Arsenal – The Response Of Contenders

Today’s post is by PA regular Anicoll5


Who – me?!

The dust has safely settled on Wednesday and we face a very different prospect at 3 bells on Saturday with the arrival of Sunderland at the Grove. It is good that we have a game so swiftly after Munich and even better it is at home.

It has been a mark of our improvement over the past year that every on-field setback we have suffered has been followed by a performance of tenacity and good quality.

 It is the mark of their character that our players respond to adversity. There has been no whingeing, excuses or mysterious ‘injuries’. We have got stuck into the next game. Character without ability is however often unrewarded, and we have invariably managed to claw at least one and usually three points from the next match.

 I see no reason that pattern will change tomorrow against Gus’ Mackems. Sunlun have come a healthy distance since the lunatic Di Canio mockingly asked the referee why he did not send him off in the September game, and Martin Atkinson duly obliged the Italian headcase. We played them and they were doomed, Di Canio driving the Wearsiders to Hell with a whip and a chair.

Sadly all good things come to an end. Now they are back with a fighting chance of escape from the drop.

 Looking at the Mackems’ away form it is not that bad, a 3-0 thrashing of their neighbours at SJP, a semi-final defeat of the Chosen One’s red and white army and a rare win for any away side at Goodison emphasise they should not be underestimated.  For once however the opposition may well have their eyes on Wembley and their tussle for the Capital One Trophy next Sunday.

 I have a small but affectionate spot for the Mackems, partly a family thing, partly a game in 1977 at Goodison, which saw them relegated.  Sunlun must have brought 10,000 on a Wednesday night. Never seen so many men sobbing.


 Other than Gibbs we seem to have got through Wednesday unscathed so Arsene has an almost open choice of who to put in.  The intriguing question is who leads the line?

 My guess is Sanogo to get another start and I have my fingers crossed he might just pick up his first Premier League goal.

 And if we by some strange twist of fate earn a penalty?

Well I know who I would pass the ball to!

You may pass your ball to anicoll5 on Twitter @anicoll5

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96 comments on “Arsenal – The Response Of Contenders

  1. The expected commentry by the plundits on Sunderland being poor yesterday.
    Well, with the Arsenal up 2-0 at Home after thirty minutes are we to expect that the team battling relegation would be full of confidence or what in that first half?

    As their manager explained, Sunderland did not start the game with the intention of camping out inside their own six yard area for the the first half, but an early goal (like, say, an offside goal Away to Liverpool following another generous free kick) can change a game. Or even: “Goals change games”! I would hesitate to give such esteemed plundits any advice, but listening to football fans sing songs during the course of a game (usually after a goal is scored!), the banter and the emotions in a crowd, I have come to the stubborn conclusion: that yes, crazy as it may seem, goals can affect football matches.

    Much of the reams of gibberish written or spoken about football by our hopeless plundits make the effort to ignore the effect that a goal, or goals (or missed pelanties or red cards etc…) may have upon any game. Football commentary can be seen or heard to be about the broadcasters own narrative, and not what can be seen to happen on the pitch. Which is odd. And boring.
    Therefore many of us prefer to watch matches with no commentary (just crowd noise) if available, in another language, or with the mute button on! I’m happy to give some props to the Arsenal Fans TV crew here again. Not all of their regulars will meet with everyone’s approval, but it is hard to deny that their work is more entertaining then that produced by broadcasters who pay billions for their rights! Which, you have to admit, is a little bit funny.

    I can see what foreverheady meant when reflecting upon DB10’s statue *coughs*
    Love the concept and everything else about all the statues. Not sure I’m a massive fan of the sculptor’s work apart from the Henry cast, but who cares…?
    Yesterday was a great day at Arsenal Football Club, on and off the pitch. Class.


  2. Wishing you and your wife, safe and happy landings, Paul.
    My only concern is you will be even scarcer in the coming weeks and months and rightfully so. Good luck mi bredrin.


  3. Cor: Old ‘erb’s statue is a good ‘un too.


  4. Yikes! Almost lost me grit there for a moment *wipes brow*

    Congratulations Paul!


