Time for Revenge. Anderlecht Away

Many years ago in a land far away our valiant boys took the field for the first leg of the 1970 Inter-City Fairs Cup Final which today is the equivalent of the Europa Cup. We had been poor for a number of years and recently lost the League Cup to Swindon, yes Swindon, so the prospect of playing the Belgian Champions was worrying.

Despite being a rabid Gooner and having been to all the league games at home and many away, I didn’t travel abroad (my Mum wouldn’t let me). Just as well as we lost 3-1. At three down it was all over but Ray Kennedy managed to notch one back in the 82nd minute to give us some hope for the return – which I will write about when Anderlecht come to the Emirates.


The current Anderlecht team have won their league 4 out of the last 5 seasons. Quite honestly I know very little about Anderlecht apart from the fact they play in the Constant Vanden Stock Stadium and that one of their players had a trial at Arsenal as a 16 y.o. (Dennis Praet). This season in the CL they drew away at Galatasary and lost 3-0 to Dortmund. After 11 games they are top of the Belgian league, 3 points ahead of Brugge.

Arsenal have selection problems (!!!).  Ever heard of Ryan Huddart? Neither have I, but he is on the bench for us tonight and if Martinez gets knocked he will be playing. A 17 y.o. who has just signed professional forms in goal in an away CL game! Then there is the defence – Chambers will play CB and Bellerin at RB, two 19 y.o.’s. This is Arsenal we are talking about not some Mickey Mouse organisation and yet the 8th richest club in the world has allowed this to occur. Am I bovvered? You bet I am.

Midfield and upfront we are much better served. There are many permutations but I go with this one

My team:

22nd oct

Not sure who we will have as a defensive sub apart from Monreal but hopefully we will not need one.

Food: Belgium is not renowned for its cuisine though for a few years in the ’90’s Belgian beer and Moules was popular in N. London. Belgians like a bar of chocolate and a truffle or two and of course are responsible for the dreadful Mandarine Napoleon which is made by mixing brandy and tangerines. I suppose what most Belgians eat is waffles …. they love a waffle.


Maple Syrup, Nutella or Fruit?

As I have a little time perhaps you will allow me to tell you about another time an English team went to play on Belgian soil.

It was 15th June 1815.  The English squad had their version of Podolski, Mertesacker and Ozil in the team (at that time known as Prussians), they were taking on the current European Champions, the French. Our boys were managed by the Duke of Wellington and the opposition by the foreign genius and Mr Wenger of his day Napoleon Bonaparte. You will not need me to tell you that Our Boys gave the French a good spanking (one reason being the English forces numbered 120k and the French 72k).



Beating the French away.

Will we lose 3-1 as we did all those years ago? Unlikely. The two teams have grown in different directions and despite the excellence of the Belgium national team Anderlecht are the weakest team in the group. We should get a result.


written by Big Raddy

179 Responses to Time for Revenge. Anderlecht Away

  1. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Fantastic to have a BR PM again

    I’m busy this morning, but great read. Thanks.

    I’d play Flam and Aaron as the two. Santi in front, and add Podolski to Sanchez and Welbeck. Pod likes scoring goals.

  2. Eddie says:

    match day, Raddy prematch, big win tonight

    a day to remember 🙂

    Thanks Raddy, great to read your posts again. Qustion about goalies – never mind Huddart, who is Martinez? and were is Wojtek?

  3. Motning all,

    delightful pm Mr Big Randy yet the key takeaway I get is that I am also “bovvered” at how we, an aspiring super club, are playing 2 19 year olds in the elite European competition and have a 17 – yes a seventeen year – old (!)- goalie on the bench.

    That to me screams negligence and gross misconduct in squad management and I’m not taking this “bad/hard luck” conspiracy theory.

    Right, rant over….for now.

  4. White beard, Chesney is serving a one match ban for his red card against Gala.

    But don’t worry, if Martinez needs subbing we have a 17 year old to come on.

  5. Eddie says:

    oh yeah, cheers chary! agree with you about the strength of the squad and defence in particular. Dismal state of affairs

  6. kelsey says:

    Nice write up Raddy.

    It appears chary has taken over my mantle 🙂

  7. Rasp says:

    Excellent Raddy, great to hear you waffle on about the Belgies 😛

    My scant knowledge tells me that they are a good ‘team’ who play above the sum of their parts – let’s hope we can be at least equal to the sum of our parts tonight.

    I’m getting a bit concerned about the kozzer injury which he has apparently been carrying for some time. This is what it says on arse.com …..

    …… Speaking on October 16, ahead of the Hull City game, Arsene Wenger said: “No [he will not be available]. He has an achilles problem, which has got worse. He finds it difficult to play with it at the moment. You can only trust what the players says, he does not feel ready to play and will not play on Saturday. No [he will not need surgery].”

    “You can only trust what the player says” ……. rather a strange way of putting it – is there any doubt in AW’s mind?

  8. Rasp says:

    Morning chary, I see Tim has nailed his colours to the mast re Arsene …. that was quite a difficult read on 7a.m. yesterday

  9. ‘morning all,

    Great pre-match, as always, BR.

    No time to comment as the swimming pool is calling.

    Back later.

