Normal Service Resumes: Sunderland Preview.

What a summer: Euro’s, Olympics, Wimbledon, early Arsenal signings and our usual transfer nonsense with our best player. And now the real stuff returns.

Mo Farah started the pre-season off well and I am sure Arsene’s red and white army will continue to lead from the front, 3 points today will be a fine start. A first game at home is a boost, particularly against what will be  well marshaled opposition in Sunderland.

We have high hopes of our new boys – but will they play? Who plays midfield or full-back or even centre back? It appears O-C and Koscielny’s injuries are serious enough to exclude them from the squad. The only definite starter is Chezzer, which is the huge improvement in this squad as opposed to recent years. We have strong competition in every area apart from RB and GK. (surely we will buy ). The midfield is awash with top players all itching for a game – Diaby, Frimpong, Coquelin, Ramsey, Wilshere, Arshavin, and Rosicky will all compete for one place alongside what I expect to be the first choice of Arteta, Cazorla and Song (should he stay).

Another difference is that this is a team of men; when Sagna returns there will be grown ups all over the pitch  – even O-C and Szczezny have developed following this International summer

Upfront we have also strengthened with different options to last season, we will not be so Robin Reliant. We have signed players with established goal scoring records and in Podolski have what could be the standout import of 2013.

Where can we improve? Well, I will start with “Jigsaw” Gervinho ( so called because he goes to pieces in the box).  Give him the ball on the ground with space to run and Gervinho will confuse and confound his markers, but what we do not want to see is him become the new Hleb. We need him to score at least 10 this season because we lacked venom from the left, and a balanced attack is important. But how often will he start a game other than due to losses through injury? IMO the obvious front line is Pod, Giroud, and Theo.

What really cost us last season? The 49 goals conceded.  No signings as yet to bolster the defence so our hopes lie with He’s Got No Hair but We Don’t Care. I maintained throughout the season that we have excellent defensive players but lacked defensive cohesion- it will be up to Stevie B to create a secure defence based upon every man knowing his job and where he needs to be. Lee Dixon said of the Famous 5 that he always knew where the others would be and that if he made a mistake the others would cover – we need more of the same. I still fear for us at RB; Jenkinson and Yennaris may well become fine players but to rely upon them for at least 2 months until Sagna returns is foolhardy.

My team: (prior to injury updates)

But this is purely a guess – Cazorla played in Puerto Rico on Weds and may be on the bench, Arteta may not be fit etc etc

As to Sunderland, we know any team managed by MoN will not be short of spirit and endeavour. The stats for the game point to an Arsenal victory (SFC have not won away since Feb). In midfield, Cattermole will make sure Santi gets an English welcome to the PL, and Larsson’s free kicks will test our defence  (he scored a beauty at the Grove last season).

I think it needs to said how much admiration I have for Mr Wenger’s manner over the summer. He must have been furious about RvP and yet maintained his sang-froid, being polite and respectful throughout. Now, he faces the same with Song, though in this case DanDan’s revelations show AW playing a different game. Who says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks! My reading of AW’s stance is saying to the players ” If you do not feel proud to be wearing our shirt then join the Foreign Office”, a message I can only concur with.

We need to win this game and we should. Last season’s start was the worst in many years which led to us chasing the pack throughout the season (thanks for the meltdown Spurs).  The boys on the pitch have to maintain the feel good factor of a new season. To those lucky enough to attend, become the 12th man.

I haven’t found a season’s theme as yet, so this should keep you going until I do…


Written by Big Raddy

192 Responses to Normal Service Resumes: Sunderland Preview.

  1. harry671 says:

    Morning Raddy, great preview for the first match of the season and yes nearly impossible to guess todays line up, but i would be happy with your selection………

    Must disgree on one point, i agree conceding 49 goals is not good, but defensively when we have had our first choice available we had the best defence in the league….dont listen to what so called experts say….

    I am more than content we havent brought in any new defensive players, although when Alex goes, we need one more in there, although it is a massive chance for Coquelin and Frimpers…..

    And for anybody who disagrees… this…

    As we move in to the season, we have a good chance to do well, I am very positive…………Shame couldnt get there today, but will make some matches soon……..

    3 points today, 3-1 Podolski bag a brace and Arteta…….

  2. Candid gunner says:

    I’ll just hook on my booze till I step into the grove…

  3. Where did everyone go? It’s going to be a tight squeeze in my pockets today I fear, temperatures are going be as high as 29 degrees so a coat is out of the question. Oh, you’ll all be fine, I’ll get you lollies at half-time 🙂

    All is good in the world, a Big Raddy pre-match to start the day. I’m loving the idea of Walgirolski although Theolivicas has a certain ring to it too.

    Arteta, Cazorla and Diaby – if that works we’re definitely going to be surprising the naysayers.

    Gonna need a volunteer for the match report so that I can really enjoy my match day experience. Come on don’t be shy, who wants it?????

  4. Big Raddy says:

    Peaches. I have a lifelong season ticket in your pocket, so I am not worried

  5. flex says:

    i cant wait 2 see us wit three point n alot of goals today up gunners 4 life

  6. Rasp says:

    Great prematch Raddy, really got me in the mood. I am regretting my decision to play cricket but am hoping to get text upddats from the game ….. COYRRG

    Prediction – by the end of the day, we will be top of the league and totnum will be bottom – comprehensively outplayed by Newcastle, my dark horses for a top 4 position

  7. nadjulius says:

    ” If you do not feel proud to be wearing our shirt then join the Foreign Office”

  8. Red Arse says:

    Great Post, Raddy. 🙂

    Starting the season as I am sure you will continue.

    We have seen many of these player comings and goings and the club, the fans and the team still keep chugging along. This season will be no different.

    Well, there is one difference………..the expectation levels of the fans has soared, and that brings with it its own problems.

