In The Merry Month of May. Player Ratings.

Just great to be a Gooner this morning.

You all watched the game so this will not be a minute by minute match report, more a flow of consciousness which considering I went to bed full of G&T’s, white Sauvignon Blanc and a nightcap of finest single malt, could be a little confusing. So this could be a long one.

Are you sitting comfortably?. Then we’ll begin ….

Firstly, Mr Wenger. He remains a wonderful manager. In recent weeks his team has beaten Guardiola, Me-rinho and Conte. So much for him being a man left behind in terms of tactics.

Prior to the game I was fairly relaxed thinking, as chas said “que sera, sera”, but within minutes of the kick-off when I watched Xhaka, Ozil and Ramsey completely dominate the midfield I knew we could win, and that made me tense, very tense.

In my bullet points in yesterday’s pre-match describing how we could win, a main one was a strong refereeing performance. Much to my amazement Mr Taylor was very good. Missed a bit of Costa thuggery and was a little soft on the Chav fouling but overall good. The decision over the Sanchez goal could have gone either way, I think it was the correct decision but understand why pundits said Ramsey interfered with play.

The Back 3. It just works. GIE is right when he says we could have won the title had we started earlier.

I was very concerned when I saw the team sheet with Ox on the left. Given that Hazard can be so dangerous and Moses is the new Lazarus (look it up) I felt we would be exposed but can you recall a single time that Hazard threatened? Lots of flashy runs and twists and turns but nothing to worry about. In fact Chelsea’s only real threat came from Costa – I may dislike Costa in a Chelsea shirt but I would absolutely adore the chap if he played for us.

How did that happen? Because of AW’s tactics and the exceptional work-rate of the entire team.

With some better finishing, worse Chav defending and a bit of luck we could have been 4 up at half time.

I expected Chelsea to dominate the start of the second half as Arsenal went back to their rope-a-dope tactics and hit on the break. Both Bellerin and Ozil had great chances to finish the game whilst Chelsea toiled.

Then Moses got sent off for cheating. Has that ever happened before in an FA Cup Final? Well done Mr. Taylor that was a gutsy decision and a correct one. Not much in the press about the dive but next season it will see Moses in the FA dock.

Against 10 men my nerves receded and I thought I would enjoy seeing us coast to a 1-0 to the Arsenal victory. But we don’t do that anymore, do we ? No, Costa scores a very good deflected goal ( I don’t agree that Ospina was at fault, he would have saved it but for the deflection) and my heart sank. Could we recover? Would Chelsea be inspired and go on to win?

OG and the Welsh Wizard had other ideas. Brilliant goal made by OG’s quality and strength allied to Rambo’s unbelievable energy.

From then on despite a couple of scares and some fine goalkeeping from Ospina, we were in Easy street. Didn’t stop me from wanting the final whistle though!

On such a day, I hope you will indulge me and let me continue to …

Player Ratings.

Ospina.  I have to say I questioned AW’s decision to play him. I was wrong. Ospina did not put a foot wrong all afternoon.      10

Holding. Loved the way he confronted Costa. What a player he can become. Needs to be a little stronger.  10

BFG. Imperious. Played a magnificent game. Our MotM.   11

Monreal.  Perhaps his best game in the shirt. Huge energy, solid in the tackle, stopped all attacks down the left.    10

Bellerin.   Back to his best. Would have loved to see him finish what would have been a superb goal but it wasn’t to be. Stopped everything coming down the right.   10

Ramsey.  His best game for ages. 3 FA Cup winners medals, 2 winning FAC goals. He deserves them.  Ran 14.4 kms during the game, the most of anyone in history (apparently)   10

Xhaka.  Magnificent. I said earlier in the season that we should build the team around him and Xhaka is showing why. Dominated the game in a Vieira-like fashion.    10

Ox. We just have to keep him. So versatile and developing into a true International class player    10

Ozil. Worked so hard to dominate the midfield. Played deeper than usual which I assume was on AW’s instruction    10

Sanchez.   If we goes he will be missed. MotM for the TV commentators. I disagree but the little Chilean had a fine game and I love his smile.    10

Welbeck. Worked so hard. Made so many runs.  10


OG. What a set-up for Rambo. Made an immediate impact.   10

Coquelin.    Tried to be Sanchez in his cameo. Amusing.   10

Elneny. Played 2 minutes. Not at his best    5

Mr Arsene Wenger. Answered his critics in a display of tactical excellence. Out-thought Conte. More FA Cups than anyone in history which is record unlikely to be beaten. The Man.   10

Chelsea .   Complete over-hyped rubbish. Kante. Did he play? Hazard? Flatters to deceive. Sponge Bob? Ordinary. Costa and Chaill? Only players who lived up to their reputation.       1   (for turning up)

So. A successful end to a difficult season. We have silverware but Thursday nights. Spurs have as much chance of winning the Champions League next season as we do and have nothing in the trophy cabinet.

Deep Joy.


written by a Very Happy Big Raddy



191 Responses to In The Merry Month of May. Player Ratings.

  1. Big Raddy says:

    Rasp. We need an addition to the Header 😀 😀

  2. Eddie says:

    oooohhh, Arsene said the big news will be announced on Wednesday

  3. mickydidit89 says:


    A perfect way for you to bring the curtain down on this season. Thank you for all your PM’s and MR’s. You can now head off with the mankini and enjoy a sleazy summer 🙂

  4. Big Raddy says:

    Not seen anything like this before..

  5. fatgingergooner says:

    By far the sweetest of our 3 recent FA Cup wins. Not just because of the final, but also because the last 4 consisted of Chelsea, Spurs, City and little old Arsenal! To beat 2 of those teams at Wembley with the level of performance we put in shows there is life and solidarity in this team, something I and many others were questioning earlier in the season.

