A Chance to Blow the Blues Away

Written by Big Raddy

At last a game and what a game –  the chance to get a monkey off our backs and put some distance between us and Chelsea.

I trust that you all had a fine Xmas and are recovering from the effects of over-eating and that last pre-bed Brandy. What better than a dose of fresh air and a home match against the pretenders to our crown as Kings of London?

In very recent years Chelsea have bought their way  to become a major force in European football, no-one could deny the quality of their Double win last season which was achieved with a rash of goals and some superb entertaining football. With Malouda in form they became as artistic as they were effective, but he has suffered from post-WC withdrawal and following the injuries to Fat Frank, Drogba, and JT, Chelsea have struggled for points. Ancelloti will be delighted to have his full team back on the pitch and expect a return to winning ways.

This is not the place to discuss the total lack of class exhibited off-pitch by Chelsea and their players, but from the top down they are as dodgy as 3 week old Turkey sandwiches and it is for this reason that whatever the result of today’s match Arsenal will remain London’s top team.  Yes, it is true that we have a dreadful recent record against them, yes it is true they have amassed a pile of Silverware in recent times but I would suggest one checks out the Trophy rooms and see whose is stacked with treasures representing a long, proud history, and whose has just a few pots gathered in the last few years. Our fans have been complaining about lack of silverware  – well, I suggest you look at the decades between Chelsea’s first Championship and their second (5 was it?).

Today’s match is interesting because neither team is firing on all cylinders, both losing points to teams well beneath them in quality and PL position. To our Newcastle, Spurs and WBA one can compare Chelsea’s losses to Sunderland and Birmingham. Had they lost last week’s postponed game against Man Utd, Chelsea’s season could have been over by the end of today’s match!

Onto the “hoodoo”. Can we beat one of our rivals for the title? The loss to MU pointed to an improved attitude – I never felt we were outfought or that our players didn’t believe they could win, they just were found out by a lucky, well drilled team. I look forward to the Mancs return to the Emirates. It was a similar story at Stamford Bridge, we weren’t outplayed but were beaten by a superb Drogba goal and an unstoppable shot from Alex. In between we were well on top and had Koscielny scored an early header from 2 yards out, we would have gone on to win the game.

We all know the Chelsea team, full of great players from Ashley through JT, Essien, Fat Frank, Anelka and Drogba (can we stop his outrageous run of goals against us , 13 in 11 games?). A truly formidable side who on their day can seriously be considered to be challengers to Barca as the best side in Europe. But they are struggling and we can take advantage.

If Cesc is firing and Nasri shows the form he has everywhere except OT we can and will win. I am happy that Fabianski is fit despite Chesney looking very good last time out.

My team:

Bench: Chesney, Gibbs, Kos, Chamakh, Diaby, AA, Eboue

I would love to see us attack them at pace. Chelsea are not going to worry about Chamakh’s aerial ability – they are fantastic in the centre of defence, so we need to test them with guile and speed.

I firmly believe we can win this game ( I always do!), we are rested , have our Captain and best player back and have excellent players on the bench. Mr. Wenger will have been stung by the criticism of his tactics at OT and will be eager to pit his wits against one of the World’s top managers in Ancelloti.  In a topsy turvy season a good run will win the title and we can start today.


118 Responses to A Chance to Blow the Blues Away

  1. London says:

    Morning all in AA

    A good rousing post BR

    Come on you rip roaring, goal scoring, glory grabbing gunnnnnnnnnneeeeeeeeerrrs.

  2. London says:

    By the way, I like the team, I am completely sick to death of Arshavin underperforming.

  3. Rasp says:

    Morning London,

    I agree about the team and the need to attack at pace. I get frustrated when we get a free kick in an advanced position and tap it sideways or work it back to the keeper instead of trying to prise open the opposition’s defence. It will be very interesting to see how we approach this game. Usually you can tell in the first 5 minutes whether we are feeling confident.

  4. goonerwife says:

    come on boys! please win this one. This is what im getting for xmas. so make it good.

