Kings of the Road: Chelsea preview

Another away London derby and one which has always been special to me.

When I was “maturing” the Chelsea side were terrific, no, not just terrific they were Glamourous. The Kings Road, Osgood, Tambling, Charlie Cooke etc etc they were seriously cool and going to their ground had a certain frisson which was  very different to going to Highbury (Fulham Rd v Holloway Rd – you get my drift?). I can still recite that Chelsea side from Bonetti to Houseman.  Plus there was “The Shed”. In these blissful days of seats and bagels it is hard to conceive of how dangerous it was going away to Chelsea and wearing your colours. Packed standing terraces, a running track around the pitch, violent meathead fascists, few stewards and hardly any police, no segregation on the terraces – just “ends”; it was a recipe for the violence which inevitably occurred. Yes, Stamford Bridge was a frightening place and as a lad that violence was titillating.

It remains a glamourous club with a squad of big name players who would walk into any CHelsea team of the past. Let us not forget that Chelsea will play the most expensive player ever in English football today.

This is going to be controversial on an Arsenal site but hey, I am writing it, so  here goes. I watched the Chav/QPR game last week and what really hit home was how fantastic Chelsea’s superstars really are – deeply unpleasant men but what spirit they have on the pitch. Lampard, Terry and Cole led from the front, they covered every blade of grass and gave everything to their team to avoid defeat.  JT was getting forward on every possible occasion to find an equaliser, Fat Frank showed energy that Arshavin (a younger man) certainly cannot, and Cole showed why he is the best English full back ever – yes, ever. They wanted it so much that 6 of their 9 players remaining on the pitch got yellow cards. They do not lie down and that is why they are brilliant footballers.

As to today, Chelsea have such a big squad they will not be affected by suspensions. Drogba is out but Torres returns as does Ramirez. We know their strengths and Chelsea have a 100% record this season at SB. In our last 6 fixtures at SB we have won 1, drawn 1 and lost 4 , losing 2-0 last season.

My chief concern is Mata, a lovely player and one who cuts in from his left sided position to create a midfield 4. If he stays out left he will be up against Djourou  …  frightening.

Will Mr Wenger give Vermaelen a start? Surely not. We have started to look more secure in defence and BFG and the superb Koscielny are developing a good understanding. How they cope with Chelsea’s pace will be the key to the game. We match them in midfield though the return of Ramirez is a blow – he is a much better player than Mikel.

Gervinho was very good against Stoke but he will find Ashley a different kettle of fish, how he copes could determine our attacking threat. Robin will attract all the attention which will hopefully create some space for the Gerv and Theo. Theo owes us and Mr Wenger a goal or two, he has been anonymous in recent weeks and in such a tough game has to show his quality.

My team:

We can expect a battle and self-discipline will be important; it is no surprise that our improved form has coincided with the ability to keep eleven players on the pitch.

Inventor from Chelsea – there must be one – how about John Gamgee who built the world’s first artificial ice-skating rink just off the Kings Road. It was called the Glaciarium.

So a tough game today and a rigorous test of our new found fighting spirit. I have a sneaky feeling that Arsenal will give good account of themselves today.

COYRRG

Big Raddy

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473 Responses to Kings of the Road: Chelsea preview

  1. goonermichael says:

    stop wen

  2. Big Raddy says:

    Of course Gerv will be on the left and it will be Theo who has to try and get past Cashley (unless they swap wings or Park comes on for Theo)

  3. Big Raddy says:

    GM. The weight thing is weird. I don’t like it.

    Do you think it has any correlation to our marriage “habits”?

  4. MickyDidIt89 says:

    BR,
    So worth waiting in to read.
    You are right about their performance against Rangers, but on the subject of their glamour days, how about Alan Hudson?
    I share your concern about Mata as I mumbled earlier, and for that reason I would stick Kos on him and bring Verm into the middle. Mata against JD simply worries me too much.

  5. evonne says:

    Raddy – thank you for yet another well balanced pre-match.

    I agree with you about Chelsea supporters, the old schools ones, they are true blue. The newcomers are of course the glory hunters that get bored quickly, I despite those.

    I have seen violence at Highbury, but only 2 serious incidents at the Ems. One, an Evertonian drunk was pushed down the concrete strairs, and second – a bunch of skinheads from the Bridge were giving it a large one. There were about 20 of them, most over 40 abusing some 58k of Gunners, should have known better than misbehave. The pack leader got a punch in the nose, blood everywhere, some stupid shouting and abuse….we won the game, both before and after the kick off :)

    And I have a sneaky feeling that we might win today too

  6. Big Raddy says:

    Micky Thanks.

    I share your concerns but would be surprised to see TV start, let us hope our CB’s cover the inevitable times when JD gets skinned.

    p.s. I love that pic of BFG and AA …

  7. Rasp says:

    Morning all,

    Bitingly honest pre-match Raddy, I watched the chavs last week and was very impressed with their work rate and spirit.

    I mentioned the no-match between Djourou and Mata yesterday – particularly if Theo is playing in front of JD.

    I think Raddy and Micky are both correct: AW will pick Raddy’s back four but he should go for Micky’s!

  8. harry says:

    Great prematch as usual Raddy, I agree about your comments last week about chelsea, at 9 men they were the better team, real graft…

    Anyway, big call today on TV and I personally would play him, he adds 10% to everyone around him, including squillaci, everyone looks more assured………

    Arshavin off the bench to score the winner…………

    No1

    Koz BFG TV Santos

    Song Arteta

    Walcott Ramsey The Gerv

    BW

    Fancy 3-2 to us…………..

  9. evonne says:

    Harry – BW ?? = BitW??

  10. Big Raddy says:

    BW? I thought Barry White was dead

    aaaah the penny drops …… Boy Wonder

  11. LB says:

    Got to agree about their attitude after going down to 9 men last week last week, damn impressive.

    I also thank you for reminding me what a carsy Stamford Bridge used to be and their horrible racists supporters…………nasty people.

    I don’t think that Torres is better than RvP, I don’t think Mata is better that Gevinho (not that anyone has) we are well matched, if anything we have the advantage as our team is more settled. I reckon that today will simply depend on who turns up and wants it more.

    COYRRG

  12. goonermichael says:

    We live in parallel universes Raddy.

    Fantastic pre match post. I come from South London and used to go to see them (about 4 matches) I saw tham beat Blackpool when Jimmy Armfield was playing. I never liked it, thought the place was a shithole and was scared of all the yobs. I worked in Kings road in the 70′s and had to put of with those C=nts rampaging up and down every other Saturday. It became much worse when we were punks in 76. I agree with Raddy though they are a good team and could have got something with 9 men. They should have won the game at old shithole as well. I would take a point now.

  13. evonne says:

    Boy Wonder, course! I thought it was Best in the World, whatever

  14. LB says:

    I like Harry’s team; I particularly like the rationale behind it.

  15. goonermichael says:

    big willy evonne :)

    God I’m childish

  16. evonne says:

    GM – you are indeed :)

    I’d say that Raddy’s is the team that AVB is expecting to see today and therefore I would like to see AW introducing some element of surprise, ie Park or even the Ox. We are very predictable in the way we play (well sometimes we play surprisingly badly) and AVB being Marinho’s side-kick will try to stop us, we need to outmanoeuvre them somehow

  17. Red Arse says:

    Excellent Post Raddy, with a fascinating and personal opening section, a frank and fair minded Chelsea appraisal in the midsection, and an expert piece of punditry in the final section! Top stuff!! :-)

    However, you have blotted your copybook with all that bragging over your sylphlike weight making the more upholstered of us feel every ounce of our 18stone 4lb. :-(

  18. Okeke says:

    I’ll lyk chamakh as a start then vp just lyk the last time

  19. evonne says:

    Okeke – r u kidding?? No, no, no, NO.

  20. Big Raddy says:

    RA. Compared to you I am a short arse, therein lies the explanation.

  21. Big Raddy says:

    Okeke. Interesting and not impossible, just unlikely. .

  22. Jamie says:

    Big Raddy- Top match review. Chelsea are a good side but so are we, if we had everybody fit a would really fancy us today. As it is……..

    Red Arse- Are you getting this? I’m predicting an Arsenal win a Chelsea! I’m not always a pessimist.

  23. dandan says:

    Boy a great walk down memory lane Raddy, Kings Road, Carnaby Street, The Kinks, Kelsey ripping off the punters, Happy days,

    I have a feeling Chelski might have a problem keeping Luiz on the pitch he seems a bit of a wild man, wont like the pace of Theo or Gerv. if they run at him.

  24. Gooner in Exile says:

    Morning all T-130 minutes…..

    It is upon us. For me the difference between JD vs Mata and Ivanovic vs Gervinho is that one of the forwards will receive a crunching tackle early on on the half way line. I’m betting it won’t be Mata.

    So either today is the day we play them at their own game or we rely on a couple of moments of genius and a fair ref.

    Either way it’s going to be interesting viewing under AVB Chelsea are a more progressive attacking side, more football as well. That’s why the threat of Cole on overlap and pace of Torres worries me today.

    If TV had another game under his belt I would suggest him and Kos at centre back as today the BFG will have to have all his wits about him to deal with and cover the attacking threat down our right flank.

    We also need Song to be switched on from the first minute and Arteta to out a shift in defensively.

    Then it’s up to the four most attacking players to pick there way through a very good defensive unit.

    The battle will be one and lost in midfield today.

  25. dandan says:

    Where were you yesterday RA at an accountancy convention or Recovering from the AGM excitement. :-)

  26. Gooner in Exile says:

    You know that guy that everyone thinks should be Arsenals defensive coach, that’s right Martin Keown well his thoughts on today’s game inthe Mail need reading.

    “To combat this Laurent Koscielny needs to play-and play well. He has the pace to deal with Torres-I think he is Arsenals best defender.

    Him playing alongside Vermaelen would be ideal against Torres, Mata and Sturridge”

  27. dandan says:

    From Todays Times Oliver Kay Correspondent

    October 29 2011 12:00AM

    “We wanted there to be a shift in power by taking the Premier League trophy back home to London. And, by a shift, I mean we want to win it again next year also.”

    — Arsène Wenger, May 2002 “Chelsea as a football club and a brand is more dynamic, more relevant. By 2014 we want to be internationally recognised as the No 1 club.”

    — Peter Kenyon, November 2006 For a time, it seemed that English football might be in the midst of a power shift. Between them, Arsenal and Chelsea claimed four out of five Premier League titles between 2002 and 2006 as Manchester United fell into a period of transition. But something like normal service has resumed.

    When Arsenal travel to Stamford Bridge this afternoon, it will be in the hope of continuing the mini-revival that, after a torrid start to the season, is viewed as a springboard to challenging for a top-four finish in the Barclays Premier League.

    When Chelsea line up in opposition, it will be with a view to disproving the voguish theory that they are battling to be the best of the rest in a league dominated so far this season by Manchester City and Manchester United.

    While Manchester spent this week recovering from City’s remarkable 6-1 victory at Old Trafford, Arsenal and Chelsea, the powerhouses of London football, were confronting issues about their long-term future. Arsenal held a stormy annual meeting on Thursday, calmed only by a first speech from Stan Kroenke, the majority shareholder, and a rallying cry from Wenger, while seven miles away Chelsea were frustrated by their supporters — specifically Chelsea Pitch Owners (CPO), whose members own the freehold to Stamford Bridge — in their attempts to accelerate their pursuit of a new stadium.

    This was supposed to be the decade when London, a city with no European Cups to its name, emerged, finally, as the epicentre of English football. Billionaires are attracted to the capital’s football clubs — Roman Abramovich to Chelsea, Kroenke (and, although he remains an outsider, Alisher Usmanov) to Arsenal, Joe Lewis to Tottenham Hotspur. So, over the past 15 years or so, have been many of the world’s players. But, while all three clubs are stronger financially than they have ever been, the shadow cast from Manchester is long.

