What El Cashico Tells Us About Arsenal’s Title Hopes

Short answer, not a lot.

But wait, wait… don’t put your coat and hat back on just yet.

There are intriguing snippets to be taken from the surprisingly entertaining face-off between the financially doped Mancunians and the financially doped Chavtonians.

They don’t tell us enough to say with certainty that our hopes of a first Premier League title since 2004 are greater or lower, but they provide hints:

  • The Chavs stopped Manchester City scoring for the first time in a bazillion home games. Fair play to the odious West Londoners and their pipsqueak manager. But here’s the thing: our defensive record is almost identical to the Chavs’ this season. They have let in 20 goals, we have let in 21. Therefore when we next play Man City our defense should do just as well as the Chavs did. Yes, I know, we were holed six times below the waterline last time we faced the light blue oilers but I’m happy to wrap myself in what, in philosophy terms, is known as a “logical fallacy”: Chelsea stopped Man City scoring; we are as good defensively as Chelsea; therefore we will stop Man City scoring. Simples (as Plato might have said)

 

  • Man City’s bubble has been burst. The media have been falling over themselves to anoint Citeh as the Champions-in-waiting, regardless of the fact that a certain other team sits above them in the table. Such is the nature of journalism that the more a thing is repeated, the more it becomes inflated. The concept of Citeh as an unstoppable juggernaut had taken hold in Fleet Street and on the armchairs of the BBC and Sky TV. This defeat will bring everyone back to down to earth a little – and will also make Citeh’s future opponents more aware that they are beatable. This can only be to our advantage.

 

  • The Chavs triumphed partly through solid defense and partly by exploiting Citeh’s weaknesses at the back. When we played at Middle Oilsands we were also very effective at exploiting Citeh’s defensive vulnerability – but we forgot about the other bit (the defending). We weren’t helped by some highly suspicious decisions from the officials. But nevertheless, we should have every reason to feel confident when we next take on the Citizens.

 

  • Manuel Pelligrini is not the Messiah, just a very naughty boy with deep pockets. Nice enough bloke and all that, but not in the same class as Arsene Wenger.

 

  • Despite the result, does anyone think Citeh are now out of the title race? No, I didn’t think so. And that’s a fact worth bearing in mind next time we face a setback. It’s easy to look from the outside and see how a bad day at the office is just a bad day at the office. But when it’s YOUR bad day and YOUR office it’s easy for it to feel like the end of the world. We will not win every game between now and the season’s end – but nor will anyone else. So when we slip up please let’s keep the hysterics to a minimum.

One other thing is also abundantly clear. When you look at these two super rich clubs and their international Bond villain owners slugging it out just for the right to hang on to our coat tails, you realise that there is no better thing in this world than to be an Arsenal man (or woman… or trans gender person…).

RockyLives

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127 Responses to What El Cashico Tells Us About Arsenal’s Title Hopes

  1. Rasp says:

    Excellent Rocky, I must admit I have been saying that anyone who finishes above city will win the league – but to be honest I think they would not have lost last night if Aguero had been on the pitch instead of Dzeko – and he’s likely to be back when we play them :(

    We must also remember that the chavs could not ‘unpark’ whams defence whereas we patiently probed and adapted until we found a way through Pulis Palace.

    So yes city are beatable – hopefully we’ll get nothing less than a draw at the Ems, and the chavs do not have a top striker (Eto’o is past his best) …..therefore it’s game on …. the title is ours to lose at the moment.

    Incidentally, we’ll draw 2:2 with Bayern at home and beat them 1 nil at their place :P

  2. fatgingergooner says:

    Great stuff RL. The transgender(s?)(ites?)(ists?) will love it!

    What stuck with me from last night was Mourinho’s bollix about Arsenal being favourites. At first it annoyed me because it’s obviously just mind games, and it’s obvious we are certainly not favourites.

    However, on reflection, it’s exactly the kind of comment I want to hear from opposition managers. One thing we have lacked in recent times is respect from those in football. How can we class ourselves as a threat if those around us are so dismissive of our chances?

    Whilst it can be useful to be an underdog now and again, we will all admit that we want to be seen as a real threat to the likes of City and Chelsea.

    If they believe we have what it takes, and we start to convince the media we have what it takes, then maybe we can finally have the self belief needed to realise we have what it takes to win the league.

  3. Dar dog says:

    Why not play tv5 in flamini’s role in his absence?

  4. Rasp says:

    Many have asked that question Dd – only one man knows the answer. I believe TV has played DM for Belgium, but for some reason AW does not see it as an option. I think TV is carrying an injury at the moment.

  5. 26may1989 says:

    Excellent post, Rockstar.

    You’re right, it’s difficult to read too much into a single game, a game in which City were certainly off their stride. Chelsea certainly deserved to win but it could have been very different had one of City’s close chances gone in. That’s footy.

    I do think last night said a lot about the fialings of Pelligrini though. With Fernandinho and Garcia out, he chose to play two up top and Dimichelis at DM, both of which looked poor decisions. And he compunded that by not changing tactics mid-game, when Chelsea were clearly bossing it, suggests paralysis or an arrogant belief in the “City score zillions of goals so it’ll all be alright” idea. He should have brought off one of Dzeko and Negredo, neither of whom was doing very well against the excellent (and it galls me to type this) Terry and Cahill.

    It said a lot, that afterwards Pelligrini was blaming injuries when Rodwell and Milner were on the bench, and £650m had been spent on acquiring players in the last few years, and then saying it was an equal game suggested. City vacated the central midfield, sticking with two wide men, two forwards, two attacking full-backs, and a central midfield pairing that did nothing for City defensively. Dimechelis was embarrassing, and Yaya wsan’t much better in defensive terms. As Kompany pointed out a week or two ago, not everything can be put on the CBs and GK. Pelligrini got found out last night. If he wants to win the title, he’s going to have to reflect on his performance pretty critically.