  10. Ha ha Kelsy, maybe.

    What’s the real wind up is that Ospina got injured because he didn’t have time to warm up properly when he came on after Chesney’s red card.

    A professional football club that talks of competing with the Real Madrid and Bayern’s of this world can’t send on a sub without warming him up ffs.

    And now he’s out for up to 3 months, THREE months!

    Not elite club, more like pub league club.

  11. RC78 says:

    just a quick note (I am not Belgian but French):

    – FOOD:
    — Brussels has more Michelin-starred restaurants than Paris
    — Brussels has acutally become quite a foody place, not only for local delicacies (moules-frites, waterzoi…) but also for some bistronomie and other foods (Ethiopian, Thai, Turkish, Viet-Names…)
    — Try the waffles in waffles stand
    — Do not eat in the food stand at the stadium if you can avoid it

    – BEER:
    — Worldclass…absolutely great in terms of variety and taste. Try the triples or the bières ambrées if you can…

    — Not great and a few local agressive hoolies so beware.

    Enjoy if you are coming to night

    – PREDICTIONS: Anderlecht 1 – 2 Arsenal. I see an edgy match. My team: Martinez – Chambers, BFG, Monreal, Gibbs – Rosicky, Flamster, Cazorla – Campbell, Podolski, Ox

    I would give Sanchez and Welbeck a rest and having seen Anderlecht, I know that Campbell and Ox will bother them a lot…

  12. Yes I saw that too Rasper, it;s probably an academic debate as Wenger has never reneged on a contract and he will stay the full term.

    I get his point about every single opportunity the media/other club fans get to laugh at us further erodes Wenger’s legacy.

  13. arnie says:

    brilliant, absolutely brilliant stuff, Raddy. Great read! with or without the icebergs! 🙂

    first, absolutely spot on rant, Chary! WTF are we doing! harakiri!!!! 😦

    Look, my base expectation is that we will concede two goals. Anything better and I am happy!

    And we will score three goals. If we do that or better, I will be over the moon!! To maximise our chances to do so, Alexis upfront and a three man defensive midfield is the only option IMO. So we will go for it.

    3-2 to the Gooners. COYG! 🙂 🙂

  14. arnie says:

    RC78: Brussels has Tintin! 🙂 🙂 Asterix wins any day for me, for Tintin is good! 🙂

    And the fantastic central square! and what is this absolutely marvelous open marketplace called? 🙂

  15. arnie says:

    Evonne, life is too short to be unhappy or resentful! My life, certainly! On with the show! 🙂

  16. RC78 says:

    there are a few open marketplaces….Grand Place is the central square, then you have Place Sablons, Place Ste-Catherine, Place Flagey or Place Jourdan with great markets as well…

    For the vegetarians: Before testing the fries, ask if they were fried in beef/animal fat or vegetable oil…

  17. GoonerB says:

    Great feed-back from our resident Belgian tourist guide, RC78.

    Excellent post Raddy. Now I am no mathematician but I have looked at your comparisons of when we won in Belgium in 1815, when Boni faced off with Dukey, and if the extra numbers are the key to victory then we would need to field 18.37 players to their 11.

    We have to be reasonable though as you can’t field a 0.37 player, (although we probably have a couple in our ranks that despite visually looking whole are in effect 0.37 when they enter the field), so I have rounded it down to 18.

    My question is can we legally use the 1815 situation as a precedent for tonight and field 18 players?

    On another note the defensive thing does smack of negligence. We actually did good business with Vermaelen’s sale but when you sit down and have a good look at it we actually entered the new season defensively weaker than how we finished last season. Anyway it is what it is so, COYRRG’s.

  18. Eddie says:

    Happy birthday to you
    Happy birthday to you
    Happy birthday Dearest Arsene
    Happy birthday tooooooooo yooooo xxxxxx

  19. arnie says:

    Yes, Evonne, well done you!

    Happy Birthday Arsene!!!!

    How about a birthday card! and a gift – a tub-thumping conquest of the Belgian front! COYG.

  20. Aah! a lovely swim.

    Brussels eh! My abiding memory of a short business trip to Brussels is the excellent steak I ate in a small restaurant somewhere near Le Grande Place. Tender, flavoursome and cooked to perfection. After the meal my host asked if I had enjoyed it, and then pointed out that it was horse not beef. It made no difference to me, still a superb steak.

    We need to be on top of our game tonight, no dozing off, no ball watching and no suicidal goal line rushes. Total 100% concentration.

    The Ospina situation is reminiscent of the Kalstrom farce last season. Arrived carrying a serious injury and never really got fit in the entire season. With Koscielny now taking Vermaelen’s berth in the sick bay we are already up s**t creek without a paddle and we haven’t got through October yet.

    Reading Wilshere’s comments at the press conference, there seems to be an air of complacency creeping in. With the run of results we’ve had recently their can be no room for such a thing.

  21. kelsey says:

    Ospina is yet another who has been carrying an injury for months and surely the medical team can assess if he is fit or not or do they say to the player “you all right son to play today”.it’s bloody farsical for a club of our standing.
    Ramsey is not fit yet is risked, Wilshere the same, and Kos obviously aggrevated an injury he was carrying and now we are paying for it.

