Champions League: Why bother?

How important is a positive result tonight? Is it more important than a win at Everton? Is it more important than the 3 points last saturday?

I ask the question because how many of you believe we have any chance of winning the Big Cup? Oh, come on ….. you are just saying that to be contrary! You know that the bookies odds of  20/1 are reasonable and just tempting enough to ensure some people will have a punt and thus line the pockets of already mega-rich bookmakers.

So, given the debilitating effect of the CL on our Premiership aspirations, why do we care whether we advance tonight? Perhaps we should send out the B team and keep the lads fresh for Saturday.

Just kidding 🙂 I love the Champions League even though I doubt we will win it in my lifetime.

And what of tonight? Another visit to Turkey where we did so well last season. I have to admit I was delighted when we drew Besiktas, thinking any team which comes third in the Turkish league must be totally pants, well it seems I had done no research as Besiktas have form. Unbeaten at home in 15 games, beating Feyenoord and signing a man whom we were linked with just a year ago is evidence of quality, however the Turkish season has yet to start and Besiktas lost to Wigan in one of the pre-season friendlies. Furthermore, Besiktas are only in the CL thanks to Fenerbahce being banned for match fixing, that said Arsenal will have to play well to get a result.

Given our track record in the CL qualifiers I have faith. I can just imagine the scenes at Besiktas when they drew us – all their fans and club members must have been praying “anyone but Arsenal” and then put on a smiley face for the cameras whilst thinking “we are doomed to the effing Europa again!”

Team news is a mixed bag, Koscielny is fit enough to travel, Gibbs and Sanogo are not. The Gibbs injury is a concern as he has had a full pre-season and should be at 100% fitness, given Gibbs injury history this could easily result in Mr Wenger looking for a new left back next summer (or even earlier).

Chambers will almost certainly play alongside Kos tonight. What a 10 days for the 19 y.o. An appearance at Wembley, a home debut and now a CL appearance all (so far) completed with aplomb. The hopes for him are ratcheted higher with each game. Tonight he faces Demba Ba, a quality striker who somewhat surprisingly finds himself in the Turkish league. Serves him right as he took the pieces of gold from Chelsea without giving any consideration to his future, though €6m seems cheap for a striker with PL experience.

I would like to see Rosicky start tonight, he is a better tackler than Cazorla and better suited to an away leg. Jack needs to play regularly and get past a poor performance vs Palace. Giroud will surely start given the lack of both Sanogo and Walcott.

I hope Mr Wenger doesn’t get too defensive and play Flamini ahead of Wilshere, he has done so in the past and returning to the Emirates with a clean sheet is important but I would prefer we focus upon our attack rather and bring on the Flamster at 70 mins.

My team:


Debuchy    Chambers   Koscielny    Monreal

Ramsey   Wilshere   Arteta

Sanchez    Giroud    Rosicky

Please note that when picking the team in the format above it does not mean I expect us to play 4-3-3  –  our team is so flexible I do not believe there is any one method of play and as any regular AA reader knows Raddy is hopeless with tactics.

We know Besiktas have fanatical fans, we know the pitch will be rubbish, we know the ref will be a homer but we should have enough to come back home with a positive result

written by Big Raddy


192 Responses to Champions League: Why bother?

  1. Big Raddy says:

    Peaches. Can you add the pitch and banner?

  2. Eddie says:

    Raddy – isn’t Rasp the king of banners and pitches? Is he on a strike again??

  3. Big Raddy says:

    Eddie. Yes he is. Probably recuperating from the World Cup.

  4. Shubham says:

    Seriously, why bother? Go there, enjoy Turkish hospitality and fly back with minds set on Everton at the weekend. No, friends, I think we should take them on and make sure that there isn’t much left for the return game to decide. Arsenal needs to be sat on the high stakes table of ECL. It wont be fitting for a club of our stature to play the Europa league. 3-1 for me. Common on Gunners!!

  5. Sorry Big Raddy, but – instant, but quick, digression from today’s post.
    As regards yesterday’s post by LB, I would like to make one further offering…

    Re: Monday evening’s game, Burnley 1 Chelsea 3
    “In acquiring Costa for £32m from Atletico Madrid over the summer, the club appears to have addressed last season’s failings. The Spain striker was a dynamic and powerful presence up front and, importantly, more clinical than those who led the line during the last season’s third-place finish.”
    [edit from


    Chelsea needed a (decent, experienced) striker. Mourinho bought one.
    Arsenal needed a (decent, experienced) striker. Wenger didn’t buy one.
    [edit from Big Al’s brain]


    This digression is actually not off-topic as regards Big Raddy’s post by the way, everyone, in case you think I’m being rude or inconsiderate to BR. Think about it…
    … back later.

  6. Eddie says:

    world cup?? that was ages ago!!
    Come on Rasp, the country needs you

  7. goonermichael says:

    1:45 AM kick off here. Can’t wait. Fantastic as always Raddy

  8. LB says:

    Superb read BR.

    I find trying to predict tonight’s team as confusing as the first time I picked up a Rubic Cube.

    The person who does really would have done well.

  9. OK. I’ve read your post now Big Raddy; very good! Big thanks.
    1st question: have you had a euro on us at 20/1 ?
    2nd question: what’s wrong with Sanogo ?

  10. Big Raddy says:


    2.He’s not good enough, at present, to lead a team with title aspirations.

  11. Norfolk Gooner says:

    ‘morning all, Big Al, Sanogo is anogo with a hamstring injury.

