We lack 'Over my dead body' attitude he says and he's right!

I agree as I’m sure all Arsenal fans do…

Alan ‘Smudger’ Smith was asked one question by Richard Keys after our game yesterday and that was, ‘ What was what would you change in this Arsenal side if you could?’

Smudger said that we lack that ‘Over my dead body are you going to score attitude’ and that was the only thing he would add to our side. He was talking about how we concede goals far too easily and make things hard for ourselves. 

He is so very right and we wouldn’t have conceded two goals yesterday had we had that mentality.

Anyway on to Oliver’s match review:- 

On the back of two performances that can best be described as “putrid” – and results that were even worse – the team went up to Birmingham for the early kickoff.  I was quite curious to see how our players started – there definitely should not have been any problem with urgency or purpose.   I certainly could not complain about the start – we were all over Villa from kickoff, creating several good chances, which were (sigh) ultimately squandered.  Arshavin and Nasri were unable to convert some particularly good opportunities.  Villa settled a bit around the 20 minute mark, but we still bossed the game. 

On 39 minutes, Arshavin brought the ball down the left, passed Dunne, and shot past Friedel – who appeared to get a slight touch as the ball went past him – to put us 1-0 up.  Great goal from Arshavin and a great overall game from him as well.  He was direct, energetic, and created several chances for his team-mates.  Within 30 seconds, Nasri went past the Villa back line, rounded Friedel, but shot into the side netting from a difficult angle.  But just before halftime, Nasri made amends from an Arshavin corner, which he blasted past Friedel from outside a crowd of players in the box.  2-0 up at the interval, playing well and looking comfortable…Where have we seen that before?

After the events of a week ago, I wondered – with considerable trepidation – whether we could continue to energy, work rate and improved finishing from the first half.  The legend that is Bob Pires had a quiet 45 minutes and Houllier brought Birmingham lad Delfouneso on in his place.  Villa quickly looked more threatening, and, perhaps inevitably, they pulled one back.  I have an issue with that goal:  Squillaci (as on Tuesday in Portugal) could not complete a clearance, and Clark latched on to shoot past Fabianski.  While this was taking place, however, the lumbering donkey Carew was standing in a half-bent-over position in the area – waaay offside and directly in front of the Arsenal goalkeeper.  So in front, in fact, that Fabianski had to literally crane his neck to see around the claret and blue statue parked in front of him.  Carew may not have gotten a touch on the ball, but how could anyone possibly argue that he was not interfering with play by standing directly in front of Fabianski?   Perhaps some would argue that if Fabianski couldn’t see, he should have been the one to move – I disagree.  He positioned himself at a certain point to anticipate and react to a shot – he was unsighted because Carew was blocking him from an offside position.  Carew was offside and interfering with play – the goal should have been disallowed.   My guess is that Clattenburg and his crew was not paying full attention, as they should have been.  No malice or anti-Arsenal bias that particular ref is often accused of.  They were just asleep at the wheel during this particular moment. 

Regardless, that moment sparked Arsenal into action and it took them just four minutes to restore the two goal advantage, Rosicky springing Chamakh down the left.  Our forward did the rest, stabbing the ball under a sliding Friedel for his tenth goal in Arsenal colours.  For a roughly ten minute spell after that goal, we threatened to rack ‘em up.  Villa were clearly rattled and we cut through them again and again.  Unfortunately, a familiar failing came to the fore – over-elaboration in and around the penalty area.  We passed crisply and worked the ball to the Villa area well, only to opt for the extra pass when a shot might have been a better option.  This is probably one of the most frustrating things about this Arsenal side. 

As usual, the good play dissipated after about ten minutes and we started giving the ball away.  Villa pressed, spurned a chance to pull a goal back, but then did just that on 72 minutes, with Clark heading over Fabianski and in from point-blank range.   From there it was Arsenal’s turn for nerves.  Villa put us under pressure, but did not create too many clear chances – most balls into the box were cleared, and we started to assert ourselves again.  Arsene made a double switch on 85, bringing Gibbs and Denilson on for Nasri and Arshavin, respectively, and five minutes later introduced Djourou for Captain-for-the-day Rosicky.  

