How much of a fortress is The Home of Football?

The_Emirates_Stadium_-_geograph.org.uk_-_1717235

Well past the middle of a fantastic season, injuries, referees, lack of new toys, journos and incessant spray of vitriol notwithstanding, we are where we are. One point off the Top of the League, fighting on in the FA Cup and the Champions League, it is fair to say that we will not swap our place with any other club in the world. We are well into Rocky’s Death Cluster 1, where everyone other than diehard Arsenal fans expect our demise, more in envy and hope than in expectation. On the road recently, we met a strong Southampton side and the scintillating Scousers. Truth be said, it was not pretty, but we have survived.

But substantial challenges remain. Now we have a series of tough games at home The Home of Football. First, Manchester United visit on Wednesday 12 February for a crucial Premier League clash. It seems Boris ‘taking chum up the Arsenal’ Johnson and Millwall-supporter Bob Crow have cleverly constructed a situation where the Emirates will be populated mainly by the Gooners, with only a handful of goons from the shady North West managing to travel to London to support the (Old) Toilet cleaners. Thank you both. Next, Liverpool step into the lion’s den on Sunday 16 February, fresh from their Arsenal bashing big grins, for a sombre FA Cup tie. Bayern Munich, the Champions of Europe arrive for a key Champions League encounter on Wednesday 19 February. The visit by Sunderland on Saturday 22 February completes a gruelling 4-games-in-11-days killer series at home in the Emirates.

Tough times indeed. But, when the going gets tough, the tough gets going. So, perhaps a natural question to ask is: what chances do we stand at home? Or, how much of a fortress is The Home of Football? A priori, it does not look bad at all. First, there is the familiarity with the ground. At least, there is the seemingly zero likelihood of reaching the game late. Please don’t laugh, such things do happen, as we all know very well. Second, there is the opportunity to match the opposition in terms of players on the pitch. Surely, the vocal home support singing “1-0 to the Arsenal” and North Bank will match up against whatever stupidity the numpty officials can furnish by way of entertainment.

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Third, and most importantly, the home record of late has been superb. It is perhaps fair to say that, probably for the first time this season the new team seems to be comfortable in their newish home. In fact, the record at home this season looks formidable. Here is a list of home games this season, excluding the Mickey Mouse Cup game against Chelsea.

Arsenal 2-0 Crystal Palace Sun 2 Feb

Arsenal 4-0 Coventry Fri 24 Jan

Arsenal 2-0 Fulham Sat 18 Jan

Arsenal 2-0 Tottenham Sat 4 Jan

Arsenal 2-0 Cardiff Wed 1 Jan

Arsenal 0-0 Chelsea Mon 23 Dec

Arsenal 1-1 Everton Sun 8 Dec

Arsenal 2-0 Hull Wed 4 Dec

Arsenal 2-0 Marseille Tue 26 Nov

Arsenal 2-0 Southampton Sat 23 Nov

Arsenal 2-0 Liverpool Sat 2 Nov

Arsenal 1-2 Borussia Dortmund Tue 22 Oct

Arsenal 4-1 Norwich Sat 19 Oct

Arsenal 2-0 Napoli Tue 1 Oct

Arsenal 3-1 Stoke Sun 22 Sep

Arsenal 1-0 Tottenham Sun 1 Sep

Arsenal 2-0 Fenerbahce Tue 27 Aug

Arsenal 1-3 Aston Villa Sat 17 Aug

14 wins out of 18. There were 2 draws, against Chelsea and Everton. And there were 2 losses as well, against Dortmund in the Champions League and an opening day blooper against Villa. Only 8 goals conceded at home, and this includes the 3 shocking goals conceded on the opening day. No goals were conceded in the 6 games since the Deulofeu goal at the death against Everton on December 6. 4 points were dropped against Chelsea and Everton, both strong teams, and these were in a run of poor results in December. That, and the opening day Villa game apart, quite formidable.

Let us briefly revisit what happened against Chelsea and Everton. Against Everton, Ozil gave us a late lead, which was cancelled by a Deulofeu wonder strike 6 minutes from the end. A fantastic effort from Giroud in injury-time could have sealed the points, but the bar came in the way. Post-match, Arsene said: “We didn’t take our chances very well and the other regret is that we gave the lead away with seven minutes to go. But credit to them, they always looked dangerous. In the end, we are disappointed to get caught but it’s still a point.”

Whereas Everton played a good open game, Chelsea just parked the bus. Aided by poor decisions from Mike Dean, a dreadful stalemate ensued, with the fans singing “Boring boring Chelsea”. Clear penalties and red cards were not shown. Later, Maureen complained against ‘foreign cry babies’. Wenger said Arsenal deserved to score but “couldn’t”, and that a foul on Theo should have seen a penalty given. Any way, that is life.

So, what do we learn about our likely performance at home in the next few games. First, we will defend well. Second, the quality of officiating may be poor. Mark Clattenburg is the referee against Manchester United. However, whatever happens, we can rely on the home fans to provide vocal support to the good guys. Third, we need to take our chances. But overall, surely the signs are good for the upcoming home fixtures.

Indeed, our home record is fantastic, and it looks even better when compared against our main title rivals Chelsea and Manchester City. Chelsea drew at home to West Ham on 29 January and to West Brom on 9 November. It would therefore seem likely that Chelsea may drop further points at home to the smaller clubs. Manchester City have been formidable at home. But they lost to Chelsea on 3 February and to Bayern Munich on 2 October.

Bottomline: So far so good. But long way to go, plenty to fight for. Big effort is required, and the good guys will provide this with big heart. Onwards and Upwards! :D :D :D

“The woods are lovely, dark, and deep,

But I have promises to keep,

And miles to go before I sleep,

And miles to go before I sleep.”

Written by arnie

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181 Responses to How much of a fortress is The Home of Football?

  1. arnie says:

    Motning all. lovely banter. insomniacs galore last night, including those across the pond.

    Kelsey, there is an application called BlackBoard that British universities use. But I think you have to pay for it.

    Finally, just to let you all know that Arnie is still asleep, and needs a bit more sleep. :D :D :D

  2. Rasp says:

    Thanks arnie, terrific pre-pre-match for Wednesday :P

    I don’t care if fortress Emirates is Rourke’s Drift – as long as it’s not The Alamo. Should we go out to attack against manu and pool – I say no. Though it pains me, we could take a leaf out of Maureen’s book for these games (moreso manu rather than the FA Cup).

    I think our first task against manu has to be to rebuild confidence and find our passing game. If you look back, our lack of fluidity in midfield has been missing for quite a while. There is no point bemoaning the loss of Theo, Ramsey and Flamini, we have to find the right balance from the players available.

    I refuse to criticise Ozil at this time. If you race a Ferrari against a tractor across a muddy field – the tractor will win. Ozil is having to play in an environment where not only is there little space to function, but where the current lack of movement and passing accuracy from his teammates negates his ability…. he can’t do it on his own.

