Cesc happy with Cattermole’s ban. Sunderland preview – written by BigRaddy

The Stadium of Light, there’s a misnomer. Anyone who has had the misfortune to travel to Sunderland away knows the drab, watery light that emanates from the cold North Sea and washes over the industrial wasteland that is Sunderland. They will also know how we struggled at TSOL last season, despite having 90% of the possession we got beaten by a late  Darren Bent goal (plus ca change, plus c’est la meme chose).

We go into our 5th game of the season with a tidy haul of points, all of which have been taken from Northern opponents, and it would be excellent if we could garner another 3 today. However Sunderland have a fine home record (one defeat in 12) and we will have to be at the top of our game to win.

Gyan appears to be a fine signing and alongside a rejuvenated Darren Bent (saved by Steve Bruce from the N17 hellhole), they will present a menace upfront. Our defenders must be fully concentrated as it should be noted that we have conceded in every one of our last 9 away games. We cannot rely on our ability to score more than the opposition – a few clean sheets away from home are essential.

We go into this game in superb form, as good as we have seen since last autumn when we smashed Porto etc. Sunderland will be worried particularly as they will be missing their midfield enforcer, Lee Cattermole (how could anyone seriously suggest we need a man like him), and possibly John Mensah. Cattermole is a perfect example of a talented and skilful player who has been given a poor football education, his disciplinary record is appalling. A CB pairing of Titus Bramble and Anton Ferdinand ought to bring a smile to the face of our nippy attackers, both are good defenders but susceptible to ingenuity and pace. Steve Bruce has become a fine manager and I expect him to get the best out of his players today. His stated respect for Wenger is a refreshing change from the vitriol of most British managers and does him much credit – does he fancy the job as AW’s replacement in 2014 (not my ideal choice!)?

With the team playing so well it would be tempting to play the same players as Wednesday, but I would give Wilshere a break. I would include Eboue because he is harder than Nasri and we may need some physicality  today.

There is very little to tell about the “City” of Sunderland (I thought cities had to have a Cathedral).Founded in 1974 during on of those ridiculous boundary changes which brought 4 “Hovis” towns together, Sunderland boasts it is the birthplace of Dave Stewart of the Eurythmics and that Sid James died there. Oh, and my friend Julien’s father used to be Mayor.

Can we win? Yes. Will we win? Why not?



98 Responses to Cesc happy with Cattermole’s ban. Sunderland preview – written by BigRaddy

  1. Ejor says:

    Eboue harder than Nasri?? you’re kidding, right?

  2. 26may1989 says:

    Nasri’s great but my 8 year old daughter is probably harder than him.

  3. Troy1987 says:

    coyrrg wrote

    The Stadium of Light, there’s a misnomer. Anyone who has had the misfortune to travel to Sunderland away knows the drab, watery light that emanates from the cold North Sea and washes over the industrial wasteland that is Sunderland.

    Yeh and it still looks Monte Carlo compared to the rats nest that is north London. Oh how I long to live amongst the Arabic signs and rubbish strewn streets, it must be so much nicer than our beautiful coastline and world heritage sites. The drug deallers and muggers of old London town are such a miss on our rolling countryside, and how I miss the Eastern European gangs of theives and pickpockets. You stay in Landan eh mate, the ‘industrial wasteland’ works just fine for me.

  4. mr arsenal says:

    lool “Landans” not that bad tony, not anymore at least

  5. Flint McCullough says:

    I find the need to insult the opposition unnecessary & tiresome. We are going there to play a game of football that we hope will be entertaining & fruitful in terms of points gained.

    The countryside around Sunderland is magnificent & there are certainly some unsavoury parts of North London, as I am sure there are in Sunderland, but it is still home to someone.

