Redemption Song; Match Preview

This will be a grown up post.

BR has had many years of intensive therapy following which has been able to overcome most of his childhood resentments. If he can come to terms with personal issues then surely it is possible to find it in his heart to cease a lifelong hatred of a Leeds team which went out of existence 40 years ago?

For year upon year Dirty Leeds were my most hated team – even more than the N17 Miscreants (who let us be honest deserve sympathy not disdain).  Today BR will make peace with the nemesis of his youth – – – –  Leeds, you are exculpated

The Leeds team who gave us such a scare last season at the Emirates were not even born when that little swine Johnny Giles was kicking lumps out of George Armstrong. They came to entertain and entertain they did, forcing a 1-1 draw and  it was only  a fine away performance that took us through (3-1) to the next round.  Let us not forget that the year earlier Leeds had won at OT. They can upset any of the big sides and an Arsenal team sans RvP will have to be on their mettle to win tonight.

Of course, the opposition is secondary tonight. The roar when the homecoming hero comes off the bench will be heard by our Canadian correspondents, our Californian friends and our Aussie mates. We all wish we could join in the fun. Can he perform? Of course he can.

A little older, a little facial hair but still alarmingly attractive

On Saturday we had a fine discussion about tonight’s game which encompassed much of what I would have written today. I would especially like to thank Deano for giving the Leeds perspective in a non-aggressive way. His insights (reproduced in the paragraph below) into the Leeds team are far more informed than mine could ever be.

Ross Mc Cormack on his day can be a real handfull and certainly knows where the net is. Luciano Bechio is a big strong lad more in the fashion of a typical English CF, not Argentinian type, but he has a good first touch and can hold the ball up well and bring players in, heads the ball well also but has been far from his best of late. Aidy white is a young FB with loads of pace and bags of potential and works the overlap well when not on the back foot. CB’s could be a problem as most are injured and we only have 2 fit. Tom Lees is a big lad who watches the ball well and has good potential but very inexperienced as yet. Darren O Dea is on loan from Celtic and is steady but not exceptional.

Johny Howson our Captain and CM star is a very good box to box player but is out injured which is a loss. Adam Clayton on his day is a very good young midfielder from Man City who can strike from distance and has a good touch, again a little out of sorts of late. Ramon Nunez is a very skillfull Honduran international who got player of the tournament at the Copa America. Still getting used to English game but with the ball at his feet is a good lad. Andros Townsend on loan from Spurs at the mo seems a good young winger with pace and I am sure He will be up for it if picked. Somma, Snoddgrass, Kisnorbo, and some others are all injured so maybe Mikael Forssell could get a game and you know all about him I am sure.

In short, Deano said that Leeds were capable of beating anyone but were suffering from injuries to important players (sound familiar!). Managed by Simon Grayson, they suffer from the Bates effect  i.e a megalomaniac who has unrealistic expectations and is interested purely in profit thereby selling all the best players and signing ex-“names.” (Gradel sold to St Etienne/ Forsell signed). He almost bankrupted Chelsea who unfortunately were saved by the Russian.

As our team, I expect AW to put out as strong a side as possible. We have only 4 games in January so burn-out is not an issue .

My Team:

Not sure whether Chamakh will be with Morocco , if he is the Park would play centrally. Park, Ryo and The Ox all played 90 mins for the reserves on Weds loss to Sunderland which may be an indicator they will start tonight. Your guess is as good as mine!

It is fitting to find a fan who was around during those Dirty Leeds days, a man who despite being a true Rock God maintained his Goonerdom whilst touring the world, who when I saw him play a gig at The Lyceum came on stage wearing a red and white scarf. The man in question is Robert Nesta Marley. A man who knew all about forgiveness and redemption. Mr Marley lived in Islington for some time and being a football nut often went to Highbury; unusually his timing was off as he started going in 1972 – the season after the Double

Bob. St. Thomas’s Rd. 1973

My name is Big Raddy and I am an Arsenalholic..

267 Responses to Redemption Song; Match Preview

  1. dandan says:

    Sorry Raddy to intrude but this a reply to the last entry on yesterdays post.

    All of which is why I posted that article GIE, but actually given the Govt of Spain’s underhand dealing with football finance: Real Madrid Etc: I would expect special dispensation of some other sort to appear elsewhere,
    Spain doesn’t have many feel good factors at the moment apart from their football dominance. Can’t see the govt risking that for what would be a small return in the scheme of things.

  2. Gooner In Exile says:

    I like the line up Raddy, altho I could imagine a slightly weaker side will take the field tonight.

    My thinking:


    I’d prefer your line up but I fear the above is just as likely.

    Tiptop prematch as ever.

  3. Thanks for the pre match Radders, one with the twist of self improvement incorporated into it.
    Not that I’ve ever heard any Marley(or any reggae if I can help it)but I didn’t know he was one of us and kudos to him for that reason alone.
    GiE – you’re picking the Squid to start?!
    Now don’t be upsetting me like that 😦

  4. dandan says:

    That’s a great read Raddy thank you. Bob Marley a fan well you live and learn. Funny my wife and I never consider we are holiday no matter how sunny it may be, until we hear one of his songs and we have heard them all around the world.
    I don’t think AW will put out anything like as strong a team as that personally, I expect to see the Ox, Flappy, squidgy, Benny and Chammy all starting tonight. Aw has already paved the way by saying finishing fourth is much more important.
    But we will see

  5. pat says:

    hey folks sorry been out for a while – cant wait to see the great man back on the pitch for the gunners!

    I agree with your probable line up esp in the back line – CL qualification (i.e. the PL) is the priority so as many of the 1st team backs need to be rested as well as the likes of Ramsey and Arteta.

    Ox deserves a chance as well.

  6. pat says:

    priority meaning as far as AW has defined it…

  7. VCC says:

    Nice Pre match BR.

    I can’t even begin to predict our line up tonight. Have not got a scooby.

    I will say if we treat this lightly we will be fodder.

  8. chas says:

    Brilliant, BR.
    Bob on St Thomas’s Rd. 🙂

    Football is freedom….

  9. kelsey says:

    Morning BR.

    Firstly “Of course, the opposition is secondary tonight. The roar when the homecoming hero comes off the bench will be heard by our Canadian correspondents, our Californian friends and our Aussie mates. We all wish we could join in the fun.”

    I am deeply offended that your long haired Spanish correspondent has been overlooked never mind those who live in The duchy of Cornwall. 🙂

    Of course we all want to see TH14 but i would add a little caution to what could turn out to be a tricky game.We seriously need to up our recent goal tally at home.

  10. goonermichael says:

    Fantastic pre match as usual Raddy. Chamakh can play. I also read that Yennaris has been training with the 1st team squad.

  11. dandan says:

    Forgive me for breaking rules and advertising another blog on here, but I believe this is worth a read by all supporters and serious bloggers

  12. 26may1989 says:

    Bob Marley was a Gooner? Bloody excellent, makes my day.

    Lovely prematch, especially the psycho babble on the experience of expurgating Revie-related feelings from the 1970s.

    Hope to see an AA gathering at The Tav this evening.

  13. Danny says:

    Big Raddy here’s one for you – if Bob Wilson would have played in the Centenary final instead Geoff Barnett, would he have saved Allan Clarke’s header?
    I like you grew up hating them and I haven’t forgiven O’Leary for his celebration after Hasselbank’s goal back in ’99.
    Let’s smash them today and not bother with a replay like last year.

  14. Rasp says:

    Excellent pre match Raddy and congratulations on your Leeds catharsis 😛

    I think the team isn’t going to be as strong as you predict although Yennaris for instance certainly didn’t look out of his depth last time. I’d prefer not to see benny and Rosicky together in midfield as that combo doesn’t seem to work. This is a game Frimpong would definitely have played in – I wonder how wise it was to send him out on loan?

  15. Rasp says:


    Thanks for the link. The link in the article that takers you to the Rovers site is even more disturbing and perhaps a topic we should be debating behind the scenes.

    The internet can be used for good or evil, I’d like to think we focus on the good and as such would not be penalised.

  16. TotalArsenal says:

    Great pre-match BR. Fully agree we will start with a very strong line-up. Although I can see why many fans would like us to concentrate on finishing top-4 and therefore field a second-string team, the FA Cup is a proper price to win; and with Man City already out and either Liv/MU out for the next round, and Chelsea playing a tricky away game at QPR, there is a great opportunity for Arsenal to go far in this competition. I am hoping the Ox will start, ideally behind the main striker in the hole position.

