George Best? Merinho wouldn’t have picked him

For so many years this was my favourite fixture of the year; Best and Charlton coming to Highbury, hating Sheringham, Cantona getting sent off , Van Nistleroy and Keown, TH14’s wonder goal at the Clock End, PV4’s penalty in Cardiff, Pizzagate and much much more.

Post- Merinho –it has lost it’s glamour. Completely. United are just an expensive Stoke.


Words cannot describe how much I dislike the little Portuguese misery. To see a Man Utd team thrilled by a 0-0 draw at Maine Rd summed up the changes he has made up at OT; thank goodness the man will never come to the Emirates.

Enough of him, he gets enough press. What of his team? Packed with very, very expensive players.  Homegrowns? Rashford will get a game but only due to injuries, Lingard? Bit part player because he can be entertaining.I could go on. How can one take a wonderful prospect like Luke Shaw and destroy him? Answer …. ask Juan Mata.

Rooney? Must love his manager. England Captain and can’t get a game.  Certain to leave in summer. If he would come to AFC, I would sign him. Terrific player and one who could do a fine job for a couple of seasons.

George Best was a hero at MU, yet can you imagine Jose playing him? Look what the man did to the brilliant Eden Hazard and he works twice as hard as George. Bobby Charlton? No way – couldn’t tackle. Cantona? You’re joking.


Proper Football

So, this afternoon we will get the usual Merinho PTB dull, dull football. Unfortunately Arsenal are not in the right shape for us to be confident of taking advantage of MU’s player rotation and injury problems.

Let’s be honest, the Spurs game was awful. Play like that for a season and we are relegation fodder. But be positive, after all Mr. Wenger must be desperate to finally beat a Jose´team. We are at home, we have few injuries and are rested after a week off. It can be done.

My Team:


Gabriel     Koscielny     Holding

Ox    Ramsey    Xhaka  Monreal

Welbeck    Sanchez   Ozil

No chance of the above but I believe this team could win. I would like to see Iwobi get some pitch time as he has been terrific this season and could use the fillip of a few minutes in another big game. Maybe Elneny instead of Ramsey, and Mustafi instead of Holding.

Please Arsenal, please Mr Wenger, please fans at the ground, do everything possible to beat MU. This United is a shadow of the great club of the past, they need to be thrashed.

Let it be so


192 Responses to George Best? Merinho wouldn’t have picked him

  1. mickydidit89 says:

    Erik, thank you.

    You are so right about the Portuguese effect, and with that in mind, it’s the essential early goal, or the inevitable game will ensue.

    Like your team, although agree about slotting Elneny in for Ramsey.

  2. chas says:

    Brilliant PM for a fairly nothing game, BR.

    I’m trying to get up for it but just can’t shift the Cuffley bitterness. 🙂

  3. Eddie says:

    come over and see for yourself, texted you the address

  4. mickydidit89 says:

    Are you going Chas?

    If so, you’ll be fine by the time ko arrives 🙂

    What are the moaners planning for today, some kind of whingeathon presumably. Paper? Staying away? Going? Marching?

  5. chas says:

  6. mickydidit89 says:


    Dear Lord, they have the union jack wrong way round ie in it’s “distress” setting 😦

  7. mickydidit89 says:


    coffee break over. Enjoy your days all

  8. chas mobile says:

    Micky 10.52
    That’s exactly what my old man would have said.😊
    Mind you he was in the Royal Navy in the war. What’s your excuse?

  9. VP of Oz says:

    “I feel sympathy for all the other managers because we live through the same pain. Everyone,” Mourinho told multiple English newspapers. “Football has changed. Now it is a game that makes it impossible for managers to stay in their position for a long time.

    “Football now means if you don’t get success then you are gone — so yes, I feel bad for other managers. When you are at one club for 20 years it is impossible to have success every single year. Even Sir Alex will tell you that.

    “The truth is that I hope Wenger keeps his job at Arsenal. I really do. I hope that the club trusts him to make things better. I think that Arsene is probably the last example of a manager who brings stability to a club over such a long time.

    “Sir Alex was the same at United and he was able to leave when he knew it was time to leave. I hope that it is the same with Wenger. Why not?”


    I’m convinced that we will finish top 4 this season and win the FA Cup, unless not…

  10. VP of Oz says:

    I feel a big night of cekebraruob coming on

  11. It will be an interesting game as neither team will benefit from a draw, so whilst United will probably play on the break, they will still be looking to win the game. I expect to see Rooney, Martial, Mata, Pogba, Darmian, De Gea and maybe a few other first team players so not exactly a bunch of kids. Will be a tough game.

  12. GoonerB says:

    Thanks Raddy. I hope for AW and the team to make a statement today. Firstly I would like Arsene to play a very strong and well balanced side, because for too long I feel he hasn’t been able to identify his strongest line up. On he back of this I hope the side go out and put on a real performance and get a resounding win to give us some impetus for the last few games.

    I mostly like your line up Raddy but would like to see (as the game unfolds) Ozil and Sanchez almost playing as a double number 10 behind Welbeck.

    I would probably play either Xhaka or Rambo with Coquelin. Coquelin as a midfielder frees up the other one to play a bit more. Neither Xhaka or Rambo do that for the other player. I know many feel they can just work it out in a pivot alternating in defensive and attacking duties, but in reality these players never seem to get it right and Le Coq will play the more disciplined role allowing the other to be more free to influence.

