Time for a change of fortune. Bolton preview

It is highly likely that the media focus on this game will centre upon Gary Cahill. No doubt he is a good player (though he was crap against MU) but the interest has little to do with his playing ability and more to do with the conflict between the clubs off pitch. Should we be surprised that Gartside decided to go public with the transfer negotiation and made a prat of himself? No, because this is a man who brought Fat Sam to Bolton. Perhaps Gartside thought he could entice a higher Spurs bid by highlighting how cheap their North London neighbours are. Unfortunately for Gartside his shenanigans are likely to cost Bolton a few million when Cahill moves for less money in January or for nothing in summer, ….. Good.

On pitch Bolton are a different team to the one we detested under the Walrus. With Owen Coyle at the head they have found a way to play attractive football. Bolton still have two of the dirtiest players in the PL, players who are very different from each other apart from their disciplinary record. Kevin Davies is the pantomine villain, a proper English Centre Forward and the last of his breed – I really like the man, however Bolton also include the repulsive Paul Robinson, all I need to tell you is that he was signed by Gary Megson!  At 32 y.o and definitely slowing his only hope against Theo is to do what he does best – kick two colours out of him.

The news of Wilshere’s surgery is a hard blow but the return of Ramsey and Rosicky is good news as is the knowledge that Sagna has recovered from his knock, he is such an important player in this team.

My team:

 

 

As a sentimentalist I would like to see Oxlade Chamberlain get at least 15 minutes as a reward for his fine performance midweek. We well know that our defence has been porous, in fact by far the worst in the PL which could (in part) be due to our move to zonal marking at set pieces. Thankfully, Bolton have problems upfront, I hope to see us keep a clean sheet.

Two interesting inventors were born in Bolton. John Harwood who invented the self-winding wristwatch, one of which I wear today, and  Robert Whitehead. Whitehead has a special place in history, he invented the self-propelling torpedo but more significantly he was grandfather to the Von Trapps, without whom the hills would not be alive.

Much is being made of the “crisis” at Arsenal; apart from the destruction of the reserves at OT we have suffered from indiscipline and bad luck. Today I will be going down to the crossroads to see if I can make a deal which will change our fortunes. Wish me a successful negotiation.

Relegation 6 pointer – don’t be silly

COYRRG

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174 Responses to Time for a change of fortune. Bolton preview

  1. Jamie has already grabbed the match report in case anyone was worried :)

  2. Rasp says:

    Apologies for my late intervention – pitch layout inserted.

  3. oz gunner says:

    great post as always BR, glad to see sagna back, hopefully he can shut down martin petrovs crosses (still one of the best crosses going around i think). No doubt cahill will play out of his skin to prove a point, hopefully hes still suffering from the extra attention and puts in an old trafford like performance.
    Good point about robinson, i detest both he and davies with a passion

    3-1 to the mighty gunners. rocky, RVP and mert to score!

  4. MickyDidIt89 says:

    BR,
    “he was grandfather to the Von Trapps, without whom the hills would not be alive” :-)
    I think you must have a place in your heart for Fat Sam, given the enormous trail of slime he has left in his wake that has tarnished so many clubs, it makes your life so much easier in finding something to dislike. One can’t possibly go into battle liking the opposition.

  5. Jamie says:

    As ever optimistic and spot on with Wengers team selection.

    If fancy a good home win today. If we get the balance right.

    Personally with our defence struggling for confidence I would play Frimpong over Ramsey and have two players to protect but you are right in assuming that Wenger won’t do that.

  6. MickyDidIt89 says:

    And yes it does matter on which side you ink in Theo, as despite the odd switch, that is where they do most of their camping :-(

  7. Big Raddy says:

    We have seen a developing understanding between the front 3. The switching of wings by Gerv and Theo allows Theo to come in from the left aka TH, this is very exciting and could bode well for the future.

  8. oz gunner says:

    if its anything like the start to blackburn hopefully we can blow them out of the water early. Hopefully Ox can come on against the tiring robinson and cause a few headaches

  9. Rasp says:

    Stylish match report Raddy. I was at the home game last season when Robinson assaulted Diaby withtin minutes of coming on and put him out for 6 weeks. The ref only gave a free kick, they highlighted the tackle on MotD but there was no retrospective action from the FA for what should have been a straight red.

    I too have great admiration for Coyle as a man and a manager – we could do worse some time in the future!

  10. Rasp says:

    Wilshere having an op on Monday, will be out for several months – may not be back before the new year.

    Having lost Cesc, Na$ri and now Jack, it is not hard to find why we are suffering as a team.

  11. oz gunner says:

    that assult on diaby was atrocious. Davies butchered kos and wilshere aswel yet song got a yellow for nothing

  12. Big Raddy says:

    Rasp. I recall that incident. This season Song does something stupid and craven and gets a 3 match ban – consistency is all we ask of the authorities, sadly it is rarely forthcoming.

  13. oz gunner says:

    @ rasp

    don’t worry the media forgets that, take out the same calibre players for manu,chelsea and man city and see how well they do

    @GiE
    Cracking comments the other day (outlining the medias biased nature against arsenal, and how man city have nothing written about them yet our CC match gets highlighted)

  14. holly says:

    Morning people,
    Our line up today could be only two players away from our strongest possible (jack and TV in for Kos and Ramsey), so again, there is no excuse for not winning. I too am going for a 3-1 to us.
    I know our confidence is brittle, but don’t forget we are up against the only team on a worse run of form than us, stretching back to last season. Coyle is under as much, if not more pressure than Wenger.
    UTA!!

