Can we outfox the Foxes?

September 26, 2015

Those who are regular readers of the site will know that our pre-match posts are usually written by blogger BigRaddy but this weekend we have two build up posts in Raddy’s absence. The first is from Norfolk Gooner and the second from RA.

It’s off to The King Power Stadium in Leicester to face the “Foxes” today for a 3pm start.

Leicester City, they were originally called Leicester Fosse, were founded in 1884 but despite being around for so long they haven’t exactly set the footballing world alight.

Their best ever finish, in the top flight, was second but that was back in the 1928/29 season.

They have been runners up in the FA Cup four times and hold the dubious record of the most appearances in the final without actually winning the trophy.

The Foxes have won the League Cup three times and the Charity Shield once and that under strange circumstances. It was in Arsenal’s double year, 1970/71, when we didn’t contest the shield due to our European commitments. Leicester, as winners of the second division, were invited to play Liverpool, the beaten FA Cup finalists and won 1 – 0.

Two of the finest players produced by the Foxes joined Arsenal, Frank McLintock and Alan Smith. Frank later went on to succeed another Arsenal luminary, Jimmy Bloomfield as manager there.

This little history lesson is proof only that I don’t know much about the Leicester City team of today, save that they have made a very good start to the season, currently lie fourth in the table having won three and drawn three.

The midweek win over Spurs has, hopefully, dispelled any hangover from the Chelsea game and so we go into today’s match in reasonably good shape although we will be without the newly suspended Gabriel, Santi is serving his one match ban and Le Coq is probably out with a knee injury picked up in that infamous game at Stamford Bridge.

I expect our defense to return to it’s more normal shape with the return of Cech, Bellerin and Monreal.

With both Santi and Le Coq absent a mid-field pairing of Arteta and two goal hero Flamini looks likely. With Alexis, Mesut and either The Ox or Aaron to play just behind Theo.

I can’t quite decide between Ramsey and Oxlade-Chamberlain, both have been a bit off lately, so a good point for discusssion.

A win today will move us up to fourth which will provide the necessary impetus to head for ever more dizzying heights.

C’mon The Glorious Gunners!!

The above is written by Norfolk Gooner. 

The following is written by RA 

Who are our opponents? None other than Leicester Fosse — oops I mean Leicester City.

Like us they have had a name change from when they were originally founded in the summer of 1884 as Leicester Fosse, so called as they played in a grotty old field filled with cows near Fosse Road.

The were renamed Leicester City after WW1 in 1919 to avoid any association with cows. [OK that last bit I made up.]

It’s most famous person was Robert de Beaumont, who became the first Earl of Leicester, c 1150, after the Normans beat up the Anglo-Saxons, but talking of name changes he preferred to be called by his Frenchie title as Count de Meulan.

He might have had pretensions to playing football by lopping off heads and kicking them around when he got bored.

In 1564, Queen Elizabeth 1st made her boyfriend Robert Dudley the Earl of Leicester again, after his forebears had become careless and lost their heads – literally.

Back to today, the Foxes as they are known, have not beaten us in the last 5 meetings between us, but this season under the Tinker Man they remain unbeaten – yikes – and lie fourth in the table above us with 12 [points having beaten a few duff teams on the way.

I am looking forward to the guy linked with us, Mahrez, who is known to be rapid. Chaser will take care of him.

For us Cazzor is back from a one match ban – and Gabriel takes his place in the naughty boy cupboard. So it will be a slightly changed team today – but who cares – we will win.

Bollox to percentages – I feel it in my water that we will cruise home 1 : 3.


Written by RA

Flamini strikes twice!

September 24, 2015

An unlikely source was the hero for Arsenal as Mathieu Flamini helped himself to a brace against bitter rivals Tottnumb and secured the Gunners’ passage in to the next round of the credit card cup.

An enthralling cup tie captured the imagination and the very best of the Arsenal away support with fans starting drinking at North London pubs as early as Midday. The Twelve Pins was the spot for pre-match drinks and come the late afternoon there was a huge police presence. The old bill focused very intensely on the Arsenal fans watching them chanting and even climbing traffic lights waiting to see when they would leave the bars for the the ‘Frog March’ down the Seven Sisters Road.

As the Red Army came out of the tube and marched up the Tottenham High Road there was a sense of pride and unity and the Metropolitan Police on their horses found it difficult to contain the hardcore Arsenal faithful. The fans finally entered Shite Hart Lane and there was the sense this meant more than the credit card cup. Arsenal had the early exchanges and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain looked bright. The decisive moment came when the Ox shot straight at Vorm which bounced in front of him and could only parry and there was Flamini to blast in the rebound. The goal sent Arsenals fans into raptures.

