New Years Day

Happy New Year to all Gooners. May your 2015 be filled with joy and silverware and may your enemies be smitten by a plague of locusts followed by an eruption of boils.

Not easy playing on NYD. I am sure Adams, Parlour and the other members of the Tuesday Club would have struggled – a night on the sauce followed by a chilly trip to Southampton would have a severe test but they would have overcome both the Saints and a long night of fags and ale.

However, the Saints of Adams day are a far cry from the excellent teams of Pocchetino and Koeman, I remember a trip down to St. Mary’s as one to savour and an easy 3 points – it won’t be so this afternoon. Even without Schneiderlin and (possibly) Clyne, the Saints are formidable opponents.

I am full of admiration for Southampton. They play good football, develop players, buy in cheap but quality replacements for their sold stars and run a tight ship.

We scraped past them at the Emirates (Sanchez tap in from a Ramsey pass) and a little One-Nil to the Arsenal would be a very pleasant way to start the year.

We have selection difficulties (as ever), particularly upfront but this also gives opportunities, Campbell may start today or perhaps we will finally see the return of Theo Walcott. IMO Walcott is a vital cog in this team  – we have missed him. Thankfully the defence are all available for selection. Midfield? No Ramsey, Wilshere, Arteta, Ozil – surely Rosicky will start or will be see the Coq/Flamini axis?

No tactics today. No in-depth study of the opposition, no look at the referee bias. Sorry about that! But I will take a little peek at their food stuffs – unsurprisingly they eat a lot of ice cream – nothing to get too excited about – but in my research I discovered one of my childhood heroes was born here. See below.

Can we win? It will be tough and we are the underdogs. Given all the injuries and lack of firepower I would take a point.

written by a worse for wear Big Raddy

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203 Responses to New Years Day

  1. Rasp says:

    Thanks Raddy, it looks like a lot will lie on Alexis’ shoulders today as Welby looks to be out, Giroud is banned and apparently Podolski has had a falling out and not traveled 😦

  2. Big Raddy says:

    Is there a communal AA hangover or is the weather so good all the AA’ers are out walking?

  3. Rasp says:

    The weather’s pretty dire in N.E. Hertfordshire, grey, cold and windy 😦

  4. RA says:

    HAPPEEEE NOOOOOO YEEEEEAR TO ALL!!!

  5. G‘day all, happy new year to everybody, a special word of thanks to Peaches and Rasp for all the excellent work they put in to making AA what it is.

    Kelsey, I sincerely wish you a much healthier 2015, can you have a quick butchers at the crystal ball and let us know today’s result please. 😀

    Well done Hung-over Hippy, the first pre-match for 2015 and a goody at that.

    Unless Le Professeur decides to rest Merts the defence picks itself, Flamini and Coquelin have been doing pretty well so why change it? As the Village Idiot is suspended, if Welbeck isn’t fit then let’s see Walcott start up front.

    …………………………….TPIG………………….

    Debuchy………..Merts………….Koscielny……….Gibbs

    ………………….Flamini…………Coquelin

    Alexis……………………..Cazorla……………Oxlade-Chamberlain

    ……………………………Walcott…………………

    That looks a winning combination to me, solid defence with good mid-field cover, pace and guile behind pace and surprise up front.

    Thirteen hours of the transfer window gone and no signings yet. Don’t panic Mr Wenger! Don’t panic!

  6. The Cockie Monster says:

    Thanks Rads !

    Apparently It`s a load of Bollox, Rasp !.

    ‘I try not to comment on stories I see in the papers, but when I read something that questions my commitment & love for the club then I must speak up,’ he wrote on Instagram.

    ‘Here ‘the Mirror’ have tried to make a story out of nothing. I find it incredible that newspapers are allowed to print pure lies to get people’s attention.

    ‘In order to ‘storm’ off the pitch you have to actually be on the pitch in the first place, I spent the whole session inside with the medical staff.

    ‘It seems it is ‘the Mirror’ who stormed to the keyboard too quickly.

    ‘Nevertheless I wish the Mirror a Happy New Year & more luck with correct headlines. COYG#poldi #lies #facts #stormgate.’

  7. Thanks for that Cocky, in view of the truth I’d till start with Walcott but perhaps only for the first half and then bring Podolski on.

  8. Stoke one up after 2 minutes, Shawcross the scorer.

  9. RA says:

    Thanks for the Post, Gigantic!! 🙂

    I wish you did not lure me in with leading questions like “Can we win”.

    There is always a chance of winning and also a chance of losing any given game, of course, and just to wrap it up nicely, there is the fall back option of neither winning nor losing.

    Choices – choices. The problem for me is that to say that we can/will win is to set the team up to be hostages to fortune this afternoon.

    That, sneakily, excuses my view that Arsenal are too flaky to have any confidence in at the moment. Brilliant one moment, dreadful the next.

    Que sera, sera – is probably the pragmatists response — what will be, will be – a win would be wonderful – a loss – not altogether surprising and, who knows, might stiffen Mr Wenger’s resolve to buy a quality DM rather than a make-do Jack of All Trades.

    [Seems I may have started the Noo Year in the way I finished the old one. 🙂 ]

  10. RA says:

    Norfolkian,

    Thirteen hours of the transfer window have not yet gone, it seems.

    I believe the window does not actually open until the 3rd Jan and closes on the 2nd Feb, this year. [Unless someone knows better!] 🙂

  11. RA says:

    John Cross is the Mirror reporter who I understand wrote that story, and if he is making it up, then shame on him as an alleged Arsenal fan.

    But then he has a history of ‘breaking’ Arsenal news – every transfer window — and getting it wrong.

