Wembley on the Horizon

Chelsea away. Injuries all over the shop. Porous defence. Lack of confidence. Fans less than enthusiastic.

Doesn’t bode well.


Last game was a cracker; full of excitement and top quality attacking allied to dreadful defending from The Arsenal, diving and awful finishing from Chelsea. I expect much of the same tonight and would be thrilled with a similar result.

Sanchez: According to the media we have received a €20m offer from City. How will that affect both the player and the manager? Would you sell him or let him go for nothing in summer? Is €20m enough?

VAR: Exciting and interesting development which will/could change the way football at the highest level will function. It works in other sports but can it work in football? Would Hazard’s clear dive be a penalty or not? Depends upon one’s viewpoint which is exactly the point!

Given that Chelsea and MC remain in the Carabao, was AW decision, to prioritise tonight over the FA Cup, pragmatism or stupidity?

We shall see.

There is no doubt in my mind that if Arsenal play well, particularly if we take the chances in attack, we can win. The question is – does the team share my faith?




91 Responses to Wembley on the Horizon

  1. Eddie says:

    raddy – I doubt the team share your faith, they either Christian or Muslim. Or nothing.

    thanks for the PM, match days wouldn’t be the same without.

    I don’t think Wenger has ever won the micky mouse cup, or whatever it was called at the time (carabao at present), so perhaps he wants to add that to his CV? But to prioritise tonight over the FA cup 3rd round is inexcusable. Unless he thought that Forrest could not hurt us, but Chavs can?

  2. Eddie says:

    listen you self-righteous prick, can you please forget it? Or will you remind me of the not so proud moment in my life till the day I die?

    I still don’t get the Liverpool joke 🙂 can you draw a picture for me 🙂

  3. RC78 says:

    Excellent PM

  4. chas says:

    Thanks, BR.
    Nailed it.
    A draw would be a great result tonight.

    The ‘experts’ all thought the Hazard dive was a pen because ‘there was contact’. Out of the shocking decisions against us in the last three games, only Mike Dean’s cock up might have been overturned by VAR and even then, I’d imagine that they wouldn’t dare bruise that arsehole’s ego live on tv.

    I was just thinking about what Big Weng said about the team for tonight – something along the lines of , ‘I’ll put out a team I think can win’.
    Thinking back to the Southampton away game last season, the team was

    Not that different from the team chosen to play Forest really.
    We won 5-0, though this was partly because the Saints fielded a weakened team because they had just won a League Cup semi against the Scousers with a Final on the horizon.

    He must have thought the team chosen to play Forest was good enough to win. What was unforgiveable was the team not being prepared to match the Championship team’s drive and enthusiasm.

    Maybe we’ll be surprised by the result tonight and maybe we won’t

    By the way, that Forest geezer who scored 2 against us and was promised a dog if he got a hat trick, has got a dog after all and has named it “Gunner” – aaaaaahhhhhhhhh.

    I knew you’d hate me even more if I blatantly picked you up on your spelling of Scouser, so I was trying to be subtle.

  5. Eddie says:

    it is not a dog, it’s a pugglet!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  6. Eddie says:

    Gunner Lichaj, that really cheered me up. BTW I am sure you-know-it-all know that Lichaj is a polish name 🙂

  7. RC78 says:

    Tonight I would play

    Ospina – Bellerin, BFG, Kos, Koli – Xhaka, Coquelin, Wilshere – Ozil, Sanchez – Wellbeck

    PS: Walcott to Everton for 22 Mln EUR

  8. Eddie says:

    yes, seems to be a done deal with Feo to Everton. I think I will miss him, not much, just a bit

    And Sanchez to City according to de Bruyne, hell knows why he’s the first to know

    anybody coming our way???

  9. Eddie says:

    didit – have you seen the latest army recruitment campaign? you’d love it, right up your street

  10. RC78 says:

    Arsenal – Coquelin to sign for Valencia

  11. RC78 says:

    If we sell Coquelin, I am hoping that either:

    1. Monreal is given the DM role; or
    2. We recruit a new DM (Gueye?Carvalho?Pereira?)

    Apparently, the following players are targeted:
    – CB – Evans
    – DM – Carvalho
    – AM – Malcom
    – FW – Mahrez, Fekir

    If I could sign players:
    – CB – Garay
    – DM – Gueye or Irrallamendi
    – FW – Mahrez
    – ST – Icardi?

