What is a Carabao?

October 24, 2017

Does anyone know?

Norwich. A home game – seems ages – and another chance to see the second string. Are Norwich better than Red Star? We shall see.

The Canaries are on a fine run of form, unbeaten in 9, and hopeful of a return to the PL. Can’t quite see that but I expect them to make the play-offs.

We have lost just once in 10 games! Wonderful win at Goodison playing some marvellous football, there must be a wave of confidence at Arsenal (if not amongst the fickle fans).

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I think Mr Wenger will start just one player (Cech) of those who thrashed Everton and only because Ospina is injured  – such is the strength of this squad and why I think that the longer the season goes on the higher the table we will climb.

Look at this team:

Cech

Debuchy    Elneny    Holding

Nelson    Coquelin   Wilshere   Maitland-Niles

Walcott    Giroud    Iwobi

8 full Internationals and none are first choice players without Welbz, Santi, Shokran, Chambers and Ospina.

Has our squad ever had so much depth?

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The match is not being shown on UK TV so we will have to find some dodgy streams, if you find a good one, please post the link in thee comments.

Mr Wenger has never won the Carabao Cup, he doesn’t seem to value it. Do you? No? Nor do I 😀

But it would be great to keep this run going and for us to win our third game in 6 days.

(written in haste by BR)

COYRRG

 

 

 

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Sticky Toffee Pudding

October 22, 2017

Everton desperate both for points and confidence. Koeman deep in the mire wearing open -toed sandals. Fans disgruntled by the awful football played, New owners disappointed by the poor return on the  €150m+ spent in summer.

Not the best time to visit Goodison.

Especially as we are hardly in the best of form. The win in Belgrade was welcome relief but not enough to heal the scars  earned at Vicarage Rd.

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But before I get too upset about our return of just one point from 4 away games, may I point out that we are just 3 points behind Chelsea in 4th having played a game less. In other words, apart from MC we are keeping up with the pack. What does this show? That we can expect some unexpected results, not just for AFC, but for all teams. It will, as ever, be an interesting season.

Everton have some fine players, they have players whom AFC have reputedly tried to sign. A midfield from Schneiderlin, Barkley, Sigurdsson, Rooney, Gueye and Davies is sure to be strong and combative. In defence they have some excellent players. Upfront? How do you replace Lukaku, a one man attack? Answer – they haven’t.

One player to point out is James McCarthy. I really dislike this bloke. Dirty, violent and a man prone to dive whilst protesting his innocence. He is Alan Shearer without the talent.

We must hope for a strong referee as the messages coming out of Goodison is that Everton are ready to fight i.e. they will try and kick our delicate flowers off the pitch. Expect rotational fouling on both Sanchez and Ozil and probably one of our lads leaving the field on a stretcher. Following those final 15 minutes at Watford we can expect this type of treatment almost everywhere we play.

I expect (hope) to see a team ready to attack; not one lacking Ozil. He has to play if fit. Lacazette has been desperately lacking his genius.

My Team:

Cech

Holding    Koscielny    Monreal

Bellerin    Ramsey    Xhaka    Kolasinac

Ozil

Lacazette     Sanchez

We have a strong bench especially with the return of Coquelin.

In my opinion, apart from Mustafi, this is our strongest team. This leaves Iwobi, Welbeck, Walcott and Giroud out in the cold. Finally, we have a host of attacking options.

I am not expecting an easy 90 minutes, I expect Everton to battle, what we will need is “mental strength”.

COYRRG


Red Star Pre – Match

October 19, 2017

There are some names in football which have a ring to them, something romantic that takes us back to times past, Red Star Belgrade is one of those.

Before mass- televised football, before the fall of the Berlin Wall and the breakup of Yugoslavia, before drug testing etc Red Star were huge, Barcelona huge. They were Tito’s team, they played in Communist red and white with a red star. They were the team that Man Utd played before the awful Munich disaster. They had a ground which held 110,000 fans – more than Wembley, and they filled it for every game! In 1991 they won the  European Cup.

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Times have changed. After the breakup of Yugoslavia and the creation of Serbia, Red Star are no longer the powerhouse of East Europe. They remain the peoples team with almost 50% of Serbs supporting them.

The ground is called the Marakana, tonight is a 55k sellout and AFC can expect a hostile, intimidating welcome.

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Once again, I know nothing about the opposition squad. I expect them to be organised, hard working with a couple of tricky players and a big bloke upfront (much like us!)

