The Champions come to Town

Super fixture this afternoon. Last season’s Champions come to the home of this season’s.

Added to that we have the chance to assess how our new signings are bedding into the team, plus the possibility of a sighting of our shiny new Centre Forward. But first let’s look at the opposition.

Manchester City deservedly won the title last season- they had the most expensive team, the best dressed manager and outside of The Arsenal possibly the best kit. City are a club that (from the outside) appear to be well run within strict guidelines,; unlike the Southern Oilers they have class and this is why so many were happy to see the Chavs and Liverpool fall away as City relentlessly won the points at season’s end – at least that is my impression sitting here isolated in my tepee.

Having once again, bought one of our stalwarts, they should by rights be detested by all Gooners yet surprisingly they are not. Nasri, Toure, Adebayor ,Gael Clichy, and now Bacary, who will be next?  I don’t blame these traitors – they have won silverware and have at least doubled their weekly wage packet. Hopefully, Sagna will not get booed today, he gave many great years to AFC and we have now signed a better and younger player. My main sadness with his departure is the loss of chas’s pics of Mrs Sagna 😢

City come with injury problems – Fernando (do they sing “there was something in the air that night, the stars were bright… ?) and Jovetic but if any team can cope with injuries it is  City. Can you imagine allowing a goal machine like Negredo to leave on a loan? Poor old City, forced to play Dzeko and Aguero upfront and Fernandinho in the middle.


Both teams have yet to hit their straps, Yaya looks a shadow of the fearsome competitor we are used to seeing, the defence is vulnerable as Kompany struggles for form and the ageing Dimichelis continues  arouse suspicions that he has some saucy information about Pellegrini (why else is he picked?)

I could write extensively about City and their individual players but thankfully for you time and length of post restrict, so let’s get onto what really interests us

The Arsenal:  Big question first. Whether to Welbeck? I believe Danny will have such a stellar career that “to Welbeck” will become a verb much used in the coming years meaning to excel and to overcome any opposition with style and brio. But is he ready after less than a week on the training ground? Given the alternative of Sanogo I say a massive Yes but would not be surprised to see him enter the fray in the 70th minute.


As everyone returns to fitness the choices available to Mr Wenger becoming mind numbingly difficult. Flamini or Arteta? Santi, Mesut, Jack and Aaron or drop one or two? 4-4-3 , 4-1-4-1, 3-5-3 or another combo? Gibbs or Monreal? I do not even know how I would pick the bench let alone the team!

Here is my stab at it …..

Manc 2014

which means leaving out Cazorla and the Ox. I have written before about how I cannot see how we work with both Cazorla and Ozil vying for the central space and think if we are to get the best from Mesut then he has to play there. I know he plays out wide for Germany but we do not have the quality of players of the World Champions.

And what of Podolski? When does the excellent fellow get a run in the first team? Is he to be relegated to the Carling Cup team? Why not sell him having secured Welbeck or was it purely a question of timing and he will go in January?

Chamberlain is much to good to be used purely as an impact sub but I cannot see how he fits into this team. If anyone does can you write a post about it because it is a subject which requires more than a couple of sentences?

We are unbeaten at The Emirates since Ozil arrived (can that be correct?). We have signed real quality in the summer. We have tremendous strength on the bench. We have determination, unbelievable belief, strength of character and a developing team ethic.

What can go wrong?

written by Big Raddy

217 Responses to The Champions come to Town

  1. 26may1989 says:

    Well done, Raddy. Just one quibble: “City are a club that (from the outside) appear to be well run within strict guidelines” – FFP punishments would suggest otherwise, they are cheats. But I’ll concede that as a group of fans and with personalities like Pelligrini, Aguero, Silva, Kompany etc they are likeable cheats. I no longer care about Nasri, and the other ex-Gooners never bothered me.

    Today’s all about the football. My prediction: head says 1-1, heart says 3-1.

    OK, time to get going, Ems here I come……

  2. mickydidit89 says:

    Well worth waiting for, thanks Raddy.

    Talking of the positives regarding City, they have Blue Valentine

    “Morning Mr V” 🙂

    I think I see what you’re doing with your team selection…stiffening the midfield. My rather gung ho side says

    …….Back 5
    ….Arteta Ramsey
    Sanchez Danny Ox

    Also, on the Danny/Sanogo choice. I’m with you on Danny. Ok, only a short time on the training field, but confidence is high after his England games so he gets the nod from me.

  3. mickydidit89 says:

    Mmm prediction. Don’t do this, but here goes. 2-1.

    Off out ’till KO.

    Enjoy the day all who are going and remember to defend Eddie if things turn ugly 🙂

  4. Big Raddy says:

    26. No arguing with that.

    I was thinking about the way the club has involved itself in the local community, developed an excellent youth policy, doesn’t have 26 players on loan, doesn’t have a manger who hits the headlines every time he opens his flappy gob etc etc

  5. Thanks for the pre match Big Dandy and to be honest I am a touch nervous about this one.
    Shitty’s home defeat last time out will have them fired up to get back on track.

    Interesting discussion about the Hare Krishnas/Buddhists on the previous post.

    Imagine saying those things about a certain Middle East based ideology and watch the fur fly.

    Seems tolerance is a one way thing.

  6. LB says:

    Tea, check

    Cereal, check

    Moan at son, check

    Read BR’s pre-match, check.

    I am a simple man of simple habits.

  7. LB says:

    A point well made Chary.

  8. arnie says:

    Lovely stuff Raddy. 🙂 🙂 🙂 “Last season’s Champions come to the home of this season’s”. Yes. COYG!!!!!

    Mrs Sagna to Michelle Carvalho ( 🙂

    I have no problem with a little bit of boo-ing. But not throwing coins like the N17 scums.

    Heart says 1-0 to the Arsenal, mind says 1-1.

    Heart says Jack, but why not Chambers?

    No Ant n’ Duck show? a pity.

