Revenge is a dish best served cold

As I sit beside the frozen icy slopes of Zermatt I am reminded that revenge is a dish best served cold. And a January evening in the Midlands is pretty chilly!

To those who cannot recall the first day of the season, we got royally *****ed, a more polite way of saying this would be the the referee on the day had a poor afternoon. As I have little access to the internet, I cannot say who tonight’s ref will be but he will surely do a better job.

Nor can I say who will be in our opponents team tonight but given their recent record I expect the Arsenal to be confident. You chaps will no doubt be able to discuss who will be the cause for concern in their line-up; Benteke may be back on form etc etc.

But ultimately, it will be how AFC perform tonight. Top of the Table, in good form after a brilliant December and on the back of a stunning win over the miscreants (who are no doubt giving it large after beating a relegation threatened Palace), if we play to our potential we should regain our position at the top.

Third just doesn’t feel right does it?

Losing Theo was painful and it will be interesting to see how Mr Wenger copes with his loss.  I think we have enough in the squad should he not be able to buy a top quality fox-in-the-box.

My team (with no injury info)


Someone has to miss out and for an away fixture it has to be Santi, TR has been superb this season and deserves an automatic start, plus he is more defensively aware when Pod ventures forward.

No jokes today, sorry. Just a brief intro to tonight’s match (maybe someone can add something to the post)

May the Footballing Gods bring good fortune down upon the Arsenal.

Big Raddy


239 Responses to Revenge is a dish best served cold

  1. arnie says:

    Lovely stuff, Raddy. Despite all the adversities that come with being different and not-particularly-liked by refs, pundits and the green eyed gits, our destiny is in our own hands. We should win, and we will. Period. COYG 😀 😀

  2. Shubham says:

    Hi Raddy,

    Good post…There is nothing better than having your destiny in your own hands. A win is a must and I feel, the team has enough to bag the three points. Agree with your selection, but a small flag though; in the back line, positions for BFG and KOS has gotten interchanged.


  3. Norfolk Gooner says:

    ‘morning AAers, a special thank you to Big Raddy, taking time out from a skiing holiday to write his usual excellent pre-match is devotion to duty at the highest level. Watch out for the moguls BR they can wreck your medial ligaments, as I know to my cost.

    I think we might start with both Arteta and Flamini anchoring behind Gnabry, Ozil and Wilshere with Giroud up front.

    The ref for tonight is Neil Swarbrick, in his last Arsenal match, home to Everton 16.04 2013, he did not cover himself in glory nor did he do us any favours by letting a string of fouls against our players go unpunished, he should have booked Gibson for a second time for a blatant body check just five minutes after yellow carding him for a foul. Everton would have been down to ten men for an hour.

    I never expect anything but the worst from refs these days.

  4. 26may1989 says:

    Cheers Raddy, hope you’re enjoying it up there.

    My prediction for the line-up

    ——————— Szczesny
    Sagna, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Monreal
    —————– Arteta, Wilshere
    ————- Gnabry, Ozil, Cazorla
    ———————- Giroud

    Subs: Fabianski, Gibbs, Vermaelen, Rosicky, Flamini, Oxlade-Chamebrlain, Podolski

    After some disappointingly good results from all our rivals over the weekend, it has to be a must-win tonight. For all that Villa have a good track record at Ashburton Grove, we do well at their place. And they have terrible home form this season: just 8 points (second worst in the division) from W2 D2 L6 F7 A14, plus just knocked out of the FA Cup at home by Sheffield United. So we have every right to feel optimistic. But then the complacency that comes from such weak form could be the danger: one of their two home wins came against City.

    I remember that Villa won their 1981 league title when they played us at Highbury in the last game – we won 2-0 but Ipswich (I think) messed up their final game and handed the title to Villa. It was a day of shared joy, because we needed to win the game to finish third (by then, a very high place for us) and secure a spot in the UEFA Cup. So, it was a day of joy for both sets of fans. And yet the Villa fans aren’t a crowd to be enjoyed, they’re a bitter bunch, and have been fond of tasteless songs about Ramsey’s leg etc. I like their manager and players like Benteke, Guzman and Albrighton, but if Villa got sucked into the relegation battle, I can’t say I’d be very upset about it.

  5. chas says:

    Nice one, BR.
    Hope your hols are rockin along nicely.

    It really is a must-win game today. Most important game of the season so far, 3 points a necessity. 🙂

  6. LB says:

    My prediction for the line-up

    ——————— Szczesny
    Sagna, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Gibbs
    —————– Arteta, Wilshere
    ————-Ozil, Rosicky, Cazorla

    Have fun BR

  7. arnie says:

    LB’s minor tweek to 26may, giving a start to TR rather than Santi, does it for me. On with the show!!!! 😀 😀 😀

  8. chas says:

  9. arnie says:

    Sorry, saw this wrong. So, here we go. My starting lineup is:

    ——————— Szczesny
    Sagna, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Gibbs
    —————– Arteta, Wilshere
    ————-Gnabry, Ozil, Rosicky


  10. LB says:

    Hi Arnie

    I am also guessing that Wenger will choose Gibbs over Monreal, but I would be happy with either one of those.

  11. arnie says:

    Wenger (23 Dec 2013, peobably): “Paul George Ntep has the potential to have a great future. It all depends on his mind, but he is a great prospect”.

    U-21 France, full international not yet decided. Primarily left winger, but can play striker or right winger as well. Enjoy.

  12. LB says:


    Have we actually signed this player?

  13. arnie says:

    LB: Yes, I actually would like Monreal to start. We need to give him starts, otherwise he may want to leave. In any case, I too am happy with either. 😀 😀

  14. arnie says:

    Apparently, we have signed and loaned him straight back to Auxerre for the rest of the season.

