Can we win the CL? Is it too early to start dreaming?

That question was not mine. It was Eddie’s. But, here is our answer. YES,we can!

There was a lot of discussion, following Micky’s fantastic curtain raiser yesterday, as to how much risk-averse Arsene should be. Truth be told, we were not expected to win the group. Like last year, and the year before, and the previous year as well. Same old, same old!

To be fair, splitting points home and away against the French oilers PSG was no mean feat. Nevertheless, given UEFA’s strange new rules, PSG still were above us in the standings before the match, despite our far superior goal difference. Plain injustice! Nevertheless there was all to play for. We have already had a measure of PSG’s visually stunning but ineffective acrobatics in front of goal. Ludogorets had all to play for, to try and manufacture a fragile progress to the Spursday league. And so had Basel!

What can one say about FC Basel 1893? A proud club with a long name and equally tall pretences? Not! Their home record in CL against English clubs speaks volumes.

2002/03 Liverpool 3:3
2002/03 ManUre 1:3
2011/12 ManUre 2:1
2013/14 Chelsea 1:0
2014/15 Liverpool 1:0

In the event, Arsene chose a team that was fit for purpose. Perez up front which I thought was just ideal. No funny histrionics, just going about your job industriously. Use your anticipation to take promising positions within the box, and just take your chances. Simples! What a fantastic hattrick as well. Well done Perez.

The most important part of Perez’s game for me was not trying to do too much. No jostling for space in the central midfield, leaving all the opportunity, as GiE puts it, for “Ozil’s and Alexis kick a ball round a dustbin all day, you just know they’d find ever more creative ways of making it look beautiful.” In the event, it turned out even better. Not only beautiful, but also superbly effective, as we saw yesterday. To quote Beebs: “Lucas Perez’s second goal came at the end of a 33-pass move. No goal in the Champions League this season has involved more passes.” Wow, just awestruck!

And then Iwobi! What can one say. Fast, hardworking, picking up loose balls in the midfield and relay them along to the magicians, Alexis and Ozil, to weave their magic. And then wait in the box for any opportunity that might arise. And what a nice goal as well! My highlight of the game was Iwobi’s big smile after the tap-in and running off to hug Ozil. Just brought a tear to my eye. It really did!

arsenals-nigerian-forward-alex-iwobi-l

I thought Rambo played an effective role, waking up occassionally to team up with the two magicians to weave the wand in the midfield. Xhaka (the Gooner one, the other one was rubbish) just played tango very effectively. Good solid game. So, did Gibbs. Gabriel and Kos were effective. I would like to make a special mention of Rob Holding. A good honourable CL debut! Well done son!! Could have done better on their consolation goal, but a good show nevertheless!!!

Ospina had little to do, but made a solid contribution as the first line of attack. Altogether, a pleasing team performance. As Arsene said earlier: “That is what football is about. It’s not about one player. It’s not me, me, me. It’s about one, two and three”.

Finally, it is time to wait in the wings to find out who gets the opportunity to face our next onslaught on the CL trophy this year. Onwards and upwards!

Written by Red Arnie.

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165 Responses to Can we win the CL? Is it too early to start dreaming?

  1. fred1266 says:

    Gibbo looking good

  2. chas mobile says:

    Pretty damn fine, Arnie, cheers.

    A really excellent performance from the boys even if there were too many Hollywood passes in the second half.

    The amazing thing last night was PSG failing to beat Ludogorets. Not many were predicting that with any sincerity.

    Cavani – psssshhhht. 😲💣🐂

  3. chas mobile says:

  4. chas mobile says:

  5. Red Arnie says:

    Thanks, Chas. That came out nicely. 🙂

  6. Red Arnie says:

    Agreed, Fred. 🙂 Should have said more about Gibbs in the post. Just done in a hurry. 🙂

  7. Eddie says:

    I have just read the first para, they will do me 🙂
    oooohhh, the CL trophy always eluding us, always going to the wrong hands. Surely it is our turn! Especially with 2 magicians in the team 🙂

    thanks arnie for the cheerful report

  8. mickydidit89 says:

    Thanks Arnie

    Can we? Mmm, the elite table is occupied by the Spanish Trio, und Ze Bavarians. ,

    My answer: 1st XI v First XI? No, and the biggest obstacle lies in the two leggers where quality has a better probability of overcoming luck (one offskis)

    However, luck with the draw, other teams with crucial injuries, well, we’re in the hat.

