I like the format of the Carling Cup, where the job is done on the night, no piddley replays etc, extra-time then penalties if needed.

The FA Cup should also be run in a similar fashion from say Round 4 or 5, let the replays stay in the earlier rounds for the smaller clubs to earn some money, but in the latter rounds, with the Champs league and other comps all hotting up, the transfer fixture pile up can cause our clubs issues.

So it’s a game of footy with the pikeys down pikey lane tonight, and I can’t wait.

I am not bothered what cup it’s for, or what players play, it’s the North London Derby, and they don’t get any fiercer or competitive.

That is what we all love, proper combative sport, where two sets of players will go at it hammer and tong, a duel to the death.

Wenger has set his stall out by only selecting 3 of the Reserves/Kids for tonight’s squad… what does that tell us?

Well it tells me he wants to stay unbeaten in all competitions, he wants the momentum to be kept up.

One personal criticism I have always had of the Wenger Era is the inability to pick the team up after a defeat, we show a massive trend over the years of letting one bad loss lead to another and maybe another, and then maybe 2 poor draws, before we regroup and get back into the groove.

It is far too early in the season to take a hit in the testicles, and regardless of what players take the pitch tonight, it will be a kick in the balls for the team that go out tonight.

Pride is at stake on a large-scale.

I’m up for this, and I’m sure many tens of thousands of other gooners are aswell, the atmosphere will be red hot tonight, they pikeys will certainly be up for it… they always want to get one over their masters.

The team looks to be Fabinski, Eboue, Squillaci, Djorou, Gibbs, Eastmond, Denilson, Lansbury, Vela, JET, Randall

Although I would go with Nasri or Rosicky in that above side just to give it a little cutting edge.

Very excited about seeing JET get a proper stage to shine on, the kid is now a man, and the man is developing into a heck of a player…anybody who saw his performance and goal against the City Reserves last week will know exactly what I am talking about.

JET is going to be a player and a half for club and country, and tonight may see him show some of the rest of the football world just what us gooners have know about for some time.

All in all, a fascinating night ahead, I envisage the complete full-on package of drama, 2-2 FT, 3-3 AET… Vela buries the winning penalty!

Come on you mighty, mighty REDS!!!

I am very surprised we have not heard more on how his scans/x-rays etc have gone.

As I am sure most of you have seen already via all the pics and vids up on other gooner blogs, surrounding the diabolical challenge by the northern monkey from Bolton, it aint pretty.

If the news from AW during the champs league press conference tommorw afternoon is out for 4-6 weeks, it won’t surprise me.

The challenge was very bad, and Abou certainly has previous with his ankles.

Can we hope for good injury news?

We can in my honest opinion, as I feel the negative results would have been released sooner, possibily some time today, so as the headline reads, no news = good news.

I hope.

We need him fit, at or near his peak, there is not another midfielder like him in World football today, he is the complete link man between DM and AM (song and cesc)

Denilson would be more a DM than a AM link man, Jack is not box-to-box, all action, but has certainly got more vision in the final third.

Ramsey is the only real player at the club who could do what Diaby does in midfield.

On a real gooner high at the moment, all is rosey in the garden, bring on Braga.

Keep those fingers crossed on the Diaby injury news!

Straight duel between Almunia and Fabianski for the goalie starting position in our opening Premiership game at Liverpool this afternoon.

I would be flabbergasted if the Polish youngster does not get the nod, actually, scrap that, there is no point debating it… he clearly starts today.

Almunia has been sent to Coventry!

What may be of even more interest is who the backup keeper is on the bench, maybe the two Poles get the nod.

I envision the following starting eleven…

Fabianski, Sagna, Kos, Verminator, Clichy, Denilson, Fabregras, Nasri, Theo, Chamakh, AA23.

The trio in midfield are the three that takes some guessing to be frank, there is not really any clear indication of who is fit, who is maybe fit, etc.

First game of the season, away at Anfield, Wenger may take the safe route of Denilson… if he really wants to put trust in his young guns, and go on pre-season form, that trio should clearly be Frimpong, Wilshere and Nasri, and that is exactly the trio I would love to see line-up today.

What a statement that would be.

Far too early in the season for predictions, who knows what kind of form the 22 players are in, fitness levels are not peak levels as of yet for many.

Could be a scrappy tight game, battled out in the centre of the park, which is why I would love to see the spikey Frimpong and Wilshere do battle for the Arsenal.

Can’t wait, whoever lines up for us, simply can’t wait!

