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

Toffees Oust Toothless Gunners

A wise man once oppined that if it can go wrong, it will go wrong. Yesterday was well and truly one of those days. A last minute sucker punch, a few minor cuts to the head, within inches of being knocked out, traffic jams and train failures all contributed to a miserable day.

Waking at around 6am, I felt in an unusually positive mood for such an ungodly hour. We moved through traffic into schizophrenic weather conditions, torrential rain giving way to brilliant sunshine, but a persistent biting wind made sunglasses, gloves and a tin hat necessary artefacts. As is usually the case, the home side stated their intentions swiftly, hitting a barrage of long balls towards Andrew Johnson. It would take some Jens Lehmann heroics to shake Arsenal from their inertia. Johnson grappled with Gilberto for a high ball, forcing the Brazilian to loop the ball over his own keeper. But Lehmann got back to thwart Johnson. The Evertonians were bayong for a penalty, which was a laughable claim. My opinion of Everton fans is entirely polarised. Anybody who has visited Goodison Park will realise that they are undisputably, the moaniest bunch of supporters on the planet, any slight tackle invites deranged screams of injustice, chesting the ball induces a 40,000 strong chorus of 'HANDBALL!' Followed by an indignant cry of persecution thereafter. On one hand, this is entirely annoying and at times laughable. On the other hand, I admire their partisan support and the way they apply pressure to referees. I cannot help but think we could do with being a bit more intimidating at the Grove.

Arsenal weathered the early storm and the terrific Diaby began to run the game. His long, lolloping limbs dominated the midfield (though Manuel Fernandes did produce a quite magnificent piece of skill in the first half, beating off three players with a series of dragbacks and feints). Fabregas and Diaby showed real signs of chemistry, Diaby's enthusiasm rubbed off on Cesc who crashed into tackles on Carsley and Fernandes, while Diaby appeared infected by Cesc's technical majesty, marauding forward to great effect. Unfortunately for us, we just did not have the cutting edge upfront. Baptista and Aliadiere are fine players, but neither really knows how to lead the line. On Wednesday night, Baptista was entrusted with leading the line and had a poor game, Jeremie had a reasonable match. This time around, Baptista went deep and showed some good link up play and utilised his strength while Aliadiere was muted. Adebayor, van Persie and Henry are all more effective at leading the line and carrying a threat, Aliadiere and Baptista are the type of players who thrive on that service.

There was to be a scare for either side before the break, Lee Carsley's rasping shot arrowed towards the top corner only to crash back off the post. While the Gunners built up a head of steam at the conclusion of the first half, culminating in a wicked Diaby volley flying just over. A scrappy game opened up ever so slightly in the second half, Baptista began to use his upper body strength to ward off Yobo as Rosicky became more involved. A wonderful piece of Gunners football nearly brought about the opening, Hoyte played a disguised ball to Rosicky down the left, he got to the touchline and pulled back for Aliadiere, but he connected with the ball as it was rising rather than when it was dropping and the end result was that he skied it over the bar. Profligacy has become a problem of great antiquity for Arsenal under Wenger, and I think Bendtner's return might be the antidote in Arsene's eyes. Of what I have seen from him, he does not mind being a little untidy in the box, turning defenders and finishing well. Time will tell.

Everton would again rattle the woodwork, a goalmouth scramble saw Arsenal unable to clear their lines and Leon Osman prodded the ball against the bar. Jens would throw his customary hissy fit when James Vaughan went in to the German studs showing and Jens stupidly kicked out. It looked like the referee, who had an excellent game, would have punished Vaughan without Jens's childish riposte. Arsenal continued to dominate possession, but the final ball was nearly always lacking, or not played with sufficient urgency. With ten minutes remaining the Gunners appeared to run out of legs and the feeling of impending doom was palpable. A biting wind blew mercilessly into the visitor's section, causing the travelling ransk to amusingly chant, 'jump up, if you're f*****g cold!' An Arteta free kick sent hearts fluttering, before the final sickening blow. Everton won a corner just as the board for injury time was rasied, Johnson challenged on the front post, once again Arsenal did not sufficiently clear their lines and Andrew Johnson latched onto the loose ball to power it through the most miniscule of gaps. Our inability to defend set pieces is by no means esoteric and it has torn our season apart. I make this the fifteenth goal we have conceded from a set piece this season, maybe it is the symptom of a backline that is constantly changing, but it is a problem that has to be identified and we must be more emphatic in these situations.

The final whistle sounded and Phil Neville lamped the ball purposely and maliciously into the visitors section, missing yours truly in the front row of the upper tier by inches. Had the ball risen about four inches higher it would have beat the advertising board and hit me full in the face, certainly knocking me unconscious and possibly even breaking my nose. Cowardly acts of antagonism seem to run in the Neville family. Anybody who sat in the Clock End when United beat us 4-2 two years ago will be aware of his gesturing and spitting towards Arsenal supporters, as well as Gary's big, brave salute to travelling Liverpool fans, who did not have a legion of stewards, police or a bulletproof coach to journey home in. Had I formailsed a similar return towards the ugly sister Phillipa (who is not at all inbred by the way), I would have been arrested. Freddie was suitably enraged by Neville's stupidity and remonstrated with him furiously. Philippa being the big brave, and not at all inbred, girl she is, ran away from Freddie like a playground brat. As we left the ground and ventured towards the coach, hailstones the size of marbles (I am not exaggerating) pelted down on us, drawing a tiny bit of blood from yours truly. Not exactly the biggest weather disaster suffered by the human race, but it exacerbated a poor day as the phone ins were full of know it all Gooners, fuelled by Roy of the Rovers comics and Championship Manager, tellign Wenger we should get rid of x,y and z and bring in a,b and c. To these people I give you a list of topical examples. Manchester City, Wigan Athletic, Chelsea all changed their squads quite dramatically and packed them with big signings. They are all performing worse in the league this year than they did last year. Manchester United and Reading barely tinkered with their squads and are the Premiership's two success stories. If someone is available for the right price who will improve the side, by all means get them. But these adolescent, 'got, got, need, swapsies' policies suggested by some just doesn't play in the real world. The raw materials of the team are there, I know they are constantly calibrated against the Invincibles, but that side took three years of Cup Final defeats and 1-0 away reverses to foster. Lest we forget that the summer before our unbeaten season, we signed Clichy, Senderos and Lehmann. Stability will always be the key, I think a winger to replace Freddie and possibly a penalty box striker (maybe Bendtner). But there is no need for alarm, I feel a draw would have been fair, but well done Everton, they took their big chance. Injuries have ravaged our season, as has our poor concentration at set pieces. But these are fixable, identifiable problems. A case of evolution, not revolution methinks.

My journey home was awash with traffic jams, before finally making it to Victoria station to the news that my train would not arrive for 1 hour and 45 minutes. I then somehoiw contrived to lose a ten pound note, which made paying for the cab home from the station interesting! I eventually arrived home at 2am, exhausted and truly hacked off. A question in closing. On Saturday, Coward Webb awarded a controversial penalty to West Ham, a melle ensued with Zamora and Emerton clawing at each other. Is this not exactly the same crime that the same referee sent Toure and Mikel off for? So by not acting in the same manner, is he not acknowledging that he made a mistake in Cardiff? Then why were Toure and Mikel's appeals turned down? Webb, you are a worthy adversary to your coward in arms Phil Neville. God, imagine what their children would be like! Ugh! LD.




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The Journalist

Writer: Tim Stillman Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Monday March 19 2007

Time: 1:44PM

Your Comments

"cowardly acts of antagonism" Sounds like Martin Keown.
Jacky B
Nothing cowardly about Keown, he faced the people he antagonised. He didn't hide behind a legion of stewards and a police escort. Neville is a coward. I hope he plays for England, most England supporters deserve that kind of player.
Little Dutch
Do you not support England at all LD? And i would have to disagree, I'd say that (especially from personal experience) those who antagonise on the pitch do so as they know there is small chance of physical retribution. And even if they are stupid enough to use violence themselves, they know chances are that the victim wont retaliate. In my book That makes Keown just as bad as Neville.
Jacky B
Good article, and agree with your points about the makeup of our team. And yes, "cowardly acts of antagonism" sounds just like the Nevilles. You can see it in their eyes - there is something really quite unsympathetic about them as individuals... personally I would not tire of slapping them :-)
Andy-bayor
great article, the best sports journalist around, ***** result though !
hazzagooner
Come on Jacky...not the dreaded race card..please! And stop defending the Nevilles - they are as despisable as Robbie Savage without the filthy grin.
Andy-bayor
shame we lost, but do i really care at this stage of th season ? no is my answer. nothing to play for except individual matches and getting one over your rivals, so how do the players feel if i am feeling this >? surely they are feeling a bit deflated and with not much desire to win a game, or not bothered if they lose.. aslong as champions league is secured then efforts seems to go a miss.. as for little neville, i can't type what i really want to say, so the silence will speak more volume !
PUREGOLD
Well, not really. I deplore violence of all kinds, but if you're going to do it, at the very least have the guts to face up the individual. The examples I use for the Nevilles were committed behind legions of stewards. If I was an idiot and ran onto the pitch to kick the ball at him, I would be arrested and banned for life. I don't dislike England jackyb, I just don't support them in the slightest. To me, it's a bit like someone saying, "you must fall in love with this girl because she lives next door." Which is impossible, because the woman next door's got all prudey on me and started drawing her curtains at night. Frigid cow.
Little Dutch
Andy... 1. What race card (i dont follow what you are saying) 2. I am not defending the Neville's
Jacky B
Yes, i see what you are saying about the protection of stewards etc, but on the pitch there is kinda an invisible forsfield, by where 9 times out of ten you know you wont get a clump. Do you think Savage would be that mouthy on the street! (he used to drive a pink convertable by the way) I suggest you shimmy up your neighbours drainpipe mate.
Jacky B
Gary Neville's mother is Neville Neville's lover, they all sh*g one another, the Neville family. DDDDDdddd deddduuupp.
hatespur
Surely the most interesting aspect of yesterdays game was Wenger's decision to pair Cesc and Diaby in a 4-4-2, something he has never done to this point..they are undoubtedly our best attacking central midfielders and if they are able develop into an effective partnership where will this leave Gilberto who surely cannot remain in central defense?
Anon 1
Now Phil Neville's brother is the son of Neville's lover, they look like one another, the Neville family. DDDDDdddd dedddduuup.
hatespur
Anon 1, surely the most interesting point was to play 3 defenders out of position when you could have played 1 out of position?
hatespur
surely the most interesting point was that you lost 1-0, and that AJ (a player whom Wenger baulked at the asking price for) scored the winner.. ok that was more than one point but.....
Jacky B
Gilberto and Gallas have partnered each other several times in recent games so Wenger obviously wanted to continue that partnership...my previous comments are about the longterm midfield partnership or maybe even next season's.
Anon 1
I think that was in acknowledgement of the fact that Gallas is by far and away our best centre back. Hoyte looked o.k at left back, I think we defended o.k other than the corner. We played o.k, not great, but our build up play was good, we just lacked the chemistry upfront, which given our injuries up there, is understandable.
Little Dutch
The most interesting point Jacky B is that we're having another indifferent season with a ridiculous amount of injuries and are still gonna finish nearly 20 points clear of you...but another great seaon for you..so congratualtions..enjoy tonight and Seville
Anon 1
But why not play our best 2 centre halves together with a top choice right back and only worry about covering left back?? In essence we played 3 players out of natural positions to cover left back, which also means losing Gilberto for CM.
hatespur
Anon 1. there there dont get tetchy. It is a serious point that you struggle to find the net, yet at 8 mil you "sniffed" (pardon the expression) at someone who does so regularly. Also, i'd very much doubt you will finish 20 pts clear of us, and i'll stick my neck out and say we will get through one or the other of those cup ties.
Jacky B
Jacky, I have fun with you on here but surely you aren't seriously putting your little club up as a rival to us?? You have done very well and possibly found your niche, but 7th place and a couple of cups in which you will go out of is hardly ambition personified. The WUFFA cup is like the F.A Vase of Europe and there is no way you'll win the F.A Cup. Think back to WHU away and remember how devastated you were to even be entering the WUFFA.
hatespur
oh, and btw, its not yet a great season for us.
Jacky B
Hatespur. we are your local rivals.... thats all at the mo. And stop me if i am wrong i have not suggested otherwise... at least not today!
Jacky B
How dare anyone question Wenger!! Playing 3 defenders out of position must have been tactical genius as was playing 3 strikers & getting them long term injuries. Anyone that dares question decisions like that cannot be an arsenal fan & should f*** off & support the chavs, glory hunters!!
Ashburton Gooner
I think AW wants to use the run in to test Diaby and Denilson's sea legs, as a presence, we cannot afford to be without Gilberto at the moment. Traore looks a good prospect, but lacks experience right now, it would have left us with a surplus. This way was the best way to solve the problem. I think we defended well, it was just that one corner we defended poorly. The two central midfielders were excellent, our big problem yesterday was upfront. Can anyone name me a side with a top drawer fifth choice striker?
Little Dutch
Jacky B..I'm sure Wenger doesn't need any lessons on management from you or anyone else from your mob...Armstrong, Rasiak, Iversson...just some of the strikers that have graced your sacred turf
Anon 1
pardon my ignorance, but who was your 5th choice striker yesterday?
Jacky B
AG, don't be a pr***. How the f*** can you attribute any injury to Wenger?
hatespur
Anon we can all play that game.... Hartson, Kiwomya, Wreh. And i'll have you know, Armstrong once scored 30 gls in a season for us. tada
Jacky B
Jackyb, not for the first time, Arsenal were quoted a different price. We were quoted 12m for Johnson which is a tad much. A shame, because I think he would have done well here.
Little Dutch
How on earth could Wenger have known RVP would break his foot? I take the point about TH, Wenger shouldn't have played him and can take some responsibility for that. As for Adebayor, how can Wenger help it if the F.A invent phantom punches? Seriously, what can he do about that? Our fifth choice striker is Aliadiere, who I rate, but when playing alongside our fourth choice, it's never going to be an immediate chemistry.
Little Dutch
Are you sure about that LD? (and it is the first time for me.) I thought transfers worked in a different way, with the buying club making an offer, and the selling club responding. Not the selling club putting a label on them like in Tesco's. It seems like you are saying that Palace would rather have 8 mil from Everton than 12 mil from you. Leave it out.
Jacky B
Hatespur, it can be attributed to him as he played them when they weren't fit & admitted it!! So please, to borrow your phrase "dont be such a p****"
Ashburton Gooner
But if Baptista is a SS, (and i would class RVP as the same) then surely aliadiere is your third choice "Striker"
Jacky B
Walcott needed surgery last season after the birmingham game he broke down (despite not playing). Henry, well that needs no explanation & as for Rvp did Wenger not say "he was never meant to come on as he wasn't fit enough". The broken toe may be explained as an accident, the lead upto it is not!!
Ashburton Gooner
It was Wenger's fault that Gallas done his hamstring in training and I'm sure it was him that done a clothesline on Walcott and busted his shoulder.
hatespur
So AG RVP had a slightly injured metatarsal and Wenger aggrivated it by playing him against the Mancs?? I won't use the phrase again because that suggestion is beyond contempt.
hatespur
Jacky B...Wreh played a key part in us winning the double in '98...we're 10 points clear of you at the moment with a game in hand and still have to play you..i'd say finishing close to 20 points clear of you is almost certain because you aren't gonna play the likes of watford and west ham every week.
Anon 1
hatespur, you do realise you are everytime you try & insult me for daring to suggest that Wenger is to blame for some of our injuries you are also insulting Arsene himself!!
Ashburton Gooner
Jacky B, Wreh has won more titles than most of your 'legends'. Think about that when you bang one out over Sheri, Jurgen, Gazza, Hoddle, Waddle, Allen etc.
hatespur
Jacky B...Aliadierre is our fifth choice striker..Baptista is versatile and must thus be classified as a forward, RVP is not the second striker everone thinks he is and can often be seen playing ahead of Henry..but what's it to you anyway?..shouldn't you be hiding in darkened room ponderring over the prospect of another 6-1 tonight?
Anon 1
We made an enquiry about Johnson and we were quoted 12m, we walked away. The same thing happened with Jenas, where Souness told us 15m, you got him for half that price. Wenger isn't the type who *****s around on transfers. With Henry and RVP our two first choices injured, our strike force would be Baptista and Adebayor every time. This means Aliadiere is fifth choice.
Little Dutch
How is that Ag?
hatespur
Wengers quote after the Manc match on RvP was "What is really terrible for me is that I did not want to use him at all. But we were 1-0 behind and I decided to put him on. However he got injured and you can never predict that..
d11gunner
hatespur, anon et el.... Maybe you should try getting Wreh back now to help you if he is so good. I notice how you have twisted the argument back to your general success being better than ours. I can't/aint/wont dispute that. I am merely winding you up cos you lot can't hit the onion bag.
Jacky B
LD... Instead of making "enquiries" maybe you should slap some money on the table. see how it works. gotta go, just off down Sainsbury's to make an enquiry about a tin of beans.
Jacky B
The blame game gets you nowhere, not just in football, but life in general. If you sit there your whole life pointing the finger it gets you absolutely nowhere. Sometimes, ***** just happens, sometimes the ball falls to the striker and he drives it through a tiny gap, sometimes, a footballer breaks his foot. To blame the manager for these incidents ignores the bigger picture or the collective responsibility. It ignores the time it took to buuild the untouchables side, it ignores the stadium repayments and the fact that the manager is giving us CL football year after year, buildiong a training ground and building a team of young players, all of which will leave us in great stead for years to come. Nobody is beyond criticism, but Wenger is about as close at it gets, Sadly, most people won't realise what a great job he is doing for another twenty years. Sometimes, you lose football matches, you don't always deserve to, but we don't have a divine right to win every game. You can accuse me of being rose tinted if you want, but my best mates all have season tickets at Millwall and every time I feel like berating Wenger for only turning us to one of Europe's top sides, and not the best team ever, ever, ever I go with my mates to the Den. The truth is, we are spoilt. This was a hard defeat to take, but nowhere near the catastrophe people are making it out to be.
Little Dutch
jacky, whilst I understand the gloating from spuddies, I always find that when i have gloated on your site prior to us playing that day, it has backfired, so maybe you should hush up now until tomorrow morning... then should you geta result, you can be singing all over the site ! so go gargle with listermint, not to keep your tonsils in working order, but you have spilt so much hot air you have stunk out the Arsenal site !
PUREGOLD
D11gunner, I assume judging by earlier comments that you have put that in to supposedly prove me wrong, however it doesn't. Wenger says he didn't want to use Rvp, why not?? I wonder if it was because he had an ankle injury that wasn't ready to be played on & so by putting him on was risking injury. Of course he is right you cannot predict Rvp would injure his foot but he still knew he was risking him for no reason......................Hatespur, who has Wenger been blaming for injuring Henry since the PSV game?? If I am a p**** for daring to suggest Wenger was to blame then Wenger has to be a p**** for daring to suggest Domenech was to blame!!
Ashburton Gooner
Well said LD.
d11gunner
Jacky B, for a team 'the decline' that 'can't hit the onion bag', we are still 10 points, and 28 (yes 28) goals in front of you this season. To put it into context you have only scored 28 goals in 15 home games this season. Oh, and we have a game in hand.
hatespur
Nobody's perfect AG, we all make mistakes, even the prof himself, but the way you go on is like he should be lined up against the wall and shot. Everybody has had a go at Rafa for tinkering with his side every week, claiming that the side can't find any consistency if the players aren't playing in a settled line up. Now, I'd really like to know how many games on the trot that we've started, not by choice, with an unchanged line-up. My guess is that we haven't had the same line up, for 2 consecetive games all season long and that is due to injuries. And that's Wenger's fault? Like the other lads have said, Henry, okay, fair enough, but Van Persie was claimed to be unfit. The fact is he that came on and scored made it an excellent substitution. Unfortunately the injury became a means to an end, but bear in mind that when the risk was taken we had Henry back, so at the time we thought, okay, we'll just have to stick with Ade and Henry for a while! Unfortunately, Henry was a calculated risk that didn't come off, that's all. If we had drawn 1-1 with PSV without Henry, I'm sure you, just like the rest of us would question why we left him on the bench, as even a not fully fit Henry can bang in a goal or two for us.
flv
Puregold... You obviously pay no real attention to my comments. Everything i have said is based in fact with a little humour (imo) thrown in. Should the likely event of us losing tonight occur, i will not hide, nor be bothered about anything i have said today, as i dont feel there is any shame in losing to the champs. a win would be a huge and unexpected bonus.
Jacky B
Hatespur. There you go again "changing" the argument. Now here is a stat for you. we have scored over 80 goals this season.
Jacky B
not to mention misquoting me.
Jacky B
Here's a stat for you Jacky B, 15.38% of Arsenal's League Championship honours have been won at White Hart Lane 8-)
flv
Jacky, you going tonight?? Should be a good game I reckon. Not often I find myself supporting the Chavs.
hatespur
I thought the league was played over more than 1 game! 8-)
Jacky B
I'm not good with google Jacky, so could you tell me how many times Spurs have won the league at WHL?
hatespur
If the League was only played over 1 game you'd still have not been Champions for 7 years 8-)
flv
It's probably the ony chance you'd ever have of going the season unbeaten though eh? You could bring out another DVD then to go with your November 5th one! See the Totty Invincibles on their amazing one game run 8-)
flv
flv, I wouldn't have blamed Wenger for leaving Henry out at all. I said on here before that game that arsenal would go out because they couldn't keep a clean sheet & that it was pointless risking Henry.
Ashburton Gooner
Well in that case it's Ashburton Gooner for manager. You're gonna have a busy summer spending all our 30 quid transfer funds mate 8-)
flv
Well maybe I would get rid of some of the rubbish we currently have floating around & generate some funds through that. However I certainly don't recall saying I would make a better manager than Wenger or that he should be sacked.
Ashburton Gooner
Good luck to you AG. You are clearly a far more astute manager than Arsene Wenger and I give you my full backing in the hotseat. You have been slightly fortunate to follow a man that when assesed in years to come will be recognised as a rival to Herbert Chapman as the best thing that ever happened to this club, but I'm sure you are worthy of the billing. I hope we get no injuries under your tutorship but it is extremely unlikely as being an expert on sports injuries you are likely to predict if they will occur and rest the player for said period.
hatespur
AG, you called wenger an idiot. How can you now say you don't want him sacked? To say you want an idiot to stay in charge of your football club is hypocritical. Your the most depressing arsenal fan I've ever come across. And who are the rubbish your talking about? Aliadiere granted, Baptista maybe, but the rest would get there game in 95% of clubs in the prem.
d11gunner
Actually as an ex pro boxer I am pretty clued up on injuries & why/how they occur, an expert with qualifications certainly I'm not but then you show me where I said I would make a better manager than Wenger?? LD has criticised both Ljungberg & Henry this season (as have plenty of others) does that mean he would make a better player than them??................Hatespur I am still after the explanation as to why I am a p**** for blaming Wenger for injuries but he isn't when we have both accused someone of being responsible for them. Of course maybe you're just a hypocrite. Maybe you should be the manager seen as you questioned Wenger playing 3 players out of position in defence!!
Ashburton Gooner
Here's some comedy from AW during RND'07...quite soothing for the nerves! http://news.bbc.co.uk/player/sol/newsid_6460000/newsid_6466100/6466169.stm?bw=bb&mp=wm
Andy-bayor
AG I am fully aware of you being an 'ex pro-boxer' as I have seen you state it on here on many occasions. I'm assuming that Wenger has fitness coaches and the like on his staff that may even know more than you with regard to injuries and potential injuries, and therefore he would listen to their advice with regard to risking a player.
hatespur
And if you have called Wenger an idiot then you are an idiot of epic proportions.
hatespur
Ex pro boxer explains a lot. Too many blows to the head.
d11gunner
Oh for crying out loud AG, chin up mate! If you carry on we're gonna have to get Cygan and Stepenovs back just to cheer you up! I feel like I'm in the, 'Never Ending Story', where the Swamp Sadness is Sapping my will. 8-)
flv
D11, Would Aliadiere, Baptista, Flamini, Senderos, Hoyte & Ljungberg get into any other top team?? I couldn't care less if they would walk into the boro or portsmouth teams, supposedly we are superior to those. As for calling Wenger an idiot, so what?? I would bet that most people have referred to someone as an idiot before, without it actually meaning a great deal. I feel that playing people who are injured is idiotic. If I had said Wenger was incompetent, then I would be suggesting he wasn't upto the job however calling him an idiot for something does not mean anything!!
Ashburton Gooner
I would doubt I have stated it more than 3 times on here. Actually I would put money on the fact I havent & the only reason I mentioned it now is because you was claiming I had no knowledge of injuries. At least I will know how to get to sleep tonight, I will just come on here & count the sheep!!
Ashburton Gooner
AG that's below the belt, don't bring sheep into it when you're talking to a Welshman! That's my missus you're talking about! 8-)
flv
Surely though if you call somebody an idiot you are implying that they are either not very good at their job or make a series of stupid decisions? Wenger does neither and in time will be seen as the iconic figure of the 21st century at Arsenal. It is people like you that have me struggling to keep the car on the road (ala Ashley Cole) whilst listening to 909 on the way home from games.
hatespur
Anyway, I'm going home from my vocation that I have never mentioned on here and have no intention of doing so. So, sleep well counting sheep and flexing your muscles.
hatespur
Flv, I applaud you. That was very funny & cheered me up no end........Hatespur, if you're not capable of doing two things at once maybe you should turn the radio off whilst driving. I did call Wenger an idiot, however you indirectly called him a p****, so which do you think is worse??
Ashburton Gooner
I am lucky enough not to have a vocation, I am retired so don't need to flex muscles!!
Ashburton Gooner
Le Boss' pledge: "I don't expect to sign any big names this summer, unless they want to play here at the right wage. My first priority is to ensure the next payment for our stadium is paid and after that achieving our dreams. "My message to the fans is don't panic. We will get better." In Wenger we trust
Joe_@**
AG, I do agree with some of your comments, especially regarding Wenger bringing in some experienced players and the error of playing TH and Walcott while injured, but you seem to be overly aggressive towards some posters and extremely negative towards Wenger. Let's not forget 2 things: he is human, he is one if the best in the world. I am 100% sure that given his position (including budget) over the last 10 yrs, no other manager in the world could have done what he has. That makes him invaluable - makes him a living legend. Calling Wenger an idiot (I guess you did not mean it after all) would be similar to ManUSA fans calling RedNose the same. Just doesn't work.
G4L
The players you mention AG are squad players. We can't really have Deco, Eto'o, Ronaldo and Essien as squad players. If United had anything approaching the injuries we've had, they would have been relying on Richardson, O'Shea in midfield, Fletcher, Brown and Smith all season. I wouldn't take any of them.
Little Dutch
I think the result and others this season proves Wenger made a mistake to sell Viera. Whilst his powers were diminishing, he was still a player who could grab a team by the scruff of the neck and pull them forward. Gilberto is an able lieutenant but not a leader and nobody has the gravitas to fill this role. ManU have Neville, Scholes to do this, Liverpool have Gerrard, the chavs Terry and even we have Dawson who shows the potential to show this type of leadership. When the going gets tough in a horrible game on a nasty night there is a tendancy for you lot to buckle - unless Wenger brings in this type of leadership, all of your great performances will struggle to bring about the final result
Sir_Harry
G4L, my comments probably do get more aggressive when I am being attacked by morons, it's not intentional just a reaction. People like hatespur for instance don't know how to debate things he just instantly resorts to personal insults, I am sure you have noticed the fact he couldn't explain himself at all. I use the word 'idiot' everyday it means nothing, its not offensive to anyone...........LD, squad players have to play at sometime, therefore it's better to have decent ones than the current lot. What annoys me so much is that everyone assumes just because myself & others believe Wenger should buy it means we are demanding 'Big Names', thats not the case at all. Players like Sidwell are available for free & he is a damn sight better player than Flamini. Ben Haim is available on a free & would be a good addition rather than having ponderous in the team. If you get rid of some squad players like Aliadiere for say 2.5 million then he doesn't have to break into the 20 million kitty he has. My own opinion is that Wenger is saving this years cash for the following summer when he will have a minimum of 40 million to spend. I would have Brown in our squad everytime over senderos.
Ashburton Gooner
Mind if I join in the debate? I don't think there's anyone who doesn't agree that Sidwell is a better player than Flamini. Is Sidwell willing to warm the bench when Diaby/Gilberto/Cesc/Denilson are all fit? Is he willing to fight for a place? There are Song/Muamba to consider as well. You think Ben Haim would agree to be second fiddle to Toure/Gallas? Never. Brown over Senderos - never. The only problem with Senderos is lack of confidence. I remember Brown going through a same patch, just like Phil.
G4L
Sir Harry, sometimes you surprise me with your sense and sensibility.
G4L
Sir Harry, in light of some pretty ignorant and offensive comments you made to an Australian poster on the 'Wenger in Trouble With the F.A' thread, I would appreciate it if you stopped posting on my articles. What you do and where you go on the rest of the site isn't my business, but I don't want my articles being ruined by your hebitudinous remarks. I take it very personally and, frankly, I cannot try and hold a civilised debate with somebody that ignorant.
Little Dutch
To be fair Senderos would probably be superb in a team like chelski, unfortunately we don't play a defensive game like them & under Wenger have always left our defence exposed at times. Senderos is too slow for the game we play & unless he can become perfect positionally like Adams he will never make it in an attacking team. Ben Haim & Sidwell would join like any other player determined to prove they are better than what we have already, so yes I think they would be prepared to sit on the bench for a while. I don't believe any player would join a club if they thought they was only going to be a bit part for their entire time at the club.
