Christmas Party = No Arsenal

Christmas Party = No Arsenal

Hey all.

Just a quick one to say that it’s my work Christmas Party tonight and I won’t get the opportunity to do the blog for today.

I’ll have one done up tomorrow to make up for it though, so stay tuned.

In the meantime, enjoy this ridiculous picture of Santa Claus kicking a christmas present at a house.

What it has to do with Arsenal I don’t know…

Have your say on whatever the heck you want by leaving a comment.

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67 Responses to “Christmas Party = No Arsenal”

  1. LuxinBrasil
    December 5, 2008 at 7:20 pm #

    Fair enough SF…..Have a good one!

    Im still a little worried about Mr Gallas today….its heavily reported that he will definitely be off in Jan…that he hasnt apologised for the outburst to his team mates and he didnt even celebrate Van Persies second goal at Chelsea..is this true??…It claims he is so humiliated by the loss of the captaincy he cant stay…I think he is great for our defence and he needs to ride the storm and continue at Arsenal to become one of the greats…another injury surely does not help his opportunities of transfer!!..Do we need more unrest??

  2. fernando guilherme
    December 5, 2008 at 8:32 pm #

    SF

    Many thanks for the hours you have spent keeping me informed on the games and background issues of AFC.I have enjoyed reading all your comments and look forward to all the rest for this year and next.
    Have great festive season and great new year
    Fernando

  3. realist
    December 5, 2008 at 8:34 pm #

    Forget the Premiership title, it’s beyond us. We’ve lost far too many games and are too inconsistent to mount a challenge.

    The Champions League however is a totally different prospect and it’s a trophy that I really believe Arsenal can win.

    Our possession football suits the Champions League. It’s a far slower pace than the English Premiership and there is no team better in Europe than Arsenal at keeping the ball.

    You need the luck of the draw and people will say if Arsenal draw an English team, then we will struggle because they know how to play against us. I beg to differ.

    If a side resorts to the usual bully boy tactics employed by Premiership teams then the European referees will stamp down on it. The harsh tackles will not be allowed.

    Liverpool and Chelsea have knocked us out in the past but we outplayed them both in those ties. I’d say a great deal of luck enabled them to overcome us. Surely that luck would change?

    Successful sides are built on the foundations of a solid defence. The defence made up of Gallas, Djourou, Clichy and Sagna is more than solid enough to keep clean sheets.

    We didn’t keep a clean sheet against the “almighty” Chelsea but the goal we conceded was an own-goal and could have been prevented had Almunia not suffered a rush of blood to the head.

    A Chelsea side at home, had one shot on target against us in 90 minutes. That alone proves to me the back-four of those mentioned above are more than capable of shutting out Europe’s elite.

    Arsenal always have goals in them. We can score against anyone, especially those crucial away goals.

    If we can keep it tight in the home games then we can beat anyone over two legs. Teams will not want to face us.

    I see so many parallels between this season and the 2005/06 season when we reached the Champions League final. The inconsistency in the league, the rumour’s of infighting. It’s uncanny. I don’t however see us struggling for fourth place this season. We will get there comfortably.

    People are speaking of another trophyless campaign for Arsenal. I don’t agree. I genuinely believe the Champions League will be ours in May.

  4. jay-jay
    December 5, 2008 at 9:45 pm #

    I really hope your right realist!

  5. Filipino Dan
    December 5, 2008 at 11:52 pm #

    Realist or Optimist?

    It’s definitely possible, but no more so that the last couple of seasons. I’m not bothered about luck going our way, as long as the teams we play don’t get any.

    The FA cup is there too don’t forget and we’ve got a good history in that competition.

  6. realist
    December 6, 2008 at 12:33 am #

    Check out this article from teamtalk:
    Oh wenger, if only, if only!!!!!

    Cristiano Ronaldo admits he came “within a whisker” of signing for Arsenal before eventually joining Premier League rivals Manchester United.

    Gunners boss Arsene Wenger met the Portugal winger three times in a bid to bring the player to north London.

    But United gazumped the deal by entering negotiations and bidding three times what Arsenal offered for the recently-crowned 2008 Ballon d’Or winner.

    This was confirmed by Ronaldo, who signed for United in August 2003 for just over £12million pounds in an interview he gave with France Football.

    “I came within a whisker of doing it,” he said. “Wenger is someone I respect a lot. He is very intelligent.”

    Jorge Mendes, Ronaldo’s agent, added: “That is what happened. Everyone wanted Cristiano; Real (Madrid), Juventus, Barcelona.

    “But only Arsenal and Manchester United attempted to take him from there (Sporting Lisbon) that season. The others wanted to leave him at Sporting at least a year.”

    It is widely believed Ronaldo’s sensational performance in Sporting’s 3-1 win over United in a friendly on August 5, 2003 convinced the English club to sign him.