By that point, we were back in control.  In the 93rd minute, we broke into the Villa penalty area, and the excellent Chamakh dinked a ball over the face of the goal for Jack to head in at the far post – his first league goal in an Arsenal shirt.  The final whistle went less than a minute later, and it was job done.

What to make of the performance and result?  Depending upon how you feel about Arsene and the squad, yesterday’s events may corroborate your views.  If you feel Arsene and the squad just are not good enough, you can point to nearly chucking a two goal lead again on two occasions.  If you think Arsene and the squad have what it takes to go the distance this time, you can point to another away win, and the character to dig deep and answer every time this Villa side – previously unbeaten at home in the league this season – threatened to pull level.  My views are somewhat in between the two. 

I see our Arsenal squad as not nearly the finished article, but I think we showed we can defend competently, and we can see games out.  The key is now to do this consistently.  I thought there were some encouraging signs, particularly a defensively responsible performance.  Villa gave us plenty of shaky moments, and had us clinging to a single-goal lead on more than one occasion.  But we came through it and got a deep-into-stoppage time clincher. 

I thought Arsene was very pragmatic yesterday – his substitutions were all defensive in nature, designed to hold on to what we had.  And I thought the defenders did just that – defend.  It wasn’t always pretty, but more often than not, we had players in the right positions to make interceptions.  Our players are still suckers for well-delivered crosses and corners, but Villa didn’t make the most of that particular weakness.  There is definitely a trend here, where we can defend leads on the road, but not at home.  Perhaps we just have the wrong mix of gung-ho and casualness in the home matches.  Whatever it is, we need to sort it out quickly. 

We saw what this team can do if it plays with discipline.  I am not holding my breath, but I would be very happy if Arsene completely scrapped the high defensive line, and nine-men-in-the-opposition-half tactics.   He seems to value ball possession above all else – to the point that our players seem to consciously forego shots on goal in order to retain possession – but possession alone will not win games, as we saw in Portugal against a very, very poor Braga side.  But I do not expect he will change anything:  Arsene is what he is, and this is his vision of how football should be played.  But hopefully he can at least temper some of the “get-all-the-way forward” mentality the centre halves and defensive midfielder (yes, you, Alexandre Dimitri Song Billong) seem enamored with.  If they can spend more time at home, breaking up attacks rather than trying to start them, we should have a much more solid platform to defend leads.   I think our players are, for the most part, good enough.  There are certainly some positions we can strengthen, and specific qualities that we lack in certain positions; but overall, as long as the players we have can stick to their main roles, I think they are good enough to win a cup and possibly the league.  . 

Regarding Villa, they gave us a very tough game, and I was impressed by their young players.  They are also dealing with an injury crisis to several of their established first-team players, so some of the youngsters we saw today may not have gotten action if Houllier had a full squad to pick from.  I think they have several good prospects in the squad and while they may struggle to qualify for Europe this season, I think they will be good for a number of more years.  I also think they currently have a better balance of youth and experience than our Arsenal side does.  We’ll see each other again at the Ems later this season; other than that and if we draw each other in a domestic Cup, I wish them well for the rest of the season.

So yesterday we were able to taste the Premiership summit for two or so hours.  Later in the afternoon, Man United overtook us again, hitting seven past a compliant Blackburn, and Chelsea can also nudge back in front by winning at Newcastle today.  Regardless, we needed a win in the worst way, and got one.  We really need to try and build on this, so here is hoping for a professional and morale boosting Carling Cup win over Wigan on Tuesday, and the start of a good run in the league. 

The players have shown they are capable of getting big wins and grinding out results – we just need to do it consistently.  Otherwise, we will continually return to the proverbial “square one”, and never build any real momentum or make real progress towards silverware.

107 thoughts on “We lack 'Over my dead body' attitude he says and he's right!

