A Taste of Honey.

A hot sunny Athens morning, greek yoghurt, fresh fruit, and some Greek honey. Lovely.

Olympiacos (we use a K, they use the C) come to town as Greek Champions , further than that I have little to tell you about them. They have over 80,000 members, the 9th highest in European football. They have a superb stadium, noisy, fanatical fans and a good home record. It is said they do not travel well, oh, and their Swedish player Olaf Mellberg scored the first PL goal at the Emirates (for AV)

The first round win by Marseilles  in Athens was a poor result for 4 reasons:

1. Marseilles are French.

2. Olympiacos are a tough proposition in Athens and thus Marseilles are well placed in the group,

3. Marseilles are French

4. Marseilles are French

With little insight into the Greek team I will concentrate upon the Mighty Arsenal. Needless to say we go into the game reduced by injuries. To add to the long term absentees we now have Gervinho, Walcott, Bennie, Miquel, Djourou and more importantly Koscielny injured.

Wenger appears to be forced into playing Song alongside the BFG (Mertesacker) but by doing so we lose our best midfielder.

I would like to see Santos get another game tonight, he must be raring to get his AFC career started and despite having played well recently Gibbs, as we all know, is made of glass.

Up front we have options for the first time in ages. Should we play 4-3-3 expect to see the Ox to get his first start and how exciting will that be? Arshavin or Ryo on the left? AA for me, we need to be on the front foot for this game.

My Team:

I have concerns about the number of games being played by Ramsey especially in light of the upcoming trip to WHL. Perhaps AW will give him a rest and play  Coquelin and Frimpong  in midfield, as it is I expect Frimpong to start.  This is a game made for our friend Abou Diaby, he is sorely missed (IMO).

The same could be said of Van Persie but he has become so important to the team that he must start, hopefully we will be a coasting on the hour and Chamakh can continue to get some pitch time.

Athens has been continuously inhabited for more than 7000 years (London has a measly 2000 year history). Athenians and ancient Greeks have gifted the world many wonders, among them – democracy, astrology, biology, mathematics, physics and the theatre, but for all their marvels they didn’t invent football, did they?

This is a tie we are expected to win and is probably our easiest fixture in the CL, anything less than 3 points will be costly,

Champions League campaigns may come and go but Arsenal are Forever and Ever 🙂


Big Raddy


245 Responses to A Taste of Honey.

  1. Big Raddy says:

    Please note there are errors in the team graphic. I hadn’t remembered that JD was injured. So Song in at CB and Frimpong in central midfield.

  2. Red Arse says:

    Morning Raddy, 🙂

    Excellent Post – but when are your Posts not?

    To be picky, I am a bit worried about your vacillation on the Marseilles issue. Are they French, or not? 🙂

  3. Big Raddy says:

    RA. In my humble opinion. Marseilles are French.

    The picture of the Big Man (are you old enough to recognise him?) is how I imagine you 😎

  4. Rasp says:


    I’ve sorted the graphic Raddy.

    Excellent prematch – the hidden Demis Roussos musical reference may be lost on the younger bloggers 😕

  5. Red Arse says:

    TA, 🙂

    I saw that Sharkey was teasing you about your use of the word ‘complimentative’ last night. But rest assured it was perfectly correct usage in the context of addressing someone (x) who is being complimentary about someone else (you).

    As you are at least bi-lingual and perhaps a polyglot I think you knew that. 🙂

  6. pat says:

    I thought that Yossi was injured as well – great if he is fit though!

  7. pat says:

    sorry I should have refreshed the page – scratch that

  8. Rasp says:

    Hi Pat,

    No, F5, the graphic has been changed, Yossi is still on the injured list I’m afraid.

  9. pat says:

    Really hope Ox gets a start and a goal (or 2 or 3?????) would be some nice positive (exciting) news for us. More important is the win but…

  10. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi BR, another great match pre-view. I love the joke at the end hahaha 🙂

    You are spot on about the Marseille result against Olympiacos: that was not good for us at all. We need a win today, so like you, I expect Wenger to put out his best possible team. Is Rosicky fit again? If so, I expect him to play instead of Ramsey or Ox (in your formation).

    Cannot wait for the game tonight! 🙂

  11. oz gunner says:

    @ BR

    great preview as always

    @ TA

    great post, loved the humour, just a shame it brought out alot of terrible comments from ‘fans’ who read too much into the media spin.

    Injuries injuries injuries. Guess it’ll give me a chance to evaluate my comment the other day about song becoming a CB once coq and frim develop further. Personally i’d go with coq tonight because its not a premier league game. His passes and overall attacking game is better than that of the frim

    i’m looking forward to seeing santos and the mighty ox again

  12. Big Raddy says:

    Rasp. Thanks.

    I know but the green boots and the kaftan are so brilliant I couldn’t resist.

  13. Red Arse says:


    I did not know who the Greek guy was until Rasp said, but if his girth could be attributed to the BFG, that would be a passing resemblance! 🙂

    BTW, when I first saw the acronym BGF, I wondered who the ‘Big Green F*ck’ was, luckily, reading further I saw it was more commonly written as ‘BFG’ so that would be ‘Big (effing) German ……. or is it? 🙂

  14. oz gunner says:


    i thought it was ‘Big frickn German’ or ‘Big F-bomb German’

  15. Rasp says:

    BFG is an acronym for a Roald Dahl character in children’s books = Big Friendly Giant, but I prefer Big F*****g German 😆

  16. TotalArsenal says:

    RA, thanks for that. The Dutch verb for making compliments to somebody is ‘complimenteren’, so I thought that complimentative was my brain doing a Duenglish trick on me when I used complimentative, realising it should have been complimentary… Now, realising how wicked/shrewd Sharkey can be, I think he set it all up to trick me in the first place 🙄

  17. Gooner in Exile says:

    RA it is to my knowledge the BFG.

    Raddy good solid pre match as ever, the injuries are concerning, two things worry me….we could see the Squid, or Sagna at CB, Jenkinson at RB, or even Jenkinson at CB? Oh to have had Bartley available!

    But I’m sure we’ll be fine either way or with Song. I worry about taking Song out of the midfield as it leaves us light in the middle of the park.

    Kelsey I saw your comments on yesterday’s post and it raised a couple of questions, I answered on there but I will paste below.

    Kelsey two interesting points. Tevez has taken the heat off Uniteds defending.

    Re Tevez maybe he is aiming for a “terminated by mutual consent” which will mean he can walk between windows, maybe he has had a tap?

    But I think I would be miffed, last season would you have taken Tevez over Nasri to be in our side when we were trying to win CC, or in some of the miserable 0-0′s at home….the answer is surely yes assuming he would be prepared to play midfield.

  18. pat says:

    sorry not wanting to change the subject of the preview that has set the tone nicely (ok I will anyway) but I was reading Dennis Bergkamps wikipedia page and hes assistant coach to De Boer(?) at Ajax at the moment but apparently he would absolutely love to come to Arsenal. Was laughing to myself thinking that Arsene could bring Dennis Bergkamp in to beat down the “bring in the defensive coach” hooplah. Just a bit of ironic humour I thought…

  19. pat says:

    ha he will teach Mertsacker how to do this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IicmCu47pMo

  20. kelsey says:

    Fine pre match post Raddy but i have to go out and practice.I actually thought that was you in the picture because the boots are a dead giveaway.

    i anserwed you GIE on the previous post, and agree.

    not sure about Song and pong, as Pong is at least for the moment a bit heated at times and we don’t need anymore red cards.I would actually play le Coq and i see Arshavin starting as the pace might suit him even if he only plays an hour.