    COYG. 🙂

  9. arnie says:

    Chary. 🙂 No problems. Class goes only one way! 🙂

  10. arnie says:

    Chary. you and I should meet for a drink some time. issues to iron out. best face to face. 😛

  11. arnie says:

    where is Blue Valentine? hope all is well.

  12. Norfolk Gooner says:

    ‘morning all,

    After all the International pap we’ve been fed on for the last week or so it’s great to have some real football to get the teeth into.

    I’ve got a bit of a soft spot for City, after all they have succeeded in overshadowing Manure, but that doesn’t mean I like them.

    In his press conference Wenger said he thought Welbeck could play through the middle, so Danny! it’s the left wing berth for you my lad.

    Anybody know if Ramsey is fit?

    Anybody know if Gibbs is fit?

    If the answer to both of the above is yes my starters would be:-





    BR, I’m disappointed. You mention pics of Sagna’s missus and then put up a photo of four Swedes wrapped in wallpaper. Other than that, a very good match preview. Thank you.

  13. Norfolk Gooner says:

    The “p” in Kops is, of course, silent. 😀

  14. arnie says:

    Moderation? Right as well. Went a bit overboard. Thank you, big brother/sister! Apols. 😛

  15. aizedlittlemozart says:

    sanogo……just have that feeling

  16. Therein lies the rub London/Arnie, in the immortal words of Mike “Fatting” Gatting: “One rule for one and one rule for another”.

    We’ll sort something out when it’s next possible Arnie, a lot of communication via the written word isn’t fail safe.

    I’m sure that decent chap Blue Valentine will rock up at some point.

  17. Big Raddy says:

    arnie. Nothing in pending, trash or moderation.

  18. Found your comment arnie ……….. I have no idea why it went into spam, anyway it’s out now.

    Lovely pre-match Big R, I’m really looking forward to this outing, can’t wait to cheer our boys onto the pitch.

  19. aizedlittlemozart says:

    no sanogo, anywhere!, not even the bench!, i’m dumbstruck!!!!

    “dat guy” starts up front

    going for the midfield choke hold

  20. mickydidit89 says:

    Here we are:
    Szczesny, Debuchy, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Monreal, Flamini, Wilshere, Ramsey, Alexis, Ozil, Welbeck

    Danny and Aaron 🙂

  21. RockyLives says:

    Great pre-match BR

    I would have preferred the Scousers to win it last year (if we weren’t going to). Still don’t like the petrodollar approach although, as you say, the Northern Oilers are much classier than their London equivalents.

    Very, very interesting game today… a draw?

  22. Gööner In Exile says:

    I like the side, think that’s as good as can be expected when missing Arteta, expect Wilshere to do a lot of ball carrying and Rambo to occupy Fernadinho, no Yaya for them should mean we have a slightly easier time in the middle of the park.

  23. Gööner In Exile says:

    Nice PM Raddy.

  24. Big Raddy says:

    Interesting team. Gibbs and Arteta will be missed against a very good team.


  25. Big Raddy says:

    Lampard looks ridiculous in the City shirt (but then he looks ridiculous in any football shirt)

  26. Big Raddy says:

    What a terrific start to the game

  27. arnie says:

    unlucky, unlucky, unlucky! 😦

  28. arnie says:

    oh dear, left side of defence again. too much space. COYG. time to bounce back.

  29. Big Raddy says:

    Two unlucky bounces and we are behind


  30. arnie says:

    Alexis at the receiving end of the bulk of mercenary action. Shitty have a clear plan. 😦

  31. arnie says:

    what is this rubbish. no cards as well. 😦

  32. Big Raddy says:

    Very good half of football, we started brilliantly for 20 mins but once MC got the luck bounce (plus and excellent finish) we struggled.

    Jack is having his best game for a long time but once again we have little support for Monreal.

    Both teams playing lovely stuff with bite. Just what I like.

    Only downside is the half-time score 😦

  33. arnie says:

    unlucky to be behind half way. but left side weak in defence, right flank in attack.

  34. arnie says:

    what exactly is Monreal doing, caught halfway, neither defence nor attack. 😦

  35. RockyLives says:

    Lots to be pleased about in that half.

    Chins up everyone – we’ll be even better in the second…

  36. Gööner In Exile says:

    We need more nasty bastards!

    Clattenberg did well to book most of the early offenders but in my view one foul too late every time.

    Nip it in the bud with an early booking then the game can flow.

    City stopped us with those kind of fouls for twenty minutes, a lucky bounce from a tackle and we are on the back foot and the goal was almost a certainty whereas they would have upended Navas before he got close to the 18 yard box.

    Liked what we were doing early on because we were winning the battle in midfield, but as soon as they got the goal they have retreated ten yards which means less space for us to play in, the first goal was always going to be important, if Welly had finished they would have opened up even more and we would have been able to get about them more.

    Perhaps the most disappointing thing is not the goal itself but how the players responded to it. Need to have a lift at half time, and I wouldn’t be averse to a change in midfield, for me Rambo or Wilshere off for Ox and put Ozil in the middle.

    Michael Owen is an idiot btw. How he thought Milners challenge in the corner was legit I’ll never know, ball first yes, but his trailing leg was in a totally unnatural position with the only intent being to clear out Debuchy.

  37. arnie says:

    The goal is disappointing for me, too much space. 😦 But chins up, as Raddy says. 🙂

  38. aizedlittlemozart says:

    our substitutions will be key.

    Sanchez having a blinder, jack too, ozil pulling the strings silently, Rambo too (less silently), kos doing his stuff, per calm & assured, welbeck after that unlucky miss trying his best to look like sanogo, flamster holding it down.

    nothing except the goal to complain about. Santi & Ox to add some more tempo & freshness later on.

  39. Gööner In Exile says:

    Goals on counter attacks happen Arnie, it has always been thus, but I think we are partly responsible because we ask our full backs to join in too often.

  40. mickydidit89 says:

    Am here but laptop plugged in so on mobile
    Great game
    On track if you predicted 2-1
    Come.on you Gunners

  41. arnie says:

    agreed, GiE. 🙂

  42. arnie says:

    lucky I am in a pub, so dont have to listen to Owen. 🙂

  43. Gööner In Exile says:

    Flamini looking old today I am afraid

  44. arnie says:

    older, GiE, he has been old for a while. unnecessary card. 😛

  45. Gööner In Exile says:

    That was a waste of a booking for Monreal.