    In Soccernomics, their acclaimed 2009 book that applied economic and statistical theory to the football industry, Simon Kuper and Stefan Szymanski concluded that, after decades of domination by large provincial cities (Liverpool, Manchester, Milan, Turin, Munich, Barcelona, Porto, with Real Madrid waving the flag for the capitals), European football was about to enter a phase where London emerged as the true stronghold of the English game.

    And perhaps, in time, it will. As Kuper and Szymanski wrote, “The handful of the biggest provincial clubs — Manchester United, Liverpool, Bayern Munich, Barcelona, the two Milan clubs — have built up such strong brands that they will remain at the top of European football. However, their new challengers will probably not be other provincial clubs but teams from London, Moscow and perhaps Paris. At last, being in a giant capital city is becoming a strategic asset to a football club.”

    Arsenal and Chelsea certainly believe so in terms of the clientele they can attract. Now established at the Emirates Stadium, with its wonderful corporate facilities, Arsenal generated £93.1 million in match-day revenue last season, compared with £44.1 million five years earlier in their final season at Highbury. In this area, if no other at present, Arsenal stand comparison to United.

    Chelsea are looking to capitalise similarly on the success they have enjoyed during the Abramovich era. They feel that they can now attract a match-going fanbase that, in terms of wealth as well as number, points to a future away from Stamford Bridge, with its 41,841 capacity — admittedly more than enough for a Champions League group match — and corporate facilities that were advanced in the late 20th century but are severely restricted by comparison with those at Old Trafford and the Emirates Stadium.

    For Chelsea, their West London location is at once their greatest asset and their biggest headache. There are some desirable sites within three miles of Stamford Bridge (Earls Court, White City, Imperial Wharf and, most appealingly it seems, Battersea Nine Elms). But the cost and indeed the practicalities of relocating within London are troubling enough — just ask Tottenham — even before you begin to consider the obstacle of the CPO, which on Thursday voted against selling the freehold of Stamford Bridge back to the club.

    With Uefa’s Financial Fair Play (FFP) regulations coming into force — although Wenger, as with many others, wonders how rigorously they will be enforced — Chelsea cannot continue to live off Abramovich’s wealth. The same can be said of City’s relationship with Sheikh Mansour, but the Manchester club have come up with a creative (Wenger would say dubious) naming-rights deal in which Etihad, Abu Dhabi’s national airline, pays huge sums to sponsor not only the stadium, which previously had no strong identity, but also the entire development around it. Applying the same type of deal to Stamford Bridge — or Anfield, Goodison Park or White Hart Lane, for that matter — is not realistic.

    City have their own battles to face where FFP is concerned — and, in terms of trying to be a global brand, have started five years behind Chelsea and arguably decades behind United — but the two Manchester clubs are well placed to move forward over the next decade. Chelsea, as with Liverpool and Tottenham, have issues.

    Arsenal have the desirable home, the fanbase and, on the face of it, all the ingredients to challenge United, but their move to the Emirates Stadium — “to compete financially with Chelsea, Manchester United and Real Madrid”, as David Dein, the former vice-chairman, said at the time — has not brought the expected golden era.

    Arsenal may now have revenue streams that bear comparison to Europe’s richest clubs, but their business plan, which has come to define Wenger, has not been enough to stop a succession of star players moving elsewhere in search of more money.

    The power shift towards London has not happened. The conditions have been there for it in recent years, particularly with United financially compromised by the Glazer regime, but it has not come to pass.

    Chelsea have been undermined not just by bad luck in the Champions League but, in terms of their general direction, by the whims that characterise the Abramovich way. Arsenal have arguably punched above their weight on the domestic and European scene, but have always fallen short of what it takes to win trophies.

    In a parallel universe, one without Sir Alex Ferguson at the helm at United, London might be enjoying a golden era — and, certainly, with Tottenham coming into the equation, the capital has in recent years had its strongest set of clubs for a long time. But for now, the idea of London as “home” for the English league championship (19 league titles, as many as United, in 112 seasons) still looks remote, given that the trophy has spent four of the past five seasons at Old Trafford. And as if one Manchester power were not enough to contend with, Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham now have a second to worry

  28. MickyDidIt89 says:

    GiE,
    Oh heck I need to disagree with you. You say the battle will be won/lost in midfield. I think it will be on chances taken and my big fear is that Chelsea will create more of them and therefore increase their likelihood of netting. Defensive concentration will be paramount. I have a feeling the midfields may cancel each other out.

  29. Fatgingergooner says:

    Did someone seriously just suggest we start with RvP as sub!!!!

    Anyone thinking that it could be a back four of
    Santos BFG Kozzer Vermaelen

    AW has stated that Santos could play right back so why not just start with your best 4 defenders? It would also allow us to get TV in the side without the worry of breaking up the very promising partnership of BFG and Koz.

  30. Gooner in Exile says:

    Team 100% as above well done BR

  31. Gooner in Exile says:

    Arsenal: Szczesny, Djourou, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Andre Santos, Song, Arteta, Ramsey, Walcott, Gervinho, Van Persie.

    Substitutes: Fabianski, Vermaelen, Jenkinson, Frimpong, Rosicky, Arshavin, Park.

    Interesting that Jenks makes bench.

  32. 26may1989 says:

    Morning everyone. Tip-top Raddy – there’s never a problem being honest, and “deeply unpleasant men but what spirit they have on the pitch” describes very well how Chelsea can be. The same players can also completely fail to turn up for their manager, as Avram Grant can attest, and John Terry can always show his true colours, but in their (relatively) mature years these players are real pros on the pitch. Lampard, Cole and Anelka particularly impress me on that score.

    But I hate the bulk of Chelsea fans, the new and the old style versions. The Bridge was a horrible, horrible place back in the 80s – terrible ground, awful pitch, and the fans, “violent meathead fascists” covers it well.

    As for today, yes, it will be interesting to see Juan “Should-be-a-Gunner” Mata, and I’m not nearly so pessimistic about Walcott and Djourou on that flank, I think it will be a good contest. But the midfield contest is going to be important. Meireles, Lampard and Ramires against Ramsey, Song and Arteta: you’ve got to fancy the Chavs to prevail in that contest (would be different if LJ was in there), but if we get big games from all three of ours, they could do as well as they did against Spurs in the domination stakes (and hopefully a lot better in ball retention). I reckon Chelsea will line up something like this:

    Cech
    Bosingwa, Luiz, Terry, Cole
    Meireles, Lampard, Ramires
    Torres, Sturridge, Mata

    It’s going to be very, very interesting.

  33. Gooner in Exile says:

    Chelsea drop Luiz

    …………………Cech………………..
    Bosongwa….Ivanovic…..Terry……..Cole
    Ramires……..Lampard………Obi Mikel
    Sturridge……..Torres…………Mata

  34. Fatgingergooner says:

    I think the subs could be a key today. We have real impact on there with Arshavin Rosicky and Park.

    Will be good to see Gervinho attacking Luiz aswell cos he ain’t the best defender and something like a hack in the box and a straight red could be a game winner……dreaming!

  35. goonermichael says:

    I’m glad Park is on the bench. Is Chaamkh injured?

  36. harry says:

    Team in……………….

    Szczesny

    Djourou – Mertesacker – Koscielny – Santos

    Song – Arteta

    Walcott – Ramsey – Gervinho

    van Persie

    Substitutes: Fabianski, Jenkinson, Vermaelen, Frimpong, Rosicky, Arshavin, Park.

    Not happy with the RB situ, not convinced, but hey ho here we go

    Still think we can get a result…….3-2 to us

  37. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Jenks on the bench and no MC!
    Well done BR. You are right and I am not. Same old.

  38. Big Raddy says:

    Right. Off to the pub to watch the game with California Gunner (pity the poor lad , removed from his warm homeland to this chilly place – albeit briefly).

    Wearing the colours and the lucky socks ….

    COYRRG

  39. harry says:

    Good to see Park on the bench, deserves it……..

    Arshavin the 20min man will come on to devastating affect…..

  40. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Harry,
    Arshavin will come on with 10 to play to stiffen up the defence and help protect the 4 goal lead. Obviously.

  41. 26may1989 says:

    Oh, have just seen Exile’s remark re the game being “one and lost in midfield today” ( ;) ), and Micky’s disapproving remark: I’m with Exile – ner-ner-nuh-ner-ner!!

  42. 26may1989 says:

    Good news that Mikel is in ahead of Meireles, but a shame that the defensively wayward Luiz didn’t make their XI.

  43. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Not talking to 26 ever again. Whoever he is. Obviously.

  44. Red Arse says:

    Jamie, :-)

    I do not remember saying you were a pessimist. Your comments are often interesting tho’ and I am pleased you are confident of a Gunners win.

    To tell the truth, the shoe is on the other foot, because I am very concerned our great recent run may not survive! Pessimist? Me? :-)

    I will still love the team and the club, whatever way it goes!

  45. 26may1989 says:

    Oh Micky, please don’t ignore me….!

  46. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Right lads,
    Off to hook up laptop to telly and out for a sneaky fag (and yes I happen to think the giving up is going well really). Back at half time.
    COYRRR.

  47. Fatgingergooner says:

    Gutted Luiz is dropped. I think he couldve been our best player today!!!!

  48. 26may1989 says:

    Prediction: 1-1 draw.

  49. 26may1989 says:

    BTW, I saw on yesterday’s discussion (which I missed due to boring work stuff) that there was chat about the different levels of punishment for red cards. Exile rightly pointed out the different suspensions for different types of offences, and just to be comprehensive, here are the punishments that apply in the PL (though the bans apply in all competitions):

    A player dismissed for denying a goal or an obvious goalscoring opportunity by physical means or by handling the ball: one match ban.

    A player dismissed for using offensive or insulting or abusive language/gestures: two match ban.

    A player dismissed for violent conduct, serious foul play or spitting at someone: three match ban.

  50. Red Arse says:

    Dandan,

    I sent in a comment yesterday commending you on your inspiring and interesting Post.

    I had pressed the ‘post’ button and dashed off — knock on the door – my car was being picked up after a prang.

    I tried to join the conversation later in the day, but my computer was “locked” and McAfee was whirring away dealing with a virus apparently, and my early comment to you was not transmitted.

    Spoke to McAfee who seemed to know bugger all about it, but managed using ‘remote access’ to sort it out last night — and all the way from India!!

    Anyway, belated compliments on your Post.

    Hopefully all is well today. :-)

  51. 26may1989 says:

    Ooh, Chelsea have an 18-year old keeper on the bench, Jamal Blackman. He’s big (6’5″) and an England U19 international, but if he got a game today, it could get interesting.

  52. SharkeySure says:

    cheers BR.
    COYRRG

  53. oz gunner says:

    @ great preview BR

    personally being at SB i would of rathered Rosicky play down the left and gerv right. Walcott doesnt do enough defensively and won’t pin back cole. Last year we pressed them non-stop and it worked great, so hopefully we use the same blue print today. Mata for a shocker.

    Enjoy the game all. come on you great gunners!

  54. oz gunner says:

    djourou djourou djourou.thank god for kozza

  55. harry says:

    Carling Cup

    Arsenal v Man City……………

  56. goonermichael says:

    easy draw then :(

  57. Rasp says:

    Our defending is appalling, our midfielders are not working anywhere near hard enough, the chavs could be 3 up already.

  58. harry says:

    change prediction with this defending we will get thumped, what the hell are they playing at……….

  59. harry says:

    referees so annoy me, ramsey didnt foul him there, weak defending gets rewarded……..

  60. harry says:

    arrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrggggggggghhhhhhhhhhh, on the plate, how did he miss that, come one G man……..

    and now RVP, slightly harder…………chance by his standards..

  61. Rasp says:

    And now we could be 2 up!

  62. Rasp says:

    …. and then we get punished

  63. harry says:

    my quilt, where is it….?