  15. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Jamie,
    I agree with your suggestion of Frimpong over Ramsey, but for different reasons. I think you have opted for the Song/Frimpong axis as a defence stiffening manoeuvre and while I agree, I also happen to think that both Song and Frimpong add more midfield thrust than Ramsey.
    In short, I’m go along with your idea, with extras!
    Or even Coquelin over Ramsey come to that.

  16. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Holly,
    Anything other than a win is unthinkable. You may well be on the money with 3-1.

  17. MickyDidIt89 says:

    BR,
    I too am hoping that Oxo starts his afternoon on the bench and finishes it playing for the winning side.

  18. 26may1989 says:

    Morning all.

    Top prematch write up Mr Raddy, as ever. I agree with your line up. I also think the sentence “Much is being made of the ‘crisis’ at Arsenal; apart from the destruction of the reserves at OT we have suffered from indiscipline and bad luck” has much truth in it.

    I also hate Kevin Davies. Anyone know who the ref is today?

    Regardless of Davies’ stupid, dangerous games, am feeling optimistic. Would like to see Ox and Coquelin on the bench.

    Over on the game with the wrong ball, the All Blacks are looking pretty awesome.

  19. MickyDidIt89 says:

    26 Hi,
    Who are they playing?

  20. France and leading 29-3

  21. 26may1989 says:

    France, Micky. And for the most part the ABs are making the French look silly. That said, France have just scored a try, so they may be able to reduce the embarrassment yet.

  22. I too would prefer Frimpong to Ramsey, he gives strength to the mid-field and is much more direct going forward. I hate to say it but Ramsey is morphing into the new Denilson, too many safe passes and no penetration.

  23. 26may1989 says:

    Have just realised there’s an All Black prop called Tony Woodcock. I don’t need to comment on his appearance, we all know how pretty rugby forwards are; suffice to say he doesn’t look much like our strangely charisma-free striker from the 1980s.

  24. Big Raddy says:

    LG. Wash out your keyboard with soap and water. Ramsey = Denilson? In the words of Frimpong ….. Phhht

  25. 26may1989 says:

    Bit harsh on Ramsey. He’s done ok so far, got a couple of assists. And his recent performances for Wales have been fantastic.

  26. holly says:

    LG, I’m with Big Raddy, Ramsey is on another stratosphere to Denilson. In fact in my opinion Ramsey has been one of our shining lights so far this season. Plus, at home against a poor team we should not be even considering two of the more ‘defensive’ midfielders. Song sitting in front of the back four should be more than enough today, especially if we take a higher percentage of our chances than we did against Blackburn.
    I really hope we just go at them from the off and kill the game off inside 20 minutes……….ahh, the good old Wenger days…….

  27. At the risk of being slaughtered, I stick by my opinion of Ramsey, watch him closely, if he plays today, there will be more lateral passes than forward ones and he will slow the game when he’s in posssession. He can play good football and has a couple of assists to his name but his shooting has been pretty wild.

    26, His form for Wales is immaterial, I’m English!

  28. Red Arse says:

    Excellento Raddy. :-)

    I think the comments about the snail like trail of slime left by Fat Sam are a bit unfair on snails.

    It is quite clear the ‘slime’ is actually the drool caused by all that excessive gum chewing with his mouth open!!

  29. Red Arse says:

    I am really looking forward to the game today, but what I did not like reading in the press today was AW’s comments on the future prospects of keeping some of our star players.

    He is reported as saying that RVP, Theo, Arsh, Djourou and Vermaelen are all out of contract next Summer, and there have been no positive contract negotiations.

    He went on to say that even if he paid them the top salary allowed under the Arsenal structure he was not confident of keeping them at the end of the season.

    Sod that. Why, if it is correctly reported, has this state of affairs been allowed to happen? Is that man Laws letting Arsene down – again?

  30. If this is true, then the pay structure must be changed in order to reflect the value of players like van Persie, Walcott, Arshavin and Vermaelen. If Djourou is on anything like the same wages as van Persie then it is obvious the pay structure is not fit for purpose.

    Laws and Gazidis need to be told that if any of out top players are allowed to run down their contacts they will be out of a job.

  31. 26may1989 says:

    RA, they’re not out of contract next summer, it’s summer 2013.

  32. SUGA3 says:

    26,

    Nasri also had a year to run, no?

    funny stuff with the whole contract renewal business:

    – we tied up Fabregas until 2138 and still sold him for peanuts
    – we renewed contracts of Diabys and No.15s like clockwork
    – we are allowing the players whi are actually any good to run down theirs

    I thought gross incompetence and negligence were sackable offences?

  33. Red Arse says:

    26,

    I hope you are correct. I have no personal knowledge one way or the other.

    Both the papers I read this in said AW has admitted we could lose all 5 players – “next year” – because there has been no movement on their contract negotiations and he was not confident etc.

  34. harry says:

    Great pre match raddy,

    The only change with the line up for me, would be Gibbs in for Santos, played well midweek.

    Feel should be ok today and we need to take our early chances…..

    4-1……..With the Ox getting the last one with his 20min slot……

    See those going in the Tavern………..

  35. SUGA3 says:

    RA,

    of course he is not confident, they want to play alongside players of matching quality or at least be paid handsomely for not winning zip…

    can’t say I did not see this coming!

  36. This could be Wenger’s way of highlighting problems that he can see coming. Maybe he’s getting sick of being the patsy, always hung out to dry by Gazidis and his incompetent hirelings.

  37. VCC says:

    Nice one, as always raddy
    Let’s get at em from the off. Fast pace for thirty minutes. Walcott to Waste Robinson. Gunners to come out 3-1 winners
    All brekkkied up, papers read, raddy read, waiting for the draw on sky sports. Arsenal shirt nicely ironed, brass in pocket, seat reserved down the local. Come on you arsenal.

