Confusing, Cruising Arsenal

 

If you’re familiar with The Mighty Boosh you’ll be aware that Noel Fielding occasionally refers to himself as “The Confuser.” By which he means that – with his long hair, slight frame, fine features, girly make-up and androgynous dress style – he confuses nominally ‘straight’ men. They can see he’s a bloke, but he’s also sort of attractive.

That’s Arsenal this season.

After a comfortable win over Bournemouth we sit top of the league, yet barely 48 hours ago we stank the place out at St Mary’s. Confusing.

We conquered Manchester City in a display dripping with discipline, concentration and effort; we lost to West Brom. Confusing.

We went away to Olympiacos in search of an unlikely win and pulled it off. We went to Norwich for what should have been a regulation victory and dropped two points. Confusing.

What are we?

Sexy title challengers?

Or just a bloke with a dress on?

Watching the way Mesut Ozil bestrode the turf yesterday – gliding like Bergkamp on ice – it was easy to believe we are sexy champions-in-waiting.

I know it was “only” Bournemouth but they have been in fine form including recent victories over relegation strugglers Chelsea and mid-table muddlers Manchester United.

Bournemouth may be the retirement capital of England, but their team arrived with a spring in their step and a belief that they could get a result at The Home of Football. Their fans felt it too – and for the first quarter of the match regaled us at length with the witty “is this a library” chant. Clever of them to think that one up.

During that first quarter it was obvious that the hammering at Southampton was still on the players’ minds, even though Arsene Wenger had made four changes (Gabriel, Chambers, Oxlade-Chamberlain and Gibbs in for Koscielny, Flamini, Campbell and Monreal).

With nerves still a bit frazzled we turned the ball over unnecessarily, our passing was sloppy and we had the same sluggishness in attack that blunted our efforts at Saints.

Gradually, however, we worked our way into the game, mainly thanks to Ozil’s roaming brilliance and Ramsey’s industry.

And when our German genius whipped in a perfect corner for Gabriel to power onto and head home the nerves were well and truly settled and we started to enjoy ourselves.

We could have scored three more in the first half just from corners – all of them delivered with unerring accuracy by Ozil (who now remembers our constant complaint about corners never beating the first man?).

The closest was a header that pinged off the bar straight at Mertesacker and rebounded off the big German’s schnozzle to fly just the wrong side of the post.

Other chances were created (notably for Walcott, who had one of his “Oh Theo!” days) and we went in at half time with that feeling so familiar to us fans: that we were good value for our lead but it was only one goal and would we come to regret the missed chances?

In the second half Bournemouth had a go at getting in the game, creating a couple of half chances, but we continued to create better ones almost always thanks to slide-rule passes from Ozil. That bloke has an internal sense of geometry that would make Euclid weep with envy.

Our second goal was a thing of beauty. Starting on the right hand side in our own half, we moved the ball quickly between Ozil, Ramsey and Oxlade-Chamberlain, Ozil finally laying it on for Giroud on the edge of the Bournemouth penalty area. Giroud did one of those little back flicks he loves so much. Ozil had continued his run into the six yard box and finished first time with complete control. I love it when classy players pass the ball into the net.

By now the library had shifted to the away supporters’ end and it was the see-sawing rivalry of “We’re the North Bank… We’re the Clock End…” that echoed around the stadium.

From 2-0 onwards we were always comfortable and could have scored two or three more before the final whistle.

Some overview thoughts:

  • It was pleasing to see Calum Chambers have a solid game in central midfield. A couple of days ago I got a text from my 23-year-old son saying “Chambers is the worst player in our squad.” I’m not sure what prompted Sam to say that, but I begged to differ and I think yesterday showed the potential he has.
  • In the pre-match comments I referred to Oxlade-Chamberlain as a liability. I believe I was justified based on the mistakes he has made this season that always seem to lead to goals conceded. But yesterday I thought he had a very good game – always trying to take people on and make things happen. His final decision making wasn’t always up to scratch but, for me, it was his best outing for a very long time.
  • Gabriel: took his chance extremely well. I loved the way he attacked Ozil’s corners and his defending was fierce. He’s going to be an Arsenal legend in time.
  • Mesut got one assist and one goal. I can’t remember the stat for the number of clear goal scoring chances he created in the game. I believe it was 237. I have always been a monotheist (Dennis is God, and he sent his only son Cesc to save us) but Mesut is turning me into a polytheist. There’s now room for more than one God in my heaven.
  • Congratulations to Helmet for breaking David James’s clean sheet record. Is that just a Premier League record or does it also include the old First Division? If so, surely there must have been an awful lot of sheets covered by Seaman?
  • I’m doing player ratings below. I know not everyone likes a ‘player rating’ so, instead of marks out of 10, I am awarding them famous footballing name associations based solely on yesterday’s performance. Read on and you’ll get the picture. You may even have alternative suggestions of your own, in which case you know what to do…

 

Player Ratings

Petr Cech: David Seaman

Hector Bellerin: Ashley Cole

Per Mertesacker: Bobby Moore

Gabriel: Martin Keown

Kieran Gibbs: Nacho Monreal

Calum Chambers: Gilberto Silva

Aaron Ramsey: Micky Thomas

Mesut Ozil: Dennis Bergkamp

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain: Jose Antonio Reyes

Theo Walcott: Glenn Helder

Olivier Giroud: Lee Chapman

 

RockyLives

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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206 Responses to Confusing, Cruising Arsenal

  1. Big Raddy says:

    This from GIE:

    Morning all, don’t really have any comments on game having only seen highlights. I probably have more questions.