  12. The Cockie Monster says:

    Had fun with this game last night ( obviously you need to be under the spell of alcohol )….do splits and pick up cardboard box with teeth without hands touching the floor !…..then the box gets cut down each time to lower it and make it harder !. It is hilarious to see drunken family fall over and some stagger into TV`s, windows, doors etc`, but I thought I took the biscuit last night, when I lowered myself and was just about to grip the box with my teeth when my daughters kitten walked past the box and I stood up triumphantly with a mouth full of pussy !. hahaha
    Then to be out done by my Son-in-Laws gran !……86 years old and still getting down to it !……she lowered herself and rose to what she thought was a triumphant position, but minus the cardboard box !…….it was still on the floor with her false teeth still attached !. hahaha

  13. Eddie says:

    thanks Raddy, I for one really appreciate you getting up to entertain us! What a great way to start the NY – a great PM followed by a great game netting us fat 3 points

    Why do they eat ice-cream over there? ?Not bloody cold enough

  14. The Cockie Monster says:

    If we believe the papers, then Redders is right !………it`s (TW) not open yet !……….damn, I cant slag off Arsene !. hahaha……I love him, really ! .

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-2892337/Premier-League-clubs-wait-make-new-signings-transfer-window-opens-Saturday-24-hours-Spain.html

  15. Rasp says:

    Morning Redders. Happy New Year 😛 Did you see that you were the 4th most prolific blogger (in terms of comments) in 2014 …. great job, hope you are happy to spend time with us all in 2015

  16. Rasp says:

    Hi Cocky, I’m sure you’re right about the Pod story.

    My son plays that game. I used to be really good at it but since I tore my meniscus I’ve lost a bit of flexibility in the knee 😦

  17. Eddie says:

    oh poo, that was a great opportunity for Shawcross to break RVP’s leg

  18. Rasp says:

    Watching the manu game, the way players manhandle each other in set pieces is reaching ridiculous levels. Surely there have to be some new rules to define exactly how much grappling is allowed. If it was just an isolated incident then no doubt a free kick would be given, but when you’ve got a dozen players all tussling, the ref can’t differentiate.

  19. Rasp says:

    I’m still furious with Giroud for leaving us short up front in this game

  20. arnie says:

    Fantastic stuff, Raddy. 🙂 It is looking like a tough game. Maybe a draw will be a point gained. 🙂

    Is Sanogo not available?

  21. arnie says:

    I am really angry at how football is being converted into rugby in the EPL. Or even worse, a free-for-all jungle war. 😦

    But maybe too grim a thought for New Years Day. 😛

  22. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Thanks Raddy.

    Just seen Norfolk’s line up, and that’s what dreams are made of.

    Flam Coq, then he’s got Sanchez, Theo, Ox and Santi. A fit again Mesut, and as far as I’m concerned you could pick any four of those and wow, fabulous dribbly, thrusting, fast football.

  23. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Rasp
    I’m delighted he’s suspended 🙂
    You watch the attack football starting one hour from now

  24. The Cockie Monster says:

    Just clicked onto BBC and this is the team they have !……is that right ?…..that would put Chambers as one of the DM`s !.

    Arsenal

    01 Szczesny
    02 Debuchy
    04 Mertesacker
    06 Koscielny
    03 Gibbs
    21 Chambers
    34 Coquelin
    15 Oxlade-Chamberlain
    19 Cazorla
    07 Rosicky
    17 Sánchez
    Substitutes
    14 Walcott
    18 Monreal
    26 Martinez
    28 Campbell
    38 Akpom
    39 Bellerin
    70 Maitland-Niles

  25. The Cockie Monster says:

    With Walcott, Bellerin and Akpom on the bench, that has to be the quickest Trio in the EPL !. I love pace, so I`d bring them on after 2 mins !. hahaha

  26. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Wow indeed Cockie

    As you say Chambers as DM with Coq.

    This is great. Allows the attackers to do what they do best.

  27. The Cockie Monster says:

    Seriously Lads and Ladettes !…….what`s all this ….” I`d take a draw ” business !……this is a Soton team who have lost …Shaw, Chambers, Lallana, Lambert, Lovren and have Schneiderlin and Rodriguez out suspended and injured !…….I want a fcuking win not a poxxy point !.

  28. The Cockie Monster says:

    Laterz….need time to get comfy behind the Sofa !. 😀

  29. Big Raddy says:

    Flamini must be injured. Interesting.

    MU spawning it again.

  30. Good afternoon and a Happy New Year to all on AA. I will be on the sofa for KO, whether I stay awake is another matter. Chambers in as DM…. what’s happened to Flamster? is he injured?

    I reckon we can nick a win today… I’m not writing much, would like to do a role call and thank the powers that be…. but head not yet right.

    COYG’s

  31. arnie says:

    that qualifies as an attacking team. Chambers as DM sounds tasty. 🙂 COYG

  32. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Hi Raddy

    It is very interesting that Chambers plays in midfield. No real need for a CB or DM. Full steam ahead for Cavani 🙂

  33. oh one thank you needed, well done Big Raddish for the post, beyond the call of duty mate. 🙂

  34. Shubham says:

    Hope for a win tonight. It is not being shown here in India so will pray we have a good outing. COYG!

    Also, wish every gooner a very happy 2015.

  35. GunnerN5 says:

    I would like to wish all AAers a happy, prosperous and most importantly a very healthy New Year.

    Rasp/Peaches thank you for your dedication to AA as it creates a very meaningful outlet for many of us.

    Raddy, your pre matches are always well thought out and interesting, I plus many others always look forward to reading them – thank you.

