Robbed by the Wood Work

Have you ever watched two people fencing? The only time I get to see this is in the Olympics; as for some reason, Britain always seems to win a gold medal and as a result it is always shown on the news. Two people dressed in white wearing a bizarre mask that looks like the eye of a fly, stand in front of each other trading lightning fast cuts and thrusts of their rapiers both seemingly taking it in turns to push forward, slowly at first, then speeding up forcing the opponent back. Well, I hope you have seen one of these competitions or this analogy is in trouble because that was exactly what the last night’s game felt like to me. Two evenly matched teams on the night, alternating waves of attack.

Arsenal took to the field looking confident in the knowledge that they had not lost at Villa Park in over eleven years and determined to extend that statistic to twelve. The good guys kicked off and commenced the first wave which unfortunately came to nothing. It was then Villa’s turn, their wave of attack led to the ball falling to Agbonlahor who fizzed a low shot, goal bound, which produced a fine, reaction save from Almunia. These alternating waves continued in fact for the whole game, some getting closer to breaking the deadlock than others, most notably in the first half Fabrégas’ mazy run from the half way line, from which he unleashed a low drive across the area which looked like it was heading for the corner of the goal only to strike the post at the last second, bouncing to Ramsey and Rosicky who messed up the rebound by getting in each others way.

The other most notable event of the first half was the worrying site of Vermaelen hobbling off which gave Campbell an opportunity to make his first league appearance for Arsenal in I can’t remember how long. His entrance was met with cautious optimism but he quickly put us all at ease with a very commanding header followed by some reassuring passing. We supporters may have needed persuading but the players already knew what Campbell could add and seemed to be lifted by his infectious determination.

The second half kicked off and the alternating waves of attack continued our best opportunity was created by Arshavin from yet another slalom run from the halfway line that was only thwarted by Friedal diving at the Russian’s feet, the ball bouncing kindly to Rosicky who with a rasping shot unfortunately hit the bar.

A draw, I suppose was a fair result but it does now, I believe, put us in a position of having to beat Man U and Chelsea to stand a chance of winning the league……a tall order but not impossible.

Almunia: Coco seemed a bit better today but that might have more to do with Fabiabski’s performance at Stoke still ringing in my head. 6

Sagna: needs a break; I hope Eboue replaces him on Sunday. 6

Gallas: Agbonlahor is one of the few players that can bring a nervous look Gallas’ face; the Frenchman contained him but only just. 6

Vermaelen: let’s just hope he was taken off as a precaution or so I hoped when I wrote this last night but I have just heard from Wenger that he is a bit worried about the expected outcome of the intended x-rays.

Clichy: a very skittish performance, Young gave him a torrid time; MOTD highlighted one incident in the first half when Young made a monkey of him but believe me there were many more like that. 4

Fabregas: very unlucky not to score when he drove forward beating what seemed like half a dozen players before firing a low drive that struck the foot of the post. Gave his all as usual, what would we do without him. 8

Denilson: every time I watch him on telly he looks frightening.  I am going to wait until I watch him live on Sunday against the mancs before I judge him but right now I am on course to join those fans that really cannot stand him. 4

Ramsey: the more and more he plays the closer and closer he gets to being more worthy than Denilson of a starting position although I expect that he will make way for Song on Sunday. 5

Rosicky: he is getting better and better and his confidence would have soared had he not been robbed by the bar.

Eduardo: was not able to get into the game; although, he didn’t receive any service what so ever, he has damaged his ham string and will certainly be out for three weeks. 5

Arshavin: very quiet in the first half but always capable of exploding into action at any moment and winning us the game. 6


Super Sol: seemed to add power and determination which lifted the whole team, a very commanding performance and boy did we enjoy singing all those great Sol songs in the pub, come to think about it, has there ever been another Arsenal player who has had so many positive songs made up about him…..da, da, da, da, Sol’s a gooner. 7

Bendtner: probably would have come on for Eduardo five minutes later any way, adds height and therefore becomes a target man but can still be so frustrating in a Diaby kind of not releasing the ball quick enough way. 5

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86 Responses to Robbed by the Wood Work

  1. London says:


    I cannot tell you how unhappy I am about the idea that comments were removed. I don’t know all the facts so I am going to try not to jump to conclusions. If Rasp and Ave had a spat let it stay up there, they were, no doubt, just letting off a bit of steam, they are both adults and both capable of getting over it and moving on the following morning. If all the tension is removed you will end up with a site that is NICE which is probably the blandest adjective in the English language.

