Wilshere and Welbeck to start at Wembley?

Well, With Whom Would you Wish Wenger to Walk onto the Werdant Wilds of Wemberlee? Wilshere, Welbeck, Wojciech or Wamsey?

Enough of that nonsense.

Let’s be honest we should win today but in the world of Arsenal there is many a slip twixt cup and lip. In a lifetime of supporting Arsenal I have witnessed many an embarrassing hiccup so I take nothing for granted but we should beat Reading – shouldn’t we?

We have won our last two games at Wembley, our form is excellent, we have had a week of rest and Diaby is fit. Reading are a decent team but in very average from – last 6 league games, D3 L3.

Can anyone explain this to me? The bookies are offering 14/1 for a Reading win and yet 1 to 4 on for an AFC win. Seems strange but I am no mathematician.


The Current FA Cup Holders

How many of the players should be rested today without taking away the fluency of the team? I would bring in Debuchy and Gibbs, rest Alexis and perhaps Ozil giving Theo and Welbz a Wembley run, and TPIG for Ospina. But would such wholesale changes be too damaging?

Mr Wenger is a conservative manager, as such he would not make the wholesale changes BR suggests.

Wilshire was head and shoulders the best player on the pitch in his recent U-21 appearance and must be in the manager’s thoughts.  So ….. in essence I have no idea who will start this afternoon but this is my stab at the starting 11 …

My Team:


Debuchy      BFG      Koscielny     Gibbs

Wilshere      Le Coq     Cazorla

Walcott      Giroud       Welbeck

This is the team I expect AW to pick – same back 5, then

Ramsey   Le Coq

  Cazorla    Ozil

OG   Welbz

I could play with this all morning as it is many a year since we had so many possible formations and players to pick from. The squad is as good as I can ever remember.

I haven’t mentioned Reading much, have I? There is a reason  for this …. I know SFA about them. They have a couple of lardy big lumps up front who will try to muscle their way past our CB’s. A Chav loanee in midfield, an Arsenal schoolboy, Kanu on the wings – Reading are no doubt a battling, enthusiastic team. They will try to make it a physical battle because Reading are doomed if they try to play an expansive game. If we score early the game is over. If they score early TPIG will be the only player in the Arsenal half for the remainder of the game.


Shape UP Man

Any game at Wembley is special. Being a traditionalist leftie hippy I prefer the old AV/MU grounds for the semi’s but who can deny Wigan/Reading/L’pool a Wembley day out. It is the highlight of their decade.

Last year’s FAC SF was one of the most gut-wrenching experiences of my life as a Gooner. We are prone to start slowly at Wembley – goodness knows why – and cannot this afternoon. Attack from the first, be aggressive, solid in defence with Le Coq holding the midfield. No stupid mistakes from the off-the-naughty-step Szczesny, some lethal finishing from our front men and another final awaits.

I am 74% confident.


written by Big Raddy

156 Responses to Wilshere and Welbeck to start at Wembley?

  1. Louis says:

    At least spell Wilshere’s name right.

  2. Big Raddy says:

    Louis. At least you read the headline.

    Thank you for your help – JW’s name got spell-checked!

  3. Rasp says:

    Thanks Raddy, a sunny day at Wembley is as good as it gets for supporters. I expect 5 or 6 changes. We know the 11 with those changes should be more than enough to cope with Martin Koewn’s Reading 🙂 I trust they’ve been playing together all week and have developed a team understanding. Having said that, it would be just like us to go a goal behind after early dominance and then wrap the game up in the second half. I can only see an Arsenal victory, let’s hope we do it with style.

  4. ‘morning all,

    Thank’s for yet another fine pre-match BR, what I want, what I wealy wealy want is a wizard win at wonderful Wembley.

    Reading between the lines of your post RA, I get the impression that you are a little undecided who to go for today. I’ll leave it to Le Professeur, although I’m sure there will be a least one of his selections that I’ll be able to disagree with.

    74%? I’ll raise you to 81%.

  5. chas mobile says:

  6. Lovely stuff Raddish

    I’ll go with Norfolk…. 81/82% confident of a Gunners win. COYG’s

    Peaches, I’ve sent you an email about next weekend. When I got here my brother told me the Chelsea game has been re-scheduled for the Sunday and not the Saturday. When I booked my flights it was to enable me to either go to the game or watch it in a Highbury pub. I leave early on the Sunday morning… I am p’d off.

