Are all Swans owned by Her Majesty?

Tough game today. Let’s be honest – the way we are playing they are all tough!

Should Swansea win today they will go above us and possibly into 4th place. Not bad for a team whom many predicted would be relegated come season’s end. But they won’t beat us, will they?

Have you ever been to Swansea? Not the prettiest town. Lovely areas (the Gower) around it but the town especially when viewed from the motorway is pig ugly however in recent years Swansea has become an attractive place to live apart from Saturday nights!! Even Macdonalds has a doorman. Scary.

images-1

Welcome to Swansea MacDonalds

Since gaining promotion under Brendan Rodgers, Swansea have punched way above their weight (you need to if you come from the valleys 🙂 ). Both Rodgers and Laudrup promoted entertaining football and the new chap, Garry Monk seems to wish to continue in this vein. It is rare that Arsenal have less than 50% possession but this is the norm at the Liberty.

Much will depend upon how we cope with Swansea’s attack – they have a mixture of strength and pace. Bony will cause BFG and Monreal problems as will the pace of the wingers. Swansea’s main man this season is Guffi Sigurdsson, an Icelandic midfielder signed from Spurs; having escaped the hell of playing for the Miscreants he has blossomed and recently scored twice in Iceland’s victory over Holland.

Like Arsenal, Swansea have problems at the back and concede regularly – I think we will score but how many is the question.

Arsenal: Can we find a way to become more secure in defence? If not, the season will be a struggle. In Arteta’s absence who gets his place? Wilshire is fit and is the obvious candidate.  With Walcott fit and raring to go should he start ahead of Ox?

My Team (this is the team I would select not the one I expect AW to pick)

Szczesny

Chambers    BFG     Monreal    Gibbs

Ox   Ramsey    Wilshere   Flamini

Alexis    Welbeck

If we were at home Walcott should start but Ox gives us more security in defence (or does he??) in an away fixture. We have an excellent attacking bench and Bellerin. You may have noticed an absence of Cazorla – I think he needs a rest.

On any visit to Wales it is best and safest to take along a native; we have a great one in Aaron Ramsey. The lad from Caerphilly has yet to find form but my impression was that he was improving midweek even if he was trying too hard to score. Ramsey is so important to our success that he has to be allowed to regain form. It is hard to believe that despite all his injuries Aaron is approaching 150 games for AFC and is just 23. He is a tough young man coming back from such an injury  – further evidence is that he was offered terms by St Helens Rugby League club as a youth! I expect him to score today.

That’s enough of the football, let’s have a look at the food situation. Leeks, Welsh cakes (very tasty), lamb (no Welsh/Sheep jokes please Cockle), Cawl (which is a stew made from leeks and lamb) and Laverbread is the standard Welsh fare and jolly good it is too. But the stand out delicacy has to be the Welsh Rarebit….. toast, cheddar cheese, worcester sauce or paprika …. simple but delicious.

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Swansea’s nickname is the Swans. Did you know that Her Majesty The Queen owns all mute, unmarked swans in British open waters? Until recently she was the only person allowed to eat swans but they are now protected even from Her Majesty. (bet Micky has sneaked one). Another interesting fact about swans is that like pork and shellfish swans are un-kosher as stated in the book of Leviticus.

5th vs 7th today and the bookies have the home side as slight favourites, If either side wins they go 4th. Should be a good game.

COYRRG

Written by Big Raddy

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286 Responses to Are all Swans owned by Her Majesty?

  1. chas says:

    Strawberries with Welsh Rabbit – the dirty b*stards.

  2. Big Raddy says:

    chas. Must be Americans. Probably a jug of maple syrup on the side.

  3. Chas

    What is that? Looks like something my dog coughs up on a regular basis 🙂

  4. jmwatkins2014 says:

    Welsh Rarebit and STRAWBERRYS?

  5. It’s a poncy French Cordon bleu version of Welsh rarebit….

  6. chas says:

    NB69 – My thoughts exactly.

  7. Chas

    Now I can see who Kelsey models his bouffant on 🙂

  8. mickydidit89 says:

    Yeah Raddy, no way are you getting away with that pic of the delicious rarebit with a strawberry 🙂

    Team selection there worries me. Just don’t like Jack and Aaron in the same side, and more worryingly, will AW revert to the awful 4-1-4-1?

    It could work as a 4-2-3-1 but only if either Jack or Aaron are told, no ordered, to sit and stay deep.

    Right, surfing. Later.

  9. arnie says:

    Nice one, Raddy. 🙂

    How many do we put in through Fabianski? And how many will Szcz concede? Sigurdsson and Bony look tasty. hmmm, nervous? a little bit.

    I like the team, but I suppose we will see Santi play.

    COYG. 🙂 🙂 🙂

  10. arnie says:

    One of Her Majesty’s treasured swans was captured recently from Holyrood Park and eaten. A bit revolting!

  11. arnie says:

    This looks a bit more palatable.

  12. chas says:

    Cheers, BR.

    I’d imagine the team will be suffering from an Anderlecht hangover and attempt to play it fairly tight for the first five minutes, then throw caution to the wind and try to score more goals than them.

  13. arnie says:

    Chas. are you and Ant travelling?

  14. arnie says:

    Raddy. Lovely banner BTW. 🙂

  15. Rasp says:

    Morning all, lovely PM Raddy, thanks.

    On form we are slight underdogs today. I read GiE’s comment reporting AW’s hidden message to Ramsey – well I hope it wasn’t hidden when the two spoke. Arsene needs to make it very clear what he wants from the players and role the team requires them to play.

  16. chas says:

    No, arnie, bit of a crap journey for a Sunday 4pm kick off.
    I just had a look and it sold out to 30 plus away points, so we couldn’t have got tickets anyway.

  17. 🙂
    Given Monk likes parking a bus when we play BIG teams or take a lead – you should walk this. (As long as that Cardiff B……… doesn’t score.)
    You forgot the Swansea breakfast of lava bread (mashed seaweed), cockles, bacon and mushrooms.

  18. arnie says:

    welcome RDD. always nice to hear an opposition fan’s point of view! I think the underdog card suits us well. 2-1 to the Gooners! 🙂

  19. chas says:

  20. Gööner In Exile says:

    Morning all, solid pre match Raddy.

    I for one would go with Ox in the DM position, he is the least likely to play casual flicks in there and is actually one of the better tacklers in the midfield. I’d go for him alongside Flamster, also allows him to have a few porky shots from distance which he is more than capable of scoring from.

    Rasp if it was a hidden message to Rambo it had a very thin veil 🙂 thinking more about it I wonder if Arsene also knows how much Rambo enjoys scoring against the Swans with his Cardiff roots so he will probably be keener than ever to get on the scoresheet.

    And point of order from the tail end of the morning session, having done a few festivals I can tell you that if you want middle of the road, V and Reading are your best bet sanitised environments with more day trippers interested in how they look. And a very strict security with more interest in how much they can fleece you for throughout the weekend.

    Now Glastonbury that is shown on the TV may well appear to be middle of the road but in reality they feature the big stages. Reckon there’s at least 100 different stages within the wall and they are all more interesting than anything served up by other festivals I’ve been to. Although Global Gathering is still the most hedonistic I’ve been to literally didn’t sleep for 72 hours.

  21. arnie says:

    Chas. 😦

  22. chas says:

    Black cherry cider and Fosters (nearly as bad as Jacques)

  23. ha ha …. A black cherry snakebite 🙂

  24. chas says:

    HERNAN, HERNAN……

  25. Big Raddy says:

    Quiet on here today. Is the weather good in UK and everyone is out of the house?

  26. Rasp says:

    Remembrance Sunday Raddy. I’m working today but was down at the Co-op at 11 and very pleased that they observed the 2 minutes silence impeccably.

  27. Michael says:

    Swansea have one of the best defensive records in the league… To the point if they keep a cleansheet today, it is the second best in the league.

  28. Big Raddy says:

    We have made a signing!!

    Brooklyn Beckham has been given a one year contract.

  29. arnie says:

    hmmm. is Brooklyn Beckham any good?

  30. Big Raddy says:

    arnie. Who knows? He will certainly bring a media circus with him.

  31. G’day all,

    We need a win today to build a bit of confidence to take into the next three games this month, Manure and Dortmund at home and WBA away.

    What we don’t need is another meltdown like Tuesday’s.

    I like your post BR, but I’d put Bellerin at right-back and Chambers alongside Merts.

    Three points today please.

    Excellent banner today, well done the AA Governors.

    C’mon The Gunners!!!

  32. Gööner In Exile says:

    Begovic booked for time wasting after 32 minutes at the SHL.

    But Stoke are 2-0 up so no matter how bad it gets being a Gooner thankfully we will never be Spuds 😀

  33. Good day all

    Great pre-match Raddy, I’m looking forward to the game, I love it when we score loads of goals 😉 how many more than the opposition do we need to win? Oh yes, just one more.