Despite the goal the Arsenal fans were voicing their concern at the lack of defensive discipline being shown by Mathieu Debuchy as Tottnumb were mainly attacking down the Arsenal right flank. Three friends sat together were fuming with the Frenchman saying he did not warrant his place in the team. However, half time came and so far so good as the away support were taunting the fans of their London rivals and highlighting our 13 league titles to Tottnumbs measly 2 league championships.

The second half began and again Debuchy was the brunt of the Arsenal fans anger as he was not covering and Chadli was allowed to cross low only for the unfortunate Calum Chambers to turn the ball past Ospina. The fans were left frustrated but rallied around the team and Chambers who despite scoring the own goal was having a fantastic game. The misfiring Harry Kane then had his acrobatic effort headed off the line by Kieran Gibbs who put in a steady performance on the night.

Arsenal pressed and Ramsey and Ox were trying to carry the fight but the the team needed another spark.. Welcome Alexis Sanchez. But that was not before a commotion in the stands between some Arsenal fans and the bitter stewards. The area seemed very congested with fans and stewards began to move fans anywhere to keep them in line. One 16 year old boy argued with a steward stating “Do you want another Hillsborough?”

On the pitch Alexis looked promising and cut inside only to shoot straight at Vorm. Arsenal looked the more dangerous team and were then rewarded. Tottnumb failed to clear their lines and a looping ball in the air dropped to the right boot of that man Flamini who struck a sweet volley into the bottom right hand corner. The Arsenal section erupted with people falling over, legs up on the air and seats being broken! It was a joy to behold for the Arsenal fans as the Gunners were closing in on a derby day win.

Tottnumb threw everything forward but to no avail and then came the final whistle. It was all over and the long wait to get out of he stadium did not bother the fans. Tottnumb Signs were ripped out in the stadium much to the laughter of the fans. The police then escorted the fans to the seven sistes tube station and the walk began just like it started on the way to the game. As fans poured out of Shite Hart Lane, a certain Frenchman was on everyone’s lips and was even given the accolade of “Cult Hero” status.


Written by Sir A Hussein

Sweet FA yesterday, Totnum today.

September 23, 2015

Please note: Should any Spurs fans read the following post, it is tongue in cheek and perhaps you should question what you expect from an Arsenal fan site (but my guess is that reading is an unattained skill and you are only looking at the pictures) :-)

It may be the Micky Mouse Cup and it may be another distraction in a very busy schedule but this is a derby and not just any derby – this is about pride.

And we have been the Pride of North London for decades. Long may it continue.

Now I dislike Chelsea, and find Man Utd a sickening bunch of Northern effluent but I really, really abhor the N17 meat-puppets. Some of my best friends support these marsh-dwellers which raises serious questions about their sanity (though almost to a man/woman they are bed-wetters and onanists).


A Lillywhite

In the past few seasons I have been a little circumspect in expressing my dislike of the WHL neanderthals because the last time I did so we lost, but tonight I really do not care, in fact it may be a blessing if we lose because this cup is meaningless; if you do not believe me, tell me who won it just 5 months ago (without the help of google!)

Let me tell you and save you some time – Chelsea beat Spurs 2-0. Did it mean anything? Are Chelsea talked about as double winners? No, they are not. Were Spurs damaged by losing? Who cares :-)

Any NLD is important from a fans point of view but my guess is that Mr Wenger will prioritise the Leicester game at the weekend. So …. who is going to play against the mongrels? Mr.Wenger has said he will be using senior members of the squad who have not had game time which means:-


Debuchy    Chambers    Mertesacker      Gibbs

Ox    Ramsey     Arteta    Ozil

Campbell     Giroud

A shame we cannot use the injured Jeff – he looks a fine prospect. Same with Gnabry/Sanogo/Akpom/Maitland-Niles/Zelalem etc but hopefully they will get more playing time out on loan.

Normally, I write about the opposition and their manager but we are playing the WHL putrescence twice later in the season and to write about this bunch of cowboys three times is beyond my powers. Suffice it to say, the Spurs team is full of toilers, cloggers, miscreants and soon-to-be defendants at the Bailey, added to a couple of sexual deviants and a defrocked priest.

Instead of studying the form let’s look at past League/Milk/Littlewoods/Carling/Capital Cup games at Shite Hart Lane:-

Rocky in ’87 (what a night!!)

