Draxler? Not as Good as Cazorla

What has the title got to do with this evenings trip to St. Mary’s I hear you ask? Read on …..

Arsenal go into this fixture on a superb run of results which have brought joy and good humour into every Arsenal home. Southampton have won their last two games as they look to rediscover their early season form. Injuries and boardroom problems have affected them but the return of players should see them climb the table again – starting next weekend!

Do you think players are affected by BoD strife? Can you imagine Rickie Lambert being concerned about the loss of  a chairman? Manager perhaps, coaches certainly, but a Chairman?


“What’s a Chairman?”

Southampton welcome back Wanyama who has been a major loss but they are still without the “naughty” and suspended Osvaldo, Lovren and Ramirez. Lambert is a doubt. Pocchettino says he will send his team out to play “on the front foot”. Great, I hope he does because two attacking teams makes for an exciting game. Imagine having to suffer watching a Mourinho team through season.

We saw in the home tie that Southampton have some fine players and tonight will be a tough test.

Arsenal: Arteta, Ramsey, TV and Rosicky are back in the squad though I doubt they will start. Wilshere has another ankle-knock so my guess is that Oxlade-Chamberlain will start against his old club.

My team:

saints v arse

This may be too attacking in an away tie but what the heck. As long as we score more we take the points! Mr Wenger may disagree and play Arteta in place of Ox – we shall see. Ramsey is an automatic starter when fit but another few days R & R wouldn’t hurt.

Now – why is Santi better than Draxler? Because he is naturally two-footed, one of the best dribblers I have ever seen – his close control is exceptional – he has a wonderful spirit and he loves The Arsenal. This is not to say that Draxler will not develop into a marvellous player, he certainly has the physique which Cazorla lacks but ….. Let us assume Podolski comes good through to the end of the season and ends with 15+goals, why spend €35m to replace him? And if Drexler does come do you really think Santi will get to play centrally when the Wizard of Oz is in the team?

Nope. Get Theo fit and the squad is strong enough  in the opposition half. I would prefer we buy a top defensive shield. An Essien style player.

But what do I know – I am not paid squizillions to manage a football team, though I am available ……

Southampton: Founded in the stone age, the town really took off when the Anglo-Saxons (yet again)settled in the St. Mary’s area. Their town was called Hamwic, which gave rise to the name  Hampshire. By the end of the 9th C the settlement became known as South Hamtun. Those pesky Vikings raided throughout the next couple of centuries and South Hamtun floundered.  However, a fortified settlement  was established to keep out the scandinavian swine and by the time of Norman Conquest of 1066 the town had become important  as travellers moved between England and Normandy. By the 13th century fortifications were built including Southampton Castle (most of which still stands) and the town became a major port where French wine was exchanged for English cloth and wool.

Over the years the town became the major embarkation point for the British armies as they conquered the world, and later became the home port for cruise ships such as the Queen’s Mary and Elisabeth.

Back to the game: Another must win? Much has been said of the MU team which won the title but only won one game against a top 4 side, ( let us not presume we cannot win against strong opposition) and harvesting points against teams outside the top 5 is essential. We have done brilliantly so far and I see no reason why our run cannot continue.

Anyone think that Boruc will try to outsmart Giroud again?

Click here to relive the moment….

Hopefully the 3rd best Polish GK will gift us another tonight.

Big Raddy

257 Responses to Draxler? Not as Good as Cazorla

  1. chas says:

    Back to read pm later.

  2. evonne says:

    and they say that Germans have no sense of humour 🙂

    Raddy – I am leaving your post for after dinner, desert. I happen to like Boruc, but he is not what he used to be at Celtic. Booze took its toll

  3. Andre says:

    Jurnalist bild say Arsenal wont sign draxler this month or summer fact

  4. Itsonlyrayparlour says:

    On another note, with the Puma deal being the biggest in football history, tv revenues increasing even more, I find it sickening that Arsenal are putting up ticket prices a further 3% + RPI (when CPI is lower – sneaky they aren’t they…). When will it end? I don’t think I’ll be able to afford to go from next year onwards, and that kills me. I’m Holloway born and bred and have been going my whole life and it looks like this is the end of the road for me attending regularly.

  5. Rasp says:

    Welcome Itsonlyray.

    I have a lot of sympathy with your view. The oft touted line about Arsenal having the highest priced tickets is factually incorrect. As long as the seats are being filled, there is no pressure to keep prices down. I’m not advocating a boycott or any type of demonstration – that would be harmful to the club. Maybe they could increase the number of cheaper seats?

  6. Rasp says:

    Great PM Raddy, I’m loving the historical info.

    Your lot (the pesky Vikings) certainly were a bunch of troublemakers.

    I agree an attack, attack, attack game should play into our hands as we have the best defence in the league. I’d like to see a professional performance (i.e. nothing like the Coventry 2nd half) where we show that if we get a couple of goals ahead we can shut up shop a bit and deny the opposition chances as that would be the sort of mentality to take into our ‘Death Clusters’ games.

  7. arnie says:

    Lovely stuff, Raddy. I like the team. For me, playing both Arteta and Flamster has two issue. First, the team is a bit too defensive for my liking. Second, there is a little bit of imbalance. Santi will be encouraged to move towards the centre. That will be crowding space. If he stays left, Sagna has too much to do. At the moment, I cannot decide between Gnabry and The Ox, though. 😀 😀

    Draxler is one for the future. Let us see. 😀

    And, true to current style, some history and geography as well. Fantastic. 😀 😀

    A hard earned 3 points for the taking, grab it, and then watch teh fun in the Shitty-Totnumb duel. 😀 😀 😀

  8. arnie says:

    I recognise that the TT Poll figures are a touchy issue. But for whatever they are worth, here is what they say. If I were a betting Arsenal fan, I would use them.

    The match odds are very high, 92% of Arsenal supporters expect a win. We do as well, dont we?

    At this point, Arsenal fans put the chances of winning the League at 73%, with Shitty at 20% and Chavs 7%. If results go our way this week, the chances can increase to as much as 86%, and reduce to 46% on the downside. That is just how much uncertainty there still is on the outcome. Plenty to play for.

    The odds on Chavs winning against West Ham are almost equally high. But, see what the expectations are for Shitty against Spuds. Shitty win (38%), draw (49%) and Totnumb win (14%). Come on, Spuds! Let us support them for just this one game.

    But before that, just the small matter of playing hard and winning tonight. On with the show. 😀 😀 😀

  9. dhakka09 says:

    well-worked pre match, BR.

    On both Arteta and Flamini starting, I’d go along with arnie’s view; too defensive for my liking.

    Draxler’s physicality is a big plus and thus, giving rise to rumors of being moved to CF by Arsene; otherwise he’d have made Cazorla his forward already. (Imagine a 6 feet tall Cazorla slotting the goals in from forward position) 😀

  10. Twig says:

    You’re right. We honestly don’t need Draxler, unless Wenger is planning to convert him into a CF. It’ll strengthen our squad, yes, but it’ll also make us to lose one of our midfield players.


    Thanks Raddy

    I have never seen Draxler play, but the guy is a great player. I have been particularly impressed by the guys pace, shooting ability, and all round technique.

    My advice, as the scout who does not scout, is make it happen Arsene.

