Spurs. An Obsession?

November 17, 2017

Over the years of AA we (or should I say “I”) are often accused of being “obsessed” by Spurs. Is it true?

Judge for yourself.

Firstly, I was born in North London, equidistant from AFC and THFC. Most of my friends were Spurs, my father was Spurs, thankfully my Uncles had more sense, though one had a season ticket at Chelsea ūüė¶

Before girls and music football was everything, break time at school, after school, all weekend we played or talked about football. It was always Arsenal vs Spurs in the park, playground, wherever. It mattered and it mattered big time. Was I obsessed Рcertainly. We all were.

I expect this is different for those born away from North London but it seems the principle remains; it is almost impossible to love Arsenal and have anything but begrudging respect for Spurs.

Let me ask you this, which is the first result you look for after Arsenal’s? For a select and deluded few, it will be United, perhaps Chelsea, but for the vast majority it is Spurs. If we lose the only thing which eases the pain is if Spurs lose. It has been so for as long as I remember.

If you happen to support Spurs and read this Arsenal blog, tell me it is not the same in reverse for you?

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Just think back to when we won the League at White Hart Lane in 2004, Spurs fans celebrated as Keane scored a dodgy penalty to get a draw. It was more important than the realisation that we had become Champions at their ground (for the second time :_D )

For 20 years there was little rivalry thanks to the descent of the Lillywhites into mediocrity, this was good and bad because IMO we need a NL challenge to enliven the season. Their temporary improvement also brings another team into the fight for a Top 4 place. 75 points may no longer be enough.

IMO we are very interested in Spurs, they are our noisy neighbours, it has been thus for ¬†almost 100 years. Obsessed … No.

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Written by Big Raddy

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Spurs. A worrying trend.

November 16, 2017

Remember when they were a laughing stock? Doesn’t seem that long ago. This is the ¬†bunch who employed Harry Redknapp thinking he would bring back the Glory Days ¬†ūüėÄ

Times have changed and it started a few years back. I loved it when the muppets had to sell their best assets and then waste the money on overpriced dross. Modric and Bale wouldn’t stay and who can blame them.

Spurs have always been good at getting top money for ordinary players and even better money for their stars, the difference today is that they are developing players and keeping them. With 3 players who would certainly cost upwards of ‚ā¨100m a piece they are looking good. Eriksen, Kane and Ali are hot properties with a host of European Giants willing purchasers, though Pochettino says he will not sell.

They have accidentally found a proper manager, a young man with competence. Add in the new stadium and Spurs look as though they will be a force to reckon with for some time.

Thankfully, they remain Spursy.

Oh, and in case Spurs fans get lairy, ¬†just point out the empty Trophy Cabinet. ūüėÄ

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written by Big Raddy


Arsenals Top Seasons 1988-1989 Our (last gasp) 11th Best

November 10, 2017

Eighteen years we waited for this to happen – eighteen very, very long and difficult years and we fans were wondering if it would ever happen again. Our last First Division Championship win had been in 1970-71 when, under Bertie Mee, we won the First Division and FA Cup double. However Arsenal being Arsenal they made winning this First Division Championship as difficult as they possibly could by waiting until the players had the last gasps of air in their lungs.

Following, is a game by game accounting of our 1988-89 season alongside Liverpool games. The GD Total column is accumulated goal difference, the Point’s Total column is accumulated points and the Arsenal Diff column is accumulated points difference between the two teams.

The season started off brightly with a 5-1 away win at Wimbledon and we won six of the first ten games, drew two and lost two games – one to a very poor Aston Villa at Highbury. This left us five points ahead of Liverpool and with a superior goal difference of seven.

The next ten games saw us win seven, draw two and lose just one to Derby, while Liverpool won four, drew four and lost two, so after 20 games we had a lead of twelve points and a better goal difference of sixteen.

We faltered badly in the next ten games winning only four, drawing four and losing two.

Liverpool went unbeaten winning eight and drawing two. Now they were only two points behind us and trailed by one on goal difference, setting up a tight race over the final eight games.