    But Mendes revealed a deal had been agreed before that friendly, adding: “Everything was in place before, since an agreement had been reached the day before the match.”

    Ronaldo has gone on to become arguably the world’s greatest player.

    Under Sir Alex Ferguson, who Ronaldo labels ‘The Master’, the 23-year-old has added deadly finishing to his repertoire of skills and tricks.

    After five years at Old Trafford, it looked as if he was going to sign for Real Madrid last summer but he ended up staying at United.

    “I don’t want to return to that. I have already spoken a lot about it,” he said.

    “I am at Manchester United and I feel very good at this club. I don’t want to create other problems.

    “For two or three months, people have spoken more about this than about football and I don’t want to talk about it any more.”

    Another uncertain period for Ronaldo at United came after the 2006 World Cup.

    His Portugal side knocked England out of the tournament on penalties in the quarter-finals, but during the match he was involved in getting Wayne Rooney – his team-mate at United – sent off.

    Ronaldo was seen asking the referee to dismiss Rooney and as a result he was given a hard time by the English press and fans the following few months.

    But Ronaldo said: “If I had to do it again, I would do it again. I was defending my colours, my country.

    “What I did on the day was normal. When I came back to England after the World Cup, there were all these people booing me. That made me stronger.

    “It was a test of my character. I learnt a lot because of this.”

    Ronaldo was named Ballon d’Or winner in the early hours of Tuesday morning and will lift the trophy at an awards ceremony in Paris on Sunday night.

    He admits it was a childhood dream to win that accolade and feels Ferguson has made it all possible.

    “I am a great professional thanks to him,” he added.

    “It’s him who took me from Sporting and brought me to Manchester. He is a great man. A great manager. His record of achievements speaks for itself. Most important is his personality – I love working with him.

    “My concentration has changed. I have become a winner. Here, you always have to win and I know the pressure of winning matches, trophies. And it is here, with Alex Ferguson, that I started to believe I could win the Ballon d’Or.”

  7. MoMONEY
    December 6, 2008 at 1:17 am #

    Maybe Wenger would have turned him into a real player…

  8. Jess
    December 6, 2008 at 1:58 am #

    Ronaldo at Arsenal…the thought makes my stomach turn. I can’t stand him or his ego….we think we have dressing room problems now!!

  9. TayGoon
    December 6, 2008 at 2:44 am #

    @Realist; Everything is very possible at the moment. We can win the EPL still. I don’t wory about Liverpool or Man U as much as Chelsea. But after our win I am starting to believe Chelsea are also going to be found out. As for Liverpool, they have been very lucky so far this season, I think come January they will have spent all their season’s share of luck. They haven’t rotated as much so far, so the second half of the season should be interesting watching liverpool.

    As for Man U, they are a bit unpredictable but they may draw a few blanks that would suprise most of us.

  10. Demetrio
    December 6, 2008 at 5:22 am #

    To win the league, we’d have to have no more then 6 losses. We already have 5, which mean we have to go the rest of the season without losing more then 2 games. To REALLY have a chance we have to go the whole season unbeaten with no more then 4 draws. Now if you think that is possible, then i guess you do think its realistic that we can win it. I personally have watched Arsenal play and i don’t see a team that is capable of going the rest of this season without at least losing 2 more which would then make it impossible to win the PL. Besides, its not up to us anymore, it comes down to what Chelsea, Liverpool do. I dont see Chelsea losing many games this season. Maybe they dont win against Us or Liverpool, but as long as they beat all the teams they should it doesnt matter if they beat the big 3 or not.

    I think we are better off aiming for the Champions League and FA cup. We can re-group and come back next season for the PL title.

  11. TayGoon
    December 6, 2008 at 6:02 am #

    Demetrio: Chelsea played all 3 games with the rest of the big 4 and lost 2 and drew 1 at home. I can conceivebly see them lose at the Grove, Anfield and OT. that will be about 5 defeats. We can do the double to both Liverpool and Man U, and probably L’pool will be beat by Man U at OT. That will give both Man U and L’pool 4 loses. I can’t see a team we can not beat. I kept maintaining that players were not willing to bail-out Gallas when he screwd up after he chastised Clichy and other defensive players in public, but now that is not going to be an issue. We will see a different team willing to work hard for Cesc as you notted how RVP bypassed Ade who provided him with the assist and searched out Cesc. With Eduardo and Rosicky coming back our threat almost doubles.

    Other teams are getting stronger nowadays which means they will take points from other big 3

  12. C-Bass
    December 6, 2008 at 7:43 am #

    I’m stealing that picture SF.

    As for the title race I don’t think we’re completely out of it. Look at the point totals that have won the Premiership the last three years. They have dropped each year, ninety one, eighty nine and then eighty seven last year. I think that trend is likely to continue. IMHO this is the the toughest league in the world and there isn’t an easy game, especially without Derby whom everyone walked over.

