Our Frenchies are better than Theirs.

Let’s start with the good news. Marseilles have 8 games in 24 days and as such are likely to play a reserve team tonight. Of course, they will have some first teamers but their ambitions lie elsewhere.

They won 3-1 away in Ajaccio (beautiful place) on Friday so are in form but let’s be honest, Arsenal not taking 3 points from this game would be a surprise. However, let’s not take anything for granted, any team coming to THOF is inspired and we will have to be alert.

We mashed them in France and could have scored more than the paltry two – OK, a massive exaggeration – in fact we could have been at least two down at half-time and scored with our first shot on target, a superb Theo volley. Aaron wrapped up the points with a sweet finish.


What of The Arsenal? Not quite at the top of our game even if we are TOTL. We all know there is more to come from this side. Theo has yet to get a run of injury free games. The Ox is out, as is Podolski. Ozil is going through a quiet spell, though he is still making runs and passes which allow other players to perform. Santi has yet to find the form of last season and Jack is not yet playing at the level we know he can.

That said, the defence has been superb of late, an improvement which has taken place under the media radar. We look solid with every player on top of his game and working as a unit. The emergence of BFG as the defensive lynchpin has altered the way we defend. Take him out and we suffer (see OT). Our defence of set plays has improved with OG, Sagna, Merts, TPIG and Gibbs strength in the air meaning we are less liable to concede (unless it comes off the shoulder of a traitorous kaaskop – look it up!). Our marvellous midfield maestro, Mr Arteta is fit and named in the squad.

Some stats: Marseilles have lost their last 7 CL games. They have conceded at least two goals in each of those losses. Arsenal have won 6 of their last 7 CL games. and kept a clean sheet in 5 of them. Mmmmmmmm What do you think?

My Team:

a v m

As players recover from injury we are arriving at the point where hard choices must be made. Arteta is back to full fitness but could be rested thus giving Rosicky a place on the left. Perhaps Monreal can get a game giving Gibbs a rest. Or should we revert to playing Cazorla out left leaving Flamini as our sole holding MF? Or should Ramsey be rested ahead of his return to Wales at the weekend thus giving Wilshere the opportunity to play?

We have to win tonight so perhaps a more attacking lineup could be considered with Wilshere starting in place of Flamini? So many combinations and mutations.

Once Podolski returns (could be for Cardiff) we have to find games to rest OG. A forward line of Ozil, Theo and Lukas is very potent.

I have a feeling that Mr Wenger will play it safe and include both Arteta and Flamini but if we can score early and be two up by half-time (a big IF) then he can relax and make substitutions. I would rather we went into the game with a full complement of attackers.

Win this match and we are almost out of the Group of Death from which few commentators gave us a chance – lose and we are looking at Spursday night football 😦

But we won’t will we? Another stirring night of European football awaits.


p.s. Do you know why condoms were called Frenchies?

written by Big Raddy

164 Responses to Our Frenchies are better than Theirs.

  1. Charybdis1966 says:

    Thanks Big Randy, to answer your question condoms used to be called “French letters”, hence the abbreviation to “frenchies”. However I accept no liability if anyone relies on this answer. πŸ˜‘

  2. Big Raddy says:

    Chary. True but why French letters? I know the answer but find it interesting. In France they were known as English coats πŸ˜€

  3. Aha, as Poldi would say, not sure why they had to be french letters as opposed to any other European nation Big Daddy; would Albanian letters have the same effect/cache ?

  4. Norfolk Gooner says:

    ‘morning AAers,

    B Randy that’s a pretty good line up, I reckon that Arsene should take a long look at your suggestion.

    Santi looked a bit tired on Saturday and could do with a rest, the thought of Walcott running onto the pinpoint passes of our Turkish (German) Delight is mouthwatering. It presents a plan B if Olivier Giroud is having a hard time against the Marsielle centre backs.

    Free to air on ITV tonight, make the most of it, with BT Sport buying up the Champions League there won’t be many more free games available in the future.

  5. Just my luck Norfolk (& Chance), the game I choose to go to is on free to air TV anyway. 😦

  6. arnie says:

    Great stuff as ever, Raddy. The lineup looks tasty indeed.

    However, I do not see Theo playing a full game. I also do not see much substance in the rumours that Jack will be rested. Has Arsene said so? Certainly Jack said after Saturday’s game that he did not have any niggle, it was a baseless rumour. I therefore think there will be some time-sharing between Santi, Theo and Wilshere, perhaps Rambo as well if we cannot create openings.

    Arteta and Flamster starting should be good, in fact, fantastic. All set for a hard fought game, perhaps 2-0 to the good guys by the end. Should be fun!!!!! πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

  7. Norfolk Gooner says:

    Chary, Oh! how I wish I had your luck, going to the game! Armchair in front of the telly with a beer and salted peanuts for me. Still at least I won’t have to leave after forty minutes to get a refill, and on eighty minutes to catch the train. πŸ˜€

  8. arnie says:

    Evonne: πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

    Dhakka09 @ 8:34AM: At least Giroud did not expose himself fully. πŸ˜›

    Frenchies, uhmm, …….