  2. Rasputin says:

    Morning London,

    Fine post. What a stroke of luck/excellent judgement to sign Sol.

    As regards the deleted comments, it is entirely my fault and I accept all the blame. I broke the rules and let you all down. Peaches was just trying to do what is right for the site …. we don’t want to fall at the first hurdle 😉 especially when we have writers of your quality in our ranks.

    I’m feeling a bit sheepish this morning, so won’t be around much and I know peaches has had a power cut = no internet and has an appointment with the dentist. Hope you all have fun and can behave better than I have 😕

  3. London says:

    Morning Kelsey

    I don’t know what is going on but I found your comment and thought as your have obviously put some effort into it the least I could do is put it up.

    Kelsey says

    2010/01/28 at 8:34am

    It looks like not many got to see the game on TV,and personally I thought on the second half display we should have won if we had taken our chances with a little more coolness.
    For those who didn’t see cesc’s run and then the ball hitting the post, it was a moment of magic. Eduardo is clearly not fit,and his instinct for shooting has deserted him, and he rather lays the ball off(same old,same old)>I said in commentary that I thought he twigged his hamstring,and apparently that is the case.
    Vermaelen i hear has a suspected broken leg, which was not apparent as he walked off. if so, that is 4 players this season with breaks. Unbelievable.
    Sol came in and did a good job. Both sagna and Clichy did not have their best games and Young tore rings round Clichy. Denilson, yet again offered little.Almunia made a fine save at 0-0 but again was vunerable to corners and missed three.Ramsey was OK,but we clearly miss Song.Nice to see Rosicky get stuck in, but twice he lashed at the ball instead of a controlled shot,both times should have been goals.Nicci came on, looked ring rusty but did his best.
    I disagree with Wenger.I thought it was an open game,no more physical than many, and both teams played good attacking football.Now we are really short of players before we play Unite, who will be walking on water after last night.
    A real dilemma for the manager,yet i still believe we are so near,but yet again could finish with nothing.If only we had bought cover for Song and a fit striker.

  4. London says:

    Top drawer, Kelsey, top drawer mate. You always seem to notice things that I miss.

  5. Rasputin says:

    I didn’t see the game unfortunately. Villa away is not an easy game, I expect them to take points off the other top teams. We can still take 7 points out of these 4 games, we’ll just need to beat pool and manure now 🙄 actually it will probably be 8 when we draw with the chavs….

  6. Irishgunner says:

    Reports say Vermaelen is out for the season 😥 😦 😥

  7. London says:

    I aways find that there is something fishy about these reports: the idea that the club let Vermaelen go home and sleep on a suspected broken leg just doesn’t ring true. Hell, if my son had a suspected broken leg I would take him straight to the hospital for an x-ray. So I like to think that a club of Arsenal’s size have access to these facilities quicker than I do. There is no doubt in my mind that Arsenal know if Vermaelen’s leg is broken the only reason for the delay, if it is, is to give the club a chance to control the spin of the news.

  8. Irishgunner says:

    Agree with you there London.

    I didn’t see the game – was it from a bad tackle or collision?

  9. Rasputin says:

    Hi Irish,

    Where did you see the report saying TV was out for the season?

  10. Irishgunner says:

    World of Arsenal Rasp – I know it hasn’t been made public yet but knowing our shite luck its probably true.