    Unlike Spurs 🙂

  9. LB says:

    Well done Arnie, something needed writing and that was a very enjoyable read.

    The amount of comments sadly says it all, You, me Eddie, Fred, Micky and Chas

    It is starting to feel like the end to me.

  10. Thank you Arnie for a really lovely read. It was a thoroughly enjoyable game to watch, even the scary bits where we seemed to allow Basel loads of possession, I always felt we could score more. Added to that there was the extra excitement of the PSG v Ludogorets game …………….. now that never happens to us, we must have all been very good lately.

    Agree about Ozil and Alexis, super players and we’re very lucky to have them …..long may it last.

    It’s true that Theo could have scored the first two of Lucas’ goals but he would need to be there.

    Pleased for Iwobi to get a goal and I too thought that Gibbs had a fantastic game.

    Of course we can win the Champions League …. will we? Who knows?

  11. Eddie says:

    look LB, even it is just me, I shall still enjoy it 🙂

    Raddy, GiE, peaches, rasp, TA, Rocky, Herb and others show their faces from time to time too. We need a couple of lost games in a trot and the blog will be full once again.

    I miss GM, SS and that kid with blue eyes, can’t remember his name, Scandinavian I think. Carlitto?

  12. Eddie says:

    See LB, I told you so. Peaches is here 🙂

  13. Eddie says:

    Peaches – now that we have pleasure of your presence – do you think Feo is back to his old ways because his wife is a leftie and expect him to change the nappies in the middle of the night?

  14. mickydidit89 says:

    I think that’s a brilliant theory Eddie

    All the hallmarks of a classic case of leftieism 🙂

  15. Eddie says:

    no, no, no micky, it was your idea. My view is that he is/was flash in the pan and his wife has a nanny, dog walker, cook, cleaner, gardener, driver, security, car valet and personal trainer. Unlike me who has to be all of those things

  16. Eddie says:

    The best-paid footballer on the planet is an Argentinian forward… but it’s not Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi!

    According to documents leaked by whistleblowers ‘Football Leaks’, Ezequiel Lavezzi – Messi’s international team-mate – is paid nearly twice as much per week as the five-time Ballon d’Or winner.

    Early this year, Lavezzi joined Chinese club Hebei China Fortune from Paris Saint-Germain in an eye-watering deal, reported to be worth £400,000 a week.

    bastard.

  17. mickydidit89 says:

    LB

    I often think that way about the blog. Get pissed off. Realize no-one has an obligation to do anything. But get pissed off again. Then, you come along with a fact theory and I smile, Eddiie rocks up and I smile, Chas sticks up a slider, Erik does yet another PM, other old timers put in the occasional appearances and the world seems ok 🙂

    It would be nice to have the odd, and I mean the odd, footbally post, but hey.

    You quit. We track you down 🙂

  18. mickydidit89 says:

    Eddie

    If Theo is a flash in the pan, then the answer is simple. He plays only when he’s flashing.

    Early season Theo is in my First XI every time. Happily though, Ox and Iwobi et al are pushing him, which is a very good thing

  19. The more interesting the season pans out the more football we’ll have to discuss or more gossip we’ll want to chat about.

    Lots of our past bloggers chat away most nights on twitter …… Irish, chary, Harry and the missing Carlito to mention a few, it’s just a different medium. Most of us have stuck around because we like the community …….. and old habits die hard.

  20. Eddie says:

    LB – and as P always reminds me and Rasp – it is easy to be an Arsenal fan in North London. You walk into any half decent shop/institution and you can strike a conversation about your team. Not so easy if you are in Devon, Denmark, up north, Canada, Norfolk or Cuffley. For those exiles the blog must go on.

  21. mickydidit89 says:

    Do we update to a new medium?

  22. I do think Theo is probably a bit tired from having a new baby in the house. From what I know of his wife (my neice used to see Theo and Melanie socially) she was a very well grounded young woman and unlikely to have staff. Neither of them seemed to have ‘flash’ tendencies.

    So yes I do think he probably helps out at home.