  46. Gööner In Exile says:

    Not a goalscorer!!!!!! Hahahahah a Booooooooom!

    Great bit of pressure and heart from the lads

  47. arnie says:

    lovely stuff, Jack. no, go for it! COYG. 🙂

  48. mickydidit89 says:


  49. RA says:

    Bloody brilliant. Jack just cannot score!!!!!


  50. arnie says:

    now, that is what we Gooners call a goal! 🙂

    now come on, you good guys, hold the game for 5 mins, just 5 mins. and then go for it. please. hold it for 5 mins. 🙂

  51. Gööner In Exile says:

    Ox for Ramsey now please

  52. Big Raddy says:

    GIE Agree and Santi for Ozil

  53. mickydidit89 says:

    Is Mozart on the Bench?

  54. Gööner In Exile says:

    What a strike son!

  55. arnie says:

    tra la la la la la la

  56. Big Raddy says:

    I like that a lot. Beautiful finish

  57. arnie says:

    brilliant stuff, yellow card excused! that was to give Evonne and Peaches a show! 😛

  58. RA says:


    What a stunning goal — and Jack’s assist show’s he can’t head the ball either!!! 🙂

  59. Big Raddy says:

    Jack having a fantastic game

  60. aizedlittlemozart says:

    Super Sanchez!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  61. arnie says:

    Jack and Alexis my joint MOTM for the moment. 🙂

  62. Big Raddy says:

    Time for some subs.

    Ooh Debuchy that looks nasty

  63. arnie says:

    oh dear, Debuchy. why, oh why! why are we so unlucky. always. 😦

  64. Gööner In Exile says:

    Sorry Peaches Mum….

    Fuck me can’t we go a match without picking up a bad injury?!

  65. arnie says:

    just hold the game now, guys. COYG.

  66. mickydidit89 says:

    Hasn’t gone a bit crazy in this house 😀

  67. arnie says:

    nervy, nervy, nervy!

  68. arnie says:

    feck me!

  69. Big Raddy says:

    It was coming. Bouldie was begging AW to make changes

  70. mickydidit89 says:

    Great game

  71. RA says:

    I agree guys — a tremendous game, and I should be pleased with a draw, but letting them get a second when Flamini had the ball covered was disappointing.

    Lucky, lucky Citeh!! 🙂

  72. aizedlittlemozart says:

    2 points dropped. Can’t complain though. great performance from the boys, that’s the least I expect from them. the zonal marking pundits will now file out.

    I can see the boss had one eye on the champions league game midweek. again, can’t complain.

    WHAT A GAME!!!!

    i think the club extracted some gel from the skipper’s hair for the team, much better cohesion!

  73. Big Raddy says:

    JW my MotM.

    Concerns: Defensive midfield. Neither Flamini nor Arteta have the legs for 90 mins battling.

    Also Debuchy’s injury

  74. RockyLives says:

    Great game – fair result. But it should give us lots of confidence knowing we can more than match the champions.

    Jack my MOTM.

    Shame we lost concentration for a few minutes after the excellent Debuchy went off.

  75. Big Raddy says:

    Oh and still unbeaten😀

  76. RA says:

    Swoon — the Rock is on the blog!!!!!! 😀

  77. Gööner In Exile says:

    Great game of football.

    Very good attacks both ways, shame Flamster couldn’t hold his post as he probably would have been able to get it off the line, Owen almost blamed Szczesny for taking it off Flamini’s head….moron. A keeper has trained all his life to try and stop efforts on his goal. He is never going to leave it.

    Difficult decisions to be made that second half, knowing you have Dortmund coming up and no way Flamini can play two in a week, but asking Arteta to come into that game cold with twenty minutes to go he would be as liable to get injured.

    Can’t really fault the players for effort think they left it all out there, but thought we could have freshened up earlier.

  78. RA says:

    Jack was MOTM, but Sanchez was also fantastic!

  79. Gööner In Exile says:

    Being unbeaten is actually important considering we’ve played Everton away and City at home.

    I know the pundits will say we have to improve on our performance against top 4/5 to compete for the title but taking points off them is equally as important, we gave City, United, Everton, Chavs and Liverpool 3 points last year, whereas gaining 1 and taking 2 off them would have got us closer.

  80. Gööner In Exile says:

    Jack/Sanchez/Koz all in with a shout I thought.

  81. RA says:

    If I can be a little worried – it would be that out ‘holding’ midfielders are a year older and the Flamster is clearly becoming as slow as Arteta.

    in addition, Monreal is more of a winger than a left back, and those three make us look very vulnerable when teams attack with pace.

    Oh,dear, I am sounding like those who were imploring AW in the TW to buy a younger, faster more physical defensive player. 🙂

    Loved the ebb and flow of the game – and well done to Citeh too, that’s how football should be played! 🙂

  82. Gööner In Exile says:

    But City had two holding midfielders in the second half and we scored two 🙂

  83. RA says:

    You are right, of course, Exile, if Owen thinks that a GK will make a decision not to bother to try to save a shot or a header he is potty.

    I think Flamini’s remonstration while pointing to his head in disappointment probably made him say that.

  84. mickydidit89 says:

    We’re off surfing, but a thoroughly enjoyable game.

    City do play great attacking football, which in turn, allows us to do the same.

    We could have held on, they could have nicked it. Fair result methinks.

    Is Jack going to do a Rambo this season? The signs are good.

    Back later.

  85. RA says:

    I was delighted and yet disappointed with the draw, but having seen the highlights again, we could also have lost it too.

    Seeing Jack’s goal again, it was a real corker.

    The thing is Exile, we had two last season and lost 6:3 and 6:0 – so with just Flamster on today we drew 2 : 2 – where is the logic? 😀

  86. RA says:

    The Chavs losing 0 : 1, and the Spuds drawing 1 : 1 — can’t see those scores remaining like that.

