West Brom Ahoy!

To put today’s game into context let us start with the “crisis” of form. Two big wins then AV away – where once again we played a team just about to improve upon a poor start (check both Norwich & AV post-AFC), Villa are not a bad team and getting a draw was OK, Everton were above us in the table and unbeaten at home, a draw acceptable, then the Swansea game…….

Swansea were excellent last Saturday; according to their fans it was the best performance they had ever seen from their side. Laudrup was ecstatic, as well he might be. We got beaten by a better side on the day – yes, on the day – Swansea are not better than Arsenal and never will be.  Instead of damning Arsenal’s performance which seems to be de rigeur for some, why not applaud what was a fantastic team performance from Swansea? There was not one area of the pitch that they were second best, so hats off to Swansea for giving any football fans an enjoyable afternoon.


Saviour or just Irish’s Dream Man?

What is my point? Well, it is this . at the end of the game Arsenal left the field to the sound of boos echoing around a 30% full stadium. Thankfully, a few hardy souls stayed on to clap Swansea and applaud our boys for the effort they put in.

Do the remainder of fans only go to the Emirates to watch Arsenal win?

And yes, I do know this is our worst start since the Moses brought down the tablets.

But enough of this, let’s look at today’s game and see how the Mighty Arsenal are going to win and shut up the boo-boys. To start with they are going to have to win without Pod, Theo and Bacary, 3 important cogs in our attacking machine (?). The return of Tomas´and Jack mean we have a dynamic midfield particularly with Ox likely to start. Solidity in defence and a patient approach will, as ever, be important – basic individual defensive mistakes cost us last Saturday and they must be eradicated.

Tactics are beyond me, so I hope JM will make an appearance and make some suggestions, but if we are to play 4-3-3, where does Rosicky play? So, I am going for a highly improbable 4-4-2 based upon nothing more than the fact that Gervinho played the whole game in Athens

My team:

arse v brom

And what of WBA? Is their season going to fall away after such a wonderful start? Why should it? WBA will be good opponents this afternoon,they remain 5 points ahead of us in 5th (they would be 4th but some some miscreants with the same points and GD are alphabetically ahead of them). Steve Clarke has carried on the good work started by Hodgson and despite losing their last two games WBA are a tidy side.

Today’s English explorer: Matthew Flinders (1774 -1814) Learned his trade sailing with Captain Bligh (though not on The Bounty), Flinders was the first man to circumnavigate Australia and identify it as a continent. Flinders was also the man who suggested the name for the new land (Australis). After his ship ran aground on the Barrier Reef, he sailed 700 miles in a small cutter back to Sydney and then returned to pick up his crew, a superb feat of seamanship. He also spent much time in South Australia and founded Melbourne. There are over 100 places in Oz named after Flinders. He died at the young age of 40 in London.


A freshly shaved Mr. Flinders

When we win this afternoon it will be Arsenal’s 250th home win in the PL. Let it be so.


Written by Big Raddy

148 Responses to West Brom Ahoy!

  1. oz gunner says:

    great start as always BR. ‘tactics are beyond me’ 🙂

    Looking forward to seeing more game time for Rosicky, he really gave us a kick start the other day. His style of play is very useful when navigating through a press. Speed and quick decision making!

  2. slime says:

    Apparently Podolski is a surprise inclusion in the squad today. Not sure if that’s true or not, but even if it is I can’t see him starting.

    I would like to see TR7 start, but I don’t think cramming in another ball playing midfielder will improve things. We need runners who can split the defenders, otherwise we just end up with the side to side passing we saw last week. I would like to see JW play the holding role and let drop Arteta for TR7, although I think Wenger will play the same midfield 3 as last week seeing as they’ve all had a weeks rest.

  3. JM says:

    Copied from previous post.

    Forget about the 4-3-3, and start the 4-2-3-1 by unleashing our wizards in Cazorla, Rosicky & (hopefully Arshavin) as attacking midfielders/playmakers behind Giroud:


    Jenkinson, Mertesacker, Vermaelen, Gibbs

    Arteta, Wilshere

    Cazorla, Arshavin, Rosicky


    Bring in the subs: Ramsey, Gervinho, Coquelin/AoC during the match as and when necessary.
    Compress midfield and defend deep in a either a 4-5-1 or 4-4-1(Arshavin)-1(Giroud).
    Counter-attack in a 4-2-4(Cazorla, Arshavin, Giroud, Rosicky)

  4. Sheep Hagger says:

    Stats of the day.
    Peter Odemwingie has scored in two of his three Premier League appearances against Arsenal. Boooooooooooooo
    The Baggies have never kept a clean sheet in their 12 Premier League games against Arsenal, conceding 28 goals in total. Lovely

  5. Gooner In Exile says:

    Arsenal Matchday, Big Raddy pre match, what’s not to like.

    Looking through the morning comments and discussions of DM I started to think maybe a traditional 4-4-2 would be a better option given the available players, although I struggled to put a name with Giroud from te available players, so as Raddy has picked 4-4-2 and as I’d hate to agree with him, I have decided a 4-2-3-1 is in fact the answer:


    That gives us an advanced three to press, a fulcrum to attack off, and no need for full backs to go bombing on all game, and if they do then we have Arteta and Coq to cover.

    Alternatively we could play Rambo next to Arteta as he can hit the longer ball to Giroud and the more advance midfielders could join in easier.

  6. Dango dan says:

    We will loose , I know it

  7. JM says:

    I came about the starting line-up against WBA looking into the mid-week CL away game in Greece, with Szczesny, Jenkinson and Vermaelen having played the full 90mins.

    Rosicky played 1st half, Arshavin played 2nd half.

    Ramsey, Coquelin, Chamakh, Gervinho and AoC — all played full 90mins.