    Are you sure about the non kosher bit Raddy? Why would they not be kosher? I’m going to google it.

  34. It’s unclear – why would something to do with Kosher dietary laws be clear – there’s no tradition of eating swans but if they’re all owned by Elizabeth R that could explain why.

    More to do with tradition than Kashrut.

    I’m troubled that I’m not going to be able to laugh at what’s going on at SHL until about 6 o’clock 😦

  35. Big Raddy says:

    Peaches. Would I lie to you?? 😀

    Spurs showing how to take a decent manager and turn him into a clown. And how to throw away €85m 😀

  36. Gööner In Exile says:

    Peaches take the opportunity to laugh at Spurs whenever you can 😀

  37. Big Raddy says:

    Peaches. According to my first source swans are un-kosher but, as you say, with further research it is less clear.

  38. Big Raddy says:

    Only a few weeks ago my Spurs mates were telling me Eriksen is better than Ozil and Alexis

  39. I didn’t want to dob you in it Raddy not in a challenging kind of way 😉

  40. One of my young spud charges will be there this afternoon so I can hear all about how bad they were from him. He’s a chav so he doesn’t care.

    Talking of my young charges ……. on Tuesday night my Gooner baby potato and his mate ( also a Gooner baby potato) came to the game with me. You should have seen their faces when we climbed the steps to the south bridge and everyone burst into

    What’d you think of Tottenham ……..

    They laughed out loud, I told them I wouldn’t tell if they joined in 🙂 🙂 It was funny.

  41. mickydidit89 says:

    Oh deary me, Spuds 0 Stoke 2 and we’re into the 68th minute. That’s not very good at all, is it? 🙂

  42. mickydidit89 says:

    Don’t kosher people eat only fish with scales, but not the smooth ones or something equally weird?

  43. Probably not micky, if it was us we’d be very unhappy. Well I would anyway, I’m not afraid to wear my heart on my sleeve 😉

  44. mickydidit89 says:

    “Probably not”
    Think you better look that up as well 🙂

  45. Fish with fins and scales is the rule. You can’t one without the other apparently ………… scales must be visible to the naked eye.

  46. The ‘probably not’ was my opinion on whether the score at SHL was any good silly hah

  47. mickydidit89 says:

    No more tuna for you the 🙂

  48. What ……… tuna is kosher, there must be another criteria, we love to change the rules to suit ourselves lol

  49. mickydidit89 says:

    Oh, ok, in that case “in what world could the score at SHL not be seen as ROLFingly good news?”

  50. Excellent news except they’ve got one back, Stoke have seven mins to hang on. Maybe our boys should be watching 😉

  51. mickydidit89 says:

    Hooray

    This from AFC
    Full team to play Swansea: Szczesny, Chambers, Mertesacker, Monreal, Gibbs, Flamini, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Ramsey, Alexis, Cazorla, Welbeck

    Substitutes: Martinez, Bellerin, Rosicky, Wilshere, Podolski, Walcott, Sanogo

    No Wilshere AND Ramsey….phew

    I’m happy

  52. mickydidit89 says:

    Quick shower to get the salt off, then back to the sofa

  53. So is that 4-1-4-1 or 4-2-3-1 with Flamster on his own as the 1 or with Flam and ? As the 2?

  54. Full Time at WHL, OK to rolf now Peaches

  55. Rasp says:

    😆 I just listened to the last few minutes of the spud game on TS and they turned the music on very loudly at the ground seconds after the ref blew up for full time in order to drown out the booing.

  56. Big Raddy says:

    Tuna is a member of the mackerel family, hence is kosher.

    What a sad day for the Spurs. 😦

  57. Peaches it’s six up front and five boring ones at the back. 😀

  58. 4-4-2 it is then 🙂

  59. Sav from Australia says:

    Lovely pre-match BR.

    I only just read it and now for the match.

  60. Bring it on …….. Feel sorry for Fabianski

  61. mickydidit89 says:

    Quick budge up

  62. mickydidit89 says:

    Williams is a strong looking chap. Elasticated trousers?

  63. Big Raddy says:

    We are struggling to get any fluency. Ox has to concentrate as Chambers is having problems with Montero

  64. mickydidit89 says:

    Whizzbang Saunders (c/o Arsenal Gent) seems to have run out of steam a bit

  65. Unlucky Welbz, lovely bit of play though

  66. Oxlade Chamberlain looking the most dangerous player

  67. chas says:

    Ramsey booked because someone ran into him. Dowd’s insane

  68. Finished the first half strongly, but Swansea looking dangerous. Chambers is struggling down the wing. We were lucky not to get a penalty against us, with Chambers push on Bony. It was a kosher penalty

  69. chas mobile says:

    Surely that was less of a penalty than The Ox being clattered into from behind?

  70. Sav from Australia says:

    Arsenal and Swansea both starting cautious.

    Phil Neville, for all the complaints and taunts I have heard online, has proven a fair, balanced and insightful commentator. Here is hoping that this continues.

    Second half? Arsenal to up the tempo of course, as always.

  71. Big Raddy says:

    NB. You need your eyes testing. No way was it a penalty. The 16 stone “warrior” threw himself to the ground. Should have been a yellow for diving 🙂

    Shame Ramsey didn’t score with the volley.

  72. Chas

    I agree but perhaps Phil Dowd evened it out by not giving it????

  73. I’m drunk Raddy, just as bad 🙂

  74. mickydidit89 says:

    Come on you Gunnnnnners

  75. chas mobile says:

    Surprisingly no mention of it in the “analysis”.
    You have to keep an eye on these twats else they start directing how you think.

  76. mickydidit89 says:

    NB
    Drinking something light and frivolously feminine?

  77. stevepalmer1 says:

    Evening all, Tough game, it is playing like we are 60 70% Possession and who have had the majority of the ball our defenders, pass back after pass back, this is driving me mad Cazorla gives us nothing and Walcott has now had a year out and still not playing, Chamberlain will be off on 70 and Walcott will get his ten minutes.

    What kind of tactics are these, Zonal marking is our enemy leaves us exposed all the time and we still persevere with it while Swansea close us down all the time, truly pathetic

  78. That should have been a red…….. boot over the ball

  79. as if Micky… who do you think I am…… Chas 🙂

  80. mickydidit89 says:

    Just checking NB. Always good to know how the land lies 🙂

  81. mickydidit89 says:

    By the way, I’ll be off the moment the game ends. So if we don’t win by five, it’s not because I’m sulking 🙂

  82. Chambers on a yellow…. this could be GOOAAAALLLL

  83. Yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeees

    Come on, fantastic goal The Ox, Welbeck and Alexis

  84. mickydidit89 says:

    Love the power of The Ox

  85. Chambers being run ragged by MOntero… on a yellow as well. This could be a nervy period. Lets see if we can get anothet. Beautiful move for the goal

  86. wally says:

    Why is Gibbs chasing the ball, from behind, from beyond the circle? He’s got shit for brains doesn’t he.

  87. Rasp says:

    That goal was entirely Ramsey’s fault, he gave the ball away through trying to be clever and not making the simple pass

  88. Big Raddy says:

    No stopping that.

    COYRRG

  89. We must be better at keeping possession in the mid-field, sloppy play led to that free kick.

    And now we’re 2-1 down 😦

  90. Rasp says:

    Once again our confidence is paper thin, we concede one and fall apart – something has to be done about this

  91. wally says:

    And chanbers beaten to his right, by the same guy, for the umpteenth time. Do any of these defenders have a room temperature IQ?

  92. wally says:

    rasp,
    ramsey may have given the ball away but wtf is gibbs doing so far forward? Why is he so far forward when the team is up 1?

  93. Rasp says:

    Walley, not only did Ramsey give the ball away but he just strolled back and made no attempt to recover the ball back. I agree our fb’s need to know when to stay back but you can blame the manager for that

  94. Big Raddy says:

    I wrote midway through the first half that Chambers was in trouble and that Ozx had to double up on Montero. He didn’t and Montero mugged Chambers.

    Basic stuff.

    Come on lads we have 15 mins to rescue this

  95. Rasp says:

    Incidentally we must hold some kind of record for having the most corners without scoring

  96. Rasp says:

    Our corners are a waste of time, hasn’t aw considered trying something different or must he persist with something that patently doesn’t work?

  97. Big Raddy says:

    Rasp. The latter 😦

  98. chas says:

    Maybe we should always take short corners.

  99. Rasp says:

    We couldn’t do any worse chas

  100. wally says:

    part of the problem is that wenger, having left himself short of defenders, can’t punish him by sitting him for a few weeks. So we have to keep playing with idiots in the side.

    I’m tired of the same old crap. I need to take a break.

  101. Big Raddy says:

    We weren’t good enough today.