  3. LB says:

    That is a brilliant last paragraph Rasp.

    Off to read Arnie’s post.

  4. fatgingergooner says:

    I do agree with Robson a little bit in that I dont think Özil knows his place in the team/formation yet. It will come though.

    The rest of what Robson says is bollix!

    I’m with GiE in that saying we are down on last seasons like for like means nothing. Up until last week we had generated the most points after 24 games matched only by the Invincibles. After 24 games you’ve played every team at least once, so how can you say it’s easy fixtures? More bollix! If anything this season is proving to be more competitive than any other, therefore points tally should be lower.

    Anyway, as for today’s post, I would say it is becoming stronger at the Emirates, but i still want to see more ruthlessness before I call it a fortress. Coventry, Norwich and Stoke are the only teams we’ve scored 3+ goals against.

    For a side that is widely regarded as an attacking team, how many teams do we hammer? This current side have moved away from attacking football and are much more efficient. Whilst that’s a great thing, I still want us to put teams to the sword at times as I think it’s good for confidence. Turning 2-0 into 3 or 4 will put fear into those coming to the Emirates.

  5. fatgingergooner says:

    Pretty p*ssed off with all the players now coming out and saying their attitude was wrong and they went into the game with the wrong mindset etc

    This is a massively important run of games, what mindset did they have exactly!? I know Wenger likes his players to be relaxed but it seems to be detrimental to how we start games. There’s certain times when you need to have your game face on.

    They best put it right in the remainder of this season.

  6. Rasp says:

    Hi FGG, shouldn’t we hope that the rest of the team can elevate itself to Ozil’s level rather than expect him to downgrade his game to fit in with the currently misfiring midfield?

    Surely we have to learn how to get the best from Ozil – he’s pure class. We have seen it work when Ramsey was fit and confidence was high earlier in the season.

    Although we’d still been getting the points recently, the players must have known that something was not right. We were outplayed by Everton and Southampton – and we shouldn’t have been.

  7. RC78 says:

    Let us be objective: Ozil has been sub-par in the last 10 to 12 games. Even when Ramsey was fit, Ozil was not his best…Ozil is an outstanding player but he drifts in and out of seasons as well as of matches – he needs consistency.

    His preferred role is Attacking Midfielder on the left side. His speed and skills allowing him to go past defenders on the wing but also (and usually) through the middle of the park. He needs to play there OR he needs to play right behind the striker as a pure 9 1/2.

    Our best line-up SHOULD be (when all fit and playing to their top level) :

    Scezesny – Sagna, Per, Kos, Gibbs – Ramsey, Flamini, Wilshere – Walcott, Giroud, Ozil

    HOWEVER, right now against Utd, our best possible line-up after the debacle against Liverpool would be:

    Scezesny – Sagna, Per, Kos, Gibbs – Rosicky, Vermaelen?, Wilshere – Ox, Podolski, Cazorla

    Our home form has been good but we failed to win against Dortmund, Chelsea and Everton with notable wins against Liverpool and Tottenham. We have yet to play Utd and City at home and we cannot afford not to win them.

    Chelsea and Liverpool are on a roll and Utd will come back good for sure as RVP and Rooney are getting back in shape…

  8. Rasp says:

    Hi RC78, Vermaelen is unavailable through injury.

  9. fatgingergooner says:

    Hi Rasp,

    I agree wholeheartedly with you. Özil should be the player we build around and look to get the most out of, but the current system doesn’t necessarily aid that. I can’t see that changing until the end of the season so he needs to adapt. Come next year I think if we can buy pace either upfront or wide left, or both, then Özil will have a field day playing number 10. He will be like a quarterback with 3 wide receivers and will rip teams to shreds.

    At the moment though he has Giroud, Podolski, Cazorla and Gnabry to hit. Suddenly play becomes more about congested and he has no runners. He needs to adapt until May.

  10. Rasp says:

    Fair point fgg – needs must. It is true that we can’t magic up the quality necessary to get the best out of Ozil.

    Maybe RC78 is right, perhaps start with him on the bench in favour of a player who adds more defensively and bring him on after 60 minutes when the game is beginning to get stretched.

  11. fatgingergooner says:

    RC78,

    No Cazorla?

    Having said that I do think Santi is part of the issue. He and Özil are similar players. The only way to resolve that is to buy a fast striker and rely on 2 runners (Walcott and said striker) to get in behind with Cazorla and Özil threading passes.

  12. Rasp says:

    Arteta is the player we need to be on top of his game tomorrow. If he can provide the defensive shield, everything else is possible.

  13. fatgingergooner says:

    Rasp,

    Özil has to play. He’s a game winner. He wasn’t the only one missing on Saturday, and if he’s playing 10 then defensive work is not that important as long as he has workers around him.

  14. Rasp says:

    I think that’s the problem, without Flamini, who are the ‘workers’?

  15. fatgingergooner says:

    Rasp,

    Rosicky gets through a lot of work and gives us a better balance than Wilshere IMO.

    Who’d have thought we’d be missing Ramsey this much 18 months ago!?

    It’s a strange game.

  16. fatgingergooner says:

    Jacks in for his 8 week jab today!

    It’s going to be a painful few days! :)

    I hope Arsenal ease the pain rather than adding to it

  17. Rasp says:

    Yep, I have to agree with too fgg.

    We’ve needed to improve when not in possession of the ball for some time now, and there were signs that aspect of our game had improved earlier on in the season.

    We need to be hunting down the opposition in packs and pressing as a team rather than watching an individual (Giroud) try to chase down the ball and failing to block other avenues.

  18. RC78 says:

    We have to field Arteta then tomorrow, which is a shame given his horrible form of late…

    Anyways, we have to beat Utd and really get back to being a solid squad. We cannot score for fun anymore so we have to defend like hungry dogs and just make sure that we exploit the defensive lapses of the current Utd squad.

    This game will heavily depend on:

    – Arteta and Rosicky, defensive steel
    – Wilshere’s foreward drive and his ability to play in the hole between the lines

    This game will be won in the middle of the park, if we win it. I think that if we are solid in midfield, we should manage to tame this Utd team and win the game. If we win, I do not see a high scoring game: maybe 2-1 or 1-0 but if we lose or draw, I see 4 goals at least.

    All and all: I think that a fit Ozil is a better player than a fit Cazorla, although I love both…As a result, in our “best 11″, Ozil gets the nod ahead of Cazorla.

    Come on Gunners!

  19. RC78 says:

    Rasp – agree with you about the “workers”.

    We need a midfield enforcer during the summer. On the other posts, somebody mentioned Bender, Schnerderlin and Gustavo – any of the three would be great and I think these are realistic targets.