    I always felt that if we could somehow sneak the first goal then we could ride our luck in defence a little and play on the counter. Well, we did score first, and early, but there was no luck needed after that. The defence, led by Per were imperious. The midfield duo of Xhambo (how good have they been recently?) were unbelievable and dominated the much talked about Kante and Matic. All I’ve heard in recent months is how we should’ve bought Kante and Xhaka is a waste of money. Well I tend to disagree, and yesterday was proof that Xhaka, with his positional discipline, progressive passing, and wand of a left foot, can be the man to lead our midfield for the next 10 years. Then there was our front 3. The energy and eagerness shown by all of them was mind blowing and the way Özil and Sanchez controlled the game early was what really won us this trophy. I may be one of the only people that thought Sanchez was outplayed by at least 3 other Arsenal players, but he scored the important early goal and was a menace throughout. My favourite moment of the whole final though came from a certain German magician. Watching Özil go through the back of Hazard with a slide tackle (let that sink in!) and getting away with it, will long live in the memory, and epitomised the extra lengths our players were willing to go to win the FA Cup for the fans.

    Finally, a quick word on our manager. This game won’t change minds amongst the fans, it doesn’t prove that Wenger still ‘has it’ in terms of tactics, and it doesn’t guarantee he will sign a new contract, but it does show that Arsene is still, and always been, a man to be respected. An idea lost on a few of our fans it would seem.

    Stick 2nd place up your Arsenal, we’ve got a trophy to show for our worst season in 20 years! LOL! 😂

  6. Big Raddy says:

    Micky. Not yet. A month before the mountains.

    Season assessments for us all to write about.

    Then there is the transfer gossip.


  7. chas mobile says:

    Superb, BR.
    Ratings had me pissing myself.

  8. Big Raddy says:

    FGG. Seems we saw the game in a similar fashion 🙂

  9. Zee says:

    Before chatting about the Game and and great Post, Raddy, can I take to task A. Nonymous for not updating the Blog Banner!

    I think there may be a missing number up there – ‘2017’ possibly? 😀

  10. Gööner In Exile says:

    Perfect Raddy

  11. mickydidit89 says:

    Ah ok Erik

    Another month to prime that frame of yours for the mankini. I say, why bother doing the my body is a temple thing when in your case it’s more of an amusement park or leisure centre

  12. chas mobile says:

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  14. chas mobile says:

  15. Rasp says:

    Brilliant Raddy, your ratings are a tad harsh though 🙂

    I’m so proud of our boys … a proper team performance .. no criticism for anyone …especially not Arsene.

    I love Monreal’s passion, Per showed what a team can be with a real leader on the pitch … Holding is a captain of the future …. Hector made Luis look like a slug …. Xhaka a midfield general …. Ramsey getting back to his best – that big vein in his neck when he was celebrating the winning goal was very impressive … we must keep The Ox … Ozil was that brilliant we can overlook that he gave the ball away for their goal and decided that just kicking the ball in the back of the net was too ordinary 🙂 … and Sanchez battled as he has all season and was a constant thorn in their side

    What a shame we can’t have a victory parade, I hope the players all know how much we love them … I shall be smiling all summer 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

  16. Zee says:

    Superb Post, Raddikins, and I agree with everything including the ratings, except for Elneny’s miserly 5.

    He was only on for half a mo’ and it might have been better to have included him with the non-playing subs as a [no-rating] rather than to damn him with faint praise [or actually no praise — boo] 😀

    We are all winners yesterday! 😀

  17. Rasp says:

    Raddy, I’m at work today, but will try to squeeze a 2017 into the banner when I get home … BTW, there is also a ‘Big Raddy’s FA Cup Final PM’ header which should have been used yesterday 🙂

  18. fred1266 says:

    Morning Champions

  19. chas says:

  20. Big Raddy says:

    Morning Fred 😀

  21. GoonerB says:

    Cheers Raddy. A day out for me that I will long remember. I really can’t see Arsene’s record FA cup wins being broken now in modern football. I am so pleased for him that he will now likely be indefinitely written into English footballing history (if he wasn’t already). That is a legacy he fully deserves.

    Got to say that I had doubts about the Xhaka / Ramsey combo but it seems to be showing that it can stand up to the best of the rest out there. I also thought Per was finished at us but it seems he looks even more imperious in a back 3 where he can almost play a sweeper role reading and intercepting with 2 other CD’s to do the pace stuff.

    Do we need to actually buy in any of these 2 areas on recent evidence? As I said yesterday, even before we buy anyone in the TW, the formation change looks to be a minimum 12 point difference across a league season, and that takes us to a title challenging level.

    It is imperative that we persuade Alexis, Ozil and Ox to stick with this team now. It has almost become a money no object mission. I actually think that we could get away with 1 huge signing in the TW. We still need another top forward in the 30+ a season bracket to win the EPL and be serious players at the top end of European football.

    We should just go to a very high level for that 1 player IMO. If we do it quickly it may just be the catalyst to persuade the others to stay.

    I think we have to move into the modern bracket now of spending big on 1 player and having 2-3 players on very high wages. We probably need to trim up the squad elsewhere anyway so money can be recouped to offset this in both outlay and overall wage bill at the club.

    Anyway great day, great weekend.

  22. fred1266 says:

    I could see Arsene not given theo games just because of that hair style

  23. fred1266 says:

    Who he a winners medal, I saw Gabriel got one but santi didn’t

  24. GunnerN5 says:

    Morning all, eventually I had to stop basking in the glory of that fantastic win and go to bed – after we drank all of the wine…

  25. fred1266 says:

    Will welbeck ever learn how finished

  26. Ant says:

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  28. chas says:

  29. GunnerN5 says:

    Raddy I have concluded that you and Chas are the joint AA bloggers of the year so I hope you will both accept the AABOTY award. Your joint contributions make this the must read and must contribute to blog.

