A Glimpse of Tomorrow……


September 20, 2011: Emirates Stadium

Just a week after our heroic Champions League effort in Dortmund, we kicked this season’s Carling Cup off with a visit from Second Division Shrewsbury Town. Not the most difficult assignment – certainly not like last season, where we had an immediate trip to the Lane – but certainly not one to be taken for granted. Of course, recent form has shown that there is absolutely nothing this Arsenal side should take for granted.

We followed the win versus Swansea and draw at Dortmund with a horrific collapse at bottom-of-the-table Blackburn – a result that prompted our Chief Executive to come out today and deny that Arsene’s position is in any jeopardy. Of course it isn’t – but the fact that Gazidis had to publicly say so shows the pressure the club is feeling at this moment…

And so, amidst this backdrop, we welcomed the Shrews to the Emirates last night. With his side well placed in Division Two, manager Graham Turner said they will come to try and spring an upset, not just serve as cannon fodder. Arsene said he would name a side with plenty of youth, but with a good mix of experience as well.

True to his word, our manager started Fab, Gibbs, JD, Miquel, Gibbs, Frim, OC, Coquelin, Benayoun, Chamakh and Ju.

Our bench was Martinez, Yennaris, Boateng, Ozyakup, Aneke, Miyaichi and Watt.

Plenty of experience in the first eleven, and plenty of youth in the deputies…While the domestic cups are clearly a lower priority than the league and European league, losing to a second division side at home cannot be part of the plan…

We started well. Four minutes in, a Chamakh header forced Shrews keeper Smith to tip the ball over the bar. From the resulting corner, Chamakh then forced Smith to parry his shot but that was the extent of our early attacking as Shrewsbury started to control play.

First JD – Captain for this evening, by the way – conceded a foul on Wright but Fab was able to claim Jacobson’s free kick but Wright was then allowed too much room and his shot beat Fab, only to smack against the post and Fab was forced to parry the rebound.

That should have been warning enough for our players, but apparently it was not as the resulting corner saw Wright get free and head wide…

Shrews were on top at this point, and with a quarter of an hour gone, we paid the price.

Martin crossed from the right and Collins got between our Captain and Jenks to head past Fab and give the visitors a 1-0 lead…For the next few minutes, we were – predictably all over the place and Shrewsbury could have extended the lead. Ainsworth shot over the bar, and while Coquelin briefly relieved the pressure by drawing a save from Smith, we should have been undone by another set piece, with Grandison heading Wright’s corner from the left inches wide.

We were very, very lucky not to be 0-2 down with under half an hour gone. Gibbs was next to the rescue, only his last-ditch intervention thwarted a three on two break..

We responded by forcing a pair of corners and then drew level with the unlikely source of Gibbs heading Jenks’ cross from the right home – a well taken goal, with the game now back on…From there we began to dominate. Frim tested Smith in the Shrews goal and Ju then shot wide, as we pushed the opposition back and finally started to impose our will on them.

A few minutes before the halftime whistle, McAllister earned the game’s first booking for a foul on Chamakh; Frim took the free kick and forced Smith to parry it but we could not convert. The halftime whistle went a few minutes later, ending an overall poor first half for a pretty experienced Arsenal side, with plenty left to do for the second half…

Arsene did not make any changes at the interval and we started the second half as we ended the first, completely in charge…

First Coquelin, then Frim had shots, the latter forcing another save from Smith. While we didn’t convert, the pressure on Shrewsbury was heavy and surely our second goal was only a matter of time. OC and Benayoun both took early corners and Smith needed to punch the second one away…

The goal finally came just before the hour, with OC opening his Arsenal account. Benayoun got the assist; he picked OC out 25 yards from goal and the latter did the rest, finishing low under Smith and into the bottom left-hand corner…

Relief, to say the least but with a third of the match remaining and a very shaky defensive performance up to that moment, we could not afford to relax…

Instead of keeping the pressure on, however, we then saw a bit of a lull…We then sparked to life and OC should have extended our lead, but Smith tipped his shot around the post…

With 20 minutes to go, Arsene made his first change, bringing Miyaichi on for fellow debutant Ju. Turner simultaneously made a double switch, with Bradshaw and Richards replacing goalscorer Collins and McAllister, respectively. Miyaichi’s first contribution was to be flagged offside. Then OC – clearly the best player on the night – had another shot on goal, this time sending his effort wide…

As the match moved into the final fifteen minutes, we remained very much on top but could not get the elusive third goal. Part of the problem was that nobody but OC was shooting at goal. With 77 minutes gone, Arsene brought Ozyakup on for Frim, and then Taylor made his final sub, bringing Taylor (no relation) on in Ainsworth’s place.

With a minute coming on, Ozyakup got his first Arsenal assist, his pass setting Benayoun up for a close-range finish, the latter’s first goal in Arsenal colors. Like OC, Benayoun quickly tried to double his tally, but couldn’t convert…

With a two goal cushion for the final ten minutes, we sat back a little bit and Shrewsbury was able to dictate play for a spell, albeit without testing Fab or our defence. On the stroke of 90 minutes, Aneke came on for OC and we saw out the remaining few minutes with little difficulty; the match finished 3-1 and we progressed to the Carling Cup fourth round.

As welcome as that is, the most important thing was to get a win and ease at least a bit of the pressure on our club. We accomplished that, three of our players got their first goals for the club and we did it by rebounding from a 0-1 deficit, withstanding a few chances from the opposition to extend their lead and dominating as soon as we equalized.

Almost – but not quite as important was the opportunity to watch a few of our top prospects in action. OC, Frim, Jenks, Miquel and Coquelin all enjoyed starters minute, and Miyaichi, Ozyakup and Aneke are received substitutes minutes and all did reasonably well in my opinion. Hopefully the experience from tonight will be invaluable to them and the club.

I would be remiss not to congratulate Shrewsbury Town FC on their effort and performance.  There will be no patronizing, condescending stuff about a “plucky” lower league side.  Just a sigh of relief, and acknowledgment they had us on the ropes during the first 30 minutes; if they were able to get that second goal – and they should have – who knows what would have happened?