  17. liz & phil peasant hunting in cornwall says:

    One is well surprised, One and one`s hubby did not know one`s peasant`s could read and write. One has been a follower of “The” Arsenal for many year`s now, One think`s it is to do with the “The”, being the only team starting with “The”, “The” Arsenal, “The” Queen , One adore`s it.
    One must admit to being ” Frenched off “, excuse One`s French, when the name Royal was dropped. One would like it to be reinstated .
    One hope`s One`s team wins tonight, as One is looking forward to a Royal Rumble between , William and Harry, Off with Willies head, HAHAHA, One is amused.

    Three cheers for One

    God bless One

    One is a Royal Arsenalholic

  18. dandan says:

    Rasp I agree some discusion would not be out of order given some of the recent events and the media’s self interest.

  19. Arsedave says:

    Agree with you TA, in fact I think there are potentially 6 all Prem ties in the 4th Round and with the 2 we’ve already had, that means only 11 Prem teams max in the last 16 (because Wigan were KO’d).
    What a chance of a cup win this season and possibly a final involving a Championship/League 1 club like guaranteed in the Carling Cup.

  20. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    If we play Almunia, Chamakh and Squilacci, It should make it a more even game, thats 3 positions they will be better than us in !. 🙂
    I wonder how many TH12 shirts we will sell ?

  21. VCC says:

    L&P phiC
    One is totally off his rocker.
    They are coming to take you away. ha ha he he to the funny farm.

  22. VCC says:

    If S quillaci—A lmunia—-C hamakh play, i say, SAC the lot of em.

  23. VCC says:

    GLiC…..answer the door, there are some blokes in white coats, wanting to speak to you.

  24. kelsey says:

    I repeat, i think you are all getting carried away with this game. Traditionally in the FA Cup when we reach Finals we beat the better teams such as Chelsea,Liverpool .United and lose to the likes of IIpswich,West Ham, though there are exceptions.

    if almunia and the squid play, I am not going to watch 😉

  25. VCC says:

    \kelsey.. Don.t forget Swindon. I was there.

  26. Liz & One’s Phil,

    I think you will find the pheasants are revolting. So would you be with a barrel load of buckshot up your jaxi!

  27. I repeat, that Kelsey is repeating!

    leave the sprouts alone, oh great Spanish dweller! 🙂

  28. Red Arse says:


    Welcome back! Another from your excellent stable of Posts, to mix a metaphor. 🙂

    I thought the Chamois was already Morocco bound. If Park cannot get into a weakened team ahead of him, I would be v. surprised.

  29. dandan says:

    st found this on twitter

    RT @garyalsmith: Sky Sport reporting that Salomon Kalou (@Skalhuno) is flying back to London for talks with Arsenal

  30. 26may1989 says:

    Kalou? Looks like FGG was right. Can’t say it excites me much, he’s not the worst player around but Kalou fluffs as many chances as he finishes and justifiably ranks behind Drogba, Mata, Malouda, Sturridge and Torres. Plus he’s on ACN duty and will presumably be cup-ttied for the CL.

    Perhaps AW is going for a double-stop-gap strategy, pending a proper signing in the summer. We can only hope.

  31. Rasp says:

    I agree with your assessment of Kalou 26m. He’s worth 3m to us if we buy him now as he’s a better option than Chamakh or Park (apparently) but chelski don’t need £3m so why would they sell him to help us? He’s available on a free in the summer, but I’d also hope we’d set our sights higher then. It appears we compensate players when we get them on a free as with Campbell and Chamakh. The problem with the latter is that selling him is going to be a problem due to his high wages.

  32. oz gunner says:

    thanks for the pre-match raddy. loved it.

    im going with

    Yennaris BFG Kozza Miquel
    Coquelin Arteta
    OX Park Arshavin


    Nice pre match Raddy.

    Bob Marley a gooner?. Who would have Adam & Eved it.

    It would be great to go on a good run and actualy win the Cup this year. Reading Arsenes coments about our priorities we will have to do it with makeshift sides thus making it harder, but i have a little inkling we might just be getting our yellow ribbons out in May.

    Anyway, the trouble and strife checked our site last night and to throw her off the scent i told her that my posting name is “Rasp”. (Hope you dont mind Rasp…please dont ban me) so to echo the great mans words “No woman no cry”.

  34. Rasp says:

    😆 TMHT, did you choose me because I am not so prolific in the comments section as I once was?

  35. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    Thanks for the tip off, I quickly changed into the Wet look rubber S&M gear, complete with “TackleNav” and one of Terry`s old syrup`s and Answered the door, them boy`s can surely run fast !. They`re lucky I have an Achilles Injury !. 🙂


    Hi Rasp,

    More to do with the fact that because your the King of the site you always post responsibly… well almost always, hahahaha.

  37. Rasp says:

    I see TMHT, I’m going to have to invent an alter ego so I can express my silly side on here – how about ‘Arsène Wenger’s Water Bottle’ as a blog name? 😕


    To be honest I prefer your logic and sanity Rasp , this place would fall apart with out that. Take Cornwall as an example.

  39. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    One think`s One can say, on behalf of Haircules, the more cuckoos in his club ,the better ! 🙂

  40. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    Only a guess Terry, but I bet you sit at the Cuckoo Clockend at games ! 🙂


    Ime a silver member Cornwall, so i tend to be splattered all over the place, but its always upper tier so i can escape all the noise.

  42. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    I`ve only a Red member , I`ve some tin foil downstairs ,lets go and see what a silver member looks like !

  43. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    Thats better, I`ve just upgraded to silver member !. I like this shiny stuff, now where did I see some Gold leaf !


    When they come for you, you will be covered head to toe in the stuff whilst on the internet and forever be known by the authorities a the “Silver Internet Surfer”.

  45. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    Lets be honest Terry, us calling each other hehehehehe mad, is a bit of a “pot, kettle ” situation, just to clarify, who else is in our Cuckoo Club ?. RA for a start !

  46. evonne says:

    GliC – count me in 😦 not proud to be a nutter, but hey, at least I am in good company 🙂

    BTW – without upsetting anyone, I think that only very poor people are mad. I am eccentric.

  47. evonne says:

    Raddy – I am going to read your prematch at 7pm, just before the game when I am all nervous and preparing for the kickoff, speak later x


    I agree evonne, i regard myself as sane as the next man, that man been Cornwall.

  49. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    E va va vonne,
    By the order of the ” Inner Transplant Circle “, you are appointed “Queen Cuckoo “.
    You must reply with the words “cuckoo,cuckoo, cuckoo”. to accept such an honour .

  50. Danny says:

    It’s funny how my hatred of the Scum had made me believe that they hadn’t finished above us since the 60’s, when actually in the 80’s they finished above us 5 times, and twice in the 90’s – the last time being in 1994-95 season. Still its a long time ago but not over 40 something years like a talked myself into believing. The 1994-95 season – Graham’s last, they finished 11 points above us.

  51. kelsey says:


    there is the little matter of this Wednesday night and if Spurs beat Everton(the rearranged fixture) they will be joint second and nine points ahead of us, same amount of games played. Not a pleasant thought.

  52. evonne says:

    cuckoo cuckoo cuckoo!!!

    Did you know that cuckoo is an African bird?

  53. evonne says:

    Kelsey – in view of your comment I wish we didn’t buy Arteta.

  54. Red Arse says:

    Evonne, in that case it must be an illegal immigrant. I heard one last Spring.

    Coming over here and pinching our nests – chatting up our birds — and making noises like MerryT and Silver Dick!

  55. Red Arse says:

    GLIC and MerrySyrup,

    As far as your Cuckoo Club goes — you can include me ………………OUT!

    I am far too sensible. Cuck ………… stop it!! ………………….. oo

  56. Red Arse says:

    This speculation about Kalou is disappointing to me, should it prove to be correct we are negotiating to sign him.

    It is a slightly odd policy to buy ‘bits and pieces’ players.

    Chamakh = £0 + Dirty great salary = Useless.

    Park = £5 million = Apparently useless.

    Kalou = £3 million (if true) = Not much to write home about.

    Why not put those fees + the Dirty great salary together and buy someone a cut above?

    This would reflect my own policy when purchasing something = get the best you can at a price you can afford — quality over quantity!!

  57. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    Hail, evonne, Queen of the Cuckoo Club.
    Hail, Haircules, King of the Cuckoo Club.
    Hail, RA, Grand Master of the Cuckoo Club.
    Hail, glic a Taxi , there all mad in here.
    Hail, sleet, sun and rain , it`s a mixed weather front in Cornwall today. 🙂

  58. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    Bloody Hell RA, that is the most sensible comment I`ve seen in ages ! and I agree 100%. 🙂

  59. Hi all

    Just deciding whether the flashing light on top of my hat would be too much of a distraction to wear tonight added to which it would embarrass Rasp enormously – what d’you think? Thierry always knew how to pick me out from the crowd anyway 😀 😀 😀

    Happy Birthday to Irish if you check in later 🙂

  60. Rasp says:

    Does anyone know where Micky is? I hope everything is OK with him

  61. TotalArsenal says:

    Afernoon RA, hope you had a good Saturday night out! 🙂

    I am neither super excited about the possible signing of Kalou, nor against it. We are desperate for a supersub striker and there is a ‘Kalou’ in his scoring statistics. Last season he scored 13 goals in 42 experiences of which many were of a duration of 35 minutes or less. Wenger wanted him before he went to Chelsea and Kalou has always wanted to play for Arsenal. Kalou is from the Ivory Coast and so is Gervinho, and maybe Wenger would like them to develop an effective partnership on the pitch.

