Wigan’s a Biggun ….. and where’s Myaichi?

Lose to Swansea, beat West Brom. Lose to Bradford, beat Reading. Should this continue we may be disappointed by this afternoon’s game. The need for consistency is paramount if we are to be genuine contenders.

Wigan are struggling as they often do at this time of the season; fortunately, they have a knack of picking up points close to season’s end and thus escaping relegation.

Just 80k people live in Wigan which is a testament to the brilliant job done by the management, both at team and board level. Especially as this is Rugby League country, a town where football is for nancyboys. Wigan Rugby club have been World Champions 3 times which is astonishing.

The football club will always be in the shadow of the Warriors but nonetheless are a club to be admired. Formed in 1932 they are the youngest club in the PL.  In 1995 when Dave Whelan bought Wigan they were a 4th Division team sitting 83rd in the 92 club league, yet just 10 years later they made it to the PL. Back in ’95 their average attendance was 1,800, now it is almost 19,000 – a huge success for a small club.


Remember Me?

I do not  know very much about Dave Whelan but he has done a great job for his club and his support of his managers is a lesson to other trigger-happy owners. Roberto Martinez has also done well given the constraints he works under;  he is destined for bigger clubs and bigger budgets.

As to AFC: The only question is whether AW will continue with Theo playing in the middle. My guess is No – I expect to see Giroud start and Theo back on the wing but with license to venture infield. The problem with this is that Ox doesn’t start and I think he needs to get a run of games to re-establish himself, alongside Jack, as the futures of English football.

Koscielny is fit again but I cannot see AW starting him today. I believe the Kos/BFG partnership is our best CB pairing, whether Mr Wenger agrees remains to be seen.

My Team:

wigan v arse

The 5 midweek signings were a sign of the future for AFC. A sign of the media narrative – that AFC are in crisis and AW has lost support of both the fans and the dressing room, is the obsession about Theo. Please, please, please Theo either stay or go. The uncertainty must be a negative around the club – if we ask the question do you imagine his team-mates don’t? I would send Frimpong round to Dench him.

Right onto the important stuff: Today’s English Explorer. Sir Walter William Herbert (1934 – 2007). Usually our explorers are long dead but Wally Herbert was lucky enough to enjoy The Invincibles. He is described as the Greatest Polar Explorer of our Time.

Herbert , not the American Robert Peary, was the first person to walk to the North Pole – it took two years (1968/9) to complete the 3,800 mile return trip and he was forced to winter on the ice. Peary’s claims have been disputed since Herbert, as the great Polar expert, was asked to write a biography about Peary. He discovered that there were huge discrepancies in Peary’s account of his journey and that it would have been impossible for Peary to complete his walk. Thus Herbert became the first man to walk to the North Pole. Having spent 15 years living and exploring the Polar cap and in the process walked and sailed over 23,000 miles Herbert retired to become a renowned author and artist.  He was knighted in 2000.


Beard. Moustache. Ice. Knighthood.

My hope is that the euphoria of the players surviving the End of the World scare will promote a fine performance. The Mayans have predicted 3 points.

p.s. Ryo has only played 3 games for Wigan in an injury plagued season. He is currently out with an ankle injury.


Written by Big Raddy

167 Responses to Wigan’s a Biggun ….. and where’s Myaichi?

  1. Gooner In Exile says:

    Morning all.

    Raddy a solid PM, do I agree with your team, well if the team can follow Mickys suggestion of playing like OG is littl’un then yes it works for me, if however they revert to type and start punting the easy ball to the big man, then no.

    Most importantly today teamwork and hard work are required to achieve pre Christmas cheer.

  2. Gooner in Exile says:

    And thanks for answering the question on Ryo, after good spells in Holland and for Bolton I was hopeful a season affirming his ability for Wigan would see him welcomed home next term, hopefully he can put the injury blight behind him and kick on in the second half of this season.

  3. LB says:

    The only thing that worries me up there is the Mayan’s prediction; they are on a bad run of late.

    Ryo sounds like an Arsenal player through and through.

    Thanks for the superb pre-match BR.

  4. LB says:

    I really hope Theo plays up front, I have very little faith in this idea but I would like, those who think he can, see for themselves. That said, there should be space today so maybe, like Reading, he might do well.

  5. chas says:

    Nice one, BR.
    Walter William Herbert looks a bit like I did first thing.
    Happily installed in the Red Robin just outside the ground. Soggy as f*ck is a fair description of the weather conditions.
    Cmon you Reds

  6. Rasp says:

    Morning, thanks Raddy, the weather is horrible over here so the team will have to prove that they’ve learnt from ‘Bradford conditions’ and put in a solid performance.

    It is strange that Martinez is still at Wigan, he has had better offers – maybe he’s waiting for the big one?