  87. Gööner In Exile says:

    Terry OG puts Swansea 1-0 up 😀

  88. RA says:

    Exile – I know you understand what I meant, but ‘we had two (holding midfielders) last season’.

  89. RA says:

    I think we are going to rename Rocky as The Shooting Star.

    He flickers into life and appears for a second and then disappears just as quickly. 😀

  90. Eddie says:

    just got back from the Ems. Fantastic game, brill atmosphere, ref poor in first half. Happy with a point

  91. GoonerB says:

    Thanks for the pre-match post Raddy. Had a mad dash to the pub after work so couldn’t comment earlier.

    Anyway, I am both pleased and displeased at the same time. I am delighted with our overall play which I felt was better than Citeh’s, and I even felt they played well today. We couldn’t push it through in the end though and you still feel there is a slight lack of something to see us through these bigger games.

    On the positive side Sanchez was an absolute nightmare for them, and today completely highlighted GIE’s assertion that he should not be the leader of the line but should play from deeper. He has too much talent to be left up top. Welbeck looks the perfect option for that role and with him there and Sanchez behind we will be a force to be reckoned with. Remember this is their first game together so it will only likely get better.

    Jack was immense. I have said it before but if he stays injury free he is our top class box to box midfielder. The talk about playing him or Ramsey is missing the point for me. Ramsey should be playing in a more advanced position and is in competition with other players, not Jack. If anything will make us even better it is to give Jack an even better midfield minder alongside him. I like the Flamster but if we can add a top holding midfield player who is bigger and quicker we will be in business.

  92. 26may1989 says:

    Just back from the game. Was a tremendous match, as others have said – probably a fair outcome but not to win a game we were winning with ten minutes to go is always going to feel disappointing. Sanchez and Wilshere were both fantastic, and certainly not just because they scored. A lot of others put in excellent performances as well, but Ramsey and Ozil didn’t seem to me to be amongst them. (I may change my mind once I’ve watched the game again, on the box.)

    A good day was slightly spoiled by a dickhead at half time, who intervened in a chat I was having with a mate, in order that he could tell us aggressively that Arsenal don’t have what it takes to win. It all got a bit silly, with him telling me he had his mates who would sort me out after the game. And that from another Arsenal fan. What a complete tool. Oh well, I still had a good day, watching an excellent game. Just a shame we couldn’t nab the three points.

  93. RockyLives says:

    Back again 🙂

    Had to take youngest to his footy match straight after the game. His team lost 0-3 in the QFs although he did show some Sanchez-esque touches 🙂

    Thinking about the game, we could have won it or could have lost it but it was real cracker.

    As GoonerB says, some of our players were playing together for the first time. Things can only get better…

  94. RockyLives says:

    Sorry to hear about your experience 26. Some people are such twonks.

  95. 26may1989 says:

    Cheers, The Rock. There is definitely scope for the team to knit together more effectively, onwards and upwards!

  96. Eddie says:

    26m – no need to watch the game again, I can confirm that Ramsey had a poor game and Ozil disappeared somewhere, you won’t see them. Jack and Sanchez have some speed and guts, lovely stuff to watch. Welbeck has an incredibly long feet, he’ll be tipping balls into the net with ease. He received a huge welcome from the fans and is probably feeling at home already.

  97. arnie says:

    Brilliant game. Pity about the dropped points 😛 But cannot complain. 🙂

  98. arnie says:

    what a game! 🙂 🙂 🙂

  99. Eddie says:

    26m – didn’t you tell the ddiv you’ll sue him? Sadly, in situations like yours legal language doesn’t work, you need to lower your standards and talk the talk.

    I had 2 foreigners sitting next to me – taking photos, talking in a strange language and cheering for City (the only time then even looked at the pitch). Well, they didn’t dare to cheer after 3rd goal (the disallowed one).

  100. Big Raddy says:

    Ozil was good for 45 minutes and then ….. well, I can’t remember him even coming out for the second half.

    Looking forward to a better performance from him in Germany.

    The Debuchy injury looked long term, Chambers will get his chance to show why he was signed as a RB 😦

  101. 26may1989 says:

    You’re right, Eddie, no chance to get into the niceties of the legal position, just a lot of Anglo-Saxon terminology. But if he tries it again (his seat is a few rows ahead of mine), I will let him know that if he lays a finger on me, I’ll have his house.

  102. 26may1989 says:

    Re Debuchy, I read it was a sprain – I know they can be bad, but would hope it’s not going to be properly long term. But yes, Chambers will be there for a few weeks.

  103. Eddie says:

    26m – that’s better! throw in a couple of effs into the sentence when you are at it 🙂

  104. 26may1989 says:

    Listening to BT Sport – stating the obvious, but Michael Owen is such an inane commentator.

  105. arnie says:

    Just effs and c’s wont work, more hard stuff required. 😛

    From Debuchy’s reaction, it looked very bad. Who knows! 🙂

  106. arnie says:

    Threat of repossession may help, though! 😛

  107. RA says:


    I have mentioned my view of the two heroes of the day, (Sanchez and Jack) but I agree with you that Rambo looked laboured and Özil was just a huge disappointment.

    I hate to say it, and maybe I am wrong, but he seems ……. a bit gutless. 😦

    Pool 0 : 1 Villans

  108. RA says:


    Owen is without doubt the weakest commentator/pundit I have ever heard – and I have heard many.

    The other one who can be grating in his comments is Scholes.

    He sometimes says things that are basically correct but his comments seem to be made with some malevolence in them, and Danny Welbeck had more than his fair share of them.

  109. arnie says:

    What are the odds Scousers to provide the biggest ROLF of the weekend? 😛

    The N17 swamp dwellers are monopolising all the ROLF. 😛

  110. arnie says:

    Redders. As I said earlier, glad I was watching in a pub and did not have to hear the commentary. 🙂

  111. RA says:


    Don’t get taken in by 26M, I heard that the police are looking for a sharply dressed, smooth talking lawyer who said it would be his pleasure to inflict corporal punishment as righteous justice on 3 gobby men who were left nursing bruises and Suarez like bite-marks on their asses.