    Good game from Matic but one good match doesn’t make him a top-quality player. He’ll be flavour of the week with the journos but let’s se where he’s at in a few months.

  6. 26may1989 says:

    I thnk Vermaelen has played DM for us once or twice in the past – from memeory, he was OK (better than at LB), and I’d certainly be happy to see him deployed in the upcoming big matches. Against minnows, he’s not needed there, much better to have Arteta paired with the likes of the Ox or Rosicky (in the absence of Wilshere, Ramsey and Flamini).

    On mindgames, yes Mourinho does it very well, which must annoy grandee types like Wenger and Pelligrini, but I think it probably has more use internally, in building a spirit in the squad and drawing journalstic attention away form the players onto their boss.

  7. City deserve no sympathy for having Aguero, Nasri and Fernandinho out. With the resources they have they should have better cover than Demichelis, Nastasic and Dzeko.

    The loss could really see them struggle in the next few weeks, but i fear the fixture list has been very kind to them on the back of the Chelsea game.

    Anyone who watched the Superbowl will see that a defense wins you games. A different sport, but the same result!

  8. Charybdis1966 says:

    Motning all and very we’ll said Mr Rock. It will do us a lot if good for Camel Shaggers FC to lose at home as they were beginning to believe their own publicity.

    The only downside about last night will be the eye gougers triumphalism and the continued idolisation of him by the hacks and gutter press of Fleet Street.

    Still 2 points clear and 14 games to go and it’s all in our own hands.

    As for the dilemma of priorities, I’d abandon risking our best 11 against Bayern as the FA cup seems an easier trophy and I really want us to win the title.

  9. 26may1989 says:

    Wotcha, chary.

    I disagree about the Bayern game: our excellent form in the last year started with that excellent 2-0 away win in Munich, and I think it would create some bad karma to go into this year’s tie in a defeatist mindset. I don’t expect us to win, but I do think confidence comes from continuing to play as well as we can.

  10. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Excellentation Rocky

    Does any one know any Man City fans from Manchester?

    I do. These are primarily men who own only one pair of underpants and have moth balls in there wallets.

    I will never be able to square this contradiction. The richest Club in the world is followed by men with holes in there pants? Whats bloody going on in this world?

    They got what they deserved last night. If you over attack a Morinio team you invariably get beat.

    Morinio is acting very strangely lately. Attempting weird reverse psychology and cutting his own hair.

    I went through a phase like this and things dont bode well for the special one. For six months I believed I was the reincarnation of John the Baptist.

    I firmly believe Morinio will soon crack, and believe himself to be the embodiment of Sacha Distel.

    Overall it was a good result. Halts Citys momentum and pushes Morino one step closer to Distel.

    Looking at the fixtures, its going be tough for us to hang on in there.

    However, I fully expect us to beat both Chelsea and City so we should have a buffer to see us over the line.

    P.s Pelligrini reminds me of a 1970′s vampire from some crap erotic Italian horror movie.

    A young couple have the misfortune of spending a night in his castle, were he takes it upon himself to drug poor young David Silva, and then sits back in his chair, eyes agog, as one of his vampire brides makes love and takes a bite out of Silvas wife.

    Keep the faith

  11. Norfolk Gooner says:

    Terry, these fantasies of yours are becoming more and more lurid, more and more please! :D

  12. Norfolk Gooner says:

    Oh! and Terry if you are John the Baptist perhaps you could officiate at the christening of Evonne’s grand-daughter. Meanwhile look out for a bird named Salome, she’s after your head.

  13. gus says:

    I just wanted to say that even though there’s often great articles on AA (like today’s excellent post), one of the main reasons I come here is for the widgets on the side which are excellent. So whoever does those, keep up the good work!

  14. Rasp says:

    Thanks gus …… very much appreciated :P

  15. GoonerB says:

    Nice one Rocky and apologies to all for not being about to comment on posts for some time.

    I feel we have reasons to be very optimistic about the EPL title, but I also feel that extreme good fortune is very much with both Citeh and Chelski that could ominously point towards it being Citehs or Chelskis year. These 2 teams with their resources and playing squads hardly need a helping hand but that is exactly what I feel has been happening.

    That media darling known as Jose, that they all fawn over and genuinely listen to (as oppose to our whingeing Frenchie), has pointed out how many decisions Citeh have had, and he is right with this point. He points to the disallowed goal at Necastle, incorrect penalty decisions and red cards at Spurs at a critical time in the game, and disallowed goals against Liverpool. At least 2 of those probably should have been draws and not wins so that is a tidy 4 points that will likely not balance out at the end of the season.

    Rocky you also rightly point out the game with us, and normally a 6-3 score line should bury any argument that decisions altered the result. In this case though, and I know I see it differently to many, I truly believe that the sheer number of one way decisions could have altered this result; 2 times we had the ball in the net to be very dubiously ruled for offside, 1 (for me) stone-wall penalty from handball, and a very dubious late penalty to them.

    However, while Jose is pointing this out and the media are just gazing mesmerisingly at him, his teams own great fortune have been conveniently over-looked. Once again for me there was a stone-wall penalty to us against them which turns 0-0 to 1-0 and alters the table by 3 points in our favour over them. Against Liverpool Eto shouldn’t have been on the pitch when he scored never mind with the 2nd incident which should have given Liverpool a penalty. 2-1 becomes 2-2 (at least) and sees them drop another 2 points behind us. I also believe that they had a dodgy late penalty against West Brom to clinch a draw from certain defeat.

    That is 6 points (made up on us) conveniently over-looked but then why would the media bother to examine that if Jose doesn’t want it brought up? I almost feels he hypnotises the media here who just sing along to his tune and make him out as some mind-game genius which I personally just don’t see. It is almost comical if it wasn’t so bloody annoying, somewhat akin to the little Britain character, “look into my eyes not around the eyes”.

