Olimpiacos and other Narratives

Two draws followed by a painful home defeat. How will Mr Wenger react to this poor run of form? He will send out a second rate team and pray for a draw.

We saw in the home leg how good Olympiacos are and they have a 100% home record in the Greek Super League. which they lead by 10 points.  On that rain-soaked night in October we struggled, particularly in the first half when Olympiacos showed why they are Greek Champions. We eventually won 3-1 thanks to a good performance from Gervinho and a lovely Ramsey finish in the final seconds.

gun__1349341050_ramsey_oly

This is an important game for Olympiacos who will be eager to achieve a Europa Cup place, and with Montpelier taking on Schalke they must be favourites. Add in the noisy and colourful home fans plus our 3-1 loss last season in a similar situation and you can appreciate my concerns. For once, BR thinks Arsenal will lose.

Would losing be costly? If Schalke win first place is beyond us and I believe they will win in Montpelier, so we are likely to finish second. Not really a problem. But at what cost to the morale of the team, is it in their interest to be sent out as lambs to the slaughter? Is it sensible to have young players remember that the first time they played in the first team they lost? Trouble is, the resting of the first team is more important than winning tonight, it is the reward for early qualification.

My Team:

oly v arse

With Rosicky coming off the bench on 60 mins, and some young fresh legs to replace Gervinho and Ox.

Today’s explorer: Darwin’s mate let us down at the weekend, let’s hope this chap brings better luck. Francis Light (1740 – 1794). Founder of Penang, Malaysia. Born in England, his father was unknown but he was lucky enough to be taken in by a wealthy aristocrat who had him educated as a naval officer (oh yes ….). For 10 years Light travelled around the Far East being based in Phuket (nice work if you can get it) before leasing Penang and developing Georgetown.. BR has spent many a happy hour in Penang so thank you Mr Light.

images

Further proof. No facial hair, no Title

It would be wonderful if tomorrow we were writing about the fighting spirit and never-say-die attitude of the team. We may not win but make us proud boys.

Written by Big Raddy

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261 Responses to Olimpiacos and other Narratives

  1. Gooner in Exile says:

    Just a quick follow up to this mornings comments:

    “I wish arsenal dont qualify for championship league dis time as if we dont qualify fans will get furious and hopefully board will realize and will change the policy”

    But qualifying for CL is not a trophy so why should fans be furious?

  2. Ejiro Gabriel says:

    Nice article. Though i believe with the right team selection we can beat them at their own ground and hope schalke loses, 2nd place is not an ideal place to finish.

  3. Gooner in Exile says:

    Your guess is as good as anyone else’s Raddy, and maybe Arshavin in the middle three will be the option, after all Arsene has said we are missing the creative edge so perhaps Arshavin in the hole, Rambo and Coquelin deeper makes sense.

    Your line up would be more like a 4-2-3-1 than a traditional 4-3-3, although of Chamakh starts we may have to put Rasp on 90 minutes comment lockdown :D

  4. Ejiro Gabriel says:

    Lol

  5. chas says:

    Nice one, BR.
    Resting is definitely more important than Chamakh’s morale. :)

    p.s. Olympiacos are already guaranteed the Europa league place, but will still want to give a rousing performance in front of their home fans. (Mind you, so will Montpellier :) )

  6. Wonderman says:

    Hi BR, if we get a draw we will be lucky.In my opinion at the top level of sport it is often the psychology of the players that makes the difference. I believe Olympiacos will be more motivated to win than us, and we won’t be able to handle it.

    Djourou is not in the squad, so unfortunately I suspect Squillaci will start

  7. GoonerB says:

    Nice one BR, I have no problems with playing some youngsters tonight whatever result that produces. There are too many conotations anyway with who you could draw next so I wouldn’t worry about it. Resting 1st teamers is more important and I would try and give a couple of the promising young players a chance to show what they are about. I wouldn’t look at it like lambs to the slaughter but would more encourage them to play like they belong at this level.

    I will pleased if Meade starts to see how he looks. Finding out about a player like Meade could influence what we do in the transfer window, so for me it is better to have a good look at him now. He may be found wanting experience wise but lets find out. The one area I would likely change is Chamakh up top. He looks to be a player who has already left the club as soon as someone will take him, so I would rather have a look at someone that could have a future like Akpom.

    I must stop writing comments just before Peaches announces a new post, but I did comment at the last knockings on whether anyone saw Joel Campbell’s recent goal.

  8. JM says:

    No Djourou, so Hajrovic should be partnering Vermaelen in centre defence (Squillaci – should he have more resale value in Jan transfer window if he was not cup-tied in CL).

    4-2-(3)-1 it is with Chamakh spearheading attack, and Arshavin, AoC & Gervinho as the 3x interchanging attacking midfielders behind him.

    Rosicky to come in for any 1 of the 3 (more likely either AoC or Gervinho – as they would have frequent erratic performances; and see Arshavin last the full 90mins as he would be our creative outlet)

  9. kelsey says:

    Well done BR.

    I can’t tell you how excited I am at the thought of seeing Squillaci and Chamakh ;)

    The hostile crowd will be unnerving to some of the youngsters and Chamakh might get a brace of kebabs to take home as a souvenier .

    Schalke won’t lose,so second it is. yet another trophy for getting to the knock out stage.

    What interests me most is that RA has a partner, something never disclosed before :)

    To be honest the WBA game is far more on my mind.

  10. Big Raddy says:

    Mmmmmm. Didn’t realise there was no JD nor that Olimpiacos had already qualified for the Europa… must do better :-(

    Rasp. Or is it OlimpiaKos as the BBC spell it and they are the Daddy’s

  11. Good post, Big Raddy.
    I’ve spent many a happy hour in Penang, too. Been twelve times (always Georgetown)… I really like the place.

    Heaven knows what the lineup will be for this one, however you’re right many more times than not (and more times than me.

    Is it YOUR lineup (what you’d like to see) or what you think WENGER will choose?

    @ Wonderman
    If Djourou isn’t playing that’s good news as far as I’m concerned.
    Gunnersaurus would be a better choice, but Chas told me yesterday he’s at the Glue Factory.