    Chelski and Pewl are in the drivers seat no doubt and ManU with their game in hand is right there as well but things aren’t over for Arsenal especially if we find the rich vein of form we found at the begining of last year.

    Is it going to be hard? Yes. Is it a long shot? Yes. Are we done for in the Premiership this season? Absolutely not especially if Wenger decides to buy in January.

    For it to happen though we have to find the consistency to beat the teams we should beat. And that starts with Wigan. I hope the lads bring the pain and win emphatically.

  13. MoMONEY
    December 6, 2008 at 8:28 am #

    I think winning the league this year will take less point then usual as the top 4 will all drop points to each other…. We have a chance but its difficult.. We need to stop worrying about it and go one match at a time…

  14. Demetrio
    December 6, 2008 at 11:50 am #

    @Taygoon

    You are a VERY wishful thinker. You cannot say Chelsea will lose all their games against the big 3. I see them beating Liverpool, and Man U. Besides… stop worrying about what Man U, Liverpool and Chelsea do because WHAT YOU ARE NOT TAKING INTO FACTOR.. is the games we might drop. Its easy to sit here and Say Man U and Chelsea and Liverpool will all lose to each other.. but you fail to mention the teams we might drop points to. We have been VERY poor against lesser sides. So until we even prove that we can put 3-4 games together against sides like Wigan, you just sound plain crazy. Under what you just said.. if all that happens and Arsenal don’t lose another game.. the yes we have a great chance. But its too much of a stretch to say Arsenal will go the rest of the season and not lose.

  15. TayGoon
    December 6, 2008 at 1:57 pm #

    @Demetrio;

    We have lost 5 games and people are already writing the title off. What I was trying to show is how possibly all the other contenders could lose games right in the neighbouhood of where we are. We only lost 3 games last year and still didn’t win it. Man U and Chelsea lost more than us and were ahead of us. Read to it what you like.

    I am content and patient enough to let it play out. Afterall it is a long time till May.

    As for sounding crazy, I am not worried at all. I would worry if I was actually crazy but then again so many people would be crazier than me to even make a difference. The only thing is, if I am crazy I wouldn’t know it and think I am ok. See my problem? LOL! Keep your hopes up mate, or at least you can be neutral at this point. The numer of games lost is not important. What is, is the point difference. Right now it is 8, and is manegeable.

  16. ramugunner
    December 6, 2008 at 7:49 pm #

    Some really optimistic and encouraging writings in the Grove today; I wish they are realistic too. Of course, some of them are. My views:

    Premier League: Yes, We are not out of title race yet. There are 23 matches to be played and anything can happen. It will depend on our form also other Big 3’s form. I think title race will be more tighter this year simply because all the challenger’s have already dropped many points and they will drop more. I believe our title hopes can be revived with a injury-free situation and few enforcements in Jan. I have a feeling that we won’t challenge though.

    . Either Gallas has to stay or Wenger has to sign a big, class CB like Zapata.
    . We must buy a tough CDM who can tackle and play rough in the middle with energy and power. Veloso, Cana are good shouts.
    . A class goalie can do wonder for our shaky defense as well. Amelia, Boruc, Akinfeev are class.

    Cesc is looking more interested and determined after getting armband. He is the one who can make this team a real winner. But saying that, he needs support from all around the field. With new Director at the club, I am more hopeful about at least one signing or two this Janaury. Wenger, new Director and whole Board should show more ambition now.

    Like you guys said, we have a good chance with Champions league. Being a ball playing team with high technical skills, Arsenal are always more suitable for this league. I still fear us to meet any English teams given their bulldog power esp in air. I believe we do not have a good enough team to win CL at the moment. A team with Denilson, Diaby, Almunia can never be trusted.
    I really believe Gallas will leave and we will sign 2 players this Janaury but not a goalie. Our team will be:

    Almunia(Cunt)
    Sagna NewCB Djourou/Toure Clichy
    Walcott/Rosiscky NewCDM Cesc Nasri
    RVP/Ade/Edu

    This team can win CL this season. It would be better for Arsenal to concentrate on CL and FA cup than dreaming about premier league which is looking more unreachable.

    Wigan Today. With no Gallas in defense, we might have trouble containing Heskey and Zaki. Palacios has ability to outplay Denilson/Song in the middle and Kirkland always makes wonder saves when playing us. Lets hope our first-teamers watched the video of kids carling cup victory. Almunia-Faulty might have a shock Christmas gift today with one more gaffe. I wonder why Wenger still trust him is beyond me.

    Come on Arsenal!!!!