    Was Rambo more disciplined?
    Was Ozil as good as highlights made out?
    Where did Theo leave his first time finishing boots?
    How did Gibbs get on? Of all the players we have sitting on the bench he is one I feel most sorry for….Monreal isn’t that much better than him whereas with most of the others we can say there is a gap of quality from first choice to second choice to third. But he doesn’t sulk and he nearly always comes on and gives a performance.

    Are Spuds fans really dreaming of the title?

  2. Big Raddy says:

    Great stuff.

    Love the player ratings though I doubt Lee Chapman could have played that delicious flick for the Ozil goal.

  3. LB says:

    Ahhhh a post from the Bergkamp of AA authors.

    I love a Rocky post.

    Top of the League………………..I like it.

  4. LB says:

    Was Rambo more disciplined?

    No, not really, he needs good back up and he got it from Chambers although this is not a slight on Flamini as I don’t believe that Chambers would have done better at St Mary’s or what ever it is called nowadays.

    Was Ozil as good as highlights made out?

    No, he was better.

    Where did Theo leave his first time finishing boots?

    Same place Theo always leaves his finishing boots.

    How did Gibbs get on? Of all the players we have sitting on the bench he is one I feel most sorry for….Monreal isn’t that much better.

    Monreal has moved into a different league, he is streets ahead of Gibbs now. I like the fact that Gibbs doesn’t moan but I no longer believe that he will ever get the LB position for himself.

    Are Spuds fans really dreaming of the title? Yes they are and we need to take them seriously. Yesterday’ result helped.

  5. Rohan says:

    Nacho Monreal – Classic 🙂

  6. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Not here ’till later, but that is the best rating system ever and ever

    Cannot wait to read post

  7. Rasp says:

    Brilliant Rocky, we’ve missed you 🙂

    So many great analogies, not one for Arsene?

    The EPL has finally cottoned on to just how good Ozil is. I have to agree with the MotD pundits, he should be rewarded with better finishing on those ridiculous passes. 9 goal scoring opportunities created yesterday, 1 goal. On another day we may have got 4 I suppose.

  8. Gööner In Exile says:

    Thanks for postRocky love the rating system and answers LB.

    Interesting your view on Gibbs, for me he has always had the attributes to be a fine left back, similar to Monreal, but Nacho seems to adapt more readily in the game to what is required. Hoped that having been sidelined for so long Gibbs might be taking notes.

    I am glad everyone is now seeing what Ozil brings to the party (and in my view has done since the day he joined) he has had to wait for players to get on his wavelength, they are getting closer and he looks a much better player for it.

    The pass to Theo which Theo should have tried to hit first time was similar to the pass for Alexis in the semi final, spot the run and then thread it past four players and let the finisher do the rest.

    Theo – Helder harsh……but fair given what I saw yesterday on highlights.

  9. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Rocky

    Superb read. I thoroughly enjoyed every word and phrase from beginning to end. Thank you.

    I must say I was super impressed with Chambers, given it was his first outing for us starting in that role. I think it was you who mentioned pre match the idea of pairing him with Flamini and returning Aaron to the right.

    Given The Ox’s slow progress, I can see mileage in this when playing certain games at least until the cavalry return

  10. LB says:

    Could you imagine if we won the league? What d’ya reckon 2 comments tops……………..

  11. chas says:

    Cheers, Rocky, what a belter!

    I’m happy with us just being a bloke in a dress at the moment.
    Still preferable to the chavs’ urine-stained tramp. The spuddies are thinking they are Kardashian’s rump at the moment. But will be seen to be vacuous and over-inflated, I think.

    Maybe Mesut could be the Holy Spirit. Watching him live is strange as he gives off this ethereal quality and it seems as though his edges are a little blurred sometimes.

    The match was as you describe. As Ant said, heaven knows what would have happened if Gabriel hadn’t scored since we were pants before the goal and virtually controlled the game after it.

    Love the ratings. I was really impressed with Chambers as holding midfielder. Let’s hope he can progress from here on.

    Thanks again.

  12. from someone who had to watch lee c I can see you are very much confused if you even start to compare him with Oliver. Put the glass to your good eye and you may see some ships

  13. chas says:

    Ah, how polite, a**e_or_brain.

    You still got suckered into posting a comment though, didn’t you?

    By the way, who’s Oliver?

  14. Big Raddy says:

    Chambers had a fine game last night but his lack of pace still concerns me – he is a CB. Having said that Gilberto Silva wasn’t Usain Bolt.

    Gabriel is going to be a huge star at Arsenal. Love his aggression and his determination, though Costa showed he can be goaded into rash decisions.

