Arsenal could win if they lose – or lose if they win?

Saturday’s win over a committed Sunderland must have provided a bit of a boost to the teams morale.

Morale, or the lack of it, has become a bit of a problem recently, what with the string of injuries and some less than encouraging results.

Having said that, we are second in the Premiership, only two points behind the surprise leaders Leicester City and one point above Man City.

Our regular competitors for the top four positions are all suffering to some extent.  Man City are strangely erratic.  Man U, while not conceding many are failing to score goals on a regular basis.  Chelsea are struggling just above the relegation zone and even “The Special One” has publicly given up on a top four finish.

Despite the queues in our treatment room, it’s beginning to look like 2015/16 is our best chance, for too many years, to win the title.

The elephant in the room is the Champions League.

Wednesday’s match in Athens will decide whether or not we proceed to the knockout stage or slip into the Europa League. It has to be said that our record in the knockout stage is not that good and with our current injury list, allied to a thinnish squad, it doesn’t bode well when it comes to mixing it with Europe’s elite.

Now I would like nothing better than to beat Olympiakos by the requisite two goal margin thus avoiding the ignominy of Thursday night football and it’s treks to the far flung corners of the European Continent. For that reason alone I sincerely hope we field our strongest possible side against the Greeks.

So, should we go for one last all out effort on Wednesday evening with the hope of wrapping up qualification for the Champions League before it shuts down for the winter break?  Or do we field an even more weakened side in the hope of resting a few tired legs ahead of the busy Christmas fixture pile up?

I suppose what I’m really asking is, do you think we would stand a better chance of winning the Premiership by getting into the Champions League knockout stages where we have little chance of progressing, or would we be better off playing more games, with a realistic chance of winning the Europa League, to the detriment of our chances of walking off with the Premiership title?

Written by Norfolk Gooner.

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227 Responses to Arsenal could win if they lose – or lose if they win?

  1. clockendjim says:

    What a dilemma. Whatever the outcome though, the strain could be relieved somewhat by a couple of really good signings in January. Everyone has been holding their breath in case Coquelin got injured and our worst fears have happened. It has just shown what bad judgement on behalf of Wenger by not signing another defensive midfielder pre-season. We also need a clinical goalscorer to be on the end of Ozil’s amazing creativity. Our chances of success in the PL have never been better’ in recent times, let’s not spoil the ship for a happorth of tar (ie a few millions from our bulging bank account).

  2. Nicholas says:

    Not really a dilemma. We have to beat Olympiakos to ensure we gather ranking points as well as additional prize money and prestige. If you’re worried about extra games – that only guarantees two more: not a huge burden now that we’re out of the coca cola cup or whatever it’s called nowadays.

    On the other hand, if we managed to get through to the following round, there would surely be a positive knock-on effect in terms of morale.

    Ending up in the Europa League would be the worst result of all. We’d have to play at least two more games (or would we end up in the group stage? I don’t really follow it to be honest). If we got knocked out playing a less prestigious side it would be bad for morale and we’d have to play a lot more games to get to the final before it could be said to be a positive thing.

    Either way we need to make some purchases in January and who gives a smeg about whether the player is cup-tied or not – if the team will sell we should buy because likely we will only be in Europe for a few more games and the player then gets a bedding in period for the start of the new season. Monreal and Gabriel both seemed to benefit from this.

  3. kelsey says:

    Thanks NG

    The PL Title is up for grabs and we could win it by default.I would wager Wenger has already picked his team for Wednesday and will field his strongest team.
    We can beat anyone on our day though as is the norm with our teanm one never knows what to expect. Easy games become hard and hard games sometimes become easy. Whoever plays Sanchez is a huge lost but I am convinced we may score the goals required but the defense at times looks a shambles and we have recently conceded to many soft goals and also against what one would consider weak teams.

    Nicholas, whichever European competition we go into we play a minimum of two games in either.

  4. Good morning clockendjim, I can’t disagree with the idea of buying a couple of good players in January, sadly they’ll be too late to help on Wedneday evening. 😀

    Nicholas, my personal priority is the Premiership, I don’t think we have the slightest chance of getting beyond the first knockout round of the Champions League, it will be too early for Alexis, Santi and Le Coq, and I fully agree that the Europa League would be the worst result. So, it’s the CL for me and a clear run at the Premiership title.

  5. Hi Kelsey, have you been gazing at your balls again? Oops sorry that should have been “gazing at your crystal ball again”. 😀
    I hope you are right about us scoring the required goals.

    Care to make a stab at the final score?

  6. Le Common Sense Monster says:

    Thanks NG

    I`m in no doubt Wenger will play his strongest team available on Wednesday, as to what I prefer……?………like you say, we aint going any further in the CL, but If we get EL and Wenger uses some common sense, we could use this competition for our young players to get some experience…….just like he used to do in the League Cup, but we all know what he will do……play regular squad player and get more injuries and blow our best chance of winning the EPL since the 13/14 season when we were top after 24 games and then we dive bombed….probably due to injuries !……I cant help feeling that such an intelligent man lacks so much common sense !………..if only I was manager, I have a shed load of it !. hahaha

  7. njstone9 says:

    Yes, I agree. We have the best chance in years to win the league. Just looking at the graphic on the right side of this page, we usually climb the league from January onwards, so if we can still be on the coattails of the mighty Leicester come the new year, we’re in with a fantastic chance.