Even as we took control following the equalizer and the Shrews noticeably ran out of steam, they kept it going and tried to attack and get another goal. They came here, smelled blood and did what any good side should – attack a defensively vulnerable, low on confidence opponent.  So well done, Shrews, and good luck with your promotion campaign…

There were plenty of excellent performances, particularly among the younger players; there were also some bad performances, most notably our completely bereft of confidence and form Captain for the evening.  So while we had a peek at what may await when this current batch of youngsters are ready to become first team regulars, we simultaneously received a stark reminder of the issues and problems we currently face.

We got the win and dodged the banana peel; but it is no more than the proverbial “square one”.  Following the mini-sequence of win (Swansea) and draw (Dortmund), I remember Arsene and several players suggesting/implying that the worst was behind us – only for the debacle at Ewood to follow next…

So, if I may, I ask that we refrain from any pronouncements this time.  For one, it is going to take more than a result or two to persuade that we are back on track.  The only thing that will accomplish this is a series of sustained wins, highlighted by defensive solidity and clinical, economic finishing.  The finishing has certainly improved from the first couple of matches but the defence, as shown last night,  remains a massive concern and just does not inspire confidence at the moment.

So let’s try and keep a low profile, get to work, stop talking about what we are going to do, and go out there and actually do it…

We are not going to get there any other way…

Written by Oliver

166 thoughts on “A Glimpse of Tomorrow……

  1. rico

    September 21, 2011 at 9:26am

    Morning all….

  2. allezkev

    September 21, 2011 at 9:41am

    Morning Rico.
    Thought Benayoun showed admirable composure when scoring, as the boots were flying all around him.

  3. goonster

    September 21, 2011 at 9:41am

    Didn’t see the game or highlight but my that was a wonderful match report. Got my heart racing. Good one oliver let’s build on this against bolton and hopefully the season starts from here…..hmmm where have I heard that before. Oh well. Morning HH! COYFGs yeeeeeaaaaaaaah!

  4. TT

    September 21, 2011 at 9:42am

    Morning rico

    I have to disagree with the MOTM i think Couqelin was by far our best player OX had the tendency to drift out of the game in the 1st half but was very good in the second as Couquelin was good through out. Our defence is still shaky of course but that takes time to sort out. Jenkinson and Frimpong had good games also not to mention Benny. Disapointed in JD he was arguebly our week link on the night and Miquel outshone him for most of the night. I am impressed how calm the young spaniard is, he never seems to panic and is very composed on the ball.

  5. rico

    September 21, 2011 at 9:42am

    Hi kev – i haven’t seen the game :( Funny how SS’s don’t mention the totts loss though….

  6. Gun Kilmer

    September 21, 2011 at 9:44am

    “So let’s try and keep a low profile, get to work, stop talking about what we are going to do, and go out there and actually do it…”

    I like this statement…. Trully, keep it low profile and get the high profit…until we bring all the trophies (i repeat…. all the trophies!!!)…

    Go Gunners!!!

  7. allezkev

    September 21, 2011 at 9:45am

    Not sure i know what’s happened to Djourou?
    When he joined the club, as a teenager, i recall Steve Bould saying he was the best young centre-half at the club…
    On reflection, those comments don’t say much about the others…
    Top Post Oliver…

  8. Lee

    September 21, 2011 at 9:50am

    Morning all, good match summary Oliver! WTF has happened to JD, he’s a liability everytime he plays these days….

  9. rico

    September 21, 2011 at 9:52am

    Hi goonster and TT

    If JD was as bad last night as he was at the weekend surely this just has to be a blip in form, we saw he can peform last season but after suffering injury, his game has gone to pot…

    He needs a few run outs for the reserves and some serious staying behind after class but who is there at the training ground to help him??

  10. allezkev

    September 21, 2011 at 9:54am

    Rico, i saw the goals on You-Tube, but they’ve blocked them now…
    Morning Lee/TT.
    Stan, good to see you haven’t fallen overboard…. 😉

  11. rico

    September 21, 2011 at 9:54am

    Hi GK, welcome…

    What trophies do you honestly believe we will win?

    As for the profit, if last night’s attendance is a show of things for the future, even the profit is going to start decreasing, it seems fans are beginning to make feelings clear by not attending…

    And last night the tcikets were cheaper….

  12. allezkev

    September 21, 2011 at 9:55am

    Stan, this is for you;

  13. rico

    September 21, 2011 at 9:55am

    Morning Lee, with JD playing like he is, we’ll soon want Squlli back 😉

    How did Miquel do? Surely he has to be the 3rd choice CH now…

  14. TT

    September 21, 2011 at 10:01am


    Miquel was good but don’t worry we will coach that out of him in a year or two…;) He looks composed on the ball and does not panic tho his positional play might be a bit better but that comes with exsperience.

  15. allezkev

    September 21, 2011 at 10:02am

    Blimey Rico, 46,000 at the Grove last night!
    I said to my lads i thought it might be 45,000, but expected about 50,000+, hmm.
    A wake-up call methinks…

  16. goonster

    September 21, 2011 at 10:07am

    Thanks kev….I gotta admit to ya. I almost fell overboard during the game on saturday. Just wanted to end it all. Can’t take anymore of this miserable life. But hey that’s why I ve got you buddy.

  17. allezkev

    September 21, 2011 at 10:14am

    Got all the goals for ya Stan;

  18. rico

    September 21, 2011 at 10:19am

    Thanks TT – maybe we will have a different coach who won’t train his skills out of him 😉

  19. rico

    September 21, 2011 at 10:20am

    I wonder how many went to the midweek CC games last season Kev…

    I expect the figures to be similar this saturday too…..

  20. goonster

    September 21, 2011 at 10:26am

    Wow check out the composure on that kid! The ox is way ahead of theo at the moment. Hell let’s start him every game. He gives something different than most of our forwards…..shooting at every chance! Come on arsene stop being an ass and play this kid already. Come on!

  21. TC

    September 21, 2011 at 10:28am

    Coquelin was fantastic and me thinks maybe went up the order ahead of Frimpong (who was good though). How the hell did Eastmond get ahead of Coquelin last season I do not know.

