Experience wins games, just ask Roy Hodgson

May 1, 2010


I know it’s not Arsenal, but it’s relevant in my humble opinion….

Wenger – Hodgson’s my Manager of the Year

Fulham have punched above their weight more than any other side and Roy Hodgson should be named Manager of the Season, according to Arsène Wenger.

The Cottagers defeated Hamburg 2-1 on Thursday night to progress to the Europa League Final where they will meet Atletico Madrid.

Fulham’s only honours to date are an Intertoto Cup success in 2002 and a brace of English second-tier titles. Their only appearance in a major final came in 1975 when they lost 2-0 to West Ham United in the FA Cup Final.

Hodgson took charge at Craven Cottage in December 2007, with the club stuck in a relegation battle. He saved them from the drop and then secured a seventh-place finish last season before taking Fulham to the cusp of European glory this term.

That’s why Hodgson will get Wenger’s vote for the end-of-season individual prize.

“Fulham and Roy have been fantastic,” he said. “They are the ones more than anybody else who have punched above their weight. And maybe that’s why Roy deserves it [manager of the season].

“Their intelligence, experience and his scouting has been good. His buys have been good. He’s bought players who aren’t not in the top three or four but have the level to flirt with it.

“Zamora, Duff have played at top clubs, Murphy has played at top clubs. They have players who can play at the top level but at some stage lost out.

“Hodgson is a fantastic manager – but there’s no secret. You need good players and they have good players.”

Well Well Arsene, I agree about Fulham, but what about us…….

Zamora, Duff, Murphy – if they had been Arsenal players, you would have either let them go on freebies, or told them they are too old!!

Its about the player, if the player WANTS to play then he will, and those three do, and that’s why they are in the final. Fulham players didn’t ever give up the fight, just ask Juventus!

Credit where credit is due, Hodgson has done a fantastic job at Fulham, no doubt on a restricted budget. Fulham could have been facing a Liverpool side who recently have thrown dead money after dead money on players, but no, they got knocked out.

Its not always about how many you buy, its more about who you buy and who you keep. Sometimes I think we have sold the good and kept a few of the bad… Arsenal need a couple of players with experience, by which I mean players who have ‘been there and done it’ and still ‘want it’ – not some old has been who been cast aside by his club because he is no longer good enough!

Look at Danny Murphy, Fulham bought him when he was thirty, today he still plays like a 25 year old. What does Wenger often do with our thirty year olds – invariably lets them go or won’t give them anything more than a new one year contract.

All I want to say to Roy Hodgson and Fulham is, Good Luck for the Final, I truly hope you win – you deserve it..

Robin’s in for ‘Six of the Best’ as Eboue and Theo go back to School!!

February 25, 2010

If the rumours are true we could very well see Robin van Persie back for the last six premier league matches of our season, not to mention the Champions League quarter final, semi final and final, if we get there of course!!

The last six games are:-
Wolves – H
Spuds -A
Wigan – A
Citeh – H
Blackburn – A
Fulham – H

The Spuds game could be postponed if they get through to the FA Cup semi-final!!

All we have to do is win our next six matches and Robin will be back with fire in his belly, gagging for goals and desperate to win something this season. We need to get passed a tricky away trip to Stoke City this weekend and then take each game as it comes. Play with ‘great belief’ that Arsene Wenger keeps telling us about and come the return of Van Persie the league and Champions League will still be a possibility.

What we mustn’t lose sight of though, is this news comes from the Dutch camp, mme, the very same camp who said Van Persie wasn’t badly injured so until he has his Arsenal shirt on and gliding over the green green grass in England, I won’t believe it! If ever there was a bit of news to lift the rest of the team though, it’s this.

Arsene will be saying ‘Having him back is like having a new signing’ 😉

No Arsene, have a new signing is like having a new signing and come the summer, let’s hope we see a couple. I’m not greedy, a couple would do!

Don’t you just love Eboue? Here he is helping kids in a local school learn to dance. (picture courtesy of AFC.com)

Ok, not really, he is in one of the local schools – all part of Arsenal in the Community’s 25th anniversary sessions with Hargrave Park Primary School in Archway which took place on Tuesday, February 23rd

Good on you Eboue, the kids are having some fun, and it looks like you are too!

