A Friday Pre-match

Friday night kick off. Reminds me of 26/5/89. A similar result would be lovely.

OGS has walked into a perfect situation, any team relieved from the yoke of Merino-dom is certain to play better, especially one which contains so many highly-priced egoists. Dropping Pogba and Martial in order to inspire them was never going to work.

Will we see the blood and thunder of previous MU cup ties? I hope so but very much doubt it. Gone are the days when Arsenal had players who would “get stuck in” though we are better than under Mr. Wenger in the art of sh*thousery, Sokratis, in particular, is Lauren-esque in his attitude. As always, we will need a strong , unbiased, efficient referee


I expect Mr. Emery to start with his strongest team because this is an important game for him. Having beaten a poor Chelsea team Arsenal will want to cement the growing confidence in the squad. After beating Spurs we lost our mojo, we do not want a repeat

Will Mr Emery continue with the midfield diamond which worked so effectively last weekend? MU have so much pace upfront, it would seem the best tactic but perhaps he will revert to a Back 3 given the injury to Hector.

The Corporal, AMN or Licht at right back? My choice would be AMN simply because of the pace on MU’s flanks; Martial, Rashford,  Ratface Lingard and the Dog Fancier.

Sanchez is an odd case – I expect him to get a frosty reception but why should he? He scored some wonderful goals for us and for a season or two carried the team, why the hostility? It is not as if Sanchez was a Gooner; he was just a hired hand who left to get more money. I don’t blame him. €400k a week is quite an incentive to leave the Arsenal.

Winning the F.A. Cup is part of the Arsenal tradition, it remains high on our priority list. United are our rivals for a CL place and our long-term rivals in terms of glory. We need to beat them.

Let it be So



87 Responses to A Friday Pre-match

  1. LB says:

    Thanks BR, top read.

    If Mustafi is fit I think we could see him at RB, that would still work well with the diamond. Lichtsteiner would be my second choice; I think we need experience to deal with the Dog Fancier more than the pace AM-N offers.

    I also think we could also get a shock and see Ozil in for Ramsey.

    Should be interesting.


  2. chas says:

    Thanks, BR.

    I’m looking forward to it in my normal, anxious way.

    As far as booing Sanchez goes, I always think it’s far better to ignore him as if he’s just another MU player which, after all, is exactly what he is.

    Burns night tonight so I’ve bought a single malt and vegetarian haggis to have with some mashed neeps and tatties. Should be well oiled by 7.55pm. Might write a match report now (Kelsey-style) while I still can!

  3. GunnerN5 says:

    Thanks Raddy,

    I would prefer AMN at RB but I also like the Corporal.

    We need to win tonight to follow up on the Chelsea win – I can’t remember the last time we had back to back wins against two top 6 teams.

    Chas you made a good choice getting single malt it will certainly oil you up – but I’m not sure about veggie haggis.

  4. chas says:

    I thought the rancid bit about haggis was the dodgy meat, so I’m 100% convinced I’ve made the right choice.
    Unless, of course, you include not buying haggis at all. 😊

  5. RC78 says:

    I think we are going to play with 3 at the back and I think we should rest Kos so I would play: Mustafi, Sok, Monreal

    As my wingbacks, I go for AMN and Kola

    In the middle of the park, we need movement and grit so I put Ramsey, Torreira, Guendouzi

    Up front, I trust Laca and Auba to cause some issues.

    This game is for AMN to show how good he is and for Torreira to cement his place as our midfield warrior: 3-5-2

    Leno – Mustafi, Sok, Monreal – AMN, Ramsey, Torreira, Guendouzi, Kola – Laca, Auba

    We need to block Martial, Rashford, Sanchez (if he plays) and Pogba.

    I think Laca will cause all sorts of issues to Man Utd Defense and that will free up Auba. Otherwise, I think that Auba’s worst nightmare is called Bailly so somehow Laca should keep Bailly busy while Auba terrorizes the rest of the defense.