    Thank you both for being a huge part of my Arsenal experience.

  30. GunnerN5 says:

    From Sky

    Arsene Wenger won a record seventh FA Cup as Arsenal beat Chelsea 2-1 at Wembley. The Frenchman’s future remains unclear, but it was a perfect way to defy his critics after a tough season, writes Nick Wright.

    Arsene Wenger insists he has never been one for looking back, but he will surely break that habit to stop and savour this unlikeliest of FA Cup triumphs. After a long, frustrating season which may yet prove to be his last in north London, the Frenchman secured the 10th major trophy of his tenure with a performance reminiscent of his best Arsenal teams.

    It came against all odds. Chelsea had just sewn up the title with the second-highest points total in Premier League history, winning their last seven consecutive games and scoring 27 goals in the process. If that wasn’t enough, Arsenal were in the grips of a defensive crisis, with Kieran Gibbs joining Laurent Koscielny, Shkodran Mustafi and Gabriel Paulista on the sidelines on the eve of the game.

    But while everyone expected Chelsea to inflict more misery on their patched-up opponents, Arsenal rose to the occasion in remarkable style, denying Antonio Conte a double and finishing a fraught season with their third FA Cup win in four years. For all the criticism directed at their manager, it’s worth noting that no other Premier League side has won more trophies in the same period.

    Wenger’s side looked superior from the first minute, calmly dominating possession and forcing Chelsea backwards with furious pressing whenever they didn’t have the ball. There were only four minutes on the clock when Alexis Sanchez struck the opener, and there was no let-up after that.

    Gary Cahill twice cleared off the line and Danny Welbeck sent a header against the post as Arsenal kept coming forward. Chelsea, for their part, looked increasingly uncomfortable. Even the usually impeccable N’Golo Kante could be seen squandering possession as red shirts swarmed around his every touch.

    When half-time arrived, the only complaint from Arsenal’s perspective was that they weren’t already out of sight. They had outplayed Chelsea in a way few other sides had managed since Conte’s switch to 3-4-3 in October, and when the momentum swung the other way after the break, they were able to show different qualities.

    Per Mertesacker marshalled their backline with an excellent display on his first start in 392 days, while Rob Holding and Nacho Monreal were equally impressive either side of him. Diego Costa’s equaliser after Victor Moses’ sending off might have prompted a collapse, but Arsenal mustered an immediate response instead.

    Wenger’s decision to swap Welbeck for Giroud received a lukewarm response from some anxious Arsenal supporters, but he produced the winner after just 22 seconds on the pitch. His deft cross was perfectly weighted for the onrushing Aaron Ramsey to head beyond Thibaut Courtois.

    It capped a day on which everything seemed to go right for Wenger. His makeshift centre-halves rose to the challenge, and in Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Hector Bellerin, he had two energetic wing-backs who upstaged their Chelsea counterparts. Even David Ospina, so controversially selected ahead of Petr Cech, rewarded his manager’s faith with some vital saves.

    As the celebrations began, it was impossible not to wonder why Arsenal could not produce more performances like this over the course of the season. But when Wenger steps into their board room for the meeting which will decide his fate on Tuesday, he can argue that the signs of recovery have been there for over a month.

    Since the 3-0 defeat to Crystal Palace in April, when the atmosphere around the club reached toxic levels, Wenger’s switch to three-at-the-back has sparked a dramatic upturn in form. It wasn’t quite enough to carry them into the Champions League, but it has liberated the likes of Ozil and Ramsey, and ultimately it has changed the complexion of their season.

    For Wenger, it also provided one of the “proudest moments” of his career. “I think in the last two months, we’ve had outstanding performances,” he said in his post-match press conference. “This team is moving forward. It’s united and the way we play suits our players. The way we function gets the best out of the individuals. This team has exceptional potential.”

    It remains to be seen whether it will be enough to convince fans and board members that he is still the right man to take Arsenal forward, but amid the celebrations at Wembley, his flaws could be forgotten at least for a while. If this does prove to be Wenger’s last game, it is a fitting goodbye. If there are more to come, it provides hope that the future could be a little brighter.

  31. Thanks for all the seasons posts Raddy. I always find them mildly entertaining and a perfect platform to spout nonsense.

    What a great day yesterday was. I knew we would win but the build up to it was horrible.

    Has anyone else ever been threatened by a Hungarian?

    There not like you and I Raddy. We who let out an audible groan of pleasure at the site of a croissant and Capachino for breakfast. These people eat fry ups and mean it.

    Enjoyed reading last nights comments, especially VP having a pop at the critics. I enjoy Croats, very similar to Greeks but slightly less hairy.

    Yesterday’s win was for everybody and I am genuinely happy for all of Arsenes most vehement critics. One particular guy I know, a season ticket holder, even suggested to me that it may be better to lose so Arsene can f*uck off? Of course, he’s a traitor and deserves to have an accident whilst attending a farm of 4 hooves animals, but been a nice guy, after the game I text him to let him know I was really happy for him yet he responded with threats? I wasn’t scared, the man likes a latte, but it’s a sad state of affairs when a genuine meaning of goodwill is misconstrued. I would never do such a thing, I wish everyone well and safety around Bovine.

    Mertsacker was immense. As a 16 year old his first German club decided to mature him by sending him to work in a mental institution. I myself have attended such an institution and believe you me, they give you a different perspective on life and a clearer understanding of Morinios retreat from Moscow.

    Indeed I was such a good worker that the chief medical officer invited me back the next summer, but did insist I take those medications and we would see how it goes?

    Delighted for Arsene. His 7 FA Cups is unlikely to beaten, except by himself. Number 8 next year?

