Mental fatigue, tiredness and a hangover to blame……..

It isn’t the first let-down we have had following a big mid-week result, and it certainly won’t be the last. Having won our Champions League group and qualified for the knockout stages a few days ago, this match – at home against one of the lower-half sides – was an opportunity to rotate a few of our players, while hopefully still getting three points to continue our league momentum.

As soon as the final whistle went on Wednesday night, speculation abounded that we should change some of the side for this match; we all speculated about just how many changes Arsene would make.

As it was, Arsene kept the rotation to a minimum. JD started at right back for Kos, and other than Arsh in for Gerv, we lined up the same as recently: Ches, JD, Mert, TV, Santos, Arteta, Song, Ramsey, Arsh, Robin, and Theo.

Fab, Kos, Diaby, Frim, Gerv, Benny and Chamakh comprised our bench…

We had the late afternoon kickoff today, and started the day in our now customary seventh place. In the mid-afternoon kickoff, Spuds and Chelsea both won and Man United and Newcastle drew in a match that had absolutely everything.

This meant that a big win could potentially move us to fourth, ahead of Chelsea and Newcastle (on goal difference). With Liverpool hosting leaders Man City today, we certainly expected to move at least into sixth.

Fulham got the match underway, and almost immediately it was apparent that something was not quite right. To use an oft-quoted Arsene-ism, we “lacked a bit of sharpness”…

That is not to say we didn’t create anything – in the fourth minute, Arsh put the ball in the net after collecting Robin’s fine through ball, but was correctly flagged offside…Then a few minutes later, Schwarzer just got a hand up to claw Ramsey’s goal-bound chip away after more good set-up work from Robin…Ramsey then fired high from a good position.

Despite these chances, we didn’t seem to have that much spark. We were patient, almost seeming to think “don’t worry, the goal will come”, and we also seemed to take heavy touches, and misplace plenty of passes.

Fulham didn’t threaten much early, and didn’t get a shot off until around 20 minutes in, when Zamora fired over Szczesny’s cross-bar. Theo then forced Schwarzer to block at his near post. We forced a series of corners, but were unable to do anything with them.

Shortly before the half hour, Santos earned the first booking, handling the ball as attempted to stop Ruiz. Zamora kept yapping at referee Dean, who booked him, then gestured for him to “zip it” and get back to the task at hand. A couple of minutes later, we had a bit of a scare when TV blocked the ball with his knee, went down and then got up gingerly, favoring the knee. Fortunately, it was nothing and he was fine within a minute or so…

The pattern continued until the last few minutes of the half. Perhaps the most excitement was a cameo of Jack (Wilshere), showing off his white iPhone 4G/S from his seat in the stands. Just before the 45 minute mark, Fulham brought the ball into our area, and our defenders converged around Dempsey, who picked out Dembele, umarked near the right corner of goal. The latter took a touch and drew a fine, diving save from Szczesny. That was the best chance of the match until the first (only minute of stoppage time), where Etuhu was booked for fouling Arteta, and Mert headed the free kick narrowly wide.

The whistle went just a couple of seconds later and the half ended as it started: 0-0.

We did not make any changes at the interval and got the second half underway. Fulham started quicker and forced a couple of corners, which we cleared comfortably. We slowly built pressure, and right at the hour mark, should have gone ahead. Arteta picked our captain out, who brought the ball into the box and shot across Schwarzer, the ball headed for the far (left) corner, but Baird got back to clear the ball off the line. A few minutes later, Robin burst into the box, and went down. There were several minutes before a replay, but when I saw it, I thought Dean made the right call (no pen).

We have conceded goals from an ascendant position before, and it happened again on 64 minutes. Murphy put the ball into our box, former Liverpool defender Riise chested it down, and TV slid in to clear, but instead steered the ball past Szczesny, and into our net.

Within two minutes, Zamora thought he doubled Fulham’s lead with a smart finish; instead, he was (correctly) flagged offside during the build-up.

Arsene had seen enough, and responded by bringing Ramsey and Mert off, for Diaby and Gerv. While Song officially replaced Mert at the center of defence, although his role was fluid enough for us to resemble a 3-3-4 or 4-2-4, depending upon what he needed to do at the moment.

Going behind gave us a (belated) sense of urgency, and Diaby and Gerv both proved more direct and more willing to run at the Fulham defence. We forced a corner and JD produced a powerful, point-blank header, which Schwarzer brilliantly saved. We pressed for another and Fulham made the fatal mistake of letting us come at them. Chamakh replaced Arsh with 15 minutes to go, and seven minutes later, we drew level.

Theo made the goal, whipping in a great cross (one of several good crosses he put in today), from the right flank. Chamakh jumped for it and didn’t reach it, but TV was on hand to head the ball into the bottom left hand corner. Cue huge sighs of relief all around…

We pressed for the winner, with Gerv and Theo shooting directly at Schwarzer when each had time and space to do better. Three minutes from time, there was a shout for handball inside the Fulham box. Replays showed hit either Dempsey’s arm or chest – either way it looked inadvertent and not a pen.

As the match moved into stoppage time, Fulham pressed for a late winner. They forced two quick corners, and as sub Kasami tried to play keep ball in our corner, Chamakh deftly robbed him, swapped passes with Robin and Gerv. The move broke down, but we were still able to force a corner, from which Robin fired wide. In the fourth minute of stoppage time, Fulham broke and Dempsey brought the ball into our area. We cleared before he could line a shot up for find another white shirt, and that was that.

At the end of the day, a point isn’t too bad in the grand scheme of things. We were never going to win every game, and this performance – if not result – was probably due. After the match, Arsene conceded the players had a “hangover” from the midweek win over Dortmund, and I think that was certainly evident.

The hangover was not the entire story, Fulham deserve full credit for making this one difficult and getting a deserved point here. They coped well with most of what we threw at them early on, created a couple of chances and grabbed the lead in slightly fortuitous circumstances. Even when we equalized, they were resilient enough to hold on for a point.

