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'If It's Football, It's Vital'

A Fans View: The Right Thing To Do?

'Rooney, cuts inside, Campbell stood off him for just a second, Campbell sticks a leg out, Rooney goes down, penalty!'
Van Horselrooy steps up . . . and well, the rest is history, the greatest unbeaten run in the history of English football comes to an end at the hands of Manchester United. Why? Quite simply my friends, a dive. The darling of Hansen and Lawrenson, everybody's favourite ogre, does a Greg Louganis (for the record: 'cheats') and we all end up feeling sick as parrots for several . . . aww heck, for the rest of eternity if we are all being honest.

Last night a player I have the utmost admiration for (a player whose career hung by a thread following the most horrific of injuries, but who gritted his teeth and fought back to regain his fitness with over a year's hard work) cheated. Let's not dress it up or explain it away. He cheated. He knew that his touch had been marginally, but crucially too heavy and that a goal scoring opportunity had been lost, so he made it look like the goalkeeper had taken the legs from under him. This fooled the referee, who awarded a penalty, from which the offending player duly profited. Thankfully, we went on to score two further perfectly legitimate (and well tasty) goals, added to that the fact that we had a handsome advantage from the first leg, so I don't think the (fabulous) Celtic fans would have been on their bus home last night thinking 'we was robbed' - they weren't. As a very gracious Tony Mowbray said after both legs of the tie, Arsenal were simply too good for them. We out-passed them, out-ran them, in short, we out-classed them. So there is no point in a bunch of grimey hacks trying to make a case for how 'it all might have been so different', no, the harsh reality for Celtic was that we had way too much for them. The introduction of Arshavin best exemplified the gulf in class between the sides, he was on another planet to them and that is not to say that the players who were on before him were not equally spectacular, with Eboue once again producing the goods to further shame those who booed him last season.

Bearing all of that in mind, it still does not mask the fact that one of our players took a dive last night and that eats away at me like a cancer. We are Arsenal, we hold ourselves up to a higher ethical standard. We conduct ourselves with propriety and are universally known throughout the football world as a classy outfit. Arsene Wenger needs to come out and censure Eduardo because it is the right thing to do. We cannot carp and moan about Rooney if we do not equally recognise our own short comings. I know it is never easy or popular to criticise our own. As I mentioned earlier, Eboue was harshly treated last year by his own 'supporters', and for what? Being temporarily shit? At least he put in an honest day's shift and came back for more. What Eduardo did last night was dishonest and where I certainly do not think we should hang him out to dry, his error of judgement should be noted. He should be fined by the club and that should be the end of it. Wenger came out and said afterwards 'maybe he was trying to avoid injury' - does anyone really believe that? Seriously? The dogs in the street (and down the Lane) know that he took a dive and in the long run it only hurts us if we don't acknowledge it. It takes the sheen off our tremendous victory somewhat and gives our enemies ammunition (that they don't deserve to be given) to hurl at us. We are Arsenal, purveyors of total football, we don't need to cheat to get to the promised land, coz we already have the necessary anyway.
What say you my fellow gooners? Should we simply draw a veil over it like every other time it happens or should we at last make a stand against the type of behaviour that so infuriates us when we are on the receiving end?




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The Journalist

Writer: GunnerBlood Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Thursday August 27 2009

Time: 12:12PM

Your Comments

*Ctrl C - Ctrl V* Well done to the lads and quite frankly, I couldn't give a flying ***** that Eduardo dived for his penalty. Finally, the football world is beginning to hate us again, and only the best get hated.

Shirtpulling, holding, tripping, kicking, blocking, shoving VS diving. In my view, defenders always have far more in their arsenal (so to speak) when it comes to blatant cheating. Eduardo did what he did, it was ruthless and we got a goal out of it.

Was it unsavoury? Yes. Is the reaction unjustified? Yes considering it happens in nearly every game at some point on the pitch and to various degrees.