  12. Wonderman says:

    Lol Big Al…agreed, it looks as though his days at Arsenal are numbered

  13. Sav from Australia says:

    Lets win the Champions League and shut up the doubters! Arshavin to score a hatrick! (if he plays…)

  14. Big Raddy says:

    BA. What I would like to see is an Arsenal lineup with Schweinsteiger and Messi in it. But in their absence it is what I expect AW to pick

  15. chas says:

    GoonerB,
    Here’s that Campbell goal.
    Wow. It looks like a playstation goal.
    The cameraman couldn’t keep the ball in shot for the second angle. :)

  16. GoonerB says:

    Thanks Chas. I wonder if this kid will have what it takes. He certainly looks one that may improve us in our 4-3-3 playing from the right. The other footage I have seen in the past seems to indicate he is quite pacy and comfortable running at defenders.

    JM, It has been nice to see you come on and post more often as you seem to have some interesting insights and information on players. I have read with interest your recent feelings on the 4-3-3 not working and switching to a 4-2-3-1, as you mentioned @11.07. As many on here will tell you I don’t really like going on about formations!!! but I thought I would take up your lead on this one with the 4-2-3-1 to discuss its merits. I don’t know if you saw it or not but I posted a comment yesterday (around 4.30 I think) where I outlined some of my own opinions on this area. If you get a chance have a look because I would love to know your take on it.

  17. chas says:

    Big Al,
    You’re obviously suffering form Gunnersaurus withdrawal syndrome.

    Here’s an interview from October and a couple of photos showing the highlights of his career.

    http://www.sbnation.com/epl/2012/10/26/3559038/exclusive-interview-with-gunnersaurus

    Observing a minute’s silence.

    http://bit.ly/TKXaJA

    I bet the kid loved it when he woke up.

    http://bit.ly/cnKJ4C

  18. its snowing on arsenalarsenal, no other blog does it quite like you!
    Great preview BRaddy
    It will be so nice to just watch tonight without any pressure, and getting to see some fresh faces out there at least trying for the shirt.
    Cmon You Gunners

  19. Rasp says:

    Hi Raddy, on arsenal.com it is spelt Olympiacos although there are several different connotations being used

  20. GunnerN5 says:

    Hi all, a quiet morning on AA, I guess that all of yesterday’s sparing has knocked everyone out.

    Your pre-match post are always well thought out BR and today’s is no exception.

    Here’s a question out of the blue and for our accountants.

    In all of the businesses I’ve been involved with we reviewed our assets each year and we either wrote down or wrote off those that we felt were an encumbrance to the business plan or were obsolete.

    My question is why can the same logic not be applied to football players, ie: write off their salaries against the current years business in order to open new opportunities in the next season?

    This could be done by either selling the player for zero or buying out his remaining contract.

  21. Brigham says:

    I am quite glad he is resting a few of the regulars and that some of the youngsters will get a run out. They cannot exactly do much worse than the first team have the past few games surely? Be nice to sit and watch the game tonight, no pressure at all and we will finish second, which may not be a bad thing, depending on other results in the remaining groups.

    BR – spent time in Penang myself, love the place, especially the ‘hawker’ markets and the wife and I found a lovely eating house called Song River last time we were then in 2004. Stayed at the E&O hotel in Georgetown.

  22. slime says:

    I remember a dead rubber CL game a year or 2 back when Vermaelen got crocked when we were desperately short of defenders. I would rather rest players and risk losing a nothing game.

  23. jnyc says:

    I just want to say, now that some people are pointing out fatigue as a possible cause of our poor play, maybe most of us begging for rotation arent so wrong. Especially with podolski, Arteta, cazorla etc– need to watch bfg also. A week or two vacation could help anyone. And continue with extra care for jack of course. Id go cap one cup team for this one.

  24. Gooner In Exile says:

    Slime only last year it was Santos getting crocked in Olympiakos….everyone bemoaned Wengers decision to play him due to it. They now bemoan his decision to play him full stop. We’re not fickle at all!

  25. Oh my goodness, where is everyone????

    I’ve had to be Bob the Builder today ….. two very muddy sites and a wobbly crane!!!!!!!

    Who thinks that Arsene was always going to play a few youngsters in this game tonight? Me.

    You would think he was doing something completely out of the ordinary, when I’m sure he always does this ………..

    Anyway, I’m really looking forward to the game. I love the Champions Lge ……… oh no, what if we’re not in it next season, don’t be silly peaches, of course we will be :)

  26. Rocky – if you’re reading, chary has offered a post for tomorrow ;)

  27. LB says:

    Does any one know how to stop quick flashes appearing at the bottom of my screen only on wonderful WordPress?

  28. evonne says:

    LB – yeah, tell Chas to put his pants on

  29. LB says:

    Me as well, he has always played youngsters in these games. There is method to the madness, it is the principal reason that we attract new players……..it has to be becasue it isn’t the money. No matter how much we get upset about how much Arsenal pay our youngsters it is worth remebering that top notch youngsters can get more money else where.

  30. kgooner says:

    @ LB noticed the same thing. Thought it was my PC.Now, i really want to know.

    Thanks for the post BR. I, like most of the comments i’ve read am looking forward to the game. No pressure, just footie. The last two weeks have had a lot of build up to the game because of our curent form. I’ll gladly take the break today thank you.

    Anyone kind enough to post on here a link to a live stream?

  31. LB says:

    This is impossible it is like having a strobe light at the bottom of my screen.

  32. slime says:

    GiE,

    Santos, Vermaelen, what’s the difference….!?

  33. Big Raddy says:

    No strobe light here just some lovely snowflakes. Are you boys on any sort of medication?

  34. evonne says:

    kgooner – how? I often watch Saturday 3pm games and am willing to post a stream, but don’t know how. Ustream is a bit of a pain

  35. Slime i was more having a moan about the fickleness of fans, afterall I’m sure there will be some wishing Ramsey, Squid etc get injured so they won’t be able to darken the first team again….sad i know

  36. LB – I did the Adblock thingy last week and that annoying strobe has now gone from the bottom of my page.

  37. evonne – I know it’s only a match day fleeting visit but it’s nice to have to you here ……..

  38. Red Arse says:

    Evonne,

    You made me chuckle about your suggested cure for flashing — “tell Chas to put his pants back on”!! :D

    But you are not fooling us — he’s with you, isn’t he? :lol:

  39. Red Arse says:

    Are you suggesting subliminal advertizing, Peaches?