  17. Radads RSA
    December 6, 2008 at 8:07 pm #

    @Demetrio,You are right at some part my friend, but I dont see the gunners loosing agst small teams anymore. Man city with new profiles, and Aston villa might be still a threat along with Portsmouth but the bottom half wont be any pbm anymore.I think we have had all our lessons by now by not repeating the same mistake again.Back to Taygoon, i think you are right my friend, All the Big 3 are all loosing pace except ManU, but I also think they will also draw with smaller team somwhere along the season as they are overconfident.Liverpool is facing all games without Torres,I still think we still have good chance in the PL. the only big PBM for us 1st the CDM, if only Wenger will put somebody up to the job and Another big PBM is the transfer window on january, where Man city could create a lot of trouble.

  18. Radads RSA
    December 6, 2008 at 8:12 pm #

    Beleive me my friend!! the young gunns have even kicked these guys out by 3-0,and they were 95% PL players, Im confident today with my gunners.Its big chance again to rise up our moral and 3 successive wins with captn FAB-uLous

  19. Radads RSA
    December 6, 2008 at 8:32 pm #

    Taygoon, keep the guys up my friend,the only way to achieve is to believe, thats what we all must do.If us as AFC fans dont support our own team Who will?? and even if we talk about realistic point of view, I think good chance is a proper way to call it for our PL tittle race, not forget it.Thts not realistic at all, but extreme.

  20. jay-jay
    December 7, 2008 at 1:27 am #

    So far so good – Adebayor 16th min – 1-0.

    Almunia
    Sagna-Toure-Djourou-Clichy
    Denilson-Fabregas-Song-Nasri
    Adebayor-Van Persie
    Subs:Fabianski-Wilshere-Vela-Bendtner-Ramsey-Silvestre-Eboue.

  21. SettaKeys
    December 7, 2008 at 2:56 am #

    Any arsenal fan that was at the stadium for the Wigan game should be fucking ashamed of themselves. You’re silent for 89 minutes and then you boo eboue. No other stadium in Britain would do that to their own player. good result but man it was shaky

  22. Demetrio
    December 7, 2008 at 3:00 am #

    I agree, it was sick to see Eboue booed especially when the whole team was shit in the last 15 mins. Not just Eboue, yet he was singled out for it. Pathetic display from the people at the game.

  23. ramugunner
    December 7, 2008 at 3:36 am #

    Poor Eboue!

    He shouldn’t have been booed. Yes, he gave possession away few times but we were not punished for his faults. He was coming back from a long injury lay off and was deployed out of position(LM). It was really harsh Gunner’s. Wenger should have brought in Wilshere who could have create chances and retain possession.

    Happy with 3 points but our team is worrying. I thought we were playing Intermilan in the last 20 minutes or so after Zaki came on. Zaki looked like Zidane against our defense and Song. Cattermole looked like Gattusso. I can’t believe players like Silvestre, Diaby, Song, Denilson, Eboue who can easily walk into Arsenal first team. We used to have better players on the bench than many of our first teamer’s now. Remember we used to have Keown, Wiltord, Parlour, Edu, Reyes on the bench. All of these players are a lot better than what we have.

    Fabregas was outstanding today. This guy is *ucking amazing. He needs more support from his midfield partners plus strikers.

    1. We have zero player in the whole squad who can actually dribble past few players and retain possession. We had Hleb but he is gone.
    2. We have zero player in our whole squad who can take a man and beat with trickery. We used to have Henry, Pires, Ljunberg. Walcott can do it sometimes using pace not trickery.

    Those 2 problems were clearly seen in today’s match. I understand that we didn’t have luck on our side when ball struck the post 2 times. But we were not convincing at all. In the first half, we couldn’t even make few passes together. Anyway happy with the win and 3 points. This team needs serious enforcements and should be addressed this Janaury.

  24. Radads RSA
    December 7, 2008 at 4:29 am #

    That game was tight,but Eboue shudn have been booed,Im sorry guys but that was just a very very poor attitude from the fans.He just came back from a very loong period injury, and everybody knows that he is a capable player.I even think that he is the one that we really need now to bring fire on the wing and accelerate games to wakr the other guuners players.
    Genneraly we did gud today, our game starts to come back game after game.Song had an amazing improvement down in the flanks, and Fab-ulous was once again astonishing.I think, our players need to learn how to stand on a game even if we dont succeed to score, or when things turn out on a way that they didnt expect it to be.The same Zaki were the striker when our young team defeated them 3-0, i cant really understand how come these guys could have lost their morale standing when Zaki came in the game.JUST NOT REALLY A CONVINCING 2ND HALF FROM OUR TEAM TODAY.

  25. Radads RSA
    December 7, 2008 at 4:52 am #

    EBOUE JUST NEEDS 1 or 2 GAMEs TO BE BACK ON HIS Feet AGAIN, I am dfntly sure that the same thing would happen to wallcot.Eboue shud have been put on the RW, switched with Denilson.I really wonder how will Wenger manage to make his startin 11 when Walcott is back?As Song is now improving game after game and I personnaly think that AW must keep him permanent on that Job from now on, after the CL game next week, Song will be a fully grown CDM.I’d prefer to see Eboue on the wings than seeing Denilson, but still its difficult to say now coz Denilson is such a good attackin mdfldr, and hes got a very gud pace on the pitch as he used to have a lot of time match plays,I am really sure that he is going to improve his wings game quality after few games.Im really happy for Song.

