Arsenal 3 Birmingham 1 (Job Done)

Not quite the humiliation we were hoping for but good enough. Arsenal started where they left off against Blackburn: quick thinking, crisp passing, fast flowing football and being two up after 20 minutes was no more than we deserved.  Van Persie scored what now must be viewed as his trade mark goal; he seems to score in similar fashion in every game: the sublime take, the swivel and the bullet like shot, hard and low along the ground, past the helpless goal keeper. Perhaps the only variation on the theme was the fact that it was supplied superbly by Alex Song rather than Fabregas. It does make me chuckle when I read comments from people concerned about how we will cope when he goes to the ACN; these very same people wanted to chase him out of town not so long ago. Doesn’t it make you ask yourself how much they really know about football?

I digress; the second goal came from a passage of one touch Wengerball at its mesmerising best: Fabregas to Eboue who rolled a deftly weighted pass to fast moving Rosicky enabling the Czech captain to cut it back with pace for the onrushing Diaby to cleanly strike it home with his left foot.  I expected the goal to do the confidence of the much maligned Frenchman the world of good but soon after scoring he lost possession by characteristically hanging onto the ball too long; although, to be fair, this does not tell the whole story. As the match went on he did improve to the point where it has to be said that he had a decent game.

At two nil up everyone in the ground including the twenty two players on the pitch thought the game was over as a competition, and it should have been but Birmingham got their slice of luck when at first sight it seemed like Mannone had made a school boy error in spilling what looked like a standard catch in the air; Bowyer was first to the loose ball; he scored and by doing so allowed Birmingham back into the game. The reaction around me was angry shouts demanding to know why the first team keeper, if he was fit enough to be on the bench, wasn’t playing.  The words “Short Memories” sprang to mind, Almunia was playing crap before he got a “chest infection”, an expression you will now find in the Arsenal dictionary of football parlance to mean – dropped. By contrast Mannone had been playing well and deserved to keep his place; the fact that Almunia didn’t walk straight back into the first team also sends the right message and should keep him on his toes. On closer inspection Mannone was fouled and the goal should not have stood but this confusion will make Wenger’s job much easier when he restores Almunia to the first team against Alkmaar in the week.

Birmingham started the second half with restored self belief: coming onto us which left huge gaps behind their defence, space that Walcott is so good at exploiting. Unfortunately he had to go off after being scythed down in Brum-Scum style within the first five minutes. I still believe this will be the season in which he makes his name on the EPL. The lack of a reassuring third goal gave cause for concern which was reflected in the slightly more nervous football that Arsenal started to play. If Walcott had still been on the pitch I am convinced that a two goal cushion would have been restored quicker; but, nevertheless, the problem was solved when Arshavin, who had looked bored and uninterested for the majority of the time he was on the pitch, scored a goal of such quality that we forgive him anything.


122 Responses to Arsenal 3 Birmingham 1 (Job Done)

  1. London says:

    Afternoon all

    I still feel crap, see you later.

  2. peachesgooner says:

    Oh dear London, not your usual emotional and witty match report following a 3-1 victory but hang-overs have a way of making one feel crap 😦

    Nice of you to write one anyway 🙂

  3. rico says:

    Morning all

    One too many London? Hope you feel better this morning. Was the game that bad it drove you to drink 😉

    Only got to see the game yesterday – some of our play was such a class above the other sides, yet….

    Theo looked like he meant business from the off, the tackle on him was hard to say the least, but I really hope its nothing other than a bruise.

    I caught some of the Citeh game yesterday, I can’t work out if they were poop or Wigan were good. Either way Citeh do not look like a side who will challenge for much this season. I watched that striker who used to play in London warm up, what a lump! He has had his glorious minutes at Citeh already and is back to the standard we all knew he could reach week in week out, yep he was shocking !! He even pretended to have an injury so he could go off for a rest, what a lump!!

  4. rico says:

    Arsene Wenger has conceded that Real Madrid was a big attraction to him when they tried to lure him away earlier this summer.

    Wenger admits he has a soft spot for the Spanish champions, but in the end he could not leave Arsenal.

    One reason he is so committed to the Gunners is that he made a promise to his current batch of youngsters that he would remain in charge at Emirates Stadium.

    “Real is the club of my childhood. When I was a kid, watching those guys in white, winning everything, then of course I am attracted by that club, but I have a pact with the young players of my team, and I want to succeed with that bet,” Wenger told L’Equipe.

    “I identified what was important in my job: freedom. Here, I have it.

    “I could have earned bigger wages at Real, but I earn a good living in London. At my age, money can’t play a key role.

    “If I left for Real, I would have tried to filter through my philosophy, re-organized everything. I could have given foundations to the club’s structure.

