Fight for the Right: Game preview.

What a game in store for us this afternoon. As was said earlier this week – a barometer game. A resurgent Sunderland looking to continue their very surprising run against an Arsenal team confident as a result of last week’s big win.

And yet, in my opinion both appear to be skating on thin ice. Sunderland are, let’s be honest, a poor team managed by an average manager. Arsenal are on the verge of greatness but are not there yet, as the results at Swansea and Fulham portray. Yes, we smacked Blackburn but have you ever seen a worse performance from a PL side fighting relegation? Nor have I.

What has Mr- O’Neill brought to Sunderland to transform them? The same as Fat Sam has has brought to West Ham and SAF continues to bring to MU –  an atmosphere of fear and aggression. Hard work, get in their faces, ride your luck, long ball tactics, close down in midfield, compress the play thereby nullifying any creativity in the opposition and best of all, score and then defend like crazy. It works. After a dreadful start Sunderland have beaten Man City, Norwich, Stoke and Swansea.

Sessegnon is their main attacking force, however, it should be pointed out that this season he has scored 9 whereas our top scorer has 28. We know all about Seb Larsson who is one of the players often referred to when discussing the (too) early transfer of young players.

Another conundrum is who is going to start for Arsenal?. With the huge game in Milan on Weds. will Mr.Wenger risk playing his full first X1 or will he rotate? What would you do? Which game would you prioritise?  Do you think he should start with the same team in both games? I think we cannot afford to do anything but play our best starting X1 in every game – Big Raddy played 60+ games almost every season. (back when men were men!)

My Team:

I am torn between Ramsey and Rosicky. Perhaps Tomas should start today given his excellent recent form and that Ramsey will be better suited to the slower game played by AC Milan midweek – I expect him to star out in Italy, just as Fabregas did a few years ago. Everyone wants to see The Ox and I hope Mr. Wenger doesn’t drop him –  which he is almost sure to do when Gervinho returns next week holding his ACN Winners Medal.

An inventor from Sunderland? I bring you Sir William Mills, inventor of the Mills bomb. Those with a historical bent and an interest in World War 1 will know all about the Mills bomb which a type of grenade . 75 million of them were made and used during WW1. Yes – 75million!!. A prolific inventor he also developed a gearing system for ships which was used worldwide, and a telescopic walking stick/seat which remains widely available today (think Toffs/Range Rovers/ National Hunt).

Sir William Mills,  no relation to Mrs.

It will be Siberian conditions Up North which will affect both the pitch and the players. If Arsenal have pretensions to a Top 4 finish they have to get something from this game. I do not believe Sunderland are as good a team as we are but given the January failures there must be caution. Going one up, which a few years ago would be a guaranteed 3 points is a trait we must reproduce. This will be a game won in midfield and our boys will have to fight fire with fire.

Given the animosity between our respective managers, I expect an intense game with yellow cards aplenty.

COYRRG

Written by Big Raddy

205 Responses to Fight for the Right: Game preview.

  1. goonermichael says:

    Does anyone else think dwight yorke is a retard?

  2. goonermichael says:

    Imagine inventing something to kill people. In times of war I suppose someone has to. Fantastic pre match as ever Raddy. Difficult week ahead. Both the mancsums would love to have this dilemna though.

  3. Yash says:

    Verge of greatness.LMFAO. What weed u smoking

  4. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Yash,
    In case you haven’t dropped a comment and run:
    SAMARITANS 0845 909090

  5. MickyDidIt89 says:

    BR,
    Fight for the right to “party”. Is that my first, and have I beaten the Rasp to it?

  6. MickyDidIt89 says:

    BR,
    Great work Raddy, and a very real presentation of the task ahead.
    For me, its definately Rosicky to spearhead the midfield.

  7. oz gunner says:

    cheers BR, good read as always. I think it’ll be a relatively straight forward game IF we do not give stupid free kicks around the box. We know all to well what larsson is capable of. They have a lot of players out (brown,bendy,cattermole, bramble…) so we should be able to terrorise their make shift defensive which is likely to comprise of the o’shea.

    0-2 to the mighty gunners. Enjoy the game all

  8. oz gunner says:

    rosicky’s form is a win-win. He stays and we have a good squad player with valuable experience. He leaves and we fetch more $$$ than we were likely to a few weeks ago

  9. Fab preview Braddy,
    yeah i almost laughed at “the verge of greatness” bit, but on reflection i guess we have been that for the past 5 seasons.
    I like your sessegnon comment and why worry – we got van persie.
    That comment sums it up though, we got enough quality to comfortably beat any sunderland team, we just have to play to potential but easier said than done – right?

  10. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Peaches/GiE,
    Saw your comments about ticket exchange. Thanks.
    Plans B, C and D going into action.
    Sun time (don’t laugh Oz). Back later.

  11. Big Raddy says:

    Yash. We are all on the verge of greatness 🙂

    And I stopped smoking weed when I got responsibilities. Alcohol, however, is another story ….

  12. Rasp says:

    Morning all,

    Top drawer pre-match Raddy. I hope AW will be ruthless and continue with the winning formula of Rosicky in place of Ramsey in midfield – Ramsey can be used as a sub after 70 mins if need be.

  13. Gooner In Exile says:

    Top prematch BR.

    I wonder whether we will start Coq at right back today and rest Sagna for Wednesday. Coq should be able to do a job.

    On the other hand can we afford for Bacs first 90 to be against Milan?

    Also in light of the way Sunderland play could we go Sagna Koz TV Coq across the backline saving Mert for the Milan game which is arguably more suited to his style of reading the game and possession.

    I don’t expect Sunderland to give us any time on the ball for the first half hour or so. It’s all going to be about keeping and moving the ball quickly, and ultimately being ruthless, ONeills teams are the kind that will hit you on the counter so we need our front line to make the most of any early opportunities coming their way.

