Gunners MUST Rule Brittania …. or throw in the towel!

I was a young football mad Gooner in 1970, a home and away supporter, overcoming the vagaries of British Rail and the highly unpleasant attacks of Northern football hooligans to watch my heroes. Stoke away was one such journey and  will remain with me for a long time.

Most people think of the season 70/71 as a stroll to the Double (the first after the ’61 Spuds wonder team), but I can assure you it wasn’t. The drama went right to the wire and Stoke played a major role. The lowpoint of our season was a 5-0 drubbing for the lads at the Potteries, resulting in  a severe dressing down of the team by McLintock, Howe and Mee, which set us on the road to Silverware.

In addition  it was Stoke with the great Gordon Banks who would oppose us in the FAC Semi Final.  We drew the first game at Hillsborough with Peter Storey scoring a 90th minute penalty against Banks.  I stood there praying that he would score but convinced Banks would save it.  Banksy failed and we went onto the replay which we won 2-0 at a canter,  sending us to Wembley and the historic double winning victory over the Dippers.

To bring us up to date, last November we smashed Stoke (2-0!) at the Emirates with Sorensen playing his usual inspired game, and Fab missing a penalty.  Stoke go into the game  on the back of an 11 game unbeaten run and unbeaten in 2010.  They have just beaten City in the Cup, and Arsenal have yet to beat them at the Britannia. That said, we are learning to play the more physical teams and have a decent record ‘Up North’ this season.  One advantage could be the referee,  Peter Walton,  Stoke have never won with him officiating!  Surprisingly (at least to me) Stoke have garnered 12 points from their last 6 games and will go into the match very confident of continuing their fine run.

Tactically it will be the same old same old with Stoke.  Big men trying to kick lumps out of our frail, waspy wonders.  The Towel and Delap.  A highly charged and aggressive midfield.  Fuller on the breakaway, and lots of long ball over our midfield.  The fact that Robert Huth is Stoke’s top goalscorer tells us all we need to know about Stoke’s tactics!

I dismiss our 3-1 defeat in the FAC.  We played with half a team which was reflected in our performance.

We are missing Diaby, Gallas and Arshavin, but welcome back Eduardo.  I believe Bendtner will have a big game, though he will be up against Shawcross and Huth, both very tough CB’s.  This is Theo’s type of game IF we can entice Stoke to get forward and leave spaces for him to run into.  Please Arsene play Sol in place of Silvestre at CB,  he is such a strong presence in the box, and will be vital against the long throw.  I prefer Eboue to Ramsey or Denilson, purely for his height and pace, but we will need a disciplined performance from him.

My team would be:

A Goalkeeper

Sagna Campbell TV Clichy

Eboue Song Cesc Nasri

Walcott Bendtner

Subs Gk, Ramsey, Rosicky, Vela, Silvestre, Eduardo

Nigel Winterburn says, “You know what you are going to get at Stoke, there will be no time to get the ball down and play as Arsenal like to do. But they HAVE to get that passing game going”. I agree with him, if we can hold onto possession and play pass and run, we will exhaust a team that went 120 minutes at full throttle on Wednesday night. This is a very important game for us, perhaps not a must-win, but very close to it. It would be wonderful to see us score early, a gambit we seem to have lost the ability to perform. I go for a hard won 3 points.

Stoke, is famous for it’s potteries – Wedgwood, Spode, Royal Doulton and Minton. Wedgwood was the favourite china of Elvis Presley, who as we all know was a renowned Gooner  😉


263 Responses to Gunners MUST Rule Brittania …. or throw in the towel!

  1. Big Raddy says:

    Pulis has said that due to the exhaustion of his team he will “shuffle the pack” today -)

    Super article by Henry Winter:

  2. Rasputin says:

    Morning Raddy,

    Top drawer article 😉 Strangely, no-one’s focusing too much on delap/long throws. It’s a shame Diaby is missing. I still think with Sol in the defence, we can play our football and beat them without having to focus on their strengths.

  3. Alfa says:

    Great reading BR, I’d forgotten about the Stoke semi-final in ’71.

    Re the Telegraph article, the Arsenal in the Community work is always worth highlighting, quite moving.

    I’m not sure I’m enlightened by AWs comments though. “We fight Manchester United, Chelsea, Liverpool, Man City and Aston Villa. They are not all Usain Bolt but they are all good teams. And we are not Usain Bolt.”

    The conclusion I draw from this is that Usain Bolt is not a top 6 football club. 😕

    Does that mean we can beat Stoke though? Try to make sure we keep posession (we are good at that), score when we get the chance (actually not bad at that either), avoid giving away throws in our half (OK) and HEAD THE BALL TO THE HALF WAY LINE WHEN IT COMES INTO THE 6 YARD BOX ( 🙄 ).

    3-1 to us, Theo scores.

  4. Morning Raddy – you’ve given us a great read this morning.

    I’m really looking forward to the football today. Theo to get in behind and score or win a penalty at the very least.

  5. Big Raddy says:

    I am looking forward to an afternoon on the sofa, bedecked with my lucky socks sweatshirt and AFC scarf.

    However, I fear for a jittery 2 hours. I have a feeling many beers will be drunk in order to remain calm!

    Maybe we should be Usain Bolt!!

  6. London says:

    Morning all

    You have got these pre-match posts down to a fine art, great read BR.
    My Dad took me to the Stoke semi, I can still see George’s first in my mind’s eye but unfortunately my Dad, thinking all was lost, decided to leave five minutes before the end to beat the traffic so I missed the penalty; Peter Storey went into Arsenal folk law history for that goal…..nowadays, and probably unsurprisingly, I always stay until the final whistle.

