An Arsenal home win. Was it good for you?

You saw the game. I saw the game. So I won’t cramp my post with details, rather thoughts and feelings.

Laboured win, but an extremely valuable three points is one of the things I observed. Another were empty seats and a very muted crowd for a perfectly timed 2pm Kick Off.

Everton arrived ever so slightly staler than us having Spurs Nighted on the Thursday. The turning point was a scuffed shot from Ollie, but low on confidence strikers whoever they are, need just such fortune.


You are probably sensing an impending note of doom in the air, and you’d be right. Earlier in the season we put a poor performance, but three points bagged, down to occasionally “winning ugly”, and I agree that’s a great quality. My problem is that we are only winning ugly, with just sporadic flurries into style.

Damn I was looking forward to the days when we would have a fit attack comprising Mesut, Ox, Theo, Alexis and Santi. They are going to terrorise defences with mesmerising football. It’s just not happening.

Even on this site, the majority are happy to bag the three points, and style and performance matter less. Are the Match Goers sending out a different message? We may get Top Four (something very important), and who knows maybe an extra £20M by coming second, and I would be delighted by that result.

My problem is that these players are capable of so much more. We have seen odd glimpses throughout the season, but they are rare sightings. I happen to believe we can win 3-0 in Monaco, but I have absolutely no idea which are the key players to have fit on the day to engineer a clicking performance.

Are my levels of expectation unreasonably high?


80 Responses to An Arsenal home win. Was it good for you?

  1. Rasp says:

    Thanks Micky, I was working yesterday and have only seen a few highlights (of which there weren’t many I’ve been told).

    As an objective ‘non-viewer’ I am delighted to have got the 3 points and added 2 to our goal difference – which is much better than pool’s.

    Had I been at the game, I would probably have hoped to see more artistry and individual moments of magic.

    We are once again in the position of entering the last quarter of the season with our main objective being to achieve top four – therefore points are king.

    I don’t know why the players we have cannot combine to produce the sort of football we are potentially capable of – but at least they seem to appreciate now that winning is most important and hopefully if the confidence begins to return, we will begin to turn on the style …. whilst still remembering the responsibilities of defending.

  2. ‘morning all,

    Micky, just a tadge high if you expect us to win 0 – 3 in Monaco, I suspect.

    I just can’t figure out why we always seem to start so slowly, one journo this morning likened the team to the denizens of the top tier, they only turn up after ten minutes or so.

    It wasn’t as if Everton came swarming out of the blocks, but they certainly showed a bit more eagerness than we did. Still the early huffing and puffing was contained and we gradually got into the game.

    Giroud finally put one of several chances away, poor old Coquelin copped a broken hooter, courtesy of Giroud’s bonce and Tomas Rosicky assisted by a slight deflection put the game to bed.

    Three points, a clean sheet and a promising performance from Gabriel. Thiord in the League, only five points behind City. What’s not to like?

  3. RockyLives says:

    Thanks Micky

    We performed pretty much as I expected we would after Monaco.

    It was like last season after each of the humiliating away thrashings we took. We would then come back to the Ems licking our wounds and in our next game would play with the famous handbrake very much engaged.

    And that’s the problem. Every time we build a bit of momentum we suddenly have a really bad result and it’s like the players (and coaches?) go back to basics again and start working from a ‘safety first’ position.

    That said, I am very much of the opinion that yesterday was three good points in the bag!

    Incidentally, I think you’re not quite giving enough credit to Ollie for his goal. I thought he steered it exactly where he wanted it to go, rather than scuffing it. It was a very good finish.

  4. stevepalmer1 says:

    Morning all,
    You Rattle on like a man possessed Micky, but what you are saying has its merit, Yes you talk about the qualities of the squad and you wonder why we get good and bad results, you say that you believe we can score 3 goals against \Monaco and you are right.

    You sound like you are confused, how can we win one day and lose another when we have a team that on paper could beat any team on the day. I feel that the word you have omitted and the one that explains a lot of your questions is Gelling, something we are having a problem with at present.

    Gelling and picking the right players together. Winning ugly is a stage you go through while the gelling comes together, very seldom does gelling take place straight away. New players in key positions sometimes takes straight away but in our case is hampered with players ego’s watching players in our side over a few games shows that many feel they can dribble their way right through another teams defence on their own.

    Now a reason for that is perhaps they feel as if they are not sure in their own minds who is going to do what in fact many of them don’t know what they are going to do let alone team mates. That will come, and has started to happen. although i believe in rotation i do believe it should be done at this stage in moderation, and a team spirit and trust in one another should be built up.