  22. kelsey says:

    Strange place Belgium.The Manneken Pis is so underwhelming and generally most people always look sad.

    Knokke and Le Zoute are nice resorts but the climate is shite.

  23. arnie says:

    on second, third, fourth thoughts, I am coming somewhat round to RC78’s point. would not mind watching a bit of Campbell tonight. COYG.

  24. Eddie says:

    kels – but they have the best chocolate in the world, absolutely redeeiming everything else 🙂

  25. It’s not really surprising that there are so many Michelin starred eateries in Brussells, with all the EU fat cats scoffing in them on expense accounts, the bills for which are picked up by the ordinary tax payers of Europe.

    Come the revolution they’ll all be put up against the wall, Bop! Bop! Bop!


    Oops sorry I got into my Citizen Smith mode for a minute there. 😀

  26. Rasp says:

    I don’t like Belgian chocolate – too rich … just like those fat cat MEP’s Citizen Norfolk referred to 😕

  27. Rasp says:

    No-one’s told me when kozzer is expected back yet …….. I’m getting suspicious that his injury could be prolonged and the club don’t want to announce it at the moment?

  28. Rasp, it’s not just the MEPs, all those Commissioners, and the rest of the parasites with their evil snouts in the trough will be up against the wall.

    Come back Wolfie Smith!!


    Nice one Raddy

    Been to Brussels loads of time with the Mistress. She has a cousin out there so we stay in her flat.

    I used to tell the Mrs I was going out there on business, but since I got rumbled I know longer have to lie.

    The lack of lying has now made the trips less enjoyable. The only viable solution is to now cheat on the Mistress.

    Anyway, last time we were there we got a bit confused and needed directions to the flat. It was pissing down with rain, just gone midnight so the Belgians were all indoors.

    They don’t like rain out there and staying out after midnight invokes fear of turning into an interesting personality.

    The only people we could find to help us were Arab immigrants, and one of them had a knife. I had to scare the bloke off by making out I was Belgian and interested in a conversation.

    We should beat the boring Gits 3-1

    The Ghosts of the Thirties are Stirring

  30. Rasp says:

    Anderlecht have some hardcore hooligans it seems …..

  31. arnie says:

    Terry. 🙂

    Rasp. Aha, you dont like the cocoa in your chocolate! Perfect English gentleman. 🙂

    Norfolk. Bring on the European Referendum! 😛

    My own experiences in Brussels and nearby were pleasant. The airport was a s**thole, but it is getting much better now.

    Revenge is in the air. COYG. 🙂

  32. Seems like most eyes will be on the ‘dippers/Madrid game.

    Just as well really ‘cos if our goalie lets in 5 like he did last time he turned out for us it’d be better if attention were elsewhere.

  33. Big Raddy says:

    “The only viable solution is to now cheat on the Mistress.” Superb.

    The Ospina situation is at best unfortunate, at worst, rank mismanagement by our new fitness team

  34. kelsey says:

    Ah chary , but micky would be happy if we score 7 🙂

  35. We have become the Kevin Keegan Newcastle side of the 90’s.

    I’d just love it if that happened Kelsey, just love it.

  36. Eddie says:

    ey? Keegan’s Newcastle?! explain yourself

  37. Eddie says:

    ….so that others can rip you to shreds 🙂

  38. GoonerB says:

    Evening all, this injury thing is really becoming a tad concerning now. Do we the fans have a right to demand the club provide more transparancy on why they think it happens so much to our players and what they are doing about it? Probably not but if more in depth information is not forthcoming then we are relying on the club to fix the situation, and by my reckoning they have already had an awful long time to come up with a solution.

  39. Eddie says:

    BTW Raddy – I thoroughly enjoyed your version of the history 🙂 Current European champions of 1815, France 🙂 Very good

  40. Evonne, it’s a reference to that famous time when Fergie’s mind games made Keegan flip his lid with his infamous melt down.

    At that time Newcastle were all about going forward and not defending much, you score 5 we’ll get 6.

  41. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Ok thank God that day is behind me. Right, Raddy.

    Was too brief early, but I think those fresh salty breezes in Iceland have re-ignited the literary flame within. This line is right up there with your very best “they were taking on the current European Champions, the French”. Loved the whole read.

    Really looking forward to the game. Now to read comments, early nibble, then back on the sofa.

  42. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Ah ha, like the revolutionary spirit in the air.

    Also noted Eddie picked out the same line 🙂

  43. Eddie says:

    I noted that too 🙂

  44. California Gooner says:

    Brilliant post, Raddy — your consistency says Arteta, but your ability to write a brilliant passage is Ozil-like.

  45. Big Raddy says:

    CG !! Great to see you in print.

  46. arnie says:

    Revenge is the thought of the day! COYG. 🙂

  47. Eddie says:

    arnie – the athem!!!!

  48. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Err, team news?

  49. MickyDidIt89 says:

    c/o AFC
    Full team: Martinez, Chambers, Mertesacker, Monreal, Gibbs, Flamini, Sanchez, Wilshere, Ramsey, Cazorla, Welbeck

    Substitutes: Huddart, Bellerin, Rosicky, Arteta, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Podolski, Campbell

    Bench has some flair on it

  50. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Right, the dreaded stream

  51. chas says:

    Great pre-match, BR, ta.