  21. TotalArsenal says:

    Pat 🙂 nice video, especially the interview bit.

  22. How nice to read of other clubs woes, City walloped by Bayern and the great team spirit proved to be a myth by the Argentinian misfit.

    United two up and coasting needed a late, late equaliser to salvage a point against the club from cuckoo clock land.

    A chance for our great club to rescue the reputation of the English Premier League by defeating the pride of Athens tonight.

    C’monThe Gunners!!!

  23. chas says:

    Nice one, BR.

    When I went to Blackburn away, the Arsenal boys were singing
    “big f*ckin German, we’ve got a big, f*cking German”.

    I mentioned this to GIE on Saturday and I think he started referring to Mertesacker as BFG from then on.

  24. pat says:

    Dzeko threw his toys out as well when he got subbed – its mutiny on the fair ship Ctieh…

  25. oz gunner says:

    How on earth is barry still getting a gig? he isn’t good enough to be a DM (de jong and yaya are better) and a box to box player pfft not likely.

    Tevez in january would be great for a 6 month spell. Boateng proved last night just how good of a decision it was to leave. I hope it all falls apart, and kompany comes over to a good team…maybe silva too. Bayern are one solid team all over the pitch, to play like that with someone like robben on the pine is scary

  26. pat says:

    SIr Alex has been laughing evilly in the shadows after seeing his latest wonder weapon “the delayed action Tevez” finally detonate somewhere in Germany…

  27. TotalArsenal says:

    Let’s hope the BFG is whizzpopping tonight!

  28. oz gunner says:

    @ pat

    haha great comment, thats how you know arsene is better at warfare because he sent ‘1/2 a season wonder nasri’, ‘no attack + panic clichy’, ‘slim fast toure’, and ‘big head ade’

    so far toure has cost them a year

  29. TotalArsenal says:

    OZ, Barry was indeed struggling badly with Bayern’s tempo and pressing game last night, but for me nobody other than Kompany stood out for MC: they all had no fight in them, and long may it continue 🙂


    Entertaining post Big Raddy.

    A little bit of info on our oppenents tonight. Greek football loyalties are split on political lines, and Olympiacos are on the far left. When you see the riots in Greece there is a large contigent of anachists with them which tend to come from there fan base I doubt you will see any Greek flags in there mob tonight, more likely portraits of Stalin and Lenin.

  31. oz gunner says:

    @ TA

    its a shame because kompany was one player they got for a steal, he took a while to adapt, but to me he was definently a missed buy as we were heavily linked with him as a DM if i remember correctly

  32. TotalArsenal says:

    OZ, the Belgians probably have the best CB options in the world right now: Vermaelen, Vertonghen, Kompany, and I am sure there are more around at the moment.

  33. Fatgingergooner says:

    I would be tempted to start with Chamakh and bring on RvP if needed. Don’t think this Greek side are that good.

    Also, unlike others, I am yet to write off MC and feel a few starts here and there can help.

  34. Gooner in Exile says:

    TMHT, are you saying we should take cover tonight? Glad I’m sitting above the away end 🙂

    Although there’s a good chance we will be smoked out by flares.

    So will the big flag wavers be there tonight do you think? I personally hope not as they are an attempt to create an atmosphere.

    I’m hoping the fans can create a bit of their own atmosphere in ground tonight, whatever team goes out needs to start quickly….Olympiacos will be no mugs and CL football is a lot about experience…witness City last night with a lot of players without that big European away game experience and even in the first game at Napoli they were naive.

  35. oz gunner says:

    that is true TA, while their close neighbours the swiss have the worst (senderos,djourou)

  36. TotalArsenal says:

    OZ, don’t forget about the Dutch either. If only Vertonghen or Vermaelen were Dutch, OR BOTH, they would be world champions by now.

  37. oz gunner says:

    agreed TA, the dutchs one weakness. Its a shame because look at the mouth-watering attack of wesley,robben,RVP.There lack of CB’s means they have to play relatively isolated up front, while the rest help defend



    They are very passionate and make a lot of noise, but i dont think tin hats are required. Good chance they might let of a flare or two though.

  39. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Arrest your injury concerns my merry fellows.
    I have just bought some suitable footwear and will be boarding the afternoon Penzance to London Flyer. All will be well.
    Absolutely love the flavour of todays post. Well apart from the rediculous suggestion that Democracy is a good idea.
    Had no idea our CB injuries were so bad.

  40. Fatgingergooner says:

    Don’t forget the English, if only Upson, Lescott, Terry and Ferdinand were foreign…..we would be world champions by now!!!!

  41. MickyDidIt89 says:

    It is a long time (the arrival of AA) since I have been so excited by a player as I am by the Ox.

  42. Gooner in Exile says:

    Still tickets available for tonight, using this TicketFast thing you can buy and have your ticket printed in front if you in 5 minutes.



    I agree about the Ox. A bit early to judge but ive got a feeling Ox and Jack could be the best 2 teenagers in football at the moment.

  44. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Mr Transplant,
    Lets just assume they are the best and feel extra good about life.

  45. Red Arse says:

    FAuburn, true. 🙂

  46. Red Arse says:


    I think Jack is useless! Fancy letting a little thing like only having one foot stop him. Pphht, kids today ….. what can you do? 🙂

  47. MickyDidIt89 says:

    I am sitting in the office, or studio as they call it, of some graphic designery types. They all have narrow spectacles in stupid colours, drive apples apparently and sport strange shoes. Coincidently, they all speak Greek.
    Must go and look interested. Bye.

  48. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Really off now.



    Jacks broken leg had nothing to do with him parking near your car did it?

  50. Total Arsenal says:

    OZ, you hit the nail on the head. That’s why two DMs are deployed and the likes of Affelay or not positioned in the middle.

    FGG 🙂

  51. gunnern5 says:

    This is just lovely to read.

    From Goal.com

    Man C Player ratings.

    Samir Nasri

    Flop of the Match

    Rating: 4.0

    A very talented player, but one who was absolutely silenced. Had one good run but was otherwise anonymous in attack. Withdrawn for the final 20 minutes.

  52. pat says:

    Need to be organized defensively tonight we don’t want to Baseled (or worse)

  53. pat says:

    thats BE Baseled sorry

  54. pat says:

    or maybe its Boombaseled….

  55. 26may1989 says:

    Demis Roussos with green sparkly wellies on – the 1970s were very strange.

    Cheers for the write-up Mr Raddy, tip-top as ever. Is Miquel injured though? I thought not. I think your predicted line-up is probably on the button, but if Miquel is fit, I’d prefer to have him at CB and Song in DM, with Pingpong on the bench.

    Total: “The Belgians probably have the best CB options in the world right now” – that must have been very painful for a Dutchie to type!

  56. Gooner in Exile says:

    Boombasled 😀 I’m gonna use that on Twitter to wind up a couple of ManUre fans who follow me

  57. Gooner in Exile says:

    Dutch/Belgian all the same surely 🙂

  58. harry says:

    Nice pre-match Raddy as per usual, Your itching for Santos to get a gig, aint you? I agree tonight would be perfect opportunity. I think wenger was right at the weekend with Gibbs. Give him and I agree Ramsey prior to the Spuds.