    Like LB I’d like to see Theo start centrally, but unlike him I want to see him succeed in that position Barca don’t play wit ha big man up front and as long as AW is in charge we are going to try to play more like Barca than Stoke. Having said that I’d also like to see OG playing so I don’t know how we’d work that with a 4:5:1, OG is definitely not a wide man.

  7. spanishgooner says:

    Great post BR . I also think that BFG and Koscielny is the best pairing – by far . TV is having a terrible season but he´s the skipper so sadly I don´t see any change there. Love the Mayan prediction, but like LB says ,they´re on a bad run – or are they ? They didn´t predict the end of the world – only the end of an era or a time span, so I´ll go along with you on that one .

  8. Gooner in Exile says:

    So we can nail colours to the mast today and put ourselves up to 3rd with a good win, and then its the waiting game to see if others can respond.

    Obviously we need to win first……

    Enjoy the game Chas, the away end at Wigan offers a good view, and we normally outnumber the other stands, lets hope you don’t have to listen to any goal celebration music from the home end. (I do think they should ban goal music in PL grounds)

  9. Gooner in Exile says:

    Rasp seeing what Rodgers is coping with at Liverpool it is unsurprising Martinez didn’t take the job, why move to a club where he would have bugger all to work with.

    He is allowed to do what he wants, has little money to spend but expectations are not high. At Liverpool he would have had a bit more money to spend, but a squad that was recently acquired, but expectations would have been sky high.

    I have always liked Martinez as a manager though, and for a time I thought he could replace Arsene, but he has probably missed that chance, Newcastle or Fulham would be good step ups for him now.

  10. Big Raddy says:

    chas. Fairplay to you Sir. Only ever driven past the JW, looked a tidy ground.

    PLaying on a sodden pitch will suit a stronger player than Theo especially if the pitch cuts up.

  11. GoonerB says:

    Great post Raddy. They just don’t do moustaches and beards like they used to. I am in snowy Norway now so I am fully imersed in the spirit of Mr Herbert.

    On a tactical level, there is one thing I would have liked to see Arsene try before now in our 4-3-3 system. It was something I was going to do a post on but ran out of time with work being manic before heading north for the festive period.

    Podolski played well in the Reading game, but too often this season has been stuck too wide and deep on the left for my liking, and ditto Walcott on the right, which has left us looking more a defensive 4-5-1 with Giroud being left looking isolated. Surely, as an attacking side like us, the whole point of the 4-3-3 is that we play with a 3 pronged strike force. For me Podolski is more a striker than a winger and I would want to see him more in the box in dangerous areas, and the same goes for Walcott. The simple thing I would like to see tried is switching Podolski to the right and Walcott to the left. I know some would say that we have tried it during games but we haven’t really to any great degree, and I am talking more about them statring in these roles and spending most of the game in these positions.

    For me this would encourage both attacking wide players to instinctively cut infield more onto their dangerous shooting foot. As well as increasing our shooting efficiency and danger in the final third it would also get both of them closer in support of Giroud more often, and it also more often creates wide space for the overlapping full-backs. There are not actually that many top level pros that can strike a powerful shot of both feet but most can float in a cross off the weaker foot so you would still get balls coming in from wide from them if they have chosen to go outside the full-back, and if not them then from the overlapping full-backs, while at the same time increasing our threat on goal throughout the game. Podolski has actually played this position for Cologne and the times I have seen Walcott on the left I have been left wondering if he actually looks more effective than he does on the right. He has scored a couple of great Thierry type goals from the left, the one against Coventry this year most recently springs to mind, if anyone can post a clip up.

    Some attacking wide players are more suited to playing on the side of their stronger foot, but there is also history with attacking wide players that you look to for goals being better on the opposite flank. In our own recent history I would mention Thierry, Bobby Pires and Overmars. Even looking at Messi and Ronaldo, I know they can play across the attacking line, but if they are coming from a wide position Messi tends to favour the right while Ronaldo favours the left.

    Further to this Raddy, as you mentioned the Ox in your report, I am aware that many feel his performances have dropped slightly this season. I would, therefore, think back to what I consider his best performances for us that really got us excited about him. Going back to last season the 2 that spring to mind are Milan at home and Utd at home. The first, if I remember correctly, he played more a central attacking role and was the MOTM for me. In the second, although we narrowly lost in the end, he tore the Utd RFB a new one, so much so that the crowd were far from happy when he was taken off for Arshavin. Is the Ox another player that should play either centrally or attacking left and is slightly nullified playing from the right. Anyway just food for thought.