Theo Walcott was another player who went back to school recently, no not soccer school! 😉
Theo is the Ambassador for the Junior Kit Scheme and he was in a North London Girls School handing over a new Nike kit to them. Its reported he then treated them to a peep at a few of his soccer skills. Guess he wasn’t there too long then!!

Yes, that was meant to be funny, its great to see Arsenal players out and about doing good in society, rather than lunchtime vists to Public Houses and other seedy joints..!
Theo said it was great to be keeping touch with football at ground roots level, call me an old cynic, I reckon he is on the look out for the young player on behalf of Arsene!

Finally, if anyone is registered on ATV online, An Audience with Tony Adams is on there, it’s worth a peep.. Boy do I wish we had a man like him in our squad!

That’s it for today, tomorrow we can start to look forward to a trip up to Stoke for a must win game – aren’t they all must win now …

Have a nice day you all….

We were down, we took the standing 8 count, its time to fight back….

February 10, 2010

Confidence maybe low and the scars from the two previous defeats may still be gaping, but we really need to get a grip of ourselves as its gonna be a fight now. We really need to dig deep. It’s no good hiding behind excuses, every game from now until the end of the season is a cup final. The players and the manager need to roll up their sleeves and yes that includes the fans too. According to Wenger they feel the whole world is against them, so we need to turn the Emirates into a fortress and give them 50,000 reasons why they are not alone. We don’t want to give them anymore excuses than what they already have.

We really need a trophy this year, if not, at least a CL final or pushing the title race to the last day. Every year Wenger tells us this squad is ready. He practically tells us the domestic cups are a non priority and throws them every season in order to compete in the two big ones, but we always fall short. Well short. We have to do it this year or Wenger will find that his band of blind faith followers will dwindle more erratically than what they are already.

Football is a sport, it’s all about winning. If it’s not about winning then why on earth do we keep score?? Why do we have league tables and knock out competitions??? Why does the team that comes 1st get those big shiny silver things as a reward and every other club gets naff all. It’s all about medals and trophies. If Wenger is interested in nothing but ‘finances’ and the ‘long term security’ of the club, it’s time he took a job upstairs to help with the finances and long term securities and we get someone in to coach the team who’s hungry for glory. Somebody who at least teaches his players the basics of the age old art of defending…

At the minute Wenger is playing the role of butcher, baker and candlestick maker and it seems to be taking its toll. I remember the other week after Utd had trounced us. In the post match interview Fergie was asked if Rooney’s contract was being sorted and Fergie said he didn’t deal with that side of things. His job is just to deal with details on the pitch and it seems to be working for them. 3 trophies on the bounce well in the race for a 4th, even with the loss of two of their best players last season..

Anyway, moving quickly on. There’s 13 games to go. That’s plenty of time but we can’t afford no more cock ups. Wenger needs to stop pampering these players and put a rocket up their arses. Play the players in their best positions, drop the players who aren’t performing. Almunia, Sagna, Denilson, Theo and Clichy are the best examples. We dont have enough games now for them to ‘find their fitness/confidence’. It’s about the team not the players sensitive souls. Sod them. They are playing shit and costing us points so they have to give way. If they need fitness or whatever, bang them in the reserves until they’ve proved it.

Nobody has a god given right to win anything, but at the same time nobody has the god given right to play in the first team either. Earn your place, that’s why we have big squads nowadays. What does it say to the young players who are playing well, if  a 1st teamer spends 3 months out injured, only to walk straight back into the team and plays like hes never played before in his life, making endless mistakes and costing points..

Lets go for it against the Dippers. We need some big performances so lets pick the players that will give us that and not the ones who will make cock ups and then have people making excuses up after the game, saying that they have just returned from injury. It’s getting boring. We have a massive squad, so lets use it..

Eboue Gallas Campbell TV
Cesc Song Rosicky
Diaby Bendtner AA

We have a chance to get some pride back and kick start our season again. Liverpool are in form, we are not, but stats count for nothing out there on the pitch. Denilson is proof of this. Beat the dippers and fingers crossed for a couple of results that go in our favour and all is not lost..

