A View from the Pew

Apparently it was the anniversary of Brian Clough’s demise as well as the return of Nicklas Bendtner to his adoring Gooner public. A photo of Cloughie, our designated meeting point, was obligatory. He would definitely be a staunch advocate of the style of football played by teams managed by AW.


A merry pre-match bevvy ensued, taking in the Joseph Else, Vat and Fiddle plus the Trip to Jerusalem amongst others.


I’m still not a 100% sure who started for The Arsenal. ElNeny, Xhaka, Lucas, the Ox, Holding and Gabriel seemed like a fairly decent core.

Forest are obviously a lower tier outfit these days and the first half clearly showed how Arsenal’s second string were levels above a fairly average Championship side. The minute’s applause for Cloughie in the 12th minute was beautifully observed by the whole stadium.

The first half was illuminated by Granit’s shot from distance which the Forest keeper seemed to try and save with the wrong hand, allowing it to spoon into the net. Arsenal’s passing was sharp and gave us hope for some tasty action coming towards us in the second half.

The penalty for the second goal was so clear from the terraces. Akpom was just about to shoot when he was unceremoniously barged off the ball. Lucas stepped up and sent the away fans into raptures with his first Arsenal goal.


The gulf in class, even between an Arsenal second string and a reasonable Championship side grew as the game went on. I doubt the 11 players who started the game had ever played together before but all showed the benefits of the tutelage of our current manager. Xhaka is obviously one of those players foisted on the manager who will clearly struggle to fit into the current Arsenal plan. Not.

Lucas’ second, soon after his penalty, gave us great hope that he might become the finisher we need. He showed magnificent control under extreme pressure and produced a calm finish to boot.

The Ox improved as the game went on and his finish in injury time was sublime.

I must admit to feeling a little sorry for the Forest fans. Their ‘Have you won a European Cup’ was matched by the Gooners’ ’Forty Nine, Forty Nine Undefeated’ and eventually countered with ‘Nottingham Forest, You live in the Past’. I suppose living in the past is inevitable when the present is so mediocre. Ant and me couldn’t agree with ‘Nottingham’s a sh*thole, I want to go home’ as we both love our adopted city. It’s a fine place to live.


What a fine evening out for anyone supporting The Arsenal.

Player Ratings

Martinez – The young keeper makes you feel reassured. Quick off his line, unflustered and agile for a big old unit – 9

Maitland-Niles – Not really troubled. Probably more scared of his Mum than the Forest forwards – 9

Holding – So composed on the ball, strong in the tackle. What a purchase! – 9

Gabriel – Still gets a little flustered in possession but made some excellent blocks and recovery tackles – 9

Gibbs – Looked like he’s been playing regularly for the first team. A fine professional – 9

The Ox – Not his best first half but grew in confidence as the game went on, capping it with a superbly taken goal at the end – 9

Jeff – Great balance, elegant and with a fine eye for a pass. How on earth are we going to fit all of these great players in one starting XI? – 9

Xhaka – Oozes presence on the football pitch. I’m so looking forward to seeing how his Arsenal career develops – 9

ElNeny – a perfect foil for Xhaka. I keep thinking they’ve played together before at Basel but don’t think they were there at the same time – 9

Akpom – Looked fast and aggressive asked to play out wide. Unlucky not to score – 9

Lucas – Strong, skillful and muscular. Superb to see him get off the mark – 9

Written by chas

92 Responses to A View from the Pew

  1. mickydidit89 says:

    Superb Chas, thanks

    Can’t have been easy, what with all the refreshments still sloshing about. That, and the thought of an early visit to the dentist. With a full set of Vines teeth, you could be there a while 🙂

    I only saw the last 20, and by then Forest were buggered, still, I saw some fast flowing football from The Gunners.

    Is there a “Stat” out there stating we’re shooting more than last season? Certainly appears that way.

  2. Shard says:

    This review just proves one thing. chas is criminally under-utilised on AA.

    Enjoyed that match and the review. The ratings were hilarious. Like Oprah distributing cars. A 9 for you, a 9 for you, and a 9 for everybody.

    Nottingham seems like a place worth visiting, provided that evil sheriff has been taken care of.

  3. Rasp says:

    Excellent report, thanks Chas.

    We were lucky enough to find a pub with a very obliging landlord who found a decent stream for the game. I saw it the same as you. Lovely flowing football, it looked like a proper team with movement, pace and collective defending – therefore I find your low player ratings a tad harsh 🙂

    This was a game Lucas needed. He took the penalty really well and his second was exactly the sort of goal we have needed from a striker recently. He can collect the ball and beat players to create and finish a chance. After that goal he was putting himself in the danger area more and had 2 further decent chances.

