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Liverpool v Arsenal: not just a tale of two penalty decisions, but a tale of two squads

Arsene Wenger was understandably furious at last nights result. A soft penalty "gifted" the tie to Liverpool, according to Le Gaffer, and there weren't many pundits who disagreed, especially after Arsenal had a stone-waller turned down in the first leg.

It could be argued that Arsenal were the better team over the two legs, but the history books will show that Liverpool won 5-3 on aggregate and in the cold hard light of day, that's all that really matters.

So as us Gooners contemplate another season without silverware, the inquisitions will start, but my criticism of Arsenal boils down to just one point - albeit a fairly major one - and I think we can all take a lot of positives from a season where we were tipped to finish outside the top four.

My gripe was all too obvious as I watched last night's game: Arsenal simply do not have a big enough squad to compete with our major rivals...


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Posted by Gordon Masson on April 9, 2008 9:55 AM in Debate of the Day| Players| Rants| Transfers
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Does Arsene Wenger need to rethink Arsenal's signing policy?

Within the space of a few days Arsenal's eight month reign as the Premier League pace setters has all but been forgotten as the team have slipped to third place in the table.

There's a school of thought that basically says that at the start of the season us Gooners might have been happy with that situation at this point of the season, but quite frankly I think that's bullshit.

Nobody can doubt that Arsene Wenger's team are one of the top four in the country, but being top four doesn't cut it - this is our third year without silverware and that just is not acceptible for a club the size and stature of Arsenal.

There's also a number of fans who argue that the team is in transition and that they should be allowed to grow organically, but how many years should we be prepared to wait? I'll tell you how many - none.


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Posted by Gordon Masson on March 26, 2008 11:06 AM in Debate of the Day| News| Players| Rants
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Arsene Knows: Juande Ramos and David Bentley are clueless

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So Juande Ramos reckons Tottenham are as good as Arsenal does he? The Erik Estrada lookalike believes the Spuds' performance against Chelski in the Carling Cup final was just as good as Arsenal's victory over AC Milan.

Ramos said, "I like the way Arsenal played. They were magnificent over two legs and deserved their victory. But I must say also that I am not jealous. I think we played similarly good football in the Carling Cup."

Well Juanabee, last time I checked Chelski were not European champions, Wembley was not located in Milan and the Blues have, I believe, lost on home ground to an English club. Granted that was a long time ago, but then Wembley isn't their home turf, so it's a moot point.

I'd also point out that Tottenham have lost six home games this season while Arsenal have lost none. Oh, and the Spuds are 33, count them - thirty three - points behind Arsenal in the Premier League table. Just as good as Arsenal? I don't think so somehow.

And then there's David Bentley, who after winning precisely three full England caps believes he can start handing out advice to more gifted players at bigger clubs...


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Posted by Gordon Masson on March 7, 2008 10:45 AM in Debate of the Day| News| Players| Rants
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Come on Flamini, sign!!

It's a bit concerning that the Flamster hasn't yet signed a new deal. It feels like the Edu situation all over again, where a player starts to play an integral role in the team in his last year and then decides to maximise his income elsewhere.

I don't think it has anything to do with being English or foreign - after all, Cashley Cole didn't exactly show us any loyalty, did he?

The question to ask is this? Has Mathieu Flamini genuinely found a new lease of life when most of us had written him off? Or is he playng simply for a new contract here or somewhere else, after which time he will revert to the player of old?


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Posted by David Alexander on February 28, 2008 9:59 AM in Rants
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Sort it out boys, or we'll all be wallowing in sorrow

One thing that struck me at St Andrew's on Saturday was the analysis put on Emmanuel Adebayor's miss when his team-mate Niclas Bendtner was better positioned to put the result beyond doubt.

Immediately there was speculation that the pair, who clashed during the Tottenham match recently, were still not on speaking terms and that passing to each other was not something they would do with any enthusiasm.

You hear footballers say that team success is more important than personal glory and it's true that strikers have to get a balance between selfishness and teamwork.

Andy Cole and Teddy Sheringham (sorry for swearing) hardly spoke during the treble-winning season after falling out over a comment the latter made about a miss during one particular game. So it doesn't always have a completely adverse effect.

But with the Gunners squad stretched to capacity, we need everyone working together.

Nothing makes a Gooner prouder than to see the players huddle before and after a game - and Bendtner has at times this season not always taken part as much as he should.

Only Bendtner and Adebayor know whether Saturday's incident was down to simmering bad blood or striking tunnel vision, but if they are going to be our striking partnership for the foreseeable future, they need to have an accord for their own and Arsenal's prospective glory.

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Posted by David Alexander on February 27, 2008 11:00 AM in Rants
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United think they've got it won!

Theatre of Dreams, the tragedy of Munich, Bobby Charlton, George Best...the Busby Babes and Fergie Fledglings....neutrals and the media love the "romance" that follows Manchester United around.

The adoration United receive far outweighs that for any other club - "the biggest club in the world" my Mancunian mate says. Try telling that to AC Milan or Real Madrid, who've won more big trophies in the last decade than United.

But after losing Eduardo and two points at Birmingham on Saturday, all of a sudden, United think the title is theirs. Think again, I say!


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Posted by David Alexander on February 26, 2008 5:21 PM in Rants
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Before Spurs fans get too excited... what the world was like when they last beat us in a meaningful competition

Ashley rants...

Blimey they have been crawling out of the woodwork this morning! My phone hasn't been this busy since I jokingly told someone I had a spare Champs League final ticket. Judging by the number of texts, calls and ferking Skypes you would have thought there had been a seismic shift in the fortunes of North London football clubs.

But Sperz boys and girls it is time to get real. You beat a largely second string, injury ravaged team in a cup competition that is fourth on Arsene's radar. Last time I looked we were still in the running for the Premiership, Champs League, FA Cup. How about you?

I remember the last time Sperz beat us in a meaningful competition. I had just moved into a new house with my girlfriend. I listened in horror in the bath (don't dwell on the image too much) as we went two nil down in 20 minutes. Patrick nicked one back but we couldn't grab an equaliser before the end of the game in spite of myriad chances.

Anyhow it was that long ago my girlfriend is now my wife, I have had two kids and not one single player who played for the Arse that day is still at the club.

In the meantime we have won Premierships, FA Cups, been to a Champs League final and played the most entertaining football the Premiership has ever seen.

So what was life like in November 1999. Well it was so long ago that...


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Posted by Ashley Norris on January 23, 2008 10:29 AM in Rants
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