Goal of the month? Of the season? Is our passing game killing us?

Written by WiganGooner

When we look for markers during the summer to show us where we went wrong I think we should consider the lack of true quality we have shown up front this season.

Playing one up front has stifled our attacking threat to a point that when we do bomb forward to try and press home advantage and nick a goal (because that’s all we seem to do now) we leave ourselves open on the counter. How many times have we seen it this season?

We are the only side that employ a defensive midfielder, give him the job of being that said defensive midfielder and then let him roam forwards with impunity, leaving a less-experienced, but perhaps more eager player in Jack Wilshire to stay back and try and mop up.

That’s getting away from my point though, this season we haven’t achieved a single “Goal of the month” on Match of The Day. Not one. Every year for the last fifteen-odd years we’ve always had at least one entry, not this year. We haven’t shown significant quality to do it. Why? Because going forwards we aren’t as creative, as clever or as swift as we used to be.

The Premiership has got quicker and we’ve got slower. We try to play a continental passing game, but in this Formula 1 Premiership it is too easy to defend against. It’s too slow! We even changed formation to try and play this way. We can’t play that passing game in a 4-4-2 because there aren’t enough triangles, enough combinations of players close enough to the ball, so because it doesn’t work in a 4-4-2 we’ve changed to a 4-2-3-1 to accommodate Cesc and this passing game.

This Barcelona-esque passing game is no use to us in the Premiership, in Europe it can work as it’s a more tactical game. In the Premiership it’s about pace, power and penetration. We can’t play our passing game like Barcelona, be it down to personnel, technique or opposition we haven’t been able to boss teams and score 5 goals.

The passing game is the true experiment and it looks like it has failed. Project Youth still has time to prove itself, but the Barcelona effect has to stop. Or we will struggle again.

WG

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175 Responses to Goal of the month? Of the season? Is our passing game killing us?

  1. London says:

    Morning all

    If that is your first post WG I hope that I have the pleasure of reading many more. It is a football post talking about football issues.

    Totally agree about the need to stop trying to be Barça 2

    Totally disagree with your view of the working relationship between Song and Wilshere although you are not alone, 99% of gooners miss the point as well.

  2. Rasp says:

    Thanks WG, we are aware that you have your own excellent site and are flattered that you have chosen to publish a post on AA – and what a post! I don’t think I have ever read an article that I agree with more.

    I have been banging on about how our laboured possession football flatters to deceive and our defensive vulnerability when the FB’s go forward. For some reason our attacking moves have slowed and now just provide time for the opposition to close ranks.

    Another by-product of this is that the entire midfield gets sucked forward and when we lose possession, have to try to make up ground to defend and often run into the back of players and concede free kicks – and we all know about our vulnerability from set pieces.

    I despair when I see us get a free kick in the opposition half and we pass it 10 yards backwards to a centre half – what’s the point?

    The only goal I can think of when we attacked at pace on the counter was the 2nd against Barca – my goal of the season.

    One reason we don’t get Goal of the month is because the players are coached to not risk losing possession (that damned possesion thing again) and so they go for the clever pass rather than having a go from outside the box.

    Too often the required urgency is only evident in the last 20 minutes when we are chasing a game.

  3. dandan says:

    Nice post WG with a well reasoned argument. A lot depends on this weekend, should Barca win then I believe others teams will look to play that way, should the Mancs win, then it is probably back to the drawing board.

    Lets see who Wenger buys that will tell us a lot.

  4. Rasp says:

    Morning dandan,

    I hope that it gets up the mancs noses that Barca are training at LC – equally, I hope ocertain players are not undergoing a charm offensive from the Barca staff to lure them away :?

  5. dandan says:

    Oh Rasp you are one cynical man, maybe just maybe the boot is on the other foot and Arsene is charging them a few bob for the use off. Whilst he works on pinching their players :-)

  6. Someguy says:

    We are the only side that employ a defensive midfielder? Really? Someone get on the phone to Obi Mikel and De Jong and tell them that they’ve been playing by mistake all season!

    And since when has goal of the month meant anything? It’s a timefiller for the BBC’s late night programming.

  7. Rasp says:

    Hi Someguy,

    You’re missing the point. G o t M is indicative of the way the team plays – i.e. swift attacking football with long range (accurate) shots etc etc

  8. dandan says:

    Someguy suggest you read the post again that is not what it says, then perhaps your comment will be of some relevance

  9. Red Arse says:

    Nice one WG, but then I knew it would be. :-)

    Tried your site again this a.m. but still could not get a comment on. Maybe it is my connection? :-(

    You are quite right that every team in the EPL has become faster. They obviously learned from Thierry taking everyone to the cleaners with his sheer pace and brilliant goal scoring end product.

    We replaced him with Chamakh (too slow), Bendy (not too quick and does not have Titi’s control), so leaving us only with the relatively inexperienced Theo.

    Dandan is right, the type of player AW signs in the summer will be very telling as to which way the team will play in future.

  10. Carlito11 says:

    Excellent AA debut WG! I agree that incision has been lacking. I will defer to the coaches on this site like Wonderman as to whether a 4-4-2 is better at delivering the pace and “thrust” required. It seemed to me that last season Chelsea managed to combine a 4-3-3 and creative, precise attacking to win the league last season and started this one in the same vein. So maybe it’s not merely down to formation but the stifling pass pass pass philosophy which seems to be coaching the killer instinct out of our players? We need to have far more variation in our play- this is the key for me and maybe it only comes with experienced versatile players?

  11. dandan says:

    Morning RA why do these blokes come on and comment without reading the posts it makes them look such idiots, when they would probably be good to have around if only they would take a little care.