    Definitely fight or die situation today, cold northern games have never been our strong point, but our team feels more suited to the harsh winter these days (even tho Arteta is from warmer climes he has played enough PL football to have adapted).

  14. Gooner In Exile says:

    Btw I hate Sunderland away, never a game I feel confident about.

  15. Coquelin should get a start in midfield today,

  16. Big Raddy says:

    SuperATV Who would you drop?

  17. Rob Lucci says:

    Gives Alex Song a rest, Coquelin into midfield, and give Sagna at least 60 min on the field.

  18. goonermichael says:

    sure someone has pointed this out before but I just noticed Arteta’s anagram is a treat

  19. Big Raddy says:

    GM. Must be a quiet time in the shop

  20. goonermichael says:

    Actually Raddy the shop is buzzing. I’m watching them all work which is unusual for me. From 12:15 I’m booked.

  21. Big Raddy says:

    Very quiet today.

    Pre-match tension?

  22. Ade David, a Nigerian Gooner says:

    Good preview Raddy. I’ll prefer the team that started against Blackburn with just a little change. Sagna to replace Coq at right fullback. Ramsey to come in later in the game as a sub for Rosicky. Off topic, I read somewhere that Wenger was complaining about poor standard and attendance of ACN. Mr Wenger, what do u expect? A continent that poverty is the order of d day. Many people will prefer to spend the little they have on food not bcos they dont love football but they cant afford it. A continent that their common wealth is in the hands of their corrupt leaders and their families. I want to say again that ACN without S/ Africa, Egypt, Cameroon and Nigeria (among them, they have the competition 12 or 13 times) is like ECN without Italy, Germany, Holand and France or England.

  23. Big Raddy says:

    Ade. Absolutely right. In my opinion it is entirely the fault of the organizers and as usual their greed.

    The ACN is shown all over the world and the TV rights have surely paid for the competition. To play to empty stadia must be depressing to both the players and the TV companies.

    So why not make it free entrance?

  24. goonermichael says:

    Why not have it every 4 years like the Euros too?

  25. goonermichael says:

    Fifa is corrupt so the African ruling body shouldn’t be any different

  26. well done on the pre match Raddy,

    i think your spot on …..this time….well most of the time 🙂
    i agree, we must start our in form players and go from there in terms of where the 90+ min takes us, hence rosicky should start, but as weve experienced in the past wenger may decide to baffle us and give Yossi a rare run out..

    the call on ramsey deserves credit..i believe he will NOT ONLY start against the milanese but play a starring role..indeed the slower pace of a european tie and posession football will suit him imensely. Not that hes slow or naive in his style but rather the fact that our movement off the ball in a slower paced game will be superior to that of milans and i can see him taking the bull by the horns in this one (maybe the game he needs to make an exclamation mark to any doubters) ..i dont expect to see him out today unless its tight and we’re in with a shout for all 3points..

    However, i do expect to see the King come out to play his last minutes in what i believe will be a sad farewell before he sets sail for a few more gulps of red bull..

    The same goes for Gibbs as it does for Rambo..i know he can be inconsistent, and frustrating at times but hey…so can the other 10 players playing in our royal red n white..

    Gibbs will be key along with rambo against a very slow but experienced defence with Nesta and Mexes to name a few..his overlapping will be crucial if we’re to pinch anything from the Eatalians…

    As for todays game i think your on the money and in many cases the team picks itself..Wenger will be playing his strongest team and that does not suprise me considering statements he has made countering Peter H W’s comments of preparing for life without CL..Arsene knows its a must for our club and will make the decisions accordingly…

    In recent seasons Wenger has played his best team regardless of the competition or time to recover till the next game..maybe hes feeling the pinch from the doubters or maybe he knows something we dont…Its usually the latter, isnt it!! As slimginge touched upon recently in regards to RVP and the danger of him breaking down-red zone….”hes a different Animal altogether”!

    i think this Arsenal is a different animal as well, its just that up until the blackburn game we still had our muzzle on..Now its time TO BITE 3-1 to the ARSENAL..

    ps, Dog Lover hands down.. and whoever said it- its true! you cant trust a man who loves catz..

    @GM,
    YES dwight yorke is a retard!! anyone who plays or played for that shit traded as ManURe is a retard…i remember when sydney fc signed him as a marquee player late in his career..wot a player! yep he loved the syney night life, the “WHITE LINE FEVER” and the chicks that came with it..like i said …Wot a playa!!

    sorry for the rant,

    and Oz good to see ya back mate, hope your holidays was too foocking good!!

  27. goonermichael says:

    I’ve never tasted dog but I’ll let you know what it’s like when I get back frome Vietnam in May

  28. MickyDidIt89 says:

    This hurts. Come on Utd.
    Oooo I feel mucky.

  29. MickyDidIt89 says:

    GM,
    I had you down as a veggie in a Buddhist kind of way, or don’t dogs count 🙂

  30. Big Raddy says:

    GM. It is good but not as tasty as …. No BR, that is way too obvious!

    Robbin. Fine comment – could have been a pre-match post.

    I expect Gibbs to get a couple more reserve games before starting, but perhaps 20 mins today

  31. MickyDidIt89 says:

    I think Raddy has the team spot on, only question mark for me would be to rest Song and play Coq, but I think I said that last night.

  32. Jamie says:

    Big Raddy- agree with your line up completely. Rosicky gives the team a maturity in his passing that Rambo hasn’t got at the moment.

    Ramsey will be vital in Milan breaking from midfield. Milan won’t like that. Just think with Arteta and Rosicky and the Ox out wide, we looked like Arsenal again.