  12. GoonerB says:

    Rasp, @10.59, I also want to see Walcott succeed centrally and believe he can, but if we want to get him and Giroud out there together then maybe playing him from the left will make him more play as an attacking wide striker while on the right he more looks like a winger. Could something like this be the difference between us looking more 4-3-3 than 4-5-1

  13. JJ says:

    Its nice to hear some positive talk about Wigan. I was lucky enough to watch Arsenal vs Wigan from the Directors box at the last ever game at Highbury. It was an amazing day and one of the things that sticks in my memory is the speech and presentation that Dave Whelan gave to the guests. He presented PHW with a huge silver cannon and gave a brilliant speech about what an amazing club Arsenal is. He spoke with real affection and respect for what he thinks is a “great great club”. Whelans first game as a pro footballer was against Arsenal at Highbury so that stadium holds special memories for him… anyway, rambling now. Just wanted to say he came across very well and absolutely deserves some credit for what he has done with that club.

  14. LB says:


    Where do you find these things?

    “but unlike him (LB) I want to see him succeed in that position”

    I want all Arsenal players to succed, it’s just that I don’t think Theo has what it takes to play centrally up front.

  15. Gooner in Exile says:

    Unchanged line up you both get your wish, for whatever reason 😉

  16. Gooner in Exile says:

    Szczesny, Gibbs, Vermaelen, BFG, Sagna, Arteta, Wilshere, Santi, Ox, Pod, Theo.

    Arshavin, Mannone, Rambo, Gervinho, Koscielny, Coq, Jenkinson

  17. Sheep Hagger says:

    Afternoon gunners
    Good post enjoyed reading that with my morning cuppa and smoke.
    My money is on a 1-3 win for us ,y does Arshavin never get a start I quite like the little Russian.
    Just had a txt message on my bb from a mate asking if I want a spare ticket for the swansea game V man ure tomorrow thing is its on sky anyway.
    should I take it and put it on e bay?.
    Or should I go and shout on the Swanz

  18. Big Raddy says:

    WOW. OG not even on the bench!

  19. Gooner In Exile says:

    Was just thinking is he injured?

    He picked up the knock against WBA, no Rosicky on the bench either.

    When you look at our squad without injuries it starts to look healthy when you consider who doesn’t make it on to the bench.

    Shame it’s so rare to be without any injuries.

    Players who could be on bench (if fit) today:

    + a few youngsters

  20. Come on boys! We need this, I need this!

    Come on Arsenal


  21. Big Raddy says:

    No Bitscores 😦

  22. Afternoon dear Gooners. How are we? 🙂

    Sorry Raddy read the pre match later, 10 out of 11 is not bad sir

  23. RockyLives says:

    Top pre-matching BR

    Come on Arsenal!!!!

  24. Big Raddy says:

    David Villa ???? Getouddaheer

  25. RockyLives says:

    OG and TR7 both got ill yesterday.

  26. Rasp says:

    Hi LB, I was puling your leg … should have put a 😉 after it, I don’t doubt your wish for us to succeed for a second.

  27. RockyLives says:

    Nice to see Pod shooting at every opportunity.

  28. Big Raddy says:

    OK so far. Nothing spectacular but Wigan working very hard – maybe too hard

  29. RockyLives says:

    Lucky let off there.

  30. RockyLives says:

    I’d like to see Gibbo bombing on a bit more.

  31. This will be a game of few chances. Its a real battle for midfield and i fear they are getting the better of us.. Its a game that we must concentrate for the full 90 plus minutes as both teams have very little room to operate, and any mistake or error of judgement could be the decider between the two teams. Few chances early, i only wish our left side was as lively as Ox on the right.

    Stuart Robson on the mike 👿

    what a wanker

  32. RockyLives says:

    You’ve got to listen to Robson PPP?

    That’s not on.

    Ian Darke and Steve Macmanaman for me (who are OK).

  33. Rasp says:

    The refs having a Weston! They have been systematically fouling Jack, he’s had his ankle stamped on twice and yet he’s the one who gets a yellow.

  34. RockyLives says:

    You’re right – carded for a perfectly fair challenge.

  35. Big Raddy says:

    RL. I have the same. They are even handed.

    Disappointing first half, we created very little against a patched up relegation side. Santi is not getting the time or space to orchestrate and we look toothless.

    Wigan would be out of sight if they had players who could cross or finish.

  36. Yes Rocky 😦
    This ref is really starting to piss me off, and so are some of our players including my monikers name sake, and even santi has had a few bad first touches which wigan have trounced upon. Wilsher and Ox are showing the mininun standard of passion and fight expected for an away trip and the others must follow suit asap if we are to achieve any kind of result. I fear if we dont push to the next level and scrap for the crumbs so to speak, we might see both Jack and Ox burn out very quickly.

    Wigan seem up for the fight and are playing decent footy, fortunately their pistols are misfiring.

    Its days like these where you stamp some authority on the league, and i hope to see our soldiers come out ready to use up all their ammunition in search of 3 of the most valuable points on offer this season.

    Come on Arsenal


  37. Gooner In Exile says:

    I’ve got Quinn and some commentator, Quinn’s been better recently.