    Mertesacker, Gibbs, Wilshere, Arteta, Cazorla and Giroud — all rested.

    i.e. Line-up with 6 starters fully rested; 3 starters having played mid-week for 90mins; 2 starters having played mid-week for 45mins each.

    Quite balanced as possible with the quality of players on the pitch.

  8. The font says:

    Yesterday there was a reference to walnuts in your stockings at Xmas after speaking to Theo’s girlfriend she suggested it was not uncommon

  9. @ Big Raddy
    Running aground in the barrier reef is not a superb feat of seamanship. What he then did was to dig himself out of the sh*te. 🙂

    @ Dango Dan
    That’s the spirit!

  10. slime says:

    Dango dan,

    I think we will be quite tight actually but we will seeeeeee!

    On the DM front, in the short term I would take a punt on Essien. Longer term, it will be interesting to see how Granero gets on, and if they go down he could be an option. Tiptoe is the other stand out in PL, but his disciplinary record is terrible which tells me he’s either getting caught in poor positions or is a bad tackler, either of which isn’t great for a DM.

    Does anyone know if those German Benders are any good….!?

  11. slime says:

    Hahaha Tiptoe was supposed to be Tiote, but I think I prefer Tiptoe! 😆

  12. oz gunner says:

    @ Chas

    ‘sign da ting’ bloody hilarious. one of the best vids i’ve ever seen, cheers

  13. Sheep Hagger says:

    I think it will be a draw.WBA are 5/1 to win.

  14. slime says:

    One last name for DM is that Nordveit kid we had as a CB. Apparently he is impressing as a DM these days (according to Arsenal magazine!) and I liked the look of him just before he was sold. Bit of a long shot but might be worth keeping an eye on.

  15. Gooner In Exile says:

    Slim ifwe are going down that route we may as well bring back Sidwell 🙂

  16. oz gunner says:

    slime frimpong will be our answer. just needs a good run on loan and he’s the beast we need

  17. slime says:


    I would prefer Stefan Shwarz if had a choice!!!

    Hey Oz,

    I’d love Frimps to be the answer but I’m not sold just yet. Lacks a yard of pace for me. I like Coquelin though and I think Essien could be a good short term answer until one of the youngsters is ready. Although I’d be reluctant to replace Diaby with another injury prone player.

  18. oz gunner says:

    Just depends what Arsene is after I suppose. If he wants a ball playing DM we have coquelin, if he wants a beast we have frimpong. If frimpong curtails his youthful exuberance and develops better positional sense he will be a great player (plus he loves Arsenal, what more could we ask?).

    Both just need a run of games, not in and out because they don’t get any continuity in their game. Stuff buying a DM, we need a RW and a LB!

  19. slime says:

    True Oz,

    Funny thing is, even though I think it’s time that Wenger started buying quality rather than potential/sell on value, I find it hard not to look at bargain signings rather than big money buys. Maybe Wenger has the same problem!

    I bet he heads straight for the discount section in Asda before he does his main shop!


  20. slime says:

    Right, I’m going to get in the mood with an hour of AC/DC before I get to London!

    Enjoy the game guys.

  21. chas says:

    Nice one, BR.
    My nephew is now available for the seat. 🙂

  22. Arsenalista says:

    Nice pre match Raddy.

    I dream if 4-4-2

    Our players have the movement of a subbuteo team In a 4-3-3. Very rigid.

    Like the idea if the Ox playing of Giroud.

  23. GunnerN5 says:

    Morning all,

    Nice one Raddy,

    From Arsenal.com


    Football is about more than splashing out’

    By Rob Kelly

    Arsène Wenger believes that success in football is about more than merely “splashing out” on big-money signings.

    The Arsenal manager has been criticised for not matching the likes of Manchester City and Chelsea in the pursuit of high-profile players.

    But the Frenchman insists that the English game is founded on more important principles than simply opening a cheque book.

    “I have big respect for the passion about the game in England,” Wenger said. “But football is more than just splashing out. It’s much deeper, much bigger than that.

    “It’s about sweat, thinking, working hard. You have a big tradition of that in England. I believe the pride of this country historically is built on that. It’s what makes this football strong and interesting.

    “If you go to Nottingham Forest they have won the league. If you go to Aston Villa they have won the league. That means historically this country has always been about effort and thoughtful thinking about the game.

    “I am scared that all these qualities today have less importance in the game.”

    The Arsenal manager has funds at his disposal – and the Club recently agreed a £150 million sponsorship deal with Emirates – but he insists youth development remains important.

    “It won’t change, it doesn’t mean we will not spend money,” Wenger said. “I am always painted like a guy who refuses to spend money.

    “But I just think I act like a responsible manager because we went through a period where we had restricted funds and I acted in a responsible way.

    “We want to be the best. But the best is not only about buying players. We need to continue with what has made our strengths until now.

    “I don’t say that money doesn’t play a part in it, but it’s not only about that. We have to continue to believe that it’s not only about that. What is the game about then? Football has to be even, interesting, unpredictable.”

  24. kgooner says:

    I like the prospect of Rosicky, Cazorla And Jack in Midfield – will disorient the opponents. They wont know who to mark. One of them is bound to successfully probe.

    We shall win! COYG

  25. Arsenalista says:

    GN5 – Of course Wenger is right about that.

    The problems are as much tactical and defensive as they are about money.

    The eleven today are good enough to stuff West Brom, we have to get organised and make it happen.

    I think they will

  26. GunnerN5 says:

    From Arsenal.com


    Wenger – We’ve had positive talks with Sagna

    By Chris Harris

    Arsène Wenger is surprised by recent speculation surrounding Bacary Sagna – because Arsenal have held “positive negotiations” with the France right back.

    Newspaper reports have linked Sagna with a move away from Emirates Stadium but his manager was quick to play down those rumours at his pre-match press conference on Friday.

