Wilshere’s Return?

I am excited. No it’s not the inviting look Mrs Raddy just gave me, nor is it the new piece of tech I have bought to while away a dull day. No it is the return of Little Jack Wilshere to the first team squad.

I know some are less than impressed by JW and question his place in our increasingly strong squad but I like the fellow – he is the nearest thing we have had to the Spirit of Charlie George since Charlie Nick came south from Celtic. If we lived in a Beano-World Jack is a chap who wouldn’t be out of place in the Bash Street Kids, and we all know who would be Billy Whizz!

Sadly, (or not) JW is unlikely to start today but I am sure he will get pitch time as Mr Wenger will want to use him in the PL run-in.


The Spirit of CG

Onto Crystal Palace. They have been resurrected by the tactical ability of Alan Pardew (a little sarcasm there!) and will be tough opponents especially at a noisy and enthusiastic Selhurst Park. Pardew has organised the defence and given the team some balance which was missing under the previous incumbent which is strange because Warnock is nothing if not pragmatic; maybe the players respond better to a bloke in a well cut suit.

They have dangerous attackers, none more so than the rejuvenated Chamakh. I liked the big galloop when the first wore the red and white but the man couldn’t handle the intense pressure of leading the line for  The Arsenal. Good in the air, delicate touch for a Big Man, hopeless with his back to goal, dreadful haircut and as lethal for Arsenal as Chris Kiwomya, he has found his place – in midfield!. Just think ….. not so long ago we had Bendtner, Chamakh, Gervinho and Theo upfront, now we have OG, Ozil, Alexis, Welbz and Theo. Reasons to be cheerful??

If I were Pardew I would look to my pacy wingers to pressurise our FB’s. Bolasié and Gayle are both good players and will look to feed Frazier Campbell. But we have become used to teams playing this way against us; we are also used to the “midfield press” which is also touted to be a method of defeating our heroes. The return of CP captain Jedinak will give them a boost – he was linked with us last season but IMO is too old.

Speroni is a terrific goalkeeper whom I hope will be busy this afternoon (preferably picking the ball out of his net. Of Palace’s other players I like Scott Dann and thought he could be a good signing for us pre-Paul Easter and Zaha is starting to show why MU wasted €12m on him

Arsenal: Ox is almost fit and in the squad but like JW unlikely to start. There are question marks about Bellerin’s fitness. Should BFG retain his place or should Mr Wenger give Paul Easter his PL debut? Theo or Welbeck?

Much has been written about a strong squad allowing Mr Wenger to adjust his selections to the opposition. I am not so sure – I like the idea of a settled first 11; it worked for the Double teams and the Invincibles. The difficulty is that we have such fantastic alternatives it is difficult to keep everyone satisfied which is why Mr Wenger earns the Big Bucks. Rotation, Rotation, Rotation.

My Team:

pitch away to palace

Strong bench should we get into difficulties late in the game.

This has been an unpredictable season with Arsenal playing well interspersed with lack-lustre performances (MU, S’ton, Spurs etc). Mr Wenger has played with our tactics and in recent games has concentrated on a more pragmatic approach as opposed to our normal flowing attacking possession football. The win at Man City was excellent but led directly to playing the same system at Spurs and the subsequent painful loss. We are away today and perhaps Mr Wenger will continue with this tactic – I hope not because given the wonderful attacking options we have I want us to show why we are ” the greatest team, the world has ever seen”.

101 years ago today saw the start of the Battle of Verdun in which almost a million soldiers died – no account was made of the injured. The battle lasted until December and is the longest and costliest military battle in history. I have visited the battlefield and left with an understanding of how lucky I have been to be born at a time when I was not forced to go to war. We cannot imagine the horrors and fear experienced by the millions who fought there.


As I sit and worry about whether Arsenal win today I will try to keep a football match in context, win or lose it is meaningless sport – trouble is it is hard to do, isn’t it?


