Arsenal’s Redemption or Atonement?

Two losses are a sobering experience so I doubt our chaps will have piled into the beers and port over Yule. My guess is that they are really raring to go and make the end of the year a positive.

West Brom and Pulis are not exactly the opponents Mr Wenger would have chosen, my guess is that he would have liked to play a Top 4 side but instead we play a team who are punching above their weight, sitting in 8th.


A few stats: We have only lost to WBA once in our last 11 meetings. They have only beaten us once at The Emirates (2010). The last time we played WBA on Boxing day was in 2002, we won 2-1.

The papers seem to be indicating that if we can stop Matt Phillips, we will be OK as he has been involved in 7 goals in 7 games.

Pulis. I have written extensively about this fellow over the years. I am too mellowed out to start again now 🙂  Suffice to say, I don’t like him, his tactics or his cap.

Arsenal: I expect to see the same team start which started at The Etihad. They have to show their poor second half was an isolated occurrence. I am sure there have been post-mortems aplenty.



Given the number of games over the next days there is sure to be rotation but I expect this to happen vs Palace and beyond.

My Team:


Bellerin    Gabriel    Koscielny    Monreal

Xhaka    Coquelin    Iwobi

Walcott    Sanchez    Ozil

We have to win. Not just because we need the points. Such is the Arsenal fanbase that any faltering in our title bid is greeted with angst and opprobrium. Goodness knows how the “supporters” will react to losing at The Emirates. No doubt a chorus of booing and Wenger Outs.

But that won’t happen because we are going to win.


Written by Big Raddy




80 Responses to Arsenal’s Redemption or Atonement?

  1. chas says:

    Cheers, BR.
    Yep the season is hanging on a knife edge.
    Let’s hope the knife is sharp enough to emasculate Poolis. 🙂

  2. mickydidit89 says:

    Great stuff Erik

    Interesting you select the same XI. Assuming Arsene was pissed off with their lack of fight, he had two options. As you reckon, fire a rocket then stick with the First XI, or drop the worst offenders as an example.

    I think the Arsene way is your way.

    Fact is, shove four back to back wins together, and we’ll be right back in with a shout.

    Most defo a must win game, and that suits me. Love that kind of thing. I reckon we’ll thrash them

  3. Rasp says:

    Excellent, thank you Raddy.

    I agree we have to start with the same eleven. I have no idea why the last 2 game developed in the way they did, but I do know that as individuals and as a team we are better than that. I hope our guys have had a rest and recharged physically and mentally. 2017 can still be our year …. but one game at a time eh? 🙂

  4. mickydidit89 says:

    Personally, I don’t think we need both Coq and Xhak at home to WBA, I’d like to see a more dynamic player linking Coq to Mesut, so I’d try Iwobi there, with Ox left.

  5. mickydidit89 says:

    I reckon the tryers in the team get really pissed off with the part-timers and resentment sets in.
    We need to see a tougher, more ruthless, Arsene.

  6. Big Raddy says:

    Isn’t Ox injured? Same with Ramsey otherwise I would squeeze AR in somehow.

    I would like to see Perez start instead of Iwobi and have a serious attack minded team but AW will be looking for more security.

    And what of TFFP?

  7. mickydidit89 says:

    Don’t know about the Ox, Erik

    I expect Gibbs and Elneny to start

  8. fred1266 says:

    Always get nervous for these games

  9. mickydidit89 says:

    Arsenal players do not like Boxing Day games. That’s the bit that worries me.

    Ok, outside stuff to do.

  10. VP of Oz says:

    Great post again BR. And I agree with you on wanting to see a serious attack minded team start. I’d like to see the team that finished against Everton, start against WBA.

    Chas, I really liked your last couple of posts on George M.

  11. LB says:

    Good stuff BR

    I agree that Wenger will go for the same team to give them and opportunity to put things right.

    Who would have thought after the last home game against Stoke that our season would be hanging on a knife edge against West Brom?

  12. Rasp says:

    Hi Micky, I don’t think Arsene will be changing his approach after all this time 🙂 I’m hoping professional pride will be what drives our players. I like Raddy’s idea of playing Perez. Caution or trying to protect a slim lead would be the wrong way to go. We need to find the precision and fluidity – and for that we need movement – players showing for the ball and getting into positions to give the player in possession options.

  13. LB says:

    That’s quite funny, Allardyce first game and look who starts for pretty much the first time this season —– Flamini

    I suppose if it works, it works.

  14. Hi all

    Thank you BR as always for the pre-match. I’m having to miss the trip to THOF due to family commitments 😦 😦 😦 Hope the boys remember what they get paid handsomely to do and bag three points. Have to watch later on sky hopefully.

