Valencia v. Arsenal; liveblogging Manny Pickledickle's skunky hair

Image courtesy Travis the Septopus

Good day to you all, heard any good news today?

I have a love/hate relationship with players talking to the media. On the one hand, I love it when someone like Steven Taylor finally admits what we’ve all already known for two years; that Newcastle is a joke.

But on the other hand, I hate when Arsenal players speak to the press because the press treat them the same way as everyone else and publish the most incendiary version of the quote possible. Today it’s “Manny Pickledickle, says Chesk is bored!”

Ok, ok, yes, yes, Chesk will probably leave us next year if we don’t win anything. But still… we get enough of that crap from everyone else!

Feed is fired up, be right back!

Oh hey, that picture of Manny is courtesy of Travis the Septopus.

12:10 — So, we won’t know the lineup until 12:20 (PST), while we’re waiting, I’d like to point out the shoutbox on the sidebar. You have to be a registered member to use it and it doesn’t work the way I want it to so I’m looking at some alternatives. If you know of one that you’d like to recommend, please do.

12:20 — Reader haho points out that the lineups are at  Looks like Arsenal are playing XI v. I.

12:25 — Wenger’s talking about how this side is going to be very similar to the side that starts at Everton and how this is a test of a wild away atmosphere similar to Everton as well. He left of the Celtic atmosphere which is supposedly wild as well.

12:30 — Haho had the lineup dead on


Eboue Gallas Djourou Clichy

Song Cesc Diaby

Bentdner RvP Arshavin

David Villa is on the Valencia bench.

12:33 — They’re saying that Vermy’s got a bit of an injury. They are talking about 6’8″ Zigic, who is supposedly the replacement for Chamakh at Bordeaux. IF we sign him.

12:36 — One toke? You poor fool! Wait till you see those goddamn bats.

12:40 — kickoff and Arsenal are in blue, ugh.

12:41 — first minute in and Valencia already showing the game plan; lob it into the 17 foot tall Croat.

12:42 — Both squads have already had corners and nothing comes of them.

12:43 — rain is coming down hard, people are leaving!

12:44 — WHOA, Manny lobs a ball to Bendtner, who flicks to RvP and Robin has a shot o the volley, just wide.

12:46 — Teams are settling down, Jesus, Zigic is HUGE. He towers over Djourou.

12:48 — Zigic gets a ball, drops it for Silva who has a shot which takes a deflection for a corner, Arsenal deal with the set play OK.

12:50 — Bit of an odd moment there as Valencia players play the ball around and Arsenal’s defense scrambles to get the ball away. The odd part was that Arshavin was in the mix and I swear he just stood there and watched as his teammates defended around him.

12:53 — Arsenal are getting frustrated because their midfield isn’t getting many touches. It’s a combination of too many long balls and not enough industry in the middle.

1:04 — Dang database is struggling to keep up with something. I think its best to sign off here and try to figure out what’s going on on the server end. You may get some disruption and I had to disable the shoutbox.  Sorry!

It’s pre-season, we’re all trying to get this stuff worked out.


  1. We are playing a 4-3-3,

    Eboue Gallas Djourou Clichy
    Diaby Cesc
    RvP Bendtner Arshavin.

    Nice formation. Also, I do not believe Merida is of to Levante: he is on the bench for pete’s sake!

  2. The formation is a little like Chelsea played under Morinho with Robben and duff. Flat back four. Two holding (Diaby and Song) with Cesc in front of them. Arshavin an Van persie cutting in from the wings. And bendtner central. It’s really a four – two – three – one. We’ve been playing it all pre season.

    1. No

      Cesc is not ahead of Diaby, but level with him: It is like Barca. Also, Arshavin and RvP are more offensive than Robben and Duff. Song is the anchor behind Diaby and Cesc…

  3. What I am noticing: great combo’s between Arshavin and CLichy (well, great is a big word) are developing. Also: great to have CLichy back, his energy up and down the line allied to his pace is unbelievable.

  4. Database is still giving me problems.

    It’s still 0-0, in a very tetchy game, with a brand new formation and a relatively new set of starters. Try to see the positives, WC, the team creates a lot of chances and as these guys play together they will get better.

  5. Just fly home to London now …… A wet sloppy second half, with dirty tackles — just begging for bad news …. Go Arsenal!

  6. With all the high balls that Valencia are playing in I would be very worried w/ Villa coming on that we will be caught out.

  7. Spanish commentators saying that Espanyols Daniel Jarque has been found dead in their Italian training camp…

      1. @Tim, Happens like that a lot in Spanish league,music etc guess it was just cos the news broke close to half time

    1. Rambo is not in. Wilshere is in. At least, according to ArsenalTV Online… Also, Eboue has stayed in the team, it says. I can not find him. SO maybe Eboue for Ramsey, and it missed it?

  8. Villa is exploiting all of Djourou and Silvestre’s weaknesses – it’s a good thing for them the ref is making bad offside calls. Even the ATVO announcers agree with what I’ve been saying for some time about Djourou – his positioning, body language and reading of the game is not up the standard necessary for Arsenal. If Gallas were to leave next summer, Djourou couldn’t take his place.