Written by Big Raddy




128 Responses to Wilshere’s Return?

  1. Ant says:

    Great PM as usual Big R unlike Micky’s shambolic effort! What do you know about the Crystal Palace team apart from Chamakh, Micky? It’s time to show the rest of the league that our great squad can start to gel and beat teams like Palace by 2 or more goals every week!

  2. Rasp says:

    Thanks Raddy, I think your PM reflects the way we are feeling – which Arsenal will turn up. We have the better players and we should breeze through games like this – but often we don’t.

    I liked what I saw of Gabriel – he and Kozzer are the future of our central defence, we just need one powerful leader on the pitch and all the ingredients of a team that can win everything are there.

  3. stevepalmer1 says:

    Afternoon all Nice one Raddy, A game of football is a meaningless sport, Very true words, but so was the wars as we fought to keep our shores safe, and now they come by the boatload. Passport who needs them England welcome you and give you benefits and you can take in a meaningless game of football , while you wait to stab the hand that feeds you. Ok not all of them but the millions who died would turn over in their graves.

    Sure, what Wenger team will turn up today, Players nearing fitness and players just fitting in, will he risk Wilshere i doubt it will Paulino get another game i doubt that as well, will Belerin pass his fitness test i don’t think so, your team sounds about right Raddy you must have Wengers ear mate.

    If Per Merts starts i can see slow build ups from the back a dozen or so passes to get out of our own half, Sanchez looked iffy last time out, i wonder if that Knee is still troublesome, No sign yet of Arteta I wonder if we have seen the last of him.

    4.0 to the Arsenal

  4. Gööner In Exile says:

    Sterling work Raddish.

    Two of my favourite Arsenal players joined us from Palace, we have a lot to thank them for. But stuff them today and I predict we will be third after this round of fixtures, ManUre will not fair well in Wales with their defence and Dippers will beat Saints.

  5. chas says:

    Excellent, BR.

    You got me looking back at some Charlie George photos.

    Here’s a few that caught my eye.

    This must have been after a big night out. 🙂

  6. chas says:

    This had the caption below saying that he’d managed to cut off one of his toes with a lawnmower.

  7. chas says:

    Nice tie.

  8. chas says:

    I even found one of you with your flowery flares on hugging him on the pitch.

  9. chas says:

  10. chas says:

  11. Big Raddy says:

    What a terrific pair of trousers. I wonder if they are still available!

  12. Big Raddy says:

    10/11 again.

    Theo must be unhappy

  13. Big Raddy says:

    Where is everyone? Hiding behind the sofa?

  14. mickydidit89 says:

    Lovely pm Raddy, thanks
    Theo on the naughty step
    Prefer either or. Ollie Danny to keep one of our two strikers always fresh

  15. Big Raddy says:

    Fine start.

    This co- commentator must be. CP fan, dreadful bias

  16. Big Raddy says:

    Terrible pitch with very long grass. Not good for fast passing game

  17. RockyLives says:

    Any score? Unusually this game isn’t on TV here.

  18. Big Raddy says:

    Rocky. Nice to see you, I thought I was making a lone vigil!

    We are one nil up thanks to a Santi penalty but have been under pressure since then

  19. Big Raddy says:

    OG scores the second against the run of play.

    Deep joy here in wonderful, wonderful

  20. arnie says:

    great PM, Raddy. 🙂

    about the game, cannot complain. A little bit of luck on the penalty, thank you referee.

    Brilliant work by Danny for the second. He is no Giro (11 goals and counting), but his combination with Giro is not bad at all.

    Cannot complain. COYG. 🙂

  21. stevepalmer1 says:

    Definitely biassed ref Makes us play on and stops the game for free-kick to them and has a card ready, but still 2.0 to us, stream just died but got another albeit in foreign least i dont have to listen to dodgy commentators.

  22. Gööner In Exile says:

    Steve id say commentary you can’t understand is better for the stress levels. I wish just one of the major broadcasters offered football with crowd noise but no commentary (at least an option on the red button) that would be TV football nirvana, but I guess that’s our punishment for not going to games live.

