Ramsey’s Day?

The build up to this game has been lengthy  – it is 9 days since our last victory. Sky Sports have been building tonight up in their usual manner telling us that it is almost a title decider which is quite frankly nonsense.


What is true in a season when no team has been able to put together a run of wins (apart from Leicester) is that the title is open and beating City will be important. Must Win Game? No. Important game? Definitely. More important than beating Southampton away on Boxing Day? You decide!

The team picks itself apart from a question mark over Sanchez. Should he be played if 90% fit? Will he or Campbell start and be subbed on the hour? I would risk him, he is too valuable and we have been doing well with Campbell in the team.

LB wrote  an interesting post pointing out our different playing style with Sanchez in the team, which can only be a positive as the more variety we can offer the more difficult it is to combat.

The Northern Oilers are proof that an open wallet does not guarantee trophies. They spent €70m on defenders in summer and yet look fragile when the ageing and increasingly injury-prone Kompany is absent. Neither Mangala nor Otamendi have impressed so far.

Unfortunately most of their injured players are returning tonight – Silva, Aguero, Toure are likely to start and when one looks at MC’s team it is quite frankly, frightening, especially as an attacking force; De Bruyne, Aguero, Sterling, Navas, Toure, and Silva are all wonderful players .

But we have wonderful players as well. We have a team which on its day can beat Bayern Munich (and will beat Barcelona). Pellegrini will be worried, especially as MC have lost their last 4 away games.

Given the MC full backs are the ageing Sagna and Kolarov, Theo and Campbell could be in for a fruitful afternoon and it is certainly an area which Mr Wenger will focus upon.

In midfield Ramsey’s energy will be a constant problem for City. Toure is a great player but he can no longer compete with the non-stop running of Ramsey and will be looking to Fernandinho for cover. It is our pace and energy which will concern Pellegrini.

Who would you prefer, Ozil or Silva? Both great players. Ask any City fan who is their favourite player and the answer is invariably David Silva, yet to supporters of other clubs he seems just a very good player and not at the same level as Ozil. Mesut is The Man this season and against a team like City who will use skill as opposed to muscle to combat him, Ozil may well flourish.

Cech is likely to have a busy evening and so (I hope) will Joe Hart because these are two teams committed to attack. It should be a terrific match.


99 Responses to Ramsey’s Day?

  1. Shubham says:

    COYG! A Big Result from you guys. Please.

  2. Rasp says:

    Thanks Raddy,

    I don’t think I’d start with Sanchez, the team that beat Olympiacos and Villa is functioning well, and we will have the luxury of Sanchez on the bench if needed.

    Will City’s returning players be match fit ? – let’s hope not.

    On paper, their team with Silva, Toure, Aguero and Kompany is awesome. I’d much prefer it if this game was the away fixture as I don’t think we’d be all out attack (who am I kidding 🙂 ), with Sterling up front they have the pace to hurt us on the break so we need to defend as a team and also break forward with pace to keep them pinned back.

  3. GunnerN5 says:

    Yet another great Raddy intro to a game.

    Thank you for all the time and effort that you put into supporting both Arsenal and Arsenal-Arsenal – you are undoubtedly one of the key reasons why I enjoy AA.

    This is without any doubt whatsoever a very important game. Man C’s form has been a tad iffy this season and that gives me hope that we can beat them. The return of Silva, Aguero and Toure is definitely a negative for us but hopefully they lack full match fitness.

    I really hope that AW does not risk Sanchez as it may be both a game too soon and also a game changer for us if he further injures his hamstring – then it’s us that would be hamstrung.

    I feel that a victory is in the wind…………….

  4. As always, a great pre – match Big Radish and the twins 🙂

    It’s a MWG… if we can’t beat City at the New Highbury then we don’t deserve the title. Aguero is a worry but hopefully he’ll be a bit rusty. Their defence is suspect so either Campbell, Ramsey, Walcott, Ozil or Sanchez will be able to break through…. even the French ponce may be able to score against them. I too am looking forward to the match… should be a good’en.

