Southampton: MWG?

Just in case anyone is getting ahead of themselves and thinking this will be an easy win, may I point out that we have not won at St Mary’s in our last 5 visits plus we have lost 5 of our last 6 away matches. We need a win because if we draw or, heaven forbid, lose, the rest of the season is just filling in time until the Cup Final.


Beating both Manchester clubs must give some confidence to our troops and given Liverpool’s odd form there are genuine chances for a top 4 finish (though Stoke will be difficult).

Southampton are a strange team, sometimes they play attacking positive football, at others they are just dour, evidenced by just 39 goals for (44 conceded). In a season which has seen the EPL split into two divisions S’to are just 4 places below us in 10th yet 21 points behind.

Tonight’s referee is John Moss and just to show that I never bear grudges may I ask you to recall the action below. Moss was refereeing that day and did not even give a free kick! IMO it was one of the most dangerous, deliberate fouls I have seen. Moss is known for “letting play flow”, I call it bottling major decisions. He was also the referee when we played Burnley at home earlier this season and Barton got away with grabbing Iwobi’s face.

I do not expect much change from Sunday’s team – Koscielny may be injured and being so important is likely to be rested. Hence …

My Team


Holding    Mustafi   Monreal

Ox   Ramsey   Xhaka   Gibbs

Ozil     Sanchez


Once again, I would prefer to play someone other than Gibbs though he did play well in the second half on Sunday. Gabriel may return in place of Holding.

Southampton were super dull against Liverpool and I can see no reason why they shouldn’t be so tonight. Puel’s job is apparently under threat, though what do S’ton’s BoD expect? Puel has done OK with limited resources. What he does have is a very good defence which is why we have to score in the first half to make an entertaining game otherwise we are in for another night of tension, possession, dilly-dallying and reluctance to shoot.

Bang one in early and we could be kushtie

Let it be So



110 Responses to Southampton: MWG?

  1. Big Raddy says:

  2. GoonerB says:

    Cheers Raddy.

    MWG?? Is that not a room 101 expression. I hate cliches Raddy……. Anyway every game is a cup final for us from now on 🙂

    I don’t have an issue with Gibbs, but he could do with some work on his final ball which does let him down at times. As well as providing some natural defensive cover on the left he actually makes well timed runs and gets behind the opposition, so that improved final ball would elevate his game.

    The rest of your team from midfield up reads how I would set it up currently. On the defensive 3, I now feel that Holding should currently be an automatic choice with Kos and it is down to Monreal, Gabriel, and Mustafi to battle it out for the third spot.

  3. Red Arnie says:

    nice curtain raiser, Raddy. MWG? Nah!

    difficult game? yes. but 1-0 to the Arsenal anyway. I dont care how. not at this stage of the season anyways. all I expect is that the good guys chosen to play do so with pride. which they are doing, so onwards and upwards.


  4. RC78 says:

    This is going to be a weird game but I thnk that we should edge it if we show the same resilience although we are still shaky defensively. Puel is a very clever coach and will pbbly make some tweaks to block Ramsey, Xhaka, Ox and Ozil – he likes to block transmission and then he will pbbly man mark Sanchez and Wellbeck. Ultimately, this is going to be a game for our CB, LWB and the ability of Wellbeck to fend off his defender.

    We will play in a 3-4-3:
    Cech – Holding, Mustafi, Monreal – Ox, Ramsey, Xhaka, Gibbs – Ozil, Sanchez – Wellbeck

    BUT I would play Southampton as a 3-5-2
    Cech – Holding, Mustafi, Monreal – Bellerin, Ramsey, Xhaka, Oxlade, Gibbs – Wellbeck, Sanchez

    I bring Bellerin back and I count on Ox and Ramsey to provide the runs in midfield to annoy Southampton but I leave Ozil on the bench…

  5. RC78 says:

    The 5 in the middle shall be told to shoot from outside the box – that will force Southampton to close down on them and also to cross from the middle-line as well – we have to mix things up

  6. Rasp says:

    Wise words, thank you Raddy. As you say, only a win will keep our hopes for CL alive …… so, no pressure 🙂

    I hope Holding plays whichever other CBs are available, to my mind he is the best suited of our defenders to a back 3 system.

