Lucas Perez & Theo Net As Arsenal Reach Last Eight

Sutton United 0 – 2 Arsenal

A nation held its breath and urged a hearty effort from the underdogs. And as with Yeovil Town, Farnborough and two or three others before them, Sutton United found Arsenal to be no fools in this situation.

Plucky Little Sutton’s efforts can’t be faulted, which is more than I can say for Collins’ tackle on Alex Iwobi. It was a typical non-league tackle; tough, uncompromising and dangerous. It was also a throwback to the days when men were men and the talented players generally had their careers ended early. On a 3G pitch, it was somehow appropriate as well; every time the ball went toward the touchline, I waited for the familiar metallic clink of the link fence which usually surrounds the pitch.

I did think, however, that like Jack Grealish of Villa, wearing smaller shin pads with socks partially down is an open invitation to such tackles. It doesn’t make the tackle any more welcome but lessons to be learned, etc.

As for Arsenal, it was the performance of a team which hadn’t played together for a month. Rusty for the first twenty minutes; flashes of what might happen when it came together, were accompanied by passing for passing’s sake at times. Professional because it was all about keeping the ball and making Sutton run. In the end, Arsenal’s fitness told with opportunities to score more than two, coming at the end of the game.

Lucas Perez Still Won’t Start At Anfield

Lucas Perez opener had a touch of fortune about it. Theo Walcott’s air backheel meant the ball travelled unencumbered into the back of the net. It was a cross, no doubt about it, but who cares? It was hardly the superb finish Martin and Al were gushing about at half-time.

And it was bound to happen, given the comments attributed to his Mr20% before the game. I loved the searing honesty of linking his client to a club whom he admitted, he’d had no contact with; you’ve got my number, why don’t you use it. An undertone of desperation in his comments, if you ask me. He’ll still be on the bench next weekend though. Or the weekend after, whenever it is; I’ve lost track of time this morning.

The second inevitably came from captain for the night, Theo Walcott. A hundred for the club in 370 appearances, which for a winger isn’t a bad return. But 370 appearances in ten years underlines how much football he has missed through injury. You’d expect a player who is/was a first team regular to be another 80-100 games further on at this point.

As for the rest of the night, I’m not losing any sleep over whether it was a good match or bad; it was a win. Functional football with half the side changed from the debacle in Munich and played on a 3G pitch. You could see elements of why artificial surfaces died out in the 80s. If you thought the ball ran away from the players last night, it was a lot worse at Kenilworth Road and Loftus Road, I can assure you. Boundary Park as well, although Oldham was – and may well still be – the coldest football ground in England which was more of a concern.

No Risk, No Reward

Unsurprisingly, Alexis made an appearance. Not for him a wussy fortnight off, he just wants to play. And he did, for about twenty minutes. Arsène said afterwards that he did not “think it was a risk” to use the Chilean although the centre back who marked him undermined Wenger’s theory that “it is the guy who does not have good co-ordination, who is heavy on his feet, who is in trouble”. He was a big old unit.

We’re through to the quarter-finals and it’s tempting to put last four in there. Someone will no doubt say, “Oh no, Burnley fans thought that and look what happened to them”. And? It is going to stop me thinking that, at home, we ought to win more comfortably than at Sincil Bank, is it? We’re The Arsenal, surely we don’t hold with being worried about tempting fate in such fixtures? The manager and his staff, the players; they can be professional, I’m a bloody supporter.

Although using The Arsenal is something which is likely to fade over time. The prefix harked back to a time when the club would have remembered a pennant to mark Sutton’s biggest game. Small things which push the class of the club further into history. Well, I take that back unreservedly and apologise to the directors.

On the flip side, I don’t give a rat’s arsenal about the state of the dressing room; it was messy and dirty, as you would expect. Was it damaged deliberately? No. So to the muppets who think it’s an issue for the back pages or social media, get a life.

Staged Banter

And having been thwarted by the FA in giving their gate receipts to Sutton, let’s commend Arsenal for donating £50k for Sutton to use in their community projects. It’s a two-way street in criticising the club for not even thinking of something; give them some credit when it’s due.

