Time to Stand Up and Be Counted, Arsenal

So, who’s feeling confident about tonight? Are you thinking that a win might be too much to ask for? Or a draw, especially with an away goal or two, something to celebrate wildly? Perhaps a narrow defeat leaving all to play for in the second leg?

Expectations in the classier side of North London are so low after our current run of form that it really is anybody’s guess as to the outcome. Which Arsenal side will turn up?

As for Milan, well they were covered in yesterday’s post. Their current run of form has coincided with an easier run of fixtures so, perhaps, exaggerates how well they are actually playing. One thing’s for sure, the Milanese packing the Giuseppe Meazza stadium this evening will be confident and fiercely partisan.

Team news

Without Bellerin and Monreal available, it is essential that Calum and The Beast play to the best of their abilities. Remember, we reached the CL Final in 2006 with a record-breaking back four of Flamini, Toure, Senderos and Eboue, so all things are possible. Up front Danny must make a real nuisance of himself – perhaps a goal in Milan will give him the boost in confidence he needs to burst out of his shell with fire and passion.

Discipline both in midfield and defence is a must. The referee will have to be strong to resist being swayed by the crowd at every half tackle and dive.


Team talk from Al Pacino and Winston Churchill 

“I don’t know what to say really. Three minutes to the biggest battle of our professional season all comes down to today. Either we heal as a team or we are going to crumble. Heal inch by inch, play by play till we’re finished. We are in hell right now, gentlemen, believe me and we can stay here and get the sh*t kicked out of us or we can fight our way back into the light. We can climb out of hell. One inch, at a time.

You know, when you get old in life, things get taken from you. That’s, that’s part of life. But, you only learn that when you start losing stuff. You find out that life is just a game of inches. So is football. Because in either game, life or football, the margin for error is so small. I mean one half step too late or too early you don’t quite make the tackle. One half second too slow or too fast and you don’t quite get a shot in. The inches we need are everywhere around us. They are in every break of the game every minute, every second.

I’ll tell you this, in any fight it is the guy who is willing to die who is going to win that inch. And I know if I am going to have any life anymore it is because, I am still willing to fight, and die for that inch because that is what LIVING is. The six inches in front of your face.

Now I can’t make you do it. You gotta look at the guy next to you. Look into his eyes.
Now I think you are going to see a guy who will go that inch with you. You are going to see a guy who will sacrifice himself for this team because he knows when it comes down to it, you are gonna do the same thing for him.

That’s a team, gentlemen and either we heal now, as a team, or we will die as individuals. That’s football guys. That’s all it is.
Now, whattaya gonna do?”

“We shall defend our Club, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the wings, we shall fight in the penalty areas, we shall fight in attack and in midfield, we shall fight the barbarian hordes of Milan; we shall never surrender.”



110 Responses to Time to Stand Up and Be Counted, Arsenal

  1. chas says:

    Google it. 🙂

  2. RC78 says:

    Let us play an even more solid team…

    Ospina – Chambers, BFG, Kos – Ramsey, El Neny, Wilshere, Koli Miky, Ozil – Wellbeck

    Yes I play Ramsey ont he right side for this game but he will be able to come in a lot

  3. RA says:

    Another good Post Chas, thank you.

    I do not use Twitter — do Twitter accounts get hacked a lot?

    Tonight’s game is a worry – I do not know what to expect – but even in a worse case scenario it helps that the ‘mighty’ Spuds lost last night.

    My Manc friends do not even think of being rude about Arsenal anymore — they do not say so, but I think among themselves they see us as on a par with Burnley/Stoke — infuriatingly — they are more concerned about the Spurs results.

  4. Rasp says:

    Great post, thanks chas.

    There is absolutely no point in any negative predictions before the game.

    All I ask is that on conclusion of the ninety minutes we can say we did the best we could …… we wanted it every bit as much as Milan …. everyone was strong, brave and gave their all.

  5. fatgingergooner says:

    Given current away form I think we will have a narrow defeat, but I will still be cheering the lads on and thinking positive thoughts going into the game. I would take 2-1 to Milan right now though and wipe the floor with them at the Emirates.

    Hopefully my prediction is wrong!

  6. Eddie says:

    no Bellerin or Monreal??!! oh ffs

  7. GoonerB says:

    Thanks Chas, you really are very good at these posts. Very much appreciated.

    Away from home with no Aubameyeng, Lacazette, Monreal, Bellerin, and with Xhaka not really providing much defensive cover in midfield anyway, I think I would plump for a 3-5-2 as follows:

    Chambers Mustaffi Koscielny
    AMN Jack Rambo Ozil Kolasinac
    Miki Welbeck

    In reality Ozil gets to play a bit in front of Jack and Rambo, (who you look to more control midfield and protect in this game), and Miki tucks in behind Welbeck to link up with Ozil. It plays to Koli’s strengths more as a wing back rather than FB and gets us pace down the right flank in AMN.