  64. oz gunner says:

    what on earth is happening? walcott has really put my foot in my mouth. Bloody fat frank what on earth was BFG doing?

  65. Fatgingergooner says:

    That was coming due to the fact we didn’t convert our chances. Defence get the blame when it’s the strikers who let us down

  66. RockyLives says:

    Get JD off, put Verm on and put Kozzer at RB. We could be in for a real battering here unless we tighten up.

  67. 26may1989 says:

    And there’s the difference: Mata does as well as Walcott in creating the chance but Lampard finishes properly where Gervinho and van Persie screwed up.

  68. RockyLives says:

    26
    Gerv’s technique was awful. From that position he had to just tap it in with his left.

  69. Rasp says:

    Santos getting caught forward and our predictions about JD coming true sadly.

  70. harry says:

    this is way too open for my liking……..playing with fire……

  71. harry says:

    should have gone with my line up……lol……(note I am actually not laughing)

  72. oz gunner says:

    well said rocky, he could have walked it in. thats how good walcotts cross was.during the game against bolton the commentators said ‘cahill goes forward and thinks he is going to score from corners and free kicks.its that confidence thats needed from a defender.’ When we actually clear the first man we only have verm who attacks it, i thought BFG was a monster in set pieces, hes about as dangerous as AA

  73. Dwelling on the ball too long, disgraceful to have the ball nicked off your toe at this level – happening all the time :(

  74. 26may1989 says:

    Still feeling optimisic: the Chelsea defending is poor too, if our central three and our front three can link up mote consistently, we’ll get chances.

  75. harry says:

    Optimistic, not yet……giving way too much space in behind…..

  76. 26may1989 says:

    Van Persie not doing brilliantly so far.

    What a fantastic pass from Lampard there, bloody hell.

  77. harry says:

    what a let off…..Sturridge should have buried that……phew…

  78. RockyLives says:

    I just hope we can get to half way without conceding another.

  79. oz gunner says:

    missed the bench, any chace jacks on there?

  80. 26may1989 says:

    I agree Harry, but in pushing Bosingwa and Cole up they’re also giving plenty of space on the flanks to us.

    The things that are pissing me off are the sloppy ball retention and the general sluggishness. Need to step the energy levels up.

  81. Fatgingergooner says:

    Vermaelen on for Santos who is ridiculously unfit
    Rosicky on for Ramsey who isn’t in the game

    There are defs goals in this for us if we wake up

  82. OOOOOOOOOOOOOWAH

    Love you Robin xxxxxxxxxxx

  83. Fatgingergooner says:

    Ramsey can stay!!!

    What a fucking ball

  84. RockyLives says:

    Yesssssss

  85. oz gunner says:

    YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS! Ramsey i love you!

  86. harry says:

    get in there………………………..

  87. harry says:

    Ramsey is a pure genius……….

  88. Fantastic play, we picked them open just like that :)

  89. RockyLives says:

    FGG
    Ramsey not in the game?
    Are you watching on a dodgy stream?

  90. harry says:

    good spot lino……phew

  91. gunnern5 says:

    Santos is static.

  92. Santos needs another month of diet and exercise before he’s ready to play in the PL

  93. Fatgingergooner says:

    Walcott and Kozzer outstanding so far

  94. Rasp says:

    Excellent goal, we’ve been the better team since they scored. We just need to keep it at 1:1 to half time.

  95. harry says:

    lol rocky, he is listening to the radio, must be….

  96. Fatgingergooner says:

    RL, he hadn’t done anything before that amazing pass

  97. I haven’t read back, has anyone offered the match report?

    Aren’t our away supporters fantastic :) :) :)

  98. oz gunner says:

    santos is definently being exposed by the pace of the game. agreed FGG walcott is creating all sorts of problems and keeping cole back, kozza is playing great as always

  99. RockyLives says:

    FGG
    Apart from about three other dangerous through balls and lots of progressive short passing,

  100. Rasp says:

    Gerv has reprieved himself for the miss with his part in the equaliser.

  101. Rasp says:

    …. but once again we can’t defend. All we needed to do was keep it tight to half time – very poor.

  102. harry says:

    honestly FGG, rewatch it later, he was one of our biggest threats from the start……..

    that was shocking defending……….really weak………get Vermaelen on and we can win……..

  103. 26may1989 says:

    Mertesacker terrible there and I hate not seeing men on the posts at corners.

  104. RockyLives says:

    What a soft stupid goal. BFG at fault for both goals.

  105. Rasp says:

    Big mistake not playing Vermaelen, I’d bet my house they wouldn’t have scored that with TV in the defence.

  106. oz gunner says:

    6’6 and you let that friggin JT step in front of you that easy, BFG you are a kitten

  107. Fatgingergooner says:

    Merts og. Shit defending

  108. harry says:

    exactly 26, keep things simple, men on posts = no goal…….

  109. RockyLives says:

    If we can do something at half time to tighten the defense we still have a chance in this game.

  110. gunnern5 says:

    What a mess, we cannot even attempt to defend our defense!

    BFG was culpable on both goals.

  111. goonermichael says:

    trust that racist wanker to score

  112. 26may1989 says:

    Must do better in the second half (as we have done in numerous games this season). Walcott, Ramsey and Kos were the outfield players who shone that half. Santos has been frightening. And the BFG has been mesmerised by Chelsea movement.

    We can recover from this. COYRRG!!!!

  113. pat says:

    why is it that we are so bad at corners – attacking or defending. Sick of seeing that we are so lacking at this aspect of the game. Santos and DJ also need to wake the FUCK UP.

  114. pat says:

    We have some more goals in us – defence needs to sort their shit out – also chelsea have way too much time on the ball – we have plenty of men behind the ball but runners are not being tracked. Promising on attack – LETS GO ARSENAL

  115. VCC says:

    Djourou, Mertasacker Santos = 3rd Division defenders. What the F—
    What does Wenger see in these guys.
    Same old story.
    Can’t believe how shockingly BAD we are defending.
    Wenger must get a defensive coach in now, surely.

  116. Fatgingergooner says:

    Tighten defence = Thomas Vermaelen

    Woeful defending as a team, not just the back 4. Who, in the whole Arsenal set up, thinks that playing a high line but not putting pressure on the ball is a good defensive strategy!? Cos that’s what we are playing at the moment! Schoolboy stuff.

    To blame BFG for first goal is a bit harsh. Santos let cross come in too easy and BFG slipped.

    As for Ramsey, to be fair he has played a couple of dangerous passes but with the amount the game is stretched I just expect a little more. I also think, along with the rest of the midfield, that the work rate isn’t good enough without the ball. We must close down quicker

  117. oz gunner says:

    @ 26 and Harry

    agreed the posts need to be manned but in saying that its basic defending mistakes that BFG is doing. The first one he pretty much fell over, the second he let JT step in front of him and fell again. Now we have to read ‘JT answers his critics,hes mentally tough ect ect ect’ stupid rascist piece of sh*t.

    Hopefully everton can grab an equaliser

  118. oz gunner says:

    What i can’t understand is when we buried them last time why would we not use the same blue print?why not pressure them all over the pitch?!

    Walcott has finally learnt to knock it out in front and run, great to see

  119. Gooner in Exile says:

    Come on fellas…..the knee jerk reactions on here are scary.

    Games ebb and flow yet some were pegging us to be thumped after five minutes.

    Still think we’re well in this, as long as we cause more problems going forward we have a chance and my 50p bet based on Harry’s prediction wins me £15 :)

    Thought both teams defended poorly…..but obviously we focus on us. What is true is that their midfield help out the defence more.

    Oh for Gerv taking the early chance.

    Theo’s done well early needs to push Cole back further, and needs to help JD out when possible. He should be tracking Cole not letting JD have to turn and chase Cole who is already at full flight.

    Patience is needed.

  120. pat says:

    Do we bring on Jenks and Vermaelen now? Cripes…

  121. Red Arse says:

    If we could have points for strictly come dancing formation defending we would get a 10.

    From Lampard’s cross we had our defenders pirouetting around the Chelsea attackers, doing the soft shoe shuffle with their allotted dance partners, while Arteta decides it’s a bit rough out there, and decides to hide in the net, and oh — by the way — where’s the sodding ball?

  122. harry says:

    agreed GIE, patience is needed, i think it is just the nature of the goal conceded before half time that grates……….

  123. pat says:

    “Patience is needed.”

    Thanks GIE – I am ok now… still wanna see Vermaelen on the pitch though :-)

  124. Red Arse says:

    All the neutral fans must be loving this game because for all the dodgy defending from both sides, it is fascinating and exciting.

    All we need do is win, or get a draw and I would agree with them!! :-)

  125. Fatgingergooner says:

    Good start.

    Defs more goals in this

  126. Gooner in Exile says:

    COYRRG!!!!!!

  127. Fatgingergooner says:

    Santos, best player on pitch!!!!!!

  128. pat says:

    Our goal was great – fantastic to see Gerv square it for RVP to finish great team goal. More please!

  129. harry says:

    excellent play………..

  130. 26may1989 says:

    FANTASTIC, our worst player scores the softest goal of the game!!!!

    Exile’s 1:44pm is on the button, some of you AAers are way too panicky here. Change your pants, and let’s go.

  131. Funny old game football – Santos strolls through and equalises :)

  132. RockyLives says:

    Brilliant first touch by Santos.
    Now let’s keep it tight for a while.

  133. Ha ha Rocky, you are joking aren’t you :lol:

  134. 26may1989 says:

    Harry, did you put money on that prediction of 3-2 to us?

  135. oz gunner says:

    santos is really good at those one vs one positions. noticed that in the games hes played

  136. oz gunner says:

    now was that not amazing.THEO THEO THEO, well done for getting back up

  137. Gooner in Exile says:

    THEO THEO THEO THEO

  138. 26may1989 says:

    YEEEEEEEEEEESSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!

    Right, who said Theo shouldn’t be playing?? Come o, let’s be having you!

  139. harry says:

    Theo, need i say more?

  140. If you’re not watching sky coverage I have to tell you that Gary Neville is disgusted by the defending from both of these teams and not only these teams!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  141. 26may1989 says:

    Now, just to keep it tight for 33 minutes.

    Ha ha ha ha!

  142. oz gunner says:

    i’d like to nominate myself for the worst call of the year:

    ‘don’t start walcott play rosicky’

    that bet is looking pretty good atm

  143. 26may1989 says:

    We are now bossing that midfield. Great to see.

  144. More than half an hour to go ……….. I’m not sure I can bear to watch :(

  145. 26may1989 says:

    You can do it Peaches, the boys need you!

  146. oz gunner says:

    fair play to ramsey for not going down

  147. pat says:

    ah ha ha ha thats the funniest Walcott goal ever

  148. I won’t leave my station, promise :)

    Trouble is, we’re just going to keep trying to score more aren’t we …….

  149. RockyLives says:

    Haha
    Lot of Chav chatter this week about how Sturridge was better than Theo.

  150. Fatgingergooner says:

    Disagree oz, there was enough contact to warrant a pen.

    As for Ramsey overall, I’m happy to acknowledge when I’m wrong, he has been best player so far with Walcott

  151. 26may1989 says:

    Have to say, Andre Marriner has been a decent ref today. Not what we’re used to.

  152. 26may1989 says:

    They’re there for the taking Peaches.

    Have liked Arteta this half.

  153. oz gunner says:

    haha kozza straight into torres

  154. Good call about Marriner 26may, I was sure Chesney was going to be walking down the tunnel earler

  155. 26may1989 says:

    I know we’re weak in defence, but this Sky commentary, which is concentrating on that, when we’re beating a side with a perfect home record, when we’ve got only one point on the road so far, really is irritating. Come on, give credit where it’s due.

  156. oz gunner says:

    hopefully they start tiring soon due to their midweek then AA can create havoc

  157. The chav defending has been pretty rubbish though too don’t you think 26, Santos strolled through for his goal and our chances early on came from poor defending

  158. 26may1989 says:

    Peaches, they’ve been every bit as bad as we’ve been today in defence. We need to improve in defence but we should also have a bit of perspective about this: none of us thought (think?) we’ll finish above Chelsea this year and yet look at them, carved open time and again.

