Cesc, Rooney and the Loyalty Myth

July 20, 2010

We have all become used to players “Kissing the Badge”, and assuring the fans of their undying love for their Club by uttering facile mantras, such as “Once a Blue, always a Blue”, and many other similar clichés.

We have recently heard, more and more frequently, particularly in the case of Cesc Fabregas, that a player possesses this or that “DNA” in their blood.
This “possessive identifier” does not only refer to players who have been born overseas, such as Cesc, but British players, such as Gerrard, Neville and Shearer, born in the vicinity of their clubs, who are inextricably linked to their geographical heritage.

On the other hand, fans become emotionally involved with their Clubs, out of choice, and once they become Gooners, Dippers or Spuds they will remain loyal supporters for the rest of their lives.
Whether a fan is born or lives within a stone’s throw of their club, or is born many thousands of miles away, makes no difference. Their love of their Club, their team and its football is what unites them all.

Gooners all over the world love to get together, either in the Pubs or on the internet, and talk, discuss or argue about their beloved Gunners; to discuss the latest rumours; to worry about who will be bought; who will be sold; and how successful the team will be in the coming season. And this is true for fans of all the other teams too.

The loyalty of the fans is absolute and unquestioned but what then about the “loyalty” of the players, with or without DNA.

Fans because of their identity with the Club extend this loyalty and love to the players.
In return, they expect the players to respond in kind and give their love and loyalty back to both their devoted fans and the Club itself. Sadly, this emotional link is very often misplaced. At root, players are professional sportsmen who in their relatively short careers want to make as much money and win as many trophies as possible.

When Arsenal develops young players through their youth system, a very important milestone is passed when they reach 17 years of age. The Club and the player now engage in a purely business transaction which can often be brutal. Love and loyalty play no part in these discussions.

Firstly the Club will decide in a hard-headed businesslike manner, whether, or not, a young player is good enough for a professional career with them. For those who are unsuccessful there are broken dreams and broken hearts! No love or loyalty there then.
For the successful ones a contract is awarded with plenty of dosh, dependent on the deemed ability of individual players. No love or loyalty is evident there either; just haggling over money and security!

Immediately, from that moment, the dye is cast and the fans’ love and loyalty is divorced from the business of the financial contractual relationship of the Club and Player.
When Arsenal, Manchester City or whoever buy a player, they are in fact buying the player’s contract and the hard-headed business negotiations kick in again. No mention of love or loyalty! No siree Bob.

No matter how much fans would wish it to be different, it is this contractual relationship which governs Club and Player until the end of that contract or the end of the player’s career.  Consider the statements we continually hear from players and what they really mean;

“Once a Blue always a Blue”? Sod that, if more money and trophies are there for the taking.

“I love Arsenal”? Well until I am offered more money elsewhere, by Citeh.

“I am proud to be an Arsenal player”? Well until my DNA kicks in and I can go to a Club likely to win trophies and pay me a salary beyond my wildest dreams. Don’t cry for me Barcelona, the truth is I never left you £££££.

“I can only say it is in the hands of the manager”? If I say I want to go, it may cost me a big payout.
This is not to be overly cynical. It is reality! In truth, the players are not the only ones to blame for this state of affairs. From the age of 17 onwards, the legal business entity which is the Club, under the FIFA and UEFA guidelines, negotiates and dictates the financial relationship of the player to the Club.

The fans have no say in any of this, other than to provide the emotional and financial support without which the Club/Players would not exist. Cough up, pay more and watch the game!

Players’ Loyalty? Players’ Love?

Pahh! Don’t be naive, it’s just a MYTH!

Written by Red Arse

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‘Porter for Laporta’, Pack your bags and take your stupid comments with you!!

June 22, 2010

How this football club of ours has not officially reported Barcelona to FIFA yet beggars belief. Is there a member of staff connected to the Catalan Club who hasn’t had a word to share about our captain and his supposed move to Spain.

The latest is from the idiot who is due to step down at the end of the month,  he’ll probably have no say in the matter at the end of the day, but I bet he’s trying to secure a deal before he goes so he can take all the credit! 

