Play Safe or Attack?

There are 3 ugly blots on this season’s landscape (4 if you count a ref-assisted loss at The Orcs). Things didn’t go according to plan, some may say there wasn’t a plan. In each game our full backs went on the attack from the kick-off – over-confidence, planning or plain stupidity?

Let’s start by looking at the players. Sagna is perhaps the most experienced right back in the PL, despite two broken legs he has played approaching 300 games for Arsenal. Gibbs has been at Arsenal since he was 14 Β (he is 24) and despite losing almost a season to injury has already played almost 150 first team games. It is inconceivable that their attacking actions were not tactical, as such it must be under Mr Wenger’s instruction.

Why would he go to Liverpool, City and Chelsea intending to attack from the first whistle? It is all supposition but this smacks of Didit’s famous reverse psychology – let’s attack from kick-off, score early and then settle into the game. Β Or could it be that he feared the wing play of the opposition and wanted them to concentrate on their own defensive duties? I have no idea but I sincerely hope he continues his policy today.

Some believe we should get to 15 minutes at 0-0 and then become more expansive. I don’t agree but then I am a shit or bust type of man. Better to fight fire with fire and go down in flames or in the words of the great Neil Young, “it’s better to burn out than it is to rust.”

Over the season almost every blogger on AA has called for the team to come out the starting blocks fast and we are delighted (and surprised) when we score early. Should we tailor our tactics to the opposition and defend from the off against high quality teams?

What do you think?

I like Man City, they have been my second team since the days of Colin Bell and Mike Summerbee but seeing Arteta score at the Emirates in 2012 was a highlight of that season. Wouldn’t it be great to see him do the same today?


Thinking of which – do we play the Flamini/Arteta or will our new Swede get a start? My hope is that if he does, we will continue to play The Ox and not play 3 over 30 midfielders.

Oh, here’s an unexpected stat – our below par centre forward has scored 5 times in his last 3 home games. Two more today please OG.

My team:

arse v city

There is little chance Mr Wenger will opt for my attacking line-up, he is more likely to drop Podolski and play Flamini – as would most of you πŸ˜€

Manchester: The name derives from a combination of Roman “mammanian” meaning Β fort or breast shaped hill (mamma = breast) (easy, Cockle) added to Ceaster from the Old English for town. There was an early Celtic settlement on the hill where Manchester cathedral now stands which was taken by the Roman’s in the 1st C. It has been settled ever since


It would take a minor miracle for us to win the title but we can certainly affect the result, a win for Arsenal today would bring joy to Scousers and a supercilious smile to the face of Mourinho which is such an appalling idea it makes me almost wish for an Arsenal loss, but that would force me to change the habits of a lifetime ……

I would be happy with a draw.

Big Raddy


168 Responses to Play Safe or Attack?

  1. arnie says:

    Motning all.

    Great stuff, Raddy. πŸ™‚ I have been thinking about our all-out attack from the start. “let’s attack from kick-off, score early and then settle into the game”. I think you are absolutely right. Nothing wrong with this approach. In fact, it is great.

    The problem lies elsewhere. We are lacking ideas, inspiration and skill in attack. This is really our problem. If we were able to score, it would be different. But we are not. At the same time, our all-out attack is leaving us exposed at the back.

    Let us hope we sort this problem out today. COYG. πŸ™‚

  2. arnie says:

    Evonne has promised a post if we are not DEMOLISHED today. Definition of DEMOLITION: conceding at least 4 goals and goal difference of at least 3. Would it not be nice to get a rare pleasure: an Evonne post?

    COYRRG. No demolition today. πŸ™‚

  3. Morning to all my Arsenal friends. It’s good to be back on one of the few fan sites not populated exclusively by Sun readers..
    A bit slow off the mark this time as I’ve been struggling with ‘flu all week. Didn’t stop me enjoying the 3-0 demolition of Manure though. After battling through a couple of games -including 10 men against The Incredible Hull, the City seem to have clicked into gear and I think Merlin, Yaya and co will give you a hard time today. Nevertheless it’s a measure of my esteem for Arsene and maybe my soft spot for The Arsenal from when I used to watch them the odd time back in the late 60’s/early 70s when I lived in London, that I have a slight queasiness about today’s game.
    One thing is for sure, there’s a heap of quality all over the pitch and it has the makings of a classic.
    I am a bit of a shit or bust man myself but, Liverpool (and, horror of horrors, Wigan) apart, the teams that have done best against City this season are the ones who have played 2 upfront, started cautiously, pressed like turbo charged steamrollers from the word go and ultimately nicked one. I somehow don’t see today’s Arsenal in this mould so logic would indicate a City win in a high scoring game.
    By the way, lovely post, Raddy, including the Manchester explanation. You are correct, the word for us is ‘Manuncian’ although here in Dublin I am sometimes referred to as “a Manchurian”. Our newly Silent Neighbours seem to believe that the city used to be called ‘Mancunia’ but it wasn’t.
    Yours aye,

  4. arnie says:

    welcome back, bluevalentine. always a great pleasure. πŸ™‚

    Yes, it will be a tough game, and City are on the ascendant, aided by the efforts of several millionaires on the pitch. But Arsenal will come hard, and nick it.

    I was at the Emirates in the corresponding game in 2012, and look forward to more of the same today. Most importantly, it is a good flowing game today, not mired by refereeing bloopers. πŸ˜›

  5. Norfolk Gooner says:

    Good morning all, A fine pre-match as always BR.