  5. The next FIFA president… couldn’t be any worse…

  6. GoonerB says:

    Fine pre-match Raddy. For me I would go with Theo left and Campbell right and have Sanchez and AOC as our secret weapons from the bench. The other consideration is that due to the pace of their forward players would the quicker and more mobile Gabriel be better suited alongside Kos.

    Have been struggling to get much time on here so if I don’t get much time this side of x-mas I would like to wish all on A.A a wonderful Christmas and happy new year.

  7. Jnyc says:

    Great preview as always Raddy. I’d go with goonerb set up. I think it will be Theos day to be the star. After all, he provided both goals last week, indirectly..
    .. we know we are better than they are. One reason we are still in the race sith all the injuries, is Arsenes “cohesion” . It has alot to do with guys coming off the bench and performing.

  8. MickyDidIt89 says:

    At last, a Big Raddy PM again

    A massive blast of fresh air is what it feels like. Superb, and thanks.

    I’d go 2-3-5, but you all know that 🙂

    Actually, when reading through GB’s comment which was running thus “I would go with Theo left and Campbell right and have Sanchez and AOC…….” I thought for one tiny moment he was going to continue with “….through the middle”

    To which I was to respond with a festive Haleluia, Four Little ‘Uns across the front Yipeeee

  9. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Now, serious face on, if I find out you’ve all cleared off on to Facebook, then after being cross, I’ll sign up and track you down 🙂

  10. Big Raddy says:

    Nope, not FB’ing just nothing to say

  11. Rasp says:

    Me neither 😕

  12. RC78 says:

    This game is all about controlling the midfield so if Ramsey puts in a disciplined performance and if Walcott and Campbell put in their defensive efforts, we should nick it…COYG!

  13. Rasp says:

    …. except that I am delighted that Platini has been banned for 8 years – the man hates everything about English football and doesn’t even attempt to hide it. The only tiny positive out of the chavs winning the CL was the barely suppressed look of disgust on his face when he presented the FKW with the trophy …..

  14. Big Raddy says:

    PCD? (pre-christmas depression)

  15. Rasp says:

    EWS …. empty wallet syndrome 😦

  16. Big Raddy says:

    Rasp. That is a constant when living in Scandi 😦

  17. LB says:

    Blimey, huge game, very little traffic, good read as ever BR and always appreciated.

    Obviously could go either way but I don’t expect us to play with fear, should be a great game.

    I know I sometimes write the Match Report, well, I am afraid that I am going to the game tonight and will be back late which will make it impossible for me, so if anyone else sees this as an honour and a privilege please come forward.

  18. Eddie says:

    thanks Raddy, so good to have a PM to read before a game. Yep, City have very potent striking force, no doubt about it. But we have FP on fire, he is guaranteed to score tonight, watch it

    I’d save Sanchez, let him fully recover. Tonight is just 1 game, he has to be fit for the remaining 21 fixtures

    Anyway, I feel positive, brave and will be watching sitting on a sofa rather than creeping behind it

  19. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Evening all

    Re Sanchez. .I really really hope he’s fit enough to start, and I mean 100%
    As many have rightly said, it’s not a MWG, and we’ll need the little fella for the second half of the season, but it is Christmas and it is the last game, and it is City and we are at home and… 🙂

  20. MickyDidIt89 says:

    As it’s the season of goodwill, and I haven’t been doing my bit for the blog,


    However, because it’s me, it does come with Terms and Conditions. Namely, the wretched thing will come under my banner of FEELINGS, which in turn excuses me from any technical nonsense.

    So don’t expect nasty complicated words like pressing and names of footballers and things

    This statement does not preclude someone footbally minded from stepping in 🙂

  21. Eddie says:

    oh! touchy feely girly match report 🙂 can we have some cute photos of the fit players? And a poll for best hair cut

    I am so looking forward to it 🙂

  22. Rasp says:

    I can’t go to the game this evening as it is my firm’s Christmas do 😦 but I shall be following on my phone COYRRG!!!

