Connor Wickham: Will he be a Heskey or a Drogba?

Written by Big Raddy

Can you feel the tension? Are you moist with excitement? Breathlessly fearful of the possibility of defeat? Come on …. it is Semi-Final day.

These days do not come along as often as they used to – I recall getting Wembley fatigue followed by even worse Cardiff fatigue, but now a Semi-Final is an unusual event. Am I excited? …… mildly. Yes, I want us to win tonight, and yes, I want us to silence the bleating from the media and glory-hunters, but if we do lift this trophy we will hear a chorus of “it is only the Carling/League/Milk Cup”, and if I am honest, if Sp*rs won it, I would say the same.

But a trophy is a trophy and apart from the Emirates Cup we have been through a few lean years. So let’s start the ball rolling with a rousing victory this evening.

We couldn’t have wished for better opponents; a team lying 19th in the Championship, rudderless, having just removed the odious Roy Keane and leaking goals a plenty, Ipswich could be forgiven for concentrating upon league survival and letting this game go. But roared on by a full house of frozen East Anglian’s they will be trying to impress their new manager and give themselves a chance at the Grove.

One Ipswich player I am really looking forward to seeing is Connor Wickham, a young man who has been attracting Premiership attention. I watched him playing for England youth alongside Benik Afobe and he looks a fine player. Huge for his age (or any age!), skillful, pacy and good in the air, Wickham could well be the first choice England striker of the future. Right now though, he is more Bendtner than Eto’o.

It is a puzzle who will start tonight. Squillaci is out meaning a JD and Koscielny centreback pairing. Let us hope nothing happens to either of them! With hindsight it would have been wise to curtail Kyle Bartley’s loan spell at Sheffield; having watched him at the weekend, he appears to have all the attributes necessary for an Arsenal CB; big, strong, comfortable on the ball and what is more, a natural leader. Bartley would certainly have played tonight.

Who would have imagined at the start of the season that we would miss Wilshere in midfield? Yet his absence was felt against Leeds and young Jack has quickly established himself as an integral cog in our team, he is a shoe-in for Young Player of the Year. I hope he starts as our attacking MF tonight allowing him to show his natural offensive flair.

My team;

Bench: Fabianski  Cesc  Miquel  Bendtner  Ramsey  Clichy  Walcott

I don’t know how many of you have been to Ipswich, but the ground is a classic, cosy English League stadium, a fine atmosphere will be generated, not least by the travelling Gooners who have been exceptional this season.

I expect us to make it difficult and leave with a one goal victory, setting up a 4 goal hammering for Paul Jewell’s men at the Grove



190 Responses to Connor Wickham: Will he be a Heskey or a Drogba?

  1. Morning all

    Semi-final part one – I’m excited 🙂

  2. Rocky Jay says:

    Denilson and Eastmond in the same team??
    Partnering Chamakh with another striker??
    Do you seriously watch Arsenal or do you just keep on writing utter bull crap on Arsenal blogs??

  3. Rasp says:

    Hello RJ and welcome.

    It’s all about opinions – everyone is entitled to one. Luckily most express theirs more politely than you. If you had any idea of Big Raddy’s history and dedication as an Arsenal supporter you would retract your statement.

  4. Steve Palmer says:

    Morning All.
    On paper we should Annihilate them, but with Arsene’s strange tactics of late, i expect they will get the chance of their lives, Paul Jewell will no doubt make it difficult with a brick wall at the back, and we will endeavour to pull it down or knock it down, something we have struggled with of late, i noticed you haven’t included RVP in your line up, i would have thought that a game like this may just have got his goalscoring in open play, back on track

  5. king gooner says:

    well said rasp old chap-let’s have peace in the gooner empire-all for one & one for all!

  6. Rocky Jay says:

    History is fine!
    But he needs to learn the present! How can one predict picking a midfield 4 of Wilshere, Eastmond, Denilson and Rosicky?? Surely,,,even Wenger on 1 of his crazy days(like the day against Wigan) would think twice before doing that!!

  7. Rasp says:

    Rocky Jay,

    I suspect that you are one of those who not only knows better than the author of the article but also more than Arsène Wenger.

    If I have learned anything, it is that you cannot second guess AW’s team selections. Like you, I don’t always agree, but then I’m just a rank amateur and he’s been crowned Manager of the Decade – there might be a clue there.

    I don’t know if you’ve had time to read any of the tabs at the top, but we are an inclusive site where anyone can be a guest writer and all opinions are welcome as long as they are polite and coherent – we have no axe to grind.

  8. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    Well done BR


    Thanks Arsenal Andrew for the kind words re QLD floods.

  9. Gooner in Exile says:

    RJ I think Raddy is having a go at predicting the impossible. No doubt Wenger will be saving the big hitters for the away game at West Ham. Those big hitters involved against Leeds are unlikely to play tonight but inevitably some of the squad players would also be rotated.