    This is the hardest of our 4 remaining games. It is at times like this that character counts.

    I’ll leave the clichés to GoonerB and Raddy …. but our players have to be prepared to run through brick walls if they are to achieve the seemingly impossible this season 🙂

  7. VP of Oz says:

    We’ve won every game since the spuds game so its onwards and upwards,

  8. fred1266 says:

    Is Kos and Gabriel injured

  9. RC78 says:

    Fred – Kos may be unavailable through injury and Gabs – I have no clue and actually I don’t rate him at all, he is really a poor defender

  10. GunnerN5 says:

    Fred here is the latest player news from AFC.

    Team news: Laurent, Lucas, Xhaka, Welbz

    What’s the latest on our squad ahead of Wednesday’s trip to Southampton?

    Arsène Wenger spoke to the media on Tuesday morning and provided an update.

    on the team news…
    We have a real check up today but we have some worries for Koscielny that he may not be available tomorrow. He will have a test today and we’ll make the decision after training.

    on Xhaka coming off early against Man United…
    Xhaka is similar but he looks to have recovered quite well. The news for him is better but he will have a test as well today.

    on if Welbeck was injured against Man United…
    No, he’s OK.

    on Lucas…
    He’s fit again and was back in training again yesterday.

    Copyright 2017 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to as the source


  11. chas says:

    Another excellent pre-match, BR, cheers.

    Fingers crossed hope for the best.
    One of the highlights of my Arsenal-supporting season was the 5-0 away to Soton in the 4th round of the FA Cup.
    More of the same please, lads.

  12. chas says:

    These two photos sum up supporting the Gunners this season.

    Pre-season and up to second during our unbeaten run before Christmas.

  13. chas says:

    Post Christmas reality sets in. 🙂

  14. chas says:

  15. GunnerN5 says:

    Thank you Raddy

  16. mickydidit89 says:

    Thank you Erik

    Read and thoroughly enjoyed somewhere on the M5. Thanks
    11/11 extra things tonight for you, Sir.

    Team to play Southampton: Cech, Holding, Mustafi, Monreal, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Ramsey, Xhaka, Gibbs, Ozil, Sanchez, Welbeck.

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

    Grabbing a nibble, then back

  17. Big Raddy says:

    GB. No more 101’s, I promise.

    Just 30 mins to kick off, trouble is I am also interested in the Madrid game.

    Aah, just remembered I have the ability to record, now I have to find a decent stream for AFC.

  18. fatgingergooner says:

    Realistically Liverpool are the only team we can catch. I don’t see City dropping 4 points in the last 3 games, because of that we need a win tonight. Personally I think we may end up with a draw, which probably won’t be enough, but hopefully Southampton have switched off for the season and our larger desire to win sees us through.

    Little bit worried about Gabbiadini’s clever movement against a rusty Mustafi. We have the tools to hurt them if we play well enough and Ramsey’s runs from deep could be the difference that allows us to break through their usually stubborn defence. Big games from Özil, Ramsey, Sanchez and Welbeck are needed.

  19. mickydidit89 says:

    Lads, lads lads, surely the only thing that matters is for 11 Gunners to thrash another team. When, where and for what are secondary.

    Sort of 🙂

  20. mickydidit89 says:

    Erik are you no longer liveonline or whatever its called these day?

  21. Big Raddy says:

    Yes I am. Stream is very good. Thanks for asking 😀

  22. mickydidit89 says:

    Is the pitch as a result of a groundsman on class A drugs?

    Horrible, and the check bit in the middle. Yuk

  23. mickydidit89 says:

    looking like a good open game

  24. VP of Oz says:

    The centre circle brings back memories of Q*bert

  25. Big Raddy says:

    Oh dear. Ox crocked:-(

    The pitch is a Mons

  26. fatgingergooner says:

    Sums up Ox’s Arsenal career so far. Starting to look the real deal then gets injured. Shame.

  27. fred1266 says:

    Wish you all had told me about Gabriel before I picked him can my fantasy team

  28. VP of Oz says:

    LOL Fred.

