Wishing and Hoping. WBA away.

Have you noticed a spring in the Gooners step since winning in Munich? Suddenly this new Arsenal is not the shoddy bunch of lazy artisans just trotting around and picking up money for nothing (and chicks for free), No, this is a team focussed and able to get a Top 4 spot – possibly even top 3.

images-1

The 4th Place Trophy. Currently residing  in N.17 :-D

But let’s hold hard a second. Nothing has changed  – or has it? Has our defence tightened up with the dropping of TV and the addition of Monreal? Has our midfield improved with the loss of Wilshere and the injury to Diaby? Are we better without Theo?

Time will tell.

So, today we take on the mighty WBA ably led by Braniac Steve Clarke. Roy Hodgson took WBA to 10th, Clarke has taken them up to 8th, which for a small club is a job well done. IF WBA win today it will be their most victories in a season in the PL. WBA’s home record is just one point worse than ours, only 4 teams have won at the Hawthorns and as such I have concerns about this game. That said, they have won just 3 of their last 12 games. A draw seems likely.

We all know about the new “Drogba”, Lukaku, who is going to be a major star over the coming years; can BFG and Kos handle him? I hope so.

But as always, it is not how WBA play, it is how Arsenal do. The optimism created over the last couple of months has been grounded in improved teamwork and application. In Raddy’s opinion, the 4-4-2 is allowing Santi  the space he requires to influence any game he plays in – he has become an essential player in this team, which is remarkable considering this is his first season. A brilliant buy by Mr.Wenger.

This is the type of game which Ramsey will enjoy –  a midfield battle. I cannot see WBA parking the bus, nor can I see them being gung ho, what I expect is a tough game with us controlling the ball. Gervinho’s unpredictability, both in his possession and his positioning, was important against Reading, he will cause anyone problems should he repeat his performance – but will he? Who knows? Not Gervinho, not his team-mates, not the fans, nor his manager.

My Team:

brom v arse

I am assuming Wilshere, Monreal and Walcott are not quite ready to start but even if they were I would go with the above team (perhaps JW for TR7). I would love to see Podolski get more starts but Rosicky is the better midfielder and in an away fixture he has to be the safer bet.

Today’s English Explorer: Frederick Lugard, later Baron Lugard (1858 – 1945) soldier, mercenary, African explorer and administrator. Fred was a different type of explorer to those we have read about this this season, basically he was a soldier who went through Africa freeing slaves and kicking two colours out of anyone in his path, setting up Britain as the pre-eminent colonial power in Africa. It should be recalled that Britain’s great wealth wasn’t just created by brave fellows going out alone with a knapsack and a compass, it was also built through the gun and violence – Freddie was an expert.

Unknown

Iron fist in a Velvet glove – Harder than PV4

Following a stellar military career he became the first Governor of Hong Kong where he founded the University of Hong Kong, then Governor of Nigeria where he attempted to put an end to the slave trade between the African nations (it being abolished in Europe). Highly decorated as a soldier Lugard was first knighted and then became a Baron. He died childless at the age of 87.

This is another huge game, not just because of the 3 points but also because of the rising level of hope and expectation surrounding the team.

And as we all know ….. it is the Hope that hurts .

COYRRG

written by Big Raddy

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206 Responses to Wishing and Hoping. WBA away.

  1. Gooner In Exile says:

    Good morning AA’ers….the sun is shining and Arsenal are playing….I think that’s what they call a perfect day.

    Like you Raddy I think today is all about which Arsenal turns up, the one of recent weeks with new found application and workrate thought the squad, or the one which we have seen far too many times and clueless in attack faced with a well organised defence.

    Steve Clarke has masterminded many containments of our forward line, from days assisting Mourinho, and as manager in his own right.

    Do we hope with PL football secured for another season WBA players have already put themselves on the beach, or is to early for those games yet?

  2. ant says:

    Excited….2nd beer underway…Duck’s got the family tortillas in!

  3. chas says:

    As good as ever, BR.

    Ant says Mulumbu being out might work in our favour. Mind you he’s had a Fullers Honeydew on the platform already!

  4. Rasp says:

    Great PM Raddy, I hope le boss sticks with his winning formula – no need for any changes.

    Lukaku is the heaviest player in the premiership, we need to be smart and choke his supply.

  5. chas says:

    We’ll be in Dire Straits if anyone gatecrashes our table. Even the tables are tiny in cattle class.

  6. Big Raddy says:

    Chas. The 40 pounds difference is the size of table?

  7. VCC says:

    Nice pre-match Raddy. Difficult one today. Keep everything crossed we get three points today and put pressure on Spurs and Chelsea.