    I would put Coquelin and Frimpong in the centre, with Arteta, RVP, and arshavin supporting the Ox……..Would rip them to shreds……….

    Nice one GN5, I did laugh when Na$ri came off last night, after a poor performance, 4 is a bit generous to be honest. Flattered to decieve.

    Anyway onto tonight, see you at the tavern AAers who ever doth attend………….

  59. gunnern5 says:

    Your usual great pre-match BR.

    To compliment your post here are a few more facts on Olympiacos.

    – Most successful club in Greece.
    – 38 League Titles.
    – 24 Greek cups.
    – 4 Super cups.
    – 2.5 million fans in Greece
    – 9th highest amount of registered fans in the world – 83,000
    – Stadium capacity only 33,000 but bloody loud.
    – One QF appearance in the CL
    – One QF appearance in the CWC

  60. RockyLives says:

    Masterful Raddy
    I particularly loved this: “…democracy, astrology, biology, mathematics, physics and the theatre, but for all their marvels they didn’t invent football, did they?”

  61. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi 26, GiE, there is hardly any rivalry between the Dutch and Belgians (anymore). The sporting differences are too big for that. Belgium, as you may know, is suffering from a national split-personality disorder, as they are absolutely unable to establish unity between the Flemish (Dutch, but softer and much more polite) and French speaking parts of this tiny, but quite prosperous country. A bloodless separation is what I am hoping for, after which the Dutch speaking parts agree to join up with the Netherlands…. Vermaelen, Vertonghen and Kompany added to Oranje…. 😛

    One can but dream… 😆

  62. Red Arse says:


    Rocky has reminded me that I was going to ask about the ‘biology’ bit in the “democracy, astrology, biology, mathematics, physics and the theatre, but for all their marvels they didn’t invent football, did they?”

    And I thought that Adam and Eve were responsible for that, the devils!! 🙂

  63. kelsey says:

    I am back and have met many dutch and belgians over the years. I nearly always like the Dutch as they hate the germans but the belgians are such dour unhappy sad people,at least the ones i saw in brussels. Then there is the famous or infamous menekin piss or however you spell it.i was expecting this iconic figure not a tiny statue of a little boy having a wee.

    But their chocolates are another thing. 🙂

  64. Red Arse says:


    Did you hear the interview that Steve McLaren gave when he was manager at FC Twente.

    It was so funny because for some reason he was mimic-ing the way he thought Dutch people speak English.
    The weird thing was that he was being interviewed for a British audience. Absolutely hilarious.

    He is a total pillock!

  65. kelsey says:

    i hear he is doing quite well at Forest as well 😉

  66. 26may1989 says:


    You are a ruthless man, wanting to break up a country so you can improve your national team – I like your style!

    A Dutch-Flemish team could look pretty good though:

    GK Stekelenburg

    RB van der Wiel
    CB Kompany
    CB Vertonghen
    LB Vermaelen

    CM de Jong
    CM Hazard

    AM Sneijder
    AM van der Vaart
    AM Robben

    FW van Persie

  67. Red Arse says:

    Kelsey, 🙂

    I’m glad you have been back on AA and in good form. Sorry to hear about the medical problems your family are experiencing, hope all get well soon.

    I left you a message of support in the evening comments yesterday, but could not stay.

    All’s well that ends well!! 🙂

  68. kelsey says:

    Thanks RA,

    but in fact i was on early yesterday most probably before you woke up 🙂

  69. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi Kelsey, that is exactly why ‘taking the piss’ originates from Belgium 😉

    The one nation I try to avoid on holidays as much as possible is my own, although I tend to stay in French campsites with lots of fellow Dutchies if and when Holland are playing in the World or European Championships.

    RA, you are right re Adam and Eve, but not much ‘biology’ happened after that, that is until Oedipus, that fine young Greek fellow arrived… 😛

    Steve McClaren’s interview was indeed very funny: a total arse of a pillock!!

  70. TotalArsenal says:

    26, looks good doesn’t it? Don’t know Hazard that well, but there is also still Affelay for whom I have high hopes, and I would prefer him to the erratic vdFart.

  71. 26may1989 says:

    Affelay does look good, surely a classic Wenger signing at some point, once he realises he’ll never get a proper look-in at Barca.

  72. Red Arse says:

    Mind you, TA, the Belgiques do have that recumbent statue of the naked lady in Bruges. Commonly known in English as “the Floozy in the Jacuzzi”.

    They can’t be all bad!! 🙂

  73. kelsey says:

    As a kid I spent every bloody summer in knokke/Le Zoute great place for those sort of peddled go karts and immense seafront promenade to peddle along. But the weather Argh.

  74. Red Arse says:


    De haai will get you later, by the way! 🙂

  75. TotalArsenal says:

    26, I am still gutted we did not sign him half a year ago. He just sustained a bad knee injury and is out for at least 6 months. It happened during a training session, probably just trying too hard….

    He has been a slow developer, but the way he plays football reminds me a bit of the very best Dutch players (Bergkamp, Cruijff even). A joy to watch and totally wasted at Barca: just another victim of a chairman’s vanity project 😦

  76. 26may1989 says:

    Chips and mayo, chocolate, moules marinieres and strong beer, Belgian culture is bloody marvellous!

  77. TotalArsenal says:

    RA, you mean that water-infesting Sharkey?

  78. Red Arse says:

    Funnily enough, Kelsey, I think it is terrible that you have got such rotten weather, while we have been basking in beautiful sunshine under cloudless blue skies, with the temperature between 28 F to 30 F.

    You need to come back here and live the high life with the rest of us!!! 🙂

  79. RockyLives says:

    Bruges is one of my favourite places in the world.

    Beautiful old bars; hundreds of weird varieties of beer – each with its own specialist glass.

    Wonderful medieval architecture.




  80. kelsey says:


    i think the chips and mayo originated in holland, i remember us crossing over the border from knokke and the vans selling them wrapped up like a small bunch of flowers with a small wooden fork.Still eat chips with mayo to this day.

  81. kelsey says:

    and more cobbled streets than anywhere else in the world. i would describe it as quaint.

  82. TotalArsenal says:

    RA, I love Belgium. I stayed a few days in Brugge this summer, but never saw such a lady.. it must be your vivid imagination 🙂

    Kelsey, maybe those childhood memories may you decide, subconcioulsy, to move to Marbella – could it be?

    26, you forgot to mention the Belgian Beauties 🙂

  83. Red Arse says:

    TA, sschh, he may get me instead of you!! 🙂

    Let’s put him onto 26 instead. 🙂

    I like that phrase “water infesting Sharkey” — my inclination would be to say “Sharkey infested AA! You never know when he will strike!” 🙂

  84. TotalArsenal says:

    may = made, before Sharkey puts his razor-teeth in me again 🙂

  85. kelsey says:


    probably but it wasn’t a hard choice, well at least at the time we came here.

    The Only Way is Essex has attracted an extra 450000 people here this August .Do i have to say anymore.

  86. TotalArsenal says:

    RA, I am now hearing the Jaws tunes – you know the ones that announce an imminent attack: ‘bloody’ Sharkey.