  33. micky,
    id play coq in the holding role against sunderland as well..
    but id also wait for the fa cup round..i wouldnt tinker with a winning formula too much..song knows he was a talking point against rovers and to be dropped straight away, (especially if hes fit and energised), would be confusing to him and the team..

    i do like Coquelin though! his time will come sooner than later

  34. boring BoRING game..

    Suarez should move to the right wing…that should make things spicey!! let the fireworks begin 😉

  35. goonermichael says:

    I want bindippers to win. can never support the mancscum

  36. evonne says:

    Hi Raddy, thank you for the prematch, it feels good to know that we can rely on you to deliver promptly and efficiently on every match day! We really owe you a drink of two!

    Suarez is a four letter word GM used to like. I cannot stand Evra, but he actually offered his hand to Suarez and the later ignored him, that is so poor, unprofessional and unnecessary.

    The game is shite, but a draw suits us fine

  37. has anyone seen the old sci-fi classic “total recall” with Arnie?

    Ray spearing from ‘pool’ reminds me of that alien creature who pops out of the guys stomache towards the end of the movie…

    what a head! too cute!

  38. evonne says:

    Micky – I have no idea why you keep on saying that cats are cleverer than dogs? I have both and cannot see any evidence to substantiate your views. In fact the opposite is true. My cat is great, smart little girl, but couldn’t hold a candle to any of my dogs.

    Cats are completely unteachable, not becasue they chose so, but because they have peanut for brains, tiny little amount of great matter, incapable of learning

  39. Ade David, a Nigerian Gooner says:

    Goonermichael. Like to eat dog meat? Please just visit Nigeria during Arsenal pre-season matches. U wont regret it. Dog meat is common among our brothers nd sisters in the eastern part and Niger Delta of Nigeria.

  40. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    Hello Doggy and Pussy lovers.
    Even our Pussy lovers on here should be hoping that the Cats get a licking later on !.
    Top stuff as usual Puff Raddy. 🙂
    e va va vonne,
    Whats all this ” I have almost 3 dog`s” @ 7:25am, Is one still stuck inside the Bitch ?, explain !.
    I`m off for a run now, then I`ve got 8 tons of Beach to move , If I`m not back later someone call the Coastguard !.

  41. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Evonne,
    What of any use have you taught your dog? Come, sit, fetch!
    Dogs have four sounds.
    Cats have four hundred.
    Dog lovers…. errr
    Cat lovers….Hemmingway, Picasso, Bukowski, Bond Baddies.

  42. MickyDidIt89 says:

    rURp,
    Genius idea sending Suarez down the right. Full scale riot would be ideal finale.

  43. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Evonne,
    I love your dogs only. That’s it though 🙂

  44. DOGGIESTYLE IS ALL THE RAGE BABY!! 😉

  45. i wonder what terry has to say about Sir William Mills “telescopic walking stick”..hmmm

    no doubt something to do with a third leg?

  46. c’mon pool..make it happen.. couple more!

  47. goonermichael says:

    good result for the c…..

  48. goonermichael says:

    did they cheat again?

  49. Big Raddy says:

    Dull game in which there were few ref calls. SAF must miss Howard Webb.

    Can’t understand how both these teams beat us at THOF

  50. Big Raddy says:

    Looks as though AW read my post. Hope he enjoyed it!

  51. gunnern5 says:

    Here we go, the next 3 games could well define our entire season.
    3 wins would be wonderful, 3 losses a disaster.

  52. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Good call Raddy.
    Come on you Gunners

  53. Big Raddy says:

    We are wearing that awful away kit.

    Come on Arsenal

  54. gunnern5 says:

    Everton 1 up against Chelsea……..

  55. Big Raddy says:

    Going as expected. 2 yellows already. No space or time. Pitch affecting our passing.

  56. gunnern5 says:

    It’s going to be really tough to break down their defence.

  57. gunnern5 says:

    This is not Walcott’s type of game, he will get smothered out.

  58. Big Raddy says:

    35 mins and not a shot on target by either side.

    Let’s have a go from distance

  59. gunnern5 says:

    Sunderland defend like hound dogs, snapping at our heels
    They are tough without being dirty and are just waiting for a set piece or for us to make a mistake.

  60. Big Raddy says:

    Really poor half. Sunderland playing 11 men in their own half at home, and hoping to hit us on the break.

    This is wher AW earns his corn

  61. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Raddy,
    Good points about the pitch and the away strip. As for the football…..guess they haven’t warmed up yet!

  62. Big Raddy says:

    Having played 120 mins on Weds we must hope Sunderland run out of steam in the final 15. At the moment I cannot see a way through.

  63. MickyDidIt89 says:

    If I was AW and feeling really bold, I’d switch from two deeper midfielders and one advanced to one DM and two AM’s. Keep on one of Song or Arteta, bring Ox more central with Ros and stick AA out wide.
    Won’t happen, I know.

  64. evonne says:

    Micky – the German finds golf balls, the pug guards the house. The cat is less than useless, kills little birds.

    I love my dogs too 🙂

    GLiC – I have 2 dogs and look after Peaches’ daughter’s dog most days and some nights. Hence almost 3.

  65. evonne says:

    Very even game, Sunderland play dirty to get advantage, I am hoping for a red card

    Good to see Bacary back

  66. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Agree about their midweeker Raddy, that’s why I think they’re there for the taking, but its going to take maximum Arsenal creative powers to open them up

  67. goonermichael says:

    Blackburn are smashing barton’t shit team

  68. goonermichael says:

    3 nil and we’d go 4th if the chavs stay as they are

  69. evonne says:

    GM – I thought you were busy after 12:30? Or are you multitasking?