  12. Big Raddy
    You say: “Koscielny is fit enough to travel, Gibbs and Sanogo are not.”

    I was referring to him not being fit as (you) stated, you berk 🙂

  13. Norfolk

    1) Late again… tut tut
    2) Sanogo is anogo… FUNNY!

  14. Norfolk Gooner says:

    Sorry BR, I haven’t acknowledged your fine pre-match, thank you.

    My starting eleven is :- Szczesny, Debuchy, Chambers, Koscielny, Monreal, Arteta, Flamini, Rosicky, Ramsey, Alexis and Giroud. No tactical bollix, they can all play where they like.

    I think we need both Arteta and Flamini to protect the defence, Rosicky as a more assertive player than Cazorla and Giroud to try and batter the Besiktas’ defence.

    Incidently, Barca are willing to let Song go out on a season long loan. He can play in central midfield and at centre-back. He’s probably still got a house in London somewhere and knows his way to London Colney, also he’s played and trained with Alexis for a season. Sign him up Arsene!!

  15. I’ve done the banner Raddy but we need Rasp to do the pitch layout.

  16. Bryan says:

    I agree with Norfolk’s starting eleven, sadly Monreal has to play which leaves us weak down that side but as long as they all put in a decent shift we should be ok.

    I am so frustrated that we have not got a DM yet, think we have needed one for longer than we needed a new striker.
    Its been a decent transfer window by our standards but I just can’t see us being strong enough against the power clubs without one.
    Carvahlo for me is a no brainer, exactly what we want, he would cost a lot but would have better sell on value.
    I can see him being a player that ends up somewhere else & we will look on regretting we didn’t sign him.

  17. This sort of game suits Rosicky perfectly. Hope he starts.
    No-one fancy Ox as a starter?

    Norfolk – Song?
    No thanks. I’d rather David Hillier return, even on crutches.

  18. chas says:

    Cheers, BR.
    Why bother, indeed?

    Two very good reasons………

    1) I want to see another DidIt/Raddy travelogue……
    2) We’ll be in the bloody Europa if we don’t qualify.

    The first is purely for pleasure reasons, the second to avoid considerable Spursday night pain.

    p.s. Oh, and I love going to CL games at home, especially if we get drawn in a Group of Death. 🙂

  19. chas says:

    Where’s Steve the Buddhist?
    He’d love this on Twitter.
    (As long as he wasn’t in one of his angry moods, that is)

  20. chas says:

  21. Eddie says:

    quick Raddy and then I am off to meet Peaches mum (must behave 🙂 )

    Read it, enjoyed it, but am more nervous now than I was 10mins ago. I have done no research to Besiktas and was sure they were utter pants, sorry to hear otherwise.

    Is it worth a bover? Ask Legia Warszawa fans how they feel after being kicked out of the CL. And there is a small matter of several millions geebps. So yes, it is worth playing the strongest team and winning convincingly.

  22. mickydidit89 says:

    Thanks BR. Tight and professional analysis 🙂

    Big Ears is the priority competition for me. Must win it in my lifetime and preferably before bits of me start falling off, and I think we should definitely refuse to play in Europa if the awful prospect ever materialized.

    Don’t like your team. So there.

    Just sure its a game for The Ox’s power, thrust and above all, freshness. Plus, I’ve decided Aaron and Jack should never play in the same team, so here’s my attempt:

    Ox Rosicky Sanchez
    …Ramsey Flamini

  23. mickydidit89 says:

    Ha Ha, love the Buddhist signs/wordings. Violent sorts they are 🙂

  24. mickydidit89 says:

    ps how do I become an Executive Supporter?

  25. Big Raddy says:

    Big Al. You sum BR up perfectly in a single 4 letter word. Not the first and unlikely to be the last 🙂

  26. Big Raddy says:

    Micky. Like your team apart from dropping Arteta

  27. Seems most, if not all, think Sanchez will start.
    I don’t think so. He’ll be on the bench and used only if ‘necessary’.
    I think Ox will replace him, wide on the right hand side.

  28. mickydidit89 says:


    I haven’t dropped him, I’ve rotated him for the more than adequate, tough and fresh Flamini.

    It’s what great managers do 🙂


    Cheers Raddy

    Besiktas hey? The mere thought of a hoard of Turks fills me with dread. Dont get me wrong, I love my Turkish brothers, but now again lose it by addressing them as Effendi and remove my trousers as tribute.

    To be fair, we should beat them easy. All the best Turkish players play abroad, forcing them to fork out shed loads on superstars like Demba Ba and crap managers like Graham Sourness.

    hahaha, I think i may have had a phone conversation with Bhuddist Steve last week. This bloke rang me up about PPI and when I told him to go do one he offered to enlighten me with his fist in my face

    When I told him he cant talk to me like that, he replied that I would never reach a harmonious state unless I felt the true meaning of a Cricket bat to the buttocks

    I made it clear that i would report him to his superiors for threatening me with love and inner violence, but the guy just responded that I would rest in peace with my decision.

    Thats why I now have a PPI claim going on and suffer form insomnia.

  30. RA says:

    Terry, 😀

    You are a Cadbury’s.

  31. RA says:

    Afternoon, Raddy, 🙂

    Liked the Post altho the question of whether or not to bother with a CL qualifier or to quietly give it up, and save our resources for the EPL is fighting talk.

    We need to go all out for everything and devil take the hindmost.

    I made the comment that the Chavs and Citeh do look ominously good on paper, and after the weekend they look pretty good on the pitch even against fairly mediocre opposition.

    We will do well to hang onto their coat-tails over the next few weeks, and without further reinforcements in key positions (hopefully Arsene is still looking) we will have to compete to be the best of the rest and try for 3rd place.