    Kelsey, get well soon and grace us with your blogging presence.

    arnie, you must type in your sleep!

  36. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Really looking forward to this game

    We should be defensively very solid with plenty of flair. Southampton play good football, so could be a great 90 minutes.

  37. Shubham says:

    Guys, just checked…the match is being telecast live here in India. really happy. Will be watching it surely. COYG!

  38. Gööner In Exile says:

    Anyone watch the Stoke game? Man to man marking at corners….two goals from corners.

  39. Gööner In Exile says:

    Micky you’re right about the game…..so why do Sky pick Stoke vs ManUre? Which made me laugh listening to the Stoke fans ahhhh at the only reverse pass of the game and applaud the intent of through balls to nothing that were basically hoofs up pitch.

  40. arnie says:

    wiziwig has closed. 😦 will try ronaldo7. dont know whether it will work.

  41. arnie says:

    GN5. 🙂 yes indeed. not only in my sleep but when I am half-drunk as well. must be apparent from my horrible spelling and construction. 😛

  42. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Wiziwig closed!!!

    Was about to suggest it, as Liveonline ain’t budging on Chanel 15.

    Any good links to streams fellas?

  43. MickyDidIt89 says:

    liveonline now working

  44. Well done Wenger, another round peg in a square hole. Chambers to play as holding mid-fielder alongside Coquelin, the two players have hardly met so how can they be expected to have formed any sort of understanding. What’s more Chambers has never played that position before.

    The Podolski story seem to have legs after all. He’s not even on the bench!

  45. LB says:

    Micky

    What is the exact link?

  46. I’m in a great pub in Hendon 🙂

    Actually this is a real find, always shows Arsenal games and doesn’t smell of beer 😉

  47. VCC says:

    Snap MickyD…..any good streams???? wiziwig aint working

  48. Peaches, if it doen’t smell of beer it’s probably a wine bar. 😀

  49. Well I am more of a wine bar kind of girl lol

  50. VCC says:

    cheers LB…but not working for me 😦

  51. LB – get your arse to The Coddagh Ring in Hendon, just by the college xx

  52. chas says:

    click on the little ‘x’ s to get rid of the ads

  53. That’s the one I’m watching chas…. link 5 is Canal + sport but with french commentators

  54. LB says:

    I feel too delicate to move. Ohhh my head.

  55. chas says:

    Santi should have scored

  56. chas go to full screen and the ads stop popping up

  57. chas says:

    cheers, NB.
    I do like having other windows open at the same time, though.

  58. Ok LB, I’ll let you off 🙂

  59. chas… so you watch porn channels at the same time when you’re watching a game 🙂

  60. chas says:

    Szczesny feck up – 1 down

  61. Big Raddy says:

    TPIG having a pig of a game so far.

    Just cost us a goal but where was Gibbs and Koscielny?

  62. Big Raddy says:

    Very sad news about wizigig. They were great

  63. Rasp says:

    I was about to say that Marne was their danger man 😦 they must have a fantastic scouting setup to find all these gems

  64. Gööner In Exile says:

    What did Sir Chesney do?

  65. He got bored of being a keeper and wanted to be in the game GiE

  66. LB says:

    GIE

    As in what did he do wrong if anything?

  67. Big Raddy says:

    We should be winning this. We are the better team but lack cutting edge upfront. Santi should have buried an easy chance.

    Once again we are too intricate – not having a target man is costly. Will Campbell get a run?

  68. Gööner In Exile says:

    Yeah just seen it……wandering to nowhere land…..do hate it when keepers of that!

  69. chezzers moment of madness………. but we are definately the better side, missing welbz and ollie

  70. LB says:

    I agree with that completely, he does get bored as a keeper and the call of the wild forces him to go wander.

    Still, I wouldn’t swap him.

  71. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Miss from Santi
    Bit of a stinker from Sz
    But very exciting game

  72. Who’s on our bench?

  73. arnie says:

    GiE. Chesney tried to apply for the vacant striker’s job in Arsenal. 😦

    This has gone on for a while. watching too many videos of Neuer

  74. MickyDidIt89 says:

    LB
    “the call of the wild” HA HA 🙂

  75. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Love to see Theo play
    Still reckon we can win this

  76. Big Raddy says:

    Micky. Another few lines for the 2nd half and you have written tomorrow’s post

  77. California Gooner says:

    Happy new years, Raddy, and the rest of the ArsenalArsenal board. Two DMs and we still can’t defend. We could really use a Theo in the second half… an early substitution for Chambers (who seems lost), with Rosicky or the OX moving back into the midfield, might change the game.

  78. Big Raddy says:

    CG. HNY to you too.

  79. LB says:

    Chambers and Coquelin is a bit belt and braces isn’t it?

  80. Agree about the awesome save from Szczesny

  81. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Little sods have nicked all my Jaffa cakes

  82. It would be belt and braces if they knew how to play together as DM’s 🙂

  83. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Cavani is 6′ 2″ in case anyone was wondering 🙂

  84. Rubbish rubbish rubbish defending!!!!!!!

  85. California Gooner says:

    Was Sczcney out drinking last night?

  86. Don’t think the belt and braces is working 😦

  87. Big Raddy says:

    FFS. We are all over them and the defence …. sugar

    This is our first choice back 5 playing like strangers

  88. Bad news about the Jaffa Cakes Micky

  89. Eddie says:

    California – exactly what I’ve just said. I’m sure he did

  90. California Gooner says:

    Peaches, it’s not the DM’s. It’s the keeper. But yes, Chambers isn’t really doing anything.

  91. Rasp says:

    FFS Wenger, do something! Bring on Theo, do anything!