  87. TotalArsenal says:

    Kelsey, as my Parents in Law would say, a cup of tea does not taste better anywhere else than in the UK. Come back to four seasons, fish and chips, crumpets, and dog poo 🙂

  88. kelsey says:

    dog poo did you say TA,!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! how much would you like having anything between 4 to 6 dogs I am an expert on the subject.

  89. oz gunner says:

    @ 26

    agreed, great player, will never make it at barca though (injuries haven’t helped his cause though, nor does the acquisition of one cesc fabregas (damn him, damn him to hell)

  90. Hi all

    I’m sorry to say that I won’t get to the pub pre-match 😦

    But I do need a volunteer for a match report, someone who won’t mind staying up late into the night writing ………..or can write it on the train on the way home ……… or someone who will be glued to their television and able to watch in again if they need to 🙂

  91. Belgian chocolates …………… heaven 😀

  92. There’s a pub in Oulton Broad called The Lady in the Lake, known locally as the Bitch in the Ditch, I reckon that beats Brugges’ Jacuzzi Floozie.

  93. oz gunner says:

    i don’t know if anyone saw it the other day (was at 2 in the morning your time or something), but i think sharkey is the sharkspeare of AA…nope…nothing…ok i’ll get me coat

  94. kelsey says:

    Beats a Mars Bar 😉

  95. 26may1989 says:

    Peaches, much as I would enjoy watching you try and bully one of us into submission to write up tonight’s festivities, I’ll lance the boil now and say “Yes, yes, yes, I will write a little match report this evening!” You knew I’d cave didn’t you?!

    But if you’re not there tonight, how am I supposed to pay you back your tenner??

    Will anyone else be at The Tavern this eve?

  96. TotalArsenal says:

    Well Kelsey, then your acclimatisation process will be a piece of madeira cake 🙂

  97. TotalArsenal says:

    Oz, good name for him 🙂

    26, well done my friend – looking forward to your report 🙂

  98. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    Afternoon all,
    Raddy nice post,….but ,you failed to mention another Greek great!. The Island of Lesbos,…dribble..dribble . 🙂
    And you say Gibbs is made of glass, yes and ten others. Our new name Glassenal.
    ” and it`s Glassenal,…Glassenal FC,…it`s by far the fragilest team the World has ever seen”.
    FGG @11:28, I`d like to see Chamakh at LB/RB, thats left right back in the changing room, with door bolted!

  99. TotalArsenal says:

    Glassenal! 😛

  100. Big Raddy says:

    GLIC. Very droll.

    I loved Bruges and was very excited to visit the little pissing fellow, and the weird thing they built in Antwerp for the World Trade Fair (this was back in the 60’s). As 26says, the moules and beer are fab as well.

    Kelsey. You would be very disappointed by The Little Mermaid in CPH – the clue is in the name.

  101. 26may – thank you for volunteering without torture. You’ll just have to hold on to the tenner until the next game 🙂

    Did I see that micky is on his way to London?


    Demis Rousous was once hijacked by the P.L.O.,along with 200 other passangers. I dont know how he swung it but the git got let of by the hijackers before the women and children. Cant remember what he was wearing.

  103. Complex lot them ancient Greeks what with Electra and Oedipus.

  104. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    The PLO could not afford to feed him!

  105. kelsey says:


    that weird thing was The Atomium in Brussels built for The World Trade Fair

    yes the mermaid is rather small.



    I didn’t think about that. Plus we would have taken up two seats on the plane.

  107. Camberwell Gooner says:

    Afternoon all.

    Finally back in internet land after sunning myself at the other end of the Med for a week with the management. Does wonders for your complection that sunshine and sea air, especially when your complection is plastered with three layers of factor 50. Obviously came back the same colour as when I went out there but Mrs Camberwell has turned a delightful deep bronze.

    Enough talk of tans, or lack thereof. Time to get down to serious business, and that is how are we going to fare against the Greeks? Will it be a Trojan horse job? Will we leave them scrapping off spartan tidbits while we lay siege to their area? What is their Achilles heel? Who will step up and be our Agamemnon? How many goals will it take to send them scurrying back defeated across the wine-dark sea? Does anyone doubt that they’ll truly get it in the neck? And what marvellous soundbites will the silver-tongued Wenger come out with in the presser?

    All these burning questions and more to be answered tonight!

  108. Red Arse says:

    Well, if you did not rate my Bruges ‘Floozy in the Jacuzzi’, a cast bronze 3/4 size naked lady lying in a trough (?) just outside Market Square, (extremely accurate representaion 🙂 ) how about Dublin’s statue of Molly Malone, ‘The Tart with the Cart’. It’s true, ask Irish! 🙂

    They also have a Floozy, as does Birmingham, in the revitalised city centre. These Floozies, eh, how come I cannot get one? 🙂

  109. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    Where do we come, in the European Football members league ?.
    How do they calculate it ?.
    Arsenal , Is it , season ticket holders plus Platinum,Gold,Siver and Red members ?

  110. Red Arse says:

    Wow, Camberwell, and good afternoon to you too! 🙂

    History, mythology, romance and alcoholic puns to boot. I’ll have some of what you have just had!! 🙂

  111. Gooner in Exile says:

    Peaches not good enough!!

    I have just eft work early to make sure i got in the city earlyish.

    Now about to jump on Met Line…..

    See everyone later, for the post match debrief.

  112. Red Arse says:

    I have been up the atomium, (inside) and it is sad, tired and dispirited piece of sculpture.

    Apparently it was supposed to have been pulled down after the World’s Fair after tons of money had been thrown at it.

    Like Citeh really, and the pair of them should be torn down — pronto!

  113. Big Raddy says:

    Camberwell. Welcome home.

    GLIC. No idea – I will try to find out.

  114. Dandan says:

    Great pre match as usual BR….. Loved the picture of the singing tent, ( I am of course a tog as well as a gooner) A CL falsetto rendition of Goodbye my love, Goodbye. Ringing in the greek supporters shell like’s as they exit pointless would warm the cockles of this old fan 🙂

  115. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    Want a win tonight , but with our Glassenal squad, should only expect a draw.
    I shall pray to Asclepius,Laso and Aceso.

  116. Big Raddy says:

    We need a sacriifice. Any takers?

  117. Dandan says:

    How about Samir 🙂

  118. Red Arse says:


    This is a somewhat personal observation and resultant question, so please ignore it if I am asking for too much info. 🙂

    I used to be fascinated by a female blogger on Le Grove.
    She was by far the smartest Blogger on that site, had a keen sense of perspective and tried to calm some of the more ‘excitable’ characters down by gently chiding them, and engaged others in a cerebral exercise to attempt to make them use their ‘logical’ faculties.

    She has not been on the site, as far as I know, for quite a while which I found disappointing and led to my final schism with that site.

    She went by the tag of Queen of Suburbia — that wasn’t you in an alter ego was it?

    If so, I was your ardent admirer ere the AA site attracted me. If not, I think you have many (all) of the attributes I saw and admired in “Queen”! 🙂

  119. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    Sounds good to me,I`ll take it as Gospel.
    Vera City, what league they in ? 🙂

  120. Big Raddy says:

    Since Nik left the TV companies over here have lost interest in AFC. Tonight we have the Chavs and Barca who will thrash Bate.