My Team:

Cech

Debuchy   BFG    Monreal

Nelson     Elneny     Wilshire    Maitland-Niles

Iwobi

Walcott    Giroud

Debuchy is due to start his first game for almost a year. Apparently Mr Wenger tried to give him away in summer but received no offers, thanks to high wage demands. One has to feel for the Frenchman; injured early in his AFC career by a sly foul from some Stoke Orc. he has had the misfortune to see his place taken by a young, wonderful talent who, quite frankly, is in a different league to him. Given how much Debuchy cost, how in demand he was when at Newcastle, it must hurt not to be a first team choice and perhaps explains Debuchy’s less than compliant attitude.

Welbeck, Kos, Chambers, Sanchez, Ramsey and Mustafi are all out with different degrees of injury.

I expect Ramsey, Sanchez and Ozil to start at Evertion so Iwobi and Wilshere should be our creative hub tonight.

Not an easy game to predict as Red Star are a decent team, have home advantage and Arsenal will be putting out a second string team. It should be fun as we continue our Europa campaign.

 


Time for a Change

October 18, 2017

Just a quickie…

Last weekend’s 15 minute collapse was horribly painful and worse, a return to the type of loss of control we have seen over the past few seasons.

But

Everything changed in one moment and it was a moment out of control of anyone in an Arsenal shirt. I write of the cheating Watford player and the awful refereeing decision made by Swarbrick. WE NEED VIDEO TECHNOLOGY IN THE PL.

I have no doubt that Arsenal would have won the game had the penalty not been given. We were comfortable and likely to score again, instead 3 points were lost and more worrying the fragile confidence built over the brief run of wins is gone.

And we would have 3 more points has Lacazette not been wrongly adjudged offside at Stoke.

A 30 second delay whilst a video ref assessed the footage and wrong decisions are reversed.

How can this work? Well, it is hardly a new discussion, is it? Do I care whether this technology is not available at all levels of soccer? No, I don’t give a monkey’s cuss. Do you? All I care about is that AFC stop being the victim of rubbish refereeing and diving cheats.

n.b. I am fully aware that Leicester would have been awarded a penalty when Mustafi brought down some numbskull but Cech would have saved it (as if :_D)

written by Big Raddy


Into the Hornet’s Nest

October 14, 2017

The Good: We are on a fine run of results having lost just one of our last 5 games. Watford have yet to win a game at home this season.

The Not So Good: Watford are on a fine run of results having lost just one of their last 5 games. We have yet to win a PL game away from home this season.

A draw seems the obvious result.

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The Interlull was costly in terms of injuries with Mustafi out for a number of games and Sanchez, Kolasinac, Xhaka and Ramsey unlikely to start this afternoon’s late kick-off thanks to exhaustion . Mustafi’s injury is unfortunate because Mr Wenger has yet to discover a consistently effective back 3, though our recent defensive record is good (none conceded in last 4 PL games). The injuries to Chambers, Kos and Mustafi must drive AW nuts.

Chambers is interesting. Rumours were that he would be sold in summer, instead it was Gabriel. Then fans said he was persona non grata with Mr Wenger and had no future at AFC, yet this week he signed a new contract until 2021!! I predict a big Arsenal future for the young man.

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Thanks to the Internationals our starting 11 is difficult to predict. Welbeck is back in the squad, so is Magic Mesut. Will Iwobi be rested after his Nigerian exploits? Will Theo get a start or Giroud? I have huge respect for Mr Giroud as he continues to score on a regular basis – is there a better attacking sub in the PL?

Watford: Sorry – you will have to look elsewhere to discover their strengths and weaknesses. For some reason I cannot raise the enthusiasm to do any research. I enjoyed the trips to Vicarage Road and always associated Watford with an excellent multi-racial policy (think Blisset and the wonderful John Barnes), bit today …

My Team:

Cech

Holding     Koscielny    Monreal

Bellerin   Elneny    Wilshere    Kolasinac

Ozil

Lacazette   Welbeck

I like this team, it has creativity and defensive security. Mr Wenger has been “bigging up” Wilshire as he returns to fitness and form, surely he will start this evening. With Theo and OG on the bench we have potent attackers on the bench should they be needed.

Today’s referee is Neil Swarbrick, surely not the violin wizard from Fairport Convention?

Can we open our Away wins account? Why not?

Let it be so ….

