Will Arsenal make it 19 in a Row?

March 19, 2015

The race for the top four Premier League positions is on in full force. Twenty nine games played and just nine games left. Fourteen teams still have a mathematical chance of finishing in the top four but I will only concentrate on the battle involving the top seven.

Chelsea still appears to be Championship favourites although their form has dipped of late and as it’s dipped their tactics have become even cruder. So far this season their only slip ups against non top seven teams were draws with Burnley and Sunderland and a loss to Newcastle. They only have three remaining games against the top seven – United and Liverpool at home and Arsenal away. I fully expect them to play ultra defensive football, hoping for a breakaway goal but happily settling for a point in each of the three games, while winning all of their remaining games against the non top seven teams.

However they have only managed to gain 19 out of 30 points in their last 10 PL games so my prediction may be overly optimistic.

My predictions are -

Hull – away win, Stoke – home win, QPR – away win, Man U – home draw

Arsenal – away draw, Leicester – away win, Crystal P – home win

Liverpool – home draw, WBA – away win, Sunderland – home win

Last 10 games DLWWDWWDWD (Pts % 63.3)

Current points 64

Projected points 88

Manchester City is difficult to predict as their form is inconsistent at best and erratic at worst, which was highlighted by their loss to Burnley. Against the non top seven teams they have drawn with QPR, Burnley, Everton, and Hull and lost to Stoke, West Ham and Burnley. Against the top seven they have already dropped 12 points.

City has only managed to win just 50% of the points in their last 10 games so they will have to turn things around to hold on to second place.

My predictions are –

WBA – home win, Crystal P – away win, Man U – away win, West Ham – home win

Aston Villa – home win, Tottenham – away draw, QPR – home win

Swansea – away draw, Southampton – home win

Last 10 games WDLDDWWLWL (Pts % 50.0)

Current points 58

Projected points 81

Manchester United have really ridden their luck this season by winning games that they should have lost but they are now heading into a run of very difficult games. After their loss to Arsenal in the FA Cup ended their hopes of any trophy’s this season their consequent win against Tottenham will be a boost to their confidence.

My predictions are –

Liverpool – away draw, Aston Villa – home win, Man City – home loss

Chelsea – away draw, Everton – away win, WBA – home win

Crystal P – away win, Arsenal – home draw, Hull – away win

Last 10 games DLWWDWLWWW (Pts % 66.7)

Current points 56

Projected points 74

Liverpool is showing some impressive form and is undefeated in their last 13 PL games.

I only see Pool dropping points against Man U, Arsenal and Chelsea. In their last game against Swansea they rode their luck but in the end they won the game on a very fortunate deflection. I see them as legitimate contenders for a PL place.

My predictions are –

Man U – home draw, Arsenal – away draw, Newcastle – home win

Hull – away win, WBA – away win, QPR – home win

Chelsea – away draw, Crystal P – home win, Stoke – away win

Last 10 games WWWDWWWWW (Pts % 86.7)

Current points 54

Projected points 75

Tottenham have beaten both Arsenal and Chelsea in their last 10 games but have also lost to Man U and Liverpool so they are very unpredictable, in their  0-3 loss at Old Trafford they did not look like a team capable of finishing in the top four.

Our shadow over the North London midgets is getting bigger and darker by the year.

My predictions are –

Leicester – home win, Burnley – away win, Villa – home win

Newcastle – away win, Southampton – away draw

Man C – home draw, Stoke – away draw, Hull – home win

Everton – away draw

Last 10 games WLWWWLDWWL (Pts % 63.3)

Current points 50

Projected points 69

Southampton seems to have run out of steam and have dropped 13 points in their last 10 games. In their last game they gained a point at Stamford Bridge and looked good in the process. I only see them losing to Man C in their final 9 games but I cannot see them making the top four.

My predictions are –

Burnley – home win, Everton away draw, Hull – home win

Stoke – away draw, Tottenham – home draw, Sunderland – away win

Leicester – away win, Villa – home win, Man C – away loss

Last 10 games WWWLWDLLWD (Pts % 56.7)

Current points 50

Projected points 68

Arsenal has won eight of the last 10 PL games and our only losses were to Tottenham and Southampton. During this period only Liverpool gained more points winning 26 while we won 24. I cannot remember the last time our squad looked so strong with only 9 games left in the season.