    Have a great day all xx

  15. mickydidit89 says:

    Gibbs and Ollie start

    Oh shit

  16. mickydidit89 says:

    Team to play West Brom: Cech, Bellerin, Gabriel, Koscielny, Gibbs, Coquelin, Xhaka, Sanchez, Ozil, Iwobi, Giroud.

    Subs: Ramsey, Lucas Perez, Ospina, Holding, Monreal, Reine-Adelaide, Elneny.

  17. mickydidit89 says:

    Apologies Ollie. Love ya, but… 😦

  18. mickydidit89 says:

    Ok, team selection aside, really hope we get a goal inside the first 20 for the sake of those watching.

  19. GunnerN5 says:

    Nice to see Gibbs start at left back, I prefer his attacking style and I also feel that Monreal leaves far too much space for other teams wingers.

  20. GunnerN5 says:

    I hope we get two goals early on as we have proved that we are useless at protecting a one goal lead.

  21. mickydidit89 says:

    Been on baby duty?
    Sent to Grimsby?
    Hung over?

  22. mickydidit89 says:

    Two goals, yes GN5, much better idea

    Sensible for the reason you give, and in fact one may not be enough to draw WBA out and make an entertaining game as at 1-0 they’ll know sneaking an eighty-something minute equalizer might do it

  23. Eddie says:

    thanks Raddy, good read before the kick off. I wish I elaborated about your feelings towards Pullis, always a joy to savour 🙂

    Glad you think we will defo win, I am no longer sure of anything. I bet the players didn’t give a damn about the 2 recent loses and had double helpings of Christmas pudding. I expect to see some fat bastards struggling to run box to box.

    Giroud starting is an interesting one, how long will he last on the pitch?

  24. Eddie says:

    seems like I have time to wash some windows before the game

  25. LB says:

    Have we sold Walcott?

  26. GunnerN5 says:

    Lets hope so LB, I think we’ve waited long enough for him to come of age.

  27. mickydidit89 says:

    Blimey, the cash sloshing about in China would make me rethink our transfer policy 🙂

  28. Eddie says:

    Chas will be having kittens, he hates time wasters. From the opposition of course

  29. LB says:

    Football to slash your wrists too.

  30. mickydidit89 says:

    Nice summary LB

    They need to rethink the rules.

  31. mickydidit89 says:

    Zero points for a draw
    In fact, points for goals only, yeah, one point per goal should sort it out 🙂

    With every minute, the sofa here appears to get longer and softer. Yawn

  32. Big Raddy says:

    Nothing we haven’t seen before. WBA playing non-football, AFC not finding the key.

    Hope for better in the second half

  33. Big Raddy says:

    Points for goals is the way forward with a point bias for away goals.

  34. mickydidit89 says:

    Come on you gunnners

    hate these bastards

    Ollie darling, score and I’ll….err, be very very nice 🙂

  35. Eddie says:

    Sanchez takes on 6 baggies

    Kison impossible I’m afraid

  36. Eddie says:

    What’s Kison ☺ mission

  37. Big Raddy says:

    Foster playing brilliantly 😦

  38. Eddie says:

    Yeah, foster made 2 brilliant saves

  39. Big Raddy says:

    OGgggggggggggg Get in.

    I love the French

  40. Eddie says:

    Didit!,!! Be nice now

  41. Just checking in and Olly scores, should have checked in earlier I know 😉

  42. Big Raddy says:

    Now let’s see WBA waste some time

  43. mickydidit89 says:

    Utterly gorgeous 🙂

    Steady Erik 🙂

  44. mickydidit89 says:

    Keep passing back and give WBA a dose of their own medicine

  45. mickydidit89 says:


  46. Big Raddy says:

    We deserved the 3 points. Really good in 2nd half.

  47. mickydidit89 says:

    True Erik, they are a tough nut to crack

  48. Rasp says:

    Phew, I might go as far as to say that goal kept us in the title race – well done for not giving up. According to the stats we had 79% possession and made 780 passes against their 227

  49. mickydidit89 says:

    Not trying to cause trouble, but is Theo injured?

    Just very unusual for him to not even make the bench

  50. Eddie says:

    why are you obsessing with feo when we have Ollie??

    I was sure they won’t let us score, what shite team that was, bloody Pullis doesn’t improve his style, does he? It was hilarious Foster rushing in the end 🙂 ha bloody ha 🙂

  51. Eddie says:

    There isn’t much we can say about the game – we tried to play, they tried to stop us playing. The better team won by a superb header from the most handsome footballer in EPL. End of really

    didit – now you can tell us what you got/demanded for xmas.