  9. Opinion: could this be a sign Wenger wants Gibbs to be used as a CM, I think he would be great there, but as he is replacing Song… What do we think?

    1. But: i keep hearing that Gibbs is being seen by Capello as the backup to Cole for the World Cup… If he plays a season as CM (if Traore does not go out on loan he may do so) he will be less considered for the role, and I think he can be an amazing LB, but also a CM/DM.

  10. pretty poor on the whole. if this for mation is to work a strong central midfielder who can pass, tackle and not give away niggly fouls every 2 minutes is essential. And i wont mention the defence…

  11. We’re pretty clueless in the 2nd half. No offensive thrust. Chasing the game and letting Valencia play their game of passing which is suppose to be our game. Our team looked better on the team sheet than on the field. Hopefully we will have gotten this crap out of system before Everton. I think Eduardo had one touch the whole 2nd half. Sagna should have played Walcott in early on the 2nd half when he had a lot of space. We looked tired as well.

    1. “I think Eduardo had one touch the whole 2nd half”. That was the same problem Adebayor had last year. No one could get him the ball and if they did, he had no support. That’s the “Hleb-less” factor. Arshavin can link play and provide that service but he won’t defend much. What can we hope for?

      1. @joshuad, You are so right…….if we can’t & don’t control the midfield, it wouldn’t matter if we had KaKa and Messi up front.

  12. We’re going to be continually exposed to that diagonal ball behind our back line. It’s the major disadvantage of losing Kolo Toure. Arsenal typically play with a high line and they could afford to do that with the fastest backline in world football. Arsenal don’t have that anymore and it’s worse when we’ve just lost our only CB who had good pace. Gallas used to be fast but he hasn’t realized yet that his pace is gone. The rest of our CB’s have never been fast or quick. It was my major gripe against Senderos; not that he’s crap but he’s not fast enough to be a central defender for a high back line Arsenal.

    This team is not going to be good enough to win the league unless we change the way we play. It’s unfortunate but it is what it is.

  13. 2-0 to Valencia pretty good result for them, Arsenal’s second string there looked pretty disorganized. Shame too, I’d have liked to see Eduardo get a few more touches.

    Anyway, the first half is more indicative of what we’ll see next week. Plus, throw on some of those supersubs at 60-70 minutes rather than 45 and I think we’ll break people down pretty easily.

    Of course, everyone will be concerned with the defense’s ability to get split open and I’m sure Djourou will come in for a lot of stick, but I saw a lot of positives there today. Song looked brilliant in midfield and it looks like Wenger has unleashed him as our beast. I’ve seen quite a few tackles by Djourou and he looks to be one of our best tacklers, and he’s the one who ran back and cleared the penalty, no one else from Arsenal even moved off the line.

    The other encouraging bit was how well we defended set pieces in the first half. They had Bill Brazki in there, who’s 17′ tall and rides an ox named Blue, and they kept lobbing it into him, but Wenger took the piss out of Song and that’s when that route dried up.

    So, yes, I know a lot of people will be on about the high line and the offside trap and how we get split open but Wenger’s been playing that way now for 4 years and unless we get Bread Hangeland in he’s going to keep playing that way.

    The first goal was a broken play and it looked like a lack of commitment in defense from Gerry rather than a lack of fundamentals. He just didn’t get in front of the ball.

    The second goal would have been stopped in a normal game as well, no way Wenger would leave an injured keeper on. I think the announcer said it best when he said he thought Fabianski has miles to go before he reaches Manny Pickledickle’s level.

    Anyway, fun match, too bad about the result and damn shame my database kept crashing.

    Anyway, cheers and I’ll see you lot tomorrow!

    1. @Tim, “Are you guys talking about Bill Brasky? I know Bill Brasky!” When I saw him he jumped in front of a moving train and the train took a right turn instead of running into Bill

    1. @Indy Gooner, I think you’re over reacting w/ that “doom and gloom”. It’s a friendly. I called it like it was. Tim called it like it was. You haven’t seen “doom and gloom” like I’ve seen doom and gloom and some blogs. I think everyone here kept their comments pretty mellow. Besides, we can’t play Rangers every week can we:)

      1. @ctpa, It’s not really about doom and gloom over one. It’s that Valencia showed us that the weaknesses we’ve been havng for some time now are still there. Wenger may have patched it up here and there but he’s never fully fixed it.

    2. @Indy Gooner, Hey Indy, are you in the Indianapolis area? I’ve not found many Gooner fans around town and am looking at getting a group together to watch matches out and about…

  14. A comment about Jarque. His death at 26 is a tragedy. The early word is “heart atttack”. His death brings to mind Puerta who died from cardiac arrest during a game. What needs to be looked at as was the case w/ Puerta was there any prior symptomatology from the player. In Puerta’s case, he had ‘fainted’ a couple of times prior to his death. The possible cause of sudden death in these young athletes is arrythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy, a congenital condition.

  15. What a shot from Nani to put Man U up 1-0 on Chelsea.
    Chelsea back line have to suspect on pace (except for Cole).
    Will be interesting to see how Man U’s patched up back line do against Anelka and Drogba.

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