Gabriel’s Initiation: ‘Boro Preview

There are some chaps who think today will be an easy victory for The Arsenal, I beg to differ. Anyone who watched ‘Boro thrash Man City at the Etihad knows they are a very good side. Top of the Championship playing with attacking intent and creativity, they will be difficult opponents.

Mr Wenger has stated that his respect for the FA Cup has affected our CL performances and the coming week sees that competition return. It will be interesting how much “respect” he pays Middlesborough today. Will he pick his best team or rely upon our second string?

It is more who stays in the side after two hard games last week than who is promoted. Alexis cannot be risked, Ospina will give way, Theo has played twice as has Coquelin etc etc

Hopefully Paul Easter will get his first outing alongside Chambers at the centre of defence or will Mr Wenger play safe and use one of our regular CB’s alongside our shiny new Brazilian? I agree – AW will not take such a risk.

Here is my guess:-


Chambers   Gabriel    Koscielny     Gibbs

Rosicky  Flamini   Cazorla


Welbeck    Giroud

Tasty, don’t you think?

We are the holders, we are at home, we are the favourites, we are The Arsenal. No more injuries, an open attacking game and a win would be good,

That’s yer lot on a difficult day in Denmark

98 Responses to Gabriel’s Initiation: ‘Boro Preview

  1. ‘morning all,

    Thanks Raddy for the pre-match, I was just starting to write one when your fine effort appeared.

    Hope you don’t mind if I post it as a comment.

    Whilst Middlesbrough shocked Man City in the last round I don’t expect to see any upset today. We have not just returned from weeks jolly in the Middle East and I’m sure the Arsenal coaching staff have alerted the squad to the potential pitfall presented by a team brimming with confidence.

    We have a good record against ‘Boro, in the cup, having met seven times previously, winning five and losing two. Not bad that!

    A few words from le Boss:

    “Our basic is always to finish in the top four and then win a trophy on top of that.”

    “We want always to be in the Champions League and this season it will be very difficult, because it’s very tight if you look at the table – every game now becomes a cup game.”

    “We have won the FA Cup five times during my period here. Nobody has won it more in the last 18 years, so we have always taken the competition seriously.”

    So, despite taking the game seriously we can expect a number of changes, Szczesny will almost certainly play in goal, Chambers and Gabriel to come in for Bellerin and Merts with Kos and Gibbs making up the numbers. That’s, for me, one change too many in the back four, but Le Boss knows best.

    The front six should be made up from Le Coq, Santi, Mesut, Theo, Danny and Olly. They will all, apart maybe from Le Coq, swap positions during the game so there’s seems no point in trying to work out a line up other than 1 4 6.

    I’m looking forward to seeing who we get in the next round. There’s confidence for you. 😀

  2. chas says:

    Cheers, BR.
    I hope it’s all calmed down where you are.

    I like the team. I’d probably give Kos a rest. He seems to be limping towards the end of each game.
    We all liked the team before Leicester. Shows what we know. I’ve no idea what our best team is.
    The selection against the spuds should have been good, too.

    Again, I’m hoping it’s how we play rather than who plays which is important.

  3. The Cockie Monster says:

    Thanks Raddy .

    What better way of starting the day than to remember who are the current holders of the football worlds oldest cup competition !.

    I challenge to to beat this one, chas !. hahaha

  4. arnie says:

    take care Raddy. everyone’s thoughts are with the dead or injured, and also the ones who have been hurt or offended.

    I have to say I am starting to get a bit sceptical with this freedom of expression shiite, particularly since some people claim this to be regulated by the opinions of the majority. Which is another way of saying, the tyranny of the majority against the welfare of the marginal.

    Having said that, killing someone is illegal in most societies, and killers should be persecuted. It is a sad world.

    I am an agnostic, but I found the statements by the Pope sensible. It is a mad society we live in, hopefully some sense can prevail.

    Sad, a very sad Arnie from Amsterdam. 😦

  5. arnie says:

    my mind is on other things, but COYGs. 🙂

  6. arnie says:

    forgetting my manners. Thank you Raddy, as ever, 🙂 and particularly today when sad events are all important.

  7. The Cockie Monster says:

    Sorry to sound ignorant, but I not read any news this morning !.

  8. Well done Raddy… considering how close to you this tragedy happened, you did well to get a post written. Commitment in the face of adversity.

