Fabregas should not take penalties + 7 other conclusions from the weekend

Arshavin had a great game up front

Arsenal returned to winning ways at the weekend with a 2-0 win over Stoke although I did my best Arsene Wenger impression by not seeing the game.

A late Friday night live-blogging the World Cup draw was followed by a fairly hectic house party at a friend’s on Saturday and meant that I was too full of Scotch to stay awake for the match. Argh.

I did happen to catch the Chelsea v Manchester City game in full the next morning though so instead of the usual match report I’ve done up some interesting conclusions from an intriguing Premier League weekend:

1. Arshavin is a decent striker
He scored the first, won the penalty that Cesc Fabregas missed and could have got a hat-trick on another day – not a bad return for a 5’4 creative midfielder who was asked to lead the line in Eduardo and Carlos Vela’s absence. He is not the long-term answer to Robin van Persie and Nicklas Bendtner’s unavailability yet Arshavin showed that his intelligence and understanding of the attacking side of the game has few limits.

2. Cesc should not take penalties
By my recollection I’ve seen Fabregas take three two penalties in his career: one yesterday one in the shootout against Roma in the Champions League last season and one to win Spain’s quarter-final shootout against Italy at Euro 2008. While he may have scored against Italy his miss tally is sure to rise if he continues to place them so close to the middle of the goal with so little power.

3. Arsenal players are made of glass
With a pre-game injury list as long as Pele’s real name, it was hard to imagine it could grow longer. Yet the news is that Tomas Rosicky will be out for at least a month after tweaking his groin while Eduardo, Eboue, Gallas and Traore may well face short layoffs. The manager may blame the fixture list and the cold November rain for the problems but surely something must be down to the physical capacity (or lack thereof) of the players on our books?

4. Some Arsenal fans are never happy
After a tough week a 2-0 win at Stoke should have brought joy and relief to the readers of this blog. Instead it enticed panic and worry about the players we don’t have and the fact that we did not score more. With the risk of sounding ungrateful to my readers I want to encourage people to ignore what we don’t have and focus on what we do have at least until the transfer window opens. And when the boys win, for the love of all that is good and right in this world, be happy about it!

5. We can beat Chelsea at Stamford Bridge
I’m happy to say that I correctly predicted Manchester City to beat Chelsea last weekend. I felt that their team was suited to breaking down the league leaders in a way that ours – devoid of van Persie and Bendtner – was not. City’s victory provided yet another reminder of how open this season’s Premiership is while indicating to the rest of the competition of how to beat Chelsea this season: take the initiative and make the most of your set-pieces. If we do the same at Stamford Bridge later in the season and have a taller striker to lead the line we have every chance of taking the points.

6. Petr Cech is no better than Manuel Almunia
A lot of people won’t like that statement but at the moment it’s true. Almunia has been getting slammed for his recent efforts – most notably the concession of Didier Drogba’s cleverly disguised free-kick last weekend – yet Cech’s effort on Saturday was even poorer. I have to say it makes me surprised to hear Arsenal supporters crying out for a keeper like Cech, once a world-beater but in the past season and half one of the Premiership’s least consistent goalkeepers.

7. Tottenham are still good for a laugh
2-0 up over Everton with 20 minutes to go, Spurs conceded two late goals while Jermain Defoe conspired to miss an even later penalty kick. Somehow despite all their improvement and Arsenal’s “crisis” they will be four points behind us if we win our game in hand. Hilarious.

8. I am a lucky boy
When I bought tickets to two group matches at the 2010 World Cup involving D1 v D4 and G1 v G4, little did I know they would turn out to be Germany v Ghana and Brazil v Portugal. I have to consider myself quite lucky – even if Australia did get shafted by a draw that includes the aforementioned Germany and Ghana and the dangerous Serbians. A second-round match-up against England seems a long way away.

Have your say on the weekend’s conclusions by leaving a comment.



  1. I see a guns and roses reference in there!

    It was a weekend of missed penalties in the EPL – Fabregas, Lampard, Dindane and Defoe. Actually, I’m not sure, but I wonder if that is a record – all penalties missed on a single round of the premierleague?