  5. Fins @ 11:26 am
    Talking of pundits, I assume you were fortunate not having to endure the blatantly biased negative commentary by that bitter ex-proTony Gale yesterday. The man had nothing positive to say about importance of our display of Wengerball yesterday. It is pundits like Tony Gale who do a disservice to the sport by giving emphasis to teams who kick their opponents under the euphemism “stop them from playing”.


  6. Thanks guys! I’m blessed!

    Aaron…not bad, not bad at all. Sounds nice, and its biblical and Arsenal.


  7. on goals on sunday they just took the piss out of tg , saying forget about picking the bones out of the defence when the play is first touch and that good it can only be stopped by a foul.


  8. Shotta, the good thing about being back in Florida is that we will have more help with the little ones.


  9. Shotta, I just laughed at Gales commentary. I can’t even be bothered to get upset with these guys. Arsenal will never get the deserved credit, I just accept that now.


  10. congrats paul. one more reason arsenal win the league this season.
    i wish rosicky is just 26. we are blessed to have this great guy with us. thanks arsene for standing by him those years he spent injured.


  11. Thanks layksite, don’t forget the CL! We WILL turn it around. Strangely, that loss midweek never got me down. I get the feeling that it will take the team to another level, especially Ozil.

    Rosicky, one of the best players in the world, he is truly world class. One of the few from that great 08-09 team that stayed. His loyalty is about to be repaid with a few titles.


  12. Huge congrats to you Paul and Mrs Paul – brilliant – my oldest turned 20 this week so I have had a week of baby pictures !

    I watched the game last night with Tony Gale moaning incessantly

    Odd bloke – I do not understand Sky headlining “the Game of the Day” from the Emirates – only to have the co commentator go on and on and on about what a poor contest it was ?

    I would not mind if he had anything insightful to say but it was 20 ‘ ex English pro ‘ clichés to the minute.

    It lurched towards a comedy dialogue at times with Gale coming out with yet a further extreme expression of horror at the spectacle followed by his co commentator trying to point out to him some good bit of football.

    Gale is wasted as a football commentator – hilarious


  13. A or B, I usually sit in the North Bank Upper Tier and I think the atmosphere has been growing there and is pretty decent most of the time. But, As a red member I have to go where I can get a ticket, so it’s not always possible.


  14. Anicoll @ 3:15pm – As you pointed out so well yesterday, at least Gale did a fair bit of coaching of Sun’lun from the safety of the commentary booth.

    One thing about Gale and his fellow cronies who do media work for the English audience, is the absolute fellating of Barca’s balls when they are commentating on their champion league games. I heard him earlier this season or last and I couldn’t believe the high praise being sung of Barca’s metronome passing. Yet domestically they are urging opponents to kick Arsenal off the field.

    Hypocrisy is a polite word.


  15. Congrats, Pauly. Arsene would not be a bad name for your baby. Just let it marinate a bit. Hahahahaha.


  16. Marinated AW. hahaha. Blasphemy


  17. Congrats Paul and I wish ur Mrs a safe delivery.
    The game yesterday typifies what the guys can do on their day. I don’t buy all this BS about Sunderland being poor on the day or any other narrative to diminish the performance of the team. If Sunderland were poor, it was because we made them play poorly and we are superior.
    TR7 was fantastic. JW10 is getting there and with AR16 coming back soon, we should be in good stead for the final push. And I have this sneaky feeling that AD24 might have somthing to say about the final run in if we are lucky to have him for the final few games. What a fascinating end to the season in prospect!!


  18. CNN fired piers Morgan. ( thank goodness) . Next we are kicking him out the country. Boom. He is now your problem.
    Deal with it. USA! USA!USA!


  19. Looking ahead to the games in the next two weeks. Holy molly. We need all hands on board. Talk about the schedule from hell. Worthy of only the top notch warriors. bring it..!!!!
    This is turning iron into steel….. And we are NOT going nowhere. Lets rock.


  20. Congratulations Pauln !! ….gunners multiplying!! medal for paul!! medals actually..

    and a massive lol at nicholson f365

    “What he forgets or chooses to ignore is that Premier League football is not a normal world where sense and prudence are worth anything. Its a crazy world of crazy money. Making profits and not blowing your wad every year is a worthless achievement.”

