Our Rorke’s Drift

I was hesitant about writing a FAC SF post with the prospect of Spurs awaiting us in the Final. Amusingly, that is no longer the case as the Hotspurs take yet another sad drag home along the North Circular 🙂

So, it is with a lighter heart that I write this post.

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Let’s kick off with my belief that we can beat City. Yes, they have great players and a fine manager. Yes, they have a squad which cost the equivalent of a mid-sized nation’s Gross National Product but they still play the likeable, but ageing, Sagna, and sometimes even Gael Clichy!

Here’s how we beat them. … solidity at the back, full backs being less adventurous, midfield staying on their feet and harrying rather than tackling, Ozil continuing his return to form, wingmen tracking back and always finding a red shirt with their passes, the front men being efficient and potent. Oh, and Cech/Ospina has to be alert at crosses.

Bosh.

We win.

Now how hard is that?

Will Mr. Wenger continue with his Back 3 experiment? I doubt it but it would be exciting. Sterling and Sane are much better widemen that Stewart Downing, who caused problems at ‘Boro. Can he trust the inexperienced Holding to stop such a quality attack?

On paper we are even in most areas of the pitch. Silva is not as good as an on-form Ozil. Aguero and Sanchez are both similar and wonderful players. Sterling and Theo are also similar, in fact all over the pitch there are likenesses between the squads.

The huge difference is De Bruyne, a marvellous talent and when on form, head and shoulders the best in his position, thankfully in recent weeks he has been struggling. We must hope for him to have an awful game this afternoon.

Guardiola will be looking for the FAC to save an ordinary season. I still think he was perfect for Arsenal but that ship has sailed.

As to Arsenal,  I just cannot see how we go into the game without Bellerin, it would be madness. Does he fit into a back 3? No, so we will revert to norm

My Team:

Cech (unless Ospina is fit)

Bellerin    Gabriel    Koscielny     Monreal

Ox   Ramsey    Xhaka

Walcott  Sanchez    Ozil

It is highly unlikely AW will play the above as it has no defensive “enforcer” but who gets dropped for Coquelin/Elneney? And who is left out if AW decides to play Giroud as a target man? Welbeck is not 100% fit, so Walcott starts.

This game is a huge opportunity to show that the current Arsenal are not as poor as some believe. Form is temporary. Class is permanent.

My main concern is the weather. We do not play as well when the temperature drops into single figures and the forecast is for chilly. If it gets over 15C, we win.

Let’s hope for a game as good as yesterday and an Arsenal win.

Let it be So.

COYRRG

p.s. Thank you to Chas for the headline’s inspiration

 

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145 Responses to Our Rorke’s Drift

  1. Rasp says:

    Thanks Raddy, like you, I am more relaxed about this game now that the spuds are not waiting in the final …. but also I want to win it more ….

    The game could hinge on the tactics of the two managers. I think Silva is a little genius … their Santi ..now if Santi was playing I’d have us as favourites, but I’m more than happy with the underdog status.

    I’m not going, I have family stuff to sort out, but my heart will be on the pitch with the players …. COYRRG

  2. Ant says:

    Get in BR. Love Benny Hillock

  3. mickydidit89 says:

    Thanks Erik

    Was gardening and all I could think about was what line up you’d go with

    It’s a really hard one to predict

  4. “It is highly unlikely AW will play the above as it has no defensive “enforcer” but who gets dropped for Coquelin/Elneney?” asks Big Raddy.

    answer: Ox (off the bench game-changer today, maybe)…
    …and, (unfortunately, sort of) we will need to do that.
    Otherwise, I like your lineup.

    As regards all this back three nonsense, it’s just a fad.
    Rather like the sweeper system. The “in thing” until it became the daft thing. That c**p came from the continent, just like Conte’s here-today-gone-next-season back three dopiness.
    Playing a back three have let Spurs in with a chance of the title.

    Winkle picker boots. That’s next.
    Or chisels with studs.

  5. VP of Oz says:

    brilliant posts and comments these last few days. Im very excited but cannot watch it live due FA Cup games being with a different pay tv provider. Any suggestions on reliable streams???

  6. Big Raddy says:

    VP. If you have a laptop or iPad then Filmon Free app is brilliant. You can get all the UK channels and thousands of others.

    Otherwise, I use cricfree.sc. It takes a bit of fiddling about to get rid of the ads but once you have it is reliable.