  70. the pitch is a disaster..tight game as expected and this is definately not walcotts game..he should sit wider on the flank to recieve and the ox should hang off the fulbacks shoulder like theo does..im sure Arsene will adress all these things..

    this is gonna sound weird but for the first time in ages i actually feel comfortable watching these gunners play..the nerves aren’t there and i feel that in some way, we own this game and the points..just have to be patient and our movement off the ball has to start ticking continuously…

    rosickys playing well, his mind is always focused and he is always looking to intercept and steal the ball back..its vital..
    if only he could turn a year or 2 back so that the legs could keep up with the mind…

    the game will be won with our fullbacks…eventually in a stalemate such as this, we’l have to take risks and get TV5 and Sagna bombing forward…FAITH!!

  71. goonermichael says:

    63% possession now. I don’t think we have much on the bench though

  72. goonermichael says:

    I’v just put a treatment on that’s under a dryer for 20 minutes evonne 🙂

  73. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Its coming
    Come on Arsenal

  74. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Don’t panic, we need to offer them some hope to draw them out and make some space.
    My theory anyway

  75. Big Raddy says:

    Time to replace the Ox. Not his type of game

  76. goonermichael says:

    I hate watching on bbc text

  77. goonermichael says:

    If everything stays as it is and we don’t lose we’ll have made ground on the chavs and bindippers.

  78. goonermichael says:

    Swansea have been so good but they are losing to Norwich at home

  79. goonermichael says:

    fucking typical

  80. Big Raddy says:

    What can you say? When the luck is not with you football can be a cruel game.

    Looked a nasty injury for BFG

  81. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Come on Arsenal
    Attack attack attack

  82. MickyDidIt89 says:

    yessssssssssssssssssssssssss

  83. goonermichael says:

    chavs are 2 down now.

  84. Big Raddy says:

    Get in !!!!

  85. goonermichael says:

    Who scored the beeb are so slow and my punter is ready

  86. goonermichael says:

    Good sub 🙂

  87. MickyDidIt89 says:

    GM Ramsey

  88. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Best try that again
    Come on Arsenal
    Attack attack attack

  89. MickyDidIt89 says:

    GM
    Her hair’s on fire!

  90. MickyDidIt89 says:

    yesssssssssssssssssssss

  91. TotalArsenal says:

    Fricking brilliant! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We are fourth atm

  92. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Huge huge huge win
    Brilliant substitutins Mr Wenger
    Absolutely brilliant three points
    Yesssssssssssssssssssssssss

  93. gunnern5 says:

    Now doesn’t that feel f……g good

  94. Big Raddy says:

    Let there be no doubt. I love Thierry Henry.

    Tremendous spirit shown after we went behind

  95. SharkeySure says:

    I’d started to doubt why we’d brought Henry back…I take it all back !!!

    Walcotts inability to control a ball today had me thinking….Jeeezus. I’d even been happy to see Arshavin replace him, and I’m no fan of Arshavin !!!

    Massive 3 points those.

    Right, off to read Raddys prematch …lol

  96. Big Raddy says:

    Arshavin’s cross was absolutely top draw. The 3 subs made the difference.

  97. Thierry Henry – forever my heart-throb 😛

  98. When Arshavin had the ball out on the wing I had everything crossed that he would do something brilliant 🙂

  99. Big Raddy says:

    Micky. The win was down to your encouragement and belief.

  100. MickyDidIt89 says:

    In the nicest possible way, the Mert going off helped, then two great substitutions.
    Fourth is just fantastic.

  101. ARSENE WENGER= YOU ARE A GENIUS..
    as Raddy would say…you have earnt your “CORN” today..
    thank you God, for looking down on us, for blessing us with Thierry Henry and for sprinkling a little magic on Ramsey and Arshavin..

    This win is so huge!!

    THE GHOSTS OF THE 1930’s ARE STIRRING MY FRIENDS
    YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!

  102. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Raddy,
    I said last night that I thought a win today and a Chav loss and the Chavs would implode. I think they have too many players who will not show the fight we displayed today.
    So so happy.

  103. Any volunteers to write the match report?

  104. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Raddy,
    I never give up during a game. I’m still full to the brim with the spirit of ’89. Always will be 🙂

  105. So, do you all still want a toon win or to stay in fourth with them taking 2 points off them scummers???????

  106. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Toon win for me Peaches. I have the Spuds very firmly in my sights 🙂

  107. Sunderland vs Arsenal Highlights http://dai.ly/xTSv3e

  108. California Gooner says:

    Wow! Hi AAs. I miss you almost as much as I miss watching the Arsenal. I am living way out in the country sans television, and with a limited bandwidth allowance, I’m not allowed to stream games. So, I watch the birds instead.

    But this morning, I woke up to see that the game was 1-1 with just 5 minutes remaining, I decided to ignore that taboo. And what a reward! Why oh why can’t TH stay a little longer? It is so fun to see him. And what a cross by Arshivin!

    In different news, Suarez, who (m?) I defended on this site, or at least spelled out what then seemed a plausible excuse for this word choice, has proven himself an utter tool and disgrace. I suspect it is more childishness and churlishness than evil, but really.

  109. dont mean to be a sour-puss but, im a little worried bout our friend Mert’.. milan up next and such a shame we cop another injury just as our long lay-offs are starting to return to the fold..

    i hope its really really minor..hes so important to our organisation at the back (underrated imo)..

    special mention to Song as cover in CD..couple of great, game saving tackles in the latter stages when we were exposed and on the back foot…

  110. goonermichael says:

    We are 4th in the league say we are 4th in the league 🙂

  111. MickyDidIt89 says:

    GM,
    Did you manage to put the fire out?

  112. Im gonna enjoy Demba Ba’s hat-trick against that thing i just flushed down the toilet..

    Scott Parker sees red, and Bale has an appointment with the physio..

    THE SCRIPT IS WRITTEN!

  113. Rob Lucci says:

    it is true that we fourth at the moment? If it is, what is the best possible outcome from newcastle vs scum game for us to remain fourth?