    Nasri, van persie, fabregas, arshavin, chamakh, theo, song, diaby on form? We have nothing to fear.

  5. goonerwife says:

    Im not much of writer. Especially with football. I cant actually watch a whole match. My head explodes with horrible headaches cos i get stressed out. But I adore this team. The only one i ever disliked from the beginning was Adebayor (seems i was right)

    But i sit there praying that my husband will shout from down stairs ‘we’ve won!’ good times.

  6. martins says:

    i strongly believe we can out run chelsea 2day but wit ur formation and players on pitch wat kind of victory do u xpect.wat is KOS and chamakh doing on the bench Rosicky not on team list pls rethink

  7. Joshuamoyin says:

    Am so mch confidence of a winning 29ite,chelsea cnt jst cm bck 4rm der poor runs hpin 2defeat d guns,No, all we nid is d right attitude,strong n sty focus,den shut sm disturbance up in d game,i wsh evry arsenal hpx xmas celeb n jubilation bcos arsenal own 29ite,arsenal my blood

  8. Joshuamoyin says:

    winning 29ite wud b my grtst joy,chelsea cnt jst cm bck 4rm der poor runs 2defeat d guns,No, all we nid is d right attitude,strong n sty focus,den shut sm disturbance up in d game,i wsh evry arsenal hpx xmas celeb n jubilation bcos arsenal own 29ite,arsenal my blood

  9. kelsey says:

    Morning all.

    I just can’t see us getting a win tonight which could turn out to be the most important game of the season.2 weeks off,so no excuses and mental strength in abundance but…

    Chesney in goal for me and drop arshavin and rosicky.
    results went against us yesterday so the pressure is on big time,can we do it, we will see.

    I can’t remember if we have ever played chelsea on a Monday night before.

    We need to improve our performance by 100% in an attacking force compared to the game at OT.

  10. dandan says:

    Morning all, Lets hope BR got away on hols OK, He left an interesting post behind for us.
    Well today is an interesting one, Rasp no averting your eyes at the game, you got to believe and act like a man, leave the hiding under the desk to me as I watch the game at home.
    Josh could you do an old fart a favour and not write in text speak on here please,nice as it is to see you, some of us struggle to understand your point of view when we have to translate the message first.
    My hope AA gets a rest and Fat Frank plays because he wont be match fit. My main problem staying awake after watching cricket all night.
    Enough said don’t want to upset our Aussie friends either.
    With luck we will be back second in the league tonight.
    Come on you gunners run that christmas pudding off and stuff the Chavs.

  11. Rasp says:

    Morning kelsey, dandan,


    I am consumed with superstitions when I don’t attend games so hiding behind the sofa is only one of many bizarre rituals I shall be observing 😕

  12. dandan says:

    KELSEYYYYYYYYYYYY hope you had a great Christmas, cheer up my friend, how can a winner like you be so worried, have faith, we will overcome

  13. MickyDidIt89 says:

    You are supposed to be sliding down mountains on planks of wood, so great effort with post.
    Agree with team, but as you know, I would switch flanks for Theo and Sami. But hey ho.

  14. dandan says:

    Rasp Tell me more LOL are these rituals solo practices or group activities

  15. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Am out today for last of Christmas feasts, but will be back to join all on-line AA’ers for the game.

  16. Rasp says:

    😆 dandan,

    Solo I’m afraid, I turned on the radio in the car last night and totnum scored within 10 seconds and I released a string of expletives in front of my kids – it always happens! Never listen to a game on the radio or in my case, I must never wear an Arsenal shirt on match day.

  17. Stew says:

    Spare ticket for todays game – North Bank Upper, sell at Face Value.

    Text me – 07896806529


  18. GunnerPete says:

    Sadly deep down we all know what is boiund to happen ie;

    1) We will open brightly and out pass them.
    2) They will not do much unless flappy helps thenm take an early lead.
    3) After we have passed twenty times just to get to the edge of their box…again & again….they will wait until only Kossy or Squilly is at the back and they will pounce.