Just when you thought it was a true non-league football night…

Dad’s Jukebox

Finally, TImes of our Lives has reached 1992. The playlist is set fair, ready for your delectation here.

’til Tomorrow.

99 thoughts on “Lucas Perez & Theo Net As Arsenal Reach Last Eight

  1. Orson Kaert says:

    Good morning, Yogi and Arsetralian, I was intrigued to watch the new referee guidelines in operation last night. An innocuous foul by Xhaka penalised by a yellow card. Numerous crunching/dangerous tackles on Arsenal players waived on without sanction. Sanchez sent flying and then bundled over in the full view of referee Michael Oliver, an event that would surely have brought a red card in a Premiership match, but no he stuck to the guidelines, avoid spoiling the Romance of the Cup, by penalising the little club.

    It’s all about marketing of course, give the media something to gush over and drive up the advertising revenue.

    As an aside, what was David O’Leary doing there last night? Possible future Director of Football? Advisor to the board on managerial candidates? Or even to look over his squad as he prepares to take the reins from Wenger?

  2. Orson Kaert says:

    Australian no worries mate, a veil has already been drawn over the Bayern debacle. It’s been relegated to the back of the drawer, superseded by the magnificent triumph over the team of giant-killers from the Surrey commuter belt.

    Any lingering doubts about the quality of the Arsenal performance have been attributed to the fiendish practice of making our superstars play on a wet plastic pitch.

    Into the quarter finals again, another Wenger record in the making.

  3. YW says:

    Sitting next to Dick Law as well, Orson. Getting his feet under table? We can but hope.

  4. Wavey says:

    Morning all,

    Through to the next round and any potential banana skins avoided. Job done.

    A comment from Le Saux resonated last night because its been said so many times before, “too many touches”. I’m not really sure what’s happened to us, but we seem to be morphing from a team that can put together slick passing moves into one that is so low on confidence that they try to make sure of everything, even against non-league opposition. It plays perfectly into the hands of teams that like to press as too often players will get caught in possession. We just seem to dither and dwell on the ball way too much. The slick Arsenal known for its passing has disappeared to a large extent as ‘too many touches’ means passes are rushed and gaps that were there are closed down. Every so often we wake up from the stupor and put together a few slick moves (late in the first half against Bayern for example), but they really are few and far between now. Every game has become slow and boring to watch and the comments from the pundits about Arsenal putting teams to the sword with their passing seem to be remembering an Arsenal of better times. The current Arsenal is ill-disciplined and unorganised, weak and low on confidence. A team with no leadership.
    Still we’re through to the next round of the FA Cup and are playing another non-league team, so what’s there to worry about?

  5. Wavey says:

    YW,

    Nah, everyone was there to see if we would screw up. Who wouldn’t want to be there when Sutton United knocked Arsenal out of the FA Cup?

  6. Mike says:

    Orson Kaert,

    I’ve noticed O’Leary at a couple of games recently. Not read that he’s back at the club in any capacity. Any one know if he is?

  7. Orson Kaert says:

    Mike,

    Well, He hasn’t worked in football management since being sacked by United Arab Emirates team Al Ahli in April 2011.

    Does occasional punditry for Al Jazeera on the Premiership programme.

    He has said, he hasn’t given up on football management and would like to return to the game at some stage.

    Be afraid! Be very afraid!

  8. Clockendjim says:

    With the lack of effort from so many of the current squad, I find it difficult to understand why Perez does not get more playing time. Last night he lost the ball but chased back and recovered it; how many other Arsenal players are doing that right now (other than Sanchez of course). I also think he would become a regular goal-scorer eventually, something we could really do with
    When oh when will Oxlade Chamberlain & Theo Walcott learn to cross a ball to one of their own side. So many time they speed into promising positions to then give the ball away.
    Sadly I think the days of ‘promise’ are gone and we are left with unfinished articles who are never going to raise their game any further – time for changes

  9. C says:

    So apparently Keown’s comments were about a challenge that Eastmond made on Elneny.

  10. Dukey says:

    Take that Sutton. Don’t fuck with the mighty Arsenal, don’t come round here no more, now run along and tell your mate Lincoln he is in for a beating aswell.

