Posts Tagged ‘Denilson’

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The end of the world day thoughts.

May 21, 2011

If one is to believe Mr Harold Camping, member of  the US-based Christian group, Family Radio, today is the day when Jesus Christ returns to earth to take with him the good ones to heaven and leave the sinners to face the end of the world. No kidding. And apparently, there are some complicated mathematical calculations behind all this and the Kiwis are going to get it first, earthquakes, wrath of God and stuff like that. Being my normal ever so optimistic self, I prefer to believe the Mayans who gave the good ol’ planet one more year, however, what if I am wrong on this occasion?

If the doomsday scenario is indeed already brewing in the Pacific, depending on the scale of the problem and how rapidly it spreads across the planet, we may still get to see the final round of games tomorrow or we may not. Worse still, when the archaeologists from another galaxy arrive in a few hundred years and put together the history of this Premier League season, the Mancs will be the champions, the Carling Cup winners will be hovering just above the relegation zone and the Arsenal will be the biggest losers of the lot. So, what are your Judgment Day thoughts, not as a person, but as a red and white blooded Gooner? ‘Fuck this, should have stayed at Highbury and bought Messi’ is probably the common denominator here!

Jokes aside, I have just seen the goals scored by Bent last Sunday and seriously, this is no laughing matter. Both of these were totally avoidable, as far as I am concerned, leaving a striker who always scores against you ‘unattended’ is embarrassing at any level. I used to watch the non-league football quite a lot back in Poland and  I would scream my head off, seeing my defenders as static as that playing the Sunday morning game where some of them would still probably earn a driving ban for being a bit tipsy! Here is to hoping that OGL has finally seen the light and realised that whilst some rules are meant to be bent and others to be broken, there is no way around the old principle that you buy twice if you choose to buy cheap, which will result in finally making some proper investments in the areas we have been crying out for reinforcements since the summer of 2008.

If Mr Camping’s calculations are correct, should the alien archaeologist land in the North London area and set up his site on the remains of the more glamorous of the two local gladiator arenas, he may come across records of strange and inexplicable decisions pointing to the stubbornness of the man at the helm, where the voices of criticism were dismissed as ‘silly’ and the identical mistakes were repeated season in season out, bringing the same results like clockwork. But hey, like I said, I choose to believe that we still have some time to write a whole different story, where all of the above problems were rectified and there were some precious metal artifacts for the space Indiana Jones to dig up from the ruins of the Emirates!

One more year!

And it would appear like some wheels are already in motion on the playing personnel front as last night the Tw*tter thread lit up like a Xmas tree, awash with news of us signing Vélez Sársfield’s Ricardo Gabriel Álvarez. I would love to be able to tell you anything about him, but since Argentine Primera División is not exactly at the top of my list of interests, I can only rely on the videos like this one and what the others say and most of the opinions are positive. 6’2″, pacy, natural wide player and shoots from outside the box, I say welcome to Arsenal! Sure, he is not the marquee signing some of us (yours truly included) are clamouring for, but it’s a start.

Since we have covered the ‘in’ bit, time for the ‘out’ column: last morning, The Sun readers had the pleasure of finding out that D******n wants to quit Arsenal, apparently frustrated with lack of trophies, being a ‘wiener’ himself. According to the hack behind the piece, the fans are ‘rocked’, I hasten to add that they are also ‘rolled’, but we better put the champagne on ice, as the fact that he wants to go does not necessarily translate to him actually going, it’s similar to Diaby wanting to win Ballon d’Or or Bendtner wanting to be amongst the best strikers in the world. Selling him may prove quite a challenge for the biggest marketing minds there are and I will only believe in him gone when I see him holding his new shirt with Stevie Wonder, his new club’s chairman right next to him, blissfully unaware what he has got himself into.

All steps in the right direction and to be frank, since it’s pretty unusual for us to make early moves like that, it just seems like the last week’s events made a few people wake up and smell the shit that just hit the fan. A new hope or am I being duped again?

