Come on You Rip Roaring Gunners

My first post for Arsenal Arsenal was just over a year ago and I sit today writing a Cup Final pre-match. What drought?

And what of this team that today can earn some silverware and stop the ludicrous carping from the media and a few of the fans? Why are we favourites to win a Cup for the first time in 6 years?

Cometh the time, Cometh the Man. And in this case it is Cometh the Men. Arsenal have moved forward as a club in a very short time and the sudden impact of 4 players has given the team a solidity not seen for many a year. Step forward Messrs Wilshere, Koscielny, Djourou and Szczesny. Suddenly we look solid at the back, and have a new and very young spine, one that can take us to glory.

In just a few games our problemic goalkeeping position has found a pillar of strength, our young Pole has shown against the differing attacks of Barca and Stoke that he is the real deal, and likely to be the Arsenal number One for at least a decade.

Djourou was written off by many, nicknamed Bambi for his ungainly style he has had a checkered injury filled career at Arsenal, but now, fully fit. he is established as the first name of the defensive teamsheet. His absence from the pitch at Newcastle led to 4 goals in 20 minutes – can anyone doubt that we would have won the game had he remained on the field? When Koscielny took the field in an Arsenal shirt I was one of many who questioned Mr Wenger’s signing. He looked lost, lacking in height and pace; yet here we are a mere 4 months later and he looks the real deal. I would even go so far as to say that Vermaelen will struggle to regain his place in the team. JD and Kos have an awesome record playing together, they have a fine understanding and both are just 23!! Probably the youngest CB pairing in the League.

And then there is Jack. What can be said that hasn’t been written? In half a season he has become an integral part of the team and forced two regular Internationals to become B teamers. He is always available for the ball when the defenders are under pressure, andΒ with the ball at his feet is comfortable in the tightest situations. The man has genius.

And what of our other players who have improved beyond recognition? Samir Nasri has become a World Class player, a possible Player of the Year and a man who can mesmerise a defender, He can tackle, he can beat a player with pace, he can cross, shoot, pass with precision – he is a pleasure to watch. And he maintains the ability to give a sly dig which is essential in the hurly burly of the Premiership.

Van Persie is playing the best football of his career, Walcott has come of age, The full backs are back to the form they showed 2 seasons ago – Clichy was brilliant against Barca and Sagna has been strong all season.

Cesc is a big loss today, not because we cannot win without him but because if the game gets hairy, he is “the man”. Cesc has developed into the real leader of the team and I am very sad he will not have the opportunity to lead the side up the Wembley Steps. His injury leaves a midfield berth which I would give to Diaby, who is a more creative player than Denilson. He also has the height to cope with the inevitable Birmingham aerial bombardment.

Walcott’s absence opens a space for Bendtner. I like Nik, he always gives his all and despite not being the most elegant of players can be very effective, he is important when defending corners and set plays. Nik’s goal in the semi-final was as good as any seen at the Grove, and in his two appearances since he has had two assists. A goal and an assist would cement his place in the Arsenal fermament. However, Arshavin has been looking dangerous of late and we could play Nasri on the right with Arshavin on the left which allows us more movement than with the slightly ponderous Bendtner.

My team:

With Arshavin and Denilson coming on after 60 minutes

Birmingham are not a team studded with star players, they have lost the creativity of Hleb through injury and will look to play as a tight unit. They are clear underdogs. A midfield of Ferguson and Bowyer are sure to be combative. Should Birmingham win today it will be as a result of a huge team effort whereas we have the individual brilliance all over the pitch to win the game by having one player on fire.

One may wonder why I have used so few words on this Birmingham team. Truth is, I am bored by them – they are a reflection of their manager. Nothing more needs to be said.

The man who really deserves to win a trophy this season is our esteemed manager. Year after year he has had to listen to the same inane question about our lack silverware whilst delivering the best football seen in the Premiership week after week. Like Birmingham our team is a direct reflection of our manager, and I am very proud that our manager is Mr Arsene Wenger.

Birmingham is the birthplace of some of heavy metal’s stellar bands. The wondrous Judas Priest, Black Sabbath and the very Kings of Rock, Led Zeppelin all hail from Birmingham.

We are better than Birmingham in every department – it is a game for us to lose.


Written by BigRaddy

171 Responses to Come on You Rip Roaring Gunners

  1. Morning all

    Thanks Raddy for a wonderful pre-match post.

    When you think about our team, which is what I woke up thinking about this morning – sad eh – you just can’t imagine that we haven’t got what it takes to bring this trophy home to the Emirates.

    As Raddy says we are really strong at the back now and we’re going to need to concentrate when defending and play with the hand-brake off when going forward.

    Lets astound them with our fabulous Wengerball and hope they haven’t come with a game plan to kick us to pieces.

    I want to see Cesc and Robin lift that trophy πŸ˜†

  2. Irishgunner says:


    I’m feeling very confident about today – I think the whole team should lift the trophy.

  3. tommystout says:

    Wonderfully inspiring post BRaddy.
    You are right its ours to lose now, birmingham dont match us in any department, so its going to be a case of needing a decent and brave referee and down to us taking our chances.
    I’d like to see us kill the game early by being clinical and then play the wengerball.
    nasri in the cesc role for me super nik on the right.
    Good look my compatriots.

  4. LB says:

    This is our time! This is where the team show they have grown. I hope we win this because after this there is no limit to where we can go.

  5. Irish – have you found somewhere to watch the game?

  6. Rasp says:

    Top top post Raddy – and its all true.

    The players have to believe it. There will be times today when we have to withstand an onslaught and probably not brood over the injustice of multiple dodgy refereeing decisions. We must keep all 11 players on the field, put in as much effort as Brum and play our football.

