Jeux Sans Raison


Thank the deity of your choice that the sideshow is over.

International football, that utterly meaningless distraction, with its attendant pandering to nationalism, racism and  general xenophobic flag waving, has at long last finished using our precious playing staff for its own tedious ends and they can now limp back to London and the treatment tables. We really can’t afford to lose anyone else in this worthless cause. I believe it has been little short of miraculous that we have managed to get to this stage of the season at the top of both of our leagues considering the butchers bill we’ve had to pay so far. It would take a man braver or more foolhardy than me to predict our continued success without a major improvement in our injury list, you just cannot ride your luck forever. This is the main reason I detest the international breaks.

It appears that  our German wonder boy may just be a little bit sore and not actually on a gurney en route to the knackers yard, but even if he has survived we’ve still lost more than our fair share of players to these irritating fixtures over the years. I have heard the argument that it’s good for the individuals concerned to play and play well for their country. They feel a sense of pride and accomplishment and this is a benefit for their self esteem and ultimately for their performances when they return to play for the clubs who actually pay their wages. Really? Say my partner went off every few weeks giving blow jobs to one of my neighbours. I can see how this might well cheer him up considerably and she could conceivably achieve a sense of pride in her performance and maybe come home a happier and more accomplished lover. Whilst I would recognise how satisfying the arrangement would be for my neighbour and even for my wife, you wouldn’t really expect me to be dancing for joy each time she set out to visit him or standing by the bedside and cheering them on would you? Especially if she came back with a hamstring injury that put her out of action for six weeks.


This is however the awful situation in which we find ourselves and there is nothing we can do to change it. At this time I would, in the past, have found myself bemoaning the loss of momentum, especially if we were in a good run of form. On this occasion I sensed the side had peaked against Napoli and that we struggled a little to contain a very good West Brom team. Perhaps for once the cursed international break came at a good time. Aaron certainly broke his long goal drought at last, albeit for a different team, and as George and his pals pointed out in the most recent podcast when Mr Ramsay is not at his industrious best the whole team lacks a little spark. If only Tomas were five years younger, he being to my mind the other inspirational player in our squad; a fizzing, crackling firework of a footballer who galvanises us with his tireless running, balletic spinning and instant passing. On the bright side we might have Señor Cazorla back available to us for the weekend and I know many of us are eager to see just how he and Mesut will play together. It is a mouthwatering prospect, almost a little immodest to start them both. One footballing wizard per midfield is surely enough for any team isn’t it? I just hope they get a good run together because no matter how talented you are you still need a knowledge and understanding of the players around you to really make things happen on the pitch.

If the worst comes to the worst and both are unavailable it could be a disguised blessing for Jack. He would be the obvious choice to play behind Giroud in what is surely his best position. He certainly isn’t a left winger and while I completely understand him doing his time out there and lets face it we can all see the benefits to Aaron’s all round game from his own stint out wide, poor Kieron has been left horribly exposed at times. If Tomas is fit he can do a job on either flank and Serge has more than proved himself on the wing. It wouldn’t be ideal to have such inexperience on one side with both Corporal Jenks and Gnabry playing, but until Lucas, Bac and Theo return we may not have a choice.

These are interesting times. With phase one completed satisfactorily we now need people back for phase two. Still top by Christmas is a rather splendid prospect, but as us recovering boozehounds will tell you, it really is one game at a time. Anyway I only popped in to say hello, I’ll be back with my wildly inaccurate and mostly nonsensical Norwich pre match gibberish, so until then let’s just cross our fingers, rub our lucky heather and pray the missus comes back from next door in one piece.

About steww

Arsenal, books, photography, bass guitar, dog walking, mountain biking, being on the radio, writing, talking too much, failing, making mistakes, buggering on regardless.