    Southampton is always a creepy game. Even when crap they have a tendency to upset, and now there good which makes it even creepier.

    I will always remember Southampton for a game in the early eighties when four of us went down to the Dell without tickets.

    We never managed to tout it or bunk in so were left hanging around outside. Ten minutes into the game we saw about a mob of about twenty looking for trouble. They spotted us and started a brisk approach. We all legged it in different directions.

    I was fortunate enough to see a police meat wagon and dived head first through the back doors. There was a couple of coppers at the side but it took them a few minutes to realise they had an unwanted guest.

    They threatened to nick me, but I was only sixteen at the time, burst into tears and went into a rubbish sob story about how my older brother had a ticket and bought me along to keep an outside watch.

    We lost 3-1

  12. LB says:

    “(Imagine a 6 feet tall Cazorla slotting the goals in from forward position)”

    Sexiest comment of the day so far.

  13. 26may1989 says:

    Thanks Raddy, particularlylike the dollop of history!

    Southampton are to be respected, they’ve done a fantastic job under Pochettino. But our position as the team with the best away form in the division, and the fact that the Saints have important absentees, mean we’re in good stead for tonight.

    I predict a 1-0 to us.

    As for the line-up, while I’d love to see both Cazorla and Podolski play from the off, it doesn’t look very balanced. I’d go for a starting line-up with the little Spaniard and Gnabry, with our nutty German-Pole as the game-changer from the bench:

    ———————- Szczesny
    Sagna, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Gibbs
    —— Flamini, Oxlade-Chamberlain
    ————– Gnabry, Ozil, Cazorla
    ———————— Giroud

    As for Draxler, if we can get him in, excellent, and if that can be achieved in the next few days, even better – in Walcott’s absence, he would add significantly to what we have going forward.

  14. Thanks BR, since Nicola Cortese’s departure Saints have been right out of sorts, where as we just seem to be in the zone, everything is ticking along nicely. I’ll go for a conservative 2-0 win.
    Hi Arnie, that was an interesting article you posted on Saturday in relation to David Winner and his Arsenal roots.
    It was an insight into how differently fans can perceive the club, which naturally defines an individuals expectations in terms of their support being rewarded, with the reward being any number of things.
    I disagreed with the notion of Arsenal being a ‘middle-class club who became like Tottenham and Everton, not challenging for titles’.
    Arsenal are virtual royalty, and very much part of the establishment having had Etonians and Freemasons on the Board. Henry Norris was a very wealthy businessman who renovated Highbury and was prepared to pay whatever it cost to make the club the best, and he and Chapman achieved exactly that. Arsenal, the ‘Bank of England’ club. Not middle-class, very much upper-echelons.
    The start of WWII did for Arsenal, and unfortunately the baton wasn’t picked up seven years later with quite the same relish and steely ambition pioneered by Norris, which led to a long period of the BoD making poor, lazy managerial appointments that weren’t really aligned with the club’s stature.

  15. arnie says:

    Raddy: “Hopefully the 3rd best Polish GK will gift us another tonight”. 😀 😀 Perhaps we will force the 3rd best Polish GK to offer another gift tonight? 😛

    WATA: Obviously, that was a view taken by the author and Winner. And just as the “middleclass” view has a place, yours is a very much worthwhile view of Arsenal history. Different perspectives are so important for getting a wholistic view of things. 😀 😀

  16. GunnerN5 says:


    Norris most certainly used his cash resources to the advantage of Arsenal – and that cash got us the best manager and some of the best players in British football. Sir Henry and his money
    transformed Arsenal.

    People who are critical of the way Man C and Chelsea win trophies should remember that our richest trophy period was due to us being the richest club – so the only thing that has changed in 80 plus years is who has the most money at their disposal.

    You should be aware that even though the club was rich it was low to middle class people from the surrounding area that crammed the terraces. Hob nail boots and flap caps were like the mandatory dress code.

    While I understand the point you are attempting to emphasize, your comment about passing the baton is factually incorrect.

    The two managers directly after Chapman were George Allison (1934-1947) and Tom Whittaker (1947-1956) and between them they won 4 league titles and 2 FA Cups. So in point of fact we were still a dominant team through 1952/1953 when we won the league – a feat that was not to be repeated until 1970/71.

    It was not until after Tom Whittaker that things went sadly awry with the appointments of Crayston, Swindin and Wright we experienced a sixteen year period without winning any trophies – from 1952/1953 until 1969/1970 when Bertie Mee won the European Fairs Cup.

  17. chas says:

    Great stuff, BR.
    Another tough one at the Dell, that’s for sure. 🙂

    Interesting that Southampton have better possession stats than us at the moment (even if it is only marginal).
    As for Swansea, well they prove that possession isn’t everything.

  18. Norfolk Gooner says:

    G’day AAers, Another of Raddy’s top drawer pre-match write ups.

    A polite question, why does Draxler have to be a replacement for Cazorla? I see him as a strong and skillful addition to the squad, someone who will provide competition for a starting place and variety when it’s needed.

    Much has been said about Giroud needing to be carefully managed to prevent burn-out, the same must apply to all the regular first-teamers.

    WATA, Sir Henry Norris didn’t renovate Highbury, he built it.

  19. chas says:

    I think Raddy was trying to let us down gently for when we don’t sign Draxler by the end of the week. 🙂

  20. GunnerN5 says:


    Yet another fascinating pre – match, including a history lesson.

    Did you notice that your banner made it onto Arsenal.com?

  21. Rasp says:

    Hi GN5, can you post a link to that for me please. I may change the banner to the original one otherwise it will be misleading.

  22. Hi GunnerN5,

    You’re right of course, and I was aware that after the war we won a couple of League titles and FA Cups, but the club was allowed to decline for far too long.
    As for the fans who filled the terraces, they were the club’s bread and butter right up until Murdoch muddied the football landscape. Todays fans are less connected and are more seen by clubs as customers to whom they can sell any old tat as long as it shows the club logo.
    Football has become a license to print money for certain clubs, Arsenal among them.

  23. RA says:

    A lovely Post, Raddy, and, as usual, a pleasure to read. 🙂

    It is a pity that there is a blot on your escutcheon though, as everyone knows a Hamwich has nothing to do with Southampton. No, it is the ancient name (1990’s) for a porky sandwich. Duh.

  24. RA says:

    Not sure I have ever seen any of the club’s staff threatening fans with cudgels and making them buy ‘any old tat’.

    One man’s ‘any old tat’ is another man’s cherished memento – and who is to judge him for wanting it?

  25. chas says:

    Twatter is suggesting that the Arse v Dippers FA cup game will be on the Sunday 16th Feb at 4pm because of BT Sport.

    We play Bayern at home on Wednesday 19th Feb.
    (We play the mancs on Wednesday 12th Feb.)

  26. Norfolk, built it/renovated it, splitting hairs.
    More to the point, he gave us a status and a reverence that we have never been able to replicate since.
    In financial terms undoubtedly, but not from a football perspective.

  27. chas says:

    I hope we sign Draxler this week………….