  7. Big Raddy says:

    I could easily have written a totally different post today. Any Cup Final brings up strong memories of previous Wembley games, but I decided that you may well be bored with Raddy’s Reminiscences!

    I have been to all of Arsenal’s League Cup wins and unfortunately some defeats. All are permanently etched on the memory.

    What unites them all is the thrill of being an Arsenal fan amongst Arsenal fans.

  8. Red Arse says:


    As good and insightful a pre-match as one could wish for! πŸ™‚

  9. Big Raddy says:

    Rasp. With 112 players we cannot lose πŸ™‚

  10. Irishgunner says:

    Peaches – Yup, I’m going to my local and demanding they put the Carling Cup final on one of the two TVs they have. Don’t see why they won’t.

    I’ll have no mobile coverage there though so drink will be my only friend today top get me through.

  11. Rasp says:

    Haha Raddy, I’ve edited myself. My fingers are trembling on the keyboard you see πŸ˜• I feel considerably more nervous than before the Barca game. There would have been no shame in losing to Barca, but for many reasons, this is a game we have to win and in typical Arsenal fashion, do it without our best player.

  12. Rasp says:

    I think Arsh will start wide left, Bendy will be wide right and Diaby will be on the bench.

  13. Everyone’s hiding Rasp 😦

  14. GOONER says:

    Stick the five years, stick the five years, Stick the five years up your arse!!!

    Stick the five years up your arse!!!!!


  15. Irishgunner says:

    Chesney, Sagna, Djourou, Kozzer, Clichy, Song, Wilshere, Nasri, Van Persie, Arshavin, Bendtner.

  16. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    This is a boring blog full of poms who only see what they want. We flogged you in the cricket but you say it didn’t matter coz its only one day stuff. Yet all I here coming outa blighty now is the bigging up of the one day game against India.

    You are all blinkered!!!! Like Arold Steptoes horse

  17. Rasp says:


    What’s up mate? I know you got a hard time elsewhere and I hope you appreciate that we allowed you to vent your anger at us unopposed.

    Today we’re in our first cup final for years and you’re going on about the cricket. This is an Arsenal blog inhabited by friendly characters, I don’t know why you’d want to attack us (boring blog) unless you’ve been at the amber nectar??

  18. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    One day cricket. Isn’t the Carling Cup no more than that in football terms.

  19. Oh gnarley, drop the cricket for goodness sake, Arsenal are going to Wembley today.

    I’m going to ban talking about the cricket if you’re all going to be so obsessive about it and get upset with each other, enough πŸ˜€

  20. Rasp says:

    Wrong gnarley, this is a very important day for the Arsenal. It is the first step in reaping the rewards of years of ‘building’ and will herald the start of what I predict will be the richest and most deserved run of success in our history.

  21. I’m not a cricket officionado and its quite possible that one day cricket is the Carling Cup of cricketing but does it matter? I’ve spent years laughing at those that have won the Carling Cup and today I’m excited that Arsenal are in the final – thats what happens when your team are winning.

    If we win, we’ll still all be able to say its only the Carling Cup but we won it.

  22. SharkeySure says:

    Its under five hours to go !!!!

    Morning All.

    Any team news yet….?? Lol

    How on earth will I fill the void now that my son’s match has been cancelled. I’ll have to do something with the little sharks, sitting and waiting is not an option.

    Has anyone got Mickey’s def con scale to hand. Or was that d-c scale superseded by something else recently..??

    Good luck to MIDI on his very own d-day.

  23. Irishgunner says:

    Way to be a party pooper…. 😦

  24. Irishgunner says:

    I’ve not got enough hair to put a yellow ribbon in to – it wouldn’t be seen anyway seen as my hair is yellow!!!

    Yellowish … white-ish???!! Meh!

  25. Hi Sharkey – I went to Ikea for four hours with my daughter the day of the Barcelona game but the park might be more fun.

  26. SharkeySure says:

    Mr Radders, respectfully. You are so bloody right about those four players who have been simply amazing this season, surprising us all.

    Oh how some laugh at the talk of ‘like a new signing’ if anyone dares to look forward to the return of one of the long term injured.

    Oh how some laugh when Arsene talks of ‘not killling’ his players with big money signings. But for that philosophy, Jack Wilshere might be waiting for game time behind any one of a long list of ‘absolute must have’ signings.

    ‘Project Youth’ IS a success, and today shall only serve to add a flashing beacon (shiny trophy!) to further illuminate that fact for those with poor judgement and even poorer eyesight.

    Lets get at this Brum team today, show no mercy, and take it completely out of the refs hands.

  27. Gunnern5 says:

    I hope Mike Dean lets the game flow today and allows football to take center stage and not controversy.

    Our stats through last season with him in charge have been —
    W13, T8, L2. Penalties converted for 1 against 1, Yellow cards to us 12 against 31, Red cards to us 0 against 1.
    So our results with him in charge have been in our favour. Let’s hope today is no different.

    I’m nervous as hell but have enough faith to believe that we will pull it off.

    Our supporters can play a big part (ie Barca) if they are in full voice today.

  28. Which shirt are you wearing today Irish?

  29. SharkeySure says:

    Morning GN5, did you get to read the article on the ref on Untold Arsenal..?? The link is on last nights comments around 10pm I think.

  30. Rasp says:

    Hi GN5,

    Those are encouraging stats

  31. Hi Gunnern5 – thats an interesting stat about yellows for and against, I just hope Mike Dean manages to ref the game fairly to both sides and doesn’t have the agenda that we often see of wanting to favour the opposition first.

