“When we decided to build the stadium I wanted to anticipate the possibility of financial restrictions, so I concentrated on youth. I also felt the best way to create an identity with the way we play football, to get players integrated into our culture, with our beliefs, our values, was to get them as young as possible and to develop them together. I felt it would be an interesting experiment to see players grow together with these qualities, and with a love for the club.” He pauses, smiles wryly, and adds, “It was an idealistic vision of the world of football.” – Arsene Wegner, as interviewed by the Independent’s Glenn Moore, August 23, 2008.

Great timing, Arsene.  After witnessing Saturday’s 1-0 defeat at Fulham — just the 2nd time Arsenal have lost at Craven Cottage in 44 years — the Telegraph’s Duncan White concluded, “If Arsenal want to match their stated ambition of competing with Manchester United and Chelsea this season, then Wenger is going to have to be a busy man this week.”  The far less diplomatic Mark Vallis of The Gooner declares, “I can™t remember a more gutless, insipid performance so totally lacking in energy and imagination.”  I guess he’s not seen the trailers for “Righteous Kill” yet.

Brede Hangeland’s goal was what has now become classic Arsenal. The cross comes in, their big goon from the back goes in. Our centre half, this time William Gallas, goes half way with him and then decides against it. The bloke, completely unchallenged, puts the ball in the net. How easy is that? If that was your pub team, you™d be going mental. Please bear in mind that our William is the captain and leader of men. Officer material? Yeah right. He does all that touchy, feely, silly bollocks at the start of the game, and then disappears when it matters. When it all goes horribly wrong, his head either comes off, or drops right down to his knees. Sometimes it even does both.

Theo Walcott? The first time I was aware of him was when he was subbed off. He even had the gall to look a bit miffed about it. Theo, you did very well to last for as long as you did, mate. Rejoice!

Adebayor and RVP? Are they meant to be a partnership? I mean in the sense that they combine together to bring out each other™s strengths. I think if it was a marriage, and I was Wenger, I™d be looking to call in Relate. They might as well not be on the same pitch. Centre backs are not the only people who have to play in pairs. If I see Van Persie hit the wall again with a free kick, I™m going to f**king scream!

I™m trying desperately hard to finish on a positive note, but that™s proving a lot harder than I would have liked. If Eboue does have a niche, then it™s certainly in the centre of midfield, by virtue of the fact that he™s a crap right back and an even worse right wing. Is that good enough?