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Float Like A Butterfly

It was another journey into the Gods at St. James Park and yet another kick off interfered with by television. Incidentally, the last time Arsenal kicked off at 3pm on a Saturday at St. James was December 1997 when a solitary Ian Wright goal gave the Gunners a 1-0 victory. On the one hand, awaking at 7am as opposed to 5am was quite welcome, on the other, catching a night bus through Elephant and Castle amongst lairy piss heads at 2.30am was not quite so welcome. Those that still choose to believe the myth of Newcastle and their rousing support might like to know that the away fans have been moved this season from the corner of the South West Upper Tier to the centre as, get this, the away support were in an acoustically favourable position and thus drowned out the home support. Huge gaps in the seats were also glarigly apparent. The self proclaimed world's most loyal supporters? My arse. Newcastle is a club getting exactly what it deserves, hounding out manager after manager based on surreal expectation. The Tottenham of the North if you will.

Earlier results had blown the title race wide open, sadly too late for ourselves to be concerned, but had also conspired to put Newcastle into the bottom three. The early exchanges elucidated both sides respective need for all three points, the upshot was a half full of attacking intent and defensive miscreance. The Gunners carved out the first chance of the match when van Persie put Bendtner through in the channel, Bendtner took a touch before sending a shot across Harper's goal which he clawed out with no red and white presence to feed avariciously on the rebound. Damien Duff then decided to take a leaf out of Morten Gamst Pedersen's book by diving under the merest insinuation of Samir Nasri's presence. Penalty appeals were waved away but the typically inept Halsey did not have the cahouns to book Duff. I can't blame the likes of Duff for trying it on anymore, whilst the criminally lazy salary leeches at the Football Association refuse to punish retrospectively, it is always going to happen. Even if you're caught diving, the punishment is only, maybe, possibly, sometimes a yellow card. Versus the prospect of winning your side a penalty, it's a calculated risk in which the arithmetic favours the offender considerably. But Halsey was in fully fledged arsehole mode and rectified himself by giving an incredibly soft penalty anyway. Almunia fumbled an Enrique cross and then was very harshly adjudged to have fouled Ryan Taylor in his desperation to claim the ball back. Justice was served when Martins' weak spot kick was held by the Spanish keeper.

Halsey might as well have spent the match clutching a can of Duff beer, because he was certainly a homer. When Steven Taylor cynically and intentinally sent an elbow into the side of Arshavin's face a reluctant free kick was given. When Gallas jumped into Lovenkrands, with no elbow showing, he was booked. Quelle justice? From the incredibly elevated position of the away section in the third tier behind the goal, I could see Taylor's intent, I refuse to believe Halsey and his assistant couldn't from about a mile and a half closer than I was. Anyhoo, viscous officiating aside, after some Newcastle pressure following the penalty miss, Arsenal looked for a smash and grab. Bendtner, who had the beating of Coloccini in the air all evening, flicked on Almunia's kick to van Persie, he played a clever through ball to Arshavin whose goalbound shot was denied by an outstanding last ditch block from Steven Taylor. Arsenal and Newcastle then began trading punches in the manner of a fight in a Rocky film, all offense, no guard as chins were exposed and noses were bloodied. Firstly, Martins sent a header agonisingly wide from a Duff corner. It was Martins again who was chief protagonist as he played a delightful through ball to Lovenkrands, the Dane skipped past Toure, only to be denied by a perceptive last ditch tackle from Gael Clichy. A man who really seems to have found his form again.

Arsenal responded when Andrey Arshavin motored past Steven Taylor and his shot from thirty yards grazed Harper's crossbar. The Magpies found themselves in behind Arsenal again when Enrique and Duff combined on their left, Duff's low cross was tailor made for Lovenkrands to administer the fatal blow but the ball became entangled under his feet Baptista stylee. This time it was the Gunners turn for an uppercut, Nasri sent a brilliant ball over the top of the Barcodes defence, van Persie controlled with balletic grace, but his finish was thwarted by the outstretched arm of Harper. Soon after, Nasri's through ball for Bendtner was overcooked, yet a comical slip by Coloccini let Bendtner in, he had the presence of mind to cut the ball back to van Persie, but he was once again thwarted by a brlliant last ditch block from Steven Taylor. It really had been breathless stuff. I wondered aloud at half time whether we might have been better off starting Song over Diaby, whose lacklustre passing and general lack of effort to track back had engendered our difficulty in dealing with Lovenkrands and Martins in the first half. But Diaby would have his part to play yet.

