Chelsea Bark Loudly, Arsenal Bite Decisively

Chelsea 3 – 5 Arsenal

1 – 0 Lampard (14)
1 – 1 van Persie (36)
2 – 1 Terry (45)
2 – 2 Santos (48)
2 – 3 Walcott (55)
3 – 3 Mata (80)
3 – 4 van Persie (85)
3 – 5 van Persie (90)

As if being drawn to the surface by a corkscrew, the season is twisting out of the bottle to unleash its vintage. The encounters between the Great and the Good are producing an exhilarating mix of superb counter-attacking with equally poor defending. All it missed was a red card and Szczesny tried his damndest to fulfil that part of the deal, Koscielny’s form putting enough doubt in the referee’s mind. A close call, one that went Arsenal’s way for a change.

Yesterday provided no respite from this heady cocktail and so long as Arsenal emerge victorious, I don’t want it to stop.

It was an astonishing victory, quite astonishing for so many reasons. Not that it makes the win any more or less emotionally satisfying, just the fact that it was on so many levels, a delicious serving of revenge. It does not wipe the pain of Old Trafford but it helps. It does not erase the memory of Cardiff, Wembley or any number of Premier League defeats where Didier Drogba has bullied, swatted and utterly mastered an Arsenal defence. But it helps.

And until the return meeting in April, it is the result that will stay longest in the mind between the two sides.

Those of us of a certain ‘maturity’ well remember what dour and ugly affairs these matches were in the 70s and 80s. Stamford Bridge and its surrounds were inhospitable, the pitches no better with sand dunes where grass once laid. It is a far cry from the Premier League era. Indeed this match is a distant cousin to many encounters through the years with an openess rarely seen from Chelsea allowing Arsenal to express their intentions to put the recent past behind them.

The opening minutes gave clear indication of the spirit in which this match was being played. Chelsea had opportunities; Cole, Sturridge and Torres were denied by a combination of poor choices, bad finishing and outstanding defending, Per Mertesacker blocking the Spaniard’s attacking run with an outstanding header. At the other end, Gervinho missed the opportunity of the match so far by missing the target with the goal gaping; van Persie was no more accurate moments later.

The cup-tie spirit continued unabated and by the quarter hour mark, the threatened goal had materialised. That Chelsea scored provided a bitter but not entirely surprising moment. Santos was struggling to adapt to the ferocity of the attacking and Mata sprang another surprise on the Brazilian by crossing early, Lampard had found space and subsequently the net. 1 – 0 to the hosts and uncomfortable parallels were drawn with previous visits to the scene of the crime.

Early punches traded, the sides probed and ceded possession too readily to create a threat of note although Sturridge was guilty of another miss, not as glaring as before perhaps. It proved costly as van Persie turned home a fantastic equaliser. Aaron Ramsey found Gervinho and the Ivorian had timed his run to perfection, tearing the Chelsea defence asunder; van Persie followed and the Ivorian served notice that he intends to create more than 15 of  van Persie’s next Arsenal century.

Parity was almost short-lived with Sturridge’s effort rightly ruled out for offside. Relief did not last long as perma-victim John Terry gave Chelsea the lead with a scruffy but almost typically conceded goal on the stroke of half-time. There is a joke in there somewhere about the Arsenal defence being an accident blackspot…

The lead gave the hosts a glimmer of three points. It was the closest they were to come to that total; within ten minutes of the restart they were chasing the game. Andre Santos is having his weight questioned but having been given a bit of a torrid introduction, he settled and crashed home the equaliser as the Chelsea defence went AWOL. It got worse for The Blues when Theo Walcott showed some good old John Bull qualities, strength, bundling his way through the midfield and then the presence of mind to pick himself up when fouled, instead of emulating the slack-jaw mental aptitude of the hosts, he slotted past Cech to give Arsenal a lead for the first time.