  9. RΓ€sp says:

    Great PM Raddy, thanks. I don’t agree that AW has to play it safe, on the contrary, this is a game we have to win and even if we do, a Dortmund victory will mean we need at least a draw away to Napoli.

    I’d rather see the Arteta/Flamini axis against Cardiff than Marseilles. I like the look of your line up Raddy, let’s hope AW agrees πŸ˜›

  10. arnie says:

    Rasp: why would you “rather see the Arteta/Flamini axis against Cardiff than Marseilles”? Too defensive, too slow? It think it is more defensive and suits our counter-attacking game well. Perhaps appropriate against Marseilles. We certainly do not want to concede a goal!!!!

    I have said this before, and to be boring, will say this again. I see a subtle change in tactics. We have started holding a higher line and operating more through the wings. This gives Ozil and co better scope to thread passes through. I think this is a deliberate tactics to prepare the team for Napoli away, and the games against Shitty and the Chavs. If this were so, personally I like the idea!!! πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

  11. Oi, NG, are you calling me one of those supporters who leave earl ? I’ve only left early once and never again(and that was at Highbury)I get all my drinks in before the game and the only nuts I’ll be worrying about will be the ones getting frozen by half time.

    If a different one had been televised and the one I’m going to was not I’d see the maximum number of our games, dam you ITV !

  12. RΓ€sp says:

    Hi arnie, after having watched Cardiff against manure, I believe that will be a more difficult game than tonight. If we have Arteta and Flamini sitting back we will win the ball back more quickly and prevent their quick breaks, the attacking MF’s can then have licence to roam

  13. LB says:

    Great pre-match BR

    And I would like to add that I think that we will win the league and this is not just the red and white tinted glasses default position, I simply think we have as good a team as the two other challengers and our squad is no where near as fragile as some in the media try and suggest.

    This was our bench on the weekend — not exactly weak is it?



  14. MickyDidIt89 says:

    For me, one of the most exciting Raddy PM’s ever. Why?

    Because I can’t agree on the team, and don’t think you will score 11/11, and this is good because it shows the ever increasing array of quality options available to Arsene.

    Another thing, I don’t see a Flamini/Arteta axis as defensive. It merely releases the skill boys to do nothing but skilly things.

    Out of interest, which of Ramsey and Rosicky do you have in the more advanced role?

    Loving all the options. Thank you Raddy.

  15. arnie says:

    Rasp: I see your point now. Yes, the Cardiff game will be more difficult, but tonight’s game is perhaps more critical. We should be fine, nevertheless nice to have Arteta and Flamini man our central DM positions.

    This may not be to most AA-ers’ liking, but I can see Arsene reverting to Rambo and Arteta/Flamster in some of the tough games. Napoli away may be one of these. Yes, this will restrict Ramsey’s attack a little bit, but I see some logic in this. Rambo will still get chances, since he has the sense to get into key positions. And his pace will be useful in teh centre of the pitch.

  16. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Oh, so as to be fair, here’s my starting XI, which somewhat contradicts what I’ve just said:

    ……Back Five


    Ozil Aaaron Santi


    Try and kill them off in the first 20, then get Theo on for Ollie at the 45 πŸ™‚

  17. arnie says:

    Raddy: sincere apologies. I just realised I had read your team completely wrong. Something wrong with me, I think!!!! πŸ˜›

  18. arnie says:

    Micky: I like this, except that I would still have Flamser rather than Rosicky. We do not want to concede at any cost.

    Then, if it does not work, bring on Theo for Flamster, and Rosicky on for Santi. Chages the shape a little bit, Aaaron falling back a bit, Ozil moving central. But they all interchange positions, so does not matter so much!!!! πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

  19. chas says:

    Cheers, BR.

    Doesn’t “frenchie” come from the phrase “johnny foreigner”?

    Should be a good game. I’m always wary of teams with nothing to lose.
    In fact I’m always wary of any team we are playing against.

  20. MickyDidIt89 says:


    Are you like Dandan and sport a Wise Man sensible beard?

    Attack first and vigorously while you’re about it. Then, stiffen up while posing them a real threat with Theo.

  21. chas says:

    Arnie has the beard of a sufi mystic.
    It just screams wisdom and perspicacity. πŸ™‚

  22. arnie says:

    Micky: certainly not a wise man, even if I sport a beard. πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ Just a nervous, risk-averse type πŸ˜€

  23. arnie says:

    Chas: πŸ˜€ I learnt a new word today “perspicacity”!

  24. MickyDidIt89 says:

    I really think the idea of starting “cautiously” is nuts.

    You know how the French are. Let them get settled inside their frilly knickers and we have a problem.

    Hit them with two of the best early doors and they’ll spend the rest of the evening making eyes at our women.

