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Dalton’s Weekly: Chelsea Persie-cuted by Reliant Robin

Normally I’ll wait a few days, let whatever game sink in, think about it, digest it and then write. Not today my friends, not today, If we have a poor game vs Marseille I’ll never forgive myself that I never gave myself the chance to bask in our demolition of Chelsea.

Normally I’ll wait a few days, let whatever game sink in, think about it, digest it and then write. Not today my friends, not today, If we have a poor game vs Marseille I’ll never forgive myself that I never gave myself the chance to bask in our demolition of Chelsea.

It was one of those results that you can’t stop thinking about. A game we’ll all be talking about for years, and finally a game “for the neutrals” that we ended up winning. We did do our best to try and  throw it away though.  In a game such as this where we are a goal up, I’m normally praying for the clock to go faster so that if we do concede, it can only be one we allow.  And. . . when Mata equalised, I feared the worst because I’ve been here too many times before and well, Arsenal has trained my brain to think this way recently. You all know what it feels like, to be so close to a famous victory only to be denied so cruelly at the last possible moment.

But on Saturday, it was not to be. For Arsenal this is now eight wins in nine from all competitions.  The big plus however, was the spirit and the leadership role that Robin Van Persie seems to be revelling in. Try and ignore the goal scoring facts, which on their own are phenomenal and only matched by players such as Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, the younger players seem to look up to him and the post-match interview where he gave the man of the match champers to Ramsey to take into the changing room gave the indication that we are on the right track with our team leadership.

Everybody stood up for the cause today, even players like Andre Santos who had a cataclysmically bad first half, came out for the second half a different player.  Mikel Arteta grew into the game. Aaron Ramsey bossed it and my  MOTM was Laurent Koscielny. Even with the defence conceding three goals, he looked imperious. (Best joke on twitter at game time was – Laurent Koscielny left Stamford Bridge with £50 million in his pocket)

With the season being as crazy as it is, I had to write this immediately to savour it. I suggest you do too. We never know what the next match holds for us.

Until Next time.




  1. stag133

    November 1, 2011 at 23:22

    I will have candles and prayer vigils before every match … praying for RVP’s ongoing health.
    He is the ONLY game changer in the team right now.

    Seriously. Chelsea could have scored 3 goals in the first 10 minutes…. it was a HORRENDOUS defensive display by Arsenal, with RB and LB being exposed regularly.
    The only thing worse was Chelsea’s defense in the 2nd half. It was truly shocking.

    I loved seeing us win at Stamford Bridge… I don’t care if the winner goes in off the refs ass…
    But lets call it like it is… you can NOT win anything with defense that bad… never happen in a MILLION years.

    I do like the fact that the players that are here at the club, WANT TO BE HERE… at the moment… but without Arsenal BUYING PLAYERS in January, namely a legitimate PROVEN defender, and a STAR PLAYER the level of the one’s that were sold … we are just not winning anything…
    if that’s acceptable to the masses, its SAD…

    I just don’t want to see the problems papered over, so that when January comes, Wenger says, oh, we don’t need anything, the injured players coming back will be “like new signings”…

    and the Realists aren’t “real supporters” according to most of those AKBers who’ve gone missing for months now…
    We haven’t fallen for the clubs business practices for years now, so since we aren’t buying kits and scarves and blindly following… we aren’t supporters at all.

    0-0 versus Marseille in the CL?
    doesn’t matter much really.
    The CL group stage is a joke… most teams aren’t Champions and shouldn’t be in the competition. (like Arsenal).

    • DaAdminGooner

      November 1, 2011 at 23:40


      Interesting I am writing a piece as we speak based off of something I read from Lee Dixon – actually a lot of the press are carrying it too . . . and while we will always focus on the microcasm that is Arsenal . . . defending league wide is an issue (some more than others).

      Goals are up across the league. Shots on target are up. Even to United and City. The premise I am working on that as the league has moved to open football and a desire by fans to see it, rules have been put into place and skills have been taught or unlearned in some cases that has pretty much esmaculated defenders.