  2. The most important thing is that we put a stop to the winless run. Now it’s time to fight for something against Liverpool (a good time to play them?) and say goodbye to the November rut.

  3. On November 14 the worst thing happened again. The international games took its toll and Van Persie was out for what seems to be now 4 or 5 months. Van Persie was the focus of our attack. He was scoring goals, he was giving assists. You name it, he delivered.

    Now playing Robin in that position was at first for some fans, (in particular the D&G brigade), insane, crazy and ridiculous. And when Robin didn’t score in the first games Wenger was declared a lunatic. But we scored like crazy, we played amazing games and Wengers’ determination paid off in the end. Robin began to score and gave assists with his eyes closed.

    With Robin injured the obvious person to take over in the middle was Bendtner who could use his height and ball control to fill the gap. Unfortunately Bendtner himself was already out with another injury. So the two players who could play there in the centre of attack out for a period.

    And the third big guy we have, that can play as an attacker and yes I mean Diaby is still out with an injury.

    So our 2 biggest strikers were out. A possible third also. Eduardo came, Vela came but they had difficulty’s to find their feet right away. Both aren’t the tallest of players and in two difficult games we couldn’t score. Enough to put the doom and gloom brigade up in full force.

    Wenger said that he maybe would buy someone because of the injury situation in the January transfer window, but it would take us a long month of December before we could buy someone.

    So came the game against Stoke on Saturday. Stoke: a team renowned for its big and strong players. Eduardo the most likely centre forward injured himself in the last training on Friday so it was all doom and gloom before kickoff.

    Now I’m not a Arsene Wenger, but if I had been the manager of the team and given the opposition I would look at my Carling Cup team and see for the biggest player available to put up front in the centre of the attack. I would look for a Sanchez Watt, a Jay Emmanuel Thomas or someone like that.

    But what does a genius do? He doesn’t look for the obvious solution. He goes for the unthinkable. I really think that some 99 managers would have chosen for a big player from the squad to play up front against Stoke.

    I can imagine the amazement on the face of Andrey Arshavin when called him over and said: “You are going to play as a centre forward against Stoke. ” At first he may have thought Wenger was taking him for a ride.

    Arshavin? Wasn’t he just the player that has said on his own website that they lacked some height in the attack after the injuries from Robin, Nikclas and Abou ? Come on you got to be joking!

    But no, Wenger took the smallest outfield player and put him there.

    Insane, crazy and ridiculous. I bet this was what a few of us were thinking at kickoff when we realised that it would be Arshavin that would play there. I can imagine some doom and gloomers telling that Wenger has lost it completely.

    And then the Russian maestro just played his game and proved that he is a much shorter version of Robin Van Persie. Good and intelligent runs, good linkup between him and his team mates, good passes, a goal and could and maybe should have had more goals. But he is saving them up for next week I think.

    He showed that being clever on a football field is better than being big and strong. I don’t know who was selected as man of the match but the Dutch commentator said that he was by far the best man on the pitch and should be called Man of the Match.

    Well for me the Man of the Match sat on the bench for 90 minutes. It was the man that decided to play him there. It takes a genius to come up with this solution and this once again shows that all of us don’t know what goes on in the mastermind of our manager

  4. Midweek Arshavin said he has his own thoughts about how Arsenal should play, but will keep that to himself. Did we just beat Stoke that way?

  5. Amen, @walter your comments are read like a prayer or an evangelium, I can’t help about it, but very good, indeed :mrgree:

  6. I agree with you that you got lucky with your world cup games, but surely you must feel a bit unlucky to have picked a game in Australia’s group and it be one they are not playing?! What were the chances of that!!

  7. Sorry Andy, have to disagree that Cesc shouldn’t take penalties. As the one against Italy showed (and let’s not forget, the pressure was also because of the opposition and history and not just the fact that it was a QF) Cesc is one of our players who actually has bottle. And bottle is the main ingredient you need when taking a penalty. Sure, his pen was poor on Saturday but Cesc has the mental strength to score when it really matters. Give him time because he isn’t a choker.