  25. MickyDidIt89 says:


    Talking of our women, is Evonne joining you?

  26. arnie says:

    Micky: I see your point. I am certain we can run any team ragged in the last 20 mins, just not so confident about the first 20. Maybe this is a remnant of a fear from a bygone era, beginning of last season or before. πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

  27. Chas says:

    Yes we have the pleasure of the FHWP’s company.

  28. arnie says:

    Chas: Have fun today. I gave this one a thought as well. But I would seriously have been thrown out of my job if I did this day-trip again. Will certainly come down some match day, even if just for a drink! πŸ˜€

  29. Big Raddy says:

    All that French lover stuff is a nonsense put about by puny, surrender monkey Frenchmen. (n.b. some of my best friends are French πŸ˜€ )

    I agree that we should get at them early.

  30. Chas says:

    Make sure you bring a waterproof next time. πŸ˜‰

  31. MickyDidIt89 says:


    Napoli Home. First 20. Game over.

  32. MickyDidIt89 says:


    Ah Evonne with you, excellent, but for f**k’s sake make some kind of effort with the clothing ok

    Standards is what she has. πŸ™‚

  33. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Oh crikey, Editor Heeeelp

    Best put one of those star things in my bad word!


  34. dandan says:

    Just arrived home so have not read the blog yet, but read this and thought given yesterdays discussions you might enjoy this.

    Spurs are playing football by numbers
    Alyson Rudd
    November 26 2013 12:11PM


    Andre Villas-Boas left Chelsea in March last year with a clipboard in one hand and a packet of highlighter pens in the other. He was criticised for being overly technical, for lacking empathy, for failing to understand the dressing room hierarchy, or if he did understand, for underestimating its power.

    He was, then, the perfect replacement for Harry Redknapp at Spurs if you believe that most clubs lurch from one extreme to another. Redknapp is not the sort of man who squints, deep into the night, at a spreadsheet devoted to pass completion rates per minute in the rain compared to when it is sunny.

    Even so, Villas-Boas did not embrace the caricature of himself as a bureaucrat intent on ignoring the touchy-feely stuff, the man management, the intuition. He smiled a lot when he arrived at White Hart Lane and said he had conversations with players rather than issued them with orders. It all went rather swimmingly and Spurs were unlucky not to qualify for the Champions League – but then the Gareth Bale saga unfolded.

    In theory Tottenham were not left in the lurch. The income from Bale was reinvested in an array of talent and there were oohs and aahs at the stellar nature of it all. Except the new signings had no Premier League experience. Out went players such as Scott Parker, Tom Huddlestone and Clint Dempsey, toughened by their seasons in England, and in came players with glowing CVs but a certain naivety. There was no question about it, Villas-Boas would need every ounce of his technical acumen to build a team that could function to a level greater than the sum of its parts.

    Which brings us to the 6-0 defeat at the Etihad Stadium and the sneaking suspicion that the Spurs manager might have reverted too much to type. In a quite marvellous analysis of the goal Spurs conceded inside 15 seconds, Gary Neville, on Sky Sports, circled five Tottenham players who were either fiddling with their laces or their socks or still stretching as their team kicked off. This was no petty concern nor a joke at Spurs’ expense. It mattered. Hugo Lloris was put under early pressure by his defenders being surprised to be involved so early and his hurried clearance was pounced upon by a fully awake Manchester City side.

    Why would Tottenham’s players be so unprepared? It cannot be that they were bored or expecting an easy ride. The logical explanation is that they were not pulsing with enough adrenalin because their pre-match build up had been statistical rather than passionate. Each player was, seemingly, in his own little world, thinking through the instructions issued by the management team. They were playing football by numbers and it was humbled by football that was much more artistic and original – and intuitive.

    Villas-Boas is like the child who asks for a puppy to replace a beloved pet and who receives instead a miniature zoo. Instead of devoting time to one, special newcomer, he has to learn how to look after all kinds of differing personalities who adapt to life in England at separate rates and with contrasting effectiveness. The players he knows much better will as consequence to left to their own devices perhaps. Why else keep an unwell Sandro on the pitch?

    It is perfectly possible to lose heavily to City and for it not to mean much. Pellegrini’s team were spectacularly relaxed yet lethal. It was so effortless that the 6-0 scoreline felt a little underwhelming; it should have been more. However, the manner in which Spurs failed to respond to the onslaught was worrying. It was as if their manager did not have the appropriate programme in his lap-top to call upon: his players went though the motions as if none of City’s goals were actually being scored.

    There is a jigsaw puzzle to be finished at White Hart Lane but that does not mean Spurs have to be overly methodical as Villas-Boas attempts to solve it. He asked for more passion from the fans but he needs to fuel it with some of his own.

  35. arnie says:

    Micky: get your point re Napoli!!!!!