    I hope we get a performance today, the Manchester Evening News described our efforts against the Chavs as “gutless” and Pellegrini is looking for three more points to cap a perfect week following wins over Fulham and Manure. Aguero and Richards are absent but Silva is back from injury and Dzeko is running into form.

    Could be a long old ninety minutes.

  6. Morning all

    Match Day πŸ˜†

  7. Nice to see you Mr Blue ……….. we did actually give you a bit of a game at your ground although the scoreline was pretty decisive in your favour.

    I have no idea which Arsenal is going to turn up today, hopefully the one that doesn’t crumble when a goal is conceded, 0-0 at half time would be good. I shall be there singing πŸ˜‰

  8. Norfolk Gooner says:

    ‘morning Peaches, I’ll be with you in spirit, although I may be watching from behind the sofa. πŸ˜€

  9. kelsey says:

    Well done Raddy, a slightly nervous prematch post and you are not alone.
    I think Flamini is needed but one can bet your bottom dollar he would be carded and I believe that would supend him for our next match.

    Mr Valentine always a pleasure but the reverse fixture could have ended 8-5.We had two goals disallowed but the match was already lost.
    We don’t have the same attacking force as then, confidence appears to be rock bottom, and though City will always create numerous chances they are vunerable to let goals in, but we aren’t creating or scoring at will.

    Hopefully the Chelsea defeat is well and truly out of the lads’ system as it clearly wasn’t against Swansea.We both need the win but the odds are staked against us,but never say never.

    The last thing I would want is for us to score an early goal and then defend for our lives for the proportion of the game. It worked at Spurs and we all know what happened at The Bridge.

    I said earlier that perhaps Kallstrom will come in to add some physical height and strength to our defence but the conundrum for us is that the lone striker in Giroud has no chance yet if you put say Podolski with him as a 4-4-2, Podolski won’t track back when required or at least not for 90 minutes.

    Hopefully a good game but I hope we are neither gung ho or to slow in our build up at least for the first 30 minutes.

  10. Peaches, good to be here. I made the trip home for the game at the Etihad. A curious match, Arsenal played really well but going forward we were on fire. I’d be looking for an early City goal today. In many matches that remain scoreless until the second half we seem to lose our pace. We still make the same patterns but slower, more deliberate – more like a Mancini team than a Pellegrini one. Team selection will be a tricky one for us. Pellegrini has rotated his players very skilfully, using the stylistic differences between options to good effect. Satnav v James? Gael v Aleks? Demic v Les? Edin v The Beast? It’s anyone’s call. I’d keep the team that started against United personally.

  11. arnie says:

    hmmm, very quiet in here. is everyone behind the sofas? πŸ˜›

    if we can stop Yaya, half the job done. through the centre I think is more potent for them. the question is: who will bell the cat? maybe, Kelsey’s suggestion is best. Kallstrom, with Arteta/Flamster playing a bit behind. If that is the case, I would go for Flamster. πŸ™‚

  12. arnie says:

    Man Utd 0-1 Aston Villa – Ashley Westwood

  13. Big Raddy says:

    Been out in the sun, unusual here in the frozen North!

    I hope we keep playing Ox – if Kallstrom is to play, who gets dropped? Rosicky? If so, it limits yet again, our attacking options

  14. Big Raddy says:

    BlueValentine. Welcome back.

    As I say, I hope you win the title after having a wee set-back today.

    I am looking for a cheapie acoustic guitar (having added a cedar top to my collection) to take to the beach. Something around the €150 mark. Any recommendations?

  15. RockyLives says:

    Dennis only knows what to expect today.

    Fine pre-match BR and hello again Blueval – always nice to chat with you.

    City will be strong favourites to take all three points today, but I always fancy my team – particularly when we are rank underdogs.

    Many are predicting a high scoring fixture. I think it will be tight. Anything but a defeat is a good result for Arsenal today.

  16. Norfolk Gooner says:

    Now 2 – 1 to Manure, penalty just on half-time, at least it was a pen, this time!

    Lovely day here in Norfolk, so good I’ve been out and cut the lawns. Magnolia in full bloom, apple blossom just starting to appear, spring is sprung! Tra-la-la. Arsenal are going to win! Tra-la-la. πŸ˜€

  17. Norfolk Gooner says:

    The smell of freshly baked bread is wafting in from the kitchen, must be time for lunch, I’ll be back later to celebrate our victory,

    Keep the Faith!

  18. arnie says:

    muggy and damp in Dundee-Edinburgh! grrr. 😦

    I know we do zonal marking, but Toure is too dangerous. But he is not very quick. Can Kallstrom tail Toure? In that case, I would bench Poldi, impact sub on 70 if all goes well! πŸ™‚

    Man Utd 3-1 Aston Villa – Juan Mata now. 😦

    key game in T20 as well!

  19. Big Raddy says:

    Terrible fielding costing England.

    Benteke? What has happened to the lethal fisher we saw last year? The man is pants.

  20. dandan says:

    Well done B. R. Clever and amusing at a trying time when we need all the help we can get.
    As many of you will know ! I have found the yoyoing of confidence and the high degree of expectation and blame apportionment among our fans disconcerting, especially as many on AA are well versed in the realitys of life as an Arsenal fan.

    Action, focus and protest groups have all appeared and been discussed on this site, usually with a certain amount of respect and amusement by our regulars spread around the world and across the decades that we accept as a lifetime. Of course the depth of feeling that following a club that wavers between the crass and the sublime sometimes boils over and committed fans seek to apportion blame to any member of the club they deem worthy of such treatment.