  8. C’mon Andy Almunia is a liability. He should have got Drogba’s free kick. I agree with your assessment of the physicallity of our players, Vela should be a pro ballet dancer not a footballer. Rosicky is a private consultants dream and RVP is fairly injury prone too! But apart from that we’re still third and not out of it yet, truly a time for optimism

  9. There should be none of our starting XI even getting on the plane to Olympiacos. Maybe if an injured player needs a run out he can come off the bench for a good 15-20 minutes. Olympiacos needs this win and they will be harrassing our players. This is the prime example of a game where an injury could almost be expected.
    @ Arsene – Leave our boys in London.

    @ Andy – Almunia needs replaced. Just because he is on the same level as Peter Cech does not mean he is great. It just means Cech has fallen very far from his prime. Both Chelsea and Arsenal should be searching high and low for new number 1’s.

    @Walter – Amen!

  10. when are you guys going to learn that your sycophantism is doing alot of damage to the club. I have said it before, to cure a problem you must first amdmit that you have that problem, sticking your head in the sand and splurting out “in arsene we trust” will not fix the problem, which ofcourse is that the team is not good enough to win anything and it needs strengthening by at least four to five players. Am afraid to say that we will not win anything until he does that and we all know that will not happen so expect antoher trophyless season. The most irratting thing about our manager is his refusal to spend any money and despite his insistance of buying new players, i for one will not believe it until i see it with my own eyes.Making out that everyting is fine and always trying to find positives after defeats from teams like Sunderland sadly shows how far we have come which in my opinion is not vey far and the constant agreeing with all he says sends out the message, which is that we are happy with his performance i for one am not.

  11. I,m going to say this even if , as I suspect I will, get shot down in some style. Rudd van Nistlerooy, 3 times Champions League top scorer , top scorer in 3 different domestic leagues and 33 years old is, I believe, available in January . He will, I also believe, come on a free , or for very little money , so it’s wages we’re talking about. He is NOT cup tied in the Champions League . Yes it’s short term , but isn’t that what we need . Surely he will be good for half an hour a week if used as a sub . Forget that he was once a ManC and think of what a superb goalscorer he is . He’s also big and strong . I think it’s a “no brainer” people . OK , give me 10 minutes to get my trench dug before you open fire!!!

  12. The Genius here is really Arshavin, who can play anywhere on the pitch but the position he played in my opinion was not of central forward and certainly not a target man but of a Withdrawn Striker. This is the position he prefers and most suitable to his genius,he is the only one in Arsenal who can really play it well,since he is by far Arsenal most brilliant and able player in every department,no doubt about it,and only the really greatest players can do it well as a career, you name them;and he HAS PLAYED IT BEFORE!. Arshavin supreme understanding of space(ing),foresight of moves and the shape of the game, his all time awareness of teammates, his quick both sides turns&change of pace and angled runs,dribbling,tight control, pass precision, finishing AND toughness…Arshavin is our Messi its been said and indeed Messi played it on occasion last year (with Eto’ moving to the right).In fact Arshavin few times mentioned in his honest straightforward way that being pushed to the wing is not his best use though he can certainly do it and will do everything for the team. But I think his lost of interest and relative passivity in last few games before Stoke was not JUST his state of mind post Russia’s WC demise but the fact that after VanPersie disaster he was not singled and recognized as the obvious solution in a modified formation. I think this really puzzled him when all the candidates were queuing up.but he is a warrior and no sulk, and with an opportunity to prove a point he gave it all and with interest. Arshavin is one of those unique players who is totally aware of his worth yet is a team player.this is not just good atittude but a profound understanding of the good game, there are very few like that. Sorry if my post turns to an Ode to Arshavin, who is really one of the very best around in Europe, and it will be very interesting to see if Arsene builds his formation now around Arsh new/old role and not just for Stoke; I just find it strange these longing for Nick and Abou Diabi that one reads everywhere now, but who were so frustrating to many and slammed by many more just couple of weeks ago, but they are a good decoy, that’s for sure

