Quo Vadis Arsenal v QPR

It is rare that Big Raddy struggles to raise enthusiasm for a post but this week has been just so disappointing. Two hard defeats, a dull AGM and another plucky  MU victory, all horribly depressing. Apart from our neighbours scraping a draw with a team of chicken farmers and the losses of MC and the Chavs, it has been unremitting pain.

BR on Thursday morning

But we Arsenal fans aren’t going to let a few disappointments mar our season are we? We are going to get back in the saddle and ride out to face the massing hordes of the enemy. And today we face one of football’s most craven villains. Not the team – everyone has a soft spot for QPR, but their manager, the odious frog -faced Mark Hughes. It is well documented that I have a problem with this miscreant; many detest SAF, others Pulis or Fat Sam, but for me Hughes is the arch villain – he is Lex Luther to Arsene’s Superman.

Just look at his record. This fool has destroyed club after club, admittedly he doesn’t cause the economic ruin that *Arry does, No, what Hughes does is more insidious. He teaches players to perform as he did, with touches of panache which disguise a petty violence – he is the ankle tapper, the achilles tendon breaker as opposed to the leg breaking of Allardyce. At least Allardyce stands up for his crimes to football, Sparky just blames others.

Unfortunately, Rangers have started to improve. The tens of millions spent on new players may not have been wasted as the team starts to gel. I watched their performance last weekend in the draw with Everton and QPR looked good – they could and should have won. Decent ball players, the creativity of Taraabt, some pace and stout defenders…. you know their assets as well as I do. But…..

This game will revolve entirely around Arsenal’s performance. My prayer is that we score early and stop the ill-humour which will inevitably grow should the team struggle. Get the fans onboard, start playing the football we know we can and get back to winning ways.

The signs are that Wilshere will get some pitch-time which is a huge fillip to the fans. So much expectation is resting upon his very young shoulders, but should he be the player we all think he is, then the future is rosy.

My team:

Much depends upon who is fit. What is clear is that somehow we have to create chances for the forwards. In the last two game we haven’t had a sniff at goal. We don’t have the type of strikers who can create their own chances, ours are finishers. The Gervinho in the middle ploy worked for a couple of games but (and I hesitate to say this) he is not intelligent enough to play the role being asked of him – he is no Thierry. We have an expensive CF, play him and let him show what he can do, let Giroud play 90 minutes. Podolski has been subbed in almost every game which makes me question his fitness, so why not give him a 2 week rest?

As to Santos. I feel he has been vilified in the same way that Ramsey, Song, Eboue etc etc have been. Santos is a good player working his way back into the team after a long lay-off through injury, that said, his lack of match fitness is costing us goals, both Norwich and Schalke’s first were as a direct result of Santos not keeping the defensive line; if Gibbs is fit he must start.

Today’s man is just a taster for one of Britain’s great heroes; David Livingstone was an extraordinary man who needs more time than I have today. Instead I will leave you with a picture of his father-in-law, a missionary who established a South African church in 1820.

Three  points is a must today. Not just to stop the rot but to condemn Mr Hughes to a P45 (if they exist anymore)

Written by Big Raddy

237 Responses to Quo Vadis Arsenal v QPR

  1. slimgingergooner says:

    We must get more attacking impotus from our wide boys today, whoever they may be. The improvement in our defensive stats has inevitably come at a cost to our attacking play with full backs not quite so eager to bomb over half way at every opportunity, and our wingers having to work harder tracking back, which leaves our striker isolated all too often.

    We have shown against Liverpool that this more defensive approach can work brilliantly on the counter attack, but we seem to be struggling to alter our mind set when having to take the game to lesser teams. It’s time to take the shackles off the wide players and let them do what they do best. If we can’t do that against the bottom of the league then when can we?

    I agree with BR that an early goal would be the key to a big performance, but if we get 30 minutes in without a goal it could be a very long afternoon.

  2. kelsey says:

    The pre match king well done but i believe Gibbs is still out.

  3. Thanks for the preview Big Randy. I felt the same as you did on Thursday morning. Surely we can’t be that dire again 3 games in a row ? You are right, if we don’t get an early goal the mood in the crowd could get quite ugly.

  4. Morning all

    I’m ready, the sun is shining and The Emerates always looks so beautiful in the sunshine. If we play our football and score early that will be good. The team need to get back to enjoying playing together and today is the day ……. fingers crossed 🙂

    Rasp and I will be at The Tavern from 1.30, see all comers there later.

  5. evonne says:

    Thank you Raddy for the large dose of optimism, very much appreciated these days.

    I have no views on Hughes, but respect your opinion and shall hate him from this day forward. Santos would not be half as tired if he stayed in his position, instead of charging forward.

    Please, please, pretty please Dennis, help!!!!

  6. kelsey says:



    Seven of the last 12 league matches between these clubs were drawn. QPR won 2-1 at home in their most recent meeting in March to boost their battle against relegation and end Arsenal’s seven-match winning streak.
    QPR’s only win in their last 13 league visits to Arsenal came on New Year’s Eve 1994. (W1, D4, L8). John Jensen famously scored his only goal for the Gunners in that game.


    They have only won one of their last six league fixtures at home since April, averaging a point per game (W1, D3, L2).
    Twelve points from eight games represents Arsenal’s fourth worst return at this stage of a Premier League season. They are a point closer to the foot of the table than the top.
    They and Manchester City share the division’s best defensive record, although Arsenal have not kept a clean sheet in their last five matches.
    Santi Cazorla has scored nine goals from outside the penalty area since the beginning of last season, more than any other player in the top five European leagues.


    QPR have failed to win any of their opening eight Premier League matches. It’s the club’s worst start to a top-flight season since they failed to win in their first 13 matches of the 1968-69 campaign. They finished that season last and were relegated.
    They are winless in their last 17 Premier League away matches since a 3-2 victory at Stoke in November 2011.
    Seven of QPR’s opening eight games this season were against opposition currently in the top half of the table.
    Only Southampton had conceded more than the 17 goals shipped by QPR and Norwich prior to this weekend’s fixtures.
    Djibril Cisse could make his 100th Premier League appearance

    (source: BBC website)

  7. LB says:

    Good post BR

    But I think you are mistaken when you say that “both Norwich and Schalke’s first were as a direct result of Santos not keeping the defensive line.”