  6. chas says:

  7. RC78 says:


  8. GunnerN5 says:

    Chas, I’ve never tried haggis but I’m not a veggie lover, but who cares when you can wash it down with single malt?

  9. LBG says:

    Ants and I will toast all AAers, haggis eaters or otherwise, at the match tonight, with a few ciders and 5* Cognac as our tipple.
    May the great spirit of Robbie pervade us all, and for the haggis eaters remember,
    “Fair far your honest sonsie face,
    Great chieftain o’ the puddin’ – race!
    Aboon them a’ ye tak your place,
    Painch, tripe, or thairm:
    Weel are ye wordy o’ a grace
    As lang’s my arm.
    (To a haggis)
    (Translation – “Come on you Gunners”)

  10. LB says:

    A glass of Rioja and the job’s a good un………..

  11. fred1266 says:

    hey everyone can someone tell me what would be the easiest way to get tickets for today’s game

  12. Big Raddy says:

    Fred. Try prayer or a tout

  13. LBG says:

    Hey Fred
    Being in the Country might help!

  14. fred1266 says:

    What a tout BR ? A scalper?

    The guys who does be at the games selling tickets?

  15. fred1266 says:

    LBG it not for me my work colleague travel for and he realised that MNU was playing so he was asking me how to get tickets

  16. Big Raddy says:

    Fred. He will need a very large wallet. Tell him to go to a pub near the ground and enjoy the atmosphere.

  17. fred1266 says:

    Ok thanks BR

    Any recommendations of pubs to go, I only know the FFB

  18. LB says:

    I often see a lot of touts (scalpers) in the Horsey road near the little roundabout.

    As for how much they will be selling tickets for I have no idea — £300

    If he cannot get in you might suggest ‘The 12 Pins Pub” in Finsbury park they will be showing the game and there is always a good atmosphere. You did say he was an Arsenal supporter didn’t you?

    If not there are a lot of ManU supporters in Hampstead I am sure they will be showing the game up there lol.

  19. Aaron says:

    Do not want to see Mustafi and Sok on the line up sheet together, a disaster that will happen. Would rather see AMN slotted on the right in a back 4 or Jenks. Is Monreal fit?

    Can see the Arsenal edging this one as Emery is getting the set up right for most games.

    manure will regress to the mean, and they have a few physical games after ours, and then have to deal with the other oilers in CL.
    Will sols field a super strong team? Not sure, but they are due a Loss.

    Play well today and the Arsenal will be moving in the right direction.

  20. fred1266 says:

    Think he said he was fielding a strong team today Aaron, sanchez for sure will be getting a start

  21. fred1266 says:

    That what I wanted for Christmas how did you know

  22. Big Raddy says:

    I am going out this evening and recording the game to watch on my return.
    Please do not tell me the score (which reminds me of a Likely Lads episode.)

  23. Big Raddy says:

    Whatever happens tonight it will be better than the disastrous First Test in the W.Indies 😦

  24. Rasp says:

    Thanks Raddy, I’m hoping it is a close game with the ref being anonymous. A close game will mean we are up for it …. and then a late winner for us would make it perfect … and we can end their 7 game unbeaten run as they did our 49

  25. fred1266 says:

    You like the west Indies to BR

  26. mickydidit89 says:

    So bloody glad that week is done 🙄

    Ok, where are we?

    Thanks Erik, and certainly agree the FAC is part of the Arsenal tradition as you say

    Not looking forward to bumping into Chas later after that lot 🙂

    Ok, fish and chips then back for team news and stretching

  27. VP of Oz says:

    Thanks AAers for all the fine posts each day and the many comments. Always great reading.
    I can’t watch the game as the FA Cup is the only comp tied down to foxtel. So I’ll be wanting regular updates.

    113F yesterday, nice.


  28. fred1266 says:

  29. chas says:

    Haggis was excellent.
    Faggoty without the lips and arseholes.

    Single malt is banging.

    Up the Arse.

    p.s. just don’t stand downwind.