Last chance lads, so go get ’em, restore some pride and take no prisoners…

Gallas ‘escapes’, Arsene’s sad, Diaby and Sagna miss Stoke…..

January 22, 2010

What absolute poppy cock! How can people say he ‘escaped’? We all know the Football Association would have thrown the book at Gallas if they could don’t we? Reality is they had nothing to throw the book at him about, that isn’t escaping, that is just reality. There were no grounds for the FA to act retrospectively and ‘Old Wiley’ got it right! Well, some of it 😉

After listening to comments from a Bolton player saying the tackle was disgusting, and Coyle suggesting that the Willy’s tackle was more of an assault than anything else, I say, get real Bolton, that tackle was nothing compared to what our boys have been on the receiving end of for many seasons now, and especially from you!

The only difference is that our players end up being out of the game for weeks, your lad Davies will probably be back at the weekend!

As for the goal that followed, tough! Rules are rules, it happened to us a couple of games ago when Denilson was down, did you hear our boss whinging? No, he just said those are the rules and suggested that someone commit a handball, that’s how to stop the game, not by getting a sympathy vote!

Bolton, you think you are hard nuts, but you just bad losers who can’t take what you dish out week in, week out!!

Talking of ‘proper injuries’, what sad news about Kieran Gibbs, just as he had his chance, proved himself to be a top left back, possibly better than Clichy is playing right now and the lad needs an operation which will keep him out for the rest of the season!

“That is sad news because I rate him highly,” Wenger told TV Online. “I had hoped that the first surgery would be successful.

Dreadful and just so typical of the way our luck has gone this season with injuries.

Some good news, Giles Sunu a big lump of a centre forward with a nose for goal is in talks about a new contract, his expires in the summer and let’s hope he decides to stay.

Cescy boy has spoken to his fellow Spanish midfielder who I have promised not to mention, he says“I have spoken to him about his future, because he will be out of contract soon. I didn’t persuade him to sign or not sign, I just told him my feelings, but of course whatever he decides will be down to him. That’s for him to say.”

Not much other gossip around other than Diaby is out for the Stoke game at the weekend, and the away match at Aston Villa. Bacary Sagna will also be out for the weekend.

I wonder who will play at right back. Do I now admit I miss Eboue 😉

Will Big Sol make his debut? Will it be the oldest defensive pairing in the FA Cup on show?

If they do, will they make history?

Who knows, but surely Gallas and Vermaelen need a break? We have Aston Villa just a few days later…

Me, I say always play the strongest and win the game, winning breeds winning and can you see either Gallas or Vermaelan asking to be rested – No, neither can I.

Stoke will be a very tough nut to crack, and we need to win!

But take yourselves back to Avenell’s post about sacrificing the FA Cup – does it make you think differently now we are sat top of the league?

Not me, I want to win it!

Have a good day all, isn’t Friday a signing day 😉

Two ‘new’ signings in – just maybe….

January 11, 2010

Ok, we just dropped two points at home against Everton, a team we thought, or rather I thought we would put to bed early on in the game, a team who hasn’t been firing on all cylinders this season but recently have a bit of change in fortune.

Saturday wasn’t a change in fortune for them; maybe they were even robbed of three points, certainly David Moyes thinks they were!

A couple of seasons ago, maybe even last season we would have lost that kind of a game, we wouldn’t have fought to the bitter end the way we did on Saturday, we would have skulked off, heads down and wonder where it all went wrong.

Then we would have heard the usual comments about how we were not mentally strong, maybe a little be short, even maybe tired, but we kept our heads up and right until the final whistle we could have even stolen a win.

Even the boss came out after the game and said we were lucky to get a point, well shiver me old timbers, haven’t heard him say that before 😉

Mind you, he couldn’t blame the weather could he, he been saying the games have been called off a bit to quickly around the country! I digress…

Saturday was more about picking up a point when a loss was on the cards, thanks Tomas! It was also more about the morale of the team after grabbing the point. Imagine how out team must have felt in the dressing room after the game, imagine how Arsene Wenger would have praised them for fighting until the end – and finally, just imagine what a difference that draw could make to the minds of all those players rather than having trudged off with nothing!!

