Chelsea Preview & Curbing The Media Yobs Will Be A Start

Arsenal travel to Stamford Bridge this lunchtime for a test of their credentials. Quite what they are is unclear, mixed messages coming from the interpretations of Arsène’s Churchillian AGM speech and other ramblings from directors. Len Shackleton is still right after all these years. According to the masses, the club has a target of a top four finish. The manager disagreed at his pre-match press conference, questioning those who would ‘write off the title after nine matches’. His claimed intention was to stress that, at the moment, we are out of contention.

Whether we will get back into contention depends as much on days such as today as it does in winning our other matches. This season, you suspect that the winner of the top six mini-league may well emerge at the top of the pile. The media favourites change every minute. United have played three of their five at home already, switching emphasis to their away form. Arsenal have only played one, such is the disparity in the fixture list.

Crucially much of the recent revival has taken place in home games. The win in Marseille was the only success away from The Emirates; today will test the depth of the revival. For once there are relatively few injury worries. It seems that the partnership of Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker will not be broken up just yet, this match too soon for Thomas Vermaelen according to the manager. The player disagreed earlier in the week when he proclaimed after the Stoke match that he was impervious to pain and loss of form so he could play straight away following injury.

One man not coming back tomorrow is Abou Diaby. This list is just simply astonishing. His absence ought to give the midfield a settled look with Arteta, Song and Ramsey remaining in place. There is a case for bringing in Coquelin or Frimpong but for me, it is too big a game. That formation might give the midfield a compact look, defensively better to cope with the wider players of Chelsea, all of whom seem to like to drift inside. I just cannot see that happening.

The only other choice is whether Arshavin plays instead of Walcott. My own feeling is that the youngster will give Ashley Cole more to think about, offers a quicker escape route over the top of a Chelsea defence that is displaying a certain naivety when faced with pacey forwards. That and Robin van Persie has made no bones about the fact that Walcott is a good strike partner, creating 15 of the Dutchman’s century of goals. Not bad for someone who apparently does not lift his head when running with the ball.

The team I expect Wenger to go with is:

Szczesny; Djourou, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Santos; Ramsey, Song, Arteta; Walcott, van Persie, Gervinho

Matters were spiced up nicely with Bruce Buck’s frustration at not being able to get his paymaster’s own way over buying Stamford Bridge back from the fans, manifested itself in claiming that it was now time for the heathen hordes to unite and ‘beat the crap’ out of Arsenal. With leadership like this, it is little wonder that the players have the morals of an alley cat.

It was a marked contrast to Wenger‘s own words, an oration that called on the media and society to eradicate intolerance, prejudice and outright racism,

I have worked for 15 years in England and I have been abused how many times? And that doesn’t shock anybody. And the media has a part to play as well. It is not only about racism – any abuse is wrong. Nothing is done [about some forms of abuse]. I would like to see people sitting on the [bench] for one day and hear what people chant. And you know it’s completely wrong – it’s the same as racism.

You have to punish people and you will see if the rest will do it again. This is an important subject, racism, but it’s not the only one. Any kind of violence, or abuse, you have to fight against.

Expecting the media to help is naive since they thrive on the controvesy; no news is good news, bad news is even better. And they feed the atmosphere as well, ably assisted by the crass comments of Buck and his ilk. The deterioration in journalistic standards is often lamented and it, the incitment, does not apply across the board. Unfortunately, the populist papers are the ones who sell the most copy, a vicious circle continues.

The atmosphere in the stadia may have improved in terms of the pall of violence but abusive behaviour? I don’t see any lessening just different types. Will that change? All-seater stadia sanitised football but did not eradicate the verbal aggression. There’s a thin line between abuse and trying to wind up an opposition player or taunting their fans. It is crossed on a regular basis and dealt with very rarely. Football is a microcosm of society and behaviour in its broadest sense does not change in a football ground from outside, it is an outlet. In that sense, Wenger is right to highlight the issue. And from small efforts can bigger things change.

But I don’t hold out much hope of any tangible gains being made soon.

Enjoy the match wherever you are watching it. ’til Tomorrow.