The first blood would be struck twelve minutes into the second half, yet another in a catalogue of neck high tackles on Gael Clichy culminated in a free kick for Arsenal from the left. Arshavin sent a cross floating in and Nicklas Bendtner contorted the sinews of his neck muscles to swivel in mid air and send a header that floated like a butterfly into the roof of Harper's net. But Newcastle's repudiation would be swift. They sent their kick off straight towards Bacary Sagna, who miscued his header towards the pouncing Martins, Gallas' attempted tackle lacked sufficient authority and Martins gathered the ball at the second attempt, lashing it past a helpless Almunia. The away fans had not even finished their first chorus of 'Super Nicklas Bendtner.' The away side's advance back to the drawing board was aided when Newcastle lost their second centre half of the afternoon, the imperious Taylor no longer able to carry on. Arsenal capitalised in expedient fashion, within seven minutes they were back in front. Diaby played the ball into van Persie with his back to goal, he held it and waited for Diaby's reciprocal run and duly played the ball into his path, Diaby dispatched an emphatic finish in front of the Gallowgate End and Newcastle chins sunk notably into chests.

Three minutes later, the Arsenal moved a further goal ahead. Nasri again used van Persie as a sound board on the edge of the area, van Persie found Nasri's metronomic run with a precise pass that allowed Nasri to smash the ball low past Harper. An already very subdued St. James fell into contemplative silence, with only the ebullience of the visiting fans audible. An almight goalmouth scramble almost saw another for Arsenal, with Harper thwarting Bendtner three times in succession. Denilson then forced a good sprawling stop from Harper. The Newcastle goalie was now being asked to mimic Taylor's one man band act when Clichy sent van Persie through with a delightful defence splitting pass, but van Persie took one touch too many and Harper smothered him. van Persie would then be guilty of an atrocious act of selfishness by failing to play Bendtner clean through on goal in the dying minutes, before Diaby's rasping shot rattled the woodwork in injury time. Lovenkrands' substitution was jeered loduly by the Geordie faithful and the stadium was three quarters empty at the final whistle. Can we all please stop labouring under the impression that incendiary home support is an exclusive trait of our home ground? Thank you.

The second half performance was very pleasing indeed, on our way out of the stadium after the gruelling fourteen flights of stairs down to the street outside the ground, we heard a Newcastle fan on his phone sincerely repeat the words, 'we battered 'em. They got three lucky breakaways and scored them all.' He wasn't joking. The defensive malaise of the first half would have been punished by a better side and that was always a concern with going with such an attacking line up away from home. Had Martins converted his penalty, we might have been staring at a very different pot of latte this morning. Complacency is a dangerous thing for a side to succumb to and I saw plenty of it from us in the first half. We must not resort to believing our own press and thinking 4th is secured. It isn't and the belief that it is will see us lose it. However, in an attacking sense we seem to have our fluency
back. Arshavin's mere presence has given us a lift, though yesterday was not his best game he dovetails our attack together nicely. Nasri seems to be liberated now that he is not the sole bearer of the creative urn and is beginning to impress his personality on this team. Let's hope his improved injury record- which can only have helped- is not destroyed by the onorous international break, which really has come at a bad time for us. Bendtner too had another very impressive game, his confidence and decision making has comeon in spades over the last two months as the side around him has performed better. By the time City come around, Fabregas should be back too which makes an in form side an altogether more enticing prospect. Let's hope internationals do not destroy our rhythm, just as this side has found its soul.LD.