  13. Walter, i think yr off yr head man. I think the best finisher and i said finisher Arsenal have is rshav. From the time he scored those 4 goals against liverpool i thought he shouls be played down the middle. Show me where i said Jay Thomas should be played up front. Ive been watching im since e was 13. Sanchez is all about potential and the future. THE UNTHINKABLE SOMETIMES RESULTS IN A TEAM NOT WINING ANYTHING FOR 4 OR 5 YEARS. Its all about the big games in simi’s or finals. A team can only afford to lose a certain amount of games a season before the league hopes are gone. There is no GENIUS there. I actually have been hoping all season that Wenger would play him there, e wouldn’t go missing so much then. One more thing…… IT WAS ONLY STOKE, YOU SHOULD BE BEATING TEAMS LIKE THAT. BOY OH BOY OH BOY.

  14. No Carlton Cole for me, the only striker I want is Edin and he won’t be coming, oh well hope Eboue scores a 30 yard screamer against Liv.

  15. @Walter, nice analysis and some perspective. I dreaded to come back to this blog this whole last week because it was just so desperately negative.

    @theicehammer, there are two reasons why it was important to beat Stoke. One is that they are big, physical, and we have difficuly in the past against teams like that. The second reason is that we needed to break the series of loses and stopped the rut.

    @Andy, I’m planning to go down to SA too. Boy you lucked out, man.

    Having said that Arsha did very well for the chance he was given in the middle. The injury crisis continues! Funny thing is that you can’t buy world class players and store them for rainy days. What we have is occupational hazard.

  16. just wondered what the team will be for the c/l game on wed,cant believe the amount of injuries at the moment and just thinking slightly ahead what sort of team can we put out against liverpool at the weekend? its obviously going to be a weakened side against olymp and a difficult game,as for arshavin he seems to drift in and out of the game when played out wide but in the middle he comes alive,his movement against stoke was first class and wenger would do well to continue with the little russian in a more central role.glad to get the 3pts and hoping a few of the injuries clear up asap, good points andy and walter keep doing your stuff.

  17. Just read interview – SkySports – with Wenger . Says will play the kids , Carling Cup lads , against Olympiakis – well , some of them anyway . Has actually said Merida and Wilshire will play . Great stuff I say .

  18. @ gunnerrealist – I certainly don’t want positivity for positivity’s sake, or people to bury their head in the sand and ignore the problems. But as the writer of this blog I do find it irritating when negativity takes over at unreasonable times.

    For me, complaining incessantly about what players we don’t have at a time when the manager can do nothing about it doesn’t help the team at all. Additionally, slamming the team because of a few bad performances at a time where injuries are mounting up is a little bit unfair.

    At the end of the day football is to be enjoyed and whether Wenger is frustrating you or not I think it’s important to be happy and share the love when our team manages to win or do things well. Otherwise, what’s the point?

    This comment is not specifically aimed at you, I’m just using your mention of “sycophantism” to give my perspective on things. Before last week’s difficult time this blog had a perfect balance of realism and quiet optimism but since then it has turned painfully negative, something that doesn’t do much good for readers who want to discuss things in a friendly and enjoyable atmosphere.

  19. balls to this if you cant be real and express your opinion without being stereotyped or labelled negative where are the debates going to come from…go on the other blogs and the ‘moaners’ and ‘doom mongers’ far outnumber the few that post here….is this a place to exchange opinion or do we come in and say almunias class,denilsons tough as nails or arsenes always right???im all for peace and love man but for crying out loud come out of the fog sometimes,if you hav a critism of something it doesnt make you a bad or negative person…
    im mean almunia was crap for the drogba free and you describe it as ‘cleverly disguised’,what the hell andy?
    no objectivity or realism….wel you wont hav me whingin on here anymore,goodluck dudes

  20. @ shambogunner – You can be real and express your opinions, I have no problems with that. Of course this is a blog to exchange opinion and it would be wrong to ignore the negatives in our team. I’m not saying that at all.

    So far this season I’ve been critical of a number of things, some of which are:

    + Almunia’s goalkeeping
    + Wenger not bringing in another defensive midfielder
    + Denilson not being up to scratch
    + Nasri and Rosicky not putting in enough effort v Sunderland
    + Walcott’s decision making
    + Wenger’s tactics in various games

    etc etc etc

    Like I said, I’m happy to have negativity and criticism on the blog. My problem is when it becomes unfairly overwhelming and actually damages the experience of the people who read the blog.

