Can Arsenal win at Montpellier’s Carrelet?

I love the late summer CL fixtures. Warm nights and the opportunity for fans to watch decent football midweek.

Our first game is challenging – playing the French champions even sans OG will be difficult. A compact ground filled with 33,000 fervent fans awaiting  (what I believe will be) their first CL game.

Montpellier: I have to admit to knowing almost nothing about Montpellier HSC. I have been to the town and didn’t even know they had a club! We all know about their fairy tale La Ligue win last season but beyond that? Mbiwa, the captain is much admired and it is unlikely he will be at the club next summer.  Another player known to English fans is John Utaka who was signed by Portsmouth in 2007 for £7m and given a wage of £80k a week …. yes, you read that correctly! More than Theo is being offered in 2012!! You will not be surprised to read that Utaka was signed by a man who has a Rosie account. Montpellier’s most famous ex -player is Eric Cantona – shame he couldn’t make it in the English game.

The night’s talking point will obviously be the return to Stade de la Mosson of Oliver Giroud. It will be a special night for him and I expect OG to mark it with at least one goal.

Montpellier’s form is poor. They have won just one of five games in La Ligue, the latest resulting in a 3-1 loss away to Reims.

Stade de la Masson. Home of the French Chapions

Arsenal: There are so many possible permutations of the team tonight but I will start at the back and with our ‘keeper. Mannone will play due to an ankle injury to TPIG. It would have been interesting to see which GK would start had TPIG been fit.

The Corporal has been outstanding, an astonishing improvement in one so young and inexperienced. He isn’t the finished article yet but he deserves to keep his place. Centre back is not so simple;  Mertsacker is quality but Koscielny is too good to leave on the bench. I would play Kos tonight and Per on Sunday when it is likely Djeko will start.  Despite Gibbs improvement, I would prefer to see Santos start tonight. He is a better crosser (Gibbs must keep practicing) and OG needs something to feed on.

Midfield is also difficult to predict. My choice would be Coquelin, Cazorla and Arteta..  Diaby’s height will be important on Sunday – no risks should be taken with our fragile Bambi – and Coquelin is an able deputy who performed very well on Saturday. However, Ramsey ‘s vibrant substitute cameos are evidence of a player in good form.

Upfront we finally have options. The Ox is likely to be rested having played 2 Internationals and on Saturday. Assuming Giroud starts, The Gerv will not play centrally, so I expect the team to line up like this:

My Team:

And what a  bench….. O-C, The Gerv, Merts, Gibbs, Shea, Diaby, Ramsey.

Mr Wenger usually likes to get the 2nd round qualification achieved as soon as possible and as such I expect him to play our strongest team despite the difficult fixture on Sunday. For once, playing Tuesday will help us.

I was going to write a “where are they now?” feature for this season, it is on the back-burner at the moment but here is a taster. This gentleman is currently living in sunny Malta and owns a pub….

Fashion can make a fool of Heroes

It is hard to know what to expect of Montpellier, they could be excellent and win the group or be whipping boys. A poor start to the season does not mean that Montpellier are a poor team (AFC 2011) and tonight will be one of the biggest nights in the clubs history, they will be playing in front of a full, expectant stadium and be desperate to start their CL campaign well.  Should be a good game.


Written by Big Raddy

211 Responses to Can Arsenal win at Montpellier’s Carrelet?

  1. rhyle says:

    Good pre-match write up, Raddy…agree that we’re likely to start with our strongest side, especially with Wenger in the stands…

  2. Red Arse says:

    Hi Raddy, 🙂

    A Champions League match has brought a champion pre-match Post from you. Tip me titfer, sir!! 🙂

    This is a big deal match for Montpelier, and, despite their poor start to the Frenchie season, I think this will be a close result, with the Gunners just shading it.

    I enjoyed your fishy contributions yesterday BR, but I think one man deserved a special mention for starting the ball rolling by introducing a formula for calculating the price of fish for NG.

    “Captain Birdseye says:
    September 17, 2012 at 2:30 pm

    Let C = number of cod caught
    T=Trawlers, R= Running cost per trawler, M= Margin required.

    ((T*R)*(1+M))/C=Price of Fish ”

    Stand up and take a bow that man!! 🙂

  3. chas says:

    Nice one, BR.

    It’ll be interesting to see the reception Giroud gets if he plays.
    Perhaps it would be the perfect place for him to score.
    Our ex-players always score against us after all.

  4. chas says:

    Carrelet was a new one on me.
    Tres interressant.

  5. Red Arse says:

    Chazzer, 🙂

    Très intéressant, indeed, as is your wonderful gift with vids. Tickled me timbers or whatever it is Limey’s say!! 🙂

  6. evonne says:

    Hi Raddy, thanks for the prematch. I was relieved to find out that even you didn’t know much about Montpellier HFC. I read somewhere they are in dire straits financially, no wonder, if they really paid Utaka even more than Theo arns now.

    I must say though I do not appreciate the comment on the hair style. I aint a hero. but I used to have an afro, it had to be done!