    Just looks more solid to me but still with the ability to nick a critical away goal or 2.

  8. RC78 says:

    GB agree but I think we can also consider El Neny

  9. GoonerB says:

    We could consider Elneny RC, although I think that Rambo and Jack are our 2 best B2B CM’s and I actually consider both Xhaka and Elneny B2B CM’s as well. Neither are what I would call a specialist HM.

    My view would be to play the 2 best B2B CM’s and hope they can work out the defensive protection between them. Your shout for Elneny isn’t a bad one though because although I think all our CM’s are a bit samey it could be argued that Elneny seems to be the happier sitting in a disciplined position a bit more, but who do you drop?

    I think you would probably revert to a back 4 RC, reading between the lines, with koli and Chambers as FB’s. I worry about them as FB’s and think Chambers looks best at the right side in a back 3 and Koli looks more natural wing back than FB, so more just playing to the strengths of what is available.

    Also I think as FB’s they will either be exposed defensively or offer little in attack down the flanks which you still retain with Koli and AMN as wing backs. That set up feels like we will invite Milan onto us and have an Alamo siege type of game where we don’t get any foothold of forward momentum in it. We need to be solid and disciplined but also carry a threat.

  10. GoonerB says:

    I compiled a post recently largely based on our CM area RC, but kept it to myself in the end. Not sure it is what people want anymore and we have some excellent post writers here.

  11. Rasp says:

    Hi GB, don’t be daft, go for it …

  12. RC78 says:

    Bring the post out GB 🙂

    I agree that we do not have any DM in our squad, certainly not AMN or Xhaka.

    Tonight – I think we can snatch a draw but I think we will lose. I expect us to score and Wellbeck will be the one to do so. I say 2-1 Milan

  13. mickydidit89 says:


    You make me feel guilty. Thank you very much for all your work on the blog. Very much appreciated.

    Ok, the game.

    I’m expecting a totally gutless and limp performance, with our side not having the first clue what they’re supposed to be doing and looking like eleven players who’ve just met for the first time.

    The resulting humiliation in score line is what I expect.

    I cannot imagine anything less bleak, so pretty much any other event is likely to leave me happy. I might just be ok tonight 🙂


    Read your comment from this am, and totally agree that Jack should be captain. In fact I fail to see how there could possibly be another option

  14. Eddie says:

    micky – you are worse than me 🙂
    thank God chas and co are a bit more optimistic.
    I will probably miss the game unless the grandchildren want to watch it, so I expect Peppa Pig to be very entertaining

  15. Eddie says:

    Susan Sarandon told BBC 5 that she discovered that her two male co-stars were getting paid the same as each other – and more than her.
    She said Newman stepped in and said: “Well I’ll give you part of mine.”
    what a guy, not only gorgous and great actor, but a generous decent human being. And those blue eyes

  16. Aaron says:

    Do not want to see Jack, Xhaka and Ramsey in the squad together- that is a death wish!
    Elneny and AMN in for me.
    Eddie, Welbs up top, figure out the rest.
    Just need to score1 away goal and not give up 3 or more and could be enough to go through.
    Team needs to STAND the F up today, or just walk home.

  17. Eddie says:

    sorry Aaron, I am not available for tonight

  18. Eddie says:

    European football writer James Horncastle has chronicled the contrasting recent fortunes of AC Milan for the BBC website and he says Gattuso “has shown he belongs at this level, proving the doubters wrong, just as he did as a player.”

    bullshit, typical media spin.

  19. chas says:

  20. chas says:

  21. chas says:


  22. chas says:

    BOOOOOM – death wish suicide. 🙂

  23. chas says:

  24. chas says:

  25. Aaron says:

    Chas, my question is who will play any D in the middle of the park?
    Eddie, we all know you are accounted for.

    Am hungry for some reason….

  26. chas says:

    Jermaine Penas and Martin Judas Keown – give me strength.

  27. chas says:

    If I knew that I’d be GoonerB. 🙂

  28. chas says:

    Arsene has just said in the pre-match interview, ‘Errrr, yes, tonight, errrr, we need to, errrr, show some, errrr, bollux’

  29. GoonerB says:

    All of them right Chas. AW must like your tactical outlook, you must explain more in your thinking 🙂

    Hope it is one of those games where everything goes right. Have question marks over the following:

    where do we get the pace and width from? Not from Chambers or Koli I think, and if they have to position themselves higher to give us that width then are we back to a back 2 on counter attacks.

    If the space behind the FB’s are exploited who is the main man that picks up the Milan midfield runners getting into the box for the ball coming from wide?

    Who supports the front man so he is not isolated? If it is Miki we lose his pace and width as an option wide. If Miki goes wide then who supports Welbeck?