    In fact, with Chelsea being essentially out of it, Man U out of sorts and even Man City strangely vulnerable given the players they’ve got, I’ll be deeply, deeply disappointed if we don’t finish at *least* second.

    I think we need some astute purchases in January but we are so close, so very close to glory. I want Wenger to win the league one more time so badly, so, so badly. He deserves it and it would be fabulous if it could also come in a year where Chelsea and Mourinho have spectacularly imploded.

  8. Rasp says:

    Thanks for the post NG.

    This is a tricky one. My preference would be for a heroic victory on Wednesday and field our strongest team in every game thereafter and see how far we can progress in the CL.

    The problem with the Europa league (and the FA cup) we do not have the depth in numbers at present to field a B team that will be able to compete.

    Despite all the injuries we are still in a strong position in the EPL. We are the top team of the expected contenders (apologies to Leicester) and if we can get to the new year still up there, we will as you say, have the best chance of winning the league for some years.

  9. Rasp says:

    BTW, I do not expect any big name players will be joining in January.

  10. Common sense? There’s no such thing in football, It’s all passion, highs, lows and despair followed by elation. Emotion Rules O.K.

  11. Le Coq Monster says:

    As someone with huge amounts of common sense, I think it would make a huge amount of common sense if we bought some quality players in January………..look to Rasp`s above comment to what will likely happen ! 😀

  12. njstone9, I’m with you all theway.

  13. Le Coq Monster says:

    I get it NG !………………………….highs = we are top !……..lows = the injuries take over !………despair = we drop out of top 4 !……elation = we win 4th place trophy !. 🙂

  14. Rasp, I don’t think we would be able to field strong teams in all games without shiny new toys in January, especially a striker, just ask Micky! 😀

    Gotta go, back later.

  15. Shard says:

    Thanks Norfolk.
    This isn’t even a question. Win! Always.

    Regardless of what our chances are to winning the cl, we still have a chance. Who would have thought we’d get to the final with the best defensive record in 2006. Or that Chelsea would win it. We should have a few of the injured players back by Feb, we might sign someone in Jan (i know all the jokes and wemger’s transfer statements but I really think we’ll sign someone to give us a boost like we got with Reyes and Arshavin.)

    That said, it wouldn’t be the worst thing to go into the Europa. It’s a genuine european trophy and we could be in with a shout of winning it. Still second choice for me.

    As for the PL. Why do people keep saying it’s a weak league or that we can win it by default? The fact that there are no runaway leaders is because the league is stronger than it’s ever been. We’re near the top despite a slow start and injuries because we had great strength in depth at the start of the season, and because Cech has been brilliant(with the exception of the first game) not because city are doing us any favours.

    By the way, the clip of the Augsburg keeper messing up the penalty spot, I am almost certain that Jonas Olsson of WBA did the same thing before Santi’s penalty (and it should have been retaken for encroachment)

  16. Rasp says:

    Very sad, this is what happened to Ernie Crouch ….

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-35026367

  17. Rasp says:

    “Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has confirmed Santi Cazorla has undergone surgery on his knee” 😦

  18. Shard says:

    Rasp

    When I saw the replay of the kick on Santi and the way his knee moved, I was worried there was significant damage. Even when he came back on the field, I didn’t feel a sense of relief. Having some experience with knee injuries, I thought it was likely he was just playing through an injury and when Wenger said he finished the game on one leg, I knew he’d be out for a long time.

    Hey, maybe he’ll be back to score the penalty that wins us the league, before assisting the winning goal in the CL final 🙂

  19. Rasp says:

    Hi Shard, I guess with the benefit of hindsight, it may have reduced the damage if he’d been taken off at that point and we’d played on with 10 men. AW cannot have known the extent of the injury though, so it was a calculated risk and we were still in a position to get the points.

    I love Santi, but I do think his absence will give room for Ramsey to develop the role – and that is probably a glimpse of the future. The two play in different ways, Ramsey is more direct and I would expect him to get more goals once he’s regained his form totally.

  20. RC78 says:

    If we go through the group stage – we will have two more games to play in the CL as it seems that we never manage to go past that stage in the last couple of years. The economic benefits of going through the group stage are not negligible so I would say – let us try to win and then let us play the next round as a bonus…The worse thing that can happen is to play the Europa League so let us hope we can nick it…

    Now – I think that the injury to Coquelin and Sanchez damage us more than the injury of Cazorla. Why? Because we have Ramsey that can step back in the middle of the park, where he belongs and start working like a horse and scoring machine again. We do not have the same quality to replace Coquelin or Sanchez…

    Flamini is too erratic and physically prone to injuries and slow pace while Arteta is also injured a lot and do not have the physicality to play DM…So I am hoping that AW will somehow find a player that could provide an adequate solution even if for half a year at DM if he does not want to splurge on a long-term solution yet. I am sure he could even tempt someone like Cambiasso or Lucas Leiva to join us for half a year…they would provide adequate cover.

    With Sanchez out for a while, this is the chance for both Ox and Campbell to show what they are made of. I amreally hoping the Ox will seize the chance as he is a better player than Campbell…

    Up front, Giroud has been doing the job so Walcott has to regain his spot, which will not be easy. In the meantime, Wellbeck has the duty to get fit for the X-Mas period..