    Nothing wrong with a pragmatic assessment, which is not to be confused with doomerism. 🙂

  32. RC78 says:

    I am quite annoyed about losing Fabregas to Chelsea but…that said, we have Aaron and Mesut so AW made a choice, let us hope it is the right one 🙂

    My team for tonight:
    Szecesny – Debs, Chambers, Kos, Monreal – Rosicky, Flamini, Arteta – Cazorla, Giroud, Ox

    Quite defensive but I think we should go there, avoid goals and hope to win. Besiktas is a tough place to go to and wins are rare there. That said, I think we can do it. I d be happy with a 2-1 win as I doubt that we will concede more than one goal at home…

    Come on Gunners!

  33. LB says:

    My punt at tonight’s team.


    —–Rosicky, Ramsey

    Campbell, Giroud, Ox

  34. aizedlittlemozart says:

    I expect a win. open game, should suit us. watched the charity shield & CP games again. we put out the same team on the two occasions. we waltzed through one & looked laboured in the other. I actually expect sanchez (if he starts) to run riot today if besiktas play an open attacking game (which I also expect as they are home tonight). BR, good post. & I also agree that arteta should start, he keeps us ticking really. I also think jack should start as a run of games can only do him good. the only conundrum i’d have would be who should start between santi & rosicky. Santi if played in the #10 position could give a performance as super as to make us all forget about his Sunday rendition. Rosicky (my all time best gunner) gives us more zip, tenacious in the pressing (which should be a joy alongside sanchez who also presses opposition) & is more suited to a counter attacking game than santi IMO. good post once again Big Randy

  35. aizedlittlemozart says:

    Saturday rendition I meant. games coming thick & fast its hard to keep track of the days

  36. aizedlittlemozart says:

    will be interesting to observe chambers up against an apparently in form Ba. it should be a sterner test for him as Ba is more mobile that dzeko or chamack. & seeing as monreal is starting we might be attacked from our left more than our right where we could have alexis/ox/rosicky, Ramsey, debuchy & Kos as opposed to santi (if he starts on the left), jack (if he starts at all), nacho & chambers.

  37. arnie says:

    ha ha ha ha, Champions League is it? Again? So soon! 🙂

    Brilliant stuff, Raddy. And FIRST as well! 🙂 🙂 🙂 Well done, dont offer Big Al or Norfolk a sniff at the top of the queue. 😛

    Playing a largely knockout tournament is a bit of a lottery. We have not won the CL, yet, and no reason why we will not this year. So there we go. We are going to be CL Champions this year. This is my prediction. And it is as good as any other that anyone else may have. Like winning the EPL or the FA Cup. 🙂

    So, first nimble step towards the title. I would like to see The Ox play. Giro is a certainty, Sanogo is anogo, and I would like to see Campbell as well. Sanchez rested for the first half will be OK.

    Chambers is a certainty, good for the lad and good of Arsene. He has promised 20 games to the lad, and it should already be 2 out of 2. I agree that Arteta and Flamster together is perhaps too defensive, perhaps Flamster to start then. And Jack needs game time. Besiktas are perfect minnows to give some match practice.

    I am not being greedy, not too ambitious, a goal somehow nicked and “1-0 to the Arsenal” does me fine. Back home to more robust challenges.

    COYG! 🙂 🙂 🙂

  38. arnie says:

    For all those who glorify the fantastic game that Barca plays, I beg to differ. Sorry, they do not play a great game any more, and sorry they cannot even win against Real Madrid and Athletico, let alone the likes of the Germans.

    Yes, they were brilliant in the past. But that was a while back, when we reached the finals and came up against a magical Barca. But that was then. Now, they are no better than us. In fact, we are as good as most anywhere in the world, and we are better than anyone on our day.

    Yes, a DM will be good, but no worries if not. We are a brilliant side even without.

    So, sod the negative thoughts and enjoy the game. We do not need a cannon to swat a fly. We will practice self-preservation, and let our best turn out on the days we need it most.

    COYG. 🙂 🙂 🙂

  39. gusmcmanus says:

    On the widget on the side (my favourite part of AA, keep it up whoever you are) can we Shield goals included? maybe not a new column just an asterix next to Cazrola, Ramsey and Giroud’s names saying Community Shield down the bottom.

    Do other people agree with this or don’t Community Shield Goals count? I just want to see Ramsey’s goal tally bolstered, not that it will need it 😉

  40. arnie says:

    I agree with Gus. The Community Shield can be viewed as an extension to the FA Cup in our case. So these can go in the FA Cup column with an asterix. 🙂

  41. etfaust says:

    Starting Koscielny is too big a risk at this point of the season. If he gets seriously injuried, where do Arsenal go from there? Play Monreal in the middle and shift Mathieu Flamini back to left back, a position he’s manned before. For my preview and prediction, see my blog post here –

  42. Norfolk Gooner says:


    Wenger has said that Koscielny is fit enough that Mertesacker was not needed, so he didn’t travel.

  43. stevepalmer1 says:

    Evening all,
    Just read the post and Raddy boy you almost caught me. Why is the Champions league important to us, simple really, £30 million a year is paying for our expensive stadium, it also helps us to keep the wolf from the door,

    Many people say that transfer windows often depend on champions League as many top players allegedly claim they must have it.

    Personally i feel that is all bollox, but if it is true perhaps the game tonight and next week, may just secure another player.

    Any player in the world who was thinking of moving to England to play Premier football would always look at Arsenal if they wanted champions league football. Even more so since our last few signings.