    Unlike you of course who couldn’t care less :-)

  12. TotalArsenal says:

    Morning WG, that’s a fine post about a very important topic. The passing game is our trademark and especially at home it has not always brought us the results that we expect. Your point about speed in the team is also valid. The passing game works well when everybody works at 101% and we don’t always do that. I still feel that 4-2-3-1/passing game works very well for us in away games and against the bigger teams at home, but as I suggested yesterday, maybe we should play more 4-4-2 at home against the lesser teams. Would it not be great to combine our passing game with deadly crosses into the box that are being met by two strikers (RvP, Chamakh or Bendtner), and shots from outside the box that hit the net now and again?

  13. Red Arse says:

    HCAA, :-)

    If you are out there reading, come on in and blog.

    Despite some comments on here, from others, I repeat that I do not have any problem with you, at all, and would much rather you stayed on this site.

    If you look back a day or two, you will see you were blogging with regular AA’ers until the early hours. They may not have agreed with everything you said, but they were happy to chat to you! :-)

    I’m off for a couple of hours now, so I hope you are on here commenting on WG’s maiden Post when I get back! :-)

  14. Red Arse says:

    Morning Dandan, :-)

    That was a very elliptic comment, so I don’t quite no how to react.

    – ‘they would probably be good to have around if only they would take a little care’.

    – ‘Unlike you of course who couldn’t care less.’

    Can’t argue with the first part, ‘they probably would be good to have around’ — unlike me? Well that is probably true.

    But the ‘couldn’t care less’ is not true, I do care, and never intentionally wish to hurt anyone — if that is what you mean.

    I hope you were speaking in jest, but if I am seen as a disruptive influence on AA, I will not need to be told twice. You have my word. :-)

  15. Rasp says:

    RA, chill! dandan was talking about ‘Someguy’, there are no issues with your participation on AA except that it is very welcome.

    I’m sure HCAA will be back on when he feels like it.

    We have a new post from gunnerN5 that we will be publishing shortly – no-one needs to resign/pledge allegiance or apologise for their comments as long as they comply with the ‘loose’ rules of the site.

  16. WiganGooner says:

    Thank you all for your wonderful comments!

    @ Someguy, I wasn’t saying we are the only side to deploy a defensive midfielder, I think every premiership team has one. We however are the only ones that allow him to roam where he chooses rather than sticking in front of the centre-backs and breaking down attacks.

    I hope it makes more sense now.

    WG

  17. Rasp says:

    Hi WG,

    When I wrote a post recently asking if we should try to emulate manu rather than Barca, I was trying to make roughly the same points as your post today. In most of the areas we are weakest, manu is strong.

  18. WiganGooner says:

    Interestingly, re-reading the post a memory comes to mind…does anyone remember that shank-volley by RvP against Charlton….when was the last time we scored a goal and everyone immediately said “Goal of the season”?

    WG

  19. Rasp says:

    Its also interesting to analyse the effect confidence/belief (call it what you want) has on the willingness of a player to have a go from distance or try some outrageous trick to conjure a goalscoring chance.

    What is clear from our capitulation at times this season, is that our confidence is fragile and that must have an effect on a players psyche to try a G o t M – type shot.

  20. WiganGooner says:

    @ Rasp 10:24

    I think certainly ManYoo play at a faster tempo than we do, which is the flip-side of 5 years ago.

    They also break forward with less numbers, using the pace of their attack and creative running from midfield to great effect.

    But they always leave bodies back to defend.

    A habit, which unfortunately we have seem to have dropped in favour of gambling constantly to get a goal.

    WG

  21. goonermichael says:

    I like the post but I stopped really paying attention to motd ages ago. The 2nd goal against wolves was similar th the barca one mentioned by Rasp and was a fantastic goal. Nasri’s swivel from a mad angle was superb skill.

  22. mickydidit89 says:

    WiganGooner,
    Great read and something we can really get our teeth into. As London says: a football post.
    Here is one take of mine. I think you can play 4-3-3 in the Prem, but what you need is different players in your ront three. Far stronger, more powerful and aggressive goalscoring wide boys.

  23. Gobi says:

    Totally agree with the article. The passing game could be the main reason we’ve been under achieving for the pass few seasons. In my opinion, it could have been the culprit for injuries as well. When we had our counter-attacking team (Invincible), we gave no chance for the opposition to think about our movement. It’s due to fast thinking and fast movement off the ball. Now, we are too reliant on passing…passing and passing. It gives the opposition time to think and organize their defence well to counter our game. At European level, it might work, but in premiership, it can be categorized as a failure. You know why neutral fans love Arsenal? Fast counter attacking combined with intricate skills game. These elements should be emphasized in coming seasons, rather than passing and passing. What if Fabregas leaves? Last five or six games are indication of what will happen if rely too much on passing. Lets see who AW will buy…

  24. mickydidit89 says:

    Right now, we are playing puff pastry, drizzles, nests and complex jus in the wide berths, and delicious though they may be, we actually need steak and chips with English mustard.

  25. Rasp says:

    Welcome Gobi, great comment – where have you been hiding?

  26. WiganGooner says:

    @ Micky

    If you are going to play 4-3-3 your central midfielder’s need to be disciplined, maintain their positioning and battle far more than our midfield does.

    We are too impatient, we throw too many bodies forward in the hope that we can outnumber our opposition and score.

    WG

  27. TotalArsenal says:

    For RA and HCAA

    Yesterday is History
    Emily Dickinson

    Yesterday is History,
    ‘Tis so far away
    Yesterday is Poetry
    ‘Tis Philosophy

    Yesterday is mystery
    Where it is Today
    While we shrewdly speculate
    Flutter both away

  28. TotalArsenal says:

    M89, very funny, but what is wrong with French mustard?

  29. mickydidit89 says:

    Wigan,
    I totally agree about the centre of midfield, however disagree on your other point. I think we are way too patient. Win the ball and release the power I say!
    Must go now.

  30. Evonne says:

    Total, RA and HCAA – we are all united in our passion for the Club, let’s stand united!