    “I do not understand this speculation,” said Wenger.

    “He [Sagna] has one and a half years of his contract to go, and we are in negotiations with him to extend the contract, which are very positive.

    “So I am quite amazed by these statements because it is the complete opposite of the feelings we have with the player, and with the negotiations we have had about his extension.”

  27. GunnerN5 says:

    Oops can an admin person erase the bottom of my post?

  28. Giroud has weighed in:

    “My story proves that you can win titles without being a star. Manchester City became champions thanks to their chequebook. Montpellier took on PSG without using their chequebook. Here we bought Santi Cazorla and he did not cost 50 million! Arsene Wenger does not buy a team. He builds one. He built his group with this philosophy.

    Even though it’s been seven years since the club won anything, they have a strong identity. Even if the club lose some of their best players every two or three years, they do not deviate from this philosophy.”

    I know I shouldn’t be surprised by the Mail but a mainly positive interview has been given the headline “I PICKED THE WRONG TIME TO JOIN ARSENAL, ADMITS £12 million SUMMER SIGNING”

    Which comes from this:

    Asked whether he felt he had arrived at the wrong time, Giroud told L’Equipe magazine: ‘Yes. But it puts less pressure on my shoulders. I feel the pressure of the result, not the weight of my predecessors. When you come to a big club, of course you replace a great striker (like Van Persie). It’s useless to have that in your head.

  29. GunnerN5 says:

    Thank you oh anonymous admin person!

  30. GoonerB says:

    Well done Raddy. I always love your positive spin on things. I can feel your vibes permeating me and driving out any negative thoughts that are hidden there, thus cleansing me.

    I like your 4-4-2 mostly because it gets the Ox as a 2nd striker / number 10. I feel he will be a better attacking central player than attacking wide player in the long run and he has a good shot off both feet. I would swap Wilshere’s and Cazorla’s position in your line up because cazorla has played a lot as a wide player in his career. It would mean that Rosicky and Cazorla will have to play a little deeper to defend at times in the game but I would look to get them bursting forward at pace when able ala pires and Ljunberg.

    JM and GIE while I like how you write down your 4-2-3-1 and the merits of this, I can’t see it actually working out this way. Clarke seems to me a good tactician and I think he would exploit the wide space either side of the 2 DM fulcrums. What I think will happen then is that the 2 wider players in your attacking trio will have to drop wider and deeper to help the FB’s and the central player will come deeper also to help out and we will start to resemble more a 4-5-1 again. This may then start to resemble the 4-3-3 when we go forwards especially if the attacking central player starts to operate slightly deeper and doesn’t get forwards again quickly enough. I am not sure, as nice as it would be, that you can keep an attacking trio permanently higher up the pitch than the 2 DM’s, and therefore operating as an attacking trio behind the striker. I would suggest that you then need 2 very specialised beastly DM’s in the mode of Vieira and Petit / Gilberto that can provide a more complete defensive screen across this area of the pitch in order to release these 3 forwards.

  31. mickydidit89 says:

    Damn, see Liveonlinefooty has had The Rozzers in 😦
    What time does Team News get leaked?

  32. About now Micky

    GoonerB see Barca for how 4-2-3-1 can work up the pitch, you just ahve to be prepared (and fit enough) to press, press, press!

  33. JM says:

    We would be overwhelmed in midfield if we line-up a 4-4-2 against West Brom’s 4-2-3-1 (which they played regularly for 13 EPL games)

    Mulumbu, Yacob and Morrison are capable tacklers/ball winners in their centre midfield trio and flanked by Odemwingle & El Ghanassy.

    I do not know if AoC would start as he has played 90mins in midweek in the away CL match, along with Ramsey, Gervinho, Chamakh & Coquelin. (the midfielders and forwards).

    So those that were rested in midweek (Mertesacker, Gibbs, Arteta, Wilshere, Cazorla & Giroud), those that played 45mins (Rosicky & Arshavin), plus our GK-Szczesny, DFs-Vermaelen & Jenkinson (because of injuries to Koscielny and Sagna) could start.


    Earlier I have written by thoughts on the 4-3-3 & 4-2-3-1 formations (December 5, 2012 at 2:09 am) post. Both are not actually similar in every way:

    This is my personal take/observation:

    Understanding the unique 4-3-(3) formation is drilled into each youth player’s footballing brain in the academies of Ajax and Barca. (D.Bergkamp has spoken that @Ajax youth academy, the outfield players train in all positions from defenders, midfielders and attackers … which is basically part of the “Total Football” system). Exceptions are a few world elite players with footballing intelligence, e.g. Ronaldinho, Eto’o, Henry, D.Villa etc who could adapt quickly and fit into playing the front 3 in the 4-3-(3).

    The classic Ajax 4-[2-(1)]-(3) has the (1) in the 3 midfield as the playmaking AM or second striker while upfront 2 wingers flanking the main forward. Wingers are expected to torment opponent’s fullbacks endlessly through dribbling, pace and higher technical abilities. Playmaking AM to be either close with the other midfielders and move across the field as a coordinated unit or be pushed up as a second striker to support main forward.

    Barca’s 4-[(1)-(2)]-(3) evolved further in that their 3 forwards (Messi, D.Villa, A.Sanchez, Pedro, Fabregas, Iniesta) can interchanging seamlessly between playing as side forwards(wingers) and main forwards. The 3 forwards split across the field to spread the attack (making it harder to defend against), and are expected to mark the opposition full-backs as opposed to doubling back to assist their own full-backs, as do the wide midfielders in a 4-2-(3)-1 or 4-4-2.

    The (1) in their midfield (3) (Busquets, Song, Mascherano) serves primarily as anchor man/destroyer with flexibility to move back to defence alongside CB for form a back 3 when their fullbacks move upfield to midfield in attack mode joining the other (2) midfielders.