  32. SharkeySure says:

    Peaches, I’ve got Hornimans Museum a 10min wallk from my house, or I’ll take the little sharks swimming. You should see the pandemonium when we all dive in at our local pool. πŸ˜‰

  33. Irishgunner says:

    My home one with Brady on the back – my away shirt might be just too much yellow πŸ˜†

  34. That must be fun Sharkey – I come from family of dolphins – we don’t create quite such a stir as your lot would although my youngest did think he was ‘Free Willy’ for a while and that was interesting.

  35. Carlito11 says:

    That’s set the scene beautifully Raddy- great post! Agree that Brum are boring and hope they don’t park the bus- an early Arsenal goal is needed to get a decent game. On my way for prematch rituals. I feel much more relaxed than against Barcelona and was worried that others might also leading to a lack of passion from the support but a look at comments here an on twitter confirms there are plenty of prematch nerves and hopefully that wi translate into a barrage of noise! Come on you reds!

  36. Irish – have you tried to get on twitter this morning?

    I think a little yellow bow would be ok in your hair – you have to imagine what La Gaga would do if she wanted to wear a yellow ribbon – she wouldn’t let the colour of her hair stand in her way πŸ˜›

  37. Irishgunner says:

    Wasn’t “Free Willy” a whale?

  38. Big Raddy says:

    Must be someway to make the time go faster.

    Too cold to cycle, new phone too confusing and if I carry on playing with it, I will break the stupid thing in fury, and the wife has gone out.

    I know, I can watch the Barca game again!

  39. Gunnern5 says:

    The yellow cards stats I showed were confusing. What I meant to show was Yellows cards given to us 12 and to the opposition 31.

    Sharkey, Great article I hadn’t read it before but I did recollect that Dean has been very controversial in his decision(or lack of)making.

    In the end class should win the day and we have class in abundance.

  40. All apologies for my no show yesterday. I was bogged down with work etc.

    In all honesty I wasn’t sure if my post would be up to it,my thanks go to Peaches for her assitance with the post, and making an editorial on the title (what was I thinking?! LOL!)

    And to all AA’ers who were so kind to leave me positive feedback. I’ll post this again tomorrow, just to be sure.

    Looking forward to the game!

  41. Irishgunner says:

    Peaches – yup it was down for a while but is back up now.

    Lady Gaga is after dying he bangs black and leaving her locks blonde, I do not appreciate, she looks like Lady Starlight πŸ™„ I reckon Gaga could be an Arsenal fan, Jay Z supports Arsenal, so by default Beyonce must, and seen as she is friends with Gaga, Gaga must too – its how Americans choose their teams πŸ˜†

  42. Yes ‘Free Willy’ was a whale – my son likes to go against the grain.

  43. mickydidit89 says:

    Morning all,
    I am sooooooo jealous as I will be missing the game!!
    All I know is that without Cesc we must play Nasri in the middle and AA up with Bendy and Robin. Please.
    Hope you are all well. Really missing the banter.

  44. Irishgunner says:

    Okay – I’m off folks, Going to the pub early, going to catch the Liverpool game, the the rugby, then watch us win the Carling Cup.

    Enjoy the game and talk to ye this evening if I’m still somewhat sober.


  45. Hi micky – sorry you’re not going to see the game, I’ll tape it for you πŸ˜›

    We’ve really missed you, come back soon

  46. mickydidit89 says:

    All cleared off to get on the beer, while I scramble out of bed and into a triple espresso to get ready to miss the game!!!!!!!
    Feast of Wembley footie for you, Food Fair in NYC for me. Sod it.
    Will be on the phone evEry five mins.
    Hope you all have a great day.

  47. mickydidit89 says:

    Oh thanks Peaches.
    In fact my host is a Liverpool fan and a massive football fan in general and is very sympathetic. I thought Food Fair was yesterday for me, but not so. Work first.
    Back weds.
    Missed yarl too (upside down smiley)

  48. RockyLives says:

    Whoops – overslept and heading straight to pub.
    Wishing everyone on here a BRILLIANT day full of red and white goals and silver baubles.

  49. Rights chaps, I’m off, be good, have fun and catch you all later.

    GoonerinExile has volunteered the match report so you have a nag free day …… enjoy

    Come on you reds xx

  50. RockyLives says:

    Will belt out a song or two for you Micky.

  51. Forgot to say that I have you all in my pockets so you’ll all be there too πŸ˜€

  52. RockyLives says:

    (I am childishly pleased to have finally figured out how to post a comment from my Blackberry.
    That I have discovered the mysteries of this arcane art on Cup Final Day is surely a good omen!)

  53. Big Raddy says:

    Going to be lonely on here this afternoon 😦

  54. Gooner in Exile says:

    Morning all, I’ve been doing other things this morning to avoid the pre match nerves.

    This game is so important and if we can win today without Cesc that may be an even bigger lift to the rest of the teams spirits/confidence.

    AW has been saying that without Cesc the game will go through LJ so that says to me that we may see Deni and Song hold with LJ supplying AA Nas and RvP.

    COYRRG time to shut the numpties up and that the beautiful game is also a winners game!

  55. Gooner in Exile says:

    I’ll be here Raddy πŸ™‚

    My other reasoning for Deni over Diaby is temperament, a couple of lunges at Diaby could result in retaliation or disappearing from the game. We could do without being forced to change after twenty minutes.

    An aside just saw Rooneys assault, should gave been red card MUST be disciplined subsequently.

  56. Big Raddy says:

    Great GIE. We can share our nerves!!

    If AW did say that about JW, I agree that Denilson is the more likely starter, but I would be surprised if neither Diaby nor Nik starts, for 2 reasons.