  7. TheWiseMaster says:


    You forgot to mention the FA Cup semi final in the following season 1972 when Stoke and Arsenal met again with sadly (for us) the same outcome. We luckily drew the first game at Villa Park and the were robbed by a blind linesman in the replay at Goodison when Charlie was played onside by a programme seller wearing the same colours as our team

    Back to today – yes we should be tired after Wednesday though we played keep ball for the last 15 mins (and very well lol). Pulis has said he will bring in fresh players and hopefully that will include Etherington who has been injured for several weeks and who has been playing his best football
    Our basic style wont vary but beware if you don’t score early. Pulis almost always throws on more footballers late on and even Wenger admitted that we are playing (some) more technical football. Witness the goals on Wednesday – one ex Rory and two class goals from Kitson and Tuncay. Kitson btw would fit very well in a Wenger team

  8. Morning TheWiseMaster and welcome to the site. I must admit I did feel confused on first reading your comment. You must be very pleased with how your season is going – have to bring your unbeaten run to an end now though – sorry.

  9. London says:

    Morning Peaches

    That was a very strange feeling, I was, like you, trying to work out what was going on. It was so polite the idea that it might be a Stoke supporter didn’t enter my head for ages. Anyway it was a good read.

  10. Morning London

    Look what I can do éèéèéè wheres the cedila?

  11. Sorry about the random vodpod videos – alfa has asked me for a password and stuff and I don’t remember what I did to set it up ……….. 😳

  12. TheWiseMaster says:

    Had we not played 120 minutes on Wednesday then I would be quietly confident

    As it is I would be happy enough with a draw. We are beginning to play better football but without losing the physical side of our game – a good mixture at our best. The 11 match unbeaten run is no accident – we have some decent players here and the team spirit is second to none (and I attended every game this season and last)

    Hopefully Pulis won’t change the team too much – he has been playing Diao who is a liability despite his goal at Pompey

    I reckon it will be tight with a score draw the favourite outcome

  13. London says:

    Alt135 = ç…….Barça

  14. kelsey says:

    Morning all.

    Memories BR. I went to both games (didn’t Storey finish up in jail).

    Here’s a simple idea for today’s game.Easy way to defend Stokes throw in’s. Leave 4 men up front, less bodies blocking Almunia, and Stoke would have to leave men back to defend the potential counter. Less panic, easier for our players to attack the ball surely???

    Have a nice day one and all.

  15. Rasputin says:

    Morning WiseMaster,

    Thank you for your informed comments – do you know of any good Stoke blogsites you can recommend for me to look at?

  16. London says:

    Peter Storey tried to rent one of my properties to use as a studio to take photos of ladies without clothing.

  17. TheWiseMaster says:

    Hi Rasputin

    There are one or two blogsites showing up on Newsnow StokeCity

    I tend to only read the opposition news lol

  18. The Henry Winter aticle has left me feeling truly humbled. Of course the thought of children damaged by Chernobyl being thrilled to wear an Arsenal shirt is an amazing thing but to hear Arsène speak of the focus needed to win trophies is also amazing. Hes trusting boys some of whom are the same age as my children to stay focussed when decisions go against them – imagine how that feels as a 22 yr old.

  19. Rasputin says:

    I wouldn’t put it past Arsène to spring some surprises with his team selection today. I just pray he plays Sol and leaves Denilson on the bench.

  20. Henry Winter is certainly one of the best, if not THE best, football writer of his generation.

    He seems to have a good relationship with le boss considering the number of exclusive interviews he has been granted over the years.

    I suppose it helps that he has a modicum of intelligence and does not need to resort to gutter press hacking a lah, some of the mugs the write for the red tops.

  21. Alfa says:

    Peaches, I’ll temporarily take off vodpod for now, will stick it back on when we get it sorted.

    Wisemaster, welcome to the site.

    Kelsey hi, I think Stoke would fill the box anyway – 14 goals this season just from that tactic, it’s like a penalty for them.

    London, now you’ve seen the latest results and seen all the debate in other places are you going to retract any of your rebuttal of my Arsenal money post? 😉

    Hi Rasp.

  22. Rasputin says:

    Henry Winter has always been my favourite football writer, I suspect he is an Arsenal fan. I know peaches prefers Martin Samuels.

  23. Rasputin says:

    Morning Alfa,

    Thanks for all your help behind the scenes. We need new features to set us apart as it appears we are inspiring other sites!

  24. Alfa says:

    Rasp, peaches normally has better taste 😆

  25. Almunia

    Sagna Sol Vermy Clichy

    Fab, Song, Den

    Eboue, Nik B, Nasri


    very rarely does the gaffer spring any major team selection surprises.. and i fully expect the team above to play.

    i would prefer the following team..


    Eboue Sol Vermy Clichy

    Ramsey Song Fab

    Walcott Nik B Arshavin

  26. Rasputin – the writing will always set one blog apart from any other.

    new features etc are great on a new telly 😆

  27. Rasputin says:

    AA’s not fit SH, so put Nasri or Rosicky in your second team and that will do nicely 😉

  28. did AA not make the squad?

    darn.. i don’t like nasri playing up front/wing

    he is far better playing deeper and running with the ball from central positions.

    so if AA is out i would stick Rosicky in.

  29. Morning SH – Eboue up front or as a Right Back – what a player 😉

  30. Did I see kelsey pop in – are you still around, hows your mouth now?

  31. morning peaches, i read eboue himself prefers to play as a right back, he is on fire right now, but playing him right wing when we have theo or thomas fit to play can’t be right?

    can it?

  32. Rasputin says:

    I agree totally that the writing is the most important SH. We had a fairly unique idea, but it is not easy to impart the message. Itinerant bloggers have come on and assumed that a particular article represents the ethos of the site instead of understanding that they are the opinion of an individual and that we will publish any of the full spectrum of view as long as the facts are correct and it is reasonably well written.

    I am awaiting with great excitement (tempered with trepidation!) Franchises offering, as I think it will be bound to creat lively debate 🙄

  33. dandan says:

    I too watched The Arsenal home and away that double year with my three mates the faithful Ford escort roamed the A1 and The new M1 as we headed for towns and grounds unknown. Until we left for Stoke on that fateful day, we were batting up the M1 the temperature meter went through the roof as the head gasket blew and car ground to a halt. Having been charged a fortune to be towed off the motorway, we sat and listened to the match on the radio as we waited for a friend to come and tow us home. The only match we missed that year, how did the car know.