    The way I remember it the Norwich goal was scored from a long range shot that Mannone spilled and was then tapped in by one Nowich player or another. How is Santos to blame for that?

    The Schalke goal again came down the middle in which Vermaelen had nodded off, yet again how do you blame Santos for this?

    I obviously do agree that Santos is working his way back to match fitness after a long lay off.

  8. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Wow Raddy, that is a forest of facial growth. Even a light trim would have resulted in some serious global warming.
    Jack was on the bench at Norwich and Chas told me he played a full 90 for someone on monday, so for me he starts.
    Thank you, and I hope you are having a great time in Paris. Students eh!

  9. Good post Big Moody.

    Depending on Koscielny (see following analysis)

    Jenkinson – Mertesacker – Koscielny – Vermaelen
    Ramsey – Cazorla – Arteta
    Ox-Chamberlain – Giroud – Gervinho

    I noticed a comment from KELSEY at the end of yesterday’s excellent post, re Koscielny’s fitness… I had mentioned it also, earlier in the post. I personally think he wasn’t fully fit and would have been used only in an emergency (injury to Mertesacker or Vermaelen). If that’s still the case today, and if Santos is dropped, then maybe the back-four could include (surprisingly) Djourou.

    Jenkinson – Mertesacker – Djourou – Vermaelen.
    (with Koscielny again on the bench IF he’s not FULLY fit).

    @ Ritchie – great stories about Avanull Road and Gran etc, yesterday.

  10. MickyDidIt89 says:

    I love your thinking. Something along the lines of: “I know nothing about so and so, but if Raddy says bad things about him, then from this moment forwards, I shall detest every fibre in his spineless body” 🙂
    Have fun all that are going, and remember to drop a drink and some scratchings over the road to Chary.

  11. LB says:

    If Walcott is fit, I reckon he is nailed on to start.

  12. Just noticed Big Moody’s last comment under the pic of that ZZ Top bloke.

    “to condemn Mr Hughes to a P45”

    Which reminds me that I wanted to ask you all (some time ago) for your thoughts as regards the first Premiership managerial casualty, should there be one this season. This seems a reasonable time seeing as Hughes is possibly in the running…

    Sorry to go off-topic (to a degree), and if this has been discussed on a previous post, then apologies, but my computer had to go into hospital for quite some time recently, and I may have missed it (?).

  13. LB says:

    I can’t get over the idea that Weedonald lives 2700 miles away, I still don’t know exactly where, this came to mind after looking out he window and thinking hmmm it’s a bit windy today the journey may take me 25 instead of 20 minutes to get to the ground.

  14. kelsey says:

    Hopefully Hughes and Rodgers won’t last the season at lLverpool, Big Al.

  15. Rasp says:

    Thanks Raddy, once again you’ve summed up my mood for today’s game Victory is vital … end of.

    On another note I must compliment everyone on a great day’s blogging yesterday. richie and GoonerB have certainly added something to our content.

    Which brings me to richie’s comment @12:30 on yesterdays post. We are blessed with so many friends who have unbelievable provenance in terms of The Arsenal. GunnerN5 and Brigam and several others basically grew up outside Highbury and have fantastic tales to tell … but richie may have eclipsed you 😆

    I met a really nice guy at the AGM who also grew up in the area and his whole family are Arsenal supporters. Sadly his father actually died on the terraces at Highbury. Being the pushy sod I am, I asked him if he would like to write his story for the site. He said yes, but was probably just being polite Any way ***, if you’re reading, we’ll be at The Tavern at about 1:30 today if you fancy a beer before the game.

  16. Rasp says:

    Morning LB, looks like we’re both Theo fans now 😛 I have been sitting on a post about Theo for about a week now but haven’t had the opportunity to publish.

  17. TotalArsenal says:

    ‘Lex Luther to Arsene’s Superman’ 😆

    Love the rant, Raddy, and thanks for a fine pre-match. You have lifted our spirits. 🙂

  18. MickyDidIt89 says:

    I had already complimented people on the quality of blogging. Always know that while you sleep, the site is in safe hands 🙂
    Have a great day, and I wish I was there with you.
    Off out now, back to join Cinders and Chums for the game from the sofas.

  19. Rasp says:

    Since we have acquired so many bloggers who grew up within the sound of the refs whistle at Highbury (as opposed to Bow Bells) we really should have a collective name for them don’t you think? …. HighGunners?

  20. Rasp says:

    Thanks Micky, I’m sorry I often don’t get the chance to catch up on comments. The early morning club of which you and chas are founder members is always a joy to read back over and as a result I start my day with a smile even if I can’t join in 🙂

  21. Rasp says:

    Micky, sorry you won’t be joining us in the biting wind today – when am I next likely to enjoy your company (and some tasty Turkish cuisine) at a game?

  22. slimgingergooner says:

    How about Goonbury’s!

  23. Rasp says:

    😆 sgg, that has a more appealing slightly irreverent sound to it

  24. Hi all

    I’d love to know who would like to write the match report before I go to the game ……… any offers?

  25. Goonbury’s – love it, do I count even though I left the area when I was 6 😉

  26. GoonerB says:

    We know it will be a 4-3-3 system but I like your line up BR. You know I feel that Giroud often doesn’t get the players in close enough to him to support at times, and he ends up looking isolated. As the game becomes fluid I would love to see us at times getting Theo or the ox in tighter to Giroud for support with the midfield 3 moving one place to the right so that Le Coq becomes almost a right winger, and Gervinho coming more to the left flank. It turns it more to a 4-4-2 and I am not suggesting we should stay rigid to that formation throughout the game, but adopt it at times during the game to give Giroud more of a strike partner if you like. Anyway just leaving work so must dash to get the train I want.

  27. Rasp says:

    Hi GoonerB, you leave me standing in terms of your tactical and positional knowledge.

    I certainly want to see Coquelin on the pitch today, even if it is at the expense of Ramsey. Some of his tackling was fantastic on Wednesday and he has greater skills/tricks than Theo. I can see Coquelin being a top player in the future.

  28. JM says:

    My line-up would be:

    GK: Mannone, CBs: Koscielny/Djourou & Vermaelen, CB(Sweeper): Mertesacker
    RWB/RM: Jenkinson, LWB/LM: Santos, CM(Holding): Coquelin, CM(Box-to-Box):Arteta, CM(Advanced): Ramsey, CF(Main): Giroud, SF(Side-forward): Cazorla

    Subs: Martinez, Djourou/Koscielny, Gervinho, Podolski(rested), Walcott/Arshavin, Sagna, Wilshere/Gnabry.