  40. Good luck Arsenal. Let’s win this one and embark on a 20 game winning streak.Or unbeaten at least.

  41. evonne says:

    RA – no, Chas prefers MUCH younger girls with huge tits, but hey who doesn’t? Even I have to admit they look great :)

    Peaches – yes, I am being gentle to my heart and worry about the AFC only on matchdays, otherwise I’ll end up on the same ward as PHW

  42. GoonerB says:

    Chas, well I never, you told me you were a legs man. Evonne has let the cat out of the bag now.

  43. chas says:

    I thought my ears were burning!

    I completely refute that last accusation.
    I actually prefer MUCH older blokes with huge tits. Who wouldn’t?

  44. Red Arse says:

    Glic is your man then, Chas!! :lol:

  45. chas says:

    Here’s a pair of great tits.

    http://bit.ly/pqsfq1

  46. chas says:

    RA,
    Glic?
    I’ve seen more fat on a butcher’s pencil.

  47. Now I’ve lowered the tone ……………..

    I meant to say earlier how shocking that story is from Holland of the
    official that was set upon and killed by youths from a football team he had officiated at. Absolutely dreadful :(

  48. chas says:

    You’ll never believe this, but I’m not really that fussed about Nigella.
    When Micky was originally wondering why a first class train ticket from Devon was going to cost £250, she just popped into my mind as someone who the cyber Micky (I hadn’t met him at that stage) would consider worth the surcharge. Strange but true.

  49. Oh well Rasp will like them ;)

  50. chas says:

    Really appalling, peaches.

    It makes me so ashamed that I’ve had violent thoughts about Graham Poll in the past.
    Still I suppose you don’t go to hell just for thinking about something.

  51. evonne says:

    yeah, right

    Damn, the white light is flashing on mine now! I recon it is the snow falling from the top and freezing on the ground. Well done Rasp :)

  52. chas – my new laptop has windows 7 and I use chrome for my internet, do you know how to get the File Edit View etc tool bar, I don’t seem to be able to find it?

  53. Irishgunner says:

    Evening all

    Was just going to ask was anyone else getting flashing lines at the end of the screen – glad its not only me :)

    I had a Liverpool fan come up to me today and he said that we were worst than them, I couldn’t think of anything to argue with so I told him to F off like the lady I am ha ha he took it in good spirits :lol:

  54. chas says:

    peaches – does chrome have a File Edit View etc tool bar?

  55. Well done irish, I’m doing the same thing with slimy scummers who are enjoying having a good crow at our expense ;)

    Did you enjoy your trip to London town?

  56. Sheep Hagger says:

    Hi
    Lets hope we can win tonight,
    We got more kids in the team than Chicko from the X factor for the game tonight.

  57. Sheep Hagger says:

    I’m getting no flashes Irish but I’m not on a laptop

  58. Irishgunner says:

    No Arshavin – Rosicky starts, least we’ll look sexy out there :lol:

  59. chas – it doesn’t seem to, what would it be called in techno speak? I’ve looked at the chrome addons and nothing jumps out at me.

  60. Irishgunner says:

    Peaches – I did indeed, always love going over to London. And it didn’t rain all weekend :D Pity about the result though :(

    SH – Its, as the others said, like a strobe light along the bottom of the screen, only happening on this site.

  61. Ant says:

    I’m still laughing at the Gunnersaurus interview Chas!

  62. Sheep Hagger says:

    7 changes from the team that lost to swansea.
    Sky news

  63. Sheep Hagger says:

    Got no strobe light here u ok?

  64. Irish – sorry we lost you on the way to the ground. Bloody dreadful result but you must have been happy to see your Tomas :) LB reckons he’s going to be the saviour :)

  65. chas says:

    Menu bar, I think.

    I believe they said you should be able to do what the menu bar allowed from the menu available in the top right which looks like three horizontal bars.

  66. Ant says:

    Evening Peaches.. looking forward to seeing some future stars tonight.

  67. chas says:

    Ey up, bro.
    Did you think you might as well comment now you’re appearing on the Tavern widget? :)

    I thought that interview was funny, too. I’m not sure anyone else read it. I was trying to convince Big Al yesterday that he’d been melted down for glue. Maybe that interview was the catalyst?

  68. chas says:

    That avatar makes me think of Forfarfor immediately

  69. evonne says:

    hi Ant, how is life? x

  70. Irishgunner says:

    Arsenal Starting XI: Szczeny, Jenkinson, Vermaelen, Squillaci, Meade; Rosicky, Ramsey, Coquelin; Oxlade-Chamberlain; Chamakh, Gervinho

    Subs: Shea, Angha, Hajrovic, Monteiro, Arshavin, Ansah, Akpom

    Who is Monteiro?

    Peaches – We went for sweeties enroute :lol:

  71. Ant says:

    Famous at last.. on the widget but prefer them in my cans of Guiness

  72. kelsey says:

    Chamakh will do a Rod Stewart

    Hi,irish how are you ?

  73. Ant says:

    “..looking forward to seeing some future stars tonight”… squiddly diddly ohh blimey!

  74. chas says:

    Chamakh had a great game at Reading………from what I remember.

  75. chas says:

    Seems a bit odd having Arshavin on the bench.
    Not a bad side though.
    I’m willing to be pleasantly surprised.

  76. Ant says:

    Is it Raphael Meade from the 1970s? He was huge!

  77. GunnerN5 says:

    Irish,

    Elton Monteiro is a 19 year old Swiss defender.

  78. chas says:

    Which, of course, means that you should lash everything on an Olympiacos victory.

  79. Irishgunner says:

    I’m good Kelsey thanks – busy busy :) Will be in your part of the world this time 3 weeks, having my turkey in the sun :D

    Is the weather normally nice around Christmas?

  80. Irishgunner says:

    Thanks GN5 – honestly never heard of him and try to keep track of the youngsters

  81. chas says:

    It’s Jernade.

    Raphael wore tight shorts too.
    Who is the Arse player in the background?

    http://bit.ly/TFVaFc

  82. chas – now honestly, how much do you remember from the Reading game :roll:

    Thanks for the heads up on the three horizontal bars, they are all hidden in there :)

  83. kelsey says:

    Irish,

    it can be quite nice and sunny but never really cold.