    Cech – Bellerin, Garay, Kos, Koli – Xhaka, Gueye, Wilshere – Ramsey, Mahrez – Lacazette OR

    Cech – Garay, Kos, Monreal – Bellerin, Gueye, Wilshere, Koli – Ramsey – Lacazette, Icardi

  12. RC78 says:

    CB – best would b Koulibaly from Napoli but I am not sure he would leave Napoli for ARSENAL;;;This is how low we have come down to 😦

  13. RC78 says:

    So we will lose:
    – Coquelin and Walcott for sure; and probably
    – Sanchez

    We are really pursuing Evans

  14. LB says:

    Stop tempting fate by saying Walcott is going to leave.

    A funny thought just crossed my mind, instead of saying I will believe it when player X is on Arsenal.com holding a shirt, I will believe it when I see Walcott holding someone else’s shirt.

    Top read BR
    Thanks as always for making the effort to keep us entertained.

  15. Eddie says:

    LB – but can’t you see that such pragmatic approach is boring 🙂
    So much more fun imagining that we sold Feo and signed what’s-his-name Lemar?

  16. Rasp says:

    Thanks for the PM Raddy, let’s hope we don’t have to hold the usual PM afterwards 🙄

    I’m looking to find small things to lift me these days. Maitland Nyles’ development is a plus, and Lacaz seems to improve every game .. he just needs a couple of goals. I’m not sure we’ll see either this evening.

    I agree a draw would be a good result. For me, it’s a no pressure game.

    Let’s reserve our best eleven for the EL and EPL.

  17. Big Raddy says:

    Hi Fred.

    I have always liked Theo, he has been a respectful Gooner and scored some important goals.

    Can’t see AW selling both Walcott and Sanchez.

  18. Big Raddy says:

    Although I am often called a SRP (see 11.06), I was unaware that Eddie thought of me as such.

    I feel honoured.

  19. Rasp says:

    🙂 … I don’t think that was directed at you Raddy.

    I like Theo as a person too, but maybe not in an Arsenal shirt any more. Our style of play with a slow build up doesn’t allow him to do what he does best and so he increasingly looks ineffective when he plays. He lacks a few essential skills of a top player and by now we’d see them if he had the ability, so I think it would be best for all if he moved on and then maybe he could resurrect his England career.

  20. fatgingergooner says:

    Walcott leaving? Hope that’s true. Far too nice and epitomises the last 10 or so years really. Players who aren’t quite good enough being given chance after chance. Don’t dislike the lad, but we need a different type of attitude in this team. If the fight and arrogance isn’t coming from the manager then it needs to be built into the players we buy.

  21. fatgingergooner says:


    Monreal at HM? No thanks. We shouldn’t need to find cheap ways to fill gaps. We have money to go out and buy a very good HM and we should expect more as fans than sticking a LB in midfield. The days of Wenger having all the answers and playing people in different positions is over. We need a quality spine built from players in their natural positions.

  22. Red Arnie says:

    Fantastic curtain raiser, Raddy. 🙂

    What can one say. I look forward to the two-legged affair against the Chav oilers. COYG. 🙂

  23. Red Arnie says:

    SRP? I thought teh key letter was “C”. But that is a taboo letter, no? Is Peaches mom around these days? 🙂

  24. fatgingergooner says:

    Valencia posted a pic of a suitcase with the initials FC written on it. Could that be Coquelin edging towards the exit?

    I like Coquelin and think he’s got more ability than he gets to show at HM but ultimately not quite good enough for us.

    I expect AMN to pick up that position soon. The HM role has changed recently with smaller, faster players being preferred to big lumps. The likes of Kante, Gueye, Fernandinho etc have shown how valuable a player who can read the game and get across the pitch quickly can be. The art of tackling now is more about timing and nicking the ball away in order to build counters, so you don’t need to be a unit who can crunch into challenges. AMN is lightening quick and has superb compsure. If he can read the game aswell then he could be a huge player for us. Hopefully he stays and lives up to his potential.

  25. fatgingergooner says:


    In fact, we now understand that Valencia have agreed a £12m fee with Arsenal for Francis Coquelin, although the midfielder is not yet a Los Che player.

    Valencia posted an image of a suitcase with “FC” on social media this afternoon and a message about “preparing for a new one”;

    Arsene Wenger said on Tuesday that there was a “possibility” Coquelin would leave this month;

    Coquelin joined Arsenal in 2008 and had loan spells at Lorient, Freiburg and Charlton.