    Searching for a theme, how about a look back at ‘famous’ or not so famous old players of the opposition, or some interesting fact.

    In Sunderland’s case; 80 years continuously in the top division, including the war years, and Dave Halliday was/is the club record goal scorer in one season, 43 in 1928/29. 🙂

    Or not!! 🙂

  9. GunnerN5 says:

    Great start to the seasons prematch reports, thank you..

    Another theme suggestion would be Teams Locals, there must be a slew of great pubs to talk about plus some wonderful pictures.

  10. goonermichael says:

    Thanks Raddy
    Normal service is resumed.

  11. evonne says:

    yep, GM is right, we are back to normal with Ratty’s prematch, marvellous !!

    Peaches – “Walgirolski ant Theolivicas” 🙂 very goot

  12. Big Raddy says:

    RA. I like that.

    Gn5. Also a good idea…

  13. LB says:

    Yippee a BR prematch.

    When I was saying that I felt that Diaby would start and Carzola would be on the bench. I was taking it a given that Coquelin would have already replaced Song.

    The team up there has no DM to shield the defence.

    I am sure this is what Kelsey meant as well.

  14. LB says:

    Right onto slightly more humourous things.

    I would like to start a sweep stake. How long do you think it will take for Podolski to score today: three, four or five minutes? The cautious side of me is saying five but the gung ho side is saying three. ROLF

  15. LB says:

    By the way what does “Ski” mean. This is the first time I have thought about it, my guess is “son”.

    What is the answer our Polish Princess?

  16. dandan says:

    LB I am a “skier” = Spending the kids inheritance 🙂

  17. evonne says:

    oooooooohh…..Polish Princess 🙂 🙂 🙂 hartly 🙂

    yes Lonton, the olt tratition of atting ~ski to all belonging to Potol. However, Potole is a southern part of Polant, were Lukasz comes from, so his name most probably originatet from Potole (t to be substitutet soon)

  18. RockyLives says:

    Ah… Waking up to an Arsenal game and a Ratty pre-match!

    God is in his heaven and all is well with the world.

    But just to throw a spanner in the works: I expect Ramsey to play today. And to have a good game.

  19. RockyLives says:

    The suffix “-ski” in the Slavonic languages is the equivalent of “de” in French. It means “of” or “from”.

  20. oz gunner says:

    brilliant Ratty! The Arsenal are back!

    9th minute LB, pod with a left foot cannon top corner!

    For the love of christ (Dennis) we cannot give away free kicks around the box otherwise larsson will punish!

    3-0 to the Arsenal! Saha hahahahahaha you’re having a laugh!

  21. evonne says:

    one more time, just love it

  22. kelsey says:

    Santi Cazorla and Lukas Podolski start for Arsenal

    bring it on 🙂

  23. Gooner In Exile says:

  24. Bayonne Jean says:

    So who do you want to take PKs? (Not that there’ll be any, since referees don’t give them for Arsenal at the Emirates?
    Anyone else?

  25. kelsey says:

    well done Raddy, now all we need is a result

  26. kelsey says:

    Podolski will take them as pre season. Could do with a few at home as we didn’t get any last season.

  27. evonne says:

    yes, it all startet again – Peaches texting me looking for the match report? Any volunteers?

  28. California Gooner says:

    Driving out to the public at 6:30 a.m. With my 74 year old father and 14 year old nephew. We may be the only three generation Arsenal family in America, although we’re all fairly new fans. Still it’s great to watch with family.

    Off topic, does anyone know a great child psychiatrist? There is an excellent Arsenal player with an obviously sick – or should I say demented? – inner child. He obviously needs help.

  29. RockyLives says:

    10 out of 11 BR!

    Great effort, given all the new faces, injuries etc.

  30. Prince-Purrfect-Poldi says:

    …and so Normal business resumes… and im pumped

    Hello fellow AA’ers, how are we all? Hope everybodys recharged their batteries 🙂

    Thanks for the pre match Big Raddy, and see all at half time 🙂

  31. oz gunner says:

    need to pinch myself! it’s finally back, enjoy the game all

  32. oz gunner says:

    welcome back PPP

  33. Prince-Purrfect-Poldi says:

    cheers Oz

    good win against the pies, and may the fortune continue through the next 80 or so minutes..


  34. evonne says:

    PPP – you fickle character 🙂 why tit you change your nickname?

  35. oz gunner says:

    @ Evonne

    true, because he did in fact rob sir alex’s persie and hand it over to Arsene

    @ PPP

    still buzzing after that! playing all over sunderland. Santi should have left the shot for pod…he would have sent it through the net!

  36. oz gunner says:

    @ PPP

    just in case you are unaware…Evonne just called you a ‘tit’!

    First making fun of Dandan’s tan, then calling BR a big rat, now this!

    Peaches can you tell her to stop cyber bullying people haha

  37. Prince-Purrfect-Poldi says:

    hi Evonne,
    i changed it so that you can type in my name coz ur P’s still work..whats with the d’s to the t’s? 🙂

    im still waiting for the wenger fluidity to kick in..maybe as Redders mentioned earlier my expectations might be, lets say, too high, but i cant help it..We Are the Arsenal

  38. evonne says:

    PPP – tog (new Staffy pup) ate the keyboart. I’m waiting for a new laptop, but it’s not happening 😦

    Hm, not a great start. No mitfielt, Potolski looks tiret ant lost, Sunterlant parket the bus….can we to it?

  39. Prince-Purrfect-Poldi says:

    Yep…Micky ‘TiT’ it in 89’…what a glorious day?
    the scousers went tits up alright..hahaha

  40. evonne says:

    yes, very hot ant sunny in Lonton, glorious tay

  41. Prince-Purrfect-Poldi says:

    that should be glorious day with a !

    now i am a tit, ……shit what a chance poldi

  42. Big Raddy says:

    Strange game insomuch as it seems like a friendly. And once again it is forwards v defence.

