Arsenal vs WBA: Player Ratings

This is what I think.

Cech: if you keep a clean sheet you must have done something right. Commanding, confident and his usual array of hoofing the ball upfield. 7

Bellerin: the curious thing about Hector is none of us know how good he is going to end up being; his upward curve of improvement continues at the same angle as China’s global trade output. I say this because although he is not putting away that many chances of those that come his way it suddenly dawned on me — what would happen if he did? 7

Easter: as I said above, you can’t knock a clean sheet but Mustafi he ain’t; still, playing against a Pulis mob is never an easy task and he did well. 7



Koscielny: the doomsday scenario would be if Kos got injured; he has been playing so well he has become irreplaceable again another great Captain’s performance. 8

Gibbs: we are very lucky to have such quality back up for the LB position but that is what he is, back up; he is so one footed it gets a bit embarrassing; defenders show him inside which he takes and then realises that he is so out of his depth that he makes a meaningless pass to salvage something but yesterday he tried to run with his right foot; he inevitably lost control and then to compensate unnecessarily lunged to recover, the result being that he got injured – again. 6

Coquelin: Francis pretty much has to start as he is the only midfield ball winner we have; we may be chock full of midfielders but he is the only defender amongst them. This is, of course, a double edged sword; he is a defender so against teams that come to park the bus and time waste he is not as multi functional as we need; that’s to say, he is not about to join the list of goal scorers in the foreseeable future and that is exactly what we need from our midfield. 7


Xhaka: both he and Coquelin are the problem; they were the problem against Everton, against City and were five minutes away from being the problem yesterday. As a partnership they are incapable of augmenting the attack and without that you have the four in front of them being easily harnessed or more easily than they should. Ramsey may not be everyone’s favourite Welshman but he is capable of adding weight to the attack. As for Xhaka I don’t get it, his arrival confuses me. 7

Ozil: I have had a theory about this man for a while, there are in fact two Ozil’s the one that you see on telly and the one that you see when you go to the game. The problem with this is that it cannot be proved; I either have to watch the game live or watch it on telly. Every time I watch this man play at THOF he spends 90 minutes running his heart out, making me wonder how anyone could ever question his commitment to the cause. Not a bad game, not an outstanding game but he still did send in the superbly weighted cross for the lumbersexual to head home. 8

Giroud: and on the subject of the lumbersexual, I think I really should start by complimenting him on how well he took his goal which put a stop to a stadium erupting in booos just five minutes later and trust me, that is exactly what was about to happen. Giroud is OK; I would still have Perez playing for the ninety minutes but hay ho. 7


Sanchez: a centre forward, hmmm, really, the fact that we still discuss this shows that he jury is still out. The red hot chili pepper was on the wing yesterday and mercifully he was feeling the need to beat two players, before he passed, far less and it helped — it helped a lot. 7

Iwobi: West Brom were predictably going to be extremely well organised so we needed the silky skills of everyone’s favourite Nigerian to try and twinkle toe his way past the lines of defence and break the dead lock. It didn’t really happen for him, he is a great prospect but he still wouldn’t make my starting eleven. 7

written by LB


101 Responses to Arsenal vs WBA: Player Ratings

  1. Big Raddy says:

    Please note: LB did not intend this as a headline post. It was taken from comments and so good it made sense to withdraw it and publish this morning.

  2. mickydidit89 says:

    Thanks LB

    My favourite opening gambit on any AA comment is the LB classic: “I have had a theory about this…” and today he does not disappoint

    He is wrong though. Sanchez can play anywhere 🙂

    I too have a theory. Buy two more of the little fella 🙂

    Surfing today, and off in a minute so will catch up later.

  3. LB says:

    Good pics, I can see now why Giroud got his yellow card.

  4. LB says:

    Ben Foster, I bet he took ages putting that jumper on, picked it up, put it down, moved it from the left side of the table to the right side, picked it up again and walked behind the table, checked there was no mud underneath it and then finally put it over his head.

  5. chas says:

    Giroud was booked in the first half for dissent.

    Arsenal West Brom
    Home 76% Away 24%
    Home 26 Away 3
    Home 11 Away 7

    Anti-football Poolis’s team gave away 7 fouls – yeah right.