    Chas: ah, yes, a waterproof!!!!! πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

  36. MDi89 – done ! Stars inserted, as requested.

  37. Chas says:

    I’ve just left the Lycra on from earlier.
    Is dat ok, sh*tballs?

  38. Chas says:

    Can I borrow your smoking jacket?

  39. Chas says:

    …… and those purple plimsolls?

  40. Chas says:

    Any tips for my hair?

  41. Chas says:

    Please help, Gok DidIt

  42. dandan says:

    What would a game be these days without a BR preamble.
    I love the idea of the Flamster back in the fold alongside Arteta. As a result of my White was Red beard experience, that would be my permanent default situation for the team,unless on the odd occasion I felt the likely tactics the oppositions would employ warranted a change. Also the dreaded rotation, injury and card fever would have a say in that of course.
    But today has in my view all the ingredients needed for the newly invigorated Theo, freshly scrubbed down with horse liniment to protect those accelerator muscles causing mayhem and running off with the match ball and the man of the match award.

  43. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Look Chas

    At all times I look like I’ve just walked across a field and through a hedge. Hair first.

  44. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Meeting, then back later to read Dandan stuff

    And, thanks Chary, and enjoy the win πŸ™‚

  45. Big Raddy says:

    Don’t let Didit’s bashfulness divert you – he is sartorial elegance personified. From his delicately quaffed hair to his Barbour and all the way down to his Church shoes.

    DanDan I agree. Theo should play the first hour, then give young Gnabry a run.

  46. LB says:

    Only real men can wear lycra, I’ll have you know.

  47. Big Raddy says:

    Bendtner all over the Danish press again. What a berk (nice bit of rhyming slang….. )

  48. Chas says:

    Are Church shoes the ones you pray no-one’s looking at?

  49. MickyDidIt89 says:

    No Chas. Those’ll be the purple ones!!

    Blame my Daughter, I say πŸ™‚

  50. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Agree Dandan, this could well be a Theo night.

  51. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Tonight is so much better for knowing it’s on the telly. Damn I’m excited. Just wish I was joining the gang pre-match.

  52. dhakka09 says:

    Great post as always Big Raddy. And I did look up ‘kasskop’ meaning. Urban dictionary puts it as ‘Kasskop means cheesehead in Dutch. Because Netherlands is well known for its cheese’ haha.
    Having mulled over it a bit, having a cheese-head is quite beneficial in football, don’t you think? One doesn’t have to direct headers from corners and set-pieces; it will just bounce off the slopes on cheese-wedges and get turned into a goal πŸ™‚

    As for team line-up, I am in for as much rotation as possible with rest to our tired lots; Ramsey, Ozil, Arteta and Gibbs in particular. My line-up would be:


    we should have enough quality in there to assure us points in first-half itself; then bring on Wally for Giroud to give him rest on second half too. I don’t think Monsieur Wenger will opt for this line-up though.

  53. Here I am, just deciding how many extra layers I need to put on πŸ˜‰

  54. This game in on ITV so are we going for a full match report tomorrow or shall we plump for some feelings ……….?

    Either way I would love it if someone would volunteer soonish to take it on ………. please πŸ˜‰

  55. evonne says:

    For a clever person i can be really silly sometimes πŸ™‚
    Opened the blog thinking ‘who wrote a post for today?’
    I am going to the game tonight and forgot that Raddy is on duty on such occasions. Honestly….

    Great prematch BR, thank you. Like you said, seems a win-win situation, but football is a funny game, nothing is certain. So despite freezing cold outside I expect to get really hot tonight, watch it Chas!

  56. LB says:

    I am going to the game I will return home at 11 o’clock, it takes me three hours to write a report, so anyone watching it on telly fancy a go?

    For those who might think that 1am is not that late please bear in mind that I was at White Heart Lane in 71 when we won the league.

    Oooh, now there’s a thought that gets me in the right frame of mind for the game tonight.

  57. Big Raddy says:

    Thinking of WHL. This always cheers me up

  58. MickyDidIt89 says:

    You. At WHL in ’71?
    Wasn’t lycra was it. It was nappies πŸ™‚

  59. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Someone pretty please volunteer for report duties.

    I really really dislike that job

  60. Big Raddy says:

    But you are so good at it ….

  61. MickyDidIt89 says:


  62. Chas says:

    How about we all send one sentence in to arsenal nuts?

  63. 26may1989 says:

    I don’t mind writing the match report.

  64. MickyDidIt89 says:

    What I was trying to say, was that sucking up will get you nowhere, Raddy πŸ™‚

    Quite concerned about Gorgeous tonight. Remember Evonne eating 26?

  65. MickyDidIt89 says:

    We love you 26, we do
    We love you 26, we do
    We love you 26, we do
    Ooooh 26, we love you

  66. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Strike a light, Gorgeous, what the hell are you doing here?

