Norwich Discussion Points

November 30, 2015

Did we deserve the point?

Why did we create so few chances?

Why was Giroud so quiet?

Should Sanchez have played?

Is it worth the time and effort to study French?

Given the much lauded  and expensive signing of Chad Forsythia, why are we having so many soft-tissue injuries?

Would the team function better if Ramsey and Cazorla swapped roles?

Is Gabriel good enough to partner BFG?

Which would win in a fight between a big shark and a tiger?

Has signing another CM  in January become a necessity?

Can we still win the title?

written by Big Raddy

Can Canaries shoot down High Flying Gunners?

November 29, 2015

Things have not been working in the last two PL games. One point is not a good enough return against two mediocre teams. Is this a blip or a trend?

This afternoon will tell because on paper we should win this. In the awful event of us losing and Spurs winning we could be 5th this evening.

The return of Ox and Ramsey to the squad gives Mr Wenger some welcome selection choices. Will Mr Wenger use them?

My expectation is that he will have both players on the bench. Campbell was crap at WBA but he was very good on Tuesday night and perhaps he needed a good performance to prove to both himself and AW that he is worth a place in the squad. How many times do we say a player needs a run of games and yet criticise them after just one game? (see Arteta/Debuchy).

Sanchez has had a 5 day break which will take him from the red zone into the pink 🙂 and will surely start. With the wizard Ozil in magnificent form and certainly not in the red we have the tools to win.

A solid defensive performance is essential as is good fortune. WBA scored twice last week and yet had only one shot on target for the whole 95 minutes! Who knows, Norwich could win today without a single shot on target – it happens.

And what of Norwich? Well, it is a lovely town and the cathedral is spectacular. Carrow Road is a friendly and enjoyable ground for away fans. A few years ago I was in Norwich on a Saturday afternoon. Mrs Raddy was in total shopping mode. I checked the time and noticing it was half-time went to the stadium asking if I could watch the remainder of the game for free. The steward invited me in and said “sit in any free seat”. Top bloke.

Alex Neill has already stated that his team will be resolute which is another way of saying “I don’t care if we are at home, we will be parking the bus because it is the only way we stand a chance” (not in those exact word 😉 ). So expect loads of possession, lots of fannying about on the edge of the Norwich box, long ball breakaways aimed at Mbokani, and Arsenal to score from a set piece.

Redmond is their best player this season and will undoubtedly cause problems. My answer is to tell Flamini close him down at every opportunity.

So …. vigilance, continued brilliance from SanZil, clinical finishing and Bob’s you Uncle  – three points on the road and Happy Days.


Why are Arsenal supporters so Fickle?

November 27, 2015

My personal pet peeve is well known to all AA readers – its fickle fans!

The Gunners are my choice of team by way of my family and where I was born; I had little option other than to support Arsenal as the “other” choice up in N17 was a taboo name on Avenell Road and 3 of my cousins and one Uncle had already become outcasts from the family due to their unfortunate choice.

I am continually upset by “fans” that purport to be “experts”

Do they really think that they know better than our Manager?

Do they have degrees in medicine?

Do they have their own scouting network? Oops I forgot – they use You tube.

Where do these armchair experts get all of their knowledge from?

What do they think gives them the right to spout their venom after every loss?

Why do they believe that anybody gives a monkey’s about their extreme views?

Why do they continually state the same rubbish over and over again?

Do they really believe their nonsense or is it just a reaction to a bad game?

Why is waiting to say “I told you so” so important to them?

To me an injury is an awful stroke of bad luck for both the club and the player, for others an injury is an opportunity to be critical of perceived lack of activity in the transfer window.

To me healthy bank balance is the sign of a well run and managed club to others it’s a sign of broken transfer promises – apparently we should spend regardless of the quality of the player – after all the Red Tops have said we were interested in X, Y and Z so why didn’t we sign?

To me Arsense Wenger is an honest man who has taken the club to unimagined heights and continues to excel, to others he is a liar who is not in touch with “modern” football.

I watch each and every game with one thing in mind – to sit back, usually nervously, to enjoy my team display their multitude of talents – and rarely do they disappoint me.

During the game I cheer and shout as if I’m sitting in the stands. I yell at referee’s who invariably make the wrong decisions. I’m a supporter and it’s my job to support with every ounce of my energy. I never waste my time being critical of my team or our Manager nor do I believe in any way, shape or form that I know better than the true experts who are employed by AFC because they are the best at what they do!

I’m a seasoned (68+) SUPPORTER and will be until the day I draw my last breath.


If only we had this great Arsenal player in today’s team …….

November 26, 2015

Arguably the return of a re-invented Coquelin in the latter part of last season was the biggest factor in our improved defensive stability.

Many (including me) would have put the procurement of another top quality DM at the top of our shopping list last summer.

It didn’t happen and we may now have to wait and see how costly that will be with Coquelin sidelined for the next 12 weeks.

Rather than keep moaning about what could have happened, I thought I’d fantasise about the influence my favourite Arsenal player would bring to the current side if he were that missing signing and at his peak of 27 years of age.


What our current team really needs is the Patrick Vieira of 2003/4. In my opinion, he would make this current Arsenal side considerably better than it is now – and it’s not too shabby at the moment :). Don’t get me wrong, when the team clicks as it did against Zagreb the other night (not the strongest of opposition) having a Vieira in the side would be a luxury rather than a necessity, but it is when we are under pressure that a player of his stature would come into his own.

He possesses all the qualities we need to make the team complete. A natural leader, fearless, strong, skilful, powerful, tall and elegant. A player who could tackle, who could defend, who could see a defence splitting pass, who could go forward and score a goal. He wouldn’t allow his teammates heads to go down. He wouldn’t sit back and watch our players get bullied.

But then I thought maybe there may be another ex Arsenal player of the EPL era who would make a similar or maybe even greater impact in a different position.

Some among us had been calling for a top striker over the summer. Would you prefer to see a TH14 at the peak of his powers instead of PV4 (I’m only allowing you one fantasy). Or maybe you think DB10 as our greatest ever player would have to be the one?

What about a proper winger; Mark Overmars, or the massive presence of Sol Campbel in defence. Maybe you’d prefer Seaman in goal in place of Cech –  or the calm control Gilberto brought to our midfield? Dare I ask if Ashley Cole or the underrated hard man Lauren is what our current team really needs? What about the artistry of Pires or the Arsenal DNA of Tony Adams.

These are the rules: you can only choose one ex player from the EPL era to bring back to our current squad at the peak of his powers. The player has to be the one you think would bring about the greatest improvement to the team.

I’m going to list the most likely candidates, if your preferred choice doesn’t feature on the list, tell us in comments who and why.


Zagreb Victory Discussion

November 25, 2015

Things to discuss:-

The brilliance af the Alexis/Ozil combination. Best since DB10/TH14?

Why has Monreal improved so much?

Flamini is good enough for teams like Zagreb.

Is Campbell any good?

Why were there 12,000 empty seats?

Which was the best goal?

Can Chambers develop into a DM?

How do flies stand on glass?

Giroud’s record is good, make that very good. Why do fans not believe in him?


Was winning last night the best result for the club?

Should Alexis or any of last night’s team be rested on Sunday?

Is Mrs Frith a force of good or evil?

Does Bellerin’s pace allow Campbell the freedom to play with confidence?

Why did DZ allow Cazorla so much space?

Hastily written by BR

Wish You Were Here (JW/AR/AOC/FC etc)

November 24, 2015

A MWG or a MLG or even a MDG? If Olympiakos get a point in Munich it doesn’t matter anyway.

My opinion is that we should give it the full beans, attack from the first, if we are two up by half-time bring on the kids and look forward to a trip to Greece. If we start slowly, go in even at half-time then fight out a tough 1-0 whilst picking up an injury or two would it be considered a successful evening.

I am sure Mr Wenger will go all out to win this game and expect to get a result in Athens, he is focussed upon the CL and rightly so. The CL is the source of our European reputation (such as it is) and AW has a wonderful record of getting our club into the last 16.

Why is it important? Money and seeding.

There have been times this season when I thought it would be better if we gave up on the CL , finished 4th and concentrated upon the PL, but that is not how AFC work – the club philosophy is to try and win every game; tonight will be no exception.

Who plays?

Same as Saturday. Flamini replaces Le Coq. We do not risk Ramsey who has only had one day of full training. We have a 5 day break before the Norwich game.



Tonight I will don the full kit, turn the TV out towards the terrace, settle into the padded teak Steamer and enjoy a Pretendies. Thanks to the freezing conditions I will be armed with a full bottle of warming fluids (single malt), an Arsene Wenger down coat, a Steve Bould woolly hat, Eduardo gloves and a Chamakh snood. If there is no sign of BR in the morrow then send out the St. Bernards.

We are a much better team than Zagreb and should win tonight.


Monday Morning Blues

November 23, 2015

I think we were all looking forward to taking three points from the game and putting pressure on City at the top of the Premiership. Sadly that was not to be.

There were sufficient omens before the game to dampen our expectations. We had half a team in the treatment room, we were playing a Pulis side which is morphing into his old Stoke City just as they are throwing off their Orc reputation and starting to play football.  Our players had barely time to catch their breath after the Internationals and we have a Champions League game to follow.

Having said that, we started with our first choice ’keeper and back four, our mid-field pairing of Cazorla and Coquelin were in place only Gibbs, playing on the left with Alexis wide right, has not been a regular starter while Giroud has taken over as central striker since Walcott’s unfortunate injury.

It was when things started to go wrong, with Le Coq forced off by injury, that the threadbare nature of our squad became horribly evident. A rusty Arteta was making heavy weather of his role alongside Cazorla and despite Giroud’s headed goal two errors by Arteta meant we went in at half-time 2 – 1 down.

The second half quickly saw Arteta off with a calf injury with Flamini replacing him and then Gibbs giving way to the uninspiring Joel Campbell, further evidence of the weakness of  the bench.

So just what was it that induced the Monday morning blues?

Well, for me it is the realisation that over  the many games played against Pulis’ teams we still haven’t learnt how to deal with that particular style of play.

On top of that we are most certainly being bitten in the bum by the failure to recruit a decent back-up for Le Coq, as well as a distinct lack of an alternative striker.

Finally, with City losing at home to Liverpuddle we wasted a wonderful opportunity to move to the top of the table.

Oh, those Monday morning blues!

Written by Norfolk Gooner