  62. TotalArsenal says:

    Go wild Peaches. It does not happen often that a dream comes through. This is your moment 🙂

  63. I’m leaving very soon so this is my only nag of the day until I get home. Who’s turn is to volunteer the match report???????


    Strangly enough Redders talking about weird noises at night,last week i was awoken in the early hours by what i can only describe as the sound of a screeching chainsaw. The noise was emanating from my garage and despite my protestations that it should be Mrs Terry going to investigate, and despite the cacking of pants, i took the plunge and went to have a look. Upon approaching the garage i can only describe my feelings as that of sheer terror as the noise grew to unbearable volumes. I mustered all the energy remaining from my rigid and petrified body before letting out a yell of “I know your in there, and i have a wig” and crahed through the garage doors to be met with a sight that no City dweller should ever experience….. 2 hedgehogs mating. The ony way to the end there lovemaking was for me prod the blighters with a rather large stick for a time that seemed like an eternity, i openly admit i have never been so frightend in my whole life.

  65. goonermichael says:

    One of my clients just said to me “if you were Jewish I’d wish you long life” 🙂

  66. gm – Raddy did wish you a long life the other day. Haven’t got time to explain now but I will 🙂

  67. TMHT – are you going to the game? Come and meet us for a beer at The Tavern if you’ve got time, we’ll be there about 7.


    Thanks for the invite Peaches, but ime in the armchair tonight. can i still attend the pub even if ime not going to the game, or is that weird? hahahaha

  69. Yes, its fine, I’ll put you in my pocket – bit cramped in there what with BR, kelsey and all the overseas bloggers 🙂

  70. Post?????? Please sort it out amongst yourselves, I’m relying on you 😉

  71. goonermichael says:

    I look forward to it Peaches (and to long life)

  72. Red Arse says:

    I was minding my own business doing a few Soduku puzzles, when I thought I would have a crack at the Tredoku.

    Almost finished the first one, when I thought I would look in on AA.
    I first read MerryT’s adventures with the amorous hedgehogs – especially the challenge – “I know your in there, and i have a wig” (sic) — and I laughed so much I could not get back my train of thought.

    Then I read GLIC’s homage to the Cuckoo Club, and I have given up all hope and had to solve the Times Crossword instead. (Not the cryptic one – coz I could not find it in my paper!! )

    You are all (the Cuckoo Club) a whacky bunch of bananas!! 🙄

    TA, I enjoyed myself, thank you.

    I wrote a comment to your friend commending him for his Post yesterday — I was v. impressed, and would like to hear more from him on an ad hoc basis, if that is possible — he is almost as good as the Dutch Post maestro – i.e. you!! 🙂

  73. Big Raddy says:

    RA. Soduko baffles and frustrates me. I consider myself reasonably intelligent and yet cannot even do the Idiots Level.

    Any team news?

    After reading a number of blogs it would seem that others disagree with my wish for as strong a team as possible. I can’t understand it. The FA Cup is our best chance of silverware this season (sorry TMHT) and Leeds are a potential banana skin. We have to progress.

    Beat Aston Villa and there will be few PL teams left to hinder our march to Wembely.

    Yellow Ribbons in the Merry Month of May anyone???

  74. Red Arse says:

    I have noticed that Illybogani has not graced the blog for quite a while. Anyone know why?

    Illy, if you are out there and cannot communicate in the normal way — how about giving us;

    1 Bong = can’t talk now — big, bad boss is on the warpath.

    2 Bongs = don’t want to talk now — too busy with Katy Perry.

    3 Bongs = sod off and mind your own business. (Well, that would be charming!!)

  75. harry says:

    I would be happier with your line up Raddy, but as Gentleman In England said probably be much weaker…………But whatever the line up, who ever plays, I will watch them………..

    Must admit thought Fab was still injured but if fit, he gets the guard duties……

    I fancy this line up…………


    Yennaris Boateng Miquel Coquelin

    Song Rosicky


    Ox Henry Ryo

    Subs: Chamakh, Park, Ebecilio, Ozyakup, Squid, Martinez, Hajrovic

    But it seems Wenger is going for a strong line up…………????

  76. goonermichael says:

    ArsenalGent Arsenal Gentleman
    Very soon, Lord Admiral Horatio Terence Henry Nelson, striker Sui Generis, shall return. #ReturnOfTheKing
    28 minutes ago Favorite Retweet Reply

  77. harry says:

    @REd Arse, dont think the park cost 5million – <3m……..

  78. Red Arse says:

    Hi BR, 🙂

    The fact is Soduku and its devilish offspring Tredoku has nothing to do with intelligence — so you are OK. 🙂

    It is simply the application of logic. (and patience).
    If someone (me?) got the chance to demonstrate how to do it – there are some ‘rules’ of thumb – you would whizz away and say “isn’t it easy peasy?” 🙂 Of course it isn’t really – but you would get pleasure out of solving what would otherwise be a frustrating experience.

  79. Gooner In Exile says:

    I get the feeling we are not taking today’s game as seriously.

    I don’t want to see any mention of players not treating today’s match properly. Obviously they read AA and will see all the witterings and play accordingly. I hold you all responsible 😉

  80. evonne says:

    GM – I’m Jewish by association 🙂

    Yeah, where is Micky, my early mornings are nto the same without him 😦

    Shitty appealing against Kompany’s red card – on what fecking grounds?? Both feet of the ground, studs up, not allowed, end of. Personally, I think that it was a tackle, but there are laws to protect players and oily millions do not mean they can be reversed for the blue mancs

  81. Red Arse says:

    Fair enough, Harry, I should have said they were unconfirmed values, as AFC never confirm details of our transfers.

    My point was the principle really. Quality – quality – quality.

    If it is a case of ‘buying’ 3 just OK players or one much better quality player – I think my choice is clear!

    It goes without saying that knowing how you evaluate who is the best player, at a particular price, is outside my abilities — and it would be wise for me to leave that to Arsene.

    Hope you are well and that we stuff Leeds tonight — cup football being what it is nothing is ever certain, obviously. 🙂

  82. Gooner In Exile says:

    Evonne we want it to be rescinded don’t we? Otherwise Spuds get to face Shitty without Toure, Toure, and Kompany, and a possible centre back pairing of Lescott and Savic.

    Not good!

  83. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    Terry, “I have a wig “, love it ! 😆
    But, prodding the blighters with your large stick, you are sick !.
    I`m calling an emergency meeting of the Cuckoo Club, such depth`s of depravity and wrapped in silver foil aswell !.
    Will you be around to accept your “Prod of the Month” award, sorry it`s short notice !

  84. evonne says:

    GiE – when are they playing? Anybody but Scum

  85. fatgingergooner says:

    Off to buy the missus a wedding ring then taking her for a meal……the things I have to do to watch a bloody football match!!!

    Looking forward to the game. I live in Leeds so know a lot of Leeds fans. I won’t be going to work in the morning if we lose!!!!

  86. harry says:

    arghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh Dont do it FFG, stay single……………

  87. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    I`ve been sentenced for 35 years now ! 😦

  88. Gooner In Exile says:

    As my Uncle said to my Dad when he told him I was engaged:

    “Great news, why shouldn’t he suffer like the rest of us?”

    Evonne it would be the third game of his ban…Liverpool (CC 1st leg), Wigan (a), Spuds (h).

    Shitty should have enough to beat them without him but without Toure holding down centre midfield Shitty look a little lightweight in the core (maybe they will buy Cahill now).

    I’ll take Kalou as I think he is pacy and gets a few goals and most importantly assists. No surprise that his good years for Chavs were during the counter attacking years.

  89. Gooner In Exile says:

    Wow stronger than i thought:

    Szczesny, Coquelin, Koscielny, Squillaci, Miquel, Song, Arteta (c), Ramsey, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Arshavin, Chamakh.

  90. Gooner In Exile says:


    Martinez, Yennaris, Benayoun, Ryo, Walcott, Park, Henry.

    Who is Martinez you say?

  91. Gooner In Exile says:

    So no TR7 full stop?

    Line up:


  92. dandan says:

    Much stronger than I was expecting, lets hope the Ox has a stormer

  93. evonne says:

    Ginga – congrats! Can we all come to the wedding?