    Ring any bells? 🙂

  112. RA says:


    I just tune Owen out.

    Turning down the TV sound and listening to the radio does not work because there are time lags between the picture and the commentary.

  113. Big Raddy says:

    RA. 5.40. You have the courage to say something I was thinking throughout the game.

  114. RA says:

    Well, I blinked and The Shooting Star was here and gone again. 😉

    In case you can read this on your next orbit, I am pleased that your young un is being readied for an introduction to the Arsenal academy, although you can tell him that if wants footie advice he should seek out Exile’s opinion, and not his dad’s. 🙂

  115. arnie says:

    Redders. 🙂

    And absolutely right, Raddy. Well done Redders. Too much idolatry! 😛

  116. RA says:

    There is a risk of a great talent going to waste Raddy, unless he can conquer his demons, because he is not at ease with himself, in my opinion.

  117. GoonerB says:

    Sorry to hear about your travails 26. Did you try grunting at him, while scratching your arse and belching. That normally confuses the likes of thems peoples. They start to think you are one of them and before you know it they are sitting behind you at half time rummaging through your hair for bugs.

    BTW if Debuchy is out for a few weeks and Chambers becomes his regular stand in we will have all our CD options on the pitch at the same time. One more injury to any of them……

    For all those that thought Chambers was TV’s replacement and that this was enough I would beg to differ. I still maintain that AW has made a big mistake there, the kind that can see you challenge for the title or fall short. I think we will have to be extremely lucky to get to January without this affecting us. Should a club of our standing be relying on luck?

  118. arnie says:

    Agree with you GoonerB, but the TW has sailed past. Alas.

  119. GoonerB says:

    True Arnie and it is easy to say that there is nothing we can do about it now. I will not stop believing in AW or supporting him or the team and will be more quietly critical if the lack of an extra CB comes to haunt us, but others will not. It frustrates me that he leaves himself so, what I consider, unnecessarily exposed to this situation.

  120. Eddie says:

    was I wrong in wanting Ozil and Ramsey substituted by Santi and Ox?

    Laugh of the day was Fat Frank, so slow, bless him

  121. Big Raddy says:

    GB. You ignore the CB talents of Monreal 🙂

    Should we lose one perhaps we will see Mr Wenger playing 3 at the back with Chambers, BFG/Kos and Gibbs/Monreal

  122. RA says:

    Relaxez-vous, Oh GoonerB Good.

    Any problems at CB and Chambers will move over swiftly, and Bellerin, the fastest runner at the club, will come in at right back, and if that does not work we can all synchronise at wail at Wenger ‘We told you’ with you as the conductor! 🙄

  123. RA says:

    No Eddie you weren’t wrong, but Chambers came on for Debuchy, and the Ox came on for Welly Welbeck, so only one other substitution was possible, but Arsene is a bit strange about subs. 🙂

  124. GoonerB says:

    While I am in whinge mode I think Chelsea are showing the advantages of getting the i’s dotted and t’s crossed earlier in the TW, so that you have your established 1st team ready to hit the ground running from the word go.

    Experimenting with converting midfielders to strikers that are new to the EPL, and waiting to add a key player like a striker when the league is already 3 games in doesn’t seem to me to have been very helpful. Admittedly we haven’t lost and have had a couple of difficult fixtures but we are already 6 points and a +8 goal difference behind. Chelsea will drop points but I am not sure how many. I think they will be very miserly this season and expect the eventual EPL winners to have a high points tally this year.

  125. Big Raddy says:

    The potential return of a fit Diaby could be huge for our season. We really miss a big man to assist at set pieces.

    Trouble is the word “fit”

  126. RA says:

    Do you polish your horns GB? 🙂

  127. GoonerB says:

    Oh you poor positive lot…..or should that be poor old negative GoonerB……

    I am afraid I just have a slightly harder time spinning things to a positive note if I think we have unnecessarily left ourselves exposed. I don’t mind if it relates to things outside our control but…..

    I was very happy, if not downright encouraged and excited, with our play today and think we will be a force moving on this season, but where before the season started I thought we could be EPL winners this year with a couple of extra thingy’s in the squad, I now don’t think that will be the case. I think we will be close but will look back at the areas we didn’t address quick enough as to why we fell short. I still believe we may win one of the other bits of silverware though.

  128. GoonerB says:

    Every morning and evening RA. Doing them right now while I type.

  129. RA says:


    I enjoyed the U21s game the other day, but I winced every time our man Diaby was tackled or stretched for the ball for fear he would break.

    So, yes, he would be perfect in midfield, but my nerves and his ankles would probably not survive a season intact. 🙂

  130. GoonerB says:

    Damn just pricked my finger on my horn. Is that justice served for daring to take any type of a negative view-point?

  131. RA says:


    Your angst is almost palpable, you poor old soul. 🙂

    For me being ‘positive’ is just a question of how well we played on the day, and I have two ways of rationalising football issues (and most others in truth).

    First don’t spend time on might have beens or should have beens, they are in the past and you/I can do nothing about them.

    Secondly, don’t sweat on things you cannot control or influence – what is the point of that?

    Try it. 🙂

  132. RockyLives says:

    As you’ll be aware Redders, shooting stars do not orbit – they enter the orbit and burn to a frazzle.

    Perhaps you’re confusing me with a comet 🙂 Or a telecommunications satellite 🙂

    What a tough start to the season we’re having – away at Everton, home to Man City, next week we’re away at the second most in-form team in the Premiership, Aston Villa.

  133. RA says:

    Expressing genuine concerns is not negative in my book, GB, and if we only said ‘good’ things we would end up being like those in the Hans Christian Anderson story all admiring the King’s new clothes until GoonerB Good says ‘Arsene is in the altogether, the altogether and he’s as naked as the day the Window closed’. 🙂

  134. RA says:

    No, that’s not quite right, Rock Star — I might have been thinking along the lines of a defunct piece of space junk losing little bits of itself each time it orbits the globe, which then burn brightly for an instant when hitting the atmosphere.:-)

    See you again in approximately one cycle of the earth – say 10 p.m.?