  92. WTF has happened to our defence???

  93. Gööner In Exile says:

    Well so much for 3 wins on the trot 😦

  94. Big Raddy says:

    It is distressing to see us putting in cross after cross with two midgets to aim at.

  95. Eddie says:

    He wants to come back
    He wants to come back
    Theo Walcott
    He wants to come back

  96. Szczesny is all over the place!!!!!!!

  97. Gööner In Exile says:

    Just watched 5 minutes….Ollies sending off is looking costly

  98. Surely that’s a red

  99. fatgingergooner says:

    Looks like Szscesny needs to be rested ‘indefinitely’!

  100. Rhat should have been a red card………. last man goal scoring opportunity

  101. Rasp says:

    This game is tactical bollix. What are we trying to do. Its so flat. The saints are pressing us all over the pitch and we can’t cope with it. Conceding another goal on the break is a real possibility.

  102. RockyLives says:

    Was thinking the Same GIE. Witnout him and Danny we look ligjtweight up front.

  103. RockyLives says:

    Compared with Saints we look completely devoid of organisation.

  104. Gööner In Exile says:

    that last one by Szcesny was all about a dodgy backs by Kozzer

  105. RockyLives says:

    True GIE but also an utterly stupid decision bu Szcz to pass the ball to an attacker in the 6 yd box

  106. RockyLives says:

    Coq has been our best player

  107. Gööner In Exile says:

    Rasp you know Theo went on after 60 right? And you know remaining on the bench is a selection of 21 and unders, Campbell, Monreal and a keeper. I’m just wondering how you would change it?

  108. RockyLives says:

    Whats the point of all these high crosses? Our midgets have zero chance of converting them.

  109. Rasp says:

    Hi GiE, the stream is such rubbish, I’ve just seen that on the BBC site. I agree with you that we really miss Giroud. He may well have cost us 3 points.

  110. RockyLives says:

    Has Theo touched the ball yet?

  111. Big Raddy says:

    Do you think Kos has got winter flu? His decision making is awful

  112. Gööner In Exile says:

    Looks like every pass we make is being telegraphed because most of the time there is only one possible recipient.

  113. Gööner In Exile says:

    My stream just died i’m assuming we didn’t score on that break we were launching

  114. Big Raddy says:

    Chuba comes on. Can he save the day?

  115. Rasp says:

    Our passing is awful. The one area where we’re supposed to excel – and not for the first time this season. We just cant operate when we’re being pressed.

  116. RockyLives says:

    Shockingly bad performance.

  117. Rasp says:

    I’m guessing we’re going to get the ‘tired’ excuses 😦 Having said that, the Saints do have a lot more energy than our boys.

  118. GunnerN5 says:

    A book could be written about this game, but why would anyone bother to write a book that has all ready been written and read a hundred times………………..

  119. Big Raddy says:

    Our second half display was pants. Stupid defensive errors. Awful passing from midfield. Nothing happening in attack with constant crosses to whom??

    Alexis was trying but his distribution was off-target. Walcott got a 25 mins run but hardly touched the ball.

    Chambers has much to learn and needs to get stronger. I could go on but it becomes depressing.

    No-one played well.

  120. Gööner In Exile says:

    I’m not sure its tiredness or basic lack of fit players…and Ollie’s stupidity.

    We just start getting our defence back and there is very little of substance between them and the opposition defence.

    We’ve been saying it all season but we can’t expect a few to carry everyone else. The expectation on BFG to sort a weak defence out, now the expectation on Alexis and Santi to do the attacking work of everyone else.

    Right now i’d just take 5 or 6 games of a side that looks something like this:

    Szcesny

    Debuchy, BFG, Koz, Gibbs

    Arteta
    Ozil Ramsey
    Alexis Ollie Theo

    Santi, Welbeck, Ox, Jack or Flamini amongst that it doesn’t look particularly bad, but until we get to see something like that for a good run I really don’t see how we can judge Arsene or the team.

    I mean does anyone look at todays midfield and expect anything more than a tough game for us?

  121. VCC says:

    GN5 4:51…..same old same old drum buddy. As you say, the book can be wrote nearly every week now but the only person that can change or tweak it don’t or can’t read.

  122. MickyDidIt89 says:

    I do think it’s unfair to blame Ollie. Simple fact is that teams like Barca, and last season’s Pool, do just fine with a small front three, so why the hell play high ball after high ball into the box?

    Barca play the corner short. Ball back in play, and away they go again.

    Now to the defending 😦 Our first choice back five.

    I think it’s best to just hope and pray they WERE out drinking all last night. It’s the only excuse I can think of.

  123. Rasp says:

    Micky, or maybe the concept of spending 30m on a defender isn’t so daft?

  124. arnie says:

    at least we are not going round blaming homer refs for all our misfortunes. 😦 even if some of the officiating was poor. 😦

    Alexis upfront is a disaster for us. IMO. without him there is no one in MF to harass the opposition for possession and space. 😦

    About the defence, sadly all has been said. 😦

  125. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Rasp

    You’re not going to let that go are you? 🙂

    Out of interest, which one are you going to replace with your £30M man, because after today you have a choice of four 🙂

  126. RA says:

    I have been unable to see or hear anything about the game this afternoon, but have just done a little speed-reading on AA for 5 minutes, and your comments seem to indicate we have been every bit as bad as I feared.

    I know we have had a lot of injuries, and that would not help any team, but our problems seem to be more widespread than that.

    The talk over the last couple of seasons has been our lack of a physical presence in midfield, and lack of cover in the CB position.
    Whatever the truth of that, the whole team seem to be capable of plumbing the depths, from time to time, and even without seeing today’s game it seems to me that the manager seems to be powerless to affect the outcome of these games.