  11. Steve says:

    O’Leary works as a match day ambassador at the club.

  12. Ras says:

    Top post YW. The sight of David O’ Leary with Gazidis Co last night is concerning. I do hope O’Leary has not remit at all at AFC.

  13. Northbank Lew says:

    By all accounts we didn’t have a pennant to hand over at the beginning of the match because we had already presented them with a silver cannon in a fancy presentation box – a bit too heavy for poor Theo to bring on the pitch ! 🙂

  14. C says:

    Good job Theo, score your 100th goal and then classy move going into the Sutton lockerroom to sign autographs and take pictures:

  15. YW says:

    Lew

    Didn’t see that ’til just now but post amended accordingly.

    Ta.

  16. jjgsol says:

    I Thought that Sutton played really well. I could not believe that they are so many leagues below us.

    Had they a decent striker, then they could easily have beaten us.

    Well done to them and thanks to them for showing us that football is alive and well and living in England.

  17. Pete the Thirst says:

    My favourite Le Saux moment when Walcott’s air shot deceived the Sutton keeper: “Walcott had the presence of mind to let the ball go through his legs”

    He doesn’t watch much Theo does he?

  18. Pete the Thirst says:

    Questions: Are the two Sutton blokes in the picture:

    A) Related
    B) Related to Brian Clough

    ?

  19. nicky says:

    I get the impression that the gods may now have it in mind that Arsenal FC have suffered enough this season. Defeats clutched from the jaws of victory. Players below par. The Manager under severe fire.
    How else can you explain Sutton United and now Lincoln City at the Ems?
    Three more tests will prove my theory…..
    1. Arsenal 4 Bayern 0 in the CL second leg.
    2. Arsenal overtake Chelsea to take the EPL title.
    3. Arsenal win the FA Cup. 😉

  20. Orson Kaert says:

    nicky,

    Are you losing your (blind) optimism? Is your glass now half empty instead of half full? Remember, an empty glass can be refilled, perhaps by the appointment of a new manager.

  21. Bill says:

    Great review yogi

    With the favorable draw I think we can confidently book our place in the semifinal. Theo was back at CF and had an average performance but he did score his 100th Arsenal goal so congrats in order for him. Perez also got a goal when Theo whiffed on his cross. The player who stood out was Ox who looked like our best player when he came on in central midfield for Elneny. Ox brings a different more dynamic style of play and he can pass and move with the ball at his feet and while it does not always come off at least he tries to get the ball forward and transition quickly which is something our ball possession players Le coq, xhaka and elneny don’t really do.

  22. Bill says:

    I thought t was really interesting that Giroud was no where to be seen. If he is injured, I had not heard about it. It seems odd that a team which struggles at times to find players who are goal threats would drop the player who in very limited minutes is tied for our second leading scorer in league games. Giroud has 8 goals and 3 assists in about 600 league minutes while Theo has 8 goals and 2 assists in 1550 league minutes. Like him or not giroud has been effective when given the chance to play and with a very tough fight for 4th place still ahead of us it seems a bit strange to drop him completely. I think we can dismiss as rubbish the notion that his lack of pace inhibits our ability to play fast paced counter attacks and aggressive pressing defense. Our performances as a team certainly have not improved since we dropped him out of the starting line up and went back to Alexis at CF with pacey wingers. Hopefully dropping him out of sight means that arsene will finally sell Giroud and buy a better CF but that is probably just wishful thinking.

  23. Birdkamp says:

    On Wayne Shaw, will say this and bugger off again.

    Non-League football, like a lot of semi-pro sport is absolutely rife with match-fixing. The Sun deserve 99% of the blame for this, but Shaw was a moron for getting involved.

  24. Orson Kaert says:

    Bill,

    He does tend to gift possession to the opposition in the most dangerous of situations though.

  25. consolsbob says:

    The Shaw business is a bloody ferrago. A fat bloke eats a pie during a match in which he is not involved because a newspaper, who are also a bookies, set it up. The FA, given the lack of actual abuses in the game launch an investigation.