  31. dandan says:

    Red Arse, will you stop being so bloody touchy, when people are having a joke with you, you inject humour into this site which we all enjoy, so please lighten up and understand, we will in the nicest possible way get our own back, when we get the chance.

    Remember the old nursery rhyme…….Don’t care was made to care, Don’t care was hung, Don’t care was put in a pot And boiled till he was done.

    We have a cook or two on here who could handle that :-) aand that would surely leave you with a Red Arse :-)

  32. Gooner in Exile says:

    WG superb first post, short sweet and to the point.

    One thing I have often struggled to get my head round is AW movement away from fast and strong (but still skilful) players.

    Our Invincibles side was the epitome of pass and move football, the current side does the pass but the movement has evaporated since February sadly.

    And this also comes down to football brains again, I know some don’t like the expression but it is true. The best players find space to play in and to run in to. We are struggling to find good spaces.

    One fifth of the Emirates pitch is 1428 sq metres, even if 11 players are defending they can only occupy at best 300 sq metres of that space which should leave a lot of room to move around in….ok I know it’s not real life situation but it’s a rough visual guide that with a bit more pace and intelligent running we should be able to find room to play.

  33. Gobi says:

    I was not hiding…AW requested us to judge him in May…so I think the time has arrived…

  34. Evonne says:

    Wigan – well done, some debut! I hope we can see more of your posts this summer! Thank you.

    Dandan – I completely agree with you re Barca style and Mancs effect. Barca managed to beat most EPL teams in CL over the years, which would prove their style is more effective. However, if the Mancs win on Saturday,I would have to reconsider. I love the Wengerball and would not swap it for trophies. But like the post from a few days ago suggested – Barca style and Mancs power don’t have to be mutually exclusive.

    I so want Barca to win

  35. Evonne says:

    RA – you are my hero for a reason xx

  36. WiganGooner says:

    @ Micky 11:06

    Sorry, I didn’t really make much sense, I meant rather than let the ball do the moving and charge forward with pace we move forwards en-masse slowly and leave lots of space behind for the counter.

    WG

  37. dandan says:

    Barca play in tight places, pushing a high line all the time and restricting space, trusting in their passing skills and the genius of Messi to break through. While at the same time having sufficient people in the compressed space to immediately close down the opposition as soon as they lose the ball. Often three players at a time, in order to do this they push the full backs up and are vulnerable to pace. Witness Nics miss after Robin went off.

    We do not harry in the same way when our opponents have the ball. Instead we try to keep the ball playing triangles and looking for runners through the centre with clever one twos, why because we don’t have Lionel Messi. Nasri and Cesc on there day can do it, but it is not so easy with the frantic pace of the premier league.

    So a real pacey target man with good feet and height to play alongside Robin would give us more than just a plan B.

    That plus a CB built like Samba who could stand on the penalty spot and pretend he is a roundabout would make for interesting times.

  38. kharadonha says:

    Good day Gooners,
    there’s nothing wrong with our passing game the only problem we have is that our players don’t understand the game and when you undermine yourself as a player even the weaker opponents can have something to cheer them up coz they know Arsenal can’t absorb pressure for 90 minutes. I have said this before that this is not Barcelona style of play it is our style of play (Arsenal Way) and we as fans should not walk away from the fact that we love it and we want to see the right players for this system being brought in rather that depending on the current crop of players. this system will never work if Wenger insist of playing wingers who don’t have pace or wingers who have pace but don’t know how to use it. we have become too predicted and our attitude (players attitude) sucks big time and I cannot understand AW when he said his players attitude has been fantastic. which planet does he live in? Lets get wingers with pace who will cross the ball on the opponents area so that our attackers can have the chance to score or to take shots at goal. I agree when you said we don’t have not even one who has been selected for the goal of the year/month. that leaves us with unasnwered questions of what happened to the old Arsenal of old days. another thing is that when we start the league next season we should have something that can remind us of how many titles have we won and that can be put somewhere at the Emirates for all to see even the players. If I’m correct we have won 13 or 14 titles so we need to remember that if we want to be respected as a football loving Club.

    14 or 15 should be written on the walls at Emirates so that the players can have a health pressure on them to be successful.

    I just love Arsenal and the fans are fantastic that’s why I love this team. the atmosphere the fans create is amazing and I just don’t understand how these players season after season fail to make us a happy people.

    Next season I shall call Arsenal “Happy People”

    Cheers

  39. arsenal fan says:

    good post completly agree
    we are a bit slow n some of our players cant match the quality of the players barca have got

  40. A pithy and precise debut post there DG, well I think it’s a debut unless Evonne tells me off for being wrong again, lol.

    While I don’t advocate becoming a push and run team we should be able to play with burst of speed WHEN NECESSARY. This we haven’t done, as WG rightly points out, for a while and not effectively since the invincible era.

    Kharadonha(great name there, I’d be intrigued to know it’s etymology) we’ve won 13 titles and I can’t see the harm in applying pressure on the team to make that 14 titles PDQ !

    Also, if anyone wants to chuckle again at the only good thing to happen at the end of the premier league campaign, namely the relegation of the Brum Scum here’s a BBC blog which points to an impending financial meltdown at the hellhole that is St. Andrews. Some of the comments are quite funny.
    Ha ha Bentley, Hleb and Bowyer !! You and the likes of Martin Taylor will not be missed – bugger off to the Championship where you belong .and don’t bother coming back.

  41. Red Arse says:

    Apologies Dandan, :-)

    I was being smart arsed with your comment, which I knew full well was meant as a leg pull.

    An ex-girlfriend once told me I was fun, lovely but complex. She went on to ask if I loved her.
    Stalling for time, while I thought of something amusing, I asked her to define ‘love’.

    Her riposte was ‘you are far too analytical’ — followed by — ‘f*ck off’.
    Haven’t seen her since 2004, so maybe she’s not coming back! What do you think :-)

  42. Red Arse says:

    TA, thank you for the poetry. :-)

    Don’t really understand the first line of the 2nd stanza; ‘Yesterday is mystery’, perhaps she meant ‘misery’?