    I feel we should be ok if Milan haven’t studied our games and are in a generous mood and don’t want to dwell on negatives right now. Taking on a positive mantra and hope it is one of those games where we bring it all together.


  30. chas says:

    I assumed all of our players were just going to stay in our own half.

  31. GoonerB says:

    Good tactics Chas 🙂

  32. VP of Oz says:


  33. Rasp says:

    FFS what was Ospina thinking of???

  34. chas says:

    Get the fuck in

  35. VP of Oz says:

    Goal! Milan 0, Arsenal 1. Henrikh Mkhitaryan (Arsenal) right footed shot from the left side of the box to the high centre of the goal. Assisted by Mesut Özil.

  36. Rasp says:

    Hahaaaaa …. take that Gatuso😂

  37. RA says:

    Just got in — and wow!!! 0:1 ??????

    Was it a good goal? [Not that it matters really!!] 😀

  38. GoonerB says:

    Was an excellent goal from miki who has looked our brightest player so far

  39. Rasp says:

    Good sports these Italians 😳

  40. RA says:

    Thanks, GB, a goal is a goal, I suppose, but it’s somehow better to brag about it to my Manc friends!! 😀

    As for your 11:52 a.m.– get your quill out – you write some well thought out stuff, and I would like to read it.

    [After the match — naturally!] 😀

  41. VP of Oz says:

    Paul Brown
    Paul Brown
    Mkhitaryan’s first goal for #afc was also their first shot on target in the game, and the first goal #ACMilan have conceded in seven games. Should bring some confidence back #ACMvAFC

  42. Rasp says:

    Masters of the dark arts these Milan players …. never miss a chance to flick a hand in the face blind side of the ref

  43. chas says:


  44. RA says:


    That could have been 0:4

  45. Rasp says:

    Bloody brilliant …. it could be 4 nil …. great performance so far

  46. fatgingergooner says:

    Well well well. We look a different side in the EL. What a shock! 🙄

    Very good half though. A clean sheet tonight and it’s nearly job done.

  47. GoonerB says:

    We are committing men forwards from midfield in support of the front man, something that we have done too infrequently this season, and we always look so much more the top team we can be when we do that.

  48. Eddie says:

    ha ha ha, excellent 🙂
    from the moment my granddaughter was born I was told in no uncertain terms the parents did not wish any ‘of that Arsenal nonsense’ around her. Funny though tonight when we scored and I jumped up shouting both grandchildren stopped watching Masha and the Bear and were jumping with me screaming ‘Goal!!!’ 🙂 🙂 Music to my ears 🙂

  49. mickydidit89 says:

    And what exactly was KO time???????

    Massive shitballs and 2-0!!!!

  50. RA says:

    I saw the 1st half of the Spuds game last night, GB, and they were putting 6 or 7 men into the penalty area, and looked very good, and tonight the Gunners are sometimes doing the same thing!!

    We have looked great since I got in 20 mins late — but ……. actually I am not going to bring down bad luck so I will say no more! 🙂

  51. RA says:

    I messed up the KO time too, Micky. But not as badly as thee, squire. 😀

  52. Eddie says:

    Trojan horse from mancunia.

  53. mickydidit89 says:

    Sad thing RA was that I was at home going through a slow pre-game warm up. Gentle stretching. Usual. Not busy or anything

  54. chas says:

    You are effing priceless.

  55. GoonerB says:

    Don’t like that with over 10 mins left. Inviting the siege.

  56. chas says:

    Blame it on the pre-match.
    You could have at least been warned it was a 6pm kick off.
    BR would have been talking about his casks of Chablis chilling in time for the early kick off.
    He’ll be back soon, surely.

  57. chas says:

    I’m so pleased I’m not your wife!

  58. chas says:

    I’m sure you are, too. 😊

  59. GoonerB says:

    Don’t really say stuff like that to her to be fair Chas. Doesnt really get the required results. If I’d known you had come here expecting me to seduce you i would have taken a different line 😋

  60. chas says:

    Hey Mrs GoonerB
    I just love it when you invite a siege.

  61. GoonerB says:

    Oh i see whst you mean. You like the kinky talk 😉

  62. fatgingergooner says:

    Fabulous performance. Effort, crisp passing, and fantastic game management (for the most part!) in that second half.

    Great result.

  63. mickydidit89 says:

    Why couldn’t I have forgotten the start time for the second half rather than first with the goals?

    Still, bloody fine result

  64. Rasp says:

    I got my wish for this game … can’t ask for any more …. superb performance

  65. chas says:

    Haha, my second favourite day of the season so far, only just behind beating the spuds at home.