So we’ll have to make do with the point. Should Man City beat Liverpool tomorrow, we’ll remain in sixth. If the home side claims at least a point, we’ll probably find ourselves back in seventh. We have Man City in the Carling Cup on Tuesday, another chance to rotate…

On the subject of rotation, after the win over Dortmund, I expressed the hope that Arsene would rotate only as necessary, and minimize the changes in order to ensure we get a result today. This match served as a reminder to me that I have the luxury of making those comments from here; Arsene and our coaching staff have to make these decisions based on how the players look in action and training. If yesterdays collective performance is anything to go by, we have several players who can use a breather – or will need a rest break before they start to look jaded.

We have the Carling Cup tie, which as much as I would like to win, I think we now have to prioritize rotation. Then we have the dead rubber CL tie at Piraeus the following week, another opportunity to switch things up. I still think we should try and ensure we can field a good mix of first teamers and squad/youth players but judging from today’s performance, I now think giving our key players a break is most important.

With two matches, perhaps we can do it.

We’ll see how Arsene approaches Tuesday’s tie. We won’t know whether yesterdays result is good or bad in the grand scheme, until later in the season. For now, I will characterize it as not the best result, certainly not the worst, but overall a fair one. We’ve been on a good run over the past several weeks, so this result is not the end of the world.

We just have to be careful to put this behind us and get back to winning quickly. If not Tuesday in the Cup, then certainly on the weekend up at Wigan.

Written by Oliver

189 thoughts on “Mental fatigue, tiredness and a hangover to blame……..

  1. rico

    November 27, 2011 at 9:31am

    Morning All

    Good write up oliver…

  2. JonJon

    November 27, 2011 at 9:56am

    this is the type of game that we needed to win one nil.
    whats dissapointing is the very typical arsenal way we dropped points..
    another calamitous OG
    not enough depth upfront
    too many wasted corners
    amount of missed chances..

  3. rico

    November 27, 2011 at 10:03am

    Morning jj

    i don’t get why AW doesn’t start with the best, get a couple of goals and then sub players…

    AA was just shocking yet again, started brightly but just disappeared…

    Back down to earth with a big bang… And subs were brought on too late, yet again….

  4. devilgunner

    November 27, 2011 at 10:07am

    Morning Rico.

    Good match report Oliver.

    I saw the game yesterday and concluded that the team was not direct as it was in the last games. The passing was more sideways instead of vertical and diagonal and this allowed the fulham team to cover efficiently. Senderos and co defended a very low line and this made it very difficult to verticalize.

    However the team was not helped in this regard since Arshavin kept cutting inside instead of stretching the defence. Walcott kept out on the right….seems as if Capello has managed to hammer it in his head to go past the defender on the outside instead of the inside. However AA was always drifting inside and this allowed one player to deal with him and RVP.

    I thought that JD looked very good as a right back and this makes it the more important that we get another centreback. I feel that he can be a more than useful right back and kind of think he can make a career there since he is very mobile and knows how to defend. He reminds me of Lauren in the same manner that Jenks reminds me of Dixon. Where that leaves Sagna is anybody’s guess but I think it would be better not to buy another winger, but buy a left back, a centreback and move Jenks to the right wing.

    If only problems were that simple to solve with AW. But why not try it? Jenks and Santos are two good crossers while JD and BS can rotate. Another left back….Vertonghen anyone and Cahill and the defence is ably covered.

    RVP was a touch down on his usual self while Theo kept trying but carried the attack alone. This shows the importance of Gervinho to the attack as Geo,RVP,Theo axis is very important in complementing each other. AA should only be played centrally and its about time AW stopped fitting square pegs in round holes with him. AA can never be a winger full stop. Stick him on the left and he would be a WHINEGER.

  5. devilgunner

    November 27, 2011 at 10:10am

    Just remember this……in the last two years we would have lost such a game as yesterday. So we are much more better off than usual.

    And please those who keep banging on Ramsey should stop it. Remember that when Cesc broke through he was playing exactly as Ramsey is doing now. However Cesc had Vieira, Henry and co to help him. Aaron has no one of that ilk. And secondly Cesc never had to contend with a broken leg.

    So please allow Ramsey to develop… the same manner that Cesc was given time.

  6. JonJon

    November 27, 2011 at 10:21am

    morning rico..
    its still not that bad a result..but we should have won that one..

    the only thing it shows is what many of us have been banging out about even with the good run of form..

    we lack depth up front..a winger and a striker in jan please AW and then we can rotate properly..

  7. rico

    November 27, 2011 at 10:22am

    Morning DG

  8. stevepalmer1

    November 27, 2011 at 10:27am

    Morning ,
    Nice one Oliver, missed the game myself, and your Write ups are just like watching.
    The result was a little disappointing but we can hardly expect to win every week. This result may be a blessing in disguise, it will allow us time to catch our breath and make us realise that Rome wasn’t built in a day, hopefully we can carry on with the good work and still strive towards a top spot.

  9. rico

    November 27, 2011 at 10:28am


    i thought a few players were well off their game yesterday, it was amost like they either thought it was too easy or just couldn’t be bothered. Surely they cannot be tired, they are fit athletes?

    i just don’t get why AW would suggest that…

    And why doesn’t he get off his butt and bark orders to AA to stay wide nd get behind the defence….

    The result is a shocker imho, we were at home and we should have three points

  10. rico

    November 27, 2011 at 10:32am

    And a defender jj..

    Hi Steve, hopefully Rome will be given it’s little touches to complete the building in Jan…..

  11. stevepalmer1

    November 27, 2011 at 10:34am

    Morning Rico, lets hope so

  12. rico

    November 27, 2011 at 10:37am

    I don’t get why our second in form striker wasn’t even on the bench?

    Park can knock them in for his country with ease but doesn’t even make our bench? But Chamakh, who can’t hit a barn door these days does….

  13. devilgunner

    November 27, 2011 at 10:39am

    What I said about the defence still counts. I would still put Santos on the wing, he is better than AA and every time he gets the ball he tries to create something for the others not for himself and does not end up looking a right mug like AA does.

    If AA stuck to the wing like Gervinho does then Santos would have come inside a bit more and offered a triangular option. Instead he cut inside forcing Santos to stay wide and this takes away precious seconds which can spell the difference between the other team’s defence being disorganized or organized.

    Unless we see another triumvirate in the Geo,RVP,Theo mould than we will remain barking up the wrong tree.