  23. stevepalmer1 says:

    Thats true GIE, that will teach us ha ha

  24. RockyLives says:

    Thanks BR

    Back in front of the laptop now so I can monitor the score at least on the Beeb site.

  25. RockyLives says:

    Ha! Mancs losing. Keep it up Swans.

  26. RockyLives says:

    Mans are losing! Keep it up, Swans.

  27. Gööner In Exile says:

    According to Pat Nevin on R5 the fella that tackled Matic should’ve bern given the red, Matic sent off for his reaction, but of course just part of the “campaign”, that’s the same campaign that saw Cahill stay on the pitch for his high tackle on Ozil earlier in season.

    Also they said on 5 live that neither of our goals should have stood…..any reason for that?

  28. Gööner In Exile says:

    1st part of my prediction in a ManUre loss, now we hold on and cheer on the Dippers tomorrow …….maybe just hope for a draw.

  29. LB says:

    Our first was a clear penalty and our second was a toe poke from Giroud.

    Can’t see any reason why either of them shouldn’t stand.

  30. RockyLives says:

    And hopefully the Hammers will mash some Spuds.

  31. stevepalmer1 says:

    5 minutes extra time, where did that come from, anyway 3 points from a game the the ref did his best for them, but still we win, Our goals were all good

  32. arnie says:

    the first one might have been just outside teh box, but brilliant work from Danny. Not complaining, we do not get most of those.

    nice results elsewhere. look forward to points dropped by Saints and Spuds tomorrow, and we are firmly in 3rd.

    Chasing Shitty. Crisis? what crisis? COYG. 🙂

  33. Big Raddy says:

    Up to 3rd!!

    Lacklustre performance but job done.

    I am sure the poor pitch was a Pardew tactic as CP played long ball apart from on the wigs

  34. arnie says:

    Jack could have got a few minutes, but not complaining.

    I think 5 mins stoppage time was fair, Ospina head injury, another 3 points no complaints. 🙂

  35. arnie says:

    Steve, very nice post yesterday, knot ear and apols. 🙂 I always like a conspiracy theory. But not in the PL, not for me, not yet.

    But in Europe, CL and all, I have my suspicions. 🙂

  36. Big Raddy says:

    Idiots on Sky saying retaliation is understandable and Matic shouldn’t have been sent off.

    Do they know the rules?

  37. arnie says:

    no complaints, Chas, certainly not against the ref. 😛 we deserved the penalty, and we won. we are 3rd. 🙂

  38. chas says:

    Just to clarify, I only said you were sad because you were often finishing comments with “Sad, very sad”.

    Today you are definitely not complaining. 🙂

  39. arnie says:

    we deserved the Giro goal, and we won. we are 3rd. COYG. 🙂

  40. mickydidit89 says:

    poor performance. 4th division pitch. lovely three points
    now I want seconds

  41. arnie says:

    Chas. I am sad that I am getting to spend so little time on AA. Sad, very sad. 😦 ha ha ha 😆

  42. chas says:

    The BBC have given this to Gomis. Poor mancs. 🙂
    (De Gea looked a bit slow to react – hee hee)


  43. mickydidit89 says:

    “Danny….. is no Giro”
    Now why would yu want to wind me up by saying something so utterly ridiculous 🙂

  44. RockyLives says:

    Who’s suggesting they shouldn’t stand, LB?

  45. arnie says:

    Micky. now, are you winded up enough? uncoil yourself then. 😆 disagreements are the life blood of a blog. 🙂

  46. chas says:

    Sanchez is no Ozil.

  47. mickydidit89 says:

    Don’t know why, but I’d never really thought about exactly how quick Mesut is on the break

  48. GoonerB says:

    Thanks raddy. Been a knot ear this week. Good result in a run up to a cl week. Was listening in the car for the last 25 mins and it sounded on the radio that we weren’t great today. Entered injury time 2-0 up and they hit the post apparantly to end the game 2-2. Why do we struggle so often to comfortably see out games? Even when delighted with a win i still look at things like that as a slight concern as i always feel it will cost us at some point. Does anyone else feel like this or is it only me?