  6. chas says:

    Thanks for the ratings, LB.

    Love your Foster comment. It was so funny seeing him running around at the end. Almost makes you believe that football does give us some justice every now and again.

    The second half was exciting but looked like the forces of darkness might hold the upper hand. So pleased we escaped their clutches. 🙂

  7. chas says:

    I took this photo down just in case some wag from Devon suggested Giroud only scored because he had his eyes closed. 🙂

  8. chas says:

    This was from last April but still seems to have some relevance to yesterday. 🙂

  9. chas says:

    BANG – right in the timewaster’s face.

  10. Eddie says:

    oh wow:

    “Arsenal ‘definitely have a stronger squad’ than Premier League leaders Chelsea, claims Tony Pulis”

    was pullis honest or simply justifying the loss?

  11. Eddie says:

    very accurate ratings, thank you LB.
    I read with interest your comments about Xhaka, whom as you know I dislike, ok, too strong a word, but I don’t rate him as highly as Coquelin. you seem to be thinking that the two cancel each other efforts, or duplicate them, is that right? I still think that Coq is an outstanding player and Granit ain’t.

    Also agree about Iwobi. Good player, but no silky skills on display. On the contrary, he seems clumsy with his humongous feet, I am always worried he will trip himself

    Ollie performed for 94minutes, fair play to him! He is getting better with age, like a good French wine. Lovely, lovely goad, all credit to Ollie and Ozil, magnificent players.

    Not the best game I have seen, but great result, very funny too 🙂

  12. Rasp says:

    Thanks LB, I only saw the very scant highlights on MOTD so am not qualified to comment on the game.

    I think you are right about the problem lying in our midfield. I too am confused about Xhaka – I don’t really know what kind of midfielder he is … or rather we are trying to mould him into?

    Either way, that was a very hard earned 3 points and that is all that counts, I just hope Foster plays that well when WBrom play our rivals.

  13. fred1266 says:

    For the Giroud goal wash he being held, can’t understand how that not a foul

  14. A very good summary of yesterday’s proceedings.
    You have to study Ozil in the flesh before formulating an accurate opinion as to what he offers.
    Xhaka, at the moment it is difficult to see the purpose of his signing, not to mention the size of the fee. He did well enough yesterday, had lots of time on the ball enabling him to show a fine range of passing, but there are a number of other aspects of his game which are still under scrutiny and will be judged against stronger opposition when there is a real midfield battle with direct, talented opponents against him.

  15. LB says:

    Open comment to all AAers.

    There have been a couple of comments recently on the state of play here at AA. Peaches put forward the idea that Blogs might have had their day and generally asked about Twitter and Facebook.

    The response seemed to be that AA can be likened to a cozy pub of friends chatting about football with a warm open fire glowing in the corner. I like this image but it has to be admitted that things are not right, the fact that BR’s Man City pre-match remained there until he penned the West Brom pre-match, that’s eight days without any other ideas signals to me that questions need to be asked.

    Gone are the early days of this site when everyone was keen to express their views and a new post seemed to appear pretty much every day. I think what has become clear is that writing a head line post has become a time consuming burden. I am the only person who writes a match report and more often than not I see it as a chore.

    I feel for BR, because as much as he clearly loves this site I know that sometimes it must be a chore for him to write a pre-match every game and I fear that it is only a question of time before this self imposed responsibility loses it’s shine. I sense this is exactly what happened in Rocky’s case. He is the best writer this site has ever had and we need people like that to be able to come on here whenever they want for as long as they want without feeling like someone is going to ask them to write a headline post.

    The whole thing needs a rethink and I am opening this debate to try and find a way forward. I think first and foremost we have to find a way to remove the sense of burden. This seems to me to be the single largest reason why so few of that long list of authors return to this site on a regular basis.

    We all remember that situation of Peaches coming on the blog after a game and asking: right, who is going to write the match report at which time lots of people including myself would disappear. That is a burden of responsibility which doesn’t exist with Twitter. From what I can gather people can add a comment and then just leave and no one feels a burden of responsibility to write a meaningful article to keep the whole thing going and that lack of burden must be one of the reasons why Twitter has taken so much traffic away from blogs.