    Result: a bloke who lives for his small club has to resign and face opprobrium.

    Well done the FA. Biggest bully on the block.

  26. Bill says:

    Orson

    True. Ox does lose the ball

    If we keep Ozil we need to buy someone better for the cazorla role next summer. Le coq xhaka elneny and Ox are all nice complimentary players.

  27. Bill says:

    Orson

    True. Ox does lose the ball

    If we keep Ozil we need to buy someone better for the cazorla role next summer. Le coq xhaka elneny and Ox are all nice complimentary players. IMO

  28. Birdkamp says:

    Bob, the Sun has to be condemned most of all (and it’s absurd that a newspaper should be a bookmaker) but the FA had to investigate.

    It’s not “banta”; it’s serious shit that has even cost lives.

    I think, legally, the moment Shaw admitted he’d spoken about it beforehand he was in trouble. I think, but am not sure, that he could have got away with it if he’d eaten the pie but just kept his mouth shut after.

  29. Bill says:

    Orson. With the way we play, I think we need one really good midfielder and I don’t think Ozil counts because he is a forward.

    Fergie had the right formula, IMO. He knew that you needed to play great defense and have a critical mass of top players at the “critical positions”. Once he had Ronaldo Rooney to score and Vidic Ferdinand Van der Saar and solid team defense then he could fill in the rest of the starting 11 with O’Shea, Fletcher Park Rafael etc etc. You need competent players in all positions but you don’t need world class midfielders or full backs to succeed if you have the defense and goal scoring covered. You don’t need incredible midfield technical skill and creativity if you can counter attack the way they did.

  30. C says:

    Wonder if there is any truth to a report I am seeing that Juve, Napoli and Dortmund are all tracking the Sczcney situation as a long term replacement for Buffon and Reina; think it would certainly be telling if they are looking at him.

  31. Orson Kaert says:

    C,

    Whatever the Szczesny situation we need to look for a number one ‘keeper for next season. Cech is coming to the end of his career, Ospina has not impressed me as a future first choice and Martinez has not had the necessary exposure.

    I was never that kean on Szczesny, maybe he has improved, but has he cut out the tendency for the occasional rush of blood to the brain?

  32. Bill says:

    Orson

    Arsene handed wojo the #1 GK when he was very young and Arsene hung on to him thru a lot of mistakes. It takes a lot for Arsene to give up on a player he likes, but Wojo had 5 years and could not play consistently enough to hang on to the position. Stranger things have happened like Nik Bendtner coming back but I would be surprised if wojo came back

  33. -DFS says:

    Were through to Lincoln and that’s that.

    Did not expect us to produce anything close to the form and spirit shown at Southampton, because that was somewhat happenstance (I speculated why on the day).

    Welbeck playing the night before was hokum, as was leaving Giroud out of the squad.

    With all that had swirled around the club in recent days, one might expect the team to come out firing on all cylinders – if not by instruction, self-motivation?

    Half the team looked up for it half the team didn’t. Reine- Adelaide looked like he thought he could walk it (disappointing after his star turn) and Iwobi was shockingly bad. Mustafi and Xhaka are getting lost deeper in the weeds…but, nothing strikes as more than the common ailments.

    Soft on preparation, tactics and in-game captaincy and direction – normal operating mode.

    After the Perez opener, I thought we might run up a score but got increasingly bugged as we stayed sloppy throughout. That said, we’ve been so erratic, worse scenarios could have played out so I’ll take the win and a few positives.

    Holding (a few moments aside) looks mature beyond his years, Perez underlined his purposefulness and Theo gets a ton up.

    Regarding Szczesny – I am still struck by his comment in a fairly recent interview that, to date, he has had no contact whatsoever with the club or Wenger about his situation or future. He said he was happy for to leave it in Wengers hands, Wengers knows best, which I found baffling and decidedly unimpressive.

    However, I think he is the best option for us under the circumstances.

    Ospina is not the level of keeper Arsenal needs and Cech was only ever a short term solution. It was idiotic to sign Cech on a 5 year deal – the resources should have been spent (scouting and funds) to bring in a young keeper with real potential.

