Cash Is So Last Millennium – Class Is So Permanent: Match Report

Written by TotalArsenal

Today, Arsenal had a chance to make a statement of where it stands in the current hierarchy of English football. This was not just a game we needed to win to keep us in contention for a top-four finish – no, this was also a game in which we needed to demonstrate to ourselves again how good we really are. During a transitional year, progress is measured not only by finishing as high as possible – it is just as important to claim the scalps of teams like Pool, the Chavs, and especially, the Oilers. Winning these sorts of games builds confidence, belief and respect: they’ll become part of the DNA of this new, post-Fabregas team.

First half

From the first minute it became clear Arsenal were up for this game. During the first quarter of the game, Arsenal enjoyed 78% possession, leaving Citeh with nothing else to do than chase the ball and set up a fortress around their box. This must have been hard for Citeh, as it’s usually them who keep the ball, and pass it around, better than their opponents. Recently, Arsenal have been a little bit lob-sided towards our right, but we were constantly able to switch our attacking play from side to side in the first half. Although we threatened a lot with our energetic and innovative attacking moves, we did not manage a clear attempt on goal until the 16th minute. RvP made a perfect connection with his head to Arteta’s corner-kick, but his effort hit the back of Vermaelen’s head, whose own run had taken him to just under the Citeh’s crossbar. RvP was just so unlucky not to score.

Soon after that, MC had to withdraw Toure who got injured during a strong challenge by Song. Rather than the tried and tested De Jong, Mancini decided to replace the Ivorian with the relatively (PL) inexperienced David Pizzaro. Undoubtedly, this was a big blow for Citeh, as Toure has been a consistent force in midfield for them in recent months.

Citeh had only one half-chance in this half, and it came from a ball through the middle that almost reached Balotelli. However, Sir Szczesny did fantastically well in anticipating the danger and with a quick and timely run he reached the ball before the Italian hothead.

During the rest of the first half there were no more clear attempts on goal, as Arsenal dropped off a bit and MC were able to regain some possession, albeit without threatening our goal themselves. Balotelli was keen to grab all the attention with another petulant performance, and he should have seen a straight red card for his nasty, studs-up challenge on Song. The referee appeared not to have seen the incident, so the Italian got away with it. Luckily, Alex somehow survived the charge. After that incident, Balotelli fouls our RB, Sagna, twice, and he finally gets a yellow card. He should have had a second one for a handball before the end of the first half, but once again, he got away with it.

Second half

Arsenal started the second half tentatively, with a lower tempo and less hunting down of the opponents compared to the first half. This allowed Citeh to have more possession and create a few chances. After 8 minutes, Citeh create their first proper chance with a decent, weighted ball into the box by – the until then very quiet and timid – Na$ri towards Zabaleta and Aguero who, however, stand in each others way, resulting in a weak effort on target.

In the 63rd minute, Song produces another of his trademark, fine, lofted balls into the box towards the continuously alert RvP. For once, the yet again very impressive Kompany has not anticipated Song’s ball. Robin shows his top-striker instinct by heading the ball straight towards goal, beating Hart in a flash, but the post is in the way. Once again, Robin is unlucky, and I am starting to feel a bit uneasy; thinking this might be another one of those games against Citeh, where we play well but are just not clinically/lucky enough to win it.

My uneasiness grows further when Baloteli tries an overhead kick from a header into the box by Kompany – luckily he fluffs his attempt – and, soon after that, RvP is, agonizingly but correctly, ruled just offside, after yet another fine passage of attacking midfield play by Song, who found RvP in the box with a weighted pass.

The good thing is that Arsenal are all over Citeh again, and that the Oilers are starting to look tired in the second part of the second half. There is only one team who really want to win this game by now.

In the 76th minute it looked like we would finally, FINALLY get our reward. But yet again, it was not to be, as Citeh survived three attempts on goal in the space of a few seconds. Rosicky passes the ball into the box towards Theo who does not hesitate: he does not take a first touch, but strikes on goal with a low and placed shot towards Hart’s right corner. Hart manages to just get a hand on it, diverting it towards the post where the Belgian Rottweiler is ready to pounce. FFS, would you believe it! Inexplicably he slips, AGAIN, and his fluffed effort ends up with Benayoun who, two yards from goal, also cannot manage a clean contact and Citeh, miraculously, escape once more!

After that, I was convinced we would have to settle for a draw, but then, THEN the moment we had all been waiting for, still came. And it could not have fallen to a better, more deserving person: Mikel Arteta! After vacuum cleaning the ball away from Pizarro, Arteta moves forward, and I am sure we all felt that this was the moment. Arsenal’s Engine Room sees a rare opportunity to have a shot on goal. As soon as he lined up, I felt it would go in. Arteta cleverly uses Lescott’s body to block Hart’s view and unleashes a pile-driver from 25 yards towards Hart’s left corner. The England number one has no chance and at last we have our goal. Simply orgasmic: 1-0 to the good guys!

In the last minute of the game, Ramsey had a great chance to make it 2-0 and he should have done better. It sadly looks like my prediction that Aaron will become a victim of ‘fans fulfilling prophecy’ is coming through. He looks to be low in self-confidence and is starting to believe his critics. Arsene has got some work to do with Aaron over the next few weeks to get his pecker up again.

At the end of the game, Balotelli made sure he got some more attention by making another reckless challenge on Sagna, resulting in a second yellow card, and a sending off.

Conclusion

But, today’s game is not about Balotelli and how he let his team down. It is about a very mature and professional Arsenal TEAM beating a ‘collection of highly overpaid individuals’, supposedly fighting for the title, at a pivotal moment. And in a way, I am happy Balotelli only got send off at the end, as it would have been hard to argue now that an earlier dismissal had not weakened Citeh and therefore did not have a crucial impact on the result.

Instead, we beat them fair and square, 11 against 11, when they HAD to win to stay in contention for the title. There was a lot at stake on Sunday: this game was about putting the Oilers in their place, to show that class is indeed permanent – that it cannot be bought so easily. Beating Citeh is a scalp we badly needed, and it has taken away any remaining doubt that this new Arsenal team has become a force again – one that will be fighting at full strength for the top prizes next season.

Player ratings:

Szczesny: fine, confident performance, remained focussed throughout the game: 8.

Sagna: super warrior as always, worked incredibly hard and did not let himself get provoked by Balotelli once. Supported our front men time and again, and he is a total team player: 8.5.

