World Cup Phase Two…and Jack

On the day we learn that Gunner Jack is to leave home, we enter Round 2 of the World Cup group  stages, where two time winning teams can book their passage to the knock out stages, while others can think about booking their passages home.
Today we have
1pm Portugal Morocco
4pm Uruguay Saudi
7pm Iran Spain
Tomorrow’s fixtures look altogether more tasty, which is good news for me, as I’m going to be busy.
Oh, and we’ve signed a Goal Keeper called Leno.
written by Micky Didit

90 Responses to World Cup Phase Two…and Jack

  1. Big Raddy says:

    Thank Micky. Could be a dull day in the WC with only the early game being really competitive

  2. Big Raddy says:

    Morning All,

    Huge day yesterday at the Emirates.

    Jack had to go, he had the chance over the last year to sign his contract and wouldn’t commit. He can hardly complain if the club took a strong stance.

    If you are a new manager at a club which has been under the control of the same man for over 20 years there is a need to sweep clean. Lehmann with his big personality and his 2004 history is the Old Arsenal. Emery, for good or bad, is the new.

    Leno: Excited. We need a new GK and if Cech stays he can be a very good sub and mentor. Ospina is sure to be sold.

  3. RC78 says:

    – Very sad to see Jack leave and I wish him the best and encourage him to go abroad. I think Monaco would suit him best but Milan or Juve or Inter would also be ok. With Jack leaving, do you think El Neny will stay?

    – Leno coming, Cech staying and Ospina leaving (Marseile is keen but as a back up so I can see him go to a mid-level team in Spain or a top 5 team in Portugal).

    – World Cup:
    -> Russia qualifying is not a surprise. The surprise would be if they finish 1st ahead of Uruguay.
    -> Glad to see an African team win a game, at last.
    -> Portugal will struggle ; Uruguay and Spain shall sail through

    – Martial is available but too expensive, shame he is quality.

  4. Big Raddy says:

    RC. Agree, would love to see Martial sign for us but way beyond our budget.

  5. RC78 says:

    Lucas Torreira to be announced shortly. He is a CM, not a DM by the way but you can compare him to players like Kante or Naingollan or Verratti.

    I think that there is one more player coming in the midfield but a true DM/HM: Nzonzi may be targeted but I would be well happy with Gueye from Everton.

    I wonder how we will set up now…Imagine we move to a 3-4-3

    Mustafi – Sokratis – Monreal
    Bellerin, Xhaka, Torreira, Koli
    Ramsey, Auba, Ozil

  6. Eddie says:

    some gunners are already furious about Jack’s departure. According to them the midfielder that we singed is not half as good as Wilshere. Not sure whom they mean but I think they say Lichsteiner or something, RC will know

  7. RC78 says:

    Eddie – it is Lucas Torreira. He is a big prospect, a player like Kante or Verratti or Naingollan. Gets the ball back and has a good first pass. He is different than Wilshere as he will not run with the ball as much BUT he is much better at getting the ball back and his first pass is key. He will fit in the high press game better than Jack but I am sad to see Jack leave as I believe he is now almost back to the player he was before injuries…

  8. Eddie says:

    merci RC

  9. RC78 says:

    Emery keen on Banega or Nzonzi
    Emery keen on adding 1 winger – Minslat looking at Forsberg especially but price tag may be too much so G. Martins would be the back-up option. 2 players that Arsenal could snatch from PSG are Guedes and Draxler. Both around 40 Mln EUR.

  10. GunnerN5 says:

    Oh dear it makes me sad to hear that Jack is moving on, I just hope that he can secure a good contract and play injury free for a few years. Based on his ability he should be in our WC squad but I guess Southgate must have been nervous about his injury record.

    It’s like losing one of the family, but we move on ………..and hopefully it’s upwards.

  11. GunnerN5 says:

    Nice to see we have signed a new goalkeeper. Brend Leno is 6′.2236″ tall – so not a bad height, let’s hope he has the right skill level, and at 26 years old he has many seasons ahead of him.

  12. GunnerN5 says:

    We may get a chance to observe Torreira later today when Uruguay play Saudi Arabia.

  13. Eddie says:

    is Torreira an Arab?

