Cesc, Theo And Arshavin Talks Balls

Warning: This morning’s blog is a certified spittle and sputum free zone

The spotlight shone on Cesc this week and he found he liked it. Having returned to his first full training session ahead of a possible return in the clash with Manchester City in a couple of weeks, he launched into a zesty Liza Minnelli-inspired song and dance routine, belting out “Life is a cabaret, old chum”, before praising the recent run of form:

In recent games everyone’s attitude has changed, the players and the fans, and you can see that reflected on the pitch. All of the frustration is now turning into enthusiasm for the season – we are also in the quarter-finals of the Champions League, and are fourth in the league with nine games to go and a lot of points to win. It is good that we are fighting on three fronts and that we are getting our football back on to the top level. Now we need to keep it going and improve – a great team is one that always tries to get better and better. We are on the way, and we can’t lose that.

Ahead of the Champions League draw this morning, it is indeed a fine time to return to form, particularly since a number of key players have been absent. Crucially though, the players who are in the ever-rotating squad are not the ones upon whom the season’s outcome rests. Adebayor and Cesc have themselves perhaps a more definitive role to play. They have to hit the ground running and be in sparkling form from minute one when they enter the pitch.

Fourth place has been reclaimed, as have last four and eight spots in the knockout tournaments. The returning players have to ensure that they are ready and do not need a couple of games to find their feet, enhancing the play rather than stifling. I am sure they will do the former but the pressure is on in every game from here until the end of May and they need to be sharp to maintain the progress made in recent months.

Fabregas is aware of that:

We are back in fourth place now and need to take care of what we have. We must realise that now we have got it back, we can’t lose it again easily. We know how hard we have been working for it, and now it would be a big mistake to ease off.

All he has to do is make sure that the others know it.

Theo Walcott has done just that since his return. His performances have been full of energy and brought a verve / directness that has highlighted what might have been had injuries not ravaged the squad, a benchmark if you like for others to aim for. Walcott is confident that the injured parties will make a big difference to the run-in:

Everyone is a big hitter at the club. Big names are coming back, which scares other teams and that is a nice feeling. They will be back soon and hopefully we can push for the Champions League spots and some trophies. Last year we had our bad spell towards the end of the season and hopefully we have had it in the middle this time. With players coming back and the team getting back their sharpness and getting goals from all sorts of positions, hopefully we are going to have a good spell now

No surprise that other teams will be ‘scared’. If their written English is anything like that which they speak, I doubt that many of them could even spell ‘Adebayor’ or ‘Fabregas’. Maybe that is why the Arsenal players never seem to get the recognition from their peers that they deserve?

Bizarrely though, Andrei Arshavin may have found the solution to Arsenal’s problems. Not through his excellent start to his Arsenal career, oh no. Apparently, it is because there are not enough balls at The Emirates. He may have a point and perhaps the ’Doom & Gloom’ brigade have been right all along about a lack of character in the non-English contingent:

They (Hull) benefitted from using only one (match) ball and that was pretty surprising for me. Every time the ball goes out, you have to wait for it. The attacker loses momentum because of that, letting defenders get back and close the free spaces, it slows the game down. It gives an advantage to teams who play a slower game.

Oops, my bad. Our little wing wizard was talking about the match balls. He went on:

I’m used to having balls scattered all around the pitch

Perhaps he saw the Arsenal / Wigan match before Christmas…

‘til Tomorrow.

278 thoughts on “Cesc, Theo And Arshavin Talks Balls

  1. Poliziano says:

    I’m something of a country bumpkin, but Florence is the Italian city that I love. There’s plenty of English there, though. The whole country’s swarming with English. Urbino I also love, but perhaps only suitable for a day trip.

  2. DukeGoonem says:


    go down south….anywhere in reggio de calabria.. it is very nice. tip though…if your driving dont get into any road rage.

  3. Alex Ice Cream says:

    Back to Police-iano are we?

    Its not a coincidence about NYmarcus. Consols and I both responded to him on another blog and knew that he would find us here.

    Well done on reminding everyone what made NY decide to stop blogging here.

  4. Ponyboy says:

    Thanks PZ…know from other countries, no real escaping the English; Urbino sounds interesting.
    Am looking for a break, not an E.M Forster type ‘culture vulture’ job…
    Probably blend in well enough if i keep my mouth shut..

  5. FunGunner says:

    @ NYmarcus (if you’re still reading)

    I have to say I agree with Poliziano and I found your contribution today disingenuous. You mention arsenalinsider, which I read often and I have noticed that you have regular run-ins with a poster called James, who is a major doom & gloomer. If you call us optimism fascists on here, then with what justification do you take exception to his negativity? I’m sure HE thinks he’s as big a fan as you are.

