The impact of Arsenal finishing fifth + more Arshavin

A very good day to you all.

I have to say it was delightful being able to go to bed last night without worrying whether or not Andrei Arshavin would sign. I slept like a baby. One of those silent babies too, not those crazy ones that cry all night and wake up their parents. They’re annoying.

Thankfully there’s not a whole lot going on today, apart from a little bit more info on the aforementioned Arshavin via Arsenal.com and some comments from new Arsenal boss Ivan Gazidis. The CEO took some time to speak about the impact of Arsene Wenger on the club, ensuring his future in the process, as well as discussing the impact that finishing fifth this season might cause on the clubs. I’ve included the best bits below:

“We have one of the best managers in the world, if not the best, who has redefined the club and has taken us to a point where everyone is talking about fifth as a crisis. Arsene isn’t happy to be fifth place, but we believe and he believes, more importantly, in the group of young players that he has. He believes that there is unfinished business.”

He also went on to make the following, very interesting point:

“This club is in a position to withstand a year without UEFA Champions League qualification, not that we are anticipating it.”

I think there would be quite a few people who agree with that there is a growing feeling amongst Arsenal supporters that if the club finishes fifth this season it would be like the end of the world coming too soon. Yes, it would be hugely disappointing. Yes, it would mean a season of UEFA Cup (or Europa Cup as it will be called next year) football. But it certainly wouldn’t be the end of the world.

Finishing fifth is not something I want to bandy about the blog with too much gusto simply because I don’t think it will happen. We’ve got a squad who have great ability and a number of key players to return to the side, an experienced manager who has been here before and a bright new signing who will add something fresh to the club. I’m confident that it will be enough to secure at least fourth or perhaps even higher.

But if worse comes to worse and we *gasp* do finish fifth, I won’t be crying. One season out of the Champions League will not hinder our ability to bring in good, young players nor force us to part with our best players. It won’t decrease our chances of finishing in the top four or even winning the league next season. In short, it’s not going to change things very much.

The picture is different, of course, if finishing fifth becomes the norm. However, I just can’t see that happening. The club is run exceptionally well and finances are good, Wenger has built a fine young squad and continues to promote wonderful football and the club’s fans are some of the most loyal in the world. This club has been around for 120 years and the most important thing is that it is around in another 120 years. 

A poor finish to this season is not going to change that.

Anyway, that’s all I’m going to say on the matter for now. Have a lovely Thursday and I’ll speak to you tomorrow on the blog.

Have your say on Arshavin, Gazidis or Arsenal finishing fifth by leaving a comment.

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58 Responses to “The impact of Arsenal finishing fifth + more Arshavin”

  1. godfrey
    February 5, 2009 at 6:13 pm #

    SF,who said we will finish fifth?I strongly believe that we will have a place in champions league come next season,no more no less.

  2. Gibbs
    February 5, 2009 at 6:32 pm #

    We will not finish fifth, it will 2nd or 3rd. With Chelsea and Liverpool’s form taking a nose dive lately and Aston Villa’s luck about to run out, it should be a race between ManU and Arsenal but i think the gap is too big and its a bit late in the season. ManU will take the title, again. Sigh, i hate that.

  3. Mexican Gunner
    February 5, 2009 at 6:36 pm #

    It could be awesome if Arsenal is the firt team of the history to win the Europa Cup!!

  4. Neilo
    February 5, 2009 at 6:41 pm #

    Good post SF. Positive vibes and well thought out and … timely! And I think you’re right about the big picture stuff. I would love to believe that we will pass Villa or anyone else above us for that matter, but our form seriously needs to change as Villa are still firing and have momentum and we are stuttering. A win this weekend is vital. Let’s hope that Robbie Keane doesn’t come back to form this weekend. Admitting that we are not going to win or even come second may take pressure off and allow us to play with more freedom. Also with guys coming back from injury, others getting a game at the moment may up the ante. Eduardo for Adebayor for example. Things may be just looking up again … but they just need to do it on the pitch now instead of talking up our chances too much between games. Rant over!