  7. VP of Oz says:

    Thanks BR. Loved your 8pm comment last night. It cheered me up all day.

  8. mickydidit89 says:

    Lunchtime and still no-ne playing line ups!

    Well, I’ve done another U-turn while chopping outside

    I cannot think of one reason AW would have deployed the 3 at the back last week and not today. Makes no sense.

    So, 3 it is. Ox and Mon wideboys. Granit Ramsey (I’d play Elneny) Mesut Sanchez and my curve ball, Theo

  9. GoonerB says:

    Thanks to GN% for the last post. Mighty fine reading, sorry I wasn’t around to comment at the time.

    Cheers Raddy. We can beat them. If anything City are as similarly unpredictable as us. They are slightly less so than us so I will have them as favourites….no problem with that.

    I will not goon about it too much, as most regulars know my preferences, but I stick to my feeling we should continue with the 3 at the back but line up as a 3-5-2 with Bellerin and Ox as wing backs and Sanchez and Welbeck as a front 2 with Ozil in a freer role behind them.

    No system is infallible and where you gain something with one you lose in another way but with the right instruction and understanding I feel this system has great balance in attack, with goals in it, and is pretty solid defensively.

  10. Big Raddy says:

    3 at the back.

    I was wrong, Micky and GB right.

    Perhaps it is time to hang up my keyboard.

  11. fred1266 says:

    Good luck to the team

  12. Big Raddy says:

    Fred. We will need it!

  13. mickydidit89 says:

    testing

  14. mickydidit89 says:

    Erik
    Hang up the keyboard, and I’m coming to Denmark.

    No, no wait, that’s not scary. Hang up the keyboard and Mrs Didit is coming to Denmark

    Yip, that should do it

    Where’s the team sheet and bench? I go get

  15. mickydidit89 says:

    Cech, Gabriel, Koscielny, Holding, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Ramsey, Xhaka, Monreal, Ozil, Sanchez, Giroud.

    Subs: Martinez, Bellerin, Gibbs, Coquelin, Walcott, Welbeck, Iwobi

  16. Red Arnie says:

    Thank you, Raddy. :0 Just COYG. Nervous? Yes. Making or breaking teh season? No. The season is already broken. Some pride still there? Yes.

    So, here we go. COYRRG.

  17. mickydidit89 says:

    Arnie. Nice.

    Come on you Gunnnnners

  18. fred1266 says:

    Yea luck and prays

  19. fred1266 says:

    3 at the back interesting

  20. Eddie says:

    who is our man at the Ems?

  21. Big Raddy says:

    Would be great if we could string a few passes together and stop all the MC possession.

    Come on Arsenal

  22. Eddie says:

    great finish from Laurent 🙂

  23. Eddie says:

    raddy – spurs had 70% possession yesterday, meant nothing in the end

  24. Eddie says:

    I have just fallen out of love with Aguerro, what a Kun

  25. mickydidit89 says:

    I think we’re saving energy. Massive thrust coming 😦

  26. Big Raddy says:

    Whole game being played in our half 😦

  27. mickydidit89 says:

    Sizzler of a half it was not

  28. Big Raddy says:

    Survival and little else. Still to be equal at half time is good.

    We need much more from Sanchez and Ozil.
    Giroud battling but getting little support.
    Holding doing well, so far.

    Was it a penalty on Sanchez?

  29. Aaron says:

    Considering the way Giroud is getting manhandled Sanchez’s tackle at the 3 yard line was a penalty!

  30. mickydidit89 says:

    Usual for me. Theo on for Ollie at some point and I’d consider Bell on, and shift Ox instead of Ramsey to try and connect midfield with attack with an injection of “forwards”

    I’m thinking Utd final where we were outplayed but won 🙂

  31. Big Raddy says:

    The midfield doing well defensively, all they need to do is the same work but 30 yards further forward.

  32. mickydidit89 says:

    Let’s hope this half is more exciting from an Arsenal point of view

  33. mickydidit89 says:

    more of that Ox

  34. mickydidit89 says:

    Erik
    Is Arsene tapping us up 🙂

  35. mickydidit89 says:

    much better

  36. Big Raddy says:

    Dreadful. We need a new Keeper.

    Just when we were gaining confidence and bossing the game.