  84. Mr Sheep Hagger – how has the mood been in Swansea since the FA cup draw???

  85. Chamakh ….. are we really starting with Chamakh?? Don’t we have a single youngster that’s better than him. Why don’t we have any baby strikers?????

  86. chas says:

    I remember asking ‘who was that?’ when he scored from outside the box. (there might have been a strategically placed f word in the middle of that question with a ‘the’ before it. :) )

  87. Sheep Hagger says:

    Raphael he was one of the TMNT in the 80s.

  88. Sheep Hagger says:

    Peaches
    The swans are looking forward to arsenal coming in January
    I’m not ,

  89. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Ant arrives, immediately followed by Peaches, Evonne and Irish.
    Mmmm….thinks

  90. GunnerN5 says:

    Irish.

    More about Monteiro.

    No player across Arsenal’s two development teams made more appearances than Elton Monteiro during the 2011/12 season.

    The central defender enjoyed his role as captain for Steve Bould’s Under-18s, making 23 starts en route to another eight appearances in the reserves.

    Elton is an increasingly commanding presence at the heart of defence and, by giving him the Under-18s armband, the coaching staff have demonstrated their faith in him.

    The Swiss defender, who joined from FC Sion in summer 2010, is also eligible to play for Portugal through his family heritage.

  91. Irishgunner says:

    That’ll do me kelsey :)

  92. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Ok, evening all.
    Just seen the team. Arshavin must be thinking: “Cheers Boss”.

  93. slime says:

    I think AW has done well with the selection. Given us a chance to win whilst also getting a game for those coming back from injury or a little out of form.

    Can’t watch it due to being at work, but will record it for later.

  94. Irishgunner says:

    Cheers GN5 – just had a look see on Arse.com as well to see what he looks like, looks like a strong guy. I don’t get hyped about players anymore – remember thinking Bartley – Ayling would become our CB pairing in my naivety a few seasons back …

  95. chas says:

    He’s always been a babe magnet, Micky.

  96. Ant says:

    Casting nasturtiums again Micky!

  97. Sheep Hagger says:

    Cheers for the info gunner .very helpful I had not heard of him

  98. Ant says:

    No Chas I have a fridge magnet

  99. chas says:

    Anyone want to see a dog dressed up as two pirates carrying a treasure chest?

    http://bit.ly/O9fVFV

  100. chas says:

    Micky,
    I can’t work out if you were thinking Arshavin might be pleased or displeased.

  101. Sheep Hagger says:

    Lol chas is that Alan sugar and don king ?

  102. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Good question Chas.
    I know the Little Fella doesn’t like a heavy workload, but still.

  103. chas says:

  104. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Evening Peaches
    And a smiley face to you too

  105. chas says:

  106. Sheep Hagger says:

    I’m off watch game catch u later much love,SH

  107. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Do we know if Olympiakos are fielding a strong team?
    Also, I note that Kelsey says Schalke will win.
    So all to play for then :-)

  108. MickyDidIt89 says:

    I genuinely think Montpellier may win. Last CL game and whatnot.

  109. chas says:

  110. I hope chary has remembered his offer to me/us ;)

  111. Right match time, see you all at halftime

  112. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Chas,
    That’s a brilliant pic

  113. chas says:

    Carroll, Andriakopoulos, Eleftheropoulos, Giannakopoulos, Ikonomopoulos, Khalkokondilis, Mavrokefalidis, Papadopoulos, Paraskevopoulos, Pierrakos-Mavromichalis, Theodoropoulos

  114. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Show ‘em Ox
    Come on you Gunnnnnnners

  115. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Carroll just looks so out of place :-)

  116. GunnerN5 says:

    So far it’s a vast improvement over Saturday’s performance.

  117. RockyLives says:

    Fine prematch as per the norm BR

    So far we’re looking as if we’re up for it. Keep it going lads.

  118. Irishgunner says:

    Can we buy Chamakh a comb for Christmas? Or send him GM to do something?

  119. Adrian says:

    Ramsey scuffed a golden chance there.. Oh and the commentators just love to remind us that RVP left us.

  120. Ooooooh this looks so much better, just need to score now

  121. GunnerN5 says:

    It’s the sharpness up front that we are missing, great build ups but nobody to put it away.

  122. Probably need to shoot early rather than pass – not our way I know but ……… could work

  123. Big Raddy says:

    Chas. Love the dog pic

  124. RockyLives says:

    Loving TR7.
    He’s acting like a captain.

  125. Adrian says:

    Holy **** Gervinho is dissappointing.

  126. Sheep Hagger says:

    Love the twat pic Xmas lights amazing lol SH

  127. Sheep Hagger says:

    The welsh wonder will set us up tonight

  128. RockyLives says:

    1-0

    Well done Tomas!

    Totally deserves that goal.

  129. Irishgunner says:

    ARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGH YAAAAAS look who scored LOOK! MY MAN

  130. Adrian says:

    Brilliant, Rosicky deserved that. Been playing with more heart in 30 mins than some of the first team players the past couple of games. Different class compared to the rest of the players today.

  131. evonne says:

    sexy goal, ay Irish :)

  132. Sheep Hagger says:

    The welsh wonder set it up .go on Ramsey son .

  133. Irishgunner says:

    Very sexy Evonne :)

  134. RockyLives says:

    Very open half.

    Good stuff from Rosicky, Vern, Szczesny in particular.

    Gerv and Cham trying hard even if it’s not coming off all that often. Coq and Ramsey too.

  135. kelsey says:

    I thought gervinho layed the ball back to rosicky but did you notice after the celebration someone i think it was le coq had a right go at gervinho.

  136. dandan says:

    Adrian Chiles “Thank their lucky stars they are not playing Swansea it would be a cricket score by now” is that man for real or just a common or garden idiot.

  137. Big Raddy says:

    Very enjoyable half. It helps not caring about the result!

    Ramsey is as usual forcing the play and at the same time making poor decisions – his miss was ugly.

    TR running the game and a lovely finish-

    Gerv all over the shop,.

    Chamakh having a good game – in the shop window?