Chelsea probed but fumbled like a teenager on a first date, for the next twenty five minutes. They knew where they wanted to be but lacked the guile to unlock the defence. When they did equalise, foul play was afoot with Lukaku interfering. It is harsh to pay much attention to this, Mata’s finish was simply outstanding.

That proved irrelevant. As Chelsea pushed forward, they left gaps which were ruthlessly exposed by Arsenal, Robin van Persie completing a hat-trick with two late counter-strikes. john Terry’s slip made it clear that this afternoon at least, the status of top dog would be returning north of the River. Who cares how the winning goals come in the build-up, the Dutchman’s finishes were indisputable.

van Persie is garnering the headlines and why not, a hat-trick at a close rival is nothing to be sniffed at. Yet I feel more compelled by the performance of others. Chief of which is Theo Walcott. I freely admit that Walcott infuriates, talented beyond the ability of many and today was one of the better in an Arsenal shirt, humiliating Ashley Cole with a maturity in his attacking display that belies his years.

Defensively, Laurent Koscielny is being inspired by the prospect of competition from Thomas Vermaelen for a place in the centre of defence. The Frenchman controlled Torres, subdued his threat and with Mertesacker just marshalled the Chelsea attack into less threatening positions. When they did pursue the route to the back of the net, formidable barriers were put in their way.

Paolo di Canio is far from being anyone’s cup of tea but he recently said of his Swindon players,

With some players, if he has a chihuahua character I can’t make a chihuahua into a rottweiler. He could be a proud chihuahua but he remains a chihuahua. So many of the players at the moment are chihuahuas away from home

Arsenal found yesterday that they don’t have any chihuahua’s.

’til Tomorrow.

369 thoughts on “Chelsea Bark Loudly, Arsenal Bite Decisively

  1. I thought the boys celebrating with the away fans the way they did will do wonders for our fanbase. Hopefully the home fans saw what happens when you support the team one hundred percent. It’s a you fight for us we’ll fight for you sort of deal.

  2. Durham is a vile tool. It’s clear that like the pundits and hacks – the whole of Talk Spite radio don’t know what to make of Arsenal shafting Chelsea. This was never in the script, especially when it was proclaimed that the loss of the Spanish prodigal son and the mercenary will sink us.

    “How is it that Wenger has turned this shit around” is what they’re baffled with.

    They even were in bed with the bookmakers selling odds for Wenger to be sacked at 6 to 1, the second most manager likely to be fired after Steve Keen.

    The AGM really shut the fuckers up on that and reminded them that the only way Wenger is leaving Arsenal is when he retires or leaves voluntarily at the end of a contract.

  3. Gains, I am inclined to agree with you on Vermaelen’s return. Let’s ease him back in CC, give him the start v. Marseille (resting Merts) and allow the partnership of Mert and Kos to continue for a little while in the league. I do however think that we can rotate more and have Dj splitting games with Jenks. The key is winning at home v. Marseille. ( I don’t think RvP will rest for Marseille, though I would happily bring on Park or Chamakh, especially if we have a goal lead). After that we can afford to rotate in the CL, plus the CC. In the league, the most important thing is keeping up consistency in our results because even though the gap has narrowed there are now 5 teams battling it out for 3rd and 4th spots: us, Liverpool, Spuds, Chelsea and Newcastle. Unfortunately we don’t get a shot at those teams for a while as we have now played all of them once. To make up points by December we will have to grind out the wins in the league so I don’t want to tamper too much with the defensive partnerships that are working in the league.

    Arteta is like Xavi Alonso. RvP should really have found him in the box. I agree he could easily have had a goal to go with his assist. Song was heroic, a stalwart. The great thing is that with Ramsey playing more adventurously and decisively we have a pretty well-balanced midfield where everyone can defend, go forward and pick a good pass through the defense or over the top while still emphasizing their particular roles: Ramsey creating, Song shielding the defense, and Arteta linking and maintaining possession. If Diaby can come back and complement these strengths we will be ready for ManCity in December. Up until then, our toughest game looks to be Norwich, so hopefully the team stays united, fit, and determined to keep putting together results whether pretty or gritty.