    WeHave had some chances and our build up play is very good. One clinical finish and we will push on but if we don’t score by 75 mins I can see us starting to panic.

    With patience and concentration the points are ours

  43. oz gunner says:

    well said BR, can’t argue with that

  44. Prince-Purrfect-Poldi says:

    Well said Raddy, that sums me up too. Gerv has been busy but at times we have looked disorientated with our positioning..

    it feels like both teams are more concerned with Not conceding rather than scoring

    i feel we still have another 2 gears in us, but im not convinced it will show today.. 1 goal may be enough for us today

  45. evonne says:

    Abu looks goot. Potolski out of position. Is he really an outright striker?

  46. Prince-Purrfect-Poldi says:

    It looks like we gave our away jerseys from last season to Sunderland to use

  47. evonne says:

    PPP – with McClean’s name misspellet, ha ha ha

  48. Big Raddy says:

    This isn ‘t working. Time for Giroud

  49. evonne says:

    Ok Ratty, there you are – Oliver just for you

  50. evonne says:

    the team neets gelling, we’ll be fine, but for a couple of months

  51. Big Raddy says:

    The result is very disappointing, the performance not so.

    As you say evonne, we are gelling as a team

    Arteta, santi and the Corporal very good today.

  52. 123 says:

    We sure as hell miss the finishing of van persie. Those two misses by Poldi and Giroud were very discouraging, yes they are still “gel-ing” with the team, but most strikers would have buried those two.

  53. Big Raddy says:

    Could have been worse, couln’t it Mr Hughes, Rodgers and Houghton?

  54. 123 says:

    Swansea, the mini Arsenal clearly didn’t have any difficulties converting goals.

  55. 123 says:

    Abou (surprisingly) and Gervinho played really well IMO though, but Jenkinson looked average to me. Poldi isnt playing up to his usual standards, prolly trying a bit too hard on his league debut. Cazorla was class. Arshavin coming on was a huge surprise though.

  56. RockyLives says:

    No need for anyone to throw their toys out of the pram.

    The performance was decent and will get better as the players get used to each other.

    Last season we would have probably conceded a goal in that game from a rare opposition break.

    Cazorla looked like he’s going to be great, but also will take a little bit of time to get used to the hurly-burly of the EPL.

    The commentary here in North America was awful, with Ian Darke and Steve Macmanaman. Basically they have written off Arsenal’s season and have written off Giroud as a flop on the basis of one missed chance.

    Apparently the loss of RvP means we’re doomed because he would definitely have scored in that fixture. Just like he did in last year’s opener against Newcastle… you know, the one that ended 0-0.

  57. RockyLives says:

    Someone on here last year worked out that RvP needed four chances to convert one. He had a great goal-scoring season for us, but he missed plenty too – just like all strikers do.

    Far better to concentrate on the Cesc-like pass from Cazorla that set up Giroud for his chance. Our little Spaniard will make a lot of goals this season.

  58. 123 says:

    ALEX SONG TO BARCELONA Just announced. Can the first day of the season get any better?

  59. RockyLives says:

    Cheer up 123
    Song wanted out? Fine, let him go. Arteta did that job just fine today.

    With Bendy likely going too, I reckon we’ll reinvest some cash before the window closes.

  60. RockyLives says:

    There are plenty of nil-nils in football – particularly when teams park the bus like Sunderland.

    The only galling thing about this one is the timing, following vanP to ManU – it will give the press the chance to try and whip up hysteria among the more gullible Arsenal fans.

  61. RockyLives says:

    If we win the league by one point, then we can say that today’s point was the one that did it 🙂

  62. 123 says:

    I’ll try. Wenger had better reinvest the money from Song’s transfer to Barca. Arteta did the job today, but hes 6 years older than Song. M’vila seems to be a good replacement. I like your optimism, and ofc it would be great if we won the league by one point. But looking at your theory from a different perspective, if we lost the league by 1 or 2 points, would today be one of the games we should’ve won? 🙂 Don’t get me wrong, I agree Arsenal played well and displayed great potential today, esp Diaby, Cazorla, Gervinho and Poldi, the result was just really disappointing. Hope we’ll do better next week.

  63. VCC says:

    Well,well,well. Mr Wenger is that guy you just purchased for real? Giroud? Wonder who will start next, Chamack or Giroud, or my Grandmother?

    Sorry guys I know you are all going to slate me for “gut” responses, but that was a load of crap, I’m so glad I never paid £50 for that trash.

    I think I may have to go over to Le grove, this is getting a bit same old same old.

  64. Red Arse says:

    Thank goodness for mature intelligent comments like yours, Rocker! 🙂

    Of course the result was disappointing, but that was the first time that team has played together.

    GK? OK no probs for him.
    The Defence? OK had everything under control.
    Offense? Well, they lacked a cutting edge. Poldi played out of position, and unlike 123 I thought Gerv was wasteful, on occasion, altho with flashes of class, and Theo (sorry, Rock) was just Theo.

    Marks 8 out of 10. Just convert the chances lads and everyone will get with the beat! 🙂

  65. VCC says:

    Rocky + 123. No matter how you try and paper over the cracks, we looked very ordinary.

  66. RockyLives says:

    Hahaha – the hysteria is in full flow already. One headline on Newsnow says: “van Persie haunts Arsenal as Giroud crumbles.”

    Are they for real?

    We have a new team including players new to the EPL. It would have been great if we had won today but it’s way too early to be panicking or writing off players.

    VCC – are you really going to write off Giroud on the basis of one missed chance? Would you have written off Bergkamp too – as he didn’t score for his first eight or 10 games? There is a very good compilation to be made of RvP’s misses from last season – because there were plenty of those along with his goals. At least Giroud got himself in the right position – and what a sublime reverse pass from Cazorla.

