Watford, Minnows & Days of Yore.

An away draw at Sutton Utd . A win takes us into the 6th round a loss is unthinkable

Back in the Days of Yore, I went with AFC to Yeovil for an away Cup game.

In order to get tickets one had to check in the program, find out when the tickets went on sale and then arrive at Highbury at least 4 hours before the sale time. This meant bunking off school, not a problem for some but I had High Hopes (sadly unachievable 🙂 )

I recall it was a very cold queue though we got  to sing a fair bit before the turnstiles opened. I am not sure but think we queued at the Clock End, but as I seemed to be forever queuing for tickets to see the Arsenal, it could have been the North Bank. I preferred the North Bank because then I got a chance to visit the sweet shop to buy a bag of Mint Imperials.

Thousands were in the queue and less than half would have got tickets. Such was the disdain of the club for it’s fans that there was little stewarding and no-one to assess when to stop people from a vain pursuit. Even as a schoolboy I was able to understand that if there were 1000 tickets on sale, in a queue of 30000+ most would be wasting their time. But then, this was in The Days Of Yore, when folk just queued for a hobby. I remember queueing every Saturday night for the newspaper!

Different today. The molly-coddled away boys apply for tickets from the cosy comfort of their sitting rooms, only having to press a few keys on their laptops.


It was a long journey on a freezing day down to Yeovil. Dennis Sugarman got attacked by some Yokels but not too badly. We escaped a beating by running into a hotel lobby. It was the Way it Was.

We won 3-0, thanks to a Raddy brace and went on to win the Double.

So …. Sutton away. Should be exciting.

Yeovil is (and was) much like Sutton. A banana-skin fixture. Tiny ground, crap pitch, no glory for a victory.

p.s. I am reminded that we are playing Watford at the Emirates tonight! And it is transfer Deadline Day!  Just in case you are thinking “what a silly old fool Raddy is” may I point out that Tempes Fugit and it will be your turn to live in the cosy cocoon of forgetfulness in the coming years 😀

My Team:


Bellerin    Gabriel  Koscielny   Monreal

Ramsey    Coquelin   Iwobi

Theo   Sanchez   Ozil

We need a good and an injury-free performance ahead of Chelsea

Let it be so …

written by Big Raddy

89 Responses to Watford, Minnows & Days of Yore.

  1. LB says:

    Err, interesting pre-match BR

  2. mickydidit89 says:

    I think you’re saying today’s away boys are lazy 🙂
    We, the armchairers, demand queues on cold, wet and stormy days.

    Love the four lads on the stand roof in the pic

    Thanks Erik

  3. mickydidit89 says:


    Shhh, Erik hasn’t realised we play Watford today 🙂

  4. mickydidit89 says:

    Judging by Arsene’s words, I think Danny may play the last 20 mins,
    so who starts front three?

    Will he go for the Sanchez, Perez, Theo, or bring Ollie in to start?

    Tonight is a must win, but he will be thinking ahead to Chelsea

  5. mickydidit89 says:

    Yeah, exactly Chas, Erik slithering down the wing “overtaking” 🙂

  6. mickydidit89 says:

    Once a snake, always…… 🙂

  7. Big Raddy says:

    It is true – I forgot we were playing tonight.

    Am I embarrassed? No.

    But as a sop to you pen-pushing sticklers I will add something to the post.

  8. chas says:

    You know Giroud will be back in the team after his weekend rest.
    Even if Arsene doesn’t think he’s the best player for the job, he’ll still pick him just to piss you off. 🙂

  9. chas says:

  10. Lovely pre-match Raddy 😉 thank you back later

  11. chas says:


    Mustafi rested for Gabriel at CB. Interesting.

    Think I’d prefer Holding at the moment if Skod needs a break before Saturday.

  12. Big Raddy says:

    We are playing 3 games in a week and I don’t expect any player to play all 3 (apart from Bellerin!)

  13. Big Raddy says:

    Love the pics and vids Chas. Thank you

  14. fred1266 says:

    Not a fan of the Ox but think he should get a run after a fine display Saturday

  15. mickydidit89 says:


    I do understand that football is no longer a game for eleven, it is very much a squad thing, and I do see Ollie as a key component of that squad.

    What I think about tonight’s selection having one eye on Chelsea, is that Arsene may choose to stick to a similar style of play, so that he can slot Danny back more seamlessly. If that is his plan.

  16. mickydidit89 says:


    I know you think I’m harsh on Ollie, so let me explain.