  23. Gööner In Exile says:

    Lovely PM Raddy, my challenge is to be back and get boys in bed after day with grandparents in time for kick off.

    I’m nervous on this one and I’ll take a draw.

  24. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Butt to the Xerox machine it is then Rasp

  25. MickyDidIt89 says:


    A draw???? Be honest, you would be just slightly disappointed with just the one point.

    Anyway, slipping sideways onto other matters, you are absolutely marvellous at match reports 🙂

  26. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Ok, 19:02
    Team news out. Somewhere. I go look

  27. All T&C’s accepted micky, thank you in advance xx

  28. MickyDidIt89 says:

    From AFC

    Arsenal team to play Manchester City: Cech, Bellerin, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Monreal, Flamini, Ramsey, Campbell, Ozil, Walcott, Giroud

    Arsenal substitutes: Ospina, Chambers, Gabriel, Gibbs, Reine-Adelaide, Iwobi, Oxlade-Chamberlain

    No Alexis. Anywhere 😦

  29. Sanchez ain’t even on th bench

  30. Thank you Raddy for the pre-match. I’ve been busy with grandma duties today so haven’t had a chance to think about the game. I’m Emirates bound now and thinking 😉

  31. COYG’s…. cue stirring music

  32. kelsey says:

    No time sorry.Thanks Raddy and as Micky is doing the match report Giroud is nailed on to score (for us) 😉

  33. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Right, grub done
    Will be on mobile during game, so rare comms
    Laptop to be plugged in
    Come on you Gunnnnnners

  34. fatgingergooner says:

    Should be a game for the neutrals tonight.

    City showing us a bit of respect with Delph in for Sterling.

    I hope we get right on top of them like we did with United. Their back 4 is awful so if we can win the ball in midfield we could be running at their defence and causing them problems.

  35. GunnerN5 says:

    My son is working today so I will be watching the game later this evening. I’m tuning out of anything that is football or sports related until at least 11:00 pm local time.

  36. Gööner In Exile says:

    I don’t want to hear one complaint about Sanchez not featuring.

  37. Who was it earlier who said City wouldn’t play dirty….

  38. yes… against the play… were in the lead

  39. Gööner In Exile says:

    That’ll do 😀

  40. Eddie says:

    and altogether: na na na nanana na nanana na Giroud!!!

    and again na na na nanana na nanana na Giroud!!!

  41. wally says:

    It’s the year end crunch here but screw that. I’m tired of missing games.

    Who can’t love this team? Who?

    Brilliant, magical goals from those two.

    More of the same please.

  42. hello Eddie… I thought I was on the sofa on my jack jones ha ha

  43. Gööner In Exile says:

    Really engrossing half of football, which can be seen by lack of comments on here.

    Very disciplined in the middle of the park, full backs attacking when necessary rest of time focuses on job in hand.

    Both Theo and Campbell asking questions of their full backs, Campbell keeping Kolorov honest and doing good work to keep the ball to allow others to join in, Theo giving Sagna all sorts of problems running off wing.

    And Mesut and Ollie doing what they do best. One finding space to play the other creating space for others.

    We played ourselves out of the early nerves too and instead of trying to be too fancy when we had the ball we were just getting it up the park which was good. As we grew in confidence everyone started passing the ball better.

  44. fatgingergooner says:

    Took 30 minutes to get Özil into the game, but it was worth the wait! In fairness though, they were only made into assists by 2 fabulous finishes. Brilliant time to score just on the half time whistle and now we just need to keep working as hard as we have been without the ball and gaps will appear at the other end.

    Fantastic defensive display and 2 moments of world class finishing.

  45. Ozil… two assists ha ha ha

  46. Gööner In Exile says:

    Forgot to say Mesut gets a double assist for Theo’s goal, one for the pass one for ducking and preventing Hart from moving.