    I would go with your back 3 Raddy. I have wondered though why Gabriel doesn’t take the left side role bearing in mind he has some experience of playing left back before joining us. You would have thought the left of the 3 DF’s would have suited him more. Maybe it has something to do with Holding and his experience of the position at Bolton.


  13. Rasp says:

    Lovely stuff Raddy, thank you.

    As usual the game will be won or lost in the midfield. If the players haven’t got the message yet that they need to up their work rate they never will. No passengers. No trotting back today when we lose possession please. If we play with half as much heart as Wham did against totnum we should win.

    To be honest I just want this season over. The joy has gone for the timebeing. I’d love us to win convincingly, but overall I can’t get excited about this game.

  14. chas mobile says:

  15. GunnerN5 says:

    Thank you Raddy yet another fine PM.

    Regardless of what is at stake I always look forward to any Arsenal – Man U game and this one is no exception. Moaniho is an awuful example of a manager and takes a lot of the joy out of watching a game by his boring tactics.

    Man U threaten to field a weakened team – but whoever they decide to play he will want to win against Wenger,

  16. mickydidit89 says:

    Cech, Holding, Koscielny, Monreal, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Xhaka, Ramsey, Gibbs, Ozil, Sanchez, Welbeck.

    Subs: Gabriel, Giroud, Ospina, Walcott, Iwobi, Bellerin, Coquelin

    UTD: de Gea, Tuanzebe, Jones, Smalling, Darmian, Herrera, Carrick, Mkhitaryan, Mata, Martial, Rooney.

    Subs: Bailly, Pogba, Lingard, Blind, Rashford, Romero, McTominay.

  17. mickydidit89 says:

    0-0 at Anfield

    4 mins to play. Could make our game really, well worth winning

  18. mickydidit89 says:

    Yip 0-0

    Come on you Gunnnnners

  19. mickydidit89 says:

    see you all in a bit

  20. GunnerN5 says:

    I just received a letter saying that I can have sex at 82. Well I think I’ll go for it, I live at # 74 so it’s only a short walk.

  21. Eddie says:

    this little piggy went to Cuffley market
    and nobody wanted it
    Bargain at 50p, hopefully our lucky charm

  22. Rasp says:

    I hope Monreal for Gabriel at CB is due to injury because it didn’t work against totnum. I see Gabriel is on the bench … he should be on the pitch.

  23. Big Raddy says:

    I don’t understand why AW keeps playing Gibbs. Why not someone more attacking? When did he become a defensive coach? In his early days it was all about Wengerball – it isn’t anymore.

  24. fred1266 says:

    Why no Gabriel

  25. Big Raddy says:

    Enjoyed that half.

    Think we deserve to be ahead and would be if not for De Gea.

  26. fred1266 says:

    How are looking

  27. fred1266 says:

    Hearing Ramsey playing crap

  28. GunnerN5 says:

    So far this is Ramsey’s best game this season – it’s good to see.

  29. mickydidit89 says:

    That was a lot better than I was expecting

    Now for some of those goal things we enjoy so much.


  30. GunnerN5 says:

    Fred where did you read that?

  31. fred1266 says:

    That contradicting things I hearing about Ramsey play

  32. Eddie says:

    bloody hell, I love you Granit 🙂

  33. mickydidit89 says:

    nice, he he he 🙂

  34. Aaron says:

    Know you do Eddie!

  35. mickydidit89 says:

    loved that

  36. Eddie says:

    nice? nice??!! its fooking brilliant!!
    well done Da nny

    hi Aaron 🙂

  37. Aaron says:

    As the commentator once said “Welbeck!!!”

  38. fred1266 says:

    On a trini website

  39. mickydidit89 says:

    splendid afternoon

  40. fred1266 says:

    Yes it I micky

  41. Big Raddy says:

    Loved the second half and enjoyed the game as a whole.

    Many positives, in particular the development of Xhaka, Ox at wing half, Ramsey finally finding his mojo, and perhaps best of all, Holding.

    Everyone played well, even Gibbs 😀

  42. Big Raddy says:

    Looking forward to hearing Jose’s excuses 😀

    His team of reserves had 10 full Internationals, and was only missing Rashford and Lingered who are not first choices.

  43. mickydidit89 says:

    Agree, Holding really does look like he could be part of our defence for the next decade

  44. mickydidit89 says:

    I wonder what Utd fans think of the Jose style, or lack of it.

    I know they don’t concede too many, but they’ve scored 15 less than us in the league and 20 less than all the others

    Hardly riveting stuff is it

  45. Big Raddy says:

    We saw what we expected to see, a MU team who PTB.

    Jose thinks they were unlucky!

  46. Aaron says:

    moaninho does not play to win against the Arsenal ever.
    sets up team in 6 yard box and hit on counter.
    May the Arsenal build on this to finish the season strong and win the FA Cup!

  47. fatgingergooner says:


    Cracking performance. Our midfielders were excellent today. Will watch again tonight when I finish work.