Samir Nasri’s penalty double in 2010

The Beast Baptiste’s double in 2007

Champagne Charlie scoring and Tony Woodcock finishing the tie in 1983

And Spurs highlight   errmmmm ……  they got a draw in 2007 :-)


Tottenham High Street

If this game was at The Emirates we would easily win but unfortunately watching the muppets and marsh dwellers celebrating a Spurs victory before limping their way home to their hovels, caves and tunnels is  something we have had to witness too often in the past few seasons. I expect a repeat tonight but our boys will be up for the fight and an Arsenal victory is certainly not beyond the realms of possibility. As we saw yesterday, sometimes the forces of good overcome those of evil and it is with this in mind that I am …..

50% confident


The Kids Are Alright….. mostly

September 21, 2015

Sky Sports had Hector Bellerin as their guest pundit for the Barca/Levante game (ex-Barca). He was very good. Highly intelligent with perfect English, smartly dressed, good looking, GSOH, plus a fine understanding of tactics and how to defend; remarkable for a young man of just 20 who came to England just 4 years ago (have I done a good selling job?)

Plus he has said that his future is at AFC, which is great news.

We have a fine core of young players who seem to be committed to the club with Bellerin being the latest to become a first team regular. Coquelin, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Gabriel, Ramsey, Chambers, Szczesny, Coquelin, Wilshere, Campbell, Welbeck are all under 24 y.o and Walcott, Gibbs, Sanchez and Ozil are all just 26.

Why is this important? Because if (and it is a Big If) Mr Wenger can keep all these players happy and at Arsenal then the future is very rosy. They will grow together as a team, develop understandings both on and off the pitch and hopefully become a major force over the coming few years.

But what of the others?  Koscielny, Debuchy, Monreal, Cazorla and BFG are all 29 or 30, and Giroud is 28 (still time for improvement!). They all have a couple of years left as squad players but I expect at least a couple of them to be sold next summer.

Mr Wenger is meticulous about having a squad with a blend of ages allowing youthful exuberance to be allied to hard-earned experience.

It was unusual when AW signed a relatively aged 29 y.o. Debuchy – perhaps he knew how good Bellerin would be and bought Debuchy to ease Hector into the first team without too much pressure, though Sagna had just left and we needed a replacement.

Keeping Rosicky (34) was an odd decision unless Mr Wenger expects him to join the coaching staff and wants Tomasz to learn the ropes. Flamini (31)? Must be a contract thing. Arteta (33) still has a short-term role to play as speed has never been a part of his game and Cech at just 33 has at least 5 years as a top GK (think Seaman/Schmeichel/Buffon/Lehmann etc).

Next summer will see a few youngsters added to the first team squad, Akpom, Jeff and a couple of 25 y.o.(+-) purchases, to replace the older chaps thus keeping our squad young and fresh.

The young core of the squad is exciting and bodes well; allied to a couple of megastar purchases we will be cushtie

written by Big Raddy

The Battle at The Bridge

September 20, 2015

The morning after the game, and still my anger is strong. Arsene Wenger said Gabriel was wrong to retaliate, perhaps he was right, but if you do not retaliate, then somehow that also seems wrong.

As a kid at school, we had a school bully, this kid from the off didn’t like me, I don’t know till this day, what it was that he found offensive about my presence, but from that day till I left school, we fought regularly, I lost every time, I got nose bleeds at the slightest touch, so usually there was a mess after a tussle, perhaps he got excited at the sight of my blood I didn’t really know.

The trouble with me, was I found it hard to walk away from a bully, and I never knew I would lose, until I did , how many times do you lose but still not know, that was me. The strange thing was after I left school we met again and of course the habits of a lifetime, we fought again, strangely the battles ended after that fight, but I showed weakness, or should I say mercy, as I had the upper hand after all those years of defeats, and when he said he’d had enough I stopped hitting him and walked away. I realised that day that bullies are like mad driver’s, they meet themselves one day coming the other way.

I suppose Wenger would have said I was wrong to have fought in the first place, but if you are sought after, what do you do, walking away got you a clump round the head, so you have to protect yourself.

Gabriel was goaded, he took it for so long, but the man is only human. If he was guilty of anything it was trying to get away from him.

The game itself was a spectacle until the first half ended, both sides were evenly matched, chances for both sides. the second half Chelsea seemed to have found extra space down the left hand side and Arsenal’s defence was looking a little shaky, it has to be said that Chelsea’s fast attacks were picking up pace, and Arsene would need to bolster up somehow.