  38. Red Arse says:

    VCC, :-)

  39. VCC says:

    Cheers scarlet bottom. Hope to meet you guys one day at the tavern.
    Give em a big shout from me at the emirates today.
    Pace and desire is the order of the day.wallcott could have a field day if he shows some balls.

  40. VCC says:

    Carling cup draw coming up . Do we want an easy passage or would we be better with top c.lass opposition?

  41. VCC says:

    Home to Bolton.

  42. Gooner in Exile says:

    Afternoon, haven’t read pre match yet but just checked in to give Brigham a identikit to look for:

    Top down
    Me:
    Navy Hoody over New Home Shirt
    Khaki Shorts (scarf hanging from waist)
    Brown and Orange(some say pink) 3 stripe trainers.

    Missus:
    Home Shirt
    Grey Jeans
    Brown Boots.

    Will read match preview on tube but as it’s BR I’m sure it as good as ever.

  43. TotalArsenal says:

    Raddy, another great match report. Agree with your expected line-up.

    Somehow though, I expect Wenger to throw a surprise for us today – just something different. Ramsey could be dropped for Arshavin in the hole, and we could even see RvP in the hole and Gervinho up-front (with Theo and Arshavin on the wings). Maybe it is something to do with the beautiful autumn weather, but I just feel we might see a different team structure today.

  44. RockyLives says:

    BR, your pre-match reports are undoubtedly the best on the interweb. This is another beautifully written and perfectly reasoned example.

    If you don’t mind me saying, your standards have got higher and higher over time.

    And thankyou for the Cream reference (which I’m sure Rasper spotted too). We may be going down to the crossroads, but I hope we get a spoonful of luck and our attackers feel free to rip Bolton to shreds. Certainly our lads should all wear the badge with honour.

  45. 26may1989 says:

    SUGA3, don’t worry, you’re not some sort of psychic freak, any number of us have been writing for well over six months that after the Nasri and Clichy contracts, the next batch up would be Vermaelen, van Persie and Walcott.

    It’s a funny thing, all this anxiety about contracts. All football contracts have an expiry date on them, the fact that they come up for renewal is (and always has been) part of life. So where’s the incompetence in having as a task for 2011-12 the renegotiation of contracts that expire in the middle of 2013? The next 6-9 months is the time when these things should be done.

    Managing them is bound to be tough, with player and agent perfectly happy (a la Nasri, Flamini or Campbell) to lie and mislead about their intentions. But you can’t put a gun to their heads (that is a good idea though).

    I may be critical of other aspects of the way the club have done their business, but, without evidence to prove a failure, the management of existing players’ contracts isn’t one of them. The truth is fans can have no idea what is going on and whether it’s being managed competently. (Bit like all the criticism of the medical team – other than making assumptions based on a player’s injury record, how does any one of us know there’s a problem with the medical team?)

    As for our current batch of players whose deals need renegotiating, I feel optimistic that they would want to stay, based on what we see of them. That said, Van Persie is the one I worry about the most, since he’s coming into the final phase of his career and may feel most anxious. But there are no guarantees, and neither could there be.

  46. Red Arse says:

    26,

    Always nice to hear your views.

    The reason I mentioned this ‘problem’ earlier is because Arsene raised it in his interview (allegedly) and made it clear how concerned he is about it, and about our salary structure.

    Obviously, I would rather take your optimistic views over his any day of the week. What can he possibly know about these things.

    Luckily you cannot see me otherwise you would be concerned because my tongue is so firmly planted in my cheek I look like a chipmunk. :-)

  47. RockyLives says:

    Morning Redders and 26
    Do you remember that supposed “inside story” during the summer that claimed that AW and the Board were at loggerheads (by the way, what is a loggerhead?) because although the BoD would agree to the fees being asked for players like Mata, they would not countenance the wages. AW felt our wage structure needed to change, but the BoD stood firm.

    The club subsequently rubbished this story, but these latest AW quotes make me wonder if there was some truth in it.

    This line: “…the gap on that front has become bigger for us so, today, I cannot say that if we go to the maximum we are sure to sign a player – even if we do that we are not sure…” could be interpreted as a message to the Bo D to reconsider its wage structure.

    What do you think? Am I reading too much into this?

  48. Red Arse says:

    Hi Rocky,

    I have been careful to prefix my comments with “allegedly” and also admitted my lack of knowledge in the facts.

    For what it is worth, taking AW’s comments on face value, I think he is talking to the BoD and these players’ agents, rather than the fans.

    Taken as read, that implies that there is a breakdown in ‘normal’ business communications between him and Kroenke. (BoD)

    It is all supposition, of course, but when you add your take on AW’s quotes at the time of the the Mata transfer, and also AW’s angry, public refutation of the need to take on a new coach, which had been leaked (allegedly) by the BoD, it smacks of some sort of disunity between them.

    AW is also reported to have allegedly said that he could write a book about the difficulties he had during the Summer. Just with the ‘selling clubs, the players and their salaries or with the BoD too?
    Who knows?

    Without proper knowledge of the facts this is all conjecture, but then blogs should really be called “Conjecture Sites” or else what would we talk about? :-)

  49. RockyLives says:

    Thanks Redders
    As you say, conjecture is all we have. But it does ‘feel’ (to me at least) that there is some tension in there relating to players’ salaries and the club’s wage structure.