    JD – was yet again terrible last night and made everything difficult and seemed to me to be fouling on every challenge. I would have now thought JD is 5th choice and frankly cannot be relied on to perform any thing. How long had JD been at Arsenal – 5/6 years and the penny is only now dropping what a poor player he is – frankly this reflects badly on AW yet again.

    Well done to Alex (bye-bye Theo) Oxlade-Chamberlain – a terrific night full of great touches (were u watching Theo), involvement (were u watching Theo), crosses (were u watching Theo), beating men with tricks (were u watching Theo), desire (were u watching Theo) and a cracking shot for the goal (were u watching Theo).

  22. allezkev

    September 21, 2011 at 10:32am

    Here you are Rico

    Wigan 5th rd…. 59,525
    Ipswich s/f….. 59,387

    I’m not sure, but i think last night could have been the smallest first team crowd at the Grove.

  23. rico

    September 21, 2011 at 10:32am

    So then, my post about dropping theo for the ox was not so bad 😉

  24. rico

    September 21, 2011 at 10:35am

    TC – good to hear that about Coq, he hsa always looked to be a little terrier, sadly though, i hope he can take that into the PL when/if he is given a chance….

    Kev – well that says excatly what the fans think, 15000 less fans is quite staggering, but sadly, not unexpected….

  25. allezkev

    September 21, 2011 at 10:35am

    Having wrote that, 46,000+ vs Shrewsbury, in a recession, isn’t to be sniffed at…

  26. allezkev

    September 21, 2011 at 10:37am

    And i have been in a 14,000 crowd at Highbury!

  27. rico

    September 21, 2011 at 10:38am

    But the tickets are cheaper kev, it’s the game where all those who normally can’t justify big money on tickets get to watch the team – the recession was with us last season too…..

    Will be interesting to see what happens this weekend….

  28. rico

    September 21, 2011 at 10:39am

    😆 Kev – oh to be back there right now…..

  29. allezkev

    September 21, 2011 at 10:59am

    Yes Rico, the Bolton attendance could be interesting. But the club usually sell it’s tickets many weeks in advance, so it’ll be 55,000+ i reckon.

  30. goonster

    September 21, 2011 at 10:59am

    Fuck the media…..What’s with “man u thrashed leeds” we both scored three goals didn’t we? And hey the spudies lost didn’t they? Yet no mention of that.

  31. allezkev

    September 21, 2011 at 11:00am

    Off for a spell.

  32. allezkev

    September 21, 2011 at 11:00am

    Chill Stan….. 😆

  33. rico

    September 21, 2011 at 11:01am

    I agree that the board need to be firmer with AW kev, but the board need to stop worrying about money and work out how to better the current situation

    AW is blinkered, he needs help but is too stubborn to accept that….

  34. goonster

    September 21, 2011 at 11:03am

    Hi ya kev you ve been to highbury? Oh man what I ll give to stand at the clockend screaming my lungs out. What was it like my man? Oh how I missed highbury!

  35. rico

    September 21, 2011 at 11:11am

    In my mere humble opinion – the board won’t tell wenger what to do as he keeps Stan making money but not spending as much as he could – Stan therefore sees his share profits going up as the club become less and less in debt.

    If they sack him it will cost the club lots of money.

    No, the board would rather keep saving pennies, regardless of what happens on the pitch….

    Stan may own majority of our club, but he doesn’t seem to care if we win, lose or draw….

  36. rico

    September 21, 2011 at 11:13am

    goonster – it was home, it was a wonderful place to be and the fans sang loud and proud….

  37. Lee

    September 21, 2011 at 11:16am

    The best goonster!!

  38. Micko

    September 21, 2011 at 11:17am

    Good moaning,
    Well the result kept the wolves away from the front door for at least a few more days anyway.
    Why doesn’t anyone want to televise us anymore, maybe we’re not the catch we used to be, it not the same listening to it on the radio.
    Ox took his goal very well as did yossi and nice to see gibbs get his first goal for us.Again Chamakh disappointed, i would have liked him to have put a couple away, he should be scoring for fun against teams like shrewsbury.
    Djourou is obviously very low in confidence, when he first came into the side he main strength for me was his composure on the ball, that seems to have gone out of the window.
    Anyway, we’re well on the road now, another 4 wins in this competetion and we’re back at wembley.

  39. Lee

    September 21, 2011 at 11:17am

    According to talkshite…
    Jack Wilshere is set for a shock return to action for Arsenal – two months ahead of schedule.

    Wilshere revealed at the start of September that he was set to be sidelined for up to three months, which would have meant he was out of action until early December.

    The Arsenal midfielder sustained an ankle injury in pre-season and needed a protective boot to help his recovery.

    But despite claiming he would be out for around three months, Wilshere has responded well to treatment at the club and a shock early return is in the pipeline.

    Wilshere, 19, was at the Emirates to see Arsenal sneak past League Two Shrewsbury on Tuesday night and it is understood the midfielder is confident of an early return.

    talkSPORT has been told that Wilshere believes he will be ready way ahead of schedule and he could be back playing for Arsenal around mid-October.

  40. goonster

    September 21, 2011 at 11:23am

    For real mama bear? Were you there the night it all came down. The night henry scored a hatrick and kissed the ground? Was magical wasn’t it?

  41. K-TR7

    September 21, 2011 at 11:25am

    Hi all.good read oliver.

  42. goonster

    September 21, 2011 at 11:27am

    You too lee? Lord God in heaven. I missed out big time. First kev then rico now lee. Where did it all go wrong? That’s it am leading a demonstration to return to back highbury. Who’s with me?

  43. K-TR7

    September 21, 2011 at 11:31am

    I have just read another blog this morning.he began by saying he didn’t watch the match but then proceeded to say oxo was our lone positive on the night.you can’t make this stuff up :oe didn’t watch the match but then proceeded to say oxo was our lone positive on the night.you can’t make this stuff up 😮

  44. TT

    September 21, 2011 at 11:32am

    goonster I was there when we beat Everton 7 nil it was pure magic. Crowd singing champions league ur having a laugh at the Everton fans and one more year for DB.

