AFCB round-up: Almunia’s worries, Chamakh’s bravery and Gerrard’s stupidity

AFCB editor Andrew Weber rounds up the day’s news…

Almunia admits worries

A day after captaining Arsenal at Anfield, Manuel Almunia has admitted he is struggling to cope with the speculation surrounding the goalkeeper’s position at Arsenal.

“To be honest, it is so difficult [to concentrate]. Arsenal is a big club and speculation is always in the news and everywhere. The only thing I can do is keep working because I have a contract here and I have to do what the manager wants from me. If somebody comes in, I will have to talk about my future at Arsenal. That is it.

“I don’t see anything else outside Arsenal. It will be very, very difficult to play for another team in England if it wasn’t Arsenal. Spain, also, would be difficult. But I am 33 years old and only have a few more years left in football. I would like to enjoy them. I am a keeper who enjoys playing – just playing. I have to work and if one day I am not good enough for Arsenal, I will talk. That is no problem.”

I’ve said before that I believe a new No 1 goalkeeper is a must for Arsenal to challenge for the title this season and if one does come in before August 31, harsh as it seems, it will be Almunia who makes way.

With the news that Arsene Wenger is expected to improve an offer for Fulham goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer and Shay Given also emerging as a possible option after being left out of Manchester City’s team against Spurs, it genuinely appears like Almunia’s time will be up at Arsenal.

Yet despite the dark clouds looming for the Spaniard, one has to admire loyalty and commitment to the Arsenal cause: it’s clear he is not the sort of person to throw up a hissy-fit if things go his way and that will help make negotiations a little less painful for everyone involved.

Chamakh’s bravery gets respect

Arsene Wenger was quick to praise new signing Marouane Chamakh for his performance against Liverpool and more specifically, the part he played in the goal.

“Chamakh showed with the goal that he is not frightened to put his head and body in. That is exactly what the League is all about and that is what we love here.”

Although it was hilarious to see Pepe Reina put through his own net after his part in the Fabregas-in-a-Barcelona-shirt incident, it was a little disappointing to see Chamakh get denied a debut goal by the width of the post.

The Moroccan showed on many occasions for Bordeaux that his best attributes is his ability in the air – a product of his height, an outstanding vertical leap and the bravery of an Australian Rules footballer – and it was great to see him show those attributes in his very first game in an Arsenal shirt.

Gerrard makes a fool of himself

Like Chamakh, Laurent Koscielny had an eventful debut at Anfield, putting in a great defensive performance, kicking Dirk Kuyt in the balls and then being sent-off harshly in stoppage time.

Koscielny was also the player on the receiving end of an overly aggressive and unnecessary Joe Cole tackle that saw the now-Liverpool player see red and left the French defender with a “a big knock on his shin” that the Arsenal medical stuff thought “could be broken”.

Cue Steven Gerrard’s ridiculous summation of the incident:

“When you see the player’s reaction after the tackle you think that might be the end of his game but he sprinted back onto the pitch for the second half – but there you go.”

It’s a fairly stupid statement by a clearly very stupid man.

Both Eduardo and Aaron Ramsey have had a leg broken by similarly-dangerous tackles so if any team is going to react to them it is going to be us.

And for the record Koscielny hardly “sprinted back onto the pitch for the second half”, he walked on with all the other players and was clearly feeling the injury throughout the remainder of the match.


Have your say on the AFCB news round-up by leaving a comment.



  1. Finally someone has noted the Gerrard comment. So if he was on his way to A&E with a broken leg all would be ok then Stevie? Twat indeed.

  2. A sad fact about our Mr Gerrard is that he is a very good player, especially at home! But he also gets far too much licence to act like a moron at home . He should have been carded in the first half after two shocking tackles…..then sent off in the second following yet another Northern type tackle. Then he has the gall to critisize our injured player for coming back on the pitch after treatment?

    It is also a bit sick that the majority of our press is so Northern dominated that they , as a group, thought that Liverpool were robbed! The FACT that AFC outplayed them for a good 65% of ‘their’ home game has escaped them all. In fact they (the Pool) know that it was lucky that our lot did not actually start to shoot until the final 10 minutes. Having said all that it would have been a typical AFC ..oop north result had we lost against average opposition..I expect a harder game against Blackburn soon.

    As for our lads I was , in general pleased with the performance. The reason is that I know we have better to come with senior players to come in and probably a couple of new signings. One thing I was dissapointed with was that AW did not get Song & Fabregas fit to start this game…that is wrong!

    Finally I think it is obvious that Arsharvin is the weak link at present. He is not showing any inspirational moments up front and kept losing the ball and the right back. This had an effect on Clichy who is not a great one to one defender and is definitely not in Gibbs class with crossing. It may be we have to start with Gibbs soon to give Chamakh the ammunition he needs. I would also say that Eboue is better han Sagna nowdays and would allow Theo to start.

    Lets hope for a newgoalie and CB this week.

  3. Gerrard is one of the darlings of the British media, he can get away with anything and will never be challenged. Cronaldo was always slated for his diving, has anyone at (e.g.) MOTD ever said anything about Gerrard’s diving?

  4. Gerrard is possibly the biggest prick in world football. The way he moans about diving then goes down at every available chance is laughable. He come out with ridiculous comments like that all he wants, he’s just masking the fact that even at home Liverpool played like the away side and have nothing going forward. They can look forward to another season of mediocrity.