  5. staslohness
    February 5, 2009 at 6:53 pm #

    @ SF
    You’re speaking from emotional side, your feelings. I will say from the team psychological side. We’re now #5 in the league, but it’s always easier to seek for the top, then try to defend your place (just remember how Liverpool was playing when it was on top – all the draws, and how MU was playing – when seeking for the top. Arsenal players want to be champions. Villa players want to play in Champions League – that’s difference in Psychologyl. They don’t think about first place, they think about #4 place. That’s why Villa is nervous about Arshavin signing and is trying to block the deal.
    The second point is the calendar – we have 7 games with rather weak teams before Liverpool. If we can brake these teams defence (I hope we can with Arshavin=), the team will get confidence. And Villa has mixed calendar – for example they will play with Chelsea soon.
    The third point is Arsene Wenger’s strategy – signing of AA will give good emotions to the fans and players, and I hope I won’t see more 0-0 games this season.

  6. MoMONEY
    February 5, 2009 at 6:56 pm #

    The signing will be immense to our regaining of form and confidence. First time Arshavin runs by someone or makes a great pass- everyone is going to want to prove that they can do it as well… I really cant wait

  7. Fatboy
    February 5, 2009 at 6:59 pm #

    I have to disagree with you on this one SF. Although I agree that “disaster” is too strong, finishing 5th and missing out on the CL would be hugely disappointing. We have proudly counted ourselves among the very top- clubs in both England and Europe for over a decade, and to drop out of this elite group would be very bad for the club in terms of prestige as well as the serious financial implications. It seems we only had limited funds to invest in players again during this transfer window, even though we are pulling in £200m+ per year with the new stadium. We’ll be down to the tune of £15-£20m if there’s no CL, which will have huge implications. I don’t think there’s any danger of us going the way Leeds went a few years back, but we will certainly not be able to compete for world class players. I also disagree that we won’t be in danger of losing our best players. Fab said during last summer that he’s becoming impatient not winning things at Arsenal. When Barca make their customary approach during this coming summer, he’s far more likely to go if we’ve failed to qualify for Europe’s main competition. I hope Arshavin proves a quick success, and that we manage to see off Villa for 4th spot. Anything else is unthinkable.

  8. Harry Barracuda
    February 5, 2009 at 7:01 pm #

    Sorry to stress you out but the press are doing their best to drop us in the shit by provoking the premier league teams into querying why we were allowed to deal after the deadline.

    It makes you want to slap the fucking hack cunts, doesn’t it?

    Let’s all slap a journo today!

  9. dizle
    February 5, 2009 at 7:17 pm #

    Great post!!!the best i have read.and the comments to are encouraging.i have never looked at us playing in the Europa.but with this.its not as bad.and like one of the comments,we would be in it just to win it.the way i believe milan will this season.its not the end of the world.its not arsenal standard but we would just go ahead and win to make history.haven said that,i do believ we can finish 2nd or 3rd this season.our luck will change soon.good good good.come on yeeeeeeee reeeeeeeeeeds…

  10. Part-time Pundit
    February 5, 2009 at 7:32 pm #

    I think everyone keeps forgetting that we’re just a bee’s-dick over the half way point of the season and with a run of good results… starting with a win against Tottenham this weekend, Arsenal can muscle its way back into the top four.
    I think Villa will stay put but I’m still undecided whether it’ll be Liverpool or Chelsea who won’t make the cut. Their styles of play are uninteresting and lacking imagination.

    Also to note, AC Milan missed a UCL spot this season and they’re doing just fine both domestically and in the UEFA Cup… and they’ll be in the UCL next year.
    I guess the important thing would be for Arsenal to keep it’s team together if they do end up in the Uefa Cup, but like I said, I think they’ve got the team and players to get back in there.

    Interesting read SF keep up the good work.

  11. staslohness
    February 5, 2009 at 7:51 pm #

    As everybody moved here from the recent post, please let me to repost my comment from there:

    As for English of AA – for a Russian football player he has good language=))) BTW during the interview I’ve figured out that he understands everything, but doesn’t speak well. I think he will learn fast=) But the fact is that probably he should learn French, not English – as he told in interview to Russian channel – in Arsenal locker room everybody was speaking French=)))))
    PS. To brighten up the expectation of Sunday’s derby – two goals of Spartak by Artem Dzyuba to spurs last December (it’s a pity that we played a draw 2-2 after 2-0 lead=((

    http://spartak.msk.ru/video/video08/Tottenham-Spartak_0-1.avi

    http://spartak.msk.ru/video/video08/Tottenham-Spartak_0-2.avi

    @MoMONEY – pls check my comment at the recent post, mate

  12. Arselicked
    February 5, 2009 at 7:57 pm #

    I don’t see us finishing 4th or 5th, i see us finishing 3rd or 2nd.

    Chelsea is not as strong ans they were, the pressure is beginning to tell on Liverpool and Aston Villa.