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The Journalist

Writer: Tim Stillman Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Sunday March 22 2009

Time: 1:08PM

Your Comments

Hi Gunners...nice write up LD...I believe the turning point of the match is the stubbornness of S.Taylor to be substituted after getting injured which led to Diaby's goal...also, my concern is that other teams might use Newcastle's style in trying to keep Arshavin quite...am dumbfounded until why S.Taylor did not even get a yellow card with his foul on AA...nways, what a Saturday it was...Manure and Chelski won too!!!
CoastarianGooner
Hi Gunners...nice write up LD...I believe the turning point of the match is the stubbornness of S.Taylor to be substituted after getting injured which led to Diaby's goal...also, my concern is that other teams might use Newcastle's style in trying to keep Arshavin quite...am dumbfounded until why S.Taylor did not even get a yellow card with his foul on AA...nways, what a Saturday it was...Manure and Chelski won too!!!
CoastarianGooner
What's that about Manure & Chelski?
shewore
What's that about Manure & Chelski?
shewore
Good perspective on the game. The first half performance was worrying and things could have been quite different at half time. On the positive side Arshavin and Nasri in the wide positions offer more balance than we have had all season. We may have to wait to get Cesc back before we see some genuine fluency in midfield though.
Amos.
Good perspective on the game. The first half performance was worrying and things could have been quite different at half time. On the positive side Arshavin and Nasri in the wide positions offer more balance than we have had all season. We may have to wait to get Cesc back before we see some genuine fluency in midfield though.
Amos.
I believe next season will be the season where we see Arshavin and Nasri impose themselves on this team. I can't wait. Rosicky chipping in a few cameo apparences would be the icing on the cake. However it seems we will lose Gallas so we need a super defender but i doubt Wenger will spend money on defenders, he never has.
Gael-Force
I believe next season will be the season where we see Arshavin and Nasri impose themselves on this team. I can't wait. Rosicky chipping in a few cameo apparences would be the icing on the cake. However it seems we will lose Gallas so we need a super defender but i doubt Wenger will spend money on defenders, he never has.
Gael-Force
Diaby's defensive game is so poor that i think he should play in the hole. Last season he was effective in the role against Man City i believe but can he do this week in week out? As aways the problem with Kids is consistency.
Gael-Force
Diaby's defensive game is so poor that i think he should play in the hole. Last season he was effective in the role against Man City i believe but can he do this week in week out? As aways the problem with Kids is consistency.
Gael-Force
What's this creeping negativity again? Great 2 weeks for us, a good weekend so far and returning gritty results in the face of choppers and thugs. Plus Wigan BEAT Hull today. Ha ha LOSERS!
julieloveshenry4ever
What's this creeping negativity again? Great 2 weeks for us, a good weekend so far and returning gritty results in the face of choppers and thugs. Plus Wigan BEAT Hull today. Ha ha LOSERS!
julieloveshenry4ever
Sorry for being off topic with this but I didn't know where to post this. The media are a bunch of effing hypocrites, yeah I'm a bit late but on Fabregas' choice of clothing saying it's a bad reflection on the premiership. Please, what the hell do they call the dangerous challengers, the dives and Rooney throwing the ball. To me they should focus on the thuggery that's occurring on the pitch instead of what a player chooses to wear...... Now that I've got that out of my system. Nasri reminds me of Sagna I knew he was a good player but I didn't expect him to adapt to the Premiership so fast, AW really thinks when he buys players as they all seem to fit in with relative ease. I'm still concerned about the team in the ''meanness'' department maybe that can be rectified with a new CB.
Gunners
Sorry for being off topic with this but I didn't know where to post this. The media are a bunch of effing hypocrites, yeah I'm a bit late but on Fabregas' choice of clothing saying it's a bad reflection on the premiership. Please, what the hell do they call the dangerous challengers, the dives and Rooney throwing the ball. To me they should focus on the thuggery that's occurring on the pitch instead of what a player chooses to wear...... Now that I've got that out of my system. Nasri reminds me of Sagna I knew he was a good player but I didn't expect him to adapt to the Premiership so fast, AW really thinks when he buys players as they all seem to fit in with relative ease. I'm still concerned about the team in the ''meanness'' department maybe that can be rectified with a new CB.
Gunners
