Up for the Cup?

Who will be the stronger team – our reserves or Hull’s?

Let’s weigh up the evidence: Arsenal have a second team full of players who have been strained through one of the most rigorous examinations of world footballing talent. Targets identified, Arsenal spend many millions bringing players into the squad then working together to become a team. They are pampered, cosseted and trained by the very best coaches money can buy.

Hull are not in this fortunate position. Their scouting for squad players involves going to the local park and seeing if there are a few blokes who can run a bit and have a sense of direction.


Hull are expected to make 9 changes from their last game and Arsenal about the same.  What does this say about the current status of the FA Cup?

Yesterday I had a pleasant chat with a friend on this very subject (following on from a discussion on AA with Herb). Is the FA Cup relevant? Is it important to anyone who was born post-Sky Sports?

The first thing to say is that financially it is far better to finish 4th than to win the FAC. This diminishes its value to the moneymen and accounts (to some extent) in big clubs using squad members prior to the semi-final.

Secondly, winning the FAC gains entrance into the Europa  Cup which is hardly a plus.

Then there is the unfortunate decision on the part of the FA to play semi-finals at Wembley, thus diminishing the grandeur of the Final.

Balanced against this is Glory. Silverware. Tradition. History. A Street Parade. Champagne. Celebration on a massive scale. Placards around the Emirates.

Which is more important to you?


Back to today:    Let’s see how many I get …


Chambers    BFG   Koscielny    Gibbs

El Nino   Flamini   Iwobi

Campbell   Theo    Welbeck

Should be enough to win and allows the main players to rest ahead of the big midweek game.

I expect most of this afternoon’s entertainment to come from  the man who used to wear black but now wears yellow and black – the mercurial Mike Dean. This bloke is a complete plum and probably a Parking Attendant in daily life. Inefficient, egotistical, blind – many an epithet comes to mind.  Earlier this season over 100,000 people signed a petition for him not to referee AFC again, yet the FA selected him which tells all about how the FA view the paying punter’s opinions.

I could, and probably will, write a post about the deeds of Mr Dean.

Don’t forget the early K.O.




160 Responses to Up for the Cup?

  1. Big Raddy says:

    Adebayor to score against Spurs and run to the CP fans 😀

    What a delicious thought

  2. Duck says:

    Superb, BR.
    I particularly like the Hull scouting approach and the passage on the contemptible Mike Dean.

    The FA cup is definitely less than it was. I love going to the games because it feels like the pressure is off to some extent.

    Having said that, some of my favourite memories from the past couple of seasons have been semis and finals. 😆
    Up for the Cup

  3. MickyDidIt89 says:

    “winning the FAC gains entrance into the Europa Cup which is hardly a plus”

    So true, a disincentive if ever there was one. Mind you, your comment about placards around The Ems doesn’t work for me either.

    Phew, this is a tough call on the starting XI, given the news that Hull aren’t bothering, and we have Barca on Tuesday.

    I can see Chambers as a CB, and Danny as Striker.

    Thanks Erik, terrific work.

  4. Ant says:

    Fabulous post BR bringing the standards up!
    We agree with the team except we think Bellerin instead of Kos and Chambers at right back.

  5. Ant says:

    Is it an early ko?

  6. MickyDidIt89 says:

    If you swapped roles between Theo and Danny, then that front three with Theo, Danny and Joel being supplied by Iwobi is pretty damn exciting.

  7. MickyDidIt89 says:


    I hope for the sake of the nations medical profession, and your kidneys, that it is an early KO. The NHS is stretched enough over the weekends without your sort hurling all over A&E 🙂

  8. Ant says:

    😂😂😂 Micky

  9. LB says:

    “Is it important (FA Cup) to anyone who was born post-Sky Sports?”

    Hadn’t thought about this before, simple and yet almost certainly true.

    Clever team call. I can also see why Chas and Ant suggested that it might a Koz and Chambers switch with Bellerin coming in although I am going to stick my neck out and say that Debouchy will come in instead of Bellerin.


    Debouchy, Merts, Chambers, Gibbs

    ——El Niño, Flamini, Iwobi

    Campbell, Walcott, Welbeck.