    I ask this question: what is the best part of this blog; that’s to say which time is the best?

    I would say the best time is just after a game when so many people are clearly excited to express their views. If you think about it, at that time this site acts like Twitter. (or my understanding of Twitter) But people are disappearing too quickly or worse not even commenting because they do not want to be asked to write a match report. This has to change.

    Kelsey made the point before he left that by the time you write a match report everyone has already commented which leaves the writer thinking: Why did I bother, and he is right. BR often says that he is going to hold back from commenting until the match report has been published and although this is meant out of respect it doesn’t work because it waters down the after game excitement. This whole thing has to change and it can.

    I want to come onto this site without ever thinking that I have to write a headline post, in fact I want everyone to be able to do the same – unless that is you want to write a full post because you are in the mood and that is what you fancy doing.

    In a nutshell we need the burden free commenting that Twitter offers but with the possibility of being able to write a longer, familiar headline post as well as being able to accommodate Chas and Ant’s extremely important match day experiences that we all vicariously enjoy so much.

    My solution is simple — do away with the idea of a headline post.

    Twitter doesn’t have one and they seem to do alright. A single comment seems to get that show up and running “Arsene Wenger ate my hamster” and off you go talking about it. I actually think a single headline would work but a picture and head line would be better.

    Look at this comment from Rocky yesterday.
    RockyLives says: December 26, 2016 at 6:29 pm

    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.

    That is the match report, add a picture to it and it is job done and then people like me can come on and add their view on the intricacies of the game. But my proposal is a bit more radical. I suggest that a small comment and a picture are put up to create a new post at the end of each game. Make sure you got that part folks, immediately at the end of the game.

    The down side is that this will make BR’s hard written pre-match very shortly viewed so I also suggest doing away with the pre-match as we know it and do the same as the match report; that being, simply have a picture and a small comment; for example: Arsenal v Tottenham and the comment would always be my favourite: Unleash Hell Boys, then add a Chas picture and the job is done.

    This frees up BR to write as and when he wishes and not be burdened by having to write something before every game.

    This idea will of course have an effect on NewsNow but does anyone care anymore, I don’t sense that anyone has the slightest interest in attracting new people. The clock is broken it does need fixing and if we want this site to continue then new ideas must be explored.

  16. LB says:

    Fred, we may well have been awarded a penalty for all the grabbing of Giroud if he hadn’t scored.

    Although, with our recent luck, hmmmmm, not so sure.

  17. chas says:

    I thought that the ref was so poor he was going to give a foul to the Baggies for Giroud holding the West Brom defender off just as the ball left Mesut’s boot.

  18. Rasp says:

    Thank you for your thoughts LB. It is true that blogs have suffered with the more instant accessibility of twitter etc. I feel the blog is a more personal and considered way of discussing football (and many other topics) and is not constrained by the need to follow a thread.

    I also agree that pressurising bloggers to write posts and expecting the likes of yourself, Raddy, chas and Micky to put in the effort is wrong.

    If we look back at where we started, we will remember that AA was very much a co-operative mission, but slowly contributors have dwindled. I think it is quite simple, we can continue as long as we accept that a daily post is not achievable and we support the site by chipping in with comments and posts when we can.

  19. Eddie says:

    LB – I am thinking about this

  20. LB says:


    I think that chipping in with comments as and when people can is the best that we can and should hope for, it is surely, after all, the raison d’etre of the site but the chipping in with posts as and when people can concerns me as this is the way things are now and it clearly is not working.

  21. chas says:

    I think you’ve made very good points in your 11.12.

    On the rare occasions I contribute a post I, too, find it a chore.

    Heaven knows what BR must feel like dragging the site along by its last remaining vestiges of hair, by writing 2 pre-match posts every week.

    I really like the idea of a trimmed down version of a pre-match and match report.
    I could certainly put up a photo and brief comment in the early morning of most games.
    After the match I’d struggle, as I’m usually on the way to the car, tube, hovercraft etc. 🙂

    I’m not sure the blog is much different now than it has been for the past couple of years. Those who wish to chat in the comments still do, regardless of the existence of a new post.