  66. RA says:

    I always knew we would win!!!! 😀 😀

  67. RA says:

    God — Chas and GB – better than 50 Shades of whatnot!! 😀

  68. RA says:

    Oh, OK — I never really expected such a great game, or result — I was secretly hoping for a draw, at best, or a not too horrible result. 🙂

  69. mickydidit89 says:

    Now what? 🙂

    Will they be coming out for another 45 mins?

  70. Eddie says:

    it could be very exciting end of this season 🙂

  71. mickydidit89 says:


    I opted to play super safe. Anything other than an absolute walloppling 🙂

  72. Eddie says:

    write it down micky – next week’s kick off at 8pm. got it?

  73. Eddie says:

    oh yeah, Spurs supporters blame the ref for last night’s defeat . He was polish 🙂 my popularity in Cuffley hit all time low

  74. mickydidit89 says:

    Does that mean 2pm Eddie? 🙂

  75. mickydidit89 says:

    My evening is in tatters. Viola having an MOT. Football done. Dark

  76. Gööner In Exile says:

    Have the football stars finally realigned? Spuds out of Europe, 2-0 away win in the aSan Siro for the good guys.

    Everything starting to look a little rosier.

  77. fatgingergooner says:

    Behave Eddie,

    You won’t see a more blatant penalty than the one the ref didn’t give Juve last night! I don’t know how they can possibly blame the ref. They should be looking at Sanchez’ awful defending for the second goal

  78. chas says:

  79. chas says:


  80. chas says:

  81. chas says:

  82. VP of Oz says:

    what a great start to the morning
    that Ozil pass to Ramsey was brilliant

  83. chas says:

  84. chas says:

  85. chas says:

    More spuds. 😆

  86. fatgingergooner says:

    Why can’t Ramsey just stay fit and become the player he could be!? He’s sensational at times and has everything to become one of the worlds very best goalscoring midfielders!

    Sort your shit out Aaron, we need you!!!

  87. GunnerN5 says:

    Just tuning in – holy cow we supporters needed that!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Chas you are doing and incredible job on AA – the posts have never been better. Thank you for all you do.

  88. LB says:

    Obviously happy, but how on earth did they go 13 games unbeaten? They were awful. The worst and funniest thing they did was a shot from the right wing that went out for a throw in on the left wing, only Danny Welbeck was able to surpass that with his ridiculous air kick.

    AC wear black and red strips — Bournemouth are better tan them.
    Still makes a nice change to feel happy.

    More great stuff Chas.

  89. chas says:

  90. chas says:

  91. chas says:

    This reminds me of my old man at the sink.

  92. chas says:

  93. mickydidit89 says:

    Morning Chas

    I’ll do some feelings

    Got to be careful though, as my laptop is short on juice. I have a wobbly power connection

  94. Eddie says:

    the photos tell the whole story, great selection

    How nice is it without that gut feeling that something went wrong the night before?? I wouldn’t know
    but i am very happy we have a chance to get a trophy, something to look forward to for the next 2 months

  95. Eddie says:

    Ramsey’s goal was so cool, a beauty

  96. Eddie says:

    Gattuso looked fat and furious, perhaps he’ll bump off a couple of players before the return leg.
    At the end of the game a wop tried to get a pen, bletantly jumped up and rolled over, good job a ref was well prepared for such drama.

    I was thinking hard and cannot remember Arsenal playing Rangers, certainly not when Gattuso was in Scottland. Is it just the CL we could face Celtic or Rangers?

  97. Rasp says:

    Morning all. It is true that AC Milan were poor, but we got the basics right and were solid. Neither of our keepers give me great confidence but I think on recent form Ospina shades it.

    I know Ozil is a genius …. but maybe we should be thinking about building the team around Ramsey …. he’s the more ‘central’ influence on our play and has the ability to drive the whole team.

  98. mickydidit89 says:


  99. Eddie says:

    good idea Rasp. And then Ramsey gets injured again and…??

  100. GoonerB says:

    A wobbly power connection eh Micky? Shame our Chas doesn’t have something similar. Did you see him hitting on me last night?

    Morning all.

  101. chas says:

    Thanks Micky, I’l get on it.

    I’ll probably add some ratings to keep the googlers happy, if that’s ok.

  102. chas says:

    I was actually taking pity on your poor missus but if you want to see it as flirtation, I’m up for it. 🙂

    GoonerB says:
    March 8, 2018 at 7:43 pm
    Don’t like that with over 10 mins left. Inviting the siege.

    chas says:
    March 8, 2018 at 7:45 pm
    I’m so pleased I’m not your wife!

  103. Eddie says:

    chavs, real madrid, PSG and Arsenal are looking for new managers. This could be really good merry go round

  104. mickydidit89 says:

    I’m not aware that Arsenal are in the hunt, Eddie

  105. Eddie says:

    of course you are – I just told you.

  106. chas says:


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