When the year ends in 1 Spurs win the cup? well this time round they've been knocked out of both cups by fellow Londoners, conceding four goals, so I guess that old chestnut is not true after all. Still there's always 2021
The equaliser fromHuddersfield today was merited and once again we conceded from a dead ball. I think we have scored somewhere in the region of 85 goals so far in all competitions and the majority of goals conceded are from dead ball situations; clearly lessons to be learned as we enter the busy four competition phase of the season.
another lesson to be learned is that Diaby and Denilson should be nowhere near the Arsenal squad. They are both dead losses who have not added an iota to their game since joining the club. they are just no bloody good.
If there is any concern surrounding today's performance the one thing i have noted is that Fabregas seems to have become a Steven Gerrard figure, in as much as he digs us out of holes on a regular basis. This is a concern as, when looking at Liverpool's reliance on their captain, you can see the road it has taken them down.
Cesc is our Captain certainly, but we do not want to end up being over reliant on one player; that is small club mentality.
the bad and the good
As we await a favourable draw in the next round of the FA cup I am more anxious about Wenger buying a centre half (preferably one who can head a ball) as Squilacci now misses three games and any further injuries in that position leave us in a precarious position particularly when dealing with the dreaded dead ball.
Come on Arsene, you know it makes sense. http://lets-kickoff.blogspot.com/ link to highlights
To hear the grovelling pronouncements flowing with diversion and buck passing click on link. The fact that he says ‘sorry’ about 100 times should not detract from the large number of “I can’t comment” and “dark forces” innuendos.
The comments about Karen Brady playing the gender card, and ‘Lads Mag banter’ did him no favours. It smacked of a man hanging onto his career, knowing that the so called dark forces are not out to get him but that his time is up. His style of Punditry should be removed from the media world and this is just the excuse needed by Sky to out the pair of them. Keys surely faces the chop as I can’t believe that there aren’t more audio visual tit bits awaiting broadcast to further bury Keys.
The question is not so much about Andy Gray and Richard Keys being sexist or not, I think it’s about what you can and can’t say in the workplace, what you should and shouldn’t do in the workplace and above all what’s right and wrong.. The two of them are highly paid in a high profile job and whether the cameras are rolling or a tape is running they need to behave themselves at work. In most professions the kind of comments they made would be cause for action, therefore their positions amplify the situation.
Richard Keys comments in front of Souness, Redknapp and Gullit brought to mind David Brent trying to impress Finchy with his laddishness in The Office, so cringe inducing were they.
Clearly there are a lot of staff members at Sky who were waiting for an opportunity to burst the bubble of the old boy network. Their Super Sunday and MNF inane banter and woeful lack of insight was not enough to get shot of them (at the time of writing Keys is still in a job) but whatever the case, that Sky will have to face up to progress and bring in new faces, can only be a good thing.
It highlights the fact that British journalistic standards in sport are low. In the USA sports journalists, whether it be in print or on TV are viewed in the same way as commentators on the arts are. There seems to be more emphasis on knowledge and insight than cliché and bombast (this from the world s most bombastic nation).
And Sky are not the only culprits. BBC’s Match of the day is far too comfortable in its untouchability and pundits like Hansen, Shearer and Lawrenson say little of genuine interest.
The Gray/Keys case crystallises the institutional cosiness that the world of football in this country is all about. New ideas, concepts and insights are viewed with distrust and contempt. From Female officials to foreign imports and anything that doesn’t conform to the blood and thunder of the Premier League. The English players also perceive them selves as untouchable with some of their antics. The way in which supporters are treated with contempt is also part of this mind set.
It appears that English football as a whole is run by, played by and commentated on by people out of touch with concepts of the wider world, from Talksport to The Sun.. Andy Gray and Richard keys have shown that. Let’s hope that we see some changes. I doubt we will though.
And so Wembley beckons. A chance for the elusive trophy to get stenciled onto the Emirates hoarding. The much derided Bendtner's opening goal was a thing of beauty, Koscielny's powerful header further settled the nerves and Cesc's third; brilliantly worked with Arshavin saw Arsenal book our place in the Carling Cup final against either City or United. We should have the fourteen players to take the trophy back to North London, but let's not go chicken counting.