  1. rico

    November 28, 2010 at 9:51am

    Morning all…

  2. JonJon

    November 28, 2010 at 9:57am


    totally correct..

    theres no point going on about defending, we cant defend and the two holding midfielders dont hold so the gap between the defensive and the midfield is too big..

    its not the players fault..the simple fact of the matter is wenger gives his players too much freedom..even the defensive players…

    u dont keep clean sheets when your fb’s are wingers and your dm’s are none existant

    that only leaves cygan and senderos at the back and with no jd and tv its natural we are gonna leak goals for fun

  3. Judith Le'Strange

    November 28, 2010 at 9:57am

    I would like to think that this is the start of Arsenals fight back, but somehow I doubt whether we will get the better of Chelsea on Boxing Day at home, but we can only live in hope that perhaps Newcastle can do everyone a favour and win against Chelsea today. However we do need to do something about our leaky defence, it’s obvious that Gibbs is far better than Clichy and Koncielsky is in my opinion out of his depth, please prove me wrong Laurent. But Alan Smith is right we don’t have that never say die attitude anymore, is it the manager or the actual players that they don’t have the mental attitude to fight for a win at all costs?

  4. rico

    November 28, 2010 at 10:01am

    morning jj, many a story this about us going after cahill…

  5. K-TR7

    November 28, 2010 at 10:02am

    Who was that bloke in yellow in the number 23 shirt?…he looked good.sign him up Aw!…oh wait…

  6. rico

    November 28, 2010 at 10:02am

    I don’t get why JD and Squilli aren’t kept together, JD is so much better than Kos in the air and we all knew Carew would start yesterday, thankfully he was poor…

  7. rico

    November 28, 2010 at 10:03am

    KT, he was good but he wasn’t ‘that good’ 😉

  8. K-TR7

    November 28, 2010 at 10:04am

    Koscielny was our best defender yesterday.FACT!

  9. rico

    November 28, 2010 at 10:04am

    What we need is a Sol Campbell kind of defender in there, that will shake them up a bit….

  10. JonJon

    November 28, 2010 at 10:06am

    senderos was better than kos, rico..

    and squidgy aint much better..

    in hindsight 14mil quid for a couple of average cb’s whove never played in pl was a big risk

    should have just paid that for cahill from start..

    oh wait..there is no hindsight we knew what was going to happen un summer with the cb’s

  11. JonJon

    November 28, 2010 at 10:07am

    what we need is two midfielders who like to defend and not go forward all the time..

    DURACELL BUNNIES..we dont have none

  12. K-TR7

    November 28, 2010 at 10:09am

    When we play AA,tomas and nasri together we are very unpredictable unlike when cesc plays.they interchange so much baffling defenders.Rosicky’s intelligence was the main reason we dominated the first half.the floating 3 Ams was a delight to see.

  13. JonJon

    November 28, 2010 at 10:09am


    kos was crap..if he was our best defender it just shows how bad our defence is..

    7 goals conceeded in three games is not acceptbale

  14. K-TR7

    November 28, 2010 at 10:12am

    I also noted that when we are 2 goals up our players don’t know whether to keep attacking or defending.this results in confusion resulting in our defence being exposed at times.Aw should work on this.

  15. JonJon

    November 28, 2010 at 10:13am

    it was only a matter of time before AA had a great game and got the credit..

    he hasnt been playing badly hes still been getting the assists but yesterday we saw the visual evidence of how good he can be..

    hes taken alot of stick for not helping clichy but that aint his job..AA is a roamer we need him supporting the striker not worrying about clichy being garbage 99% of the time

  16. rico

    November 28, 2010 at 10:14am

    Trouble is jj, senderos opened his mouth, declared love for another club and ended up with egg on his face… and we all know what wenger does with them…

    i though kos started the season well but its clear to see he’s lightweight and the timing of some of his tackles have been poor. i prefer squilli right now, but with JD and then when TV comes back, he and JD…

  17. rico

    November 28, 2010 at 10:15am

    jj, i’ll beat KT to this, he second in the PL for assists, one behind Nani :)

  18. JonJon

    November 28, 2010 at 10:17am

    if we are wo goals up we should still attack..we are two up for a reason lets keep going

    the difference is that when you are two nil up you can defend deeper and be more patient..

    our problem is it dont matter wheter we are 2, 3, 4 up we keep banging everyone forward and there really is no need when the game is practically won..

    keep possession, attack as normal, we might sneak another when we exploit them on the counter in their attempt to get a gaol back but we dont have to go gung ho for 90 mins..

  19. K-TR7

    November 28, 2010 at 10:18am

    JJ watch the game again.squilli is very calm and a good organiser but very slow.kos is quick,intelligent and excellent in 1v1 sitiuations but is weak.djorou is very composed,strong,dominant in the air but has poor positioning resulting in him being on the wrong side of attacks.Tv is highly technical,aggressive,good in the air but has poor positioning especially when playing against false nines when he gets sucked out(barca and mancs).we’ll have to get the right combinations depending on opponents.

