A Catalonian and A Montenegrin Walk Into A Bar…

By on February 3, 2010

Arsenal Station would liked to have taken a full week off following the disappointment of Sunday, but, in the interests of regularity, I shall spew some opinion at thee.

Life as an Arsenal supporter is a tough one to lead. Nevermind our horrendous record against Chelsea and United in the last two years. But after every one of these crushing defeats and during every interlull, Barca never fails to take advantage and drive already despairing Gooners to madness.

This morning we are treated to quotes from Barca vice-president Alfons Godall:

Sooner or later Cesc will end up coming back. We are a club that can sign players because we are respected and solvent.

Is this not blatant tapping-up? I mean, we’ve been over this a dozen times before and Peter Hill-Wood even lashed out at the club last month for their incessant efforts at trying to unsettle the player. Have we ever seen a more disgraceful media campaign launched by a club in the hopes of unsettling a player and that persists despite clear statements of intent from the player?

I should also mention Gunnerblog’s piece on Theo Walcott. He concedes the absolutely frustrating nature of the career of a player who seems to promise so much, yet deliver so little. He concludes that the upside is to great to give up n Theo just yet. And I agree with him. Many of us expected him to be much further alone in his development by now. After all, he has been at the club for four years. Yet his injuries in the last two seasons have dealt his progress a real blow.

Despite the many frustrating moments he has given us, the raw talent is there. One only needs to think back to that night in Anfield in 2008 to consider what Theo Walcott is capable of. Besides the injuries, we also have a player who has been forced to play wide despite constantly asserting that his future lies as a striker. This has not helped his development either.

It appears that Arsenal have agreed a deal for Stefan Savic, a young defender from BSK Borca in Montenegro. The source: the player. If it is true, it may mean we have another Andrei Arshavin on our hands. Not in playing (he is a defender, after all), but in talking. He has been quoted as saying:

There were offers from Tottenham and Birmingham, but once a call came from Arsenal, I had no more doubts. Wenger made sure my papers were arranged for me and my work permit extended so I can be at more training sessions.

He is the man. He has incredible authority at the club, everyone listens to him, assistants lead training sessions and he just supervises. Nothing can escape him.

A pre-contract will be signed on Thursday and then I will return to Belgrade and join BSK for their preparations. I will be staying with BSK until May.

I can’t believe that the Boss or the club would be especially happy with the 19 year-old being so “media-friendly” at this point. But, such is the player, it seems…

Anyway, following Chelsea’s draw to Hull yesterday, we find ourselves six points off the pace. Considering it is the 3rd of February, there is no reason to think that we are out of the title race, despite the United result. A win at Stamford Bridge would bring us to within three points with only the Liverpool and Man City fixtures looking especially hard until the end of the season. Even a draw keeps us in the thick of it.

Wenger needs to get Denilson off the pitch. The young Brazilian has struggled since his collapse and just doesn’t seem able to physically give 100%. Also, he needs to start Bendtner. Without an aerial threat in the box, opposition defenses are not driven to give any attention whatsoever to our wing play. This only congests the middle even more making our usual route to goal even harder. With Arshavin and Eduardo up-top, and more than likely not even in the box, seeing the ball go wide to the full-backs finds me just shaking my head.

Of course, should we go 9 points behind, it would still be mathematically possible to win the league but one would have to think the damage to our confidence should we suffer back-to-back defeats to the two teams above us would be too much to recover from. Then again, this team has bounced back before and Chelsea have suffered poor form as well. The moral of the story: Anything can happen between now and May. So, until Sunday, keep the faith, Gooners!


  1. n y

    February 3, 2010 at 7:32 am

    Stamford Bridge, 07-feb-2010. score: 1-2.
    Drogba 11′; Fabregas 44′, Diaby 77′.


    • jonathan

      February 3, 2010 at 3:31 pm

      I could get behind that!

  2. Danish Gooner

    February 3, 2010 at 8:44 am

    Hihihihi dont be daft ny.