  52. Eddie says:

    oooh, that Martinez is much better looking than Szczesny, I like him

  53. mickydidit89 says:

    says the jocky Wilson fancier!!!!

  54. Big Raddy says:

    Ridiculous yellow for Monreal – all he did was get hit by the oncoming player. Refs a homer.

  55. Eddie says:

    didit – this is no time for small talk, all right

  56. RockyLives says:

    Can’t get to the first half (hopefully able to watch the second).

    Are we any good?

  57. RockyLives says:

    Top pre-match – thanks.

    Can’t believe you missed out Belgium’s contribution to the world of beer.

    Wandering from bar to bar in Mediaeval Bruges and trying a different ale – with its own special glass – in each pub is a real treat.

  58. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Hi Rocky

    Not a CL quality game of football by any stretch

  59. stevepalmer1 says:

    Boring boring boring, haven’t learnt a thing, running down blind alleys and cant wait to give it away. Why have one pass when you can have six, Sunday league football is more exciting than this pathetic effort

  60. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Oh God, it’s about to get worse. We’re about to get the thoughts of Paul Merson.

    He’s ever had one?

  61. Rasp says:

    That was a pretty poor half of football. I can’t remember us having a shot on goal – just the usual meaningless possession

  62. Eddie says:

    I am half watching poor Pool, very entertaining

  63. MickyDidIt89 says:

    “Pretty poor half of football” Rasp?

    You’ve been on the happy pills haven’t you 🙂

    Definitely need some fresh air

  64. Big Raddy says:

    BR’s 1st half review.

    Not good enough.

    Disjointed, lacking in pace, poor control and no goal threat.

    Flamini. 100% effort but the sooner Arteta returns the better. Ramsey: Come on man, you are a wonderful player, start showing it.

    We need something coming from the right and I would bring on Campbell a.s.a.p. Preferably for Santi of Ramsey.

    We are missing Ozil 🙂

    Oh and the standard of refereeing id awful Football is a contact sport.

  65. Rasp says:

    🙂 Micky, ok it was very poor. Once again the midfield is disjointed and ineffectual.

  66. This looks like the Hull performance: lots of misplaced passes and sloppiness.

    So even Anderlecht have figured out how to play us.

    Absolutely NO ONE fears us anymore.

  67. Big Raddy says:

    Chary. With good reason.

  68. stevepalmer1 says:

    Roll on 70 minutes when we might see Campbel the Ox and anyone other than Ramsey and Cazorla, my life we haven’t a clue

  69. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Pool 0 Madrid 3

  70. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Rosicky might speed things up and be more direct

  71. MickyDidIt89 says:

    I wish the commentator would stop going on about how useless Anderlecht are in Europe.

    Come on Arsenal

  72. Gööner In Exile says:

    Missing the aerial threat of Giroud and the subtlety of Ozil.

    Midfield just isn’t working.

    And when we counter man with the ball can only see backsides.

  73. Big Raddy says:

    At least we have had a shot on target (and we aren’t being ripped apart at home)

  74. Rasp says:

    Why are so many of our passes too short or playing a team mate into trouble?

  75. Rasp says:

    Apart from Alexis, we seem to have no energy

  76. stevepalmer1 says:

    Obviously Jet lagged from Euro star

  77. Rasp says:

    Subs too late as usual 😦

  78. Rasp says:

    Well we deserved that

  79. Big Raddy says:

    Now that is just embarrassing.

  80. Eddie says:

    good. fecking joke. only alexi looks like an arsenal player

  81. stevepalmer1 says:

    Playing like this, we should be in the Championship not Champions League

  82. fatgingergooner says:

    If Wenger doesn’t have the tactics or motivational skills to get the best out of his players then serious questions need to be asked. This is dreadful.

    Injuries don’t account for the first 80 minutes I’ve just watched.

  83. Rasp says:

    I agree with Pep, this tikka takka is shit

  84. Big Raddy says:

    We have been crap from the 5th minute against an energetic but very average side.

    Shabby, shabby performance,

  85. Rasp says:

    There is no part of the field where we are functioning. Our defending is rank – do we even practice defending?

  86. fatgingergooner says:

    Jesus. What a goal

  87. MickyDidIt89 says:


  88. arnie says:


  89. Gööner In Exile says:

    Whilst the manager remains the direction of fans aggression the players are let off the hook.

    All of them do not look fit to wear the shirt tonight.

    None of tonight is about tactics training motivation we have played woefully to a man.

    And as I was writing that rant we get two…..

    Funny old game

  90. Eddie says:

    it was all deliberate tonight – with our thin squad we cannot compete in Europe and in the EPL. cannot drop out from the dometic, so let’s manoeuvre ourselves out of Europe, like the UKIP

    fook, I’d better scrap the last comment!!! love you Arsenal 🙂

  91. MickyDidIt89 says:


  92. arnie says:

    snap. steady on now, somehow get out of jail!

  93. arnie says:

    so glad for Poldi! so glad for us!!!!

  94. fatgingergooner says:

    They’ve got heart, I’ll give em that. Dreadful performance though.

