October 17, 2003

Arsenal. Chelsea.: The Game of the Week. Chelsea hasn't beaten Arsenal in league play since 1995. Of course they have Daddy War-Rubles at the helm now. Will they break the string?
Chelsea supporters better hope Ranieri doesn't pull a Grady Little...

posted by lilnemo to soccer at 04:30 PM - 29 comments

ARSEnal 3 - 1 Chelsea

posted by StarFucker at 04:43 PM on October 17

Do me a favour you yankee plonkers, there is only one contest this week and it will take place at St Andrews on Sunday. Not for the faint chuffin hearted. SHIT ON THE VILLA KRO.

posted by Fat Buddha at 05:40 PM on October 17

What is KRO? Anyway, that linked article predicts a draw for your game. Though they have LFC 2-1 winners, which suits me, but have Kewell and Heskey as the strikers.

posted by billsaysthis at 05:56 PM on October 17

Keep Right On, old chap, our war cry and anthem, although I have to admit it has become a little irritating in its ubiquity of late. Many will predict a draw, for two reasons, 1: those who know nothing cannot accept our rapid rise and just sort of assume that Villa will always be the dominant force in this city, totally wrong headed but there you go. 2: any damn fool knows that form goes out of the window in highly charged games such as this and obviously weaker teams, like Villa, can pull off an unlikely result, against all odds.

posted by Fat Buddha at 06:18 PM on October 17

With all the headbutting, fan antagonism and spitting going on, I'm surprised there'll be any football played in the Midlands derby. My prediction: 5-5 (yellow cards per team).

posted by worldcup2002 at 06:31 PM on October 17

Angel will score a hattrick.

posted by StarFucker at 06:31 PM on October 17

Starfucker, you are comic genius mate, seriously.

posted by Fat Buddha at 07:06 PM on October 17

posted by Fat Buddha at 11:00 AM on October 18

FB, what is that a picture of? Did I miss something or are the Chelskis prematurely celebrating what turned out as a 2-1 loss? Did you guys see the ridiculous XI that Houllier put on the field today? How in the world could we be SHUT OUT by Portsmouth?!?!?!?! I think I'm happier that FSW did not show this one.

posted by billsaysthis at 11:23 AM on October 18

You're just being obtuse billy. You know full well what that's a picture of. Ay-oh Pompey, Pompey Ay-oh.

posted by squealy at 11:51 AM on October 18

bill: (1) That's Pompey players congratulating Patrik Berger. (2) When I clicked that link, the banner ad read "So you think you could do better?"/"Manage LFC by TXT" (or something similar). Haw.

posted by taupe at 12:00 PM on October 18

taupe, when I clicked it I got an article headlined "How Liverpool line-up at Fratton Park" but they may have some 'you must see this splash ad' javascript thingy in place. And I wasn't being obtuse. I really don't recognize most players in photos like that, regardless of sportt and thought that since this is at least theoretically a Chelsea/Arsenal thread...

posted by billsaysthis at 12:51 PM on October 18

I'm just still in shock over the result, don't mind me.

posted by billsaysthis at 12:52 PM on October 18

Sorry mate, I thought every thread needed a gratuitous Liverpool link. Only trying to help and all that.

posted by Fat Buddha at 01:01 PM on October 18

Houllier deserves this... Getting beat by a player that he never fucking used and then let go free. I'm happy for Berger. Houllier should be dropped from the lineup.

posted by StarFucker at 01:09 PM on October 18

ARSEnal 2 - 1 Chelsea I was only off by one goal. I got the winner right though.

posted by StarFucker at 01:10 PM on October 18

FB, I thought I posted the gratuitous Liverpool link for this thread. But more is usually better when it comes to LFC, so no worries and the help is appreciated.

posted by billsaysthis at 03:56 PM on October 18

Haha.

posted by worldcup2002 at 04:05 PM on October 18

One position that Chelski didn't spend big Euros on, AFAIK, is keeper. So who will they target and will it be in the January transfer window or next Summer?

posted by billsaysthis at 11:27 PM on October 18

The result proves to some extent what many punters have been saying. It's not money per se, but quality and teamwork which win games and leagues. Arsenal have been functioning longer as a unit, arguably possess as much quality as Chelski, and have not spent out to get it but built it up over years. Their team spirit and knowledge of each other as players will allow them to keep competing with Chelski for some time. Hopefully until Mr Abramovitch gets bored. I don't want to talk about the Liverpool result. I don't think there are many better goalkeepers than Cudicini who are for sale (can't see them prising the likes of Casillas or Buffon away, for instance), so they either have to spend a shed-load or look for young potential.

posted by walrus at 08:30 AM on October 19

Walrus, hard to disagree with your Arsenal comment though one would think that one loss to arguably the best team in the league, third place only three points out, and 20 points out of 27 is reasonably satisfactory for this early in the first season of the new regime. At this point, from this inexperienced vantage point, one would think that three of the English CL spots for next season are locked up and the question is can another team claim the fourth via FA Cup. On the keeper question, seems like money would not be the obstacle for RA. But (raising my hand to ask teachers a question), aren't essentially all players 'buyable' as long as the purchaser is willing to pay whatever transfer fee is specified in his contract?

posted by billsaysthis at 02:17 PM on October 19

If the player has such a clause in his contract, then yes. I think you'll find that's the exception rather than the norm though. Cudicini made one error, he's still an excellent keeper. And almost English now too. ;-)

posted by squealy at 05:46 PM on October 19

Okay, I thought the clause was more common, but I guess only the players who do have them get in the news for that.

posted by billsaysthis at 06:10 PM on October 19

In Spain its standard practice to have a buy-out clause in the players contract (Raul's is something like 90million), but in England its pretty rare. But most clubs will sell if someone puts up a big offer, anyway, so i guess they aren't really needed. (I think in Spain they're there to put off other clubs poaching their best players)

posted by dng at 06:24 PM on October 19

In fact, I believe it's now required in La Liga to have a minimum release clause, which then effectively becomes a maximum release clause because everyone sets them high. billsaysthis: Claudio appears to agree with me too. He wonders how long it will take them to know how each other play ... I would say three years unless they're lucky. It would have appeared at this stage last year that Liverpool were clear favourites, with Utd out of the running. Funny old game ... For all his errors, Cudicini is still one of the best goalies in the prem. I don't see Chelsea replacing him directly, rather looking for the next Buffon. Sebastien Frey is one possibility that springs to mind ...

posted by walrus at 03:49 AM on October 20

Cuducini is damn good, they don't need a new keeper.

posted by StarFucker at 08:39 AM on October 20

But guys, Cuducini is not getting a clean sheet every time out!

posted by billsaysthis at 12:52 PM on October 20

What? Are you being serious billsaysthis?

posted by StarFucker at 02:29 PM on October 20

Of course not StarFucker! I don't think even RA expects that.

posted by billsaysthis at 04:08 PM on October 20

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