    TV – magnificent half

  138. Rasp says:

    Aha, nice to see Ant on here. Rosicky was very lucky, he scuffed that off his shin :lol:

  139. Big Raddy says:

    Chiles is embarrassing.

  140. What do you mean Raddy? A win is a win and we badly need one.

  141. LB is going to be insufferable :lol:

  142. kelsey says:

    gervinho was great for 3 minutes.

    the keeper is back in pole position
    vermaelen looks like he has had a bollicking
    ramsey not sure
    meade looks a good prospect

    jenkinson doing ok
    squillaci urr alright
    thomas is the man
    the ox …seen him play better
    le coq tidy
    chamakh is trying his best but his best isn’t great

  143. chas says:

    How about a half time treat of two monkeys carrying a box of bananas?

    http://bit.ly/TAwqeW

  144. dandan says:

    BR its no wonder Jane Garvey kicked him into touch. Embarassing you got it in one
    j

  145. Gooner In Exile says:

    Ramsey shows me enough to know in the future it will happen for him.

    As for The Swerve I’m giving him the benefit of the doubt and saying that the pitch must be horrendous and that’s why he is not getting his head up. Because surely he has been our most wasteful in possession.

    I think Meade has coped well enough and shown that element of fearlessness required by Arsenes Arsenal with the little Cruyff turn with his first touch.

    But I think it shows all over the park, Cham led the press on a few occasions and Ox and TR7 joined in and Rambo too and it paid off winning the ball higher. We are very slow to support on occasion though.

    But generally the ball movement is more fluid and they are doing the right things at the right times more often than not. Especially in defence, Jenks has just stuck it in touch rather than forcing a back pass.

  146. kelsey says:

    rasp,don’t agree

  147. Rasp says:

    It may be true that not a the players are having a great game, but we are playing with so much more energy and attacking intent than at the weekend. I hope some of the ones left at home are having a good look at themselves.

  148. Rasp says:

    What don’t you agree with kelsey … not my attempt to pull irish’s leg?

  149. chas says:

    No good, how about two dogs carrying a present then?

    http://bit.ly/NyH1Ej

  150. Gooner In Exile says:

    Has he replaced Rosicky? Guess he is starting Saturday then.

  151. Rasp says:

    Hi GiE, you beat me to it :)

  152. GunnerN5 says:

    Rasp your 8:40

    That’s easy it’s Cockuelin

  153. RockyLives says:

    After that half I’d say Rosicky is first name on the team sheet for Sat.

  154. Big Raddy says:

    chas. Genius. Got any more?

  155. Irishgunner says:

    Rasp – I saw your second comment as I was scrolling down to post “I’ll scuff you” :lol:

  156. Gooner In Exile says:

    Cham is playing quite well

  157. Rasp says:

    Hi Irish :P , I hope Tommy was subbed to save him for the weekend not for injury

  158. If Arshavin had scored that it would have to be the goal of the season :)

  159. Irishgunner says:

    I think he was Rasp – he only got a few minutes on Saturday and I saw no mention of him playing any reserve time so probably well off match fitness.

  160. GunnerN5 says:

    We’ve let them take control – not good.

  161. GunnerN5 says:

    Schalke leading 1-0 – looks like 2nd place.

  162. Gooner In Exile says:

    First glance looked like a corner…..need a bit of a regroup….TV5 you’re the skipper, sort it.

  163. Irishgunner says:

    Lost our way since TR7 went off

  164. RockyLives says:

    Jenks was asleep there.

  165. I agree with you there Irish

  166. Rasp says:

    Gervinho just received a pass in a good attacking position, passed it back and just stood still WTF?????

  167. GunnerN5 says:

    Montellier has tied it up 1-1 – a win will put us top.

  168. Big Raddy says:

    Ox very disappointing so far this half. Expect more

  169. Gooner In Exile says:

    That’s a bit of a goal!

    Tiring badly out there

  170. GunnerN5 says:

    Oh dear – there it goes…………..

  171. Rasp says:

    We lost our control of midfield when Rosicky went off

  172. Oooops :(

    I don’t want this lot to lose, they’ve worked hard :(

  173. kelsey says:

    can’t watch this shit anymore (sorry all especialy dandan) goodnight

  174. Rasp says:

    Any way, Meade has looked pretty good, we don’t need to get carried away but he looks like he has the mentality to step up a level.

  175. Big Raddy says:

    Last time kelsey said that we beat Reading 7-5!

    Don’t expect the same but we are not out of this and are battling hard

  176. kgooner says:

    Gerv needs to hit the gym more.

  177. slime says:

    Quite happy with what I saw for an hour (managed to get Catchuptv on the iphone!) but we were bound to tire with a lot of players not having played a full 90 minutes for a while and also others returning from injury. Subs disrupted us too.

    We could’ve had a couple first half had Gervinho chosen different options and Ramsey different legs! :)

    Nothing to be too disappointed about I don’t think.

  178. Gooner In Exile says:

    Kelsey take the game for what it is….and look at individual performances to see if we can learn anything.

    As Rasp says Meade has not looked out of his depth.

    As Rasp won’t say ( ;) ) Cham has led the line well tonight and brought others into the game.

    Gervinho has not cared or is very poor tonight, I’ve lost count of the times he has put a teammate in the shit with a too late pass.

    Squillacci wasn’t at fault for the goals!!! Hooray!!!

    Ox needs more time, middle of the park….not yet.

  179. Big Raddy says:

    Not that it has made much difference but this referee has been awful. Hasn’t given us anything, and definitely cost us the first goal

  180. Rasp says:

    Chamakh’s vertical quiff has led the line, he’d have scored that header if the gel hadn’t made the ball slip off his bonce :lol:

  181. Rasp says:

    Nice to see TV playing like a captain again. I guess teeing up a goal for BSR can’t have helped his confidence

  182. Gooner In Exile says:

    True Rasp, I’m sure it helps with the flick ons, although I think the trail of brylcream he leaves over the pitch leads to our players slipping over.

  183. Big Raddy says:

    I think there were a few positives in the game, the main one being Rosicky – great to see him again.

    Meade looked a good prospect. Chamakh played well.