Arsenal drew the next game against Manchester United at Old Trafford while Liverpool beat Sheffield Wednesday 5-1 this left us tied on points and Liverpool three ahead on goal difference. We then won the next four games putting us ahead by three points and three goals with just three games to play. Little did we know how important our 5-0 home win against Norwich on May 1st would become? We only got one point from our next two games losing again to Derby and scraping a point against Wimbledon, while Liverpool won both games taking the Division one lead over us by three points and three goals for the first time since game six. Liverpool beating West Ham 5-1 in their penultimate game was a rapier-like riposte to our caning of Norwich.

Liverpool had only lost two home games all season with the last occasion being on December 17th 1988 and Arsenal had the unenviable task of having to go to Anfield and beat them by two clear goals.

A peak British television audience of over 12 million saw a first half of few chances as Arsenal successfully nullified Liverpool. Striker Alan Smith scored from a header as play resumed in the second half, but as the game drew to a close with the score 1‚Äď0, Arsenal needed a second goal to be crowned champions. In stoppage time, Arsenal’s Thomas made a run through the Liverpool midfield and scored a last-minute goal, in the process denying Liverpool the chance of a second League and Cup double.

The season ended with Liverpool and Arsenal tied on Wins, Draws, Losses, Points and Goal Difference so the First Division winner had to be decided on goals for and Arsenal had outscored Liverpool by 8 goals – 73 to 65.

1988-89 – Season trivia

Chelsea won the Second Division and Manchester City were runners up.

Twelve of the twenty teams in the First Division in 1988-89 namely – Nottingham Forest 3rd, Norwich City 4th, Derby County 5th, Coventry City 7th, Queens Park Rangers 9th, Millwall 10th, Wimbledon 12th, Charlton Athletic 14th, Sheffield Wednesday 15th, Luton Town 16th, Aston Villa 17th and Middlesbrough 18th ‚Äď are not in the current Premier League.

May 6th 1989  Liverpool v Arsenal  0-2 (att: 41,783)

Scorers:  Smith (52), Thomas (90+1)
Arsenal Team: Lukic, Dixon, Winterburn, Thomas, O’Leary, Adams, Rocastle, Richardson, AM Smith, Bould (P Groves), Merson (Hayes)

Written by GunnerN5


Ten League games in 6 weeks

November 7, 2017

Hey kids, I’ve just updated the widgets.

I’ve finally gotten round to spacing out the games per month in the Rasp’s excellent “Points Comparison” widget.

I was gobsmacked to find that in addition to the 3 League games left in November which start after the international break, we also have 7 games in December.

That’s 10 League games in just over 6 weeks.¬† So far we’ve only played 11 in the Prem in the 12 weeks since August 11th.

How are we feeling about the squad’s ability to cope with this demanding schedule?

Do you see any signs that Giroud might regain his starting spot? How about Lacazette playing off the big man?  Hopefully Danny can establish a longer run of games this time around.

What about Ozil and Sanchez? Do we need to start preparing for the time after they’re gone?

For those of you who thought Sterling didn’t dive just look at the classic feet splayed out position once perfected by Stevie G and Big Wayne.

Photo by Matthew Peters

Look at the classic open-mouthed appealing for a pen before hitting the deck. Possibly accompanied by the girlie scream just in case the ref isn’t convinced.

Have you ever seen anyone genuinely fouled whose legs end up like this?

Anyway, apols for this; I was getting bored with seeing Pep grinning at me from the pre-match. ūüôā

chas

 


A Serious Test of Mental Strength.

November 5, 2017

If, as so many pundits and even Gooners expect, we get creamed, will I be able to enjoy the excellence of Man City? This is what I woke up to think about, then I had a cup of Builder’s and reconsidered. What if we beat them?

Unlikely but not beyond the realms of imagination.