  135. Don’t you worry GoonerB, you know we love you really 😉 I’m with you though, we just don’t have enough cover in defence.

    Gibbs must be close to fitness, he was warming up a lot even though he didn’t come on. Actually our bench looked awesome warming up 🙂

  136. Where’s Crystals today, has he been around?

  137. RA says:

    Hi Peaches,

    I think there is not one of us who does not regret that we did not get more defensive cover,

    As I said above, the Flamster is a whole hearted player, and gets through a lot of work, but his lack of pace is now akin to Arteta’s and if we all can see that, I am sure that Arsene does too – so, why has he not plugged the gap? Perhaps he tried and experienced problems – who knows.

  138. arnie says:

    Peaches. Regarding Crystals, NO.

  139. arnie says:

    ha ha ha ha.

  140. Eddie says:

    you are evil arnie 🙂 I happen to like Rogers. But the game was awful, boring, boring, boring.

  141. arnie says:

    Evonne, 🙂 me too, but that was before the cannibal saga. 🙂

  142. Just having a look around twitter ………

  143. arnie says:

    Peaches. I love the spring rebound of the elbow. 🙂

  144. We’re second on MOTD

  145. mickydidit89 says:

    Ha ha ha, Peaches, that’s brilliant. Jack is such a Gooner. Like swatting a fly 🙂

  146. You get to see it on repeat, I was there and I whooped so loud my voice went 😆

    Jack was super dooper today, go Jack 🙂

  147. mickydidit89 says:

    How many times can we watch that vid before it becomes frankly a bit weird?

  148. Eddie says:

    Lewis Hamilton went with Theo to the game too 🙂
    Ox, what can I say? Love him

    Thanks for the ticket Peaches

  149. Gööner In Exile says:

    Are we less covered than we were last year at the back?

    Gibbs and Monreal ….. No change
    BFG, Koz, TV ……BFG, Koz, Chambers
    Sagna, Jenkinson……Debuchy, Bellerin

    If there was a mistake in the window it was letting the Corporal go, and not signing the available Alex Song.

    If something happens to BFG or Koz, Chambers slots in and Bellerin goes to right back.

    But that leaves us wide open to an injury to 2 of 3 centre backs as they will play a lot of games if Debuchy is out for a while.

    I’d rather shuttle Bellerin in to the team and leave Chambers as cover at centre half.

    Because a back four of Bellerin, Hayden, Koz, Monreal is a scary thought.

    If Jenks was still at the club he could fill in at right back, and is physically ready for the PL which I’m not sure Bellerin is.

    Song is the big miss in the window, knows the club and can play centre half and holding midfield.

  150. RockyLives says:

    Anyone still up 🙂

  151. RockyLives says:

    GIE I think we are less well covered (slightly).

    Our back up CB, though hugely promising, is not a proven international and has played very few games at the top level.

    Bellerin is quite a way behind where Jenks was. He may be great, he may struggle, we don’t know.

  152. fatgingergooner says:


    That guys sounds like a proper bell-end. You should get someone who’s hung like Giroud to take his anal virginity! You might struggle to see the games in future though as he will be stood up for the whole 90 minutes! 🙂

    Was working so not seen the game. Sounds like we missed Diaby today. He was immense in mid week, like watching a man against boys (it literally was!). I would like nothing more than for him to play a full season. For a ‘crock’ the lad is still a baller.

    Is Wilshere starting his breakout season? How did Welbeck do today?

  153. Shard says:

    I’ve been having a busy few days and so not getting involved in the discussions here. But I miss you guys 🙂

    I was very upset when the game ended and I didn’t quite know why. We played very well and this is good. But that wasn’t enough to win and this is bad. We had some really bad luck with Debuchy’s injury, which I think is the reason we conceded the second, and this is bad, but we then had some good luck that City didn’t score again, and this is good.

    Basically, it was a weird game, although a very good game of football. I think I was upset because I could have dealt with a draw, or with losing Debuchy to what appears to be a serious injury, but both together was harsh.

    I thought we more than matched City, whose manager is making excuses for generally looking second best and having to resort to some dirty/dark measures to stop us. In which English referees are very frustrating the way they allow it, although Clattenburg at least called the fouls mostly, which is better than nothing. I was especially pleased by the way we dealt with their physicality, despite teh commentators trying to tell us we struggled with that.

    Ozil was disappointing. I thought he looked poor throughout the first half with the exception of one or two good passes, and looked worse for the second half until we went 2-1 up and he started to play through the middle. I find this worrying because it suggests a poor mentality of choosing his role, rather than a lack of ability being the problem. Ramsey needs to work on his crossing. Apart from that he wasn’t bad today by any means, but not the Welsh Messi like he’s now called. We scored two excellent goals and conceded two annoyingly stupid goals.

    It’s been a decent start to the season and I’m still not overly worried about Chelsea, but we need to now kick up a gear or two and start getting wins consistently.

  154. Gööner In Exile says:

    The only thing I’m really pissed off about today is taking Costa out of my Fantasy Team because he was allegedly injured. Arse!

    I agree Rocky about the cover as I said I think we could have done with the Corporal this season, and no doubt we could have done with TV too, although I understand why he wanted to go.

    But when you look around the opponents it’s hard to see who has strengthen at the back.

  155. RockyLives says:

    Lovin’ Jack on Na$ri 😀

  156. arnie says:

    ha ha ha ha

    they showed Jack’s heat map on MOTD! 😛 spreading heat all over

  157. Gööner In Exile says:

    Today’s result an Anfield is expected, the manager will now be tested, it’s all good when you can drill a team for 5 days between games, and if you want to change the system you can every week because you have 5 days to train.

    For top 4 clubs between now and December you are playing every three/four days, you may get two days training ground work if you’re lucky between games.