  48. Big Raddy says:

    FGG. Always good to watch without the tension and in the knowledge of a victory 🙂

  49. Red Arnie says:

    thank you Raddy, thanks all. Watched the game in Malta again. Cannot complain. Onwards and upwards! 🙂

    BTW, whatever happens because of market pressures happens. But pray why would one want to get rid of any of these good guys. In my experience, this is never how you build, or sustain, institutions. Just my tuppence.

    Particularly enjoyed the celebration of Danny’s goal. 🙂

  50. chas mobile says:

  51. mickydidit89 says:

    ha ha ha that is so good

  52. Red Arnie says:

    ha ha ha. 🙂

  53. mickydidit89 says:

    Re the piggy bank. Did you try dropping the price, to say, 15p, for example?

    Evening Arnie
    Sounds like you’ve put down some roots in Malta. Could be worse

  54. Red Arnie says:

    I have turned religious for the month. Praying night and day for a pox (or is it doom?) on Scouse-dom. 🙂

  55. chas mobile says:

    Poxy unbeaten run – bosh.

  56. Red Arnie says:

    not bad at all, Micky, not bad at all. BTW, Ggantija and Haqar Dim are brilliant. 🙂 That is where I am praying often these days.

  57. mickydidit89 says:

    Great place to pray. Great cause. Be sure though, and perform a sacrifice. Gods love that shit.

  58. mickydidit89 says:

    I believe Gods also look favourably on requests from wise bearded ones, so my hopes for a top four have just risen exponentially. Good work.

  59. Red Arnie says:

    I note with pleasure that Lawro’s predictions for the game and the reasons for such prediction have been withdrawn from the Beebs site. 🙂

  60. Red Arnie says:

    Let’s offer Lawro for sacrifice. But would God love that s**t? I doubt it. 🙂

  61. mickydidit89 says:

    Gods are picky? Sacrifice is a sacrifice down my way

    Must dash. Gnite

  62. fatgingergooner says:

    Need West Ham to put in another performance like they did on Friday. IF Liverpool lose then we could afford a draw in our last 4 games and still finish 4th on GD.

  63. Ant says:

  64. fatgingergooner says:

    Just been watching the game. Holdings distribution was very good. Xhaka’s passing was fantastic and he took up some good defensive positions at times. I’d like to think he will have a big season next year. Ramsey and Ox’s workrate was too much for a tired looking United midfield. They ran all over them and created problems whenever they had the ball. Gibbs could thrive in a LWB role but I just don’t think he’s developed enough in the last few years and doesn’t do enough for me. He could be moved on. It was good to see the team put in a performance without relying on Sanchez or Özil. Both were effective but they were outplayed by Ramsey and Xhaka who controlled the game. Great to see Welbeck score, I’d love him to develop into a 25 goal striker. He’s got everything physically but just needs to learn to be a bit cuter with his runs and finishing.

  65. fatgingergooner says:

    We may have been pretty woeful recently but we’ve beaten both Manchester clubs in recent weeks. That’s a good sign for the future if you ask me.

  66. wally says:

    My thots on the game.

    That was two hours of my life i’ll never have back.

    What a complete and utter waste of time. One side couldn’t have cared less if they won or lost. Even down two they couldn’t be bothered to press. The other team couldn’t score. It’s always nice to beat manure but this game signifies NOTHING.
    Since ramsey’s a topic once more he makes great runs and that’s about it. Can’t pass, can’t dribble, can’t score. Other than that he was terrific. Gibbs? wtf was he doing on the field. I could put a better left footed cross in and my left foot is a wooden leg.
    Looks more and more like wenger is going to be back. Let’s pray for a long, long warm summer and a warm winter, extend the golf season.

  67. chas mobile says:

    Someone’s not happy we won. ☺

  68. chas mobile says:

  69. chas says:

  70. chas says:

    You can bet Mrs Mourinho had to wear the Wenger mask again last night. 🙂

  71. chas says:

  72. chas says:

  73. chas says:

  74. chas says:

  75. chas says:

  76. chas says:

  77. chas says:

  78. mickydidit89 says:

    Busy chap this morning Chas. Excellent, fun start to the week

  79. mickydidit89 says:

    re the 7:07
    Nice to hear that sense of humour is still alive and kicking. It is certainly something the armchair viewer misses out on

  80. Eddie says:

    in a nutshell – if we beat red mancs, chavs and spuds I wouldn’t mind if we finished bottom half of the table

  81. chas says:

    Haha – nice one.

  82. Eddie says:

    fans screaming when Herrera touched the ball is very funny, that will learn him to dive at the Ems again.

    Mancs are terrible, after spending £250mil Mourinho is clueless. I’d be interested to hear experts views on why Jose cannot do it again – get a decent team, spend big and play boring, ugly anti-football, and win trophies. What happened to his dirty tactics?

  83. Eddie says:

    that Nelson sending off is funny – why did he rip his shirt off? Drama queen

  84. mickydidit89 says:

    I guess he’d just had the back tattoo done

  85. Eddie says:

    no, tattoo looked faded. Wiki says he is 166cm, shorter than me. Perhaps small man syndrome?

    micky – so what are your views on Mourinbho’s failure – I know you are no expert, but have a say, go on…

  86. Big Raddy says:

    Morning All,

    Basking. Shame Wally isn’t happy though I see his point. Nonetheless, a win over Merinho is a reason for much joy

  87. GoonerB says:

    That was a well deserved win. We were the better team and were trying to actually win the game….not something you can accuse Maureen and his boys of doing.