  14. rico

    November 27, 2011 at 10:42am

    DG – re Ramsey, I don’t think he and Arteta are right together, don’t know why but they just don’t seem right…

  15. rico

    November 27, 2011 at 10:45am

    Aree re Santos, he is a very dangerous player going forward and has the typical bazilian touch, Vertonghen in Jan and push santos up the field, then no need to buy another winger who would cost a lot more than Verts…..

  16. devilgunner

    November 27, 2011 at 10:47am

    Arteta is covering for Jack. He usually plays in the Cesc role, the same as Aaron does. When Jack comes back he will take Aaron’s place. If Diaby fulfills his promise than we may have a good solid midfield. But we do need AA, Chamack, Rosicky to go. With the money from them plus the money from Squilli, Bendtner, Vela and Denilson AW can buy the necessary players I think.

  17. allezkev

    November 27, 2011 at 10:54am

    Morning Gooners.
    Morning Rico.
    Zzzzzzzzz Oliver. When you wake up. It was another top post.
    DG agree with all you said/wrote.
    All things considered [Dortmund] plus the scarcity of fresh legs in the team, i thought it was a good result and a good performance from a tired team.
    And i also thought that Djourou had a steady game.
    Would still like to see a defender signed in January.
    If it was me, i’d sign two and Henry on a short deal.

  18. allezkev

    November 27, 2011 at 10:57am

    Chamakh actually showed signs of finally coming out of his self~imposed hibernation.
    He looked the sharpest i’ve seen him for almost a year… Very strange situation with that boy?

  19. rico

    November 27, 2011 at 10:57am

    So that puts Ramsey back on the bench, right now i’d much rather see Ramsey or Arteta play alongside Rosicky who imho has found some good form this season, he just can’t last 90 mins….

    Diaby, well my jury is still out on him….

    Jacks return is a long way off yet…..

  20. stevepalmer1

    November 27, 2011 at 11:03am

    Always after a disappointing result, there is talk about new players, how one or two players have not come up to scratch and what tactics could and should have been used. I think its important to realise that a team is comprised from a squad of players and that one team is completely diferent to another, so tactics are used to counteract. We have a pretty good team whoever plays, but whether they all play well on the day is completely chance, the important thing that needs to be looked at is who fits in and who doesn’t, we have a set way that the manager wants us to play, and if this is to work we need like for like players. This is a tall order to ask for, how do you replace a six foot six defender with a five foot nine one, or a left footer with a right footer, thats why as soon as we rest a couple of players the shape of the team goes tits up, i’m afraid that is the nature of football.

  21. allezkev

    November 27, 2011 at 11:05am

    Rico, i thought Arteta had another great game, just sitting in front of the back~four starting moves off and getting in tackles.
    Now there’s a guy who is probably not playing his natural game, yet he still puts in a shift.
    Now why can’t the captain of Russia do likewise???
    You either play for the team. Or.
    You play for yourself…

  22. JonJon

    November 27, 2011 at 11:06am

    id push santos further up..

    a cb would be nice but its not a priority anymore..
    theres other areas of the pitch that need looking at more..
    like goals…

  23. rico

    November 27, 2011 at 11:10am

    I think it’s because games like yesterday expose our depth in strength Steve, Just two changes saw a total different game played and it kind of higlights that when Gerv goes to the ACON, we will miss him…

    Hi AK, I wasn’t suggesting Arteta was awful or anything, just something doesn’t seem right with him and Ramsey in the centre, especailly against teams that play like Fulham did. We just lack a bit of spark, that moment of magic to open a game up when we need it….

  24. rico

    November 27, 2011 at 11:13am

    But we can’t do that unless we get another defender jj, Vertonghen appears the best option as he can play anywhere..

    Him and goalscorer….

  25. allezkev

    November 27, 2011 at 11:16am

    Hi JJ. Fair points, but when Verm went down clutching his leg i had my heart in my mouth.
    I have to say that i would still like another defender as we are still recovering from that awfull start and may have to slog away until March/April before we can feel safe in a top~four position.
    There is so much competition out there for a CL spot.
    And it’s not gonna get any easier anyday soon.

  26. JonJon

    November 27, 2011 at 11:18am

    why cant we do that without getting a defender..??

    gibbs can slot back in at can jenks and TV if needed..

    theres plenty of room to manouvre..just not when it comes to goals..

    priority should be a couple of attackers..gotze or hazard and maybe henry short term..drogba or berbatov in the last 6months…

  27. devilgunner

    November 27, 2011 at 11:20am

    Steve, not exactly after a disappointing regarding new players. We have been banging the drum for some to be replaced and new ones bought even after we licked the chavs for five. Its there in front of us. AK said that while Arteta plays for the team albeit out of position it might point to the question why shouldnt AA do likewise. The fact is that AA does not want to be there. Simple. He does not want to play 4-3-3 as a winger which does not suit him. So either play him throught he middle or else sell him. Its not fair on the player. I have always been honest with my players and have never regretted it.

  28. devilgunner

    November 27, 2011 at 11:22am

    Hiya AK. You ok mate?

    That was a strong shot that TV05 blocked with his knee. Imagine if that ball hit the bells……..we would have heard the transiberian orchestra playing Carol of the bells. 😆

  29. allezkev

    November 27, 2011 at 11:23am

    I didn’t think you was knocking Arteta Rico, i was just making a point boss… :-)
    I’ve watched Mikel live twice this week and think he does a great job.
    But he isn’t playing the role he played at Everton.
    I’d like to see Benny play a bit more also Rico i agree your remarks on Rosicky.
    The rumours of a bid in the region of £4.5m from a German team, sounds good business considering his contract situation. But i kinda hope he stays.

  30. EastSidePaul

    November 27, 2011 at 11:24am

    For me Diaby is a starter, the guy can cover the ground, great feet, just needs to release the ball quicker. I think Ramsey needs a bit of bench time.

    Rico I was wondering if you have ever thought of developing an HH app for iPhone and Droid phones? Where people can read up on HH and leave comments?

  31. stevepalmer1

    November 27, 2011 at 11:27am

    I do believe that JJ has a point, when you look at the side bar and see who has been doing the scoreing you can see that we are well below par, our attackers may be assisting but they are not stepping forward with goals, I personally am still not convinced of our defensive qualities and would like to see a couple of quality players but without question we need fire power. Wenger is not useing some of the new players he brought , so they must feature in his plans for later but we need a quality striker now, so i would suggest a left back a centre back and a good backup keeper.