  20. Motning all, thanks for the upbeat post Arnie, we need things like that after the Saturday lunchtime shocker.

    Mind you, I have a bone to pick with you; whilst skimming through the comments of the last few days it seems a certain someone has volunteered me for tomorrows pre match.

    Hummpphhh !

  21. dandan says:

    Tube strike off tomorrow !!! Game will be on.

  22. RA says:

    Nice work, arnie.

    That is such a detailed Post, there is not a lot one can add to it as it is a pretty complete catalogue of recent events. Well done. :-)

  23. RA says:

    Hi CharyB,

    Yes, I too had noticed that arnie had kindly ‘volunteered’ you for the pre-match, which, of course, apart from being cheeky is a compliment to you as the reliable ‘go to’ guy. :-)

    I would have volunteered you, too, except he beat me to the draw. :-)

  24. arnie says:

    Thanks Rasp, FGG, Chary, RC78, thanks all. :D :D The fightback starts here and now.

    FGG: I am of a nervous disposition, not happy just with “1-0 to the Arsenal”, but 2-0 will do. We are playing a different style of football this year. But we need to find ways to score against the big bullies, starting Weds. The boss knows this, the players know this (I would believe) and teh fans certainly know this. Put our hands together and make a big effort, we will be there.

    Chary: Thanks a lot. :D Apols, but you are a saviour. :razz:

  25. RA says:

    Good news, DanDan,

    That means Fulham cannot get tricky, to suit their own ends, by calling off their game against ‘Pool, which would have given the scousers a full week to prepare for the FA cup at the weekend while we would have had to play a tough match against Manure in midweek.

  26. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Charged in for a quick look.

    What a lovely read, Arnie. Thank you.

    Saw a bit of chat about Mesut, so I’ll pen my epic solution, then charge off again until later.

  27. arnie says:

    Redders: :D Sleepness night(s)? I would be worried if I thought it had something to do with the weekend, but I guess not! :D :D :D

  28. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Ooops, forgot.

    The Mesut Solution
    In short. Theo was about to move into the middle. He’s knackered. Mesut needs someone to make the runs. All is just about ok when a midfielder makes a surge into the box. Think Aaron.
    What Mesut really needs is a central striker with an electric turn of pace. Such a player should ideally own shooting boots, be able to play with either foot, be dribbly and have lightning speed. Most importantly, acceleration. It’s the first five yards that count here. We have The Man.
    My solution: drop Ollie and play The Ox there.

    Later.

  29. RA says:

    It is amazing how a poor result induces the inevitable expectation of a critical backlash to berate the club and all who sail in her. :-)

    The expectation, as is often the case in life, seems to engender the realisation of those fears.

    [It might be an opportune moment to clarify that I am a referring to the blogsphere as a whole in the above remark, as there was very little evidence of that on AA] Phew! :-)

    I am sure none of us are so parochial as to only read or comment on AA, and so you will have seen for yourselves that this Faustian summonsing of Mephistopheles was duly enacted on many sites with some completely enthralled with the outpouring of criticism, others split down the middle and finally a smaller number, including AA, expressing disappointment and anger, as well as mature philosophical acceptance that ‘big deal – we lost three points’ while not trying to defend the indefensibly poor performance of all involved in the loss to Liverpool.

    Do you know what? That is life – football is a macro image of life, surprise, surprise, with all the usual shades of opinion and the richly drawn characters of every persuasion, that makes life so interesting and so very tricky.

    Experience it. It brings joy. It brings hurt. It brings a gamut of emotional nuances to every fan …… it means you can check your pulse …. you are alive! :-)

  30. Redders/Arnie – I suspect I will be getting the call from Peachy but that’s cool; the only question is whether I should show restraint or go into full anti cutch dunt mode.

  31. arnie says:

    Chary: I think we are in readiness for “The Full Monty”, Chary-style. :D :D :D

  32. kelsey says:

    Well done arnie :)
    I think that fortress is the wrong word but I can’t really think of another at the moment.

    I am sure I posted that in 7 of our last 8 home games or it might have been just 8 games we have failed to score in the first half and I still think we need more of a physical player to bolster our attack.If only Diaby would hav remained fit. Just look how immense Yaya Toure is.
    The crowd is another factor.If only we could lose The Library tag.

    I love players like Cazorla and Ozil when they are on song but maybe we have to many diddy men sometimes on the pitch at the same time. The same can be levelled at Walcott .
    The Ox is another thing but he is just starting his career.Will be an immense talent as I hope will Gnabry.

    We really need an enforcer as much as anyone.

  33. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Excellent arnie baby

    Yes, home is were the heart is.

    20 years ago the Bank repossessed my house, but I refused to go.

    There were several stand offs with bailiffs and police. However I had barricaded myself in using old Arsenal football programmes and vast collection of shoot and goal magazines.

    Just in case they employed a sniper, I only communicated via loud speaker.

    “Come out Mancini, the games up”. I always responded by threatening to burn the wig and this worked until “Do it then you bald bastard”

    I knew now that time was running out. So as a last resort I put on ceremonial dress, full Arsenal kit, and handcuffed myself to the toilet.

    I heard a crashing through the doors, but had no time to mourn my programme collection, the bailiffs were on there way up, this was do or die

    “Cant believe it Gel, the nutters chained himself to the Karzi”

    My last ditch effort was to warn “Yeah,and if you try to remove me i will let fly. I suffer from terrible intestinal problems and am not afraid to use it”

    “Get the saw out Gel, hes bluffing”

    “Ime not, once I start, Ribberys arse will look like a holiday camp”

    Despite my best efforts, I could not produce, and had to sit there as Gel cut through

    Sometimes, when visiting the loo, this terrible dark memory returns and I cant go for days.

    I can not see Arsenal failing the same way. In fact I believe, like you arnie, that our impeccable home record will see us past the line. Starting with tonight.

  34. RC78 says:

    I don’t think that Wenger is the issue. I think that he had to deal with some financial strains in the last decade that forced him to accept offers for Fab, Nasri and RVP – among others. Now that we are back to good financial status, he will mount a title challenge every year.

    I can see Bender joining us in the summer and I am sure he is going to make a bid for talented fast wingers as well…Come on Gunners!

  35. arnie says:

    Chary: The fact that my comment was removed suggests that common wisdom dictates a bit of restraint. A wee bit, perhaps. :razz:

  36. arnie says:

    Terry: superb. “home is were the heart is” indeed. :D :D :D however much my post may read like a pre-match it is not intended to be one. So, tomorrow night, Terry. :razz:

    Thank you, Kelsey. :D :D different word(s), hmmm. I am sure Norfolk will be able to help. :razz:

  37. VCC says:

    Terry, you should have taken some exlax before hand, that would have shifted them.
    And it’s manana……I thought you Greeks were always behind, not in front.

