Arsenal 0-0 Aston Villa: Thoughts on Denilson, Campbell, Bendtner and the title charge

My thoughts on Arsenal’s 0-0 draw with Aston Villa and the consequences it may have on our title charge…

A draw was probably the right result. The general feeling was that Aston Villa posed more of a threat but the statistics show they only managed one shot on target. While Martin O’Neill will be kicking himself that Stewart Downing didn’t show more courage when heading wide in the second half yet Arsene Wenger will be cursing his luck that neither Cesc Fabregas nor Tomas Rosicky were able to avoid the woodwork.

It’s so far so good with regards to the signing of Sol Campbell. The big man was called upon for the second week in a row after Thomas Vermaelen’s injury and was arguably the outstanding defender on the pitch, throwing his body around in a typically brutish manner. His communication with William Gallas was good and the other players clearly respect him – the big question now is whether his body will hold up playing a number of games on the trot.

Vermaelen’s injury, meanwhile, is as unlikely as it is frustrating. If scans reveal a suspected fracture of the tibula he will be the fourth player after Samir Nasri, Denilson and Kieran Gibbs to fracture a bone this season. When you throw in Eduardo’s ugly break a couple of seasons ago and Robin van Persie’s bizarre ankle problem it really does bring to light how unfortunate we continue to be with injuries.

Denilson was the worst player on the pitch against Villa and should Alex Song return against Manchester United then the manager should really consider dropping the Brazilian to the bench. Despite working hard he offered ineffective protection for the defence, inexplicably gave the ball away at dangerous moments and offered nothing going forward. While Aaron Ramsey was far from perfect he exudes a confidence that Denilson simply doesn’t have and he should join Song and Cesc Fabregas in the midfield on Sunday.

We looked at our best last night when winning possession on the edge of our own area and breaking forward with pace. It was clearly the gameplan employed by Wenger as Villa gained more and more of the ball and almost paid dividends twice when first Cesc Fabregas then Tomas Rosicky hit the bar. Fabregas’ run and shot was a reminder of the career-best form he is in at the moment while Rosicky’s unlucky effort came after a sensational bit of dribbling by Andrey Arshavin. Big players so often win the big games and our two biggest attackers so nearly delivered on the back of a couple of classy individual performances.

While Arshavin and Fabregas were our best attackers against Villa, Nicklas Bendtner was arguably our most effective. Replacing the injured Eduardo on 60 minutes the big Dane gave a stark reminder of just the sort of player we have been missing up front. He won headers, threw his body against Richard Dunne and James Collins and provided a focal point that allowed Fabregas and Co to impose themselves more on the game as it wore on. On another day Bendtner may have scored twice and – fitness aside – his impressive cameo and Eduardo’s muscle tear should see him earn a start on the weekend.

Manchester United at home on Sunday night has now become our biggest game of the season. Win it and we get three points and the necessary momentum back to put up a genuine fight against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. Lose it and our uphill battle becomes very steep indeed. United will have momentum of their own after beating Manchester City in a Carling Cup thriller so it’s going to take an epic team performance to get the result we require.

Thoughts?

Have your say on Arsenal’s 0-0 draw with Aston Villa by leaving a comment.

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51 Responses to “Arsenal 0-0 Aston Villa: Thoughts on Denilson, Campbell, Bendtner and the title charge”

  1. TheSKAGooner
    January 28, 2010 at 6:13 pm #

    I was banging my head against the wall when Verm got injured. It really is a strange set of circumstances and puts so much undue pressure on AW and the lads. Sure, all teams have injuries, but good grief!! Also, you have to feel bad for Verm as he was putting in such a great first season in an Arsenal kit. If he’s out the remainder of the year with a break, I shudder to think what a beast he’s going to be when he returns. He’ll be eating iron and spitting bullets to get back into the side once he’s fit.

    As for the match, yeah, a draw was a fair result. Villa have quality, and if there’s a “junior Arsenal” among the Premiership, I daresay it’s Villa. I like the look of them to capture that 4th spot and earn a CL berth for next season.

    My stream was utter crap yesterday, so I missed parts of the match, unfortunately. I did see a good bit of Bendtner’s action though, and clearly we need him. He’s got a massive opportunity for the rest of the season and I’m just so hopeful that he can make that next step in his development. We all know he can score and now is the time for him to bring consistency to that. Alongside, Arshavin and Eduardo or Rosicky (if he plays up front) should really be the ultimate recipients of Bendtner’s presence.