Looking outside the window, it all looks about as unendoftheworldish as it gets, so I guess selling what you own and doing all the stuff from the list of things to do before you die can wait. I say enjoy today like there IS tomorrow!


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Gunners go naval. Blackpool preview.

April 10, 2011

Ahoy Gooners, today we travel to arguably one of the finer places for an away trip, sweet weather, seaside resort and since the plan is to put another nail in the coffin of our opponents’ top flight survival hopes, we may as well make the most of the rare trip we will make there, as barring some odd cup game we may not have another occasion for at least another year. Even though the game is at the time which pretty much leaves little space to enjoy the rollercoaster ride or view from the Blackpool Tower, at least have yourselves a little stroll on the beach if nothing else! Failing that, go to a pub and get yourself in the mood to sing your heart out for the boys, but I don’t need to tell that to the most brilliant away supporters on the planet, do I? Thought as much…

Let’s not dwell on what Our Glorious Leader or less-than-glorious chairman had to say for themselves over the past couple of days, shall we? They say whenever God wants to punish someone, first he takes their reason away, so let’s just leave it at that. Whether you agree or disagree on the subject of the title being still within our reach or not, we still have a few games to play, and given the look of the league table, namely the top five, we still have stuff to play for regardless, as if anyone is sitting comfortably thinking that top four finish is a foregone conclusion without even considering the point tallies and respective fixture lists of the teams in contention, then he may have another thing coming. The glass half full brigade say ‘it ain’t over ’til it’s over’ and who am I to disagree with that undisputed truth, eh?

The general feeling amongst the fans is not the best and the good guys in red & white need to give us something to cheer about before the next home game against the resurgent Liverpool next week. Dismantling Blackpool in convincing fashion should do a great deal of good in that respect and I think everyone will agree with that. I like Ian Holloway and Blackpool, as they play fairly decent football, but they are hopefully set to feel the wrath of the wounded beast that is the Arsenal Football Club. The picture posted today shows USS Iowa firing the devastating broadside of her 9 16-inch guns and this is the sheer destructive power I am expecting my team to deliver today. No pressure then!

Yes, we tonked them 6:0 at home and their last victory against us dates back to the decade when the TV was black and white and Sp*ds last won the league, but we know that Arsenal broke a few ‘records’ of that kind already this season, don’t we? But let’s just concentrate on the positive thinking, the players need our support and as long as we do our bit, then we will either have a reason to cheer without feeling a bit stupid for not believing or we will have clear conscience as far as having the right ol’ moan is concerned if the worst happens. I think it sounds fair and reasonable, very much a win-win situation, if one can even think about it in these categories.

According to BBC, we have D******n and Song definitely out plus Sagna and Theo who are highly doubtful. Being the worshipper of the Murphy’s law, if they are doubtful, I consider them as out of the contention. Oh well, we will have to fight with what we have, it’s not like moaning about the absentees will heal them, is it? Good news is that we are likely to see Szczesny, Djourou and (whisper it) Vermaelen back in training shortly, which should allow us to see the backs of Almunia and Squillaci, preferably never to be seen on the pitch again. Given the personnel we have out, I would consider tinkering with the formation a bit, but since AW does not do tactics, it’s a moot point. I believe that we are most likely to see the following team:

 

Almunia

Ebowie   Squillaci   Koscielny   Clichy

Wilshere

Nasri                 Cesc

Bendtner          RvP           Arshavin


Subs: Lehmann, Miquel, Gibbs, Frimpong, Ramsey, Diaby, Chamakh

Well, at least that ‘s  what I would do, as we need as much dynamism as we can muster. As Blackpool like to shoot on sight, I want Wilshere playing the holding role, as he will at least get in the way a lot. The front three should just interchange positions to keep their defence on their toes. OGL may have different ideas, like playing Diaby, which may take all the sting out our counterattacks, but there you go – since I am in the mood for optimism, despite my better judgment, I will even say that even he is due a good game, surely?