Ashburton Gooner
In the light of LD's comments, I will have to check what the spud has said to my fellow Ozi Gooner and reconsider.
G4L
I agree with you totally on the Senderos thing AG. My opinion is that we could do with another Toure only with the extra height, I really do beleive that with time Djourou will be just the man. It's not very often that you get a player of Djourou's height (6ft 4), with the athletism the pace and the lightning recovery time that he has. He needs to play though, and I feel that if he doesn't and we end up letting him go, he's gonna be the one that'll come back to bite us on the arsenal.
flv
Phil needs pace that is for sure. Not impossible and his positioning can improve. I doubt that Sidwell would agree to sit on the bench - he would have stayed if that was the case.
G4L
Incidentally, my defence would be, Clichy, Djourou, Toure, Eboue, rotating any of these players with Gallas and Hoyte where needed. I know, leaving Gallas out will certainly raise a few eyebrows and in this situation, Gallas would most likely pack his bags rather than play second fiddle, but that would be my back four nevertheless.
flv
Technically, Sidwell maybe better than Flamini but I think it is very unfair to make comparison. Some players contribute in a very subtle way. Just like when Vieira was around, no one really appreciated Gilberto. Flamini is those type of players who work relentessly distrupting opponent's fluency and covering the back four whereas Sidwell likes to go forward, organising attack like Fabregas. Can Fabregas & Sidwell play together. I doubt it just like Lampard & Gerrard, their similiarity would kill each other off. Also, I doubt Sidwell could fill seamlessly into the left back or right back position when needed. For all the lacking in technically, Flamini made up with his work rate & versatility
Joe_@**
Flamini was good at left back but he lost all respect I had for him when he refused to play there despite us being in desperate need. Fair enough he didn't want that position full time but he was never going to have it permanently with Clichy around........flv, I agree about Djourou but he is fourth choice anyway & I cannot see him staying much longer because when all the centrebacks are fit he doesn't get near the first team, yet he is better than senderos. I wouldn't mind selling senderos & getting Distin in on a free. He would add the experience & maturity that Wenger says we are lacking, plus he has terrific pace which is exactly what arsenal defenders need. The truth is squad players are so important to every team now & the team that has the best ones, coupled with the most luck with injuries are the team most likely to win the league or at least challenge for the major trophies.
Ashburton Gooner
by the way, anyone seen cusop lately?
G4L
I think if we sold big Phil and buy Woodgate, has experience, power and speed. We play so much footballl in one season he would def get his fair share of games and we would also get the chance to give toure some time to rest, he plays like a mad man every single game.
Youngest in Charge
Flamini never refused to play left back- he played there against Fulham. All he said was that hedidn't want it to be his permanent position. Leaving Gallas out would be a huge mistake, that experience is crucial to us and he is one of the top 3 CBs in the world, he's been brilliant since he came back, it would be suicide to drop him. We would suffer big time.
Little Dutch
I agree with LD. AG - I dont think Flamini flat out refused. The way he went about it was right, I feel. He had a chat with Arsene and told him he didnt want to play there. He played there last season when we were in desperate need. This season, we had Gallas for the 1st few games till Clichy came back, so I think its a tad bit unfair to criticise Flamini for that. I think he is under-rated a bit, coz the other mid-fileders are so much better to look at with their flair.
prits
Interesting stat about Flamini. Of our mid-fielders, he is the top scorer with 4 goals (after Gilberto, of course). He has scored more than Freddie, Hleb, Cesc, and Rosicky in the limited chances he's got. If anything else, he has shown he can be in the right place in the box and put away chances.
prits
Little Dutch - you hypocritical moron - if you read that thread properly it was an intelligent conversion based on the laws of the game, and then because someone had a different opinion, one of your colleagues, immediately resorted to personal abuse - I believe scumbag was the expression - if you dish it out, you get it back - maybe you might try not being so ignorant?
Sir_Harry
and cowardly, making accusations without posting the full comment of your colleague that was responded to
Sir_Harry
Little Dutch, so what are you going to say to your Aussie colleague - after all he was the individual who made the 'ignorant and offensive comment' - I referred to him as living in a convict colony - as the Australians always refer to we English as 'POMs' (Prisoners of her Majesty) please explain why we cannot respond to them with a comment of a similar manner
Sir_Harry
Sir_Harry, I see your thugs did your club proud again last night. Nice for the rest of the world to see what we have to endure every time we depart your hovel.
hatespur
Sir Harry, just go away and take your constant national stereotyping elsewhere, I can't be arsed with you.