  29. VP of Oz says:

    breakfast break

  30. Big Raddy says:

    That half could sum up our recent form. Lots of possession but no end product.

    Is Sanchez playing? AW should move Welbeck out left and bring Alexis into the middle because right now it isn’t working

  31. mickydidit89 says:

    Oh VP, I had my favourite hotel breakfast this morning

    Pink grapefruit and orange slices
    Bacon and grilled Toms
    Sausages and marmalade

    Beat that matey

  32. mickydidit89 says:

    I think a goal would really help the game to inject some fizz into the recipient of said goal

    Hopefully them of course

  33. Big Raddy says:

    Wow Micky. That is a proper b’fast. I would add some porridge (in winter) and surely there is a need for toast?

    oh, and you told us that bacon was lethal 😉

  34. mickydidit89 says:

    Wheat slows me down, which frankly, doesn’t take much doing

  35. VP of Oz says:

    OK Micky, here goes

  36. mickydidit89 says:

    ha ha ha vp

    You’re really not making much effort are you? 🙂

  37. VP of Oz says:

    watching this game, I’m now craving a banana

  38. Big Raddy says:

    Come on Boys. Where is the urgency?

    Get the ball forward quicker

  39. Big Raddy says:

    That’s what happens when Sanchez plays through the middle.

    Beautiful goal

  40. mickydidit89 says:

    give the ball away. give the ball away. give the ball away
    Then THAT

    It’s the king of goal that you need yer Mesuts and Sanchez’ for

    Love it

  41. VP of Oz says:

    awesome goal
    Fred, I have both Ozil and Sanchez in my fantasy team with Sanchez as my captain on triple points this week. I’m right pleased with that goal….

  42. mickydidit89 says:


    The footballing breakfast of heroes is boiled eggs with marmite soldiers. FACT

  43. VP of Oz says:

    Vegemite beats Marmite

  44. mickydidit89 says:

    Either way, line up the soldiers and get the eggs on

  45. Big Raddy says:

    Both shite. FACT.

    Breakfast of champions is a proper scrambled egg on toast (3 eggs, 2 slices). 2 slices of top quality bacon.
    Fresh orange juice.
    Proper coffee

  46. VP of Oz says:

    I think I will try the soldiers on the weekend. Soft boiled egg would be my preference over hard boiled

  47. VP of Oz says:

    BR, so cruel. Since the onset of dyspepsia in my 40’s, I cant have the bacon anymore

  48. Cheers Raddy

    Skip breakfast lads. That way, until lunchtime you stare at people with intent.

    If, after all we have been through,we end up finnishing top four it will be hilarious

  49. fred1266 says:

    Glad to hear he scored also TC him

  50. Big Raddy says:

    Terry. Sad to say that in an attempt to fit into my summer mankini I have stopped eating breakfast.

  51. VP of Oz says:

    It would be interesting if we finish in the top 4, on more points than last season and an FA Cup. Progress for the critics?
    Come what may, its Vegemite and onwards and upwards

  52. Big Raddy says:

    Another cracking goal.

    Super pass from Sanchez, good thinking from Ramsey, clinical from the FFP

  53. mickydidit89 says:

    Excellent. Job done

    VP…Always soft eggs when the soldiers are on parade.

  54. mickydidit89 says:

    Yes Eddie

  55. Eddie says:

    worst effing striker??? Ollie?? you need your brain tested mate 🙂

  56. mickydidit89 says:

    Oh, that, ha ha

  57. chas says:

  58. mickydidit89 says:

    Oh dear lord, now you’re winding me up 🙂

  59. fatgingergooner says:

    What a fantastic result. We still need Liverpool to drop points, but if they draw one then we need to win our last 3, if they lose one then we can afford to draw a game and still finish 4th on goal difference (currently worse off by 3). That’s why the 2 goals tonight and another clean sheet could be very important. We still have Sunderland at home and you’d fancy us to score a few in that on current form.

    Not seen the game but going to watch highlights at 10pm. Just watched the Real game and I have to say that Isco was unbelievable. I thought we might end up with him if Özil left but not sure Real will be wanting him to leave and will probably get rid of James instead.