    The Ghosts of the Thirties are Stirring

  32. wally says:

    A great, great, fantastical performance, completely unexpected. Leaves you wondering why this team can’t produce it on a consistent basis, why they get slaughtered when they go to Europe.
    Next few days should indeed be interesting.

  33. GunnerN5 says:

    Teryy I totally agree with with Mertesacker really made a big difference and had both a settling and stabilizing influence in our back three.

  34. GunnerN5 says:

    By Jason Burt, Chief Football Correspondent
    Sports Telegraph

    28 May 2017 • 1:00pm

    After producing an extraordinary man-of-the-match performance in the FA Cup Final triumph for Arsenal, Per Mertesacker admitted that “everyone had written me off” after spending more than a year without making a start for his club.

    The 32-year-old German has suffered a serious knee injury and has also been overlooked by manager Arsene Wenger but was called upon following a defensive crisis which ruled out Laurent Koscielny, Gabriel and Shkodran Mustafi for the final against Chelsea.

    “Two weeks ago I was on holiday – I didn’t expect to play,” Mertesacker said. “Everyone trusted me and supported me throughout the season and the manager gave me the opportunity. Our team had three centre backs out and he didn’t go small, he went with the big fella and I wanted to give something back to this club and this team.”

    It was an impressive comeback from Mertesacker, who last started a match against Norwich City 392 days ago and has only played 37 minutes of first-team football this season – against Everton in Arsenal’s final Premier League match last weekend.

    “I’d almost forgotten and that makes me stronger,” Mertesacker said. “And I could feel the trust of the team and of the coaching staff is vital in those moments when you struggle and when you are out.

    “A lot of people forget about that but this team always believed in my qualities even when I was out for a long time, even when I was injured or supposed to be old… It was just the right answer.”

    Mertesacker said his selection, nevertheless, and winning the FA Cup was “completely unexpected”. “You always have that small hope because you want to make a contribution on the pitch,” he said.

    “You can always say it was a first start of the season and first of being captain, lining up in front of the lads. It was a proud moment. But I went into the game saying to myself ‘there is nothing to expect from myself’ everyone has written me off already and I went through my normal routine. Fifteen years and how can I forget?
    “You know what you have achieved and what you have been through and I have learned a lot and one thing I want to be sure about is this team is very exceptional and trusted myself in a good way and always appreciated my support even when I was not playing.”

    Mertesacker paid tribute to Wenger for turning to him. “I haven’t played a lot, I just trained, always with the same focus and mentality because in football there are quick changes and he had the mentality next man up no matter how old, no matter how experienced, no matter how others feel about it just trust me and that says a lot about his person,” he said.

  35. mickydidit89 says:

    Terry 🙂

    And it’s great to see your Ghosts back. I was beginning to wonder what had happened to your scary little nocturnal phantoms

  36. Big Raddy says:

    Mertesacker is just a year older than Koscielny. Hardly an old man at the end of his career.

  37. chas says:

  38. chas says:

  39. chas says:

  40. mickydidit89 says:

    It says on Wiki we signed Holding for an undisclosed fee

    Anyone know roughly?

  41. mickydidit89 says:

    Great vid Chas

    It’s amazing how the players have reacted, in terms of work rate and commitment, since the formation change

  42. mickydidit89 says:

    FA Cup: so much more prestigious than one of the nasty little vulgar European things 🙂

  43. chas says:

  44. chas says:

  45. Jjgsol says:

    I just want to wish aw, the team and all gooners a very hearty mazeltov on our team’s great achievement.

    The players have made us all so proud not only because they won but they way they did it.

    Thanks to them and all the positive fans.

  46. chas says:

    Transfermarkt says Holding was signed for 2.55m

  47. Eddie says:

    I read the report again, still smiling like a fool 🙂 you are right about the ref Raddy, exceptionally sharp man, and brave. The Moses dive was a sneaky one, could have fooled many

    Unexpected comments from my scum loving neighbours – they wanted chavs to win so they would get to play them in the Charity Shield. We robbed them of this opportunity 🙂 🙂 there is no end to their misery 🙂

  48. mickydidit89 says:

    Oh, thanks. £2.55M eh? Bloody nearly rolf worthy

    Still want an obscenely expensive forward, and yes, I will start on Cavani soon 🙂

  49. fred1266 says:

    Wouldn’t we have played them in community shield regardless Eddie

  50. Eddie says:

    no fred. it is the league winners vs FA cup winners. If chavs won the double, totts would get a chance to play. But they won’t! We will! on their ground.ha ha ha

  51. mickydidit89 says:

    Cavani: 47 league and cup goals this season. Yikes. Not going to be a bargain basement buy

  52. fred1266 says:

    Hi Eddie if a none PL side wins the FA cup who then play in community shield

  53. Eddie says:

    winners of the EPL, always

  54. fred1266 says:

    Yea who will the winner be playing

  55. GoonerB says:

    Winners of the FA cup Fred. If Acrington Stanley won the FA cup yesterday it would be Chelsea vs Acrington Stanley.

  56. Eddie says:

    not sure what’s your question fred – ALWAYS – EPL winner vs FA cup winner, end of

  57. chas mobile says:

  58. chas mobile says:

  59. Are you catching up with twitter chas?

  60. Fabulous videos on Arsenal player, cams in the dressing room and on the pitch.

    Just watching the highlights again – Rambo just scored yaaaaaaaay 😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁

  61. Bellerin just nearly had his Micky Thomas moment – ooooooh just wide

  62. Ozil just having his ‘I know exactly where I’m going to place this ball’ and hits the post

  63. VP of Oz says:

    For all the criticism directed at their manager, it’s worth noting that no other Premier League side has won more trophies in the same period.

  64. LB says:

    Really good to see you so happy Joanne.