This is from the same man who in 2008 had to face up to a vote of ‘No Confidence’, at the club, only the lack of votes for A N Other kept him in post. So many were against this at Barca, they themselves resigned rather that stay within their role at the club under Laporta. Sadly though, after a re-election, he stayed. He then sacked Frank Rijkaard and to this day he stands, well, not for much longer thankfully – the world of football will not miss the scumbag! So basically, he’s been in post only because there was no-one better, says it all really!!

Maybe once he has left his post, club managers and board members will sleep easier!

This is his latest sneaky comment:

“Arsenal will end up giving in, but I don’t know when that will be,” he told reporters on a visit to Sant Guim de Freixenet. “We will have to wait and let the professionals who are taking care of it do their work.”

Which part of the response from Arsenal Officials does Laporta not understand? He and that bullish club were told that our captain is not for sale. They weren’t told to come back with a better offer were they? No, so why don’t they zip it and let Cesc get on with playing football during the World Cup, oops, sorry, sitting on the bench during the World Cup.

Talking of sitting on the bench, Cesc needs to realise that if he tries to push any deal through that’s where he will end up, different bench yes, but bench it will be for a season or two.

It seems Luke Freeman is on his way for a loan spell at Yeovil Town and our little right back/central midfielder Francis Coquelin joined Lorient yesterday on a season long long.  A loan and regular competitive football is just what the players need so good luck to them and may they both return bigger, stronger and ready to set the Arsenal World alight this time next year.

Much has been said that the Coquelin loan has nothing to do with us trying to buy Laurent Koscielny but I’m not sure I believe that, my thought is that was the final piece of the jigsaw in the deal and I wouldn’t be surprised if afc.com announce the new signing by the time this post goes up.

I’m sure Koscielny won’t be the last defender Wenger buys either, especially as he has confirmed that Gallas will not be wearing the red and white of Arsenal next season. I wonder who it will be? I don’t care really as long as he’s a big lump who will shed blood for his new club.

So, from a Spanish knob to an Italian giant – well done Capello, you have for sure put that tosser Terry in his place….. Don’t know what i’m on about, go check his interview. Some say Fabio is wrong to use the press, I say if someone uses the press to hurt you, then get on and do the same – fight fire with fire……… After all, Terry is only sulking because he’s no longer wearing the England armband…. !

I’ll leave with something I heard – and funny enough someone else has written on the ‘transfer rumour’ place that is full of made up stuff, but what this fella said was, Wenger is to move upstairs at our club and we replace him with JosepPepGuardiola, that way Cesc stays, we get a younger Wenger and life moves on….

Of course I don’t believe it, but it would be good wouldn’t it – maybe then David Villa would follow Pep 🙂


All together now…We are top of the league, say we are top of the league!!

March 21, 2010

I rarely look forward to playing WHAM. First of all it’s a derby game and form and league positions go out of the window in derby games. Second, they always seem to pull a trump card on us every now and then. Whether it being the last team to beat us at Highbury, the first to beat us at The Emirates or coming back from 2-0 down to snatch a draw..They are one of those teams that seem to raise their game when they play us and make it a real fight. But not this time. We totally trashed them. Apart from a sticky period in the opening minutes of the second half when we were adjusting to being a man light, we dominated them. Some of the football we were playing was sublime, the passing and movement and slick one twos were out of this world and above all, the lads were queuing up to be heroes.

The title race is in the balance. With our overspending rivals not playing until today, we had a chance to stamp our authority on the PL and go top of the table, for a few hours anyway. 3 points against the bubble blowing lot was a must and we got off to a blinding start..

We started off with that swagger that we used to see in the invincible era..You know what im talking about. That confidence that we were going to win and the other team knew we were going to win and there wasn’t a right lot they could do about it..

The passing was crisp and the first goal came when Nikki and the impressive Denilson exchanged passes on the edge of the box and not for the first time this season, the young Brazilian, AKA Crabby Mchuffandpuff, slotted the ball past the helpless keeper from a fair distance..Great start..Only 5 minutes on the clock and it was 1 nil to the good guys and I think everyone expected the floodgates to open.. Which they should have..

Our slick passing continued throughout the first half and WHAM resorted to tactical fouling to try and stem the flow, hitting the long ball to Mido at every opportunity..They certainly didn’t look like a team coached by the great Zola, but they were playing us, so they were bound to look crap..We had so many chances to kill them off and to be honest I was starting to get frustrated..I could see what was coming..We were starting to showboat around the box, unnecessary one-twos and tricks and flicks instead of just shooting on sight. At the score being just 1-0, it was a dangerous game to play, especially with WHAM hitting the long ball whenever they won it back and my fears came to reality just short of half time..We did look good, some of the football was amazing, but we were guilty of over cooking it and we were caught out by a long ball that caught TV off guard. He allowed the ball to bounce and Franco ran in behind him. Minimum contact was made, nothing that constituted a foul anyway, yet Franco went over like he’d stood on a land mine in the box..The ref was 50 yards away from the play thanks to the nature of the hoof and couldnt make the call, instead relying on his linesman to make it for him..

Penalty kick to WHAM..I couldnt believe it..Was this guy for real?? I put no blame on the ref for this one, the officials have to work as a team..TV was the last man, the linesman declared it was a foul..The laws state TV had to go..Down to ten men with half the game to go and a penalty kick to level the scores to follow..Squeeky bum time.The odds had suddenly stacked against us in the blink of an eye and all of a sudden we were up against it..But like i said earlier the players were queuing up to be heroes..

Up stepped Almunia..He’s had an awful lot of flack this season and he’s had a bad year but he pulled out what could possibly be the most vital save of this campiagn..If that would of gone in we would have been up against it, but that save not only kept us in front, it woke the fans up too. It was a match winning moment. Hero number one…

The second half started and I was still confident that we would win..We always seem to play better with 10 men anyway,the players are used to passing in tight areas and the extra man WHAM had wouldn’t make much difference to our style. It would just lull them into a false sense of security that they had the advantage when they really didn’t, they were just giving us more space to play with..I was more pissed off with the fact we couldn’t lose TV at any stage of the run in..Especially with Gallas out injured. The straight red possibly means a three game ban which we really didn’t need at this stage. Suggestions that it could be just a one game ban due to the nature of the foul may not be wide off the mark..But the powers that be seem to make the rules up as they go along nowadays, especially as far as Arsenal players are concerned, so I expect 3..With the possibility of 4 if we appeal..

Back to the game. We started off pretty gingerly in the second half. We seemed to allow WHAM to come at us for the first 10-15 minutes while we found our feet..Song was pushed back into the CB role and Denilson anchored the midfield by himself. Raise your hands heroes 2 and 3..Song was outstanding at CB, just as he had been outstanding in the first half at DM..He was a colossus with nothing getting past him..His ability to adapt was amazing and with Denilson having a 100% pass success rate and not giving the ball away we looked just as solid as ever..

Wenger brought on Diaby, hero number 4, to stablise the middle and we just kept the ball..WHAM didnt really have a sniff, apart from a shot from Cole that hit the post but you can’t say they deserved anything from the game…

Hero number 5 was Cesc..with the game closing out we were awarded a penalty when Upson deliberately handled in the box. He was already on a yellow, he should have gone..If TV had to go then so did Upson but the ref seemed to forget where he put his cards and Upson stayed on the pitch..A bit of a piss take but nothing to moan about..We still had a penalty which Cesc slotted home..

Game over..Impressive display under the circumstances and a vital 3 points that sees us perched proudly at the top of the best league in the world…

RATINGS

ALMUNIA..8..Not much to do apart from the penalty save, but it was a match winning save. He cheated to do it, but it was karma in my opinion..The linesman made a cock up and he knew it, so he let Manny step half way out of the 6 yard box to meet the ball..Still a top save though..

EBOUE..7..I thought he had a poor opening 30 minutes,regularly getting caught out of position and letting the WHAM strikers get in behind him, but sorted it out and became threatening as the game went on..Had a good second half..

CLICHY..8..I was beginning to wonder if Gael had lost it..He’s starting to look sharp again and was making those menacing runs up and down the left flank we all love him for.

SOL..7..Looks clumbsy at times but that’s just his age, he’s not the spring chicken he once was and we shouldn’t forget that..He’s 35..Expecting him to glide across the pitch like a 19 year old ballerina is wishful thinking, but he’s strong and solid and gets stuck in. That grit and determination rubs off well on the other players.

TOMMY V..5..Unfortunate sending off. Unfortunate penalty. Mido was giving both him and Sol a hard time in the air but on the ground he looked solid..

Denilson..8..Thats probably the best game he’s had for Arsenal..He never gave the ball away and he scored a good goal. I just wish he’d try a through ball every now and then instead of opting for the safe pass all the time..good display though..we needed it from him..

SONG..9..MOTM..Easily..Controlled the midfield in the first half and became monster CB in the second after TV got his marching orders..Not only can he tackle but he looks so comfortable on the ball, doesn’t panic, doesn’t rush..if anyone wants this boy they looking at forking out at least 30mil..

NASRI..7..Looked as though he played through a painful injury he picked up in the first half..He looks out of place out wide..He’s not a winger and he drifts in and out of the game a lot. Nonetheless it was a good contribution.

CESC..7..Not his best game but even an 80% Cesc is better than most other midfielders in the world.Not even a great penalty but it went in and sealed the three points..

ARSHAVIN..7..Ok lets clear this up..He’s not a team player, he’s arrogant and his work-rate isn’t the best, but he’s still dangerous. He’s one of those players that every team needs on the pitch..He’s an eyes front type of player, he’s direct and he runs at goal at every opportunity..Sometimes it might not look like he’s doing much but teams are shit scared of him..Give him space and he’ll rifle a shot off, close him down or double mark him and you leave Cesc with more pitch to play with.. win/win scenario..This is not his best form by a long shot but we stuck by Eboue, Denilson, Diaby and Nikki amongst many and put up with their crap displays for years..Give this man a break, when he gets his form back you’ll be licking his arse again like we all were last year..

NIKKI B..7..Offers the front line so much more than the three midgets do. He wins the flick ons and he links up play well..played Denilson in for the opener..was the tactical sacrificial lamb in the second half due to the sending off but he took it like a pro..You know strikers hate coming off early, especially if they aren’t injured or if they haven’t scored..Some say his ego is massive and that maybe the case, but if you listen to his interviews and you study his body language, the team comes first to this boy…

SUBS

DIABY..8..excellent cameo display..came on and did the job required..some of his ball skills were out of this world, which we know he can do, but time and again he looked like he was auditioning for soccer AM’s showboating slot..if the top 10 isn’t all Diaby next week i’ll be very suprised..there is no better way to defend than keeping the ball..WHAM couldnt get the ball off him. Lovely to watch and he eased the pressure off our defence..

SAGNA..not really on long enough

DUDU..same as Sagna

THE FANS…3…No offence to anyone who was at the game but you really were piss poor, in the first half especially..It was embarrassing having to listen to that shitty bubble song being sang loud and proud for the majority of the 1st half without any response from you lot..I know the Emirates is crap for atmosphere but come on..For crying out loud were in a title race here..You’ve got to do better than that..It’s a football stadium not a cinema.. It’s our football stadium so make some noise..I could understand if we were playing badly but we were ripping them a new one, some of the football we were playing was heavenly and you lot were like a set of mutes for the best part of an hour..Sort it out..

Enjoy being top of the league guys, today we are doing something we never thought we’d have to do.. We’re Liverpool and Blackburn fans…


Is a Change of Strategy Needed General Arsene?

February 7, 2010

Today is yet another one of the defining games of the season; we are desperate for the 3 points and just as importantly we don’t want to give them to the Chav’s.

Our record against the other teams in the so-called “Big Four” in the last season or so is something like one win in ten. It is becoming more than just a coincidence it is becoming embarrassing.
I don’t think it is the personnel, there is no way our midfield or defence is any worse than Man U’s line up last week. It has to be tactical.
We going into these games with one thing on our minds and that is attack, that plays straight into the hands of Fergie and the numerous turnover of managers that Chelsea have employed.
They just lay in wait for us and counter attack like snipers, Arsene must realize this, these are the tactics we used in his first double year, soak up the pressure then Petit would fire balls over the top for Anelka and Overmars to run onto.

Perhaps we need to do a little more of the crab passing against these bigger teams. Pull them out a bit and open the game up. I would bring Cesc back into the quarterback roll next to Song, We have the players who can pick up his passes and run like Arshavin, Diaby and even Theo..

Instead Cesc by trying to be the complete midfielder is trying to do too many jobs. Diaby, Rosicky, Nasri can all play in the hole and charge into the box, but no one has Cesc’s range and vision when it comes to passing.

From a distance it just seems that we are playing too high a line and when our defence push up to join them, we are leaving gaping holes at the back.
Cesc needs to play with his head and not his heart. Play the European way with more patience.

Last week I was shocked at the way Nani outpaced Clichy, I thought Gael was quick, and don’t start me off on the way Denilson tracked Rooney back, from the camera angle from behind the goal it was as clear as day. I know a Frenchman who plays in Italy who would never had let that happen, oh well..

Whilst I am getting on our players backs, why can’t Almunia save with his left hand, I have never seen such a right handed goalkeeper? When he gets lobbed it’s always over his left shoulder and he reaches with the wrong arm.

I am hoping Arsene has re run the tape, DVD (whatever it is) past the players a thousand times during the week and lessons are learned.

I would pick.

Almunia.

Sagna Gallas Vermaelen Clichy.

Rosicky or Nasri Cesc Song

Diaby Arshavin

Bendtner.

Do I feel confident…no.. But I am going for a tight 2-1 to us.

I’m avoiding the John Terry stuff…If I hear about where he parks his car again I will scweam..

Have a great day all..  everything crossed. lucky gloves on!!


Tomas is happy, Diaby’s a maybe, and Obi’s out to shut down our attack… What attack??

February 5, 2010

The latter makes me smile somewhat, it wouldn’t several days ago mind you, but from the evidence of last Sunday, we don’t have much of an attack right now, do we?

I thought I would reflect back on this same fixture from last season, well, more like the result, the one that put a huge grin on many a Gooner’s face. We went to Stamford Bridge with every football pundit and fan bar ours, not giving Arsenal a hope in hell of getting a draw, let alone a win, but we shoved it right back in their faces and came away with three points and a whole lot of dignity.

They didn’t even score against us that day either, Djourou scored for them and Robin finished them off with two quick and very stylish goals. 2-1 to us, three points in the bank….

That’s just what we need on Sunday too!!

This is how the two squads lined up that day – 30th November 2008

Chelsea – Cech; Bosingwa; Ivanovic, Terry, Ashley Cole; Mikel; Ballack, Deco, Lampard; Kalou, Anelka.
Subs: Hilario, Malouda, Bridge, Ferreira, Mineiro, Alex, Stoch.

Arsenal – Almunia; Sagna, Gallas, Djourou, Clichy; Denilson, Fabregas, Song Billong, Nasri; Adebayor, Van Persie.
Subs: Fabianski, Vela, Ramsey, Silvestre, Wilshere, Bendtner, Gibbs.

The big player missing for Chelsea that day was Drogba, but otherwise their squad is very similar this season. Of course Bridge isn’t part of their team anymore – good job as well after a certain John ’Thomas’ Terry antics have been aired – I digress! He is supposed to be meeting up with the FA and Fabio before the weekend, so let’s hope the pressure on him rises and he needs to go on gardening leave, wouldn’t it be great if he misses the game….

Funny enough, our squad is very similar to last season too – except we have lost Robin, Djourou, Vela and Gibbs through injury, Wilshere on loan and some big lump for £25M.. !

But my worry is who will play the role that Robin played last season in this game, will Bendtner start, will Theo play through the middle or will Arsene stick with who played against the Mancs – I hope the latter is not the case as I can’t see us getting much joy again!

Saying that though, had the first two opportunities against the Mancs been converted who knows what would have happened, my guess is we would have won. But as we all know, if ifs and buts were pots and pans…….

I am not a fan of Nikki but maybe it’s time to play him alongside Arshavin and see what happens, the little and large combination could just be the solution. Nikki isn’t a clinical finisher, but on his day Arshavin is – Nikki can use his height, knock the ball down into the path of the little man and let him finish in the way we all know he can… Purrrrrrrr

Even back then, despite Djourou scoring the goal for the Chavs, back then the pundits blamed Almunia – I guess some things never change, do they?

So I am hoping for change, maybe we will see this side turn out and bring home all the points…

Mannone
Sagna TV Gallas Clichy
Cesc Song Diaby
Rosicky Nikki Arshavin

Bench – Walcott, Sol, Traore, Almunia, Nasri, Eastmond, Ramsey

Vela and Eduardo are definitely out, so if need be, we can throw Diaby up top to play striker if changes are needed

Also, if anyone wonders why I leave Denilson out – well, in this fixture last year, 92 minutes into the game and –

‘Bendtner robs Bosingwa and plays it inside the defence for Denilson, running through on goal. It’s a glorious chance, but an excitable first touch is too heavy and Cech is out like a shot to smother the, er, shot’ –

That’s the reason why, along with many others 😉

Tomas Rosicky has said again that he is a very happy man having signed his new contract so now he is fit and happy, let’s just hope his play gets better and better – he is a quality player and maybe he will be the one who has a big part to play in what we win or don’t this season. Just pray he stays fit!

Finally, and stealing updates from Young Guns – we are yet to make a decision on the two players currently on trial, Galindo and Savic – we will have to ‘watch this space’ on that…

I am sure Avenell Road will sneak a ‘get us up and ready’ post on Sunday..

Have a nice day you all – thanks for that Stan….


Classy Arsenal Erupt All Over Pompey

December 31, 2009

The lads really put the boot into Portsmouth didn’t they?? In a day marred by news that Portsmouth’s money men have been turning the lights off, drawing the curtains and hiding behind the sofa when the taxman came calling, the Portsmouth team could have done without our ruthless lot coming to town, to top a bad day at the office off with what only can be described as an exhibition match…

I’d like to say I feel a little sorry for them. It is the season of good will after all. They are bottom of the league, their players haven’t been paid and the Pompey fans are still fully behind their team, but, there is no room for sentiment in football, especially when your in the title race and 3 points are up for grabs. I’m glad we smashed them. I’m selfish like that, I couldn’t give a toss what happens at Pompey, I’m an Arsenal fan and I know I’ll sleep well tonight with 3 points and 4 goals in the bag…

I find it an interesting statistic that in the time Wenger’s been in charge at our beloved, well run club, Portsmouth have had 11 managers!! No wonder they are in the mess they are in. Stability really is key in football, but I guess they’ve found out the hard way…

The game itself was a complete mis-match. Pompey, as expected tried to be competitive in a combative nature, but the midfield trio of Song, Diaby and Ramsey looked assured on the ball and were just as good without it. Song and Diaby used their strength and physiques well and we closed Pompey down at every opportunity. We gave them no room to breathe and after a scrappy opening 10 minutes the players started to find their feet and settle down. We were beginning to settle into a rhythm and with the class and quality beginning to show it was only a matter of time before the 1st goal came. With a little luck..

It came in the form of another free kick. I don’t really know why Wenger lets Robin take them..He hasnt scored from one in 3 seasons of trying, yet while he’s been injured weve scored from three with three different scorers..fancy that!!! This time it was Eduardo’s turn..

On the half hour mark Ramsey was tripped just outside the box and it was perfect for a left footer. Up stepped the little Crozillian who’s shot was heading towards the right hand corner, only for it to take a deflection and end up in the left. No doubt the dubious goals panel will try to award it as an OG, seeing as though Eduardo’s not everyone outside the club’s favorite cup of tea, but 75% of Fat Franks goals have come just the same way. It was Dudu’s goal all day long…

The second was a long time in coming but with only minutes left before half time it can be seen as perfect timing. Eduardo found himself in the box with the ball at his feet after a wonderful left footed pass from Song. With hesitation from the defenders with no challenge coming in,  it seemed like he had all the time in the world to pick a pass to Ramsey, who cleverly slipped the ball to Nasri. The feisty Frenchmen hasn’t really impressed away from home, but we’ve stuck by him and he didn’t let us down. On retrieving Ramsey’s pass he looked to have taken the ball too far as he let it roll to the right. I expected him to hit it first time but Nasri’s choice was justified as he drilled a worm burner into the bottom corner. It was a great finish and at 2-0 the game was over..

The third was a peach. It had been said before the game that Ramsey owes us a big performance. Pompey were the perfect opportunity for him to stamp his authority on a game right from the start like he does for Wales. He’s done well in cameo roles but I’ve always been left unimpressed whenever he’s started for us. Well, he stamped his authority on this one with a fantastic goal which left me giving the lad a round of applause through my television. Pompey looked set to break after one of our attacks had been fruitless but Ramsey pounced on the situation, stole the ball from his man, side stepped his way round another and hit a left footed shot which three keepers couldn’t have stopped. What a shot.

Pompey scored (yawn) and our fourth well and truly put the game to bed. Song’s midfield performance was a joy to behold and all that was missing was a goal. He got it and a lot of it was his own work. Song took possession in the middle of the park about 35 yards away from the Pompey goal and he put his head down and drove towards it Diaby style. He tried to dribble his way through 2 defenders but was stopped in the penalty box. The ball was deflected out to the right only for Nasri to pick it up. Song stayed in the box, lost his man and called for the ball to be put on his bonce and Nasri obliged with a cross that took out all the defenders. Song, in yards of space, powered a header into the net from 12 yards out. Big header from a big player. He’s become one of the first names on the team sheet this year and well played to him. Chelsea forked out 25 million for Essien, Liverpool forked out 18 million for Mascherano.

We’ve only got one Song and he was peanuts!!! Songs emergence as one of the PL’s best midfielders is a credit to the lad. After taking early stick he’s grown in stature and in confidence and he plays like he knows how good he is. What makes him even better is that he’s just as good at CB. Whenever Gallas or Tommy bomb forward, Song fills the gap they leave. What a player. Damn the ACN, it’s as much as a nuisance as those crappy friendlies that get played through the season. Whoever heard of a competition that gets played half way through another competition? Ridiculous. It’s so far behind the times and the sooner the authorities sort it out the better because as far as im concerned its a burden…

Anyway, 4-1 to the good guys and we are in prime position to take 2nd place from the Manc’s next week..

Player ratings

Almunia..6..Made a good save in early in the first half at his near post which you would expect him to make, but didn’t look that great with the crosses and I thought he could have done better with the goal.

Sagna..6..Looks better doing defensive work than what he does going forward but still fairly solid..

Gallas..7..Has been immense this season but was nowhere to be seen for the Pompey goal and roamed forward far too often. Still a good display though..

Big Tom..8..I really want my sister to marry him. What a player. Committment, desire, strength. I love him in the defence but I’d really like to see him in the midfield while Song is away…

Traore..6..Got caught out of position a few times, especially for the goal, but he’s getting better and it’s going to be interesting to see what Wenger does when Clichy, Gibbs and Traore are all fit..

Ramsey..7..Looked assured on the ball with some good touches. Great goal and good touch for the assist and he looks a great player for the future.

Song..9..Man of the match. Superb display. Everything you want from a midfielder. Energy, heart, strength, passing, tackling and a super headed goal to top it off..

Diaby..7..Had an impressive first half but went missing in the second. He’s done well in his last 3 matches but they’ve all been in halves. He did well in the second half against Hull and Villa. I’d like to see 90minutes from him..

Nasri..7..Good goal and good assist but drifts in and out of the game a lot. Like Diaby I’d like to see 90minutes from him. Especially away from the comfort zone of the Emirates.