    “That would not have prevented me from signing Ronaldo or Kaka. But that team is only built on bought players, while Real has a tradition of a beautiful game.

    “They have to do what has been achieved at Barcelona through young players: creating a culture.”

    CL ambition
    Wenger also revealed his belief that his current side could win this season’s Champions League.

    “People say I love a ‘romantic’ game, which is a kind of searching for beauty. You need such an ambition at the start. However, I am not a champion for beauty and only for beauty. Pleasure also comes from winning. I advocate extra soul: a team built patiently, with young players dedicated to remain together for five or ten years, and that can identify with the culture of the game and the club,” said Wenger.

    “My team is ready to play a Champions League final. Why not winning it? We have more assets this year than the last one, because we have more certainties and more mental strength.

    “Maybe I am more a builder than an investor. Actually I am realistic. When I made them build Emirates Stadium, I told myself: ‘How could we stay at the highest level playing with the best players, against the best clubs, respecting the well-balanced finances at the club?’ To me, the only solution was creating a team of young players, little by little, to lead them to high level.”

    He also pointed the finger at teams like Real and Manchester City for spending huge sums of money on their sides, insisting it was akin to ‘cheating’.

    “That is not idealism,” he said.

    “We are very close to making it in the Champions League with a very young team, respecting a well-balanced budget, facing clubs that do not necessarily respect that. Playing when you lose €150million, to me it is cheating.”

    Alonso and Barry
    Wenger also revealed why he had not bought either Xabi Alonso or Gareth Barry in the summer.

    “I have been criticised for not hiring Xabi Alonso or Gareth Barry. But if I signed them, I would have killed Song, Diaby and Denilson,” he insisted.

    “My principles have forbidden me to do that. Actually, the moment when I was the most criticised at Arsenal, last season, was the moment when I did the most for the club.

    “I told the shareholders we have to trust this team. Everything is based on my own conviction. If in two years I don’t have any success, it will be my fault. It is a bet I made.”

    Wenger is now the longest-serving manager in Arsenal history and he admits to looking at his own legacy, feeling a Champions League title is a necessity for him.

    “I am not dreaming to become immortal,” he said.

    “When a coach remains a long time in a club, he has to leave that stamp, that mark. That is what I am dreaming to achieve. It would be unforgivable to have had the privilege of longevity and leaving no trace after me. But that means a win in the Champions League, because great wins reinforce certainties and give rightfulness to a culture.”

    The Arsenal boss also spoke about his summer pursuit of Bordeaux striker Marouane Chamakh and he was less than enamoured with the French club’s attitude.

    “He’s a player I like, it would be great to have him but I have too many attackers – but frankly, Bordeaux was not very classy to me,” he continued.

    “They asked too much money and I do not want to pay as much. Chamakh, I even called to tell him: ‘Listen, Eduardo came back, I’m not going to let you sit on the bench’

  5. rico says:

    Arshavin is a funny player I think, when he doesn’t have the ball I often think he is bored, he looks as if his mind is anywhere but on the games he is playing. He walks around as if he is gently walking off his Sunday lunch 😉

    But then suddenly his alarm clock in his brain goes off and he does something magical, either a run, pass, or score a world class goal – does he remind anyone else of a player who used to do that…?

    You know the one I am thinking of…

  6. Rasputin says:

    Morning Roadsters, rico….

    Re: AA, has anyone noticed how he always sprints off of the pitch at the end of the game? He doesn’t hang around to celebrate or acknowledge the applause. He quickly shakes a few hands and then make a bee line for the tunnel. I think he is so comfortable with his ability that he doesn’t require accolades. He is the most assured goalscorer I have ever seen. Its like he thinks “we need a goal so I’ll just score one” – and he does! I think the fact that he may appear disinterested is just part of his confidence/gameplay. If the opposition look at him and he is just sauntering around they may stop worrying about him and then he produces the magic and they’ve been done by the sucker punch again.

    I absolutely love the guy … sorry Irish (nice to meet you by the way) but I think he is a cut above Rosicky … but we probably still haven’t seen the best of Tomas yet 😉

  7. London says:

    Morning Rico

    “Gently walking off his Sunday lunch” This one brought a smile to my face. Arshavin clearly has different gears; I saw him play against Germany and he gave his all for 90 minutes; I can only guess that it has something to do with opponents worthy of his full concentration and effort. The only other time I have seen him do that was in the CL, a competition that seems to mean a lot to him. My prediction this week is that he will be man of the match on Tuesday against Alkmarr.

  8. rico says:

    Morning Rasp

    I love him too, he so reminds me of Henry, how often did he look to be disinterested, and then wham, goal scored for fun..

