Thursday, 30 September 2010

Harry Spotted

I Wonder if Harry has changed his view on 'soft' penalties at The Lane?

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

A keeper a keeper my kingdom for a keeper!

"Manuel Almunia will miss Arsenal's Champions League game against Partizan Belgrade due to an injury"-The Guardian 27/09/10
"What should be of more concern is that should Almunia get injured we would , based on Wenger's previous practises, be left with Fabianski in goal. This should concern all Arsenal supporters far more than Almunia's mediocrity."- arsenalism 01/09/10

It's inevitable that Wenger will select Lukasz as he has such faith in him as our number 2. I cast my mind back to Fabianski's performances in Europe and shudder with horror, I can only dream that Cpt Robert Hatch comes out of retirement as he has a far better record in Europe than Fabianski.

Monday, 27 September 2010

it's not fair

As Michael Turner of Sunderland took a free kick in the 5th minute at Anfield . which the player claims was just him giving it to his keeper to take the kick,Fernando Torres pounced on the 'loose ball'  which Sunderland apparently thought was still dead, and squared for Kuyt to score. This signalled another 'it's not fair' rant from  Blades manager Steve Bruce. He should have saved his anger for the ineptitude of the referee in not giving England's Steven Gerrard a red card for an elbow.

"This is the second time it has happened to me, the first time was at Arsenal in the FA Cup [as Sheffield United manager in 1999] when they were going to throw it back to our goalkeeper and they threw it to Kanu who ran down the wing and crossed for Marc Overmars to score"-Steve Bruce 26/09/10

What Steve 'it's not fair' Bruce failed to point out is that Arsenal where honourable enough to offer to replay the game; an unprecedented act of sportsmanship!

"Arsenal in the spirit of sportsmanship offered to replay the game; an offer that was accepted by the Blades and sanctioned by the FA."

Just stop moaning Steve and tell your players the basic rule of football, learnt from the playground up; Play to the whistle.

Saturday, 25 September 2010

the weakest link

highlights of todays debacle

Roberto DiMatteo is no tactical genius but he clearly saw a chink in Arsenal’s armour today at the Emirates. Playing what was ostensibly a 7-2-1 formation he knew that by the law of averages WBA would have a couple of opportunities to have shots on target from open play. He also knew that Arsenal is a club with aspirations of winning the Premier League. However, he knew that Manuel Almunia is not a goalkeeper of the requisite ability for a title chasing side therefore the probability would be that those chances that WBA would have would, to a degree, be better chances due to the standard of our keeper. So it proved to be.
Their first goal was standard fare that we could have done better defending, but these things happen.
Goals 2 & 3 were poor goalkeeping. Yes we rallied in the later stages but realistically when you are in a position where League leaders Chelsea have dropped 3 points earlier in the day and you are at home to WBA you should be getting maximum points if your challenge is real. Those idiots at the ground today booing Almunia need a reality check. Manuel is selected as Arsenal's number one his ineptitude is clearly not a selection criteria. Don't boo your own players I say!
I said a few posts ago that Wenger’s decision to go into this campaign with the keepers we have may prove catastrophic; today (and to an extent Tuesday night) was one of those days where those prophetic words rang true.
Hansen once said ‘you win nothing with kids’ that’s as maybe be but for sure ‘you win nothing with poor goalkeepers.
the weakest link

Reqiuem for a dream

Once there was a bar of beauty that revelled in beer and proximity to the home of Arsenal now there remains a less than beautiful frump with bad manners.
Standing in the rain having my thin and flexible plastic glass of beer topped up by heaven's tap. Crushed in the patience sapping queue at the bar surrounded by shouting newcomers and being audibly assaulted by ear shattering Latin music. Queuing to use the urine soaked toilet and obeying the orders of the mini bouncers who are guardians of the velvet rope. Surrounded by refugees from the current BT advert questioning the logic of inconvenience.
The benefits are therefore only two; the proximity to the stadium and the obvious attractions of the barmaids.
Some of you will know of which I speak...
...And now the dream is over.
What really matters now? Regardless of pre game ritual today we meet WBA
and make a decision; it's about the Arsenal and the next game and the next...