  20. JonJon

    November 28, 2010 at 10:19am

    nah rico

    senderos had a mare against liverpool and wenger shipped him out to milan..

    senderos did say he saw no future at arsenal after this but i think the fact he was playing for AC gave that away..

  21. JonJon

    November 28, 2010 at 10:22am


    both squillaci and kos are flappers..decent squad players but definatley not first choice

    neither have any composure the fact we cant keep a clean sheet at the minute is proof..

    jd and tv are the only ones with any composure and good arial ability..they arent playing so we have none at the minute..

    so many long balls are allowed to bounce in our half/box and it really is schoolboy

  22. K-TR7

    November 28, 2010 at 10:24am

    Rico fair play to you.we have conceded 5 goals at the beginning of the 2nd half more than any other period in a game.we have conceded none in the first 15 minutes.

  23. rico

    November 28, 2010 at 10:24am

    jj, yes, but once he got to milan he opened his mouth and said he wanted to stay, thats what i am referring to.. there was no way back then… i don’t think he was any better than kos though…

  24. rico

    November 28, 2010 at 10:24am

    he was better than silvestre 😉

  25. K-TR7

    November 28, 2010 at 10:27am

    Is it just me or did song play as an actual dm yesterday?

  26. JonJon

    November 28, 2010 at 10:27am

    the problems are in midfield anyway..

    we can bang on about the cb’s until the cows come home but adams and keown could play in this team and the results would be the same..

    they need protection..they aint getting none

  27. rico

    November 28, 2010 at 10:30am

    He did KT…

  28. JonJon

    November 28, 2010 at 10:31am


    i think when a player is shipped out to another club on loan with a view to a permanent move i reckon 99.99999% of the time theres no way back anyway

    we didnt really want him back but for the sake of the 14mil we wasted in the summer id have rather still had him..and bought cahill instead of the french connection

  29. K-TR7

    November 28, 2010 at 10:31am

    The only thing senderos has over kos is physicality helping him in aerial and physical duels.senderos was also very weak mentally resulting him taking so long to get over howlers.his parents came to pick him up as he was in tears in the dressing room after the Anfield game.he was also slow making him not suited to our high line.

  30. JonJon

    November 28, 2010 at 10:33am

    song had a better game he did stay back

    the problems were on jacks side

  31. K-TR7

    November 28, 2010 at 10:36am

    I would also like to say chamakh is doing very well.10 goals and 6 assists as well as winning several penalties in 21 games in remarkable for a new signing from foreign lands.rvp10 has to dislodge him now as benching him at the moment would be cruel.the players also enjoy having him especially wilshere.

  32. JonJon

    November 28, 2010 at 10:37am

    chamaks doing very well..

  33. JonJon

    November 28, 2010 at 10:38am

    the whole team are doing well..

    we just need the dm’s to stay back..

  34. K-TR7

    November 28, 2010 at 10:40am

    I want AA to play behind chamakh at old trafford.some of his dribbles yesterday were excellent including one where he left pires for dead on his backside…rosicky kept everything ticking very well.all he needs in a 30 yard cannon to nestle the top corner of the net.

  35. rico

    November 28, 2010 at 10:46am

    jj, players like senderos always divide, bit like diaby, denilson and song, but he was rubbish against top class strikers, too slow and flat footed…

    tough to really judge kos yet as he new to this league, he needs to bulk up a bit… but, saying that, i agree that we should have still got someone like Cahill to play alongside TV, then JD, Kos and Squilli in reserve wouldn’t look so bad…

  36. JonJon

    November 28, 2010 at 10:47am

    il second that ktr

    i want gibbs to hurry up and get fit as well..

    once weve got him that left hand side will be cutting through teams like a hot knife through butter..

  37. K-TR7

    November 28, 2010 at 10:47am

    The last time AA,Rosicky and nasri were floating behind a CF we won 5 nil and it was against porto.when cesc plays he doesn’t interchange as much and thats why Anderson/fletcher are able to nullify him easily.when that happens we lose more often than not.play that team against the mancs and we have a chance.