  15. arnie says:

    Porto always sell players in January. Did we actually place a bid for Martinez?

  16. LB says:

    Can’t help you with that one Arnie, I have been out of the loop for a week, and for all I know we could have changed our kit colour alla Cardiff.

  17. RA says:

    Good morning guys.

    arnie I am afraid the translation of the tweet that made you think we had signed Ntep was not very accurate – nor official.

    What it said was that Auxerre had received a £4m bid from Rennes for Ntep and that tied in with the Auxerre Chairnan confirming the receipt of a bid from a French club.

    Arsenal were not mentioned. 🙂

  18. RA says:

    Great Post oh mighty Raddy and I too hope you enjoy the rest of your holiday.

  19. Gooner in Exile says:

    About three minutes into that video……i like

  20. arnie says:

    LB: 😀 Have you noticed that you were in our thoughts? Suddenly one evening, after a couple of bottles of red wine presumably, Raddy smiley faced you.

    Here is how it went. Arnie 😀 Micky. Micky 😀 Redders. Redders 😀 Raddy. Raddy 😀 LB. So the suggestion was we should have LB 😀 Arnie to complete the cycle. 😀

  21. arnie says:

    Redders: Never let the truth spoil a good story!!!!! 😀

  22. Gooner in Exile says:

    Do we have to loan him back?

    Pace shot skill strength vision….looks like a bit of work needed on final ball

  23. arnie says:

    This is the source of the speculation:

    Ntep en prêt a rennes
    — Ousmane Dembele (@ousdu27) January 12, 2014

    @SChetAntoine arkip il est transféré a arsenal est il est directemen prête a rennes
    — Ousmane Dembele (@ousdu27) January 12, 2014

  24. RA says:


    My comment @ 12:16 seems to be the correct interpretation, but there is nothing to stop AW making a late bid.

    Except – he said today:

    Arsene Wenger says the return of Olivier Giroud can convince doubters that Arsenal don’t need to spend big-money in the transfer window.

    The Frenchman has missed the Gunners’ last two games through injury, but is back for tonight’s trip to Aston Villa.

    Giroud’s return couldn’t be timelier for Wenger, who has lost Nicklas Bendtner and Theo Walcott to injury in the last fortnight, and the Gunners boss believes his fellow countryman can prove to be just as effective as a big-money signing.

    ‘People want always new names, but what is important for us is that Giroud is back,’ said Wenger.’

    We cannot expect AW to reveal all his negotiations of course but I suspect we are finding it hard to get the right player and this is his way of letting us down gently. 🙂

  25. Gooner in Exile says:

  26. RA says:

    Congratulations young George!! 🙂

  27. GunnerN5 says:

    Note to myself;

    I hate transfer speculation, I hate transfer speculation…it fills up pages with nothing but abject nonsense. I prefer to look at to find out the facts.

    Just think of all the trees that could be saved, no speculation = more trees.

  28. Gooner in Exile says:

    I hate that RA has poured cold water on it! 😀

  29. RA says:

    Hi GN5,

    Canadian computers are obviously different from US machines.

    Mine would not recognise a tree if it bit it on the proverbial. 🙂

  30. GunnerN5 says:

    I cannot see AW leaving Santi on the bench as he has just started to regain his form of 2012/13. Although its a tough decision between him and Tomas.

  31. GunnerN5 says:

    Red Tops, RA not Desk Tops!!

  32. RA says:


    Well the tweet that arnie was relying on was done by a 15/16 year old kid.

    The tweet does not once mention Auxerre for whom Ntep plays and also the Auxerre chairman has been quoted as saying there is only one concrete bid — and that is from a French club.

    Mind you I am only trying to make sense of what I have read on the internet (and no trees were harmed) 🙂 so I do not know anymore than anyone else – well – perhaps more than that 16 y.o. kid, maybe. 🙂

  33. GunnerN5 says:

    A priest was driving along and saw a nun on the side of the road, he stopped and offered her a lift which she accepted. She got in and crossed her legs, forcing her gown to open and reveal a lovely leg. The priest had a look and nearly had an accident. After controlling the car, he stealthily slid his hand up her leg.

    The nun looked at him and immediately said, “Father remember psalm 129?” The priest was flustered and apologised profusely. He forced himself to remove his hand. However,he was unable to remove his eyes from her leg.
    Further on while changing gear, he let his hand slide up her leg again.

    The nun once again said, “Father, remember psalm 129?”
    Once again the priest apologised. “Sorry sister but the flesh is weak.” Arriving at the convent, the nun got out gave him a meaningful glance and went on her way.

    On his arrival at the church, the priest rushed to retrieve the bible and looked up psalm 129. It said, “Go forth and seek, further up, you will find glory.”

    Moral of the story:
    Always be well informed in your job, or you might miss a great

  34. RA says:

    I know what you meant, GN5, altho the biggest source for transfer speculation and rubbish is the net. 🙂

    I dislike it too — but I also pore over every little bit of info that comes out – and hate myself for being suckered in. Human nature I guess. 🙂

  35. arnie says:

    I think none of us, perhaps except for Micky, are expecting a top signing in January. Personally, if there were right wingers on offer, it might have been exciting. Alas!

    But nothing like some transfer speculation to liven up some conversation on AA!!!!! 😛

    Anyway, having done my bit towards climate destruction, mum’s the word. 😀 😀

  36. GunnerN5 says:

    David Moyes was wheeling his shopping trolley across the supermarket car park when he noticed an old lady struggling with her bags of shopping. He stopped and asked, “Can you manage dear?” to which the old lady replied, “no way you got yourself into this mess, don’t ask me to sort it out!”

  37. RA says:

    GN5, 🙂

    (altho the reverend must have been suffering from wishful thinking as to my reading of Psalm 129 it contains no such phrase!!) 🙂

  38. RA says:

    I am hungry — so off for black coffee, and some brekkie — laters. 🙂

  39. IanRealGunner says:

    Raddy, I’d suggest you get yourself into the Brown Cow early this afternoon before the apres-ski crowd get in, order a steiner of Cardinal and enjoy the match tonight. Zermatt, what a great place!!!!!

  40. The Cockie Monster says:

    Is it true, LB, that cyclists don’t grow old, they just have their Choppers stuffed !. hahaha

  41. arnie says:

    I dont dislike the speculation. I particularly like the fact that it allows Arsenal and Arsene do their transfer job behind the back. Moreover, this is many many times better than the vitriol that pours around otherwise. Long live the speculation, long live the net, long live your own interpretation of psalm 129!!!!!! 😀 😀

  42. 26may1989 says:

    Here’s a bit of speculation that has absolutely nothing behind it, not even a Newsnow link: AC Milan are now 11th in Serie A, 30 points off the lead and only six points away from the relegation zone; they managed to lost at the weekend to a club I’ve never heard of (Sassuolo?), when a 19 year old scored four goals to overturn a 2-0 lead Milan had taken; and now they’ve just sacked their manager.

    So, Balotelli to leave and join us???

    No chance of it happening I’m sure (Balotelli has been one of their few bright spots this season) but it’s an interesting thought….

  43. Norfolk Gooner says:

    I see no harm in a bit of speculation, no one has to read it if they don’t want to, equally no one has to believe it, also it can liven up days when there is no real news to discuss. Just occasionally though some of it turns out to be true. ;D

  44. arnie says:

    Now, for a change, here is some confimed Arsenal transfer news.


  45. GunnerN5 says:

    Please note that names have been changed to protect the “reputations” of current journalists.


    Football transfer-talk journalist in showdown talks with bosses

    Gary O’Shea, once fêted as one of football’s best young transfer speculation writers, is believed to be in make-or-break talks with his manager at The Sun’s sport pages.

    ‘Gary’s furious at having to play out of position,’ said an insider. ‘His best position is on the inside back page where he links up speculation about discord in a football team with fanciful projections about players ‘wanting away’ or ‘slamming in a transfer request’. But despite being one of the best schemers in the game, Gary’s been asked to play ‘in the hole’ recently – ghost-writing columns by ex-footballers that nobody ever reads. It’s no wonder he’s asked his agent to tell other sports editors that he’s ready to move.’

    If O’Shea does become available, a host of other tabloids are likely to be interested. The Daily Star is thought to have already tabled a bid which Sun Sport rejected as ‘laughable’, while The Star is known to be desperate for a creative playmaker to conjure up a steady supply of baseless footballing transfer stories. The Daily Mirror and The Guardian are also said to be watching the situation closely. The Mirror’s Brian Reade has apparently been given a massive budget and told not to come back without his man, while at a recent team talk at The Guardian the head of news gave his transfer speculation writers a rollocking and threw a tea cup at the wall.

    ‘I wouldn’t be surprised if O’Shea ended up moving to the Daily Mail sports pages,’ said one pundit. ‘That would allow him to renew his partnership with Big Neil Ashton who he played with at The Croydon Guardian. He would also provide the ideal foil for Martin Samuel who likes to play off someone else’s news story. O’Shea could unsettle the clubs and Samuel could feed off the chaos. He might not net so many exclusives, but he’ll notch up the assists.’

    With January transfer window now open, sport editors are desperate to get their most creative story writers in place for the crucial transfer window season, but O’Shea’s agent is adamant he’ll move. ‘There’s been a complete breakdown in the relationship between Gary and the management. Their failure to sign world-class journalists to write alongside him shows the paper’s lack of ambition. But Gary’s a pro. As long as he’s a part of the team he’ll be giving it 110% week in, week out and taking it one piece of transfer speculation at a time.’

  46. jnyc says:

    It seems like an eternity since I read a raddy pre match.
    I would go with nacho unless gibbs is 100 percent ready. Even then I want them to continue to rotate.
    Rosicky is our secret weapon, and I would use him sparingly , afraid that he can break down easily.
    He would be my super sub and start the biggest matches only. This should not be a big match.

  47. arnie says:

    Arsène Wenger: “At the moment he [The Ox] is still in formation. It is good for his education as he plays left, right and centrally when needed. After [the age of] 23 or 24 you settle in a definite position. He will be deeper as he has a good long ball, penetration from deep and a good quality to distribute and penetrate individually. Certainly he has the same qualities to Steven Gerrard, and he is a bit of a Ramsey type.

    He has a good opportunity. I think he will be in Roy Hodgson’s plans as he can play centrally and out wide. On that front England do not have too many players. He had a big impact when he came on in that game against Brazil, especially in central midfield – and deep central midfield. His future will be there”.

  48. TwentyTwelve says:

    If I’m already so nervous about this match tonight, I don’t think I will last the season. “He died for Arsenal” might be an appropriate epitaph.

  49. Afternoon all

    A match on a Monday, how ridiculous, everyone else is already thinking about next weekend 😉

    We just have to keep on winning and hopefully we will – that would be my team talk 😆

    I’d really like to see Gnabry linking up with Ozil and Podolski, we are going to be relying on that combo with either Rosicky or Santi being the driving force. Great football to come …….. can’t wait.

  50. 26may1989 says:

    Nasri out for two months. Such a shame.

  51. Nice Evans production video earlier – Happy 1st Birthday George

  52. Shame about Nasri, he was actually having a good season.

    Need a small injury to Negredo really just to keep him out of the team for a while.

  53. Nagging early ………… Does anyone feel that may want to write the post for tomorrow about tonight’s game, let me know so that I can stop nagging 😉

  54. arnie says:

    Actually, I think “$ Amir” sounds better, though.


    Nice one Raddy

    I expect a tough game, but thoroughly believe we will win 5-0.