  45. rico

    September 21, 2011 at 11:33am

    Sure was Lee…

    Hi Micko – the Wolves, aka SS’s are loving telling the story of gloom – how we had to come from behind blah blah blah…


  46. goonster

    September 21, 2011 at 11:36am

    Come on TT you are punishing me here. Do you how hard it is for us younger gooners who never had the pleasure of being around or inside HIGHBURY? Its heart wrenching! I ll give anything just to know what it felt like!

  47. K-TR7

    September 21, 2011 at 11:40am

    Is it just me or does le coq look to be better than Frimpong bar in terms of physicality?

  48. Lee

    September 21, 2011 at 11:44am

    you’ll have to buy an apartment…

  49. TT

    September 21, 2011 at 11:45am

    Very “tight” ground goonster you were within toutching distance of the players if you were sitting on the front row. The atmhospeare was electrical at times but also a lot of the time it had a nick name of the liebrerary for a reason, it could be very quiet at times but make no mistake when it was rocking it really rocked.

  50. rico

    September 21, 2011 at 11:46am

    Morning Kt

    Lee, you beat me to it re the apartment for goonster :)

  51. goonster

    September 21, 2011 at 11:48am

    Very funny lee!

  52. Micko

    September 21, 2011 at 11:50am

    Goonster, I was there in 81 when Pele was kicking footballs in the crowd at half time, he was promoting the film Escape to Victory.
    We beat villa 2 nil that day I think but all the villa fans were jumping up and down at the end as they had just won the league as Ipswich had lost their game, it was an amazing atmosphere, will always remember it.

  53. TT

    September 21, 2011 at 11:50am

    KTR7 to me Coqulien is a better player overall but not by much thoug. Frimpong is phicically stronger but Coqulien is more teqcnical and better passer. Add 5 kg of upper body muscle on Coq and he will be a huge player for us, has exsellent defensive instincts the engine of Flamini and a very good passing range + a good tackler.

  54. goonster

    September 21, 2011 at 11:54am

    Thanks TT…..that brought tears to my eyes. What a night it must have been when we knocked out madrid to get to the semis of the CL back in 06. I remember watching that back home and thinking….”wish I was there”. Oh highbury would I that you were still here to save your beloved…..for we are falling apart and need your terraces and bloodied ground to bring us back to glory!

  55. rico

    September 21, 2011 at 11:56am

    Inter Milan have sacked their manager…..

  56. rico

    September 21, 2011 at 12:02pm

    Why did Gazidis have to speak out about Wenger? All he has done is add more fuel to those on our case….

  57. Micko

    September 21, 2011 at 12:03pm

    Inter Milan were winning the champions league and back to back titles only a couple of seasons ago, its a cut throat business unless your the boss of arsenal………..bring it on !

  58. TT

    September 21, 2011 at 12:06pm

    Who? Was spotty still there rico?

  59. rico

    September 21, 2011 at 12:07pm

    Wenger has got to turn these results around and fast, we could be in the bottom three by Saturday night if things don’t change ….

  60. rico

    September 21, 2011 at 12:09pm

    Gian Piero TT, never heard of him myself 😉

  61. Micko

    September 21, 2011 at 12:11pm

    Arsenal don’t do relegation.

  62. TT

    September 21, 2011 at 12:12pm

    Neither did Leeds or Nottingham Forrest………..

  63. Lee

    September 21, 2011 at 12:13pm

    San siro was good in 2003….

  64. Lee

    September 21, 2011 at 12:15pm

    so the teenage mutant ninja turtle has been binned…

  65. Micko

    September 21, 2011 at 12:16pm

    TT, up and down like yoyo’s over the years, not like us.

  66. K-TR7

    September 21, 2011 at 12:25pm

    Gian pero Gasperini was the coach of Genoa before joining inter.according to mourinho he was the most difficult opponent in serie A.SAF even once touted him as a potential successor to him at OT.his major downfall at inter was his failure to adjust his tactics to suit his players.he tried to force his players to play a 3-4-3 system that clearly did not suit the players at his disposal.a before joining inter.according to mourinho he was the most difficult opponent in serie A.SAF even once touted him as a potential successor to him at OT.his major downfall at inter was his failure to adjust his tactics to suit his players.he tried to force his players to play a 3-4-3 system that clearly did not suit the players at his disposal.

  67. rico

    September 21, 2011 at 12:29pm

    I hope we don’t this season either…..

    We need a really big display against Bolton, guts, never say die performances and with plenty of home goals….

  68. Micko

    September 21, 2011 at 12:36pm

    Worst case scenario, top 8 this season and it hurts me to say it.
    Still plenty of time to right the wrongs.
    Relegation talk is just plain stupid.

  69. rico

    September 21, 2011 at 12:46pm

    Just look at the dippers last season under Hodgson, they ended up with a chance of CL, if Wenger can work this out, there is no reason why we can’t start climbing the table…

    Starting this Saturday….

  70. TT

    September 21, 2011 at 12:56pm

    micko talking about relegation this early is as stupid as talking about having won the title in September. But our form at the moment is relegation form pure and simple. Unless we can start turning the tables soon loosing will become a habit like winning can be. And if that happens we can forget about finising in a European slot.

  71. rico

    September 21, 2011 at 1:02pm

    TT – It’s manager sacking form aswell, massive few weeks ahead for Arsenal and Wenger……

  72. rico

    September 21, 2011 at 1:06pm

    Seen the goals now, Yossi and Oxo’s were pretty darn good :)

  73. oliver

    September 21, 2011 at 1:21pm

    morning all…kev, if you look at yesterday’s post, i added something about our majority shareholder last night after everyone else was gone…

    some good performances last night, some bad performances…ox was excellent, but i think we are getting ahead of ourselves in calling for him to supplant theo…he was outstanding last night, but lets keep this in perspective; he will get his chance, but lets not fast-track him and set him up for failure here…let him develop and make sure he is actually ready for it when he gets his starting minutes…

    if we give theo’s starting berth to him, and he struggles – which is not at all unreasonable to expect, given his age, experience and short amount of time at our club – against much more difficult opposition, how much patience will we have with him? how long will it take for the calls for him to be dropped?

    he’s a great propsect and performed extremely well against a second division side – it is a huge leap from there to replacing our leading goal-scorer and established first team member…lets not set oc up for failure by rushing things with him…

    if he is ready, he will show it against the likes of the spuddies, chelsea, om, etc…then we will have a good argument for starting him regularly…i think we will need a better sample size than just last night’s performance against opponents from the league’s bottom tier…

  74. rico

    September 21, 2011 at 1:30pm

    Hi oliver – quality write up, i din’t see the game but know now how it went…

    One thing is clear and that is JD is all over the place and needs to join Squlli and Almunia…..

