Bubbles, Bilic and Betrayal

In recent fixtures West Ham Bob has written the pre-match for this London derby, giving us a view on things Hammery, sadly he is otherwise engaged so you will have to ….

My early recollections of WHU are not good and perhaps influenced my attitude towards our East London neighbours.

In the Days of Black and White, when Spurs had recently won the League, I was a North Bank regular. Every week there was violent competition to “take” the home end at away grounds. At WHU it was the Chicken Run, at Chelsea , the Shed etc etc and at Arsenal away fans tried to “take” the North Bank.

Being a peace-loving long-haired hippy, this violence was not particularly attractive and on Derby Days i would leave my regular spot (towards the back, left side of the goal) and go down the front with the other gentle folk.

The Hammers came to Highbury with fans dressed to kill (literally), a Young Hammer standing by me, pulled out a knife and moved towards me, thankfully an older lady pushed in front of me and told him to desist (in somewhat different language), and called the police to remove the future assassin. He was frog-marched out much to the delight and derision of the North Bank, but I was mentally scarred and have disliked WHU ever since.

The violence both inside and outside Highbury in those Dark Days was terrible to behold – the vitriol shown in yesterday’s post was nothing compared to those days.

Onto tonight’s game: Bilic seems a decent chap and wants to play good passing football in the Academy fashion, sadly he is let down by his players. The Payet saga was awful to watch, imagine how it would have been as a Hammer, to see a man turn from hero to hate figure in less than a season was yet another indication of how morally bankrupt some players are.The WHU fans joy at the removal of Fat Sam is starting to fade as they struggle to get results. What impact will this have on tonight? They will PTB, play hoofball and be dangerous at set plays. The midfield will become a battlefield with  the usual rotational fouling. Andy Carroll.

We have to fight in a different way, move the ball quickly, avoid the physical threat, play smart. Unfortunately we seem to have forgotten how.

I would start with the same team as Sunday, perhaps giving Iwobi or Ox a start as we lacked creativity and urgency vs MC.

My Team:


Bellerin      BFG    Mustafi     Monreal

Ox      Xhaka     Ozil

Walcott      Giroud     Sanchez

Giroud adds heights at set plays, especially in defence. Welbeck may be best off the bench. Given Coquelin’s fine performance it may be harsh to drop him, especially in what will be a physical game, but Ox offers more.

BFG? I don’t understand why he is not getting games. Club captain, a fine, experienced player especially at set plays which seem to be both a  major weakness and WHU’s main attacking weapon. Mertesacker has not had games in the youth teams like Welbeck etc. Why not? Mr Wenger says he is fit and in the squad but needs game-time. Tonight may well be a opportunity to give him that.

A clean sheet seems to be beyond us this season, so goals for are essential, WHU have more points playing away from home. Arsenal are struggling for fluency and confidence. Should be a good night.

We need 3 points and have the team to take them.

Let it be So

written by Big Raddy


95 Responses to Bubbles, Bilic and Betrayal

  1. chas says:

    Thanks for the millionth time, BR.

    Maybe we need a more attacking team against West Ham. We looked good at theirs once we could play counter attacking football.
    Early goal, and one more before half time might make them come out.
    Who knows? Not me, that’s for sure.

  2. Rasp says:

    Superb, thanks Raddy.

    I’d play Coquelin for Ozil .. but that’s never going to happen 🙂

    So the smart thing to do is not what AW suggested in his press conference = try to play the game in their half … that leaves us open to the counter. The smart thing to do is to keep our shape, no big gaps between the defence and the midfield, to avoid giving away free kicks near our box and defend as team … and press as a team.

  3. Ian says:

    Don’t worry,I’m a hammers fan and if you can’t put another 3 past our lack lustre midfield and defence tonight then there really is a problem at the Emirates .

  4. GunnerN5 says:

    Thanks BR, I remember the violence between opposing sets of fans only too well, but fighting among our own supporters is just awful.

    I hope that neither Ozil or Walcott are in the starting line up, they both went missing against Man C and they rarely give 100% – Ozil in particular. I would start Coquelin and Welbeck instead, they never fail to give their all

  5. chas says:

  6. GunnerN5 says:

    One of our missing ingredients is heart and I would tend to play those who consistently give 100% rather than putting skill first.

    My list would include – Sanchez, Ox, Welbeck, Coquelin, Xhaka, Mustafi, Monreal, and Gabriel who should trepace Bellerin.

  7. GunnerN5 says:

    That is so dangerous Chas, pepper spray infuriates animals and bears are really fast (35mph) and will attack in an instant – pepper spray would give no her defense.

  8. Morning all

    Thank you Raddy for the pre-match.