    I for one think the line up is a reasonable stab although I would guess that it would be the same players possibly in a 4-5-1 with Rosicky on the right and Vela on the left of midfield.

    Also given the reserves starting line up on Monday we can rule out JET and a few other youngsters.

    Interesting game ahead although I would hope for a slightly stronger line up to get the job done tonight and not have to worry about the second leg.

    Of course for the most local away game to me tickets were an impossibilty due to Gold and TC Members getting 1st priority. Pittman Road is a great little ground and the Tractor Boys can be quite vocal.

  10. Steve Palmer says:

    I must admit with a line up you have picked out wouldn’t make me want to travel to Ipswitch, dont you think the supporters deserve better.

  11. Rasp says:

    Song looks like he needs a rest and I wouldn’t risk Cesc, so we don’t have too many options in midfield. I don’t know the situation regarding Diaby, but I’d definitely like to see Ramsey get some time on the pitch tonight.

  12. Big Raddy says:

    Rocky Jay. . I have travelled all over the world following the Arsenal and have earned the right to my OPINION.

    Perhaps you could write the next headline post as you clearly know all about Arsenal. Check out Be Our Guest.

  13. Gooner in Exile says:

    Obviously iPhone doesn’t know Portman Road so autocorrected it to make me look a fool

  14. Rasp says:

    I agree Steve. Apparently its going to be windy and pouring with rain for the game so silky football is likely to be in short supply. I don’t want to ‘big-up’ Ipswich, but any kind of win will suffice, it’s lucky we have the 2nd leg at home.

  15. sonnie says:

    i’d never play eastmond and denilson in the same team too. they’re both DFs and denilson is light years ahead of eastmond. i can smell the trophy already. letz not blow it away with complacency, and wrong selection. ipswich smells like dinner to me, boys!

  16. Big Raddy says:

    I don’t understand the disappointment with the team. With TR and JW playing as offensive MF’s , Denilson just behind (I was tempted to place Diaby here) and Eastmond as DM, we have a solid platform to build from. Gibbs will have the opportunity to venture forward and play leftside MF/Winger, because Vela is not great at tracking back.

    If I was to re- pick the team, I may play Diaby instead of Denilson and Bendtner for Chamakh (he plays well with Vela).

    We shall see …..

    But if you do disagree with my team, please try to be constructive and not just plain rude.

  17. Steve Palmer says:

    I can see what your saying Rasp but i would like a big lead to go home with,I want Ipswich to be well and truly hammered so they don’t want to come back

  18. Rasp says:

    Hi sonnie, thanks for your comment.

    Ipswich are struggling near the bottom of the Championship and they’ve just conceded 7 to chelski. If players like Eastmond are going to improve, they need first team experience. AW obviously sees something in Eastmond and he has shown glimpses of quality. Tonight would seem the ideal opportunity to give the lad a chance. Denilson alternatively may be needing to prove that he has a long term future with Arsenal bearing in mind the other players above him in the pecking order.

  19. Rasp says:

    I’m torn Steve. What we must ensure is 3 points against wham at the weekend. If we rest important players and only come away with a draw (or god forbid lose) we always have the home leg to settle the tie.

  20. tommystout says:

    Good preview BRaddy, i’m looking forward to this one, and who knows what fringe players Arsene will use and what experienced.
    I’m gonna go for
    Eboue, Kozzer, Miguel, Gibbs
    LJW,Denilson Rosicky
    Nik, Chamach, AA

    the only change i expect from the above is maybe song for miguel in def. but who knows.

  21. tommystout says:

    woops forgot about Mr Ramsey maybe he will play for LJW???

  22. tommystout says:

    and i’d expect my team to give them a mauling 3.0 —- BRING IT ON!

  23. Smith14 says:

    Morning all,

    It’s impossible to guess what Wenger will do tonight although I’d like to see a releatively string saide considering most didn’t play on Saturday and we have until Saturday afternoon to recover. It’ds be good to get a couple of away goals and play a second string at home.

    Personally I think Bendtner and Arshavin should play tonight. Both were dissapointing on Saturday so it would be good to get them out again, without the pressure of home support, to blow the cob webs away.

    I also wouldn’t be surprised to see Miquel at the back and Nasri and Cesc on the bench.

  24. RockyLives says:

    What have you started?
    Check out the comments on this link

  25. Rocky Jay says:

    You are absolutely entitled to your opinions Big Rad, and i love you, just because you are a gooner and apparently travelled all round the world following my beloved!
    So let me put this politely;
    the defense picks itself, no guessing there!
    but the midfield you picked…OMG!! I would die pulling my hair out if i watched Eastmond, Denilson in midfield together!
    Rosicky has also turned into more of a central midfelder and so has lil Jack!
    So what we will be seeing is all four midfielders passing sideways!!
    Coming to your forwards, it doesn’t take a genious to figure out that MC29 is most effective with a player just behind him rather than a player beside him! As we have seen that experiment fail with both RvP and Bendty beside him!
    And Vela, i don’t even know what to expect of that kid anymore. Sure he got talent, but the number of games i watched him play, i dont even realise he is on the pitch! And when i do happen to notice him, i cant figure out whether he is a left winger or a left forward or a centre forward or a left back!!!
    So say Wenger plays the team you picked….
    all we will see is Denilson and the other midfielders playing their sideways passes, then one of them pumps the ball forwardMC29 and Vela colliding with each other, giving the ball away to ipswich, and Ipswich give the ball back to us, and the process continues on and on and on!!!
    A most frustrating game if you can imagine it!!
    though i still maintain, love you big rad…just for being a gooner!! 🙂

  26. RockyLives says:

    Thanks for the preview BR.