    Tactic: Attack from Right flank, Containment in the middle, Decoy along Left flank.

    Arsene’s line-up should be 4-3-3(Defensive) of course.

  29. Rhyle says:

    Morning all, hope you’re all in good shape!

    Have been reading what’s been an excellent week in terms of quality of this blog and mourning what has been a woeful week in terms of quality of performance on the park…completely unable to be rational when I’ve tried to post so have avoided it! But let’s not dwell on that…

    Raddy – great to call out Hughes on what he is…a neanderthal who hides his vile ways under a veneer of civility…he’s a cretin and always has been…

    Today’s another day, folks – a good win today could set us up for (shock horror!) a good November. Wrap up warm ‘cos in spite of the sun it’s BITTER cold out there and bring your singing voices!

  30. Rasp says:

    Thanks Rhyle and JM, I have been toying with the idea of having a sort of league table of team selection predictions. Poor Raddy always has to put his head on the line in his PM …. the only trouble with the idea is it will involve me in more ‘behind the scenes time’ so I’ll only instigate it if there is enough support for the idea.

    Right off to the game … catchup later …… and happy I hope ……..

  31. slimgingergooner says:

    I’m still holding out hope that Wengers words at the end of the last TW will ring true in January. I still don’t think he has finished moulding this new squad and we may see a few outs in January and hopefully 1 or 2 ins if he can find the right players.

  32. Fab match preview as always BR
    i’m looking forward already to your Livingstone tribute!
    Rasp, the line up prediction is a great idea. The fantasy league is interesting enough, maybe we could have a score prediction league too, soon you’ll be running out of space for the widgets.
    Anyway i am hoping Santos doesn’t get a game as QPR will target for sure when its bus comes out from parking.
    My team
    Vito, Jenks, BFG, TV, Bac, Mikel, Coq, Caz, Gerv, Giroud, Ox/Theo
    Shoot on sight please.
    TV & Santos probably – stay in defense please.
    Gerv/Ox/Theo get in the box with Giroud when the ball is on your opposite flank please.
    Arsenal win please.

  33. richie says:

    @GIE from last post. They were such different times Charlie George was a local lad who played football in Highbury Fields with my uncle, Johnny Radford lodged with my gran Pat Rice’s brother was the barber and the team often trained in Clissold Park. They drove Ford angla’s 😦 🙂 🙂 I remember it was such a big thing when Sammy Nelson bought an Alfa Romeo. It was like how did he manage to save up for that? Who’s he think he is anyway with a bloody Alfa?
    Now the average players drive a car worth a house.

  34. Final plea for a match report before I leave ………. anyone?

  35. evonne says:

    Micky – don’t know if you are just taking the piss, which I presume you are, but to be honest with you I didn’t hate Tony Pullis or Cambridgeshire referee Darren Deadman until I met GiE, or Martin O’Neill, or Orcs until you lot poisoned my little mind

    I was on a tube half hour ago, lots of fans getting off at Finsubury Park, all very somber faced 😦 I think we are bracing ourselves for the unspeakable 😦

  36. MickyDidIt89 says:

    No Evonne, not taking the piss at all. Au contraire, I like the cut of your jib 🙂
    Well, I have not heard a good reason why Jack cannot start. So Jack starts for me.
    There will be a bus in town, so a cute passer will be handy. His presense will also lift spirits on and off the pitch.
    I assume they’ve got two big oiks at the back, so I’d attempt to play along the ground and through and past the bloody apes.
    Therefore its:
    Jenk Mert Verm Miqu
    …..Santi Art Jack
    Theo Pod Gerv

  37. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Off again until KO

  38. richie says:

    @ LB10:26 I hate to have to remember this coz I’m trying to forget but Santos played Holt onside otherwise he would’ve been off-side for his tap in that Mannone spilled. Thats whats meant by him not keeping the defensive line.

  39. Prince-Purrfect-Poldi says:

    Big thumbs up on the match report B Raddy, always a delight..

    An early goal would be just the tonic me thinks, and i would gladly sacrifice the sexy football for a guaranteed 3 points..Its backs to the walls time and we must stand up and fight, show those loftus fools whos house they are in and get our respect back even if its ugly on the eye..

    No Retreat, No Surrender!

    Up the Arse

  40. kelsey says:

    Just for you Micky, jack starts.

  41. Prince-Purrfect-Poldi says:

    All you Gooners out there, where ever you may be, Enjoy the game, block out all the negatives and keep the faith !!

    Remember even ‘titi’ was a flop in his first 8 weeks….. Miracles do happen and the stars shall align again…MAGIC-its the Arsenal way

  42. kelsey says:

    Mannone, Sagna, Mertesacker, Vermaelen, Santos, Arteta, Wilshere, Ramsey, Cazorla, Podolski, Giroud.

    subs: Martinez, Koscielny, Jenkinson, Coquelin, Walcott, Arshavin, Gervinho

  43. Prince-Purrfect-Poldi says:

    Hi Jack, Hows your back? Havnt seen you for ears and ears but i still knows your cheeky 😆

    Ive got my coat…..

  44. Prince-Purrfect-Poldi says:

    Thanks Kelsey

  45. well lets hope santos is going to get some help from TV & midfield

  46. Reddawn says:

    Has anybody got the stats:- games we have won this season with Ramsey and games we have won without Ramsey?

  47. richie says:

    @LB further to the previous point if you wanna confirm how Santos didn’t keep the defensive line check out http://gingers4limpar.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/Norwichgoal1.png

  48. richie says:

    Off now KO close.

  49. kelsey says:

    I thought Santos was chosen to play on the left flank 😉
    Didn’t expect Sagna or Wilshere to start.These are risks which i hope comes off. No real pace on the flanks but let’s hope we stuff toillett and co down the toilet.

  50. MickyDidIt89 says:

    That’s good Kelsey.
    Theo on the bench (so fit) mmmm
    Oh well, show us what you do best Arsenal.
    Come on you Gunnnnnners

  51. Prince-Purrfect-Poldi says:

    Damned if you do, damned if you dont..Sometimes i dont envy Arsenes job..