    Firstly the issue of height against an imposing team who play route one, and secondly because Nik has been used throughout the CC campaign – it would be churlish not to let him start the Final.

  57. charybdis1966 says:

    Afternoon all; thanks for the classy preview Radders as always.

    “Headache ? Tense, nervous headache?”

    Somehow I don’t think some Anadin’s won’t quell the nerves.

  58. Gooner in Exile says:

    Not left for kids party yet, we’re going to be there for half hour at this rate before having to come home.

    I think I need a case of late onset flu to keep me on my sofa ……. grrrrr

  59. Big Raddy says:

    Thanks Chary.

    Could be a day on the Tuborg

  60. Gooner in Exile says:

    I have an awful feeling Brum might start Zigic and one other up front, just heard Foster saying they would have to get in our faces…..oh joy.

  61. goonermichael says:

    2 hours left. Good luck and enjoy it everyone.

  62. goonermichael says:

    The Premier League
    Not that any retrospective sanction against Rooney will be of any good to Wigan. The points – with Rooney’s escape occuring with 80 minutes of the contest remaining and the scoreline at 0-0 – are gone. It might do the league’s reputation some good, but not much. There has been a flat-lining familiarity to Manchester United players enjoying impunity this season – Gary Neville at Stoke, Wes Brown and Nemanja Vidic at Aston Villa, Neville, again, at West Brom, Rafael at Blackpool.

    It’s become familiar, wearisome, depressing, bothering. The season is turning flat.

    In years gone by, the turning-points in United’s success have invariably come from their own astonishing deeds. Steve Bruce’s headers against Sheffield Wednesday. Peter Schmeichel’s penalty save from Dennis Bergkamp. Federico Macheda’s twist to defeat Aston Villa two years ago. This season, the majority of their clutch moments have been inspired by official cowardice.

    Interesting from football365. Normally a fairly pro manc site

  63. mickydidit89 says:

    BR, GiE, GM,
    My thoughts are with you not being at the game, but zero sympathy from me as I wont even see it. Hope to join you on here during the game even if only once as I’m meant to be working.
    Really pissed off, as I had arranged to meet up with The New York Gooners in a bar which would have cushioned the blow!

  64. Big Raddy says:

    Thanks Micky. Somehow you will get a view of the game, if not I will use my ESP powers and beam it into you.

    Brillint header form Ba for WHU. Chamakh could do that.

  65. FrothingInarticulateLoon says:

    Tension building, nerves of steel required. I’m trying to locate some online that I can download, no luck so far.

    The search continues.

    If I weren’t already crazy, days like this would drive me mad !

  66. Rasp says:

    Afternoon all,

    I’m a fully paid up member of the can’t go to the game club too although I am going to watch on the telly.

    The pitch is excellent apparently and the rain making the surface slippery will also be in our favour, but I’m not sure about the arctic coinditions that have developed since the sunny morning 😦

  67. Redgooner says:

    Great post Raddy.Lifting this cup would instile the missing self beliefe that this team can win trophies.Red is the colour!COME ON YOU GUNNERS! Seeing cesc and robin lift the trophy would make for all those bad moments we have had in the last half decade.Come on you redssssssss…………

  68. SharkeySure says:


  69. SharkeySure says:

    Wow, Rosky starts. Thats a real curveball, one I really never even contemplated !!

    C’mon Tomas, pull us out a big one !!!

  70. SharkeySure says:

    Do you all know who I mean…?? Lol

  71. Big Raddy says:

    That was extremely lucky …. Poor linesman thank goodness

  72. Big Raddy says:

    We have to up the tempo. Nothing is happening because we are allowing them time

  73. deadlygonner says:

    robin van persieeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

  74. Gooner In Exile says:

    How’s the nerves?

  75. redgooner says:

    robin van persieeeeeeeeee

  76. SharkeySure says:

    What a heart stopping half….

    We had almost nothing for 35mins…then bang bang, Wilshire almost breaks the bar in two, then RVPs sumptuous strike.

    My heart was in my mouth and my bollox in my throat when I saw that he was injured.

  77. Gooner In Exile says:

    Big big question mark over Rosicky selection, we seem to have a missing link going forward.

    Jack starting to find his feet.

    We have to realise we won’t win the high ball 70% of the time but we need to react to the knockdowns.

    Tense tense tense, 3 cigarette half time break.

  78. SharkeySure says:

    We need more from Song. For quite a while he was the startig point of som ny of our offensive moves, lately he’s not so effective offensively.

    Perhaps opposition team have wised up to how much we use him. Either way we need a lot more from him.

    Fair do’s to the Russian. He’s worked his nuts off.

  79. Rasp says:

    I agree Rosicky is a weak link. Bring on Bendy and move Nasri into the middle.

  80. SharkeySure says:

    Agreed Rasp

  81. Big Raddy says:

    I hate to say ITYS but we are playing the smallest team possible. I do not enjoy questioning AW’s decisions but TR is a mystery. He has been poor and we desperately need a physical presence in MF.

    Nasri is totally wasted wide right and only looks good when he comes inside.

    Positives: Arshavin, RvP JW Song Ches

  82. Big Raddy says:

    Agreed Rasp

  83. Red Arse says:

    Nerves are jangling!!

  84. Gooner In Exile says:

    I don’t know how I’m supposed to write the match report…….shocked gutted.

    Fair play to Birmingham. Didn’t stop for 90 minutes and although we had our chances it was in doubt from kick off to final whistle.

  85. johnQ says:

    Well done to the boys, the fought hard, and deny time and time again by the magnificent Ben Foster. We lose by two defensive blunder.