  159. 26may1989 says:

    I am loving watching our midfield this half.

  160. 26may1989 says:

    Jenkinson? Really??? Please god, don’t let us regret that……

  161. oz gunner says:

    hopefully meireles doesn’t have a repeat performance. Liked Djourous second half.

    good call 26, midfield has done really well, they have a good mix and understanding

  162. oz gunner says:

    bring on AA for Gerv!

  163. Ivanovic – what a baby!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  164. 26may1989 says:

    And now our best player subbed…..

  165. Gooner in Exile says:

    Thar is a clear foul on Santos

  166. 26may1989 says:

    Marriner missed that one, Santos was fouled. Great hit by Mata though.

  167. RockyLives says:

    Hmmm
    Not sure it’s a good idea subbing Theo. His threat was really making them stay cautious.

    Oh bollocks

  168. harry says:

    always off the back of a bad decision, clear free kick not given, then bang……..Please get TV on………

  169. oz gunner says:

    now cole will come down the pitch again.how was that foul missed especially when they are falling all over the show.damn you mata, should be on our team

  170. RockyLives says:

    Ref blowing every time a Chav falls over

  171. harry says:

    Boyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy Wonder…………….

  172. oz gunner says:

    rvp you are classic.take that JT

  173. 26may1989 says:

    Where’s Chelsea’s defensive coach??!!!!

  174. OMG OMG OMG told you it was going to be hard to watch the second half :)

  175. gunnern5 says:

    4-3 in the 87th minute and I’m still nervous…………

  176. oz gunner says:

    god this game has knocked 20yrs off my life i rekn.

    great sub

  177. oz gunner says:

    wow what a left foot

  178. 26may1989 says:

    YEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEESSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  179. And it got soooooooooooooo much better xxxxxxxxxxxx

  180. harry says:

    We are by far the greatest teammmmmmmmmmmmmmm by Farrrrrrrr the greatest team…………

  181. harry says:

    I am still nervous lol……………

  182. 26may1989 says:

    We have been waiting for this result for 8 months. Even with our poor first half defensive display, we are back, believe!!

  183. Fatgingergooner says:

    I was so nervous at 4-3 I left the room n when I come back Robins done it again!

    CRISIS??? WHAT FUCKING CRISIS!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Come on Arsenal you fucking beauties

  184. oz gunner says:

    great day to be an arsenal fan!we are back baby!

  185. I’m singing :) :) :)

  186. 26may1989 says:

    Second half score: Chelsea 1, Arsenal 4.

  187. oz gunner says:

    FGG you wuss haha

  188. 5-3 5-3 5-3 – I love being a gooner

  189. 26may1989 says:

    My kids have been amused, bemused and a bit scared of me and my reactions this afternoon. But what an afternoon!!!

    Where are those Chelsea fans now?

  190. Who wants to write it up?

    LB – come out from that couch :P

  191. MickyDidIt89 says:

    yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeessssssssssssss

  192. evonne says:

    Micky – what do you know about football?? Torres with blond hair = we win!!!! Ha ha ha :) :) ha ha :) :) haaaaa

  193. Rasp says:

    I’m lost for words …. except anyone for a match report?

  194. Gooner in Exile says:

    Fucking hell yeah!!!!!! Sorry I’m not one to swear that often but fuck me I love Arsenal!!

    By Far the Greatest Team The World Has Ever Seen!!

    Love the celebrations from the lads now

  195. 26may1989 says:

    If these pundits make this into a one-player-team story just because beautiful Robin got a hattrick, I might put a brick through my tv. The good and the bad today was all about the team.

  196. MickyDidIt89 says:

    That was brown hair!!! We win :-)

  197. 26may1989 says:

    Rasp, not me I’m afraid, but whoever does it should score Santos’s first and second halves separately – how different was he after the break?

  198. Red Arse says:

    Move over you neutrals- you may have loved it ——- but we loved it tooo — and we are gunner get better …………..

    What a fabulous game. That’s Arsenal!

  199. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Biggest result in years. Absoluetly fucking brilliant. I am sooooooooooo happy and can swear now my son is not looking.
    Lift off Massive massive result.
    Unreal away fans..thank you lads

  200. Gooner in Exile says:

    I’m flying….here….lots of on knees celebration.

    When RvP walked through for the fourth I was on my feet walking it round Cech with him.

    What a win! What a team performance, ok we made some errors but the team stated confident and carried on playing.

    Ramsey had a stormer….. bossed it!

  201. Danny says:

    I can’t stop crying for joy. OMG!

  202. We have a fantastic team, who ever said anything different :)

    They worked hard for each other, Gerv may have missed that early chance but boy his positioning and ball control are fantastic. Not everything came off but everyone kept working. I love them all

  203. oz gunner says:

    you can tell just how much it means to them by the celebrations, love seeing it, a unified arsenal!

    oh happy days!!!!!

    congrats to arsene for his 500th win!

    Everton should have had a penalty against united

  204. MickyDidIt89 says:

    If anyone mentions a negative then no snog from me. Robin is absolutely deadly

  205. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Loved Robin carefully giving his shirt to the long haired bloke with the nose ring. He’s front row at every away game and Robin knew it.

  206. RockyLives says:

    Sorry for the capitals, but as I said after last week’s game…
    WE WOULD NOT HAVE WON THIS GAME WITH LAST YEAR’S FABREGAS/NASRI TEAM

    The new Arsenal marches on!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Micky
    Seconded about the away fans – brilliant – well done to all of you who went and sang your hearts out.

  207. RockyLives says:

    So we lost two (possibly three) of our “world class” players in the summer.

    We replaced them with mostly older pros about whom not many Gooners seemed that excited.

    And now we’re putting 5 past the Chavs in their own gippo back yard.

    So how did we manage that then? Answer…

    ARSENE WENGER

  208. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Rocky,
    So true about last season (and don’t worry, that’s not a negative, so you get a snog).
    Yes, away fans were unreal throughout. Totally outsung home support.

  209. oz gunner says:

    that cannon was better than the one against Barca.
    very happy with djourou and santos’ second half. Santos one vs one is great, he doesnt missed when he sticks his leg out to win the ball!
    Kozza was immense again, gave nothing!
    Wow everyone ramsey,arteta, walcott, gerv, everyone.
    I just love how our midfield three are controlling games and working for one another

  210. evonne says:

    26may – absolutely, they were one! I have not seen us united like that for a long time, blinding result

    GiE – fucking hell it is !!!!

  211. 26may1989 says:

    The ageing nature of the Chelsea squad was evident today.

  212. pat says:

    RAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARGH!!! What a finish, What a second half what a game!!!!!

    awesome celebrations at the end – you deserve it boys – Chelsea 5 goals scored against u at home – TAKE THAT!

  213. RockyLives says:

    There is definitely something brewing that is making this group of players better than last year’s, even if, on paper, they are less ‘gifted’.

    It may be to do with Prince Robin’s captaincy; it may be the absence of the fat French trouble-maker; it may be the better mix of old and young heads; whatever it is, let’s keep it coming…

  214. RockyLives says:

    Rasp (or Peaches?)
    love love love love the banner :D

  215. pat says:

    yep oz – Santos had a much bettter second half, DJ too picked it up.

    That was a fantastic win great, great stuff!!!!

    Santos needs to work on his samba – only gets a 5/10 :-)

  216. 26may1989 says:

    Watching these goals again, just how poor was Cech today?

  217. Rasp says:

    Calm down everyone, I’m not into triumphalism – just look at the top of the post :roll:

  218. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Brilliant at the top

  219. evonne says:

    Rocky – fat French trouble maker, fantastic, you could be right. Robin is a great skipper, did you see him at the MOTM award – sharing the bubbly with Aaron? Great, great captain

  220. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Wenger out!

  221. RockyLives says:

    Actually, I didn’t think Santos was bad in the first half. He made a lot of good tackles.

    But both he and JD were being over run because it took a while for our MF to get a grip on things.

    The BFG had a poor first half, but did anyone else notice how good he was in the last 15 – particularly and 3-3 and 3-4 when the Chavs were trying to bombard us?

  222. oz gunner says:

    @ micky

    love the 3.01

  223. Gooner in Exile says:

    RvP well played….here’s your MotM Robin:

    “I’m going to give this back to you Aaron you played well today, share it with the lads”.

    Top Captain, Top Gooner, Top Player.

  224. 26may1989 says:

    We’ll have to agree to disagree re Santos in first half Rocky, I thought he was really poor.

    Rosicky did well when he came on I thought.

  225. Gooner in Exile says:

    Haha Nice work Rasp

  226. Match report – come on chaps, someone must want to wax lyrical about it for tomorrow ………………….. then I can go back to playing in my garden

  227. RockyLives says:

    We’ve got our bottle back, we’ve got our bottle back…

  228. Great banner Rasp – can’t you make the chav lettering even smaller :)

  229. RockyLives says:

    My son texted me this, which he got off the Tuesday Club page;

    “For Arsenal’s fourth, John Terry was tripped by the ghost of Martin Luther King.” :)

  230. pat says:

    I think you may have something rocky – MF did give Chelski too much time to pick the pass through but both seemed be getting caught cold as well. Cant complain about them not giving up they both redeemed themselves second half as well as the team as a whole lifting their game to ABSOLUTELY SMOKE CHELSKI 2nd HALF….

  231. RockyLives says:

    First half: defence poor, MF not in control, attack always dangerous.

    Second half: defence much better; midfield dominant; attack deadly.

  232. Rasp says:

    Rocky’s just written the match report in 2 lines peaches :lol:

  233. oz gunner says:

    love the text rocky

  234. 26may1989 says:

    Peaches, Rocky’s just given you the match report – how much more accurate could a longer version be??! :)

  235. 26may1989 says:

    Rasp: snap!!

  236. 26may1989 says:

    Perhaps we could get Red Arse to do the match report as a haiku.

  237. Rasp says:

    Haha 26m, the sad thing is that after an outstanding performance like that and 3 points in the bag, we’re unlikely to have climbed up a position in the table unless w brom do us a favour and beat pool.

  238. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Oh no 26, don’t let RA do the report as I have a meeting on friday and I’d need to learn English and stuff :-)

  239. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Rasp,
    These three points will grow when Pool and the Spuds go to the bridge.

  240. Ok, Rocky’s 2 line match report it is – just need some player ratings then :)

  241. pat says:

    RVP – 10

  242. MickyDidIt89 says:

    The confidence and commraderie will also be sky high.

  243. RockyLives says:

    The Gerv-RvP axis is looking good, isn’t it?

  244. Rasp says:

    Rvp 11, Ramsey 10, kozzer 10

  245. oz gunner says:

    on another topic, the carling cup draw! every single time manu get the lucky draw, its ridiculous.

  246. Rasp says:

    Big question, will Chamakh or Park start in place of RvP against Marseilles? – no, on second thoughts we must milk this victory for all its worth

  247. LB says:

    Prrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

    Happy, happy, happy.

  248. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Peaches,
    I really think we ought to leave out the ratings as one or two will ineviatably have poorish marks and it seems a bit harsh to me. Lets mark them on team spirit and go 10′s each.

  249. pat says:

    If Torres is worth 50 mil – what is RVP worth…

  250. pat says:

    It has to be Park for mine Rasp

  251. Theo 9 Arteta 9 Song 9 Gerv 9

  252. oz gunner says:

    Walcott-10
    Arteta-9.5
    Song- 9.5
    BFG-8 (minus 2 for each goal)
    Santos and djourou’s 2nd half-10
    RVP’s Nazi celebration mocking JT-10 times infinity plus 1

  253. pat says:

    we can blitz City Oz – we just beat one moneybag club today – whats another?