Here is to hoping that Arsene managed to explain to the players that nothing but a roaring response will do. Seriously, as much as I exercise my God’s given right to criticise him and I question his actions a lot, this is out of love for the club (tough love, but love nevertheless) as you always want your loved ones to do well, no matter how much they may piss you off.  This is what supporting is all about afterall, no?

As comrade Watt likes to say, come on you Reds!

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Every million is made of pennies. A lesson in capitalism.

April 4, 2011

Since the current club’s policies and actions resemble the way the things were run in the Eastern Bloc countries quite a bit and the AW’s position at the club reminds me of the ultimate totalitarian power held by the revered communist party first secretary supported by the faithful apparatchiks, the above picture might as well feature the faces of Our Glorious Leader and a few other equally glorious members of the club’s top brass as well as the select few members of the board. And believe me, I know what I am talking about, having been born and raised in one of these countries, maybe not in the system’s pomp, but I have seen, heard, read and learned more than enough to draw the parallels.

Cult of the Individual which would make the Soviet political officers blush? Check. Wage structure which is leftie’s wet dream? Check. Little or no accountability for failure? Check. Shameless, mindless, unmerited propaganda of success peddled by the club related media as well as the pretorian bloggers? Check. And let’s not forget about forcing the dissidents like David Dein or Lady Nina into the exile, shall we? All this is supposed to make an impression of a monolith and there are that special breed of supporters with the Homo Sovieticus mentality that buy into that and would not change it for anything in the world. The problem that lies behind the above is that it must go tits up at one point and there is no way around this – as much as it all looks great on the paper, it simply contradicts the human nature and as such is not sustainable. In practice, all variations of leftie systems have one significant flaw: the ceiling is just high enough to stand up more or less straight, but the most brilliant and ambitious individuals are better off somewhere else, that’s why you see the top players getting increasingly frustrated and moving on to the football’s equivalents of the ‘decadent West’, which may not be able to dazzle you with the ideals and the beautiful theory, but are not doing half bad in practice. You don’t hear these ‘Western’ clubs moaning about injuries, defensive tactics, crap pitches and referees a lot, do you? Stefan Kisielewski, one of the better known and somewhat tolerated free thinking publicists in the communist Poland once said that socialism is renowned for heroically struggling against the difficulties that are hardly heard of in any other political system and also coined the famous ‘It’s not a crisis, it’s a result’ with regards to collapsing communist economy – it’s funny how fitting both of these are in our situation.

Back in 1989 when the Iron Curtain started to creak and eventually crumbled, I was 11 years old and I remember putting up the first free election posters for various ‘Solidarity’ candidates all over the place, it was all spontaneous and despite being a kid I was pretty damn proud of it and I felt like being a part of something historically important. Sure, there were people who did much more, maybe even risked their lives prior to that, but hey, I did what I could. Since it is in my nature to be a bit of a dissident, I am going to try and do my bit to poke the Central Committee where it hurts – their pockets! Now, some of you will say that it is counterproductive and all that, but since Our Glorious Leader seems to think that it is his sole prerogative to decide whether to use the resources at his disposal in order to address the glaring deficiencies of the team or not, no matter what the consequences, I believe that it is for me to decide whether I will support the economical model I fundamentally disagree with or cease doing so.

Now let me explain: living reasonably close to London, I normally go to a few games per season, not that I am much of a regular, but hardly anyone bar the season ticket holders is at these prices. In addition to that, I usually buy the replica kit, plus a couple of other pieces of clothing or other club merchandise. I am also struggling to recall a birthday or Christmas when I didn’t get a single thing with a cannon on it, given that my friends and family know about my affection for the club, but all it takes is a few conversations to make it stop. I am also the ATVO subscriber, but ever since they stopped showing reserve team games (I wrote about it over a year ago here) and even the Friday Night Live was reduced to this Free Fans’ Forum load of bollocks we see weekly, I just don’t feel like I am getting my money’s worth, but I just could not bring myself to cancelling it, as I felt like it would be almost an act of treason.