  32. allezkev

    November 27, 2011 at 11:27am

    Hi DG. I’m good thanks.
    Gotta go to work now.

  33. EastSidePaul

    November 27, 2011 at 11:30am

    I wonder why Wenger spent the guts of 15m for Oxo and he doesn’t even make the bench? Or get a visa for Ryo and he doesn’t make the bench either!

    I still think we need improvements all over the pitch. I still don’t believe we have two midfielders capable of playing on their own in the middle to free up a position to add an out and out striker.

  34. rico

    November 27, 2011 at 11:34am

    jj, for the reason AK points out, added to that, Gibbs is seldom fit… Just think we are always playing one injury away from being in trouble each game and that applies to both up front and in defence…

    Jenks may be able to play anywhere accross the back but he’s out, and when he returns he needs to play RB…

  35. rico

    November 27, 2011 at 11:36am

    AK’s comment about TV i mean jj 😉 My heart was in my mouth too :(

  36. stevepalmer1

    November 27, 2011 at 11:37am

    Yeh good points Devil, personally Arsh would have gone a couple of years ago if i had my way, i know lots still think he will regain his form, whether he plays in the right position or not should not be a reason to give the ball away or fade away like he does, he needs outing so we are not tempted to play him

  37. rico

    November 27, 2011 at 11:37am

    Esp, I don’t know what that is or how to do it, I assumed you just needed the internet on your mobile phone – help 😉

  38. rico

    November 27, 2011 at 11:41am

    When is Sagna due back??

  39. EastSidePaul

    November 27, 2011 at 11:43am

    Well, I guess you could! I just thought an app would be a nice touch! Its not so difficult! I think I might have a go of it over Christmas, see what I can do!

  40. stevepalmer1

    November 27, 2011 at 11:52am

    Running a football team must be one of the hardest things to do, a young guy breaks his leg and will be out for a year what do you do. let him recover and hopefully he will come back better, pay him off and replace him, keep him and buy another, when you see players like Vermaelen and remember he was out for a season comes back and breaks down and is out for more months and when he finally comes back, everytime he goes down you have to take a deep breath, with Eduardo he came back but had lost his mojo, Ramsey comes back and tries his hardest but will he ever be the player he was, Maybe Jack will come back completely diferent too. what do you do. tough one eh.

  41. JonJon

    November 27, 2011 at 11:56am

    same can be said for when rvp goes down..
    only we have koz and big per who can cover for TV..

    who covers for rvp??

    thats where the money needs to be spent…upfront..

    we dont have unlimited funds so we have to prioritise what we atcually need

    besides, i dont really want another defender from another league…they take time to settle…unless its cahill or samba i dont think we need anyone..

  42. EastSidePaul

    November 27, 2011 at 12:03pm

    JJ- Cahill or Samba would be a perfect fit, I have always thought buying defenders from within the league is the only way to do it, already experienced and well adapted to the “style” of play.

    Would anyone argue with putting Walcott up front with RVP for 10 games and seeing what comes of that?

  43. alan b'stard M P

    November 27, 2011 at 12:07pm

    eveining/morning all

    Oh well, Spurs & Chelsea were the winners yesterday. not Man U, or us, or Newcastle

    I reckon they could play a full strength side more often. I have no interest in Euro competitions and wish they dump that circus and concentrate on EPL and play the better team more often

  44. JonJon

    November 27, 2011 at 12:07pm

    if you look at the whole picture we have loads of defenders and loads of midfielders who are competing for a first team spot and doing well…
    even with long term injuries to sagna, TV and jack weve still been able to cover and qualify from our cl group and battle back to top 6..

    however the front three have zero competition. and come jan i think it would be best to adress that issue rather than throw pennies at more players in positions we already have cover..were just backing up the backups for the sake of it but thats what the young players are for..

    if vertonghen comes in then fair enough but if vertonghen comes in at the expense of a striker i wont be happy..

    its a difficult balancing act but attackers have to be the priority..

  45. rico

    November 27, 2011 at 12:08pm

    Esp, if I knew how to do it, I would but I just about get around wordpress 😉

  46. alan b'stard M P

    November 27, 2011 at 12:09pm


    Doesn’t Walcott prefer up front anyway?

    I like English defenders, but I hope AW will buy in January. He says he won’t

  47. rico

    November 27, 2011 at 12:11pm

    jj – we need both but if i had to chose one it would always be a striker first.. then a defender and that would be enough for this jan imho….

    then, finally get rid of the likes of AA, Nik and co

  48. alan b'stard M P

    November 27, 2011 at 12:11pm

    rico says:
    November 27, 2011 at 11:41 am

    When is Sagna due back??

    Ask his hair stylist 😀

  49. Lee

    November 27, 2011 at 12:30pm

    Fucking hell Gary speed is dead!!

  50. rico

    November 27, 2011 at 12:32pm

    Afternoon alan, thats funny :)

  51. terry

    November 27, 2011 at 12:35pm

    this is wht we should do in the transfer window…
    sell chamak and get Roberto Soldado… if possible…. he has a very unique style of playing he can play 1 upfront.
    arshavin has been pretty off form… but his replacement is not gotze…im not sure if we really need him… hazard though would be just perfect … a 25m+ arshavin for hazard would be a good deal.
    rosicky can be sold in the window as well… with german clubs willing to buy him and wilsahre who is back from injury can take his spot… i would give diaby a one last chance if he cannot step up and avoid getting injured he should be off this summer.

    in the summer sell vela and nikki b get cambell back..
    send mayachi on loan to a newly promoted premier league club…
    sell squillachi and replace him with bartley…
    send miquell on loan to a championship club.

    this way the players going out would be :
    rosicky, vela, chamak, nikki b, arshavin, squillachi, almunia, denielson

    players coming in:
    Roberto Soldado, cambell (loan), hazard (or any other winger who is direct and can dribble past players), bartley (loan).

    we also need to reschedule wellingtons loan….
    i dont know if it is possible but we should loan wellington sliva, pedro botelho and galindo to the same team … all 3 arsenal lonees.. could be good for them.