Our key players are close to their top form with Cazorla, Ozil and Alexis just oozing class. Ramsey and Walcott still have a way to go but it’s great to see them both fit again – they will be needed. Ospina has been very steady in goal and shows a lot of confidence, which spreads to the team.  Coquelin has added some steel and tenacity to our midfield while Giroud proved his worth with his performances against West Ham and Monaco. My main concern is with our full back positions, we always seem to be exposed down the flanks – when they make their forays downfield our center backs are drawn out of position while they are covering for the absentee’s.

My predictions are –

Newcastle – away win, Liverpool – home draw, Burnley – away win

Sunderland – home win, Chelsea – home draw, Hull – away win

Swansea – home win, Man U – away draw, WBA – home win

Last 10 games LWWWLWWWWW (Pts % 80.0)

Current points 57

Projected points 78

The season will hinge on the following 10 games and will most likely be decided based on the outcome of the first seven of them.  To be honest they are the type of games that should decide the championship – the best against the best – I await them with nervous anticipation.

 Arsenal v Liverpool

Arsenal v Chelsea

Man U v Arsenal

Chelsea v Man U

Chelsea v Liverpool

Liverpool v Man U

Man U v Man C

Spurs v Man C

Man C v Saints

Spurs v Saints

I firmly believe that we are up for the task – how about you?

To arrive at my final conclusions I’ve predicted the outcome of 54 games so I’m bound to be wrong but how wrong do you think I am?

19th march

GunnerN5


A proud night in Monaco

March 18, 2015

Morning all,

Last night’s gallant efforts away to Monaco ended up a huge disappointment in as much as the result, but the effort put in by The Arsenal players was immense. The team plugged away all night to try and get the goals needed, even to the last seconds, tired legs were still pushing just to find that one goal that would have put us through.

Arsene Wenger surprised many of us at the start by leaving out Aaron Ramsey. I suppose that was because Aaron has not shown, since he returned from injury, the form that he showed last season but whatever the reasons I felt we missed him. Although the eleven he did pick worked their socks off. This was  not an easy game, with a resolute Monaco seemingly happy to defend most of the game, without really troubling the somewhat under worked  Ospina .

My friend had flown out to Monaco to join the thousands of travelling supporters. He posted, on Facebook, photos of himself in a floppy Irish Top Hat drinking a pint of the black stuff in a local bar close to the ground. He knew this was a tough task but went all the same and I imagine he sang his heart out along with other hero supporters and although heart broken he must have been proud of his club at the end.

Arsenal did all they could to turn this game around, a massive ask after the first leg but try they did right up to the last kick of the game. Olly battled and was rewarded just before the break with what can only be described as a battlers goal. The moment that goal went in it lifted all Arsenal support and we had a proper game on our hands.

We went in at half time with belief that we could still fight back and out they came for the second half with only one thing on their minds to dig in and fight. Bellerin excelled himself again as he ran and battled up and down that pitch until those tired legs would not let him run any more. Monreal also, on the other side of the park also ran his legs off and to a man, Arsenal players did their utmost to claw back the goals we needed. We had chances, but on the night Monaco stuck to their tactics and defended well.

Arsene decided he had left it as long as he could and started changing players. Le Coq had thrown himself around all game was to be replaced by Ramsey. Monreal who looked worn out was taken off for Gibbs and Welbeck replaced by Theo. Wenger was not giving up, Ramsey added a little spice he had been missed even with the trio who came off you couldn’t have asked for more from but Aaron you could feel was to add a little extra.

Another Arsenal attack saw a chance for Theo he stroked the ball towards the right hand post only to bounce off the post a Monaco defender in vain tried to clear but rolled it to the ever waiting Ramsey who controlled the ball and fired it across the Monaco keeper and into the net. The crowd went ballistic and I went ballistic and you all went ballistic 2-0 we were not finished yet.

I have to say I felt that our attack was too much through the middle. Monaco were almost impenetrable, Theo was a let down for me, here we have a player as fast as lightning and he sat on Girouds shoulder we were crying out for a wide man someone to stretch the Monaco defence but Theo stayed central while Gibbs was doing his best down the left our right side was a vacant space.