  38. rico

    November 28, 2010 at 10:48am

    KT, I always hope for AA to be behind Chamakh, thats what i was suggesting yesterday, he’s so much talent and as he showed yesterday, when he’s up for it, he sheer class shows…

  39. rico

    November 28, 2010 at 10:48am

    jj, do you think we were better without cesc?

  40. JonJon

    November 28, 2010 at 10:52am

    senderos was rubbish rico..

    my point is that for 14mil have we really changed anything??

    no…kos and squidg are no better, they dont just get turned over by the best they get turned over by anyone

    we should have just used that 14 mil to buy cahill and kept senderos as 4-5th choice..

    tv, cahill, jd, senderos, song dont look too bad either

    but wenger does like his frenchies..

  41. JonJon

    November 28, 2010 at 10:54am

    it looked impressive but we needed nasri aa rosick and jack all working together to do a job cesc does by himself..

    it worked..but it wont work every game

  42. rico

    November 28, 2010 at 10:56am

    We could also argue if we had that big lump in midfield we sould stop an awful lot of attacks before they even get to the defence, just look how Paddy used to intercept…

    Even Muamba looks good these days ;)I am of course kidding…

  43. rico

    November 28, 2010 at 10:57am

    senderos and song jj, now i know you are pulling my leg 😉

  44. rico

    November 28, 2010 at 10:59am

    KT, I’m honestly starting to believe that when he goes we won’t miss him as much as some think… of course i would rather he stayed but only if fit, healthy and dedicated to the cause….

  45. rico

    November 28, 2010 at 11:01am

    see the chavs are ready to go for Pep if Ancelotti quits?

  46. JonJon

    November 28, 2010 at 11:04am

    u know something we dont even need multi millions to fix this problem..

    we need a ray parlour and a flamini to sit and protect the back two and cover the gaps the f.b’s leave when they push up

    4 players back at all times..let the anchormen do the running, chasing and covering and let the cb’s stay together at all times..

    if we can stop our cb’s from getting pulled apart we will stop the flow of goals

    we only have song who can do this really..but he cant cover both clichy and sagna by himself like flamini used to..

    diaby jack and denilson dont have the attributes so we need another couple of guys who specialise in this position and not attacking technical players..

    we need hardworking rough and ready defensive players who can cover the ground..

    parlour and flamini believe it or not would complete the puzzle..

    wont cost that much..

  47. JonJon

    November 28, 2010 at 11:07am

    it wouldnt matter if we played nordviet and bartley rico..

    all we need is cb’s who can head and tackle..

    if they were protected properly by the midfield they would do the job

    stop all this high line business and lets get some organisation..

    our attacking play would not be compromised either we just need the correct personell

  48. rico

    November 28, 2010 at 11:11am

    we have our Ray Parlour jj in Lansbury and i would rather an Essien kind of player than a flamini..

    someone to win all the ariel battles in midfiled, we don’t need any more midgets in my opinion..

    one tough tackling CH in Cahill and a lump up front too and ship out Nik…

  49. rico

    November 28, 2010 at 11:12am

    jj, norveit and bartley?? you trying to gee me up this morning…

  50. JonJon

    November 28, 2010 at 11:20am

    its not about midgets..its about work ethic and positional play..it doesnt matter if your 6ft89 and 909stone if youve got a tenacious little sod who’s always on your case your not going to produce the shot, cross, pass of the century..your going to have to find another way..which means stoping the attack

    lansburys another attacker..not the right mould

    frimpong would be a better shout…

    essien would be awesome but not realistic..

    anthony annans a midget but id have him in the team tomorrow..

    not as technical as the rest of the squad but he can run all day and he tackles..thats all we need

    id be tempted to play jd next to song to be honest..

  51. JonJon

    November 28, 2010 at 11:25am

    lol no rico

    im trying to say the goals will carry on coming..it doesnt matter who the cb’s are..

    the problem is our anchormen..they need to stay back and do their job..if the push forward at the same time as the fb’s it leaves the cb’s fucked and it wouldnt matter if we had maldini and moore we would still conceed..

    two players cannot protect the keeper by themself..we saw it last year tv and gallas were the best cb’s in europe for most of the season..but our gd looked bad on them..

    the midfield need to take more responsibility…but it doesnt have the players to do it convincingly for a whole season..