  23. I do believe Cuffley is full of spuds 🙂

  24. mickydidit89 says:

    Oh, and if we do update, how do you turn it on? 🙂

  25. Eddie says:

    Feo should have married my daughter-in-law, her babies sleep all night. My son never complains of being tired 🙂

  26. Eddie says:

    micky – don’t even try it, is very complicated

  27. mickydidit89 says:

    “So yes I do think he probably helps out at home”

    Well it’s a bloody disaster then. Poor bloke has hoover strain 🙂

  28. micky – could you update to a new medium?

    We could put our posts up on twitter once they’re published and see if that brings in any more bloggers. I think we might get more readers but it doesn’t necessarily follow that they would want to blog. Anyone that wants to blog knows where to find the blogs.

  29. mickydidit89 says:

    Why not? Give it a go.

    Danger for me is that this will turn into a football blog 🙂

  30. chas says:

    Talking of mediums…….

  31. It was his fault, he made me do it 🙂 chas if you could retweet it cos you’ve probably got more followers than me ……. see what happens.

  32. chas says:

    How can it turn into a football blog with garbage comments like mine. 🙂
    Even Wenger haters like StewDog have naffed off with 9 goals and 2 hat tricks in 2 games.

  33. Eddie – where did you get that information about the £400,000 paid to the player in China?

  34. TotalArsenal says:

    Lovely, well written post, Red Arnie. 🙂

    Wenger wanted Vardy to come but he got a Spanish fox in the box – Zorro en la caja – instead. 🙂 A good attacker sniffs out where he needs to be in the next two seconds and that is what Perez did yesterday. And then it all looks so easy. Love the description of the magicians and the fact that we have two, possibly three with Santi available again, of them, which makes a so hard for the opposition to deal with our attacks. The understanding between Ozil and Sanchez is so good that it starts to remind of the magic Dennis and Thierry use to have. The fact that they had identical ‘pre-assists’ for the first two goals was actually a bit spooky. I love this pair and if we can get the balance right on the wings with two very good players – most likely to be Welbeck and Perez, but Iwobi, Ox and Theo can also play a very positive role – we can really get far…. possibly even win the CL as all of the very big teams have shown to have weaknesses during the group stage games.

  35. Yeah but it’s hard to be a Wenger hater when things are going well

  36. chas says:

    P
    I tweeted a post about a month back and it made naff all difference.

    People have a look if they are looking for a match report (with ratings in the title being particularly appealing) or if you have something controversial in the title such as “Are Arsenal better than Chelsea?”. 🙂

  37. chas says:

    Yes, it was definitely easier after the Soton defeat in the Michael Mouse Cup. 🙂

  38. GunnerN5 says:

    Peaches this is from Wiki.

    Ezequiel Lavezzi

    Footballer

    Ezequiel Iván Lavezzi is an Argentine professional footballer who plays for Chinese club Hebei China Fortune and the Argentina national team as a forward. Wikipedia

    Born: May 3, 1985 (age 31), Villa Gobernador Gálvez, Argentina

    Height: 1.73 m

    Salary: 20.8 million GBP (2016)

  39. Eddie – I only asked because yesterday there was a lot of stuff on twitter about Alexis being offered £400,000 a week in China?????? I wondered where that idea had come from.

    Kyle Walker – what a joke

  40. Thanks GN5, how are you? Did you manage to watch the game last night?

  41. TotalArsenal says:

    Re the diminishing participation on this blog, you have to blame Brexit. 😉

  42. TA – you’re probably right 🙂

    Twitter has not exactly boosted our viewings and only one of my followers has retweeted my tweet. Need to enhance my media image clearly 😉

  43. chas says:

    I blame Thatcher

  44. Where’s GoonerB????????

  45. Eddie says:

    kyle walker 🙂 I loooooove that tune

    don’t worry about Alexi, he is happy where he is. Mind you, at 28 this month he is coming to an end of his career. He might want to make killer earnings in the last few years, wouldn’t blame him

    What i want to know it where the feck are Chinese getting that kind of money from??

  46. Eddie says:

    oh yeah, GB and GN5, and our man from Oz.
    Irish Gunner, now she was funny, really funny

    and RA. Shit, someone is bound to be upset for not getting a mention.

    So I apologise.

  47. Make that two of my followers 😉

  48. kelsey!!!!!!!! don’t forget kelsey 😉

  49. chas says:

  50. chas says:

    This sort of stuff is bound to pull the punters in, surely?