  67. MickyDidIt89 says:

    I reckon Raddy will get 9/11 tonight. Bet ya all

  68. evonne says:

    he is waiting for me,
    Im on my way chas πŸ™‚

  69. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Do hurry up Evonne. Foreplay and whatnot πŸ™‚

  70. 26may1989 says:

    Someone been spiking mickey’s drinks? πŸ™‚

  71. Big Raddy says:

    Hour and a half to KO. Another bottle of Bordeaux or switch to the Pils? Tough decision

  72. Big Raddy says:

    26. Synchronicity!

  73. 26may1989 says:

    Radstser, I just need the beard and I’m set!

  74. Big Raddy says:

    And the castle in Sussex, the house in Highgate, the apt in New York and the castello i Tuscana …. (if we are taking Mr Sumner)

  75. Big Raddy says:

    Micky. You were right. I got 9/11

  76. arnie says:

    well, Gibbs on the bench is a bit of a surprise, Rosicky rather than Santi is OK. As I said before, personally I like this shape. Ramsey perhaps playing slightly back. Tne important thing is being able to use the wings. How the left will do in teh absence of Gibbs is what needs to be seen.

    On with the show!!!!! πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

  77. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Team: Szczesny Sagna Mertesacker Koscielny Monreal Flamini Ramsey Rosicky Ozil Wilshere Giroud

  78. MickyDidIt89 says:

    It wasn’t me trying to be clever, rather the sheer choice for Arsene.

  79. MickyDidIt89 says:

    So, is it a two deep? If so, who with Flamini?

  80. MickyDidIt89 says:

    LB says “Jack. You fool Didit” πŸ™‚

  81. GΓΆΓΆner In Exile says:

    Most of the first half will be listened to on 5 live, hope it’s Ingham not Green, in front of TV by second half

  82. Big Raddy says:

    Have that “…………..

    Lovely from LJW

  83. Adrian says:

    My word what a start, and what a goal by wilshere too!

  84. Big Raddy says:

    Dreadful penalty from Ozil. The bloke is a complete waste of money πŸ™‚

    We really should be more than one up, OM are total pants, but one slip and they can equalise.

    Oh and Forza Napoli (sta sera)

  85. Big Raddy says:

    Doesn’t it annoy you when the idiot commentators cal JW “Wiltshire”

  86. arnie says:

    c’mon Ozil, what kind of penalty is that! show some drive, guys!!!!

  87. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Well, should have put this to bed really. Almost like a practice match.

    Still, winning always feels good.

  88. arnie says:

    yes, Micky, winning feels nice!!!!! πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

  89. arnie says:

    did you guys listen to Wrighty on ITV?

  90. arnie says:

    summary of the half? I have just sat down before the TV.

  91. dhakka09 says:

    Good first goal, Wilshere is getting his groove back. Shame about the missed penalty, Ozil should’ve done better (their keeper was a long way off the line too illegally, blocking off more of the goal-frame, assistant ref should’ve spotted it; still, bad miss by Ozil.

    Don’t let the heads drop guys. Early second half goal and this game is put to bed πŸ™‚ COYG

  92. arnie says:

    d09: πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

  93. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Theo would make mince meat of their defence should they bother trying to push forwards

  94. arnie says:

    yes, poor defence, Micky.

  95. Big Raddy says:

    Come on AW bring on Theo. We are having all the possession but creating little

  96. Big Raddy says:

    Bum. Dortmund score again

  97. Big Raddy says:

    Fantastic goal.

  98. arnie says:

    jack ………………………. you beauty

  99. dhakka09 says:

    I was wrong when I said Wilshere is getting his groove back.

    Should’ve said, Wilshere HAS got his Groovy-groove back.

    2 goals for Wilshere πŸ™‚ Yesssssss…….

  100. Big Raddy says:

    Fine game from Both TR and JW.

  101. Big Raddy says:

    Superb save from TPIG

    Come on boys concentrate

  102. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Job very much done.

    Really impressed with Jack’s performance. His movement and thrust off the ball are fantastic, and with a quicker first touch, he kept things moving as well as avoiding those dangerous collisions. Excellent night for him.

  103. Big Raddy says:

    Some fine performances tonight despite OM being a very poor side.

    I thought Monreal was excellent and hardly put a foot wrong. Sagna counting his fine form this season.

    In fact almost every player did well though Ozil and OG were a little below par and both Santi and Theo showed they are ring rusty.

    MoM has to be Jack, not only for the goals but the dynamism of his play. We have a fantastic midfield.

  104. MickyDidIt89 says:

    So, if we go to Naples and avoid a 2+ goal defeat margin, we’re through. Tidy.

  105. Big Raddy says:

    I think we can beat them.

  106. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Must go. Great win. Sweet dreams Lads.

  107. fatgingergooner says:


    That was all a bit too easy. These CL group stages should be scrapped because there are far too many weak teams. Who’s heard of Marseille, Dortmund or Napoli anyway? πŸ™‚

    MOTM goes to Szscesny as he was the only player that needed to produce anything above 80% effort during the game! World class save from Thauvin.