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58 comments on “Jeux Sans Raison

  1. zimpaul, all those qualities are what made england what they are today. where has that landed them?
    we are a team that play one touch football, fast short passes. this is what gives you possession. long diagonal passes, hard tackling is for defensive minded teams. how is that going to benefit arsenal. we go after ball playing players for a reason. you dont put five midfielders in a team only to start playing diagonal long balls every now and then. take a look at clubs who play possession football. how many of those teams have gerrard type of players. even swansea.
    barcelona could have gone for alonso but his style will never alow them to keep possession. look at the bayern under guardiola, barcelona, spain and germany. are there players who specialise in hollywood passes in there?
    we have ozil, cazorla, rosicky, ramsey, arteta, flamini and jack. why do we waste these players only to play long diagonal passes. jack can learn whatever he wants from gerrard but he will soon realise that those skills are not exatly needed at arsenal.
    as for gibbs learning something from cole? i dont need to say anything as i know that cole is just there in the team based on reputation and nothing more. between him and gibbs, i know who i will choose.


  2. So ‘hard tackling is for defensive teams’ and therefore of no interest to Arsenal then Layksite ?

    It seems to me ‘hard tackling’ is a crucial tool in the armoury of every football team, or at least every football team that has aspirations to be thought of as any good and to win things

    Do you think Patrick Vieira did not understand and employ ‘ hard tackling’ ? Gilberto did not know how to stick the boot in as required ?

    Now tell me honestly Layksite do you really feel the hard edge of tackling steel that Flamini had brought since the start of September has not made us a better football team ?

    So the best thing young Jack could do is to learn to tackle – hard, fair, sometimes not so fair – and continue to be a creative footballer

    You seem to thing it is either/ or

    And – in my opinion – it isn’t

    Look at Gerrard for instance


  3. I sort of agree with Layksite,
    I think Jack is trying to be to English in his approach,
    Also,I detest tattoos.


  4. first, flamini is not a hard tackler. he marks people out, works hard just like ramsey and arteta. these are not hard tacklers like your scholes and savages of england.
    vieira is not an arsenal youth team product. and arsene didnt buy him because he tackles hard. there are several candidates for that role but wenger bought him because he breaks counter attacks against us and can immediately start our own counter. he intially struggled with his hard tackles but over time he learned the arsenal way and became master. all the talk of viera hard tackles were just the migth and stereotype from his aerly days at arsenal. and above all, vieira gave us much more than just tackles.
    gilberto is one of the finest defensive midfielder of all time.


  5. PG
    Even Aaron has a crappy tattoo on his left leg.

    I hate them, it’s a hipster disease.


  6. Flamini is not a hard tackler he ‘marks people out’

    You’d best mention that to the referees Layksite – they seem to mix up his kicking people for ‘marking’ them

    I agree about Vieira – when he arrived he could not tackle for toffee – hard or soft – bit like Jack these days a bull at a five bar gate

    But he learned and as far as I recall was as hard a tackler as I have seen in an Arsenal shirt – right up there with Keane in the unstoppable force v the immovable object


  7. It’s the women with tattoos that I don’t really get – what the fuck is that about ?
    I am old enough to recall when the incidence of tattoos among the ladies was very rare – and my impression from meeting the few who were marked up was they were not nuns


  8. Like stew, I dislike nationalism, jingoism, flag waving etc but sometimes I have to stop and wonder what the difference is between that and supporting a club. Instead of flags, there are scarves to wave, shirts to wear and the abuse directed at distant foreign neighbours is replaced by abuse of more local neighbours.
    If only we could support our club/country without all the hatred and aggro towards those supporting their (different) club/country, but it seems there are many who can’t.
    Tattoos are just another form of body decoration – i have a full beard (slightly less painful). Besides, they provide the rest of us with some amusing moments – like when NB52 (as he then was) and his Danish Baroness had each other’s names tattoed on their bodies in a gesture of undying love, only to split up a few months later. I guess you just have to go out and find someone with the same name 🙂
    The Norwich game will be interesting – they will almost certainly be looking to contain and hit us on the break, so an early goal or two for us will calm things a bit and enable shorter stints for those who have played a lot recently and need to be kept reasonably fresh for Tuesday. I’d like to think Newcastle might deprive Liverpool of some points but I can’t see it really. I hope the English referees have seen Suarez’s dive against Argentina – he really is a ridiculous excuse for a human being. Please God Madrid go after him in January – I’d hate to see him at the Emirates. That would really stretch my allegiance.


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