    And God bless Sol Campbell. A mans job yesterday in replacement of Verm. But, as you said Andy, just how long he’ll hold up is the sticking point. I’ve no doubt what so ever that he’ll give everything he has to the side, but at 35 it’s a real question as to how much gas is in the tank. While perhaps not the purchase most Gooners would have liked, as a backup for Verm or Gallas, it was a smart move by AW and really could have been a great situation for all involved. Now though, we might just be asking too much. The heart is there though, so lets hope the legs follow.

  2. I mole
    January 28, 2010 at 6:19 pm #

    Too bad vermaelen is injured , sol will do d cover and with d likes of bendthner, nasri, song,eboue all back , i think we shud be able 2 wio against manutd and chelshit.


    Sent on a phone using T9space.com

  3. Chipo
    January 28, 2010 at 6:25 pm #

    Firstly, great write up.

    I watched the game at the 12 Pins in Finsbury Park, and it was clear that the majority of gooners think that neither Denilson nor Almunia are fit to wear the shirt. On performances this season I would tend to agree. You summed Den up perfectly. He’s the worst DM in the world because he doesn’t plug holes the way Song does and then gets forward too often meaning Cesc or the other mid has to cover for him. He’s too small, too weak and just not good enough for me.

    As for the game, I was pretty disappointed. Obviously gutted about Vermaelen as he has come close to Cesc for player of the season so far. Campbell is good enough, but is he fit enough? I think the sensible thing would be to play him against United and Chelsea (him vs Drogba will be excellent) and rest him for liverpool, who lack pace and threat going forward without Torres.

    I felt that we just didn’t create enough chances. Simple as. I want to see a lot better on Sunday. Song has to play. Bendtner has to play. If fit, Diaby has to play.

    Lastly, a quick word on Gael. I can’t remember the last time he kept a winger in his pocket for 90mins. He needs to shape up and fast.

  4. Steven
    January 28, 2010 at 6:40 pm #

    Yes, I am still not happy that AW chose to have Bendtner back rather than sign another proven stirker to sustain our title push.That would really have given the side a mysterious plus ‘fear’ factor against Man Utd and Chelsea as they would labour to deal with the new frontman. But that said, I am so glad that for once, he put his RULE BOOK aside and signed Sol back.At least I am more confident of Sol and Gallas dealing with Rooney and Drogba than Silvestre.
    For concerns on whether he can deal with those two strikers and his ability to play every 3 days for 90 minutes on each occasion, Sol is a veteran and veterans step up when needed. He will cope and very well too;I can put my money on that. The thing is to have Gallas unscathe all thru even though he’s playing with slight injury.
    What we need is a Song to screen the Back Four, not and never again Denilson. If we get Diaby back for those two games, I can guarantee a win and a draw against Man Utd and Chelsea respectively.
    Great to have NB52 back;he can only improve here on.His ego will help when he realises the weight on his shoulders.

  5. Ole Gunner
    January 28, 2010 at 7:02 pm #

    I don’t know what game you people were watching. Denilson played very well. The one incident in which he did anything untoward was in the very last minute of extra time when he dallied, when he should have simply sent the ball upfield immediately.

  6. Sussex
    January 28, 2010 at 7:11 pm #

    if we have any money, and if our centre back is out for the rest of the season, we just have to sign another cb. we cannot expect sol to play every match from now ’til may. oh dear.

  7. SOBIN THE GOONER
    January 28, 2010 at 7:15 pm #

    Vermi’s injury was a big blow for us.But i think sol defended very well.The return of Song will be a big boost for our defence.I think it is a good point we gained.Earlier chelsea lose their 2-0 .so it is a good 1 point to get.We have to be at our best to beat Man u .We have to win that game.And i believe we win the game.
    come on Arsenal…
    IN ARSENE WE TRUST

  8. Chipo
    January 28, 2010 at 7:35 pm #

    Ole Gunner, you’re obviously a little too ‘Ole’.

    denilson lost the ball cheaply countless times, and when he was there to sweep up at the back, he didn’t deal with it and relied instead on getting fouled to get him out of trouble.

    He offers nothing going forward.
    He offers nothing coming back.

  9. Ole Gunner
    January 28, 2010 at 7:45 pm #

    Chipo,

    You have to remember to watch football with your eyes open.

    In the first half he was the most dominant player on the pitch, showing up every where Villa had the ball, making crucial interceptions and helping the team keep shape.

  10. FE Gooner
    January 28, 2010 at 7:46 pm #

    Disagree about Denilson. He played confidently, taking minimal touches and keep the ball moving. He avails himself for others to pass to. Was very surprised by the team’s tactics in the first half, which was to hoof the ball upfield just like Villa. Without a big target man, this inevitably resulted us losing the ball.