  102. Rasp says:

    We just aren’t a very good team. He won’t, but the manager should take responsibility for failing to produce a ‘team’ that has any strength of character – superb individuals but a weak team

  103. We’ve got two weeks to lick our wounds and then Manu at home 🙂

  104. oh well

    Only one thing to do, open another bottle of wine…. join me Raddy>

  105. arnie says:

    hmmmm. I think Chambers and Rambo had an indifferent game, and at this level, it is 2 players too many. Once again, I will ask. Since when was attack and putting in crosses the main job of a defender, for that is primarily what a wing back is. hmmmm. 😦

  106. Adrian says:

    What a joke.

  107. Rasp says:

    I feel sorry for Sanchez, once again he delivers and gives us the lead only for the midfield and defence to implode again

  108. fatgingergooner says:

    We have a top 4 attack and a bottom 4 defence, so these results don’t really surprise me anymore. When you have to score 3 and 4 goals to win games then you’re in trouble.

  109. fatgingergooner says:

    Totally agree with Rasp. What’s more scary is the manager seems to think we are improving because we have kept clean sheets against Sunderland and Burnley! Who’s he trying to kid? The balance of the side is all wrong at the moment.

  110. Rasp says:

    I’ve just watched the replay of Swansea’s first. We had 8 players in the Swansea half when we gave away possession and when we were 1 nil up – absolutely suicidal play. We never learn

  111. Shard says:

    I rarely feel it, but this one is on Wenger. I get trying to play players through adversity. and having trust in them to get things right.. But Chambers was quite clearly unable to keep up with Montero in the speed department. That doesn’t mean he’s at fault, it’s just his attributes don’t match up well. Why not bring on Bellerin to try and snuff out the danger. Especially with Chambers on a yellow card.

    As for the first goal. The midfield goes missing. Gibbs chases back and hesitates before fouling. A more experienced dark arts practitioner would foul 10 metres further out. Of course, can’t do much about the free kick though so that’s just one of those things. But losing concentration because of it and conceding the second just after is not.

    We really need reinforcements. Injured players coming back and new players too. Especially in defense.

    I have also changed my mind about wanting a powerhouse DM. I think we need a younger, more mobile version of Arteta more than anything. If Arteta were on the field today, I don’t think we’d lose.

    PS. The weather didn’t help, but it cannot be an excuse, especially after we got ourselves in the lead.

  112. Rasp says:

    Wenger is deluded. His interview just goes to show how blind he is to the reasons why we concede silly goals. “We failed to kill the game off” …. Errr no, we lost because we committed too many forward when in the lead and then lost our composure once we conceded

  113. fatgingergooner says:

    They do learn Rasp, they learn exactly what the manager is telling them to do! Nothing will change on that front until the manager changes. What we need to hope is that he somehow manages to build an all conquering attacking line up that covers over our defensive frailties. Either that or he buys a top CB and HM who can hold teams at bay without the help of the rest of the midfield!

  114. Shard says:

    Really? Wasn’t Wenger publicly telling Ramsey to remember his priorities? Twice in 3 days at that?

    There’s criticism and then there’s criticism based on truisms. If Wenger’s delusion can be deduced from a post match comment which uses everyday football vernacular about ‘killing the game off’, then surely a proper press conference where he delivered the same message to a player twice should be more proof that in fact Wenger isn’t blind to our defensive problems.

    What he does to fix it is a question though. Would we be better off going the route we did in RVP’s last year with us? Where we had those 1-0 victories by shutting down the midfield, defending deeper and becoming a ‘one man team’? Or would we be better trying to build a team more oriented towards pressing higher up the field, but which would rely on players performing their ‘newish’ roles better or indeed buying new players? I vote for the latter because it’s potential is greater. In that larger sense I don’t think Wenger’s got it wrong.

    I’ll be accused of reverting to type over Wenger but the internet doesn’t make it easy to say something against him either since it goes overboard.

  115. Rasp says:

    Incorrect Shard, he shouldn’t be using press conferences to get a message to his players he should be drumming it into them every day on the training ground. Then if they don’t execute it in games he should get off his arse from the bench and let them know from the technical area – but no, he just sits there and complains about the odd refereeing decision.

  116. Shard says:

    I see. So he should never use the media to send a message, and he should be shouting at players from the touchline instead of trusting them for 45 minutes. What would shouting at them from 50 metres away achieve that talking to them pre and mid match doesn’t?

    Look Rasp. There’s merit to the argument that Wenger needs to do something different. But I really don’t get this idea that it is ok to decide how Wenger should interact with his players or his body language on the sideline.

    The one thing I would say he should do more is drop players who don’t perform, but that can only happen when there are less injuries and a squad with more quality has been built up. I do think Wenger occasionally takes trust in his players too far, but who am I to say chewing them out will work better if you can’t simply buy to replace them or have a squad with at least 2 players of equal quality in every position?

    Also, while I disagree with his decisions many times, in the larger picture, the one thing I am certain of, is that he knows what he is doing. Not all of it works, not all of it will be to our understanding or liking, and there are tradeoffs associated with his approach which add to the frustration, but if it’s your view that he is deluded then I am sorry, I am going to have to disagree with you.

  117. Rasp says:

    Look Shard we’re all used to your tactic of trying to kill off a point by writing long denunciations. I won’t do that so let’s just start with your first line “he should never use the media to send a message” – did I say that? No

    Did I suggest he should be “shouting from the touch line ” – No, but he should be communicating with his players if they aren’t executing his game plan, that’s part of the job of being a manager. If you haven’t got a leader on the pitch to organise the players you have to give guidance from the sidelines

  118. Shard says:

    I see.. I’ll just take your leave then Rasp.. Looks like my ‘tactics’ aren’t working either.

    SHARD OUT!!!

  119. arnie says:

    I agree speaking to the press and the players are not the same thing. My tuppence. Wenger is not a fool. When he speaks to the press, it is to give them them usual press bullshit, in different words different variations each time.

    When he speaks to the players, he does it I suppose in different way. Naive, IMO to think he is using the press to communicate with players.

  120. Gööner In Exile says:

    First half we were poor, mainly because we couldn’t get the ball through the lines, mainly because BFG was trying to miss out Flamini and find Rambo or Santi. But the ball travels to far like that it’s very easy for the player to be shit down before he receives the ball.

    They were having a field day down our right because Chambers was at 6’s and 7’s.

    Get to half time at 0-0 and it looked like we adjusted slightly Santi played deeper as Rambo wasn’t going to and we had more ball out from the back. Also a subtle change at the back, BFG shifted to the right about 5 yards and was there to bail out Chambers when he got in trouble.

    Their first shows the importance of Arteta, Ramsey sloppy, but after that Gibbs had the chance to take the man down ten yards further up the pitch, when he finally did bring him down I was cursing that it was too late.

    And then after that it went to ratshit but then that’s no surprise.

    I think it’s very hard to judge the quality of the team when we still have so many key men out injured, Debuchy and Koscielny are huge misses.

    Should just say the one positive was the way we moved forward for the goal and Welbeck’s composure to stop in those conditions and make the right pass.

  121. Gööner In Exile says:

    Also swingo says we finish above ManUre and Everton, problem is it says we finish below Chavs, City, Villa, Toon, Stoke, Southampton, Spuds, Liverpool, Swansea, Sunderland, Leicester and West Ham (in that order).

    Swingo normally helps me stay positive but this season it’s not, why not? Well in order to turn our season round we need to get some big results, results that have been beyond us in recent seasons:

    From the remaining games we got a total of 54 points last season, to improve on that we obviously have to match all the winning games but improve on the draws and defeats, so that’s home to Chelsea, Villa, Swansea, ManUre, Everton, Villa, and away to Liverpool, City, ManUre, Southampton, WBA.

  122. RC78 says:

    guyz….It is a crisis at Man Utd and a crisis at Liverpool and a crisis at Man City and a crisit at Tottenham but it seems that there is no sense of panick at AFC…we are just one point ahead of Man Utd…

    Again, no defensive leaders and no aggression in the midfield and what a poor game from Monreal…

  123. Gööner In Exile says:

    Debuchy for breaking his leg. because surely no one thinks Chambers is a right back anymore?

  124. chas says:

    Haha, ‘swingo normally helps me stay positive’.

    That’s priceless.
    Are you talking about the same swingo that had us relegated to the Conference at the start of last season? And had Southampton runaway champions up until Christmas? 🙂

  125. Rasp says:

    Nice gravatar chas 🙂

  126. chas says:

    Please bring the swingometer back. I need cheering up. 🙂

  127. chas says:

    Cheers, Rasp.
    Funny, I was just about to ditch it again as every time I go to type a comment it asks me to log back in and I’m f*cked if I’m doing that all day long.

  128. Rasp says:

    I guess we can’t complain because WordPress is mostly free, but damn, hasn’t it got a lot of glitches

  129. stevepalmer1 says:

    When are you guys going to realise, that while Wenger perseveres with these tactics, that we are a team waiting to be picked off.