    9 years without a trophy has become a rod that is used to beat all and sundry by depressed fans or those in the media whose loyalties lie elsewhere and whose talents are encapsulated in an ability to start a fight on their own in a telephone booth.

    All this has been a gift from the gods as far as Manchester Utd fans are concerned as they have travelled the admittedly gilded years of SAF’s. Reign. Enabling them to denigrate all and sundry from their lofty perch

    But look now Utd, can this really be? nine months not years, without a trophy and your fan base is in disarray, protesting to remove the heir apparent, SAF’s very own chosen one from the management of the club. And how classy the methods of complaint they employ. Other fans banners and slogans are disfigured and torn down. Even the Knighted ones involvement is being drawn into the melting pot as uncalled for and unprofessional , this by these super fans who’s latest classy action is to hire a plane and arrange for it to tow a banner over and around the ground at today’s commencement, again demanding their managers sacking.

    Am I alone in thinking as the much loved heroes of Dads Army would have said, they don’t like it up em and lack the class to realise it.

  21. 26may1989 says:

    Afternoon all.

    Thanks for the prematch Raddy. Having been at the Swansea game, I’m sorry to say my natural optimism is at a very low level. Without Ozil, Wilshere, Walcott and Ramsey, the heart of our attacking game has been ripped out, and whether for reasons of tactical naivety or (as I think) the failures of individual players not doing their jobs properly, our defensive shape has disappeared. I would love to see the players come out defiantly today, and show some real mettle in a tough situation, but against this oppo and in this form, I just can’t see it.

    Death cluster indeed.

  22. arnie says:

    Dandan: I am listening to what you say and note that what is happening out there is wrong on all the fronts that you mention. I also accept your fear that AA may some day go into a similarly disastrous path.

    However, I personally feel that the response in AA has been measured. I feel proud that it is so. And if all of us are vigilant, such a measured response can continue long. On the contrary, if voices of reason prefer to stay away, we stand the risk of collapse, however small or large that risk may be. The jury is still out.

    But I am happier with a measured response than the counterfactual where nobody says anything because nobody cares. That is my position on this issue. πŸ™‚

  23. GoonerB says:

    Big Raddy, to play safe or attack, that is the question. I would like to see us go on the attack based on a platform of defensive solidity, but then I have always been a have my cake and eat it kind of guy.

    I think we can win this today but similarly if it goes wrong it may go horribly wrong. We are 2-1 up on Liverpool in the head to heads this season but the one we lost we lost properly. No tight games and half measures for Arsene and Arsenal.

    I hate to label it again but I feel it will be about the team we send out, so for me when the team sheet is announced I will have a better gut feeling. We have some key injuries and are still lacking a couple of key players to balance our squad which may be sorted in the summer. These are things that we have no immediate control over so I feel we need to adapt and be a bit more inventive today. I would love to see Arsene mix it up a bit and do something that would be unexpected.

    We still have very good players available and I always think if you have a good back 4 with good defensive solidity right in front of it you are hard to break down. If you then have pace ahead of this up front you can break with real intent when your defensive unit has broken down their attack and won the ball back.

    I hope GIE doesn’t mind but I will reference him on a couple of points as he is our only regular pro footballer on this site so knows what he is on about. GIE, just in case you think “Why you no listen to me GoonerB”, then I can assure you I have read and digested all your comments. I think GIE you call it right about both full-backs bombing forward at the same time. Is the answer that one goes forward and the other holds? What would you do GIE?

    I thought the bigger problem with Chelsea was the DM in front of the back 4. It was like Swiss cheese and every time we lost the ball our defensive 4 were having to run back and defend. i would like to see 8 out of 10 attacks break down on our defensive midfield whereas I felt that 10 out of 10 reached our back 4 at Stamford Bridge. As such I would start with Flamini and Kallstrom and shore this area up.

    We will need an outball in this game when we have broken down an attack. We need to retain possession for a critical period of time so that when we get the ball out the team can move out, otherwise it just comes straight back at you and you end up constantly defending in a siege type way. The ball up to the big lad up front can work if he gets instant control, holds it for a few seconds and can lay it off. That would be how Ollie would do it but against Chelsea it didn’t really work so any out ball played to him was not really held onto and we had lost possession again within 5 seconds.

    With a better side technical side (which we are) I far prefer the other way of holding it up which is with a quicker more mobile front-man who will spin off the CD’s into the slightly wider channels and use their pace to be the first to balls fed into those areas. Even if they don’t have a 1-1 situation with the keeper and are slightly wider it allows other players running from deeper positions to go into the central area said player has vacated.

    I like this approach because not only do you get the out-ball and the retaining of possession long enough to allow our team to push out but the oppo defence has been pulled out of position to go with the quick frontman who has spun into the wider area. We don’t have a TH14 to do this currently so I feel this is where we should get inventive and play a pacy false 9.

    This set up would also cover another problem for me that GIE identified at the Swansea game and I quote him :

    “Courtesy of Chas I had a very good view of our offensive shape in the first half and to me it’ was that shape that was our undoing, too often was the line of Swansea defenders joined by a red shirt standing alongside and that included Gibbs and Sagna so we effectively had 6/7 players in a line on the 18yd box, 1 man on the ball and TV5 and BFG standing at the back. This resulted in the man on the ball having very little to look to in terms of a positive forward pass. We needed runners from deeper the only man capable was the man on the ball but then he would have left us overexposed at the back.
    This pattern does not get the best from any of our players, especially Giroud, when he is playing well is generally when he has space to move defenders around, leaving gaps for midfielders to run into. If those midfielders are already alongside him we are killing our opportunities to open up the opposition”.