    At least we should be fresh for Cardiff.

  108. arnie says:

    Raddy @ 9:40: Fully agree. Been waiting for a while for Monreal to get a longish spell, and he really did well today. Jack was absolutely fantastic, and Rambo and Rosicky as well. Sagna, Kos, BFG and Szcz solid as ever. Yo hooooooo. Bring on Napoli!!!! πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

  109. evonne says:

    unless we lose to Napoli by 7 goals, then surely we are through?

  110. arnie says:

    3 goals, Evonne. πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ Did you have a good time? And and Duck in good form? πŸ˜€

  111. dhakka09 says:

    You all might slate me for being pessimist but I’d be happy with an away draw at Napoli πŸ™‚

  112. Gooner in Exile says:

    Evening all.

    That reminded me of an exhibition match at times the way we were knocking the ball around and the things we were trying. Couple of good goals from Jack, another accomplished performance from Rambo, very impressed with Monreal’s performance.

    Anyone else notice Andy Townsend shouting “Get In” as Thuavin hit that shot he obviously thought it would end up bottom corner…he either had a bet, or hoped to be able to slate Arsenal for being slack at the back.

  113. arnie says:

    d09: A draw away to Napoli will be a good result. But I suspect we will have to score at least once to get a draw. Napoli will try to win.

    Evening, GiE. Very happy for Monreal and Jack.

  114. RockyLives says:

    Great pre-match as ever BR

    Nice comfortable win.

    If we keep our focus we’ll be fine in Napoli.

  115. Gooner in Exile says:

    So just checking the UEFA rule book to be sure.

    if three teams equal on points the results against the bottom team are excluded. (this assumes Napoli to beat us and Dortmund to beat Marseille)

    So in that process we will all still be on equal points as we all took 6 points from Marseille

    Then next is goal difference (but only for the tied teams)


    Arsenal +2
    Dortmund +1
    Napoli -3

    Clearly Dortmund can’t improve their GD in the min league so its all down to us and Napoli and those 3 goals. So score a goal in Italy and i think we will be safe.

  116. arnie says:

    GiE: Bottom line is, if we lose against Napoli, we will still probably qualify but will only be second. We dont want to do that. Score one goal and we will probably at least draw

  117. GΓΆΓΆner In Exile says:

    Where’s the fun in that Arnie…how about lose 5-4 so we are level GD with Dortmund but are top on Goals scored? Or once Napoli are removed is it only goals scored against Dortmund and then we would be equal….does it fm go to away goals or coin toss after that?

  118. arnie says:

    Good fun, GiE. We are absolutely level with BvB on head to head. Dortmund 3-2 Napoli, home and away. We are currently 2-0 Napoli. So losing 2-3 should see us top the group, right?

  119. colts says:


    Posted on aclf when it happened. Thought I was hearing things.

  120. dhakka09 says:

    This is just to clear some misconceptions here about what happens under several different condition for all teams:

    Arsenal scenario:
    If we draw or win, we top the group regardless of what happens elsewhere. If we lose by less than a 3 goal margin, we’d still qualify but as second from the group. We fail to qualify only if we get beat by 3 goal margin.

    Dortmund scenario:
    If Dortmund win their game, regardless of what happens in the other game, they will go through as second from group (as they will be on same points with Napoli and Arsenal but with +1 goal difference while Napoli have -3 and Arsenal have +2). If Napoli lose to Arsenal, then Dortmund will go through, regardless of their result vs Marseille (head-to-head vs Napoli being superior)

    Napoli scenario:
    Napoli need to better Dortmund’s result to finish ahead of them (because on head-to-head vs Dortmund, they lose). Should Dortmund win, Napoli need to beat Arsenal by a three goal margin to qualify as second and four goal margin to finish top of the group.

    While all 3 teams have their destiny in their own hands, Arsenal and Dortmund have easier task than Napoli of qualifying (Arsenal and Dortmund need only to win and draw respectively while Napoli needs to win big).

    My preference:
    I prefer to see Dortmund go through alongwith us to knockout phases, they are too good not to (all three teams deserve to go through in reality, it’s a shame that Chelsea qualify after losing in such a dross group while these 3 quality teams slug-it-out match after match and still, one falls short. UEFA seeding sucks). So, let’s do our job and knock the stockings off of Napoli. (don’t worry Napoli, you’ll win Europa at the expense of our laughable chickens from North London πŸ˜€ )

    I hope you guys don’t mind my long, winding ramblings. Its the first time ever that I wrote this long (I promise to keep it short next time) πŸ˜‰

  121. dhakka09 says:

    on Conclusion paragraph, it should’ve read……..(Arsenal and Dortmund need only to ‘draw’* and ‘better Napoli’s result’* respectively while Napoli needs to win big)

  122. dhakka09 says:

    On my correction to conclusion paragraph, it should’ve read “not lose by more than 2 goal margin”* instead of “draw” for Arsenal’s case. I promise that’s the last correction of a correction :$

  123. Bayonne Jean says:

    Arnie, a 3-2 Napoli victory puts BvB on top of the group. In that specific case, Arsenal and BvB would have an exact replica in all the tiebreakers in the three way round robin:

    6 points from the four matches;
    +1 GD from the four matches;
    6 goals scored in the four matches;
    3 away goals in the four matches

    Then, according to UEFA cockamamie tiebreak rules, the two teams are compared on the same tiebreakers head to head. BvB tops it:

    3 points each from the two matches;
    0 GD each from the two matches;
    2 goals each scored in the two matches;
    BvB 2 away goals in the two matches, Arsenal only 1 away goal

  124. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Motning all.