Vermaelen and Koz: very powerful, energetic performances, bossing their area with ease and composure, great support to our midfield as well. 8.

Gibbs: fine performance, unfortunately had to go off early. 7.5.

Song & Arteta: what a duo today. They are working together better and better and totally bossed the midfield, even before Toure went off. Song has so much to offer: is there a more all-round midfielder in the PL at the moment? Arteta had a great game as well and also showed what a complete midfielder he is for us, and of course he scored the all important goal. For me, they are both Man of the Match today (with Sagna not far away). 9.5.

Rosicky: worked hard and always wants to attack quickly and incisively but does still miss accuracy at times. He did a lot of chasing down opponents and is also a total team player: 8.

Benayoun: a good team performance, he also did a lot of chasing down opponents and supported Gibbs well. 7.5.

Theo: was not given any space by Citeh, as they were well aware of his danger and provided plenty of protection for their LB. He still worked hard to be a constant threat as he stuck to his role well, and he put in a fine team performance too: 8.

Robin van Persie: worked his socks off, always making clever runs and making himself available. Very unlucky not to be on the score sheet today, despite having to combat with one of the finest CB’s in Europe: Kompany. 8.5.

TotalArsenal

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184 Responses to Cash Is So Last Millennium – Class Is So Permanent: Match Report

  1. John says:

    Best team and manager won on the day. If Mancini was so incensed by Balotelli challenge on Song and wants to sell him in the summer, why did not drag him off at half-time. If I was Adam Johnson I would be handing in a transfer request right now. Anyway back on the Arsenal, we still need to spend on players in the summer top strengthen the squad. Dear Arsene

    Back you’re self in transfer market mate and you will win trophies again. Podolski good start but we still need more. Vertonghen and Dempsey playing at the arsenal, yes please, goals, goals and more goals.

  2. chas says:

    Rasp, did you see I sent an updated version?

  3. Rasp says:

    Fantastic match report TA. What a shame the Press are focusing on Balotelli and not the fact that we completely outplayed the millionnaire mercenaries.

    I would argue that Arteta was THE MotM. Song had a fantastic game but he does give the ball away in dangerous positions whereas Arteta is so consistently reliable.

    Those people who voted for Cesc over Arteta in my poll the other day should consider where we would have been if Mikel had been the lynchpin of our midfield these last 5 years – at the least, I think we wouldn’t have seen the late season collapses.

  4. Rasp says:

    Sorry chas, I’m at work and have run out of time. I’ll have a look when I can – thanks.

  5. Gooner In Exile says:

    Morning all, thanks TA for a great reliving of the game yesterday.

    As you say when Arteta was driving forward I felt he would smash it. If anyone watches the goal again you need to watch the guy to the right of the goal in the crowd, he is the first in the North Bank to celebrate he is up before anyone else when the ball is still two yards away, it was one of those perfect strikes once he’d hit it it was only ending up in one place.

  6. chas says:

    Superb match report, TA.
    As you say, wins like this get imprinted on the DNA of the team and also on the stadium, which is finally seeing some wonderful moments of collective joy.

    The poznan celebration, what a waste of money, he plays when he wants are all great examples of the new-found spirit and camaraderie to be found amongst the fans. It’s becoming a real pleasure to be there.

  7. chas says:

    It’s not important, Rasp. Are you on double time? :)

  8. Rasp says:

    No chas :( never had double time in my life…

    I’ve changed the pic now any way ta.

  9. ros says:

    when Arsene got Arteta i thought thats a great addition been one of my favourite players for years.Arteta,Wilshere and Song next season and Rosicky,Ramsey as back up Awsome

  10. Rasp says:

    Have you read the report that we will be selling Mertseacker in the summer and bringing in Vertongen? It would be very unArsenal, but would show a new more ruthless approach to transfers and that would be a good thing IMO.

  11. ros says:

    and le coq of course

  12. Gooner In Exile says:

    Chas so true.

    Just spoke to Exile Seniors, they didn’t join the Poznan :( but Dad said my Mum embarrassed him by being first on her feet with the “off off off” at the end. :)

  13. Rasp says:

    Spot on Ros. If you have a player like Arteta keeping the defensive side of the midfield together, it releases the creative players to do what they do best.

  14. chas says:

    GIE,
    I did the Poznan in the Upper Tier.

    I’m sure I can hear your Mum on this.

  15. Gooner In Exile says:

    Rasp I think we should avoid such rumours. Last summer we all beat ourselves up over potential signings and incoming/outgoings so much that it affected how we reacted to the actual business done, we didn’t get any of the players rumoured…Cahill, Mata, Hazard, Samba etc but we did eventually do some very good business that we can now see evidence for.

    Take Santos a player widely criticised as unknown and untested but he has unbelievable feet and composure for a left back and a remarkable tackle whilst standing.

    I actually feel that with our current squad we can rotate the squad around a very good spine of Szczesny, Koscielny, Song and RvP. If you say the rest of the first eleven for big games is Sagna, Vernaelen, Gibbs, Arteta, Wilshere, Theo, Gervinho. You can see how using Podolski, TR7, Rambo, Jenkinson, Santos, Ox, BFG, Coquelin, Frimpong in rotation with the first eleven will put us in very good stead going forward.

  16. Gooner In Exile says:
  17. Rasp says:

    GiE,

    I’ve never believed for one minute that we will stump up the money for Goetze or Hazzard – we don’t shop at that level. A reliable source (an AA regular) told me on good authority yesterday that the paperwork has been drawn up and Podolski will be joining us. Irrespective of whether Mertesacker is sold, I’d give the Vertongen transfer a 50% chance of succes at this stage.

    We should not get sidetracked by such matters as we must focus on winning every available point this season.

    Someone has told me that kozzer misses the next 2 games after getting a yellow yesterday – can anyone confirm/deny?

  18. Gooner In Exile says:

    That is one of the funniest comebacks I’ve heard.

  19. VCC says:

    Great report Total.
    Loved “simply orgasmic: 1-0 to the good guys.

    Song and Arteta were superb.

    I,d also give a special mention to Sagna.

    Total domination IMO.

    I think I am turning gay, Kelsey is so handsome.

  20. Gooner In Exile says:

    True Rasp that was his tenth yellow and misses Wolves and maybe Wigan. Which is a shame as I wanted to Dance with Koscielny for the Wigan game. But as Rocky pointed out he was clever as he is well rested before facing Drog

  21. Gooner In Exile says:

    VCC if Kelsey is handsome Arteta must be a demi god….so much so I want his babies. :)

  22. Gooner In Exile says:

    Someone pointed out on Twitter yesterday that Arteta looks a bit like Superman.