  4. Adrian Durham is just the talkshite equivalent of a shock jock; he has to find contentious issues where none exists and take the opposite view so he can annoy, enrage and piss off listeners.

    What a sad existence, no wonder he is so warped.

  5. Gains, the home fans have been great this season already and Wenger has remarked on how they have stuck with the team even when we were down.

    On a different point, the big thing about yesterday is that we have not had good league form away for a while. We exploded past that problem and hopefully we’ll see strong results away in the league. Meanwhile, we have been very strong away in the CL, which is new this season. For the last couple years we have been shaky away. A good performance at home and win against Marseille and I would say that the recovery is complete. We will have found form home and away in the league and home and away in the CL.

  6. Dexter.

    The guy has a mortgage to pay. I suppose he has to do something drastic to help Talk Spite sell advertising. The only way they sell ads is to convince advertisers that they have the listeners, and the only way they’ll get listeners is by polarising folks and going for sensationalism where none exists.

    It’s right out of chapter 4 section 6 of the manual. Pick a topic, take opposing and often adversery angles and get people calling.

    I don’t even know why they call it Talk radio – they spent the best part of every hour running advertisements and competitions. Talk radio my arse more like we’ll pontificate and you listen radio.

  7. Well said Darius. AW is not going to get the sack and never will. On the subject ot the AGM, everyone and their mother was asking why SK did not spell out his vision for the club in the foreseeable future and was roundly criticized for not doing so. Am I the only one who looks at this and manages to take from it the fact that this implies his total agreement with how AW and the board are running The Arsenal. It would also imply that he is very comfortable with whatever plans they have for the future as he is very heavily invested in the club and yet at the same time seems quite happy to sit back and let everyone get on with their respective jobs. In my opinion, where someone is willing to invest 100’s of millions of pounds and has experience in these matters, yet then after talking to the board, manager and any and all others of import decides to sit back and enjoy the ride speaks volumes.

    I think we have turned the corner on the pitch and even have important players now returning to the team. Our new players are really starting to gel and RVP is unplayable. IG and co. seem to be very happy with where they are in their plans and, if we are to keep the faith, that must be great news indeed.

    In Arsene We Trust!!

  8. I agree with FG that the key is quick movement of the ball (and off the ball) in attack and that actually allows for variety in attack. Behind all of that is quick thinking–to see the options and be able to react to opportunities. This is where I think Ramsey’s game has started to really improve the last several matches. He isn’t holding the ball without an idea of what he wants to do–he is either making a quick pass forward to meet someone’s run or taking the ball into a space that allows him to move the attack forward or quickly laying it off and moving without the ball where he can next do some damage. Speed of thought is the key to that quick movement of the ball.

  9. Irish, I don’t think now is the time to take the foot off the gas pedal. The Marseille game at home is crucial to securing not just qualification but top position in our group. RvP is in the form of his life and playing him for 65 minutes, during which hopefully he can get a goal or two, is necessary. Last year we rotated too many players too early and finished second and went out in the round of 16. After this period, if we win, we will be able to start resting him in the CL and CC games. And I agree that we should start doing that now that we have pulled ourselves into contention for the top 4 with yesterdays massive win.

  10. This from Warren Barton 2 minutes ago:

    “Hernandez is probably the best finisher in the world right now”

    Where do I fill out the application to be a football pundit? I mean as an Irishman I am naturally full of shit, I would be perfect!!! 🙂

  11. Agree with that Limestonegunner – go for the win from the off against Marseille and try secure top spot asap not just qualification

  12. Limestonegunner – I disagree as Marseilles are very tight defensively and Chamakh I think would be a better option as we will get in more crosses than chances in the middle. Yet whomever plays I will be full of confidence. 🙂

  13. Jon Jon, Arteta is the type of player Denilson will be when he is 29 and has gained as much experience, but it’s funny how some people couldn’t see what he brought to the team.