    It doesn’t take an expert to realise that their manager exploited the right back position. Not a distinguish manager by any stretch of the imagination, but who has to be, to get one over Wenger.

    Who allow’s a centre back to go up for every corner and free kick who very rarely gets near the ball, and who is very rarely where he should be when a breakaway happens.

    Arsenal are a very weak outfit, tactics that a schoolboy could overcome. Our only attack is to the middle. We call it sides that park the bus, but in all honesty a defence that actually defend, will beat this attack every day of the week.

    Wenger has been amazing over the years, but for a man with his vast experience, he learns nothing from week to week. I knew what tactics he would use, and so did the rest of the world, and why, because he thinks he knows best. He doesn’t, so for all you Arsene supporters, get your head out of the sand, we are ready for change, as Wenger never will.

  130. chas says:

    This is the first international break that I’m actually happy has come along.
    No more fecking Arsenal to piss me off for two whole weeks. Bliss.

  131. chas says:

    steve
    I think everyone realises it, it’s just how you personally deal with it is where people differ.

  132. chas says:

    The troll’s comments need deleting.
    For him to type “we’re” turns my stomach.

  133. chas says:

    Right back to something non-football related. 🙂

  134. Rasp says:

    I’ve been deleting one troll chas, I wasn’t sure about the other – I’ll take action based on your advice 🙂

  135. arnie says:

    Chas @ 8:34. 🙂

  136. arnie says:

    we must have been doing something well, as a club and as a blog, to have discouraged the troll(s) from coming out so long! 😛

  137. So, what shall we talk about this week? Going to need lots of posts to cheer the masses up.

  138. arnie says:

    Peaches. I will try and do one, perhaps Thursday.

  139. Gööner In Exile says:

    Right this is between August 2012 and now.

    Points Per Game:
    1 Cheslea 2.14
    2 Manchester City 2.13
    3 Arsenal & Manchester United 1.94
    5 Liverpool 1.83
    6 Tottenham Hotspur 1.78

    Goals Against Per Game:
    1 Chelsea 0.89
    2 Manchester City 0.95
    3 Arsenal 1.05
    4 Everton 1.11
    5 Manchester United 1.15
    6 Liverpool 1.24

    Goals for Per Game:
    1 Manchester City 2.18
    2 Liverpool 2.14
    3 Chelsea 2.0
    4 Manchester United 1.92
    5 Arsenal 1.83
    6 Everton 1.56

    Win Percentage
    1 Chelsea and Manchester City 64%
    3 Manchester United 59%
    4 Arsenal 56%

    Look all i’m saying is its not bad for a manager who is so easy to beat and every one has figured out, oh no thats right its because of all the money he spends on the best players available that he is able to achieve these numbers without a single bit of coaching ability.

    Oh one more before i go why not:

    Loss Percentage
    1 Chelsea 15%
    2 Manchester City 16%
    3 Arsenal 18%
    4 Everton 21%
    5 Manchester United 23%

  140. Rasp says:

    Hmmm stats 😦 conceding 5 goals from winning positions in the second half of our last two games?

  141. Gööner In Exile says:

    I’m not disputing that its crap Rasp, i’m just asking for a little bit of perspective…..rather than the continuation of a campaign to get rid of the manager. Phrases like “Arsenal are a very weak outfit, tactics that a schoolboy could overcome” well clearly theres a lot of crap managers in the Premier League because not many do overcome us do they?

    OK it happens occasionally but it happens to everyone on occasion see above. What i’m getting at is that he is not bad as you and others appear to be making him out to be, he is not some clueless manager, he is in fact very capable, people complain that he signs inadequate players, people complain that he doesn’t have a clue tactically but lo and behold the numbers suggest he does at least one of those well enough to mean we win more than we lose and score more than we concede.

    If you look at those numbers rather than just pass them off as stats maybe you would be able to see what the real weakness in our team is……i’ll give you a clue its not the defence, and then maybe you’ll understand why we are trying to commit men forward to score goals to kill games off because a 1-0 lead is not secure in the Premier League, hasn’t been for a number of seasons.

    And can we just clarify again the names of players currently unavailable because to see this defence judged as if its Arsene’s first choice is beyond annoying:

    Defenders: Debuchy, Koscielny.

    Midfielders: Arteta, Ozil

    Attackers : Giroud

    And in reality we have only just welcomed back Jack, Ramsey, Theo and Sanogo to the squad.

    Lets just take a step back, think about it rather than throwing the baby out with the bath water at every bad result, no ones happy but do we have to keep going over the same ground when no one knows how he approaches half time team talks or training ground, or what tactics are put in place other than those in London Colney and in the Dressing Room.

    Then lets look at some facts rather than hearsay, the facts are up there thats why i posted them.

  142. neamman says:

    We failed because once again injuries decimated one section of our team. this time defence.. We have no cover at all..I would have rather seen Coquelin at RB with Chambers at CB.

  143. Rasp says:

    I’m with you GiE, the midfield has been the problem since the start of the season 🙂

  144. Rasp says:

    …… But we do know the tactics are pretty one dimensional – we see it most weeks and he repeated today something along the lines of looking at our own game rather than examining the strengths and weaknesses of the opposition – we have to do both

  145. Rasp says:

    Hi Neamann, fair enough our defence has plenty of key injuries but the midfield still has a duty to keep shape and defend and the fullbacks should know when to defend first

  146. Gööner In Exile says:

    But then a bigger laugh is actually going back a season or twi further, because obviously our defence is always the problem and Arsene hasn’t addressed it….yet:
    Goals against per game:
    2009-10….1.09
    2010-11…..1.13
    2011-12…..1.29

    Wow for a manager that doesn’t do defensive organisation its quite surprising our average goals against has come down since its high in 2012.

    But this should be everyones concern:
    Goals scored per game:
    2009-10 ….. 2.18
    2010-11……1.89
    2011-12……1.95
    2012-13……1.89
    2013-14……1.78
    2014-15……1.72

  147. Rasp says:

    There’s a problem here. I don’t think anything I write or say will have any effect on the way the club is run and nor do I wish it to. I simply look for the answers whilst also rejoicing in the good things.

    I do take exception to being lectured by those who present their opinion as fact

  148. Rasp says:

    …. And although we can all find a reason to poo poo the opinions of pundits, it’s is illogical to dismiss them when the vast majority all identify the same weaknesses in our team and have done so for several years. Paddy Barclay is one of the very best journos and a fan of AW but even he acknowledges we have a problem

  149. RC78 says:

    In any case – we have definitely addressed our offensive weaknesses with the recruitment of both Wellbeck and Sanchez.

    However and for some reason, we have refused to bolster defensively…in midfield and in defense itself…

    Look at the usual top 6 spine.

    Courtois – Cahill – Matic – Costa
    Hart – Kompany – Toure – Aguero
    De Gea – Jones – Carrick – Rooney
    PiG – BFG – Arteta – Wellbeck
    Mignolet – Skrtl – Gerrard – Sturridge
    Howard – Jagielka – Barry – Lukaku

    I think it s clear to see that we are not doing that great in the spine section…

    The spine has to be strong and ready to fight…Except Sanchez, we do not have real fighters in the team…The close second are Ox, Giroud and Podolski…but the rest are pushovers…and they would not even get in the first XI of Chelsea or City…

    I hear that Hummels wants to join us for 40 Mln EUR but we do not need a Hummels! Get a real fighter in defense, a person that is strong in the air and that can deal with crosses as well as play physically…If AW wants to spend 40 Mln on a defender, he should really consider Marquinhos who is very young, extremely good in the air and not afraid of challenges…Otherwise, why not go for RamoS, Pepe, Godin or Garay…These guyz will not falter and will really bring this leadership and aggression to the back four…

    In midfield, get rid of useless players like Flamini, Rosicky and Diaby in the midfield…And get a really midfield enforcer…Bender is good but why not someone like Gustavo or Ramires!

    PiG – Debs, Garay, Kos, Gibbs – Ramsey, Gustavo – Ozil – Walcott, Giroud, Sanchez

    Ospina – Bellerin, BFG, Chambers, Monreal – Wislhere, Arteta – Cazorla – Ox, Wellbeck, Podolski or Campbell

    And we have Gnabry as well…

  150. RC78 says:

    Khedira is also availble for very cheap in January…and so is Mikel…

    and if Wenger can bring in Lichtensteiner and/or Vidal from Juve, will be great 🙂

  151. Rasp says:

    This is what Barclay wrote after we won the FA Cup …….

    One trophy doesn’t make Arsene Wenger a specialist in success.

    But it is one trophy more than Jose Mourinho has won this season and Arsene Wenger thoroughly deserved the moment of vindication that came with the final whistle at Wembley. A dozen minutes after Olivier Giroud and Aaron Ramsey had conspired in one of the most beautiful winning goals ever scored at the national stadium that lovely shrill blast somehow cut through the crowd noise, lifting a mountain of self-inflicted pressure from Wenger’s shoulders.