    Thank goodness for LOF streams

  121. Big Raddy says:

    DD 😀

  122. Red Arse says:

    GLIC, the Ducksworth League.

  123. Rasp says:

    RA, QoS is not peaches. She started on LG, fell out with them and went to ACLF, then returned to LG. I think Gambon or some other extremist was getting on her wick.

    She runs a tee shirt printing company I believe amongst other things and is as you say, very bright and doesn’t suffer fools lightly. She is aware of AA but obviously we are not the site for her. I don’t know where (if) she is blogging at the moment.

  124. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    I have told my Mother-in -Law she`s going to a Bar-b-que tonight, gagged and wrapped already ! 🙂

  125. Big Raddy says:

    RA. . If QoS has left blogworld it would be a loss. Have you looked on ACLF or Goonaholic? Or perhaps she has changed her blogname.

    The children on LG have driven away anyone with anything interesting to say, there used to be some fun to be had over there, sadly a thing of the past.

  126. Big Raddy says:

    GLIC. Brilliant. I will get a pentagon drawn on the beach over here, we can cut out her heart (always assuming she has one) and send her off in a flaming Viking ship.

    Must be worth 3 points …

  127. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    Correct, Raddy, she has no heart but cutting her tounge out will more than make up for it! 🙂
    She makes Medusa look like a Baywatch babe!

  128. kelsey says:

    Queen of the South achieved something not many do.Acceptence and respect on ACLF and on Le Grove.

  129. Red Arse says:

    Thanks guys, that is very informative.

    As I said earlier, I believe Peaches has a very similar persona to QoS and I therefore now have two heroines! 🙂

  130. kelsey says:

    Word around the net is that RVP and arteta will be rested and on the bench tonight as AW has one eye on the Spurs game.
    With 11 players out i would have thought he would field his strongest team.Anyway we will soon find out.

  131. RockyLives says:

    “having anything between 4 to 6 dogs”
    I find that a confusing line. Does it mean you are uncertain whether two of your six pets are actually dogs? Perhaps they have hyena or mountain lion tendencies?
    Either way, I’m not coming up your drive to post any letters.

  132. Red Arse says:

    GLIC, 🙂

    What is going on with you and Camberwell?

    First we had Achilles and Agamemnon and now up pops a Gorgon mother in Law. It’s becoming a bit scary now on AA with all these mythological characters appearing.

    I have only recently become used to Charybdis ( a favourite AA blogger) who was a mythological sea monster!

    Yee Gods!! 🙂

  133. Red Arse says:


    We are fast running out of sunscreen over here. Can you send over all your unused stuff. Ta!! 🙂

  134. RockyLives says:

    To keep the classical Greek theme going…

    Does Wayne Rooney have The Face That Launched a Thousand Quips?

  135. kelsey says:


    It does actually change.We did have 6 but two were poisoned by a goat man with meat covered in anti freeze but we are always looking after an additional two whose owners are frequently away.

    OK RA,

    you are allowed a few hot days every year or so, bit like arsenal the weather isn’t that consistent.

  136. gunnern5 says:

    My mother in law is a very balanced individual.

    She has a chip on both shoulders………….

  137. gunnern5 says:

    My mother in law wants to dance on my grave.

    So i’ve requested to be buried at sea………….

  138. kelsey says:

    Shite,I was right RVP is on the bench.The Ox starts. excuse me for the interuption gunnerN5

  139. gunnern5 says:

    My mother in law asked why i kept her picture on the mantlepiece.

    I told her it was to keep the kids away from the fitre.

  140. kelsey says:

    Szczesny, Sagna, Mertesacker, Song, Andre Santos, Frimpong, Arteta, Rosicky, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Arshavin, Chamakh.

    Subs: Fabianski, Jenkinson, Gibbs, Coquelin, Ramsey, Park, Van Persie.

  141. gunnern5 says:

    Last one…. (I can hear the cheers).

    Behind every successful man stands a dedicated wife and a shocked mother in law……..

  142. Irishgunner says:

    Evening all, interesting line-up by the boss.

    Very excited to see Chamberlain play tonight.

  143. Fatgingergooner says:

    AW must have been reading the blog earlier when i told him to rest RVP and start with MC!!! 😉

    Looking forward to watching Oxo at this level.

  144. Irishgunner says:

    Excellent by Chamberlain, great run and such a calm finish.

  145. gunnern5 says:

    Looks like we may have finally found our

    Ox in the Box………….

  146. gunnern5 says:

    We have a very scary defense.

  147. gunnern5 says:

    Two new players = Two goals.

    Great formula.

  148. gunnern5 says:

    Same old thing — when will we ever learn?

  149. gunnern5 says:

    3 corners could have been 3 goals against.

  150. Rasp says:

    Our defence is appalling, I thought AW said they’d been working on defending?

  151. gunnern5 says:

    Oh no here comes their 4th corner…………..

  152. Rasp says:

    Rosicky is poor tonight.

  153. Irishgunner says:

    I don’t like when we concede corners .. or free kicks .. or when the opposition come at us in any fashion :-/

  154. gunnern5 says:

    Rasp, I agree that Rosicky is poor but Arshavin and Chamakh are just shocking.

  155. RockyLives says:

    Clichy – 1 goal in 187 appearances for Arsenal.
    Santos – 1 goal in 2 appearances…
    He has another 185 chances to become a better goal scoring fullback than Gael.

  156. Dandan says:

    AA drives me to distraction, he wont work.

  157. Big Raddy says:

    Do you think so Rasp? I thinkTR has been OK – at least he is harrying and trying to pass forward, We have other problems –

    Arshavin. I do not know where to start. AW calls him a model professional, if he is then he leaves it on the training ground. So far,he has been totally ineffective tonight,

    Frimpong. He has to cover Sagna. they have been having so much space down the left, Sagna is getting exposed time and time again. And he has to attack the ball if he stays centrally.

    Either we bring on Coquelin or bring Sagna into CB, CJ on as RB and Song back into MF. Because if this continues we may lose this game.

    Good start though and OC looks quality.

  158. Gooner in Exile says:

    Evening all from Clock End Upper where unfortunately in the maini am surrounded by tourists or very quiet and moaning fans. I am hoarse from singing alone.

    Started brightly but dipped off both Ox and Pong are being caught out positionally from their naivety. Cham puts himself in a position for a run in behind but others rarely try to play him in.

    Arsh does just not work back and therefore Santos is understandably reluctant to overlap when he does we are exposed.

    Trying an untested defence in open play I have not been too worried at set pieces when we are asking TR7 and The Ox to do jobs we are looking suspect.

    Still I predict 5-1 🙂

  159. kelsey says:

    When you change a team around as much as we do though partly through injuries it is half expected that there is no real understanding between players.
    the old heads Arshavin and rosicky are awful and chamakh is so low in confidence he just gets worse.We are being ripped to pieces by a very average side the goal was a schioolboy error.
    pleased for chamberlain,doubt anyone else on the pitch would have scored.only half time and they have had three times as many chances as us. mertsacker doesn’t impress and who can one bring on to bolster the defence.Arteata has had his moments but though i tink we will still win I dread what a half decent attack would do to our defence.