Little Dutch
prits, maybe flamini should play as a striker then, 'cos he cannot do anyworse than aliadiere or baptista at present. We will never know if Flamini flat out refused to play at left back earlier this season, but the indications to me suggest he did. Wenger being diplomatic said he didn't want to play there, which amounts to the same thing. He done a great job there last season & was a major part of why we done so well in europe, however if he had honestly just said to Wenger that he didn't particularly like playing there do you think Wenger would've said "Ok, I will not ask you to play in that position again"?? Arsene has never agreed to that for the other multiple players he has put out of position, so why would he for Flamini?? Henry told him he didn't want to play as a striker, but he made him stay there. Hoyte doesn't like playing left back, but his attitude has always been 'I will play any position that Wenger asks of me' & lets be honest he has taken a lot of stick for his performances in that position especially after the man city defeat, where he was caught out positionally & gave away a needless penalty............Agree about Gallas, he has been our outstanding defender when he has played, you can't leave him out.
Ashburton Gooner
But Flamini played left back at Craven Cottage, even though Clichy was available. He's come on as a right back countless times this year, that doesn't suggest he's refusing to play there.
Little Dutch
come on hatespur... we all want to clump Lampard! ;-)
Jacky B
AG, apologies for being rude to you yesterday. It was childish and unpleasant and won't happen again. We are all entitled to our opinions and the fact that ours may differ shouldn't mean we can't have a debate. I hadn't seen you retract your comment about Wenger being an idiot, but even so, it didn't warrant me calling you a p***k. So I hope you accept my sincere apologies.
hatespur
hatespur, apology accepted & I also apologise for my part in the whole thing. I accept I probably come across as moaning alot but I think thats more to do with the fact I am not as intelligent as say LD & cannot put my point across as well as he could. Thats the downfall of sites on the internet, people cannot interpret the way you actually mean to say something as they could if you were face to face & it leads to misunderstandings.
Ashburton Gooner
LD, I don't recall the Fulham game, I have probably blocked it from my memory as it was such an awful result against such poor opposition. Did Flamini start at left back or did he move there during the game?
Ashburton Gooner
LD not bothered about your opinion of me - I find your anti English and anti British attitude amusing especially your take that anyone who stands for his country is automatically a xenophobic and a racist
Sir_Harry
If I'm right Clichy made it back on the pitch as a sub against Watford in October, however, before that we had been struggling for a left back right at the start of the season. It seems very strange to me that Wenger would've chosen Hoyte at left back (who had struggled in that position with Sunderland) over Flamini who had performed brilliantly there last season. I just don't see it myself especially as the centre midfield was well covered & Flamini knew he had no chance of playing there. If it was down to Wenger (I just cannot believe it was) then surely thats another tactical decision which has to be questioned??
Ashburton Gooner
Flamini started there v Fulham and it didn't work. I think Flamini at LB only works in a 4-5-1, Lennon gave him a roasting in a 4-4-2. In Europe we played a more disciplined game (an approach we should have stuck with this season) where he was protecred a lot more. At the beginning of the season, I was ready to shoot Hoyte, but I think his improvement has been huge to the point that I am comfortable with him in the side, even at left back. I am not a huge fan of Flamini, I appreciate what others are saying and I think he does do the gritty, unglamorous job, he has been good in some big games. I just don't get the feeling he's good enough to be anything other than a fifth choice or a late sub to protect a lead. If he's happy with that, cool, but I wouldn't want him promoted to anything beyond that.
Little Dutch
I agree LD. Parlour used to deputise as a CM, right winger & right back when we have all star players in the respective positions. Grimandi did a fabulous job as an utility player too. These are the unsung heroes of our previous successes. Flamini could be one of them
Joe_@**
I thought Flamini done well against Lennon. Lennon did have the beating of him in the first half but Flamini never once let his head go down & in the second half got well on top of Lennon. I'm with you, I don't think Flamini is good enough for arsenal but a lot of other fans do. He is one that divides the fans thats for sure. Actually my biggest gripe at present is with arseblog, that guy slated Adebayor before he joined us (without having seen him) & then said he was a trouble maker that would add nothing on the day he signed. Those loose comments have affected people's opinion of Adebayor & no matter how much work he does & how well he plays I still see people slagging the poor guy off now!!
Ashburton Gooner
I think the same about Gallas now, I think people take the 'troublemaker' thing too much to heart and are prepared tp slate him for any reason. I also have a grip with arseblogger and gunnerblog in the way they slated Song, when I know neither of them had seen the kid play in the flesh. The upshot was, people let it inform their opinions and he was booed at Fulham. When I took people to task about booing him, they were forced to admit it was the first time they'd ever seen him play.
Little Dutch
Yeah, unfortunately thats happening a lot, especially recently . Can you believe that I read on one forum, one guy called Walcott useless !! Most of the 'opinion' is plain rubbish, based on 2-3 games, which is why I prefer to hang out here. The views seem more balanced.
prits
Arseblog can be funny at times & I do generally read his site, however he does have a very big following & fans take to heart what he says. LD, you're correct about song, he has been outstanding for charlton. I remember watching him in pre season the year he joined on loan. If people had been in austria & actually seen him play, albeit against inferior opposition, they wouldn't be so harsh on him. Arseblogger doesn't like song purely because of who his uncle is!!
Ashburton Gooner
AG you were in Austria? Bad Waltersdorf? Against Utrecht? I was there man.
G4L
I was there in the summer of 2005, but couldn't make it last year unfortunately.
Ashburton Gooner
 

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