  94. TotalArsenal says:

    Happy to see the wall of ARS for this game. That will make all the difference. Big games for Chamakh, Arshavin and Squilacci. Cannot wait to see the Ox in action again, and then there is Coq and Miguel as well.

    Enjoy fellow AA. COYRRG 🙂

  95. evonne says:

    Raddy – I have finally read the post – very good indeed. My son has reminded me the last time we played Leeds and TH scored 4, can he repeat it tonight?

  96. Big Raddy says:

    So … after all the neigh-saing BR got 9 out of 11. TheOx I understand but Squillaci??


  97. fatgingergooner says:

    I will stream it live for u Evonne! Hopefully it will be a better stream than I watch Arsenal on otherwise it might look like a civil ceremony!!!!

    Good line up. Had to skip the dinner and get takeaway otherwise would’ve missed the game, and it was the missus idea!! Now u know why I’m marrying her! Lol

    Can’t wait to see the Ox in full flow

  98. Big Raddy says:

    FGG. Congrats. You are indeed a lucky man.

  99. SharkeySure says:

    Evening all….

    Wot a pre match Mr Radders….surpasses even YOUR usual high standards…and to round it off with a reference to ‘The Messiah’ was splendid’. The more you read and learn about King Bob the better…that goes for everyone.

    I checked the Beeb for our line up before coming here and was pleasantly surprised at how strong our line up was…then find you’d pretty much already called it. Oh well….

    It really is a cracking line up though. Peaches gets her wish in both FB positions, Squillaci echoes Bob’s spirit and is seeking redemption, preferably by playing well rather than singing that song. We also get to see the Ox start. Lovely.

    I really hope our big Moroccan signs off in style tonight….

  100. SharkeySure says:

    I’m a little surprised that Martinez hasn;t got a start tonight

  101. SharkeySure says:

    CIvil ceremony…lol.

    I can’t wait til I’m back in work and I can read this site all day !! 😉

  102. evonne says:

    Ah, SS, where the hell have you been?

  103. Irishgunner says:

    Thanks Peaches for earlier – I saw it 😉

    Get excited now – CHAMONE ARSENAL

  104. SharkeySure says:

    I really don’t know Evonne. When I’m not working I’m the worlds biggest dosser.

    I’m much happier when each day has a purpose, otherwise I just get up late, do very little, and don’t focus on anything.

    I’m on the verge of offering to do tonights match report…I feel that I owe the site one. (Did I just ‘type’ that out loud – oh shit!!)

  105. evonne says:

    oh great, I just sat down to watch the game and Peaches has started – ‘has anyone offered a match report’? ‘can you nag a bit?’ bla bla bloody bla…..

    So, who will write the match report for tomorrow 🙂

  106. Big Raddy says:

    Right. In the seat, wearing the shirt and lucky socks.


  107. Big Raddy says:

    Arteta Captain

  108. evonne says:

    BR – just shirt and socks???? That’s shocking!!! Put your pants on man!

  109. fatgingergooner says:

    Would love to see Chamakh bag an hat trick with Arshavin assisting all 3!

  110. Irishgunner says:

    Arshavin already trying hard, good to see.

  111. Irishgunner says:

    Evonne – if my stream stays good I’ll do it

  112. Big Raddy says:

    Knocking it around very nicely

  113. evonne says:

    Thank you Irish, you are a star!
    I read in the Irish Independent yesterday that the Irish Tourist Board has issued an official statement to the French that they have finally forgiven TH for the handball 🙂 I had to laugh 🙂

  114. Big Raddy says:

    Truly unbelievable. The Curse of the Full Backs

  115. fatgingergooner says:

    Bit of urgency and this games over.

  116. fatgingergooner says:

    Would be nice to hear the home fans.

    Not sure where ESPN put the microphones but all I’ve heard is Leeds fans for 45 minutes.

  117. Gooner In Exile says:

    Can’t believe Sharkey avoided Evonnes clutches. If Irish’s stream fails check back to Sharkespeares 7:38pm

  118. Big Raddy says:

    Despite putting out a strong side we have really struggled to create any openings. Chamakh positioning is just not giving AA or Ramsey anyone to hit, hence looking to cut inside on every occasion.

    Ramsey has been our best player.

  119. Irishgunner says:

    Evonne – 😆 Given it was only 2/3 years ago that is pretty good, we are normally not that quick in letting a grudge go.

    As for me, I’ve an Henry shirt all ready to wear for work, just need to King to come off the bench and to score one 😆

  120. Gooner In Exile says:

    So far a few things have pissed me off:

    1) Champion and Burley worse combo commentary EVER!!

    2) Clattenberg for being a referee more interested in waving play on when advantage is slim to say the least. Just because a team retains possession that does not mean there is an advantage (especially if the fouled player is out of the game injured).

    3) the Lino for giving that foul against the Ox and flagging Rambo’s ball going out of touch.

    4) Alex Song for not taking hold of the midfield. I know Arteta is slightly to blame too but Song seems to become more laid back in games where he is untested, in PL it can sometimes take him a while to warm up but because he is tested he rises to the challenge…tonight he isn’t.

    5) another full back injury

    6) Pugh….showing everything he learned at Stoke.

    Good things:

    1) Arshavin looking lively

    2) Ox range of passing from right wing ability to switch play good, but can be detrimental to pace of game.

    Average things:

    1) Chams work rate good but lack of hunger for goals

    2) Rambos passing in final third

    3) Ox skill moves flattering to deceive. Good on him for trying but must be an end result.

  121. fatgingergooner says:

    How the fuck did WYne Rooney get in the world 11 team for 2011 but RvP didn’t!? Unbelievable!

  122. SharkeySure says:

    Thats true FGG…but I’m just not sure where the urgency is going to come from. Ramsey looks the most likely…but I’m torn between thinking he’s driving us forward…or that hes trying too hard.

    Both Song and Arteata have played the whole half almost at walking pace, and have barely ‘followed’ a pass they have made. When Song has followed a pass its to try and win the ball back from the Leeds player that he has just presented it to.

    Who does TH12 come on for…??

    Arshavin’s been very lively, almost electric…just need some ed product now..but all the same, its a joy to see his effort tonight. Chamakh had some early touches…then went AWOL until his run down the wing.

    Ox a bit quiet, but some lovely touches.

  123. evonne says:

    Irish – tell me about it, I still have to listen about the potatoe famine 🙂

    King Henry won’t dissappoint, have no fear! I climed Croaig Patrick with my favourite Arsenal shirt on, have pics to prove it 🙂

  124. SharkeySure says:

    Shhhhh GiE….plankmouth !! (Old school S.London term!)

  125. evonne says:

    Ox a bit quiet!!! Psssshhhh that’s rich coming from you Mr SS

  126. fatgingergooner says:

    Henry winner?

  127. Big Raddy says:

    It should be pointed out that it is difficult to play fluent football against a team who play 10 men behind the ball and have no intention of attacking.

  128. California Gooner says:

    Big Raddy! I am sitting in an empty pub midweek, midday, and waiting for the real Arsenal to show up. Where are they?

  129. evonne says:

    Very good point Raddy
    And what is scary is teams like that taking their only chance and scoring. We have seen it before. Lets hope Szczesny stays awake tonight

    Rooney a better player than RvP, really?? Says who??

    Micky, come back, I miss you, we have had so many corners, all wasted and you are not around to prove me wrong 😦

  130. SharkeySure says:

    Michael Brown is a dirty b*st*rd !!

  131. fatgingergooner says:

    Hope our lot are wearing shin pads cos Browns coming on!

    Odds on him getting booked in first 5 minutes!?

  132. California Gooner says:

    Atrocious ref, useless Leeds, and frustrating Arsenal. A poor match to make my return to viewing, except for the fact that God might make an appearance on the pitch at an moment now.

  133. evonne says:

    What is FatFrenchTroublemaker doing at the Ems??

  134. fatgingergooner says:

    Must say Squillaci has been outstanding in the air 2nd half

  135. evonne says:

    oh oh oh!!!!!! Thierry getting undressed!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  136. fatgingergooner says:


  137. evonne says:

    Ginga, you big girl’s blouse!

  138. oz gunner says:

    song off for henry?

  139. fatgingergooner says:

    Ainsley Harriot and Brian Turner are in the crowd. That explains why Samir Nasri is watching then!!! Fat c**t

  140. SharkeySure says:

    In his fucking sleep !!!!

  141. fatgingergooner says:

    I’ve died and gone to heaven!

    Sign him up!!!

  142. fatgingergooner says:

    What a ball by the way!

  143. evonne says:

    he makes it look so fucking simple, sorry guys, but I cannot stop crying

  144. fatgingergooner says:

    Motm!? Lol

    Ramsey outstanding for me.