  28. 26may1989 says:

    Interesting to see David Moyes’ comments post-signing Mata. He’s going to have a clear-out in the summer, and is going to kick on from Mata’s signing to splurge on lots of quality players. That tells us a few things:

    1. The Ferguson line, that he was leaving the club with a great group of young players to take the club into its next generation, has now been openly rejected. As well as the old guys (Ferdinand, Vidic, Evra etc), the likes of Valencia, Kagawa, Buttner, Jones, Smalling, Young, Nani and Hernandez may be getting the push, and Anderson, Zaha and Fabio are already out. All that’s missing is Fergie’s public apology to Moyes.

    2. Moyes is not the incompetent muppet some have made him out to be, he’s just been dealt a very poor set of cards. I still think United should have appointed a manager with big club experience but Moyes has real quality, and I think he will show that in the coming seasons.

    3. It’s not exactly a revelation but Chelsea’s decision to let a direct rival have such a player as Mata will be shown to be a significant mistake – as well as giving them a quality player, it’s United’s Ozil moment, something that will lift everyone at the club for quite a while yet. If the calculation was that United are too weak for the benefit of signing Mata to be a problem for Chelsea, I think they (and we) will come to see what a mistake they’ve made.

    I don’t see United getting into the top four this season, but they will be dangerous opponents for us, and next season, they will again be proper contenders.

  29. chas says:

  30. RA

    I’m not criticising Arsenal for selling old tat, every club does it, it is the essence of capitalism, maximising their market value. It’s par for the course, it’s exactly the reason a select few clubs in the Premier Lge have surged miles ahead of the rest.
    It is becoming less about sport and more about money, and it’s turning a lot of people away.
    We aren’t breeding genuine community-based die-hard football fans anymore, we are breeding a creed of spoilt, sanitised glory-hunters who only attach themselves to winning brands. Up and down Britain in every major town and city most football fans wear either Man Utd, Liverpool, Arsenal, Chelsea and now Man City shirts. Every other club that makes up the historical fabric of this country’s football tapestry has paled into insignificance, because unless they get a billionaire their club is as good as dead.

  31. 26may1989 says:

    “We aren’t breeding genuine community-based die-hard football fans anymore, we are breeding a creed of spoilt, sanitised glory-hunters who only attach themselves to winning brands.”

    Completely agree, and for one of the root causes, look at Itsonlyrayparlour’s comment at 10.13. The focus on Arsenal’s ticket prices misses the point: all football clubs in this country are charging too much, because players demand ludicrous sums of money, and as a result traditional football fans are being driven away from the game. That encourages the glory-hunting symdrome.

    My son recently decided he would resist my pressure and has declared himself to be a fan of our local club, QPR. Respect to him.

  32. chas says:

    It looks ace, Rasp.

  33. chas says:

    I thought the purpose of a football club was to win trophies.

  34. chas says:

  35. LB says:

    Anyone else going to the Pins?

  36. kelsey says:

    Wow have to give GN5 a first and great publicity for AA, well done.

    Raddy as usual comes up with the goods.

    This game tonight should be just up our street but don’t expect us to go gung ho for 90 minutes.

    I don’t see us playing any differently than our last few matches just hoping nobody gets hurt and if it’s 1-0 it doesn’t matter.

  37. arnie says:

    Humble, and minor point, Chas. “the purpose of a football club” is not necessarily to win trophies, but to provide enjoyment to fans. Hopefully by playing a brand of football that the fans like. If trophies come as an output, so be it!!!! If this were not so, why would there be so many football clubs. Only a few win, or ever hope to win, trophies. 😀 😀 😀 Splitting hairs. 😛

  38. LB says:

    Congratulations GN5

    Your post is a deserved first on AFC.com

  39. arnie says:

    O, wow!!!!! Fantastic stuff GN5, fantastic stuff Rasp. Very very happy moment. Some small recognition particularly for the fantastic way the seasoned members on AA have kept this space thriving. Well done all!!!!!! 😀 😀 😀

  40. GunnerN5 says:

    Rasp, I see that you have already changed the banner.

    I’m really happy to have made a small contribution to what is a red letter day on AA, Peaches and yourself should both stand proud in your achievement.

    It’s simple – without both of your, and the administrator’s hard work and dedication behind the scenes, today would not have been possible – a job very well done.

  41. arnie says:

    GN5: Agreed. A big hand to Rasp and Peaches!!!! 😀 😀 😀

  42. Congratulations GunnerN5 and ‘Arsenal-Arsenal’. Fantastic work by all.

  43. chas says:

    If I lived in London, I would either be at the stadium or in the The Pins.

  44. Afttotnoon everyone, thanks for the pre match big and Dandy.

    Tonight is a game we have to guard against complacency, the Saints were a very good team not so long ago..

    While I’m here, let me congratulate N5 on getting onto “Best of the blogs” – I hope he is as proud of that as I was when one of my match reports did last year.

  45. chas says:

    you’ll be saying 4th place isn’t a trophy next. 🙂

  46. chas says:

    So you just came on to brag really. 😆

  47. arnie says:

    Chas: 😛 In the absence of trophies, I will take 4th place (or 2nd, or 3rd) as some consolation. 😦

  48. Ha ha Chas, not quite 🙂

    Harder to get on line during the day due to changes at work, I have to sit next to a dirty ManUre fan who keeps a beady eye on my internet activity – bastard !

  49. GunnerN5 says:


    I’m proud for AA – not myself.

  50. Rasp says:

    arnie, I’m guessing by now that you’ve realised chas’ 2:09 was pure irony – he’s naughty like that 😆

  51. The Peacher and Rapsers do put a stupendous amount of time into AA N5 – well said.

  52. Which brings me onto the subject of our holidaying Brit/Dane -I hear PM volunteers are required for February Peachy ?

  53. chas says:

    Sign him up, peaches.
    I’ve heard he’s very good and has even had stuff on Arse.com.

  54. Ooh yes please Chary, are you volunteering to fill Raddys shoes or pick one you fancy – I can’t imagine which one you’re itching to do 😉

  55. 😆 you are so naughty chas

  56. Actually chas, what’s the chances of me strong arming you into volunteering for the match report 🙂

  57. arnie says:

    Rasp, Chas: I am trying to learn. Long way to go …… 😀 😀 😀

  58. I’ll have you know I got over 8,000 hits for my match report Chas, not that I keep a record of that sort of thing 🙂

    Peachy, I’ll do at least one (yeah, i know some would like me to “do one” on a regular basis ha ha) as I assume there’ll be plenty of others who fancy a pop at a PM ?

    I’d rather not do the Palace one as I’m going to the game and I’ll be doing the match report for Tim but I will if no one else puts their hand up.

  59. That’s a nil then 😦

  60. chas says:

    Actually second thoughts, I will do it, peaches.
    At least that will mean we can enjoy the rest of the day’s blogging. 🙂

    I might miss the first half but I doubt that’ll make much difference.

  61. chas says:

    Stream permitting, of course.

  62. GunnerN5 says:

    This is a classic example of how the money in football talks the loudest.


    Scheduling hampers us in Europe

    Arsène Wenger would like to see English teams given the weekend off prior to their Champions League knockout fixtures.

    The Arsenal manager is bracing himself for a challenging February with Liverpool (a), Manchester United (h), Liverpool (h) and Bayern Munich (h) in the space of 11 days.

    Wenger understands that TV companies hold sway over scheduling but he thinks Premier League teams would have a better chance of progressing in Europe if their build-up was not so intense.