    4) We will fight back and manage a shot every 25 passes.

    5) they will break away again and Arsene will look amazed and mistyfied how this can happen every time.

    6) We snatch an injury time goal and celebrate as though it has won the cup for us.

    7) The press and media praise us for trying so hard until the end and note that Chelski hardly broke swaet after the first 15 minutes.

    8) Arsene tells SKY that we were unfortunate that all the rebounds went to Chelski and that the Ref missed the blatant elbowing by Drogba of Flappy that led to him dropping the ball again.

    9) We (the Gunners) go back to the booze and wait to lay in bed to listen to the cricket and hope to sleep without the usual nightmares we have this time every year.

    10) Arsene buys two more foreign ‘wonder boys’ who are ‘the future of AFC’. He sells Arsharvin,Cesc,Sagna, RVP, and Theo to help the younger players come through (and to increase our profit ratio).

    11) Finally, in the last minute of the transfer deadline AW signs Honda from Japan and hails this as the ‘future of AFC’ and mentions that he and maiyachi are alreay making us miliions on shirts sales in Japan.

    Beckham signs in Summer and AW says ‘he is the future of AFC’. AFC announce season tickets prices are to rise to pay for Beckams wife and family to stay at the Savoy for a year.

    Prdiction….AFC 2 Chelski 1. Surprise !

  19. Rasp says:

    Hi GunnerPete,

    Obviously I recognise the scenario, but there are also times (against Citeh) when everything clicks, we get the early goal and the system works. Our stats this season prove that we have been inconsistent, but we do have players returning and arguably the strongest bench in the premiership.

  20. alexy says:

    my lineup\


  21. SharkeySure says:

    I think you might just be right Alexy, although personally I would for Big Johann. I’m not sure who i’d lose to bring him in though.

    Squill is usually in as the organiser, whereas I like Koz’s aggressiveness in everything that he does, and does so well. Nice problem to have I guess.

  22. Neamman says:

    I guess I am the lone voice saying give Nic a start. or is he injured?
    Frankly if Essien is playing I dont see who can match him in midfield.. we are still too lightweight IMHO.

  23. SharkeySure says:

    Afternoon all

    GunnerPete. Not sure what you were trying to do there. All that D&G, then 2-1 to us..?!? Footballs all about hope. Its about a club like Hull (spit), Wimbledon or Swansea rising thru the Leagues and playing massive games in big stadiums.

    I was at City’s first game back in the Prem when they were singing ‘we’re not really here’ all day long, ie long before they entered the stadium. Thats the spirit.

    Unfortunately some Arsenal fans have had a whole jar of sweets tipped in to their hands, and then realised that there’s two sweets still in the jar that they didn’t get, and are now pissed off about it.

    I’ll explain that further to anyone who needs me to.

  24. SharkeySure says:

    Welcome Josh, but as someone else pointed out, text speak really isn’t what we do over here. Lol..oops ;-).

    Seriously though, you make some good points, and sound like you’re really up for a good win. Good on you.

  25. SharkeySure says:

    Song’ll match Essien no danger. In fact I’m expecting it to get a little tasty between those two this evening, with Alexandre Dmitri coming out a clear winner !

    Chelsea have no match for Diaby, Cesc and Song is how I see it !!!

  26. Gunnertothebone says:

    Surely we need rvp and cesc starting.Djorou would be the man for this game i would think although i don’t know who to go to the bench.maybe squic,i like the aggresiveness,timing and everything that kos has.

  27. Rasp says:

    I’d start with Nasri on the right, Chamakh in the middle with RvP on the left.

  28. California Gooner says:

    Good morning BR (I know it’s almost dark in Denmark, but still…). Great post. I like you’re line up: it makes sense. Theo on the right can stretch their defense while Nasri has speed, but can also tuck inside and provide another body in the midfield when needed to play ticky-tacky with Cesc, RVP and Jack. However, I somehow doubt that’s what we’ll see…

    Looking forward to this game immensely, but really somewhat nervous. Our recent form has not inspired and I do think we played a bit scared against ManU.