    The words that were repeated today in your comments were ‘crosses to midgets’, and in earlier games that I did see our midgets were unable to match up to more athletic opponents and usually lost the ball in ‘mano a mano’ tackles.

    This is basic stuff tactically, and I cannot see Maureen or Siralex, in his pomp, permitting this, so why does Mr Wenger?

    Huge disappointment!

  127. MickyDidIt89 says:

    After the Southampton game at the Ems, where Schneiderlin didn’t play (and who I’ve never seen live) I did comment that if the Saints had a defensive midfielder better than Wanyama, we should sign him immediately.

    Is he really better? Blimey, Wanyama was immense today.

  128. Rasp says:

    Im afraid it would be Merts. We need someone with commandung presence to organise them all. Kos is like Kolo, an excellent 2nd man in the middle

  129. Rasp says:

    I heard a commentator the other day refer to ‘Arsene’s blundspot’ = DM. Wanyama and Schneiderlin would both improve our team. But none of that explains our poor passing

  130. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Ok, I agree Rasp, but today there was collective crapski form the defence, and Debbs, Kos and Sz were the most guilty. Those epic group fails just happen from time to time, but they were sporadic moments.

    The attack was consistently disappointing in it’s approach play for the full 90, and tactically, that is far more worrying.

  131. Rasp says:

    Yes I agree Micky. I did miss large chunks of the game due to my stream, but from what I saw, we never really looked like scoring. No one can claim that we have strong team spirit after a performance like that.

    We definitely missed Welby’s work rate and the harrying Alexis exhibits when he plays at No.10. Tactically we were a shambles.

  132. Big Raddy says:

    At least MU, WHU & L’pool all drew. Now for a Chav win and apart from S’ton we have done better than our rivals over Xmas

  133. RA says:

    The result is disappointing, and even without seeing the game it hurts just from reading your comments.

    What makes it even harder is that some fans let their emotions pour out with personalised vitriolic statements, and their is no need for that. But it is becoming harder to argue against this and try and to try and rationalise what is happening to our team lately – and it is not just down to lack of money anymore.

    There has to be a question mark over out recruitment policy.

    S/Hampton have players they have picked up for relative peanuts, such as Wanyama, Shneiderlin, Mané or have come through their youth team. Why are we not able to do this?

    We have players who are mainly ‘OK’ guys, but hardly one (other than Sanchez) who other teams’ fans would want.
    On the other hand, the Chavs have Hazard, Costa, Courtois, (and, dare I say it) Cesc, as well as Matic, Ivanovic etc.

    City too have their share of top class players

    And not all of them cost a fortune. So — where are we going wrong with our recruitment of midgets?

  134. GunnerN5 says:

    My biggest disappointment other than our defense (Deb, Scz, Mer) conspiring to give the game away was that Theo came on and hardly touched the ball. And why even talk about being 2-0 down, having two subs left, and only bringing Akpom on with a few minutes left?

  135. GunnerN5 says:

    I’ve got to snap out of this I;m beginning to sound like a doomer!

  136. Gööner In Exile says:

    RA….Youth Team answer is simple and will soon be different, their current crop has been developed during the 45 minute rule era, so basically had their pick whilst we fought with every other London club for the best youngsters around.

    As for Mane and the like….sorry I’m not sure I saw many fans bemoaning the fact we didn’t sign him in the summer, I’m also never convinced because I doubt these signings would make the fans happy, sign a midfielder from Red Bull Salzburg….cue “shopping from Lidl whilst everyone else shops in Harrods comments”.

  137. GunnerN5 says:

    We need some brute force defenders who knock the opposition around ours are too slow and too small. The new style EPL is leaving us behind.

    Oh crap more doomy comments.

  138. RA says:

    You are missing the point, GIE.

    Regardless of who you or I think are good players or not, there are players out there who are very good indeed and who did not cost a fortune.

    Hence the ‘we do not have the money’ to buy top quality players which most of us used to understand and agree with no longer applies.

    Secondly, I was commenting on the preponderance of small players we have recruited, brought to mind as a result of the ‘crosses and midgets’ comments on AA today.

    There is nothing wrong with small, gifted players and I recognised that by mentioning Hazard above, and then there is Messi and others. The problem is we have too many all of a similar size.

    As regards the youth team, I do not think Southampton have a monopoly on that, and to refresh your memory, Walcott and Bale spring to mind as products and that was not recent.
    There are other clubs who have great young players, and I have just seen one of them score for the Spuds.

    You have your opinions and you are welcome to them — just allow me to have mine without sneering at them please.

  139. RA says:

    GN5,

    I do not think you are a ‘doomer’, but as someone expressing an opinion. 🙂

    I suspect you are like me, just someone who does not ‘belong’ to either the Doomer or the AKB faction – but simply support the club wholeheartedly whilst not slavering at the alter of fanaticism which either of those camps seem to require of their members.

  140. MickyDidIt89 says:

    I’m a fanatic RA. Just do U-turns on a weekly basis, so become hard to tie down.

  141. GunnerN5 says:

    You are so right RA, I’m just very disappointed that we are still playing the same old song and it’s getting very repetitive and upsetting. We simply do not seem to learn from our experiences!

  142. GunnerN5 says:

    The day is getting worse Spurs 3-1 up on Chelsea.

  143. I’m looking on the bright side for the Spuds Chavs game, if Chavs lose it will really open up the top four places. And we can come back stronger from todays mess 🙂

  144. arnie says:

    Worse still the Spuds are playing some superb football 😦

  145. Big Raddy says:

    The midgets problem is entirely caused by injuries and OG’s stupidity. Even Sanogo was knacked.