  14. a connection is definately developing with this team and the fans..

    to be fair the team have had good support this year..
    wengers had his doubters which is only natural given the 6months of relegation form and summer fiasco…and the baord will never really be trusted totally.. wenger even admitted at the AGM that he and the baord can accept the critisism and mistakes have been made etc etc..

    but as far as the team goes everyones been pretty much together on this one..home and away..

    i heard one of the reasons the ground was so full for the bolton CC game was that tickets were going for a tenner..is that true and is that normal?

  15. Irish, you might be right about not getting many chances through the middle since at Marseille we had lots of crosses and maybe could have used Chamakh in the middle to take advantage of that. I think it doesn’t necessarily follow however that the game will be played the same way because we are at home and plan to go for the win. If we are ahead after the break, I would have no problem bringing Chamakh or Park on and try to keep it tight through the middle but give our players on the wing the green light to cross in for Chamakh in particular. Jenks is pretty good at that and Santos has already proved quite effective as well with his crosses. The point though is that we need a win to top the group and just think of the confidence the team will have knowing we are going through as group winners. We’ll be able to rest players in the next two CL games and concentrate on the league. This is the last time RvP would probably need to play twice a week until late December.

  16. @gainsbourg69
    agree with your post at 401.
    about TV and how to integrate him back into the first eleven. cc and the FA CUPS till his match fitness is complete.

  17. Duke, given that it was their first experience of playing chelski at the bridge I think both Per and Santos were surprised by the intensity of the game and maybe there were a few nerves. But they both settled as the game wore on and whatever Arsene tweaked at half-time really worked a treat because it really was all Arsenal second half. Apart from the Mata wonder-goal they did not create so much danger after the break.

  18. Spurs up 2 – 0 and looking strong against QPR. Barring an injury crisis they are going to be in the hunt for 3rd or 4th place all season. Based on the last few games hopefully the Chavs will slide back towards us but they will be tough also. Liverpool have been inconsistent but they have a lot of new players and just getting Stevie G. back. They could gel at any time. In the past we have always excused bad games by saying the teams around us will drop points. While that is true I hope this squad plays every game like their lives depend on it. That doesn’t mean we don’t rotate and rest players but the players on the pitch need to work their tales off every game. This squad does have a different feel compared the last couple of years.

    Just as I say that QPR scores. 30 minutes for them to get the equalizer.

  19. “i heard one of the reasons the ground was so full for the bolton CC game was that tickets were going for a tenner..is that true and is that normal?”

    That is the normal policy for the Carling Cup games – £10 lower tier, £20 upper and £5 for kids. The only time it isn’t is when we play those greedy guts from white hart lane. They insist we charge category A prices as the opposition get 40% of the gate in cup matches.

  20. @desigooner
    ” A team can be a mirror of their captain, molded by his character and leadership.”

    what you saying is that weve all officially been “rvpd”? 🙂

  21. Bill you’re too quick to judge. All teams go off the boil at some point in the season. Who is to say that the current front runners can stay there?

  22. and with a great midfield as we got now, with Rosicky and Benny waiting in the wings, we can afford to ease Diaby back into the game too. Maybe that way he wont get injured straight away again 🙂

  23. passenal

    i agree that arteta is the player that wenger wanted denilson to be..
    wenger put 100% faith in denilson otherwise we would have accepted the price tag for alonso and gone through with the deal..didnt work out though did it..

    but like alonso..artetas been quality since he was denilsons age..he hasnt just suddenly become class in his latter years. i just dont think denilson will be anywhere near artetas level at any age..i just dont think hes good enough and no experience will change that..he doesnt have the passing range nor does he have the mentality and thats why wenger admitted defeat and got micky..

    everyone pretty much knew what denilsons role was in the team..he just wasnt that good at it..and now weve got arteta its showing..even with jack last year..it showed…

  24. Have the docs finally got to the bottom of Diaby’s continual injuries? He went under the knife didnt he?

    Yeah Poodle – we have been “rvpd” 🙂

  25. i must admit that even thouh i do dislike spurs i hate barton more. I would love it if him and ade had a little row. barton is vile. hope he goes mad as tottenham wins and gets 10 match ban for headbutting ade or something….