    Even journalists that you would consider very respected and balanced seem to lap him up like fawning schoolgirls and over-look the hard bare facts. That’s before we even get started on how his team managed to face Man Utd minus Shrek and the brave one while we will likely not only face both of them but will probably have Juan Mata against us to boot.

    I just feel that there is too much of a helping hand and pure good luck being dished out to both of those teams and right now the gap between us and both of them should be larger if all was balanced and fair. If anyone can tell me of dodgy decisions we have had that have actually altered the final result, and therefore EPL points accumulated, that balance out what these 2 have had go for them then I would like to hear it. If anything it should be Liverpool who should be closer to us as they have suffered in the 2 games against these 2. Still as I said at the start we do have reasons to be optimistic.

  16. Aftetnoon 26, normally I would agree with you there, about keeping a good run of form going, but this season we have two crucial players unavailable, Theo and Ramsey, and we are one or two injuries away from playing Bendy up top and Vermaelen with Sagna in the middle(Jenkinson right back) so I’m worried about the risk of going full force at Bayern.

  17. GunnerN5 says:

    Thank you Rocky.

    Here are the records of the current top 7 over the last 7 EPL games.

    Arsenal. W,W,W,W,W,D,W,=19 Pts.
    Man C… W,W,W,W,W,W,L, =18 Pts.
    Chelsea W,W,W,W,W,D,W, =19 Pts.
    Liverp…. L,L,W,W,D,W,D,….=11 Pts.
    Everton. L,W,D,W,D,L,W…..=11 Pts.
    Spurs…. D,W,W,W,W,L,D….=14 Pts.
    Man. U…W,W,L,W,L,W,L,….=12 Pts.

    This clearly shows that the teams at the top have the best current form with Arsenal and Chelsea being unbeaten over that period.

    A lot has been said about how tough our schedule is but to make it even worse we also have the most games remaining against the top seven.

    Arsenal= 6/14
    Man C= 4/14
    Chelsea= 4/14
    Pool= 5/14
    Spurs= 4/14
    Everton= 5/14
    Man U= 4/14.

  18. IanRealGunner says:

    Gooner B, and add in the 3 points that we lost due to Anthony Taylor on day 1!!!!

  19. Norfolk Gooner says:

    Chary, I appreciate what you are saying but…just think of the boost it would give both the players and the fans if we could knock Bayern out of the Champions League, it would also be a real kick up the a**e for all the nay-sayers and doom-mongers.

    We have to rotate to a certain extent, due to injuries and suspensions, but any tinkering must be kept to an absolute minimum especially in the back four or five.

  20. Norfolk Gooner says:

    Oh Dear! I’m forgetting my manners, an excellent post Rocky, thank you.

    A very busy morning, dealing with solicitors and hotel receptionists and receiving a really annoying call from British Gas during which a persistent twerp kept insisting on reading me the contents of his training manual.

    To make matters worse, this was followed by another call from B.G. asking me how satisfied I was with their previous call.

    I’m off for a walk round the garden to calm down!!!

  21. kelsey says:

    Rocky you definitely have a way with words :)

    I am with chary. A little bit cautious. It would be a big ask with literally one huge game after another not to drop points yet that could be applied to all the teams mentioned by GN5

    It’s a pity we had many laid low when we played at United as we at the least deserved a point and even though we may have not won at City we scored 5 goals of which two were marginally offside and gifted them two goals.

    Podolski and Giroud haven’t exactly played a lot together this season so perhaps with a minor tweet they could function together in some of our matches.

    As I said earlier we really can’t afford anymore mid term injuries as that might just make it a bridge to far.Take Kos or Pers out of the team and the defence would suffer.

    I am not too worried about our attacking midfield options but Arteta has to play out of his skin these next two matches.

    If we do lose a game we have to show as we have done mostly this season that we can bounce right back.

  22. LB says:

    Rasp

    How much did you pay Gus to say that at 12.16. That is the most blatant case of bribery I have ever come across in all my time blogging.
    :)

  23. Norfolk – like Kelsey I am a bit worried by the intensity of the games coming up, even with a full(ish) squad being available to us we’d need a bit of luck to progress, however those big decisions regarding team selection re not mine to make thankfully as I’d have even more sleepless nights than usual till the end of the season ! :(

  24. Rasp says:

    :lol: LB, it was just honest appreciation of my efforts from uncle gus …… errrr, I mean some bloke called gus I’ve never met

  25. Norfolk Gooner says:

    Well the walk round the garden didn’t help, a team of moles has turned a part of the lawn into what looks like a First World War battlefield, I counted 25 mole hills before it started raining and I had to come indoors.

    Chary, like you I’m happy that I don’t have to make those decisions, but equally I’m not paid the sort of money that Le boss is. :D

  26. To be honest Norfolk, I start cacking myself if I look at the 2 death clusters for too long.

  27. Rasp says:

    Here’s a proper game of football from oop norf

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/scotland/26011546

  28. Gööner In Exile says:

    Quick check ba to this mornings comments….

    TT that conversation sounded feasible.

    Kelsey I had a very similar thought, and wondered about it for post material….if it could happen how would we feel? Do we think we would have been in this position sooner if they’d stayed? Does it feel like “now you’re successful we’ll come home?”.

  29. GunnerN5 says:

    A family of moles had been hibernating all winter.
    One beautiful spring morning, they woke up.
    The father mole stuck his head out of the hole and looked around.
    Mother Mole!” He called back down the hole. “Come up here! I smell honey, fresh made honey!”
    The mother mole ran up and squeezed in next to him.
    “That’s not honey, that’s maple syrup! I smell maple syrup!” The baby mole, still down in the hole, was sulking.

    “I can’t smell anything down here but molasses…”

  30. Norfolk Gooner says:

    Gn5, :D. How I wish the bunch of dear little creatures had hibernated, it looks as though the’ve been active all winter..