"yeah, you're going to Madrid but i'm going to wembley"
But it wasn't all good news. Man Utd coming out of tonight's fixture against Blackpool was kind of inevitable. The fact that they were 2-0 down at half time raised a smile though. We now stand on the same number of games and with a reinvigorated Chelsea to meet them twice and our meeting with them at the Emirates who knows.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dWcPxDdJbeo carry on Andy episode 2
Oh, but I'm forgetting there was more good news; Andy Gray was sacked by Sky. Not for being a terrible passed his self by date pundit but for being a sexist sod. Still, whatever it took, him gone! And I reckon that other fool Keys may be next; just click on the link below.
As the Sky sports soccer sexism saga staggers on the super soaraway Sun steps in with this measured and dignified view of the incident.
Preparing for an interview in the build up to Liverpool's premier League game at wolves on Saturday, a pitch side reporter tells Gray: "Apparently a female Lino today, bit of a looker, according to Steve the Cameraman" Pulling a disgusted face , Gray says: "a female linesman?" The reporter replies: "he says she's all right. Now I don't know if I should trust his judgement on that" Gray snaps: "nah i wouldn't I definitely wouldn't" (copyright N Syson)
Further to my earlier post, I would just like to state that I abhor sexism within football. I think we could all learn a lot from this 1970's documentary about the successful integration of women into the male dominated football world. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RU72VWLJkdk men and women together. united in football
Silly girls running the line at football, I mean why do they do it? surely they would be happier at home crocheting a tea cosy or getting their legs waxed. After all its a bit cold to be out there in front of all those leering blokes. It's a good thing that Richard Keys and Andy Grey, The Cannon & Ball of sports broadcasting, were able to let the nation know the truth. tut tut, silly ladies wanting a bit of equality.
So another three points tucked away against a Wigan team who were far from athletic. The Wigan keeper tasked himself with keeping Arsenal at bay, but in the end it was a comfortable victory with no injuries and no cards.
So to Tuesday, when, it is entirely in our hands, if we make it to a Carling Cup Final.Play as we did yesterday and we are Wembley bound. Take the opposition for granted in either performance or team selection and this golden opportunity for Silverware will pass us by.
The new and 200th issue of FourFourTwo magazine carries an interview with the great Dennis Bergkamp. I am happy to recomend purchasing this magazine as the interview is both interesting and thoughtful. None of the usual 'i just hit it and it went in' or 'the gaffer lets us have the odd beer' just eloquence from the Dutch master.
Extract from article (copyright FourFourTwo)
Dennis Bergkamp on his goal for Netherlands v Argentina
"How did I do it? First, there's eye contact with Frank DeBoer-he's going to give the ball. Then: sprint away, get six yards away from the defender. The ball is coming over my shoulder. I run in a straight line, jump up to meet the ball,kill it dead, the second touch turns inside, to make sure [Roberto] Ayala is gone, and get a better angle on goal. I aim for the far post and let it curve in. After the second touch I know this can't go wrong. No chance! you give absolutely everything, like your life is leading up to this moment."
Here we go again; a touch of media over reaction at Arsenal's so called, outrageous claims that they are going to do the quadruple.Radio phone- ins with Sp*rs supporters rubbishing the quadruple claim, pundits making accusations of arrogance, Blah Blah Blah.
NASRI: GUNNERS CAN POT THE LOT
SAMIR NASRI says Arsenal are Gunning for a clean sweep of all four trophies this season.
Nasri reckons Gunners can pot the lot
What was actually said by the Arsenal Captains after last nights win at Elland Road:
"We want to win every competition and this cup (FA Cup) is really important to us."-Samir Nasri
"As Samir said, we want to go all the way in every competition," –Cesc Fabregas
An enjoyable game of cup football with some great goals saw Arsenal's safe passage into the next round of the FA Cup and a home tie against, formerly managed by the great Herbert Chapman, Huddersfield Town. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M4-gr6CI_7A Chapman
All good in the snood
Thoroughly enjoyable so much so that I have no negatives to ponder over. Even Bendtner, with the cross for Van Persie's goal and The Ref Mike Dean, who had a good performance, present any complaints.