  37. mickydidit89 says:

    Yes Raddy, surely Cech should have got there

  38. Aaron says:

    WTF was that leading up to the goal???
    Arsenal were just coming into the game…

  39. mickydidit89 says:

    yesssssssssssssssssssssssssssssss

  40. Big Raddy says:

    What goal..brilliant ball from Ox

  41. Aaron says:

    Ox to Mon…Go Arsenal!

  42. Aaron says:

    Cech with the finger.

  43. mickydidit89 says:

    Hoooray
    Danny

  44. Eddie says:

    are we looking at extra time?

  45. Eddie says:

    selfish so and so

  46. mickydidit89 says:

    come on arsenal

  47. mickydidit89 says:

    definitely grew into the new system second half

    far more entertaining half

  48. Big Raddy says:

    Come on Arsenal.

    Last 15 minute is surely Theo time

  49. mickydidit89 says:

    Agree Erik, or Bell
    Max speed onto the tiring City legs

  50. mickydidit89 says:

    omg!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  51. Big Raddy says:

    Get in.

    Come on boys,. We can do this 😀

  52. Big Raddy says:

    Phew. I thought Danny would bury that last header and make the second half less tense, but that isn’t the Arsenal way.

    Beta blockers and Valium for the next 15 mins

  53. mickydidit89 says:

    this is brilliant
    just got better and better

  54. mickydidit89 says:

    phewey
    the bottom squeaks

  55. Aaron says:

    Just mark De Bruyne out of the game…

  56. mickydidit89 says:

    yesssssssssssssss

  57. mickydidit89 says:

    absolutely faaaaantastic

  58. Big Raddy says:

    Deep, deep joy.

    Back 3 were all fantastic apart from one slip up

    All London final 😄😄

  59. mickydidit89 says:

    Hats doffed to Arsene. It worked, and it got better as the game went on.

    We’ll have the system perfected by the time of the final

    Superb

  60. Big Raddy says:

    Monreal’s best game

  61. wally says:

    I’ve really tried to put the team down for the rest of the season. I don’t need the aggro. But i just can’t help myself can i.

    Don’t know what the first 70 looked like but the last 50 they looked really good defensively. Defending in packs. Pressuring the ball, finding outlets…. They actually looked like they’d been coached. Well done to Bould for properly organizing that defence.
    Overall for the 50 i saw it was a really good performance. Where the hell has that been for the last 3 months. And good team spirit as well. They looked like they were playing for each other again.

  62. Big Raddy says:

    Wally. You definitely chose the right half to miss. We hardly touched the ball, but perhaps we witnessed no possession tactics as it is not the first time AW has done that to beat City

  63. fred1266 says:

    How come Mustafi not playing

  64. Brilliant, absobloodyfantastically brillliant 😉 🙂 😉

  65. Eddie says:

    feck .I had to go out after 2nd half.

  66. fatgingergooner says:

    YEEEEEEEESSSSSSS!!!!!

    GET IN THERE PALACE!!!!

    Oh, and well done Arsenal.

    😂😂😂

  67. mickydidit89 says:

    LB, LB, LB

    Pleeeease pen one 🙂

  68. Big Raddy says:

    Mustafi injured but will be back soon.

    Nice work from Palace. Beat Chavs, AFC and L’pool, two away from home. Impressive.

    How do you think Walcott feels this evening?

  69. Red Arnie says:

    yes, LB, please

    Paul Easter was superb. IMO.

    And the hollow gourd sounded all right while it was still intact. One the slit appeared, it was all noise and no music. Good. Onwards and upwards! 🙂

  70. mickydidit89 says:

    Ah sorry gents, gave up in favour of music practice
    Me arm could do with a break

    Re Walcott. He probably knows he simply doesn’t fit the new system

    Re the hollow gourd, the slit and the noise….ummm urrr, cabbages?
    🙂

  71. Rasp says:

    Great battling performance by our boys. We must persevere with the back 3. The Mustafi injury could be a blessing in disguise, the chemistry of Holding, Koz and Gabriel seems to work.

  72. mickydidit89 says:

    Copy that Rasp 🙂

    When I think ahead to Leicester on Wednesday, I think this system suits our squad far better as I can see a few players who could slot very naturally in, without upsetting the balance, and keep things fresh for next Sunday and the NLD

  73. Rasp says:

    I agree Micky … Arsene has only played it twice in 20 years but he did say in the post match press conference that it gives us defensive stability … and that we’ve lacked for a while. It also means the Ox has s new role as fullback, and so far he has excelled

  74. fred1266 says:

    Happy of course

  75. mickydidit89 says:

    I didn’t hear the post match stuff, but makes sense.