  4. VP of Oz says:

    Rasp, I agree with you about the low player ratings being harsh. I’m not sure why Chas is being so negative, calling them second stringers, I thought it was a good result.
    We need a positive review from Eddie please.

  5. TotalArsenal says:

    Joyous match review by the master of the footie experience.

  6. LB says:

    A very enjoyable read and I agree with Shard that you are being underused on AA. Please feel free to write match reports whenever the fancy takes you. lol

    My view is that if Wenger had written the script for this game prior to kick off it would have been exactly as the game unfolded.

    It is scary just how much he so obviously would have liked to have achieved from that game and how much of that he actually did.

    I am going to play my third choice goal keeper, Martinez. Ideally I would like him to keep a clean sheet and build confidence: Check

    I am going to give a young right back, Maitland-Niles, a run out and again I would like him to be on the winning side and build confidence: Check.

    I want to give our third choice CB, Gabriel, a run out to gain match fitness and again build confidence: Check.

    I want to give our Captain to be a chance to build on his impressive start. Actually, watch Holdings passing; it is better than any of our other natural CBs. So again check.

    I want to keep Gibbs on side so I will make him the Captain and of course give him important game time. Check

    I want to allow Elneny and Xhaka to be able to show just how good they are and score if possible. Check.

    I want to gently start getting the Arsenal faithful used to the idea that Wilshere will never play for the club again. Reine-Adalaide. Check

    I am going to see what Akpom is like out on the wing. Check

    I want Perez to have the opportunity to improve his fitness (remember he has had no pre-season training) and preferably score a goal of two. Check

    I am going to play Oxlaide-Chamberlain over and over again untill he scores. Check

    I want the game to be won with a few minutes to go which will give me an opportunity to give the three subs: Zalalem, Willock and Beilek a run out. Check

    As I said, if Wenger had written the perfect script for this game that how it would have played out.

    All in all I would say that that was just about the perfect night.

  7. LB says:

    The number of comments is appalling. I find it quite sad that blogs are only busy when there is a perceived crisis.

  8. LB says:

    I suppose the other reason is that many people may not have seen the game. What’s wrong with them, why don’t they travel miles to watch the game on a poor stream in a pub like normal people 🙂

  9. mickydidit89 says:

    No blog crisis. Spirits high 🙂

  10. mickydidit89 says:

    No blog crisis. Spirits still high 🙂

  11. mickydidit89 says:

    Guess what?
    No blog crisis. Spirits high 🙂

  12. mickydidit89 says:

    You know what comes next, don’t you LB?

    No blog crisis. Spirits high. Comment total good 🙂

  13. mickydidit89 says:

    In order to shoehorn some of last night’s top performers into the First XI, what we actually need is some injuries

    Where are the buggers when you need them? 🙂

  14. Neverhappywhingeingdoomer says:

    Thanks Chas, the Jerusalem looks interesting. Is it one of the pubs that claims to be the oldest?

    Very good game and enjoyable to watch. Those goals will give Perez a boost. It is nice to get them early in his career so their is no mounting pressure about when he will score his first Arsenal goal. He can relax a bit more and be a bit calmer now when he gets opportunities.

    I hope he turns out to be the one we have needed, but I think we will have to see more of him against different opposition to see if he really is the final missing piece in the jigsaw puzzle. There were a couple of Cavani moments as well…….sorry are we not allowed to mention that 🙂

    Now lets hope extra time has knackered the Chavs.

  15. Rasp says:

    How are your spirits Micky?

    All good points LB. I was impressed with Martinez and Maitland Nyles, not only do we have the best 2nd 11 in memory but also the best 3rd 11 🙂

  16. VP of Oz says:

    I’d also just like to comment that spirits are high.
    Too busy basking in the glow to write more comments.

  17. mickydidit89 says:


    The football is fast and attacky, while the goals flow freely.
    How the hell do you think my spirits are?
    Two options. Low or High 🙂

  18. mickydidit89 says:

    For those without dodgy streams

  19. Rasp says:

    Fast and attacky 🙂

    I think we should rename Xhaka ‘The Cannon’. Last night’s pile driver took a significant deflection but unlike RVP’s similar efforts for many seasons, it wasn’t heading for row ZZ. I think the his technique is good because he doesn’t try to kick the ball too hard, he just has natural power …. I want his babies 🙂

  20. Eddie says:

    I started with the players’ ratings – all 9s. Yeah, the perfect team.