    He was static, ball watching for their goal…..

  75. rico

    September 21, 2011 at 1:32pm

    And, while i don’t think Vermaelen is the answer to our current problems as they run deeper than just one player but I do believe his return will instill a little more confidence at the back….

  76. allezkev

    September 21, 2011 at 1:34pm

    Morning Oliver. Thanks mate, i did read it…
    Seems Stan doesn’t talk to anyone…
    I wonder if his wife knows what his voice is like?

  77. allezkev

    September 21, 2011 at 1:41pm

    Oliver, i see Oxo as the perfect impact substitute. Keep him on the bench and bring him on with 20-30mins remaining against tiring opposition.

  78. allezkev

    September 21, 2011 at 1:43pm

    Ditto that with Miyaichi, although i think Oxo is in front of Ryo in development terms.

  79. oliver

    September 21, 2011 at 1:47pm

    hi ricco, thanks…i have no idea of what has happened to jd…i remember when he started getting consistent starts around this time last season – he supplanted squil alongside kos, if i remember – and he looked fantastic…i remember even hearing a stat during one of our matches which indicated we had yet to lose with jd starting…but now, the guy we have out there is a wreck, a shell of the player we saw earlier…i don’t know how to get him back on track – last night was clearly a chance for him to rediscover his form and confidence, and i think arsene gave him an extra “see, i believe in you” boost by giving him the armband…but it didn’t work out, he had an overall wretched game…

    if we were better placed in the table and in a patch of reasonable form, this wouldn’t be such an issue…but it is, and jd has been one of the primary under-performers…unless he can completely turn it around quickly, we have to ask whether he still merits a place in the first team squad…that may be harsh, but going on his lack of form and confidence, not at all unreasonable…if we are going to climb the table and get back to where we belong, we cannot persist with mistakes he has been making…

    that is not to say, in any way, that jd has been the only problem…but he has been one of the most visible – and i think his problems are affecting his team-mates on the pitch…

    tv’s return will help, but i don’t think for a minute that it will be the cure-all. i think we have deeper problems with how we are set up, what we ask of our players (asking many of our defenders to attack first, defend second)…plus tv will need a bit of time to get his match sharpness back…

    and on that note, jack’s comments about being ahead of schedule and back sooner than expected set alarm bells off with me…as dire as our current situation is, surely we cannot consider rushing jack back – we’ve done that too many times before and had players break down again too many times: billy gallas and our former number four are two such examples…let him recover properly, so he’ll have a better chance of returning to stay, instead of breaking down again quickly…

  80. oliver

    September 21, 2011 at 1:51pm

    morning kev…i am starting to wonder if spags is the only person who has ever had a conversation with our majority shareholder…

  81. allezkev

    September 21, 2011 at 1:52pm

    Stan, Highbury was/is unique among football stadia.
    One minute you would be walking down an average London street, no indication that there was a football ground [absense of floodlight pylons].
    You would turn the corner, and there she was, the ‘Art Deco’ frontage, a time capscule from the 1930’s.
    The Highbury Library garbage was a media/press dig [yeah, what a suprise] but the all-seater Highbury did lose a bit when compared to the terraced version.
    it was such a copact stadium, hard to believe that they once got 73,000 in there.

  82. allezkev

    September 21, 2011 at 1:58pm

    Oliver, meal times in the Kroneke household, must be a solemn affair.

  83. rico

    September 21, 2011 at 2:03pm

    Have you guys seen what happened at the Leeds/Manure game?

    Talk about sick – some of those the Leeds fans are rotten to the core

  84. allezkev

    September 21, 2011 at 2:06pm

    Stan, one of my favourite nights there was the League Cup semi-Final 2nd Leg.
    Groves had given us a 1-0 from Goodison Park in the 1st Leg, so it was really rocking that night.
    I was up the Clock End and it was packed out. The turnstile operators used to let more in than was officially announced, a bit of a fiddle.
    Rocky and Thomas were immense that night, it was a fantastic night, especially when we went 2-1 up, the ground exploded.
    As rico says, great days mate.

  85. oliver

    September 21, 2011 at 2:06pm

    ricco, i don’t think i want to know…there is some pretty visceral hatred between those clubs’ supporters…probably transcends actual football…

  86. rico

    September 21, 2011 at 2:07pm

    Hate to sound pompass but all through the summer i suggested we needed to buy two centre half’s – knowing full well that JD had lost his form last season and Squlli is just not good enough.

    JD has no excuse, he has been with us long enough to know better and how to defend, i hope he doesn’t have to be called on for another game this season – much rather have kept Bartley, at least we know he performed well in a tough scottish PL….

    As for Jack, big mistake if he gets rushed back, he won’t solve our defensive problems and we have enough in midfiled to allow him a proper recovery…

  87. allezkev

    September 21, 2011 at 2:08pm

    Rico, no, what did they do this time?

  88. Lee

    September 21, 2011 at 2:09pm

    what happened Rico? Pass the salt AK, using semaphore…. :)

  89. rico

    September 21, 2011 at 2:10pm

    Ok oliver, i won’t say any more…..

  90. allezkev

    September 21, 2011 at 2:10pm

    Rico agree totally on Bartley.
    Rico/Oliver, ditto on Jack.
    There’s really no need to rush him back. The problems in the team are in other departments, not midfield..!

  91. Lee

    September 21, 2011 at 2:11pm

    That’s the problem I think Rico, with defenders being with us a while…..they lose there defending mojo!!!