    The other (2) in the midfield (3), (Xavi, Iniesta, Fabregas, Thiago), one acts as the facilitator/orchestrator and the other as the creater/playmaker. They could also be remarked as all-round midfielders/box-to-box midfielders.

    When the Ajax and Barca teams played 4-3-(3), they could also mod. to a 3-3-1-3 during a match (e.g. Alves and Alba pushing up alongside the 1 CM – read Xavi/Fabregas, and 1 CM dropping back – read Busquets, Song to the highline defence as Puyol/Mascherano and Pique also pushed up etc), amassing more bodies in the midfield, and the AM(e.g. Iniesta etc) could dribble through the attacking 3rd and beyond to disrupt the backline, with his duties covered by the additions in midfield. At the same time, that provides further additional intense pressing high up the pitch, for the forwards and midfielders as well. {creating favourable situations in that of a 3(4) vs 4 in attacking end; a potentially 4(3) vs 2,3 or 4 in midfield and 3 vs 1 or 2 in defending end}

    For Arsenal currently, I would believe not all our forwards are adequately schooled in the 4-3-(3) setup either similar to Ajax or Barcelona.
    Podolski (he works better in a front 2, esp with Klose but not Gomez in national team; Gomez works better as a lone forward in Germany’s 4-2-3-1 system), Giroud and Chamakh (limited centre forwards), Arshavin (he plays more in support striker and has lacked the pressing intensity).
    Gervinho (previously with Lille alongside Hazard and M.Sow) a,Walcott and AoC might have done some work but lack consistency in the necessary technicalities (e.g. with the pressing work, as wingers in dribbling and beating fullbacks, footballing intelligence to e.g. interchange positions at appropriate times, to release ball to teammate before being crowded out at sideline etc).
    An unbalanced midfield in quality of players as well with regard to the destroyer/facilitator/creater concept.
    More importantly, 4-3-(3) involves expansive play, with the whole team moving up/down/across field with or without the ball as a coordinated unit in defending/attacking, i.e. back to the then term of “Total Football” – or now the evolved tiki-taka Barca-style football.

    Our current team is often caught in having bits of a 4-3-3 and a 4-2-3-1 being entangled together.

    A 4-2-(3)-1 should suit with Giroud and even Walcott at point (utilising either a striker who may be very tall and strong to hold the ball up or a very fast striker) in having the support of 3 AMs (wide midfielders & centre playmaker) who could interchanging among themselves as well.
    Currently, Wilshere, Rosicky, Cazorla, AoC, Arshavin, Ramsey could fill the 3x AMs positions.
    Defensively, it would mod. into close resemblance 4-5-1 or 4-4-1-1 (defending deep, compressing midfield). Offensively, it would mod into close resemblance of a 4-2-4 (defendcounter-attack).

    As for Podolski and Gervinho, they might work better with a strike partner upfront, possibly with a 3-5-2/4-1-2-1-2/3-4-1-2, which also involves Koscielny, Mertesacker and Vermaelen as our 3x CBs and having 5 midfielders for breaking up play, midfield dominance and counter-attack.

    Still looking @ what Joel Campbell (if he gets his UK work permit sorted out next season) and Ryo Miyaichi could offer as wingers/wide forwards if we are sticking with 4-3-(3). }}

    Video online:
    A.W.’s (in French) speaking in bits of a 4-3-3:

    An add-on video:
    Barcelona’s tiki taka in 4-3-3 mode:

  34. Szczesny, Sagna, Mertesacker, Vermaelen, Gibbs, Arteta, Wilshere, Cazorla, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Gervinho, Giroud.

  35. mickydidit89 says:

    Great news GiE. Like it mucho.

  36. Subs: Martinez, Jenkinson, Squillaci, Coquelin, Ramsey, Rosicky, Podolski.

  37. Big Raddy says:

    Decent team. Surprised to see Pod & TR on the bench. Also Martinez. Is Don Vito on loan or injured?

  38. goonermichael says:

    I thought Podoski was injured

  39. For those who wiziwigging the Fox stream (2nd on list) is very clean right now.

    Craziest thing? The pundits on the prematch were better than anything we have been offered by Sky this year….why?

    Because they actually talk about football without too much sensationalism…..

  40. oz gunner says:

    The sad news is Fulop is not in goal for West brom. You may remember him as the Man of the Match last time we played, when he eclipsed Almunia as the best keeping performance in a Arsenal v West Brom game.

  41. mickydidit89 says:

    Right, this time its serious.
    Let’s bag a hatful in honour of Rocky
    Now, where’s that wiziwig?

  42. Big Raddy says:

    Who is Wiltshire?

  43. oz gunner says:

    and those not using the great wiziwig because you are technologically crippled here is a direct link:


  44. oz gunner says:

    @ BR



    You’d think they’d learn by now huh, it’s not like they get payed to know or anything!

  45. Big Raddy says:

    OK start. No final ball as yet, but encouraging.

    Poor finish from Gervinho, if he had any compsure he would have scored

  46. oz gunner says:

    I’ll never understand that rule, how is it a free against Wilshere when he has gone up to contest the ball? If anything it should be a foul against the player who didn’t jump as it could injure Wilshere. In other sports it’s called ‘tunneling’ and is considered dangerous.

    Positive start, you can tell we’ve come out with something to prove. Need to be far more clinical though

  47. oz gunner says:

    YES!!!! Come on sink it!

  48. oz gunner says:

    oh no a dive!

  49. oz gunner says:

    YESSSSSS! shouldn’t be taking penalties…balony!
    Very calmly taken

  50. GunnerN5 says:

    Looked like a dive to me,

    But a goal is a goal and boy oh boy wesure needed a break.