    But Raddy you knew all that before the post went up you crafty devil.

    Breathtaking when you think 17 years continual Champions League football,no other English club has ever done that and never will again another one for the Arsenal record breakers.

    Hats off to Arsene, and of course Radder’s 🙂

  44. Eddie says:

    chavs are muscling in on Carvalho, bastards. Wenger identifies a potential star and they bump up the price, typical Maurinho, dishonest to the bone

  45. He’s the J.R Ewing of football, Eddie.
    Remember when he called the men in white coats to take Sue Ellen off the funny farm?

    Pure evil.

  46. RA says:

    Eddie baby,

    I know that you can put nothing past Maureenio, the slimy bastard, but I think the Carvalho boat has long since sailed.

    Wenger was thinking of another CB as cover, until he realised that he already has good cover in young Chambers, and then he was thinking of a strong midfielder to cover for Arteta, until he realised he had young Chambers for cover, and if Ospina’s injury takes even longer to heal, he is now training young Chambers, who is showing potential to cover there too. 😉

  47. arnie says:

    how are the nerves, chums? Come on, no doomer bollix, we are good enough to win toninght. A step at a time. COYG! COYRRG!!!! 🙂 🙂 🙂

  48. arnie says:

    I note with pleasure that the cannibal has promised not to bite anymore. He is on hunger strike! 😛

  49. aizedlittlemozart says:

    “we are all gonna DIE!!!!!” I love that line I disaster movies or horror flicks. no doom tonight though (or ever from me) its three points in the goody bag & our 2nd eleven for the home fixture *smiles*

  50. 26may1989 says:

    Evening comrades, and greetings from somewhere….

    Has anyone got recommendations for a good stream for the evening’s game? Am away from home and at a bit of a loss re where I can catch the game.

  51. aizedlittlemozart says:


  52. arnie says:

    26may. I am in the same club. If I can find a good one, will let you know. 🙂

  53. arnie says:

    “What’s in a name? that which we call a rose
    By any other name would smell as sweet”

    Dooming by any other name …. ? 😛

  54. arnie says:

    sorry that is out of context. it was meant for the SoreArse pub! Apols. 😛

  55. Big Raddy says:

    Wizigig. Or

    I use

    but am not sure you can get an account anymore. It costs about €10 for two months but is worth every penny

  56. 26may1989 says:

    Gracias, Raddy.

  57. arnie says:

    Bayern Munich, Bayern Munich, AC Milan, Barcelona, Barcelona, Manchester United, Liverpool, PSV Eindhoven, Barcelona.

    The last nine teams to knock Arsenal out of the Champions League share 25 European Cup wins between them.

    Always the bridesmaid never the bride?

    Come on the good guys, this has to change. COYG. 🙂 🙂 🙂

  58. mickydidit89 says:

    Come on 26, which compound are you on this time?

    Pre-match limbering up here. Will be loose and ready for KO.

    Safe me a spot on the sofa, it’s going to be tight.

  59. mickydidit89 says:

    Bridesmaids get all the fun, Arnie 🙂

  60. arnie says:

    Micky. 🙂

  61. aizedlittlemozart says:

    how’s about some roast turkey tonight?

  62. 26may / arnie
    You’re welcome at my place if you like.
    I’ll put the kettle on, shall I?

    42″ LED HD, brand LG.
    Far superior to GIE’s old plasma, which incidentally is being phased out. Haha.

  63. Manthan says:

    Hello all, A nice video to watch

  64. arnie says:

    Brilliant, Big Al, please count me in! 🙂

  65. Manthan says:

    #Arsenal team to play Besiktas: Szczesny, Debuchy, Chambers, Koscielny, Monreal, Arteta, Wilshere, Ramsey, Alexis, Cazorla, Giroud #BESvAFC

    Arsenal Subs vs Besiktas: Martinez, Bellerin, Miquel, Flamini, Rosicky, Oxlade-Chamberlain & J.Campbell.

  66. arnie says:

  67. kelsey says:

    sorry i’m a bit late

  68. Manthan says:

    Big Al, 🙂

  69. Are we on tv chaps?

  70. Rasp says:

    Lovely pre-match Raddy. Sorry there is no pitch layout but Photoshop CS has bombed on my PC and I can’t get it to reload. COYRRG

  71. arnie says:

    26may. tensports on wiziwig looks OK, so far. 🙂

  72. mickydidit89 says:

    Haaaa Rasp

    I put no thought into my comments, and very little into my posts, but I’ve put three days into this.

    After all your years as a cricketer, can you now bowl overarm?

    🙂 🙂 🙂

  73. Eddie says:

    I don’t think Maurinho is like JR Ewing. I actually liked JR, he was evil and proud of it Maurinho actually thinks he is a likable character

    this is just a nervous shit chatting……the game is getting bigger and more important every minute

    Raddy – spot on, pitch is awful, confirmed by AW

  74. Rasp says:

    Hi micky, no actually I can’t, I’ve developed the yips – bloody annoying 😦

  75. mickydidit89 says:

    No Ox

  76. Big Raddy says:

    Great save from TPIG. We need to get on the ball and slow things down for a couple of minutes

  77. Big Raddy says:

    Oooh, I like the cut of Sanchez’s jib

  78. aizedlittlemozart says:

    the state of this pitch is not funny

  79. Eddie says:

    aized – who’s laughing? we’ll be lucky to escape without any injuries

  80. aizedlittlemozart says:

    Monreal is having a good game I should say

  81. aizedlittlemozart says:

    OG could have got an ankle trying to score that chance, ball just keeps getting stuck under players’ feet! it really is horrible

  82. Eddie says:

    Monreal? yeah terrific game 🙂

  83. aizedlittlemozart says:

    hey Eddie!, can’t say if your “terrific” comment has some sarcasm in it. is that a real agreement? hehe…chambers doing okay with demba BA thus far

  84. RA says:

    This is a game that is showing up the weaknesses in some of out players, so far.