  26. Mexican Gunner
    December 7, 2008 at 5:15 am #

    I cant believe that now everybody supoorts Eboue!!

    Last season he was our worst player by far, many of us predicted that he will never score and there you have.

    Now again we´re seeing that our only wingers are Walcott, Rosicky and Nasri, BUT Eboue and Denilson are not wingers, Denilson was running all the time to the center, we almost play without a right winger.

    I dont understand why Arsene dont put Vela or Wilshere there.

  27. Demetrio
    December 7, 2008 at 6:26 am #

    @ Mexican Gunner

    I’m not saying that i think Eboue is a great player or that i want him in there over Vela or Whilshere. But there is no place for people to boo him the way they did. As i recall when Silvestre came one, he didn’t do any better and made a few horrible passes, yet he didn’t get that same treatment. The whole team was rubbish for the last 15 mins of the game, so if people are going o boo Eboue they may as well boo the whole team at the final whistle. It was ridiculous the way Eboue was treated by his home crowd today.

  28. Mexican Gunner
    December 7, 2008 at 6:46 am #

    Honestly Demetrio I think you cant boo players that have a bad game like sometimes Theo or Cesc or some others because generally they play very well…

    But I think today the fans on the stadium feel the perfect oportunnity to recriminate him for his last games (of course counting the last season).

    I dont think its completly his fault cuz he dont choose where to play, the fault is of Arsene to put players out of his position, cuz he is a great right back, but the same will happen with Denilson if Arsene try to make him play on the wing.

    If I will be there I will booed him too and I will do the same with Bendtner cuz he plays always bad. I cant boo Adebayor if he didnt score or not play well cuz he all the time plays good or I cant boo Clichy for some mistake cuz he is always awesome.

  29. MoMONEY
    December 7, 2008 at 7:56 am #

    Winning ugly is what we need to learn to do… To be honest even when we have won 4-0 this year we havent looked as brilliant as last year with the passing… Reinforcements are definitely needed in January.

    In other news Theiry Henry is still DEADLY when played at CF

  30. Demetrio
    December 7, 2008 at 8:01 am #

    That is true but keep in mind Eboue has been out for a while, plus he was played outta position.

    It would be like Eduardo coming back and being booed if he doesn’t score right away. You have to give Eboue time to find his legs. Like Wenger said after the game, he was tired and just trying his best.

    And what you said about its not his choice where he plays is another reason it was not acceptable to boo him. If fans wanna boo somebody, boo Wenger for putting him in that position knowing he was outta place.

    But to see one of our players almost in tears coming off the pitch because a bunch of idiots in the stands have to have a scapegoat when the game was getting a little rough is VERY shameful to the club. Like i said, with 15 mins left.. it wasn’t only Eboue that wasn’t playing well. Blame has to be put also on Cesc, RVP, Denilson and Ade who should have taken the ball to the corner flag and just started killing time when the game started to get edgy.

  31. jay-jay
    December 7, 2008 at 9:36 am #

    When AW subbed Eboue off, the crowd went wild like we had won the Champions League and I think that is very disgusting. He has recently come back from injury, ok he had a bad game, but he never played LW before, give the guy a chance jeez. He was almost in tears when he left the pitch, his best friend is Adebayor and I think he probably spent the rest of the day with him because he needed to be comforted. That was just plain out of order and it came from the arsenal fans, thats what makes it worse.

  32. C-Bass
    December 7, 2008 at 9:39 am #

    First off well done by the lads happy with the result. We had enough chances a bit unlucky not to have another go in.

    Secondly the last twenty minutes were awful. And awful for the whole defense. The booing just threw flames on the whole situation. We have so many young players out on the pitch and many that had solid games up to that point but as soon as the crowd turned it went south for them.

    I’m sorry it was a disgrace. Not that they booed, they payed for their tickets and you can have your say, fair enough. But the situation in which they booed was disgraceful.

    You don’t boo when the Gunners are one goal up, at home, in a game you’re supposed to win, a game you must win in fact to keep the title hopes alive. In game where all the pressure is bearing down on your lads. You sing your lungs out and inspire your team to victory. I may be a stupid Yank who’s sport was throwball, and who’s never seen, nor probably never will see, the Gunners in the flesh but even I know that.

    All in all I don’t know what happened on the pitch but I hope Cesc had some words for his mates. I was glad to see Ade giving Eboue some encouragement. In fact I hope Cesc calls the crowd out in the media.