  26. thanks for the heads up on the tickets..
    well if its normal i think its fair to say the home fans are pretty much up for this year..

    was that night a record attendance for a CC match??

  27. hay irish, how goes it?
    i DEFINATLY disagree with your post at 456. you certainly are not full of shit. you are ALRIGHT. how’s the early snow back east treating you. ?

  28. When Denilson is the player Arteta is, I am sure supporters will welcome him as a starter and AW would start him. Even so, he is a very good player who I would have in the squad. Unfortunately for Denilson’s reputation, however, he played as a starter for a couple seasons at a very young age when we could have used a more experienced player like an Arteta or Xavi Alonso. Since JW emerged last year it is no mystery why Denilson got fewer games. JW, Song, Diaby, Rosicky and Fabregas were ahead of him because they either played better defense, were better going forward, or linked together better. The abuse Denilson received, however, was totally uncalled for and disturbing. He is only out on loan and might return to Arsenal. If he does, I think he will be a very useful squad player in Europe and against less physical league sides where his skill at linking and keeping possession will suit our game. I hope people value and support him properly. But I also think that the comparison that is being made by many between him and Arteta is quite irrelevant and also doesn’t account for the differences in their games. 7amkickoff had a very useful few paragraphs analyzing this from 3 or 4 weeks ago that I linked to a week or two ago, but unfortunately the easy but misleading equivalence keeps being made here. Arteta plays very good balls forward over the top and through the defense while playing much better defense and showing a very strong mental attitude, in addition to showing good linking play and possession.

  29. duke i thought Per was ok..
    Terrys goal was more artetas fault for not staying at the post.JT is a beast in the air hes the ball attacking champion of the world and hes made a career as a top defender out of that one talent alone..i dont blame per for losing that battle..
    he was undone for lumpys goal though he was caught in no mans land but apart from that he was solid..

  30. @jj eitherway i think the train has passed for Denilson now. With arteta in and lecoq and frimp getting on nicley, there is no room for Denilson anymore. he had his chance and did not manage to grab it properly. Wheter hes good enough or not, wheter it was bad luck or not..
    Faith is cruel like that.
    Sad as i did like him…

  31. JonJon – im with you there on Denilson v’s Arteta. What Denilson lacks that Arteta has isnt experience but ability and application.

  32. Pass:

    If we want to catch the Manc clubs then each and every game is critical because of where we are starting. If you assume the teams ahead of you are very strong and that they will not drop many points, then to catch them you can’t afford to take any games off. Everybody has different ideas but to me the underdog mindset seems to me the best way for us to approach this season. A change of mindset compared with the last couple years is a good thing IMO.

    Spurs just scored a very well worked goal. Now 3 -1.

  33. @bill
    ‘ play each game as if their life depended on it.’
    that realy sums it up for me. agree fully. one game at a time. take care of business at our end.

  34. Goonerkam @8.02am (been away overnight),

    I rarely enjoy watching Chelsea games, from the 70s and 80s they were always crap at Stamford Bridge. I didn’t see win there until 1993; too many horrible afternoons in the early days at least. Its always been a ground of extremes, we either can’t win there or can’t lose. I think that 1993 win will always be a favourite along with this and the last win, when Robin nicked a brace to turn the result around.

  35. Goonerkam – Thanks mate 🙂 All is well here and all the snow is gone from where I am, one of the benefits of living in Manhattan is that is almost never lasts. However upstate got slammed and that is where I have to go at 3 to pick up a friend as a tree fell onto his car crushing it. Luckily there was no one inside it at the time.