    As for the game, put the weather and Wigans upped performance to one side, and look at our performance and the same problem that we have witnessed most of the year is still there.

    Our centrebacks get the ball on the 18 yard and our full backs move to the halfway line, the only ball they can receive is facing back to our own goal or if really lucky square. It’s basic stuff, receive the ball facing the way you are playing. Now before other teams cottoned on this wasn’t a major issue as Arteta was the recipient to pass the play on, most opposition now soft press the ball at the CBs , and man mark Arteta, leaving the only ball to the full backs. The full backs have a man up their arse as they receive it and the soft pressing attackers of the opposition come over to cut off other options apart from back to the CBs, and the whole sorry slow affair starts again.

    If we can’t find another way to move the ball out that is when you need a target further up the pitch (hello Giroud), and by being on the pitch and being available, the options deeper also become available. With a team of lil’uns we are too easy to suffocate I’m afraid.

  38. Adrian says:

    The commentator is so right about Wigan being much better in 50/50s. With the exception of Wilshere and probably Arteta/The ox I don’t see the others giving their everything to win the ball back or track back. Movement on and off the ball seems sluggish and we definitely need to work together as a team and close Wigan down as much as we can in the second half. Need to show more passion to win the ball. Not very impressed with Podolski’s weak and lazy efforts to track back or close down Wigan players.

  39. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Afternoon Gents,
    Missed first 10 mins after legging it back from the Metrop.
    Push on for the win now.
    Thanks for the PM BR. Never really liked the Polar types, but must research this chap.
    Onwards to Victory

  40. RockyLives says:

    Blimey some of you are a bit negative.

    I think we’ve been doing OK against a committed side in difficult conditions.

    BR – fat from Wigan being ‘out of sight’ they’ve had one decent chance which Kone fluffed. Actually our defence has played really well.

    We definitely need a bit if a step up in terms of attacking inspiration this half.

    If it’s 0-0 with 20 to go I’d line to see Arsh.

    ooh – great movement in the box by Theo – good save.

  41. RockyLives says:

    Very weak ref.

  42. Big Raddy says:

    Lovely pen.


  43. Not watching but we’re winnnnnnnning Pelanty

  44. RockyLives says:


    Well played Theo and well played MIkel.

    We should get more space now.

  45. RockyLives says:

    Almost got punished there for not concentrating.

  46. JM says:

    Wigan are playing 3-4-2-1 against our 4-2-3-1.

    They have 3 CBs at the back against our lone forward(Walcott). Anything passed up to him will be mopped up easily by them.

    Meanwhile their shield of midfield 4 in front of their backline have been closing down our 3 attacking midfielders (2 DM/CMs on Cazorla, their LWB on AoC and their RWB on Podolski.) Also their 2 attacking midfielders are cutting in the gaps between our fullbacks and centre backs while their main forward keeps our center backs occupied.

    Somehow, I would feel we must switch to a 2-man forward line (Podolski & Walcott or sub-in Arshavin) during the 2nd half, sub-in Koscielny and change to a 3-5-2 (get the insurance for our backline, dominate the midfield, while getting 2 forwards to trouble their back 3) and at the same time get something positive out from our set-pieces (CKs, FKs etc).

    A battle of attrition.

  47. Yess. Purrfect penalty, Thank you Arteta.. Good movement in the lead up. Theyre left full back is their weakness add that Ox has been immense when attacking and its no wonder the penalty came from that part of the pitch.

    Now lets push on boys

    Arsenal Arsenal !!!!!!

  48. Adrian says:

    A sin bin for Di Santo? Haha.

  49. RockyLives says:

    This ref nonsense is firing up Wigan. We need to keep our focus.

  50. RockyLives says:

    Well played Szcz – twice,

  51. Santi injured. Looks like he signalled to the bench

  52. or let them know he is ok

  53. ahh, thankfully the latter 🙂

  54. Big Raddy says:

    We need another one….

    Come on Arsenal

  55. Adrian says:

    Omg, are we really bringing out our best player going forward in this second half for Ramsey? What in the world.

  56. RockyLives says:

    Well done Oxo – v good second half.

  57. Big Raddy says:

    Don’t like that substitution. OX was our best attacking foce

  58. I would have gambled and kept the ox on for 8 more minutes 🙄

  59. RockyLives says:

    Pod and Ox both off… Hmmm

    Talk about ‘batten down the hatches’.

  60. Now thats the logical substitution, not the first one unless it was that red zone bullshit

  61. Adrian says:

    Would have much preferred if we kept on pushing for a second goal for security rather than subbing out our 2 wingers and crowding the midfield.

  62. Rasp says:

    We’re not working hard enough. Now would be the time to go into safe mode. The movement has gone again.

  63. Adrian says:

    Need to put more pressure on Wigan and close them down as a team.