  21. chas says:

    Thanks for your exceedingly kind comments.
    I’m not under-utilised at all, thank you very much, Shard.
    LB, but your reports are so much more detailed and come from the point of view of a real football analyst rather than from a very thirsty pisshead. 😆

    I’m not sure the dentist was too impressed with me breathing beery fumes all over him. 🙂

    The Granit Xhaka is difficult to sing.

    This made me laugh in response to the Forest fans.

  22. chas says:

  23. What a great match report, thank you chas and your ratings are spot on 🙂

  24. GunnerN5 says:

    Fine report Chas, even though you seem to have a fixation with the number nine – or was that a subtle hint that we need a real number nine ?

    Saturday’s game against Chelsea will be a real test – will it show us how far we have really advanced – or will we see past issues and players (Costa) come back to haunt us?

    I hope we put them to the sword as it could give us a real confidence boost and put us on course to go from strength to strength for the rest of the season.

    Lets hope the crowd are fully behind them and give them loud and vocal support.

  25. Jeremy O Dwyer says:

    Awesome post!

    Watched most of the game and while acknowledging that Forest aren’t exactly Chelsea, the lads still had to go out and play a proper game of football and they certainly did that. Well done lads.

    Great to see some of the youngsters get a run out and even better to see none of them looking out of their depth. Good performances all round.

    It’s nice to see Gibbs get a game and show what an excellent back up he is. He hasn’t been in the starting eleven much recently but he’s kept his head down and his mouth shut regarding playing time. I don’t know him but I like him.

    A scrambling, dare I say, ‘fox in the box’ type goal from Perez. Lots of fight and determination about the second and I’m looking forward to seeing more of that from him in the future.

    A well deserved goal from the Ox. I’ve been worried about him recently but then I see him control a ball that’s dropping over his shoulder with one perfect touch and his talent becomes so clear to see. He can do the hard stuff. He might be struggling with the simple stuff recently but when it all clicks for him it’s great.

    Could single out other players for praise but in fairness it was a real team performance. Good stuff all round.

  26. LBG says:

    Smoothly concise Chas
    Thought my prediction orWatched of a comfortable 3-0 (4-0) for momentum, another Xhaka thunderbolt, and, despite his poorish first half, a chance for the Ox to shine, was not far off the mark.
    Only shame of the night was Chelski coming back from 2-0 down, Fabregas on song and John Terry threatening to return on Saturday! But 120 minutes will do me.

  27. LBG says:

    orWatched ……….give me a break!!!
    Should have read ” pre-match”

  28. Eddie says:

    Just read the full report, thanks Chas, great piece of writing!
    Ive heard the Nott’s Forest fans chants about the European fans – was it the best they could come up with?? Probably 🙂

    Didn’t see the whole game (I am surprised you did), but it was good, we clearly were head over hills above them.

    And Xhaka’s goal – how many like that does he score per season? Other teams will no doubt be soon on alert and assign some arsehole to mark him, but he is fast; I am hoping to see many more

  29. mickydidit89 says:

    Did Chavs play a first XI, if not, they’ll be a week rested like us?

  30. LB says:

    Do we go into the game on the weekend as favorites? It would be the first time in a long time if we are.

  31. Eddie says:

    LB – we are the favourites at 7/5, chavs 9/5, draw at 12/5(??!!)

  32. fred1266 says:

    They broke on Gaga and Costa when the were losing second half

  33. Big Raddy says:

    chas. Great stuff. Agree with the ratings. Amazing you remember so much after imbibing so much!

  34. mickydidit89 says:

    Other than those two, was it all crap players? 🙂

  35. fred1266 says:

    Yea basically there second string squad staring cesc

  36. mickydidit89 says:

    Ok Fred
    So when we thrash them, it will be fair 🙂

  37. GunnerN5 says:

    Micky – but if we trash them I would find it very fair – no matter what the circumstances are 🙂 🙂

  38. chas says:

    Did Gaga play well?

  39. Class chas

    I’ve always liked Nottingham. Use to go out with a bird up there who looked exactly like Kenny Burns. Accept she was neither dirty or could head a ball, so I packed her in.

    On a separate note, does anyone else think John Bowyer looks like a Plumber?

    Really admired Brian Clough. He’s the only man who could beat up a pitch invading Clown and make it socially acceptable. Were as the rest of us can only fantasise beating a children’s entertainer to a pulp, Cloughie can actually do it whilst gaining the full hearted support of Brian Moore.