    Finally I just want to end with this. Hate who you want on our squad but I really do feel players like Denni, Song, Eboue and even Nik rightly deserve spots on our squad. They are good enough for Arsenal. Do we need more depth? Absolutely, but everyone of those players named has a role to play for us. I’m off and cheers to lads once again for getting it done.

  33. jay-jay
    December 7, 2008 at 10:52 am #

    @ C-Bass – agree about the crowd, they have to get behind us instead of helping Wigan back into the game by not supporting their team. Much about this week has been a big debate bout Big Nik so i dnt rele wanna get into again so im just going to say I disagree with your comments C-Bass about Bendtner but everyone and everything else I agree with.

  34. MoMONEY
    December 7, 2008 at 6:20 pm #

    I dont know how feasible an idea this is but could Royston Drenthe play DMF? He runs like crazy and is definitely talented… Rumors are madrid want him out…

    Regarding Eboue his treatment yesterday was a disgrace… I really hope he sticks around with the club… It was only a few years ago that he was one of the most promising RBs in the EPL… He has sacrificed a lot for this team and his treatment is unacceptable…

  35. Panda Bear
    December 7, 2008 at 7:06 pm #

    The way Eboué was treated as he left the field was disgusting.

  36. Radads RSA
    December 7, 2008 at 10:24 pm #

    @MoMoney, I really agree with you my friend, I always keep saying this but he is even the only one that we can expect now on the Right wing till Walcott is back.I have always liked him since last year, he always create trouble for the defenders as his fast run disturb them a lot.And I just like it that way even if he doesnt score.I really wish AW will play him so often from now for him to get confidence and back on his feet again.

  37. SettaKeys
    December 7, 2008 at 10:27 pm #

    I’ll admit last year he wasn’t playing so well, but earlier this year (before the injury) he was actually doing quite well, the treatment was shocking for someone who has been much maligned (with some reason, but not that much) and who has such loyalty to the club. I hope he gets a few more games and gets his confidence back.

    Hopefully they’ll be away games, and not just for his sake, but for the whole teams’. Playing in a silent stadium is not exactly confidence building.

  38. LuxinBrasil
    December 8, 2008 at 12:52 am #

    Here you go SF….some fair comments for your man in defence!

    By Chris Mcgrath for The Independant on Sunday….

    “But some credit is due to Arsenal, too. The critics had said that they lack austerity; that their midfield had become a gimcrack assembly, suave but effete; that they need more virility in the defensive core. But it may yet be that the last laugh will go to the team’s choreographer, whose fidelity to his young guns may well have had something to do with the emergence, in their midst, of Johan Djourou.

    William Gallas was sidelined with a calf injury – and this was the day when Djourou came of age. He exuded calm and authority beyond his 21 years, and besides adding size and sinew to the defence, he is no less languid on the ball than any of the rhapsodists in front of him.”

  39. Gibbs
    December 8, 2008 at 4:06 am #

    The Gooners were a disgrace yesterday, they really pissed me off! Eboue didnt deserv the treatment he got from the fans, he just came back from a long term injury! All the idiots that booed him should be ashamed of themselves! Arsenal fans have turned into spoilt brats, they must grow up!

    Anyway, we won, im happy with that. We need to keep it up. I think if we win all our games this month, we’ll catch up with Liverpool and Chelsea.

  40. TayGoon
    December 8, 2008 at 1:46 pm #

    The guys were rattled by the preassure of the fans and the fact that after hitting the post twice, they started to think that it was not their day so the most sensible thing to do was to hang on to that one goal lead. Were overly cautious in the last 20 mins.

  41. ramugunner
    December 8, 2008 at 4:13 pm #

    It was hard for me to watch two ex-gooners(Henry, Hleb) showing a masterclass for Barcelona playing against in-form Valencia team. Some of us say Hleb can’t even shoot and is useless. I disagree. Hleb’s intelligence and footballing brain is what I love. If Guardiola teach him how to shoot, then he is absolute class. I have a feeling that he will turn to be a wonderful signing for Barca. He will be crucial when playing tight Champions league matches for them.
    I still remember when Hleb produced a masterclass showing against AstonVilla last season in the first half. Best half I have ever watched Arsenal play. I also believe Hleb was the reason we beat Milan last season along with “Mr Fighter Flamini”.

    Also, Pires has been very good for Villareal after he overcame that long injury. Watched his dazzling performance against Getafae without any answers. Who say Denilson/Eboue is better than Pires? Pires hasn’t been replaced at Arsenal even after more than 2 years. Nasri? He will never be Pires quality.

  42. Demetrio
    December 8, 2008 at 4:23 pm #

    @ ramugunner

    You also must remember.. Spain is a totally different league then the BPL. In Spain the midfield is much more open. That’s the kinda place Helb needs to play in. In England he IS useless because they don’t allow players to have that time to think about what they wanna do. Unless Helb has time on the ball he cannot really operate effectively. So you cant compare what he does in Spain to what he does in England. Different playing styles and Spain fits Helb better then England.