  52. kelsey says:

    Reddawn you don’t really want to know, just enjoy the game 🙂

  53. Prince-Purrfect-Poldi says:

    If we keep Granero quiet we kill the supply to Hoilett..its elementary my dear 🙂

  54. SharkeySuresGhost says:

    Crakcing pre match and fantastic picture

  55. kelsey says:

    What do we do best,Micky 🙂

  56. kelsey says:

    Aren’t you there sharkey ?

  57. oz gunner says:

    He’s back! He’s back! Jack is back!!!!!!!!

  58. Prince-Purrfect-Poldi says:

    mouth watering and ox on bench…unbelievabubble 🙂 how are you Oz?

  59. Prince-Purrfect-Poldi says:

    Love the gravatar btw, smells like teen spirit= youth naivity?

  60. oz gunner says:

    Oh yeah PPP everything is right in the world again. Jacks my favourite gunner, pod was my favourite none gunner but now plays for us. All thats missing is the trophies (not long of a wait though.


  61. evonne says:

    Raddy was right, they are already kicking Sagna. Gosh I hate Mark Hughes 🙂

  62. evonne says:

    hi oz and ppp

  63. oz gunner says:

    haha cheers, just showing everyone what BSR really thought of as a young boy

  64. evonne says:

    oh no Oz, I just enlarged your gravator, yuk

  65. oz gunner says:

    great…it’s Evonne, lets go PPP. haha hi, hope all is well Evonne!

  66. Prince-Purrfect-Poldi says:

    Confident on that front as well! Other than that heaps busy with work and holidays round the corner, although evryhings fine when your still breathing in the morning and our Gunners are on track. Im easily pleased 🙂

    Come on boys, stand up and be counted!!

  67. Prince-Purrfect-Poldi says:

    Hi Evonne, hows the sofa? 🙂

  68. oz gunner says:

    hey that CD has sold millions. get your mind outa the gutter!

  69. oz gunner says:

    agreed PPP, that’s all that matters

  70. Prince-Purrfect-Poldi says:

    Jack is the secret herbs and spices 🙂

  71. evonne says:

    sofa safely away from the wall with ample space to hide

    it’s freezing cold in London, but the atmosphere seems hot hot hot


  72. kelsey says:

    We lose an attacker as Podolski has to track back and cover Santos, therefore he won’t last 90 minutes.

  73. oz gunner says:

    Evonne during the game:

  74. Prince-Purrfect-Poldi says:


  75. oz gunner says:

    very good point kelsey,it’s very frustrating. Santos looks like he has no confidence at all!

  76. evonne says:

    Oz 🙂 tough times call for tough meassures

  77. kelsey says:

    3 times their keeper has already spilled the ball and each time only one forward in the box to take advantage to no avail.

  78. oz gunner says:

    jacks shot had santi and giroud both running in

  79. Prince-Purrfect-Poldi says:

    C’mon Arsenal.. lets sheke off this pre-season mode 😦

  80. Adrian says:

    You don’t need to be a genius to figure out that Ramsey on the right DOES NOT work.

  81. Prince-Purrfect-Poldi says:

    sheke *shake
    tomAto tomato
    ppp = dumbass

  82. oz gunner says:

    what the hell! this umpiring is an f’n joke. nelson gets one,ramsey gives one for touching a bloke then nothing for getting flattened!!!

  83. RockyLives says:

    Bit worrying that we look more nervous than the bottom team.

    This is a bit disjointed but already better than Naaarch and Schaaaalke.

  84. kelsey says:

    We know our weak link, QPR have the same weakness in traore so take ramsey off (not needed ) and put on walcott

  85. RockyLives says:

    Not a bad call Kelsey, but Ramsey is doing a lot to keep Taraabt quiet.

  86. Prince-Purrfect-Poldi says:

    you can hear a pin drop in the emirates ….

    not right

  87. oz gunner says:

    agreed rocky, more attacking intent but still not the same Arsenal. Jack is a star though. I forgot just how good his close control was

  88. RockyLives says:

    Why couldn’t the keeper spill it that time, with OG a yard away!

  89. RockyLives says:

    Crowd are as nervous as the team, hence the atmosphere.

  90. Prince-Purrfect-Poldi says:

    I know Rocky, i understand but you know its not right.. We are at home and it seems as though our opponents no longer fear us.. Your right, we look disjointed but i believe we will wrap this one up, but alot needs to be done on the training track..

  91. kelsey says:

    Put into perspective we have now played what where the bottom two teams consecutively and it ain’t great..

    First half performance started brightly and then slowly lost our urgency.giroud may well turn out to be a goal scorer for us,but for the moment we are screaming for a striker.
    Sagna and wilshere both look fully composed and that’s a big plus.

  92. SharkeySuresGhost says:

    Kelsey 2.59…no I;m 95% armchair these days. 3 games a season is about my limit in recent years.

    The more children I have the less I go. Shame really cos theres a new train line from me in Sth London straight thru to H&I. It used to be real trek* to get there with buses tubes and trains

    * Said with apologies to those coming from Notts, Cornwall and Norfolk

    Oh and Kelsey… if I look at Bob Moffats pic upside down it really could be you !!

  93. SharkeySuresGhost says:

    Oh yeah the game….

    Decent game, but we need to maintain the higher tempo for longer periods..not just short bursts.

    Don;t even wanna think about how flat we might have been without Lil Jack

  94. Gooner In Exile says:

    I sense tension?

    And me not watching the first half has not led to a change of fortunes, although we haven’t conceded so that’s a good thing right?

    Cracking prematch as ever Raddy, I despise Hughes, but not as much as Pulis. Hughes used to annoy me when he was City manager the way he peacocked around the touch line as of he was a mercurial managerial talent, rather than what he was a lowly track suit manager who had lucked out into a club that got bought by the worlds richest family.

  95. oz gunner says:

    Sharkespeare I have it on good authority that this was Kelsey in his hey day!

  96. Prince-Purrfect-Poldi says:

    tension GiE? hmm, its simmering at the moment, along way to go to get to the boil. We are missing the spark plugs, and safe is not our style…it works against us.. all text book for now 😦

  97. oz gunner says:

    great pre-match big daddy. you never let us down

  98. evonne says:

    they are targeting Wilshere

  99. Prince-Purrfect-Poldi says:

    OH NOOOOOOOOOOOOO JACK…doesnt look good, hope its just a knock

  100. Prince-Purrfect-Poldi says:

    Flash backs of swansea last season away..

