Plan A, Plan B, Plan C … A Plan For All Seasons?

October 22, 2015

The Bayern game and GIE’s comments, used as the third part of the triple post yesterday, got me to thinking. It left me with a question, that being should our holy grail be that we be aiming towards playing at the level of possession and passing football that Guardiola’s Bayern (and Barca before) do, or do we have a team that can adapt and play differently, according to the opposition, and still be equally effective and successful?

Two great sides with a reputation for attacking football both with world class dangerous attacking players met the other night. I do ask myself what would happen if we were to play Guardiola’s side 10 times in succession, them playing their game and us adapting to a solid defensive base counter-attacking game? Would it come out 50-50 over those games or is their style superior enough to limit us to 1-2 wins over those games and this just happened to be one of them?

Looking at Guardiola’s sides I get the feeling they don’t have a plan B, that they just play their same style of football regardless, and mostly to high effect it has to be said. Not having a plan B is a criticism that has been aimed at Arsenal and Wenger over many years. I would certainly say that in the recent past there have been games that cried out for a tactical change to our normal style, and failure to do so has cost us.

The tactical changes and adaptability that GIE highlighted over our last 3 games have been very refreshing. This is of course only relevant moving forwards if we continue to do this and don’t revert to a one size fits all playing style at all times. I do historically feel that Wenger has changed from what appeared to be working formulas before back to his utopian style of football, often to our detriment.

The bigger questions for me though is which option do we settle with?

Option1 :

Should we be aiming to emulate Guardiola’s type of football in the long run? To have such a prolific plan A style of football that tactical considerations need only be minimal. If the answer to this (in your opinion) is yes then it also begs the question of how does Arsene take us to this level, and is it actually attainable within the framework of the EPL?


If you feel the other option, the one we have seen recently, that we have a prolific attacking team that can adapt its type of play, at times even surrendering the possession and passing football stats to a team like Munich, but still remain as competitive and dangerous as them in head to head games, then are we where we need to be (albeit possibly with a couple of upgrades and additions in certain positions)?

Over to you erstwhile A.A’ers, what do you think?


Rope-a-Dope versus Tika Taka

October 21, 2015

In 1974 Muhammad Ali fought George Foreman for the Heavyweight Championship of the World.  Throughout the bout Ali hung on the ropes, covering up, defending and soaking up the punishment being dealt out by the favourite.  When Foreman inevitably tired, Ali took advantage and won the title.  Ali called it his Rope-a-Dope method.

Last night Arsenal emulated the great Ali.

Bayern came to play Tika Taka, a style of football developed at Barcelona under Bayern’s manager Pep Guardiola.  They dominated possession, they dominated passing, they dominated territory.  Arsenal defended, as the first half went on Arsenal defended deeper and deeper, Cech pulled off some terrific saves.  It was not all one way however, Arsenal attacked on the counter and it was Neuer who pulled off a great save to scoop Theo Walcott’s close range header off the line.  Still Bayern created the intricate passing patterns but the didn’t score.

The second half was a repeat of the first, Bayern keeping the ball for long periods, racking up the pass count but being unable to break down Arsenal’s resolute team defending.  Eventually the Bayern players began to tire and the inevitable happened.  Santi Cazorla swung in a free kick from the right, Koscielny went for the ball Neuer flapped at it and missed, Oliver Giroud stumbled into the gap left by Koscielny and somehow got enough contact on the ball to force it over the line.


On nil to the Arsenal.

The tiring Bayern players swarmed forward in a desperate search for an equaliser, leaving ever widening gaps at the back.  Hector Bellerin won the ball near the half way line, sprinted forward and beyond his full-back to square the ball to the onrushing Mesut Ozil whose shot crossed the line fractionally before Neuer knocked it out but it was just too late, the fifth official stood with his arm upraised signalling the goal and a remarkable Arsenal win.


A two nil victory that seemed as unlikely as Ali’s over Foreman all those years ago in the Rumble in the Jungle.

Written by Norfolk Gooner.

We have been blessed with 2 match reports today – only fitting after such an epic performance 🙂

…. and now the inimitable Steve Palmer’s unique view of the game …..