  43. Spanish Fry
    December 8, 2008 at 5:13 pm #

    Hey everyone – just commenting to let you know I’m having some computer issues and can’t post today. I’ll be back as soon as I can (hopefully tomorrow) with a match report for the Wigan game and some chat on the Eboue situation.

    Sorry and speak to you soon.

  44. Jay
    December 9, 2008 at 12:03 am #

    Rosicky back in March at the earliest!!
    God the bloke has had a nightmare with injuries since he has been with us.

    Its a shame, as he is a class act.

    http://www.arsenal.com/news/news-archive/rosicky-to-return-in-march-at-the-earliest-

  45. Radads RSA
    December 9, 2008 at 12:06 am #

    @Demetrio, Hleb has been always good no doubt!! I dont know but may be u used to see Rosicky and admire him a lot, but as far as my concern Hleb has been alws one of Arsenal’s attcking power, fast, gud on drbbles and has been alws a danger for defenders, doesnt matter where he plays England or Spain.You must remember that one of the main business that Arsenal does is producing stars and sell them.Thts why AW is sticking on his talented youth.If Im not mistaking Hleb has been one of them, and why do you think a big team like Barca would buy Hleb if he is that crap as you think he is?? i dont really know the cost of the transfer, but I beleive that Hleb must have been pricy (Not as much as Ronaldinho or the likes though!!!) as barca could buy him and the other Spanish lower team couldnt

  46. Fatboy
    December 9, 2008 at 3:47 am #

    Alonso for £12M in January apparently…

  47. Demetrio
    December 9, 2008 at 5:43 am #

    @ Radads thats funny.. cuz if i recall.. Helb’s agent said he wanted to leave Arsenal because he didnt like how physical the game in England is. So you can tell yourself whatever you want about helb, the fact is he isn’t at Arsenal and when he was he wasn’t up to class… Nasri is a million times better then that coward. Why would anyone want that piece of shit at Arsenal. Since Hleb has left he has only said negative things about our club. So fuck him, let Barca keep that over rated piece of shit, and Barca bought him because you could tell them a turtle is the next Pele and they would spend 15 million on it. As soon as Hleb get in a hard tackle he’ll be shit in Spain too because he is afraid of contact.

    As for Rosicky, Wenger needs to find a replacement for Rosicky. As much as i like him, he doesn’t help when he’s on the treatment table. It seems everytime he gets close to coming back, something else happens.

  48. MoMONEY
    December 9, 2008 at 6:04 am #

    I like Nasri but it seems like we played much more free flowing with better passing when Hleb was in there… As for Rosicky- if he came back it would be an immense boost but this news is terrible… Hopefully he even recovers and comes back next year… The guy is an incredible player when healthy…

  49. Mexican Gunner
    December 9, 2008 at 6:45 am #

    I also think Nasri is so much better than Hleb!
    Why we want a winger that is afraid of score?? the people that watch Barca on saturday could see that he is so scared to shoot, like the seasons he was here.

    I cant believe the Rosicky thing, what a shame, he´s my favorite Arsenal player.

  50. jay-jay
    December 9, 2008 at 10:55 am #

    Just to get into the recent topic. Hleb was afraid to shoot for us and that is something that Rosicky and Nasri excel in. However Hleb was and still is a player than can keep the ball for the whole 90 mins if he wishes. He can play those passes and thats why I liked him. But he was shy infront of goal. With Nasri we have a versatile, wide player. Plenty of youth and experience. Good at shooting and he has become one of my fav players. The only thing bad about Hleb is his fear of shooting, over than that he is a remarkable player. I think Nasri has scored the same amount for arsenal as Hleb did in his arsenal career. And Rosicky can defo score for us, its a big shame he out til March. I dont understand how Eduardo can get a broken leg and ankle after Rosicky got injured and recover 3 months before Rosicky.

    Lastly I have also heard reports linking us with Xabi Alonso (I cannot see Rafa selling him, he is in form) and rather ridiculous rumours linking Arsenal with Andrei Arshavin, Xavi and Wesley Sneijder.

  51. Radads RSA
    December 9, 2008 at 6:48 pm #

    What in the world is this language Demetrio????!!!!Please just dont treat people like this my friend!!!Ofcourse i like nasri but that doesnt mean Hleb is S**T.
    @Jay-Jay,Any news about nasri? Is he playing tomrow night? We dfntly need to win tomrow to be the 1st in the group so that we can face a lower team on the 1st knockout rd.
    These are journalist’s myth to get some bucks, i dont see Rafa selling Xabi@ this stage, as well as those other ones you mentionned.Andrei Arshavin will be too expensive for us, its not that we cant afford him but, AW is just not willing to spend that kind of money on january.Xavi?? NO-No, he is an eternal barca player, he started @the club from the age of 11 and he already mentionned his commitement to the club and his willing to extend his contract till 2014.
    Very bad news for Rosicky, the worse thing for him is his age, and he also still needs more time to get back in form and get his confidence back.Lets just wish and hope that he will quickly recover!!!