    As for the cup semi final we were there 2 0 down before halftime Stokes centre forward bearing down on goal, whacks the ball, nutmegs Bob Wilson who falls backwards and sits on the ball. lucky Arsenal.
    Full time 2 1 down ball headed for Stoke net handball penalty, chaos among the Arsenal player, hugging and laughing. Poor Storey ball on spot, Banks England’s Gk swaying from side to side, he sways right Pete goes left Goaaaaal mayhem on the huge terraces, Back to the faithful escort head for home confident we will win, we did, Happy days

  34. Rasputin says:

    Like your new avatar SH. There is a book in circulation titled something like ‘Fotballers Worst Hairstyles’ and Charlie Nicholas is in there with the likes of Chris Waddle, Barry Venison and Bobby Charlton.

  35. Rasputin says:

    Welcome dandan, nice account.

    I’m feeling deprived that I didn’t witness any of those games. Football was so simple in those days. No financial worries, no foreign players (I’m not saying that is a bad thing) and you new who was the side’s best 11 and they’d prbably be playing week in, week out – injuries were a rarity.

  36. cheers rasp…

    lol, come on, we gooners loved charlie’s mullet…

    whereas the mullet head from down the seven sisters… yuck.

  37. Great story dandan – how did the car know – are you still part of the travelling band of supporters?

  38. dandan says:

    Thank you for your welcome, No I am 66 now live 100 odd miles from Emirates ( doesn’t have the same ring as Highbury) but with you in spirit have all the TV and computer power possible to follow the gunners, once a real gooner always a gooner.

    Envy you guys the beauty of Wengerball 1 0 to the Arsenal wasn’t quite the same, be patient trophies will come, I stood for 12 years before that wild and wonderful Fairs cup night and then look what followed. I still snigger at that Monday night at White Hart Lane when the ground turned red as Rays goal hit the net.
    Don’t believe either that signings will always make a difference look back at Alan Ball and the trouble that caused.
    Pity the poor Portsmouth fans this morning no different to us in their love of team, but imagine the anguish they must be feeling today, would they swap the cup Arry won with imprudent signings for a safe place in the league and the financial security of an Arsenal.
    Wonderful game football, marvelous club The Arsenal

  39. Look what I found for us to put a smile on our faces

  40. Rasputin says:


    You’re reminiscenses and take on the modern day game are very good reading. If you hadn’t realised, we offer the opportunity to bloggers to air their views by writing headline posts (see ‘Be our Guest’ above), you would be most welcome in that regard.

  41. Rasputin says:

    Nice one peaches 😛 that one must go in the Video Library. Interesting that the commentator says that “19 year old Kennedy was drafted into the side at the start of the season due to injuries to senior players” – maybe my assessment of injuries being a rarity was incorrect?

  42. Ray Kennedy was 19, drafted in because of injuries to more experienced players – next season LJ will be 19………..

  43. How did you do that again rasp 😉

  44. dandan says:

    Rasputin Thank you for your invitation will give it some thought
    As far as the Kennedy inclusion was concerned, from memory it was Charlie George who was injured, certainly Ray had come to the for in the Fairs cup semi final the previous season, when we were all but out, but he came on as a late substitute to score the all important away goal.
    He and Raddy would have headed canon balls if it meant a goal for the Arsenal.

  45. Rasputin says:

    We’ll soon find out ‘Will he shake or won’t he shake?’, that’ll be more interesting than the game. For the next 3 hours only, I’m a citeh fan.

  46. Rasputin says:

    There you have it dandan “He and Raddy would have headed canon balls if it meant a goal for the Arsenal.” – can you say the same about our players today? … that’ll get the keyboards rattling.

  47. dandan says:

    Rumour had it back then Rasputin, that Cloughy was so fed up with Raddy and Ray heading all these goals, that he was of to the South Pacific in the close season to sign a 7’2″ Tongan who would head and break coconuts as they fell from the tree. His plan to play him at centre half to stop Geordie’s crosses reaching the boys.
    Cant be sure of its validity mind you. LOL

  48. We don’t really have anyone with that do or die attitude do we – Gallas is good at going for it when needed and Cesc can turn it on if hes got the right players around him but can you see Nik, Theo or even Dudu having that much passion.

  49. Rasputin says:

    Haha dandan, our style of football has changed from all recognition since those days. I suppose Alan Shearer was the last of the ‘traditional English’ centre forwards.

  50. i like this mancini fella

    i got a feeling citeh will help our title causes today.

    karma exists… terry has poured an awful lot of bad karma on this chelski side.

    the soft handshake from shay given with jt just now was telling.

    this is going to be a hell of a game, for many reasons.

  51. More tittle tattle but I’ve just read that some Chelsea players have texted their support to Wayne Bridge – this might be a complete farce today, I hope Toure’s playing he likes a punch-up 😆

  52. peaches – The Verminator certainly has a do or die attitude.

  53. toure on the bench for them.

    glad bellamy and tevez start.

    so does hillarious 😆

  54. Yep you’re right SH – forgot about the Verminator

  55. Rasputin says:

    Malouda is playing left back for chels.

  56. trust me, this hillario chap is useless, cannot believe they don’t have a better keeper as back up.

  57. Mayank says:

    Good post Raddy and and a pleasant and informative read for younger gooners like myself.

    Re never say die attitude that peaches mentioned, I don’t think it’s lack of heart but lack of the experience for the passion to show. For e.g. in showbiz the more experienced musicians are able to express themselves better and connect with their audience because they’re at ease on stage. Doesn’t mean that the younger ones are less passionate just that they’re more likely to be overawed by the situation.

  58. Rasputin says:

    Hi Mayank,

    I agreee, it’s just that dandan mentioned the commitment of players of old and I thought it might be an interesting subject to explore in a future post.

  59. Mayank says:

    The Alt thing is so cool

  60. How cool is Bridge just sparks JT right out with a right uppercut… at the handshake part

  61. Mayank says:

    Hey Rasp,
    I wonder if the players of yesteryear would seem at ease playing at the Emirates knowing that its being telecast all over the globe and the expectations on them.