  10. Ant says:

    Thanks Heslop LB

  11. Duck says:

    Thank heaven we got the 8.05 train from Notts. I’ve just realised it’s a 12.45 kick off.
    Last time Ant hurled was 1978 over Janina’s bathmat.

  12. Ant says:

    Is it Wednesday for the Barca game Micky?

  13. MickyDidIt89 says:


    Would you really play Theo through the middle with Danny wide, rather than the other way round?

    The only logic I can think of is that Danny is not as lazy and therefore would track back, but that is an awful reason for Theo to get selected if true

  14. Big Raddy says:

    Was Ant alone in the bathroom? If so, without DNA evidence it is impossible to prove that the hurl was indeed Ant’s.

    The defence rests.

  15. Big Raddy says:

    Tuesday for Barca

  16. Ant says:

    Mike Dean..prize pillock

  17. MickyDidIt89 says:

    My bedroom is being prepared for the Tuesday, but I can be flexible for important occasions. And diary howlers 🙂

  18. Duck says:

    Today really is a MWG else Mesut and Alexis won’t sign new contracts.

  19. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Looks like a father and son combo on the railcard 😦

  20. Ant says:

    I am two years younger Micky but normally people think Chas is the youngster!

  21. Big Raddy says:

    What must guardians think about the parenting job they did when seeing 9.37?

    Shame – eternal shame.

  22. Big Raddy says:

    Really? Chas looks at least a decade older

  23. MickyDidIt89 says:

    That conclusion is based entirely on how he behaves and his attitude, and the words irresponsible and casual spring to mind

  24. Eddie says:

    Big thank you to Big for the terrific PM

    The Despicable Two – be good!!

  25. Rasp says:

    Excellent PM Raddy – I expect no less 🙂

    The FA Cup matters to me, every Arsenal game matters to me, I’d be beside myself if one of our players lost a game of tiddleywinks 😕

    I’m looking for an entertaining and comfortable winning performance today with the new boys sending out a message to the boss.

    3 : 0 to the good guys is my prediction 😀

  26. Ant says:

  27. Duck says:

    In the supporters club

  28. Big Raddy says:

    Thanks for the pic.

    I listened to the ’71 Stoke game on the radio. Almost had a heart attack when Storey scored the penalty in the first game in Welbeck time (94th minute)

  29. LB says:


    That picture could have been taken after the replay, I couldn’t go — I had to go to school, the replay that is, I went to the first game.

  30. LB says:


    That was my guess at the team that Arsene Wenger is going to pick and I think he will give the number 9 spot to Theo, for, sort of, pecking order reasons, also neither Walcott nor Campbell play particularly well down the left, whereas, Welbeck is very good out there.

  31. Big Raddy says:

    LB. You are right – they wouldn’t be celebrating a draw 😦

    I have seen Arsenal win the FAC 9 times. No other fans can say the same about their teams

  32. MickyDidIt89 says:

    While I think you may be right, I believe the rationale is so wrong. Its rewarding people for the wrong reasons. If AW reckons is the best option today for striker, then that’s where he should play, and find someone who is a hard worker and naturally comfortable down the left. Like Jeff 🙂

  33. MickyDidIt89 says:

    ooops, Danny best option

  34. MickyDidIt89 says:

    2 mins to teams and the big reveal 🙂

    My drum is rolling

  35. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Can’t bloody find team news
    Where the hell do they hide it on AF bloody C dot com?!!!?

  36. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Bloody AFC. Make me sick. Cruising is what they’re doing. Lazy.

    Anyway, happily, I pinched this off another site

    Ospina; Chambers, Koscielny, Mertesacker, Gibbs; Campbell, Flamini, Elneny, Iwobi; Welbeck, Walcott

  37. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Holy Things, Erik got 11/11
    Cigar, and a fat one

  38. Red Arnie says:

    Very nice curtain raiser, Raddy. 🙂

    This year’s FAC is special. Chance to win an unprecedented third time. However, self-preservation is also important, and for me also the rare chance to see our second team players.