    Don’t spend a lot of time in the UK now but couldn’t resist a comment on this fine day and the opportunity to say how much I have enjoyed reading BR’s pre-matches through out the season and his player ratings towards the end, I also want to say thanks to Chas for making my mornings so much happier than they would be without his brilliant clips.

    Why write now? That comment from Shard yesterday moved me, superb comment Shard and excellent rationale in relation to the Kroenke – Usmanov debate.

    I shall now disappear again any further comment would not pass the Peaches Mother test as my anger towards to black scarf lot runs deep besides today is not the right time.

    Ohh, I almost forgot, I have many favourite comments today (there have been some real gems) but Chas’ 5:18 is at the top.

  65. Rasp says:

    ‘2017’ inserted … we can’t win it any more … I’ve run out of space 🙄

  66. GunnerN5 says:

    I feel more enjoyment and excitement with this FA trophy than I’ve felt about all of our other trophy victories whether it be the FA Cup, League titles or even doubles.

    The reason for that is that I feel that way is Arsene Wenger has proved to his critics that he can still has it and can make the right tactical decisions and motivate his players to achieve what he knows and had known for a long time – that they have what it takes to be successful. Both he and the team earned the right to be respected and to give a middle finger to all their doubters.

    If he decides that this was his last game he can go out in a blaze of glory.

  67. GunnerN5 says:

    In my little world his decision will either leave me feeling either ecstatic or very sad.

  68. GunnerN5 says:

    My most enjoyable moment in the post game videos was outside the Arsenal dressing room when Martin Keown picked up Per Meresacker and Per said “don’t drop me”– shades of Andy Linighan.

  69. Red Arnie says:

    ha ha ha ha. superb, Raddy. 🙂 just happy feelings. 🙂

    Shard. remote place, limited wifi and different time zone.:)

  70. Eddie says:

    gn5 – I think Per said ‘don’t write me off’ after keown repeatedly criticized Per

  71. chas mobile says:

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  74. Big Raddy says:

    Morning All,

    LB. Great to know you are well and happy. Don’t be a stranger.

    7.27 Telling stat

  75. Big Raddy says:

    Into the close season.

    Any ideas as to how we run the blog. Until I head off for the Merry Month of July, I can write a couple of posts a week if others come up with some ideas.

    Any input is welcome.

  76. chas says:

    We could have Micky’s Transfer Round-Up where he discusses his latest fantasies of signing Cavani.

  77. Rasp says:

    Morning all, if 2 or 3 of us can pledge 1 post a week …. however short … then the blog will keep ticking over

  78. Eddie says:

    tomorrow is the big day, ie board meeting and imminent announcements

  79. Eddie says:

    ooh! LB was here! and gone again 😦

    talking about best comments, this one was by far the most hilarious for me (rasp at 9:20pm): “Evening all, I played cricket today. The opposition were cheating scumbags and didn’t give us any decisions.The game finished early and they had the cup final on a TV in the pavilion, I then discovered that they were mostly Gooners ….. what a fine bunch of chaps … we parted the best of friends”

    that’s after we beat Chelsea 2:1 in the FA cup final 🙂 🙂

  80. chas says:

  81. chas says:

  82. chas says:

  83. RC78 says:

    The final begs a few questions:
    – Why didn’t we play with the same intensity in all our games?
    – Why didn’t we switch to a back 3 after X-mas debacle?
    – If we keep a back 3, who goes and who stays?
    – What about AW?

    Excellent post and analysis – another Cup win 🙂

    Shame that we could not make it to the CL…

    Can we please get rid of:
    – Gabriel
    – Gibbs
    – Coquelin
    – Lucas and the unused strikers

    Cech – Mustafi, PEPE, Kos – Bellerin, Ramsey, Xhaka, KOLASINAC (apparently) – Ozil, Sanchez – LUKAKU (or Aubemayang)

    ? – Holding, BFG, Monreal – Jenkinson, SERI, GUEYE, Oxlade – ARNAUTOVIC, Walcott – Wellbeck

    Plus: Martinez, Chambers, El Neny, Iwobi, Giroud

    The rest to be sold or loaned out…
    I am also ok getting rid of Jenkinson, Chambers and El Neny

  84. RC78 says:

    Tolisso (Lyon), Sidibe and Mendy (Monaco for both) to be approached

    Mahrez (Leicester) and Belotti (Torino) to be approached

    Mertens (Napoli) would also be a good idea

  85. chas says:

  86. GunnerN5 says:

    My uncle Charlie is now 90 years old – he was born in N7 and has been an Arsenal supporter all his life, He went to games with my Dad and they were two of the many members of our family that stood at the clock end, he never misses a game and he’s a huge AW fan and will hear no evil spoken about him..

    This is what he posted after our win.

    Charles Andrews : Another Trophy to add to the many we have won over many years Up You Gunnersxx

  87. chas says:

    I did Sanchez a disservice and missed his penalty against Bayern away. (I was probably too pissed off to care about widgets 🙂 )

    Anyway it means he scored 30 goals in total.

    Also it makes it one of the Club’s top goalscoring seasons ever.
    (I’m sure GN5 can enlighten us? 🙂

  88. chas says:

  89. chas says:

  90. chas says:

  91. chas says:

  92. chas says:

  93. GunnerN5 says:

    JUst for you Micky.

    Season – GF – GA
    1992/3 – 23 – 21
    1993/4 – 19 – 11
    1994/5 – 23 – 22
    1995/6 – 27 – 15
    1996/7 – 37 – 20
    1997/8 – 35 – 23
    1998/9 – 22 – 11
    1999/0 – 36 – 20
    2000/1 – 41 – 24
    2001/2 – 41 – 24
    2002/3 – 41 – 21
    2003/4 – 36 – 13
    2004/5 – 48 – 22
    2005/6 – 27 – 15
    2006/7 – 37 – 18
    2007/8 – 40 – 16
    2008/9 – 33 – 23
    2009/10 – 53 – 23
    2010/11 – 42 – 22
    2011/12 – 36 – 28
    2012/13 – 40 – 22
    2013/14 – 39 – 18
    2014/15 – 34 – 25
    2015/16 – 34 – 18
    2016/17 – 44 – 22

  94. GunnerN5 says:

    OOPs forget that – it was only after 20 games. I’ll be back………….