    I thought Ox started the game poorly but had a fine second half. His reception upon being subbed must have given him confidence.

    Gibbs is an excellent squad member but can we keep him?

  15. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Well, well, here we are. Almost the cocktail hour as well.

    Erik
    I’d rather have pace at CB than DM if I had to choose. Minor point though.

    Arse-or-Brain
    I agree. Well said, although I do believe if Oliver could gain a yard or so in speed, he could be as good as Lee, perhaps even better.

  16. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Chas

    “Watching him (Mesut) live is strange as he gives off this ethereal quality and it seems as though his edges are a little blurred sometimes”

    Bloody brilliant 🙂 🙂

  17. Le Coq Monster says:

    Excellent Rockylicious !.

    Very suspicious as that is a similar marking system to what my wife gives me after she is drunk on plenty of chocolate liqueurs and finds me attractive !…….a performance scale of our local football team players !….if I`m excitable and shoot my load by just removing her stockings she gives me a “Fat Dave the Goalie ” mark and if I can manage a ten minute session whilst still wearing her stockings she gives me a top ” He scores when he wants to Troy ” mark !.
    Funny thing is I never thought she was interested in football, but took to helping out our club, she is great with a washing machine and has a fantastic work ethic, washing the players kits individually and even going to the lengths of removing their kits off them !….lucky we have a big utility room next to the bedroom !… I would help if I could but I`m usually last back after taking all the nets and posts down etc` and come home sometimes to find the missus completely exhausted from her volunteer kit cleaning, but its great to be part of a footballing community and I feel that the players appreciate my commitment to the club as they sometimes ask me to travel 200 miles away just to pick up some Cillit Bang to help remove some of them stubborn stains !.

    Cheers Dave !.

  18. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Just looked
    0-0
    Come on you Foxes
    We then win game in hand, and we’d be 6 ahead of City
    We can then set the hounds loose on the sly ones

  19. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Bloody hard work being a top musician isn’t it Erik

    Crikey. Aching.

  20. Le Coq Monster says:

    What game in hand is that ?, Micky .
    Just the `Pool/Sunderland game to play and everyone has played 19 games…..the halfway point !.

  21. Big Raddy says:

    Micky. Just the first 10,000 hours 🙂

  22. Big Raddy says:

    Fernandinho cost MC €40m, Kante cost Leicester €8. I know which I would rather have.

  23. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Sorry Cockie, you’re right
    Defo. Leicester win required then 😦

    The old 10k hr rule. Good guide

  24. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Blimey
    10k rule = 3hrs a day for 10 years
    eeeks

  25. RockyLives says:

    Thanks for the comments everyone.

    Just to clarify the ratings, they refer only to the player’s performance against Bournemouth – they’re not meant to indicate what I think about them overall.

    For example I really like and rate Theo (more than many on here do, I think) but yesterday he was definitely channelling the spirit of Helder.

    Love the Denis Law thing Kelsey 😀

  26. RockyLives says:

    0-0 in Leics v City!

    We stay top into the New Year.

  27. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Rocky
    I’m sticking with the Lee Chapman line 🙂

    0-0 and the splendid Rasp banner stays 🙂

  28. Gööner In Exile says:

    I’ll take the point tonight, seems like a good result to me. We are top at the half way stage. Now we just have to stay there. 19 wins should do it 🙂

  29. Big Raddy says:

    Been a fine 2015.

    FA Cup for the second year running and TotL at year end. Nice

  30. RockyLives says:

    Agreed BR and GiE – a fine 2015

    Micky – even Chappers pulled off the odd good flick now and again…

  31. RockyLives says:

    Just getting ready for an extravagant cocktail party we’re hosting. The idea is everyone has to make an elaborate and visually arresting cocktail.

    Mine involves Mezcal, Vermouth, Chartreuse and Grapefruit Bitters – and it’s going to be served up in a container full of smoke from Tequila infused barbecue wood chips! Welcome to the Smokin’ Joe.

    It will be either a triumph or I’ll burn the house down…

  32. Gööner In Exile says:

    Surely the smoke will be dampened somewhat when the cocktail goes in the container?

  33. LB says:

    Hahahahahaha

  34. Le Coq Monster says:

    Cocktail party !………………is RockyLives and Let Die some kind of fcuking secret agent ?. 😀

    Right !…..half way and we`re top !.
    I keep looking at the “return legs”….and I know all the teams have to play all the same teams again, but it`s where we play them which fcuks us up imo !…..going against my normal OGAAT thinking, we have on paper a relatively easy home game run in of……
    Newcastle
    Chavs
    Soton
    Leicester
    Swansea
    W Brom
    Watford
    C Palace
    Norwich
    A Villa

    But we have the mother of all away game run in`s !…….
    Liverpool
    Stokealona
    Bournemouth
    Manshafter Std
    Spuds
    Everton
    W Ham
    Sunderland
    Mansour C

    I see only two easyish games there…..Bournemouth and Sunderland …..so not picking up wins at Soton, W Brom and Norwich to get a points distance may come back to haunt us.
    I haven`t looked at any others to compare, but ours is the nightmare one imo and we need to make sure we get maximum points at home to give us a chance and we know there could be a few hiccups there !.
    So it`s going to be a rough ride and as someone who hates the stress of it all, I shall be wearing a portable Sofa from now until the end of the season !.
    I know the board said we could buy anyone apart from Messi and Ronaldo, so heres my Ace card……spend the £230M gathering dust in Wengers wallet all on Pogba !…..ditching Arteta, Rosicky and Flamini will pay his wages !.
    Apologies to Micky for spending the whole amount on a Midfielder and not on a striker !.
    Right ! off to bed where I will have nightmares about them away games and the smell of Cillit Bang !.