    My favourite times on the blog are when the chat is about nothing whatsoever to do with football. To me that’s probably because I’m saturated with 24 hour football opinion from elsewhere. The endless dissection leaves me cold.

    Over 1,000 visitors today already. 🙂

  22. chas says:

    Loving this…….

  23. Rasp says:

    Thanks LB, it looks like you, chas and I all agree. I said some time ago that a post doesn’t have to be 1,000 word epic, just a few bullet points or a simple question/hypothesis will suffice.

    I think the point is that there are enough of us who want to continue. Some of us (and I hold my hand up) need to make a bit more effort albeit without feeling the burden of expectation.

  24. chas says:

    Magnificent view of Spunky’s save.

  25. LB says:


    We are moving in the right direction. I want to try and come up with an idea that makes you feel as though you don’t have to put in more effort, in fact I want to go back to a time when there was no effort it was just something you did because you enjoyed it.

  26. LB says:

    Fascinating comment Chas

    I was really hoping that you were going to respond in that way. It appears to me that the bit you seem to do for fun could be used much more effectively.

    BR’s input is obviously key

    Its possible that I am completely off the mark and people are happy to go from one BR pre-match to the next BR pre-match without anything in between during which people just carry on commenting regardless, it will work as it has done for the last couple of years but surely we can find a better way of doing things without people feeling as though they are taking on more responsibility.

  27. Rasp says:

    Thanks LB, there’s no point if it’s not fun. I/we have made so many great friends through AA and it is still the thing that binds us. Every now and then, one of us has to take a rest … particularly if the blogging is becoming repetitive and argumentative, the important thing is to support those who are making the effort.

  28. LB says:

    That Watford mascott only did that because he was safe in the knowledge that there is no diving review committee 🙂

  29. VP of Oz says:

    For what its worth, I like the current set-up. The posts are very detailed and so are a lot of the football comments. Don’t mind if the posts become the header that leads into the comments because some of the comments are as good as the post and in some cases get turned into new posts anyway.

    As for twitter, I dropped off that grid a couple of years ago. I found it mindless and more prone to abuse. I rarely follow facebook anymore and anyway, their are now Snapchat and Instagram that are the main forums to use.

    I’ve copied the following 3 points from a Harvard Business Review article on the decline of Twitter –
    Twitter’s central problem is low-quality interaction: abuse.
    Today, we live in a world of strikingly dismally low-quality interactions.
    In an age of interaction, the simplest path to advantage is higher quality interaction. (and that is where I see the cosy fireplace of AA)

  30. GunnerN5 says:


    I appreciate your delving into this subject as AA has undergone a major change in the last 24 months or so.

    Personally I first blogged here due to the in depth football dialogue and the deep understanding the bloggers displayed of both the game itself and Arsenal in particular. That is what I still look for but unfortunately, for me at least, it’s disappearing, while football is still discussed it is becoming more of a social site.

    I enjoy reading the headline posts and over the years I’ve contributed more than my fair share and I’d be very happy to continue writing/researching posts.

    Raddy has done more than should be expected of one man and his contributions have been invaluable in maintaining and keeping the site alive.

    While I enjoy a bit of social banter I think it has now taking up an inordinately large part of the dialogue – with a lot being “inside” jokes/banter that excludes other readers and therefore makes them feel out of place and adds to the private club feeling.

    My love is for football and in particular Arsenal and I will grieve if we lose that as our main content.

  31. Rasp says:

    There is a certain irony about a site that is becoming the blog equivalent of a snug bar in a cosy country pub being called AA 🙂

    We can never please all the people, but we can maintain a standard and I think we still succeed in that.

  32. GunnerN5 says:

    Rasp that is such a general comment I’m not sure what you mean?

    Are you happy to let the blog continue to develop into a small social club?

  33. Eddie says:

    GN5 – what makes you think Rasp knows what it means?