  95. chas says:

    Was that for me?
    I wanted goals scored in all competitions for all seasons played ever (not just Prem).
    Or maybe just the top ten seasons?

  96. GunnerN5 says:

    Season – GF – GA
    1992/3 – 36 – 34
    1993/4 – 50 – 22
    1994/5 – 46 – 46
    1995/6 – 49 – 32
    1996/7 – 62 – 32
    1997/8 – 68 – 33
    1998/9 – 59 – 17
    1999/0 – 73 – 43
    2000/1 – 79 – 36
    2001/2 – 79 – 36
    2002/3 – 85 – 42
    2003/4 – 73 – 26
    2004/5 – 87 – 36
    2005/6 – 68 – 31
    2006/7 – 63 – 35
    2007/8 – 74 – 31
    2008/9 – 68 – 37
    2009/10 – 83 – 41
    2010/11 – 72 – 43
    2011/12 – 74 – 49
    2012/13 – 72 – 37
    2013/14 – 68 – 41
    2014/15 – 71 – 36
    2015/16 – 65 – 36
    2016/17 – 77 – 44

  97. GunnerN5 says:

    Sorry Chas but – I don’t keep records of all completions in a format that can easily be cut and pasted – but I can create the data for our entire league history?

  98. GunnerN5 says:

    As it turns out it was our highest goals for since 2009/10 and 6th highest in the PL.

    Even more telling and worrying is the fact that it was our 3rd highest goals against in the PL.

  99. chas says:

  100. chas says:

  101. GunnerN5 says:

    Chas – did he ever re-appear?

  102. GunnerN5 says:

    Off out on a grocery run with my Daughter……………

  103. chas says:

  104. chas says:

    Ah, found the tweet I’d seen earlier.

  105. Big Raddy says:

    That John Noakes vid is terrifying. No health and safety in those days.

  106. chas says:

    Pens in the playoff final.

  107. GunnerN5 says:

    Chas in both 1930/31 & 1934/35 there were 42 league games.

  108. chas says:

    Yes but no Champy Leaguey!

  109. chas says:

    No League Cup, too?

  110. GunnerN5 says:


    In 1934/35 the games played were – 1 Charity shield, 4 FA Cup, 42 league = 47.

    In 1931/31 the games played were – I Charity Shield, 3 FA Cup and 42 League = 46.

    In 2016/17 the games played were – 3 League Cup, 6 FA Cup, 8 Champions League and 38 League = 55

    Herbert Chapman had a goal scoring machine to on his hands and 3 of his players still grace the top 4 in all time Arsenal goal scorers (league only).

    1934 1935 Ted Drake 42
    1930 1931 Jack Lambert 38
    1925 1926 Jimmy Brain 34
    1932 1933 Cliff Bastin 33

    Your case is closed 🙂 🙂

    We will lok at the goals against at another time.

  111. GunnerN5 says:

    Would you believe it – Huddersfield Town will the in the PL next season for the first time in their history.

    The ghost of Herbert Chapman will be stirring.

  112. GunnerN5 says:

    2017/18 Premier League.

    Crystal Palace
    Huddersfield Town
    Leicester City
    Manchester City
    Manchester United
    Stoke City
    Swansea City
    Tottenham Hotspur
    West Bromwich Albion
    West Ham United

  113. chas mobile says:

  114. Gööner In Exile says:

    So how long before Wagner is considered for next Arsenal manager?

  115. chas says:

  116. chas says:

  117. Eddie says:

    Huddersfield joined the EPL. I give them 2 seasons max

  118. Big Raddy says:

    Morning All,

    Eddie. Max. I watched the game (well, some of it) and the standard was poor. I predict instant relegation with the bonus of a massive amount of money to keep Huddersfield solvent for years to come.

  119. Eddie says:

    no cheating chas! who is this man?? I would never guess

  120. mickydidit89 says:

    Dennis Bergkamp?

  121. mickydidit89 says:

    Morning all

  122. Big Raddy says:

    Angela Merkel?

  123. mickydidit89 says:

    Ok, what a fabulous weekend. So hard just to entertain the idea of work.

  124. RC78 says:

    At the end of today, we will have a better pic of AW’s future at AFC?

    Poll 2 questions:

    – Would you like AW to stay at AFC? Yes / No

    – If so, under which conditions:
    A) Don’t change anything at AFC, AW is doing fine
    B) AW can stay as manager but a Sporting Director must join
    C) AW can stay as manager but must have 2 new coaches (Offense, Defense) that will challenge him
    D) AW can stay but not as a manager but as a board member

    The choise is yours

  125. Big Raddy says:

    RC. That is too difficult for me.

    I would like AW to stay but with B or C. My belief is that he will not tolerate interference and leave if the BoD insist upon a change in the management structure.

    If we are to progress there has to be change.

    One thing AFC will not tolerate is the idea of a short-term coach like Chelsea or MU. At least I hope not.