  6. king gooner says:

    troy 1987,fair point me ole mucker!the tottenham end of north london is indeed a complete & utter shithole-even their own fans admit it on their own spudz blogs(all two of them!)the area should be nuked-we agree on that-however may i suggest a trip to the classier end of north london,with it’s famous history,heritage ,cafe society,culture etc-i could go on & on but you get my drift…

  7. PG Mackem says:

    Obviously you have only experienced beyond North London through a well salivated bus window and by searching wikipedia….. For your education, Sunderland actually became a city in 1992; it was the borough of sunderland which came into being in 1974. Sunderland pre-dates AD674 and became the largest shipbuilding town in the world providing work for many skilled men, including immigrants from North London. It played a pivotal role in the English Civil War and these days, we have quite a few English people living in the area (surrounded by beautiful countryside and coastline.) SAFC actually fielded 7 Englishmen in a Premier League game last week. Now there’s a refreshing thought – how many in Arsenal’s official squad list?…. Oh ye of little (or no) education…

  8. ArsenalEyes says:

    There was no need to criticise their city in a football article. Bad taste.

  9. barumgooner says:

    I agree that there’s no need to run down Sunderland or anywhere else for that matter as a place. I’ve never been there but as with anywhere it’s where you live and what you are accustomed to. For me I would hate to live in any city. If I were to win the lottery tonight I would buy one of those posh flats at Highbury but I’d only stay there on match days. Give me Devon any day but thats just me. As for the football It is a difficult place to travel and Bruce has become one of the better managers with a half decent team. I would start as we did on Wednesday unless TV’s ready in which case I would sit him in midfield with Song in the place of little Jack. 2-0 to the Arsenal.

  10. Arsenholer says:

    coyrrg wrote

    “There is very little to tell about the “City” of Sunderland (I thought cities had to have a Cathedral)”

    Along with your comments about the North East, your above statement just goes to highlight your complete ignorance of geography, as 18 of the 66 cities in the country do not have Cathedrals.

    Please do not change your opinions of Sunderland, as that will hopefully be enough to keep the likes of yourself away from the CITY.

  11. Flint McCullough says:

    “– how many in Arsenal’s official squad list?…. Oh ye of little (or no) education…”

    13 or so actually (3 current England internationals) + several more brits. 6+ likely to play some part this season.

    Thanks for the education, shame to spoil it with the xenophobia.

  12. Matt says:

    ffs stop talking about the places and talk about the bloody game!!

  13. Flint McCullough says:

    Where do you live Matt?

  14. Flint McCullough says:

    The game:

    We will put out a strong side, with some rotation, that will have to show the focus & strength to earn the right to play, against a decent side, that will aim to crowd us out & hit us on the break or set pieces.

  15. Oh dear, we seem to have got off on the wrong foot, maybe its something to do with being labeled southern softies……. anyway as many of you have pointed out we have a game of football to look forward to later on this afternoon.

    After Wednesdays Cesc show wouldn’t it be nice if Sunderland let us play some lovely football too – I’m not holding my breath on that one.

    Sunderland were good for their mid-table finish last season and when we played them at their place we were missing some shooting boots but luckily we have lots of shooting boots at the moment.

    I’m hoping that Sunderland will get themselves tied in knots deciding how they’re going to keep all our mid-field and Chamakh quiet.

  16. barumgooner says:

    Its on ESPN isn’t it ? Does anyone know if sky will have it on their football first show later ?

  17. PG Mackem says:

    Flint McCullough

    “13 or so actually (3 current England internationals) + several more brits. 6+ likely to play some part this season.”

    Arsenal actually have no Englishmen in their squad. The 3 England Internationals you talk about are U21’s and don’t need to be included in the 25 man squad list. Don’t worry, I will continue to educate you, even about your own club….

  18. London says:

    I blame Pat Rice

  19. barumgooner says:


    For anything in particular or just for everything ? haha

  20. barumgooner says:

    oops too many e’s

  21. Shall I edit for you?

  22. If I remember correctly ESPN games don’t appear on sky’s Football First

  23. PG Mackem – its still a squad even though they aren’t named in the 25 – thats just splitting hairs 🙄

  24. barumgooner says:

    Yeah thats what I thought Peaches. Bugger. MOTD it is or maybe the pub ?

  25. Flint McCullough says:

    Who mentioned 25 men?

    The squad is the squad & I would put my money on an Arsenal team with 6 English players to beat a Sunderland side, with their 7, 8 times out of 10.

  26. Hi bg – I reckon the pub’s a good choice, last week the stream was rubbish I heard, jumping about all over the place.