  114. Micky,

    love your “yessssssssss’s” during the game..thats the 2nd wk running now..this has got to be a regular occurence now..you do know that dont you?

    i’l be watching.. 🙂

  115. Rob,
    dont worry bout fourth and whats behind us.. we are now chasing, and gonna catch 3rd!

  116. Big Raddy says:

    I don’t wish injury upon any player, not even Joey Barton.

    An exciting game with a bunch of yellows and reds and a couple of dodgy pens would be entertaining.

    Just thrilled with that win…..

  117. Red Arse says:

    Too happy to say anything but BRILLIANT – what a switch from “oh, well” to absolute delirium!!!!! 🙂

    What a cross from Rasp — sorry Arsh the Meerkat, for a tremendous Titti winner!!!!1

  118. Red Arse says:

    Off to gloat!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  119. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    8 tons makes one big sand castle, but being artistic I made a mini Emirates and have been playing my doggy ( sorry Micky, it`s better than playing with a pussy )one against one, you can see the highlights on ” patch of the day ” !
    What a great win !, ooh to, ooh to be, ooh to be a……. gooner !

    Just watched the Suarez fiasco, what a cucking funt ! . He may be a Manc but well done Rio.

  120. Another Clean Sheet for Torres!
    EL-Nino- you are on fire!

  121. kelsey says:

    Evening all.

    So many thoughts on the game but firstly Sunderland are a good organised side and the first half wasn’t the best I hav ever seen.

    Be honest who would have taken a draw after Ramsey scored.it takes some skill to score off two posts :).
    I was thinking throughout the game when it was 0-0 that Mert was playing really well, and then he gets shot and they score.
    Song really had a poor game today his passing to nowhere is an art. the Ox had a real introduction today and the boy did his best.
    Rosicky has a new lease of life if only one of his shots would actually go in.
    theo was definitely up for it but not at his best and RVP didn’t get an inch of room.
    So we get an equisite cross from the out of favour AA and who scores the winner. Fairytales are made of this,and it is such an important result for many reasons. Finally a word for our keeper whomade two great saves.

    oh the joys of football.

  122. slimgingergooner says:

    GET IN THERE YOU FUCKING MOTHERFUCKING FUCKER!!!!!!!!!!

    I FUCKING LOVE THIERRY HENRY AND LIKE RAMSEY A LOT!!!!!!!!

  123. Kelsey,

    for a holding midfielder Song did his job..few stray passes but id like to see De Jong be the creative flair for ManCity..

    Song actually held our midfield together when rosicky pushed up and/or Arteta was committed..and as cover for the BFG, i think Song was outstanding at the back..2 game saving tackles wen we left ourselves open in trying for our 2nd..NO Shame on Song today..

  124. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    Slim,
    We`re edging closer to Premiership safety ! 🙂

  125. Rasp says:

    Spuds 1 up, all those who want us to remain 4th must pray for a totnum win or a draw at the least, we’re only above the chavs alphabetically I guess? 🙄

  126. Rasp says:

    2 nil totnum now – ok that’s enough, we don’t want then thinking they’re good.

  127. Rasp says:

    I didn’t see the game, was it Mertsacker that wa strstchered off and what kind of injury did it look?

  128. Big Raddy says:

    A barometer game and we are running Hot.

  129. gunnern5 says:

    Rasp we are above Chelsea due to most goals scored.

  130. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Rasp,
    I think its because we’ve scored more than them. Not sure though.

  131. Big Raddy says:

    Rasp. It looked like a nasty ankle injury. BFG went down as if shot and was in great pain. Could be serious

  132. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Mind you, alphabetically would be fairer. Obviously 🙂

  133. Rasp says:

    OK thanks guys, the important thing is we’re above them. The games against totnum, the chavs, pool and toon are gonna be pivotal with only the pool being away from home.

  134. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    We`re above Chavs because we score more. Torres should have joined a football team !. 😉

  135. Rasp says:

    Oh dear Raddy, that doesn’t sound good. As long as TV and kozzer can remain fit we’ll be OK in teh middle. Does anyone know when Santos is back?

  136. gunnern5 says:

    Spurs are taking the coal to Newcastle 3-0

  137. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    He`s quite welcome to visit the “sand castle of football”, where he will have a decent kick around with me and my pup !
    And this Is no ordinary sand, this Is “award winning ” Padstow sand ! 🙂

  138. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Me
    I want a Spuds win tonight 😦

  139. RockyLives says:

    First off, thanks for the usual top quality pre-match BR.

    Now to the game…
    YESSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!

    A really, really significant win against the hottest form team in the EPL.

    I thought we played very well first half and Sunderland defended very, very well, so it was always going to be a tight game with very little room.

    O’Neill gets his teams well organised and working hard for each other and they did that all game long today.

    Then when the BFG went down (Rasp, sad to say but it looked like an achilles to me) and they scored I was cursing the gods and our rotten bad luck.

    But what great character to come back and win the game. Ramsey has deserved a goal for a while now and AA looked up for it from the moment he came on.

    A beautiful cross for the winer – and the handsome prince arrived to deliver the fairytale ending.

    Despite defending really well, Sunderland offered little going forward. They had two shots, both well dealt with by Szcz and scored from a freak incident.

    One last word for the pitch: chuffing atrocious, and undoubtedly affected the fluidity of our play. Clubs should be fined for having such poor playing surfaces in this day and age.

  140. MickyDidIt89 says:

    GliC,
    Will you please stop moving the countryside around. I can feel our peninsular tipping with all the weight around Larsnson!

  141. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    Le Cog can go RB, Sagna LB, Koz and Verm in middle, but lets hope BFG is ok!

  142. RockyLives says:

    Rasp
    AW said this week that Santos was about a month away.

    With Gibbs back and CB choices of Kozz, Verm, JD and Song if required we should be OK. No more defensive injuries though! Are you listening Dennis?