  11. Irishgunner says:

    I said a “bad word” and went into spam 🙄

    Or was it “World of Arsenal”

  12. Irishgunner says:

    No it was the bad word….

  13. Irishgunner says:

    Rasp – it was on World of Arsenal

  14. London says:

    Morning/Night Irish

    It seemed more like a collision than an Eduardo type tackle.

  15. Irishgunner says:

    Cheers London – I’m just hoping it was something innocuous which might be more a dead leg like feeling or something bruised as opposed broken – probably hoping against hope.

  16. peachesgooner says:

    Morning all

    Thanks for your post London – did you have fun….

    Much as I love Sol surely he’ll struggle playing 2 games a week – he looked really strong again last night 🙂

  17. Rasputin says:

    If Sol can see us through the next three games, I’d be happy. Song will be back soon to offer more protection to the CD’s

  18. peachesgooner says:

    Cescs run was amazing and definitely deserved to be a goal and I couldn’t believe it when Sexy Toms shot come off the underside of the bar 😦

    I love your analogy of the fencing London – I thought there was lots of attacking football from both sides too – Arsene must have been watching something else.

    It was one of those games when the time really flew by……..

  19. peachesgooner says:

    Maybe Song will have to cover as a CB occasionally rasp

  20. London says:

    Morning Peaches

    Yes it was fun, the Twelve Pins is one of the few places left that I can sing my heart out…..bit daft really that I feel more comfortable singing there than I do where I sit in the Emirates.

  21. London says:

    By the way Peaches, you might want to give spam and pending a bit of a tidy up….all last night’s removed comments are there.

  22. peachesgooner says:

    London – I agree about the singing at the Emirates – I reckon Sunday will be good though, the atmosphere is always completely different for the big games don’t you find……..

  23. Rasputin says:

    If its not signed sealed and delivered, should we reconsider loaning Senderos out? He may as well spend time on our bench as much as anyone else’s

  24. London says:

    Yeah, manu is always a special atmosphere, especially when we are winning.

  25. London says:

    Mmm I hadn’t thought about the possibility of Senderos staying….makes sense.

    If Vermaelen’s leg is broken the club know by now and I like to think that they are looking, right now, for a proper replacement.

  26. alfamilano says:

    Good post London and Kelsey. Kelsey was keeping me up to date last night as one stream after another broke down.

    Still no confirmation about TV but he’s obviously out against the mancs for certain. At least we can put Sol out instead of Silvestre.

    They’ll have their tails up after last night. I like the way Rooney cartwheeled after the final goal but then thought better of the backflip. Also Tevez smiling and backslapping all the man u players after the match, as if saying ‘yeah, I don’t care, only a game of football, we are all mates’.

    When is rio ferdinand going to get properly punished for being the low rent weasely thug he really is?

    If we play out of our skins we can beat them, otherwise … 😦

  27. alfamilano says:

    London, let’s make a pact to sing next time I’m down at the front with you. You start and I’ll follow…

  28. peachesgooner says:

    🙂 alfa

  29. London says:

    Hi Alfa

    Are you down the front with us on Sunday and more importantly do you know who has my season ticket?

  30. Rasputin says:

    alfa – is London a baritone or mezzo soprano? 😉

  31. London says:

    It’s more of a council estate croon

  32. alfamilano says:

    London, I’ve just got a message that your ticket is with our good friend my near neighbour.

    I don’t think there will be a spare so my daughter won’t be coming, therefore I will be in my usual seat with Mrs. Alfa. We all sing up there anyway 😀

    Rasp, actually London is a bit musical, plus he is much too hard for me to insult his singing in public.

  33. London says:


    Do you lot really sing up there? I’m a bit jealous.

  34. alfamilano says:

    Not so much, bit more than you do but only when it’s already pretty loud.

  35. London says:

    Campbell – I’m ready to step in for Vermaelen Arsenal FC – Official Site 15:02

    They seem to be preparing us for the worst. SSN have announced that Vermaelen will be having a scan this afternoon….so did all the Arsenal medical staff clock off after the game?