  50. Red Arse says:

    Rocky,

    You asked me yesterday if I lived in London. Actually, when asked that, in the non blog world, I tend to assume I am being politely asked where I come from. :-) (Accent I suppose).

    Usually, my instinct is to reply Noo Yawk, but in the UK I alternate between Kent and Deepest Herts.

    This time last year I was about to depart the UK on a contract, but health matters intervened so I am now taking things ‘one day at a time’. :-)

  51. Red Arse says:

    Arsenal team:

    zczesny, Sagna, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Gibbs, Song, Arteta, Ramsey, Walcott, Gervinho, van Persie

    Subs: Fabianski, Santos, Frimpong, Rosicky, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Arshavin, Chamakh

  52. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Ooops, City 2-0.
    Afternoon Rocky and RA.
    Horrible to think what a massive game it is against Bolton so early in the season.

  53. MickyDidIt89 says:

    BR,
    10/11. Good work. Hope Ramsey has his boots on pointing forwards today. I expect a good win.

  54. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Rocky,
    I did see your kind comment yesterday, and all I can say is: stop flirting.

  55. MickyDidIt89 says:

    RA,
    Like you, mine is only guesswork, but it does appear that every transfer or attempted transfer is clumsy to put it politely, so I blame Dick Law.

  56. Red Arse says:

    Micky,

    @2:37 :-)

  57. RockyLives says:

    Micky
    (blows kiss) :)

  58. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Cannot connect laptop to tv. Grrrrr
    Back at half time.
    Enjoy the win RA, Rocky and anyone else present.

  59. TotalArsenal says:

    2 – 0 to Arsenal COYRRG!!!!!!!

  60. gunnern5 says:

    Sad to say; but here we are 31 minutes into the game and we are barely as good as Bolton…………

  61. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Boy do we need to up our game. Given that we are only short of Jack and Verm, I’m frightened.
    Come on lads, turn it on second half.

  62. Big Raddy says:

    We improved throughout the half but with Bolton playing 10 men behind the ball and then floofdng the midfield we are struggling to create clear chances.

    Apart from the Gervinho chance when put through by Arteta – just awful control when we had a 3-1 overlap.

    We have seen some pretty football from RvP, Theo and Arteta but somehow we have to score. Just how I do not care.

    Bolton are defending very well, so one must give them the plaudits in the first half.

  63. Red Arse says:

    Song is breaking up the Bolton attacks, but the midfield look devoid of ideas.

    In that half we looked slow and ponderous and very much into the sideways – backwards footie that has become our trademark in the last six months. Hopefully the second half will be better.

    I cannot be sure (stream is not that clear) but there appears to be a lot of empty seats.

  64. Big Raddy says:

    Robin – you are THE man.

  65. gunnern5 says:

    I have a great sense of relief.

  66. oz gunner says:

    Song and ramsey were immense, fell sorry for walcott.Everytime he gets a good run going he gets injured. Great team win, can’t fault anyone. Just what the dr ordered!

  67. Red Arse says:

    That was very very acceptable!! :-)

    I know it was against 10 men blah, blah …….. but so what, we have had that often enough ourselves.

    Today Bolton …….. then end of the season ………….. the world ………….. then next season the Universe!!

    OK, I’ve calmed down, but watch us go now!! :-)

  68. MickyDidIt89 says:

    That second half has bought us so much. Confidence, points, and maybe even a will to live. Great 45.
    Must be off outside.
    Later chaps.

  69. Big Raddy says:

    Jaaskalinen made so many outstanding saves (as he always does at THOF) he salvaged the pride of Bolton.

    Quite frankly, we murdered them in the second half and played some fantastic football.

    I couldn’t believe it when Theo hit the deck with what looks like a nasty strain, let’s hope it is not long-term. He may have been wayward in front of goal but his allround play was very good with another assist.

    Mertesacker played very well today apart from an early scare. I believe he will be great signing.

    Gervinho – more end product please.

    RvP – MoM. Superb.

  70. Red Arse says:

    You are right Raddy, about RVP — my man of the Match as well.

    Good to see Theo opening his legs and showing his class in the second half. Dirty little devil! :-) Seriously — he showed he can make the difference when he believes in himself.

    First half was a bit ordinary, but in the second 45 I could not fault anyone, and you are also right about Jaskalainen. It could easily have been 6 without his display.

  71. oz gunner says:

    Crisis…what crisis?

    @ RA your right the universe is ours haha (found a few more ‘londons’ on the post last night)

    Song was my MoM, his passing game has improved 10-fold, if we finished all our chances he’d have a handful of assists. As for those who said Ramsey passes side-ways ala denilson i think you better eat your hats because he put in a very good shift today. Arteta has slipped in so quickly. He definently needed that.

    Does gilberto still play for olympiakos?or is it that path….kos team i forget?good if he does so he can get a farewell like henry and pires did

  72. TotalArsenal says:

    Oz, Gilberto left last season and now plays in Brazil again.

    Great 2nd half, just what we needed. Something to build on. 3rd clean sheet in the PL, 3 goals, bring on the next game.

  73. Red Arse says:

    Hi Oz, :-)

    I saw your amazing list of Londons, when I read last nights comments just before kick off.

    Having studied the list carefully, I can say — nope, don’t live in any of them!! :-)

  74. Red Arse says:

    Oz, I think Gilbert O’Silver has gone home — ireland presumably! :-)

  75. Big Raddy says:

    How great does that feel. I might even cook the wife’s favourite tonight in the hope ……..

  76. 3-0, three points, clean sheet! what more could we want?

    Oh and a home draw to Bolton in the Carling Cup…..Bring it on!!!