  52. rico

    November 28, 2010 at 11:26am

    Again jj, i disagree, midgets win nothing in the air and we don’t win enough in the air – we have enough tiddlers – lansbury is a box to box, just like parlour jj, he said so himself and so does wenger.

    players can run all day jj, but if they don’t have the ability to make the game tick then whats the point??

    i know we will never get essien, but its that kind of player i wpersollay would see us get, but i’m not and never have been a fan of flamini…

    frimpong for me is the whole reason wenger didn’t get another DM but then sadly injury struck, he’s not back til next season…

  53. rico

    November 28, 2010 at 11:27am

    jd and song at the back? then who plays in the midfield?

  54. rico

    November 28, 2010 at 11:29am

    TV and Gallas are good on the ground jj, but in the air they conceded from corners and free kicks, why? one is 6′ and the other is 5′ 11″…

    Thats why we all were calling for the german and hangeland to come in, add some height at the back…


  55. JonJon

    November 28, 2010 at 11:32am

    lets face it..we havent been the same since we lost the flamster and weve never replaced him..

    it shows…

    we can be as tecnical, as triangular, as tippy tappy, as fluent as we want..but with no work ethic and defensive awareness what good is it??

    u spend 20mins trying to open teams up just for them to hit a long ball and score..

    we need to cut that shit out and have some players waiting for the counter..

    not everyone needs to get forward..defenders defend and attckers attack..we need more defenders or defensive minded players..

  56. JonJon

    November 28, 2010 at 11:34am

    jd and song in the midfield rico

    if we are going to protect the defence lets do it properly

  57. JonJon

    November 28, 2010 at 11:35am

    cahills a midget he wins most headers..

  58. JonJon

    November 28, 2010 at 11:40am

    we conceeded from corners and free kicks because almunia wouldnt come for anything..

    they were also getting pulled apart leaving 2v1 situations in the box, tv spent half the season covering clichy leaving gallas on his todd with 2 strikers and an on rush of midfielders that werent tracked back (denilson diaby)

    hangerland wouldnt have improved a thing..because we still had the same midfielders

  59. rico

    November 28, 2010 at 11:41am

    Flamini jj, i would say its since gilberto left 😉

  60. rico

    November 28, 2010 at 11:44am

    i’m all for JD in the middle, i got bashed for suggesting that once though :(

    Cahill is 6′ 2″ jj, taller than both gallas and tv and the same as what we have, he just harder…

  61. rico

    November 28, 2010 at 11:44am

    back in fifteen mins, got to go get some wood in 😉

  62. K-TR7

    November 28, 2010 at 11:48am

    I think we all agree that its tactics tinkering that is needed now.

  63. K-TR7

    November 28, 2010 at 11:54am

    I think ramsey was slowly adapting to that role.by the time we reach jan im sure jack will be almost home and dry at that point.Aw won’t buy so we’ll have to make do with what we have at the moment.

  64. rico

    November 28, 2010 at 12:15pm

    Spot on KT and just what oliver says in his post, we get caught out far too often…

  65. rico

    November 28, 2010 at 12:16pm

    KT, i think he will buy if TV isn’t looking ready to come back… if we are still up around the top at the turn of the year, we cannot rely on just three CH’s, I know Song can drop back but we all know what happens when he’s not in midfield, it goes horribly wrong….

  66. rico

    November 28, 2010 at 12:17pm

    jj, re your earlier about conceding from free kicks and Almunia being to blame, he cannot portion all that blame, look what happened last Saturday for their third goal and Almunia was nowhere to be seen…

  67. Erick

    November 28, 2010 at 12:24pm

    JJ is back firing on all cylinders :-) Howdy people the win we so much needed AA was amazing the roaming me thinks can work

  68. Erick

    November 28, 2010 at 12:29pm

    Kos is dividing fans but yesterday me thinks he was great :-)

  69. rico

    November 28, 2010 at 12:29pm

    Hi Erick, all good here thanks, how’s you?