  143. RockyLives says:

    Toon to come back for a 4-3 win, utterly demoralising the pooh-heads 🙂

  144. RockyLives says:

    Peaches
    I can do a report if you’ll let me off Monday!

  145. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    Shit Micky, I never thought of that, quick bring the didits around with some buckets and spades , we`re going back to Padstow !

  146. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Are you listening Dennis 🙂

  147. evonne says:

    Slim – you nutter! Ever thought of joining the cuckoo club 🙂

    Micky – I nearly walked out after Sunderland scored, I swore, threw the remote control at the cat, but then sat down and watched. I am too loyal to leave my boys when they are struggling. Even worse, I was furious when AA came on, stupid me! Bloody hell that was a pass and a half!

    Thierry Henry the legend.

    GM – I feel for your clients, you cannot concentrate on some foocking hair when we have a game like today’s

  148. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    Forgot about Gibbs ! 😳

  149. i want newcastle to come back and destroy the cockiness that the scum have generated..newcastle are NOT our danger..saha has scored more for scum in 18min than the whole start of the season with everton..

  150. I’m blaming Song for the Sunderland goal and Merts injury, Song had let a ball go in mid-field – let it run right past him which was picked up by a Sunderland player who then ran at the BFG who had to turn and run with him. Possibly an injury waiting to happen but if Song hadn’t been lazy it might not have happened today.

  151. Rasp says:

    Thanks Rocky, achiles could mean he’ll miss most if not all of the rest of the season 😦

    I’m sure we’d be delighted if you wrote a match report thanks Rocky.

  152. Rocky – do you want to be let off Monday? I’m sure I could persuade someone to write a match report ………

  153. MickyDidIt89 says:

    GliC,
    It used to be uphill from here to your gaff, but since you started rearranging the county, the opposite is now true.

  154. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    Micky 🙂
    I love a bit of landscaping, I`m sure peaches would agree ! 🙂

  155. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    I done both my achilles tendons last year ( I think ) playing 5 a- side, took bloody ages to heal , but then again i`m an old git ! 😦

  156. Big Raddy says:

    Does that make you an Uphill Gardener?

  157. Big Raddy says:

    I know it is blasphemy but Spurs play some fine football.

  158. kelsey says:

    thank you peaches 🙂

  159. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    Wenger fears ankle ligament damage, BFG will have a scan tomorrow , according to Sky sports.

  160. gunnern5 says:

    FRom Arsenal.com

    ………………………………………………………………………………………..

    ‘Thierry finished the story of a legend’

    On another happy ending for Thierry…

    He finished the story of the legend today in the championship; I hope he will add some in the Champions League on Wednesday now. Certainly he got us the three points in a difficult game where Sunderland were resilient, well organised and tried to catch us on the break every time. You could see that they have a lot of spirit in their side. It was also on a very difficult pitch. We had a lot of the ball but we couldn’t create a lot because our passing was good but it was very difficult to get into their defence.

    On top of that we were 1-0 down so it was a question of a spirited performance and that is what happened in the end. I felt we were intelligent, patient and resilient.

    On unfortunate Sunderland goal…

    It was unfortunate. Mertesacker told me that he got a shot in his ankle and couldn’t move at all anymore. We are a bit worried about his ankle I must say because he goes home on crutches. He has done some ligament damage, but how big that is we will have to check tomorrow. For sure he is out for Wednesday.

    On possibility of stopping play…

    I thought about it during the game after they scored but you cannot demand that. You do not know if a guy has gone down through injury or because he slipped. It’s just that in the action you cannot demand to stop.

    On Henry…

    It might haunt me again because then people will say ‘why did he not stay?’ It just shows you as well that these players never lose it. Exceptional talent survives. You have that with Giggs and Scholes at Manchester United and Thierry here. It is just a luxury to have a player like him on the bench.

    On bringing him back again…

    We will see next season, but maybe he might want to stop at some stage as well!

    On being fourth…

    Two weeks ago everybody said it was out of reach for us and today we are in it. So we have to be cautious. But we are happy to be back in this position but it is still very open for everybody around there. You have Newcastle, Chelsea, Liverpool, us and it’s down to consistency now.

  161. kelsey says:

    I wonder how much the uneven pitch accounted for per’s injury.

  162. Big Raddy says:

    Considering Sunderland have such a small forward line it is strange they have such a dreadful pitch. It hardly encourages the passing game

  163. RockyLives says:

    Peaches
    Either works – just let me know.

    I thought Song was excellent today – a real warrior. Yes, he misplaced some passes (and is prone to trying over-ambitious balls) but his midfield play was outstanding generally.

    I didn’t notice him switching off for the Sunderland goal (must watch it again).

  164. Gooner In Exile says:

    Well what a good day (apart from Spuds).

    In 4th and a nice comeback to boot.

    Was round my Mum and Dads commiserating my Brother on his return from getting married 🙂 big family affair and how lovely there were a couple of Chavs there. He was in the process of telling me the reason Chavs would finish 4th is because everyone else keeps mucking it up. How lovely it was at that point that BBC Web told us Rambo had equalised, how much sweeter when Henry got a winner from an Arshavin cross.

    Happy Happy Gooner!!

    BBC reckons BFG pulled a muscle?

  165. kelsey @ 6.30 why?

  166. VCC says:

    Suffered some heavy shit down my local this afternoon, only Gooner there and had to endure serious provocation from three drunken (big) thugs. /so proud I did not rise to the bait and walked head high at the final whistle. Mind you at my age they would have put me into an early grave.
    I love friendly banter , but why do football fans get so aggressive?
    I have gone to away games watching Saracens (Rugby Union) and walked through the streets still wearing my colours and only receiving warmth from the opposing fans (win or lose) realising we have a common interest.