    Here is my slightly left-field team with the false 9 set up in a 4-2-3-1, and if Mad Micky Didit doesn’t back me on this one then I will be very miffed.

    Sagna BFG Vermaelen Gibbs
    Flamini Kallstrom
    Gnabry Cazorla Rosicky

  24. arnie says:

    Lovely analysis, GoonerB. I accept most of that, but the Giroud bit, hence it will be Giroud for me, with Gnabry on the bench. πŸ™‚

  25. GoonerB says:

    26may. Don’t feel low, just sign up to my crazy idea of a team today and send the subliminal messages to Arsene to adopt it and watch us win the day in glorious fashion. I presume you are going today and the sun is out so here’s hoping you come away all smiles.

    dandan you make a very relevant point and I think it was Terry the other day who said Arsene should be judged by different periods. The last 9 years, as he mentioned, has mostly (until recently) been a period where the club and Arsene have been forced to work under extreme austerity so in reality he has been very successful keeping us anywhere near competitive. It annoys me when that whole 9 years are tagged together in this type of criticism. We are however entering a new phase so judgement from now can be viewed as different as judgement over the last 9 years.

  26. GoonerB says:

    Arnie I like Ollie and see him as a valuable squad member but see him as a 2nd choice striker. the better the team we face the more I feel it is important to get as much pace in our attacking front area as possible so I feel in most of those types of games I see Ollie as an impact sub rather than a starter.

    Cue an Ollie hat-trick and GoonerB with egg on his face. It would be lovely egg though in those circumstances, maybe a benedict.

  27. arnie says:

    Its not about Ollie, GoonerB. Just a little worried that this formation may restrict the Ox’s runs. Playing Sanogo or even Poldi as a striker is fine by me. A bit apprehensive about the false 9. πŸ˜›

    what a rubbish over. Dernbach OUT OUT OUT! πŸ™‚

  28. 26may1989 says:

    Wotcha GoonerB. I do go along with much of your very fine analysis. I would even go with your slightly wonky idea of playing the Ox as a pseudo false 9 (it wouldn’t be a real false nine tactic but I’m not going to get picky… πŸ™‚ ).

    Kallstrom was pretty much the only silver lining midweek, and I would love to see him start today. But I don’t trust Flamini, who, in the space of 90 minutes, could easily pick up two yellows against such talented oppo as this. I would have him on the bench and Arteta in the starting line-up.

    I don’t really think we’re in a fit state to go all out on attack, but I remain of the view that City are poor in defence, so if we can get something going in the attacking third, we may get something out of it. But controlling them in our third is going to be the tough bit.

    As for the cricket, England’s bowling and fielding have been rubbish today, but fair play to Amla and de Villiers, that’s how to bat.

  29. Bayonne Jean says:

    0-0 HT at Selhurst; Lee Mason doesn’t give a stonewall pen against Cahill.

  30. Big Raddy says:

    Dernbach is the Adel Taraabt of English cricket. Occasionally brilliant but usually crap – his fielding and bowling has been awful for the last two very important games OUT OUT OUT

    Oh …. nice work from JT πŸ˜€

  31. Thanks Radish

    Who knows which Arsenal will turn up today, but I can guarantee you that, if I were the fitness coach, we would be the fittest team in the league !. I would put our players through the same work-out regime that I planned for Didit for his trek up Wank Mountain !.
    Dynamic Resistance Trainning !.
    Didit was so impressed, he can now surf under water as well !…..which is convenient as that’s where he spends most the time !. hahaha

  32. GoonerB says:

    I know what you mean about Flamini 26May. Maybe with the extra muscle of Kallstrom alongside him the defensive workload would be more shared and lead to less rash or late challenges from Flamini. we probably need to be getting a powerful and pacy specialist DM in the summer.

    Lovely video Cockie. Is this training regime in any way useful for the single man?

  33. GunnerN5 says:

    TEAM NEWS: Podolski comes in for the Ox

    Lukas Podolski has been recalled to the Arsenal side for this evening’s match against Manchester City at Emirates Stadium.

    The Germany international replaces Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, who drops to the bench.

    Thomas Vermaelen continues at the heart of the defence and captains the side.

    Team in full: Szczesny, Sagna, Mertesacker, Vermaelen, Gibbs, Arteta, Rosicky, Flamini, Cazorla, Podolski, Giroud

    Subs: Fabianski, Bellerin, Jenkinson, Kallstrom, Gnabry, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Sanogo

    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 sour

  34. kelsey says:

    Right,Tony Pullis is our new manager πŸ™‚

  35. Bayonne Jean says:

    This is the only time you could say “Thank you!” to Pubis…..

  36. GunnerN5 says:

    Crystal Palace 1 Chelsea 0
    Final score.

  37. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Budge up.

    Surfing rubbish. Don’t ask.


    Top marks on the PM, but I have excellent news.

    “I am looking for a cheapie acoustic guitar (having added a cedar top to my collection) to take to the beach. Something around the €150 mark. Any recommendations?”

    I’m yer Man. Gave my daughter one. Cost 70 big ones. Here’s the good bit. Virtually unused, and has three, yip three, stickers on it. Yours for the €150 on offer πŸ™‚

  38. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Chelsea giggle giggle ROLF

    How much would Maureen like Arsene even more than he already does if he saw our girls trotting out against City πŸ™‚

  39. Big Raddy says:

    No surprise. Ox dropped for Flamini.

    At least we are playing Pod who has to get closer to OG if we are to cause them problems.