  62. Irish is completely out of the loop – has no internet at all and has asked me if England have another left-back to use now that Bridge has abdicated and the little shit is injured. Anyone? I heard Leighton Baines mentioned……..

    Mayank – you’re right, they look cool

  63. Rasputin says:

    Very good point Mayank – you see, it is an interesting topic and does not have to be an excuse to ‘bash’ our current crop of players. I think young people in general are under a lot more pressure these days in terms of expectation, peer pressure etc etc.

  64. lol sky not going to ad break before hand shakes 😆

  65. missed jt out 😆

    jt stuck his out

  66. Rasputin says:

    No handshake…. can’t wait for the first tackle between them….

  67. hold your heads up high you diseased scumbag peasant chelski fans

    you boo bridge?

    and applaud jt?

    lowest forms of pondlife.

  68. Mayank says:

    Why are Chelsea fans booing Bridge? Thick little fuckers.

  69. Mayank says:

    Well said Stringfellow.

  70. karma will kill this club, and kill them fast.

  71. Rasputin says:

    As usual, the chav’s pitch is very poor – I wonder what the playing surface will be like at Stoke?

  72. Rasputin says:

    Hilario is terrified of having to attempt a long kick, every one has been short so far.

  73. TheWiseMaster says:

    I have to admit after those two semi final defeats I along with most Stoke fans ‘hated’ lucky Arsenal and George Graham kept us topped up. That Stoke team of the early seventies was our best in living memory and all we had to show for it was a league cup win

    The advent of Wenger changed my view of Arsenal, so much so that they would be mine and many others first choice for the title. It may seem strange for a Stoke fan to admire a team like Arsenal but there are various aspect to the game and Wenger builds quality football teams like no other manager. Whilst I admire Wenger I have no desire for my team to attempt to emulate their style. Like our manager Tony Pulis I believe that we have to survive for several years at this level before attempting a serious makeover. Having said that I am sure that Pulis knows that to prosper we will have to change and we are already seeing the first shoots with the signings of the likes of Etherington and Tuncay. Pulis’s big strength is team spirit and already this season he has dropped from the squad two of his strikers in Kitson and Beattie. Kitson has only just been accepted back and looks like a sinner reborn!

    Interesting that Pulis said today that he admires Wenger and I am sure that he does. He will admire Wenger for sticking to what he believes. Where he may shake his head and wonder is that a manager who in the past has mixed in the likes of Viera to balance out his team, today appears to have eschewed that option? BTW Viera for Man City was a pale shadow of the player who bestrode your pitch

    I have a number of gooner friends and wish you well. Who knows in ten years Pulis may have built a team to compete at your end of the table – we can dream lol

  74. TheWiseMaster says:

    The pitch at Stoke is good though not quite at its best as the team had to train on it during the bad weather – our training ground is a work in progress

    Your older fans will know how poor pitches used to be – even the poor grounds of today would look like bowling greens compared to the pitches of yesteryear. Should good players be able to play on any surface?

  75. Rasputin says:

    Thanks Wisemaster – paradoxically, there are certain aspects of Stoke’s play that are admired by some Arsenal fans even though, as you say, we are at the other end of the table.

  76. Big Raddy says:

    True Rasp.

    But in all honesty, how many Stoke players would get on our bench, let alone the first team?

    WiseMaster. If only all opposition fans were as reasonable and erudite as you!

  77. Rasputin says:

    Seconded Raddy.

    TheWiseMaster, please come on again tomorrow and give us your view of the game irrespective of the result.

  78. Big Raddy says:

    Lawdy Miss Clawdy!!

    SH was right about Hilario-us. The ball laughed it’s way into the Chelsea net 🙂

  79. London says:

    If I was a City fan I would be mighty unhappy with their away kit. Red, White and Black?

  80. London says:


    Thank you for rekindling an old happy memory, I had forgotten just how red and white, White heart Lane turned when Kennedy scored, before that it was hard to tell how Many Arsenal supporters were in the ground but when we scored the place erupted: it was just incredible how much of that ground was taken up by the good guys. Happy days.

  81. Big Raddy says:

    London. Hopefully we will return to the away kit of yellow shirts and blue shorts in the near future.

    What about the Chav fans booing Bridge? If ever proof was needed of their moral turpitude (fine word) this is it. I look forward to their behaviour being highlighted in the press tomorrow (as if…..)

  82. Big Raddy says:

    London. We could find out the date of that game and all write our reminiscences of the day, then have a combined post. At least 4 of us were there

  83. May 3rd 1971

    I believe from the noise from the manc in the other room that citeh must have scored – only problem is hes singing ‘we’re gonna win the league’ …… poor boy 😦

  84. come on city… see this out

  85. this is pure theatre, loving this.

  86. karma my friends 😆

    dont fuck with it

  87. Big Rad says:

    How great is this. As you say SH …. Karma

  88. what a game we have to look forward to now… stoke is all about 3 points if we truly want this title now.

    a point is not good enough now that chelski have dropped 3.

  89. 9 men 😆

    filth, you deserve this utter collapse to your season you are now about to face.

  90. i love football

    i love life

  91. Big Raddy says:


  92. dandan says:

    That was the day there were two types of Arsenal Fans the 50.000 in the ground and the 50.000 locked out

  93. London says:


    Oh, that comment just gave me goose bumps

  94. London says:

    Well, so far so good as far as today goes.

    Come on you rip roaring, goal scoring, glory grabbing gunners

  95. Look at you two reminiscing 🙄

    Raddy – you still reckon the chavs are a machine?

    Karma is right SH – those scumbags were booing Wayne Bridge they don’t have a braincell between them, I hope they don’t win another game all season.

  96. kelsey says:

    Well we sure need to be stoked up now.Wenger the prophet said at the start of the season that the league could be won with a much lower total than previous years.

    Will the true Arsenal please stand up and take advantage of Chelsea’s loss.How much more incentive do they need. We may or may not win the title,but let’s give it a go lads.

  97. Actually if they implode we might need them to beat the mancs 😆

  98. kelsey, kelsey don’t run away

  99. the mancs are a one man band, rooney wont keep going all season long.. utd will drop plenty more points.

    we need utd to beat chelski to nick back those 3 points.