  95. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Happy Birthday Arsene 🙂

  96. Eddie says:

    arnie – yes, we know you are the clappy happy type! you’ll start playing that indian music again 🙂

  97. Rasp says:

    That was a lot more than we deserved – but I’ll take it 🙂

  98. chas says:

    Happy Birthday Arsene.

  99. arnie says:

    done, well done the good guys. very happy, we conceded less than 2, somehow!!! and scored one more than them, somehow, but who cares? First place in group still on!!!!!! COYG!!!!! 🙂 🙂 🙂

  100. arnie says:

    yes, Chas, Arsene’s birthday charm!

  101. Gööner In Exile says:

    We might be shambolic but at least we have mental strength

  102. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Well bugger me backwards, that was a close shave 🙂

  103. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Remember, conceding doesn’t matter 🙂

  104. fatgingergooner says:

    Never seen so many cracks with so much paper over them!

    Absolutely awful, but who knows, could kick start the season. Very very lucky.

  105. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Madrid is still on 🙂

  106. arnie says:

    Micky. scoring one more than the opposition is all I care about! 😛

  107. MickyDidIt89 says:

    That’s the mantra Arnie 🙂

  108. fatgingergooner says:

    How good is Sanchez btw!? Having the impact we wanted from Özil. Only player worthy of the kit tonight.

  109. arnie says:

    FGG. Room 101. 😛 who cares tonight!

  110. stevepalmer1 says:

    I have got to say that Ramsey shouldnt be allowed in an Arsenal shirt until he is fit, he was worse than a reserve, Cazorla useless. I can honestly say this was a disgusting performance, to late for excuses. Heads need rolling win or no win somebody or somebodies need to be sacrificed.

  111. Gööner In Exile says:

    I don’t think Sanchez was any better or worse than anyone else on the pitch.

    Everyone was equally poor.

    Now I’m trying to remember what it is people say after we play well and then lose…..oh that’s right the result is all that’s important…..well we are a win away from qualifying. Unless you think Galatassary will get something in Dortmund?

  112. Gööner In Exile says:

    I would rest Welbeck on the weekend, play Pod, Ox and Campbell up top.

    Sanchez in front of Jack.

  113. MickyDidIt89 says:


    “I don’t think Sanchez was any better or worse than anyone else on the pitch”


  114. chas says:

    Merson is gutted Arsenal won.

  115. chas says:

    Loads on twitter are, too. 🙂
    F*ck ’em all.

  116. arnie says:

    What do you think Beebs has to say?

    “Alexis Sanchez has scored six times for Arsenal since joining from Barcelona, but could not add to his tally in Brussels”

    ha ha ha, surprise surprise!

  117. MickyDidIt89 says:

    It doesn’t matter who we play, we’ll struggle to find shape with the 4-1-4-1

    We have much much better players than that performance reflects.

  118. arnie says:

    GiE: “I would rest Welbeck on the weekend, play Pod, Ox and Campbell up top. Sanchez in front of Jack.”

    Exactly. Top man. Sanchez is the only one who can wrest possession from deep. He has to start deeper, otherwise we are fecked! IMO.

  119. Nicking 2-1 wins is what it’s all about 🙂 Love a come-back me.

    Mind you we were rubbish lol

  120. arnie says:

    who cares, Peaches! one good day against Dortmund at home, and we will top the group. fingers, toes and all loose appendages crossed! 😛

  121. Eddie says:

    chas – no, merson wasn’t gutted that we won at all, he just hated the first 85mins. And I agree with him 100%. We played weakened Anderlecht, any half decent team would demolish us.

  122. Anyone want to write something for tomorrow?

  123. chas says:

    He looks gutted to me.
    He was rubbing his hands in glee with five minutes to go, ready to stick the boot in and now he can’t even speak English. 🙂

  124. fatgingergooner says:

    If we keep conceding first then our season will end in disappointment. We need to sort it out at the back. Anyone know how long Kos and Debuchy are out for?

  125. chas says:

    Anyway, I thought you were watching the dippers?

  126. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Did Raddy sneak out before the end? 🙂

    Night Gunners 🙂

    Peaches, Remind them one line posts count 🙂

  127. Shard says:

    How has everyone on AA been getting on? I haven’t had the time for AA since I prefer to hang out here rather than just comment, and I was travelling during the Hull game, so avoided the internet till I could watch it.

    As for today. Well a victory makes everything easier, but that was such a terrible performance that I’m finding it hard to rejoice. This must be the first time I disagree with GIE but I thought Sanchez was very good. I also thought Wilshere was the worst, which I suppose makes it the first time I’ve agreed with LB 😀

    Our defense is pathetic. The way Anderlecht scored. It was so painfully obvious that that was going to happen. There absolutely has to be some action taken in that regard.

    I also think that the likes of Joel Campbell, Ox, and maybe even Podolski and Rosicky should start some more games when the likes of Wilshere and Cazorla are putting in such terrible performances. Ramsey can at least make an excuse about lack of fitness/sharpness due to his recent comeback.

    I’d even play Coquelin or Hayden if it meant dropping players who don’t perform. At the moment, even if partly due to injuries, we’re all carrot and no stick. Don’t spare the rod, Arsene. Oh, and have a happy birthday. For once the footballing gods show there is reward for the virtuous.