    For the CL – I would play:
    Cech – Chambers, BFG, Gabs, Gibbs – Ramsey, Flamini, Ox – Campbell, Giroud, Iwobe

    I would rest: Bellerin, Monreal, Kos, Ozil and I would bring in Ozil and Walcott if the game demands it…

    I think that it is a great match for both Campbell and Iwobe to shine

  21. RC78 says:

    Miguel Veloso has only 6 months remaining on his contract with Dinamo Kiev. Now he would be a steal in te January market and would be more than adequate cover for Coquelin as DM…

  22. Red Arnie says:

    Nice teaser, Norfolk. 🙂 We do not really want Spursday, do we? Our best chance is to put our best foot forward tomorrow. 🙂 We can do it.

    COYG. 🙂

  23. Red Arnie says:

    The January situation is interesting. I think if a transfer penalty is imminent, we may try to splash money in January. Strangely not much wind of the situation in the press.

  24. Big Raddy says:

    Shard 11.38 could have been my pre-match.

    My major concern about the europa is the quality of the remaining teams and the massively optimistic idea that we can win it easily. Imagine the pain of drawing Spurs over two legs and losing!!!

    Or Liverpool (we have history)

  25. Afternoon knob-ends…. NG nice, what a conundrum eh? Personally, in my honest opinion,well, what I fucking want is to now go through to the knock out phase of the CL…. grab our £70m or wharever silly amoint of dosh we get and then fucking run for it…. and concentrate on the EPL and the FA Cup… and don’t forget ladies, if we win the FAC this season, the Arsenal make history.

  26. GunnerN5 says:

    NB69.

    If we win the FA Cup this season we will be only the 3rd team to win 3 in a row.

    Wanderers 1876-1878
    Blackburn Rovers 1884-1886

    The Wanderers also won the first two FA Cups played in 1872 &
    1873.

    Six teams have won the Cup two years in a row with Arsenal & Tottenham each doing it on occasions.

  27. GunnerN5 says:

    on “two” occasions.

  28. Yea GN5…. it wasn’t such a big thing in your day but during the last 30 years it’s been impossible to do…

  29. Le Coq Monster says:

    To tell the truth Spermbank and GN5, I`m more excited about the FA Cup draw than Wednesday night and shall be hoping for Exeter away as my boss will get me tickets for it !.
    If we win the FA Cup for a 3rd year on the trot I think we keep it unless they have changed the rules, but this is what was originally the rule !………………………..”The holders of the Challenge Cup shall hand it over to the Secretary of the Football Association, on or before the first day of February in each year, unless the holders shall have won the Cup three years in succession, when the Cup shall become the absolute property of the club winning it !”

  30. LB says:

    Good read NG, thanks.

  31. Le Coq Monster says:

  32. GunnerN5 says:

    NB69,

    It was also a big thing back in the day!!! 🙂

    I think it will be huge if we do achieve 3 in a row. If Le Coq is correct, and I hope he is, then I would assume that Arsenal would “loan” it back to the FA.

  33. Le Coq Monster says:

    About half way down the page, GN5. They may have to make a new/replica one !.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/29458784

  34. Le Coq Monster says:

    The reason behind the Campbell celebration ?.

    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CVkt-gZWIAANAck.jpg:large

  35. Gööner In Exile says:

    Haven’t had a chance to read all comments, but simply any run in the CL will be better than Europa, that is all aspects, pitches, grounds, refs etc etc, additionally more money from CL qualifying should further strengthen ability to spend in January, qualification gives us an extra £10m or so of war chest. All for less pitch time, if we can’t win theCL based on quality we probably can’t win Europa based on depth, especially considering we have the small matter of an FA Cup threepeat which would be a first.

    And then the PL, first side to string 5 wins on the trot in the top 5 will put a good buffer in place between them and the rest on current form, can we do it in December and January? A lot depends on the City game and who they and we have available, I prefer our line up and bench on the weekend to theirs.

  36. RC78 says:

    I say – let us qualify, take the cash and then field an “ok” team for the knock-out stage…

    To be fair, only 8 teams can realistically win the CL and we are not part of that group:

    1) Barcelona, Bayern Munich

    2) Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid, Chelsea, PSG, Man City, Juventus

    and there is a big gap between the teams ranked 1 and the rest of them…

    Let us do the double EPL-FA Cup and have a big parade in London

    next year, let us win the CL for AW 🙂 but this will only be possible if we can attract the best players and for this to happen, we need to land the EPL

  37. FA Cup draw 17.00 on BBC2. Arsenal’s number 2.

    There are sixty-four teams in it, I’d like No. 49 at home.

    Select your number without looking at the list.

  38. It’s gotta be 69 for me…. without looking that is NG 🙂

  39. There have been some fine comments today, thank you for reading the post and taking the time to comment.

    My preference is still to win through to the Champions League knockout stage, this will mean fewer extra games thus giving us the better chance of taking the Premiership title.

    Going into next season’s CL as Champions would be a terrific boost for the whole club including the fans.

    Oh, and it might just shut up some of the more rabid hacks and pundits.

  40. ha ha ha just looked and there ain’t a 69… bugger

    Now I’ve fecking looked…. but didn’t note too many so try again. No 23…. for my childhood address, 23 Sonning Street, Holloway. Now I’ll look

  41. you’ll be playing with yourself again 69, there are only sixty-four teams in the draw. Still I expect your used to that. 😀

  42. Liverpuddle!! nice pick 69. 😀

  43. Le Coq Monster says:

    Ahh yes !….cant wait until 7pm……you will have a 2 hour wait if you listen to Norfolk !……..who knows what sort of damage them inbreds can do in 2 hours ! hahaha

    It`s really exciting for me !….one of the few times I get to watch Arsenal stuff live without hiding behind the sofa !

  44. Eddie says:

    NG – thank you for this very good post on the subject that has been bothering me for a few weeks now, well since we lost to Zagreb and Olympiakos.

    I jumped the gun and published my thoughts about the CL qualifying this morning, but I doubt very much anybody reads my comments, so I may as well repeat myself a few times 🙂

    I don’t think we have any chance of going through to the next round. The Greeks have to defend, defend and defend. And they are certain to defend, defend and defend. We are not particularly good at derailing busses and hence our chances of scoring 2+ goals are nil. Even if all the 11 men forget about positions and formations, and hoof each and every ball for the full 90 minutes. only then we have a chance that 2 or more will go in. Is Cech any good at scoring headers? he should be

    IF we fail and have to play in Europe is not the end of the world. Millions of £ less in the coffers, but since when do we, the fans care what’s the bank balance of the Club. We could win in Europe a genuine trophy, or we can play team Z (12 year olds) and do an Easy Jet – in and out of Europe in flash 🙂

    that’s it, end of my thinking on the subject.

  45. Le Coq Monster says:

    51 away !…..anyone else at home !.

  46. Le Coq Monster says:

    Too much put on the CL potential money loss…..we would get twice as much money being relegated from the EPL than progressing in the CL…..that`s how bigger(financially) the EPL is !.

  47. 51 eh Cockie? and you didn’t look at the numbers first……did you?

  48. Le Coq Monster says:

    hahaha NG……I already knew that number yesterday as the one I would be looking out for, the other one was 54…Yeovil away, as that is the next nearest to me !

  49. Hi Eddie, that’s a very fair comment but if the team turn up with the right head on, we just might do it.

  50. Okay Cockie, we believe you. 😀

  51. Le Coq Monster says:

    The funny thing is, some may like us not too win on Wednesday or progress in either the CL or EL if it seems to be detrimental to us winning the main prize of the EPL and I am one of those who said we would win the EPL if we were not in the CL from the start of the season because of the supposed fatigue and the definite injuries, but come any game time and I cant bring myself not to want us to win !………so I ask this question to all of you !…….has there been or is there any scenario in which you would want us to lose a game ?.
    I can think of one scenario where I would most definitely want us to lose !…….last game of any season where we play any team who have to beat us to stop the Spuds from winning the league !…..cant think of another scenario as that one is strong in the mind !. hahaha

  52. Le Coq Monster says:

    At the opposite length of the scenario, I would want us to lose a last game of the season if it meant it relegated the Spuds !……..celebrating a loss !……that would be something weirdly special !. hahaha

  53. RC78 says:

    I think that we all agree with your must win and must lose game situations LC Monster…

  54. kelsey says:

    My crystal ball is well out of tune but anyway here we go.

    FA Cup we will be at home to a London club possibly Chelsea,QPR or Fulham

    Olympiacos : We won’t lse but will it be enough 🙂

  55. bugger…. I hope it’s not 23 NG…..

  56. Gööner In Exile says:

    Cockie I’ll say one thing, I hope you trust your accountant.

    “You get more money being relegated from PL than you get for qualifying for CL”.

    Whilst that as a statement is inherently true it does not take into account that we are already receiving (and mostly spending) our PL income, so that’s already in the bank, not qualifying for the next stage hurts our ability to spend I the next window.

    It’s the equivalent of a pie salesman saying well I earn £1000 a week, why bother driving further to earn another £500. He does because he can always find ways of spending the extra.

  57. Le Coq Monster says:

    Hahaha GIE………I`m only a van driver, I don’t earn enough to pay much tax let alone employ an accountant !……I am however an expert in talking any old crap !. 😀

  58. Le Coq Monster says:

    Exeter Vs Liverpool !……Booo !

  59. Le Coq Monster says:

    Sunderland !

  60. GunnerN5 says:

    Arsenal v Sunderland FA Cup

  61. A home tie is always an advantage, Sunderland will certainly up for the game but they may have other priorities, avoiding relegation may be one.

  62. chas says:

    Cheers, NG.

    The Premier League is strange this season.
    Maybe with the extra TV money the quality of the players in general has improved in the Premier League.

    Maybe it’s our turn to experience one of those memorable, late comebacks on Wednesday.

    Maybe, also, a run in the Europa might not be detrimental to our League campaign as we gather momentum like a snowball going downhill. 🙂

  63. Hard luck Cockie, you could always cheer Exeter on.

  64. Chas, so long as it’s not our campaign going downhill. 😀

  65. chas says:

    Haha, we might need some extra games to improve the match fitness of our returning half dozen. Clutching at straws here.

    Uninspiring draw, Totteringham v Leicester tie of the round?

  66. Le Coq Monster says:

    Lets be realistic !…………..if we are going to pull an EPL team, then the 2nd from bottom club makes my behind the sofa experience a lot less stressful !…..great draw !.

  67. Le Coq Monster says:

    I think games should be graded as to the level of stress or squeaky bum they cause……a bit like a DEFCON level, 1 being the highest threat to 5 being the lowest .
    Being an expert on bricking it every time we play which has enabled me to get a DFS discount card for the amount of sofa`s I wear out, I think maybe games should be graded on the……DFS Scale !……so Sunderland at home in the FA Cup will be DFS 5 compared to Totnumb away being …..DFS 1.
    So a DFS 5 sofa will be one of those floral country cottage style ones which will catch fire if you move too quickly whilst watching some pre ten o clock babestation stuff and a DFS 1 sofa will be one made from Dragons fire retardant arse leather !.