    I’m really hoping we can do the business today. ‘Boro ar not going to be a push over but I would say their push for promotion is more important to them than a FA Cup run. But that doesn’t mean they will roll over today. COYG’s

  9. Rasp says:

    Thanks Raddy, bang on the nail as usual. Chas and I both like your team although I expect Coquelin to play in place of Flamini.

    If we get off to a good start we could be out of sight by half time (who am I kidding 😆 ) but actually I think this is a game that may require patience. We have plenty of firepower, we just need to convert our chances.

  10. Rasp says:

    Sorry I’ve only just heard of the atrocities in Copenhagen … our thoughts are with you Raddy

  11. GunnerN5 says:

    A fine pre match under the circumstances Raddy, thank you.
    I’m nervously optimistic about our chances today – if that makes any sense?

    Boro are a really good side and will give us a run for our money. It’s not a day to give Gabriel a game, he should wait until we have a game won and then come on as a sub.

  12. LB says:

    “Boro are a really good side and will give us a run for our money. It’s not a day to give Gabriel a game, he should wait until we have a game won and then come on as a sub.”

    My thoughts exactly.

    Thanks BR always appreciated.

  13. wally says:

    He should be giving santi a chance to rest, how many straight has he played? Can’t run him into the ground too.

    Give Walcott a run out. Let’s get him back firing on all cylinders.

    And I’m keen to see our shiny new one today.

  14. GunnerN5 says:

    This is our weather forecast for today – plus we have over 2′ of snow. The actual temperature at the moment is -26c.


    A prolonged period of very cold wind chills is expected. Bitterly cold arctic air combined with gusty north winds will result in extreme wind chill values of minus 30c to minus 40c today. The coldest wind chills will be this morning before the winds finally begin to diminish later today. Tonight will once again be very cold. Although the winds will be considerably less than those today, wind chill values tonight and Monday morning are still expected to be between minus 30c and minus 35c. People outdoors should exercise extreme caution. Frostbite on exposed skin may occur in just a few minutes.

  15. I’ve just been catching up on the shocking news from Copenhagen. Such atrocities are outrageous.

    Nobody has the “human right” NOT to be offended.

    Nobody has the “human right” to indiscriminately take another’s life because they feel offended.

    The first attack was against the freedom of speech. The second attack was simply anti-Semitic. Neither should have any place in 21st century society.

    At least the religious maniac who committed the atrocities got his just desserts. Another “martyr” about to discover whether or not there really is a such a place as Paradise.

  16. Shard says:

    I’ve been offline for the past couple of days and only came here to read the patented Raddy preview. Had no idea of the events in Denmark. Sad that such things happen. Hopefully it won’t become another vicious cycle with blame and counter blame. Which is why I do not understand why the media has to specify that a Jewish man was killed. Does it make a difference? All it does is fulfil the terrorists’ agenda to get their message out and wait for the inevitable backlash.

    On to football. This will not be an easy game by any means. But I really hope we win because I never liked Aitor Karanka and I especially dislike him since he’s Mourinho’s former assistant and protege. You can bet he will want to beat us and Middlesborough apparently play like Chelsea too. They’ll keep it tight at the back and look to hit us on the counter. It’ll be a close game I feel, but our superior quality should see us come out on top.

    I would also mix and match, giving players like Akpom and Gabriel their start. After two less than exciting performances, maybe some fresh blood could give us a boost.

  17. LB says:


    That weather sounds brutal.

    I was wondering: does the whole of Canada operate on Celsius or do parts still persevere with Fahrenheit as they do in the USA?

  18. GunnerN5 says:

    It’s all Celsius LB the current temperature is -15 Fahrenheit or -26 Celsius it’s the coldest temperature I ever experienced. It becomes difficult to breathe as your nose hairs freeze.

    At minus -15F it’s 47 degrees F below freezing point and that is brutal indeed.

  19. Shard

    It definitely does matter that there is a mention of the fact that it was a Jewish man that was murdered at a Synagogue. That’s an act of anti-semitism unless the killer knew his victim and there was bad blood between them. Of course Obama in his ignorance, may choose to say it was a random attack but maybe he won’t get asked.

  20. Very good point Peaches

  21. Paul Easter gets a start

  22. Full Team

    Arsenal XI: Szczesny, Chambers, Gabriel, Koscielny, Gibbs, Flamini, Cazorla, Welbeck, Ozil, Alexis, Giroud.

