Victory – by Royal Decree!

We need a confidence booster and who better to play today than a poor Sunderland side who come into the game missing a number of first teamers ? The Black Cats arrive at the Emirates looking for a double over us this season and not having been beaten by Arsenal for 3 games. Reasons for optimism? Well, Sunderland are in the midst of a dreadful run, not having won in their last 12 games, they have taken 3 points from a possible 36 on the road and have a Gooner as their top scorer.  Darren Bent and his family are massive Arsenal fans, and I am sure Darren will not want to disappoint his Mum by scoring against her beloved Arsenal!

Steve Bruce: Another in the long list of ex-Manc managers. All trained by SAF, all promote efficient as opposed to imaginative football, and all are fighters. Bruce is a man one would want in the trenches, a natural leader of men. Were it not for Martin O’Neill I would expect him to be SAF’s successor.  He seems to be a decent chap and despite an incredibly successful career at MU never won an England cap.  Expect to see him as manager of Newcastle within 2 seasons !!  Bruce is not known for playing expansive football so it is highly likely that Sunderland will “park the bus” at the Emirates.

Of course Roy Keane was manager  prior to Bruce, and it is a testament to his management skills that he signed Anthony Stokes from us for  €2m. Thank you Roy, you paid for a 8 months of Theo’s wages.

I am looking forward to watching Lorik Cana. He has said recently that he would have been a Gunner, having been invited to trials when he was 16; Visa problems prevented his arrival. There was much talk on the Blogs of  Arsenal signing him last season, but the fact that he signed for Sunderland must indicate that it wasn’t just Arsenal who doubted his ability to cut it at a top club. That said, he has looked a beast in the middle of Sunderland’s midfield and will give Fab a good challenge (hopefully nothing too violent). It is reported that Lee Cattermole has been Sunderland’s best player this season, but he is suspended for the game. I am sure our delicate players will miss him!

We go into the game missing Diaby, Gallas and Arshavin. Song returns in place of Diaby, and I expect to see Walcott replace Nasri or Rosicky.

My team:

A Goalkeeper

Eboue          Sol         TV       Clichy

Song      Cesc       Nasri       Rosicky

Walcott       Bendtner

Alternatively it could be:

A Goalkeeper

Sagna       Song     TV      Clichy

Denilson    Cesc      Rosicky

Theo      Nik     Vela

Much will depend upon whether Wenger wants to play an attacking team and 4-3-3. Playing Song at CB against a team that will almost certainly play on the counter-attack could be a good ploy; Sol’s lack of pace plus two games in 4 days could count against him.

Last season I had the privilege to attend the Emirates in the company of Peaches to watch a seemingly interminable 0-0 draw. My only memory of the game is that it was very cold!! Sunderland games are like that – forgettable, though I do recall a stunning RvP free kick a couple of years back

The Black Cats have a decent defence but if we really are to challenge this season, we have to beat teams like Sunderland at home and win handsomely. There will be no excuse for losing any points.

Sunderland became a City as recently as 1992 as part of the celebrations for the 40th anniversary of The Queen’s accession to the throne.

And as everyone knows. Our Queen is a renowned Gooner ……


71 Responses to Victory – by Royal Decree!

  1. Big Raddy says:

    I wouldn’t be surprised to see Sol get a game purely because Kenwyne Jones is just his sort of opposition. Strong in the air and the ground.

    p.s. It is true about Elisabeth Regina – a little bird told me

  2. Morning again all

    Great post Raddy – great pic Rasputin 😆

    Wow, I love your team – even though Sol isn’t there.

    Theo, Nik and Vela up front – if only……wouldn’t it be fantastic if that worked.

  3. Rasputin says:

    Morning A2’s,

    Good post Raddy – an excellent introduction to match day. The list great of players we ‘nearly signed’ is lengthy. I didn’t know about Cana, but C. Ronaldo and Ronaldinho are two I wish had been a step further than ‘nearly’. There is clearly mutual respect between Arsene and Brucie – I wonder if either of them regret letting Palacios slip through their grip?

