The Month of The Ox

October 24, 2015

I was born in the Year of the Monkey or was it the Squirrel or the Lemon? Anyway, I was born. Ramsey’s injury gives The Ox a month to cement his place in the side. It is the Month of the Ox.

Much of Mr Wenger’s Friday press call was devoted to questions about Ramsey and whether AW was guilty of over-playing him, Easy in hindsight. In my opinion a better focus would be upon Oxlade-Chamberlain. Here is a young man who is an established England International and yet has no place in his club’s first team.

I am a huge fan of young Alex. He has it all – strength, speed, fine ball-control, a powerful shot, an eye for a pass and he can tackle. The negatives of his game are the desire to keep the ball in defence rather than find Row Z, a lack of appreciation of where his position should be when Bellerin is attacking and a tendency to hold onto the ball too long. All of which can be rectified by a run of games, and now he has his opportunity to develop and shine.

The big question is  – Will he? Ramsey provides energy that few can compete with, which is one of the reasons we are so strong late in the game. We need the same from Ox.

Enough of that ….


Everton: I have always liked them – proper club with history and tradition. In most games I want them to win but I hope they get a hiding this afternoon. They lost against a rampant MU who were smarting from having their arses tanned at The Emirates, logically we should beat Everton, unfortunately there is little logical in football.

Any team with the quality of Lukaku, Barkley, Kone, Mirallas, Coleman, Jagielka and the excellent John Stones will cause problems. My hope is that Everton continue to play the expansive game which Martinez favours rather than the Pulis kick and run stuff. I was at The Em’s when Everton dominated the game in a 1-1 draw in 2013 with both sides committed to attack. Barkley was excellent that day and if Everton can repeat that performance we will struggle.

What is there not to like about Everton? Well, let’s start with that little shitehawk Naismith. This bloke is plain nasty – he reminds me of a second rate Billy Bremner, happily he is unlikely to play today. I don’t like their kit – blue home kits are the sign of the devil.

As to us.: Will AW rotate given this is our 3rd game in 6 days? I would and expect Debuchy to get a run, though Bellerin is becoming a vital cog in the team and his partnership with Chamberlain needs to develop.

Everton are too good to take to many chances with, as such there will not be too much tinkering. Possibly Gabriel for Koscielny. Other than that I can’t see much change being possible.

The huge input necessary to beat possibly the world’s best team on Tuesday could have it’s repercussions today, let’s hope not.

We are playing terrific football, beating very good sides using a multiplicity of tactics – it is a time to enjoy being an Arsenal fan, a time to wear the scarf with pride  (though of course, not the full-kit) .

A win tonight takes us to A Number One, Top of the List, King of the  Hill. Let its be so.


Coquelin’s Night.

October 20, 2015

MWG. I could stop here, couldn’t I? Having spent three days of almost constant vodka drinking it may be for the best but such a peach of a game deserves more.

Tonight’s match is everything we long for as football fans. An evening kick-off at home against probably the best team in the world. Our team is in good form, we have few injuries, the weather looks clement, the pitch is perfect, we have the chance to see Lewandowski and his pals try to repeat recent victories at The Emirates. It should be a great game.


One major difference between our 0-2 loss last time out is our goalkeeper. TPIG/Fabianski or Cech for an important CL game – who would you pick? Though to be fair TPIG was sent off thanks to a Robben dive.

Team selection will be interesting; OG or Theo or both? BFG or Gabriel?

I would start with Theo and continue the successful policy of bringing on OG for the final 20 minutes (should we need goals). Walcott is in the best run of form of his AFC career and pace is more likely to cause BM problems than OG’s more ponderous play.

Gabriel may be more suited to playing against Muller and Lewandowski but BFG has the nous and we will need his experience (plus he can understand what the opposition players are saying to each other!)

Big night for Ozil. He was poor when we played BM last time. I wonder whether he would rather be playing for the opposition tonight? This is no throw away question, my guess is that any German player wants to play for BM just as any Spanish player would like to play for RM or Barca; this is not the case in the PL where we have no stand-out club.

If we are to win sound defence is essential. We are potent upfront and in good goal-scoring form. Total concentration and no mistakes from the back 5 please – none of that silly stuff we have seen in the previous two CL games.

Did you read that Mr Wenger is in the list of 10 managers who can win the the Ballon D’Or ? So too, is Guardiola. Guardiola’s BM contract runs out at the end of next season – as does someone elses. Co-incidence?

