Blessed are the Cheesemakers

This is a game I really want us to win and win in style.

The bubbly, happy feeling generated by our magnificent victory over the Southern Oilers will continue into the weekend with a handsome victory. A scrappy one-nil would do but a little bit of Ozil magic allied to some Sanchez dynamite and a dash of Theo virtuosity would do even better.

We are playing a Swiss team. I have no wish to belittle the mountainous paradise but quite frankly football is not their strong-point. Skiing, Yes. Clock-making, Yes. Cheese production, Yes. Football, No.


And yet they have a decent national team who did OK in the Euros, until a certain Granit Xhaka missed a penalty, and in FC Basle have a team with a record of wins against big clubs. I am sure you have read all about their giant-killing exploits so I will not google and regurgitate here.

Let’s be honest, you expect us to win, don’t you? Come on …. if we drew you would be disappointed, especially given our recent results. Win both tonight and the away game in Bulgaria (Ludo Radz) and TOTL is centred upon a home game against PSG.

So… who will play?

My Team:


Bellerin    Mustafi   Koscielny   Monreal

Xhaka    Cazorla   Iwobi

Walcott    Sanchez    Ozil

Why change a winning team (bar Le Coq)? We have 4 days to recover before the trip to Burnley where I expect AW to rest some players. Perhaps Ox or Perez may start tonight in place of Iwobi but I doubt it.

Should Elneney start against his former club? The partnership with Xhaka is highly promising but who gets dropped? Cazorla? Santi has been magnificent and to drop him in order to save him for Turf Moor is poor reward for his excellence.

Gibbs short appearance on Saturday  was superb, possibly his best performance in many a month, though it would come as surprise to see AW change his back line.


Basle are no pushover, they have won their first 9 games in the Swiss League scoring almost 3 goals a game and won their league 7 times in a row but we are different gravy. It is one thing winning away at BellRingers Sion or Grasshopper Young Boys of Thun and quite another beating one of the best teams in the world. Having said that, Basle beat the Chavs home and away in 2014!

So, will we continue our fine run of form and take a huge step towards the next round of the CL or will we stutter against a team who will come to defend (parken den bus)?

We have the team, we have the experience, we have the 12th man in the stands (for now).  Cheesemakers blessed? We shall see tonight.





85 Responses to Blessed are the Cheesemakers

  1. mickydidit89 says:

    Loved that, Erik, I really did. Thank you

    “BellRingers Sion or Grasshopper Young Boys”. I refuse to google those names as I so want them to be real 🙂

    Mesut, Iwobi, Sanchez and Theo. Oh yes. Bring on the entertainers.

    I rate Gruyere and Swiss Emmental right up there with the greats.

  2. Eddie says:

    delightful read, light and optimistic, it feels like we were going to watch a training session rather than a CL game 🙂

    I feel just as lighthearted as you Raddy, but as you have rightly pointed out Basel are no pushovers, plus the memories of defeats to Olympiakos and some other micky mouse team last September makes tonight’s fixture more nail bitting that it should be.

    One correction – Swiss are watch not clock makers. The cukoo clocks are actually from Germany 🙂

  3. Neverhappywhingeingdoomer says:

    Oi Micky, stop posting from your phone while on your speed awareness course. I don’t think the instructor will go for “posting comments while driving helps me to naturally slow down”.

    Great post Raddy and I agree about staying with the same team. I am highly encouraged by our most recent performance but also, more than this, that Sanchez up top seems to currently be looking like a winner.

    It looks like what we have been crying out for over the last 4 years. Still a bit early to say for sure but I am glad Arsene stuck with it, because there was always going to be a slight adjustment period for Sanchez in the role, but he now looks like he is taking to it and some.

    Also really pleased that Walcott is looking lethal, because a lethal Walcott adds a level or two to our game. This is maybe partly to do with something clicking psychologically in him and an adjustment in attitude, but I also feel it is the current system and types of players he is lining up with that is complimenting the strengths in his game.

    I hope AW soldiers on with this because I similarly thought earlier last season (Man Utd 3-0 and a couple of others) that we had found a balance that looked better but then seemingly abandoned mission later that season. It seems to me, with how good we look currently, that the 2 elephants in the room are what to do with Giroud and Ramsey.

    Hoping the Ozil rumours are true. That would be a big statement and one that I would hope will also persuade Alexis, coupled with his new key role, to commit to us. Things could be on the up. Couldn’t give a flying feck about England or Allardyce. I lost my lustre towards the national team years ago.

    TA, many thanks for the happy calming rain and thunder video. Over 3 hours of unadulterated peaceful meditation. My favourite bit was on 1hr 44mins and 36 seconds.