  49. mickydidit89 says:

    oh god, not you as well 🙂

  50. Gööner In Exile says:

    Radio5 live Rocky for the reasons Chas shows above.

  51. arnie says:

    that break by Ozil was just brilliant. Sanchez should have scored. 🙂

  52. mickydidit89 says:

    Rocky, Saw OMC and the gang for drinks after Leicester. All very well

  53. GunnerN5 says:


    I watched the game on a stream through TSN.ca. TV quality picture and game commentary – great coverage. Keep it in mind in case it happens again.

  54. arnie says:

    GoonerB. no squeeky bum, not much fun. I am happy with a win. 🙂

  55. arnie says:

    Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said: “It was about fighting for the win. Crystal Palace made it a really tough game and we had to dig deep on a difficult pitch against a good team so I’m very happy with the win.

    “Palace gave everything they had. It was like a cup game. They closed us down and stopped us playing.”

  56. mickydidit89 says:

    will return when I get ff this broken device

  57. Gööner In Exile says:

    Having just watched the clips I can’t believe R5 making out they were major errors…..both really tight calls

  58. chas says:

    A question I forgot to ask………
    What new piece of tech did you get? 🙂

  59. arnie says:

    pray why were we not guarding the posts with two additional defenders on? anyway, nice tight win, not complaining. 🙂

  60. chas says:

    Fat French Letsbeavenue makes it 2-0.

  61. arnie says:

    Chas. can I be a bit sad about that? 😦

  62. chas says:

    As long as you’re not very sad.

  63. arnie says:


  64. chas says:

    Not 100% sure what Giroud is doing with his hands,

  65. chas says:

  66. chas says:

  67. chas says:

    Right, last one, I promise.

  68. wally says:

    Professional result.
    Might have pulled Giro and moved welbz to center and brot on walcott. Don’t let them pile forward, make them defend space.

    And good result for Swansea, had that game on in the background and always pleased to see the best team in the league look dismal.

    Probably be awhile before Atkinson sees the field again. He was awful. I’ve seen some of those highlights and while i don’t mind the result one must believe Atkinson was out all nite with a pair of hookers, one a midget the other a tranny and a boatload of coke.

  69. arnie says:

    🙂 🙂 🙂

  70. Big Raddy says:

    Wally. Sounds like my sort of night out!

    I cannot understand why after so many negative experiences AW persists in subbing attackers for defenders. We were cruising before Gibbs and Paul Easter came on. When he does that it invites the opposition to attack in the final few minutes.

    It has proved costly in the past and almost today.

    chas. A Kindle Voyage

  71. Big Raddy says:

    Brilliant work by stream dictator

  72. arnie says:

    Raddy. A Kindle Voyage? I am not a technophile, but this sounds exciting! birthday gift? 🙂

  73. Big Raddy says:

    arena. It is an e-reader. I spend much of my life reading and like Eddie love Kindles.

    Which reminds me …..

    Eddie I didn’t thank you for the books. Shame on me!

  74. mickydidit89 says:

    I love my paperwhite kindle 🙂

  75. mickydidit89 says:

    The curious case of Theo Walcott.
    Any theories?
    and I have about 5 mins for an in-depth discussion 🙂

  76. RockyLives says:

    Thanks GiE
    I couldn’t see the earlier comments because WordPress is currently playing very nasty.

    Is there some way of commenting etc on here that avoids WordPress?

  77. Gööner In Exile says:

    Micky simples….saving him for counter attacking vs Monaco

  78. Gööner In Exile says:

    Unfortunately not Rocky unless we use a 3rd party plugin for commenting, and by we I mean Peaches and Rasp 😀

  79. Gööner In Exile says:

    Btw I think 3rd party plugins play quite nasty too.

  80. arnie says:

    Giro on permanently, and Welbz and Theo in rotation sounds good to me. 🙂

    I suppose that was the plan today until Arsene decided to park the bus. Good or bad decision I do not know, a few more games will tell us. If we can win ugly, I do not see a problem with that.