  34. GunnerN5 says:

    Eddie – be nice 🙂 🙂 I like Rasp/

  35. Eddie says:

    I agree with the general consensus, but I fail to see how a different platform would attract more audience. At least a blog gives us something to start a discussion, without it we are unlikely to have a footballing chat. I know I am a big culprit of talking about anything but Arsenal, but that it simply because of my limited knowledge of the game. But I love reading views of the experts and would miss it terribly, if this site was to close down. Shit, that is a scary thought -what will I do first thing after breakfast???

  36. GunnerN5 says:

    Okay on second thoughts be Eddie 🙂 🙂

  37. GunnerN5 says:

    Eddie, getting back to your earlier comment you do know a lot about Arsenal. Some of us have seen more variations of the team and have been around for more years but it’s only the current version that are important – and you know as much about the current team as any of us.

    It’s not important if one understands tactics and formations as AA is fortunate enough to have GIE as a contributor and he has an excellent tactical knowledge.

    In fact AA is very well balanced with varying pools of knowledge that we get the benefit of each and every day and I would hate to see that fade away.

  38. chas says:

    I’ve no idea how LB suggesting a change in post format has morphed into a discussion about the blog ceasing to be.

    Maybe other agendas are afoot. 🙂

  39. GunnerN5 says:

    It’s not morphed into anything of the sort Chas.

    It’s about a blog ceasing to be as it once was and becoming more of a social club – not ceasing to exist.

  40. GunnerN5 says:

    To be absolutely clear my fear is that the blog will lose the quality football discussions and become more of a social club that also has football banter. Not that the blog will close.

  41. akinzo says:

    I am a big fan of AA and there’s hardly a day I don’t come here to read comments. I must admit though that I have been curious that there have been days when there were nothing new to discuss. I am a lot of times eager to write an article but I must admit that I have been constrained by some challenges. For some time now, I haven’t been watching games as I would love to due to health challenges and it’s been a while since I last paid for my cable TV and my laptop had issues. So, I follow AA on my phone and sometimes too I can’t even subscribed for data. The economy in Nigeria is that bad now. I am not that good a writer but I believe I could contribute to the headline posts regularly if I have the opportunity. I want to say that posters would return if there are new topics regularly.

  42. Big Raddy says:

    Interesting discussion.

    Firstly, there is no way I will allow AA to cease. I enjoy it too much.

    The Headline Posts: LB is right, sometimes a PM is a chore and over the years I find I have little to say that does not repeat what I have written in the past, especially my personal experiences of different grounds and matches, and I hate to be boring.

    Where else do I have the privilege of being able to write my thoughts without too much discussion and without censorship.

    The lack of a post between MC and WBA was disappointing. I had decided to see whether anyone would step up and change the post because I felt the onus was purely mine to keep AA going. The original group of people who created the site have little time or interest to do so.

    LB’s suggestion of a much shorter post is apposite and one (hate to say it) that Micky suggested some time age. Taking a comment out, like LB’s today, works well.

    We need headline posts. If we don’t have new posts the numbers of visitors decreases significantly, some become regulars. Some enjoy reading and don’t comment.

    2016 has been a difficult year for AA, decisions were made that have nothing to do with the enjoyment of blogging. We blog together because we choose to, no other reason. We do not take adverts, do not earn money, yet some this year (and last) have assumed there is a leadership which should monitor the sit – there isn’t.

    GN5 wants in depth football talk, we have this and GN5’s historical viewpoints adds much to the site. Some of us are not too good at analysis and prefer the social aspect – we have that too. And which other football site has sliding cats or reports on surf conditions?

    IMO AA is sustainable with a little work, not much, just a little. Those with the key to the controls can take 5 minutes to choose a comment and make it a headline post. Others can add a pic later.

    If we want it to work, it will.

  43. LB says:

    The blog equivalent of a snug bar in a cosy country pub being called AA (love the irony) is, in my opinion, the perfect comparison for many reasons and the useful one that I am going to use now is that you can’t talk about football all the time in those situations, it just gets dull, you have to have humour and banter to maintain the sense of, well-being.

    I believe the reason why the amount of football conversation has declined is down to the way we have accidentally fallen into doing things on the site, not because we are pushing for a more social site, although, that said I think it important to remember that without the humourous element this site would have tumble weed running across it.