Thursday, 23 September 2010

Cheap and obvious humour at Sp*rs expense

Far be it for me to indulge in cheap, obvious and immature humour but after beating Sp*rs 4-1 on Tuesday, damn it, I'm going to! 
A capacity crowd watch Arsenal's fourth goal go in

Sp*rs team photo before Tuesday's game

The last time there were a pair of decent strikers at WHL
Bentley shows his understated, subtle and ego less approach to life off the pitch.

Arsenal fans' thoughts on Extra time

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Wenger looks on from the balcony while beastly Spurs pay the penalty as they are tamed by Arsenal's beautiful game

tears in the face of beauty
Sp*rs committed 23 fouls against Arsenal as they struggled to deal with Arsenal's passing game as a resounding 1-4 victory was achieved at WHL.
Arsenal's fourth goal sparked a mass exodus from the ground. As the oles rang around the half empty stadium there were more Gunners supporters in the decrepit shit hole than home fans.
And how we milked the moment. It was Arsenal's biggest win at WHL in 32 years and revenge for the 5-1 DVD inspiring loss in the same competition two years ago.
I assume VanDerVaart was watching and I wonder if he still holds the opinion that Sp*rs are a bigger club than Arsenal. I am still curious as to the basis of this assertion; is it based on
Size of Fan base?
Size of stadium?
Number of trophies won?
Head to head encounters?
Number of domestic doubles?
Length of time in top flight?
Number of League titles?
Amount of unbeaten seasons?
Number of Champions League campaigns?
Amount of higher league positions?
Whiteness of kit?...OK, you've got that one Rafael.
It's obviously not based on number of competitions being competed for this season is it?

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

wanna buy DVD?

Outside Harry's DVD manufacturing plant all was quiet...
...but inside all systems were ready to go.
wanna buy dvd?

Monday, 20 September 2010

it's a mad, mad, mad.,mad world

The world’s gone mad!

Sam Allardyce says Wenger is not a better coach than him!

Denilsen says Arsenal are currently better than Chelsea!

Steve Bruce criticises Wenger for not drinking!

Van Der Vaart says Sp*rs are a bigger Club than Arsenal!

No Bergkamp or Vieira in Barclays English greatest ever Premiership XI!

Wenger to be charged for ‘pushing’ 4th official!

And Harry says...
“Arsenal looked fabulous running six past Portuguese side Braga without reply. Chelsea won 4-1 away at Slovaks MSK Zilina,” said Redknapp.
“What total mismatches. Surely this means clubs like Braga and MSK Zilina do not have the right to share the same pitch as teams like Arsenal and Chelsea?”
..err ,Young Boys anyone!!!

Friday, 17 September 2010

Fear and Loathing in the Premier League

Here we go again, it's have a pop at Arsenal time again. Wenger is on the receiving end following a night where the principles of football as art were seen in all their glory at the Emirates.
The managers of recently defeated Bolton and Blackburn take exception at the thought that they produce teams that may be perceived as being the ugly sister of the beautiful game. The Press, as per usual, pile in against the 'Frenchman'.

Owen Coyle says
“Maybe Arsenal know they were in a really tough game,maybe that is a compliment. I like to think we have endeavour, commitment and quality. “
What quality? And let’s not get bamboozled by word play we all know what Endeavour and commitment actually mean.
Allardyce spews
“He's a very clever man in terms of influencing referees, officials and everybody in football,"
Who’s he talking about here? His old mucker, British Manager Alex Ferguson?
"In saying people are trying to injure players he is trying, through the media, to influence referees”
Again, is this Fergie he’s misquoting? No of course not.Hypocrite!

The  press says
‘The Frenchman intimated he felt Bolton defenders Paul Robinson, as well as Gary Cahill, should have been dismissed for a tackle which left Abou Diaby with severe ankle bruising’
What is the relevance of his nationality? ‘intimated’ is a non committal word , most often used to prevent civil action. Talk about presumption!

Is it any wonder that the national team are so inept when the Premier League is populated by teams that value 'getting stuck in' and getting in your face' above technique.

Teams that are technically superior can be beaten with a game plan; look at how Inter destroyed the Barcelona myth last season.Players of limited ability can be marshaled into a counter argument based on tactical awareness.Not in the Prem!