  51. I saw that last night, it’s beautiful isn’t it

  52. The Highbury picture that is 😉

  53. TotalArsenal says:

    Yeah Chas, her as well 🙂

  54. mickydidit89 says:

    Chas
    The Theo babychanger. Brilliant

    Total
    “Re the diminishing participation on this blog, you have to blame Brexit” I do often think my shit drags the site down and puts people off, so I take the Brexiteer to be me 🙂

    Talking of which, I looked at Twitter today. Found Arsenal Gentleman. Get this line of his

    Re Spurs out of cl “Spexit means Spexit”
    Genius or what

  55. TotalArsenal says:

    60 years ago – the game that nobody saw… Ajax v Liverpool

  56. micky – your shit is hilarious, never a drag 🙂

  57. Eddie says:

    his dogs 🙂

  58. No cooking for me tonight as all of my baby spuds are at Wembley thus I’m available for blogging 🙂

  59. Eddie says:

    excellent news peaches! Do you think I should plant tilias at the back of my garden – lovely smell, lime honey, good hedging tree

  60. Red Arnie says:

    ha ha ha, love the batner. LB, ups and downs happen, but it is only for checken to quit. 🙂 As for taking a break, thats OK, I have done it, and so have so many others. 🙂

  61. TotalArsenal says:

    Oh no Micky, it is not individual Brexiters at, all and your comments are always entertaining, but Brexit is the new El Nino – you can blame it for everything and anything! 🙂

  62. Red Arnie says:

    Total. 🙂

  63. I don’t think so Eddie, they get enormous!!!!!!

  64. Red Arnie says:

    That was for the Brexit comment. 🙂

    Thanks for the comments. all. 🙂

  65. Red Arnie says:

    The only downside of the game yesterday for me was the poor quality of the BT Sport stream. Decided to go to the local pub at halftime, only to find one million people watching Celtic playing Shitty.

    Relegated to a side TV, but at least enjoyed the game thoroughly. 🙂

  66. mickydidit89 says:

    Don’t mind a bit of Madrid Dortmund later

  67. mickydidit89 says:

    I’d rather go to Madrid
    I’d rather we beat Madrid
    But fancy our chances better v Dortmund

    A Dortmund draw and they top the group

  68. GunnerN5 says:

    Hi Peaches, I’m just fine, celebrated another b/day last week and my health is incredible – other than a pair of very unstable knees.

    I was able to watch last night’s game, it’s great to watch CL games here as they are played at 2:45pm. We are very fortunate here in Canada as 100% of Arsenal games are televised so even if the game is played at an inconvenient time I can record and watch it later.

    Arsenal are in fine fettle of late and long may it continue.

  69. GunnerN5 says:

    Chas – The picture of the information corner brings back many memories – the individual letters of the alphabet each represented a game being played and you had to refer to your program to find the corresponding game. They later moved them to ground level in a corner at each end and the scores were filled in at half time. My dad told me that David Dein used to be the person adding the scores – but I was never knew if that was a fact or not?

  70. GunnerN5 says:

    Arnie, we can go all the way – depending on a favourable draw, my main concern is our defensive vulnerability – we presented Basel with multiple scoring opportunities that a better team would have relished and scored from.

    I was very impressed with Holding and felt for him at the end when they scored after he gifted them the ball – his head sunk into his shoulders.

  71. Akinzo says:

    Can we? Only the incurable optimists will stick out their necks that we truly could. We are still some way behind the best teams in Europe. Hey, we haven’t topped out group for years but here we are now firmly the highest placed team in Group A, dramatically topping of one of the most consistent sides in the competition in the last few years. Many may not agree with me but sometimes luck pushes one to unprecedented heights. Chelsea certainly weren’t the best team in the 2014 edition but outperformed far superior sides to the diadem. So why not us? However, if we are to come closer to such lofty dream, we will need to improve a lot. We will need to create more chances and take them. when we play against the better sides. We only take the game by scruff when the opposition aren’t exactly top grade. We have only been especially spectacular against Chelsea this season and we were found out against Liverpool, Manure and the two games against the French oilers. We need more players to start coming to the party on more consistent basis. What has gladden me most this season is that Arsene now varies his tactics depending on the opposition. Though it didn’t exactly worked perfectly at Old Trafford but it was refreshing that he played two defensive midfielders. We don’t have to go gong ho in every game. I have this belief that this could be the year we’ve all been waiting for to take the bragging rights on the elusive trophy.