    What I do love with this group of players is they are all clearly very happy around eachother, the way they celebrate together is so genuine. Our camp is a happy camp, a very happy camp…

    Talking of which, Julian Clarey was very funny last night, naughty at times, but very funny 😛

  9. London says:

    Morning Rasp

    I didn’t see you there when I posted.

  10. rico says:

    Morning London – hope you are free of pain this morning 😉

    I just shows how much class his has and how he is able to read the game he is playing in – why race around at 90mph all game chasing the ball – let the ball work and just be in the right place at the right time.

    What did hit a note on Saturday with him, Theo was on the touchline having treatment, Arshavin warming up to come on in his place. But instead of being selfish and worrying about himself, he went to talk to Theo and showed concern for him. Now that is a gent…

  11. Rasputin says:

    Morning London – how’s the head?

  12. kelsey says:

    Morning all,

    lucky ave doesn’t live over here as he wouldn’t get up until 6.00 p.m..

    Totally off subject but did anyone see the X Factor last night.

    Cheryl Cole made a complete ass of herself miming to her debut solo singer to be followed by Whitney houston singing live, even though she still looked a bit stoned.

    Apparently Theo is out for 3 weeks, however long that is ?

    Nice post london, not easy to write posts on a regular basis, but i must say Song is really improving.

    Apparently the Brum Scum were singing Martin Taylor’s name. when Theo got injured.

  13. Rasputin says:

    A suggestion for Raif’s terminology:

    BRUMSCUM …. any group of supporters who go beyond the limit of good taste by obescene chanting

  14. Rasputin says:

    That’s incredible kelsey … I thought I’d just made up the term brumscum ….

  15. peachesgooner says:

    Doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo – kelsey and rasputin are you in the same room…… spooky ….

  16. peachesgooner says:

    Arsene Wenger said he thought it showed a lack of class from the Birmingham supporters to be singing Martin Taylors name……

  17. avenell says:

    Morning Roadsters.. Good match report London.

    Have a read of this, a view from a Brum “scum” fan..

  18. rico says:

    Hi peaches, kelsey and ave…

    Something funny to share with about Julian Clarey last night –

    He was doing a sketch about being able to see into the future, he said many things but one in particular made me laugh and I thought of you guys

    He said that in the years to come he was going to have an affair with a premiership footballer – he said he couldn’t tell us who it was because the player wasnt ‘out’ yet…..

    After the usual pause etc….. He said…

    All I can say is that Cheryl won’t be best pleased 😉 😉

  19. avenell says:

    😯 morning rico.. you dirty stop out you.
    What time did you get in?

  20. rico says:

    Not late ave, home by 11.15pm 🙂

    He was in Basingstoke so not too far 🙂

  21. avenell says:

    45 mins from pumpkin time..

    Any news on your beloved Theo’s knee yet?

  22. Rasputin says:

    I am incandescent with rage over the ongoing debate regarding the tackle on theo.

    Talkshite is the main culprit. That cretinous sweaty Alan Brazil phoned Graham Poll – head of the referees association and he said that there is a misconception that if a player gets the ball first, then the tackle is not a foul …..THIS IS INCORRECT!!!! ….. if the player goes through the ball in such a way as to potentially injure a player .. THEN IT IS FOUL!!!! …… the tckle on Theo served two DELIBERATE purposes for the brumscum player – he won the ball and injured Theo who was tearing him a new ***hole at the time.

    The talksport dinosaurs need to go watch cage fighting ….. they clearly don’t appreciate what constitutes the beautiful game ….

    Rant over … thanks for reading 😆

  23. avenell says:

    Afternoon Rasputin..

    I totally agree. here is a bit from my post I nearly finished yesterday.. (london saved me from having to finish it. 🙂 )

    A big mistake from Birmingham was the tackle on Walcott, Ridgwell got the ball, the player and half of the orange quadrant with the follow through. The big mistake? Yeah we replaced Walcott with an even better player. Arshavin. Wasn’t it great to see him come onto the field with a big smile on his face, that just proves that all this media crap about him being untrue is the usual load of old b***cks. I was listening to that talk crap radio show as usual this morning and the fat Quinn said that the tackle by Ridgewell on Theo was fair and it is a contact sport, even though Graham Poll had already explained the rules have changed since the late eighties it fell on deaf ears. As a caller said this is why England never go all the way in Europe because the cut and thrust is not part of the world game anymore and it’s all about technical ability and speed now.

    At this point the Birmingham fans were chanting the name of Martin Taylor, how the club must be proud of their supporters.

  24. Rasputin says:

    Hi ave, were on the same songsheet here.