      Lee Dixon was all about this heading into the Chelsea match. He basically says none of the four that made up our great spine could play in this league with all the restrictions that now exist on defending. He says its why we see alll the shirt pulling.

      I hope to have the piece out tomorrow.

      • vibe4arsenal

        November 2, 2011 at 12:13


        It’s interesting (perhaps) to note that there’s also no defense being played in the NFL these days.

        The consumer generally prefers to watch offense over defense, especially the casual viewer. And I’m sure the TV partners like it better this way.

        Maybe it’s not an aberration, but part of the business plan. We’ve gone from the Youth Policy to the Shit Defense Policy?

        • seattle gooner

          November 2, 2011 at 17:43

          @vibe4arsenal, Wenger is setting the trends again! Nutrition and training, youth policy and now crap defending.

      • stag133

        November 2, 2011 at 22:54

        @DaAdminGooner, I am not buying it.
        Arsenal have the 3rd MOST GOALS AGAINST IN THE PREM.
        that’s HORRENDOUS.

        The bad set-piece defending has been going on for years on end…
        and now our LB and RB are piss poor defensively, and have little to no EPL experience.
        Why does an out of shape Santos feel the need to go forward and put us in horrible position defensively? He’s FAT.

        Newcastle and City seem to be doing just fine defensively. 7 goals against for Newcastle, and that’s why they are 3rd, and Clichy starts for City, they are FIRST and have 8 goals against. Go figure.

        You can NOT win the league or trophies with a shit defense. It doesn’t happen. It doesn’t happen in ANY sport.

  2. ChicagoGooner

    October 31, 2011 at 23:23

    I think you guys are being patently unfair here. I proudly call myself a ‘realist’ and have been posting with more regularity after the Chelsea game than at any time this season. I’m guessing that many of the Anti-Wenger group (let’s call them what they are- I’m one off them) is still pissed about what went on over the summer, and what’s been going on for the past four seasons, and one win (albeit and impressive one) is not enough to make up for all of that. As many of the Anti-Wenger brigade point out, the pro-Wenger types are always crowing this time of year, but as they also (rightly) point out success in a few games early means nothing.

    If you read my post from the match thread I think that what I said there sums up the feelings of a lot of the anti-Wenger crew. For me, the win exposes all the reasons why we SHOULD complain. This proves that the squad we have is damn good. So yes, I will complain about us waiting till three weeks into the season to do any buying. Imagine if we had bought earlier in the year. The squad could have played an entire preseason together and been this good on matchday 1. And don’t use the ‘Wenger was waiting to see what Cesc and Samir did” excuse b/c Arsenal waits that long every year.

    The fact he did eventually buy frustrates me even ore, because it means that rather than not realizing that buying was necessary, it means instead he knew it was necessary and put it off anyways. What type of manager purposefully avoids doing something he knows to be in the best interests of his club?

    Same goes for defensive organization. If we had defensive (and set-piece) organization (CK will back me up here) we’d be a MUCH better team. Personally, if you’d combine solid organization and drill at the back with a team that can score 5 at the Bridge, I think we’d be able to challenge the two Manchesters for the league title… especially if we had a team that had gelled by the start of the year.

    But no. Arsenal have had major defensive shortcomings of the variety that are very EASY to fix for several seasons running now, and as usual they waited so long to buy that they got off to such a bad start they virtually sabotaged any hopes they had at a league title one week into the season. When doing a few simple things could have avoided that scenario.

    And no, one win at Chelsea in October is not enough to make me forgive Wenger and the board, and though it got me excited, I blame no one who is not enthused and is still f**king pissed at the people who are in charge of their beloved club.

    • DaAdminGooner

      November 1, 2011 at 07:34


      All very good points – but here’s the thing – if the AKBers can get stick for not posting when things are poor then the Anti-Wenger brigade can get some for not positing when the team wins.

    • vibe4arsenal

      November 1, 2011 at 18:01


      I haven’t been posting here mostly because I tired of my posts being deleted, which has helped foster a growing ambivalence with the site (coinciding with a growing ambivalence towards Arsenal). A lot of burn out.