  40. MickyDidIt89 says:


    Of course I agree with you.

    I also agree about that footballing brainbox Exile. Thing is, he does rabbit on about high lines, low lines, washing lines and stuff that I have absolutely no idea what he’s on about. I simply nod sagely and “yes dear” him.

    Kelsey OUT, GonnerB and Didit IN.

  41. Big Raddy says:

    Micky. Seems fair- I’ll take it. Does it come with strings?

  42. MickyDidIt89 says:

    “Ox dropped”

    Oh for fucks sake 😦

  43. MickyDidIt89 says:


  44. Big Raddy says:

    Our bench. Oxlade-Chamberlain, Fabianski, Sanogo, Jenkinson, Kallstrom, Bellerin, Gnabry.

    This is where the injuries have hurt us. Hardly any experience at all

  45. MickyDidIt89 says:

    I wonder if this is going to be the slowest Arsenal XI of all time if you took their cumulative speeds

  46. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Are we going to “do the bus” for a bit.

  47. kelsey says:

    I think this is a shit or bust side Wenger has picked.

    Maybe the ball will bounce off Giroud’s arse into the net.

  48. Big Raddy says:

    Gotta get off the computer – Mrs R needs it. Back on the mobile I hope.

    If not ….Up the Gunners and see you later

  49. kelsey says:

    their net not ours

  50. kelsey says:

    Evonne is doing the post match report, right.

  51. GoonerB says:

    Mmm GN5. Not much pace in that side. Our 2 quickest players on the bench against top level opposition doesn’t give me a warm feeling. Maybe I will end up pleasantly surprised.

    Arteta and Flamini have paired up well before in deep midfield but I can’t remember in which games. Have they looked a formidable partnership against top teams or has it been against slightly lesser teams? Arteta did start in DM in both the Liverpool and Chelsea disasters and did look a little ponderous. He is an excellent player but I worry that the better teams with the better, trickier and quicker midfielders can exploit his slight lack of pace. I can’t help remembering that he is a converted DM rather than a specialist in the role.

    Micky I don’t know what you are voting me into with yourself but I am up for it whatever it is.

  52. GoonerB says:

    Sorry that should be our 2 available players.

  53. Sav from Australia says:

    Just a few minutes to kick-off….as long as the boys give 100% effort I will be satisfied.

    But where there’s life there’s hope.


  54. GoonerB says:

    Sorry that should read our 2 available quickest players.

  55. White Bear says:

    did chavs really loose to CP?? Halleluya, halleluya, halleluya, haaaa llleeeluya

    Great PM, as usual, thank you Raddy. I know what you mean about almost wanting city to win tonight πŸ™‚ Anybody but Chelsea.

    No, Evonne will only write a post if we win the game, which is as likely as Totts wining the League, ever

  56. Rasp says:

    Come on you reds ………

  57. White Bear says:

    good start – we are by far the better looking team

  58. arnie says:

    ok, settled in. TV on. dont like Poldi in place of The Ox, though. let us see. COYRRG. πŸ™‚

  59. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Come on you Gunnnnners

  60. MickyDidIt89 says:

    We’re attacking the wrong end. What say your balls to that? πŸ™‚

  61. arnie says:

    why was that not a penalty? 😦

  62. White Bear says:

    coz it was a dive

  63. arnie says:

    FFS, where can one even start?

  64. arnie says:

    unlucky, unlucky, come on guys

  65. arnie says:

    white bear: a commitment is a commitment. particularly when it is given on AA. written in blood red. πŸ˜›

  66. White Bear says:

    sorry arnie, my blood is blue πŸ™‚

  67. RA says:

    White ‘Polar’ Bear,

    When you write your post match report, can we have some player ratings based on who you think is the most handsome, please? πŸ™‚

  68. Adrian says:

    Same repeating theme throughout the season. It’s as if we’ve lost all our famed ability to keep possession and pass the ball around.

  69. Adrian says:

    Thought I must say the pressing and desire has been much better than the away games at liverpool and chelsea.

  70. Adrian says:


  71. arnie says:

    brave display so far, despite the scrappy goal!!!!! πŸ™‚

  72. White Bear says:

    RA – Santi, of course

  73. Adrian says:

    0 shots on target.

  74. arnie says:

    shocking commentary on Sky, you would feel that the good guys were being DEMOLISHED. πŸ˜›

  75. arnie says:

    yes, Adrian, the prod for the goal was a scuffle. not a shot. No shots on target at the Arsenal end. Arsenal on the other hand ….. weathered the storm well. πŸ˜›

  76. arnie says:

    come on, guys. all to play for. πŸ™‚ COYRRG

  77. arnie says:

    very poor goal to concede, though. 😦

  78. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Much much better commitment. Shame obviously we’re losing, but an enjoyable game. The big difference is our injuries/their squad depth.

    Evonne. Well done for stepping up early doors. Peaches will be pleased πŸ™‚

    And exactly how else did you think she’d be doing the player ratings?

  79. Adrian says:

    Hahaha nice tongue in cheek there. Unfortunately they had 2-3 shots at the very least compared to ours – nilch.

    I’d bring chamberlain on for Podolski, we need the extra pace. Podolski is hanging Gibbs out to dry with his poor tracking, I cringe everytime Gibbs has to face both navas and zabaleta on the overlap.