  36. peachesgooner says:

    Sols a gooner 😛

  37. Rasputin says:

    STOP PRESS……..

    TV injury not as bad as feared …. there is no fracture ……. he could be back for the chav game …… happy days 😛

  38. Rasputin says:

    I hope my ‘super-reliable source’ is not b***sh***ng me 😳

  39. London says:

    No break for Vermaelen but he may miss Utd
    Arsène Wenger reveals injury news ahead of Sunday’s game

    He got a kick in the leg, that’s all, why on earth won’t he be playing on Sunday?

  40. Rasputin says:

    Hi London, yes confirmed on … phew… 🙄

    Let’s hope AW has recognised the value of Sol in the back four and tries TV as a deep-lying midfielder for some games … it could be the answer to our defensive frailties (bar coco!)

  41. Rasputin says:

    There is a chance he could play on sunday …

    ….Manager Arsene Wenger told Arsenal’s official website: “There is no fracture in Thomas’ leg but his injury still has to be assessed.

    “There is still a good chance he will not play on Sunday.”

  42. Big Raddy says:

    Well that is good news.

    Why didn’t we take Gudjohnsen? He is a proven striker in the PL, and still has some games left in him. Instead we continue with our depleted strikeforce which has taken yet another loss.

    Sol hada super game last night, our MoM. He must be delighted with his form. Nik B came on and immediately gave the AV defence different problems, but despite my admiration for him, he is not going to propel us to the title this season – 2012 perhaps, but 2010 is too soon for him.

    What goes on in ALmunia’s mind? What is the point of hoofing the ball up to Eduardo or Arshavin? They won nothing in the air, so why give the ball straight back to AV? Wenger has to stop that.

    Today I feel as though we lost 2 points. AV were just ordinary, but we were too timid, especially on the left.

  43. Rasputin says:

    Hi Raddy,

    I’d chalked up 3 points in my mind for yesterday’s game too, but they have beaten pool, chavs and manure so far this season. Manure were ok yesterday, but Rooney was outstanding and made the difference. We need to be able to contain him on sunday, if we can do that we will get the 3 points.

  44. Big Raddy says:

    True Ras.

    For me the key player will be that Scottish thug Fletcher. He can bully our MF if we don’t have a strong ref ( v MU, we never get one), and watch for rotational abuse of Cesc, a well worn SAF tactic.

    Thankfully MU do not have the pace of old. Scholes is half the player he was.

    However, I will write further on MU nearer the game.

  45. Big Raddy says:

    Are we to continue as Peaches Pad (which to me is a bit girly) or take a vote on the site name?

    George Graham’s Wallet

    Alan Ball’s White Boots

    I was there when JJ scored

    It’s up for Grabs (could exist already!)

    East Stand Upper

    Arsenal Collective

    It’s only Parlour

    The Home of Football THOF

  46. peachesgooner says:

    Hi Raddy – I’ve been trying to get an email off to you since yesterday but keep getting interrupted 😦

    Do you want to write something about MU for a post for the weekend – it could go up Saturday and stay for Sunday too – how d’you feel about that?

  47. Big Raddy says:

    OK. Peaches. How many words & how do I deliver it ?

  48. London says:

    Got it

    The Armoury

  49. London says:

    Actually do you reckon anyone has anyone used the really obvious one of

    The Gunners

    Sometimes the obvious ones get missed

  50. London says:

    Red and White Dynamite

    I can’t stop doing this now

  51. Big Raddy says:

    How about

    Gunners Forum ? That has to be a winner !

  52. Big Raddy says:

    My favourite was Pride of London. however, there is an obvious problem isn’t there 😉

  53. kelsey says:

    I apologise london, have just read your report and if i had written it, it would more or less be just as accurate 🙂

    Arsenal…..the ace of clubs

    The Arsenal Club

    Friends of Arsenal

  54. London says:

    I read an interesting observation from someone who went to Villa last night, he said that the final 15 minutes of pressure were down to the fact that Bendtner had come on……it struck a cord, it makes a great deal of sense.