  92. allezkev

    September 21, 2011 at 2:12pm

    Oh no, Rico, you can’t do that.
    Lee really wants to know… 😉

  93. Lee

    September 21, 2011 at 2:12pm


  94. oliver

    September 21, 2011 at 2:13pm

    i’ve never worked a day in football, so what do i know…

    and when things go wrong, he cannot understand why people pile on him…

  95. rico

    September 21, 2011 at 2:16pm

    Chants of Munich…. It’s on Youtube…

  96. rico

    September 21, 2011 at 2:19pm

    He was so good for spells last season though Lee, then he got injured and came back and played dreadful, it’s just doesn’t make sense..

    Maybe he needs to play regular to get his mojo back but that could do more harm to the side than good right now….

  97. Joaquim Moreira

    September 21, 2011 at 2:19pm

    Gasperini (Inter Milan) was sent off today.
    We concede another goal yesterday at home against Shewsbury. With this average, at the end of the season, we probably concede more then 100 goals..
    We are (only)in September… Try to sum the goals concede in the LEague, carling, cup, CL, emirates cup, eusebio cup, frirndly games and you get a “sweet” number,,,
    Good news: nobody were be sent off! A progress in two games

  98. TT

    September 21, 2011 at 2:20pm

    JD just needs some oldfasioned coaching, work with him on the training ground and give hime a exstended run in the reserves. He needs games and someone to work with him 1 on 1.

  99. rico

    September 21, 2011 at 2:21pm

    Half AW’s problem imho is he protects players to much, he needs to start dropping players who perform badly, and stop being such a sentimental old fool…

    These players earn a wage, sorry, get given a wage, now they need to start earning it……

  100. rico

    September 21, 2011 at 2:21pm

    On that note, I have to go off for an hour or so, back later….

  101. rico

    September 21, 2011 at 2:22pm

    😆 JM, laters all

  102. allezkev

    September 21, 2011 at 3:00pm

    Whatever happened to Jadson?????
    KT, your the man….

  103. goonster

    September 21, 2011 at 3:17pm

    wow kev that must have been some night. What year was that? Highbury to me ll always be this mythical place ruled by a king….Yeah you guessed it, king HENRY. God what I would give to have been there during the invisible years. You always know something special is about to happen anytime henry gets the ball. With henry pires and ljunberg we had the best counter attacking team ever. Teams think twice before sending players up for corners against us and the key to that was placing henry close to the centre circle during the corner. Once the ball is in our possession. Then BAM we hit them on the counter. Theo is perfect for that. With his pace most teams won’t bring all their players up for corners. Oh how I missed those days. Those were my earliest memories as a gooner. It ll stay with me forever. At least I get to beat my chest to my children and say” we once went undefeated for the entire season”. COYGs!

  104. allezkev

    September 21, 2011 at 3:20pm

    Hello Stan. 1987-88 season. We got to Wembley and lost to Luton Town.
    I was so gutted, as we should have won 4-1.

  105. Micko

    September 21, 2011 at 3:35pm

    The gus caeser cup final, all he had to do was kick the ball anywhere into the crowd and we would have won, after missing a penalty in the final winterburn said he would never take another penalty for us again, think he was true to his word.

  106. W.A.T.H

    September 21, 2011 at 3:45pm

    I didn’t enjoy the Luton game AK, Mr Ceasar et al………..!

  107. W.A.T.H

    September 21, 2011 at 4:00pm

    We had more Arsenal in the Luton end than they did….!
    The Semi was a bit special AK, went the first leg as well but the CE for the 2nd leg was mad…! Still can;t beat the yids away seni replay mate…. best game ever for me….! 2nd would be Everton 98 to win the league… The Wigna game Stan last ever was surreal it was just very strange knowing that you’d never be going into the Old Girl ever again….! A part of us will always be at Highbury…!

  108. W.A.T.H

    September 21, 2011 at 4:15pm

    Oh and superb write up Oliver……!

    What did i tell you AK, stubbornarse would make that liability djourou captian….. what a joke…! Laughable…!

    Him and fabianski 4 the first goal dumb and dumber both looking at each other after the fella has nipped in and scored…! And we dont need a defensive coach eh arsene…. no of course not….!

  109. goonster

    September 21, 2011 at 4:15pm

    The game that stands out in my first season as a gooner was seeing barthez clowning about and handing us all three points…..I remember laughing my ass off. Great times,huh?

  110. W.A.T.H

    September 21, 2011 at 4:20pm

    We were one nil down at half time in that game Stan i think and then Barthez decided to give us a couple of presents… gratefully accepted of course…! lol

  111. Rockyrocastle07

    September 21, 2011 at 4:24pm

    Great times Goonster! As good as the Grove is, I’d give anything to be back at Highbury. My first time there was when I was 13, watching us beat Villa 5-0 (platt had to go in goal for them) in 1991. That gave me the bug. Getting cheap tickets (about £5) as a Junior Gunner, then slipping round the corner barriers to stand in the North Bank! As a 13 year old, being in with and singing with all the grown ups felt amazing!! It’s just not the same

  112. goonster

    September 21, 2011 at 4:24pm

    Yeah WATH……henry scored the easiest goal he ll ever score for arsenal when barthez dropped the ball at his feet. I can still see the scowl on fergusnose’s face and the horror on barthez’s. Ahhhhh those were the days.

  113. Rockyrocastle07

    September 21, 2011 at 4:26pm

    W.A.T.H / Goonster

    Was that the match when, after Henry mugged him off, Barthez yanked his shorts up and basically gave himself a wedgie?!

  114. Joaquim Moreira

    September 21, 2011 at 4:27pm

    Cups and Arsenal do not get along very well.
    This year (2011) we lost the Carling Cup. Emirates Cup and the Eusebio Cup
    If you want to establish the relationship between the clubs with more appearances in the finals of the domestic Cups and who lost the most (FA Cup and Carling Cup), Arsenal appears at the top in both.
    The presence in relation to the final in the Champions League and the Cup Winners’ Cup is not encouraging too.And in the League, in last 15th-20th years, we have been frequently in the podium but in the lower places.