  5. Gerrard should have been given several yellows and one straight red for a “tackle” (read straight kick to Camakh’s leg) that must have been very, very close to breaking Chamakh’s leg (watch the slow motion replay of Chamakh’s shin taking the impact).

    This is also the same mullet who dives about the pitch like he’s in some sort of mass swimming relay, includin in “firendly” international games such as the previous one v Hungary a few seasons back.

    For this clown to suggest (as he clearly does), that Koscielny “made a lot of it”, is like a lump of coal calling a brand new polished brass kettle, black.

  6. Gerrard is clearly England’s best player but he is as thick as a piece of frozen elephant turd. A typical chav (fortunately not as bad as the son of the m&s thief and crack dealer JT) with dirty tackling, dirty diving, reigning down blows on the public like a boxer and ill-advised numpty comments. Gerrard you have made me use the word that I very rarely use however, on this occasion I believe the_truth must deliver a verdict. You are in fact, complete cnut. There, I said it. Thank you and good day to you sir nob-end.

  7. Amazing how Arsenal is derided by many other teams. I watched the game in a pub and watched with gritted theeth.Reason being that annoying Pool supporter was shouting abuses every time AW picture was shown or complained when we got a decision in Arsenal favour. I’d see that there was a concensus when Arsenal player was fouled in form of “get him” or “good boy” or “go on my son” and totally a reverse when Arsenal player does it.

    I was surprised by how well Laurent Kosclny played but Charmakh will de better with better supply of balls which to be honest weren’t forthcoming. Nassri tried but could’nt get anywhere near what Cesc can do and absence of Song made DM work by Diaby hard although he was less poor in comparison. Wilshere was poor to be perfectly honest but those are all teething problems and can see us doing a lot better going forward.

    A GK and another CB however is something we need as a matter of urgency: Almunia is scaring the daylight out of me. Every time we concede a corner or free kick I am scared to death. When Koscielny was injured and carried out signs of desperation emerged as we had no one to replace him. can we really through a season with such paper thin squad and actually be able to compete? I think not. Please please Wenger buy us a GK, a CB and another DM lest we are fucked.

  8. It is sad that Steven Gerrard said such rubbish. Gerrard should realise that he is a respected footballer. Even Arsenal fans respect him; so for him to say things like that is really stupid. How many Liverpool players ever broke their legs? At Arsenal we have had Diaby, Eduardo, Ramsey… and if we had added Laurent on Sunday, that would have been one too many. We do not pray for Gerrard to break his leg, but if he could say such a thing about someone lucky to escape a horriffic injury from a reckless challenge from a senior player… then the time has come for him to have a taste of staying out of action for 18 months.


  9. Goonerball,

    You will come to realise that there are two kinds of football supporter, the vast majority who see the game in a reasonable and logical way and take the rough with the smooth and Scousers.

    Scousers have one eye surgically removed at birth and spend their entire life in the mistaken belief that their team have a God given right to win everything and dominate the world of football.

    Sadly Scousers are so lacking in common sense, and eyes, that they are unable to see how ridiculous this makes them.

    Choose your pubs with a little more care in future.

  10. I think our no 5&6 are doing well,but if we lose one ofthem we are in trouble.we need another vermaelin.

  11. yes gerrard is a true prick, plain and simple. he is one of the bigger hypocrites that are around at the moment. his only saving grace for me is that he plays well for England these days.

    I don’t know how true the rumours are that at the world cup he made a 16 yr old girl pregnant, but certainly, give him a goal and he will score. still a pretty dumb twat if you ask me

  12. I only hope the english media do’nt spoil jack wilshire as they did walcott because in england they are so quick to brad people world class and star, When they have done nothing todate leave the lad to grow he is only 18.
    Why are english players costing so much milner, costing 26 mil is he worth that amount??
    I know i’ll ask lescott

  13. Given’s situation is getting complicated as Mancini is set to throw him in for their Europa encounter. That said, we should be able to wrap up Schwarzer before this weekend.
    Worryingly no progress in terms of the search for CB although it should have been comparatively easier to get one than finding a GK. Let’s see how things unfold this week.

  14. Great comments all, good to hear some thoughtful Gerrard-bashing.

    Just a quick note to remind people that if you’re leaving your first comment on the blog, it will sit in moderation until I personally approve it.

    So don’t panic if you submit something and it doesn’t show up until later on – I’m just making sure that you’re not someone who is just being a trouble-maker or posting something completely off topic.

    Keep it going!

  15. Gerrard is Mr Untouchable on Merseyside isn’t he? The guy gets a standing ovation when he goes to take a corner FFS!

    Keep checking the news to see whether we have a new keeper and centre back. The suspense is killing me!

    On the plus side good to see the Spuds get done in their first Champions league game – shame they managed to get a second goal but.

  16. Pff Gerrard! they are so desperate right now, being at the Europa league and had a bad season last year, so they try to make us fall by being violent!? Well, we’ll see who’s better!
    About the keeper, I feel we need someone that is a “wall” at the back…I feel that the other guys had their chances, but couldn’t answer. It’s time for us to serve our history justice by having a great goalkeeper. Can’t wait to see who going to sign next! ^^

  17. Poor Gerrard, he opens his mouth and out jumps the fool inside, the problem with Gerrard and all the England players is that they are the media darlings and can do no wrong, the list of these ignorant people is endless and will continue untill they are all treated the same as everyone else.
    A point at Liverpool is always a good result

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