The Bayern team is full of big names, thankfully Robben, Goetze and Ribery are unfit but BM don’t seem to be affected by the loss of two wonderful players.

Coquelin will have fun tonight. Vidal, Xabi Alonso, Alcantara and Costa are somewhat different opponents to the chaps at Watford and Leicester! I am really looking forward to seeing how he copes with this challenge and judge just how far his game has progressed. Discipline will be important – his habit of picking up silly yellow cards could become costly. It is amazing that Coquelin has become such an important cog in the team, long may his development continue.

As regulars know I am a huge fan of Aaron Ramsey. His goal at the weekend could be the start of a return to his form in front of goal which has been so sadly lacking of late. Add a few more and he is amongst the best MF’s in the PL.

No point writing about the effect a draw/loss would have upon our CL future, we all know the situation.

On a personal note, should we lose tonight it will result in another season with no Raddy/Didit tour – for that reason alone I am desperate for a win.

I cannot say I am confident but I do give us a fighting chance. Arsenal are a bloody good side when we are on form and we are in the midst of a good spell. Play like we did against MU and we can win.

Football is all about Glory. A win tonight would be Glorious!

We won 3 nil, but it was not as good as we think ……

October 18, 2015

It’s a funny old game, football, ain’t it? as someone famous once said. And that is not the half of it.

During the first part of the game against the Hornets, Arsenal played like a light bulb that is undecided if its day is done, or not, and flickers indecisively between light and shade.

One minute the Gunners were brilliant, and the next they were as gormless as any Sunday League team down the Marshes before the traditional booze up, and, frankly, with a better forward Watford could have been one or two goals up in the first half, and as it was, the feller sitting in Row Z had stinging hands parrying the ball as he became the target for the ball rather than the net.

The second half saw a better attitude and after our indomitable Chilean had made the most of his opportunity and opened the scoring we suddenly found ourselves 0 : 3 up and coasting as Giro, on for an ineffective Theo, nonchalantly tried to put the ball over the bar and fluffed it by hitting it inside the roof of the net instead, and the industrious Rambo managing to dink the ball slowly into the net through a ruck of players.

What is it with this team? Capable of the most sublime football and the most awful dross all within the same minute.

That said, they collectively played pretty well and special mention is due to Bellerin, Cazorla and Ozil but the real star of the show was Sanchez. When we are hitting our noses on an invisible screen in front of the goal, he is always alert, energetic and capable of pulling the plum from the pudding.

Fo me the player who personifies the Arsenal at the moment is Rambo. He frustrates the hell out of me with his poor decision making, misplaced passes and wonky finishing. And yet his sheer guts, never say die spirit and his ability to cover every blade of grass on the pitch and yet somehow he still manages to be in position in the area to score a killer goal while Theo is busy posing or Giro is handsomely scratching his ass.

Football is a results driven business and all fans love a win, but some of us also love the beautiful game, like the one against Manyoo, and this bunch of players is capable of delivering both, but they are also capable of self inflicted, fart-assed, puke inducing, brainless stupidity which seems to occur for no discernible reason.

Fortunately the good outweighed the bad yesterday, and all teams have off periods during a season, while Arsenal are capable of off moments every week, but I think we are going to eliminate these moments with wins like this – and I am now prepared to call it — we will win the Premier League this season.

Red Arse

We’ve had some debate as to who should be awarded Man of the Match for the game with several candidates being put forward. Place your vote below and let’s see what the majority think …….




Time for Ozil to Step Up

October 4, 2015

Kelsey says one more injury and we are bollixed and Crystals is usually right.

Today we have Koscielny, Flamini, Wilshere, Arteta, Welbeck and Rosicky all crocked. Would any of these players be automatic starters apart from Kos? Probably not but it would be great to have them available especially Welbeck and Wilshire.

Why do I start the post with the above? Because I really do not know where to start today’s pre-match! The opponents are/were TOTL and in great form. We, however, are handily placed in 6th and could go up to 3rd with a win – but will we get the 3 points?

A poor MU took 4 points off us last season and as far as I can see we haven’t beaten them in the PL since 2010/11 – it is about time we did. However, and here is the rub, this Arsenal team is hugely inconsistent; a fine win over Stoke was followed by a dreadful loss to a poor Zagreb side,  a week which included super victories over Spurs and Leicester also saw us fall apart in the CL to Olympiakos.