  7. Ant says:

  8. Incidently, our last cup tie against Reading didn’t start well, we were 4 – 0 down before Walcott got one in first half injury time and completed his hatrick to give us a 7 – 5 win. Goals from Chamakh (2), Giroud and Koscielny helped a bit of course.

    31st October 2012.

  9. Chas @11.12, Greedy sod!! 😀

    Right, the mole’s back so it’s time to set the traps, I’ll get the little b*****d one day.

  10. Gööner In Exile says:

    Erm I’m worried, I bought three beers for my two hour journey which started at 10:30……..I’m on my third. 😳

    I think other passengers are tutting can’t hear because I have earphones in but everyone else is drinking coffee or water, as there’s me drinking and bedecked in red and white…..hooligan! 😀

  11. Gööner In Exile says:

  12. Gööner In Exile says:

    Ok three bottles in but that was still a marvellous pre match Raddy.

    Don’t care whoever starts we should win but as James Scocroft said on The Game Podcast the other day, they have a poster on their wall:

    Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work.

    Never a truer word said we need to turn up today like we did last week desire how comfortable a win people expect we have to be at the races.

    That was the other thing Brian McDermott said last night on TS, that Arsenal have been watching Reading as long as the tie has been known about and therefore are aware of how they play and dangers etc. he was a really interesting listen.

  13. wally says:

    I’m probably more interested in the line-up than the game itself. I’d like to see some others get a run out and see what they can do, and whether they can give us viable alternatives.

  14. RA says:

    A nice alliterative start, Mr Raddy, if only I could do that, but Norfolk has outed me as a dunce, and I do not think I will ever recover my self-esteem! 😦

    As to the betting odds, if you backed Reading, to win, heaven forfend, you would get £14 for every £1 you staked.

    If you backed Arsenal the odds would read ‘4 : 1 on‘ where the on means the numbers are reversed in effect.
    The same as 1 : 4.

    That means if you backed Arsenal to win, you would get £1 for every £4 staked.

    — £10 staked on Reading would give you £140 + your stake money back, if they win = £150.

    — £10 staked on Arsenal would give you £2:50 + your stake money back, if we win – which we will – = £12:50. Not exactly salubrious.

    Clearly the bookies think the Gunners will win. 🙂

  15. Big Raddy says:

    Good to see the AFC contingent bevvied up with almost 4 hours to kick off!

  16. Big Raddy says:

    RA. That much I understand – I have been a racing fan since my youth. Nonetheless thank you for the explanation.

    What I cannot understand is why the odds so favour the bookie. They are saying there is a less than 8% chance of Reading winning (14/1) when betting on Reading and yet at the same time saying there is a 25% (?) chance of Reading winning when one bets on an AFC win.

    I know the punter always loses but these are poor odds when betting on AFC.

    I have given Reading a 26% chance of victory which translates to less than 4 to 1 on !

    I think 😀

  17. BR, once whilst disgruntled punter tear up his betting slip I heard him say “if ever you see a hard up bookie, there’ll be a dead donkey beside him”.

    My apologies RA, when I outed you I had just discovered that the little b*****d (mole) had returned to my lawn and was happily converting it back into something reminiscent of the aftermath of the battle of the Somme. The hours I had spent clearing mole hills and re-seeding the bare patches was entirely wasted, so i wasn’t in the best of moods.

    Having set more traps I’m going into a zen-like trance until kick-off. Ommmm! Ommmm! Ommmm!

  18. …once whilst watching a disgruntled…

  19. RA says:


    I have never had a bet in my life.

    It does not surprise me that the odds are so loaded in favour of the bookies.

    The calculation of betting odds – and I have no practical experience of doing this – is based on the probable outcome of a given event.

    Therefore it is obviously based on statistical calculations as well as the analysis of the football teams concerned, and will take historical data into account as well where available.

    Cup matches, unlike league games, are more problematic to calculate as they are usually ‘one-offs’ [there are exceptions like the CL = 2 bites of the cherry + the possibility the teams have recently met in the preceding 2 or 3 years.]

