Let the games begin…

Or commence, or start, or not be postponed. As I write this, the game is still on, but as we were all debating on Wednesday night, it will be one of those Saturdays where we just won’t know if the game will go ahead until the very last minute. The roads have been cleared and the trains are working, so I do expect the game to happen as scheduled – after the Bolton lastminute.com style of handling and the reimbursement of the tickets, it’s quite important that the club and authorities make the decision early than later.

Arsene had a bit of a field day in the press yesterday and covered quite a lot of topics. The most intriguing was the letter he wrote to Real Madrid and Barcelona asking them to leave our players alone. Arsene is a man of integrity, and his letter is a compliment to his style and respect for the game and the principles of the game. In fact I don’t think any other club nor any other manager would act in some a diplomatic way as Arsene – here is what he said:

“The speculation comes from Spain, not here. We have always had the same speech about that. What they speak about in Madrid or Barcelona, how can we influence that? We wrote them a letter. We do not say that Messi and Kaka will sign next week here. If one day we want to sell a player and they are interested they can call us. They don’t need to go through a newspaper. I wrote the letter a long time ago to say we are not ready to sell any of our players. I don’t remember when but they did not write back. In Spain you have to understand it is a bit different. The chairmen are elected by the fans so you have to make a campaign: if you elect me, I come with him, him and him. But they have never spoken to the guys, not to the clubs, most of them, and it’s just part of the speculation.”

And he is right – there is a massive difference in Spain compared to the UK in terms of attracting players – but the funny thing is, when do Real Madrid and Barcelona ever get formerly told off for this. I think Arsene has spoken about this as there has been more news in the papers about Guardiola’s desire to bring Cesc to the club and the request to force Cesc to move, it’s all a bit crazy. The other Spanish story has been the Higuain and Cesc swap. I don’t think Arsene can say it in any more ways… “it’s never gonna happen!”

Arsene has been talking ab0ut transfers and he has seemed to have dismissed everyone at the moment. He’s already said that Carlton Cole isn’t an option, and today’s he’s also revealed that Gignac is not an option and that Lyon had a £2om offer rejected for him last season, so not in Arsene’s budget. He has also said that he isn’t going to spend any money on Chamakh to bring him to the club this January whilst maintaining that although he is available this summer, he hasn’t spoken to his agent. In a way, I am beginning to think that Arsene has never really wanted Chamakh – the way he speaks about him and the way he is so blase about.

For those of you who haven’t read it, the match preview is here and hopefully it won’t be postponed. Arsene has taken a stance on this and decided that he feels that there is no real need for postponements. I think he is treading a fine line.

“Personally I know only the inside of the stadiums – I don’t know the surroundings well enough, but I must say it is the price we pay for living in a society where everybody wants 100 per cent security. Nobody accepts any risk any more and everybody is always guided by fear. If one of 60,000 people has an accident, you feel very guilty and nobody accepts anymore that the slightest insecurity could exist in our society and that is why the games are postponed when there is no real need for it.”

Do you agree? Personally I’m not sure – the key thing for fans is to get to the games safe and the way that Arsene has said this  isn’t in the interests of the fans in a way. Personally, I think it was fine to travel to the game on Wednesday and additionally, I think I can easily get down to the game today – but of course, I am based in London, so it is easier. The problem Arsene and Arsenal face is that the postponement of these games means a fixture pile-up very soon – and that frustration is what has triggered Arsene to say this.

It looks like I’ve rambled on way too much in various different directions – time to turn to the comments and discuss whether this game is going happen or not!!

Til later…

  • http://worldofarsenal Josiah

    I think it will be on

  • Sam

    Need some Arsenal, so keeping fingers crossed.

    Any idea when the postponed gamed will be played? Bolton will settle down with new manager. It could help Chelsea if game is played after African Cup.

  • JDD

    with 20 mil too much i see traore as the only striker left that wenger might go for.i would like to see him make an offer for beckford though.

  • JDD

    line up

    Sagna Gallas Vermaelen Traore
    Denilson Ramsey Diaby
    Nasri Arshavin Eduardo

    Subs: Fabianski, Silvestre, Eastmond, Merida, Emmanuel-Thomas, Rosicky, Vela

  • Sam

    Slow start by the Gunners…

  • http://worldofarsenal Josiah

    working stream please?

  • Sam

    Only a matter of time till we conceded. Everyonr sleeping!

  • http://worldofarsenal Josiah

    1-0 to to the everton. Shame

  • Marc Callan

    Anyone got a stream?

  • http://worldofarsenal Josiah

    1-1 come on arsenal

  • Sam

    Goalie & defence are all over the place. Let’s hope AW will shake the boys up in the half time.

  • Sam

    1st half over 1-1, Gunners need a wake up call.

  • JDD

    any proper gd streams any1?

  • Gooner Get Ya

    @JDD try myp2p.eu there maybe one on that site.

  • Sam

    74 min, aweful conditions, but our 2nd goal is on its way!
    C’mon GUNNERS.

  • Sam

    Oh, crap! 1-2.

  • wills


  • Kuka

    {..} the draw works for me. This was a game we could have easily lost. We just never showed up….It must have been extremely difficult for the fans who endured the otherwise coooold weather. It will be a miracle if all the players come out of this game scratch free…

  • Kuka

    We all love Arsenal. I would like to pose a really sincere question?