    Ava great day Chas. Sounds like perfection.

    COYG

  8. Norfolk Gooner says:

    Good morning to you all,

    Nice one Raddy, No we can’t take three points for granted but with the right attitude and some graft there’s no reason why we can’t win today.

    Apparently Arsene lost his voice yesterday and was unable to make himself heard at the press conference, hopefully he has been shouting at the team, exhorting them to come out with all guns blazing and shoot down The Throstles.

    Statistics are on our side today,

    Head to head against West Brom

    Played 130 won 63 drawn 31 lost 36 goals for 229 goals against 170

    The stats may be on our side but are meaningless in reality, just as most stats are. :-)

  9. Big Raddy says:

    Norfolk. I rarely use stats for that very reason. Whenever Imention a stat the boys let us down

    e.g. I mentioned that it was X years since we got beat by the Scum and they beat us.

    I said we have never lost to Swansea … ditto.

    I could continue.

    As you say, stats mean nothing on the day. Like we have only beaten MU twice since 2007 !

  10. Prince-Purrfect-Poldi says:

    Yesterday i was quietly confident. Today im a tad nervous.

    Great pre-match Big Raddy, i also expect a tight affair and going by the stats ( and i hate to say) a draw wouldnt be too bad. That said, these are the finals now, the home bend, im sure all the players know whats at stake and the opportunity we find ourselves in with the misfortunes of other teams.

    Im glad in a way that we play before all our rivals in the fight for CL football. It gives the boys a chance to focus on themselves. They must believe they are good enough and im sure Wenger has them drilled them all for the fight. I dont want to even consider a loss, because as Chas says that would be dire straits. Im sure the certain players know that if they dont bring it, than next season the money wont be for nothing and the chicks might get expensive.

    Come on Arsenal, all guns blazing, LETS DO THIS!!

  11. chas says:

    IDS class to London includes massive seat, massive table, free WIFI, free tea and coffee and Nigella’s muffins. :)

  12. Ant says:

    In Brum, 15 real ales to sample! Blogging on the train is impossible! Free wi if in Wetherspoons is perfect. 2-0 to the arse today!

  13. Ant says:

    40 pounds difference is Nigella on your lap!

  14. chas says:

    Mmmmm nigellas muffins smothered in real butter yum yum

  15. Ant says:

    great post BR same team, same performance, same beers!

  16. Ant says:

    Same Duck!

  17. chas says:

    I wonder if Nigella likes it up the Arsenal? Perhaps she’s the squillionnaire interested in buying Arsenal FC?

  18. Ant says:

    Sunny in Brum…..but still talk stupid!

  19. chas says:

    Just seen a poster in the gents of the 2nd pub advertising a Meet the Albion legends. They are Cyrille Regis and our own Brendan Batson. :)

  20. Ant says:

    3rd pub 7th pint….. Might go to the game… Train to jewellery quarter for pub crawl stage 2 next….

  21. RockyLives says:

    Ahhhh…

    Footy is back.
    BR pre-match is back.
    Th Ant and Duck show is back.

    Dennis is in his heaven and all is well with the world.

  22. RockyLives says:

    Super stuff BR.

    Nice Lusty Springbed reference and yet another impressive explorer of whom I knew nowt. No beard, but top ‘tache. Where did the Victorians get these fellows from?

    So. Today’s game.

    BR and the comments have already said it. This could be a tricky one. But I feel that if we can find the one-touch, quick-passing confidence we had against Reading, things will be good.

    That and taking our chances.

  23. Big Raddy
    “only 4 teams have won at the Hawthorns”

    That’s four losses in 15 home games, worse than 1 in 4. Not a terrible statistic, but not overly impressive either.

  24. RockyLives says:

    A&D
    Are you really on pint #7?

  25. Norfolk Gooner says:

    Not first today Big Al, get up late? Tough night? Hair of the dog is what you need. :D

  26. Hendongunner says:

    Ant.
    You have gone over the men’s alcohol intake for a month. The wife has managed to stitch me up with this game, I m taking my son to a kids Theatre so won’t have access to Arsenal civilisation till the last twenty minutes of the game. I have printed out the remaining fixtures on A3 paper and stuck them on, the Fridge, Bathroom, Bedroom ceiling and emailed one to her work email address. Three points to the good guys.

  27. Been busy, Norfolk Gooner.
    Particularly annoying to be busy on Big Raddy’s lineup/hairy face day.

    Prince-Purrfect-Poldi says, at 11:41 am
    “…a draw wouldn’t be too bad.”

    Yes it would, PPP.
    If the teams above us match us point-for-point ’til the last kick of the season, we miss out big-time. They’re both in the driving seat(s).
    3 points are an absolute must!