    The present format of healine posts is not working, unless we go from one pre-match to the next and I for one do not see that as a sustainable model. As generous as it is of people to say that they will put in more effort that, in my opinion, is a temporary fix whereas I believe what is needed is a complete rethink.

    If immediately after a game we had a new post made up of a picture and a comment immediately we would get more people eager to express their view on the game and feed off the other comments that would have already appeared.

    Important Bit.

    Look what has happened to day, all those interesting comments from after yesterday’s game are out of view. They should be seen, people should be able to make further comments on the existing comments.
    I do not expect this to be an immediate success, it will take some time to get used to but I would like to give it a try.

    Coming to the concern about attracting new people.

    I am not convinced that that is important to anyone anymore, does it matter? Why should it? If they find the site great if not, well hey ho.

    I think what is important is that the people who use this site feel good about it and do not feel pressured to have to write posts.

    I am trying to find a way forward in which no one feels pressured about anything and can talk about surfing, cycling, Tourtiere pie or purple Dr Martins and sometimes even football.

  44. LB says:


    I hadn’t read your comment when I posted mine. Just so you know.

  45. GunnerN5 says:

    I agree with your viewpoint Raddy, as I said earlier I will be happy to do my share and contribute headline posts, although some may not be 100% original content.

  46. Big Raddy says:

    LB. Now I know 😀

    I also think that as long as there is a link to the previous post we can have more than one post a day. Others do.

    Do numbers of viewers matter? Not sure.

  47. LB says:

    OK, now I have read yours BR and it seems that you are on board.

    So, this is what I suggest as a trial run: Chas handle the Palace pre-match however he sees fit, picture, funny comment, anyway he wants at any time he wants.

    Now comes the tricky bit, we need someone to take a comment after the match from either the already made comments or one of their own and post is with a picture, I want to try and avoid setting in stone who takes on this responsibility but lets try and let it unfold and see if it works. So to be clear anyone who can do this please go for it, all you have to do is be in the mood.

    Right, now what we have is a situation where no one has to write the pre match and no one has to write the match report, no one now needs to feel pressured about writing anything so we are back to where we started all those years ago and that is anyone can write anything they want because they simply enjoy it.

    That’s me done for the day,

    Happy New Year

  48. GunnerN5 says:

    LB. An issue with posting and commenting on games immediately after the games completion is that typically you get an emotional response which rarely reflects a considered viewpoint.

    I usually shy away from post game comments as they cause me too much angst – especially when we lose………..

  49. GunnerN5 says:

    Raddy – I for one would be delighted if you started match days off with a post – even if it’s not a full blown headline piece.

  50. LB says:


    It will need a sober person to choose the comment and the picture after a loss.

    I never have any desire to write anything after a loss.

  51. LB says:


    I sense your concern but remember BR will still add a comment underneath Chas’ post. How do I know this, he has been doing it since Le Grove, it’s a Pavlovian reaction, he can’t stop anymore than I can.

  52. LB says:

    I believe we will get far more good football talk out of BR if he isn’t tied to the pre-match.

    I think it is obviously important to get Peaches view on this and then Chas needs to agree and we are off and running.

  53. Rasp says:

    I think an important part of the pub/clique analogy is that we know a lot about one another in terms of our approach to football/Arsenal/life and so we accept our differences ….. this defines us as a group. We can (or at least should) be able to air differences without uncomfortable conflict. I agree with GN5, we have some very clever football analysts on AA and I learn a lot from them.

  54. Rasp says:

    Actually, TBH, a friendly conflict of opinion is far ore enjoyable than a love-in of agreement 🙂

  55. Rasp says:

    I tried to address this situation a few years ago and suggested some kind of structured rota system or perhaps the creation of a widget where bloggers could plan ahead and pledge input in the days ahead. ……… that was never going to work 🙂

  56. LB says:


    If we had a rota people will be back to feeling a burden to write and they will disappear when it is their turn and unfortunately never return because they will be embarrassed.

  57. Eddie says:

    what, no BR prematch?? that’s not a change, that’s a revolution. I am afraid I am against. It gives the blog a structure and joy to readers.