  126. mickydidit89 says:


    “If we are to progress there has to be change”

    Agree. I cannot think of one game this season where a better striker wouldn’t have scored at least one more goal

    I know some say we score enough and concede too many, but that’s utter nonsense 🙂


  127. mickydidit89 says:

    I see that at 1:30am Exile considers Wagner as next manager

    I know there’s a political swing to the right, but that is really very extreme 🙂

  128. pritpal23 says:

    Guys do you remember back in January when I said 3-4-3/3-5-2 would be the best way forward for the players we currently have – 😉

    Only wish we had changed the formation sooner… 😦

  129. VP of Oz says:

    AW to stay and keep doing his own stuff but this time without the abuse and harassment. If he fails next season, then he goes but without the anchor of abuse that he had to bear this season which I believe cost us a CL place. I know I know, this is unexpected from me…

    Based on Trophies, Managerial honours and spending this season, I would rank the top managers accordingly, hence why I say leave AW in place. He won us a trophy (which is what we play for and determines success, the rest is noise). Conte spent roughly the same as AW plus won the big prize whereas Mourinho spent almost double to win his trophy (against Ajax) thus comes in 3rd. As for Pep, he should be sacked, seriously, Pellegrini was sacked after leaving Manchester City with the fifth highest win percentage in Premier League history, seriously. –

    Conte: Trophies x 1 EPL Champions, Manager of the Season, Manager of the Month x 3,
    net spend: £85.26m
    Spent: £120.11million
    Received: £34.48million

    Wenger: Trophies x 1 FA Cup, Manager of the Month x 0
    net spend: £84.79m
    Spent: £96.5million
    Received: £11.26million

    Mourinho: Trophies x 1 Europa League, Manager of the Month x 0
    net spend: £151.77m
    Spent: £157.25million
    Received: £5.48million

    Klopp Trophies x 0, Manager of the Month x 1
    net spend: £0.51m
    Spent: £67.92million
    Received: £67.41million

    Pochettino, Trophies x 0, Manager of the Month x 1
    net spend: £34.34m
    Spent: £70.13million
    Received: £35.79million

    Guardiola Trophies x 0, Manager of the Month x 1
    net spend: £162.48m
    Spent: £181.05million
    Received: £18.57million

  130. wally says:

    On the poll.
    The club cannot allow everything to revolve around wenger. No club in the world does that. We’ve all seen what happened when the only other club to allow a single man to have so much power left. Four years later they’re still in the wilderness.
    If the club, in order to assure it’s progression into the future, have determined that a sporting director (or whatever other designation you like) is the starting point of that progression wenger must accept that. Even if it means a curtailment of his perceived areas of purview.
    If he truly loves and cares about the club as he claims he must accept appointment. Anything less indicates wengers true motives which is his personal aggrandizement.
    If wenger goes, so what. Thank you for all that you’ve done you’ll be remembered as one of the all-time greats at a minimum. Drop by anytime. Allegri is out there. Allegri has done far more with far less.

  131. RC78 says:

    – AW already signed a two-year extension today;
    – Sanchez and Ozil being offered 16 Mln/year to stay at AFC;
    – Giroud on Marseille’s radar;

  132. VP of Oz says:

    Bizarre, I cant post?

  133. VP of Oz says:

    hmm, something I am writing is being blocked, I will try again

  134. VP of Oz says:

    Wally are you serious? No Club in the world does…? Seriously have you looked over at Man Shitty where GOD resides (aka Pep).
    Spendng £160mil+ to buy 3rd place and nothing else.

    Pep Guardiola is the most powerful manager in the Premier League.

    Spanish has become the first language, both inside the dressing room and the club’s ­corridors of power.

  135. GunnerN5 says:

    Wally I could, and normally would, take strong exception to your 1:25 but I’m in far too good a mood to even be tempted to respond.

    Have a good day.

  136. Rasp says:

    Ok, well there is no greater motivation than a player or a manager with a point to prove ….. so we should all get behind Arsene 100%.
    All he needs to do is to carry on in the same vein as the tail end of this season and we can win the league.
    I also read that Oezil and Sanchez have both been offered £16m a year to stay …. if they do, it will be the icing on the cake.

  137. GunnerN5 says:

    Rasp, obviously I hope your 2:00 is correct – but I will wait until we get an official announcement from AFC and then I will write a post.

  138. wally says:

    A clue for you, Txiki Begiristain.

    that’s been said for the last 5 years and yet here we are in the wilderness. I back Arsenal, not Wenger. Wenger is not Arsenal.

  139. GunnerN5 says:

    “that’s been said for the last 5 years and yet here we are in the wilderness. I back Arsenal, not Wenger. Wenger is not Arsenal”.

    Okay Wally that demands a mild response………

    Suffice to say that the overwhelming majority of football fans would be ecstatic if their teams were in that wilderness.

  140. wally says:

    This is Arsenal, not Huddersfield.

  141. GunnerN5 says:

    Here’s one of the original top flight clubs whose fans can really talk about being in the wilderness.

    Huddersfield Town Association Football Club are a professional football club based in the town of Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, England. The team is set to compete in the Premier League after winning promotion via the 2017 EFL Championship play-off Final.

    In 1926, Huddersfield became the first English club to win three successive league titles, a feat which only three other clubs have matched, and none have bettered. The first two league titles were won under their manager Herbert Chapman, who also led the club to the FA Cup in 1922. In the late 1950s the club was managed by Bill Shankly and the team featured Denis Law and Ray Wilson. After two seasons in the top division in the early 1970s the club spent 45 years in the second, third and fourth tiers of English football before being promoted to the Premier League in 2017 under their manager David Wagner.

  142. mickydidit89 says:

    We’re in the wilderness he he he ha ha ha 🙂

    Oh lord, that’s funny tears smiley face

  143. GunnerN5 says:

    Wally exactly we are the Arsenal!! and have never been in the wilderness.

  144. GunnerN5 says:

    Oh, wait a minute maybe that’s the place AW lucked upon his 10 trophies.

  145. RC78 says:

    For me – we can sell Ozil.