    Some idiots on Talkshite were even saying that if Theo was a better player he’d have jumped out of the challenge … but then no doubt he’d be accused of being a coward or maybe diving … give me strength!!!!

    Reyes couldn’t take the physical side of the English game. He was a lightweight, but refs used to let him take a good pasting before they started handing out cards. No doubt Hleb felt he might be able to play more in a foreign league too. I don’t want players who aren’t tough, but the Theo tackle could have put him out for the rest of the season.

    Here’s an idea…… if a player commits a physically damaging malicious foul calculated to maim, and the ref punishes him with a card, then that player should not be allowed to play for his club again until the player he injures is also ready to return … that’d be justice 👿

  25. avenell says:

    If Rooney tackled Diaby and injured him, we could leave Diaby out for 5 years.. ruin Rooney’s career and Man U’s title chances.. worth the sacrifice.. 😉

    Rooney will damage someone badly one day in seriousness..

  26. avenell says:

    Ferguscum has just been charged by the FA for his comments on Willey.. even though he apologised..
    (radio 2)

    Er hang on.. it took him a week to do it..

  27. Rasputin says:

    I know it’d never work ave .. but its a nice idea!!

    I remember commenting to you at the time that I thought that Alonso had deliberately injured Cesc .. .he has a history of ‘kicking through’ players

    You can see when the red mist descends on Rooney and he starts chasing round after the ball like a lunatic – you’re right, he may well injure someone badly one day.

    Roy Keane should have been prosecuted by the police for assault when he admitted in his autobiography that he deliberately injured Alf-Inge Haaland and ended his career.

  28. avenell says:

    I remember your comments about Alonso..
    There is a dispute on if that Keane tackle ended Haalands career. some say it was his other knee that stopped him playing (I don’t know)
    but it was nasty. and how stupid saying it was premeditated.

    How did Irish get on, on Saturday? I hope she enjoyed herself.

  29. rico says:

    My net access keeps crashing so off to speak to BT, wish me luck 🙂

    My last few comments have been lost 😦

  30. Rasputin says:

    She was good ave … it was a whistle stop affair as she was on her way to oz and couldn’t hang around long. She’s great company and as you know, a match for anyone in her football knowledge. Shame the game wasn’t a better spectacle and as always a huge number of numpties left the ground before the end which always infuriated me ….

  31. avenell says:

    That’s good Rasp.. did you go to that dodgy meeting place for a drink beforehand? 😉

    Oh dear rico.. 😦

  32. Rasputin says:

    No ave, we went to The Gaslight opposite krapyrubsnif station … but we didn’t imbibe to the epic levels achieved by London 😉

  33. peachesgooner says:

    Good luck rico – I’ve just got away from a 2hour BT call about my internet aaaaaarrrrrrgggggghhhhhh

    …although as you can see the very nice man in Mumbai did fix it in the end… 😀

  34. peachesgooner says:

    Hi ave – how are you 🙂

  35. peachesgooner says:

    Sorry can’t stop – be back later 😛

  36. avenell says:

    I’m er … Oh your not interested .. 😦

  37. Freire says:

    Hello everybody… I’ve been reading your coments above and I felt you are a little pessimist.. am I wrong?

    i’m still trying to understand what happened to London’s head…LOL… just hope he’s ok now.

    Has anyone heard the Birmingham fans chants against Eduardo? I’ve read Wenger comments about it on the official website, but I really didn’t realize they were singing that… Hundreds of ignorants, ehn?
    Talk to you later… i’m going to class now. See you!

  38. Freire says:

    Well, i was just forgeting … Ave, I want to talk to you later, if you don’t mind, ok? Nothing important 😛 See you!

  39. avenell says:

    Okay mate.. speak later.

  40. kelsey says:


    What is he saying you ask ?.

    I don’t want to feel like the wise old sage,but forgetting his boyish looks and immense intelligence most probably on and off the field, I have mentioned before,that he may be a short term player at Arsenal.

    his original choice was to go to Barca, he was even lonked with Spurs, both last summer,and of course we got him at the eleventh hour.

    The tax band suddenly becomes an issue,as he rightly says the tax in Spain is a fraction compared to the UK.

    nevertheless all the top players can’t quit the PL and go to Real or Barca, as they are the only two clubs who can afford mega wages.

    It’s a bit ironic that AA coming from what was a communist state some twenty years ago is so money orientatd.

    I would much rather he said that he is privaleged to play for a great club like Arsenal,rather than the quote you posted.

    I sincerely hope I am wrong,but if we win anything or not this season,he could be another who puts money before winning trophies.

    i am quite happy for someone to give a different interpretation.