    Disappointments. Jenks crossing. Arshavin not impacting upon the game, Ox only showing in glimpses, But worst of all – Gervinho. I don’t get him, never have. I know LB likes him and LB is a decent judge of a player but to me he succeeds in 1 out of 10 attempts and that just isn’t good enough. The most frustrating player since Hleb.

  184. Irishgunner says:

    Am I the only one not bothered about 1st or 2nd – didn’t fancy playing Dortmund as much I don’t fancy playing Barcelona. Knockout stages will be better this season, some quality teams and we’re in it – Dortmund, Barcelona, Real Madrid, Malaga, Bayern etc., etc., no “easy” draw there for anyone.

  185. Big Raddy says:

    Irish. No you are not as you would know if you had read my pre-match :-)

  186. Big Raddy says:

    Snow clearing early tomorrow, so it is goodnight from him

  187. chas says:

    Irish, I made the same point this morning on yesterday’s post.

  188. Gooner In Exile says:

    We avoided Porto, Milan and Madrid. :)

  189. chas says:

    Man City have no distractions in Europe for the rest of the season.

  190. Arsenalista says:

    Positives-
    Meade – decent debut.
    Rosicky – very good
    Good first half.

    Negatives

    Squillaci – wimped on second goal.
    Bad second half

  191. LB says:

    Hang on

    Let’s be clear, my point is that I think Gervinho is more of a threat down the left than Podolski.

    That does not make me a fan, it simply highlights how poor we are in certain positions.

  192. LB says:

    Can someone give me a link for an ad block site?

    Thanks

  193. chas says:

    Squiddly wimped when?

  194. Evening all, If Peachy is around I’m working on my candle lit report and hope to have it in drafts by 11. Sorry it’s a bit of a rush job.

  195. Rasp says:

    When is the draw for the knockout stage?

  196. chas says:

    Which browser, LB?

  197. slime says:

    Tough draw whoever we get, but at least we are in it, unlike Man City and hopefully Chelsea! :)

  198. Rasp says:

    I agree Gerv is more of a threat than Pod on the left. It would appear that our best 11 players do not constitute our best team.

  199. Gooner In Exile says:

    :D LB

    Dixon and Southgate just pulled apart TV5 and Squid for both goals, so I withdraw the paragraph referring to Squid earlier :D

  200. slime says:

    GiE,

    That is probably the most optimistic comment I have ever read when you look at the teams we could play! :lol:

  201. Rasp says:

    Thanks chary, will you be putting in the pics or do you want me to oblige?

  202. LB says:

    I’m clinging to Rosicky for dear life to become our saviour

  203. Irishgunner says:

    :oops: I promise to read more

  204. Rasp says:

    Are you clinging to Rosicky too Irish :?

  205. Arsenalista says:

    Wenger spot on, Jan signings would meant nothing if we don’t have a strong month.

    He is right to concentrate on upcoming games.

  206. slime says:

    Looks like one of:

    PSG
    Malaga
    Dortmund
    Barcelona
    Shakhtar/Juventus
    Bayern

    Can we play Man U this early or not?

  207. Gooner In Exile says:

    By Tomorrow night Slime we could have avoided:

    Shaktar/Juve
    Valencia/Munich
    Benfica/Celtic
    Galatassary/Cluj

    To be fair I think in fairness the only way we I would have backed us to make Quarters was 1st and draw Cluj (who haven’t even qualified yet)

    Not many pushovers in the last 16.

  208. chas says:

    Sorry, LB.
    It looks a lot more complicated for IE9.
    I haven’t found one yet that’s free.

    p.s. Chrome is much better anyway.

  209. LB says:

    “Can we play Man U this early or not?”

    The way we have suffered recently I am sure that they could not only find a way for us to face manu they could probably find a way to have our finger nails pulled out with rusty plyers.

  210. LB says:

    Thanks for trying Chas.

  211. Irishgunner says:

    I wish :oops:

  212. I have no pics so if you don’t mind sticking them in , ta very muchly Rasp.

  213. Gooner In Exile says:

    True Jamie and no point knocking confidence of squad any more at the moment by saying he is definitely in the market, personally I will be very surprised.. Last season we did the Pod deal (for end of season) and Eisfield, the only time I can remember a big January signing when things were going a tad awry was AA23.

    Is Huntelaar going to leave Schalke before last 16? Doubtful. So we are shopping in a pool of players who haven’t played CL (if we want to compete for it) or knocked out of CL (hardly greatest credentials).

    If the existing squad step up to the plate then we will be fine, they are good enough. They just don’t seem to know it right now.

    I was impressed by the younger players tonight, Rosicky and Cham too.

  214. Gooner In Exile says:

    Can’t draw English teams in last 16.

  215. SharkeySuresGhost says:

    Decent performance, good to see some passion and energy. Good to see Ramseys energy and willingness to drive us forward. Doesn’t always deliver an end product, but you have to admire his effort.

    Meade. Fantastic CL debut

  216. chas says:

    LB,
    It looks like you have to turn Tracking protection on as in here.
    But you’ll also need to get hold of a comprehensive Tracking protection list to add in (presumably this would contain the names of most advertising sites).

    http://windows.microsoft.com/en-GB/windows7/How-to-use-Tracking-Protection-and-ActiveX-Filtering#

  217. Gooner In Exile says:

    https://twitter.com/wilfriedzaha/status/276072155421237248

    https://twitter.com/wilfriedzaha/status/276076901532061697

    Well at least he will know how we feel when he pulls on the red and white! And yes it’s a verified account

  218. chas says:

    Here are some tracking protection lists. Can’t vouch for them though.

    http://www.iegallery.com/en-gb/trackingprotectionlists

  219. Watching the Fabrice Muamba story, amazing man, what a gift to football

  220. chas says:

    GIE,
    “when” :)
    When I saw Wilfried, I thought it must be fake.

  221. slime says:

    Is Llorente Cup Tied?

    The last 16 just confirms for me the decline of the PL in the last couple of years. I know Chelsea won it last year , but they were increadibly lucky and finished 6th in the league. The fact they don’t look like qualifying this year just confirms how lucky they were. City can’t even get out of the group for the 2nd year running, and Man U have lost 3 times in the league this year and conceded 3 against Reading at the weekend! We are currently 10th and have finished 2nd in a relatively easy group.