    The manager’s great victory has been to establish as a truth the notion that what some call failure is actually a manifestation of success and that winning trophies is not the primary goal but rather a secondary aim, subservient to not over-spending and playing good football. There are plenty of dissenters to this view who see through the façade but not enough for them to ever oust Wenger from his imperious position.”

    ahahahah …..look at what kind of people want to write about football or arsenal or wenger ….people who admit their football league is a brothel full of whores…. so why dont you play along arsenal? huh? why arsene? sack him!!! hahaah fuck you nicholson and your football sub-culture and your epl cartel …


  21. Hunter, F365?
    Isn’t that a(nother) one of those sites that gets more excited about transfer rumours then the actual footy? Hmmm. Nope. Not for me!

    I hope Hunter saw the lame and disingenuous article attempting to compare GG and AW. I suppose that after the failure of the amazing and genius PR campaign to convince everyone that the Invincible’s back five were built by GG (some were fooled!) that this is the next step. The natural evolution of such craven stupidity. Give me strength. And then they’ll accuse those who disagree with such xenophobia and stupidity for being, wait for it, “AKB’s” whilst being unable to deny ties with certain business interests. Hilarious. I could not make it up. GG’s other club as manager was Tottenham, AW’s was a title winning Monaco team, probably the best team that club ever had.
    Yes. It takes real effort to write such crap.

    This was funny:
    “Me to Tottenham next season? This is fantasy football,” Cesare Prandelli tells Italian TV station Rai

    Well. There’s always Coyle. If that fails what about Moyes. I’ve heard some experts who think that Moyes could be the future of football (if you want to follow Scotland!).
    As long as they give whoever the manger is an open chequebook and the sack after six months what could possibly go wrong? If that fails, what about someone who is an Arsenal fan?
    I met a few Arsenal fans in the Summer who told me that Levy knows what he was doing. They said this because the people they chose to listen to told them to believe such crap. And they did. Consider the absolute refusal by the football broadcasters to refer to the owners of the oilers in any detail or to the amount of money cycling its way through these clubs and it is almost understandable why people would not question the bizarre amounts they have spent. How much coverage did Malouda get for being sent to the reserves for a year? He was a big player for Chelsea for two seasons. On serious wages.

    I guess those campaigns against Steve Kean and Martin Jol (this season) worked out well do the fans of those clubs *shakes head*


  22. its quite astonishing fins …..then they wonder why the rest of the world cant wait for major tournaments to laugh at these sorry cunts and their neanderthal football culture

    …what with the sky- epl cartel and foreign tycoons raping their football traditions…… haha ….and theyre telling arsenal and wenger to get on the carousel basically…..

    as for the gg thing ….it takes a supreme idiot to compare the class and performances and football ideals of a classless neanderthal scotsman with Arsene Wenger. these fools talk about 89 as if its arsenal’s highlight in its whole history and the only thing that deserves merit…..wenger pissed on all that but he aint brittish is he? he didnt do it with the @character@ of drunks, gamblers and wifebeaters did he ?? ……. OUT!

    the same @characters@ that saw them abandoning the club to go to clinics or losing finals in the dying seconds from 50 meter lobs ……..

    if its revisionism they want ..i have plenty to remind them …..


  23. i would love to see these twats when a wengerless arsenal fluctuates between 7th and 12th like other arsenal teams in the past…….and without having stadiums to repay 😉

    i guess thats cause arsenal was…. always a big club…always surely …..always had money…always attracted the best of players in the world and always feared by madrid juventus milan bayern etc …always…. 🙂

    damn that frenchman taking the club backwards huh



  24. and i ask….where would that famous back 4-5 be without wenger reminding them they were FOOTBALLERS and giving purpose back to their lives ? ……oh theyd be forgotten in a gutter or some clinic wouldnt they? Or are they thrown in our faces just to have a go at Wenger no matter how ridiculous ? How far would those veterans take arsenal in wenger’s early years had it not been for a vieira here or an overmars there ..an anelka..etc etc…. OOPS …Wenger bashers havent thought clearly about it have they?


  25. what made the difference in the winning of wenger’s early titles those titles? the defence or the midfield and attack? they tell us that the defence was a constant dont they? no changes there…..it is the same one that hadnt won it since 91 …..lol ……. so id say its more like the mdifield and attack that made the difference, but dont wake them up yet ..lets laugh at them for their stupidity and clear out the deadwood from our support not only our playing squads.