      Anyway, hopping back on the bandwagon after a nice win has never been the style of the realists. The analogy between AKBers (who have constantly come and gone here, depending on the club’s fortunes) and realists (who have generally been stalwart here win or lose…for years now)…is simply a lazy thought. But, as you point out frequently, it’s your blog and you can post as you like.

      Anyway, a nice win. One that, while fun to watch in the second half, said quite a bit more about Chelsea then it did about Arsenal. After the club’s worst start in a lost 6 decades, including the United debacle, maybe it’s just a matter of remembering that context counts. A win like this three years ago, massive. This year, nice.

      • seattle gooner

        November 1, 2011 at 20:25

        @vibe4arsenal, Frankly, I think that most of the AKBers are leaving/not commenting on the site anymore for a different reason than team success or failure. I’ve been reading and commenting (albeit infrequently) on this site since it’s beginnings, and I think a lot of them simply got tired of being shouted at. The minute any of them made any sort of comment, the Anti-Wenger brigade immediately stars shouting them down. No dialogue, no discussion, simply “you are a moron, and on top of that you are wrong.” It gets pretty tiresome after a while and there are more constructive ways to spend time for most of them.

        • vibe4arsenal

          November 2, 2011 at 12:27

          @seattle gooner,

          SG, I’ve read that idea on here before and I just don’t buy it. The arguments went both ways. BOTH sides were vehement in debating their positions.

          The AKBers weren’t victimized by anything more than the choice to hold fast to a position that, over time, proved indefensible. And when it reached that point, they disappeared. Another alternative would have been to simply say ‘You know, I read this all wrong. I can’t really defend Arsene anymore. So let’s talk about where we are now.”

          Or something along those lines. It would have been interesting to read how the AKB position may have evolved over the last couple of years. But either it didn’t. Or they didn’t want to admit they were wrong. Or it stopped being fun (which I really get).

          Note that the couple of AKBers who still post from time to time now claim to have been critical of Wenger all along. And now even get kinda doomerish at times, as if they’ve never expressed contempt for that very behavior. So even that was another option. Keep posting and hope we all developed amnesia.

          But chased away? Respectfully disagree.

          • seattle gooner

            November 2, 2011 at 14:21

            @vibe4arsenal, I may be remembering it wrong (and perhaps I didn’t make it clear in my response to you), but it seemed to me like the AKBers were more likely to stick their head in the sand about the situation at the club, while the Anti-Wengerites were more likely to be angry and shout down the AKBers (again, my perception). Then the AKBers became more defensive and started calling names back.

            But this is what I like. I made a comment, you disagreed with some (or all) of it and made a thoughtful response. Whether I agree with it or not, it was civil.

            After awhile, it got to be that there was so much shouting that people on both sides thaat people started to check out. Same arguements, same situation and if people can’t be nice, there isn’t much reason to keep coming back.

            • vibe4arsenal

              November 2, 2011 at 16:11

              @seattle gooner,

              I agree with you about civil back and forth.

              Where it seems we disagree is that I believe BOTH sides got uncivil from time to time. Names were called both ways. Bad behavior all around.

              Yes, maybe by degrees one or two realists would get impatient and a little loud. But there was frustration with both the club and some people’s seeming refusal to accept the moment when opinions were no longer being debated and facts with evidence were.

              And bottom line, this is a message board populated by passionate fans of a sports club. From time to time, it’s going to get loud. Isn’t it at least a little interesting that the majority of those who packed up were largely on the wrong end of the argument?

            • seattle gooner

              November 2, 2011 at 17:47

              @vibe4arsenal, Oh there was definitely uncivil behavior from both sides, but I remember it mostly coming from the anti-Wenger side at first then devolving from there. Sort of hte problem with an online community – we can all say things that we would never say to someone’s face. I believe Stag once called someone a “keyboard bully” and that seems like a pretty apt description.

              This place wouldn’t be the same if there was no disagreement, so I hope it never gets to a point where everyone here agrees on everything. That would just be plain boring.

              I wonder how many people who were AKBers packed it in compared to how many just evolved their beliefs. I know that I was more of an AKB years ago, but I never believed that Arsene was infallible.

