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Tottenham Hotspur 0 Arsenal 0

With the fanfare of the transfer window having died down, it was back to the serious stuff with a North London derby fixture at White Hart Lane. Transport for London decided to make a difficult and dangerous journey all the more tumultuous by deciding to close down three quarters of the London Underground with Spurs, Arsenal and West Ham all in action. Bravo fuckwits. So our usual journey from Tottenham Hale to Northumberland Park was made impossible by lack of a train service and the long walk down the Seven Sister`s Road was the only viable option. We arrived inside the ground about 45 minutes before kick off to hear the names Eduardo and Arshavin surprisingly amongst the substitutes. Whilst for Spurs, the all diving, all whingeing, forever in exasperation at the official Robbie Keane made his comeback to the Lane, I was sat in the upper tier but I was sure I could see a tail between his legs. Keane is as distasteful a footballer as there is in the league, kind of like a bastardised hybrid of John Terry and Emmauel Eboue. The away fans chant of "even Rafa thinks you`re shit" was his sole serenade inside an extremely quiet White Hart Lane. (Mind you, that was a good deal wittier than the cringe worthy, "We signed him in the snow/ he`s better than Defoe" for Arshavin).

Tottenham lined up with Keane playing just off of Pavluychenko, a more cautious move than we have seen from Spurs over the years who usually expend all of their attacking energy in the first twenty minutes against us. Nevertheless, they predictably started the livelier, although Arsenal carved out the first half chance when Eboue played a slick 1-2 with van Persie, Eboue raced down the right but placed his cross shot harmlessly wide with Cudicini sprawling. Tottenham responded in kind with a chance from their right winger, Lennon received the ball from Modric, who was pulling Tottenham`s strings in midfield, Lennon easily feinted inside Gael Clichy, but his hubris has always tended to be his left foot and his final product, both worked in tandem as his weak left foot shot was comfortably saved by Almunia. Tottenham had unusually elected to kick towards the Park Lane End in the first half, with the sun shining obstructively into that goalmouth. However, Almunia met all challenges on this particular afternoon rather well. Small controversy would follow, Eboue again raced down the flank to devastating effect, this time the left following a pass from Nasri. Corluka showed him outside and Eboue accepted the invitation, racing to the by-line and pulling back for Adebayor, who was denied by Dawson. The ball broke to Eboue and he gleefully smashed the ball into the net. However, he had been adjudged to have shoved Woodgate in the build up. I believed that to be the correct decision at the time and the highlights have given me little reason for recourse. However, Eboue is hardly a clear and rational thinker and continued to bleat to the referee and was correctly booked for dissent when refusing to retreat for a free kick. It was the sort of caution you just can`t afford to collect in a heated atmosphere.

Arsenal had weathered most of Tottenham`s attacks and set pieces without undue panic after the first twenty minutes and set about putting their own attacking game into action. Cudicini showed his vulnerability to crosses when Toure powered down the left, again past the lead healed Corluka and the Italian keeper fumbled Kolo`s low cross. Fortunately for Spurs, no Arsenal players were lurking and the impressive Palacios cleared. The came a 120 second period that literally hamstrung Arsenal for the remainder of the match. Firstly, Adebayor pulled up whilst chasing a long ball. The Spurs fans heroically spat and jeered at him as his stretcher made its way around the perimeter of the stadium. It was pretty much the only sustained period of noise emanating from the home stand all afternoon, embarrassed into silence by the constant renditions of "It`s so quiet at the Lane." Spurs fans love to mock our appalling home atmosphere, but yesterday proved they are every bit of moribund at home games, just as every other side in England is, so don`t fall for the Tottenham delusion that a twat with a drum equates to a good atmosphere. As Adebayor was making his way down the tunnel, Eboue decided he would quite fancy bailing on the game with a moronic kick on Modric which could easily have been a red card on its own. It was further evidence that Eboue does not have the mentality to play a game of this ilk or at a club the size of Arsenal. His actions were irresponsible and bordering on cowardice. He really should have learned his lesson by now having already been booed by his own fans and after having already got himself deliberately sent off in the 4-0 mauling at Old Trafford last season because he didn`t fancy it. Eboue is simply far too viscous in the head to have learned any lessons and frankly he doesn`t appear to have the quality to tolerate this massive flaw, when perhaps players such as van Persie and Vieira were worth persevering with in the hope that they would grow up. Eboue is now 25 and does not look capable of this kind of contrition. I want to be wrong about him, I want to stick up for the guy, but I can`t and I won`t.