  26. “as for the gg thing ….it takes a supreme idiot to compare the class and performances and football ideals of a classless neanderthal scotsman with Arsene Wenger. ”

    No it does not – what takes surpeme idiocy is comparing two characters and their contribution to Arsenal that occurred at different periods of the club’s history, different times, different resources and coming to any definitive conclusion.

    Fucking nonsense

    George was a great manager – Arsene is a great manager – Chapman was a great manager – Bertie fucking Mee had talent


  27. Congrats Paul & Mrs.Paul-N.
    Well done (again).

    Smacked ’em, we did
    4-1 indeed.
    Sagna played trinity
    Mozart scored a beauty

    Poyet had to render props
    Low ratings meant Piers’ opinions don’t count
    So the network axed the twat
    The network axed the twat

    Kos & Nacho should be back in time for Stoke
    Along with a very well rested wizard of Oz
    The month of March should also see the return
    Of Abou, Kim K, capt.Verm & Rambo

    1 point behind lil ‘Jose’s mercenaries
    1 point should win it f’we end of season
    Oh how sweet it is to be a gooner
    Tout sweet indeed it will be.

    Maintain the faith.


  28. Hunter,
    I could take a recent quote from Martin Keown, not known for mincing his words,

    “AW taught me to play football”

    (& to be a coach…), or so many others from the diplomatic Ray Parlour (unlike some other ex-Gunners who work for Murdoch the Romford Pele chooses to show his genuine affection for his former club and gaffer) but what’s the point?
    Some people choose not to listen to what a wizened old gritty grizzler like Keown has to say. They must really know their stuff!


  29. I have no doubt that those comments from Keown were not meant as a slur upon GG, Pat Rice or the Queen’s Mother.
    Those of us who weren’t about have heard how well that 89 team played (makes what happened with P.Davies a sad story…)

    It’s clear what the intentions behind such comparisons are. An excuse for Groaners to groan. One point off the top. Tough times. Needs must.


  30. The best part about Arsene announcing his new contract will be Piers Morgan having to keep his gob shut. CNN gave him their most coveted time slot and he completely cacked it. Hahahahahahahahaha!!!!!

    Hunter, the malcontents only wanted us to be competitive. They didn’t want us to go out and bid £75m for a player like the oilers do every summer.


  31. The dippers are six off the top and they are ecstatic. We’re one point off the top and our malcontents are about to slit their wrists. If we win the title things are going to be fucking AWKWARD for them.


  32. anicoll5
    February 24, 2014 at 1:05 pm

    heh you re taking this the wrong way ….

    what my personal opinion/estimation is on that era/players/manager of Arsenal is just that…personal.

    what i choose to say about that era when confronted by others telling us that gg was better and that wenger is taking us backwards is a totally different thing

    sometimes we need to talk in their @language@ 🙂

    i remember very well what we were back then and its not like adams and co were the maldinis and baresis, sammers, hierros of this world…..if they are considered the equivelant of that by media or national culture or older arsenal fans then the state of delusion is at critical levels….point of no return …. no wonder they wanted to equate rooney to messi and bechkam to zidanne/figo …..”look we also have world class players its not just spain and italy and france, we too!!!!” ……. these are stories for children

    February 24, 2014 at 1:42 pm

    Hunter, the malcontents only wanted us to be competitive.

    Thats a matter of the club owners though, not the manager….


  33. It’s clear what the intentions behind such comparisons are.

    to rewrite history and to propagandize against wenger’s arsenal by presenting the club before him as the type of club with mega achievements that echoed around WORLD football and with a trophy cabinet that sent fear down to opponents all over Europe……

    my personal take : morons who cant identify with change and who are still stuck in a bangers and mash diet…


  34. Hunter,
    Have you found the Cypriot dude selling his home made burgers near Drayton Park station yet? Close to the primary school. Top top quality burgers/kebabs.