    Sanchez has been playing well and running his heart out, but our midfield is being overwhelmed.

    A little fortunate to still be on level terms.

  85. Adrian says:

    Giroud has been pants so far. Demba Ba looking like the better striker in every department so far.

  86. RA says:

    That pitch is indeed very poor, but it is the same for both teams.

    Hopefully once we get used to it we will exercise more control.

  87. RA says:

    Wow, Ba beat the defence, shot with only the keeper to beat, and I thought it was in — just missed.

    Lucky us.

    Giroud is really struggling, and needs to change those lead-lined boots.

  88. Adrian says:

    Really hope that Campbell will be given a chance in the second half, Giroud has done nothing of note so far besides for one decent cross.

  89. aizedlittlemozart says:

    it indeed is RA, but 1 team has the pleasure of playing & training there every other day. double lucky to still be level @ half time

  90. Big Raddy says:

    Too open for my liking.

    Another disappointing half from Santi, I expect more from one of mny favourite players.

    Overall though a 0-0 at half-time is acceptable and we can win it when Besiktas tire later in the game,

    Ox on soon please.

  91. fatgingergooner says:

    Awful pitch.

    Giroud looks heavy legged and nowhere near fitness. Worried about what state he will be in come January if we don’t rotate more than last season.

    They are giving us plenty of room in midfield but there seems to be little movement going forward. If we make the right passes and make some better runs we could get 1 or 2.

  92. mickydidit89 says:

    Well, errr….it’s 0-0 🙂

    I’d get Ox and Rosicky on, as well as Flamini.

    ie play the team I suggested 🙂

  93. kelsey says:

    what can the matter be

  94. kelsey says:

    Oh yes, Giroud 🙂

  95. Adrian says:

    Giroud might score a goal in the second half and prove me wrong for the time being… But I really think that if we were to really challenge for the league/trophies he isn’t the answer. He’s decent, but that’s just about it. A solid bench option. Compare him to the other top 4 teams & Man Utd’s strikers, i rate him the poorest among all. I just feel that we could do much better.

    And yes, cazorla is having another poor game again. Wenger should stop playing him as a winger and play him centrally, his best position. He doesn’t have the pace/strength to play as a winger and he tends to drift into midfield too much.

  96. It’s not working for Santi 😦

    Maybe Rosicky would have more luck. Is Joel Campbell on the bench?

  97. stevepalmer1 says:

    So many players without any confidence at all, Giroud Wilshere Cazorla, Ramsey not seen much of him. Chambers and Koz monreal Deboots overworked by terrible midfield play.This game needs an injection of the Ox, Rosiski and where the hell is Gnabry. Sanchez running on his own and no bugger in there, lets see young Campbell at least he knows how to kick a ball. My word we are shit

  98. Eddie says:

    aized – yep, me is a sarcy bitch 🙂 as soon as you posted your comment Monreal let a ball through his legs, thank Dennis we had another lucky escape then

  99. Adrian says:

    Yes Campbell is on the bench, I wouldn’t mind seeing a front 3 of Ox-Campbell-Sanchez as the game progresses. Raw pace which could help us push forward a bit more, in the first half we sat a bit too deep.

  100. mickydidit89 says:

    Right, come on you Gunners

  101. mickydidit89 says:

    Kind of agree Adrian
    I’d like to see Flamini and Arteta to stabilize the defensive side, and then with Ramsey in front, we could unleash Ox/Joel, Sanchez and Rosicky and let them have a go free from too many defensive duties

  102. mickydidit89 says:

    Come on, we can nick this 1-0

  103. Big Raddy says:

    Not enjoying this half so far. Arteta knocked, Ramsey booked and the inevitable card for Flamini.

    Come on lads, hold onto the ball and press.

  104. aizedlittlemozart says:

    Oh boy!!! El capitan off injured

  105. Adrian says:

    Why bring Sanchez off instead of Cazorla/Giroud.. Cazorla’s nowhere to be seen in this half.

  106. RA says:

    The only positive so far is that it is still 0 : 0

    Not sure the Besiktas keeper has had a save to make.

    And this referee is doing his best but he seems scared of the home crowd and is giving some ‘home’ decisions.

  107. RA says:

    Ramsey off. Bollix.

  108. fatgingergooner says:

    Shit from Ramsey. Should never have turned that way in the first place and then a bad decision to pull him down when already been booked.

  109. Adrian says:

    Whole team has been poor, from the players to the manager’s decison making.

  110. Just waiting for Ozil

  111. Adrian says:

    Can’t remember the last time the team looked so lethargic and out of ideas. Seriously wouldn’t mind Joel Campbell starting in place of Giroud/Cazorla against Everton, struggling to remember what Giroud in particular has contributed to the game so far.

    Ramsey too has been poor by his standards, that foul was absolutely unnecessary.

  112. Adrian says:

    Oh my words, how close was that from the ox!

  113. RA says:

    Luck — that might make our season.
    To be so poor but not to lose may mean fate is smiling on us.

    Not looking forward to the Everton game at the weekend. 🙂

  114. mickydidit89 says:

    0-0 away is fine

    This whole Santi left nonsense is nonsense. Poor Ox, deserves more time.