  80. IanRealGunner says:

    Team Dean doing the normal – Silva red card???? Discuss

  81. GoonerB says:

    Arnie, you just took the words out of my mouth. We actually haven’t been too bad and the game is very even with them having a slight advantage on the counter which got them a goal. Who is it alongside Neville? He actually said as the half time whistle went, and I quote :

    “Arsene Wenger with a lot to think about at half time, at the end of 45 minutes entirely dominated by Manchester City”

    Whaaaat. These people are such lazy complete muppets. All he has done is thought Man City on a purple patch, Arsenal on a bad run so lets just say that City are entirely dominant and Arsenal like a Sunday league pub team. Seriously is this all he has to do to justify his highly paid job, just spout crap like this that has no bearing on the truth and expect people to just sit back and nod. No attempt whatsoever to apply an objective and balanced overview. I honestly think a 90 year old non football loving Grandma who would ask “who is the nice man in the black” could actually provide a more professional and objective analysis of that half.

  82. arnie says:

    GoonerB: honestly, dont care a flying fig! numpties, all. Jamie Redknapp in the studio is pure and utter crap.

    Adrian: 😦

  83. GoonerB says:

    Alan bloody Parry. I may be slightly more sensitised to it as an Arsenal fan but if I were a sky sports executive I would sack him immediately for making such an ill informed comment like that for obviously not being able to analyse a football game with any appropriate knowledge.

  84. GoonerB says:

    Gary Neville and Caragher at least try to provide a balanced and objective analysis.

  85. arnie says:

    Flamster ………………

  86. arnie says:

    come on, we can win this

  87. arnie says:

    this is fantastic now

  88. arnie says:

    Poldi assist.

  89. GoonerB says:

    Guuuunnnneeeerrrrrrsss.Ems sounds like it is rocking

  90. arnie says:

    oh dear, Poldi, how did that stay out! oh, fantastic save! 😦

  91. arnie says:

    steady on, guys!!!!!

  92. arnie says:

    just hold it 5 mins guys!!!!! tight at the back.

  93. arnie says:

    oh Giroud!!!!!

  94. arnie says:

    great defending, come on guys.

  95. arnie says:

    Poldi had a great game, Respect. Come on The Ox. A big push now.

  96. arnie says:

    OK, Sanogo, come on. Big effort. πŸ™‚

  97. arnie says:

    OK, 1-1, well done the good guys. What DEMOLITION? Pretty good. Good stuff. πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

  98. arnie says:

    Santi had a great game, so did TR7. I though Sagna had a good game as well. The Ox was a handful when he came on. Mert, Verms and Gibbs put in brave efforts. Flamster was good. All round team game for me. πŸ™‚

  99. arnie says:

    Forgot to mention Poldi, great team game.

  100. Big Raddy says:

    Phew. We could easily have won that game but I am proud of the display and looking forward to White Bear’s post tomorrow.

    Well played you Gunners

  101. Sav from Australia says:

    Now that is the Arsenal that I know. Character in buckets. Fighting spirit.

  102. arnie says:

    Proud to be a Gunner, indeed. πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

  103. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Agreed Arnie and Raddy.
    Excellent game I thought. Loved Flamini’s drive and leadership.
    Very good performance in terms of regaining confidence.

  104. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Bath time, and then out. It’s been a pleasure Gentlemen.

    Bravo again Evonne πŸ™‚

  105. White Bear says:

    No, no, no. White Bear was going to write the report if we won.
    Kels darling, please bail me out

    Santi was the most gorgeous man on this planet today

    Come on Arnie, demolition!! As if! We are The Arsenal ffs

  106. GΓΆΓΆner In Exile says:

    Oh well not to be, but a good effort considering we are at the limits of our squad.

    What impressed me most was that our defence did not try and force passes through to midfield when pressed, just gave it back to Szczesny to go long or went long themselves. I also liked the way we pressured them on the ball second half, this is only possible if everyone is prepared to work hard, one chases the ball the others close to pick up the short passes and bad touches.

    Raddy fine pre match as ever certainly whetted my appetite after a lads day out, I guess Chavs result today puts Thesday nights result in context, ie if we’d have taken 3 points we could arguably consider ourselves back in it.

    However in the last four games we are 5 points better off than the same games last season. So for those who want to talk about progress there’s some.

    GoonerB I noted your comments earlier, firstly nowhere near pro unless playing for beer money and having GK gloves paid for meant I should have declared the income 😳

    But on the point about our attacking full backs it is that they sometimes wander forward without purpose. If rather they come late and quick rather than early and slowly. Reason being they would be harder to pick up and if we lost the ball they wouldn’t have committed early up the pitch so are closer to the ball on breakdowns.

    The way you describe of one going one staying commonly works when playing 4-4-2. A bit confusing and takes lots of drill time on the training ground but one coach I played under drummed phase of play into us so much it was second nature.

    When I had the ball both full backs had to drop and show for the ball. I should release to whoever was there earliest, the other full back would push up the pitch, the full back in possession would look for the midfielder in front of him dropping deeper, the midfielder on the other side would push in to make a three and one of the centre midfielders would push forward to make a no 10.

    So we were effectively 3-5-2, but lined up as if 4-4-2. Whichever full back received the ball from me was then an auxiliary centre back, the other one became a wide man in midfield.

  107. kelsey says:

    Gusty second half only downside for me was Szsney nearlyy fucked up on more than one occasion and Giroud is a waste of space. They all gave their all,can’t ask for more.

    The Gulf is not that big.

  108. 20/20Vision says:

    Arsenal can’t live with the top three talksh!t radio? let’s build on this BIG PUSH!

  109. Bayonne Jean says:

    That could very well be a crucial point in helping attain the realistic goals for this season — in line for CL group stage qualification and FA Cup.