    We have got players coming back and i mean quality players. Dudu, Theo, Cesc and Rosicky.

    The team is beginning to rekindle the togetherness that we saw before that horrible injury to eduardo. They hug and kiss before the game, which is positive.

    AW has just pulled the fans in witgh the signing of Arshavin.

    If we win this weekend’s game against the Scum, things are going to look even more positive with Dudu making his PL debut (after injury) on 21st Feb. and Theo on the weekend of 28th.

    So cheer up and stop thinking about 5th.

    PS: Gerrard limped off yesterday, maybe its their turn to learn to cope without key players.

  13. Hans
    February 5, 2009 at 8:09 pm #

    Scarcely 8 month or so ago the TV commentators were saying that wenger had a minimum of 75million pounds to use in the transfer market, if he had spent it wisely as he is capable of doing, and for a few month stop buying promising chioldren we would have won the leaugue, and more. Now there is concern at the loss of income if we finish 5th. please let us know the real truth. (It,s enough worrying about my own finances, I do not want to have the Arsenal worry also!!!!)
    Finishing fith = less income = less money for player purchases = inferior squad = = no trophies = less supporters = equals empty seats = downhill = lower league????
    How do you see it – I too am an optimist and think and hope this will never happen – the realist must guard against the scenario sketched here.
    Go Arsenal go… Chelsea is a spent force – Liverpool needs a manager if they want to win anything, no matter who they buy –
    Aston villa will soon see their dream turned to a nightmare – Man U remain our nemisis.
    hansm1@sainet.co.za
    South African supporter and arsenal maniac!

  14. William
    February 5, 2009 at 8:45 pm #

    The t***s in charge that’s who. Daniel Levy humiliated the best manager Spurs have had in over a decade, overseen a farcical approach to transfers, and has now put the club in the hands of a man who is out of his depth and blowing wads of money on the wrong players.

    What is the logic of spending almost thirty million pounds on two strikers? Don’t let them hide behind the Defoe injury; ‘Arry was making enquiries about more forwards before Defoe got injured, hence the interest in Craig Bellamy. What are Spurs going to do with five Premier League standard strikers who cannot play with each other?

    In the same month Redknapp has signed an odious full-back who didn’t give a s*** about Spurs when they were decent and who wasn’t good enough first time round, and a former goalkeeper to replace someone who, despite being as consistent as a shivering dog’s dump, is still one of their better performers this season. Wilson Palacios might turn out to be the holding midfielder they need, but at £14 million he’d better be, and am I the only one who thinks Redknapp has taken a gamble on the back of one good performance? Despite another £40 million + splurge, the improvements to the squad are marginal: there’s no left-sided midfielder, or anyone to adequately cover for the simian sicknote they call Gareth Bale. Is ‘Arry going to try crap performances on the squad now he’s blown all the cash so unwisely? Knowing him, undoubtedly, but it’ll be an even less compelling argument.

    The last few, extravagant, years have been funded, at least in part, by the windfalls Spurs received for Berbatov, Carrick and Keane. Even with the profit they made on Keane, there is nothing in the Spurs squad (Modric might end up going for a lot, but he cost a lot in the first place) to suggest that there are any windfalls in the pipeline. In fact there are very few players that they can hope to make a profit on. Levy has overseen the squandering of a huge transfer fund, and Redknapp has been more than happy to help out.

    The league would be worse off without Tottenham. As an Arsenal fan I’d laugh, but the North London derby regularly produces classics (even if sometimes those classics make me want to bring intense and long-lasting harm to Devid Bentley’s stupid face) and a club with their history and style belongs in the top tier. With the run of games they are facing and the squad as unbalanced as always the biggest hope of them staying up might be for three other teams (probably ‘Boro, West Brom and Newcastle) to be even worse. But if it’s not, we all know who to blame.

  15. Dan
    February 5, 2009 at 9:46 pm #

    its quite sometime since i commented on our dear Arsenal. you kno sometimes i wonder, is it that at times AW wantss to do things in secrecy or give people surprises. well, i am not sure, but who is saying Aston are gasping for air now, or either Liverpool n Chelsea are also in confusion. i think Arsenal is. you remember the way we did last time, keeping a long list of draws and losing abit did us in.
    i have never favored AWs style of a whole squad of youngsters even though it is a way developing talent. but what makes us think that they will stay till they get that experience and win titkes for Arsenal. we have seen how other big teams coming to knock on Arsenals door for people like cesc,without titles even the more experinced ones like cesc will wnt to leave, thereby leaving another bunch of inexperienced to grow and be snatched again.
    am an optimist but at times you have to wonder at what you are optimistic about. is it better to be an optimist or realist. without a place in the CL, it will be bad. yea, because we are used to it.