  7. Rasp says:

    Champion PM Raddy – you’re in a League of your own 😛

    I’d like to add my voice to those who have been praising Ramsey’s contribution when he gets on the pitch. I had called for him to go out on loan until Xmas based on his performances at the end of last season, but he has shown a new attacking energy so far this season and looks more hungry and quicker than ever before. I still wouldn’t start him in games, but giving him the last 20-25 minutes seems to be working well.

  8. Morning all, a spiffing pre match usual there Big & Randy – it seems are we going to have a “Where are they now?” theme for pre matches.

    Word on Twatface is that Wenger will start the same XI (except Giro for The Ox and the GK change) as he did on Saturday.

  9. Andi R says:

    whos the guy with an afro is it Alan Sunderland ?
    Com on Arsenal tonight !

  10. Rasp says:

    Hi Andi, yes that is Alan Sunderland, he played 206 times for Arsenal from 1977 – 1984 and scored 55 goals (wiki)

  11. chas says:

    I bet you’ve had your hair like this too, Evonne. 🙂

  12. chas says:

    I know this game is remembered for the 4th goal but Alan Sunderland scored a great hat-trick at Shite Hart Lane in 1978. Doesn’t happen very often. 🙂

  13. 26may1989 says:

    Brilliant chas! I bloody love that goal, even when done as jumpers-for-goalposts re-enactment……

  14. Total says:

    Excellent PM Raddy. Thanks. 🙂

    Luckily there is still a bit of romance left in the CL. Montpellier became the proper champions of France last season and now they can have a taste of CL football for the first time in their history.

    I still think Wenger will rest a number of key players and will only use them if needed in the second half.

    Evonne, well done for standing up for the afro hair style. Knowing how dd gorgeous you are and thinking of you with an afro, I could not stop thinking of Kath of Kath & Kim! 🙂

    Enjoy the game fellow Gooners!


    Thanks Big Raddy

    I expect a tough game tonight, but think we will edge it 3-0.

    i love Alan Sunderland. I was there when we beat them 5-0 and he scored a hatrick. One of the most memorable days of my life.

    Like the gorgeous Evonne i to had a perm in my younger days. The only differnce was that mine only applied to the sides of my head. i now realise of course that it probably wasnt the best look. hahaha

  16. Big Raddy says:

    TMHT. That is a wonderful image. GM could add it to his style book

  17. Domonju says:

    Where in Malta does he own a pub? I’m from Malta. It would be great to go to the pub, have a beer, and watch a game!

  18. Great preview BRaddy
    Can’t wait for the game, its a lottery in guessing the starting line up, 2012 is a time of plenty of options.
    For me Diaby should start, i’d rather he was up to speed for Sunday.
    Alan Sunderland’s goal against MUFC in the 79 cup final cemented my allegiance to the Arse, who can forget that kinky afro.

  19. ok im slow with abbreviations, but TPIG has beaten me in to submission – help?

  20. Rasp says:

    Hi Domonju, I can’t track down AS’s pub in Malta although several biog sites refer to him owning one. Apparently he managed Birkirkara for a while so maybe they could tell you where to find him.

  21. Rasp says:

    TPIG = The Pole in Goal 😆

  22. Instead of “There’s only one Arsene Wenger” tonight : “Stevie Bould, Stevie Bould, Stevie Stevie Bould. He’s got no hair and we don’t care. Stevie, Stevie Bould.”

  23. OMG IC it now
    Thanks Rasp

  24. Big Raddy says:

    Domonju. Sorry I don’t know. Can’t be too hard to find out … it must be in a resort.

  25. kelsey says:

    Well done Raddy a superb post .

    I don’t think there will so many changes in the team. if it’s not broken why fix it and we are only 4 games in and then have 5 days until City.Don’t see Santos or Kos starting,but who knows.

    Malta is such a small island had my first honeymoon there and Alan Sunderland has a pub in Valetta.

    You all remember the advert where the guy dressed all in black dives off a cliff and then up the outside of a house,through the window “all because the lady loves Milk Tray” well that was filmed there.

  26. evonne says:

    Chas @ 11:46 – you cheeky so and so, I might be a bit of ladette, but I definitely do not have sideburns.

  27. kelsey says:

    evonne wiggins 😉

  28. evonne says:

    pee off Kelsey!! I bet you had afro too, or you still do?

  29. goonermichael says:

    Nothing wrong with having a perm

  30. LB says:

    Hi BR

    Your rationale for Santos over Gibbs is interesting…………hmmmmm……….it makes you think.

    Good write up as ever.

  31. kelsey says:

    I have had lots of things evonne, but never an afro 🙂

    Michael, you look so innocent .

  32. chas says:

    That’s priceless. ROLF.

  33. Gooner In Exile says:

    Cracking pm as ever Raddy.

    I like that Wenger has been using my suggestion of minor rotations to the squad. This puts us in a good position come the deep winter months, for now I’d happily see Pod on the bench tonight with Giroud returning to the fray and perhaps Theo getting a start over Ox, or it could be the switches at the back you suggest.

    1. Sz, Jenks, BFG, TV, Gibbs, Diaby, Arteta, Santi, Theo, Swerve, Pod
    2. Vito, Jenks, BFG, TV, Gibbs, Diaby, Arteta, Santi, Swerve, Pod, Giroud
    3. Vito, Jenks, BFG, TV, Gibbs, Diaby, Arteta, Santi, Ox, Pod, Giroud
    4. Sz, Jenks, BFG, TV, Gibbs, Coquelin, Arteta, Santi, Ox, Pod, Swerve

    Only 2 changes have been forced (Vito for Sz, Coq for Abou).