    Haven’t seen the game so can’t really comment, but by the sound of it there were loads of pluses.

    One thing I will say though, absolutely delighted for Kieron Gibbs upon bestowed the honour of captaining The Arsenal. Despite Monreal taking his place he has not moaned once or shown any form of negativity. The boy is a credit to the badge.

    Oh, and for all those who show Arsene disrespect. The day Forest got relegated the supporters showed there class by carrying there then manager, Brian Clough, head high off the pitch. Poor old Cloughie was in tears, one of them was dressed as a Clown but the mass numbers meant he could not administer the kicking the bloke so richly deserved.

  40. GunnerN5 says:

    Hilary Clinton and Donald Trump are both on the stage in Yankee Stadium in front of a huge crowd.

    Hilary leaned toward Donald and said,” Do you know that with one little wave of my hand I can make every person in the crowd go wild with joy? This joy will not be a momentary display, but will go deep into their hearts and they’ll forever speak of this wondrous day”

    Trump replied “I seriously doubt that! With one little wave of your hand…. Go ahead and show me!

    So Hilary backhanded him……….. and knocked him off of the stage!

    AND THE CROWD ROARED AND CHEERED LOUDLY and there was everlasting happiness throughout the land!

  41. Know what you mean about Trump GN5. Hes the kind of bloke who if not born with a silver spoon in his mouth, would now every lunch time be spoon fed by Larry, a 20 stone care worker, at a down town New York Sanatorium.

    Don’t like Hilary either. If I was her, I would avoid crossing paths with a Mortician. One look at her, and the bloke would be transfixed.

  42. mickydidit89 says:

    It’s a damn close contest, but I despise Clinton more than Trump

    Was just watching her bombs rain down in Yemen

    Bitch bitch bitch

  43. mickydidit89 says:

    “Used to go out with a bird up there who looked exactly like Kenny Burns”

    Such a classy opening line 🙂 🙂

  44. GunnerN5 says:

    I tend to agree Terry but a vote for Trump is a vote for the top 5% of voters and a disaster internationally. Can you imagine him giving an address at the UN?

    He simply cannot control what comes out of his mouth and when he’s proved to be wrong (most of the time) he either denies it or claims he was misunderstood.

  45. GunnerN5 says:

    I hope that’s a microwave he’s in Chas – he needs to be nicely nuked.

  46. Eddie says:

    micky – all the rich nations are selling arms to conflict zones. Clinton got caught red handed, that’s all. No Trump is a psycho, a fake, a 4 time bankrupt, if he wins he’ll be selling bombs to France to bomb this country, watch him

  47. mickydidit89 says:

    Another war with France, Eddie
    I’m up for that!!

    I COULD NOT put a tick in a box and endorse either of those two and face myself in the mirror. 100% impossible.

  48. Eddie says:

    agree!! What kind of country has those two as top candidates to run the show?? The whole world will pay the price

    I bet you any money that 90% of the AAers are watching the GBBO 🙂 hands up guys and Peaches

  49. LBG says:

    Oh Micky, what ever Clinton has sanctioned in her time, surely you cannot believe that Trump, even with the rarely reasonable Republican adviser to help, could be anything but disaster for World peace, global warming, Third World support/aid, let alone putting back any chance of State support for the poor in health, repeal of some of the gun freedoms, etc, etc., At least a hundred years! There have rarely been a more clearly “natural born”megalomaniac since Hitler and Stalin.

  50. mickydidit89 says:

    Military Hillary represents all of those things
    Make no mistake, I’m not supporting Trump in any way, but I’d never endorse Clinton either. Ever.

  51. Big Raddy says:

    What is GBBO?

    Both Presidential candidates are dreadful. Is this the best that a land with a population of over 250m can offer?

    Of the two, I prefer Hillary – just because she has better hair and she is not an out and out loony

  52. GunnerN5 says:

    Ant the urinal is more appropriate as it will allow all comers to correctly express their opinions – it will come raining down on him 🙂 🙂

  53. mickydidit89 says:


  54. mickydidit89 says:


  55. mickydidit89 says:

    I’s a telly prog. here about baking cakes. Competition, I think.

  56. GunnerN5 says:

    Micky Hilary certainly has some huge issues but they pale in comparison to what might happen with Trump in office.

  57. mickydidit89 says:

    That may well be true GN5,however it does not, for me at least, compensate in any way for the bombs she’ll drop on innocent children

    Really despise her. Wouldn’t vote for either, but would make noise.