    DAN

  16. Filipino Dan
    February 5, 2009 at 9:50 pm #

    @ Part-time Pundit:

    Great point about AC Milan. I’ve been thinking the same. They are fine and most importantly have been able to keep their best players, despite playing UEFA Cup football. If it means we have to arrange the odd glamour friendly with Rangers, then so be it! We would bounce back.

    If we win on Sunday though, I feel it will be enough to propel us forward and we will make the top four, while Spuds will continue to battle a relegation fight.

    Harry Houdini? Yeah right. They were fortunate at the Emirates with that miraculous come-back. It’s time to put them firmly in their place.

    Arshavin as super-sub!

  17. AL Gunner
    February 6, 2009 at 3:33 am #

    Guys Can you see Fabragas, Arshavin, Nasri and Rosisky fitting in the same team? They are all very talented players with the ball at their feet but surely too similer. Even the Barcelona’s with all their attacking threats always have one strong sitting midfield player (toure). All the above players are under 6 feet which is very strange for a wenger team, considering he usually opts for the more physical player which brought him so much success over his reign. I don’t like critisising a genius but in my openion as good as arshavin is, i dont think he was a priority signing. I was hoping for Veloso. But I am not the boss. Hope every thing will be right

  18. tina
    February 6, 2009 at 4:09 am #

    hey dudes, i thought we were keeping the faith.u seem to gave given up so early.we are not finishing fifth my fellow gunners.remember walcott,captain fab n rosicky are coming back soon so our guns will be fully loaded.Villa will mosdef drop points so im not really worried.i bliv we will climb that ladder and even go past chelsea.though i must admit im tensed about the north london derby this saturday, a win is really vital.just a thought thi season we seem to be doing very well in away games.im i right people?keep it emirates.

  19. Gibbs
    February 6, 2009 at 7:05 am #

    @ AL Gunner
    Cesc and Arshavin are not similar players.
    Cesc pulls the strings in midfield. He doesnt have the dribbling skills nor the speed, but his passes are simply brilliant.
    Arshavin on the other hand is a speedy little fella with great dribbling skills.

    Besides, we cant afford to wait another 8 weeks for Cesc and Rosicky. We need creative minds in the team and we need them now.

  20. Spanish Fry
    February 6, 2009 at 7:44 am #

    @ Gibbs – I’d add to that the fact that depth is required. It’s funny, on one hand you hear people worried about our depth but then when things get a bit full-up they worry that there’s too many players. It’s either one or the other in my book.

    Spain benched Fabregas at Euro 2008 because they had an abundance of great midfielders. If Rosicky/Arshavin/Cesc gets benched because our team is playing well I see no problem in that.

  21. Gibbs
    February 6, 2009 at 8:01 am #

    Well said SF. Depth is important, we learned that the hard way.

  22. Spanish Fry
    February 6, 2009 at 8:06 am #

    Also, to everyone worried about this article being about me thinking we’re going to finish fifth, that’s not what I was implying! I was simply saying that everyone talks about finishing fifth as if it’s some world-ending disaster, which it’s not.

  23. atglance
    February 6, 2009 at 10:28 am #

    At one time it was talk of how we were going to dominate the premier league for many years to come,then years past,talk settled on being “guaranteed” Champions League,it doesn’t look so now. Talk now is Europa,being the first to win it,Milan example,etc. Guys,slowly we have gone down and that’s too much of lowering standards for a team like Arsenal that regard themselves as one of Europe’s elite clubs. Come one guys!!!!! Its funny when u hear arsenal competing with mid table teams for players and positions yet the count themselves in the caliber of ManU. As an arsenal supporter,am used of expecting high standards from them ie challenging on every front,to let things run down the wire just like it happened between Man U and Chelsea last season. Whats up guys? Whereas i don’t like being alarmist,i dislike this attitude coming up from Arsenal! I hardly comment here but read this blog many times a day. If my a** gonna be whipped,be it!

  24. Spanish Fry
    February 6, 2009 at 11:36 am #

    @ atglance – The talk is not about us being fifth. It’s about what would happen if we did finish fifth. Very few, if any, Arsenal supporters actually think it’s going to happen. But good on your for commenting!