Think back to when Everton scored to go 2-1 up, how many of you were desperate for a draw?? I was!

We weren’t good, we weren’t organised and considering we were playing at home, I thought at times we were shocking – but we got a point, a point that may just turn out to be a very valuable one!

The Mancs drew, and the Chavs will still drop points so we are ok, but what we can’t afford to do is play like we did against Everton again, especially not at home.

Moving on, the players from Togo are home, and I don’t blame them. If I was there, regardless of which country I played for, I too would be on the first flight out of there. One thing you don’t dice with, and that’s life!

Other Premiership managers are calling for their players to leave the completion and return home, but Arsene Wenger says he won’t be recalling Song and Eboue!!

Why Arsene? Just pick up the phone, get them home and then tell us their return will be like having two new January signings…

All I hope that if certain players/counties start to withdraw then the authorities call the whole tournament off, I would hate to think Eboue and Song would be sat out there on their own. Seriously, I think it should be one out, all out!

But while the competition carries on The Chavs have no Essien and Drogba and that is the reason I think we are still in with a bloody good chance for the Premiership. Drogba is their goal machine and Essien is brick in the midfield wall – a bit like our Song, but not as good 😉

There are a few teams out there who on their day can nick points off of any side, so there’s a long way to go before any big lady starts singing..

But for us to make our own lives a little easier I still think the boss needs to dip into the transfer market – ideally three players, but two would be a good start.

I don’t care if they are just loans until the end of the season, just as long as they are not drawing a pension, not still in nappies and are not already injured.

Denilson is now out so who is going to play in the ‘Song’ role – Stephen Appiah even sounds a good signing right now – ok, I am joking but wouldn’t you like to see a fit healthy Appiah kind of a player signed????
Our forwards still can’t score, there are plenty of darn good strikers out there for sale, even Torres at the right price is up for grabs according to Rafa – so is Stevie ‘Meeee’ Gerrard –We all want cover for TV and Gallas, I think we are all pretty convinced Sol will be the one, oh dear!

So, on Day 11 of the transfer window, in a week where we don’t play until Sunday, Arsene, this is a good time to sort what us fans all want to see…. Go on, you know you want to and Ivan has told us you have a dollar or two!!

There is not a lot of gossip around, other that Big Phil is not going anywhere, according to Arsene Wenger.
The boss has also had a word with Denilson “I said to Denilson afterwards, ‘if that happens you have to commit a handball.’ I’m very serious,” he said.

“If you go down, and there hasn’t been a foul, you cannot ask Everton to stop their counter-attack and not to score
“So, if you go down like that, at least put your hand on the ball and it’s a free-kick.”

Denilson has said he doesn’t know what happened but he should be back for Sunday!

Little bit of news to add, Arsene Wenger has told the players that they decide his future, play well and he is here for life… They have the next 18 months to convince him!!

That’s it folks, enjoy another day in the snow!

Tomas is back, D-Day for Nikki and Cesc is ready to Bolt!

January 8, 2010


Tomas is fit again and raring to go, he is ready for the game against The Toffees at the weekend and I can’t wait – I rate the man, he has just reassured his wife that she can continue to shop in the same way with a new contract and mega bucks, and Saturday is his first day of payback time, to the club and fans alike.

Must be a day for great news as Cesc will be back for the Bolton game on the 17th January, so the torch is beginning to shine a bit of brightness again – until now it has always felt like every time we saw light at the end of the tunnel of injuries, it turned out to be some bastard with a torch, and the batteries were Tesco’s, not Duracell!!

I know we have only missed a mid-week fixture but it feels like it has been ages since we beat The Hammers – I feel deprived, I need my football fix, well, Arsenal fix!

Can I just slip in a well done to the boys in South Africa – great result…

Today perhaps could turn out to be pivotal in relation to whether or not our boss truly goes into the transfer window to buy a striker. Nikki ‘pink boots’ Bendtner has a fitness test on his groin injury and if turns out to be ‘a little bit short’ then we are off to get a striker – maybe Traore, maybe Cole – either would make me pretty pleased!

