Happy New Yearn …. Resolution Required ….

No it’s not a spelling mistake, but I will take the opportunity to wish all Arsenal supporters everywhere a Very Happy New Year. And to all those of you who Yearn for silverware and titles, I offer these words of comfort…….

The season is half over. We’ve done well; we’re 2 points off the top of the table in 3rd place.

Could we have done better? …. YES

Are we fortunate to still be in touch with the top? …. YES

Is it within our power to win the Premiership? …. YES, YES, YES ….. if we show the RESOLUTION and work rate we did against chelski

It all starts today when we face Birmingham City. They are hovering just above the relegation zone on 19 points and represent something of a bogey team for us in recent years. Apart from Martin Taylor putting an end to Eduardo’s Arsenal career, we also have to right the wrong of the very soft late equaliser conceded last season from a Kevin Phillips lobbed header that Stevie Wonder could have saved. Before that game we had a realistic chance of winning the title, but that result accompanied by yet more injuries to key players heralded the start of the collapse of our title hopes as we only collected 7 points out of a possible 18 to the end of the season.

Birmingham are no pushovers as they proved in a hard earned draw against the mancs. They play for one another and are a better side than their position of 16th in the table would suggest. Their team is a mix of ex-Arsenal players (Sebastian Larsson & Alex Hleb), seasoned pros (Stephen Carr), scumbags (Lee Bowyer – but thanks for the goal against manure) and an array of enthusiastic journeyman players schooled by their tough manager Alex McLeish.  They also have a giant up front in Zigic who has already scored from a header against us in the home tie which finished 2:1 back in October.

Zigic is a player we have to be aware of, not because of his sumptuous ball skills (because he doesn’t possess any) but simply his physical and aerial threat and for that reason, I implore Arsène to put Song, Djourou and Sczcesny in the side.  We need to put pressure on the ball and outclass them in midfield and Big Johan will have to remove Drogba from his pocket to make room for their big Serb.

After Wednesday’s game I have absolutely no idea what side Arsène will put out. I’m not going to second guess him, so this is the team I would pick.

Chamakh looks tired and a little lost so I’d keep resting him and play RvP. The jury is still out as to whether these two can gel in the same team. We cannot afford to have any passengers for this game so Nik and AA would be on the bench for me.

I’m pretty sure Fabiasnki will be in goal and AW is unlikely to pick all the players I have chosen as he will have half an eye on the citeh game coming up on Wednesday. My philosophy is simple, (some of you will probably say flawed and naive) win this game and then worry about the next. If we have the luxury of being 3 goals up with half an hour to go, we can substitute the more important players with any of the excellent options we have on the bench.

We’ll have our captain back and hopefully vice captain in waiting Thomas Vermaelen will shore up the defence very soon. Can we win? can we keep winning?

To the Michael Buble cover song – It’s a new life:

It’s a New Year

It’s a new day

It’s a new game

For Arsenal

And I’m feeling good

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205 Responses to Happy New Yearn …. Resolution Required ….

  1. London says:

    Morning Rasp and a happy New Year

    Good up lifting post there, I agree that Wenger will go with that team above but with Sagna being rested and replaced by Eboue.

  2. London says:

    Opps I just saw Chezney…..don’t think he will do that although I agree that he should.

  3. Rasp says:

    Morning London and a Happy New Year to you too :)

    It’s all to play for. One thing is for sure, there will be unexpected results for all teams in the games ahead. Let’s hope we got most of our bad luck in terms of refereeing decisions out of the way in the last game.

  4. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Rasp,
    Never ever admit to even knowing how to spell Michael Bubble. Not good.
    Great post though. It will be very interesting to see who the Boss selects. I am pretty sure that I read here yesterday Rocky saying Juve had tabled a £27m bid for RvP. Any truth in this?

  5. London says:

    Morning Micky

    I find it difficult imaging Juve that have 27 million to spend.

  6. MickyDidIt89 says:

    London,
    Morning to you too. Mmmmm, there is that.
    Its Song and Denilson for me today.

  7. London says:

    Micky

    Do you expect to see Denilson or do you you want to see him either way who would he replace above?

  8. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Lets face it, having picked 7 out of AW’s 8 changes for the Wigan game, I am now easily the site expert on line-ups (and naturally, had he picked my seven, we would be two points better off). Serves you right for being on holidy BR!!!

  9. MickyDidIt89 says:

    I expect to see him in for Jack. I am certainly not in the “always play your strongest team” camp, as some of our players are simply not up to it.

  10. MickyDidIt89 says:

    London,
    And I agree with you over Eboue in for Sagna. What the bloody hell he was doing over on the left the other day I have no idea.

  11. Rasp says:

    Morning Micky,

    Oh soothsayer of the team selection, which 11 do you think le boss will opt for today?

  12. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Rasp,
    I only perform on the big stage ie when asked to do a pre match. No such thing as a free lunch and all that!

  13. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Although, had I been asked in the appropriate fashion, I think I would have had an issue over AA. We saw how effective the pressing side of our game was with Sami and Theo. Well, if AA really can’t be bothered, then I for one, am asking questions. Like, what’s the point?

  14. Red Arse says:

    Morning All, and Happy New Year! :-)

    Micky, it does not take too much to confuse me, but …

    “having picked 7 out of AW’s 8 changes for the Wigan game, had he picked my seven, we would be two points better off.” Que? :-)

  15. Red Arse says:

    I saw that Eboue has just signed a new long-term contract extension.

    I wanted to last, at least, 1 day with good cheer to all men, but …… forget Eboue not being a left back, the real question is …. “what is the point of Eboue?”

  16. Rasp says:

    Pleeeeaaaseee Micky, I’m begging you :lol:

    I think our team can accommodate a ‘luxury player’ like AA as long as all the rest are pulling their weight. AA can do things others can’t and once in a while his moments of genius get us points when all appears lost. I don’t think he’s going to change at his age so he may have to accept not being a first 11 choice because he can’t be relied upon when the going gets tough.