    From time to time I’m overcome by leftie tendencies where I treat people equally and am nice and fair to all. To combat this, I have allocated a group of people upon whom I can always look down on.

    They are, and always have been the French, what with their nasty foreign cuisine, ghastly hot sticky climate and strange creatures of the night that hover about trying to hop into bed with you the moment you’re not looking

    I hope you understand. It’s nothing personal.

  17. mickydidit89 says:

    Just seen the Erik line up

    That would be very nice. I wonder if Arsene was tempted to give The Ox another go.

  18. Rasp says:

    Lovely distraction from worrying about the impending game … thanks Raddy 🙂

    Actually tonight is another potential banana skin. Watford are on a bad run and will be seeking to put that right starting tonight. I predict a big bus and hopeful punts forward to ‘the big man’.

    It’s just another 3 points … another vital 3 points though if we want to retain hope of overtaking the chavs

  19. LB says:

    Love that interview with Monreal.

  20. chas mobile says:

  21. chas mobile says:


  22. chas mobile says:

    Did you see Food Unwrapped yesterday?
    Next week they have a report on harvesting the Polish delicacy, carp. 😆

  23. Oooooh love those Sunbites and Quavers Chas and Ant. I hope you’ve got a woolly Ant it’s really dark and miserable in London today

  24. LB says:

    I do like to see what we are eating and drinking on our journeys to the Ems.

    Certainly is a fine spread today.

  25. mickydidit89 says:

    Looks to me like the boys are on a diet

  26. Ant says:

    That must be my twin on the train

  27. Big Raddy says:

    I would like a review of the Rheinbacher. Looks a fine tipple

  28. mickydidit89 says:

    Mmmm, sorry to disagree Erik, but I reckon the ciders are of superior quality

  29. Ant says:

  30. chas mobile says:

    Soz everybody, I was bored on the train.
    The train photo was from last year in an attempt to get Eddie to bite.

    Ant was on a course in Solihull. I was on the train on my Jack Jones.

    Ant’s just arrived. We’re now in the Worlds End before moving to the FFB.

  31. Ant says:

    No-one’s mentioned Sutton’s artificial pitch that we will have to play on

  32. chas mobile says:

    The Rheinbacher is good stuff but it is ‘produced for Aldi’ so is probably produced in Limerick rather than Bremen.
    They’ve just started selling 4× 500ml cans for £2.99. 😊

  33. mickydidit89 says:

    Wouldn’t the perfect surface of an artificial pitch favour the ball playing skills of The Arsenal
    It was the mud bath and long grass I was worried about

  34. Big Raddy says:

    Sounds like Micky knows which is the quality tipple. Though Aldi sell a wonderful Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand for a ridiculously cheap price (about a fiver in Dk). Highly recommended

  35. Big Raddy says:

    Worlds End was a fine pub before it got new owners. Always enjoyed the FFB, especially in summer

  36. Big Raddy says:

    Micky. Carpet burn. (something OG is well used to)

  37. mickydidit89 says:

    Bad news, I’ll be lucky to grab odd minutes here and there during tonight’s game
    Good news, in a few weeks we get fibre optic broadband and finally join the modern era

  38. Big Raddy says:

    Could be a lonely vigil for BR.

  39. mickydidit89 says:

    Let mead be your friend and know you’re never alone

  40. mickydidit89 says:

    I promise to wave in your general direction as I waft past

  41. mickydidit89 says:

    Blimey, I forgot Pool were playing Chavs tonight, while Sunderland could beat Totnum

  42. chas mobile says:

    Light a candle and chant for 80 minutes.

  43. Eddie says:

    sorry sorry lads I was otherwise engaged.
    looks like I have missed out on some fun today, damn damn damn

    Carp is delicious and it is a Jewish delicacy too. Most carp for Xmas is imported to Poland from Israel. And you might know Jews loooooveee their food. They love carp = carp aint bad, simples.

  44. mickydidit89 says:

    Cech, Gabriel, Mustafi, Koscielny, Monreal, Coqulin, Ramsey, Iwobi, Ozil, Alexis Sanchez, Giroud.

    Subs: Ospina, Gibbs, Bellerin, Maitland-Niles, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Walcott, Lucas Perez

  45. mickydidit89 says:

    Yes Eddie, carp is delicious ROLF

  46. Eddie says:

    what? no Welbeck??

  47. mickydidit89 says:

    I’M OFF

  48. fred1266 says:

    Am why bellerin not playing

  49. Eddie, carp is not delicious

  50. Eddie says:

    how do you know? all you eat is salmon

  51. Big Raddy says:

    I think carp is very tasty. Depends, as ever, upon the cook.