  27. Mark Ferguson says:

    Support Sunderland and live in North London.

    Both wonderful places to live in their own way – no need for cheap shots – I doubt you know much about the place or the area.

  28. Rasp says:


    Perhaps the author today was a bit harsh with his description of the NE, but I find it extraordinary that his complimentary remarks about Sunderland and some of their players went unnoticed by the Mackems that have come on this morning.

    Personally, I have a ‘mild affection’ for Sunderland FC but have never been to the city. SB seems to have had a good relationship with AW and Dazzer is a gooner who said some home truths about totnum. So in every game except when playing against Arsenal, I wish them luck.

  29. Has anyone heard anything about when Ramsey might be returning?

  30. Rasp says:

    Hi peaches,

    Ramsey’s become the forgotten man with all the fuss over LJ. I guess he’ll play some games behind closed doors and then maybe a reserve game possibly starting as early as October. Arse.com say he is set for a November return, but I don’t know if that refers to the first team.

  31. rockylives says:

    Bit of a sense of humour failure on here today. I’m sure BR didn’t mean to insult the fine ship-building city of Sunderland – it was just a bit of pre-match banter. I have to say, his opening line did make me laugh.
    When northern supporters slag off London it doesn’t bother me in the slightest.

  32. rockylives says:

    And so to the game… most of us have been impressed with Kozzer and Squelchy so far, but this is definitely going to be their biggest test. In Gyan and Bent Sunderland have the most potent attacking partnership we’ve faced so far – they have the power of the Bolton/Blackburns but with a lot more cutting edge. Let’s hope our new CBs are up for the challenge.

  33. Rhys1879SAFC says:

    Well lads, as a Sunderland fan I look forward to welcome the travelling Arsenal fans to the Stadium of Light this evening. It seems to me that both sets of fans get on better than most for some unknown reason. I myself have a great deal of admiration for Arsenal and Arsene Wenger and I would love you to win the league, I wish you the best of luck for every other game you play (bar when we visit the magnificent Emirates ofcourse).

    The comments about the City of Sunderland in the OP are quite ignorant and somewhat disappointing though to be honest. Obviously there are parts of Sunderland which are pretty rough to say the least but the City is surrounded by lovely countryside and there is some major regeneration going on in the town centre.

    Enjoy the game tonight and lets hope the atmosphere is something special, it usually is at our place.

  34. rockylives says:

    Thanks for your comments Rhys. It’s nice to get rival supporters on here who don’t just want to post abuse – and in fact most of the Mackem comments today have been reasoned and intelligent.
    As BR says in the original post, you have a good manager up there and a team that aspires to more than just lump-it-and-hope. I think your front two will give our new CBs a tough time today, and I reckon you’ll get at least one. But our attacking mids are so hot at the moment that I fancy us to get 2 or 3 ourselves.

  35. Frothing Inarticulate Loon says:

    The SkySports panel were unanimous earlier that Cahill should only have received a yellow card for his two footed studs up off the pitch challenge. I know I’m a loon, but I just don’t get it.

    They even went so far as to state that ‘everyone in football’ knows thats a yellow card! I’m still stunned…in fact I’m actually Frothing and becoming less f***ing Articulate by the f***ing minute !!

    Grrrrr…really happy.

    This wonderful insight was preceded by a short clip of Boltons tackles in the game. But somehow they managed to miss any of the ‘tackles’ that Kevin Davies made. It was left to Phil Thompson to point out that the tape missed out a fair few of Boltons tastier tackles other than the two by Cahill and Robinson.

    Sky….worthless bunch of (add your own epithet here!)

    Ps. Afternoon all, esp you Red Arse, no time no speak.

  36. Frothing Inarticulate Loon says:

    *UNhappy* lol

  37. Frothing Inarticulate Loon says:

    *long time no speak*


  38. rockylives says:

    FIL – we all know that if the equivalent of those Bolton tackles had been made by foreign players on our sainted English heroes like Gerrard and Rooney the uproar would have been deafening and the Sky pundits would be calling for 6-match bans.
    As I posted here earlier in the week, if Chamakh had had one of his feet planted the Cahill tackle would have caused serious injury. Chammer was just lucky that in the microsecond when the impact happened both his feet were off the ground.