    Calculating the odds is a real science, and when in doubt the bookies always give themselves an ‘edge’.

    Advice? Don’t bet! 😀

  20. Thanks for the pre match Radders.

    One of the benefits of a Wembley fixture is that it’s just 20 minutes on he train from home.

    Right I’d better get dressed and ready to go then.

    Ooooh. Match day. UTA !

  21. RA says:


    I sympathise with you if the mole is turning your beautiful lawn into a site reminiscent of the Somme.

    But, they are gorgeous critters if you see them in their splendid fur, and twitchy noses.

    Faced with a similar problem, some years ago, I could not bring myself to kill it {usually it is one mole that wreaks the havoc} and so I bought some squirrel deterrent (pepper) and inserted into every molehill and amazingly he buggered off.

    Take the top off the molehills with a spade (it is very good soil) and brush the remainder with stiff brush and it soon blends back into the lawn.

    Bet you already know that – right? 🙂

  22. RA says:


    Did you see that the Ant and Duck show with Exile and others have Mannions on their schedule of ‘events’?

    You might see them yet. 🙂

  23. Thanks for the advise RA, over the years I’ve tried many remedies one of the most successful was visiting the local for a few pints of bitter and then going home and p*****g on the mole hills. This was alright on dark winter evenings but later in the year the neighbours complained that my remedy was spoiling their enjoyment of a Sunday barbecue in their garden. They’ve since erected a six foot high close panelled fence.

  24. RA says:

    Perhaps you can invite Exile around to help, NG.

    From the ‘photo above his drink of choice is Norfolk Moon Gazer Golden Ale –3 or 4 bottles each and the mole will either be pissed or have gone to Wells Next the Sea to visit Auntie Sally Mole. 🙂

  25. I’ll keep an eye out for them there Redders. On train into Wembley now.

  26. RockyLives says:

    Only 74% BR, you doomed.

    I’m a buoyant 79% myself.

    Typically topical, terrific and titillating pre-match.


  27. Rasp says:

    Lucky you to get a ticket chary 🙂 ( my ticket 😦 )

  28. RA says:

    Error — error — error 1

    S/be: ‘A typically talented, topical, terrific and titillatingly talented pre-match.

    Rockeee…….oh, Rockeeee………

    Error – error – error 2 —–extravagantly, erratic, extrovert extolling of extra-large Raddy. 🙂

  29. Eddie says:

    Leftie hippie – one of the best PMs this season, well done and thank you! I must say I prefer AW’s team selection, cannot see why would you leave Ozil out? And why is Sanchez not playing, is he injured?

    I am even less than 74% confident about this game. Lesser teams go into them with all, one in a lifetime chance of a real trophy for most players and managers. Do Reading have a manager?

    I will be content with a boring 1:0, but would not complain if it is a cracking game and we win 4:3. As long as we win of course.

  30. Eddie says:

    checked – Steve Clarke and 18th position in Championship. Now, if we cannot beat them then I resign as a supporter.

  31. arnie says:

    ha ha ha ha ha. COYG. 🙂

  32. arnie says:

    lovely PM, Raddy. 74% seems about right to me. 🙂

    COYG. 🙂 🙂 🙂

  33. GunnerN5 says:

    Arsenal subs: Ospina, Gabriel, Monreal, Flamini, Wilshere, Walcott, Giroud

    Arsenal team to play Reading: Szczesny, Debuchy, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Gibbs, Coquelin, Ramsey, Cazorla, Ozil, Alexis, Welbeck

    Read more at http://www.arsenal.com/live#ZBjWs8Jqsk1fatfp.99

  34. Eddie says:

    now that’s a team to be proud of 🙂

  35. GunnerN5 says:

    Fine pre match, thanks Raddy.

  36. GunnerN5 says:

    Just take a look at that tasty bench. WOW!!!

  37. arnie says:

    nice team, cannot complain. COYG. 🙂

  38. Big Raddy says:

    No OG!! AW dropped him in the FAC SF last season and played Sanogo. Thankfully Welbz is a better striker.

    Mrs. R. has arranged for us to go out for a fancy dinner this evening so I will be missing the game (though hope it will be on MotD when I get home.

    Don’t tell me the score

    GN5. As you say – what a bench!

  39. Rasp says:

    That’s a stronger line up than I was expecting, but looking at the bench, any combination would have been very strong

  40. mickydidit89 says:

    5:20 KO!! What was all that about

    Thanks BR

    No pic of Exile 😦

    Danny up front. Hooray

  41. Rasp says:

    The stupid commentators are already applauding Reading’s ‘physical approach’ 😦

  42. mickydidit89 says:

    You need to have a “talk” with ‘Er Indoors 🙂

  43. RA says:

    Has Cazzor actually passed to any Arsenal player yet? 🙂

  44. mickydidit89 says:

    Madejski would look the business in one of Rasp’s carp ponds

  45. Rasp says:

    Danny Murphy is a complete twunt. Twice Reading payers have it their hands/elbows in an Arsenal player’s face and he thinks it’s fine 😦

  46. mickydidit89 says:

    Really enjoying this

    The minnows will crack

  47. RA says:

    I was about to make the same comment, Rasper.

    It’s sickening how many shitty ex-Liverpool players and their ridiculous commentaries are loose on TV.

  48. Rasp says:

    You can sense the commentators rooting for Reading Redders.

  49. Rasp says:

    Debuchy is looking a bit rusty, as to be expected

  50. mickydidit89 says:


  51. mickydidit89 says:

    Come on Ref. Arrest him 🙂

  52. Rasp says:

    That was about as clear a yellow card as you’ll ever see and he didn’t give it!

  53. RA says:

    Raddy that is not one – nil — Mickee’s ‘quality’ could have been anything! 🙂

  54. mickydidit89 says:

    Ooops RA 🙂

  55. mickydidit89 says:

    Fantastic. Loving it. Shame no goal 🙂

  56. mickydidit89 says:

    Chavs are not one up, in case Raddy cares.
    If they were, I’d say that would suit us.

  57. RA says:


    I echo your every word – and if the HIppy cannot control his Mrs, then it would serve him right if Arsenal were one – nil up – which they aren’t – obviously!! 🙂

  58. mickydidit89 says:

    We never take the quick free kick do we.
    I would 🙂

  59. mickydidit89 says:

    Right, come on lads. Had enough of this lot now.

  60. Rasp says:

    reading winning 13 fouls to 5, the ref is allowing Reading far too much latitude

  61. Rasp says:

    We could do with the ox on the bench at this point, he’d inject some directness into our attack. Bellerin for Debuchy would be a good sub

  62. RA says:

    There is only one team who are going to win this — guess who?

  63. Rasp says:

    Wtf is Murphy talking about, a clear and deliberate kick down Ozils Achilles and he sees no foul?

  64. RA says:

    Atkinson is totally incompetent. Bastard!

  65. mickydidit89 says:

    Our FBs aren’t much better 😦

  66. Adrian says:

    Gibbs and debuchy has been so poor. Debuchy starting is a very questionable decision considering he’s been out for so long.

  67. Rasp says:

    What’s the betting this ref sends off an Arsenal player before this game is over?

  68. mickydidit89 says:

    Still believe we have the quality to pluck a win out of this

  69. RA says:

    We are making Reading look like Real Madrid.

  70. mickydidit89 says:

    Come on you Gunnnnners

  71. Eddie says:

    the problem is that those stupid little minnows don’t know their place

  72. mickydidit89 says:

    This is better
    Upping our game

  73. mickydidit89 says:

    looking good
    come on you reddddddddddddds

  74. mickydidit89 says:

    I think you’ll be cross with me, but this is exciting

    Bet we score two in extra time

  75. RA says:

    Call me a traditionalist – but altho that was awful from an Arsenal point of view — it said everything about the FA Cup.

    Atkinson is a disgrace — OK, Ramsey should have scored but the CH was hanging on to him and it was a penalty.

  76. Eddie says:

    @7:12 pervie

  77. mickydidit89 says:


  78. mickydidit89 says:


    or should we say Noooooooooooo

  79. RA says:

    Think we can hold on this time?

  80. As micky says, very exciting.

    Let’s get another now please

  81. Rasp says:

    Some unnecessary risks being taken at the back

  82. mickydidit89 says:


  83. Adrian says:

    Feels like all the good defensive work done during the past couple of months have been undone this game, we looked really shaky at the back and what’s with all the players bombing forward in the second half of extra time? Very naive defensively at certain times. But I suppose we should cut the players some slack considering how long Gibbs and Debuchy have not been on the pitch (Both of them starting also a very questionable decision).

    Then again, a win is a win. Now let’s go and win the cup one month from now.

  84. RA says:

    A brilliant Cup match and the neutrals will have been enthralled urging Reading on.

    I am so relieved we won — but that was not too good — but the Cup can do that — ask Chelsea 2 : 0; or Bradford 2 ; 3.

    Football – don’cha luv it? 🙂

  85. fatgingergooner says:

    There is very little joy to be had from a semi final, only relief! 🙂

    FA Cup Final here we come!


  86. RA says:

    Oh, and did I suggest asking the Spuds 1 : Leics 2?? 🙂

  87. RA says:

    And don’t mention Man City 0 : 2 Middlesborough.

    Me, I am very happy – Arsenal 2 : 0 Reading

  88. mickydidit89 says:

    am I still here

  89. mickydidit89 says:

    Underestimated them, but got away with it, is my verdict

    FA Cup Final AGAIN then 🙂

  90. fatgingergooner says:

    A semi final equals the playing field, which is magnified when it’s played at Wembley. The ‘lesser’ side were always going to play out of their skin and we looked a little nervous.

    We got the win, and that’s all semi-finals are about.

    Happy, happy, happy!

  91. mickydidit89 says:

    One pic of Exile in shorts
    Just one and I’ll clear off 🙂

  92. stevepalmer1 says:

    Evening all, Nice one Raddy,
    Through to another final, Who ever you play in a semi final is always going to be tough. Mr Wenger felt that Reading were perhaps a little bit Physical, He said it i feel through clenched teeth, He knows that as soon as he said it, that commentators and Pundits alike, would go on the Reading defence. Some said that a defender who jumps for a ball who leads with a forearm which smashes into an opponents face is only done to protect himself. Another player who made sure he ran his studs down the back of a players heel and finished it with a stamp, is just a coming together.A player charged off the ball is just shoulder to shoulder

    Now being an Arsenal supporter, i naturally felt these were actions that warranted cards, but of course to the so called unbiased this action was part and parcel of a contact sport.

    Maybe i see things slightly different. Where a book of rules were brought in for officials to officiate, i of course never read the small print at the end of the book, which read, Reverse these rules only when The Arsenal are involved..

  93. neamman says:

    I expect us to play Liverpool in the final and its probably Gerrard’s last match.. hopefully Liverpool wont get inspired to give him a goodbye resent.

  94. Gööner In Exile says:

    Evening all, you’ll have to make do of some others Micky.

    There is a shorts pic for you to look forward to tho.

  95. Gööner In Exile says:
  96. Gööner In Exile says:
  97. Gööner In Exile says:
  98. Gööner In Exile says:

  99. Gööner In Exile says:

    Morning all.

    Can I just say I thought watching Alexis in the flesh for the first time and then watching Ozil again made me remember we are very lucky to have them both. That pass by Ozil for the first goal…….simply outstanding. We had fantastic view of pattern of play where we were and every time Ozil had it he picked the pass that was clear from our view, he and Santi always seemed to do it.

    I think Welbz struggled in the lone striker role as he is so different to Ollie, think he is better from deep because he can break the lines just like Alexis did for the first.

    I also think our full backs didn’t help yesterday, but too high too early.

  100. mickydidit89 says:

    Ahoy Exile

    Being a man who wears shorts away from the beach, would you play Mert or Easter from now till the final?

  101. mickydidit89 says:

    My Mother made me wear shorts until I was ten, which I thought was mean as some of my friends got to wear long trousers when they were eight

  102. Shard says:

    We’re the famous Arsenal and we’re going to Wembley!

    I thought we played well, and got the result we deserved. Yes Reading were good and organised, but their physicality made it resemble a rugby game at times, and that acted like a huge leveller. They weren’t necessarily dirty (though at times they were) but it was just constant tugs, and pushes and late tackles and flailing arms towards Arsenal players’ faces, all allowed by Martin Atkinson. It ruined the game a bit.

    But we stood up to it well enough without feeling the need to cross the line ourselves, which would surely have been punished by the ref. Two areas of concern were that the second half, we started with less urgency, and that we missed some very good chances to score.

    Maybe the changes to the side affected the fluency a bit, and perhaps the Wembley pitch did too. But all in all, a decent performance, a good result, and now to rest some tired legs and prepare for Chelsea, who will be as physical (if the ref allows it) and will have more ability to punish us for our missed chances, and any defensive errors.

  103. Big Raddy says:

    Morning All,

    Before talking football…..

    Micky, I sympathise. My parents “knew the value of a Pound”, and I was the only boy who arrived for the first day of senior school wearing short trousers.

    I had to wear them until Xmas when I got a pair of long trousers as an Xmas gift.

    I blame the problems I have faced throughout my life on that single act of meanness

  104. mickydidit89 says:

    You’re a leftie, so you’ll always blame someone else 🙂

  105. RA says:

    Listened to a BBC reporter this morning – Özil was anonymous and did not contribute to the game – Cazorla ran the game with incisive passing blah de blah. Atkinson had a ‘good’ game.

    This speaks more to the prats who take a ‘turn’ doing sports and know Jeff all about anything.

    Özil was instrumental in both goals – the normally excellent Cazzor could not hit a cow’s ass with a banjo on the day, so many passes went astray.
    The referee was extraordinarily incompetent.

    What happened to the quality, BBC?

  106. RA says:


    Raddy won’t use his right hand for anything — his left ear is shiny clean, his right……..

    He walks with his left leg only…………umm, let me rephrase that – he hops on his left leg. 🙂

  107. mickydidit89 says:


    I think you and Rasp should form a club and call it something like “Moan about the Ref and Commentators throughout the entire ninety minutes of a game Club” 🙂

  108. mickydidit89 says:

    Actually I take that back. Just had a look.
    It’s a Rasp Only Club 🙂

  109. Gööner In Exile says:

    Gabriel is going to be a beast, he loves to dominate his centre forward and it seemed to me like the first thing he did was put his marker down that the centre forwards argy-bargy wasn’t going to work.

    Would I play him ahead of BFG? That’s a tough question because I feel like we need BFGs calming influence, if Kozzer is still a bit squiffy in the achilles I’d definitely give Gabriel some more game time.

  110. Big Raddy says:

    RA. I resent your aspersion that my right side is just for show. It works as well if not better than my left.

    The BBC went TU when Kenneth Wolstenholme retired.

    Can anyone explain what the chap in the background of the pic at 10.28 is doing?

  111. Rasp says:

    I’m getting used to being a lone voice micky 😆

    I’d definitely give Gabriel more game time this season. Didn’t the BFG go off with an injury?

  112. mickydidit89 says:

    Cheers Exile

  113. mickydidit89 says:

    I’m hoping Mr 10:28 is just having a slash 🙄

  114. mickydidit89 says:

    Stick to delivering Bunnies 🙂

  115. Eddie says:

    micky – do you have any photos of you as a child, wearing shorts? I still remember chas and ant’s photo with their father, beautiful photo, shame about what happened to them now, pissheads with teeth 🙂

    Right, football. We were not great, we were piss poor at times and if we play like that in the final we have no hope in hell. Parts of the game reminded me of the Monaco first leg. What is it with the team, is it possible at all that they lose the nerve, or are they too cocky and don’t give opposition due respect. Both Reading and Monaco were underdogs, sort of, and we were outplayed at times.

  116. Big Raddy says:

    Micky. Shouldn’t you be out doing something Lord of the Manor-y?

    Giving out alms or burning down the tithe cottages?

  117. Eddie says:

    no bunnies to be delivered, my godson is obsessed with my pug. I bring the pug with me and can read the book or fall asleep, they play together for hours, and hours and hours 🙂 Twins 🙂

  118. Big Raddy says:

    Morning Eddie. We won – end of.

  119. Eddie says:

    oh no, Clarkson let himself down badly, looking for sympathy, yuk. He walloped the producer, I can understand that, but looking for pity, nay

    “Jeremy Clarkson recalls cancer scare before Top Gear ‘fracas’ “

  120. The Cockie Monster says:

    Fcuking lucky !……….no not the game yesterday, but Raddy and Didit having the luxury of shorts for school !……being piss poor, I was sent to school in passed down Y-Fronts !…….I can still here my mum shouting up to my older brother who was ill in bed with leprosy …………” David !….if you`re going to lay in bed all day feeling sorry for yourself, can you at least throw your pants down here as your brother is waiting to go to school ! “………and we didn`t have a sink let alone a washing machine in them days !.

  121. Eddie says:

    No Raddy, far from me. We have to sort out the problems before the final or we will miss out on the trophy. Ramsey’s comment on my post proves they do read blogs and it is our duty to point out certain flaws and certain players underperforming. All right?

  122. Big Raddy says:

    Cockie. Y-fronts? Luxury.

  123. Eddie says:

    arse licking Cameron.

  124. Eddie says:

    I am in a bad mood 🙂 better go and walk the dogs

  125. Big Raddy says:

    Eddie. Ramsey’s comment? Did I miss something? Perhaps I was on holiday. Explain ….

  126. mickydidit89 says:

    Worked down pit? 🙂

  127. mickydidit89 says:


    Yes, we were arrogant. Not just the players, but manager and fans alike

    How many “give some players a rest” comments were there on this site alone.

    Then there’s the fact that all minnows try way too hard

  128. mickydidit89 says:

    No photos. In fact I only have one pic of me pre age about 40 yrs
    Never bothered getting a camera

  129. Eddie says:

    no photos of little micky? that is disappointing

    Raddy – you on holidays? never!

    yep, I took Szcz to the cleaners in Jan/Feb and Aaron jumped to his defence. He wasn’t very complimentary about my post, but still AARON RAMSEY replied to me, made my day 🙂

  130. fatgingergooner says:

    Just finished reading Invincible by Amy Lawrence and also Arsene & Arsenal by Alex Flynn & Kevin Whitcher (which is the follow up to Arsenal: Making of a modern superclub).

    All great Arsenal books and worth a read if you get the chance.

  131. stevepalmer1 says:

    Morning all,
    We made the final after a very tense battle with underdogs Reading, It has to be said that the game was tighter than many of us thought. Did we take this game lightly maybe, did we find Reading a better team than we first thought, most definitely. But at the end of the day we did just enough to get over the finishing post.

    Much has been of the Reading Keepers fumble which allowed Alexis Sanchez to score his second, but not much was said about Szezesney’s Blunder when for some reason he was laying on the ground when he should have been standing. These things happen in games of football specially in semi finals.

    I felt we had weaknesses out on the field< Santi was obviously not at his best, He went what seemed forever before he found an Arsenal player with his passing. Aaron Ramsey i felt played badly, he too was robbed many times and where the manager had asked him to play was also a miss judgement in my opinion.

    We had a weakness down the right wing, in fact for most of the game we had a blank space out there which we couldn't exploit. The substitutions also never helped very much, of course a straight swap with BFG injured and Gabriel replacing was pre forced but to take off Coquelin when he was such a winner of the ball seemed a strange decision. Welbeck off for Giroud was perhaps an obvious call but i felt that both of those should have started together from the start..

    I felt Ramsey should have been the player to make way, as i never felt he gave us anything and to bring Walcott on who is another who will not work down the right flank , still never solved our right wing problem. I would have liked to see Bellerin brought on to give us an outlet down the right but Wenger decided against.

    Wenger of course made the right decision as we went on to win, but i do believe we could have made it that much easier. Well done Wenger and the lads, another final blinding.

  132. Eddie says:

    I can guess the author of a comment by the comments length 🙂

  133. Gööner In Exile says:

  134. Gööner In Exile says:

    On keeping blunders both were due in my mind to little brain freezes caused by the mishit/slower shot. When you see a striker go to larrap it and they don’t connect it can put you off balance.

    (This comment brought to you by a paid up member of the Keepers Union) 😀

  135. chas says:

  136. GoonerB says:

    We made hard work of that one but….we are in the final….Thanks for a great post Raddy.

  137. GoonerB says:

    Eddie can you tell who the last comment was from by the length of it? 🙂

  138. Gööner In Exile says:

  139. chas says:

  140. stevepalmer1 says:

    Morning Eddie, went for a bath sorry, You saying i talk to much 🙂

  141. chas says:

  142. ‘morning all,

    We got the result we needed and, in my mind, deserved. The Reading ’keeper played a blinder and kept them in the game right up until the moment Alexis decided to score his second. Tough luck no doubt, but crying in public? That’s not the Aussie way. All ’keepers make a mistake occasionally, just ask Szczesny.

    I felt sorry for Ramsey yesterday. Forced to again “do a job” on the right but without the pace and adventure of young Bellerin behind him, he had a nightmare right up until the Walcott introduction allowed him to move inside a and a bit further forward. A rusty Debuchy was no help whatsoever.

    Because of the lack of threat down the right the Reading defenders could concentrate on mobbing Alexis. As a result much of our attacking play was forced onto a narrow section in the middle.

    Is it easier for Wenger to omit Walcott to accommodate both Ramsey and Cazorla?

  143. The picture @1028? There’s obviously a mole hill the other side of the fence. 😀

  144. fatgingergooner says:

    After last seasons FA Cup final Wenger said that he took a risk in extra time by taking off a penalty taker in Cazorla and putting Wilshere on because he felt the side didn’t have many penalty takers and therefore the best action was to go for the win in extra time.

    Do you think that the thinking was similar yesterday when he took Coquelin off and decided to go more offensive with Walcott?

    its strange that he thought that way after we were so clinical in penalties against Wigan last season.

  145. RA says:


    I don’t know the answer to your — ‘Is it easier for Wenger to omit Walcott to accommodate both Ramsey and Cazorla?’

    Neither Rambo nor Cazzor were exactly setting the game on fire, but with 30 minutes to go in ET, on came Walcott to sort it all out – and disappeared. No runs down the wing – check-back pass inside – darting runs behind the defenders – so no change there then. 🙂

    He will obviously get a new 4 year contract at a much increased salary — did I say football baffles me? 🙂

  146. RA says:


    I was also baffled by the decision to substitute Le Coq for Theo.

    Walcott may have made the difference (he didn’t) but with Reading still dangerous when they got their attack moving – so Le Coq should have stayed on, and Rambo or Cazzor should have come off.

    NG will tell you I am a plonker when it comes to intelligent reading of the game (no pun intended) – so this comment and my previous one probably holds as much water as yesterday’s newspaper! 🙂

  147. RA, at least when Ramsey was released from his job on the wing, he got a couple of scoring chances whilst playing in his preffered position.

    Given the lack of product from the right throughout normal time I thought Wenger missed trick by keeping Ramsey out wide.

    No doubt Walcott will get a new contract at an increased salary, but it won’t be at Arsenal and I won’t blame him if he asks to leave. He’s wasted on the bench and deserves better.

  148. FGG and RA, may I join you both in being equally baffled by that decision?

    But then I find so many of Le Professeur’s decisions baffling.

    I just hope he returns to picking his best side in time for the Final. He shoul forget this mallarkey of giving as many of the squad a chance in the “lesser” competitions.

    It’s our one chance of a trophy this season, with Klopp waiting in the wings, he just can’t afford to cock it up.

  149. fatgingergooner says:


    I was equally baffled and a bit worried tbh, but thankfully it worked. I definately think it was a case of Wenger trying to win it in extra time, but wether that was to avoid pens or something else I’m not sure.

    The one good thing about Ramsey playing RW is that it shows Wenger has finally realised that Özil needs to play number 10. Last season it would’ve been him pushed wide.

    I think we have a bit of a problem in that Cazorla, Ramsey and Wilshere are all contesting the 1 position between Coq and Özil. I can see one of them leaving and my money would be on Cazorla due to age and nationality. I hope Wenger can get another season out of Cazorla though as he’s a wonderful player. Maybe then he will leave to finish his career in Spain.

  150. Hi all

    Anyone want to write a little something for a post today?

  151. RA says:


    I can write one of my infamous comment/Posts if you like? 🙂

  152. That would be be great Redders if you’re up to it. Do you want to write it on the end of the last post and I’ll pick it up from there? Just give me a clue when it’s done …………… going to get some milk be back in thirty mins.

  153. fatgingergooner says:

    30 minutes? You milking the cow yourself, Peaches!?

  154. In’t country, it takes a while to get to the shops fgg

    We have a New Post …………………

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