    That’s why ManUre are to be feared, they have a lot of time to get their system right between games. And despite the age of their players they have a good rest between games.

  158. fatgingergooner says:

    Özil’s a funny one. I’ve lost count of how many games he’s looked totally average in, only to watch the highlights and see he has a hand in most of the good things either with a clever run or a smart pass.

    A lot of people said he was pretty poor again today but he was involved in all our highlights that have just been shown, usually with the key pass just before the assist or attempted assist.

    I can’t figure him out.

  159. arnie says:

    yes, FGG, agreed about Ozil. 🙂

  160. mickydidit89 says:


    Next game, take Eddie 🙂

  161. chas says:

    Cheers, BR.
    Great game of football as you predicted.
    Shame we couldn’t hang on for all the points but happy not to lose after those last five minutes.

    Superb to see Jack playing well in top company. On fire. 🙂

  162. chas says:

  163. chas says:

  164. chas says:

  165. chas says:

  166. mickydidit89 says:


    Bloody knew we’d get a heat map.

    Any aresholes or characters around you in the ground yesterday?

  167. aizedlittlemozart says:

    good analysis right there. & a good morning to all

  168. mickydidit89 says:

    Brilliant you put up that pic of Mesut, because I was beginning to think he was a miserable git.

  169. chas says:

    I was by far the biggest areshole in the part of the ground I was in!
    In fact I was told to tone down my language when I called Lampard a Chelsea front bottom and quite rightly, too. (I mean the toning down the language bit being right, not the Fat Frankie being a bit of a bsr 🙂 )

    I’m the sort of boorish supporter 26 does his best to avoid.

  170. mickydidit89 says:

    Morning Aized

    Thanks for the article, will read later, as it’s a bit heavy for first thing.

    We’re all just gently coffee and fagging ourselves into gear, and as a rule like to ease ourselves into the day by taking the piss out of weak individuals and minority groups 🙂

  171. aizedlittlemozart says:

    Didit……suddenly my bladder feels empty

    (I happen to be the weakest of them all)

  172. mickydidit89 says:


    It all went wrong around the early 80’s when most clubs wanted to turn football into a family thing and encourage more women and children 🙂

  173. chas says:

    That heat map is obviously bollix as Jack’s hottest moment was pissing all over Clichy and dinking it over Hart.

  174. chas says:

    Maybe Flamini could do a job at right back (as long as he stays awake when Aguerro is moving behind him, unlike yesterday).

    Our clean sheet winning defence in the 2006 CL campaign was Eboue, Toure, Senderos and Flamini, wasn’t it? Seems unbelievable now. 🙂

  175. mickydidit89 says:


    Does your Bro put apple sauce into the pork and crackling rolls, and how does he retain the crackle in the crackling without it becoming soft and moist?

  176. Morning all

    Senderos supporter here (minority group) he was awesome yesterday against Pool 😉

    Did you notice anyone popping on to say they were writing something for today?

  177. mickydidit89 says:

    Ooo MOTD on. Have I missed the Arsenal game?

  178. Gööner In Exile says:

    I liked the way from the front that we pressed in the early parts of the game, Welbeck, Sanchez, Jack and Rambo were doing hard pressing, Ozil more the soft press trying to be the one to pick up the pieces, when he did he moved it quickly to runners.

    The weak spot was probably not knowing yet the runs Welbeck would make when he was setting off, but that will come in time.

    Someone made a point yesterday of us not getting enough players in early, I don’t really agree, only Welbeck was late to the party, the bigger problem is that two of our key players were on extended holidays. Chavs didn’t have this problem with their new signings playing for Spain. City have made limited changes.

  179. mickydidit89 says:

    We’re on 🙂

  180. RA says:

    Just seen the MOTD and it was still brilliant.

    They also showed the almost suicidal use of the full backs which many of us have been banging on about for the last couple of seasons.

    In non-football management you work out a risk/reward assessment and I suppose football is no different. Or is it.

    On what planet does getting your fullback being almost the most advanced player in attack equate to intelligent play against any team, let alone one of the top teams.

    Poor play by the full back or is he carrying out the manager’s instructions? I cannot believe it is the latter.

  181. RA says:

    I happened to be near Hyde Park last night and they were relaying the Last Night of the Proms, and it was marvellous.

    My Brit conversion is becoming fact as I joined in lustily to the singing of Land of Hope and Glory, and the Hornpipe, and had no idea that I had picked up the words to the songs over the years. 🙂

  182. mickydidit89 says:

    Oooo ahhh, now there’s something called a “soft press”

    Fess up GIE, you invented that just for lazy bastards you happen to like, didn’t you? 🙂

  183. Eddie says:

    yep, for once orange Shearer was right – we are very vulnerable to counter attacks. I sat away from our goal and watched City’s counter from a good distance. It looked like blue little jet charging full speed from all sides to the same spot – our 6 yard box. they know about our weak spots and explored mercilessly

  184. Shard says:

    I’ve been looking at different sets of highlights and I still stand by my statement that Ozil was poor. He was ok going forward in the first half but I don’t think he contributed anything special (not that he has to every time) And he was not helping out in defense as much as he could.

    As for the fullback thing. Monreal is getting the blame for the first goal, but I think Ramsey and Flamini were the culpable parties there. Arsenal were on the attack and Monreal goes up to make himself available. The ball comes back and there’s a deflection which is seemingly on the way out. Ramsey is the closest but is unaware of Navas’ threat. By the time he realises he can’t catch up or even get close, which forces Koscielny wider then he would have been and gives Navas time and space to pick out Aguero’s run, which Flamini should have spotted and covered. We had decent cover during that attack even with Monreal pushing up, but showed a lack of defensive awareness.

    Why have we stopped putting anyone on the post from corners? I know Flamini ended up there but if he was hugging the post from the start and stayed there, the ball probably wouldn’t have gone in. Szczesny might have done better with that too perhaps? (GIE will know) But he had two fantastic and important saves from Silva in the first half, and Dzeko at the end.

    Also, what got up Pellegrini’s hole yesterday?