  30. mickydidit89 says:

    Brilliant. A slider and assault all in one. Superb

    Am safely up wind

    Mesut rested again for this one 🙂

  31. mickydidit89 says:

    surprised he’s gone for Iwobi and Ramsey rather than firming up with Ouzi alongside Granit and Terry. Very attacky, just hope we’re not too flacid in the middle

  32. chas says:

    If you’ve got nine inches but the middle inch is flaccid, you’re going nowhere.

  33. mickydidit89 says:

    yeah, never thought of that 🙂

    ps you’ve got a job on your hands to beat the Fred slide/attack

  34. chas says:

    Maybe losing Catwalk’s attacking prowess necessitated some Wobbly magic, though he is better on the left.

    In fact, I’ve no idea how we’re going to set up.
    Good job, Unai knows.

  35. mickydidit89 says:

    Catwalk!!! always makes me chuckle

    hope it’s a fullish house at The Ems and we score early to get them going

  36. mickydidit89 says:

    how’s the whisky Chas
    can you still see the telly

  37. Rasp says:

    The second goal is completely down to Mustafi not going with Lingarde

  38. fred1266 says:

    Damn 2 already

  39. mickydidit89 says:

    ok here we go

  40. Aaron says:

    I do not think I am going to watch the Arsenal play ever again with Mustafi with either Sok or Kos play. The second Sok came off, a goal for manure was inevitable.

  41. Aaron says:

    Thank goodness for out attackers- they are excellent!

  42. mickydidit89 says:

    ha ha Aaron, I remember saying I’d never watch Arsenal if Giroud started

    It’s tough though. We’re all weak 🙂

  43. chas says:

    Whisky is very nice, thank you.

    I enjoyed sneaking one back before half time.

  44. chas says:

    Without Catwalk we have no right side.

  45. fatgingergooner says:

    I was about to slate Iwobi’s final ball and then before I could finish writing my comment he sent Ramsey away down the left for our goal.

    It’s so frustrating watching an absolute cock womble like Lingard do nothing but ultimately effect the game, and then see a thoroughly nice guy like Iwobi look really busy but actually have zero end product and struggle to find a red shirt in the final third. He needs to find goals and assists in his game to have a future at Arsenal.

    I thought we did ok other than 2 poor goals. Usual story really. Hopefully the attack can get us back into it second half. We could’ve done without half time though.

  46. fred1266 says:

  47. fatgingergooner says:

    Is it me or does AMN think he’s playing Fifa? He just doesn’t really care about what’s going on and takes as many touches as he sees fit regardless of where he is on the pitch.

    There’s composure, and then there’s AMN!

  48. fatgingergooner says:

    We are making it far too complicated around their box.

  49. fatgingergooner says:

    How is Lacazette not in our starting 11 every week?

    He gives so much and has real quality. A very intelligent player

  50. fatgingergooner says:

    I’d love to see some Özil magic right now.

  51. fred1266 says:

    Yea emery baffles me sometimes

  52. fatgingergooner says:

    Or he and Lacazette could lose the ball on half way and cost us the game….!


  53. chas says:

    Seen it too many times before.
    No match report from me, sorry.

  54. Rasp says:

    Ozil gives the ball away and walks around throwing his arms in the air …. doesn’t even consider trying to get back and try to win the ball back …. I hope he never wears an Arsenal shirt again

  55. fatgingergooner says:

    Absolutely no issue with Emery. This is not his team yet it looks a lot better than the 18 months before he arrived.

  56. fatgingergooner says:


    One thing you expect when a new manager arrives is a reaction. It’s pretty obvious that he’s asked Özil to give him more to fit in with his ideas, but rather than put the effort in he seems to have sulked. When you see the effort of players like Geundouzi, and the professionalism of Ramsey who isn’t even staying at the club next year, Özil looks embarrassing. If he’s seriously on £350k a week then we will never get rid until his contract runs out.