All that adds up to a cool few hundred quid to a grand annually – whilst I do appreciate that it may only pay for a few hours of D******n’s time during which he is fucking useless, I don’t even want to fund that. And I do solemnly swear that until we see some considerable shift in the policy, the club will not see a farthing from me and if you want changes, I suggest you do the same. You want something cool with the cannon on it? Why don’t you check out the Toffs and Goonershirts websites, you may well find something for yourself and stick two fingers up to the dictator and his bunch, you never know, they might start listening. Failing that, at least you will no longer feel mugged off by the smart arses on the management team whose only idea of increasing the revenue is the ticket price hike.

I have checked the ATVO’s Frequently Asked Questions section to see what the cancellation procedure is, and they want me to email them, providing my login details, name and reason for cancellation. Should I send them a link to this post, or will the ‘none of your goddamn business’ be sufficient? What do you think?

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Burnley preview. Walk in the park? Think again.

March 6, 2010

So, here we are, the international friendlies have gone by and for once we went through them virtually unscathed – yes, Carlos Vela got injured again playing New Zealand after scoring a peach of a goal, but if you take into the account the fact that he is not really a first team regular at the moment, you will see what I mean.

A lot has been said about the last week’s ‘unfortunate’ events at Britannia Stadium. I have voiced my opinion in the previous post and it did not change one bit. Shawcross came out and said he was not going to change either, which means that he is probably on course to add to the ‘impressive’ record of two fellow players’ legs broken at the tender age of 22. But no, he is not ‘that kind of player’. Twat.

Internationals or no internationals, our selection options are limited anyway – Big Sol joined Billy in the treatment room and Song starts his two game ban for collecting his 10th booking this season. This means that Silvestre and Denilson will both start – now while I don’t really rate either of them, I am intending on getting behind them fully and wholeheartedly: for the 90+ minutes today they are expected to do their best and some support could help them find the extra 10%, besides there is no point in getting annoyed with stuff you cannot change, is there? Here’s to both of them playing a blinder today and contributing to another fine victory by Arsenal FC. On the positive note, we are to welcome back Diaby and Arshavin and this should add some creativity, flair and maybe a goal out of nowhere.

Today, it’s all about the attitude: sure, it’s ‘only’ Burnley who only managed a single draw on the road this season and Coyle’s departure did not help them either, however, I have seen us losing or drawing a perfectly winnable game once or twice – the thing no Arsenal supporter wants to see today is complacency and knocking the ball about with no real purpose, we want to see The Clarets obliterated, this is a good chance to improve our goal difference, as this could be telling as far as winning the league this season is concerned. Yes, it may be THAT tight and we need to do ourselves all the favours we can. I want to see commitment, directness and belief – make no mistake, if we keep up with the two above us, we have every chance of nicking it. Yes, it would be nothing short of a miracle, all things considered, but hey, we probably deserve one, no?

It will be interesting to see if our players’ mentality has been affected by the horrific injury sustained by a team mate. We can talk about professionalism all we want, but they are all human afterall – after Taylor broke Eddy’s leg two years ago, our season went down the pan, as the players could not lift themselves up. Yes, we got a result last week, but how much of it was down to shock and not having much time to think about what happened and how much down to maturity? I guess we will find out soon enough – if we build on what we saw after the third goal, it may be the case of waking a sleeping giant (i.e. ‘now you’ve really pissed me off’), otherwise, we will witness another nearly season, simple as.

Have a good day Gooners – catch you all tomorrow to celebrate!

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Sunderland preview: bring us luck, Black Cats ;)

February 20, 2010

‘The black cat, for those who are not superstitious, can only be viewed as the victim of several millennia of smear campaigns. Many cultures have viewed the animal as an unlucky beast, and there are dozens of different superstitious thoughts regarding black cats. The poor ebony furred animal seldom gets good press, though there are certainly some cultures that have revered rather than despised the animal, and many rumors just as superstitious, but more positive about the black cat […] In parts of Europe and in Japan, a black cat crossing your path is good luck,  Scotland is most generous to the kitty; a black feline at your doorstep meant prosperity was coming your way.’