  14. RC78 says:


  15. RC78 says:

    Clearly the team is going to be more aggressive under Emery. Minslat is finding good value for money players – so far so good.
    Bould stays as Assistant Coach by the way

  16. RC78 says:

    Gelson Martins coming on

  17. Big Raddy says:

    Martins did nothing. Carvalho simply not AFC standard – too slow and cumbersome.

    Looking forward to watching Terreira.

    Bould will last a season unless our defence improves radically.

  18. RC78 says:

    I agree on Martins and Carvalho, hence my preferred options of Forsberg, Guedes, Draxler for the wings and
    Gueye/Nzonzi/Banega as DM

  19. RC78 says:

    Torreira is on – enjoy 🙂

  20. Gööner In Exile says:

    Raddy according to reports (or even Jacks isn’t comment I can’t remember where I saw it) Jack had already agreed terms on a reduced pay contract, but was waiting til seasons end to sign and understanding of future plans. Think he knew something was coming before Wengers announcement.

    Like RC I would like to see him move overseas where he would get more protection and potentially less games, as GN5 says he should be in the WC squad, on Friday we were devoid of anyone he could play a short pass in and around the 18 yard box to open a hole. Alli, Lingaard are built for PL where less focus on close control more speed and bluster.

  21. fred1266 says:

    Isn’t this the guy who came on as a sub in the Uruguay game

  22. Big Raddy says:

    Watching Iran is like watching Stoke at the Emirates

  23. Big Raddy says:

    VAR is complete bolleaux

  24. chas says:

    Not disrespectful at all, Mickster, the lad got a mention – what else could he have wanted?

  25. chas says:

    The Polish girl in Bargain Booze wasn’t happy about the Senegal result.
    Carp was definitely off the menu.

  26. chas says:

    I’m really pleased that the proposed ‘Upskirting’ legislation will also protect men in kilts.
    ffs, blokes that wear f all underneath their kilts are desperate to get the whole lot out and have pictures taken. 🙂

  27. Eddie says:

    Senegal game was terrible, crap not carp.
    What is Bargain Booze, buy a home made bottle of whiskey for a pound? or vodka for 50p

    Kilts and no knickers are the weirdest thing on this planet. They were elaborate outfit with socks, laced up boots, straps, buttons, hell knows what else and bare arse. Why? I think you are right they are desperate to get the whole lot out

  28. Eddie says:

    Iran v Spain made my blood boil. I have to admit that Persians are the only nation I genuinely hate. I met many of them and have good reasons to feel that way.
    And last night game made me hate them even more – fucking cheats, divers should be kicked out from the stadium. Their goalkeeper trying to get Costa sent off was beyond criticism – clown. I don’t like Costa, but he should have punched that twat to the ground, that would be worth sending off.

    Otherwise rubbish game, glad spain won,

  29. mickydidit89 says:

    Crikey Eddie, so it’s Iran that tops your hate list. They must have done some seriously bad shit to top that comprehensive list 🙂 🙂

  30. Eddie says:

    they did, truly horrible people with a huge chip on the shoulder, inflated egos, all of them were allegedly millionaires back in their country, sexist men and women dripping with paint. Liars and racists, to be avoided, trust me

    they go nuts if you call them Arabs, I always do 🙂

  31. Eddie says:

    Becks predicted Argentina v England final. The audience laughed laudly

  32. mickydidit89 says:

    Missed all games yesterday and by the sound of things I had a healthy wc day off

    Much better looking fixtures today, with Denmark Aus, France Peru and Argentina Croatia

    Happily we’re only on 32 comments so no clean sheets required

  33. mickydidit89 says:

    I take it you’re referring to the losers of the Iranian Revolution, and I guess they would be a little upset. Bit like the aristos post 1789 French Revolution blubbing about not being able to have peasant slaves and enormous lunches anymore 🙂

  34. mickydidit89 says:

    Blimey, if Croatia win, Argentina are in deep trouble, if France and Denmark also win

  35. mickydidit89 says:

    Make that, if Croatia win and either Denmark or France win, Argentina will definitely be going home

  36. mickydidit89 says:

    BLOODY IDIOT DIDIT, I’ve confused Groups C and D. Sorry.

  37. Eddie says:

    don’t worry micky, nobody read it 🙂
    only I and i wouldn’t know group c from d

  38. RC78 says:

    – Argentina – Croatia = best game and I can see a draw or a Croatia win

    – France – Peru = France may just edge it out but I can also see a stupid 1-1 draw

    – Denmark – Australia = Denmark will beat Australia

    Do you think Ramadan impeded on Arab countries’ preparation?

  39. mickydidit89 says:

    ha ha I’m so so happy no-one reads my comments 🙂 🙂

  40. RC78 says:

    Torreira played OK last night by the way.
    30 mins outing – 3 interception, 1 block, 1 clearance, 1 shot, 1 key pass

    Showed some drive to get the ball back and some decent positional awareness moving forward but needs to show more himself through better passing and cleaner ball recovery

  41. mickydidit89 says:


    Are you saying Jack is better than Torreira? 🙂

  42. RC78 says:

    micky – Jack has a better quality of pass but Torreira is better at pressing and getting the ball back.

  43. mickydidit89 says:

    Ok, so midfielders get the ball back and give it to the good footballers like Mhiki, Mesut and Auba to do the serious business 🙂

  44. RC78 says:

    Micky – L. Torreira is exactly that type of player. Gets the ball back and harrasses to get it back. We need that type of player – you know the pitbull/barker. If Banega joins too, we are in for a treat in midfield…

  45. RC78 says:

    What L. Torreira needs is to improve his long range shooting and he needs to improve his Key Passes (basically, improving breaking lines through passes)

  46. mickydidit89 says:

    Blimey, best go and google Benega

  47. mickydidit89 says:

    Holy smokes

    Wiki: Éver Maximiliano David Banega (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈeβeɾ βaˈneɣa];[a] born 29 June 1988) is an Argentine professional footballer who plays for Spanish club Sevilla FC and the Argentina national team as a central midfielder.
    After joining Sevilla in 2014, he conquered consecutive Europa League trophies.

    With a name like that and the fact that he conquers trophies, we MUST sign him up forthwith

  48. RC78 says:

    I like Banega – he is an improved version of Xhaka and he can play DM and CM and even AM but all in the center. He is a bit slow though and has a tendency for fouling opponents

  49. mickydidit89 says:


  50. VP of Oz says:

    being of croatian heritage and born in Australia, Micky, I read your comment then your follow up comment and then thought, best I stick to reading RC78 comments from now on
    Eddie, priceless

  51. VP of Oz says:

    Love the NZ politics, they’ve got it together…
    The New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Arden thanks well-wishers and the “wonderful team at Auckland City Hospital” after giving birth to a baby girl.

  52. GunnerN5 says:

    VAR was correct in giving a penalty for Australia. I’m happy that football has finally arrived in the modern era and started to use technology to good effect.

  53. LBG says:

    GN5- Where on earth is the intention?

  54. Big Raddy says:

    GN5. Correct????

    How on earth was Poulsen meant to evade the ball? It was a dreadful decision, simply dreadful. As was the decision not to award a pen when Cornelius was hauled to the ground in the second half.

    VAR is a joke and thank goodness it will not be used in the PL for the time being.

  55. Big Raddy says:

    Now to see France draw (cross fingers)

  56. RC78 says:

    BR – I think you may be right but I am hoping you are wrong

  57. GunnerN5 says:

    I was wrong based on FIFA’s definition is was not a penalty. I assumed that if the ball struck the arm when it was in an unnatural position (which it did) then it was a penalty.

    Here is FIFA’s definition.


    A handball occurs if any player, other than the team’s goalkeeper within his own penalty area, deliberately handles the ball when in play. A ball can be handled with any part of the arm, from the tips of a player’s fingers right up to the shoulder.


    A handball should result in a yellow card caution if a player handles the ball for the purpose of deliberately preventing an opponent from getting possession of the ball. The resulting restart to play should be a direct free kick from the spot at which the infringement was committed for the non-offending side. If this occurs inside the penalty area, a penalty should be awarded.
    Sending Off Offense

    A handball becomes a sending off offense when a player is judged to have handled the ball to prevent a direct scoring opportunity such as a shot on an empty goal, or to have prevented a move that might have resulted in a direct scoring opportunity such as a breakaway. The infringing player should be given a straight red card and a direct free kick taken from the spot of the infringement. If this occurs inside the penalty area, a penalty should be awarded.

    Not Awardable

    A handball should not be awarded if a player is ruled to have handled the ball accidentally. This refers to a player either attempting to protect himself from injury, for example by placing the hands in front of the face and then being hit by the ball, or a player being hit on the arm by the ball without moving towards the ball and without being able to move out of the way. An example might be a snap shot hitting the arm of a defender at point-blank range. However, if a player’s arm is in an unnatural position, for example outstretched or above their head, then a foul should be awarded whether accidental or not.

  58. Big Raddy says:

    Superb French defence, which is not what I expected!

  59. chas says:

  60. mickydidit89 says:

    ha ha ha, it’s not often my feelings sit comfortably with English fans, but they got that spot on 🙂

  61. Big Raddy says:

    Some superb diving in the late game.

  62. Eddie says:

    two of my most favourite nations, not sure whom I am supporting.. Great game

  63. Eddie says:

    croatia it is. Argies are cheating

  64. Big Raddy says:

    Argies cheat? Surely not?

  65. LBG says:

    How is it possible to jump athletically to head/challenge for a ball that is in the air, without using your arms to get height and without them ending above your head and usually spread apart ( for balance as in action and reaction)?

  66. mickydidit89 says:

    Use springs, LBG…durrr 🙂

    Right, how’s the game? Is the Arsenal target playing?

  67. Eddie says:

    who, Messi? Of course he is playing

  68. mickydidit89 says:

    Massive clanger, superb finish

  69. LBG says:

    A goalkeeper’s graveyard in the last two months – Liverpool, Spain, Poland, Argentina….who’d be a GK …….eh Exile?

  70. GunnerN5 says:

    LBG, Why are you flogging a dead horse, I’ve already said I got it wrong!!

  71. chas says:

  72. Big Raddy says:

    Like a game with a bit of needle.

    Come on Croatia (that’ll be the kiss of death)

  73. Big Raddy says:

    RC told us …

  74. Eddie says:

    if modric was a couple of inches taller he’d be a giant

  75. mickydidit89 says:

    Wow. Reckon the Argie goalie will pay the ultimate price…. the vegetarian option for supper tonight 🙂

  76. Eddie says:

    goalie? and what about the pathetic coach?

    apparently it was 3rd goalie, top two were injured. But it was the whole team that failed

  77. chas says:

  78. VP of Oz says:

    As much as you can say Willy screwed up, Rebic goal was superb.
    Modric goal was brilliant and Rakitic goal so sweet.

    3:0 against Argentina, it was not Tunisia but I’ll take the win anyway.

  79. mickydidit89 says:


    Chas, Can we stick an up to date wall chart up instead of a post, as it’s getting pretty tense in some groups and people like me can’t remember who’s where

    Also, unless it’s a smart interactive chart, we simply copy it each day so it’s up to date.

    If you game on I’ll go look for a colourful one

  80. mickydidit89 says:


    Willy screwed it up 🙂

    (but..I can see Croatia as finalists)

  81. chas says:

    next 10 minutes and I’ll do it

  82. mickydidit89 says:

    Revise that. If Croatia and Spain win their groups and round16 games, they meet in quarters. Yikes

  83. mickydidit89 says:

    can’t find an interactive one, or even one that’s filled in to date
    are we allowed to print one with Daily Mail plastered all over it. At least it has all dates and fixtures with trackable paths to knockout stages

  84. mickydidit89 says:

    An Avenger. Why not?

  85. Eddie says:

    becks predicted argentina v england finals.

    VP – have you ever been to Croatia?

  86. Eddie says:

    bad news for the Travelling Vines:

    supplies of Heineken’s John Smith’s Extra Smooth and Amstel kegs have been hit by an industry-wide shortage of carbon dioxide.

    The CO₂ shortfall is leaving beer and soft drinks makers high and dry just as the World Cup and barbecue season get under way.

    Seasonal manufacturing shutdowns have left the UK with only one big plant producing CO₂.

  87. chas says:

    NEW POST 🙂

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