  72. mickydidit89 says:

    Hi GN5

    Hi Akinzo
    “it was refreshing that he played two defensive midfielders”
    I totally agree with this, and just maybe, the injury to Santi could present the unexpected result of a team better equipped to deal with the Madrids and Bayerns of this world.

    Of course I wish Santi was around, but looking on the bright side and all that

  73. GunnerN5 says:

    Hi Micky,

    Santi is a huge miss – fortunately we have a multitude of mid- fielders however they can not open up a game like Santi.

    It’s good to see Gibbs taking full advantage of his opportunity – that is one of the good things about a good squad it makes bench sitters hungrier to make an impact, I also prefer Gibbs to Monreal.

  74. Red Arnie says:

    Nice comment, Akinzo. 🙂

    GN5. Holding is young and he will learn. As regards defensive vulnerability, Micky will say so what if we concede 2, we will score 3. 🙂 Not me. However, I dont think we are conceding that many cheap goals. Who knows what will happen! However, coming top of the group having drawn home and away against one of the most expensive teams in Europe was a good start. IMO. 🙂

  75. Red Arnie says:

    I say expensive team, not better or best team. Of course, we are the best team. I would love to believe the same feeling is tru for all Gooners. 🙂

  76. mickydidit89 says:

    GN5

    “they can not open up a game like Santi”

    Well yes. And, maybe not 🙂

    Santi feeds the ball forwards to the good footballers largely into feet, Granit is superb and popping one over the top. With, say Granit and Coq, I envisage less possession, deeper play and better counter.

    A Theo with the full eight hours would profit 🙂

  77. GunnerN5 says:

    Facts are facts Arnie – we were the best team in our group and showed a great deal of spirit. However we are a long way off of being the best team left in the competition and will need a lot of good fortune to turn over the better teams.

    I like us being in the underdog position as it will make our players try to emulate the best example they can get and play at 110% of their ability – the example being our very own Alexis.

    His hat trick goals against West Ham was completely audacious and could only have been scored by a player with his vision and skill set.

  78. GunnerN5 says:

    Micky I feel Theo will always be Theo and I fear we have already seen him as the final product and that is not good enough – in this man’s opinion.

  79. GunnerN5 says:

    I’m watching the Real game to get an idea of how good our opponents in the next game will be.

  80. GunnerN5 says:

    That is potential opponents.

  81. chas says:

    Booooooooooo
    Spuddies not going to be in the Europa at this rate.
    The crowd are leaving indroves.
    Well, they would be if theye were droves there to begin with.

  82. chas says:

    Hooray.
    The crowd at Wembley have just lifted the roof.

  83. mickydidit89 says:

    Leaving after 20 mins!!!

    ROLF

  84. chas says:

  85. VP of Oz says:

    Good morning guys. In terms of comments of no-one reading the blog. I wake up every morning and read AA before any other news or weather etc. I then take a squiz at lunch and finish up in the evening. I think I’ve read every blog and every comment for the last few months.
    You probably have more people reading than contributing which is hard to measure.
    What I find hard in the football posts is the rational and technical analysis of the regular bloggers which I love to read but difficult to contribute. The reason I say this is because my personality is more creative and emotional. I tend to watch the game on TV, following the camera, without drilling into the detail and structure, I just enjoy the spectacle (that probably makes no sense). I then like to read your blogs for the analysis.
    I think Stew dogs first comments were quite banal and emotional and one of you said he had to be rational on this blog, so Stew dog suddenly espoused quite knowledgeable analysis. Other blogs let the emotive comments flow free without any rational underpinnings and thats why I now read AA so much.
    All of the above does not mean I am not knowledgeable about Football. I still play outdoor and indoor futsal twice a week and have been playing one form or other of football for the last 40 years. I’ve been coached by ex- Australian coaches and the like and am now reliving it all again as my son is a much better player than I used to be and he plays about 6 times a week and I am very involved in his progress.
    Usually, when on the sidelines I can determine the strengths, weaknesses, structure etc. because I am more involved but on the telly when you follow the camera its just better to sit back and enjoy the moment and let it flow over you. I depend on AA to ground me in the reality and take me back to the sidelines which I love.
    Watching everyone on the train going to the game is a highlight, it brings the reader along for the ride to the game.