  100. kelsey says:

    The media will milk this Tery/Bridge situation right up to the World Cup.In addition England’s whole attack rests on Rooney.Can he keep that up for another three months before the start of the tournament,or will he sduffer burn out.England haven’t got a decent keeper either, and however hard terry is,it is obvious he is under performing.The press will build England’s chances up and at the same time take any opportunity to create more gossip and scandal to knock the team down.

    I still believe the FA made Capello drop Terry as captain,and even with Ferdinand uncertain to be fit,terry should have resigned himself .

  101. kelsey – capello is most definately his own man, and we know from much experience that the FA are fools who lack testicles.

  102. Big Raddy says:


    I was one of the poor buggers locked out . listening to my new Pye Portable Radio, surrounded by fellow Gooners asking me what was going on !

  103. kelsey says:

    If only I could run peaches ;). By the way I was at the Anderlecht game for the first leg of the Fairs Cup Final, and kennedy’s goal proved to be a turning point as we were 3-0 down at the cost me £12.00 including ticket to fly from Luton return, and I have actively followed Arsenal for 12 years,living with hope and not a trophy in sight, and then we finally won the return leg 3-0 and a trophy at last.JACK KELSEY SAT NEXT TO ME ON THE OUTWARD JOURNEY, AND THAT WAS AN EXPERIENCE IN ITSELF.
    These new age fans who have grown up and followed Arsenal only since the PL was formed,don’t know how lucky they are to have witnessed our best era ever.

  104. Mayank says:

    Haha, I know I might not be laughing when the night is over but I don’t care. Haha.

    Now for part 2 of this great evening.

  105. Big Raddy says:

    Kelsey. You are right, JT should have resigned but that required some integrity ….

  106. Big Raddy says:

    Kelsey. I was at Highbury for the return. Standing on the Upper North Bank – not like you in the East Stand Upper!

  107. Big Raddy says:

    Watching the Bolton game. JW hasn’t touched the ball yet

  108. kelsey says:

    Stringfellow hawke, none of us know what really went on, but why did terry try and stop the tabloids publishing the story.
    Unfortunately we have too many highly paid scumbags in the Pl and the sad fact is that many are English.
    Club before country every time for most of them. Money, money ,money is the only motivation for so many.

  109. kelsey says:

    West Stand Upper, Raddy.

  110. no kelsey we dont.

    jt tried to stop the story for obvious reasons???? surely? why else would he try to stop the story?

    bellamy’s interview after the game was revealing

    he said ” i know jt, we all know what jt is like off the pitch…. but on it he is a great player ”


  111. ryandanielwood says:

    Hello everyone,

    What a result today then! I don’t know if anything from my post yesterday made it across to the game at Stamford Bridge, but with Bridge refusing the handshake and Hilario seemingly a blunder. It seems I might have got some sort of perspective.

    We need to make use of this now. Great article today, I hope it rubs off the same way as mine did today.

  112. Big Raddy says:

    Thanks Ryan. I hope so too.

    SH. As you say, Bellamy’s comment was “interesting”.

  113. London says:

    I think Bellamy has just opened another can of worms…..NOTW will be out paying people for more stories…..and they will get them.

  114. bellamy is the kind of player you love to hate as an opposing fan…

    but if he played for your club.. he would certainly be a fans favourite.

    he was brilliant today.. on and off the field 😆

  115. Big Raddy says:

    SH. I agree, bit like Wrighty (but not as good a player)

  116. Big Raddy says:

    England squad announced today. A decent game from Theo today and he will be sure to face Egypt.

    I am ambivalent about it – want him to score a hatrick but don’t want him to play in a Friendly

  117. kelsey says:


    I totally agree.

  118. not long to go… how up for the stoke game are we all now?

    the first can of Genius has been cracked, poured and subsequently sunk.

    i not only expect us to beat stoke, i fully expect us to put on a proper show of attacking football.

    perry groves hit the nail on the head earlier this week… don’t sit back waiting for delap to get a throw in… go after the bastards from the off

    if our lads dont have a rocket up their arses from the get go… they never will.

    this is a proper test of their maturity.

  119. dandan says:

    Raddy I was in the west stand for that one, was the only time I everwent on the highbury pitch. I was astounded Geordie Armstrong had been running up and down the wing all day, yet when I stood on the pitch my shoes sunk in and the mud went over the top and gave me a bootfull. How the hell he did that I will never know

  120. Big Raddy says:

    Dan Dan. Same for me! My only time on the hallowed turf.

  121. dandan says:

    We used to stand in the west stand, right under the TV platform with the mikes hanging over our heads, Arthur Mullard used to stand next to us.

  122. Rasputin says:

    Afternoon all,

    Just been reading back through the comments – think we should rename the site U3AA 😆

    Fantastic result the chavs dropping 3 points … Wayne Bridge had the last laugh. I thought it was disgraceful the way their fans booed and heckled him, particularly as he is an ex-player who served them well. Chav fans rank down there with Milwall in my book.

  123. Big Raddy says:

    Dan Dan – Ajax in the semi final I first saw Johan Cruyff. It would have been in front of you that he showed us the Cruyff turn.

    I remember trying so hard to master it, but to no avail!

  124. Big Raddy says:

    Lower than Millwall. At least their fans are not glory hunters.

  125. Rasputin says:

    Arsenal: Almunia, Sagna, Vermaelen, Campbell, Clichy, Eboue, Fabregas, Song, Ramsey, Nasri, Bendtner. Subs: Fabianski, Rosicky, Eduardo, Vela, Walcott, Silvestre, Traore.

    Stoke: Sorensen, Huth, Shawcross, Abdoulaye Faye, Wilkinson, Delap, Whelan, Whitehead, Pugh, Sidibe, Fuller. Subs: Begovic, Lawrence, Beattie, Kitson, Diao, Tuncay, Collins.

  126. Rasputin says:

    Excellent team selection – well done Arsène!!