Sagna(I can't think of a pun)
So that's that then....not quite used to this....no contention, stupid decisions, injuries, pitch invasions by parachuists, or on field punch up between Cesc and Denilson....all that remains to be said is " The Quadruple is still on! (didn't think i would sign of without a note of controversy did you?)
Players mouthing off about shortfalls in their midst is nothing new and Roy Keane, Patrick Vieira and the like have done it in the past but the difference being they led by example so were entitled to have an opinion.
Denilson (nice chap though he seems to be) does nothing of inspiration on the pitch. Any promise that he once had is unfulfilled and at 23 next month he is no longer a boy with potential, more of a 'Periera Neves' was.
The comments themselves are abit 'tomorrows chip paper' and the lack of leadership rests at the man who assembled the squad, but Denilson has done nothing on the pitch to entitle him to criticise. Play well first talk later.
If the rumour of Juve offering £11m is true I suggest Wenger gets his car keys and rushes the Brazilian to the Airport for a Turin bound flight post haste. Not for the remarks but for the fact he's no bloody good.
Denilson should let his feet do the talking instead of putting them in his mouth
COMMENT FROM TO BOLDLY GO Although I agree with you that he should keep his mouth shut (especially in the public domain) and concentrate on his own performance. What he says is quite true, we do lack leadership at the club. TV is the closest we have to a captain but unfortunately he has been injured, not that Arsene would have given him the captaincy. Cesc is not a true captain yet and may never be, his demeanour, character are not those which for me represent a real leader of men like an Adams or Vieira. I would also like to state that if needed I am willing to drive Denilson to the airport anytime day or night.
Talking of idiots, Glen Johnson the twit with the tweet, as we know insulted Paul Merson for having an opinion; ie: Glen Johnson can't defend for toffee. Johnson basically said that Merson was an ex alcoholic and Drug addict, and a player who was "mediocre at best" while the first two statements are true (particularly the 'ex' bit) the third points to Glen as being clinically insane!
Merse had this to say about Johnson:
“Johnson’s job is to play football and defend for Liverpool. His job isn’t to get on Twitter, start having a go at me and bringing up my past. He didn’t talk about all of the medals I’ve won, he was only interested in calling me an alcoholic and a drug addict.
Personally, I think he embarrassed himself. If you are playing for one of the greatest clubs in the world and earning £80,000 a week, why are you worrying about a drug addict and alcoholic? I hope he has sat down and said to himself, “That wasn’t right.” He could easily have called me up this week to have a chat. If I felt I had said something wrong, I would have found his number to call him and say sorry.
But his reaction reminded me of a spoilt little kid who throws his toys out of the pram the minute someone annoys him. He also called me an average footballer and, to be fair, that’s his opinion. If that’s his honest opinion, then I can’t deny him that. But at the same time – and I’m not blowing my own trumpet – I don’t think there would be many people who would share the same opinion.”
What's actually more impressive about Merse is that much of what he achieved was while being hungover and two stones too heavy. When talking about mediocrity Johnson should look closer to home, at himself and his team.
I'll keep this brief. Today Arsenal needed to put in a solid performance against bottom of the league Hammers
and take away three points.Arsenal did. Nuff said.
The other issues from today that are of concern are the way Avram Grant was treated by the board at WHUFC and the fact that Man City, on the back of a cash injection, sit atop the league at close of play. These two things almost crystallise modern football in the UK.
So Arsenal travel; to a very poor West ham and to be honest I can’t predict the result, such is the inconsistency at our club.
It’s not so much that Arsenal have played three games recently; one in the League, one in the FA Cup and one in the League cup without a win to their name. It’s not that a fortnight ago Arsenal comprehensively conquered Chelsea and have since slumped. It isn’t that the talented Arshavin, and Rosicky are in the poorest form of their lives. It isn’t even that Denilson, Vela Kosckielny/Squillaci , Djorou, Fabianski, and Bendtner aren’t good enough.
It’s that if one really looks at the current Arsenal squad objectively you search for players who are what could be called ‘quality players’; not in flashes, but consistently prove their ability.
Vermaelan unfortunately is injured long term but on his showing last season I would put him in this category. Wilshere has the potential to be of the required standard. Gibbs and Czszceny look like they could be up there. Chamakh has shown a great deal so far. Song is much improved yes, but he is not an Essien or Vieira. Walcott is neither one thing nor t’other. RVP; undoubted ability but too many injuries. The list goes on. Decent players amongst them but, and this is the heart of the matter, how many players do Arsenal currently have that are wanted by Barcelona, Real Madrid, Manchester United, Milan, Bayern?