    You are articulate and you know your football, but you were also one of the rudest posters on here to anyone who disagreed with your point of view. First your rudeness was directed at AIC for being too negative, and then, after your 180-degree flip at the start of the season, at most of the rest of us for being too complacent.

    You found yourself in the minority on here, and I don’t doubt it was lonely and uncomfortable. Every blogger finds a blog that suits them, and this one clearly doesn’t suit you, which was ultimately why you left. You could at least show us some respect and be honest.

  6. Ponyboy says:

    sorry, missed your post.. cheers, bro !

  7. Ponyboy says:

    FunGunner –
    You don’t pull your punches, (my darling) [sic]. Made me laugh – thanks!

  8. Poliziano says:

    Some people can tell jokes on demand. Others tell the same one again and again, even though only themselves ever found it funny.

  9. Alex Ice Cream says:


    Agreed that NY can be rude – as you say he was rude to me – but we made our peace and found much common ground in the end.

    I like the forcefulless in your post though!

  10. DukeGoonem says:

    I know whats funny….cesc telling the hull bench to f*ck off back up north.

  11. Poliziano says:

    The fact is, Ice Cream, NYMarcus said much worse things about me than I ever said about him. I consider him a pathetic person, but I’ve never tried to police him, as you so wittily put it.

  12. Ponyboy says:

    Like FunGunner’s attitude..
    ACLF attracts the most erudite and cool women..

  13. Ponyboy says:

    Poliziano – You are intelligent enough to realise that your wit destroys people far more than a Frank’s “F*** off”.
    You scare the ignorant, my friend!

  14. Gunner4Ever says:

    Ok, I have to say I’m sorry now for opening the NYm wounds.

    The man has gone, let’s remember the good stuff and appreciate the people we have.

    That included AIC & Howard when they’re off message & propaganda items.

  15. Alex Ice Cream says:

    I remember that you both said rude things to each other. You didn’t merely police NY, but also contributed to his disapperance.

    I know how tiresome it can be to have to constantly defend oneself here even for innocuous comments.

    I was attacked from all sides on Tuesday for having the temerity to say that Arsenal did not play well v Hull.

  16. Ponyboy says:

    Yeah, and don’t think that will be forgotten AIC !!!
    Elephant memories on here…

  17. Poliziano says:

    I don’t believe I did say anything rude to NYMarcus. I made fun of some Spanish journalist he relied upon. Blageur, or something like that.

  18. G4E says:

    When I need to be….nothing wrong with that 🙂

  19. Alex Ice Cream says:


    I can’t remember exactly what you said but I do not consider you dishonest so fair enough.

  20. G4E says:

    Blageur sounds French….Blagoro sounds Spanish

  21. Alex Ice Cream says:


    No, not at all.

    Anyway we have a game tomorrow. Needless to say we have to win and hope that the Scousers deal with Villa. A clear gap between them and us would ease the pressure just a little.

  22. Ponyboy says:

    Just hope everyone gets the “English” humour… the Aussies have it, but are too stupid to distinguish irony from piss-taking.. the rest of Europe simply gape.. (except the Irish, where it is an art-form).
    Whaddyamean, generalisations ?

  23. Ponyboy says:

    PZ – we all have our sensitive moments.. but you and a few others make this site the fun it is.
    Please – stop the soul-searching !!

  24. G4E says:

    Yep…tomorrow is game, football is the name, and the 3 points our aim.

    Ok, that’s my best

  25. Paul N says:

    What a funny discussion.

    This season is turning out to be quite interesting, not as clear cut for Man u as most thought. I am excited about seeing how far we can climb, you never know.

  26. G4E says:

    What soul searching? I think I saw Poliziano out the bar shocking NYm and FunGunner kicking him repeatedly in the chin..

  27. G4E says:

    Ok, I think I need a break….that was suppose to be choking and shin

  28. Ponyboy says:

    Ouch…. now i really am embarrassed!

    Losing tomorrow is unthinkable… so it will be a nerve-wracker..

    Duke ~ limewire ?? What kind of weirdness is that ?? Sounds far more painful than watching Sheringham.. Zounds!

  29. OneOfUs says:

    Thinking back… In the space of a couple of weeks there was a complete about-turn from NY. On afternoons when the blog was ridden with doom merchants I remember reading the comments section, checking the time and thinking, “OK, a couple of hours to go before NY comes on and puts these jokers in their place.”

    Then he just completely switched.

  30. Ponyboy says:

    G4E…the Inner Voice… it tells us…”Stop!”

  31. Poliziano says:

    You have to forgive some navel gazing from an ex-poet. I was upset by NYMarcus’s accusation that I forced him from this blog. I remember that day well. There are one or two persons I would be glad to see leave this blog, but he was not one of them. I don’t actually consider myself a cruel person, strange as that might sound.

  32. OneOfUs says:

    Although it’s possible NY suffered a trauma and lost his personality in the rehabilitation. I know it’s possible – it happens all the time in South American soap operas and it ain’t pretty.