Clichy was outstanding yesterday. Not sure if he's back to his old self but lets hope. LD i remeber you saying earlier in the season when Nasri had an off game, it was incredible that it was already noticeable after only a few months in the team. Its the same with Arshavin, who has slotted in perfecty - 6 months settling in my arse.
MeetTheGunners
Clichy was outstanding yesterday. Not sure if he's back to his old self but lets hope. LD i remeber you saying earlier in the season when Nasri had an off game, it was incredible that it was already noticeable after only a few months in the team. Its the same with Arshavin, who has slotted in perfecty - 6 months settling in my arse.
MeetTheGunners
a fantastic win for you lads to send the barcodes to the drop zone.
bluemooner_mcfc
a fantastic win for you lads to send the barcodes to the drop zone.
bluemooner_mcfc
LD, I don't know if you felt it at the game itself but one thing that seemed palpable from watching the game was that even when Newcastle equalised the team looked as though it was confident and had enough belief that they would still win the game. That's very encouraging. We are with the game we want to play, of course, such a confidence team and now that its coming back so is the verve. Agree about Clichy, he did seem back to his best and its noticeable that our defenders are trying to make the right decisions and sometimes just put their foot through the ball and clear their lines instead over-playing.
Gooner_Vin
LD, I don't know if you felt it at the game itself but one thing that seemed palpable from watching the game was that even when Newcastle equalised the team looked as though it was confident and had enough belief that they would still win the game. That's very encouraging. We are with the game we want to play, of course, such a confidence team and now that its coming back so is the verve. Agree about Clichy, he did seem back to his best and its noticeable that our defenders are trying to make the right decisions and sometimes just put their foot through the ball and clear their lines instead over-playing.
Gooner_Vin
Julie - and, yes, very pleased about Hull and that permatanned twit Brown. hAhahahahahaha!
Gooner_Vin
Julie - and, yes, very pleased about Hull and that permatanned twit Brown. hAhahahahahaha!
Gooner_Vin
If Gallas goes and we need another CB then how about S.Taylor, he's strong in the air and never gives up.
Armory
If Gallas goes and we need another CB then how about S.Taylor, he's strong in the air and never gives up.
Armory
He certainly was impressive yesterday Armory, though admittedly I don't know how he performs on a weekly basis. Plus if they get relegated I'm sure he'll be wanting to leave!
TPowell
He certainly was impressive yesterday Armory, though admittedly I don't know how he performs on a weekly basis. Plus if they get relegated I'm sure he'll be wanting to leave!
TPowell
Shewore...that was sarcasm...TPowell, he was once rumored to be on the radar of AW..am not sure whether it was last summer or the other one...I won't mind to have him in our team if it comes to choose someone from another league or him as he won't need time to adapt.
CoastarianGooner
Shewore...that was sarcasm...TPowell, he was once rumored to be on the radar of AW..am not sure whether it was last summer or the other one...I won't mind to have him in our team if it comes to choose someone from another league or him as he won't need time to adapt.
CoastarianGooner
AA's long range shot also floated like a butterfly - it flirted with the crossbar with a featherlight touch barely noticeable in real time and flew into the crowd...
GoonerLou
AA's long range shot also floated like a butterfly - it flirted with the crossbar with a featherlight touch barely noticeable in real time and flew into the crowd...
GoonerLou
AA has added something new to The Arsenal's game, he has sloted into the side brilliantly.
hackneyval
AA has added something new to The Arsenal's game, he has sloted into the side brilliantly.
hackneyval
I agree with you hackneyval but IMO he might struggle when a team decides to be more physical on him due to his small body...did anyone watch pool's game with villa? now am starting to believe Manure might loose their title this year to Scousers.
CoastarianGooner
I agree with you hackneyval but IMO he might struggle when a team decides to be more physical on him due to his small body...did anyone watch pool's game with villa? now am starting to believe Manure might loose their title this year to Scousers.
CoastarianGooner
I don't S. Taylor is good enough for us, I wouldn't want to buy any defenders from Newcastle. Plus Taylor is a bit of thug, as demonstrated by his forearm smash into Arshavin's face and also his recent argument with Ronaldo. I know we've been linked with Bassong (he's french and black so it was inevitable) and he looked decent before he went off injured.
jubair
I don't S. Taylor is good enough for us, I wouldn't want to buy any defenders from Newcastle. Plus Taylor is a bit of thug, as demonstrated by his forearm smash into Arshavin's face and also his recent argument with Ronaldo. I know we've been linked with Bassong (he's french and black so it was inevitable) and he looked decent before he went off injured.