  3. seeyou nextuesday

    February 3, 2010 at 8:50 am

    Your wrong n y you fucking cheese knob it will be 1-2. J.Cole 12, Fabregas 45(+2), Arshavin 84. Ok now shut your fucking mouth pussyclaart

  4. Daxxjoker

    February 3, 2010 at 9:37 am

    Chelsea’s last night draw doesn’t mean anything to us.It is really good news to Manchester,though.
    And you can do all the math,physics and history – but if we lose at the Bridge – it will be bye,bye PL title.
    And we are 99% sure to lose to Chelsea.
    Unless,every single one of our eleven players has a phenomenal day at the work.But can you see that happening ?!
    No,me neither.
    If we could somehow drag a draw outta there – it would be great.And if we somehow win . . . yeah,right ! ! !
    But,seriously – if we do – we will be in the running again.
    It was quite simple – beat Man,lose to Chelsea.Now it’s different.So,if we want any kinda hope – we must do the reverse.

    • ArsenalStation

      February 4, 2010 at 12:32 am

      Daxx, you really kill me. You claim to support the club but you don’t support them, you just talk shit about them. You talk more shit about your own club than most Spuds-supporters. Doesn’t that seem even a little strange to you?

      We won at Chelsea last year with a lesser team, so why couldn’t we win there on Sunday? You’re just like those shit pundits who claim Arsenal can’t win the title if they draw or lose a match but if Chelsea or United do the same, it doesn’t mean anything.

      Even if we get a draw on Sunday, we’d only be six points back in the first week of February. There’s still 3 1/2 months left to go. Many teams have blown leads twice as big after February, including us in 2003. We also came back from being 13 points back in January in 1998. ANYTHING can happen… that’s what football’s all about.

      Get behind the team… no matter who you wish was at the club or who you wish was gone… that is not the case. We have the players we have… it makes much more sense to get behind them and support them than to tear them down every day. How will that help the club?

      • Daxxjoker

        February 4, 2010 at 5:19 pm

        I do support the club !
        And when stuff like 4 successive humiliations at Emirates by Chelsea and Manchester happen – the smallest parts of me are hurt !
        I do not – repeat – do not need a blog,to prove someone I’m an Arsenal fan.And most certainly – I do not need to write “It’s not as bad as it seems” to show I still have faith.
        But not faith in this team winning at the Bridge,winning the title or CL.Ofc not.But believing that Wenger will realize that there are some players (like Senderos) that really are not worth wearing an Arsenal shirt,and that they must be replaced with better ones if we are to win anything.

        You conveniently seem to forget all the things that don’t suit you.In this example – it is the fact that last season’s win at the Bridge came from an offside goal.You just blocked it out.But that’s ok.I’m here to keep it real.

        Anyways – hearing about how injuries disrupted another our season will be sickening.But we will take it.
        And I do not care when Wenger says that Arshavin is playing injured ! Sorry,manager – but I just dont give a fuck !
        You force him to play cause you know you have no alternative for him and you also know that 50% of Andrei is much,much better then 100% of either Vela or Walcott.

        • Ted Harwood

          February 4, 2010 at 6:19 pm


          Are you going to watch the match this weekend? Is that not, in and of itself, an act of faith that we can win at Stamford Bridge?

          By extension, are you going to watch any of the matches for the rest of the year in the EPL? Or the CL?

          If these are not acts of faith, then what would be?

          • Daxxjoker

            February 4, 2010 at 6:55 pm

            In the future – I won’t be answering this kinda questions.And I wrote “this kinda” cause I don’t really want one insulting word to replace those two.
            Ofc I will watch every single match in which Arsenal is involved.
            PL,CL,Cups and pre-season matches.But I won’t be expecting to win the title if we don’t win at Stamford.And for that to happen – we will need a great miracle.I do not believe in miracles.If your team is strong enough,you don’t need miracles.You simply come to opponent’s house and you beat them 4-1,3-1,3-0 and 3-1 again.That’s what real teams do.They overcome their injuries cause they have big,quality squads.By doing this once – you make a statement.By doing it twice – your opponent will get a complex of you,and will be wondering that will happen the next time you come around.Opponent will be wondering how much will he concede then,and how humiliated will he get.