  81. arnie says:

    Amazing that Newcastle spent 30 mins in the mddle without conceding, and 40 mins at the end, but ended up conceding 5. hmmm.

  82. stevepalmer1 says:

    Winning ugly Arnie, almost kicked our arses. We gave the ball away most of the game, all through bad passing A team who press us hard and fast always make us pass quickly and usually errant passes turning attacks into defence.

  83. arnie says:

    Agreed, Steve, but still we are third in the League and alive in the CL. So, we are obviously doing some things right. As opposed to most of the other numpties.

    Of course, we can always improve, and the grass is always greener … 🙂

  84. stevepalmer1 says:

    Of course our position in the league is important i give you that, and scraping a win is still good , but we need to be able to hold on to the ball a bit longer than we are doing, and against lesser teams we should be better.

    Today was similar to Tottenhams game where in the end we had our backs against the wall Wenger strengthened the defence at the expense of our attack that is called winning ugly, and that doesn’t sit right with me.

  85. arnie says:

    yes, Steve, I am a bit baffled as to why we are not able to walk the ball away from our defence. Maybe, this is temporary. I would like to give this 5 more games.

  86. arnie says:

    Raddy. let us know how the Kindle experience goes. I might consider one by the end of the year. 🙂

  87. Gööner In Exile says:

    I think the pitch was left long and they may have even ploughed it mid week, oh and I bet they didn’t bother with sprinklers, they would have been preparing all week to play through those conditions we would have had to adapt on the spot.

    Now I’m totally against this defensive mindset, but if I had a pound for every time I’ve heard fans pine for the way we used to go 2-0 up and it was game over I’d be quite rich. I’m not saying I like the way we are playing but most fans have been calling for it, and we will become very unenjoyable to watch if it continues. Although could just be this week and players conserving energy for Monaco.

  88. stevepalmer1 says:

    Yes good points about the pitch GIE although i had a poor stream the divots showed up, i agree that it was probably left like that on purpose but still a 3 foot pass is not much to ask for is it .

  89. Big Raddy says:

    arnie. This is my 5th Kindle, I love them.

    Micky. I will tell you if it is worth upgrading

    Steve. Agree – we played poorly and could easily have dropped two completely unnecessary points

    GIE. I mentioned the pitch during the game. Taking Ozil & Welbz off at 77 mins and Alexis at 89 is hardly going to help them midweek. I would have brought on Theo for Ozil and pushed CP back

  90. wally says:

    You’re kind of night out?
    I’m a bit tamer than that. Not sure i’m brave enough to hang with you, but i’ll bet there are a some memorable stories!

  91. mickydidit89 says:

    Re Theo. You say “saving him for counter attacking vs Monaco”
    I really hope we are not planning to play on the counter at home, so if you’re suggesting the away leg, that’s an awful lot of “saving” 🙂
    I certainly agree that we are not pretty to watch.

  92. mickydidit89 says:

    My elder Bro swears by a mini ipad as opposed to a kindle. Does the same thing as well as basic email type stuff. Large ipads are pointless, but mini ones?

  93. chas says:

    I love it when players roll around as if they’ve been seriously injured, then get up Lazarus-like to seek retribution.

  94. chas says:

  95. chas says:

    I’m not sure about this ‘bring Walcott on to push the opposition back’ theory.

    If he’s given orders to stay up the pitch, he becomes redundant as the midfield have dropped back, so the only way of reaching him is with a longer pass and we all know he can’t hold the ball up for anyone to join him.

    What actually happens is, he comes on and drops back with the rest of the team and tries to do the job of a defender.

  96. Big Raddy says:

    Morning All,,

    L’pool & WHU draws would be good today.

    I have some stuff to say about yesterday’s game but if no-one is willing to write a match report I will hold fire until later this morning.

    Oops just seen the time ! Guess I should write a few words and if someone wants to write, we can have two reports.

  97. mickydidit89 says:

    What did Matic do?