Yes I will mention the past, as it’s relevant. Relevant and real. The club has moved from Highbury to the all singing all dancing Emirates and in that time frame the players that Wenger has bought in to replace the players that last won the league have not matched the standard. That’s a fact. A set of players who would and could have played for Europe’s elite.
Let’s look at the squad members that have since left, one more time, to emphasise how poor the current squad are. I have included some of the achievements of the players before winning the Premiership in the unbeaten season 2003-2004.
Lehmann-World cup International EUFA goalkeeper of the year EUFA Cup Bundesliga & Serie A champion
Cole- World cup International
Campbell- World cup International
Toure- World cup International
Lauren- World cup International
Pires- PFA player of the year World cup Euro cup winner
Vieira-PFA player of the year World cup Euro cup winner
Gilberto-World cup International
Ljungberg- World cup International
Henry- PFA player of the year world cup Euro cup winner
Bergkamp- PFA player of the year World cup International
Parlour-Previous League Champion
Wiltord- World cup Euro cup winner
Kanu-African player of the Year European cup winner
Keown- Previous League Champion
Senderos- World cup International
Edu-World club championship winner
Van Bronckhorst- World cup International Scottish Prem Champion
What this clearly illustrates is a mentality in the squad of achievement and winning, Something the current crop just don’t have. The man who assembled the team of 2003-2004 is responsible for the inferior 2010-2011 version. This in itself shows that Wenger has fired and hired badly.
In essence if Wenger was employed by any major company and he had replaced a quality set of staff with a sub standard set of employees resulting in failure to achieve the mission statement of said company, what would happen?
I think we all know the answer.
Then again maybe as long as that company is making money they don't care.
COMMENT FROM JOHN T: All that you say is correct. I have no doubt that the day will come again soon when we will be able to compete for the best players. But not whilst the Billionaires can afford to have a few expensive toys in the bottom of their toy box. They will get the best players if they come onto the narket, and all players are on the market if not at Manu, Barca, Real, Juve, Bayern, Chelski, Citah, QPR, and maybe some more who recently discovered this sparkling new toy shop. Until then we must try to identify the players before they "come onto the market" and that means a higher risk. Hence the youth system. But even that the Billionaires have cornered as well, remember the fiasco over Chelski taking the Michael character from Manu.
Having said that we have a team that can play well, even a top team, and not too badly placed in the middle of the window. But a few key purchases including ones with a fighting mentality will help do the job. But the reason we lost to Ipswich was our CD played his man onside not once and learned his lesson - by conceding a goal - but repeated the feat towards the end. A good CD is as valuable as a good CF
But I confidently expect that both Leeds and Ipswich will be dispatched without too much trouble, we will beat Manu at home and we might even surprise everyone at Barca.
There are things wrong, certainly. But we must be calmer and more consderate of the solutions open to us. First the clear our with an early spring clean.
Keeping it goonerish as always
Some fair points. My issue is that cultivating players rather than flashing the cash is the sensible path but that cultivation needs to consider a players attitude and motivation along with ability. An eye for a bargain needs to be utilised as well. Where our manager has fallen short is in his decline of being able to identify these things when once he could.
As an Arsenal supporter yes I think that we may just be able to manage to be less poor than others and win something this season ; the league. But had ManU Chelsea retained their standards of recent seasons we would be nowhere near them.
The standards that Wenger himself set are the standards he's being judged by and in that respect the judgement is fair
He set the bar high
JOHN T: There are a few other ingredients that are worth considering too. The must important of these is mental fatigue. You notice this most amongst young players. They admit defeat too easily, and find it difficult to motivate themselves for the next match. It is easy to motivate players for a game against Chelski and Manu etc but more difficult for a home game against a poor side. Then there is the matter of giving the best players a mental rest and keeping them match fit. So I would not read too much into the recent results, except for dropping points in he league. I would want AW therefore to refresh the side ASAP. Good hard working players feel dragged down and held back by those clearly not good enough to get into a Tottenham, Liverpool, Newcastle Etc side. B52, DeNeilson, Vela, Etc would barely get into these sides, even then their work rate would need to improve a great deal. But without them the bottom rail would somewhat higher, and a few january signings would lift the spirits of those that are trying, and bring real expectation back to the team. The promise of Verminator and Rambo coming back around March would also be a big lift.