  23. GunnerN5 says:

    Come on Peaches – Obama ignorant? How could you possibly make such an absurd comment. He is one of the most brilliant men of his time.

    I have no time for any type of bias – especially uniformed bias.

    Excuse my rant but you just lit my fuse………………..

  24. GunnerN5 says:

    That’s a fine team I’m pleasantly surprised to see that Alexis is starting.

  25. Warming the bench

    04 Mertesacker
    07 Rosicky
    14 Walcott
    18 Monreal
    26 Martinez
    34 Coquelin
    38 Akpom

  26. Shard says:


    I disagree that it matters. Who cares however that fellow ‘justifies’, or advertises his actions. Or what his motivations were. Would it be racist if it were a black man killed? Or anti-Hindu should the gentleman who died happen to belong to that religion? Or anti-homosexual if he happened to be gay?

    The fact is that the terrorist killed someone and I feel it is unnecessary to propagate his motivations, even if to condemn, because advertising his motivations has consequences, such as the terrorists actually desire.

    You already have Netanyahu repeating his stance that Jews should migrate to Israel. There will be inevitable clashes among innocents now simply because their communities are identified as ‘the other’.

  27. GunnerN5 says:

    NB there’s not enough snow in that picture, the snow in my driveway is over 4′ high.

    Strangely enough I’m not keen on Florida I’m not the beach type – it’s way to hot for me, each time I go there I stay inside in the air conditioning while everybody else turns into a shade of lobster..


    “your nose hairs freeze” hahaha, bloody hell GN5, if thats the case then the only part of me that wont need thawing out is my head

    Nice one Raddy

    Bad news about that terrorist attack. i am an awful Liberal and believe in liberty and free medication for all, but that is really taking the piss.

    Freedom of expression is the corner stone of civilisation. My Athenian ancestors only flourished because democracy bought with it the ability to think and be creative

    Tolatarian regeims are insular and backward. Greece has had its fair share. Thats why we went form philosophy/medicene/art etc to Donkey ride competitions and Demis Rousous.

    People should remember that, other wise great artists like Shaking Stevens of the future will “forever forever forever, you will be the one”

    I have bad memories of Boro, and for that reason do no not like them. The cup semi final about 10 years ago when a bunch of them attacked a pub which was full of women and children, was disgusting.

    Luckily for me I managed to take shelter behind a women and her son. Dont look at me like that? The kid was about 15 and weighed about 20 stone. If those blows had reigned down on me instead of him, i would now be flater than Van Gall. They had no effect on on him. In fact he looked better after the beating

    I hope Paulister starts, i want to take a butchers.

    5-0 to The Arsenal

  29. GunnerN5 says:

    I simply detest any and all forms of bias. But for the record I have no religious or nationality bias and never get involved in any debates on those subjects – but I have extreme political opinions.

  30. Florida at the moment is just a nice balmy +20c. Not too hot ha ha.

  31. GunnerN5 says:

    Terry, you always manage to bring a smile to my face.

  32. Rasp says:

    Raddy got the back five spot on 😛

    As regards the murders in Copenhagen, it was no doubt mentioned that the victim was Jewish because that gives context to what is currently going on in the world and follows on from the killings in France. No life should be any more or less valued than any other, but when a specific group or race is targeted then they become scared and vulnerable which is one of the aims of the terrorists.

  33. GN5 – maybe Obama’s ignorant comments about the shootings in a Kosher deli in Paris being random didn’t make the news in Canada

  34. I hope Paul Easter has been brushing up on his English: “My name is Gabby” “Hello, what is your name?” ” I’d like a cup of tea, please?” “Ref that was fucking offside” “ouch, ouch ouch, that was a foul ref” “Hoof the ball? What do you mean, me no understandy”

  35. Who’s on the AA sofa then?

  36. Rasp says:

    I’m behind it 🙄


    What are BT doing giving Townsend a pundits job?

    Gutted. Its like having a “Wifes left me party” only for the surprise to be her springing out of the birthday cake armed with a broom

  38. GunnerN5 says:

    Just leave it alone Peaches. Obama is an expert on all forms of terrorism and the USA has done more to rid the world of the scourge than any other nation – led by Obama’s policies.

    I read and listen to the US news everyday of my life and I take news distortions with a pinch of salt.

  39. Big Raddy says:

    Just in and onto the sofa.

    Is it too early for a glass of merlot? (not asking you NB as I know your answer!!)