Come on Nikki; fail your test – PLEASE!! 😉

Our last game in the Premiership was against Pompey, we won 4-1 with a team of:-

Sagna Gallas TV Traore
Ramsey Song Diaby
Nasri Arshavin Eduardo

Tomorrow we have no Song so I guess the team will be just the same, but with Denilson in to replace Song – can we beat them the way we did at Goodison?

I think so….

However, with Tomas the Tank being fit and ready to play, I wonder if the boss will put him in from the off instead of Nasri or Diaby? My guess he will be on the bench with Ramsey, ready and waiting, chomping at the bit to come on and get the sixth goal for us 😉

A new player for the team in blue is a chap called Donavan. There was me, all set to start writing about Mickey Most, Sunshine Superman and Neighbours, but then it dawned on me that this guy is from the States; he is a footballer and is on loan during the break in America! He will be keen to make his mark but to be fair, he will not be used to the ‘English’ way and it will take him a few games to settle. Big Willy and TV the Nut Crusher (thanks peaches) will eat him for afternoon tea – or maybe even chew him up like a ‘soft centre’ 🙂

All that is left is a round up from the semi-skimmed paps….

Arsene is said to be hot on the heels of Lazio’s Argentinean striker Mauro Zarate, the player’s agent is claiming that Arsenal have been in contact.

“I am in touch with Arsenal,” Jose Alberto Coppola, the players agent said!! Like I said yesterday, I don’t like agents – they are like the red herring in Silent Witness – liars through to their core!!

Big Sol is going to be offered a short term option to help the defence out if Senderos leaves, and the paps say the latter is very likely!

Ivan says there is money to spend, but not silly amounts and just for a second this morning while listening to him on Sky Sports News I thought he must have been reading Avenell Road over the last few days – he said that in relation to Arsene Wenger, he expects him to soon have an extension 🙂

I love Nigel Winterburn, always have done, today he has told the Daily Express that Man Citeh new boy, sorry old man Paddy that he thinks he is over the hill and passed it!! And so say all of us! Maybe Paddy does still love us and he is just moving to make sure he keeps Citeh off our backs.

Have a nice day you all ……

Snow Cesc, Snow Balls, Snow Chance

December 19, 2009

Those dirty paupers from Oop Norf visit the emirates today with a lot of resentment still burning over from last season..I dont care what that lying piece of work Phil Brown says, they will be looking to put one over on us after what happened last season in the ‘spitgate’ debarcle..Tensions will be high and Hull will be up for this, after all  they did beat us here last season it what proved to be an embarrassing result, seeing as though Hull are a poor side..

We need our boys to do the same. We need them to match Hulls resentment attitude. They need to be up for it big time. Our two most influential creative players are out for this one so chances maybe hard to come by with a midfield of Denilson, Song, Diaby and maybe eboue..its fair to say the crab style will observed today so we need to show we can win the battle in the midfield and then hope Arshavin can produce a moment of brilliance to change the game in our favor..Hes still injured,but he’ll still play, so I advise the lads to get stuck in, do the dirty work for 90mins and when the ball is won just pass it to him to hit it..

Its going to be a tight game I feel..the weather does us no favors, neither do our injuries..therefore we need the boys to dig deep today.we need them to close down, go for the 50-50’s and do their best to win that second ball, becuase if they don’t then the chances are Hull will dominate, close us out, break and score, especially with Almunia in the worst form of his life…So i’d like him dropped for todays game..Theo should also be dropped, his attitude and body language has been terrible and the game against Burnley was one of the worst ive ever seen from an outfield player, we need a player who applies himself to the cause so I hope Theo is applied to the bench..

Team selection is a bit difficult seeing as though we seem to have more casualties than WW1, but we still have more quality than Hull…Which isn’t hard..Our ladies have more quality than Hull, today isnt about quality though it’s about commitment, focus, and a determined will to win at all costs…they owe us that after the Burnley performance and this time they have the fans to help them, so theres no excuses..I want to see crunching tackles, 100% work rate, close marking and closing down…we do that and the quality will shine through..

I’m going for 1-0 with AA the scorer..

Without Cesc we have little chance of creating so it socks up,dig deep, work hard and shoot on sight..One of them must go in…

Come on lads no excuses…