Morning all,

And what a beautiful morning it is, One sentence sums up the game just right. Hook, Line and Sinker. They came with a long run of wins, and feeling we would just roll over. They had taken the hook. We gave them line lots of it, and we let them take as much as they wanted, but we defended Magnificently, in  the final minute we sunk them good and proper, the first sinker came after Giroud replaced  Walcott. In the first minute of him coming on, a flighted ball into the box Had their goalkeeper scampering to the penalty spot, but Koshielney’s jump  made him lose sight of the ball, a diving Giroud had the ball hit him, straight in the face which ricochet onto his hand, and then in the goal. Our final sinker was steered in by Ozil, after a fantastic interception from Belerin who robbed the defender by sheer pace , he was being wrestled, but shrugged that off, to slide a perfect pass to our German Midfielder, Hook Line and Sinker in one.
I watched this game live on TV Lineker gave us little chance, after all Bayern had won Nine Bundesliga games on the trot, plus their last two Champions League games, Ferdinand sporting a beard that did little to hide his wonky mouth, he felt like all defenders, that our defence needed to be aware and Per Merts would have trouble with Lewandowski, after all the man is a goal scoring machine.
Asked if Arsenal could win this game , Ian Wright said of course, to sniggers from the panel, Michael Ballack Rio Ferdinand all looked at Wrighty, and he said, Well they have to. The talk was all about Lewandowski, Hardly a word about Arsenal but what else would you expect. Even the news reported the game, but no mention of the fantastic win, only about the Bayern Munich fans arriving late to their seats, in way of protesting the price of tickets.
The fact that Arsenal had beaten probably the best team in the world at the moment, by two goals to nil. was secondary to the price of tickets. Last nights result showed Arsenal to be the best team in the world on the night. When a team claiming to be, the New Invincibles, at the Home of the original Invincible’s, are asking to get beat, and beaten they were.
Chances for both teams through out the game,  the better chances for us in my opinion, but we squandered them, I felt we could have been leading comfortably at half time, but instead we were level. Bayern had the majority of the possession, and were playing majestically, but they were playing against a very robust Arsenal defence. They tried and tried to force a way  through, but Arsenal were resolute, Arsenals breakaways were fast and swift, often penetrating Bayern’s defences, but poor finishing let them off, time and time again.
We did have a tendency to rush passes, and we gave the ball away on many occasions, but the way we recovered and massed in force kept Bayern at bay. Every Arsenal player worked their socks off, they worked from the first minute till the last, every one a hero, Sadly Aaron Ramsey suffered a hamstring, and will miss three or four weeks, but every body else walked off Jubilant, and no others looked to have any visible signs of distress, tired of course, but all should be ready for our next game.  Petr Cech made some very good saves, and was adjudged MOTM I felt his half a dozen great saves was secondary to our magnificent  team, i would have awarded it to the whole team.
There were things that could have been better, but that’s for another day, today is to sit back and reflect, Arsenal’s talents are surprising me more and more.
Steve Palmer.
………. and just to celebrate the victory from every aspect, here are the thoughts of one of AA’s most insightful analysts Gooner In Exile

It was interesting to hear Ferdinand’s thoughts on Ollie coming on and the difference it made, basically he said that if you are not switched on as a defender it is tough to switch from the way you have attempted to contain the small pacy forward and suddenly you have to switch to a physical game against someone who wants the ball in to his body.

And I guess that the defenders have been worried about the ball in behind so much they are giving themselves one or two yards head start on the foot race, suddenly the ball is going into Ollies body and he is bringing midfielders into the game with a platform. Also the fact that at the set piece with they had to put Muller on Kozzer so the centre backs could deal with BFG and Ollie, and that adds further confusion to their game plan.

Whilst possession might not have been level according to stats zone we had an equal number of shots in the box however we got far more of ours on target, and Munich were adjudged to have 2 clear cut chances whilst we had 4.

And that at the end of the day was the biggest difference.

Here’s a stat for you, we completed 207 of 278 passes against the possibly the best team in Europe, Chavs managed only 278 out of 378 in Kiev with an equal number of passes on the other side.