It has been both alarming and a guilty pleasure watching Guardiola prove the short-termist numbskulls wrong – he is a brilliant manager, the Arsene Wenger of recent years. Admittedly, Pep has the resources of an oil-rich country behind him as he develops a superb side. Sadly, this is the unpalatable future of football; money talks.

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Given the vagaries of our defence have we any hope? Depends upon a few factors. Tactics, personnel, concentration, form and, dare I say it. luck.

Mr. Wenger says we are going to the Ethihad with the intention to attack and not PTB – good. With the current first team we do not have the defensive steel to last 90+ minutes against a team who have such a potent attack. We will see whether AW is telling the truth when we see his team selection; if Coquelin or Elneny start then we are looking to shore up our leaky defence.

If our attackers combine as they did at Goodison we can certainly score goals, especially if Ozil finds space. City’s frailties are on the flanks as their FB’s are very attacking (Walker will cause problems). Had OG played well mid-week I would have given him a start but he didn’t, did he?

Holding, BFG or, if fit, Mustafi? Has to be Holding as MC’s pace upfront could embarrass Mertesacker but as Rob played midweek, it will be our Captain.

My Team: As expected …

Cech

Kos   BFG    Monreal

Bellerin    Ramsey    Xhaka    Kolasinac

Ozil

Lacazette    Sanchez

Where we can match MC is on the bench. We have International players who cannot even ride the pine for AFC.

If both sides play to their potential this will be a terrific game. I would love to have seen the current MC team play the Invincibles – we would have thrashed them. The current team seriously lacks a PV4. It turns out he is irreplaceable.

Pre-game I am excited, let’s hope I am more excited post-game ūüėÄ

COYRRG

 

 


Santi’s Ankle

November 4, 2017

We are all horrified by the extent of Santi’s injuries.

LB makes a good point that potential transfer targets will be impressed about how the club stand by their players following serious injury. One only has to look at Diaby to see how the club focus on their well-being. Wilshire and Ramsey (Arteta etc) have all benefitted from the Arsenal’s policy.

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This must, of course, be tempered by the club recognising the value of the players concerned. Had  Diaby not been crocked by an ape he could have the new Zidane (why not?)

But my over-riding thought is this ….

HOW THE HELL DID CAZORLA GET GANGRENE?

It is being reported that during the recovery his ankle and bones became so badly infected that Santi was missing 8 cms of achilles tendon. What? I repeat Р WHAT?

This is a man who has a whole team of so-called medical experts looking after him. He is a massively valuable asset to Arsenal who take pride in giving an injured player the very best doctors in the world. How can they not notice someone has such a raging infection?

The mind boggles.

People should be sacked.

written by Big Raddy


Our…

November 2, 2017

Turn

The B team. Any team which represents Arsenal has a duty to give 100% and perform with pride. So far our reserves have done just that.

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We welcome Red Star and their passionate fans, who will hopefully bring the kind of atmosphere created by Koln (but not the chaos, please). If I am honest the Belgrade fans were the best part of the away leg, we won but it was turgid stuff.

Can we entertain tonight, please?

Win tonight and we top the group, which is no more than expected. We are on a different financial level to our rivals. Things will change as we enter the knockout rounds – just last night Athletico Madrid, Napoli and Borussia Dortmund (you know we will draw them!) dropped into the Europa. It will be tough to win.

But that is for another day ….

My Team:

Macey

Debuchy   Elneny   Holding

Nelson    Willock    Coquelin    Maitland-Niles

Wilshere

Walcott   Giroud

This team seems a bit light in creative midfield and perhaps Iwobi will start. It is not a vital game and as such, why put players at risk ahead of Man City?

By the way, I have seen Red Star play at Highbury, we drew 1-1 in 1978. This was the team

Pat Jennings
Pat Rice  David O’Leary   Willie Young  Sammy Nelson
Graham Rix  Steve Walford   David Price  Mark Heeley
Frank Stapleton   Alan Sunderland
Look at that back 5!  Excellent.

Win tonight and Mr Wenger can play the Arsenal Ladies team against Bate.

COYRRG