  115. goonster

    September 21, 2011 at 4:29pm

    You and me rocky…..I never did. Would give anything to be back there. The grove has never felt like home to me. Feels like when we were playing our CL games at wembley! Ashburton groove is a ghost town compared to a rollicking highbury. Bring back the good times I say.

  116. goonster

    September 21, 2011 at 4:33pm

    That’s the game WATH…..LMAO. What a game.

  117. W.A.T.H

    September 21, 2011 at 4:33pm

    Thats the game Rocky…… Barthez “gave” us two goals it was great and yep then pulled his own shorts up his crack lol

  118. Rockyrocastle07

    September 21, 2011 at 4:35pm

    I’d tried to erase the memory of those catastrophic Champions League matches at Wembley! Only went to 2 to be honest – Dynamo Kiev and Fiorentina. Wish I never bothered with either!

  119. goonster

    September 21, 2011 at 4:35pm

    Rocky I remember watching that clip over and over. Its priceless.

  120. Rockyrocastle07

    September 21, 2011 at 4:36pm

    That’s it WATH. Shitty kick straight to Henry and then dropping it at his feet. Twat! It’s always great to laugh at United! Sadly, not something we’re able to do that much at the moment.

  121. Micko

    September 21, 2011 at 4:50pm

    JM, we haven’t always been one of the luckiest clubs when it comes to winning semi-finals and finals, I remember reading a really good article a while back comparing us with Atletico madrid (I think it was them) appartently they have a very similar record to us when its comes to winning finals, they have also been very unlucky.

  122. oliver

    September 21, 2011 at 4:59pm

    afternoon all…i see gibbs is the latest to roll out the soundbytes: “we just have to stand up and be counted…”

    i think we have needed to stand up and be counted since the opening kickoff, but have failed to consistently do so…that hasn’t stopped the manager and players from saying the same general thing over and over again – too bad they haven’t been able to actually put it into practice…

    i still think our players/manager would be better served by not discussing it, and just focusing on putting things right…

  123. Rockyrocastle07

    September 21, 2011 at 5:03pm

    Hi Oliver

    Agreed. How many more people are going to come out and say the same old tired soundbytes? If Wenger or one more player comes out after yet another shocking display and states that they will “learn from the mistakes and move on”, and then go on to produce the same mistake game in, game out I’m going to hunt them down!

  124. Micko

    September 21, 2011 at 5:08pm

    Agreed oliver, we’d respect them much more if they just done their talking on the pitch, either that or send them off to boot camp.

  125. oliver

    September 21, 2011 at 5:11pm

    hi rocky…i do not doubt they are trying everything they can to put this right – and i think that arsene and the players are absolutely hurting from the recent results…but surely they don’t need to say the same sort of thing – “we are going to learn from this”, “we have to stand up to be counted”, etc – again and again…results, form and confidence are still not where they need to be, so perhaps they can help themselves by keeping quiet and taking care of business…the more they say these things, the more pressure they heap on themselves after each successive dismal performance/loss…

  126. oliver

    September 21, 2011 at 5:15pm

    hi micko…my memory may not be completely accurate, but i seem to recall late last season, when we were in freefall and the pressure was intense, that arsene and the players stayed mum for a solid week…no quotes, no nothing…and at the end of the week, they went to bloomfield road and won their first match – in any competition – in some two months…

    of course, that may only be how i remember it…i am as fallible as anyone and i know there have been instances where i have remembered certain events in a mnner to fit my narrative…

    still, does anyone remember when the manager/players went mum late last season, and what happened in the subsequent match?

  127. Rockyrocastle07

    September 21, 2011 at 5:15pm

    I know what you’re saying Oliver. They know the absolute minimum we expect from them after they mess up is that they will work harder to try and eradicate that from their game. We don’t need to be told what they are doing. It really seems like they are only trying to say what they think we want to hear. Everyone would be happpier if, like you say, they kept quiet and went about it without the constant fanfares. You’re spot on by saying the minute they say this stuff, people will be looking out to see if what they said has happened. If they kept quiet, and the mistakes went away, everyone would be pleasently suprised!

  128. Micko

    September 21, 2011 at 5:23pm

    Joey Barton is now saying he was pretty close to signing for arsenal, the gerv incident ended any chances of it happening, thank gawd for that.

  129. Rockyrocastle07

    September 21, 2011 at 5:24pm

    Barton is such a tool

  130. Micko

    September 21, 2011 at 5:31pm

    Yeah a real plank, qpr were probably the only team to come in for him in the end, i think he was hoping and waiting for a bigger club but it didn’t happen.

  131. allezkev

    September 21, 2011 at 5:32pm

    Hey Wath, missed ya again….
    Yeah Everton 98 was a blast.
    Do you remember the Upper Tier at the North Bank actually bouncing…
    That was a bit scarey.
    I went to the league game at The Slum that year [87] but the scummers were like rabid animals after the game and i swore i wouldn’t go back again.
    The atmoshere at the Park Lane End was mental.

  132. goonster

    September 21, 2011 at 5:42pm

    Have you guys seen the alvarez to arsenal…..crazy ain’t it.

  133. allezkev

    September 21, 2011 at 5:45pm

    Extended highlights:

  134. oliver

    September 21, 2011 at 5:48pm

    that’s barton – always has to read about himself…

    i saw the thing on alvarez yesterday…with gasperini sacked today, i would imagine any such potential moves would be on hold until the new boss is installed and has a chance to assess the squad…from what i hear, ranieri is the bookies favorite, at least for now…i imagine ancelloti – acm links and all – will get some run as well..

  135. rico

    September 21, 2011 at 5:53pm

    Evening guys and gals….

  136. rico

    September 21, 2011 at 5:54pm

    In your Dreams Barton!!!!

  137. W.A.T.H

    September 21, 2011 at 5:55pm

    I was there the 87 league game as well AK, was always fun down there in the 80’s n 90’s nothing like it, never misssed one, great days out, Gazza and the mars bars….. the 86 centenery game in the rain, the lge cup games when Charlie scored 2 and we decided to have a bonfine in the seats…. mad days mate..! The 87 semi was like nothing else ever for atmosphere and the Parklane was so full and we even then had a few thousand in the shelf as well cos we had thousands locked outside…!