jubair
Oi LD, I really hope you havent jinxed Nasri's injury record. I noticed this optimistic turn of events about a month back as he was regularly starting games for us (even to the extent of being marginally over-used) but I didnt want to say anything for fear of jinxing it. Fingers crossed now. Good report, as always. Clichy IS back to some good form, glad to see the blip firmly behind him. The ref was *****, the penalty decision was a crap one. Good on Almunia though. I hope more people finally see his value to the side, rarely (if ever) loses us points but has quietly won some crucial points. Denilson had his usual efficient game, continually impressed by the lad. His partnership with Cesc WILL be better now, I'm certain of that. Cesc needs to get back to form, and we may have our central mid field sorted.
prits
Oi LD, I really hope you havent jinxed Nasri's injury record. I noticed this optimistic turn of events about a month back as he was regularly starting games for us (even to the extent of being marginally over-used) but I didnt want to say anything for fear of jinxing it. Fingers crossed now. Good report, as always. Clichy IS back to some good form, glad to see the blip firmly behind him. The ref was *****, the penalty decision was a crap one. Good on Almunia though. I hope more people finally see his value to the side, rarely (if ever) loses us points but has quietly won some crucial points. Denilson had his usual efficient game, continually impressed by the lad. His partnership with Cesc WILL be better now, I'm certain of that. Cesc needs to get back to form, and we may have our central mid field sorted.
prits
jubair, we lack "thuggish/mean/nasty" defenders to cope up with some teams in EPL hence IMO we need the likes of S.Taylor e.t.c....prits, I hope Clichy maintains his Newcastle form for the rest of the season as he was solid defensively, IMO he was my MOTM due to his key save when Toure was beaten plus some tackles won on the flank where as the crosses if were successful could have had us punished by Martins who was looking to redeem himself after the penalty miss.
CoastarianGooner
jubair, we lack "thuggish/mean/nasty" defenders to cope up with some teams in EPL hence IMO we need the likes of S.Taylor e.t.c....prits, I hope Clichy maintains his Newcastle form for the rest of the season as he was solid defensively, IMO he was my MOTM due to his key save when Toure was beaten plus some tackles won on the flank where as the crosses if were successful could have had us punished by Martins who was looking to redeem himself after the penalty miss.
CoastarianGooner
With his strength and footwork, Diaby could be one of the most dominant midfielders in the league. I don't know of another player who can hold on to the ball when surrounded by opponents as well as he can. A loan spell when he first arrived would have helped him get more games and with it the confidence to express himself like Bendtner had. If Steve Bruce thought Palacious was good imagine if Diaby was holding court in the centre. I think he could be like a Gerrard for us and really drive forward whenever he receives the ball. Games like the one against Fenerbahce show he has the talent if only injuries weren't so frequent.
VanPersie11
With his strength and footwork, Diaby could be one of the most dominant midfielders in the league. I don't know of another player who can hold on to the ball when surrounded by opponents as well as he can. A loan spell when he first arrived would have helped him get more games and with it the confidence to express himself like Bendtner had. If Steve Bruce thought Palacious was good imagine if Diaby was holding court in the centre. I think he could be like a Gerrard for us and really drive forward whenever he receives the ball. Games like the one against Fenerbahce show he has the talent if only injuries weren't so frequent.
VanPersie11
Diaby is still only 22 so I've not given up on him yet. At 2m he could still turn out to be an absolute bargain if he fulfils his potential, especially when you see the amount Man U and Liverpool spend on unproven young foreign players. He has suffered some horrible injuries as well which has hampered his development. I've seen glimpses of brilliance which suggest his definitely worth hanging on to.
jubair
Diaby is still only 22 so I've not given up on him yet. At 2m he could still turn out to be an absolute bargain if he fulfils his potential, especially when you see the amount Man U and Liverpool spend on unproven young foreign players. He has suffered some horrible injuries as well which has hampered his development. I've seen glimpses of brilliance which suggest his definitely worth hanging on to.
jubair