    Let’s all keep some perspective. Martin O’Neill’s teams are always tough to beat and well organised in defence – and today they had all the energy that comes with the start of the season. They threw their bodies in the way of everything, but on another day we’d have got a winner.

    It’s not a disaster – just a frustrating draw. They happen to everyone.

  67. Red Arse says:

    Hi VCC, 🙂

    It’s just the first game and AW still has time to buy if he needs to.

    Give my regards to LG!! 🙂 (Not).

  68. RockyLives says:

    Hello Redders
    I can understand the frustration coming on the back of van Persie’s departure and now the Song announcement (by the way, what a muppet he is – he will warm the bench at Barca and fill in when their CBs are injured).

    But it is WAY too early to draw such negative conclusions about the team or about any individual players (although I think Cazorla showed enough to indicate that he’s going to have a massive impact on our season).

    On today’s performance I agree with you about Theo – he seems at his least effective against the stationary bus. Gervinho looked dangerous but his end product is frustrating. Defence and GK were good. Midfield three did very well (including Ramsey for Diaby). Not sure about Podolski, but I liked his effort.

  69. RockyLives says:

    If you want to feel what it’s like to be really kicked in the teeth every year, just become a Liverpool fan.

  70. All true Rocky, its a marathon not a sprint and today was indeed a frustrating draw, but still a point in the bag..This team still has a few gears left in her and we will improve once they fully gel and settle and they all get to their peak match fitness..
    No goals conceded is a positive although our defence was asked a few questions in the first half..

    Great news about Song, the last of Darren Deans little puppets..


  71. one thing though, i really cant wait for lil Jack to get back..

    Speedy recovery, son

  72. kelsey says:

    We are still unbeaten this season 🙂

    I thought generally we played well against a team who came for a point.

    I am sure the saga with RVP and Song must have had an effect on some of the players and if anything podolski and to a lesser extent giroud tried too hard.
    No question in my mind that theo is a provider of goals not a goal scorer and gervinho the same.
    Carzola ooozes class and will become a firm favourite. Pleased for Diaby, he had a solid game.Not dure about jenkinson, he looked mighty nervous.Even arshavin had a spark when he came on and as others have said the team will need time to gell,just a pity RVp and Song could have gone a couple of months earlier.

  73. evonne says:

    123 – van Persie never misset sitters? Really?? He misset more than not.

  74. 123 says:

    I’m saying most other strikers would’ve put that chance away. Anyways a replacement for Song is a MUST. Btw if Song goes for the reported price of 15M, Barca’s got themselves a great deal. Considering that Joe Allen cost 15M too. Song is still fairly young and should be worth at least 20M++

  75. slimgingergooner says:

    I’m embracing the negativity this season, because it helps me realise that i am still sane!

    if last season taught me anything its that this will be a long, long season.

    glad Song has gone. lets get a proper DM in the side and we can do very well this season.

  76. 123 says:

    Jenkinson clearly still needs to learn a lot more from Sagna, not very convincing to say the least. If Diaby could hopefully stay injury free this season I think he’d have a decent season at the very least. Hopefully Giroud and Poldi will hit their usual forms by next week’s game.

  77. goonermichael says:

    I’ve seen van pissflaps miss plent of sitters on his wrong foot. That was his first chance in English football

  78. glic says:

    I, for one am not surprised, time to gel needed, still a long way to go ( really Einstein 😆
    If you look at the players on our rota 13 months ago that have now departed, it is scary !, Clichy, Cesc , Nasri, RVP and Song ( not counting the injured Jack ) . How many would have started today ?.
    Come on people, we cant loose quality players like them, replace them with lesser players and expect to win the Title , It wont happen !.
    My feet are firmly on the ground and I`m still of the opinion that 4th or better for the next fews years will be an achievement. Then when FFP starts to really bite, then we will be on the up !.
    Keep the dreams of course ,but dont be too harsh, as at the minute we are playing by the rules but others are not.
    Remember that saying ,” he who laughs last……….. ” !.

  79. harry671 says:

    Wow, some very strange outlooks, on here and Newsnow…….

    VCC – Le Grove, really? Pourquoi?

    I am as disappointed as anyone, with the result, with the constant player merry go round…..but Arsenal will always be there and I will support them….

    Wenger at least went shopping early and got some very high quality players in, it was obvious that RVP was going, so we have prepared for that…….

    Song the last of the DD dynasty was muted quite a while back, for me, I am neutral on this one, I have at times staunchly defended him, especially when he was booed at fulham a few seasons back, but he was always one of the first to let his head drop when things hit the brick wall….I agree Rocky, will spend most of his time on the bench………

    Talking to a mate today who is half spanish, he said we have a truly special player in Santi, he will make us forget all the players who have left recently…………and today glimpses of his talent shone through……

    Hopefully we will grab Sahin, who is truly quality as well…….

    There were quite a few missing today, so we have a strong squad, we need sagna back asp and we’ll be fine……..

    Next up stoke away, never easy, but we must believe and get behind the team……..

  80. glic says:

    Are you a closet Le Grover ? 😆
    I tried to have a look on there ,but firefox said the lines ( ? ) were too busy and try again later, their probably having a pact for a mass stroke on there as I speak !.

  81. Big Raddy says:

    Trouble was, and let’s be honest here – we never looked like scoring today.

    Sorry to see any player who has grown up at AFC leave and Song is no exception. But we got decent money for a player who IMO was not good enough to carry us forward. He leaves with good wishes for a bright future.

  82. evonne says:

    Sunterlant with Martin O’Neill are a horrible team to play.
    Look at last season – they lost less goals than Arsenal. Their goalie’s stats were 3rt best in EPL, after Joey Hart ant the ret Mancs goalie Gea. Ant they are still tesperately chasing Tarren Fletcher, just anti football.

    Our boys lacket a bit of sharpeness, but given the last weeks’ shenanigans it is hartly surprising, no?