  60. mickydidit89 says:

    Pool have W’Ham away, Middlebrough home, so maybe.

  61. mickydidit89 says:

    fine evening

  62. fatgingergooner says:

    Bit ridiculous that we play before Liverpool this weekend given we’ve played Sunday and Wednesday. Also a bit ridiculous that we play Tuesday next week given that there is a PL game on Thursday which we could’ve had. Having said that, a win at Stoke would really put the pressure on Liverpool before they play a tough game at West Ham.

  63. fred1266 says:

    What Ollie do eddie

  64. Big Raddy says:

    Morning All,


    Heading off this afternoon for a few days. There is a tribal meeting of the elders in Stockholm, should be a laugh, Viggo Bent-knee is hosting and his parties are always memorable

  65. chas says:

  66. Big Raddy says:

    I have written a little post.


  67. chas says:

  68. Big Raddy says:

    7.16. Very funny. Could be a W C Fields film 😀

  69. chas says:

    Wack it up, bruv.

  70. Big Raddy says:

    Will do. At 8′. ish GMT

    Enjoying your morning work bror

  71. mickydidit89 says:

    Morning all

    Erik, the Tribal Elders are wrong. The full moon was last night. Blithering idiots

  72. Big Raddy says:

    Not up here young man. We have powers

  73. mickydidit89 says:

    Does wearing fur make you more vulnerable to flea attack?

  74. chas says:

  75. mickydidit89 says:

    Blimey, I’d have thought Wright or Henry. Surprising

    Who held the record for total Arsenal goals before Wright broke it?

  76. Big Raddy says:

    I wonder if GN5 saw Ted Drake?

    Fur. Fleas. Peas. Pod.

  77. chas says:

    Cliff Bastin

  78. chas says:

    I think GN5’s first game was 1948 v Huddersfield.
    Three seasons too late for Drake. 🙂

  79. Eddie says:

    oh no, that means that the race for the 3/4 place trophy in on. I have already booked pilates for Wednesdays

  80. chas says:

    “As a kid I would stand on Avenell Road and hear the ooh’s and aah’s and roars coming out of Highbury and I just yearned to get in to see a game, Grandpa indoctrinated me at the age of ten, Nov. 22nd 1947, Arsenal vs Huddersfield Town and I found my DNA.”

    Soz, it was 1947.

  81. Big Raddy says:

    The bloke in the lovely coat looks Norwegian. Could it be Amundsen the polar explorer?

  82. Big Raddy says:

    Eddie. The odds are that we are Europa bound and you need pilates to prepare you for the stress of Thurs nights.

  83. chas says:

    Peter Freuchen, Danish explorer.
    I only know of the photo because of your explorers theme a couple of seasons back.
    It’s one of my favourites.

  84. chas says:

    Apparently (?) the chances of us getting top 4 is now 38.7%.
    (adding 3rd and 4th).

  85. Eddie says:

    @7:57 – yes, that’s how I look, spitting image

    Raddy – I am not sure. We need to win all 3 remaining games and if one of the Mancunian outfits slips a game, we are in. And of course we need the red Mancs to lose tonight.

    Actually, I don’t really want CL next season. Lets have a proper go at the league instead

  86. chas says:

    That badass of the week blog is really funny. Hope it’s all true.

  87. Big Raddy says:

    chas. Knew I had seen the chap before. I have been to his house!

  88. chas says:

    Everything’s new!

  89. mickydidit89 says:

    Bastin. Thanks
    That badass page is brilliant. Thanks for athat a lot.

  90. Eddie says:

    what is badass?

  91. chas says:

    Just done the widgets.
    Six points from Southampton is so much better than last season’s 1 point.

    All we need now on Saturday is to break Stoke’s grip on the points from recent games at the Brittania (or BET666, whatever it’s called). 🙂

  92. chas says:

    Eddie look at 8:01

  93. chas says:

    Right, I’ll desist from halting your erection of the new post and go shower.

  94. Eddie says:

    thanks chas, will investigate later

  95. Big Raddy says:

    There is a New Post

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