  77. SharkeySure says:

    Best of luck with with that Raddy….let us all know how you get on…

    Perhaps you can send a few notes on your performance to Jamie whos writing our match report.

    I’ll stop that right there…

  78. Fatgingergooner says:

    Clean sheet for Arsenal but for BR! ;)

  79. RockyLives says:

    Silver? Gone home to Israel.

    Great second half.

    Gervinho had a bad day at the office but never stopped showing and demanding the ball. He’ll come good.

    Ramsey is going to be an Arsenal legend. This is his first season at the top level and he will get better and better. Our Stevie G.

    Arteta exudes class. He always seems to have time on the ball.

    RvP – what more is there to say? Now that Cesc has gone, we’re beginning to realise that our next new legend/superstar has been with us all along, but he’s been concealed in the shadow of injury and the shadow of the man who was supposed to be our next legend – Cesc.

  80. Red Arse says:

    As we are all in a good mood, I thought I would give some more good news for those travelling around the world via our wonderful airports.

    Whole Body Scan Detection Unit Statistics:

    Terrorist Plots Discovered = 0
    Transvestites = 133
    Hernias = 1,485
    Hemorrhoid Cases = 3,172
    Enlarged Prostates = 8,249
    Breast Implants = 59,350
    Natural Blondes = 3

    Good to see the security lads are keeping their eyes on the ball! :-)

  81. fatgingergooner says:

    #not for BR!

  82. WiganGooner says:

    Great result today, it’s been too long since I’ve actually looked forward to Match of the Day. Well done the lads!!

    Great pre-match BR, sorry for the late read, but as always your insights ring true with me and many of the faithful on here. Good job.

    WG

  83. RockyLives says:

    Nice to hear a rendition of “One Arsene Wenger”.

  84. Red Arse says:

    WG, :-)

    Where have you been? I have read your blog over the last couple of weeks — and chatted to myself, but there you were ……………. gone! :-)

  85. WiganGooner says:

    HI Ra :)

    I did leave you a reply to your message on my site this morning :) heheh I’ve put up a new post this morning too :)

    I’m really good ta :) life’s been really mental and time relaxing and writing has been limited, but I hope I’ve got back in the saddle well today :)

    How are you?

    WG

  86. VCC says:

    Rocky 5:45. = Agree Ramsey/Arteta/RVP were superb.

    I feel you were a bit harsh on Gervinho, I love this guy, he is my kind of player. Thought he done well today.

    We were a little shaky in the first half, but when the confidence came we played with our shackles off and displayed some good football.
    Sooooooooo pleased we kept a clean sheet, this will boost our defence and give them confidence, which we desperately need at the moment.
    Alcohol is flowing freely, with a lovely evening in Essex,
    Two more games this week with two wins will send me off on my holidays to turkey a Very pleased Gooner.
    Come on you rip roaring Gunners.

  87. RockyLives says:

    Hi VCC
    I thought most of what the Gerv tried didn’t come off and his touch was off on occasion – but as I said, I was impressed how he never gave up and never hid.

    Enjoy that Essex pint!

  88. Red Arse says:

    WG,

    Not too bad thanks, after a little set back. :-)

    I have just read your Post and very good it is. We discussed that very thing on AA last week, from a slightly different angle.

    Confidence is a very fragile state of being, even tho’ it is so essential for any athlete’s or sportsman’s well being. (And for the rest of us too, of course).

  89. VCC says:

    Hey Rockey, I’m on my fourth Spitfire, after four pints of guiness at the local.
    19-00 GMT. I’ll never manage the “X” Factor.
    But who cares The Mighty Arsenal won today.

  90. Red Arse says:

    VCC,

    As your fairy godmother I am pleased to grant your wish!

    As my godson, you must send me £20 or you will be undone and your wishes will become frogs.

    (Never did get the hang of those Fairy stories – bugger)

  91. VCC says:

    Hey guys.
    How scary is the next two games? Going on our present form we need to up our game.
    Champions league + Tottenham Hotspurs.

    Give me two wins Arsene please.

  92. RockyLives says:

    Don’t worry VCC – we’re on the way back.

  93. WiganGooner says:

    @RA

    Well I’m pleased you’re back on the right track. Unfortunately I’ve missed so much on AA I hardly know what has been going on at all, but hopefully it will settle down soon!!

    @ VCC ahh I love Spitfire, they don’t really serve it up here in the frozen wastes of Wigan…although they do a decent line in pies….hardly surprising!

    WG

  94. VCC says:

    Scarlet Posterior, aka Madrina.

    If you indeed grant my wish, I will willingly present you with a cheque to the value of £20 sterling together with a substantial amount of alcoholic beverage.

  95. VCC says:

    No Worries Wigan, I’ll give you a blow for blow account of the consumption of the wonderful ale.
    Errrrr maybe not….I’m now on the Remi…..boy how I love these Saturday nights after Arsenal wins.
    Er in doors settled down with the remote…..Me in the kitchen talking SH1T
    on AA.
    Life don’t get any better than this.
    Hope my English is holding up tonight chaps!!!!!!!

  96. Gooner in Exile says:

    Cracking result. Cracking atmosphere in the Clock End. I seriously am having trouble uttering one word let alone a conversation.

    I started a chant of :

    Defence
    (clap clap clap)
    Defence
    (rinse repeat in an American stylee)

    A few others joined in whenever Bolton got the ball over half way and any danger was quickly snuffed out. So as we were behind Chesser second half we are responsible for clean sheet equally with the team :)

    Good fun and plenty of people joining in with the more unrefined chants.