VanPersie11, believe me, Diaby will NEVER be as good as Gerrard. I am a bit of a fan, but the guy is awful at times. Truly average. His touch is pathetic for an Arsenal player and he never decided what he wants to do quickly enough. He had a horrible first 60 minutes, and an average last 30. His goal did nothing more than prove that he is only good at what he did. Rampage forward and strike the ball. The rest is worse than poor. Denilson was fantastic, as was Bendtner. van Persie player alright but I would like to see him pass to Arshavin more, and the rest of the team. He seems neglected.
Tom14
VanPersie11, believe me, Diaby will NEVER be as good as Gerrard. I am a bit of a fan, but the guy is awful at times. Truly average. His touch is pathetic for an Arsenal player and he never decided what he wants to do quickly enough. He had a horrible first 60 minutes, and an average last 30. His goal did nothing more than prove that he is only good at what he did. Rampage forward and strike the ball. The rest is worse than poor. Denilson was fantastic, as was Bendtner. van Persie player alright but I would like to see him pass to Arshavin more, and the rest of the team. He seems neglected.
Tom14
The rest of the team should pass to Arshavin more (not van Persie should pass to the rest of the team)
Tom14
The rest of the team should pass to Arshavin more (not van Persie should pass to the rest of the team)
Tom14
It was actually Bendtner who sent that lovely pass over the top to Van Persie (shades of DB10 to TH14), and it was Diaby who played in Bendtner when Collicini slipped (that guy Collocini is pants!)
3 points, good performance though I would have settled for a *****e performance and 3 points, but I'm not complaining :D
ian7
It was actually Bendtner who sent that lovely pass over the top to Van Persie (shades of DB10 to TH14), and it was Diaby who played in Bendtner when Collicini slipped (that guy Collocini is pants!)
3 points, good performance though I would have settled for a *****e performance and 3 points, but I'm not complaining :D
ian7
jubair, "he's french and black so it was inevitable". whats being black have anything to do with.
Youngest in Charge
jubair, "he's french and black so it was inevitable". whats being black have anything to do with.
Youngest in Charge
i'm just saying the media link us with a lot of french black players
jubair
i'm just saying the media link us with a lot of french black players
jubair
Is it just me or is anyone else falling in love with Arshavin..his after match comments and analysis on his website are always spot on. He exhibits a very commendable level of understanding of the game and tactics...he was worth more than what we bought him IMO...if only we had got him at the start of the season..and if we had Alonso also..trust me we would have been tops by now...I cant believe Benitez wanted to offload Alonso...that would have been a HUGE mistake...worse still i cant believe we didnt capitalize.
number14
Is it just me or is anyone else falling in love with Arshavin..his after match comments and analysis on his website are always spot on. He exhibits a very commendable level of understanding of the game and tactics...he was worth more than what we bought him IMO...if only we had got him at the start of the season..and if we had Alonso also..trust me we would have been tops by now...I cant believe Benitez wanted to offload Alonso...that would have been a HUGE mistake...worse still i cant believe we didnt capitalize.
number14
Me! (I believe Rocky also said he loved AA already.) The great thing about him is that he seems to make the right decisions in almost all kinds of situations (hmm maybe except when taking corners). He almost always hits the right buttons when it comes to answering questions in interviews as you say. The boss has done exactly what he preaches - buy only when you get someone that truly adds value to the team. I personally have been thinking all the time: if only he could play for us in the CL (which would really really suit our style and a player like him)! Can't wait for the CL next season! (And we can say this with more confidence after Villa's game result/performance yesterday eh?) Re Alonso, I don't know what to think re the "DM" position anymore, Densilson has been very good for us and I'd really love to see him develop further ala Cesc took the midfield spot vacated by PV4's departure.
GoonerLou
Me! (I believe Rocky also said he loved AA already.) The great thing about him is that he seems to make the right decisions in almost all kinds of situations (hmm maybe except when taking corners). He almost always hits the right buttons when it comes to answering questions in interviews as you say. The boss has done exactly what he preaches - buy only when you get someone that truly adds value to the team. I personally have been thinking all the time: if only he could play for us in the CL (which would really really suit our style and a player like him)! Can't wait for the CL next season! (And we can say this with more confidence after Villa's game result/performance yesterday eh?) Re Alonso, I don't know what to think re the "DM" position anymore, Densilson has been very good for us and I'd really love to see him develop further ala Cesc took the midfield spot vacated by PV4's departure.