 I am sick to death of the pathetic xenophobic sports media and their hatred of Arsenal. Bored of hearing dullards like Allardyce and Coyle slagging off Wenger based on no more than he does not subscribe to football as War in shorts. Tired of column inches and idiotic radio presenters choosing to ignore the qualities and attributes displayed so far this season by Arsenal.
joy of six
The flip side is that when Arsenal are being slated by outsiders we should then come together behind our team.I have an opinion and am more than forthright in my criticisms; but I am a paying fan who loves the club. Not someone too busy criticising others to mask their own ineptitude. Yes these Managers are inept. They manage football clubs without playing football how it should be played. Keep going with this and there will be another '44 years of hurt'

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

News from around Europe

On Matchday 1 of The European Champions league here's some news from around Europe

Arsenal are cursed I tell you cursed!
Juventus defender Armand Traore is set to miss about a month. The Frenchman, on loan from Arsenal, injured his left thigh during training on Saturday and will now be sidelined for about four weeks.

Giant kills Giant
Barcelona suffered a humiliating 2-0 home defeat to Hercules when Nelson Valdez struck twice to give the tiny promoted club a shock victory at a stunned Camp Noú; I think that result, along with Inter's win in last seasons ECL shows that Arsenal where too starstruck to beat this so called 'team from another planet' another planet? pah!

Liver bird not flying high
The fact that a team with such a great pedigree as Liverpool, in the Champions League/European Cup are not competing on matchday 1 should be a lesson to all supporters on how easy a fall from grace can be.

Catalan to Birmingham
“If I had known before what was going to happen, I would not have gone from Arsenal."-Alexander Hleb.
Serves you right though doesn't it!? Enjoy the relegation battle and Carling cup run, along with the culture of the Brummie; how like Barcelona it will seem!

Half a century of hurt
So Harry 'i'm not a wheeler dealer' Redknapp looks forward to a night at the Lane unlike any seen for 49 years (yes 49 years!). Those Sky+ boxes will be taking a beating tonight as Sp*rs fans record Eastenders. After all a lifetime with a Tuesday and Wednesday Soap Opera habit is hard to break.
England's Arsenal play Portugal's Arsenal at Arsenal's Emirates stadium as Arsenal welcome the Arsenalistas of Braga
Braga have been known as Arsenal do Minho and changed their kits from green-and-white hoops to their Arsenal-style red in 1920 when their then-coach Jozef Szabo, following a trip to Highbury, ordered the club to adopt new colours to establish their own identity (Braga even renamed their youth team Arsenal do Braga). The fans of Braga are known as Arsenalistas due to their teams uniforms that resemble that of The Arsenal.

Sunday, 12 September 2010

passing the test

And it goes a little something like this…
Song Fabregas Denilson Rosicky Arshavin Koscielny Gibbs Rosicky Fabregas Arshavin Denilson Eboue Song Koscielny Song Rosicky Arshavin Vela Eboue Denilson Squillaci Arshavin Song Rosicky Denilson Fabregas Vela!
Arsenalist Blog-here's the goal

Saturday, 11 September 2010

a calm assessment

An hysteria free assessment.
Paying hard earned money for my season ticket it is reasonable to expect that each game I go to see has an Arsenal team trying to win the tournament that the game relates to. With this in mind I also have an expectation that we have a squad that is able to compete in a season's worth of tournaments. If this is not the case due to financial constraints then there needs to be clarity to each and every person that commits their wages to the club. If the board or the manager are unable to produce an Arsenal team that wins games, trophies and the moral high ground at the behest of debt and financial planning then let's have transparency.

Let's get one thing straight Arsenal are NOT in crisis. The facts support that Arsenal are a) a successful Premier League Club b) solvent and c) by and large fulfilling the remit that Football is meant to entertain. The issues that are raised time and again relate to the recent history of the club and how from a position of winning Premierships or being runners up, winning FA cups and reaching the ECL final we are presently looking unable to recapture this level of success.

A touch of realism is also useful when viewing our place in the scheme of things. Domestically one of the big boys, in European terms also rans. No big deal that's just true until such time as we win the Champions League.

External factors.
Yes the landscape has changed amongst our competitors, with the private ownership of clubs, the bottomless pits of cash available at clubs and the level of wages available to attract players. However Arsenal's unbeaten champions were assembled without uncontrolled spending.

Internal factors.
Realistically there can only be two possible explanations from an internal point of view;
1. Lack of funds available
2. Managerial choices

If Arsenal are in the middle of a long term belt tightening period then that explains some things, although there are more questions related to this that need to be asked; ie. Is Arsenal run strictly as a business or as a football club and where does the twain meet?