    Re the Ox, he’s also been excellent further to the middle in the old system.
    Bell could slot to the right at times and I reckon Ox could do the Mesut job very effectively as well, or even the current Ransey role, although my preference there would be Elneny

    All great options for the fixture congestion ahead

  76. mickydidit89 says:

    Fred
    Do you have other Gunner chums in Trinidad

  77. mickydidit89 says:

    knackered. nite all

  78. Rasp says:

    3 high pressure games in 8 days is going to test us … particularly after 120 hard minutes today. I’d love it if we can perform as we did in the second half against them ….. I still think they have it in them to go all ‘spursy’

  79. GunnerN5 says:

    Thanks for a fine pre match Raddy just got back from watching the game with many Gooners and we all came away very happy. Arsenal put on a superb football version of of Rope a Dope and then showed us the passion that has been missing for much of the season. It was good to see them overcome the feeling that they cannot win the “big” games and put the sword to Man C.

  80. GunnerN5 says:

    Arsenal’s players admitted on Sunday that they have let down Arsene Wenger at times this season but say that they now want to win the FA Cup for their 67-year-old manager.

    Wenger is now just 90 minutes away from an all-time record seventh competition win but of even greatest significance yesterday was the manner of a gritty 2-1 victory against Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City that has eased the pressure surrounding his future.

    “We have let him [Wenger] down at times this season; we want to win it for him,” said midfielder Aaron Ramsey. “We have something to look forward to but now we have another seven cup finals to try and get into the top four.”

    Wenger said that he felt “proud” of his players and believes that the club have also gone some way to answering what have been deepening doubts about whether they can deliver on the big occasions against the very best opposition.

    “It was a big test for us – it was a mental test,” he said. “We were in a fragile position. Many people questioned that. Can we turn up on an occasion like that? I am very proud for the players. They showed a united, determined and playful response.

    “Football is a team sport and, as manager, your biggest joy is when you feel you have a real team performance and that was the case. Also, when you see the stands and see how big this club is, I just feel happy when the fans go home happy. We have gone through a very difficult period. We faced some adversity that made the situation more difficult from inside as well. We showed a united response not a divided response.”

    Wenger has denied that the FA Cup will decide his future but he does want to stay on next season and, while a top four finish still remains an outside hope, the prospect of an FA Cup final against Chelsea should take the edge of recent tensions. Arsenal are working towards changes in the structure around Wenger but final confirmation of a two year contract remains unlikely until after the FA Cup final on May 27.

    “I feel the club is in a very strong shape; we have a very strong overall situation and a very strong team,” said Wenger. “That, for me, is the most important. One day I will leave anyway. I’m sure Arsenal will always be a great club that everyone admires.”

    Arsenal have also now won consecutive matches since switching to a back three and, ahead of a home match on Wednesday against Leicester and then Sunday’s derby with Tottenham, Wenger senses that confidence is finally returning following what was a nightmare run.

    Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain was named man of the match after another impressive wing-back performance and, although he hobbled out of Wembley last night, he was simply suffering from cramp. “I’m tired, but delighted,” said Oxlade-Chamberlain. “Our league form has not been good enough but this was something we can hold on to.”

  81. fred1266 says:

    Yea we have a Supporters club, we was trying to go official few years ago but nothing hasn’t come of as of yet

  82. fred1266 says:

    We are called TriniGunner

  83. fatgingergooner says:

    Just finished watching the game and I thought Gabriel was fantastic. I’ve had serious doubts about him and he’s delivered very little upto now, but I said after the Boro game that I thought playing 3 at the back was good for him as it allowed him to be aggressive and attack the ball knowing that he had extra cover, and he showed that today. He also showed his recovery speed and kept us in the game at times.

    I thought our midfield workrate was phenomenal. We may have struggled to keep the ball at times, but we avoided bad mistakes near our own goal and always got back behind the ball and made it difficult for City to break us down. The formation meant we were rarely caught over committing (apart from on the goal) and our midfield dominated the first period of extra time which was vital and resulted in us getting the all important winner.

    On the few occasions one of the CB’s stepped into midfield with the ball we looked like creating dangerous situations. Hopefully Holding can work on that and become a quality ball-playing CB for us.