    Players we can’t afford to lose:
    Cech – Bellerin, Holding, Kos, Xhaka, Ramsey, Sanchez, Wellbeck –

    The rest oh well

  146. wally says:

    My aspirations for the club are a bit higher than yours.
    Mere survival is not good enough
    I expect us to compete for championships, to compete for titles.
    We’ve been getting hammered in Europe for several years and are now out of that competition entirely.
    We haven’t competed for a title in the EPL since ’08.
    Fifth is not a trophy. Fifth is not competing for anything.

  147. mickydidit89 says:

    Sorry Wally, I didn’t mean to sound like I was taking the piss, just that whatever I think of our situation, wilderness isn’t it.

  148. GunnerN5 says:

    Over and Out.

  149. wally says:

    Mick, You don’t have to apologize. You’ve got your opinion and i’ve got mine. And we can agree to disagree.

  150. Rasp says:

    Wally, surely the point is ….. we have Arsene for 2 more years (assuming the reports are true) …. these last few games he has got the team playing great football and we have been promised 2-3 quality signings ….. are you really going to go into the start of next season focusing on the manager when that decision is done?

  151. mickydidit89 says:

    Oh no Wally,

    I love to agree and disagree, although the latter is more interesting.

    My position has always been clear. I thought he should have gone out on a high after the Hull Cup Final 🙂

    Thing is, nothing about Arsenal will ever make me blub or hold up pieces of paper, so we are where we are. I can’t wait for the next game, and I want us to sign a striker and score even more goals 🙂

  152. GunnerN5 says:

    We have to wait for 44 days Micky – Sydney FC vs Arsenal July 13th.

  153. Big Raddy says:


    No. We need to shore up the defence 😀

  154. Rasp says:

    No, we need to get the midfield working efficiently 🙂

  155. wally says:

    We’ve seen this movie before haven’t we. The team starts strong in Sept-Dec stumbles in Jan, gets hammered in Feb and March struggles in April, wins a few games at the end and everyone thinks it’ll be ok next year.
    Rinse and repeat.
    Six years on the trot. Nothing changes. I expect nothing to change this time either. He spent 110mm last year and managed to drop 3 spots. Imagine what he would do if given 150mm. Or worse what will happen if sanchez decides he’d rather compete for CL and wants out. Then we’d be well and truly farked.
    I’m reminded of one of the definitions of insanity. Doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. That’s us right now.
    Wenger can solve his problems. Win. Surprise us all and win. That’ll shut us all up and i’ll be more than happy to eat my share of crow.
    Still pulling for the team. Always will. I just don’t believe it’ll happen as long as wenger is here. His time is past.

  156. fred1266 says:

    Where Walcott fits in our new system

  157. Big Raddy says:

    Fred. I don’t think he does. As his wage is 130k a week I cannot see another club buying him, so Theo will be a super-sub.

  158. mickydidit89 says:

    Man U over same five seasons
    1st 7th 4th 5th 6th
    Not relevant but still quite funny

  159. Gööner In Exile says:

    Theo could go to China?

  160. Gööner In Exile says:

    Slightly off topic but this is the most wonderful video I’ve seen for a very long time, and I think more people should see it. After all it’s how 99.9% of us are. United by many divided by few.

  161. fatgingergooner says:

    The media would love me to hate that Wenger is signing a new deal, but I don’t. I will be relieved when the deal is confirmed and then get behind the team for next season. I’m very optimistic about the 3 at the back and think it could put us back in contention. I’m also excited about the fact we now have easy midweek EL games to build confidence and momentum (something the CL doesn’t always allow) and we will not have to have the annual hammering of said confidence when we come up against a team like Bayern at an important point of our domestic season (Feb). People will look at the past and say teams have struggled with the Thurs/Sun games, but not many have gone into the EL with a squad as deep as ours. United won it with far less players than we have and I think we could easily win it if the draw is as kind as theirs was.

    Looking forward to a new season and fingers crossed we have a positive summer to continue the positive vibes from the FA Cup win.

  162. Gööner In Exile says:

    FGG like you the manager is almost an irrelevance to the question will you still be supporting Arsenal next season, of course I bloody will be. And that may well be easier as like you I don’t attend every week.

    Sunday proved that when we are good we are very bloody good, and more than anything else we are brave and maybe that’s why FA Cup has suited us in recent years, we start the game with one intention to win the game, Chelsea are a much less hung ho approach and over a 38 game season that will probably win you Championships more often than our swashbuckling style. Even two legged European games require a bit of balance but even with ten men against Bayern we continued to attack and unfortunately left ourselves open to the pasting in both legs. That was never picked up on in the media obviously far easier to make headlines of a 10-2 aggregate score line than mention the fact that 4 of the goals (5 if you include the penalty) came after we were down to ten men in the second leg and already losing 6-2 on aggregate. Should we really have shut up shop? Would that have been a better score line? We lost the tie in the first leg when we should have tried to stop the rot at 2-1 and 3-1 instead of pushing for more away goals. That would have left us with a chance at home.

  163. Gööner In Exile says:

    Interesting words from Bob Wilson, as a good friend to AW and still someone around the club I guess he knows a couple of things:

    “How are you going to get Antoine Greizmann to sign?

    Without the Champions League, the only way is if you can compete salary-wise to attract the players, Chelsea bought the best player available last season in N’Golo Kante and Arsenal went for him too but came nowhere near the salary that Chelsea pay.

    So the board has to be realistic and say: Are we going to compete at this level?”

  164. chas says:

    Next you’ll be telling us it’s all about money, Bob.

    If that was the case, how did the spuds win so much this season on their tiny budget?

  165. chas says:

  166. chas says:

  167. chas says:

  168. chas says:

  169. chas says:

  170. Big Raddy says:

    Morning All,

    chas. Great stuff. Thank you.

  171. Big Raddy says:

    The lads got skills

  172. Big Raddy says:

    There is a New Post

  173. Eddie says:

    @6:46 – top banana 🙂 🙂

    what’s that about at 6:48? is it true?

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