    Usually that happens when all eleven players are comfortable with one another and then the odd change doesn’t upset the balance so much. I dont feel that were to far away, oour position in the league is better than the performances which only shows to me that we have the talent, when we have the faith there will be no stopping us.

    Liverpool Tottenham City Southampton are similar teams that have started to gell so it wont be easy but has it ever.

  5. Rasp says:

    I am very fond of Mertesacker as a man, he’s a top bloke and obviously loves the club – but I was pleased to see Gabriel get the 90 minutes yesterday. I think he will get better every game.

    This is what Keown had to say about Merts performance against Monacoo and Gabriel’s start against Everton …

    …. “I don’t think you can point the finger at one player after the Monaco game,” Keown told BT Sport. “It’s a big chance for Gabriel now, though.

    “I think it could be a defining moment in changing Arsenal’s back four now, for sure.

    “Mertesacker, with the experience he has in the game, should have been calling these young players back the other night, the two full-backs were just drifting up the pitch and not coming back.

    “When he’s been left isolated one-on-one he struggles due to his lack of pace too. Gabriel is keen to defend so he’ll be relishing this opportunity to stamp a claim for a first-team spot.”

  6. mickydidit89 says:

    Morning lads,

    I’ll be brief as I’m on a train and the line has many tunnels

    I’m not really talking about the speed at which we appear out of the traps, or the quality of our striker, it’s why we never click as a fluid attacking unit. We do, but for very rare periods of time.

    Sanchez an ill-defined role? Mesut lost? Ox’s best role? They do not click.

    I AM happy, very happy, with more three points, I just want more. People here have been happy to take the points not in the final scramble for league positioning, but the whole season.

  7. Big Raddy says:

    Micky. A cut to the chase post.

    An analogy:

    When a master painter creates a masterwork there is a process.

    Much of this season Mr Wenger has been making preparatory sketches, working at getting the form and balance correct.

    Then there is the time when he has to paint the dull background onto the canvas in which sits the beautiful creation. Yesterday was such a day.

    With the preparation finished and the background in place it is time for the artist (Mr Wenger) to create the magic of the finished painting and perhaps it will be the run-in to May.

    Or perhaps, as is often the case, the end product is rubbish and the canvas thrown away or re-painted.

  8. I think we are happy that we scrambled three points, but not happy that we couldn’t play with style and guile to win the three points.

    The players we have should, by now, have gelled. We should be playing good football.

    At least Wenger showed a bit of steel by dropping Merts. He’s always been a bit too eager to stick with under-performing players.

    I just hope he doesn’t go tinkering with the back four against QPR. Give them a game or two together and they’ll click.

  9. Big Raddy says:

    What a load of pretentious bolleaux my last comment was. Sorry.

  10. John Constable painted a sublime river scene, just as he was about to put the final touch some bugger went and parked his hay wain bang in the middle.

  11. mickydidit89 says:


    I bet that NB Fella can paint faster despite all the daily obstacles he has to navigate


  12. RA says:


    I hope you will bear with me, but I was looking back at something posted in April 2010, when Rickety Rocky had a Post, and altho I could not espy what I wanted – the continuing absence of Kelsey sprang to mind when I spotted one of his comments.

    It seemed to have nothing to do with Rocky’s Post, and was not what might be thought of as a Kelsey ‘special’, but it obviously amused him at the time, so if it helps with his recovery, I thought I would paste it on here today.

    Hope you do not mind. 🙂

    Kelsey strikes back:-

    — Rindercella and her sugly isters lived in a marge lansion. Rindercella worked very hard frubbing sloors, emptying poss pits, and shivelling shot.
    At the end of the day, she was knucking fackered. The sugly isters were right bugly astards.. One was called Mary Hinge, and the other was called Betty Swallocks; they were really forrible huckers; they had fetty sweet and fatty swannies.
    The sugly isters had tickets to go to the ball, but
    the cotton runts would not let Rindercella go.

    Suddenly there was a bucking fang, and her gairy fodmother appeared. Her name was Shairy Hithole and she was a light rucking fesbian. She turned a pumpkin and six mite wice into a hucking cuge farriage with six dandy ronkeys who had buge hollocks and dig bicks. The gairy fodmother told Rindercella to be back by dimnlight otherwise, there would be a cucking falamity.

    At the ball, Rindercella was dancing with the prandsome hince when suddenly the clock struck twelve. “Mist all chucking frighty!!!” said Rindercella, and she ran out tripping barse over ollocks, so dropping her slass glipper.