    I’m awfully pleased not to be starting the day in 7th 😉 thank you Fergie time 🙂

    I agree GN5 about starting players who definitely look like they want to play. I was very disappointed with Ozil on Sunday which does make me sad to say. Theo’s lack of goal celebration makes me think he’s been reading what’s said online about him and the team.

    Scoring a goal against Man City is a big deal and should have been greeted with a full on knee slide 🙂

    Anyway I shall be there singing loud and proud and look forward to a few goal celebrations – probably put a hex on it now 😦

  9. What’s with the ‘go away bear, bear go away’? 🙂

  10. VP of Oz says:

    Great post BR, thank you.
    I’d have Welbeck over Giroud and Iwobi over Ox
    but happy either way

  11. GunnerN5 says:

    Peaches, on canoe trips with my late brother in law we used to prop up the canoe with sticks and sleep under it with our heads at different ends. We were always aware that bears forage around camps looking for food so at night Barry slept with a shotgun at his side and I had a big flashlight.

    Sure enough one night we heard a bear scratching around – so I shouted out loud and shone the light outside – we never had to shoot as we heard the bear ran off. We stoked up our campfire and sat up all night and took off at daylight.

    Black bears are commonplace in northern Ontario there are estimated to be over 200.000.

  12. VP of Oz says:

    It is shaping up as a very interesting and competitive end of the season.
    AW and some of the payers are confident we will finish in the top 4 again. History shows that this is likely to happen again.
    So IF we do, who drops out?
    I’m going Chavs Spuds City and Arsenal with Manu and Pool missing out again, even with their great world class managers

  13. Rasp says:

    I hope Merts plays, I shall be delighted to see him bring some calm control back to our defence … just as long as other players cover when he goes foraging upfield 🙂

  14. jjgsol says:

    I have only taken my wife to one game, she is an anti-football fan.

    It was a boring 0 0 draw. The only time she got interested was when fighting broke out amongst some fans, chel$ki ones I am sure, near us as we were leaving Highbury.

    The Carroll threat is substantial.

    We seem to have this problem with certain players who, sometimes are useless against other teams, seem to shine against us. Carroll is one of them.

    The midfield just have to try to avoid giving away fouls and corners that invite crosses to him.

  15. Zed says:

    Great Post, Mighty Raddy, thank you.

    Like JJG, I am concerned that our little guys at the back, and the stupid zonal system [well, the zonal system is not stupid, but the way we play it is] mean that unless Merts plays, and that is a big if, we will get hammered by Carroll, as he always dominates us in the air from crosses.

    Faint-hearted? Moi? You bet your sweet bippy. 🙂

  16. Zed says:

    Hi GN5,

    I told you some (years?) back of an encounter I had mano a mano with an Elk which took a distinct dislike to me and my partner and chased the hell out of us – funny to recount after the event, terrifying during it.

    Well, undeterred we later went on a trail some two miles out of town, specifically to see a Grizzly bear. I was emboldened to do so, because the trails are pretty well used, and it was really just to ‘feel’ the thrill of walking the Canadian Rockies.

    After walking for 45 minutes in the beautiful silence, alone with just the scuffing of the fallen leaves for company, we began to hear rather more rhythmic shuffling noises coming towards us.

    The advice is not to run – the buggers are too fast – to stop, stay still and huddle down – and to pray to the Almighty – so, not being too keen on most of the advice ……. we ran.

    We never saw a grizzly that time, and were later told we were idiots for not going with an armed guide. We had a lot to drink that evening and bragged about our ‘close encounter’ to anyone who listened, only to be told by a ranger that someone walking the same trail the previous week had been caught and mauled to death by a grizzly.

    What is it with these grouchy bears – can’t take a bit of curiosity? Clearly bad tempered Wenger Out Arsenal fans:-)

  17. fred1266 says:

    Really hope we get back to winning ways

  18. chas says:

    The girl on the tea/coffee trolley has laryngitis and sounds like Minnie Mouse, the poor thing.

  19. Red Arnie says:

    Brilliant, Raddy. Thank you. No opinions, just good vibes. hopefully.


  20. Big Raddy says:

    Ahhh, the Travelling Boozeburys 😀

  21. Red Arnie says:


  22. chas says:

    Just me I’m afraid, BR.
    Ant on a course in Brum and driving.
    He’s the entertainment, I just tag along. 🤔

  23. Red Arnie says:

    ha ha ha. 🙂

  24. chas says:

  25. chas says:

    That Rocky an Wrighty link I put up this morning is well worth watching if you can get on it and have an hour and a quarter to spend

  26. chas says:

    I’m sure you wear a tie when doing your tours.
    This would look very dignified. ☺

  27. Big Raddy says:

    Ooh that tie is very smart. I can see Didit in one of those. I wonder if they have a cravat for the Devonian?