  17. Rasp says:

    Morning RA, HNY,

    IMO EE A1….TTFN

  18. Red Arse says:

    Hi Rasp,

    I like your coded response.

    F U N E X?
    F U N E M?
    :-)

  19. Gooner in Exile says:

    I only hope the team shown above is what we get to see today at St Andrews, I’ll be pretty miffed if another 3 hour drive results in seeing the squad players.

    I would also pick Scezny today, he just seems so arrogant and nothing appears to faze the big fella (even his poor kicking in the first half against the mancs).

    With one eye on Citeh I think there may be a few more rested (Cesc and Theo likely candidates) with Arshavin and Rosicky playing in their places. Wenger will fear injuries from the robust tackling of the Brummies.

    For someone who says the players should fear no one, AW appears to be a bit to fearful of injuries and is suffering a bit of Benitez/Torres syndrome from last season. Win the game, then rest the players after 60 minutes. Remember in the good old days when the game would be dead after 60 minutes and we could take off Henry, Pires, Ljungberg, Bergkamp without worrying?

  20. goonerwife says:

    For some reason i have no problem with arshavin. I like him and the flashes of brilliance he shows. I’m not one of the people who needs to see him run himself ragged to prove his worth.

    I heard VanPersie, Song and Cesc will be back for this game.

    Happy new years guys and thanks for this blog and the respect you command on this site. Its rare in this country and I appreciate it.

    Here’s to the title people.

  21. Rasp says:

    Morning GiE,

    You put us all to shame with your dedication to the cause. It would be great to get a perspective from the away fans via your good self. I would suspect that I’ve got at least 3 players wrong in my team selection. Will he play Szczesny, Wilshire, Sagna and RvP – probably not, we can only hope. He definitely rested some of the best players, but surely not for Brum but citeh, but i suppose we do have 3 clear days to recover from today’s game and that is significant. There can have been no proper training sessions between the chavs and Wigan.

  22. Rasp says:

    Morning gw,

    I am a fan of AA (hence my gravatar) and I agree his moments of brilliance offer something we haven’t had since DB retired.

    He is a complex character. He is always the first player off the pitch at the end of the game. He has an impish sense of humour and he gets a lot of physical attention but never complains or does the ‘starfish’. He often does the ‘Henry thing’ where he looks disinterested and limps around seemingly not bothered, but all of a sudden he receives the ball and bursts into life – I have seen Berbatov do this too. Our team should be able to allow the talent of AA to flow, but it is a delicate balance and if the other players perceive he is not pulling his weight, that could be a problem.

  23. Big Raddy says:

    Happy New Year to all my Cyber-mates.

    A wonderful weeks skiing in Zermatt comes to an end and I am back for a nervy and I expect tight away game.

    4 points which really should have been 6 (where do they find these refs?? – the fool who took control of the Wigan game should be sent down to the Isthmian League).

    Micky, well played on the 7 out of 8.and fine post Rasp. I agree with GIE that we will continue to rest players. The City game is so important to our season.

  24. Big Raddy says:

    I agree Rasp. AA is a wonderful talent and has a place in the first 11 but I believe he has to play with Chamakh and not RvP. With Chamakh as a back to goal striker, AA can drift centrally which he does with aplomb, whereas RvP is more of the link player and takes the space that AA uses.

    (Dreadfully written but I hope you understand!!)

  25. Rasp says:

    I’m with you on that Raddy. I’m not so sure a partnership can be forged between RvP and Chamakh though. We’ve seen this before where players just don’t seem to work together. Funnily Bendy and Vela often makes a good combo and we know that Bendy and Barndoor was a disaster.

  26. Big Raddy says:

    I really missed the post-Chelsea and Wigan chat. It was good to see GF and Tomstoned come on and create a healthy discussion.

    With a little distance, I am not so disappointed by the Wigan game. Sure we weren’t at our best but circumstances caused us to lose the 2 points, with a decent refereeing performance we would have won easily. and AW’s rotation policy would have been hailed as reasonable. It wasn’t his fault that N´Zogbia was able to con Lee Probert, nor was it AW’s fault that Probert didn’t spot a clear handball.

    I have to admit that when Wigan got that corner I looked away – there was an inevitability about the goal.

    But would I have preferred us to win at Wigan and draw with Chelsea? No way. The euphoria of that win remains and I am convinced heralds a successful 2011

  27. MickyDidIt89 says:

    RA,
    I have confused myself, and however many times I read it back, I simply cannot work out what I was on about. Must have been something along the lines of similar numbers, wrong changes.

    Rasp,
    I do love AA. It is impossible not to. It is the “because he can’t be relied upon when the going gets tough” bit that I really don’t like. In january last season, I said that we would be win more points with Bellamy. Therein lies a big problem!!

  28. Big Raddy says:

    Micky.

    AA – 7 goals so far this season.
    Bellamy – 4.

    Where is the problem?

  29. dandan says:

    Morning folks and a happy new year, good to see you back BR.
    For me AA is a luxury to many, I would far rather Theo get a constant run in the side, so I see your today’s pick Rasp plus the injured TV as our best side although a sub of Chammy for RVP to give us an heading option as plan B, would also make sense

  30. Rasp says:

    Morning dandan,

    It did occur to me that my team was close to our strongest and for that reason alone it is extremely unlikely. My heart agrees with Raddy in that 3 points against the chavs is more satisfying than 3 points against Wigan, but actually in terms of winnng the title, it is not.

    In the same way, it would be more more rewarding to beat citeh than brum, but that’s actually as ludicrous. Let’s get the points today I say and then worry about citeh.

  31. Big Raddy says:

    Not true Rasp as I am sure you realise. The win over Chelsea was not just 3 points won by us but also 3 lost by a rival. Same will hopefully occur when we do the double over MC.

  32. Rasp says:

    OK good point Raddy, but would either of those sides have risked dropping points against a lesser team by preserving so many players for the big games subsequently in search of another important victory?

    Nothing will convince me that the level of changes made was appropriate or necessary. Peaches has repeatedly asked for us to start with a stronger line-up and then rest the players when appropriate and I agree – we’re just not good at chasing a game. I doubt the team against Wigan had ever played together before … maybe GN5 (AKA stato) can tell me.

  33. kelsey says:

    Happy New Year all on AA.

    I am surprised no one has picked up on the confirmed bid by Fulham for Bentner at 5.5 million,but Arsenal say thet want 6.5.Either way the boss must be prepared to let him go,and I have a feeling it is not about ability on the pitch but outside influences.

  34. Rasp says:

    Morning kelsey,

    I hadn’t seen that. I thought Vela and Almunia were the most likely candidates to leave. If AW is prepared to let Bendy go, he must have his eye on another striker – or small, mobile, goalscoring midfielder :oops: Eden Hazard?

    I origially though that the spuds would be welcome to becks as he won’t bring that much to them on the pitch, but then I realised what arry is doing. He’s building this feeing of superstardom in the squad and having Becks on the bench (together with merchandising sales) is a pretty shrewd move. But then again, we wouldn’t want him so good riddance.

  35. kelsey says:

    Morning Rasp,
    it was confirmed on Sky Sports.Vela will go out on loan most probably to Spain with Almunia both with a possible sell on price in the summmer.

    Off to the vet, back later.

  36. London says:

    If we had played Wigan in the week in the CC we would have expected to see that very same team selection and we would have expected to win.

    My opinion remains the same: the problem wasn’t the fact that there were eight changes, the problem was that there wasn’t nine.

  37. London says:

    Bang on about Beckham and spuds Rasp.

  38. Red Arse says:

    Any manager worth his salt, in any profession, (and there seem to be many AA’ers on here who meet that definition), will know you cannot simply concern yourself by concentrating on what is under your nose, but you have to look ahead and plan for various contingencies, some of which are forseeable and some not.

    (Now that is a long sentence! :-) )

    In choosing his teams Arsene is/has been doing just that.

    Where many bloggers disagree with him, whether or not they are, or have been, managers themselves, is down to a judgement call.

    Eight changes leading to a win and fresh players for the next game, equates to a perfect management decision.

    Eight changes leading to a loss or a draw, whatever the prevailing reasons, equates to a poor management decision. Or does it?

    Second guessing any manager, with the benefit of hindsight, and let’s face it we have all done it, or been subjected to it at some time in our careers, may at some level, be satisfying to the one making the observation and wishing to denigrate the manager in situ, but really it lacks any cerebral merit, in truth, and is a close cousin of the “I told you so” syndrome.

  39. Rasp says:

    Hi London,

    I saw you made that point yesterday about the subs but the comment disappeared before enyone could respond – remind me, what was the 9th sub you recommended?

  40. Rasp says:

    RA, in answer to your hindsight comment, I questioned the team selection when we were 2:1 up at half time and posted this the day after the match….

    Obviously AW made the judgement and believed that the team he selected would be good enough to win – he does not have the gift of hindsight. What he does have is the experience of previous games and similar scenarios. I wouldn’t expect him for one moment to come out and say “it was my fault, I got it wrong”. That would be bad for him and bad for the team. But I do suspect that if he had a time machine, he would go back and do a couple of things differently because his gamble did not pay off.

  41. London says:

    Rasp

    That was the point of the comment yesterday….to stimulate Arsenal conversation but as you say it disappeared…….I didn’t remove it and if you didn’t it does raise the question who did delete my comment?

    Anyway, the answer to who should have been the ninth change is that Szczesny should have been playing instead of Fabianski.

  42. London says:

    I really thought RA had you cornered there…..no way is he going to get out of this one and yet like Houdini here you are…..”time machine”……nice one ;)

  43. London says:

    Bendtner to Fulham? Do we believe this one? Eden Hazard is never going to happen what with the return of Ramsey and the emergence of Wilshere. Benzema is more likely, there is no way he will stay at Real Madrid next season.

  44. dandan says:

    Why would we buy a forward with the quality we have coming through, Bendy wants to go because he cant get a game. so no replacement needed.
    But a CH of experience to organise and fill in for a couple of years, now that I like.
    And London you are 100% right re flapper and Wigan, it was amazing to see the emotive stuff flying around over what was basically a preventable defensive error

  45. Big Raddy says:

    Come on you Baggies. ….

  46. Rasp says:

    London,

    That’s very odd, I’ve checked with peaches and it wasn’t her? The comment was perfectly polite and valid so I can only imagine it was a mistake by someone?

  47. Rasp says:

    I don’t want hazard either. Come on W Brom, 1 all and a great goal by the baggies

  48. Big Raddy says:

    Well said DanDan and London.

    Much as I hate to write it, Nik can go. But to Fulham? I hope not for his sake, they are relegation fodder, alongside Wolves and Blackburn.

    And the Wigan goal was Fabianski’s responsibility. He HAS to dominate his area. Could you imagine Mad Jens or Seamo allowing a goal like that?

  49. Big Raddy says:

    Another ref that SAF has got to. Shameful. No penalty, no red card.

    There should be an investigation into the appalling standard of refereeing this season

  50. Red Arse says:

    Rasp,

    My earlier comment was simply an observation on the generic responses from bloggers here and on other sites. It was not specific to you, at all. :-)

    I did, in fact, admit my own culpability too, (not about Arsene in this case, but the inevitable — “I would not have done that” — politicking that goes on between managers (and others) in most organisations).

    My own, somewhat contradictory, “I told you so” moment?
    I would have put out the best possible team to beat Wigan, and then Brum, and then Citeh, et seq, based on the best available player assets for each game.

    Why is this contradictory? Because by saying this I am guilty of second guessing Arsene. He too would have believed he was putting out the best possible team to beat Wigan, except he wanted to protect/rest players to achieve the best “over-all” results from the three games.

    Without hindsight, who could gainsay such a decision? Not me! :-)

  51. Red Arse says:

    I have been watching the WBA v Manure game while reading your comments.