    For the competition maybe it would be better that all of the teams had exactly the same amount of rest

    “In the other leagues they do help teams,” he said. “I’ve already suggested in Uefa meetings to make sure that, in Champions League competitions, the teams have the same amount of rest.

    “In some championships, for example in Portugal, they cancel the games sometimes, they did what they wanted. The game before the Champions League, they cancelled.

    “For the competition maybe it would be better that all of the teams had exactly the same amount of rest.

    “It’s difficult to say how much difference it makes,” Wenger went on. “But, for example, if you have a bad bruise on a muscle, and if you only have three days [to recover], [with] one day more the player could play, but one day less, the player cannot play.

    “With small injuries, you gain 24 hours and it can make a difference. Also, mental recovery is better. Sometimes after a game you go on a high.

    “I don’t want to blame anybody. I think there is nobody to blame, it’s just the way the fixtures are sold.

    “It is the television [companies] today who decide. I cannot even blame the Premier League because it’s the television [companies] who have the last word. If they say we want Arsenal v Liverpool on Sunday, it will be on Sunday.”

    Squad rotation will be a factor when the big games come thick and fast for Arsenal next month but their manager does not intend to take one competition more seriously than the others.

    “We are not at a stage where we have a choice,” he said. “For example we play in the Champions League after the FA Cup. If I sacrifice the FA Cup and we go out in the Champions League, then we look stupid.

    “We just have to go for it and hope it goes well and we stay in the competitions.”
    Copyright 2014 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to http://www.arsenal.com as the source Chris Harris 27 Jan 2014

  63. RA says:


    The comments by arnie and Chas are not mutually exclusive – irony, or no. 🙂

    Actually, in some fans eyes I supposes the winning of trophies trumps everything, and ties in with the comment from WATA about the kind of fan the influx of monies has created, who care little about the quality of football played, other than the bragging rights it bestows.

    For the sake of clarity, if I had to define a ‘real’ fan, Chas would be my template, although there are many more on AA who also epitomes the notion of staunch fandom.
    —- And then, there is Rocky Shores! 🙂

  64. RA says:

    epitomes = epitomize. sorry for typo.

  65. RA says:

    Hi CharyB, 🙂

    Good to see an AFC post writing, 8000 hit author back on AA.
    I have missed your comments and especially your acerbic Manure diatribes, altho the removal of the Red Conk from the scene has probably muted your dislike! 🙂

  66. RA says:


    I would not be surprised if AFC hired you to write more of your historical Posts for them.

    Good on you! 🙂

  67. Thank you, stream permitting 😉

  68. Hi Redders, there’s still plenty to loathe about the old toilet scrubbers even though purple proboscis has moved from the training room to the terraces !

  69. RA says:

    CharyB, 🙂

  70. RA says:

    Hi Peaches,

    What has Chas’ pee problem got to do with it? 🙂

  71. chas says:

    I might only get a full stream second half, RA.
    First half it might spend a lot of time buffering.

  72. Rasp says:

    No comments about hard drives and floppy disks please 😆

  73. GunnerN5 says:


    Mine is more a case of chicanery than skill.

  74. chas says:

    It’s years since I’ve had a floppy.

  75. RA says:


    Bragger! 🙂

  76. RA says:


    Are you talking about your stream or the Post? 🙂

  77. chas says:

    Funny thing was, they weren’t floppy and you could get quite a bit on them even though they were only 3.5 inch.

  78. chas says:

    GN5 doesn’t use streams, he listens via telegraph in morse code.

  79. RA says:

    Chas, 🙂

    You did well to make the most of such a small resource. It’s good that guys like you stay upbeat! 🙂

  80. RA says:


    Is the snow still deep in your part of the world?

    I am worried that Rocky might have decided to go into hibernation if it is too bad, either that or he is determined to become the Canadian Bill Gates — kerching $$$

  81. TwentyTwelve says:

    RA, Chas,

    “Floppy disks, initially as 8-inch and later in 5.25-inch and 3.5-inch” [Wikipedia]

    I guess the thing shrinks with age.

  82. arnie says:

    Age, what age? It shrinks / shrivels with time? 😀

  83. RA says:

    Oh, that is cruel TT. 🙂

    Although it seems that arnie’s shrinks in the bath. Age holds no fears for him! 🙂

  84. GunnerN5 says:


    Not too much snow about 5/6″ on the ground – but the roads are clear, However the temperature is -20 with wind chill -35.

    Bloody freezing.

  85. chas says:

    I bet that causes shrinkage.

  86. Norfolk Gooner says:

    Blaming the TV companies for the scheduling problems doesn’t wash with me. The clubs accept their money, so have to go along with what they want. Without the blanket TV coverage of the game, which incidentally, guarantees the clubs world-wide exposure, there would be little income from sponsorship so the game would go into a downward spiral. Less coverage = less exposure = less sponsorship = less income = less to spend on players = less success = less interest from fans and so on.

    The real cause of the trouble is grossly over-paid players, managers, agents etc. and the ludicrously high transfer fees. Is any player really worth £200,000 a week? Is Wenger really worth the £24 million his new contract will bring him.

    As things stand money is King!

  87. GunnerN5 says:


    At my age you forget what it’s for – it just hangs around and leaks in your pants.

  88. kelsey says:

    I will do a match report (like the old days in my way) 😉

  89. RA says:


    I bet you also stand on the beach at Wells-next-the Sea and tell the waves to fcukl off. 🙂

    Don’t start Herb off, but the old adage is more true now than ever – the rich get richer and the poor get poorer and the fans get buggered every which way. 🙂

  90. arnie says:

    Redders: And in the pouring rain. Like when I accompanied Chas and Ant to the Emirates.!! 😀

  91. chas says:

    Off the hook.
    Cheers, kelsey. 🙂

  92. chas says:

    JC, our 88 year old match companion says that he still has all the equipment but he lost the instruction manual years ago.

  93. RA says:


    You will have to become a snowbird and move south in the winter.

    It is sunny here today and a bit below freezing [C], but sunny and back to about 50F tomorrow. {I am thinking of bumming it to Hawaii in February if I can. 🙂

  94. LB says:


    I am curious, how will you watch it?

  95. dhakka09 says:

    LB: thanks for the vote. Still the sexiest?

    Arnie: Your apparent satisfaction with 2nd, 3rd or 4th reminded me of the self-doubts a lead character of a movie I watched for the first time yesterday, Hercules by Disney. There is a point in the movie where Hercules gets all sad and lost and sapped off all his strengths by evil Hades and attacked by a Cyclops (read: Arsenal’s strength sapped by newly emergent Northern and Middle-Eastern oilers) but Hercules, against all odds, even bereft of his phenomenal strength, endures and kills the beast. So dear Arnie! what I’m trying to say is that Arsenal is Hercules and Mou, the eye-poker, is the Cyclops? (Well, analogies can get mixed up in story but you know what I mean) 😉

  96. I thought we were talking about the pre match Chas, as Big Dandy is off skiving again ?

    Redders, going to Hawaii is on my bucket list but I doubt I’ll ever get the chance to go. It’s a great place to be, not just for the weather/scenery but if you’re a fan of Magnum PI, like I am, a chance in a lifetime opportunity to scout some locations, e.g. Robin’s nest, the tidal pool, the King Kamehah club etc..