Come on you Mighty ARSENAL!

The great man does everything in his power to give these young lads all the encouragement to go out and perform on the greatest stages in world football.

He backs them to the hilt when they are going through periods of inconsistency, as young players will do during the formative years of turning professional and playing for one of the biggest clubs in football.

The inevitable media backlash is fronted by the boss, he takes the flak, he carries all the woes on his shoulders.

Enough is enough, the time has got to come when the players go out and play like they truly want to win, and not just weave pretty patterns.

Last night left me very badly gutted, not because we lost (well ok that aswell) but because certain players lacked hunger and fight.

I have backed Abou Diaby constantly throughout the season for being a player who has come on in leaps and bounds, I don’t care if his touch is letting him down, I don’t care if he is not getting the rub of the green, I don’t care if he keeps Row Z’ing shots…

but I do f’ing care when a 4ft 11 croatian midget is beating 6ft 3 Diaby in crunching 50-50 tackles.

Abou, you are going to be a great Arsenal player, but you embarrassed yourself last night, sunshine.

How the hell does a 6ft plus lump actually go about losing a 50-50 against a 6 stone ballet dancing wimp?

Beyond disgraceful.

He loses it when he does not have any real guts and desire.

There were others who also went missing when the fight was on.

Sol was obviously the leading light last night… tremendous, words cannot describe his commitment to the cause.

He needs to be let loose on some of these younger guns, if they aint got the bollocks to fight for the club on the pitch, do one.

We cannot keep going around in circles, Messi is not only the best player in the world because of his talent and skill, but also owing to his massive drive and ambition to be a winner on the pitch.

He was harassing our players when his team lost the ball last week… why don’t some of ours do that?

You cannot win a fight without fighters, and the Premiership is a fight to the death.

We had natural born fighters in the past, Paddy was a supremely skilled warrior, Thierry would use his pace to go chasing defenders like a crazed axe murder when we lost the ball, as did Red Fred.

Talent, skill, future great, etc etc is all well and good, but it is nothing unless you got it in you to knuckle down when the going gets tough.

Wenger’s tone is changing by the game, I think certain players who think they are first team may find themselves benched next season until they grow some testicles.

Money is not the big issue it was 3 or 4 seasons ago, players with Sol type hunger and motivation need to be drafted in.

A summer of attitude change is needed, there is no doubting the ability is there, if the league was won on ability alone, they would hand us the title on the opening weekend of every season.

The season has come to an end, and a bad season, considering the injuries,  it has certainly not been.

But we have to remember we are a proper big club, not an aspiring big club, the fifth season in the new stadium will commence this summer and we really are in desperate need of silverware.

The youth project has 100% worked, as the plan was to keep us competitive whilst we got the Emirates debt under control… that was well and truly dealt with this Spring with a nigh on 135M payment towards it.

The next stage is to add one or two genuine world-class players to the mix, and spend whatever it takes to get them… well, not silly money but 20-25M on a player should certainly not be beyond our grasp now.

For me, more importantly, make sure these players have determination, a real attitude to get stuck in when things are not looking rosey and the scoreboard shows us down by 2 goals.

The perfect blueprint for this mindset being Sol Campbell.

Final point, what kind of football team prance around with a chicken on their club badge?

Give me a Cannon any day!

We saw Le Boss take a chance on Gallas and Fabregras in recent weeks… so why not van Persie tonight?

We know RvP is physically fit, and has remained so since the injury late last year, and we also know he is “sharp” in training.

The Gallas case was different, his was a muscular injury so you never know when it can ping again… as it did that memorable night at the Emirates against the Spaniards.

With van Persie, it was a joint injury, therefore if you can play 15 minutes off the bench, you can play 90 minutes from the get-go… if your fitness levels are adequate, which they are in this case.

“He’s in the squad for tomorrow’s game. It’s a bit premature [for him to start] but we’ll see. I haven’t picked the team yet. When I pick a player it means he’s fit and sharp.

He’s worked very hard. He lacks match practice, but physically he’s fit. There’s always a gamble, I won’t deny that, in such kind of decisions. But in his case we have been a bit more cautious because he’s been out so long.”

Those words from Wenger suggest he may actually have been ready to play a week or so ago, but extra precautions have been taken.

I fancy Robin to start, but to actually play out wide, where he will see less of the ball.

A role reversal with Bendtner from earlier in the season when the Dane played out wide and RvP through the middle.

The ability our Dutch master has to see a pass and control the ball in tight situations could be the difference tonight, he is that key a player for us.