  39. Red Arnie says:

    Loved the motning batner and the Ant n’ Duck show! 🙂

  40. Red Arnie says:

    COYG. 🙂

    Well done, Eric. 🙂

  41. kelsey says:

    Ospina, Chambers, Koscielny, Mertesacker, Gibbs, Flamini, Elneny, Campbell, Iwobi, Welbeck, Walcott

    Well I don’t like this team one bit and who is going to lead the orchestra,Flamini 😉

  42. Big Raddy says:

    Big Raddy. The Crystal’s Award Winner Feb 2016. 😀

  43. Big Raddy says:

    Crystals. I think it is an excellent team. A quality defence, Iwobi and Elneny will orchestrate and we have firepower up top.

    What’s not to like?

  44. Red Arnie says:

    Ant looks respectable on that railcard

  45. kelsey says:

    Subs: Macey, Bellerin, Monreal, Coquelin, Oxlade-Chamberlin, Sanchez, Giroud

    That’s a bit better, and I bet we need them

    Once a doomer always a doomer

    Iwobi and Elneny don’t have any strings to their bow

    Where’s Ozil, off to China perhaps for 500K a week talks 🙂

  46. I agree with you on all but one thing! You say we would have no benefits to winning the FA Cup over finishing in the Top 4 but i can think of one that would be amazing to have!

    History! If we win the FA Cup, itl be for the 3rd time in a row…not achieved for a very long time!

  47. Morning all

    Great pre-match Raddy and I love the team, lots of pace up front so hopefully they can score a few goals.

    A beer at 12.20 is weird but it’s football . Enjoy the game everyone

  48. Rasp says:

    Excellent side, lots of pace up front and 2DMs to allow the fullbacks to bomb forward. I’m really looking forward to this game!

  49. Big Raddy says:

    Daily obviously did not read the post 🙂

  50. kelsey says:

    Of course I am only kidding. AW wants to win without using all his guns to keep them fresh for Barca,but it’s still a bit risky,mind you Hull have made 10 changes

  51. Red Arnie says:

    Ok, now, all nice and tidy. off to the pub. COYG,

  52. JM says:

    The Emirates FA Cup should be sitting at its rightful place with The Arsenal at The Emirates till 2018.

    3 years in sponsorship accounted for.

  53. RockyLives says:

    Splendid BR and well played on the perfect team prediction.

    I’m looking forward to seeing some of these players who get less time. If it gets sticky we can always bring Ollie and Alexis off the bench.

    Interesting we’re starting with Kozzer and BFG. Does this mean Paul Easter v Barcelona (or is he still crocked?).

  54. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Very excited
    Iwobi and Danny has to be good news 🙂
    Come on you Gunnnnnners

  55. Gööner In Exile says:

    So assumption from selections is Iwobi at Number 10? Campbell and Theo wide, Danny leading the line.

    Big day for Iwobi.


  56. Gööner In Exile says:

    Just had horrible thought……what if us and Spuds make final, and what if Spudshave not spursed up the league and we have to win for the threepeat and to stop them doing the double?

    That may just be the most horrible end to a season ever….let Hull win. 🙂

  57. Gööner In Exile says:

    Gabriel injured Rocky.

  58. Big Raddy says:

    Ground is half empty! Must be the early KO.

  59. Gööner In Exile says:

    Could have still bought tickets yesterday Raddy and I would have if it wasn’t for poxy Norwich to Liverpool Street bus replacement services that would have meant leaving at 6:30am

  60. RockyLives says:

    Bloody hell – a bang-on arm-to-ball penalty not given for the second week running.

    No chance with Mike ‘the Twunt’ Dean though.

  61. JM says:

    Welbeck – left; Walcott centre; Campbell – right; Iwobi – behind the trio. Believe the front three would be interchanging during match.

    Hull are playing 3-5-2, compressing the midfield and reducing passing options.

    The team might need to send direct artillery shells beyond to the three forwards occasionally to bypass their midfield minefield.

  62. RockyLives says:

    my big prediction: two assists for Joel

  63. fatgingergooner says:

    Elneny is a joy to watch so far. Constantly looking for the ball, always looking to go forward, and keeping us ticking over.