  160. Rasp says:

    Hi Raddy, agree AA is disappointing again and Chamakh is a passenger. I may have been a bit harsh on Rosicky but he had a golden opportunity to score and he passed back to Arsh in a worse position and gave the ball away. He also gave away a free kick on the edge of our box needlessly. That’s one he should have scored and one that could easily have cost us a goal so poor is our defensive positioning.

  161. Big Raddy says:

    If Micky’s theory is correct and our strikers need 3 golden opportunities for each goal then Chamakh is nailed on for at least one in the second half!

  162. Gooner in Exile says:

    That last line needed a comma:

    Trying an untested defence, in open play I have not been too worried, at set pieces when we are asking TR7 and The Ox to do jobs we are looking suspect.

  163. kelsey says:

    AA reminds me of that little statue in brussels

  164. kelsey says:

    I would phone steve bruce tonight and ask for nic back asap and let chamakh go to sunderland

  165. Rasp says:

    I’d take Frimpong off and put Coquelin on, Frims trying to be too clever and getting caught a lot.

  166. kelsey says:

    i have seen better strikers than chamakh at hendon f.c.

  167. Big Raddy says:

    Why won’t Chamakh run at a defender? So frustrating.

  168. Big Raddy says:

    Come on Arsene we need some changes. Get AA off and bring on another MF.

  169. kelsey says:

    AA and chamakh off please.Does this really look like a CL game

  170. Big Raddy says:

    Thank you

  171. kelsey says:

    you’re velcome.

  172. Rasp says:

    We just had an attacking move with 2 against 2 and Chamakh was just trotting towards the box, he should watch the goal Ronaldo scored yesterday. Chamakh is just scared of getting n to a scoring position with his feet.

  173. kelsey says:

    mertsacker is playing better but still we look so vunerable

  174. kelsey says:

    i think Alan Smith summed it up well we have to lower our expectations this season and build on it next.

  175. Big Raddy says:

    We made hard work of that but who cares- we got 3 points with only 5 first team starters.

  176. Rasp says:

    Mertesacker and Song both played very well and yet we were poor defensively. On countless occassions our midfield were just trottting back and leaving the defence exposed. Rosicky is way past his sell by date.

  177. Rasp says:

    I care Raddy, that was not good enough. Whatever it is we are missing, we’d better find it by Sunday or we’re in trouble. I just don’t think our work rate is anywhere near good enough and players are just not showing for the ball.

  178. Irishgunner says:

    Poor game but at least we won.

  179. Dandan says:

    Mark chamberlain must be a proud and happy dad tonight, his son had a good 45 mins untill his legs ran out, but it will have done him the world of good. A new arsenal star is born.

    I cannot in all honesty remember feelling so negative about an Arsenal player as I do AA. unless it was a big red headed cente half many years ago.

  180. Dandan says:

    Rasp… Song is not a cente half but he did a fair shift, Frimpong worked hard, 2 new boys scored. Considering our medical problems it was a good if not stunning effort.

    Again it is time we had journo’s not ex players in the studio, Chelsea and Spuds… I ask you how generous are they gonna be.

  181. Dandan says:

    So good to have a class keeper at last..

  182. Fatgingergooner says:

    Oxo was excellent tonight and will be some player.

    Merts showed why a slow defender can win 75 German caps. His positioning was fantastic.

    Song was outstanding.

    Santos looked great going forward, I would be tempted to give him a game or 2 playing on the wing.

    AA has got to the age where that yard of pace is no longer there and it has affected his push and run game. He needs to adapt his style now and become smarter.

    MC’s head has gone. He looks like he’s gunna break down any minute.

    Other than that, everyone else was average/poor, including Sagna, which is unlike him.

    Good result tho

  183. Irishgunner says:

    Dandan – Didn’t Song start life out as a CB and plays there for Cameroon?

  184. Fatgingergooner says:

    Oh and Frimpong is worryingly slow. His positional sense will no doubt improve which will balance this out, but for the moment it isn’t good against counter attacking teams.

  185. Irishgunner says:

    I think Sagna had too much work to do tonight, got no help down his flank at all so he was rushing everywhere trying to help in attack and then needing to rush back and cover

  186. Big Raddy says:

    Sagna is my favourite current player and was totally isolated in the first half. Thankfully Pat Rice sorted that in the second which allowed Sagna to play his normal attacking game.

    Rasp. I do not think one can accuse the team of lack of effort and it must be remembered that tonight was nowhere near our first choice 11. As I said in the post Diaby would have been perfect for a game like tonight.

  187. Big Raddy says:

    I am deeply concerned about Arshavin. At tis moment I cannot see what he brings to the team nor how things can possibly improve for him. Hope Benayoun is fit for WHL.

  188. Fatgingergooner says:

    I must admit there was a couple of incidents in the first half where Sagna had played the ball into midfield and made a forward run only for the midfield to lose the ball and leave Sagna looking lost.

  189. Rasp says:

    Sorry Raddy I don’t agree. I am 100% with FGG with his assesment of the players. Merts positioning was excellent. We should have played Coquelin instead of Frimpong. Last year Coq played a whole season with Lille whilst Frimpong was injured for months. Rosicky was very poor and he and AA didn’t work hard enough. Chamakh worked very hard at avoiding getting into attacking positions – he’s gotta go.

  190. Herb'sArmy says:

    Hi all,
    not a convincing performance, and it’s going to be a struggle to get through to the Round of 16.
    I can’t ever remember an Arsenal side surrendering possession so easily and with such regularity. There’s just no steel in the side.
    Sorry if this upsets anyone, but Rosicky, Arshavin and Chamakh should never wear an Arsenal shirt again.

  191. London says:

    Turned out to be a good team selection in view of who we play on Sunday and the fact that key players got an important rest. The two goal scorers could not have been more perfect, Santos’ confidence soared after he scored and started to show the quality that he possesses. Oxo as well, a well taken goal, after that it would be easy to find fault but I didn’t expect a performance of the Marradona standard on his first CL game. Chamakh should have scored and we could have sat back and had a barbe and drunk beer. I just don’t understand the criticism I have read above, what on earth do people expect from such a make shift team, we won, our key players are fit for Sunday, job done, night night

    BTY, good pm BR.

  192. London says:


    I am going to whisper this……………it was our second string and to say that we will not get through to the round of 16 is so stupid I am, what’s the point.

  193. Irishgunner says:

    Rasp – Coquelin played for Lorient last season, part of the deal for Koscielny

  194. Rasp says:

    Sorry Irish, you are correct, the point is he is far more experienced for his age than Frimpong who was all over the place positionally tonight.

  195. Rasp says:

    Last rant. Rosicky should not have been captain tonight. He is a player in decline. I would have given it to Arteta or mertesacker even though they are new to the side.

  196. harry says:

    Just on train home. We made hard work of that, Mc29 scores the third and game over. It’s amusing reading who thought who played well or poor,
    Some real difference of opinions.
    BFG did the simple the simple things well and got some good blocks and tackles in, Song was immense.
    As a team we dropped our team pressing after 20mins and sat back too much. Constantly changing line up causes a lackof fluidity in our play. Too many missed passes by all.
    But a win is a win is a win and not a loss……..
    Thanks for the beer Gie and good to see chas again, AAers in tavern……

  197. Herb'sArmy says:


    Three of our first choice defenders played, Song, Arteta ana Arshavin are all first-team players.
    Marseille thrashed Dortmund 3-0, we’ve just got over the line against the worst side in the Group. When your team lacks the energy or will to fight, it doesn’t inspire a lot of confidence.