    DO WE AS A TEAM HAVE A PLAN “B” WHENEVER THINGS DONT WORK AS WE PLAN? Today’s game makes me ask this question. How long does it take in a game for a manager to either change formation, style of play…etc etc….

  • Berth

    It was so cold for the baby skinned Arsenal young players. But fair play to Everton and I hope Manu drops at least 2 points

  • Sam

    Our boys had a bad day at the office, specially Almunia who was completely off. We must be thankful for the single point in such tough conditions. Let’s give our best to Denilson and hope his injury is nothing serious.

    Now for ManU to lose…

  • http://worldofarsenal Josiah

    im not overly fussed with the draw. good result considering how we played. hopefully united will lose. we will see. all in all im not falling out with the lads because we draw today. im quite pleased.

  • http://worldofarsenal Josiah

    oh and plus i was looking at the fixtures. i feel if we win the 4th round tie with stoke then villa then united then chelsea then liverpool then 5th round tie then knockout game in champions league. then surely. SURELY we would win a trophy. I’m not saying we would win all of them games, but how good would it be?

  • mesol

    Yes, We have a bad day today, all the players fault, dont just blamed Almunia, but he make one important save after denilson was down injured! actually our defense was awful especially Gallas, Traore

  • http://thegoonerway.blogspot.com/ wills

    @mesol, yes our defence was awful today! Gallas and Traore we at sixes and sevens and even ended up having an argument towards the end. Fair play to Willy though, he totally ignored Traore and just got on with the game.

  • http://worldofarsenal Josiah

    and then united draw so nothing has changed.

  • http://worldofarsenal Josiah

    we still have our chance to go second

  • Berth

    But a big striker shouldnt be far off especially with Vela and Edu not living up to the expected level.

  • Francis

    Yes a bad day at the office…but everton also played in the same conditions. the key issue is that we couldnt play our usual passing game partly because of the elements and also the players just weren’t up for it. thinking that everton will just show up and roll over did not quite happen. having said that it looks like 1 point gained as opposed to 2 points dropped….we were lucky to get a draw.

    yes plan B, we just do not have that. with everton pressing us high up the pitch we just did not have a striker with the physical presence (like RVP, B52 or Ade) to knock the ball over the everton midfielders to…that will have negated the pressure that the defence and the midfield were under.

    Additionally, Ramsey and Denilson were always caught napping cos they couldn’t compete physically…and that shows how much we are missing Song.

    Wenger has a lot to do in this transfer window than previuosly thought with Denilson’s injury. Wenger definitely needs a a big physical presence in the middle as a foil for Cesc, Diaby or Ramsey…

    Suggestion buy a big physical striker and a big holding midfielder.

  • vj

    one of our worst performances, defence horrible we are already missing song you could see that gap and and protection we lacked with denilson injured wenger will be weiging up another midfielder to keep title hopes up, Traore (lucina) seems to be the one wenger is looking or up front

  • edison

    I was at the game, and i think as a team everyone battled as best they could, against a particularly dangerous everton side. Traore had a nightmare game, kept getting caught the wrong side of defence, and i think Almunia as captain puts a lot of responsibility on the keeper to get ‘involved’ and miscommunicating with the back four.

    Congratulations to diaby though, who had to play a more central defencive role, because song was missing. The whole game he found Fellani a problem, so he managed well to do his best to take him out, and create plays forward.

    Without a strong striker up front, no Fabregas to settle and create play in the middle and now no Song infront of the back four, we do seem to have a gaping hole in both plays attacking and defending.

    Eduardo looked a little more on form attacking, but the dynamic between him and Arshavin (who is easily our best attacking player) – is still not working.

    With Cesc back for bolton, i think we should be a lot more confortable keeping possession and creating chances. Bring it on.

  • Francis

    On the funny side of things i saw arsenal staff i presume doing their best to clear snow from the grounds using fire. I thought that was hilarious (writing from Canada)because when you try to melt snow in sub-freezing conditions you end up with ice which is worse than snow flakes.

    Viewers from the other side of the atlantic (i.e. Canada) had a good laff. At least this incident ligthened the rather tense moments during the game.

  • goonerman

    denilson is quoted on sky sports news as saying he doesnt know what the injury was that made him collapse but he belives he will be fit for bolton so thats good! aparrently weneger said if that ever happens again the players must commit a foul which is fair enough becuase for them to have got a goal would have been a joke but on the other hand we couldnt of complained at them!

    if denilson playing in the holding roll is going to work he needs to be extremley dissaplined! like for evertons second goal im pretty sure song would of been there covering because he knows were there is danger! also vermaleam and gallas need to stop all this running forward and possibly just one of them come forward for corners while we are without song becuase we just need that one extra player covering and we wouldnt be chasing the team towards our own goal all the time.

    is there not a possibility the postponed bolton game could be played this wednesday or does everyone think we will have that one next week? if we have the week off its the perfect time for wenegr to do any of his buisness in the transfer market.

    finally and hopefully some of these injured players are gonna make a come back, fabregas should be back but surely clichy and walcott aint far behind! LETS WAIT AND SEEE!!