  110. RockyLives says:

    “Unbeaten to the end of the season.”

    Remember where you heard it first πŸ™‚

  111. Big Raddy says:

    Rocky. You are the Oracle ……

  112. RockyLives says:

    That was a gutsy and hard working performance – the players and coaches deserve a lot of credit.

    It was a nice answer to all the idiots who have written us off and who have decided we can’t live with the “big teams” and that Arsene can’t do tactics.

    We played the team that the media have already crowned as champions and we matched them all the way, despite being decimated with injuries. In fact we probably shaded the game overall.

    Very proud of the lads.

  113. RockyLives says:

    Isn’t that a small round boat?

  114. arnie says:

    Evonne: just a reminder. Arsenal demolished? ha ha ha πŸ™‚ Come on Evonne, we deserve an Evonne post. πŸ˜›

    White Bear says:
    March 28, 2014 at 9:16 am

    Kelsey – we are not going to collapse at 5:30 precisely. Come on, give us at least 15mins.

    Listen you abnormally positive or seriously deluded boys and girl – it is going to be another demolition tomorrow. If I am wrong I will write a post about it

  115. RockyLives says:

    Having followed the discussion yesterday, I rather fear you owe us a match report πŸ™‚

  116. Big Raddy says:

    No, All-Seeing One. It is a computer software company

  117. Big Raddy says:

    Evonne. Get writing

  118. RockyLives says:

    Oh and evonne
    you have earned your punishment for having been found wanting in faith…

  119. arnie says:

    What punishment? A pleasure, surely!!!!! πŸ™‚

  120. arnie says:

    GiE: nice analysis. a small difference in the way I saw the game. The good guys pressed for the ball also in the first half. That for me was the biggest difference. πŸ™‚

  121. Big Raddy says:

    Can’t believe I am writing this but I want Spurs to get a result at Anfield tomorrow

  122. arnie says:

    Raddy. me as well. tough wishes for tough times. πŸ˜›

  123. arnie says:

    But the Spuds are completely useless. They will let us down. πŸ˜›

  124. White Bear says:

    time to tell you a little bed time story arnie.
    Once upon a time I was volunteering at the homeless shelter. One evening I arrived for duty and was approached by that awful fat woman that everybody avoided because of the smell. She shouted ‘Oi, you! You promised to cut my toenails tonight’. Sweet Jeezus, I almost fainted. I could not remember promising anything, but she said I did, so I got a bowl of water, etc and cut the fooking hooves only to realise that everybody was laughing because she tried to stitch them all up!!! And only I had fallen for it. But that was the last time arnie – nobody is going to frame me again. All right?
    I will write a post as promised, but not a report. We have a match report King and his are the best

  125. That was a very exciting game of football.

    Not sure why Rosicky wasn’t booked for diving if the ref didn’t give a pen.

    Excellent pressing by our team, we had so much possession before city scored that I was sure we would score first.

    Evonne does not want to write the post for tomorrow and Kelsey might not want to either so would someone else like to step up please.

  126. That’s not Rasp ………. that’s me peaches 😦 😦 😦

  127. Ok, so I’ve logged him out and logged myself in ……. am I me now?

  128. arnie says:

    What framing, Evonne? I think Rocky put it perfectly. πŸ™‚

    A different post will be good. Why not Kelsey for the report? I love his reports. πŸ™‚ We want Kelsey.

    Kelsey IN! Kelsey IN!! Kelsey IN!!! πŸ™‚

  129. Good game, lads and well played you. I thought we had the first half, we looked comfortable and in control. A quick 2-0, thinks me and we bring on Jerry (Garcia) and James and close the game out. Yeah, right. Mr. Wenger obviously visited this site at around 6pm and found my formula for stopping City. The pressing was high up the field and intense and we found it more and more difficult to string attacks together. We played the same one-twos and triangles but at half the pace of earlier and Silva found that extra square yard of space harder to come by. In the event a draw was about right but I could hardly have complained if we’d dropped 1-2, you finished much stronger.
    Huge kudos to your recently much criticised defence who hung on on there at first and looked increasingly cohesive as the game wore on. An absorbing match too, both technical and intense.
    Best of luck for the rest of the season.

  130. RockyLives says:

    Very balanced comment there Blueval – pretty much the game as I saw it too: a close game in which you were the better team in the first half and we were in the second and might just have nicked the win.

    At least the Chavs’ stumble keeps you in the driving seat. Presumably you’re hoping the Spudders do you a favour tomorrow as well (I wouldn’t hold your breath).

  131. arnie says:

    yes, it was a great game, bluevalentine. well done, City, for their part. I think Arsenal played much better today. harried the City midfield on and off possession. hardly gave them much time to play the ball. I thought Yaya was largely cancelled out and that was massive for our game.

  132. Bayonne Jean says:

    Blue Val, a very measured gentlemanly summary; if the Arsenal don’t win the league this year, we’d prefer that it falls to your side. We know that, considering the alternatives, it’s not the most ringing endorsement, but still……

  133. neamman says:

    So who do we want to win the league if Arsenal don’t?
    I wouldn’t mind Pool winning, not that I like them more than the others, but I would like to see Gerrard rewarded for his loyalty. Although I am not a great fan of his I admire his sticking with Liverpool when it never looked like they could win a title.

  134. arnie says:

    I used to like Liverpool as well. But the comments by Henry but particularly the “class” comments by Rodgers in the summer has left a very bad taste in the mouth. 😦

  135. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Morning all.

    Who would I rather win the title? City. Easy choice or me. Just can’t stand Chavs or Pool. The added bonus being how much it would hurt Utd fans,

    Talking of which.