  11. amar
    January 28, 2010 at 7:47 pm #

    Last nights game was intense. The travelling supporters were excellent! (I watched at home, BUT I heard you singing all night) Arsenal and Villa have to be the two most fittest sides in the league, both teams ran forever. The result was dissapointing, but I was really impressed at how the players (Arsenal) really threw themselves at everything! The one negative that I have is DENILSON! He is one of our DEFENSIVE MIDFIELDERS, however his defensive capabilities are terrible! Infact! He is terrible! He cant pass, he has very little vision and worst of all, HE CANT TACKLE!!! He can only commit fouls and give away free kicks! and he is one of our defensive mid players??? The time is literally NOW to buy a Keeper (as Almunia punches way too often for my liking, and puts his players under unnecessary pressure, with his throw outs and indecision) a CB, now that Vermaelen could have a broken leg? a World Class, proven DM (as Denilson is not a DM big toe, Diaby is more attack minded and Song needs class back-up; Maybe someone Spainish, Guti? or even German, I dont know?) and a Striker (Agbonlahor or however you spell it for me was impressive last night, he is fast, skillful and holds the ball up well, I would even buy Ashley Young or Milner, Both are excellent English players) Anyway, those are just my thoughts, take it or leave it…

  12. kieran
    January 28, 2010 at 7:48 pm #

    I believe that was a good point earned.

    Believe me, a draw at Villa Park in this day and age is a pretty good result. Ask Chelsea.

    Aston Villa are a very good side and I’d have taken a point before the game all day long.

    This morning I’d have thought that 8 points from these fixtures against Villa, Manchester United, Chelsea and Liverpool would be very promising. That looks very doable now.

    I think Sol Campbell deserves a special mention as well.

    Many doubted the logic in re-signing Campbell. Some said it was a gamble.

    Well Sol was immense tonight and I think he went a long way in proving why Wenger was right to bring him back.

    It was like watching the Sol of old at times. He was superb, especially in the air and slotted in alongside Gallas with ease.

    Having him back, as back-up for Gallas and Vermaelen, is very reassuring indeed.

    Our Belgian stopper came off injured tonight and I hope he makes a speedy recovery because we need him but having Campbell ready to step in as a replacement softens the blow slightly.

    For those of you who find the result against Villa hard to take, my advice would be to keep your chin up. That was a hard place to get a result and we have.

    Forget Chelsea winning. If we can get through this difficult run of games undefeated and with 8 points the confidence in the side will be immense.

    And I believe we will win the league.

  13. Ezra
    January 28, 2010 at 7:54 pm #

    I just don’t know when people will realise just how good a player Denilson is it was not until Adebayor left that some people realised that he was that good. Most of you say Song is and yes he is good when the whole team is playing well. The true question is where has he been when we have been conceeding all those goals,drawing and loosing the games? But to most it does not matter draw, win or loose the game for as long as Song plays thats all that matters. Now we draw this game 0 all and you are saying, what? What about that 2 all draw against Westham a game we we were leading 2 to nothing what did you all say? So shut up because you do not know a good player when you see one.

  14. Dotmax
    January 28, 2010 at 8:29 pm #

    Tommy’s injury scenario last night reminds me of our other Tommy (Rosicky) a couple of seasons ago, the last time we were title contenders. Rosicky got injured around this time that season against Newcastle in an FA Cup match.
    AW refused to sign then, and we paid dearly for it. We also lost key players like Flamini and Hleb who became disillusioned with the club’s lack of silverware, though they were ungrateful rats.
    I just hope that history wont repeat itself again.
    Campbell did fairly well last night. How he’s going to curb the in- form Rooney is what bothers me the most, especially when the bloke has the tendency to dive inside the box (he has done it against Campbell before).

  15. walter
    January 28, 2010 at 8:36 pm #

    I think there is something wrong with the eyes of Alan Shearer. He said he didn’t see any long balls from Villa.
    Now it could be off course that because of the fact that the pictures I see in my country have to come over sattelites and other far away projectiles in space and therefore I maybe see another game but I pretty much had the impression that most of the balls launched forward by Aston Villa in the second half were long balls.
    I’m not saying all the balls but they played rather a lot of those “run after it-balls”.

    And damned now the injury’s from Vermaelen and Eduardo…. how the hell is this possible ? Like AW said: Sol did great but will he be able to produce 3 full games in one week at his age ?

  16. Rian Joubert
    January 28, 2010 at 9:17 pm #

    I am also very worried that we didn’t sign anyone for this transfer window. Even it was just on loan. Vermaelen’s injury is massive but imagine an injury to the likes of Arshavin or Fabregas. That would (for me) end our challenge. I think Bendtner is good enough but I agree with everyone that has mentioned the fear factor. We do not have that attacker that makes you sit up when he gets the ball. The likes of Rooney, David Villa, Torres, Ibrahomovich………… We have a brilliant team but I also feel like we are 1 short. Back and up front.