    Rocky Jay, like you I wouldn’t be entirely optimistic with Den and Clint Eastmond starting.

    However, I have no problem with Cham and Vela up front. Do you remember Toshack and Keegan? One big ‘un who’s great in the air, one little ‘un who’s mobile and good on the ground, feeding off the knock-downs and hold-ups.

  27. Rasp says:

    Morning RockyLives and good comment Rocky Jay.


    I have just visited your Barca link, looks like chary has got Spanish bums twitching! There are lies, damn lies and the internet…..

  28. charybdis1966 says:

    Ha ha Rocky, I hope the tide is starting to turn against Barca, so long the darlings of the continental football press(the UK darlings are obviously the drunken jockos team.)
    Cheers for the preview Radders – good show sir.

  29. Big Raddy says:

    Rocky Jay. We disagree – my reasoning was given above. Plus when Denilson first came into the team he played much further forward but on reflection I agree and therefore would replace him with Diaby.

    I hold onto AW’s intention to play a less experienced team and thus would put Eastmond as DM.

    As to Chamakh and Vela not playing well together – how do you know? They could be fantastic!

  30. Gooner in Exile says:

    Interesting, just checked out the Reserve Line Up for the game against Villa on Monday, both Miguel and Hajrovic were missing.

    Eastmond did start though so I can only assume Wenger wouldn’t start him against Ipswich tonight, if he doesn’t think the senior players can play so much football would he expect a youngster to play Monday and Wednesday?

  31. charybdis1966 says:

    Raspers, I’ve just seen my “scoop” being quoted in the comments underneath that story.
    I hope it’s the start of a gathering snowball rolling down a mountain side getting bigger.
    LOL, the first commenter seems quite scared/worried about Messi leaving.

  32. Gooner In Exile says:

    hmm tried to sort out Gravatar is it technically beyond me too?

  33. Rasp says:


    Your gravatar is there. It always takes a while to come up and will be visible on some computers and not others initially – I have no idea why?


    You’d better not start a rumour about about US military secrets or you may disappear in the middle of the night!

  34. dandan says:

    Good Read Raddy, Ipswich is indeed a tight ground as is the nearby multi storey car park it took me two hours to get out of, after Charlie George had won the game for us in our first double year.
    Amazing how the likes of RJ find it necessary to lash out in order to make some kind of childish impact, particularly as when they are challenged they prove themselves capable of reasoned, considered argument. Whether that argument is right or wrong it is at least worthy of consideration.
    Should however the players you discount RJ actually play tonight I trust you will post a picture of your bald pate before you expire, so at least we will know you were a man of your word

  35. Good day AA’ers

    My my the formation debate has been a good read. I would probably go with your revised formation BR, Diaby for denilson, but simply down to the fact I prefer him over Denil.

    My other comment on it myself would be after watching West Ham and Birmingham go at it last night, I would not expect a line up anything like this for the final. But I’m 100% sure you wouldn’t either!

    Also there is news on yahoo transfer talk of 10million and Carlos Vela on loan for Gary Cahill?

    Would anyone here take up that offer? I think I would.

  36. RockyLives says:

    I’d bite your hand off for it too. It all seems to hinge on Bolton securing the signing of Wheater from Middlesbrough, but this story is gathering legs…

  37. London says:

    Good read as ever BR

    I think that is a reasonble punt at what Wenger might do tonight.

  38. Gooner In Exile says:

    Just as a question have we seen Chamack upfront with an accomplice yet? I cant think of any games we have started 4-4-2?

    I think it might be quite useful, altho i would doubt the accomplice would be RVP, they are competing for the same spot, perhaps more Vela, or Walcott up with a hold up man.

  39. Gooner In Exile says:

    Oh dear Mark Randall missed game against Stockport as his car broke down, despite Rotherham having booked him a hotel the night before. Maybe we need to pay our youngsters a bit more money

  40. Big Raddy says:

    GIE. I imagine that if I had a car it would break down if I tried to take it any where near Stockport 🙂

  41. Gooner In Exile says:

    In other news John Jensen’s back in the UK!!