    Fantastic result and even better coming from behind. Nobody can question the desire when they play like that. Let’s hope it continues.

  84. mickydidit89 says:

    Morning all

    What a fine start to the week it is too.. Also, glad I’m not in a hotel in Beaconsfield.

  85. Eddie says:

    yeah, where is LB? did anyone try to contact/stalk him? Maybe he is not well

  86. Eddie says:

    I have just seen Sanchez’s goal 🙂
    It always makes me laugh when a player scores and starts running away from the goal and others with mouths wide open chase him 🙂

  87. Eddie says:

    French elections could be very bad for EU and very good for Brexit

  88. chas mobile says:

    Hi to everyone from glorious Beaconsfield.

  89. fatgingergooner says:

    Has anyone mentioned how we owe Petr Cech for that amazing tip onto the post? What a save!

  90. Big Raddy says:

    Morning All,

    Seems most of AA’ers are still basking!

  91. Big Raddy says:

    21% of Frenchies voted for Le Pen. Worrying.

  92. chas mobile says:

  93. GoonerB says:

    Great result and a mature performance from our boys with good balance in defence and attack. Lets hope we can finish the job off in the final.

  94. Big Raddy says:

    Good healthy breakfast. Just needs a pint and a couple of ciggies to finish.

  95. Big Raddy says:

    Anyone watch El Classico? Marvellous entertainment.

  96. GunnerN5 says:

    Happy morning to all.

  97. GunnerN5 says:

    This is a very long but interesting piece by Daniel Storey of Football 365.

    If this was season-saving Sunday for Manchester City and Arsenal, it is Pep Guardiola who will be counting the cost of failure. For all the hype over the arrival of the world’s best manager into English football, Guardiola has never had it so hard. A reported summer transfer budget of £200m has been mooted, and on this evidence every penny of it will be needed.

    For Arsene Wenger, FA Cup salvation once more. This competition has been Arsenal’s face-saver before, and it may well be again. For those supporters of a pessimistic nature, Sunday evening may be the perfect time for Arsenal to announce the new contract that most suspect was signed and sealed weeks ago.

    The biggest argument against Wenger’s new two-year contract is the suspicion that talk of change is far easier than making it reality. The leaks of transfer war chests are intended as a distraction from Arsenal’s slump from Premier League title challengers to also rans. Arsenal can promise change, but that requires Wenger to do the same. He is omnipotent and omniscient at this club.

    At Wembley, we at least saw positive signs that a change can come. Wenger chose to stick with the three-man central defence that he trialled for the first time in 20 years at Middlesbrough last Monday. If it creaked at the Riverside, it mostly stayed firm against a far more proficient attack. If any formation can make Gabriel Paulista play as well as on Sunday, it is worth perseverance. Rob Holding also deserves huge credit for his role as the defensive aggressor, making two more clearances than any other player on the pitch.

    The biggest beneficiary of this new shape is Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, the best player at Wembley in another new role. His stamina, pace and desire have never been in question, and playing at wing-back maximises each of those characteristics. Oxlade-Chamberlain’s cross for Nacho Monreal’s equaliser was sensational.

    It was not just Arsenal’s three-man central defence that surprised at Wembley, but their appetite to snap into the tackle. During the first 45 minutes they conceded 12 fouls, just four fewer than they have committed in an entire Premier League match this season. That included causing injury to David Silva – who was substituted – and significant pain to Sergio Aguero. By full-time, the number had reached 20.

    Crucially, Arsenal divided those crimes between them, rather than Francis Coquelin and Granit Xhaka hogging them and thus picking up bookings and risking red cards. Of those 12 first-half fouls, Nacho Monreal was the only outfield player without a mark next to his name. It was a strategy of tactical fouling we have never seen from Arsenal.

    “It’s not especially any particular player but it looks to me that some players make repeated fouls and it doesn’t matter how many fouls they make but they get a card when it’s a spectacular foul,” Wenger said as far back as 2009.

    “It’s the little fouls in the middle of the park. It breaks up the game from when you are attacking three against three, four against four and then you get a free kick and it’s ten against ten again. All the work you have done is nothing. We call it a tactical foul. I think I will try to talk to the FA about it. It’s the same for Manchester United, Liverpool and for everybody.”