    It was not Ivan Gazidis or the board who had doubted that the manager should continue next season, only Wenger himself, his deliberations prompted by knowledge that the support had been split towards the end of his nine trophy-free years. So both Wenger and the Arsenal leadership as a whole should be recognised as oases of class in a game that — even now at Manchester United — so widely lacks it.

    Let Wenger enjoy his trip to the World Cup and good luck with the vital decisions he must also pack into the summer. His contract will be signed but those of the players he needs are just as important — they must be either big names or massive prospects, with no more Gervinhos or even, with due respect to a more distinguished figure, Kim Kallstroms.

    Wenger must also ponder the failings of his regime, which were apparent even on Saturday. To listen to George Graham on the radio the morning after was to be reminded that, in his day, the opposition could expect a couple of whacks in the opening minutes, just to dull their appetite for the match. In Wenger’s day, the opposition are given two goals to encourage them.

    This is not to deny that Wenger has brought to Arsenal periods of sustained glory unknown since Herbert Chapman’s time. But there is plenty of room for improvement in terms of tactics and preparation.

    A key factor was identified in discussion between Graham and Frank McLintock, Bertie Mee’s Double-winning captain: you cannot play the Barcelona way without everyone busting a gut, as Pep Guardiola’s players did, to win possession back.

    A few years ago, I interviewed Thierry Henry in Barcelona and he said he had never worked half as hard defensively. And that was to remain a requirement at the Catalan institution. You might see the likes of Andres Iniesta sprint as hard, if not harder, in pursuit of a lost ball as in flowing forward.

    Not at Arsenal. Too often they are the hounded, the ones caught unawares, as by Hull City in an absorbing final. The only difference from similar manifestations against Liverpool and other top sides was that Hull didn’t quite have to quality to go on and wipe the floor with Wenger’s men.

    This vulnerability must be addressed and it cannot be done by merely the arrival of, say, one commanding centre-back, even if such a figure could be found and secured despite competition from United, Chelsea and others seeking performers in the new global problem position.

    Nor would the addition of a holding midfielder of world class, to replace the clever but creaking Mikel Arteta, and conclusion of the search for a striker to compete with Giroud, complete the trick.

    Wenger is likely to have to spend every penny of that £100million kitty and maybe more, to make those improvements. But they will not be enough if the tendency to go into a match apparently unaware of the opposition’s characteristics — and drive to inflict damage — is not eradicated.

    It will be a sunny summer now for an Arsenal family drawn together by the nostalgic appeal of the open-top bus. If the return to action is not to be spoiled, as last season’s was, by something akin to a home defeat by Aston Villa, it would be useful to have some evolution in the philosophy of the family’s head.

  152. Gööner In Exile says:

    ahhh the opinion of Patrick Barclay is now a fact….see you all in two weeks.

  153. Rasp says:

    That’s not fair GiE, it’s just an opinion, one that resonates with me but not you apparently – we don’t have to agree, so be it. I thought that was what blogging was all about?

  154. stevepalmer1 says:

    People seem to think that i have a dislike for Wenger, Anybody can find stats to dismiss what somebody says. In my opinion you can keep your stats, This squad of players all bar a couple could quite easily hold their own, we should be doing better.

    The problem we have is not the players its the strategy, Zonal marking leaves players free to run onto the ball, it also leaves our players marking open spaces.

    You can support the manager as much as you like, you can find stats as many as you want, but strategically if you leave holes the opposition will punish you.

    To allow your slowest CB to go up for corners and free kicks when you know he does not help is bordering self suicide. Leaving holes where there is no need is inept.

    Player positioning is all that is wrong, Ozil playing wing is a fine example, letting Walcott leave the wing is also not good. Mertsacker crowding the box and getting in the way of our strikers .

    As i said we have the makings of a very good team, but it needs a general to place players in the right place. Wenger has been very good but had he placed players where they play best would actually make this team more stable.

    You don’t like my view, well thats your problem, you can hide my comments or not answer them thats your business but even the best Chess players make a mistake and lose, Wenger has made too many bad moves and he unsettles players.

    And worst of all he unsettles me.

  155. fatgingergooner says:

    We are not decimated by defensive injuries, we have 2! That’s all it takes it would seem for us to have real problems in defence.

    As for the attack, we have definitely struggled for goals in recent years. Having to replace your best attacking players obviously doesn’t help, espescially when your whole forward game is built around them (RVP & Cesc). Now that we have Welbeck, Sanchez, and Walcott and Giroud returning from injury, I do think we will improve on that front.

    Wenger has always been an attack minded coach, but when you have players like Sol Campbell, Patrick Vieira, Tony Adams, Gilberto etc then you can get away with pushing men forward. When you have players like Flamini, Monreal and Mertersacker, however, then you need to make sure the team is balanced.

  156. arnie says:

    Barclay is Red Nose’s biographer, and is now taking up the contract to write Maureen’s biography as well. So, what do we expect?

    In his time, Patrick has managed the greatest teams in Europe, and previously a World Cup winning footballer. 😛

  157. wally says:

    Our problems are not defensive? What a load of crap.

  158. mickydidit89 says:

    FFS Crystals, get back here right now. This is your moment.

    We can add real quality and depth doom for two weeks 🙂

  159. mickydidit89 says:

    Exile and Chas

    Look I know I took the piss out of the Swinger. You know, going on about the Conference and all that shit, but please, please can we have the old girl back.

    I cannot think of a better idea for a post today than one graphic: THE SWINGER…DISCUSS.

    I mean, we’re about 5th or 6th right now, so one win would put us 4th (given the inevitable collapse of whoever is above) and back in the trophies

  160. mickydidit89 says:

    Here are my best moments from yesterday’s comments, and I have taken both slightly out of context (so apologies Lads)

    RC: “It is a crisis at Man Utd and a crisis at Liverpool and a crisis at Man City and a crisis at Tottenham”

    Chas: “I think everyone realises it, it’s just how you personally deal with it is where people differ.”

  161. mickydidit89 says:

    Right, smut required, and I mean hard core 🙂

  162. JM says:

    Q: What is wrong with this picture?


    {Arsenal had seven players ahead of the ball when Swansea broke in the move that led to their equaliser.}

    Picture above is © BBC webpage.

  163. JM says:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/29917344

    (Review by one of our “Invincibles”, tough-as-nails defender Martin Keown)
    Arsenal’s defeat by Swansea on Sunday means that, for the second time in six days, the Gunners have failed to see out a game when they were ahead in the closing stages.

    {Just like in their 3-3 draw with Anderlecht on Tuesday, when they had led 3-0, Arsene Wenger’s side only have themselves to blame.

    The Gunners got the balance of their team wrong in the closing stages at the Liberty Stadium. For them to throw it away after what happened in midweek was quite unbelievable.

    At 1-0 up, with 15 minutes to go, when they should have been solid, they committed too many players forward.

    There were seven Arsenal players ahead of the ball in the opposition’s third of the pitch when Swansea broke away to win the free-kick from which Gylfi Sigurdsson scored their equaliser.

    Only Kieran Gibbs was near the ball in the Swansea half, with Per Mertesacker and Nacho Monreal marking Swansea players in their own half.

    It was a great free-kick by Sigurdsson to get the ball up and over the wall and down underneath the bar.

    But Arsenal should not have been in a position where they gave it away in the first place. It was a problem of their own making.}
    =====

    What went wrong for Arsenal?

    {That free-kick came about after Modou Barrow ran straight down the middle of the pitch before being brought down when Gibbs had no choice but to foul him on the edge of the Arsenal area.

    But the reason Barrow could do that was because Mathieu Flamini had moved out of central midfield to challenge Sigurdsson and try to win the ball.

    Flamini did not need to do that – he just needs to occupy that central area of the pitch.

    If you do that, then the opposition do not even bother trying to run into that area. But, when they can see holes and gaps, they run into them.

    Flamini should have passed that player on. Instead, he vacated his area and did not have the pace to recover.

    It is not all his fault, though. To an extent, the centre-halves should have communicated that they wanted protection.

    Whoever I played with in the centre of defence for Arsenal, my partner and I would have the adage that, the more players do in front of us, the less we do.

    So our aim was always to get that barricade in position, and keep it there.

    Under Arsene Wenger, in the Arsenal team I played in, the likes of Patrick Vieira and Emmanuel Petit would not have vacated midfield in the manner Flamini did.}
    =====

    Swansea’s second – more Arsenal mistakes

    {Swansea deserve credit for their winning goal, which was well-worked and finished but, again, it should have been stopped at source.

    Again, it comes down to a defensive shield, which Arsenal used to have but are missing at the moment.

    I lost count of the number of Arsenal wingers that my old team-mate Lee Dixon saw off because of the amount of work they had to do in front of him to protect him at right-back.