657 thoughts on “Chelsea Preview & Curbing The Media Yobs Will Be A Start

  1. @ Passenal

    yep/// wannabe superstar is apt… when the chips are down the superstars rise up to the occasion. now the team of today will teach them a thing or two about standing up to be counted@ Think not more highly of yourself than u ought is a good counsel from the bible!

  2. Limestone,

    I am catching on, sorry I am a bit slow. Johan is good, very very good, excellent in fact, one of the best I have ever seen, just amazing.

    …………………and long may $hiite-y believe it. nudge nudge. wink wink

  3. What makes rvp so good is his team mates, their ability to cooperate with him and AWs willingness to play him in a system that fits him perfect.
    He is given room to be himself at Arsenal. He’s the captain now and unlike cesc he’s mature and old enough to make that matter.
    I don’t think he will be that good in a team where he’s not the main man.
    Arsenal and rvp live in a symbiosis ATM. Both are dependent on each other to succeed and take the next step against stardom. Chamakh proved last year there is life after an rvp I jury too. And Im sure he will step up again if required.
    However rvp is an inspirational captain. May he stay for many years to come:-)
    Ones he signs a new contract the pundits will be furious! What will they write about then?

  4. SA Goon

    Mate, its getting a bit boring man. Djourou has played a few, erm, how shall we say? Poor games, yet so has Koscielny et al. I was at Blackburn and the whole fecking lot of em were a bunch of sorry bastards! But, do you still consider them all rubbish, or do you take each game on its merits?

    I know what you are doing, and you will go blind my friend!! 😀

  5. Paul-N | October 29, 2011 at 8:57 pm

    If ever anyone doubted Theo had a football brain, he sure convinced during that goal he has one. That was my goal of the match,second one when van p scored his second because Jt fell over like some invisible person had pushed his ass over!!I feel like am high still!

  6. we’ve just bum fucked Chelsea in their own backyard.

    Yes Darius but I worry about what is in you head sometimes ,what with shaved things and all.You may need a bit of help mate.

    Where have all the advocates of dropping the “out of form Theo “for the “in form” Ox(were they watching on Tuesday)?

    People say”Arsene knows”for good reason!!!!

  7. Actually thinking about it, this last transfer period has focused the mind quite a lot about who you mind leaving the club and who you don’t.

    In the case of Cesc we can say we don’t want players who don’t want to be at the club, but we minded that he left. In the case of Nasri we can say: I did not want him to leave, but we have replaced him with someone better, so who cares? Anyone remember Clichy? I liked him and do not know whether the Saint is better – he is so good sometimes and other times gets a little beaten. Left back is a bit hit and miss, but we are loving it.

    Anyway it seems to me that we can make excuses for players, but the real litmus test is whether or not you would want a player to go and play for one of your competitors. The bigger the competitor the more we would not want this to happen if you rate the player. If you genuinly believe someone is not a asset to the team you will wish him on your rivals.

    Now run through the team and ask yourself whether or not you would have that player in your team if it was up to you. If your answer is; I would love them to be playing for $hiite-y, then they need to be rid of.

    And who said this management thing was not easy.

  8. Picked this from an Arsenal fan but modified it a little: 🙂

    “Chel$ki, What’s the MATA you look TERRY-fived”

  9. Don’t worry George – as they say, its a figure of speech.

    Lemme grab a beer before MOTD – won’t bother with the Sky choice thingy’s. Can’t stand listening to Alan Smith.

  10. sa gooner johans test is still to come whatever side of the arguement your on , the real question is how come on a day like today your so negative , methinks a test of your goonerism would be more apt !

  11. I thought chezzer got off easy on his foul to cole.any other day and he could have walked.

    ivanovic looked pretty silly falling off like a sack of potatoes when van p shoved him.

  12. SA Gunner

    If it was easy to replace players and carry on regardless then Blackburn, Leeds, Derby and Nottingham Forest would be contesting the title every year dude.

  13. Wenger knows.

    Wish I had a way to tell Alan Smith that when he was saying

    “I thought we would of seen a change like Per or Andre coming Wenger has YV sat on the bench”.

    Santos then scored a little while after that sentence because Wenger knows. That’s why he is managing a football club.

  14. Paul,

    Ok ok. You believe I have been shown up and I don’t need to go on, so marker in the sand time, I won’t. I will not bang on about it any more and please bring me to task if we are losing, he has not had a great one and I start.