  97. RA says:


    What does Kelsey mean by doing it his way?

    Is that when he writes a lengthy match report posing as an innocent comment, and stealing the thunder of the official match report author (You)? 🙂

  98. RA says:

    I have been privileged to have been to the Islands a number of times, CharyB and have literally bummed around there in jeans and T shirts, as well as later on as a ‘proper’ tourist with girlfriend in tow, in some fantastic hotels filled with Japanese honeymooners.

    Now that was a dangerous move – nothing like weddings and honeymoons to get a girl going. When we got back – she went! 🙂

  99. chas says:

    You and peaches were talking about pre-match.
    Peaches was trying to Shanghai me into doing the match report tonight.

  100. kelsey says:


    “How will I watch it”

    I’m not blind just a tad unstable 🙂

  101. RA says:


    You missed out a bit of King Kamehameha’s name and you would be boiled in a big, black pot and eaten if you were caught doing that over there, 🙂

  102. RA says:

    It’s not on TV, Kelsey. How’s your stream? 🙂

  103. arnie says:

    dhakka: self-doubts? 😀 😀 Somewhat related, but “sapped off all his strengths” seems to be the thought of the day! 😀 😀 😀

  104. Kelsey – that’s wonderful, chas has agreed to step aside and so it’s all yours 😉

  105. chas says:

    He means he’ll save his usual match report comment and ratings and use it as tomorrow’s post. Yippee.

  106. Someone mentions a stream and you all get excited 😉

  107. chas says:

    kelsey @5.23 😆

  108. kelsey says:

    I didn’t mean tonight I was thinking of Crystal Palace.

  109. GunnerN5 says:


    A PSA count doomed me.

  110. chas says:

    Sorry to hear that, GN5. Hope all ok.

  111. GunnerN5 says:

    Yes all is well, thanks for asking.

  112. kelsey says:


    my stream is a lot better now, the wonder of medication, thanks for asking. 🙂

  113. Who’d be an editor in chief 😉

    Kelsey – can I accept your offer of the match report for Crystal Palace please 🙂

    chas – as you were – Shanghaied 😆

  114. RA says:

    Wasn’t my fault, Chas, just got to know our Kelsey works to his own timetable!! 🙂

  115. kelsey says:

    Yes peaches. Chamakh might be up against pinkie Boots, what fun.

  116. kelsey says:

    Can I publish at 5.a.m. 🙂

  117. RA says:

    All this mischief has made me hungry and thirsty, so off for a lunch snack and a cold beer!

    Laterz. 🙂

  118. chas says:

  119. Big Raddy says:

    Wet and not too windy would suit the team.

    Not so great for the GK’s

  120. Vinay says:

    I hate rains, this spoils everything, shit shit shit, why us all the time.

  121. Redders, those confusing polynesian names – what do you expect from a howli ? Did you see any red Ferrari 308 GTS’s there ?

    Chas – it makes sense now, I didn’t realise I was talking at cross purposes.

  122. chas says:

  123. chas says:

    You weren’t, mate. It’s those bloody women multi-tasking all over the shop.

  124. chas says:

  125. Big Raddy says:

    Crap work from BR. No Poldi, Ox or Gibbs.

    I thought Monreal had foot-knack.

    No surprise to see both Flamini and Arteta start and Gnabry balances the right. But given Poldi’s two goals last week I expected him to start.

  126. kelsey says:

    Arsenal XI: Szczesny, Sagna, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Monreal, Arteta, Flamini, Ozil, Cazorla, Gnabry, Giroud

  127. Gooner in Exile says:

    Lovely pre match Raddy, i my be very late to the party on this one, but just stumbled across on You Tube and it made me laugh heartily:

    On to tonights game……nervous…….but i guess thats how its going to be for the next few weeks.

  128. Gooner in Exile says:

    Interesting both Arteta and Flamini in the midfield, I guess Flamini’s job will be to look after Lalana.

  129. Big Raddy says:

    Not having much luck with a stream. The usual site is just buffering.

  130. evonne says:

    thank you, thank you, thank you Raddy for the superb PM! Agree with everything, but have heard that Draxler is to be the next R$P. No, not a fecking traitor, but a leathal CF

    I still think that when we are playing mid table teams we need to play Gnarby, Jenks, Monreal – they need every bit of experience for when we need them to play top teams

    off to watch, laterx

  131. evonne says:

    thank you, thank you, thank you Raddy for the superb PM! Agree with everything, but have heard that Draxler is to be the next R$P. No, not a fecking traitor, but a leathal CF

    I still think that when we are playing mid table teams we need to play Gnarby, Jenks, Monreal – they need every bit of experience for when we need them to play top teams

    off to watch, laters

  132. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Phew. Back in the nick of time. 100mph all the way from London.

    Right, budge up.

    No time to read BR or comments. Love the team. Art and Flam to allow the attackers to attack.

    Come on you Gunnnnnnnners

  133. MickyDidIt89 says:


    Methinks the league will be decided by these away games. Top teams will take points off each other. Maybe 🙂

  134. Big Raddy says:

    We are playing so deep. But then we have hardly touched the ball!

  135. MickyDidIt89 says:

    What time are the Arsenal players coming on? 🙂

  136. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Ooops 😦

  137. Shit

    Quite frankly we haven’t even started to play yet!!!!!!!!!!

  138. Gooner in Exile says:


  139. Gooner in Exile says:

    hmmm we haven’t started well at all

  140. Apparently we arrived late ……….. not sure why that makes a difference 😦

  141. kelsey says:

    we look totally knackered

  142. If we can flick the switch at a moments notice I suggest someone takes control sooner rather than later please.

  143. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Blimey. Can’t the ref blow the half time whistle now. We need some coffee

  144. Get those red bulls ready for half time Bouldy

  145. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Wenger IN 🙂

  146. Gooner in Exile says:

    stream has gone up spout……please tell me its improving

  147. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Yeah Peaches, and leave their horns on

  148. MickyDidIt89 says:

    It’s just not possible that we can be this bad.

    If there are any betting theory conspiracists watching, then they will be demanding an inquiry

  149. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Oh well, things can onlt get better. See you outside for a fag Exile?

  150. arnie says:

    rubbish rubbish, load of bol*****!!!!!

  151. arnie says:

    see me outside for a fag, indeed. shocking rubbish !!!!!

  152. dhakka09 says:

    Arteta and Flamini together is never going to work, Dear Arsene. Napoli was an anomaly. Please, rectify your mistake by bringing one of Ramsey or Wilshere starting second half. Thank you!

  153. Big Raddy says:

    OK we have been poor but praise must be given to S’ton, they have been excellent. Most of the time it seems as if they have more players than AFC.

    Maybe they have because Ozil, Monreal and Santi have been awful.

    Thank goodness for Kos and BFG

  154. evonne says:

    since when Southhampton play like that?? Shocking, they are the better team

  155. MickyDidIt89 says:

    I actually don’t understand how we can be this bad. The odd player, yes, but crikey.

    A rocket at half time should do the trick. String a few good moves together, and hopefully we’ll get our game back.

  156. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Here’s a mad idea. Pod on at 70 mins 🙂

  157. Gooner in Exile says:

    Nanannananananaaaaaaanananananananaaaaaaaa Giiiiiiirrrrrouud

  158. Big Raddy says:

    What a finish from OG.