  26. mickydidit89 says:


  27. mickydidit89 says:


  28. mickydidit89 says:

    Internet on on on

  29. mickydidit89 says:

    Thanks Erik

    I would have gone large in the FAC, but hey diddly, we are where we are, so lets get at ’em

  30. mickydidit89 says:

    Ok, I see talk of player exits, one, two, three. Three worldies coming in it is then 🙂

  31. mickydidit89 says:

    Team to play Chelsea: Ospina, Bellerin, Chambers, Mustafi, Holding, Maitland-Niles, Wilshere, Xhaka, Iwobi, Welbeck, Lacazette

    Subs: Macey, Mavroppanos, Mertesacker, Nelson, Elneny, Walcott, Sanchez

  32. mickydidit89 says:

    Oh, no Mesut. Why?

    Sanchez bench. Why?

  33. mickydidit89 says:

    Chavs playing all their good players. Not fair

  34. chas mobile says:

  35. fatgingergooner says:

    Could be over after tonight looking at the sides. No Sanchez or Özil and Chelsea at full strength.

  36. Big Raddy says:

    Perfect excuse

  37. fred1266 says:

    Shame to see coquilen go

  38. mickydidit89 says:

    We need to open with a confidence boosting 25 yd howitzer from Granit

  39. mickydidit89 says:

    Throw in the excuse that the caribou cup is for wets and we won’t care if things don’t go too well

    Can’t wait though 🙂

  40. fatgingergooner says:

    Let’s hope Morata wearing the same boots as last week. Should be a decent watch aslong as we don’t embarrass ourselves by conceding 5 or more!

  41. Eddie says:

    micky 🙂 are you happy now with your internet?

  42. Eddie says:

    nowhere to watch the game!!!!! online footy not working damn damn damn

  43. mickydidit89 says:

    Yes Eddie
    Seems like first game I’m watching in ages
    online is working. Just had to renew. Can only do 2 months now. Real pain

  44. mickydidit89 says:

    wow, jack captain

  45. mickydidit89 says:

    come on you gunnnnners

  46. Eddie says:

    and again – Jens next to Wenger. Germans sticking together or the new boss for us?

  47. Big Raddy says:

    We got a corner!

  48. Big Raddy says:

    We have been begging for someone to place a pass over the top for Laca. JW places a beauty and Laca hits it into the King’s Road. 😯

  49. mickydidit89 says:

    This is up for grabs as some say. Sanchez on for Iwobi and go for it

  50. fatgingergooner says:

    This team is surprising me. Looked solid and competitive and controlled possession pretty well when we’ve had. Wilshere really does make a huge difference to our passing game.

    We’ve talked a lot in the past about having a team that’s less than the sum of its parts, but I would say that’s been the opposite so far tonight. If we can find a better ball in attack then we could nick a very good result.

  51. Rasp says:

    Our delivery into the box from set pieces has been poor, but otherwise a decent performance so far

  52. Big Raddy says:

    Enjoying JW’s performance.

    Happy with that half. Courtois made the most difficult save.

  53. mickydidit89 says:

    Agree both FGG and Rasp

    Not what I’d call butt clenching, but doing a good job

  54. Eddie says:

    No no no no, get up jack

  55. Big Raddy says:

    Come on Boys. Very sluggish start, we need to play higher up the pitch and not entirely in our own half.

    Oh no, Jack hurt 😦 Been best player on the pitch

  56. fatgingergooner says:

    That’s a blow. Looked more like a twist than anything. They hurt when it hits your relaxed foot and twists it.

    Will be difficult to play out now as they press higher. The first 10 minutes of this half is how I expected the game to go.

  57. fatgingergooner says:

    You can see when AMN comes into those central areas just how good he could be. Little 1-2’s around the corner, can go either way on either foot, and has a good passing range. He’s so relaxed and is fantastic to watch. Seen lots of prospects come through our side but he looks a real gem.

  58. Big Raddy says:

    Don’t expect an AW team to PTB

  59. fatgingergooner says:

    I think Iwobi been better tonight, but his finishing is the worst I’ve seen from an attacking midfielder since Hleb. In fact it’s worse because the only issue with Hleb is he would only shoot if he was 5 yards out or less!