  28. Big Raddy says:

    chas. watching it right now. Emotional.

  29. chas mobile says:

  30. Big Raddy says:

    What a terrific film. I recommend it to everyone

  31. chas mobile says:

  32. chas mobile says:


  33. GunnerN5 says:

    Hi Chas – it looks like your mobile has picked up a virus – it’s begun to stutter. 🙂 🙂

  34. Big Raddy says:

    Odd team. Happy to see Elneny start, his height will help.

    Ospina must be injured.

  35. Rasp says:

    The ref’s a ****

  36. Big Raddy says:

    Come on Boys. Bit more creativity and pace please

  37. Big Raddy says:

    Never liked Atkinson, it was a clear penalty

    We started to really get up a head of steam in the last 10 minutes, more of the same tempo throughout the second half

  38. Red Arnie says:

    I’m on the sofa, I mean in a sports bar. Yes, about the ref, and yes about creativity

  39. Rasp says:

    All the other results are going out way so far …. we just need a bit of quality in their box

  40. Red Arnie says:


  41. Big Raddy says:


    We deserve to lead. Playing some good fast football.

  42. Red Arnie says:

    Steady on now. Well done Monreal

  43. Red Arnie says:

    Yes, job done

  44. Big Raddy says:


    The little man is on fire

  45. Red Arnie says:

    The young man had to make just that one save and he did well

  46. Big Raddy says:

    That’s 2 pens Atkinson has missed. Add to that missing all the snide back of the ankle fouls by WHU and it adds to a very poor night for the referee

  47. fred1266 says:

    How we looking

  48. Red Arnie says:

    Wow, what a goal

  49. Big Raddy says:

    Beautiful goal from Giroud.

    Fred. We are back to The Arsenal we know and love, though it has to be said that WHU have been awful

  50. Big Raddy says:

    Disgraceful from Atkinson. Yet another clear penalty denied. He should retire.

  51. Rasp says:

    I got it wrong, the ref isn’t a **** , he’s a ****ing massive ****

  52. Red Arnie says:

    What a s* ref!

    Yes, Raddy and Fred. Hammers were poor. Did not even manage to test the young rookie gk

  53. VP of Oz says:

    Great win with some exceptional goals.

    The commentator mentioned before kick-off how some Arsenal fans were protesting by not going to there seats until 13mins. 13 representing the 13 years since Arsenal last won the league. He then said that if Liverpool did the same protest they would be outside for almost twice as long and Spurs fans would almost miss the game. He said that their belief in entitlement is baffling. Later on he added that there were not many empty seats at all so not much of a protest.
    Chas, Ant, how was the mood inside? I could hear a lot of positive chanting throughout.
    Ozil is looking great again😀

  54. Big Raddy says:

    Morning All,

    Strange how we get less comments when we win comfortably!

  55. Morning all

    I’m still under the duvet 😉

    VP – there was lots of Arsenal chanting ‘Red Army’ being particularly popular at my end of the ground.

    Having been disappointed with Ozil on Sunday he was pretty captivating last night. MOTM for me, great goal and great assist for Theo. Strangely we only sang his song once!!

    Giroud’s goal was a thing of beauty 🙂

    The evening was largely spoiled by the referee – haven’t we got enough to deal with without refs being against us too. Alexis gets nil protection!!!!!

    It’s a shame the spuds found a way through in their game but hey ho three points for us will make us feel a lot better.

  56. Rasp says:

    Morning all, yes the crowd were generally supportive and positive I would say. But it is true that none of the usual individual chants rang out after the players scored, and like Theo at the weekend, Giroud hardly celebrated his goal. Oh, and did I mention that I took a minor dislike to the referee 🙂

  57. Rasp says:

    It looks like Martinez has the making of a fine keeper, and Gabriel continues to impress me at centre back.

  58. fatgingergooner says:

    The disappointment with the fans for me was seeing how empty it was at full time. I can understand people want to protest, and I can sort of understand people wanting to get away if they need transport, but our ground looked half empty by the end. I don’t see this at other PL grounds.

    Good result though and a well deserved 3 points. Very pleased with a clean sheet given the back 4 was disrupted. Do we think that’s the best Arsenal performance Gabriel has had?

  59. fatgingergooner says:


    Do you think there has been a disconnection between fans and players with all the abuse being handed out recently? Could it be their way of showing they are behind the manager? Or do you just think some of them are sulking? Or maybe they feel embarrassed to celebrate after recent results? The celebrations are definitely subdued right now.