  34. Orson Kaert says:

    -DFS,

    A young ‘keeper with real potential is not the requirement, we have that in Martinez.

    What we need is an established, experienced and fully proven ‘keeper capable of being Arsenal’s number one.

  35. -DFS says:

    Orson-

    That is not what I meant. I said the resources on Cech (30 million over his contract term) could have been put to better use – a keeper for the future.

    In the interim Szczesny is our best option.

    Funds available or not, bringing in a first rate keeper is difficult -which established and fully proven goalkeeper is available?

  36. Wavey says:

    -DFS,

    I’d buy Butland. He’s been unlucky with injuries, but he’s a keeper so less likely to pick up repeat injuries due to strains etc. He already looks top quality and the work I saw him doing in England training was excellent. He looked much better than Hart, even when Hart was playing well.

  37. Jonny says:

    Reports saying Sanchez is definitely leaving come the summer.
    Hardly a surprise – wonder how much we might get?

  38. Wavey says:

    A bit surprised that Cech is being written off so quickly. He has been a bit shaky recently, but I’m not sure that age has caught up with him completely just yet. There were calls for keepers like Schwarzer in the past and Cech is a much higher quality keeper. I think it was a no brainer bringing him in at the time and he will be a great number 2 to have as your keeper if we bring someone else in. Maybe Wojo gets another chance and if so it’s probably Wojo, Cech and Martinez with Ospina heading out.
    If Wojo isn’t coming back in we look for a new number 1 with Cech and Martinez as the back up. I can’t think of that many situations where Cech has been the reason behind a defeat (whereas you could blame some previous keepers), so signing him has made a lot of sense.

  39. consolsbob says:

    I accept that, Al, but mey real issue is the FA.

    There is so many real issues, ‘right and proper owners’, to name but one. This seems an absurd one to show their teeth over.

  40. buckagh says:

    Jonny,

    If he doesn’t sign by May he is probably leaving, what’s the source of report Jonny

  41. captain senderos says:

    the Monaco new Henry kid is a decent player…. am very sure when one of the bigger and more serious club buys him in the future, Mr wenger will once again sing his usual ode to a lost player

  42. buckagh says:

    C,

    C,

    What a tosser Wayne is, could of had £500 on himself and kept his mouth shut after he ate the pie of course

  43. Wavey says:

    That could just about be it for City. Conceded 2 away goals in the first half with Monaco looking dangerous going forward. Pep was brought in to make City a serious proposition in the CL and it looks like his first crack at it hasn’t quite worked out.

  44. andy1886 says:

    buckagh,

    It’s John Cross of the Mirror. Couldn’t see any evidence to support the headline other than it’s what Cross expects him to do.

  45. andy1886 says:

    Wavey,

    Lol, Otamendi gives away a pen. Almost as bad as Stones. Terrible defenders the pair of them.

  46. Wavey says:

    andy1886,

    I’m amazed they don’t concede more, they are shocking at the back.

    City nick one back from a crazy goalie mistake.

  47. Wavey says:

    Stoned with another massive fuck up and Falcao scores.

    2-3

  48. Wavey says:

    Typo or Freudian slip? John Stoned, lol

  49. andy1886 says:

    Says something about the art of defending these days. Sad really, a great tackle is just as good to see as a great pass. Gibbs is another example of a player who is a defender in name only.

  50. andy1886 says:

    Wavey,

    Plays like he is.

    Just watching him flopped on the floor after that one and noticed that even his tattoos are rubbish.

  51. andy1886 says:

    Mad. Stones is better in their penalty area than in his. 4-3 City.

  52. andy1886 says:

    Actually this is very Wenger, all attack no interest in defending well. Jardim inches closer to The Emirates?

  53. Colts says:

    Cheers dfs,

    Was hoping I wasn’t being to bias, but yes, Jeff certainly looked like he was suffering from Ramboitis.
    All this cute ish we try to do when we struggle with the basics is quite bizarre.

    And please God let Mr Chamberlain find some end product. Ta x

  54. andy1886 says:

    Wavey,

    Great for the neutral, terrible if you support one of them and have to watch this defending. Now 5-3, Monaco described as ‘a shambles’ – heard that before? No wonder he’s linked with us.