Dudu..7..Did well tonight. The movement seems to be coming back and the goals are beginning to come again, whether scuffed or deflected, but who cares?? They could all go in off his backside for all I care. A goal’s a goal and when you’re a striker it brings confidence. Let’s hope he stays fit and gets a long run in the team..

Arshavin..6..He really is taking one for the team isn’t he?? With no other strikers capable of leading the line in Nikki and Robin’s absence, this man is sacrificing his all round game so others can play theirs, and he’s still capable of banging in a screamer even when he plays poorly. Hopefully, Dudu’s sharpness will return soon and AA can be restored back to his role where he can start getting himself in the games again. Unless Wenger buys a striker???

Subs..

Rosicky..5..I love this guy, I really do. There isn’t a more magical player than a fully fit and firing Tomas but it’s not happening. Match sharpness is key, but how long will it be before he’s injured again??? And time is running out..

Eastmond..5..Good energy. Definitely looks a good prospect…

Vela..5..Like Eastmond, wasn’t really given enough time. We should see 90minutes from them against Wham in the Cup..

In conclusion, I know it’s only Portsmouth, but there’s 38 games to play to win the league and you can only beat the team thats in front of you every week. 3 points are 3 points and it was a committed performance that deserved the win. If Manure or Chelsea would have won 4-1 every pundit would have been creaming over the future champions, so we should feel the same. That’s 16 points now from 18 and we have a good chance at getting another 9 points from the next three fixtures before the tricky run of games start at the end of January. So far so good..


As a great man once said – ‘I have a dream’……………

November 27, 2009

Today is one of the most exciting days I have had for many a year. While you are all getting out of bed and getting ready for your day ahead, I will be setting off to collect the two new additions to our family. Am I excited? You bet I am!

I do realise though I will have been back home for many hours before our illustrious leader joins us, in fact I bet I will be home before he even stops snoring!!

I know I have already mentioned this, but – a couple of weeks ago I had a dream, a dream that we were playing the Chavs – we lost 4-1.

Eduardo was our goal scorer, but I haven’t a clue who scored theirs, and I don’t really care!

As I said then; dreams really don’t come true, do they?

Football is a funny old game, we laugh at some results, we cry at some of ours and we get wound up and stressed about so much – sometimes we even fall out 😉

This weekend we play the Chavs at our Fortress and all I can think about is what emotion will I be feeling come 6pm on Sunday night. Will we be thinking that’s it, title challenge over, could it be ok a draw is not a bad result, or will it be – that’s it, win our game in hand and we can bloody win the premiership this season.

My head tells me we won’t be laughing, but my heart tells me we won’t be following the dream, and something, just something tells me to forget all that and have belief in our team. We are never better than when our backs are against the wall and to a degree they are. So many injuries for us, so many ‘injured’ Chavs have suddenly become fit again. But the biggest thing for me is the loss at Sunderland, the rant by Arson, the bookies giving us little to no chance…. That is why I am truly starting to believe we will win.

Anelka, the man who told the world he should never have left us, now says that winning the premiership with his current team would be better than when he won it with us! Well thank you, that is why I believe we will win, Arson made you the player you are and that is how you repay him, which just shows us all what you are really made of!

As Rasp said yesterday, many of Anelka’s family made a whole lot of money… And that was because of Arsenal, not because of the million clubs he has played for since!!

So who do we really need to worry about in the Chav team?????

The answer to me is simple, all of them!

When we play the sides that have weaknesses, our team seems think the game is won before the whistle goes to kick off, and yes I include both Mancs in that statement, but on Sunday we are up against the current leaders in the premiership, there are no weak spots so everyone has to, and will be focused and fighting to the end.

Slowly but surely my belief increases, but Arson has the final say. He has to pick the right eleven, a mix of strong defence and clinical attack. Hit them from the off, put them on the back foot from the moment the whistle blows – Wigan did, Aston Villa did it – so can we!!

This morning I don’t care about rumours, I don’t care about what the Rags write, what I care about most is that our Little Willy gets his swelling down (not what most men want I know) but we need him, we need him alongside Vermaelen and to boss the defence.

If we do that my friends, we will be the ones left smiling……

Don’t forget to have a peep at the new widget …..

😛