How marvellous is to be even discussing the probabilities of him playing any part tonight, let alone starting the game?

Robin is our Torres, our Rooney, our Drogba… our World-Class Striker and we have had to pipe down about missing him for the last 6 or so months, no more.

He is back.

Come on Arsenal, Come on Arsenal, Come on Arsenal!!

That’s the jist of most of the chat in blog world.

We are down to our bare bones, player wise, missing possibly the four best players in our squad in Cesc, Robin, AA23 and Billy G.

So a right good spanking will be the order of the day tonight, right?


These nuevo goons only started to support the club this Millenium, so don’t forget they have no recollections of famous past glories, completely against the odds, on European adventures.

A beauty from Smudger

The club had a wonderful reputation in years gone by of coming out on top when all was against us, a backs against the wall type job.

Mission Impossible to Catalonia is on, and if any team can turn the impossible into the possible, it’s this wonderous young side that wear the red and white of Arsenal.

Big Sol will partner Verminator in the heart of defence, with Denilson providing the midfield cover to the back four.

Diaby will need the complete polar opposite game from last Wednesday night, it was not his night back then… he can put that right tonight, he has to be a monster.

Abou needs to play the role of 2 men in midfield, he needs to do some of Song’s dirty work and Cesc’s attacking work.

I have complete faith in him tonight, he was rested on Saturday, so fitness cannot be an excuse… he is the man for us tonight.

Carlos Vela has his place taken by Armand “Nun-Chucks” Traore in the squad, there is no apparent reason why the Mexican has been left out, as he trained yesterday morning.

I hate to see Rosicky or Nasri out wide, and would dearly love to see Theo wide right, and Armand wide left.

Having those pair right on the tails of the Barca full-backs will prevent the feckers from marauding forward at will and providing Barca with width from the middle of the park.

If they are stupid enough, or even arrogant enough to play that game, then more fool them, as there are not many in football who are quicker than our pair of wing whippets.

I’m not sure what type of game Wenger has planned for us, I could not care less if we played a right ugly game and just went to spoil them and hit them on the counter with pace hoping to Nik(Ki B) the elusive away goals.

We don’t need to be heroes tonight, no matter what anybody says in trying to prove they are the greatest gooner in the world etc, Barca are bloody brilliant, they are a fabulous team, and we may need to adopt different tactics to overcome them.

Granted, if we had a team with all our missing players available, we could go a bit more gung-ho, I just don’t feel tonight is the night for that.

I’m sure this team have tactical discipline in them, we can win dirty if we need to, and tonight calls for it in my view.

Whatever the outcome, however the game pans out, I just hope we put up a spirited display.

My prediction is 2-2 all over again, and this time it may be us who take the lead on the break and they come back at us to force extra time and nail chopping for gooners all over the planet.

When the draw was made, plenty of pundits came out with the suggestions of this ending four or five goals a piece.

I would love that, you cannot beat the drama and sheer excitement of extra time and penalties.

Of course, a 1-0 win in normal time will do nicely enough.


This whole Vela dropping has got me thinking, Wenger can be a sly old dog, he must surely know how Atletico Madrid beat Barca recently.

Traore and Clichy down the left and maybe Sagna and Eboue down the right, with all four killing themselves to slave up and down their respective flanks.

Theo as the weapon off the bench maybe.

Rosicky is now rated 50-50 to make the game, with Nasri in the Cesc role, this opens up the possibility of Traore starting down the left even more.

It’s not often the great man keeps us guessing.

Last week I had the pleasure of watching the game at the Emirates, my ears were ringing for days afterwards, the atmosphere at the end was crazy loud, tonight I’m going to watch this at home on the 40 inch Samsung, on my own.

This game is going to cause huge emotion, no matter how it plays out, emotion is going to be at extreme levels.

I am watching this on my jack jones as a measure of national security.

Where you watching it?


March 24, 2010

Naturally, they now speak of their undying, everlasting love for the great man.

The blogosphere is a wonderful world, you can certainly separate the two-faced, only sing when you’re winning  lot, from the loyal, unflinching supporters.

Let’s embarrass a few of the morons who purport themselves to be knowledgeable supporters of the club, when in reality they have constantly shown themselves up for being anything but.

They consistently get it wrong, then backtrack to hilarious effect,  thankfully they are a bunch of Jonah’s… they wrote the manager off time and time again, they even used xenophobic language to argue their viewpoints.