Good morning y’all. After 2 days of silence, during which I was setting myself up at the new place of work and getting used to commuting after 2 years of working within the walking distance from home,I am back with the Sunderland preview. The above introduction is a quote from this article, well, not exactly a quote, as I tried to keep only the good bits not to jinx today’s game. Once again, this game is one to show character and ‘bouncebackability’ after the embarrassing defeat at the hands of our own goalkeeper – trust me, it was really no fun to answer the same question time and time again: what do I have to say about my countryman? Well, what can I say? I feel for Lukasz just a little bit, as it was too big a game to come back into the side after a poor performance at Stoke, and he said it himself that he would like to play more and will ask Le Boss to at least loan him out in the summer, nevertheless, he is supposed to be a professional footballer, sometimes these are asked to punch above their weight and come up trumps or at least minimise the damage instead of inflicting it. I don’t think he will get another chance this season and despite Cesc coming out with a statement on how the team is behind him, I can see him shipped this summer. Oh well, no one can guarantee that a player will come good, but I have been saying all along that him signing for Arsenal was not a good thing for either side for obvious reasons: underdeveloped keeper cannot play a lot for a top team too often, which stifles his development and this is turning into a vicious circle. Besides, I never rated him at Legia either and let’s just leave it at that.

We have a game of football to play today, no? Both teams will want to win, each for different reasons: Arsenal have to go back on track and gain some confidence and momentum ahead of another trip to Stoke where our recent record is less than impressive, Sunderland on the other hand will want to clock up the first league win since November when they managed a 1:0 home win and that was against us. We need to win this and we need this win badly to stop the rot – again, we have quite a few players missing and the ones we have available need about every ounce of confidence they can get: luckily Song is back and it should allow OGL to move Denilson to his current best position, which is the substitute’s bench or behind it (may still inexplicably get a start ahead of Ramsey), with Gallas still out, Sol should keep his position in CB where he did more than OK in the last game.  Would consider playing Rosicky on the right and Theo on the left side of Bendtner upfront, introducing Vela or Nasri (or both) at the later time (no, not in the 88th minute). It will be interesting to see if Clichy will keep his place or if we will see Traore who at least has pace and was not as bad positionally as Gael is nowadays as far as I can remember. I am keeping everything crossed that we will approach this game like a cup final. We have 18 of these left to play…

Thank you for reading, come on Arsenal!

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Praises and P45s.

February 2, 2010

Good morning everyone 😉

As I wrote yesterday, I was nowhere near the condition to string a few coherent sentences together without all going effing and blinding. I just thought I would give it a rest, as it would not be pretty. It still won’t be – no ‘whoosah’ rubbish today, I will give it to you as it is…

Outplayed, outclassed, outpaced & outmuscled – did I miss anything? Oh, that would be ‘outjumped’ and ‘outscored’, right? Yet, the transfer window slammed shut at 5 PM yesterday and we made no move. How silly of me, that would be panic buying, wouldn’t it Arsene? What would it do to the poor players’ frail mentality? Not to mention that any chairman with an ounce of brain would skin Gazidis alive in the negotiations and we would pay way over the odds for someone we could have had two weeks earlier for half that price. It’s not rocket science, it’s better to get your new players in sooner, so they could get into the team, train together a bit and make an impact a game or two earlier. Plus, you lower your chances of getting humiliated all over again, this time by the ManYoo understrength team. Now tell me again, why is buying not always the solution?

Whatever you think, they were there for the taking, yet Our Glorious Leader chose to bottle it – I mean, what kind of cowardly team selection was that? Two (well, one and a half) defensive midfielders? Why no Rosicky in the midfield? I ask, what does Denilson have to do to get dropped? Our Brazilian was completely useless throughout the time he was on the pitch – as far as I am concerned, this disgrace to this club should be shipped out to whoever is stupid enough to come calling, and I don’t care about these few goals, brilliant as they were. That is the first P45 from the pile: as far as I am concerned, he was at fault for goals number one (well, with the other two pink slips to be mentioned later) and two for allowing Rooney just run past him. If you think about it, he also lost the ball for them to score the third. Please gaffer, our ‘best scouting network in the world’ cannot find anyone better than THIS? Well, here’s a clue, try looking upwards of the value shelf – when you pay peanuts, you get monkeys and if you buy on the cheap, you are likely to end up buying twice, does that sound reasonable?