  198. SharkeySure says:

    We won. Happy.

    Arshavin is as lazy as they come.To think he is a national team captain is absolutely shocking.

    Ox looks good.

    Red Arse Smart Arse and half an apoolgy to TA and his use of Duenglish.

    Night all

  199. Rasp says:

    To have a chance of getting a result on Sunday it is vital that we have kozzer back so Song can play in midfield. I pray there are none of the delayed reaction injuries that often follow games of this nature. Santos could hardly move at the end but that may just be a lack of fitness.

  200. Big Raddy says:

    Rasp. We disagree 🙂 Rosicky worked hard and although not influential was the best player to be Captain. He has experience as Captain and plays in midfield. The only other candidates would be Song or Sagna neither of whom are verbal.

    Herb. Why do you say that about those 3 players. They tried hard but it wasn’t their night. There will be games when AA does something magical, TR plays a half like he did at Udinese and Chamakh gets back to scoring ways.

    As to steel, I thought we improved in the second half and never shirked a tackle

    You are entitled to your opinion but I think it was harsh.

  201. Rasp says:

    We definitely disagree Raddy. Arteta is THE player and the only player now Jack is out who can orchestrate our team. He is already playing well and playing like a captain. If he can up it a couple of more notches we have a realistic chance of 4th place – none of that is true of Rosicky. Arteta is the future this season not Rosciky, he is very much 2nd choice now and hopefully 3rd choice when Diaby is fit again.

  202. Big Raddy says:

    I would even put TR as 4th choice! But tonight he was the obvious Captain. However, I agree – once Arteta knows his team mates names he should have the armband when RvP and TV are out.

  203. Fatgingergooner says:

    As much as I will criticise certain players performance tonight, I don’t feel the need to demand the sale of certain individuals. Rosicky was great earlier in the season and pretty much pulled us through the second half against Udinese on his own. He can’t be past it a month later!
    Not many teams can play with only a few first teamers in the CL and get a result. Man U had less players missing last night and almost lost. Cheer up guys, we did win afterall!!!

  204. barumgooner says:

    Rasp I agree with what you say right up until that last line. The only thing I like about Diaby is that he is always injured therefore preventing Arsene from picking him. I thought Chamakh battled hard and played relatively well, AA was typically anonymous and TR tried but looked lost imo but having said that he was probably the only sensible choice for the armband in that starting eleven. (maybe Chesney)

  205. Rasp says:

    If Chamakh is our 2nd choice striker we are in serious trouble. Look at the 2nd strikers from all of our rivals – Drogba/Annelka/Sturridge, Dzeko/Balotelli, Chicarito/berbatov, Caroll/Bellamy,

  206. Rasp says:

    I know what you are saying barum. Diaby frustrates me. He can be very destructive when he’s on form but I agree we have never seen that consistently and when he is not on form he can be a liability. But his power and size not to mention trickery would add to our midfield.

  207. Herb'sArmy says:

    It’s been a while since any of them did anything magical for us, and Chamakh never. Rosicky’s past injuries look as though they’ve caught up with him, and he flits in and out with insuffiicient effect.
    Arshavin has two or three good games a season, and his whole attitude is wrong. Chamakh just isn’t good enough to play at one of the top clubs in the world.

  208. barumgooner says:

    I see what you are saying Rasp but wonder how well many of those would fair in our side with Arsenes tactics ? We dont imo play to the strengths of a striker whether it be a quick player, good in the air or a poacher I dont think anyone would be prolific. Cham to me is just a player who desperately needs a few games and a couple of goals and he will be fine.

  209. Rasp says:

    bg, have a look through youtube or any other site, Chamakh literally cannot score with his feet other than tap-ins. He didn’t come to us as a top striker. He’s a link up player who is good at heading the ball. Defensively he adds nothing and offensively he cannot beat or turn a defender, all he can do is short exchange passes and hope that others can supply the finish.

  210. RockyLives says:

    Too gloomy!
    Lots of first teamers missing, others playing out of position, couple of almost-debutants.
    Of course we weren’t going to be in a great groove.
    I thought TR7 was better than he’s being given credit for.
    Song was immense at CB.
    Ox made a great cameo but also looked what he is – inexperienced.
    Frimpong also lacks experience and it showed. Both will improve with time.
    Santos was my MoTM – looked really classy both on the ball and in defence.
    Arteta and BFG both had good games.
    I also thought (from watching on the TV) that MC was not too bad.
    Bac had a rare poorish game.
    But AA was the main disappointment for us.

  211. barumgooner says:

    If Diaby had a brain to go with his size I would agree Rasp but I think he is a failed experiment and we should not be looking in his direction for any sort of place in the team or maybe even squad.

  212. TotalArsenal says:

    First half defensive performance was woeful – and we we’re lucky to be 2-1 up. Olympiacos were not as bad as many believed they would be, in fact I thought they had a good game plan and performed well as a team.

    But, But:

    We are in the process of assimilating a winning and clicking team as soon as possible, and on top of that, we had to deal with a large number of absentees tonight.

    So, in that context, here are the positives:

    We got three points. All other English clubs did not manage to win this CL round.

    No futher injuries (hopefully).

    Great 2nd half TEAM performance – Song was indeed immense (Harry) and Mertesacker, Santos and Arteta became Arsenal Men in the last 45 minutes.

    What an incredible start for Oxy – this alone should be a reason for happiness.

    Another game in which we scored goals by other players than RvP -this is mightily important.

    We have strength in depth.

    Wenger will be back on the bench for our next CL game.

    26 is doing the match report, so we can all go to bed 🙂

  213. barumgooner says:

    Which is why he suits Arsenes style Rasp.

  214. barumgooner says:

    I would concede that he is not a worldclass striker and when we got him I would much rather have hpaid money for dzecko instead but I just feel the guy gets quite harshly criticised.

  215. Rasp says:

    My last point on Chamakh. Have a look at his reaction when Santos scores. There is a half hearted wave of the arms and then he strolls back to the halfway line looking at the ground. He doesn’t join in any of the celebrations.

    I feel for him because as I keep saying, he is a totally isolated figure in the squad. There is no camaraderie shown towards him by the other players. I don’t know what the problem is, but as I said in the summer it would be much better for him if he played in another league.

  216. Rasp says:

    barum, I don’t think he’s a striker full stop – that is my point.

  217. Gooner in Exile says:

    Evening all, wow different game being there to the one you guys were watching.

    I paid attention to both MC and TR tonight. I thought TR7 was one of our most composed players towards the end he was calming things down and picking the free man more often than not. As for MC you cannot say he doesn’t try, at one point he was having to track back left wing, why I hear you ask, well AA23 had “chased” a ball into the box and therefore was justified in walking back (he tires very quickly).

    To be truly honest apart fro that shot that hit the cross bar I didn’t have any worries in the second half, being right behind BFG you could see he was taking great positions, Song was great sweeping around him. I thought Santos had a good game, nice touched, good goal and great tackling (knows how to use his body). Arteta was good, defensively and offensively.