    Think Miquel has had a blinder aswell.

  145. goonermichael says:

    You couldn’t make it up.

  146. SharkeySure says:

    Agreed FGG…Ramsey ran hi sheart out…his decision making wasn;t always spot on…but he really drove us forward. I dread to look how toothless we’d look up front without his forward runs.

    Agreed re Miquel. Another class act. I worry about just how good he can be…its a little bit frightening, to have all that he’s already got, at only only 18 or 19.

    Phil Jones and Chris Smalling for £30m…vs Kozzer and Miquel for under 10…lol

  147. goonermichael says:

    GunnerSteve Stephen Tomlinson
    Scholes take note. That’s what a return is supposed to look like. #TheKingIsBack

  148. pat says:

    How was that for a return – TH is back!

  149. Irishgunner says:


    Its what I wanted for my Birthday and I got it 😀

    SS do you want the match report or shall I?

  150. mickydidit89 says:

    Now THAT was something!
    On me effing mobile, so cant talk sense.

  151. Gooner In Exile says:

    Ok I’m happy for the win, and nice finish. But sorry the goal does not make this a good signing yet. For me he looked well short in the legs (maybe the celebration run was a bit over the top) but will not even manage 45minutes in the PL. The only use will be games like that where a team is sitting deep and we need to break the deadlock, he only needs his brain to get him in position to score. But once we took the lead he was a passenger and we lost all shape after that.

    Agree with FGG Rbo MotM closely followed by Arteta, Ox had a better second half and Arshavin put in a good shift.

    Cham’s confidence if not already rock bottom will be even lower.

    And sorry the fans have to let go and start supporting the current team more. If we sang their names even half as loud as we sang Thierrys tonight maybe we would see a bit more from them. Maybe if we willed them on with for every touch rather than groan and moan just maybe we will get more from them.

    I know I’m going to be seen as a party pooper buts its my opinion and I’m dreading the end of February already.

  152. SharkeySure says:

    Apparently Thiery weas leading the man of the match vote before he even got on the pitch…let alone before he scored


    Thierry and Arsenal is like a fairytale. Wonderful stuff.

  154. Big Raddy says:

    Does it get better than that moment? To be treasured forever,

  155. SharkeySure says:

    Its all yours Irish… climbed some (gaelic?) hill in the great mans shirt….how could I deprive you…??

    Whisper it quietly…but I’m not Thierry’s biggest fan, and he really deserves a proper eulogy tonight.

  156. mickydidit89 says:

    Who needs corners? Smiley face!

  157. SharkeySure says:

    A living eulogy !!!!!

  158. goonermichael says:

    fatgingergooner says:
    January 9, 2012 at 8:49 pm
    Henry winner?

    Yes 🙂

  159. Irishgunner says:

    “johncrossmirror John Cross
    There is indeed Nasri #afc. Almost as anonymous in the crowd as he has been for #mcfc… Hope posh seats more comfy than the bench. *tinhat*”

    SS – That was Evonne that did the climbing 😆 I don’t even have an Henry shirt, have to borrow my sister’s for tomorrow 😆

    GIE – I agree. Before Henry came on the chanting of his name was getting a bit annoying, I know it was his first game back but Arshavin was trying hard, Rambo, Oxo, Arteta. Try willing them on. Having said that, maybe Henry’s status at the club is something they can aspire to?

  160. WHAT AN UNBELIEVABLE MOMENT!!! THIERRY HENRY ooooozezzzz CLASSSSS…Joy to watch..and only fitting that a man of his class ignites arsenals’ fans and remembers the man who made him in his career..and how good was the crowd?? it was deafening when the moment arrived, even here in oz!! THANK YOU THIERRY, and THANK YOU ARSENE..makes me proud to be a GUNNER!!
    ps. i take a lot of you are out partying in London.??.. enjoy, drink up, be safe…still smiling i am (“>)

  161. goonermichael says:

    Joel Campbell and Bojan are tweeting (as well as Jack and Robin). I almost cried

  162. mickydidit89 says:

    Cheer up GiE
    Its theatre and romance
    Both good and hey we deserve it
    We can get back to worrying about feb on a gloomy day
    Right now the sun is shining
    Nite aLl

  163. SharkeySure says:

    “But once we took the lead he was a passenger and we lost all shape after that.”

    Thats exactly what I saw as well GiE. Still, he’s got us the winner and I’m thankful for that if little else.

    Congrats to him on his big night !!

  164. Big Raddy says:

    Ramsey MoM. He just gets better and better, When JW returns we have an outstanding midfield.

    GIE. In a way I agree however IMO TH has already made his signing worthwhile. The income from the next round pays his wages and the psychological lift of his goal will echo for the rest of the season.


    Partying robbin?, ime in my Arsenal pyjamas enjoying a nice cup of tea

  166. Big Raddy says:

    A passenger? Hard to please some people.

    I’ll tell you who was a passenger – Chamakh.

  167. fatgingergooner says:

    Henry isn’t here to play 45 minutes, let alone 90.

    His job is to do exactly what he did tonight. Without him, we would be having a replay.

    Leeds fans having a good moan on Facebook! You would think, after an awful 5 or so years, they would have learned how to lose and become a little more gracious. Oh well!

  168. SharkeySure says:

    Fair do’s Mr Radders, maybe ‘passenger’ was harsh….

    I’ll not take this any further tonight…its only a night for celebration.

  169. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    See you at the Villa tie Cuckoos . Holiday booked this morning ! 🙂

  170. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    fgg, you can go to work tomorrow, be nice ! 🙂

  171. Big Raddy says:

    GLIC. I am In London for the AV game. If I can get a ticket will see you at The Tavern for the pre-match Peroni’s


  172. SharkeySure says:

    When you thin og how mamy chances we have spurned over the last few games…to see tHAT cool finish tonight was a real joy to behold.

    Contrast how effortless that was for him..with the panicky and rushed efforts of so many others. A finisher supreme.

    He showed that at Barcelona…where he swept in for goals from the LW, as though he were Bobby P in his pomp !

  173. Big Raddy says:

    SS. Respect 🙂

  174. @BigRaddy,
    Great post mate, although ive read it late.. must to confess to having a a few quiet ones(schooners not last night in the lead up to my birZday, and as it turns out those quiet ones turned out to be a fair few more and i think that would now be recognised as a bender..even at my age which i share with thierry and just like he ‘ i still show some fine form’ sleep but it wasnt hard to stay awake with our team playing early monday morning here down under…the moment came for the legend to return to his backyard (even if its temporary), and i must admit that it was like it was written in a fairytale or something, i was almost willing it to be played out the way it did..0-0, cant break through, n then boom step inside TH12, almost romantic to come on at the same time as his apprentice wearing his old shirt number..WHAT A typical thierry FINISH, and what a birZday retrospect your team selection wasnt too bad, shows you know ur stuff and wenger..respect! I SO WISH I WAS IN LONDON FOR THAT GAME

  175. goonermichael says:

    aaronjramsey Aaron ramsey
    It was written for him. What a finish! #buzzing
    2 minutes ago Favorite Retweet Reply

    9smudge Alan Smith
    There are times when you just wish you had been there. Henry goal an iconic moment. Best player I have seen in this country

    JackWilshere Jack Wilshere
    Had to get a picture with this legend! I’m still buzzing!

  176. Gooner In Exile says:

    Right i’m off don’t want to kill the mood, but i’m eyes wide open and there was something not right about the atmosphere tonight….a bit sickly……yes he was a great player…..and yes he has earned respect and worship from the fans for his past glorys. But the current squad are earning something too and not getting it from the fans not even half of what they gave Henry tonight.

    Some are setting ourselves up for a fall when we realise we get to March and are still relying on Cham or Park off the bench.

  177. evonne says:

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY IRISH!!! XXX I will always remember your birthday 🙂

    Micky – I am so glad you are back, so worried

  178. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    Already looking forward to it Big Raddy. 🙂

  179. TMHT, if you call what im drinking tea, than tea it is.. all looks the same to me similar colour..cant wait 4 the mexicans to arrive (tequila shots) thats when the adults only party starts…lol

  180. Big Raddy says:

    Overall we played well against a team committed to the draw. It was good to see AA take on his man again – tonight wasn’t his night but it was a much improved performance.

    Ox looks quality, as does Miquel.

    Kos as always superb.

    Song and Arteta tidy. Yennris had little to do but played the simple ball and did it well.

    Squillaci. Just not good enough.

    The major minus of the night was the loss of yet another FB. Coquelin looks a super player in the making and I hope he is not as prone to injury as Diaby.

    Oh and Chamakh. Up against 2 inexperienced CB’s from a lower division and did not create a single goal scoring opportunity. Poor.