    It wasnt long ago that we had 2 or 3 semi finalists. I will be surprised if we have one this year.

  222. A quick and dirty match report is in drafts Raspers/Peachy.

    Night all.

  223. JM says:

    @GoonerB 12:27 pm and earlier post previously,

    This is my personal take/observation:

    Understanding the unique 4-3-(3) formation is drilled into each youth player’s footballing brain in the academies of Ajax and Barca. (D.Bergkamp has spoken that @Ajax youth academy, the outfield players train in all positions from defenders, midfielders and attackers … which is basically part of the “Total Football” system). Exceptions are a few world elite players with footballing intelligence, e.g. Ronaldinho, Eto’o, Henry, D.Villa etc who could adapt quickly and fit into playing the front 3 in the 4-3-(3).

    The classic Ajax 4-[2-(1)]-(3) has the (1) in the 3 midfield as the playmaking AM or second striker while upfront 2 wingers flanking the main forward. Wingers are expected to torment opponent’s fullbacks endlessly through dribbling, pace and higher technical abilities. Playmaking AM to be either close with the other midfielders and move across the field as a coordinated unit or be pushed up as a second striker to support main forward.

    Barca’s 4-[(1)-(2)]-(3) evolved further in that their 3 forwards (Messi, D.Villa, A.Sanchez, Pedro, Fabregas, Iniesta) can interchanging seamlessly between playing as side forwards(wingers) and main forwards. The 3 forwards split across the field to spread the attack (making it harder to defend against), and are expected to mark the opposition full-backs as opposed to doubling back to assist their own full-backs, as do the wide midfielders in a 4-2-(3)-1 or 4-4-2.

    The (1) in their midfield (3) (Busquets, Song, Mascherano) serves primarily as anchor man/destroyer with flexibility to move back to defence alongside CB for form a back 3 when their fullbacks move upfield to midfield in attack mode joining the other (2) midfielders.

    The other (2) in the midfield (3), (Xavi, Iniesta, Fabregas, Thiago), one acts as the facilitator/orchestrator and the other as the creater/playmaker. They could also be remarked as all-round midfielders/box-to-box midfielders.

    When the Ajax and Barca teams played 4-3-(3), they could also mod. to a 3-3-1-3 during a match (e.g. Alves and Alba pushing up alongside the 1 CM – read Xavi/Fabregas, and 1 CM dropping back – read Busquets, Song to the highline defence as Puyol/Mascherano and Pique also pushed up etc), amassing more bodies in the midfield, and the AM(e.g. Iniesta etc) could dribble through the attacking 3rd and beyond to disrupt the backline, with his duties covered by the additions in midfield. At the same time, that provides further additional intense pressing high up the pitch, for the forwards and midfielders as well. {creating favourable situations in that of a 3(4) vs 4 in attacking end; a potentially 4(3) vs 2,3 or 4 in midfield and 3 vs 1 or 2 in defending end}

    For Arsenal currently, I would believe not all our forwards are adequately schooled in the 4-3-(3) setup either similar to Ajax or Barcelona.
    Podolski (he works better in a front 2, esp with Klose but not Gomez in national team; Gomez works better as a lone forward in Germany’s 4-2-3-1 system), Giroud and Chamakh (limited centre forwards), Arshavin (he plays more in support striker and has lacked the pressing intensity).
    Gervinho (previously with Lille alongside Hazard and M.Sow) a,Walcott and AoC might have done some work but lack consistency in the necessary technicalities (e.g. with the pressing work, as wingers in dribbling and beating fullbacks, footballing intelligence to e.g. interchange positions at appropriate times, to release ball to teammate before being crowded out at sideline etc).
    An unbalanced midfield in quality of players as well with regard to the destroyer/facilitator/creater concept.
    More importantly, 4-3-(3) involves expansive play, with the whole team moving up/down/across field with or without the ball as a coordinated unit in defending/attacking, i.e. back to the then term of “Total Football” – or now the evolved tiki-taka Barca-style football.

    Our current team is often caught in having bits of a 4-3-3 and a 4-2-3-1 being entangled together.

    A 4-2-(3)-1 should suit with Giroud and even Walcott at point (utilising either a striker who may be very tall and strong to hold the ball up or a very fast striker) in having the support of 3 AMs (wide midfielders & centre playmaker) who could interchanging among themselves as well.
    Currently, Wilshere, Rosicky, Cazorla, AoC, Arshavin, Ramsey could fill the 3x AMs positions.
    Defensively, it would mod. into close resemblance 4-5-1 or 4-4-1-1 (defending deep, compressing midfield). Offensively, it would mod into close resemblance of a 4-2-4 (defendcounter-attack).

    As for Podolski and Gervinho, they might work better with a strike partner upfront, possibly with a 3-5-2/4-1-2-1-2/3-4-1-2, which also involves Koscielny, Mertesacker and Vermaelen as our 3x CBs and having 5 midfielders for breaking up play, midfield dominance and counter-attack.

    Still looking @ what Joel Campbell (if he gets his UK work permit sorted out next season) and Ryo Miyaichi could offer as wingers/wide forwards if we are sticking with 4-3-(3).

    PS: I was late in reply, it is early morning, 5th Dec, over at my place now. I have not seen yesterday’s highlights match yet, so no comments on that, though I gathered Rosicky is INJURED!? For how long this time?

    Video online:
    A.W.’s (in French) speaking in bits of a 4-3-3:

    (If anyone could translate the full context)
    ======================================

    Jan window (2 players), if club should look into possible additions from outside, my personal choices would be:

    (1) Either Maxime Gonalons(Lyon) or Etienne Capone for the DM/CM/CB.
    (2) Henrikh Mkhitaryan(Shakhtar Donetsk) for the AM/2nd striker/Winger.

  224. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Morning all.
    JM,
    Sorry at this time to only pick up one one of your points, but Rosicky injured?

  225. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Here’s hoping Kelsey is not first up, as the post match discussion will be thin at best.
    He switched off, I never switched on!

  226. kelsey says:

    Morning Micky

    Firstly whoever asked the draw for the knockout stage is on 20th.December.

    Yes I did have enough last night,not because of the result but what I was watching.