    My man Frimpong had an off night but like the defence behind him if your wingers and forwards aren’t closing downand tracking runs your game becomes harder, if anything it was not his break up play that was the problem but it was his eagerness to do something with the ball at his fertility rather than play the simple pass.

    And that’s where I’ll compliment Ox, he is so comfortable on the ball, and plays to feet the way he is facing, a great finish for the goal too.

    All in all a good nights work, there are no mugs in the CL, well maybe Bate, but look what Basle achieved last night at OT. And with the Olympiacos supporters who were tremendous calling them on they have a lot to play for. I think they’d give a lot of PL sides a decent run for their money.

    But just like Saturday a win is a win, that it was achieved with the changes made all the better. Happy GiE bidding you all good night.

  218. Rasp says:

    Such a shame we didn’t get to see Joel Campbell play this season, he is a proper striker although obviously a very rough diamond at this stage.

  219. barumgooner says:

    haha mine too Rasp. I probably have to agree with your final sentence. With that i’m off to bed….. happy !

  220. TotalArsenal says:

    Rasp, I am not going to say that MC played well tonight, far from it. But, both goals tonight were possible because of Chamakh’s presence and efforts. He created space for Ox and Santos to score tonight and that will do for me.

  221. Gooner in Exile says:

    Ball at his fertility = Ball at his feet

    Oh and a quick mention for Ramsey who I thought was great when he came on, wanted the ball, moved forward.

    Quick mention the crowd, it was like sitting amongst hypochondriacs at a blood test, they seem to expect us to be camped in the opposition half for 90 minutes and even the slightest hint of an attack was “same old shit defending”

    Really pissed off to see so many empty seats lower tier
    (which must be ST holders as they weren’t for sale on web) then to be sitting amongst tourists, and finally that people were making for the exits with ten minutes to go…..I will never get my head round that. That team worked their asses off for 90+ minutes to give you a result to go home happy with and you can’t wait ten minutes to applaud their efforts. Piss Poor!

  222. Gooner in Exile says:

    Oh and big respect for Pat Rice, a draw and a win, unbeaten as Arsenal coach in CL, nice record to have 😀

  223. Gooner in Exile says:

    Three and out….good to meet Chas (&family) and Harry at the Tavern.

  224. TotalArsenal says:

    Ball at his fertility 😀

  225. dy says:

    result is great, but Arsenal really played badly. One can argue that there’re too many changes due to injuries but this is one game where I see ‘age’ finally catches up to a few of our veterans, and the youngsters are still learning the game.
    Don’t know what to expect on Sunday’s game, a bit worrying.

  226. kelsey says:

    I am not surprised by the way the game went.We had a limited squad to chose from and yet the greeks have only played two league games this season because of corruption scandle and two teams were banished from the top flight.They created more clear cut chances than us and if not for Arteta on the goal line and a great strike that hit our bar we might have suffered yet again.Their goal was schoolboy defending.
    The positives were the Ox, Santos grew as the game went Mertsacker was OK but generally no one had an outstanding game.if you change the team to such an extent every game and one has such a poor back up squad it is always a gamble if it might work.Rosicky was OK but is another who has lost his shooting boots.
    Raddy said the other day defensively we would be one of the best in the league, but not for me.

    The most interesting thing for me was the pre match interview when AW said quite firmly that we cannot compete with wages of some other clubs, which we knew but he implied that if players nearing the end of their contract renewels were offered much more in wages he would hope they would stay with a club like Arsenal for the way the club is run, but he couldn’t offer guarantees that would happen and he also stated that he thought now ( a year on ) that the FFFP rules would be hard to implement
    3 points indeed but a much firmer test awaits on Suinday.

  227. Big Raddy says:

    GIE. Thank you for the on-hand report. The TV pundits were of a voice that “this Arsenal do not know how to hold the ball for 5 passes”. What they fail to recognise is that this was almost certainly a team that had never played together – even on the training ground.

    You are right to highliight Ramsey. We looked a better team when he came on which considering his age and experience is a massive plus. It frustrates me when I read (on other sites) how little he is appreciated. Along with JW, he shows the club’s future is rosy.

    There were mistakes a plenty but the positives outweighed the negatives.

  228. Big Raddy says:

    Kelsey. If and it is a big if, Chesney, Sagnna, BFG, TV and Santos get a run of games together they will be excellent. Why? Because here we have a group of Men not boys like JD and Gibbs (or even Clichy and Kos). I believe none of these experienced men would panic when the going gets tough and allow rubbish teams like Blackburn to score 4 goals.

    My fear is the health issues with TV who is the essential element of our defence.

  229. kelsey says:

    Hi Raddy,

    it’s a bit like a jigsaw puzzle all the pieces have to fit.

    i know this might come out the wrong way in type but I find it harder and harder to enjoy watching the present side as the fluidity and authority we used to have in games is missing and am ever fearful that something will go wrong.We carry too many players,but I sincerely hope you are right but it will take time.

  230. kelsey says:

    I would suggest both Santos and Arshavin are overweight.Ramsey gets critism but he is doing OK my fear he may suffer burn out a bit like Jack.Arteta hopefully will stamp his influence but when on attack he invariably slows the game down to walking pace and often opts to pass backwards,but again just an observation.
    I am sorry I can’t post lke those on ACLF.3 wins in a row against pretty ordinary opposition no complaints there but there are far greater tests ahead and hopefully vermaelen will be back soon.

  231. chas says:

    Morning all,

    Great to see Sir Harold and he with the hot missus in the Tavern last night.

    Two wins on the bounce. Keep it going boys.

  232. Big Raddy says:

    chas. Maths is clearly not your strong point 🙂

  233. Rasp says:

    Morning kelsey,

    Arteta passes backwards often because he receives the ball when under pressure and other players are not showing for the pass. The archetypal Arsenal triangles are a rare phenomenon at the moment. Arteta’s instinct is to go forward but there are not enough players around him on the same wavelength.

  234. Rasp says:

    Its gone suspiciously quiet on Vermaelen, I’m not expecting to see him before Christmas.

  235. Big Raddy says:

    Take out Song, AA, TR and Sagna, then think how many games these guys have played for AFC.

    Total games started for Arsenal between 7 players = 47 (and 21 of those were Chesney). Less than 8 games per player (and only 4 a per player sans W no 1).

    Is it any wonder they were problems.?

  236. chas says:

    I haven’t got any strong points.
    I’d forgotten about beating the blind school.

  237. Rasp says:

    Like I said last night, to have any chance of coming away from WHL with at least a point, it is essential that kozzer plays and Song sits in front of the back 4. Song was excellent at CB yesterday but sorely missed in midfield. Frimpong showed his lack of experience positionally and was continually bypassed when they attacked.

  238. kelsey says:

    That was my point last night and today Raddy. it’s definitely transition time.
    Rasp, I don’t entirely agree about Arteta, yes he was looking for players on several occasions but we seem to break out of defence a lot slower than we used to, a don’t think it’s a case of intricate triangles,it could be fitness levels need adjusting.

  239. Rasp says:

    I think Arteta is the only player who looks like he could take hold of the game which is why I think he should be captain. Song and the BFG played well, but defensively we were poor. Why the hell didn’t we pick up on their ploy to play corners and free kicks out to a spare man lurking outside the box? – you’d think after the 3rd time someone might have been looking to intercept that pass.

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