Wenger bought on Bendtner, surprisingly as a lone striker with van Persie in a withdrawn role. I thought Bendtner would play from the right and support van Persie up top; Bendtner`s qualities don`t really compliment a lone furrow, whilst van Persie has the ability and strength to do so. Nevertheless, both worked very hard. But chances were difficult to come by as, with a lack of quality ball playing midfielders, the away side were left to resort to long balls up to Bendtner, which players such as Woodgate and Dawson will eat up all day long. Spurs were in the ascendancy with the man advantage, but looked unsure of themselves at the end of the half. They had obviously set up to counter attack and did not look comfortable being the side with the onus to attack. Wilson Palacios` shot was tipped over by Almunia in first half injury time being the only heart rendering moment in the minutes of Tottenham pressure. However, it was obvious that Redknapp instructed his side to stretch the game in the second half and get Modric and Lennon on the ball as much as possible. But Spurs` most gilt edged chance would come from a more central source as Toure slipped in the area, leaving Pavluychenko through on goal, only for the Russian to blaze wildly over with the goal net winking at him. Tottenham scented blood and Lennon`s precise right wing cross found the head of Robbie Keane but he inexplicably headed over from close range. Arsenal began to rotate their midfield to meet the extra physical demands, with Nasri often taking a shift in the centre, leaving Denilson to protect a full back and van Persie often appearing out wide too.

Arsenal managed to weather the storm and counter attacked effectively enough to earn some set pieces. Nasri`s corner from the left was low and undercooked, but van Persie managed to control and turn on a sixpence and fire the ball just over the angle. The next corner would produce Arsenal`s best chance, van Persie`s delivery was exquisite and Alex Song lost his marker but could only turn the ball inches wide of the far post with no Spurs defender on guard. It would have been a richly deserved goal for Song who, apart from the imperious Gallas, was our best player on the day. The game appeared to have lost its momentum, with Arsenal visibly fatigued and Tottenham running out of ideas. Keane`s excellent control and volley on the edge of the area went very close, but it would be injury time before excitement would rear its features again on the pitch. Though the sight of Eduardo warming up on the touchline was more than enough to excite the away contingent. Firstly, as Spurs committed to attack, Arsenal broke; van Persie played an excellent reverse ball to Bendtner, whose shot was tipped just over by Cudicini. Then from the resulting corner, Tottenham broke and with the inexperienced Gibbs on for the wounded Clichy, Arsenal were cut open on their left with Taraabt finding Modric all on his lonesome, but Almunia was imposing and decisive, racing out to foil Modric`s strike with a point winning save.

We were subjected to the usual volley of phlegm and coins on the way out but thankfully the atmosphere outside was tamer than in recent years (not to say it wasn`t intimidating having a man with his entire face covered by a scarf barking, "where`s yer colours Gooner?" in your face as you turn out onto the Seven Sister`s Road, but I`ve seen far worse on that corner of the road. In these instances, a 0-0 draw is usually the best result on grounds of health and safety). A draw was probably a fair result too, though either side might have nicked it with the chances they had. Spurs never looked entirely at ease with being favourites for the match after the red card having set themselves up as plucky underdog, whilst Arsenal`s defence, marshalled expertly by Gallas, withheld Tottenham`s attacks. A draw is a decent enough result in the circumstances thanks largely to a player who let him team down badly, but with Villa winning again at the weekend; it really does leave Champions League football looking most unlikely next season. The midfield lacked the quality to keep possession and allow the defence a breather, but this has been a hindrance to us all season. In Adebayor we have lost another influential, if slightly off form, player to injury. Hopefully this can be tempered by the twin phoenixes of Eduardo and Arshavin, though one doubts that either quite has the requisite match fitness just yet. Maybe resting van Persie against West Ham wasn`t the bad decision everybody made it out to be.LD.

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The Journalist

Writer: Tim Stillman Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Monday February 9 2009

Time: 11:50AM

Your Comments

Good read. The arsenal website is saying Arshavin is ineligable for the Cardiff game as he was not an Arsenal player when the original game was played. That gives him 2 weeks until the sunderland match to get himself fit, missing the champions league game and then another home game against fulham. A nice couple of games to get to grips with the game and get match fit
Good and colourfully descriptive account of the game as always. I watched a full replay of the game last night. In this type of high profile game, free of the tension that usually accompanies watching it live, you get a better feel for the performance. Not very misplaced pass is a disaster nor every miscontrol hopelessly inept as they often appear to be when you don't know what is coming next. I thought overall we played quite well. Lacking the control in the early stages but still trying to make things happen but for large parts of the game, especially in the 2nd half we controlled the game pretty well given that we were playing with 10 men. There is something in this performance to commend it though the result is another much needed 2 points lost for which Eboue has to take responsibility.
Think you've been far too kind on Adebayor there, the fella didn't even jump for anything yesterday, i literally didn't see him win one ball. Not a lot more can be said on Eboue really.
Also it's worth pointing our how brilliant Gallas was yesterday, that was without doubt one of his best performances in an Arsenal shirt, if not the best. Absolutely fantastic.
Gallas has put in a lot of great peformances this season, especially since he was stripped. Of course the plastics will be looking for a mistake for a reason to see him shipped out, luckily the non sheep amongst us can see he is still the best CB at Arsenal.
2 shots on goal in 90 mins vs Spuds. 3 shots on goal in 90 mins vs West Ham. 2 shots on goal in 90 mins vs Everton. isn't time to worry yet? we have been toothless all season.
You are right, its not good enough. But when you take out Rosicky, Fabrgeas & Walcott 3 of our most chance creating players then you can see why. Hence the need for Arshavin.
Re Adebayor, I recall him receiving the ball from a throw-in and his first touch took it 5 feet away from him and he didn't even bother chasing it. Maybe I'm wrong but, for me, last season's success has got to his head and he tries to be flashy in his footwork unnecessarily and also quite clearly when he isn't an Henry or Ronaldo. Re Eboue, surely Wenger has seen all the exploits we all have over the last few seasons. Does he just not say anything? Is he just too soft? Or, like LD says, is Eboue just very thick?
how long is Eboue still going be given chance? he never stops disappointing us. he is lucky that we have no reliable substitute to take his place. look at our bench.
On the CL spot subject, I really think Chelsea are a better target for us now. They are playing poorly and didn't add anything during the transfer window. We'll still have them at the Emirates, they are closer than Villa, so I'd go for them... Villa will probably finish 3rd, The Arsenal 4th and Chelsea 5th. Therein lies my best hope for this season.
In fact, I'll go for Villa actually challenging Liverpool on the 2nd spot. From what I've seen in the fixtures list, I am hoping that we'll only drop 9 more points, which would mean we getting 74 overall, but I can see Villa dropping, at the most, 13 points, and Chelsea 14, without taking into account the Chelsea game at Villa Park, next round...