  29. Neamman says:

    If we are going to beat them this has to be the game. My line up
    sagna Djourou Kos Clichy
    Nasri Song Cesc Wiltshire
    RVP Nic

    I would like Nic because I think their back 4 are suspect. If Chamack was not so tired I would play him but as AW says.. hes pooped!!

  30. RockyLives says:

    Hello All. Another great read from BR.
    I think Wenger may be bluffing about Chamakh and I expect him to start. This is the team I would go for:
    Sagna Squid Kozzer Clichy
    Cesc Song Wilshere
    RvP Chamakh Nasri

    Come on you Reds. Today is the day!!

  31. Hi all

    Hope we are all well – looking forward to a cracking game tonight and seeing Cesc lead the team out.

    Anyone feeling brave enough to volunteer to write a match report? An overseas gunner would be good as you’ll have a bit more time Neamman? California Gooner?

  32. California Gooner says:

    Thanks for the invited Peaches — I think I will beg off. When the game is over I have a lot of professional writing to do, which I have been putting off. But perhaps another game.

  33. You’re excused CG, I’ll nab you for another 😉

  34. MickyDidIt89 says:

    I am more excited now then when I discovered I had been given four extra pigs in blankets.

  35. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Diaby, Wilshere…Diaby, Wilshere…I am changing that mind of mine.

  36. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Pigs in blankets and bread sauce…huuuuuuh

  37. MickyDidIt89 says:

    In my opinion, this is a big game for our Robin. Great thing is, and something that gives me confidence, is that however we line up, we will have real options on the bench which may well prove decisive.

  38. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Here’s my thinking how the Boss will play things tonight. Looking to be defensively solid so as not to concede in the first half, at least (heads must not go down, as Chavs have the psycholgical edge anyway), I believe he will pack the midfield. I can see Diaby, Song and Wilshere starting. So I’m going for a 4-5-1.
    I think it may well be a high scoring game.

  39. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Apparently line up out:
    Sag Kos JD Clichy
    Cesc Song JW
    Theo RVP Nasri
    Wow. The man is going for it. 4-3 to the men in Red and White. Could it be 4-4-2?

  40. gnarleygeorge9 says:


  41. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    Johan in then Micky 😀

  42. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Someone to talk to. Just as I’m off to prepare the pre-matchers!
    Hope you had a good Christmas. Yip, good JD starts. If I have a worry, its that…oh bollocks, no worries.

  43. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Very telling that AA has been given the old heeve ho.

  44. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Back at half time.

  45. SharkeySure says:

    There’s just no picking Arsene’s teams anymore as there is just so much talent to choose from.

    Chamakh, Diaby, Arshavin all on the bench…wow !!!

    On form and ability I think it had to be JD and Kozzer at CB. Well done Arsene, let the f*****g dogs loose !!!

  46. dandan says:

    Terry is one dirty player, he gets away with a lot. LJ is having a good one.

  47. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    Great goal by sheeps head Song. The chavs are slow & cynical. But I haven’t written them off yet. Johan has Dogpoo in his pocket, so far……..

  48. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    All the chavs are cheats/dirty dandan.

    need a 2nd; need a 2nd; need a 2nd…….

  49. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Great half. Keep it going. No changes needed.
    COME ON!!!

  50. SharkeySure says:

    Songinho !!!!!!

    Who the hell thinks he should stay back !!!

    He scored that one just for ‘you know who’ over on ‘the other site’ !!

    My only concern now is that RVP is charging around like a bull in a china shop. Chamakh on RVP and Diaby for Wilshire and we can sew this one up quite nicely

  51. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Its three to be safe, Gnarley. We are Arsenal!

  52. dandan says:

    GG9 lets hope I have as much fun reading the Times football tomorrow as I have the Herald Sun today LOL And yes we do need another, Why if the ref was going to give a pen if we hadnt scored, did he not give a booking when we did.

  53. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    I wondered where you were MDI89. Good point about the 3rd goal.