    The very next day, the prandsome hince knocked
    on Rindercella’s door and the sugly isters let him in.. Suddenly, Betty Swallocks lifted her leg and let off a fig bart.

    “Who’s fust jarted?” asked the prandsome hince. “Blame that fugly ucker over there!!” said Mary Hinge.

    When the stinking brown cloud had lifted, he tried the slass glipper on both the sugly isters without success and their feet stucking funk.
    Betty Swallocks was ducking fisgusted and gave the prandsome hince a knack in the kickers. This was not difficult as he had bucking fuge halls and
    a hig bard on. He tried the slass glipper on Rindercella and it fitted pucking ferfectly.

    Rindercella and the prandsome hince were married. The pransome hince lived his life in lucking fuxury, and Rindercella lived hers with a follen swanny!

    Not a lot has changed over 5 years then, Kelsey. Get well soon!! 🙂

  13. RA says:

    I have to say, after mentioning Rocky the Missing earlier, that I totally agree with his view [10:16] that he thought Olllie steered the ball exactly where he wanted it to go, rather than just swinging what might have been his right foot at the ball and scuffing it.
    [Ollie has no recollection; as his right foot is just used to stand on – or not, as is often the case.]

    If you ‘fast-forward’ immediately after he contacts the ball, you will not see the enormous ploughing scuff mark that some naughty people are saying will become a famous tourist feature in the future, and maybe the start of the ‘Emms Canal’ trip.

  14. RA says:

    Nice Post, Micky, 🙂

    Looking back at older Posts this morning, I have to say that there were many on AA, back in the day, who enjoyed the style and quality of the football as much if not more than the three points.

    Memories of the George Graham year still haunt me, and even tho’ I loved Georgie Boy, and he did bring us successive, the execrable style of football almost put me off for life.

    Perhaps unintentionally, you have forced me to publicly come out and say that I miss the clean, sharp, intoxicating style of the early Wenger years, and I will admit that, irrespective of whether or not we have won a particular game, I really do not much like our current style of play.

    The difference betwixt then and now, I guess, is the distilling of the quality of the players we have had pre and post the Ems project.

    What’s that saying; you cannot make a silk frou-frou from a cow’s ass?
    [Cue N/folk] 🙂

  15. RA says:

    I am not going to correct my comments, above – WordPress seems to delight in second guessing my chosen phrasing and vocabulary – but I am sure you get the drift. 🙂

  16. arnie says:

    lovely one, Micky. 🙂

    can I first of all say that, we are thankful that the combined effort of regulars, but in particular led by the trio of Raddy, Micky and Rasp has kept this space going strong over the past couple of months or so. Comments have been sporadic, but the way the leaders have kept going is nothing short of gargantuan. a big thank you from me, and I hope from all of us followers! 😛

    on the the game. I agree with Norfolk that Giro deserves more recognition for his efforts. we are being like spoilt brats, IMO, throwing our toys out of teh pram. If people dont think that his goal yesterday was not beautiful and masterful, I do not know what what cloud cuckoo land we are in! 😦

    on the game, an important 3 points gained, but I agree with teh sense of dis-satisfaction. The problem is, I think we have tried two styles this year: (a) sitting back and play on counter, which is sort of working for us at teh moment, and (b) attack attack attack, which is not.

    The problem is, we failed miserably against Monaco at home trying to play style (b), how are we going to get the 0-3 or 1-4 result away. Obviously plan (a) will be inadequate.

    If we had tried plan (a) at home, things might have been better. But of course, hindsight is a fantastic gift not usually available to ordinary mortals. Alas. 😦

  17. arnie says:

    double negation, sorry. I blame jet-lag. Arnie from Schiphol. 😦

  18. RA says:


    Hindsight is available to every one – and with 20/20 vision.

    It is only Crystals who has the gift of foresight – and if we are nice to him, he might even be prevailed upon to tell us, now, which trophies we will have won in May. 🙂

  19. RA says:


    Can I augment your comment by saying you have a point about our attacking set-up, but there is a ‘missing bit’.

    What I have in mind, is that on Wednesday last [also known by Rasper as Tuesday] we started off the game with attacking flair for 10 minutes of so, and exhilarating it was too.

    Failing to score, we retreated to the anaemic and listless passing across the backline, you know, Per to Kozzer, back to Per, and then to Kozzer, interrupted by Le Coq and back to Per zzzzzzzzzzz.

    Monaco watching this scintillating crap gained in confidence and began to run at us, and overwhelming our weak midfield, all the while remaining steadfast in their defence.

    Later, in what can only be described as a desultory performance, we seemed to have though ‘bugger it – let’s attack’ and at one time every Arsenal player, except Ospina, joined the Monaco players in their half. Shades of the Charge of the Light Cavalry sprang to mind.

    Monaco counter-attacks were inevitable, and proved successful in their 2nd and 3rd goals, but all was not necessarily lost, as chances came our way, but were duly squandered, not least by Welly hitting Theo’s ass on the line and rebounding out to start another Monaco attack.

    The game could have finished 2:2 or 4:2, or 4:4 or take your pick.

    Dreadful tactics — but if we had finished the chances we had and won 4:3, everyone would have hailed a great victory and…………

    The game was like the English weather – every season in the same day — attack – defence – attack, attack, suicidal attack.

    There – how’s that. And on that day, Giro was simply dreadful, no point any of us denying it – but his season is not defined by one game and he is a rugged old fashioned CF – with just one leg!! 🙂

  20. arnie says:

    Redders. hard as I try, cannot disagree. apols. 😛

  21. Rasp says:

    The passing back to the CB’s results from the fact that our midfield cannot cope with being pressed. Even though we have very gifted midfielders, we often lack the movement and fluidity necessary to endure ‘the press’. Making sure the wide players stay wide may be part of the solution and training routines where receiving the ball with your back to goal doesn’t mean you have to pass the ball backwards?

  22. The Cockie Monster says:

    I`m actually amazed we are still 3rd !… you could probably count on one hand how many times this season we played some beautiful football !. Wins, Draws, Losses…..we have been a shade lucky in most and that`s why I didn’t get all excited performance wise against Mansour City in our win as it was just an anomaly !….normal service against our normal nemesis`s will be resumed shortly !.
    Over the moon about the 3 points, but worried about our performances. We do indeed have a squad on paper to rival our rivals, but for me it`s down to our great manager but average coach…Mr Wenger !.
    Someone said the other teams are gelling quicker !…but why ?….all the teams have had new players, especially Southampton ( and a new manager ! ), but they have better tactical coaches, Wenger is still of the belief that he can just attack and not worry about who the opposition are !.

    Wenger’s tactical theories are outdated .
    “When Arsene Wenger coached his 2003-04 team to an unbeaten season, he experienced something few managers are lucky enough to find in their careers. He put together a team so well connected with one another they rarely even thought about their opponents.

    They only concentrated on themselves, such was the confidence in their blend of power and panache. It set a standard for Wenger. He often repeats his mantra of “we like to play the game we love” but this idealism is not always realistic. In today’s climate, it seems crazy to be so laissez-faire about the opposition.”

    Who knows which Arsenal will turn up at QPR, but at the moment, I`d settle for another lucky win .
    Actually I`m more happy today about Totnumbs loss than Arsenal`s win and although a fine post, Surf Dude of Bude, I would have loved a post about the fantastic abuse which Totnumb administer to their kiddie spuds !.
    Send the NSPCC around !….I don’t care, I love nothing better than seeing a young Spud child crying !. I like to see Totnumb FC up for the award of….Haringey Council`s Child Abuser of the Year !.

  23. Big Raddy says:

    Cockie. Are you well? Apart from the final para that comment was most un-Cockie like!

    We are third because all the other teams are pants. More bizarre is that MU are 4th playing awful football

  24. chas says:

    Excellent thoughts, Micky, cheers.

    Arsenal home win. Was it good for you?
    Damn right it was. Superb day out and 3 valuable points after such a poor result on Wednesday.

    Empty seats and a muted crowd for a 2pm kick-off echoed the mood on this site perfectly. Everybody was down about the Monaco result and understandably nervous about getting back on the Premiership horse. Everton were the only English form team Europe-wise with an excellent 7-2 aggregate against the team from the Wankdorf.

    Giroud had a mare on Wednesday (as RA says, if he’d scored half of his chances we’d have won).
    The next game arrives – he crisply strikes a volley with his wrong foot from a ball delivered from 50 metres away, manages to keep it both down and in the corner away from the keeper and you have the audacity to say it was scuffed. Jayzus. 🙂

    You’re definitely right that these players are capable of much more but just after that Monaco defeat?
    If you go back to The Invincibles season, there were plenty of turgid performances. Yes, it always looks as though we romped every game when you look back at goals videos, but it’s simply not true. The chavs this season are the best team in the Prem up till now, but they’ve scraped some horrible wins and have rarely produced anything like a perfect 90 minutes.

    Finally, yep, your expectation levels are unreasonably high.
    Then again, for someone who doesn’t believe we need to play any defenders at all, they’re probably at about the proportionate level. 🙂

    Once again, thanks for giving us some thoughts to bounce off.
    Apologies if my views are a touch askew, my rose-tinteds keep slipping down off the end of my nose!

  25. The Cockie Monster says:

    Thank fcuk the rest are more shitter than us then, Rads !. 😀

    And on paper !……the Chavs look just as shit as us !……..must be down to their manager !.

  26. GunnerN5 says:

    I hope this is legible.

    Regardless of the “quality” of either individual players or the team as a whole the table below indicated that we have been the best team in the PL over the last 14/15 games.

    GP W D L GF GA GD Pts Pts %
    Arsenal 15 11 1 3 31 14 17 34 80.95%
    Pool 15 10 4 1 25 12 13 34 80.95%
    Man C 15 9 4 2 33 14 19 31 73.81%
    Man U 15 9 4 2 27 11 16 31 73.81%
    Chelsea 14 8 4 2 26 14 12 28 66.67%
    Spurs 14 8 3 3 25 19 6 27 64.29%
    WHU 15 5 6 4 19 17 2 21 50.00%
    Saints 15 6 2 7 14 14 0 20 47.62%

    Assuming that all of the teams gain the same points per game for the rest of the season the top 4 would be……..

    Chelsea 84
    Man C 78
    Arsenal 76
    Pool 73
    Man U 73

    Liverpool and Man U would be determined based on goal difference.

  27. GunnerN5 says:

    I wish I knew how to copy an excel spreadsheet over to word press without it collapsing in on itself!!

  28. The Cockie Monster says:

    I have a theory about the empty seats !………….it`s about true Arsenal DNA !……….everyone had the choice of either being at the Emirates yesterday for a great 3 points and your pockets emptied to a degree !…or….you could have bought a cheap deck chair for £3 @ Poundland and sat outside the Spuds end at Wembley and waited for the Spud kids to emerge crying heart broken, knowing that Santa Claus would not be bringing a COC winning video this Xmas !. I have it on good authority that Transplant did the latter and is still locked up in a Wembley cell for being in possession of an indecent bulge in his trousers and loitering with intent laughter !.

  29. chas says:

    Do you know how to post a photo to the internet?
    Could be via photobucket, twitter, facebook or any other means.

    If you do, take a screen print of your spreadsheet (press alt + Prt Scr key).
    Go to Microsoft Paint, paste the screen shot and save the photo.
    Post the photo to the internet.
    Copy the jpeg internet address (must end in .jpg) and paste the link here.

    Bingo, spreadsheet displayed exactly as you see it on your own screen.

  30. chas says:

    £3 for a deckchair at Poundland?
    Duckin fisgrace.

  31. LB says:

    I thought that was a really good win, I have no complaints at all.

    That said I do agree that this combination of players are capable of so much more though.

    Thanks for the read Micky.

  32. The Cockie Monster says:

    I wonder if many fans went straight from the Em`s and into a local pub to watch in delight the Spuds lose ……disturbed !……fcuk it, I`m not sorry !. hahaha

  33. chas says:

    Here’s one I did before when I wanted to show Arsenal’s versus chavs’ appearances this season so far with two spreadsheets open alongside each other.

  34. The Cockie Monster says:

    Part of that last comment went missing…… a bit between lose and disturbed….and I cant remember what I wrote !. hahaha

  35. GunnerN5 says:

    Thank you for the help Chas, I’m off out to let my doctor stick some needles in me — old age comes way to quickly………….

    I’ll try to follow your instructions when I get back.

    But the most important fact from the table is that we have been the best team in the PL for the last 15 games, you would never have guessed that if you listen to the critics and pundits, even if they knew they would find a way to discredit the achievement.

  36. chas says:

    Ant and me were laughing at the spuds on the train on the way back.
    The BBC website had a sub-heading for the game, “John Terry pokes home from close range” which seems to sum up his social life as well as that game.

  37. The Cockie Monster says:

    Where`s Diaby on the sheet ? ……………….of course !…..he`s not on a sheet, he`s under a sheet… a NHS bed !.

  38. chas says:

    Soz, I chopped off those with 0 starts and 0 sub appearances.

  39. The Cockie Monster says:

    Hahaha Sometimes they just don’t know they are doing it, chas !.
    I remember when Lester Piggott got hurt bad in a race and the BBC said he was in a Stable condition !.

  40. Big Raddy says:

    Drogba has been a sub 17 times!

  41. Raddy

    Your 10:58am wasn’t pretentious at all. I know the process very well: Initial sketch to work out composition, then define contrasts. Then initial undercoats and working out colour combinations, then a second coat and final touching up to make the final painting.

    It all sounds a bit easy, which it is, but the whole has to work and the important part is deciding when it is finished. That also includes all the distractions… and recently there have been quite a few. However, the other week I did a painting in something like one and a half hours… max two, and found out yesterday that it had sold for 1000 euros. I just wish that would happen all the time 🙂

    Still having problems with my internet network connection… plus been on a bender for the last few days. So comments will continue to be sporadic. Not a bad result yesterday, but can we continue to win when playing below par? 3 – 0 to us in Monaco………..? Should I still get tickets? ha ha 🙂

  42. RA says:

    We are very fortunate that we have Chas and the Vine Gang going to so many games, and reporting before, during and after the game, and the emphasis is always so different from those of us glued to our TVs.

    Funny, boisterous, informative.

    Another person of a similar disposition is the eponymous Gooner Lost in Cornwall Ducking and Diving viewing from the safety of his sofa.

    And, yet another one effervescent and scandalously cruel to deserving opposition fans is Terry Titmouse, last reported with a suspicious bulge in his cheek, and a missing Tottenham gerbil.

    I have often mused as to what fickle fate brought these giants of fandom to the AA screens?

    Worryingly, a confluence of events will inevitability bring these denizens together in a pub near the Ems, and mayhem will ensue if Terry takes a shine to Cockies’ prized knobkerry.

    The only thing we could wish for in the mix would be the Hippy, Big ‘Cool Man’ Raddy doing his Vulcan hand signal and saying ‘karma guys’.

    When it happens, I hope to get some mates around to enjoy the day’s events. 🙂

  43. RA says:

    Hi NB,

    I think your paintings are very good, and that interest is not just because the ones I have seen were nude women.

    There is programme on BBC which I have recorded and watch despite my better judgement. [That is a cop out really, as I find it fascinating]

    Anyway, it is group of amateur painters (one of whom is studying Art at Uni – guess who is the best technician) and each week they are tasked with differing artistic tasks.

    The one deemed to be the weakest is eliminated each week.

    What grabs my attention is that 10 individuals have 10 different ways of approaching the methodology of each task – and the subjective opinions of the ‘judges’ is every bit as crap as the poorest Premier League ref.

    This week, the person getting the chop was a guy who was ace at perspective and proportions, when painting a ‘famous’ TV personality sitting in an armchair, and producing an almost 3D rendering of the subjects conk – no, that is not a mis-type – because it was too accurate and did not let the personality of the subject shine thru.
    [My words, to be honest – but basically bullshit]

    Someone who got thru’ ended up with a disjointed and improbably proportioned figure (imagine a kangaroo with those tiny little forearms on a giant body) but given the nod because her ‘colours’ had warmth.

    Fascinating – but …………

    Gimme the nudes!! 🙂

  44. Redders

    I’m looking forward to that as well 🙂

  45. RA says:


    I think you are the confluence I was thinking of. 🙂

  46. ha ha Raddy… I wish I could see that programme. At the end of the day though, it is all subjective…. just like refs 🙂

    But like football, painting competitions can be fixed. A couple of years ago I participated in a local competition to paint something in Les Halles, Avignon. A large indoor market with all local produce. The 1st prize was 2000 euros, 2nd price 1000 euros and 3rd was 500 euros. The aim was to do the painting in situ for two weeks before they were exhibited and judged. Right, this is where the laugh starts. There were only two of us who actually painted in Les Halles for two weeks… eventually there were 30+ entries, but just me and another bloke did our paintings in situ. Even though I say it myself (but many agreed) our two paintings were the best.

    Right, this is where the fixing comes into play. The first prize of 2000 euros was donated by a local bank, and guess what, the daughter of the bank manager won 1st, and to be honest, a five year old kid could have done better. The second prize was donated by a local private art school, and guess what, a student from that school won second prize for a still life of fruit in a roman urn. The third prize was donated by the market traders and went to a woman woman who had done a painting of the old Les Halles before it was demolished.. and guess what, she was the sister of the biggest fruit and veg trader in the market. ha ha…….. so much for fairness. 🙂

  47. The Cockie Monster says:

    Shame the local brewery didn’t` donate a cash prize then `69er !…….The artist formerly and currently known as a piss artist would have won !. hahaha

  48. ha ha Cockie, I would win any prize donated by a brewery, I do the best impression of a wine bottle. And when I paint a bottle of pastis and a glass of pastis, it takes me an ages to get the colour of pastis correct and just right, normally after I’ve drunk several glasses to check the colour is right. 🙂

  49. RA says:


    How come I talk to you about a painting programme, and you replied to the Hippy.

    Hold on:

    Big Hippy, can you pass this comment on to the artist aka NB.

    Thank you. 🙂

  50. RA says:

    Did you hear that an England footballer has been arrested on suspicion of sex with an under 16 y.o. girl.

    I wonder who it is – and why the secrecy?

  51. No secret RA, it’s Sunderland’s Adam Johnson.

  52. GoonerB says:

    Thanks Micky. I didn’t actually see the game and haven’t even caught any highlights yet so am going by the feelings of you guys who saw it. My thoughts I know echo much of how you feel Micky, with regard to say Giroud. I also concur with Cockies views about our tactics or lack of them. I know we have all held these consistent views for some time now so these are not new opinions, more continuations from previous seasons.

    Some interesting points today from everyone. Personally I think it is more important to identify what is wrong and put it right while we are scraping by than wait till it really becomes a problem. It is easy to just see the victory and ignore the problems in the hope it will all turn out ok, but currently I feel that further problems are around the corner if we go down this route.

    I feel there is something wrong despite the recent stats that GN5 put up. I think talking about it now after a win (which I am delighted for) gives it a greater relevance as oppose to only talking about what is wrong after a defeat, which can then seem like a knee-jerk reaction.

    I would love to believe that this is all about some necessary groundwork being put in place like Raddy said, and that the finishing touches were just around the corner. This may yet prove to be the case and lets hope it is but I can’t find it in myself to buy into that at the moment.

    I see it more that we have 2-3 key problems that are holding us back. Firstly we entered the season without the appropriate upgrades in 3 key areas for a serious EPL and ECL challenge. Those areas were CB, DM and striker (Welbeck is another discussion). We do have a very good squad despite this, packed with quality and depth however, much of the strength in depth is overly loaded in one type of player so we have a big quality squad that is imbalanced.

    Secondly I really don’t think Arsene knows how to balance this team. I have said it before but I feel the more options he has available (i.e not injured) the more trouble it causes him trying to get the right balance. Cockies link (@1.49 comment) to the BBC article nails it for me, that in a desperate attempt to get all his crafty players, who like to get on the ball, on the pitch 2-3 of them often end up shunted into positions that don’t suit them and the fluency of our game suffers as a result.

    The tactics then of course tie up with this. Choose a system or tactical approach to a game that suits. This could be different for different games. What is then important is to marry the personnel to that system to make it effective. Man City and Spurs away, very similar approach and system but critically a change in key personnel in the starting line up. This for me was why it was effective in one game and not the other.

    I actually agree with those that say that this team is not far away, but worryingly I look at Arsene and personally feel he is miles away from finding that solution. The repeated recurrences of the bad games and the consistent nature of them over the last 18 months don’t inspire me with a confidence that he will find his way to getting it right. I feel he will also have to suddenly develop a real ruthless side in how he handles certain players from here-on in to achieve it and I just don’t see Arsene being mean enough to adopt this at this stage of his career.

  53. fatgingergooner says:

    This review could’ve been written about a large chunk of all games involving Arsenal, Liverpool, Man Utd or Man City this season. My point being that the quality of football has been pretty average by most so far, which is a good thing for us as it means we currently sit in third place even though we haven’t hit anywhere near top gear.

    My guess is the World Cup has played a part somewhere in the drop in standard this season, although I’m not sure we can still blame it on that when we’ve just hit March.

    If we can get through this year in the top 4 and maybe with an FA Cup final appearance in the bag then I will be more than happy, but I’ve got a strong feeling that getting in the top 4 next year will be a lot tougher and will involve having to play a lot better than we did against Everton yesterday.

  54. chas says:

    Would you have joined in?

  55. chas mobile says:

  56. Thanks Micky for your thoughts and feelings on the game.

    I know I’m spoilt but I have to say that I do like to think I’m going to see some attractive football ( not just attractive footballers 😉 ) and there has been very little of that for some time now.

    I don’t know what’s wrong but I’m surprised that we haven’t yet found a combination of players that can turn on the style. Harrumph.

    However if the handbrake is on because there’s a lack of confidence in the defending then hopefully Mr Paul Easter will solve that problem. He did a few scarily lively things on Sunday 🙂

    I thought Ospina was 100% better than last Wednesday so maybe he had an off day.

    I’m loving Oxlade-Chamberlain, I hope he’s one of the first names on the teamsheet now. And Rosicky is becoming super human, how old is he??? Only joking.

    A word about Coquelin – he and Gibbs are monsters on the pitch, chests puffed out, growling at team-mates, what a shame he had a collision with Giroud’s big head 😉

    Parts of the crowd did their best to get an atmosphere going, it’s scary how quiet 60,000 people can be, but there’s always a pretty good response to ‘we’re the North bank’ which is where I sit. I don’t know how we can change it …………… there was definitely a hangover from Wednesday night, the players hardly got cheered when their names were announced. I’m afraid it’s a two way thing – if they play within themselves then the crowd is quiet. We can be singing for all we’re worth but it seems to have little impact on what happens on the pitch.

    Anyhoo, we need a post for tomorrow ………….. any offers?

  57. arnie says:

    I have to say I am a bit confused by the claim: we are only third because the others are shiite. It is my feeling that the EPL has been getting more competitive.

    If that is the case, we must be improving to hold our place fixed? What makes us think the top 6 have been poor this year compared to the top 6 last year? and the year before?

    Is there any stats that would back up such an outrageous claim? 🙂

  58. GunnerN5 says:


    Based on my premise that the top 6 will achieve the same points per game that they gained in their past 15 games then here are my projections.

    Chelsea (13/14) 82 pts (14/15) 84pts
    Man C (13/14) 86 pts (14/15) 78 pts
    Arsenal (13/14) 79 pts (14/15) 76 pts
    Man U (13/14) 64 pts (14/15) 73 pts
    Pool (13/14) 84 pts (14/15) 73 pts
    Saints (13/14) 56 pts (14/15) 62 pts

    So it looks like half the teams will do better and half worse than in 2013/14.

  59. fatgingergooner says:

    My guess for the final top 7 standings:-

    1 Chelsea
    2 Man City
    3 Arsenal
    4 Liverpool
    5 Man Utd
    6 Tottenham
    7 Southampton

  60. arnie says:

    Yes, GN5 and FGG. Good thoughts, My feeling is we are there or thereabouts, and so are our opponents.

  61. Big Raddy says:

    Morning All,

    Despite enjoying the projected and actual position of 3rd I feel we are always capable of a silly slip-up.

    Can you honestly say approaching any game you are 100% confident? If so, I envy you 🙂

  62. chas says:


    Can you ever say you’ve been 100% confident approaching any game?
    Far too many Wrexhams, Bradfords and Swindons about in our history for that kind of complacency.
    Surely that’s the beauty of the game, isn’t it? Live drama every game with no idea what the ending might be?

  63. chas says:

  64. Big Raddy says:

    Fair point chas. I should have written 55% confident!

  65. chas says:

    All I can think of as supposed proof of a drop-off in Premiership standards is that (aside from the chavs) English teams have struggled in Europe for the last few seasons.

  66. chas says:

    Haha, BR.
    What percentage would you have put yourself at before Citeh away? 🙂

  67. chas says:

    There was a huge reaction on twitter to the chant experiment thingy I posted at 7:01.
    Absolutely none on here. Hmmmmmmm.

    My reaction was that I wouldn’t have joined in. I like to sing when I think it might be heard on the pitch. Some twat nearby bawling his head off would probably get the same reaction from me as in the video. It really is an organic thing, singing at football grounds.

    I’m really looking forward to going to the Old Cowshed on Monday.
    8,600 like-minded Gooners should be fun.

  68. chas says:

    More Arseblog as co-commentator. 🙂

  69. chas says:

  70. Big Raddy says:

    Dave Mackay was one of my childhood heroes. I included his pic in a post I wrote a few weeks ago.

    Top man.

  71. Big Raddy says:

    chas’ chant thingy. I would have sung if you would.

  72. Rasp says:

    Morning all, do we have a post for today?

  73. arnie says:

    Chas. about recent CL performance of English clubs, very fair point.

  74. arnie says:

    about the Giro chant, I have nothing new to say. I think it is criminal not to support 100% the god guy wearing the shirt. This happens far too often. Sagna, Gervs and Arshavin are some names that come to mind.

    surely this does not benefit the club. 😦

  75. arnie says:

    Alex Song is another one.

  76. Big Raddy says:

    Rasp. Chas put one in Nuts last week.

  77. Rasp says:

    Thanks Raddy and apologies to chas. Its a post that needs some work (not on the content just in getting it up on the site 😛 ) and I just can’t do it this morning.

  78. I’m on it …………. back in a bit

  79. ……………… New Post everyone ………………………

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