    Does bringing Theo on help when we cross so often?

    IMO it showed a total lack of tactical awareness and imagination. With magicians like Santi and Alexis added to the pace of Ox and later Theo the plan had to be to keep the ball and rely upon incisive passing.

    Perhaps it all went tits up because our passing was so poor.

  146. RA says:

    Oi you lot – don’t make me feel worse than I already am.

    Damned Spuds are becoming a challenge to out top 4 place — but then I cannot stand the Chavs either. Bugger.

    Micky, that is the advantage of not belonging to one faction or the other.
    As Kelsey would say, ‘you can call it as you see it’. 🙂

  147. RockyLives says:

    OK… I’m going to have a brief foray into doomersville before perking myself up:

    Reasons to be Doomy:

    1. We will never get any consistency when our players cannot go more than a couple of games without getting soft tissue injuries. Welbeck is the latest and his absence was a big loss today. He had a really good game against the Hammers and is immediately out injured. Just like Ramsey scouring those great goals against Galatasary then immediately out injured. As has been commented upon ad nauseam, the club has still not figured out what is causing our massively disproportionate number of strains and tweaks. Until this issue – the biggest issue affecting Arsenal FC – is resolved, we will never compete for the title.

    2. I was always of the opinion that we were punching above our weight during the austerity years following the stadium move. However, now that we are splashing the cash on big name players, some of the frailties that were allowed to take root during the poverty years are proving tough to get rid of.

    3. No team that is doing well in the Prem operates without a strong defensive midfielder. Arsene’s stubborn refusal to address this issue for several years now is simply baffling. If we have Wanyama today we probably at least get a point.

    4. Szczesny. I go back and forth on him. I was a bit down on him at first but he had a good season last season. This year however he has looked shaky far too often and I don’t accept that this can all be put down to the constantly changing defence in front of him. His error that led to Saints first goal has been “in the mail” – as our American friends say – all season. He has got away with his rashness many times but I think we all knew he was going to give a goal away eventually. His decision making for Saints second goal was also terrible. Just pick the ball up – you can at least claim it wasn’t a back pass… I’m coming to the conclusion that our PIG is not the man we need between the sticks…

    5. Midgets. Today we played with a very small team (in front of the back five). As Micky says, it’s possible to play “small” and do well. We did not do that. We hoofed pointless crosses into the Saints area where our attackers never even looked like getting near the ball. As it happens I think we have addressed the size issue to some extent in our forward line with Ollie and Welbz (and Sanogo). But the way our midfield was bullied and pushed around by Saints’ bigger, stronger players was a bit embarrassing. The “men against boys” cliche is over-used, but today it fits the bill. Our failure to have a decent, powerful figure in MF can be laid only at one man’s door… AW.

    6. Players out of position. It’s a tough game away to a team level in the table with us. So what does Arsene do? He gives a young defender – just 19 years old – his first ever game as a midfielder. It was a total failure, may well have damaged Chambers’ confidence and was stupid in the extreme. I know we are short of players, but why not play Coquelin as the DM (he would be playing in his preferred position), drop Oxo to play deeper with TR7 and play Campbell wide up front. At least all our players would then be in positions that they have played in in the past and have a chance of being comfortable in. I can only imagine AW started with Chambers to give us some height and physicality in midfield but, seriously – a kid who has never played there before in his professional career? Ridiculous.

    On balance today a fair result would probably have been 4-0 or 5-1 to Saints.

    Right, tomorrow I’ll come up with some Reasons To Be Cheerful 🙂

  148. GunnerN5 says:

    All together now…………..

    …………………………………………………………………………….

    Some things in life are bad
    They can really make you mad
    Other things just make you swear and curse
    When you’re chewing on life’s gristle
    Don’t grumble, give a whistle
    And this’ll help things turn out for the best…
    And…

    …always look on the bright side
    of life…
    (Whistle)

    Always look on the light side
    of life…
    (Whistle)

    If life seems jolly rotten
    There’s something you’ve forgotten
    And that’s to laugh and smile and dance and sing
    When you’re feeling in the dumps
    Don’t be silly chumps
    Just purse your lips and whistle
    – that’s the thing.
    And…always look on the bright
    side of life…
    (Whistle)

    Come on.

    Always look on the right side
    of life…
    (Whistle)

    For life is quite absurd
    And death’s the final word
    You must always face the curtain
    with a bow
    Forget about your sin – give the
    audience a grin
    Enjoy it – it’s your last chance
    anyhow.

    So always look on the bright side
    of death…
    (Whistle)

    a-Just before you draw your terminal breath…
    (Whistle)

    Life’s a piece of shit, when you look at it
    Life’s a laugh and death’s a joke, it’s true
    You’ll see its all a show, keep ’em laughin as you go
    Just remember that the last laugh is on you

    And…
    Always look on the bright side
    of life…
    (Whistle)

    Always look on the right side
    of life…

    C’mon Brian, cheer up

    Always look on the bright side
    of life…

    Always look on the bright side
    of life…

    Worse things happen at sea you know.

    I mean – what have you got to lose?
    You know, you come from nothing
    – you’re going back to nothing.
    What have you lost? Nothing.

    Always look on the right side
    (I mean) of life…

    what have you got to lose?
    You know, you come from nothing
    – you’re going back to nothing.
    What have you lost?

    Always (Nothing.) look on the right side of life…

    Nothing will come from nothing ya know what they say?
    Cheer up ya old bugga c’mon give us a grin!
    There ya go, see!