  17. brian waldron
    January 28, 2010 at 9:20 pm #

    Were surely losing the plot, Out of the FA cup, dropping points to Aston Villa, vermallen out injured etc. Arsene has brought in Sol but age is against him , Sylvestre was useless on sat against Stoke and with three big games coming up were in trouble. We cannot score when its critical and are relying on players playing injured to do the business. We need to make some decent signings up front as well as at the back.The squad is carrying too many non-performers ie. dennilson,eboue,walcott almunioa too name a few.If Arsene is serious about winning some silver this season then he must realise that he needs to bring in some serious talent NOW!!!!!!!! and not after the end of the season.

  18. Filipino Dan
    January 28, 2010 at 9:32 pm #

    For me, Nasri and Song should come into the midfield for the United game. But agree that Ramsey is a better option than Denilson when we have Song available.

    I think Campbell is an excellent back up to have on the bench. But with him, Silvestre and Gallas at the end of their Arsenal careers, why not bring in someone else to help us cover for Vermaelen? Someone who can hit the ground running, give Djourou future competition and save our season. Cahill at Bolton? Upson? Hangeland? All affordable, realistic, all ready and all young enough to be value for money.

    I’m never one to throw out names and I think we are fine in other positions but we have a couple of days to deal with this, if Vermaelen is ruled out long-term.

  19. Ianinja
    January 28, 2010 at 9:34 pm #

    I agree with Andrew. Denilson is not effective was the main point wasn’t it? Don’t think Andrew is starting a hate Deni campaign, if you guys read previous posts you should know the stance of this blog. He was merely stating the obvious from last night’s match. Some comments beg to differ but just watch the replay on tele if you all can. Denilson is not better than Song just because he scored recently, Edu, Silvinho and Helb was Arsenal best brazilian players, and they play like Brasilians.

    He dosen’t have confidence going forward and that shows by the cliche but undeniable remark of his ‘typical 5 yard back passes’ which is always evident in any game he plays. I’m not saying that Song is our saviour but his improvement is evident for all to see, (supporters, media hacks, papers). Deni is good at faking it though, he knows when to fall when tackled earning freekicks but the problem is he used this trick for the entire game. For now Deni should deputise for Song whenever the latter is injured.

    Another thing this Arsenal squad is not young and developing, in jedi speech, inexperienced they are not. Walcott is already in his fourth season with us. I just hate all the patronising comments of the papers using the same old theory to sensationalize our achievements and failures. Yes I have fallen into their trap by being angry.

    Actually thought Clichy had a worse game, his speed seems to be diminishing as he gets injured more which is a bad thing since speed is what his defensive skills rely on. He almost became a Cole but seems to be deteriorating, hopefully as the games pass he’ll yield more optimum performance. I’m looking forward to ManU game because the prospect of Bendtner pummelling these northen m*&%#ys makes the caveman in me rage with happiness.

  20. kevin
    January 28, 2010 at 9:46 pm #

    I’d have settled for a point from the match before kick off. In the context of the quartet of games against the teams around Arsenal in the higher echelons of the table, if you guaranteed me eight points from the 12 available I’d bite your hand off. It was a scrappy encounter, but one in which the team hit the woodwork twice. So there was enough penetration to win the game.

    At the back, there were certainly too many crosses allowed to come in, but for the most part, those in the centre – both in goal and central defence – had decent matches. Sol Campbell didn’t let anyone down and looks up to the job. I’ve not read the news about Thomas Vermaelen’s injury yet, but – in the short term – the one fresh face that January has brought us looks a capable replacement.

    The Villa Park pitch didn’t do a lot for Arsenal’s passing game, but it has a bit of a history of that. It’s amazing in this day and age that pitches which are used as often as Arsenal’s aren’t of generally higher quality, but sometimes that suits the home side. The Gunners sporadically found some kind of rhythm, but the match was hard work last night. A similarly scrappy game a two or three of seasons back saw Wenger’s team take all three points thanks to a deflected Diaby effort. That was a fairly awful game too.

    Villa were rarely easy on the eye, but made life difficult. At times in the first half they seemed to be winning more 50/50 balls than they should. However, they had a left back playing in the right back position, and there was an argument for Wenger to mix it up with his substitutions, change the formation to 4-4-2 and let Theo Walcott have a go at Luke Young. Okay Walcott’s form has been pretty questionable since his return from injury, but there was a horses for courses argument for the last 20 minutes.