  35. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Somehow Rocky, can we have a pic of the Smokin’ Joe

  36. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Cockie

    May be a good thing to have the tricky games away from home, removing home pressure and all that.

  37. MickyDidIt89 says:

    yesssssss

    Bloody AA. Site for cat vids 🙄

  38. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Chas
    I said The smokin’ Joe, not any old smokin’ joe 🙂

  39. kelsey says:

    Morning

    Sorry I forgot to thank Rocky for the post but quite honestly didn’t understand the ratings bit 😉

    Looking at the league table it is no doubt the most open season for years as everyone is beating those that are considered as bankers and generally it is practically impossible to predict most of the results.

    The pressure is on three clubs, mainly United,City and Chelsea who are expected to win at the bare minimum the league and the ultimate in the CL.

    We nor Liverpool or even Spurs do not have that pressure from the owners,though the fans may argue differently.

    It is no good looking at so called winnable games for any team as results have shown that so called upsets happen weekly.

    We are only interested in Arsenal and whatever you think of AW he may never have another chance of winning the league again, some 12 years on.
    What is interesting is that the three main culprits will most probably have new managers next season, so will they be free spending clubs come January.

  40. Morning kelsey

    I agree with you about there not being any ‘bankers’ this season and I’m sure that both the Manchester clubs and chavs will spend big to try and improve themselves – and will have new managers.

    Of the three, only City really are a threat this season, they still have some super players and they will be pushing us all the way.

    I’m still confused at how the chavs could win the title last season and can’t get themselves out of the bottom half of the table!!

    Sorry to chat football so early in the morning 😉

  41. kelsey says:

    You are excused peaches, you’re up early 😉

  42. kelsey says:

    Pep has reportedly offered 21 million a year to manage City

    .Madness IMO

  43. Gosh that’s a lot of money for a flaky job. He’ll relocate his family and could be sacked within a year 🙂

  44. I wonder what managers are waiting for AW to decide to say goodbye to us?

    Obviously it’s never going to happen #justsaying

  45. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Peaches morning

    I think LVG was waiting to see if AW resigned post Villa Cup Final, which with hindsight, is very ROLFworthy

    Surely Pep would prefer a London posting

    And yes, morning to you too, Crystals 🙄

  46. kelsey says:

    Indeed micky, but to be more exact Mrs Pep would prefer a London posting.

    So in my dreams we win the double,AW goes upstairs and Pep comes to us, but in reality it most probably will be Chelsea

  47. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Crystals
    Very fair point about his Mrs, although I find Pep wet
    However, I’d be happy with Arsene staying if only he was more ruthless, as if I was a betting man, I’d wager we’ll blow the league and it will be down to a lack of squad quality where in reality there is no excuse

  48. MickyDidIt89 says:

    ps before doom sets in, let’s wait until window, as I really believe re-enforcements will arrive. Two of them.

  49. Big Raddy says:

    Mroning All,

    Lovely cat ids this morning. Interesting that someone chooses to paint their floor with gloss or perhaps it is glass 6.56

  50. Morning all 🙂

    It could be polished concrete Raddy…. but gloss paint is ok for floors as long as it is varnished with a resistant material.

    Lovely read Rocky… like your style mate.

    There is an end of year review up on GunnresoreArse girls, go over have a read and you can also put up all the smut that you are dying to post on here but can’t 🙂 🙂

  51. Le Coq Monster says:

  52. Le Coq Monster says:

  53. Big Raddy says:

    NB. You are almost certainly right, It looks awful and must be in a home with a Confederate flag

  54. “must be a home with a confederate flag” 🙂

    You mean Steve P’s ha ha …. sorry steve if you are reading 🙂

    I was in a French police station a couple of years back and they had one on the wall…. I tried to explain the significance but they were too ignorant to understand…

  55. Eddie says:

    chas – look what I’ve got – original signed photo and programme

  56. Big Raddy says:

    Eddie. Wow. That is awesome. My father had dinner with Ali and didn’t even get me his autograph!

  57. Rasp says:

    Morning all, excellent result for us last night.

    Thanks chas for updating the widgets – the red box with a 1 in it looks mighty fine ….. hopefully it will be replicated for the rest of the season 🙂

  58. Eddie says:

    dinner with Ali?????? OMG, lucky man!

  59. When you say, “had dinner with Ali”? does that mean your old man invited him to your place for dinner? or Mohamed invited your Dad to the mountain? or was it some function where he sat on the same table with twenty others? 🙂

  60. MickyDidIt89 says:

    NB
    He was at the back of the hall 🙂

  61. kelsey says:

    I share my birthday with Ali,Paul Young,Vidal Sasoon and Al Capone, and that’s a fact 🙂 Now which one do I resemble.