  39. rockylives says:

    Stop making corrections BigFIL or you’ll have to become the Frothing Articulate Loon.

  40. Edissimo says:

    @PG Mackem says:
    September 18, 2010 at 10:53 am
    “SAFC actually fielded 7 Englishmen in a Premier League game last week. Now there’s a refreshing thought – how many in Arsenal’s official squad list?”

    52 I believe… not least given that that ‘unlisted’ section includes a number of first teamers:

    After three years living in the North East I came to one crucial footballing conclusion –

    Hate Newcastle, love Sunderland.

    I hope we win today but that it’s not one sided, they’re a good side and I’d like to see them end the table comfortably above their poorer northeastern cousins.

  41. London says:

    Phew, made it.

    The are two days of the year I fear: my eldest and my youngest sons birthdays, both of which fall within the season and obviously put me in a difficult situation as the possibility that one or both could fall on a day Arsenal are playing….bad planning I hear you say, I should have ensured that at conception their birthdays fell in the close season.

    About a month ago the usual terror gripped me when Mrs London announced that she had booked our youngest’s birthday party, to which, I asked as innocently as I could, what date? She replied, the 18th, I outwardly smiled while inwardly I racked my brains in an attempt to remember if we were at home, I tried not to run out the door too quickly in search of the fixture list but this time it didn’t matter, Mrs London, knows me too well and said with a challenging tone: you’re worried that Arsenal are playing on that day aren’t you? To which, I tried to answer as nonchalantly as I could, well, yes. Mrs London replied well, if they are you will have to record it. I welled up slightly at this point, my heart sang with joy as I knew I had chosen the right women in life; she is that understanding she would even record our son’s birthday so I could watch it when I got home from the game…..what a women.

  42. London says:


    I am not going to say much about the comments today but if you do write the pre-match on Tuesday please don’t hold back on the amount of vitriol you use to discribe the environs of N17.

    Another superb read.

  43. Well done Mrs London 😉

    Hope you all have a lovely time and Happy Birthday to the youngest Master London 😆

  44. London says:

    Hi Peaches

    I got lucky, the party was this morning giving me plenty of time to watch the game this afternoon.

  45. You did get lucky 🙂

    Maybe we should all chip in with something vile about N17

  46. SharkeySure says:

    “she would even record our son’s birthday”

    Brilliant !!

  47. Hi Sharkey, Red Arse said he wasn’t going to be around much for a couple of weeks, he’s not been ignoring you.

  48. The N17ners are a goal down at home to Wolves hahahaha

  49. Big Raddy says:

    BTW. I hold fast to my opinion about Sunderland. Having been there on a number of occasions, I can agree that the surrounding countryside is magnificent but the town itself is totally without merit.

    If I insulted some Mackems, I am sorry but the thrust of the post was about the game not the town. The people of Sunderland have been unfailingly polite and kind towards me, and thinking that Sunderland is an extremely ugly town in no way reflects upon it’s inhabitants.

    Frothig Loon. Nice to read your insights….

  50. London says:


    I’m glad someone got the joke, I thought for a while it was going to go completely unnoticed 😉

  51. SharkeySure says:

    Red’s off doing his community service isn’t he…or was it Care in the Community….its deffo one of the two

  52. kelsey if you’re about, do you have ESPN or are you going to try the stream?

  53. kelsey says:

    hello, i am on the stream peaches.i hope it doesn’t jump.

  54. SharkeySure says:

    My pleasure London, I’m always on the lookout for thingsthattickle me…and that one really hit the spot, as I’m in a similar boat myself with Mrs Sure…well I guess most of us are, except FIL, who surely lives alone !!

    Unchanged team, well I never….

    Passing masterclass leading to a 1-4 win.

  55. kelsey says:

    goal for arshavin and a booking for wilshere. 0-2 thank you very much.

  56. Big Raddy says:

    Same team as Weds.

    Just seen an interview with Onouha – what a pleasant and intelligent chap. Hope he trudges off the pitch wondering where it all went wrong


  57. Big Raddy says:

    Kelsey. We have it on Canal+ in HD. Don’t you receive it in Spain?