    I cannot believe the refereeing incompetence on display. WBA had a cast iron penalty refused after a clear sending off foul by Gary Neville, and if it was not potentially so serious for us it would have been funny.

    I used the word “incompetence” above, but a more cynical person might have used far more savage words!

  52. London says:

    If that had happened in Italy everyone would have screamed corruption.

  53. dandan says:

    Gentlemen please, lets not go there it devalues our game even to contemplate such scenarios

  54. dandan says:

    Bloody hell Mark Schwarzer has flown off to the Asian cup, good job we didn’t buy him. We would be spitting blood

  55. Rasp says:

    That’s one of the worst penalties I’ve ever seen – manure are so lucky!! their unbeaten run continues and they must be favourites to win now.

  56. London says:

    If that had happened in Italy everyone would have screamed BUNG but here in England the most appropriate word is t……r. What kind of penalty was that?

  57. Red Arse says:

    That falls into the category of a non SAF approved penalty.

    He tells the ref, “what goes around, comes around”. Translated that means “make up your penalty numbers by giving an undeserved one against Arsenal instead … otherwise I breaka your legss”. (Seems I have resorted to broken Italian … your fault London). :-)

  58. Happy New Year All

    Just got to the end of todays comments as the mancs were denied a penalty for a blatant handball in the box but have scored from a corner anyway.

    Haven’t seen the Gary Neville incident but have been told to look out for it.

  59. RockyLives says:

    Happy New Year to all AA-ers/

    To Redders: S, VFM

  60. London – I saw your comment yesterday about the ’9′ but was just about to go out so didn’t have a chance to respond. I knew you meant Chesney but I thought you wanted Djourou to play so who else would you have changed to make it 9? Or were you happy for Djourou to have the rest?

  61. RockyLives says:

    It’s not corruption, it’s just that SAF sold his soul to the devil at the start of the 98/99 season.

  62. Big Raddy says:

    DD. Surely you will now accept my assertion that MU are the luckiest team in the PL. And that is over and above the fear they generate in referees.

    Totally outplayed today

  63. Rocky – blogging not emailing ;) Happy New Year

  64. Big Raddy says:

    It would be very interesting to have a review of the poor refereeing decisions and know whether there is any truth in my assertion that MU get the rub of the green.

    But SAF would never allow it :-)

  65. Red Arse says:

    Rocky,

    Thank Gawd for you!

    Have you noticed that Rasp always ducks coded questions? V. suspicious.

    Anyway, I will have some M N X! :-)

  66. Rasp says:

    S, VFX
    S, VFM

    4 candles?
    Fork handles

    Got any O’s?

    And it’s good night from me ….

  67. Red Arse says:

    Rasp,

    I know you like to avoid matters surreptitious. But when you say “fork candles”, do you really mean “fork off”? :-)

  68. Red Arse says:

    Peaches,

    I’m not one to interfere but ,,,, 9 .. did you miss the prefix “6″?

  69. dandan says:

    Sorry BR, I do think they pressure Officials fans and players and that plays on there nerves and they make mistakes. but lucky? I believe in the old adage the harder I work the luckier we get and the Mancs do keep going to the end, blast em.

  70. Rasp says:

    Haha RA,

    Just responding to your comment to Rocky – I wouldn’t want you to think that your pun from earlier had gone over my head …. and actually I’m just whiling away the time until the whistle blows and the inevitable happens – manure win a game they should have lost :(

  71. No RA, I didn’t – but it is a new year so you never know :oops:

  72. dandan says:

    Crimson backside, you know he didnt mean that.

  73. RockyLives says:

    Just look at the decisions we got at Wigan and the ones ManUre got at WBA.

    Officials are frightened of Old Purple Nose. The Gary Neville penalty was not one of those ones where it’s a clear pen on the SECOND look. It was a bang-on pen at the FIRST look. Everyone in the stadium saw it, everyone watching on TV saw it. One person apparently didn’t.

    He had to give the second one or it really would have looked like he’d been bought (which I don’t believe for a second).

  74. Red Arse says:

    Dandan,

    Thanks for the clarification. :-)

    Except, did you mean “he” Rasp or “she” Peaches, did not mean it?

    You must remember I am a simple ill educated, thick as two short planks individual, who should be allowed some leeway. :-)

  75. RockyLives says:

    Sorry Rasp, meant to say, great rousing post for the start of the NY.

  76. It appears Rio thought it was a penalty ;)

  77. ……. but SAF definitely didn’t ……

  78. 26may1989 says:

    Like the write up Rasp. Like you, I don’t really expect Szczesny to be picked today but I think your prediction for the outfield players is solid. Chamakh might be brought in but I hope RvP gets the nod.

    Re Arshavin, to me he’s now a squad player. A bloody good squad player, but a squad player nonetheless. He just doesn’t have high enough levels of fitness.

    Re the ongoing debate on the Wigan line up, we were the only team that had to travel for an away game kicking off 48 hours after the “Boxing Day” game. Chelsea played at home and everyone else played the BD game a day earlier. So with recovery times and travel the players who played against Chelsea effectively ha no training opportunity before facing Wigan. That, coupled with today’s game and the City game, made Wenger’s position very difficult. I’m surprised there’s been less sympathy for that in the discussion since.

    Re today, contain Zigic and I reckon we’ll win. But they’re a tough team to beat.

  79. Big Raddy says:

    26. Good point re holiday fixtures.

    We need 3 points today what with the Devilspawn winning, and the plums from N17 playing at home to 3 point Fulham

  80. 26may1989 says:

    Scratch one of my points, I’ve just realised that there was a bunch of teams that had to play on 26 and away on 28 December, so were in same position as us. Mea culpa.

  81. Rasp says:

    Hi 26m,

    I read your comment the other day and recognise that you don’t agree with my conclusions about team selection for the Wigan game.