If the personnel employed to play football for AFC are choices made by a manager who has freedom of choice then the quality of some of those players needs to be commented on.

The truth is probably somewhere in the middle. What is clear is that as a paying Arsenal supporter I want the club to win stuff, I want to be entertained and I want some openness from the club. It's not about a division between the Arsene Knows Best fans and the fans that have the perceived 'audacity' to ask questions. Its about wanting Arsenal to be better than we currently are, it's about Arsenal recapturing what Wenger gave us for all those glorious years. Most of all it's about having an opinion about the Arsenal.

And above all it's caring about the Arsenal. And today I'm going to the Emirates to see us give Bolton a metaphorical kick up the Arse! Now that's one thing we can all agree on.

Friday, 10 September 2010

walking wounded

Gary Lewin and Ian Beasley could be the most valuable staff members to have left the club. Their value may be significant as they were Arsenal's Physio and Team Doctor. Since leaving it has coincided with more injuries at the club than I can ever recall. Coincidence? maybe. Irritating? definitely.

Is it that our players are too finely tuned? like a formula 1 car that needs constant attention in the Pitt as opposed to a VW that never needs the bonnet raised? or is it bad luck, poor coaching technique or some sort of a gypsy curse? who knows but somebody needs to look into this. Either Donald Macintyre going under cover or a physic to contact a other worldly presence that is ravaging our squads limbs.

Or maybe there are some other reasons our players spend so much time in the treatment room

Wednesday, 8 September 2010


Each team that have won the Premier League have had a top notch keeper between the sticks; Lehmaan, Schmeicel, Flowers, Cech, Seaman, Barthez (more on him later). In domestic cup competitions the consensus is that you can scrape through with a bit of luck and a kind draw here and there, but the facts are that the FA cup winners over the last 20 years have all had good keepers.In the Champions league the general standard is higher overall and to actually reach the final you need a high level of consistency.

Arsenal's goalkeepers at the start of the 2010/2011 season do not fall into the category of quality keepers; that's as fact. A fact that we, as Arsenal supporters, have to face up to until January at a minimum. We start the season hampered by this fact and one can only wonder at what point, and with how many points conceded will the Manager act to rectify the situation. Let's look at the case of Fabien Barthez.

At the start of the 199/2000 season Manchester United started the campaign with these goalkeepers, Massimo Taibi, Raimond van der Gouw and Mark Bosnich, after a calamitous showing from Taibi, Ferguson acted swiftly and decisively by bringing in world Cup winner Fabien Barthez for £7.8 million. The team went on to win the League by 18 points.

I know it's a bit boring and dispiriting to talk about our current goalkeeping situation and as such this will be my last missive on the subject. The point is that data, history and factual analysis all point to the problem. It has not been solved before the deadline and I can only hope that when the problem is eventually addressed and rectified that we haven't fallen so far behind that we need snookers. A ridiculous and preventable situation for our club to be in. I guess all we can do as supporters is Keep Calm and Carry on.

Tuesday, 7 September 2010


Following on from Adebayor’s comments regarding the respective ‘sizes’ of Manchester City and Arsenal, here is a visual representation of the analogy.

We see Ping Ping ~Manchester City peeking up the skirt of Svetlana Pankrtova~Arsenal.

I think that just about sums it up.

Friday, 3 September 2010

England Ennui

Apparently there's a game going on tonight. It's between a group of European no hopers and Bulgaria. The overwhelming feeling is best summed up by a shrug of the shoulders. It's an opportunity for the FA to promote the remarkably ill timed release of the new England Shirt. Clearly the powers that be thought that England would be riding on a wave of post South Africa euphoria and would eagerly fill the stadium in their new grandad style England shirts. What the team will be faced with is rampant ennui.

I don't care about the game other than the well being of the Arsenal contingent. I would hazard a guess that the majority of Club supporters probably only have the welfare of members of their team to muster any interest.

It's a sad state of affairs but International football has now become just a nuisance and a disruption to the season; particularly with the England/Capello/FA set up that makes every fan feel like a mug.

I don't care about the current England team and I am not alone in this. The real pity is that those players, manager, staff and executives of 'team England' don't seem to care either.