  254. Rasp says:

    I don’t care if we go out of the Carling cup. It will be a good opportunity to test our 2nd string against city’s third 1st string before we meet them in the league.

  255. LB says:

    The Gerv RvP axis is really starting to humm.

  256. Red Arse says:

    Bloody cheek!! :-)

    I have to go out in a little while, and gently engage in high brow, intellectual footie conversation with a couple of Mancs and 3 Chelski fans who have been giving me some ersatz sympathy.

    I was dreading it, because unlike Jamie I was fearing the worst, but now the patronising b*stards are for it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :-)

    I doubt I will be back before the others are under the table! So you are safe Micky – no match report. :-)

  257. pat says:

    funny RVP rating oz – class!!!!

    Santos should get -2 off his 10 for that Samba dance – he needs some lessons.

  258. LB says:

    RvP’s Nazi celebration, what the f is this nonsense about?

  259. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Or even the Ramsey-Gerv-Robin axis.

  260. This is fun to watch over and over and over

    http://i40.tinypic.com/2yls1gm.jpg

    JT falling over

  261. LB says:

    Yep, that is true, Rambo, Gerv and RvP is a happening combo.

  262. RockyLives says:

    micky
    that’s not an axis, it’s a tricycle :)

  263. oz gunner says:

    @ pat

    im not worried about city whatsoever we will blitz them, we showed just how scared they are last year when they sat back the whole game trying to play for a draw, i’m just sick of manu getting the rub of the green.

  264. Rasp says:

    RobRamCottInho – better than TheoVanNasriGas

  265. kelsey says:

    Afternoon all.

    Where do I begin, well i begin at the final whistle. many a year since i have seen such joy and comradship in our team.

    Only one defender by either team on the pitch today, take a bow Kos.

    Santos maybe should forget being a LB and play him up front ;)

    The world’s number one had a Spurs moment but who cares.

    Was Torres playing ? how much did he cost….50 million so what does that make RVP worth.

    The terry trip/fall or whatever will live in my memory for evermore

    Yes, Theo that’s more like it and a sweetly struck shot.

    beta blockers came in handy today, took a double dose.

    Well done boys and as usual the away fans did us proud.

  266. MickyDidIt89 says:

    That’s beautiful Peaches
    RA,
    Shame really. I could do with some learning :-)

  267. pat says:

    Yup Ramsey and Gerv both had a massive game also i would also give them a 10.

    Walcott did great at forcing Cole back and me laughing at it aside scored a fantastic goal – had a good game too. put in some good balls in the middle too.

  268. kelsey says:

    We may win the league with 140 scored 134 against ;)

  269. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Rocky :-)

  270. RockyLives says:

    Peaches
    Replaying that RvP goal is really interesting. All the press will write it up as Terry’s slip gifting the lead to Arsenal, which is a little unfair on Arsenal and Song in particular.

    if you watch it carefully, you’ll see that Song’s pass had taken the Head Chav out of the game and Robin was through on goal even if Terry had stayed on his feet. There’s no way he would have caught Robin.

  271. oz gunner says:

    @ LB

    cool your jets and don’t make it into a big deal.

    RVP clearly mocked that scum racist JT.

  272. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Hate to say this, but I’ve actually forgotten what I do when I feel this Arsenally Good.

  273. LB says:

    Nice summary there Kelsey, when it comes to assessing a game I have always thought you are right there on the money and that one is no exception.

  274. Did anyone notice the almost complete lack of tippy tappy football? Much more direct, I put it down to the absence of the fat French troublemaker and the homesick Spaniard.

    With the Spaniard in the team we were too predictable, stop him and you stopped Arsenal, now teams are finding it more difficult to work us out.

    People should save their criticisms untill the end of the game, otherwise they can look really silly, Santos is going to be the best left back since Cashley defected.

    The spirit is terrific, the confidence is returning, the futures bright.

    A lot of pundits and faithless fans are going to have to eat their words.

    C’mon the Glorious Gunners!

  275. pat says:

    I hear you oz – it does suck

  276. kelsey says:

    someone on the interactive said id like to hi 5-3 chelsea fans

  277. Red Arse says:

    Rocky,

    I think Terry was wrong footed, then saw Batman’s Friend was away and decided to dive to save the embarrassment of trotting after him like an alleged racist loser! :-)

  278. Kelsey, fine summation, except there was no hint of a trip on Terry, none whatsoever, he simply fell over.

  279. pat says:

    I dont mind being made to look silly Lifelong Gooner – but Santos scared the c**p out of me 1st part of 1st half = but too his credit stormed back in the second half….

  280. Micky – Robin said in the post match interview that he didn’t realse that JT had fallen over as he’d already gone past him :)

  281. kelsey says:

    LG,

    in AW’s interview he said more or less that at half time we would go all out for it, thus not so much tippy tappy football.

  282. kelsey says:

    conscious trip then :)

  283. oz gunner says:

    @ LG

    where is the fun in that? yes, in theory criticism should be left until the end. But in the heat of the moment you have to let off steam somehow. Passion and adrenaline kick in and others opinions are good to hear

  284. MickyDidIt89 says:

    RA,
    “Batman’s Friend” So funny :-)

  285. RockyLives says:

    Redders
    “decided to dive to save the embarrassment of trotting after him like an alleged racist loser!”
    Genius :D
    And m’learned friend Mr 26 would heartily approve of the use of “alleged” :)

  286. Red Arse says:

    Hi Kelsey, :-)

    How about “no trip”? :)

    Robin was at least 5 yards away from Terry when that has-been decided to fall over.

  287. Pat,

    In the early part of the first half Santos was left exposed, untill he started to get help from Gervinho he was being run ragged, I thought he looked well off the pace but he came good and scored a beauty.

  288. If you’re up for more Arsenal genius, sky sports 2 are showing the last game in the 2003/04 season at Highbury v Leicester which didn’t go well for a while

  289. SharkeySure says:

    What a beautiful day……

    I had to pause the game on 71mins,,,,go and get a (soft!?) drink compose myself and carry on.

    Next time I’ll use beta blockers like Kelsey did. We really should get them free with Arsenal m/ship !!!!!

  290. pat says:

    Could be a fair call Lifelong agree that defence in 1st half did not get alot of cover in front of them and chelskis had too much time in midfield. Santos also did great in his one on one tackles 2nd half!

  291. Great comment Sharkey – beta blockers all the way :)

  292. kelsey says:

    ok tripped over himself, it’s not important.

  293. kelsey says:

    oi peaches,he knicked that from me, i have my own pharmacy as does dandan. ;)

  294. kelsey – congrats to you and your lovely wife on your new grandchild xx

  295. RockyLives says:

    BR
    Belatedly, another super pre-match. Nice reference to the great Roger Miller. Who would ever have known he would have a second career as a striker for Cameroon?

  296. Terry’s place as England captain is at risk should the racist accusation stick, after his dreadful defensive performance today his place in the England team must come into question.

  297. pat says:

    wasnt it great how the game was just put beyond doubt at the end? Instead of some nervous look at the extra time minutes and defending balls hoofed into our box, RVP just goes and grabs himself his 3rd goal past Czech who might as well have not turned up – he hardly made a save!

  298. kelsey says:

    thanks peaches,.

    i wonder how the negotiations will go with robin, he can ask for what he likes, though it may effect our financial stability ;)

  299. SharkeySure says:

    The blue Scumbag deliberately falls over rather than getting embarrassed chasing RVP. How mad that…???

  300. RockyLives says:

    kelsey
    pay him the earth, but keep him in a cryogenic chamber between games :)

  301. Classic from Chesney’s twitter

    13Szczesny13 Wojciech Szczesny
    by Shakinswedens
    I don’t know why I stayed on the pitch but WHAT A GAME!! Great spirit, great atmosphere and a great win! RVP needs to start scoring though!!

  302. RockyLives says:

    Sharkey
    I think you and Redders have the right of it. Captain Chavtastic deliberately fell over to avoid exposing his lack of recovery speed to the watching Capello.

  303. SharkeySure says:

    Kozzer…..wot a player !!!

  304. It’s cos he’s a scumbag. I hope the FA throw the book at him.

  305. pat says:

    So are you guys saying that Terry is just a cowardly scumbag?

  306. RockyLives says:

    Peaches
    Not sure Chezzer should be saying that – the press will have a field day with it and next time he comes out of the box and fouls someone he’ll definitely get sent off.

    It was probably 50/50 in truth – the Chav was quite wide and Kozzer (?) was getting back into the box at speed.

  307. RockyLives says:

    No Pat
    A cowardly RACIST scumbag :)

  308. kelsey says:

    Did anyone Cech the time ? Yes, it’s 5 past 3.

  309. oz gunner says:

    @ sharkespeare and RA

    well said, that and so he can blame the pass back instead of himself.

    @ peaches

    thats up there with mickys ‘wenger out’

    @ evonne

    delap…come on

  310. pat says:

    I think there were 2 possibly three other players getting back Rocky

  311. oz gunner says:

    kozza definently should be knocking on the french first team door.

    i mean kozza > kaboul,mexes,gallas

  312. SharkeySure says:

    I replayed the scumbags surrender 3times, then Sky did the same. Even Redknapp said to call it a slip was being too kind.

    Wot an embarrassment he is. 3-3 at home and he does that !!!

  313. oz gunner says:

    how good is it seeing a player like verm coming on that late in the game. Normally its panic stations for the last however many minutes when we are leading, then you look over and see someone like him coming on…panic subsides

  314. pat says:

    he was in the squad in the last round of intls wasnt he? dont think he played thou. But yeah you would be having a look….. at least its looking 10 times better than Terrys intl credentials.

  315. oz gunner says:

    yeah he made the bench, after his performances lately he should be first on the board.

  316. pat says:

    I guess we will see Verm start for the CL game this week

  317. pat says:

    Yep Kozzer is a great player – always gives 110%

  318. RockyLives says:

    Actually I think I made a mistake earlier – was it a Cashley back pass that led to Robin’s second goal? (I thought it was a Song pass).

  319. evonne says:

    What i want to know where did Wenger got that Gervinho from?? He is brill!! And Jenkinson! That lad is massive

    We were still WITHOUT Jack and TV, bloody hell, we are going to be some team! Robin, sign the bloody paper, pleeeeeease

  320. oz gunner says:

    i thought it was ramires rocky?

  321. goonermichael says:

    Some people still go on about Kozzer being shit. What a result, can’t wait to see it. I said I’d settle for a point. How wrong I was.

  322. oz gunner says:

    sorry rocky, it was malouda!

  323. Red Arse says:

    I think you will find it was Malouda, Rocky.

  324. Also from twitter

    CH3L5EA what’s the Mata you look TerryFived

  325. pat says:

    and how happy are you being wrong gooner michael – pretty happy i would guess :-)

    It was Malouda I think for the backpass…

  326. evonne says:

    So, with one point from both Chelsea and Shitty games and all the home wins we were heading to be 4th by Christmas. does it mean we can be second?

  327. evonne says:

    Club in crisis!!!!

  328. GM, I think most of us would have settled for a point before the match and at half time.

    What atreat it was not to see the usual last minute defensive panic, wait a minute though, we did see it….from the Chavs.

  329. RockyLives says:

    Not unhappy with the CC draw – it’s a bit of a no lose.

    Provided we don’t play a full strength first team no-one’s going to complain too much if we lose against City’s second string (you know, those little-kown strugglers like Zabaleta, Richards, Lescott, Milner, Nasri, Balotelli etc).

    If we get beaten, better to be beaten now by the league leaders than in the semis or final.

    And if we win…

  330. oz gunner says:

    @ peaches

    probably the best twitter comment i’ve ever read. Very clever that one.