  31. GunnerN5 says:

    A man walked into the ladies department of a Macy’s, and walked up to the woman behind the counter and said, “I’d like to buy a bra for my wife”What type of bra?” asked the clerk.”Type?” inquires the man. “There is more than one type?””Look around,” said the saleslady, as she showed a sea of bras in every shape, size, color and material. “Actually, even with all of this variety, there are really only three types of bras,” replied the salesclerk.Confused, the man asked what the types were.The saleslady replied “The Catholic type, the, Salvation Army type, and the Baptist type. Which one do you need?”Still confused the man asked, “What is the difference between them?”The lady responded, “It is all really quite simple. The Catholic type supports the masses, the Salvation Army type lifts up the fallen, and the Baptist type makes mountains out of mole hills.

  32. jnyc says:

    Hi rocky,
    If anything, yesterday’s result should let us know that city is beatable, whether they are home or away. And we are correct to point out all the bad decisions that impacted our match with them.
    We definitely have a shot to stay top, , but it really hurts missing Theo and Ramsey.

  33. ladmerc says:

    Reblogged this on Ladna's Blog and commented:
    LOL, comically correct, however prejudiced it may be

  34. 26may1989 says:

    It looked like good news from the Schalke Chairman re nabbing Draxler in the summer but the geographical reference suggests otherwise:

    He said: “I can confirm that there was a request. I can rule out, 100 per cent, that Julian Draxler wants to go to Bayern. It had the dimension of a transfer that you don’t do any day of the week. It was a decent deal, but insufficient for us to accept. It came from a club to the north of us.”

    Cue quick reference to Google Maps, showing that Schalke’s home town, Gelsenkirchen, has a latitude of 51.5167 degrees north, as opposed to London’s latitude of 51.5072 degrees north. So London (or at least some arbitrary point within London) is 0.0095 degrees (or about 0.7 of a mile) south of Gelsenkirchen.

    Given the geographical reference, does that mean Draxler isn’t ours in the summer???? Disaster….. :)

  35. Gooner in Exile says:

    Rocky an interesting take on last nights game.

    Chavs are now favourites because they beat City, but a few days earlier being written off because they couldn’t find a way through West Ham. Similarly after Southampton away we were being questioned, but now sit back at the top, albeit because of last nights result.

    As GN5 shows we have the most games against the rest of the top 7, but two of the big three games at home (ManUre is still a big home game because of what it will represent to the team and fans as much as what it means to the league title race).

  36. arnie says:

    Rocky days!!!!!!! :D :D :D Absolutely flipping brilliant!!!!! Great!!! :D :D What cleaverly constructed logic and what beautiful prose!! Hats off!!!! :D :D :D

    Unfortunately have been away for a while, but caught up with comments now. Unfortunately, too, abosolutely nothing to disagree about!!!!

    Yes, the bubble has burst, finally. Have we ever been as happy with the misfortunes of the financially doped ignorable others? Probably not!!!! Long may such misfortunes continue! :D :D

    By all counts, Chavs are going to drop points. But it was Citeh’s run that was the biggest threat for us. And it has ended.

    The future looks bright!!!!!! :D :D :D A step at a time. Only the small matter now of coming out of Death Cluster 1 with at least 4 points! :razz:

  37. GiE,

    Cesc and RvP can both fook right off!

    Its like me telling the wife i’m off to live with her younger sister for a year or 2 whilst she loses some weight, and to give me a call when shes a size 8!!!!

    Absolutely outrageous.

    She’ll never be a size 8…. :)

  38. arnie says:

    On the question of favourites. Just as the Beebs and Sky and anyone else can have their own take, the considered, if optimistic, opinions of our own fans is not to be ignored. In that spirit here, goes.

    Before game 24, the odds were 53% in favour of an Arsenal win, 44% Shitty and 3% Chavs. Large uncertainty, with swings of upto 38% possible in game 25.

    More than anything else, I think this goes to show what a nice design the poll was. Well done TT. :D :D There is a large amount of uncertainty in teh final outcome, and this is captured, nicely, I think, by the poll results.

    So, what did game 25 bring? Arsenal won, and this was largely expected by the fans, so this did nothing much. However, the a priori odds on a Shitty win against the Chavs was 70%, and so the outcome was a surprise. This resulted in a substantial swing in favour of Arsenal.

    The odds for an Arsenal win now rest at 64%, Citeh on 21% and Chavs 15%. That is just how volatile this is still. On Saturday, Arsenal’s odds can go down to 54% or up to 91%, which is an almost equally wide range. This really is how wide open the contest is at the moment!!!!!

    On with the show!!!!

  39. RockyLives says:

    Hello everyone and thanks for the comments.

    Even though – officially – the draw seemed the best result for us last night I definitely thought a Chav win would be good. City have been playing some great attacking footy and had a lot of momentum, but that has been stopped in its tracks now (at least for a game).

    As we enter Death Cluster 1 we really do need to follow the old cliche of “one game at a time.”

    The only game that matters now for us is ‘Pool away. Let’s deal with that then move on…

  40. arnie says:

    On the Bayern games, I agree with Rasp and 26. We need to be positive and then, who knows, it might just be what Rasp predicted. 2-2 at home, gets the journos to start spewing vitriol, and against the odds, a 1-0 away win. :D :D

    It will be nice to have more belief in our team. They have been excellent this year, and nothing tells us they will not continue to be brilliant!!!!

    We almost took Bayern out last year, this year we will do it! On with the show!!!!! :D :D

  41. arnie says:

    GoonerB @ 12:22: Absolutely top comment. I know it is somewhat regressive to talk about officialdom, but it really bites us pretty big. Arsenal is the beacon of a new dawn, and hopefully one day all other clubs will stop following the financial doping brigade and start playing a fair game. Only then can we have a fair level playing field. In anticipation….. :D :D

  42. I know this is a complete non sequiter post-wise but I just have to say hearing about ManUres woes is music to my ears.