  86. mickydidit89 says:

    Nice comment VP

  87. Ant says:

    “Watching everyone on the train going to the game is a highlight, it brings the reader along for the ride to the game.”
    Thanks Vp for that comment, it’s made my day that someone likes Chas and I’s train drivel.

  88. chas says:

    AFC

    Benfica
    Bayern Munich
    Bayer Leverkusen
    Real Madrid
    Porto
    Sevilla

    Citeh

    Napoli
    Atletico
    Monaco
    Dortmund
    Juventus

    Leicester

    PSG
    Benfica
    Bayern
    Bayer Leverkusen
    Real Madrid
    Sevilla

  89. Ant says:

    Here’s another one for Micky

  90. Brilliant comment VP, thank you

  91. Ant says:

    No idea how they work this out to several decimal places but hey ho

  92. Red Arnie says:

    VP. that’s a top comment. 🙂

    capable of technical analysis? that’s not me! on the train to watch a game. not me either!! but technical sounding bolleaux. ahem!! 🙂 pouncing on any cheap/free tickets floating around, and threatening to sleep under the bridge. me as well. 🙂

    good fun it is!!!! 🙂

  93. Red Arnie says:

    Madrid. top probability? oh dear!!!!

  94. Yeah but Sevilla are 2nd highest probability 🙂

    Always look on the bright side of life ……. di dum di dum……

  95. Red Arnie says:

    ha ha ha. Peaches. and Sevilla, Benfica and Porto together is 46%. 🙂

  96. VP of Oz says:

    I’m not subscribing to this but I still believe that if you want more readers/comments on AA, as discussed previously, you need the catchy headlines thats gets picked up on News Now etc.
    A simple – “This is the reason Arsenal will win the Treble” as a title.
    Then just have a picture of Sanchez

    and watch that run its course…

    It would be like a recruitment drive. Once people start reading the comments etc. you’ll have more exposure and regulars…

  97. VP of Oz says:

    I’m not saying every post, just a monthly thing

  98. chas says:

    Great comments, VP.

    I’m not sure anyone is too bothered about getting new punters in.
    More that daily regulars are commenting less.

    Checking in a couple of times a day means you can see if there’s been a response to one of your earlier comments.
    Others prefer the immediacy of twatter where you’re often guaranteed a response in moments.

  99. chas says:

  100. mickydidit89 says:

    Ahoy Sailors

    Just looking at this lot again:
    Benfica Munich Leverkusen Madrid Porto Sevilla

    With the exception of Leverkusen, they are all really nice destinations.

  101. mickydidit89 says:

    By the way, on the subject of the blog.

    My suggestion would be to increase the number of posts (with great titles/questions), but dramatically lower the expectations on the author

    ie one interesting sentence, or small paragraph, and more people would be likely to chip in. We’d refresh the page more often, and with this format, narrow the gap between blogging and more spontaneous and immediate formats like facebook and twister

  102. chas mobile says:

    Are you fancying a trip if we can get tickets?
    Better advise your chauffeur he needs to start saving. ☺

  103. chas mobile says:

  104. Big Raddy says:

    Morning All,

    Super post and fine comments from VP.

    Navigator ready .

  105. mickydidit89 says:

    They invented maps so that people like you became utterly pointless 🙂 🙂

    But yes, I’m ready for a good away draw.

  106. mickydidit89 says:

    Seville, Lisbon or Madrid my preference

  107. mickydidit89 says:

    Ok lads. limited access for me next two days.

  108. Red Arnie says:

    motning all.

    why, Micky! Are you joining the crew in Get Me Out Of Here?

  109. Red Arnie says:

    or are you focusing on cricket for the moment! 🙂

    well done Jennings, BTW.

  110. Eddie says:

    I knew spurs one last night, not one mention of them here 🙂

    arnie – micky goes undercover, that’s his job. He cannot tell us anymore, government secret.

  111. Eddie says:

    spurs won. I have no idea what is happening to my spelling. I think I will start saying i’m blogging on the mobile 🙂

  112. Gööner In Exile says:

    Bloody busy still here….might get a break at Wintermas but probably not the way things are going.

    G is now the proud owner of a Retro 71 shirt that fits, he had been getting quite upset that he didn’t have a “Gooner” shirt to wear 🙂 the indoctrination is working!