    As a polyglot, I am sure you will explain it to me! :-)

    Evonne, your hero? Surely not! I am horrible! :-)

  43. Red Arse says:

    Dandan, your 11:27 is spot on.

    We were spoilt by Thierry and could do with someone like him. Unfortunately a terrific athlete with his pace and control only come along once in a blue moon.

    But then ‘blue moon’ would be apt, as Citeh would instantly sign up such a player while we have our noses pressed to the shop window looking on enviously.

  44. HCAA says:

    GOOD DAY TO ALL AA’s,

    Amazing words of support from you all, Dandan, the lovely Evonne, GM, MDI89, Rasp, RA, TA, 26May, (hope I haven’t missed anyone, and it’s in alphabetical order, not preference). All the main AA bloggers are intelligent, witty, articulate insightful and passionate in their love for The Arsenal, and that is evidence enough of what a special club we are. I thought the best idea for me was to step back and take a deep breath, and to recognise some of my faults too. Could I do the job that AW does? Absolutely 100% not. Passion sometimes blinds us into thinking we (or I) sometimes know better and have all the answers, which is obvious folly. As for you RA, you add something to AA that no-one else could, and your contribution to such a vital, classy site is essential.
    WG, great incisive post, and I think you’ve identified one of the core issues currently handicapping our playing-style.
    Thanks again AA’ers, you are all wonderful people. Long live The Arsenal and their fantastic supporters!

  45. dandan says:

    Welcome back HCAA, and thank you for your kind words, hopefully we will continue to agree to disagree for without that there would be no blog.

    The next couple of months will be difficult for all of us and our continued participation is essential if this special blog is to thrive.

    Long may it do so. Regards DD

  46. goonermichael says:

    Is anyone else worried Nasri might go to the mancs?

  47. goonermichael says:

    HCAA
    Did you see red nose trying to ban a journo from Fridays press conference for daring to say “ryan (not so clean after all) giggs? That typifies why I hate the man. Actually despise is more apt.

  48. WiganGooner says:

    I think the reason why I am a bit gutted Blackpool went down is because I found their brand of football a bit refreshing. It reminded me a bit of the invincibles, the relentless attacking and using pace to break quickly.

    If we played a bit more like that at home the fans would be screaming their heads off for 90 mins…not watching sideways, probing, tactical football.

    WG

  49. Carlito11 says:

    Micky- I think you have it right about our front 3- where we have pace we lack skill, where we have skill we lack strength…
    In other news, heartwarming scenes of reconciliation and rapprochement were seen today on ArsenalArsenal’s comments section! I nearly welled up ;-)

  50. Carlito11 says:

    WG- Charlie Adam for Arsenal?

  51. WiganGooner says:

    Howdo Carlito..

    I really like Charlie Adam, his dead-ball play is excellent, very productive. He doesn’t hide in the big games, so I would have him if he was available but his price tag will be too high I think.

    Plus, with a bit of practice at set plays and free-kicks I think Rambo has all of the attributes to be a miles better player.

    WG

  52. WiganGooner says:

    Yep, far too much love on here now… Carlito, you smell of wee…

    That should even it up a bit. :)

    WG

  53. Carlito11 says:

    That’s more like it WG! Reliving one of my personal highlights of the season on AA I shall insult you Elizabethan stylee… WG you are a bootless bat-fowling barnacle! :lol:

  54. Rasp says:

    Hi Carlito,
    :lol: I like those insults that turn a well known saying on it’s head…. a particular literary favourite I read in a review once was. ….. “It was one of those books that once you’d put it down, you just couldn’t pick it up again”

  55. WiganGooner says:

    Carlito…your mother was a hamster your father smells of elderberries :) hehehehe

  56. Big Raddy says:

    Good day to you all from RaddyWorld.

    Fantastic weather in Italy and I dropped 20C when I came back to the chilly North.

    Crap end to the season but hey ho, we live to fight another day.

    WG. May I congratulate you upon losing your AA cherry. I look forward to you keeping up the excellent standard you have set yourself..

    To a certain extent our style of play is dictated by the opposition. If they compress the play back to within 22 yds of their GK, then the possibilities of a TH14 style breakaway goal are very, very limited. It was the Arsenal Way and teams have learned not to leave themselves open to it.

    So what do we do? Try crossing it into a packed box and hope someone rises salmon like and nods it in?

    No, we take the more artistic way of trying to thread a pass through a packed defence. And we DO shoot.,. I believe statistically we are one the teams with the most shots in the PL.

    I haven’t the answer …..

  57. WiganGooner says:

    Hi Raddy, welcome back to the UK!!

    What we have seen this season though is more adventurous play from the so called lesser teams. No-one really parked the bus this season, generally teams IMO seemed to have a real go and that’s why a lot of quirky results came about with big teams losing to the smaller teams.

    Birmingham are the exception to the rule as they couldn’t score goals so they used to nick goals and defend for 90mins.

    WG

  58. Evonne says:

    Ah, Raddy is back!
    All well then at ArsenalArsenal

    RA – I cannot explain here, it is a family blog

  59. WG – Radders is based in Copenhagen but it’ s still the frozen north though.
    Welcome back Radders, you are one of the few who would’ve understood my whinge about KK Downing the other day.

  60. Big Raddy says:

    Chary. I saw it and smiled. Fellow readers probably thought it was a Harry Potter reference with a keyboard slip!

    Thanks WG/Evonne. Good to be home.

    WG. As far as I could see only WBA and Blackpool attacked us at home. AV scored on the break and then defended in depth. Same for Newcastle etc.

  61. I knew you’d get it big guy !

    Richie Faulkner – who the hell are you ?

  62. RockyLives says:

    Great, succinct post WG.
    I wrote one recently calling for a return to 4-4-2 for much the same reasons you outline. However, I don’t think AW is going to change his system – I think he believes in it and has decided that all it needs to make it work is a modest change of personnel.