    I know many will make the point that we had a much changed team and to a certain extent it was a no rubber as we were nearly certainly finish up but I found few positives.
    That was the third consecutive game were we second best in stats in possession,

    I don’t think Arshavin,Chamakh or Squillacci put themselves in the shop window unless they are reduced sale items .
    Gervinho is the most frustrating first team player I have seen for a while and I have never pin pointed Ramsey but is he really an asset to the team.
    Young meade had a good debut and Rosicky was very influential for the first half, but our attack is becoming more and more less potent nearly non existent.

    it tells me yet again we don’t have quality in depth to be a top team.
    What this does do for morale for the whole squad who knows, with WBA next..
    2 wins in our last 9 matches and one starts to get worried.
    I don’t entirely blame vermaelen as he has played with various partners and at LB this season,but he isn’t vocal enough as captain.
    Szsney was much more vocal.
    Of course i want to see us win and at least look back on games and think regardless of the result ” I enjoyed that” but it is hard to do at present.
    If Bould now has a different mindset about our defence to Rice or even Wenger it isn’t working.
    We aren’t in crisis but I think there is a good arguement that the senior players let us down more than the others tonight..
    we can’t score as we did, our pace has dropped off from what we were renown for and we just look like a nervous team with no real understanding between many of the team.
    One or two january signings might be the answer but to me we need more than that .

    i hope kroenke enjoys his time on his latest investment of 80 million on his new farm.maybe the cows will wear our shirts.

  227. LB says:

    Hey Chas if you are still around, do you have an ad block for Chrome, I’ve got the same problem as IE9, flahes at the bottom of the screen.

  228. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Kelsey,
    I had a crap day at work, saw the team sheet, and thought “this is not going to cheer me up”
    Those eleven players may have met at the odd function, but I doubt they’ve ever all been in the same room at the same time. :-)

  229. chas says:

    Micky,
    I enjoyed the game last night.
    As someone said, already qualified therefore no real pressure.
    Rosicky was a joy to watch. Arsene’s comments how how quickly he moves the ball were bang on.

    Mind you, I did have music on instead of commentary and made sure I wasn’t in the room whenever they went back to the studio. I didn’t see Adrian Chile’s ‘face for radio’ once. :)

  230. chas says:

    ‘how how’?
    My thoughts and fingers never seem to be completely in alignment these days.

  231. chas says:

    kelsey,
    I really think you ought to write a match report for the site.
    You always write one for the comments section anyway. :)

  232. Sheep Hagger says:

    Morning all
    Watched the game last night poor showing yet again by the gunners
    Paul Merson was on sky sports news and he said” arsenal are in a mess”.
    I have to agree with Merson another point to make we have not won for 4 games this is just not good enough.
    As Donna summer sung in the 70s.
    Enough is enough we can’t go on no longer.
    Catch u all later I’m off to work much love,one sad Sheep more stick for me today off the swansea fans cheers arsenal.

  233. dandan says:

    Morning all: A couple of days ago I posted on here that AW was being loyal and like most working people obeying the rules laid down by the board. some fellow AA’ers seemed to misunderstand what I was saying, perhaps this mornings article from Oliver Holt says it clearer than I.

    http://mirr.im/VAUGjc via @mirrorfootball

  234. slime says:

    Last night the team consisted of 2 starters (Verm, Szscesny), 5 squad players (Jenks, Coquelin, Ox, Gerv, Ramsey), 2 players on their way out (Squillaci, Chamakh) 1 player returning from injury (Rosicky) and a youngster (Meade).

    It was a ragtag bunch at best and I thought they were on par for an hour until subs, fatigue etc took hold.

    I wasn’t expecting a result last night and didn’t really care if we got it, aslong as the players gave their all, which they definately did. If you set your expectations higher than that then your probably disappointed this morning.

    The papers will tell us all its a further drop into the ‘crisis’ but I don’t read that shit anymore. I thought it was a good build up for Saturday, and I think it was a goid distraction for the more important work that was being done in London as we prepare for a massive game against West Brom

  235. kelsey says:

    Chas,

    A match report ? I just say it as i see it. Some may think I take pleasure in us losing and most of you know that is not my way .
    I look at a game and access the players as I see it.

    For example slime’s first paragraph shows what i have said that we don’t have enough quality of depth in the squad.
    how many direct chances dis we create ?
    of course the papers will take joy at knocking us down again and to some extent has it ever been different.

  236. slime says:

    DD,

    I remember writing a post on here about Wenger being our ‘Dark Knight’ because he takes the heat for the club and players etc and that piece you just put up is exactly what I was trying to say, but in a much clearer way!

  237. chas says:

    Completely agree, slime.
    Especially good news as one of the definite starters on Saturday, Thomas Vermaelen, found some form at last.

    dandan,
    I’m not sure anyone misunderstood what you were saying.
    I’d imagine the truth lies somewhere in the middle as always.
    AW is neither completely to blame for Arsenal’s player dealings over the last few years, nor completely absolved of all responsibility for the situation.
    (IMO, Oliver Holt is a self-serving pillock who will write anything to garner hits, which means you can never believe what he writes. A journalistic prostitute, grade 1)

  238. dandan says:

    Slime. Lets hope that AA,ers get a chance to read and think about it,

  239. LB says:

    That is a bit rich from Merson, “Arsenal are in a mess”, pots and kettles Paul, pots and kettles.

  240. LB says:

    Apparently the snow causes some computers to play up, I had to turn off the snow….boooo…..still, it stopped the strobe light at the bottom of my screen.

  241. dandan says:

    Chas I have never said that AW is blameless, just not deserved of the stick he takes over our financial status, Wages, Transfer budget etc. That information is not in the public domain and thus any comment based on those financials must be ill informed as they cannot be backed up by actuals except what he has spent, not what he hasn’t, nor what was available to him.

  242. MickyDidIt89 says:

    LB,
    You can stop snow?
    I’ve now upped you to God Status :-)

  243. slime says:

    DD,

    It’s on here somewhere! It was about a year ago i think. Oliver Holt my arse! :lol:

  244. chas says:

    dandan,
    Apologies if I implied that you said Arsene is blameless.
    That was the tone of the Holt article, though, wasn’t it?
    And if it was, then it’s just as much as ill informed opinion as a view from the opposite extreme. Nobody knows.

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