    We need a need to have a referendum

  58. Rasp says:

    Absolutely LB, I agree. The rota system was a non-starter … my naivety.

    It has to be a labour of love not a burden of expectation.

  59. Rasp says:

    I’d be quite happy to pledge one post a week as long as no-one expects it be Rocky quality 🙂

    We could come up with a template for PMs with statistical info that can be easily wiki’d and maybe a short para at beginning and end?

  60. LB says:

    Everyone loves a BR pre-match but the whole thing is in danger of completely disappearing if changes are not made. And by that I mean as I said above that this site will not last if it goes from one BR pre-match to another as happened from City to West Brom.

    I am happy to hear other suggestions.

  61. GunnerN5 says:

    I could also commit to a weekly post and yes it will be a burden – but in my case a burden of love…………

  62. GunnerN5 says:

    I think that Raddy will make his own decision on his PM posts.

  63. LB says:


    There is no reason why your suggestion wouldn’t work albeit a bit dry but ask, what would be the first comment of the day.

    It would be Chas’ with a clever or funny picture, so why not have that as the headline and then let everyone add their views on the days proceedings as and when they feel?

  64. She’s here 🙂 all very interesting stuff. I have always felt that having the site was more important than not having it – it saved my sanity when we created it and having all of you to chat to was a remarkable turnaround in my life and so I am eternally grateful and will do whatever you all want to keep it going.

    When we started up we wanted original content and there were enough of us to keep that dream alive but maybe that’s not so important now. With that in mind we could pinch any number of items that are posted on twitter or photos that are out there in the ether and use them as a starting point without having to say that we had ‘created’ a post.

    Although we get lots of views from ‘newsnow’ we don’t attract supporters that want to chat and so as others have said do we really care?

    What gets lost if we put up multiple posts in any day is any thread of discussion so I think it would be sensible to stick to one a day/every couple of days.

    I agree that we shouldn’t wait until the next day for post match comments although LB’s eloquent excitable match reports after a win are such a joy to read!!!!!!!!!

    And I’m happy to put my hat into the ring to add to pre-match posts.

    Other than that GunnerN5’s contribution is priceless.

    Lets see how it pans out …………………

    Keep the cat sliders, surfing, abstract photos and silly pug videos

  65. Eddie says:

    less cats, more dogs is what we need.

  66. GunnerN5 says:

    Chas back to football for a moment, your 3:53 is a great analysis and one that I’ve never seen before.

    It shows that teams whose goal is gain just a point in away games can waste in WBA’s case, as much as 9.23 minutes or 10% of a game in just goal kicks.

    I wonder what that time would be if we added free kicks and throw in’s?

  67. Another option is to have a closed Facebook page which is what kelsey set up for himself …………. but then we would all have to be on Facebook which may not suit everyone.

  68. LB says:

    Hi Peaches

    How about we just give it a trial run and see what happens, can we agree that we humbly ask Chas who really is the expert when is comes to Twitter and Youtube to handle the Palace pre-match?

    Can you just confirm that this is ok with you Chas?

  69. Aaron says:

    Disagree with most about Xhaka.
    Did people just not watch the game?
    142 – Passes by Granit Xhaka today (led all players)
    If the Arsenal do not have Mustafi or Xhaka playing, who is going to push the ball vertically or diagonally (not sideways) with pace and touch?
    No one!
    Xhaka switches the ball to the other side of the field when teams overload the side. Passing it 2-3 times to do the same thing takes days. His passes up through the channels against pressing teams are about the only thing standing between Arsenal and their own goal line.
    Just my lousy one cent.

  70. GunnerN5 says:


    My issue with having a closed F/B site is that it tends to get very stale with the same views repeated, I like the fact that AA does attract outside comments even though most are just casual one off visits.

  71. GunnerN5 says:

    Aaron I felt the same way about Xhaka in fact the more games he plays the better he appears.

  72. Yes LB, absolutely lets give it a go …………….

    I’d be interested to know how many use a smart phone for blogging ……only because it’s useful to get notifications but that they can also drive you mad. Might need to bring Mr Didit up to speed on this.