  62. Kelsey… being a Gemini I share my birthday with myself ha ha

  63. Vidal Sassoon definately

  64. Vidal Sassoon haircut definately

  65. Big Raddy says:

    I rarely make recommendations about music (if ever) but one of my albums of 2015 is …..

    Tomorrow is my Turn by Rhiannon Giddens.

    Give it a listen if you have Spotify or Imusic.

    Here’s a atypical sample of her singing live

  66. Le Coq Monster says:

    Yuk didi yuk !…………….please !, no more recommendations, Randy !.
    I think of myself as having a varied music interest from Rock, pop, Rap, Classical, R&B, Soul ….fcuk, I even like Susan Boyle`s rendition of Wild Horses !, but apart from Achy breaky heart, I cant stand Country music !. It gives me a vision of Inbred Redneck Confederate racist slave traders….just an opinion, but for that I had to immediately go and put Country music in Room 101 . hahaha

  67. The music may not be much Monster Coq but she’s a sort mate 🙂

  68. Le Coq Monster says:

    She is a sort `69er, but if she came into my bedroom begging me for sex whilst singing that country and western shit !……well I`m not a man of violence but I`d have to go and punch my mother in law in the boat and that would take a while as there are many locks on the door to the cellar !….hopefully, by the time I get back to Rhiannon she would have finished her performance and we can rock and roll instead .

  69. Le Coq Monster says:

    Wasn`t fussed before, but now I like her !……unlike the fat Greggs the Baker season ticket holder Adele and ugly Trannie Jessie J…….Spud slappers !

    http://www.101greatgoals.com/blog/pop-star-jess-glynne-speaks-about-being-an-arsenal-fan-video/

  70. Big Raddy says:

    Cockie; I have a feeling you would hate my musical taste as much as I would hate yours 🙂

  71. kelsey says:

    Morning.
    Martin isn’t often wrong or is he ?

  72. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Crystals

    Tonight I go to a party. Others will count down 3-2-1 to celebrate the advent of a New Year. I will be 3-2-1’ing to mark the opening of the transfer window

  73. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Crystals

    Does your Martin chum hold out even the flimsiest of olive branches for us goalscoring fans

    Anyone, absolutely anyone, with a little more pace and craft than say a Lee Chapman 🙂

  74. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Check this out 🙂

    “Arsenal dynamo Alexis Sanchez has requested that Arsenal bring former Manchester United striker Javier Hernandez back to England”

    The Bayer Leverkusen ace has netted 19 goals in 22 games this season

    How I love words like ace and netted 🙂

    ps I’d buy him and I don’t even like him

  75. chas says:

    I’d buy John Hawley or Raphael Meade if they became available and were expensive enough.

  76. chas says:

    How about Ronaldinho – he’d be expensive?

  77. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Wise words Chas. You’ve got the gist of my thinking in one 🙂

  78. chas says:

    Wenger more likely to go for an inflated cow skin.

  79. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Blimey, I couldn’t even move my feet that quickly, let alone fiddling about with a foot ball

  80. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Inflated animals. Wowee. That’s such a superb pic

  81. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Mmmm, not happy, he only mentions being short in midfield

    Still, we live in hope 🙂

  82. MickyDidIt89 says:

    xG + xA/90 (>700mins)

    Makes sense to me 🙂

  83. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Just had a nasty thought
    Suppose we only buy one player, that Egyptian fella, then it’s fairly worrying that Arsene regards that as being busy
    I mean, I could do that in 10 minutes
    The word lazy leaps to mind

  84. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Ahhhh, sigh, the transfer window. Holy Grail of the disgruntled armchair fan. My domain, my kingdom. My element is what I’m in.

  85. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Sliding cat?

  86. chas says:

    Lazy, parsimonious and negligent.

  87. MickyDidIt89 says:

    ha ha ha

  88. kelsey says:

    I believe Wenger has said that word believe over a million times since he became our manager.Surely for a man who speaks 8 languages he could mix his words around 🙂

  89. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Yesssss, superb

  90. chas says:

    We could have Black Friday during the transfer window where everyone shifted their fat a*ses off their settees and bought loads of slightly reduced players they were never going to use, just cos they can.
    Armchair fan paradise.

  91. chas says:

    How long until the January transfer window opens?
    Not when you might think. Logic dictates that the window should be open for business as soon as the clock strikes midnight on New Year’s Day, but in fact the Premier League’s transfer window does not open until midnight on January 2.
    January transfer window opens in
    01 : 16 : 51 : 41
    Days Hrs Mins Secs

  92. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Well, Chas, that’s ok for those of us who haven’t frittered away our hard earned tooling about the country watching cheap footballers 🙂

  93. MickyDidIt89 says:

    One of my blog highlights of ’15, was Eddie calling you and Ant Disgraceful Fans 🙂

  94. MickyDidIt89 says:

    One more slider?
    Please

  95. MickyDidIt89 says:

    I said
    ONE MORE SLIDER. PLEASE

  96. LB says:

    Love a sliding cat.