Could we had scored that third goal and make the come back of the century? Yes I believe we could but it wasn’t to be on the night. Disappointment for thousands  of Gooners but they certainly tried, and we can ask for no more. Pride restored and out for another season but not broken. FA cup and League still on  and this team will keep on showing heart. Supporters like us will be bitterly disappointed but proud of the side that gave their all.

Steve Palmer  


Monaco by the Numbers

March 17, 2015

1. In the 164 European Cup games in which a team lost 1-3 at home in the first leg only two have gone on to win the tie.

2. In the Champions League knock out stages no team has ever overcome this deficit playing away. It has only been achieved when the team was at home for the second leg.

3. Arsenal have won their last 4 away and 8 of our last 9 PL games (12 of 14)

4. Monaco had 5 first team players missing in the first leg. Carvalho and Toulalan should return tonight.

5. Monaco have conceded only 7 goals in 14 home games in Ligue 1 this season and just 2 in 7 CL games.

6. Arsenal have scored every game bar one since Oct 2014

7. Arsenal have had 21 different goal scorers this season. We are awash with finishers.

8. If we lose tonight it will be the 5th year running we have not reached the quarter finals

9. Monaco are 1/10 on to go through and AFC 5/1 (Paddy Power). Yet AFC are favourites to win the game (13/10)

10. Arsenal have won only once on our last 6 visits to France (though Monaco is not in France is it?)

Right, that’s enough of that nonsense.

Looking at the above one would think it is a waste of time trying and Mr Wenger should select the entire Ladies team. If we are to go down in Monaco …. I leave the rest to you imagination ……

26 years ago we went to Anfield and won against the odds, We also did it when overcoming a 3-1 defeat in the final of the Inter Cities –  that victory was in Black and White, but still a decade after Spurs last won the title :-D

The Stade Louis is hardly a hotbed of football fanaticism (the last time I was there was for an Eagles concert) and I expect there will be more Gooners than Monaco fans.

We have to score a few and quite frankly are as likely to score 4 or 5 as 3 so I look forward to a very attacking line -up. It is often said that in training Mr Wenger has the players switch positions so they understand the thinking required for a defensive or offensive position, as such Welbeck must be able to play CB if required. Santi is an ideal fullback; they are instructed not to tackle but to jockey and he has the perfect physique for such a job.

My Team:

Ospina

    Cazorla    Welbeck      Coquelin     Rosicky

Walcott     Ramsey     Ozil

Alexis     Giroud     Akpom

If we had more forwards available I would play them instead of Le Coq and Tomas.

I feel 56% confident of winning the game and 14% confident of winning the tie.

n.b. If any of the above stats are wrong, blame the internet and Margaret Thatcher.

COYRRG

written by Big Raddy


Steve’s Monday Assessment

March 16, 2015

Results this weekend, in the main, pretty good week; dropped points for the Chav’s a loss for City, United starting to get it together, and for us, who are the most important, another 3 points.

Keep on winning is all we can do, We have had what can only be described as a bit of an up and down season so far. We have lost games we feel we should have won, and won games that looked like games we struggle with.

I honestly believe that new players take a while to settle, although most of ours seem to have blended in quite well, we have had a bit of turmoil with injuries. Players who were first team choices at the start of the season, who got injured and unsettled the balance. Theo of course was one who started the season injured, Wenger knew he was a long term injury so needed to add, In came Sanchez who hit the ground running.

Vermaelen leaving and leaving a big hole was a blow, Wenger replaced with a young man Chamber’s, Not many of us knew a great deal about him, but he seemed to come across as a bit of a utility player, i read that he was a right back but could be utilised across the back, It has to be said that this youngsters heroics was like a breath of fresh air. I dont believe Wenger ever expected to use him as much as he has,Injuries to BFG and Kos and then Debuchey meant he would be used for all positions.

Of course with a long term injury to new man Debuchy, a young man springs up from our reserves in Bellerin, a bit rough around the edges but with a great engine probably was the reason the Jenkinson was not recalled from a loan spell with Wham, who needed a season of premier league experience, hopefully he will return the better for it.

Bellerin has made mistakes but the effort he puts in bodes very well for the future. I would assume that once Debuchey gets fit Belerin will deputise but good experience for him for the future.