If the powers that be decided to take a stand on it and offer retroactive punishments for ALL types of cheating then thats good news for the game as a whole. But I don't think the media would want to see it as they wouldn't have anything to ***** and moan about in the "analysis" (And I use that word VERY lightly)

But they don't, so it happens, and you take what you get. Should we be held to a higher moral standard because we are The Arsenal? Perhaps, but the invincibles were hardly *****ing angels now were they?
Gunnerman
Let AW speak to Eddy privately and tell him he was ' naughty '. I would take a faked penalty against what happened at Upton Park, all day long. This will even itself out over the season. We will be turned down for a few ' nailed on ' pens, and concede a couple of dodgy ones as well. Let's forget about it and move on. Move on to Old Trafford ! Come on you Gunners.
CockneyRich1
"I would take a faked penalty against what happened at Upton park"? That's like saying I would take ice cream instead of a dead baby, there exists no comparison to draw! I wrote the article and I believe that sure cheating or 'gamesmanship' is part of the game, but it is an unacceptable part of the game and if we want the right to bitch and moan when we are the victims of injustice, you must equally hold your hands up when we are the transgressors. You wouldn't expect anything less from your civil justice system, so why should sport be any different? I love Eduardo, I think he has the heart of a lion and I hope he goes on to break our scoring record (which I believe he could), but last night he did something unsporting and I would like us, as a club, to acknowledge that. Simple as.
GunnerBlood
total thumbs up - i think this article best sums up how i feel. the incident is pure eating me up, i cant focus at work today !!!!! he dived and cheated and worse thing is it was in a game were we were always going to win !!! the media hates us aas it is so no real surprises to hear the talk shows and papers going on the way they are but it hurts and there is no defence as it was wrong and total unnecessary. i would be astonished if arsenal imposed a ban and they should not have to - the powers that be should have a process where such incidents are reviewed and if f ound guilty a 1 /2 game bane should be imposed
u-man
I am not alone :-) . . . exactly u-man, part of it for me was how unnecessary it was, we were in total control, easy money. I know it was just impulse by our Crozillian, but as a result all the papers are talking about our cheating instead of our brilliance, and that sucks.
GunnerBlood
but having read arseblog this morning i think its much more important that these types of tackles http://www.vg.no/bilder/edrum/1203772672438_618.jpg and http://images.mirror.co.uk/upl/m4/feb2009/6/0/Image_1_for_Newcastle_United_vs_Everton_gallery_965339370.jpg are put under the microscope and even heftier punishments are handed out i.e 10 / 12 game bans
u-man
i am pure raging - i mean, the 2nd goal was awesome but we've not heard anything about it !! good build up, excellent back heel by NB52, diaby did the right thing and nudged it into eboues path and he was as composed as a 30 goal a season striker and placed it into the corner - wenger ball at its best !!!!! but therz been zero mention of this or arshavins well taken goal and all this talk about the dive - so annoying !!!
u-man
'pure-raging' - sounds suspiciously like Glasgow dialect to me ;-)
shewore
If you come from Ireland like I do, you would be more inclined to say Laois dialect. :-)
GunnerBlood
Oh please. What a complete and utter overreaction. We won 5-1 we're in pot 1 for the CL draw today and we're off to OT on Saturday. It's a "slapped wrist behind closed doors" matter for AW and Eduardo, no more. Let the Celts boo-hoo about it. Much good may it do the sad, sorry losers to bleat on trying to get little Eduardo banned. It's pathetic. As was said elsewhere, the Invincibles were no angels but they were winners. So were we last night. Sorting out hooliganism and leg-breaking tackles are way more important.
julieloveshenry4ever
Gunnerblood " I would take a fake penalty against what happened at Upton Park " IS a comparison. They are both unjust, unsavoury incidents at a football match. What do you want me to do ? Rip my season ticket up in disgust and boycott EVERY Arsenal match ?I was at The Grove last night, and I was surprised at Eddy. However, I have seen some of the world's greatest stars doing the same thing and it is no ' big deal '. It is NOT right, but compared to other things that go on week in, week out, it is not even a talking point. Taking the moral high ground is pointless as it will not change anything. In EVERY game in EVERY league, you will see a deliberate trip, a deliberate handball or time-wasting gamesmanship. It happens, so just get on with it. The day we have a full scale riot at The Grove, with morons fighting on the pitch with each other, and the Police, then I will start worrying. If you are that disgusted with ' gamesmanship ', then don't watch football, or any other sport for that matter.