    The idea of getting eight points from these four big matches means winning two of them. I think there is a general belief that Liverpool are in such a state of disarray that a home win against them is likely. So a win is required against either Manchester United or Chelsea. Sunday’s game was always going to be highly significant, and nothing’s changed that. Arsenal have to use their home advantage and play their socks off. Song’s return to first team action is imperative, and in front of him, the manager has some choices to make. Nicklas Bendtner played very well as a lone hold up man when United visited last season. His return is timely to say the least given Eduardo looks set to be out for at least a couple of games, maybe longer. I’d put Arshavin and Rosicky wide of him and pick Nasri with Fabregas in midfield. The full backs will need to start getting some challenges in or the team are simply going to allow too many chances to the opposition. United are unlikely to miss the amount presented to lesser teams by the Gunners’ defending.

    Anyway, a little unlucky not to get the win at Villa, but the point might look very valuable if a couple of wins are in the bag by the time the ref blows the full time whistle on February 10th. It was far from a great performance, but let’s hope we see one of those on Sunday. Every point is precious at the moment.

  21. leigh
    January 28, 2010 at 10:09 pm #

    According to Loic Remy’s agent, the striker will sign in a new Club in the next 48h ..
    “Forientina and AC Milan? If they are interested they have to hurry up because in the next 48h, the deal could be done with another team, which isn’t italian.
    The Chief Executive of this Club just called me and there’s an agreement. Is it Arsenal? I can’t comment about names or give any informations about the country.”

    He’s french international, he’s 23, and he’s called “the new Henry”
    but it’s true he’s got many similarities with the Arsenal Legend. He’s very quick, scores many goals, he’s got Martinique descent and he’s a big fan of Henry (and Arsenal).
    and he scored a panenka

    I’m not saying he’ll sign 100%, but he’s the typical Wenger signing.

  22. Tom O' Flaherty
    January 28, 2010 at 10:18 pm #

    it’d be good to bring in anyone at this stage

  23. shambogunner
    January 28, 2010 at 10:42 pm #

    i dont know wot to say anymore,i think wot it boils down to is this,utd and chelsea hav the personel and character within their ranks to win the games that we cant,we are a great outfit,their just better and more rounded.their also more ruthless when it comes to players dropping or not maintaining the standards they demand……walcot,denilson,almunia,vela,etc wouldnt get next nor near their squads,their attitudes arent that of champions,they dont really care,or at least hav never shown any indication of caring.i mean their never angry with themselves when they misplace a pass,cross or when their touch escapes them on countless occasions,i know you want a guy to keep his head up but you watch chels and utds guys when they slip up,straight back on their feet and getting back behind the ball…..winners,watch walcott when he crosses into the keepers hands,the left full will receive the keepers pass and bomb down our wing while hes trotting back head down……how else can u explain the managers frustration and demeanor in our dugout,its like he cant get the best out of some of them and cant understand why their not bringing their game

  24. Andrew Weber
    January 28, 2010 at 10:56 pm #

    @ shambo – Wait until the next three games before you start worrying.

  25. We miss you trophies!
    January 28, 2010 at 11:01 pm #

    Bendtner? 52? What? He is a reminder of exactly what we don’t need! He is miserable: slows us down, gives up balls in dangerous areas, doesn’t recognize shooting opportunities, passes take other players out of stride.

    Ok, he’s big…yeah! I’d rather have Sol up top then…at least he has a football brain. Then I remind myself…oh he’s not a striker! Time to spend some money boys!

  26. rocknrolljesus1
    January 28, 2010 at 11:31 pm #

    THANKS FOR EVERYTHING WENGER….AND FUCK U!

    i had it with “the boss” saying….we have chances….we will win titles….when? in 20 years????

    wenger…it’s true that u r the best arsenal manager of all time….actually u were the best….now u r just shit.

    if u wanna do something good for arsenal….then LEAVE!!!!

    u didn’t buy a striker like u sayd…arsenal were beaten in the cup…. we are fuckin 3rd now in the table!!!!!!!

    u fuck everything up!!!!!! we have the money!!!! u r just a madafaking idiot not to spend it!!!!!!!!!!

    do you have a fetish on youngsters or what!!!!!!

    yought does not bring titles!!! fot about 3 years ago arsenal’s first team could have played in the youth cup

    i want u out now…pleaso go!!!! or bring us the CL or premiership!!!!

  27. Panda
    January 28, 2010 at 11:40 pm #

    @ Shambogunner – You say Utd and Chelsea have what we don’t to win games despite they both lost to Villa.