    “We will be busy in the transfer window”

    Translation.

    The Egyptian fella is in the bag but if any other world class player comes available and fancies a stint at THOF we are ready and willing to buy him.

    We will be busy, is, as ever, an advert to possibly disgruntled players or agents who need a new home for themselves or the player they represent. This, if you think about it, is how we got Ozil and Sanchez, getting past the radar of Man city, United, Chavs, PSG etc was not easy. In both their cases they wanted to come to us and that is the only way we will get any one else of their ilk.

    Wenger speaks 8 languages and subtlety.

  97. MickyDidIt89 says:

    LB

    Nasty feeling I’ve upset the cat slider vid poster.
    Oh well…. 🙂

    Arsene could either talk in code, or stick up an ad in World Football Weekly: Starting berths available at Arsenal. Obscene wages available.

    Makes more sense to me than code, given that most footballers are thick as two short planks

  98. Morning girls… and chas 🙂

    That photo of inflated animals makes me wonder what part of the animals anatomy they use to blow into 🙂

  99. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Morning NB
    4 mins to music practice time

  100. I’ll shut up then Micky 🙂

  101. MickyDidIt89 says:

    NB
    I can’t actually play yet as teenage children on holiday are asleep, so this morning I’m learning to read music.
    5 lines, and a few dots. Not going to be difficult, is it?

  102. MickyDidIt89 says:

    He’s rubbish
    I can nearly do that and I’ve only be going two days, and that’s without Mrs Frith.
    Must go.

  103. Shubham says:

    Happy new year Gooners! We raise a toast in 2016 after winning the EPL.

  104. fatgingergooner says:

    Kokorin was being signalled out as our goalscoring signing for the January window but that seems to have gone a bit quiet. It’s interesting that Wenger has gone for a midfielder who is available for CL football. I hope that wasn’t a key factor in why we’ve bought him over someone else seeing as we have a decent chance of being knocked out in the next round!

    Just looked at our run of fixtures after the Sunderland FA Cup game and se are going to need every player we can get if we want to stay top of the league heading into March.

    13/1 Liverpool (a)
    17/1 Stoke (a)
    24/1 Chelsea (h)
    02/2 Southampton (h)
    07/2 Bournemouth (a)
    13/2 Leicester (h)
    28/2 Man U (a)

  105. Rasp says:

    Morning Shubham, a Happy New Year to you from all at AA 🙂

  106. Rasp says:

    Morning all,

    Anyone know what’s happened to Redders? Has he been seen blogging elsewhere? Hope he’s OK 😕

  107. Big Raddy says:

    Morning All,

    Where is NG? He wished us Merry Xmas and nothing since.

    Guess he is sunning himself somewhere exotic

  108. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Norfolk is with VCC and GN5 on NB’s site
    Where they don’t watch cat vids. Just football 🙂

  109. MickyDidIt89 says:

    RA is probably trying to decide which way he swings

    NO, as in which camp. Dear God 🙂

  110. kelsey says:

    Redders blogs on ACLF under a different name,Rasp

  111. Rasp says:

    OK, thanks for the feedback 🙂

  112. Rasp says:

    This from the Daily Telegraph……

    I don’t know how the stats were compiled, but all of Arsenal’s back four feature in the 20 best defenders in the EPL in 2015 – not bad when you consider that there were more than 80 to choose from ….

    Bellerin 17th
    Mertesacker 9th
    Monreal 5th
    Koscielny quite rightly came 1st

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/competitions/premier-league/12073805/Ranking-the-20-best-defenders-in-the-Premier-League-in-2015.html?frame=3537640

  113. Rasp says:

    “1 – Laurent Koscielny, Arsenal

    Has made the most interceptions of any Premier League defender all year and kept 13 clean sheets, as well as winning the third highest number of aerial battles. Quite simply, Laurent Koscielny has been immense for Arsenal for some time now and is comfortably the best defender in the league.”

  114. Rasp says:

    5 – Nacho Monreal, Arsenal

    Monreal has upped his game year on year at Arsenal and is now probably the best left back in the Premier League. Going forwards he is a real threat and contributes to Arsenal’s attacking play constantly. The balance that Arsene Wenger has brought to his team in 2015 shows, with Monreal having kept 13 clean sheets – joint third highest – despite the time he spends in opposition halves.

  115. Rasp says:

    9 – Per Mertesacker, Arsenal

    Mertesacker was excellent in the second half of 2014/15 after struggling a bit with ‘post-World Cup Winners syndrome’, which as we all know, is difficult to deal with. The BFG, as he is known to Gunners fans and Roald Dahl’s lawyers, provides the cover to Koscielny’s all action defending style and has kept 12 clean sheets. His job is not to intercept but rather organise and get rid of danger – two things he has done very well all year.

  116. Rasp says:

    17 – Hector Bellerin, Arsenal

    Bellerin has deservedly usurped Matthieu Debuchy as Arsenal’s first choice right back and gets better with every game he plays. Incredibly fast – the fastest at the club, allegedly – Bellerin has benefitted from the defensive balance in Arsenal’s midfield all year which allows him to attack down the wings and provide width.