    My team was 10/11 (AS in TR out)


  40. COYG’s… the atmosphere sounds electric

  41. Big Raddy says:

    Is Santi captain?

  42. Raddy… woud be rude to leave me drinking alone 🙂

  43. oh dear… is a 36 year old goalkeeper about to have the best game of his career 🙂

  44. Big Raddy says:

    Boro defence looks strong

  45. Ollie has penetration 🙂

  46. Big Raddy says:

    Beautiful team goal with a wonderful pass from Santi who is on tip-top form

  47. Big Raddy says:

    What a finish by OG showing how wrong I was about the Boro defence🍷🍷

  48. You can have that glass of Merlot now Raddy 🙂

  49. I really enjoyed that… boys are playing well and with confidence

    Lovely stuff

  50. Bradford beat Sunderland.

  51. Big Raddy says:

    Terrific half from our lads.

    Ozil Alexis and Santi brilliant to watch. Only concern is the lack od co-ordination between OG and Welbz (so far)

  52. I’d dearly love to see Danny get a goal in the second half… he needs it, would boost his confidence

  53. 1st yellow for Paul Easter 🙂

  54. What a superb move on the break… lovely stuff

  55. Lovely Jubbly…. we’re on our way to Wembley…. well not yet!

  56. Big Raddy says:

    Super performance.

    Once again my post got it completely wrong – that was an easy win.

  57. Big Raddy says:

    Paul Easter had an impressive debut

  58. Well that was as near you can get to a walk in the park, not in Canada at the moment, obviously. 😀

    Some pillock in the Telegraph had it down as a 2 – 1 win for ‘Boro, what do these journos know?

    It was difficult to tell, from the telly, how Gabriel did, but I did like it when, after an Arsenal corner, he was seen sprinting back to his position. Can anyone who attended the match let us know how he did please?

  59. It wasn’t really a big tesy for Paul Easter…. but a good game to get him into English football. I was worried about him being included for such an inportant game but my fears were unfounded. Good team effort but really should have won by more.

  60. Big Raddy says:

    Next up Monaco. A 2-0 victory would set us up nicely.

  61. LB says:

    I think I would describe that as the perfectly executed plan.

    Who would have thought that Wenger would have started with a 4.2.4 line up? The idea was clearly to go at them, all guns blazing, get ahead and by doing so would force them onto us, before bringing Walcott on in the latter stages to run riot with his pace.

    And that is exactly what happened.

    If Boro were hoping for a lift from Wenger opting to field a weaker team they were disappointed.

    Welbeck, Giroud, Ozil and Sanchez up front, wow that is some front line.

    Gabriel didn’t have that much to do but there were some very encouraging signs. His professional foul was a South American master class.

    I know this is the beginning of a match report but I just don’t have time nowadays.

    Politics – Football…………..Oil – Water.

  62. stevepalmer1 says:

    Evening all, Nice one Raddy, followed up by another cautious one NG,
    I felt we had a good team out there, and right from the start we looked quality i felt Keown’s twin did al right for his début perhaps not a page 3 face but looked solid to me. Wenger finds another ugly talented grafter, The stream i had showed his stats at the end and i think those stats showed he will fit in well.

    NG had his doubts, like me NG doesn’t like multiple changes specially at the back, but with the work ethics of today’s picks there were no dodgy moments.

    Solid across the back, even TPIG looked faultless right up to the last few minutes when a header struck an upright and Czez was nowhere near it, but still a clean sheet, who can ask for more.

    Midfield did well Santi Ozil and Sanchez did all that was asked of them guys up top also did their bit Giroud took his chances well and Danny chased until his legs went.

    I felt we gave a good account of ourselves pretty on the eye plenty of possession with some nice quick passing. I would like to see us making challenges earlier on forward running attackers as i feel we open up and give them chances but apart from that not bad at all. My MOTM would have been Gibbs the lad ran up and down all game and made his self a nuisance but also did his defensive work well. Very happy with that effort but have to say expected more goals but 2 goals is still blinding. Don’t want to leave Chambers out another fine days work son,

  63. LB says:

    Good call on Gibbs as MOTM

  64. fatgingergooner says:

    Coquelin rested as big games coming up, who’d have thunk it 3 months ago!?

    Not seen much of the game but sounds like we were comfortable and looked pretty sexy at times. Even with an ugly imp at the back!

    Sounds like the Spurs hangover was a short one.

    Reading at home in the QF please.