  60. Rasp says:

    No, that’s not the way I read it FFG, I get the impression that they know they have let the fans and the manager down, and realise that they have to keep putting in good performances to regain the support

  61. fatgingergooner says:

    Yeah that would make sense Rasp. They should still be celebrating in my opinion. I know I jumped up when Mustafi scored against City, and even though results and performances have been poor, the best way to get back to form and get the feel good factor back is to celebrate the goals and not dwell on the bad run. Hopefully we can win our next game and things will start to turn in our favour.

  62. Rasp says:

    That’s the best we can hope for FGG. I was gutted the scummers got 3 points 😦

  63. I think if the players have read anything recently online they know perfectly well that their recent performances have not helped the feelings in the ground.

    Muted goal celebrations are sad though. Giroud’s goal was a thing of beauty 🙂

  64. fatgingergooner says:

    Teams always slip up this time of year. We just have to hope we get on a roll, and if we can beat City in the cup then that will give us massive belief heading into some tough games. Hopefully Liverpool and City struggle with their run ins and we can nick a spot in top 4. Not too fussed about Spurs as I predict a couple of years of pain for them having to move into new stadiums (Wembley/New WHL). It’s never easy moving into a new ground and doing twice in 2 years is a tough gig.

  65. fatgingergooner says:

    Top 4 is a 3 horse race for 2 spots. United have City, Arsenal, Chelsea and Spurs in their run in plus they will be concentrating on Europa so I don’t think they will have a chance of top 4. It’s down to Arsenal, Liverpool and City for 2 spots. We have some tough looking fixtures but none are easy this time of year. IF we can beat Palace and Boro in our next 2 then we have a massive chance.

  66. GunnerN5 says:

    It was great to watch a game and hear the type of rousing support, that our team deserves cascading down from the stands.

    I did not see one “anti” sign on our telecast and the 13 minute protest turned out to be a dead squid.

    A very comfortable win and one in which our team were able to strut their stuff and display their true qualities. Giroud’s goal was a thing of beauty and showed just how devastating he can be given the right circumstances.

    My MOM was undoubtedly Gabriel he was immense, and it feels strange to say, but Koscielny’s absence went unnoticed. It looked like Walcott and Ozil must have taken into account their ratings from the M.C. game as they were both at the top of their games with Ozil being the general and ably directing the offense.

    Good to watch, Good for the team, Good for AW and I was left with a Good feeling.

  67. fred1266 says:

    G5 tell you MOM Gabriel hello

  68. GunnerN5 says:

    Hi Fred, did you enjoy the game?

  69. fred1266 says:

    Had work so didn’t get to watch only saw highlights only

  70. chas says:

  71. chas says:

  72. Red Arnie says:

    ha ha ha. nutmeg. 🙂

  73. mickydidit89 says:

    Morning all

    Didn’t see W’Ham game, but thanks to Chas, I did see the Mesut to Sanchez, Sanchez to Mesut, Mesut to Theo and wallop goal. Very nice.

  74. mickydidit89 says:

    I’ll do a post for today.

    Duty and shit like that.


  75. mickydidit89 says:

    Wow, just watched the Chas 6.06 of Granit.. Very stylish player

  76. chas says:

  77. chas says:

    How about this from your favourite sub?
    Speeded up a bit I think.

  78. mickydidit89 says:

    Are you about to scoot off?
    If you’re around for another 15 mins, I’ll email you some pics from my road trip with daughter. You’ll like

  79. mickydidit89 says:

    Very nice also. I did read Peaches’ comment saying the Ollie goal was gorgeous, but then, she would 🙂

    Great positive run from Ox also

  80. chas says:

    Atkinson had his ‘Arsenal are divers’ glasses on.

  81. chas says:

    I’m about for another 30 mins at least.

  82. mickydidit89 says:

    Is Atkinson the Spud ref?

  83. chas says:

    No, that’s Dean.

  84. mickydidit89 says:

    Could there be two of the bastards? The evidence is there 🙂

    Oh, hang on, maybe Atkinson is a Red Manc

  85. mickydidit89 says:


    Did the crowd egg him? 🙂

  86. mickydidit89 says:

    Are you about to do a poll if I send a post in the next 10 mins?

  87. Rasp says:

    Ok Micky, are you sending it to ‘nuts’?

  88. chas says:

    Nice photos.
    Any of Raquel? 🙂

  89. mickydidit89 says:

    Chas Oh yes
    His mate O’Neill had an affair with her. She would fly from Hollywood to London just for some hanky panky with Terry 🙂

    Sending in one minute

  90. mickydidit89 says:


  91. mickydidit89 says:

    Right, best do some bloody work

  92. Rasp says:

    Morning all ….

    …. New post ….

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