  34. chas says:

    Hair nearly as big as Kelsey’s, acne and staring eyes.

  35. Big Raddy says:

    GM. Awesome ….

    GIE. There are so many possible permutations none of which weaken the team which is why I feel so positive about the season. When injured get back to fitness we are looking very strong.

    Really looking forward to both our game and the MC v RM match. Shame they are on simultaneously.

  36. chas says:

    Tony Adams – a prime example of ‘fashion can make a fool of heroes’. (the fashion being to slag Arsenal).

    What a pillock, hasn’t he watched the start of the season and realised the ghosts of Terry’s underpants are stirring? 🙂 .

  37. Big Raddy says:

    AT least TA is a fan. Deluded but nonetheless a fan

  38. kelsey says:

    Strong Team Tonight; Mannone, Jenks, Per, TV, Gibbs, Arteta, Coq, Cazorla, Podolski, Gerv, Giroud.

    Ox is on the bench.

    From a source 🙂 Let’s see if it’s right.

  39. Kelsey, that’s the team I had at 10.51; wonder if that’ll be proved right.

    Deos anyone else think Wenger’s latest quote “They love to ban me” will get him another UEFA ban ?

    I’ve seen it said that the reason for the extension of the ban was because he communicated with the bench, yet Wenger says that he asked UEFA if he could do this and they said “Yes”.

    I smell the influnece of Platini there.

  40. kelsey says:

    Interesting chary, we will see. I did say earlier I didn’t expect much rotation.

  41. GunnerN5 says:

    I hope what the little “birdie” whispered in your ear is correct Kelsey as it looks to be a very strong team. Ox on the bench makes sense as he has already played a lot of football this season.

    It would be great if Gervinho and Giroud interchange positions as he looked fantastic playing through the middle against Southampton.

  42. evonne says:

    Raddy – yes! Both games at the same time. I plan to switch over to the Shitty game when we are 3 nil up

    GM – fantastic, that’s a guy with imagination, you wild thing 🙂

    Chas – I’m going off you fast, you look too goody-goody-too shoes for me

  43. chas says:

    Thank heaven for that! 🙂

  44. evonne says:

    Oooh that’s more like it, I like a bit of chalenge 🙂 Or I wouldn’t support Arsenal 🙂

  45. Red Arse says:

    Hi Kelsey, 🙂

    My source, who has more sauce than your source, reckons the team as you wrote but with Diaby instead of Le Coq! 🙂

    And when you mention ‘rotation’ were you thinking of the traditional rugby meaning?

    “If I were the marrying kind,
    and thank the Lord I am not sir,
    The kind of rugger that I would be would be a rugby prop sir.

    He’d put it in, I’d put it in, and we’d both put it in together,
    we’d be all right in the middle of the night,
    putting it in together”

    Rotation you see. How very dare you, Kelsey? 🙂

  46. Montpelier, South of France and all that. Better weather than we have here in London most of the time. We will have to beat them if only for that! We have got Giroud out of there and this is where he will open his Arsenal account. Further goals from Walcott and Podolski will ensure a 3-2 win for us. This is the worst scenario I can imagine. Being the blokes they are, Arsene Wenger will relax while Steve Bould stews over our conceding two goals. Our next opponents in the league will find life much harder in their game against Real and will struggle to find the net when we play them at the Etihad this weekend. We will blow their house down without any huffing or puffing. Then go on to love being the alphas over here.
    I am dreaming, but dreams do come true. I also want to see Spuds relegated, but maybe that’s a dream too far. I can still dream though.
    Alan Sunderlands goals in that 5-0 trashing of them spuds in1978 started me drooling and dreaming again and, why not?
    Nice post Raddy. Nice uploads Chas.

  47. Red Arse says:


    I had a nice polish gentleman who carried out some work for me recently. All was well and I was pleased with his efforts.

    The only problem was what to call him. Prezemek Straburzynski. What sort of a name is that? I think you guys make them up as you go along, just to embarrass innocent people who do not know where to start with the pronunciation. 🙂

    We settled for ‘Zhem’ or a sound like that!! 😳

  48. Red Arse says:

    Tony, 🙂

    If you wish upon a star, makes no difference who you are, anything your heart desires will come to you.

    You keep dreaming/wishing and so will I. 🙂

  49. kelsey says:

    It was rugby you were refering to RA wasn’t it 🙂

  50. Gooner In Exile says:

    TC I share your dream except the 2 against 😀

    GN5 said “Ox on the bench makes sense as he has already played a lot of football this season.”

    And it made me think how different football is today….he has started 2 games for Arsenal, and 2 for England since 18 August, 4 games in 30 days….for a 19 year old.

  51. evonne says:

    Kelsey – nope, gay fun. When did you hear about rugby being played at night??

    RA – a Polish name of course, full of Zzzzzzs. It is difficult though, I give you that 🙂

  52. RockyLives says:

    A typically excellent pre-match Mr Big Radish.

    Loving the “where are they now” idea.