  35. Piers has found if you concentrate on the negative and slagging someone else you can fall short at what you should be doing. There is definitely a satisfying irony in Arsene signing a new contract having pleased his employers just at the time when piers has finally lost the patience of his.
    GG was a wonderful motivator but players who left of their volition during his time was because of his style of play, where as the deserters during the last eight years have left for a variety of reasons but none of them football related.
    That tells you the real difference between the two, one good manager who will win things but maybe not progress the club and one great manager who is a coach, innovator, and leader not only of his own club but also the league and game to which he belongs.


  36. no no no cant eat such filth from the streets ….i bring my tupperware with my rice and vegetables from home plus fruit 🙂

    tell you what ..saturday i was really brave and had a hot dog from one of them fine establishments on the streets …(dear christ)….with onions and mustard…..


  37. When I said the malcontents only wanted to be competitive, it was meant to coincide with your comment about them wanting to hop on the all out spending choo-choo train along with the oilers.

    I don’t know if you recall, but there were some realists who only wanted to buy some key players which would make us competitive. Well, they got that with Özil and Cazorla, but they still squeal like stuck pigs. They’ll never be happy unless we spend as much as City or Chelsea do every transfer window. On top of that, they want us to get rid of the best talent spotter this sport has seen in the past few decades. You know? The guy who nurtured Thierry Henry and plucked Vieira from obscurity.


  38. That tells you the real difference between the two, one good manager who will win things but maybe not progress the club and one great manager who is a coach, innovator, and leader not only of his own club but also the league and game to which he belongs.

    like comparing a merson type ..to a xavi and/or pirlo type … hah

    its a matter of culture i guess …the arsenal culture of fear wants us to do it like city and mou and a with bit of gg grit for old time’s sake……haha

    so sad 🙂 .


  39. But these are seriously good burgers. With a variable cheese selection too 🙂
    I can only recommend them. If you tried a hot dog then you’ve got no excuse!


  40. You know? The guy who nurtured Thierry Henry and plucked Vieira from obscurity.

    sorry who??? never heard of them ………

    would they have been able to win stuff in england without dixon and nigel showing them the way i wonder?


  41. Carzola? Football? Eh?
    But I want to whinge about Vengaaaaaaaaaar and label any who try to defend him as an AKB with an agenda so I can attempt to carry on with this piss poor charade of a ‘debate’. Now that the fascist communist dictator Chairman Veng has, you know, spent some farking money (hopefully with the agent of my preference…), built the best D-Fence in the land, churned out three top top ‘keepers, and signed up players who are 33 etc. etc. etc. it is all that I have left. Please?

    I remember when the bin baggers chose to unveil their billboard in 2011 when the club were doing quite well in February. Strange behaviour. Past form and conduct from the malcontents tells us that they do not care about what is happening on the pitch. That is not my opinion, it is a reflection of their actions.

    It needs to be said again. Carzola: What a player. I almost like him as much as Rosicky. Like Mean Lean I’m tempted to say that out of all the players I have seen play football in the flesh that he is possibly my favourite. Back to his best? Like Arteta who was coming back to full fitness he benefitted from the extra rest mid-week.


  42. At what stage will Sagna become “contract rebel” in the press, or is he destined to remain the good guy shamelessly disregarded by the manager? If the truth be known the club has probably already made him a decent offer, but has also acknowledged that it is his right to opt for crazy money elsewhere. Could be wrong, of course, but I somehow sense he will never enjoy as good a season as this one again, whoever he ends up with. Just getting ever so slightly bored with it, as I think he is great without necessarily being “all that” these days. I also feel that his versatility in playing anywhere across the back line is not quite so remarkable as it sounds, given the way our midfield runners have adopted do many different roles.

    And I suddenly realize I am being unfair in singling out a player who is being used by the dark side as an example of AW either not having a clue or actively working to disadvantage The Arsenal.


  43. Speaking of old George graham, he reckons we might as well put out a weakened team against BM for the second leg assuming a 2-0 deficit is too hard to overturn against the defending champions. He reckons further that the ARSENAL should concentrate their fullest effort in winning the league considering the game coming up against the cream of the crop of epl. He doesn’t even mention the other thing, ahhhh the FA CUP.
    I know what I think about that line of thinking. What do you guys think of what he says?


  44. So the handsome man has been up to not so handsome a deed. In fact down right ugly. chame, chame, chame OG.
    we expect a hell of a lot more from yous


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