  98. mickydidit89 says:

    Alternatively, just start talking now and we can all enjoy your thinking before going out for that sunday walk

  99. mickydidit89 says:

    Tell you what I think, there’s a disconnect between defence and attack

    An Ox or Ramsey with Coquelin is better. Santi further up, and either’or Ollie or Danny. Sure Danny is the better footballer and CF, but still, it’s an either or 🙂

  100. chas says:

    Welbeck 2 assists
    Giroud 1 goal

  101. Big Raddy says:

    Micky. I had the same thought and went out to check whether to Kindle or mini iPad.

    I discovered this …..

    As I read so much it makes sense to have the best available reader and that is undoubtedly the Kindle – better design, better legibility, better storage and library (and much cheaper). I don’t need internet etc as I have my phone, old iPad, Mac – so why would I need the excellent iPad mini?

    The light from the Kindle shines down from the screen whereas the iPad is backlit and that makes a difference to ease of reading

    But the deal clincher was battery life. The Kindle lasts for at least a couple of weeks, the iPad has perhaps 10 hours and needs to be re-charged every day.

    Your older brother may be a top bloke but he is a mug when it comes to tech 🙂

  102. Big Raddy says:

    6.51. Love the No 11’s reaction

  103. mickydidit89 says:

    He’s not a top bloke, but certainly a tech mug. I was staggered he’d even know how to turn an ipad on

  104. Big Raddy says:

    What did the Burnley player do wrong??? 😉

  105. mickydidit89 says:

    Cheers Chas
    Wow, nasty tackle. Did the Burnley player get sent off?

  106. chas says:

    I think the body slam player was going to land the other guy on his head but just backed out in time.
    No 11 is priceless. 🙂

  107. Big Raddy says:

    To save Peaches asking I will knock up a quick post and put it up early. Then if someone else wants a go they can & I will upload it later.

    Though if the rain holds (unlikely) I will be taking a Sunday perambulation

  108. chas says:

    He didn’t even get booked.
    At full speed, the tackle doesn’t look quite as bad.
    In slo-mo, it’s shocking.
    Atkinson is appalling though, as we all know.

  109. chas says:

    I was just about to suggest the match report could do with going up early before everyone has finished talking about the game. (Just as the pre-match needs to be up earlier)

    Excellent idea.

    Must go.

  110. mickydidit89 says:

    “Welbeck 2 assists
    Giroud 1 goal”
    Sorry Matey, but that’s meaningless. Welbeck would score more than Giroo given the chances and a run in the team as CF, and not only that, he’d continue to provide assists (Giroo three all season). Also, he’d get more out of Mesut because he’s capable of making the runs. People being nice about Ollie are just that, being nice.

  111. chas says:

    I know it was meaningless.
    We still wouldn’t have scored our second and (as it turned out) crucial goal if they both weren’t on the pitch. 🙂

  112. chas says:

    Really off.

  113. mickydidit89 says:

    Oh noooo
    Chas gon salon
    Raddy gone writing then lie down
    🙂 😦

  114. Gööner In Exile says:

    Micky read the Giroud tactical bollix on arsenal.com good quote from Arsene about Giroud being the only one of our forwards who can only play centre forward.

    Having watched the Barnes tackle I’m torn and I think it’s one where only Barnes knows what he intended, I think you’d have to watch a lot of videos of him passing to see if his foot ending that high was natural for him. He has a touch (not a great one) runs after it and plays the ball to a teammate his follow through connects badly with Matic. were his eyes on Matic after he played the ball or had he played it. Fact is Chelsea weren’t playing well, Burnley were already knocking on the door and Maureen is left with a good excuse.

  115. mickydidit89 says:

    Ok Exile, I go find article

    Do City have Toure back, and if so, has he been their missing link?

  116. Big Raddy says:

    Micky. Yes. And Newcastle were rubbish.

  117. mickydidit89 says:

    Found it. Read it. Don’t agree 🙂

  118. LB says:

    You don’t write many tactical comments Chas, but when you do, they are almost always bang on the money, as your 6.56 most certainly is, in my opinion.

  119. Big Raddy says:

    There is a ……

    New Post

Leave a Reply

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

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com 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: