(IMPORTANT NOTE FROM FTK – I attended the AGM in person yesterday and my blog entitled MY REPORT INSIDE THE ARSENAL AGM will be published at 1pm UK time today, don’t miss it.)
Good morning Insiders and welcome to another TGIF. This week sees the return of Arsenehollis from his brief sabbatical and our guest contributor slot goes to USA based Insider; Grimbo (you’ll be seeing a lot more of him on Insider). It’s been an action packed week so lets get stuck in…
The Big Issues:
PGL: Wenger is a funny one… Saturday saw Song at right back and Eboue on the right wing, then Tuesday saw Diaby employed so far forward we we’re all in a sweat. Saturdays gamble didn’t pay off but the injury to Toure meant things had to change and we all know how well the second half went against the Toffees. Tuesdays surprise tactics however work a bloody treat! Diaby was a revelation. Did anyone else notice RVP’s face on the bench? I think it’s dawned on him that he must now deliver on all that promise if he is to be a regular.
Grimbo: Experimentation is all well and good, however you have to know when to stick with the experiment that worked – Wenger’s next move will show a bit more of his hand methinks. Fact is that you need this sort of surprise from time to time, if you stick to a rigid system it gives teams time to create a formula to combat your strategy (everyone has access to the previous games) – chucking in a wild card like the Diaby move really chucks the cat amongst the sky-rats, I mean what do you think Zola is thinking right now about Sunday’s game?
Arsenehollis: For me this week has been excellent, but I want to see if Wenger has the plums to follow it through and fully transform this team that is so close. Now RVP knows his place isn’t guaranteed… so should Billy and Toure. Djourou and Silvestre deserve a run of games together based on performances. Bendtner is crying out for starts, what more can he do in his cameos to stake a claim. Ramsey and Wilshere need more minutes when we are winning. The team should always be picked on merit, if the old heads get straight back in it will send a terrible message.
PGL: I think we we’re all surprised by Diaby weren’t we? When you look at it, the guy is just back from a long injury, he went into a much changed line up from when he last played, he was playing an unfamiliar role and he managed to perform at that level and score… A truly incredible return to the team. Maybe we have been underrating the influence our returning player could have? Eddie and Rosicky yet to come… Who knows how good this squad could be? Probably only Mr. Wenger. Also when you look at it closely this idea that we have a ‘small squad’ is just a media invention. Our squad is young but I don’t agree that it’s thin. Others may have more numbers but they simply don’t play.
Arsenehollis: For me Diaby’s performance wasn’t a surprise, that kid has always had the talent, now he just needs to stay healthy. What intrigued me was where he played. If this is the norm we are no closer finding a ball winning CM. Denilson has inverted: having defended well but passed poorly early season, he now looks silky smooth with ball but defends like he’s stoned. Such is the trials and tribulations of youth, Walcott has it to. I think 4-5-1 will be the norm in all big games from now on, so it should be. Competition for places is getting fierce and will get more so when Eddy and Tomas are back.
Grimbo: I think the surprise is based around; a) how quickly he got back to form from such a long layoff b) we’d all forgotten how bloody good he can be c) that he scored with his bloody Left foot (I didn’t even know it worked I thought it was made of wood or something, he’s normally so reliant on his right). If he can stay fit I really believe he’ll be a revelation this season.
Performance of the week
PGL: It’s gotta be Almunia, run a close second by Denilson. Our ‘keeper looked so good on Tuesday. If he keeps up that level the ‘Almunia for England’ campaign may gather a lot more weight. With our back four pushing Fener further up the field, it was essential that Manuel stayed focused and alert. Hats off to you Manuel. Jens who?
Arsenehollis: The whole team. Great comeback against Everton and a special result in a very testing game on Tuesday. Special mentions to Almunia, who really has to earn his praise and Diaby, who it is good to see back, I hope it lasts.