And before you point it out, Ricardo Quaresma is the portuguese couterpart of Eboue
"a ********ised hybrid of John Terry and Emmauel Eboue" -- wow, what a brilliant description of this jerk! Even the commentators mentioned how Keane spent the whole game trying to get the ref's attention every time an Arsenal player breezed by. Re Eboue: there have been many Arsenal players I've strongly disliked but I can't ever say that I've "hated" them. On Sunday that changed. I want Eboue OUT of my club, I want him GONE! He started very well in the first half hour, he seemd fired up, desperate to win the game for the fans (as he said in an article on the official website on Friday) -- but then he showed that after all this time, after so many incidents, he STILL hasn't learned that he has a reputation among refs, that he has to control himself for the team. If AW hasn't communicated this to him enuf, then AW deserves serious blame. If he has, then Eboue is just too f---ing DENSE to get it into his thick skull and he should be sold. I'm glad he's banned (wish the FA could make it for the rest of the season) and I won't miss Ade either. Yes, I know he's suffering from poor service in midfield but he doesn't even care to try hard enuf to compensate. He's not just off form, LD, he doesn't give a damn to work for the team. At least Bendtner TRIED to work for the team on Sunday. "Maybe resting van Persie against West Ham wasn`t the bad decision everybody made it out to be." -- I totally disagreed with everyone who attacked AW for that decision. AW knows that RVP has had serious injuries around this time of the season twice before, knocking him out for months. AW said that RVP was beginning to look tired, he was afraid to risk the player who's carrying the team creatively. I sympathize with you haveing to walk down the 7 Sisters, first time I had to do that with some coworkers in London was a scary experience. At the bar where I watched the game, we heard those brave spuds cheer and applaud when Ade was injured -- and then we heard them chant loudly "same old Arsenal, always cheating" when Clichy went down. The guy's head was bleeding, ffs. So the the only instances we heard the spuds act like a "vocal home support" was when Arsenal players were injured.
It was a joke that Adebayor was stretchered off the long way round the ground, some serious foul play there - when it would've been quicker to take him past the away support - classless Tottenham paramedics at play i reckon! Even though i can't stand him, he's still wearing the red n white, the best thing that happened was him getting injured, he just don't seem to care anymore.
Great write up Tim, however if Eboue's hand on Woodgate's back was a fou then I reckon the game really is in trouble.
paul, agreed re Gallas -- he was absolutely imperious yesterday, as was Almunia. They both saved our bacon. Song was also very good after the send-off. And Rocky, I have to agree with you about the ref's disallowal of Eboue's goal. I couldn't take his reasoning seriously. It was also great to see Arshavin on the bench, wish we could've seen Eduardo warming up.
Gallas has improved so much as a player since he was stripped of the captaincy. Eduardo returning to match fitness looks like good timing with the injury to ade and the lack of goals at the moment. Thought the eboue strike been cancelled out was a bit harsh but players should no by now that supposedly if you nudge the opposition it will be a foul. Seen on many occassions this season players trying to take opponents shirts early and nothing given lol.
Seriously, look how bitter and twisted this article is. We have a ***** atmosphere? LMAO thats too funny coming from an Arsenal fan. Your stadium is totally souless and the Libary was even worse. Call us a poor team by all means but dont embarass yourself with these silly claims of yours. Forever diving Robbie Keane? Are you ******** stupid? He may be a bit of a horrible git but he doesnt dive, unlike a long long history of horrible Arsenal cheats. Seriously come over to vital Spurs where OxfordSpur has commented fairly without bitching like a 6year old. For such a talented writer LD youve come across as abit of a tit here im afraid, maybe its just that time of the month.
HY, if you had read the article properly you'd have seen that I said that the atmosphere at the Emirates is terrible- just as it is everywhere else. It's the constant sanctimony of Spurs' fans on this subject (which you have illustrated perfectly for me by the way) that moved me to comment at length. I also used an Arsenal player as a frame of reference for how abhorrent I find Keane (cue waving arms at referee like a six year old girl desperately trying to menstrate). Keane clearly dived in the second half when Sagna beat him to the ball, he leant into Sagna flung himself to the floor and nearly produced tears squealing at the ref. I'm afraid there's only one of us who's got the painters in ducky and it ain't me. May I suggest you read again, and this time take your time. If you had not been so blinded in menstrual rage you would have seen that you did nothing other than prove my supposition correct that Spurs fans delude themselves into believing their atmosphere is any better than all the other quiet, soulless grounds in England. Might I suggest you pretend you are at White Hart Lane and keep it hushed in future.
Little Dutch
HY, stop fulminating and learn to understand basic English. The POINT is that it's YOU GUYS who constantly lord it over us about how absolutely-incredible-unbelievably-amazingly-superior your "vocal support" at your home ground is to ours. We never ever claim to have a fantastic home support the way you do. We know our home support is nothing to brag about whereas you never shut up about it. You constantly trash us with this stick as if you're all just so amazingly superior fans to us and yet the fact is that you guys are just as miserable at your home ground as we are. THAT'S the point!
It was only the other day i was sticking up for eboue about his aggression ... got to appologize ... i was wrong ... think he will pay heavily for his actions on sunday ...
Great write up as usual, LD, though I'm not convinced about the foul on Woodgate, and I reckon had we of been 1-0 down in the 85th minute that goal would of stood.
And for such an untalented writer such as yourself HY, you come across just as poorly. I suppose an opinion in opposition of your own is just one not worth having, eh?
So because our stadium is quiet we dare not say that your is? I have been to all of the premierships grounds as an away supporter appart from Hull, Stoke, West Brom & West Ham and none of them have a great atmosphere unless a goal has been scored. Amongst stadiums with a reputation for being loud & intimidating, both Anfield & Ninian park have been big let downs. It has long been proved that away fans make the most amount of noise
Gallas was outstanding, Almunia, Song and Denilson were very good and everyone worked hard for the team including Bendtner who needs to improve his first touch but he is strong on the ball and has a good eye for goal and a good shot so I expect him to be OK in time. The Tottenham fans reaction to the injuries suffered by Adebayor and Clichy was sick - do they really enjoy seeing players get injured? In the circumstances I thought our team did very well but we desperately need to rack up a few wins.
norfolk dumpling
"The Tottenham fans reaction to the injuries suffered by Adebayor and Clichy was sick - do they really enjoy seeing players get injured?" Spurs have the scummiest fans in the premieship. I dont care if any spurs fan gets offended by this statement as its true. Just look at the way some of the bloggers on here use. Thats not to say every Spurs fan is a scum bag, just that they have the most scum bags supporting them
One other thing - Brian Clough always said there were two things a footballer should never be booked for - dissent and retaliation; Eboue managed to get booked for both and was thus shown the door. Bugger me!
norfolk dumpling
scolari has been sacked ... we now need to strike whilst the iron is hot ...
WOW! I feel so badly for Felipao! The PL was just too much for him.
Yes hit it where it hurts now!! :D
Villa's next 6 league games, Chelsea (H), Stoke (H), Spuds (H), Man City (A), Liverpool (A), Man United (A). they will surely drop off now, i dun see them winning against United, Pool or Chelsea, and they will drop atleast 6 points in those 3 games, City won't be easy, and with the spuds and stoke fighting for survival, those two games won't be as easy as they look on paper. we really need to win our next two league games first, Sunderland & Fulham at home, need 6 points from those two & then see how the table looks like..
The need for Arshavin and Eduardo grows as the injuries pile up. The need for a holding midfielder lessens as Song and Denilson improve game by game. COYA!
And Eduardo has been training for over a month now, will play for Croatia this week, and we can give him a little run out vs Cardiff & Sunderland and he'll be match fit by the time Roma come knocking. Arshavin had a 10 day pre season, plus he has almost two weeks now to train before the Sunderland game and then another week more to train till the Fulham game and he'll be match fit too. these are professional footballers, the kind of training they do, so much time is enough for them to get match fit. it's not doom and gloom at all, we're still competing in thwe FA Cup and the CL, and i'm sure we'll have a strong finish in the league, with all the injured players back plus Arshavin, and a top 3 finish and an automatic CL qualification place is well & truly on..
I feel confident that we will finish fourth now, Chelsea look *****! Villa will finish 4th in my opinion.
Arshavin can't play against Cardiff, wasn't signed before a certain cut off or something. I'd disagree about Denilson, he appears to be getting worse and worse every game.
I disagree about Villa, they have a lot of momentum going for them... of course it can all change in a matter of days, but still... The Villa Chelsea game will be the defining one for their season and O'Neill won't let them overlook the importance of those 90 minutes. Moreover, are they involved in any other competitions (UEFA?)?
shewore, that is not true. Any player would be worse alongside Diaby and Song compared to Fabregas, but he has been Mr. Consistent for us this season.
Arshavin can't play in the Cardiff game because you have to field the same squad in a replay as you fielded in the initial encounter. I hope we can get some wins under our belt starting with the Cardiff game. As mentioned above, Villa have a some tricky games coming up, and will be tested, though I feel they have the quality to stay in the top four. Chelsea will either sink or swim now. Don't know who they'll get in, but I've heard murmurs of Zola on other blogs. I think Zola should save his inevitable tenure as Chelsea manager for a few years yet. But this bad news for Chelsea is good news for us, I hate to say, now we have to hope we are a bit less inconsistent than they are! I'm looking forward to the return of some key players over the next month or so - I just hope it's not too late to get ourselves up the table a bit.
I can't see us doing much until Cesc is back to be honest. He's half of our team.
Villa have a UEFA Cup game next week & the next 6 games wil define their season. i dun think they will beat Chelsea, sure they have a good momentum going, but the next 6 games will be their biggest test yet, and i expect them to drop atleast 10 points in those six games..
of course i can be wrong, but i think their bubble will finally burst..
Let's hope so luckys, and if Chelsea blow off as well than all the better. Of course we still have to hope for a very big improvement that we all want to see from Eduardo, Arshavin, Cesc, and the ghost of Rosicky, hehehe!!
So far, with 25 games played, we've conceded 25 goals, so we can only expect to keep saving on "clean sheet prize money". Therefore, it is in the attacking part of our game that we really must - and I, for one, expect to - improve.
as someone said, we've had a host of petulant and hard characters in our recent history who've had their fair share of yellows and reds. Some of them were world-class players, some not. Eboue is of the latter ilk, but he is by no means a bad football player. He was head and shoulders above the rest of the squad on Sunday, playing in a position that he will never claim as his own. Until two acts of pure unprofessionalism sent him to the dressing rooms, his movement and runs on and off the ball were the biggest threat for the poor excuse of a team that sp*rs are. Am I going to castigate him for that and want him out? No. I am disappointed and was somewhat angry at the time but from footballing aspect what I saw from Booboo was a motivated and passionate display half an hour, I was pleased. If this kind of attitude (which I don't condone, just disagree with) translates on the stadium, it will bring (additional) negativity, which I believe we've had enough. However, I'm sure Eboue and the rest of the team will feel how the fans feel about him next time he steps on the pitch.
Good report LD, but I disagree about 2 things. 1. I didnt see any foul by Eboue for the disallowed goal, or by Ade. That was a poor decision. 2. Its too early to talk about being eliminated from CL places. Villa & Chelsea will drop points, but the question is 'will we take advantage of that'? I think we will, its time to put in a good run of results towards the end of the season with Dudu back, Arshavin fit in 2 weeks, RvP in form. Theo wasnt that good starting games before his injury although if Wenger uses him as an impact sub in the last 20 mins, he will play an invaluable role in getting us points. All is not lost, yet.
You sure that was Robbie Keane's tail you could see, Tim? Great work again mate.
The referee should be seeking to keep 11 men on the pitch as opposed to looking for an excuse to book a player..the first booking demonstrated the clear hypocrisy of refs in this country..does anybody seriously believe Eboue swore at the ref?..The second card was simply a trip not violent conduct and surely warranted a warning in the circumstances...
Anon 1
I am not saying the the ref wasnt biased but after the first yellow keep your a** quiet. You cannot blame the ref for Eboue kicking like a clown, Its his fault. I dont blame the refs as it was up to eboue to be disciplined and use wisdom and that he didnt do. Why did he keep talking to the ref? when the situation is done shut the hell up and play - that is what you get paid for and not to run your mouth. Eboue was playing well but now he seems like an absolute clown, how will he endear himself to fans who dont really like him if he behaves like this. Is it me or could you just tell it was gonna happen? Inside I was hoping Wenger would have subbed him.