  64. Big Raddy says:

    Not easy with 21 players in Hull’s half

  65. RockyLives says:

    22 counting Dean

  66. Big Raddy says:

    Pleased I didn’t pay to see this.

  67. RockyLives says:

    Would be nice to be going in ahead, but we’ve shown some nice bits and pieces.

    El Nino looks an intelligent player who could be a real asset when he gets properly bedded in.

    Iwobi looks like a player in the making.

    And both Welbz and Theo look lively.

    Unsung hero? Flamini – not a fashionable player but a very good half tidying up the loose ends.

    Oh, and absolute bang-on pen not allowed (again).

  68. RockyLives says:

    I’m enjoying it BR. We know they’ve set out to pack the defence and try and get a 0-0, but I like the ‘challenge of the imagination’ in how we try to break them down.

  69. fatgingergooner says:

    Had a couple of decent spells early on but stuck in 2nd gear at the end of the half. Should’ve had a penalty but no surprise we didn’t get it with Mike Dean the ref. Always dangerous when you go in 0-0 and it becomes a 45 minute match. Need to step up a gear or 2.

    If no goals at 60mins then take Flamini off and bring Ox on in midfield.

  70. Big Raddy says:

    Enjoying getting angry with the crap coming from Savage

    El Neny and Chambers playing with assurance.

  71. Big Raddy says:

    What a pleasure. A few minutes of Phil Brown. Thank you BT Sports.

  72. Rasp says:

    Was it a penalty? Couldn’t see from my seat?

  73. Big Raddy says:

    Rasp. TV pundits say Yes, I think if it had been against us I would have been very unhappy

  74. Gööner In Exile says:

    Humphreys has just annoyed me far more than Savage could.

    “Make sure you don’t miss the most important North London Derby ever”…..erm 1971 Jake, erm two FA Cup semis in the 90’s. What a plank….more football records started when the PL did nonsense.

    You know the most annoying thing I hear….and that’s now the most ……. in the Premier League. He has the fifth highest …….. in the Premier League, I’d love to know where these stats lie in terms of all time top division stats.

    The one that really annoyed was that City title win which was apparently the closest League title win ever…..even repeated by Hansen on that evenings MOTD…guess he had blacked out his involvement on 26th May.

    As for the game, should have had early penalty for handball guess arms were by hiis side which allows Dean not to give it ignoring where he has leaned to, makes a mockery of the law, could have gone either way with Welly’s one and Hulls one.

    Not as much movement between front three positions as I’d like to see.

  75. RockyLives says:


    Shot heading goalwards. Defender leans towards it with his body, realizes he’s not going to reach it to block it, so reaches out with his arm to block instead.

    100%, bang-on, nailed-on, not-in-doubt penalty. And probably a booking or red card for the defender.

    BR – have you got a dodgy feed out there in ScandiLand? 😀

  76. RockyLives says:

    Another blatant penalty (foul on Chambers) not given: thanks, Dean.

  77. Big Raddy says:

    Definite penalty on Chambers. We are getting Deaned.

  78. RockyLives says:

    OK, the match winners are coming on.

  79. RockyLives says:

    Ollie and Alexis on for Campbell and Welbz.

    Very encouraging outing from Welbeck. Such a good player.

    Joel looked rusty.

  80. Big Raddy says:

    Can’t the Hull GK miss one – just once?

  81. RockyLives says:

    Alexis is having a real dip in form.

    (He’ll probably score a blinder now I’ve said that).

  82. RockyLives says:

    Our finishing is pretty poor at the moment. Alexis, Oxo and others all shooting wildly.

  83. Big Raddy says:

    Our 3 subs have been awful. Barca must be worried.

  84. Big Raddy says:

    fair play. Hull did well, we didn’t

  85. fatgingergooner says:

    Didn’t do enough to win that game and looked like we thought we could just turn up and score.

    Now we’ve given ourselves a really difficult fixture away at Hull that could have big consequences on any fixtures around it.

    Not happy with that.

  86. Big Raddy says:

    FGG. Agree about the fixtures.

    I thought we played at a high tempo and just didn’t get the rub of the ball. Fine oisplay from the GK and the packed defence rode their luck.