  51. Big Raddy says:

    Get In………

    Never a penalty and a rare dive from an Arsenal player. Still 1-0 to The Arsenal.

  52. Danny says:

    Naughty boy Santi. That’s not the Arsenal way. Every ref in the country will see replays of that and next time when it will be a real penalty, we won’t get it.

  53. oz gunner says:

    true Danny. Young does it week in and week out but if Arsenal does it it’s the worst thing in the world. Eduardo situation always springs to mind; had to wait forever for another

  54. oz gunner says:

    god how didn’t that go in???

  55. Big Raddy says:

    Fab reverse ball from Santi

  56. oz gunner says:

    I’m glad Ridgewell went off because their new LB stinks!!!

  57. Sheep Hagger says:

    Vitel I use to screen games

  58. Sheep Hagger says:

    Soz Veetle I’m using an I pad.

  59. goonermichael says:

    We don’t usually get them anyway Danny so no change there then

  60. SharkeySuresGhost says:

    Veetle used ti be good …then I found LiveOnlineFooty…and never looked anywhere else…even though LOF wasn’t even free !!

    RIP LOF…you were the best !!!

  61. SharkeySuresGhost says:

    Oh yeah the game….

    Looked better from the first minute. More hunger, more desire…latching onto loose balls etc etc.

    WBA are no Swansea though….

    Lets get a second sharpish

  62. Giving Santi the benefit of the doubt, he has ticklish feet on top

  63. Danny says:

    2 awful misses from Jack and Gerv, but what really bothers me is why this set of players can’t get into a groove? They’re all good players but they just can’t seem to make it work as a team. Maybe we are just 1 or 2 players away from making that happen?

  64. Gooner In Exile says:

    What I saw of it it was patchy, WBA were sent out with a game plan and I doubt they will deviate until we have a second as we will continue to attack and they know it only takes one good counter to equalise.

    That said we have had a better shape today. And the runs from deep into the box are promising.

    Finally I’m distancing myself from match report duties as whilst I havea stream I am working at the same time and am benefiting from the big screen to watch the game out of the corner of my eye.

  65. oz gunner says:

    hit him giroud!!!

  66. oz gunner says:

    gervs headers are getting closer

  67. GunnerN5 says:

    Way to many sets pieces – scary to me……

  68. oz gunner says:

    need to be wary of lukaku

  69. Big Raddy says:

    How many more will Gerv waste?

    They could be costly. Still good game so far

  70. oz gunner says:

    ox well done, carried on and fought for it. play until the whistle

  71. oz gunner says:

    well done arteta.

    it’s not good enough BR, fresh air shots at this level with a slow moving ball…come on!

  72. SharkeySuresGhost says:

    Popov completely collapses…..and I’m tired of seeing defenders buy free kicks like that.

  73. GunnerN5 says:

    WBA are paying the penalty…………

  74. Big Raddy says:

    When was the last time we scored 2 pens?

  75. Big Raddy says:

    SSG Completely agree. Lay a hand on a defender and they just fall over. It used to be a man’s game

  76. oz gunner says:

    agreed Sharkespeare. You could say Popov’s decision there really stunk!

  77. Big Raddy says:

    Jack has been superb. Maybe time to give TR a run about

  78. Big Raddy says:

    AW loves a defensive substitution when we are leading. I don’t

  79. GunnerN5 says:

    Why do I feel nervous?

  80. oz gunner says:

    what on earth happened there? at least gerv’s doesn’t look as embarrassing now!

  81. oz gunner says:

    goals aside Arteta has had a ripper too. he and jack bring so much fight and determination to the midfield

  82. Danny says:

    I know a win is a win and all that but winning by 2 dubious penalties is still not good enough but it’s a start.

  83. That’ll do nicely, 3 points in the bag.

  84. Big Raddy says:

    JW magnificent but for me it was a team performance. Really worked for each other all over the pitch,

  85. mickydidit89 says:

    Buggered up GN5’s Wallchart.
    In the nicest possible way 🙂
    Great to have three points.
    Jack MOTM ?

  86. mickydidit89 says:

    Agreed then Raddy 🙂

  87. oz gunner says:

    Oh Danny Boy it was a real smashing. Had pod, gerv, and jack converted those three good opportunities (dead set chances) we would have romped it in! Can’t fault anyone, all terrific, clean sheet and a lift in performance…smiles all round!!!

  88. mickydidit89 says:

    Jack so effortlessly glides past players. Fabulous to watch.

  89. Big Raddy says:

    WBA who were 5 points ahead of us didn’t have a worthwhile shot on target over 95 mins.

    We are now 5 points off third:-)

  90. kelsey says:

    A bit of a late arrival so thanks again Raddy for the post.

    I expected a far more threatening Albion beforehand so it was difficult to judge initially if we were up for it. Gervinho’s miss in the 4th.minute was criminal and his overall game is just …well, useless.
    No doubt about the dive and i was a little apprehensive of Arteta taking the penalty after his last one and let’s face it we don’t get many.
    Jack even at 80% fitness has to be man of the match and The Ox also had a good game, but we seriously need another striker.How Podolski missed his chance God knows.
    Overall it is three points gained but as to how much we have improved is difficult to judge.

  91. Big Raddy says:

    Even Peaches could have scored the one Pod blasted over the bar.

    It was a comfortable win – true the goals were somewhat controversial but we marmalised WBA

  92. Big Raddy says:

    kelsey! We thought you were in Hawaii with Peaches

  93. mickydidit89 says:

    Is Marmalizing someone the antidote to being Marmited?

  94. Gooner In Exile says:

    So how do we stop Rocky from leaving the country? Good Luck Omen.