  55. andy1886 says:

    buckagh,

    Yeah but I’d rather win 1-0 than lose 5-3! We’re not Tottenham FFS! 😉

  56. Wavey says:

    Impossible to call who will go through now. You would think taking a 2 goal lead into the second leg should be enough, but both defences are random as hell.

  57. Wavey says:

    2-4 in the other tie which should be enough for ATM.

  58. wilberforce says:

    Just seen that the Arsenal boys left the Sutton dressing room in a right mess. Maybe I’m being a bit over the top here but it just goes to show how arrogant we are.

    Compare that to the All Blacks.

    Before leaving the dressing room at the end of a game, the top players in the team – including Richie McCaw and Dan Carter – stop and tidy up. They literally and figuratively ‘sweep the sheds’. It is an example of personal humility, a cardinal All Blacks value. The All Blacks believe that it’s impossible to achieve success without having your feet planted firmly on the ground.

    Sweeping the sheds, doing it properly – so no-one else has to. Because no one looks after the All Blacks. The All Blacks look after themselves- James Kerr author of Legacy

  59. Wavey says:

    wilberforce,

    A bit disappointing. Maybe the players don’t even think about it after games as usually everything is cleaned up for them. The club should have though. Sutton probably don’t have cleaning crews on hand to clean up the dressing rooms after games. It would have been fairly easy for someone in the Arsenal party to sort out a clean up.

  60. Knobby says:

    How many dressing rooms get photographed?
    Look at fantasy football on sky with the magic man they try to create a real dressing room, (messy)
    Firstly we got accused that we never swapped a pennant before kick off ,( does this happen at every fa cup tie?) turns out Arsenal directors had already given a solid silver engraved cannon to the owners of Sutton
    We tried to give all the tv money to Sutton but the FA refused that so we donated £50k to a Sutton fc charity that paid for changing rooms and classrooms etc
    Theo went into Suttons dressing room and signed many shirts and posed for pics..
    Arsene went into the Suttons managers office and acted like a perfect gentlemen yet still pictures of a changing room (with no bins) are used to downgrade our club..
    Sickening

  61. C says:

    Not picking on the Ox but his comments about Sanchez never playing in or seeing a stadium like Sutton’s made me laugh. Clearly he has never been to most of the pitches in Chile or seen how poor the stadiums are if you aren’t the top sides, the drop off is way more drastic.

  62. Knobby says:

    “The night was something I don’t think certain players have seen in England,” Oxlade-Chamberlain said afterwards. “

  63. C says:

    Knobby,

    Yea, they haven’t seen it in England but he obviously hasn’t seen some of the pitches in Europe and Africa; all he has to do is ask Elneny and Sanchez.

  64. C says:

    For as bad as Falcao was for Manure, he now has 15 goals in his last 15 appearances in all competitions to pair with Mbappe. I would also gladly have Fabinho to replace Santi and Sidibe to play LB (I know he played RB but in France has played both FB’s and CB when called upon) after selling Gibbs and realizing Nacho isn’t getting any younger.

  65. C says:

    Or even Bernado Silva to replace Santi.

  66. -DFS says:

    Wavey,

    Jack Butland could be a great target (if he gets his ankle sorted)- but would Stoke let him go? Even if they did, he would be really costly – would Wenger go for it?

    But, my point re Cech was all we were ever doing was treading water, not addressing the future.

    Cech’s game was already ebbing at Chelsea and the club knew it (I just found a 2014 aticle where 71% of thousands polled opted for Courtois over Cech due to his impressive spell at Atletico).

    I had no issue with Cech coming here, the issue I had was the contract for 5 years (at first team keeper wages). It should have been a short, year to year re-negotiable contract.

  67. Orson Kaert says:

    -DFS,

    At the time, signing Cech was the right thing to do. He was exactly what we needed but his work is undermined by the defensive frailty in front of him.

    An ever changing line-up due to injuries, suspensions and perceived lack of form by our left backs, is creating problems. This is exacerbated by poor defensive coaching.