  4. Eddie says:

    neverhappy – I am certain Ozil rumours are true. Did you see him touching the badge after he scored on Saturday? That was very telling. Mezut is a Gunner

  5. chas says:

    Really excellent, BR.
    We have the firepower to score a few and with Muscielny starting to look solid at the back, hopefully aren’t as susceptible to breakaway goals.
    (‘Muscielny’ robbed from twitter, though ‘Kostafi’ was suggested as well 🙂 )

    ‘…it refers to any manufacturers of dairy products.’ 😆

  6. chas says:

  7. chas says:

  8. Ant says:

    Let’s go to the stoning..

  9. Eddie says:

    Granit’s older brother is playing tonight, could be interesting

    another England manager crucified…hardly. The greedy fat bastard climbed up that cross by himself. No sympathy whatsoever. is it true that he cannot read or write?

  10. TotalArsenal says:

    There is a boyish joyousness in your match previews that make them such pleasure to read, Raddinski. 🙂

    You may live away from THOF and not see many live games any more, but you always get us right in there again, bringing the prematch feelings to life. AA are lucky to have you.

    Ah there you are GB!! I thought you had disappeared, reassessing your theories etc. 😉 Good points re Ramsey and Ollie. With so many games to come, especially after November’s interlull break, Wenger will have brilliant options for rotation and to avoid injuries. I am with Shard who believes Xhaka and Rambo are the king’s couple in the DM pivot this season, so he will fit in well eventually. Ollie is a fighter and will start many a game, but I reckon Wenger will stick with Alexis as CF as his main ‘theme’ this season (and back up is likely to be Perez). All very exciting. 🙂

  11. Rasp says:

    Superb PM Raddy, as a cheese lover I was salivating all the way through – also at the prospect of the game which I am fortunate to be attending 🙂

    I actually think AW may rest a couple of players this evening. Ospina in goal is a gimme, but I’m thinking maybe ElNeny for Cazorla and Lucas for Alexis?

  12. Neverhappywhingeingdoomer says:

    Eddie I did notice the badge thump from Mesut. I also noticed how happy Alexis looked on his goal pointing to his name. No chest thump admittedly but he looked like a man enjoying his football at THOF.

    I think Mesut is faster than many give him credit for. The turn and acceleration up the pitch for the 3rd on Saturday was a joy. He actually put further distance between him and the 2 nearest chasing Chelsea players. I am liking this more rapier like Arsenal.

    Chas I prefer Muscielny, sounds a bit Marvel superhero. Kostafi sounds like something that Mehmet at the Istanbul Paradise would ask if I would like rice with.

    Cheers TA. No reassessment of my theories….they remain the same 🙂

  13. GunnerN5 says:

    Typically upbeat pre-game Raddy.

    I, like many of us, hope that the Chelsea win was not a false dawn, as we’ve been there before and I have no wish for us to suffer another downturn. But being a positive type I believe that we will find as many holes in their defence as they have in their cheese.

    We have four relatively straight forward league games ahead followed by a home game against the North London Chickens and an away game against Man U.

    Maximum points from those games would certainly prove that our revival is for real.

  14. GunnerN5 says:

    Arnie, I have been experiencing the same issue with Firefox. I also have Internet Explorer on my system and when I switch over the problem goes away, so it must be an issue specific to Firefox.

  15. Big Raddy says:

    Eddie. Rolex, Omega, TAG Heur, Tissot, Patek Philippe, Jaeger Le Coutre, Longines, Breitling, Oris, Zenith, IWC, Baume et Mercier, Cartier, Swatch, Rado etc etc.

    I would say that Switzerland IS a nation of clock-makers 😀

  16. Eddie says:

    Raddy – they are watches not clocks. And Patek was Polish 🙂

  17. Red Arnie says:

    Brilliant pre-match, Raddy. 🙂 Not the absolutely greatest fan of Swiss cheese, but no complaints with regard to watches. COYG. 🙂

    It seems I am going to miss the game. hmmm. 😦

  18. chas says:

  19. Red Arnie says:

    Great advice, GN5. 🙂

  20. chas says:

    Should be two-footed…….

  21. Jeremy O Dwyer says:

    Looking forward to match tonight.
    Like you say they’ve had some good results in the competition over the years. Whenever they play United it’s almost a guaranteed win for them.
    Should win but can’t mess about.

  22. LB says:

    Large Kostafi with rice please.

    “Xhaka and Rambo are the king’s couple in the DM pivot” (Exactly)

    What else, oh yes, thank you for taking the effort to write that delightful piece of head candy.