    I’d bring Chamakh on too SS; I have him in my FL 🙂

  54. MickyDidIt89 says:

    The mid three work so well together. I was going to say always one stays back…but the goal, all three up there!!!
    I think RvP is causing them as many problems as Chamakh would, so I would leave well alone. Maybe Diaby on for JW at 70.

  55. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    Herald Sun is only worth reading during the footy season, but I take your point :). Much too good in the cr……..

  56. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    advantage dd maybe, & hence sheeps head scored

  57. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    Anyway its back too the tele. Bring it on home Gooners, 3 points there for the taking.

  58. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    Thats 3 now Micky, chhhhhhammoneeeeeeeeeeeeeeee 😆

  59. SharkeySure says:

    No question as to who MoM was tonight….country mile in my book.

    Alexandre Dmitri Song Billong…..I salute you. You should have smashed that last one in from 25 yrds just for Geoff !!!

  60. Rasp says:

    Hi sharkey, have a look at the top of the page 😛

  61. Irishgunner says:


  62. Rasp says:

    I’d hate to be one of those ‘Arsenal supporters’ who have been writing our boys off today after that performance. We comprehensively outplayed the chavs.

  63. dandan says:

    Rasp… Claridge is running down our performance already on five live, some things never change

  64. Rasp says:

    Oh yeah, Claridge, one of the worst cloggers ever to stain a football pitch …. who cares dandan, they’re bitter because they could never play football like that. Nothing is going to spoil my mood.

  65. dandan says:

    Sharkey….. JD had a great game and Theo made one and scored one so MOM is not that simple

  66. Rasp says:

    I love Andy Gray 🙂 (tonight at least)

  67. Rasp says:

    Arsene maybe should be MotM – excellent team selection and tactics.

  68. dandan says:

    Rasp as they say Claridge had more clubs than a golf pro. He is always so aggressively negative, to hear him talk he was a star. At Colchester perhaps but he has more Rabbit than a game butcher.
    He is another on my list chancers just below Waddle

  69. Irishgunner says:

    Word for Theo as well.

  70. Rasp says:

    Hi Irish,

    Great team performance. 11 Men otM’s

  71. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    Well raspy, can I be the one to say, I said we’d belt the chavs, & once again Gnarley knows 😀

    Big Johan made Dogpoo only look effective from set plays 😆

    And MOM must be Sheeps Head Song IMHO, but an 8 rating for Johan. “He’s big, he’s black, he crashes through the pack, Big Johan! Big Johan!!!!!

  72. Irishgunner says:

    Hi Rasp,

    Definitely, definitely.

    I might not stop laughing if the chavs are overtaken by Bolton midweek.

  73. Rasp says:

    Hi gnarley,

    Your football predictions are certainly more accurate than that other game 😉 seriously though, tonight’s a night to hug a fellow gooner

  74. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    Make no mistake about it, now that Russia will host 2018, Roman won’t give a shit about the chavs now. They virtually had the same starting 11 they had 5 years ago. Too old, too slow, too bad 😆

    If there are any chav voyeurs on here now, you are fucked. You can’t win @ The Emirates, you can’t win full stop!!!!

  75. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Fabulous, brilliant performance. Fantastic result. Long time since I’ve seen all eleven fight for each other like that. Chelsea given no room. Superb pressing creative football. We had the lot tonight. Crowd were right behind the team as well.

  76. Rasp says:

    Good point gnarley. We have yet to see what happens when a billionnaire football club owner loses interest, maybe Roman will be the first to dump his plaything

  77. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Made to look old and slow Gnarley!!!

  78. dandan says:

    All I need now Rasp is that the England Ashes score reaches 550 or more tonight and I will be really happy

  79. Rasp says:

    I definitely think our players benefitted from the rest, we seemed to have so much more energy. I think Arsene will have to rotate the squad in the next 2 games.