    I will take any win, any score but the less stressful the better.

  58. kelsey says:

    Long story BR,

    nice goal by cesc 😉

  59. kelsey says:

    we need to up our game pretty quickly or we will be in for a rough ride.

  60. kelsey says:

    i would like to see us pass it out of defence a bit more,instead of hoofing.
    can sunderland keep this up ?

  61. kelsey says:

    anyone else think cesc injured his leg/ankle/hamstring when he scored.

    I would take jack off for denilson.
    chamakh impresses me and the defence generally has played well.
    the midfield need to hold the ball up more i.m.o.

  62. Rasp says:

    Sunderland the better side in th first half. We need to wake up and realise we’re not playing Braga. They are closing us down very effectively but as kelsey says – can they keep it up?

    Their tactic is very simple, just hoof it up towards Bent, but it works so you can’t knock it. Kozzer and squidgy coping so far, but Clichy and Jack have got to stop trying to be too clever when under pressure in danger areas.

  63. Rasp says:

    Cesc had an ongoing hamstring-type injury last season and I’m not sure he’s over it.

  64. Clichy’s getting beaten every time down the right and as Rasp says he has to be careful not to try too much tippy tappy football.

    Lucky goal – not like us!!!!!!!!!

  65. Rasp says:

    Hi peaches,

    Clichy has been making these same mistakes for 3 seasons now -he just doesn’t seem to learn. I can forgive Jack to an extent because he’s not a defender. Sometimes they do anything to keep the ball in play and just end up passing it to the opposition and we’re under pressure againna straight away.

  66. There have some moments of class so I’m hoping that Sunderland will be knackered soon and let us play. Song has to be careful so thats a bit of a shame. Hope the commentators observation that Almunia isn’t getting crowded out doesn’t find its way to Bruce’s ears.

  67. Rasp says:

    Almunia’s been one of our best players along with the 2 CB’s. AA needs to work harder or he’d better take his chances and bag us a goal because he’s a bit of a passenger at the moment.

  68. Song tried a couple of great incisive passes that just got cut out. Shame theres no Theo. Chamakh works so hard doesn’t he ……..

    2nd half

  69. Rasp says:

    … and Arshavin misses a sitter right in front of the goal 😦

  70. Rasp says:

    … now Arshavin misses another easy chance

  71. Rasp says:

    Song can have no complaints – that was just bloody stupid when he’s already on a yellow.

  72. Rasp says:

    Surely Eboue has to come on for Wilshire?

  73. kelsey says:

    i can’t believe it.

  74. only one says:

    what an awful penalty by mozart.. he made alot of positive passes though..

  75. kelsey says:

    i really thought we were going to hang on the defence seemed to deal with everyhing, but i suppose a draw is a fair result,but all everyone will be talking about is the exra. extra time played.

  76. Big Raddy says:

    OK. There is no way we deseved to take 3 points from that but I am still bloody furious. How is it that with 4 minutes of extra time Sunderland score on 94m 40secs?

    Dowd is a complete plum.

    No complaints about Song’s red card. Plain stupidity.

    But AA missed 3 great chances and Mozart’s penalty was atrocious.

    We threw 2 undeserved points

  77. Big Raddy says:

    We agree Kelsey.

    Overall a disappointing performance with a hangover from Weds. Losing Cesc is bad, very bad.

  78. Rasp says:

    Ridiculous loss of 2 points. Entirely our own fault – why do we never learn? What the hell were we thinking oof trying to score in extra time? Where were the 26 passes when we needed them. A very immature performance by the midfield. I fell very sorry for the 2 CB’s.

  79. Big Raddy says:

    RAsp. We don’t play that way without Cesc to calm things in midfield. One would think that Rosicky would be able to chill out the kids around him, but with AA, Song and Cesc missing we lost it.

    But let’s be honest, we should have put the 3 points to bed way before added time

  80. Rasp says:

    Well in that case Raddy, I hope Cesc is out for a long time because the others cannot rely that heavily on him. These are highly paid EXPERIENCED footballers. The performance was littered with poor decision making. Only the CB’s and Chamakh showed class and composure throughout. I don’t blame Almunia, he was fine today.

