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October 28, 2017

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Home Run to Continue?

October 28, 2017

Saturday. 3.00 p.m. kick-off. Home game. It feels wrong.

I have read and heard that Swansea are our bogey team but , didn’t we beat them last season with just 10 men? Yes, I know we lost a couple at home and got beaten in Swansea in 2016, but we beat them 0-4 in Wales. Why not today?

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Swansea’s form is wretched at the moment, ours is variable but on an upswing swing (hopefully). We have no further injuries with both Mustafi and Chambers back in the squad. We haven’t lost a home game since January.

It augurs well.

But there is many a slip between the cup and the lip and we can be sure that Swansea, who have conceded just 3 goals in their away games, will be fired up. Fabianski continues to be their stand-out player and it delights an old romantic that he has done so well after his troubles at AFC.

Swansea like a goal from set pieces, their second highest scorer is the CB Mawson, as such I would keep Mertesacker in the teaming give Mustafi more recovery time.

My Team: Same as at Everton.

Cech

Koscielny    BFG    Monreal

Bellerin   Ramsey    Xhaka    Kosanovic

Ozil

Lacazette     Sanchez

Let us hope their is no complacency or arrogance following our thrashing of Everton. What we have seen are the green shoots of the growth of what could be an excellent team, but that is all it is, Everton were rubbish and we put them to the sword, but we scored 3 goals against 10 men in the final few minutes.

Once again, we have an outstanding bench, almost certainly the best in the PL. It gives options.

Let’s keep the home form strong and make the Emirates impregnable (as if).

COYRRG


Number 6 – Mr. Arsenal

October 26, 2017

Whenever I look back on my 70 years of supporting Arsenal and the hundreds of players that I’ve watched one name always stands out in my memory – Number 6, Tony Adams who is rightfully known as Mr. Arsenal. He was born in Romford on October 10th 1966 and grew up in Dagenham. From 1971 to 1978 he was a pupil at Hunters Hall Primary School and from 1978 to 1983 at Eastbrook Comprehensive School.

He was still a 15 year old schoolboy when he signed for Arsenal in 1980 and one of his tasks was to clean the players’ boots after games.

He made his first team debut just four weeks after his 17th birthday. Along with Lee Dixon, Nigel Winterburn and Steve Bould he was part of the “famous back four” that formed Arsenal’s formidable defence; he became Arsenal captain at the age of 21 and remained as club captain until his retirement – 14 years later.

Adams’s strong discipline of the defence was considered a factor in Arsenal winning the League Cup in 1986–87.

For Arsenal fans, there has arguably been no other player in the Club’s history who has encapsulated the spirit and quality of the club more than Tony Adams, a colossus of a defender who is considered by many as one of the finest to have played for England and Arsenal.

Sir Alex Ferguson often attempted to sign him, and at his testimonial stated, “I would love to have had him in my side, and I don’t think it’s any secret that there were inquiries made at one time from Old Trafford.”

Pat Rice, Arsenal assistant manager, stated, “what a leader, what a player, what a man.”

His successes on the field were challenged by a decade long (1980-1990) battle with alcohol. On 6 May 1990 he crashed his Ford Sierra into a wall and his blood alcohol level was more than four times the legal limit. He was imprisoned for four months and freed after serving half of his sentence. He became one of the most high-profile recovering alcoholics in the UK and his battle with alcohol is detailed in his autobiography, Addicted, which was released to critical acclaim in May 1998.

He won the First Division championship twice; the first being after our famous Friday night victory over Liverpool at Anfield which secured the 1988–89 Championship. The second was in 1990–91, after losing only once all season – (W24, D13, L1, GF74, GA18).

In 1992–93 he gained the distinction of being the captain of the first English side to win the League Cup and FA Cup double. Then in 1993-94 he was captain when we won the European Cup Winners Cup.

ClubArsenalFootball League First Division / Premier League (4): 1988–89, 1990–91. 1997–98, 2001–02

FA Cup (3): 1993, 1998, 2002

Football League Cup (2): 1987, 1993

Football League Centenary Trophy: 1988

European Cup Winners Cup: 1994

FA Charity Shield (2): 1991 (Shared), 1998

PFA Young Player of the Year: 1987

PFA First Division/Premier League Team of the Year (4): 1987, 1994, 1996, 1997

PFA Team of the Century (1907–2007): Team of the Century 1997-2007

Premier League 10 Seasons Awards: (1992-93 – 2001-02) Overseas Team of the Decade

English Football Hall of Fame: 2004

Football League 100 Legends

Number 3 on Arsenal.com top 50 players.

Number 3 on Arsenal Arsenal top 50 players.

 

Member in The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE)

A statue honouring Adams was unveiled at Emirates stadium on 9 December 2011.

Written by GunnerN5


Things We Learned from the last 6 days

October 25, 2017
  1. There is a vast gap in quality between the first team and the reserves
  2. JW may not be the solution to Xhaka’s inconsistencies
  3. The team which beat Everton is capable of great things.
  4. Neither Sanchez nor Ozil should be sold in January
  5. We have defensive frailties (nothing new).
  6. We still need a proper DM, Coquelin is not good enough.
  7. Elneny has less pace than BFG.
  8. We have “mental strength” despite rumours to the contrary.
  9. There is potential amongst the youth team but no-one is ready for the first team (where is The Jeff?)
  10. Dreams can come true. Has any debut in AFC history equalled that of Eddie?

There is much more but time forbids

written by Big Raddy


What is a Carabao?