    Sounds a bit better than good post.

    I expect tonight to be Theo night. A brace for the well spoken chap on the right.

  23. Rasp says:

    …… “Arsenal have been forced to wear their yellow and grey away kit for tonight’s Champions League clash with FC Basel, despite playing the tie at the Emirates Stadium, the club have confirmed.

    Uefa have ruled that the Gunners’ home kit clashes with Basel’s home kit while the visitors are not allowed to wear their away kit because of its white sleeves which is another clash. The Swiss champions do not possess a third kit this season.

    This is not the first time this has happened with Arsenal forced to wear a third kit for a home tie, although the Gunners may be somewhat unnerved by the fact that on the two previous occasions it has happened they have gone on to lose the match.

    Arsenal wore an away kit at home at a Champions League game played at Wembley, in 1998 against Lens. The French side’s red and yellow kit caused a clash so Arsenal wore a blue third kit in a game that the Gunners lost 1-0.

    Arsenal also wore an away kit at home against Benfica in 1991, another game they lost, slipping to a 3-1 defeat to the Portuguese side.” ……..

  24. Eddie says:

    LB is right, such a lovely prematch and I go on about clocks. Sorry Raddy 🙂 I bet you liked the bit about Antoni Patek, no? 🙂

  25. Big Raddy says:

    Wish I was going to the Emirates tonight. Sometimes I really miss it and think about returning to London.

    Then I look at the house prices …

  26. Eddie says:

    no need to worry about London house prices when you marry me 🙂

  27. Thanks Raddy for the pre-match. In the pub with Rasp, Vines’ and Harry who promises to write more for the blog.

    Well done Raddy 11/11 😃

  28. Don’t worry Raddy you’re in my pocket 😃

  29. Big Raddy says:

    Eddie. That is very enticing.

    Peaches. As always, thank you

  30. Big Raddy says:

    No surprises. Good to see Jeff on the bench – not that he will get on the pitch.

  31. GunnerN5 says:

    TEAM NEWS: Ospina and Xhaka start

    Granit Xhaka will start against his former club Basel.

    The Swiss midfielder steps into the team in place of the injured Francis Coquelin, and will partner Santi Cazorla.

    David Ospina starts in goal, and the team is otherwise unchanged from our 3-0 win over Chelsea.

    Alexis spearheads the attack, flanked by Alex Iwobi and Theo Walcott.

    Jeff Reine-Adelaide has been named on the substitutes bench, as have Gabriel, Lucas and former Basel midfielder, Mohamed Elneny.

    Arsenal team: Ospina, Bellerin, Mustafi, Koscielny, Monreal, Cazorla, Xhaka, Walcott, Ozil, Iwobi, Alexis.

    Arsenal substitutes: Cech, Gabriel, Gibbs, Elneny, Reine-Adelaide, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Lucas.

    Copyright 2016 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to as the source

  32. mickydidit89 says:

    Bon soir fellow Gunners

    I want to win the CL, and the quest continues tonight. Feeling good

    Excellent team selecting there, Erik

  33. Eddie says:

    amazing stuff – GN5 already knows the team and tells us in London!!! How long in the ‘good old days’ would it take for a piece of news to travel to America and back to London?? Weeks?? I love TimBL

    good squad, good game I hope, good result needed.

  34. Eddie says:

    bon soir DidIt 🙂 I was just thinking of you – that nice complete lunatic Korbyn has just promised the nation he will stop british arms sales to the Saudis. What british arms??

  35. Big Raddy says:

    Move over Eddie and Micky. Make room of the sofa.

  36. Big Raddy says:

    I love Hector. What a player he is

  37. mickydidit89 says:

    We are immense in attack
    So good to watch

  38. Big Raddy says:

    We’re doing quite well aren’t we?

  39. Eddie says:

    it could have easily be 7:0 by now 🙂
    maybe I was wrong about Wenger being too old for the job

  40. mickydidit89 says:

    Less hanky panky on the sofa from you two second half would be nice

  41. Big Raddy says:

    We are playing some amazing football. Ozil is a magician.

  42. Big Raddy says:

    It’s not my fault, she just won’t leave me alone.

  43. mickydidit89 says:

    If we can get to 3-0, I’d love to see Perez for a good 20 mins

  44. Big Raddy says:

    We should be 4 up at least. I cannot recall a better attacking performance against what is an average defence.

    We will score more and then it will be the Perez/Jeff show.

  45. LB says:


    I refer people to the last sentence of my 2.39.

  46. Adrian says:

    This is the best football I’ve seen us play in for Walcott, one of his best performances in an Arsenal shirt. Incredible how different he looks to the Walcott of previous seasons.