    Don’t know who watched what stream, but US commentators suggested squad has asked for extra training and extra analysis/criticism to put things right. Haven’t read this in print media and no one here has linked to anything as far as I have seen. Good to hear (if true).

  95. kelsey says:

    I may add why Arshavin doesn’t even get even 25 minutes is a complete mystery judging by Gervinho today

    Hawaii, peaches, schhhhhhhhhh 🙂

  96. Gooner In Exile says:

    Thought we looked better in midfield 3 today everyone seemed to know their job and there wasn’t as many players in front of the ball.

    Despite Gervs lack of end product he stretches back four with pace. And could have easily had a couple of assists today.

    Kelsey I note your call for another striker but if we end up with Giroud on pitch and Pod on bench is that so bad?

  97. kelsey says:

    On Fox Sports the commentator said when Rosicky came on ” he hasn’t played since being kicked in the euros” which made me laugh and when Pod missed he said that should have been 3 love 🙂

  98. Gooner In Exile says:

    In fact thinking on in terms of Gerv he is probably more use to the team without the ball. 🙂

  99. Red Arse says:


    The Mail Online yesterday, and the Daily Mirror on Thursday.

    Under-fire Arsenal stars demand extra training in bid to save floundering season
    PUBLISHED: 06:15, 7 December 2012 | UPDATED: 06:15, 7 December 2012
    Comments (11)

    Arsenal players have demanded extra training in a bid to right their poor form, according to midfielder Mikel Arteta.
    The Gunners host West Brom tomorrow in 10th place in the Barclays Premier League following last weekend’s 2-0 defeat by Swansea at the Emirates Stadium.
    The situation, not helped by another loss to Olympiacos in midweek, has led to huge frustration among Arsenal fans – and Arteta says the players feel it just as keenly.

    ‘People are hurting, people are upset with themselves, the players are angry. I think that’s a good thing. It’s not like players couldn’t care less, they know what they need to do,’ he told the Daily Mirror.

    ‘At Arsenal you have a group of players who want to give 100 per cent and that makes things so much easier. I always see that in the dressing room. Always.

    ‘You look at the players’ faces, the disappointment, the hurt. They want to put it right. You’ve got players here demanding and wanting to do extra training. It’s in themselves to work harder to put it right.’

    While Arteta accepts Arsenal have been a long way off their best for some time now, last week’s loss to Swansea was particularly tough to take.

    Losing streak: Arsenal suffered another defeat to Olympiacos in midweek:

    ‘Last Saturday was probably the lowest point, but we hadn’t won the last games before and that was disappointing because we’d been on a good unbeaten run but hadn’t been winning games,’ he said.
    ‘You have to look at yourself and then you have to look at the rest of the players. The most important thing is a player’s attitude, how you go about your job and the players here take responsibility. We need to win games, it doesn’t matter how.’

    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-2244383/Arsenal-players-demand-extra-training.html#ixzz2ETw8ppTi
    Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

  100. Red Arse says:

    I know, I know, I am out of step again, but I think that was a penalty when Santi was kicked on the toe. (It would not have surprised me if it was not given, because it was difficult to see — well not for me and the ref, of course! 😀 — swings and roundabouts.

  101. GunnerN5 says:


    From The Telegraph.


    Arsenal players have demanded extra training in a bid to right their poor form, according to midfielder Mikel Arteta.

    Working hard: Mikel Arteta says Arsenal players are working round clock to turn fortunes around

    Arsenal host West Brom on Saturday in 10th place in the Premier League following last weekend’s 2-0 defeat by Swansea at the Emirates Stadium.

    The situation, not helped by another loss to Olympiacos in midweek, has led to huge frustration among Arsenal fans – and Arteta says the players feel it just as keenly.

    “People are hurting, people are upset with themselves, the players are angry. I think that’s a good thing. It’s not like players couldn’t care less, they know what they need to do,” he said.

    “At Arsenal you have a group of players who want to give 100 per cent and that makes things so much easier. I always see that in the dressing room..

    “You look at the players’ faces, the disappointment, the hurt. They want to put it right. You’ve got players here demanding and wanting to do extra training. It’s in themselves to work harder to put it right,”

    While Arteta accepts Arsenal have been a long way off their best for some time now, last week’s loss to Swansea was particularly tough to take.

    “Last Saturday was probably the lowest point, but we hadn’t won the last games before and that was disappointing because we’d been on a good unbeaten run but hadn’t been winning games,” he said.

    “You have to look at yourself and then you have to look at the rest of the players. The most important thing is a player’s attitude, how you go about your job and the players here take responsibility. We need to win games, it doesn’t matter how.”


  102. GunnerN5 says:

    Oops looks like it was all over the papers….

  103. Cheers for that RA

    I think to be honest Santi was trying to avoid it, and expecting the kick, but instead it was a vicious tickle on the big toe.

  104. Oops indeed! Shows how many times i read the papers, i rely on you lot to keep me up to date!

  105. Red Arse says:

    That’s right GIE, it was a VERY vicious tickle on his toe — if it had been any harder he would have been at a serious risk of laughing out loud!! 😀

  106. slime says:

    Great result! Happy trip back to West Yorkshire for me.

    Although, it does mean that the wife was to blame for last week, so she can’t come again. Shame 😉

    Great to see some of the guys again and a pleasure meeting Rocky.

    We pressed much better today and could’ve had 5, but I must say that West Brom were poor. Still, about time a team played badly against us and Arteta took his penalties well.

    Roll on Bradford.

  107. Red Arse says:


    I do not understand why any forward worth his salt would let a midfielder take the penalties.

    Weird! Just imagine if Arteteta had missed?

  108. chas says:

    As regards extra training, see AW’s press conference I posted this morning on yesterday’s post.
    I.e. It didn’t happen

  109. Red Arse says:


    You said “It made me laugh when the yankee commentator said that should have been 3:love.”