    @ GM

    you poor bloke not getting to see that game live, it nearly gave 95% of arsenal fans a heart attack but well worth it i think…great great game.one of the best i’ve seen. The mrs was going to watch her one game of the year, but i said ‘nah don’t waste it chelsea are boring to watch, and defend too much’ oh how i was wrong, i think she may of upped it to 3 a year after that

  331. RockyLives says:

    Thanks for clearing that up Oz, Redders and Pat

    Evonne
    Well spotted :) I had the same thought myself. In my “we’ll be top three by New Year” post I had us down for only one point from the Chav and ManChav games… Time to revise that forecast upwards :)

  332. pat says:

    Mr Wenger often talks about mental strength – I think this Arsenal team has it.

  333. oz gunner says:

    @ Rocky

    once you take a second look over the remaining fixtures any chance of top by christmas? Santa wears red and white so we know hes a gunners fan, plus i’ll be sure to ask him when i write my annual letter

  334. RockyLives says:

    Villas-Boas quote: ““The decisive moment might have been when Mata was free on goal and misses the chance to go 4-3 ahead,”

    Good management that – single out one of your players for costing you the game!

    And anyway, you could say the decisive moment was the ref not spotting the foul in the run-up to Mata’s goal.

    (Chavs will no doubt say the decisive moment was Chezzer getting a yellow, not a red – although they’d be wrong. No way it was a red).

  335. RockyLives says:

    pat
    every time he said ‘mental strength’ over the last couple of years I would cringe. It was like he was trying to convince the players they had it when it was pretty obvious they didn’t.

    Now, when he refers to mental strength he’s stating what we can all see. Let’s hope it continues.

  336. evonne says:

    Rocky – absolutely, go and revise and tell us we’ll be second soon

  337. RockyLives says:

    evonne
    no need – Oz already has us down for top :)

  338. oz gunner says:

    @ Rocky

    very poor by AVB, especially when he was their best player on the pitch. It was only a half chance.

    No doubt the media will jump on the sczc decision and say we were lucky, or the ref gifts arsenal victory. But stuff them we deserved it completely.

    Also glad JT fell over or we would of had to hear about his mental strength and how we didn’t let the lead up to the match affect his performance. haha ghost of MLK, bloody hilarious

  339. Do sky still show a game of the day at 8pm – might it be our game tonight?

    I used to love it when we were the game of the day which I’d watch followed by the game again and a bit of MOTD – ooooh I wonder what they’re going to say on MOTD and if we’ll get more that 5 minutes!!!!

  340. Big Raddy says:

    Wow, fan bloody tastic. The pub was rocking.

    Firstly, once again the away fans were brilliant throughout. Awesome support.

    MoM Koscielny. He was superb and as been said was the only defender on the pitch. JD is no RB , his llack of pace was worrying.

    We were excellent in attack and despite the extreme language aimed at Gervinho when he missed a chance that even Dandan would have buried he came back strongly.

    RvP is on fire.Theo’s best performance of the season – he roasted Cole.

    This feels even better than when we did the Chavs at the Emirates because I am starting to believe this team has real potential.

    Our midfield completely dominated in the second half and in Ramsey we have a potential world class player. He is going to be huge for us and a midfield of Song Ramsey and Little Jack will rule the world.

    This is one happy Gooner …..

  341. goonermichael says:

    I think it’s at 10 Peaches

  342. RockyLives says:

    peaches
    MoTD will be all about Hansen going on about “absalootly shorken defendin”

  343. goonermichael says:

    Can’t wait to see the game. I’m not going to spoil it by watching goals or highlights

  344. THis from twitter

    feverpitch feverpitch
    by Shakinswedens
    Chelsea can’t own their ground because The Arsenal own their pitch.

  345. goonermichael says:

    I stopped watching motd when that scotch alky started speaking to them again

  346. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    Picture this, A 55 year old using his bed as a trampoline, thats me ! ha ha ha . Cant wait to watch the whole game on Arsenal player !

  347. 8.25 sky sports 2 Game of the day – should be ours but it might be the manchavs as they had a man sent off and beat wolves 3-1 :(

  348. RockyLives says:

    peaches
    that’s a nice Tweet from our very own Carlito!

  349. kelsey says:

    That’s 8 goals scored against the chavs in our last two matches with them.

    BR, apolgies forgot to mention your post match write up.

    Not so sure dandan would have scored without making a hole in the pitch about 10 metres square if it was a header ;)

    he makes RA look like a dwarf.

  350. pat says:

    Ramsey just looked like he was having a great time out there – just totally enjoying the game he showed some great skills out there today!

  351. California Gooner says:

    BR– I second Koscielny for MotM, but (and I know you agree), this was a total team effort. In the second half, our guys were all over them from the first minute, helping each other, closing down space, making fantastic tackles. So there should be a lot of pride to go around.

  352. RockyLives says:

    What are all the nay sayers and whingers doing today?

    They must be gutted.

  353. Big Raddy says:

    RL. They will bragging to all and sundry that they always have believed ….. until the next disappoiment when they will be back moaning.

  354. evonne says:

    RL and BR – some of them are reading my emails and TXTs, I am rubbing it in big time :) I type ‘I told you’ in the subject line :)

  355. RockyLives says:

    Good work evonne :)

  356. goonermichael says:

    Rocky
    They are still saying sack Wenger, we are shit, Unconvincing etc.

  357. evonne says:

    GM – who cares? The man is a genius, just look how much he paid for Jenkison, Gervinho, Park, Koscielny combined

  358. goonermichael says:

    I don’t care one bit evonne. There are some serious whingers out there.

  359. Red Arse says:

    My Manc and Chav friends (good guys except for their clubs) cannot come out to play down the pub until 8 p.m. — now there’s a surprise – they know I am going to be a non stop pain. :-)

    Just had a look at a certain other site, and I simply cannot understand the filth and abuse that gets meted out by some on there against our players and manager and, then have the nerve to call themselves Gooners?????

  360. kelsey says:

    You beat me to it RA,it’s a childrens playground not a site. it used to be a great site, but now…words fail me.

  361. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    Am I missing something, I only go on this site !

  362. goonermichael says:

    RA
    It’s bordering on comical. Search back to my early comment on there and the response.

  363. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Good day everybody

    I never doubted we would recover, and the great thing is we will keep improving. If we are within 10 points of the leaders come February we have a genuine chance of the title. The Champions League is also a very real possibility

    We all know the truth, we are a great club with all the ingridients required to suceed.

  364. Fatgingergooner says:

    Fabregas, Nasri and co may have had flair, but Ramsey, Kozzer and co have bottle, and I know which of those will win more games.

    We were outstanding in the second half. At no point in this game did we let heads drop and accept defeat. This has grown from our recent victories against Stoke, Bolton etc where teams have drawn level with us and we have gone on to win the game. Long may it continue.

    True Arsenal fans have taken some shit this season, but Today’s result tastes much sweeter to those that kept belief than it does for those who had given up. This is a team on the up. No longer do we have to put up with tippy tappy football that results in 1-0 defeats. This side has bottle, class and determination. Something that Cesc and co couldn’t put together.

    Now we just need to learn to defend……. ; )

  365. goonermichael says:

    I must say I thought we had no chance of top 4. I’m so glad to be wrong.

  366. RockyLives says:

    Peaches
    I’ve put a draft in posts for Monday as I have a really full-on day tomorrow (and in the expectation that someone else will be doing a match report).

  367. kelsey says:

    I think Santos is the third LB. to score vital goals at SB.Silvinho and Winterburn are the others in recent memory.

    GLIC,
    it’s not important honestly.

  368. goonermichael says:

    Five Star AR5-3NAL Smash CH3L5EA

    Very clever from Arsenal Action

  369. Fatgingergooner says:

    Funny how people say we don’t spend any money, yet, we have just blown about 20m (including wages) on Mikel Arteta, who will probs be a back up midfielder once Jack gets back to fitness, and another 20m(including wages) on Mertersacker who will probs be 3rd choice CB once Vermaelen returns to the team!!!!!

    Funny how these things work out!

  370. chas says:

    Hahahahahahahahahahahhahahahahaha.

    Fine greetings and most beneficient greetings to this beautiful corner of goonerdom.

    Off out again. Hahahahahahahahahahahahaha.

  371. goonermichael says:

    I know a very smug chav who won’t be so smug the next time I see him.

  372. goonermichael says:

    Well done for the title at the top of the page.

  373. RockyLives says:

    GM
    Haha – just went on ‘another site’ and enjoyed your them winding up.

    I looked through their pre-match comments – several were predicting we would go down six nil or worse.

    Muppets.

  374. RockyLives says:

    kelsey
    I was there for Nutty’s screamer. No-one was as surprised as him that it went in :)

    I think Le Boeuf got sent off in that game too. There was a big pic in the Mail on Sunday of him trudging off the pitch past all the Gooners waving cheerio at him – with he and my mates in clear view.

    We’ve had some epic wins at the Bridge over the years.

  375. RockyLives says:

    *me and my mates

  376. Thanks Rocky for the Monday post.

    Harry wants to write the match report – yippeeeeeeeeeeeee :)

  377. Mr Ginger – I’m sorry I forgot to do what In said I was going to do yesterday but I promise it will get an airing hopefully after Tuesday night ;)

  378. harry says:

    Sorry about the link above was meant to go through and show a funny picture of John Terry, will save for my match report…….Dont know what to write to be honest, nothing much happened……..lol…

  379. Gooner in Exile says:

    Evening all, I tried to write a comment earlier but my battery died.,.part of it was to echo FGGs thoughts at 6:16, the other part was to offer a match report but Harry’s stepped in….phew.

    I’m going to sing the praises of Arteta, I agree with everyone else’s opinions on the big names, but felt Arteta gave a solid base for Ramsey and co to operate in, he kept the ball moving and hassled and closed down their midfield.

  380. harry says:

    Steeling my thunder there GIE, i was saying to my luke this afternoon, that I thought Arteta had a very effective game, although for me there is only one MotM…………….Tomorrow…….

  381. harry says:

    All click and have a look at this…………

    http://www.gunners4life.com/index.asp?article=657

    I couldnt resist it………….

  382. California Gooner says:

    Fatgingergooner, I have to disagree with you slagging of Cesc (and Co.). I’ve never understood why one has to denigrate someone in order to praise someone else. Arteta was really good today; he is beginning to adjust to this team. But Cesc was absolutely world class and a warrior to boot. Do you remember Villa three years ago? Do you remember his game against AC Milan? I miss that guy a lot and feel we were lucky to have been able to watch such an amazing player. The performance today was top notch, particularly in the second class. So by all means praise these guys for running their socks of and working for each other. But Cesc was a joy (the joy of Mikkel doesn’t quite have the same ring, does it?), and we will be lucky to have another player of his caliber picking apart defenses in the future.

  383. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Due to a variety of distractions, I am really struggling to celebrate hard enough.
    How good would it have felt to have been walking back down the Fulham Road as one of our incredible away fans. Now they deserve to celebrate.

  384. Fatgingergooner says:

    Just a minute CG, I wasnt slagging off Cesc in any way shape or form. My point was that this current team has a back bone that the likes of Cesc, Samir etc were unable to produce. I think it’s fair to say that the tippy tappy style of Cesc and friends would not have won this game today. I adored Cesc and Samir as much as the next man, and loved to watch the game they played, but the results spoke for themselves. We won nothing under their leadership, and lacked a real spine. This team has shown more fight in 3 months than they showed in 3 years.

  385. Gooner in Exile says:

    Micky I’d say being in the ground today would have been worth every penny of say £1300

  386. MickyDidIt89 says:

    No price on that GiE. I spent that and the rest going to the CL Final in Paris :-(

  387. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Just seen on Sky Sports website that they want to track down that Gooner who Robin gave his shirt to. RvP very carefully singled him out. He’s a legend amongst away fans.

  388. Big Raddy says:

    Another very important development this season is that We have a real Captain

    RvP leads from the front, was the first to pull the players over to the fans, and takes responsibility. And he is Dutch – TA must be a proud man.