  115. fatgingergooner says:

    This ref is a farce!

    Glad to get away from this terrible pitch and awful ref without too much damage done.

    Not too worried about the performance. Will be a different game on a slick pitch at the Emirates.

  116. mickydidit89 says:


    Frustratingly, I genuinely feel we had the players to win tonight.

  117. Big Raddy says:

    There were positives: Sanchez is settling, Ox is forcing AW’s hand to give him a start. Chambers, apart from one slip, played very well in his first CL game. Koscielny is the best. Debuchy is improving and will be great with Ozil. TPIG superb making two very difficult saves look easy. Monreal solid.

    Negatives: Ramsey’s sending off was dumb, JW and Santi ineffective, our passing through the pitch was slow and often poorly timed. Giroud is still on holiday.

    But we live to fight again and should take them at the Emirates.

  118. mickydidit89 says:

    Great thinking FGG

    We’ll let Besiktas do their warm up at The Ems, then when they go indoors to change and they’re not looking, we’ll soak the pitch and come out on wet weather tyres 🙂


  119. stevepalmer1 says:

    Now if somebody asked the question of why Giroud was on the pitch i could understand it, And not just him Cazorla has his second bad game Wilshere as well. Wenger was speechless with Ramsey. Our best player Chambers was again emense, 19 years old has been the buy of the season.

    Why Sanchez came off i have’nt a clue, he was the only player i would have kept on.

    Ramsey will sit out the return, and in my opinion he should have his wages stopped as well.

  120. LB says:

    I don’t remember ever watching Sanchez and thinking that he is a player who holds onto the ball for too long and yet against Palace and certainly tonight that is exactly what he did.

    There were more occasions than I like to remember when a simple pass was on but he unnecessarily tried to take on another player and ended up losing possession.

    Still, I know it is early days and he is still on his honey moon period.

  121. stevepalmer1 says:

    Thats a fair question LB, i thought the same thing, trouble is he is running on his own most of the time.

    What is the point of a man out wide but we pass a ball through to a guy with two markers. why are we not looking for a player in space, it seems to me that our passing only seems to come when the options have been shut down.

  122. fatgingergooner says:

    Could mean we see Chambers in HM role for return leg.

    It’s never good when it comes down to a 90 minute knockout game, as it only takes a dodgy pen or stupid red card to put us in real trouble, but you would still fancy us to go through.

    Madrid derby on Sky Sports 5.

  123. fatgingergooner says:

    I don’t think we will see the best of Sanchez until Özil and Walcott are back. The space will open up and the pace of our attacks will increase. At the moment things are too slow and everyone is taking far too many touches.

    Sanchez, Özil and Walcott are built for counter attacking football.

  124. LB says:

    Chambers in midfield is one of the games I most eagerly await for. I am fascinated to see how he plays there.

  125. aizedlittlemozart says:

    okay, so i’d start rosicky & the ox ahead of santi & jack. boy does that midfield miss ozil or what!! i am now in full dread mode ahead of the everton game this weekend

  126. LB says:

    Sanchez, Ozil and Walcott would have been my preferred attack for tonight’s game.

  127. stevepalmer1 says:

    Chambers will shine wherever he plays, but he needs the others to put as much effort in that he does.

    Maybe the players are just not on the same wavelength at the moment, We are muddling through but we definitely need to improve very soon.

  128. stevepalmer1 says:

    Nte all

  129. arnie says:

    OK, not pretty but got out of jail. 🙂 But too much doom for my liking. 😦

    We always knew this would be a difficult place to travel to. 0-0 is not the end of the world. We will get there.

    So what are we saying? Arteta is too old, Rambo is hotheaded so not good enough, Giroud is rubbish and so is Santi. Our new toys are not good enough as well? Eh? So, we are already sick of the new toys and want to throw these out of the pram?

    FFS, if we are so rubbish how do we qualify for CL every year, and why do we have a seeding, and why do we pull above our weight?

    OK, our strikers are worse than ManUre. Eh? So, why is ManUre not in CL? Too much doom.

    Please support the team and let them settle down. Or behave like insolent “me generation” kids, throw the toys out of the pram and demand new ones.

    Need some perspective, chums. This is just the start of a long season.

  130. fatgingergooner says:

    There’s definitely a difference between those players that went to the World Cup and those that didn’t.

    Apart from the naturally fit players like Sanchez and Koscielny, the rest of the WC bunch have struggled. Others that didn’t go like Ramsey, Chambers and Debuchy have been among our better players. I don’t think it’s coincidence.

  131. fatgingergooner says:

    Debuchy obviously did go to the WC, I meant to put Monreal.

  132. fatgingergooner says:


    I’m not sure I’ve seen anyone throwing their toys out of the cot. Just people trying to analyse the performances.

    My view is that we had a real feel good factor going after the FA cup and Community Shield wins, along with the Sanchez signing, and maybe people were expecting us to fly out of the blocks. I think the reality is that the World Cup has hit some of our players hard, and with the staggered return of players we have been a bit flat so far.

    We will definitely pick up, but we are nowhere near full fitness yet.

  133. arnie says:

    FGG, I have over-reacted, and that is to some extent deliberate. When there are too many views on one side, you need to make the counter argument forcefully. 😛

    Yes, World Cup or not, fatigue is a likely factor. The WC does not affect all players equally. Debuchy did go to the WC, but that is a minor quibble. 😛 Giro was a valiant soldier for the team all of last season. I am not surprised if he is suffering from fatigue. How short people’s memories are!