GoonerLou
GoonerLou I agree with you 100% and may I add Song to the list of defensive midfielders, he has been improving a lot in the last few months and quite frankly I cant see where we would fit Alonso in this team as we now have Cesc, Nasri and Andrey as creative midfielders plus Theo, denilson and Diaby. The only place that I would like to add to at the moment is CB and ass I said earlier S.Taylor would be a good buy; he should be available if the barcodes get relegated. I know that many are angry about his foul on AA but he was immense before going off injured and maybe a little bit of aggression at the back would add to the team.
Armory
GoonerLou I agree with you 100% and may I add Song to the list of defensive midfielders, he has been improving a lot in the last few months and quite frankly I cant see where we would fit Alonso in this team as we now have Cesc, Nasri and Andrey as creative midfielders plus Theo, denilson and Diaby. The only place that I would like to add to at the moment is CB and ass I said earlier S.Taylor would be a good buy; he should be available if the barcodes get relegated. I know that many are angry about his foul on AA but he was immense before going off injured and maybe a little bit of aggression at the back would add to the team.
Armory
Taylor is rubbish. Yes he has that English attitude of throwing himself about, but at Arsenal you have to have some form of football understanding, that is why we don't generally go for bulldozer CB's. The clever big guys cost lots of money nowadays, unless you find a star. And Alonso would not have been the man to play that role. Yous ee him for Liverpool and he looks good, but Mascherano is the true DM, Alonso plays a Pirlo role.
Tom14
Taylor is rubbish. Yes he has that English attitude of throwing himself about, but at Arsenal you have to have some form of football understanding, that is why we don't generally go for bulldozer CB's. The clever big guys cost lots of money nowadays, unless you find a star. And Alonso would not have been the man to play that role. Yous ee him for Liverpool and he looks good, but Mascherano is the true DM, Alonso plays a Pirlo role.
Tom14
I agree with Tom, Taylor is rubbish and I don't want a thug playing for us. i don't mind players being hard but fair or even having a temper. Taylor's attack on Arshavin was premeditated. Bassong looks like a good player, good positional sense and can play both centre back and left back and is only 22.
jubair
I agree with Tom, Taylor is rubbish and I don't want a thug playing for us. i don't mind players being hard but fair or even having a temper. Taylor's attack on Arshavin was premeditated. Bassong looks like a good player, good positional sense and can play both centre back and left back and is only 22.
jubair
Don't you just wish he'd keep his mouth shut.http://www.goal.com/en/news/9/england/2009/03/23/1170782/hill-wood-unhappy-with-arsenal-captain-fabregas-behaviour
Armory
Don't you just wish he'd keep his mouth shut.http://www.goal.com/en/news/9/england/2009/03/23/1170782/hill-wood-unhappy-with-arsenal-captain-fabregas-behaviour
Armory
What do you do if you're the Chairman of a team and Barcelona and Real Madrid are tracking your Captain and Star player, what do you do? Side with everyone else and criticise him! Is this guy stupid?!
ian7
What do you do if you're the Chairman of a team and Barcelona and Real Madrid are tracking your Captain and Star player, what do you do? Side with everyone else and criticise him! Is this guy stupid?!
ian7
Im delighted and surprised to see Nasri and Arshavin tracking back and making tackles, that is very encouraging from players you wouldn't associate that sort of thing with. Long may it continue.
LondonGooner
Im delighted and surprised to see Nasri and Arshavin tracking back and making tackles, that is very encouraging from players you wouldn't associate that sort of thing with. Long may it continue.
LondonGooner
S Taylor made a good effort of throwing himself around, but he should have got 2 yellow cards - first for elbowing Arshavin, secondly for cynically trying to drag back Clichy twice. Still, we could use someone at CB with a bit of no-nonsense toughness in them. Brede Hangeland, anyone?
krismon1
S Taylor made a good effort of throwing himself around, but he should have got 2 yellow cards - first for elbowing Arshavin, secondly for cynically trying to drag back Clichy twice. Still, we could use someone at CB with a bit of no-nonsense toughness in them. Brede Hangeland, anyone?
krismon1
krismon1, the dragging of Clichy was by R Taylor not S Taylor...also, Hangeland is "old" for Wenger to buy although one may argue he is younger than Silvestre.
CoastarianGooner
krismon1, the dragging of Clichy was by R Taylor not S Taylor...also, Hangeland is "old" for Wenger to buy although one may argue he is younger than Silvestre.
CoastarianGooner
 

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