But we will beat W'ham despite their manager's crisis and their determination. Parkers will be fighting his best but we should easily have enough in the tank to put three of four past them.
An insipid performance from an Arsenal side lacking cohesion who could have placed one foot in a Wembley final, against an uninspiring Ipswich team reaping no reward save a humiliating defeat to a team walloped for seven by Chelsea.
This performance bought home the lie of Wenger's self proclaimed 'best ever sqauad'. The chance of a first trophy in five years given little regard by a group of players who clearly don't have what it takes. Let's be frank. Ipswich Town are and were poor, yet Arsenal did nothing of consequence for the 95 minutes of this Semi Final first leg. With a solid victory it would have taken the pressure off of the second leg, in an already congested fixture list. Ipswich, on the other hand will fancy their chances against West Ham or Birmingham and know a draw at the Emirates next week will be enough. Should Arsenal fail to reach the final of this often derided competition, which now has taken on importance for the club, it will be not only an embarrassment but a sad indictment on the squad that Arsene has assembled.
Does this current crop have any desire to win any aspiration to write their own chapter in Arsenal's history book. Doesn't look like it.They played like strangers tonight, like a team of Hillier, Morrow, Selley, McGoldrick vintage
So it was ironic that Chris Kiwomya was on the Ipswich bench, he was the type of player who, along with the others mentioned, signalled the beginning of end of the George Graham era. The type of player not up to the job at hand; playing for the Arsenal and having a winning mentality. Sound familiar?
The Liverpool victimisation protocol has come into effect following the loss at Old Trafford. Hard done by? Yeah possibly. Did Man Utd out perform Liverpool? No. But, that’s the way the Maryland chocolate chip crumbles. Liverpool Football Club is synonymous with tragedy, victims and black armbands. I actually believe that Arsenal have missed out on any kind of media love in the way that Liverpool and United have as we have fortunately not had a tragedy connected to us. And before I go any further I would emphasise that the tragedies we all know about were just that real, terrible tragedies.
Every fan of every club has a gripe, be it the manager, the players, the board, referees or lack of divine intervention but the Koppites take the McVities rich tea when it comes to seeing conspiracy and plotting at every turn. The whims of the refereeing gods have been in Liverpool’s favour often enough. One has to only look at the amount of penalties given at the Kop end of Anfield over the years.
The hysterical hand wringing that has gone on today over Steven Gerrard’s sending off is typical. This season we have seen identical challenges penalised with red cards. As regards Berbatov, let us not forget that diving is a broader problem and something that Gerard has himself taken part in. All clubs that go to old Trafford face a bias be they Blackpool or Burnley and that’s part of the home advantage that most clubs would wish to have, the thing is that for twenty years Anfield was the home of such bias.
Fans often feel that their club is being victimised or unfairly treated. God knows as an Arsenal fan I’ve felt that over the years, however, it seems for the Liverpool fan it is their default position. Unfortunately at times the ‘scouse’ stereotype is further propagated by the victims of Merseyside.
Liverpool's loss to Manchester United is one that their fans (always looking for injustice) will place at the door of Howard Webb. The facts are that the penalty would not have been given if Daniel Agger had not shown such naivety against Berbatov in the box (I still can't get over how much Dimitar resembles Arsenal fan Mark Strong) allow him to win a penalty through theatrics, and Steven Gerrard was rightly sent off. The only reason there was any debate is because it was England's Stevie G. Gerard has often gotten away with challenges that lesser mortals have not, so some sort of Karmic justice was delivered by way of Red card.
Liverpool are now left with the Europa League and we are not even half way through April. Dalglish has got some job on his hands.
In other news, Huddersfield await the winner of the Leeds United v Arsenal Replay. Should it be Arsenal that face Huddersfield I wonder if the strains of "there's only one Herbert Chapman" will ring around the Emirates? Possibly the greatest Manager in both clubs histories.