  83. rhyle says:

    “normal service resumed” indeed! good day over there today, although the performance was a bit “6/10”.

    Normal service resuming today included the obligatory 20th-minute-onwards time wasting from the away team. Shocker, I know – though can’t believe the ref DID NOTHING about it. 99% there’s at least a token yellow shown.

    Positives – and there were some – Jenks had a solid enough game. Cazorla had some nice touches and moved along some nice balls. Podolski ran his heart out. Giroud tried and got into a few nice positions. Gervinho’s first half was decent.

    Negatives – Gervinho’s second half was shit. Diaby was terrible, as was Theo (our “nowhere” man). Arteta was okay but not his usual influential self. My main gripe was the lack of quality in the final third (including Giroud’s dreadful miss)…no final ball, no creativity and an overall lack of nouse around the penalty box.

    Still – how anyone…and I mean ANYONE can write off any player…let alone a whole season…after 90 minutes is beyond me. Santi, Podolski and Giroud will need a bit of time to settle completely and we’ll have a (hopefully) short period of adjustment while everyone gets used to a very new starting XI.

    Of course, if we’re still playing like this after 5 games…then I’ll be banging a different drum.

  84. goonermichael says:

    I must be delusional

  85. chas says:

    1 point closer to St Totteringham’s day.

  86. glic says:

    And from my low expectation point of view, we are above our two main rivals for 4th spot !. 🙂

  87. glic says:

    Come on, I find It all quite unbelievable, look, It`s only early days, but personally, I`ll be amazed if John Terry doesn`t reach the final of the X Factor !.

  88. glic says:

    Oh, now I see why VCC is upset, was you at Loftus Road today ? 😆

  89. goonermichael says:

    That mark hughes is a great manager

  90. mickydidit89 says:

    On the train home from game.
    Brave scored 1 in 4 of sbots be got on target. There iz no chance he woulx have scored Ollies chance that fell on his rigbt foot
    Great to see Peacbes and Chas and his gang
    Forvet the result and thank your lucky stars you are not a west ham fan as judving y the 10 or so in mh cRriage, youd be fat and exceedingly ugly
    Im not enjoying this texting thing one bit
    Catch up tomottow. Ollie will be star

  91. LB says:

    Marc Overmars, Emmanuel Petit, Giovani van Bronckhorst, Alexander Hleb, Thierry Henry, Cesc Fàbregas and now Alex Song.

    There is a slighlty tongue in cheek article in El Mundo Deportivo about how Arsenal have been paid by Barcelona over 150 million in the last decade for the players above.


  92. LB says:

    Wish we had Mark Hughs.

  93. Gooner In Exile says:

    The question to be asked is how do we get teams to come to Arsenal and play differently?

    Oppo managers know:

    1. Keep arsenal at bay = crowd frustration = player tenseness

    2. Their team attack in numbers = Arsenal tear them to shreds

    3. If they sit deep = Arsenal attack in more numbers = chance of 2 on 2 counters.

    We need to do something to encourage the managers like O’Neill to come and set their teams more offensively, I swear they don’t do the same against ManU or Chelsea and the like.

    These comments are from listening to Radio summary I haven’t seen any of the game.

  94. Gooner In Exile says:

    I don’t know what the fuss is with you lot and Sparky, In my book Lambert, AvB, Rodgers are all much better!

  95. Gooner In Exile says:

    Not bad business I suppose LB. 🙂

    Selling Song is actually a strong move from the club considering length of contract remaining, as is selling RvP if rumours saying he was beginning to consider staying are true. It shows to remaining squad that they better renew or will be shown the exit door. Will Theo renew or are we looking to offload him too? The last of the failed generation.

  96. LB says:

    The secret to that little mystery GIE is to score a goal and to do that we need to be able to pass quickly around the opposition — somethng that we did not do today. The wide men have to make themselves available and be able to beat their man which in itself creates space, yet again something that neither did today. But I am not all doom and gloom, I really think we have players capable of doing all that, it just so unfortunately happens that two of them were injured today.

  97. LB says:

    Yeah, that AVB looks like a class appointment.

  98. California Gooner says:

    GIE, we sold RVP to ManU and Song to Barca. That is hardly a punishment. Players will die to go to those teams. Sell them to Stoke and you are punishing them.

  99. LB says:

    So let me get this clear — leaving Arsenal is not a punishment?


  100. goonermichael says:

    It’s not about the punishment CG it’s about not having them here causing trouble

  101. hendongooner says:

    Glad song has evaporated to Barcelona.Wenger has finally got rid of David Dein and Darren Dien connection with the gunners so for now they can we had enough of their interference with our club.Also we only have one Africa Cup of Nations victim.

  102. goonermichael says:

  103. Rhyle says:

    Of course, there is one connection between our team and the Deins left at Arsenal…


  104. goonermichael says:

    and jabba

  105. Rhyle says:

    We’ll make that two then, GM…any more for any more?!

  106. johnnie nyc says:

    im glad alot of you have noticed girouds movement…i saw it vs cologne also…he will score plenty for us.. as a team, we just have to find ways around the bus

  107. goonermichael says:

    Watch OL’s second goal if you can find it. A fantastic overhead kick

  108. Rhyle says:

    JNYC…we found a way at least twice today and then, for some reason, stopped it.

    The only time that Mignolet was tested was when we let fly from distance…maybe should’ve tried a bit more of that…

    Give ’em their due…they defended well…”obturate” I think would be the Arsenal Arsenal way of putting it…

  109. goonermichael says:

    Sunderland will draw a lot of games this season

  110. Rhyle says:

    A bottle of Gavi, a film and no MOTD…can’t watch now that Twitchy the Clown is on there…

  111. goonermichael says:

    I’m going to watch it.