Blame injuries. Blame ‘physical approach’. Blame wrong colour of knickers worn by the blonde in the block 87. Well, everyone and everything is to be blamed but me – I know the feeling, really. But I am not paid millions of pounds to manage the best damn club in the whole world, and one would expect better value for money than that. I have nothing but respect for the Big Man, but this has to stop. No more ‘quality’ and ‘mental strength’ spin. No more sitting on your hands and talking to ‘yes man’ Rice. No more buying teenagers for the sake of it. Action!  The place is here and the time is now, and there will always be a bully with money, as these UEFA  regulations about living within own means will have loopholes, make no mistake about that. We needed to spend in order to get more fighters and winners in this team – my hat goes off to numbers 4, 5, 7, 10, 17 & 23, these six looked like you could go to war with them: trying to make something happen and giving the underperforming team mates a bollocking when it was needed. Sagna didn’t do anything shocking either as far as I remember (bar the usual ‘crosses’), so he deserves a pat on the back too. Six golden and one silver star for me, these players deserved better. Special cheers for the returning Verminator for keeping his spirit high and scoring the consolation goal.

This is how you do it, ladies: the rest of the team were absolutely non existent or worse with special donkey ears award for Denilson (P45), closely followed by Almunia (P45), Clichy (P45) and Nasri (must do better). I mean, gentlemen, what the fuck was that? Seriously, if you cannot get yourself fired up for the biggest game of the season, then you may as well not bother: if you don’t bleed red and white, do a decent thing and hand in transfer requests. Hang your head in shame, maybe buy your teammates some watches or other shit to apologise. You, my friends, are currently not fit to wear the shirt, period.

There goes our ‘squad depth’ – I have spent some time disputing it and some people were creaming themselves about getting results against some second rate teams, whilst we got really lucky a few times, as top quality strikers would bury most of the chances we were giving away like it was Christmas. Or were conceding stupid goals at the end of the games. ‘Oh, it’s 4:1, so what’. Sure is, but it’s a sign of weakness regardless of the scoreline: each and every time we faced quality opposition this season we have been obliterated, didn’t that tell you anything? The only ‘big’ game of the season that we have won was against piss poor Scousers after the ‘shock, horror’ of Le Hairdryer during halftime.

Our Glorious Leader, The Professor, was screaming at the poor little children! Well, Arsene, do the maths: one game, one bollocking,  three points compared to three games, no bollocking, zero points and 10 goals shipped. Can you see the pattern? If the carrot doesn’t work, one should be excused for grabbing the stick and whacking the shit out of the donkey, simple as. If heaping praise on the young and developing players combined with paying them stupid amounts of money doesn’t do it, they may need a drill sergeant, could Légion étrangère send us one? Better contract? Put your back into it and earn it, son. They all speak French too! Some of these players require a massive kick up the arse for different reasons, or it will be embarrassing at the Bridge. I said before the Villa game that seven points was an absolute minimum, we can still do it!

OK, enough of that ranting, I’ll just wrap it up with saying that I am so deeply disappointed it hurts – I have got a text from my Chelsea supporting mate, that said just ‘oh fuck’. This time there was no usual ‘Ha ha’, and that, dear readers, is saying something…

Thank you for reading! 😉

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Two is the magic number.

January 28, 2010

Two zeros on the scoresheet. Two points dropped. Two players injured. Hit woodwork twice. Result: two points off the top, although the leaders have a game in hand. The next two games are absolutely crucial as far as our title chances are concerned. Hell, getting results there is vitally important in order to finish no lower than third spot, looking at the Premier League table – 6th placed City, having only played 21 games to our 23 would be far too close for comfort, should the worst case scenario unfold. Why is finishing in the top three so important, you will ask: take into the consideration that it is the World Cup year and I would rather not have to go into the early Champions League qualifiers, as it would deprive our players of much needed rest – our team is packed with internationals and I would prefer to start the next season proper as late as possible.