  68. Gööner In Exile says:

    I’m liking Sunderland Fat Sam rarely puts out a full strength side when with a PL team who he cares more about saving from relegation.

  69. fred1266 says:

    Just to confirm no one is going this game

  70. chas says:

    fred
    No-one from this site will be going to Greece.
    Are you on Twitter?
    Lots will be going (or have already gone) from there.

  71. chas says:

  72. fred1266 says:

    Any advice on how to get a flight is it as simple as going for the airport or do it through a agency

    Initially had one through an agency but the guy not responding to my emails

  73. fred1266 says:

    Hi Chas I only have pounds And Not Eurocard would I be able to use it in Greece

  74. chas says:

    The Wolfsburg, red manc, PSV group might be quite interesting tonight before the main course tomorrow.

  75. chas says:

    Morning fred.

    You’ll need Euros for spending not pounds.

    As you’re not from Europe you won’t have a European Health card, so will have to get separate travel insurance unless you’re already covered on your current insurance.

    Are your flights booked? Have you got somewhere to stay?

    I’m not the best at organising travel plans.
    BR told me that Micky is really excellent at it, so he’s the man to speak to.

  76. fred1266 says:

    How to contact micky

    Currency wise I guess I would have to use credit card, and not sure about the insurance

  77. chas says:

    Ah, just saw your 6.13 about flights.

    I think you might struggle to get a flight at this stage, though maybe cancellations might give you a chance.

    Again, Micky is the man to ask as he once had a pair of wings made of wax and brown paper. 🙂

  78. fred1266 says:

    Also Chas would have all be meeting to watch the game if so can I join you all if I don’t get through to go the game

  79. chas says:

    Micky is a very difficult man to pin down.
    I’ve heard his voice before (but think it had been disguised).

    Rumour has it he works for a secret govt organisation, hence his excellence in arranging off-the-cuff, in-and-out travel expeditions.

  80. chas says:

    I live in the Midlands, fred.

    I’d suggest the Twelve Pins at Finsbury Park for the match if you’re in London. You may even bump into LB. 🙂

  81. fred1266 says:

    OK am guessing midlands is far from London, am able 1 hour from the Stadium

    LB u meeting in twelve pins?

  82. Big Raddy says:

    Morning All,

    When is Surferdude back from his travels?

    Fat Bob is going to Madrid with Malmo. Too expensive for me but it will be a fantastic evening and I am in his voluminous pocket.

    Sunderland at home. If it is on a Sunday I will fly over.

  83. Eddie says:

    what’s the name of that ManU spoof fan from china?

  84. Gööner In Exile says:

    Beijing Red I think Eddie

  85. Eddie says:

    that’s the one, thanks GiE
    I think fred is doing a pretendie Beijiing Red here 🙂

  86. fred1266 says:

    And what tha suppose to mean,

  87. Eddie says:

    you is not for real bro

  88. fred1266 says:

    I still don’t understand what you telling me

  89. Eddie says:

    it’s plain English, init

  90. Eddie says:

    oh no, are you for real fred?
    I thought you were a spoof taking the piss out of chas and he had fallen for it 🙂 Are you a foreigner?

  91. Eddie says:

    oh dear, I thought you were just pretending 🙂
    don’t worry I am a foreigner too, hence the misunderstanding

    where are you from?

  92. LB says:

    Fred

    Chas is right, the 12 Pins in Finsbury Park will be the best place to watch the game. You do have to pay 9 pounds to get in and watch the match but that does also give you 2 free drinks. I will not be there on Wednesday but if you go and we win there will be no better experience this side of Athens.

  93. LB says:

    That map of England scares me when I think of how much travel Chas does in the name of our football club. The only reason I am not going to the 12 Pins is because it is too far. There is a sports bar on the corner of Marylebone Station that I go to. No atmosphere though.

  94. Ant says:

    I cordially invite Fred on our next Ant and Duck show as long as he can find Micky and Nottingham first..this is possibly the funniest few hours on here ever.

  95. Eddie says:

    fook off Ant, you know I am devastated….fried egg on my face 😦

  96. Ha ha, making excuses about being a foreigner doesn’t cut it Eddie.

    You should invite Fred round to watch the game at yours. The whole Polish experience of dogs and footie will give him something to remember when he’s back in Trinidad.

    Who knows? You might get a cheap holiday in the Caribbean out of it. 😀

  97. Big Raddy says:

    Eddie. I love it when someone makes a fool of themself and this morning you certainly have 🙂

    Fred. I agree with LB. The 12 Pins is the best place in London to watch an Arsenal game. It is right next to Finsbury Park tube station on the Victoria line

  98. Ant says:

    I think Fred should write up his travelogue of his trip to see The Arsenal from the Caribean as a new post in the future.

    It might even come near to Micky’s tales from a mountain that sounds like cock and his driving lessons in plimsolls with BR.

    Any suggestions for a headline title?

    I would like to hear Terry M’s travel tips for Fred.

  99. Big Raddy says:

    Micky’s Tales from The Mountain Top was an AA classic.

  100. Ant says:

    The reviews for this book are good Fred if you are passing a bookshop today

  101. Eddie says:

    Is fred from Trinidad? bugger, I really screwed up, love Caribbeans, their food, music and laughter

    Freddie 🙂 🙂 come back, I am going to be nice now 🙂

  102. Lovely stuff….. and Eddie now fancies a trip to the Caribbean, sea, sun and puff 🙂

  103. So is Fred for real… or is he a spook? perhaps Eddie can tell us ha ha.

  104. Eddie says:

    nb – call it female intuition (you’d know about it) – there is no fred, just a frivolous red arse

  105. But Eddie…. you can’t call yourself a ‘female’ so how can you have the intuition? 🙂

  106. Big Raddy says:

    There is talk of AFC’s interest in PSG’s Rabiot. Having watched him play a couple of weeks ago he would be really good for us. Tall chap, good tackler, good in the air.

    Major minus …… he is French and therefore arrogant

  107. According to the Telegraph this morning Arsenal are more likely to pursue loan signings than actual purchases.

    Rabiot has apparently already asked PSG to let him go out on loan as he wants more first team football.

  108. Actually, signing players on loan could be a good option.

    We could play them until they, inevitably, get injured and then send them back to where they came from. Thus keeping the best beds in the treatment room for our own long term crocks.

  109. ha ha NG…. just like we did with Kalsrom or whatever he was called… that worked well. :-0

  110. Shard says:

    Actually if some people are going to watch the game at a pub, I might be tempted to drop in. Although my legs are too tired from physio to make the trek to Finsbury Park. Maryleborne seems doable. Am yet to meet LB so that’s a bonus. Unless he’s scary. Is he scary?

    Man, wish I’d known about the 12 pins a few years ago. I’d gone to the finsbury park area and to The World’s end, if I recall correctly, on someone’s recommendation, and that was the least fun I’ve had watching Arsenal. I couldn’t get a place to sit, no one was friendly enough to talk to, a few ‘Arsenal fans’ were out to pick a fight with someone, including me, after the game, and the game… it was the 4-0 loss in Milan. Just a terrible nigt out.

  111. Big Raddy says:

    Sorry to hear that Shard.

    The World’s End was my after game pub for many years because they always had a band playing after the match. Was never the friendliest of places but few pubs in London are.

  112. LB says:

    Shard

    I am an old man with a grey beard, look at the picture of NorthBank up there, now take away the glasses and the menacing scowl and there you have me.

  113. kelsey says:

    Hello

    You know when you blog with someone you get an impression of what they look like.Well just by chance re BR I have just for the first time seen a picture of Rasp.I was totally surprised 🙂

  114. Shard says:

    So LB. Whereabouts will you be watching the game?

  115. Shard says:

    BR
    I suppose so, although an Arsenal shirt in an Arsenal pub generally brings some civility and a modicum of belonging. Not so on that occasion. Oh, and that was roughly the peak of the doomer era, so watchin the game through shouts of abuse at the team and manager was no fun either.

    Kelsey,
    Rasp really doesn’t look anything like you imagine 🙂

  116. Eddie says:

    what does he look like? I thought he looks like nb and lb minus glasses and beard 🙂 younger than nb but older than lb 🙂

    there you are, that’s rasp

  117. What? The one on the extreme right, wearing the mini skirt?

  118. Eddie says:

    no NG, the best looking one 🙂 this photo was in Wikipedia once, he was famous you know

  119. Le Coq Monster says:

    Yes, NG !……..Rasp is indeed a trannie !, he tried to chat me up at The Arsenal Tavern saying he loved Charlie Nicholas and wanted my baby !…..I was well up for it until I discovered his mini grocery store down below !. hahaha

  120. Rasp says:

    How has BR got a picture of me?

  121. Rasp says:

    I have a facebook account but never use it …. too much bother 😕

  122. LB says:

    Shard

    I am going to a sports bar on the corner of Marylebone station, the only reason is that is 5 minutes away from where I live; there will be some Arsenal supporters there but it is by no means an Arsenal bar. As was said earlier, if you want atmosphere then the 12 Pins is the way to go. Its not just packed full with loud white wankers, it is in fact quite multi cultural for the kind of pub it is.
    If Arsenal start winning the place goes mad, everyone singing and cheering. Brilliant.

  123. Red Arnie says:

    best ever comedy show on earth. even better than Ant n’ Duck. oh, wait a mo, maybe not! 😛

  124. Red Arnie says:

    Rasp. The Underground Guitar and Cricket Club’s underground website. 🙂

  125. Red Arnie says:

    I see, Kelsey. Now I know what Rasp looks like. 🙂

  126. Red Arnie says:

    Interesting framing, Evonne, with the girl in the background. 🙂 That’s not you, is it? 🙂

  127. Eddie says:

    no arnie. not me. I never was a groupie.

  128. Red Arnie says:

    OK, enough of football, now back to cats. I wrote to the Arsenal Suppoters Scotland Club (http://www.arsenal.com/supportersclubs/arsenal-supporters-clubs-europe/arsenal-scotland-supporters-club) to ask where they are watching the game tomorrow.

    And got a reply as well. So off I go.

    Not kidding. That’s a normal (sunny) day in Edinburgh.

  129. Big Raddy says:

    I didn’t even know I had a pic of Rasp!

    BTW. The girl in the Rasp pic above. ……. I knew her briefly 😉

  130. Red Arnie says:

    Evonne. 🙂 Raddy. 🙂

  131. Red Arnie says:

  132. Red Arnie says:

  133. Knew her briefly? Not in the biblical sense I hope.

  134. Red Arnie says:

  135. Some great batner today…. evryone ina upbeat mood, ready for the greeks 🙂 Raddy…is this Rasp and his band?

    I assume they’re singing about the Tottenham Royal?

  136. Norfolk…. Raddy knows no other sense than biblical 🙂

  137. LB says:

    Hi Arnie

    Interesting that you speak about the Scottish Arsenal Supporters Club, it reminds me of one of the best people I have ever sat next to at the Emirates. The guy next to me often sells his ticket on the exchange and so I have a variety of people to my left, most of which do not say boo to a goose. But this one time I had this rabid Arsenal supporter from Edinburgh with a thickest of Scottish accents, he was so passionate he put me to shame. He was a great hit with all around who were all amazed by his accent and his zeal. I made a point of saying to him that I hoped he and his wife had a great stay in London and that I hoped he came back before I left.

    The Scottish Arsenal Supporters Club.

    If there is a more incongruous collection of words I can’t think of it.

  138. Red Arnie says:

    LB. 🙂 So, what did you think! Some people even drive all the way from Botland to watch live telecast of the FAC Final at the Ems! 😛

    However, thick Scottish accent sounds more like Glasgow than Edinburgh! 🙂

    Seriously. They seem to be a bunch of lovely people. Well, at least one. It seems not much activity in Edinburgh, but I was sort of nudged towards going to Glasgow tomorrow. Which I might just do!

  139. Red Arnie says:

    Honestly, I am a bit scared about the foreigner! hmmm.

  140. Big Raddy says:

    NB is right. It was a brief encounter – too brief in her opinion 🙂

  141. Red Arnie says:

    LB. Correction. If you understtod him after a couple of drinks, must be Edinburgh not Glasgow. 😆

  142. Red Arnie says:

    “too brief”! ha ha ha.

    NorthBank. I agree. Loveliest batner in a long time. 🙂

  143. Red Arnie says:

  144. Red Arnie says:

    RIP John Lennon, who was shot and killed on Dec 8, 1980, aged 40.

  145. Arnie…. I do wonder what he may have achieved and what he would now be like, aged 75.

  146. Red Arnie says:

    yes, indeed, NorthBank.

  147. Gööner In Exile says:

    Went outside for sample after Red Mancs went 1-0 up…..missed the equaliser……come on PSV, a win at home against CSKAisnt too much to ask is it?

  148. Rasp says:

    Amazing play by Draxler, shame he chose Wolfsburg over The Arsenal

  149. Munchengladbach are all over City and 2 – 1 up at half time. But City will still go through in second place. United currently in the Spursday night spot 🙂

  150. Exile…. you went out side for a sample of what?

  151. Eddie says:

    smoke obviously

  152. Wasn’t that obvious to me Eddie…. but you used your female intuition again there… didn’t you 🙂

  153. Shouldn’t take the piss out of the Red Mancs if they finish in third place for Spursday night football….. we could be in the same position by the end of tomorrows game 😦

  154. Big Raddy says:

    If we go into the Europa there will be Spurs, L’pool and MU in it, as well as Napoli, Borussia M’bach, Bayer Leverkusen, B Dortmund, Schalke etc etc

    It will be a tough cup to win.

    But hopefully we can win tomorrow then play Barca, beat them and win the Big Cup

  155. Shard says:

    Is it just me or are the words ‘Take it all in, then take control’ not quite the ideal tagline for a football betting company?

  156. Can you believe CSKA are winning against PSV……we shall rename Van Gaal, SpawnyBollix

  157. Gööner In Exile says:

    Spoke too soon PSV equalised so back to calling Van Gaal, UglyBollix

  158. Gööner In Exile says:

    Smelling asking to go off, told he couldn’t because no subs left, and now according to Hargreaves he is some kind of trooper showing what it means to him…….but he will of course be making any injury much worse

  159. Gööner In Exile says:

    United equaliser via ridiculous deflection/own goal/bad decision, back to being SpawnyBollix

  160. Gööner In Exile says:

    Oops UglyBollix again……..where is everyone else?

  161. Gööner In Exile says:

    PSV winning now, United need two…….twisty turny night of CL football

  162. fred1266 says:

    My sister just opened a piece of mail for me a behold it was my ticket to the Greece game

    Guess I really wasn’t meant to go that game

  163. Big Raddy says:

    Super game in Wolfsburg.

  164. Big Raddy says:

    Quick return to Mr Uglybollix

  165. Shard says:

    unbelievable drama..especially following both games together. ManU score 1st. Wolfsburg equalise within a minute or so. Then go in front.

    Then in the second half, PSV fall behind to an unlucky penalty. Then equalise within a minute or so. Then ManU score with 7 mins to go. Wolsfburg and PSV score within seconds of each other.

    Wonderful game sometimes, football!

    Can we have a boring 3-0 victory to us tomorrow though? 🙂

  166. Gööner In Exile says:

    I’ll take a 5-4 end to ender Shard 🙂

    Or an early goal then a second with the last kick of the game. 🙂

  167. Gööner In Exile says:

    Sent to Trinidad Fred? don’t think DHL or UPS can perform that kind of miracle!

  168. Considering our own position, we shouldn’t laugh at Man U going into Thursday night football……should we?

    Oh well I can’t resist it. Ha ha ha ha .

  169. Gööner In Exile says:

    Norfolk, considering all I’ve heard tonight is how United had to field an inexperienced team because of injuries and that was the case despite spending £200m odd in the summer yes I think it’s ok to laugh. Especially as two of the “youngsters” tonight represent £50m of that spend.

  170. chas says:

  171. chas says:

  172. chas says:

    Matchday metaphor……………………..

  173. MickyDidIt89 says:

    6:38 I want a cat that does that

    Morning Gorgeous

  174. chas says:

    Ey up, surfdude.
    The morning squat fell a bit flat.
    I blame fred and eddie. 🙂

  175. mickydidit89 says:

    Ha ha, just seen Utd result. Trying not to ROLF too much until we’ve stuck a brace or so into the net tonight, but it’s hard 🙂

  176. mickydidit89 says:

    I followed Eddie/Fredgate on mobile yesterday, and think our purple dm’d one should have invited the poor chap over tonight

  177. kelsey says:

    Morning all.

    Well in the words of Rod Stewart (cue chas) Tonights The Night.

    I am sure we can win and will Wenger play Walcott and Groud together.The Greek God owes us a special performance tonight.

    I am sure we can win but can we keep a clean sheet something NB finds impossible to do 🙂

    I just heard that if United win their first two legged game in the Spurs league they play us 3 days later and of course the same could apply to us.

  178. chas says:

    At least the red mancs aren’t just sitting around incubating a pile of cash when it all goes tits up.

    I’m sure their £144m bid for Neymar will be successful in January.

  179. mickydidit89 says:

    Ah Crystals
    So quoting Rod Stewart is ok is it, Sailor?

  180. mickydidit89 says:

    Look here Gorgeous, are you taking the piss out of my transfer policy of spend spend spend until there’s nothing left?

    We’d be above Leicester if Arsene had loosened the purse strings 🙂

    Anyway, today is not for justified dooooooom, but Erikest positivity 🙄

  181. chas says:

    Hehehe
    No, not really, just wondering why the mancs think Neymar would wreck his flourishing career by upping sticks to N.W. England.

  182. mickydidit89 says:

    Blimey, you must have a portfolio of ready to go paste Crystals suitable for any occasion 🙂

  183. chas says:

    I just heard that if United lose their first two legged game in the Spurs league they play us 3 days later.

  184. chas says:

    Yep, you can tell by the quality of the cutting and pasting.

  185. mickydidit89 says:

    Crystals
    I’ll keep football chat to an absolute minimum, but I’ve been thinking about tonight’s line up, and it didn’t take long.

    Its a given that Joel and Theo start, so it’s either Aaron right, with Callum and Flam doubling up, or its Flam with Aaron and Ox right.
    No way Ollie starts 🙂

    Your’re happy with me thinking aren’t you 🙂

  186. mickydidit89 says:

    Gorgeous
    Do you reckon Crystals ponces about beginning every sentence with the tried and tested wise one opening gambit of “In the words of Rod Stewart…..”

  187. kelsey says:

    Bloody hell Rod is nearly 71 and just fathered another baby.:)

  188. kelsey says:

    I think Giroud will start as his defensice qualities are immense. that was a brilliant own goal he scored last week.

  189. mickydidit89 says:

    Naturally, his killer line runs
    “In the words of Rod Stewart, if you think I’m sexy, just reach out and get me”

  190. chas says:

    Wake up Ollie, I think I got something to say to you,,,,,,

  191. mickydidit89 says:

    Oh grow up and stop being sarcy Crystals. We’ve been utter shitballs since Theo got injured and that poof started games

    Must dash, on school run shortly

  192. chas says:

    But when it comes to being lucky, he’s cursed

  193. chas says:

    Stay away from my window
    Stay away from my back door too

  194. mickydidit89 says:

    ha ha ha ha ha

  195. chas says:

    I am dooming
    I am dooming
    Moan again
    Misery

  196. Gööner In Exile says:

    Without wanting to preempt and Arsene tactic, or aRaddy pre match but I think we will need both strikers on the pitch tonight, and we need to get good crosses (and therefore need width), as well as having someone to unlock the channels.

    Also bearing in mind Olympiakos will more than likely opt for counter attacking football we also need a solid central base…..so how’s this?

    Cech
    BFG, Kos, Paul Easter
    Hector, Rambo, Flamster, Gibbs
    Ozil
    Theo, Ollie.

  197. chas says:

    Is Ospina fit?

  198. chas says:

  199. Eddie says:

    http://img.bleacherreport.net/img/images/photos/003/012/174/hi-res-63e64dc4eb79291611d8bedcb95d5035_crop_north.jpg?w=630&h=420&q=75

    Frank Malloney

    and Kellie Malloney 🙂

    Admittedly he looks better as Kellie, but as a boxing promoter? no

  200. Gööner In Exile says:

    Chas 😀

  201. Red Arnie says:

    motning all. matchday …………………..

    where is Fred?

    “today is not for justified dooooooom, but Erikest positivity” quality. 🙂

  202. Red Arnie says:

    nice batner all round. “matchday metaphor ……..” 🙂

  203. Red Arnie says:

    Ollie, Theo and Joel to start?

  204. Eddie says:

    there is no fred arnie, call it female intuition. Where is RA?

    the same intuition is all gloomy before tonight

  205. Red Arnie says:

    where is Redders? 😦 or was Fred Redders in the past? 🙂

    For that matter, where is Steve? 😦

  206. Red Arnie says:

    snap. Eddie. 🙂 great people think alike, or fools seldom differ. 😛

  207. Eddie says:

    yep 🙂 speak later arnie, dogs calling

  208. Big Raddy says:

    There is a….

    New Post

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