Biggest difference between us and those Chavs playing Munich in the CL final is the way we break with the ball, it’s not a hit and hope to someone to chase and then attempt to polish a turd, it’s worked through the midfield with pace and precision, we did the same vs City last season.

But best of all is probably the way we have changed our game in the last three matches.

United….high tempo….high pressing….
Watford…..patient…..passing possession…
Munich…..defensive shape…..quick counters…

But obviously we never change our game plan for the opponents 🙂

The thing is it’s always been the same 11 and the same formation, and that is why players should be able to drop in and out without issues. The subtlety in tactics is what we do with and without the ball.

The thing is we often play sides like Watford so that style gets seen as our norm, we rarely face three contrasting opponents in quick succession so the tactical changes are never as evident.

United have a front three that can hurt you, but if they can’t get the ball to them they can’t hurt you, so you press their poor passing through midfield and from the back, Watford like so many others will sit back and kill you on counter, that tactic will work against us once in awhile but generally we find a way through to a win, and Munich like us to teams like Watford can kill you with fullbacks, midfielders and forwards, so you keep them in front of you and use the ball when you have it well.

There was a very interesting discussion about Klopp and his style on one of the podcasts, basically the theory being that he won’t yet have realised that the game is played at 100mph every week in the PL and that teams do not accept their fate even 1 or 2 nil down. His ability to cope with that will make or break him and his “heavy metal” football at Liverpool.

Gooner in Exile


Coquelin’s Night.

October 20, 2015

MWG. I could stop here, couldn’t I? Having spent three days of almost constant vodka drinking it may be for the best but such a peach of a game deserves more.

Tonight’s match is everything we long for as football fans. An evening kick-off at home against probably the best team in the world. Our team is in good form, we have few injuries, the weather looks clement, the pitch is perfect, we have the chance to see Lewandowski and his pals try to repeat recent victories at The Emirates. It should be a great game.


One major difference between our 0-2 loss last time out is our goalkeeper. TPIG/Fabianski or Cech for an important CL game – who would you pick? Though to be fair TPIG was sent off thanks to a Robben dive.

Team selection will be interesting; OG or Theo or both? BFG or Gabriel?

I would start with Theo and continue the successful policy of bringing on OG for the final 20 minutes (should we need goals). Walcott is in the best run of form of his AFC career and pace is more likely to cause BM problems than OG’s more ponderous play.

Gabriel may be more suited to playing against Muller and Lewandowski but BFG has the nous and we will need his experience (plus he can understand what the opposition players are saying to each other!)

Big night for Ozil. He was poor when we played BM last time. I wonder whether he would rather be playing for the opposition tonight? This is no throw away question, my guess is that any German player wants to play for BM just as any Spanish player would like to play for RM or Barca; this is not the case in the PL where we have no stand-out club.

If we are to win sound defence is essential. We are potent upfront and in good goal-scoring form. Total concentration and no mistakes from the back 5 please – none of that silly stuff we have seen in the previous two CL games.

Did you read that Mr Wenger is in the list of 10 managers who can win the the Ballon D’Or ? So too, is Guardiola. Guardiola’s BM contract runs out at the end of next season – as does someone elses. Co-incidence?

The Bayern team is full of big names, thankfully Robben, Goetze and Ribery are unfit but BM don’t seem to be affected by the loss of two wonderful players.

Coquelin will have fun tonight. Vidal, Xabi Alonso, Alcantara and Costa are somewhat different opponents to the chaps at Watford and Leicester! I am really looking forward to seeing how he copes with this challenge and judge just how far his game has progressed. Discipline will be important – his habit of picking up silly yellow cards could become costly. It is amazing that Coquelin has become such an important cog in the team, long may his development continue.

As regulars know I am a huge fan of Aaron Ramsey. His goal at the weekend could be the start of a return to his form in front of goal which has been so sadly lacking of late. Add a few more and he is amongst the best MF’s in the PL.

No point writing about the effect a draw/loss would have upon our CL future, we all know the situation.

On a personal note, should we lose tonight it will result in another season with no Raddy/Didit tour – for that reason alone I am desperate for a win.

I cannot say I am confident but I do give us a fighting chance. Arsenal are a bloody good side when we are on form and we are in the midst of a good spell. Play like we did against MU and we can win.

Football is all about Glory. A win tonight would be Glorious!

Take a bow, Arsène.

October 19, 2015

This is how we remember you and the style of football you like your teams to play. Fast, incisive counter-attack football with technical wizardry. We had it, then lost it for a few years, now, joy of joys we’ve found it again and we’re flying!

Leicester (a), Manchester Utd (h), Watford (a), our last three PL fixtures. On paper, all tricky fixtures, and yet Arsenal smashed them all by a three-goal margin.

Watford have been awkward customers in years gone by, and have been known to cause the odd upset, I’m sure many of us remember the scourge of Mo Johnston.

They’ve started their latest journey into the shark-infested waters of the PL steadily without looking spectacular, but have been defensively very solid, conceding the same amount as Arsenal, before kick-off. They certainly look to have enough about them to avoid relegation.

The first half was quite nervy, Watford showed no intimidation and took the game to Arsenal. Indeed Ighalo could and probably should have scored with the home side’s best chance of the game, but once the early storm had been blown out, by the end of the first half, Arsenal were looking far more settled.

Arsenal stepped up a gear about 15 minutes into the second half with the first goal coming just after the hour, another exquisite effort from our very own red-hot Chile, Alexis Sanchez. Just six minutes later, Olivier Giroud, fresh from replacing Theo, added a second, which was nice after all his recent woes. A comprehensive win was rounded off by the hard-working Aaron Ramsey, one of our unsung heroes.

There’s definitely something about Arsène and Arsenal this year. A quiet momentum is growing. Okay, it was only newly-promoted Watford, but they’ve been a bogey side for Arsenal, and the way they dispatched them was professional and ruthless.

There is a buzz of excitement around the club again, almost like Arsène was transported back in time to reclaim something he’d forgotten to bring with him. And now he’s found it again he’s reminding all his doubters, the whole football world, and those loyal fans who never lost faith, exactly what he’s capable of when he has the right ingredients. It feels wonderful to be an Arsenal fan right now, then fires have been stoked again. But is still very much OGAAT – excluding CL, naturally.

What would make a PL title even sweeter is (if he’s still around), it will finally silence the despicable egotistical Mourinho and leave him nowhere to run. For all Arsène’s flaws, I’d pick him over Mourinho every time. No-one deserves a PL title more than Arsene, his has been the longest often darkest journey, for which he has shown remarkable fortitude.

At this moment in time, I believe.

Here are my player ratings: –

Petr Cech is the consummate professional, and is as influential to Arsenal as Peter Schmeichel and Edwin van der Sar were for Utd. The importance of his signing cannot be under-stated, he is a level up from both David Seaman and Jens Lehmann, and it surely is no coincidence that since his arrival, the whole Arsenal collective have upped their game. He exudes calm and class and might not wear the captain’s armband on the field, but what he has achieved in the game, his desire to repeat that success and the fact that he wanted to come to Arsenal has resonated round the club like a virtual clarion call. 9

Hector Bellerin is immense. Already faster than Theo, he terrorises opposition defenders, and defensively he’s improving all the time. Clearly a boy with the football world at his feet, but better yet, he is loving being at Arsenal. 7

Nacho Monreal just gets it done. No fuss or nonsense, he has nailed down the left back spot and puts in a consistent quality performance most weeks. 8

Per Mertesacker is one who has benefited from Cech’s arrival and knows he has competition for his place from the impressive Gabriel. 7

Laurent Koscielny has had and will have better games, but he helped keep a clean sheet and is coming back from injury so can be forgiven for being a little off pace. 7

Francis Coquelin must be one of the best discoveries of the last five years. Has confidently stepped in to make him undroppable. Doing a fantastic job. 8

Santi Cazorla is loving his deeper role and relishing the added responsibility playing alongside Coquelin. 8

Aaron Ramsey is tireless, has a terrific appetite and work ethic. Finally got rewarded for his industry yesterday with his goal. 8

Mesut Ozil is like a new signing! Having been originally thrown in to the PL at the deep end from the relatively sunny and comfortable La Liga, he struggled with the work-load. The introduction of Sanchez and dropping Cazorla deeper has allowed Ozil to flourish, and he’s enjoying his best spell since signing. 8

Alexis Sanchez is incredible. He only arrived back from International duty on Friday, twenty four hours later he’s leading the charge against Watford! He inspires everyone around him to be better, he has quality in abundance. 9

Theo Walcott was left a bit frustrated largely because of some resolute defending and the Goalkeeper Gomes. But he still made a contribution and his season won’t be defined by games like this. 7

Written by Herb’s Army

We won 3 nil, but it was not as good as we think ……

October 18, 2015

It’s a funny old game, football, ain’t it? as someone famous once said. And that is not the half of it.

During the first part of the game against the Hornets, Arsenal played like a light bulb that is undecided if its day is done, or not, and flickers indecisively between light and shade.

One minute the Gunners were brilliant, and the next they were as gormless as any Sunday League team down the Marshes before the traditional booze up, and, frankly, with a better forward Watford could have been one or two goals up in the first half, and as it was, the feller sitting in Row Z had stinging hands parrying the ball as he became the target for the ball rather than the net.

The second half saw a better attitude and after our indomitable Chilean had made the most of his opportunity and opened the scoring we suddenly found ourselves 0 : 3 up and coasting as Giro, on for an ineffective Theo, nonchalantly tried to put the ball over the bar and fluffed it by hitting it inside the roof of the net instead, and the industrious Rambo managing to dink the ball slowly into the net through a ruck of players.

What is it with this team? Capable of the most sublime football and the most awful dross all within the same minute.

That said, they collectively played pretty well and special mention is due to Bellerin, Cazorla and Ozil but the real star of the show was Sanchez. When we are hitting our noses on an invisible screen in front of the goal, he is always alert, energetic and capable of pulling the plum from the pudding.

Fo me the player who personifies the Arsenal at the moment is Rambo. He frustrates the hell out of me with his poor decision making, misplaced passes and wonky finishing. And yet his sheer guts, never say die spirit and his ability to cover every blade of grass on the pitch and yet somehow he still manages to be in position in the area to score a killer goal while Theo is busy posing or Giro is handsomely scratching his ass.

Football is a results driven business and all fans love a win, but some of us also love the beautiful game, like the one against Manyoo, and this bunch of players is capable of delivering both, but they are also capable of self inflicted, fart-assed, puke inducing, brainless stupidity which seems to occur for no discernible reason.

Fortunately the good outweighed the bad yesterday, and all teams have off periods during a season, while Arsenal are capable of off moments every week, but I think we are going to eliminate these moments with wins like this – and I am now prepared to call it — we will win the Premier League this season.

Red Arse

We’ve had some debate as to who should be awarded Man of the Match for the game with several candidates being put forward. Place your vote below and let’s see what the majority think …….




Theo to Sting the Hornets

October 17, 2015

Just a Quickie as BR is on holiday …….

Long internal enlivened by some fine performances by our chaps. Highlight has to be Ramsey who was superb for Wales – though Alexis’ 3 goals is quite tasty!

Watford: It is many years since I trudged from Watford main train station to the Vicarage Road – so long that all I can remember is that it was a sunny afternoon and we won. Let’s be honest, Watford, for all their Premiership credentials, are a small club. They have done brilliantly to get to 12th in the PL and I predict they will stay up but even getting a point today will be above the Watford fans expectations.


I was listening to a Watford fan (are they Hornets?) and his main positive about this afternoon was that Alexis will be on the bench following his transatlantic flights. Are we capable of winning sans-Alexis? We shall find out.

Assuming Mr Wenger gives Alexis a rest have we enough to win the game and who will play out on the left? Will the Ox get a start on the right with Ramsey coming infield and Ozil going left? Will Arteta start allowing Santi to play the Alexis role?  Perhaps Giroud will start and Theo go centre left. Loads of permutations which bodes well for the season.

Luckily the French team have not woken up to the fact that Coquelin is the best DM in Europe – long may that continue.

Theo is in the best scoring run of his career and I see no reason why it should stop today.

My hope is that the feelgood factor following the MU thrashing has imbued the squad with enough positivity to see us win the PL title , the Champions League, the FA Cup (has there ever been a triple winner?), the Ryder Cup and the Islington bi-election. However, two weeks in football is a long time and beating Watford will do for a starter.

Scoring has been  problem for Watford – they are the lowest scorers in the PL but they have the best defence! So on paper this will be a low scoring game.

If we keep a clean sheet we will win.


Written by Big Raddy


Arsenal AGM. Bloody furious.

October 16, 2015

What am I so damn cross about? Well pretty much everything.


Who the hell do some of you think you are? Reckon you have rights or something? Seriously, Stan owns the place that he bought with his money, not yours, and he can do whatever he bloody well likes. Do you honestly think anyone up there yesterday was actually going to answer your stupid questions and reveal anything not already in the public domain? Jeepers.


We are not ‘effing interested in the ‘effing finances. Don’t care how bloody marvellous you have been throughout a difficult time, but most of all, don’t ever tell us that qualifying for the Champions League is  good for the purposes of repaying debt. We don’t give a shit. We’re interested in the football and what happens on the pitch.

It’s marvellous news that for 18 months we can compete, and that Alexis, Mesut and Cech prove this. Equally fabulous, that the manager has the backing of the board to compete in the market.

So don’t bloody well give the impression we have to prioritise any one competition. Of course we should never enter the bloody League Cup or whatever it’s called these days, or The Europa should we ever sink that low.

I mean, do you really think that ever once, at any point in Utd’s history under Ferguson they’d be allowed to walk onto the pitch with either their fans, or the opposition players, getting even the slightest whiff Utd weren’t that bothered?

Come on, prove me wrong. Sanchez, Theo, Mesut and Coquelin against Bayern and let’s show ‘em.


Usmanov wants answers at the AGM

October 14, 2015

It’s the day of the Arsenal Annual General Meeting.. The day when shareholders and other interested parties get to ask questions of the owner, board of directors and manager.  Whether any of those questions is rewarded with a full and frank answer is open to doubt.

It was reported in the press yesterday that Alisher Usmanov, Arsenal’s second largest shareholder, has written to Stan Kroenke seeking a detailed explanation why, for the second year running, Arsenal have paid a sum of £3 million to Kroenke Sports and Entertainment.  According to Arsenal Chairman Sir Chips Keswick last year’s payment was for “the wide range of services” provided by KSE.

Another item to be brought up is a request for an independent review of the club’s transfer strategy following the failure to sign any out-field players during the last transfer window.

There will, no doubt be questions asked about the size of the club’s wage bill, how much money there is in the transfer kitty and whether the price of match day tickets is likely to be reduced in view of the greatly enlarged sums pouring into the Club’s coffers from both television deals and sponsorship.

I’m sure AAers will have other questions that they would like to put forward,  Why not list them in your comments below.  You never know someone attending the AGM may just read them and may just put one to the hierarchy.

Written by Norfolk Gooner

Arsenal Angling for Luck

October 14, 2015

Reading Arsenal blogs across the web can often mislead supporters. Many reflect Arsenal in a good light while others have a tendency to be quite cynical. Blogger’s usually find a site (and there are many out there) which sways to their own way of thinking – who wants to be constantly arguing with another who is adamant that all is not well?

I find it difficult to see negativity in a football club that finish top four for close on twenty years, and in those twenty years, have won Leagues, cups, doubles, and had a season unbeaten in the League,  A title that Arsenal created in An Invincible season, and named the team, The Invincibles.

What tends to happen after victories, is spells of near misses, In Arsenal’s case, our spell of near misses, coincided with a rebuild of the stadium and a move. In the last twenty years we have also made changes of owners and shareholders. Changes also with supporters, as new ones come and old ones pass. Usually a Gooner does not pack in his or her support, season tickets yes, as the price can effect many on budget, but when tickets do become available, are usually snapped up, and the ones who have let their ticket go supports from home.

Many supporters have hobbies of some kind. Mine is Fishing. I class myself a Specimen Hunter. I have fished, off and on, most of my life, and the similarities between the two sports are surprisingly similar. When I first started I didn’t care what I caught, but as time went on and I started to realise just how many species there were, I planned my fishing trips for certain species and fished till I caught that particular type.

Football is similar where the team tend to target what they feel is their best chance and field their teams with their best players they have where an angler will choose a bait that they know will appeal to certain fish. This way of planning may cut your chances of catching other fish but, like in football, may also reduce your chance in other competitions.

Once a specimen, the bigger the better, was captured I moved on to the next species and so on and so on.  Finally an angler picks out his favourite, and mainly fishes for them. Football again similar, where a cup is won, the priority then moves on to the next competition. The league in football is classed as the Holy Grail, as consistency all season gives more chance of winning, that of course is like an angler catching a fish that is bigger than his personal best.

Even in fishing the sport is competitive. Many want to catch bigger and better than the others. Football is very similar and the supporter wants bragging rights, the same as a victorious angler.

Money is, of course, a factor in both sports. The more you spend the better the equipment, the better equipment the better the chances. Of course in both sports again the word Luck is also a factor, as who knows what will happen before you start. Will the fish be biting or will the team play like they should, will the fish take a certain bait on the day or will the other side have injuries, all this down to luck on the day.

An angler will look at records other anglers have broken, record size fish that are recorded in angling echelons and they will hope that their next fish will be bigger, much like a footballer who also has his goals, both want to be recorded and put on pedestals for others to ponder other.

Someone said to me a long time ago that you only get back what you put in which I guess means the more effort you put in the more you will receive. Maybe a bit of truth in that, but I still believe luck beats all. Luck will keep you injury free, luck will score you goals when you least expect them, and luck will win you Leagues and cups. Of course luck will put the angler in the right swim on the right day and with the biggest fish. And luck will also see that big fish in the anglers net.

Being an old Arsenal fan, I hope Lady Luck follow’s us all season, I also hope she helps me on the bank as well. Tight Lines and fierce shots and be Lucky.

 Written  by Steve Palmer

…….. Ospina in goal against Bayern anyone?

October 13, 2015

Thank you Arsene and Arsenal for sending us off into another tiresome international break with a warm feeling of positivity and optimism following the magnificent performance against United.

Contrast those emotions against the feelings of despair and déjà vu following the home defeat by Olympiacos and you will see the two extremes of supporters’ reactions.

It has been suggested (by LB and others on this blog) that Arsene’s decision to change 6 players for the game against Zagreb and  5 against Olympiacos was evidence that Monsieur Wenger is targeting winning the EPL over the CL.

The most controversial decision on these occasions was to opt for Ospina in goal. Why when we have finally secured the services of a top class keeper would we choose not to play him in such important games?

It has been suggested that there may be a contractual agreement to play Ospina in cup games – if this is the case we cannot argue except to question the sense behind such an arrangement. It may be that Arsene is trying to keep Ospina match fit and motivated as we never know when we might need him to step in for Cech.

Either way, I was shocked that Cech was left on the bench. The defensive unit looks far more solid and assured when he is in goal and apart from the West Ham game, he has been excellent. I think it is fair to say that Ospina has not impressed in his CL appearances.

Some say that supporters should not concern themselves with such matters – leave it to the manager and trust his decisions.

This is a personal decision and is down to every individual to support the club in their own way. Some supporters feel more engaged with the club by wanting to understand what goes on and express their feelings and aspirations – an equally valid form of support.

So back to the euphoria we are currently feeling after spanking the mancs 🙂

Most supporters believe that with the prospect of Thursday night football looming, we need to take at least 3 points from the 2 games against Bayern to progress through to the knock out stage of the CL. But how would you feel if the team for the Bayern game is announced and Ospina is in goal?

What would this tell us?

I’d really like to know how supporters feel on this matter … so place your vote and send out a message.

Feel free to join us in ‘Comments’ to explain your reasoning …. just for the record, I think Arsene will play Ospina.