    If you use a smart phone do you use the WordPress app or open the blog through the internet.

  73. No one has mentioned the punch up between Lucas and Gabriel? What was that all about?

  74. See I just love a scandalous headline 🙂

  75. Big Raddy says:

    Wait a doggone minute. Am I being sacked from my PM job?

    I like to write them but do not want it to be that I feel I HAVE to write them.

    As LB rightly says, I have a Pavlovian response to an AA comment 😀

    My game day starts with the PM because it gets me in the mood for the match. I enjoy the research and enjoy the keyboard work.

    If fellow AA’ers are bored with them, I will stop but until then can I continue but if I feel pressured just say so a day before and ask for help? It has worked in the past.

    The problem with chas having to come up with something is that it becomes an unwanted burden for Chas instead of BR.

    My concern lies more with the in-between days, this is where LB’s idea will help the site.

    This is just my opinion and if others would prefer a new style of PM, so be it. I promise I will not take offence.

  76. Big Raddy says:

    IMO FB does not work. I hate, make that really hate, the crap adverts.

  77. chas says:

    I’m fine with it.
    It’s BR who should decide.
    Maybe his life wouldn’t feel complete if he didn’t have to spend a couple of hours every matchday writing a post which is often ignored unless two idiots drinking on a train try to get folks to respond. 🙂

    By the way, I think that partially the reason for no posts between BR’s Man City and Baggies ones was because most people were heartily sick of all things Arsenal after two away defeats in consecutive games (having led in both).
    When I did read comments, they were bringing me down and I’d be a fool to continue reading anything which was doing that to me, wouldn’t I?

  78. chas says:

    I was writing my comment and got distracted part way through.

    The job’s yours old bean. I’d certainly miss them if they weren’t part of my matchday experience.

    I think you’re right, maybe a short photo plus sentence could fill in gaps.

    I also think that the match report is a ball ache as LB says. Most have already had their say before the next day at 9.30am comes around.

  79. Big Raddy says:

    And just to cheer things up. Cop for this ….

  80. chas says:

    Here’s my effort – nice bit of scenery. 🙂

  81. Big Raddy says:

    I think I have been there 🙂

  82. chas says:

  83. LB says:

    Well a very interesting chat at the very least.

  84. LB says:

    I connected that cat with Micky coming back from surfing and reading today’s comments.

  85. chas says:

    Much more appropriate than I had in mind, LB.

  86. chas says:

  87. chas says:

    Could do with some of these.

  88. mickydidit89 says:


    I’ve been back for at least an hour, but decided before entering the north atlantic I didn’t need boots, gloves or hood.

    I did. Very badly. It’s been the long thaw. I am so deeply cold.

    Anyway, I have read all comments, and you have done sterling work. Much appreciated. Removing the choriness of post obligation would be a massive move in the right direction. I think the current balance of the site is spot on, although some more frequent page changing would be a big plus.

    I’m all for a headline (preferably misleading) followed by a provocative line or two. That would suit my in-depth analytical style down to the ground 🙂

  89. LB says:

    When you said that you were going surfing this morning I must admit I felt a twinge of jealousy, it sounded such a great thing to do in that warm sea with the sun beating down — hmmmmm I had forgotten how brass monkeys the whole experience must have been. Still, better than my dull stroll down the Edgware road.

  90. mickydidit89 says:

    I never feel the tiniest of twinges of jealousy when I think of you mounting a mountain of that dreadful two wheeled contraption of yours. None whatsoever. Sheer agony. So unnecessary 🙂

  91. mickydidit89 says:

    Seriously LB, I haven’t enjoyed penning a post for about two years.

    Now, however, the thought I could get away with a quickie makes me tingle

  92. mickydidit89 says:

    Chas’ 6:38 pussy is brilliant. To me the little fella is thinking “shit, they’re getting all heavy. I lie low”

  93. mickydidit89 says:


    Love it. Took two minutes. SENT

  94. chas says:

    Done – ready to roll. 🙂

  95. chas says:

    I’m not around after 7 o’clock, so could put the post up now or leave it for someone else to do?

  96. chas says:


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