    HAahahahahahahahahahahahahahahhaah !

    #MoistIn

  43. arnie says:

    Rasp @ 2:18: Good know people doon south follow the game opp norf.

    A personal note. I have been asked whether I might be amenable to contribute towards a diferent model for running Hearts in the future. Controlled democratically by fans, perhaps Barca style or maybe some other model. I cannot make a decision. :D :D

  44. Rasp says:

    Hi arnie, what a fantastic old fashioned blood and thunder game that was, it must have been a joy to be in that crowd.

    I like the sound of democracy in football …. but it’ll never catch on :(

  45. RA says:

    FGG,

    Nothing wrong with having hankish pankish with the the Mrs’s sister – weight or no weight!! :-)

    As long as you do ‘it’ with a pure mind — what else can a man do? Ask Norfolk Gonner! :-)

  46. arnie says:

    Rasp: In other words, I have your tacit support if I decide to do this. :D I think it is a worthwhile effort, even if it does not change anything. And in a smaller club like Hearts, it could perhaps work?

    On the other matter, people here are passionate about their football, even if the quality of the game is somewhat iffy.

    Following up on previous banter.

    Redders: “not sure why arnie and others have queried why we played so deep (well in arnie’s case I can – he ‘watched’ it on the radio)”. :D :D :D You may well be right. Seriously though, I feel we play too deep. We have a defensive formation with DMs sitting deep. Possession, yes, but possession within your own half is not often productive. This style, to my pleasure, has started to change somewhat!

    Micky @ 6:39AM: Too many assumptions. :D Yes, the choice of the lady had to do somewhat with her glamour outlook. But she is reasonably well known even outside the surfing club/ network. Is this what you call a “soft porn vid”? :razz:

  47. Rasp says:

    Tacit – is that a Scottish version of tiki taka? :)

    Absolutely it’s worth a try. If we could turn back time to pre-billionaire owners, I’d love to see something similar to the German system in this country.

  48. RA says:

    arnie, darling, have you got a rocket up the jaxi?

    I am worn out with all the ideas, and theories and ……. well I am not sure what i am worn out with to be candid! :-)

    Or that might be candied! ;-)

    OK, I am not allowed to drink beverages of an alcoholic persuasion, but this charming lady has given me a ‘special’ pre-lunch, freebie cocktail and now I am seeing the world in a new light!!!!! ;-)

    Take 26. — Please!.

    He starts off a very upbeat take on the distinct possibility of still getting Herr Draxler, Yaay, and then quickly leads us into a segue that calls for some other buggers to pinch him on the basis of half a millimetre north or south of the Siegfried line, as calculated by some German Direktor who failed math in Kindergarten. Booo

  49. arnie says:

    Redders: wow, what a rant! :D :D Now, what exactly was the drink. Will you please let us know!!!!! :D :D :D

  50. RA says:

    “is thatchy there are so… etc.”

    should read = ‘is that why there are so ….’ bloody cocktail. :-)

  51. arnie says:

    Well, Redders, the Ox was playing deep as well! Radio or no radio! :D

    And in my honest opinion, Sagna and Gibbs/Monreal should also defend outside the box rather than allow the opposition free access to the box. OK, against Palace they did not manage to reach the box. All the more reason then that we should play higher up. Sorry, but this is what I am seeing in the game.

    Now, against Liverpool, it might be a bit different. But in general, the defensive mentality and trying to play largely (solely?) on teh counter is somewhat counterproductive. This is my limited point!!!! :D :D :D

  52. RA says:

    Oh, arnie! Rant?

    I will not bore you with the definition of ‘rant’ but that does not have anything to do with my exposition!

    Anyway — to rant is so vulgar!! :-)

  53. arnie says:

    Disagree, not vulgar at all, the right to a rant should be universal! :D :D

  54. RA says:

    arnie,

    I have always been amused by the predisposition of economists to wriggle when accosted with an inaccuracy.

    To defend a generalised accusation of the team (Arsenal) defending ‘too deep’, by selecting (wrongly) individual players, such as, the Ox, to justify the all encompassing comment is truly creative …. but I forgive you, even if i, tab the moment might be described as pixillated!! :-)

  55. RA says:

    To confuse the ‘right’ to something, with the definition of the verb, is a case in point! :-)

    Ta ra. :-)

  56. arnie says:

    Redders: Is it fair tio request a time-out in football? :D

  57. RA says:

    For you, arnie, anything!! :-)

    My burger (yes, I know it is my second in two days – wicked) is starting to soothe the savage beast, and you are my friend, after all is said and done, — and I love teasing you!!! :-)

    Back later.

  58. JanMan says:

    26May. Reference your @3:45. It could well be that the Schalke Chairman is a bit of a plonker and when he referred to North of us he actually meant North as in North London :-)

    Rocky. Great post!

  59. arnie says:

    Redders: :D I take your comments on my dancing skills as a compliment! :D :D

  60. arnie says:

    HUGE RIOTS IN BEIJING, SPENT HOURS SEARCHING FOR STOKE FANS TO POUND. COULDN'T FIND SINGLE FAN, NO ONE HEARD OF THEM pic.twitter.com/5kuQgZhenA— Beijing Red 4 Lyf (@Moyes_Must_Go) February 2, 2014

    Dont miss the photo!!!!! :D :D :D

  61. arnie says:

    @TheBenjaminHh: At least I don't support both local rivals” THATS WHY IM A FEARED LEADER OF HOOLYGAN FIRM AND YOU ARE LOSER IN UR BEDROOM— Beijing Red 4 Lyf (@Moyes_Must_Go) February 3, 2014

  62. Vinay says:

    I really dont think so we need to worry about what mou and his men do, i do fancy a draw this weekend for them at home against newcastle, thats the way they are.
    We need to get 4 points out of the 6 we have in front of us, a draw at anfield and a must win at home against the manures is a must. Manu is so much a game in the mind, i hope for once we win it in the mind for on the pitch we are much better than them, the table doesnt lie right, come on my dear Arsenal, please beat united, its been sooooooooooooooo long

  63. arnie says:

    Very scary!!!!!