    That is vital, because if you can stop the ball reaching the feet of the opposition winger then they are not going to cause you any problems.

    Calum Chambers was not given much protection down the right by Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and, too often on Sunday, Jefferson Montero was able to pick the ball up and do real damage.

    It was almost as if Swansea were targeting Arsenal down that side because they could see that Chambers was struggling to deal with a right-footed left-winger.

    As a player I see as predominantly being a centre-half who is playing right-back rather than a player whose future lies at full-back, Chambers found it very difficult against the Ecuadorian.

    He did not have the pace to deal with such a nippy player over the first five yards and, with Montero being right footed, the Swansea player was knocking it out of his feet and into space that Chambers was not expecting.

    From what I have seen of him this season, Chambers likes to get close to his man and put his hands on him but he tried something different against Montero and did not get the balance right.

    I felt it was a big wake-up call for Chambers. Until now, everything has gone incredibly well for him over the last few months, with him flying from Southampton to Arsenal and into the England team.

    Perhaps now, he realises what it is really all about to be a defender at this level.

    But as well as Chambers allowing Montero to put the cross in for the second goal, Arsenal should have dealt better with the ball when it came into the box.

    With Laurent Koscielny injured, I think Nacho Monreal was picked to play centre-half because Wenger wanted to use his experience and did not want to have Chambers in the centre and Hector Bellerin at right-back because he did not want two 19-year-olds together in his defence.

    Maybe that is something he will have to reconsider when he looks at Bafetimbi Gomis’s goal again.

    Per Mertesacker gets pulled out a long way, perhaps to try to cover Chambers but he does not really need to do that and he is not marking anybody either when Montero’s cross comes in.

    Instead it is Monreal, usually a left-back, who is left to deal with Gomis, and he was never going to be favourite to win that high ball.

    Gomis deserves credit for his finish, but with normal orthodox central defenders, I would like to think that cross is something Arsenal can deal with.}
    =====

    How can Arsenal improve at the back?

    {On the back of Arsenal seeing two leads disappear within a week, there needs to be a major inquest into why it happened.

    Of course there will be more cries for Wenger to strengthen his side defensively when the transfer window opens in January.

    But, before then, they need to improve in that area with the personnel they have got, which comes down to individuals as much as tactics.

    The philosophy of the club under Wenger is always going to be to attack and try to create chances but, looking at the way Arsenal did both of those against Swansea, you could argue they did not create enough.

    Per Mertesacker spoke after the game about how Arsenal had not kept possession well enough in the closing stages.

    The reason that was their downfall was that they were not prepared for when they lost it.

    As a centre-half, Mertesacker has to organise the players in front of him. You cannot just switch on the second you lose the ball – instead, you should be in a position to win it back early.

    You have to prepare for the worst, otherwise you are not going to be ready when you lose possession.

    That is something you don’t have to train at, it is a mindset you go on to the pitch with, and you have to have players who take responsibility at key times.

    Even before Swansea’s equaliser, it was already a feature of Sunday’s game that Arsenal were being a little bit sloppy in possession.

    That could have been down to the wet conditions and torrential rain, but they were not keeping the ball like they normally do.

    So, the key was not to run the risk of leaving themselves isolated and exposed at the back.

    Arsenal did that for Swansea’s first goal, when there was a huge gap between their defence and midfield.

    Everyone charging forward meant only Gibbs and the two centre-halves were in contact, which was criminal. They paid the price.}

  164. mickydidit89 says:

  165. kelsey says:

    Morning all

    I said on Saturday I couldn’t watch the game live but just seen a replay.

    Am I surprised. NO

    We have a one man scorer who is fantastic and absolutely no defensive midfied nor defence that it is actually becoming alarming.

    First half was pretty even, then we score the novice Manager makes the right subs and our old man just watches.

    What is the point of bringing the world class Sanogo on with two minutes left and leave the proven international Podolski on the bench.

    Oh how we miss Kos as without him Mertesacker looks extremely vunerable.

    Chambers is getting slated but give the lad a break as too much is being askd of him and I have always said Monreal isn’t good enough quality wherever he plays.

    ramsey is out of form but was told to track back but he didn’t in fact often Sanchez tracked back more than anyone.

    Yes we have injuries but this is just not good enough especially compared to last season.

    Wenger looked in deep depression after the game and you know what he doesn’t know what to do to motivate this team anymore, a collection of individuals,some good,some bad and some plain awful.
    Flamini nor Arteta is the answer and why can’t AW make subs at the right time.
    It may turn out OK as most of the other teams around us are dropping points which shows the margins are narrowing throughout the PL Chelsea are exempt from that and even they can afford a wobble or two
    .
    Maybe Bould should go or maybe he isn’t allowed an input.

    it was again a game we shouldn’t have lost, embarrasing and nearing crisis point.

  166. mickydidit89 says:

  167. mickydidit89 says:

    Morning JM and Morning Crystals

    Doing the school run shortly Just read through post game comments, and it looks like bloggers are dropping like flies.

    Eddie, I order you to get here 🙂

  168. aizedlittlemozart says:

    good morning all, been away, from civilisation & AA. being keeping up with the posts & comments best I could, contribution was not possible though.

    turbulent pass few days, obviously! horribly gutted!!! have no entrails left!

    just got in after Alexis’ goal. but the ghosts of the anderlecht match were shaking in earthquake proportions!

    really wanted that win seeing as Liverpool & manShitty dropped points. ChelShit are running away with it so far. its frustrating really. but we take two weeks of mostly unimportant footy to cool off & come back hoping for that win against manure.

    Shard ma man!!! always good to see you holding the positivity fort.

    BR, great PM, too bad about the result.

  169. Eddie says:

    Eddie reporting on duty 🙂

  170. Eddie says:

    I am just too upset for words. I am with Kelsey, Wenger fucked up again. Chambers was out of his depth from the start – why not bring Bellerin? Why his teammates didn’t step up to protect him? Why keep Ramsey on the pitch, when he is clearly underperforming?

    Never mind the table, the results are damaging to the team, the confidence will drop and we are in for a few more shockers.

    But chas is right, let’s not talk footy during internationals. I propose dogs for a subject, I could even write a couple of posts

  171. arnie says:

    Motning all.

    Peace.

  172. mickydidit89 says:

    Eddie,
    A Dog Post with just the faintest hint of a connection to The Arsenal. Brilliant 🙂
    How they could be ID’d on the way into the ground.
    Seating arrangements ie Little Shitsu’s at the front. Big Lads at the back?
    Endless possibilities

  173. Eddie says:

    oh 😦 no connection to Arsenal intended. Sadly, my dogs hate football, or rather they hate me watching football. They are gentle creatures and do no appreciate unexpected noises, shouting, objects flying across the room, you know, the usual behaviour of a frustrated Arsenal supporter

  174. Morning all

    Putting ‘good’ before that seemed inappropriate!

    Big question marks today about our last two performances. I thought our tactics would have changed dramatically yesterday after the capitulation on Tuesday. But no, after getting a brilliant goal and a chance to win the game, nothing was changed to secure the win. What does AW see when he watches a match? Surely he and Bould must have seen our weakness down Chambers wing? Why wasn’t something said to the players down that side to protect him?
    Why wasn’t a early substitution made to bring Bellerin into RB and put Chambers centrally with the BFG?

    Why were the full backs allowed to keep bombing forward and leaving gaps at the back? Why wasn’t AW at the edge of his technical area shouting instructions to the team to change their gung ho attitude?

    The players have their responsibility on the pitch, but ultimately, it’s AW in control and he should be asserting his authority on the team. A young and fairly inexperienced manager made changes which won Swansea the match. He saw the gaps and weaknesses in our defence and capitalised on them.

    My biggest gripe though is our set pieces, especially corners. Why do we continue to put balls into the area from a corner when the stats tell us that we have a higher than average fail rate of converting? Why does the BFG go up for corners when we know he’ll be hassled by the opposition and ultimately have no effect and then have to slowly plod back to his defensive position? Leaving the defence open to counter attack.

    Question, questions…. it’s only natural isn’t it? I want my team to win but find myself at the moment always getting the feeling that we will lose. I don’t want to criticise the boys or our manager but often find myself doing so. My nerves are shot to pieces, my faith is diminishing, my cynicism is increasing and my heart is heavy. 😦

  175. mickydidit89 says:

    Arnie
    When your vid began, I first thought “buck tooth deep southerners”, then I though “Ooo Nick Cave”. Wrong!

    Love this from the Aussie Doomer

  176. Eddie says:

    NB – “My nerves are shot to pieces, my faith is diminishing, my cynicism is increasing and my heart is heavy. 😦 “. If you start crying I will never speak to you again! pull yourself together!