CockneyRich1
I guess I agree with both sides of this argument so call me confused. I don't like what Eduardo did last night, in one moment he's totally destroyed all the goodwill he'd built up all over the world, even among opponents. Even if never dives again he now will be known as a cheat and referees will look at him carefully from now on. But to fixate on this one incident the way the media has (and the predictable spuddies who just love seeing Arsenal trashed in the media, has nothing to do with any alleged moral outrage about diving) while the same media stays silent about thugs like Chris Morgan and paints Martin Taylor as a saint, the same media that totally ignores cheating from English players betrays a revolting, myopic xenophobia and moral bankruptcy. It's disgusting to witness and far far worse than anything Eduardo did yesterday.
jaelle
It is very disappointing, but as worn as the phrase is - it's swings and roundabouts. The Rooney incident would never have been as consequential if Pires' dive against Pompey didn't happen.
Ezekiel
What do you want me to do ? Rip my season ticket up in disgust and boycott EVERY Arsenal match ? - Cockneyrich I love Eduardo, I think he has the heart of a lion and I hope he goes on to break our scoring record (which I believe he could), but last night he did something unsporting and I would like us, as a club, to acknowledge that. Simple as. - Me Hooliganism is not unsporting, it is criminal thuggery. What Eduardo did was unsporting. I am not over reacting, if you take the time to read my article and subsequent comments, you will see that I am not calling for anyone's head on a plate, I am simply registering my disappointment as a fan. So don't lay down the law for me with regards to what criteria I use to form my opinions on the sport and club I love. I am entitled to feel how I like about this, but don't tell me that coin (and indeed brick) throwing idiots can be compared to anything to do with that sport.
GunnerBlood
The easiest way to stop it is to have an automatic 3 game ban for any player found guilty of diving. I believe these days most players go down far too easily but you have to be honest and admit it was outrageous behavior from Eduardo. Furthermore for Wenger to say it wasn't a penalty but also wasn't a dive is ****ing ridiculous.
Irishspur
If you gave a 3 match ban for diving there would be no players playing within a mont. Every player dives at some point in nearly every game. How often have you seen a player just go down to win a free kick? Even if there is contacvt, it is still a dive because he was not forced down.
Tom14
And for Harry Redknapp to claim he never took a bung is equally effing ridiculous.
julieloveshenry4ever
I recall years ago, Robbie Fowler was awarded a penalty and dis-claimed it, giving the 'keeper the ball back cos he had simply fallen over. That is the 'right' thing to do.
Ozi Gooner
Agreed it was outrageous, but why just an automatic 3 game ban for diving? Shouldn't the same therefore apply to all cheating? Shirt pulls when clean through on goal? Sly foot stamps? Trips and penalty area shennaigans?
Gunnerman
I agree with this article. I would like to see retrospective punishments handed out, coz dives have hurt us far more than the benefits due to the dive. What makes it worse was it wasnt necessary.
prits
Besides, I'm not about to get up in arms about it or take a stand. Why the hell should I? We stole an advantage like every other team on the planet has - it's up to FIFA to take a stand. The powers that run the game could stop this and all other forms of cheating, time wasting & fouling but they continually refuse to do so.
Gunnerman
And what if he'd got up, handed the ball to the keeper and said "no" to the ref and we'd gone on to lose 3-0, what would have been the right thing to do then? It doesn't matter if we lose the CL and totter off to the Europa League. So long as we can sleep at night and be smug in defeat, eh?
julieloveshenry4ever
GunnerBlood, I DO hear what you are saying. I read your article, and I have to say that it was well written, and well thought out. YES, Eduardo did something ' unsporting ', but the Club won't come out and condemn it, as it is part and parcel of football. I was at Highbury to see Paul Davis smash Glenn Cockerill in the jaw with a right hook. I seen PV4 spit at Neil Ruddock at Upton Park. I seen the great DB10 elbow Steve Lomas in the face. I was at Wembley, as a kid, and seen Willie Young trip Paul Allen when he was in on goal. This is not the first case of an Arsenal player being ' unsporting ', just the most recent. Thankfully, it is an isolated incident, and the fans and the Club know that. If AW is upset by it, then let him address it with Eddy personally. I understand your frustration at Eddy, but it is nothing. Nicky B52 done the same thing outside the area when his shirt was pulled. Eboue was wrestled to the ground when he had a clear run at goal, and Caldwell was booked. These things happen unfortunately mate, so unless the FA do something, we might as all well get on with it, sad though it is.
CockneyRich1
yes julie, that would still be the right thing to do. at some times, the concept of right is subject to context, diving on a football field is not one of those times. it's always wrong and always despicable. If we lose, we lose, at least we could've said we lost fair and square.
Ozi Gooner
It's bad enough the press is all over this like a pit bull on a poodle, now Vital Arsenal is jumping on the I'm-so-holy bandwagon. What bothers me is the thousands of African children that died of starvation because of one incident of gamesmanship. Oh, right, it's only friggin' football.
elbondo
lol elbondo, 'only football', what a horrible thing to say
Ozi Gooner
BTW, there is already a better front-page article on this topic by Rocky7- if this was posted in the forums, I think Lou would have merged the threads by now! ; )
elbondo
Ozi, if we had lost that tie, blood would been spilt and no doubt it would've begun with cries of "Sack Wenger" and "Why didn't we claim that penalty?"Eduardo is contracted to score goals for Arsenal, not act as the moral guardian of football in England. I'm quite certain plenty of managers would've given him a clip round the ear for losing a penalty for the team. At the end of the day, Eduardo didn't pass the buck with the penalty. In the face of all those gurners in Celtic shirts, he walked up, took and scored a goal for the club whose shirt he wears. Job done.
julieloveshenry4ever
Er...not sure what ur point is. This is a football site? ;-)
Gunnerman
Following the Martin Taylor/ Chris Morgan line of defence, would it be amiss of me to suggest Eduardo's "not that type of player"? :-) Retrospective punishment sounds good, but that effectively puts the justice in the hands of the media- which is a very dangerous way for the game to go. Nobody cared about Hibbert's dive on Saturday, but because Eduardo did it on prime time free to air TV when nothing else much was brewing in football- nothing featuring the "Big 4" anyway, this was always going to get a grilling. Had Eduardo done this the same night as riots broke out in East London noone would have mentioned it as the hacks would have had their fill of moral hand wringing already. Unless a panel sits and reviews every single incident from every single game, it's unworkable. Besides, what's the classification of a dive? Technically, there was contact on Eduardo, he looked for it and it wasn't close to being enough to knock him down, but you could classify it as a pen by virtue of contact- however slight. (I don't agree with that, just playing devil's advocate). I do note however that UEFA have launched an investigation- which proves my trial by media point, they've reacted to the fact that the newspapers had pages to fill. I'll also be sure to remember their investigation the next time I hear the oft quoted UEFA directive, "the referee saw the incident and dealt with it, ergo, we cannot take further action."
Little Dutch
Eduardo's ulitmate punishment will be the same as Pires- he will carry the tag diver forever more now. The next time he is genuinely fouled in the area he won't get it- as happened to Pires on countless occasions. It'll be his own fault and really, it's a shame he chose such a pointless time to do it as we would have won the game regardless.
Little Dutch
we'll get beat by a Rooney penalty won from a Nani dive at Old Trafford this weekend, and the football gods will have their revenge and karmic order will be restored, nothing could be surer
Ozi Gooner
When Neill Warnock is acting as a moral guardian of football I feel like giving up all together.
Tom14
Nevermind if Eduardo gets a 2/3 match ban. That'll keep sanctimonious Gooners happy and the poor lad sits on a bench because of a lot of holy-joes. If this ridiculous charge happens at the behest of yet another whinging, losing club (first Hull, now Celtic) I hope AW buries the complaints desk at the FA and UEFA with appeals for retrospective bans for every incident in every domestic and European game from now to the end of the season.
julieloveshenry4ever
The Scottish FA was also the group whining last time UEFA handed out a retroactive ban for diving. How things have changed up there- when I was a kid, my Scottish grandmother would punish the tattletale rather than the one being tattled on. I'm not sure how a yellow card offence can end up with a retroactive ban but I agree with Julie- it would allow the 'sanctimonious Gooners' as she so aptly put it to straighten their halos.
elbondo
The Scottish FA is just mad because we just effectively banned their "best" club from the CL ;-)
TPowell
Say what you like to support your arguments julie and elbondo, but don't let the facts get in the way. You're both being incredibly presumptuous. I'm strongly against Eduardo's behaviour, but also think that a retroactive yellow card is all the punishment for it should be, as that would be the punishment if it were called in game.
Ozi Gooner
This whole topic stinks to high heaven of reeking hypocrisy.
julieloveshenry4ever
Well I am happy that we are discussing this instead of trying to simply brush it under the carpet. I accept what you said cockneyrich and I too remember those incidents and how they were dealt with, will you equally acknowledge that what I am calling for is nothing more than an acknoledgement. Little Dutch is right, the greatest punishment Eduardo will receive will be to his reputation. Robert Pires is one of the greatest players ever to pull on an Arsenal shirt, but to a lot of the great unevolved, he was just a diver, which although is rough justice indeed, it is partially (if disproportionally) self inflicted.
GunnerBlood
How is this hypocritical julie? I don't understand? I can see how the medias coverage of it can be viewed as hypocritical, but Arsenal fans? What are we being hypocritical about? What will be hypocritical is when the people who are saying it's not important or a big deal start whinging next time we get a wrong penalty decision against us, or when Arsenal fans cried foul over Rooney's dive or Babel's in the Champions League two seasons ago but excuse this.
Ozi Gooner
Eduardo's reputation will be undiminshed in MY eyes and that's all that matters. To Dudu I say this: "If you can keep your head when all about you Are losing theirs and blaming it on you, If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you And make allowance for their doubting too... ...If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you, If all men count with you but none too much, If you can fill the unforgiving minute With sixty seconds' worth of distance run, Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it and-which is more- you'll be a Man, my son." Just an extract from one of the greatest works of literature to address the ups and downs and the inconsistencies of the human condition. Hear, hear Mr Kipling!
julieloveshenry4ever
It is breathtakingly hypocritical to berate ONE'S OWN striker for scoring a goal.
julieloveshenry4ever
If I wasn't confused before. I am now. Forget about all this nonsense, it's yoonited Next, Come on you GUNNERS!!! RAWR!!!
Gunnerman
"It is breathtakingly hypocritical to berate ONE'S OWN striker for scoring a goal" - Julie . . . . . . . . . . . . . so by the same token, if it happens against us, we should just take it on the chin and get on with our day? News bulletin: cheating is acceptable. Julie, I have been an arsenal fan for a long time, I am loyal to the point where most people might mistake it for a form of mental illness, but thankfully I am not so conceited as to believe my team should be excused any wrong doing so long as they win. Think it through, you'll get there.
GunnerBlood
Yes I will yap when it happens against Arsenal because I am an Arsenal fan. But I tell you something I won't do and that is run crying to the FA or UEFA like a sleaked tattle-tale crying for players to be banned. I stood by Cesc in all the hullabaloo of the FA Cup QF reply last season and I will stand by Eduardo. He fulfilled the function of a striker, he drew in a defending player and had the wit to seize a goal-scoring opportunity and being presented with it, he put the ball in the net. Those are the facts. Every opposing team that turns up at the Emirates is just an obstacle in the way of getting to where we want to be. Namely on top of a winner's podium. Too bad for them. If we are European Champions at the end of this season, I'm not going to lose sleep over a penalty in a qualifier.
julieloveshenry4ever
"He knew that his touch had been marginally, but crucially too heavy and that a goal scoring opportunity had been lost, so he made it look like the goalkeeper had taken the legs from under him". Looking at it again and again, his touch seemed good to me and he could of slotted it in(although it would of been a tight angle). I am angered by what he has done and think its unacceptable, however it does annoy me that browsing through Youtube Rooney & Gerrard have 4 or 5 dives each yet they get away with it because they are english.
paul_ownz
If you introduced a 3-match-ban for diving, Cristiano Ronaldo would play 1 game every 4. Actually - I'm half partial to UEFA bowing to public pressure and issuing a ban, as once they set that precedent - they are totally screwed. They will endure a barrage of video footage from every game from every league, and be threatened with legal action every time they don't punish. As someone rightly posted, Rooney did this at a more pivotal point in a game against us and did the little darling get witch-hunted. Did he ****. Wenger (who often carps on about simulation being cheating) should rap his knuckles in public, but also point out that even without the wholly intentional wonder-back-volley from Gallas, the own goal or the penalty, Arsenal still scored 2 uncontroversial goals in open play before Celtic managed their first shot on target in injury time. It wasn't ultimately the action that changed the course of the tie. Also that the repeat GBH offenders in the hooped shirts over 180mins have little goodwill to engender themselves regarding fairplay.
Englishman-in-NY
Well, that's me told. Why rely on logic and reason when blind prejudice will do :-0
GunnerBlood
Poor little Eddy gets toasted at the stake for putting his team first while barely two words are mentioned about the thuggery running amok in London on Tuesday night. It's profoundly unfair and I'm having none of it. The irony is I have always been dead against diving and the like but when I see someone getting a trouncing by the mob, I'll wade in to defend them. He's one of ours FGS.
julieloveshenry4ever
There is already precedent as a Lithuanian striker was banned after diving against Scotland and received a 2game ban. Personally I think a player who it is demonstrated dived should receive a retrospective yellow card which if it continued would result in a suspension or maybe a 2game suspended sentance which if the same player offended again would be enforced. Whilst I understand fans not wanting to criticise their own players and delighting in a win, but ultimately unchecked cheating will destroy the game for all fans and at a certain point a stand needs to be made. Look at what happened to Harlequins in Rugby ... they probably weren't the first but no club, coach, player will ever do that again
Kernowboy71
good article gunner, but alas there are no morals left in the games. however, for the record i am with you,(as a Spurs fan!) and i feel this will never be beaten as the rewards far outway the penalty (excuse the pun). However, as much as it pains n me to say it, Eduardo is not the worst by a long chalk and should not be hung out to dry.
whitey0372
" What will be hypocritical is when the people who are saying it's not important or a big deal start whinging next time we get a wrong penalty decision against us, or when Arsenal fans cried foul over Rooney's dive or Babel's in the Champions League two seasons ago but excuse this." THAT is the difference. Of course we will rant if decisions were wrongly made against us but did the mau u or liverpool fans condemn their own rooney or gerrard for diving? But here we're having our very own supporters lambasting eduardo for a single alleged "dive". Rooney and Gerrard amassed a collection of proven diving feats but remained in their fans' eyes the untouchable golden boys who could do no wrong. Eduardo had one single alleged incident and saw plenty of his own supporters turning against him. At one end we've players diving and winning for their team, fans happily celebrating, media kindly brushing aside the cheating as nothing...yet at the other end we've eduardo being blasted much cynically by the media than Martin Taylor had received for his horrendous crime and grilled by his own fans all in the name of the "right thing to do"? To live in such ideal world, all players should be subject to equal treatment regardless of his nationality and how popular/big his club is. Julie, I'm firmly behind you on this.
Temasek
"Julie, I'm firmly behind you on this." - Ya dirty bugger Tamasek!
GunnerBlood
jerry francis on ssn is being very reasonable about diving, the presenters are trying to get him to condem dudu...but hes saying that it happens in football a lot, and you cant punish him coz you would be opening a whole can of worms
fran merida
Diving is part of the game innit? last year that suriname- rapper dived on us and nobody banned him, if eduardo gets banned, i will turkey slap platini myself.
punkindrublic
The obvious problem now is that if Eduardo does genuinely get fouled , the refrees may not give it in his favor because of the incident.
Sajit
GB, I thought you'd put up a quite well-crafted article even though I don't agree with most of the points. I didn't expect I was actually dealing with an infant who can't handle differing views. It's ok, go cry to your mama and seek all the comfort u need
temasek
... and are universally known throughout the football world as a classy outfit... Really in my part of the universe you are called ****s.
TeddyLyon
Tamasek, my last comment was intended to be humourous, not insulting.
gunnerblood
And he has been charged. Ridiculous that someone can be banned for 2 games if the ref hasnt picked up on the dive, yet if he sees it, just a yellow. Its like a bank robber getting 3 years in jail if he is caught in the act, but 10 years if he gets away with it but is caught on CCTV.
paul_ownz
I hate to be this guy, but this is why we need to eradicate diving from our team. We are already painfully unlucky with injuries, the last thing we need are suspensions.
gunnerblood
Gunnerblood, it crossed my mind, but I wasn't sure. Anyway, I have gunner-blood flowing in my body too - though I'd like to imagine mine is purer ;-) Come tomorrow, at least we'll share a common goal at OT
Temasek
All gooners are family my friend.
gunnerblood
 

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