    Eight years after expressing his distaste for tactical fouls and his intention to tell the teacher, has Wenger embraced the game’s ‘dark arts’? His early Arsenal tenure was plagued by on-pitch ill-discipline, but back then it was the number of red cards that drew censure. For Arsenal, ‘clever’ has perennially referred to their aesthetically pleasing attacking rather than cynical breaking up of play.

    What Wenger has never denied is how effective the tactic can be. In that 2009 interview he referred to the practice being commonly used at international level, but it is now a staple of many successful teams. Good guys don’t always finish first.

    The Premier League’s most effective exponent are Mauricio Pochettino’s Tottenham. Spurs ranked fourth last season for fouls committed, but it was the strategy of spreading fouls – and yellow cards – around the team that was most obvious. Interesting too was where Tottenham committed those fouls. They ranked first in the league for free-kicks given away in the opposition half.

    The theory is simple. Breaking up play as soon as you are dispossessed stops the opposition exploiting space on the counter attack and creating the overlaps that can be so effective in chance creation. Roughly speaking, the higher up the pitch a free-kick is conceded, the more likely a referee is to be lenient in awarding cards.

    If Tottenham are the Premier League kings of cynicism, Arsenal are their antidote, or at least were until Sunday. This season, they have committed an average of 10.4 fouls per league games, more than only Hull City and Bournemouth. In 2015/16, only Roberto Martinez’s mild-mannered Everton committed fewer.

    There is nothing intrinsically wrong with that; there are plenty of ways to skin the footballing cat. Yet the accusation against Wenger’s Arsenal is that they too readily display a soft underbelly in the most high-profile matches, particularly away from home. On that charge, the proof is in the sour-tasting pudding.

    Wenger still has much to do to convince his hoard of critics that he merits even more faith than he has enjoyed until now, and that includes an FA Cup final victory against the likely Premier League champions. Yet, for once, his Arsenal team displayed a big-game strategy to follow rather than avoid. Supporters can finally walk with their heads held high; those Fan TV cameras can stop their rolling footage.

    Daniel Storey

  98. Weatherspoons, chas?

  99. GunnerN5 says:

    No greasy spoon FGG.

  100. GoonerB says:

    Interesting article GN5. If I were to be picky I would say we haven’t dropped away from being title challengers as we haven’t been that for many seasons anyway. We have just dropped further away than usual. In many ways I feel we needed a kick up the derriere to rouse us from this slumbering mediocrity, and hopefully now we can move onwards and upwards.

    I always feel that a manager has 2 options with a team and its formation. Either pick a favoured formation and develop and recruit players to make it work or adapt the formation to the strengths of the players you have.

    I find it curious because I feel Arsene had his favoured formation for many seasons but neither developed nor recruited appropriately to make it truly work. We have frequently looked weak and chaotic with the formation he has favoured over recent seasons.

    I think the back 3 suits this group of players better and I think it is the best system for Arsene because it somewhat covers the defensive indiscipline that we have frequently shown in our 4-3-3 (ish) formation which, as Chas pointed out the other day normally ends up as a kind of 2-3-5 once our FB’s decide they are permanent wng forwards. Arsene has had many seasons to make the latter system work to no effect so I now hope he sticks with the new formation and doesn’t feel the need to change back again.

  101. chas says:

    Yep, Spoons, fgg.
    Just the thing to settle down the Jalfrezi from last night.

  102. GunnerN5 says:

    GB, Your formation knowledge is way above mine so I won’t get into a lengthy debate with you as you will also out word me. 🙂

    However I do agree with you that AW did not have all of the appropriate players in place to fully exploit his system, but I contend that was due to lack of funding and not lack of awareness on AW’s part.

    Funding will always be an issue at Arsenal no matter who is in charge of the team.

    The thing that intrigued me more about the article was the fact that Arsenal were in fact deploying the “tactic” of rotational fouling from behind – which has the most negative effect on the opposition;
    which is a play right out of Fergies’ Man U playbook and one which they used very effectively.

  103. fatgingergooner says:

    GB,

    I see Wenger’s change of formation as pure desperation. We have never had a run like the last few months and even in the past when we have had poor runs we have always been in a position to finish in the top 4 and have a reasonable season, so the need to drastically change the team has never quite reached the point it has recently. I think he has panicked a little bit and searched for a change. Thankfully, it seems to have paid off. This isn’t a dig at Wenger as I’m delighted he’s made the change and fair play to him for doing it, but I think it says a lot about how comfortable it has been for players and the manager that nothing like this has had to be done in the past. I think for the first time in a long time he has been made to feel uncomfortable by results and the atmosphere around the place and it looks like this could have resulted in a very good change. Fingers crossed we can build on this performance and continue to at least try new ideas rather than just sitting comfortably and becoming stale.