    There’s no question that our squad was good enough to win the league this year, and our rubbish end-of-season form may have had more to do with the mentality issue than the system. After all, the 4-3-3 (or 4-2-3-1), got us to a cup final and put us in a position in March where we had it in our own hands to win the league. And we would have knocked out Barcelona but for a piece of corrupt officiating.

    So, to echo HCAA (welcome back): although I would like us to go back to 4-4-2, if AW decides to stick with last season’s system I’ll accept that he knows better than I do and that he deserves another chance to make it work.

  63. RockyLives says:

    Has anyone seen the Evra quotes encouraging Nasri to join ManUre?

    I have a conflicted reaction to them:

    1) Evra is a see you next tuesday.
    2) Isn’t this a blatant case of tapping up and should the authorities take action?
    3) I have a grudging admiration for this quote, because it sums up why ManUre won the title and we didn’t: “if Samir comes (to United), he has to know there is no room for mistakes. Each year you are playing to win. That is Manchester’s culture.”
    4) Even though I don’t like Barca, I hope they stuff the Mancs on Saturday.

  64. kelsey says:

    Wigan Gooner.

    Nice concise post.I am not one for writing long winded replies but perhaps part of the problem is that we don’t have as many gifted players as in the invinsible era, coupled with the fact that we are becoming far too predictable and also the gap between top and bottom has narrowed as seen by many results this season.

    Stat fact: not one single goal was scored from outside the box this season at The Emirates.

    On a side note wasn’t there a famous dance craze that came from Wigan in the seventies.

  65. Big Raddy says:

    Kelsey. Interesting stat. but what does it prove/show?

    RL. With Nani, Valencia and Park at OT I cannot see a place for Samir unless he were to take a creative central midfield role. As he has yet to prove he can take on such a role at a major club I expect MU to pass.

    Should Samir be serious in his intent to leave (and we have seen no proof to that effect), then a swap with Ribery would be nice :-)

  66. Big Raddy says:

    RL. No arguing with point 1)

  67. kelsey says:

    Hi BR,

    Nice holiday I hope.
    What does it prove I am not sure.That we don’t shoot from outside the box accurately enough or that we defend better but stats show we scored less and conceded more this season.
    Also our tippy tappy football doesn’t encourage long range shooting.

  68. Red Arse says:

    Hi Guys, :-)

    It’s turning out to be a very nice day. The sun is shining; HCAA is back :-) ; the Radders is back; and this afternoon I had my first walk around a small lake in months! Yaay!! :-)

    Hi Evonne, you brighten my day too. :-)

    And Carlito is on the case. Haven’t seen much of you lately my handsome blue eyed boy. (I’m taking that in good faith from Evonne — not that I’m … well you know). :-) :-)

  69. RedA – I can back Evonne on that too, but I’m also not…”You know”

  70. Red Arse says:

    Hi Kelsey, :-)

    I took you to mean that most of the goals of the season etc, tend to be fantastic strikes from outside the box.

    I suppose a player could score a MoTD goal and still be on the losing side.

  71. Big Raddy says:

    We were second to Chelsea in total shots taken – 501. I can’t find details of how many were from outside the box.

  72. Red Arse says:

    Rocky,

    I have already admitted to an irrational dislike of Sir Fungus, Manure and now also Evra.

    When you compile a list of Weiners in your head, that club’s manager and many of their players are a perfect match for each other.

  73. Red Arse says:

    Oi HCAA,

    What’s with — ‘All the main AA bloggers are intelligent, witty, articulate insightful’.

    I have a reputation to live down to! :-)

  74. Big Raddy says:

    RA. & he missed out good looking

  75. Red Arse says:

    Here’s an Heroic Couplet that might describe AW painat the end of season fiasco, and the wish to bring in talent from abroad! :-)

    And then black night. That blackness was sublime.
    I felt distributed through space and time:
    One foot upon a mountaintop. one hand
    Under the pebbles of a panting strand,
    One ear in Italy, one eye in Spain,
    In caves, my blood, and in the stars, my brain.

    And here’s another heroic couplet, using iambic pentameter, for the wee wee boy, WG!
    Thing is WG, some lads can pee further than others! :-)

    O could I flow like thee, and make thy stream,
    My great example, as it is my theme!
    Though deep yet clear, though gentle yet not dull; Strong without rage, without o’erflowing full.

  76. chas says:

    Nice post, WG.
    A fine talent to voice what most others are thinking.

    Don’t know if you’ve all seen this, but does it describe the football we saw at the tail end of the season?
    (page down to flowchart in link)

    http://www.surrealfootball.com/2011/05/23/football-flowcus/

  77. Evonne says:

    Raddy – isn’t this the bestest blog in the world?
    Yes, we are a very handsome lot :)

    Chary – thanks for backing me up. You didn’t answer my question ‘how come you look so healthy? Your op must have been a great success? x

    RA – the only thing I don’t like about you is the string of ex-girlfriends and wives; you is a tart, no?

  78. Evonnethegunner says:

    just testing my new avatar, soz, fed up with being a boring green square

  79. Big Raddy says:

    Evonne. Can’t you use a picture. Nigella?

  80. Red Arse says:

    Evonne, wives? Must have been someone else’s! :-)

    But you are right — I is fickle!! :-)

  81. Big Raddy says:

    Chas. Excellent. Many years since I took part in more than 5 a side, but I recall the thought process

  82. Big Raddy says:

    RA. Variety is the spice of life :-) Good to hear you are back on your feet and able to walk around a small lake. With one step a journey of a thousand miles ……

  83. Evonnethegunner says:

    RA – oh, not a marrying type then? Lovely, me neither

    Raddy – Chas was using Nigella, I want to be Dennis the Menace like our DB

  84. Red Arse says:

    Thanks Raddy,

    First positive steps (no pun) for quite a while. Fingers crossed for a glass of vino, soon! :-)

  85. Big Raddy says:

    Evonne.” Was” is the word. We have too many male gravatars. We need something feminine to add to Peaches legs.