            • vibe4arsenal

              November 2, 2011 at 20:19


              I think these things get said to people’s faces. That’s why there are fights in pubs and in the stadium stands.

              But now we’re not talking about YAMA, but internet MBs in general. And that people talk shit on the internet is obviously well established.

              What’s happened here between the AKBers and Realists I *do* think is unique to this board. And what I believe happened I’ve already said.

              So, please, STFU you pompous jerk. :laugh:

      • Mazza

        November 1, 2011 at 20:59


        Your posts were being deleted?


        Your not a potty mouth either and make very clever and wry comments so strange one all round.

        • vibe4arsenal

          November 1, 2011 at 22:03


          Thanks, man. One post, in particular, that was disappeared was aimed squarely at what I perceived as DAG’s hypersensitivity (he overacted after Fred made a rather benign comment about DAG jinxing the team after an earlier win). Shortly thereafter, I believe DAG referenced some sort of new policy of not engaging posters so often. I guess it all be a coincidence, but shortly after all that, DAG was on the AA podcast. After listening, a guy we all know to be generally upbeat and positive, HTS made an oblique reference to DAG giving regular posters here the ‘short shrift’ on the podcast. I’m curious as to what that meant, coming from Steve especially, but not so much that I wanted to listen to an AA podcast. Anyway, the whole disdain for the posters and you better watch what you say started to remind me of the last days of AA. Between that and the ennui I’m feeling for the club, there’s a big ‘Meh’ over my head.

          There are guys on here who’ve I’ve long enjoyed reading and talking about the Club with. And you should know you’re right at the top of crowded list that also includes the likes of kiwi and ck. I also respect the hell out of both fred and stagg and love the fire that seems to never go out in their fingers (despite stagg frequently claiming it’s just about to). And I also appreciate Steve’s pragmatic optimism and verbosity in extolling his (no longer so) new passion. So I still like checking in here. But sometimes I think it would just be easier send messages through Facebook or something. I’ve unsure about AFC’s direction for years. Only recently, I’ve wondered about YAMA’s, as well.

          Having said all that, I read on a recent thread where you mentioned feeling better about this particular group. I believe you used a phrase like ‘lack of entitlement’. I was too discouraged to reply at the time, but I agree with that idea. This is a more likable Arsenal, minus the Manager, than we’ve had in some time. But I’m still nowhere near convinced by the product on the pitch. And Wenger’s vaunted ability to pick talent still seems way too inconsistent to be near the legend he imagines. Most glaringly, in his evaluation of defensive ‘talent’. So I remain locked into ‘prove it’ mode. And a string of wins against lesser lights, nor the Chelsea result, come close to changing my mind. And that’s really why I think realists aren’t dancing in the YAMA streets these days. I daresay we have longer memories then most.

          Finally, while I’m clearing the decks, and I’ve been wondering about this for awhile: what the hell is up with Gervihno’s head? If Mars Attacks, can we be sure whose side he’ll be on?

          • Mazza

            November 1, 2011 at 22:34


            “I’m curious as to what that meant, coming from Steve especially, but not so much that I wanted to listen to an AA podcast”

            Ha! I thought exactly the same thing, wondering what Steve meant, but not enough to…you know what.

            Yeah, there is an end of era feel about the whole thing, and things have never quite been the same since those AA days. Maybe some of the realists have commented since Chelsea but not in an acceptable manner?

            I got a bit carried away with emotion on Sat. Tonight was a bit sobering and a crash back down to earth; a scary lack of quality kind of registers more than the character traits of some of our newer players at this point and will probably hold even more sway as we fumble our way through the season.

            • vibe4arsenal

              November 1, 2011 at 22:55


              “I’m curious as to what that meant, coming from Steve especially, but not so much that I wanted to listen to an AA podcast”

              Ha! I thought exactly the same thing, wondering what Steve meant, but not enough to…you know what.