    That was a far cry from what I have come to expect of a Utd side. Maybe Maureen should be more concerned about the mood of the Utd fans before he focused on Arsenal’s.

  88. Red Arnie says:

    nice rant, though. 🙂 hope you are feeling better now, Wally. 🙂

  89. Rasp says:

    Morning all 🙂

    My take on things:

    It was a well deserved win by the better team … and with a few glimpses of what these players are capable of when they have confidence and play as a team (= no Theo)

    It also makes the run in a lot more interesting. If we win our next game(s) and pool drop points, CL qualification will be in our hands …. and set up for a last game of the season cliffhanger at home to Everton … this could be a MWG and one I’d love to be at if victory would get us 4th ….

  90. chas says:

    This made me laugh.
    Some fascist tosser pissed off he lost a bet.
    The thread is best followed on twitter but this is the gist of it. 🙂

  91. Rasp says:

    Also …. Holding must play every game as part of a back 3 … and although I thought he was mad, I am beginning to see that Raddy’s suggestion of building a team around Xhaka could work. He is growing in stature and beginning to run the midfield. No silly cards recently and his passing accuracy is top drawer. He also gets the ball forward quickly with his long diagonal passes which works really well with the 3:4:3 formation and gets the best out of the Ox and Gibbs/Bellerin

  92. Rasp says:

    I’ve just looked at the fixtures and I now know what is the most important game of the season for us …….

    Next Sunday ….. WHam at home to Liverpool

    Pool have Boro’ at home last game of the season so we have to write that down as a guaranteed 3 points for them.

  93. chas says:

    Doesn’t the hammers versus dippers game become a bit irrelevant if we don’t beat Soton and Stoke first?

  94. Rasp says:

    🙂 🙂 chas … yes, I realise that … I was taking a leaf out of your book and being uber positive

  95. chas says:

    One game at a time

  96. GoonerB says:

    It would be nice to get top 4 and win the cup. 4 wins is all we can do. We know that draws are no good so in a strange way it helps our approach to the remaining games. 1 draw from Pool or 2 from City…..come on the football gods.

  97. Rasp says:

    I may have to put O.G.A.A.T. in room 101 🙂

    I agree GoonerB …. there is hope and we should cling on to that … I wouldn’t put it past us to win all our last games, we just need pool to go spursy

  98. Big Raddy says:

    Wenger interview with TH is unavailable. Any other sources?

  99. GunnerN5 says:

    Just joined the conversation – have you tried this Raddy/

    More for henry interview with wenger

    Thierry Henry interviews Arsene Wenger ahead of Arsenal v Man Utd ……/thierry-henry-interviews-arsene-wenger-ahead-of-arsenal-v-m...

    1 day ago – Thierry Henry sat down with Arsene Wenger to talk tactics, three at the back, playing with freedom, and Arsenal v Manchester United. … Watch Arsenal v Man Utd for just 6.99! Grab a Sky Sports Day Pass and strap yourself in for a blockbuster Super Sunday as Arsenal face their old

  100. GunnerN5 says:

    Or this ?

    Video: Thierry Henry interviews Arsene Wenger | Arseblog News – the … › Matches and team news › Manager

    1 day ago – Ahead of today’s game against Manchester United, Thierry Henry sat down with Arsene Wenger to talk about that, the move to a back three, his …

  101. fatgingergooner says:

    Mourinho chuntering about making Arsenal fans happy. I think it was actually the Arsenal players making the fans happy. They took the points for themselves despite Mourinho sending out a strong looking team. I don’t buy all this rubbish about putting out a weakened line up. If he had no desire to win the game then we certainly wouldn’t have seen the likes of Darmian, Carrick, Herrera, Mkhitaryan, Lingard, Rashford and Martial on the field considering they are playing a semi final 2nd leg this week. United came for the win and left with nothing. The players deserve praise for a solid performance and a fantastic win. Mourinho gave us nothing and left with nothing.

  102. GunnerN5 says:

    FGG – also he DESERVED nothing…………..No on second thoughts he got exactly what he deserved.

  103. fatgingergooner says:

    It was good to see Xhaka showing what he can do. I think he can be a real asset for this team with his range of passing and his defensive cover. I also liked the look of his link up with Özil. We’ve missed a player who is intelligent enough and a good enough passer to get the ball into Özil at times this season. Cazorla is so important in this respect, but Xhaka has shown he can do it. Apparently Xhaka to Özil was the most played pass on the field yesterday and we will need it to be for the next 4 games aswell.

    It’s also great to see Ramsey finally playing in a role where he can get forward and influence the game without leaving us short in numbers on the counter. I believe one of our biggest problems in the last few seasons has been our inability to find a style that allows Özil and Ramsey to both be on the field and influencing our attacking play without leaving us unbalanced. Previously I had wanted Özil or Ramsey to play RW to allow this to happen as I never expected the manager to change the shape, but I think this formation and the sacrificing of a RW could finally be the answer.

  104. wally says:

    It’s not that i’m unhappy, more like oh yeah another insipid performance. What else is new?
    Beating manure is always good, really good, no matter what. I had a good laugh listening to the stick an arsenal fan was giving one of the louder manure supporters. But that was hardly an inspiring performance, particularly against a team that didn’t care if it won or lost. A friend i was sitting with who’s a wenger supporter acknowledged as much.