  57. Rasp says:

    I totally agree FGG. I think UE was challenging Ozil to show he’s got some balls …. and the first thing he did was to pull out of a tackle. I wouldn’t be surprised if UE sees this as his last chance.

  58. chas says:

    Maybe one of you two could write something for tomorrow?

  59. fatgingergooner says:

    United are a counter attacking side and they took advantage of our weakness (especially with our CB’s going off). The first goal is always vital in these games and them scoring it made it very difficult for us and easy for them to counter.

    I hate listening to the ‘experts’ because they compare the sides as if they were on equal footing. Shearer going on about Arsenal lacking a player driving at the defence as if any of our players had more than 5 yards to move into with United having 10 men behind the ball. Yet apparently Pogba is an inspiration running into space on a 3 on 3 because all our players are up the pitch. They talk so much shite.

  60. fatgingergooner says:

    We finished with AMN Mustafi Xhaka Kol

    Is there anything else to say?! It’s been our problem all season and United took advantage of it tonight. I thought we did ok but going 2-0 down is not a position you want to be in against any team, let alone a confident one. It allowed United to counter and it was only ever going to end up with us equalising and possibly nicking it, or their keeper making a save or 2 and them scoring on the counter late on. Unfortunately, it was the latter.

  61. mickydidit89 says:


    I think you’re right about us needing to score the first goal

    Emery set up wrong I reckon

    Iwobi Laca Auba
    …Granit Terry

    Wrong. Auba is better closer to Laca, while the midfield too weak, especially given our shite defending (as opposed to shite defenders as Sok and Kos are ok)
    Better would have been as v Chavs

    ….Laca . Auba
    Terry . Granit . Ouzi

  62. fatgingergooner says:


    I do agree to an extent, but I think that Emery may have looked at their side with Lukaku in it and thought he could’ve been a bit of a mismatch in the box. We allowed Chelsea plenty of space out wide knowing that a forward line of Hazard, Pedro and Willian couldn’t hurt us in the air, but I wonder if Emery saw Lukaku in the United line up and thought different.

  63. mickydidit89 says:

    Mmmm, dunno. Emery got it right against Totnum and right against Chavs, but I commented my concerns about Iwobi and Ramsey before the game.

    Auba and Laca are way more likely to score than Iwobi, so I think it’s a mistake to sacrifice a bit of Auba by forcing him into a less effective role

  64. LB says:

    Well that was humiliating.

    Can someone tell me what happened to Koscielny?

  65. mickydidit89 says:

    Remember the point you made about us needing to score first in order to prevent them being able to play on the counter.

  66. mickydidit89 says:

    He received an accidental boot to cheek from Lukaku

  67. mickydidit89 says:

    Ok, before I run (and I have my tin hat on), with a more defensive midfield three with Laca and Auba together up top, I still think we could afford the luxury of Mesut as, excused from pressing and all that bullshit, he’s way better at setting up the strikers than Ramsey

    Nite. Ruuuuuun

  68. Gööner In Exile says:

    I take full responsibility for tonight’s defeat, didn’t watch Chelsea game as I had boys on my own and we had a lads weekend of (mini) golf, bowling and trampolining (my back is still recovering!). Anyway hard week of work was going to be bookended by a triumphant victory over ManUre and quitening of the hype around Solskjaer. My fault I am obviously a Jonah.

    No matter that we were on top for most of the first half we had zero killer instinct, the first goal was frustrating, the second was unforgivable. Yet again people will ask question of our defence, but we need to ask why we have to commit so many men forward? This reminded me too much of losing away to Everton some years back when Lukaku tore us a new one being used on the right flank. He had more pace then yet still managed to do it today.

    Lacazette our centre forward probably did more defensively than PEA, Iwobi and Ramsey combined. But apparently that’s ok. Lacazette like Ozil has spent more time on bench than he should if Emery demands work rate, because he shows far more of it than some others. Yes I like Ozil yes I know he is not going to work as hard as some would like although I happen to think he does more than most think. But show me clips of Iwobi, Ramsey and PEA tonight doing more. Rarely saw Ramsey in the midfield let alone in our box.