    I hope that in Napoli it’s 7-4 to them, penalties which we win 13-12 πŸ™‚

    Thinking of how much Jack and Aaron are coming on this season is very very exciting.

  125. MickyDidIt89 says:

    I usually look forward to getting up to hear some views from anyone who attended.

    Nothing. Almost spooky.

  126. Big Raddy says:


    As you says…. spooky. Hope all is well with everyone.

    Perhaps it is win – fatigue?

    We have just seen our team absolutely marmalise a top French side and yet some folk complain it was “too easy”. I cannot in “any way, shape or form” understand what there is to criticise in hammering the French.

  127. arnie says:

    Motning all. Yes, very spooky. I waited till about half past midnight hoping to hear some happy notes. Nowt. Spooky indeed. Win fatigue? perhaps.

  128. Big Raddy says:

    Can we go to Napoli and not lose by three goals?

    Of course we can. As I said I think we can win there because Napoli have to come at us and by then TW will be back to form and we will hit them on the counter-attack

  129. chas says:

    Help me.
    I’m being held captive in some kind of underground torture chamber.

  130. Big Raddy says:

    Assistance on it’s way. Beware of flying shrapnel

  131. MickyDidIt89 says:


    Me feels a conspiracy theory coming on.

    a. Evonne seriously embarrassed herself with Gorgeous
    b. Gorgeous seriously embarrassed himself with Evonne

    Then there’s LB, Peaches, Rasp and Chary

  132. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Phew Chas,
    Still with us. Good news.

  133. GΓΆΓΆner In Exile says:

    Remember when Evonne attended a game with 26May, went missing for days πŸ™‚

    Chas be thankful your alive and able to type with the one appendage not tied down.

  134. chas says:

    As a typing implement its efficacy is intermitt,,,,,………………

  135. chas says:

  136. dandan says:

    Best news from AW comment this morning, “I enjoyed Jacks goal, he is coming back to form and believes he can score as many goals as Aaron” what a midfield would we have if that belief comes true?

  137. KgΓΆΓΆner says:

    great win for us. did anyone notice anything unusual about flaminis sleeves? I. was. clueless till now. apparently he cut them off as he prefers his sleeves shot effectively going against tradition.
    here’s the daily mail pictures http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-2514132/Mathieu-Flamini-cut-Arsenal-sleeves-Arsene-Wenger-unhappy.html

  138. evonne says:

    arnie – why 3 goals. Our goal difference is +5 and Napoli’s -1

  139. chas says:

    He did the same against the mancs.
    They called it ‘sleevegate’ on twitter.

  140. JanMan says:

    A win is a win. We did not have to work hard, we were in total control, JW scored two great goals and no one is injured! I was disappointed with Ozil’s penalty kick though.
    What is it with these former Arsenal players and their skills (or lack of) as pundits? Do they actually get paid for some of the shite that they talk?

  141. evonne says:

    it wasn’t the most thrilling game of football I’ve seen, but I had great time πŸ™‚ Was shocked to be told that Valbuena was on the pitch for some 15mins before I realised

  142. RΓ€sp says:

    Morning evonne, its all about the goal difference against Napoli not goal difference in total. We beat them by 2 clear goals so they’d have to beat us by 3 clear goals to pip us if on equal points …. simples πŸ˜•

  143. RΓ€sp says:

    I hope we decide who the penalty taker will be before the game. Giroud scored a good penalty at the weekend so he should have taken it.

  144. arnie says:

    OK, I was feeling in the mood for a rant, but feel much better now. Thanks, Micky, GiE, Chas (after having finally found his voice). But the point remains somewhat. So I will go into the rant anyway.

    It was a good win yesterday, perhaps not a good game. But discussing this late in the evening were only a handful: Raddy, Micky, GiE, FGG, Dhakka, and myself. AA-ers who are lucky enough to go to the game, if you can just drop in a line (OK, evonne did, she is excused!), it helps the countless, nameless, other hapless ones reflect somewhat in reflected glory (or sadness, as the case may be). Just a line is enough: missed Jacks’s first goal, great atmosphere, very happy, too drunk, terrible traffic, etc. For some of us, waiting till early hours of the morning (or waking up early) and finding nowt is not nice!