    After the 1st half manure strolled around the field like it was a practice. (In the first game they pressed us all over the field. We stole a point in that game with a late goal.) Manure didn’t cross mid-field to press us in the second half, didn’t press even down two! That game had about 2.5 interesting moments in 90 minutes of football. Anyone reading into the game that based on that performance the team is back on track is delusional.
    And barring a miracle it looks like our leading goal scorer is gone, again. Walcott is the next leading goal scorer. Who wants to hang their hat on him. I just don’t see any reason for optimism at the moment.

  105. RC78 says:

    Idea for Post:

    What to do with Magic Ozil?

    Mesut Ozil is an outstanding player, whose fluid play and ability to find an assist are a joy to watch. However, the perceived lack of work rate (especially defensively), the lack of goals and his inconsitency bring many football fans/punts to put a question mark around his overall contribution to AFC?

    Given the above and the fact that he is still a highly rated and prized asset and that his contract comes to an end next year, would you rather keep him and extend his contract or would you be likely to sell him?

    Ozil 2016-2017 stats:
    – Attacking – 49 games, 12 goals and 10 assists, 1.2 shot/game, 1.2 dribble/game, 1.2 dispossed per game, 2.5 key passes per game
    – Defensive – 49 games, 0.9 tackles/game, 0.6 interceptions/game, 0.3 clearances/game, 0.7 dribbled past/game

    The choice is yours

  106. RC78 says:

    Wally – I agree with you that not everything is rosy. However, beating a good Man Utd side is not an easy feat given the fact that Mourinho came to play the draw. So let us know be too gloomy either.

    FGG – see my post above on Ozil

  107. Wally, I am currently in Amalfi on the Italian coast. The local team is Napoli so I quickly realised that by saying “Napoli isa shits” but doing it with a big grin attracts the women.

    Proclaiming “The days of Maradona are pasta” or “Cavani liker the money”, gets you laid.

  108. fatgingergooner says:

    It’s normal that United would press us more and attack more in a home game than playing away at the Ems. It’s also normal that United looked tired with the amount of games and injuries they’ve had recently. I agree it’s not a performance to get hugely excited about, but the team can only beat what is in front of them, and to get a first league win over Mourinho will be important going into next season. Also we kept a clean sheet which is impressive.

    Big games are more about the result than the performance and I think that was the case yesterday. Hopefully the performances will improve game by game and we can gain some momentum going into the cup final.

  109. fatgingergooner says:


    The defensive stats for Özil are pointless imo. I don’t care how many tackles he makes as he’s not in the team to do that. People only use the ‘lack of work rate’ stick to beat him when his offensive play is not up to scratch. If he is playing well it’s not because he’s making tackles, it’s because he’s scoring and creating chances/goals.

    It’s pretty obvious but the way to get the best out of him is to put better players around him. Players who make better runs, think faster, and finish better. Also, I think sticking with the 3421 will help as it allows Ramsey to get into the box. Özil was asked to score more goals this season and whilst he managed it early on I think it takes away from other parts of his game if he’s the one having into the box all the time. Personally I think it’s better for the team and more difficult to defend against if Ramsey is the one making those runs from deep and Özil is threading the passes. If we stick with the 3421 i think it gives us more of an opportunity to spread the goals out to numerous positions rather than just relying on the front 3, and giving Özil more runners can only be a good thing. In the few games we’ve used the formation we’ve scored goals from 5 different positions. If we can get a LWB who can score goals then suddenly we have Ox, Ramsey, Sanchez, Welbeck and a LWB all making forward runs for Özil to pick out.

  110. fatgingergooner says:

    Got to say I’m excited about a defence of Holding, Koscielny, Mustafi. I’d like us to sign another CB and I think Chambers could thrive in a 3 aswell but I think that line up could be good.

    Do we think Merts time is up with the emergence of Holding? Even without a new defender we would have Holding, Mustafi, Koscielny, Gabriel, Monreal, Chambers all capable of playing CB in the PL next year. I’m not convinced all are top players but they can all do a job and hopefully a couple of them can kick on and become first choice.

  111. GoonerB says:

    FGG, I find myself not for the first time almost entirely agreeing with your thoughts. The back 3 has sorted the Ozil dilemma by allowing for more CM’s. It allows us to keep Ozil in a central free role but also with less defensive duties because of the other 2 slightly deeper CM’s.

    I thought we had this Serbian chap in the bag for the left side. He seems to be pretty decent. Gibbs was decent yesterday so that chap and Gibbs is a goer for me.

    Like I mentioned before the game yesterday, I kind of like the thought of both Sanchez and Ozil having free roles behind a striker almost in a double number 10 role. With Rambo making runs from deep it could be a winning formation.

    Having the right quality striker is important for this system. I am happy with Danny in the role. There is still a question mark as to whether he can stay injury free and become a 25+ a season striker and maybe we need another quality striker that can alternate with Danny or who Danny becomes second choice to.

    Perez? Well I don’t know what has happened there, but I feel he is a non starter for the position and will likely leave. Ollie is not right for the formation purely due to the pace and mobility issue. Walcott should have been good for it but doesn’t seem to be pulling up trees. For me what lets him down is his work-rate up front. It is not about defence and bone crunching tackles but the modern striker needs to close down defenders and give them no time on the ball, so that they misplace passes and we win back possession in dangerous areas.