  41. Rasputin says:

    ooooohhhh, I do hope Andrey’s not going to turn into Arshley! 😦

    A meaty offer of £25m plus may well turn the board’s heads ……

  42. Rasputin says:

    I get the impression that AK47 is a bit of a loose Kalashnikov when it comes to his comments to the press. I think the guy is fearless in his play and his opinions and that includes those of his employers..

  43. avenell says:

    I believe he speaks quite a lot through his own website.. I’ll go and have a look.

  44. rico says:

    Whey hey, a very nice man has sorted our internet out 😛

  45. rico says:

    Just read the AA comment, is that not old news just hyped up a bit – he won’t leave 🙂

  46. rico says:

    He could also be trying to wind up the other clubs 🙂

  47. rico says:

    Theo is out for a month 😦 😦

    The W*nker is set to become a billionare!!!!

  48. rico says: say….

    Nasri and Fabianski are back in the squad for the match tomorrow 😛 😛

    For the reserves, against Wolves 😆 😆

  49. rico says:

    Rosicky is also out of the match tomorrow 😦

  50. rico says:

    Arsenal squad to face AZ Alkmaar:

    Vito Mannone
    Manuel Almunia
    Carlos Vela
    Robin van Persie
    William Gallas
    Bacary Sagna
    Kieran Gibbs
    Thomas Vermaelen
    Mikael Silvestre
    Gael Clichy
    Andrey Arshavin
    Fran Merida
    Jack Wilshere
    Aaron Ramsey
    Cesc Fabregas
    Emmanuel Eboue
    Abou Diaby
    Alex Song

  51. rico says:

    Carlos Vela, Fran Merida, Aaron Ramsey and Jack Wilshere – they could get ten goals between them on their day 🙂

  52. rico says:

    Theo has ‘done’ his ligaments, why on earth did he play on, why did the physio/dr not get him straight off?? No doubt the prolonged time on his legs didn’t help his injury!!

  53. rico says:

    Have to go, catch you later

  54. Benwell says:

    Good post, the Brumscum were definately singing the Taylor song, but hey ho that’s all they had to sing about.
    With the keepers, all are ok, but to be a top top side we need a top keeper which none of them are at present, it’s a shame Given was linked with us so many times but alas he stuck with what we had.
    AA definately doesn’t like the tax situation but I’m sure he likes the football so there must be a way of resolving the issue, dodgy David would have had a solution!
    The squad for tomorrow is strong enough I just hope the fall outs are precautionary rather than long term, is Theo out for a month or is that speculation?

  55. Irishgunner says:

    Evening all.

    Greetings from Hong Kong.

    Throughouly enjoyed the game Saturday – cheers to Peaches & Rasputin.

    Its gone midnight here and try as I may I can’t keep the eyes open to watch the game, so c’mon the mighty Gooners later against AZ.

    P.S. Told ya’ll Ireland would draw France in the WC Qualifiers. Think we can beat them too 😀

  56. Irishgunner says:

    Agh today is Monday and the game isn’t till tomorrow night – I’m all confuddled 😕

  57. London says:

    Hello Benwell

    Good to read one of your comments again.


    I have just read that Brum Scum report, it’s quite interesting. I thought he describes RVP’s goal and AK47 goal better than I did. Lol

    My position on that tackle is this: I don’t think Ridgewell went into that tackle with the aim of hurting Walcott (unlike the one on Eduardo) Theo wasn’t able to take the normal evasive action because of another player coming onto him. Ridgwell then clattered him. The idea that if Walcott were a better player he would have been able to avoid the challenge is the most ignorant comment of the day. If Walcott wasn’t as good a player he is Ridgwell would have broken his leg in about three places. I just hope that Walcott is ok and we can put this sorry episode behind us.

  58. peachesgooner says:

    Hiya Irishtravellinggunner – you can sleep till the game then 🙂

    Seems your Irish squad, like you, are not at all worried about being drawn against France……

    Have a good sleep 😉

  59. peachesgooner says:

    No Philippe in that squad then…… 😦 😦 😦

  60. London says:

    Hello Irish

    So your in Hong Kong. It is your essential tourist duty to take the Star ferry it costs tupence. Ask in the hotel everyone knows about it. Ohh and you have to go up to the Peak, everyone knows this as well. Have fun.

  61. Irishgunner says:

    Hiya Peaches – I’m so very confused with the time zones, not that I have good internet connection I’ll probably drag myself up to watch the game tomorrow night 🙂

    Ireland aren’t worried about France because A) We always do well against the big teams and B)Their manager is strange….

    All the presure in on the French which suits us grand.

  62. Irishgunner says:

    Hiya London,

    Don’t think we’ll get the chance to do either of the above which is a bit disappointing.