  128. arnie says:

    Just so happy for Poldi. Just look at the smile on his face!

  129. fatgingergooner says:

    I’m with Eddie, that’s the most sense I’ve heard come out of Merse’ mouth. A decent side would’ve killed us tonight. Thankfully, we were playing a very average Anderlecht and we probably won’t play as badly as that again this season.


    We are going through a rough patch with injuries, need to find our balance etc, but reading some of the comments we can not do wrong for right.

    Does anyone want to marry me? No? ime been serious. When I was bad i was shit, when i good was shit, and that was whilst on my bloody honeymoon.

    Weve been beaten twice. Chelsea and Dortmund away, two of the hardest places to go. Its no disaster.

    In a couple of weeks we will climb the table and be contemplating our opponents in the knock out stages of the Champions League.

    Not enough for you? Well then i want a bloody pre nup, and the use of frying pans as offensive weopens banned.

  131. chas says:

    Really insightful from Merse, ffs.

  132. RockyLives says:

    Well I didn’t get to see the second half either. I was beginning to feel glad I missed it… then we did our late, late show and now I wish I’d been watching 😦

  133. chas says:

    Sorry, I’m only titting about.
    I just love late wins. Even more so when we’ve been shit.

    If Merson was a fan like us, he’d be happy, too.


  134. Anyone who was watching on sky and didn’t change the channel has had the pleasure of the Robert Pires Legends to watch. What a classy guy, if you get the chance to see it don’t miss it.

  135. Gööner In Exile says:

    Chas you hit the nail on the head about Merse, the funniest thing I’ve seen on TV for ages is the three stooges at Anfield at half time I didn’t know the score, Jeff Stelling saying well we will see what Jamie, Jamie and Graeme think of that after the break, cut to three very somber looking faces. Cannot deny they are fans of Liverpool but a huge dose of schadenfreude is always welcome in football so despite loathing our first half performance that cheered me up instantly.

  136. fatgingergooner says:

    Funny thing is Chas I think it was a fan-type assessment from Merse, but maybe it’s just that he’s in the group of Arsenal fans that are a bit sick of watching average performances from above average players. I don’t think he’s quite in the Wenger out brigade, but he’s definitely not happy with what he sees.

    I kind of agree with him after that performance, but I suppose looking back, 3 points is all that matters and we won’t be as bad as that again this season.

    We desperately need to get a run of 5-10 games where we can put out a consistent team sheet.

  137. Eddie says:

    chas – and you are clearly watching me 🙂
    still think (like Fattie) that Mers is a Gooner, an angry version. When we conceded I was pleased too, not happy pleased but spiteful pleased – that’s what you get, twats, for being twats and as for you Wenger – glad they spoiled your birthday. Of course I don’t mean any of it, but at the time I was furious – why were they so poor?

    And I genuinely felt for Alexi. GiE didn’t rate him highly last night, but for me he was the only one trying and putting a night’s shift in. How must he feel when he sees others not working but sightseeing Belgium? Awful, very very unprofessional.

    But we won, that’s all that matters 🙂 🙂 or not?

  138. RockyLives says:

    Eddie – 2.39am???

  139. RockyLives says:

    Peaches, Rasp

    Report in drafts (for a match I didn’t see 🙂 )

  140. Big Raddy says:

    Morning All,

    I turned off with 5 mins to go. Serves me right as I am one of those who rant about the early-leavers at THOF.

    Have an early morning tour … pick up at the airport at 06.30 😦

  141. MickyDidIt89 says:

    MickyDidIt89 says:

    October 22, 2014 at 10:03 pm

    Did Raddy sneak out before the end?

    Bloody new it. Needed a smoke? 🙂

  142. MickyDidIt89 says:

    I think the title of Rocky’s post should be

    “Arsenal thrash Anderlecht” 🙂

  143. kelsey says:


    Not sure if it was a good thing that we won or not. Obviously those three points will go a long way to coming second in the group but the overall performance was absolutely shocking, in fact boring against a medoicre side.

    When our right back crosses and it misses the players who should be in the box and our left back happens to use his brain and smash in an equaliser one really wonders.

    Will it lift the team, I am not so sure as generally we seem to be going backwards and a better team would have carved our defence wide open and scored a hatful.
    Our midfield is really misfiring with passes going astray and fruitless set pieces amounting to no threat at all.

    There is something drastically wrong we look a very very ordinary side compared to a good proportion of last season.

  144. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Morning Crystals

    Shall we change the subject? 🙂

  145. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Ok, for what it’s worth. I’d agree we look worse than last season, and I reckon it’s down to this new formation.

  146. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Actually Crystals, I’m feeling a little crystalline myself this morning following this insightful and prophetic comment of mine yesterday morning: “and add Podolski to Sanchez and Welbeck. Pod likes scoring goals.”

    What do ya reckon to that oh future gazer?

  147. kelsey says:

    Good question. Pod has a nice smile but AW left it bloody late to bring him on.it was a gamble as he had only Rosicky as another option. it payed off so Wenger lives to fight another day yet it is clear Pod does not feature in his plans for this entire season.
    Santi and Ramsey are either out of form or have been dragged down by our dismal results yet Sanchez is a star act.
    I suspect Welbeck took a knock and that was why he was subbed.