  185. Eddie says:

    Pellegrini – I like that geezer less and less. How dare he complain about our men fouling city players? The first half they couldn’t control us and were fouling right left and cetre, and got away with it

  186. mickydidit89 says:

    Talking of lazy bastards ( 🙂 ), who’s doing a quickie to help Peaches out.

  187. Eddie says:

    LB of course. I am sure he desperately want to write about Jack’s performance 🙂

  188. Oh poo, missed MOTD but recorded the game, so have that on instead. Anyone wanna come for breakfast 😉

  189. mickydidit89 says:

    The site only really has three regular writers, and we can’t expect them to deliver

  190. mickydidit89 says:


    Or LB sees comments about Jack’s play as personal digs, in which case, he might think up yours 🙂

  191. Eddie says:

    what is it micky – name and shame campaign? All right, I will write something for mid week, but not a match report, too technical for me

  192. Shard says:


    Here’s a link to our Motd highlights as a bribe for not making me write the report 🙂

  193. Eddie says:

    nay, LB is bigger than that

  194. LB says:

    After the last match when two reports were written, Kelsey made clear that he always writes a match report.

    I am about to go out cycling.

    Jack only scores with is right foot, there is obviously still lots of work to be done.

    And runs away………fast.

  195. We don’t need a match report, there are loads of match reports, we just need a comment that will possibly lead to a discussion …..

  196. Shard says:


    I could possibly do that. Though it won’t be very good and LB won’t like it 🙂

  197. Eddie says:

    thank you shard!!! you can use my first part of the report, here it goes: ‘It was a tough game at the Emirates yesterday’.

  198. Shard says:


    Ever read the comic strip Peanuts in which Snoopy the dog always begins his stories with ‘It was a dark and stormy night’? 😛

  199. Big Raddy says:

    Morning All,

    Like Shard I woke up today disappointed (about the football :-D)

    We should have beaten them. I am fed up with getting nervous when we go in front. Our subs added bugger all as we went well and truly onto the back foot.

    We were at home. We should have attacked after going ahead not allow MC to control the ball, score and then look the most likely to win.

    I want more.

  200. RA says:

    That’s the Post – right there! A Raddy special, brief and to the point. 🙂

  201. mickydidit89 says:

    That’s a very feisty and also very un-hippy like stance, there Big

    Almost frisky 🙂

  202. Big Raddy says:

    RA. Mrs Raddy having seen the Last Night asked whether we could go next year to the RA Hall. The Proms in the Park could be an excellent substitute.

    I bet it was wonderful.

  203. mickydidit89 says:

    Last night of Proms has always struck me as like a Conservative Party Conference in Eastbourne where they’ve all had too much sweet sherry 🙂

    Ok, daughter awake, am allowed to start a chainsaw.

  204. Shard says:

    Rudimentary post sent.. Peaches is too honest to accept bribes in the form of motd highlights.

  205. Eddie says:

    Shard 🙂 ‘It was a glorious sunny afternoon’ yesterday

  206. RA says:

    Absolutely fantastic, Raddy, and despite the impertinent Minky attempting to link music lovers to a political party, the atmosphere with the music was superb, and there were many, many non-British people enjoying the occasion too. 🙂

    [technically I did not have a ticket — but ……… ] 🙂

  207. Shard says:


    I just got what you meant about disappointment 🙂

    I feel better about the football in the light of day (I watched it at night Evonne – time difference) I am a little sick of this glorious failure thing we’ve had pat in the past few years (excepting the FA Cup, that was just glorious), but at least it wasn’t a complete failure and we saw some entertaining football in the bargain, which helps. I think Debuchy’s injury was a major dampener on the mood as well as the two dropped points.

  208. Thank you Shard …….. just going to the cupboard, back in a bit.

  209. We have a New Post …………………

  210. stevepalmer1 says:

    Morning all,
    I was invited to an invitation Days golf at my old club, and not having hit a ball since the last invite game, was a little Nervous.

    The golf was ok and the evening meal good, and meeting old pals then ending up down the pub made for a long day. I came in after the first nine to hear that we were 1.0 down, i saw their goal on the television and felt it was a blinding goal, They also showed Danny’s chip off the post which was very frustrating.

    I went back out before the players resumed, only to hear a little later that Arsenal were down 2.0 my head went down i must admit, Playing with 2 Spuds and another Gooner we started to get a bit of stick but we kept our composure and never said to much back.

    Coming down 18 i saw a guy i know a Gooner checking his phone, he shouted across that we drew. I must admit that brought a big smile on my face.

    I finally got home about twelve, a little groggy so went straight to bed. Watched the game first thing and realised that we were never 2 down infact we went in the lead. Funny how different stories go round specially from wanting Spuds.

    Anyway my view of the game,

    I must admit i was expecting a tough old day, City last years League Champions coming to us, i hoped for a result from us, but if i speak the truth would have settled for a draw.

    After i watched the game, yes as a few have said we could have done a few things better, its easy for Shearer to criticise Arsenals defence, when he never said a great deal against City. In my mind we played one of the best teams in the league, and i felt we played them well, their goal came against the run of play in my mind, yes we can dissect all that went wrong but lets face it that’s football.

    I am not going to cast blame on anybody, i felt we took the game to them and we played very well, we have started to gel Danny was unlucky Sanchez was brilliant and Jack who i have had a go at lately played very well. I did say a little while ago that Jack now and again plays some exquisite football at times and so he did again, i also moaned that he doesn’t score or shoot enough. I slap my face, he’s goal was shear magic, i have to say i loved it, enough said.

  211. bonaroca says:

    Bonaroca: We have another manager with Man City who is moaning about the Arsenal result. Instead of saying that they got a raw deal from the referee,he should have been honest and said that at least one of his should have been given the red Card.

    At least I have to be honest and say that there was a penalty against Arsenal. .

  212. stevepalmer1 says:

    Bonaroca, I think i know where the so called penalty was, and that’s where Jack handled in the box, but seconds before that, the ball hit the city man’s hand, but of course, nobody said anything about that.

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