  28. RockyLives says:

    Evening (?) Big Al.

    How’s the bar business?

  29. chas says:

    Rocky,
    Number 8 now!!!!!
    I’ve only had 2.

  30. RockyLives says:

    Strewth. That’s impressive Chas.

    Are the natives being friendly.

  31. chas says:

    Rocky,
    We’ve seen a few black and White shirts and Araenal scarfs but most people wouldn’t be on a real ale tour like us so few football fans in this vicinity in the Jewellery Quarter.

  32. Norfolk Gooner says:

    Enjoy the day AAers, Enjoy the game all.

  33. RockyLives says:

    Do you wear the red and white when you go away?

  34. Gooner In Exile says:

    Was jealous wnouth of Ant and Duck, much more jealous now they’re describing real ale tour ….. Bar stewards!

  35. Gooner In Exile says:

    Wnouth = enough obviously

  36. chas says:

    Never wear colours away, Rocky.
    Unwritten rule.

  37. RockyLives says:

    Me too Chas.

    Too many dodgy experiences over the years.

  38. Sav from Australia says:

    7am Kickoff says its Howard ‘the cheating bastard’ Webb refereeing the match.

    We’re still good enough to beat West Brom and any dodgy ref!

  39. RockyLives says:

    Sav
    Webb’s problem is a pro-Manure bias, rather than an anti-Arsenal bias (which some of the others have). Hopefully he’ll be neutral today as there’s nothing in this game to affect his team winning the title.

  40. jnyc says:

    Great job asking the right questions Raddy. I worry that Reading were so bad last week that we may come out a bit over confident. And dont want to leave it late chasing a win or draw. Cant really afford a slip up, because we left it late in the season. Lets get this done boys.

  41. GunnerN5 says:

    TEAM NEWS: Wenger names unchanged side

    Arsène Wenger has named an unchanged side for today’s trip to West Bromwich Albion.

    Lukasz Fabianski retains his place in goal, with Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny the central-defensive partnership in front of him.

    Tomas Rosicky, Mikel Arteta and Aaron Ramsey all start in midfield, with Gervinho, fresh from a goal and two assists against Reading last time out, also included.

    Elsewhere, Vito Mannone, Thomas Vermaelen and Lukas Podolski are among the substitutes.

    Team in full: Fabianski, Sagna, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Monreal, Arteta, Ramsey, Rosicky, Cazorla, Gervinho, Giroud

    Substitutes: Mannone, Vermaelen, Jenkinson, Gibbs, Coquelin, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Podolski

    Copyright 2013 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to http://www.arsenal.com as the source

  42. GunnerN5 says:

    Strange, Szczensy not among the subs?

  43. GunnerN5 says:

    Great choices BR, Aw only disagreed with your selection for left back – send him a message!

  44. Sav from Australia says:

    Cheers for the team news GunnerN5.

    @Rocky

    Yeah you’re right about Webb – I forgot lol.

  45. Gooner In Exile says:

    Good team selection, not much choice to do anything else.

    Now to find a good stream.

  46. Big Raddy says:

    GIE. Put up a link if you find one

  47. Prince-Purrfect-Poldi says:

    The away fans are louder than the excalibur song being played. Awesome.! Come on Arsenal.

  48. GunnerN5 says:

    We just got lucky Rosicky heading off of the line from a corner.

  49. GunnerN5 says:

    Our two best offensive thrusts were spoiled by Sagna with terrible crosses.

  50. GunnerN5 says:

    WBA looking the most likely

    Fabianski a bit flaky..

  51. GunnerN5 says:

    Rosciky from Gervinho, 1-0

  52. Adrian says:

    What a beauty by Rosicky, shows how important it is to get bodies in the box when your winger has the ball.

  53. GunnerN5 says:

    Our first attempt on goal.

  54. Chalk up another assist for the Swerve!! Well picked out and good header by TR7.

  55. http://www.wiziwig.tv/broadcast.php?matchid=195952&part=sports

    Take your pick Raddy, I’m on HostelTV SopCast stream, pretty good quality, worth downloading Sopcast first though (there is a Mac version now)

  56. GunnerN5 says:

    Free kick – great save by Fabianski

  57. Silly place to give a way a free kick with 5 men about him, Fab2 looks a bit edgy today?

  58. Big Raddy says:

    TR with his bounce!

    Come on Arsenal. One more ….

  59. Big Raddy says:

    Webb hates AFC. Gives a non-existent free kick to WBA and then let it go when Sagna is cleaned out in what I think was at least a yellow card.