  47. mickydidit89 says:

    I did notice the yawn-arms-stretch-rest-back-behind-head of selected victim
    Tried and tested teenage cinema manoeuvre 🙂

  48. mickydidit89 says:

    Oh thank God, Ollie’s not on the bench 🙂

  49. mickydidit89 says:

    We want three
    Let’s stick this to bed
    Then score more 🙂

  50. Big Raddy says:

    Micky. 😀 😀

  51. Eddie says:

    barca losing to mogebaresomething

  52. Big Raddy says:

    No Perez?? Come on AW

  53. Eddie says:

    wenger is probably going to unleash Perez on the unexpected neighbours in November. Should be a nice surprise for them

  54. Big Raddy says:

    We were fantastic tonight. Finishing could have been better but absolutely no complaints.

  55. mickydidit89 says:

    So nice to see us charging from the first whistle
    Brilliant first half, absolutely sensational

    Now, Eddie, you want Erik to nest with you, he will want to touch you. Very much a lot. Hope tonight’s little episode on the sofa serves as a warning. Dirty Dane. Yuk. Filth.

  56. mickydidit89 says:

    Didn’t like what the commentator was saying about all the games Sanchez has to play every summer, still I guess if there’s one player able to cope, then it’s him.

    Hence me wanting the third, to give Perez game time, and Alexis a wee rest

  57. Big Raddy says:

    Morning All,

    Dirty Dane? I take bathing very seriously. As to my other habits, I would say that I am just following nature.

    I agree about Perez but AW has a nasty habit of closing games down and bringing on more defence-minded players after 70 mins.

  58. Big Raddy says:

    No comments from the game-goers. Must have been an almighty piss-up post game

  59. mickydidit89 says:

    Orangutans, along with all the other untame beasts of the forest, “just follow nature”

  60. Big Raddy says:

    True. And what of it?

  61. mickydidit89 says:

    Just seems to me that you’re now adding Darwin to your blame list for your filthy habits

  62. chas says:

    Wow, that team………………..

    …..made me feel like this

    That first half with them flying towards us like a tropical storm was simply mesmerising.

  63. chas says:

  64. chas says:

  65. Big Raddy says:

    That’s very complimentary from Basel

    I wonder if that AW interview will be on-line

  66. Eddie says: .

    Fickle fan, yep, that’s me. From Wenger Out a month ago to Piss Off FA now. I want Wenger to stay.HOWEVER it would be a great honour for him to become the English manager. And funny – what would all the AW English haters from Mancunia and N17 do 🙂

  67. Eddie says:

    Glass half empty, definitely. Why wasn’t the result in double figures? We completely outplayed Basel, we had 3 strikers on the pitch and cannot accuse the rest of the team of now trying…so, why ONLY 2:0?

    I am not a gready Fat Sam, just worried that if it comes to counting single goal we can miss out

  68. mickydidit89 says:


    Re the only 2-0? Shit happens. However, we’ve scored 13 in the last four games, so we’re heading in the right direction 🙂

  69. chas says:

    I’ll put the AW interview up on here if I see it.

  70. mickydidit89 says:

    These first half goals we’re bagging are good news for Clock Enders (or very nearby’s)

  71. Eddie says:

    micky – true, we are improving 🙂

    re Allardyce – I have heard that Fat Sam was caught red handed during his last dodgy deal, but there was much more unspoken irregularities.

    That fooking ejeet Maclaren is defending Allardyce making him into some poor victim, disgusting. Best job in the country, millions in his bank account and he is still cheating, what kind of a man is he?

  72. Eddie says:

    micky – how did you know about my ‘not touching’ rule 🙂 🙂 only children and animals please. And no, if Raddy dressed up in a gorilla suit I would know!

  73. chas says:

  74. chas says:

  75. mickydidit89 says:

    HA HA HA

  76. Rasp says:

    Morning all, great to hook up with Harry and the Vines’ pre-match.

    What a performance!!! Only Theo had his shooting goggles on – Alexis and Mesut could also have had a couple but their keeper played a blinder and we won convincingly hardly giving them a sniff at goal.

    I watched Theo closely, and the new Walcott IS the player we always wanted him to be. He was making intelligent runs, taking on defenders, shooting when he should, passing when he should and crossing when he should, but also defending like he meant it. He was my motm.

    And Alexis turned their defenders inside out so many times they must have ended up staring at their own rectums 🙂

  77. LB says:

    Morning folks. Things have come up an I can’t get near a keyboard. Great game easy victories against two very poor teams.

  78. Big Raddy says:

    There is a New Post.

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