    Busy today so probably won’t get to watch the game live 😦

    Has someone been mucking around with the site banner?

  53. RockyLives says:

    They have floodlit rugby, just like floodlit footy, and I’m sure that was what Mr Redders was referring to.

    You just have a dirty mind 🙂

  54. Red Arse says:

    kelsey, you rogue, it suddenly came to me you were referring to your famous woodpecker song!! 🙂

    I put my finger in a woodpecker’s hole,
    And the woodpecker said, “God bless my soul,
    Turn it round, turn it round, turn it round, my friend,

    Arsene would never do that — he doesn’t even know any woodpeckers! 🙂

  55. Red Arse says:

    Quite so, Mr Rock Afeller!! 🙂

    That Evonne – I don’t know!!

  56. Rasp says:

    Gadzooks Rocky, you’re right, just wait til I catch the perpetrator 😦


    hahaha, GM, thats a class picture.

    I hear that “Mud” are getting back together for a reunion gig so was wondering if you could sort me some tickets?. P.S, i love your work in “Please Sir” hahaha

  58. Hi all

    Anyone ready to volunteer for the match report please?

  59. Gooner In Exile says:

    By the way I forgot to ask who the French Chapions are as referred to in the pic in the post, are there French Chapionesses too? Are they like those rugger chaps that RA was referring to?

    Oh and RA that woodpecker song brings back memories. My brother used to work in a joiners as a Saturday job, he was about 13, came home and merrily sung that song to my parents. Dad laughed Mum wasn’t do sure he should be singing it 😀

  60. MickyDidIt89 says:

    How nice to have two Raddy’s only three days apart, and as for the “where are they now?”…Love it. Great idea.
    Very tricky team selection. I have a sneaky suspicion Gerv may start ahead of Theo.
    To kick off The CL with an away win at Montpellier would ease pressure later on in the qualifiers, and boost morale enormously going to City this weekend.

  61. SharkeySure'sGhost says:

    Lol at trying to pick the teams the days….but well played for giving it a go Mr Randy.

    Cracking pre match as always…although no mention of the Mon P club president…?? He who although aged in his mid 60’s (or older) followed thru on his promise to mimic the mohican of one of t he players if they won the title. He even had it in club colours of blue and orange. Nice

    He might even have had a beard….

  62. Gooner In Exile says:

    Sh********t Peaches ….. hide!

  63. evonne says:

    that I do Rocky, for sure

    Sharkey – the fishy night was yesterday

    Isn’t TA writing a match report as we speak?

  64. goonermichael says:

    I was innocent Kelsey 🙂

  65. Nice to know I still have the power GiE …….. fancy writing a match report? 🙂

  66. goonermichael says:

    Anyone rememebr the Rubettes? I washed thier hair when I was young and one tried to pull me. Said I had a cheeky smile.

  67. evonne says:

    Peaches – my guess is that many will watch the Shitty game but will not admit to it

  68. goonermichael says:

    Where are my manners. Great pre match as always Raddy.

  69. evonne says:

    GM – I used to have my hair done in Trevor Sorbie’s salon in Covent Garden in the 80s; one of the hairdressers asked me out, I said No, thought he was gay

  70. goonermichael says:

    Can you remember his name evonne?

  71. RockyLives says:

    was he called Michael?

  72. Gooner In Exile says:

    Peaches I am only stopping working to watch the game and then will be back to work….busy bee at the moment. I’m sure TA will do a marvellous job though:)

  73. kelsey says:

    Rubettes, I remember them well GM. We made their white suits for Top of the Pops
    . Did I tell you I was a resident dancer on Ready Steady Go. Used to go straight from school and go down to the studio in The Strand. Keith Fordyce and Cathy MacGowen compared it and the studio was really small. I was there the first time the show went live and the first live act was Trini Lopez of If” I had a hammer,” fame. not exactly my kind of music.

  74. Red Arse says:


    I loved you in those shiny sequined knickers and pompoms. Pity you wobbled on those 6″ high heels!!!!! 🙂

  75. kelsey says:

    Got 10 out of 11 right.Only change Diaby in for le Coq

    RA: Behave 🙂

  76. evonne says:

    Rocky beat me to it 🙂 No, of course I don’t, but I know you were there at the time. You didn’t ask me out though.

    TalkShite recon Shitty are going to get good kicking up the blue tonight. Didn’t even bother discussing the Mighty

  77. kelsey says:

    Subs: Shea, Koscielny, Andre Santos, Walcott, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Ramsey, Coquelin.

  78. I will be in Malta for Christmas and the new year. It would be nice to know where Alan Sunderland’s pub is. I would love to have a drink there. Please someone tell me.

  79. Rasp says:

    Hi Tony, I tried to track down AS’s bar earlier with no success. He managed a club called Birkirkara in Malta so maybe they can help.

  80. RockyLives says:

    Rasp, Tony
    Quote from Alan in a 2009 interview:
    ““I’ve spent the last 14 years in Malta since running a pub in Ipswich for three or four years at the end of my playing career and have to admit I don’t do that much.
    “I play a bit of tennis and golf and have done some football coaching but I’m generally out there to enjoy the climate and the fact there are no traffic jams. Contrary to what some say, I’ve never run a bar in Malta.”