    @ We miss you trophies! – You obviously don’t watch Bendtner with a unbiased mind. If you want him to be shit, every touch he does wrong or poor shot will be highlighted. I greatly doubt we will sign a big name who will “save our season” because it just doesn’t happen at Arsenal. Centre halves would not wish to play against Bendtner due to his height, physical presence, ability to shoot from range and the awareness of his body.

    Another point to make is that is the first time Bendtner has played up top alone as the target man this season, van Persie didn’t score for a few games and everyone was up in arms saying we need one. He’s been out, he’s lacking that top 10% of stretch and pace and brain. It’ll be fine.

  28. Panda
    January 28, 2010 at 11:42 pm #

    @ rocknrolljesus1 – Don’t comment on this blog. Go and support a ‘big club’ in debt if you want, but don’t leave your unwanted, offensive opinions here.

  29. Tiki
    January 28, 2010 at 11:44 pm #

    You know what I love. Verm is such a man playing on for about 5mins after the injury incident and not acting overly in pain despite having a potential fracture in his fibula. What a friggin BEAST!

  30. FE Gooner
    January 28, 2010 at 11:48 pm #

    Oh dear me, why all this throwing of toys out of the pram and swearing. Spend, spend, spend? Even at this time of economic uncertainty? Be very grateful that the club is well run financially. Those who prefer that rout can support Chelsea or Man City.

  31. Tom O' Flaherty
    January 29, 2010 at 12:00 am #

    @ rocknrolljesus1 – shout louder im sure they will sack wenger on your basis – muppet-

    you talk absolute shite mate – what success has spending power brought to Pool, Spurs? none.

    let the next three games come and then comment

  32. radads
    January 29, 2010 at 12:41 am #

    @ Rocknroll J, Surely ur name dont deserve the word “Jesus” in it, please dont talk like a fool in here.
    Hi Andy, great post today, spot on!! U summed it all up.
    Deni is really a nightmare for us, I have to admit that I actually wishing Cameroon to loose for Song to be back on his Job the earliest, Oh gosh, we desperately need him!!!!.
    @Shambo,I wish I had more time to remind you what Theo Walcott is capable of doing on the pitch, but for now I m just convinced that he needs more match time and to me he is one of our best and most dangerous player in the PL, dont forget the 2 months injury plus he is only 20.
    As for Campbell, i totaly trust him as a sub CB, and to me without him yesterday agst Villa, we could have lost, his swap agst Verma was convenient to me yesterday cos the Villa boys played air balls.
    Bendy???? I cant wait to watch him this sunday, lets see if he can still keep the form he had early this season.
    My line up:
    Sagna-Gallas-Sol Camp-Clichy
    —————Song-Diaby——–
    ——————–Cesc————–
    Nasri———–Bendy——Arsha

    I really wish Diaby and Song to be back.

  33. radads
    January 29, 2010 at 12:47 am #

    @Shambo, im just in hurry now, but I will give sometime tomrw to give you some info abt Theo’s performance for the last two years and abt how much other clubs would want him in their squad.i wish I had more time right now to write abt it to you, we ll talk 2mrw.

  34. harrison
    January 29, 2010 at 1:11 am #

    AW should not be sturborn he must beef up with top strikers

  35. Leftcoastgooner
    January 29, 2010 at 1:30 am #

    The draw against the villans was painfully fair. I’m not sure what footballing questions the future holds for our squad but clearly Denilson is not the answer. Undersized,underpowered and under pressure,suspect.
    Pure fantasy here but with Juventus already out of the scudetto is there any chance at Man-sized Feilpe Melo?
    Nah, just dreamin. Thinking of that it was nice to see arse-Shavings (#23 Michael Jordan?) snap out of it a little.
    Although I must admit I do love our moody little Russkey.

  36. abiodun
    January 29, 2010 at 1:40 am #

    You just have to wonder at the comments of some so-called “fans”- they want AW to spend…spend. On whom? Unless someone can tell how to get Etoo, Ibra or Silva… They even accompany their rants with some curses on AW!
    The club has a philosophy that has worked well- we are always in contention in the prem. and champs. leagues year in, year out. And we dont have to go bankrupt to do so.
    Back to the write-up-great observations as usual. Glad to have Song back for the weekned game.

  37. Filipino Dan
    January 29, 2010 at 2:30 am #

    It’s not broken! It’s not broken!

    Good news on the arsenal website!

    What a relief!

  38. el bizarron
    January 29, 2010 at 2:34 am #

    Great news from the official site! Vermaelen’s leg is NOT fractured! His injury still has to be assessed, though. Here’s hoping he’s back soon.

    I have to disagree with all those who Wenger to sign someone, anyone. It’s just ludicrous to shell out millions of pounds on transfer fees and salaries with the debt the team is carrying. He has to be financially responsible. With the potential financial troubles ManU and Liverpool seem to be headed toward, I’m happy with his prudence.