  23. Ado Idriss says:

    Gooners for ever. Whenever arsernal lost a point i usually spent the day without eating.

  24. VCC says:

    GIE…….You want Arteta,s babies……….Well you will have to let him be on top, as I have heard you are a little on the large size. We wouldn’t, want him squashed now would we. Lmfao.

  25. Gooner In Exile says:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/football

    Check the second most viewed article in last 24 hours :D

    Schadenfreude?

  26. Gooner In Exile says:

    :) VCC who spread such scurrilous (but true) rumours, I’d look after him. :D

  27. Gooner In Exile says:

    Ado that’s an interesting diet regime :)

  28. kelsey says:

    Great write up TA,

    As I said last night it would be nice if the media gave us more credit instead of concentrating on the misfits at City.

    Song and Sagna and Arteata were my joint man of the match,, for different reasons. one forgets sometimes that Song is still comparitively young.

    I have heard mixed reports about Gibbs, that he was injured or that the boss wanted to change things and bring on Santos for only his 4th PL game. Great going forward but needs to learn to defend better though his very first challenge was well timed.

    How can we play like this as compared to last week.?

    Shooting is the name of the game and slowly we are learning that, to give us a different option of intricate triangular passes.

    Anyway a great team performance and one of the days to live long in the memory.

  29. chas says:

    Haha, Ido. Heaven knows what you do when we lose three points.
    Perhaps a big feast is in order today :)

  30. chas says:

    Gibbs definitely looked like he took a knock early in the second half.

  31. VCC says:

    GIE …..The whole Tavern Gang I,m afraid.

  32. chas says:

    Apologies, Ado, not Ido.

  33. Gooner In Exile says:

    Oh no denying it then :)

  34. chas says:

    Is it a bird? Is it a plane? ……

  35. dandan says:

    Great write up TA. for an exciting game it had all the hall marks of a damn ball just wouldnt go in match.
    Funny; as that goal went in from outside the area, my immeadiate thought was “now that will make Rasp Happy”. :-)

  36. Gooner In Exile says:

    Arteta says Tottenham just like Ossie used to, makes the Spuds sound so tiny somehow :D

  37. dandan says:

    Evonne: Kelsey wrote this last week.

    Mirror, mirror on the wall
    Do you have to tell it all?
    Where do you get the glaring right
    To make my clothes look too darn tight?
    I think I’m fine but I can see
    You won’t cooperate with me,
    The way you let the shadows play
    You’d think my hair was getting gray.
    What’s that, you say? A double chin?
    No, that’s the way the light comes in,
    If you persist in peering so
    You’ll confiscate my facial glow,
    And then if you’re not hanging straight
    You’ll tell me next I’m gaining weight,
    I’m really quite upset with you
    For giving this distorted view;
    I hate you being smug and wise
    O, look what’s happened to my thighs!
    I warn you now, O mirrored wall,
    Since we’re not on speaking terms at all,
    If I look like this in my new jeans
    You’ll find yourself in smithereens!!

  38. goonermichael says:

    Great write up TA. I think we are at least as good as the mancs. I’m sure we’ll be fighting for the title next season. My only worry is Robin leaving. I personally think he’ll stay though. I think maureen will take over at shitty so I think it wil be a 3 way fight. I think the mancs will struggle in Europe again unless they make some good buys. I also think that nice man nasri will be loaned out.

  39. goonermichael says:

    dandan that’s very clever and funny. How’s you wife?

  40. Gooner In Exile says:

    I think ifwe can win 4 of our final 6 RvP will feel sure we can go on to better things next season. Winning 12 from 15 is Champions form.

    I am bemused how City fans are blaming there run in on I juries yet gloating about 10 points ahead still, we’d have those 10 points if we had a few less injuries.

  41. Red Arse says:

    First class write up TA! :-)

    Rasper, whenever I hear from you nowadays you claim to be on the job and not paying double either!! :-) Kozzer reached 10 yellow cards before the cut off and will miss two games — as I understand them there rules.

    Kelsey, the bossman, aka the afore-mentioned Rasper, said “A reliable source (an AA regular) told me on good authority yesterday that the paperwork has been drawn up and Podolski will be joining us.” Do you have a competitor? or just someone repeating what you told us last week? :-)

    Dandan, if Kelsey wrote that little ditty, he is indeed a man of many parts, (and just a little vainglorious — sounds a bit like Jordan). :-)

  42. VCC says:

    Can,t remember who posted it but several days ago there was a post asking peoples pridictions.

    Everton
    Villa
    QPR
    City.

    My predictions were 10 points.
    Actual points.

    How is everybody else doing?

  43. goonermichael says:

    I think city rely on kompany more than we rely on Robin. Silva lost form too and that really cost them (plus the refs aiding the mancs)

  44. VCC says:

    Actual points =9

  45. Yusuf Abdulkadir Zarewa.Kano State Nig. says:

    Wan’s again Arteta give us wening goal again.Thank to him and hole team, but with out ramsy because he refuse to pass bool to our goal machine Rvp to camplete it 2-0

  46. goonermichael says:

    I said 13 VCC

  47. Yusuf Abdulkadir Zarewa.Kano State Nig. says:

    Wan’s again Arteta give us wening goal again.Thank to him and hole team, but with out ramsy because he refuse to pass bool to our goal machine Rvp to camplete it 2-0. Up Arsenal

  48. Yes i agree class is permanent and we are better than city,and we show our ex players we are still strong enough.

  49. VCC says:

    Gm. ….out of four games getting 13 points is pretty amazing…..even the invincible could not do that.

  50. slimgingergooner says:

    Im not sure why people think that Kozzer was clever by getting booked yday? If he had kept himself out of the refs book then his 9 yellow cards wouldve been wiped off and he would be available for all remaining games.

    Just saying!

    Also, how good was Rosicky yday and in the last few months? He has found a yard of pace that i thought was gone and looks back to his Dortmund best. Lets hope he stays fit and becomes an important first team player just like RVP has with a long injury-free run.

  51. goonermichael says:

    Diaby next ginger

  52. goonermichael says:

    Bit off topic but my wife is watching funny girl. The hair looks so wrong for the period it’s set in.

  53. goonermichael says:
  54. Gooner In Exile says:

    GM That’s superb!

  55. kelsey says:

    RA,

    I am not Rasp’s source.

    Dempsey on offer for 10 million is headlined today.

    .Last week I mentioned we were in for him, but he doesn’t want to come, his wife wears the trousers in his household (as they do in many)

  56. goonermichael says:
  57. goonermichael says:
  58. LB says:

    His wife doesn’t want to come?

    What, up sticks and move from West to North London?

    Poor dear, it would be so tramatic for the children!

    I think you may well be able to say with confidence that you had the scoop on this one first Kelsey.

    I remember reading your comment Kelsey, it is making more and more sense.

  59. goonermichael says:

    The indignity of folding at Arsenal, a club he has continually raided like a pick ’n’ mix counter, will be lost on nobody.

    This is why I can’t stand these guttersnipes. They always twist the truth which create myths that evntually become seen as true. He hasn’t got the decency to respond to my last comment. He leaves it at trying to make me look stupid. I’ll hold back from calling him a you know what.

  60. goonermichael says:

    LB
    Maybe she doesn’t want him to be a smaller fish in a bigger pond. He wouldn’t have to move.

  61. robbinURpersie says:

    he could just get on his bicycle and pop past the salon for a haircut before training ;-)

  62. dannyboy says:

    Samir Nasri says Manchester City have higher standards than Arsenal

    • ‘Now I’m at a team that I can feel can win trophies’
    • There are telling signs that Arsenal are in decline

    source the guardian Aug2011

    not this year Na$ri you are three month pony

  63. RockyLives says:

    Terrific report as always TA.

    We were really good yesterday and probably deserved to win by more.

    Perhaps most pleasing was how well we kept our heads and kept focussed during the 20 mins or so when they were getting back into the game. Zero shots on target for the most expensively assembled team in British footballing history tells its own story.

    I hadn’t realised Kozzer would have had his yellow card slate wiped clean for the rest of the season if he’d avoided a booking yesterday. It’s a shame, but Djourou will do fine.

    I would be surprised if the rumours are true that we’re going to sell Mertesacker. He is a quality defender and strikes me as very much an Arsene Wenger player (technically excellent, good on the ball, intelligent).

    I haven’t seen enough of Vertonghen. Is he really amazing?

  64. RockyLives says:

    Couple of “special mentions”:

    1) Szczesny. He didn’t have a lot to do, but that one moment when he anticipated the long ball over the top to Balotelli and was out of his box like a whippet may well have been a goal-saving moment. Balotelli would have been through one-on-one and you would have fancied him to put it away. Chezzer’s tip over from the looping header was not half bad either.

    2) Benny the Goon. The likes of TR7, Song and Arteta have rightly garnered most of the plaudits, but Yossi put in an excellent shift as he always does for us. He gave the side balance and edge. Well played Yossi. (Incidentally, I think people are being a bit hard on him for missing the ‘open goal’. He must have thought TV was going to tap it in, instead Tommy miscued it and it arrived unexpectedly at Benny at thigh height, which is a really awkward height to receive the ball. He managed to get it on target but Lescott was in the way).

    3) Sagna, for not losing his head despite the constant assaults from Balotelli. The idiotic co-commentator at one point said Bacary was “losing the physical battle” with Balotelli. For my money Bac was winning it hands down, which is why the Italian had to resort to chopping him down all the time. Bac’s legs will be covered with bruises today, but he never once fell into the trap of retaliating and risking a yellow/red.

  65. robbinURpersie says:

    how are we all,

    looking forward to some canary magic please!

    Total,
    Great match report mate..i never ever expected to have so many highs in a transitional year, and if you take away our January slump (which includes key injuries)…well…need we say more

    GM,
    how was it for you yesterday?…the game not the hot dog!
    That ‘stadium doing the Poznan’ is pure gold..classic and very clever..makes you wish you thought of it yourself :-)

    Chas, GiE,

    Nice pic..i love it, and thanks for taking the time to retrieve it and make the neccessary adjustments…1-0 to the Arsenal will never get old :-)

    In regards to the Mertesacker rumours, i find it utter tripe..especially when its being said that prince poldi is as good as a done deal..i expect them to share a bunk bed together :-)

    if it was rumoured that it was the squid, bartley or djourou than i could stomache it but for me, the BFG will be a key element along with Arteta and the usual suspects in giving the C/L a real shake up

  66. dandan says:

    Rasp there is one in drafts if you want it.

  67. robbinURpersie says:

    Rocky,

    De Boer (ajax coach) rates him higher than Vermaelen..

    i think he has alot to offer the squad, especially with his versatillity..
    he can play along the backline and even as a holding midfielder which wouldnt be a bad thing considering the ACN’s..and he attacks the ball as well as TV5

    who knows, id like him in our squad for a decent price and to me he looks like a wenger signing as does Mert (suprised with that rumour)

    the only reason i can see Mert leaving us with no excuse given would be something to do with his injury and the same problems he had before joining us..maybe its written in his contract that if his ankle causes problems or plays up he can start looking for a new home..still i dont believe it..Hes a Gooner through and through and Arsene knows it..

  68. oz gunner says:

    typical gold standard match report TA.

    Still buzzing about the win, everyone played so well.
    Sagna has to be the best right back in the world, not only in his play but he makes Walcott look 10x better as he is always there to give an option.

    This team is something else, chuck in a pod, and a fit wilshere and we are laughing all the way to the trophy cabinet!

  69. SharkeySure says:

    Frankly, we are truly blessed to have you on this site TA.

    Wot a game yesterday, Song, Arteta, Sagna, Koz, Verm…..all proper proper warriors, ably supported by first class troops everywhere !!!

  70. RockyLives says:

    Norwich winning 1-0 v Spuds :)

  71. kelsey says:

    NORWICH SCORE :) :) :)

  72. robbinURpersie says:

    spudz 0-norwich 1 (14min)

  73. robbinURpersie says:

    Kelsey,

    are you expecting a comfortable win for Malaga?

  74. kelsey says:

    Never know with Malaga but I think they will win, robbin.

  75. Arsenalista says:

    TA – I see you focus on certain partnership Kocielny and Vermealen, Song and Arteta.

    Sagna and Walcott I would add to that too. How
    Much better is Theo now he isn’t getting every ball at 50mph at neck height. The amount of times him Sagna worked the full back on the right side and got a cross in was superb.

    Sign of a good side when partnerships start to build.

    On that article in the Mirror I would say two things. One I don’t think Mertesacker is going anywhere. LK6 and TV5 are staying and Djourou has signed a two year extension plus he is a Home Grown player, so I’m inclined to think that as much as I would like Jan Vertonghen, I don’t think it’s viable.

    He is quoted as saying Vermealen arranged a box for him when he came over for the Milan game. I think the press have Sussex that the player wants the move and that Arsenals vice captain wants the move and they are trying to peice together how it might happen.

    I think Wenger will stick with what he has. I would say though that Vertonghen is going somewhere and having watched him a lot I would be dissapointed if he turned up at one of our rival for the premiership.

    Top player but I don’t think we can a comparator the number unless someone leaves.

  76. RockyLives says:

    Good points ‘lista.

    I actually read some criticism of Theo on another site, but I thought he had a fine game. The critic was moaning that Sagna was putting in the crosses that Theo should have putting in.

    He (the critic) hadn’t stopped to consider why it was that Bac had so much space to play in…

  77. Gooner In Exile says:

    On our centre backs we have four senior of which 3 can arguably be first choice, then we have Miquel and I assume Bartley back. We are covered.

  78. RockyLives says:

    Jammy Spuds
    Red ignores a really strong penalty shout for Norwich, Spuds go down other end and score. 1-1.

  79. RockyLives says:

    *ref ignores

  80. RockyLives says:

    Canaries are making chances.

  81. kelsey says:

    I agree with all of that RL. King is absolutely awful.I would take a draw now.

  82. goonermichael says:

    Why is the ref getting the scum game after such a bad decision in the manc game? why doesn’t that little shit ashley young get a ban for diving?

  83. RockyLives says:

    Draw would be excellent Kelsey, but there’s a long way to go.

  84. RockyLives says:

    GM
    Untold Arsenal is very good on the whole ref thing.

    They have a simple proposal: there are 19 ‘elite’ refs. So each ref should only officiate twice a season for each team.

    At the moment the refs are allocated entirely at the whim of Mike Riley and the PGMOL. There is no transparency about how certain refs get certain games.

    It should be a random allocation, instead it’s all done by horse trading behind closed doors. So when Ferguson complains about Marriner, Marriner doesn’t get another Manure game for a whole year.

    The current system stinks.

  85. goonermichael says:

    Atkinson didn’t get a manc one for over a year after the chav game last season. I read an interview with Winter (can’t remember, geoff maybe) he said in his first manu match he sent off keane and didn’t get another one for 2 years.

  86. RockyLives says:

    Bloody hell – another really strong pen shout for Norwich – again ignored by the ref.

  87. RockyLives says:

    You’re right GM – it was Atkinson, not Marriner.

  88. Gooner In Exile says:

    BEEEENNNNNNNEEEEETTTTTTTTT!

    2-1 Norwich

  89. robbinURpersie says:

    yeah baby

  90. RockyLives says:

    2-1 Norwich!!!!
    Beauty

  91. robbinURpersie says:

    ben arfas goal just then was magic, messi-esque..theyre gonna take spuds and play CL football..hahah can you imagine toon v real madrid..

    spuds can play poznan in europa next season ;-)

  92. goonermichael says:

    It is so obviously corrupt. here and in Europe. I don’t mean money in envelopes or betting scandals but a bias towards certain clubs by officials and associations.

  93. LB says:

    Rocky

    @4.12

    I had no idea the whole ref thing was so dodgy.

    Clever proposal from Untold.

  94. goonermichael says:

    Even if the scum equalise It’s still all good. I hope Everton knock the bindippers out of the cup.

  95. robbinURpersie says:

    dont be suprised if chel$ki pull out a fluke result against Farca..
    abramovic’s envelope might be a little fatter than sandro rossell’s..

  96. evonne says:

    Robbin @4:33 – says who? no, they cannot, we don’t want the scum in Poznan

    Dandan – fantastic, thank you. That’s just like my mirror :) I bought a huge ornate mirror about 10 years ago. Everybody hated it, except for Peaches’ daughter. She came in, looked at it and said ‘That’s a mirror for a princess’ and she smiled :) She’s of course the princess. I smile every time I see her looking at this mirror

  97. goonermichael says:

    HOHOHO spuds have lost at home. arry for england

  98. robbinURpersie says:

    can you hear the cows moooo, i mean spuds boooo

  99. Gooner In Exile says:

    Booos ring out on 90 minutes at WHL :D

  100. RockyLives says:

    Spuds revival my arse:

    Draw with Stoke, draw with Chavs, beat Swansea, draw with Sunderland, lose to Norwich.
    :)

  101. robbinURpersie says:

    Easier run in did they say?

    Nothing in life is easy, its not like you can go loot a result..

  102. LB says:

    Hahahahahahaah

    spuds in the CL purlease

  103. evonne says:

    Rocky @4:24 – OMG, I am so stupid, I looked at the results and thought it was 2:1 to Spurs, Rocky, you just made my day, thank you!!

    GM – I didn’t know how refs are chosen, but I cannot say I’m surprised. I am sure some of them are bent. BTW, the one that made you sick on Sat is suspended following 2 shocking decisions. AND big thank you for Theo, lovely picture. I’m looking for a bright red laquered frame, will look fantastic just below Cesc’s picture

  104. robbinURpersie says:

    Evonne,

    if playing Poznan means europa league for spuds than i really really dont mind, in fact it would be a great site to see them celebrate a win at home to the spuds

  105. goonermichael says:

    That’s a linesman evonne. You’re welcome and I’m glad you like it!

    Oh when the wheels come falling off
    Oh when the wheels come falling off

  106. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    hahahaha, can this Easter break get any better?

    Great post TA, oozing class, just like Arsenal Football Club.

    Ime so happy, i intend to jump on Mrs Terry……and with excitment levels this high, i should be back in a record breaking 2 minutes. hahahahaha

  107. goonermichael says:

    Someone on twitter just said we play 3 games before the spuds play again

  108. goonermichael says:

    arry is getting slaughtered by his own fans on twitter.

  109. Rob Lucci says:

    Spurs? kehkehkeh…

    Kudos to Norwich, the ref is shit, but they still fought for a win. Even when they were leading, they still attack like mad and there were no time wasting or dirty challenge from them.

    They should have had two penalties today.

    Shift power in London? They can’t even win with referee on their side..

  110. goonermichael says:
  111. Red Arse says:

    GM,

    We play Wolves on Wednesday; Wigan on the 16th; then on the 21st we play Chelsea and the Spuds play QPR, so not quite 3 games, unless we play lunchtime before the Spuds on the 21st.

    A votre service, monsieur! :-)

  112. evonne says:

    Total – thank you for the match report, bit short coming from you, but still excellent :) And you are so right in saying ‘ I am happy Balotelli only got send off at the end’. Absolutely agree, they have no excuse, we won fair and square

  113. RockyLives says:

    GM
    That’s true – we have three more EPL games before their next game. They could go into their next league game 11 points behind us :)

    (Which would be a 23 point turnaround, given that we were 12 points behind them at the end of January).

  114. RockyLives says:

    Redders
    We do play at lunch time on the 21st.

  115. goonermichael says:
  116. kelsey says:

    Out of interest Terry, what did Mrs TMHT do in the first few weeks of the season ;) hahaha

  117. goonermichael says:
  118. Stig the Gooner says:

    Hi guys, I`m just back from White Hart Pain, I was providing the pre-match entertainment. I started with an exhibition of the little known Paralympic event of Blind Javelin throwing, the look of horror on the spuds faces was a picture, only beaten by the look of horror @ 4:55pm.
    The main event was my Dwarf 7 a-side gooner team taking on their spud counterparts, two 7 min halfs , we won 7-0, Anders Loompa ( he`s like Walcott, effing fast, 3ft 9in, 100M in 30 secs ) got 4 and 3 from Arshavin, as you can imagine I`m feeling Happy ( dont tell the others though , especially Grumpy ).

  119. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    I think she was at her happiest at that time Kelsey……no idea why? hahahahaha

    As for Totnumb, there decline is no surprise. They are a decent side, nothing more. This season we will finnish above them….next season we will kill them.

  120. RockyLives says:

    From the Spuds blogs:

    Smog Says:
    April 9th, 2012 at 4:03 pm
    I will despise Redknapp until the day I die for pissing the one opportunity this club had to do something in two decades straight up the wall.
    We will finish 6th and trophyless, and that is a complete fu*king disgrace with the personnel at his disposal.
    If he had any diginity he’d resign, but he doesnt. He’s just a massive self publicist who looks out for himself and nobody else.
    Redknapp – FACK OFF AND TAKE YOUR WEST HAM BARROW BOYS WITH YOU

    swampspur Says:
    April 9th, 2012 at 4:24 pm
    It was the match against Arsenal that did it. Confidence was lost. Belief was lost. It’s got bugger all to do with Redknapp’s tactics. From the moment the Arse pulled it back to 2-1 down the crucial seed of doubt was sown. The swagger was never to return. Yet another season of disappointment. Sod the FA cup.
    …NEXT!

    Super spur April 9, 2012 at 5:45 pm
    It’s about time we faced facts. Arsenal are miles ahead of us, better ground, manager and bottle. Can’t believe this has happened.

    The poor dears :D :D :D

  121. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi guys, just arrived in Cornwall, driving 8 hours through nothing but rain. Thanks for all the comments.

  122. TotalArsenal says:

    Come on Fulham!

  123. Norfolk Gooner says:

    Well done the Canaries, Stuffed the scraggy chicken.

  124. Stig the Gooner says:

    Guys,
    Fact : Harry is a gooner deep down.
    Fact : Whilst harry was entertaining the Tax man, Rosie the Mutt was taking training in the swamplands.
    Fact: It was all part of his cunning plan to take the spuds down, he led them into a false sense of security.
    Lets hear for Harry !

  125. RockyLives says:

    Before we get too carried away… We don’t want another ‘QPR’ in our remaining games…

  126. evonne says:

    Rocky @ 6pm – you made it all up, come on, admit it

  127. robbinURpersie says:

    thats right Rocky,

    its only a break if you consolidate your serve..

    wrong game, i know, but you get what i mean..

  128. LB says:

    The shaggy chickens……..now that could catch on.

  129. RockyLives says:

    Haha Evonne – go hunting, you’ll find ‘em.

    Try ‘Harry Hotspur’ and ‘Triffic T*ttenham’.

  130. Makumyx says:

    Phewx! Great read. Didn’t think EPL ref games stink this much. What are we in? Cricket Corruption creeping in? How will history judge these match fixings *or unfixings*? And what will happen to manure when sir Alex goes?

  131. RockyLives says:

    Makumyx
    I reckon the ManUre Board of Directors will be cacking themselves about life after Fergie.

    No matter what you think about the purple-conked Gorbalian, he has an unequalled record of success and, as this season shows, he is able to get the very best out of a limited squad (except in Europe).

  132. Red Arse says:

    TA,

    Are you in search of the award winning personage? :-)

    Rocky,

    What or who is the purple-cocked Gorbalian? :-)

  133. evonne says:

    Rocky – I don’t like fans turning on a manager like that. Six months ago he was god, now they hate him? Very, very sick. And how can they blame him, he didn’t let them down. Do you think he took the foot off the pedal becasue of his eminent appointment?

  134. RockyLives says:

    evonne
    for some of our fans it’s the other way round – six months ago they hated him, now he’s becoming a god again. Aren’t you glad you kept the faith?

    Redders :)
    I’m not sure, but it probably involves our absent friend GLIC.

  135. LB says:

    Evonne

    You are talking about totnum?

  136. evonne says:

    LB – I am, ok, I know, I am off to wash my mouth :)

    Fat Frank strikes again, stupid ex Spud’s fault of course

  137. evonne says:

    Rocky – ‘aren’t you glad you kept the faith?’ – as if I had any choice in the matter, psssshhhh…

  138. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Now the dust has settled from yesterdays game, i would like to contrast 2 men…Arsene Wenger and Roberto Mancini.

    Arsene is a great manager, he has methods that i do not fully understand at times, to put it simply, i am in awe of his greatness.

    Roberto Mancini is a Ponce who does not know how to manage. he had a suger daddy at Inter, and now has one at City.

    Managing people is paramount in large organisations. Contrast Arsenes handling of difficult players over the years to that of Ponce Mancinis handling of Tevez and Ballotelli. On both occasions, he came out with emotional outbursts to the press on how both players are finnished……despite been a bit drunk ime sure i saw Tevez play yesterday.

    What does Mancinis oubursts do for team morale, harmony, and future direction at City. The stark reality is that City are 2nd, despite Mancini, not because of him. the man is a charlaton…..or to put it another way, he is a Ponce.

    It upsets me greatly when in the past people have had unfair digs at Arsene. I could write a book on how fortunate we are to have him, but rather than do that i ask fans to ask themselves this. If City, the richest club in the world, feel that the best they can do is Poncini, then how vaulable is Arsene Wenger?

  139. chas says:

    I enjoyed Dempsey’s goal. :)

  140. LB says:

    Very well said TM

    For a laugh have a look at the league table, Newcastle are above Chelsea.

  141. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Thanks for the Vid Chas. I was getting strangly, and worryingly excited watching that….but then Martin Keown pops up and thankfuly sobers me up. hahahaha

  142. neamman says:

    It would be great if we finish 3rd and the Toon 4th!

  143. Gooner In Exile says:

    Do people really want Arry to be England manager? Post match interview:

    “I tried something different today 4-4-2 but it didn’t work.”

    Fair enough he has admitted his mistake…..second line……

    “thing is we haven’t got players for it and ended up being 4-2-4 our wide men don’t know how to drop in”

    Starting to worry Arry you picked the team……third line

    ” you know people tell me we are better in 4-4-2 but I don’t think so”

    Erm….what? Who did you listen to? Fans, pundits, tabloids?

    Can you imagine Wenger ever picking a side on someone else’s say so? But it proves why the tabloids want him in charge for England, they will have a manager they can sway with their writing to pick whoever is their flavour of the month.

    Well played Norwich.

  144. Gooner In Exile says:

    Neamann that might be about perfect.

  145. Gooner In Exile says:

    This from a Spud on one of their sites:

    “Look to bring in either the norwich or swansea managers. they are used to coaching average players. spuds have plenty of average players. at least swansea and norwich put in the effort. Harry was celebrating qpr’s goal. I wonder if AW was jumping up and down earlier today? nah probably not, he’s got more class.”

  146. 26may1989 says:

    That is just about the perfect footballing weekend for us. After our superb win yesterday, it was laugh out loud funny to hear that Spurs contrived to lose at home to Naaa-rich (and were outplayed). And then to see the second half of Chelsea’s game at Craven Cottage, with Fulham deserving at least a point, before seeing MOTD highlights of the Geordies winning to go level with Spurs and above the Chavs just capped it off.

    Of course, if we don’t pile on the misery for Wolves tomorrow by becoming the 12th away team to win at Molyneux this season, I’ll feel deflated, but right now, just bleedin’ perfect.

  147. 26may1989 says:

    Lovely write-up of yesterday’s game Total. We murdered them in terms of possession, chances and desire. The heroes of the day were for me the four centre backs – each one of them played excellently, and we saw the meeting of the PL’s two outstanding defenders of the season, Laurent Koscielny and Vincent Kompany. Disloyal it might be to say it, but for me Kompany was MOTM, he was superb and a hair’s breadth better than TV and Kos. His problem was the failure of all the players in front of him to play at the same level.

    That’s not to take anything away from Arteta: as Exile’s typically insightful stats demonstrate, Arteta was impeccable yesterday, and producing that shot to grab us the three points we deserved was fantastic. Are there still Everton fans out there who say Arteta’s best days have already passed?

    If I have one criticism of yesterday, it’s to say that City were so woeful and we were so dominant we should have been in front earlier.

    As for City, I take huge satisfaction in seeing them choking. They have talent in the squad (not as much as they seem to think though) but their complete lack of spirit, hunger, unity or determination makes them deserving of nothing. Most of their players also refused to go and acknowledge their own fans at the end of the game. No class, pure and simple.

    And as for the piss-taking Poznan, bloody loved it!!!

    Onwards and upwards, let’s get this third place sorted and then drive onto next season.

  148. 26may1989 says:

    Terrible weekend for refereeing performances: two offside Chelsea goals vs Wigan, an incorrect penalty for Chelsea vs Fulham, a good penalty not given to Chelsea and a booking given to Meireles when he didn’t even come close to touching Riise in the same game, a penalty given to United despite offside and clear dive, two clear penalties not given to Norwich today, an offside goal given to Newcastle and two clear penalties not given to Villa.

    And that’s without mentioning Martin Atkinson’s ropy performance in our game.

  149. Gooner In Exile says:

    So quick maths/table check we can drop 5 points in our next seven games and still finish 3rd, that’s not a bad place to be right now..so we can afford one loss and a draw basically.

  150. 26may1989 says:

    And without counting any chickens (or dead cockerels come to that), if we and Spurs win all the coming fixtures, St Tott’s Day would fall on 5 May.

    Now, let’s see if we can live up to that….

  151. Gooner In Exile says:

    Oh and we are two wins and two draws away from surpassing last years total. Not bad for a club in crisis.

  152. 26may1989 says:

    I know it’s not going to happen, but I really would love it if City went into complete meltdown now and we somehow managed to make up the ten point difference before the end of the season. Not sure what Na$ri would say then.

  153. jnyc says:

    Rating for theo a lil generous. He showed a lack of skill mostly, but i am happy with his shot on goal, calm and well placed. Please teach that to ramsey. Im not giving up on rambo yet, i will keep saying, let him give a rest to arteta on occasion, and i like him as a super sub, especially when we have a lead, or need posession

  154. RockyLives says:

    Good comment jnyc
    Rambo will come good.

  155. 26may1989 says:

    Tommy Vermaelen says we need to show consistency to challenge for the title. He’s right of course, but we’re showing much of that already: in the 27 games since the defeat at Blackburn, which marked the end of our disastrous opening to the season, we’ve collected 57 points out of 81. In comparison, United have 64, City 58, Spurs 50, Newcastle 50, Chelsea 44 and Liverpool 36.

    Still room for improvement but plenty to give us hope and confidence.

  156. Rob Lucci says:

    Impressive stat 26..
    If we didn’t lose all fullbacks for four months at the same time, I believe the points will be much higher. Not to mention that the team still building the understanding and chemistry with each other at the same time..

    How the hell Arsene managed that?

    Red nose have referee on his side,
    Mancini is a ponce,
    Harry Redknapp can’t even count,

    Arsene? That’s what you called genius..

  157. chas says:

    Scarily close to the away bench.

  158. Gooner In Exile says:

    Well said Rob.

    The reason our haul has been so impressive since that game is the absence of yellow on that points tally widget. We found a way to win games this year, ones that were heading for draws became wins, we might end up losing more games but still have a higher points tally.

    Some have suggested that our recent form is due to playing without pressure and only on one front. This may be true I on the other hand think its about finding team spirit.

  159. evonne says:

    Balottelli might still face a violent conduct charge. Good, Song was lucky to escape unscathed

    In Wenger we rust :)

  160. kelsey says:

    Morning all.