    Cmon Kick start my Heart

  101. kelsey says:

    Hurry up with the subs, please

  102. RockyLives says:

    There are hints that Wilshere-Santos could turn into something really special.

  103. oz gunner says:

    come on pod! you’ve got this

  104. Prince-Purrfect-Poldi says:

    Poldi territory top right pleeeeease!

  105. oz gunner says:

    is it just me or did those youtube vids of santi scoring free kicks leave you thinking he will score everyone?
    I feel so let down when he misses!

  106. Prince-Purrfect-Poldi says:

    Granero should be off

  107. oz gunner says:

    Traore you bloody rabbit stop jumping around like a twit!

  108. Prince-Purrfect-Poldi says:

    Now you get punished for a perfect tackle..Refs a bimbo

  109. Prince-Purrfect-Poldi says:

    Bring on Ox for Rambo and spread em, making space for Giroo

  110. RockyLives says:

    Ref’s rubbish.

  111. oz gunner says:

    that sounded awful PPP haha

  112. RockyLives says:

    Jack off.

    Theo on.

    Ramsey into the middle, presumably.

  113. Prince-Purrfect-Poldi says:

    GLiC would be proud 😆

    Jack off? Me no like

  114. RockyLives says:

    Need to grind out a win here, one way or another.

  115. RockyLives says:

    QPR have a lot of players with stupid hair.

  116. Prince-Purrfect-Poldi says:

    16 min to go, at home against another bottom of table team.. i should not be worrying like this..cmon boys DIG DEEP

  117. Prince-Purrfect-Poldi says:


  118. RockyLives says:

    Oh Santi 😦

    Should have at least been on target.

  119. RockyLives says:

    OK – they’re down to 10 men, which the headline writers will enjoy if we fail to win.

  120. RockyLives says:

    Gerv off on a stretcher. Oh dear.

  121. RockyLives says:

    AT LAST!!!!!!!!!!!!


  122. Prince-Purrfect-Poldi says:

    pinball purrfect!

    actually Thank God…my palms are sweaty

  123. RockyLives says:

    Well done Arsh.

  124. Gooner In Exile says:

    Bloody ell that was like pinball, quality cross by Arshavin, think Arteta was offside at some point though, but not on the 2nd, 3rd, 4th phase of play

  125. RockyLives says:

    Think you’re right about the offside GiE – but no mention from the commentators.

  126. Prince-Purrfect-Poldi says:

    good boy Rambo

  127. RockyLives says:

    We’ve ramped it up well these last 15 mins or so.

  128. Prince-Purrfect-Poldi says:

    Its opened up heaps Rocky since the sending off

  129. RockyLives says:

    Wow, that was a lucky let-off.

  130. Prince-Purrfect-Poldi says:

    We need to focus and see this out

  131. Gooner In Exile says:

    Just for once do you think we could stick it in the corner flag and hold it?

  132. RockyLives says:

    Great stop Mannone

  133. Gooner In Exile says:

    Rocky can’t understand my commentators 😀

  134. Prince-Purrfect-Poldi says:

    Mannone just saved our bacons.

  135. RockyLives says:

    Ref is very very poor.

  136. RockyLives says:


    Thank Dennis for that.

    The result was all important today.

  137. SharkeySuresGhost says:

    3pts !

  138. evonne says:

    what a relief….pheeeeew

  139. Gooner In Exile says:


  140. RockyLives says:

    Not an overly convincing performance, but it would have looked a lot different if we had been coming off the back of two wins instead of two defeats.

    There’s lots to work on, but it was an improvement on Norwich and Schalke.

  141. Gooner In Exile says:

    lol its a hatrick of phews

  142. RockyLives says:

    Haha evonne and GiE… a lot of “phewing” going on.

  143. Prince-Purrfect-Poldi says:

    The best thing the ref did this evening was ‘blow the full time whistle’ 😆

    it was at times ugly, but im a happy chap.. Told you it was similar to Swansea last season when our challenge kicked off and snowballed to Christmas.. This is the same… And we will beat the Manure scum on their own cow paddock!

    Happy days again 🙂

  144. slimgingergooner says:

    An offside goal is exactly what’s needed when things aren’t going too well!

    A ragged performance with Jack the massive highlight. Great to see him and Sagna back, and it wouldn’t be players returning without another injury to put us back to swuare one! Hope it’s just a knock for Gerv.

    Great result, very average performance, and a game that will only be remembered for Jacks return. My weekend will better than last week!

  145. kelsey says:

    Man of the match…I suppose their keeper

    Winning ugly is an understatement. very grateful for the three points but on the whole a very disjointed performance. A lot of improvement needed and not sure if this win will boost confidence.

    Not a match i would be eager to watch again.

    I said earlier they were bruisers and at what cost.we will find out later.
    Jack looked class in his first full game, it’s the striking department that worries me.

  146. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Ha Ha, just said “I wonder if someone has posted a Phew” 🙂
    Can’t stay and chat as there are extra DidIt’s in the house.
    Absolutely essential three points.
    Phew ROLF
    Nite or bye all.

  147. Gooner In Exile says:

    Any win will bring confidence. Thought Giroud was unlucky with that towering header before Arteta got it in, good to see bodies in and around the box.

    Thought Rambo looked good from what i saw of him last 40 minutes. Does a lot of unnoticed and unrewarding work.

    Arshavin has that touch of class and nous which is worth having on the bench, and maybe if we find the right system even a starting place.

    If we assume it is best to have our best players on the pitch, could we somehow re shape our 4-3-3 to include the likes of Arsh who sit on the bench.

    I rather like the idea of 4-2-3-1, but i’m not sure the boss will.

    Just to illustrate:


    Or maybe with Pod up top, Jack in the three and Ramsey sitting next to Mikel? Obviously Diaby would be preferable when fit.

    Feel sorry for Jenks today, didn’t think he deserved to be dropped so quickly, but a bit of experience on the pitch was probably essential today.

  148. RockyLives says:

    Jenks didn’t deserve to be dropped, but Bac was outstanding. Put in some great crosses and defensively rock solid.

    OG had a really, really good game up front, holding the ball up against a very big, physical team.

    Santi and Arteta also very good.

    Their ‘keeper played well – we could have had three or four.

    Bit worrying that we gave them two very good chances after going one up.

  149. RockyLives says:

    Belatedly – thanks for another superb prematch and another top beardsman.