    We were so tired today after getting in that we lazd about the hotel and went to a few of the market streets. Tomorrow we have decided to do the Buddah Statue.

    Weather isn’t great here at the moment visability wise so probably won’t get the full Peak experience although we could do it Wednesday morning as its near enough our hotel.

    It was 26c when we landed this morning at 6.45ish, that weather is just confusing to an Irish person…

  63. avenell says:

    Irish… 😯 your on here more now than ever.
    How was the flights?

    London.. That tackle wasn’t that bad. if the ref had just done his job gave us a free kick and booked Ridgewell that would have helped.
    Just ignoring sends the media into Arsenal hating overdrive as usual.

  64. Rasputin says:

    Hi Irish,

    Nice to see you at the game. Don’t worry about playing France – they’ve got Diaby in their side 😦

  65. Irishgunner says:

    Hi Avenell – I’ve been way out of the loop. Don’t even know what happened in the Citeh game yet so popped on to check and thought it rude not to say hello 😉

    The flight was grand but I only slept for about an hour so jet lag it me bad today.

    Hi Rasputin – Don’t give out about Diaby or he scores 😆 (well thats a good thing when its Arsenal) Don’t understand how Domenech still has a job in this recession – Oh I need to beat Serbia so I’ll leave Benzema and Ribery on the bench…. odd man

  66. rico says:

    Hi Irish – gald you made it safely to your first port of call 🙂

  67. Irishgunner says:

    Cheers Rico 🙂

    Must be off again and get some sleep, talk soon 🙂

  68. rico says:

    😦 Nighty night all

  69. London says:

    Morning Roadsters

    Does anyone know if Defoe will still be banned when those people arrive for their annual humiliation?

  70. peachesgooner says:

    Morning London and Roadsters

    He’ll get a three match ban won’t he for the sending off – they won’t challenge it surely?

    So he’ll miss next weekend, their carling cup game in mid-week and then its US…….shame…… 🙂

  71. peachesgooner says:

    Arsene wants to stay at Arsenal for ever and ever and ever…….as long as hes physically able – reported in The Times today.

  72. rico says:

    Morning all

    Defoe is definately out for our game, I read it the other day somewhere – his was a stamp and old ‘Arry says he was stupid, and had told he to be aware of provacation – ha ha ha !!!

    Hope The Times are right peaches

  73. peachesgooner says:

    Hi rico

    Heres the link to the article, you have to read passed the bit about tonights game

  74. charybdis1966 says:

    Morning all, the 2 dilemmas we have are midfield and goalkeeping/. Will Wenger punish Mannone for his less than impressive spillage of the ball to let that toe-rag Bowyer score? Now that Rosicky is living up to his name(probably only briefly to be fair) and Theo has been maimed out of contention how will the midfield re shape ?
    I’d guess it’ll be a midfield 3 of Cesc/Song/Diaby with RvP/Eboue/Arshavin up top, although I’d rather have Vela in Diaby’s spot and Diaby up top instead of Eboue.

  75. peachesgooner says:

    Hi chary – how are you, hope we’ll all meet up after the spud bashing 🙂

  76. peachesgooner says:

    I don’t mind Eboue being in the three up front as long as hes sensible and doesn’t keep thrashing balls at goal, he needs to remember that Robin and AA are part of the team.

  77. rico says:

    Thanks for the link peaches

    Hi chary, good to see you 🙂

    I would stick with Mannone personally, he was given a little shove before he lost the ball – is he any worse than Almunia has been?

    Sadly none of them are outstanding 😦

  78. charybdis1966 says:

    Hi Peaches – I’m not so bad; I’ve got tickets for Alkmaar and Liege so I’ll catch up with you then although I hear the S + B might be off limits due to the outside tables being removed. Do you know anything about this ?

  79. rico says:

    peaches, and as long as he leaves his acting skills at home 😉

    Eboue does have a good cross on him, but I would rather only see him at RB – with no Thomas, Theo and Nasri, maybe tonight Jack will get his first start in a CL match 🙂

    Did I mention yesterday the Merida is in the squad 😉 Oh, and Vela 😛 😛

  80. rico says:

    Van Persie = Van Basten 🙂

  81. peachesgooner says:

    Oh yes, I saw something about in the post yesterday, didn’t they gather outside the Tavern instead? A meeting place is a meeting place I suppose, did you get a ticket for the spuds?

  82. peachesgooner says:

    rico – I was waiting for you to highlight the fact that Merida and Vela are in the squad 😉

    Do you think I could fit them both on an avatar 😳

  83. charybdis1966 says:

    Thanks for the update on Maire Peaches – and good to see you too Rico(I ahve to admit I did think of you when Bendy cracked the 6th goal against Blackburn 🙂 ).
    I get to see the Arse twice in November so I hope our tradiotnal dip in form in that month is cancelled this season.