  52. mickydidit89 says:

    Well, Eddie, it goes like this. January window is close. He’s not listed on AFC as injured and the Oscar move to China left my jaw slack.

    When you can now flog a 28+ yr old for £50M and get an impossibly high wage earners off the books, the transfer game changes completely.

    Oscar and that bloke from Southampton are earning 300k a bloody week.

  53. mickydidit89 says:

    Eddie, I am not sure I can tell someone who got window cleaning gear what I got for Christmas. I am only ever unkind to the French, and today, even that stance is softened

  54. LB says:

    I am still curious about Walcott, not being a Twitter person but isn’t it as easy as going onto his Twit and read his latest Tweet which I would imagine explain what the issue was today.

  55. Rasp says:

    He’s probably got manflu – I can’t see this being about a move away, he’s started more games than ever this season.

  56. mickydidit89 says:


    Get tweeting. If he’s going out for a Chinese tonight, then we can start the rumours from a solid base 🙂

  57. mickydidit89 says:

    Just to add flames to my already enormous fire on this rumour of mine, I believe Theo did break the code of silence after the City game

  58. mickydidit89 says:

    It may be like the friends you have that you don’t like. Perhaps Arsene has been wanting to shift him but his wages are the obstacle
    ps he would not be top of my to sell list
    Just thinking aloud

  59. mickydidit89 says:

    Okedoke, people coming. Nose to powder

  60. Rasp says:

    Wishful thinking I reckon Micky, but I agree Theo could be replaced with a player who possesses a more complete skill set 🙂

  61. Big Raddy says:

    A little worried about Ozil today. He looked frustrated. I think he needs Ramsey in the team if he can’t have Cazorla.

    On the stream I was watching the idiot co-commentator said Arsenal are a one-man team (meaning Sanchez). How can they pay these imbeciles?

  62. RockyLives says:

    Frustrating game but VERY acceptable three points.

    The Baggies executed their game plan pretty well but second half they were riding their luck. It would have been an injustice had we not taken the spoils.

    I was watching with my (grown up) son who is adamant that the style we play with Ollie in the team renders us toothless against defensively minded opposition. (His theory is basically that OG plays high up the pitch, allowing the opposition to sit back and defend very deep with two banks of four, requiring us to produce something incredible to pick the lock).

    Bit too tactical bollixy for a tiny mind like mine, but there you go…

    Thanks for the pre-match BR

  63. RockyLives says:


    Regarding Ozil, don’t fall for the pundits’ nonsense about his body language. To me he looked well up for it – made lots of gut-bursting runs and, of course, made the winner.

    He’s never going to go crunching into tackles, but I can live with that.

  64. Big Raddy says:

    Rocky. I am certainly not saying that Ozil is not up for it, quite the contrary. He was frustrated thanks to his efforts not being rewarded and some players not reading where he wanted to place the ball.

    I love the bloke (in a heterosexual way 🙂 )

  65. Big Raddy says:

    RL. Perhaps your son should apply for the next AFC manager’s job.

  66. RockyLives says:

    The confidence of youth…

  67. RockyLives says:

    I think both Ozil and Alexis seem frustrated at times in most games when other players are not quite on their wavelength. But they’ve probably experienced that through most of their careers.

  68. LB says:

    I’m bored of not joining in the match chat.

  69. LB says:

    Hi Rocky

    I couldn’t agree with your son more and you will see I say the the same thing as yourself about Ozil.

  70. LB says:

    Typical, now everyone disappears.

    Oh well of to dinner.

  71. Big Raddy says:

    LB. I have removed you comment for tomorrow’s post.

    Or perhaps you had other plans for a match report?

  72. GunnerN5 says:

    Micky, before today’s game the commentator said that Theo had a calf injury.

  73. Big Raddy says:

    The referee and linesman did OK today unlike at MC. Makes a difference

  74. Eddie says:

    micky, you can tell me anything, come on – what did you get for xmas?

  75. Big Raddy says:

    Morning All,

    I know it is early but we have a post from LB, even though it was not written as such. I will publish soon.

    I am working today and have no time to add any pics. Could someone oblige?

  76. mickydidit89 says:

    Well played Erik.
    Does it say the reason we won was down to the introduction of Ramsey? 🙂

  77. LB says:

    It’s funny you should say that Micky. Ramsey was clean through in the 18 yard box and should of scored, he didn’t but the fact was that he was there to miss. On a slightly more serious tone I think those kind of runs would have made a huge difference against Everton and City; he did make a difference when he came on yesterday and should now send Xhaka back to making Swiss cookoo clocks.

  78. Big Raddy says:

    There is a New Post

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