Will The Arsenal be successful this season

August 3, 2015

Morning Gooner’s

The 2015-16 season is about to start, will The Arsenal be better equipped this season, to mount a realistic challenge on not only the domestic trophies but the European ones as well?

Arsene Wenger has said, he feels we are where he would like us to be, and that if we make a better start this season than we did last, he see’s no reason that we could be a factor. Arsene it has to be said, says a lot of things that I feel  are just paper talk. Many times he seems to say things that confuses the interviewer and fans alike. Arsene is a very intelligent man, degree’s in this and that, he has had a very good education, but the degree I feel he shines in is Bullshit.

Arsene Knows we have a club now that can win things, he doesn’t want to come over as cocky, but seems to hesitate when asked certain questions, just how far the club can go. Pre season has been very successful, holders of the FA cup for the second season in a row, was a nice way to start off the pre season.

Firstly our tour in the Asian cup went very well, and we lifted  the cup against Everton in the final. We then hosted our annual Emirates cup, which we also won.  We then moved on to the Community Shield at Wembley against current League holder’s Chelsea. The usual Banter from the Chelsea Manager prior to the game, focussed all the attention on the special one, but sadly for him and Chelsea it was The Arsenal that lifted that trophy as well.

Most of the attention before that game, was about how poorly our manager’s record was against Chelsea’s present Manager, and how many times it has been since Arsene Wenger, has  beaten his rival. All over and done now as we are now the holders for the second season in a row, can I see a patten emerging here?

At the moment, we sit with the Asian cup, the Community shield, and the FA cup nestling in the cabinet, at the home of football. Two of those trophies are for the second season in a row, the talk has stopped of The Arsenal’s Barren years, but will swiftly start again as we kick off the new season, with cries of how long its been since winning the Premier league, and if we will ever win Champions League.  This of course will have to unfold as the new season get’s under way, but I have to say, The Arsenal have a bit of a swagger about them at the moment.

The Arsenal start their season on Sunday against West Ham, so will be playing catch up. I wonder just how many times that will happen this season, but the games will be played and as long as we start off well, we should be able to keep our points tally even, after all fixtures of the weeks games are played. Points will gradually add up, and I envisage it won’t be long before the leaders make headway, hopefully we can be up there leading.

Arsene Wenger has had a tough few years, the lack of funds and the change of stadium, the owners  seem to have left most of the football side with Arsene to handle, and it has to be said he has certainly done his part to get The Arsenal solvent and building. The owners have also done their bit with funding and running the club as all football clubs should be run, funding itself.

As far as the supporters are concerned, we will always be a couple of top players short, but every supporter says that about their club, but i have no doubts that Arsene will buy when he feels the need, monies are available, we have a very big squad made up of home-grown and imported players, we have a good talent coming through the ranks, and Arsene has been buying young talent for the future, we are in fact in a position to make our mark on world football, healthy club, good squad, a fantastic stadium  and a top  class manager, we are on our way. COYRRG’s.

Written by a proud Gooner Steve Palmer


Community Shield pre match

August 2, 2015

At Last! The first truly competitive game of the 2015/16 season.

We’ve all, or at least most of us, enjoyed the pre-season tournaments, the Barclays Asia Trophy in Singapore saw us win the first bauble, The Emirates Cup provided us with the second. Good football, good performances and a chance to look at some of the stars of the future, all good fun.

Now we come to a match of somewhat more significance, the Community Shield against Premier League Champions Chelsea.

Some of us (37.1%) don’t rate the result very highly, others (62.9%) think it’s an MWG (must win game). Wherever you stand on the matter I’m sure 100% of you want an Arsenal win.

A win against the Champions would be a welcome boost to the morale and confidence of the squad, it might also put a bung in the mouth of the ever charming Senhor Mourinho. It would also put and end to the run of matches in which Arsene Wenger has been unable to claim a victory over the self-styled Special One.

Enough with the personalities, on with the team.

With an almost fully fit squad there can be no reason to suppose that Le Professeur will do anything but pick his strongest available starting eleven, so we should line up something close to this.


Bellerin   Mertesacker   Koscielny   Monreal

Cocquelin   Cazorla

Oxlade-Chamberlain     Ozil         Ramsey


My one caveat with the above line-up is Bellerin, the street-wise Debuchy might be preferred as his greater experience may be required to cope with readiness of Hazard to go to ground a bit too easily.

I’ve really no idea how the opposition will line up, there are reports that Costa and Cahill are carrying injuries and so must be doubtful starters, perhaps Falcao will get the nod, it will be interesting to see if he can shrug off the memory of a less than scintillating season under van Gaal at Man U.

Their manager has made the predictable calls for referees to give greater protection to Hazard, it is to be hoped that they will also take heed of that particular player’s propensity to perform a triple somersault with pike at the least provocation.

The odds are with our opponents at the moment, they are around 6/4 for the win with Arsenal at 15/8.

Is it an MWG? Can Arsenal win? Give us your opinion.