    Rant over!!!! πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

  145. RΓ€sp says:

    I’m getting slightly concerned that Ozil may be suffering from a lack of confidence. He looked pretty down when he was subbed. Maybe AW thinks he’s tired. OG missed a couple of one on one’s by kicking the ball straight at the keeper’s legs, he needs to pick his spot rather than go for power. But a good victory all the same.

  146. chas says:

    Sorry, got in at 1am and went straight to bed.

    If two or more teams are equal on points on completion of the group matches, the following criteria are applied to determine the rankings (in descending order):

    a) higher number of points obtained in the group matches played among the teams in question;

    b) superior goal difference from the group matches played among the teams in question

    c) higher number of goals scored in the group matches played among the teams in question;

    d) higher number of goals scored away from home in the group matches played among the teams in question;

    e) if, after having applied criteria a) to d), two teams still have an equal ranking, criteria a) to d) are reapplied to determine the final ranking of the two teams. If this procedure does not lead to a decision, criteria f) to h) apply;

    f) superior goal difference from all group matches played;

    g) higher number of goals scored from all group matches played;

    h) higher number of coefficient points accumulated by the club in question, as well as its association, over the previous five seasons (see
    paragraph 9.02).

  147. arnie says:

    Let us put Ozil’s penalty out of the minds, perhaps. I am sure it is a one-off, and it wont happen again. Thankfully, this was against Marseille, so it did not matter. We missed quite a few chances, which is a worry. But we also created quite a few (against,a weak side, point taken, but still), and that is good. We needed to win, and we did. Bring on Napoli!!!! πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

  148. evonne says:

    ok Rasp, got it, thanks. That is strange, much prefer the EPL rule.

    Still, not bloody likely that we’ll let 3 goals in without scoring.

  149. KgΓΆΓΆner says:

    Yes Chas. I read a little bit on that too. according to the press, he was confronted on it and insisted on his preference of short sleeves. I can relate to his sedition as I consider myself a bit of a rebel. Do you think his defiance is a reason for concern?

    I see it playing out in two ways:
    Wenger broaches the issue and he has to adhere. . .I mean because its Arsene!

    Or the benevolent leader that is Per considers flaminis preference and selects Jerseys based on flaminis start/ non start

    possibly a 3rd option. have new designs of long sleeved Jerseys with detachable sleeves. meet him halfway?

    A player’s shirt preference should be factored in. . .just like soccer boots

  150. arnie says:

    Evonne: We should progress, but we really need to top the group. That will be an immense statement. Remember last year’s finalist is in our group. OK, they were thrashed by Munich, but apparently Munich is a much improved side from last year. Barca has regressed from last year, Madrid and BvB are about the same, Shitty has perhaps improved. If that is true, this places us quite high amongst the elite in Europe. On with the show!!!! πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

  151. arnie says:

    Evonne @ 8:37: Sorry, missed this earlier. Explained well by Bayonne Jean @ 4:37. Numbers are doing me in this morning, but I think we still top the group is we lose to Napoli but score 3 goals, that is lose 3-4. Is that right? GiE calculated 4-5 last night, and I calculated 2-3, but I think Bayonne Jean is correct.

  152. arnie says:

    Sorry, should have said lose to Napoli by 1 goal. All academic, because we are going to win (most likely), even if not, at least draw.

  153. Big Raddy says:

    Arnie. I think MC will go far this season and are a match for BM or Barca.

    If we get the rub of the green I can see us in the semi’s. We can take Barca, Juve, Athletico Madrid, etc.

  154. Big Raddy says:

    Finally found a shop which stocks Weetabix πŸ˜€

    Back later.

  155. arnie says:

    Raddy: Agreed. Let us win the group and put ourselves in teh best chance for a rub of the green. πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

  156. chas says:

    I know it was a poor penalty but it should have been taken again.
    What exactly is the extra official paid for?

  157. JM says:

    Our designated penalty takers in sequence (when they are playing) – from AW:

    1st: Arteta, 2nd: Oezil, 3rd: Giroud.

    As such, Oezil took the spot kick when Arteta is on the bench against Marseille.

    @arnie (November 27, 2013 at 9:00 am)

    Among the dark horses, there is also PSG (unbeaten so far in their season – both in Ligue and CL)

  158. arnie says:

    Chas: yes, it was shocking, the goalie was not pulled up for so much movement before the shot.

  159. chas says:

    where the ‘e’ in Ozil come from?

  160. chas says:

    * where’s

  161. Morning all

    We have a New Post ………………………..

  162. arnie says:

    JM: yes, PSG is a very good side, and Ibrahimovic is hurt by Sweden’s ouster from the World Cup. I still stand by my post of October 3 “We are Top of the League, and our real competitor is Bayern Munich”!!!! πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

  163. TT says:

    chas, I believe JM is using the convention of writing “oe” when the umlaut “ΓΆ” isn’t available.

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