  127. London says:

    I phoned Wenger and stressed the importance of playing Eboue….he thought I was right and gave him the nod 😉

  128. Rasputin says:

    He told me London, I was already talking to him on the other line 😛

  129. Big Raddy says:

    Only one attacker? We should go for the throat.

  130. Rasputin says:

    Mistake No.1 from Clichy …. why the hell doesn’t he just clear it when under pressure ….

  131. Big Raddy says:


  132. Rasputin says:

    We’ll never learn. Song kicked it off instead of allowing a corner, didn’t they discuss that throw-ins are more of a problem than corners?

  133. Rasputin says:

    What have we been training at all week, no-one on the back post for a long throw???????

  134. Big Raddy says:

    Hard to believe

  135. kelsey says:

    3 games on the trot, do we never learn,and we again have come out of the box on the back foot.How much insetive do we need.

    Have we been out of our half yet, unbelievable,it can only get better, I hope.

  136. Big Raddy says:

    Come on you Gunners…..

  137. Rasputin says:

    The only thing worse than their throws, is our throws ins – no-one shows for the ball.

  138. All the talk of putting Delap off when he makes his throw is rather silly as the trajectory is gigantic…..

  139. Big Raddy says:

    We aren’t performing anywhere on the pitch. I can see no tactics as yet.

    Has Nasri touched the ball?

  140. kelsey says:

    the first 25 minutes i can’t believe i am watching arsenal.nervous,no composure no real fight. at least cesc had a pot shot just;s a greasy pitch it must be worth a try to test sorensen who is no great shakes either.

  141. Stoke are committed to fighting for every ball…..

  142. Big Raddy says:

    Get in there.

    Super header from Nik

    Come on you rip roaring Gunners

  143. Rasputin says:

    The striking Viking…..

  144. Great header 😆 Come on gunners

  145. Big Raddy says:

    Why can’t our FB’s be taught to cross the ball?

  146. Rasputin says:

    Fab and Nasri are up for a tussle.

  147. Really poor crossing is one of our trade-marks Raddy ……

  148. kelsey says:

    take ramsey off imo.stoke will get tired. great header by nicci.
    cesc is only one booking away from a suspension i believe. feel more positive now.

  149. Rasputin says:

    Ramsey needs to pull the trigger, still trying to make one pass too many.

  150. kelsey says:

    snap, rasp

  151. Rasputin says:

    😛 kelsey. They are showing signs of tiring already. The stage is set for Theo in the last 20.

  152. We’ve definitely got back into this game, hope we kick on in the second half. Beer anyone?

  153. Big Raddy says:

    I thought Ramsey was having a very good game. Covers the centre well and has been unlucky with the 1-2’s.

    Nasri when he came into the game looked good. As aways, Fab is superb, and it was a marvellous cross and header for the goal.

    But we are creating nothing from the right – Theo on after 70 mins

    If only we can stop these stupid mistakes from throw-ins

  154. stoke are going to tire badly in the 2nd half

    they played 120 just the other day

    and came out at 200mph today… they were shattered after 40 mins

    we could really tear them apart in the 2nd half if we can get the 2nd before the hour mark

    i can see a 4-1 FT coming up

  155. ramsey started poorly, but his slick running and releasing a pass game got going later on.

  156. Big Raddy says:

    Hope so SH !

    I still feel we need another striker on the pitch

  157. Big Raddy says:

    And Eboue? Is the experiment working?

  158. the ball seems to be sticking to eboue… but theo will need to come on.. i concur with that.

  159. I’m not sure if Eboue works – he doesn’t stay focussed and hes wandering…….but, he’s passionate, gung ho and will probably terrify the Stoke defence in the 2nd half ………….. come on Eboue

  160. Big Raddy says:

    Danish TV showed about 20 repeats of the goal at half time !!

  161. if niki b had just a yard more pace, he would be next level.

  162. You see Eboue just stood still aaaaarrrrrgggggghhhhhhh

  163. Big Raddy says:

    Clear penalty !

  164. Why was that not a penalty!!!!!!!!!!!!

  165. Big Raddy says:

    Another EE dive.

    His first name must be Embarassing !

  166. we are purring here

    matter of time

  167. Rasputin says:

    Stoke look shot. They are backing off all the time. The game is ours to be won. We should run them ragged.

  168. Except when the towel appears

  169. Rasputin says:

    Delap timewasting on the throw ins. The ref has to add extra time for the throws otherwise it’s an unfair advantage.

  170. Rasputin says:

    EE candidate for MoM for the second game running.

  171. Big Raddy says:

    Come on boys. They are folding…..

  172. Great shot from Eboue oooooooooooooooooooooooh

  173. Rasputin says:

    The stage is set for Theo

  174. Big Raddy says:

    Walton is having a nightmare

  175. Rasputin says:

    The ref is a total F*****g t**** – Song misses the nexrt 2 games

  176. thats fine, he wont miss any important games

    we needed him out asap so as not to be banned for spuds or city

  177. Rasputin says:

    Good news is – it’s Burnley and Hull

  178. he has been teetering on that 9 bookings thing for a while

  179. he will be super fresh for porto

  180. Broken leg for Ramsey????????????????

  181. Rasputin says:

    Ramsey broken leg – end of a career – end of our chances this season

  182. Rasputin says:

    We’ll never recover from this. The game should be stopped. This is far more important than football.

  183. Look at them they’re all gutted for him 😦

  184. Rasputin says:

    The Stoke fans are disgusting… if I was there I’d want to get amongst them ….scum

  185. Big Raddy says:

    Disgraceful tackle. Shawcross should get a 3 month ban – minimum.

    So bad that the TV aren’t showing any re-runs

  186. i am fucking fuming

    is this a coincidence?

    no it fucking aint, we dont get protected!

  187. Rasputin says:

    Their fans are singing “you’re f***ked and you know you are”

  188. Big Raddy says:

    Ramsey is young, he will come back…..

  189. Rasputin says:

    How must Eduardo have felt watching that. He’ll be out for the best part of a year.