    We must look at the bright side, well, I always look at the bright side after each defeat. The players will learn a lot from this defeat and we need that to maintain the challenge on three other cups. I know most of you will curse and blame certain players, but, i think that maybe they were too nervous, and two of the TheoVan Nasregas didnt play and VanPersie was being substituted after 60th minute.

  86. Big Raddy says:

    GIE. Perhaps you can start by pointing a finger at the man I believe cost us the game. We stand and fall by our manager and today was one of his worst performances ever.

    IMO a really stupid decision to play TR & AA when we clearly needed some height in the box cost us the game. TR despite putting in a huge amount of effort was bossed by Ferguson and Bowyer.

    I can only imagine RvP was injured otherwise the decision to sub him was worse than stupid. And Chamakh for AA? Who was going to cross the ball?

    But fairplay to B’ham. In Foster and Carr they had the two best players on the pitch.

    We had our chances and we blew it – as I said in the post – it was ours to lose and we did it royally. Both their goals were defensive disasters, without our help B’ham wouldn’t have scored in a month of Sundays

  87. Big Raddy says:

    JohnQ. You must be a Saint to see the positive in that

  88. Gooner In Exile says:

    Partly agree with you Raddy, needed to change it and he went for it.

    Just watched the goal again and it’s just painful

  89. SharkeySure says:

    I’m stunned.

    Radders. I’m with you, I think Arsene had a shocker today.

    I just can’t fathom that Arshavin played 75mins(?) and Rosicky played 90.

    Having said that we definitely had thechances to win it.

    On 88 mins I said to my son, I just want extra time now.

  90. Gooner In Exile says:

    Sorry wasn’t cohesive I’ll put phone down until I’m ready to write the report.

  91. SharkeySure says:

    Fist goal was bad enough defensively, but the 2nd was incredible in terms of its preventability.

    Kozzer is a millisecond away from launching the ball 70yds, why oh why does Chesney call for it to be left. I always told my keepers to call me early or don’t f***ing call me at all. In that situation I would have cleared it and then given Chesney a mouthful !!

    Thats an horrendous kick in the bollox to lose the final like that.


  92. kelsey says:

    A hat trick of Carling Cup misery. Swindon,luton and now Birmingham.

    I agree with Raddy. team selection was wrong, the subs were wrong, the defence at times was absolutely awful, and now RVP is injured.

    We were so lethargic from the off and now we have yet another keeper who will have nightmares but Kos should have cleared it or hoofed it out.

    Jack alone stood out for me.

    Why do the opposition keepers always have a blinder against us.

    Wait for the media to bounce on us big time.reality check if ever there was one.

    To win a final or should i say gift a final to a team who were completely knackered will stay a long time in my memory.

  93. Big Raddy says:

    SS. I said the same. Had we held out to extra time the game was ours.

    I am really really unhappy about losing in such a manner. The suggestion that B’ham wanted it more than us is an inditement of the team. If you cannot be up for a bloody Cup Final when can you be? Is our team purely based around Cesc? As I said in the post, when things get tough Cesc is THE man, but honestly, we should be able to win without him.

    And tell me this. When has playing Nasri on the right ever worked? And if I know this, why doesn’t AW? I was fuming when I saw the way the team was lining up.

    Lucky GIE is writing the post match because I would have 5,000 words of bile, which may well be the only therapy to get me through the next few days of piss-taking from my family.

  94. johnQ says:

    No, i’m not a Saint. But Arsenal always help me when i’m down, or when i had a rough week, so in return, i always stayed positive and get behind the team after each defeat

    Other than that, there is no benefit at all when you blaming the players, tactic and so on, it will only broke your heart even more.

  95. Big Raddy says:

    Kelsey. A kindred spirit πŸ˜‰

    Though I thought Song had a decent game as well as JW.

  96. Big Raddy says:

    One positive. Brilliant that Samir has signed a new contract.

  97. Big Raddy says:

    And we are 6 points ahead of third place with a game in hand πŸ˜‰

  98. kelsey says:

    keep going πŸ˜‰

  99. Wonderman says:

    Absolutely gutted, a) we gifted them two goals b) were lucky not to receive a red card and pen in the first min c)rosicky starting and getting 90mins !!!! D) Foster playing a blinder . We can blame Wenger all we want but two unforced defensive errors cost us today and no matter who is on the pitch, you don’t expect those kind of errors at this level

  100. kelsey says:

    I don’t mean to be disrespectful but I really hope this is rosicky’s last game,he would have missed the brummies goal.

  101. kelsey says:


    did we at any time in the first half look like the arsenal we know and love.the passing was poor, the players were nervous, and then we equalised.

    yes, we did put the pressure on in the second half but the balance of the team was wrong from the start and when robin went off it got even worse. gutted.

  102. Big Raddy says:

    Ermmmm. There must be something Kelsey. Can’t think of anything just now.

  103. Big Raddy says:

    Wonderman. The first goal was easily preventable with some muscle to assist JD and Kos. Zigic was always going to be the dangerman.

    The second was just poor play from both players. Chesney for calling and not claiming and Kos for not kicking it out the ground.

    TR should not have been on the pitch, and certainly not alongside AA.
    Did you see the teams when they shook hands? We looked like midgets.

  104. Big Raddy says:

    Kelsey. Got it …… we must have earned a pretty penny from this Cup run and will surely spend it on something sensible (probably 3 new kids)

  105. London says:

    Just back from the game, I was sitting next to Peaches which was probably the best part of the experience. It is interesting that my pinciple concern during the game turns out to be everyones concern here: Rosicky, why? Tippy tappy football at it’s most frustrating, no link up play between midfield and forward line. All very, very annoying.

  106. London says:

    Has there ever been a game this season in which the Arsenal we all know and love preformed without Fabregas.