The England right-back, who trained with the rest of the squad at Melwood this morning ahead of tomorrow's FA Cup third round tie which will see the return of Kenny Dalglish as temporary boss, was obviously watching the programme.
And he chose to respond via his Twitter page.
'Comments from alcoholic drug abusers are not really gonna upset me and who is Paul Merson to judge players, he was average at the best of times,' Johnson wrote.
'The only reason he's on that show is coz he gambled all his money away. The clown!'
Paul Merson 2 titles FA cups league cups ecwc Pfa young player Pfa player etc
Glen johnson fuck all
What a cnut
First the facts Leeds United are a poor side Arsenal put in a poor performance I suppose a stalemate based on 2 penalties was about right. An unwanted reply awaits.
Now the reality. Wenger's, for want of a better word, 'tacticallity' (copyright arsenalism MMXI) was on display at it's most baffling.
The selection of Bendtner and Chamakh would, to most right minded people, dictate 4-4-2. Not the case; B52 was deployed on the wing. A position generally associated with pace. This left the hardworking Chamakh isolated on more than a couple of occasions.
Arshavin was nowhere near good enough as his poor form continues. The Russian is pretty much an honest player and on two occasion when the substitute board was raised he made his way to the touchhole, almost in acknowledgement that he was not at the races. Wenger chose to keep him on.
What was clear was that the manager had and continues to have no tactical solutions when we are struggling.
There were a number of reasonably good performances today; notably Djorou Wzceckyxzvv and Gibbs but when change was needed it was not actioned.
What today showed was not so much deficiencies in Wenger's best ever squad but deficiencies in Arsene's managerial Arsenal. Namely tactical astuteness.
On a different note The Leeds fans were vocal without being offensive and other than the fact I couldn't understand a lot of what they were chanting, I thought they supported their team well
"So Cesc is the Shit Hole on Seven Sisters Road far from here?"
"And whatever you do don't leave your wallet laying around, with 'Arry you never know"
"Oh well this is the last time I'm gonna under perform in a white shirt in North London"
Comment from To Boldly Go : It really is sad when boxers don't know when to quit and end up losing to poor fighters they would have wiped the floor with in the past. Now we find Beckham desperate to play in England for a few months lowering himself to the depths of Hades. Whilst I am not a Beckham fan, I don't hate him. Yet now I find myself feeling sorry for him and his desperation, for his sake I hope he comes to someone else's senses.
Chelsea's Frank Lampard Didier Drogba and John Terry walk off after losing their English Premier League match to Arsenal in London - Monday December 27
Man Utd 20 pld 44pts
ManCity 22 pld 42pts
Arsenal 21 pld 40pts
Sp*rs 21 pld 36pts
Chelsea 21pld 35pts
So the Premier League season of mediocrity trundles along with five teams in the frame and Man United with a points and ‘games in hand’ advantage.
Arsenal, having played Man Utd and Sp*rs once, with zero points from each. Man city twice netting four points and Chelsea twice with a three point return can look at the games at WHL and The Emirates as a chance to both create distance and close the gap. The fact that we have a game in hand over Citeh is also significant. These games aside, theoretically we have an easier set of fixtures (also having successfully visited Anfield this season). However I remember last seasons legendary ‘easy run in’ and look what happened there.
What’s clear is that there is only one team in the division that are consistent and they are on top. If we can show some consistency it is conceivable that the premier title could come to The Emirates.
It’s also very much dependant on Chelsea pulling themselves together enough to beat Man Utd, Sp*rs and Citeh. The big heads in blue play both Sp*rs and Citeh once more at StamfordBridge where they still have a good record and, tellingly, Manchester United twice.
Could it be that Chelsea hold the trump cards in this season of line fluffing?
Lets be Frank, Man Citeh came for the draw from top to side and bottom. Wenger was unable to tactically deliver a knock out blow to the men with the big heads and loads of money (save for a nonsensical substitution that saw Bendtner coming on to play wide left) . It seems that the method that Chelsea created- when you've got a lot of money buy some behemoths and get a tactically astute manger- seems to have been followed at Eastlands. Had we won at Wigan (if only) this draw, that meant a four point hall from Citeh, would have been a reasonable return. But that's another story. So on to Saturday at the crack of oversleeping Sparrows, against Leeds in the Cup.