    Always look on the right side of life…

  149. Gööner In Exile says:

    I would never expect a Mourinho side to give away two soft goals like we did today and ……. oh

    Only we let slip two goal leads against minnows, you don’t see the likes of Liverpool…..oh

    You see shit happens in football, has anyone seen Maureen’s back 4 (the first choice one who have played there all season) look so poor, or Matic be so anonymous. Shit happes.

    RA yes there are players out there of course there are, we bought a ton of players like that during previous windows. Some work some don’t. Koscielny did, Sagna did, Ollie did.

    But we are in period of trying to take the team to the next level surely? So we are not shopping in that market anymore, we need to look at the elite group of players, already in CL but offer the chance to create something different.

    Basically today we gifted two goalsaway, without it would we have won? Probably not…would we have lost….questionable.

    But until we have 11 of our best 16 on the park together I just don’t see how we judge recruitment or performance. A team is made up of11 players, saying we had our best back 5 and we still screwed up assumes that they work independently of all around them. The same as expecting our best attack to win us games when they have nothing behind them.

    We have missed our midfield all season, it has not functioned anywhere near as we would expect and mainly because it has never really had the names we would like to see in there.

    I don’t mind Spuds beating Chavs, maybe Maureen’s pedestal will get lowered slightly. Never know maybe his players can’t manae to start every game.

  150. Eddie says:

    I’d rather Spurs than Chelsea win any game. I absolutely hate the Chavs including the Spanish chav

    I still like Pochettino, he left Southampton in a great shape and is doing a sterling job at SHL

  151. RA says:

    Absolutely brilliant! Rocky is back – go Rocky! (In the American sense – not as in buzz off) 🙂

    That is your first Post in months Rocket and makes me realise how much I have missed you.

    And……..it is not based on Doomerism either. It is simply rounding up and beautifully articulating some issues that are worrying many of us.

  152. Rocky – are you saying you’re writing a post for tomorrow?

  153. RA says:

    There is another old adage to help make us feel cheerful, Rocky — these holiday games always throw up unusual or expected scores.

    Some of the results today ‘Pool/Leics, Hull/Everton, Stoke/Manure are somewhat unexpected and not in accord with ‘form’. so maybe we should add ourselves to the list, as well as the fascinating game going on at WHL.

    The net result is that we may have got off lightly today in the end – especially if the Chavs manage to draw!

  154. RA says:

    [un]expected

  155. RA says:

    I love Maureen’s discomfiture!!! 😀

    I’m happy again — but why did it have to be the Spuds to smack him in the face? Fits my ‘old adage’ tho’. 🙂

  156. RockyLives says:

    No Peaches… I was promising another comment tomorrow.

    But maybe I can do it as a Post if you ask me nicely 🙂

  157. Eddie says:

    pretty please Rocky xxxx

  158. RockyLives says:

    Good point about the odd results today Redders.

    I’m not watching the Spuds game but what an extraordinary scoreline.

  159. Eddie says:

    5:2. Maurinho and JT are in tears 🙂

  160. Please lovely Rocky, I’m sure your comment could be superb as a post 😉

    Do you think you’ll have time?

  161. RockyLives says:

    Not one but two scrumptious ladies asking for a Post 🙂

    How can I refuse? 🙂

  162. RockyLives says:

    I’m sorry I’ve not been able to write many posts in the last few months.

    Having set up a business I seem to be doing nothing but work work work… and since any spare time is spent on kids, wife and dog… well… there ain’t none left to write.

    But NYD is a day off so write I shall.

  163. Eddie says:

    lovely 🙂 a Rocky post tomorrow 🙂 I will get up nice and early.

    sorry guys, but spurs are playing much better than our mob

  164. Gööner In Exile says:

    According to BBC stats, Chavshave had more possession more shots but scoreline is 5-3.

  165. Gööner In Exile says:

    Eddie chill…they were when they had Bale and we were on a “downward spiral” still finished above them when we got the side sorted, and we only had ten games or so to go.

  166. Eddie says:

    GiE – the game I’ve been watching has a different scenario. Spurs were all over chavs, especially in the first half. Maurinho left in a huff before half time

  167. Eddie says:

    I know, I know. It just makes me rather sick watching Scum play such good footy and our lads pissing in the wind

  168. RA says:

    It pains me to say this Rocker Man, but that game (Spuds/Chavs) was probably the best footie game I have seen this year.

    Oooouch – that hurt my finger tips – but it was enjoyable, not least for the public failure of that smug queen, Maureen.

    His face was a picture – and I have a friend who is Portuguese and was able to lip read his cussing. [Nothing special] 🙂

  169. RA says:

    Rocky @ 7:17

    Perfectly understandable and having been in that position myself some years ago you have my sympathies.

    It’ll be worth it in the end!! 😀

  170. fatgingergooner says:

    GiE, totally agree with your 6.39 comment.

    There are 4 or 5 teams going for 2 CL places and out of all of them I would say we have the most scope for improvement because we have so many players to come back.

    If we can put 10 matches together containing our best 16 players then we will go on a run. We have Ospina, Arteta, Flamini, Özil, Ramsey, Podolski, Welbeck, Walcott and Giroud all due back ASAP. None of the other teams will have that amount of quality coming back into their line ups.

    Overall it’s been a decent Xmas period, our defenders are fit again, we have good chances to progress in the CL & FA Cup, and we have the players coming back to really push on in the next few months.

    Looking forward to 2015.

  171. wally says:

    How about we coach up what we have or what we buy. A novel thought I know but other teams seem to be able to do it.

    On the bright side Chambers has begun his development as DM, in a few years he’ll be fairly useful for us.