  86. kelsey says:

    It must be quite difficult walking RA with 7500 feet of tubing up your arsenal :)

    I see we are on happy Hour :)

    If i had a song about me it would be Shake Rattle and Roll

  87. Irishgunner says:

    Apparently this is our new away kit

    http://bit.ly/jOZlcA

    *leaves to vomit*

  88. Red Arse says:

    Kelsey, :-)

  89. Gooner in Exile says:

    Beenrumoured for a while now Irish, I’m hoping it’s just training kit.

  90. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi IrishG

    Are you serious? Is that not exactly the ManC shirt?

  91. Red Arse says:

    I think Kelsey or the Rasper was asking how many transfer targets have we been linked with todate.

    Voila!

    Alvarez, Amalfitano, Benzema, Baines, Buffon, Cahill, Canales, Downing, Enrique, Falcao, Gervinho, Goetze, Gameiro, Hazard, Hargreaves, Izaguirre, Jenkinson, Jagielka, Mertsacker, Mexes, Oxface-Chamberlain, Olsson, Parker, Reges, Subotic, Samba, Sakho, Tasci, Uncle Tom Cobley.

    I hope GIE or NightBird (aka SharkeySure) can make a spreadsheet of that bunch, so we can add to it as the frenzy builds! :-)

  92. Irishgunner says:

    GIE – its terrible.

    Blue I like but that kit …. no words, no words.

  93. Red Arse says:

    Irish, :-)

    Double Yeuk!

  94. Irishgunner says:

    TA – that’s the kit doing the rounds on twitter. I hope its false.

  95. Irishgunner says:

    RA – Double Yeuk is too nice a comment for that.

    As for not having enough feminine avatars .. *ahem* *ahem* Will I have to put up a nude picture of Lady Gaga for it to be called feminine?! *snaps fingers*

  96. chas says:

    Irish, yuck. I’d seen the shirt but assumed the shorts would be the dark blue. Are the socks light or dark? Horrible either way.

    The badge looks outsized, as does the Emirates logo.

  97. Red Arse says:

    Evonne,

    I’m not sure Chas was using Nigella; he is a good boy and she is in America, so that would take a great logistical feat! :-)

    Where has HCAA gone? :-)

  98. Red Arse says:

    Yes please, Irish!!!!!! :-)

  99. kelsey says:

    Irish,

    I saw that shirt a few weeks back,reminds me of Wycombe Wanderers .

  100. kelsey says:

    No one mentioning the Russian trying to buy the 10% from the AST

    I hope we don’t have a board room war this Summer,that’s all Wenger needs .

  101. Irishgunner says:

    Chas – That’s just the picture doing the rounds on Twitter and people seem to think its the real one. Why couldn’t they just pick one shade of blue???

    I think the crest is pretty big on the home shirt isn’t it?

  102. evonnethegunner says:

    Nay, it only looks horrible because it is not displayed nicely. Once you see it on Cesc’s, RvP’s and Messi’s back, it will look quite nice

  103. evonnethegunner says:

    hurray, I am Menace at long last :)

  104. Red Arse says:

    A female Dennis the Menace. What is the world coming to?? :-)

  105. Irishgunner says:

    RA – Just for you :)

    http://static.igossip.com/photos_2/april_2011/lady_gaga_naked_vanity_fair.jpg

    I’ve seen ones where one sees everything but I will not be responsible for heart attacks ;)

    Kelsey – Actually now you mention it, it does. Not a good look.

  106. chas says:

    Irish , is your avatar Lady G?….. I always thought it was a self-portrait!

  107. TotalArsenal says:

    Just quickly something different: went to see a good film today: ‘Win Win’ by writer/Director Tom McCarthy. I really enjoyed it with some fine acting (especially Amy Ryan and Paul Giamatti). If you like comedy drama rather than action/thriller movies, this could be the one for you.

  108. evonnethegunner says:

    RA – don’t look at that link, a horrible woman, honestly

    RA – I always wanted to be one of the boys. Most of my mates are men. But like Chary I am not ‘you know…’

    Anyway, we can go completely lala tonight, coz Peaches went to the Chelsea Flower Show :)

  109. Irishgunner says:

    Chas – ha ha as Jesus like as I am, yes that is Lady Gaga.

    I think she’s cool, not a massive fan or anything …. :oops: Not like I stayed up til 2am the evening her latest album leaked or anything like that … :lol:

  110. chas says:

    “using Nigella”? :)

    I’m sure Nigella would only allow all things consensual.

  111. mickydidit89 says:

    That away clobber is very very horrible. Never thought I would say this, but wasn’t the blue/green (’83?) an improvement. They will not shift many of those.

  112. Irishgunner says:

    I like the new home shirt, I’ll get it at the end of the season when its in the bargain bin.

  113. TotalArsenal says:

    Chas, agreed – far better badge.

  114. mickydidit89 says:

    chas,
    You have not shared a first class compartment (curtains pulled) with Nigella. A Tiger is what she is.

  115. chas says:

    Did she get her claws into you, Micky?

  116. chas says:

    More importantly, was the £248 pounds well spent?

  117. mickydidit89 says:

    Chas, I thought it was such a bargain, I paid double to make sure. Yip, clawed.

  118. mickydidit89 says:

    Raddy’s back, but alas I have missed him. Steaming fish time. Talking of which, its goodnight from him. Goodnight.

  119. TotalArsenal says:

    IrishG, did Obama make as much impression on you as the Queen?

  120. Irishgunner says:

    TA – He went down really well and his speech was greatly received. The Queen’s visit will go down in history as more historic though,she stole Obama’s thunder by speaking Irish first ha ha

    They both got a great reception, although for security reasons the Queen didn’t really get to meet the common folk.

  121. Vacuum head says:

    WG I’m afraid I am unable to agree with your analysis on the Arsenal problems.

    1) The passing game is far from over. You will have to wait until Saturday when Barcelona will be handing out a master class on the passing game.
    2)I have watched Arsenal early on in the season and they appear to be a total different team than the one at the end of the season. The reason for this is that they not only had a very high proportion of injuries, but they also were involved in too many competitions. At one point they were playing 9 games a month. This is far too much for a young team: e.g. Wilkshire’s performance has somewhat dropped over the last 4 or 5 games.

    3)Many of the fans this year have been disappointing. When the team has needed their support, many Jonny come latelys’ have spent more time booing rather than supporting their team. I don’t hear the Man U supporters booing their team, herein lies a lesson.

    This Arsenal team has the ability to go all the way, with some strengthening of the defence and possible better support up front for Van Persi. Let’s not lose the plot, it is not an easy road to tread,
    but in time I am sure it will pay off.

  122. TotalArsenal says:

    IG, The Queen, Obamma in Ireland, whoever next? Monsieur Wenger himself?

  123. Evonne @ your 5.48; the only visible signs of the operation is a scar from the base of my throat to my stomach where they cut you open so you can’t see anything else.
    As I had the op when I was 38 I could recover from it quite easily; the average age of a person having a bypasss is early 60′s.

    If you’re interested I could e mail you a link to an article about my experience I wrote for a cardiac patients web site soon after it happened.

  124. TotalArsenal says:

    Well aaid VacuumH (great name btw!). Your last paragraph is very uplifting, and I could not agree more.

  125. goonermichael says:

    The away shirt is shite. I’m really worried about Nasri. Can’t stand evra

  126. Big Raddy says:

    That is one terrible away kit. Only a blind man would buy one and not even the comedian’s who suggest our kits can be seriously considering it.

    We will be a laughing stock (or more of a laughing stock).

    Sorry to miss you Micky. Mrs Raddy had knocked up a salmon with tomato rice – it was quite good but I think she overdid it with the olive oil. It was a masterpiece of Italian marketing to get everyone believing olive oil should be used on anything other than salad – it flavours whatever you cook with and it cooks at a lower temperature which can affect not only the cooking times but can also be dangerous (it can become carcinogenic, esp. extra virgin, on high heat). When frying use a lighter oil (refined sunflower or rapeseed are best)

  127. TotalArsenal says:

    You are right GM, Evra is a d-head. He has always been so disrespectful towards Arsenal, and is always the first to wind us up before Arsenal-MU game. He needs a good kick.

  128. Irishgunner says:

    TA – I think the people of Dublin have had enough with the restrictions after the last two weeks to be honest so no visitors for a while.

    I never wish injury on a player but Evra is a complete rat. Other players annoy me, but what a weasel.

  129. Big Raddy says:

    TA. I agree about Evra but he has been a brilliant player for a number of years. Lacks manners, but then so do most Frenchman. As you say he needs a good kicking.

  130. Big Raddy says:

    We have agreement on AA :-)

  131. kelsey says:

    So am I GM,

    I can handle the cesc situation, but now Nasri,clichy,bendtner,Arshavin,denilson.never mind what we think of them,something is going on at the club…in a word unrest.

  132. dandan says:

    That depends if you believe what you read Kelsey, look at the players linked to us its mainly bullshit, dont worry about it untill Arsenal announce it.

  133. TotalArsenal says:

    BR, yes Evra is alright I guess (at MU, France is a different story). He is a rat and a weasel as IrishG put it. Nasri and Cesc will never be allowed to go at the same time, I cannot see NaNaNaNaNaNaNaNaNaNa go to the Mancs. Surely, he wont do that to us.

    Salmon in olive oil sounds a bit rich to me as well.

  134. goonermichael says:

    Today I saw a sign that made me piss myself…Toilets Closed

  135. evonnethegunner says:

    Chary – please do, I will ask Peaches to give you my email. You brave, brave man xx

  136. evonnethegunner says:

    GM – you nutter! Is it Tommy Cooper’s gag?

  137. goonermichael says:

    I just heard it on a hacking forum. Made me laugh Evonne

    Facourite Tommy cooper joke

    I bought a camoflage jacket

    Took it off. Now I can’t find it

  138. Gooner in Exile says:

    Here’s a theory on Samir’s loss of form.

    In summer contract negotiations were scheduled for January, he played a blinder on numerous occasions and sone would say was trying to earn the improved deal.

    February came and went with insufficient monies offered and no pen on paper and he list interest.

    I think we are at big risk of losing him.

    But as many AA’ers have said before if their hearts are not in it why do we want then to stay?

  139. Gooner in Exile says:

    Sone = some
    List = lost

    iPhone typisons

  140. goonermichael says:

    I’d rather he stayed and we kept him happy. If he goes to the mancs I’ll have to kill him.

  141. RockyLives says:

    No way we’ll ever sell Nasri to the Mancs.

    I suspect that Nasri (and his agent) know that Cesc is off and feel that this gives them a very strong bargaining position, so they’re holding out for a big deal. Which they will get, if Cesc really does leave.

  142. Gooner in Exile says:

    RL I’d hope not too, but if he doesn’t sign we’d have to strongly consider taking the money or letting them walk him in for nothing next summer.

    Our nerves are going to be tested this transfer window let’s hope the board back the manager financially and we get our work done early. No major International tournament so no excuses not to be getting deals done.

  143. RockyLives says:

    Hi GiE
    I agree we should sell if he won’t sign – but we shouldn’t sell to either of the Mancs or, indeed, any other English team.

  144. chas says:

    Happy Sir Michael Thomas Day to all AA’ers. :)

  145. evonnethegunner says:

    Morning Chas, watching the clip made me feel all sentimental and weepy

  146. evonnethegunner says:

    Morning Kelsey – could you follow the mappet show over there and dig up some dirt to completely discredit them for the next season?