    If I can clarify: I think the team selected (in which 80% of the oufield players had been changed) lacked balance, natural leaders, and the battling spirit of those who worked so hard to beat chelski. Changing 4 or 5 players might have left enough in the side to ensure the result. We had the players we needed on the bench but by the time they were brought on, we were unlikely to salvage all 3 points. We are not good at chasing games. Against chelski, what pleased me was how hard we worked (Barcelona-like) when not in possession of the ball.

    Unfortunately, the scenario was a familiar one and one from which we should have learned from previous experience ….. a great result in an important game (chelski), followed by points dropped against a team we should be able to beat, a chance to gain ground on our closest rivals is lost.

  82. Rasp says:

    And our rival’s luck continues – deflected goal for man city…….

  83. Rasp says:

    … but then they miss a penalty :P

  84. Bi-polar rules ok :lol:

  85. Rasp says:

    Hi peaches,

    Who have you lined up to write a match report for tomorrow?

  86. RockyLives says:

    If the results stay as they stand now, it puts a lot of pressure on us to win tonight.

  87. Red Arse says:

    26,

    “Mea culpa”? Perhaps “mea maxima culpa”? :-)

  88. Red Arse says:

    Peaches,

    Stop showing up my ignorance! :-)

    Bipolar? (Depression). Bipolaroid? (Exhibiting different sides of a situation)?

    My ignorance is much easier to live with, I suppose! :-)

  89. Hi’s and lows RA. Sufferers of Bi-polar have extremes of good and bad times – not wanting to minimise the seriousness of the condition, being a Gooner can be similar.

  90. dandan says:

    Thanks for that RA thought Bipolar was two bears on a tandem. Shows how little I know.

  91. Red Arse says:

    Dandan
    :-)

  92. No volunteers so far for the match report but Mike has offered to do the citeh.

    Maybe an angel will appear during the game ;)

  93. Hi dandan – Happy New Year, how’s the mouth today?

  94. dandan says:

    Sorry Peaches had gone to make Anne a Sandwich. My mouth has gone to hell on a handcart, got to have more out, root canal, a plate the works. Don’t I just love getting old.
    While the medics are buggering about with the pair of us, we cant go on holiday and there are some magic deals about, Saw a club Class flight to Sydney We would have bitten their hand off for and joined the Barmy Army without this lot.
    Dogs hiding in case I kick it.

  95. Irishgunner says:

    :lol: 8 changes again

  96. Big Raddy says:

    The results haven’t helped us over Xmas.

    AW names a decent first team, can we beat a bottom 3 team away?

  97. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Irish,
    8 more. Insanity, that’s 16 in two games!

  98. :lol: Micky – AW likes to keep us on our toes

  99. MickyDidIt89 says:

    No pressure then, what with results elsewhere.
    Can’t wait though.
    Hi BR, good holiday?
    And RA, “That falls into the category of a non SAF approved penalty”. :-)

  100. MickyDidIt89 says:

    :-) Smiley face hatrick.

  101. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Nasri RvP AA front row. Tasty in an expectant kind of amuse bouchey kind of way.

  102. Irishgunner says:

    Arsenal: Fabianski, Sagna, Djourou, Koscielny, Clichy, Walcott, Song, Wilshere, Nasri, Fabregas, van Persie. Subs: Szczesny, Rosicky, Denilson, Squillaci, Arshavin, Eboue, Bendtner.

    MDI89 – At least its a strong line up this time.

  103. MickyDidIt89 says:

    I’m wrong. Theo starts? Good, glad about that. Main course stuff.

  104. RockyLives says:

    Isn’t that the same starting 11 as the Chav game?

    Peaches – I can do the report. I’ll try not to be as verbose as usual!

  105. Big Raddy says:

    Great thanks Micky. Went to Zermatt which is a wonderful though ridiculously expensive town,

    Becks and family were there (not in our hotel ;-) )

  106. MickyDidIt89 says:

    BR,
    I understand that Menu’s there are now in Russian. True?

  107. MickyDidIt89 says:

    How much for nine pints of lager and a packet of scratchings?

  108. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Back half time.

  109. 26may1989 says:

    Just squeeze one in before KO. Great line up today.

    Rasp, I agree with you re the balance in the line up at Wigan (which is why I wanted Walcott in there) but I do think the circumstances made AW’s decisions pretty reasonable. Anyways, we’ve probably flogged that one to death now.

    COYRR!!!!!

  110. Big Raddy says:

    If we can get Walcott to work on Carr we will win. Carr hads been a fine player but is very long in the tooth. TW needs to switch wings throughout the game with Samir.

    COYRRG

  111. 26may1989 says:

    Looks so much better when our lot wear red socks.

  112. Big Raddy says:

    No question Johmson should have got a straight red.

    And now we punish them ……………

    RvP !!!!!!!!!!!!!

  113. 26may1989 says:

    Free kick was harshly given but for once a very well executed Arsenal free kick, exploiting a gap in the wall deliberately made by Cesc.

  114. MickyDidIt89 says:

    We don’t look very solid in front of the back four. Maybe Arsene was right in wanting to play Denilson alongside Song!
    At least then the ‘real’ Song could step forwards.

  115. 26may1989 says:

    Should’ve done better up front but there’s plenty of spark. We’re definitely getting the better of the refereeing decisions, shouldn’t have been a free kick when we scored and Brum should have had a penalty. Karma.

    As Micky says, the defence is being expose too often. At least Fabianski’s having a good one.

    Bloody horrible pitch.

  116. Big Raddy says:

    So many talking points in the first half.

    Firstly, we should be at least 3 up. What the hell is wrong with our forwards. RvP is having a mare and Theo is totally anonymous.

    We are getting a physical battering in midfield. Both Song and JW have gone missing. Thankfully Cesc is on god form – his 40 yard pass for Theo to squander was pure genius.

    JD and Kos playing well as are Sagna and Gael, but I would like to see us attack more on the right, Ridgewell will surely get a second yellow.

    Fine save by Fab2 from Larssen, but once again we look under threat from set plays.