COYRRG


Arsenal’s Top Seasons – 1952-53, our 12th best

October 9, 2017

The 1952-53 season started well for Arsenal as we won the opening two fixtures but then only managed to win two of the next eight matches. A 5-1 victory over Liverpool at Anfield on November 15 helped to inspire the team and the goals continued to flow throughout that winter. We beat Bolton 6-4 (away from home on Christmas Day), Wolves 5-3, Spurs 4-0 and Derby 6-2 in the next couple of months.

April proved to be the decisive month; the Gunners played eight league matches during the month, including a run of five straight wins. The last game of the month though, was away to title rivals Preston. Arsenal was two points ahead with two games remaining and could seal a league title with a victory at Deepdale. However Arsenal suffered a 2-0 defeat and both sides were level with one match left. Preston played first, beating bottom side Derby 1-0 on Wednesday. Two days later Arsenal knew that only a home victory over Burnley would give them the title. Burnley took an early lead but Alex Forbes, Doug Lishman and Jimmy Logie all found the net to make it 3-1. Burnley made in 3-2 in the second half but Arsenal held on for the crucial two points and we won our 7th League Division 1 Championship. It was two points for a win in 1952-53 so we ended the season tied with Preston on 54 points each; we won based on goal average (Arsenal 1.516 – Preston 1.417) – goal average being the rule back then, not goal difference as it is today. (goal difference, Arsenal 33 – Preston 25)

Jimmy Logie sneaks in at the back post to score Arsenal’s third against Burnley 1st May 1953

We had reached the FA Cup Final in two of the previous three years, but in 1952-53 we lost to eventual winners Blackpool in the quarter-final.

Arsenal 1952-53 appearances: Daniel 41, Roper 41, Wade 40, Lishman 39, Forbes 33, Logie 32, L Smith 31, Goring 29, Mercer 28, Kelsey 25, Milton 25, Shaw 25, Holton 21, Swindin 14, Chenhall 13, Cox 9, Marden 8, Platt 3, Oakes 2, Bowen 2, Dodgin 1.

Arsenal 1952-53 goalscorers: Lishman 22, Holton 19, Roper 14, Goring 10, Logie 10, Milton 7, Daniel 5, Marden 4, Mercer 2, Cox 1, Forbes 1, Oakes 1, own goal 1.

Also that season… Stan Mortensen scored a hat-trick for Blackpool in the FA Cup final but the game was remembered for the contribution of his team mate, 38 year old Stanley Matthews. Blackpool beat Bolton 4-3 in the (Matthews) final, and Mortensen’s hat-trick remains the only one in a Wembley FA Cup final.

And – Marilyn Monroe graced the cover of first ever edition of Playboy magazine in December

Tom Whittaker became the Arsenal club’s new manager in 1947.

During WW2 he was an Royal Air Force pilot and achieved the rank of Squadron Leader.

For his service in missions on D-Day, he was awarded an MBE.

Tom Whittaker’s league record –

Games 378, Won 171, Drawn 101, Lost 106,

Goals for 677, Goals against 509,

Goals for per game 1.79, Goals against per game 1.35

Points won 58.6%.

Average League Position 5.22

Total # of trophies won – 2 League titles, 1 FA Cup, 2 Charity Shields.

Arsenal Footballer (1931-52) Leslie Compton serving a pint to Tom Whittaker in Compton’s pub in Henley

Sadly Tom passed away far too early from a heart attack in 1956, aged 58.

Written by GunnerN5

 


The best Arsenal players NEVER to have won a major trophy with us

October 4, 2017

mickydidit89 says:

October 2, 2017 at 7:30 pm

Lads lads lads

Had an idea for a mini series of posts

  1. The best Arsenal players NEVER to have won a major trophy with us
  2. The worst Arsenal player to HAVE won a major trophy with us
  3. The best player for us who then did jack shit after leaving
  4. The player who did jackest shitest for us who went on to greater things elsewhere

Wha’d’ya reckon?

While the great hopes of English International Football snuggle up for two weeks, we’re left in the void, picking our noses and scratching our arses. Bloody awful situation.

Things at Arsenal are looking considerably brighter than at the onset of the last ghastly international break, and frankly, while Arsene continues to pick the right players, in the right positions, and we continue winning, there’s bugger all to moan about, so I’m afraid we’re treading water until we play Watford.

Let’s start with No.1 from above and see how we get on. I use the term “major trophy” and by that I’d say League, FA Cup or a European thingy.

courtesy of Stuart MacFarlane

Some of you can be really quite nit-picky and will talk about squad members who don’t really play but get medals and shit like that, so if that’s your bag, then fine. The detail is not my thing.

Written by MickyDidIt89