  25. MoMONEY
    February 6, 2009 at 12:53 pm #

    I think this could be the end of Chelsea tbh… Either way all we can do is focus and win our games. If the spuds match is postponed it may actually benefit us so Arshavin can play

  26. Arif
    February 6, 2009 at 3:30 pm #

    Dear Frustrated Arsenal Fans,

    BE OPTIMISTIC. Now we have ARSHAVIN with us. With Nasri Persi Diaby Adebayor. we can make it. May be 2nd or 3rd place . Don’t worry Think BIG. Sky is high anything can happen. Don’t leave Arsene Wenger alone at this stage. OUR team needs great support from us. ARSENAL THE BEST…

  27. ramugunner *Arshavin 23*
    February 6, 2009 at 3:51 pm #

    Nice to be back on this blog after a month of footballless time. I was just watching the games and listening transfers rumors occasionally. Arshavin drama, of course was, interesting sometimes, frustuating sometimes. Really happy to see a worldclass player joining the club. My wish was to get one more defensive player but Arshavin is an exciting capture by Wenger. For me, he a better version of Hleb with plenty of imagination and scoring ability. He is also a type of player who can dribble past few defenders and score a goal. I am not sure if he can hit freekicks though. I don’t think so. Now, we have five wonderful midfield players in Cesc, Arshavin, Nasri, Rosiscky and Walcott. Ramsey, Vela and Wilshere are ready to challenge for their place. It’s a bad fortune that 3 of our star midfielders are not available at the moment. I can see one gap in midfield. I haven’t seen anyone yet from this squad who can hold the ball and guard our shaky defense. Please don’t tell me Song, Diaby, Denilson. If Wenger wishes to get one Holding Midfielder and a good goalie during summer, this team is not too far from dominating the league next season. A defensive line-up of Sagna, Toure, DJ20 and Clichy can be a solid combination with a monster defensive midfield in front of them. In attacking midfield area, we have world class player all over the park; Cesc’s vision, Walcott’s Pace including three very good ball player’s in AA, Nasri and Rocky(if he comes back some day). RVP is most talented striker in the league. Adebayor has not been solid enough this season comparing to last season. He has enough potential to be a deadly striker but his application is being poor. I don’t know what he is missing.

    I heard many negative voices against Wenger during this Janaury; even from loyal fans. Some of them are rational but most of them are beyond limit. I think there is plenty of quality in our squad to leap frog Villans. With our star players to come back soon from injury including Arshavin’s purchase is a positive note for frustuating fans. I believe Wenger’s team will roar back to the top next season. A couple of smart moves in the Summer can make our current team a dangerous one. Injuries has been our barrier every season in our quest for success. It’s still hard to remember how close we were last season for a league title. I hate injuries.

    No matter what, WE WILL BOUNCE BACK.

    Come on Gunners! We gonna beat you Spuds, Harry Rednose.

  28. Eric S
    February 6, 2009 at 4:30 pm #

    Good Post. But I think we will finish fourth, above Aston Villa.

    Don’t forget we will have Educardo and Walcott back within a month’s time. Rosicky need another 2 months time to be match fit too. These players together with Arshavin will give us a lot of strength in depth which Aston Villa does not have.

    Did you notice that Diaby is playing better and better in central mid? His tackles are more and more Vieiraques! I feel confident that he will be better than Flamini if we give him time to progress.

    I can’t wait for Dudu to come back and replace Ade. At the moment, Ade ‘s shooting is just woeful!

    My preferred first eleven now (without injured Fabregas):

    Almunia

    Sagna Djourou Gallas Clichy

    Arshavin Diaby Denilson Nasri

    Educardo Van Persie

  29. Radads RSA
    February 6, 2009 at 5:11 pm #

    We will start to see from now the best out of our players, I really support SF’s post the other day, sayin that we really need a mdfld leader, and now we have Arshavin who can be our leader in the mdfld by performin a fast attackin launch with a lot of goal attempt.
    The presence and the pace of Arshavin can bring an immense influence on our mdfld, as everybody now is gonna have to follow his rythm.The likes of Diaby, Song, Deni,Eboue with their slow play now are gonna have to change their run completely.if they dont do so, then RVP,ADE,Nasri,Arshavin are gonna have to take charge alone, which is going to show a big difference between these 4 front lads and Diaby/Song/Deni/Eboue.This is now a big occasion for those guys what do they really have in their guts, otherways I think they are gonna have to look for another club.Diaby is the worse to me, Song/Deni are fairly Ok to be CDM and could be promising in the near future,but if we have Toure as a CDM, its gonna be the best option, Eboue is gonna have to be content on to be a subsitute for Sagna.
    My line up on sunday:
    SAGNA-TOURE-DJOUROU-CLICHY
    ———-SONG———
    ARSHA—–DENI——-NASRI
    ———RVP-ADE