  172. Shard says:

    Hello!!

    Happy new year Doomers… err.. I mean Gooners..

    Probably not the best time to come back into it here after a loss, since I’m bound to piss off someone by not being pissed off about our loss, but it’s the start of a new year and so here I am 🙂

    In advance, I disagree with all of you, except GIE, who I have only once disagreed with when he chose to say Sanchez isn’t super awesome, but I can ignore that one flaw in him, so…yeah.. 🙂

  173. The Cockie Monster says:

    Happy New Year !!!…..Day One ….shit !……and that`s more down to the Spuds result than ours….fcuk, I hate them cnuts !.
    I did say bring on Walcott, Bellerin and Akpom after two minutes !…..that`s why I am the bookies favourite for Arsene`s job !. hahaha
    Second favourite could be Koeman…as I said…he lost Chambers, Lalallana, Shaw, Lovren, Lambert, no Rodriguez or Schneiderlin and we also have Soton`s Walcott and Ox !…….better footballing coach !…Dennis knows what he could train and discipline into our supposedly better players !.
    Just another 364 days to turn around our miserableness !.

    Anyone know what happens if we get 4th and the Spuds win the Europa League ?….will there be 5 EPL teams in CL or would they take our hypothetical place ?.

  174. Big Raddy says:

    Shard. I disagree with you 🙂

  175. Shard says:

    Very clever Hippy King. You have now opened the paradox vortex in my brain which will ensure I have no synapses left to extricate myself by.

    So I take the alternative, which would be to ignore your statement to me and pretend you just said….. ”Shard. :)” .

    Right back at cha’ 🙂

  176. GunnerN5 says:

    Will this suffice as a 4 word post tomorrow.

    Will Wenger buy now?

  177. GunnerN5 says:

    I’m most likely the odd one out but right now I’m watching the Darts World Championship – the level of skill is just outstanding.

  178. arnie says:

    groceries?

  179. arnie says:

    Nice to see Pat Rice in the stands today. 🙂

  180. arnie says:

    Arsene did not rule out Poldi to Inter possibility today after a second bid was made. Vidic for Poldi? Interesting.

  181. Gööner In Exile says:

    I’m not sure Vidic has impressed his new employers Arnie. I’m also not sure why Pod wasn’t in the squad today, is he injured? Report that he stormed out of training Wednesday, but surely if fit he would have started today given we had no natural centre forward?

  182. arnie says:

    GiE. The official line on Poldi is a “tight groin”. This will keep Poldi out for Sunday as well. Arsene agreed that an improved offer has been received from Inter.

    “The first proposal was farcical; after they came back a bit more serious.

    “We will see what happens. Inevitable? Not in the transfer market. It’s very difficult to say, but we’ll see.”

    Dont see why we should be interested at all, except for a swap perhaps.

  183. Gööner In Exile says:

    There are actually three midfielders is take from Inter….but one is on loan there:

    M’Villa (actually with Rubin Kazan)
    Medel (friend for Alexis plus PL experience with Cardiff)
    Kovacic

  184. Gööner In Exile says:

    I have just seen the two Liverpool penalties, two handballs given, the first doesn’t event ouch his hand, the second is one of the harshest decisions you’ll see.

  185. chas mobile says:

    Looked like we got rope-a-doped ourselves yesterday.
    Welcome to 2015.

  186. chas says:

    Just seen the second goal for the first time.
    Almost more comic than the first.

  187. chas says:

  188. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Damn that frog is cool. Essentially it’s whole life is summer time.

  189. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Ok that was a rubbish start to ’15, but I’m not doomy at all.

    I hope we buy some sensible defensey types (there you go Rasp, I said it) and one really, really expensive attacker 🙂

  190. chas mobile says:

    BR
    That Benny Hill clip was prophetic.

  191. MickyDidIt89 says:

    True Chas

    A replay of the conceded goals to the Benny Hill sound track would help lighten the mood.

    Salon?

  192. Gööner In Exile says:

    Chas you’re right about the second being more comic than the first, the first is a bad decision but you do see them surprisingly regularly, but the second is just pure panic, almost like he is thinking “bugger this if you two aren’t going to clear it I’ll certainly make sure we don’t concede another comedy goal….there…..oh shite….I’ll hav me a drink of water because I’m a little bit dehydrated”.

    Like the first goal against ManUre the defence are almost trying too hard, and as a result making silly mistakes. Kozzer used to be a bit like that, but he is now more relaxed and reads the game rather than making knee jerk decisions, I think that’s what impresses me about Debuchy he just seems to be in control of what he is doing, his tackling in the box has been nigh on perfect but his conposure when going back to cover the goal line yesterday was the highlight.

    If we were doing a review of the season so far I guess the players in the “keep going, doing well” category are few and far between, Debuchy, Gibbs, Alexis, Santi. In the “good effort but must continue to strive higher” would be Ox, Welly, Koscielny, Ollie, and then everyone else is probably in the “under performing” category.

  193. RA says:

    GIE,

    You are saying that 8 out of the 11 are in the ‘doing well’ or ‘good effort’ category, and that might be a tad generous, but is about right.

    The problem seems to be that they are not all doing it at the same time.

    What is surprising is that the team are capable of brilliance in attack, at times, but overall, and defence is a team responsibility, they are capable of some dire stuff.

    For about 4 of the games this season I have been unable to see the games live and have had to rely on the comments on AA, and they run from hopeful anticipation, high expectation, to worried concern, to abject misery or exultation depending on how the game is going.

    An exquisite form of sporting torture as the mind fills in graphically what the eye cannot see. I have to avoid this in the future.

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