    @GavinDee: "@JohnSinnott: Survey of 16,000 Chinese fans has #afc edging #mufc as most popular club" this true? ” YES WE ALL VERY CURRENT!— Beijing Red 4 Lyf (@Moyes_Must_Go) February 4, 2014

  64. Vinay says:

    Chelsea did play well and i mean really well and deserved to win the game, scoreline may even have been say 3-1.
    Our run in is the toughest but if we do manage to come out of this with limited damage, i think our final run in installs us the favourites. City and chelsea need to go to anfield in april, pool maybe trying for 4th and home games will be their best hope.
    As i told earlier, the worry is fatigue, fear of expectations and injuries. We never have had any luck, we need it for once, twice, heck till the end, prioritize the league boss, this is our best chance, dont take a chance there, do what you want for the UCL and the FA cup games.
    Anyone noticed how we havent missed our best player of the season? Aarson has been away and we really dint miss him much because others have stepped up. We need one more monumental effort from the likes of Jack, Santi and Mesut and we just may dare to dream. Come on my magician mesut, time to make those kops gasp and leave them stunned.

  65. Gööner In Exile says:

    Binary Vinay ( :oops: iphone typos!) I think you are right the Death Clusters (copyright RockyLives) come early enough that we have a run in afterwards, as long as we are there or thereabouts when we come out of the second group of games we can rightly fancy our chances.

    But then when we had our chances in 10-11 we succumbed, some of the current squad were in that team, others were on the fringe and the ones who failed to perform have gone and been replaced by what seems to be a very hungry batch of Germans. :)

  66. Gööner In Exile says:

    If true Peaches I am unsurprised, seems he has not been able to get them playing since the CC final, and there has been talk of dressing room unrest. Also he has a bit of a history as a short term….get improvement, then drop off as a manager according to Euro journalists I have listened to.

  67. Gööner In Exile says:

    Confirmed on BBC statement by Huw Jenkins

  68. evonnee says:

    Rocky – you made me laugh, very enjoyable read indeedy. I love your logic too, so yes, we can beat Shitty next time we meet, end of March. As for the nice chap Peligrini or something like that – I had my doubts about him and his continued success in EPL – come on, you cannot just attack, attack, attack. You have to defend too and he has been ignoring the hole at the back (not his back of course) and was waiting for someone to kick them in the arse. Chavs were not a better team but capitalised on MC weaknesses. Mind you, I could be singing from a different song sheet if all the balls that hit the woodwork ended up in the net, 4 I think.

    One thing I am struggling with is the non-hysterical transgender people – aren’t they notorious drama queens? Or just queens :)

    Thank you for the insightful and hilarious post x

  69. arnie says:

    Still in moderation! Please help. :sad:

  70. evonnee says:

    Is this the same Laudrup that was wanted by some AFC ‘fans’ ?

  71. arnie says:

    The cricket news today is that KP has been sacked from the England team. There was an epic interview by Geoff Boycott, which I heard on my drive, on 5Live. Focusing on team play, the team being more important than the individual, and the need for discipline and appropriate training for youngsters. I cannot find it yet on the web. A childhood hero, and epic comment. Both :sad: and :D !!!!

  72. arnie says:

    Evonnee: “the same Laudrup that was wanted by some AFC ‘fans’”:D :D

  73. evonnee says:

    that’d be coz u is smiling too much arnie :)

  74. arnie says:

    what is so wrong about having a little laugh, Evonnee!!!!! :D

  75. arnie says:

    too many grumpy fans around. :D :D :D

  76. arnie says:

    sorry, i did not mean on AA. more generally. :D I must be following too many of the arse domains. :sad:

  77. arnie says:

    anyway, i am sleep deprived and writing too much bollix. I should retire, I think. :D

  78. Gooner in Exile says:

    Just flicked on Fulham vs Sheffield United FAC Replay, there must be 5,000 fans max, and half of them are Sheffield United fans.

    What has happened to the FA Cup?

  79. Bayonne Jean says:

    GiE, never mind what’s happened to the FA cup. What’s happened to Fulham? That attendance is what it’ll look like next year when they’re relegated. Too bad, they’ve always been a decent enough mid table side; will miss the leisurely boat ride to that fixture.

  80. 26may1989 says:

    Am watching the Fulham game too, Exile. It’s terrible stuff but I’m finding it strangely compelling.

    Fulham have had players like Duff, Hangeland, Parker, Rodellega, Dempsey, and Sidwell on the pitch this evening – not mega stars but solid, experienced pros, and yet they’ve been playing a lower division side with zero confidence, making Sheffield United look the superior team. Yet another example of the importance of confidence.

  81. 26may1989 says:

    And there we have it, 1-0 to Sheffield Utd.

  82. Gooner in Exile says:

    Shocking defending by Dempsey on the goal.

    But that was a dire extra time.

    Apparently attendance was 10,000 they reckon 2,000 Sheffield United fans.

  83. dandan says:

    Interesting article for those of you who like me despair at the lack of managerial expertise among the blazers that control English cricket.

    Simon Barnes Todays Times.