    Real tennis was first played in England by Henry VIII etc, from which modern tennis was derived.

    Now let me see.
    If one of the players wins “one” point it becomes 15. If the same player wins a 2nd point it becomes 30. If that players wins a 3rd point it becomes 45 — uhh no, it becomes ‘only’ 40.
    If the opponent does not score a point it becomes 15:love, or 30:love, or 45:love – bugger, no — it becomes 40:love.

    Umm, taking the piddle out of us Yanks with that in the locker is a bit rum, Kelsey.

    Anyway, you will be telling us next your avatar is called Kelsey because you sat on Jack’s lap on a flight to Spain!! 😀

  110. kelsey says:

    Don’t worry every red top will be calling us cheats again tomorrow that’s a certainty.

  111. Arsenalista says:

    Great Result, better performance.

    Wenger suggests only a few changes for Bradford. Winning is a habit. We need to make it two.

    Couldn’t care less if Cazorla dived.

    WBA showed no ambition and played most of the game defending and they were time wasting from 15 minutes in, which is pathetic.

    If you spend most of your time in your own half, these things happen.

    Berbatov, Bale, Rooney, Owen and many more have dived against us.

    Have a look at Gary Lineker’s two dives against Cameroon in the 90 World Cup. Been going on forever.

  112. Sheep Hagger says:

    Stats of
    The Baggies have never kept a clean sheet in their 12 Premier League games against Arsenal, conceding 28 goals in total. Lovely

    Make that 30 goals in total and still no clean sheet.
    Good 3pts .

  113. Hello

    Anyone want to write about a win then?

  114. Sheep Hagger says:

    Yes I’m happy with the win as I stated this morning
    We would draw .
    I only saw bits of the match but will watch snatch of the day tonight.
    I’ve just read this I did not know about this did any of you.?.


    Storey was an England international and a stalwart of Arsenal’s Double-winning side, but in 1979, two years after leaving the club, he was fined £700 and given a six-month suspended jail sentence for running a brothel in East London. In 1980 he was jailed for three years for financing a plot to counterfeit gold coins. In 1990 he was jailed for 28 days for attempting to import 20 pornographic videos from Europe which he’d hidden in his spare tyre. Now 56, he still lives in south-west London and works as a driver.

    Lol much love SH .

  115. Sheep Hagger says:

    I knew about his arsenal career
    But not about the Del Boy dealings, good man Mr storey

  116. GunnerN5 says:

    Game analysis courtesy of Arsene Wenger


    Wenger: ‘The team was serious and resolute’

    on the performance…

    I feel overall we played well. We were a bit lucky maybe on the first penalty because he could have given it or not given it. For the rest we created many chances, kept a clean sheet and have shown a great spirit, which many people questioned after our last game. That’s all we could do, we did our job very well.

    on West Brom’s approach…

    They tried to stop us playing, they are physically strong and they played deep. Their keeper started very early in the game to gain time, and we were a bit nervous. I think that showed in the way we took our chances. But you could feel that we were ready for a fight and we knew we absolutely had to win this game. We did it and somewhere, with top-level sportsmen, when you have to win, you win. To deal with the nerves and be serious and resolute, that is what we have shown today.

    on the Cazorla penalty…

    No [I haven’t reviewed it]. I am sorry if it was not a penalty but I have spoken to Santi and he said he has been touched and lost his balance. Maybe he made more of it, I don’t know. But he told me just after I came to see you [the press], I asked him the question because I knew you would ask me the question.

    on if being touched means it’s a penalty…

    Not necessarily, no. But it’s a difficult decision, it can go against you, it went for us today. That’s what it is. What I mean is, when he [a player] is touched, he goes down, the referee can give or not give the penalty. Of course [I will speak to Santi if he has not been touched]. I will look at it, don’t worry.

    on Jack Wilshere…

    He is getting closer to the player we know he is and today I think he made a big step. You could see it already this week in training, that he has gained a little burst again, a little zip in the first three or four yards. That’s what you have to accept in football, you have sometimes to be patient. He can only gain it by playing but of course in the first games you cannot be at that level.

    on responding to criticism…

    That’s why I am proud of the victory today, because it is important for our season that when your backs are to the wall, the team responds. As well because our spirit has been questioned because we had a flat performance last week. You can only come back and win on the football pitch.

    on squandering chances…

    I think it is the only negative of the day, that we didn’t convert our chances very well. But we created chances and in the last game we didn’t create a lot. We are not used to that. I believe if we are a bit more serene we will convert these chances much better.

    on rotating his squad for Bradford…

    A little bit, yes. For example Sagna, he has played today with a very bad ankle. He is such a tough boy that he said he could play. He will be rested on Tuesday, maybe one or two more. But we will go with a strong squad, we are in the quarter-final and we have an opportunity to go through. We want to take it.

    on Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain…

    as Jack. He is getting better, stronger, more mature, especially more determined today. There is much more man in his game than there was before. I am pleased with what I have seen from him today.

  117. GunnerN5 says:

    Wow there’s more to that Storey than meets the eye………………

  118. Sheep Hagger says:

    Love this one the mans a legend.

    In 1990 he was jailed for 28 days for attempting to import 20 pornographic videos from Europe which he’d hidden in his spare tyre.
    Magic SH. Lol

  119. Sheep Hagger says:

    Jack is young as is Ramsey these kids will come good we be talking about these 2 in 10 years time.
    Ramsey was captain of Wales until that plonker took over C Coleman.

  120. slime says:

    Jacks first touch today was unbelievable at times. His awareness of players around him and his ability to take 2 midfielders out of the game with his 1st touch is phenomenal. He’s going to be some player (if he isn’t already!).