    So I’m afraid you won’t be able to share a pint with Mr Sunderland, Tony.

    You might get a game of golf if you can track him down though 🙂

  81. Rasp says:

    Thanks Rocky, blame Raddy for the false info 🙄

  82. RockyLives says:

    A link to that Alan Sunderland interview (on a “Wolves Heroes” site):

  83. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Theo benched again!
    Damn, I hope to have a decent internet connection tonight. Saturday was a nightmare.
    No-one is going to watch City. Well, possibly just me 😦

  84. evonne says:

    and me Micky 🙂 with one eye only

  85. MickyDidIt89 says:

    This “where are they now” could really open up worm cans.
    Apparently, Noddy Talbot works as a Gigolo in Marrakech.
    Yip, a genuine DidIt Fact.

  86. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Why do you want to watch that lot Evonne?
    Curiouser and curiouser!

  87. kelsey says:

    Didn’t Peter Storey and Vic Groves go to prison ?

  88. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Nothing to do with bets, but wow I hope Ollie gets off the mark tonight. For his, and Arsenal’s sake, not mine.

  89. Rasp says:

    And Pascal Cygan has apparently become a 3rd member of Right Said Fred

  90. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Don’t know Kelsey.

  91. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Rasp ROLF
    Raddy will never run out with us as back-up!

  92. kelsey says:

    Peter Storey definitely went to prison. Vic Groves had a garage at sometime

  93. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Think Vic got banged up for “sorting out the minis” for Brinks Mat Job. Or was it the Italian Job? Not sure.

  94. Rasp says:

    And Nelson Vivas plays basketball for Lilliput last I heard

  95. RockyLives says:

    Gus Caesar went on to found the Roman Empire after defeating Mark Antony.

  96. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Rasp/Rocky ha ha ha brilliant.
    Sod the “where are they now” and over to “we believe them to be…now”

  97. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Blimey, only been here ten minutes, and seriously lowered the tone.
    Right, outside for a pre-matcher fag, then Upping The Gunners

  98. evonne says:

    Want to see Shitty losing, Na$ri runinng like a headless fat chicken, Ballotteli getting a red card, oh it should be lots of fun.

  99. Rasp says:

    John Devine is doing very well finding wells

  100. GunnerN5 says:

    Mt father in law had a sporting goods store and Jimmy Greaves was his partner. They used to go to the local for lunch and rarely found their way back to the shop.

    Needless to say the store went bankrupt in 18 months.

  101. I’d be about to enjoy this match so much more if I new someone was going to write the match report 😦

  102. Gooner In Exile says:

    I’m going to fall out with Ray Wilkins very quickly….scrap that I already have…..”five decent chances!!!!” oh well that’s why he has been employed at Sky so long….here’s the story Ray make sure you follow it through there’s a good chap.

    Come on Giroud shut the moron up

  103. Big Raddy says:

    LOL. Have to get better sources or better yet stop the Where are they now!

    At least I got the geography correct.

    Now down to business COYRRG

  104. Rasp says:

    Ray Wilkins is the spitting image of Uncle Fester

  105. Thanx Rocky, one dream less I guess. I don’t spoil my walks with golf. Still, spuds may get relegated eh? I still dream.

  106. 26may1989 says:

    Come on Vito……

  107. Big Raddy says:

    Bent ref in Europe. What a surprise

  108. 26may1989 says:

    Bugger. Softest pen I’ve seen for a long time but perhaps just about the right call.

  109. goonermichael says:

    Not a brilliant start

  110. 26may1989 says:

    We haven’t got our passing game going yet, all looks a bit disjointed.

  111. Big Raddy says:

    This ref is clearly a homer. Dreadful so far.

    Still we will go on to win this if we can stay confident and calm

  112. 26may1989 says:


    Passing game has started.

  113. evonne says:

    where is that Lu Lu song??

  114. 26may1989 says:

    Lovely assist from Giroud.

  115. Big Raddy says:

    That is a thing of beauty…. LuLu is my Hero

  116. 26may1989 says:

    Oh yes, we’re off!!

  117. goonermichael says:


  118. 26may1989 says:

    Yes oh mighty Danish one, you were right! Well, at the moment anyway.

    Disagree re the ref though, he’s got almost everything right to my eye.

  119. Big Raddy says:

    26. Would I be correct in assuming you are a defence lawyer?

  120. 26may1989 says:

    I do whatever they pay me to do, Raddy! So pretty much your bog standard lawyer, I’m afraid….

  121. evonne says:

    shitty hanging there by the skin on their teeth

  122. evonne says:

    Na$ri off to warm the bench a bit 🙂

  123. 26may1989 says:

    Good save from Joaquim Phoenix.

  124. evonne says:

    oh yeah, Vieira was mouthing today (what does he know these days?) that Bould is groomed to be the next Arsenal manager. Plausible? I think yes

  125. goonermichael says:

    evonne what are you watching?

    did anyone read the standard tonight? Tony Adams was talking a load of shit. he must have been pissed

  126. MickyDidIt89 says:


  127. Gooner In Exile says:

    Ok so that’s an interesting half, for me we are playing a bit too far apart so not controlling the midfield as much as I’d like, Diaby has been drifting a bit too much for my liking, someone needs to tie a elastic band between him and Arteta. Cazorla a little too deep.