    Also I think that the striker (like Costa, Suarez and Cavani do) needs to offer themselves as an out-ball option in the channels and wide areas, and then hold possession so we can quickly get out of defensive situations and get on the front foot again. Walcott, despite being quick and mobile enough doesn’t hassle the defenders enough or work across into the channels enough to receive the ball. It seems more an attitude thing which is a shame because I reckon he could make it work and I do see a potential 30 goal a season player in him.

    If we are not considering any of Giroud, Walcott or Perez for the role then we need someone else. It may be the expensive purchase. Personally I still like Cavani and think his blend of strength, pace, goal-scoring prowess and importantly work-rate could see him bring out the best of this system in the EPL. 47 goals in 47 appearances this season so far is nothing to sneeze about.

    I have one slight concern about the Ramsey Xhaka partnership. Neither are really proper DM’s and are both really players to get us on the front foot in slightly different ways. There didn’t seem to be an issue against Utd but will it be exposed by some of the better teams because neither one is really a specialist DM? I feel the same about Elneny as well.

    There may well be games where one of these players needs to be sacrificed for something a bit more steely and specialised in the defensive role, and I wonder whether we still need a new Gilberto. Coquelin is a good back up for the role but I think we maybe need something a bit better.

    It is probably one of the areas I would look to address unless there is an answer already at the club. One possibility could be to use one of our more mobile CD’s who are not bad on the ball and with passing. Maybe Mustafi or even Calum Chambers could fill the role. It may stop us having to spend unnecessary money on this position and also give playing time to players maybe not 1st on the team sheet.

    I always harboured a feeling that Chambers could develop in the position and just provide a bit more than Coquelin currently does, but feel free to ridicule that thought.

  112. Big Raddy says:

    My guess is that Iwobi will be fitted into the LWB role over the coming seasons.

    Thank you for the links – one worked (which is all I needed 🙂 )

  113. GoonerB says:

    Iwobi??? Cheers Raddy for making my Chambers at DM suggestion look good 🙂

  114. fatgingergooner says:

    Could be a good guess that BR. I like Iwobi but not sure where he would fit in this system. Maybe the Özil role in a few years?


    I agree we need another DM. I would like to see someone who gets around the pitch. Kante has shown what the modern DM needs to be and I think we need someone with similar energy. Coquelin is a good back up like you say, but I’d still like to see another come in. I don’t think Chambers has the engine for it, so maybe someone like Gueye at Everton who’s been outstanding this year.

    I do think that if you put Özil into the Chelsea team this year he’d be the best player in the league. Having a defensive solidity like they have is going to be key to our future success. The modern game is now about working very hard without the ball. This is why it’s vital we have mobile players and defensive solidity if we are going to stick with Özil in the side. Also, you know that a Wenger 3421 is going to be totally different to that of Chelsea and Spurs. Where they play 2 HM players, we will be playing Ramsey in there and expecting him to get in the box. That’s why Xhaka’s role and the wing back roles become important in making sure we still have defensive numbers.

  115. GoonerB says:

    Agreed FGG. I also see Iwobi in the Ozil role in a few years…sorry Raddy 🙂

  116. chas says:

  117. Eddie says:

    Raddy – this is just for you from me, as an apology for not acknowledging your post. Sorry, my bad.

    Rad’n’Bone man is my favourite at the mo, terrific guy

  118. Big Raddy says:

    GB. I bet you a smoked fish.

    Thanks Eddie. Never heard that before, after a few listens it is top quality. Anything else to tickle my fancy?

  119. wally says:

    Terry, I wish i was there with you. Not for the ladies per se, the boss wouldn’t approve. But i do love italy and the amalfi.

  120. mickydidit89 says:

    Sorry not to be around. V busy few days, but really nice to read all the optimism. Loving it, loving the new system, and it appears the players like it too.

  121. chas says:

  122. chas says:

  123. Eddie says:

    raddy – no, all other staff I like is a bit embarrassing 🙂 🙂 This for example gives me goose pimples 🙂 don’t tell anyone

  124. Eddie says:

    oh no, I scared the bloggers away 🙂 all right, all right, it is still better than The Yellow Submarine

  125. chas says:

    There are no bloggers here at this time in the morn.

  126. Big Raddy says:

    Morning All,

    Eddie, I quite liked that. Lyrics were dire but the vocals were good. Not in the same class as chas’s vid

  127. Big Raddy says:

    chas. Sorry. I woke late. Where did the AFC poster come from? Would be a great present for my Spurs nephew

  128. chas mobile says:

  129. chas mobile says:

    One for Terry

  130. Big Raddy says:

    Serves him right. A humiliating way of earning a drachma (or is it euro)

  131. chas mobile says:
  132. RC78 says:

    It seems that there is a consensus that we need a DM.

    Who would you go for and why and what do you do with Coquelin or El Neny?

    Illarramendi, Gueye, Bender, Fabinho, Vidal…

  133. Big Raddy says:

    RC. I would like the French chap who played for Monaco and went to Italy last season. Looked like PV4 – can’t remember his name but apparently he wants a move.

