Free Falling

Before I lay into Stoke can I bring your attention to a peculiar decision by another relegation threatened side? Southampton. I like the Saints; proper club, good history,  some wonderful ex-players (Le Tis, Channon, Shearer, Theo, Ox, Lallana, Monkey-Boy Bale etc etc) and generally well run. But who in their right mind looks at the league table and then appoints a manager who has taken a relegation rival into the mire? S’ton deserve to be relegated for making the deeply repugnant Hughes their manager.

But more deserving of the Drop of Shame are today’s opponents. A bigger shower of shite does not exist outside of Tottenham.


Pulis, Hughes, Lambert – has there ever been a worse trio of anti-football coaches in any club’s history? Apparently, Hughes wanted to improve the standard of football played by The Orcs which resulted in his sacking. Says it all.

Horrible club, horrible fans, horrible city and horrible football team.

And then there are their players. Huth, Shawcross, Adam, Ireland. Thugs. It must be said that intermingled with these hatchet men are some quality players, Shaqiri, Affelay, Zouma, Bruno Martins and Butland (why didn’t we sign him?).

Tactics? Crouch.

It is no surprise that in a league where the skill levels have risen over the past few seasons that Stoke’s reliance on fighting football has resulted in possible relegation. Stole’s main hope for salvation will be that there are some equally poor teams around them.

We, however, are on a run :-). Unbeaten in 3. 8 goals scored, one against.


Does Mr Wenger rest players ahead of the Europa game on Thursday? Is it more important for the players to be amtch fit and confident, assuming we win and no-one gets hurt, or give Ozil, Ramsey etc more rest?

I would play our strongest team but rest Koscielny, giving both Wilshire and Lacazette 30 minutes as sub.

My Team:


Chambers    Mustafi    Monreal

Bellerin    Ramsey    Xhaka    Kolasinac

Ozil  Miki


Perhaps Iwobi for Kolasinac but I think we need some muscle in midfield and Alex played for Nigeria in the Interlull. PEA will be looking to add to his already decent scoring record.

We got stuffed by a referee at Stoke, Lacazette was not offside and perhaps his season and ours would have panned out very differently if that goal had stood.

Just 2 points ahead of Burnley in 7th (really hurts to write that!). A win is important.

Let it be So



83 Responses to Free Falling

  1. Rasp says:

    Superb Raddy, thanks. Sparky may be setting a new record …. getting two EPL teams relegated in the same season …. let’s hope so.

    I am usually optimistic before games, and today more so than ever. Guardiola has it right, play your strongest team for every game in the important competitions. We should do the same.

    I agree we should rest Kosser. We need to try to nurture him through the rest of thre season and then erect a statue of him on the concourse because he has literally put his body on the line for us for years and now he is all but shot … he never complains, you never read anything bad about him, a model professional and 100% loyal to the shirt.

  2. Gööner In Exile says:

  3. RA says:

    A good Post highlighting the fact that their managers often define a club’s culture, and never has that been proved more than the malignant influence of the now departed Hughes on Stoke.

    Crouch seems to have done rather well against us, as he is tall and with our penchant for ‘smaller’ defenders for some years now, crossed balls (ooh that hurts Mrs) into the penalty area frequently causes us problems, as our guys need chairs to get up to them.

    It seems like months since we last saw the gunners playing, so up and at ’em, and today let’s start to finish (??) the season in style!

  4. RA says:

    Hiya, GIE,

    I cannot believe how quickly young George has grown. Won’t be long until he towers above his dad. 😀

    I hope you both enjoy the day — reminds me of those long ago days when I used to go with my dad at about the same age (with the odd diversion via the pub, when I had to send in messages to my father, by way of any sympathetic looking lady – “come on dad, we are going to be late}. We never were.

  5. Big Raddy says:

    Late start for A & D?

  6. Gööner In Exile says:

    Onto sandwiches now G is lining his stomach 🙂

    Thankfully they let kids in pubs now 🙂

    And yes RAgrowing Up way too fast!

  7. Ant says:

    We’ve got train wi fi problems

  8. Ant says:

    But plenty of alcohol to keep us distracted

  9. Ant says:

    I looked like George at that age, oh dear sorry GIE

  10. Omar. Khadine says:

    Get real and be positive. IfS & Buts don’t change what is only what could have been. Regardless of “bad decisions” Arsenal should be in 2nd place ; look at the diabolical 2nd rate play the boys expended on the field. The “Virus” is “Wenger” and should have been “Surgically Extricated” and displaced with “dignity” after winning the FA Cup!

    New Young International Manager appointed with a New Coaching team and the defence strengthened with 2x 6.4+ top CBs, a top defensive MF and a Top GK and AFC will be back fighting for EPL honours and in Europe.

    Football Is such a “simple & Easy” game, anyone with an average brain, athletic & fit can be trained to play like Messi,Ronaldo and Ronaldinho etc.with correct Coaching ,Practice , Training having gone through DVDs of past games, mistakes pin pointed and corrections grilled and formations drilled in practice everyday until it becomes automated.Imprinting the “Blueprint”, Muscle Memory & Bingo! The Boys will Not be passing back/ sideways, when clear forward to front of feet is available only if the knew some one should be moving to those positions and quick head up and will notice !
    They will learn to use Feet like Paint Brushes and make accurate passes like DeBroyne !

    Steve Bould “Arsenal can still finish in top 4” ! With an Arse Hole Idiot like that Coaching the Defence; lost 10 from 30 games, 13 points behind 4th placed Spurs, with 7 games left ! Wenger employs “Arse Holes” so he can look better!

    The Buck stops with “the board” & Kroenke for complacency and lack of foresight regards AFC. “Wenger” is the “Virus”.

    Omar. K

  11. Ant says:

    George is a lucky charm..please!

  12. Ant says:

    Thanks Omar for your positivity

  13. Ant says:

    Have you tried rebooting your pic to rid of that virus?

  14. chas says:

    Train WiFi still not working.
    Finally on via Ant’s phone as an internet hub. hooray.

  15. chas says:

  16. Ant says:

  17. chas says:

    Xcellent pre match, BR.

    The tension is building and you’ve raised it several notches.
    LB will be quivering taking off his Lycra.
    I’m so nervous I’ll have to go to the toilet again. 🤡

  18. Ant says:

    That tea is a diuretic

  19. Ant says:

    I am soooo excited for today.. due to BR’s pre match..ta

  20. Ant says:

    I love water

  21. Big Raddy says:

    Quality from Omar. Not going to check but I expect it is on every AFC blog.

    “Football Is such a “simple & Easy” game, anyone with an average brain, athletic & fit can be trained to play like Messi,Ronaldo and Ronaldinho etc.with correct Coaching ,Practice , Training having gone through DVDs of past games, mistakes pin pointed and corrections grilled and formations drilled in practice everyday until it becomes automated.Imprinting the “Blueprint”

    What a load of utter nonsense.

  22. Big Raddy says:

    Bloody hell. Tea? Water?

    Is it a hormonal problem?

  23. Big Raddy says:

    Maestro of what?

  24. Gööner In Exile says:

    At least we have sugar laden snacks!!!

  25. Big Raddy’s back.
    Been working on a mushoom farm BR?
    Kolasinac in midfield to add muscle.
    … erm …
    I’ll believe it when I see it.

    Omar K was on the same farm as BR.

  26. LB says:

    I am going to stick my neck out here and venture a guess that you do not like Stoke very much BR, call it a hunch, call it a sixth sense, I don’t know what it is but I feel I am right about this one.
    BR — Stoke, I just don’t feel the love.

    Ahhhhhhhhhhh, I can’t bear the excitement, I suppose I should think about leaving, hmmmmm, nah, maybe another cup of tea.

  27. VP of Oz says:

    Finally an April fools joke on this site, thanks Omar

  28. GunnerN5 says:

    Morning all, Thanks Raddy now I’m all Stoked up for the game.

    Who would have guessed that the Exile’s travelogue would have the effect of turning the Vine’s into tea teetotalers?

    There’s nothing quite like the excitement of your first live game, I hope young George gets top see an Arsenal win. My memories of my first game are so vivid it could have been yesterday and not 71 years ago.

  29. mickydidit89 says:

    Team to play Stoke: Ospina, Bellerin, Mustafi, Chambers, Monreal, Ramsey, Elneny, Wilshere, Ozil, Aubameyang, Welbeck

    Subs: Macey, Koscielny, Mkhitaryan, Lacazette, Iwobi, Xhaka, Kolasinac

  30. mickydidit89 says:

    “Before I lay into Stoke….”

    Great opening to a great post. Thanks Erik

    Yip, me too shcoked to read Saints have gone for Sparky.

    Looks like 4-2-3-1 or something

  31. Big Raddy says:

    Captain Jack

  32. Big Raddy says:

    12 minutes of absolute tatt. Poor old Georgie, I hope things improve

  33. mickydidit89 says:

    Is it nearly over yet 🙄

  34. fatgingergooner says:

    Boring boring Arsenal.

    Slow, sloppy, predictable and really dull.

    Put some youngsters on or something because this stinks.

  35. Big Raddy says:

    Rare to see such a dull half … thankfully.

    Wenger must be questioning why he has given a contract extension to Elneny who has been at the very heart of our awfulness.

    Our passing has been terrible. Apart from not finding a man in red, we have continually played the ball sideways or backwards. What chance has a speedster like PEA got when no-one tries to give him a pass to run onto?

    Only Ramsey (as always) is getting into the box. Thank goodness Mustafi is excellent at last ditch tackles or we could be losing.

    Massive improvement needed in the second half and bring on Miki ASAP

  36. fatgingergooner says:

    Just noticed we don’t have any youngsters! Play 2 up front and bring Welbeck off.

    Bellerin is average. There I’ve said it. I’d take £50m all day for him. He’s quick and that’s about it.

  37. Big Raddy says:

    FGG. We disagree about Bellerin..

    IMO we must base the team around Ramsey, Mustafi, Chambers, Bellerin, Ozil and PEA. The rest are the supporting cast and replaceable.

    There I’ve said it (though heavily under the influence of a 14% Italian red)

  38. Big Raddy says:

    BTW Have you noticed how GIE is going a bit Giroud or, given his age, Cantona?

  39. LB says:

    Not a 45 for the purists.

  40. mickydidit89 says:

    Shall we put The Dam Busters on or Sink The Bismarck?

  41. fred1266 says:

    So sorry for those at the game

  42. Big Raddy says:

    Dambusters has better music but Bismarck is the better film

  43. Big Raddy says:

    Beautifully taken, we finally have an expert penalty taker

  44. Big Raddy says:

    Lovely finish. I like the cut of PEA”s jib

  45. mickydidit89 says:

    If for no other reason it helps send stoke down then even the first half will have been worthwhile

  46. Big Raddy says:

    We have two excellent penalty takers 😄

  47. fatgingergooner says:

    Good to see Lacazette showing his quality. We looked far better with both him and Auba on the same pitch.

  48. fred1266 says:

    Glad aubameyang gave him it

  49. fred1266 says:

    Wow those commentators are outrageous they kept going on about the penalty

    Where was all the outcry when we was given dumb penalties against us

  50. fred1266 says:

    My only concern with aubameyang is he needs to stop missing those 1v1s

  51. GunnerN5 says:

    Simple really – all’s well that ends well.

  52. Gööner In Exile says:

    Right it was a terrible game but everything in the world is perfect. Honestly nearly had a tear in my eye leaving the ground.

  53. Gööner In Exile says:

  54. Gööner In Exile says:

  55. Gööner In Exile says:

    If you can click on the link of the tweet at 4;07 look at how G is holding court (chip off the old block).

    But a big thank you to Chas, Ant, Peaches, Rasp and Irish Gunner who made George so welcome in the pub.

    When we phoned my Dad post match one of the first things he said about the day after the “we won 3-0”, was “and we met all Daddies Gooner mates in the pub!”

  56. mickydidit89 says:

    So glad G enjoyed it Exile

    What did he think of Ants?

  57. chas says:

    He thought Ants was a god

  58. mickydidit89 says:

    Certainly appears to have picked up the Ants habit of straw with the cider

  59. Ant says:

    George is our lucky,funny,laughing, smiling,belllowing, mascot charmer

  60. chas says:

    How did Mrs DidIt like her giant Easter bunny this morning?

  61. Ant says:

    He only had 3 pints of cider so needs more training

  62. Ant says:

    Is that a euphemism Chas?

  63. Ant says:

    We’re virgins on the way back.

  64. chas says:

    Water on the the way back as well…. what a good influence you are.

  65. Ant says:

    I’ve had a sauna as well nothing to do with the water

  66. Ant says:

    Lovely to see the AA team today

  67. Ant says:

    I might have a drink when I get home.

  68. Gööner In Exile says:

    Ive. Today seen Ants pour cider (I think) into Guinness…. G was impressed.

    G loved The Vines, especially them sticking their tongues out at him on way to ground.

    Not sure who was better behaved!

  69. Ant says:

    What a great game .. worst 3-0 ever

  70. Ant says:

    Black and Tan GIE..delicious drink when imbibing but I have been on tea and water all day as the photos prove

  71. Ant says:

    George was impeccably behaved…

  72. Ant says:

    I wasn’t

  73. Big Raddy says:

    Sounds like a bit of a love-in. Very 60’s.

  74. Gööner In Exile says:

    Ha ha Raddy well Stokes football was definitely 60’s, they deserve to go down for having the cheek to have a kit that so closely resembles my favourite England kit and tracksuits that look like those worn by Alf Ramsey when England Manager. I mean where do they get off, or did the designers think “heartland of Brexit will buy this sh*t by the bucketload”

  75. GunnerN5 says:

    Thank you to the Exiles & Vines for including us in your day at Arsenal. It reminds me of so many days in my life. I hope you all love the Arsenal for as long as I have.

  76. GunnerN5 says:

    Raddy we had 3 different Australian Shiraz’s with our roast Turkey dinner. Jip Jip Rocks 2016, Mitolo Jester 2015 & Lindemans Bin 50. 2015. The Jester is one of my favourites.


  77. Big Raddy says:

    I have tried the Lindemans but cannot remember which Bin! I remain hooked on Italian and Spanish reds.

    GIE. I agree, how dare they? Stoke insult the classic shirt and tracksuit. A massive fine and expulsion is the least they deserve.

  78. Big Raddy says:

    Morning All,

    Easter Sunday hangover? No-one want to talk about the game?

  79. VP of Oz says:

    Aubameyang stats are looking very good with 6 games and 5 goals

  80. Big Raddy says:

    There is a New Post

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