Is a Clean Sheet possible ?

Seems an age since we got hammered up at Anfield. Why? Not just the International break but also thanks to the poisonous atmosphere around the club. Let’s be honest, it has never really disappeared despite a decent end to last season and an encouraging win on the opening day. Sadly, it will be just below the surface until Mr Wenger leaves the club. Some people, especially the media want him out and will not be satisfied until he departs, all I can say is “you don’t know what you’ve lost ’til it’s gone”.

Enough of that …

The only way to silence the critics is by playing well and a win today is the start of the process.


Are Bournemouth ready to be thrashed? I doubt it. They are compact, efficient and organised – they will be tough to beat. In particular Begovic is showing why he such a highly rated GK having left the Chelsea bench. Afobe will be trying to show the club that he should not have been sold. Defoe loves a goal against us.

We all know about Eddie Howe. Could he be the next AFC manager? The name certainly fits – we have had a Howe as manager in the past (Don) and he was an Arsenal legend.

Will Sanchez start after a depressing time with Chile and a long flight? It must be difficult to live under such scrutiny and it is starting to show.

And what of the Back 3 experiment? Like many I would go back to a back 4 which suits our squad but why buy Kolasinac if not to play him as a wing-back?

My Team:


Mustafi    Koscielny    Monreal

Bellerin    Ramsey    Xhaka    Kolasinac


Lacazette     Welbeck

I would love to find a place for Iwobi but it will have to be a 20 minute sub appearance, same with Sanchez. We need to see Lacazette  take a more central and involved role, so far he has been peripheral and for 50+m I expect more. Bellerin has been pants and needs to get a grip or get dropped, though it may help the young Spaniard if he were played in his preferred position (are you reading AW?)

Defensively this has been a carcrash of a start. 8 goals conceded in 3 games. Not good enough. Solution? Play Mustafi on the right of the 3 with a RB in front of him – AW trying Holding and Ox was an unmitigated disaster and quite frankly was one of the most baffling decisions of his 20+ year reign at AFC.

We need a win – nothing else will suffice.

Let it be So


130 Responses to Is a Clean Sheet possible ?

  1. LB says:

    Good read, and good team, completely agree, dull I know, but hey ho.

  2. mickydidit89 says:

    Great to see a BR again

    Like the back three
    Like the WB’s
    I’d play Iwobi instead of Ramsey but that may require Coquelin
    Be interesting to see whether Sanchez starts

    Thanks Erik

  3. Red Arnie says:

    Thank you, Raddy. Yes, hope so. COYG.

    MWGs? Already? No way! COYG

  4. mickydidit89 says:

    Bloody knackered is what I is
    Sleep patters all over the place this week
    Full moon, massive spring tides, crazy solar flares
    Me waters and me electrics are all over the place

    Then I’ve got the Cornish version of Ant N Duck in my carriage

  5. Ant says:

    Cheers Radster.
    We can do it, come on!

  6. Ant says:

    Let the travelogue begin at Nottingham train station

  7. chas mobile says:

    Match day

  8. chas mobile says:

    You’re so lucky

  9. Ant says:

    Cornish Ant and Dec

  10. Ant says:

    Any sign of the incontinence blanket Mucky?

  11. chas says:

    We’ve got Steve Bannon sat behind Ant!

  12. chas says:

  13. Ant says:

  14. chas says:

    Is your West Country express carriage like this, Mucky?

  15. Ant says:

    Or beer!

  16. mickydidit89 says:

    I can’t see your pics without touching individual ones and being sent to twitter

    Carriage is just like a gentlemans club
    Down side is in first class you get 40mb speed whereas the oiks get 15mb

    Unfair I think

    We should get 50 to their 5

  17. Ant says:

    Red Arnie..o bearded lovely.. ouch aye the noo

  18. Ant says:

    ” touching individual ones and being sent to twitter”

    You can be arrested for that in Cornwall.

  19. chas says:

    Thanks for a well-constructed post, BR.

    No idea what would make a good team selection.
    One that wins, I suppose.

    I’d imagine a clean sheet isn’t possible. Just need to score more than them. 🤡

  20. Ant says:

  21. chas says:

    Gentlemans club

  22. Ant says:

    Who needs internet speed when you’ve got plimsolls

  23. Ant says:

    Disruption to service between Leicester and Kettering, piss

  24. Ant says:

  25. Red Arnie says:

    ha ha ha. great travels. Ant n’ Dec! 🙂

  26. Ant says:

    Hi Eddie, loved the layers of paint story

  27. Ant says:

    How’s the pug?

  28. Rasp says:

    Morning all, thanks for the PM Raddy …. although you always manage to increase my doubts these days 😂 We have to win, I’m confident we will …..

  29. GunnerN5 says:

    Just tuned in to the Vines Travel Log – morning guys – I hope the delay in service does not interrupt your Arsenal service. I imagine you will use in the extra time in transit to your advantage and replenish your supplies of refreshments.

  30. LB says:

    That’s a fine array of alcoholic beverages.

  31. Ant says:

    Hi GN5, having a nice cuppa tea between beers

  32. fred1266 says:

    Hoping for per over monreal

  33. GunnerN5 says:

    Thanks Raddy a nice uplifting post for us believers.
    I cannot see us losing this week although I fear it might be a squeaker.

    Assuming your team selection is correct then that will leave us with a really strong bench which could include – Iwobi. Sanchez, Giroud and Wilshere.

  34. Ant says:

  35. Ant says:

    Right we are near London and on tube soon so will go quiet..

  36. chas says:

    Who do you prefer Henry or Wright?

    1. As a player
    2. As a pundit

  37. Ant says:

    1. Henry
    2. Henry

  38. Ant says:

    Who do you prefer
    1. Player
    2. Pundit
    Alan Shearer and Robbie Savage?

  39. chas says:

    1. Shearer
    2. Beardsley

  40. fatgingergooner says:

    100% on the team, let’s just hope they play in those positions!

    I would say we can be the worst team in the league without the ball, hopefully that’s not the case today.

  41. Big Raddy says:

    11.31. Is it on the way to Wembley stadium? I think I used to drink there.

    Happy to say I have a couple of hours before heading out again. Should get to see the first half.

  42. GunnerN5 says:

    Raddy, can you record the game?

  43. GunnerN5 says:



    Mustaf Koscielny Monreal

    Bellerin Ramsey Xhaka Kolasinac

    Ozil Welbeck


    Ospina Mertesacker Coquelin Iwobi Walcott Alexis Giroud

    Read more at!timeline#1W2HTLV82pax0CVq.99

  44. GoonerB says:

    Thanks Raddy. I don’t know why so many want us going back to a back 4. We changed from a back 4 to back 3 because we were essentially pants with a back 4, so much so that even Pullis managed to tactically expose it. Not only that we have generally been a bit pants in a back 4 system for the last few seasons.

    The back 3 system is fine (as proven at the end of last season) as long as Arsene stops horning shoes and stops experimenting in what would be the athletic equivalent of making Linford Christie run the 10,000m and Mo Farah the 100m.

    Now we get to find out whether Arsene is correct or just spouting hot air about how committed and great Sanchez will be for us. Quick decisions need to made on him and, as hard a decision as it may be, I would drop him if there is even a hint of non commitment or petulance and give one of our young guys a go.

    Anyway, MWG but even more than that a MWG convincingly looking solid and good going forwards. COYRRG’s.

  45. Eddie says:

    Liverpool beaten by City, shit, some result

  46. Big Raddy says:

    Nice start. Welbz flukes a goal. Begovic makes a world. We are on top.

  47. Big Raddy says:

    What a finish from Lacazette. He looks the business

  48. Eddie says:

    we have a proper striker!!!! alleluia 🙂

  49. Eddie says:

    I thought you were working today, what exactly do you do?
    Or did you throw in a sickie

  50. Big Raddy says:

    We needed a half like that.

    As usual the focus is upon how poor B’mouth are and not upon how well AFC are playing.

    Could be 4 up.

    Ramsey, Xhaka, Kolasinac and Ozil imperious.

    I guess this is what happens when you play your best team (sans Sanchez) and in their chosen positions

  51. Big Raddy says:

    Eddie. Off out again in half an hour. It was raining too much for my lunchtime guests to go walking.

    At least I got to see us playing some pretty football

  52. Big Raddy says:

    Wow. What a cracking finish from Welbz. Didn’t know he had it in him.

    3 goals so far with Sanchez, Walcott and Giroud on the bench!

    Points should be secure

  53. Eddie says:

    we have 2 strikers 🙂 lovely goal from useless Welbeck

  54. Eddie says:

    terrific support for all (even the Chilean bench warmer) at the Ems. DidIt made the difference there today

  55. fatgingergooner says:

    A point behind the almighty Spurs and Liverpool even though we’ve played away at Stoke and away at Liverpool, aswell as a tough game home to Leicester.

    Full on crisis at the Arsenal.

  56. GoonerB says:

    Didn’t see it but it sounds like the performance and balance in the team looked good. Just what we needed and a convincing win to give us a spring in our step going forwards.

  57. Ant says:

    Brilliant performance and day out. Great team selection Radster. Good to see Welbeck scoring and looking confident after some unfair recent criticism. Laca is a fantastic finisher. Ozil is superb as normal. Monreal played well in the back three. Just what the doctor ordered. Micky is a good luck charm.

  58. Ant says:

    And yes we got a clean sheet even with 10 men at the end, thanks BR

  59. How nice was that ……… watched my team play football, score three great goals too 🙂 Didn’t get rained on, had lunch with Rasp and Mr Didit and drank with the Vines’ What’s not to like 😉

    Come on Arsenal

  60. chas says:

  61. chas says:


  62. Love those 98 game stats 😃

  63. mickydidit89 says:

    Fabulous day

    Rasp and I were the ultimate pros and ordered without menus
    Peaches went off piste with aubergines and shit

    Met the magnificent vines tribe

    Three goals. Terrific performance. Only regret that Danny didn’t complete his hat trick by scoring with the chip

  64. mickydidit89 says:

    Who should start v chavs
    Danny or Alexis

  65. LB says:

    A piece of not so very important information that I found interesting was that Mustafi played in the center of the defense with Koscielny out on the right. Didn’t expect that.

  66. LB says:

    People will be tempted to say that Welbeck can kick on from here, sort of put it into third kind of thing, but I don’t think he is anywhere near that, he’s the equivalent of only just taking the car out of the garage, there is so much more to come from him.

  67. LB says:

    Lacazette does like a goal doesn’t he? I am trying to work out how many goals I expect him to score this season and the number that came to mind was 25, any advances?

  68. LB says:

    Ozil was my man of the match. He is so different when you watch him live. A totally different animal.

  69. LB says:

    I wasn’t very impressed with Kolasinac (spelling) I know it is early days but still, not sure.

  70. Gööner In Exile says:

    Evening all, I’ll be settling down for MOTD soon, wait for it to be on for half hour or so so I can fast forward through the numpties.

    So 4 games in we’ve managed to paper over the cracks and produce a performance for the fans and some goals.

    Whilst Ox has played in an aggregate 9-0 defeat over two weeks.

    Football eh?

  71. fatgingergooner says:

    I think someone said ‘recent unfair criticism of Welbeck’. To my knowledge, the criticism he has received recently has been about his awful finishing and nothing else. He works his tail off whenever I see him play and he does a lot of great things on the pitch, but his finishing in the first 3 games of the season has been pretty awful, so I don’t think the criticism was in any way unfair. I’m glad to see he responded well though and he could be a very important player for us if he can continue being ruthless in front of goal.

    I find it interesting that Kos played on the right. I think it’s Wenger trying to get that balance in the team with Kolasinac/Monreal/Xhaka all being left footed, and Koscielny/Ramsey/Bellerin all being right. Interesting though that when it comes to the forward players it’s the opposite with Wenger preferring players who can cut inside i.e. Sanchez on the left (Welbs today) and Özil on the right.

    It will be interesting to see if it continues with the back 3 as personally I would have Koscielny being in the centre as he is the one who has the pace to cover across behind the LCB and the RCB if needed.

    I also wonder why the hell Wenger felt the need to switch players positions during those first 3 games. It made no sense and it’s obvious from his comments and today’s line up that he knew it wasnt right. Surely it can’t just have been to try and convince players to sign new deals? If so, which the evidence seems to suggest, then it was very short sighted and very naive from a manager who should know better. It’s done now though so onwards and upwards.

  72. fatgingergooner says:

    After watching a few minutes of the highlights I’m going to take back what I said about having Koscielny in the middle of a back 3 because there is something very reassuring about having pace at LCB and RCB. A lot of clubs play with rapid wingers in a front 3 these days and having Koscielny on the right hand side would certainly nullify a lot of the problems we seem to have had at the beginning of the season. If Mustafi can direct and lead the defenders in the same way that Merts can then there is no reason that a back 3 of Kos/Mustafi/Monreal can’t work. We still need to improve the shield in front of them though.

  73. fatgingergooner says:

    I’m wondering if when Wenger was talking about Ox being the England player for the future he was just simply looking for some idiot to believe him and bid £40m! 😂

  74. Eddie says:

    ha ha ha, you are probably right about Ox’s price tag 🙂 he is not worth half of it

    Why did City want Sanchez though?? Sane is the man

  75. Eddie says:

    aaaa,, Liverpool played with 10 men, didn’t help them

  76. Eddie says:

    micky – we’ve seen it yesterday

  77. mickydidit89 says:

    Ohhhh come on Eddie, I loooove Arsenal goals

  78. Eddie says:

    what I found interesting was before This Goal.
    The fans started the na na na Giroud chant and the cameraman got a close up of Lacazette’s face. It was very telling – Alex L did not like it one bit, perhaps because the Gorgeous one takes his place in the national team. Less than 5 mins after na na na he scored. Sometimes it is good to have competition. No, it’s always good to have to fight for the place in the team.

    And the Chilean bench warmer didn’t feck about,kept defenders busy. All good

  79. mickydidit89 says:

    What I really liked about yesterday was I’d start Lac and Danny again against Chelsea, and yet, we had 65 goals from last season all sitting on the bench (Theo, Ollie, Alexis)

  80. Eddie says:

    micky – yeah, and you can watch the goals again and again, and again. So what do you find so amusing about me applying coats of paint to the ceiling? I am addictied, had to stop myself doing one or two more coats yesterday 🙂

  81. Eddie says:

    I would start Lacazette and Sanchez, just to make sure. However, why fix something that’s not broken. The team yesterday was excellent, play them again

    I predict strange season. All top teams are under tremendous pressure and one with the thickest skin will take the cup. I thought it was ManU, but they dropped points to Stoke yesterday. Maybe Chavs? God forbid, I’d rather we were relegated than Chelsea won another title

  82. mickydidit89 says:

    Tell you what Eddie, the Chilean bench warmer got an awful lot of boos when he came on

    Noise wise, out done by the hoorays, but hooraying is louder decibelwise than booing, therefore as it was close, the booers had the numbers

    Anyway, back to your point about competition, and I agree, the same team should start.

  83. Eddie says:

    ooh, I didn’t hear the booes, only the ridiculous Sanchez baby chant. I thought he was greeted with lots of love. Disappointing

  84. LB says:

    Interesting comments Slim.

    Definitely agree that we still need to improve the shield in front of the back line.

    And, although, you said it tongue in cheek about Wenger talking up the Ox price I think you are closer than some might think.

    I reckon the Ox’s inclusion in the first three games had far more to do with trying to increase his price rather than trying to get him to stay.

    I couldn’t help laugh as I watched him jogging around in the middle of Liverpool’s midfield doing his little lost lamb thing. Good luck Ox but I am glad you are there and not with us anymore.

  85. LB says:

    Boos, I din’t hear any boos.

    Who heard them?

  86. mickydidit89 says:

    Honestly, loud and clear North Bank end

    They even mentioned it on the radio I was listening to as I drove back from the station

  87. mickydidit89 says:

    I know the CL is on BT Sport, where do they screen Europa

  88. Big Raddy says:

    Morning All,

    Basking …

  89. mickydidit89 says:

    While looking up tv channels, found this

    “Sex robots could kill you if they are hacked, expert warns”

    Best line being…”Dr Patterson said: ‘Hackers can hack into a robot or a robotic device and have full control of the connections, arms, legs and other attached tools like in some cases knives or welding devices”

    HA HA HA, yeah, welding devices 🙂

  90. mickydidit89 says:

    Ah Erik
    When does the Viking expedition begin?

  91. Rasp says:

    Morning all, great to see Micky and the Vines crew yesterday.

    Excellent performance by our boys, just what the doctor ordered.

    There was booing when Sanchez came on … I was appalled … in what universe was that the right thing to do?

  92. Rasp says:

    Points about the game:

    The side had a good balance to it.

    Lacaz is a natural goalscorer, composed and clinical in front of goal … more of an Ian Wright than a TH, but hopefully will develop an understanding with Ozil and Sanchez/Welbeck. He’s in the right place at the right time.

    Welbeck had lost his shooting boots for the last year or so, but after he scored the first goal he grew in confidence, when he slotted the second goal in, he returned to Danny at his best and was nat’s chaff away from getting his hattrick. The Ox will be forgotten if Danny can push on from here.

    Lastly fitness!!!! Xhaka and Koliasinac visibly ran out of steam in the last 15 minutes. We had played the game at a reasonably high intensity and Kolas has to get up to speed in the prem … but it did surprise me.

  93. Gööner In Exile says:

    Quick question…..

    Didn’t really seem clear on MOTD highlights. Did we play 3-4-1-2?

    If so I see a problem ahead……Lac and Alexis couldn’t play together (too small).

    We have good combinations in a front two. Lac/Welly Welly/Alexis Ollie/Lac Ollie/Alexis etc could even add Theo into that mix.

    But to play Alexis, Lacazette and Welly means weakening the defensive balance especially if Ozil is still in the mix.

    Also playing without Ollie or Welly weakens us defensively at set pieces in terms of height especially replaced not so much if Kolasniac and Xhaka are playing.

    We need to have two for every position, some will have to understand they’ll be playing second fiddle:

    No 10. Ozil/Iwobi
    HM. Xhaka/Coq/Elneny
    Striker. Lac/Alexis/Theo
    CF. Welly/Ollie
    RWB. Hector/Debuchy
    CM. Santi/Rambo/Jack/Elneny
    LWB. Kolasniac/Monreal
    CB. Koscielny/Mustafi/BFG/Monreal/Holding/Chambers

    Thing is there’s a bit of an embarrassment of riches, losing Gabriel/Ox/Gibbs has probably made Arsene’s life slightly easier.

    But for me the attacking end of the pitch is our biggest problem, leave players out get criticised, don’t have enough defensively minded players on pitch, get criticised.

    Arsene needs to finds balance that works in both team performance, attacking & defending, and squad happiness.

    It’s easy for us not round training ground to say we’d just leave the unfortunates on the bench.

    But a lot harder when you see the effects on players.

  94. Rasp says:

    Hi GiE, Bournemouth were the perfect opposition for the team we put out yesterday. I agree we will need to be stronger defensively against the more physical sides. We played 3 at the back with Kolasinac and Bellerin as wing backs, Xhaka and Ramsey in front of the back 3 … Ramsey did his usual and went further forward when we were attacking. Then Ozil and Wellbeck wide but cutting in and with Lacazette in the middle.

  95. Rasp says:

    The idiots raised their heads a second time yesterday when they booed Defoe as he left the pitch … luckily those with brains realised and stood to applaud him …..

  96. GunnerN5 says:

    We needed that result yesterday and lets hope it’s a sign of things to come. It was a tonic to most fans and a much needed boost in the players confidence levels.

    Great comment from GIE at 10:39.

  97. Big Raddy says:

    chas 6.42. How is Ozil the focus of our attack?

  98. Gööner In Exile says:

    Thanks Rasp, interesting that Ozil andWelly were wide men, again, something pulls Ozil and Alexis close together and maybe that’s another thing that unbalances us?

    Interesting looking at the graphic Chas put up that there weren’t many passes from centre backs to Xhaka, instead having to go wide first it would appear. That helped by having more defensively minded/natural wing backs rather than wingers. They weren’t both tear arseing up the pitch when we had the ball.

    Also noticeable that Ramsey seemed to receive ball deeper (by that graphic).

  99. mickydidit89 says:


    I think the whole side showed far more discipline regarding their positioning, which was a real change from some previous games, and great to see.

    I agree with your earlier comment about the front combos, and for that reason I’d keep Danny as I simply cannot see Laca being dropped. He looks so exciting.

  100. chas says:

    It’s based on an average position when Ozil touched the ball, BR.
    Ozil touched it a hell of a lot in the final third, hence the advanced average positon.

  101. chas says:

    Laca, on the other hand, touched the ball infrequently and sometimes in our own half, so his average touch position is more in the centre of the pitch.

  102. chas says:

    Haha, here’s our pass map for the humiliating thrashing v Liverpool.
    The Ox played a blinder (along with the rest of them, of course). 🙂

  103. chas says:

    Stoke v Arsenal has Mesut’s average touch well forward of the big bearded Frenchman’s.
    Surely it all makes perfect sense now!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  104. chas says:

    Soz that was from last May.

  105. chas says:

    Here’s the one from a couple of weeks back.

  106. chas says:

    Here’s Stoke’s from the same game.

  107. mickydidit89 says:

    Excellent work Chas
    Now, in a few words, could you explain the Swingometer? 🙂

  108. mickydidit89 says:

    Nah, don’t blame you!

  109. Big Raddy says:

    chas. Fine work.


    Lacazette. Lazy. Get rid.

  110. chas says:

  111. chas says:

  112. Big Raddy says:

    Morning All,

    6.23. A fine start to the morning 😀 😀

  113. Big Raddy says:

    Short post written …

  114. Rasp says:

    Morning all.

    ……..NEW POST ……

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