    Kevin Pietersen is a classic arsehole-genius. He has always been Deco in The Commitments. Everyone in the band hated Deco because Deco was a complete pain in the arse. But he had the voice of an angel and they were nothing without him. He made the band and he destroyed the band. Or perhaps the band destroyed themselves because they couldn’t face the fact that they needed him.
    And when I say brilliant, I am not reaching for the nearest adjective. I mean brilliant as in quite exceptionally, almost ludicrously talented, talented in the way that very few people are in any sport. He could play the game as if it were the easiest thing in the world while making the finest players of his time look like over­promoted, overawed schoolkids.
    Let’s put him up there with Lionel Messi in football, Dan Carter in rugby union, Roger Federer in tennis; people who seem to have come to the game from a different dimension. Not just because they win a lot, but because for them the very act of engaging with a ball is radically different from anyone else’s.
    For that reason Pietersen was a game-changer. A series-changer. He was England’s Eric Cantona, a man whose strut and attitude and impossible nature made his entire team believe that, as a unit, they were capable of anything. And at their best, no one could stand in their way.
    We knew that he was capable of immense things when he was selected for the Ashes of 2005. In that agonising series, in which England had the upper hand but seemed desperately reluctant to land a final, killer blow, it was left to Pietersen to settle the matter. It was the Oval, the last day of the series, and it seemed that, after all, Australia would win the final Test, level the series and get away with the Ashes once again.
    I was sitting in the press box, right behind Shane Warne, when he dropped Pietersen at slip. It was a fairly easy chance as they go, and although I was by no means a seasoned KP-watcher back then, I had a curious foreboding. Something was up. By the pricking of my thumbs, something special this way comes.
    It bloody well did, too. It came after lunch, in circumstances when any sane cricketer would bat for a draw and so, even in failure, would receive only muted criticism. Pietersen risked the entire Ashes series and with it the foam-flecked fury of his newly adopted nation when he launched into a demented full-out assault on the Australia bowling, and on their spearhead, Brett Lee, in particular. It was as mad and glorious and effective a piece of sport as has ever been played.
    It was better than Ian Botham’s innings at Headingley in 1981, because Botham and England had nothing to lose. Had Pietersen blown it, he would have been nailed to the wall. But he didn’t. He scored 158 runs, and that’s how England won the Ashes and set off on the road that took them to the top nation.
    It wasn’t a one-off. It wasn’t just that he scored other centuries for England. It was that he scored centuries that destroyed opponents and changed the course of cricketing history, and he did it again and again.
    So let’s have two more of my favourites, both innings I watched at the ground and reported on, days in which I felt humbled almost to the point of embarrassment at being allowed to do the job I do.
    Let’s go to Adelaide in 2010. England had come close to losing the first Test in Brisbane, but performed an inspiring self-rescue. In the next match, Pietersen took things a stage farther and played an innings of murderous certainty. This was no demented assault like the one at the Oval: this was a calculated assassination.
    It wasn’t joyful — it was too brutal for that. It involved a classic shift through the gears that left Pietersen looking like a heartless dad playing cricket with a beach-full of ten-year-olds. England won the series with three victories by an innings: the best England team I have ever seen.
    It was that good because it contained perhaps the greatest game-breaker in the history of cricket, one who married the concentration and appetite of Test cricket to the power hitting and improvisation of the white-ball game and made top-level batting a business of sustained and unrelenting dominance.
    One more for the album: Mumbai in 2012. England lost the first Test of the series in classic spin-friendly conditions and the Mumbai pitch had been prepared to produce exactly the same result. But Pietersen didn’t see it like that. He took on the finest spin attack in the world on their terms, took on the greatest weapon of the team who always win at home, and made them look like Tewin Irregulars rejects. Inevitably, England went on to win the series.
    Perhaps he could have done this again, once, maybe even twice. But England weren’t prepared to pay the price. No doubt they told themselves he was a busted flush and no longer worth the trouble — and a very great deal of trouble it always was, too.
    Me, I’m not convinced. I remember the great swimming coach, Bill Sweetenham, demanding of the Great Britain squad: “Who wants to be ordinary?” I think the England cricket team just put th

  84. arnie says:

    Lovely article, Dandan. :D :D

  85. 26may1989 says:

    Really interesting article, dandan, and not just for cricket watchers, but for followers of any sport.

    I have to say, I feel relieved and pleased that Pietersen has been axed. Yes, he has oodles of talent, but not only is their a big price to pay on team dynamics by virtue of the ludicrous aspects of his character, he has (in my opinion) been coasting for a long time. There have been spasms of quality in his performances over the last few years but usually he’s come in and thrown his wicket away pretty quickly. His commitment to the team just hasn’t been there, if he can’t produce the fireworks, he just hasn’t done enough of a team job.

    England will be rebuilding for a couple of years now, and I’m sure there won’t be a lot of victories in that time, but it’s better that KP won’t be there. It would have been too easy to have kept him on, he has all the talent of course, but it would have held back the team’s development.

    Look at Arsenal now: we have talent but we’ve all observed this year how the team dynamic has given us a crack at real success. We may not have the verve and genius of the attacking line of Man City, Bayern or Barca, or even Chelsea, but the solidity of our team has elevated us to the top, at least for now. Genius is great if it is aligned with the team but it ain’t everything.

    So, thanks KP, there were some great moments, but it’s time for England to move on.

  86. arnie says:

    Much as I despair at the shambolic management at the ECB, I stand on the line on the KP issue. It is one of those ones for me. :D :D

  87. arnie says:

    26: Nice points about Arsenal there. Well played, sir. :D :D

  88. arnie says:

    CNN: Arsenal eclipses Manchester United as most popular soccer club in China

    http://edition.cnn.com/2014/02/04/sport/football/arsenal-beats-manchester-united-in-china/

  89. arnie says:

    Allegedly, Verms has suffered a setback in training last week – picking up a slight calf strain – though the problem is not thought to be serious. It is hoped he will be available again within two weeks. But The Ox, Wilshere and Arteta all fit to face Liverpool

  90. Big Raddy says:

    Motning All,

    KP: I think England are worse without him and as such he should be in the squad, though to temper that his age counts against him. TH was hardly a team player which was fine until his final season when the years slowed him down..