Grimbo: Almunia – yeh I guess. However he still lets in goals that my gut tells me that Mad Jens or the Mustachioed wonder (Seaman) would have got hold of in their respective primes’ but in GK terms he’s still wet behind the ears in his early thirties so it’s good that he’s gotten SO much better, bodes well for the future. I’d like to nominate Walcott for the way he totally changed the rules at halftime against the Toffees (that was a night and day impact) and from what I saw (I admittedly only saw the first 25 mins of the Fener game) on Tuesday – this Kid’s NINETEEN!!!
PGL: Of course Stoke also must get a mention… ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!
Arsene Quote of the Week:
“Frankly I just believe what is important is on the pitch. If that is related to the long heels or the short heels – which the girls wear in the street, then I am not a great fan of that. The quality of the pass is not linked to the size of the heels of the girl.”
Grimbo: Le Prof wins the ‘state the bloody obvious award’ for the millionth time
running. Sometimes I really do wonder if some other managers HAVE brains
or if they’re actually remote control soundbite machines.
PGL: You gotta hand it to AW. He’s got a way of getting to the root of a problem. Maybe that’s why Gallas keeps changing he’s boots? He’s never quite sure which is more in fashion the long or the short stud!
Arsenehollis: This quote was far more interesting to me:
“You are all very quiet, a little bit like the game on Saturday. It is a recession mood, but it will not last, do not worry,” Wenger joked as he took the microphone. I would like to give you some reasons to cheer up and be optimistic and to share my optimism with you.”
Which translated out of politician speak is: make some noise you fickle, fair-weather, twats and actually act like SUPPORTERS and back the team. A bit rich seeing as we paid for tickets and then were forced to wait until the second half for our 3 goals. We come to get entertained, not do kareoke – what a dreadfully common suggestion. Plus, we all know we are shite, just Arsene cant see it, an outrage he suggests different. I could do his job better.
Give the Friday Finger
Arsenehollis: Mourinho. Just a tosser of such epic proportions, it should be boring by now, but somehow his arrogance and niggle still gets me. Up there with Gary Neville in the hope a bus hits him stakes.
PGL: I’m giving the Friday Finger to every top side in Europe cause from what I can see they all tried to tap-up Cesc during the summer. What amazes me even more is Cesc goes and radio every couple of weeks and tells us all about it! Fu*k me, Arsene get your finger out and give the lad whatever raise he may be angling for. It’s a never-ending cycle with our players, the world and it’s mother seem to think its ok to talk to them.
Grimbo: The Friday finger’s reserved for the Spuds and all their fans, anything to do with Seven Sisters road. – I took so much shite last season from Spuds and reading the press about our fall from Glory and the whipping the kids took down Shite Hart lane. Include in this double digit degradation is all the media pundits that constantly (and very wrongly) predict that Tottensham’s time has come and they’ll supplant Arsenal in the top four……. HARDY har har. Stick that in your ear you Manc loving prats.
Arsenehollis: Shit Grimbo, if we hadn’t bashed the opposition so badly Tuesday totters would be my heroes of the week, you cant buy this sort of satisfaction. Bring on Wednesday.
Grimbo: It’s all about keeping the FAITH this week. Thank Gooner to all the ArseFans out there that are NOT throwing their toys out of the pram about the strategy at the club. With the global economy breaking up faster then a watery turd going down the pan the “Arsenal Way” will see us through to the other side stronger and better then ever. To all you believers, know this: The Grove wasn’t built in a day – get behind the kids (in an un-Michael Jackson way of course) and they will repay your faith in kind.
Arsenehollis: Nice one Grimbo. Thanks for Arsene’s vision, a memorable European demolition job and some simply fabulous passing football. Big up Bobby Pires to for his comments this week, good to see some loyal old boys still exist.
PGL: I’m with you fellas! We’ve gotta just hang in for the ride this year. It’s gonna have a few bumps but fu*k it, would you want it any other way??
Be a TGIFer!
PGL: Remember folks if you fancy joining me and Arsenhollis for a Friday morning rant, just send a mail to [email protected] and you can be a TGIFer too!
Thank Gooner it’s Friday.
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