  64. JM says:

    Coquelin in for Podolski and he plays alongside Arteta, Cazorla is switch to the left, Wilshere moves up to attacking midfield, Ramsey is strangely on right flank.

    Bring on Koscielny next?

  65. JM says:

    Yes! I was right, Koscielny is on for Cazorla. We are playing with 3 x CBs now. It is our turn @ 3-4-2-1.

    and AoC is MotM. And we won!

  66. My dear friends, you have know idea how happy i am right now. Quite content i am, i know it was ugly but i shall call it a MATURE win, avoid all the media tripe for the next week and Stewart pondlife Robson. On that night, my fellow gooners i bid you a good night and good ‘moro. (doubt i’ll sleep for a while)


  67. Big Raddy says:

    Not our best performance but a valuable away win. And a clean sheet-

    Fairplay to Wigan they really came at us

  68. MickyDidIt89 says:

    More like a MANURE win
    ie three points when you are not firing, and I’m very happy with that for today. I am also quite a fan of Stoke City.

  69. Big Raddy says:

    Interesting to see our 3 CB’s together. 3-4- 3 is becoming popular in Europe and we have the ideal personnel for such a formation.

  70. Gooner In Exile says:

    Well a much more convincing second half, hardly a single soft backwards pass across our backline going nowhere.

    BFG very good at heart of defence, Szczesny some important saves, Ox very exciting going forward second half, Jack everywhere again getting kicked and affecting the play and attitude of the team.

    Negatives a few too many shirk defensive responsibility at times, and the backline passing in the first half.

  71. RockyLives says:

    We did the job pretty well and got what we needed.

    I wish our substitutions had not so completely handed the initiative to Wigan for the last 15, but I suppose AW will say it worked.

    Come on the Orcs!

  72. So so soo friggin valuable Raddy. Pre match was top notch as always.

    really now, nite-evening

  73. RockyLives says:

    Right, time to be an Orc for a couple of hours 🙂

  74. MickyDidIt89 says:

    I did note your cunning ploy yesterday to up my comments quota!

  75. MickyDidIt89 says:

    My usual moan would be about the lack of a threat down the left with Pod there, but I’m not in the mood.
    Three points in the sack is where my mood is 🙂

  76. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Football first, now off to say hello to the family.

  77. Reddawn says:

    From what I could see of the playing surface, it wasn’t that easy to control the ball, in view of the continuous rain fall. Well done lads a very well earned 3 points.

  78. Hi all

    Good three points there 🙂

    Theo was hardly in the game, I wonder how he feels about playing CF now …….

    Anyone fancy writing something about it for tomorrows post …….

  79. Big Raddy says:

    Peaches.Where have you been? You didn’t even comment on my story about Warren’s ex!

  80. Sorry Raddy, I’ve been soooo busy. I chuckled to myself and while I was considering what to say the post passed me by 😦

    She was such a princess!!!!!!!! You did the right thing 🙂

  81. Snow’s back and yes it was me 🙂

  82. Adrian says:

    Theo’s never been known to play with his back facing towards the goal, but to be fair to him he was up against 3 CBs today.

  83. evonne says:

    shocking red for Carlton Cole, Taylor having a shocker of a game today

  84. jnyc says:

    Nice pre match Raddy, always a professional job. , —————– and GOONERB, excellent comment/post about righties on left – lefties on right. I think about that myself, and would like to see it. Id like to see a post on it anyway, curious to see the responses.

  85. Big Raddy says:

    Very nice work from VCC.

    BR is going away for a week over Xmas and therefore AA needs a pre-match for Newcastle.

  86. MickyDidIt89 says:

    HAPPPPPPPPY Christmasssssssssssss

  87. MickyDidIt89 says:

    What’s going on, a Nagathon? Post matchers, Pre matchers 🙂

  88. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Done that post. It was a “quiet” response as I remember 🙂

  89. MickyDidIt89 says:

    The happy christmas was because we’ve just gone above Totnum in case you didn’t know.

  90. kelsey says:

    A difficult game to wrie up.First half we were average with gaping holes in defence and BFG was out of sorts but so were Wigan’s attack force.Theo didn’t get much service,Santi got crowded out and that put more emphasis on Jack,who needs to be carful,he can be a bit reckless.
    Second half we played better deserved the penalty and perhaps Wigan did as well.
    Anyway three shaky points but hard to really pick a man of the match .
    4 minutes of earing time and the ref generally was fair to us, though Jack shouldn’t have been booked.

  91. Big Raddy says:

    The cricket was fantastic as well as our 3 points and the Spuds doing what they always do.

    Made a big difference having MonkeyBoy back.

  92. kelsey says:

    Have a nice holiday Raddy

  93. Big Raddy says:

    MoM Arteta gets my vote. He was tidy, worked well defensively and scored.

    I thought JW was good but ran out of steam. I love the way he gives everything he has to the team and never hides.