    And I wasn’t there the day he scored 😦

  42. Big Raddy says:

    JJ was sacked from Randers for being next to hopeless and has never been involved with the Danish National team. Perfect for B’burn

    And I WAS there when JJ scored (1-3 QPR, in front of the North Bank)

  43. Anyone fancy putting their name forward to write the match report?

  44. Big Raddy says:

    Go on London, I love your post-match reports

  45. SharkeySure says:

    Afternon all,

    Is Cahill actually any good..?? From the little that I have seen of him, I remain unconvinced, and is ‘tackle’/assault on Chamakh (who was already off the pitch) doesn’t help the situation.

    What happens when we have Big YoYo, Tommy V and Kozzer all fit, plus Cahill ?? In any case I expect Cahill will want a salary commensurate with his Englishness and inflated valuation, I guess that’ll scupper the deal for us.

    Can any of you really see us paying Cahill and Nasri a similar salary??

  46. Gooner In Exile says:

    If Cahill is more interested in salary than improving his game he can go to Spuds or Chavs.

  47. charybdis1966 says:

    I’m not sure of how good Cahill is S Sure, all I do know he is Premier League ready, good at set pieces and will get the free pass English players get from referees.
    As for what do to when those 4 are all fit, aside from the fact that such a scenario is unlikely, given our squads fitness record during the last decade, is that we have so many fixtures left to fulfil, 4 in 10 days at the moment and I’m quite sure we are playing pretty much twice a week till the end of the season, barring an early exit from the FA Cup.
    A little rotation and resting shouldn’t cause Man Shitty levels of dissension in the ranks.

  48. Rasp says:

    I take on board all the above – but don’t we also have to keep the wage bill down? I think departures are necessary to balance the books. Almunia plus one other (Vela?) might give us the budget to sign a top class CB.

    Does anyone think AW will want to get another GK in when Al goes? – or will he be happy with Mannone and the youngsters?

  49. London says:

    Guys I think you are missing the problem here. I am from a North London council estate with a comprehensive education; I type with two fingers, a match report takes me three hours, a thought I no longer relish.

    As somebody recently said “This site is in good hands” it is full of well educated people who seem to be able to write posts in matter of minutes, something I am very pleased about, I may add. If I undertake the task tonight I will get to bed at 1 o’clock; I did this for two seasons but the novelty has long since worn off.

    I am not sure where we go from here, I am happy to be an occasional contributor to the comments section but if that was not what you envisaged when you originally invited me onto the site then just let me know.

  50. Rasp says:


    You should know by now that we welcome your company on here in any capacity – no strings attached. Take it as a compliment when challenged to write one of your posts (they are very good indeed 😛 ) – but it is certainly not a requirement of participation on AA, for you or anyone else.

  51. London says:

    Fair enough, I shall continue in the same combatative manner that everyone knows and lov…..hmmmm perhaps it is just knows me for lol

  52. SharkeySure says:

    Naah , we all love you London….admittedly for me its a little bit less, now that I know about you having attended a comprehensive.

    You really should have stuck with LG !!

  53. Frothing Inarticulate Loon says:

    Don’t let them toffeee nosed gits get you down London, I also went to a Comp (and a couple of Borstal’s), and I lead a full and productive life.

    In my remedial classes I’ve made all sorts, from clay pots to cuddly toys. Yep, productive could be my middle name !

  54. London says:

    Lol Sharkey.

  55. Big Raddy says:

    Sorry London. Didn’t mean to put any pressure on you.

    If only I could write a post in a few minutes it takes at least an hour, but now I have stopped adding an endpiece about the towns we visit, it reduces the research time. I miss those funny facts though !

    BTW you may have had a comprehensive education (so did I) but it gave you a healthy vocabulary and a finely tuned use of English .

  56. Big Raddy says:

    FIL. Good to see you. When did you get out?

  57. London says:

    Thank you for the kind words.

  58. RockyLives says:

    Welcome back Big FIL, you nutter.

    BR – I’ve been missing those town biogs. How about reinstating them? Go on, you know you want to…

  59. Big Raddy says:

    RL. Where are you? You said you were getting on a plane …..

  60. dandan says:

    London, BR, May I join your club? I am also a comprehensive lad, and like you London, when it comes to typing, A two fingered ditherer.
    But school is only a start, the real education comes when you meet the hard knocks world of work and competition. Which is why our young often disappear when they leave the protective shelter of there educational establishment, be it college or university.

  61. mickydidit89 says:

    4-4-2 BR, get in there!

  62. mickydidit89 says:

    East Anglia is below sea level and its raining. Snorkels and flippers the kit of choice for the shrewd and cunning.

  63. mickydidit89 says:

    One big issue with the line up…Messi injured already?

  64. dandan says:

    You should try it here in the fens Mickey they are born with webbed feet.

  65. mickydidit89 says:

    She’s got her legs out again today. Good girl.

  66. mickydidit89 says:

    Howdee dandan.

  67. RockyLives says:

    Was in New York flying back to Toronto. Managed to get out before the big snow storm hit last night. It’s been snowing in Toronto too but not too heavily.