  65. arnie says:

    ha ha ha ha, cannot complain. 🙂

    All well. from a bitterly cold Detroit. -19C.

  66. Gööner In Exile says:

    Morning all.

    Another family meal yesterday put pay to any plans I might have had to watch the game.

    Managed to watch the second half. Felt we should have been more clinical, bit too much cockiness in our game and everyone trying to score.

    Wasn’t that impressed with Gabriel’s body check, but did like some of the other challenges he stuck in and looked comfortable on the ball.

  67. Gööner In Exile says:

    Gibbs had a very positive game obviously showing he wants his shirt back.

    But I think I loved watching the front three of Ozil, Santi and Alexis, they were walking into little spaces and making gorgeous passing. Past their way out of the press with ease.

    Also has anyone noticed the skill Welly uses quite a lot, where he kind of allows the player to commit a sliding tackle before he touches the ball and he kind of picks it up with his trailing leg, it’s very effective and useful because he seems to break away more often than not using it.

    Let’s not forget this was Boro and we are going to face better less gappy buses than this in the remainder of the league campaign.

  68. LB says:

    “less gappy buses” lol

    You weren’t impressed with Gabriel’s professional foul GIE?

    I thought it was top drawer.

    A couple of very good tackles as well.

  69. Big Raddy says:

    Morning All,

    I agree about Gibbs and Paul Easter.

    With a full squad we have so many options

  70. chas says:

    Interesting interview. Interesting translator accent!

  71. Morning all

    I thought it was a very enjoyable game to watch. Everyone was wearing their ‘tricky boots’ and used them to maximum effect.

    Has anyone got time to write about it for a post today?

  72. chas says:

  73. chas says:

  74. chas says:

    8.47 in spam

  75. Rasp says:

    Morning all, can anyone tell me who got the assists for Giroud’s 2 goals yesterday please?

  76. chas says:


  77. Rasp says:

    8.47 released chas 🙂

  78. Rasp says:

    Thanks for the assists

  79. VCC says:

    Great preview Big Raddy. One player out on staring line up. Pretty impressive.

    I got this one all wrong. Well done Zippy, hats off to you sir. We controlled the game from start to finish.

    More of the same please.

  80. 1
    Aston Villa
    West Bromwich Albion
    Bradford City
    Blackburn Rovers
    Preston North End or Manchester United

    Who do we want pulled out of the hat tonight? A No7 at home perhaps? Or would it be better to get Liverpool and get them out of the way?

    Morning girls 🙂

  81. ‘morning all, Nice to reflect on a good weekend. Two goals, a clean sheet, some delightful football, a solid debut from our latest import, only one booking and no reported injurues. Kushti!

    Now we have a quiet week with light training before an away trip to Palace on Saturday which will, hopefully, be a nice warm up for the home tie against Monaco.

  82. Rasp says:

    Pool v manu
    Villa v W Brom
    Bradford v Blackburn
    Arsenal v Reading
    …. perfect 😀

  83. The Cockie Monster says:

    What an enjoyable game to watch, especially the 1st half and I too think that Gabriel`s foul for the yellow was top drawer !….he took one for the team !.
    I like this unselfish attitude of being up front and taking one for his family by being the ugliest member of his family, just like Pug Keown !.

  84. Oh! I forgot, even Mike Dean didn’t spoil the fun. 😀

  85. The Cockie Monster says:

    Rasp !… wanting Manshafter to win tonight !……Fcuking Glory Hunter !. hahaha

  86. Rasp, Pool versus Preston would be funnier. 😀

  87. Rasp says:

    I agree guys, but I’d bet LB’s house that manure will go through this evening. They’re not a good side at all, but LVG seems to have reinstated Fergie’s win when we play badly mentality.

  88. chas says:

    I’ve just sent a quick cobbling to Nuts.

  89. Rasp says:

    Excellent, thanks chas….

  90. Rasp, after your daydream at 09.23, it takes only six minutes for you to get all sensible again.

    C’mon Preston, stick it them, they don’t like it up ’em, Mr Mainwaring. 😀

  91. Rasp says:

    New cobbly post ……

  92. Match the tiles up with your wall color for the ultimate effect.
    As you can bet, many games can only be played if a person brings a
    respectable financial input, where on the other
    side some games can be played with less monetary commitment.
    The mosaics can feature anything from famous celebrities like Marilyn Monroe to the team logo
    for the Boston Bruins.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: