Remembering Rocky Rocastle + Rookie’s injury to open the door for Big Phil?

Firstly, a big thanks to everyone who wished the Arsenal FC Blog a happy birthday for yesterday – it was much appreciated. I hope I made it as clear as I could how important the readers have been to the success and sustainability of this blog. As I said yesterday, without the interest and participation of you guys out there I probably would have bored of this long ago, so thanks again. Also, to those who passed on the positive messages via the Arsenal FC Blog Readers Facebook group, thanks to you as well. Cheers.

David “Rocky” RocastleMoving along now and for those of you who have been following Arsenal long enough to remember, Monday the 31st of March marks the 7th anniversary of former Arsenal footballer David “Rocky” Rocastle’s death. Rocky was an integral part of the club in the 80s and 90s, making his debut in 1985 and playing at the club for seven years before moving onto Leeds United in 1992. During that time he won three trophies with the club, including being part of the side that thrillingly won the 1989 League title after beating Liverpool 2-0 at Anfield on the last day of the season.

Despite leaving Arsenal in 1992, Rocky forever remained a part of the Arsenal family. The fans loved him not only because of his brilliance on the pitch, but because he played the game with a smile on face and his heart on his sleeve, and more than that, he always conducted himself as a gentleman.

In February 2001, Rocky announced that he was suffering from Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma, an aggressive form of cancer that attacks the immune system. He underwent a course of chemotherapy and thousands of fans prayed for his recovery, but this was a battle that was too much, even for David Rocastle. Rocky passed away on 31st March 2001, aged just 33.

It gives me great pleasure to tell you that Aron Lazarus and Marc Levy, two Arsenal fans who grew up supporting Arsenal when Rocky was at his peak, have started up a tribute website in memory of the man ( It is a great tribute to Rocky and features some wonderful words from his friends and family as well as a great biography of his life.

On top of that, Aron and Marc have teamed up with Arseshirts to raise money with Treehouse – a charitable organization focused on education for children with autism – via three exclusive T-Shirts designed to commemorate Rocky’s life. All profits from the sales of these shirts will go to the Treehouse charity so if you like what you see, get behind Aron and Marc and be sure to grab one. In advance, I personally thank you for your support.

I say bring Big Phil backSagna out, Wenger backs Gallas

Onto football matters now and Arsenal’s best rookie in recent seasons, Bacary Sagna, who twisted his ankle badly minutes after scoring against Chelsea last weekend, looks set to be out of action for at least three and anywhere up to five weeks. Arsene Wenger broke the bad news in a recent interview with Arsenal TV Online, as well as revealing the much better news that none of the Arsenal players who had gone on international duty have picked up any fresh injuries.

“I don’t know how long he will be out but I feel it will be three weeks at least. Five is the [worst case scenario]. The international players are not all back yet. But we have no real bad news. I have not spoken to some of them on the phone but if they were injured then they would have called. So it does not look bad.”

It’s very poor news about Sagna, for sure, but it’s important to take the positives out of this and the positives are that the likes of Robin van Persie, Cesc Fabregas and Mathieu Flamini are all OK to play on the weekend. Strange as it may seem and good as Sagna has been this season – and he has been very, very good – his absence may actually improve the defence if Wenger chooses to push the recently inconsistent Kolo Toure out wide and bring back the previously in-form Philippe Senderos. There’s always the chance that Emmanuel Eboue will play and Toure will remain where he is but in my eyes that’s a bit of a recipe for disaster. Either way, it’s terrible news for Sagna who, as I said, has had a marvellous first season with the club.

In other news the manager has also rubbished the claims of a number of journalists of late who have come up with the story that William Gallas has lost the respect of his teammates. Indeed, although Wenger admitted that the Frenchman was below his best against Chelsea last weekend he reiterated his contentment with Gallas’ role as captain as well as having a sly dig at the tabloids for going overboard with their claims.

“I believe he had not the best of performances on Sunday, and he would be the first to agree with that, but I don’t question his leadership nor his position in the team. You have the same William Gallas – and the same people said it was a good choice to make him captain when we were five points ahead, and you have not to go too much overboard.”

I couldn’t agree more. In my eyes Gallas has done well as captain this season and I was absolutely furious with some of the stories that ran this week questioning his behaviour, particularly the one from The Daily Mail. It’s all a load of garbage and I’m happy Wenger has picked up on it and said some to the public. Not that anything will ever be done about it…

That’s about it for today. Have a lovely Friday/Saturday and I’ll speak to you again tomorrow.

What do you think?

Have your say on Rocky Rocastle, Sagna’s injury or Gallas’ captaincy by leaving a comment.