  60. Eddie says:

    Iwobi is doing his best to impress the fans and be forgiven for Sunday. If that is his best than we need Hleb back

  61. Eddie says:

    Extra time ?

  62. Big Raddy says:

    Xhaka lucky to still be on the pitch. Calm down man

  63. mickydidit89 says:

    Very good performance
    Just a little magic missing

  64. Big Raddy says:

    Happy with that. Some resolve, cohesion and good fortune. Not much upfront but we had a couple of chances.

    Sad for JW, let’s hope it is nothing serious


  65. fatgingergooner says:

    I thought that was fantastic. Defensively we were very good. I gave Holding a lot of stick at the weekend but he was very good tonight and was excellent and composed on the ball. I suppose youngsters are prone to inconsistency but i also think he prefers to play in a 3 and with someone a bit more mobile than Mertersacker next to him.

    We had far more controlled possession than I thought we would and we worked very hard off the ball. I can live with us not clicking in attack every week aslong as we are solid defensively.

    Given ourselves a chance for a final. Hopefully Wilshere and Özil are back and we get to see some slick football.

    Chelsea really aren’t that good are they? We are missing loads of players and our form is not exactly great, yet we’ve easily held our own tonight and not looked any better or worse than them. Other than Cahill that was their first team. We had Cech, Monreal, Koscielny, Ramsey, Özil and Sanchez missing.

  66. Red Arnie says:

    cannot complain. all to play for! COYG. 🙂

  67. Red Arnie says:

    Yes, FGG, liked our defensive work. 🙂 There seems to be too much agreement with you. Oh dear! 🙂

  68. fatgingergooner says:

    Listening to Chambers makes me like him a little bit more. Seems a bit thick on the pitch but he sounds reasonably smart for a footballer. Played well tonight.

  69. fatgingergooner says:

    Wenger confirmed the Coquelin deal. Heard anything between £12-£22m. If it’s towards the higher end then that’s good business.

  70. chas says:

  71. chas says:

    Blocks and clearances

  72. mickydidit89 says:

    Great penguin pic

    As for the 6:56 rave thing, why do I suspect the evening was going to end with some inappropriate touching and unwanted pregnancies

  73. mickydidit89 says:

    Re the brexit ting, has something actually happened? Don’t read news anymore.

  74. Big Raddy says:

    Morning All,

    Marvellous penguin pic.

    6.56. Because they are Northerners?

  75. mickydidit89 says:


    Must dash

  76. fatgingergooner says:

    Didn’t realise Mavropanos was on the bench last night. Wenger saying he’s been so impressed by him since he arrived that he’s going to keep him in the squad rather than loan him out as first planned. That bodes well.

  77. RC78 says:

    – Next out is Walcott…and the destination is Everton…22 Mln

    – Sanchez could look for money and not trophies as advised by his agent so we might be able to keep him until the end of the season

    – AW still interested in Evans, Lemar, Mahrez and Fekir

  78. Eddie says:

    and what about Malcolm?

  79. RC78 says:

    And Ancelotti will replace AW at the end of the year if all goes well..He is an outstanding manager so he would be welcome at AFC.

    His favored set-up is the 4-3-2-1 or the 4-2-3-1 but he is also ok with a 4-4-2 or 4-4-1-1. He likes to play deeper than AW and more counter-attacking and direct football but relies on midfielders a lot to do the defensive work as well and likes to have a strong target man in the box. He is not so much a fan of having a playmaker.

    With our current squad, he would pbbly line up:

    Cech – Bellerin, Mustafi, Kos, Koli – Xhaka, ?, Wilshere – Ramsey, Sanchez – Wellbeck


    Cech – Bellerin, Mustafi, Kos, Koli – ?, Wilshere – Walcott, Ramsey, Sanchez – Wellbeck


    Cech – Bellerinn, Mustafi, Kos, Koli – Walcott, ?, Wilshere, Sanchez – Lacazette, Giroud

    Anyways – if we get Ancelotti, it s good news

  80. RC78 says:

    Guys – Malcom is not the finished product. There is high potential but he would not add much to our squad yet.

  81. RC78 says:


    Highly rated Pavon touted to join AFC as Sanchez may leave

  82. RC78 says:

    No clue about this Pavon

  83. Perry says:

    New Post (sort of)

  84. Big Raddy says:

    I doubt we will pay the money for Lemar.

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