    Chas told me about the “We’ve got a big f***ing German” song from Blackburn game, I managed to get a few around me singing it and there was quite a few singing towards the end. Great song for Meatpacker :)

  97. VCC says:

    Rocky 7:15 = Do you promise, fingers crossed.

  98. kelsey says:

    I missed the game, first game I have missed in 10 years, no I lie I also only got a bit of audio from the Shrewsbury game, so I will stay off air, must be a good omen.

    VCC you really are a true supporter I can feel it from here.

  99. VCC says:

    Arsene Wengers Red & White army
    Arsene Wengers Red & White army
    Arsene Wengers Red & White army
    Arsene Wengers Red & White army

  100. RockyLives says:

    VCC I promise!

    As for your English, after six Guinness, eight Spitties and half a bottle of Remy, the fact you can write at all is a flippin miracle.

  101. Jamie says:

    Chuffed with the performance.

    Thought they first half was ok. It’s always tough when teams play safety first against you.

    We were patient and Walcott, RVP and Gervinho had them all end up in second half.

    Good to see a little confidence return.

  102. VCC says:

    Kelsey.
    It’s a long story, ever since my buddy ( two infants in a predominantly West Ham school) and I being repeatedly beat up for being Gooner fans in the mid 50″s Arsenal has been my life.
    No one loves this great club more than I, thats why I get so emotional and some times verbally forward and have to super glue my lips together on this site when I critisise one or two of our younger players.
    All I want for my/our club is success.

  103. VCC says:

    Kelsey = check your emails. lol.

  104. VCC says:

    Rocky = check your emails and turn it up FULL VOLUME.

  105. VCC says:

    I went to buy a watch, the man in the shop said “Analogue?” , I said , :No, just a watch”

  106. VCC says:

    Went into a shop and said “Can someone sell me a kettle?”
    Bloke behind the counter said “Kenwood”
    I said “Where is he then?”
    Boy these Spitfires help the joviality.
    Also The mighty Arsenal Winning.

  107. VCC says:

    I went to the doctor, I said to him “I’m frightened of lapels”
    He said, “You’ve got cholera”

  108. VCC says:

    I met the bloke who invented crosswords today.
    Can’t remember his name, but its
    P something T something R.

  109. gunnern5 says:

    Q. Why don’t women wear watches.

    A. There’s a clock on the stove…………….

  110. kelsey says:

    Robin van Persie has scored 25 goals in 31 club matches in 2011

    Well done RVP on 100 goals for The Arsenal (even Wenger smiled)

  111. VCC says:

    I was reading this book today, “The history of glue”
    I couldn’t put it down.

  112. VCC says:

    I phoned the local ramblers club today, but the bloke who answered just went on and on and on.

  113. gunnern5 says:

    Kelsey.

    RVP has also scored 21 in his last 25 EPL games.

  114. gunnern5 says:

    Marriage is love.
    Love is blind.
    Therefore, marriage is an institute for the blind.

  115. VCC says:

    Tommy Cooper joke.
    Recruitment consultant asked me “What do you think of voluntary work?
    I said ” I wouldn’t do it if you paid me”

  116. gunnern5 says:

    Marriage is not a word.
    It’s a sentence – a life sentence.

  117. gunnern5 says:

    Asked my gym teacher if he could teach me to do the splits.
    He asked how flexible I was.
    I told him i couldn’t make Tuesday’s.

    TC

  118. gunnern5 says:

    Saw this bloke chatting up a cheetah.

    I thought – he’s tring to pull a fast one.

    TC

  119. VCC says:

    Getting silly now..=
    Policeman came up to me with a pencil and a piece of very thin paper.
    He said, I want you to trace someone for me.
    Told you its getting silly.

  120. gunnern5 says:

    I said “Do you want to play a game of darts”?

    He said “OK, closest to the bull starts”

    He said “Baa”

    I said “Moo”

    He said “OK, You’re closest”

    TC

  121. gunnern5 says:

    My wife has a black belt in shopping……………

  122. VCC says:

    Told my Mum that I’d opened a theatre.
    She said “Are you having me on?”
    I said, “Well I’ll give you an audition, but I’m not promising anything”

  123. gunnern5 says:

    My wife and I always hold hands when we are out.
    If I let go she shops.

  124. gunnern5 says:

    One of Spike Milligan’s best.

    All men are cremated equal.

  125. gunnern5 says:

    Last week I told my psychiatrist that I kept thinking about suicide.

    He said “from on you have to pay in advance”.

  126. gunnern5 says:

    Went to the local for a drink.
    The barman asked me “What would you like”?
    I said “Surprise me”
    He showed me a naked picture of my wife…………..

  127. VCC says:

    I Phoned the local builders today. I said, “Can I have a skip outside my house?”
    HE said
    “You can do what you like, I’m not stopping you”

  128. VCC says:

    Cowboy walks into a German car showroom and says “Audi”

    Is it time to go to bed?

  129. RockyLives says:

    Nice link VCC, thanks.

    Presumably all the Tavern crowd are still in the pub celebrating!

    Would be good to get some more first hand accounts – for example, on the telly it seemed as if there were quite a lot of empty seats…

  130. VCC says:

    I bought a train ticket to France, and the ticket seller said
    “Eurostar?”
    I said =
    “Well, I’ve been on the telly, but I’m no Dean Martin”
    No thats funny.

  131. RockyLives says:

    Results since the ManUre defeat:

    WDLWW

    Not terrible – and the L really, really should have been a W but for some freak circumstances.

  132. VCC says:

    Rocky = No problems, anything for a fellow gooner.
    Can’t answer for the inebriated drunkards in the Tavern, but who can blame them. Arsenal supporters should celebrate now, cos I’m not sure how long we will be able to through this coming season.
    How did you get on with the song? did it work?