  52. rico

    November 27, 2011 at 12:38pm

    Bloody hell Lee, 42 years old…….

  53. Lee

    November 27, 2011 at 12:38pm

    How sad is that? :(

  54. devilgunner

    November 27, 2011 at 12:39pm

    What is the cause?? No answer has yet been given!!!

  55. rico

    November 27, 2011 at 12:40pm

    That is just awful shocking news, a lovely man and a great footballer…. so so sad….

  56. rico

    November 27, 2011 at 12:42pm

    No cause revealed but police were called to his home at 7am this morning and a man was found hanged….. no suspicious circs….

  57. Lee

    November 27, 2011 at 12:43pm

    Suicide apparently!!!

  58. rico

    November 27, 2011 at 12:49pm

    Very very sad Lee, you would think a man like him would have everything in life…..

  59. JonJon

    November 27, 2011 at 12:57pm

    RIP gary speed

    im in shock

  60. rico

    November 27, 2011 at 12:58pm

    Stunned jj, just stunned…. I bet Ramsey is in bits….

  61. Easterngooner

    November 27, 2011 at 1:00pm

    Anyone worried that Spurs are now 5 pts ahead of us with a game in hand?

  62. JonJon

    November 27, 2011 at 1:02pm

    speed was one of the nicest footballing blokes in the game..

    truly sad day…

  63. rico

    November 27, 2011 at 1:05pm

    Hi Eastern, very…..

    can’t get my head round it really jj, he’s been doing so well with wales and seemed so happy in his i/v’s – def one of the nicer folk in the game…..

    why on earth…..

  64. stevepalmer1

    November 27, 2011 at 1:14pm

    Must admit i feel for his family, but cannot condone the misery that he will leave behind. They are saying that should the games today go ahead. He made the decision himself for whatever reasons selfish. and of course the games should go ahead.

  65. alan b'stard M P

    November 27, 2011 at 1:24pm

    Easterngooner says:
    November 27, 2011 at 1:00 pm

    Anyone worried that Spurs are now 5 pts ahead of us with a game in hand?

    yes eg Very, plus our GD is bad

  66. rico

    November 27, 2011 at 1:28pm

    That’s probably why they are going ahead Steve, because of the circs of his death….

  67. JonJon

    November 27, 2011 at 1:34pm

    suicides a difficult topic to cover..
    i think its a mental illness more than have to be really poorly in the head to take your own life and leave everything you love behind..
    the reason i think its an illness is because the cross section of ppl who do it varies from the ppl who have nothing to the ppl who have everything..someone who may have lost his job, his family, his house all in one go maybe more suspectable to doing it than someone like gary speed for example..but it dont always work out that just dont know, you cant identify it that easy on the outside..until its too late…

  68. JonJon

    November 27, 2011 at 1:35pm

    im not worried about spurs yet..we aint even half way thru the season..
    weve got ground to cover yes but worried at this stage no..

  69. stevepalmer1

    November 27, 2011 at 1:42pm

    Well said JJ on both counts

  70. oliver

    November 27, 2011 at 2:10pm

    morning all and thanks for the comments…

    rip, gary speed…

  71. rico

    November 27, 2011 at 2:14pm

    Don’t know if you guys have watched ‘the biggest loser’ – the weight loss programme, well the fitness guru on there jumped from beachy head two days ago, she too was only 42…..

  72. rico

    November 27, 2011 at 2:17pm

    hi oliver, kind of numbed the day really…..

  73. stevepalmer1

    November 27, 2011 at 2:23pm

    Looks like 42 is a dodgy age Rico, Glad i wont see that age again. Just seen Bobby Gould on the tele age can surely be unkind thats for sure

  74. agirlagunner

    November 27, 2011 at 2:34pm

    Speechless about Gary Speed. RIP!

    As ever oliver, you write the most detailed match reports! Another good one, sir. If we had shown the drive we did in the last ten or fifteen minutes when the second half started, I’m sure we’d have won, but that’s all just wishful thinking now. I think now’s as good a time as any for Chamakh to stand up and be counted. He’s had all the rest possibly needed to sort out whatever issues he may be dealing with.

    rico, I went to see a dog show; the nationals for boxers. What beautiful dogs. :)

  75. goonster

    November 27, 2011 at 2:43pm

    Goddamn you ll think we lost we you lot moaning. Now everybody thinks we need a new CB! Can you guys just chill relax and go get a drink. Its sunday for pete’s sake……and hey I attended a church service today for the first time today. So am all goody goody people. Anyway the lads made me proud. The last ten minutes was sometime I ll like to see from them regularly. COYGs

  76. goonster

    November 27, 2011 at 2:43pm

    Goddamn you ll think we lost we you lot moaning. Now everybody thinks we need a new CB! Can you guys just chill relax and go get a drink. Its sunday for pete’s sake……and hey I attended a church service today for the first time today. So am all goody goody people. Anyway the lads made me proud. The last ten minutes was sometime I ll like to see from them regularly. COYGs

  77. rico

    November 27, 2011 at 2:43pm

    You and me both Steve, that number has long gone…

    Hi agag, boxers sure are lovely dogs, great fun too, best you had a fab time…

  78. goonster

    November 27, 2011 at 2:44pm

    Oops sorry for the double post rico…..

  79. rico

    November 27, 2011 at 2:45pm

    goonster – we should have started playing the way we did in the last ten minutes, had we done so we would have won….

  80. goonster

    November 27, 2011 at 2:52pm

    I know rico but we did play a high tempo game on Wednesday. The lads were visibly tired. I ve never seen anyone own song yesterday like dembele did. Men that is one player. Am over my granero loving. Let’s get dembele instead. What a player.

  81. agirlagunner

    November 27, 2011 at 2:52pm

    For someone who went to Church, you sure are using the Lord’s name in vain, goonster!! 😀

    A female brindle won the top prize. I’m thinking of getting a new pet as my Christmas gift to self, rico. 😉 It’s not as if we don’t already run a mini zoo, so I still have to think about it.

  82. goonster

    November 27, 2011 at 2:54pm

    Awwwwww its my girl agag. How re you doing little mama? Besides I slept all through the sermon.

  83. rico

    November 27, 2011 at 2:56pm

    goonster, they are athletes, they shouldn’t be tired after 90 minutes of football…..