  38. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    hahaha, yeah sorry lads. Recounting that traumatic experience always bring confusion

  39. fatgingergooner says:

    What we need is a big brother, preferably one who’s 6’4, and tackles like a brute! Someone who will see Cazorla get crunched, then take it upon himself to annihilate the player who did it.

    These little, skillful players need the reassurance that they can play their game without getting bullied.

  40. Rasp says:

    Apologies arnie, your comment was removed in error – its back now :P

  41. Ooh, what did you say Arnie, you naughty boy :)

  42. evonne says:

    no tube strike tomorrow!! happy dayz!

    arnie – that’s a post and a half, terrific, thanks a lot. Will discuss tomorrow

  43. Norfolk Gooner says:

    FGG, we all thought Frimpong was going to be the enforcer, but referees don’t allow, as a rule, that sort of player any more. Flamini’s latest misdemeanour is a case in point, one lunging tackle, red card, three match ban.

    A bit more subtlety is needed, a la Yaya Toure, kick the player in the back, behind the ref’s back. Stay on the pitch and get let off by the “independent” review panel.

  44. Norfolk Gooner says:

    Micky, Sanogo is available tomorrow, could he be our “central striker with an electric turn of pace”?

    Arnie, as the tube strike is off, it will be just a leisurely stroll for you instead of a two hour footslog. Enjoy the game, Oh! and thanks for an excellent post.

  45. fatgingergooner says:

    True NG,

    But that doesn’t mean we can’t have a presence in the midfield. When Arteta is your defensive cover then it’s a safe bet you have a soft team! We need someone who can do the dirty side of the game in there.

    I think fitness could be an important factor tomorrow. United had a very tough game against Fulham that lasted 94 minutes, whereas we played a day earlier, at lunchtime, and our game had an intensity for only 20 minutes (as we all know!).

    The last 30 minutes tomorrow could be a test of stamina.

  46. Norfolk Gooner says:

    FGG, we need to be aware of Moyes’ latest tactic, get it wide and get in a cross. Against Fulham his wide players delivered an incredible 81 crosses into the penalty box. We either have to stop the wide players or Merts and Kos are going to be really busy.

  47. RA says:

    NG

    We seem to have been thru the ‘electric’ paced Sanogo before, if you remember.

    He is about as fast as a sloth on his day off. :-)

  48. RC78 says:

    I would take Piczek, Laporte, Gustavo, Menez and Reuss for next year. These would be great additions.

    Imagine:

    Scezesny – Piczek, Per, Kos, Gibbs – Ramsey, Gustavo, Wilshere – Walcott, Reuss, Ozil

    Viviano – Jenkinson, Laporte, Vermaelen, Monreal – Arteta, Flamini, Cazorla – Ox, Giroud, Menez

    + Zelalem, Hayden, Rosicky, Gnabry

  49. Norfolk Gooner says:

    RA, I thought he injured his back getting off the bench to make his debut. :D

    Seriously though, is he an option up front? Wenger must have seen something in the bloke, or he wouldn’t have signed him unless it was to keep Diaby company in the treatment room.

  50. Bryan says:

    It is going to be a tough game tomorrow as United are an injured animal too.
    It is a must win game & its about time we beat a big boy, we don’t have the luxury that Chelsea recently had of not having to deal with RVP & Rooney so we will need to be on our toes defensively.
    I would consider dropping Ozil myself & play Santi in his position.
    My concern is central midfield where Arteta is at his best when paired with Ramsey IMO & seems to struggle with other pairing, I would be brave & put Vermaelen in DM position but we all know that won’t happen.
    Most importantly they have got to be really fired up for it like you would expect, but sometimes we don’t react like that, so it not is not a gimme that we will

  51. Bryan says:

    Oh & we have to 100% play Gibbs as Monreal is just not up to the job

  52. Norfolk Gooner says:

    RC78, imagine: Wenger signing five players in one transfer window.

    Oops! there they go! five pigs just flew past the window,

  53. Norfolk Gooner says:

    Putting Vermaelen in as a DM wouldn’t be brave Bryan, it would be stupid, he’s injured.

  54. Bryan says:

    RC78
    For me your line up has not got a proper striker, Reuss is a great player but not & out n out strker, I would prefer Costa & would dream about Cavani or Falcao ;-)

  55. Bryan says:

    Oh didn’t realise he was injured, but it would be very brave then haha

  56. The Cockie Monster says:

    GIE
    Should I feel honoured or scared that your ” biggest bone of contention is with my first post of the day ! “……….how big a bone are we talking here ?. hahaha
    I still make it minus one point and have checked 3 times now, but hey, if you want say it`s currently minus two points, then that just makes our like for like form even more worse !.
    I`m not saying we wont beat our total from last year, just pointing out as you have done that to win the league we have to better the rest of the remaining fixtures !.
    You and quite sensibly, doubt we will win the league this year, so no argument there !. I just have doubts about our mental state when we play the rich trinity !. Hope that is as clear as Arsene`s January Transfer dealings !. Which may I say is a lot clearer than your previous swingometer !. Which I`m sure had the effect of both :shock: and :roll: to most AAers………………..apart from Redders, who probably gets some sexual gratification from it !. In the case of TMHT, he is hugely disappointed in your swingometer as it doesn’t have graphics of a bowl with car keys in it !.

  57. Bayonne Jean says:

    An interesting strand running through the commentary is an “elephant in the room” question that suggests a stand alone posting during a lull interval:

    Can Ozil and Santi consistently play together effectively?

    I’ll answer the first Yes or No decision node right away….Yes! for the vast majority of sides the Arsenal faces, no problem. But there are instances where a “horses for courses” situation arises, where circumstance (the opponent, the schedule, etc.) indicates dropping of one of them from the starting side.

    If yes, then that leads to (at least) three related, and more intriguing, questions:

    1) If they’re both on the pitch, then where do they nominally play, position-wise? (“Nominally” because in Wengerball, they are expected to interchange into various roles during a match.)

    2) Given the current squad, how would you structure the rest of the side (leave keeper and central defenders out) to optimize your return? Again this could lead to a “horse for courses” answer — different for a park the bus contest at THOF vs. an away game against a side with an attacking intent.

    And there’s a 2A and 2B answer — 2A for available squad members, 2B for every squad member available, including Ramsey and Theo.

    3) How many, in what position(s), and what type of players would you need to add to optimize your return? If you were limited to one position you could upgrade, which would you choose?

  58. Norfolk Gooner says:

    OK BJ, it looks like you just nominated yourself to write that post. Well volunteered Sir! :D

  59. kelsey says:

    BJ

    I asked the same question a few days ago and I agree they can both play together in some games but not in others.
    Another point is that most really gifted ball players are small or medium built and generally we are a small squad in height compared to most,so logically keeping the ball on the ground especially at crosses should pay dividends,yet time and time again a ball is lofted into the penalty area and either Giroud or no one is available to meet it.In fact it is very rare to see a headed goal from a direct cross,therefore why persist with this tactic.