On one of those attacks the sequence of what was going to change the shape of this game a tussel between Chelsea’s Costa who had been a pain in our side all game and Koshielney, where off the ball Costa was all other our man, hands in the face a forearm pushed in Koshielney’s face and then an elbow. The Officials missed all of this action, but when the action stopped Koshielney looked to have said some thing to Costa and Costa retaliated with a chest charge where Koshielney was barged to the ground, Koshielney raced to his feet where it looked like the two players were to square up, When Gabriel turned up and stood between them, Costa Looked at Gabriel, they too had had a few tussles leading up to this incident, Costa looked to be saying something to Gabriel but he stood his ground and tried to ignore him , that seemed to antagonise Costa and he looked like he was getting more infuriated, the Referee intervened, he had words with both players and as they walked away, the two player looked like they exchanged little slaps to each others body, but the slaps did seem to look as if they wasn’t friendly slaps .

Again the referee stepped in again but this time he branded yellow card to both players. Had he seen the whole incident from the start I feel he may of acted differently but of course he hadn’t. The two players walk away again, but Costa would still be talking in Gabriel’s face until Gabriel turned his back on him Costa still continued until Gabriel retaliated with a lame raise of his foot backward and in full sight of the referee Gabriel was then issued a red which seemed to calm Costa down.

Now of course a game against last years Champions is always a tough game but down to ten men even tougher now, Pressure was to build up as Chelsea seized the advantage, the Arsenal players felt aggrieved for what had happened but they now had a battle on their hands They battled valiantly until Arsenal was pushing out from the back Ramsey who was trying for a little space was adjudged to have fouled a Chelsea Player I must have missed that, and couldn’t understand the decision, but a free kick was given in Chelsea’s favour, a well flighted ball to the far post saw a rushing in Zoumer to glance a header past the hapless Petr Cech many said that Arsenal should have covered him but with a man down almost impossible to cover 11 men with your ten.

Wenger made changes as the players were working hard and some looked out on their feet but just before the changes Cazorla was adjudged to have committed a reckless challenge that would be his second so out came another red and Santi was on his way, changes came on and still the pressure mounted but now and again the Arsenal still showed this game was still alive even with 9 men, Arsenal held out to the 91st minute when a ricocheted shot came off Chambers who diverted the ball past a stranded Cech and that was to be our fate, 2.0 to Chelsea.

I felt I had watched a stage managed game, where decisions were made without the full facts being known, Decisions that seemed to go against one team only where many would feel we were harshly dealt with. Whether the powers at be will look at the video and feel the same as me i am not sure but Gabriels possible 3 match ban will undoubtedly be challenged by Arsenal. Cazorla will be difficult to argue with.

I felt this competitive match was handled atrociously, if there is any justice in sport this is a game that needs investigating. Of course Chelsea may see the outcome differently but a fair FA must surely step in – but will they?

Written by Steve Palmer

Ramsey is The Man

September 19, 2015

Chav. Know what it means? It is an acronym for Council House And Violent used by police on charge sheets. Gone are the days when Chelsea fans really were Chavs, nowadays they have been priced out of the ground. For all his wealth Mr Abramovitch has still allowed Stamford Bridge to have the 4th most expensive tickets in the PL.

What do the real diehard Chelsea fans think about their team? Are they sad that the club squander money on big name players who do not perform (Cuadrado, Falcao and the scores out on loan) or do they exalt in the fact that Chelsea are Champions? I know that I wouldn’t give a donkey’s butt about the balance sheet if Arsenal were to win the PL and I guess the Chavs don’t either.

As to this afternoon, I don’t accept the notion that Arsenal will be lacking in confidence following the midweek fiasco, 6 of the players are like to be dropped and those coming back add hugely to the team. Nor do I accept that Chelsea are over their problems because they beat Maccabi at home – as they should.

Will Chelsea be undone by the injuries to Willian and Falcao? Of course not. Will Fabregas have his best game of the season? Of course he will. Will Mourinho behave like a spoilt brat? You know the answer. Will Mr. Wenger shake his hand? Who cares apart from the media.

We know Chelsea have a fine team who are struggling defensively, they failed to buy the CB they wanted but still have Zouma, Terry, Ivanovic, and Cahill to choose from! Luxury (written with a Lancashire accent). A midfield of Fabregas, Oscar, Matic, Ramires and Obi One Kanobi is sure to gel at some point. Up front Costa is a petulant child (though I wouldn’t say it to his face!) and for this reason I hope Mr Wenger picks Gabriel. We know how fantastic a player Hazard is and AW must be gutted that he failed to sign him.

The Arsenal team?  I am sure it will be one which started against Stoke (unless BFG is fit).



It becomes increasingly clear what a vital cog Ramsey is in the team. I have said this before and will say it many times, Ramsey is a better Ray Parlour.