  150. Prince-Purrfect-Poldi says:

    I love when we get our game out of the way early, and bag the 3 points.. Now we can sit back and watch the others drop points, well some of the contenders..Today is esentially a 6 pointer

  151. evonne says:

    mad celebrations behind my sofa followed Arteta’s goal 🙂 I was reminded that it was only QPR we were playing. But frankly, a bus is a bus regardless if it is from Sutherland, Norwich or south of the river

  152. kelsey says:

    I agree about Arsh, GIE but we don’t seem to have enough forwards to score, who can last 90 minutes. One of our previous strengths two seasons back was that we would really press with the attackers until the final whistle .
    10 men or not, they looked more dangerous after we scoredwith 6 minutes + left. surely lessons can be learned from that..

  153. Gooner In Exile says:

    Hopefully Kelsey hopefully they will take my instruction at 4:48 (ie stick it in the corner and hold it).

    Remember a few seasons back when we didn’t see a game out in that way and Wenger said he couldn’t stop the team trying to play football (almost put it down to the impetuousness of youth), today we had enough experienced heads who could go and keep it in the corner.

  154. Prince-Purrfect-Poldi says:

    No comments on Santos yet ??

    Wow, this site is a breath of fresh air 😀

  155. JM says:

    Good to see our team getting their belief in their abilities back, with a grinding 1-0 London derby win.

    Regarding Arsene’s 4-3-3 system, we are in the same company as Barcelona, Juventus, Lazio, PSG & Ajax.

    Next match, Reading (to build momentum) and then onwards to Man Utd.

  156. Gooner In Exile says:

    Have we got the players to make it work JM?

  157. kelsey says:

    Wenger: “Wilshere, overall was quite positive, still lacks rhythm but he’ll get that. Gervinho, ankle problem – doesn’t look good”

  158. Gooner In Exile says:

    “It was amazing to be back – words cannot describe it. I was just running around smiling. It’s great to be back.

    “Last time I played it was with Fabregas and Nasri – now it’s with Artata and Cazorla who are great players too. It’s like a new team and I’m like a new player.”

  159. Gooner In Exile says:

    Garth Crooks….talks a load of shite:

    “Any manager other than Arsene Wenger at Arsenal would have got the sack. He is rebuilding but the rebuild for me is too slow. But in Arsenal’s credit today they worked their way back into the game and got the points that, really, I’m not sure they deserved.”

  160. Gooner In Exile says:

    Right i’m offski for a Curry. See you all later.

  161. Adrian says:

    Ramsey for me just doesn’t work in that right wing position, he’s too slow with the ball and getting past players/crossing isn’t his strong point too. Walcott did a much better job in that position the minute he came on. He upped the tempo just that little bit too, honestly hope he will sign a new contract ASAP along with Sagna who had a really good game. Wilshere was class too considering that this was his first league game in 17 months. It is clear that we still need an out and finisher and this should be Wenger’s #1 priority in the upcoming transfer window. Nevertheless, a very scrappy win and honestly Wenger needs to work his magic and get this team to start clicking together again before that match at OT next weekend. Wouldn’t want Van persie rubbing it in our face would we? In fact, Wenger might even want to give the first team another go against Reading just to improve the cohesion factor and to get this team clicking again.

    By the way, Julio Cesar just showed us what a really good keeper could contribute to a team. Wenger might want to take a hint and start sniffing around for DECENT GKs either to back Sczesny up while hes out or act as a deputy as I feel that its a matter of time before Fabianski and Mannone leave.

  162. RockyLives says:

    On the goalkeeping side, to be fair to Man One, he saved us at the end. It wasn’t a spectacular save but it was all about positioning and staying “big”, which he did very well.

    And a lot of the reports are a bit schizophrenic: apparently we were pants, but QPR’s ‘keeper had a great game. Bit of a contradiction there, surely?

    We were far from fluent, but a 3-0 win would not have been unjustified based on chances.

    As I said earlier, if this performance had come after a couple of wins in previous games, we would be talking about it as a professional job, grinding out a good result without being at our best and so on.

    Obviously the context of two p*ss-poor performances colours how many people view today’s outing.

  163. Gooner In Exile says:

    Adrian is a really good keeper one that makes good saves?

  164. chas says:

    Mannone’s one on ones saved the three points

  165. Gooner In Exile says:

    Sorry that should have been multiple choice:

    Is a really good keeper:

    A) one that makes a lot of saves
    B) one that makes great saves
    C) one that doesn’t have to make saves cause he deals with the cross

    For me it’s B and C. I think a really good/great keeper is like Schmeichel, Seaman, Kahn, or Southall. Maybe Buffon in the modern game is in that league.

  166. Prince-Purrfect-Poldi says:

    Well said Rocky, and on that thought i would like to rest my head and say goodnight.. About 2hrs ago i asked Dennis for a win/3 points.. i did not care how i got them, i just wanted a building block and we got it, every Gooner on this planet would have taken a 1-0 to the Arsenal pre match.. Smiling today, and RoLFing 2moro when the spudz produce a knee-jerk loss 😆

  167. Adrian says:

    I might have phrased that wrongly, Julio Cesar not only made quite a few saves but made a couple of great saves as well, the most notable one being that rebound shot from just a yard out. Mannone’s performance today was decent as he didn’t have much to do, but he isn’t fully convincing yet as shown in his previous games.

  168. RockyLives says:

    Night P

  169. kelsey says:

    Julio Cesar said after the game “QPR was not built in a day”

  170. RockyLives says:

    Kelsey 🙂
    Have you come to bury him, or praise him?

  171. LB says:

    Very good Kelsey.

  172. I’m just home ………… anyone offered a match report????

  173. jnyc says:

    I havent thought about it yet, but who do we want to win tomorrow, chelsea or united? I guess united?

  174. RockyLives says:

    I guess a draw or (chokes on words) a ManUre win.

  175. kelsey says:

    i think you will do a very good job at a report peaches, you were there .I am 1761 kilometres away 😉 as weedonald would say.

  176. RockyLives says:

    There is still a lot of negativity about today’s performance (not here, thankfully) so, for some context:

    Match Stats (Arsenal first)
    Possession: 70% – 30%
    Shots: 21 – 4
    On Target: 11 – 3
    Corners: 5 – 2

    Yet Mark Hughes says QPR were in complete control and ‘the least they deserved’ was a draw.