    Fairplay to Leeds, they gave us a good game and could have got the draw in the final minutes.

    A snifter and bed for BR.


  181. Carlito11 says:

    That, mes amis, was magnifique! Bit of a drab encounter turns into the second coming! Brilliant! Just brilliant!

  182. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    Happy Birthdays to Irish and robbinURpersie, Great present for you both. 🙂

  183. Big Raddy says:

    Happy Birthday Robbin. And to you Irish

  184. i didnt think i loved thierry as much as i did/ the point where my eyes started to swell up n a little tear trickled down for TH12..friggin amazing what a little alcohol and watching performance art at its best can do to a man..maybe it was the moment…hmmm

  185. goonermichael says:

    He’s on £70k a week and he’s just got us another game £3m. Already paid for. If a little bit of his composure rubs off on Ramsey, Walcott and AA we’ll be quids in. He’s already matched Larsson at the mancu**s and peolple thought that was genius..

  186. fatgingergooner says:


    I will be nice. I will hold my head high whilst Leeds fans moan about how I live miles away from London and how I haven’t seen Arsenal play. Apparently, these things are paramount if you want to support a club!

  187. Irishgunner says:

    Thanks Evonne 😉

  188. goonermichael says:

    I wonder if there’s any chance the Villa game will be on a sunday. the bindippers and skagheads obviously will.

  189. Irishgunner says:

    Thanks everyone 🙂

  190. goonermichael says:

    faye_white Faye White
    Definition of “class is permanent …Thierry Henry !” #saysitall #ReturnOftheKing #AFC

    Andre_Santos27 André Santos!!!
    Congratulations guys great performance!!! Henry very good gollll…#GoArsenalllll

    12 minutes ago Favorite Retweet Reply » HectorBellerin Hector Bellerin
    12 minutes ago

    StanCollymore Stan Collymore
    Superb first touch which teed the right foot up nicely for a lovely,crisp finish. Text book. Ce’st très bon! Enjoy it for what it is!
    20 minutes ago Favorite Retweet Reply

    MarioBaloteLAD Mario Balotelli
    Commentator: “Henry is the only player to have a statue of himself outside a stadium”… What about the one of Nani outside Fulhams ground?

    love the balotelli one

  191. GLIC.. thanx for the birthday wishes mate, ur post 10.16pm, IMO something is not right bout the atmosphere at the emirates all the time..when we watch the games on tv, its always silence, repeat of a few songs, but mostly the oohing and ahhing at poor passes and missed chances..the eagerness to win n play well can be heard from the fans and the negativity can sometimes effect our team..
    With TH12 return, the atmosphere was always going to rise, and chants of his name were inevetable, he has earned that respect and unconditional did help the way it played out,coming on at 0-0 and scoring the winner but you could see that his celebrations were not about him. he wants the emirates to be exploding like that all the time..he knows where the cameras are but this was for the team!! i can still remember the early thierry days when he and suker would miss opportunities, but since then, he has written history and makes atmosphere through his presence alone..

  192. SharkeySure says:

    Agree with most of that Raddy, except Song. Defensively he was sound as per…but with the ball he was very UN-tidy to my eyes. I certainly woudn;thave put money on him making that pass to THLegend.

    But thats wgat you have to love about our Cameroonian…he never hides. In a funny way, he doesnt seem to recognise when his passng radar is off, and keeps trying some of the more difficult passes that ARE in his locker. I love that ‘self confidence’ in a certainly paid dividends tonight !

  193. goonermichael says:

    Good2BAGooner ‘Gazza’
    Just heard that Citeh are about to launch an £80m bid for Thierry’s statue. They haven’t got any of their own legends. Bless.
    3 minutes ago Favorite Retweet Reply
    Retweeted by @YouAreMyArsenal

  194. Irish,
    Happy Birthday!! same day hey? have a great day/night..WHAT bout our birthday present from thierry?? now that was reall something…

  195. thanks for all the birthday wishes people. cheers!

  196. goonermichael says:

    Happy Birthday robbin.

    Hughes going to QPR=joke
    Shrek in fifpro team=joke

  197. TotalArsenal says:

    I am lost for words and had to pinch myself to check whether I was dreaming or not. TH12 showed everyone how to do a first touch in the box again, the rest then is reasonably simple. Miguel is my motm: played very well throughout the game and is ready for first team footie. Ramsey did well too, but in his position he does not hit the target enough / he does not penetrate enough. But this will come soon.

    GiE, can you blame the crowd being excited all night to see TH come on? The new Arsenal will venture on without TH in 2 months and do well, but right now we need a shot in the arm and Henry is providing it. I think we should be grateful for it and trust Wenger to ensure we don’t fall back one TH is gone again. The TW is open for weeks to come as well. Just try to enjoy it mate 🙂

  198. goonermichael says:

    GManSizzle George C
    Tonight was magical. It was amazing. A miracle occurred in N5. You can’t write stuff like this…… Squillaci kept a clean sheet.

  199. goonermichael says:

    StanCollymore Stan Collymore
    We all have heroes,and they most of the time make us love our clubs more than a lot of current players,so.. Welcome back Thierry! Night x

    Stan collymore isn’t being a twat. You couldn’t make it up

  200. GM 10.38pm,
    im drunk and rolling on the floor laughing!!! the balotelli one is a classic, should make up a song for wen we play those dogs manURe..i dont knw, but i like balotelli, the sort of bloke who sets of fireworks off in his bathroom is the sort of bloke id wana go out drinkin with..still laughing

  201. It’s like a fantasy story. The king return and score the winning goal. :mrgreen:
    I think Szczesny made some good saves tonight (Thanks God AW didn’t choose Almunia).
    Too bad with le Coq injury. I hope AW sign a versatile defender sooner. I can’t imagine Squid starting as CB while Kozzer forced to fill the RB. 😮

    Happy Birthdays to Irish & Robbin, looking forward your match report. 🙂

  202. goonermichael says:

    It’s not the real Baloteli unfortunately but still really funny.

  203. SharkeySure says:

    In case anyone missed it from GMs 10.38:

    “Commentator: “Henry is the only player to have a statue of himself outside a stadium”…

    Balotelli: “What about the one of Nani outside Fulhams ground?”

  204. Irishgunner says:

    Robbin – happy birthday and a top present eh? 😀

  205. Santos was at ems.
    I hope he could return sooner.

  206. Carlito11 says:

    TA- amen to that brother!

  207. id like to see thierry get a few minuts with the the moment, in some games its just not working for theo..ox likes to cut in and get a few options involved in play..i like theo, but dare i say that cesc made him and arshavin look better wen they play..precision passes exactly in front of a player with perfect weight and precision..dont want to get into a cesc debate but we miss that sort of a player in our system.. a player with consistent creative flair, song has it, but its inconsistent..@Total says that ramsey has it inside him and will come good and i agree.. but where is the service gona come from for RVP and TH12 wen we run out of ideas or as precedented some teams jus wont foil over, they read our game and cancel players like theo the henry moment, and our cinderella win, i was worried with the fact that again it shows we lack that creative attacking flair.. we need a cesc, modric, silva type player in that hole..Chamakh, gets few chances from the service he recieves..

  208. Irishgunner says:

    Match report is in drafts on the dashboard

  209. TotalArsenal says:

    Nike, I hope so too, he is a big mis for us. Miquel did well though.

  210. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    I see one of Beckham`s boy`s has an Arsenal jacket, smart lad ! 🙂

  211. really upset with the injury to LE COQ(wot a name), but maybe its a blessing in disguise for if wenger was to indulge in dare i say it-TRANSFER activity for our defence, he would have to go for a more versatile player who could play along the whole backline..and maybe a loan signing would hav to be permanent player, more your utility player rather than just left or right ful back…we all know him.. Jan Vertonghen anyone??
    (i heard a yes pls over there..(“<)

  212. Wonderman says:

    Just back from the game…TA totally agree!!! I must say though I am really concerned about the prospect of relying on Chamahk for goals if Robin is not playing. He appears to be totally devoid of confidence and more worringly know how…plus points, Coquelin before he went off, Yennaris as his replacement was competent, The Ox looked dangerous and for me Ramsey was motm, I can’t believe they gave it to Henry

  213. Trade mark goal from Thierry Henry, positioning, first touch, finish.

    It was like he’d never been away!

  214. Irishgunner says:

    13Szczesny13 Wojciech Szczesny
    09/01/2012 I was there when Thierry Henry scored a winner vs Leeds on his #AFC comeback!!!