    Well the results yesterday had a twist once again(Well done Clint).I see the Wolves games as just as difficult as the City game was meant to be, obviously for different reasons.
    .A win gives us breathing space and even a draw wouldn’t be a disaster, and
    Stoke away are the 2 most difficult games for me.The other 4 are all definite winable games..

  161. Gooner In Exile says:

    :D Evonne.

    I was just remembering that random blogger who last season said that he would go and support City until we started spending money…..maybe he is a United fan now?

    Shaggy Chickens are coming home to roost for Spud fans who have realised Arry has taken them to their and his ceiling. He might be able to motivate his team to play beyond themselves but that’s about as far as it goes. Remember all those who said Spurs had a better squad than us? They brought on Ryan Nelsen for the injured Kaboul, hardly deep is it? Actually I hope Kaboul is on a Mia conduct charge too for that petulant kick out at Holt. Haven’t seen the media make much of that.

  162. kelsey says:

    Evonne,

    Balotelli has issues within himself which are sometimes reflected on the football field.I read an article about him as a young black Italian growing up .

    I am pretty sure his days are umbered at City but I honestly can’t see any profile club or other really wanting him. he carries a lot of baggage and most probably needs psychiatric guidance.

  163. evonne says:

    Morning handsome
    It was that witch Peaches again, she shouted ‘C’m on Fulham’, and Dempsey headed the ball, unbelievable

    Don’t get me wrong, i am delighted watching the team and the EPL table, but cannot help thinking that had we had a better start, we could have won the league. We are definitely the best team. Sadly the worst ManU for years will take it

  164. Gooner In Exile says:

    Kelsey i’d be happy with a draw away at Stoke, horrible place to play football. How I would enjoy seeing the relegated.

    We should murder Wolves but I think Arsene may rest a couple of players, having said that it’s 5 days til the next game so maybe he won’t. Wolves have little left to play for.

  165. ozgunner says:

    Morning all.great comments GiE and 26.
    While I agree kompany played well the goal def gives arteta the nod for motm.its funny how man city’s best player cost them a measly 6million,yet the rest have cost an arm and a leg.yet another point proving money cant buy you class.

    Micky we could be out of a job this summer, it appears the team doesnt need us to scout more players as it is already choc full of brilliance.we could always apply over at spurs,they are talentless and we could destroy them from within

  166. evonne says:

    I strongly dislike di Matteo, his face is all wrong
    I like Defoe, he’s such a good finisher
    Ben Arfa’s goal was increadible

  167. kelsey says:

    GIE,
    I despise Stoke as much as any team.can’t stand to watch them,nevertheless they aren’t at their bestbut will still be a hard team to beat.

    They hate us as for two consecutive years we beat them in the semi final of the cup after replays in the first can’t remember the second.We were 2-0 down with twenty minutes left, Banks was their keeper and Storey scored two late goals, one a penalty.i was there and at the replay at Villa.
    They still have never won the FA Cup

  168. Gooner In Exile says:

    That’s alright Evonne, next season I fancy us to make a real title push, if we finish 3rd this season it will be a huge achievement considering the start, the injuries, the media feeding frenzy, the “fan” backlash. Through all that the players, the management, the coaches and the board stayed strong and united and now we are seeing what that has achieved.

  169. evonne says:

    GiE – yep, ‘the players, the management, the coaches and the board’, but not all of the fans. I hope those that shouted for Wenger’s head feel bad, REALLY bad

    I don’t care if we never win another trophy, for as long as we play like we did on Sunday.

  170. Gooner In Exile says:

    Kelsey funny you mention that I went up for the FA cup game a couple of seasons back ( we lost 3-1 from memory), but a couple of stewards were talking whilst directing fans and they said “we owe you today” so as you say they still bear that grudge.

    I have seen the videos of that semi final and Storeys penalty against Banks (wasn’t that the 1970-71 season) from memory of the video footage Banks had a bit of a blinder that day, I rate that Storey penalty highly because I rate Banks so highly, would have taken a lot of balls to score against the best keeper in the world.

  171. evonne says:

    GiE – your job next season is to get your parents going to all the games, away too

    This is horrible:
    http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-BOpo60BMoXM/T2IRaPcibXI/AAAAAAAAEuI/-7i0UyO84kE/s1600/rdm%2Bdrogba.jpg

  172. Gooner In Exile says:

    Ben Arfas goal? I have seen it he kind of just runs in a straight line fast and the Bolton defence parts like the red sea. Very impressed that Newcastle have kept themselves up there, maybe because they have been written off by everyone.

    Maybe Shearers comments to the press about them not making the CL were engineered by Pardew, as all he had to do was pin that to the dressing room wall and say “prove him wrong”

  173. Gooner In Exile says:

    Evonne – to be honest I don’t think it’ll take much, my Mum&Dad really have the bug again, being retired and with spare cash they don’t worry about where they sit based on price and happily get hotels for late night fixtures.

  174. Makumyx says:

    Have ever had a Balotteli, a Tevez, a Beckham, or an Essien who gives his manager a baldhead when they want a transfer?. Better still, have ever had a ‘Chelsea’s Old Guard’? HOW DID THE PROF DEAL WITH THAT? He gave them a bentner, a Merida, or an Alidere… I love Wenger.

  175. Gooner In Exile says:

    Arsenal legend “ooh ah Ray Parlour” stays true to his roots:

    https://twitter.com/realromfordpele/status/189393166946938882

  176. evonne says:

    GiE – bless them :) Is your Dad as big and as loud as you?

  177. 26may1989 says:

    Pardew and Ashley might be annoying but what’s happening in the Geordie Nation is very impressive. They haven’t spent much more than half of the money they got from Chelsea via Liverpool for Carroll but have signed five or six players, all of whom have been great successes. That shows all those City fans who say selling your soul to the likes of the Abu Dhabi Government isn’t the only way to succeed.

    Like Exile, I didn’t think Ben Arfa’s goal was better than very good, it being as much about defensive failings (that Bolton CB, Ream, was terrible) but I really like Ben Arfa. Pardee has done a great job setting out a balanced, creative side. They’ll be hit hard again next year by the ACN (assuming Senegal qualify) and don’t have great depth, but a side that has been a joke in previous years is now a serious proposition. I really hope the barcodes finish above Chelsea and would be happy to see either them or Spurs in the fourth CL spot.

    For the most optimistic: United still need a point to be guaranteed to finish above us….

  178. Morning all

    New Post …………..

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