  84. rico

    November 27, 2011 at 2:57pm

    Go get one agag, a dog in the home is a must :)

  85. goonster

    November 27, 2011 at 2:58pm

    I had a pet birdie once…..can’t remember what it was anymore. Strange isn’t it? Anyway it always seem to get to my pepperoni pizza before me so I bashed it in the head with a wheel spanner and it died! Crazy little creature.

  86. agirlagunner

    November 27, 2011 at 2:59pm

    I’m well, goonster. Sure you went to Church and not a pub though? 😀

    So Barcelona lost last night. Hmmm. Good!!

  87. STV

    November 27, 2011 at 2:59pm

    Gary speed was a great footballer.. About 600 premire league matches !!

  88. goonster

    November 27, 2011 at 3:01pm

    Question, mama bear? Have you ever played footie?

  89. agirlagunner

    November 27, 2011 at 3:05pm

    rico, we already have three dogs, remember? And five cats. I’m thinking of a boxer now or a chow chow or a choco lab.

    goonster 😯

  90. goonster

    November 27, 2011 at 3:05pm

    Nah agag it was definitely a church. Am a new man now. Transformed if I may say so myself. No more liquor for me…..maybe I ll sneak a swig when the priest ain’t watching.

  91. rico

    November 27, 2011 at 3:12pm

    agag, i think it was the pub 😉 I forgot you had dogs, just thought you had the moggy’s oops…..

  92. goonster

    November 27, 2011 at 3:12pm

    What? It kept eating me pizza. I had to do something.

  93. rico

    November 27, 2011 at 3:14pm

    Hi Stv, 3rd highest in the PL for appearances…..

    goonster – yes i have, you transformed, your 2.58 comment would suggest otherwise…..

  94. STV

    November 27, 2011 at 3:14pm

    Goonstr, conscience! Very good for patience required for some of the AFC matches. 😉

  95. rico

    November 27, 2011 at 3:17pm

    good news on barca agag, just wating inter milan game for ten mins, ZZZzzzzzzzzzz boring boring….

  96. goonster

    November 27, 2011 at 3:21pm

    STV my man….I have no qualms with the performance or result yesterday. Like someone said earlier we would have lost that game a couple of months back. The fact that the lads fought back so valiantly suggest they ve got what it takes to push up the table. Next stop wigan athletic. With a fresh and well rested squad? We ll see fireworks. Wait for it.

  97. rico

    November 27, 2011 at 3:29pm

    That all depends on who Wenger selects for the Citeh game goonster…

  98. rico

    November 27, 2011 at 3:30pm

    off for an hour…..

  99. agirlagunner

    November 27, 2011 at 3:31pm

    Hello, STV. Having a good day, I hope.

    goonster, no one’s buying the changed man bit. And as recently as two days ago you were falling all over yourself for Granero… One match later, it’s another player. 😀 😀

  100. STV

    November 27, 2011 at 3:31pm

    Nor have I.. The only downside of yesterday was that spuds win.

  101. agirlagunner

    November 27, 2011 at 3:31pm

    Apparently, rico, Madrid are now leading Barca by six points. 😀

  102. goonster

    November 27, 2011 at 3:35pm

    Its called a “change of mind” Agag. I want dembele now no more granero. A fella can change his heart,no?

  103. STV

    November 27, 2011 at 3:40pm

    Hello AGAG 😉 Yes, so far so good. Slept unusually for abt 6 hrs 😉

    RM had a good game, Barca were BORING.. I’d like to see the javi’s mouth shut once for all

  104. Joaquim Moreira

    November 27, 2011 at 3:50pm

    Good morning
    Well, yesterday mistake was playing again the double Arteta-Ramsey but who is fit for the replace one of them? Diaby? Not games enough: Fripong? Not he solution for beginning? Ben? No strong enought in the middle; Rosicky is out… so we must playing with both two. DJ and AW were good choices.However, AW is a miles of his natural performance. He started well but then, we lose his confidence and also didn’t shot to the goal. And with the outcome of the game, starts to “hide” the game, to disappear, to be “amorphous”. His mentality is not there. I wrote the replaces at the halt-time. Unfortunately, AW read them too late.
    Inter scores now. At 90th minute

  105. agirlagunner

    November 27, 2011 at 3:55pm

    Go ace your exams, STV. :) When do you finish school?

    Good morning, JM. I wish Rosicky were fit. He is a very direct player, and with great technique. Can get feisty, too. Our players were really just lethargic in the first half. I would love for Arsha to rediscover his mojo… sadly, he seems lost.

    goonster, you change your mind as often as women buy shoes. 😀

  106. goonster

    November 27, 2011 at 4:00pm

    Agag did you just say good morning? It should be dead night in the Philippines now. Ain’t it?

  107. agirlagunner

    November 27, 2011 at 4:01pm

    It’s 12 am now. 😀 So its good morning. Haha. Bet you’re missing Phuket.

  108. Joaquim Moreira

    November 27, 2011 at 4:02pm

    booo… everybody here supports Madrid.
    Liverpool-City on-line.
    For tuesday, I expect a different line-up.
    We can’t drop so many points.

  109. goonster

    November 27, 2011 at 4:03pm

    What the heck are doing up this time of the night?

  110. goonster

    November 27, 2011 at 4:08pm

    You ll bet I am Agag. All those hot little mamachita…God I miss them thai ladies.

  111. STV

    November 27, 2011 at 4:11pm

    Guessed you’d say that 😉

  112. Joaquim Moreira

    November 27, 2011 at 4:16pm

    Agag, how are you in Thailand?

  113. goonster

    November 27, 2011 at 4:16pm

    The best days of my life….

  114. devilgunner

    November 27, 2011 at 4:24pm

    I have just seen that B’arsa’ lost yesterday. They are already 6 points behind RM. With us Cesc was always failing. Seems as if he has taken that fortune there with him. Does anyone smell a sense of deja vu for him??

    Regarding Gary Speed I had always wished he played for Arsenal and was looking forward to seeing him develop as a manager. It was not to be. May he rest in peace. Who knows what problems he was facing. It is not for us to draw conclusions.

    God bless his soul.