    Lets face it, Villa are a poor team and we should give them a hiding.

    Yes, Yes, dont jinx it with your big mouth, but how I can hide from the truth, we should thrash them.

    The truth hurts Raddy, Many years ago I was called in by my boss and told that I had been terminated. I asked why and he gave me a rather long list of offences. Included in those was staring blankly into space at an average of five hours per day, and staring at attractive women with an expression which could only be regarded as dangerous.

    I took my punishment, and so will Villa.

  56. RA says:

    The only problem with that Terry baby is that you are a masochist and love all that rough stuff and your boss is a sadist and loves dishing it out.

    When your boss laughed and said she was only kidding about sacking you, and just wanted to hurt your feelings, you loved her even more.

    Is she one of your ex-wives?

    Ed’s Note: All info courtesy of Cockie, the furry blue one! 🙂

  57. Rasp says:

    Apologies for my late arrival. Thanks for the PM Raddy. We have the chance to notch up 15 points over the next 5 games – they’re all ones we’d be favourites to win. We know the PL is a marathon, not a sprint and therefore consistency is imperative. I don’t care how we win – stylish, ugly, lucky – the 3 points are all that matter.

    GiE, what a super video. Happy first birthday wee Georgie 🙂

  58. Since the day that we achieved top spot The equation has been simple. Gain more, or the same points as our rivals and we will be champions. We have had our share of injuries and even if our rivals don’t, we still have to keep on winning. Man.C. score goals for fun and are proper favourites for the crown. The horrible Mourinho’s team seem as if they can’t be stopped. Those two must be taken down when they meet us. Home or away is now irrelevant. Winning is the important thing. From a psychological view, surrendering our current advantage could set us back as title contenders for maybe three years.The One who wears “The Magic Hat” must now show He has the wherewithal to triumph over the odds. It may be that He is (secretly) surprised, (as many are) that we are up there. Well, let’s just do it, and to prove it’s no fluke, do it again next season. Now, what would be a better pointer to Arsene’s greatness than that? We are now third with a game tonight to reclaim our top spot on a level of games played.


    Hi Redders

    No, my boss was actually a really nice bloke. Just before I left his office he apologised for firing me, but explained “I cant take the risk that you wont put into practice what your face is threatening” hahaha

  60. arnie says:

    Congrats Gooner George, and congrats GiE and family. Just got round to watching the video. Fantastic stuff. 😀 😀 😀

  61. chas says:

  62. Gooner in Exile says:

    The video’s a week late…..well what did the little bugger expect kept us waiting for two figured i could leave him waiting for his YT debut a week. 😀

    Glad you enjoyed it, blame Chas for it being on here s i just stuck it on YT for family viewing and it auto tweeted and Chas asked if it was going on here, so i thought i better.

    Have only just read prematch as just recovered form depression that RA put me into over the young Frenchmen, if we don’t sign him I will state that YT highlight reels are rubbish 😀

    No quibbles with Raddy’s team selection, but since i predicted the ROLFs that didn’t come i have a bad feeling about tonight.

    Hope i’m wrong.

  63. RA says:


    As you will know, I think a lot of you and only tease you because you are a good sport.

    You have a wonderful sense of humour and give a lot of people a great deal of pleasure, and we all laugh with you and not at you – and I include myself in that happy crowd.

    The suggestion I am after a ticket when I get back to the UK to go with you and that villain GLIC is, of course, absolutely true!! 🙂

  64. RA says:


    With a gorgeous family around you, you will not stay depressed for long. 🙂

    Anyway, I am sure Monsieur Wenger will do some buying to cheer you up, when he reads your comment, as it is well known that he frequents AA and takes note of all the advice he is proffered, 🙂

  65. MickyDidIt89 says:


    Well, if you’ve managed to tear yourself away from your hot wine and fondu for a minute and read this, then thank you.

    However, unlike someone earlier who said how heroic you are for doing your stuff while on holiday, I say piffle, duty more like.

    Where the hell would we be without your PM’s if they dried up every time you pissed off on holiday? I’ll tell you.. buggered.

    Have a great holiday. Leave Mrs R alone so that she can enjoy herself as well, and enjoy tonight’s easy win.


    Redders, It will be a pleasure. When you get back let me know and I will sort it. It will be a right laugh.

    You do know Cornwall is teetotal? We might have to change that. hahaha

  67. arnie says:

    Chas @5:28. 😀 😀

  68. Gooner in Exile says:

    Jeesh Ronaldo is now even fatter Ronaldo!

  69. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Ok, just zoomed down through people’s line ups, and Raddy is the only one mit Herr Podolski.

    Does everyone else see him as an on 70 mins man?

  70. RA says:


    I did not know the naughty man is a teetotaller, and I had forgiven some of his humour as being ‘committed’ while under the influence.

    Now I find out that is the ‘real’ Glicster. 🙂

  71. 26may1989 says:

    Micky, I think Podolski is fab, but Cazorla had a great game against Spurs, and if Ozil comes back in, the mini Spaniard should start. But I do also think Pod is especially potent as a sub. (For attacking players, I don’t see starting on the bench as necessarily being a snub, they can be used to great effect from there, and are often more important for a result than some of the players that start the game.)

    OK, time to head home and park myself in front of the box, ignoring the sprogs. Sounds like a scene from The Simpsons….

  72. GunnerN5 says:

    2014 is my 68th year of watching the Gunners and even after all these years I’m the same as I was back in the 40’s – looking forward to the game – but pent up with nervous anticipation.

    I’ve certainly watched over 2,000 games and it may well be over 2,500 but all I can do is guess.

    Overall the football we play under the stewardship of Arsene is the best I’ve seen. I just which I had seen Chapman’s teams play but even I’m not that old, however my family’s accolade’s of him still ring in my ears..