  159. kelsey says:

    Always said he was a clinical finisher

  160. Gööner In Exile says:

    Oooooooooooooooo Santi Cazorla…..ooooooooooh Santi Cazorla!!

  161. Big Raddy says:

    Tell me about THAT,!!

  162. Someone tell me cos I missed it

  163. Gööner In Exile says:

    Listening on Five Live Extra, Claridge is dumbfounded how we’ve gone from 1-0 down to 2-1 up so quickly and when we should be three down……..

    Oh shite 2-2 😦

  164. kelsey says:

    my man comes to the rescue 🙂

  165. Big Raddy says:

    Poldi for Gnabry, please

  166. Big Raddy says:

    Why is Sagna on the left at attacking corners? Leaves us totally exposed on the break

  167. Big Raddy says:

    We have gone to sleep again. AW make some changes before the last 20.

    Unlucky Mesut

  168. Ox on for Gnabry

    Where is Podolski????????

  169. Rasp says:

    Why the hell is podolski still on the bench? We have to go for the win. Pod for arteta and play 4:3:3

  170. Gööner In Exile says:

    Now we have to see out a point….

  171. Why give ourselves so much pressure Arsene?

  172. Rasp says:

    I just don’t understand wenger, if we’d put out a balanced team, maybe flamini wouldn’t have got so frustrated. He really is very poor when it comes to subs

  173. Gööner In Exile says:

    Rasp, how can you blame Wenger for a players lack of discipline?

    Anyone who has watched So’ton this year knows they are good with the ball, Jack, Ramsey seems to make sense to play Flamini and Arteta.

    Although I don’t think they play together well because they want to play differently (Arteta preferring passive, Flamini more proactive)

  174. Gööner In Exile says:

    And Flamini is one of the most experienced players in the squad so should not be jumping in.

  175. Rasp says:

    As you say they don’t play that well together and it was far too defensive. We’ve been overrun in midfield and slow to get the ball forward. I wouldn’t blame podolski for wanting to leave. What does he have to do to get on the pitch. Obviously it was different after the sending off

  176. Big Raddy says:


    Happy with a point after that first half, but we got mugged again once in the lead.

    Think we could have won had we finished with 11 men. Dreadful from Flamini and he knew straight away.

    Ozil was as good 2nd half as he was poor 1st.

    Kos or TPIG my MoM

  177. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Well, given the first half and then the sending off, a point is a point, and I reckon Southampton deserved more than just the one. So a mild phew from me.

    Absolutely shattered, so goodnight from him. Goodnight.

  178. Gooner in Exile says:

    I just don’t know who you put him on for? Instead of Santi, Ozil, or Gnabry, clearly Gnabry would be obvious choice, or we play without one of Flamini or Arteta and drop Ozil or Cazorla in to deeper midfield? If we were overrun with our two most defensive midfielders how can we avoid being overrun with one less defensive midfielder on the pitch?

  179. Big Raddy says:

    Agree Rasp. Podolski should have been on at 60 mins because Gnabry was anonymous

  180. Rasp says:

    As I said earlier, pod for arteta (before the sending off) and play 4:5:1 or 4:3:3 – 4:2:3:1 left us too deep and without width

  181. Rasp says:

    We lost the game tactically and because for some reason we were asleep for the first half – I think the lack of balance was a contributing factor. No flamini against manure is a loss

  182. arnie says:

    got out of jail!!!!! phew!!!!!!!

  183. Adrian says:

    I hope today will be the last day Arsene ever plays Flamini and Arteta together again, way too defensive and as a result our midfield say too deep and invited pressure. First half was easily the worst 45 mins we ever player this season, no idea how we could be so poor, arriving late or not. And while Flamini should be blamed for that crazy rush of blood, Arteta didn’t do much better throughout the 90 mins either IMO.

    Would much rather have seen a midfield 3 of Arteta/Flamini, ozil and the ox.

  184. Rasp says:

    We missed Rosicky tonight

  185. Danny says:

    Gnarby was anonymous….
    ….but his defending is good, he really tries whereas Podolski doesn’t do “defending”.
    At least we solved our problem of Arteta and Flamini playing together for the next 3 games……

  186. Rasp says:

    Hi Danny, in our recent poll predicting results for the top teams, not many thought we’d drop points tonight. We bottled it, we should have fielded a more attacking side or at least made attacking subs with 25 mins to go.

    Sadly, I don’t think we will be top of the league again this season after city have played tomorrow

  187. Rasp says:

    It’s being reported that Ramsey has a tendon problem – out for another 4 – 6 weeks 😦

  188. arnie says:

    Rasp: I believe that a draw against Saints is not the end of the world. Shitty has to drop points somewhere or the other. We had a shocking first half and somehow got out of jail. Reports say that we reached the stadium at the last moment. Is that correct?

  189. Rasp says:

    I believe that is correct arnie – I don’t know why? Obviously the saints outplayed us, but unlike others I do not think that is grounds for being satisfied with a draw. They should not have outplayed us – they are mid table. We underperformed because we set up far too defensively.

  190. arnie says:

    agreed fully, Rasp. This defensive thing has been troubling us for a long time. Hopefully, we will learn a lesson from here.

  191. fatgingergooner says:


    We play Palace at home next whilst City and Chelsea play each other, so I reckon we could be back on top next week if results go our way.

    Technically we have doubled our lead at the top tonight! It’s not all bad.

  192. fatgingergooner says:

    The importance of the 1st goal is massive, espescially away from home in the PL. You can’t start games the way we did today, and ultimately that is what’s cost us 3 points. The whole team is to blame for the sluggish first 45.

    It’s actually quite impressive that we only showed up for 45 minutes and got away with a draw!

  193. chas says:

    Report sent to Nuts.

  194. LB says:

    Sods law that is. I thought Kelsey wasn’t doing one, I had no idea you were going to volunteer, still probably my own fault for not making me intentions clear.

  195. LB says:

    That was a very, very tough game.

    If you were one of those people who fell into the trap of thinking this was going to be a relatively easy game due to Southampton’s board upheavals, the loss of two key players through injury and a further key player missing from an internal ban due to a punch up on their training ground put your hand up? You can’t see me right now but I am sitting behind a key board in front of a computer screen with my hand in the air.

    Well, just how wrong were we?

    Sometimes as Arsenal supporters we are really made to suffer. I watched it in the Twelve Pins pub in Finsbury Park and I was still shaking by the time I got home from the nerve raking experience I put myself through in the name of entertainment.

    Did we drop two points or did we get away with a draw?

    With hindsight, it is plain that there was a lot wrong with the line up. We were far too defensive there was no link between Flamini and Arteta and the attack. Wilshere would have been better, there I said it; although, Rosicky would have been even better.

    Wenger’s attempt to bring through Gnabry got found out tonight, the young man was out of his depth; he was unable to contribute which put unnecessary pressure on the others. In a nut shell it was like playing with 10 men.

    This also had the down side of allowing Shaw to rampage down their left; he didn’t need to worry what was going on behind his back because nothing was.

    Arteta was as rusty as an old bucket and I am afraid to say that with his pace plummeting we got our first glimpse of what the end of his career is going to look like.