    I feel slightly embarrassed to say I was a grammar school boy.
    But I still type with only two fingers 🙂

  68. RockyLives says:

    Oooh, the Fens. Spooky place. Never stray off the proper path… you never know what’s waiting in the marshes…

  69. mickydidit89 says:

    I was raised by wolves and can’t do one single thing.

  70. Big Raddy says:

    RL. Truth be told I passed my 11+ and went to a Grammar school but it became a Comprehensive when I was in the 3rd year. So I actually attended both !!

    Bloody freezing in CPH, hope Trono is better.

    Micky. I am resting Messi ahead of the tough fixture at the Boleyn.

  71. mickydidit89 says:

    Wise move BR. Talking of the ‘ammers, they didn’t look too good last night from the twenty minutes I saw. Did come back with 10 men though.

  72. mickydidit89 says:

    Excrement. Just checked and its liveonlinefootie to the rescue.

  73. Big Raddy says:

    If we can get past Ipswich then I would choose the Hammers for the Final if only to avenge that bastard Trevor Brooking, but I fear for them at B’rum

  74. Big Raddy says:

    Live on Danish TV, Micky! Because there is a chance that King Nik may play

  75. mickydidit89 says:

    Oh and BR, I was there as well when JJ scored!

  76. RockyLives says:

    micky – I hope you were raised by them in pre-Mick McCarthy days.

  77. Big Raddy says:

    RL. Very good 😀

    I was in the CE Micky. Where were you? The place erupted!

  78. RockyLives says:

    I was in the Upper East when JJ did it. It was like a big party.

  79. mickydidit89 says:

    RL 🙂
    BR North Bank

  80. mickydidit89 says:

    I was a season ticket holder there until the mural went up.

  81. mickydidit89 says:

    Seeing as Irish is not around, can I seize the moment and say that Rosicky is not very good at all imo.

  82. Big Raddy says:

    Oh dear my memory ……. I know I was in the Clock End but I moved there when the North Bank was demolished and the mural erected. So …. if the QPR game was prior to the mural, why was I in the CE?

    Oh the mysterious fog of time! More of this to come for me I fear….

  83. Big Raddy says:

    Hate to agree Micky as TR is one of my favourite players, but I hoped for so much more from him. JW is way ahead of him at the moment

  84. mickydidit89 says:

    Dont panic BR,
    His goal was after we went all seater. I was still North Bank end for it. Not season ticket holder at that point.

  85. RockyLives says:

    and yet and yet… early in the season TR7 played a few outstanding games where he really pulled all the string and bossed midfield. I wouldn’t write him off just yet. In fact he could be very important tonight.

  86. mickydidit89 says:

    He shows flashes, but it is simply not enough for the role he plays.

  87. Big Raddy says:

    A merciful release. Thanks Micky.

    Only an hour to kick-off. I had better start cooking …….

  88. mickydidit89 says:

    If AW picks BR’s team, then I totally with you that Mozart will be very important as he will have the job of linking the play. I hate the idea of our teams without a Cesc or Nasri.

  89. mickydidit89 says:

    No such thing as fast food in the BR household.

  90. RockyLives says:

    That’s what you get with a gramprehensive education…

  91. mickydidit89 says:

    Few fiddly bits and bobs to get done before KO. So back shortly. Misbehave while Rasp and Peaches are not around!

  92. RockyLives says:

    Sneaking off from work now to watch it.

  93. Caught ya 😉

    My hand’s up for comprehensive too 😆

    London 😀 😛 😆

  94. dandan says:

    Actually BR I was the other way round started in the secondary modern bit, passed my 13 plus and moved into the technical stream.

    Sky are saying AW will play almost a full strength side. Could be interesting

  95. mickydidit89 says:

    I would play a very strong side. I don’t want Ipswich coming to The Emirates with even the slimmest of glimmers of hope. We could put this tie to bed tonight.

  96. mickydidit89 says:

    What’s the weather like at that end of the country? Its rough and bumpy as hell down here.

  97. Irishgunner says:

    Evening all.

  98. Fabregas Fabregas Fabregas

  99. Walcott Nik Arshavin

  100. Hi Irish

    They’re in the tunnel – be back if I need to

  101. mickydidit89 says:

    Ebo Kos JD Gibbs
    Cesc Den JW
    Theo Bendy AA
    Excellent team. Nice to see Bendy central.

  102. mickydidit89 says:

    Looking forward to it so much more with that lot.
    Hi Irish/Peaches.

  103. mickydidit89 says:

    Darren Oh Dear!!

  104. Big Raddy says:

    Really strong side. AW wants this trophy

  105. mickydidit89 says:

    All fished up BR?

  106. Big Raddy says:

    Micky. A quick Beef Stroganoff,

    We have started well

  107. mickydidit89 says:

    Has Eboue got wider?

  108. Irishgunner says:

    Our away fans are amazing.