    Of course, I see my line up to be unrealistic regarding AW’s strong admiration for Diaby but this is the closest I can predict to happen as I really hate to see Diaby on the pitch and reall dying to see Vela being in the starting 11.Walcott and Edu are now very close to be back, so its going to be like a new signin again!!!.Cant wait to see Cesc-Walcott-Arshavin playin together.
    For our CL qualification?? i dont even see any glimpse of it to happen.Be confident all Gooners, this isnt any kind of a Pl team, THIS IS ARSENAL!!!Led by Arsena Wenger with Cesc to be back very soon.

  30. Filipino Dan
    February 6, 2009 at 9:13 pm #

    Diaby is suspended so it will be very interesting to see who gets the nod in midfield alongside Song, Nasri and Denilson from Le Boss.

    Eboue? Probable. He has declared himself fit.

    Arshavin? Surely too soon.

    Vela? Fingers crossed.

    At least Bentley is out for Spuds. He seems to step his game up against his old club.

    My prediction – 3-1 to Arsenal.

  31. MoMONEY
    February 6, 2009 at 9:56 pm #

    This game is essential in so many ways. Anything other then a win will keep our confidence down when this is the exact moment it needs to start building before our encounter with Roma in the UCL. Tbh it now looks better that we are at home the first leg… Hopefully Walcott and Arshavin will be ready. I cant wait for some Champions league! Though I am assuming ESPN will shoe ManU Inter here in the states unfortunately…

  32. MoMONEY
    February 6, 2009 at 10:47 pm #

    Sorry totally forgot Arshavin is cup tied…

  33. Gibbs
    February 7, 2009 at 1:55 am #

    Arshavin has been named in the squad that will be travelling to White *art Lane(bbc). He might make his debut.

  34. RBP- The Next RVP
    February 7, 2009 at 7:23 am #

    “Arsenal’s new £15m signing Andrey Arshavin is likely to be included in the Gunners squad for their trip to rivals Tottenham on Sunday.”

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/football/eng_prem/7867118.stm

  35. MoMONEY
    February 7, 2009 at 1:28 pm #

    Hope he plays immedietly… More good news is that Rosicky is 6-7 weeks away from a return. That puts it right after the 2 Roma games I think. If we can just get through Roma we will get real healthy real fast for the next round. Hopefully we will have Walcott and Eduardo in the team against them… We should have a chance no doubt.

  36. Swift
    February 7, 2009 at 5:20 pm #

    I’m Picking either a 3rd or 4th place finish for us this year, I think Chelsea’s days in the sun are coming to an end and will finish either 4th or 5th. Depends whether or not Lampard will keep bailing them out with brilliant winning Long Shots or not I guess, that man must be worth a Dozen points a year for Chelsea, same with Gerrard I guess.

    Aston Villa are a good side and I am unsure as to whether Arsenal will be able to overhaul them. Depends I guess if they will have enough quality and determination to keep notching up wins in March and April when I feel Arsenal FC will really click as a team. Villa to be 4th or 5th, fairplay to them.

    Lets not forget Liverpool, they certainly aren’t assured of finishing 2nd with their recent dodgy performances + Steven Gerrard gone for a while + Striker… deficiencies. Man Utd are almost certainly going to win, they are a champion side with good financial backing. Just look at how they paid 17 mill pounds or something for 2 Serbian Kids, a Twenty-One Year old and a Seventeen Year old.

    Nice post though SF, it is good to hear from our board that if we miss Champions League, it won’t be Leeds United 2.0

  37. ramugunner *Arshavin 23*
    February 7, 2009 at 6:01 pm #

    Spuds are worst team in the league. We must get three points from Shi* Lane. There can’t be no excuses this time.

    Adebayor looks motivated to perform against his favorite opposition and he has to be. He has plenty to play to justify his 80k per week paycheck. I think all the players are motivated one way or another following Arshavin’s arrival and some good injury news. There is a good chance we will see Walcott, Edu and Rosiscky within few weeks. Cesc is also not too far. Our attack is looking so glamorous that I am so confident that we will finish at least top 4. All we need is someone to step up in the holding role. Denilson is not the perfect answer but he is improving. My 2 concerns against Spuds:

    1. Defending air ball: Dawson and Co. are really good in air. Almunia has to learn how to handle with crosses and corners under pressure.