Eboue is thick. He thinks he's still playing on the playgrounds of Africa. Even if the ref had not seen his petulant foul on Modric, MOTD and Sky would have played and replayed the incident until he got a ban. You can't get away with that today. Seems our players are happy with a point. They don't realise we needed all 3. The longer this gap stays wide, the more nervous they will get. Chelsea are crap and we ain't much better so what makes us think we'll close the gap? 11 games unbeaten? Does anyone feel like it's more by luck rather than pure domination?
Let's finish 6th, out of Europe so we can focus on the title next season. I can't stand the fact that our season boils down to a fight for 4th place and I don't want to watch Thursday night football either. Finishing 6th will send a wake up call to Wenger and remind him that Arsenal are a football club and not his pet football academy project. He has job security and therefore is in no rush to produce so complacency sets in. There is no better coach in the world but everyone can learn something and mix their approach. Fergie is not successful for nothing.
Funnily enough Eboue looked like our best player early in the game. Regarding his foul on Woodgate, he barely touched him - it was with one hand and exerting no force - and it was only because Woodgate stumbled over Adebayor that the ref saw it as a push. Eboue's first yellow card seemed harsh too - I think his reputation precedes him and refs automatically think the worst of him. (And its hard to blame them really - he is a c*ck)
LD, when you say, in reference to Lennon, that "...his hubris has always been his left foot...", are you sure you didn't mean his archilles heel?
LD, when you say, in reference to Lennon, that "...his hubris has always been his left foot...", are you sure you didn't mean his archilles heel?
As for Eboue, meh.
Oh, and it'c Chelsea we're now fighting with for fourth.
Gael...i quite agree..maybe its time we hit rock bottom for Wenger to realize wht he has to do next you say, his job is too secure at the Arsenal - and that is why he has been able to carry on this "experiment" this long. Its not the end of the world if we dont play in the CL next season - it may be a new beginning.
Wenger's carrying out this experiment because he's had to (and wants to). We've pushed ourselves to the financial limit with the building of the stadium. We don't have that much money to throw at new players, and what, with the excellent academy and training facilities, why is it so bad we try to develop our own talent for a fraction of the price? Dein didn't want the new stadium, and this is why. We've had to accept less competetiveness, whilst we get accustomed to the new financial burden. But the future is bright, and Arsenal will be better for it in the long run.
Totally agree with you CTC, I think future will prove Wenger's point. In the mean time, although we are not out of next year's CL (in fact we are pretty much into this year's - after all we are the ones who are going to Rome, for sure, hehehe - Uefa cup, or whatever it's new name is - is hardly a complete failure. Who knows, maybe we can get our hands on a European Cup and build from there. Not that I want it, I'm just saying that worst things could happen - like being owned by an oligarch or, worse, having been born without a brain and therefore being a commited sp*rs fan!
There is no doubt mistakes have been made this season and the manager deserves criticism for them. But in the long run we are set incredibly well and the mistakes made this year are easily rectifiable in the long term picture. I think we have done too little in the transfer market in the last twelve months, BUT, in ten eyars we will see the likes of Chelsea, Pompey, City and maybe even someone like West Ham or Newcastle, going out of business or on their knees in Leeds style situations. Then we'll really see the benefit of "the experiment." Particularly when the Glaziers call in the debts and leave, Levy runs out of money to throw at journeymen and if Liverpool ever do actually manage to build this stadium, then we'll get the full fruits of the tree Arsene is planting.
Little Dutch
Not everyone agrees with Song having a great game. That well respected journalist Myles Parmer said "Song is a dope and an embarrassment to the club. How can Pat Rice and Vic Akers sit there and watch Song at weekends after watching him in training all week? It must be purgatory for them". How can i disagree with a man like Myles.