    Marvellous write up Arnie it’s becoming fun to watch us play again. I really liked it with Rambo on the pitch with Iwobi Alexis and Ozil wasn’t so keen when a few of those went off.

    I think it should also direct us back to the Southampton game where many of our squad players were questioned, amazing how different they look when surrounded by first team regulars, Gibbs for example presented a problem to Arsene especially if he can keep doing that when selected, I love Nacho and Gibbs equally but recognise Nacho brings that calm experience to the role which sometimes Gibbs lacks, but I’d hate to see Gibbs in a shirt of any other team.

  113. Red Arnie says:

    Lovely comment, GiE. gives me the idea for another post. maybe save for some rainy day, or maybe tomorrow.

  114. TotalArsenal says:

    ‘amazing how different they look when surrounded by first team regulars’

    mmmm, are you saying, GiE, that playing Ozil and Alexis instead of Giroud and Theo is a very good reason for the team under performing against the Saints?

  115. TotalArsenal says:

    VP – l like a modest man but your comments are always full of interesting observations and insights – please keep them coming!

    Same goes for FGG, whose post-game analyses are being missed. Also miss those spicy, salmon-against-the-stream early morning comments from our man in Spain, whose name sounds a bit like Chelsea. 🙂

  116. TotalArsenal says:

    Ant at 9.48pm – love the double-eye wink by Arsene and the puppy look from the Spuds handler hahaha

  117. max says:

    A propos volume of interest: AA is one of only two blogs that I follow, because I look forward to the intelligence, humour and originality of the banter. If I haven’t contributed before, it’s a) because I generally don’t get involved on the interweb; and b) because I don’t have anything cogent or original to say.

    But I enjoy AA immensely, so please keep going – I loathe Facebook and Twitter, so if you go there instead, you will actually lose one silent reader!

  118. TotalArsenal says:

    Just realised Giroud did not start against Southampton. But…. is playing Perez, Reine-Adelaide, Rambo and Iwobi up front – rest of team pretty similar – not a strong line-up to give the Saints, who also made a lot of changes, a proper game at home? Do we really need Alexis and Ozil to play for us to give a team a decent game (rather than four shots on target at home)?

  119. TotalArsenal says:

    Max, I blame Terry M. who makes us all feel inferior when it comes to being original.. but then he is as nuts as they come 😀

    Good of you to comment, and just giving your opinion on a game or indeed a comment, is enough to participate here. 🙂

  120. Eddie says:

    max – don’t be a stranger, We love input from the ‘outside’, even a 1-liner is always welcome.

    And don’t worry if you ‘say’ something silly – we will simply slaughter you 🙂

  121. GunnerN5 says:

    I’ve been blogging on AA on and off, mostly on, since 2010. Initially I felt, and expressed the view, that it was a very cliquey site which made it very difficult for newcomers to feel as though they could make a meaningful contribution – somewhat like a new kid in the class feels like – scared to put their hand up. Rightly or wrongly I feel that for occasional visitors it must still feel that way – even though (like Max was today) they are welcomed to the site.

    The other side of the coin is that AA has remained a fine place to blog is because of the core of regulars that together make it a very informative, knowledgeable, humorous and extremely well managed site.

    I agree with VP that more enticing headlines would draw the crowds but I also feel for the reasons I have expressed that very few will come back on e regular basis.

    It is and will remain a true Arsenal blog where ones views can be openly expressed – in accordance with the site ethos.

  122. chas says:

    The blog is quiet but you can sense the air of eager anticipation for Manyoo’s game against Zorya in the Ukraine.
    Apparently it’s -3 deg C there at the moment with heavy snow possible. Let’s hope Maureen forgot to pack his thermals. 🙂

  123. chas says:

  124. chas says:

  125. chas says:

    Hehe
    I don’t usually laugh at photos of that knob.

  126. TotalArsenal says:

    Haha, I never have any trouble laughing at that knob 😀

  127. Red Arnie says:

    ha ha ha, nice stuff Chas. 🙂

  128. Red Arnie says:

    comments all round over the couple of days have been very encouraging, at least for me. thank you, LB. 🙂

  129. Eddie says:

    nil all at half time

  130. GunnerN5 says:

    This is a true story of a poor young lady flying in a two-seater airplane with just the pilot. He has a heart attack and dies. She, frantic,calls out a May Day.