  55. London says:

    The problem you must be referring to BR is that my real name is Pride. I got teased mercilessly at school.

  56. Rasputin says:

    Evening all,

    All Arsenal
    Arsenal Focus
    Arsenal Schmarsenal 😉
    Gooners Pride

  57. Big Raddy says:

    lol London.

  58. London says:

    I not sure that “Evening all” will make a good name for a site.

  59. Rasputin says:

    If the name starts with Arsenal, we are more likely to be found by people googling….

    Arsenal Times
    Arsenal Extra
    Arsenal Forum
    Arsenal Views
    Arsenal Essence
    Arsenal for Dummies 😉
    Arsenal Ideas
    Arsenal in Focus
    Arsenal Opinion
    Arsenal Ongoing
    Arsenal Goal

  60. Rasputin says:

    😛 London

  61. London says:

    Arsenal Oh-to-be

  62. London says:

    Arsenal my life

  63. London says:

    Just don’t tell my wife that I suggested that one

  64. London says:

    Actually, she would guess

  65. Big Raddy says:

    How about this. It’s a gem….

    Parlour Talk

  66. Rasputin says:

    Arsenal By Far
    Arsenal Angst
    Arsenal on Top
    Arsenal Cordial
    Arsenal Party

    …. shall I stop now?

  67. Rasputin says:

    Very good Raddy – it would have to have a cockney ‘w’ impediment …

  68. London says:

    How do you mean Rasp….like “Parlour Tawk” gaw blimey

  69. Big Raddy says:

    We must have at least 30 names so far. How about we assemble them all and vote them down to 6 and then take another vote for the final name

    Or we could go Eurovision and have 12 points down to 1 point to give.

  70. Big Raddy says:

    Ray isn’t a cockney. He is Estuary like TA & Becks.

    There is a Spurs Collective, which prompted me to suggest Arsenal Collective, but I guess the name is sullied

  71. Rasputin says:

    Arsenal Journal

  72. London says:


  73. Rasputin says:


    …. not sure the ladies will approve

    Raddy, we produce a shortliist of 6-10 and as you say score each one a la Eurovision – that way there will be a clear democratic winner

  74. London says:

    They are getting funnier

  75. London says:



  76. Rasputin says:

    Arsenal Carnival
    Arsenal Celebrated
    Arsenal Enquirer
    Arsenal Standard
    Arsenal Guns

  77. Big Raddy says:

    Arsenal Comment has a French flavour to it……..

    Night All

  78. London says:

    Arsenal 2004

  79. Rasputin says:

    Arsenal Unplugged
    Arsenal Appreciation
    Arsenal Station
    Arsenal Atmosphere
    Arsenal Manor
    Arsenal Climate
    Arsenal Examined
    Arsenal ‘n All

  80. Rasputin says:

    Night Raddy….. ‘Comment’ – very clever, possbly too clever 😉

    Arsenal Examiner
    Arsenal Manor
    Arsenal Station
    Arsenal Unplugged
    Arsenal ‘n All
    Arsenal Sauce
    Arsenal Syrup
    Arsenal Souffle
    Arsenal and Squeak
    Jellied Arsenal

    I think it’s time I went to bed….

  81. London says:

    And it’s Arsenal

    Arsenal, by far the greatest team

  82. Rasputin says:

    or just … Arsenal by Far ….?

  83. Rasputin says:

    Nite all …..

  84. peachesgooner says:

    Hurrah Hurrah I have electricity at last 🙂

    Thanks chaps – just cheered me up reading your suggestions 🙂 😛 😀

    How are we going to choose even a top 10??????

  85. peachesgooner says:

    Sorry Raddy – my power went off just as you were asking me stuff …….I’ll let you know a ball park word count in a bit ……

  86. peachesgooner says:

    I’m worried I won’t have any electricity again in the morning so I’m posting now


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