Roll on  3.00 September 11th .

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

ARSENAL SQUAD 2010-2011 escape to victory?

Arsenal have announced the squad for this season and one thing is noticeable that the decline in standards began in earnest after the 2003/2004 season when the Championship side began to be dismantled. Year on year the quality has dropped. Here's the evidence and the level of achievement has also dropped year on year. The question is does the 2010/2011 squad look like a set of players who will achieve any of the things that the other squads below have? Will the handful of quality players prevail while being hampered by mediocre team mates, especially in the goalkeeping department, and escape these shackles and gain victory? Only time will tell

Arsenal squad 2010/2011:
Manuel Almunia, Andrey Arshavin, Nicklas Bendtner, Marouane Chamakh, Gael Clichy, Pereka Neves Denilson, Vassiriki Abou Diaby, Johan Danon Djourou-Gbadjere, Emmanuel Eboue, Lukasz Fabianski, Cesc Fabregas, Laurent Koscielny, Vito Mannone, Samir Nasri, Tomas Rosicky, Bacary Sagna, Bilong Song, Dimitri Alexandre, Robin Van Persie, Thomas Vermaelen, Sebastien Squillaci.*This allows U/21 players Walcott etc to be included under new Regs 

Arsenal squad 2003/2004 LEAGUE CHAMPIONS: Seaman,Cole,Vieira,Keown,Pires,Ljungberg,Reyes,Bergkamp,Wiltord,Lauren,Taylor,Henry,Parlour,Edu,

Arsenal squad 2004/2005 FA CUP WINNERS:
Jens Lehmann,Ashley Cole,Patrick Vieira,Robert Pires,Fredrik Ljungberg,Jose Antonio Reyes,Dennis Bergkamp,Robin Van Persie,Lauren,Thierry Henry,Cesc Fabregas,Mathieu Flamini,Edu,Pascal Cygan,Gilberto Silva,Philippe Senderos,Gael Clichy,Sol Campbell,Manuel Almunia,Emmanuel Eboue,Kolo Toure,Jeremie Aliadiere,Justin Hoyte,Sebastian Larsson,Owusu-Abeyie Quincy, Jermaine Pennant,Stuart Taylor

Arsenal squad 2005/2006 CHAMPIONS LEAGUE RUNNERS UP:
Jens Lehmann,Abou Diaby,Ashley Cole,Cesc Fabregas,Kolo Toure,Philippe Senderos,Robert Pires,Fredrik Ljungberg,Jose Antonio Reyes,Dennis Bergkamp,Robin Van Persie,Lauren,Alexander Hleb,Thierry Henry,Mathieu Flamini,Alexandre Song Billong,Pascal Cygan,Gilberto Silva,Johan Djourou,Mart Poom,Gael Clichy,Sol Campbell,Manuel Almunia,Emmanuel Adebayor,Emmanuel Eboue,Sebastian Larsson,Theo Walcott,Arturo Lupoli,Kerrea Gilbert,Owusu-Abeyie Quincy

Arsenal drop the ball

As I said in an earlier post , if Wenger fails to sign a new goalkeeper it will prove 'catastrophic' for our season. We are now stuck with what we've got until January at the earliest. That Almunia is a distinctly average keeper is a fair summation; he's certainly not in the top ten Premier Goalkeepers nor is he of the standard a league winning team would expect to have. His mistakes will cost us again but possibly with a better defence he will be protected more, but that is a dangerous situation to be in.

What should be of more concern is that should Almunia get injured we would , based on Wenger's previous practises, be left with Fabianski in goal. This should concern all Arsenal supporters far more than Almunia's mediocrity. God help us if we are forced to play in the knockout stage of the Champions League (assuming that we get out of the group stage-definitely achievable) with Fabianski. The mind boggles should we need points away to 'rugby' playing teams who will bombard us with an arial attack for 90 minutes.

Wenger's activity in the transfer market has been okay this time round, certainly Chamakh and Koscielny look the part and the SQ bloke has a pretty good rep, however the most glaringly obvious addition to the squad that was needed was goalkeeper. Not just opinion of 99% of fans but statistically necessary.
Yet here we are with possibly the worst goalkeeping twosome of any team aspiring to compete at the top table. Sometimes money talks and in the case of Arsenal's goalkeeping situation money should have been screaming loud and clear!

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