    Our subs were dreadful. Sanchez in particular looked well out of sorts. Ox should have buried his chance. .

    We should have had two penalties but got Deaned.

  87. Gööner In Exile says:

    Can’t complain about the result, apart from his save from Campbell and the one from Welbeck I don’t think the other efforts on target were good enough.

    Danny was encouraging, always like watching Gibbo play, Iwobi tried to find a way through but struggled to unlock the packed defence.

    Generally I think we didn’t present enough options in front of goal for our midfielders to pick up.

    Take issue with Savage calling Hull great, they defended well, and rode their luck, how is that a “great” performance?

  88. LB says:

    I think Slim’s 2.38 is a very accurate summary or it certainly represents the way I see things.

  89. Ian RealGunner says:

    Mike Dean’s kept his win average up with his non-decision for the penalty

  90. MickyDidIt89 says:

    There were some little good bits, and many average bits. Overall, I’d say uninspiring. Maybe the same XI could do with the practice of a return fixture

  91. Ant says:

    Hooray we get to go to Hull for the cheapest beer in the world !

  92. Ant says:

    And Barca on Tuesday, what is there not to like?

  93. Rasp says:

    Too slow to get the ball forward, too many sideways and backwards passes and not taking enough risks in the final third IMO

  94. Gööner In Exile says:

    Rasp, I always have to ask when the question of moving the ball forward quickly comes up…..what would it have achieved? It’s not like there were that many moments when they had left it two on two, in fact on the few occasions when they did we did try and move the ball quickly our pass was appalling.

  95. kelsey says:

    I wouldn’t go that far chas 🙂

    As already said only 2 really good chances both saved well and the only positives for me was Welbeck looks like he will be in the mix pretty soon and we didn’t lose.

    A combination of out of form or as usual consistency is missing from those who should score. The Ox 1 goal in 40 games, Walcott a vital goal every 6 or 7 games, Giroud hasn’t scored in far too many matches but most disturbing is that though his commitment can’t be faulted,Sanchez is way off form by his standards.
    Ospina has unfortunately turned into a Fabianski and Kos got him out of trouble on the rare occasion he was troubled.
    Now we have a game we didn’t need with the small matter of Barca on Tuesday.
    Overall the back up players didn’t have the best of games and once again we just can’t find consistency two games running.

  96. Rasp says:

    Exactly GiE, the reason the ball wasn’t passed forward more quickly was because the backward midfield 3 were playing too deep. Many times the front 3 went on a run hoping to receive the ball and the pass wasn’t made – instead it was passed backwards to the CBs

  97. MickyDidIt89 says:


    I’ve been to events, including football matches, where I’ve been so pissed I thoroughly enjoyed every single moment, despite not being able to see a thing.

    And you? 🙂 🙂

  98. Eddie says:

    no, Ant has never done such thing.

    We should have bought a striker last summer. Wenger out.

  99. MickyDidIt89 says:

    When is the replay, as let’s be practical, if we’re already out of the CL which I hope we’re not, but we could send the heavies up to Hull if necessary ie Mesut

  100. Ant says:

    I don’t drink but..
    You’ve got to make the most of everything…even when it is shite.

  101. Ant says:

    Lolly La La in.. ,

  102. Duck says:

    What’s the point if going to a a football match, getting arseholed and coming home pissed off?
    I’ll tell you – none.

  103. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Eddie, Wenger Out obviously. For me, anything less than two goals in any home game, and the manager should always walk. No ifs or buts. Out. Gone. Ciao. Aurevoir. See ya later.

  104. MickyDidIt89 says:

    You’ve just spilt 🙂

  105. chas says:

    Blaaaaaaasgrh ,-Janina’s bathmat.

  106. Big Raddy says:

    Of course, Wenger – Dead Man Walking. Pellegrino the obvious replacement.

  107. chas says:

    Tol many s in deaAga

  108. Ant says:

    Chas is sober

  109. Ant says:

    DeaAga is a chicken shop that sells lollies

  110. Ant says:

    Steve Bruce tactically outmanoeuvred us.

  111. Eddie says:

    Eddie walking 3 dogs in Trent and the pit bull starts playing with a truly scary guy. But he liked my dog, so he was probably ok, just looked scary. To cut the long story short he was wearing a Florentina Spurs scarf, so we started chatting. A very passionate Spud, very articulate and knowledgeable, and completely deluded. He thinks they are going to win the league this season. I told him they are going to feck up as they always do, but he has faith in his team and Poch ( 🙂 ).

    He talked about their best season in 50+ years and I just spoiled his fun with Exile’s observation – I agree, Spurs best season, Arsenal on the other hand completely inconsistent . And yet Totts are ahead of us only on goal difference 🙂

    Aha, he explained Harry Kane urban myth – he was never an Arsenal fan. He was at junior Gunners and had to go to games, but he and his whole family are Spuds. That disappointed me

  112. RA says:

    Hi GIE,

    Your comment @ 4:05 raised a question which you answered yourself, really.

    — “I always have to ask when the question of moving the ball forward quickly, comes up…..what would it have achieved?

    In fact on the few occasions when we did try and move the ball [forward] quickly our pass was appalling”

    As Rasper implied, and I agree with him, there is nothing wrong with passing forward quickly — passing backwards and from side to side is sterile and clearly unproductive.

    The answer – is that if we have players who are ‘appalling’ at passing forward (and we have them) they should be disposed of pronto, and replaced by those who can pass at a professional standard.

    Keeping possession has its place – when we are ahead and want to frustrate the other team – but surely not when playing an inferior team who are defending well and against whom we need to score to win.

  113. RA says:


    I think you need to let the duck loose and stand up for your rights!

    “Steve Bruce tactically outmanoeuvred us” by which I suspect you mean the fat lummox elbowed his way to the bar and jumped the line — cannot believe the pair of you would put up with that behaviour! 🙂

  114. Big Raddy says:

    Best moment today was the Welbeck turn in the second half. A magical bit of skill and proof that he has good feet for a big man 🙂

  115. Gööner In Exile says:

    RA……my point appears to have been lost.

    I could count on one hand the opportunities we had (in my opinion) to play the ball forward quickly to any effect, one I’m thinking of fell to Theo, who seemed to believe that he had borrowed Ozils leg for the game and tried a kind of driven pass over the top, pity was it just dribbled to the defender because unfortunately for Theo his left leg was his own.

    Rasp seemed to be making a more general point that if we had spent all game playing the ball forward quickly we would have got a better result. That’s an opinion I often find myself disagreeing with as it ignores the fact that if there are two banks of four sitting back then all you are doing is hurrying the ball towards them with no numbers to be able to pick out and therefore every chance of just being outnumbered. The aim in games like these is to pull the defence left to right by passing sideways, but then you need the runners from deep and wide to be able to pick out and you also need the man to come short from centre forward to play those runners in.

    What we lacked today and what we always lack in my opinion when we play against a team willing to defend deep and Theo up front is a target man to hold the ball and for runners to play one twos off.

    I would never play Theo against a two bank defence at centre forward, he has much more chance of using the pace he possesses to break the lines running from wide through a defence hopefully because we have been able to play the ball off a more assist making centre forward like Ollie or Danny. The chances that fell to him today generally came from right angles as with two centre backs holding the middle ground and two midfielders sitting in front the only passing channel is wide of the goal leading to a shot from a tight angle.

    Finally I never have any objection to a player playing the ball forward quickly and trying to create a chance on the counter like Theo did, it didn’t come off but occasionally it might and I would guess that that is the case most weeks for most teams in most leagues., after all look at the team that top the premier league and have a look at their passing success stats…..piss poor but as they play on the counter for 90 minutes these days the ball only has to be successful one from ten to be effective.

    But back to the point…….I have asked repeatedly after many games like this, when a team plays two banks of four what use is playing the ball forward quickly, what gives anyone the impression that moving the ball forward quickly will upset a defence standing still on its 18 yard box?

  116. kelsey says:

    Hull definitely didn’t need a replay either so as usual we eventually had the possession and they had to defend deeper and deeper.
    If I was AW I would get all the attacking players to practice daily shooting from just outside the box on a daily basis,that gives us something different.

  117. GoonerB says:

    Evening all. Thanks for the great post Raddy.

    As always I am happy to buck the general trend. Numerous are the games when we have expressed feelings that we have been unlucky both with chances created not resulting in goals, and with refereeing decisions.

    This was one of maybe 2-3 games over recent weeks where I feel this sentiment genuinely applies. The 2 main penalty shouts were, for me, far more stonewall than in some other games where we have all felt somewhat persecuted. The trip on Chambers and the Bruce handball were both pens and could easily have set up an eventual 5-0 rather than the end result we saw.

    I say that because I personally felt I witnessed some of the best football we have played in many weeks. Quick and slick passing through and behind the defence largely on the ground that created a number of good shots on goal.

    This was a more mobile and fluid front line and I felt was a return to the Arsene Wengers Arsenal that I love to watch, just unfortunately minus the result and goals. Rather than consider this largely a “B” team I would like to see us continue more with this type of set up and playing style, obviously with the addition of a couple of key players, and feel that developing the team in this style of play will be the one that bears the greater fruition.

    This display was far more Barca style than the Allardyce style I feel I have witnessed in recent weeks.

    I actually think (especially in the first third of the game) that the execution of our chances was very good and it was genuine bad luck, from keepers and defenders being in the right place and the refereeing oversights, that we didn’t go in 3-0 up at half time.

    Still very happy to be different if I was in the minority in seeing it this way 🙂

  118. Ant says:

  119. Big Raddy says:

    GB. I admire your positivity.

  120. Gööner In Exile says:

    Kelsey doesn’t Hulls approach to the game confuse you in light of Bruce’s claims he needs to manage the squad, PL is more important etc, why go out and play like that?

    My fear is because most managers apply some stats, I’d guess a team like Hull, West Brom etc thinks play us toe to toe commit men forward to attacks and leave defensive positions and they might win 1 in 20. Sit back soak up play on counter they might win 1 in 10 but will probably have 1 in 4 chance of getting a draw. So it makes sense to set up like that in the league, but doesn’t make sense why they would play that way in a cup game if they really care more about the league and don’t want too many more games.

  121. Gööner In Exile says:

    Eddie next time you see your Spud skinhead ask him if he was forced to go to victory parades with his family too:


  122. LB says:


    I think the pleas to move the ball forward quickly relate to opportunities that arose when we gained possession from a Hull attack. At this point Hull would have pushed up crating a tiny window of opportunity to exploit before they could organise themselves back into their two banks of four.

    We really are pants at exploiting a break.

  123. Big Raddy says:

    Another player who had an impressive game was Iwobi. The lad is only 19.

    Add in Jeff and we have some exciting times ahead.

  124. Rasp says:

    I agree with LB, also today we lacked an Ozil (or dare I say Cesc) who could make a defence splitting pass

  125. Eddie says:

    GiE 🙂 that’s the photo we talked about. He said Kane had to go to those do’s because he was at the academy, I sort of believe that HK is actually a Spud, he has that look about him

  126. LB says:

    That really is a funny picture of Harry Kane, does he pay homage to Freddie as well by putting some red in his hair?

  127. LB says:

    “Kane had to go to those do’s because he was at the academy.”

    That really is hilarious, the person in that picture is a Gooner.

  128. LB says:

    Still, I suppose it is better than the little boy within me tosh that BSR came up with.

  129. Eddie says:

    actually, it would be better if he was a Spud. The fact that we lost him to the enemy does not sit comfortably with me

  130. RA says:

    LB, @ 6:10

    That is precisely the point I was making.

    There is a well known theory in cognitive science that refers to something called confirmation bias.

    The theory is not directly linked to football but is a generalised philosophical study that still applies, and explores the human tendency to interpret available information in such a way that it confirms the belief of the individual concerned, while pretty much ignoring or downgrading valid alternatives suggested by others.

    I guess we are all subject to that – c’est la vie. 🙂

  131. Gööner In Exile says:

    So to be sure then, we all agree that we tried to play the ball forward quickly when the situation called for it…we were just poor in the execution of that pass?