  104. jjgsol says:

    I think the suggestion that we were much more physical than Man$ity does not seem to be correct, as I remember seeing that both side committed 20 fouls. In addition, we had 2 players booked and they had 5.

    In the Times this morning, the reporter gave a 5 to both Giroud and Ozil. Apart form the fact that that they usual seem to mark our players down, I tend not to take much notice of their comments.

    I did not see the match, and was only able to listen to the 2nd half and extra time on Arsenal.com.

    However, as far as Giroud is concerned, I suspect that there was a reason why he played from the start, rather than Welbeck, in that he is much more ponderous and slow, albeit with his own set of useful skills. By the time that he was substituted, the Man$ity defence got used to having to deal with him and his style, so that when Welbeck came on, a much quicker and more nimble player, they could not cope with the change.

    Were it not for his missing good chances, we might have won more comfortably.

    I am not so sure that the back 3 system suits all games, although it certainly suits the game against Man$ity who hog possession, Pep-style.

    Playing against Chel$ki, who, are happy to sit back, as they seem to have done against the scum on Saturday, I wonder how that style can be adapted.

    AS for Walcott, had the game approached penalties, I suspect he would have been brought on, as he is pretty deadly in front of the box.

  105. fred1266 says:

    Any one thing check could have come out and dive for the ball on the first goal or was he afraid of giving away a pen

  106. GunnerN5 says:

    Fred, Undoubtedly Cech should have saved their goal, he had the advantage but instead of continuing forward he hesitated and Aguero
    chipped the ball over him.

  107. GoonerB says:

    GN5, you are possibly right about the funding issue but I am not convinced it tells the whole story. As great as AW has been I think there have been instances where issues have been left unaddressed for far too long. We can agree to somewhat disagree 🙂

    FGG, maybe it was a panic move by Arsene. It certainly takes a lot for him to deviate from his beliefs (kind of like the point I made above) but maybe the pressure recently forced his hand. However it came about it looks better.

    jjgsol, personally I think we can continue with the back 3. I see no reason why it will not work in different games against different opposition. Against Chelsea however I think Ollie will get tied up by the Chelsea back 3 so I would play 2 quicker more mobile strikers in a 3-5-2. My choice would be Alexis with Danny but wouldn’t rule out the possibility of pairing Walcott with one of them.

  108. mickydidit89 says:

    I’ve had a very busy day. No time for breakfast or lunch and the first thing I see is the Chas pic

    Oh dear lord, swap the toast for fried bread, and I’ll order three right now

  109. mickydidit89 says:

    Sorry, can’t think football on an empty stomach but some monster looking comments. Back to read later

  110. Eddie says:

    ha, we differ 🙂 you see fried bread I see heart attack on the plate. I needed a fag to steady the nerves

    If in a very unlikely event we don’t win the FA cup, does it mean that chavs will play their reserves in the community shield?

  111. mickydidit89 says:

    Eddie

    I have a feeling the champions play the cup runners-up in the event of a double, so yes, we’re going back to play them again either way

    Talking of which, I guess the same sort of thing with Europa qualification.We’re already in it, like it or not.

    Bend over club on Thursdays it is then

  112. Eddie says:

    no no no no no
    Bend over club is on Wednesday and until now I could not do it
    Every cloud and shit

  113. mickydidit89 says:

    No no no, you promised. Bend Overs were never on champions league nights. No chaps would ever turn up

  114. mickydidit89 says:

    And Eddie, had you ever bothered attending Bend Over Club, you would have noticed that the back row is always exclusively men

    Hence thursday

  115. mickydidit89 says:

    Eddie
    I reckon the serious footballistas’ hearts must sink when our little gravatars appear

  116. Eddie says:

    I am usually in the back row 🙂 I am as rigid as a stiff and self conscious. I never noticed any men, must have been mingers

    Mind you I only went to 2 years ago and have decided it wasn’t for me.