            These players did nothing to prove to me that they are capable of snatching a win at the Bridge.
            Vermaelen did an amazing job against Manchester to keep us with just 3 balls in the net.It could have been 8.
            Hats down to him and Fabregas,but they can not carry this team on their own,while other guys just stand on the pitch with their dicks hanging out.
            These fixture depends a lot on Diaby.If he can make it – we will have better chances.But in first place – I just hope we don’t get blown away again.If we do – we will become a world wide joke.
            And after that – you can turn it over,flip it around,do the math,look at the fixtures all day long – we will finish third.

          • Ted Harwood

            February 5, 2010 at 11:40 am

            If I misunderstood your comment above mine, Daxx, I apologize. I was just trying to encourage you by demonstrating your own inner faith that you clearly have by watching the team play week in, week out; I was not trying to be snide or condescending in any way. Here’s hoping we crush the Chavs this weekend!

        • ArsenalStation

          February 4, 2010 at 10:26 pm

          “I do not – repeat – do not need a blog,to prove someone I’m an Arsenal fan.And most certainly – I do not need to write β€œIt’s not as bad as it seems” to show I still have faith.”

          You also don’t need a blog to make sure everyone knows that you think you know more about football than Arsene Wenger.

          If you don’t have faith in us winning this week or winning any trophy, how do “still have faith?”

          Losing van Persie in the form he was in over the first 15 matches (8 goals and 7 assists) is no different than if Rooney was injured for United. If Rooney was out for the season since October, do you think United would be in second place? It sucks to get an injury like that, but the fact is that you can’t replace van Persie any more than United can replace Rooney. If we win the title despite him missing most of the season, it would a huge achievement. The fact that we are still within in sniffing distance of it is something in itself.

  5. Jack

    February 3, 2010 at 10:36 am

    For the life of me I just can’t see us beating Chelsea and a draw really isn’t good enough, no matter how you look at it… Everyone is also assuming we are just gona walk straight through Liverpool, we just about scraped a win at anfield when thru were in dire form earlier this year, and now they have found a bit of form it’ll be even more of a tight game… We need big performances from our big players, and the nit part players need to put the extra work in to make sure we don’t get embarrassed at the bridge

  6. Faby

    February 3, 2010 at 10:56 am

    Following Chelsea’s draw to Hull yesterday, now we have to get us back on the title. I hope to use the same tactic as Manure used against us. We have to defend & a quick counterattack. I know I’m not Mr. Wenger, but all I want is NOT to lose. We have to get point/points from the Chelski match.

  7. Comrade23

    February 3, 2010 at 12:44 pm

    Barca is a disgrace, and this is yet another crystal clear example of their tapping-up. Yet we all know that nothing will ever be done about it by UEFA. After all, they are Barcelona, and ours is an English club that the governing bodies so love to hate, or at best, regard not at all.

    I can’t agree completely with your assessment of Theo. Yes, looking back to Anfield ’08 shows what he is capable of (as does his road-runner set up of Arshavin’s 4th goal there last season), but these are highlights that showcase his best attribute, his blazing pace. How often does a player, especially in our style of quick passing and movement, get the chance to just take off? Whether in the middle (and based on his physical fragility, not his suited area) or out wide, Arsenal’s attacking play requires much from players in what seems to be Theo’s weakest point: his footballing intelligence.

    • ArsenalStation

      February 4, 2010 at 12:36 am

      I would agree with you about his intelligence, though it has improved since he first came. One of my main critiques of the team in the last few years is that we don’t take advantage of the few counterattack opportunities we get. The Invincibles were at their best on the counterattack. Granting that the opportunities are fewer for a side that controls possession like we do, but we need to take better advantage of the counterattack. We should be looking more for Arshavin to do what Rooney did to us… Without a genuine counterattack option, we become far too predictable in our attack.

  8. jonathan

    February 3, 2010 at 3:33 pm

    I am keeping the faith! I can never stop supporting the gunners! It is like any relationship…they can disapoint you sometimes, but you keep on loving them and supporting them no matter what.

  9. atek

    February 5, 2010 at 12:04 am

    I have a dream last night. We won at Stamford bridge and ManUtd have a draw.

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