    Plus, we have several new players who need to gel in. Patience, please. This could indeed be a short run problem. Three new players now is going to compound the problems, not solve it.

    In the mean time, we live to fight on! 🙂 🙂 🙂

  134. Gööner In Exile says:

    Ok so very late to the party, just watched the full 90 on record without knowing the score.

    Have to say I wasn’t as disappointed as some in the performance, away from home in Europe is a very cagey affair, over commit for an away goal and be out ofthe tie after 90 minutes, but by the same token we now need two at home to give a cushion, and fear of conceding an away goal will make the home leg equally cagey.

    The pitch was awful, bobbly and slow, made for a very tough game, Rambo’s first booking was as much down to Bilic as the foul itself, if ref had not just booked Besiktas player and then had a conversation with Bilic I doubt he would have booked him, the second was silly, one for putting himself in trouble and secondly for the foul.

    We missed Arteta as soon as he went off, calming influence gave way to Flamini’s hotheaded approach.

    Debuchy, Chambers, Monreal, Kozzer and Szczesny all deserve high praise, very well handled at the back.

  135. Big Raddy says:

    Arteta’s injury looked like an achilles problem. Could be nasty.

    Perhaps I was expecting too much from the team but thought we would win comfortably.. Besiktas missed two easy one on ones and TPIG made two excellent saves – as RA says we the luck was with us.

  136. fatgingergooner says:

    Alex Song available on a free loan….ermmmm….no!

    Always found him too lazy and easily distracted by the ball. Not disciplined enough for my liking. With the amount of midfielders we have I think it’s going to have to be someone special to get Wenger to buy.

  137. mickydidit89 says:

    Morning all


    Right. Need a clip.

  138. Shard says:

    Morning chaps. I just got back from applying for a UK visa. As of now the plan is to come over sometime in October. I had initially thought early September but other things have come up.

    The game yesterday. Frustrating, but not too bad I thought. It was an entertaining enough game. They had at least two glorious chances to win it, but I thought we could have won it as well, despite playing like numpties on ice.

    Giroud will undoubtedly get a lot of stick today (when does he not?) and he was pants. Utterly terrible. BUT.. That is not his real level. He’s better than that. I would have liked to see Campbell but I think Wenger wanted Giroud to play through his bad form rather than take him off and have him dwell on it. Height may have been another concern, and once Ramsey went, I don’t think he was going to come off. I also think Wenger isn’t entirely sold on Campbell. The way he talks about him. He says all the right words, but I think he’s a little undecided.

    Ramsey’s sending off, I saw it exactly like GIE did. Wilshere looked like he was getting better. Not great yet. Not at his best even. But getting better. Wilshere’s hard tackle when Ramsey was kicked in the abdomen was exactly what was needed. Not reckless, but a response to Besiktas’ increased physicality in the second half.

    Besiktas were pressing well, but for the most part we played through their press with calmness (as long as Arteta was there) and I couldn’t help but thinking that a fitter, more settled Arsenal side would have torn them apart. But as we know, we are not at our free flowing best. 0-0 is a bit of a dangerous result, but I still expect us to beat them at home. Even without Ramsey.

    Hopefully the returning Germans and some increased rotation will help us against Everton, because that will not be an easy game.

  139. kelsey says:

    Morning all

    On the whole I am disappointed with the overall performance yet we live to fight another day.

    One can’t make excuses about the pitch as it was the same for both sides,and one can only give an opinion on the players who actually played.

    0-0 is okish but at the back of my mind next week there is always the possibility of conceding just the one goal.

    The Turks showed their intent from the first few seconds with the cheeky shot that nearly caught Sczsceny by surprise
    They were really up for it, were as physical as any team such as Stoke and we never really let us get into a rhythym.

    To me we looked lethargic and a lot of our play was similar to the Palace game.

    Ramsey should have known better but these things happen and as Raddy just said Arteta’s injury could keep him out for a few weeks.

    If we had lost 3-1 we couldn’t have really complained so luck was on our side and it was a magnificent save from Chamberlain’s shot.
    Giroud showed yet again that he is a work horse but not a game changer.
    Chambers again thrown into the deep end only made one real mistake and looked very composed.

    Debuchy as well looked the part but generally our small lightweight team never feel comfortable in these sort of games
    If the three Germans are back next week that may well make a difference but our defence still looks very vunerable and now we have the daunting task of Everton Away before we even think of the return leg.

    Two games in and our general play is lethargic and the injuries are already mounting up.

  140. Shard says:

    We’re set to lose Tom Fox to Aston Villa? Who is he? A 17 year old winger with explosive pace and a top prospect…Naah..I kid.

    He’s our Chief Commercial Officer and is considered to have had a big hand in the commercial income we’ve gained the last few years.

    Aston Villa are said to want to make him their Chief Executive.

  141. mickydidit89 says:

    Nice longboarding

  142. mickydidit89 says:

    Ah, peoples

    It was all Arsene’s fault. No pace, midfield congested, nothing down the left, and yet all the options were available.

    Still, 0-0 and we can easily qualify, just a rubbish game to watch and 1/10 scored by Arsene 🙂

    There we go, who needs a MR 🙂

    Back to some sunny surfing vids

  143. kelsey says:

    “However, speaking after his side’s 0-0 Champions League qualifying draw with Besiktas on Tuesday, Wenger insisted that Arsenal were not close to doing any business.

    “I have nothing special to add on that at the moment,” he told reporters. “Honestly, we are not close to signing anybody. We are a bit short at the back, yes.”