  60. RA says:

    I have just had a somewhat surreal experience which I can maybe share with you all.

    A little earlier today I was asked to take one of the pickups in to have someone look at the aircon, and I said I would.

    The aircon is important over here, not just for demisting in the winter, but also to keep the driver comfortable during the day.

    You see, the temperature right now (11:15 a.m.) is well below freezing, (about -12C) although it is real sunny, and it is usually pretty cold at night at this time of year too.
    But it can go as high as +20C during the day too – quite a swing.

    Now my accent is mainly New York with an English undertone, so in Wichita they think I am a foreigner – because people here, for the most part, speak with a Midwestern drawl.

    Anyway. I told the lady at the reception desk, ‘I need you to take a look at the aircon for me’.
    “How’s that sir?’ she responded.
    ‘The aircon – needs fixing” I repeated.
    ‘OK, so what’s the problem?

    Now, I need to pause and explain that not wanting to be thought of as some lame foreigner, but more of a rootin,’ tooting’, shootin’ cowboy dude, I have adopted some of the local language characteristics, such as referring to inanimate objects like pickups and whatnot, as ‘she’ – so here goes.

    “Well’ I said, “it can get real hot at times, but although she makes a lot of noise when she is blowing, it don’t seem to do much for me.”

    There was a suppressed snigger from the lady at the next desk, and ‘my lady’ said, “Let me get this straight. She blows real hard but it don’t do nothin’ for you?’ and then dissolved into fits of laughter.

    “Yes, that’s right” I lamely stuttered to a lot more laughter.

    Red in the face by now, I was thinking to myself, why don’t these fcukers understand simple English.
    Then the penny dropped – and I collapsed laughing myself. “No, no, I did not mean it like that ,,,, hahaha …. I meant” guffaw, guffaw ……. and then the boss guy came out looking suitably stern, and wanted to know what was going on …. and after hearing my explanation in my ‘foreigner’ accent he dissolved too. Bastard!

    So, anyway, you Brits have got a lot to answer for — you have obviously colonialised my accent!
    You are all forgiven tho’ as I now have a date tomorrow with the girl on the next desk, and Geronimo will just have to control his jealousy!! :-)

    Weird, or what? :-)

  61. RC78 says:

    Brian – I said ideally…I did not say realistically :-p

    Falcao and Cavani will not leave Monaco and PSG yet. Plus, none of them would join us. Falcao and Cavani would go for Real Madrid or Chelsea, not Arsenal.

    Reuss can play main striker. Our game is based on movement and Reuss movement on and off the ball is just fantastic and he is rather speedy as well so he would do well in our team. A back-up option could be Loic Remy…

    Can Ozil and Santi play together? Yes but in a different system. We cannot play them in the current 4-3-3, we would need to switch to a 4-4-1-1 with one of them playing behind the striker. Both of them can adapt easily to this “Bergkamp” role easily but would need to improve their scoring form. Otherwise, they have the quick feet and the trickery to play there.

  62. RA says:

    NG,

    I have only seen Sanogo playing for the French U21s and he was pretty statuesque, altho he seems to be well regarded and if he can give Per a good smack, maybe he is just what we are looking for! :-)

  63. RC78 says:

    The main issue we have in our team now really comes down to 2 injuries: Ramsey and Walcott’s. Both players added this direct and pacey aspect to our game, which was throwing off our opponents. I hope that Ramsey can come back soon and that somehow, Ox will find his best form very quickly as well. If they do, then we still have hope for some silverware…Otherwise…

  64. RC78 says:

    Sanogo is a good prospect and he is quite pacey actually. He has good movement but he is not first team material yet and his injury really slowed his progress down but maybe next season…

  65. Good post. I’ve written an article about Arsenal too, give it a read and let me know your thoughts in the comments!
    ‘Arsenal’s transfer failings, the media and Mesut Ozil’-

    http://lukehastings.wordpress.com/2014/02/11/arsenals-transfer-failings-the-media-and-mesut-ozil/

  66. arnie says:

    Lovely discussion, all, and a pity could not come in much during the day. But for whatever it is worth.

    1. Yes, missing Rambo and Theo is the main problem. What do we do about it in the short run? That is, before Arsene gets 5-10 new toys in the summer. :razz:

    2. We have no way of replacing Theo, not even anyone who is second best. What do we do? We cannot afford to encourage Sagna to continuously stay up. The next best in my view is Gnabry. A different and a more direct approach. Not sure this will work, but cannot think of anything much better. Jack, I think will not work. He is better in the centre.

    3. What about Rambo? Once again, no replacement really. But this is the best I can think of. Play Arteta (preferably Flamster, alas!) and Jack/The Ox in DM. Better still, I think play both Jack and The Ox. Pace down the centre, fast link up, direct approach. There is no space for both to move forward at the same time, and I hope no license either.

    4. Can Santi and Ozil play together? Yes, I think they can. Interchanging positions. Ozil has license to move either way, but Santi and Gnabry have license only to move up to the centre. They will swap positions with Ozil. I mean, TR7 or Santi.

    5. What about centre forward? No options other than Giroud. Poldi can replace him, but I think the holding role is very important.

    6. Who is going to get the goals then? Oh dear!!!! :sad:

    7. Who will defend? Literally everyone. We will not concede. We will get some chances during the game. Hope it falls to the right person. :razz:

  67. arnie says:

    Redders: I told you earlier it was not about Saturday morning!!! :D :D

  68. RA says:

    arnie, hopefully it will be a Wednesday too! :-)

  69. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Know what you mean Redders

    I had a similar accent misunderstanding last year in Rome

    I was in some quirky shop and wanted a model collesium but pained in Red and white

    “Alright mate. Ave yer got one of those Collesium thingys but in red an white? I will give yer a score for it”

    “What, I know understanding this cocknish?

    “Collesium in Red and White. Are you mutton jeff or what”

    “What, who is this mutton and jeff”?

    I was a bit peeved off by this stage, so decided to give it a go speaking in greek english

    “Hello my Itie peeps. I wana one of those Collosiarse thingys init. But I donta ner want in boring white, i want in red ana white, juster like whena the Arse thrash Sparticus Utd 15 nil in 88 BC”

    He totally understood me after that. I have the Colliarse on my mantle piece, and before I left myself and Giovanni had a long and refreshing discussion about the state of the European economy and the virtues of olive oil.

  70. RA says:

    RC78,

    With respect, your idea of ‘quite pacey’ can be at best deemed as wishful thinking. Have you ever seen him play?

    My lovely old aunt could beat him to the last hot dog in McD. :-)

  71. RA says:

    Terry, :-)

    But did you get a date with him? :-)

  72. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Yes Redders, but the relationship didnt last long. He kept criticsing my dress sense and choice in sun glasses. The Bitch. hahaha

  73. JanMan says:

    Some interesting comments in reference to Robson claiming that German journalists are reporting Özil is unhappy with Wenger’s training methods? Total crap!!! There are no such comments doing the rounds in the German press or sports channels. As Kelsey already mentioned, Robson is a very bitter man.
    Also some good discussion about Vermaelen in the midfield role, why not, I think he would do a great job there, plus a new found trust from Wenger maybe the boost he needs to return to his old form.
    Sorry if I sound negative here but I have a gut feeling that we will not win against United tomorrow, maybe a draw but that will be it.

  74. fatgingergooner says:

    BJ,

    The problem with ‘horses for courses’ is our manager!

    We all know Wenger pretty much disregards the opposition and has full faith in his players. Whilst in some ways this is to be admired, it is also a f**king pain in the arse when are playing quality sides.

    His idea is that if we play 95-100% of our capability then nobody will beat us. Unfortunately for us, we are currently at about 60% on average, and against Liverpool it was about 1%!

    It’s one of the few things that winds me up about AW, but I suppose it does stop us from playing like Mourinho’s Chelsea, so I can’t complain too much! :)

  75. RockyLives says:

    That’s an excellent read Arnie – and very clever to focus on the importance of our home form.

    Tomorrow’s game takes on huge importance. I really feel that if we beat ManUre we will be flying again and will go another great run.

    Come on you Gunners!

  76. arnie says:

    Thanks, Rocky, agree 100%. Tomorrow’s game is key. Now, should that be a :D or a :sad: ? Dont know, let us see. :D :D

  77. arnie says:

    FGG: Here is my analysis of the playing styles.

    Under Arsene, Arsenal has always been one-dimensional. At least as far as I can remember. Some time in the past the team was focussed on attack. This year, the style has changed. Holding the centre of defence fixed and fairly deep and moving on to counter attack from there. We do not change style appreciably from game to game. Perhaps we do not even have numbers to do so.

    This season, we have been successful playing this way. I suppose it is not going to change. Perhaps it should not change as well. Perhaps we can hold the line a bit higher (this would be my preferance), but that is a relatively small matter. :D :D

    Under Maureen, Chelsea has different strategies for different teams and different conditions (home/ away). They have bench strength to deliver this style. They have been successful against the big teams. But the continuous change of style has its drawbacks. Chelsea has lost points against the weaker teams. So may it long continue!!!! :D :D :D

    Which is better I do not know!!!! :D

  78. arnie says:

    Evonne: Are you going to the game tomorrow? :D :D

  79. evonne says:

    yeah, but won’t get to the pub till late. will try my best to me you and Mrs Arnie

  80. arnie says:

    Fantastic, Evonne, our absolutely greatest pleasure. :D :D

  81. Gööner In Exile says:

    Arnie cracking read sir. I think the fortress is as much to do with the fans as the players comfort in their surroundings.

    Tomorrow it will be as important for the fans to have put Saturday out of their mind as it will the players. Despite what others say negative energy is very much at the heart of our performances at home. In fact is go as far to say as the draws against against Everton and Chavs and the wins against Cardiff and Fulham were every bit as much to do with the fans as players.

    Everton go 1 up everyone breathed a collective sigh if relief that we broke through and almost relaxed singing “we are too of the league” players also relaxed 1-1….poo

    Chavs home in seasons past there would have been very worried gasps when Chavs broke after another failed attack but not this season, partly because we trusted the defence. Result 0-0 but we saw how City faired.

    And the Fulham and Cardiff games…..patience and support until the end, again strengthened by our belief in the defence not to give away a sloppy goal on the breakaway.

    So we the fans need to put those fears behind us. And hope that the positive energy is reciprocated by the players.

  82. evonne says:

    oh dear, how can I live up to such expectations :(

    Normally I shy away from big games, but I really do not count this a big game. We will win and sent the treacherous Dutchman back to mancunia crying

  83. fatgingergooner says:

    I like Fabian Delph. Really starting to show the promise he had at Leeds and only 22. Be interesting how he develops in next couple of seasons.

  84. Gööner In Exile says:

    Cockie there’s a handy reckoner on the right I checked a few times too:

    Result and cumulative in bracket:

    Opponent +/- Cumulative
    Villa -1 -1
    Cardiff/Reading 0 -1
    Chavs 1 0
    Palace/QPR 0 0
    Everton 0 0
    Fulham 2 2
    Hull/Wigan 0 2
    Pool -1 1
    Shitty -1 0
    ManUre 0 0
    Toon 0 0
    Norwich 0 0
    Saints 0 0
    Stoke 0 0
    Sunderland 0 0
    Swansea 0 0
    Spuds 0 0
    WBA -2 -2
    Hammers 0 -2

    Bigger point is if you look most of the games we have played so far were wins last season, so pretty impressive to match all the way through, and as i said the games we haven’t played yet are the ones we did poorly in last season, but that doesn’t mean they are not winnable games.

  85. Gööner In Exile says:

    Wonder how much it would cost to relieve Moyes of Zaha? Talented kid, can’t understand why Moyes wouldn’t play him……was he really that badly behaved?

    Apparently he has posted a pic on instagram of himself and Solskjaer saying what a difference it is to have someone who believes in you.

  86. Gööner In Exile says:

  87. Gööner In Exile says:

    https://twitter.com/gunnerblogger97/status/433310286485782528

    Interesting as I imagine most think Silva and Mata had better players around them than Ozil has?

  88. fatgingergooner says:

    Wow!

    Anyone just see Manquilo nearly break his neck in the Madrid game?

    So fortunate.

  89. fatgingergooner says:

    WBA ruined it just before half time.

    Game over.

  90. Gööner In Exile says:

    ROLF at the WBA fans

  91. Gööner In Exile says:

  92. fatgingergooner says:

    GiE,

    Best celebration I’ve ever seen! :)

  93. Gööner In Exile says:

    :D FGG, a striker I used to play with used to look for props pre match at away grounds to see what he could use to celebrate.

    One had an athletics long jump pit just behind goal so he did that, I think same groud hand steeple chase hurdles lined up so he limbo’d one on another occasion.

    But never went as far as that loon.

    I love non league football 1 man and his dog behind goal and family and committee in the main stand.

  94. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    hahahahahaha, and then hes shown the red card hahahahaha, thanks GIE. Funniest thing ive seen in ages.

    Thats what ime like when i think the wifes out then I see her emerge from the kitchen

  95. Gööner In Exile says:

    Just had a look art Norwich’s last 4 games…….man they want to be safe before they come round:

    Dippers H
    ManUre A
    Chavs A
    Arsenal H

    ouch

  96. fatgingergooner says:

    Yes WBA!

    Keep it going.

  97. Gööner In Exile says:

    Fire up the ROLFcopter…..take me to the Hawthorns

  98. What am I doing? I’ve just noticed that WBA have equalised ……. I shouldn’t have looked :(

  99. Gööner In Exile says:

    Can we get a final whistle please?

  100. Gööner In Exile says:

    I’m F5’ing the crap out of the BBC page to see that L turn to FT

  101. Gööner In Exile says:

    Haha I knew final whistle had been blown because of GM’s tweet.

    The Not So Special (insert banned word of your choice)
    :D

  102. Sky have gone to a break while they’re still playing

  103. See, shit happens to everyone :D

  104. fatgingergooner says:

    Top ofthe league if we beat United!?

    It’s a crazy old season!

    Big incentive for the lads tomorrow.

  105. The Cockie Monster says:

    Thanks GIE. I can see where I got it wrong now, for some reason I thought we lost to Mansour City last season !. – 2 points it is !. :roll:

    Well done Tea Baggies !.

  106. Gööner In Exile says:

    You don’t remember Lolo’s splendid smashed to the roof of the net equaliser?

    Overshadowed by his in ten minutes sending off at the Emirates later on in the season.

    The lads have had their wake up call Saturday, we need to go firing into United, do not want to see tentative football, want to see us gun for the win, and lay a marker down for rest of title race.

    To be top after Death Cluster 1 (league) will be very good result.

  107. Gööner In Exile says:

  108. arnie says:

    yo ho ho ho, ROLF of the week!!!!!!! :D :D :D

    Thank you GiE, absolutely correct, its confidence and momentum that affects both the team and the fans, and they feed off each other. :D :D

  109. Well done Baggies, all to play for tomorrow now.

  110. Gööner In Exile says:

    I also think the East and West stands applying a bit of pressure to the Asst Ref’s wouldn’t go a miss. Seems to work for Shitty.

  111. Gööner In Exile says:

    Just looking at our defensive stats:

    Played 25 conceded 26…….11 of those goals came in 2 games. :oops:

  112. TwentyTwelve says:

    Well done, arnie. Good post, and even better prediction about Chelsea. The only thing you got wrong was that they dropped points away from home.

    “It would therefore seem likely that Chelsea may drop further points at home to the smaller clubs.”

  113. Gööner In Exile says:

    What did the mob survey predict Chavs to do away?

  114. Gööner In Exile says:

    Away at WBA anyway?

  115. TwentyTwelve says:

    GIE, 75% of mob expected a Chelsea win, while the rest thought it would be a draw.

  116. arnie says:

    GiE: 25% in the TT survey predicted Chavs to drop points away at WBA. Not too bad. :D :D

  117. TwentyTwelve says:

    But here’s hoping that you got it completely correct, and they will drop points at home as well, arnie. Much ROLF, as you say.

  118. Gööner In Exile says:

    Not bad for the 25%, wonder how many of that 25% predicted Arsenal losing at Pool and City drawing with Norwich?

    If we could isolate those bloggers then they will be best to use for predictions for rest of the results :)

  119. Peachy/Raspers – PM in drafts, as usual I’m sure you can come up with a decent title.

    Night all.

  120. arnie says:

    GiE: OK, only 7% predicted a loss to Liverpool, but 75% predicted dropped points. :D Isolating the lottery winners will not help, because by law of averages they will probably not win many other lotteries. But still the averages will tell a tale, an optimistic one, but hey, that is fair enough as well. :razz:

  121. arnie says:

    thanks, Norfolk, I missed your comment earlier. :D :D

    TT, all to play for!!!!!! :D :D

  122. arnie says:

    snow and ice hits just when one has to drive early in the morning. :sad: “The best-laid schemes o’ mice an’ men / Gang aft agley”

  123. fatgingergooner says:

    Exactly GiE,

    Win tomorrow and we will have got through another test still top of the league. Losing 5-1 obviously wasn’t part of the plan, but our superior form against the lower sides has got us in this position.

    A few of us have already said that we could win the league without having to beat the likes of City and Chelsea, and that could yet prove to be true.

  124. arnie says:

    Fair point. Nevertheless, FGG, we will win against Shitty at home!!!!! :razz:

  125. arnie says:

    where is Chas, by the way? Broadband still fecked? :sad:

  126. fatgingergooner says:

    Wouldn’t mind us buying Berahino as a future project.

    Looks quick and skillful and has bagged a fair few for the England U21’s so obviously knows where the net is. Could be lethal in a year or two.

  127. kelsey says:

    Morning
    To prove how unpredictable results are this season, WBA now lie 4th from bottom only 4 points from the bottom club yet have drawn with Chelsea and Everton twice ,Arsenal,Spurs and Liverpool once.

  128. dhakka09 says:

    well written Arnie. Get in there :)
    The defensive little horse got whipped today. Time for the big horse to lead the line again ;)

  129. kelsey says:

    Although AW often says he doesn’t see things he will have seen that Chelsea and City dropped points and the league is still very much for the taking.
    I have a feeling he will send out the same side as Saturday making just the one change, Gibbs for Monreal.

  130. arnie says:

    motning all.

    agreed Kelsey. AW has immense faith in the “project” and in his “method”. Much more than the mount of faith that any of us have. Plus he is stubborn. But he is the one who does things and we are the ones who suffer the fruits of his efforts, good or bad. More good than bad, so fair enough I guess. :D

  131. arnie says:

    have to rush in 15-20 mins, off to the Ems. roads quite icy today. :sad:

  132. arnie says:

    thank you Dhakka. :D

    Norfolk: perhaps I should do the walk with you some day. :D

  133. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Oh God, tears in me eyes. Some classic comedy here yesterday.

    Transplant,
    Two spectacular entries. So, so funny. Got a red and white Colosseum? :-) :-)

    Exile
    “Fire up the ROLFcopter” :-)

  134. arnie says:

    GiE: yes, please follow Micky’s advise. but not tonight, though. :razz:

  135. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Sorry not around yesterday Arnie. An early goal will kill Utd as the home support will become deafening. I’d imagine that after Pool game, there’s a lot of tension, and a goal will release the pressure valve.

  136. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Ha ha, Chary needs help with the title for his PM.

    Despite hours of heartache and toil, he simply cannot come up with anything that won’t result in a lawsuit :-)

  137. arnie says:

    yes, an early goal will be good, Micky. But a goal anytime and manly defence will be OK as well. A goal at the death will be flattening for ManUre’s confidence no ends. :razz: But an early goal is best for the fans. :D

    Thanks a lot or the tickets, Mickey. :D :D :D

  138. arnie says:

    OK, off now. long journey. catch you all laters. :D :D

  139. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Arnie

    Don’t ever tell anyone to follow my advice. Simple unfair and inappropriate. Even I ignore it.

    Safe journey.

  140. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Arnie,
    I didn’t buy you tickets. I sent you two pieces of plastic.

  141. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Chas (and Exile?)/ b&w photographic fans.

    I posted a link to a mate’s site yesterday. He’s the leading printer for b&w non digital photograhers. His client list is the definitive Who’s Who of the last 40 years. Had a long chat with him yesterday, and he prints for these two. Cummins best known for Manchester Scene 70’s 80’s Rock n Roll. Particularly Joy Divison.

    Then Al Mackinnon, who’s World’s best known surf photographer.

    http://www.kevincummins.co.uk/gallery/index.php?list=2&page=3

  142. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Here’s MacKinnon. Click on Gallery and you’ll find surf pics.

    http://www.almackinnon.com/site.html

  143. The Kevin Cummins pics are iconic, for me portraiture is the hardest type of photography. Doesn’t matter how easy it is to have the equipment and software (can take 1000 pics, no dark room needed) if you can’t actually capture the person and personality your photo will never shine like those do.

  144. kelsey says:

    Excuse me chaps but I still don’t understand the swingometer. Are you saying GIE we are 2 points worse off than at the same stage last season against the teams we have played but counting or not counting the teams relegated and those that came up.

    I find looking at the league table slightly simpler :)

  145. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Indeed Exile.
    Robin only prints Film, not digital, and he and his clients, would agree that there is almost as much of an art in the printing as there is in the pic taking itself.

    He’s Oscar’s (my son) Godfather, and will have epic tales of womanizing to pass on when he’s older. Jeepers, what is it about Photographers. Things I could tell you about Bailey, O’Neil and so on :-) No prizes for guessing!

  146. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Kelsey and The Swingometer

    Now there’s a situation!

  147. kelsey says:

    Sanogo is fit. Well that has made my day.

    Changed my mind about the team. I think Rosicky may start.

  148. MickyDidIt89 says:

    The air even tastes different on match days. Just saying.

  149. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Oh belt up about Sanogo. I posted the most brilliant suggestion yesterday about playing Ox as CF, and it is brilliant. He’d actually do a better job than Theo.

    Sod the high ball. To feet.

    Anyway, I got one response, from Norfolk, and he thought Sanogo was a better option.

    Crikey, I’m up against it with you lot :-)

  150. kelsey says:

    Actually Micky I said all or crosses should be on the ground in reply to BJ.

  151. evonne says:

    just got up, love Fat Sam and GiE’s insert word of choice :)

    I am beginning to cheer up, in no time will be laughing my head off like arnie

  152. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Kelsey

    I guess it’s just the two of us who know anything at all about this game :-)

    Must off.

  153. chas says:

    Motning,

    Hmmmmm. Yesterday I spent several hours and some money phoning virgin media trying to get my broadband working. Having spoken to a couple of different chaps and with much resetting of hubs etc there was no joy, so an appointment was booked for an engineer to come round between 8-12am Thursday (since I am busy this afternoon :) ). I’ve also asked for a refund to cover the 3 days.

    I’ve switched the bloody thing on this morning and it’s working. Do I ring them up and navigate my way through all of the tedious “Welcome” menus to cancel the appointment or not? Is there still a fault that needs fixing? Hmmmmmm.

    Thanks for a great post, arnie.
    Let’s hope the battlements, portcullis, drawbridge and moat are in tip top shape for your trip to the fortress this evening.

    Right, some black and white photos to enjoy.

  154. evonne says:

    make sure they won’t charge you for missing the app, happened to me once with BT I think. I’d let them check everything. You know that things don’t fix themselves just like that. The problem is probably still sitting there waiting to explode on a match day

  155. evonne says:

    Kels – if you decide to create your own chat room, please invite me as an agony aunt. I am brilliant on giving advice on things I know eff all about :)

    Gosh, I need to calm down, 12 hours till the KO

  156. chas says:

    Right I’ve had to install some windows updates, as I even tried a mini restore yesterday. This entails a restart. If I don’t come back on, you know why.

    I wasn’t intending on missing the appointment, evonee.

  157. Gööner In Exile says:

    Don’t you just hate it when that happens Chas? Is it Virgin Media fibre? If so it’s surprising they couldn’t find a fault if it has magically returned today.

    If it’s from BTs Wholesale (and VM sell on) then I’d keep the appointment because it could be some other problem.

    I’m still waiting for Fibre to be switched on….the exchange is ready, the cabinets have been installed, the copper pairs have been switched according to MrOpenreach who I spoke to whilst working on it, but will they let me order? Barstewards

  158. The Cockie Monster says:

    A year before the Spuds last won a title !. Love the V-necks !
    Perry Groves uncle Vic is in there, but because it`s black and white, I cant tell whether he`s a ginge !.

  159. arnie says:

    crucial pieces of plastic, Micky. :D :D All well so far. Still smiling, Evonne. :D :D

    Right, internet will be gone in a little while. Chas, Peaches: you have my phone no, and I have yours. :razz: On with the show!!!! :D :D :D

    And, BTW, before I go, Micky, I did respond to your suggestion about the Ox as CF. Saying DM makes it for me. Our best substitute for Rambo. But he is developing, and will play in many positions in the typical AW style. Hence, CF at some point is not unlikely. :D :D

  160. The Cockie Monster says:

    Young Kelsey`s in there somewhere !

  161. Gööner In Exile says:

    By the way Kelsey my swingo includes the relegated/promoted teams. So yes -2 on same games, lets just say that’s the draw away at WBA :)

  162. kelsey says:

    Oi cockie

    The guy in the front looks like Robbie Williams, but I was going but the tram got derailed on the way to the train station.

  163. VCC says:

    Safe journey Arnie…enjoy your pint in the Tavern

  164. chas says:

    GIE, yep, virgin 30MB fibre.
    I see you posted that goal celebration video. Here are some other bits I was going to post yesterday morning……..

  165. chas says:

    This one’s for Cockie.

  166. chas says:

    This link was posted by Arsenal Gent.
    How many nicknames can you get without googling?

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/44841559@N03/sets/72157629689241324/page3/

  167. chas says:

    This from one of my favourite tweeters….

  168. chas says:

    This appeared a little later…….

  169. The Cockie Monster says:

    Hahaha chas……actually, the hardest thing is what wakes me up !.

  170. The Cockie Monster says:

    Actually that`s not true….it`s the slap from my missus !.

  171. Rasp says:

    Morning all,

    I know we haven’t talked about it much on AA but the airing of the pictures of Arsene falling over by the media is deplorable. I hope someone is mounting a campaign to extract an apology from MotD – the producers should be ashamed.

  172. chas says:

    Morning Rasp

  173. Rasp says:

    Thanks chas. ….

  174. Rasp says:

    The pic of BSR on that banner also features in today’s PM courtesy of chary :P

  175. chas says:

    Are you going tonight, Rasp?

  176. Rasp says:

    Hi chas, I don’t have a ticket, but I’m hoping to meet up with you all for a drink before the game

  177. Rasp says:

    And on that bombshell, prepare yourselves for a chary/manure pre match :P

    ….. New Post …….

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