  1. Good on ya Aron and Marc! Hope you’re successful!
    Nice Post SF. Hope the loss of Sagna doesn’t “rock the boat” too much.. Hopefully things will be fine…

  2. I’ll have to pick up one of those shirts next pay check. Been meaning to grab a few others off there. Great stuff.

    As for Sendi getting his chance and moving King Kolo out to the right that sounds pretty good to me. I even think perhaps Wallcot should start out on the right this game. Either that or put Diaby on the left and Helb on the right. Only because I think Eboue needs some time to cool off a bit. He really has been on a razor’s edge lately.

  3. Sagna’s injury is quite a blow to our dear team. But I guess eboue could do a very good job if he is deployed to his natural position rather than gammbling with Kolo at right back. Either of Gallas or Kolo could be rested and Sendorous given a chance.

  4. Nice touch the Rocky tribute SF.An Arsenal legend, fantastic player and as you say a true gentleman.

    Sagna will be missed no doubt but I think we can cope.
    AW could bring Hoyte into RB and play eboue RM or Eboue RB and Walcott RM.Either way I think we’ll be OK.

    Roll on Bolton,we’re gonna win convincingly, 3-0 to the Arsenal.

    Bring it on.

  5. If Arsenal fans are calling for Senoderos to come back into the team (to IMPROVE it)then it shows how far we have sunk. Senderos isn’t and never will be a class defender he is too prone to schoolboy mistakes and the look of fear and uncertainty in his eyes when forwards sre charging at him makes me cringe. I could understand it if Bolton were relying on him but please he is not a top premiership club player and should be one of those that go in the summer.

  6. I see where you’re coming from, Mark, but you can’t deny that the Gallas-Senderos partnership was working better than the Gallas-Toure one since Toure returned from the ACN. Toure is really struggling at the moment and I think Big Phil deserves a chance to play again. Freshening up the team with a couple of different faces is what we need to do to get back to winning ways, in my opinion.

  7. Belated Happy Birthday to ARSENALFCBLOG and Spanishfry. I have been enjoying reading the thoughts of SF in this blog for over 6 months. This blog is not one of the busy Arsenal blog but it has quality. Hoping for good news, articles and comments in a regular basis. Full credit to SF.

    We will see Senderos and Bentdner start tomorrow. With new faces in the team we can come back to winning ways.

  8. Spanish Fry and ramugunner …I understand what you are both saying about S
    enderos and as he is the only real replacement alternative at centre back it appears logical ..I think my point is with both him and Bendtner that if these are the type of (QUALITY ?????) players we rely on …then heaven help us.

  9. oh! come on you guys give this bois credit at the start of the season we were not given a heart beat of a chance and now we ae condemin our own bois! its jus wrong! besides this guys have played evry single game without rest…i understand u might want to blame wenger for that but the dude makes mistakes but that dosent mean he is not good! man utd, chelsea might have more and better playas than us but we have a better team! understand that belive in tis team! cuz no one can boast of wat wenger has done! gunner for life!

  10. Take that!!! 3-2!!! So who is useless now Scope Knight? I’m sorry, but you have to give Arsenal a huge amount of credit for that win! It’s 3am here in Brisbane and I’ve just finished watching the game. I was going to just post on here to congratulate our boys on a fantastic comeback but reading Scope Knights remarks has just made me angry… I never once lost hope throughout the entire game and I am damn proud of that. Call yourself an Arsenal fan? Whatever buddy…

  11. I also apologise for using this comments section for such an attack… We really should just focus on a great win. As you can no doubt see, the game has just given me a rush of blood to the head… :-):-)

  12. Fighting to the very last second. Im just worried because, even though we now can build momentum, Cesc is one card away from suspention….

  13. Scope Knight …your comments were still right …I think the euphoria of the win, and manner of the win, has gone to some heads. As I’ve said before the game yesterday and many times previously the likes of Senderos and Bendtner should not be in an Arsenal shirt.If we rely on such players to give us depth and strength in the squad then we will win nothing. Though we came back and won it is papering over the cracks. Yesterday (against a team that is struggling) we should have had 3 goals before they scored their first. If we do the same against Liverpool and in our remaining league games we will not end up so fortunate as we did yesterday. Let us hope that those of you who say this will inspire thye team to greater things are right …. though why they could not be inspired to win the premiership when they had a 5 point lead (as Man Utd are obviously inspired now) beggars belief. Since the

  14. (Contd) Since the Milan game the run of draws and defeat to Chelsea all we have heard from the players is that they know how important it is and that they are focused and working as a team …then all they did was give us awful displays against teams we should have walked over. Yestarday they were doing the same until it seems Wenger at last appears to have given their inflated egos some bstick at half time.

  15. i am devoted to arsenal but come on! they hav been on a losing stake.i am going to change team if they didn’t win anything this season.i am going to change to barcalona man because my idol henry is there. i hope arsen wenger improves

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