  117. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Oh Dear, I’ve just broken the news to my 15 yr old Son that we’re about to sign someone called Neny from Basel

    “Oh God, noooooo. Bloody hell Wenger, there’s a reason Barcelona don’t have an Egyptian striker. It’s because there aren’t any good footballers from Egypt. Oh noooo. Typical”

    His opinion, not mine.

  118. Rasp says:

    Tell your son not to worry Micky, Elneny is a good signing 😀

    This from t’internet ……

    “Elneny is a deep-lying central midfielder who stands at 5ft 11in. He has the energy and pace to get up and down the pitch and he is as comfortable attacking as he is defending.

    The 23-year-old has become known for his impressive range of passing at Basel and he also likes to shoot from distance, with a number of his recent goals coming from outside the box. Elneny is one of Basel’s favoured set-piece takers, and as well as being technically accomplished, he is physically strong and tough in the tackle.

    He is also an established Egypt international. He represented his country as they reached the quarter-finals at the London 2012 Olympics, and in total he has made 40 appearances for the national team, scoring three times.”

  119. chas mobile says:

    I heard Cleopatra was quite striking.

  120. chas says:

    I also enjoyed watching Mido play for spurs.

  121. chas says:

    Poor Oscar – he doesn’t really stand much of a chance of being a well-rounded supporter, does he?
    Rabid, demanding, armchair specialist is a more likely profile. 🙂

  122. MickyDidIt89 says:

    “Who wrote that crap Rasp, his agent?”
    His words again 🙂

    My words: “how much does he cost, and how many goals has he scored, and I’m pretty damn confident the answer is not enough to both questions”

    Hello Chas 🙂

    Off again

  123. Rasp says:

    😆 Hi chas, Hi chas

    Micky, tell your son he cost 500,000,000 pennies

  124. Gööner In Exile says:

    And we’d kept Koscielny a secret for so long……I was never that disappointed about losing Vermaelen because Kozzer was miles better, and in a world where top level centre backs seem to be few and far between he is priceless.

    If anything has improved since arriving at Arsenal it is his ability to stay on his feet and win the ball. He has always been willing to get in front of the attacker to nick possession and his seeming inability to be ruffled by knocks and tussles have always been there. But when the forward is in possession you rarely see Kozzer commit to ground, and that is what has always differentiated top defenders from average ones.

    I wonder whether he and all of our defence have improved due to facing the quality of Alexis and Ozil in training of two players have perfected the art of sitting a defender on their arse it’s them two.

    I always trace my realisation that Koz was quality back to the first leg against Barca when we won 2-1, he was phenomenal that night when many still questioned what he was doing in our squad.

    Just checked the team sheet that night, his compatriots in the back 4 were Djourou, Clichy and Eboue. How times have changed!

  125. Rasp says:

    Excellent comment GiE, that would have made a post in itself.

    You’re right he’s no secret any more, but we are still being tarred with the ‘weak defensively’ brush by experts and pundits when in fact as we can see from the ratings, we have the best combined defensive 4 in the EPL.

  126. Big Raddy says:

    Here’s one for Oscar.

    This bloke is just 22 and has played for France at u-16, u-18, u-19, u-20 and u-21’s, scoring 39 times in 61 games.

    Sounds just the job to take over from the FP.

    And he is already signed to Arsenal

  127. kelsey says:

    Have you noticed that new Head and Shoulders advert with Joe Hart. It’s already been sung at the World Match Day Darts tournament and will surely follow on to the football terraces.

  128. Le Coq Monster says:

    It`s been January the 1st in Australia and New Zealand since 11am our time (GB)…….disgracefull that we haven`t bought an Angel Antipodes yet !.

  129. Le Coq Monster says:

    Lets hope Elneny is a Pharaoh player !

  130. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Crystals
    Not all of us watch shampoo and conditioner adverts

  131. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Shhh Cockie, whisper quietly so Erik can’t hear

    Remember, he thinks it’s 2017 tomorrow, and is therefore two transfer windows ahead of us all, hence him thinking we’ve signed a 22 yr old French goal machine

    Shhhhh

  132. Le Coq Monster says:

    Thank fcuk for that then, Micky !…….I thought he was talking about Sanogo !…..obviously the Winter Solstice Pagan was at Emiratehenge on the 21st to watch the alignment of the Legend Bronze statues at Winter Solstice and thus predicting a signing of immence Kerching !

  133. Gööner In Exile says:

    BR is that Sanogo?

  134. chas says:

    Speech bubble for the cat
    “Let’s pray that chap with the viola is not coming round this evening”

  135. RockyLives says:

    Rasp
    Post in drafts…

  136. Le Coq Monster says:

    I have a comment in moderation @ 4:26pm…………………………………..please release me let me Sanogo !

  137. chas says:

  138. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Chas

    Your pic at 5:10 is horribly prophetic. Going to a party later, and they are all poets, writers, artists and other assorted lefties. In short, my idea of hell.