Written by Norfolk Gooner.


Is the Community Shield a big deal?

July 30, 2015

Morning all, for the sake of all of our eyes and as Eddie raised the question about the importance of the weekends game with Chelsea, with the dreaded question….is it a “Must Win Game”…..i decided i may as well put finger to keyboard and put something up, it has tables and a poll, whats not to like?

I’m already sick of the sight of Maureen and listening to him is too much to bear, so for that reason i’d love us to win, but from a point of view of our season going forward do we think it will have a great affect either positively or negatively?

After all last season we won the Community Shield only to finish third in the league, the optimism of July and August was crushed come transfer deadline day and a long queue outside the medical room was forming.

So i decided to have a look back to 2004 and the fortunes of the winners and losers of the Community Shield come the end of the season.

Year Winners Lge Position Champions League FA Cup League Cup
2004 Arsenal 2 Winners
2005 Chelsea 1
2006 Liverpool 4
2007 Manchester United 1 Winners
2008 Manchester United 1 Winners Winners
2009 Chelsea 1
2010 Manchester United 1
2011 Manchester United 2
2012 Manchester City 2
2013 Manchester United
2014 Arsenal 3 Winners
Percentage who won 45% 9% 27% 9%

So there you have it, less than half went on to win the league and its been a while since that happened, and others including us went on to win cups.

And what of the runners up?

Year Runners Up League Position Champions League FA Cup League Cup
2004 Manchester United 3
2005 Arsenal 4
2006 Chelsea 2 Winners Winners
2007 Chelsea 2 Runner Up
2008 Portsmouth
2009 Manchester United 2 Winners
2010 Chelsea 2
2011 Manchester City 1
2012 Chelsea 3
2013 Wigan
2014 Manchester City 2
Percentage who won 9% 0% 9% 18%

Well pretty appalling in reality.

So is Eddie right and it is a Must Win Game? Maybe the losers have statistically not done as well in the season compared to the winners, but there is also the possibility that neither side will go on to win anything.

What say the good readers of AA?

Gooner in Exile

Who are North London’s best Football Team?

July 29, 2015

Arsenal and Tottenham have had an ongoing rivalry/enmity since 1913 when Arsenal had the audacity to move from Woolwich in South East London to Highbury in London N5 just up the road from Tottenham, who played at White Hart Lane in London N17. The Tottenham supporters were still reeling from actions taken by the FA in 1919 when they promoted Arsenal from League Division 2 to League Division 1 despite the fact that they had finished below Tottenham the previous season. Tottenham even went as far as accusing Sir Henry Norris of some sort of skulduggery – how could they possibly have believed that to be true?

Well who are the best team? Let’s explore the team’s records to help us make up minds.

The FA Cup.



Arsenal has 12 victories while Tottenham have won only 8 FA Cups. Arsenal’s last win was just 2 months ago while it has been almost a quarter of a century since Spurs last tasted victory – How very sad!

 League Division 1



Arsenal won League Division 1 on 10 occasions while Tottenham managed just 2 measly wins – How very sad!

Premier League


Arsenal have won 3 Premier Division championships while Tottenham are still waiting to break their duck – as a point of fact it’s now been 54 years since they won any League title – How very sad!

Premier League Records.








This table is absolute evidence that Tottenham can claim the crown of North London’s middle of the road average team that have to live in the vain hope that next year will be their year while Arsenal revel in the glory of being a perpetual top 4 team.

Since Arsene Wenger started as the Arsenal manger in 1996 he has won 3 PL Championships and has never finished outside of the top 4 places whereas in the same time period Tottenham have had 16 different managers and their combined achievement is 2 top 4 finishes – How very sad!

Based on the conclusive evidence we see when comparing the two teams record’s my conclusion is that there is not a rivalry but simply a bitter enmity and a very deep jealousy on the part of the poor deprived and underprivileged N17 dwellers –

How very sad!

They will most likely squawk about the fact that I never listed their record in the Tea Cup or Europe – but frankly who gives a damn about what they think, say or do – most certainly not this Gooner…….in fact I find them to be very sad indeed!

The shadow over White Hart Lane has never been bigger or darker……………while the sun continues to shine bright over the Emirates.


Pre-Season almost over.

July 27, 2015

The meaningless pre-season tour to Singapore is over, the Emirates Cup done and dusted. Just one more pre-season game to go before the real business starts.

I know that “Selling Arsenal” is the reason for playing two friendly games in hot and humid Singapore and luckily we got away without any injuries, but was the long trip worth it? I have my doubts.

The Emirates Cup provided an opportunity to look at most of the first team squad and one or two others and at least it was played in the weather conditions likely to prevail once the Premiership gets started. Although the opposition wasn’t too hot, a more than comfortable 6 – 0 win against Lyon and a much tougher game against Wolfsburg which was won by the only goal in the match scored by Theo Walcott.