  109. mickydidit89 says:

    Very true Irish

  110. mickydidit89 says:

    Need to get a grip of the midfield. Take control.

  111. dandan says:

    What has happened to our passing again

  112. Gooner In Exile says:

    First Half Report : Unconvincing

  113. Big Raddy says:

    After an encouraging start we have reverted to type.

    Arshavin is in awful form, TW has the beating of his full back but cannot find a player with his crosses. NB hasn’t had a pass or a touch.

    Denilson was solid as was Djourou and Fab is our only real creative force.

    Kos is becoming a liability with those needless fouls.

    Come on Arsenal, with this team out we should be hammering them

  114. mickydidit89 says:

    Football cliche 1. Its a typical cup game!

  115. Gooner In Exile says:

    It’s a smaller pitch than it appears on TV looks a bit uneven too. If NB stays central this half we should forget trying to pass it through two banks of four and just get the ball wide and deliver.

    Hasn’t he said he thrives on crosses before? Let’s give him the chance to prove it.

    Djourou, Wilshere, Gibbs and Koscielny top marks so far

  116. Gooner In Exile says:

    Denilson and Wilshere are both getting drawn too gar up pitch at same times which is giving Ipswich freedom to counter and there’s no barrier between attack and defense.

    It’s almost like Drogba, Lampard and Terry sat down with them on the weekend and told them the way to play.

  117. 26may1989 says:

    Hello mateys, just back from a trip, hope you’re all well. That first half wasn’t too great – some decent possession without much to write home about re chances, and then ten minutes of letting them really pressure us. And Raddy should feel pleased, Wickham looks excellent, buckets of talent there.

    I still feel optimistic, Ipswich are having to work really hard in defence and I can’t see them keeping us away from goal for the whole second half. But they are dangerous up top – how about that disallowed goal?

    What happened re Leeds? Were we just crap on the day?

  118. mickydidit89 says:

    Our left side attack is awful. Could Theo not shoot cross!

  119. mickydidit89 says:

    Two goals now lads. Cheers.

  120. mickydidit89 says:

    When I said we must play Cesc OR Nasri, what I think I meant was Cesc AND Nasri.

  121. mickydidit89 says:

    And Song!

  122. 26may1989 says:

    The high defensive line isn’t doing us many favours either.

    Get the ball to Theo still seems the best tactic.

  123. 26may1989 says:

    Very lucky, Kos has been decent tonight but that was a poor mistake and Ipswich could easily have scored. This way of defending is not right.

  124. Gooner In Exile says:

    Anyone else feel a goal coming?

  125. 26may1989 says:

    Who for GIE??

    But perhaps you’re right…..

  126. 26may1989 says:

    Gnarley won’t like this but Djourou is having a shocking second half.

  127. 26may1989 says:

    There it is, that bloody high line defending costs us a goal. Well deserved goal for Ipswich

  128. 26may1989 says:

    Vela on for Arshavin – at least we’ll have 11 players on the pitch.

  129. Big Raddy says:

    YOu called it 26. but as you also say Ipswich deserve to lrad

  130. 26may1989 says:

    I know we’re not a dead ball side but not a single corner or free kick (most of which have come from Cesc) has come close to being good enough.

    Couple of decent chances in the last coupe of minutes though.

  131. Big Raddy says:

    Looks like Nasri and RvP for the return!

  132. Gooner In Exile says:

    Can someone explain why Cesc is playing up on their centre backs?

    Surely we need him to be opening up their midfield. We are trying to force the game too much and have paid the price.

    Glad the players took their words of wisdom about not underestimating Ipswich up to Portman Road tonight.

    Cue bottler talk from the media tomorrow

  133. 26may1989 says:

    Couldn’t agree more GIE. Respect to Ipswich, I didn’t think they could maintain the intensity through the match but they have and they deserve to win tonight.

  134. Irishgunner says:

    In all fairness we were awful tonight – Ipswich far better

  135. mickydidit89 says:

    Firstly, very well played Ipswich.
    Secondly, oh bollocks!

  136. charybdis1966 says:

    Oh dear, that was a bit crap !
    Undone by the long, diagonal pumped ball over the top…again.

  137. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    Hows the cricket?

  138. Rasp says:

    Eboue has been seriousy poor tonight. God help us if he plays like this against Barca. Someone needs to remind him that he’s playing at right back.

  139. Rasp says:

    Eboue has been seriously poor. God help us if he plays like this against Barca. Someone needs to remind him that he’s supposed to be playing right back.

  140. Big Raddy says:

    No question Ipswich deserved their victory. We were dreadful. Not a single clear chance created and only one decent cross delivered all night (Gibbs).

    The set plays were amateur with hardly any ball gettimg over the first man.

    Defensively, we played a suicidally high line and paid the penalty – 2-0 would not have been unfair,

    I thought their right back had a fine game and was far better than Eboue, who I would give a one way ticket out of Arsenal a.s.a.p. Poor defensively, couldn’t find a man in MF and never once linked with Theo. Arsenal’s worst player in a poor perrformance with Arshavin not far behind. What has happened to the little fellow?