    I can say this for two reasons: Firstly we are doing well at the moment and it is not having any affect on the outcome: Secondly the truth will out eventually.

    If that truth agrees with you I am happy as he will be a great Arsenal player. If on the other hand he is given away with last years old egg cartons I will also be happy.

  15. arse or…

    Much of what I have said was said when we were 1-0 down and could have been worse. Now it appears I am in hole continuing to dig.

    I am a big defender of this team and have been vociferously so for many difficult months all over the park, this player is the only one I really question, but it looks like my defence of the team is an attack on it. So best leave it at that.

    I frankly hope he turns into our fairy godmother.

  16. then leave it alone and just enjoy the win there will be plenty of days when we have to question players supporting will take you up and down so for now just enjoy

  17. Gains, playing for Chelsea will be its own punishment, but there is no reason not to acknowledge quality. Silva is a very fine player too. I don’t know what it is with attacking midfield Spanish players. But I did mean to write in my original list of observations on the game that Ramsey has arrived and shown himself to be a big game and big time player. So proud of him staying strong and courageous the whole game in the center of the park. It is a big responsibility he is carrying and earlier this season he seemed tentative and a bit overwhelmed. But the whole team was out of joint and practically reassembled so we can see he has become increasingly comfortable being charged with leading our attack. He looked like he relished playing against Chelsea. So wonderful to see. So richly deserved.

  18. Jeeez, even alan hansen gave us some credit today man. If that twat can, then surely someone with an Arsenal reference in their name can too! 😀

  19. Every game someone is stepping up to join our consistent hero, RvP, on the grand stage. WC has been excellent but had a bit of an off game. We’ve seen him rush out a couple of times the last couple games and get himself caught in trouble. He wasn’t as dominant today but he was picked up by a flurry of goals from our attack. Merts misjudged two high crosses and we were punished but he did well in the second half and again the rest of the players made up for it. That is the character and spirit of this team.

  20. Limey

    Cech got beat at his near post and Santos’ goal went right through him. Szczesny was fine today, IMO. That decision where he felled Cole was run of the mill for other teams, because its us, we have to feel grateful it didnt result in a red!

  21. 670 posts today and hardly a doomer in sight.
    I hope Luke is ok he was in a Chav pub .

    Per lost his footing for the second Chelsea goal.A slip does not turn him into a bad player.

    Oh what a lovely day

    Yogi deserves to have something like today to write about ,he has kept us going through some lean times .Day after day.I don’t know what I would have done without ACLF over the past 5 months

  22. Dex, I wasn’t knocking WC, who has been brilliant for us. It wasn’t a typically outstanding performance by his standards. I agree Cech looked or was made to look pretty dopey by our tremendous finishing. The reason we were five for five with our shots on target was because of the quality of our chances, I think, mostly. Theo absolutely crushed that ball. And RvP’s shot was a corker also that was swerving back to the near post making it hard for an outstretched hand to stop it.

  23. George, Go figure: a great victory over a despised and favored team and there are comments galore. Who says no one wants to comment after a win. This puts that little canard to bed.

  24. Limestone

    I know you werent slating him man, just thought I would add some balance to the argument!

    George

    I dont agree he deserved to go though! But given our past “luck” it wouldnt have surprised if he had been shown a red. Good job Webb was only the 4th official.

  25. Ah that’s better – identity crisis there.
    Stupendous result, but I have only watched the second half, fighting for the TV to watch the recording. Hope that shoves the words back down the throats of the experts and doomers.
    But nasty taste in my mouth because of the cynical dirty Chavs (no wonder they got so many reds and yellows vs. QPR last week). Good job they took Ramires off, dirty ****, Ivanovic deliberately belts RVP in the back of the neck and then collapses under a gentle push, Song gets booked for a nothing tackle and yet the violent play by a Chav goes unpunished with the ref in plain sight and Mata gets a goal, should have been a red for violent conduct. And should I be surprised nothing of that is reported in the media?
    At least we won’t see AIC or Suga for another week.
    Where’s Maria BTW? Eloped with Vela

  26. Just got in from work, WOW FUCKING HELL YEA!!! Do not have time to read all the postings but did take a quick sampling. It is great to read the amount of love and positivity for The Arsenal :). 5-3 is an awesome score and I look forward to watching the highlights when I get back from a party tonight.