  389. Furious of Northaw here – who do I write to? Those losers at sky have made the manc v wolves game their ‘Game of the Day’ – what’s that all about?????? Idiots

  390. Raddy – great pre-match post sir :P

  391. Big Raddy says:

    Peaches, In the words of the great man …. You cannot be Serious?

  392. Big Raddy says:

    Peaches, Thank you – I very much enjoyed writing it.

    Harry. That is a very funny picture :-D

  393. About your pre-match honey or those cretins at sky thinking that the manchav game was more exciting than ours?

  394. Gooner in Exile says:

    My wife asked why him and I said that he goes everywhere and as you say Micky he is a legend. Well played RvP for picking him out…..top effort that.

  395. kelsey says:

    Shouldn’t be difficult to find Micky, as he had an ivory nose piercing through both nostrils.They will hook him in

  396. MickyDidIt89 says:

    A very generous and thoughtful gesture.
    K :-)
    Hey Kelsey, I understand congratulations are in order. Congratulations.

  397. gunnern5 says:

    This is a rather long match report from football365. But it’s a good read.

    ………………………………………………………………………………..

    * Holy sh*t, what a game. The hyperbole is about the Premier League being the bestest and most wonderful thing in the known universe is pretty irritating and sickening most of the time, but so far this season we’ve seen Manchester United beat Arsenal 8-2, Manchester City beat United 6-1 and now Arsenal have beaten Chelsea 5-3. We do appreciate a good, closely fought tactical battle, but this was football at its most visceral and entertaining. It made absolutely no sense, but it was magnificent to watch. Football is brilliant, and anyone who says otherwise is genuinely missing something in their lives.

    * As Jamie Redknapp said after the game, the matches between the big sides used to be pretty cagey affairs. No more. In the five encounters between the four Champions League sides so far this season (including the Community Shield), there have been 34 goals.

    * Just the 28 in 27 for Robin van Persie this year then. Astonishing stuff.

    * From our ground-breaking statements department; the defending in this one was a bit shonky, wasn’t it? And many of the problems seemed to come from the full-back areas of both sides. For Chelsea’s first Andre Santos ignored the most basic rule of full-back play, diving in to a challenge with Juan Mata when he simply needed to prevent him from getting a cross in, though Mata’s touch and cross were both terrific. For Arsenal’s second, Santos himself took advantage of an inexplicable wander infield from Jose Bosingwa, leaving him the majority of the right flank to saunter through and pick his spot. There were countless more examples of shonky positioning from Santos and Johan Djourou, and it was perhaps even surprising that more goals didn’t come from these positions.

    * A word on Arsenal’s maverick work for Chelsea’s second as well. At stages during the first half, the defending would’ve been very appropriately sound tracked with ‘Yakety Sax’, such was the base comedy on display, and no more fitting time was for this goal. After a few views I still haven’t quite decided if John Terry or Per Mertesacker got the final touch, but perhaps that’s because I was laughing at Mertesacker’s comical efforts to keep the Chelsea captain out. Note to Per – the ‘belly flop’ is not a sensible defensive strategy when trying to mark an opponent. Also, Mikel Arteta’s free spirit act, drifting from the sensible position at the near post, to the rather-less-sensible ‘behind the keeper, behind the line’ spot, was as odd as it was amusing.

    * This game provided a couple of examples of Football365′s Top Ten minor irritations; the absence of the ‘wrong’ foot. Early on, Gervinho had a glorious chance from a perfectly measure Walcott pass, and all that was required was a simple left-footed finish. Instead, he went with his right, and made a mess of it. Similarly, Danny Sturridge tried a half-volley on his left when the right was an infinitely preferable option, and it span wide. Seriously guys – spend half an hour a day after training working on the ‘wrong’ foot. I promise you, it will make you a better player.

    * Giving the man-of-the-match award to anyone other than Van Persie would’ve been a ballsy move, but if he’d been on the pitch at the final whistle then Theo Walcott might’ve been in with a shout. The winger was absolutely terrific, whipping in at least three uncharacteristically pinpoint crosses, and providing a threat throughout. What was even more impressive was that his goal was entirely of his own making, wriggling free of three or four defenders to create the opening, and firing past Petr Cech. If he did this every week, we wouldn’t get so bloody frustrated with him.

    * There was an authority to Arsenal’s midfield and forward play, especially in the second half. It’s an authority that has been missing for most of the season, and is something that their possession game depends upon. If this is here to stay, Arsene Wenger’s aim of making the Champions League spots shouldn’t be too much of a problem.

    * One of the main reasons Chelsea were so poor in the second half was they were incredibly wasteful in possession. I counted around six or seven criminally misplaced passes at both ends of the pitch, stunting potential attacks and putting them in trouble. One in particular…

    * Fun as it would be to blame John Terry for Arsenal’s fourth, it was the pass from Florent Malouda what done it. Malouda needlessly put Terry under pressure with an over hit and misplaced backwards ball, taking Terry by surprise and causing him to slip over, waving Van Persie through to skip around Cech. Replacing the admittedly quiet Sturridge with Malouda looked like a curious move at the time, and it proved to be incredibly costly for Chelsea.

    * Wojciech Szczesny arguably committed two red card offences in one action, when he brought down Ashley Cole. Our own Ref365 will probably deal with this in more detail later on in the week, but Szczesny’s challenge on Cole could easily have been interpreted as being dangerous and out of control. Sure, he didn’t cause Cole any injury, but that is neither the point nor the law. Equally, Andre Marriner could have deemed Cole to have been in an obvious goalscoring position, given that only one defender was guarding the goal with Szczesny away from his post. It was a tight call, and by no means a dreadful decision, but Arsenal and Szczesny may count themselves lucky.

    * More clear-cut was the foul on Santos in the build-up to Chelsea’s third. Romelu Lukaku quite clearly blocked the Brazilian full-back, then the ball broke to Juan Mata who fired home, via a slight deflection. What happened to obstruction? It’s barely given these days, but this was a classic case.

    * In a less-eventful game, the anonymity of Fernando Torres would’ve been more of a talking point.

    * What odds Chelsea buying a new goalkeeper in January? It would be surprising, given they spent a fair wedge on Thibaut Courtois in the summer, but understandable. While the old adage that a keeper should never concede a goal at his near post is sometimes exaggerated, it is an area that they should really command. Cech was beaten there twice against Arsenal, and while both were well-struck shots, the Chelsea keeper should have kept them out. Given the porous nature of the Chelsea defence, perhaps it would be harsh to criticise him too much, but his reaction-time appears to be much slower than in his pre-head injury pomp.

    * Chelsea have now conceded 15 goals in ten games – that’s as many as they conceded in the whole of the 2004/5 season.

    * Certain parts of the media spent the weeks after Andre Villas-Boas’s appointment at Chelsea comparing him to Jose Mourinho. The ‘Mini Mourinho’ was a favourite of The Daily Mirror in particular, but this game must be the final proof that this idea as a nonsense. Those who dismiss Mourinho as a negative or defensive manager miss the point, but his teams are built on a solid defence, and he works from there. Villas-Boas, as we have seen, does not. Chelsea’s defensive line is high, they press from the front, but at the moment it doesn’t seem to be working. Attacking football is all well and good, but when it is built on a mixture of jelly and sand, it’s often pointless.

  398. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Evening Peaches and BR.

  399. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Ginger and California raise an interesting point about Cesc. Throw in Nasri and its even more interesting regarding team spirit as well as the directness of our play.

  400. MickyDidIt89 says:

    G5,
    Loved this line from you post: “Football is brilliant and anyone who says otherwise is genuinely missing something in their lives”

  401. gunnern5 says:

    Cesc was a legend who with a better supporting cast could have achieved great things at Arsenal. I don’t think he was cut out to be captain and his play reflected that, but one heck of a player.

    Of all the players we have traded away I believe Cesc was our biggest loss, imagine him with Wilshere, Ramsey and Song feeding Gervinho, RVP and Walcott – it would have been quite formidable.

    Narsi however gave us one good half season and very little else to remember him by – he did not endear himself to the supporters like Cesc.

    RVP is a Captain in the mold of TA and PV and is showing by example what a great leader can to to galvanize team spirit and he works his butt off.

    I am as pleased as punch with today’s effort and of course the result was just brilliant.

  402. gunnern5 says:

    MD89;

    The post brought a smile to my face and I thought – if it can make an old fart like me smile then others may enjoy reading it as well.

  403. MickyDidIt89 says:

    G5,
    Totally agree about the Captaincy of Robin. We know the dressing room was not a happy place and I put that down to Nasri, but it can’t be good knowing your captain and best player wanted out as well (Think Henry’s last season). Not doubting Cesc is world class for one second.

  404. MickyDidIt89 says:

    There appears to be developing a real “we’re in this together” attitude and I love it.

  405. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Its a very good nite all from this happy man.

  406. Gooner in Exile says:

    From OptaJoe:

    “Robin van Persie has scored 28 goals in 27 Premier League games in 2011″

    SENSATIONAL!

  407. neamman says:

    A great game!!! RVP is turning out to be a great captain..at least on the pitch….. leads by example. If he is half as good in the dressing room we are laughing!!

  408. SharkeySure says:

    RHWP (aka Peaches!) Sky’s game of the day is never a game they have already shown earlier in the day.

    Nasri is no loss…ran around in circles, and always took too many touches for my liking.

    Cesc is world class, agreed, we march on without him.

  409. LB says:

    I didn’t read that comment to be anti Cesc, I saw it as part of the healing process, we are slowly learning to let go, the mourning period is coming to an end.

  410. LB says:

    I could spend three weeks writing and I don’t think I could improve on how GN5 puts it at 9.24pm.

  411. Big Raddy says:

    SS. A benched Fabregas didn’t even get a kick in Barca’s 5-0 win tonight – good sub when needed :-)

  412. Gooner in Exile says:

    I’m wondering given Ramseys performance today and another hat trick from RvP if anyone still thinks we would be better with RvP in the hole/No10 role?

  413. 26may1989 says:

    My ratings for the day (having calmed down a tiny bit):

    Szczesny: 7
    Djourou: 6
    Mertesacker: 6
    Koscielny: 9
    Santos: 7*
    Song: 8
    Ramsey: 9
    Arteta: 8
    Walcott: 9.5
    Gervinho: 9
    van Persie: 8.5

    Rosicky: 7.5
    Vermaelen and Jenkinson: Can’t judge.

    (* For me, Santos is really 5 in first half, 8 in the second.)

    Today may have been very important in the “Keep Robin” project. He and we can see something emerging in this side that makes sticking around more attractive, and that’s before Wilshere comes back. The connection between RvP and Gervinho is looking very tasty indeed.

    I also think today will have been a major cause for concern in Fortress Abramovich. The way they just fell away in the second half, and the way their older players failed them will not be missed: Terry, Bosingwa, Cech, Malouda, Torres, Ramires, Mikel, Ivanovic, they all had very poor games. Only Lampard, Cole and Mata can really look back with any sense that they earned their money. The 120 minutes against Everton on Wednesday cost them, their energy levels just fell away. They need a big overhaul, but will they get it?

    There’s still a long way to go for us this season, but we are back in the mix, and have joined an early mini-league of Chelsea, Newcastle, Spurs, Liverpool and us. That is in itself an achievement.

    Happy days.

  414. California Gooner says:

    Fatgingergooner, good for the clarification. Just sticking up for our ex-captain. I had to make dinner for the “most beautiful woman in the world” — those were my friend who invited her’s wordsr– who, it turns out, wasn’t quite that, but seemed to get more beautiful with every glass of wine. So I didn’t see your message earlier. 5-3 to the Arsenal and the company of the TMBWIW. Not a bad day!

  415. allezkev says:

    It’s an absolute pleasure, surfin all the Arsenal blogs i usually have a butchers at, and bathing in the glow of the optimism coming out of them.
    Yeah, you can always pick holes in any performance, but i’m just going to enjoy it.