  94. Big Raddy says:

    Kelsy. Thanks. I wish you and yours (inc all the dogs) a peaceful and happy holiday

  95. evonne says:

    sorry Raddy, but I think MoM was David Jones, immense player

  96. Gooner In Exile says:

    Well 4th place for Christmas Day guaranteed, not bad I suppose 🙂

    How are we and others fairing against GN5s predictor? I’m sure he has kept watch.

  97. Big Raddy says:

    evonne. You haven’t got this MoM thing have you? 🙂

    It is always an Arsenal player.

  98. Big Raddy says:

    Would we be happy with David Villa on loan? Rumours abound.

  99. Gooner in Exile says:

    No Raddy I wouldn’t, i don’t think….but maybe it’ll prevent Theo doing the whole sulky thing if he doesn’t get to play in the middle.

    MoM for me today was probably………Jack

  100. Have a great holiday Raddy. And a happy New Year!!

  101. RockyLives says:

    I saw a very different game to you!

    “First half we were average with gaping holes in defence and BFG was out of sorts.”

    First half I thought we defended extremely well and Wigan had one chance on goal. (Second half they had several more half chances as we conceded the initiative).

    And for me the BFG was a good shout for MoTM (along with Arteta, as BR says).

    That’s the fun of football – we all watch the same footage but we all see a different game!

  102. RockyLives says:

    So we’re up to third and the Spuds have dropped out of the top four.

    Normal service is slowly being resumed.

  103. RockyLives says:

    I would love to believe the David Villa rumours but they seem unlikely.

    He is 31 – but he is such a natural goal scorer.

  104. Big Raddy says:

    I would like to see a video of Podolski over the 90 mins to understand how AW is asking him to play,

    It seems to me that AW is looking for a left sided Ray Parlour and as yet Pod is not that man.

  105. RockyLives says:

    We are three points behind where we were last season after the same number of games. But it was at this point that we lost all four fullbacks. We won our next game then lost four on the trot.

    So if we can get more than six points from our next five games we will hit the end of January ahead of where we were last year (in points).

  106. Big Raddy says:

    You too GM. Let’s have a beer next time I go to London. Thinking of which ….

    Rocky. When are you next going to a game? I will try to get over to join you

  107. RockyLives says:

    Hello BR
    I’m not wishing anyone a happy Christmas yet as I assume we will all be at least popping in on the 25th to wish each other well.

    I hope to get over in late Jan or early Feb. It would be really nice to meet up 🙂

  108. RockyLives says:


    Except for anyone who won’t have access to the internet on Christmas Day: “Happy Christmas!”

  109. Brigham says:

    Not the best performance today, but we won and took the three points away with us. Wigan worked very hard, closed us down all over the pitch and were a tad unlucky not to get a point IMHO.

    I thought Sagna was poor today, defended poorly for the majority of the game, often caught wrong side and his distribution was woeful at times. Even my missus commented that he looked like a player who does not want to be there!

    Jack was very unlucky to pick up that booking and Jamie Redcrap actually defended him robustly, saying it was a ridiculous booking.

    Onwards and upwards, we are above the dark satanic powers once again and have a long rest until our next game.

  110. RockyLives says:

    Fair comment about Sagna Brig. He was a bit off, but I thought the other three defenders did well.

    How are you mate?

  111. evonne says:

    Raddy – I got it now, the MoM is Arteta 🙂
    Have good holidays!

    Did the BitScores work today?

  112. Brigham says:

    I am good Rocky and trust you are also mate. I agree, Per, Verm and Gibbs did well today, as did the Ox when he actually got at them. As I said, not our best performance, but I am more than happy with three points.

  113. kelsey says:

    no evonne,off air again.

    sorry Rocky i have to disagree with you about the first half.Wigan created many chances but mucked them up themselves. maybe you had snow on your screen 🙂

  114. RockyLives says:

    I’m well thanks Brig.

    Oxo was really good – particularly second half. It was lovely to see him skin the fullback a few times and get dangerous balls in.

  115. RockyLives says:

    Actually Kelsey we did wake up this morning to find the first snow of the year had fallen 🙂

    But my screen was clear.

    Your view was obviously obscured by those flowing silver tresses. We’re going to have to book you in with Goonermichael 🙂

  116. LB says:


    There is something in drafts for tomorrow if you need it.

    It was a bit hurried so could you proof it.

    Christmas drinks await.

  117. kelsey says:

    Can’t say the same about Raddy 🙂

  118. Brigham says:

    The Ox woke up in the second half and to be honest I was very disappointed with our lack of cut and thrust in this game. I know that Wigan pressed us a lot, but we should have changed our gameplan to get around that.

    At times we played far too many short balls in tight places, particularly Sagna, Ox and Arteta on our right hand side. When the other side are pressing, you need to shift the ball more quickly and often longer, but still with accuracy. We made it easy for them with our constant attempts at short 6 yard passing in tight areas and we often ended up giving the ball away cheaply.