    Think that would stop their counter attacks and give us a bit more calmness in possession.

    The penalty may have been the correct call, the linesman was closest, he didn’t flag, the red was nowhere and the 5th official guessed IMO. TV5 got enough of the ball for it not to be a penalty.

    Great comeback with purpose and good finishing and movement. Jenks goes from strength to strength, lovely cross for the Swerve, and lovely play before it.

  128. Big Raddy says:

    Fairly comfortable so far. IMO it wasn’t a penalty – but after that we had control of the game. A

    The passing has been a bit off this evening. Cazorla not 100% for a change.

    I would like us to use the wings more and get some crosses in. The left back in particular looks dodgy – The Gerv is coming inside so much that we have little if any width.

    Once again, the defence appears solid and well organised. An early 2nd half goal and we are kushti

  129. 26may1989 says:

    Oh god, Tony A is on pundit duties……

  130. Big Raddy says:

    GIE. As I said in the post, Jenks’s development is astonishing. Sagna will struggle to get his place back.

  131. 26may1989 says:

    Am a fan of the Corporal but I think he’s been hot and cold tonight: great going forward, excellent crossing and good positional play, but he’s given the ball away at least three times with slack passing, probably more. Vermaelen has also been guilty of some duff passing on a couple of occasions.

  132. Gooner In Exile says:

    Blaming it on the pitch 26. 😀

  133. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Allez Les Ros Beefs

  134. evonne says:

    Raddy – Jenks is my fav, lovely boy and a great pro

    GM – I am a woman, multitasking 🙂 have Arsenal on one laptop and Shitty on the big screen, this blog on another laptop. Also, texting with Peaches’ daughter 🙂

  135. Total says:

    Hi Peaches, I’ll do the MR. 🙂

    Allez les Gunners!

  136. 26may1989 says:

    Fantastic attempt from Cabella, he (and Yanga-Mbiwa) have been impressive.

  137. evonne says:

    aha TA, i was wondering where the hell you’ve been

  138. Big Raddy says:

    This is getting uncomfortable.

  139. 26may1989 says:

    Might be a game for Ramsey to come on for.

  140. Big Raddy says:

    Pod looks tired, time for the Ox

  141. Gooner In Exile says:

    People can say what they like about Giroud…one thing they can’t say is he doesn’t work…thankless task once again.

  142. Gooner In Exile says:


  143. 26may1989 says:

    Looks like it’s going bonkers at Madrid.

  144. evonne says:

    phew…… we got away with it

  145. evonne says:

    26may – unbelievable second half in Spain. Good result though 🙂

  146. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Phew indeed Evonne 🙂
    Great result. Loved the offside trap Mr B.
    Goodnight all.

  147. Gooner In Exile says:

    Got away with what Evonne? That was a display straight out of the Famous Five archives. Get ahead, defend.

    To be fair Montpellier were very good second half but we limited them. It’s how Chelsea won the CL, what was that described as my the media? Oh that’s right “heroic”, where as tomorrow they will say we fluked it.

    3 points away from home in the CL job done thank you very much.

  148. evonne says:

    GiE – there were too many scary moments in the second half for my liking.It could have very easily be a different result, could have been a second penalty.

    But I am not complaining 🙂 Happy Gunner 🙂

  149. goonermichael says:

    ITV+1 is half time 0-0 madrid manshitty. I’m going to watch that

  150. dandan says:

    Off to bed, up at 5 in the morning, will smile my way across the Atlantic from tomorrow. after that performance. Come on guys Arab City will be down after that game., kick em in the Sundays , and keep em there BYeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee.

  151. 26may1989 says:

    Excellent to think of all those sour faced City fans, crying into their beers about what might have been.

  152. Big Raddy says:

    Happy with that. The luck was with us in the second half, though our CB’s looked incredibly calm under the pressure.

    Unhappy about the lack of midfield control especially as this was IMO our best MF combo.

    Poor OG didn’t have a chance tonight but he will score on Sunday

  153. dandan says:

    My son the City fan hasn’t text me I wonder why, 🙂

  154. goonermichael says:

    Have a great time dandan you deserve it!

  155. 26may1989 says:

    Yeah, have a good one dandan, and same to your wife. Bon voyage!

  156. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Trying to do some bloody work, and GM tells me about ITV+1. Damn, late night.
    Have a great time dandan.

  157. dandan says:

    Theo,s pace would have been handy as an out in the second half. But we got away with it, a million miles from the defensive displays of the last two years. Coyg

  158. 26may1989 says:

    Ah, schoolboy error, Micky. Sky+ and fast forward means I’m at the 75th minute in RM v MC.

  159. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Was going to ask if I could hitch a lift to Maine for their shellfish, but remembered the City win on sunday, and thought…naaaah

  160. MickyDidIt89 says:

    No sky for the DidIt’s 😦

  161. dandan says:

    Thanks guys will do, keep the winning streak going. Byeeeeee

  162. 26may1989 says:

    Ronaldo tripping over the ball, you have to love watching that.

    What is going on with Clichy’s hair this season? GM, one of yours??