  4. Big Raddy says:

    It’s the future Peaches

  5. Rasputin says:

    I keep sayig it, but at the moment I think Vela is a more effective player than Theo. I’d start with the one Carlos and bring on Theo to exploit their tiring defence.

  6. Big Raddy says:

    That pic really is a work of genius. It makes me laugh every time I look at it 🙂

  7. ‘the one Carlos’ very good 😉

  8. London says:

    Morning All

    It was happy drinking last night so not too many “Oh no’s” this morning.

    That was a good read BR and a hilarious pic Rasp.

    I am trying to work out the team I expect Wenger to play but I am not sure if he thinks Sol can play two games in a week. What do you think?

    Either way, today, I am going for 3-1 to the good guys.

  9. Rasputin says:

    Maybe Sol will be tired playing 2 games in 4 days, but I didn’t think he looked particularly lacking in pace against Porto – he was playing catch-up for that last ditch tackle in the first half. I wouldn’t think Sol is any slower than tweety or Senderos and he’s far better in the air and tackle than either of them. I think Sol should be congratulated for getting himself so fit.

    The player who did look laboured and lacking in pace was Cesc – but maybe that was because he had covered so much ground trying to do 3 jobs.

  10. Sol’s pretty solid in the penalty area, difficult to get passed in an old school kind of way whereas Song probably likes to pass the ball out rather than give it a good kick.

  11. The Times has its big interview with Sol today, he knows how lucky he is to be back playing with Arsenal – with Gallas injured this is his chance to play.

  12. This from the interview

    ‘I wasn’t happy that Denilson played the ball behind me in the first minute! It was the perfect through ball. I thought is he playing for us or what? That opened up the lungs and got me nice and warmed up straight away’

  13. dash says:

    What ridiculous line ups. Am blocking this site from newsnow.

  14. Rasputin says:

    Wow dash, what an influential guy you must be to be able to block a site from NN just because you don’t agree with a line-up. Why don’t you tell us your favoured line up – you never know, you might persuade us that you are correct.

  15. irishgunner says:

    “One’s rip-roaring Gunners” 😆

  16. Morning/Evening Irish

    Nice to have you back in blogland – are you staying up for the game?

  17. Alfa says:

    More proof that Queenie is a gooner:

    She speaks fluent French
    Often seen wearing red, especially on important occasions
    She is very short
    She looks a bit like Pat Rice (OK I made that up)

  18. 🙂 😛 😀 alfa – is that nerves talking…

  19. irishgunner says:

    Hiya Peaches – Indeed I am.

    Shouting for Everton first and then watching the Guuners.

  20. irishgunner says:

    ” Quoted in several national newspapers on Saturday, he added: “I have seen much worse than that in my life – my own players were bought by the opponent. And I didn’t become paranoid.”
    The former Nancy, Monaco and Nagoya Grampus Eight coach did not give any details over the club or players concerned, however.”

    Everyone knows its Monaco 🙄

  21. Rasputin says:

    Hi Irish … am I being thick? you’ve lost me there 🙄

  22. irishgunner says:

    Hi Rasp.

    Wenger is quoted in the papers saying the ref was incompetent and not “dishonest” i.e. paid off. It then came down to him saying worse has happened to him with some of his players been bought off. The media didn’t know what team or player(s) that was.

    Its widely known it was a Monaco player but it was never revealed who. Wenger would never say.

  23. Rasputin says:

    Oh, I see, thanks for the clarification 😛

    Do you know if Almunia is available for selection today? Fab2 cannot play that badly again (I pray). I wonder if Arsene will do his ususal ‘get back on the horse’ psychology and play Fab2 anyway.

  24. irishgunner says:

    I doubt Almunia has got over his “twisted finger” since Wednesday.

    Could Fabianski “have a flu” and just make the bench?