  133. VCC says:

    I went to the local video shop and said
    “Can I borrow Batman Forever?”
    He said, “No, you”ll have to bring it back tomorrow!

  134. harry says:

    Evening All, back from the Emirates, happy with a result, some good performances, better in some ways, still lacking a total belief, which really showed in the first half.

    There was a tension in the crowd, understandbly, which had many gaps amongst it, but a good crowd in number overall and lets be honest alot that didnt turn up are the really negative ones……

    Szczesny, had very little to do, but the one thing he had to do early doors, when still probably relatively cold, was pure world class, more so given it was early doors. That save was truly stunning, i was just in behind and it looked like we had been caught flat footed, but you just dont beat the szczezzer……..Has to be special to get past him…………

    I was stood in to the left of the Red Action group today with some old school mates and the atmosphere was good, reminded me of the good old days in the mid 80’s, huffing and puffing and gettting no where, making hard work of it, screams of Come on Arsenal with an air of apprehension…..

    Chant of the day for me, came in the 2nd half, following RVP’s early goal, a chorus of “We are Staying up” with an ironic undertone……

    I always worry when teams go to 10 against us, as we dont capitalise, and to be honest make it harder for ourselves and although we got the 3 goals and didnt look like conceding, we still didnt make hay when the sun shined, but to be critical at this point would be deemed churlish, we needed to win this and we did.

    Thought RVP was outstanding today and showed his class, Arteta gets better and better, Ramsey was energetic and very busy, people are starting to see what he does.

    Both Gervinho and Walcott had mixed games, both did well at points and then made mistakes, which could have cost us. Walcott missed a massive opportunity to nailed his colours to the striker mast, he makes it hard for me to defend him against his naysayers, but i still thought he played his part.

    Would like to see a bit more agression from Kozzer and Mertesacker……..

    Song was impressive today and got a great goal to cap his display, pushed RVP for man of the match……

    Anyway, was a bit late at the Tavern but still met up with Chary, 26May, Peaches, Carlito, GIE and Mrs GIE, apologies for those that I missed……..

    3 points and I am blogging again!! Just wanted a week out, read the site everyday Saw some great articles…….., but just wanted to stay out for a week, as I was really gutted about last weekend…..

    Looking forward to midweek against Olympikaos…………..

  135. Hi Harry, great to see you again, the AA’ers always see me at my worst, necking peronis to calm my nerves.

    BTW, don’t you think GiE’s missus seems way too hot for him ? :)

    Peachy, it was lovely to see you after what seems ages.

    26 -what a sauve and dapper chap he always seems.

    Carlito is just too young, I’m jealous !

  136. VCC says:

    Question. =
    What’s a Catholic priest & a pint of Guinness got in common?
    Answer =
    Black coat
    White collar
    and =
    you’ve got to watch your arse if you get a dodgy on3/

  137. VCC says:

    Good night GOONERS
    See you all 2Moz/
    I’m waisted.
    Come on QPR.

  138. harry says:

    Lol chary, was thinking the same, but wasnt going to say…………

  139. You can trust me to blurt out stuff like that :)

  140. harry says:

    Just hope he doesnt read it……….

    Read your report mate, good account, summed up most of how it went………..

  141. I don’t think he’s looking…..thanks, always more fun writing up a win.

  142. harry says:

    Well he’s staying in a hotel in london, so considering what we said earlier, he shouldnt be looking…………. :D

  143. Oh that’s right, his mystery 5 * hotel.

  144. SharkeySure says:

    Karma !!!

    Just watched Olsson of Blackburn get a 2nd yellow after his opponent collapsed in a heap after the minimum of touches from Olsson.

    Last week it was Olsson who dived after a phantom tackle against Arsenal.

  145. Gooner in Exile says:

    I’m here in my hotel with my apparently hot missus ;)

    All I can say is I was 4stone lighter when she met me.

    Funny how different the crowd can seem amongst different sections. Didn’t find it too apprehensive round us, but then we couldn’t see just how perilous it was up North Bank end in first half. We had a relatively calm half in Clock End behind defence in the second half. The Clock End is normally full of irregulars and tourists but today it seemed full of fans wanting to make a difference. “Szczesny give us a wave” was successful in getting a wave, “Szczesny what’s the score” didn’t get a response :(

  146. Only pulling your leg GiE.

    I was behind you in the upper tier clock end where to me it seemed the crowd were supportive and not negative to any degree, there was only exasperation at a few instances of our attackers being reluctant to shoot.

  147. harry says:

    Well what you doing on your iphone…………:d

  148. RockyLives says:

    Good write up Chary.

  149. charybdis1966 says:

    cheers Rocky, a pleasant return to the grove after the defeat to villa.

  150. pat says:

    did anyone enjoy seeing Robinson axed by the ball as much as I did?

    Big ups for RVP today great performance, looked hungry and fired up but also at his skillful best.

    I was pleased for Arsene – today’s result would have been a great relief for him.

    The Arsenal marches on!

  151. oz gunner says:

    harry your out of the covers then. start writing up on your site i enjoy your posts and PoV on the arsenal

  152. oz gunner says:

    @ pat

    i sure did! the nerve of the bolton players to have a whinge at RVP for attacking while he was down when they broke clear with eagles having a good oppurtunity to score (had it not been for gibbs’ pace) before it.