  163. goonermichael says:

    clichy’s hair omfg. what a knob

  164. 26may1989 says:

    So that’s a no…. 🙂

  165. Rasp says:

    Thank you TA, looking forward to reading your match report

  166. Oh bugger, that was from me not him 🙂

  167. dandan – wow your cruise sounds fab, have a great time xx

  168. goonermichael says:

    How very dare you? one of mine?

  169. 26may1989 says:

    What a crappy winner from Cristiano “He of the freakish Adam’s apple” Ronaldo – he took a selfish shot when he should have passed, Kompany bottled blocking it, leaving Hart completely exposed as Kompany ducked under the ball. Should never have been a goal, but funny that it was.

  170. jnyc says:

    Im happy but i really think we should rotate more. I agree with Raddys santos, and Kozzer starts, but why walcott, seeing now how hard the ox helps on defense, i cant help but think of theo as a liability in that regard. Also think gerv, diaby looked tired at 60 mins, i would have brought subs on earlier, rambo, coq and kozzer especially toward the end. 🙂
    U know i love our squad and depth, we need to use it. Especially with city and chelsea comong up. Gotta keep it fresh.

  171. goonermichael says:

    We shouldn’t play walcott unless he signs a new deal

  172. Don’t you just love it when we win and maybe we could have lost, certainly makes up for all the times when we could have won and didn’t 😉

    Great defending second half I thought, would have been nice to string a few passes together but hey ho you can’t have everything 😉

  173. Gooner In Exile says:

    Babysteps Peaches 😀

    As for that Ronaldo goal I can’t believe pundits are not criticising Hart, and for me he was also responsible for the Benzema goal.

    Back to goal Benzema can only go one way, and score in one place, a bit of footwork and Hart should have it covered, if he shoots across goal it wouldn’t have as much power and Hart has more time to reposition, so for me when Benzema receives that pass Hart is in the wrong position, and is always struggling.

    Again the Ronaldo goal he gets his feet wrong, if he sweeps them out of the way he saves with his body, Harts feet are rooted and therefore he can do nothing with his upper body or arms….admittedly Kompany doesn’t help.

    But having sat through the pundits say we were lucky I guess I shouldn’t expect them to criticise Mancinis Defense as we all know it’s the best in the league.

    Watching highlights all chances came from failure to pick runs from deep…we have the players to damage them.

  174. goonermichael says:

    You’re right 26. That was down to kompany

  175. goonerjake says:

    No peaches i like it when we win and when we win well 🙂 maybe im selfish 😉

  176. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Thanks for the tv+1 tip off GM.
    Loved seeing some RM fans sneeking out at 1-2. They must have heard the scoring before they got out of the porch.
    Now I must work.
    Nite all.

  177. goonermichael says:

    Nite Micky

  178. goonermichael says:

    I’m off to watch a couple of game of thrones episodes

  179. chas says:

    The ITV +1 was a belter. Thanks.

  180. chas says:

    I can’t believe anyone thought Tommy’s magnificent tackle was a penalty. The ball went sideways, no wonder he was incandescent.

    As for Alan effin Smith and Tony half a braincell Adams, I’d prefer to have almost anyone rather than them as representatives of an Arsenal perspective.
    As usual I had to turn the sound off.
    Please try it, no stress is involved when you haven’t got some Brummie twat wittering in your earhole.

  181. GunnerN5 says:

    Don Manoti was a star. He did not look the least bit flustered and the ball simply sticks to his hands, a very composed performance..

    I wonder how long AW can make Sz’s injury last?

  182. Gooner In Exile says:

    Tony Adams is proof of why great footballers don’t make great managers. He really hasn’t moved on from his time.

    He said something today and it showed how little understanding he has of the modern game.

    “you don’t see teams hold the 18 yard box anymore ([n open play]”

    That’s because nearly every opponent has a defence splitter and the offside rule has changed…..second phase means if you did hold the line and allow players to run in behind you would concede countless goals from ricochets or saves.

  183. Gooner In Exile says:

    GN5 agree on Mannone composed performance in the sticks despite some flustered bodies in front of him.

  184. 26may1989 says:

    Bit harsh from GN5 re Sz but there’s something in it! My turn for a bit of ITYS: I’ve been one of those saying Mannone is a decent keeper, nice to see at least one of my thoughts on football borne out, a rare experience for me.

    Exile, quite right re Adams. It always amuses me. listening to ex-players like Adams and Wright talk about how important the big names are (obviously equating them with themselves), talking about retaining seemingly unable to understand that Wenger makes stars. As for defending, CBs today need a level of pace and technique that Big Tone would struggle with, FBs have to be able to operate as wingers and GKs need good feet and possession-retaining distribution is vital. Nothing like the 1980s and 1990s.

    On the penalty given against Vermaelen today, I thought in trying to nip the ball away from Belhanda, he kicked Belhanda’s foot, which in turn made contact with the ball, without Vermaelen touching the ball. Looked wrong in real time, but right in slo-mo.

    Looking forward to Sunday. The line up will be interesting. I doubt City will be affected by tonight’s last gasp defeat, but we can hope.

    On the subject of City, Exile, you must be right that Hart is at fault for two of the RM goals – Kompany did him no favours for the winner, but Hart should still have been able to save a shot that was virtually at him.