    As for Flamini, I said recently that I would not want him to be given a new contract to which many people jumped to his defence by saying: give him another year while we find a replacement – wrong, you missed the point, a replacement should be found before his current contract runs out.

    Back to the game: we were given a lesson in how to press, how to pass, how to defend; we were out Arsenaled almost to the point of embarrassment.

    The commentator mentioned during the first half that Arsenal had arrived late due to traffic problems – late, bloody late? They were so late in arriving that worried posters were put up during the break:

    Giroud, Cazorla and Ozil.
    Have you seen these players?
    If so please contact Arsene Wenger Immediately.

    Thank goodness they were eventually found because we were on the ropes.

    The second half started differently, there were eleven men wearing red and white shirts, I know, I counted them; and this, unsurprisingly, made all the difference. Arsenal set about redressing the deficit which fortunately didn’t take too long.

    Just when the Giroud doubters, yes me again, were starting to think less than positive things about that particular Frenchman up he pops to shut us up. I usually argue that tricks and flicks don’t make up for good close control but if you score like that – bring them on.

    One-one, game on, time for the coup de grace, or so we thought. Arsenal went ahead with a fine goal from our diminutive Spaniard Santiago Cazorla. The pub when wild, aging men sang the name of the 28 year old until their voices were hoarse – guilty again.

    The euphoria, as you know lasted, less than five minutes, Southampton’s heads had dropped but this equalising goal lifted them higher than before and we spent the remaining half of the game fire fighting. Remaining half: that’s to say until Flaimini decided to get himself sent off for what was the most stupid two footed tackle I have ever seen.

    We did have a couple of chances with Ozil and Monreal but in the end with really only ten men we were fortunate to get a draw.

    Recently we have played badly and we have won, this couldn’t continue, last night we were worse and we got a draw. We need to start playing to the full collective capability of this group of players and fast.

  196. Bayonne Jean says:

    First half reminded me of that Swansea match at the Emirates where Arsenal were totally outplayed. Fortunately only down by one and able to go ahead, but the captain was culpable in letting Soton draw evil.
    Going forward, the key to success will be getting the little Mozart back in the mix to give some forward thrust and movement all over the pitch.

  197. Gooner in Exile says:

    Just read that Wenger asked Mason for a 15 minute kick off delay to allow us to warm up properly.

    As you know he declined the request….bastard.

  198. kelsey says:


    Looks like LB has already done a fine match report.

    I would like to add a few observations .

    One can make as many excuses as one likes but over 90 minutes we were for the most part outplayed.
    Yet again a slow sluggish start,misplaced passes, the team as a whole looked lethargic and quite honestly we were lucky to be only 1-0 down at half time against a very good Saints team who made us look quite ordinary.
    The warning signs have been there for weeks especially the failure to clear the ball out of our own penanty box by chosing the wrong option.
    Unfair to critisize Gnabry as others with much more experience were just as bad.
    Overall if you have just two key players out injured the squad has little options to change a game against a team that played as well as the oppo did tonight.
    Yes it was foolish of Flamini especially in a non dangerous area.
    I thought Giroud gave 100% a real work horse and a neat goal.
    This wasn’t a team performance just a sprinkling of individual moments, especially Ozil’s solo run which so nearly produced a goal.
    Szsney did make some fine saves but also looked extremely nervous on occasions ans one could blame him for the opening goal and also at 2-2 before Flamini got sent off he seemed to dither endlessly where to kick the ball because we weren’t organised very well and the options to him were limited to start an attack as the balance of the side was all wrong.
    The Pod coming on at the death was a strange one.
    A point gained or two thrown away ?

  199. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Motning all.

    Never let it be said the site is short on Reporters 🙂

    Don’t know whether to comment on those reports or wait.

    One key comment for me is LB’s on our DM’s.

    I think we deserve something seriously smutty. CHAAAAAAAAAS

  200. MickyDidIt89 says:

  201. kelsey says:

    Go on Micky…you know it makes sense

    Actually as the bus was delayed by 45 minutes AW had a mini panic attack and just said you lot sort yourselves out into any formation you like and toss up heads or tails who plays 🙂

  202. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Hi Kelsey

    If the bus was only held up 45 mins, then you have to think they are not leaving any margin for error. Couple of hours, yes, 45 mins pathetic.

  203. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Overall, don’t think it had anything to do with formation or selection or how the stars were aligned, or even that everybody hates us, rather we didn’t turn up. Pretty obvious to me.

  204. MickyDidIt89 says:

    I think FFG makes some excellent points 🙂

  205. kelsey says:


    What is disturbing is that Liverpool are really gaining momentum and yet another great goal from Suarez.

    To hammer Everton is a very good performance.

  206. kelsey says:

    I understand FGG’s point but we hardly turned up for 45 minutes even in the second half though anything would have ben an improvement on the first half.
    Hopefully we can address this befor Palace but I still maintain that the acid test is yet to come.

  207. chas says:

    What a complete and utter waste of time it was me doing a match report.
    The game has already been dissected.
    Can you put LB’s comment up as the match report, please?

  208. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Sure there are bigger games on paper ahead, but I was certainly not in the LB/Evonne Camp of thinking this was ever going to be a straight forward win. As I said before KO, I believe these fixtures are where the title will be won.

    Like you say, Pool are on a roll, and as 26 said yesterday, Moyes will get Utd moving and they will soon have Brave and Fatso in attack. All top teams will take points off each other.

  209. MickyDidIt89 says:


    I sympathize with you. Serious lack of communication or understanding. Reading back through comments, it was confusing as to who was going to do what.

  210. MickyDidIt89 says:


    Can I assume that’s the last time you volunteer?

  211. MickyDidIt89 says:

    And if the answer is Yes, I’ll come out in sympathy 🙂

  212. chas says:

  213. chas says:

    At least LB’s comment could go up after my match report so that it looks like he’s agreeing with me rather than me regurgitating what he’s already said.

    The thing is, I really like LB’s match reports and him watching it in the Pins is even better.

  214. chas says:

    Anyway, enough moaning from me. It’s not like I contribute anything usually on the post front.

  215. MickyDidIt89 says:


    You have far more important blog duties, and do perform them well 🙂

  216. chas says:

    Misses Palace,
    2 x dippers
    and mancs.
    Cheers Matty.

  217. chas says:

  218. kelsey says:

    If you don’t mind me asking, how much sleep do you both Chas and Mickey get.

    I get 4 to 5 hours maximum.

  219. kelsey says:

    Looks like AW will be doing a few quick loan deals at the eleventh hour with Bedtner being loaned out to possibly an Italian club or Southend.

  220. chas says:

    I get loads, kelsey. Minimum 6.

    Italian cub or Southend. 🙂

  221. chas says:

    ^ club

  222. Big Raddy says:

    No-one commented upon my prescience in the post when writing about Drexler ….

    “Nope. Get Theo fit and the squad is strong enough in the opposition half. I would prefer we buy a top defensive shield. An Essien style player.”

    I will await Chas’s PM before commenting too much on the match and will post LB’s PM at ….. shall we say 11.30GMT?

    What say you?

  223. MickyDidIt89 says:

    I agree with what Raddy said in his post about a defensive shield.

    Mind you, I’ve been saying for four years that a DM is the priority 🙂

    School run.

  224. fatgingergooner says:

    It’s worrying that we are only playing well for short periods of games at the moment. Against Cardiff we struggled to break them down for 88 minutes, at West Ham we were saved by a 30 minute 2nd half spell, at Aston Villa we were good for 45 and terrible for the next 45, we let Coventry have half an hour to themselves, and last night we were good for 10 and terrible for 80! The only solid performances recently have been Spurs and Newcastle (even that was nail biting!)

    I think we are looking jaded in certain positions and the return of Rosicky and Ramsey can’t come soon enough. We all saw last night that we were missing the link between defence and attack and it’s no coincidence that these 2 were out, who are the most natural at linking the game for us.

    We have some big games coming up and the other teams seem to be finding a bit of form. Liverpool are on fire right now and even United have Fellaini, RVP, Mata and Rooney coming back into their side just in time to play us.

    As much fun as it is to talk about winning the league, the reality is that if we lose against Liverpool and United, then we could be in a big scrap for top 4.

    I don’t think that will happen as I suspect returning players will re galvanise the team, but if we want to be real contenders come the end of the season then we have to start dominating games for longer spells.

  225. fatgingergooner says:


    We definitely need a DM, although apparently Essien failed his first medical at Milan, so I definitely wouldn’t opt for him! 🙂

    I think we need someone young, enthusiastic and mobile. Bender at Dortmund springs to mind, but a more realistic option would actually be a Southampton player! Schneiderlin has been excellent for the last 2 seasons and is only 24. He’s French, so AW must want him, and he has PL experience.

    Also, does this mean we’ve given up on Coquelin?

  226. kelsey says:

    Not without strengthening the squafd FGG.

    Anyone play poker ?

    I wager there will be activity before 11.00p.m. on Friday, in fact I wouldn’t be surprised that any or all deals are already done.

  227. Big Raddy says:

    FFG. Scheiderlin bossed the midfield for most of the game, I was impressed, perhaps AW was as well. Though given the Ozil signing it would be prudent to give him colleagues of similar stature as we move sway from the French model …. Schweinsteiger would be nice 😀

    Thinking about this, can anyone explain why in Soho there were so many doorbells with “French Model” written on the name tag? I was once looking to renovate some furniture and rang on a bell which said “French Polisher” – well, I can only say that her uniform was not up to the job of skilled carpentry.

  228. kelsey says:

    Renovate some furnish ,my arse 🙂

  229. fatgingergooner says:


    In that case I would look at either of the Bender’s or Gustavo (plays in Germany, is that close enough!?).

    Apparently we made a bid for Lars Bender but he’s since signed a new contract, and we also wanted Guatavo who chose to go to a crap club so he could guarantee playing time for the WC! He’s already come out and said he wants to leave at the end of the season though.

    Alternatively, with the best players leaving Dortmund in recent times, maybe we could steal Sven Bender.

  230. evonne says:

    LB – both hands up. I did not anticipate anything but easy 3 points

  231. r0blucci says:

    Just heard about Ramsey being out for 4-6 weeks. Gutted, if true

  232. arnie says:

    Motning all.

    Sympathies Chas. What an almighty mess. No comments until the mess is sorted out! I would have gone truly ballistic if something like this happened to me! Correction, I go ballistic for much less than that. 😛

    Just one point though. Reach late to a game and expect to perform. Nay!!!!! Forget about the players who may or may not have turned up on the day, how can a top side reach late to the ground!!!! Where is the accountability! Who do we hold responsible? I want heads please. 😦

  233. arnie says:

    If lack f discipline afflicts the administrators of the club, we can forget about disciplined performance from players, on or off the ground. Period. 😦

  234. fatgingergooner says:

    That’s bad news about Ramsey.

    At least Rosicky will ease the burden.

  235. Rasp says:

    Morning arnie, I agree. If we choose to go to a game by road we have to legislate for delays so a comfortable margin must be allowed to ensure the players have time to warm up etc. Someone at the club is culpable for the late arrival – and that cannot have helped the performance!

  236. TwentyTwelve says:

    Disappointing results in my mind, but I feared this was the likely outcome when I wrote my predictions down.

    It could still work out for Arsenal if City draws at Spurs. Assuming Chelsea will beat up on West Ham, Arsenal would then be tied on points with them, but probably would be 2nd by goal diff.

    Even if City win it wouldn’t be a total disaster. The road is still long, although it is getting so much tougher with the squad reduced by injuries and suspensions.

  237. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Anyone else up for a short term fix?

  238. TwentyTwelve says:

    arnie & rasp, I would find it amazing that the club did not schedule an early arrival of at least three or four hours. Was there some serious traffic delay? A possibility is that they had to wait for something/someone.

  239. Rasp says:

    I think we should sign this youngster – he’s got fantastic balance 😕

  240. Big Raddy says:

    Arnie. Arsenal are known throughout the football world as having the very best off-field management and staff. There will be many red faces after last night’s debacle, though Probert’s refusal of AW’s request for a 15 mins delay was not helpful.

    TT. I agree, there are to be many twists and turns in the coming months.

  241. Rasp says:

    Hi TT, oddly a colleague who is a Saints fan just came into my office. He went last night and didn’t get into the ground until; 8:00 – it was purely the weight of traffic. The ground was still filling 20 minutes after the start. We didn’t allow a sufficient margin.

  242. kelsey says:

    I honestly think that there maybe some credence in the delay but nevertheless they are professional footballers who should be primed to perfection and there is absolutely no excuse for some of the poor play last night
    arnie, one can offer suggestions of players that may well be beneficial in strengthening our squad, until one is blue in the face but we all know how AW works.

    How many times since AW arrived has anyone got a prediction of a signing right,, let alone the appointment od AW himself, yet we hear so often of players that nearly joined.
    I wonder what is really going on in AW’s head re Podolski. Anyone got any suggestions.

  243. Rasp says:

    Hi Kelsey, I agree, the players should have warmed up after 20 minutes – so what was the excuse for the following 25 in the first half?

    Podolski – what is going on?? AW said this week that he was the one player you wanted to be on the end of a shooting opportunity – well he can’t shoot from the bench. To bring him on for 6 minutes was an insult.

  244. LB says:

    Yep, Wenger views Podolski as a means of getting a late winner, last night, it could be argued was more about preserving a draw.

    Podolski could not be subbed for Gnabry, that would have destroyed what little balance we had.

    Pod for Giroud was the only viable possibilty once Flamini had self destructed.

  245. Rasp says:

    I agree LB. I thought Podolski should have been brought on for Arteta before the sending off. That would have been the attacking move. AW said in his interview afterwards that he viewed the game as 2 points dropped – so why didn’t he make attacking subs at 2 all? The pattern of play would have been different and maybe Flamini would not have lunged in – all ifs and buts I know 🙄

  246. TwentyTwelve says:

    kelsey, I think Wenger doesn’t trust Podolski in a match where ball retention and defense might be required. With Podolski is such a good finisher, we fans would say let him come in and score one or two goals, defending be damned. Wenger probably doesn’t see it like that though.

    This reminds me something I read regarding Javier Hernandez. Some ManU fan explained that Hernandez is a great poacher for those one or two goals, but what does he do the rest of the time on the pitch.

  247. Morning all

    We have a New Post …………………..

  248. Podolski got 11 assists last season, so lets not forget he does have more of an all round game than someone like Hernandez.

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