  121. SharkeySuresGhost says:

    More fight more desire more aggression….happy days

    Agree with others re Lil Jack…..what a game he had today, there’s hardly a better young player in Europe. Almost every touch shows you something about his technical ability and awareness

    Once he starts scoring regularly there’ll be no contest, i terms of up and coming talent. Gotze…lol. Jack plays CM in one of the toughest Leagues in Europe. Gotze’s a winger.

    Roy Hodgson’s wife has prob never seen him ‘so excited’ in many a year
    * With apologies to Peaches Mum, unless she’s a paid up member of the 50 Shades brigade.

    Right off to read Randys PM….honestly

  122. RockyLives says:

    Just back to hotel. Knackered after one hour’s sleep in the last 36 but well worth it to see a good performance, a great result and some wonderful members of the AA community.

    Slim – a real pleasure meeting you today. I hope a good win at THOF will help clear up your man flu! Shame about the misses but I’m sure she’ll understand 🙂

    Peaches, Rasp, Chas and Ant – as always a delight.

  123. RockyLives says:


  124. Sheep Hagger says:

    Lol u can’t speeel u welsh

  125. slime says:


    I think you were right first time, it was a shame about all the misses! 🙂

    I’d like to say it was the win that’s made me feel better but I think it was the beer! I would complain about how tired I am but 1 hours sleep in 36 puts me to shame!!!

  126. Gooner In Exile says:

    1 hour sleep in 36? Sounds like going to Glastonbury 🙂

  127. Gooner In Exile says:

    Thought the stuff about Storey was pretty common knowledge…..I know more about that than his playing career 😦

  128. Big Raddy says:

    Delighted with the result.

    Would love to be in London to meet the crew and perhaps will sort out a meeting next year.

    I am old enough to recall the Storey story. What a sad demise for a pro footballer but in his day they earned the same money as bank managers not movie stars. Tough as nails and wouldn’t last 20 mins today without a red card,

  129. evonne says:

    I thought I have heard it all. But it’s a shock to hear Alan Dirty Hansen saying about Arsenal ‘sensational football, what vision, great technique, superb passing, I wish I could pass like that…Wenger silenced his critics’. I think I am going to watch it again, to make sure I am not just dreaming 🙂

  130. Gooner In Exile says:

    Haha Evonne, but the same man thought it was a foul on Popov by Ox, this the same man who didnt have a problem with Pilkington all over BFG at Carrow Road last year and thinks defenders should be strong in the PL. Ox tickled Popovs hip as much as Reid tickled Santis toe.

  131. evonne says:

    GiE – nobody’s perfect 🙂 But is felt bloody good to hear all the praises, me proud as a punch

  132. Big Raddy says:

    There was some superb passing yesterday but there was also some crap. Too often the final ball was inches off which stopped the flow of the move. Nonetheless JW and Santi ran the game and Ox had enough pitch time to have some influence. I would have liked to see him test his FB more often but it was a vast improvement.

    Gervinho. I guess every team has a frustrating player – a man who has huge talent but not the footballing intelligence to accompany it (Nani?). If and it is a huge if for a 25 y.o, Gerv can develop grace under pressure he will be a huge player for us. He gets into the right areas – just think where he was running from to get his chances – but appears to try too hard and panics.

  133. evonne says:

    I might put a fiver on all draws today, that would be12 points dropped between them

  134. gnarleygeorge9 says:


    How come you have Dawn Fraser as your gravitar?

  135. slime says:

    You’ve got to love the media sometimes. Sky headline reads: Wenger Defends Cazorla.

    Statement reads: I have spoken to Santi who tells me that he was touched and lost his balance. I haven’t reviewed it myself but if he hasn’t touched him then I will be having a word with Cazorla. I will watch it, don’t worry.

    At what point does he defend him!?

  136. Red Arse says:

    Morning, Raddy, 🙂

    I respect your opinions and that includes your views on players and their attributes.

    Forgive me if I say that my views on Gervinho are completely the obverse to those you have expressed.

    I think he should never have been bought for Arsenal, he runs into blind alleys complete with lead boots, and he himself is a blind alley for the team. Hopeless.

  137. oz gunner says:

    morning all.

    It’s as good as ‘Giroud admits he was wrong to join Arsenal’

    I love the media!

  138. Morning all

    No offer of a post so far, does anyone want to write up their thoughts for a quickie?

  139. Big Raddy says:

    RA. It is always a pleasure to disagree with you 🙂

    However, in this case I vacillate. I used the words “If and it is a huge if for a 25 y.o, Gerv can develop grace under pressure he will be a huge player for us.”

    Just for now I will do sme fence sitting because despite being hugely frutrating Gerv has qualities lacking in the rest of the team. – compare his ball skills to Theo’s (better) and his pace to Pod’s (faster), and one can see he has potential.

  140. RockyLives says:

    Is anyone doing a report? If not I’ll do a quick one.

  141. Thanks Rocky, that would be good if you’ve got time 😉

  142. Rasp says:

    Morning all, here’s something to lift the spirits …

  143. Red Arse says:

    I understand where you are coming from, Raddy.

    I knew a guy when we were in our teens who was a ‘player’ — there wasn’t a girl, it seemed, who did not fall for his charms. The trouble was that also included girls with steady partners.

    It did not stop him — and OK, there is a bit of envy in here — but when he was caught — once in flagrante — he was always one step ahead of retribution.

    So there you have it – a great ball juggling ‘player’, quick on his feet — but you would not want him in the Arsenal first team – shades of John Terry? 😀

  144. goonermichael says:

    I love Gervinho Raddy

  145. Gooner In Exile says:

    Would we be saying same about Gerv if Jack had converted his sliding chance? (or a couple of other occasions where we went close from a Gerv pass?)

  146. RockyLives says:

    Rasp, Peaches – it’s in drafts

  147. New Post …………….

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