  60. seems like the handbrake has gone on after the goal, lets hope Arsene can find it and release it at half time

  61. Adrian says:

    Glorious glorious chance wasted by ramsey..

  62. Thats a great bit of football, shame Rambo couldn’t get the final touch

  63. Adrian says:

    Would have been an extremely beautiful team goal if Ramsey finished that off

  64. Big Raddy says:

    Terrible miss from Ramsey. Peaches could have scored it

  65. kelsey says:

    This first half reminds me a bit like the GG team

  66. Thats an insult to Peaches Raddy….Kelsey did seem we were prepared to settle on the one goal lead :(

  67. Theres a delayed reaction on the cheers for that goal, almost as if the away fans had given up on the chance as a cross was about to be played in :D

  68. Prince-Purrfect-Poldi says:

    That would have been vintage Arsenal. Maybe could have blasted first time. Instinct would have led to his left foot following through. Game is on a knifes edge even though we are leading. Rosa is a true leader and wears his heart on his sleeve, id be embarassed not to leave it all on the pitch with him in the side. Fabianski starting to settle, but Giroud is struggling a little today. So far so good, lets have a repeat of the first half and ill be one happy goon

  69. Sav from Australia says:

    @Big Raddy says:
    April 6, 2013 at 3:36 pm

    Yes! He’s such a shithead, that Howard Webb. I wish horrible voodoo things upon him.

  70. Big Raddy says:

    First Half summary.

    So far so good.

    Sagna’s crossing is dreadful today. Midfield working well, and look most likely to score coming into the box late. Ramsey’s miss poor. Gerv playing well.
    OG needs to get on the ball more – it was a beautiful touch to create Ramsey’s chance.
    Would like to see Monreal get the ball further up the pitch.

    Apart from a couple of flaps, Fab OK.

  71. Gooner In Exile says:

    Think we need to find a bit of mettle second half, TR7 and Rambo I bookings have to be careful….swap out those two for Coq and Ox? Push Santi in the centre and Ox out wide?

  72. Gooner In Exile says:

    WBA look a strong side physically and they all seem to know their jobs. Clarke has the makings of a fine manager, and I can see him making a step up with a couple more seasons like this.

  73. Bayonne Jean says:

    Ramsey’s a missed opportunity; not clear if defender got a foot in to push ball offline….

  74. He definitely upset his stride Jean but i think we would all like to see him hit it first time with his left, looked a bit surprised that Giroud laid it back.

  75. GunnerN5 says:

    Rosciky 2-0

  76. Adrian says:

    Take a bow Rosicky. Absolutely magical first touch and goal.

  77. Ok right decision to leave TR7 on the pitch :D

  78. GunnerN5 says:

    Rosicky on a hat trick.

  79. oz gunner says:

    brilliant!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  80. Big Raddy says:

    Lovely

    Where is Irish? she will ecstatic

  81. oz gunner says:

    @ BR

    we may never hear from her again if he scores a third. I’m worried she’s exploded with joy!

  82. Prince-Purrfect-Poldi says:

    :lol:

  83. Thats quality defending by BFG, can’t handball it so lay on it instead…inspired :D

  84. Big Raddy says:

    Thank goodness WBA didn’t attack us from the start. They look much better since the subs.

    We could use a change and expect one within 5 minutes

  85. GunnerN5 says:

    Oh dear penalty and red card for BFG.

  86. GunnerN5 says:

    2-1 now we squeak.

  87. Bloody stream froze and saw neither!!

  88. GunnerN5 says:

    19 minutes of torture to follow.

  89. Big Raddy says:

    Webb must just love that.

    How many red cards and pens has he given against us?

    Now I am worried.

    Come on Mr Wenger. Get some subs on

  90. GunnerN5 says:

    Gervinho off Verm on.

  91. Is merts red card a three match ban?

  92. Should he have just let him score?

  93. GunnerN5 says:

    We are just kicking the ball away, we should try to keep possesion.

  94. Depends Peaches, probably only one game unless it was for violent conduct, and as its first of the season…..i think!!

  95. GunnerN5 says:

    An awful amount of pressure we will be very fortunate to survive with all three points.

    10 minutes left.

  96. No subs? Why no ox?

  97. GunnerN5 says:

    Rosicky off Gibbs on.

  98. Big Raddy says:

    We are getting battered ….. I can’t watch :-(

    Come On AW. Subs

  99. Come on Arsenal …….

  100. GunnerN5 says:

    Even a point would be good – but not great.

  101. Squeak squeak squeak

  102. GunnerN5 says:

    6 minutes plus stoppage time remain.

  103. GunnerN5 says:

    4 minutes .

  104. Get the ball down and hold on to it for a bit, run it into corners!!

  105. GunnerN5 says:

    almost 100% possesion by WBA

  106. GunnerN5 says:

    2 minutes

  107. GunnerN5 says:

    Cazorla off Coq on.

  108. GunnerN5 says:

    90 minutes up – 5 minutes stoppage time.

  109. GunnerN5 says:

    4 minutes left.

  110. GunnerN5 says:

    3 minutes.

  111. GunnerN5 says:

    1 minute

  112. GunnerN5 says:

    shot by Giroud – just wide.

  113. please don’t pay for not taking that to the corner flag

  114. GunnerN5 says:

    5 miute up.

  115. GunnerN5 says:

    1- 2 to the Gunners.

  116. Bloody hell that was so squeaky i nearly followed through on about five occassions!

  117. Adrian says:

    Thank fk for that. What is it with the hawthorns and the nail biting matches they have whenever they play us?!

  118. oz gunner says:

    ARSENAL! ARSENAL! ARSENAL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  119. Yes yes yes :)

    Who wants to write it up?

  120. GunnerN5 says:

    That was simply great work by an exhausted team.

  121. Prince-Purrfect-Poldi says:

    YESSSSSSS!!! Happy Dayze !!

  122. oz gunner says:

    @ GiE

    G5, herb, VCC, and dandanite all did :)

  123. Prince-Purrfect-Poldi says:

    GiE @4.54 :lol:

    WE LOVE YOU ARSENAL WE DO, WE LOVE ARSENAL WE DO, WE LOVE YOU ARSENAL WE DO, OHHH ARSENAL WE LOVE YOU!!!!!!!!!

  124. Sav from Australia says:

    Brilliant points earned. Webb a bloody cheat. The team showed such character. The team are such a brave men, playing the way they are, knowing that EPL referees will not even give a foul when they’re cleaned out They’re all unbelievably brave to put their bodies on the line for Arsenal, knowing how things are. Bloody job well done!

  125. SharkeySuresGhost says:

    What a fantastic performance from the boys in red

  126. kelsey says:

    Phew that was close. pleased for rosicky,two excellent goals. What the hell was mertesacker doing ?
    Rosicky,Kos,Gervinho in parts and even Fab our best players.Santi very disappointing .A game we were fully in control especially on the counter attack and then hanging on for dear life against a pretty average WBA side who didn’t really have anything to play for. Giroud might as well not have played.he was starved of the ball..
    Imperative we got the three points but we are nowhere near the finished article.

    Albion had given up until that moment and then the whole game changed and you have to admit that if their shooting wasn’t so wayward we might well have lost or drawn.
    We created very little over 90 minutes.This forward line isn’t working as it should and needs looking into.

  127. Big Raddy says:

    Phew. That was a painful 20 mins.

    But we march on with 3 excellent away points.

    Come on You Gunners!!

  128. Adrian says:

    Rosicky truly is a class player as shown today with his second goal.. Shame really that injuries have affected his career. (Sadly, becoming quite a familiar story with Arsenal players). Just imagine if his career wasn’t blighted with injuries.

  129. Red Arse says:

    What’s all the excitement? Did we win or something? :-)

  130. SharkeySuresGhost says:

    Fair dos re the penalty but Fergies rent boy gave some shocking decisions today. Foul after foul after foul unpunished.

    First half tug back on giroud by Olsson got no yellow when I thought it would have been mandatory with Giroud getting at the last man. Its the sort of foul (like Arteta’s!) where the offender merrily expects a card, and refs tend not to disappoint him

  131. Adrian says:

    I agree with Kelsey that Giroud offered very little going forward today. On days when he isn’t playing well, he’s really ineffective.

  132. Janman says:

    Kelsey, I think you are over reacting just a little. Not too much the BFG could do about it the defense were caught napping and he was late to the ball nothing more. The Arsenal of old would have crumbled under that pressure. When Giroud got the ball he did well not much more that he could do when we went down to 10 men and up until that point we were cruising and not in any danger. I guess I just saw the performance with a different opinion. It was a well earned 3 points and that is what we need to focus on.

  133. Big Raddy says:

    Kelsey. I saw a different game to you.

    I thought Merts had to go for the ball and just timed it fractionally wrong.

    At no time did I feel we had the game under control.

    WBA were good and even better once Lukaku came on – what a player he is going to be. Let’s hope Barca want him.

    We were playing away from home and won with a backs to the wall performance. The boys gave everything and I am sure we will see a more attacking line up next week. – especially with the return of Theo & JW.

    Apart from MU, who is the finished article?

  134. Adrian says:

    What Giroud did that impressed me though, was his willingness to chase any ball that is near him and to pressure defenders, as well as one or two decent defensive headers. Going forward though,very little.

  135. GunnerN5 says:

    Com on guys, save the gloomy post mortem for another time – why not bottle it up for a few days and enjoy the moment?

  136. Big Raddy says:

    GN5. I agree. Let’s enjoy a week in which we gained 3 points and returned to the Top 4, just one point behind Spurs.

    The second TR7 goal was special.

    And 15 points out of 18 in the PL.

    BR will take that ……

  137. Belfastgooner says:

    Guys I should know this but what is the suspension for the Merts sending off for being the last man?

  138. Red Arse says:

    Very true, GN5. :-)

    Unfortunately I could not see the game and have been on edge not knowing what was going on, and living off the drip drip of info, after the event, obviously.

    Not being able to watch the game is not good for the nerves either.

    I am looking forward to tomorrow’s games — maybe one or even two of the teams around us might lose or only draw, because we have put pressure on them with that win. :-)

  139. kelsey says:

    You didn’t say that at half time BR :)

    At 2-0 we did have the game under control.

    I said we had the game won,our counter attacking was great but if you look at it again Pers was at fault,but goals change games and we got rattled but held on. A more demanding team would have punished us, but any win is a good win and away at Albion was no mean feat,but they certainly were below par.

    Not an argument just as i saw it

  140. Janman says:

    The BFG should only miss one game as the red was not for violent conduct.

  141. evonne says:

    It was a very philosophical post from Raddy _ who knows, time will tell, I hope so, etc etc. I bet you were not so philosophical during the last 25 mins!!

    Great post, great game, happy dayz

    BTW the Polish commentators said something interesting, ie Fabianski is not only a good goalie, but also a very decent human being and a really nice guy. As opposed to whom?

  142. Big Raddy says:

    Belfast. Straight Red card = 3 match ban. 2 yellows = 1 game ban

  143. kelsey says:

    Di Caneo, evonne ?

  144. Red Arse says:

    BelfastG,

    A professional foul that gets a red card, usually receives a 1 match suspension, unless it was deemed to be violent conduct, which has a 3 game suspension tariff.

  145. Janman says:

    Kelsey, Not arguing but as I said earlier, the Arsenal of old would have folded.. I just don’t think we should be picking the negatives out of this result as the boys dug in and held on for three very important points. Of course we can always do better but at the end of the day this one was all about the 3 points and nothing more. I am currently in South Carolina, the beach is great, the water is warm, the beer is cold and Arsenal are back in the top four. At the moment I could not be happier.

  146. Janman says:

    BR: I think you are wrong, straight red yes but not for violent conduct. I think it is only a one game suspension.

  147. kelsey says:

    1 match ban Raddy.
    Janman no problem we both saw it differently that’s all and I did say that the points were crucial to our season.

    Why take Rosicky off ?

  148. Big Raddy says:

    RA. Let’s hope so.

    Kelsey. No argument from here – just discussion.

    The last 20 mins was unbearable to watch, but how many clear chances did WBA create?

    evonne. After today’s performance I would give the shirt back to Szczesny. I thought Fabianski’s flapping caused the defence to panic. Nice right hook of the WBA player though

  149. Big Raddy says:

    As the man in the orthapaedic boots said …. “I stand corrected” :-D

  150. Prince-Purrfect-Poldi says:

    Monreal had a solid game as did Kozz. Now, Tommi has taken alot of flak in the past but today he kept a clean sheet with 9 men in front of him. Credit given where due.

    Gooners enjoy your weekend. :-)

  151. GunnerN5 says:

    In most tournaments, a single direct red card (i.e. not one received as a result of two successive yellow ones) results in disqualification of the offending player for one or more of subsequent matches, the exact number of matches varying by the offence committed and by jurisdiction.

    It was not violent so it should equal a one game suspension.

  152. evonne says:

    Kelsey ;)
    Raddy – really, I thought Lukasz had a good game

  153. Janman says:

    Thanks Kelsey. I hope we are right and it is just a one game suspension for the BFG.

  154. RockyLives says:

    Whew!

    That was a nervous last half hour and we rode our luck – but full credit to the lads for digging in.

    A few observations:

    Fabianski – was excellent, except when he came for crosses, when he was woeful.

    TR7 – scored two and saved one – a plus-three contribution in our favour today. Superb control and composure for his second.

    Their goal – BFG probably had to go for it but might have been better letting the striker go on and have his chance. If he’d scored, it’s 1-2 but we still have 11 men. As it was, it went to 1-2 with us having 10 men. That said, it was a fraction-of-a-second thing so you can’t be too critical.

    The last 15-20 minutes Oggie was dead on his feet and even appeared to ask to be taken off at one point. I could not fathom why AW left him on and took off Santi, who was still full of running. It was driving me mad that for the last half hour we kept booting the ball up to him and losing possession immediately.

    My MoTM was a toss-up between TR7 and Aaron Ramsey. The latter ran and closed and ran and offered and ran and tackled for 96 minutes. I really think that without him in the team today we would not have come home with all three points.

    As Gn5 says – let’s enjoy it. The team worked hard and played for each other and brought home the bacon. That’s all we can ask for.

    Now over to you, Chavs and Spuds… can you handle it?

  155. GunnerN5 says:

    Rocky:

    Both Rosicky’s and Ramsey’s improvements have been fundamental to us in this mini resurgence.

    I don’t want to take anything away from our renewed defensive prowess but the energy and enthusiasm displayed by them is both inspirational and contagious.

  156. SharkeySuresGhost says:

    “The latter (Ramsey) ran and closed and ran and offered and ran and tackled for 96 minutes.”

    Well said Corky, I second that…..his energy was invaluable today, truly invaluable. I wouldn’t fancy playing that game again without him.

    Right, off to read Raddys PM !

  157. RockyLives says:

    Continuing a point that Rasp made earlier in the week – that was another win where we had less than 50% possession (48% to WBA’s 52%).

    Obviously the stats are skewed by us going down to 10 men, which meant WBA would always be likely to dominate possession afterwards.

  158. RockyLives says:

    Gn5 and Sharkey – I’m glad you agree (and you’re right about Rosicky Gn5 – he adds so much energy and drive. Thrust, as Micky would say).

    I also agree with the comments about Webb. He was a real “homer” of a ref today (although I have no argument with the penalty and red card).

    With his contribution (including, on two occasions, personally cutting out passes from one Arsenal player to another!) I felt we were playing Webb Bromwich Albion.

  159. RockyLives says:

    Incidentally, in the move that led to their penalty and goal, there appears to be criticism of the BFG from some quarters but the fault partly lies with Sagna who was out of position and disconnected from the rest of the back four. That left the opening for the West Brom player to get in.

    Overall I thought Sagna did well enough though.

  160. 20/20Vision says:

    BIG pressure on Bale light sperz now! (or have they conceded already?) Ministry of truth BBC hack described Arsenal’s first as “a very very soft goal” !?! even talksh!t said it was “extremely well worked” Talking of talksh!t radio has anyone burst ginger pubes Durham’s bubble re. his campaign to get Arsenal to rename as… “their original WOOLICH(sp?) ARSENAL” Arsenal, as everyone knows, originally called ‘Royal Arsenal ☺

  161. RockyLives says:

    Right – off out now.

    Happy Saturday everyone.

  162. RockyLives says:

    One last point – if the Chavs only draw tomorrow we’ll be level on points and goal difference, but ahead on goals scored :)

  163. Big Raddy says:

    Webb Bromwich Albion :-)

    Agree, Ramsey was excellent

  164. Big Raddy says:

    RL. Happy Days

  165. SharkeySuresGhost says:

    Webb Bromwich Albion…lol

  166. Evening again, now i’ve had my post match nicotine to calm down i have just seen the BFG foul and sending off, Red is probably a must but i don’t think it had to be given the direction of travel of the player and Koz covering round.

    I do think BFG didn’t have to go for it and keep 11 men on the pitch but as others have said heat of the moment and believing you can win it means criticising him for the lunge would be a tad harsh.

    All in all a good days work, well 3 points and pressure applied and thats all that is important right now.

  167. Belfastgooner says:

    31 down 7 to go…you get the feeling that there’s more energy/desire in the team which augurs well for the run in. I just hated the last 2 seasons where we seemed to lose our way at the very end of the season and limped home having put ourselves in a relatively comfortable position.
    The joys of being a gunner I suppose!

  168. Hendongunner says:

    Thought this might help those still in doubt about Merts duration out.

    http://www.fantasyfootballscout.co.uk/fantasy-football-injuries/

    Well deserved three points. Webb needs to be
    Lynched he is such a human excrement.

  169. Rasp says:

    Can anyone confirm for me who got the assists for Rosicky’s goals please.

  170. Gooner In Exile says:

    I’m actually glad he is not available v Norwich, they have given him a torrid time before.

    My Father in Law (big Canary (that is Canary as in a Norwich fan not a feathered yellow creature)) tells me Hughton has been setting them up very defensively with one up front. The locals are not best pleased with him, they probably need a few more points to be safe rather than desperate for wins so expect a yellow bus at the Emirates next week.

  171. Gooner In Exile says:

    Gervinho and Ramsey Rasp.

  172. Gooner In Exile says:

    Hendon lynchings not good enough….lets get medieval hung drawn and quartered please.

  173. Irishgunner says:

    My man TR7 <3 Man is class, that is all :)

  174. chas says:

    We found the ground by following the blue and white striped shirt from the train station. :)

    http://twitpic.com/chhv26/full

    Micky,
    I had another go at getting the F
    FKW today. Got the socks but disappointingly only a side view.

    http://twitpic.com/chhvrs/full

  175. Bayonne Jean says:

    Overlooked on the first goal….a really big hand to Arteta for a “fab”-ulous long diagonal ball, with backspin, for Gervinho!

  176. Big Raddy says:

    chas. turns Paparazzi ….

  177. Ant says:

    Another comfortable win.. As I predicted. Should have been 2-0. West Brom were pants until BFG got sent off! No imagination or skill! Fergie’s rent boy was a disgrace.. Another 10 pints enjoyed and ground experienced.. On to Norwich next week.. Love it!

  178. Ant says:

    Can’t wait for goody two shoes face on MOTD!

  179. Gooner In Exile says:

    Bayonne the ball is good but just like for the last goal last weekend Gervinho does well to hold the ball and wait for others to arrive.

    The second goal was my favourite because of the way TR7 followed up his own shot and for a change the bounce of the ball was for us as it landed back at his feet.

  180. chas says:

  181. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Morning all,
    Raddy, Superb as ever, thank you.
    Antoine Deck, top drawer :-)
    Chas, Manu dresses like that for away games?

  182. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Oh, and three away points. Might come in very handy come the end of the season :-)
    Let’s face it, we’re going to cruise this top four business :-)

  183. evonne says:

    cruise it?? cruise it….get real Mr Didit, did you not watch the last half hour of the game?

  184. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Once again, and its the same nearly every day, I have to zoom off to another site to see the fixtures and league table :-(
    On the sky league tables, they have the Scottish League next to the Prem and in third place are Inverness Caledonian Thistle
    Dunno why, but that name makes me ROLF

  185. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Evonne
    No, I didn’t :-)

  186. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Evonne
    I logged onto my telephone at half time, and thought “good”
    Then at five o’clock and thought “even gooder”
    Totally stress free :-)

  187. Morning all

    I’ve had a quick look through the comments, did anyone offer to write something for today? I haven’t had a chance to watch any of it and am out early this morning.

    Can someone write a something for today?

  188. evonne says:

    plastic fan :) and there is me having dozens of mini heart attacks in a space of 30mins. Clever DidIt, that’s the secret to a long happy life; no wonder old people of today live forever – they didn’t have mobiles to check the results and slept well until the morning after

  189. evonne says:

    i am off to church to pray for a 3rd, laters

  190. Big Raddy says:

    Morning All

    Plastic fan :-)

  191. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Just watched MOTD.
    Last 30 mins looked pretty relaxed to me, Evonne :-)

  192. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Me thought yesterday was our toughest remaining fixture, as before Reading I felt the next four games would determine our season.
    Win at home to Norwich and Everton and top four it will be.

  193. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Oh well, nobody in a very chatty mood. Have a great day one and all.

  194. Big Raddy says:

    I have to disagree with you Micky.

    Everton, MU at home. QPR, Fulham & Newcastle away – none are easy games. Fulham are in fine form at home, QPR are in deep excrement and will fight hard whilst Newcastle will want to finish their season on a high in front of their fans.

    I don’t see this as an easy run-in, but we are in form and building a head of steam

  195. Gooner In Exile says:

    Peaches I’ll pop a short one in drafts.

  196. Gooner In Exile says:

    In loading bay Peacges.

  197. kelsey says:

    Morning all

    I stand with what i said yesterday .Many of us me including where shitting ourselves during the last twenty minutes so we where never certain to win yet if we had imposed ourselves more in the first 70 minutes especially in attack regardless that Albion were not really playing that well the game would have been over before pers got sent off.
    we got lucky in the end as they missed two golden opportunities to at least draw level.
    The win was so important but this team could improve by at least 25%.

  198. kelsey says:

    I agree with Raddy, United,QPR,Wigan,and newcastle away are the most difficult games the three of those are our last three games.

  199. kelsey says:

    As a new post is going up I would just like to say the most pleasing sight yesterday was Rosicky.saved one, scored two and reminded me of the guy we bought when he played at the euros.

  200. Gooner In Exile says:

    New post

  201. continuously i used to read smaller articles which as well clear their motive, and that is also happening
    with this piece of writing which I am reading now.

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