Paulista who was brought in at Christmas looked a good prospect sadly an injury has side lined him but he does look like he may replace the ageing Merts.

All in all the season has been as I said a bit up and down, Our new signings including Welbeck have started to shine, the squad seem to have been thrown together with new faces mixing fairly well.

Our need for a HM only became worse with Arteta and Flamoney both getting Injured, and one of our youngster having to be recalled from a loan spell which i felt was a stepping stone to being let go, but for Coquelin it gave him a final chance to show Wenger that he still has a future here. Coq has been immense since he returned, a couple of Motm awards has only shown this youngster has a future.

All in all this season has shown that the squad we have, once sorted is a mixture of what is needed to win things, I think its clear that players like BFG Arteta and Flamoney along with Rosicky could be nearing the end of their journey with us, but with clever recruitment and a few from our reserves shows that we are not lacking in players. I feel Wenger will still buy the odd player in his search for excellence, but that was to be expected.

Arsenal are sitting Third looking at second, and with a turn of fate could even win the league, But at present we are still in line for top 4 any thing can happen we know, can Wenger manage another top 4 it certainly looks that way, how many times is that? Magnificent is the word, unbelievable.

COYRRG’s

written by Steve Palmer1


Demolition Derby

March 15, 2015

A convincing 3-0 win against London rivals West Ham consolidated Arsenal’s position for securing Champions League football and round off a fantastic week.

The journey began with a drive to Wembley and meeting friends for, yes, you guessed it.

Pre match food

A kebab!

Walking to Ashburton Grove, the fans were still on a high after the team’s heroics at Old Trafford five days earlier. The excitement was evident with another trip to Wembley on the horizon.

View from North Bank

View from North Bank

The match began with Arsenal on the front foot and Alexis tested Adrian with header on 15 minutes. West Ham then created a chance of there own as Nolan volleyed straight at Ospina.

West ham on the attack

West ham on the attack

Arsenal were then in full flow and the fans rallied behind the team as they were carving the Hammers open. In the stands there seemed to be an air of confidence and fans felt this would be a routine victory.

Had it not been for West Ham keeper Adrian Arsenal would have gone into half time in cruise control. The stopper first denied Alexis palming his volley away. Mesut Ozil and Aaron Ramsey were next to be thwarted and Theo Walcott shot straight at the keeper.

This left Arsenal fans pondering what the team had to do to score. Theo left some fans frustrated in Block 7 question his finishing and whether it would ever improve. There was also criticism from one individual regarding the so called singing section in the North Bank stating

“We are in the singing section then why don’t we f**king ever sing!”

The deadlock was finally broken causing big fat Sam Allardyce to tear up his half time team talk notes. Theo and Ramsey combined and there was Olivier Giroud to rifle the ball against the post and into the back of the next.

One nil to the Arsenal and on the stroke of half time.

The second half began with Arsenal having less possession but normal order was restored and Giroud and Ramsey showed their fruitful partnership as the latter slammed home following a pass from the Frenchman.

Rambo scores

Rambo scores

There was a huge applause for Danny Welbeck as he was warming up with fans singing his name given his winner against the dirty Mancs.

Datguy warms up

Datguy warms up

Alexis then made way for the England striker and Santi Cazorla, sporting a new haircut, was also introduced.

Welbeck worked tirelessly down the left flank and opened up the West Ham back four with timely runs. The Arsenal fans were really appreciating his work rate and his attitude and chanting his name.  Laurent Koscielney was also commanding and had Diafro Sakho in his pocket.

Another substitute, Mathieu Flamini then applied the finishing touch to a lovely move consisting of 6 passes to leave the North Bank purring. As fans watched the replays on big screen they were impressed with a lovely move which epitomised the philosophy of Arsene Wenger. The game was over and another win to cap a wonderful week.

As fans were clapping the team off some fans were pointing to the fact that a 3-0 scoreline on Tuesday against Monaco will be enough. Easier said than done, but if Arsenal start well then that optimism can be shared.

Watch out Monaco!

UTA!!

by @SirAHussain14


Ramsey, Welbeck or Walcott

March 14, 2015

West Ham are a strange club; steeped in history – a working man’s club graced with creative artists. A Football Academy with extreme right wing fans (just a few of them). And today a manager who has changed the club from a side who yo-yo’ed between the leagues to one which is secure in the PL, has European aspirations and are difficult to beat. And play decent football.