  25. morning gooners… have a good friend who owns a horse runnning today at lingfield.

    have been invited along… we shall all be on e/w

    am told we should make a profit of some kind, so any punters amongst you….

    the horse is called Trading Nation and runs at 16.30.

    wish us all the best.

  26. tommystout says:

    Thanks to everton, now all we have to do is not cock it up against the mighty sunderland 🙂

  27. irishgunner says:

    Nice one Everton 😀

  28. irishgunner says:

    Arsenal: Almunia, Eboue, Silvestre, Vermaelen, Clichy, Song, Walcott, Fabregas, Ramsey, Nasri, Bendtner.
    Subs: Fabianski, Sagna, Rosicky, Vela, Denilson, Traore, Campbell.
    Sunderland: Gordon, Hutton, Mensah, Turner, McCartney, Campbell, Cana, Ferdinand, Richardson, Bent, Jones.
    Subs: Carson, Bardsley, Zenden, Malbranque, Da Silva, Kilgallon, Mwaruwari.
    Referee: Steve Bennett (Kent)

  29. Big Rad says:

    Great result from Everton. Having also beaten the CHavs, it puts our draw with them into perspective

  30. irishgunner says:

    Just wait for Wolves to do the business now Raddy 😆

  31. Big Rad says:


  32. irishgunner says:

    Something’s wrong when you go “Woohooo Almunia is back”

  33. Big Raddy says:

    Dreadful commentary here Irish. Why can’t we have an Arsenal man?

    We are getting on top

  34. irishgunner says:

    I’m listening to it in Chinese – not a clue what they are saying 😀

    Theo is using his pace to frighten them and he bust a gut to get that ball, pity the lack of an end product.

  35. Big Raddy says:

    Great play from EE. He is playing very well, but how are Sunderland allowing him to get so much freedom?

    Nice for Nik

  36. irishgunner says:

    Walcott and Eboue keep running at McCartney and he can’t handle either of them – nice for us 😀

  37. Big Raddy says:

    Once again a Ref bottles it. Cana could have broken EE’s leg. Terrible tackle

  38. irishgunner says:

    That should be a red – he lunged in two footed.

  39. Big Raddy says:

    Silvestre showing why SAF let him go

  40. Big Raddy says:

    Poor from Nik. A bit more effort and we would be 2 up

  41. irishgunner says:

    Eboue our best player first half.

  42. Big Raddy says:

    Come on Arsenal. One more please, I anm getting nervous

  43. irishgunner says:


  44. Big Raddy says:

    This has to be Sivester’s last game for us.

  45. irishgunner says:

    Come on Tom – time for a screamer

  46. irishgunner says:

    😥 score another one COME ON

  47. Big Raddy says:

    Ebway has been great aattacking

  48. irishgunner says:

    Sweeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeet 8)

  49. Big Raddy says:

    Very nice. 3 points nearer MU. Song, Cesc and Eboue immense today. I thought Bendtner led the line well, though still needs some sharpness. Theo better but still not enough. Why didn’t Vela get pitch time?

    WE look at tidy team again

  50. irishgunner says:

    Eboue my MOTM.

    Got to get sleeeeeeeeeeeeeeep. Night, night Raddy.

  51. kelsey says:

    Three welcome points, though it is extremely stressful being a gooner at this moment of time.We always have a stage in a match when we look like conceding, today we got away with it.I thought everyone played to their own individual ability, and you can read that any way you want.A special word to Clichy who had by far his best game for a while.Eboue just makes me laugh, attacking wise he was good,but I really don’t think he knows what he is going to do with the ball sometimes,let alone do his team mates.Cesc was a class above anyone on the field today, but I feel he is just going through the motions and his thoughts are elsewhere.Hopefully I am wrong.

  52. Big Raddy says:

    Hi Kelsey. I don’t believe Cesc is going through the motions. He was terrific today.

    I agree that we slackened off at times, but we must remember how many first choice players are missing week after week. It would be great to have a settled team for once.

    Would Jones have had that chance iif WG was playing? I think not.