    Just looked …. Kondogbia

  134. RC78 says:

    BR – Kondogbia kind of fudged up but the potential is there. If you look for this type of player, I think that William Carvalho (Portugal) is a better player :-p

  135. RC78 says:

    Bayern Munich keen to purchase Sanchez for 65 Mln EUR.

    Sanchez would join Bayern’s already impressive attacking armada composed of:
    – Lewandowski, Muller, Robben, Coman, Ribery and Douglas Costa

    Sanchez reportedly only interested in a few clubs:
    – Man City and Chelsea in EPL
    – Bayern in Germany
    – Juve in Italy
    – Least likely option would be PSG although he is PSG’s nr 1 target

  136. Big Raddy says:

    I can see Sanchez at BM.Muller has been poor this season, Ribery and Robben are ageing.

    Not so sure about Juve who have Higuian and Dybala.

    Cannot see AW selling to the EPL.

  137. RC78 says:

    BR – I also think that Bayern is the most likely destination followed by Juventus.

    In Spain, if Griezzmann leaves Atletico, then Sanchez would be targeted. Imagine Sanchez being fuelled by Simeone…lol

  138. GoonerB says:

    Afternoon all. I forgot to ask yesterday but is Terry on the run? I am wondering which route he took out of the country? I bet it was a fishing trawler to Rotterdam followed by a stow in the back of one of Mr Anotoliy’s travelling circus trucks. Good luck Terry we are all rooting for you.

    Raddy, I take you up on your smoked fish bet. If you bury yours now it will be all nice and rotten Scandinavian style in a couple of seasons.

    On the DM. I have often wondered whether the Carvallho chap is quick enough. I do like a bit of pace in this position. He was hot property a season or two back but I haven’t heard much since. Has he gone off the boil?

    On Sanchez, AW said he would definitely be with us next season….so that is that then.

  139. Big Raddy says:

    Can you see Gazidis turning down €55+m?

    Sanchez isn’t a Gooner, he doesn’t appear to have learned English. He appears frustrated with his team mates.

    My guess is he will leave whatever AW says. A little like the RvP situation.

  140. GoonerB says:

    No I can’t Raddy but that would mean that we are being lied to…..and they wouldn’t do that would they 🙂

    Personally I think a straight cash deal doesn’t help us that much, and would prefer to deal with a club that has a player or two we may need and work out a deal from there.

  141. RC78 says:

    If Sanchez goes to Bayern, which player do you take?

    I will swap one Chilean for another and take Vidal and I would add Kimmich UNLESS I can get Neuer or Lewandowski OR Alaba and Javi Martinez

  142. GoonerB says:

    Good question RC. I think we have to be aware of (and reluctantly accept) one thing. That being that I don’t think Arsenal’s image is at its highest as a top destination for the best players right now. These players have to agree that they want to come to Arsenal in an exchange deal.

    Three years back we looked like a club on the up. The big club that now had more money with an exciting project on the horizon, one that should lead us back to being serious challengers again. So much so that one Luis Suarez actually saw us as a viable and attractive destination.

    Roll on 2-3 years and I think the perception of Arsenal from a top players perspective is very different. Whether one likes it or not we have kind of projected an image of an unambitious club that is happy to remain at a moderate level. The lack of tangible progress from a league perspective is ample evidence.

    Top players like Sanchez being unhappy because of this, and him not feeling we will address the issues to become title challengers again, is hardly a ringing endorsement to other top players. Do we really think that Vidal will happily swap from the likes of Bayern to us while his international team-mate and one of our best players goes the other way?

    As an example I would say that if Sanchez stays we would have a good chance of landing a player like Cavani. It would look like further development. If Sanchez goes I don’t think we will get a player like Cavani because he would just look at it as him coming in to help us stand still rather than improve us to challenge for the league. We have a problem with this in my opinion.

    There will be players happy to come but not the ones that have been regular 1st team players at a big club that is winning things. That is why I suggested a look at Utd. Sanchez may not fancy it, who knows, but I think in players like Martial, Shaw and Mata you have players that would come to us because they have something to prove and would not consider us a downward step.

  143. RC78 says:

    GB – you are totally right. Success breeds success and quality players attract quality players.

    Cavani is staying at PSG until 2012 :-p

    I would take Mata in a heart beat – he is a phenomenal player.

  144. RC78 says:


  145. Big Raddy says:

    GB. Club lies and silence. I have been a Gooner for longer than most of the club have been alive and rarely have I been so disappointed.

    All the fans ask for is a bit of transparency and honesty, it has always been the upstanding transitions of AFC which I have loved. Not so anymore.

    AW’s charming smile whilst he refuses to answer any indepth question is wearing thin. The BoD, and in particular, Gazidis, thinking that running OUR club is a role best done in secret. It stinks.

    The AW contract issue is a PR train wreck. The Sanchez/Ozil saga, the same.

    Perhaps those who have the reins have forgotten that Arsenal are a pyramid with the team as it’s base. If the pinnacle of the pyramid doesn’t give a stuff about anything but money, why should the players?

    Empty seats at The Emirates will result and persuading loyal fans who have given up their S/T’s to return may prove difficult.

    (could have been a post!!)