  138. Micko

    September 21, 2011 at 5:59pm

    rico, did you read the article, being above us is nothing to brag about at the moment, most teams are, we’ll just have to put him straight new years eve providing we can keep all our players on the pitch.

  139. allezkev

    September 21, 2011 at 6:01pm

    I went to the two semi-finals at Wembley with the scummers Wath, that second game was like a pressure cooker.
    I did go to the Slum once more to be honest, when we had two players sent-off and still outplayed them.
    Didn’t deserve to lose that night.
    1999 i think?

  140. Micko

    September 21, 2011 at 6:16pm

    Wath / kev, I was at the lane in 87 as well, as stupid as it sounds we used to go into the tottenham end to get in and the police would escort us down to the away end, looking back it was a crazy thing to do but many fans did it, it was sometimes the only way you could get in to see the game and charlie always put the ball in the tottenham net.

  141. oliver

    September 21, 2011 at 6:17pm

    red arse, if you come on here today, the nyg just announced that wr domenik hixon will miss the remainder of the season. he tore the acl in his right knee making that juggling circus td catch against the rams in the second quarter…for hixon, this is the second consecutive year that acl has ended his season – he tore it in the 2010 pre-season and missed all of last year…now, two games in, he has done the same ligament with the same result…

    the giant injuries are really starting to resemble arsenal proportions from the past several seasons…i think hixon is the sixth player they have lost for the season already…

    osi may be able to suit up in philadelphia on sunday…that will be good news…

  142. rico

    September 21, 2011 at 6:22pm

    Which article is that Micko, haven’t seen it…

  143. Micko

    September 21, 2011 at 6:27pm

    It was on the bbc sports web page rico, cutting and pasting ain’t my specialality.

  144. rico

    September 21, 2011 at 6:30pm

    i will go see if i can find it Micko

  145. W.A.T.H

    September 21, 2011 at 6:54pm

    It was always a good laugh in the shelf Micko 😉 (( was when Keown and Freddie got sent off AK…? Yep wasn’t a great game to lose and we were properly stitched up…! Old trafford semi was also the nuts…! Also agree though AK that 2nd semi at wembley was the longest 90mins ever…. the stress was bad news never ever have i wanted a game over with so quickly didnt enjoy hated the wait but loved the result 😉

  146. Micko

    September 21, 2011 at 6:59pm

    Thats the one rico, I think he may be telling porkies re the wenger conversations, it was never a goer if you ask me.
    Wath, well we lived to tell the stories didn’t we !
    Catch you all tomorrow.

  147. allezkev

    September 21, 2011 at 7:16pm

    Yeah Wath, i went to OT…
    Funnily enough i never felt worried during that game, even when we were 1-0 down.
    Should have smashed them that day….

  148. rico

    September 21, 2011 at 7:17pm

    He’s a liar through and through Micko, Wenger will soon deny that b****x of a story…..
    Night Micko….

  149. rico

    September 21, 2011 at 7:27pm

    I’m having an early one tonight guys, got a few things I have to get done :(

    Catch you all tomorrow, have a good evening …..

    Night all…..

  150. W.A.T.H

    September 21, 2011 at 8:22pm

    Am with you on the OT semi AK, never once was I bothered…! Bobby was wearing Rocky’s lucky shirt…. 7…!

    Night Rico, cheers Micko…. Suppose your off as well AK so I’ll bid u a good evening and chat 2moro.

  151. oliver

    September 21, 2011 at 8:30pm

    city 2-0 up on that lot – what’s left of them – who we threw the cup away against this past february…

    easy come, easy go…

  152. allezkev

    September 21, 2011 at 8:38pm

    I’m still about Wath.
    Fancy some more ‘All Our Yesterdays’…. :)

    Oliver, Chavs had a goal disallowed for off-side.
    Sturridge who scored it [good player] is off with a hamstring…

  153. Joaquim Moreira

    September 21, 2011 at 8:38pm

    Why we want Barton ?
    Micko, A. Madrid have been a little bit unlucky but you must think also in the team before them the Atletico de la Aviación. Instead, they won I think 9 Leagues and be the 2nd other 9 times; they won 9 cups, and lost 9; they won 3 or more european competitions and lost 3, they have been in one Intercontinental cup and won. It’s not vety good but it’s positive. Arsenal have been in three cups this year and lost all. And w reflect in the more important competitions inside and outside, the balance it’s negative. Our neighbours for instance, have much more profit.

  154. oliver

    September 21, 2011 at 8:53pm

    chelsea now down to 10 with alex sent off…fulham wasted the pen, however…

  155. allezkev

    September 21, 2011 at 8:54pm

    JM, since 1968, Arsenal have been 24 domestic & european cup finals, and lost 13 of them.
    And look at some of the teams Arsenal have lost to; Swindon Town, Luton Town, West Ham, Birmingham, Ipswich Town, Zaragoza, Galatasaray… all giants of the world game…..!

  156. allezkev

    September 21, 2011 at 8:55pm

    Chavs have reserve goalie on Oliver..?

  157. allezkev

    September 21, 2011 at 8:56pm

    Hargreaves scored for Shittie. hmm

  158. oliver

    September 21, 2011 at 8:59pm

    cech started for them tonight…avb named a mixed side for tonight, several first-teamers in it…

  159. allezkev

    September 21, 2011 at 9:12pm

    I’m offski Oliver. A bit knackered.
    Great post btw. Goodnight mate.

  160. oliver

    September 21, 2011 at 9:19pm

    valencia just went 1-0 up on barca at the mestalla…apparently they are crediting abidal with an own-goal…valencia are currently top of the table – and this after losing mata over the summer – it would be something if they won…

    so much for that…pedro equalized while i was typing the above…

  161. oliver

    September 21, 2011 at 9:28pm

    valencia back in front…

    i think barcelona have always been vulnerable against sides who can get a fair amount of possession and take the chances the come their way…

  162. Joaquim Moreira

    September 21, 2011 at 9:41pm

    Allez, so I’m right and perplex.

  163. rico

    September 22, 2011 at 9:18am

    New Post Up…

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