    I was responding to Rasps 3:41 which may be incorrectly I read as a general observation about our overall play, rather than relating to a few moments in the game hence my problem with the statement.

    I don’t disagree we can move the ball forward better when the opportunity arrives, and Rasp is correct it’s in moments like that which present themselves so rarely to us that you need someone like Ozil to make the most of the opportunity.

    If there’s one thing I get annoyed at in ground more than any other it’s when fellow supporters groan at a failed attempt at a defence splitting pass, in some way expecting that every time a ball like that is played it should reach the intended receiver.

    I tend to agree with GB that some of the movement and interplay around the box in the first half was quite creative. Although I disagree that our front three were fluid in that, I’d love them to be Messi, Neymar and Suarez, but unless everyone is prepared to take their turn moving into all positions it won’t work. I’m not sure everyone is. Obviously that fluid three wouldn’t include Ollie.

  132. Rasp says:

    Does anyone feel they can put together a few words for tomorrow’s match report?

  133. Rasp says:

    Personally I think it was a combination of both, often our forward passing when needed was not good enough and at other times we simply didn’t even attempt it. This is what I meant by taking a few risks in the final third. It’s not as if we haven’t seen performances like this before when we have failed to unlock an obdurate defence

  134. LB says:

    I have the time I just don’t know what to write, I often find these situations difficult which is why nine time out of ten I only write a report when we win.

    What I do find interesting is the different reactions to the game from the positivity of GB to the pragmatism of BR to the understandable frustration of Rasp and Kelsey, to the rational GIE and then to the amazing Chas and Ant view of “What’s the point if going to a a football match, getting arseholed and coming home pissed off?
    I’ll tell you – none.” They are absolutely right but I am pissed off, I am always pissed off unless Arsenal win. I don’t feel the need to slag off the manager or the players but I school–boyishly want Arsenal to win every game.

    Iwobi was pretty good again especially in the first half; he looked the most likely to unlock their defense with his attempts to dribble past the Hull’s two banks of four; unfortunately, he stopped doing that in the second half and started passing the ball as soon as he got it, shame.

    I am still at an absolute loss as to what kind of player Elneny is supposed to be, any ideas?

  135. Rasp says:

    Was that a yes to a match report then LB? 🙂

  136. LB says:

    I haven’t got a clue what to write Rasp. I can’t do the slagging off post and I can’t do the oh it could have been worse. I suppose that is a no.

  137. Gööner In Exile says:

    Rasp I’ll do some feelings.

  138. Rasp says:

    Thanks GiE, much appreciated 🙂

  139. Gööner In Exile says:

    Feelings drafted

  140. MickyDidIt89 says:

    I like GB’s assessment the most by miles. RA is right, it suffers from constipation bias, and merely confirms what GB wants to believe.

    My interpretation of GB’s view is that we were absolutely cruising to a 5-0 victory, until AW brought on Giroud.

    GB and I are not miles apart. 🙂

  141. MickyDidIt89 says:

    You’ve found a new website haven’t you?

  142. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Had an idea for an Arsenal pre KO routine

    Start with this to get the gist

  143. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Damn, didn’t work. It was the Ant 5:44

    My thinking was, if the lads lined up and all performed the routine with the chant of “Oooo, er, if you want some of this, then come and get it” we could retreat deep into our own half, they’d actually venture out of theirs, and wallop, Danny and Theo on the counter


  144. chas says:

  145. Eddie says:

    that dancer looks like the gay ladies I had a disagreement with, very graceful

    It was a good team performance yesterday, I think we are ready for Barca

  146. Eddie says:

    oh dear, another Jesus

  147. Big Raddy says:

    Morning All,

    Eddie. it is Ringo waking up after a bender in Regents Park.

  148. Big Raddy says:

    chas. Who is 7.20? Damned fine looking filly.

  149. Eddie says:

    Natalie Wood.
    1 Right click on the image
    2 Chose Open in new tab
    3 read the last part of the address in the top bar
    4 smile 🙂

  150. Big Raddy says:

    Thanks Eddie. Didn’t know how to do that!

  151. Morning all

    Just sorting Exile’s feelings ……….. back in a bit

  152. New Post everyone …………………….

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