    We’ll win at home though

  141. Gooner In Exile says:

    We don’t like it easy do we? Come on you know it’ll be alright on the night, we’ll win 1-0 in normal time then nick a winner in ET and then ……. oh bugger …….. we’ll hope AW remembers to warn them about away goals counting after extra time.

  142. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    Barmy Army! Barmy Army! Barmy Army! Barmy Army!

  143. dandan says:

    We played with 10 men for 80 minutes until AA was subbed, he gets worse every game.

  144. 3 things:

    Was there not just a hint of offside for the goal?

    I don’t think Arshavin and Bendy have made it up to the fans tonight for Saturday.

    And, why was it that it took conceding a goal for us to create anything inside their box? It just seems sometimes there is a real lack of motivation from the team.

    at the core…something…was very wrong tonight.

  145. mickydidit89 says:

    Naughty but nice GiE. True though!

  146. Big Raddy says:

    And we will beat Barca 🙂

  147. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    Cheer up you’ve won The Ashes!

  148. mickydidit89 says:

    Quick, hide before Peaches collars one of us for a report. Yuk. Nite all.

  149. Rasp says:

    AA and EE appalling. This game and Leeds were two of the poorest performances I’ve seen. Once again, no improvement when we came out at half time. 61% possession and half the numer of shots that Ipswich had. There is a clue there…… we need to learn and learn quickly. It’s understandable to be unable to unlock City’s defence but this was Ipswich.

  150. Irishgunner says:

    Surely Sagna against Barca?

    He hasn’t got bookings in the CL as well as he? 😦

  151. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    Barmy Army! Barmy Army! Barmy Army! Barmy Army! Barmy Army! 😆

  152. mickydidit89 says:

    Gnarley, will you stop banging on about the bloody cricket!!!
    Really nite.

  153. mickydidit89 says:

    Sorry GG, meant to have one of these 🙂

  154. 26may1989 says:

    Theo was the only player in our starting line up that I think earned his money tonight. The rest of them should be made to watch a recording of that first thing in the morning.

  155. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    Good response MDI89. Class factor = 8.5 😆

  156. Rasp says:

    Sagna is suspended for the 1st game against Barca. Eboue lost his man to the ball over the top countless times and never learnt his lesson. The last time, the player scored. I’m not sure EE even kicked te ball again after their goal – he was nowhere near his supposed position.

  157. Big Raddy says:

    Gibbs and Denilson put in a good shift. Chesney only made on silly mistake (coming for and missing a cross)

  158. Big Raddy says:

    Maybe we should have played the kids

  159. Gooner In Exile says:

    Rasp George Graham always said if you put 10 dustbins in the penalty area top players struggle to break them down.

    Give the bins arms and legs so they can move around and it’s even harder.

    I do think the pitch at Portman Road makes it easier for them to defend the way they did tonight.

    I do think the players let us down again tonight just sometimes the lack of tactical awareness let’s us down. Cesc was forced into anonymity by playing so high, Theo had a few chances he could have done better.

    So much for burying game tonight!

  160. Rasp says:

    That’s 2 games we needed to win to relieve the fixture pressure, we put out teams that should be more than good enough to win and they didn’t perform. Very very poor …. no excuses.

  161. Big Raddy says:

    And at least Blackpool won’t do the double over us!

  162. Rasp says:


    They wanted it more than us and they worked harder than us. They won the 50/50 tackles, we made the silly mistakes. Bendtner and AA very lazy. I’m sorry but that was a embarassing – they were so much better than us. Cesc makes us tick, unfortunately tonight he didn’t have a great game.

  163. Rasp says:

    How many times did they catch us out with the ball over the top until it finally led to the goal? The defending was dire which is very confusing because I thought that Koscielny and Djourou played well. After having witnessed that performance, I’m not sure that a CB is top priority – we need a decent RB to cover for Sagna.

  164. Sid says:

    Rasp, you’re always on such a downer. At least we have lost a game we can afford to lose.

  165. London says:

    Seems as though Wenger is not as interested in this competition as the initial team selection suggested… I could do at short notice.

    How the hell did we manage to be that ineffectual? There are people who have issues with Eboue, there are those who have issues with Denilson or Bendtner but for me I fail to see how someone who cannot control the ball properly can possibly make up for it with pure speed.

  166. Rasp says:

    Sid, I tell it like it is, good or bad. There is no point in being delusional or making excuses. AW has been honest in his interview. We had by far the most possession, we created very few chances and they hit us on the break. Bendtner, AA and EE failed to earn their wages this evening.

  167. Irishgunner says:

    Could be worse – could be Liverpool 😆

  168. London says:

    Wow, I have just seen that result, it seems that King Kenny is working his magic then.

  169. London says:

    It’s a bit like Keagan going back to Newcastle.