    😆 I love this guy

  215. Wonderman says:

    Oh and I forgot Miquel was awesome

  216. goonermichael says:

    wossy jonathan ross
    I am not a football kind of guy, but even I find it exciting that Thierry Henri returns to Arsenal and scores a goal first match back. Hero.
    46 minutes ago Favorite Retweet Reply

  217. TotalArsenal says:

    RurP, Irish, happy birthday guys: the TH(20)12 goal must have given your special day an extra dimension! 🙂

  218. Irishgunner says:

    Thanks TA 🙂

    GM – I try to explain in tomorrow’s post just how important that goal is that Henry just scored, hope it comes across.

    As it is, I’m off to bed one happy camper. Night night.


  219. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi RurP, Jan Vertonghen is a top quality player and is very likely to only join Arsenal if he is given a first team position. The BFG, TV and Koz all want that as well. I cannot see it happening for that reason.

    Hi Wonderman, unless Marouane has a great ACN, I just cannot see him getting another chance this season. He is a shadow of the Chamakh we all got to love in the first part of the 2010-2011 season, and if Wenger cannot get him to believe in himself again then I don’t know who can. A real shame, for such a nice guy.

  220. Wonderman says:

    Hi TA…..he looks intimidated to me.As you say a shadow of his former self. But if tonight proved anything we need a proven finisher to help Robin

  221. TotalArsenal says:

    Wonderman, agreed: he looks intimidated and as if he is carrying a 25 kilo sack of spuds on his back.

    I still cannot make my mind up whether we need another proven finisher first, or whether we need to change the system first, in order to enable the whole team to score more. The Gerv, Theo, Ramsey, Arteta: they all need to, and can, score more goals. I feel we no longer dominate the ‘hole’ area with our current system and especially against the lesser teams, this seems to cost us, in terms of dominance, creating more straightforward chances and scoring more goals per game.

  222. Gooner In Exile says:

    This a text from my Dad…great minds and all that:

    “Nice goal but a sad reflection on the rest of our attackers RvP excepted.”

    Ain’t that the truth and ain’t that the problem, unless of course AW has plans to do a sneaky and extend it thru to May by showing Thierry what he is missing by playing in the States.

  223. Gooner In Exile says:

    TA i thought Rambo showed some ability to do it but in reality the hole area last season was played by a few people in the same game, whilst Cesc dominated it he could switch with Nasri and RvP to give different angle of attack if needed even Theo at times.. At the moment we are a bit more set in position apart from the occasional switching of flanks by Gerv but it is not as fluid as it was.

    The Ox, Rambo and Gerv is a far more threatening and diverse option than Rambo, Theo and Gerv, i think the wingers arel a bit too similar in style so swapping wings doesn’t bring any different challenge for the fullbacks just a different player, just different tricks for the same movement. And looking at AA23s performance tonight I think he too could offer a bit more diversity.

  224. Happy Birthday RurP 🙂

    The team needs Ramsey to score, Chamakh played a lot of balls to Ramsey when he was in the position to have a shot himself.

    Miquel was very good.

    I’m very upset for Coquelin, this would have been a good time for him to get a lot of games – he could have had a big influence in the next few weeks. What a shame for him 😦

    Thierry ……. ahhhh Thierry, he just loves playing for Arsenal and we just love having him back. How fantastic for those youngsters to play and train alongside him for the next few weeks. Almost too good to be true and I was there 😀

  225. Stroke of genius bringing Theo and Thierry on together – pretty scary combo if you ask me.

    Theo will get so much from having Thierry here for a while.

    I thought Song was pretty rubbish tonight but his pass for Thierry was awesome.

  226. hey Total,
    I agree with some of your reasoning behind not considering him as a target, but with coq now possibly gone(dont hav info on any reports) and us ever so close to having field squiacci on a regular basis or heaven forbid out of position..i even wondered bout changing formations so as to use any wing type plaers as our wing-backs in a manC down to 10 men sort of way but some of those players would fall short, both defensively and in a positional sense.. we dont have a milner or bale type basically..
    i also understand wengers statements of not signing a fulback due to player quota among other reasons and just like yourself i agree..where would that leave santos or gibbs or even djourou to develop as a utility defender even? but i believe as im sure you do to that this arsenal is a new arsenal still going through transition..
    have you ever questioned peoples assumptions of santos’ rite to be first choice fulback over n up n comer already england international? i did, but through injuries to gibbs, santos almost made the position his own.. manC have clichy kolarov and bridge..i like the idea of us having 3 top fulbacks, its always been wengers golden key in opening attacks.
    Vertonhagen, in my eyes can most def’ cover left fulback and centrehalf more than confidently, even right back id say..but his potential to cover the holding midfield role is key to my arguement for his permanent signing..if we sign him, you automatically hav cover for song or arteta in a worse case scenario.. i think we should be more ruthless at the Arsenal in transfer negotiations..promise Vertonghen the world, use Vermaelen in sweet talking a deal and let all players really work hard and fight for their positions, they can all dare ask wenger questions later..we eliminate having to waste bigger money on a player who could potentially brought in to cover song or if the cameroonian was ever to leave that being targeted at the Yannick m’villa rumours
    imagine not knowing which of those 3 fulbacks was gonna play on any given day, or as precedented in our team already, to be signed as a cover and then become first disregard or dismiss this option by wenger or us would be foolish and a sense of deja vu on the CB position this time last yr wen Squilacci was a last resort.
    .If it is true that Jan Vert’ is as good if not better than TV5,he would add another dimension in our defenceand be a steal at 7-10mil dont you think it would be in Arsenals best interest rather than player happiness?? (i rememeber modric spitting chips n even v.d.v or nani both being very unhappy at times..
    I just dont want wenger to 1. make the same mistake as last campaign and 2. miss out on an opportunity like him

  227. TA @12.02pm,
    totally agree with the dominance of the hole statement..ramsey will get there one day but id love Kaka on loan or permanently and revert back to the customary 4-4-2.. the toughest thing than would be finding a position for jack wen hes back nd fit

  228. TotalArsenal says:

    Good points there GiE, when I was at the Emirates for the QPR game neither Arteta, Ramsey or Song rarely wanted to position themselves in the hole, or even move into that space with the ball and make things happen. And, without the FBs working as proper FBs and thus not doubling up with the wingers, it all started to look very laboured and one-dimensional. The three upfront, RvP, Theo and the Gerv, have to work very hard between them to offer the opposition a diverse attacking package, and I think they have done very well until now. But it costs a lot of energy and it has not let to a lot of goals per game, until now. I agree with you that the Ox is offering an extra dimension, although I think he is quite similar in style to the Gerv.

    I would love us to go a 4-4-1-1 with RvP upfront and the Ox behind him, and Theo and Gerv on the wings, and Song with either Ramsey, Arteta or (ideally) Wilshere next to him in the middle of the ‘4’.

  229. TotalArsenal says:

    Hey Peaches, you are in good form tonight! I am very jealous of you for having been there tonight. You are right, it is a shame le Coq got injured: he is such a prospect for us though 🙂

  230. hey peaches, thanks 4 the birthday wishes..i agree, ramsey must be scoring more goals, or in the rotating type midfield we hav then even arteta should be finding the net from the hole position..i said mit before, id love kaka there, but to leave ramsey out would be unfair to him and the club, plus it contradicts all of the great mans (wenger)ways.. i do worry though if those missed chances by ramsey will become tedious and cost us a top 4 position.. ramsey does realise there is no room for error for the role he has inherited from cesc, its now or never..i love ramsey and his work rate is immense, a real engine, but this isnt wales. peoples expectations are higher, and lets not talk about wot effect it could hav on our money politics?? i hope for all of us but especially for wenger that ramseys game in that department of getting goals turns round as quick as TH12’s doubters were shut up today!!

  231. TA – sometimes you just have to pinch yourself 🙂 I have seen amazing scenes at both Highbury and The Emirates and even though I think there are problems currently, a night like tonight makes me remember that really we only want it to be good and enjoyable and for me it was.

    We can discuss formations and players good and bad points for eternity but tonight one man and his song and our song raised the roof at The Emirates and made thousands of gooners very happy.

    He’s really special our Thierry Henry be in no doubt ………

  232. neamman says:

    Will Djourou be back on sunday?

  233. TotalArsenal says:

    RurP, I can see where you are coming from re Vertonghen. Your arguments are strong. The question is whether Wenger would go down that path, and I think you and I know the answer.

    Kaka: I cannot see him come to the UK – a return to Italy is more likely. I am not his biggest fan to be honest. I am sure we will have many talks about the hole position and formations in the coming months. Let’s see what Wenger is going to do! 🙂

  234. Hi neamman – Arsene said they were trying to get Djourou ready for the weekend so lets hope so.

  235. TotalArsenal says:

    Very special he is indeed Peachy – and it took some guts by him to return for two months! Glad you had a top night at THOF 😀

  236. Thanks TA, I have to go to bed now, see you tomorrow

  237. Gooner In Exile says:

    Ox = Shot, dribbling, pace, tricks, range of passing, strength
    Gerv = Dribbling, pace, passing, work rate, strength
    Theo = Pace, work rate
    AA23 = dribbling, passing, finishing (when he rediscovers his lost ability), vision

    My opinion but Ox offers a better range of passing and a threatening shot from distance that neither Gerv nor Theo possess.