  148. MickyDidIt89 says:

    This is not at all how the morning session is supposed to be.

    See, that Chas bloke disappears at the merest whiff of doom talk.

    We’re pants and we know it 🙂

  149. Gööner In Exile says:

    Just realised RC78 will be very pleased, ok it wasn’t Gibbs to Debuchy, but Chambers to Gibbs works just as well 🙂

    But actually winning is important. Here’s why, it’s very hard to sort things out in a losing side when results are bad. Much easier to address things when we have won. Players are more receptive to criticism because it doesn’t feel like blame, which it does when you’ve lost a game.

  150. chas says:

    I know I’m not really allowed to say this, but I’m going to anyway.
    Football is there to be enjoyed. Celebrate the victories and try not to allow the defeats to upset you for too long.

    Picking the scraps off the carcass of a defeat leaves me cold. Why make yourself more miserable than you are already? Even if your analysis is correct, how will that make you feel if there’s no way for you to implement it? You might as well piss down your own leg.

    Yesterday’s comments were some of the most miserable I’ve ever read. If it was like that most of the time, I wouldn’t come on here.
    Arsenal’s performance was miserable, too, until that glorious denouement.

    Some on twitter were saying they were too stunned to celebrate winning. I got the same impression on here. Something is badly wrong if that happens.

    I nearly turned off as well, BR. So pleased I resisted the temptation.

    Also I really don’t think Merson or Smith are Arsenal fans, they just use their Arsenal connection to prostitute themselves to SKY.

    Up the Arse.

  151. kelsey says:


    you say what you like.Out of all of us you a true travelling fan and I feel Arsenal is so much part of your life but you have to sometimes say as you did that football is there to be enjoyed and last night and several other times,in fact too often for my liking, the team are just not gelling and it isn’t enjoyable..

    That first half against a very ordinary team was a complete borefest and yet when they scored they could easily have had another yet it didn’t motivate our lads to fight back.In fact the opposite was true.This young Anderlecht side didn’t tire,they grew in confidence and did one see any real response from our lads.That is worrying, confidence must be at an all time low compared to recent seasons.

    That we got out of jail again at the death does show some character but nearly every game we play is taking a very familiar pattern.

  152. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Best thing you can do is get your pert little arse on here early and keep one small corner of Arsenaldom bright and smutty.

    Five bloomin’ hours in a car coming up. Oh whoopey 😦

  153. Eddie says:

    chas – is that another of your holiday embarrassing photos?

    Rocky – guilty conscience, all insomniacs have one

  154. Rubbish performance but we won. We can’t sort out why the team aren’t gelling but we can talk about it until the cows come home and look forward to better performances which will make our hearts burst with pride.

    We follow football for the highs and we have to take the ,lows too.

    Last night we got both 🙂 🙂 🙂

  155. kelsey says:

    89 minites of lows and two minutes of highs,peaches 🙂

  156. Gööner In Exile says:

    Playing badly and winning is a sign of champions

    Finding a way to get a result

    Knowing how to win ugly

    These are all a complimentary slant on last nights performance that if the manager was Jose Mourinho or SAF people would say the players found a way because they would have to face their manager. But when we find a way it’s pure luck.

    Actually Kelsey the whole football should be entertaining is another of those things that Arsene is normally criticised for….ie “it’s all very well being entertaining and playing beautiful football, wouldn’t you rather we win?”

    I’m more in the Chas camp watching the team you love can be painful, but that’s what football has always been, it makes the comeback more enjoyable. Although I have to admit I didn’t celebrate Gibbs goal, it was more relief we nicked a point. But I did give Harry back to my wife so I could lean in for the last few minutes and then I did celebrate.

  157. Eddie says:

    what got into you peaches? buzzing like that first thing in the morning

    Chas’s comment is fantastic, as much as I hate to admit it he is spot on. “Picking the scraps off the carcass of a defeat leaves me cold” – wow. Still not convinced about Mers, but will watch him closely from now on

  158. kelsey says:

    Apart from City and Chelsea which were always going to be hard games we turned it on against Villa but struggled to either beat or draw against teams we should beat easily and even Besiktas wasn’t a walk in the park.

    Injuries or not compared to last season we are miles behind and that is a worry.

  159. kelsey says:


    I am an old timer and I blog about the NOW and all I see is a bunch of individuals lacking motivation.We really look a shambles sometimes and only one man can be blamed for that.Sorry,that’s how I see it.
    You can’t paper over the cracks we were absolutely awful last night but sneaked a very unexpected result.

  160. Eddie says:

    kels – NOBODY would disagree with you about last nigh, you are absolutely correct. But think how many times we were very good, the better team and lost? Do we remember being the better team? Nope, we remember that we lost. So let’s turn the table now, forget we were awful and remember the fat 3 points 🙂

  161. Big fat three points 🙂

  162. Shard says:


    You are absolutely correct that if it were Mourinho, the media would praise him for the win, and if we were Chelsea or ManU fans, we’d be taking even greater pleasure from victories such as this. The Arsenal fans’ psyche though is different. Whether as a matter of course or as a result of the media circus around us, I don’t know, though if I had to, I would guess the latter.