  80. dandan says:

    Some will be carrying Knocks from those tackles tonight

  81. Rasp says:

    I agree dandan, past experience tells me that we won’t declare if we still have wickets until it gets to 30 mins before close. Ponting showed himself up a bit today, I think his time as aussie captain is over after this series

  82. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Wigan on weds!! Rotation will give AA an opportunity to win his place back. Tough job that’s going to be. Nasri was superb defensively as well as attack.

  83. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Knowing England, they will bat for the next two days and seven hours and forty minutes, reach 2500 runs, and give themselves twenty minutes to skittle the Aussies out!

  84. dandan says:

    Sad that he has been a mega player and deserves to be remembered as that rather than a poor captain. But it shows that in all team games when you lose your spine the world changes, its not just football it applies to.

  85. Rasp says:

    Hi Micky,

    I agree. Masterstroke playing Djourou. Unfortunately kozzer was at fault for their goal. I reckon paradoxically that when fit, TV and Djourou will be our best CB partnership and neither of the new signings – although they have been very important cover whilst TV has been injured.

  86. gnarleygeorge9 says:


    If you are reading the Herald Sun, stay away from the weather & financial pages. England gets plenty of mention there 🙂 You aren’t a university student r u 🙂

  87. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Hi Rasp,
    Was kind of hoping nobody would mention the Kos mistake. Or Clichy’s, or come to that Cesc’s, but I do agree with you about the Verm/JD partnership. Its all about long term understandings with centre backs. Think about the Adams howlers. Eventually, Bouldy could read them! We will be ok in that department.

  88. MickyDidIt89 says:

    How many times do I have to tell you, we like rain here! 🙂

  89. dandan says:

    GG9 I also read the Sydney Morning Herald and the Australian just love your Rabid Press thought ours was bad enough LOL

  90. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    dan dandy

    Now I know you’ve tasted the pleasures of tthe lucky country. Do you not think that losing a cricket series to England is only a minor discomfort compared to watching a series of Eastenders, or actually living like they do on Eastenders.

    It beer & barbie o’clock in 1.5 hours time 😎 & I’m in an Arsenal frame of mind. Me & my Derby County expat pommy mate can talk about the legendary deeds of Charlie George. He can also feel proud of his well drilled cricket team, & I can show him the replay of the Chavs massacre. Its a win win for all.

    P.S Engalnd & Wales have been far to good for us. well played 🙂 But for me its Gooner time

  91. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Derby County and Charlie George, eh? That’ll be the V-sign then!

  92. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    Rupert Murdoch is the common ingredient there me thinks 🙂

  93. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Hate to break the news to you Gnarley, but Eastenders is fictional! We all live in Castles. You go and enjoy your barbie in that nasty hot sun of yours, and as you rightly say, its an Arsenal Day. Enjoy.
    Nite all.

  94. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Last thing Gnarley, are you wearing the lucky top?

  95. dandan says:

    Have visited your country several times, toured the MCG and most of your major cities apart from Perth so yes love OZ, if my wife had been in better health we may well have come and given the Barmy army some help this time.

    But the Arse have been a major force in my life far longer than travel has been so am in my den, the kids call it the command module LOL, scanning the computer TV and Radio for Opinions and write ups on tonight’s game.

    Wigan on Wednesday oh dear me do you remember all the doomsters we acquired on here when last we played at there place, funny game football, strange people footy fans.

  96. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    Cheers MDI89, I’ll have a beer for every Arsenal player plus subs, hick! Then a bottle of Pinot for le Gaffer 🙄

  97. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    dan dan

    I’ve been to your wonderful country several times as well. I think if I did move there, it would be down around where Doc Martin is filmed. People reckon I am the spitting image of Doc Martin (clunes).

    Enjoy, the ashes win, your blokes deserve the spoils. Far too good for us

  98. Neamman says:

    Masterclass, Song MOM but all were good… no great. We have to win at Birmingham now to show we can put some good games together in a row.
    England to reach 600 and bowl the ausies out fo 400. Surely they cannot bat as bad again. pity about Ponting ..but what a player he was…

  99. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Doc Martin filmed at Port Isaac. Not far from me. Its very nice. Lobster centre of Cornwall!!
    Good news for Micky. Bad news for Lobster.