    They will all look that bloke in your pic. Beards, greys, blacks and all that crap. He’s a very very old chum who never grew up, oh, and I’m tired and extremely ratty

  139. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Think maybe Cockie as well, but every two or three comments of mine appear to vanish, but after a refresh they do appear

    Been happening for a couple of days. No biggie

  140. chas says:

    Soz.
    I’ll never know why you hang out with lefties, what with despising them so much.

    I don’t do New Year’s. 🙂

  141. chas says:

  142. chas says:

  143. RockyLives says:

    Micky
    Try not to outrage them too much…

  144. chas says:

  145. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Chas
    NYE is utterly pointless, I agree.
    Let’s be clear, I don’t hang out with lefties. Truth is, I don’t hang out with anyone.
    Also, I don’t despise lefties at all. I hate arrogant smart arses, and the arty set attract them like flies to shit 🙂

  146. LB says:

    OK, comment bubble above the cat @ 5.10.

    “Really, again with this?”

    “Somebody give me a gun.”

    “If they take their clothes off again I’m out of here.”

    “Think this is bad, wait until they start smoking those funny cigarettes.”

  147. chas says:

    Rocky
    When are you next over for a game?
    Great to see you back on the blog.

  148. RockyLives says:

    Cheers Chas

    Sadly not likely to be over until maybe March/April unless something comes up work wise that would need me to pop over the England (in which case the trip would, naturally, be scheduled round a game).

  149. chas says:

    LB
    Your speech bubble party sounds more interesting than Micky’s. 🙂

  150. chas says:

    Rocky
    Last time we spoke, I think we were both bigging up Andre Santos.
    🙂

  151. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Lads
    You are not helping.
    I need drugs. Minimum 🙄

  152. chas says:

    Oh dear, no wonder I rarely comment about football.

  153. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Hey Rocky
    Is tonight the night for the Smokin’ Jo

  154. Le Coq Monster says:

    My speech bubble for the cat is……………………….” How the f**k do I get out of here ?…..he just said he`s going to eat her pussy ! “

  155. LB says:

    Chas

    I don’t know how to put the mini vids up here, can you put Monreal scoring against Manu, the thing I like about this is Coquelin’s celebration, he looks like a hyena.

    And, Santi’s little dance.

    Thank you.

  156. chas says:

    Where’s the photo of the Smoking Joe?

  157. LB says:

    Micky

    Is your 7.01 a cat comment or just a general cry into the wilderness?

  158. Le Coq Monster says:

    I didn`t think…” The large round objects”…. was a comment about football !.

  159. chas says:

    Cockie
    ” The large round objects” pretty much summed up Santos on the pitch after his false dawn, I’m afraid to say.

  160. LB says:

    Happy, happy.

  161. MickyDidIt89 says:

    It is with a very heavy heart that I bid you all, and 2015, farewell.

    HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL AT AA

  162. chas says:

    If you right click the photo and left click ‘open as image in a new tab’ you can copy the direct link to the .jpg

  163. chas says:

  164. chas says:

    This is the sort of New Year’s Eve spirit I approve of.

  165. chas says:

    Even though it might be a little late to get a full refund.

  166. Big Raddy says:

    Evening All

    Wish I was going to the party with Didit, sounds great.

    HNY to all on AA and hoping for Peace on Earth in 2016 (though silverware is more likely)

  167. LB says:

    If you right click the photo and left click ‘open as image in a new tab’ you can copy the direct link to the .jpg

    I can open as image in a new tab, and then I save as jpg but I can’t copy it and paste it below my comment

  168. Big Raddy says:

    Copenhagen goes firework mad on NY – I mean really mad. Starts in the streets at nightfall and continues until about 3 in the morning. It is dangerous out there and many people wear goggles because idiots aim rockets horizontally.

    Sadly for all those firework lovers it is pouring with rain with high winds.

  169. LB says:

    I give up, I am going to hit the fridge.

    HNY BR

  170. Big Raddy says:

    LB. You too. It’s time to open the Bollinger

  171. chas says:

    LB
    You have to copy the direct link from the address bar with .jpg on the end and paste that.

    I’ve hit the fridge already. 🙂

  172. chas says:

    HNY to you both.
    Up The Arse in 2016

  173. chas says:

    When my ex was part of a marina opening celebration, she managed to purloin a case of Bollinger (she said she was given).

    One of the best 3 months of my life.

  174. RockyLives says:

    Chas

    Haha – Andre Santos!

    I think you and I always take the “glass half full” approach to new players… at least until the glass is smashed and the milk is spilt all over the floor.

  175. Gööner In Exile says:

    Happy New Year all…..apparently Norwich is in a time loop, it must be because fireworks have been going off since 6pm

  176. Gööner In Exile says:

    Rhiannon Giddens and Tom Jones currently singing on Hootenanny.

  177. Big Raddy says:

    Morning All

    Out with the old, in with the new.

    How about a dog vid for a change?

  178. Big Raddy says:

    Strange that I put up a vid of Rhiannon Giddens and then she appears on Hootenanny the same day!

  179. Morning all and a very Happy New Year

    We are blessed with a Rocky post for today ………………….

    …………… New Post everyone ……………….

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