    Have just seen that Emmanuel Eboue is back in the UK, to face United tomorrow night – love it!

  185. GunnerN5 says:


    My inference re Sz was that his injury is being faked to cover up the fact that he’s been dropped. So my question really was – how long will they/can they keep the cover up going………..

  186. chas says:

    The goalscorers widget is brilliant.

  187. chas says:

    Being stand-in manager gave Bouldie a haddock.

  188. Gooner In Exile says:

    The press seem to be gunning for Giroud, he played the assist for Pod and dragged the centre backs out to leave room for the Swerve.

    I love his effort and willingness, for the whole of the second half he was asked to fight for high balls, he won a good number and tried to hold it up, but I imagine he was shattered by the time he came off.

    Podolski impresses more every game, something of the Kuyt about him, works hard for his team and pops up in the right places to score goals.

    Santi was a little quiet going forward last might but even he put in a shift going back towards our own goal.

    This collective responsibility is good to watch.

    One thing I did think last night was TV looked at times a bit unsettled, and as skipper I would have liked to see him have a word with the players around him a bit more.

  189. LB says:

    Good observations as ever GIE

    The argument that Arsenal got the three points and that is all that matters will never be beaten.

    But, tactically something was not working last night.

    The link up play between the mid and front players was really poor in the second half.

    We have managed to go quite a while without a singling out a player to moan at but last night was a game of two Diabys, the Good Diaby who played in the first half and the Bad Diaby who played in the second. He was a horror show in football boots last night.

    If Cazorla is knackered now he will be worse on Sunday which is very worrying.

    The defence was great, Arteta was MOTM followed by Gervinho, loved his work rate but he still has very little idea how to play as a team player, he was as gulity as all the front and mid players excluding Arteta of not linking together.

    Hoofing it in the air for Giroud to try and nod down to one of our players is for Sam Alladyce teams.

    Still, I would bite your hand off for a win like that on Sunday.

  190. Big Raddy says:

    Morning All. Cracking 3 points.

    I was surprised at how good Monpellier were. They dominated our midfield to a worrying extent (is that English?)

    I said at halftime we needed to get wide and at the FB’s but not only did that not happen, we resorted to straight long balls to OG who was very isolated. Gerv went missing, Pod went deep, as did Cazorla and Diaby. Looking for a breakaway goal is fine but MHFC were wise to us.

    Bouldie was too late with his subs, bringing on TW and Coq in the 89th min was pointless (apart from wasting time), I would have preferred TW and O-C on at the same time as Ramsey but then I don’t have a lifetime of experience like SB.

    GIE. I thought both our CB’s played very well.

    Once again, Arteta MoM for me (or BFG)

  191. LB says:


    What does a “Haddock” mean in that context above?

  192. Big Raddy says:

    LB. True. Didn’t want to castigate Diaby but he was awful second half. Like you I thought the tactics were strange…… would love a similar result on Sunday.

  193. evonne says:

    Chas – I’m glad you mentioned Tommy’s penalty. The commentators were saying that he got nothing of the ball. I thought he did, changed its direction, very strange

    Rasp – the goals widget got me confused – OGs 2; I couldn’t remember Giroud’s 2 goals 🙂

  194. oz gunner says:

    @ Big Ratty

    thanks for the pre-match, haven’t seen the match as yet but like always it has amped me up before game time

    @ Evonne

    I thought the same! I thought i’d just forgotten or something

  195. evonne says:

    Shitty are going to be even more tired than us on Sunday. Only Na$ri had a decent rest

  196. Rasp says:

    😆 evonne, it is true that own goals are outscoring Olivier Giroud at present, but if I had an assists widget, he’d be doing very nicely!

  197. evonne says:

    Oz – yeees 🙂 Have to ask Rasp to draw a picture for us 🙂

  198. evonne says:

    Rasp 🙂 own goals outscoring Giroud 🙂

  199. chas says:

    Assists widget – what a great idea. 🙂

  200. kelsey says:

    Morning all.

    A few observations.

    Firstly CL matches can always be a tricky game regardless of the opposition andMontpellier proved they shouldn’t be under estimated,despite a bad start to this season, and the first game in group matches are usually the hardest.

    the penalty, well technically it was a penalty though would not always be given.the linesman was less than 10 yards away and gave nothing as did the ref but apparently the second ref behind the goal awarded it, though it is still not clear.

    Diaby, booked withinthe first minute and IMO was magnificant for 45 minutes maybe he ran out of steam as he has played so little,therefore should have come off earlier..

    Gervinho and Podolski most probably did the most mileage in the game but our downfall was that we should have used subs at about 60 minutes.

    When I read that players are tired after 5 games something is wrong, maybe as a unit the work load should have ben shared a bit more but I can’t quite put my finger on it.

    Anyway we survived and got the vital first 3 points on the board.

  201. chas says:

    Apologies LB,
    It was a very poor reference back to the fishy puns the other day.

  202. chas says:

  203. Rasp says:

    We currently have a problem with today’s post and are considering the options for publication. Peaches and I are very busy today and will try to get it sorted asap. If anyone has any publishable thoughts on last night’s game please let us know.

  204. Morning all

    New Post ……………………

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