  167. Rocky has volunteered to write the match report but that means we miss out on a Rocky post on Monday.

    Are there any other volunteers for the match report pretty please?

  168. …….. and while I’m nagging we’re going to need a post for Tuesday and Friday next week 😉

  169. RockyLives says:

    Peaches
    In the absence of any other takers I’m going to go ahead and do the report.

  170. Gooner In Exile says:

    So quiet on here, I guess that’s the problem of not seeing the game live.

    One Nil Down
    Two Won Up

    Got a ring to it that hasnt it?

    Shame “That’s the way we go to Fourth” isn’t as good a closing line as “thats the way we win the cup”.

    I know most AA regulars will remember and know the relevance of that song, how many like Yash will?

  171. Gooner In Exile says:

    By the way do we think O’Neill told the groundsman to roughen the pitch up at Stadium of Light? I wouldn’t put it past him but haven’t paid attention to their pitch before.

  172. SharkeySure says:

    I’ll also look at Songs involvement again Peaches, but even ahead of doing so….I’m never sure you can blame anyone for a goal conceded when the ball is lost so far up the pitch. Even less so following such a freakish injury to the very last defender who until that moment was in complete control.

    Sagna had just ended the attack by calmly passing the ball back to Mert.

    I agree with Rocky, Song misplaced a few today, some were just poor on his part, others were misunderstandings with the receiver being caught on the wrong foot. For the position he plays we shoud all be thankful that he attempts so many forwad passes….

    8 assists this season.

    I still love you RHWP.

    Does anyone else think Sz shouldn’t really beaten from that angle. Thats the other thing I’ll look at again !

  173. Red Arse says:

    GIE, baby, I watched the game live and to be honest I never thought Sunderland would ever score. 🙂

    On the other hand, we had reverted to playing a really tight passing and possession game but never looked like scoring either.

    It was not because we played badly, its just that we played in first gear, i.e. slowly.

    When I say ‘slowly’, I am not referring to the man with the ball, but it was the players waiting to receive it who were statuesque and not giving options.

    So, for me, we played well, had great possession, and finished with two great goals — but overall we played Wengerball – just slowly.

  174. Red Arse says:

    Sharkey,

    You maybe right re their goal, but Chezzer saved a couple of sweet strikes from Sunderland and those cross goal shots are very difficult to deal with. I would not blame our lad. 🙂
    I would blame GIE – just for the hell of it!! 🙂

  175. SharkeySure says:

    Agreed, the pitch was truly shocking GiE (and whoever else mentioned it). My 11 yr old plays on better pitches in the SELKent League.

  176. Red Arse says:

    Apologies, Peacher, but I do not agree that Song was culpable for their goal.

    As he received the ball and turned to roll the defender, it hit a divot and bobbled, and the speed of the pass took it away from him.

    Sagna had it covered until the Jolly Green Giant went down like a shot giraffe — so just a football thing! 🙂

  177. FrothingInarticulateLoon says:

    I, being of sound mind and having just taken my medication, wholeheartedly agree with the scarlett bottomed one.

    GiE’s our AA GK’ing coach and he should have been on a stream and transmitting positional information to our young Pole. Instead he’s off welcoming his brother back….shocking dereliction,

    GiE and his bro are two brothers, there may even be more, but there’s only one Arsenal. That has to mean something in terms of getting your priorities right.

    Without some sense of order and knowing right from wrong, we may as well just let the Loons take over the asylum.

    Right off to gather a few good (but insane?) men together and draw up some plans. I might be gone some time….

  178. Red Arse says:

    On the condition of the pitch, I do not agree there was any naughty intent, I think the undersoil heating simply melted any snow or ice and made the wet pitch cut up more than it usually would.

    Naive? Maybe – but condemnation without evidence would be a pity!

  179. Red Arse says:

    Loon,

    Just check in with the award winning cuckoos Glic and TerryM, they are as nutty as you — and take Sharkey with you while you are at it, I have my doubts about him.

    Altho you are right about GIE — dereliction of duty indeed. shameful!! 🙂

  180. Gooner In Exile says:

    I’m supposed to have a mic wired in to Sir Chesneys goal now? This blogging lark is going too far….. especially as I don’t even get a stream!

    I will have a look with interest at the goal and the pitch on MotD as I have seen neither yet and will report back tomorrow.

  181. Gooner In Exile says:

    I’m also going to be interested at how the pre match handshake at OT played out. Judging by the FiveLive commentary team they said Evra offered his hand which Suarez refused to shake and then Rio refused to shake Suarezs hand.

    Someone at LFC needs to have a look at their PR dept, King Kenny appears to have made himself look more of a fool by continuing the victim mentality.

    “I think you’re bang out of order to blame Luis Suarez for anything that happened here today.”

    For once I agree with Fergie, but LFC should wonder why the manager of their most bitter rivals has a better understanding of how this is affecting the public opinion of a great English football club

    “Suarez is a disgrace to Liverpool Football Club, He should not be allowed to play for Liverpool again. He could have caused a riot.”

    As I said haven’t seen it yet but if FiveLives version is correct I’ll stand by the above.

  182. FrothingInarticulateLoon says:

    You don’t have the ability to transmit instructions using the fibre optic goal netting GiE ??
    Stunned.

  183. TotalArsenal says:

    Evening all,

    Great Prematch Raddy, I was only just able to read it and you got another 11/11 re team for today 🙂

    I watched the game this evening for the first time and what a solid performance. The whole team fought from the very first minute and Sunderland/ the pitch made it very hard for us today. The wings were well defended and both Theo and The Ox were given very little room to create something. We were also limited in our clever triangles from the sides in order to free up either the wingers or the FB’s. Rosicky was, as always, industrious but had a lot of misplaced forward passes today, partly due to his inaccuracy/lack of composure and partly due to Sunderland’s excellent defending.