    I don’t even think I mentioned you in my criticism, shambo, so I’m unsure of why you’ve taken such personal offence. I am always happy to hear yours and others opinions but I will always struggle to hear things like “we’re never going to win anything unless we sign XYZ” when the transfer window is still a month away. I don’t even know if you’ve done that, it’s more a general comment on a few recent posts.

    I’m proud of this blog because I think that most people are realistic supporters. We know when it’s good, we know when things are bad, yet the key is that we tend to enjoy things regardless. Losing games is not the end of the world and in the end as supporters its important to enjoy ourselves regardless of how the team is going. Whether things are positive or negative, this blog should be a FUN place to come, otherwise noone will come here.

    You’ve been a loyal reader of this blog for a long time and I wouldn’t like to lose you over something like this.

  21. I dont know who supports ARSENAl more than i do…. i know this team inside out. At a certain time, I could always predict accurately the subs the manager would make.
    I dont know who commented more than I did on this blog pre-season about strengthening and who should play where and tactics and stuff.
    I actually said I would not comment during the season until WENGER buys, but I had to eat my words when they were astonishing everyone(…probably playing out of fear).
    BELOVED ARSENAL FANS? Do we remember what the problem was last season? If I can remember properly, it was scoring goals….the defense was finding its rhythm and GALLAS was in the form of his life.
    Why did you concerned(it would be better to term you fans lackadaisical now) fans not speak out on what was the problem then? Were you not concerned enough? Who knew VERMAELEN would be this excellent? Afterall, he was the only buy after out top(?)striker and defender were sold.
    Why were you not so concerned then? Do we always want to be happy and just sing the players praises all the time when they do well? Our dear club is in a crisis of sorts and the manager has his very fair share of the blame. We all love him and are not saying he should be sacked, but who would not love a HIDDINK type coach?

    I fell sick after the CHELSEA game and in the very next match against a very desperate team trying to win their only possible silverware for the season, our manager just shows us how important silverware is to him. The boys played well, but we lost(RVP must be cursing his luck). I would like us to win something after 5 years and yes, it maybe another year without anything to show.
    SORRY for the long post…

  22. @ GunnerBoss – Thanks for the comments, but the only crisis we are in is an injury crisis. We’re sitting third in the table (essentially) 5 points off the top team and have just gone through a rough patch. That is no crisis.

  23. This is the only blog I follow, its like family to me.
    I’ve been reading on this blog for 3 years now, just started commenting recently. I love the way you write ANDY( who wouldn’t?). Everything’s always in context. I know sometimes u try not to be overtly critical and as the blog owner, i commend it.

    I read everything on this blog daily, but sometimes you just have to shout out. PLEASE, let people who don’t want to read the so-called negative stuff alone. If, they are objective enough, they should be wise enough to let people say what they really want to say….are they not ARSENAL fans? Do they not watch the same games we do? Why must we keep mum when its not going fine? I never criticize others, i just read and state my opinions. When they do well, I write what could be done to do better…..its called being OBJECTIVE.
    Why don’t these guys ever have an opinion? Being constructive in ones criticism is good(only this time it involves our dear WENGER and makes it look as if we’re calling for his head). We have always trusted in him and when he makes mistakes, does pointing it out now mean we’re doom mongerers? I love being OBJECTIVE

    I dream of winning the champs league and all of a sudden the injury ghosts re-appear and the manager fails to acknowledge all this. He builds a team around a system that would need its best players fit all the time….even though he knows it could fail, he actually does nothing to prevent it. Was his decision to not strengthen in the summer now justified?

  24. SPANISH and SHAMBO are very real,these are true supporters… they stick with their criticism. Can we all go back and read all their comments when the team was doing excellent? They are not negative people at all.

    What does WALTER ever have to say constructively? Everything is always just right for him.

    @WALTER – Can things never be better? Don’t you have any ideas for the team? What if CHELSEA had all their subs and we had our full strength team, would we beat them? What if my sister had balls, would she now be my brother?
    I’m just having a go at you, you just seem to pop-up, spray a long line of cosmic dust everywhere and OFF you go. I think you confuse some readers, ur writing doesn’t harm me though….it rather amuses me when I read all that and you dont even proffer solutions. Been long overdue….not personal though, just ur comments

  25. My writing wasn’t even long.

    @ANDY – the crisis i meant was the goals crisis,….whats gonna happen to the 124 potential ARSENAL league goals now? It pains me when we cant score…. all that beautiful play with nothing to show after 90 mins? Demoralizing kind off and its even worse when we dont even create chances

  26. @ GunnerBoss – Once again thanks for the comments. It’s great to have you on here.

    You mention a crisis but only your last comment mentions goals. If that’s what you mean you have to say it, otherwise we won’t understand. Regarding the lack of goals being a problem – I agree. But it’s not really Wenger’s fault that van Persie and Bendter, our two major strikers, are injured. And it’s certainly not his fault that the window won’t be open for another month. Let’s just wait and see what happens.

    Regarding Walter, I love his comments. They aren’t always positive but they’re certainly a lot of fun and more than anything, he offers a fresh perspective.

  27. @ANDY – He never wanted to spend in the first place. I’m also not sure its his fault he ever wanted to wait for the window. Is it? Course it is.

    After loosing DUDU to injury, sells SHITTYBAYOR and fails to strengthen that department as if he forget about DE-JA-VU. Guess we have to let him know he deliberately opted to turn the blind eye.

  28. wenger should accept that he has failed with his youth policy than giving excuses of which we are fed up of,why cant he sign big names than sticking with kids.

  29. when will wenger ever get serious about winning carling cups and FA cup.cesc fabregas feels too big with the armband thats why whenever he gets the ball he looks at the fans than his teamates and opponets are happy to get the ball from him,he lost concerntration coz persie his selfishmate is out.

  30. OUCH !!
    Few facts here . I am 2 weeks away from my 60th birthday and I have been an ARSENAL supporter since I was knee high to our Jack Russell. I’ve seen – and remember – the bad old days and I am a HUGH fan of Arsene Wenger, but I refuse to wear “wenger tinted” glasses all the time.
    Andy , you say ” it’s important to enjoy ourselves regardless of how the team is going”.Right – but I suspect that a lot of people on the blog have never been to see an Arsenal game – hence only put their hand in their pocket when they buy another beer when watching the games down the boozer.That’s not meant as a criticsm , it’s how it is for some people – but it’s a FACT.I’ts always easier to enjoy yourself when the beer is good – but if you pay for a season ticket and go to as many away games as you can it’s a LOT of money going down without anything to show for it in trophy terms.In what other areas of your life would you be happy to continue doing that ?
    I have no wish to see Wenger replaced – not yet anyway – but I just wish he’d get REAL. I’ve said here before that he knows what’s needed to win the Premier League – because HE’S DONE IT – so there’s no excuse for his perseverance – going on 5 years now – with his “dream” of cleaning up with a team of kids . You have to have a blend of youth and experience .
    I believed my criticism to be well meant . I’ve never called for his head .Only once have I posted a player on a wish list and that was yesterday with a short term January “solution”. I have to say it’s a good blog here but if people only want to read “positives” and , get their “fixes” in that manner then it isn’t the place for me .When it’s raining outside I acknowledge the FACT – but it doesn’t necessarily stop me enjoying the day – just means I bring a raincoat .

  31. Arshavin was brilliant in the Stoke game. Not just because he scored, nor even for all the passes and moves he made but because he was really determined. He was focused. He played like a leader. You could see it in his face. You could see him, off the ball sometimes, directing the play. It was great to see and warmed the cockles of my heart. Even when he scored he didn’t do his usual celebration because he knew there was still a job to be done and he was keeping focused. He’s the real deal alright and showed in that game that there’s even more to him than the brilliant and unorthadox style he has. I’d make him Captain.