    Raddy….what’s with the comment about you having a second team.
    Are you Beijing?

  136. chas says:

    In terms of manager, I’d prefer Pellegrini winning it to Rodgers or the hideous Maureen.
    As far as financial doping goes, the dippers edge it over the two oily clubs.
    I’m not sure if a dippers league title wouldn’t hurt the Utd fans more than City winning it.

  137. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Fair point about Pool win hurting. Two cities full of high pitched whinging fans going at each other. That appeals.

    Not interested in the oil money thing anymore. It’ll happen to Pool, just a question of time.

  138. chas says:

    How was the surf?
    Some of the weather maps I saw suggested Devon and Cornwall might be a bit murky. London was beautiful in the sunshine.

  139. MickyDidIt89 says:

    The Surf. Promised so much, and was a massive let down. Should have gone on the morning falling tide, rather wait till the afternoon pushing tide.

    Normally pushing is best, but things went tits up. Sod’s law. Both miserable as sin on the way home.

  140. chas says:

    That’s a shame.

  141. Big Raddy says:

    Morning All,

    I would much prefer a City win. Henry and Rodgers “game” with AFC over Suarez was a shameful episode in which our club was made to look cheap. I hope they crash and burn.

    As to Chavs. JT & JM. A bigger pair of front bottoms it would be hard to find

  142. LB says:

    So Mr Wenger, could you explain to us one more time why you chose not to play Flamini against the chavs?

    I detract from a fine hard working performance, a superb fighting spirit and a worthy point.

    I make Cazorla MOTM.

  143. RA says:

    Morning, Guys,

    A nice bout of morning Chas and his magic vids.

    Did you see the pictures of that nauseating tart Maureen bullying that poor little ball boy? Words fail me with that man – is he a man?

  144. RA says:

    I am entering the ‘if only’ stakes very early this season, with — if only we had not given away that last minute goal against Swansea, and that loss to bloody Stoke, we would be sharing top this morning,


  145. kelsey says:

    My thoughts in drafts. Pulling no punches especially on one player πŸ™‚

  146. MickyDidIt89 says:

    I know you have a beef with our keeper, but my suspicions are you refer to Ollie.
    Well, I reckon he’s off to France. Sadly he reckons it’s to Paris St Germain, when actually it’s St Germain en Laye, which is a village team πŸ™‚

    Still, I’m off his back while he’s our only striker, and I hope he scores the winner in the Cup Final that we’ve already won πŸ™‚

  147. White Bear says:

    chas – why do you dislike Rogers? He is one of the most likable and intelligent managers in EPL. Speaks Spanish fluently too

  148. kelsey says:

    Read the post first Micky then give me a refrained bolloxing. πŸ™‚

    You are on the right lines though.

  149. RA says:

    What happened to the White Bear’s match report?

    Who has the best legs? And other essential info?

    Cooeee, Mrs White Bear ……… where are youuuuuu? πŸ™‚

  150. GΓΆΓΆner In Exile says:

    For me if it can’t be us it has to be City. They are the most complete side in the League (and so they should be given money spent). Chavs, Maureen and Terry….no thanks. Dippers no thanks either, Dippers have biggest day in the title race now hosting Shitty and Chavs, they could win or lose the title in those two games.

    I actually fancy Spuds to get a result today they have the players available to hurt a very average Dippers defence on the counter.

  151. kelsey says:

    Are you mad GIE πŸ˜‰ fancy Spuds indeed.

  152. GΓΆΓΆner In Exile says:

    Rogers likeable and intelligent, well compared to Maureen maybe but did you watch any of the Inside Liverpool stuff?

    Most likeable and intelligent crown goes to Roberto Martinez.

  153. GΓΆΓΆner In Exile says:

    Kelsey obviously dreaming but you never know.

  154. kelsey says:

    Can you get the post out early please. being mother’s day many will be pre occupied and also with the clocks going forward most probably the owners are still in bed.

  155. kelsey says:

    Or shall I just publish it.

  156. White Bear says:

    GiE – agree about Martinez, great guy. No idea what Inside Liverpool is, can you tell me? I am willing to change my mind about Rogers

  157. White Bear says:

    Micky – did you watch the gay weddings yesterday? I thought they were rather sweet until the bearded husbands started to snog

  158. Big Raddy says:

    kelsey. We have always published at 09.30 GMT.

  159. Big Raddy says:

    We have a new Post

    La La La La

  160. kelsey says:

    Raddy if you don’t change the banner you will get all the bolloxing πŸ™‚

  161. I’m here ……….

  162. Ooops it says it’s publshed ………… well done all πŸ™‚

  163. Banner changed …………

    New Post ……………

  164. Thanks for your indulgence guys. Regret, no guitar chat this time – had my eye on a secondhand Martin D35 but then my coffee roaster packed up and had to use funds for a new one, much to relief of Mrs BV.
    Must admit I’m still a tad wobbly about City’s prospects. I think we might oust Chavs but Dippers have the easiest run-in. We have no great record at Anfield or Goodison and we have a habit of stuffing up against bottom clubs, esp Sunderland. Still, hopes are for
    1.City 2.Arsenal 3.Dippers/Chavs, don’t really care. Agree Martinez is a gent. Agree JT and Maureen biggest c*nts in the history of Ever (with maybe a saving bet on Roy Keane).
    Sagna my m-o-m yesterday. Sound and constructive in defence and never stopped running up that wing and whacking in low,
    fast crosses.. Didn’t realise he was 30.

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