  177. mickydidit89 says:

    I was at Nice Airport once, and saw Nick Cave getting into a hire car. Fine, I thought. Then…full on horror. I saw who was getting into the car with him. Polly Harvey. The red mist descended. I soo wanted to start a fight, or at least share some firm words
    “Look here Cave. Lay a fucking finger on Harvey and I’ll smash your face in. Love the music by the way”

  178. mickydidit89 says:

    Chas
    Fabulous cat pic.
    Remember the words of Charles Bukowski “Cats have style. In abundance”.

  179. chas says:

    Name the dog?

  180. chas says:

    Obviously plays for the other team.

  181. mickydidit89 says:

    Son of Nipper?

  182. chas says:

    Name the player?

  183. chas says:

    I like ‘son of nipper’ but it’s the one who found the Jules Rimet wrapped in newspaper in a hedge.

  184. chas says:

    What a save

  185. chas says:

    Yep, Rasp, Cantona is bang on.
    Apparently during enforced garden leave. 🙂

  186. chas says:

    Cloughie’s dog was called Del Boy. 🙂

  187. Eddie says:

    didn’t work

  188. Rasp says:

    🙂 chas

    Was the other one Mariner?

  189. chas says:

    Yep, Mariner, 911 and his dog Moss.

  190. chas says:

    Amazing to think that Keegan won the European footballer of the year award twice playing for Hamburg.

  191. Eddie says:

    I am still laughing at 8:42, whose arse was that ?

  192. chas says:

    Arsenal’s midfield all over the place.

  193. chas says:

    Fortuna Dusseldorf’s Dieter Woske wasn’t expecting this when he slid into the net trying to convert a cross during a German league clash with Koln in 1959, as a police alsation attempts to relieve him of his shorts. From what I gather, Woske did eventually escape this unfortunate situation and was able to play on

  194. Eddie says:

    oooooooohh, those jeans look painful to wear….

  195. Eddie says:

    great story, thanks! Is that Szczesny in goal?

  196. mickydidit89 says:

    Great Dog goalmouth scramble
    Is that Aaron Terrier bottom right legging it from his defensive duties?
    Woof Woof

  197. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    hahaha, solace in dogs hey? Its always fascinated me how you Englesie adore your pooches.

    Coming from a society were one walks down a dusty old track, no one else around for miles, then suddenly exchanges an uncomfortable stare from 100 meters with a naked dog, I do not share your amore.

    Arsene should be left alone, the criticism is unfair. Its a very strange season, one were we are struggling for consistency but still above Utd, Liverpool, Everton, Totnumb, and better than City in Europe.

  198. Mr Transplant

    The voice of reason 🙂

    The ghosts of my loins are stirring

  199. Eddie says:

    Terry – who are you calling English?!

    micky and chas don’t even like dogs. And Rasp prefers fish 🙂

  200. mickydidit89 says:

    Let’s blame Stevie Bould then Transplant
    Bald bastard 🙂

  201. mickydidit89 says:

    Eddie
    I never said I don’t like Dogs, simply that Cats are cooler.

  202. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Sorry evonne. Quite surprised you like dogs.

    A couple of years ago I was walking down the road with a Polish client when upon turning a corner were confronted with a large doberman type. My client jumped out of his skin. All I could see was a pair of shoes, jeans, and a heavy metal T Shirt, still erect as though there was a man in them.

  203. mickydidit89 says:

    Cooking with Costa. Brilliant.

    A cookery vid where he says he won’t share the secret recipe 🙂

    Oh nice, the sperm ROLF

  204. Rasp says:

    Eddie, I seriously don’t prefer fish. I’m a dog kinda guy with a penchant for parrots 😛

  205. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Thanks chas.

    Yes, Kosta is quite the celebrity. Has a fantastic reputation with the ladies. Charming them with his fried testicles and marinated cocks.

  206. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    69, hahaha. Cant beat fried Octapodi mate.

  207. chas says:

    Really really bad language but still my favourite parrot vid.

  208. The Cockie Monster says:

    Didit wants some hard core smut and Eddie wants dog talk and Arnie probably wants something political………how about……..Lesbian Porno Dogs and it`s effect on western society !……….Transplant has it on Betamax !.

  209. Eddie says:

    Terry – you can safely assume that polish guy was from a village somewhere. In Poland, like in Cyprus in the countryside dogs are kept on chains outside, seldom fed and regularly kicked. They are not nice animals (the villagers). So when they see a large dog off the lead they think it is the payback time

    Rasp – real parrots or women that repeat themselves?

  210. Eddie says:

    has Raddy taken another holiday break?

  211. The Cockie Monster says:

    Over here son, on me Eddie !.

    I think Raddy said the other day that due to some medicine issues, if he had some alcohol it would kill him !….. yesterday and Tuesday`s efforts have probably turned him back to drink !……..give me 5 mins and I`ll see if I can contact him on my Ouija Board !.

  212. mickydidit89 says:

    That Parrot vid 🙂 🙂 🙂

    Eddie
    Raddy likes to pretend he’s Mister Positivity or whatever he calls himself, but it’s nothing more than a pathetic façade. He’s a fake hippy 🙂

    Only the people on here this morning have the right spirit, and fight.

  213. The Cockie Monster says:

    Nope tried…..It`s engaged !….although I did get someone sounding familiar saying…..”The spirit is good ! “.

  214. chas says:

  215. aizedlittlemozart says:

    Ah!!! I can see it now……headline….

    “spirit & fight”

  216. chas says:

    ……..all gone

  217. This is what happened to us yesterday, anyone who likes lamb, turn away now. At about the 4 minute mark, he takes out the intestines and squeezes the shit out of them, and keeps them for making sausages…. Yummy

  218. aizedlittlemozart says:

    come to think of it, at season’s start we were coming from behind in games to salvage points. now its the reverse. what’s changed?

  219. goonermichael says:

    Pretty shocking performance. I’ve come to expect it now. Very sad

  220. aizedlittlemozart says:

    Chas!! 🙂

  221. Rasp says:

    I’m loving the Tourette’s parrot… they’re very clever creatures, don’t be so sure he didn’t know what he was saying 😆

  222. The Arsenal back four…

  223. The Arsenal midfield…

  224. ytehjnnh says:

    TMHT

    You xxxxxxx demented moron get a life and stop tormenting us with your delusional rants.

  225. The new Arsenal team photo….

  226. A photo of ytehjnnh….

  227. A photo of Terry Transplant

  228. That’s it….. I’m done, coat, umbrella >>>>> bar for a drink

  229. Rasp says:

    😀 northbank, some priceless stuff from you this morning …. thanks

  230. arnie says:

    NorthBank. 🙂

    Chas. 🙂 The Banks one, yes that one! 🙂

    So, the trolls are out of the woodwork. ha ha ha. 🙂

  231. arnie says:

    Micky. 🙂

    Cockie. Me, political! Nay!!!!!! 😛

  232. RC78 says:

    Again, the big disappointments with BFG and Flamini for not organizing our defensive system…

    And oh wow, Monreal is so so so so weak at CB…

  233. RC78 says:

    We are now a fourth way through the EPL with 11 games played.

    At this stage, who are your top 3 performers at AFC so far who are and who are your bottom 3 performers?

    Here are mine:

    Top 3:
    – Sanchez
    – Ox
    – Gibbs (despite yesterday)

    Bottom 3:
    – Flamini
    – BFG
    – Cazorla

  234. chas says:

  235. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Every time the sexually deprived Troll has a dig at me its not removed?

    Do not misunderstand, I do not want his insults removed. I regard digs from him as a compliment.

  236. chas says:

    Maybe left up so that 10:46 made sense?

  237. arnie says:

    Compliments indeed, Terry. Let us just not pay attention. They are deprived, as you say. Not only sexually. 😛

  238. The Cockie Monster says:

    I disagree, Stretch !……….I think he is probably sexually aroused by you and will eventually come out of the closet !……actually, he/she really has it in for you and could already be in your wardrobe !…….give me a few min`s and I`ll interrogate the others in here !. hahaha

  239. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    hahaha, Cornwall, I think he gets his sexual arousement form a stocking over his boat and a copy of military cadet monthly.

  240. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Now on to Wenger

    The mans very lovely

    Personally, I feel hes misunderstood. He believes in an attacking brand of football which has both entertained and enthralled in equal measure.

    His golden years of success has transformed the Club, making us a football super power. In the years of austerity which were to follow he kept the team competitive, eliminating any dangerous financial repercussions.

    Now we are the stage were he can build on his own legacy, some people want him out.

    And whats the basis for this? Last year we got top four again and won the cup. This year the season is not one third in and in relative terms only Chelsea from our traditional rivals are doing better

    If one man deserves loyalty and patience from the support its Wenger

  241. The Cockie Monster says:

    Has Steve Archibald let himself go a bit or improved !.

  242. Rasp says:

    You’re on delicate ground there TMHT. It may have escaped your notice but we’re steering clear of discussing football today for fear of causing further rifts between us 🙂

    Your stance is admirable but all too easy to argue against using the evidence before our eyes. We all share your feeling of loyalty for past magnificent achievements… but it will inevitably have a time limit individual to each of us, unless, we perceive some semblance of a change in approach.