    However, I do believe the squad is thin with injuries to our key players. (Is it just me, or has Arsenal lost more player games to injury than the average team?) I don’t think they’re deep enough to handle the loss of so many players, especially at the back. It will most likely hinder our challenge for the title but I personally don’t mind so much as I’m a fan who enjoys watching Arsenal play an entertaining brand of football more than anything else.

  39. rocknrolljesus1
    January 29, 2010 at 2:54 am #

    PANDA…

    i’m not trying to be rude, or wish bad luck to arsenal … i’m i big gunner fan, and i want the best for this club… would u rather see trophies or money that the club gets because of wengers “hatred” of the transfer market. if arsenal would win trophies we would get money. there is more then 1 way to earn money…

    P.S.: arsenal is a BIG club

  40. Lompri Koroma
    January 29, 2010 at 3:05 am #

    @ amar, which planet are u from (pandora?). bet u r not a gooner, get a life.
    R u blaming Denilson, 4 not conceeding?
    Agree with Ole gunner and Ezra. Denilson is one of best we have in the CM, he completes Song. He was injured bout a week ago n havn’t meet 100% fitness. RMber he was better than Song n is better than Ramsey, Diaby n Eduardo.
    B positive guys

  41. MoMONEY
    January 29, 2010 at 4:37 am #

    3 points against United is crucial and its a game where we have to go in knowing 0 is a possibility. United will battle especially after the City tie they just had. We better come to play from the first minute.

  42. radads
    January 29, 2010 at 5:28 am #

    Bad news is Diaby would be short for the united game
    But 2 good news abt Verma who will be back for the Chelsea game, and for which im really fine with cos he needs a lil rest, but my best news is that Song is back for the manure game.
    My Line up has changed to this:

    Sagna- Gallas- SolCamp- Clichy
    —————– Song—————–
    ————-Cesc-Ramsey———-
    Rosicky——-Bendi———Arsha

    hey Gooners!! Its a perfect line up!!isn it??!!
    No worry for a Nasri swap for Rosicky or Nasri agst Ramsey.Whats important for me is: How good Bendy would be???? Is he gonna keep the ball for himself again or is he gonna pass the ball at the right time or is he gonna shoot that ball right at the back of the net with all his strength so that it would tear the net apart????
    Thats what I wanna see on sunday,
    comon Gunners, lets shoot the Manure down!!!!

  43. Donnyfan1
    January 29, 2010 at 9:00 am #

    Villa have beaten Manure, Chelski and Pool this season so far. Did they beat Arsenal in the two games? No!! Where would we have been in the League and Cups with average injuries this season- last season and the one before. Arsenal get assaulted- have to put up with kick and rush tactics on dodgy dry pitches with a side that won’t reach maturity for 6 years or more— and cost nothing incidentally—and you moan!! Nutters!!

  44. guyfrmars
    January 29, 2010 at 10:36 am #

    wow.what backlash.this is Villa, not your normal 6 placed team but a very good team, with scalps vs other 3 top teams, the same team that was gunning for 4th place last year. i am disappointed we didn’t get 3 points but considering we played Villa, i wasn’t too worried.
    i’m gutted on how people just look for someone to blame, Denilson in particular. You guys need to watch the game again, and you will see that Denilson actually did alright, considering he just came back from injuries. I was rather peeved at Walcott & Clichy, but seeing they have just came back from injuries, i wont let that go to my head.
    The point is, we have had 10 injuries to our team. As much as everyone likes to compare Chelsea and ManU, but if these teams have the same amount of injuries, i dont think they even be in title contention. The fact that we are very much still in it says something about Arsenal.

    Bendtner brings a unique approach to our attack, a Plan B is you must. How could you start blaming someone who has been injured and expect him to be a goal scoring machine. Put it in this way, if one of your co-workers get transfered in a middle of a big project and the new guy replacing him struggles to keep up with everyone else who have been working together. Do you fire his ass off for trying? or do u allow him to get himself up to speed? I bet you these are the same people who was up against Adebayor and next season was singing praises for the 30 goal haul.

    Its the same thoughtless comments every season, (Diaby/Denilson/Song) is not a great DM.(Bendtner/Eduardo/Vela/Walcott) brings nothing to the team.The same people who would then be lauded for their greatness in the same position. DM job is not just about tackling, but limiting the choices of which the ball carrier can make. Shutting him out, pressuring him, prevent him from making the link between the midfield and the strikers. To do that, DM needs support.The other midfield players need to close the other player down too. That is what i think we lacked, the same defensive naivety. Every time an attack went belly up, look how many got up and helped the DM.
    The same with a striker. Gone were the days when the striker’s job is just to score. They are now expected to bring others up in play, pressure the keepers and the defense, so other players have the opportunity to take a shot and yes score goals. The great Dennis, was a great example. With RvP out, Wenger has tried to supplement our goal scoring option by playing a proven play maker (Arshavin) in the striker’s role to offset the lack of sharpness in our current field of players.