    @spanishgunner, Gunnerboss, Shambo and others of the whinging brigade you’re entitled to your opinion of course – but that’s all it is – an opinion. You have no idea that buying this, that or any other player will change things for the better, the worse or make no difference at all. You state it like it’s a fact – “I’ve been saying time and time again blah blah blah” – it’s not a fact. It’s your opinion.
    Oh and, spanishgunner – some of us aren’t in the mother country. Bit difficult for me to hop round the other side of the world to go see my beloved Arsenal live. If you’re f*cked off with having to fork out for tickets why don’t you watch it on the telly like I and millions of others of us have to? How I wish I could sit in the Emirates and watch the lads.

  32. Cech situation is similar to eduardo….Not the lengthiness of it..but after injury to his head, he is not the same player.

  33. i feel confident with Vito Mannone in the goal rather than Alumnia who is caught sleeping by many opponent team players.

  34. I don’t think we need a tall striker.I don’t think Rooney is tall but leads Manchester United attack.Wenger should teach our boys of some physical presence and how to tackle physical games.

  35. HeyNonnyMouse , Just for your info smartarse I am NOT in the mother country – hence the spanish bit . I also fork out the airtickets . I didn’t mention it before because I didn’t think it important .Clearly it is – and don’t trouble to reply to this because I’m off the blog .If I can’t offer , as you say , opinions, without twats like you only offering sarcasm and offense (just like me now )then I really don’t need to be here .

  36. Jeez some of the comments after this game are a bit serious! I’d just like to say I agree with the ‘Arsenal players are made of glass’ paragraph. Something is definitely amiss, whether it’s the physical capacity of the playing staff or the training and fitness programme at the club as I’ve mentioned before. If I was a boardmember, I’d be pretty furious about the annual injury list at this time of the year.

  37. I think this is all just fate.All of you are just reacting! Fabregas deserves that penalty and when he misses than that’s that. It fate. that is what i call football.

  38. A few people have mentioned Carlton Cole – and I for one would be interested in that. He was brilliant against us, and scored. Plus he’d surely be very keen to prove himself so you could expect a good shift from him. Of course it’s hard to imagine AW going for such a player – he’s not your usual Arsenal style player – but then who else but Arsene to surprise us all with another bit of genius? And do we need another Arsenal style player? Maybe a more direct kind of attacker would be just right for us right now.
    The Hammers wouldn’t want to sell him but they say they need the dosh. I don’t believe it’ll happen but…nice idea.

  39. @shambogunner – christ! You mean you fly from Spain to the UK every weekend to watch the Gunners? Hats off to you, mate. I’m impressed. (not least with the amount of money you must earn!) Do you go to the mid-weeks too?

  40. Let me start by saying that this isn’t a pop at Steve Gerrard! In my honest stinking opinion I reckon that he is the England national team’s best player by far. Frank Lampard? Wayne Rooney? They couldn’t lace Gerrard’s boots.

    But doesn’t he go down a little easy??

    Now Liverpool supporters will say ‘What a cheek!’ especially when there was the Eduardo incident earlier this season. Liverpool themselves have had the same with N’Gog. Pretty embarrassing for both clubs I might add.

    But back to Gerrard, against Blackburn he went down very easily again. He does it quite regularly in fact. I’ve seen a You-Tube clip and I have to say that the Liverpool skipper goes down easier than Paris Hilton.

    If he was from Southern Europe, played in the Premiership and did this as often as he does then he would be classed as a diver. If he was from Southern Europe, played in Southern Europe and did this as often as he does he would be seen as clever.

    The fact is he is plays in the Premiership, goes down often but this is often overlooked because he is English. Pure and simple. The Match of the Day presenters laughed off what he did against Blackburn. Is this fair?

    My concern is that he does the same against us at Anfield on Sunday because I have no doubt that the referee will give a penalty. It happened in the Champions League with Ryan Babal.

    This a massive game for us and Liverpool. Despite people saying both clubs are out of the title race I disagree. Both are still in the race.

    I just hope that another massive Anfield match between us isn’t decided another dodgy penalty decision.