  70. rico

    November 28, 2010 at 12:31pm

    I don’t honestly think Kos is that bad Erick, both he and Squilli are new to this pacey game, he wasn’t to blame for either goals yesterday, the ref and clichy are to blame for their first and sadly Fabianski for their second…

  71. Erick

    November 28, 2010 at 12:39pm

    Am good Rico :-) I think they still need time but atleast we can depend on them unlike Silvester by the way big shout out to OLIVER great review of the game :-)

  72. rico

    November 28, 2010 at 12:42pm

    Agree on both accounts Erick, I usually say my thank yous at the top of the page, but i’m never sure oliver see’s it :(

    He always writes a top review of our games, we are lucky…

  73. K-TR7

    November 28, 2010 at 12:42pm

    Rico i think you are harsh on clichy.firstly clark chested the ball away from him towards the CBs.secondly if he went towards clark and he passed to young who was wide open.he was in a no win sitiuation.

  74. K-TR7

    November 28, 2010 at 12:47pm

    How was fabby at fault for the second?

  75. rico

    November 28, 2010 at 12:52pm

    Iv’e watched it over again KT and Clichy should have gone towards Clark to close him down, he didn’t…

    Fab made a hash of his attempt to save, in my opinion of course…

  76. Leon

    November 28, 2010 at 12:53pm

    We lack a spine of players that form the foundation of the team. We had it in the late nineties with Keown – Vieira – Petit – Bergkamp and in the earlier part of this decade with Lehmann – Campbell – Vieira – Pires – Ljungberg – Henry and now we only have one man in Fabregas. We have fantastic technique but that is lost when you are out muscled and kicked out of the game. We need commanding, physical players who will allow us to mix it up if we need to.

  77. rico

    November 28, 2010 at 12:53pm

    In any case KT, their first was offside, crazy how that could be judged the way it was by Battenburg…

  78. rico

    November 28, 2010 at 12:57pm

    News of The World report tha Pat Rice is standing down at the end of the season….

  79. K-TR7

    November 28, 2010 at 12:57pm

    Rico if clichy had done that and the ball given to young and we concede he’d get slaughtered.he was in a no win sitiuation and if gibbs had done that nobody would’ve said a word.gibbs escorted the braga attacker to score but he never got criticized as clichy would’ve been in the same sitiuation.

  80. Erick

    November 28, 2010 at 1:05pm

    Twice as lucky Rico :-) the DM were at fault for the goal guys they should track back with the attacking midfielders KT hope your good matey :-)

  81. rico

    November 28, 2010 at 1:06pm

    but thats Smudgers point about ‘over my dead body’ KT, you can only deal with whats in front of you, Clichy didn’t in my opinion… Yes its being picky after a good win but if we want to be great little things like that need to be stopped. Clark should never have been allowed to get his shot in…

  82. rico

    November 28, 2010 at 1:13pm

    Guys, when that ball goes to Clark, Rosicky is three metres behind him, Nasri ten metres to his left. Young is to the right and forard of Clark who at this time has squared his body left, facing Fabs left hand post as you look at goal. As he brings the ball down, Clichy is the closest player but he backs off for a second and then both Kos and Squilli try and close him down…

  83. Leon

    November 28, 2010 at 1:16pm

    When you have had the likes of Campbell, Keown, Adams etc Kos and Squillaci are very poor – sorry but it is true.

  84. rico

    November 28, 2010 at 1:19pm

    Hi Leon, i’m prepared to give them a season to settle, but if they give their all and still not good enough its not their fault, it’s Wenger’s for putting them in that place…

    we are not far off, just needs some fine tuning, 3 players worth of fine tuning imho…

  85. JonJon

    November 28, 2010 at 1:25pm

    :) rico dont get me started on gilberto 😉

    in my opinion, great pro and good player but not a great player..edu was better 😉

    the best midfield ive seen in recent years, and to be honest the best wengerball midfield of all time was the 2008 one with hleb, flam, cesc, rocick

    nasri has become more influencial than hleb, weve still got cesc and rosick and countless other players who can play these roles like AA and jack… we need go get another flamini (or two) 😉 and its complete again..

    2008 wengerball with more strength..we’d hammer this league

  86. K-TR7

    November 28, 2010 at 1:26pm

    You can crow all you like about the likes of keown but the way our defense is exposed at times they would’ve done no better.when we are organized our defense looks great like it did at Everton.our problem is more to do with tactics and organisation rather than personell.