  36. Denny did have a very good freekick . who knows how he is doing down in south america?
    i know he keeps in touch with the fans by tweet.

  37. Bill, my belated condolences on your Rangers. Thrilling series for the neutral baseball fan but it must be difficult to have your team twice getting so close to its first championship. Good luck next season. Let’s hope you are celebrating a trophy with Arsenal as some compensation this year! CC, FA or.. dare we dream more?

  38. thanks YW, great post today. everyone is full of praise for your site. do you remember KANU and his unworldly exploits against chelski . did he have a hattrick too or was it only two.?

    @irish
    hopefuly your friend is insured. poor guy. any good tots. jokes lately?

  39. hes not doing too good by all accounts goonerkam
    been sent off 3 times already and the fans havent really taken to him over there..

  40. With all this talk about Van Persie signing, have we forgotten that Alex Song hasn’t signed a new contract and that he’ll have all the sugar daddied clubs knocking at his door come the transfer window next summer? He’s one player I would absolutely hate to lose.

  41. Limestone:

    Worst feeling in the world. Great series for a neutral to watch but this one feels so much worse then last year. Last year we didn’t give ourselves a chance. I hate to say it but we choked it away this year. Those kind of things are not easy to recover from and I hope the can do it.

    I will feel better with time and I think we have an excellent front office and we have money available so hopefully some tweaks and may be big name signing or trade to give the boys something to rebuild their mojo for next season. We still have a good relatively young team but the starting pitching and the bull pen just lost their collective nerve while the Card kept theirs. Its funny that all the local blogs are complaining bitterly about how the umpires screwed us with uneven strike zones and rigged the series. Great fans but a bunch of excuse making wankers

  42. When Jack and Diaby get back we will have some midfield. Diaby can rotate with Ramsey and Jack will rotate with Arteta.

  43. Bill – I know how you feel, as a Yankee fan Iwas amazed and disgusted that we left the bases loaded 4 times and could not score a tying run!! How ever, like you said for the neutral it was a great series. Game 6 I think will go down as one of those legendary comeback games. But you are right in saying you should have done the job but instead you choked at the last. Hard luck mate and best of luck in the future.

  44. Bill, I am not usually a Texas fan, but I was backing them because they were the under dogs. However, once I saw our ex-predator in chief throwing the first pitch I put my full support behind St. Louis and I suspect most neutrals did too. That whole stunt with Bush seemd like a political ploy from the off. I can’t believe the Ragers did that. If the republicans don’t even invite him to their conventions why would the Rangers give him such an honor?

  45. tnx jonjon
    sorry to hear Denny is not doing well. i liked him too. hope he finds his happiness. good kid. did everything AW asked of him.

  46. Gains – LOL I can see the similarities. Bush was there because he is a Texan and I believe he used to own the Rangers. It was actually the only reason I was hoping St. Louis (sory Bill) would win as I detest Bush.

  47. Goonerkam – “When asked by a jounalist what they would be doing this summer Harry Redknapp said he would be planning tactics so that Tottenham will win the league next season.
    Kenny Dalgish said he will spend the summer shagging Kylie Minougue, Pamela Anderson and Angelina Jollie!
    When the journalist told him to be serious Dalglish pointed to Redknapp and said,
    “Well he Fucking started it!”

  48. Goonerkam – Not a Spurs joke but still one of the better ones I have heard in a while.

    Tom visits Dave who’s laid up with a broken leg.
    Dave says’s “My feet are freezing mate, can you do me a favour and nip upstairs and get my slippers please?”
    “No problem” says Tom.
    Upstairs Dave’s stunning 19 year old twins daughters are sitting on their beds.
    “Hello girls, your dad sent me up here to shag you two”
    “F**k off you liar!” they both reply.
    “I’ll prove it” says Tom.
    He shouts downstairs “Both of them Dave?”
    “Of course! Whats the point of f**king one?”