Below is a just a very small selection of hundreds of similar comments posted on anti-arsène blog(s) in recent times… of course, they will now tell you they always believed he was the best manager around, and should never be replaced 😆

Fat Geoff Says:
April 18, 2009 at 20:11

Oh and Wenger, you weren’t worth my post you useless French c**t

Fat Geoff Says:
November 30, 2009 at 11:04

If Wenger thinks we’ll ever win anything with that lot, he is more delusional than I thought.

Fat Geoff Says:
November 30, 2009 at 11:05

Give Wenger his P45, I’ve had enough of his arrogance.

Fat Geoff Says:
November 30, 2009 at 11:15

It is amazing that all those Song and Denilson lovers are keeping their heads down today.

Not to mention all the AKB’s.

Fat Geoff Says:
November 30, 2009 at 13:46

Listening to Wenger is like listening to a inmate in a mental hospital.

He is off his head.

AKRed Says:
March 22, 2010 at 10:48

ACLF are giving us a slating for suddenly getting behind Arsene, there such a pretentious bunch of idiots

Blogging leaves a permanent time stamped view, you cannot, and will not get away with backtracking, bare-faced lies, and pretence.

Try it, and you will trip up, and be made to look the fool you have always been.

Of course, you can always continue to hoodwink lesser mortals… a famous study once reported Perspective is worth 80 IQ points.

bnsb Says:
March 22, 2010 at 10:55


Honestly are you getting behind our beloved leader Arsene now?

Fat Geoff Says:
March 22, 2010 at 10:59

bnsb, I’ve always been behind him and the team, I’m an Arsenal fan.

Just the type of supposed “fan” who nearly cost us the greatest manager alive, imagine if more vociferous fans had that low level of intelligence?

Imagine if the senseless anti-wenger brigade really had picked up a head of steam, and cost us the fruits of the last 5 years labour!

Anybody know how much it costs to buy a club-level ticket these days?

I need to prove my worth as a proper fan… apparently.

Pit-ball winner

February 18, 2009

Since Arsene Wenger first came to these shores, he has been a keen exponent of the tough tackling, gladiatorial ball winning midfielder.

This was typified by his first instructions to David Dein, prior to officially joining the club as manger, go get me a young French gladiator who has found life tough in Milan, Italia.

Paddy 4

Paddy 4

All the great teams seem to possess a pit bull/rottweiler in the centre of the park who can win the ball and move it on to the better, more skilled attacking players around him.

Following the departure of Matthieu Flamini last summer there has been a number of Gooners in uproar at Wenger’s inability to sign an adequate replacement in the mould of a Viera/Flamini type of player.

There was plenty of speculation all summer regarding Yaya Toure, Inler, Alonso et al.  It appears the player the Wenger did actually go for was indeed the Spaniard, Xabi Alonso.  Again, there is plenty of speculation surrounding this mooted transfer, did the Gareth Barry move breakdown prevent it?  did we not bid enough for him?  Who knows!

What is interesting is the current view that maybe a midfield consisting of complete players could be the way forward for attack minded teams.  A case in point being last summers splendid European Champions, Spain.

Maybe the method behind Wenger’s madness in letting both Lassana Diarra and Flamini go within months of each other was due to the emergence of Denilson.

Denilson is a most underrated player, he is not flash like Pires, he is not a marauder like Viera, he is not a goal scorer like Red Fred and he is certainly not another Cesc.

What Denilson personifies is a complete midfielder, he can tackle, he can pass, he has a great strike on him which he does not utilise enough and he could play two 90 minutes games back to back with his engine.

Could Wenger have had in mind a fundamental shift in the way his midfields will be set-up from now onwards?  Has the Spanish victory last summer proved a team can go all the way with impish ball players as opposed to one ball winner and some ball players?

Lets face it, the era of Viera/Keane tussles will be talked about in 50, 100 years time.  We lived through a very special period in football.

Two complete midfield monsters going at each other for 180 odd minutes every season, there will never be two such players at their respective peaks, playing for the two top clubs again.

Viera was a total freak, Wenger realises he has a mighty slim chance of ever unearthing a player of his ilk again. So maybe he feels the time for warriors in the middle of the park is about to be superseded by the era of silky elegant passers of the ball who can keep possession for longer and not have to rely on constantly winning the ball back.

Once Cesc is fully fit again, a partnership with Denilson, Nasri, Rosicky and Arshavin in the midfield could yet yield the greatest Wenger team to date.

A mighty fine prospect.