  41. andy,
    i would like to apologise for my earlier comment on reading it again it smacks of petulance and i know your wernt aiming any accusations directly at me its just,as you can tell from my posts,i can be quite stubborn..im apologising also because it is a joke for me to insult the great work you do here and effort you put in,that is the bigger picture and it is a credit that you get so many genuine arsenal and football people in here and your match summaries are always bang on….frankly i was embarrassed at that last post as i simply cannot go without coming on this blog,its my guilty pleasure
    and while im singing ur praises i would just like to add im 26 and hav been playin and talking bout football every day since i was 4,but i hav never met any person like you to argue a point with such level headedness,honestly you never lose ur cool and always articulate your point very well….
    so apologies to you and my fellow bloggers cos that last post WAS negative and has since seemed to cause tension unecessarily and i will be cutting down my over zealous posts
    @nonny, mate wev had lots of discussions but they often end with you getting your two cents in and then when i reply you dont respond….like 3 days ago.and it was spanish i think you were aiming your last jibe at…i live in ireland and only get across 4/5 times a season on a blocklayers wage

  42. @ heynonymouse would say that Arshavin and Vermaelen were not good players or that a couple more players like them would not significantly improve our chances of winning silveware.If your answer is yes then our opinions then becomes a bit more than that.

  43. @HEYNONNYMOUSE – I think ur tired…..or probably very sick. Why direct such criticism toward others?

    I read everyones opinion everyday and not everyone makes sense all the time, but must I be answering them all? This is a football blog, (What do you feel u can add?), thats just it. Let people say their opinion. Only devils try to influence others…..better watch it. Were all fans of the same club, aren’t we?

    We offered our opinions, why not just offer yours instead? Do u come here to chat? You must be very tired and jobless then.

    Its very unfair to be attacking SPANISHGUNNER the way you did, i feel you should apologize if ur not tired.

  44. boys will arsene move arshavin back to his normal position when others are back. I believe he is the real deal. We will buy him and play im where he belongs. SHAMBO, yr making me cry……to much mate, i prefered it when you were a hard nose critic, just like myself. By the way im back!

  45. By the way, didn’t we score a lot of goals the first 10 – 12 games? What would we have done with this prototype big physical striker that everyone is talking about if we had him in our team then? He would be on the bench complain until he gets his transfer in January, right? The team was working very well until the injuries pilled up. Every team will have their fair share of the injuries, just wait. This chamionship is not over by long shot! If we believe all the talking heads on TV, we would have been scrapping in the realigation battle.

    As Wenger mentioned this week, who can be the striker he would sign in January that is not cup tied for CL? Chamake? Isn’t Carlton Cole injured too?

    I believe we had a goal glut because of RVP. Not only he can turn and score on a dime, he brings players into the attack like no other we have in our team. I believe Arsha can do that too. The real test will be this coming weekend. That takes time and chemistry. Hopefully, the ref doesn’t play as the 12th man on the pitch.

  46. ice im trying to bring out my inner hippie man….feel the positivity….ha ha ha,ah no credit wheres its due man.
    am still hard nosed and hard necked tho!!!wot do u think wengers plan is for simpson,lansbury,hoyte and eman-thomas dude?im worried their been put in the shop window as their a bit too robust for wengers normal liking…..and just wot we need!!!!

  47. Come on! Arsenal sucks now!we need a new striker!How about Carlton cole perhaps? he is good facing defenders.He might be as good as Drogba or Torres(sounds impossible but its worth a try).Wenger you are a great manager but the true weakneas of the arsenal team are there injury.The arsenal players are to young and they are easily injured.So please buy some players by january or arsenals title ambitions or even the top 4 will be blown away.

  48. Greetngs all and tribute to all the Arsenal fans who take the time to go the Emirates, flock in a pub or just watch the games at home!! And to you Andy for the great blog that brings together Gunners fans from all over the world. My two cents is that yes our players do seem to be made of glass and seem really brittle this cold November period totally agree with you Steve O something is a miss here and if the team can sort this out some of our problms will be solved as we really have some good players but most of whom get injured around this time en masse… And yes please let’s get some proven players to give us the spine/ back up we need to challenge for titles during the next transfer window. Been an Asrenal fan since 1992 and AM ALWAYS GONNA BE A GOONER!!

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