  58. Big Raddy says:

    I agree with GN5.

    Is GBBO a popular programme? Do people really watch baking?

  59. Big Raddy says:

    Ant, I am surprised AW refused a pie – probably knew it wasn’t from Piebury Corner

  60. LB says:

    Do we know the filling? I heard Arsene likes a steak and mushroom.

  61. Big Raddy says:

    LB. I heard that as well accompanied, by mushy peas and mash

  62. fred1266 says:

    Gabriel don’t deserve a 9 rating, he had a huge blunder in the first half

  63. chas says:

    I wholeheartedly agree, Fred.
    That blunder deserved more than 1 point deducting.

  64. chas says:

    Reading at home, Cosmic.

    Though the other ties are good 🙂

    West Ham v Chelsea

    Manchester United v Manchester City

    Arsenal v Reading

    Liverpool v Tottenham

    Bristol City v Hull

    Leeds v Norwich

    Newcastle v Preston

    Southampton v Sunderland

  65. chas says:

    Cockfosters tube 1934.
    Doesn’t look any different today!

  66. mickydidit89 says:

    That’s the type of draw that some berk would declare “we’ve got our name on the cup”

    Great pic. Don’t think I’ve ever got in/out at Cockfosters

  67. mickydidit89 says:

    Now I think about it, you don’t have a great track record, behaviourally speaking, against Reading do you?

  68. chas says:

    That’s only away from home. 🙂

  69. chas says:

    We were hoping for another away draw with a big allocation to bump up our away points.
    Also, I can’t see playing at home being much of an advantage unless it’s against a bigger team.

  70. mickydidit89 says:

    Mmmm, both good points

    The other week, I sat above the red action cretins and what should be old north banker sorts.

    I’d reserve the area for anyone with away tickets, although I guess many wouldn’t want to sit/stand there

    What a load of knobs 🙂

  71. mickydidit89 says:

    Here’s some frustrating news. I go to London tomorrow, so will awake on saturday in the same town as an Arsenal home game against The Chavs

    Then, after breakfast, I will have to saddle up and head 200 miles in the opposite direction. No option. That’s going to hurt

  72. Eddie says:

    raddy – is GBBO popular??!! MOST popular programme in this country. AND it is very addictive, you watch one episode and cannot miss another. I have my money on the pretty girl with the pout.

  73. Eddie says:

    LBG – spot on, that is exactly how I see Trump. He represents everything I loathe about America – gun culture, segregation, no national heath care, poor education, Hollywood, fake hair and arrogance.

    Rasp – in absence of footy new can we have a poll who will win the US elections 🙂

  74. Eddie says:

    messi injured again, is it the beginning of the end for him?

    chas – I forgot to ask yesterday – what is the Jerusalem trip rock about?

  75. Big Raddy says:

    Morning All

    Eddie. I have always liked a pretty girl with a pout – most men do.

    Reading? Could be worse.

  76. Eddie says:

    Raddy 🙂 she knows that most men like a pretty girl with a pout. Each time they evaluate her cakes she is pouting for England 🙂 but her bakes are awesome

  77. mickydidit89 says:

    But Eddie

    Pouting may work if all judges are hot blooded chaps.
    Throw in a majority of leftie women, and she’s buggered 🙂

  78. Big Raddy says:

    I have never seen the programme but guess that the judges wear Doc Martins and dungarees in their spare time, and if there are any male judges they will have a bathroom full of grooming products

  79. mickydidit89 says:

    In that case, Erik, The Pouter is doomed 🙂

  80. Eddie says:

    Raddy – the male judge Paul Hollywood:

  81. Eddie says:

    well groomed all right 🙂 and those BLUE eyes…

  82. mickydidit89 says:

    Yip, doomed

  83. Big Raddy says:

    Mmmmmm. No surprise there!

  84. Rasp says:

    Morning all, it’s the 20th anniversary of Arsene’s tenure today – we really should be putting up a post about that … any offers?

    We have one of GN5’s fascinating historical posts in the loading bay if not.

    Replies in the next 20 minutes please 🙂

  85. Rasp says:

    OK, no offers …..

    …. New post …..

  86. mickydidit89 says:

    Arsene Who?

    That would be my title, as I guess I wasn’t the first to “eh?” when he was announced as Manager.

    Bit of a big topic to tackle as a last minute rush job. Could we simplify it?

    Happy Anniversary Arsene

  87. fred1266 says:

    Some big guns will be going out next round

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