  49. Rangers loss was heartbreaking. to come so close and … well maybe the ARSENAL can fulfill us this year.
    sorry Dex. just comforting a fellow gooner. how are you.?

  50. The RSPCA have acted very quickly after events at the Bridge… If you see a Ch5ls3a fan with a dog please ask them to call 0800 – 1-0 1-1 2-1 2-2 2-3 3-3 3-4 3-5 for free advice on how to hold on to a lead.

  51. I don’t know why the Rangers had Bush throw out the first pitch and don’t really care. I am not a Bush fan but I see that sort of stuff as irrelevant white noise. Bush is a local and used to own a part of the team and I think a friend of Nolan Ryan. I guess I would have been upset is the Cardinals had him throw out the pitch but since my team did it I didn’t care.

    Irish: Both teams left a lot of men on base. What killed me was the walks. We surrendered more walks then any team in the history of the world series. The relief meltdowns and Micheal Young looking horrible at first base costing us 2 runs and Cruz misplaying that line drive into the game tying triple in the 9th inning of the 6th game are just killers. Hamilton hit that amazing clutch homer in the 10th and then our most experienced left handed reliever had 2 weak hitting lefties and the pitchers spot coming up in the bottom of the 10th and couldn’t hold a 2 run lead. Hopefully the team can put it behind them and come back next year. Some talk about us highjacking CC Sabathia but I don’t expect that. The hotstove talk will make me feel better.

  52. The fixtures from now until Christmas are, apart from the northern Chavs manageable. Yesterdays result is an important one beyond the hyperbole and headlines, its concrete a building block that this “Team” can be built on, a collective reference point. This team will give 100% and as long as that happens they’re going to get 100% from the fans, I think I’m going to enjoy this season after all.

  53. Bill – All very valid points but do not be too surprised if you do get CC as there are a lot of rumors flying around that he may be leaving. Hamilton’s hit should have been the winner but he is a decent hitter and will do you well in the future. WTF happened to Young? I thought he was better than that. Was there any sign ot that during the regular season or was it just one of those off days?

  54. Gains, I haven’t forgotten about Song and in fact a few days ago wrote how I thought if we could sign him and Walcott after already extending Vermaelen that we would be in great shape for January. A couple signings there to strengthen us and I think there would be no reason to worry about RvP because he would re-sign too.

    But I agree with you. I can easily see Chelsea, PSG, Man City, Mallorca dropping big change for Song. He is 24 and has massive CL experience. Now he has shown such strength, positioning sense, leadership, skill in the pass that you could see him being the final piece for some of these teams, especially PSG or Chelsea. I don’t see how we would replace him. Frimps and Coquelin are a bit too green yet and I already feel he is our only solid defensively oriented midfield anchor at the moment.

  55. i hear stevie g. is injured again.
    @gains
    we need to wrap up and sign both song and robin. i can’t handle losing any of them to the vulture clubs. no more rebuilding. just build on the good foundation that we have.

  56. Not probably, Kam. He jinxed them. After I saw him at that game, I developed a deep hatred for Texas and I suspect a lot of other people did too. I hope Bush does for Texas what that goat did for Chicago.

  57. Irish:

    Young is a sub average defensive player and first base is his worst position. Bad games during the season was easily covered by what he did with the bat, but it really cost us in that game. Its always a crapshoot with him defensively but most times his bat more then compensates for bad defensive plays but not in game 6. He would DH in an AL park. Same issue with all AL teams in NL parks. Bottom line was the team lost its nerve especially the pitching staff.

    Can’t believe the Yanks would let CC leave. Rumors are just that. Hope we meet you in the playoffs next year.

  58. Well thank god he isn’t a marquee player like Van Persie or Fabregas and doesn’t play for a high profile NT.

  59. i think they will all sign up if we do well until xmas. they know they can win with Arsenal.
    I think the biggest egoes probably left this summer. Also we will always have plaeyrs that “have to sign new contracts” every year. There will always be a player with “only two years left”. big pplayers.