Who would have thought that Allardyce could change his football ethos to fit the demands of the West Ham fans? Not Big Raddy. That said, West Ham’s tactics still include a lot of hoof-ball and crosses to the big central striker and they are not afraid to practice the Dark Arts.

Fat Bob used to take me to see WHU, the fact that he had a season ticket at Upton Park showed a mental infirmity – perhaps it is his need for understanding and emotional support which has kept us friends for 30 years.

Right enough of them – if you want to know about tactics and players and that sort of in-depth, well- researched essaying you will have to look elsewhere.

Arsenal:: Ox is injured who gets his place? My first thought was for Rosicky – he is such a great player and in a game which will involve a midfield battle his positivity may win the day but Mr Wenger likes to keep him on the bench as insurance, so which player takes Ox’s place will depend upon whether Mr Wenger wants to push Santi forward or keep him playing alongside Le Coq.

If Santi is pushed forward Ramsey may play. If not, there is space for an extra forward. Welbeck playing central worked at OT but I would bet Terry’s hairpiece that OG will start this afternoon. Will Welbz be benched or take up a role on the wings? If he does, whither Walcott?

Unknown

Testing Day for David?

Luxury problems aren’t they? I expect to see Ramsey start. In my opinion he is the fulcrum of Arsenal over the next few years. Every team needs a box-to-box dynamic player and Ramsey, for the moment, is ours. He has been unable to re-create the form of last season but who could? Had he not got injured Ramsey may well have propelled us to the title and let us not forget he scored the winning goal in the FAC final. He needs a goal and then we will see his return to his pomp.

My Team.

Ospina

Bellerin      BFG     Koscielny     Monreal

Ramsey    Coquelin

Cazorla     Alexis

Ozil

Giroud

Big game for Ospina, Szczesny has become adept at coming for the long crosses and at Upton Park was superb. Ospina will have to do the same.

Bench is strong and getting stronger. Our squad is so strong that just riding the pine is an honour.

Our form is good, our PL home form very good. I am 58% confident

COYRRG

Written by Big Raddy


Arsenal v The Russians. Style v Thuggery.

March 12, 2015

Last night I was very busy getting old, so missed watching Chelsea tumble out of the Champions League. This is, in fact, considerably funnier than it might appear at first glance.

Getting old is very sobering, and one side effect can be looking back over one’s life. Never have been a prolific reader, so no surprise I didn’t finish my first book until I was about twelve. The Kon Tiki  Expedition.  Second book, Muhammad Ali: My Own Story, in which he talks about style. Style in whatever you do, and how, had he not been a boxer but rather a garbage man, he would have collected more than anyone else, and faster, and with more style.

There is a cost to your actions.

Another piece of advice in my youth came from a friend of my father’s at about the same time: “no matter what you do in life remember this. In ten or twenty years you will find yourself meeting up with old chums, and you CANNOT tell them you make handbags”. No idea why he chose handbags, but perhaps for the very reason that I never forgot the advice.

This brings me nicely on to Chelsea and that loathsome reptile Jose Mourinho.

As usual this morning, I got up, made coffee, and while I checked through emails, I caught up on late comments from this site. Last night was dominated by talk of the appalling tactics deployed by a “win at any cost” Chelsea.

When it comes to my football, I am a romantic and a fantasist. Somewhere deep within there is a realist who understands that The Arsenal need things like defenders, but I don’t like it, and yes, 2-3-5 remains my preferred line up.

Here’s the thing though. I know people who avoid certain summer as well as winter holiday resorts simply to avoid the Chelsea style of wealthy thugs. I know people who have given up memberships of what were once exclusive London nightclubs to avoid the thugs in the blacked out Range Rovers with their “security”. I even know a lifelong Chelsea supporter who chucked in his season ticket and now goes to watch Brentford.

When I was a young school boy, a teacher told me cheating was only “cheating yourself”. Not really, I thought, I just got an A in Chemistry.

With hindsight, was the teacher right? Well, one moral must be, if you are going to cheat, then for God’s sake win. Doing it and losing is nothing short of hysterically funny for your critics.

Written by MickyDidIt89


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 535 other followers