We know our current squad is good enough to challenge for the PL (well, i know might be more realistic). Trouble is they need to do it on a game by game basis rather than the odd occurrence. If we can overcome the Mancs today it would be a huge fillip to both the players and the fans, and perhaps, kick-start our season.


And what of the Mancs? The insanely expensive purchases appear to be successful for the moment. They are playing well and as usual getting the rub of the green. Referees adore them and continue to give favourable decisions to the Red Devils, the fans are on-side with LVG, injury-wise they are in good shape – it augurs well for them.

I hope Chary does not read this paragraph (wherever he is) but I believe English football needs a strong and successful United. They are the flag-bearers of the PL however much we may dislike them. Who would you rather see doing well in Europe – the financially doped Johnny-come-Lately’s or a club which has a proud and successful history?

In yesterday’s Telegraph, Gary Neville wrote a fine article about Arsenal’s preparation for games (thanks NG) highlighting the difference between what he sees as the classic MU/AFC winning teams and the current AFC. He believes we do not analyse our opponents in enough depth. Is he right? Is Steve Bould so inept that he doesn’t spend the days pre-game instructing his players how to close down dangers? Neville assumes Mr Wenger tells the players to play their own games without heed to the opposition in the knowledge that our better football and high possession will win the game. I cannot believe we are so naive.

Our Team:


Bellerin   Gabriel    BFG    Monreal

Ramsey  Coquelin    Cazorla

Ozil   Sanchez


Expect to see OG make an appearance later in the game and possibly Chambers coming on to secure the defence should we be winning on 75 mins.

Ozil needs to convince the fans who continue to dismiss his superb skills that he really is worth his enormous transfer fee and wages. This afternoon would be a fine time to open his goal-scoring account.

I wish I could pick the Ox in our first choice eleven but despite non-stop effort and input he has disappointed. Could he benefit from a long run of games? Can Mr Wenger drop one of the above side to give him that chance? If so, who gets dropped?

Today’s referee is Anthony Taylor. He will be busy and I can guarantee that he will anger the Arsenal fans. The man is not so much biased against AFC, more that he is incompetent. Coquelin will be booked in the first half as will Gabriel. We must hope that our full-backs remain card free so they are allowed to tackle MU’s wingers upon whom they rely so much.

If Arsenal can remain disciplined in defence then we will win – we are better than them, but sadly that is a huge IF. Our players are good enough but the organisation and concentration has been poor this season – we have conceded 13 goals in 11 games which is not good enough. We must improve or find ways to score far more goals, especially from midfield (apart from Flamini  the others have scored a sum total of none).

I would love it if we beat them


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

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

Arsenal v Hull. Match Feelings.

May 5, 2015

Last nights’ Arsenal performance against Hull came two days after Chelsea’s title winning performance against Crystal Palace. Of course Trophies matter, but to win the League the supporter will have to pay to watch seventeen home league games. You see where I’m going with this.

Can you imagine the satisfaction if Arsene could go on to win the title next season playing this type of football. Fans of Football last night had smiles on their faces, but the players played with smiles as well. It was a celebration of why the beautiful game was invented in the first place.

Right. Match Talkies.

–        Mesut, Santi, Aaron and Alexis. Understanding, movement, flicks, defence splitters, vision, goals. You work it out J

–        Aaron on the right. I have been critical, but only because I think he’s an excellent box to boxer, and more effective central. I do, however, see the problem. Santi is undroppable.

–        Aaron goes off. Theo does not come on!

–        Jack. What do you reckon? Not the finesse of yer Aarons and Santis, but certainly energy and thrust in abundance. Charged the length of the pitch, brushed aside some Hullers, smashed into a defender and won a free kick on the edge of their box. Didn’t get injured. Gave away a ball in midfield setting up a Northern attack. Did lots of other great work. He has Arsenal DNA. He’s still only 23.

–        Theo. Didn’t start again. Didn’t come on for Aaron. Did play as striker when he did eventually appear. On a completely separate note, I’d like a fast, mobile striker. Does Arsene? He did once say that Sanchez would move central as soon as Theo was fit. Would love to know what The Boss is thinking on this one.

–        Always a mention for Francis Coquelin. He’s the catalyst that makes it all possible.

Well, I think that just about wraps up my feelings.

Ok, all together now: “It’s happened again, it’s happened again, Tott…………”

Written by MickyDidIt89


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