  177. kelsey says:

    How much did QPR pay for Cesar.? I thought it was minimal or even free, but i maybe wrong

  178. kelsey says:


    another 5 minutes and they might have got a draw 🙂

  179. RockyLives says:

    Haha – true Kelsey
    But it might also have been 2-0 to us with an extra 5 mins as they were wide open.

  180. We’re second on MOTD

    kelsey – have you follwed me, I followed you 😉

  181. Not a performance to boost the teams confidence. Against eleven it looked as if one point was the best we could hope for. In fact against ten, we conceded two great late chances to QPR, both through shocking defending.

  182. Rasp says:

    Evening all, A well earned victory. We started without wingers and lacked pace up front. Ramsey put in a very good shift but he’s not quick enough for a winger – but not his fault he was played out of position. On the other side the Pod was not happy with Santos and barked at him quite a lot. I’d imagine that was because he couldn’t go forward when he was constantly called upon to defend.

    We looked so much better with Gerv on the left, Theo on the right and Ramsey in the middle.

    Jack played really well and looked our most attack minded midfielder. Hope Gerv’s ankle injury is not too serious, but fantastic to have Sagna back (he was very good).

    Either Cazorla is still a bit off his game or perhaps opposition managers now set their stall up to stop him conducting our play.

    Arteta was imense throughout and is my MotM

  183. Rasp says:

    Great to see TMHT, GliC, VCC, chas and GoonerB at the rub-a-dub 😛

  184. kelsey says:

    yes i have, peaches

  185. kelsey says:

    I see you changed a word rasp 😉

    This is what i was debating with richie yesterday about playing players out of position (when you mentioned ramsey)

  186. Evening all, hope all our well? At least 3 got three points today and that was all that mattered today……

    Equally pleasing today was getting a lovely text from Peaches, miss you all at the matches, hoping that I will be able to get myself to one very soon, so missing it, even if the football has been a tad awful at times…….

    One interesting side note today, there was 3 champions league winners out there today, none on our side…..

    And Jack is back…

  187. Rasp says:

    Hi Harry, great to hear from you. Hopefully we can hook up at a game real soon.

    I think Mannone should be heaped with praise, he made several important saves and generally dealt with crosses well.

  188. Come on …… someone must want to write about our first victory for three weeks …………

  189. harry671 says:

    Yes that would be good rasp, it so hard at the moment, these are the first CL matches I have missed at home for about 6 or 7 seasons, i think……so miss it……….

    What was the atmosphere like today?

  190. johnny sarcastic says:

    martin wen you gonna grow some balls?

  191. Gooner In Exile says:

    I can see what Rocky means about split opinions on the game, I only watched the second half of the second half. What I saw looked ok going forward against a typically belligerent away defence at the Ems, we were a tad wasteful in fronts of goal, even when they had 11 men.

    We had 14 shots before the red card (5 on target), and according to 442 stats app another 8 after that (4 on target).

  192. LB says:

    Kelsey has already volunteered Peaches read 7.51.

    I look forward to reading it.

  193. slimgingergooner says:

    A common gripe has been our inability to grind out results when playing below our best. Today we managed that and now people will comment that we didn’t win in style! Then when we win in style, people will moan that it style doesn’t win trophies!

    It’s a funny old game…!

    I’m going to enjoy these 3 points just as much as any. Have a great weekend Gooners.

  194. chas says:

    Oooooo, a kelsey match report, how exciting!

  195. dandan says:

    An interesting game I thought, but how fickle are the footballing gods when they apportion there quotients of luck. Last week Mannone pushed one out and it went straight to an opposition player and cost us three points, this week Cesar pushes three out, not one goes to a red shirt and the ball is scrambled away.

    Fortunately a blatant offside is missed by the Ref who allows the goal and we still collect three points.

    Sparky is his normal charming self and accepts our good fortune with equanimity and grace as per the Sir Red nose school of footballing etiquette.

    Early days yet but a confused league this season seems certain to cause much anxiety and uncertainty among football fans across the country. But us top four? Well the boss man says so and he has been right a few times on the bounce now, has he not?

    Guess that will do for me.

    By the way enjoyed your rant yesterday Kelsey and BR’s usual pre match quality today. Thanks guys.

  196. Rasp says:

    Kelsey didn’t offer to write the match report, he was responding tom a question peaches asked him, we still need a volunteer 😦

  197. Thanks Rasp, you’re right, kelsey was responding to my question about following me on twitter…………….

    ……..so a volunteer is still needed to write a match report please.

  198. RockyLives says:

    I’ll put a match report in drafts Peaches.

  199. oz gunner says:

    Wow that deadened the site a bit peaches. 4 hours without a comment haha.

    A lot of great comments made tonight. Particularly liked GiE’s formation. I’d definitely like to see a lot more of Arshavin. Hopefully gerv is okay, otherwise we will have no choice but too.

    Are our subs warming up enough/properly before entering the game because first Ox, and now Gerv. Or just coincidence?

  200. RockyLives says:

    Ox’s injury was nothing to do with warming up – he got twatted in the hip by some big Norwich lump.

    And Gerv got a kick on the ankle.

  201. RockyLives says:

    And by the way Oz, I notice that you laid low until I volunteered to do the report 🙂

  202. MickyDidIt89 says:

    I don’t want to cast a shadow over Rocky’s efforts as the poor chap is probably huddled around his paraffin lamp, nib in hand, as we speak, but….
    Do we always have to have a match report. It causes Peaches match day worry, kills the site, and yet this is meant to be fun.
    Everyone saw the game afterall.
    If someone wants to, then brilliant, but feeling guilt is bad. What terrifies me the most is pissing off the sites’ most prolific and accomplished author (Rocky) and effectively relying on his good nature.

  203. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Oh bugger, the clocks have changed haven’t they!
    Forwards or backwards? I’m confused, although I think I’m stuck on Islamabad time.

  204. kelsey says:

    i kind of agree with that micky and everyone will either have seen the game live or on TV or at least highlights and all we need if peaches and rasp want a new post every day is just a few thoughts about the game as invariably as the day goes on we drift into different aspects of the game or individuals.

    i have sent in two posts this week which for me is a lot and if I was doing a match report today it would have been quite blunt.

    In a sentence: we got 3 points,Wilshere and Sagna were a pleasing sight to see return but otherwise not a game that will stick in the memory.