  107. Carlito11 says:

    For me 2 positives: I sat next to rockylives’s son- small world! And jack was phenomenal. Many negatives: rosicky, poor communication at theback, song had a poor game, rvp off for bendtner? But the big neg for me was the fans. Hardly sang- streamed out as soon as brum scored the second! How are the rest of us supposed to get some support going to force extra time with everybody leaving? Shocking! These fans didn’t deserve to win (as a crowd- of course there were committed fans but as a mass we were worse than lacklustre).

  108. Carlito11 says:

    Fucking furious to be honest and mainly with my fellow supporters for doing F all to turn a poor situation around. If anyone wants mr I’ll be in my bunker. See you wenesday

  109. dandan says:

    Evening all. I am with you Q We had a twenty year old learnt a lesson today, if there was natural justice he wouldn’t have made the final error because he should have been Red carded and given away a penalty but we got lucky.

    Like Kelsey I think Thomas had a mare but then I have worried about him all year.
    BR to suggest that Arsene was to blame for losing that match when it was patently caused by defensive errors is IMHO like blaming the bankers for all our economic troubles a complete and utter nonsense.
    Plus of course we again met a keeper in form.
    So lets cut out the blame game leave it for that other site you all talk about, and just pray we have no bad injuries, we have a cup game on Wednesday and hope Chelski do us a favour on Tuesday there are more trophies up for grabs

  110. Harry says:

    Truly gutted, cannot (but suppose not surprisingly) believe the abuse the team is getting on some forums by what I call non fans, looking forward to a balanced report tomorrow, no pressure GIE,,,,,,

    @Sharkey, exactly what I said as well to my little son exactly on 88…….

    I was massively surprised with rosicky starting, but actually felt he did ok, not great but ok, Van persie was injured and taken off to hopefully ensure he makes Barca……Not overfully impress with elements of how we set up and changed, but lets be honest had foster not had a blinder we would have won, that said we were far from our best…

    The 2nd half we pretty much pounded them at times, foster was MoTM without a doubt, but we should have taken one of our chances…

    Gutted, but still proud to be a Gooner, just not looking forward to work or the press been so smug at our defeat, still no trophy, yawn……..

    Just hope the injuries dont mount up too much, Ramsey been back is a blessing, I would recall Lansbury as well…….

  111. Big Raddy says:

    DD. I DO blame the bankers πŸ™‚ And we should never have been in the position to lose to an 89th min goal.

    My complaints about AW’s team selection are in my opinion, valid. Discussing why we lost a very winnable game is part and parcel of supporting our team; venting my frustrations at losing what to me was an eminently winnable game is also natural.

    Thankfully I do not internalise my annoyance and this site is one of my releases.

    No question you are right about us shaking this disappointment off and getting on with what can be a great season for us, but without reflection nothing will be gained from a very painful defeat.

  112. gunnern5 says:

    Maybe at 73 years old and having watched more games than most I guess that I’m more used to misery. I have absolutely no criticism of either the way we played or team selection. One main ingredient in winning is LUCK and birmingham had the luckiest break ofb all, so why dwell on what could have been. I’m already thinking about the Orient game.

  113. Harry says:

    Carlito, are you surprised about the fans?

    Theirs were well up for it and roared their team on….

    Just wish that they had scored a screamer to win it rather than a mix up which all media / pund(t)its will cream themselves over……

    Heads up ches and koz, you kept out barca and were awesome that night, the team had the wrong mindset from the start and struggled to dominate….

    Next up Leyton, lose that and we will get pelters for years….

  114. Wonderman says:

    @ Kelsey 6:48 agreed we did’nt look ourselves at all. But we still created enough chances to win . I agree with everyone who was astonished that Rosicky started surely it had to be Bendtner

    @BR 6:55 The first goal is preceded by JD giving away possesion which then led to the corner. You are absolutely right we should have one the first ball, and Chesney should not have gone for a ball he was not certain of winning.

    The second goal you would expect to see in the park on a sunday…nuff said

  115. dandan says:

    Gunner 5 Well said.

    BR as far as the economy is concerned perhaps we can have that discussian one day :-),

    But onwards and upwards with the Arse Wednesday here we come

  116. Big Raddy says:

    DD. I hope so, it is one of my favourite subjects!!

  117. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    Big Raddy

    I blame the over confident supporters who have crapped on for weeks now about how The Cup was in the bag. Very few of you gave Brum the respect they deserved, except me.

  118. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    Most of you only see things how you want them to be, & since the Barca game some of you have been giving me the “tom tits”. But hey, in the spirit of BR & 26th May, its only your footys equal to crickets one dayers. Arsenal were probably tired & didn’t care.

  119. Oh dear, oh dear that wasn’t very good really and very sad to see tweets from Sagna, van Persie and Jack saying sorry for not winning today.

    As many of you have already said Rosicky was a bad choice to start, for all his blundering Nik did some sublime things today in his 30 minutes on the pitch and for me definitely should have started.

    I hope Robin is ok and was taken off as a precaution.

    Only our Arsenal could let Birmingham beat them in a final sadly 😦

  120. SharkeySure says:

    GG9 – I agree that many fans were over confident, but just cannot see how that impacts todays game.

    That doesn’t cause the linesmans flag to go up in the 2nd minute, or Djourou to sleep walk AWAY from Zigic or for the Chez & Koz mix up.

    If Wilshere’s shot flies in instead of hitting the bar, then perhaps RVP doesn’t get hurt scoring the equaliser.

    Footballs funny like that, maybe crickets different.

  121. Irishgunner says:


    the only good thing from today was that I got a shit load of free drink from people feeling sorry for me after I virtually cried my eyes out. I’m off my rocker on drink.

