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?
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.
Koscielny BFG Monreal
Bellerin Ramsey Xhaka Kosanovic
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).
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
- There is a vast gap in quality between the first team and the reserves
- JW may not be the solution to Xhaka’s inconsistencies
- The team which beat Everton is capable of great things.
- Neither Sanchez nor Ozil should be sold in January
- We have defensive frailties (nothing new).
- We still need a proper DM, Coquelin is not good enough.
- Elneny has less pace than BFG.
- We have “mental strength” despite rumours to the contrary.
- There is potential amongst the youth team but no-one is ready for the first team (where is The Jeff?)
- 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
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).
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:
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?
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)
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.
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.
Holding Koscielny Monreal
Bellerin Ramsey Xhaka Kolasinac
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”.
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.
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.
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!)
Debuchy BFG Monreal
Nelson Elneny Wilshire Maitland-Niles
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.
Just a quickie…
Last weekend’s 15 minute collapse was horribly painful and worse, a return to the type of loss of control we have seen over the past few seasons.
Everything changed in one moment and it was a moment out of control of anyone in an Arsenal shirt. I write of the cheating Watford player and the awful refereeing decision made by Swarbrick. WE NEED VIDEO TECHNOLOGY IN THE PL.
I have no doubt that Arsenal would have won the game had the penalty not been given. We were comfortable and likely to score again, instead 3 points were lost and more worrying the fragile confidence built over the brief run of wins is gone.
And we would have 3 more points has Lacazette not been wrongly adjudged offside at Stoke.
A 30 second delay whilst a video ref assessed the footage and wrong decisions are reversed.
How can this work? Well, it is hardly a new discussion, is it? Do I care whether this technology is not available at all levels of soccer? No, I don’t give a monkey’s cuss. Do you? All I care about is that AFC stop being the victim of rubbish refereeing and diving cheats.
n.b. I am fully aware that Leicester would have been awarded a penalty when Mustafi brought down some numbskull but Cech would have saved it (as if :_D)
written by Big Raddy
The Good: We are on a fine run of results having lost just one of our last 5 games. Watford have yet to win a game at home this season.
The Not So Good: Watford are on a fine run of results having lost just one of their last 5 games. We have yet to win a PL game away from home this season.
A draw seems the obvious result.
The Interlull was costly in terms of injuries with Mustafi out for a number of games and Sanchez, Kolasinac, Xhaka and Ramsey unlikely to start this afternoon’s late kick-off thanks to exhaustion . Mustafi’s injury is unfortunate because Mr Wenger has yet to discover a consistently effective back 3, though our recent defensive record is good (none conceded in last 4 PL games). The injuries to Chambers, Kos and Mustafi must drive AW nuts.
Chambers is interesting. Rumours were that he would be sold in summer, instead it was Gabriel. Then fans said he was persona non grata with Mr Wenger and had no future at AFC, yet this week he signed a new contract until 2021!! I predict a big Arsenal future for the young man.
Thanks to the Internationals our starting 11 is difficult to predict. Welbeck is back in the squad, so is Magic Mesut. Will Iwobi be rested after his Nigerian exploits? Will Theo get a start or Giroud? I have huge respect for Mr Giroud as he continues to score on a regular basis – is there a better attacking sub in the PL?
Watford: Sorry – you will have to look elsewhere to discover their strengths and weaknesses. For some reason I cannot raise the enthusiasm to do any research. I enjoyed the trips to Vicarage Road and always associated Watford with an excellent multi-racial policy (think Blisset and the wonderful John Barnes), bit today …
Holding Koscielny Monreal
Bellerin Elneny Wilshere Kolasinac
I like this team, it has creativity and defensive security. Mr Wenger has been “bigging up” Wilshire as he returns to fitness and form, surely he will start this evening. With Theo and OG on the bench we have potent attackers on the bench should they be needed.
Today’s referee is Neil Swarbrick, surely not the violin wizard from Fairport Convention?
Can we open our Away wins account? Why not?
Let it be so ….
The 1952-53 season started well for Arsenal as we won the opening two fixtures but then only managed to win two of the next eight matches. A 5-1 victory over Liverpool at Anfield on November 15 helped to inspire the team and the goals continued to flow throughout that winter. We beat Bolton 6-4 (away from home on Christmas Day), Wolves 5-3, Spurs 4-0 and Derby 6-2 in the next couple of months.
April proved to be the decisive month; the Gunners played eight league matches during the month, including a run of five straight wins. The last game of the month though, was away to title rivals Preston. Arsenal was two points ahead with two games remaining and could seal a league title with a victory at Deepdale. However Arsenal suffered a 2-0 defeat and both sides were level with one match left. Preston played first, beating bottom side Derby 1-0 on Wednesday. Two days later Arsenal knew that only a home victory over Burnley would give them the title. Burnley took an early lead but Alex Forbes, Doug Lishman and Jimmy Logie all found the net to make it 3-1. Burnley made in 3-2 in the second half but Arsenal held on for the crucial two points and we won our 7th League Division 1 Championship. It was two points for a win in 1952-53 so we ended the season tied with Preston on 54 points each; we won based on goal average (Arsenal 1.516 – Preston 1.417) – goal average being the rule back then, not goal difference as it is today. (goal difference, Arsenal 33 – Preston 25)
We had reached the FA Cup Final in two of the previous three years, but in 1952-53 we lost to eventual winners Blackpool in the quarter-final.
Arsenal 1952-53 appearances: Daniel 41, Roper 41, Wade 40, Lishman 39, Forbes 33, Logie 32, L Smith 31, Goring 29, Mercer 28, Kelsey 25, Milton 25, Shaw 25, Holton 21, Swindin 14, Chenhall 13, Cox 9, Marden 8, Platt 3, Oakes 2, Bowen 2, Dodgin 1.
Arsenal 1952-53 goalscorers: Lishman 22, Holton 19, Roper 14, Goring 10, Logie 10, Milton 7, Daniel 5, Marden 4, Mercer 2, Cox 1, Forbes 1, Oakes 1, own goal 1.
Also that season… Stan Mortensen scored a hat-trick for Blackpool in the FA Cup final but the game was remembered for the contribution of his team mate, 38 year old Stanley Matthews. Blackpool beat Bolton 4-3 in the (Matthews) final, and Mortensen’s hat-trick remains the only one in a Wembley FA Cup final.
Tom Whittaker became the Arsenal club’s new manager in 1947.
During WW2 he was an Royal Air Force pilot and achieved the rank of Squadron Leader.
For his service in missions on D-Day, he was awarded an MBE.
Tom Whittaker’s league record –
Games 378, Won 171, Drawn 101, Lost 106,
Goals for 677, Goals against 509,
Goals for per game 1.79, Goals against per game 1.35
Points won 58.6%.
Average League Position 5.22
Total # of trophies won – 2 League titles, 1 FA Cup, 2 Charity Shields.
Sadly Tom passed away far too early from a heart attack in 1956, aged 58.
Written by GunnerN5