  100. Brigham says:

    Not long been back home and am so over the flamming moon I am going to pour myself a large Whisky, then a Brandy and wash the whole lot down with a fine RED wine.

    Great atmosphere tonight and we fully deserved our win.

    Cannot stop smiling.

  101. gunnern5 says:

    What a difference a game makes!!!!

  102. gunnern5 says:

    What a difference the 12th man makes!!!

    If only the 12th man was always a part of the team !!!

  103. SharkeySure says:

    Fair do’s all.

    Fantastic team performance all round, but I really do have to stand by my Song for MOM shout.

    Overall I don’t think we were flashily good, just strong determined and resolute from start to finish.

    All credit to Arsene for team selection and tactics.

    Special mention to our 18 yr old who played 90 mins in a game of that magnitude. For me, every 5mins he played, earnt him his next 5mins. I admit to thinking that we might have needed Diaby’s forward thrust (tm MIDI!!) second half in place of Jacks superior possession and passing, but hey thats why I bow before Arsene’s greater knowledge instead of calling him a senile French mug.

  104. SharkeySure says:

    Peaches’ll have about 8 or 9 volunteers for match write ups now !!

    Nite all, on another sunny nite in S.London

  105. SharkeySure says:

    “SharkeySure says:
    December 27, 2010 at 2:13 pm
    Song’ll match Essien no danger.”

    I’m a idiot, Song battered Essien !!

    Nice banner Rasp !!!

  106. California Gooner says:

    Much to my surprise, the line-up predicted by Big Raddy, the one I hoped for, was played. Even more happily, the team was awesome. While I would pick out Song as MOTM, I think the whole team played extremely well. We dominated in pretty much every area of the pitch. Our defense was particularly impressive – – and defensive solidity allowed the guys higher up the pitch to really have a go at Chelsea.

  107. Carlito11 says:

    I’ve never enjoyed a bleary eyed 3am kick off game with the sound turned down so as not to wake my sleeping wife so much in my whole life! What a cracking team performance! So many positives: Song was splendid. We were dominant in the air and aside from the slip up for their goal, even in dead ball situations. JD was great but Kozzer also won a lot in the air and it was great to see him take the ball off Drog when he got the ball goalside of him even if the linesman got the offside call right. Theo did some things brilliantly and combined well with Cesc. Jack played a great sensible game and Nasri too. I particulary liked that we looked to break quickly at times and mixed up qucik forward balls with our normal possession play. Not quite sure what Diaby contributed when he came on but we will need him in the coming games. Well played the lads!

  108. Carlito11 says:

    btw Peaches/ Rasp- could you paste my last post ontop tomorrow’s match report? Merry Xmas all!

  109. Mike says:

    What a match, the performance I, and I’m sure many other Arsenal fans have been waiting for. From minute one the Arsenal was in control, and from there, well, the rest is history.

    Here are my ratings:

    Fabianski (8) – Didn’t have anything to do today. Was quick in distribution and appeared to command the defense when needed. Couldn’t have done anything about the wonderful finish by Ivanovic.

    Sagna (7.5) – Had an overall solid game. His defense was superb, but the offensive department was lacking at times. He was a bit slow when getting the ball here and there and some crosses were not great, but he’s a defender, and he did what a defender ultimately needs to do, defend.

    Koscielny (7) – Was excellent in the air at times. However, he was guilty of a quite a few stray passes that could have caught us out of position, especially in the first half. Laurent was also the man marking Ivanovic when the Serbian scored.

    Djourou (9) – What a match from the Swiss international. Made little to no mistakes throughout the entire match. Truly the answer to our little Drogba problem.

    Clichy (8) – Today, Gael proved to me just how good he can be for us at left back. Yes, he made a potentially fatal mistake in the second half by trying to beat Cashley in our own defensive third, but other than that, he was terrific. I for once felt confident when an attack was going down his flank.