  53. Evening all

    It wasn’t pretty but its still the same 3 points. The stadium was so quiet the Sunderland supporters out sung us for large parts of the game.

    It was quite tense a lot of the time when you have the feeling that the slightest mistake is going to let them in. Luckily they weren’t able to finish off any off their chances 🙂

  54. Rasputin says:

    Hi folks,

    I agree EE was MoM. They backed off him and he got into the box on many occassions and put in decent crosses. With a better first touch, Nik should have had two. Sunderland not very impressive. I didn’t even know Dazzer was on the pitch. Everyone’s saying it wasn’t a pen – I couldn’t see too well, but it did look like a soft one.

  55. Big Raddy says:

    I am surprised you say that Peache. I felt we were in control for at least 80 minutes.

    But the other 10 were scary !!

  56. Was that 10 minutes all in one go or spread throughout the game 😉

    55,000 gooners not prepared to sing – its weird. I don’t know how we could solve it – we didn’t even sing to Cesc, Eboue had the most singing done for him.

    Still I’m delighted we won – we deserved to win, we should have had a hatfull so thats a bit disappointing.

    Nasri really impressed me today – he was in the game so much more than I remember seeing him previously – showed some pretty neat tricks and if he lost possession he went to get it back.

  57. Considering we don’t get the nailed on penanlties I was really surprised we got that one today – it looked like a dive but I wasn’t close so maybe it was the right decision.

  58. Big Raddy says:

    I agree Peaches, Nasri was good today. If he could stay injury free for a season we will see a fine player develop. He can tackle, has ridiculous skills, an eye for a pass and reasonable pace. I really like him and having Mozart as well is a true luxury.

  59. Big Raddy says:

    Definitely a foul Peaches. Perhaps just outside the box.

    Let’s hope we get the rub of the green for the rest of the season

  60. Big Raddy says:

    Just had a call from Her Maj. She said

    ” We are delighted. One thought young Eboue was marvellous”

  61. Big Raddy says:

    Oh and my Cana watch.

    Firstly, he should have been sent of in the first half for a disgraceful tackle. Strange that Steve Bruce didn’t mention that !!

    Second. He is nowhere near as good a ball player as Song.

    Third. He is not creative enough to play for Arsenal

  62. What did Steve Bruce say about the game, funny how I’m not at all interested in what Arsene had to say about the game.

    I have to say that I did think that Theo was better today than of late – hardly swashbuckling but if he could learn a couple of tricks ( sorry rasp ) he would certainly be more effective.

  63. Rasputin says:

    I can only think the headlines that are lauding Theo are jingoism. It was a typical Theo performance (slightly disappointing). He went on a couple of good runs, but quite a few that ended with a misplaced pass. His first touch let him down on occassion and more importantly, he failed to do what Eboue did and get into dangerous positions in the box. If he’d had half the ball skills that Nasri displayed he may have been MotM.

  64. rasp – did you notice that I sent you an email?

  65. Livers says:

    Evening all…..

    Peaches, told ya Everton will do ok 🙂

    Sorry only see your question from yesterday.. I’m season ticket holder upper tier 12 rows from front basically on the pen spot behind the goal..

    Not overly great today, think we were waiting for them to score to move into 2nd gear. wins a win though

    appy days 😉

  66. Big Raddy says:

    Peaches. Bruce’s interview is in the BBC website as is AW’s

  67. Livers says:

    I see he moaned about the pen, I thought it was. They could have had one but Jones I think or Bent didn’t go down and shot anyway….

    We deserved the win… Silvestre worries me though.. maybe a 1 goal victory would have been fairer but hey ho

  68. Thanks raddy – I’ve watched both of them now – Did Sunderland deserve to get anything from the game? I didn’t think so.

    Evening Livers – it was nervy wasn’t it. I don’t think we’ll see to much of Silvestre again, Campbell must have been too tired today but I’m sure hes preferred to Tweety.

  69. Morning all


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