October 24, 2017

Does anyone know?

Norwich. A home game – seems ages – and another chance to see the second string. Are Norwich better than Red Star? We shall see.

The Canaries are on a fine run of form, unbeaten in 9, and hopeful of a return to the PL. Can’t quite see that but I expect them to make the play-offs.

We have lost just once in 10 games! Wonderful win at Goodison playing some marvellous football, there must be a wave of confidence at Arsenal (if not amongst the fickle fans).

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I think Mr Wenger will start just one player (Cech) of those who thrashed Everton and only because Ospina is injured  – such is the strength of this squad and why I think that the longer the season goes on the higher the table we will climb.

Look at this team:

Cech

Debuchy    Elneny    Holding

Nelson    Coquelin   Wilshere   Maitland-Niles

Walcott    Giroud    Iwobi

8 full Internationals and none are first choice players –  without Welbz, Santi, Shokran, Chambers and Ospina.

Has our squad ever had so much depth?

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The match is not being shown on UK TV so we will have to find some dodgy streams, if you find a good one, please post the link in thee comments.

Mr Wenger has never won the Carabao Cup, he doesn’t seem to value it. Do you? No? Nor do I 😀

But it would be great to keep this run going and for us to win our third game in 6 days.

(written in haste by BR)

COYRRG

 

 

 


Sticky Toffee Pudding

October 22, 2017

Everton desperate both for points and confidence. Koeman deep in the mire wearing open -toed sandals. Fans disgruntled by the awful football played, New owners disappointed by the poor return on the  €150m+ spent in summer.

Not the best time to visit Goodison.

Especially as we are hardly in the best of form. The win in Belgrade was welcome relief but not enough to heal the scars  earned at Vicarage Rd.

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But before I get too upset about our return of just one point from 4 away games, may I point out that we are just 3 points behind Chelsea in 4th having played a game less. In other words, apart from MC we are keeping up with the pack. What does this show? That we can expect some unexpected results, not just for AFC, but for all teams. It will, as ever, be an interesting season.

Everton have some fine players, they have players whom AFC have reputedly tried to sign. A midfield from Schneiderlin, Barkley, Sigurdsson, Rooney, Gueye and Davies is sure to be strong and combative. In defence they have some excellent players. Upfront? How do you replace Lukaku, a one man attack? Answer – they haven’t.

One player to point out is James McCarthy. I really dislike this bloke. Dirty, violent and a man prone to dive whilst protesting his innocence. He is Alan Shearer without the talent.

We must hope for a strong referee as the messages coming out of Goodison is that Everton are ready to fight i.e. they will try and kick our delicate flowers off the pitch. Expect rotational fouling on both Sanchez and Ozil and probably one of our lads leaving the field on a stretcher. Following those final 15 minutes at Watford we can expect this type of treatment almost everywhere we play.

I expect (hope) to see a team ready to attack; not one lacking Ozil. He has to play if fit. Lacazette has been desperately lacking his genius.

My Team:

Cech

Holding    Koscielny    Monreal

Bellerin    Ramsey    Xhaka    Kolasinac

Ozil

Lacazette     Sanchez

We have a strong bench especially with the return of Coquelin.

In my opinion, apart from Mustafi, this is our strongest team. This leaves Iwobi, Welbeck, Walcott and Giroud out in the cold. Finally, we have a host of attacking options.

I am not expecting an easy 90 minutes, I expect Everton to battle, what we will need is “mental strength”.

COYRRG


Red Star Pre – Match

October 19, 2017

There are some names in football which have a ring to them, something romantic that takes us back to times past, Red Star Belgrade is one of those.

Before mass- televised football, before the fall of the Berlin Wall and the breakup of Yugoslavia, before drug testing etc Red Star were huge, Barcelona huge. They were Tito’s team, they played in Communist red and white with a red star. They were the team that Man Utd played before the awful Munich disaster. They had a ground which held 110,000 fans – more than Wembley, and they filled it for every game! In 1991 they won the  European Cup.

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Times have changed. After the breakup of Yugoslavia and the creation of Serbia, Red Star are no longer the powerhouse of East Europe. They remain the peoples team with almost 50% of Serbs supporting them.

The ground is called the Marakana, tonight is a 55k sellout and AFC can expect a hostile, intimidating welcome.

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Once again, I know nothing about the opposition squad. I expect them to be organised, hard working with a couple of tricky players and a big bloke upfront (much like us!)

My Team:

Cech

Debuchy   BFG    Monreal

Nelson     Elneny     Wilshire    Maitland-Niles

Iwobi

Walcott    Giroud

Debuchy is due to start his first game for almost a year. Apparently Mr Wenger tried to give him away in summer but received no offers, thanks to high wage demands. One has to feel for the Frenchman; injured early in his AFC career by a sly foul from some Stoke Orc. he has had the misfortune to see his place taken by a young, wonderful talent who, quite frankly, is in a different league to him. Given how much Debuchy cost, how in demand he was when at Newcastle, it must hurt not to be a first team choice and perhaps explains Debuchy’s less than compliant attitude.

Welbeck, Kos, Chambers, Sanchez, Ramsey and Mustafi are all out with different degrees of injury.

I expect Ramsey, Sanchez and Ozil to start at Evertion so Iwobi and Wilshere should be our creative hub tonight.

Not an easy game to predict as Red Star are a decent team, have home advantage and Arsenal will be putting out a second string team. It should be fun as we continue our Europa campaign.