  84. charybdis1966 says:

    PS Peaches – my weekends are a bit tight for a while so I didn’t even try for the Spuds game. Now that Defoe is out we have one less tricky customer to deal with.

  85. rico says:

    😛 chary, Likewise, when Nikki is on the pitch, good or bad you spring into my mind 😉

    peaches, you could try :)Vela is only tiny 😉

  86. rico says:

    One of our chickens has laid an egg this morning, three and a half inches long!! OUCH 😉

  87. peachesgooner says:

    ….tiny and oh so yummy…… 😳

  88. London says:

    Hello Chary

    Good to speak again. I have a question, what did you mean by this:

    “Now that Rosicky is living up to his name(probably only briefly to be fair)”

  89. rico says:

    Now Merida peaches ……. 😉

  90. charybdis1966 says:

    Hiya London, he’s out injured(i.e on the sick list, hence RoSICKy) for a few days, from the sound of Wengers words before the squad went out to Holland.
    But’s it’s inevitabl ehe’ll have a succession of niggling set backs after the lenghty lay off he’s had.

    Rico – while you think of me when you see Bendy if I was physically like anyone it would be Vela’s dad I suppose

  91. charybdis1966 says:

    PS Rico – and a mixture of (Nelson)Vivas too.

  92. rico says:

    Thats not all bad then chary 😉

  93. charybdis1966 says:

    Perhaps I should day Vela’s granddad on days I wake up feeling a bit rough Rico !
    But seriously, should Wenger be either ensuring early qualification and then easing off(to concentrate on the Premier League) or going for a top of the table finish so we get seeded in the next round of the Champions League?

  94. rico says:

    chary – he should be doing both 🙂

    To be fair I think we will finish top easily. I can’t see where we will drop points in our group, even without our ‘best eleven’ turning out.

  95. peachesgooner says:

    Personally, I think we should always try to finish top of the group – it sends out the right signals to the competition. If no-one can catch us in the last 2 games Arsene can introduce the likes of Ramsey, Wilshire, Vela and Merida without fear.

    Unleash the force – thats what I say – make them fear us!

  96. rico says:

    peaches, did you see my 10.48 comment ? 😛 😛

  97. peachesgooner says:

    😛 yes rico, I did 😛

  98. charybdis1966 says:

    Peaches/Rico – I see where you’re coming from, success breeds success so continuing to win games is better in the long run, but what bothers me is that after a fairly easy run of opponents in the Premier League lately we have a few bigger games coming up, the Spuds and the Chavs for example.
    If we’re uncatchable at the top then of course he can rotate the squad a bit more – however we still have Olympiacos away so that could be a bit tricky. That’s our furthest away match so I can see that as where we may drop points; at least we don’t have to go to Russia like the Manks – let’s hope all their key players turn an ankle or ligament of the frozen pitch there, LOL.

  99. rico says:

    She is walking a bit strange now peaches 😉

    chary its a difficult one really – but the more we win games, the confidence grows. If we play our best eleven we can put games to bed early and then make the changes in the second half.

    I always think play the strongest side, and the less tinkering the better :;

  100. rico says:

    The Mancs are in Russia tonight I think chary, 5pm ko. I see them getting beaten there 🙂

    Wouldnt it be just fab if we end up the only English side to go through…

  101. rico says:

    peaches, what a lovely photograph – pure beauty 🙂

  102. peachesgooner says:

    Chary – we’ve got great players to bring into the team if we need to rotate – not goalkeepers unfortunately – the more cameos the fab four ( Ramsey, Wilshire, Vela and Merida ) can get the better in my view.

  103. rico says:

    I have a feeling there will be a new avatar attached to your name peaches 😉

  104. charybdis1966 says:

    Yes Rico – they have Shrek boy and Evra out, plus Vidic seems doubtful so they could well lose, that would be nice.
    Peaches. I would feel more comfortable if we make things safe before we have the fringe players on, although I’ve always thought Vela hasn’t been given the playing time he deserves. I have a tedious finance seminar tonight so I’ll miss the first half but I’m quietly confident of an easy win; we had our fright at Liege so there shouldn’t be any slip ups.

  105. peachesgooner says:

    The manc game is tomorrow. It’ll be interesting to see whether Fergie plays the United allstars or rests some ankles on that plastic pitch. They’ve got L’pool at the weekend havn’t they.

    Also on Fergie – looks like he’ll escape a touch-line ban for his comments about Alan Whiley as it would set a precedent. Touch-line bans are only given out if a manager is guilty of confronting the officials on the pitch not for speaking out in an interview.