    What a fucking stupid way to lose a cup final.

  122. SharkeySure says:

    Rosicky was anonymous for me 1st half, and I’d have to (but won’t!) watch the 2nd half again to see if he improved as some say/claim he did.

    It was Wonderman who told me at 3.30 that Rosicky was starting. We had a 5min conversation in which I barely uttered 50 words. Basically alternating between just stunned silence and repeatedly asking ‘why is Rosicky starting’.

    After the call I tried to convince myself that I was over reacting, and I probably was. Rosicky DID NOT lose us the game today, but we did need people out there who would be best armed to help us win it.

    I feel sorry for Kos and Chezz who both played very well overall.

  123. Irishgunner says:

    And stop fucking talking about cricket for fuck sake – this is about the Arsenal bottled it.

  124. More wine is the only answer, lots more wine. My sweet brother just texted me from the states to say nevermind we still have three more trophies we can win this season.

  125. Harry says:

    Bottled it? i just cannot see that, just didnt take our chances and foster was excellent……..Sloppy mistake with minutes left cost us….Bottled it?

    Complacent, a tad yes,
    wrong tactics, possibly?,
    Wrong team selection? not the one I would have gone with, agreed…
    Wrong subs? possibly…
    Unlucky? awful mistake, yes……unfortunate, but typically us i suppose…….
    Lucky with Penalty early doors…..but after that i thought he was inconsistent in their favour……
    Bottled it? No still cannot say that…….Bottled it? please explain….????????

  126. Irishgunner says:

    How can we win any of the other three big trophies if we bottled this one??

    I’m glad I’m drunk or I’d be a lot more angry .. yeah ro driunk

  127. dandan says:

    He was dead right peaches, I’m off to bed have a good night, Tomorrows another day and we will have the joy of our sympathetic press to comfort us

  128. 26may1989 says:

    Evening all. Cycled back from Wembley at top speed, muttering and sometimes shouting all the way. Have got a lot of it out of my system now.

    Raddy at 6.11 and Kelsey at 6.48 cover it for me – I’m pretty much the last person to criticise Wenger (ok, almost the last one) but the selection of Rosicky was poor. Not that I think it was necessarily decisive, Wilshere aside (again), the performances just weren’t there today.

    Apologies to Irish for the reference, but unlike England’s cricket team losing one day matches, this defeat isn’t meaningless: the League Cup might not mean much in itself but it was meant to set the tone for the critical period between now and May. The challenge now is for the players to lift themselves, and for the fans to lift them. Not going to be easy. Especially given, as Irish says, we (players, manager and fans) bottled it today.

    Still, at least Gnarley told us so, makes it all better.

  129. SharkeySure says:

    Ordinarily I just smile and nod to any assertion made by a pretty young Irish lass who’s had a tipple or two, but I’ll have to respectfully make an exception today.

    I’m with Harry. For me today was about two big mistakes and poor finishing, not anyone ‘bottling’ it, I feel thats just too simplistic. For a fairly long spell in the 2nd half we completely dominated and had Ben Foster doing his best Superman impression in the Brum goal.

  130. goonermichael says:

    I’m truly gutted but not really suprised. I hope we can get stronger from this.

  131. Irishgunner says:

    I’m pissed so will be moere logical tomorow – perhaops

  132. 26may1989 says:

    Sharkey (and Harry), I guess it depends what we mean by “bottling it”. There was a lack of determination and focus through the first half. We clawed it back with our first really good attack, but in the second half, there was still something not right about it. There was hard work, and some good moves, but our lot never imposed themselves on Birmingham the way they can. Whatever we call it, the players failed to deliver at the required standard at the vital time.

  133. harry says:

    nice one sharkey.

    See the comment from gunnern5, aged 73!!!! Wise words indeed…….

    We are all gutted, we all saw things differently, for sure, all the fans slagging the team off across the radios and internet, are same oneS that sung the teams praises against barca and had we scored fro,m a mix up would have sing wengers name:…….

  134. goonermichael says:

    The press will rip the piss out of us tomorrow. It’s already started on talkshite. I’m of to send that wanker goldstein a death threat. See you later

  135. 26may1989 says:

    Some of the players appear to be tweeting in the right vein anyway:

    Good on them, hope they carry it on to the coming games.

  136. Brigham says:

    I am sat here totally gutted this evening and still unable to take it all in. Cannot really say much as I am that upset and I have seen some shockers in my time watching Arsenal.

    Onwards and upwards


  137. SharkeySure says:

    I hear ya Brigham. I think we’re all in a bit of shock. Its not that Brum couldn’t beat us, more the manner of the defeat.

    The nature and timing of the winner was horrible, really horrible.

  138. RockyLives says:

    Two positives to take from today:

    1) My son met Carlito by pure chance (Carlito – he said you were singing your heart out – well played mate).

    2) The Treble is still on.


  139. Gooner In Exile says:

    From a man that has travelled how many miles to see that game today I have total respect for you Rocky. Thats the spirit.

    Match report written and submitted, i’ve gone for balance and realism.

    Just read the comments on here as i’ve tried to avoid for last hour or so while I’ve been writing it I might split the difference of the comments.


  140. Neamman says:

    As one of thoe who saw the Swindon game in 1967 this isn’t so bad, Birmingham are not a bad team and McLeish isnt a stupid manager. They had luck [loads] but they played to their strengths, followed their plan and fortune smiled on them.

    Positives this weekend?
    1]Well the players all got valuable big game experience.
    2]I didnt see it but supposedly JET got a great goal at Cardiff.
    3] Motherwell won, St Johnstone lost.
    4] I leave for Asia in the morning so starting this week I see all the games live in my bar!!
    5] No more snow for me!!!