    Well get your finger out 🙂

  144. kelsey says:

    Well said Micky, so simplistic 🙂

    Have a whale of a time 🙂

  145. Morning all

    Is someone writing about the game for a post today?

  146. RA says:

    Morning Peaches,

    Why not put Shard’s and Crystals’ comments (both at 6:44) together and use those as the post-match?

  147. RA says:

    Or, just put Micky’s 7:01 up as an accurate précis – with no details of course, but what can you expect from a surf dude? 🙂

  148. Thanks RA – I’ll see what I can do, I don’t really have the time to do editing. It’s much simpler to just publish a post and any number of us can do that.

  149. mickydidit89 says:

    Something here for everyone 🙂

  150. kelsey says:

    Shall we use yesterday’s headline. 🙂

  151. kelsey says:

    If you like we can post both Shard’s and my comment as a post,but we need a headline.

    Two Arsenal fans,poles apart.

  152. kelsey says:

    I have married the two posts together.Do you want them or not and a good title please.

  153. kelsey says:

    Ok I have done it .It’s not perfect but will do and I will publish it very soon as I won’t be around at 9.30.Is that alright.
    Please reply in the next 5 minutes.

  154. mickydidit89 says:

    You’re the man here for a title
    Although I think Kelsey’s is good to go.
    Thanks Crystals

  155. chas says:

    “Cold Turkey”
    “Turkey Gobblers”
    “Just Bootiful”
    “Spawny as Fuck or Hard-Fought Draw?”

  156. mickydidit89 says:

    No reply required Crystals. Just do it yer rebel 🙂

    I’m not really talking to Arsene today, but if the post goes up soon enough, I might let him have both barrels.

    One says Left, the other say Wing 🙂

    Oh, and “Ox, Ox, Ox, What’s your problem Arsene?” 🙂

  157. chas says:

    Hey DidIt, like my new ornyment?

  158. mickydidit89 says:

    What’s that? 🙂

    Oscar and I were in a surf shop a week ago, and the guy has a collection of old boards going back to the 60’s

    Bloody hell, they were heavy

  159. chas says:

    Even Buddhist Steve looks chilled out with some pussy.

  160. chas says:

    I saw it in a charity shop and thought it might look nice on the wall (since it’s no good for anything else). 🙂

  161. kelsey says:

    Someone kindly change the banner .

  162. mickydidit89 says:

    Look Chas.
    We’re alone now, so I can speak my mind
    What the fuck do you have a Buddha in your garden for, it’s not clever and sends out all the wrong signals 🙂

  163. chas says:

    The hotel we stayed at in Portugal had a beautiful wooden board against a wall as decoration and it marked where I had to turn to my room. I said to my mate that I’d like something like that in my house and he said, ‘yeah right, you are really going to spend £300 or £400 on an ornyment, I don’t think’.
    He was right.

  164. aizedlittlemozart says:

    *fly on the wall*

  165. chas says:

    Haha, I always choose the inner path of least resistance just as Raddy’s course taught me.

    I’m now looking for a junk shop gong. 🙂

  166. mickydidit89 says:

    You won’t be buying a wooden board, new or old, for £400 that’s for sure.

    Shall we go over the page? I am, going to have words 🙂

  167. Big Raddy says:

    Oi. I have a Buddha in my house.

  168. mickydidit89 says:

    Shitballs….The Raddy Way….give me strength 🙂

  169. chas says:

    By the way, I don’t buy the ‘the pitch was the same for both teams’ bullshit.
    If you are used to playing on a ploughed field, you are bound to be more skilled at doing so.

  170. Big Raddy says:

    & two in Buggio (one on the terrace and one in the “office”.

  171. mickydidit89 says:

    Yer you would 🙂

    What the hell are you doing here, you strokey, oiled up, re-born, incense burning, caring sharing hippy? 🙂

  172. Big Raddy says:

    Also, if you play the ball in the air it doesn’t matter if the pitch has been ploughed.

  173. chas says:

    Must go swimming.
    The dooming I predict will be rife for this morning will only get on my tits anyway. 🙂

  174. Big Raddy says:

    Feck off, you country bumpkin seal trainer – nothing wrong with stroking

  175. chas says:

    Bang on the money, BR.

  176. mickydidit89 says:

    Ha ha
    Alright lads, I’m turning the page, and going to do some Arsene bashing, then bugger off surfing 🙂

  177. Eddie says:

    stock taking:
    Arteta injured
    Ramsey sent off
    mustn’t concede next week
    have to score 2 to be safe
    the Krauts will be back

    Doable, no need to doom yet.

  178. If you’ve just joined there is a New Post …………

    Eddie you’ll need to move your comment.

  179. Eddie says:

    chas – that’s your cat at 7:52. Does the Buddha belong to you too?

  180. Gööner In Exile says:

    I have the physique of Buddha

  181. chas mobile says:

    Haha, Buddha practised non-attachment, except to food and beer.

  182. chas mobile says:

    Yep brought the Buddha from my old garden

  183. Shard says:


    You must mean the Chinese Laughing “Friar Tuck” Buddha. It’s certainly not the lean, or even starving(this is very rare) versions of the Budhha we see in India.

    Or maybe you mean you’re like that on the inside. You never know with Budhhists 🙂

  184. kelsey says:


    get your arse over to the new post and disagree with me please 🙂

  185. Shard says:

    I don’t see a link to a new post Kelsey. I checked before commenting.

  186. This is really interesting, You are a very skilled blogger.
    I’ve joined your rss feed and look forward to seeking more
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  187. Good article, it’s all about the number 10’s 4-6 formation rules, no room for Giroud though 😦

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