    At Reading on Monday, we attacked with guile and speed, something we did not do today at all and we got a bit bogged down in midfield once again, partly due to Wigan’s pressing game, but some of our own volition.

  119. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Just passing through.
    When are you off?

  120. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Hell’s Teeth, LB has opened the Christmas Booze Cupboard already. Its going to be one serious bender 🙂
    One thing I’m really beginning to enjoy is watching the likes of Ox, Theo, Santi and Jack really prepared to take players on, and the last two games have seen us in a higher forwards gear.
    To my mind Arsene has thrown a little more caution to the wind in the final third, and I doff my hat to the man.

  121. Gooner In Exile says:

    Brigham I agree in the first half it was often too tight and short, but think there was a noticeable change of pace from the start of the second with the ball going longer earlier, we need to have players that can recognise the problem and change tack, I’m not sure enough do.

  122. Brigham says:

    GiE, spot on mate and you echo my thoughts totally.

  123. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Evening Birgham and GiE,
    Do either of you think the Theo central is political, short term or a genuine change in direction as far as our style is concerned?

  124. Brigham says:

    Hi Micky, for me it is political and an attempt to appease him into signing a new contract. Do I think he will? No idea really, but Theo is NOT a player able to play through the middle IMHO and is more suited to cutting in from the left or right.

  125. Big Raddy says:

    Micky Off tomorrow morning at sparrow’s fart.

    I think that had OG been fit he would have been CF and Theo RW

  126. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Ah ha, I didn’t know OG was unfit. That really confuses the issue.
    Are you saying “get him to sign, then shift him back to the right?”
    Harsh but fair 🙂
    Glad I caught you. Hope you and Mrs R have a great Christmas.
    I’m being dragged away now, so nite all.

  127. Big Raddy says:

    Surprised that RA hasn’t been on to dispute my assertion that Herbert was first to the Pole and Peary was “mistaken”.

  128. Anyone offered to write me something for tomorrows post ……… ?

  129. Oooooh oooooh I’ve just been reading back and seen my favourite blogger LB has put a something into drafts for tomorrow ………. thank you, thank you, thank you 😀

  130. Raddy have a lovely trip to you and Mrs Raddy

  131. chas says:

    Happy whatnots, BR.

  132. Gooner In Exile says:


    Theo through the middle is an option and something AW has said many times that he feels Theo could do. The whole “play me down the middle to keep me” saga is BS that his clever agents have come up with to make him leaving Arsenal easier, or could be seen as a way to increase his wages because “he is not happy out there so you should compensate him in pay packet”.

    Give me a choice of Defoe or Walcott up front and is take Defoe. Give me a choice of Lennon or Walcottout wide, I take Theo.

    Where did Theo run from to get the goal? Oh yes the wing!

  133. Hey chas – did you have a good time?

  134. Who can I pick on to write the Newcastle pre-match?

  135. Brigham says:

    Gie – Where did Theo run from to get the goal? Oh yes the wing!

    Exactly and which futher strengthens my point at 2025 (8.25 pm)

  136. Gooner In Exile says:

    Stop agreeing with me Brigham!! 😀

    My biggest concern with Theo is that he is acting a bit like TH14 did, but TH14 had broken the goal scoring record when he started behaving like a big time charlie, but in his defence he had earned the right to and was our best player.

    The commentators mentioned that they didnt feel like Theo was getting the support of his teammates when the ball was played up to him and part of me wondered whether his contract dispute is causing problems in the camp, and they were thinking “you’re so good you don’t need us to join in, there’s the ball show us why you think you’re so good.”

    Peaches I am afraid I can’t commit to any pre or post match reporting while the clock ticks down.

  137. GiE – it’s interesting what you say about the others thinking ‘you’re so good, show us what you can do,’ everytime the camera cut to Theo he looked so deadly serious 😉

    I don’t know how many touches he had but I expect The Ox had an awful lot more than Theo. Had Theo started on the right instead of The Ox he would have had a lot more to do but then who would have started in the middle???????

  138. RockyLives says:

    I’ll do the Villa pre-match if there are no other takers Peaches.

  139. RockyLives says:

    I meant Toon 🙂

  140. kelsey says:

    Morning all

    I really can’t see Theo as a centre forward for many reasons.We have been saying for years that we all know about his pace and quite frankly after 7 years he has bound to improved somewhat but if he goes it will be nothing like the loss of key figures who were in the team.
    His stats show an improvement no doubt but he still can’t tackle,heads a ball once in a blue moon,still gets knocked off the ball far too easily in a congested area and most of his goals are pretty much the same sort of strike .His benefit will be his speed on the flanks and possibly then cut in,when we counter attack.This may more than likely give us a foul situation in or around the box which others may benefit from by scoring.