  190. i am so angry, this ref should be sued

    he encouraged that by not protecting us

    wenger is going to go mental about this

  191. Rasputin says:

    They’re now singing “There’s only one Ryan Shawcross”

  192. ffs killed our ryhtmn

  193. We’re just fair game aren’t we, thats what everyone thinks its disgusting

  194. only way to beat arsenal is to break legs.. and dont worry the ref has your back.

    just go for them

  195. Rasputin says:

    Get Theo on and shut the mouths of those ignorant bastards.

  196. Good call London – I’m glad Arsène listened to you, Eboue had a good game

  197. Big Raddy says:

    Walton cannot walk away blameless. He refused to punish some of Stoke’s dreadful tackles, missed a clear penalty and has never had control of the game.

    My thoughts are for AR. What a terrible thing to happen.

    Plus we have completely lost momentum since the injury

  198. Big Raddy says:

    Come on, we can still do this. Focus……

  199. It should be written in the stars for Dudu to score the winner today

  200. Rasputin says:

    Insult to extreme injury – Delap MoM FFS, do they have no concept of justice?

  201. missed the rest of my comment


  202. Rasputin says:

    Karma – what incredible bottle needed to score this.

  203. Rasputin says:


  204. Fantastic – I love you Cesc

  205. Big Raddy says:

    Get in there you beauty

  206. Did I really just say that 😆

  207. Rasputin says:

    That’s a definite second pen..

  208. Fantastic …………… look at them now

  209. Rasputin says:

    I love our away fans – “There’s only one Aaron Ramsey” .. hope you’re listening Stoke fans. The decent amongst you (and apologies to TheWiseMaster) must be embarassed.

  210. Rasputin says:

    Have a look at the top of the page …..

  211. F*** off fortunate at the time we’ve met this Stoke team – thats what the commentator just said.

    Never any credit – they’ve just seen one of their talented mates with an horrific injury and they’ve gone on to win the game.

  212. Big Raddy says:

    What a player Fabregas is. If he stays at AFC he will be among the best ever

    A goal and 2 assists. And a real Captain’s performance. Brilliant

  213. what a horrible man that pulis is

    title is ours… the title is now ours.

    i have not a doubt.

  214. ryandanielwood says:


    I haven’t seen any footage but I reckon Lineker and the gang will beat any ratings war tonight, i’m watching MOTD.

    Well done Arsenal, I think it answers the critics saying we haven’t developed since 2 years ago, now that we bounced back to beat Stoke.

  215. Rasputin what a fantastic header – you are a star

  216. ryandanielwood says:

    Nice banner at the top of the page, befitting, it reminds me of having the flag at halfway. Stay strong Aaron

  217. Cesc – you are a star too. Of course you all need protecting

  218. well said captain

    diaby, eduardo and now ramsey inside 4 years

    no fucking coincidence

    arsenal need to step up legal action, this is not acceptable anymore.

  219. SharkeySure says:

    Evening all

    Wot a rollercoaster of a game that was.

    Feel so so sorry for Ramsey, he was having a stormer.

    We showdd real fight and belief today, fantastic.

    Great header from Super Nik, and a brilliant performance from the worlds best player !!!

  220. ryandanielwood says:

    Will the next article submitted include a photo of the injury? I am asking out of fear, not interest.

  221. SharkeySure says:

    Nice touch on the banner. Very nice !

  222. ryan – come on, do you need to ask?

  223. Alfa says:

    I refer you to 9.25am comment today, my first and probably only prediction to be right, OK Theo didn’t score.

    Would swap the prediction and the result for poor Aaron not to have been injured.

  224. Mayank says:

    Such a mixture of emotions attached to this match…
    I for one thought we’d lost this, the title and our brightest talent. Hope I’m wrong on all 3 accounts.

    Those who justify and even glorify this kind of play (not the tackle but rough-housing in general) in the name of English football should be shot in both knees.

  225. Rasputin says:

    We look to have learned from when it happened to Dudu against Birmingham … we won’t fold this time … we will be stronger …. we’re gonna win it for Ramsey.

    No pics of broken legs … we’re not broken by this!

  226. I hope we never get to see the injury again – why give other teams the chance to see how its done……..

    We have a team, fellow gooners this season they can do it for Aaron

  227. How freaky…. how ferking freaky

    Eduardo… got his leg smashed.. in 2008, the day before the Carling Cup final.

  228. ryandanielwood says:

    Fair enough. All I’ll say is I haven’t even seen the footage of Eduardo’s, I just don’t want to see things like that, none of us do.

    Perhaps Shawcross can visit Ramsey at hospital like Martin Taylor did with Eduardo. i think the guardian did an article on it. I forgave him once he did that.

  229. London – are you happy to do a match report?

  230. SharkeySure says:

    Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger:

    “I’m very proud of our game – it was an unbelievable battle from the first minute until the last. We needed to be tough, patient and resilient to come back from the injury. I am very proud and sad because of what happened to Aaron Ramsey. We know it’s bad. We need to transfer him to London to see if he needs emergency surgery. We don’t know exactly how long he will be out yet, but it’s certainly long term.”

    “I am not very happy with the tackle. We know what to expect from other teams but we have now lost three players in five years to horrendous tackles. I refuse to believe it’s coincidence when you’re hit as many times as we are. We know teams want to be physical against Arsenal – this is the result. When you see how Aaron got injured today in the way that he did, it is not acceptable. I don’t accept that. We could see the team was shocked, but we go until the end because we are strong mentally and united. We will do it for Ramsey as well because he deserves it. From a mathematical side of the game it was a good day for us. But we cannot really enjoy it.”

  231. Big Raddy says:

    I am still high from the game.

    I love football.

  232. SharkeySure says:

    I hear ya…I could barely watch Fabs pen. And when it looked like TS nearly had it I nearly died.

    Days like today can only make us stronger.

    All the best to Rambo

  233. kelsey says:

    The players faces said it all. Hopefully for Ramsey it’s a clean break.He had a police escort to the hospital.Just seen a replay his ankle is hanging off.

    Most vital 3 points of the season, though I have to say that cesc,vermaelen and sol. were immense.

    Why was eboue subbed for theo,who again showed nothing.

  234. What a game – Irish just texted me to find out what happened – hard to tell her by text.

    I’ll never forget Ramseys face as he realised and told the bench that it was really serious 😦

  235. SharkeySure says:

    Yeah Sol has deffo brought something to us, he’s doing very very well.

    Rambo was having a storming game today.

    Fabregas – no better player in world football !!

  236. kelsey it was 1-1 when Eboue went off – it wssn’t a bad sub, we should expect Theo to come on and cause problems for a tiring defence

  237. Shawcross has previous.

    He broke jeffers ankle with a lunge some years back.

  238. dandan says:

    A good day spoilt, lets hope we get good news tomorrow, he is being flown back to London right now to see a specialist at least with Wenger he will see the best,

    Incidentally Shawcross has just been named in the England squad for Egypt

  239. Big Raddy says:

    Little calmer now.

    Very unhappy about the referee today. Walton had a stinker. To miss 2 penalties is very poor, in particular the second on Bendtner, it would be hard to see a more blatant pen this season. And where was the linesman?

    Lots of good performances today,

    Cesc, absolutely were Sol, and TV.

    The 120 minutes against MC cost Stoke in the end, as predicted they ran out of steam and 3-1 did not flatter us.

  240. Big Raddy says:

    Theo in the England squad and after the poor season he has had!

    Capello must be desperate or has Theo become indispensable?

  241. i think capello, along with wenger… have seen enough of theo’s talent in training to warrant an unwavering persistence with him.

    he will come good, a injury free season and we will finally see what they have seen in training.

  242. Wenger said: “This is the third player – Eduardo, Diaby and now Ramsey – we’ve lost to tackles that are unacceptable, and spare me the articles tomorrow about how nice Shawcross is because we had all that with Eduardo.”

    how comes not one report has picked up shawcross busting jeffers ankle?

  243. SharkeySure says:

    Or his tackle on one of our players after the ball and man were both already off the pitch !!!

  244. London says:


    I am fairly certain I will have something for tomorrow if you need it, if not no probs I will just post it as a general comment.

  245. the tackle that broke jeffers ankle was 100% malicous

    and remember he got sent off at old trafford last season?

    he is a thug, no crocodile tears will change that.

    stoke should be sued.

  246. Big Raddy says:


    I love your post match posts.

    Special mention should be made of Nik and Eboue who were the only one’s who had the compassion to stay with Ramsey throughout his ordeal. Top blokes.

  247. Big Raddy says:

    The press are saying it was a 50/50 tackle. What dross.

  248. London – will you put it in drafts………

  249. Big Raddy says:

    Earlier today I said that none of the Stoke team would get in the Arsenal first team…… I forgot Sorenson, who once again was very good

  250. London says:

    It doesn’t work like that Peaches as I think I have said before I will have to get up at seven to write it.

  251. Of course, sorry London, catch up with you in the morning then……. 😉

  252. SharkeySure says:

    Nite all

  253. Alfa says:

    WiseMaster, come back on if you are still tuning in here, be great to hear your thoughts about the match.

    Kelsey, pretty much agree with your individual assessments but as a team performance I thought this was pretty good, even before the injury. Playing like this as a team for me is the difference between winners and losers and can overcome individual mistakes or poor form.

  254. Rasputin says:

    Morning everyone,

    I’m on my way to work. I have removed the line about Stoke from the banner. I shall save my comments for London’s post and would like to thank him for having the character to put his feelings into words under such dificult – yet strangely inspiring, circumstances.

  255. chaf says:

    Morning pre posters

    Agree with Kelsey, bit weird this morning, bitter sweet. But I think this time inspiration will come out of it.

  256. London says:

    New Post

  257. TheWiseMaster says:

    Not such a good morning…..

    Sadly it is the injury which will have dominated the headlines. My own view was restricted as the incident occured near to the half way line and there were players around the ball. It seemed to me that Shawcross lost control of the ball and then lunged in. Match of the day confirmed my thoughts that the challenge was at worst reckless and was not ‘over the top’. This makes no difference of course to Ramsey who has a very srious injury. We can only hope that the break is clean and above the ankle. Our very best wishes to the lad for a speedy recovery

    As to the game we started brightly and of course scored via Delap’s throw. Arsenal recovered their game after some 20 minutes and thereafter we were out of the game. We were attempting to play a containing game with some success but severely limiting our own opportunities
    Excellent goal from Bendtner from a quick throw and cross. Down to ten men Stoke just didn’t have the legs to continue the containment and to their credit Arsenal eventually recovered their composure to win quite comfortabley
    I genuinely hope that Arsenal now go on to win the title

  258. Alfa says:

    WiseMaster, thanks for coming on with your thoughts. I’ll see whether we can copy your comment onto the new post as well if you don’t mind, to get a wider readership.

  259. kelsey says:

    In the heat of the moment many things are said,and name me any one manager who would not have been upset /incensed by the horrendous injury sustained by Ramsey, if it was their player.I genuinely believe there was no malice intended and hopefully it is not a career ending injury for the young Ramsey.I support my club first and foremost, and under the direction of Wenger we have become a quick intricate passing team and logically many teams will use a physical approach to break up our game and sometimes that can be effective.I believe it was a must win game for Arsenal,and a lot of character was shown to eventually get the required result,which realistically puts us right back in the title race.A team such as Stoke one could argue are more difficult to beat with 10 men behind the ball then with a full compliment of 11.Yet again for the third time we fell behind to the Delap throw in, and in all honesty for the first 25 minutes we were at sixes and sevens.Bedntner header was exquisite,and a special mention to Fabregas,Vermaelen and Campbell who were immense in our fight back.There is a thin line between being over physical and outright dangerous play, yet all in all it wasn’t a dirty game.The game will be remembered for all the wrong reasons, which of course is a shame.

    On individual performances I felt most of the team if one has to be critical didn’t have a great game,but the above mentioned three turned out to be real leaders in a desperate time during the game.

    Walcott continues to disappoint, Eduardo just isn’t the same player and Nasri definitely plays better at home.Rosicky is not the same player he was, or maybe he has changed his game.If we had made the 3 signings we needed we would walk this league.

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