  52. Big Raddy says:

    BR scored 9/11. Not bad.

  53. Eddie says:

    Raddy, I have just read the PM, brilliant story, but not a word about tonight’s game, what’s that all about??

  54. Eddie says:

    did you really bank off school and went to queue for tickets? ha ha ha, brilliant memories, I wish I had some like yours.
    you are right about changes brought about by internet, no stone unturned, even football is a virtual entity. I used to collect paper tickets from games I went to. What do you get now, a bar code?

    is the game on the telly?

  55. mickydidit89 says:

    Ok, hope to get 20 mins viewing

  56. Big Raddy says:

    Our pre-match music is dreadful

  57. Big Raddy says:

    Weather looks awful in London. Is it?

    And the referee is already showing his crapness

  58. Big Raddy says:

    Never a free kick and Marriner gifts Watford a goal.

    Come on You Gunners

  59. Big Raddy says:

    Oh sugar. Now we have a problem. We have started dreadfully.

  60. mickydidit89 says:

    Now’s a good time for Stevie Bould to pretend comms are down and make all three sub changes 🙂

  61. Big Raddy says:

    Ramsey gone, No chance he will be fit for Chavs. This is turning very nasty.

    Still 70 mins to get back into it.

  62. oz gunner says:

    Ramsey with his biweekly soft tissue injury. Any time he comes back and starts to build some form…

    This is looking like Bournemouth all over again. Come on, pull your fingers out

  63. mickydidit89 says:

    It is odd how so much can go wrong at the same time, like tackling, passing, movement….weird

    Still, plenty of time

  64. mickydidit89 says:

    come on
    nab one before oranges

  65. mickydidit89 says:

    Yikes, chavs 1-0 up

  66. Big Raddy says:

    Crikey. Everything was carp.

    Can you name a player who is playing at his normal leve?

    Both goals were awful. The first was never a foul, the second a series of defensive errors. Not just one but three or four.

    Upfront. Nothing. Zip. Not a single shot troubling their GK. Not a header on target.

    How to change it? Well, Bellerin has to come on for Gabriel who is having a ‘mare. We need some width if OG is to get in the game.

  67. mickydidit89 says:

    carp 🙂

  68. Rasp says:

    I dunno about carp …. flounder is a word that comes to mind. We weren’t switched on from the start. Would the team that played Southampton be 2 down … I doubt it

  69. oz gunner says:

    yes, there’s one. 2 more

  70. GoonerB says:

    Sorry guys just appearing now so a belated thanks to Raddy for the pre-match.

    Not watching the game but I seem to find that I know how I feel about things before the game starts just by seeing the line up. I really feel more and more that AW has a major mental issue with how he views his line-ups and how he envisions our play developing from it.

    I think he has a utopian idea about what types of players he prefers, and hence has collected too many similar players. Then I think he has a utopian vision of some intricate interplay unfolding with these players that he prefers, and completely overlooks whether it is balanced, whether the players are playing in their best positions, and whether we are sacrificing pace in the side (something that I feel is critical in the modern game even potentially over technique at times).

    He has currently gone back to the Ramsey, Iwobi, Ozil, Sanchez line up behind the slower target striker again. It lacks any pace (Sanchez aside) either from the guy up top or from players who can get past him. We have laboured with this combination many times already (a couple of games aside) so why is it still his preferred combination of players.

    Rasp, do you remember a few years back when we were discussing how Ozil Cazorla and Ramsey didn’t work well behind Giroud and at the time it was normally Walcott, Welbeck or the Ox who had the only true pace (like Sanchez now). We felt that the trio of Ramsey, Ozil and Cazorla couldn’t all play in the team at the same time, particularly behind a slower striker. It seems to me that he is revisiting the same issues from the past.

    I actually like all our players individually but I would observe that, despite his attributes and value to the squad, we too often play badly when we start with Ollie up top. Too many disjointed performances that lack fluidity and don’t match the quality of the team on paper. Further I would say that the Ramsey, Iwobi, Ozil combination again doesn’t work and that one of them has to be sacrificed for someone like Welbeck, Perez, Walcott or AOC to get that extra pace around the main striker.

    I really hope we pull this back but I really don’t feel it will make an overall difference as don’t see this problem going away. I feel AW has exhibited the same flaws in his thinking going back a few seasons now. Maybe he will change his thinking because he has the squad options to play a far more effective team.

  71. Big Raddy says:

    Dreadful first half left us too much to do.