  112. goonermichael says:

    actually football first

  113. goonermichael says:

    then again spurms lost

  114. RockyLives says:

    Has anyone got any idea how the transfer balance sheet looks this year? My guess is:

    Cazorla – 16m?
    Giroud – 13m?
    Podolski – 10m?

    vanP – 24m
    Song – 17m
    Vela – 5m?
    Bartley – 1m

    To come:
    Bendtner – about 6m?

    On that basis we’ll have spent about 39m and recouped about 47m.

    Which makes me think that anyone else we buy will be about 8m, which rules our M’Vila, but maybe rules in Biglia? Or Sahin on loan.

  115. RockyLives says:

    Haha – Spuds already in the bottom five.

  116. Rasp says:

    Hi Rocky, sadly I think we’ll need to raise another £5-10m in sales before we splash out on a midfielder, so Sahin would be an option. It would be great to get the drop on pool especially after the start they’ve had to the season

  117. I’ve just read all the comments and I can’t find the one that tells me someone has offered to write a match report …… 😦

  118. RockyLives says:

    I can do it instead of a Monday piece if you like, Peaches.

  119. glic says:

    In a joint effort by all, I shall volunteer to write the bit about the Goals !.

  120. Well done glic, that’s very helpful.

    Rocky – if you’ve got time to write it up that would be marvelous 😉

  121. Gooner In Exile says:

    No idea how accurate but Transfer League says we’ve spent 17m before recouping for Song so At moment we are breakeven in the window, but we shouldn’t forget “we kept our powder dry last summer”. (£17m profit) so over 2010-2012 we are breakeven plus Song fee. The question is will we spend it.

    Also another question I have for those who went today, how was the atmosphere, how was the reaction at full time (radio 5 mentioned some boos that were hushed very quickly by others).

    Did the team fill you with confidence or bring in some doubt.

    LB I understand the passing quickly but but I can’t help thinking about GG comment of 11 dustbins being hard to play around if they’re all in the box, so I keep thinking back to TH14, Bobby and DB10 and wonder how they had so many counter attacking goals, why did teams attack us more then (or at least player higher up the pitch ?)

  122. goonermichael says:

    Why did I watch motd?

  123. goonermichael says:

    On twitter some people say the boos were for time wasting by scumderland. motd same old shit. shergar is balder though. that’s worth a laugh. useless twat

  124. goonermichael says:

    It’s so hot tonight

  125. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Just got in to the welcome site of a keyboard. Sorry about the mobiled message earlier.
    The atmosphere was ok’ish, but it is very difficult to get too excited with a northern bus on the green stuff.
    Very good support for the new boys, and I certainly did not hear a single boo (yes for their time wasting) but not at the final whistle.
    So Spuds lost…good to ROLF before bed.

  126. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Nice and cool in Devon GM 😦

  127. goonermichael says:

    It’s like Ho Chi Minh here

  128. goonermichael says:

    There are some twats on twitter. I just blocked that “she wore” account

  129. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    You know what, I didn’t even watch the game, & do u know why, coz I don’t give a shit anymore 🙂

  130. 123 says:

    You know its sad when even the fans have started to take “balancing the books” into account.. Can’t wait for the day all the stupid debt gets paid off and Wenger and the board learns how to write big cheques.

  131. dandan says:

    Morning for those of you who like stats: it just makes my head hurt. 🙂
    Santi Cazorla Stats:

    Comparison of current/former PL Spanish playmakers using stats from the brilliant @whoscored…
    Santi Cazorla vs Silva vs Cesc vs Mata (2011/12 season):
    (Best player for that stat in dashes)

    League Games Started: 38 vs 33 (3) vs 23 (5) vs 29 (5)

    Tackles per game: -2.2- vs 1.3 vs 1.4 vs 0.7
    Interceptions p.g: -2.6- vs 1.0 vs 0.9 vs 0.6
    Fouls per game: 0.5 vs 0.7 vs 0.9 vs 0.5

    Goals: -9- vs 6 vs -9- vs 6
    Assists: 5 vs -15- vs 8 vs 13
    Shots p.g: 2.3 vs -2.4- vs 1.6 vs 1.9
    Key Ps. p.g: 2.2 vs 2.9 vs 1.4 vs -3-
    Dribbles p.g: -1.3- vs 1.1 vs 1.0 vs 0.9
    Fouled p.g: 2.3 vs 1.0 vs 1.8 vs 0.9
    Disp. p.g: 2.4 vs 1.6 vs -1.4- vs 1.7

    Avg. Passes p.g: 58.5 vs 56.1 vs -62.5- vs 43.7
    Passing Success %: 85 vs -87.1- vs 86.9 vs 87
    Long balls p.g: -7.4- vs 1.6 vs 2.6 vs 2.7
    Throughballs p.g: 0.3 vs 0.5 vs -0.7- 0.4

    Who Scored Rating: -7.6- vs 7.55 vs 7.5 vs 7.31
    Best stat tally: 5 vs 3 vs 4 vs 1

  132. Gooner In Exile says:

    DD I need to put that in an Excel spreadsheet and apply some filters to make sense of that! Quick look suggests Cazorla is a bit good.

    I want to know how the Giroud chance was a sitter in the view of media (and fans?) On penalty spot first time two players coming at him keeper rushing at him, he tried to do everything right to score. The movement to get there was exceptional, as was the pass.

    123 the only reason I look at transfer breakevens is to temper my expectations of more investment, to spend some more money than we get in would be a massive change from the norm.

  133. Gooner In Exile says:

    Is this a sitter?

    Don’t forget we lost to United because of taking Ox off

  134. Gooner In Exile says:

    Hahaha this is so true:

  135. chas says:

    Morning, GIE.

    Haha, saying all players miss doesn’t make a good copy. 🙂
    It’s guaranteed Brave Sir Robin will spawn a goal of his knee on Monday and the press will say that this is the kind of finishing we now miss.

    Perhaps BSR missed deliberately because the little boy inside him was telling him, ‘don’t feck up your chance of playing with Fergie and Wayne’.