    Following the Arsenal we have to be prepared to lose and while I hate it.. I always remember what we chanted in the 60s.

    “We’re gonna rise again”

    and you know what…. WE DID!!!

    Keep the faith!!

  141. Gooner in Exile says:

    Well said Neamman.

    I’m confused today us Sunday morning and last night I had a really bad dream right? How come you lot had the same bad dream and are treating it like……… oh it’s Monday morning and it really happened.

    Might not be around much today as I have long drives ahead, but will be back later to see the reactions to the match report.

  142. kelsey says:

    Morning all.

    I can get over yesterday but my main concern is RVP. I think that is at least the second time he has been injured whilst scoring and early morning reports are not favorable for an early return.

    If Cesc,Theo and Robin are all out even for the next 2 weeks are squad is seriously dented.

  143. dandan says:

    Morning Kelsey Glad you are feeling better, You and I have as gunner and Neaman say had worse days than yesterday, we will,return.
    I also suspect that BR will cast his mind back and say been here ( god bless you Gus)before and look what we have achieved since then
    Onwards and upwards you gooners we have a great week ahead.

    Yes I know I am annoying, but there are worse things in the world today than a young mans mistake, just think how his family feel this morning.
    Happy days gooners. aint footy grand.
    Oh and gnarley the cricket was magic yesterday and we didnt win it, as was the golf that we did. πŸ™‚

  144. Evonne says:

    If you guys think you are feeling bad, think of me. I’m a polish Gooner and 2 bloody Polaks let us down so badly!! Koscielny and Szczesny are supposedly good mates, how could they f*ck up like that??? Do you remember Szczesny’s jibe at Cashley last week? Well, well he will have to take some stick now, providing the man Cashley shot at should survive:)
    Which year was it that in February we were kicked out of 3 cups? 2007?

  145. Gooner in Exile says:

    Evonne as a Pole one would hope you knew Koscielny is French

  146. Evonne says:

    To Gooner in Exile – no he ain’t. He wants to play for Polish national team, so

  147. 26may1989 says:

    Exile, Evonne’s right, Kos is qualified to play for both France and his ancestral homeland, Poland. He initially said he’d play for Poland then changed his mind shortly after joining us.

  148. Evonne says:

    Cheers 26may1989! With a name like KOSCIELNY he cannot be anything but Polish. I have heard him saying on Polish TV that he feels ‘Polish’; well, I wish I felt less Polish this morning:( what a f*ck up 😦

  149. Gooner in Exile says:

    I stand corrected.

  150. dandan says:

    GIE I am having a morning like that cant do right for doing wrong. πŸ™‚

  151. Evonne says:

    What now?????

  152. Big Raddy says:

    DD. Don Rogers was worse than Gus! and I was there for both.

  153. Gooner in Exile says:

    But according to wiki he was born in France.

    He only qualified for Poland through his grandfather, that’s like saying Vinnie Jones is Welsh, Andy Townsend, Ray Houghton and Jason Mcateer are Irish. Born in Watford, Maidstone, Glasgow and Birkenhead respectively.

  154. Big Raddy says:

    Aha. A race versus birth place discussion. Could it be a pain aversion tactic?

  155. dandan says:

    Aye so was I BR, which is why yesterday didn’t hurt as much. No illness, no missed penalty,no ploughed field, just a GK having a purple day and a young mans silly mistake. Incidentally friends in Liverpool says that Reina believes he is Emirates bound. Cant see it myself, but what do I know

  156. Evonne says:

    yep, stops us visualizing those 2 sitting on the pitch in front of the goal. What now guys?? I doubt very much we will win in Barcelona, which leaves us with the FA cup and the League. In both ManU are hot favourites. And the injury list is growing…..

  157. Morning Evonne – nice to have you on board πŸ˜‰

  158. Evonne says:

    Morning Peaches! Even given the tragic circumstances??

  159. dandan says:

    Morning Peaches is your hangover of Irish dimensions. πŸ™‚

  160. Probably not quite of Irish dimensions dandan.

    I just woke up this morning thinking we’re never going to win anything, we’re just going to play lovely football ………..

  161. Evonne – are you on twitter? You might need to send your polish boys some words of encouragement.

  162. Rasp says:

    Morning all, welcome Evonne.

    After the Keown/RVN debacle we had multiple suspensions but the squad pulled together and toughed out results until the squad was complete again, which eventually led to the invincibles era – can the current squad be as strong?

    Inevitably the ‘lack of leadership’ debate will resurface after yesterday’s game. Vermaelen would have cleared decisively and not allowed the goal – he is a leader.

  163. New Post ……………

  164. London says:

    I think Koscielny would have cleared it had he not heard a clear shout of leave it and he must have heard a shout. I am afraid this one is down to Sczesney.

  165. Evonne says:

    Peaches, I am not on Twitter; I doubt I am the best placed person to encourage either Szczesny, or Koscielny, or Fabianski. I am so angry with them. However, we NEED them to be strong, and a true supporter supports the team through thick and thin…..bla bla bla, ok Peaches, I will mail them x

  166. Evonne says:

    Rasp – I do hope you are right!! I desperately want you to be right:)

  167. Come on the new post Evonne, I can’t be switching back and forth πŸ˜‰

  168. Evonne says:

    What do you mean? I have never done this before, am I supposed to activate something??

  169. Rasp says:

    Thanks Evonne,

    If you to the top of the page and push the Home tab, you will be able to read today’s post and carry on the debate with other bloggers after the match report.

  170. Merrill says:

    Actually no matter if someone doesn’t understand afterward its up to other users that they will assist, so here it takes place.

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