  238. GiE, funny enough, they all lack in the decision making skills department,ox will come good bat is still a bit raw in that sense. AA23 probably leads on that front but difficult to get the body to do what the mind wants it to. he also played immense with cesc so he really only performs with good players round him much like a kalou at chelsea..goes to show wot arsenal r missing at the moment in the hole..confident decision making mixed penetrative throughballs..

  239. TotalArsenal says:

    GiE, I agree with most of your summation there.

    Theo’s shot is not too bad either though – think back to his Udinese away goal for example. Theo also has a very good first touch to combine with his pace, which is absolutely essential. When I was watching MU play MC with Rooney in the hole, protecting the ball with his body and passing it dead simply at 45 degrees angles to his fellow wingers, it made me think how much Theo is missing Fabregas. The MU wingers are not better than Theo – no way. But in the MU system they get such better service with which they can be dangerous and effective straightaway – being played the ball to them in space and close to the box of the opposition – by just using their speed and ability to cross, or shoot at goal. The wingers also have the luxury to aim for both Rooney and ANother striker in the box. Theo is a great weapon for us, but it needs to be used correctly.

  240. TotalArsenal says:

    Right night – night all. TH is back and I feel like not shaving my beard till he is gone again… I don’t think mrs Total will easily agree to it though…

  241. night TA. throw out the razors lol

  242. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Morning all.
    I’m off in a second so won’t be around again, but a quick thought on last night. I know it can be said that cracks were papered over, it was only Leeds, where’s the long term solution and so on but, and yes its personal, last night I watched the game on a crap broadband connection with my Son. He never saw Thierry play for The Arsenal either live or on TV that he remembers. He knows from me about all the Arsenal Legends. Adams, Rocastle, Davis, Thomas, but he is a numbers and results guy, so for him Thierry has always been The Top Man.
    We watched the game. First half…dull, but the conversation kept coming. “Just imagine Dad, 0-0, maybe 1-1 and Thierry comes on to score the winner”.
    Later I put him to bed, kissed him goodnight and turned off the light. As I closed the door I heard a whisper: “Dad….can’t wait to tell my friends at school tomorrow that I saw Thierry come on and score the winner for The Arsenal”.
    Best part for me? Not TH, not the win but being with my Son the moment he experienced his first real piece of Arsenal Magic.

  243. Big Raddy says:

    Micky. Beautiful ….

  244. Gooner In Exile says:

    Bah humbug!

  245. Gooner In Exile says:

    TA I should clarify talking about shot it was the fact that Ox can shoot from distance. And offers a threat. Theo, Gerv and AA23 can all finish from closer in but this should be a given for a PL forward (especially one at Arsenal). rURp you may be right about good players around them and definitely right on decision making.

    Looking back at last nights game I think the defence were rarely tested but when asked to do anything they did it comfortably. Szczesny showed a bit more inexperience having not been in the game for a long time was guilty of a poor clearance resulting from not being switched on. Squid, Koz, Coq and Yennaris get 7, Szczesny gets a 6 for that mistake, Miquel gets an 8.

    Midfield I thought Song and Arteta could have given us more first half and Song altho more interested second half didn’t impose himself how he should against that opposition. Arteta 7, Song 6 Rambo 8.

    Upfront I thought both Ox and AA23 had good games, took Ox a while to get in the game but second half he looked a real threat. 7 each. Chamakh unfortunately continues to struggle. At times showed glimpses of hunger and some nice lay offs but where it mattered in the box in front of goal he did not attack the right areas and good work from Rambo, Ox and AA23 was left unfinished due to his movement. 5 for him.

    Theo was pretty anonymous 5. Thierry great finish but not a lot else for me. 7

  246. Red Arse says:

    Micky, 🙂

    Brought a tear to the eye!!

    GIE, 🙂

    Have you been to bed yet?
    Agree with much of what you said last night – and this morning.

  247. kelsey says:

    This was a night for the Arsenal faithful one which I am sure will long live in the memory of the fans, but put into perspective it still showed especially in the first half that regardless of the opposition we are forever creating chances but all the forwards and attacking midfielders are woefully out of form and just can’t put the ball into the net.We hardly tested the Leeds keper and if I have to single out one player it is Chamakh. We may have got him on a free but he brings absolutely nothing to the attack.
    Now we have yet another injury in defence and it would be criminal if Wenger doesn’t bring in at least two players even if on loan, in this window.

    Unless there is a dramatic increase in goals scored we will have a fight on our hands to maintain a top 4 place.Many think it’s our defence that is the problem but it is in fact the attack and without RVP God knows where we would be.

  248. kelsey says:

    Great comment micky, and having read through all the posts last nght I more or less agree with GIE’s comments.

    it was interesting to see Henry talking in depth to Walcott in the first half and that goes along with my theory that Henry has been brought in to help the players tactically as much if not more off the field than on.

  249. Wonderman says:

    Morning GIE I thought you were harsh on the midfield in the first half, Leeds were excellent in their shape, marking and covering and Arshavin was given several shooting chances which he spurned. Leeds had speed on the flanks, but were were very aggresive in winning the ball back high up the pitch, both Coquelin and Yennaris were very good in that respect. I can see the Ox scoring a lot of goals a) he shoots from all sorts of distances from both feet, b) he hits the target.

    Chamahk seems to think he is in the team to do 2 things lay off for others and head from crosses. His movement last night was appalling. If he was to learn one thing from Henry it is how to move in a threatening manner with the intention to score

  250. VCC says:

    Micky. Great story

    I went with my 22 year old Son to the QPR game. I said to him you don’t have to come as its New Years Eve (his mates went to Butlins, he declined) I can give the second ticket to one of my friends.
    His words were, “Dad I wouldn’t miss the chance to see Arsenal ever, they are in my blood”
    Needless to say we had a ball last night down our local, high fives all round after The King scored.

  251. evonne says:

    Get a grip Micky, you are making us all cry!

    So many people mailed and texted me to congratulate on TH’s comeback! As if I was the responsible party! But I thank them gracefully and take the credit shamelessly 🙂

    He made it look so simple, just a little casual flick.
    But his celebrations tell us a lot, he LOVED it big time. I doubt he’ll go after 6 weeks, no, I refuse to believe it.

  252. chas says:

    I’ve never seen excitement like that in an Emirates upper tier crowd. People on their feet singing and dancing, it really was the second coming.
    The bloke alongside me spent the whole second half willing Wenger to bring Thierry on.
    I found myself willing the team to score before the Henry substitution, but again they looked almost afraid to score.
    I really didn’t understand Theo coming on for the Ox, our best player replaced by someone who did nothing.
    When Thierry scored, the bloke alongside said he hoped we didn’t get a second so that it was Thierry’s goal which won us the game.

    A bizarre night at the football, as if it was scripted, yet pulsing with an expectant excitement.

  253. evonne says:

    Morning Chas, you have seen history in the making. That goal will be talked about for years to come.

    I agree about the Ox, the little fellow was fantastic and his face fell when he was substituted. He will get his chances yet

    Theo and TH have a ‘special’ bond. Theo joined Arsenal rather than Manure because of Thierry. I noticed TH whispering and pointing things to Theo during the game

  254. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    Micky, Fantastic ! 😥

    Sorry e va va vonne, It was I, who predicted the second coming @20thNov, so I alone, take the credit ! 😆

  255. evonne says:

    I still would like to know what was the Fat Frenchie doing at the Emirates? He should not be allowed in

  256. Gooner In Exile says:

    Kelsey and RA agreeing with me….blogging is strange sometimes! 😀 Henry’s goal was written in the stars no doubt but im trying to emove the emotion and judge him overall….which is much easier to do from your armchair.

    Wonderman I think it was Song in particular who looked sloppy at times. Second half the midfield started much more positively (further up pitch) and took the game to Leeds a bit more.

    As you point out when we opened them up early Arsh wasted a couple of good chances, what a difference it would make if we could take advantage of our early chances when the opposition are getting to grips. Once they are setled we struggle to open up.

  257. evonne says:

    GLiC – ok, I will forward the polish emails to you, so you can reply, you clever cloggs cuckoo cuckoo

  258. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    e va av vonne,
    No problem, 2 of my bestmates are Polish. Their not cuckoo though ! 😆

  259. Morning grinning gooners 😆

    New post ………………

  260. Makita says:


    […]Redemption Song; Match Preview « Arsenal Arsenal[…]…

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