    I know I am against popular wisdom here but you can’t expect to throw Ozil on and him to change the game we were already lost and out of shape.

    I’ve got no problem dropping and axing the big names just don’t single out one player, drop them all have some balls. 4th is a dream, rebuild from bottom up, put as much faith in Other youngsters at the club as you do in Leno, Guendouzzi and Maitland-Niles, mould them, coach them, show us the future. Right now I see too many past failings.

  69. fred1266 says:

    So rashford injured holding and lukaku injured Koscielny

  70. Rasp says:

    We must have been watching different games GiE. Ramsey was equal Arsenal motm along with Laca by my estimation … and yes, for work rate and commitment. I also thought Iwobi had one of his better games constantly running at their defence … most of our attacks came down the left hand side. The loss of Socrates was crucial … and then the loss of kozzer compounded that. I would agree that we seem to continue with the ineffective intricacy that we’ve been demonstrating for many years … but we did try to get the ball forward more quickly. We were not as clinical as manu when it came to finishing but we actually had nearly twice as many shots as them. If Ramsey’s header had gone in it could have been a different story.

  71. LBG says:

    Agree Micky.
    With hindsight, Wobbly’s actual contribution amounted to his pass for the goal. We had some good chances in the first half that might have been ‘purer’ from Mesut. Aubang is wasted out wide because he does not work, and expects a Mesut type ball. I think the three across midfield Xhaka, Terrier, Ouzi might have given more solidity for the back four.
    All conjecture, and the pivot point was a breakaway goal at 2-1 with no central defenders. We felt before that we were going to come back. Two Romero saves kept them in it.
    Disappointing but I would not fault effort.

  72. Gööner In Exile says:

    Rasp, I don’t disagree that Ramsey was one of our better players but that’s damning with faint praise as I’m not sure other than Lacazette who had a particularly good game in terms of effort.

    Iwobi was good going forward until he got to 18 yard box, our midfield was not pressed, we were allowed to move it up through to the final third with ease. There was zero discipline shown in terms of leaving some players back and we were left conceding to 3v2 breakaway goals with our central midfield totally bypassed. Which as I say is no different to what we have seen for many years.

    Question about Ramsey is not one of his attacking game and movement that was fine. it was more about his defensive work, if that’s why Ozil is left out I don’t see a major difference.

    I can’t find any heatmaps or touch graphs but my guess is Ramsey’s will be concentrated in their half.

  73. mickydidit89 says:

    I’ll send some match feelings rather than a match report

    Be warned: I’ve read the experts and still agree with me most of all 🙂

  74. chas says:

    Cheers, Micky. I was just cutting some of the comments above together just to put something up but your match thoughts would be infinitely better. Thanks.

  75. chas says:

    It feels like one of those weekends where it’s FA Cup games but you’ve already been knocked out, so football doesn’t exist on a Saturday morning. Odd.

    Next one will be on the 16th/17th February squeezed between the two Europa games against BATE.

  76. chas says:

  77. mickydidit89 says:

    Ok Chas, give me another cup of coffee and we’re in business

    Put up some porn or su’ink in the meantime

  78. Eddie says:

    yes chas, watching MotD after a loss feels like one masochistic punch too far
    I am beginning to doubt Emery. Why tf he plays Iwobi while Mezut is warming the bench??

  79. chas says:


  80. chas says:

    I don’t understand how we can have great plans to defeat the spuds and chavs and then lose to Man U in exactly the same way that we would have done in the late Arsene era.

    Maybe I’m just responding to the result and losing both CBs was dreadful, appalling luck.
    Dunno, fed up with the Jeckyll and Hyde performances anyway.

  81. mickydidit89 says:


  82. mickydidit89 says:

    Eddie Dear

    Brighten my morning please
    Fights with lesbians?
    Cars on fire?
    Alien abductions?

  83. chas says:

    Thanks, Micky

  84. chas says:


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