    We need another goal early and then go on to win in style. If not it will be a tense second half.

    AI wrote earlier, we need to switch Samir and Theo from time to time. Oh, andwe were fortunate with the non-penalty handball from Robin

  117. MickyDidIt89 says:

    There is a nasty injury around the corner in this one.

  118. Big Raddy says:

    I wish Theo wouldn’t ALWAYS shoot across the keeper

  119. 26may1989 says:

    Nasri!!!!

    Brum mesmerised by passing.

  120. MickyDidIt89 says:

    If I was a Birmingham fan, I would defect to….urr, I dunno, Mars perhaps.
    Horrible team.

  121. Irishgunner says:

    Nice win, nice win.

  122. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Irish,
    Are you Bruce Forsyth in disguise?

  123. MickyDidIt89 says:

    By the way, we will thrash City. 3-0.

  124. dandan says:

    Wednesday is a big game, genuine 6 pointer, we can be one in front or five behind. So lets hope we are not carrying to many knocks

  125. Irishgunner says:

    Yes, Yes I am!

  126. ryandanielwood says:

    nice victory, could have been sweeter still had Brum shown some adventure, our counter attack was a little stagnant and we had to dwell outside their box.

    Still bring on City, I’m sure they’re hot headedness will open things up for us a little more.

    Well done you guns.

  127. SharkeySure says:

    Well done Arsenal

    Happy New Year to one and all.

  128. SharkeySure says:

    Should have written this yesterday but had a houseful.

    Peaches and Rasp. From what I can tell you two (plus Kelsey?) are the driving force behind the creation and maintenance of this this site, and I really must salute you two, for creating something that brings so much joy to so many people.

    I’ll continue to try and do my small part by reading daily and commenting as often as I can.

    So, many many thanks to you both (three?) from me !!

    Lastly, can I respectfully send a massive massive thank you to Radders who went to the trouble of getting my email address from the ringmasters at the other site and inviting me to partake on AA, however many months ago that it was.

    ArsenalArsenal. Masters of the blog universe

  129. Wonderman says:

    Happy New Year everyone
    In my grainy stream I thought a very satisfactory victory and three valuable points !!!! Birmingham are a bunch of thugs and got what they deserved for their anti-football , we could have had another break/dislocation on Cesc!! I hope they go down

  130. SharkeySure says:

    Last phase of Sharkey’s Oscar acceptance speech.

    I’d also like to thank all the regulars who I comment, interact and have many laughs with on here, plus the occasionals, and the recent newcomers.

    I’m not gonna fall into the trap of listing names, cos I’ll miss too many people out, and misspell/typo a fair few as well.

    Thanks to you all for many many laughs, the sharing of the highs, and the group therapy to get me thru the lows.

    Here’s to more of the same in 2011 !!

    *drinks icon* ?

  131. goonerwife says:

    I love the Cesc, Nasri, RVP combo.

  132. Statics says:

    i know my comment will probably be ignored, but i want to ask just one question, why we cant performed like that in every game?

  133. Big Raddy says:

    SS, Fairplay to you Sir. HNY.

    Nice win today against a team who were very very physical. Song Billong got stronger as the game developed but MOTM was surely our Captain. He was superb tonight

  134. SharkeySure says:

    Great post today Rasp. The bit about ‘typos’ obviously strikes a chord with me !!!

    Wonderman. Agreed. What I would now like to see is a video or picture reel with each of those ‘accidentals’ put on a loop and replayed to death, and for the media to make a case of it al. I wont hold my breath though.

  135. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Big Raddy didn’t bloody well invite me over!

  136. SharkeySure says:

    I too was a on a grainy stream even though I have ESPN, but the kids hadn’t been forewarned that the TV was required, so I let them have it and resorted to the streams.

    I’m really not looking forward to seeing some of those challenges in any great clarity !

  137. SharkeySure says:

    I think its a delicate issue MIDI. Not sure Raddy can just ask Pedro for a list of all email addreses

  138. Big Raddy says:

    Statics. Because they are human and not a computer game.

  139. SharkeySure says:

    Statics. I don’t know if your forte is cordon bleu cooking, accountancy, or model making. Whatever it is you can often find that the end results vary, even if you’ve tried your hardest to ensure that your level of effort and quality of inputs are consistently high.

    Footballs like life, its up and down.

    Anyway, I’m back to ignoring you now. ;-)

  140. kelsey says:

    Very nice comments sharkey but it really is just down to peaches and rasp,I and others help out when we can.

    great win but I feel RVP was a tad impotant :)

    Bowyer should get a red in retrospect.

    Personally I though Fab had a great game and his distribution was first class.Sagna impressed and to think it was a blessing in disguise that Nasri got left out of the WC.

    We played a very very physical team and came out of it with our heads held high.

    The own goal was one of the best moves of the season,and Djorou is certainly our lucky mascot.

  141. RockyLives says:

    Given Brum’s home record that was an excellent result. We made them look impotent.

  142. RockyLives says:

    Sharkey – agree about RvP. His touch, passing, shooting were all off.
    But then he did win the free kick and score from it for the opener. It’s clear he’s still working his way back to form, just like Cesc was in those games recently where his passing stats were way below normal.

  143. MickyDidIt89 says:

    HNY Kelsey,
    Simply cannot make up my mind about RvP. He does great work linking the play.

  144. Big Raddy says:

    Right Kelsey. JD was excellent again.

    Micky. How did you know about the Russians in Zermatt? One family spent £15k on their bar bill over 2 weeks. Very impressive and about 1000 times our bar tab!

  145. Sharkey – this is entirely a team effort, without Raddy, Rocky, dandan, Irish, London, kelsey and Alfa – who were instrumental in setting up the site and regular comments and posts from you, chary, Red Arse and all the many Gooners who visit the site we wouldn’t have Arsenal Arsenal so you can all take a bow together.

    By the way – have you been drinking ;)

  146. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Rocky,
    Agree, however, its the knowledge that as soon as he has completely regained his form, the inevitable happens. As I have said, it is fingers firmly crossed for our Robin.