    (Maybe Brave Sir Robin as a moniker needs to be changed – it doesn’t seem right since he left – suggestions?)

  136. chas says:

    Only a moron would write of Giroud after one game.

  137. chas says:

    write off

  138. 123 says:

    Any of you think Mvila or a CDM would come in after Song leaves?

  139. Morning all

    BSR = the dutchman – wish I could put it in really small letters

    Giroud was in a great position to score, the goal was gaping but I guarantee the dutchman missed as many of those as he scored and so did Thierry and so does Ronaldo and Rooney and Theo and even Messi. Get off the guys back all those that have branded him rubbish.

  140. morning all,

    Chas, no need to change his name..he fits in perfectly with Rooney.. they are now

    Fatman and Robin

  141. This was anti-football at it’s most frustrating. When teams parked the bus against the Thierry, Bobby, Bergkamp team we usually drew and raged about how there wasn’t a Plan B.

    We used to allow other teams more possession and then hit them on the break and now that’s what teams do to us. I don’t know what the possession stats were for yesterday but I expect they were high in our favour.

    The three chances that passed just outside the post – are they sitters too?

    I think Szczesny touched the ball five times in the whole game – once in the second half? Sunderlands ambition was nil, MoN should be ashamed of himself for taking his wages.

  142. morning Peaches, unfortunately MoN will be hailed for collecting a point at the Em’s, regardless of how he got it..The sad thing is that if he gets a few more like that, he will even be up for a pay rise

  143. evonne says:

    Peaches – I sent you stats last night. Yes, they were in our favour; titn’t mention that only one half of the pitch was ever in use

    I uset to call the tutchman a rapist, after he spent the summer in jail. I was tolt off by another Gooner when he was acquittet. I might resume calling him that now

  144. evonne says:

    At one stage of the game one coult see the frustration of our players when they startet to shoot blintly, trying to break through the lines of tustbins. But that’s not our way, patience is neetet in such situations or a penalty

  145. That would be a bit unkind evonne. He could now be the SLB – sad little boy 😉

  146. spanishgooner says:

    Chas @7.14.
    How about The Dutch Cap ? Or goonermichaels gem yesterday “vanpissflaps” (I like that) . Or even Robin up Percie ´cause that´s surely where he belongs now.
    Only 94 minutes played people and it´s going to be a belter of a season for us gooners – you wait and see .

  147. spanishgooner says:

    BBC match report said 52% possession to us ? Can´t be right ?!!
    Also said we had 14 shots , 4 on target, to their 3 and 2
    We had 7 corners to their none.

  148. Slimgingergooner says:

    How about BullShittingRobin?


    Robin Bastard?



  149. evonne says:

    PPP – very goot 🙂
    Spanish – yeah, I’ve got the same stats. I was surpriset at the possession, but the fact that there was hartly any fouling from the visitors is a truly possitive sign

  150. Dandan says:

    Robin van purse strings
    he doesn’t do it for money

  151. evonne says:

    Slim – when you were getting marriet, we replacet the C wort in AA tictionary with ‘Front Bottom’ 🙂

  152. Slimgingergooner says:

    Brave Sir Knobbin!

  153. Slimgingergooner says:


    I thought I would take a leaf out of your book and just swap one of the letters to keep it ‘legal’! 😉

  154. morning Evonne,

    Tit you sleep well? 🙂

  155. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Morning all,
    Don’t like the look of those stats. I’m very surprised his “assist” tally is so low, to say nothing of the fact that he played so many more games than the others.
    Also, on the radio last night they were talking about Song and saying he had the highest assist figure for any midfielder in the prem at 11.
    Not surprised he pushed forwards 🙂

  156. evonne says:

    he toesn’t teserve a special name. He’s a has-been ant a defector (copiet the wort)

    I’ve always liket Martin Jol, sputs mate a BIG mistake to get rit off him

  157. evonne says:

    PPP – I tit, thank you. Peaches invitet me for a swim at hers, great before sleep 🙂 She toes a great speet boat impression in the water, so funny, you shoult see it 🙂

  158. does anyone know whats happening with Theo’s contract?

    Under the Radar

  159. Gooner In Exile says:

    Two things Micky, who was Cazorla assisting, who was Song assisting. I reckon Cazorla with better than average forwards, and Song well how many midfielders float a ball over the top to see a centre forward lace it into the stands.

  160. Evonne, put Peaches on Youtube 😉

  161. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Good point GiE.
    Don’t get me wrong, I’m a Cazorla man through and through.

  162. evonne says:

    Paul Lambert left Norwich for Villa?? Twant

  163. oz gunner says:

    Morning all

    @ PPP

    apparently negotiations are on going and Arsene is confident he will sign by the end of the month. Here’s hoping the window doesn’t close and he changes his mind!

    I saw on a Sunderland website quotes from MoN. ‘we played fantastic, so proud of the team, should of done better with our chances, now it’s time to win at home’
    How can you have such a mindset? I could never just sit there week after week hoping for draws! Swansea did it great last season, as did Wigan against us, take on the opposition see how you go!

    Drives me insane watching it! Fair enough if you have to absorb the punishment and hit on the counter, but 10 behind the ball with no intention to attack is just plain ridiculous!

  164. evonne says:

    the Orks startet in the customary fashion – ret cart ant a penalty. Ant showcross got a yellow

  165. Funny thing about MoN though is that he never played with a defensive mindset when he was at Villa and had milner, young and co on the books..

    i guess he realises that he has a shit squad, and opening up at the Ems would have been a bullet in the foot

  166. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Just watched MoD. Oh dear. That was exactly the kind of chance that Persie would NOT have put away, with the ball moving away from his right foot!

  167. Red Arse says:

    I watched the game via Sky Sports 2 (Germany) and they gave our possession stat as 70% – 30%.

    That is more like it.