Don’t get me wrong, but I go into every game expecting that we will get all the points, as it is really no fun otherwise – this is what being a fan is all about, right? I wrote yesterday that nothing less than 3 points will do for me and I was genuinely convinced that despite the fact of trip to Villa Park being a notoriously tough fixture (just ask Chavs), we would come up trumps. Members of ‘glass half full’ brigade will say that it’s not too bad a result and I would be inclined to agree, given our lineup. When I first saw the team assembled to face Villans, I really felt for Cesc who was asked to orchestrate our midfield play partnered by two lightweights in the shape of Ramsey and Denilson. Again, let me explain: that’s some grossly unbalanced midfield, if I ever saw one – three players of the same kind, with the only classy one being Captain Fantastic and the other two just making up the numbers. Unsurprisingly, Denilson was his normal useless passenger self, bar one good scoring attempt and our young Welshman was again guilty of not keeping things simple and doing the best piece of defending for Villa by getting in Rosicky’s way when the latter wanted to smash in the rebound after Fabregas’ shot cannoned off the post with the keeper beaten. The goal was gaping with Friedel being nowhere and only shit luck or Ramsey could have prevented us from going one up right before the break. Sadly, it was the latter.

We have got equally unlucky in the second half when Rosicky received a clever pass from Cesc, following a nice break by Arshavin, which ended up with their goalie thwarting his shot. The ball went skywards, the brilliant Spaniard cushioned it towards TR, who frustratingly blasted it against the crossbar. If that didn’t tell you that it wasn’t our day, then maybe injuries sustained by Verminator and Dudu will leave you convinced. While we know that our Crozilian has just pulled a hamstring, which apparently is just a minor niggle, there is no solid confirmation if we should or should not worry about whether we will see TV anytime soon. Now let me put it this way:  I love Eduardo, but his temporary absence from the squad will not have as much of an impact as having half of our best CB pairing for years out of the contention for God knows how long. Hopefully, we will know a bit more today.

Our Belgian was replaced by Sol Campbell who once again was very impressive – I had my doubts whether he could handle playing multiple games in the short period of time, yet he proved that he was much fitter than anyone would care to give him credit for. Yes, he has lost a few yards of pace, but he should be able to make up for it using bags of experience he has. The way he pulled down Dunne and pleaded innocence immediately to get away with it was absolutely priceless. If he manages to pull us through the next few games in the same fashion, then I will be getting his name printed on my new home shirt, due to be announced anytime soon. Rumour has it that we will finally get to look like Arsenal again with all white sleeves – I deliberately bought only the away kits this season and the last, as our current home outfit makes us look like Charlton.

Before this ‘make or break’ period started, I said that I will be happy with seven points from four – this is not how I planned it, but we can still equal or better my estimate. The next home game against the fired up ManYoo, who have just beaten their nearest rivals to the Carling Cup Final will show what we are really made of – we should have Song back and Bendtner will have a few more training sessions under his belt to shake off the rust. He looked reasonably well yesterday and we might have fared a bit better, had he started in place of our No.9 who looks worryingly off pace.

I will not tear into below par performances of a certain few, it should be enough to say that one can only hope that we will not see too much of them in the upcoming matches – please Arsene, see the light: they are not good enough, they don’t have the ‘qualitee’, and should not be anywhere near the first team. With just the mere few days of transfer window left, something must be done. We have the best chance for years and not addressing all-too-obvious shortcomings would be bordering on professional negligence. Please, please, please…

I will be back tomorrow, hopefully with good news on Vermaelen as well as with my thoughts on the last three days of the transfer window. As Wrighty7 likes to say: keep it Goonerish 😉

P.S. Since we didn’t score any goals (luckily, neither did they)  and the highlights of single non-scoring chances are quite hard to come by, these who didn’t watch the game or simply want to relive it are welcome to check out the highlights here.