  115. Joaquim Moreira

    November 27, 2011 at 4:35pm

    yes Barça lost yeterday in Getafe (suburbs of Madrid) and again Madrid played against 10 all de 2nd half and since the middle of the 1st half (a penalty and a red card to the goalkeeper). At that time 0-1 for Atletic.

  116. rico

    November 27, 2011 at 4:38pm

    They are indeed agag and as much as i dislike jose, i love the fact that his side are ahead of barca :)

    😆 re your 3.31 too….

    Afternoon JM… Inter got lucky then, they were shocikng when i was watching….

  117. devilgunner

    November 27, 2011 at 4:40pm

    I do not care if Madrid win a game against 8 people. All I care is that I want Real to win the league and kings cup. I want B’arsa’ to loose everything so that Cesc will take all the bad luck with him. If we win any cup this season it will be an achievement. If we win the CL it will be the cherry on the cake. If the pool got a freak result and won it why cant we. Lady luck must smile at us one day.

  118. rico

    November 27, 2011 at 4:40pm

    What is happening in the Citeh game??

  119. devilgunner

    November 27, 2011 at 4:41pm

    Pool 1-1. Come on pool. Help us keep our invincible record and win vs shitty.

  120. devilgunner

    November 27, 2011 at 4:42pm

    Gareth Barry out of next match. That means he wont play against us.

  121. rico

    November 27, 2011 at 4:45pm

    Hi DG, shame, he’s rubbish…. 😉

    I want Citeh to win, we need to catch up the dippers…..

  122. goonster

    November 27, 2011 at 4:49pm

    Rico what do you have against the scoursers? You seem to hate them vehemently. What’s your story?

  123. agirlagunner

    November 27, 2011 at 4:50pm

    Kompany should lose his head, see red, get a red!! He’s on a yellow now right. Come on, Kompany.

    By the by, Clicky had two donut moments within the first dozen moments or so. I wonder now why I liked him…

    JM, I’m in Manila. :) Hey, DG. Cesc is jinxing Barca. Good!!! I want us so badly to meet them in the CL and beat them of course. I think Xavi has one the most annoying mugs in football.

  124. goonster

    November 27, 2011 at 4:52pm

    Hi ya DG…..I went to church today*big smile*

  125. devilgunner

    November 27, 2011 at 4:55pm

    Goonster went to church,
    he went in a sinner
    and came out dressed as LURCH.

    Ever seen the Adams family Webster??

    Rico, I hate the dippers. But I also happen to love our invincible record and want shitty to loose.

  126. agirlagunner

    November 27, 2011 at 4:57pm

    I have a feeling we’ll do well at the CL. :) I have all these good feelings today.

  127. rico

    November 27, 2011 at 4:58pm

    goonster, i do hate them, , the only team i hate more than them is the noisy neigbours…..

  128. agirlagunner

    November 27, 2011 at 4:59pm

    DG, and his first word upon posting here today was to say “Goddamn”. 😀 …

    rico, I have emailed you.

  129. goonster

    November 27, 2011 at 4:59pm

    That’s cause you are awake when you should be sleeping them blood ain’t flowing right…..go to bed agag. Shoo run along now. Papi has spoken!

  130. rico

    November 27, 2011 at 5:00pm

    :) re Kompany agag….

  131. rico

    November 27, 2011 at 5:01pm

    I haven’t got it agag :(

  132. devilgunner

    November 27, 2011 at 5:13pm

    The thing I find most galling is that while many are pouring in tributes to Gary Speed no one had the decency to be his real friend when he needed it most. I mean its all well to say that he was a real legend……but how many were his friends to know what he was going through???

    A real friend understands what you are going through even by the ringing of the phone and before he hears your voice.

  133. goonster

    November 27, 2011 at 5:25pm

    You said it DG…..maybe you should think about calling me more often cause am thinking about ending it pretty soon. Rico don’t care. She barely sends me an e-mail.*sobs*

  134. agirlagunner

    November 27, 2011 at 5:25pm

    Maybe he kept it well, DG. :(

  135. agirlagunner

    November 27, 2011 at 5:28pm

    And you say you went to Church?? 😉

  136. rico

    November 27, 2011 at 5:34pm

    DG, when someone is feeling the way he must have been feeling, there is nothing anyone can do – when ‘they’ make that choice, ‘they’ keep it to themselves all too well….

  137. goonster

    November 27, 2011 at 5:35pm

    Yes I did….am a changed man now. No liquor all day.

  138. rico

    November 27, 2011 at 5:36pm

    goonster, don’t know about you having been to church, sounds more like you need to 😉

  139. agirlagunner

    November 27, 2011 at 5:39pm

    Should be there now, rico. :)

  140. goonster

    November 27, 2011 at 5:41pm

    Why is everyone picking on me….get off my case already. I went to church today….period! I haven’t had a drop of liquor all day. Its killing me guys. I promised the priest I won’t for a week. Eeeek.

  141. rico

    November 27, 2011 at 5:43pm

    Thanks agag, i’ll check again

    goonster, you shouldn’t be doing things for the priest, you should be doing it for yourself …..

  142. agirlagunner

    November 27, 2011 at 5:44pm

    😆 goonster Good luck with that. 😀

  143. devilgunner

    November 27, 2011 at 5:45pm

    Balotelli out of CC clash…red card.

  144. rico

    November 27, 2011 at 5:46pm

    Balotelli got sent off then…..

  145. stevepalmer1

    November 27, 2011 at 5:46pm

    Ballotelli sent off with 5mins to go still 1.1

  146. devilgunner

    November 27, 2011 at 5:50pm

    Two yellows and he came on as a sub. barely twenty minutes.

    Come on ref…………send Kompany off FFS.

    You promised the priest you will keep away from alcohol for a week?? YOU ACTUALLY PROMISED???? (choke, splutter). LOOOOOLLLLLLLLLLLL

    Where you in your right senses Webster???

  147. stevepalmer1

    November 27, 2011 at 5:51pm

    Kolo on looks slim

  148. goonster

    November 27, 2011 at 5:52pm

    Well tell that to my mother rico…..

  149. goonster

    November 27, 2011 at 5:59pm

    DG my mum coerce me into it….she got me making promises to that damned priest…argghhhh I miss my beers. Can you believe she threw all the beer in my fridge away!