    I doubt if Cech would have accepted anything less than a five year contract, let’s face it Arsenal are no longer the team that everyone wants to play for, so there had to be the incentive of a long contract and big wages.

    Rather than looking for a replacement ‘keeper, perhaps we should be seeking a defensive coach, or a new goalkeeping coach. I believe there is one available in Sutton and Cheam who could be willing to work for pies instead of pounds.

  68. Ras says:

    C,

    Morning C I watched the the City. Mbappe Sidibe Bernado I would take them all san hesitation.Sidibe is a beast. He does not stand on ceremony. He is in the A Cole vein with a lot of pace. The jeune Mbappe is a player at 18.

  69. Wavey says:

    Knobby,

    I dont doubt that dressing rooms are normally as messy as that, I’m sure they are like that all of the time. At PL clubs there are probably a fleet of cleaners who come in and make everything pristine again after the players have gone. Sutton don’t have that. I’m not digging out the players for leaving a mess, I’m questioning why someone else at the club didn’t have it tidied up after them. It would have been a nice touch. Yes, pennants are exchanged in such games but, as you said, Arsenal presented them with a silver cannon.

  70. Jonny says:

    Reports saying Sanchez is definitely leaving come the summer.
    Hardly a surprise – wonder how much we might get?

    wilberforce:
    Just seen that the Arsenal boys left the Sutton dressing room in a right mess. Maybe I’m being a bit over the top here but it just goes to show how arrogant we are.

    Compare that to the All Blacks.

    Before leaving the dressing room at the end of a game, the top players in the team – including Richie McCaw and Dan Carter – stop and tidy up. They literally and figuratively ‘sweep the sheds’. It is an example of personal humility, a cardinal All Blacks value. The All Blacks believe that it’s impossible to achieve success without having your feet planted firmly on the ground.

    Sweeping the sheds, doing it properly – so no-one else has to. Because no one looks after the All Blacks. The All Blacks look after themselves- James Kerr author of Legacy

    As Wavey and Knobby alluded – all a bit in a storm in a teacup but on the subject of The All Blacks and personal responsibility, this article is of interest.
    It is something our spoiled footballers could do with across the board…
    https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/feb/21/england-dean-ryan-rfu-youth-development

  71. Jonny says:

    Ignore the bit about Sanchez – not sure how that got dropped in at the top…

  72. Wavey says:

    -DFS,

    Not surprised that Chelsea fans wanted to upgrade, especially with Courtois having such a high profile trial period at ATM. Let’s not forget, we upgraded as well in signing Cech. I’m sure he was looking for a contract which would take him much closer to the end of his career, so I wouldn’t be surprised if he had refused a shorter deal.
    Demoting him to number 2 for the last 2-3 years of his contract makes sense.
    The question on Butland is more whether he wants to stay at Stoke if bigger clubs come knocking. I’m sure he has the ambition, does Arsenal?

  73. Damon says:

    Id take Schezzer back and see how he goes. Run out of too many more chances though, for me.

    If we’re making a shortlist of keepers I’d bring in otherwise, I’d go for these, in the following order

    Butland
    Schemeichel
    Dan Bentley

    I believe that Arsenal have had interest in the latter two at some point in in their careers, but chose not to move when they were. Whether they still are is another matter

  74. Knobby says:

    Rooney going to China for a £mi!!ion a week, and his agent hasn’t denied the rumours.
    And he spends half the season injured these days.

  75. -DFS says:

    Damon,

    I really liked Schmeichel last year- he is very, very good with his feet. He regularly pinged out accurate, low trajectory drop kicks straight to attackers springing Leicester into attack.

    Orson – I hear what you are saying about defensive frailties dragging his performance down ( I put it largely down to coaching) but therein lies another rub with Cech.

    Along with all the nonsense about him saving us 15 points a year was the argument he would be an older, wiser head that would captain and organize the defense. Shouldn’t he be the perfect candidate for that role at Arsenal?

    I said back then, he never struck me as a leader at Chelsea and have seen nothing from him that would indicate otherwise. We are still as disorganized as ever.

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