  33. Gunner4Ever says:

    English tea?….Howard may still be around.

  34. Alex Ice Cream says:


    I wasn’t implying that you are cruel; I don’t believe that you are. I do remember you and Frank giving Marcus some stick though even if it wasn’t rude, and you continued today, hence my comments.

    As I said before NYmarcus left because he wanted to but I feel that some of your comments and especially Frank’s contributed to him leaving. If you say that this was unintentional then fine.

    I know we have our differences but I hope that I am not one of those people that you want to leave the blog.

  35. Frank says:

    …many of you are a lot thicker than you think…..

  36. Poliziano says:

    There are two people I want to leave the blog. I think everyone can have a good guess who they are. You’re not one of them, AIC.

    Can I have a tough cookie with my tea?

  37. Alex Ice Cream says:

    How about a dollop of Ice Cream instead?

    On second thoughts, a tough cookie sounds nicer!

  38. Poliziano says:

    What’s happened? Have you just heard about Walcott’s injury?

  39. LE GUNNER says:

    What’ up with Theo? he is injured again for another 3 weeks . Very disappointed. Fab and Ade will back for Man city game.
    Today all the talk has been about Manure Chelsea Liverpool and Barcelona. We are 4th or 5th favourite to win it. I think its great no pressure on Arsenal if we go on about our business quietly we shall swin he thing.

  40. LE GUNNER says:

    Typos error ” we shall win the thing”

  41. Gunner4Ever says:


    NO was the answer for Tea & a Tough Cookie….I think, if I’m not mistaken.

  42. LE GUNNER says:

    Poli- according to Wenger “He was walking off the pitch when he felt his knee. It locked up and started to swell”

  43. Poliziano says:

    I wasn’t asking to have THE ToughCookie. That would be unforgivable. It’s amazing how vanity can lead to misunderstandings.

  44. ToughCookie says:

    Just joking – nothing to do with vanity!
    Okay, got to have dinner now.

  45. Gunner4Ever says:

    I think you need to send some flowers….actually a huge bouquet.

    Just kidding, I’m not getting into this. 🙂

  46. ToughCookie says:

    I’m too hungry to figure out who sends flowers to who. Me to Poliz?

  47. Gunner4Ever says:

    Poliziano to Tough Cookie of course TC 🙂 but again, I’m out of it.

  48. California Gooner says:

    So, I am work and actually had to do some work — hence my absence from the debate. However I appreciate it. I really don’t understand the animus against NYM. I agree that he should of stuck around as AIC has, but I don’t think it was personal insults that drove him away, but a general intolerance towards anything that sounded critical. I stand by earlier point that good discussion is often cut short by a group that sees any criticism as ‘negative’ or disloyal and the rest. Mind you, I am not advocating that we become like gunnerblog. I like discussion, not swearing matches or insult hurling.

  49. ToughCookie says:

    Have a nice Friday evening (later), G4E.

  50. Gunner4Ever says:

    Thank you TC, enjoy your dinner 🙂

  51. Frank says:

    …oh for f*cks sake shut up, California Gooner…stop wittering …

  52. ToughCookie says:

    Thanks – don’t speak to me from now on, I have to concentrate on my spaghetti carbonara. Hope we can celebrate another fabuluous play and win against the barcodes tomorrow!
    Bye! Cookie out!

  53. Gunner4Ever says:

    And here we go again…

    We love you Arsenal….We do
    We love you Arsenal….We do
    AaaRrrsenal……We Love You

  54. Poliziano says:

    One goal and five assists in six games is impressive.

  55. Gunner4Ever says:

    Yep Poliziano…RVP has given the torch to Arshavin and the marathon continues till the end. Every one in the team contributes, every one assists, and almost every one scores or scored.

    That’s how things work at Arsenal….
    …………………..All is One & One is All..

  56. DukeGoonem says:

    Whats happening in the cricket?? its a big joke.

  57. FunGunner says:

    Hi, California Gooner

    Still at work?
    I don’t think there is an animus against that one person. You have a point that sometimes people do jump down the throats of those who are being critical (perhaps unfairly, but out of exasperation), but I think you should also accept that many of the critics are simply unwilling to debate and resort to complaining of oppression instead. As I understand it, debate follows this pattern – person A puts forward proposition X. Person B, who disagrees, puts forward a counter-argument, and maybe proposition Y. Person A then addresses the counter-argument, deals with proposition Y, etc. But what usually happens is that instead of addressing person B’s counter-argument, Person A restates their first proposition and, bizarrely, their right to make it or “have an opinion”. It’s as if they view the expression of disagreement as a form of oppression. NYmarcus was like that.

    I agree that there is a lot of abuse, to the detriment of the debates, but the insults fly in both directions – you are reading selectively if you think otherwise.

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