    Goonerwife – Awesome news about wee Georgia :). The next generation of Gooners is alive and well and I wish you guys all the best!!

    The Arsenal are BACK!!!! Fuck all the naysayers and Doomers, I BELIEVE IN ARSENAL!!!

  27. I think what we have seen over the last nine or so games shows us above all that football is a team game in every sense. Well done, boys – you’ve made us proud.

    Very funny pictures, btw.

    ****

    @ Limestonegunner | October 29, 2011 at 11:20 pm

    It’s not a canard, it’s the general rule all over the blogosphere – they even remarked on it on Arsenal Player’s matchday show with regard to the number of calls and emails they get after a loss or bad performance as compared to after a win/good performance. Doomers love to post after we lose. The fact that a few of them have recently started commenting after a good result proves nothing except that they have read similar observations.

  28. It is wrong today though, FG, and happily so. If it isn’t a canard typically it is certainly a banality.

  29. @ LG
    It is not wrong today – as pedantic george said, “670 posts today and hardly a doomer in sight.”
    True to form, the doomers have stayed away.

    ***
    I can’t go to sleep. I hope Arsenal Player don’t keep us waiting until tomorrow afternoon for the match video.

  30. Possible explanation of Take A Bow Son picture from North Bank 1 on Goonerholic:

    “when Terry kissed the ground for God’s 2nd goal was he thinking of rubbing mud on his face to show everyone how non ‘racialist’ he is?”

  31. I wasn’t talking about doomers, just numbers of comments. I am not preoccupied with categorizing Arsenal supporters into opposing camps the way so many others are. At other times people have wondered why there are so few comments when there is good news but so many more when there is a bad result or bad news. This is happily a day with lots of comments on a great victory. You could notice that there are many who don’t come on here after a bad defeat either. That is neither here nor there as far as I am concerned. There is more interest in the world at large with bad news, more comments and so on. It is a banal point. That’s why I thought it was wonderful that there are so many commenting enthusiastically on our fantastic victory and worth remarking on it.

    Like you I am really hoping it is available soon after midnight out here, because I am ready to watch it all over again!

  32. Perhaps he was atoning for his racism–it must have been clear to him that his slip was divine judgment! Either that he was worshipping RvP, like the rest of us.

  33. not meaning to dampen the spirits dex..

    dukes right we turned a corner now..
    its like wenger said in his post match..we need to keep our feet on the ground and focus on the next match..

    i think one of the biggest things about this run of form is that rvp has been our best choice of captain for a while..his leadership out there was fantastic we are a totally different team under him than we were under cesc..

    theres a relationship developing between the fans and the team..i think the rvp aura has a massive impact on that..

    not saying that cesc was an arsehole but he wasnt exactley mr arsenal was he..robin has something different hes got that x factor as a leader..theres more heart and it seems genuine..got no barca dna in it..and its swarming around the club i think..

  34. Who is the play commentator on Arsenal Player’s highlights of the match? Brilliantly enthusiastic guy (unfortunately paired with Robson) who on cue asks, what are we going to see from Theo Walcott this half? Just as Theo trips and Robson makes a snarky comment, Theo gets up and scores and the commentator is delirious–awesome stuff!!

  35. JJ, look at how RvP celebrated his goals in front of our away fans. Then he calls all the players together at the end of the game to go celebrate with the fans. He has the charisma and the sense of the moment, how to use it to bring teammates closer together. I never saw Fabregas do something like that.

  36. PG, thanks for the comment at 11.17pm. The post is now finished and will be up on the site from 6.30 am. I am shattered, the adrenalin is now spent, bed beckons. Everyone enjoy their night.

  37. Cooment from the Telegraph:

    “That was no slip – watch the replay again. He realised he had no chance to get to the ball ahead of van Persie and flung himself to the ground. I can’t decide if he was cannily trying to prevent people realising he’s completely lost his pace these days, or simply trying to avoid looking stupid. “

  38. This results feels like winning the title, we had so much shit from everyone for soooo long. it was needed .
    Walcott made Cashley look like a slug. Absolutely humiliated him. Could not cope with him.

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