  147. kelsey says:

    evonne,

    ove the years I have seen many International footballers over here and by far the worst behaved are the british.
    I saw Robbie Savage head butt gareth Barry in lineker’s bar at 4.30 in the afternoon and then Savage urinated on a Bentley Continental in front of many people including young children.

    Asley Cole had a stag night in Puerto Banus which went on for several days until it got completely out of hand and the police were called.

    On the other hand when Eto was at barcelona he was here with his family in a restaurant some years ago and my son spotted him, and asked for his autograph which he duly obliged and sat and talked with my son for about 5 minutes.

  148. evonnethegunner says:

    Hi Kelsey – really?? Fecking ell, I knew they were not the sharpest tools in the box, but to be so ignorant? That’s bad, really bad.

    I like little Samuel Eto’o, brilliant player. It always stayed in my mind how he left the pitch crying, following racial abuse in Spain

  149. mickydidit89 says:

    May 26.

  150. mickydidit89 says:

    BR,
    All is not well in the Kingdom of Denmark. You do not ban Marmite. We sail at Dawn’ish.

  151. evonnethegunner says:

    and so it is, May 26th

    Mothers’ Day in Poland, happy Mothers’ Day mum xx

  152. Gooner in Exile says:

    Micky :D

    Apparently they have not banned the Oz Vegimite tho, because one of the royals is married to an Aussie.

  153. mickydidit89 says:

    Chas,
    I have every daily newspaper from May 27.
    Out for the morning.

  154. 26may1989 says:

    Happy Mickey Thomas Day one and all.

    No idea if it means anything re the Chavs, but I passed Guus Hiddink at Heathrow this morning. I guess he could be over purely for the CL Final but then again….

  155. 26may1989 says:

    And Happy Mothers’ Day Evonne!

    That Marmite ban has to be a marketing spoof doesn’t it? The Danes can’t be so nuts can they? Raddy, views??

  156. evonnethegunner says:

    Morning 26may, what were you doing so early at Heathrow?

  157. evonnethegunner says:

    Danes are not nuts, marmite is horrible, poo in a jar. And apparently vitamin content can be harmful to pregnant women. But they have also banned Cornflakes, now that is nuts!

  158. 26may1989 says:

    Hi Evonne, am only off to Geneva for work but tomorrow am in Sardinia for a week’s hols with the family, and my mother in law and sister in law. No jokes, I get on with them! Can’t wait to get over there.

  159. 26may1989 says:

    Marmite is delicious!

    I like that poo in a jar line though….

    Ok, have to switch off now. Have a good day everyone.

  160. evonnethegunner says:

    26may – ha ha ha, enjoy your holidays! Do you plan your holidays around Arsenal games? I do, June is the best time to go away and miss all the transfer hipe

  161. dandan says:

    I am not one to advertise other blogs, but anyone who needs a lift, read Limpar Assists superb article on today’s a Cultured Left foot…… Sorry Rasp.

  162. Big Raddy says:

    The Marmite ban is due to Marmite having contaminates that are anti the very strict Danish health rules. Perhaps one could ask why it is acceptable elsewhere ?

    Cornflakes are not banned, what are banned are Kellog’s Cornflakes and one must ask the same question !

    Oh & I detest the poo in a bottle (thanks Evonne).

  163. Big Raddy says:

    Happy St Michaels Day.

  164. Hi Raddy

    Liking the poo in the jar :)

    Can I add a link to your fabulous 26th May article – I can’t imagine you’d refuse :oops:

  165. Morning guys and gals, and a Happy St Michael’s day to one and all !

    Evonne, I’ve e mailed you those links to my article that we mentioned yesterday – please let me know they got through to you ok.

  166. We published this by BigRaddy last year, it’s a timeless masterpiece. Read and enjoy.

    Happy 26th May

    http://arsenalarsenal.wordpress.com/2010/05/30/a-belated-happy-birthday-and-the-renaissance-of-football/

  167. Big Raddy says:

    Peaches.

    I was going to put up the link after the new post (he blushes in embarrassment)., but I have to go to work.

    Could you put it up later?

  168. Rasp says:

    dandan, I gave ACLF a mention the other day. Yogi’s posts are brilliantly written. My point was that even he has been openly critical of AW recently.

  169. Yes Raddy, I definitely will xx

  170. Big Raddy says:

    This on ACLF today:-

    “In a recent statement, Arsene Wenger has admitted that the teams collapse this season was not down to lacking ‘mental strength’, bottling, injuries or refs decisions, but the player diets. He has already started a rebuilding programme based on a revolutionary dietary regime in close liaison with the teams chefs.

    Consequently, Wenger will be keeping the following players: Wojchicken Szechuan, Bacary Lasagna, Gael Quiche, Tomas Roasticky, Cesc Fabregazpacho, Theo Walcottage Pie, Robin coq au Vin Persie, Samir Sultanasri and Marouane Chamacmuffin.
    In addition he will bring back Henri Lambsbury from his loan period.
    Going even further than most fans have expected, Wenger will be looking to strengthen the side with some high profile signings, his buying list includes:

    Peter Odemchickenwingie, Caviar Hernadez, NEMSanja Vidic, Gerard Piquenic, Kentucky Friedel Chicken, Sergio Lobster Bisquet, Demba BBQ, Carlton Coleslaw, John Teriyaki, Eden Hasalad and David Egg’nog.
    In addition, Mulligatony Adams will work alongside Pat Thai Rice as defensive coach. Jens Lemon will be retained as Goalkkeeping coach alongside Peter Stilton.

    When Liverpool Manager Kenny Dalquiche was told about Wenger’s revolutionary plan, he said, ” It all seems a bit pansy to me, I’m a Scot and I’d prefer a Emile Whisky and a Brandy Carroll followed by a decent Vindalou Macari or a Diego Maradona Kebab”

    Superb

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