    Song, Arteta, Koz, BFG, Vermaelen and especially Sagna were excellent today, and Szczesny was alert when it mattered. Ramsey did so well to score from the edge of the box, and what a return for him. Great assist for Arshavin and great to see Henry score the winner in front of the away-fans.

    Who really believed we would catch up with Chelsea within two games, after our disappointing draw at Bolton?

    Hope Per is ok – he probably played his best game for us today.

    Fourth, wow! Something to build on.

    Milan won a big game tonight as well: away against Udinese to go top of their league, so their confidence will be as high as ours, and we can expect a tough game again on Wednesday. I cannot wait and I tip Ramsey to be our hero in the San Siro 🙂 COYRRG!!

  184. SharkeySure says:

    Hey TA, I agree re Ramsey. His energy could be crucial on Weds night.
    So glad to see him break the seal on his goalscoring tonight, I’m expecting many more to follow….quickly!!!

  185. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi Sharkey, how are you doing? I watched a couple of Milan games in the last few weeks and I think they will suit us and Ramsey in particular. They try to press but seldom sustain it and with our passing game we should be able to pick holes in them. There is plenty of individual class in Milan though and we need to be as focussed as we were today against Suderland.

  186. pat says:

    It was a funny old game wasnt it? Definately seemed quite slow in terms of speed of passing, and just had the feeling there was perhaps a little lack of movement off the bal, possibly the players trying to conserve energy for the mid week. Felt a growing sense of frustration again vs Walcott as seemed unable to keep possession but was getting caught in tight spaces with multiple Sunderland players shutting him down – also didnt seem to have many options once the ball was played to him. Thought Rosicky had another decent game as did Arteta – I like that we are seeing more attempts on goal on the fringes of the penalty area, I think that is a way to bring some of the defenders that are sitting back waiting for us.

    Overall a great result 3pts – and into 4th spot. Chelski falling to pieces – how tragic 🙂

    Hopefully BFG is ok – at least the FBs are coming back so we have the cover… shame because he is starting to settle in well and defence is looking tight. Sunderland goal sums them up – scabby bunch arent they!

  187. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Morning all,
    I do think some of you are very harsh.
    Song: yes some passes went astray, but there is a very fine line with those match winning assists of his. I like the fact that he keeps trying, especially as it is not normally too damaging when they don’t come off.
    Sz: Again harsh. That ball was rifled low into the corner. I’m sure RA could explain te physics of gravity/inertia and whether it was possible for Sz to get down to that one
    .
    This is not a moan. I awoke as happy as when I nodded off.

  188. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Hi Pat,
    It was a cautious first half, but I had just watched Utd Pool and he first half was the same, then it came to life after the beak.
    Sounds weird I know, but did Sunderlnd scoring first actually help us?

  189. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Evonne,
    Today finds me in reconsilatory mood, so I open the door of friendship to all dogs. My opening gambit is this brilliant dog joke:
    “Two dogs walking down the street.
    1st dog: “Do you use condoms?”
    2nd dog: “Durex”
    1st dog: “I asked you first.””
    Woof woof 🙂

  190. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Right, MOTD, and I can decide about Sz.

  191. evonne says:

    Micky – see, dogs are such comedians! Pugs especially; if you laugh at something that they did, they will repeat it again and again, they are truly hillarious. Cats are boring, even beautiful Lilly La La

    Watching match of the day – that Thierry Henry is something!!!

    Have you guys see RvP celebrating TH’s goal? Doesn’t look like someone who wants to join the cheats of Europe

  192. evonne says:

    There were SOME supporters that were not impressed with TH coming back to the Ems!!!!!
    Go on then, what have you to say now?

  193. evonne says:

    whitney Huston is dead at 48, how tragic 😦

  194. LB says:

    That pitch was disgusting but I don’t buy into the idea that O’Neil asked the grounds man to have it cut up as it seemed to me that Sunderland suffered more than we did.
    They have no aerial threat so hoofing it high into the box was out of the question; they had to play it on the floor which they tried without a great deal of success.
    Our player who suffered the most from it was the Ox; he couldn’t get his fast running game together.
    I expect O’Neil to really try and improve the pitch by next weekend.

  195. LB says:

    Oh, I almost forgot, my MOTM was Rosicky, he continues to improve everyweek, I just wish he could get himself a goal, that would lift his confidence even higher.

  196. LB says:

    On the subject of scoring, it was good Rambo got one, that will do his confidence the world of good.

  197. Red Arse says:

    LB,

    I agree with all your points!

  198. Gooner In Exile says:

    Good to hear TR7 had another good game.

    Didn’t show much on MotD last night. I’m a lot less pissed off about conceding than I was watching on bbc website. Surprised there wasn’t more fuss made about Sunderland continuing, altho I guess it happened quickly. Wenger said in his post match that he went home on crutches and it’s ligament damage of some sort. Not good.

  199. Gooner In Exile says:

    Just looked at form guide and whilst ours isn’t great in last ten…

    W4 D2 L4

    Chavs is much worse

    W2 D6 L2

  200. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    Two Dogs walking down the street,
    1st dog : ” shagging`s great Isn`t It ”
    2nd dog : ” It`s ok, I prefer eating pussy ”
    woof woof 🙂

  201. Morning all

    Rocky has written the match report for todays post which means we won’t have a Rocky special for tomorrow.

    So we are going to need a post for Monday and Tuesday this coming week as there is nothing in my cupboard.

  202. New Post ………………….

  203. Wombledin says:

    On the verge of greatness are we? What greatness is that..finishing 4th again and if we are lucky winning the F.A. Cup? We are in fact on the verge of falling into the Europa League or worse. Lets see how the AKB are feeling at the end of the next five games, by which time I predict we will be out of the F.A. Cup, out of the CL and sitting back down in 6th or 7th again.

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