    I honestly can’t see him being a benefit to our competition in the PL so it appears there is a stand off and I suspect the club will let his contract run down.He stands us in at 12 million plus 7 years of wages and one has to weigh up the pros and cons of keeping him.

    Neville made a good point about the club waiting until the last year to renegotiate contracts when he made the comparison to United with Rooney,were talks started and were finally agreed with 2 years left on his contract.

  141. Big Raddy says:

    Wishing all my AA friends a wonderful Xmas and all that Father Dennis satisfies all your desires….

    Back for NY.

    love BR

  142. chas says:

    I had a fine time.
    The three points were never in doubt.
    Above the spuds for Xmas. Lovely present.

    There was a Xmas card from the club for everyone in the away end including a £10 voucher to spend at the Emirates.


    By the way Ant can’t make Newcastle, so there’s 1 seat available for that game, category B £48.

    I don’t mind having a go at the Toon pre-match if you want to keep Rocky’s powder dry.

  143. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Morning Kelsey, Morning Chas.
    Wow, Arsenal really do show some style. A card and a present. Very impressed.

  144. MickyDidIt89 says:

    I’m seriously tempted by the Toon ticket. First come, I know, but I’ll be having an Internal Meeting later this morning. Meant to be going to a party that night, mmmm, then there’s Oscar, double mmmm.

  145. MickyDidIt89 says:

    On Theo. After my little chat with Raddy and Brigham yesterday, I now suspect Theo was central due to the injury to Giroud. However, I’ve always felt the Torres of old was the type of player that suits our philosophy better, and that Giroud should be the Plan B/4-4-2 option if a period of a game requires it.
    If he does go, I suspect that will be in jan as I can’t see the club letting him go for nothing, so that being the case, I’d expect a 20 goal-a-season man coming in.

  146. slime says:

    Great win yesterday. I thought we stuck to the task really well and defence was pretty solid. It’s easy to pick faults in the first half but is rather just praise Wigan for the way they stopped us playing. Every time someone had the ball they had a man up their arsenal!

    I would love to see David Villa, he may be 31 but he’s still a world class player, unlike TH14, who used to be a world class player. He can also play left of a front 3 and if he’s coming from Barca then his work rate won’t be too shoddy! Can’t see it though!!!

  147. slime says:

    If Arshavin and Chamakh leave as expected, then that would leave us with Giroud, Podolski, Walcott, Ox and Gervinho.

    From that group, 3 of the players are wanting to play through the middle (Pod, Giroud, Theo). For that reason, I’m not sure I can see us signing a central striker. I think it would be more likely we will see a LW coming in to make it a more balanced group of 6.

    Also, if Wenger buys a striker, he’s going to run the risk of freezing out Pod or Giroud, which could easily lead to us having another Chamakh at the club.

    Then you’ve got the Theo situation to add to the mix. If he goes, then we will also need a RW.

    Going to be interesting in January, but even more so in the summer.

  148. oz gunner says:

    Enjoy your break BR, hope you and the Mrs have a great time

  149. oz gunner says:

    Well said slime, I just hope to see a bit of action in January. I’d love to see Villa come in, heck I’d love to see a fit Ryo back tearing up the LW. Arshavin didn’t have a care in the world on that bench yesterday, legs crossed giggling away.

  150. kelsey says:

    Malaga 3 Real madrid 2 🙂

    Micky who knows, but I think he will stay until the season ends which would go against the club’s policy of cashing in

  151. Gooner in Exile says:

    Morning all.

    Kelsey are Madrid really throwing all their eggs in the CL basket this year?

    Or are they just a bit poo, Mourinho has a habit of being good for 2-3 years and then his powers appear to wane.

  152. oz gunner says:

    Given they are for Women Evonne no I would not, after a few beers…perhaps.

    I wear full length ‘skins’ in the winter months of footy, so what, does that make me a blouse? Yeah probably 🙂

  153. evonne says:

    Oz – for women!! Cycling shorts are cycling shorts, what sex has to do with it?

    But I cannot see any female cyclist wearing those either 🙂

  154. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Looking at your pic, I’d say the lace around the bottom is the clue 🙂

  155. oz gunner says:

    But they say ‘M&S Women’ and had a woman wearing it?!

    Mens ones are above the knee or like these


    As you can imagine they don’t leave much to the imagination though haha

  156. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Oh Oz
    “M&S Women” was the easy option 🙂

  157. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Can’t wait for the match report from “Peaches’ Favourite Blogger”.
    And no Peaches, we will not forget 🙂

  158. kelsey says:


    don’t know but nevertheless an amazing result for the locals.

    Santi cost malaga twice as much as any other player they have ever bought and they haven’t spent much this season.I read on twitter that they will be thrown out of europe next year because they owe so much.it’s all very strange as the money has poured into malaga i.e. the new port by the same owners.

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