    All the same, there are some legitimate worries about our season so far. Injuries are a big cause of our problems, a new system might explain some of it, bad refereeing and just bad luck afflicts us, but we still should be doing better. Last season we saw flashes of brilliance. Only flashes, but they gave confidence as to what the team could achieve. So far this season, there is almost nothing to give that confidence. I believe we will improve and when it clicks, it’ll just be an instant boost in our performances. But I said that if we didn’t start playing well and winning after the international break I’d be worried. Well, I’m worried. Though I am happy about the fact that we won. Again, like you said, it makes sorting things out easier. Winning makes everything easier. Even criticising the team 🙂

  163. Shard says:

    Oh and by the way people.

    Happy Diwali to you all. 🙂

  164. Eddie says:

    “Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger says his tactical ‘gamble’ paid dividends as they earned a dramatic Champions League comeback victory at Anderlecht”

    What is he talking about, what tactical gamble? Did he tell players to underperform, send the opposition to sleep and win in the extra time??!! I hope not or the boy is loosing the plot

  165. Eddie says:

    shard – clearly Wenger did his own praising 🙂

  166. kelsey says:

    Exactly, Eddie. He has lost the plot, there is absolutely no doubt in my mind. Great manager now sadly pass his sell by date.

  167. Shard says:


    on whether he knew the equaliser was coming…
    I know by experience that the last five minutes in the Champions League – the nerves play a part. We had to get into these five minutes without conceding the second goal. Of course, if they had scored the second goal, it was game over. I had hope. It didn’t look like it but it happened and that means we took all the risks and in the end, it paid off. It’s a little bit of a gambling situation that happens in this kind of games and it worked tonight. It did not look obvious, that is for sure.

  168. Shard says:


    Did this date expire in May, or did we fluke a trophy?

  169. Whew, we got out of jail there. I’m a knot Ear today but had to pop in and wish everyone a happy new year, 5117.

  170. Shard says:

    “clearly Wenger did his own praising”

    Haha. Brilliant, Eddie. 🙂

  171. Eddie says:

    chary – thanks for the wishes, but all I want is health 🙂
    happy Diwali to all x

  172. Eddie says:

    changed my mind Chary – health and trophies for me please

  173. kelsey says:


    what about the odd twenty minutes after we went behind.Did we really look like a team who were pressing to get an equaliser.No, in fact Anderlecht looked stronger and we were bereft of ideas. if you think we are going to win games or even draw with a calculated few minutes left that is a very dangerous gamble.
    We got lucky against an average side who couldn’t double their advantage.

    Nearly every game is the same regardless who we play. Start off with countless passes,usually sideways or backwards,have the majority of possession, usually fail to score or even if we do we get caught with the first counter attack and then end up chasing the game.
    Why because Wenger can’t adapt anymore.The world and his dog can see what is wrong but more importantly he is being outwitted by more and more managers,he should have gone in May and not tarnish his success of the first part of his tenure.

  174. Shard says:

    Chary. I’m confused. As far as I know there is no Hindu calendar which starts its new year today. I am also certain that no calendar reaches the year 5000 and beyond.

    Or maybe you were joking and I have blown a funny fuse with Eddie’s last joke and can no longer process humour.

  175. Any of those would do for me Evonne 🙂

  176. kelsey says:

    I would never put that comment up on Untold Arsenal,shard 🙂

  177. ………….. We have a New Post everyone …………..

  178. Shard says:


    is the first paragraph meant as a response to the Wenger press conference? I don’t think he was saying he wanted to wait till the last five minutes, and I certainly don’t agree with that point of view. I have already said I thought it was a horror show of a performance, and also that we have deeper issues than just yesterday.

    But here’s the thing. I believe we have only just embarked on a new phase and that it takes time to build something, and occasionally can also entail taking a bit of a step back. Which is what this new formation is. I am not certain it’ll work, but I am willing to trust the manager in that regard. One of our problems last season was not creating enough. We’re still not scoring enough but we are dribbling more, and creating more shots. ie Wenger has adapted. Another problem was our reliance on Walcott and Ramsey. The new formation might be a way of trying to make us less reliant on individuals.

    Defensively, we’ve gone backward but that might simply be because we’ve hardly had a settled defense.

    For years Wenger has had to get by with a severe fund shortage. Since he began spending anywhere near the amounts needed, we’ve had one season where we’ve won a trophy, and 2 months of a new season where we’ve looked less than impressive. If you think those 2 months show a manager who can’t adapt because he shows the same weaknesses as before, you will always be arguing for a change in manager because every manager has weaknesses in any style of play he chooses. Sure, maybe Wenger won’t be able to get this right. But he deserves a chance to see it through.

    Clubs like City and Chelsea, who had much more money to spend, also took longer than 2 seasons to get what they needed to progress to the stage we want to get to. I’m not judging Wenger by any special standards.

  179. Shard says:


    Which comment? 🙂

    I love how people keep associating me with Untold Arsenal. It’s been months since I’ve had any sort of conversation on there. I don’t agree with everything they say, but I think they occupy an important space in the Arsenal blogosphere. One of positive propaganda. The reason I have stopped being there is because it gets bloody exhausting to go over the whole Wenger in Wenger out thing in the comments.

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