    Big players cast big shadows and when they lose form it has a negative affect beyond they playing skills.

    But who would you prefer, an individual like Ian Wright or a team player like OG?

  91. Big Raddy says:

    Sad for Laudrup but happy that I won’t have to suffer watching every Swansea game on Danish TV :-D

  92. Big Raddy says:

    My last day on AA for a couple of weeks and the morning crew goes AWHOL!

    Not even a scantily clad surfer to start my day ——

  93. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Late and brief Motning all.

    Thank you Rocky. Sorry not around to join in.

    Evonne, I was, and still am, in the Laudrup Camp. I think only a few people are capable of creating football teams that play attractive football and win, and he is one of those. Plus he’s foreign and looks smart, oh and played for Barca and Madrid…….

  94. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Right then Raddy. We’re now doing requsts :-)

    Damn, don’t go :-(

  95. chas says:

    Cheers, Rocky.

    “Fair play to the odious West Londoners and their pipsqueak manager” (nearly as begrudging as BR’s praise of Poolis) :)

    Let’s face it, this was as entertaining as is possible for the Chavtonians to play. As with most Maureen teams, generally it’s like watching paint dry when you watch them. The obscenely massively financially doped played right into the hands of the portugeezer, and once in his hands, he ne’er released his grip on their enormously over-inflated testicles.
    That’s what I learnt from El Cashico.

    I couldn’t agree more with your 4.41pm and the ‘one game at a time’ mantra.

  96. chas says:

    Nice little film, but a bit long for early motning viewing.
    One for later mebbe.

  97. chas says:

    Tattoos and fag ash.
    Is that Wayne moonlighting?

  98. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Evonne

    It hasn’t been confirmed yet whether Devon Surfer has broken the World Record yet, but thanks. Here’s his ride

  99. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Chas ha ha @7:15 :-)

  100. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Raddy

    Just remember, it’s Red Wine on match days not some exotic cocktail :-)

  101. kelsey says:

    Raddy

    I hope you enjoy your two weeks in the cultural centre of Europe….Hull :)

    Talking about Laudrup I would propose a transfer window when managers can get sacked as this is getting out of all proprtion.

    The next one might be as short as the infamous 44 days of Clough. I am talking about that nutter who owns Cardiff and appointed Ole Gunnar Solskjaer . .

  102. chas says:

    Did you see that?

  103. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Chas
    Great surf film.
    The big question: do you tuck your wetsuit into gloves and boots, or wear them over gloves and boots.
    My theory is it depends on how you dismount. Some prefer head first (suit over), some prefer feet first (gloves over). Object to stop woosh of water powering it’s way in.

  104. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Kelsey

    Don’t be rude about Hull. I’ve got a night there next week. Whoopee

  105. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Right, time to go.

    Raddy,
    Have a great time, and remember, you do not go with all of our blessing. There is a groundswell of dissatisfaction amongst the ground crew here at your somewhat casual approach to duty.
    Still, not me, Bon Voyage :-)

  106. chas says:

    Swansea have decided that possession isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

  107. chas says:

    BR, I thought you were borassic?
    How come you’re always on holiday?

  108. kelsey says:

    chas

    he just got a rebate from a former divorce settlement.

  109. chas says:

    kelsey

    Rebate? It’s not possible to sew them back on, is it?

  110. evonnee says:

    One can tell they are frenchies – nosey parkers :)

    Micky – I thought it was confirmed, soz. He waited 8 hours for the right wave!!

    I like Laudrup too, very handsome manager. But I remember asking here if his success will continue and was told by many, that no, it won’t. Not robust enough for EPL, I still think he has done an amazing job at Swansea, they are mid table ffs, only 3 teams between them and ManUnited

  111. chas says:

    One of the proposed tube strikes is for the 11th to 14th February. That must put the manc home game in jeopardy, mustn’t it?

    http://www.tfl.gov.uk/corporate/media/newscentre/29555.aspx

  112. chas says:

    Gives a new meaning to getting pulled off at half time. :)

  113. Big Raddy says:

    chas. :-D Amazing what modern surgery can do.

    As to money……. I sold some extraneous body parts. And I am borassic because of the holiday.

    Kelsey: What’s wrong with Hull? It’s got a beach and fish/chips and ice cream and bars. What else does one need for a holiday?

    Sickened that I miss the entire first Death Cluster. I think we will come through unscathed

  114. kelsey says:

    Not really chas as they have a straight road ,the A3 from Surrey ,then through London central up to The Emirates.

  115. Big Raddy says:

    Majorly pee’d off about the LU strike. I have to stay in North London tonight for an early flight tomorrow morning. Have to get from Gatwick to Finsbury Pk this evening during rush hour. Should be fun!!

    Bastards

  116. Big Raddy says:

    kelsey. 8.16. You can’t polish a richard.

  117. evonnee says:

    Raddy – I was thinking about your planning skills or rather lack of them. Your fault that you are going to miss out on many big games, but quiet undeservedly we will be left without PMs!! That’s wrong, simply criminal

  118. arnie says:

    Motning all.

    Lovely surf vids. :D :D Should we say Happy Holidays, Raddy? :razz: Have fun!

  119. arnie says:

    Arsenal owner Stan Kroenke ‘to create American sister team called LA Gunners’ (Source: Metro). Allegedly.

  120. Morning all

    Sorry, running late ……. be back in a minute

  121. We have a New Post …………………..

  122. arnie says:

    Joint statement from Spirit of Shankly, Tottenham Hotspur Supporters’ Trust, Arsenal Supporters’ Trust and Arsenal’s Black Scarf movement about ticket allocations for the FA Cup game against Liverpool.
    http://www.spiritofshankly.com/news/lfc-afc-and-thfc-supporters-groups-joint-statement

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