  106. peachesgooner says:

    rico – I’m not sure I can dump Philippe that easily…maybe after hes gone 😦

  107. charybdis1966 says:

    Interesting about ole 65% proof nose Peaches – he was clearly confronting the 4thofficial, fingers wagging/glaring Mike Gatting styley. It would be nice if he got a UEFA style touchline ban but I think he’ll get out of it too, the authorities are scared of him and they are not standing up to the whiskey soaked old bully.

  108. rico says:

    I could peaches, and from a great height 🙂 😳

  109. peachesgooner says:

    😆 rico – I suspect you’re not alone 😉

    What’re you going to do with the giant egg?

  110. rico says:

    I admire Eboue, he could have gone under last season…

    Emmanuel Eboue would love to repay Arsenal’s faith by helping take them back to the Champions League final.

    The Ivory Coast international, 26, was part of the side which lost to Barcelona in Paris four years ago, winning a controversial free-kick which led to Sol Campbell’s opening goal before goalkeeper Jens Lehmann was then sent off and the 10 men were eventually beaten.

    Eboue has enjoyed something of a renaissance since being ironically cheered by sections of the Emirates Stadium crowd when substituted against Wigan in December 2008.

    However, despite reports linking the utility man with a move to both Fiorentina and Atletico Madrid, Eboue feels there is no better club than Arsenal with which to fulfil his ambitions.

    “For me I am very focused because I know this team because I played in the final in 2006,” said Eboue, who because of injury to both Theo Walcott and Tomas Rosicky looks set to be in the starting line-up again for the Champions League Group H clash at AZ Alkmaar.

    Eboue marked his new-found status as cult figure with Gunners supporters when he netted against Wigan in this season’s home fixture.

    “For me I just want to say thank you to my boss and the fans because they help me a lot,” said Eboue.

    “I was very disappointed with my performance last season, but now I feel I am doing very well.

    “I want to give my best when I play for myself and the fans.”

    Arsenal are the leading scorers in the English top flight, with a record 27 goals from the first eight matches.

    Wenger, though, feels it is also his team’s hard work when not in possession which has helped their progress.

    “If we score goals, it is because we have the ball. To have the ball, you need to defend,” he said.

    “That is why I believe we have a good team ethic, a good working attitude together.

    “We all play on the same wavelength, which is why everybody scores.”

    With two wins already in Group H, the first coming after trailing 2-0 at Standard Liege inside the opening five minutes, Arsenal – who have chalked up seven successive victories – could all but secure a place in the knockout stages tonight.

    AZ, now coached by Dutch legend Ronald Koeman, may have struggled for the consistency which secured last season’s Eredivisie title, but they will defend a fine record of just one home defeat from 34 European ties.

    Wenger, however, believes this young side can come of age in 2010.

    “I believe this team has a big future,” declared the Arsenal manager, who celebrates his 60th birthday later this week.

    “We have improved the belief and results.

    “However, we know we have not won anything yet, it is all in front of us and that is what we want to show this season.”

  111. rico says:

    I the words of Michael Jackson peaches

    ‘Beat It’ 🙂 Its going to be a quiche later 😉

    peaches, did I mention to you we have bought a puppy 😉

  112. peachesgooner says:

    Yes you did rico – I’ve been spreading the word 😉

  113. rico says:

    I thought I had 😉 Bless you, her name will be Billie Jean, and I have had to promise not to call her BJ when we are out 😳

  114. charybdis1966 says:

    Oh please, no more Jacko talk – I couldn’t stand the guy, for his music alone I have hated him with a vengeance.
    Now, if you talk of the Tipton/Halford/Downing songwriting team, then I’m in heaven, music wise.
    You should call your puppy Cronos, after the lead singer of Venom.

  115. rico says:

    chary – how do know I am not referring to BJ King, one of the worlds greatest tennis players 😉

  116. charybdis1966 says:

    You mentioned Jacko earlier Rico. If you ewant to use tennis players, how about Kim Clijsters , if your puppy is a big one ?

  117. rico says:

    Ah, I see chary 😉

    No thanks to Clijsters, I would rather go for Macca, as in the great JP, or Marty after the greatest ever female player 😛

    She is 9 days old, so big ones don’t count just yet 😉

  118. rico says:

    Where you all gone, and where is the Ave today 😦 He was last known to be going off to check AA’s website out 😉

  119. charybdis1966 says:

    I’m here, dashing in and out, Rico – was he checking out the Meerkat’s website ?

  120. rico says:

    Yo chary, slow down 😉

    NEW POST is up guys and gals…. We have a match tonight 🙂

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