  73. MickyDidIt89 says:


    Chapman has a lot to answer for, after all, ’twas he what abandoned the epic 2-3-5 formation 🙂

    Great point about the value of a sub. 70 min Pod it is then.

  74. Tyler says:

    The telegraph lists the referee for todays game as Neil Swarbrick. I don’t know if that’s good or bad and I can’t recall who the idiot was who referreed the first matchup back in August.

  75. MickyDidIt89 says:


    No idea, but let’s assume it’s bad news. We’ll just have to bag a couple of early ones and nullify his undoubted bias and general stupidness 🙂

  76. Gooner in Exile says:

    the idiot from the first game was the one and only Anthony Taylor

  77. Gooner in Exile says:

    I actually don’t mind Swarbrick, but for some reason he isn’t high on PGMOL’s list of refs, reckon he has too much hair for Mike Riley’s liking. Even Martin Atkinson is shaving his tight to get better matches.

    It is such a joke that Riley is head of PGMOL, i can think of so many better ref’s over the years yet he is the head of that organisation?

  78. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Szczesny, Sagna, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Monreal, Wilshere, Flamini, Cazorla, Ozil, Gnabry, Giroud

    Gnabry. Great news.

  79. Gooner in Exile says:

    Haha never knew this about Moyes before:

    In April 2009 Everton played Manchester United in the FA Cup semi final. Mike Riley was appointed the referee and Everton Manager David Moyes questioned his appointment and called for an FA investigation into whether the official had any allegiance towards Manchester United [20] – a comment for which Moyes was not punished by the FA.

    Mike Riley who is now head of the PGMOL and who Moyes believe employ people who have it in for his club 😀

  80. Gooner in Exile says:

    I like that side…interesting Monreal instead of Gibbs.

  81. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Prediction. Mmmm. Not sure I’ve ever done this, so let’s see how good I am.

    0-5 🙂

  82. GunnerN5 says:

    Oh dear!! Look out for us getting poleaxed again.


    Arsene Wenger: Everton tackles went ‘over the edge’ during 0-0 draw against Arsenal

    Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has claimed Everton went “over the edge” in their physicality during Tuesday night’s 0-0 draw at the Emirates – but has pointed the finger of blame squarely at the referee.

    By Giles Mole

    12:01PM BST 17 Apr 2013

    The Gunners manager felt referee Neil Swarbrick could have taken a stronger line during the game as Everton utilised all their physical qualities to keep alive slim hopes of gate-crashing the top four.

    There were several hefty challenges from the visitors, with midfielder Darron Gibson fortunate not to be sent off for twice pole-axing Theo Walcott.

    Wenger said: “I felt that in the first half the referee didn’t deal at all well with the intimidating physical challenges, but that we responded well to the physicality.

    “It was detrimental to the fluency of our game, but we kept going, had good concentration.

    “But that is part of the game. We had to deal with that. You have to respect the effort Everton put in. They decided to make it very physical for us to disturb our game and sometimes went a little bit over the edge, but the referee had to make the right decision.

  83. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Ha ha indeed Exile.
    Moyes’ logical conclusion from that should be, that in reality, Riley simply hates Moyes 🙂

  84. GunnerN5 says:

    TEAM NEWS: Gnabry starts for Villa game

    Arsène Wenger made five changes to his team for the Premier League game against Aston Villa on Monday but Serge Gnabry retained his place after his impressive display against Tottenham

    Mesut Ozil and Olivier Giroud returned to bolster the attack while Mathieu Flamini replaced the injured Mikel Arteta in midfield.

    Wojciech Szczensy returned in place of Lukasz Fabianski and Per Mertesacker came in for Thomas Vermaelen to make his 100th start for the Gunners. Alex Oxlade-Chambelain was fit enough to make the bench after spending five months out with a knee injury.

    Team in full: Szczesny, Sagna, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Monreal, Flamini, Wilshere, Cazorla, Ozil, Gnabry, Giroud

    Subs: Fabianski, Jenkinson, Gibbs, Rosicky, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Podolski, Ju-Young Park
    Copyright 2014 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to as the source

  85. GunnerN5 says:

    We have an anonymous player on the bench, the all but forgotten Ju-Young Park.

  86. evonne says:

    amen Raddy. thanks for the unusually brief PM, but a good PM nonetheless.
    I don’t like Shakespeare but love revenge 🙂 let’s demolish the villains tonight

  87. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Nothing quite like the feeling you get just before kick off.

    See you at half time.

    Come on you Gunnnnners

  88. I know you’ll all carry on ignoring my nagging but I thought I’d slip in a small one before ko ………….

    Anyone well placed with the game on record that might fancy writing a post about their thoughts for a post tomorrow?

  89. Wow a yellow card in the first minute!!!!!!!!

  90. fatgingergooner says:

    We have to make sure someone is willing to go beyond Giroud. Without Walcott and Ramsey someone has to be willing to gamble. Haven’t seen that yet.

  91. 26may1989 says:

    Good start, everyone playing well so far, perhaps other than Flamini, whose passing has been wayward (three poor ones already).

  92. 26may1989 says:

    Completely agree FGG, but we may see more of that deeper into the game.

  93. fatgingergooner says:

    Hope so 26,

    That’s why I think Podolski could be key in the run in, because he is comfortable getting into finishing positions beyond Giroud.

  94. MickyDidIt89 says:


    You can’t wait for the “deep in the game” phase can you. You’ll see runs past Giroud, game changing substitutions, and much much more 🙂

  95. Tralala lalala lala …………..

  96. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Anyone ever been to the Cape Verde Islands? 🙂

  97. fgg – how’s your baby doing and his gorgeous mummy

  98. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Did you know they were completely unpopulated until the Portugese got there/

  99. 26may1989 says:

    I thought Bacuna was a winger…..