    Will you still watch the CL next season? I am not sure if I’ll bother. Apparently barca v real was brill, I missed that

  117. Eddie says:

    oh feck them

  118. mickydidit89 says:

    ha ha ha although your spelling is appalling (says me)

  119. mickydidit89 says:

    Yes I will, although I never bother watching minnows unless we’re not thrashing them

  120. mickydidit89 says:

    ok bib and nosebag on
    later

  121. Eddie says:

    i’ll tell you something completely football unrelated.
    I had BGas checking a tiny leak. They went to the utility room and first of all one jumped out in a panic – the washing line collapsed and all my knickers landed on him 🙂 🙂 🙂 how embarrassing 🙂

    and then the other one couldn’t see something in the boiler, so he tried taking photos with his mobile. All I could hear is ‘what the fuck is that?? Shit, it’s a cat”! is it stuffed?’ Ha ha ha ha my Lilly La La lives above the boiler, gets through some holes for pipes and roots throught the ceiling space

    They were so glad to leave my empire 🙂

  122. mickydidit89 says:

    Eddie

    It’s an okay story. Still prefer your single parent lesbian confrontation yarns

    What I was hoping more than anything when you uprooted to Cuffley, was that now they’ve invented transgenders, you might have landed on your feet regarding new neighbours

  123. mickydidit89 says:

    Quality Travelodge capers the evening after then Chas?

  124. chas says:

    Just the normal chaos

  125. mickydidit89 says:

    So just the thumping on partition walls from irate travelling salesmen in plastic shoes kind of carry on?

    Frosty looks at the breakfast table. We all know the drill.

  126. chas says:

    The Lithuanian reception chap (who Ant ‘accused’ of being German) wanted to chat instead of giving us the room key. We had been the only supporters who weren’t in blue he’d had check in and he said it was good to see some fans who had won the game.

    Breakfast was in the Spoons next door and Ant’s discreet white top with Arse crest didn’t draw too many resentful stares.

  127. mickydidit89 says:

    Got to do school run, but would like to know precisely what trait in the fella Ant deemed German

    Did he march everywhere and invade things or wot?

  128. chas mobile says:

    He didn’t sound French was the main criteria, I think.

  129. Big Raddy says:

    Morning All,

    Very reasonable assumption. If a person is foreign and doesn’t sound French then they must be German. 😀

  130. Eddie says:

    OMG micky!! Lesbians were not single parents, they were married!!

    life is Cuffley is far less challenging, people have money so don’t stress out about me. But I had to set some rules here
    1. neighbour on the left is very nice but a control freak, tells me off for absolutely anything – bees, shed too high (20m away from her garden), overlapping branches, etc etc. Each time I lit a fire to burn some wood she’d run out shouting ‘I have my washing out’!! In the end I sent her a message – sorry, but I put up with your barbeques all summer and I hate the smell of burnt flesh. Sorted.

    2. Geezer on the right is not all there. He has 2 inch nails and a gray pony tail; goes round the world attending hard rock concerts. I stitched me up saying that cracks on his house were due to my excavation. Bullshit, I had photos to prove they were there before. But I wanted good neighbours so had the walls repaired. Same happened with a fence (almost non existent). He told me it was mine and I had to repair it. I did. Only then (big mistake) I checked the land registry to find out it was shared, not registered to anybody. I asked him for half the money. Hell broke lose (as expected). I raised a claim in court for half the money. He went mad. But one day we were both gardening I called him to the fence and offered a peace deal – I stop the claim, he cuts down humongous conifers overgrowing my garden. Done, best neighbour now. Told me to throw any rubbish onto his big truck and he will dispose of it 🙂

    But I had to stand up to the bullies or they would try again.

  131. mickydidit89 says:

    ha ha ha

  132. Eddie says:

    Deutch Ameise 🙂

  133. Eddie says:

    raddy – how do I copy pictures??

  134. mickydidit89 says:

    Eddie

    You have to put the images onto an existing live internet platform first. Like facebook or twitter

    Impressed Chas?

  135. Eddie says:

    thank you micky 🙂

  136. mickydidit89 says:

    bingo
    great picture of a small black box with a cross in it
    Bit arty

  137. Big Raddy says:

    Brilliant Micky,

    Chas must feel like this ….

  138. chas mobile says:

    I can die now knowing my life wasn’t wasted.

  139. chas mobile says:

    😊

  140. Big Raddy says:

    Very funny chas. You must be so proud.

    There is a New Post as I am bored with this one. Nothing fancy, just some thoughts. Having looked around the net, it seems Arseblog had the same ideas!

    New Post

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