    2. Clichy: He has been a pure liability this season. Errors after errors. Can’t believe his form is falling so badly. Lennon is an average winger with enough pace in him, little trickery. There is a big chance Lennon getting best of Clichy. We will need a solid performance from both of our wing backs to win this game.

    Come on Gunners.

  38. karue
    February 7, 2009 at 7:03 pm #

    i think this game is ussually not bout physical fitness or even technique i thinks its about heart…we lack it they get it when they play us…clichy cant keep lettin wingers cross the balls in to the box!!!!!!!!!so Galla n comp have to be stable if clichy is to go for close tackles.Ade ha to try n stay ahead n not keep movin into M.F n sagna take your time when u cross balls!

  39. MoMONEY
    February 7, 2009 at 7:47 pm #

    I was on youtube watching some videos of our beloved team and I have made a decision- We need to have fully white sleeves on our jerseys next year… It just doesnt look right without them. I thought last years were great…

  40. Gibbs
    February 7, 2009 at 9:30 pm #

    Great news people. Cesc’s doctor said Cesc will be back ahead of schedule. He migh even be available for the Roma game.
    http://www.skysports.co.uk/story/0,19528,11095_4903146,00.html

  41. MoMONEY
    February 7, 2009 at 9:32 pm #

    Wow that would be amazing but I dont know if it is worth the risk… These are the same doctors that though Rosicky would be out a couple of weeks…

  42. ramugunner *Arshavin 23*
    February 7, 2009 at 9:55 pm #

    Good news about Cesc’s early return.

    RVP’s interview:
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-1138300/The-Saturday-Interview-Robin-Van-Persie–artist-draws-best-Arsenal.html?ITO=1490

  43. Gibbs
    February 7, 2009 at 10:02 pm #

    @ MoMONEY
    Its not the same doctors. Cesc is treated by his private doctor in Spain.

  44. jay-jay
    February 7, 2009 at 10:04 pm #

    Its looks to be good news about Cesc. Woo. Cesc, Nasri and Arshavin v Roma. Ouch! Adebayor is the man for derby day like AW said, he always grabs a goal v Spurs. C’mon the Arsenal!

  45. Gibbs
    February 7, 2009 at 10:15 pm #

    @ ramugunner
    …and people say RvP is a “badboy”. He’s actually a nice fella!

    @ jay-jay
    Arshavin is cup tied, remember?

  46. Gibbs
    February 8, 2009 at 3:45 am #

    It looks like catching Chelsea will be far easier than Villa folks. Villa are on a roll.

  47. MoMONEY
    February 8, 2009 at 7:49 am #

    Plus we get to play Chelsea again- and at home

  48. ramugunner *Arshavin 23*
    February 8, 2009 at 9:15 am #

    This morning I read Van Persie’s interview with Dailymail. He is a *ucking Legend and one of the worldclass player at Arsenal alongside Cesc who cares about winning. Real winner.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-1138300/The-Saturday-Interview-Robin-Van-Persie–artist-draws-best-Arsenal.html?ITO=1490

    Particularly, I loved those words from him: “‘When I was younger, when I first came to Arsenal, I had some really interesting conversations with Dennis and Thierry about football,’ he says. ‘It was fascinating to discover how they think about the game, realise how clever they were as players”. RVP is a worldclass player because he got chance to learn from great footballers like Thiery, Dennis and Van Basten. Same with Cesc. He learned a lot from Viera and Silva.

    “I also loved the fact that they demanded such high standards. Thierry could be very demanding. He could never understand why a player would give him a bad pass and he would give them that look.
    You know the one I mean. And the player would often respond by telling him he was trying to do his best. But I liked that about Thierry, because he raised the standard of the football at Arsenal. He demanded that we try and play to the highest possible level”.

    He is right. With players like Thiery we had very high standard in the club. The players demanded more from themselves and they were dedicated for one cause i.e. to be the best in the world. Our standard of football is not developing this season. We need more winners in this team. Almunia, Eboue, Song, Diaby are not upto the standard level at Arsenal. There is no need to applaud those players for their regular pathetic displays.