    The assist for Ollie sums Ozil up, he didn’t have to break stride he just had to put that hammer of a left foot through the ball.

  47. 40% possession, two shots on goal and two goals…. that’s my type of football

  48. fatgingergooner says:

    How good is Özil! 😍😍😍😍

  49. mickydidit89 says:

    I am NOT dooming

    Fantastic 😎😎😎

  50. Stay calm Gunners….. stay calm

  51. It’s getting a bit tasty innit 🙂

  52. Ramsey has been unlucky in this game… perhaps he’ll get one hear the end

  53. Eddie says:

    blimey, we can defend 🙂 this is nice and comfortable

    especially when Jesus cannot perform miracles

  54. Eddie says:

    shit, shouldn’t have said that

    If Navas didn’t mess up it would have been a draw now. Not comfortable at all

  55. Bollox…. that’s gonna make the last eight minutes a sphincter splitting time

  56. Gööner In Exile says:

    That wasn’t tense at all….

  57. What a brilliant match… a huge MWG, played probably between the top two at the end of the season. Super game… well done the Gunners

  58. wally says:

    they were a pretty knackered lot the last 10 weren’t they.

  59. Gööner In Exile says:

    There was a period about twenty minutes into that second half that we showed everything necessary to win a championship, we were getting fouled and not going down and not complaining we just kept playing, thought City should have racked up a few more yellows with the advantages Mariner played but seemed to forget the fouls that would have been bookings if he’d blown.

    Anyway I’m very very happy, massive win, massive performance, and still bodies to come back.

  60. Gööner In Exile says:

    Oh and Arsene, never take Mesut off again…

    A) because he really doesn’t like it
    B) because he helps us keep the ball where others don’t.

  61. fatgingergooner says:

    Hmmmm, starting to believe this could be a good season! Look at how we are playing without Sanchez, Coquelin and Cazorla.

    Fantastic result. Some will say we made it hard on ourselves but that was an unbelievable goal by Toure. The crime was not scoring a third early in the second half.

    Brilliant from everyone and did well in the last 5 minutes even though we looked shattered.

    Will enjoy my Xmas dinner this year that’s for sure!

  62. Rasp says:

    Fantastic result, can’t wait to see the highlights – who were our stand out players?

  63. fatgingergooner says:


    My thoughts exactly on the Özil sub. All we did was give them the ball back for the last 15 minutes. If Özils on the field at least he draws fouls and gets us out of our own half.

  64. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Absolutely brilliant night
    Team brilliant
    Fans brilliant
    Love it love it love it

  65. Red Arnie says:

    ha ha ha ha. thanks Raddy, thanks everyone. 🙂 🙂 🙂 luvvly jubbly. knot ear, but very happy. 🙂 🙂 🙂

    If only Cech had been on the line, we may not have conceded. but that’s a small matter.

  66. fatgingergooner says:


    Özil for his passing.
    Campbell, Giroud, Ramsey and Monreal for work rate.
    Flamini for marking Silva out of the game.

    Ramsey was very controlled first half and played next to Flamini. Second half though he was bombing forward. You could argue he nearly scored a third, but I just don’t understand the mentality when we are 2-0 up. Annoyed me a little bit.

  67. fatgingergooner says:


    Shouldn’t forget Walcott for his finish!

  68. LB says:

    By the way chaps, don’t know it they showed it on telly but Ozil asked, allowed, gave his blessing to come off………..

    He indicated it.

  69. LB says:

    I wrote a little while ago that I thought the collective group of players was playing better without Sanchez. We have won every game without him.

    GIE seemed to understand but added that it wasn’t the loss of Sanchez that seems to have improved the collective but the loss of Cazorla.

    This has stayed with me and I know see why he/you said it. Makes a great deal of sense.

  70. Rasp says:

    Well at the risk of incurring the wrath of others, I will agree, for some reason we seem to be more incisive without Sanchez

  71. Rasp says:

    Maybe it’s just that he works so hard, that the others sit back and think we will let you get on with it?