    Walcott (7.5) – Had some poor touches in the first half, but made up for it with a nice assist and even better finish in the second. He worked hard and really made a difference for us down that right flank throughout the match. Very pleased with his contribution. This’ll be a great confidence booster for him.

    Wilshere (8) – I can’t believe Jack is only 18. He boasts the confidence of a player in his prime, but the kid is just getting started! Very efficient on the ball, and had some great interplay with Song that led to the opening goal. Can’t wait to see how good he’ll be getting in the coming years.

    Song (10: MotM) – For me, this was Alex’s best performance in an Arsenal jersey. I did not see him make one bad pass. He covered the defense perfectly. He did everything. He scored the vital first goal. There are no words to describe how well he played today. This is exactly what I’ve been waiting for: a hybrid player, one that can attack and defend as Song did today. The only thing he had been lacking to this point was patience and concentration, which he clearly showed today with his efficient, simple, passing and phenomenal defense. Kudos, Mr. Song.

    Fabregas (8) – To be honest, at times this season, I’ve been left wondering just how important he is to this team. After today, there is no doubt in my mind just how influential our skipper is. He is the heart of this team. For those who say his head is in Barcelona, today certainly didn’t show it. He loves this club. And he’s going to bust his ass for the three points. That’s what I want to see from our captain.

    Nasri (8) – Had a bit of a quiet game at times, the Frenchman. Sami held the ball up well and made some great plays in the attack. All around quality game. Could have been a bit more confident with his opportunity on goal however.

    Van Persie (8) – I can’t wait until he’s back in form. Chamakh has been great for us so far this season, but Robin is just another class of player. He holds the ball up so well, distributes like a midfielder, and when he gets his chance, can finish like the best of them. Great game from the Dutchman. Soon enough he’ll find his scoring touch..


    Diaby (7) – Did his job well after coming on for Walcott. Looked far sharper than I thought he would after coming on after such a long injury break. If he can play the way he did today consistently, well, Arsene is certainly going to have a selection headache. Still wish he could have taken his chance first time! Damn you left foot.

    Chamakh/Rosicky (No Vote) – Both worked hard, but didn’t really do much when subbed on. Needed more time to make an impact. Enjoyed the work rate though.

  110. California Gooner says:

    NIce reviews Mike. One small quibble: no way that was Cole that Clichy lost the ball to on the left. Kalou, maybe?

  111. Mike says:

    Ah yes, maybe that was Kalou. Good catch. Sorry about that.

  112. Rasp says:

    Hi Mike,

    Thanks for the player ratings – that’s a match report in itself.

    Rocky has written today’s post for us, how do you fancy writing the match report for the Wigan game for thursday?

  113. Rasp says:

    Congratulations to Big Raddy….

    1. For getting his team prediction 100% correct
    2. For believing in Djourou

  114. barumgooner says:

    Congrats to Mr Wenger for picking a balanced side. Theo and Nasri helped out their full-backs all game and with the 3 guys in the middle all putting in the effort both going forward and coming back we bossed it. Oh and JD is showing us all that hes the real deal.

  115. SharkeySure says:

    Morning lads and you Rasp (!), Gnarley not here yet…??

    He’ll like this…

    Johan Djourou Djourou…
    He’s bigger than than me and you….
    And scares (beats) the shit out of Drogba too…
    Johan Djourou Djourou

  116. Rasp says:

    Morning Sharkey,

    It was a brilliant team performance, but like you, I cannot understand why Song wasn’t given MotM? The first goal was so important, but also his overall contribution was about the best I’ve seen from him.

  117. Rasp says:

    New post …..

  118. GunnerPete says:

    Great result and I was so nearly correct (i said 2-1).

    MOM without doubt DJOUROU…we had a real CB for thr first time since Bouldy. Now I want to hear Arsene say ‘ Djourou is the future’.

    Sadly I read Aw is about to rest 2/3 of our top players because they are tired..AHHHHHHH. For one weeks pay that they all get I would play every two days for a year, and still be better than Denilson!

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