to add weight to a weak argument or an intellect you don't really possess. 'Famugusta is an ancient port' 'I did this for my MA' 'my grandma is from Ostrava' 'I posted from my mobile with my ceremonial flag clenched between my teeth'. These are the same signs of a desperate craving for acceptance, often found in the physchologically flawed, which characterised the posts of Sir Harry/Kernowboy.
Amos.
Also, you seem to conveniently have no knowledge of Kernowboy or Sir Harry. Kernowboy (now disappeared) conveniently had no knowledge of Sir Harry. Your arrivals and subsequent disappearances from this forum appear to very curiously overlap. It could all be a fantastic coincidence. Fortunately for me, I don't care.
Little Dutch
Haha, that Kernowboy was the same bloke insisting on us getting our phones out whenever we see some violence at the Lane? Gromit - that argument about not being near a ground etc is pretty poor, where have Gooners spouted about different grounds they've never been to? You're talking out of your Arse mate
AFC85Lew
Amos, lets have some clarification here. LD makes a big play on how he's a man of the world, and doesn't care about nationalities, yet within the same article was belitting foreigners. I meerly pointed out that inconsistency as I know you have Cypriot fans as well - just trying to aggravate him like any good opposition fan would. I've only started writing more frequently as I've just come back to the UK - I think I've been a member for about 3 years now - I recall who Sir-Harry was and disagreed with a lot of his stuff so I find it very amusing you think he is me - when I was described as him, I made a point of illustrating that it would be pretty stupid for me to hate foreigners being identifiably foreign myself!! The irony is if they hadn't settled in Edmonton during WW2 I might have been a gooner. I shall always be grateful for such a fortunate escape. And finally, LD seemed to think that you can only log on to the internet if you have a computer. I was just correcting him before he made more of a fool of himself. I wasn't aware that Kernowboy had lectured you about mobile phones, though surely a GPS is handy for a quick escape?
Gromit
What are you doing getting to WHL at 18:45 anyways? Was there some sort of ceremony? LOL Re quick escape, do me a favour, you strive to come across as intelligent but then lower to that tripe.
AFC85Lew
I also get to the ground early ... left straight from work ... wasn't sure what was going on pre-game cos of the 125 years so made sure I didn't miss it. AFC85 as Little Dutch always has thousands of marauding Spurs fans chasing after him after each game, I thought he'd grasp any advantage to be quick on his toes
Gromit
C'mon Sir Gromit of Kernow you'll have to be sharper with the retorts man, you've only got another 8 months left before next season where you're gonna have to find members of vital Burnley or Barnsley to bore to tears ;)
nikolaijns
Wasn't kernowboy sir_harry? I'm confused.
k_chelski
lol Kevin, you're too funny, i wanna see your picture, i'm sure yu got a funny face too, lol you actually remind me of a friend of mine, who toks just like yu, and he's always got a funny smile on his face..
luckys_10
This is me - http://images.askmen.com/galleries/men/kevin-spacey/pictures/kevin-spacey-picture-1.jpg . So young and already getting bold! oh well... so like, why isn't It shut yet? Let's shut it down before rocky comes, :-).
k_chelski
Why can't I say my name is Kevin Mitnick? Is it illegal too? :p.
k_chelski
I picture you thus Kev - you do talk like him ...no seriously you do ;)........http://www.emerchandise.com/images/p/FGY/pdSUFGY0001.jpg
nikolaijns
Folks. The article comments are for football debate, not for debating members. If you have a problem with a poster, please email your site editor as a first port of call. We haven't had a breach, the info used today was from the members profiles BUT there is still no need to go down this route, as said if you have a problem with a user or possible multiple username etc, contact the site editor.

Would be greatly appreciated if you got back to the football discussion and ended the other argument (as per deletions!) Many thanks.
VitalFootballAdmin
Kind of...I'm a bit taller though.And have better hair.But he's bald so who doesn't.... and I don't know why the comments were removed. I mean, it's not like Amos said kernowoboy and sir_harry were the same person (allen) and gromit said he would report amos because he hacked vital football (oooh) and got illegal info, I mean, you lot are over reacting. Show a sense of humor, so what if you are sir_harry, what does that change? Nothing!You'll still stand for what you believe in !!!And so what if he isn't sir_harry, does that stop him from being wrong! No!
k_chelski
Oh got it... but I still can't say I'm Mitnick?
k_chelski
keep your wig on Derek
nikolaijns
lol Kevin, i thot yu'd be 6'2, well built, good looking brazilian :p..
luckys_10
I do what I can...
k_chelski
show us your real picture :d..
luckys_10
That's all we ever can do Kev :)
nikolaijns
I'm cool Nikolaijns, just waiting to hear back on the steps they will take to protect the personal details of all members.
Gromit
We could always do nothing, but doing nothing is actually doing something, so nothing is nothing , so I suppose you're right...
k_chelski
Cool, You just gave me an idea. If you make them act, I too, will mail them.But I'll be asking for the removal of a site called : "vital spurs", because they fail to keep racist posters out of there.And since they do nasty stuff there, and they have been doing since I signed in vitalfootball.Let's wait, :-). Like I said, fun times.
k_chelski
Of course you can, it's not morally right, but legally you do can.The journalists and the admins fail to control the large amount racist spud fans, so there's no other way than getting the site banned. There's about 25 to 40 posts undeleted on vital spuds that either harrass me, or are libelous. From "brazilian prostitute" to several other things. And it's still there, several months later. So it' safe to say, vital spuds should be removed, if anyone faces any punishment for what you want them to.
k_chelski
lol, I knew this would be fun....
k_chelski
"Gromit. As per the Arsenal thread, this is not the place for discussing other members. Every member has a profile page. It has the date you joined, username, real name if you enter it and email address if you don't tick the box to hide it. Nothing has been hacked into and that member has done nothing that anyone else can't do on this or any other forum. We don't hold confidential information on any member as none of it is asked for when registering so it would be impossible for us to hold it. As per the Arsenal thread, any problems wth posts should be brought up with the site editor. VitalFootballAdmin" LOL. I'm done for today.
k_chelski
Looks like there was some fun on here while I was watching the match and Robin continuing to prosper without Batman. Respect to the VitalFootballAdmin guys.
Amos.
Caused by your cowardly breached of the rules, which should have resulted in your banning
Gromit
What breach of the rules Kernowboy/Gromit? VitalFootballAdmin have told you twice there hasn't been any. Cowardice is posting under multiple user names and denying any knowledge of them.
Amos.
Excellent league run boys.... keep it up!
Millwalljohn
Gromit - As the owner of the site has already stated, the information posted by Amos, whilst probably not in the best of tastes, was easily accessible to anybody with a pc and a modem. Information you CHOSE to allow to remain public.
Rocky7
Rocky7, forgive my ignorance, but isn't the only way you can view the details of a supporter of another club, is to register a new account with that team? We had this warning on our page.
SpursSlav
I'm nore sure on that score SpursSlav, but I don't think so. Either way, the information has been left open to public viewing, therefore any attempts to have a member banned or indeed seek legal action are laughable.
Rocky7
So I can't delete vital spurs? Dammit...
k_chelski
 

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