One Arsenal youngster was particularly impressive. Jeff Reine-Adelaide looks to have the build, pace and technical skill to make it big in the Premiership. It was from his pinpoint pass that Theo scored. He is only seventeen and a lot can happen in a couple of years but hopefully he can become a star in the not too distant future.

Now it’s on to what I hope will prove to be a more competitive game altogether. The Community Shield against the Chavs. Could this prove to be the match where Le Professeur finally puts one over the charming Senhor Mourinho? How sweet that would be.

Looking at the all-round performance, there is definitely a feeling of confidence in the squad, goals came from a variety of sources, the various combinations in defence all looked sound, Petr Cech had no hesitation in ordering his defenders about at corners.

The transfer window is still open, money is available and Wenger has admitted that he could still make a signing or two, if the right player/ players became available.

All in all the future is looking rosy, I think we could do very well in the coming season, I might just have a bob or two on Arsenal winning the Premiership.

Written by Norfolk Gooner.


Does Theo Walcott have a future with Arsenal?

July 21, 2015

Much has been written about Arsenal’s longest serving player, most of it half truths and outright lies no doubt.

Reading between the lines reveals some pertinent facts.

1) Theo genuinely wants to play as a central striker.

2) Theo genuinely believes he can succeed as a central striker.

3) Arsene Wenger appears not to be so sure.

4) Arsene Wenger has given Theo a few chances in his favoured position and Theo has taken the chances well, he’s scored goals and important goals at that. But the jury is still out.

Earlier in the transfer window there were all sorts of stories linking Theo with various Premiership clubs, Liverpool, Man United and Chelsea to name just three. It was “reported” that Theo was seeking talks with Wenger about his future playing position and the matter of his present contract was brought up.

Since then, there have been no bids and, apparently, no interest from any club whatsoever. So it’s hardly surprising to read in Monday’s Telegraph that Theo has put the matter of a new contract firmly on the table. “My agent has talked to the club, I enjoy playing for this club so I am just letting them crack on with things and I’ll continue playing football,” Walcott said. “We’ll just play the waiting game and see what happens but I’m sure it won’t be long. This squad, for me, is one of the best I’ve been involved in. I want to be part of that”. “There is something special in this group. We have got to keep this group together as well. I think successful teams stay together for a long time. I think this team can be very successful”.

Now I may be an old cynic but when there are no offers coming in angling for a contract extension, and no doubt a pay rise, seems the obvious thing to do.

Arsene Wenger is, as ever, playing his cards very close to his chest. Words such as “we would like Theo to stay at the club”, do not quite sound entirely enthusiastic. There is no mention of “we will not sell him at any price”.

We have just the one recognised central striker at the club, Olivier Giroud, a player who has yet to convince the Arsenal faithful that he is the answer to all our striker needs. Theo could well be an option but the rumours persist that Arsenal are ready to pay big money for a proven goal scorer. Would the arrival of a new first choice striker put Theo’s nose out of joint? How would Ollie react to moving down the pecking order?

At least Theo isn’t doing a Sterling and trying to engineer a move and Ollie has so far shown no signs of discontent.

Top notch strikers are hard to come by, they cost a lot and demand high wages, some fail to live up to their price and billing. Maybe we should give Theo a new contract, give him a few more chances in his favoured position and hope that it all turns out for the best.

Should he stay? Or should he go?

Written by Norfolk Gooner.


Benzema is the only striker Arsenal ‘might’ buy

July 14, 2015

The rumours surrounding Arsene’s admiration for Benzema have been around for several years now. He ticks all the boxes for a striker – big, strong, quick, good finisher and at 27 just reaching his peak, although the sell-on price in 4 years would represent a loss.

Any player who can score 87 goals in 188 games for Real Madrid playing alongside greedyguts me me me Ronaldo must have some quality. Benzema also provides plenty of assists and works hard for the team. He’s no Prima Donna, he doesn’t dive or spend ages lying on the floor pleading to the ref when he’s tackled. He’s a good honest footballer.

I think we all know that Cavani is out of our reach (even if we want him in the first place), Higuain apparently has a ridiculously high buy-out clause, so I reckon if we do sign a big name striker then there is only one candidate out there.

The question of course is whether he is any better than Giroud. My answer would be that he is as much an improvement on Giroud as Petr Cech is on Szczesny, and if we want to go to the next level we will be dealing in smaller incremental improvements. Szczesny is 8 years younger than Cech and may be prepared to bide his time whereas Giroud is a year older than Benzema.

Benzema is more mobile than Giroud, he is quicker and more effective in tight spaces and a better finisher. He tracks back for Real more than Giroud does for Arsenal but maybe wouldn’t be required to do so if playing up top in a 4:5:1 for us.

Is he too much like Giroud? – maybe. What would we do with Giroud if we signed Benzema considering we have Sanchez to score the goals? – good question, I have no answer for that.

Personally I’d like to see Benzema at Arsenal, but I can only see that making sense if we sell Giroud and I think that is unlikely.



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