    If we do well until xmas im sure they will all sign new contracts.
    But they look like they all want to win, they look like they all want to do their all for the club. How can they not grab a trophy this year? 🙂
    If we see off CIty in the CC and get ourselves to the semi final we canfinally bury the ghost of last year and win this cup. If we beat city in that quartefinal we can beat anyone.
    And if we can beat chelsea with 5-3 we can deffo beat city.

  60. Contracts are usually 4 year affairs,so from a squad of 25 you would expect 6 player every year to be approaching their last year.Worry ye not,otherwise you will lurch from one year to another with constant concerns.
    Anyone,and I mean anyone who leaves Arsenal,can just go and never look back.

  61. @pedantic, well maybe, just maybe AW will suprise us and put out a strong team? if we win against Marseille tuesday we can probably afford that as we are through in the CL.

    Would be fun though, to beat a team with CC Nasri and CC Clichy playing…

  62. @gains im sure that had the press not focused so much on Nasri and inflated his head so much he would probably have signed. Cos he was not a word class player in anybodys eyes until the mirror suddenly started writing he was.
    the longer Kos and Song is underestimated by the establishment thus better forus.
    Then again Nasri was always labled a golden boy, a little prince. kos and song was never looked upon as great by anyone except those who really know their football. So maybe they will be more mature and reflected when choosing their future than Nasri…

  63. i think we should go with a strong team for CC..

    were on a winning streak and if that is maintained until the cup game i think it would be risky feilding a weakend side and chancing the loss of momentum..

    i think we should go for it.

  64. all u slagging off le grove… go and read it… the moods changed guys getting behind the team every1 ripping the shit out of gambon for being an anti-arsenal cunt…

    dont see too much wrong with that to be honest.

  65. Arsene has been clear that he will play a stronger line up in the cups as the opposition gets stronger. He had a goo sprinkling of experienced players out against Bolton and he acknowledged that it was the experienced players who won that game for us.

  66. Ashburton Patriot | October 30, 2011 at 7:47 pm
    all u slagging off le grove… go and read it…

    Whyyou have read it for us .Do us another favour and fuck off back there with the other halfwit’s.And stay there this time will you.

  67. I have just watched the second half again.
    Pers was very good .But when you are not so nervous you see more and Rosicky was exceptional when he came on.I think he is a shoe in for Tuesday.

  68. exactley passenal..
    and after last years painful defeat i think wenger will be more determined to win this than ever..

    i think wenger will go with the closest he can get to his best team as he can..

  69. I am in two minds about fielding a strong team for the CC. I suppose it depends on the sort of games we have around the time of the fixture. The priority should be clearly reflected in our selection, should we have a tricky schedule i.e. PL 1st, CL 2nd, and the domestic cups are a distant 3rd and 4th.

  70. Hope we “go for it” at home in the CC against City. Would love to see this group win some silverware as a reward for their hard work.

  71. For Marseille:
    Szcz
    Dj-Verm-Kos-Santos
    Song-Rosicky-Arteta
    Gervinho-RvP-Arshavin

    Bench:
    Fabianski, Coquelin, Merts, Walcott, Park, Benayoun

  72. Oh JJ I have no idea I would have to know how their fitness levels are and what their pro zone figures were 🙂
    Yeah right george.

    But best guess
    Fabby
    Carl,kos,Verm,Santos
    Song,Rosicky,Ramsey
    Theo,Park,Andrei

  73. George, Tuesday is Marseille. Do you really want Fabianski starting in goal or is that your Carling Cup team? When is that happening btw?

  74. the CC isnt until the end of november..
    weve got a whole month and 4 home games to kick arse and hopefully diaby and gibbsy will be back as well to bolster numbers..

  75. i go with jenks cos he can cross like a good un and with chamakh up front he wont be able to head it if its in row z..

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