  146. Big Raddy says:

    GB 1,45 I agree

  147. RC78 says:

    Pepe keen to join PSG
    Manolas on Chelsea’s radar

  148. GoonerB says:

    And I agree with you Raddy. Isn’t this lovely 🙂 the rotten fish bet is still on though.

  149. GoonerB says:

    I am still hoping that Arsenal can pull of a sensational deal that none of us saw coming. I am interested in the talk about Mbappe. He looks the real deal, even at 18, and although he will have many suitors his age may work in our favour. At that age he may regard Arsenal as the right step up but a safer bet than the Madrids and Maureens of this world that tend to overlook young talent if it doesn’t immediately blossom.

    A big bid on him could land us a quality young pacey striker and potentially give both Sanchez and Ozil a reason to stay. If, in addition, we get the left sided wing back position and DM sorted what else do we really need?

    The new formation gives new hope even though we are still a bit green in it. More playing time to develop it further should only see us make significant improvements. It could easily be the formation to bridge that elusive 14-15 EPL points we are always short of.

    The main danger is if Arsene never really fancied the formation (and also the right players in it) and reverts to something else. He has been want to do things like this a few times.

  150. fred1266 says:

    Catching up on the comments do you all really feel we are sticking to a back 3

  151. GoonerB says:

    Well at the moment we are Fred. I think it suits the players more and gets the best out of them while reducing our weaknesses. I think Arsene would be mad to change back to a formation we have laboured in for the last few years.

  152. Big Raddy says:

    Fred. I think we have to see how AW fits Mustafi into the back 3 and whether it suits his style of play

  153. RC78 says:

    ————-Mustafi – Koscielny – ?—————–
    Bellerin—–Ramsey, DM—————————LWB

  154. Rasp says:

    Afternoon all, I don’t know if anyone heard the rather spikey interview AW gave in response to being asked about the rumoured introduction of a Director Of Football at Arsenal. At first he was sarcastic asking something along the lines of what were they going to direct play from the middle of the pitch? … and then went on to say that as long as he was manager he will be in sole charge of technical football matters.

    This made me think that the rumoured rift in the Board may actually be true. Arsene was basically challenging the Board and saying its my way or no way. …. and meanwhile not a peep out of Gazidis?

  155. fred1266 says:

    My main concern about the back 3 is how to guys like santi Wilshire bellerin fit in

    Also does ozil and Sanchez seem to be less effective?

  156. It’s a lovely place Wally. Anyone familiar with the terrain will know it’s basicly up in the clouds so if you don’t like heights or standing up, don’t bother.

    One night we got talking to this couple and there teenage son. The kid opened up to me on his troubles, the normal stuff like how girls don’t like him, his older sister picks on him, and that he has this overwhelming desire to push someone over a cliff?

    The next day we were trekking through the mountains of Positano when this couple and there son appeared behind us. They all started talking happily about the view and marvoulos scenery were as I and this teenage crazy exchanged a stare of “today is the day”. For a good half an hour I jostled for position but eveytime I tried to get behind him or replace myself with a German tourist he seemed to always end up behind.

    I honestly don’t know how I got off becoming an imprint on that mountain? Maybe it was because the night before I said he should push someone who looked as though he maybe a Totnumb fan? I don’t know?

    Apart from that, highly recommended.

    Great posts from GB, FGG, etc on the three at the back. I don’t think Arsene had any choice but to implement a more defensive shape. Prior to that we were total shit and looked like we might concede during the half time break.

    Don’t think it’s the total answer to our problems but going forward we should stick to it and see how it goes.

  157. Oh, and the highlight of the Amalfi trip was checking my phone to see that West Ham had turned over Totnumb.

    Honestly if Totnumb had won that I would have asked that couple if there son would enjoy accompanying me up Mount Vesuvius

  158. Big Raddy says:

    Terry. I went to the Amalfi coast for one of my honeymoons

    Pricey but lovely.

    Delighted you are not an imprint.

  159. GunnerN5 says:

    Terry I’m sure that you always leave an imprint wherever you go – in a very positive way – of course.

  160. Red Arnie says:

    ha ha ha. Mancini. 🙂

  161. wally says:

    That was indeed a troubling interview. As i said months ago it’s no longer about the club, it’s about wenger and his ego. And now, here we are.
    Can anyone say they’re surprised?

    Do people really believe no man is bigger than the club?

  162. chas says:


  163. chas says:

  164. chas says:

  165. chas says:

  166. Eddie says:

    @7:44 – what a lunatic!! did you see her repeatedly punching on the head??!!! and the parents posted it on the net, blimey, I would be taking her to a shrink if she was my daughter

  167. chas says:

    I’d be signing her up for a career in cage fighting.

  168. Big Raddy says:

    Morning All,

    That could have been my sister. Vicious she was, and is.

    “Does my bum look big in this”? All I had to do was give the wrong answer and I got a left jab followed by a right uppercut and she didn’t wear padded gloves.

    Love the dog vid

  169. Eddie says:

    quite right chas, she should be kept in a cage

    what are you doing Raddy, isn’t there a PM to write?

  170. Big Raddy says:

    I’ll get down to it now. May be a few minutes late

  171. chas says:

  172. chas says:

  173. Red Arnie says:

    ha ha ha ha ha ha ha

  174. Big Raddy says:

    There is a New Post

    chas, I will add that to today’s comments. Too good to be wasted.

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