              Well, there’s still a somewhat open forum here. Maybe someone will choose to enlighten us. But it’s a really weird idea that we would be spoken of at all negatively…by the guy who started a blog…in response to the fact that the people at AA couldn’t stomach our unvarnished opinions…that, oh by the way, almost entirely forecast what has happened since. Was it like, “Hey, you know all those guys you couldn’t stand posting on AA? Well, I invited them over to my new place where so they could say anything they like. And then they kept saying the same stuff. And now I don’t like it, either!”

              Or maybe not.

              “Maybe some of the realists have commented since Chelsea but not in an acceptable manner?”

              Read above (and I commend CG for addressing it the way he did). There’s an Apples to Apples comparison being drawn the AKBers, who have failed to post for MONTHS at a time, and lack if realist enthusiasm over the Chelsea victory. Well, as you note yourself, back to reality today. Stop me if you’ve heard this one before, but Arsenal wins a match and everyone proclaims ARSENAL’S BACk…only to be followed by damp squib just days later. Creates plenty of chances, but no finishing…my how absolutely nothing has really changed. In, you know, reality.

              Most AKBers cut and run on this site entirely. At least two, three years ago. You’d think there’d be a bit more appreciation for those who have constantly stuck around. But, once again, it seems like not towing the company line is frowned upon by management. I understood that more when the site was directly affiliated with the actual Management. But maybe when you start appearing on their podcasts, one feels more accountable.

              Or maybe, you know, not.

            • DaAdminGooner

              November 1, 2011 at 23:26


              Vibe and crew good to see you back.

              First, when all of that went down earlier, I was in a pretty bad place, it was just before I lost my job and I was constantly edgy and I think I took a lot of things personally that I shouldn’t and it was I instituted the “no comment policy” on myself. So my apologies to any and everyone that took offence to it

              Everyone’s opinion here is respected. Especially by me even when I don’t like it. And now that I am Mr Mom for the time being and can write when I want to, I am lot more “objective” shall we say.

              I am always going to be bullish on this club. Regardless. But I will call a spade a spade when the team is going in the wrong direction and I think I was writing pieces equivalent to that for a while. I have been impressed without turn around because it doesn’t matter who you play because you still have to go out there and play. And has been shown, anyone can beat anyone.

              As for the AA podcast I think what is Steve referencing, I am not sure if that comment was tongue in-cheek. In the podcast I was asked who was writing for the blog and I answered and mentioned I am always looking for more writers but they should have a tough skin because I have very opinionated commentors who are passionate – or something to that effect. (It’s been a while now).

              There was nothing derogatory if you were wondering.

            • vibe4arsenal

              November 2, 2011 at 11:43



              Thank you for the clarification. I’m sorry to hear about the real life stuff you were going through. I can only imagine how stressful that must have been. My gf and I don’t have kids, but just maintaining a home and mortgage is can be challenging enough. The stakes/stress when a child is involved are understandably even higher.

              Congratulations on the new job. Cautionary words of wisdom…

              “I understand that you little guys start out with your woobies and you think they’re great… and they are, they are terrific. But pretty soon, a woobie isn’t enough. You’re out on the street trying to score an electric blanket, or maybe a quilt. And the next thing you know, you’re strung out on bedspreads Ken. That’s serious. “

  3. George Kenya

    October 31, 2011 at 13:45

    Seriously? No comments?

    Wow Arsenal must really have messed up in that everybody knows or expects that result to be a one off and not expecting any miracles. Stagg, when is the RVP prayer vigil? He needs to last through the December period and get us to the January transfer period

    • DaAdminGooner

      October 31, 2011 at 17:49

      @George Kenya,

      That’s just the way of it. With Arsenal improving there is nothing to gripe about.

      Sure you can talk about the defence from Saturday but honestly, a win over Chelsea AT the Bridge is something we should all applaud.

      Wait till our next colossal blunder the “realists” will be out in force.

      • George

        October 31, 2011 at 18:14

        I agree DAG, havent seen a lot of Fred really, i mean a “realist” would see both sides of the story. Someone, on the opposite end of the spectrum to say: Gary Neville. He spouts the most complete shite Ive ever heard, on MNF today he was saying about how Chelseas defence was to blame for all our goals, and ramseys defence-splitting pass was nothing special


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