    That my lads is the reason why we didn’t win. A definite lack of match sharpness. Go through the starting line-up again. See how many playing has just came back from injuries within 1 month time frame.

    Come on Gunners. Constructive criticism please. Take other people point of view, they may be seeing things you don’t see.

  45. RBP - The Next RVP
    January 29, 2010 at 12:55 pm #

    Can we not forget, that all of the rest of the “Big 4” had lost to villa, united at Villa Park, Pool at Anfield, and Chelsea at Villa park…So the fact that we won one game, and drew one game from the games we played against them this season is in my opinion a decent outcome…I’m not saying that we couldn’t have one, but Villa is by no means an easy team to compete away especially when playing them at home. I’m glad to see that Bendtner had a good game…i hope he can bring a good physical impact that our front line had been lacking in these upcoming important games. These next three games will most probably define our season, and if you would have asked me last year if we had this same fixture list, i definitely been much less enthusiastic about the possible results. I really have faith that we can bring positive outcomes from each and every one of these games.

  46. SCOPE KNIGHT
    January 29, 2010 at 5:46 pm #

    @guyfrmara,
    ur comment has being the best. i am so impressed. Apply for a job on arsenalfcblog i am sure andy will look at ur application. For those who have not voted for this blog as d best blog eat a d&&&&&.
    Back to arsenal. I will trade this position we are in 4 seasons ago 4 my left balls. Did u guys see ramsey? Did u see cesc and rosicy tracking back. Okay denilson lost a few one on ones but give him some space. This is villa guys not wigan. they beat pool, manure and chelsea. daaa.

  47. Geebee
    January 29, 2010 at 6:28 pm #

    Vermaelen’s knock wasnt that serious after all though he’s not likely to play against United. I’m positive we can beat Man U on Sunday. The boys just need to show a little more attitude, passion and aggression. Win it and we got a good morale boost for the Chelsea game.

  48. Andrew Weber
    January 29, 2010 at 6:34 pm #

    @ SCOPE KNIGHT / guyfrmars – A job implies I have money to give away 🙂

  49. Hey Nonny Mouse (and his bell of doom)
    January 29, 2010 at 7:36 pm #

    3 days to go and no signing. No signing on the horizon. Nothing. Arsenal FC is becalmed.
    ‘Water, water, every where, Nor any drop to drink.’

    You Gooners make good points, both for and agin the current situation. Even rocknrolljesus (nice modest name) who appears to be as mad as a cut snake. And I agree with both sides – we play the best football and are financially sound as a drum – but don’t expect us to win any trophies soon. The history of the Premier league shows that you have to shell out to win. Our very very good team is still made up of too many so-so’s who Arsene, for whatever reason – maybe even loyalty to the player – won’t replace with championship winning quality.

    Which leaves us with a team I love to watch – doomed to be trophyless and the butt of rival supporters cruel jibes. Ah well…

    So let’s enjoy what is a favourite game of the season – manure at our place. Given their current state this is a game we can win. Should win. I have no qualms saying that at this moment in time we are the better team. But the manc scum are fighters = as we saw against Man shitty – so we have to fight back too and keep playing til the final whistle.

    I know we can’t win the Prem with the current squad – but at least there’ll be some satisfaction pushing manure into third spot come seasons end and winning this game will help that. It’s a six pointer! wink:

  50. theicehammer
    January 30, 2010 at 4:14 am #

    Well, well, well. Den is not a DMF player. Can anyone remember the Den/Diaby debate i had with a blogger a while ago. He seemed to think the sun shone out of Den’s arse. Only shambo backed me at the time. i said it then that the job Wenger has allocated for him is far to difficult. He does not command that kind of persona or demeanor to begin with. He has a good touch and can keep the ball ticking and can go forward a bit, but has to many deficiencies in pluging holes and making tackles and winning balls in the air and holding onto the ball by using his physical strength. Buuuuuttttttttttttt………Wenger loves im.

  51. shambogunner
    January 30, 2010 at 9:55 am #

    ice,
    if i keep agreeing with you and you with me everyones gonna think were the one person backing up our own opinions under different alias’s,lets hav a barney over something…..wot ever happened to spanish gunner and gunnerboss….and radads?????????

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