    “May Day! May Day! Help Me! Help Me! My pilot had a heart attack and is dead and I don’t know how to fly. Help Me! Please Help Me!”
    She hears a voice over the radio saying:

    “This is Air Traffic Control and I have you loud and clear. I will talk you through this and get you back on the ground. I’ve had a lot of experience with this kind of problem. Now, just take a deep breath. Everything will be fine!

    Now give me your height and position!”
    She says, “I’m 5’4 and i’m in the front seat.” (pause)

    “O.K.” says the voice in the radio……. “Repeat after me: Our father who art in heaven……..”

  131. Eddie says:

    hold on a second Elnany has number 35? elnanY35 – my car reg. He should buy it for a lot of money

  132. Loving this, hopefully Chas hasn’t put it up already 😉

  133. It was the 2nd leg against Real Madrid, best 0-0 ever 🙂 🙂 🙂

  134. Gööner In Exile says:

    TA our side that took the field against Southampton was:

    Martinez, Jenkinson, Holding, Gabriel, Gibbs, Coquelin, Elneny, Reine-Adelaide, Rambo, Iwobi and Lucas.

    After that game there was a lot of hand wringing here and elsewhere about the quality of our reserves. On Tuesday night 5 of that team played with more regular first team era. Suddenly Gibbs doesn’t look so out of form, and Iwobi and Rambo came alive, and Perez showed what he could do with support from our top side. That’s what I was getting at the day after the Saints game and again this morning.

  135. chas says:

  136. TotalArsenal says:

    Cheers GiE, I expected a lot more from those 11 than you did.

  137. Big Raddy says:

    Morning All,

    Back in the land of the Vikings and delighted to start the day with a little King Crimson, though I prefer the mighty Hall of the Mountain King, if I can be choosy.

    Anne Margaret. From Russell’s Tommy. Do you think she is on drugs? 😀

  138. Gööner In Exile says:

    Hi TA, individually yes, as a team not so much.

    Be different if they were playing regularly together in the Reserves but we only have the Academy league these days where a couple of overage players can play.

  139. Eddie says:

    aha GiE is here. Listen GiE, tell us the TRUTH – is our academy worth keeping? As far as I am concerned it is a white elephant and it is time to admit it is a flop and let’s close it. And your views to the contrary are:

  140. Big Raddy says:

    Eddie. . How else do we develop players like Iwobi, Bellerin, Gibbs, Wilshere etc

  141. Eddie says:

    “Ex-Fifa president Sepp Blatter has accused successor Gianni Infantino of disrespecting him and says the new head of world football does not answer his phone calls.”

    good man Infantino!!! he should answer the calls and disconnect immediately to make sure Septic knows he is ignored

  142. Eddie says:

    Raddy? WHAT? Bellerin is from Barcelona’s academy, Gibbs from Wimbledon, Wilshere poached from Luton and not even playing for us. Is it worth keeping the academy for Iwobi’s sake??

  143. Big Raddy says:

    I f you were to take the time to look at the sales of players who have come through the academy you would discover that it is self-funding. Added to that is the chance that a player will reach the first team.

    Academy is for lads aged 13-16.Wilshere joined us aged 9, Bellerin 15, Gibbs 14.

    Note I said Develop not Discover.

  144. Ant says:

    Eddie- you sound like Mourinho with that buy short term and don’t develop attitude 😂

  145. Eddie says:

    ant – perhaps mourinho is right.
    Or perhaps Barca and Southampton academies are better than ours.

    Raddy – I suspect you made up the balance book, there is no way in this earth the academy is self-funding.

    It would have been great if we ‘developed’ youngsters who are then going to play for us, what a brilliant idea to save millions and what joy to see your own prodigies excelling on the pitch!! BUT this is not happening. For crying out loud, you cannot justify running the whole academy that produces 1 decent player in how many years??? Wilshere, Gibbs and Bellerin have been around for years. So it is just Iwobi for the last 2 seasons!!!

  146. Red Arnie says:

    motning all.

    Nice thoughts on the Academy. On that note, filler sent to nuts.

  147. Thanks Arnie, just noticed it ……. be back in a bit ……

  148. Sorry Arnie and everyone, got called away

    There’s a New Post ……………………

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