  147. MickyDidIt89 says:

    BR,
    You don’t drink enough!

  148. RockyLives says:

    Like you said recently Micky, if Cesc and RvP stay fit…

  149. Special mention for MickyDidIt – I still don’t know how you found us but I’m awfully glad you did ;)

  150. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Oi Peaches,
    I’m better than Chary because he’s plain weird.

  151. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Ooops

  152. And what Robin brings to the game is his strength and the fact that nobody knows whether he’s going to be able to control the ball – us, the oppo or Robin himself, makes for a very interesting time.

    Seriously though, on Monday night he may have miscontrolled as many balls as he controlled but have faith, he’ll get there.

  153. Micky :lol: – sorry you got there before me :oops:

  154. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Thank you Peaches. Had I not found this site, I would have resorted to violence, and would now be homeless, so my thanks to you all for the roof.

  155. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Three points at Brum is excellent. Feeling very good about weds.
    Back am.
    Nite all.

  156. You’re very welcome Micky.

    My resloution for the new year is to have posts lined up three weeks in advance but don’t tell Rasp cos he always needs something to worry about ;) Get your names down now please.

  157. Thats a joke by the way, its no fun if I can’t nag someone :P

  158. London says:

    Great win

    Where are all those people calling for Wenger’s head?

  159. Rasp says:

    Full marks to Arsène on picking the strongest possible side. I hope we don’t have any significant injuries and the majority of today’s team will feature against citeh.

    I can see us resting players against Leeds and I don’t suppose AW will be too upset if we don’t progress in the FA cup with CC final looming.

  160. Big Raddy says:

    Micky. I always pay cash :-)

    BTW that was B’ham’s second home defeat in 29 games which underlines how good a result this is

  161. London – wrong site?

  162. Big Raddy says:

    We are sure to play our second string v Leeds and again at Ipswich. And we will beat them both.

    Night all – good to be home

  163. Irishgunner says:

    Will anything happen regarding Bowyer’s stamp on Sagna?

  164. Hi Irish – who decides if these incidents need to be looked at again? Do the clubs put them forward or do the referees get alerted to them after the game and include them in their report.

  165. RockyLives says:

    Irish – of course not. He’s British, Sagna’s French, Birmingham are not a newsworthy team… no action.

  166. Irishgunner says:

    Peaches – I don’t know? Can the ref bring it up in his review? Say he never say it but it was brought to his attention afterwards?

    RockyL – All that’s a bit cynical to many but very true to you and I.

  167. RockyLives says:

    Also, the ‘victims’ are less bothered when they’ve won, so we’re less likely to make a fuss.

  168. Irishgunner says:

    They just highlighted it on Irish TV – labeled it as “disgusting” and “typical” of Bowyer – Wonder will MOTD do the same? :roll:

  169. RockyLives says:

    Well played RTE! (or was it one of the others?)
    Is there a MoTD on tonight then? Sadly that’s one show I can’t get through iPlayer while here in Canada, but Arsenalist sometimes shows the MoTD Arsenal sections on his site.
    HNY Irish. Any resolutions?

  170. Irishgunner says:

    Yep it was RTE – in fairness I failed to mention Liam Brady was on the panel but not sure if that mattered, he did say RvP intentionally handled the ball so no bias from Brady.

    Happy New Year to you too :) I’ve only one – learn how to drive.

  171. RockyLives says:

    Yeah, my golf’s a bit crap too.

  172. Irishgunner says:

    :lol:

  173. RockyLives says:

    I think my resolution might be to put some faces to some of the AA names next time I get over for a game.

  174. Just remembered that I put a comment on in reponse to Irish, sorry, forgot to check back.

    Yes, we have MOTD tonight – its just started.

    Rocky, you’d better not sneak in and go to a game without letting us know next time – are you planning a trip soon?

  175. Irishgunner says:

    I might head over March or April for a Saturday game

  176. Rasp says:

    Note to Micky,

    You’re not the only one who gets 10/11 for player prediction. I got everyone right except the keeper and I knew I was wrong in that one :P

  177. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    Morning all

    Good win that. Does anyone know the words to the Sami Nasri song? the away boyz & girlz sounded great too :)

  178. Rasp says:

    Na na na na na na na na na na na
    Samir Nasri
    Nasri
    Samir Nasri

  179. Rasp says:

    Morning gg,

    I got it right about Bowyer being a scumbag too …… two blatant assaults including a stamping on Sagna, the cameras picked it up very clearly, but I don’t suppose the limp wristed twats at the FA will do anything.

  180. Gooner in Exile says:

    We’ve got Cesc Fabregas (repeat 4 times)

    You’ve got Lee Bowyer (repeat 4 times)

    Funniest song of the night. Along with:

    Your Grounds to Big for You ( re the empty seats)

    The Samir Nasri song is to the tune of Baby Give it Up isn’t it? I’ll dig out a YouTube link tomorrow.

    Game was very good atmosphere in the away end was cracking, lots of humour, lots of upset Brummies gesturing in our general direction.

    Performance of the team one of the best I have seen us put in, stood up to the physical side of Birminghams game, seems we have now learned to live with bugger all protection and are prepared to take one for the team and dish out a bit too. As well as Bowyers stamp it also looked like Jerome stamped on Kos in first half.

    The defence were superb tonight, we even dealt with the beanpole freak well, made me think Arsene recruited a bunch of basketball players to help the defence become accustomed in training this week.

    I thought we looked purposeful going forward, Song was immense and Nasri, Cesc and Theo came into their own in the second half. Nasri just seems to have that extra second to decide what to do with the ball, he is poetry in motion with the ball at his feet.

    Even AA came on and chased the ball around, my wife ( who to be fair is not the greatest football analyst, but she married me so she will learn) even commented that he was impressive tonight compared to Wednesday.

    A very worthwhile 7 hour drive. Time to watch MOTD and relive it all.