    Surely AW cannot start with OG again. We looked so much better with Perez upfront.

    Fairplay to Watford. They played well and certainly deserved at least a point.

  72. fatgingergooner says:

    Pretenders. That’s the only word I can think of for Arsenal at the moment.

  73. oz gunner says:

    Agreed FGG.

    You can’t start like that in the premier league anymore. Teams will cut you up. Did we learn nothing when we played Bournemouth.

    Disappointing especially when you factor in that Totts and Chelsea drew. With our run home we can’t afford slip ups like this.

  74. fatgingergooner says:

    I wouldn’t worry too much about the remaining fixtures oz. We will scrape enough points to finish top 4, lose to Bayern in the CL, and probably reach semis of FA Cup. Seen it all before. At least we’ve got great mental strength though! 😄

  75. oz gunner says:

    yep. Deja Vu.

    I think Alexis will leave if that’s how it unfolds.

    I still blame Gallas and Martin taylor.

  76. RockyLives says:

    Well that was a bit disappointing. At such moments I like to think “what would Dandan have said?”

    It would be something like “Not quite at the races tonight. Good chance to put things right at the weekend.”

  77. fatgingergooner says:

    Chelsea a
    Hull h
    Bayern a
    Sutton a
    Southampton a (to be rearranged)
    Liverpool a
    Bayern h

    Doesn’t make good reading. Wenger has to go end of season IF we end up way off the title pace and out of comps by March. He can’t see that as a season worthy of a new contract. I hope we pull it out of the bag but not holding my breath.

    It’s hard to try and stay positive when the team just lets you down whenever it’s crunch time.

  78. LB says:

    There is a short post in drafts, I don’t have time to write player ratings so if anyone else is having trouble sleeping please go ahead.

  79. LB says:

    I like the idea of blaming Gallas, somehow it seems appropriate.

  80. fatgingergooner says:

    In 3 and a half seasons, our club captain has started 13 of a possible 137 PL games. That’s less than 10%. Why is the captaincy consistently being handed out to players who can’t even make the team? Don’t tell me they are great leaders in the changing because I don’t believe it. At what point have Arteta, Vermaelen and Mertersacker proven themselves great leaders? In the same period, Koscielny has started 111 PL games. At least he plays like a captain.

    Gabriel is now our back up RB!? How did that happen? How is he still an Arsenal player? At no point have I watched him play and thought ‘he looks genuine Arsenal quality’. He’s just not good enough to be a CB and certainly isn’t a RB.

    Ramsey injured again. He cannot play more than a handful of games without tearing a muscle. There are serious problems with the way he plays and what is being asked of him. He’s not suited to play as one of our midfield pair. I’ve watched him have his best ever season playing as a number 10 and he’s often one of Wales best players playing as a number 10, yet we use him as a CM player where he runs round like he’s on steroids and ends up crocked every 5 games. If he can’t get in our team as a 10, then sell him or use him as back up for Özil. Don’t force him into another position where he’s nowhere near as effective and where his body breaks down every few months.

    We went 18 games unbeaten earlier in the season with Sanchez as a ST, yet now everyone’s fit we’ve gone away from that and we look far less effective. I don’t understand it.

    Giroud has had his playing time managed so far this season yet is still starting to show signs of having his usual mid-season slump! If he does tail off and stops scoring for a lengthy period then it’s blatantly obvious that he’s just not capable of getting 20+ goals a season and maybe we’d be better served using somebody who is (Welbs or Sanchez spring to mind). He’s got his new contract now though so will he really care!?

  81. fatgingergooner says:

    One last complaint. The last really good performance I remember this season (not including our reserves turning over Southampton reserves last week) was West Ham away, 12 games ago! Since then we’ve been pretty average for the most part with glimpses of quality now and again.

  82. chas says:

    I’m going to add some ratings to LB’s draft as a cathartic process.

    I’ve just signed up to Pinterest which presents everything in graphic form (before you ask, that’s in the pictorial sense rather than the explicit sense 🙂 ).
    These two popped up in my inbox this morning, both of which seemed appropriate in a way.

    First, we have advice for the Arsenal team when faced with the might of a team like Watford.

    Second, we have personal advice for me after last night. 🙂

  83. mickydidit89 says:

    Ah ha, I get it, like The Samaritans

    I vote Eddie mans the AA Helpline for The Weak 🙂

  84. Eddie says:

    morning all 🙂 I had a lovely sleep, went to bed early and slept like a log. The only regret I have is watching that shit in first half.

  85. chas says:


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