  168. Morning Micky,
    regardless of who else would have scored or not scored that chance, it was still a sitter that he missed..bad luck, it happens and it happens to the best, but from that range i expect the shot to at least be on target and maybe trouble the keeper…like i said bad luck, and once Ollie settles he will be putting those ones in for fun

  169. goonermichael says:

    Micky, robin never missed

  170. glic says:

    New name for RVP ?. Simples, Brave Iron Penis is an anagram !.
    He`s going to need it with Rusty Arse Rooney.

  171. goonermichael says:

    Sorry I should have scrolled up first 😦

  172. MickyDidIt89 says:

    I agree it will come once he settles and bags the first.
    I am absolutely convinced Ollie will be our top scorer.

  173. glic says:

    BIP for short !. 🙂

  174. oz gunner says:

    @ ppp

    the great thing also is cattermole kept very tight to santi, but those times he was able to shake him he looked very dangerous. He won’t come up against players like that every week, and when he doesn’t he is going to cause massive headache

  175. Micky, one thing i noticed was that Pod getting back deep to try involve himself in play (more like a no.10), where as Ollie likes to play off the shoulder of the last defender ala Torres..

    hmmm, i smell a 4-4-1-1 cooking..

    The inner child in me is screaming for a new formation 😉

  176. Big Raddy says:

    My concerns are that MoN did what so many have done before him and once again we had no solution.

    We created one clear chance in 95 mins and that just isn’t enough. As AW said, the midfield had to be quicker in their passing and the wide men faster at releasing the ball.

    Jigsaw had a lot of the ball and created Sweet FA.

  177. spot on Oz..its still early dayz and im waiting for that thing called chemistry to kick in..

    Lets not forget that we are still a bit off our peak fitness levels..and with that the sharpness and fluidity will come..

    Bon Jovi- KEEP the FAITH

  178. Gooner In Exile says:


    I just don’t know that by moving it quicker will benefit us, we still need space to play in and to shift their defence.

    If defense is set up to cover zones we are going to have to be a lot more intricate with the one twos and overload attackers against defenders in certain zones (ie if they have full back and wide mid covering the left back spot we need Theo, Jenks plus Cazorla and one more just to play triangles to get round, then we are short in the danger area.

    I fear we have to change our style of play, we have to encourage the opposition up the pitch, the way of doing is that is deliveries from deep (with a threat in the box that they fear) and to retain possession deeper not on the edge of the 18. We need to create more space for us to play in.

  179. goonermichael says:

    If you mean Gervinho he created a good chance that Cazorla put just wide

  180. Gooner In Exile says:

    Evonne that Shawcross yellow proved he has learned nothing and Pulis hasn’t changed the way he sends his teams out….defend at all costs and screw the consequences for the individual or the opponent. It’s a shame that Shawcross can’t see he could be an England defender if he learned to stay on his feet more.

  181. evonne says:

    GiE – so Tony P is still your fav manager 🙂

    They will play us next week with that ret cart on their tiny mints, goot

  182. Wonderman says:

    Hi GIE I was at the game yesterday in what I would describe as unbearable heat. The first game of the season is difficult enough without those kind of temperatures to deal with. My thoughts

    1. We should have played the ball quicker when in possession. When dealing with a defensive minded team you MUST tire them out by moving them around then exploit the spaces that fatigue induces
    2. Players
    Szczesny – nothing to do except 1 save
    Gibbs – Solid
    Vermy and Mert – Solid gave, Mert gave the ball away once but also executed a Cruyff turn to lose a marker
    Jenkinson – distribution could have been better along with decision making but is a real battler, has a lot to learn but we have to accept he is not the finished article
    Arteta – Class
    Diaby – Good solid injury free 70 mins and almost scored
    Cazorla- Pure class excellent debut, we have a very special player here and the others need to raise their standards
    Gervinho – carried our ‘run at em ‘ threat all game and defended , when he learns to shoot a fraction of a second later he will go to the next level
    Walcott – from the heavy touch in the first minute of the game looked off. didn’t give us any width and in fact I wondered if Wenger told him to join Poldi to make a front 2 ( probably as part of contract negotiations) as he spent most of the day going inside
    Poldi- doesnt look like a lone striker to me but early days, also looks quicker than Van P
    Giroud – looks like a lone striker an probably should have started
    Arshavin – looked dangerous in patches , tends to give ball away cheaply
    Ramsey – Functional

    I feel Wenger got hs tactics wrong, Giroud should have started imo with Poldi either on the left or bench, Walcot was either still suffering the injury, disinterested or both and should either have started on the bench or been taken off much earlier. At the end of the game I was more underwelmed than disapointed as we did no worse than the opening game last season. I felt even better when I saw the other scores 🙂

  183. MickyDidIt89 says:

    You’re dead right about te formation requirements, sadly however, your 4-4-1-1 is not good 🙂
    The question is: do we play Ollie and Pod, and if so, how?
    My answer: If its 4-3-3, then Pod only, because both Gerv and Theo do the baseline cut back on the ground thing very well, and we would not get the best out of Ollie.
    However, if its 3-5-2 (which is the real answer 🙂 ), then both.
    …….Pod Ollie
    Santo Santi Art Ox Sag
    …Verm Mert Kos

  184. Big Raddy says:

    GIE I see your point but I think AW means that on the few occasions we pull the opposition out of position it is essential that we exploit the space quickly. With teams parking the bus these situations occur rarely and beating a man or two is often counter-productive.

    GM. For the amount of ball Gerv had, one chance (and it was a difficult one, is not enough. That said, I am an admirer of Gerv and have high hopes for him.

  185. Just publishing the New Post ……. I’ll move Wondermans comment and micky’s

  186. micky, i can live with that 🙂

    does Jack get an automatic start when he is 110% fit?


  187. The match was okay really though and I feel we can do better. Its our first match of the season you know

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