  150. rico

    November 27, 2011 at 6:01pm

    whats the score guys, still 1-1

    your mother goonster, there was me thinking you were an old and wise one….

  151. rico

    November 27, 2011 at 6:02pm

    Steve, he’s been on them pills again 😉

  152. stevepalmer1

    November 27, 2011 at 6:03pm

    full time 1.1 back to 7th

  153. stevepalmer1

    November 27, 2011 at 6:07pm

    Balloteli smashed the dressing room door must have been a red one

  154. Joaquim Moreira

    November 27, 2011 at 6:08pm

    yes, 7th, two points drop and those in front of us are more far away

  155. goonster

    November 27, 2011 at 6:18pm

    Rico my mum is my life….

  156. rico

    November 27, 2011 at 6:25pm

    If only we could have won yesterday eh….

    goonster, sorry, i didn’t mean to offend you :(

  157. STV

    November 27, 2011 at 6:27pm

    I like to believe nothing happened this weekend. 4 team above us had draws. only chelsea and that lowly spars got 3 pts.

  158. allezkev

    November 27, 2011 at 6:28pm

    Stanley, for heavens sake calm down and just concentrate on football.
    Stop getting so carried away.
    Doctor’s orders…. :-)

  159. goonster

    November 27, 2011 at 6:28pm

    Mad at you? No way Rico. You re my mama too…..can’t stay mad at you.

  160. allezkev

    November 27, 2011 at 6:31pm

    Agag, so your 8 hours in front of us then?

  161. allezkev

    November 27, 2011 at 6:34pm

    Lee must be at Lands’ End eating a cream tea and being blown away by the wind…. :-)

  162. goonster

    November 27, 2011 at 6:34pm

    You don’t get it AK do you? The only way I concentrate is with my beers. Take my beers away and am just a cranky wimpy son of a bitch. I need help AK real help.

  163. rico

    November 27, 2011 at 6:39pm

    Phew goonster…..

    Hi AK, hows the big city 😉

    😆 re Lee, too late in the day for the cream teas…

  164. allezkev

    November 27, 2011 at 6:40pm

    Stan, forget the beer.
    How did you think Diaby played yesterday?
    Btw i’m outside the StPancras Hotel and they seem to be making some historical drama. A Hansom Cab just rode by with the driver dressed as if it was 1890.

  165. EastSidePaul

    November 27, 2011 at 6:40pm

    Top 4 isn’t looking to secure anymore..

  166. goonster

    November 27, 2011 at 6:44pm

    Diaby did ok AK…can’t wait till he’s fully fit though. This is his team now. Cesc and nashit is gone its diaby’s time now.

  167. allezkev

    November 27, 2011 at 6:44pm

    Rico the traffic is awfull. That’s why i’m parked up.
    Stan, what’s your take on a new striker?
    I can understand a lot of fans wanting AW to sign one.
    But i can’t see him doing it.

  168. devilgunner

    November 27, 2011 at 6:45pm

    Hi AK. How are you mate??

    Wait a mo ami. Just having a fight with the young prince whether he deserves to take sweets today after his dinner. We are doing the calculations of good deeds vs naughty ones. Does deflating a tyre just to hear the whistling sound qualify a naughty deed???

  169. Joaquim Moreira

    November 27, 2011 at 6:45pm

    ok, tuesday kick off 8 p.m.
    Even yesterday draw and probably the chamges in the team, I am confident.

  170. rico

    November 27, 2011 at 6:45pm

    Off to get dinner, back in a bit…..

  171. devilgunner

    November 27, 2011 at 6:46pm

    I would like Podolski, Reus and Grosskreutz. Sell Chamack, Bendtner and Arshavin.

  172. goonster

    November 27, 2011 at 6:48pm

    AK we won’t be signing a striker for years to come. We ve got afobe and campbell as back up to robin in a few years. Chamakh and park ll soon be gone. Wish we ll get a new striker though. Robin needs a breather….

  173. STV

    November 27, 2011 at 6:50pm

    Night all

  174. goonster

    November 27, 2011 at 6:51pm

    We still have bendtner don’t we? Wow…

  175. goonster

    November 27, 2011 at 6:53pm

    Night STV….have a good one.

  176. allezkev

    November 27, 2011 at 7:02pm

    DG i would take Reus for Arshavin in a heart beat

  177. allezkev

    November 27, 2011 at 7:07pm

    I also like Podolski, but Ben our German Korrespondant has warned us off him, so???
    Anyway if Koln want £20m for him, then they can ‘do one’ imho. £10m top whack i reckon.

  178. goonster

    November 27, 2011 at 7:09pm

    Me too kev….

  179. allezkev

    November 27, 2011 at 7:10pm

    Stan, Campbell looks a very interesting player.
    I’m hoping that if he can join us next season, then he might have a similar effect to Hernandez at Old Toilet.

  180. allezkev

    November 27, 2011 at 7:16pm

    Oliver was saying awhile back, how he didn’t like all the hype being lumped on Ryo & Oxo.
    Well Wenger has done a good job keeping them out of the limelight.
    So when Gerv & Chamakh bugger off in January that’s when we might see them unleashed on the EPL?
    Park as well possibly?
    Back to work. See ya lata Stan/DG.

  181. goonster

    November 27, 2011 at 7:17pm

    He could be better AK….if only wenger ll give him the same opportunity fergusnose affords Hernandez.

  182. goonster

    November 27, 2011 at 7:19pm

    AK you re working on a sunday? Are you the grim reaper?

  183. rico

    November 27, 2011 at 7:32pm

    AK, i too thought Diaby did ok, at least he looked like he wanted to get us forward, still loses the ball a bit to much but not bad ….

  184. rico

    November 27, 2011 at 7:43pm

    Night Stv….

  185. Joaquim Moreira

    November 27, 2011 at 7:58pm

    The target for AW will be the nº9 of Montpelier 😉
    Poborsky is too expensive and not a remarkable player

  186. rico

    November 27, 2011 at 8:00pm

    or Oxford JM…. 😉

    I’m done guys, catch you all tomorrow….

    Have a good one, Nighty night…..

  187. allezkev

    November 27, 2011 at 8:27pm

    Night Rico

  188. rico

    November 28, 2011 at 9:31am

    new post up

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