  416. California Gooner says:

    Great post GN5. I don’t know if any of you waste time on twitter, but Szczesny tweeted right after the game that he really didn’t know how he stayed on the pitch. So, while I thought the ref was a bit of a tool, I guess things worked out OK for us today in that regard.

    Also, in terms of Chelsea’s poor play and particularly Torres’s anonymity, perhaps some credit is due to the incredible work-rate of the whole team in the second half and to Koscielny’s steller defensive work. There was some really poor defending in the first half — particularly from Djourou and Mertesacker (who should know better!). But for the second half I give the whole team 10s. They were all fighting for each other and closing space, outscored Chelsea 4-1 (that one goal should have been disallowed), and could have scored twice within the first minute. Amazing performance.

  417. 26may1989 says:

    Hi CG. I saw that bit of twitter from the World’s Number One, and amusing as it is, I don’t really agree with him. It definitely wasn’t a denial of an obvious goal scoring chance, as there were two defenders who could very quickly have been on top of Cole. Was it a dangerous challenge? It could have been viewed that way, but I honestly think that would have been very harsh on Szczesny. Anyway, to the extent we got the benefit of the doubt, any of that sort of luck is deserved.

    I agree that the second half display from the whole team was awesome. What is it about second halves this season, we used to be so bad after the break?

  418. California Gooner says:

    Yes, I noticed that too? I think it has something to do with the newness of the team. Either our defense is playing too high a line, or we fail to press, or our midfield is leaving RVP isolated. That gets corrected at half-time then we come out much stronger. The only problem with the theory is that we also come out much more motivated. Anyhow, I like it.

  419. 26may1989 says:

    Agreed CG.

    Am off to bed, with a warm glow – part red wine, part big fat lovely victory over hated enemies. Night all.

  420. pat says:

    I think Szczesny was probably expecting to go off given some of the refereeing decisions going round these days – agree never a red card but with these bunch of refs who can tell. Overall cant complain too much about the ref for the game…

  421. Jamie says:

    Great performance from the boys today. They finally showed some of that character the gaffer keep going on about. Great to a man. Should have TV5, Gibbs and Diaby back shortly to add to this. Over the moon.

    Eight wins in nine, come on you reds.

  422. oz gunner says:

    just had a look at that infamous ‘legrove’ site (first time)

    what an absolute joke of a site! some of the people who comment on there should be taken out back and shot.

    e.g

    ‘RVP is not top draw. I will always maintain that. Too placid in big games.’

    ‘we need a proper DM, song is mong’

    even after the great win:
    ‘we are 3 players short from winning the league: goetze, hazard and m’vila’

    don’t think i’ll be venturing over to the dark side ever again. Just woken up and i’m still riding the arsenal high, absolutely love it!

  423. oz gunner says:

    great play by RVP calling the team over, need to see more of that sort of stuff because the away fans were unreal, after RVP scored that goal i thought the stadium was going to collapse they were going nuts!

  424. RockyLives says:

    431 comments (432 now)
    It’s amazing what a rousing victory does for the spirit :)

  425. Roland says:

    Well done everyone!!!

    My mate and I stood lonely and nervous in a pub in Perth (Australia) looking conspicuous in our Home shirts. By the end of the match everyone was coming over the congratulate us and share in our joy.

    Good on you all for staying so positive and true these last few months(/seasons)! Where are the sad sacks today? Rusting in Arsene? May their silence be kept, I’m over it.

  426. Rob Lucci says:

    “Cech : WHERES THE BALL ?!
    Terry : For the fifth time i tell u IN YOUR NET !
    Torres: What’s a net?”

  427. Gooner in Exile says:

    Rob :D for the pic and your 6:54am (altho winter time has started so I think that should be 5:54am).

    Nice comments Roland and AllezKev.

    Oz what did you do that for? Now you probably realise why some of us hate the fact that that blog is referred to by UK press as a barometer to see how us fans feel.

    26 you are so right about Chelsea’s age, some of us have said this for a while.

    I also remember how Luiz was used as a stick to beat Wenger with last January. Well £21.5m for Luiz, £8.5-10m for Koscielny….let me think.

    Now time to stand up for Merts. Whilst he was undoubtedly at fault for the first two goals, he also did plenty of good defending, not least keeping Torres quiet for the full ninety.

    Having watched MOTD last night there were plenty of things I didn’t pick up on whilst watching first time round.

    The number of red and white shirts pressing the ball immediately before Santos goal was particularly pleasing as was in the same instance Gervinhos movement. On MotD and on Sky pundits asked where Bosingwa was going, quite simply he was tracking Gerv, which created plenty of space for Santos to come forward.

    On the subject of Santos some say he is unfit or short of pace but he certainly makes up for both with a reserve tank full of desire. And altho he missed the tackle on Mata for their first goal he nicked the ball so well using the same technique for the entire second half. Also his wide arse made a good defensive barrier when blocking Matas shot. His reasoning for doing that dance was apparently because Ramires had promised to do one if he scored.

    In the first half they cut to the bench and you could see Jenks sitting behind Pat Rice and Rice was turned to him explaining a passage of play and Jenks was listening intently. Love seeing that.

    Also on MotD the pitch mics were louder during the goal celebrations, I’m not sure I’ve heard our players scream and whoop like that when celebrating.

    Love RvP pushing Ivanovic other too, you could see as Ivanovic went down the confusion in his face….”hang on I can’t bully him, when did that happen?”

    The only problem with this result and the others preceding them
    Is its gonna become a lot harder to get tickets again.

  428. Gooner in Exile says:

    From FourFourTom on Twitter:

    STAMFORD BRIDGE IS FALLING DOWN, FALLING DOWN, FALLING DOWN – STAMFORD BRIDGE IS FALLING DOWN, LIKE JOHN TERRY!

  429. Gooner in Exile says:

    And another from Darren Arsenal:

    #CH3L5EA where ever you may be, you can’t buy our history, we scored 5 and you scored 3, cause we are the famous #AFC …….again …..

  430. chas says:

    Morning all.
    Great to be alive and red and white.

    http://twitpic.com/7833rh/full

  431. evonne says:

    Morning all from a Mad Woman,
    I watched Match of The Day this morning and was still nervous as hell :)

    My little observations – Szczesny was very slow off the blocks at the 3rd Chav’s goal. Szczesny could have lose us the game easily. He was the weakest link for me

    That Hansen thing this morning could still not bring himself to praise Theo. I think Alan Shearer has sensed it and kept going on singing Walcott’s praises :) What a goal that was, thank you Theo

    GiE – love the chants, learning them now

  432. pat says:

    I laughed my head off at that goal Evonne but yes what a goal. I first thought he had tripped himself over but was just amazed how quick he got up and kept on going…

  433. evonne says:

    Pat – absolutely!!! It was a tripping game altogether, Theo tripped and scorred, Terry tripped and we scored :)

  434. LB says:

    GIE 7:45

    That is such a pleasurable read.

    I noticed Pat Rice talking to the intent Jenks and thought the same thing. The other thought that struck me at the same time is that Rice’s influence seems to be getting stronger rather than waning.

  435. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Theo illustrated our spirit perfectly. A short time ago, on tripping over it would have been arms up and oi reffing, yesterday it was sod it I’ll deal with this myself.
    .
    My vote for Man of The Match goes to the 12th Man.

  436. evonne says:

    Micky – yeah, they got their reward though! Can you imagine being there yesterday?? Bloody hell, wildest dreams pale into insignificance :)

    BTW Micky – we only had 2 corners

  437. Gooner in Exile says:

    I’m still buzzing…….have parents coming over today to do long list of DIY think me and my Dad will be quite happy doing our work :)

    LB that’s so true about Pat Rice, does seem Wenger may have let him off the leash a bit this year.

    One other thing is that I think the age of the team is more balanced this year. In the main it’s been young with a couple of old uns (Gallas, RvP), now it feels like we have a good mix of ages, take the centre of midfield yesterday the young Ramsey, the (relatively) middle aged Song and then the experienced head of Arteta. Then up front the young Theo, middle aged Gervinho experienced RvP. And at the back a similar mix again (if you include the keeper)

  438. evonne says:

    Middle aged Gervinho, honestly

  439. Gooner in Exile says:

    These Stats show how far we’ve come:

    Chelsea’s first.

    Possession 54% – 46%
    On Target 10 – 8
    Off Target 2 – 5
    Corners 3 – 2
    Fouls 7 – 18

    I’m most pleased by the first and last stats considering we won :)

    Those are from the Beebs website.

  440. Gooner in Exile says:

    Evonne :D I said relatively ;)

    He is 24

  441. SharkeySure says:

    Terry dived !!!!

    I am 100% convinced. There is just no sliding foot moment in the whole action

  442. evonne says:

    Sharkey – what about that Ivanovic??? His name has been added to my black list of players I hate

  443. Rob Lucci says:

    If gervinho is middle aged, then RVp is an old fart. :-)

  444. evonne says:

    If RvP is an old fart then there are no words to describe my age

    Anyway, one of the commentators said ‘Huge VICTORY for Arsenal with a big V for Van Persie :)

  445. SharkeySure says:

    Ivanovic is just a cheap Bond villain. I bet hes got a cat!

  446. evonne says:

    and now I am getting greedy, had my cake and want some icing, come QPR!!

  447. harry671 says:

    Morning fellow gooners, happy days, statements of intent don’t get much better than that. Took ages writing that up, hope you enjoy the read, when its put up. Cannot wait now till Tuesday night. Proud to be a gooner.

  448. Mickeyk says:

    The best thing was the arsenal spirit at the end with this spirit we will go far.thank god we go rid of some dead wood.eboue almunia bentner dennilson nasri and a few others that had a negitive effect on the club and other players.

  449. harry671 says:

    Sharkey agreed terry threw himself more than slip. Comment about it in match report.

  450. Gooner in Exile says:

    Sharkey 10:08 :D

  451. Gooner in Exile says:

    Mickeyk I’m not sure you’re allowed to enjoy an Arsenal victory….the following written after our defeat at Ewood:

    “Wenger has lost the plot can’t you people see it .what was he doing all summer we will not win anything with him in charge were getting worse .he wants to go to PSG get some won in to steady the ship like moyes or ancollti.the board are scared and don’t know what to do with out him he tells them how to run the club witch is not right and has got to change quickly .if Manu lost fergie they would get moyes in as a stop gap asap where f..ked with wenger open your eyes everyone for arsenal sake.ps bought an arsenal top the other day it had forward under the crest not backwards .”

  452. harry says:

    GIE, you little tinker…….

    But your right, many doubted, never kept faith, still work to do though. And at 3 this morning or was that 2, i wish you had done the match report…….

  453. Big Raddy says:

    GIE. Well played, but if we all had to face words we had used in the past it would be highly embarrassing for everyone. Particularly when I think of those early years of lust and aftershave ……. (blushing smiley)

  454. Big Raddy says:

    BTW pat, thanks for the link to Zonal Marking. My first visit – excellent.

  455. Mickeyk says:

    Nice one raddy .up the gunners

  456. 26may1989 says:

    Morning. The world is still golden.

    That Zonal Marking site is excellent – I recommend trawling back through the games they’ve analysed in the past, there’s always some great insight or other. That said, it is interesting reading their take on yesterday and seeing how the concentration on tactics etc means they omit the emotional elements – yesterday was important for us for any number of reasons, but what it will do for the confidence of players and fans alike is at the heart of it. Yes, we need plenty of more work in defence, of course, and the first half performance wasn’t what it should have been, but we’re on our way.

  457. 26may1989 says:

    Am watching Sunday Supplement, which I often like, but they’re instantly into this Arsenal = Van Persie thing. He’s incredibly important to us, but anyone who actually watched the game yesterday would see a magnificent team performance in the second half, that was what won the game for us. The fact that van Persie was on the end of three of the five goals is nice but he is a long way from being the whole story.

  458. Morning Happy Gooners

    There’s a New Post …………. I just need to play with the pics while you’re reading xx

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