Thats all very well LD but i want it all now. "I want it all from the Rolexes to the Lexus gettin winning titles, is all I expected"
But Chaos Teacup, PHW is always going on about how the EXTRA revenue from The Emirates is more than enough to pay for the stadium loan! As in, if we were making 10 bob from Highbury, we are now making 15 bob at the Emirates, and the stadium debt repayment is only 3 bob, that sort of thing! As in our disposable income is higher in the Emirates than it was at Highbury, even when including the debt expenses. Or am I missing something?? Coz that's how I understand it. And when our revenue is only topped by Man U in England (that's correct, right?), and we are ranked number 5 or whatever in the clubs rich list, then I fail to see how to convince me that we are "broke". Coz if we are, then Daniel Levy is a cocaine dealer under the guise of a football club chairman.
Secondly, as Arsene Who? himself has demonstrated, you don't need odles of cash to get quality in this market. I'm looking at Eduardo, I'm looking at Sagna, top quality players who we've bought rather recently. And that has been my beef with Arsene Who?; how incredibly difficult has it become to find Eduardo/Sagna quality in the areas we need? I'm not convinced that it's no longer possible to do it.
As for the "Experiment", actually, I have no qualms at all with Arsene Who?'s overall approach; just his reluctance to add numbers and quality (and height!) when it is so bleedingly obvious it needs to be done. Of course it's easy for me to throw these words around from the comfort of my Armchair, but I think you know how I mean.
Its funny how Myles is now claiming to be some sort of expert on why Arsenal cannot create/score goals when a month ago, whilst myself, LD, Amos and others were claiming the same problems, he was moaning that Song cannot tackle and our players lacked heart and desire.
I just worry about this massive complacency that we can keep our best players while we wait for AW's project to bear fruit. The recent NOTW article was just typical media s-h-i-t- stirring, there were no actual quotes from Cesc, Ade or RVP about their decision to leave should we fail to finish in the top 4. But I can't be complacent enuf to believe that we can just go on, taking Cesc's loyalty for granted, taking RVP's desire to achieve honors for the team for granted, with no trophies in sight year after year. I will be a gooner if Arsenal never win a trophy again, but I can't expect world class talents like Cesc and RVP (couldn't care less about Ade) to just stick around indefinitely. World class talents want TROPHIES, it's what they play for. If they become convinced that they can't achieve success at Arsenal SOON (not 3-5 years), no matter how much they care about Arsenal, they will listen to top clubs offering them big money and a genuine shot at trophies.
Then we can take the £50 million for Cesc or the £30 million for RVP and buy someone else if that’s what they want to do. There is no guarantee of a top 4 finish regardless of form and results. personally I think we'll finish top 4 and possible top 3 still both Villa and Chelski will drop points and god help Liverpool if Torres breaks another fingernail, they are royally stuffed. At least we can go unbeaten in 11 games without our best player and half a fit midfield, when they are back we will be flying and woe betide the first team we come across and click into gear with that firepower someone is up for a good hiding. Could have a lot of them back for the Man Utd game what a match to show up for that would be.
Finishing outside of the CL places does not mean that all our good players will leave. Indeed, Bayern and Milan the past two years have kept all their good players AND brought in quality players. What Cesc and RVP need to see is some ambition from the club. The purchase of Arshavin and a strong finish to the season (regardless of final place), will show Cesc and RVP that their futures will be secure if they stay with the club.
I Think what Arsene is doing at Arsenal is quite brilliant - The team is full of talent and it will come to fruition. Arsenal supporters we MUST have a little more patience, glory is around the corner and we are about to go around it in more view!
Most of the bloggers are retards. Miles Palmer over at ANR may not have a grasp on grammar but he's honest. The one blog that really disgusts me is Arsenal Muse- she really should support a plastic team like the Chavs or Manure. Maybe a change of club would inspire her to less mundane playlists as well (she considers herself a DJ, but I'm not sure if it's in a club or her bedroom in her parent's house).
Eboue's second yellow was for kicking out at a player - it's should be an automatic red, as Wright-Phillips now realises as the ref failed to see his kick on Delap yet SWP still finding it has cost him a 3 game ban.

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