  181. Gooner in Exile says:

    7 hour round trip I should have said (including almost an hour waiting to be let out the car park)

  182. RockyLives says:

    Well done GiE. You lot were coming through loud and clear on the box. I loved the Cesc Fabregas/Lee Bowyer chant.

    It looked a thoroughly good performance on the TV but you always get a different perspective when you’re actually there so it’s nice to know how good we looked to you.

    You wife sounds more footballistically perceptive than many!

    Happy New Year to both of you.

  183. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    Cheers raspy, Yep Bowyer looked awful :lol:

  184. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    On ya GiE, much appreciated with the songs. I love the away support. I can hear you all loud & clear 20,000 kms away here in Tasmania.

    Look forward to the you tube :P

  185. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    “The defence were superb” indeed. Big Johan even has a tinge of ginger in his hair now. Alex Billabong Song aka Sheeps Head carried on from the chav fixture.

    RVP was busy but may be a bit rusty. But rusty, getting a shine back is better than in the medicos room lying on his back. If number 14 is to be achieved then IMHO he needs to be up & about til the last week of May.

    You know, of all the people that I’d love to see The Arsenal win the Biggee for, apart from the long suffering fans :), is Arsene Wenger. Yes he cops it when things go a bit pearshaped, but FLICK he makes me laugh when the boyz score & he jumps outa his seat. He really is a Gooner tragic of the highest degree. But in saying that, he must not take his foot off the pedal from now on till the job is done. I’ll be watching old mon ami :cool:

  186. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    Happy New Year it is. I see old Uncle Sam’s economy is finally showing a pulse. Ofcourse in Oz if they sneeze, we catch a cold. Here is my song to bring in the New Year.

    Onya Stan :P

  187. London says:

    Morning Gnarley

    Quality comment up there at 5:39

    And what a great addition Gooner in Exile is? A fan that goes to away games and gives us first hand quality comments…..great stuff.

    This site really is going from strength to strength.

  188. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Morning Gnarley/London.
    So, Big Johan is ginger, and RvP is rusty. I see where you are going with this!
    Willie Young, Alan Ball, Perry Groves. Gnarley, is this transfer window talk, and have you spotted a weakness? I think what you are saying, is that we need a full on red top.

  189. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    Evening London/MDI89

    There’s a buzz going around. But lets not get ahead of ourselves :)

  190. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    If The ARSENAL are going to win The Title, then this City game @ home will go a big way to making it a 2 horse race………then United play @ Ashburton Grove.

    What Spuds? I don’t rate’em. flash harry’s as far as I’m concerned. Pay back will be @ Shite Hart Lane.

  191. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    Spuds are IMO an entity with a chip on its shoulders. They do everything they do, to out do The Arsenal. How pathetic is that? Its spelt J.E.A.L.O.U.S

  192. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    Poor ol’spuds. They live in Arsenal’s shadow. And long may it continue :lol:

  193. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    BR said as an Ocker I’m brash. So in the the spiwit :oops: I mean spirit of BR. Fuck I’d love to see The Arsenal win The Title. I really would!!!!

  194. Big Raddy says:

    Still warm from last night.

    We witnessed both faces of this team. A first half where we fought fire with fire and refused to be kicked out of the game, then the second where we lit up the pitch with some superb Wengerball.

    Power, durability, skill and tactical awareness. World domination is on the horizon :-) (perhaps a slight exaggeration!)

  195. Big Raddy says:

    Morning GG. Still sore from the Ashes? ….. ooops i promised I wouldn’t mention the cricket to you.

    A Happy New Year to you – one filled with adventure and silver

  196. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    BR

    I’ve well & truely moved on from that. Footy is king with GG9. Speaking of which, shouldn’t be too long till Mary pumps out another future king or queen of the Danes :)

  197. Big Raddy says:

    GG. It’s twins – these Vikings are potent chaps!

    I was skiing with an Aussie family – they were apoplectic about the Baggy Greens. They were MU nuts, so I gave it to them in spades.

  198. MickyDidIt89 says:

    What is a Baggy Green?

  199. 26may1989 says:

    200 comments on one AA post, is that a record?

  200. Gooner in Exile says:

    Couldn’t agree more with Gnarley about winning the title for Wenger, I have a slightly different reason though. His Loyalty.

    When we were losing our stars and moving to the Grove he could have left, Real Madrid, Barca and others were sniffing around him the papers were full of rumours saying he wouldn’t sign a new contract yet he stayed and showed the club great loyalty. In recent weeks/seasons (or after a bad result) some “fans” have not shown him the same courtesy and start calling for his head.

    I am not one who believes he is infallible but I am also not someone who presumes I know more than Arsene does about the game the squad and how to be a top manager.

    The Arsenal have always done things the right way, if the money falls out of football we will still be standing while others will fail.

    There are some things as a club we could improve on, but that would require a change in ticketing strategy at the Emirates. I may submit a post to the Arsenal Arsenal blog gods in the near future.

    I think that’ll be it for away games for me for a while as the upcoming fixtures are normally Gold and TC members only will have to wait til the next bunch of Northern fixtures at teams who cant fill their stadiums guaranteeing us a big allocation, could be Stoke and Bolton. Have managed to get lower tier Clock End tickets for Wigan at home with my brother – I want to see the revenge hammering!

  201. Big Raddy says:

    Micky. Aussie cricket team – the caps.

    GIE. I agree entirely re AW

  202. Morning Happy Gooners

    New Post

  203. LB says:

    Great write up, great comments. This site is the bomb!! Love you guys. But sorry, I love the club more even though I have never been to a single Arsenal game, I’m stuck in little old South Africa. But the advantage here is that I get to see every single Arsenal game. Our sports package on pay TV is comprehensive, probably better than any other on earth. Everything on one subscription.

    Now let’s beat Man City. I agree, a win against them will define our season, and our coming of age. If we win by more than one goal, even better.

    Agreed also, the away fans were fantastic. They were loud. I sometimes get the feeling the team is more comfortable playing away. Does anyone else get that sense?

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