  52. Gibbs
    December 9, 2008 at 7:18 pm #

    @ Radads RSA
    If we finish first in our group, we’ll play against Madrid or Juve in the last 16, they are not lower teams at all.

  53. MoMONEY
    December 9, 2008 at 8:25 pm #

    Is there a draw or do we automatically get the second place team from that group? Both those teams scare me though we would be capable of winning…

  54. Gibbs
    December 9, 2008 at 8:49 pm #

    We automatically get the 2nd placed team, and i think it will be Madrid. Juve is up against Bate and i dont think Bate will give Juve too many problems tomorrow.

  55. C-Bass
    December 9, 2008 at 9:21 pm #

    Madrid has been shocking lately…. but so have we to be fair. It would almost be fitting.

    Nasri is out for Porto I’m pretty sure I saw that… pretty sure. All in all it matters little to me as long as we’re though. Eventually you will have to play the best there is not easy games outside of the group stage.

    My imput on the Helb situation is I agree with Demetrio (minus the language :P). Helb wanted out of not just Arsenal but England in general. It was too physical for him here and the weather wasn’t to his liking. IMHO he was off even if we had won a trophy last year. As for his impact I think at the very least Nasri brings just as many new aspects to our game that Helb didn’t possess. It was a fair trade. We don’t win the United game without Nasri’s ability to finish.

    And finally I must say for Christmas we all need to chip in and get Spanish Fry and new computer. 🙂

  56. jay-jay
    December 9, 2008 at 11:42 pm #

    @ Gibbs, Why Will it be Madrid or Juve. Its a random draw isnt it?

  57. Gibbs
    December 10, 2008 at 12:11 am #

    @ jay-jay
    There are 8 groups in the CL, isn’t it going to be group A vs B, C vs D…etc, like in the World Cup? Thats what i thought

  58. MoMONEY
    December 10, 2008 at 1:46 am #

    My recollection is that there is a draw but I could be wrong… thats why I asked…

    If thats not the case I would rather play Madrid then Juve but the appointment of Ramos may have them rejuvenated for a bit… Hopefully its a draw and as long as we avoid Barca I can live with it…

  59. Jay
    December 10, 2008 at 3:13 am #

    Cannot believe Ramos has got the Real Madrid Job, would love to beat them in chamos league, just like we always beat them in the league!! Always be a scummer.

  60. jay-jay
    December 10, 2008 at 4:59 am #

    @ Gibbs – Im sure its a draw. Thats how we faced AC last year. Yuh its a draw.

  61. Gibbs
    December 10, 2008 at 5:11 am #

    Yep, jay-jay you’re right, it’s a draw, i just checked it out. My bad.

  62. LuxinBrasil
    December 10, 2008 at 6:48 am #

    Definitely a draw guys….Friday 19th December at 1200 GMT

  63. Spanish Fry
    December 10, 2008 at 8:13 am #

    It’s a draw. There will be a blog today everybody, I promise!!!

  64. butterfingers
    December 10, 2008 at 9:13 am #

    I want real as ramos is going to real and we all know how great a manager he is. But again nasri, sagna, clichy, rvp and cesc is out. no english team has ever won in porto but we were the 1st english team to beat inter and ac plus real madrid at there own grounds so we could do it and hope eboue wins back his boo boys at rb even though I’m no where near his biggest fan he is a great 2nd choice rb but crap rm in my view but no gooner while they are still in our colours deserves that kind of treatment.

  65. LuxinBrasil
    December 10, 2008 at 10:04 am #

    excuse my ignorance BF but why are clichy and RVP out??

  66. jay-jay
    December 10, 2008 at 12:36 pm #

    It doesnt matter to Arsenal if no english team have won in a certain place because we always break those spells – Inter, Ac, Real Madrid and Fenerbahce, what makes Porto any difference. However our striking options for the Porto game are:
    Carlos Vela
    Niklas Bendtner
    Jay Simpson

    Meaning we could have to settle for a draw. We have a very inexperienced squad playing Porto and thats because we were hit with inujuries. Which some could knock into Saturdays Clash.

  67. butterfingers
    December 10, 2008 at 2:18 pm #

    @ luxin clichy has a dodgy hamstring and might miss the borough game and rvp is being rested according to the times. I would like to see vela up front with bendtner and not the latter being used as a lone striker as his confidence needs a boost and vela plays well with him as I feel when he plays with ade or rvp he doesn’t want to upset them and doesn’t play his own game.
    Still think we will nick it 1-0 but I’d settle for a draw. We always do well against italian teams so I would be happy with juve also.

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