  81. Big Raddy says:

    I thought the whole back 5 played well. Sure Clichy was out of position accasionally but he was trying to be creative.

  82. Rasp says:

    The back 5 was generally good but Clichy was the weak link a couple of times. My frustration is that he doesn’t learn and repeatedly makes the same mistakes.

    Today was not a hard fought point, it was two points dropped.

  83. Why oh why can’t we just play out the last 5 minutes and hold on – 2 points thrown away, we didn’t deserve the three as Sunderland were all over us in the first half but once we’re in that position we must not be trying to score more.

    But too many holding players not on the pitch.

  84. It was only two points lost because we got a lucky goal – but when we get a lucky goal we should take more care of it.

  85. Who fancies writing it up, kelsey?

  86. Big Raddy says:

    Perhaps it was karmic. We saw the luckiest goal that will be scored this year, and then paid the penalty with the loss of Cesc, the red card the missed pen and the overtime goal.

    Would have been much better not to score that bloody goal !!

    Fairplay to Sunderland. They were excellent in defence and midfield. If Bent had any ability in the air and on the ground we would have been badly beaten

  87. London says:

    Kelsey are you writing something?

  88. I haven’t heard back from kelsey London – do you want to write it up?

  89. London says:

    I can help, it’s not going to win me a Nobel prize for literature but it will fill a gap.

  90. 🙂 thankyou, it might win you a Nobel prize for literature you never know. If you want Rasp to add some pictures can you put it into drafts by about 9am – just leave a msg on the blog when its in. Is 9 ok or do you want more time?

  91. London says:

    Finished, in drafts, can you publish as I have to go out tomorrow early?
    Rasp, pictures would be good if you can find a man staring at a drain, crying as he watches two points disappear down it.

  92. Dave says:

    Do one thing this weekend all you Gooners !
    email Talksport and let them know you will switch off when Collymore is on , let the Advertisers know why the audience figures are dropping … And yes, pass it on , pass it on !!!

  93. 26may1989 says:

    OK, I’ve just caught up and watched that game as live. And I’ve now finished throwing the remote control around the room and punching pieces of furniture. 95th bloody minute, what????!!!

    Squillaci, Koscielny, Almunia, Rosicky and Chamakh did well, most of the others let them down.

    Gutting, but justice was done.

    So bloody irritating though!

  94. Big Raddy says:

    Last night was the first time in years that I kicked a piece of furniture! And it wasn’t their goal which had an element of inevitability about it. No it was Mozart’s penalty miss.

    We had a chance for an unassailable lead in a game where we were being outplayed and he blew it.

    A cane chair got a nasty toepoke to the midriff

  95. kelsey says:


    Having watched a replay in all honesty a draw was a fair result.

    I was surprised we started with the same 11 as midweek.

    Jack although an exceptional talent is still making too many mistakes,but it’s not so noticeable when the team is so resolute.

    Not much mention of Arshavin, who by my reckoning has missed at least half a dozen chances in the last two weeks.At least he is there to get the opportunity and hopefuly these attempts will turn into goals.

    Song has to be blamed as a second yellow was always on the cards.
    The two new boys looked a smart act,and Almunia is getting better game by game.

    Did Cesc jar his knee/hamstring when scoring ?

    A question: As Nasri was brought down,isn’t it a french thing that a non frenchie has to take the penalty,or am I off track.

    There are many Clichy detractors at the moment,but as a ten man unit I thought our defending has improved immensely from last season and if anything our various options of attacking the final third was below par,but credit to Sunderland for hustling us throughout the game.

    Many things to consider but however disappointed we are,many positives to be taken from the game.

    Finally the headlines are about the law of the minimum of extra time.Why not use the American system and blow the claxon,therefore the ref can’t be accused of playing too much or too little time.

  96. Rasp says:

    New post ……

  97. Tax law about businesses in the USA is ever changing.
    Platforms: Android, Blackberry, i – Phone, i – Pad,
    Windows Phone. Selling the same things, to the same market, in the
    same way.

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