    ‘The worlds number one’ is truly a top class keeper. For so long we have been hoping for a keeper to be brought in with rumours flowing over the seasons (lloris,frey,nuer,swartz,reina,the ex celtic keeper whose name escapes me (evonne you’d know as hes polish), given, hart and so forth). Yet he has arrived! Definently going to be an arsenal legend. Glad he decided to stick around mid last season

  153. Rob Lucci says:

    Henri Lansbury was once again the hero for the Hammers, and Bentley only played as a sub. :-)

  154. oz gunner says:

    hopefully lansbury fights his way into the arsenal team and doesn’t go off in search for first team fooball at a lower club. Players like bentley, muamba and co don’t get any better once they leave so why not learn more under wenger and become a better footballer. Worked for young jack

  155. oz gunner says:

    After watching the replay of the scum game it left me thinking…why on earth did ade have to be lower than a snakes belly?! If his head wasn’t so big we could of had him instead of someone like MC leading the line. I hope the away fans give him alot of stick next week.

  156. kelsey says:

    Only saw the highlights.ironic that RVP is in the form of his life when others have gone missing. Well done on your 100th goal.
    Walcott does some great assists but there are still so many question marks about him.The one on one with the keper for the second week running he shot far too early.is he really a striker ?

    When we cross low into the box or cut back from the bye line we have more chance than wayward high balls into the box to on one.
    All in all a must result and generally everyone played well.Still think we are understrength as a squad.

  157. kelsey says:

    I also have to say Robin’s second goal reminded me a lot of a goal Henry would have scored.

  158. oz gunner says:

    You missed a very good game kelsey, especially the 2nd half. Walcott split them open but his end product left alot to be desired, generally in the past though he has done well one on one.

    Songs game has further reinforced just how essential he is in the team, his breakup play and passing was great. Per and kos gave davies nothing.

    Crossing low and especially cut backs have worked well for us, i’d like to see stats on our how many headers we actually win from crosses into the box. On that note fergie had a whinge about that lanky ex-scum player crouch man handling his players and the refs. Funny how thats vidic’s game and they always get the rub of the green

  159. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Morning Kelsey,
    The weakest link in the squad depth is cover for RvP. So fingers firmly crossed on that one. I’m hoping for another good win against Olympiakos and then we will see very clearly where we are after our little trip down the road.

  160. chas says:

    Morning all,

    So nice to wake up feeling good about a day out up the Ems.

    Heard the “we are staying up” chant on the way out of the ground and thought it was very funny.

    BR, I heard the “relegation six-pointer” crack about the game on Radio 5live yesterday morning. They said “and you never usually would use that term for a game involving Arsenal”. Effin w*nkers.

    Great to meet so many at the Tavern before the game.
    Have to agree, Mrs GIE looked very attractive in her new Arsenal home shirt!

  161. pat says:

    oz re your 1:15 – its typical of cowards that take advantage of things whenever they can but have no problem having a huge whine when it doesn’t come off / backfires, the break after Robinson going down and our counter from that being a prime example. I think Owen Coyle is pretty decent as a manager but boy has he a bunch of whiny cheating thuggy c*nts in his squad.

    Kelsey – I didn’t think Walcott did too bad – yes he could have done better on the finish, but he was better at getting past opposition players today and put in some good balls into the box. You are right in questioning his best position, and is hot and cold form wise…

    Re RVP – I have said before that I thought RVP was struggling a little with the burden of being captain, but he really stood up today, got the goals and was generally awesome.

  162. Gooner in Exile says:

    Chary says
    “Only pulling your leg GiE.”

    What she’s not hot? :D

  163. chas says:

    Nice little clip illustrating some of the experience of being at the game. (the empty bit in the far corner is the Bolton section)

  164. oz gunner says:

    good to also see walcott getting on with it, no throwing hands up and expecting the call, play to the whistle. Well played by him in that regard

  165. Big Raddy says:

    Morning All

    Still swathed in the afterglow ….

    Despite having little work to do in the second half, thought Mertesacker looked much more comfortable. It seemed as though Kos was playing slightly in front of him and Merte was “mopping up”. He is getting to know that the PL is a more physical game than the Bundesliga. I have high hopes for him.

  166. Big Raddy says:

    Any news on TW’s injury?

  167. harry says:

    Morning all,

    Good to be a Gooner……..always…….!! 3points does make it feel so much better…….

    Thanks Oz…….

    Raddy, still not clear as to the extent of Theo’s injury, lets not speculate on the 10day scenairo, just in case!!

    Anyway 2 games today for my teams so off to coach them, both on unbeaten runs………

    Look forward to Jamie’s match report………

  168. SUGA3 says:

    morning ;)

    good weekend at long last!

    apparently, Theo’s injury is nothing major may even be available for Wed, but I would give him a rest until the Scum game, even play AOC instead…

  169. Morning all

    Wow, really enjoyed watching MOTD, can’t remember the last time that happened and had a kvell for Robin’s 99 and 100th goals …………….. small tear in the eye, wide grin you know the kind of thing us girls do :) Great to be a Gooner

    Lovely to meet GiE’s perfectly adorable other half and others at the Tavern.

    Chary – you really must try and stay sober enough so that we can have a conversation, well done to you for your 7am kick off match report though.

    Harry – good luck to your teams today :)

  170. There’s a New Post ……………………..

  171. charybdis1966 says:

    morning all, good to have a deserved hangover after celebrating a win. My bad Peachy it was a bit of bad show to see all you guys after such a long time and then act like oliver reed ! The AA’ers are the best.

  172. Brigham says:

    I stood outside the Tavern from 1245 until 1400 and yet again did not meet any of you. I was wearing my yellow 71 FA Cup Final shirt as promised. It would appear that I will never get to meet you lot or you saw me and did not pop over to introduce yourselves.

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