    Now, we are officially 8 points behind an average Astonvilla side. It’s not Manchester United. It’s Astonvilla. A team managed by O’Neil and with players like Sidwell, Knight, Petrov and Milner. All of them are average footballers.

    Arsene has no other choice than getting 3 points against Spuds. I would also appreciate if Adebayor wants to prove his worth at the club. A goal in a derby match can revive his frusuating season. Everton are crepping close behind us. Like you guys said earlier, it might be easier to down Chelski than Astonvilla this season. I don’t want to hear anyone saying Villa’s are ‘plain lucky’. They have won seven straight games away from home. That’s great achievement. League table never lies and we are EIGHT points behind them.

    Come on Gunners!

  49. shambogunner
    February 8, 2009 at 9:37 am #

    totally agree about ade owing us a performance tomorrow,RvP bein leading the line on his own last couple of months,cant wait to get eduardo,rosicky,cesc and theo back tho,i think AA will be the player arsene thought nasri was,i still have my doubts over him,especially defensively as he leaves clichy exposed..thought we would have went in late for shay

  50. ramugunner *Arshavin 23*
    February 8, 2009 at 9:55 am #

    Astonvilla signed Freidel from Blackburn for nothing in the summer. Instead of signing Silvestre, Arsene should have signed Freidel. We all know Almunia is a Clown. Freidel is one of the best keepers in the league with a lot of experience and quality. Also a genuine leader. He could have made a huge difference in our shaky defence. Some gooners were saying that Silvestre will be a masterstroke signing. I was laughing. So was Fergie. Friedel would have been a masterstroke.

    Shambogunner; you’re right. 80k per week ‘Bayoor owes a lot for Arsenal. 50k per week David Villa is giving everything for his team week-in and week-out who are in serious economic crisis. Here, Bayoor is still celebrating his pay rise with abysmal displays. I always think ‘Bayor has potential but his application is not right, his egoism is not right.
    I hope he will score tomorrow; he loves playing Spuds.

  51. cmoney_guns
    February 8, 2009 at 11:30 am #

    Adebayor… this is his game, rough start so far for him but the Spuds are his team! RVP and Ade! Great game to come

  52. Ice Baba
    February 8, 2009 at 6:48 pm #

    Pple,
    our enemies are at it again, they want to unsettle AA. Thank God he never said that himself if at all it was said.Which i dont believe.
    “The girlfriend of new Arsenal forward Andrey Arshavin has branded Londoners “dirty and scruffy”. On the Russia star’s website she also said English food is disgusting, she doesn’t like English beer and is already feeling homesick after a few days”.

  53. shambogunner
    February 8, 2009 at 9:00 pm #

    good call on friedel ramugunner think AW has a blind spot for almunia,how can you have faith in a keeper who only ever has his eyes half open,he always looks like hes smokin something..i cant put my finger on it exactly but his positioning sometimes is shocking,see champs league final both goals,bentley at our place this year and he was very slow for cahills goal midweek.i dont like criticising any player but its plain to see he makes van der sarr,reina,cech,given,etc look like gods..i have hope for fabianski but would like to see a move for joe hart now,AW prides himself on quality young signings at the right price and hes a future england num 1.as for AA an the missus im not concerned even if she has been quoted right,this fella is a class act and hes paid to come to us and take a 20,000 paycut..HES NO ANTONIO REYES,anybody know what happened to him by the way??ramugunner i read that interview with RvP,the mans a legend,hes gonna show wiltshere,ramsey,gibbs,etc the way

  54. Arizan
    February 8, 2009 at 10:26 pm #

    Wait for international then we will see how it goes..

  55. MoMONEY
    February 8, 2009 at 11:22 pm #

    Streaming?

  56. Mexican Gunner
    February 9, 2009 at 12:24 am #

    NOW I love Eboue!

    He was having his best game for the last one and a half year and he receive a red card. He finally score and his goal was anulated LOL.

    Even that I dont like him as a player now I like him because he seems to be so funny, do you see him with Modrik? haha he bring me tears to my eyes for all the laughing that I was having.

    Finally I understand when some Arsenal players said that he was the funniest person in the team.

    (BTW poor Adebayor! what a bad season for him. I hope he recover soon.)

  57. Judea Jasuu
    May 15, 2009 at 6:07 pm #

    Hi over there, its quite alongg time,but that is simply because i have been so bussy but now am back.To Arshavin has been the playher i loved to watch because of skillls on the ball,very clinical in finishing and can change the game any time. I missed him for the champions league,but come next season he will be a man to watch.

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