  243. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Archibalds a lot worse than that Cornwall. One look at him makes you question your exsistence and you wont get out of bed for weeks. hahaha

  244. The Cockie Monster says:

    Hear hear, Stretch !………………………………even though I think he`s turning into a right stubborn bastard !. hahaha

  245. The Cockie Monster says:

    Hear hear , Rasp !…………..now Terry`s turning into a right stubborn bastard !. hahaha

  246. The Cockie Monster says:

    Worse than that, Stretch ?…………so that picture of Archibald was when he was a looker and on the pull every night with Garth Crooks !. hahaha

  247. Morning all

    Sorry to be late to the party 😉

  248. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    I quite understand Rasp. To be honest I do not have the same faith that Arsenes “philosophy” will take us to the top as I used to.

    However, my stance is the same. I will not criticise or question Wenger because my gratitude to him is to strong.

    I obviously realise that this defeats the object of the whole premise of football blogging. It would be a very boring place if everyone thought like me.

    Anyway, I will take your cue and refrain from any more football related posts today.

  249. rasp – RC78’s comment @11.30 could be used as a post for tomorrow, what d’ya think?

  250. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Cornwall? I thought that picture you posted was Crooks. hahaha

  251. Rasp says:

    Hi peaches, I thought nb69’s comment @8:26 was an excellent summation – but he has his own site and may prefer to post it as a headline on that forum.

    My suggestion for a post today would have been …. Which do you prefer, cats or dogs? 😕

  252. Rasp says:

    Thanks Terry, and I understand exactly how you feel – we’ve got a bit of each other in us (cue a comment from Cockie 😛 )

  253. GoonerB says:

    Thanks for the PM Raddy, sorry I couldn’t get on yesterday. Right, I’m not here to pick a fight with anyone but I do have some disagreements with some views, so my apologies in advance if I reference certain bloggers points.

    Yesterday was a sad day for me as it was the day I lost the faith. TMHT I actually agree with everything you said except for that bit about AW building his new legacy. Sadly I don’t believe he will. I will remain patient with him and give him my support as you are right he does deserve that. He really achieved the impossible in keeping us so competitive in the austerity years but I think that period, originally through necessity, slightly changed his managerial philosophy. I think he has left something behind or altered his stance on certain footballing areas and he now can’t or refuses to recover it.

    Even with better players arriving and less financial restrictions I don’t believe I am looking at a manager that can take us back to the top.IMO there is a major flaw in his current tactical outlook on the game. I will change my mind of course if it does happen, but I think AW will have to dramatically alter his stance for this to happen and I don’t see that happening.

    Shard asked the other day, after Anderlecht, why can’t we just look at a poor game in isolation and deal with it and move on. The problem for me Shard is these are not isolated incidences. Every time we capitulate in some way the underlying problem is the same, or if not extremely similar. There are so many similar incidences going back a long time. IMO there is not much difference between yesterday, Anderlecht, Newcastle. I think there are others too. Have we not been 2-0 upon Spurs and lost 3-2? Was there another game with Wigan that went the same way.

    Arsene looked sad yesterday. He looked like he had realised that his philosophy was flawed but didn’t want to really face it. He really struggled for answers because I think he knew there was none. His team playing the way he wants to his philosophy had been undone again in the same manner as has happened countless times before. I wasn’t even angry, just sad looking at him. He looked like a schoolboy in front of the headmaster that knew he had done wrong but was just too scared to come clean.

    GIE, I always read your comments. There has probably not been anyone that has altered my stance and changed my viewpoint as much as you, so forgive me if I say that I agree with Rasp on this one. Your stats are excellent and provide some good evidence but I think this is one of those cases where they distort the true picture of what we are seeing.

  254. Bryan says:

    Sadly it is time for Wenger to stand down, he is the only person on the planet that can’t see our problems & it amazes me that we continuously don’t show up for games & trot around with no urgency or will to win.
    His inability to buy a CB or DM is a disgrace & although I have always loved the man for what he has done for us, my patience has finally gone, what is the point of having CL football every year, if you know that we never have a chance of winning it.
    Now I find us even boring to watch, we need fresh blood.

  255. arnie says:

    Good idea, Rasp. Can we request NorthBank please. A request here and another on his site might work.

  256. Rasp says:

    It’s laughternoon here 😛

  257. GunnerN5 says:

    Soon to be nightmare……………

  258. Peaches, I feel honoured, just saw your request on my site. What the hell, I’m a bit drunk and can do some stupid things when under the influence 🙂 so yes, you can use my comment. But I won’t stand any abuse from that Cockie or Transplant ok. If they take the piddle, I want them banned. 🙂

    So ye, if you think it will generate a debate and you have nothing better…… go ahead.

  259. Aha, there you are. Thanks NB, don’t worry I’ll watch your back, you carry on snoozing 😉

  260. I generally don’t have a snooze till after 3pm French time… 🙂 which is, very soon. 🙂

  261. We have a New Post ……………

    Please feel free to move any of your comments from so far today onto the new post.

  262. Shard says:

    Gooner B

    Fair enough. Yes we have shown similar weaknesses. Even though I think those are overblown because of a certain narrative that follows us around, they are there. I just think that Wenger’s strengths are forgotten in this talk of weaknesses. Every manager has certain weaknesses.

    However, I do understand the view that Wenger will not be able to get us to the top again. I do. I just think it is too early to say so conclusively. We are only just coming out of our austerity phase, and it takes time to recover from that. Chelsea and City both had over 3 years of (higher and unchallenged) spending before they got to the top.

    Sure, they changed managers too, but you don’t change a manager who is a one in a million, unless you are convinced that there is someone who will be better, yet still maintain the club’s philosophy. Let’s go through the list of managers who through the years are supposed to have been better than Wenger. Owen Coyle, David Moyes, Martin O’Neill, Michael Laudrup, Roberto Martinez and Jurgen Klopp are among them. Now I don’t think some of those managers are bad, and I would be happy about Klopp, despite his current troubles, being Wenger’s successor. But I think it is a case of just wanting someone different more than an actual analysis of what it means for the club or indeed the merits of the managers.

    Personally, I think Wenger’s 3 year contract is just right, and I think he’s building towards having a side capable of winning the CL since that is his dream and his major ambition.

    Also, apologies for the length. I assure you it is not my tactic to obfuscate the issue, but I think I made a point yesterday about the style of defending. Whether to go the 11-12 route, or to try and implement a pressing game. I believe the intention is to do the latter, though I accept that this is not working right now. While most seem to attribute a lack of effort from others as the reason that Sanchez stands out, I believe it is more that he (and to an extent Welbeck) is used to the pressing game already, while others aren’t.

  263. The Cockie Monster says:

    Lets be controversial and argue in a respectful manner, I mean TMHT and me are like chalk and cheese as far as Wenger is concerned, but he is still my best blogging buddy and I respect his views even though he is a delusional Wenger aroused stalker !. hahaha
    I don’t hate or love Wenger and wont abuse him with vile Leg Over rants. It`s obvious he has done an unbelievable job for us, but like many, feel that his best days are in the past. A new manager is no guarantee of success, but I think it is coming to the time for someone with fresh ideas !.
    I have always seen Wenger more as a club manager than a coach, his golden years on the pitch imo are mainly down to having the best team and players, that can be said about The Chavs and Mansour City since !. The best teams win trophies, simple as that !.
    Imo there are better coaches out there and I have always said, give me or some of you the millions Mansour City have had and I/we will win the league !.
    To me, the real test of a coach is when you don’t have the riches and manage to punch above your weight, look at Southampton !….Chambers, Lovren, Lallana, Lambert, Shaw gone in one swoop, yet, they have a manager able to instil tactics, work ethics and discipline to galvanise a club that was decimated with the sale of half it`s team !.
    Wengers Achilles heal(s) imo is his self confessed inability not to run the rule over his opponents for their strengths and weaknesses and rather let the opposition worry about his team !. His stubbornness not to delegate !. His arrogance to think that he`s been a manager for donkeys years and some ex-footballers with trophies and caps have no clue about football …..it`s a simple game, so even some of us simpletons have some idea whens it`s not going right and can see our right back being taken to the torture chambers !.
    As for The Chavs, we cant even moan about their riches anymore as they have been abiding by FFP and doing what we did over the years in selling to buy ( £50M for Luiz and buy Costa and Cesc……Cesc, that is one which will come back to haunt Wenger !, an appalling mistake imo ! . Chavs made a mistake in selling Matic , but had the balls to buy him back for more money, we had the chance to bring Cesc back for less than we sold and opted out ! )
    I will stop here as I could probably go on for hours in what imo Wenger is doing wrong, but it would mean fcuk all !. Plus, I don’t normally do serious stuff, I`m a simpleton !. hahaha

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