  72. Shard says:

    Dirty dirty city. They probably felt that’s the only thing they hadn’t tried against us, but it was disappointing to see. Not disappointing however, was the way we dealt with it. Didn’t let it distract us (and the ref not falling for their dives helps in that regard too) and gave it right back to them but in a fair manner.

    It was almost a la liga style game in the first half. We did well to pass the ball around, get some touches and feel our way into the game. We got lucky that de bruyne didn’t score, but we were well in control of that game generally, and two wonderful finishes gave us our 2 goal lead.

    We had such crisp one touh passing in the sexond half, but when we missed all those chances, I knew we were going to let in a goal. We were gradually losing discipline. But we had enough to see it through despite the wonder goal we conceded.

    Happy with the performance and the result. Just more of the same against Southampton please.

    I was wanting ozil to be subbed off. We’ve got a busy schedule. It seemed to me like he was unhappy because he was struggling, rather than at being subbed. Hope he’s ok. There was some talk pre match about him being a doubt with a calf strain.

  73. Shard says:

    Turns out Ozil had a chest infection.

    And Alexis is out till January 10th 😦

  74. GunnerN5 says:

    Well folks here it is 1:43am on Dec 22md in the UK and I’ve just finished watching the game….. I witnessed three superb goals and the very best two were scored by The Arsenal – end of my game report…………say no more……..son…..good night/morning wherever you might dwell……

  75. kelsey says:

    Mornig all

    Well the lads really sweated blood last night and one of the stangest stats was that for the home team we had the lowest possession this season and also though not on target City had three times as many chances as us,yet our ratio of shots on target and goals scored was nearly 1 in 2.

    Walcott’s goal was exquisite and for all the knockingg he gets Giroud is beginning to score against teams that set the benchmark.

    The home crowd sounded fantastic.

    Campbell is a real trier and could be interesting what happens with him.

    All has already been said about Ozil, who really is a top top class conductor,gliding across the pitch.

    I am not sure if I agree with th tactics of playing the last 15 minutes as if The Alamo had begun,but many of our players were absolutely knackered and we were restricted mainly through injury as to who could be brought on.I think defensively we can do better than Chambers and I am afraid but that’s just my opinion.

    A word for Flamini,who hardly gott a mention,but again did a resolute job.

    I don’t think we play better without Sanchez,he is a one off then add that Coquelin and Cazorla are missing long term we just have to buy as the league is there for the taking.

  76. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Blimey, 78 comments on the day we beat City 😦

    Oh well, hello Crystals 🙂

  77. Gööner In Exile says:

    Kelsey of course we can do better than Chambers at DM, but he is 3rd/4th choice there so it’s ok.

    So we shouldn’t forget that when Alexis was playing the squad was stretched to its limit, in Campbell and Sanchez we had two very similar wingers, who work back as hard as they work forward, teams were doubling up on Alexis as Campbell was finding his feet. Theo brings a more direct style to the wide areas which defences can’t double team as effectively, and Joel has definitely found his feet.

    But it’s no surprise to me that Rambo returning has had a big effect simply because of his engine he brings a lot of movement to the side, and is willing to break through the lines more than Santi which again gives others the room to lay as he worries defenders. Shake he couldn’t find his scoring boots.

  78. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Mayday Mayday Mayday

  79. kelsey says:

    No argument GIE just expressing my view,however I can’t share your view re Campbell and Sanchez except they play in the same position.

    Not good news about Sanchez who maybe back for the January 10th FA Cup.So another player who played in the red zone,publically announced and now we most probably have lost him for longer.This has just got to stop.In simple language with all this modern technology,doctors,physios etc surely a player is fit or not,not to take his word for it that he can play.

    On another note to elaborate the stats,Wenger can change the we we play which quite surprised me,that the penny has just dropped or is it because we have so many injuries.

    Talksport this morning have the Alan Brazil show as you know who said he went to bed at half time and who is this Brian Moore,his sidekick,isn’t he a rugby many.Anyway he thought Coquelin had a good game and then the old chestnut all day long is that if we win the league it will be threw default as all the other suspects are under performing.I suppose things will never change.

  80. kelsey says:

    On n entirely seperate note some of you may know my daughter has not had the best of health for a long time ut however she has been put forward to appear on the new series of First dates so watch this space.

    NG if you are about,I believe your e mail address has been compromised,kindly get your computer checked out.I received an e mail last night supposedly from you but it wasn’t.

  81. Gööner In Exile says:

    Kelsey comparison on JC and Alexis was about style rather than ability. Of course Alexis is streets ahead.

    Regarding shape I was listening to a podcast the other day and they were discussing the difference between a coach and a manager. They decide a manager sets a style of play and asks his players to accept responsibility on the pitch, this is Arsene I believe, but what we have now compared to say in 2008 is maturity, plus belief that we can answer the call when the questions are asked, those two FA Cup wins are a lot to do with it.

    Jamie Carragher was drumming the same drum about our position last night, that others have weakened and we haven’t necessarily improved, but then went on to discuss injuries always affecting us in the past, and therein lies the nub, others have also suffered injuries this year to key men (apart from Leicester and Spuds) we have coped better with the losses.

  82. kelsey says:

    Well Micky, that’s your match report concluded by GIE and myself 😉

  83. chas says:

    Thanks for a belting pre-match, BR.
    Didn’t get time to comment yesterday, sorry.

    Lovely evening of taking first half chances and not taking second half chances.

    That’s my match report. 🙂

  84. MickyDidIt89 says:


    I’m not here while penning some feelings, but I like that thinking
    ie the League isn’t weaker, it’s just that for a change others are sufferring like wot we always do
    Now we cope better than them
    Nice, very nice

  85. Gööner In Exile says:

    Kelsey I’ve seen that first dates thing trailed, be interesting to hear the outcome, hope she gets to have a bit of fun. How will Dad cope watching?

  86. MickyDidIt89 says:


    Indeed 🙂

    That’s why I do feelings, because by now all footbally stuff has been covered 🙂

  87. Gööner In Exile says:

    5 fouls plays 16 by City, and there were a load of advantages played.

    Otamendi’s crude shoulder/elbow into Ollies back was for me another reason why the FP has to lead our line, defenders don’t like playing against him. And what summed Ollie this year up for me was two moments, one when he bullied Otamendi in the box, and he somehow got it clear, but the second was Olliexwaiting for a Cech kick to come out the sky and he had Mangala on one arm and Otamendi on the other yet he was still standing and trying to win the header.

    Carragher had a lot of nice things to say about Ollie last night and questioned whether £50m justified bringing in possibly 6/7 more goals than Ollie manages. If others like Theo, Rambo, Alexis can start adding a few more I’d say it wasn’t worth it.

  88. kelsey says:

    I always have a BUT in my posts after a game and I find Ramsey a really good but frustrating player.I wish he would cut out some of his “Hollywood play” and stick to basics when required.I get the feeling again only sometimes he wants to showboat rather than be a team player,but maybe I am reading it wrong.

  89. Red Arnie says:

    Brilliance and hard work. 😊 happy

  90. Red Arnie says:

    That s my report done. 😊

  91. Red Arnie says:

    Sorry forgot to say Motning all. 😊 bye now

  92. Eddie says:

    happy dayz 🙂

    I didn’t ever celebrate Theo’s goal, was completely gob smacked, what a goal that was!!!

    The lads were brilliant, gave us their best, thank you!!

    Ox. his passing is not improving, awful.

  93. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Post sent

  94. Eddie says:

    not a tear jerker, obviously 🙂

  95. Eddie says:

    let’s not preempty the content of the post.

    so on a completely different matter – I have noticed that nb was not asked to be a Santa this year. I reckon something went horribly wrong last year – tipsy Santa chasing skirts instead of giving presents to the kids 🙂

  96. Rasp says:

    …….. New post everyone ……..

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