Cazorla has been struggling of late. Could AW play the OX instead and bring Ramsey more central alongside Coquelin? He has tried to get Ramsey to play deeper in the past and it has not worked but that was alongside Arteta, Coquelin’s defensive discipline may be a better fit.

Once agin we have the Giroud/Walcott debate. Against the sluggish Terry/Cahill combo Theo is the obvious choice but I would certainly give OG at least 15 minutes. Or can we trust Campbell in such a big game?

I have to say that despite what has been written on AA this is NOT a season defining game; when was the last time we won at the Bridge? The bookies odds are against us and so are history and the experts. If we win it will be massive and send Me-rinho into the relegation zone with 6 games gone – effectively finishing their chances of winning the title. But ……

I have never enjoyed games at the Bridge – either I was shit-scared thanks to their knuckle-head Nazi fans (in the days of Yore) or because their team have comprehensively outplayed us. There have been great moments – Kanu’s hatrick, Nigel’s thunderbastard, the magic 5-3 which included a hatrick from some Dutch bloke and the JT faceplant, but they are few and far between.

Can we win? Of course. Will we?  I wish I could be positive about this one but I am not. We have scored just twice in 7 games against them and have not won for 7 games, Me-rinho has never lost two successive home games as a manager. On the plus side, we have won 7 and drawn one of our last 8 away games and Theo is on fire (11 from 11).

I would be delighted with a draw.

I am 34% positive.


Written by Big Raddy

Back at London Colney ……..

September 18, 2015

Morning Gooners

Here we are, a couple of days after what I consider a bad result, our players are back and the mood must be a bit glum. They won’t see The Emirates until our next home game so will have entered our training ground facility, seen the faces of the staff there and will know what they are thinking.

Yes its as clear as mud really, no one has to say anything to them as they know this was a game that should have been won quite easily. We should in all honesty be back with 3 points under our belt, a clear conscience and in a frame of mind to go to Stamford Bridge and battle for a London Derby.

The staff at London Colney would have shown dismay on their faces, every travelling player would have been ashamed, whether they played or not they would also be ashamed of themselves as a group. Not many would have said too much to Mr Wenger, of course he would walk in the door with his usual smile ‘Morning Miss’ ‘morning all’ and off he would have trotted to his office where he probably had an inbox of things he has to do.

Yes Mr Wenger, to all the staff at Colney, is Mr Arsenal, he is not a man they would question to his face or ask him why he picked the team he did, they would carry on as if nothing has happened and the day would have started like any other.  The day for the players would have started with a gathering of the players, the conference room would have been filled and the door would have been shut. The staff of course would be discussing among themselves, medical people and trainers physio’s and secretaries would be silently saying to one another, they looked a little glum didn’t they.

Inside the room would be silence, the manager would be out in front of the players with Mr Bould standing by his side. The Manager would start with a smile to put the players minds at rest, he would have a pile of papers stacked up in front of him  but Mr Wenger would just say, We will chat later, but for now we will just have a light training session, anyone carrying knocks please report to the medical centre, any other questions, no, lets begin.

Another day will start at London Colney, Wenger will not dwell on this defeat, he doesn’t feel negative vibes will help these wounded players, he would want them out running up and down and kicking balls, later he will start his build up of the weekend.

Friday is the day he faces the press, so the morning is busy for him, he will now know who is available for the next match, and it will be down in his notebook.  His words to the press will be about the injured and who is available but the team he has picked is still inside his jacket. He will be quizzed about his tactics and there will be many O’s and funny sounds but not too much info.

Saturday morning will start early for the players and wherever they have stayed overnight Wenger will have a room where he will announce his team for the day. He will run through his tactics and where he sees Chelsea’s weaknesses and strengths , this meeting will go on for an hour or so, and then breakfast. Players have set routines and Wenger will not upset that routine. The day will start out military fashion and the players will all know the routine.

They will arrive at Stamford bridge with time to change and warm up, Bouldy will run them through the orders, Wenger will have his suit on looking the bee’s knee’s and he will be interviewed. There will be a few mumbles and smiles for the cameras and the team will line up in the tunnel. Nervous tension will be prevalent, they will look at the Chelsea line up and imagine the game they will have. The word goes out that they can enter the fray and they grab a mascots hand and out they walk. The crowd go mad and the handshakes begin, 2 minutes later they take their positions, many will look up to the heavens and beg their God to stand by them, many will cross themselves and others will back slap their buddies, and then the whistle blows. Just another game in a very long season. In ninety minutes time the players will walk off and supporters will go home, who will be happy and who will be sad is any ones guess, but one more game will have been played, points shared won or lost will all become clear after the 90 minutes, lets hope they are ours.

Steve Palmer





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