    I have my own thoughts about the squad and it appears especially when looking for

    a result we have more cameo players than regular 90 minute players

    .The debate is, is that rotation or aren’t some players fit or good enough for a whole game , or otherwise is squad depth just not a standard of a club looking for trophies or at the least a top four position, even allowing for injuries.

  205. Big Raddy says:

    Haven’t seen the game yet so cannot comment but delighted we won.

    Bloody freezing in Gay Paris and

  206. kelsey says:

    Spring forward, Fall back 😉

  207. Big Raddy says:

    Kelsey. It is too early to be so cheerful 😦

  208. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Morning Kelsey and Raddy.
    Interesting point about cameo players, Kelsey.
    Thing is, we are where we are, and right now this is our squad, so how to get the most out of it. Next up Reading then Utd.
    I’m always of the view that the League Cup should be for come-back players and fringe players, but this time I’d send out the first team for 45 mins only.
    We need more playing time, particularly for the attacking side of our game to try and find some rhythm and understanding ahead of Utd.

  209. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Which Arrondissement are you staying in?

  210. MickyDidIt89 says:

    By the way Kelsey, you asked what I meant by The Arsenal “doing what they do best”…I can now answer that:
    1-0 To The Arsenal 🙂

  211. MickyDidIt89 says:

    I do think a posible answer to one small part of your multi-layered thinking lies in the contracts of certain players and how this cocks up possible transfer movements. Of course I’m thinking of Bendy, Chamakh, Theo and even Arshavin.

  212. kelsey says:

    Exactly Micky, so does that mean Wenger is being stubborn and some of those players aren’t being selected even though they could add strength to any given game. Can we afford those luxuries ?

    Multi layered thinking 😉

    Look you know how I feel. I don’t think we will make top 4 this season for a multitude of reasons, but I may not enjoy many games at the moment but you know I support the club and as GLIC said maybe I am frustrated ,and personal issues are clouding my judgement.

  213. kelsey says:

    You have to be gentle with me, I am aging 🙂

  214. Gooner In Exile says:

    Didn’t see the whole match, watched the highlights last night and they picked out Jacks return for special coverage, he looked every bit as good as i remember.

    Some people will argue that we shouldn’t rely on a 21 year old, but for me of you have the best young player in the country theres no shame in relying on him.

    Just watching highlights of City v Swansea…..a lot of empty blue seats

  215. oz gunner says:

    I did nothing of the sort Rocky! I’ll have you know I was about to offer then I saw your comment so I gracefully withdrew my proposal haha

  216. Gooner In Exile says:

    Micky due to the injury risks I’d be sticking out reserves in the League Cup.

    Still be reasonably good squad.

    Twitter rumour mill suggests Szczesny avail for United not Gibbs. Lots of talk of Verm going to left back. Think I’d probably stick with Santos.

  217. Gooner In Exile says:

    My hopes for today’s result:

    Chelsea – Utd DRAW (plus twenty man brawl)
    Saints – Spuds HOME WIN
    Toon – West Brom HOME WIN/DRAW
    Toffees – Dippers DRAW/AWAY WIN

    Then we will be 4th and I’ll wonder what all the fuss has been about 😀

  218. evonne says:

    Berbatov was immense for Fulham yesterday, how interesting. Schwarzer was shit.

    Slim – spot on. We have critisized ourselves for not being able to do a Manyoo and win while playing rubbish. Yesterday we proved that we can grind results. A win is a win is 3 points, end of.

  219. evonne says:

    GiE – you are such a sweetie 🙂 May I add a couple of broken legs for the Chelsea fixture? One on each side will do me

  220. evonne says:

    yes, Sagna and Jack were great. The filthy bastards targeted Jack in the first half, but a yellow card stopped them from injuring him.

  221. MickyDidIt89 says:

    I’d be interested to see what everyone’s strongest XI would be. I think there would be a fair amount of agreement over the back five and the middle three, but the front three….I don’t thinkArsene even knows the answer to that one.
    Theo right? I don’t think Theo thinks Theo is right sided player, and anyway, is Arsene freezing him out ahead of january? Ramsey? Not for me. Ox…mmm, maybe.
    What about the left? Pod or Gerv?
    I think we will need to be at our best next weekend (although we do up our performances against the Big Boys anyway), but the attack needs surgery.

  222. evonne says:

    Micky – for Wednesday? I don’t care if we play 3rd team and lose. One competition less to worry about

  223. Gooner In Exile says:

    Micky I think we need a small change in formation of midfield and attack to get the best from our new players.

    I also think that we don’t need to name our best 11 in a 4-3-3 but actually our best 11 players and find a formation that gets them all on the pitch.

    So for me 3-4-3 probably does it.

  224. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Although I agree about your thinking and the three at the back, I cannot see AW adopting it. For me, the left side only works with Gibbs as he enables either Pod or Gerv to get on with their jobs.
    The right side is a real problem, as I believe there is a major issue with Theo, both in terms of his contract, as well as where he/AW sees his ideal position, and I don’t see a potent alternative.

  225. MickyDidIt89 says:

    I do agree with you over wenesday, its just that I’m worried about going to The Toilet next weekend with so little cohesion and understanding amongst our attack.

  226. Gooner In Exile says:

    But Micky the brilliance of 3-4-3 is it allows Gibbs to stay on the pitch (and means that Santos isn’t such a liability of required to play 😉 )


  227. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Damn GIE,
    I’ve just completed your homework ie name “best 11 players and find a formation that gets them all on the pitch”, and I have:
    No goalkeeper and No attack! 🙂
    Does my startling conclusion finally put to bed the Total Football idiotic theory?

  228. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Bloody hell GiE…I DO like that 🙂

  229. MickyDidIt89 says:

    You should Patent that. 1-2-3-1-2-1
    Even that bright spark Herbert Chapman never thought of it 🙂

  230. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Morning session closed I think.
    Have a god day all.

  231. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Day of the Lord it may be for some, but I did mean have a GOOD day all 🙂

  232. slimgingergooner says:

    Heard a great quote the other day that might be a good title for today’s match report.

    Went something like:

    ‘Turn a step back into a comeback’

    Think that’s exactly what we did last season and hopefully we can do the same again.

  233. slimgingergooner says:

    Turn a set-back into a comeback.

    That sounds more like it!

  234. Morning all

    We have a New Post………… and at the right time too 🙂

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