  100. fatgingergooner says:

    Hi Peaches,they are both great thank……oh it’s kicked off again!!!! 🙂

  101. 26may1989 says:

    Micky, same as Mauritius then.

  102. Oooops lost concentration there for a minute

  103. fatgingergooner says:

    It feels like cheating when a team can create a chance from a 70 yard punt and a flick on! Makes our 17 intricate passes look silly!

  104. fatgingergooner says:

    Totally lost our rhythm now. Bloody head injuries!

  105. When is Ramsey back?

  106. That Vlaar is a monster

  107. 26may1989 says:

    Peaches, I’ll put money on him giving away a pen tonight. 🙂

  108. fatgingergooner says:

    We might be better with 2 up top against a back 3.

  109. 26may1989 says:

    Not liking this ref much, he’s not picking up the little, niggly afters challenges. Watch out Jack.

  110. 26may1989 says:

    Love him, love Little Jack!!!

  111. Come on ………………..

    Thank you Jack 🙂

  112. 26may1989 says:

    And another!!!!!

  113. fatgingergooner says:


    Just picked up little Jack to feed him and suddenly Jack scores!!

    And now it’s 2-0!

  114. And Giroud makes it 2-0 within a few seconds

  115. RA says:

    Arsene has tweeted me and said ‘wiz goals like ziz why do I need anozzer striker, n’ est pas’

    And he is right! 🙂

  116. dandan says:

    Micky I have matey

  117. Right now, I’m watching champions playing. Beautiful Arsenal.

  118. fatgingergooner says:

    Gnabrys enjoying himself and playing well. Whilst Özil is more ‘why do something in 5th gear when I can do it in 2nd’! Looks a little too relaxed!

  119. Hendon Gunner says:

    What’s the BFG doing up front when we are already leading 2-0 before half time?

  120. 26may1989 says:

    Enjoying himself, Hendon? Not always a bad thing, to do the unexpected. He went home pretty sharpish though.

  121. RA says:


    The Cape Verde Islands is that an archipelago of 10 volcanic islands in the middle of the Atlantic?

    Never heard of them.

  122. RA says:

    Brilliant first half!! Arsenal I love you!! 🙂

  123. fatgingergooner says:

    Pretty poor half really apart from 2 bits of quality.

    Need to concentrate and show some ruthlessness.

  124. 26may1989 says:

    Nice first half.

    Pop quiz: who scored the first goal in a competitive match at the Ems (team and player)?

  125. 26may1989 says:

    FGG, I thought that first half perfectly encapsulated our season: maturity, patience, control.

  126. MickyDidIt89 says:


    All Islands? And is it as fabulous as it sounds when googled?

  127. dandan says:

    Off the coast of Africa from memory mickey, but I wasnt driving the ship 🙂

  128. fatgingergooner says:

    Villa, Mellberg.

    I think we have we played okay but trying to be too intricate around the box. It’s probably fine for this game, but I want to see more.

  129. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Mmmm Emirates Cup?
    Or if League, then Villa

  130. dandan says:

    Very nice but we only had a day there. on two seperate occasions

  131. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Did you get off the bloomin’ boat, dandan?

  132. chas says:

    Didn’t get off da sunbed.

  133. 26may1989 says:

    FGG on the button.

  134. chas says:

    Doesn’t the parked autobus force intricacy?

    It’s only quick breaks and the sudden gaining back of possession that allow for anything else.

  135. MickyDidIt89 says:

    All that way just for one day. Ouch, that must have hurt when the skipper cried “all aboard, we’re going home now. There’s a game in six days, and I’m a Gooner”

  136. dandan says:

    Yep Mrs Dandan wanted a fridge magnet 🙂

  137. Gööner In Exile says:

    Peaches I heard LB wanted to do the match report so he could wax lyrical about our defensive midfielder 😉

    The long break is playing havoc with my half time ciggy, normally know when to go back to the sofa

  138. 26may1989 says:

    Please chas, don’t you get into that “da”, “dis” and “dat” business, irritates the pants off me…… 🙂

  139. chas says:

    Haha, the skipper shouting ‘all aboard’ makes it sound like a pirate ship.

  140. fatgingergooner says:


    At 2-0 we have had some decent breaks and been too casual or too clever IMO. I like ruthlessness!

    Spot quiz,

    Who got Arsenals equaliser in that 1st competitive game at the Emirates?

  141. chas says:

    Ooops, apologies for soiling the Queen’s English.

  142. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Sign da ting

    Have to admit that works 26 🙂

  143. 26may1989 says:

    It was someone unlikely, I think, wasn’t it FGG? Have put my thinking cap on……. (And that doesn’t mean Google, honest.)

  144. RA says:

    I was never convinced by the Mert when he first joined us but I was instructed to take off my blindfold by the Lord and Master, aka Rocky, and Lo I beheld the Big Effing German and mine eyes could see!! 🙂

    He has been outstanding tonight.

  145. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Fridge Magnet ROLF

  146. RA says:

    I think ‘all overboard’ is more piratey, Chas. 🙂

  147. Manthan says:

    Hello All,

    Its 2:41 AM here.. I am kindaa sleepy but arsenal is not letting me sleep 😛 😛

  148. 26may1989 says:

    FGG, I’m going to guess Baptista.

  149. GiE – I see what you’re saying there but LB is in Tenerife and I suspect several glasses of red to the good. He may honour us with a comment tomorrow but a post? No chance 😉

  150. 26may1989 says:

    Just looked it up: I was close (sort of) but wrong……

  151. Manthan says:

    I am only the one or any body thinks here that Scez positioning is improved this season.. Most of the shots goes straight to him..

  152. 26may1989 says:

    Is LB seriously cycling in Tenerife? Has he joined Team Sky, to help Froome and Wiggins with their winter training??

  153. fatgingergooner says:

    Nearly 26, right nationality!

    That looks a bad one for Nacho.

  154. Manthan says:

    He is back now 🙂

  155. fatgingergooner says:

    Give Ox and Pod 20 minutes and get them some fitness.

  156. Gööner In Exile says:

    Lets all do a Walcott – top work from the away boys.

  157. Well done Manthan for being up in the middle of the night to watch the game 🙂

  158. fatgingergooner says:

    Gnabry has impressed again. He is very good at receiving the ball with his back to goal and under pressure, espescially given his age. Worked hard too.

  159. RA – I can’t believe you ever doubted the BFG 😆

  160. Manthan says:

    fatgingergonner I agree he is keeping it so simple.. Attacking defending, finishing & passing he has got all the qualities to become very good player/// All in all Wenger has found a gem yet again 😉 Peaches: Anything for Aresnal 😀

  161. fatgingergooner says:

    When did we officially become a team that can sit on a 2-0 lead? We used to be so reckless and go for 3.4 and 5. Now we are almost professional in our approach! Astonishing!

    Dare I say the boring, boring Arsenal are returning!? Surely not!

  162. 26may1989 says:

    Stupid goal to concede, need to get back to our possession game.

  163. Oh for goodness sake

  164. Gööner In Exile says:

    Santi has been loose tonight too often and finally did for us with that one.

  165. fatgingergooner says:

    Maybe I was wrong!

    This is why we should be ruthless.

  166. We only needed to work harder at keeping possession ……….very poor from us.

  167. 26may1989 says:

    I’m surprised the ref didn’t stop the game for Rosicky, who caught one in the face. No criticism of Villa though.

  168. Gööner In Exile says:

    Nice rearranging of TR7s nose there

  169. I hate this commentator

  170. fatgingergooner says:

    Could’ve been relaxing now but we never do things easy

  171. RA says:

    Cazzor and Jack defensively are more like liabilities tonight.

    Don’t know why.

  172. Yeah but 2-0 at half is always going to lead to an uneasy second half

  173. TwentyTwelve says:

    This is awful!

  174. We only need to pass to each other ……….it can’t be that hard 😉

  175. 26may1989 says:

    We’ve been poor all through the side in the second half. And that after a very nicely controlled first half.

  176. RA says:

    Nerves shredded!!!!

  177. 26may1989 says:

    Ozil is doing the best with the ball at the mo…

  178. 26may1989 says:

    Earning that corner should be enough now.

  179. Gööner In Exile says:

    Bloody ell that was more fraught than it needed to be!!

  180. chas says:

    Never in doubt.

  181. 26may1989 says:

    We made much too much of that, we were utterly dominant and just switched off, lost shape and became ragged with the ball. But we got the win we needed.

  182. fatgingergooner says:

    Why do Kos and Merts always feel the need to prove they are the best CB pair in the league!?

    Just score 5 and have done with it! 🙂

  183. TwentyTwelve says:


  184. We are top of the league say we are top of the league 🙂

  185. 26may1989 says:

    Agreed FGG!

    And since you’re not going to tell say it, the first Arsenal player to score in a proper game at the Ems was…. Gilberto (84th minute equaliser).

  186. MickyDidIt89 says:

    FGG 🙂

    Back to the top 🙂

  187. 26may1989 says:

    “I’m not really a defensive midfielder, I’m an attacking midfielder” – LJ throws down the gauntlet to LB!

  188. Gööner In Exile says:

    “I’m not really a defensive midfielder, I’m an attacking midfielder” – Jack Wilshere

  189. Oh dear, sorry LB, Jack says he’s an attacking mid-fielder 😉

  190. Gööner In Exile says:


  191. Hahaha snap guys 🙂

  192. JanMan says:

    First off I am delighted with the three points but why did we have to make it so difficult? We were in total control, Villa had nothing! However, it seemed as though the boys thought the game was over at 2-0 and we were just not at the races. I think we were missing that killer instinct. At the end of the day three points is all that matters and we are back on top of the PL.

  193. Manthan says:

    For me Flamster is MOTM.. He was solid today.

  194. So …….. Who’s gonna write us a small post ……. Pretty please …..

  195. chas says:

  196. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Who was the first Arsenal player to score at the Ems? Must have been DB10 Testimonial.

    Looking forward to reading the answer in the morning

    Nite all

  197. chas says:

  198. chas says:

    I think it was competitive game, Micky.

  199. MickyDidIt89 says:

    I know Chas. This is a brand new game with no prize 🙂

    Must go

  200. 26may1989 says:

    Micky, it was Henry. There was also a fantastic professional foul – Grimandi on Davids, was a thing of beauty!

  201. 26may1989 says:

    What the hell is ralgex?

  202. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Got the t-shirt from that one 26 🙂

    Can I go and read now. Thank you.

  203. Bayonne Jean says:

    Biggest and best reaction came from the BFG on the goal, directed no doubt at Santi. Just like a Tony Adams moment! When do you figure Arsene will turn over the armband to Per? Next season?

  204. 26may1989 says:

    If we need to recruit a CB in the summer, to replace Vermaelen, we could do a lot worse than Vlaar. All four CBs (I discount Baker) were great today, best players on the pitch for me.

  205. Gööner In Exile says:

    26 Ralgex is like Deep Heat

  206. 26may1989 says:

    Watching Carragher’s dissection of the goal conceded, it looks even worse from Cazorla. Shame, he was very decent in the attacking third.

    Picking up on Bayonne’s theme, Mertesacker’s angry reaction was very Adams.

  207. 26may1989 says:

    Merci, M Exile.

  208. chas says:

    Ralgex is the poor man’s viagra.

  209. RockyLives says:

    We made that a lot harder than we needed to.

    But great result all the same.

    Truth is, Villa were so awful in the first half that I think our players didn’t even think they needed to show up in the second to close out the game.

  210. chas says:

    Yep, Rocky.
    The gange came out at half time and it all went tits up.

  211. Hellooooooooooo, I’m over here, someone answer me 😦

  212. chas says:

    I’m off. I’m even annoying myself .

  213. chas says:

    Monreal and Wilshere with the assists.

  214. Monreal may have broken metatarsal 😦

  215. 26may1989 says:

    And Rosicky’s nose looked broken. That injury list is building up again……

  216. fatgingergooner says:

    At least Gibbs is back to ease the burden.

    This is the first season in ages where the injuries have come at the right times ie when we have easy games, a break, or someone in the same position is back from injury.

    Or maybe it just feels that way because we have much more depth than in previous seasons.

  217. Irishgunner says:

    Who broke Rosicky’s nose??? WHO WAS IT????!! >:-/

  218. fatgingergooner says:

    I believe Agbonlahor is the one you seek Irish!

    Don’t worry, surgeons can do wonderful things these days! 🙂

  219. Long way from “job done”, but well done Arsenal.

  220. Gooner in Exile says:

    In drafts Peaches/Rasp

  221. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Bravo Exile.

  222. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Overall, I didn’t think we were very good, and even at our best during the first half, they could easily have pinched one or two.

    So, does it matter, as we just keep winning even when not playing too well, and we all know where that leads.

  223. MickyDidIt89 says:

    How long is Arteta out for?

  224. chas says:

    From arseblog

    92 – Percent pass completion by Arsenal in the first half (397/433)
    79 – Percent pass completion by Arsenal in the second half (191/245)
    54 – Misplaced passes by Arsenal in the second half
    18 – Misplaced passes by Arsenal in the final 20 minutes
    10 – Number of misplaced passes by Cazorla in the full 90
    7 – Number of misplaced passes by Cazorla in the second half
    5 – Number of those second half misplaced passes by Cazorla that he played in Arsenal’s defensive half
    1 – Number of times Per Mertesacker yelled at Cazorla after he made a poor pass that led to the Villa goal
    1 – Number of misplaced passes by Özil in the second half (28/29)
    0 – Misplaced passes by Özil in the Arsenal defensive half
    7 – Misplaced passes by Wilshere in the second half
    3 – Number of those misplaced passes by Wilshere that he played in the Arsenal defensive half
    2 – Number that Flamini had (the whole midfield, save Özil, couldn’t pass to each other)
    0 – Misplaced passes by Per Mertesacker out of 42 attempts
    1 – Misplaced pass by Koscielny out of 43 attempts and it was a long ball
    11 – Long passes Koscielny completed (of 12!)
    73 – Pass completion rate by Giroud (32/44)
    55 – Pass completion rate of Benteke (18/33)
    1 – Bad pass by Giroud to Özil that was an insult to bad passes
    67 – Percent of Giroud’s bad passes that were in the Villa final third
    80 – Percent of Benteke’s passes that must have been headers (guessTimate)
    3 – Perfect tackles by Per Mertesacker (3/3)
    3 – Flying tackles by Flamini (3/3)
    3 – Crazy tackles by Cazorla (3/3)
    3 – Back tackles by Sagna (3/3)
    3 – Kieran tackles by Gibbs (3/3)
    3 – Successful dribbles by Gibbs¹ (of 4, Wilshere was 3/7)
    2 – Handsome tackles by Giroud (2/2)
    2 – Surgical tackles by Gnabry (2/2)
    1 – Cheesy tackles by Monreal (1/1)
    1 – Tackles to save the cause by Laurent (1/1)
    0 – Jacked-up tackles by Wilshere (0/1) — he was the only Arsenal player to miss a tackle
    5 – Interceptions by Flamini¹
    1 – Broken nose by Agbonlahor
    1 – Wispy mustache on Agbonlahor’s hideous face
    17 – Clearances by Koscielny¹
    13 – Koscielny clearances in the second half
    14 – Clearances by Mertesacker
    4 – Clearances by Lowton²
    4 – Chances created by Lowton¹
    7.1 – Clearances per game average by Koscielny
    6.5 – Clearances per game average by Mertesacker
    18 – Clearances Arsenal made in the first half
    39 – Clearances Arsenal made in the second half
    23 – Headed clearances Arsenal made in the second half
    21 – Clearances Arsenal made in the final 20 minutes
    13 – Headed clearances Arsenal made in the final 20 minutes
    5 – Headed clearances by Per Mertesacker in the final 20 minutes
    4 – Headed clearances by Koscielny in the final 20 minutes
    2 – Clearances Villa made in the final 20 minutes
    21 – Passes from Özil to Cazorla, Arsenal’s most common pass combination
    19 – Passes from Villa keeper Guzan to Benteke, Villa’s most common pass combination
    Mertesacker and Koscielny record (both players play full 90)
    Played: 28
    Won: 20
    Drawn: 8
    Lost: 0
    Conceded: 14
    Clean sheets: 16

    ¹Lead both teams
    ²Lead just his team

  225. chas says:

    From Physioroom….

  226. arnie says:

    Motning all.

    Tra la la la la. Oh, what a lovely day!!!!! We are Top of the League!!!! 😀 😀 😀

    And then, the news from the medical staff. A bit of a dampener. 😦

  227. evonne says:

    where is LB? I hope he watched the MoM in action and the ever-so-mature intervview after 🙂 Love him, absolutely love him

  228. Morning all

    Tralalala ………….. just sorting the post ……. 😀

  229. There’s a New Post …………

    Feel free to move some of this mornings posts over onto the new one. Love the arseblog take on the game 🙂

  230. If some one wants to be updated with most
    up-to-date technologies then he must be pay a visit this website and be up to date daily.

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