  170. London says:

    The player ratings collectively could be the lowest ever on tonight’s performance.

  171. Sid says:

    To be honest I’m most worried about Cesc’s form. He should have scored our best chance really. Could be worse as Irish says.

  172. RockyLives says:

    Well, that was MUCH worse than the Leeds performance.
    AA and Bendy are playing themselves firmly out of contention for the first team.
    EE was all over the place.
    It wasn’t happening for Fab.
    Chesney had a really bad game – coming and missing for a cross, handling the ball outside the box (could have cost us dearly in other circumstances), failing to come off his line when the defenders needed him to for some of the balls over the top. Even kicking straight into touch in the last seconds of injury time when we were desperately chasing the game. Quite a worry.
    Kozzer and JD were OK but looked threatened every time Ipswich hit a long ‘un.

    Having said that, Priskin was a yard offside for their goal (although they deserved the win).

    Sid, with respect, that chance that fell to Fab was actually impossible to convert. When they come at that height and you haven’t seen them until the last second there’s booger all you can do.

  173. Sid says:

    Having watched the highlights I stick by what I said. An on form Cesc slots that chance away.

  174. Rasp says:

    You could be right Sid, it looked a chance even if it was a difficult one.

  175. Gooner In Exile says:

    Ok a few hours have passed and I have calmed down…….a bit.

    The one thing the last two games have done is put another £10-20k per week on Nasri’s new contract, we have missed him badly.

    We failed to make any possession pay because we were trying to pass round a well organised defence who did not allow themselves to be sucked out of position.

    We needed someone running with the ball or making give and go’s from deep, unfortunately with Cesc, Theo, AA sitting on their back four it left it to Denilson and Jack to try that, and wingbacks. That left us susceptible to the ball over the top as we were left with two back with no protection in front or the flanks.

    Set pieces were woeful. One thing I noticed from our FA Youth Cup winning team was the set piece quality, near post flicks and players attacking (clearly Steve Bould remembered a few of GGs routines). Would be good if I and the rest if Goonerland could actually get excited about winning a corner or free kick out wide rather than seeing it as the end if the attack.

    The team just didn’t seem

  176. RockyLives says:

    Are you all right GiE?
    I know it was a disappointing performance but I hope you haven’t keeled over in mid post…

    In both this game and Leeds we looked to be seriously lacking any cutting edge.

  177. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    Look people. Calm down. Ipswich wasn’t going to get dumped on 3 times in a week, so Arsenal will have to wear this one. (chavs & floods in QLD)

    I had a bit of a chuckle actually. Arsenal were bloody awful. Al that possession yet couldn’t put a bulge in the old onion bag 😆

    For the record, The Arsenal will win the Carling Cup no risk now. If that doesn’t fire up old mon ami, nothing will Ha Ha Ha!!!!!

  178. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    I had a good time taking the piss out of the gloom & doomers on another site though 😆 A bit of payback!

  179. mickydidit89 says:

    Something is wrong. Either you stay awake too long, or I do not sleep enough!

  180. mickydidit89 says:

    I would like to report that I have woken up with a “oh well” attitude, but no. When I remind myself that Kos and JD represent our first choice CB pairing, I am terrified (I see no signs of Verm returning).
    I feel a striker post is brewing, and that will get personal.

  181. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    Watching The arsenal @ 6.30am & hitting the sack @ say 11.30pm/av. Nothing unusaual about that Micky 🙂

    I’ve finally done it 😉 I’ve dumped Theo for Sheeps Head in my Fantasy League Midfield. Theo is too lightweight IMO.

  182. mickydidit89 says:

    Overnight, I have moved firmly into the ‘get the cheque book out’ camp, and I am talking about the large Company one.

  183. gnarleygeorge9 says:


    The Carling Cup is in the bag. Trust me 😛 It was the FLICK up we had to have before the Final.

  184. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    Do people still use cheque books there? They are so 20th century 😆

  185. Gooner in Exile says:

    We have to use a cheque book for the plus £2million as it needs a counter signatory, that’s why Arsene gets so many players cheap he signs those ones himself. 🙂

    As for Wickham, he looks an exciting prospect, but think a big club needs to sign him to polish the rough edges away. While his a big fish in a small pond I would guess he wont develop as well as he could at a Prem club.

  186. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    Manchester United wouldn’t use a cheque book and certainly not a savings account. When ever they want to buy something they just bitch themselves off to some rich sugar daddy, or just stick it on credit. I’ve heard of Banks giving 30 days to pay, but 30 years is new to me 😆

  187. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    Manchester United aren’t apart of the Labor party are they 😉

  188. charybdis1966 says:

    Hi Gnarley, I know Funguscum has alleged socialist/labour sympathies so there is some connection there.
    Mind you, he hardly lives the life of the proletariat, he’s as elitist and wealth obsessed as you can be, so a hypocrite too.

  189. Morning all

    There’s a New Post

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