  87. JonJon

    November 28, 2010 at 1:28pm


    re gibbs and clichy..

    yes gibbs messes up..defensively hes no better than clichy..

    its going forward where he contributes

    clichys lost all composure going forward..i can put up with a dodgy defensive display as long as he puts a good shift in going forward but hes lost that part of his game..

    whereas gibbs links up well with AA and puts in a bloody good cross..still alot to learn but hes ready..just needs to stay fit and clichy will be on the bench..

  88. JonJon

    November 28, 2010 at 1:29pm

    agree with ktr re keown

  89. rico

    November 28, 2010 at 1:30pm

    Edu was awesome jj, so sad to see his game crumble after he left us, injuries got him….

    2 flaminis 😆

  90. K-TR7

    November 28, 2010 at 1:32pm

    Spot on jj.if we had won at Anfield i believe we’d have won the CL.We actually have a better team at the moment and if we can get a run of wins together we’ll walk the league.imagine what a win at OT would do to our players…

  91. rico

    November 28, 2010 at 1:33pm

    trouble is though we can go on about our tactics too but that stubborn old git won’t change… :(

  92. JonJon

    November 28, 2010 at 1:33pm

    look we can critize the defenders all we want and call them funny names and have jokes but at the end of it all if they were better protected we would have the best defenders in the league..

    we have a good squad of CB’s..Tv’s out and its been worrying but we aint doing bad..JD needs to play and we need to get another CB ( cahill) in januray and definately someone like annan or inler..

    i would have loved for us to have signed khedira but real got him…hes very tidy had a great WC and doing well at real now as well

  93. rico

    November 28, 2010 at 1:34pm

    I’m off for a bit, Sunday baking calls me :)

    I’m also going to be cheering the dippers, just for 90 minutes….

  94. K-TR7

    November 28, 2010 at 1:38pm

    JJ that midfield was awesome.i remember us battering the chavs at home.we could’ve hit them 4 or 5 that day.

  95. JonJon

    November 28, 2010 at 1:38pm

    we should have never have let edu go, rico..

    it would have been nice to have tied him down to a 5 year deal when we had the chance..we could have done with him the last few years..very good player, easy on the eye yet agressive, good technique with a sweet left foot..

    valencia got a steal shame about the injury

  96. K-TR7

    November 28, 2010 at 1:40pm

    JJ i though i was a lone khedira fan since his stuttgart days…chavs already 1 nil down-Caroll.

  97. JonJon

    November 28, 2010 at 1:54pm

    ktr after so long blogging with you i find we agree on most things..

    we seem to like the same players im not suprised your a fan of khedira..

    id never heard of him until the world cup..but ive been banging on about a midfielder for ages so when i was watching the world cup i was doing my own ‘scouting’ 😉 for a good agressive tidy midfielder..

    annan and khedira really stood out for me..but khedira was stand out cos annan is a munchkin 😉 but id still take annan..hes like a little essien..

  98. rico

    November 28, 2010 at 2:00pm

    where as i dont agree with either of you 😉 😉

  99. rico

    November 28, 2010 at 2:01pm

    i am only kidding of course…

  100. K-TR7

    November 28, 2010 at 2:06pm

    In deed we do jj.i watch the Bundesliga and he impressed me so much.im also a fan of Rolfes of Leverkusen who plays very similar to khedira.Mourinho is a big khedira fan and you can see why.he is a manager’s dream.he can run all day,attack,defend and even score.özil/shweinsteiger/müller/klose may have had the plaudits but khedira for me was the reason behind Germany’s success.i also agree on annan.am also a big cambiasso fan.

  101. rico

    November 28, 2010 at 2:13pm

    Lansbury is having a good game for norwich…

  102. K-TR7

    November 28, 2010 at 2:20pm

    Rico i believe landsbury will be that player for us.

  103. rico

    November 28, 2010 at 2:56pm

    i agree KT, we talked about that here before, he is our Ray Parlour ….

  104. K-TR7

    November 28, 2010 at 3:23pm

    1-1 barcodes v chavs.

  105. rico

    November 28, 2010 at 3:38pm

    Thats good KT…

  106. rico

    November 28, 2010 at 4:30pm

    I’m out of here guys and gals, see you tomorrow..

    be good..

  107. rico

    November 29, 2010 at 9:24am

    new post up

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